For the Poor

1 Corinthians 15:22

1Co 15:22 (2002, September - October)

March 28, 1911

Brother J. C. Davidson, of Shannon, Miss. requests us to give our views of 1Co 15:22, which reads, "For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive." In this chapter the apostle is treating upon the subject of the resurrection of the bodies of the Lord's people. This fact should be remembered and kept in mind in considering the verse mentioned. It is the Lord's people that he is talking about. They all die in Adam. They die every day, and their bodies are consigned to the tomb. They will all be made alive in Christ. Their bodies will be raised again. "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." Christ was the first fruits. When He comes again the bodies of all His saints will be raised — "Afterward they that are Christ's at His coming." He was talking here about the Lord's people, and no others.
C. H. C.
(Elder C. H. Cayce)

— Copied from Editorial Writings from The Primitive Baptist, Vol. II, page 29.

2 Timothy 4:5

2Ti 4:5 (1991, November - December)

"But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry." - 2Ti 4:5.

Concerning this text we have been asked if the work of Timothy, or that which he was instructed to do, was different from any other minister, and what was his work as an evangelist. The word evangelist in this text means a preacher of the gospel; an evangelist is one who announces good news, brings glad tidings, preaches the gospel. This is the required work of the minister in this day, just the same as at that tithe. There has been no change in the Scriptural requirement. The true minister is required to preach the gospel, proclaim the good news of salvation by the power of God — proclaim God's power to save. Paul did this; Timothy was instructed to do the same; and it is just as much the duty of the professed minister of Christ to do that now. There has been no change in the requirement, or duty, in that line.

Timothy was instructed to "watch thou in all things." The Master instructed His disciples (His followers) to "watch as well as pray." This is just as necessary now as it ever was. There are many things in this age that are calculated to decoy and to lead stray; hence it is necessary to "watch thou in all things." It is needful that the minister, as well as the private member, "watch as well as pray."

Timothy was instructed to "endure afflictions." There are afflictions to be endured if one makes a good soldier of Jesus Christ. There are afflictions to be endured by the true minister that no person can know, or realize, or experience, who is not a minister of Jesus Christ. But he must be faithful, if he is a true minister, though he be falsely accused; though he be maligned; though he be misjudged; though he be counted an enemy to those who depart from the truth; though he be persecuted, not only by the outside world, but by his own brethren. He must endure afflictions.

He must do the work of an evangelist. He must proclaim the glad tidings of salvation by the power of God through Jesus Christ our Lord. He must proclaim the truth, as it is taught in the Word of God, not only as to how poor sinners are saved from sins, but as to how God's children should live while here in the world, that God's name be honored and glorified by a well ordered walk and by their godly conversation. He is not only to comfort the Lord's children, but he is to teach them how they should live so as to honor the Saviour in their life here in the world.

The minister is to make full proof of his ministry by following the instruction given as to how and what he should preach and teach, and as to how he should live, as a minister of the gospel should live. No matter how well he may talk in the pulpit, if he does not live a godly life he does not make full proof of his ministry. It is very necessary that his walk be right, as well as that his talk be right. "Actions speak louder than words." No matter how well a man may speak from the pulpit, if his life is not what it should be, as becometh the gospel of Christ, he does not make full proof of his ministry. We have known some whose lives were such that they made full proof to us thereby that they were not true ministers of Christ, even though they talked well while in the pulpit. May the good Lord help us, who profess to be ministers of the gospel, to "make full proof' of our ministry. C.H.C.

(Elder C. H. Cayce)
-Copied from The Primitive Baptist, November 18, 1943, page 337.

A BROTHERLY LETTER (1944)

A BROTHERLY LETTER (1944)

(Copied from Gospel Standard, April, 1944)

DEAR CHRISTIAN FRIEND—My desire for you for 1939 and onward is: the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you, and that you may prove the truth of this: "My God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus." And now unto God and our Father be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

Sometimes the Word of God does appear to read strange, as one reviews the serious happenings of recent days, together with the apparent triumph of sin and Satan over all that would show forth the glory of God, and His unerring wisdom and power.

At other times (though, alas, we do not live in that atmosphere) "we see Jesus Who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour, that He by the grace of God should taste death for every man." 0 that it were oftener and more abiding! "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."

I have blushed with shame of late as I have pondered over the end of the way, and thought of meeting the precious Lamb of God, King of kings and Lord of lords, glorious over all, excellent over all; and then looked at myself, if anything of a gracious character at all—a beggar from the dunghill of sin and wretchedness. 0 how dare I approach the Holy of Holies! And yet a short while ago, when in this mood of sadness and felt unworthiness, I read in the Book of books: "When the Son of Man shall come in His glory, and all His holy angels with Him, He shall sit upon the throne of His glory," etc.; then we shall hear that blessed and wonderful Voice: "Come."—What, me, Lord, a loathsome wretch undone? Yes, you!—"Come, ye blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world." If ever we hear that Voice in those words, 0 what a change shall we feel, and even at the gates of heaven what wonder and surprise will fill us!

It will not be to creep in to hide the head with shame and merely rejoice not to be rejected (though this we richly deserve). And 0 to be told that we gave Him meat, gave Him drink, ministered unto Him! "When, 0 when?" will be our cry.

Our hearts have been broken to pieces as we viewed, by faith a suffering holy Jesus in sad Gethsemane, and we have felt as if the earth must swallow us up for very shame. We felt such a broken-hearted sorrow that One so holy should suffer so terribly for one who deserved to be banished for ever. Yet this is not the Inasmuch that will meet us at the last!

Can you understand imputed righteousness or the love of God? I cannot. Faith adores but cannot comprehend.

"But when this lisping, stammering tongue lies silent in the grave,
Then in a sweeter, nobler song, I'll sing Thy power to save."

My dear wife and self long for the change, but 0 to be ready! . . We often look forward and speak of the end of the way: It cannot be long now. We get things to remind us we are still in tribulation's vale. The Lord bless you, is my desire. 

F. CHAPLIN.
Manchester. 1939.

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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.-1Th 4:16-17.

A Christian

A Christian (1986, January-February)

The name christian was given to the disciples of Christ, and the Saviour says that "whosoever doth not bear His cross, and come after me cannot be my disciple." A disciple of Christ is one who believes His doctrine and follows His example. No one could be a disciple of Christ without being led by the Spirit and all who are "led by the Spirit of God they are the children of God." So they must be born of God before they can become christians. It would be impossible, also, for anyone to be a disciple without first hearing the words of Christ and believing on Him, and Jesus says, "He that heareth my word, and believeth on Him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation, but is passed from death unto life."

So then it would be impossible to become a christian in order to be an heir of heaven for, none but those who are led by the Spirit of God are His children and when children, "then heirs, heirs of God and joint-heirs with Christ."

"He that hath not the Spirit of Christ is none of His." Truly the Spirit of Christ is the spirit of humility, love, faith, kindness and long forbearance. They that have the Spirit of Christ are dead to the love of sin and desire to follow Christ, therefore the Saviour would say to them, "If any man will come after me let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whosoever shall save his life shall lose it, and whosoever shall lose his life for my sake shall find it." Therefore if we seek to keep our honor and standing before the world we will not be truly a disciple or follower of Christ for He did not seek that but sought only to do His Father's will. If therefore we seek fame we will not be known as a christian because a tree is known by its fruit. But if we seek humility we will show a Christ like spirit and Christ will indeed exalt us.

Then, first, the real christian is one whose understanding is enlightened by the influence of divine grace, for men by wisdom know not God, and none can know Christ except the Father reveal Him unto them.

2nd. — One who is by the influence of the spirit, convinced of the depravity of his nature, and sees his own inability to free himself from it.

3rd. — One who is taught to see that God is the only One who can help him, and that He alone can forgive sins, and is thus made to beg for mercy. Then the eyes of his understanding is open to know mercy is brought to him through Jesus Christ the Lord.

4th. — That the Holy Spirit is the only One who can apply the blessings of the gospel to him. Therefore the christian will be found going to God in prayer for the blessings that his soul hungers for.

5th. — His whole life is so changed that he worships, trusts in and looks to his God in all times. His entire life is bent toward Godliness and an uprightness. His affections are elevated and centered in God alone.

6th. — He is likewise the one who is willing to deny himself of the things that would be most pleasing to his nature and to publicly profess christianity by following the examples of Christ.

Let us then forsake the fleshly ambitions and let not the flesh lead us and strive to be true disciples.

Elder J. Harvey Dailey
—Copied from The Primitive Baptist,
March 16, 1909, page 84.

A CIRCULAR LETTER

A CIRCULAR LETTER (1949, December)

The Ebenezer Association, 1860, to the Churches whereof we are messengers :

Dearly. Beloved for Jesus' Sake—In consideration of abounding error, and will worship, we deem it expedient to write you on the nature of a gospel church—that the visible church of our Lord is neither National, Provincial, Parochial nor Presbyterian, is put beyond question by the New Testament of our Lord and Saviour. Therein we read of a church at Jerusalem, a Church at Rome, another at Corinth, and many other cities and places.

The so-called tabernacle of Moses, and the temple of Solomon are instructive similes of the gospel church. The tabernacle was made of ten curtains, and the temple of costly stones ; not in a state of nature, but after they were skillfully prepared. Nor did one curtain or stone make the one or the other ; nor yet after they were all prepared, while lying separate, but when properly arranged the curtains made the tabernacle; and when properly placed and cemented together the stones made the temple. As the latter was built of polished stones, and upon a permanent foundation, so its ante-type, the church of Christ, is built of lively or living stones, and upon a rock, against which the gates of hell can never prevail. As in the type so in the antetype all the material must be prepared for the building.

Persons in a state of nature, be they who or what they may, are by no means proper material wherewith to build the church of God—for "except a man be born of water and of the spirit (which we take to mean the grace and spirit of the Lord) he cannot enter into the kingdom of God." Such only are proper material wherewith to build this spiritual house, this habitation of our God. As we are new creatures, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them—not created in eternity, but in time—new born babes, desiring the sincere milk of the word, that they may grow thereby —sheep and lambs that hunger and thirst after righteousness—we are prepared for the building. When constrained by that powerful cement (love), we cheerfully submit to immersion as a sign of our death to the law, to the love of sin and all legal hopes. We rise from the liquid grave to newness of life. The cement spoken of is the bond of union, the love of God shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost. Being thus bound together in gospel bonds, we choose proper officers, say pastor and deacons, and thus constitute or become a visible gospel church; whose chief business in after life is to show forth the praise of Him who hath called us out of darkness into the marvelous light.

"Then shall ye be my disciples, if ye do whatsoever I have commanded you." His great law, called a new commandment, is that saints should love one another, not in word and in tongue but in deed and in truth. By love to God, to the church, the Bride, the Lamb's wife, and for the souls of their fellow mortals, the ministers of the gospel are constrained to follow the example of the milch kine, that were hitched to the cart, whereon the ark of the covenant was laid. They left their calves behind, contrary to nature, and went lowing to the place of the ark's destination. The Lord said of Paul, after He had stopped him in his mad career, that he was a chosen vessel unto Hid, and that He would show him how great things he must suffer for His sake.

It is no part of the minister's duty to feed swine or the world's goats, but to feed the sheep and the lambs of Christ with a pure gospel and the sacred and instructive ordinances thereof. To seek the lost, bring back that which was driven away, comfort the feeble minded and guard them against false teachers, who are compared to wolves in sheep's clothing, to dogs and lions that will not spare the flock; to give themselves to prayer and the ministry of the faithful word and administration of the gospel ordinances; to study to show themselves approved unto Clod, workmen that needeth not be ashamed, to give themselves wholly to the work, by being instant in season and out of season; reproving ; rebuking and exhorting with all long suffering and doctrine, and watching for souls, as they that must give account. Let it be borne in mind that an unpreaching preacher is a contradiction of terms.

The deacons in the churches should always bear in mind that while it is the duty of the ministers to attend to the spiritual interests of the churches, it is theirs to attend to their temporal interests; and, as far as means are put in their hands, serve tables; the Lord's table, the minister's table and that of the poor and afflicted which the churches have always with them.

It is the duty of church members to love each other ; to sympathize with and aid each other in all their troubles, both inward and outward; to pray for and with each other ; to reprove each other's faults in the spirit of meekness; to strive together for the faith of the gospel, to be of one heart and one soul, keeping the unity of the spirit in the bond of peace; letting their light shine both in the church and in the world.

We shall now touch what has been called a tender chord. We allude to the support of the gospel ministry, especially pastors f churches. But why should it be so called, since it is a part of the counsel of God? There are some persons who act as though they had divine authority for believing that the Lord had made paupers of his ministers and in contributing their mites, their left hand must not know what their right hand doeth ; while others let neither their right nor left hand know. But what sayeth the Lord. See the followng among many other passages that might be produced.

1Ti 5:17-18: "Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honour, especially they who labor in the word and doctrine. For the Scripture saith, Thou shalt not muzzle the ox that treadeth out the corn. And the labourer is worthy of his reward." Cor. ix. 7, 9, 10, 11: "Who goeth a warfare any time at his own charges ? who planteth a vineyard, and eateth not of the fruit thereof? or who feedeth a flock, and eateth not of the milk of the flock?" "For it is written in the law of Moses, Thou shalt not muzzle the mouth of the ox that treadeth out the corn. Doth God take care for oxen? Or saith he it altogether for our sakes? For our sakes, no doubt, this is written: that he that plougheth should plough in hope; and that be that thresheth in hope should be partaker of his hope." "If we have sown unto you spiritual things, is it a great thing if we shall reap your carnal things?"

Here you perceive the apostle argues the right of gospel ministers to maintenance, from the justice of the thing—from the law of nations in the case of soldiers—from case of shepherds and planters of vineyards—from the law of Moses respecting the ox—from the case of priests for whom provisions were made under the law, and lastly the express command of Christ Himself, who has ordained that "they that preach the gospel, shall live of the gospel."

If our dearly beloved brethren and sister could, even for a short time, experience the fatigue, privations, losses, cares and troubles that fall to the lot of faithful ministers (not idle shepherds), they would see justice shine in the above quoted passages with attractions; stirring them up to duty as, perhaps, they have never yet been. How distressing we ask is it to the mind of the honest head of a family, whose circumstances are such as to compel him to be three-fourths of his time from home and his secular business, incurring unavoidable expenses daily without any reliable prospect of meeting the demands that will come upon him as certainly as death?

But it may be asked how are these evils to be remedied? We answer, let the ministers trust the Lord and go, and preach the gospel, and teach the saints to do all things whatsoever their Lord has commanded them ; and let the saints prove by their works that they are obedient children.

In conclusion, dearly beloved brethren and sisters, let us all consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus ; and may His bright example prove us, and His love and kindness constrain us, to desire, ardently with David, to dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of our lives; to behold the beauty f the Lord and inquire in His temple. Hear and obey the apostle's exhortation "Be perfect, be of good comfort, be of one mind, live in peace, and the God of love and peace shall be with you."

The business that came before us and how it was done you will be informed of by our minutes unto which this is appended. Farewell.

F. M. PERRY, Moderator.
J. K. BOOTON, Clerk.
                           Copied from Zion's Advocate, September, 1860.

A CORN OF WHEAT (1943)

"A CORN OF WHEAT" (1943)

(By Elder John Clark, in Zion's Advocate, March 1, 1871)

Our Divine Redeemer not only spake in parables to the people, because it was given to His disciples to know the mystery of the kingdom, but drew upon many things in nature by which to illustrate and explain the great work which He came into the world to accomplish. In the verse, "Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit," He designed to show that as it is in the planting of wheat, the grain that is deposited in the earth dies, but from it springs the shoot, the blade, the ear, then the full corn in the ear, so in His death and resurrection. There are some seeds that spring up when they vegetate and do not die; but not so with the corn of wheat, which is used by our Lord to show the nature of His work, and, also, because it is of more value than any other grain. There is more nutriment in it, and therefore, it is more excellent than any other; so Christ is the Chief among ten thousand, and the one altogether lovely. He is among the sons—the children of men—as the apple tree is among the trees of the wood.

It is said that a corn of wheat when deposited in moist soil and with a warm climate, will vegetate in three days, as Christ was three days and nights in the heart of the earth. "Except it die it abideth alone." The single grain. So if Christ had not died, He would have been alone, so far as any sinners of Adam's posterity are concerned, but as He died He brings forth much fruit. He redeems an innumerable company, out of every nation, kindred, tongue and people under heaven.

The wheat must be threshed, ground, sifted, kneaded and baked before it is fit for use; and so Christ is the bread of life, whereof if a man eats, he shall never hunger, never die. He was the anti-typical manna, the bread of God that came down from heaven. The corn of wheat that fell into the ground, that died, and hath brought forth much fruit—an abundant harvest. He is our Passover; was sacrificed for us; killed; roasted whole, and whose precious blood sprinkled upon the door posts is a peaceful sign. The destroying angel has orders to pass over all those where that peaceful sign, the blood of the covenant, is seen. The corn of wheat that fell into the earth and died is now seen in the harvest, in the full corn in the ear, and in an abundant increase.

His honor and His breath
Were taken both away;
Join'd with the wicked in His death,
And made as vile as they.

But God shall raise His head
O'er all the sons of men,
And make Him see a numerous seed
To recompense His pain.

A DIFFERENT PEOPLE (1943)

A DIFFERENT PEOPLE (1943)

(From Zion's Advocate, November 1, 1870)

DEAR BROTHER CLARK:

The Lord is still good; "a strong hold in the day of trouble;" and, "to them that look for Him shall He appear." At the last church meeting—third Saturday and Sunday in this month—of the Friendship Church, Licking County, Ohio, the Lord was pleased to meet with us and fulfill the promise made to His chosen heritage: "In all places where I record my name I will come unto thee and bless thee." At that meeting the "cherubims stretched forth their wings on high, covering the mercy seat, and their faces toward the mercy seat, and one toward another," and the Lord met with His dear children and communed with them from above the mercy seat. On Sunday I baptized three—two brothers and one sister—who I believe the Lord will "own when He makes up His jewels," and Brother Williams also baptized one at the same place on the Wednesday following. It had been a long time since we had been down to that water, and there were many tears shed there that day. The vast crowd of people gathered at the house and at the water I could not if I would, and would not if I could, forget. I had appointments the week following at Poplar Fork on Monday; Timber Run o Tuesday; Buelah, Wednesday; Pleasant Hill, Thursday; Lost Run, Thursday night, winding up at Wane, four Saturday and Sunday, which was one of the brightest weeks of my ministerial life, in which I saw and felt much of God's presence and grace as ever I did before in preaching. At all these places, while I heard man tell of their own faults and confess their own unworthiness, and mourn their own imperfections, I did not hear one human being tell of something bad they knew or had heard of somebody else.

Brother Clark, I feel impressed to write a few lines for the Advocate (always subject to your will), and would love to speak with tongue and pen and act "the things that become sound doctrine;" and in order to be sound in doctrine, it is necessary to be "strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus;" for, says Paul, "The grace of God bringeth salvation," and "By grace are ye saved." Then, so far as salvation is concerned, then is nothing else necessary, as a part, but all, all is grace.

Free grace they sing before the throne,
Without a jarring note.

Grace all the work shall crown
In everlasting days.

0! is not this beautiful? Is it not worthy of our God Is it not like Him? Does it not stir the heart of flesh to think, or write, or speak of a theme so grand? I neve attempt to speak or to write of this grace but I feel m thoughts, and words, and pen stagger and reel and fail beneath the grandeur of the mighty, the glorious them I cannot rise to the height of this great argument, but must be content to sink and sing while

Its glories rise immeasurably high.

But, where would we expect to find those that profess this doctrine? At those gambling shops called County Fairs, or those pious picnics, or those religious raffles? Do these places separately, or all of them combined, become the professors of this grace? No, my dear brethren and sisters, your own hearts tell you they do not; and not one of them is so much as named in Paul's enumeration in Titus, second chapter. Read it. Where are the aged men and aged women, and young men and young women that Paul writes about in the churches? There are a few, but alas! they are like angel's visits—few and far between. Your Father in Heaven says to every heir of promise, "Be not conformed to this world," that is, don't act just like the world; but who can see the difference? And now, dear brethren and sisters, we love you as well as we love our life, though we thus speak, and as beloved children we warn you and exhort you to adorn the doctrine of God our Saviour. Hang around you the "ornaments of a meek and quiet spirit," which is, in the sight of God, of great price, and thereby make this doctrine sparkle in the eyes of all that shall behold your godly walk and chaste conversation. Do you desire the prosperity of the church where you live? Yes, if born again you do. Then "let your light so shine that others (that have light) may glorify your Father which is in heaven." Brethren and sisters, let us examine ourselves and see what manner of spirit we are of. There are two manner of people, and two worlds scattered over the earth. There are the children of God who form one body, of whom Jesus Christ is the King and Head; and there is the world at enmity with God; of whom the devil is the king and head; hence Jesus Christ is called the King of Saints, because He has everywhere His worshippers; and the devil is called the prince of this world, because he has agents and slaves in it. Jesus Christ has imposed on His church such laws as He, in His eternal wisdom, pleased to ordain, and the devil has imposed on the world such laws as he chose to establish. Jesus Christ has associated honor with suffering. Jesus Christ has told those who are smitten on one cheek to turn the other also; the devil has told those who are threatened with a blow to kill the man that would inflict it. The Saviour calls those happy who share in His reproaches; the devil calls those unhappy who lie under slander and a lying tongue. Jesus Christ says, "woe unto you when all men shall speak well of you;" the devil says, "woe unto you when the world does not speak well of you." No wonder Jesus commanded, His people to come out from among them. "Be ye separate," are the words of our King. Let us heed the admonition and be kindly affectioned one toward another with brotherly love.

Let not despair nor fell revenge
Be to my bosom known;
Give me a tear for others' woes,
And patience for my own.

As ever,
BENJAMIN LAMPTON.
Walton, Ky., Sept. 29, 1870.

A DIVINE DELIVERANCE

A DIVINE DELIVERANCE. (1946, February)

(Copied from The Gospel Messenger, August, 1906)

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

Elder Francis Thorn, of England, came to Baltimore, Md., in December, 1845, and died there August 31, 1857. He was the father of Dr. John Thorn, who was also a native of England, but came in early life to Baltimore; and lived and died there, and who, as a veterinary surgeon, accumulated considerable property, and who was very generous in building the Ebenezer Church meetinghouse Baltimore and in entertaining his Baptist brethren and sisters. Elder Francis Thorn's father was clerk of the parish in which he lived; and Elder Thorn encountered a great deal of opposition from his father and also from his parson or rector, when he, from conscientious principles, withdrew from the Church of England, and joined the Baptists there and became a preacher for them. In building a meeting-house for the little church that he served, he mortgaged not only it and the ground on which it stood, but also his own little home; and, when the day of payment drew near, he found himself still owing 30 pounds (about $150), and did not know from what source he would get the money, and of course felt deeply distressed by the circumstance, as he feared that he would lose both the chapel and all his own little earthly possessions. The night before the debt was due, he dreamed that a man came to his door and brought him a letter, containing thirty pounds and a note on which was written, "The Lord has sent it to you," and then that the bearer at once withdrew, and had no means of finding out from whom the money came. He was so rejoiced that he awoke, and told his wife the dream. And, before breakfast next morning, a man did come and handed him the letter with the thirty pounds and the piece of paper on which was written, "The Lord has sent it to you," and the man left at once, and Elder Thorn never was able to ascertain who had sent him this exact and seasonable gift, relieving him from all anxiety in regard to his ability to raise the mortgage on the chapel and his home; but he could not doubt that the Lord was in the matter, and had moved some person to contribute to him, just in time, the money that he needed for this purpose. He said that, if he had not told his wife the dream before the man came, he never would have related it to any one. Elder F. A. Chick narrated this wonderful circumstance to me while I was at his home in Hopewell, N. J., the last of June, and thought it worthy of a place among the "Remarkable Providences" that I publish every month in The Gospel Messenger, and I thanked him for this authentic narrative, and have now recorded it for the edification of our readers. Elder Chick served for many years the Ebenezer Church in Baltimore, of which Elder Francis Thorn and Dr. John Thorn were members; and this incident was related to him as perfectly true. The Lord, in whom His people trust, will supply all their temporal and spiritual needs in the way and time in which it seems best to Him.

SYLVESTER HASSELL.

A Double Minded Man

A Double Minded Man (1996, March - April)

November 24, 1908

Brother Dan Revis, Captial Hill, Okla., requests our views on Jas 1:8, "A double minded man is unstable in all his ways." A double minded man is one who is wavering; he is always changing; he is unstable; undecided. He is not settled in his mind. He tries one position a short time, then another. He may stay with the Old Baptists a while, then go to another church or demonination; but he doesn't stay long -- he soon comes back. But he is not fully decided; he soon goes again to the other denomination. Still, he is not settled. He may soon come back again; and so, on and on. He is unstable, unsettled in his mind as to who is right or as to where he belongs. This is a double minded man. C. H. C.

(Elder C. H. Cayce)
-- Copied from "Selected Editorials From The Primitive Baptists,", Volume I, page 270.

A FAITHFUL MINISTRY

A FAITHFUL MINISTRY (1948, May)

Copied from The Gospel Messenger, 1906

"The same commit thou to faithful men."-2Ti 2:2.

Faithfulness is indispensable to a minister of the gospel. A true servant of God will not seek after methods that are popular with the world ; he will not be concerned to secure to himself public applause. When an old minister can look back over his life, feeling that his aim through life has been truth,—that he has not been influenced by the inventions of men or by a desire to be great among men, he has a most precious jewel—a clear conscience. There are many things to decoy a minister from the "old path," and when he once yields to popular influences it is hard to tell where it will end with him. The safest thing is to hunt for the old paths —the popular methods of fashionable churches will not benefit our people—they will prove ruinous to Ahem. Let us be "satisfied with the goodness of the Lord's house"—with the service marked out in the Bible. God is our best friend—He is more to us than all the world ; our greatest aim should be to' please Him. Our people in the ages past have borne the hatred of the world—. they have been content with the plain, simple methods of the Bible, and our ministers have been content to go along with their burdens, and our churches have been kind to their faithful pastors ; the contributions have often been insufficient to support them, but they have gone along, and when they had time to do so they, have labored with their hands. If we demand a living absolutely, it will be likely to prove a snare to us ; it will lead to efforts to swell our congregations and membership in order to secure this end, that are not Scriptural. Our churches, many of them, are poor, and have their own families to maintain, and are not able to give much—not able to support the minister in an expensive way.

It is said, "The poor shall have the gospel preached unto them," and we should be glad to preach to the poor in purse who are poor in spirit; and it is certainly often the case that poor people love truth and are comforted by it. We should often think of that great Being that bestowed on us our gift to instruct His children, and of the great obligation we are under to be faithful to Him. It is worse to fail as a minister of the gospel than to fail in earthly things. 0 how bad to "become a cast- away"! —to lose the confidence of the Lord's people, and lead them to think that we are not loyal to truth, that we are inclined to court the world. Let us remember who called us, and who enabled us to know the truth,—who it was that suffered and died that we might live. Let us remember how little He cared about the applause of men. He spent His days on earth as one that felt that He was not at home—that riches are nothing—that the world's honors are of no value. It is certainly true with us that God's approval is worth more than all else. A minister with a proud spirit, or a haughty carriage, is to be pitied. Let us dread such a misfortune and pray the Lord to save us from a vain-glorious temper ; it is a serious blemish, and more so in one who professes to be a follower of Christ.

Fashionable people and ways will not nurture a ministerial gift. "Society people" will not make us more "fervent in spirit," nor more gifted in our public address. Our flesh may incline to these things, but surely our safety and usefulness will be better nourished by the society of the meek and unpretentious by going along in the "old paths." I felt the duty of preaching first when I was about twenty-three years old ; it was a great burden to me. I thought much of my inability and unworthiness, and these two things have been serious matters with me ever since. I soon saw that the masses of the people will not love truth, while I know it is sad to see persons live out of the church that have a hope, and I am sure that in all congregations where I preach there are such persons. Yet it is ruinous, I know, to gather into our churches a multitude that are in love with the world. When division comes, they will disappoint you, and go with those who seek news ways and methods. Trials come to all our churches--all "must be tried as by fire," and if we do our duty faithfully as ministers, it will help us in these times of trial.

I was troubled about the support of my wife and children in early life, but I now plainly see that the Lord will provide. I do firmly 'believe that it is right and safe to trust the Lord in these things.

That man who loves our people and feels the duty laid upon him to preach to the people, of God, may safely go to this task. The Lord has ordained that they that "preach the gospel should live of the gospel ;" and if God has so ordained, we need not worry, we ought not to worry ; let us meekly do this, and we will certainly see the promise of the Lord fulfilled ; I once was young and I know the trials of the way. I know the burdens both of the minister and his wife, and I can say from my own experience, "The Lord will provide." -I have never known one to suffer for the necessaries of life that went preaching the gospel of Christ. I think we should live a life of faith. We ought not to require the promise of men or of churches. It is said that a Hindoo priest that asks a salary is held in derision.

I am sure if life were to live over with me, I would not ask the promise of any one. I look over my past life, and often see much to regret ; but I certainly do not regret the fact that I have not required the promise of men in these things. I hope our people will not give up their practice in these things. It is good for the brethren to do their duty in these things. There are some brethren who will neglect their duty, but I do not feel like excluding them for this. I never have.

I am anxious to see a revival among us. I certainly do desire to see our churches grow by the coming of those that are worthy. We should use the Scriptural methods given us to bring about this result. Paul told the elders at Ephesus to "Take heed to themselves." This wholesome advice applies to us all ; it teaches us to watch against our own sins. We are prone to a spirit of strife and vainglory. We are in danger of being overcome with covetousness, ourselves, and we are prone to unbelief in regard to our own interests. We should study the Word ; we should seek the Lord's presence and approval as of the first importance.

The battle of life will soon go by. 0, how we should desire to finish it in faithfulness to the Lord and His people! If I know my poor heart, this is my earnest desire above everything else.

Affectionately, 
J. H. OLIPHANT.

These solemn words of our dear brother are humble, wise, true, and Scriptural; and the plain, simple Bible truths expressed in this editorial will stand when the heavens and earth shall pass away. 0, that all our dear ministering brethren had the grace to abide in these momentous truths. 

S. HASSELL.

A GOOD SOLDIER OF JESUS CHRIST

A GOOD SOLDIER OF JESUS CHRIST (1946, December)

Writings of Elder Joseph Ford; at the time of his death he was preparing to put a number of articles, written by himself, into a book.

"Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please Him who hath chosen him to be a soldier."-2Ti 2:3-4. These words have been upon my mind of late as never before. There is so much embraced in them, that I hardly know where to begin. It ought to be of great concern to know what is required of the minister of Jesus Christ in order to be a good soldier of Jesus Christ. If we do not know what is required, we could not possibly know when we are enduring hardness as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. In order to be a good soldier of Jesus Christ, we must know the kind of warfare that we are to fight. Paul said to Timothy (his son in the faith), "Fight the good fight of faith." Paul also said of himself, "I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith." Paul was a good soldier of Jesus Christ. He desired that Timothy also endure hardness as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. These words imply that a man may endure hardness, and yet not be a good soldier of Jesus Christ. If we are good soldiers of Jesus Christ, we will have to endure hardness. There is no escaping that one thing. Jesus said, "If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you." Paul said to Timothy, "Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution." The lesson is, if we do so live as not to be persecuted, we are not enduring hardness as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. That is an established fact according to the Scriptures, and it also is true that we may be persecuted for preaching the truth and yet not endure hardness as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ endured hardness, but He never even reviled when being reviled; and greatest of all, He prayed for those who put Him to death. He said, "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do." Oh, what an example set for His ministers to follow! To thus do, would be to endure hardness as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.

We also have the martyr, Stephen, as a wonderful example of enduring hardness as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. It is recorded, "And they stoned Stephen, calling upon God, and saying, 'Lord Jesus, receive my spirit." Here were two wonderful prayers in quick succession. First, praying to God and saying, "Lord Jesus, receive my spirit," and second, "And He kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice, Lord; lay not this sin to their charge." Oh, let us note the scene shortly before this. "And said, Behold, I see the :heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God." Oh, what a wonderful sight! Note the contrast between seeing our dear Saviour standing on the right hand of God, and seeing Him nailed to the cross, and in a position that He could not kneel down to pray as Stephen did. John records it thus: "When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, He said, It is finished: and He bowed His head, and gave up the ghost." This was the last act of Jesus in His sufferings. He could not kneel down, but He could bow His head in humble submission to His Father. Even so, His ministers who endure hardness as good soldiers of Jesus Christ will do so in humble obedience to Him who hath chosen them to be good soldiers. -James said to his brethren, "Ye have condemned and killed the just; and he doth not resist you." Those just ones were good soldiers of Jesus Christ. They fought a good fight; they kept the faith-until death, and yet they did not resist their own brethren who condemned them and put them to death. Those brethren, who did the killing of the just, also killed each other. That is one peculiarity of God's people who resort to fighting and killing. They not only will kill the just, but they will also kill each other. In such case, neither one is enduring hardness as a good soldier of Jesus Christ, for a good soldier of Jesus Christ never has been guilty of wilfully trying to kill one of Christ's ministers. It is when living after the flesh that we seek to find some excuse for killing our own brethren in the ministry, but never when we are fighting the good fight of faith. We then do not count our lives dear unto ourselves, and we are not seeking the lives of others. We are willing to endure hardness as good soldiers of Jesus Christ.

Paul said to the elders of the church of Ephesus, "And now, behold (pay attention to what I say), I go bound in the spirit unto Jerusalem, not knowing the things that shall befall me there: save that the Holy Ghost witnesseth in every city, saying that bonds and afflictions abide me. But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God. "--Ac 20:22-24: We note that Paul's desire was to finish his course and his ministry with joy. Even if it was as the martyr, Stephen, he finished his course with joy. This should be the desire of every minister of Jesus Christ, that it might be finished with joy, that is, that they might die, if need be, as good soldiers of Jesus Christ. I think historians claim all the apostles except John died a martyr's death, and that in the case of Peter that he requested that his head be down and his feet upward, that he did not feel worthy to die as his dear Saviour died, with his head upward. Peter remembered his weakness in denying his Lord on different occasions. On two occasions, at least, he counted his life dear unto himself. On one occasion, he cursed and swore, saying, "I know not this man of whom ye speak." Peter's own acts caused him to weep. He realized his own weakness in this instance. Peter did not endure hardness as a good soldier of Jesus Christ, and yet shortly before, he acted very bold. Oh, what a lesson to us all. We should not trust to self, but trust to God. If left to ourselves, we evidently will do as Peter did. We will even deny the Lord who bought us. There are so many ways by which we can deny the Lord, instead of enduring hardness as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. Again we read where Peter's walk was contrary to his profession of faith. In this Paul Withstood him to his face, because Peter was .to be blamed. (Ga 2:11.) The narrative here shows how easy it is (when left to ourselves) to walk in such a way as to deny our profession of faith.

It was fear that caused Peter to dissemble. He feared those who were of the circumcision. The other Jews dissembled likewise with him, insomuch that Barnabas also was carried away with their dissimulation. (Verse 13.) This shows that God's people do not know what they will do until they are tried, and that because they endure hardness as a good soldier of Jesus Christ in one case is not evidence that they always will endure hardness as a good soldier of Jesus Christ and vice versa. There is no, Scripture (that I am aware of) that teaches that Peter ever afterwards counted his life dear unto himself. He did endure hardness as a good soldier of Jesus Christ, even unto suffering a martyr's death, yet he remembered his weakness in denying his Lord when left to himself. We all should note these things carefully and prayerfully, lest we do like Peter did in denying our Lord. But in case we do as Peter did, oh, may we be given grace and faith to enable us to repent as Peter did, and to fight the good fight of faith. We then will endure hardness as good soldiers of Jesus Christ. We then will not count our lives dear unto ourselves. Evidently those whom Peter feared when he dissembled were of the same class that James wrote to and said, "Ye have condemned and killed the just; and he doth not resist you." I give it as my opinion that it was those brethren addressed by James who put all the apostles to death. These cruel persecutions were committed by God's people, of which many were zealous of the law. On the other hand, some fearlessly opposed those who preached any doctrine that was contrary to grace. Then there were others like Peter on those two occasions, who feared the people and acted very unwise, even to dissemble, and to cause others to dissemble.

We note in verse fourteen Paul says, "I said unto Peter before them all, If thou, being a Jew, livest after the manner of Gentiles, and not as do the Jews, why compellest thou the Gentiles to live as do the Jews?" It seems that nothing could be more inconsistent than this act of Peter. Paul also charged others for doing the same thing in one respect, and that also was because of fear and self glory. Read Ga 6:12-13. "As many as desire to make a fair shew in the flesh, they constrain you to be circumcised; only lest they should suffer persecution for the cross of Christ." This shows what it was that caused these teachers to want those Galatians to be circumcised. It was not because they believed it was necessary, and strangest of all, they, like Peter, were trying to compel the Gentiles to keep the law of Moses, and yet they did not keep the law. Oh, how inconsistent we are when living after the flesh. We are blind to what we are doing. We forget all about enduring hardness as good soldiers of Jesus Christ. We fight and war like the world fights, take advantage of every opportunity in order to kill others, and save our own lives. Even if we are not trying to kill others, we, like Peter, will fear being persecuted if left to ourselves. Peter, for the time, forgot the wonderful revelations and deliverances on different occasions when he dissembled. He was thinking about his own life instead of having faith in God, who so wonderfully delivered him out of prison, and out of the hands of those who would put him to death. He forgot about the vision upon the house-top where he went to pray—about the great sheet knit at the four corners and let down to the earth. He forgot all about this incident. He forgot about the Holy Ghost falling upon those believing Gentiles, and how He commanded them to be baptized without being circumcised according to the law of Moses. He forgot how He went unto men uncircumcised and did eat with them. Peter then was not fearing man, but was doing the part of a good soldier of Jesus Christ.

Oh, how different, many years afterward, when eating with the Gentiles and filled with fear, and dissembled, and Barnabas also was carried away with their dissimulation. Paul and Barnabas were ordained together, at the same time and place. (Read Ac 13:1-4.) Evidently they were labourers together with God all these years until shortly after the council held at Jerusalem, recorded in Ac 15., concerning whether it was needful to circumcise the believing Gentiles and command them to keep the law of Moses: We note here that the apostles, elders, and Barnabas were all agreed how men are saved. Peter said, "But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved, even as they." This council agreed to this, and the Holy Ghost sanctioned it (verse 28). Yet with all of this agreement, we afterwards see Peter and Barnabas parted. The first place that Paul and Barnabas parted company is recorded in Ac 15:39, and that was over whether John, whose surname was Mark, should be taken with them. Barnabas determined to take with them John, while Paul thought not good to take him with them, who departed from them from Pamphylia, and went not with them to the work. From this we learn that Paul wanted God's ministers to continue in the work without any lay-off, or deserting their post of duty. Paul told Timothy to "meditate upon these things; give thyself wholly to them; that thy profiting may appear to all." This Mark had not done. Therefore, Paul thought it not good to take him with them. (He might do the same thing again.) The next we read of Barnabas, he was a dissembler, and we do not read where he repented of his evil deed. In this he differed from Peter. Peters's best service was his last days, while Barnabas, on the other hand, was the most faithful in his early ministry. Paul said to the Galatians, "And I, brethren, if I yet, preach circumcision, why do I yet Hider Then is the offence of the cross ceased." Peter mid Barnabas understood that, therefore I hey paled. But Peter repented, and Barnabas did not, that we have any record of. He did not endure hardness as a good soldier of Jesus Christ, as Paul did, and Paul would have Timothy to endure hardness as good a soldier of Jesus Christ.

A GOOD WIFE

A GOOD WIFE

A COMMENT ON THE THIRTY-FIRST CHAPTER OF
PROVERBS, BY BAR-SAMUEL
From Monthly Miscellany, July 16, 1849

Pr 31:10. Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is above rubies.

We are informed by good critics, that the phrase, "virtuous woman" in this connection, means "one strong and full of bodily and mental energy—a woman of good constitution, not weak in body nor mind." Such a woman is valuable. She is worth seeking for. Who can find her?—"her price is above rubies." Wife-hunters, in the present day, are apt "to price" a wife according to the amount of money, and not the amount of mind, she may possess. A woman with a good mind well cultivated, having a sound constitution with industrious habits, and under the influence of correct principles, is worth more than rubies.

Pr 31:11. The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil.

Her good sense, her physical energy, her moral rectitude, her industry and good economy, make her a suitable and satisfactory companion to her husband. He safely trusts in her; his trust is not disappointed. He sincerely loves her. The man who is insensible of the value of such a wife, ought not to have one. Such a woman will never bring a man to want—"he shall have no need of spoil."

Pr 31:12. She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life.

Most lovely creature—made for man's happiness. "She will do him good, and not evil, all the days of her life." When the novelist reads this he may lay down his pen and acknowledge himself beaten—outdone in all his efforts to delineate the character of a truly lovely woman. He may speak of the virtuous woman as a kind of super-human being; but the pen of Divine inspiration represents her as she really is, "an helpmeet for man." It is a most meager interpretation of this text to suppose the wife is designed thereby to help her husband to make money—to make a fortune, as we say. Such a wife as the model before us represents, will help her husband to be more religious, devotional and holy. It is evident the husband is much under the influence of his wife. But a woman of this character will exert a salutary influence all the days of her life. Her love is not fitful, foolish and fluctuating. A perpetual uniformity and consistency characterizes the whole of her deportment towards him. They are mutually happy in mutual love. But this is not all. True happiness and industry go together. See what follows in proof of this remark.

Pr 31:13. She seeketh wool, and flax, and worketh willingly with her hands.

This woman is a producer, not a consumer. Too many young ladies, (and some old ones I fear), now-a-days, think it disgraceful to work. But this woman seeketh wool and flax—spins and weaves it. She does not buy cloth when she can make it. She gets the raw material —"wool and flax"—and manufactures it. She seeketh wool—she does not waste her time gadding; she "worketh willingly with her hands." She is not afraid her fingers will grow too large and clumsy. She is cheerful and happy in her domestic circle, and attends to her labors willingly, and thus infuses a spirit of industry into all around her. Everyone who is familiar with history, knows that the women, the ladies, among the Jews, Greeks and Romans, were accustomed to labor in such occupations as were beneficial in the support of the family. A woman who is above this is above her business, and is not fit to be the mistress of a family. It is only where there is industry with good economy, that we may expect health, peace, and plenty—three things indispensable to the happiness of any family.

Pr 31:14. She is like the merchants' ships; she bringeth her food from afar.

She is determined, as well as her husband, that her household shall not want food. She will make something to barter, in commerce, as merchants' ships do. She goes out laden with her manufactures and exchanges them for such things as she needs.

Pr 31:15. She rises also while it is yet night, and giveth meat to her household, and a portion to her maidens.

The sun does not find her in bed lolling or lazying away the precious moments of the morning. She gets up and gets breakfast for her household in good season, and gives a portion (that is a task) to her maidens and sets them to work early—"Before the night is out of sight."

She is a manager in the matters of her household. There is system in her business. She is also a thinking woman, for,

Pr 31:16. She considereth a field, and buyeth it: with the fruit of her hand she planteth a vineyard.

She makes money and provides for her growing family—she does not run her husband into debt and thus compel him to sell his own land and tenements. No; she considereth a field and buyeth it up, she thinks, at a good bargain. She considereth a field—probably the field of her neighbor, whose careless, lazy, thoughtless, improvident wife, has compelled him to sell.

Pr 31:17. She girdeth her loins with strength, and strengtheneth her arms.

She is careful to preserve her health by useful and profitable labor. She girdeth her loins with strength. Our present race of ladies screw themselves up to a very unfavorable size for health or strength. This woman's arms are strong by use. Spinning "wool and flax" and getting up early in the morning, is promotive of good health as well as of cheerful feelings. It gives a better development to the muscular powers than jumping the rope. It is no disgrace to a young lady to rise early, to spin, to weave, to sew, or to cook, or to milk the cows, if need be. These are all honorable, if not ornamental branches. Such a woman is a judge of important matters, for,

Pr 31:18. She perceiveth that her merchandise is good.

She is a good judge of good articles, and takes care that what she manufactures for sale is well done. Her maidens cannot slight their work and she not perceive it. Thus what she makes is good and will be sought after by those who wish such articles, and she can consequently always get a fair price for all she makes.

Pr 31:19. She layeth her hand to the spindle, and her hands hold the distaff.

She knows how to spin and sets the example. Example is louder than precept. She is not everlastingly troubled in endeavoring to keep her fingers and hands slender and delicate. She works. Her musical instrument is cheap: she knows how to string it, tune it, play on it, and make money by it. Her husband feels like a man, when he is clad in the coat she spins, weaves, and makes for him. She too, loves to look at it on him, as he walks out at the gate. She feels a consciousness of her own worth, and is sensible that he appreciates her as a husband should. Happy pair! God loves such people.

Pr 31:20. She stretcheth out her hand to the poor.

By her industry and good economy she has made something to give the poor. She has a surplus for the needy. This woman is liberal, is kind, is benevolent.   She knows that as God has prospered her, and blessed her, she should be a blessing to others. True religion, industry and benevolence go very well together in a good wife. It would be a difficult, if not an impossible, thing for a sensible man to love an irreligious, lazy, stingy woman. What could he love her for?

Pr 31:21. She is not afraid of the snow for her household: for all her household are clothed with scarlet.

The marginal reading is "with double garments." By her industry she has prepared good garments for the winter; and her domestics are comfortably furnished for the season. It is easy to determine the kind of a wife a man has by the manner in which she clothes his and her children. A half dozen rosy-cheeked little boys hopping through the snow in the yard, all clad in neat pantaloons and woolen jackets, is an encomium on the good lady within. But she not only clothes her little children and boys well, with coarse garments suited to their station, but

Pr 31:22. She maketh herself coverings of tapestry; her clothing is silk and purple.

She, herself, maketh, and maketh "for herself," coverings of tapestry. If she does spin and weave, and handle the "distaff," and cook (verse 15), and before day prepare meat for her family, she has good taste. She is neat, fine. Her clothing is silk and purple. Her wardrobe, and bed covering (by the by, nice beds are nice things in a family) and carpeting are all indications of good sense, good taste, and good economy. Emphatically, she is what may be termed a thorough-bred housekeeper—she is worth something in her family. She is not coiled up on a bed of down dying with hysterics. She attends to her own clothing and that of her husband, for
 
Pr 31:23. Her husband is known in the gates, when he sitteth among the elders of the land.

She regards the neat appearance of her husband as well as her own—and what woman that truly loves her husband does not? He is known in the gates where he sits among the elders, the honorable of the land. He is distinguished among the distinguished; and respected not only for the neatness and cleanliness of his person and apparel, but because he is the husband of a woman so justly and so universally esteemed. A man's respectability depends very much on the respectability of his wife. A man's good sense may generally be determined by the selection he makes of a wife. The man who has but little sense cannot appreciate good sense in a wife.

Pr 31:24. She maketh fine linen, and selleth it; and delivereth girdles unto the merchant.

She is skillful in her business, as well as diligent. She makes "fine linen"—she sells it—she delivereth girdles to the merchant. Girdles are much used in all the southern countries of Asia, to confine the loose flowing robes worn in modern, as well as ancient times. These girdles are frequently very firmly wrought; Paul directed the Ephesians to have their loins girt with truth. Truth is the only bond of union among Christians--God's truth.

Pr 31:25. Strength and honour are her clothing; and she shall rejoice in time to come.

Her reputation is established. She has everything done about her establishment in such a manner as to secure the respect of all. She will not have cause to blush in consequence of any reproach that may be attempted to be cast upon her and her work, to bring her in disrepute in days to come. This slanderer may vent his spite, but her works shall praise her in the gates.

She shall triumph over the dishonorable attempts to spoil her reputation--strength and honor are her clothing. It will be seen in time to come that her reputation was not to be blown away--by the wicked calumniator who envies the honorable position of those above him and who would shoot arrows "even bitter words."

By the blessing of God on her industry and skill, she shall never want. She may grow old; but wrapped securely in a well-established fame, as a queen in robes for her coronation; she shall rejoice in the coming honor and glory which awaits her.

Pr 31:26. She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness.

Some men take latitude from Paul's calling the woman "the weaker vessel," and consider the female part of our race as incapable of much mental development, and their opinions not worthy of much notice from men. But the woman mentioned in this chapter, "openeth her mouth with wisdom." It were devoutly to be wished that as much could be said of all of our men of distinction. It is generally true that among those who are called "business women," there is a kind of dictatorial carriage manifested towards their husband's affairs. But the husband may need the advice of his wife, and surely it is a great blessing to have one who is fully competent to give good advice—to open her mouth in wisdom in relation to domestic management. "The law of kindness" is in her tongue; and whatever is wisely said and kindly said, will always be properly taken by a wise and kind husband. Blessed is that husband who has such a wife, and blessed are the children who have such a mother. That household is highly favored where such a woman presides—for it is said of her,

Pr 31; 27. She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness.

She takes care of their manners, their morals, and their minds. She brings up their children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. She does not forget nor neglect religious duties. Hers is a life of industry and religion, and of religion and industry. Diligence in business, and fervency of spirit in serving the Lord, go hand in hand. She earns the bread she eats. She knows that Satan finds mischief for idle hands to do; and she works herself, and teaches her children to work. This gives vigor to the body, clearness to the mind, and firmness to the constitution.

  Pr 31:28. Her children arise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her.

Her children are well-bred—they rise up and pay her due reverence, as well as everybody else. They are taught the fear of the Lord, are trained up in the way they should go, and when they become old they remember her pious counsels and holy example and "call her blessed." Her husband also "reveres her while living and praises her when dead." It is expected that a man should love his wife; and if he really does, he will not speak of her faults to others, if she has faults; for this would be weakness and folly. He is not expected to praise his wife, however, for virtues she never had, any more than he is to accuse her of improprieties of which she is not guilty. It is a consolation to have a wife to whom praise cannot be misapplied. On the other hand, it may be considered as among the greatest misfortunes to have a wife that cannot justly be praised. But this woman's husband praiseth her—she merits it, for he says,

Pr 31:29. Many daughters have done virtuously, but thou excellest them all.

He acknowledges the worth of others—"many daughters have done virtuously." But thou excellest them all—thou hast carried every duty, every virtue, and every qualification and excellence to a higher degree of perfection than any. He praised her for those more valuable and desirable qualities. Hear what he says in the following verses.

Pr 31:30. Favor is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the Lord, she shall be praised.

Nobody should be fulsomely flattered—that is, praised for virtues they never had. But to praise others for virtues they really possess is right. Praise and flattery are two very different things. Praise strengthens our virtues; flattery gives strength to vice. This husband had a proper conception of those qualities which enter into the sum total of a wife of the first quality. He declares—"favor is deceitful." Favor or gracefulness of manner is deceitful and is often put on for deception.
  It is not real at all times, and we may be deceived by it. It is mere outside show which the inside does not always corroborate. Beauty, elegance of features, or symmetry of shape, are vain things—poor things. Age and disease destroy them, and there is nothing substantial in them. No wise man ever yet loved a woman truly for these things—"But a woman that feareth the Lord she shall be praised." A woman who is truly religious—who possesses that grace which purifies and refines the affections and powers of the soul, and which gives an ornament even to beauty itself, "shall be praised"--praised for a valuable purpose in the economy of God. Then let all

Pr 31:31. Give her of the fruit of her hands; and let her own works praise her in the gates.

This appears to be a prayer that she may enjoy the fruit of her labors. Let her works be spoken of for a memorial of her. Let her example be set before every female, particularly every wife, and especially every mother; and let them learn from this example what men have a right to expect from their wives, the mistresses of their families and mothers of their children.
In closing our comment on this chapter we would introduce some "practical observations" intended for the benefit of both sexes.
 
1. In selecting a companion for life, reason and common sense should be permitted to give the casting vote. A virtuous woman of sound and vigorous physical powers, of superior intellectual abilities, of extensive mental culture, and of truly pious character, no matter what may be her external personal appearances, will make a sensible, pious man, an amiable wife. Without these qualities there is great liability to disquietude and unhappiness in the union. That mysterious and undefinable thing, which people call love, must have something to rest upon, more permanent than mere personal appearances. The woman who possesses an amiable disposition, a strong and well cultivated mind, whose heart is under the influence of grace, and whose hand is well skilled in the duties of her sex, will secure the esteem of all who know her, and her husband especially will admire, love, and even venerate her.

2. No young lady will be less esteemed by the other sex, on account of her being a working woman. It is in the domestic circle that woman exhibits her true dignity. It is there she sways a sceptre, and there she wears the crown of her glory; there she holds in easy captivity the affections of her husband, and there she reigns without a rival.

3. If you would possess a sound and healthful constitution—if you would have an active and vigorous mind—if you would be lively, cheerful and happy, labor -labor to purpose--"All things are full of labor."

4. God Himself has set a price upon the kind of woman we have been contemplating. Her price is above rubies. The man who esteems such a woman lightly, offers insult to the God that made him; lowers himself in the dignified scale of human existence, and gives evidence of approximation to a lower order of animated beings.

5. Young ladies of the present day would do well to read this chapter in the Holy Bible, frequently. It is God who speaks to them, and not the novelist. H declares favor is deceitful and beauty is vain, but woman that "feareth the Lord shall be praised." Beaut fades, but "the fear of the Lord is clean, enduring fo ever."

6. Idle young men, you would do well to go to work. Nothing is so ruinous to a young man's reputation, for him to be lounging about the village or public place in idleness and dissipation. If you should set out to get a wife (though you may now be rich), the young lady you address on the subject, if she is sensible, will probably say to herself, if not to you, "he has property but"—"he is of respectable family, but"—"he is handsome, too, but"—"he is pretty well educated too, but —." Thus you will be butted off, if I am not very much mistaken.

A NOBLE BOY (1942)

A NOBLE BOY (1942)

(Copied from Monthly Miscellany, April 16, 1849)

A boy was once tempted by some of his companion to pluck ripe cherries from a tree which his father ha. forbidden him to touch.

"You need not be afraid," said one of his companions "for if your father should find out that you had them he is so kind that he would not hurt you."

"That is the very reason," replied the boy, "why would not touch them. It is true, my father would no hurt me; yet my disobedience I know would hurt m father, and that would be worse to me than anything else."

A boy who grows up with such principles would be man in the best sense of the word. It betrays a regard for rectitude, that would render him trustworthy under every trial.

A Pearl of Great Price

A Pearl of Great Price (1991, July - August)

In reading the sermons in For The Poor and Articles in The Primitive Baptist we trust you have been able to find not just one but many Pearls of Great Price. That is: many wonderful words of comfort, instruction and edification. No doubt one article or one sermon has had many precious thoughts, pearls beyond price.

Perhaps you sometimes feel you just don't have time to read. Then you will not find many pearls, or golden nuggets unless you take time to dig a little, search a little, read a little. Lets go prospecting! In the pages of The Primitive Baptist and For The Poor are many rich treasures — hands full of purpose for you to glean.

In Murfreesboro, Arkansas there is a diamond mine. Many people go there every year and search for diamonds. Occasionally some one will find a fairly large, good stone worth quite a bit of money. Most people do not find anything of value, but some do. Recently in our State paper there was an article about a man who found a stone. He did not know what a diamond, in the rough, or natural state, looked like and would have, perhaps, discarded it but someone else saw the stone and said: "You may have something." Sure enough it was a diamond and worth several hundred dollars. After it is cut and polished it maybe worth even much more.

The pearl, golden nuggets, and precious stones found in The Primitive Baptist and For The Poor, surely, can be recognized by you just immediately. When you "cut" them, break them down by studying them, and polish them by mediating upon them and using them in your every day life they become of even much more value and are to be cherished by the little child of God.

What a small price to pay (to buy the field) for a years subscription to The Primitive Baptist and For The Poor for a whole year's reading. (And can be kept for many years to glean in over and over.) I don't know how much some one would have to pay in travel expense, food and lodging and entrance fee to dig around in the diamond fields of Murfreesboro, Arkansas in search of diamonds but I am sure it would be more than a subscription to The Primitive Baptist and For The Poor. The treasures contained in The Primitive Baptist and For The Poor are of much more value. Everyone can find many precious things and they are lasting things.

Besides all that by you renewing, you enable us to keep on printing the "Good News" of salvation by the grace and mercy of God. You not only help yourself — you help us. Not only do you help us but you help others to have the papers sent to them. Many can not get out to go to church and the papers are the only preaching they get, If you don't take the paper, the paper can not be printed for them to get, Every subscriber is important to us and we need each of you, Please renew now,
Why not split a subscription with us for someone you know who does not take the papers? You pay half for a new subscriber and we will pay half, enabling them to "dig around" in the diamond mine of truth! This offer is good until the end of 1991, December 31st, You pay half and we pay half! This applies to new subscriptions! Also don't forget we pay the entire price of a subscription for a new member to have both papers FREE for one year following their joining the church! Send us their full name and correct mailing address and we will add their name to the mailing list and send them The Primitive Baptist and For The Poor for one year free, What more can we do to encourage you to come in . . . and dig?

In love and hope,
Hartsel Cayce

A Pool Called Bethesda

A Pool Called Bethesda (1997, March - April)

We have an account of a miracle recorded here and only God can perform a miracle; the angels in heaven, nor men on earth, have the power to work miracles; the apostle's miracles were all done in the name of Jesus Christ. Jesus is the author of the miracle recorded in our lesson. Please open your Bible, the King James version, the only version I use, to Joh 5:1-14, and let us study together about the pool called Bethesda.

"After this there was a feast of the Jews; and Jesus went up to Jerusalem." It is not recorded just which feast of theirs this was, only that it was a feast of the Jews, neither does it say that Jesus was planning on attending this feast. "And Jesus went up to Jerusalem." The Holy Spirit would have us to take notice that Jesus was going up to a place that was higher in order and greater in importance than the feast of the Jews. Jerusalem is often spoken of in the Scriptures to identity the Church, such is the case here, because the Church is the most elevated place on earth, for it is the Kingdom of Heaven, and Jesus is her King.

We should not be surprised that the account listed here would be a parabolic lesson concerning the New Testament Church. We find most, if not all, of the events listed in the Scriptures have a natural or historical, as well as a spiritual or experimental meaning or interpretation. It is clearly evident that the Lord has always had His minds eye toward His Kingdom of Heaven. I am persuaded that the account listed here is another exciting spiritual lesson concerning His church and her beautiful doctrines.

The commentators seem to be at a loss when trying to locate such a place as the pool of Bethesda near Jerusalem, also, to interpret the text, because they try to take all the places and events here literally, rather than recognizing this to be a supernatural or spiritual account. The Holy Spirit, the author of the Holy Scriptures, which moved the Apostle John to write the Book of Revelation, a highly symbolic book, would be likely to keep much of the same pattern in John's account of the "Gospel According to John." This account of Bethesda is not found in the other three gospels, only John records these events.

Whether it be the Book of Revelation, the Gospel of John, or any of the scriptures, they can only be correctly interpreted by those whom God gives the grace of understanding in their Spiritual mind. When folks try to apply a literal meaning to scriptures that are to be interpreted spiritually, they are bound to come up with heresies. There are many heresies out there that could affect the church. One popular heresy that is widely taught today is a future thousand year reign of Jesus, which denies the finished work of our Lord. Brethren let us be aware of the subtly of Satan.

"Now there is at Jerusalem by the sheep market." The sheep market, or gate, as it was in the original text, was the place where the sheep were kept. So at Jerusalem (church) was the place where the sheep (the Lord's people) were kept. "A pool, which is called in the Hebrew tongue Bethesda." Bethesda is defined the "House of Mercy, or Grace, or Goodness;" in other words it speaks of the Church, since here is where the free, sovereign, and abundant grace and mercy of God
through Jesus Christ is proclaimed as the ground and foundation of a sinners hope. Where the mercy of God as it is displayed in the covenant of grace, in the mission of Jesus, and in redemption by Him. Also, that by Him comes regeneration, forgiveness of sin, and indeed the whole of salvation from first to last is held forth for the relief of distressed souls. "Having five porches," or places for shelter. Five is the number that credits grace, mercy, and faith, among others. So in all of this we can see that this Bethesda at Jerusalem is a beautiful spiritual picture of the New Testament Church.

"In these lay a great multitude of impotent folk, of blind, halt, withered." This will describe all of Adam's natural posterity; and in a figurative way demonstrates their incapacity to rescue themselves, or others, from their exceedingly sinful condition and be able to enter the pool of cleansing or Bethesda, the pool of mercy. They have neither will or power to atone or redeem themselves from the curse of the law, they are spiritually dead. The Lord has plainly said, "I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy," and we clearly see Him demonstrate His sovereign will here in this account at Bethesda. See Ex 33:19; Ro 9:15-17.

Many of the Lord's people are in bondage under the law of works, they are feeble by sin and unable to keep the law; they are helpless to keep the very doctrine of works which they profess and endeavor to proliferate, they seem to be blind and unable to recognize the truth set forth in the Gospel. However, there are some who refuse to embrace the truth, although they know better, as many of the Jews did at the time of our lesson at Bethesda. There are others that have never heard, or been taught the truth, and will never know the joys of the Gospel of Truth. But what is most sorrowful, are those who at one time embraced the church and her doctrines of grace, but who willingly left all behind to join up with the worldings and become feeble by false doctrine. The Lord Jesus says, "Woe unto them."

The Lord's people are made by the Holy Spirit, painfully aware of their condition, that is that they are blind, halt, and withered; that they are impotent and unable to raise from their bed of sin. However, only after they have been made to understand their lost and ruined state by the Holy Spirit. Men by nature never see or understand their helpless condition, for these things are seen only by those who have been given spiritual life. A man by nature is satisfied with his condition and is not looking for any way to escape it. We understand that "the natural man received not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned." (1Co 2:14)

"Waiting for the moving of the water, For an angel went down at a certain season into the pool, and troubled the water." The Jews, especially at the advent of our Lord, were prone to worship angels, and to make many tales concerning angels, and only a few were factual. This was what initiated the Apostle Paul, in the first chapter of Hebrews especially, to write and show the glory of Jesus to be greater than angels, and that He must have "the preeminence in all things." We shall see that Jesus will do here what no man on earth, or an angel from heaven could do. For He shall show by a supernatural and miraculous event that in Him is the cure of every malady, and that all power in heaven and earth was given unto Him by His Father.

The Gospel, and the ministration of it, are sometimes signified by waters, and a fountain of them. "And it shall be in that day, that living waters shall go out from Jerusalem; half of them toward the former sea, and half of them toward the hinder sea: in summer and in winter shall it be." (Zachariah 14:8) See also, Isa 55:1; Joe 3:18. The pool of Bethesda was in, or near Jerusalem in our parable, which, as we have already said, designs the New Testament Church in the Gospel dispensation, or millennium; it also may filly represent the ministry of the word. And its being near the sheep-market, gate, or sheep-pool, is not without signification, and leads us to observe that near where Jesus' sheep are which the Father has given Him, and He has died for, and must bring in, He establishes his Gospel and its ordinances in order to gather them in. For, to love His church, is to love her doctrines and ordinances.

God's ministers are called angels, see Re 1:20, they are sent from above and they trouble the waters by their preaching. I can very well remember when preachers, by their preaching the gospel, "at a certain season" in my life, and you probably can in yours, troubled the waters, we were made to see our depraved state, and in our soul we begged for mercy. Also, God showed us, by these angel's preaching the word, that we have a Saviour that has saved us from our sins. The blessed Lord, through their preaching quieted the troubled waters in our soul, like He quieted the tempestuous sea, saying peace be still, and caused us, like David to say, "He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: He leadeth me beside the still waters."

However, most of us will try to make some effort to correct our condition on our own, which is the usual course, even though told by others who have made the effort and failed that we can never attain to righteousness on our own, but we are determined to try, and in the mean time we watch many others step into the waters, "after the troubling of the water," and are "made whole of whatsoever disease (sin) he had." However, sooner or later by the grace of God, like Job, will say, "I have no man to help me" "Neither is there any daysman betwixt us, that might lay his hand upon us both." (Job 9:33) We come to know that we can never enter into Bethesda and receive all of its benefits, except we have a Saviour, some man, to deliver us.

"And a certain man was there." Not just any man, but a "certain man." A child of God, that was chosen in the eternal covenant before the foundation of the world, and given to the Lord Jesus Christ: see Eph 1:4. A certain vessel of mercy, that was about to become aware that he had been "made whole," not by works, but by the grace of God.

"And a certain man was there, which had an infirmity thirty and eight years." Here the Spirit has emphasized the numbers "Thirty" and "Eight." In verse six the time of the man's infirmity is spoken of as "he had been now a long time in that case," which further strengthens the need to consider the meaning of these numbers. The number thirty, among other things, refers to a higher degree of divine perfection or divine order, as marking the right time, or moment. Jesus, for instance, began His ministry at the age of thirty; Joseph and David, His type, also began their reign at the age of thirty. The number eight, among other things, refers to resurrection and regeneration; a new beginning.

The significance seems obvious. In Ga 4:4-7, "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 path 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." And "The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God (church) is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel." Jesus, as noted here, came into the world at the proper time, also the Spirit of God comes into our heart in the Lord's proper time; also, that the responsibility of Jesus was to those who were under the law, that is, the chosen children of God, and them only; and after the Spirit comes into their heart, and not before, will they cry "Abba, Father." They then are commanded to repent and believe, not just the opposite of this as most of the denominational world boasts.

This was the Lord's time here in this world, He was here to do the work His Father gave Him to do, and to establish His church; and this was this "Certain Man's," time to receive the grace, mercy, and many other gifts of the Spirit in regeneration. To be persuaded to believe that he had been made whole from the ravages of sin by the Lord Jesus Christ. Also, this was the first day of the rest of his new life, for he was a new creature in Jesus Christ. This was the "Certain Man's" new beginning with his new life in a new world, (spiritual life, spiritual world) no longer hampered by the penalty of sin, for he now knew that he had been delivered from the penalty of the law (been made whole). He no longer would be in bondage to the law; no longer a bond servant, but now an heir of God and joint heir with Jesus Christ.

"When Jesus saw him lie, and knew that he had been now a long time in that case, he saith unto him, Wilt thou be made whole?" It would not have been in character of our Lord to ask him, Wilt thou have me to make thee partly whole, and you finish the job that I started? or, I have made a way possible for you to be made whole, however, it will be necessary that you fulfill certain requirements in your behalf, and then I will feel that I must honor your works that finally made you whole. No dear brethren, Jesus knows that since the fall of Adam we have been in this condition (a long time in this case). Also, we know that if He doesn't make us whole we never will be whole. We know that we are impotent, blind, halt and withering in our transgressions and sins, and that only in Jesus are we made whole. Only by the grace of God are we made whole, "not of works lest any man should boast."

"The impotent man answered him, Sir, I have no man, when the water is troubled, to put me into the pool; but while I am coming, another steppeth down before me." He had been made to see. like Job, that he needed a man between him and God. Job said, "Neither is there any daysman betwixt us, that might lay his hand upon us both." (Job 9:33). This "Certain Man," like Job felt the same, and when the waters of his soul were troubled, he felt that he had "no man" to help him, for he was impotent and unable to do any thing to help himself. When he would try to do something to help himself, the works of the flesh (his sinful, withering condition) went before him, and he found that is his impotent and withering flesh, he would never be able to step into Bethesda, the house of grace and mercy. Without "A Man," "A Daysman," which is the Lord Jesus Christ, who was verily God and verily Man; this poor soul, like all of us, knew he could never be made whole. And remember, it was necessary to step into the pool of Bethesda After the waters were troubled, it wouldn't work ifany should step into the waters before the waters were troubled: and so it is with any who come to the Old Baptist Church, they are candidates for the Pool of Bethesda, (for baptism into the Church) only after the waters have been troubled, and they have come to know that they have "A Man," to help them, to make them whole.

"Jesus saith unto him, Rise take up thy bed and walk. And immediately the man was made whole, and took up his bed, and walked: and on the same day was the sabbath." Jesus shows that His work is a complete work. It was not necessary that this man have some physical therapy that he might gain strength to his wasted leg muscles, bones, and ligaments; also so that he might learn to walk, having never walked before, or at least for thirty-eight years. The denominational world may claim, by their doctrine of works, that the works of Jesus was an incomplete work and some effort of man is necessary to complete the works ofJesus, however, such folly is reputed here in the complete and finished work done for this "Certain Man," for he was "made whole." Also, he was not only immediately able to walk, but he was also given the strength to carry the burden of his bed on his shoulder. That is he was given the grace to carry the burden of his past, (his thorn in his flesh) his burden of sin and transgression. Like the Apostle Paul, and you and I, because the Lord has made us know (by the word of His truth) that, His grace is sufficient. Please see 2Co 12:6-10.

Jesus also announces to all, by defying the Jews Sabbath with all its traditions, that He is greater than their Sabbath. Also, that He is Lord of the Sabbath and was worthy of their worship. Instead of worshipping the Sabbath, as they were, they should worship the Lord of the Sabbath. Please see Mark: 2:25-28.

"The Jews therefore said unto Him that was cured, it is the sabbath day; it is not lawful for thee to carry thy bed." These silly Jews, who were completely in bondage to the law and legalism, are unmoved by this poor soul who was impotent halt, and withered in Ms limbs, but now was made whole of his infirmities, said these empty inconsequent words, "It is the sabbath day: it is not lawful for thee to carry thy bed." Only a short time previously this man couldn't even get off his bed, let alone walk and carry his bed. Truly a miracle had taken place in this "Certain Man's" life, (but obviously not in theirs) however, these worldlings, couldn't see and appreciate this miracle (and being born again is a miracle) that had been worked by the Lord. So it is in the experience of God's little children. When they are walking a new life, those that they left in the old life can't see the miracle, only that they no longer walk the old, they are now no longer walking encumbered having been made free of the burden of the law of sin and death. When they try to explain that they have been made whole, not by anything that they have done, not by their works or living above the law, but by the grace of God. Their old friends will always say, "But everyone knows you have to keep the law! You must do something to be saved!" They can not comprehend that Jesus, the "Lord of the Sabbath," (Mt 12:8) has kept the law, to every jot and tittle, in behalf of His little children: see Mt 5:18-20.

"He answered them, He that made me whole, the same said unto me, Take up thy bed, and walk. Then asked they him, What man is that which said unto thee, Take up thy bed and walk? And he that was healed wist not who it was: for Jesus had conveyed himself away, a multitude being in that place." We can quickly see here that none of them knew. "This Man," not even be that had been made whole: this certainly teaches us that no man knows "This Man" until He makes Himself known to them. Jesus said, "Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you!" (Joh 15:16) And, although there was a multitude around, including many that were impotent, halt, blind, and withered; this was this "Certain Man's" day, it was not theirs. Although, there was a multitude present, yet the Holy Spirit presents the account of this man's experience as though it was not known by anyone else but him and Jesus.

"Afterward Jesus findeth him in the temple and said unto him, Behold thou art made whole: sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto thee." I feel sure that he would have gone to the temple to make the proper offering having been made clean of his infirmity. He would not, while halt and withered, been allowed to enter into the temple because of his uncleanness. However, we want to keep the theme of our article, by presenting the temple to be the temple of his body (see 1Co 6:19; 2Co 6:16). For it is in the sanctuary of the heart, the inner-most part of the soul, that Jesus meets with His little children and makes Himself known to them as He did with the "Certain Man." Notice! it says "Jesus findeth him," it does not say that the man findeth Jesus. This man had been made whole, and he didn't even know who had made him whole. Many ask today, "Have you found Jesus? However, the lesson is explicit, it was Jesus that found the man, not the man that found Jesus. It's man that was lost, not the Lord!

Jesus told him to "sin no more." We might ask, just how many sins could this man commit while laying impotent on his bed with his infirmity of thirty-eight years? The lesson here is this; that this man, although physically impaired, was capable, and did sins in the chambers of his mind, the most fertile ground for sin. Jesus tells him, that if he sins now, although he has an advocate in heaven, it is going to hurt him more than his infirmities of the past, for he will be convicted for his sins against his Lord, his gracious Lord that "Made Him Whole." May God be merciful to all of us sinners. Amen.

Your unworthy servant,
Elder Kenneth W. Clevenger,
Cameron, MO

A PRAYER

A PRAYER

Ah, dearest Jesus, holy Child,
Make thee a bed, soft, undefiled,
Within my heart, that it may be
A quiet chamber kept for Thee.

My heart for very joy doth leap,
My lips no more can silence keep,
I too must sing, with joyful tongue,
That sweetest ancient cradle song,

Glory to God in highest heaven,
Who unto man His Son hath given
While angels sing with pious mirth.
A glad new year to all the earth.
--Martin Luther
--Source Unknown

A SKETCH OF MY LIFE (Elder Ben Lord)

A SKETCH OF MY LIFE (1953, June)

I was born in Laurens County, near Dudley, Ga., July 31, 1903. My parents were Robert M. Lord and Elizabeth Floyd Lord. I have four whole brothers and four whole sisters; five half-sisters and three half-brothers. My father was married three times. To the first union were born a boy and a girl; to the second union, five boys and four girls, I being the fourth child; to the third union, four girls and two boys; all of whom are now living. Of the seventeen children eight are members of the Old Baptist Church.

My paternal grandfather, the late John E. Lord, was a deacon of the Primitive Baptist church; my father had two brothers who were deacons. My maternal grandfather, Elder George W. Floyd, was a Primitive Baptist minister, and had one son who was a deacon. I have a brother who is a deacon, also.

I, as many of God's little children, received a hope in Christ when I was very young. I cannot remember when, but I do remember, only a child, I would steal away to some secret place and read the experiences of God's children in THE PRIMITIVE BAPTIST paper, tears flowed freely from my eyes. I did not know what it meant then, but I trust I do now.

I was united in marriage at the age of nineteen, on December 10, 1922, to Miss Clara Hightower; has been and is a great helpmeet and a loving companion. To us have been born five children, three boys and two girls. Two boys and one girl are now living.

I united with the church eleven months after my marriage; on the fourth Saturday in October, 1923. I was very happy until one September afternoon in 1924, while picking cotton, alone, something seemed to say to me: "Go tell others or His abundant mercy and power to save poor sinners." I began to point out others who were much better qualified for the task than I. All the afternoon I tried to beg God to relieve me or give me some evidence whether this was just a notion that came in my mind or if He had really laid His hand on me. That night I had a dream or vision--space here will not permit me to relate. I continued to beg for evidence. Three times I had the same dream or vision. I fought hard until May, 1927, one day, right after lunch, our darling baby girl was taken seriously ill, almost in a flash. I felt she was going to die and that it was a punishment sent on me for rebellion. No one will ever know the agony of soul I suffered. I tried to beg God to spare her life and give me one more chance and I would try to do His biddings. The second Sunday night in May, I held her in my arms and her spirit gently took its flight. I laid her down on the bed, and as I turned away I tried to beg God for reconciling grace and I would still do the best I could. I feel He did this. One month later, the second Sunday in June, I made my first effort to speak in His name, using as my opening song:

In all my Lord's appointed ways,
My journey I'll pursue,
Hinder me not, ye much loved saints,
For I must go with you.

On November 21, 1932, I was ordained to the full gospel ministry. Since then I have tried, in my weak way, to serve from three to four churches each month. I have baptized many of God's humble poor, including one of our sons, who is now exercising in public. I have united many couples in marriage, and tried to comfort many over the loss of their loved ones. I still feel little and poor and feel very keenly the need of God's enabling grace to help me on life's journey. I also feel the need of the prayers of God's people.

Oh! God, help me to be faithful to the end.

ELDER J. B. LORD JR.

A SKETCH OF MY LIFE (Elder J. P. Dale, Jr.)

A SKETCH OF MY LIFE (1953, May)

ELDER J. P. DALE
Concluded from the April issue.

I was born May 25, 1912, near McKinney, Texas. My parents were James Preston Dale and Emma Gotcher Dale. I have one sister and three brothers. My mother's father, Elder John Gotcher, and his brother, Elder Jim Gotcher, were Primitive Baptist ministers; my oldest brother, Elder W. R. Dale, is a Primitive Baptist minister; and my father was a deacon.

I received a hope when I was young—I cannot remember when, because ever since I can remember I have loved God and His precious people. My mother and father have taken me to Primitive Baptist meetings all my life. They both loved the church more than anything on earth; and so they taught me to love it and respect it above everything. My mother is very well read in the Bible and has taught me many, many wonderful things from its sacred teaching. I was taught to pray and trust in God for all my wants. I do not remember going to bed when I was a lad without my mother reminding me to pray. This means so much to me now, and I thank God for such noble parents.

I united with the church when I was eleven years old. I have never regretted that experience. Later, I began to feel that God had called me to preach His glorious truths. I felt so unworthy to attempt such a glorious work, but my desire was to tell God's humble poor what a wonderful Saviour they had, and teach them to live close to Him for His council and 'leadership of their lives. I soon lost sight of my weakness, through the blessed grace of God and trusting Jesus to help me. I made my first attempt to preach in Dallas when I was twenty years old. At the age of twenty-one, I was united in marriage with Miss Bobby Rainwater. July 15, 1934, one year later, I was ordained to the full work of the ministry, at Lone Star Church at Tioga, Texas. My wife united with the church one month later. She was my first one to baptize.

My wife and I have traveled through twenty states; finding a warm reception everywhere from the Lord's people. It has been my privilege to help constitute many churches in several states. I have served as pastor of several churches in Texas; and as moderator of the Enon Association for many years.

I attended the Logan College in St. Louis, Missouri and Texas Chiropractic College in San Antonio, Texas. After receiving my degree, I began my practice in Warren, Texas. I have been practicing in Dallas now for nine years. My work as a doctor and minister has given me many valued experiences in observing the suffering of God's people and their need for help along life's way. It brings joy to my heart to live a life of service to them. I find the only true happiness in life is what you do for others. I count it a blessing to be able to minister to the sick and try to preach to the poor in spirit.

We have one daughter, Lynn, who is eleven years old. I had the happy experience of baptizing her two years ago.

I hope the Lord will bless me to live humbly and give my life for others in service to His people.

ELDER J. P. DALE JR.
3232 Caruth Blvd.,
Dallas, Texas.

A STILL, SMALL VOICE

A STILL, SMALL VOICE (1947, August)

Copied from Primitive Monitor, 1887

"And after the fire, a still, small voice;" 1Ki 19:12

After that true and faithful prophet of God, Elijah, had been fed by the wild birds of heaven for a length of time at the brook Cherith, exiled from his home, and hid from the wrath of the idolatrous king and queen of Israel, and also having been sustained a long time by a poor widow, the Lord commanded him to go and shew himself to the wicked king, Ahab, and rain should be sent, and the famine end. Though the king had determined to destroy him on sight, yet the prophet of God immediately obeyed, for when the Lord is with them, the "righteous are bold as a lion." "Though a host should encamp against me, my heart shall. not fear." But when the prophet had slain the prophets of Baal at the brook Kishon, and the idolatrous queen, Jezebel, had heard thereof, her wrath was so kindled against Elijah, that she swore by her gods that she would take his life within a day, and informed him so. The prophet had previously been persecuted, discouraged, and forsaken by his countrymen. But he had been sustained and upheld by the God in whom he trusted, and had just been given a signal victory over his enemies; but now a new trial was to be endured, and his life was in imminent danger, humanly speaking. He now flees from his country, and from the wrath of the queen, feeling to say, with another prophet: "Oh that I had in the wilderness a lodging place of wayfaring men; that I might leave my people and go from them! for they be all adulterers, an assembly of treacherous . men."—Jer. ix, 2. Leaving his servant at Beer-sheba, near the south line of Judah, he goes alone a day's journey into the wilderness, and sat down, worn out, discouraged, hungry, thirsty and forsaken. In a barren and desolate place; out of the reach of human aid, and his only shelter the shade of the juniper tree; how desolate and cast down! how bitter the cup of trial! Life had lost all its sweets, and, asking the Lord that he might die, he sank down to rest his weary body under the tree.

The Lord did not grant his request, having further use for him on earth. But the same divine and faithful hand that had fed hint by ravens in his lonely retreat at Cherith, and supplied him with food by an improvished widow, here sends an angel to feed and strengthen him for his great journey to Horeb, the mount of God. How wonderful are the ways of the Lord! How mysterious are his footsteps! How true and faithful are his promises! "I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee." "Bread shall be given him, his waters shall be sure." Forty days this faithful man of God journeyed alone through this desert land, trying, it seemed, to get beyond the reach and knowledge of those who sought his life, feeling, doubtless, like many of the Lord's tried and doubting children to say:

Like one alone I seem to be;
0, is there any one like me!

Yet he was not alone, for the Lord was with him. The wild beasts of the desert could not hurt him, and the food God sent him by his angel strengthened him through the forty days' journey to the mount. "My grace is sufficient for thee." "They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength." "The righteous also shall hold on his way, and he that hath clean hands shall be stronger and stronger." Arriving at the mount he entered and lodged in a cave. A long distance from his own country and people, in a desert land, on a rocky and desolate mountain, and lodging in a cavern, is it not probable that he felt forsaken, discouraged and lonely?

And remembering the backsliding of Israel from the Lord, the idolatry of the land, and the slaying of his fellow prophets, his lodging-place here must have been indescribably wretched and desolate. He may have been tempted to doubt whether he was an object of God's love and care. Why am I so persecuted and driven up and down? Why has he allowed my countrymen to throw down his altars, slay his prophets, and threaten my life? But the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and in their dens, and furnaces, and prisons, and caves. He protects and comforts them. Here in this wild and lonely retreat the Lord spake to him, and, for his comfort and encouragement, informed him that there were yet seven thousand of Israel who had not bowed the knee to Baal, and whom he had reserved unto himself. He had really believed that he wad the only true prophet of God left in Israel, and that all Israel had gone after Baal; but he was informed better in this lonely place, and encouraged to trust in Him who had hitherto so signally preserved him.

But the Lord called him out on the mountain to witness some of the mighty and terrible displays of His power. First came a mighty wind that rent the mountains and the rocks; then a great earthquake occurred; and after the earthquake a fire swept over the mountain. But though the Lord made these awful displays of His power and majesty, yet was He not in these, in the way of communicating His will and purpose to the prophet, or of giving him comfort and instruction. "And after the fire a still, small voice." At this the prophet immediately mantled his face, and stood at the cave's entrance to hear what God was about to speak. The mighty and terrific wind, the awful earthquake, and the dreadful fire, were calculated to cause him to shudder and quake in the presence of such omnipotent power, and to feel to be infinitely little, even as a moth or a speck of dust.

So Moses felt, many generations before this, when, on one of these mountains, he went up to receive the law from the mouth of a thrice holy God, in His awful presence witnessing the thunders, and the lightnings, and thick clouds, and the voice of a trumpet, and the quaking of the mount. So terrible was the sight that he said, "I exceedingly fear and quake"—Ex 19:16; Heb 12:21. So also the sinner feels when the thunders of the divine law are heard sounding his doom as a sinner, and sees the lightnings of the wrath of God against him; so terrible is the sight, and so guilty does he feel, that he exceedingly fears and quakes, and cries out from a sense of guilt and of the inflexible justice of God, "Woe is me! for I am undone." "What must I do to be saved?"—Isa 6:5; Ac 16:30. The law only ministers death and condemnation; its awful curses and thunders cause us to tremble, and our conscious guilt makes us quake, for the law knows no mercy, and reveals no way of escape from its righteous demands. But after we have seen the fires of his wrath through the law, written in our hearts by His holy Spirit, and have felt the terrors of His inexorable justice in exposing our guilt, "a still, small voice" is heard, sweetly whispering .to our hearts in accents of eternal love, "Thy sins are forgiven thee." "I have blotted out, as a thick cloud, thy transgressions; and as a cloud thy sins: return unto me, for I have redeemed thee." The voice is not too still and small to be heard and understood. Even amidst the great tempest on the sea, when Jesus spake, saying•, "Fear not, it is I," the disciples heard it; and when He said to the winds and the sea, "Peace, be still," a great calm was the immediate result. The children of God are never out of His sight, and amidst all their firey trials, their storms, their waves of trouble, their conflicts and temptations, His still small voice of assurance and peace is heard saying, "Fear not, for I am with thee," and then the trembling ones can rejoice and say, "If God be for us, who can be against us?"

Your brother in. Christ,
I. N. VANMETER.

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MANY a dear one has been made to rejoice after times of sore temptations and trials. When all earthly aid and prospects had failed, it was this same "still small Voice" that whispered, "Peace to thy soul, for in every trial and temptation I have made a way of escape. I have redeemed thee; yea, I have sealed thee unto the day of redemption of all my people."

A WATERED GARDEN

A WATERED GARDEN (1952, August)

Thou shalt be like a watered garden.—Isa 58:11.

The prophet Isaiah was here telling the children of Israel how they would be blessed and prospered when the Lord would turn them from their sins and iniquities.

Sometimes the Lord turns His people by warning them through His servants. He told Isaiah to "Cry aloud and spare not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet, and shew My people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins."

This very thing is more needful today than all the hue and cry about doctrinal differences.

"Show the house of Jacob their sins." "Why beholdest thou the mote in thy brother's eye and considerest not the beam in thine own eye?" Why split the churches and associations all to pieces, over a difference on some doctrinal point, when at the same time you are holding members that are filled with covetousness, idolatry, selfishness, hatred, wrath, emulations, strife, seditions, variance, revellings, and such like?

How do you think Old Baptists can afford to carry dishonest and untruthful people in their churches, and at the same time exclude or non-fellowship the most sturdy, reliable people in the church, because of some difference of expression on some peculiar and difficult points of doctrine?

It does seem to me that here is a mote on one side and a beam on the other. And it is the man with the beam, trying to get the mote out of his brother's eye. But he is the wrong man to get the mote out. He has to play the hypocrite to do so. "Thou hypocrite, first cast the beam out of thine own eye, and then thou shalt see clearly how to get the mote out of thy brother's eye." I ought to be willing for brethren to get the motes out of my eyes, and even help them to do it. But when you can see clearly that it is your eye that he is striking at, then you are ready to jump back and say, "Thou hypocrite, first cast the beam out of thine own eye." No man can get the motes out of his brother's eye, while he is working with zealous and selfish motives. Motes are bad enough, but beams sow ruin, division, devastation, and destruction among us everywhere they operate. Let us put away lying, dishonesty, adultery (one party having two or more companions), also covetousness, and return to the Lord and He will establish us and make us like a watered garden.

Jesus established His church, planted His people in it as trees and plants of righteousness of His own planting, and said they should stand forever. He said, "Every plant which My heavenly Father hath not planted shall be rooted up." Yes, I think that the great work that men are claiming to do, in planting sinners into the kingdom of God, will all finally be rooted up and destroyed. The work which God's Spirit and grace directs is all that will stand the test of fire in the end.

So with this test Judas was "rooted up" and thrown out, but other faithful witnesses were found ready and the Lord planted them in. Thus Jesus built and finished His beautiful garden (church) and put in it all the variety of plants to the number of twelve, that they might bear twelve manner of fruit and even yield every month. After Jesus had built this garden (church) He dedicated it in an anti-typical way, as Solomon did the temple, by prayer and shedding of blood. 1Ki 8:22,62-63.

So Jesus, when He had finished the work of building and planting His garden, gave it to the Father by prayer (see Joh 17), and then further dedicated it by the sacrificial offering of Himself. So we see here that the church must have been built, finished, and dedicated by prayer and blood before the day of Pentecost.

But now this standing garden needs water. God has promised to water it, for it is to be a watered garden.

Jesus had said—"He that believeth on Me, as the Scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water." (But this spake He of the Spirit, which they that believe on Him should receive; for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)

So Jesus had said to them, "Tarry ye in Jerusalem until ye be endued with power from on high." That is until the Holy Spirit is given in His great baptismal power, or until the great season of spiritual rain shall water the wonderful garden of the Lord.

Look now at the garden of the Lord standing on the day of Pentecost, waiting for rain. The prophet has said, "Thou shalt be like a watered garden." After all the work of the Father, and also of the Son the awful scheme of God's great salvation would have failed but for the work of the Spirit.

The same may be said of the church after the Father and the Son had built it. But for the sustaining presence of the Holy Spirit it would die and go out.

After a farmer has cleaned off his land, fenced it, plowed it up, planted it with roses, berries, vines, flowers, and trees, he is now still dependent and must have the rain before his garden will flourish.

So it is with the dear old church of God as it stands on the day of Pentecost. It is now waiting for the rain.

See, the clouds are gathering. Clouds represent ministers. Twelve apostles (ministers) are gathered together in one accord in prayer. When the wind blows right on the clouds they send down water. When the Divine Spirit of Christ comes upon the dependent minister, he will drop down the doctrine like rain.

So it was "When the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. "And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance." (Ac 2:1-4.)

Here the sweet, pleasant, invigorating rain fell upon the garden.

"Speaking" in the name of the Lord is bearing fruit.

So the plants here began to bloom and send forth the fruits of the Spirit, such as love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance, etc.

These flowers make a beautiful odor in the garden of the Lord. Prayer is one that goes up with love and faith, and is even bottled up by the Lord our God, as sweet incense.

Would not Jesus as the beloved come and walk in such a beautiful garden? "My beloved is gone down into His garden, to the bed of spices, to feed in the gardens (local churches) to gather lilies." "A garden inclosed is My sister." "Thy plants are an orchard of pomegranates, with pleasant fruits, camphire with spikenard." Then He speaks of saffron, calamus, cinnamon, trees of frankincense, myrrh and aloes with all the chief spices. "A fountain of gardens, a well of living waters, and streams from Lebanon."

Here, then, on Pentecost, and in every live, active gospel church is the watered garden. These spiritual incense, odors, and fruits are worth a million times as much and more than all similar natural fruits and flowers that fade and die, for this garden of the Lord shall never fade, fail, or die, but shall stand forever.

Where the bitter fruits of wrath, strife, jealousy and covetousness prevail, we do not expect the sweet flowers and fruits of the Lord's garden.

Who would not be willing to suffer poverty, persecution, trials, labors, and self-denial to get to see the church like this watered garden? Can we not be willing to pray earnestly, and give up every little idol pet, and throw away every golden wedge and Babylonish garment in order to see the church of our own membership like a watered garden?

The Lord says, "If My people, who are called by My name, will humble themselves and pray, and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, forgive their sins, and heal their land.

I know in my poor heart and soul this is what the Old Baptists need today more than all things else.

Are we praying daily? Are we giving of our means to aid the poor? Are we attending- our meetings regularly? Are we bearing the mutual burdens of the church by helping our deacons in whatsoever they have need of us? If so, I verily believe that the Lord will make your church like a watered garden, sooner or later. But do not be hasty, or impatient. God will avenge His elect that cry unto Him daily.

Then you can sweetly sing---

"We are a garden walled around.
Chosen and made a peculiar ground,
A little spot enclosed by grace
Out of the world's wild wilderness.

"Like trees of myrrh and spice we stand,
Planted by God the Father's hand;
And all His springs in Zion flow.
To make the young plantation grow.

"Awake, 0 Heavenly Wind, and come,
Blow on this garden of perfume;
Spirit Divine, descend and breathe 
A gracious gale on plants beneath.

"Make our best spices flow abroad,
To entertain our Saviour God;
And faith and love and joy appear,
And every grace be active here."

J. H. FISHER.
From The Gospel Messenger, January, 1912.

A WONDERFUL MEETING

A WONDERFUL MEETING. (1958, May-June)

On October 17, 18, 19, I attended the most wonderful meeting I was ever in, I think. I want to try to tell a little about it, but words are unable to describe it.

First, I want to tell what led to this meeting. Lasserre Bradley Jr. was born in Lexington, Ky., May 6, 1935. At the age of six years he made a profession and joined the Missionary Baptist Church. At the age of eleven, not feeling satisfied with his early baptism, he was baptized again. He felt from a child that the Lord had called him to preach, and he began preaching at the age of thirteen. In 1951, he was ordained. In 1952, he was called to serve the New Testament Baptist Church in Cincinnati, Ohio. He then knew nothing but arminianism, but had a deep desire to learn all he could about the truth of God and spent much time in studying the Bible. He was soon given more light on the doctrine of grace.

Brethren Bradley, Paul Trautner, Norbert Ward and Elas Randle Jr. were students in a Baptist Seminary. The Lord opened their eyes to the truth and enabled them to see the error in doctrine and practice of the people they were identified with. They quit the seminary and began preaching salvation by grace.

About three years ago, Brother Bradley told his church what he had come to believe in regard to election, predestination, particular redemption, effectual calling, etc., that he was firmly convinced that these things were the truth of the Bible, from now on that was what he was going to preach; and if they retained him as pastor, it would mean their approval of these points. They overwhelmingly voted to retain him.

After Brother Bradley saw these fundamental points of doctrine, he had a struggle to find what was the utility of the gospel, since it was plain that it had no part in the eternal salvation of sinners. He finally saw the light on that, also. He was led to see that all the modern auxiliaries of his church were unscriptural, and, under his teaching, the church discontinued the use of instrumental music and all the auxiliaries, including the Sunday School. The membership of his church dropped from about 800 to less than half that number, but those who stayed with him were taught the truth of the Bible as God gave Brother Bradley light, as he gave himself continually to prayer and study of God's Word.

All this was before he knew anything about the Primitive Baptists. He had been warned that he was headed for the "Hardshells," but had never heard what they really were.

He began radio broadcasting and published a small monthly paper. Primitive Baptists in several different states began to hear his sermons over the radio and to write him endorsing him and telling him that he was preaching what they believe and practice. He didn't know there was a people in the world that believed as he did. He had a desire to meet them and hear them preach. Many of them invited him to visit them. So, about a year ago, he began to do so. He visited some churches in Georgia, Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee and Kentucky. The more he went, the more he loved them and felt that they were his people, and greater the desire to be identified with them; and the more they loved him. In August, in a meeting in Kentucky, he told them he had a desire to be baptized by these people but wanted to wait until he could tell his church in Cincinnati about it. He felt that some of them at least would want the same thing.

On August 31, he preached to them on "Ask for the Old Paths," and told them of his experiences and how he felt he had found the true kingdom of God—where they believed just what he had been preaching to them, and of his desire for true gospel baptism. Several of them expressed the same desire.

So, they let it be known to the Primitive Baptists. It was arranged for this meeting on October 17, 18, 19. It was announced, in Brother Bradley's paper and over the radio, about the meeting and the purpose of it. We heard of it here in Donaldson and two car loads went. There were ten ear loads from Georgia. Fourteen or fifteen states were represented: Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, North Carolina, Kentucky, Georgia, Mississippi, Texas, Arkansas, Florida, Tennessee, Alabama, Michigan, New Jersey, and perhaps others. I think there were 35 or 40 preachers present.

There was preaching Friday and Saturday morning, afternoon and night. Brother Bradley preached Saturday morning. He told in an humble manner, how he felt the Lord had enlightened his understanding and then led him to His kingdom . He said, "I don't want to come to you as a preacher, but just as a poor sinner who loves you and longs for gospel baptism and a home in the kingdom of God." He closed with "I feel like I would love to wash every one of your feet." I don't think there were many dry eyes in the house. He is only 23 years old. It seemed like a miracle to see him so humble, yet so well established, with no one to guide him out of arminianism into the fundamental truths except God and His Word.

Saturday afternoon Brother Paul Trautner (Brother Bradley's companion in these travels) preached. It was also good, touching and instructive.

Sunday morning the church had its conference and voted 93 to 53 to be identified with the Primitive Baptists—the members to be those who received gospel bapism, to be organized into a church. Those who opposed this fought it hard, but the resolution passed.

After this, Elder J. A. Monsees, of Georgia, was asked to preach and take charge of the meeting. An opportunity was given for all from that church who desired baptism at that time to come forward. About 44 or 45 came, including Brother Bradley, and were unanimously received, with many tears and shouts of joy. Brother Bradley made a sweet talk. After the hand of fellowship was given, dinner was served.

After lunch, the congregation gathered in the church, sang a few songs, then an opportunity was given for all from Brother Trautner's church in Kentucky who desired gospel baptism to come forward; 16 or 17 came. Brother Trautner made a sweet talk. Then they prepared for baptism. Elders Monsees, Darity and Lord baptized 16 brethren and 15 sisters. Brother Monsees baptized Brother Bradley first, then a sister, then Brother Trautner, and so on. It was a beautiful sight. Brother Bradley's mother was among the number, also Brother Ward and Randle and their wives.

After the Sunday afternoon service we, from Donaldson, had to start for home. About 30 or 31 were to be baptized that night, and the church organized.

Brother Bradley has had great courage to preach what he was led to believe, in spite of much opposition. He will still have opposition, but surley the Lord will bless him in following on where He has led him. He seemed so happy after he was baptized.

One preacher said for some time after he began to hear Brother Bradley, he kept listening and watching for a streak of arminianism to break out, but it never did come, and now, since Brother .Bradley has expressed a desire to come home, his concern has been: What kind of a home are we going to give him? Will it be the home of love and obedience to God's laws that he is looking for, or will it be one of strife and divisions? May God bless him and his little church and all those who live in God's kingdom.

This may be getting too long, but the half has not been told. There were about 1,100 people there. I wish all of you could have enjoyed it with us.

In love,
MRS. A. N. RAGAN.
Donaldson, Ark.

A WONDERFUL PROVIDENTIAL INTERPOSITION THROUGH THE INSTRUMENTALITY OF A LITTLE GIRL

A WONDERFUL PROVIDENTIAL INTERPOSITION THROUGH THE INSTRUMENTALITY OF A LITTLE GIRL (1950, May)

—The Friendly Companion, April, 1950

Sir Richard Cradock, a Justice of the Peace who was a violent hater and persecutor of Dissenters and who exerted himself to enforce all the severe laws then in being against them, happened to live near Mr. John Rogers, to whom he bore a particular enmity, and, whom he wanted above all things to have in his power. Hearing he was one day to preach some miles distant, he thought a fair opportunity offered for accomplishing his base design. He hired two men to go as spies, and take the names of all the hearers whom they knew, that they might appear as witnesses against both them and Mr. Rogers. The plan seemed to succeed to his wishes. These men brought the names of several persons who were present at the meeting, and Sir Richard warned such of them as he had a particular spite against, together with Mr. Rogers, to appear before him. Knowing the violence of the man, they came with trembling hearts, expecting to be treated with utmost severity.

While they were waiting in the great hall, expecting to be called upon, a little girl, about six or seven years of age, who was Sir Richard's grand-daughter, happened to come into the hall. She looked at Mr. Rogers and was much taken with his venerable ap pearance. Being naturally fond of children, he took her on his knee and caressed her. One of the witnesses being taken ill and unable to attend, Mr. Rogers and those with him were dismissed and instructed to attend another day. Accordingly they came and being convicted the Justice ordered their mittimus to be written to send them all to prison. Mr. Rogers had brought some sweets to give to the little girl. She being a particular favorite of her grand-father, had got such an ascendency over him, that he could deny her nothing; she possessed withal such a violent spirit that she could bear no contradiction. This bad spirit (though not to be excused) was in the present instance overruled for good. While sitting on Mr. Rogers' knee eating the sweets, she looked earnestly at him and asked : "What are you here for, sir?" He answered: "I believe your grand-father is going to send me and my friends to gaol." "To gaol?" said she ; "why, what have you done ?" "Why, I did nothing but preach at such a place, and they did nothing, but hear me." "But," said she, "my grand-papa shall not send you to gaol!" "Aye, but, my dear," said he, "I believe he is now making out our mittimus to send us all there." She immediately ran to the room where Sir Richard was, and knocked on the door with her hands and heels till she got in, and then said to him: "What are you going to do with my good old gentleman in the hall?" "That is nothing to you," said he, "get about your business." "But I will not," said she ; "he tells me that you are going to send him and his friends to gaol, and if you send them, I will drown myself in the pond as soon as they are gone ; I will indeed." (At one time previously when contradicted, she , ran a penknife into her arm, to the great danger other life.) When the grandfather saw the child thus peremptory, it shook his resolution, and induced him to abandon the malicious design. Taking the mittimus in hand, he went down to the hall and thus addressed the good men: "I had here made out your mittimus to send you all to gaol, as you deserve; but at my grand-daughter's request I drop the prosecution, and set you all at liberty." They all bowed, and thanked his worship. Then Mr. Rogers went to the child and laid his hand upon her head, and lifting up his eyes to heaven said: "God bless you, my dear child! May the blessing of that God whose cause you did now plead, though as yet you know Him not, be upon you in life, at death, and to all eternity."

The above remarkable story was told by Mr. Timothy Rogers, (son of John Rogers; the ejected minister of Croglin, Cumberland,) when at the house of Mrs. Tooley, an eminent Christian lady in London, who was distinguished for her love to Christ and His people; whose house and table, like Lydia's, were always open to them. What follows is yet more remarkable, as a striking proof that God answered the prayer good Mr. Rogers had made for the child.

Mrs. Tooley had listened with uncommon attention to Mr. Rogers' narrative, and asked him: "Are you Mr. Rogers' son?" When he told her he was, she said: "Well, as long as I have been acquainted with you, I never knew that before. And now I will tell you something which you do not know: I am the very girl your dear father blessed in the manner you have related! It made an impression upon me which I could never forget."

Mr. Thomas Bradbury who was present expressed a desire to know how she, who had been brought up in an adversion to Dissenters and to serious religion, now discovered such an attachment to both. She then gave the following account:

After her grandfather's death she became sole heiress to his estate, and being in the bloom of youth and having none to control her, she indulged in all the fashionable diversions of the age, without any restraint. But she confessed that when the pleasurable scenes were over, she found dissatisfaction with them all and with herself, that always struck a damp to her heart; which she knew not how to escape but in running the same round over and over again; but in vain. Having contracted some slight illness, she went to Bath as being a resort for pleasure as well as health. There she was led to consult an apothecary who feared God. Asked what was her complaint, she replied: "Why, doctor, I do not ail so much as to my body, but I have an uneasy mind." "Truly, Miss," said he, "I was so till I met with a certain book, and that cured me." "Books!" said she, "I read all the books ; all the plays, romances, novels I hear of. But my uneasiness continues." "That may be," said he; "and I do not wonder at it. But of the Book I speak of, I can say, as of no other, that I never tire in reading it; but always find something new in it." "Pray, doctor," said she ; "what book is that?" "Nay, Miss, that is a secret I do not tell everyone." "But could I get a sight of that book?" "Yes," said he, "if you will promise me one thing I will bring it to you ; that is, that you will read it over carefully; and if you should not see much in it at first, that you will give it a second reading." She promised faithfully she would. When he produced the New Testament: she said: "Pooh! I could get that any time." But as she had promised to read it, she did so, and it attracted her attention; she saw in it something wherein she had a deep concern, but her mind became ten times more uneasy than ever.

Knowing not what to do, she returned to London, resolved to try again what diversions would do to dissipate her gloom of mind. But it was all in vain. Electing love had decreed to save her ; effectual grace was determined to reach her. One Saturday night she had a dream in which she saw a place of worship; when she awoke she could remember nothing but the text. The next morning she set out with her companion to seek the place she had dreamed of; and said she was resolved to find it if they had to go from one end of London to the other. They went into several churches, but none of them answered to what she saw in her dream. But at about half past two they saw numbers of people turning down Old Jewry ; they followed and were led to the Meeting House where Mr. John Shower was then minister. As soon as she entered, she turned to her companion and said: "This is the very place I saw in my dream!" When Mr. Shower came up into the pulpit, with greater surprise she said: "This is the very man I saw in my dream! and if every part hold true, he will take for a text Ps 116:7: 'Return unto thy rest, 0 my soul; for the Lord hath dealt bountifully with thee'." When he had finished prayer, every sentence of which went to her heart, he gave out that very verse for a text. God was pleased to make the discourse profitable; there the Lord met with her. And she at last found what she had so long sought in vain, rest for her soul in Christ the Saviour of the lost.—From WILSON'S

A WORD TO OUR MINISTERS

A WORD TO OUR MINISTERS (1946, February)

(Copied from the Zion's Advocate, Nov. 2, 1874)

Though we do not claim to be "such an one as Paul the aged," yet we would venture to say a few words to the ministers of the gospel in the common brotherhood with us. We profess, dear brethren, to be ministers of Christ, called of God and put into the ministry by a special call to the work whereunto He hath appointed us, and this ministry we have received of the Lord Jesus to testify the gospel of the grace of God. This is a good confession, and we are, consequently, missionaries in a gospel sense, that is, have been sent 9f God, sent forth, to labor in His vineyard; but do all who make this confession of a call to the work, and of being put into the ministry, make full proof of their ministry? Are all actively and industriously engaged in doing "Whatsoever their hands find to do" in this work? Do they "go in regions beyond" the bounds of organized churches and ministers to the scattered of the flock of Christ, as they are found in many localities, especially, accessable to the ministers of the Ebenezer and the Ketoctan Associations? Is it riot sometimes witnessed that little and insignificant matters will hinder from filling even regular appointments, and no time from secular engagements and interests is found to attend to the call from destitute regions to come over and help them? Often the great work of the gospel ministry is, apparently, made subordinate to carnal and worldly interests instead of an exhibition of faith in the word of promise—"Seek ye first the kingdom of heaven, and all these things shall be added unto you." There is evidently a lack of faith in God and His Word of promise. He has never forfeited His Word, never failed to fulfill all His promises. He has said, "there is that scattereth and yet it increaseth, there is that withholdeth, and it tendeth to poverty." "He that soweth to the flesh, shall of the flesh reap corruption, but he that soweth to the Spirit, shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting. For whatsoever a man soweth that also he shall reap." The truth of these words are verified in leanness and barrenness, and a cold and lifeless frame in the service rendered in the ministry. The Scriptures are not read attentively and prayerfully, which is discovered in the misquotations made, and in the illustrations of the gospel system of salvation. The duties and obligations of the churches and members in particular, to Christ first, and to each other, and especially to those who, labor among them in word and doctrine, are not enforced in the public ministry. Prompt obedience to the laws of Christ is not insisted upon in the labor of the ministry, and hence the great commission is not fulfilled: "Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you." The consequence of this state of things in the ministry is exhibited in the churches: "Like priests, like people"—in many cases. If God's ministers really believe the words of Christ, "Lo, I am with you alway;" "I will never leave thee nor forsake thee," and were to go forth without purse or scrip, relying simply upon His sacred Word, without human security, they would find His word of promise verified in every instance, and when asked, lacked ye anything? they would now, as in primitive, apostolic times say, nothing, Lord.

We criticise the New School men and their measures, and charge upon them a lack of faith in Christ's word, and hence demand human security before they will go forward in the work; and we should remember the words of the apostle: "Thou that teachest a man should not steal, dost thou steal?" "Happy is the man who condemneth not in himself the things he alloweth." It is as true in the gospel dispensation as it was in the prophetic, when the prophet of the Lord said to the disobedient king: "Obedience is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams." "All the promises of God are yea and amen in Christ;" and just to the extent that His people believe them, and act accordingly, they will be proven to be true in their experience, according to His prayer to the Father: "Sanctify them through thy truth: thy Word is truth."

When we shall see all God's ministers harnessed for the fight, having on the whole armour of God, ready and willing to bear hardness as good soldiers of Jesus Christ, and to endure all things for the elect's sake, that they may also obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory; we shall then know that God's set time to favor Zion has come, and that the hour of her deliverance is at hand. Then will the Word of God be as fire in their bones, and as cloven tongues of fire upon them, and "God will appear in His glory to build up Zion." And it will be the experience of each and all of them, as a faithful minister of the past generation has left in his record in the work of the ministry:

Over the mountains and waters, as duty led me on,
Through snow storms and tempests, and hot burning suns,
I run with my might, and labor'd day and night,
To proclaim a dear Saviour to sinners undone.

But there is a sad declension manifest among the churches also, a falling away from the apostolic rule of faith, and hence they do not experience the fulfillment of the promise—"As many as walk according to this rule, peace be on them, and mercy, and upon the Israel of God." They do not obtain the peace and mercy because they do not walk according to the rule laid down; for in keeping His commandments there is great reward, and "when man's ways please the Lord He maketh even His enemies to be at peace with Him." They pray the Lord of the harvest to send forth laborers into His harvest, and see the fields white already to harvest, yet when they are sent in answer to their prayers they pay but little attention to them, often let them go war-faring at their own cost and charges. Some members can find pecuniary means to, embellish and beautify their dwellings, and to adorn their sons and daughters in costly apparel, but for their ministers they have only the honied words, be ye warmed and be ye clothed and filled. There are, however, many honorable exceptions to this picture in our churches, brethren and sisters whose liberal hands are opened to minister of their carnal things not only to God's ministers, but to the poor of the household of faith also; and it is worthy of remark that God's Word is verified in the case of all such, that as they have sown bountifully they reap bountifully: they become richer by giving, whilst those who withhold become poorer. This is the spiritual arrangement. The worldly or carnal arrangement is to get rich by receiving. They do not believe "the words of the Lord Jesus, that it is more blessed to give than to receive." But the ministry is chiefly to blame for this state of things in the churches. Whenever they come up to the full measure of their high and holy calling, and give themselves wholly to the work, subordinating all earthly interests and ties to the call and order of their divine Lord and Redeemer in the work whereunto He has called them, He will sustain them and take care of them through His—the churches of the saints—and sometimes by ravens. The first word of command will ring in their ears—Go; go wherever a door is opened—even into Macedonia, or into the highways and hedges, and He that gave the order will perform what He has promised: "Lo, I am with you alway."

A WORD TO PROFESSORS IN TRADE (1942)

A WORD TO PROFESSORS IN TRADE (1942)

(Copied from Letters and Sermons, by John Newton,
published in 1798)

DEAR SIR:

It is suspected (or rather it is too certainly known), that, among those who are deemed gospel professors, there are some persons who allow themselves in the practice of dealing in prohibited, uncustomed, or (as the common phrase is) smuggled goods, to the prejudice of the public revenue, and the detriment of the fair trader.

The decisions of the Word of God, upon this point, are so plain and determinate, that it is rather difficult to conceive how a sincere mind can either overlook or mistake them. The same authority which forbids us to commit adultery, or murder, requires us to "render unto Cesar the things that are Csar's;" to render unto all their dues, tribute to whom tribute, custom to whom custom. These precepts enjoin no more than what the common sense of mankind pronounces to be due from subjects and members of society, to the governments they live under, and by which they are protected. But the obligation is greatly enforced upon those who acknowledge themselves the disciples of Christ, since He has been pleased to make their compliance herein a part of the obedience they owe to Himself. And it is plain, that these injunctions are universal and binding, under all civil governments, as such; for none can justly suppose, that tributes exacted by the Roman Emperors (under whose dominion the first Christians lived), such as Tiberius or Nero, had the sanction of our Lord and His apostles on account of their peculiar equity.

The vending smuggled goods, or the buying them, if known to be so, is likewise injurious to the fair trader, who, conscientiously paying the prescribed duties, cannot afford to sell so cheap as the smuggler; and therefore must expect the fewer customers. In this view, it offends the royal law, of "doing to others as we would they should do unto us." The force of this argument may be easily felt by anyone who will honestly make the case his own. Without any nice reasoning, people may know in a moment, that they should not like to be put to this disadvantage. It is therefore unjust (i. e. sinful, and utterly unbecoming a professor of religion) to purchase smuggled goods, even in small quantities, and for family use. As for those who, being in trade themselves, make this practice a branch of their business, and, under the semblance of a fair reputation, are doing things in secret which they would tremble to have discovered, being afraid of the exchequer, though not of God—I can only pray, that God may give them repentance; for it is a work of darkness, and needs it. Transactions of this kind cannot be carried on for a course of time, without such a series and complication of fraud and meanness, and for the most part of perjury likewise, as would be scandalous, not only in a professed Christian, but in an avowed infidel.

It should be observed likewise, that there is hardly any set of men more lost to society, or in a situation more dangerous to themselves and others, than the people who are called smugglers. Frequent fightings, and sometimes murder itself, are the consequence of their illicit commerce. Their money is ill gotten, and it is generally ill spent. They are generally to be pitied. The employment they are accustomed to has a direct tendency to deprive them of character, and the privileges of social life, and to harden their hearts, and stupify their consciences, in the ways of sin. But for whom are they risking their lives, and ruining their souls? I would hope, reader, not for you, if you account yourself a Christian. If you, for the sake of gain, encourage and assist them, by buying or selling their good, you are so far responsible for the consequences. You encourage them to sin; you expose them to mischief. And have you so learned Christ? Is this the testimony you give of the uprightness of your hearts and ways? Is it thus you show your compassion for the souls of men? All! shake your hands from gain so dearly earned. Think not to support the cause of God with-such gain: He hates robbery for a burnt offering. Think it not lawful, or safe, to put a farthing of it into your treasury, lest it secretly communicate a moth,and a curse to all that you possess; for it is the price of blood, the blood of souls. If you are indeed a child of God, and will persist in this path after admonition received, be sure your sin will find you out. If the Lord loves you, He will not suffer you to prosper in your perverseness. You may rather expect, that as a little damaged corn is sufficient to spoil the whole heap to which it is laid, so money thus obtained will deprive you of the blessing and comfort you might otherwise expect from your lawful acquisitions.

If you are determined to persist, in opposition to Scripture, to law, to equity and humanity, you have doubtless, as I suppose you a professor, some plea or excuse with which you attempt to justify yourself, and and to keep your conscience quiet. See to it, that it be such a one as will bear the examination of a dying hour. You will not surely plead, that "things are come to such a pass, there is no carrying on business upon other terms to advantage!" Will the practice of the world, who know not Christ, be a proper precedent for you who call yourself by His name? That cannot be, since His command is, "Thou shalt not follow a multitude to do evil." That the truth and power of His grace may be manifested, He is pleased to put His servants into such situations, that they must forego some seeming advantages, and suffer some seeming hardships, in their worldly connections, if they will approve themselves faithful to Him, and live in the exercise of a good conscience. He promises, that His grace shall be sufficient for them. It is the blessing of the Lord that maketh rich; and, for want of this, we see many rise early, take late rest, and eat the bread of carefulness, to no purpose. And I believe, integrity and diligence in business, with an humble dependence upon His providence, are the best methods of thriving even in temporals. However, they who lose for Him are in no danger of losing by Him. They may be confident of so much as He sees best for them; and they shall have His peace and blessing with it. But if, when you are placed in a state of trial, the love of the world is so powerful in your heart, that you cannot resist the temptation of enriching yourself by unlawful means, you have great reason to fear you have not His Spirit, and are therefore none of His. I am, &c.

A WORD TO SINGERS

A WORD TO SINGERS (1948, May)

Copied from American Baptist Magazine January, 1819

The laudable exertions which are making, to promote and improve sacred psalmody, must be highly pleasing to such as delight in this interesting part of public worship.

The songs of Zion are calculated to give the most exquisite pleasure to a pious mind, when judiciously performed. The solemn and cheerful Airs, by turns melt and elevate the soul. The surest way to produce these effects, is to "sing with the Spirit, and with the understanding also."

Acts 2:29 and Ephesians 2:10

Ac 2:29 and Eph 2:10 (1987, November-December)

April 26,1910

Elder C. H. Cayce:
Dear Brother — Please give your views on Ac 2:39. Explain who t he call is to. Also give your views on Eph 2:10. Yours in hope of eternal life,

R. 1, Bold Springs, Tenn. 
D. H. Sanders

REMARKS

The call referred to in Ac 2:39 is the calling of the Holy Spirit. It is by the power of the Holy Spirit. It is a holy calling; 2Ti 1:9. God does the calling; 1Co 1:9. God calls all the heirs of promise, and those who are called are children of the promise; Ga 3:29; 4:28. The promise was made before the world began; Tit 1:2. The Lord confirmed the promise with an oath; Heb 6:13-17.

Eph 2:10 teaches us that the children of God are the workmanship of God — not the workmanship of God and company, but of God. It shows that a creative power is necessary to put one in Christ — "created in Christ." Putting one in Christ, then, is a creative work, requires creative power. They are "created in Christ Jesus UNTO good works." In order that one walk in, or perform, the good works of the gospel, he must first be created in Christ unto good works. This being true, no one performs the good works in order to be in Christ, but he must be in Christ in order to perform the good works. And those who have thus been created in Christ should walk in the good works which God has commanded. The Lord has ordained, or prepared, the good works, and those who are in Christ, the Lord's children, should perform them.
C.H.C.

(Elder C. H. Cayce)
Copied from Selected Editorials From The Primitive Baptist, page 344

AID TO THE MINISTRY

AID TO THE MINISTRY (1988, January-February)

We have been requested to write on this subject, the party making the request referring us to 1Co 9:13-14; Lu 10:7, and Mt 10:10. In Mathew 10 is recorded the sending out of the twelve, and in Lu 10 is recorded the sending out of the seventy. We have expressed our opinion regarding this question through our columns heretofore, and will only make a few brief remarks now. In the ninth chapter of 1st Corinthians the apostle is certainly teaching the idea that the temporal necessities of the ministry should be looked after. In verse 11 he says, "If we have sown unto you spiritual things, is it a great thing if we shall reap your carnal things?" In verse 9 he refers to the law, which says, "Thou shalt not muzzle the mouth of the ox that treadeth out the corn." In verse 10 he lets us know that this was written for our sakes. The ox should do the eating where he was doing the treading. It was not God's way that the ox do the treading in China and do the eating in the United States. He was to eat right where he did the treading. Verse 11 shows that the eating was of carnal things. Then in verse 13 he refers to the law again, calling attention to the fact that a part of the things offered in the temple and on the altar were reserved for those who waited at the altar. In verse 14 he says, "Even so hath the Lord ordained that they which preach the gospel should live of the gospel." Some have argued that this living consists of spiritual food, which the apostle refers to here; but this cannot be true, for the reason that in verse 15 he says, "But I have used none of these things: neither have I written these things, that it should be so done unto me." We think the language to the twelve and to the seventy contains the idea that they were to go, trusting the Lord that they would be cared for and sustained. The Lord's promise is better than promises of men. The man who will not go until a support is promised him shows his lack of faith in the Lord's promise. The Lord 'has put it into the hearts of His people to care for us, for we know they have been kind and good to us. They have been good to minister to our necessities, and we hope to never bring reproach on the cause they love. Brethren, pray the Lord to sustain us, that we may be kept in the right way. C.H.C.

(Elder C. H. Cayce)
-Copied from Selected Editorial Writings from The Primitive Baptist, Volume I, page 297.

ALL THINGS SHOULD BE DONE DECENTLY

ALL THINGS SHOULD BE DONE DECENTLY (1946, December)

(An Article by Eder J. R. Respress, in Gospel Messenger, May 1883)

DEAR BROTHER RESPRESS:

Do you believe in Thirty Day Baptists? What I mean by the term is in reference to the custom Baptists have of meeting together once a month. I know primitive Christians did not do that way, but met on the first day of the week for worship. Would you please give us a piece on that subject? The brethren of our church (Bethlehem) are well. Hope you will be able to pay us a visit soon. Your brother, 

JOHN B. BRAMBLETT.
Waltrace, Tenn.

As to the custom of assembling monthly for worship, there is nothing laid down in the Scriptures; but, as Brother Bramblett says, the custom in primitive days seems to have been weekly meetings; and we have no doubt but that it would be much better now for the brotherhood to assemble weekly for worship, even if there was no preacher present. We have felt for many years that such a course would greatly promote our spiritual growth and prosperity. It is true, there are obstacles in the way of many; some are so far from the places of worship t hat it is a great labor even to meet once a month, however anxious they may be to do so; and some even, are so far that they can't meet at all. Sister Dawson, in New Mexico, wrote us she went thirty miles to see the nearest Baptist to her that she knew of, and that she had not heard a gospel sermon in several years. Then some are too old and infirm, and have no means of getting to meeting; and others are able and disposed to attend other meetings where they can hear the gospel preached, which is a good thing. But there are generally many unable to get to any other place of worship except their own, and to these such weekly meetings would be a great privilege . and blessing, whether held at the church house or at private houses of such as were too infirm to get to meeting. If there was no preacher present, or even if there was, the time could be spent in reading the Scriptures, singing, praying, and in spiritual conversation. It would be good for the children to be present. We remember the impression made on our mind by the words and fatherly admonitions given the young people and children in our youth, by a good deacon, long since at rest. We could not understand the preachers, but we could understand him. Such meetings would promote Christian unity, sympathy, love and fellowship; and what better growth in spirit can there be than such as that? By the blessing of God, they would be real love feasts. Jude speaks of feasts of charity amongst primitive Christians; feasts to which all no doubt contributed—if nothing else, by their presence. And if no able sermon should be amongst the contributions, there might at least be a dinner of herbs, with love; some humble sister might tell her experience, her trials, joys and sorrows; some word fitly spoken by a contrite heart might infuse joy into many hearts. Simple diet is needed now in some places, more than the stalled ox; simple food, plainly dressed, conduces often to health—especially to such as may have been pampered by excess of dainties, and roast meat. We do not mean as an exclusive diet, but for health, and in restraint of excess. We may go to excess in anything—even in religion—so that our good may be evil spoken of. Israel once became idolatrous over the brazen serpent, so that Hezekiah had it destroyed; yet it had been made by God's command, and for a good purpose—but not to be worshiped. Customs, forms, the church and doctrine may be worshiped, and the creature served more than the Creator. We have feared that in some places there was an ex COSH of Visiting preachers, and yet we believe that some go ordered or the Lord. But the other extreme is to be guarded against. We may indulge sloth and indolence until "poverty and want shall come as an armed man." Too much eating of either strong or simple diet, will enfeeble rather than nourish and strengthen; and so will too little. Moderation is therefore required. We are told to "he sober." There is now a great deal of religions intoxication, and the people of God should he careful not to encourage it. With many of us, it is a Lime of More trial; there is a famine in the land of Bethlehem, and there may he danger of doing as Elimelech and Naomi did in a famine leaving Bethlehem, the land of bread and promise, and going to Moab, the land of the flesh, May we have grace to endure us Job, not departing from the Lord to either extreme. If we drink spiritually, we mean let it be because of our "often infirmities," to nourish and strengthen, and not to inebriate and inflame the flesh, lifting it. up in Pharisaical pride, Then the little wine will conduce to our health, humbling as with the consciouness that, we are weaker than our brother having no such need, and therefore will he nt his feet, esteeming' him better than ourself: and he also will be nt our feet, esteeming Our zeal as God-given and himself as comparatively worthless. All things should he done decently and in order; and, as many as are thus minded, let, them meet together weekly, or as often as they can.

We are meeting twice a month at Butler now, and look forward to the day when many of our little few will meet some part of the day each Sunday. The strong, bearing with the weak, will meet with them—if not for their own gratification, for that of their brethren. Of ourself we may speak, and say we have sought too much our own pleasure in some things religiously; we may give, expecting to be repaid; we may be willing to talk with those who can talk to us; but to impart and not receive, to talk and give to those unable to repay and impart to us, is often a task hard to perform. Dear Elder Buie, whose obituary is in this issue of the Gospel Messenger, staid once several weeks at our house; and, like all blind persons, he asked a great many questions, it being the only way they have of finding out anything; and sometimes in our selfishness, we would forget, and growing weary, leave him alone. One day we walked to the field—not "the field that God had blessed," for we were in that whilst denying ourself for His comfort, but the field of "thorns and thistles;" and going out, we said to our oldest daughter, "Go in and talk to Brother Buie, for it will be a pleasure to him, and you will be giving something to one who cannot repay, but can only be recompensed at the resurrection of the just." Thus the strong and the weak would be blessed at such meetings, and, growing in grace, realize that "it is more blessed to give than to receive."

We trust God is in this matter with Brother Bramblett, and with others who have written us—amongst them Brother J. W. Harvey, of Big Harpeth Church, Tennessee. The notion that a church can't meet for worship in the absence of a minister, is a wrong one. We should speak often one to another, especially in these days, seeing they are evil. We need to give and receive encouragement one from another, and thus be mutually edified in the Lord. There are many Christians of the class to whom Elder Chick has so fitly written in this issue, who need encouragement, and for whom we have faith, as Peter had for the cripple at the "Beautiful" gate; and who need, as he did, the lifting up upon their feet by our faith for them, and countenance; who, with our help, would walk and run to the temple of God in discharge of duty.

An Aged and Faithful Minister

An Aged and Faithful Minister (2002, May - June)

I was born in Darlington Dist., S. C., October 9, 1811. I was the oldest child of Silas and Nancy Speight, my parents were natives of North Carolina and were Methodist by profession as far back as I know anything about them. I never knew anything about any other denomination until I was grown. The days of my youth were spent in folly and the years as a tale that is told — I neither hoped for heaven nor cared for hell. But praise the Lord 0 my soul, even then the God of heaven cared for me, and kept me by His reigning grace to see the justice of God in all things. Sometimes when I would see danger approaching, or I would get sick, I would think I had better begin to do something. I did not think there was much for me to do for I had always tried to obey my parents and do right generally. My father moved to Georgia in 1826, settled in Walton Co., from there he moved to Guinett Co. I was married to Miss Lucy Dylard, 1831, her parents were natives of Virginia. She was raised by James and Nancy Allen.

In August 1834, I was brought to see myself a poor lost and ruined sinner, my sins now came up before me like mountains of darkness and death eternal stared me in the face. Oh, the horror, pain and condemnation I felt as the awful thundering of God's holy and righteous law rolled from Sinia's Mount, vengeance had overtaken me and I felt brought to the bar of God, and justly condemned. Some times the horrors of darkness was so thick upon me that I could not work. I cried but there was no answer. I prayed but it seemed that God did not hear ine, what to do I knew not. I was like one desperate, nothing but sin could I call my own. In the anguish and bitterness of soul I cried: I am justly condemned and only now have to wait the day of execution. There is a part of the time between the latter part of August 1834 and the first of October that I cannot give any account of. One night, the first of October, I walked out in the darkness to pray to the Lord one more time to have mercy on me but no relief; I walked back into the house and sat down by the table; picked up my Testament and opened at the 15th chapter of Luke and began to read; every thing began to look light. It was like a new book and I was rejoicing and felt like the glory of God filled the whole earth. I walked out and looked around and up at the stars, they seemed to be rejoicing and every thing seemed to be praising God. I really do believe that my mind was then illuminated by the Holy Ghost. I felt so free from sin I never have and do not believe I ever will be able to fitly describe the glory I then saw and felt. "A heaven below my Redeemer to know." And if ever I had a call to the ministry it begun when I first saw Jesus as a Saviour of sinners. I felt right then like I could tell them how He was their Saviour, and tell it so plain that they could see it and would believe it. But, Oh, I have learned that the path which it hath pleased the Holy Spirit to lead me in has certainly not been one of my own choosing. I have learned in many ways in spirit to say with the Prophet Jeremiah: "0 Lord, I know that the way of man is not in himself, it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps." — Jet 10:23.

The fourth Sunday in October, same year, I went to Bay Creek Church, Walton County, GA. — not intending to join the church; but I wanted to tell them what I had seen and felt. To my surprise they received me into the church and the fourth Sunday in November, I was baptized by Elder Mitchell Benett, I now felt like I had got home.

But all this did not stop the impression to talk and tell of the goodness of God. I wanted to tell all those that felt themselves sinners and was only looking to that great debt that God's holy law held against them that Jesus had paid all that debt. He had lived the life they were trying to live and He had, died the death they were looking for. And now He demanded the prisoner taken out of the pit wherein there was no water.

And now came another great trouble on me at home; my wife, who was no professor at all, bitterly opposed me and would talk to me of my duty to her and the children, all of which I saw and felt to be true. But, Oh, what could I do? I felt like I was tied by the door in a place where two ways met — I knew my family was dependent on my daily labor for a living and I had promised before God and man to care for them. My wife was telling me of the same. But Isaiah says: "For man's sake will I not hold my peace and for Jerusalem's sake I will not rest until the righteousness thereof go forth as brightness and the salvation thereof as a lamp that burneth." — Isa 62:1. I did not want to preach, never designed to preach. I only wanted to tell all that mourned, in all their afflictions, He was afflicted and the angel of His presence saved them in His love and in His pity He redeemed them and He bore them and carried them all the days of old.

I can't write to make any understand, only those who have been through the same furnace of afflictions. I lived on in this way until the church decided I had a gift and liberated me to use it. This was a great shock to me. I now decided to quit and stay at home with my family. But to quit, I would have to go where I was not known. So I gathered all our little effects together and called for my church letter and moved to Paulding County Ga. This was in 1839. It was a new country. I never did intend to let any one know anything about my religious notions; I kept my secret until a man came out looking for a lot of land. He knew I was out there somewhere and inquired for me, describing me as a licensed preacher — This gave my secret away. I now acknowledged to all and offered my letter to Cool Springs Church, 1840. This church belonged to the Euharlee Association and soon called for my ordination. I refused to submit and continued to rebel until I came down so low that I was not worth one dollar that I could call my own. I saw nothing but starvation before me.

In 1843, I agreed to submit myself to the Lord and to the church. They called for a presbytery and failed to get one. They made another call and failed again. I told the brethren they surely could see they were wrong. I never have forgotten the look Brother George Lawrence gave me when he said: "We think we know what we are about."

The third call was September 1843, Saturday night of the association, Presbytery: Elders Henry Haynes, Moses H. Denman, Allen Penson and J. Magers. My wife said but little about it until I had agreed to serve the second church. She then said she and the children would have to starve — and I did not see how I could keep them from it.

But to my surprise and astonishment, I soon had a good home of my own and plenty of stock for a small farm and soon had the care of four churches. I have had the care of four every year since and sometimes I have tried to serve five. This year, old as I am, I have agreed to serve four churches. I regret I never kept any record of my work in helping constitute churches, ordaining preachers and deacons, baptizing and marrying people. I helped constitute Piney Wood Church, Harralson County, Ga., June 1st, 1844, and have been their pastor from then until now. I have served Holly Springs Church from 1848, until now except part of two years. I was chosen Moderator of New Hope Primitive Baptist Association, 1855, and have served in that capacity from then until now. My first wife died, 1870. In 1871, I was married to Miss Mary Aim White. She was a member of Piney Wood Church at that time. She has truly been a helpmeet indeed to me in my old age. Ever ready to help me off to my meetings, going with me when she could.

Now, my dear brethren and sisters, you have so often requested this sketch, for only a sketch it is, to be published, pray for your poor old servant; for I do feel so alone and so weak and the foe is so mighty I cannot guard myself. Finally, brethren and sisters farewell; don't forget the assembling of yourselves together; comfort one another; live in peace. My prayer is that the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God may dwell with you.

R. T. Speight,
Breman, Ga., Oct. 5, 1894

— Copied from The Gospel Messenger, 1895, page 269, For The Poor, July, 1961, page 187

AN ALL POWERFUL GOD!

AN ALL POWERFUL GOD! (1952, January)

How little does the world know of that intercourse which is carried on between heaven and earth! What petitions are presented, and what answers are received
at the throne of grace! 0 the blessed privilege of prayer ! 0 the wonderful love, care, attention, and power of our great Shepherd! His eye is always upon
us. When our spirits are almost overwhelmed within us, He knoweth our path. His ear is always opened to us.

Let who will overlook and disappoint us, He will not! When means and hope rail, when everything looks dark to us, when we seem shut-up on every side, when we are brought to the lowest ebb, still our help is in the name a the Lord, who made heaven and earth. To him all things are possible; and before the exertion of His power, when He is pleased to arise and work, all hindrances give way and vanish like a mist before the sun.

He can so manifest Himself to the soul, and cause His goodness to pass before it, that the affliction shall be the golden hour of the greatest consolation. He is the fountain of life, strength, grace and comfort, and of His fullness His children receive according to their occasions. We have, therefore, cause for continual praise.

The Lord has given us to know His name, as a resting-place and a hiding-place, a sun and a shield. Circumstances and creatures may change, but He will be an unchangeable Friend! The way is rough, but He trod it before us; is now with us in every step we take ; and every step brings us nearer to our heavenly home. Our present strength is small, and, without a fresh supply, would be quickly exhausted; but He has engaged to renew it from day to day. He will soon appear to wipe all tears from our eyes; and then we shall appear with Him in glory!—John Newton, in Zions Advocate, October, 1898.

---------**********----------

Come and hear, all ye that fear God, and I will declare what He hath done for my soul. I cried unto him with my mouth, and He was extolled with my tongue. Verily God hath heard me; He hath attended to the voice of my prayer. Blessed be God, which hath not turned away my prayer, nor His mercy from me.—Ps 67:7,

AN ALTAR RAISED

AN ALTAR RAISED

From Zion's Advocate, March 6, 1858

L. M.

Lord, while thy people dwell below,
And traverse this sad world of woe,
And pitch their tents, may praise and prayer
From hearts devout be offered there.

In fruitful plain, or desert land,
While led by thine unerring hand,
Thou wilt accept the sacrifice
That from the pilgrim hearts arise.

Now, Lord, we, our father's were,
Are "strangers and sojourners here,"
May we like them by thee be blest,
Till gathered to the promis'd rest.
                                     PETER LONG.

An Angel of Mercy

An Angel of Mercy (1997, March - April)

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

Fredericksburg, Va., on the Rappahannock River, is 60 miles north of Richmond, and about 55 miles southwest of Washington, D. C. During the Civil War the battle of Fredericksburg took place December 13th and 14th, 1862, between 122,000 Federals under General A. L. Burnside, and 79,000 Confederates under General R. E. Lee. The Federals lost 12,650 men, and the Confederates 4,200. At the close of the first bloody day, as we are told, hundreds of the Federal wounded were left lying on the ground and on the road ascending Marye's Heights. All night and most of the next day the open space was swept by artillery from both the opposing lines, and on one could or would venture to the suffers' relief. All that time their agonized cries went up for "water! water!" But there was no one to help them, and the roar of the guns mocked their distress. At length. however, one brave fellow, behind the stone rampart where the Southern forces lay, gave way to his sympathy, and rose superior to his love for life. He was a sergeant in a South Carolina regiment, and his name was Richard Kirkland. In the afternoon he hurried to General Kershaw's headquarters, and, finding his commanding officer, said to him excitedly: "General, I can't stand this any longer. Those poor souls out there have been praying and crying all night and all day, it's more than I can bear. I ask your permission to go and give them water." "But, do you know," said the general, admiring the soldier's noble spirit, "do you know that as soon as you show yourself to the enemy you will be shot?" "Yes, sir; I know it; but to carry a little comfort to those poor dying men, I'm willing to run the risk." The general hesitated for a moment, but finally said, with emotion: "Kirkland, it's sending you to your death, but I can not oppose such a motive as yours. For the sake of it I hope God will protect you. Go."

Furnished with a supply of water the brave sergeant immediately stepped over the wall, and applied himself to his work of Christ-like mercy. Wondering eyes looked on as he knelt by the nearest sufferer, and, tenderly raising his head, held the cooling cup to his parched lips. Before his first service of love was finished, every one in the Federal lines understood the mission of the noble soldier in gray, and not a man fired a shot. He stayed there on that terrible field an hour and a half, giving drink to the thirsty and dying, straightening their cramped and mangled limbs, pillowing their heads on their knapsacks, and spreading their army coats and blankets over them, as a mother would cover her child; and all the while he was so engaged, until his gentle ministry was finished, the fusillade of death was hushed.

— Sylvester Hassell
—Copied from Gospel Messenger, 1911 and reprinted in For The Poor, July, 1961.

AN APPEAL TO THE SPIRIT

AN APPEAL TO THE SPIRIT (1947, March)

How helpless guilty nature
Unconscious of its load;
The heart unchanged can never rise
To happiness and God.

'Tis thine the passions to recall,
And upwards bid them rise,
And make the scales of error fall
From reason's darkened eyes.

To chase the shades of death away,
And bid the sinner live;
A beam of heaven, a vital ray,
'Tis thine alone to give.

O change these wretched hearts of ours
And give them life divine;
Then shall our passions and our powers,
Almighty Lord, be thine.

—Wilson Thompson Hymn Book, No. 365

AN EVERLASTING TASK FOR ARMINIANS

AN EVERLASTING TASK FOR ARMINIANS

OR A LETTER TO REV. EDWARD SMYTH, FORMERLY OF
TRINITY COLLEGE, DUBLIN, BY WILLIAM GADSBY

PREFACE

Containing a few hints to them that are sanctified by God the Father, preserved in Christ Jesus, and called

BELOVED: In reading the Word of God, it becomes us ever to remember that the sacred pages are a transcript of the perfections of the infinite God, who is the "high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy" (Isa 57:15); a Being whose omniscient, eye beholds the end from the beginning, who worketh all things after the counsel of His own will, and will do His pleasure.—Isa 46:10; Ephesians 11. Who "bringeth the counsel of the heathen to nought: 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."—Ps 33:10-11; Pr 14:21. Whatever change takes place in our minds, the eternal God knows no change. "He is in one mind, and who can turn Him? and what His soul desireth, even that He doeth."—Job 23:13.

Were our minds at all times properly affected with the majestic nature of the divine Author of the Scriptures, methinks we should tremble at the thought of explaining any part of them in a way that represents the Deity as a mutable, disappointed being; and if a passage comes under our notice that our finite minds cannot comprehend, let our mouths be shut up in everlasting silence, rather than employ them so improperly as to attempt to tarnish the refulgent glory of the immutable God, and with the greatest resignation let us acknowledge that we are not able to comprehend the meaning of such a passage. And though the self-sufficient Pharisee may laugh us to scorn, it is a small matter for us to be accounted poor, little, insignificant fools, not worthy the notice of the great and honorable, whose minds are too ambitious to submit to the sovereign sway of the mighty God. Let them consider us as below their notice, and pour the utmost contempt imaginable upon us; what will it all avail? At most it is. but a puff of empty air. We have to do with a Being whose judgments are unsearchable, and His ways past finding out. *And shall we be employed in holding Him up to view as a being not able to accomplish the good pleasure of His will, but constantly living under the painful necessity of seeing His eternal will frustrated, and His purposes overturned? God forbid! May our name and reputation sink in everlasting obscurity, rather than be immortalized upon principles so glaringly blasphemous!

I have often trembled at the awful dexterity of some men, whose minds are set upon exalting self. When they bring forward a passage of Scripture that purely relates to the Jews as a nation, and has to do with the conditional blessings and cursings relating to them as a nation, as in the eighteenth chapter of Ezekiel, they can see as clear as noonday that such Scriptures contain things of an eternal nature, and are an address to all the human race. But if, on the other hand, they bring forth a passage that speaks of the absolute sovereignty of Jehovah, as in the ninth chapter to the Romans, these eagle-eyed gentlemen can see, without the least obscurity,. that the election and rejection spoken of there are only national. Tell them that God has chosen His people in Christ Jesus "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" (Eph 1:4-5), and they will roundly assert that this only means the apostles, and that even they were not predestinated unto eternal life, but only to the apostleship. Strange as this may seem to a mind illuminated by the Holy Ghost, it is a real truth; and an Arminian preacher, who called on me not more than a month ago, insisted upon it that the above was the real sense of the Holy Ghost. Lord, what is man? "Surely your turning of things upside down shall be esteemed as the potter's clay; for shall the work say of him that made it, He made me not? or shall the thing framed say of him that framed it, He had no understanding?"—Isa 29:16.

That mind must be awfully bewildered, and that conscience dreadfully hardened, that can presumptuously dare to dictate to the Almighty, and blasphemously arraign Him at its puny bar, and condemn Him as a monster, not to be equaled by Satan, the father of lies, if He dare to deal out His immortal blessings in a sovereign way. Yet such men there are, and whoever reads Mr. Smyth's performance, entitled, "Paul against Calvin," may soon be satisfied of the truth of the assertion. Well may it be said, "Vain man fain would be wise, but he is born like a wild ass's colt." A man whose eyes are too tender to bear the light of a candle, can never be considered a proper person to look stedfastly at the full blaze of the sun. No; an attempt to do it would almost put out his sight. "The heavens declare the glory of God, and the firmament sheweth His handywork. Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge."—Ps 19:1-2. All God's work, praise Him, and His perfections shine in all His works of creation and providence; nevertheless these things give but a dim light, compared with the blaze of glory which shines forth in the salvation of His church.

Here the whole Diety is known,
Nor dares a creature guess
Which of the glories brightest shine,
The justice or the grace.

"But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned."-1Co 2:14. Such is fallen man, that the wisest philosopher in the world is not in possession of rational light sufficient to comprehend and look steadfastly at the glory of God, as shining in the works of nature; his sight is too tender to bear the light. Then, what madness it must be to suppose that the natural man is able to gaze upon the full blaze of God's immortal glory, as shining forth in the redemption of His church. The very moment carnal reason attempts to look upon this immortally brilliant light, its sight is so dazzled and confounded that it is obliged to shut itself up in the dark chamber of imagery (Eze 8:12). "Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God, through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart."—Eph 4:18. And having seated itself in this dark chamber, it takes a view of the supposed glory it contains, and forms its views of Deity according thereunto; the result of which is, it supposeth itself almost, if not altogether, capable of comprehending the eternal God, and with unblushing confidence declareth that if He has not given the whole human race a chance of obtaining eternal felicity, He is an unjust tyrant; nay, it has fortified the minds of some of its pupils with sufficient courage to declare that if the doctrine of unconditional election be true, they had rather dwell with devils in hell, than with such a God in heaven.

But, beloved, ye have not so learned Christ; for "God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath.shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ."-2Co 4:6. I am persuaded that just in proportion as God unveils His matchless glory to poor souls, so they will sink to nothing at His feet, and to glorify Him will be the height of their ambition. With Paul they will exclaim, "God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world."—Ga 6:14.

Real Christian charity is swallowed up in the will of God, nor is it in its nature to extend itself one step beyond, nor desire one thing contrary to the glory of Jehovah. All the charity that we possess beyond this may be properly called fleshly charity. May God the Spirit lead you and me more and more into the deep things of God, that we "may be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and lengthy and depth, and height; and to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that we may be filled with all the fulness of God."—Eph 3:18-19. Here we shall find an immeasurable field of immortal felicity and delight—a field that abounds with joys the most substantial, with superlative beauties, and brightness the most transcendent, glories too refulgent for carnal reason to gaze upon.

Mortals below can only trace and enjoy these beauties by that faith which is the substance of things hoped for, and the evidence of things not seen; but as this faith is drawn forth into exercise, we gaze, we wonder, we adore, we admire, and are ready to say, "Here let us stay and gaze till we die." In this soul-transforming, sin-subduing, world-overcoming, Satan-vanquishing, fear-dispelling, heart-ravishing, mind-satisfying, God-glorifying field, rebellion against God's sovereign decrees can never stand. Should it dare to breathe or lisp one word, all the powers of the better part will be up in arms against it, and fired with immortal love to the God of gods, would treat it as an implacable enemy to their God and King. 0! the sweetness, the power and the glory of that precious truth, "But we all, with open face, beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image, from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord."-2Co 3:18. Just in proportion as the soul enjoys these truths, so it sits loose to the world, with all its delusive charms and terrific frown; but as faith loses sight of these sublime subjects, so unbelief, guilt, fear, wrath and rebellion prevail, and we soon find the needs be of standing fast in the liberty wherewith Christ has made us free; and we are all well convinced that we can only stand while God is graciously pleased to hold us up, and are therefore brought to cry, "Hold thou me up, and I shall be safe."—Ps 119:117.

I shall make no apology for publishing the following epistle, more than what it contains in itself. I am not so vain as to expect to be applauded for my pain, but into the hands of a covenant God I commit it. That God may bless it to His children, that grace, mercy and peace may be with you all, and that God may make and keep you steadfast in the truth as it is in Jesus is the prayer of

Yours to serve in the gospel of God,
WILLIAM GADSBY.

NOTE--The cause of the appearance of this work was a controversy which took place between Mr. Smyth, of St. Luke's Church, and Mr. Roby, then minister of the Independent Chapel, Grosvenor Street, Manchester. Mr. Smyth wrote a work entitled, "Paul against Calvin," to which Mr. Roby replied, and this work was issued as a further task for Mr. Smyth. The only answer that Mr. S. wrote was, that "as Mr. G. had compared himself to a country rustic, he [Mr. S.] would pass him by as a good dog would in a farm-yard."

AN EXPERIENCE

AN EXPERIENCE (1949, May)

Copied from THE PRIMITIVE BAPTIST, July 15, 1886.

Mr. S. Murphree:

Dear Brother—I was somewhat surprised to receive a letter from an unknown friend, asking for my experience. I have had several Baptists to ask- me to write my experience for publication, but it always seemed so little I never could do it. I don't see why you did not call on someone else. There are so many sisters who could do so much better in writing, and give so much better experience, and that would be of so much more comfort to you and to the other saints than what I might write.

But as you have called on me, and if the Lord will help me, I will try to tell you some of my troubles. The first time I ever saw myself a sinner was while I was standing by the bedside of my dieing mother. Someone was talking to her about dieing. She said, "If it is the Lord's will, I am willing to die ; though I have three little children here who have no father, and they are not old enough to take care of themselves, but I leave them in the hands of the Lord. He will take care of them." The thought struck me that she would leave them all in the hands of the Lord but one—me ; she would leave me in the hands of the Devil. It seemed to me before this, that I could never stand to see my mother die, but now I felt I could never bear it. I knew she was going to a better world than this, and I never would see her any more in this world, nor, without a change, in the world to come ; and the thought of death made me shudder.

My troubles increased daily. Sometimes I would go in company with a crowd of girls and would forget, to some extent, my troubles; but when I went home, there would be the lonely room my mother occupied, and as soon as my eyes would fall on that room it seemed like my heart would burst. I could not help saying, "Lord, have mercy on me a poor orphan, and the worst of sinners:" It did seem to me that I had the hardest time of any poor little girl living. I could see other girls who had father, mother, brothers and homes, but I was a poor cast off—I had neither, not even a home. This passage of Scripture was a comfort to me then, "The Son of man bath not where to lay His head." I had five sisters older than myself. They were all school teachers; but my mother had been sick so long—nearly two years—and our expenses were so great, and everything so high (it was in 1865), they were $800.00 in debt when my mother died. They talked about what to do—house rent to pay, and the family to feed and clothe. They decided it would be best to break-up and get homes for the three smallest children and they get schools and make all they could and get out of debt, which they did in one year, and then went to housekeeping again. Now this was another great trial. We were all to be separated. I had just given up one of the best mothers on earth; and now I had to be taken away from all that was near and dear to me, and go and live among strangers. The family I was to live with I had never seen until they came after me. They carried me five miles from home, in the country, to the lonesomest place I had ever seen. I got there one Sunday evening at nearly dark. It was dark to me, the darkest night I ever saw. I just could not see how I could live till morning. There were no children there which made it worse, I thought. I tried to be cheerful and to keep anyone from seeing there was anything the matter with me. I know they could not help seeing it sometimes. There would be days at a time my eyes would be red from weeping, and I could not keep from saying all the time, in my mind, Oh, Lord, have mercy on me, the poorest of sinners.

Well do I remember the times when I would steal off to the orchard, nearly a quarter of a mile from the house, through the Iron weeds that were 'higher than my head, to the largest stump I ever saw, and there would fall on my knees and beg for mercy. Sometimes I would forget myself and stay so long, I would run all the way back brushing away the tears to keep anyone from suspecting what I had been doing.

Dear Brother, only imagine a poor little orphan girl running so far through the weeds, higher than her head, to try to find the Lord! Sometimes I would think if I could just see some of my sisters, or even the school girls whom I had been going to school with, it would be some comfort to me. And then again, I would want to be by myself all the time and just beg and cry all the time for mercy.

I have heard Arminians say that sinners could resist the Spirit, and it would take its everlasting flight and leave the sinner to go to everlasting punishment. I don't believe one word of it. I can't believe it, for I tried as hard to get clear of that load of guilt and condemnation as I could. I tried with all my power and it did me no good ; but I seemed to get worse every day. After awhile the lady I was living with became cross to me, and kept getting worse until it seemed I could bear it no longer. I would wonder, at times, what more will I have to bear ? I got so I could not eat or sleep, hardly. I wrote to one of my sisters and told her the lady had gone to spend the day from home, and left me alone with two negro men. If a poor girl ever prayed on earth to the Lord to have mercy and take care of her, I did that day. He did take care of me. Thanks to His great and good name! He always takes care of the poor orphans, and that at the very time they feel that they have not a friend on earth or in heaven. The One who has promised to be a Father to the orphan, is always with them, but they don't know it. My sister took me from there and sent me to Columbus, Ky., where she boarded me and sent me to school three months, and then got me a home with a good family near Milburn, Ky., my old home,

I was as well satisfied there as I could be anywhere away from my sisters. My youngest sister lived in sight of me which gave me some pleasure; but still this burden grew heavier every day. I became so troubled I did not know what to do. During my stay there the Campbellites were carrying on a revival. I attended their meeting every night. They did not preach in the day, but baptized those who joined at night. There were several of my old school mates joining this denomination and seemed so well satisfied. They talked to me until I concluded to join them too. The truth about it is, I wanted relief and the girls told me that they had a change and were satisfied. I didn't know anything about their doctrine, and didn't think anything about it. All on earth I wanted was to get clear of this great burden that was pressing me nearly to death. I thought if I didn't get relief some way I would surely die. So, one night I went up and told them a positive lie. I told them I believed that Jesus Christ was the Son of God, when I did not. For the Bible plainly says, "He that believeth that Jesus is the Christ, is born of God," and I knew that T was not. It makes me shudder to think of this now, though I did not know any better then. They baptized me and I felt no change—only worse, for my troubles were greater, if possible, than ever before. I thought every body believed I was a Christian I was the worse sinner on earth. I read my Bible and prayed as they told me to do, but it did me no good. My Bible only condemned me. The promises were to everyone else but me. In a few weeks the Methodists commenced a protracted meeting there, and the family I lived with were members of that church. I went with them to church all the time, and took a seat at the back of the house and never went near. The night before the meeting broke was one of the darkest nights I ever saw. I felt like I would never see another night. I got afraid to pray, and yet could not help praying to save my life; the very breathings of my soul was prayer for a poor, lost and ruined sinner. I was afraid to go to sleep, afraid I would awake in an awful hell, and be forever banished from the presence of the Lord. Sometime during the night I fell asleep. When I awoke the sun was shining bright, but my troubles were as great as ever. That day several Methodists came there for dinner. I was in so much trouble I could not talk to anyone, or eat any dinner. Several times during the evening they would say something about the Campbellites, and one of them spoke to the others and told them to hush talking that way, that I looked badly and had eaten no dinner, and believed that it was because they were talking as they were—so one of them told me afterwards. But little did I care for that, for I was in so much trouble I did not pay any attention to anything they said. I did not stay with them much. During the evening I went to the house my little sister was living at. My oldest sister was there on a visit when I got there, but the family was gone from home and my sister was there alone, of which I was very glad.

I never had mentioned my grief to anyone on earth before. But there I told her all about how much trouble I had been in for so long, and that I had tried everything I knew to get relief and I got worse all the time instead of getting better. Then I told her that I had been thinking all day of going to the mourner's bench that night. I asked her if there would be anything wrong in my going up to be prayed for. You see I was still clinging to something I could do myself. She told me to go if I wanted to, and that I could join the Methodists if I wanted to do so. She was a Missionary.

I went to church that night with my head bowed down. I felt like I was sinking deeper and deeper in darkness, until I could not imagine where I would land. But I felt like if I tried the prayers of these Christian people and that did me no good, then I would be bound to give up. So after they got through preaching they called for mourners, and I went. The preacher was there who baptized me—someone told me afterwards that he left the house as quick as he could get out. I was not there long till the preachers all found out that I was a Campbellite, and they took great interest in me ; someone of them were talking to me all the time, nearly. It seemed to me the more they said to me the worse I felt. They were going to bring the meeting to a close, and they were talking about leaving the poor mourners. I just gave up and called for my sister, and told her aloud that I had tried everything, and there was no mercy for me. And here was a time I can't tell what passed, but when I came to myself I was praising the Lord. I know I never saw as bright a light in all my life as was in that house that night. Everybody's face shone bright and everybody looked lovely. I felt like I loved everybody on earth. I verily believed I never would see any more trouble. The moon shone brighter to me that night, as I went home, than I had ever seen it—just the night before was the darkest night I had ever seen.

The next morning I asked the man I was living with if he cared if I took one of the horses and carried one of the little boys behind me to see one of my sisters who was teaching school three miles from there. He said I could go if I wanted to. I started and got half way. The thought came to me that I was deceived, and was going to deceive my sister. I turned around and started back home, praying to the Lord, if I was deceived to undeceive me ; and this has been my prayer ever since.

Now, my dear brother, this is all the hope I have. It is so imperfect and so little it makes me feel bad to send it, but it is all I can tell. And I will just say this much to you and all who read this, if it is any comfort to any one and if any one thinks it is a Christian experience, I will try in my weakness, to tell, through THE PRIMITIVE BAPTIST, why I am an Old Baptist. If there is anyone who would like for me to write a short piece on this subject, they can drop me a card. Now, my brother, I will ask you to write out the reason of your hope for THE PRIMITIVE BAPTIST.

My love to all the household of faith. Your little sister, if a sister at all.

FLORA CAYCE

Flora Magdalene was born December 3, 1851; the daughter of Elisha and Almeda Beasley. She was of a family of eight girls. Only one of them is now living—Mrs. Allie Spicer, of Clinton, Ky. Mother was married to Elder S. F. Cayce January 11, 1870. Ten children were born to them, six of whom died in infancy. One daughter (Mrs. Turner) died in 1911. Three of the children are yet living—O. F. Cayce, Mrs. Rachel Miller Ragan and the writer.

Father engaged in the practice of medicine for a number of years, but on the first of the year 1886 he gave up a lucrative practice and began the publication of THE PRIMITIVE BAPTIST; and devoted his whole time to this paper and to the ministry. Mother was a preacher's wife. She shared all the toils and burdens and conflicts of an Old Baptist minister and the privations of a wife without murmur or a complaint. Then she shared the burdens with her boy, and encouraged us all that a mother could, to go on in the service of the Master. She has stood by us and encouraged us in ways we do not feel like reciting here in years gone by. She continued to encourage us all that a dear mother could to her last days. We bless God's name for the memory of a dear and precious mother. We did love to say, "Mother, I love you," and then we loved to try to show it by our act. We do not regret a single thing we have ever done for mother's comfort and peace. We only regret that we did not do more.

Mother united with the Primitive Baptist Church at Rock Spring, near Crutchfield, Ky., about the year 1872 or 1873—we do not have the exact year—and was baptized by Elder W. A. Bowden. She, was a faithful and true and devoted Primitive Baptist. She loved the glorious doctrine of salvation by the free and sovereign and reigning grace of God. Many times we have heard her shout aloud the praises of her glorious Redeemer while sitting under the sound of the glad tidings of salvation by the grace of God.

Mother wrote her Christian experience which was published in THE PRIMITIVE BAPTIST of July 15, 1886. It was written to dear old Brother S. Murphree, of Only, Tenn., at his request and published in the paper. Near close of the article she said that she might write later and tell why she was an Old Baptist. She never did write that article. We wish she had written it. We publish the experience elsewhere in the paper, and trust it may be a comfort to our readers. Not many of our present readers were taking the paper then.

We miss our dear mother, and realize that we shall continue to miss her. We shall miss her loving counsel and advice, and her tender words of encouragement. We shall miss her fervent prayers. Many times in our younger days we could feel the tender touch of mother's loving hands, when she had come to see if all was well with her boy, when she thought we were asleep : and then she would often go down on her knees by our bedside and send up a fervent prayer to the throne of grace in behalf of her boy. We remember it now with tender emotion. The true mother is the child's best friend. No one knows how to sympathize with us, only those who have had the same experience. We feel so poor and helpless and dependent. Yet we trust that we feel reconciled to the Lord's providential dealings with us. We feel to trust our all with Him. He is our only hope. Our hope in Him has been sweet throughout all the years of trouble and distress which we have passed and endured, and is sweeter as the years swiftly pass. We have the abiding and blessed hope that we shall meet mother and father again, before many more years, where we shall join them in anthems of eternal praise to heaven's King—our blessed and adorable Redeemer. We feel that we need the prayers of the Lord's dear people. We need the Lord's preserving care and sustaining grace. Please pray for us.—C. H. Cayce.

(From THE PRIMITIVE BAPTIST, Nov. 1, 1924)

AN EXPERIENCE (1952, April)

AN EXPERIENCE (1952, April)

A MOTHER'S LETTER TO HER DAUGHTER-IN-LAW

My dearest Amy,—I was very pleased to receive your kind letter, and as you ask me to answer it, I feel I should like to give you a little of my experience. I think this is the best way to know each other, by comparing notes.

Perhaps you know I was brought up in the Church of England till about fifteen years old—a stranger to God, knowing only the formal religion of going to church on Sunday, loving the world and the pleasures of the world; though sometimes I know I felt to envy even the poor sheep, because it had no soul to be lost, and I felt I needed something I did not possess.

But in the providence of God, I was placed at a school in Ealing, where I met with a schoolfellow who used to talk to me about God's love, and persuaded me to go to Salem Chapel, Hayes. I went and heard the Gospel. This seemed so different from the Church sermons. I felt I could go there no more. The last time I went I remember saying: "They have taken away my Lord, and I know not where they have laid Him."

At seventeen, I went to another school at Hanwell. They were Dissenters. Some of the girls used to have prayer meetings among themselves, and wanted me to join. I did, but never opened my mouth, I felt they knew something which I did not. I used often to say to myself : "Oh I wish I was a Christian!" A teacher often talked to me, but I hid my feelings from her, till one Lord's day I shall never forget. We went to Brentford Chapel, where a stranger preached. His sermon was on the Judgment Day. My soul was melted, my tears flowed, and I was brought to my knees, no more to use the form of prayer I had been accustomed to all my life. No, judgment was before me, and I needed mercy ; and I believe God did hear me, and whispered to my heart: "Thy sins are forgiven thee, go in peace." Here was the meeting place between my soul and God. Here I learnt the precious lesson: "I am the way, the truth, and the life." My soul was at liberty; and although I have had many ups and downs, I have never entirely lost the sweetness of that season.

Now this is all about self, but I want you to know if my words are strange to you, or if you have traveled something of this way. If you can understand me, I think we may be of great use to each other. But I won't continue now any further of my experience, as I do not want to be burdensome to you. I have never before told this much to anyone.

I can say, one great reason I have for not liking the noise and excitement of many is because I think we have a perfect pattern in God's Word, and He was always portrayed as quietly going about doing His Father's business. lie upbraided the Pharisees because they wanted to make a show of their religion (Malt. xxiii.)—even called them hypocrites. Yet how zealous they appeared, but the Master says: "To be seen of men." The poor woman who felt her need, and only touched His garment, heard His dear voice saying: "Daughter, be of good comfort; thy faith hath made thee whole."

Peter says (1Pe 3:15), the Christians man should always be ready to give an answer to every man who asks the reason of the hope in him. Then can we test our call by grace here? Is our hope for eternity founded on the finished work of the dear Redeemer? If so, we need not the excitement of surroundings to keep the lamp burning; for God the Holy Ghost, having once begun the work, will carry it on (Php 1:6). Oh, darling, if we could hear more of what God has done for us, instead of what we are doing for God, I think it would be well! The Creator instead of the creature.

If we are His, we shall gladly render our very best services to Him; not to obtain life, but because we have it already, and because He has done such great things for us. If I love you, dear child, I feel I want to have the assurance that you have experienced the new birth; and although you may not be able to tell me when the dear Lord opened your eyes (as I believe many cannot), yet if the work of grace is in the soul, I know it will cause conviction of sin, and a hungering and thirsting after righteousness, and I believe no one living can ever perish crying for mercy. No, it is the weary heavy-ladened to whom Jesus speaks, when He says,: "Come unto Me ;" and to these, and these only, is the message sent. Oh, that the love of Jesus would shine more and more in my soul, is my constant desire!

I would live more to His praise, but ofttimes I feel like Paul expresses it: "When I would do good, evil is present with me." But here, we are told, the warfare will continue. Soon the cross will be exchanged for the crown, the sword for the palm of victory. Then no more Satan to destroy our peace, but for ever with Him, whom we only see by faith, but' then face to face, for ever with the Lord.

With fondest love, in true affection,

Believe me, ever yours lovingly,
M. A. WILD.
Longford, England, March, 1902.
—Friendly Companion, March, 1952.

AN EXPERIENCE OF GRACE

AN EXPERIENCE OF GRACE (1951, April)

I was born December 4th, 1896. My parents were J. Thomas Perkins, son of Mr. and Mrs. S. J. Perkins, and Mattie Vann, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. W. M. Vann. To this union were born two children, my brother, Vann Perkins; and myself. When I was only fourteen days old God saw fit to call my mother home and leave behind a heart-broken husband and two helpless children. It was her request that I be named for her should she not get well. So, practically, all through life I've been without a mother. But the sweet, comforting words spoken to me from time ,to time concerning her life as a Christian, her loving disposition and high ideals, have been an inspiration to me. Immediately after her death my father's parents came to live with us so that Grandmother could, to the best of her ability, fill my mother's place in the care of brother and I; and through careful nursing I was soon a healthy, growing baby, although not expected to live at the time of my mother's death. When seven years of age death again entered our home and removed from us our other parent. My father was not a member of any church, but many times through life I've heard my Grandmother tell of his experience of grace that he had related to her. It was a great comfort to her and is such a consolation to me. I don't know why he didn't unite with the church. In fact I don't know anything concerning his views of the Scriptures. His experience and the life he lived are sufficient evidence, though, for me to feel that he was one of God's children and I have a sweet hope of meeting those two loved ones in the beautiful home over there, who were taken from us so early in life.

After my father's death my grandparents returned to their original home and my brother and I went to Water Valley, Mississippi, to live with my mother's people, so that we would be in a good school. Very soon I began to grieve for the grandmother who was the only mother I had ever known. So, when she came up on a visit I began at once to beg to go home with her. All the persuasion to be thought of was used to keep me there, but in the end I won, and went home with her to live. All thought it was unwise, as I wouldn't have the educational advantages I had there, but to this day I am glad I went, for I know she wanted me with all her heart. She left her home and shouldered the responsibility when it was too great for anyone else ; and, if there were any pleasure to be derived from having me, she it was who deserved it. Sure, she petted and spoiled me, and I am sure I needed many whippings I didn't get. But, instead of having them to remember, I recall the many times she let me sit on her lap and listen to stories of her childhood that, to me, were so very interesting, also the story of the Creation, the Saviour's birth and many other things of interest.

Grandmother was a devout Methodist, and as far back as I can remember, she attended her meetings regularly when possible for her to do so. I always went with her and so often wished I could be like her. She was simply my ideal. She was not only a "Sunday" Christian, but the love of God was manifested in her life every day ; and in her I recognised something I was minus of. In her Bible she had put a little tract entitled, "Where will you spend Eternity?" This little tract began to trouble me quite a bit, although I didn't tell her, but every time I looked at it, it worried me more. I was getting not so far from the age I had always been taught was the "age of accountability" and I began to wonder how I was going to "go about" being saved. So about this time, I was somewhat overgrown for my age, the preachers began to take notice of me and wanted to know if I didn't want to be saved. After repeatedly answering in the negative each time as to whether or not I was a Christian—well, being a child of fairly normal intelligence, of course I wanted to be saved. Who wouldn't? But I knew having been pulled up to the front, having been cried and prayed over on numerous occasions, had in no way caused any change in me, and I. was growing sick and tired of it.

"Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved" was constantly repeated to me. Well, as being of the opinion that Christ existed—sure, I believed that. Why shouldn't I, when from the time I was old enough I had been told of the Saviour? But, as for having a personal relationship with Him, I didn't have, and never could have had by any work of my own. Soon after this I left home to board in my Uncle's home and attend a different school. I seemed to quit worrying so much about myself. I had, perhaps, decided: Maybe, I was not so bad anyway, and I had simply grown tired of trying to shun people who were at that time trying to get me to join the church. I did not have judgment enough to know all that had been done for me didn't make me feel I was ready to be baptised. I relate all this to show you how church workers can upset the lives of children to the extent they want to quit going to church, and this was the case with me. All this happened around the age of twelve.

When I was fifteen, or a while before, God, in His very own time, saw fit to make me see myself as I was—a lost sinner in His sight. It wasn't the fear of where I should spend Eternity that was uppermost in my mind, but a sincere desire to know Him in the forgiveness of my sins. A few days after I hag spent a sleepless night trying to pray, I was riding along in the buggy with my aunt, through the Spearman Grove, under the shade of those big trees is where I felt I was in the presence of the true and living God. My heavy burden was gone, and I just can't describe how I did feel. When I got to my aunt's home, I slipped her Bible; went where I could be alone; and not until then did I know what it was to believe in Christ. Just who is able to describe this newly found faith and personal relationship? Oh, yes, sometimes when trials and troubles overcome my strength I begin to wonder if I ever had a hope. I wonder if I could be mistaken. But, when I go too far with such thoughts, my thoughts go back to that glorious morning that I was so happy when I felt His quickening power. I joined the Missionary Baptist Church. It wasn't that I had sufficient knowledge of the Scripture to know what church I wanted to join, because a child of fourteen does not have, usually ; but, living with relatives who were members of this church, I joined and was baptized by them. I was perfectly satisfied. As I grew older, occasionally, I'd be a little pussled over "conditional salvation," just applying it to my own experience—not pussled enough to make me dissatisfied with my church, but just enough to make me sometimes think about it.

When I was sixteen, I went to Blue Mountain to school, also the year following. I didn't get to be with my grandparents so much more, but they were still as dear to me as ever, and I wrote them regularly. I spent some of my time with my brother, who, at that time, lived with our other grandparents at Starkville. We managed to be together each vacation at one or the other places. When eighteen years of age, I married Carson Edward Womack. Three weeks later my dear, lovable grandmother was called home to live with God. As it is written on her monument: "She died as she lived, trusting in God." It was hard to see her die, but she was so willing and I felt that she had faithfully performed all the responsibilities that had befallen her lot while here. The following year after our marriage our first little girl was born. We named her Marie; two years later, our second little girl, Mary Frances. One year later I experienced a great sorrow, one that I do not like to recall. Had it not been for the same. loving Father that revealed Himself to me years before, I could not have been able to live through it. But, e knows all the sorrows that are too deep to be endured alone, and makes us able to stand them.

In 1922 another calamity came upon my little home that we were enjoying so much. The little girls had a bad siege of whooping cough that demanded all my strength to care for them, added to the responsibilities that I had to assume. All together was too much for my frail constitution, so $ had a complete breakdown with my lungs. When the test for tuberculosis came back positive, imagine how I felt—two little girls to support and a complete breakdown! The only thing to do was to leave them with their grandparents and try to get able to be able to care for them later. I knew I couldn't stay at home any more with no one to care for us and no knowledge whatever of how to treat myself. So when I told them good-bye, to be eight hundred miles away for an indefinite length of time, it was with a very sad heart. I stood the ordeal better than I thought I could, however, and didn't have a complete breakdown until the morning my brother had to leave me to come home. Not a soul did I know and everybody could see me cry if they were sufficiently interested. With the exception of a tiny clothes closet, hardly large enough to turn around in, when I managed to tell him goodbye, I closed thyself in that stuffy little place and there I felt my full dependence upon God. Of course I had, many times before, but it seems to me this is one of the times that I shall always especially remember. Right in that little clothes closet I felt the protecting care of our blessed Lord, and the terrible trial that I was going through was made possible, for by then it seemed to me I had almost reached the limit of my endurance. I spent four months in Southwest Texas, and then came back to Sanatorium, Mississippi, where I spent two years. Although I'd lost one of my lungs practically before 1 knew my condition, my improvement during the two years was remarkable. However, I wasn't in any condition to assume the responsibility of a home with my children: so came to live with my brother and family. Have been with then ten years and expect to remain until God wills otherwise.

About three years ago I began to feel dissatisfied with my church. I began to see from various passages of Scripture that it didn't look quite possible to believe my salvation was conditional. As I said before, I had had such thoughts come to me by my own experience, but, yet, at this time, I didn't study the Bible sufficiently to base my opinion on anything else particularly. Therefore it did not cause me any serious disturbance. Yet, I wasn't willing to accept the doctrine of election, but still I was not satisfied with believing salvation was conditional. The fact that "the carnal mind is enmity against God, not subject to the laws of God and neither can be" caused me to think over the matter seriously. I'd always had my mind made up I'd never believe in the Primitive Baptist doctrine. I just couldn't see how God would be a just God if the doctrine of election were true.. So, having my mind so fixed like that, you can see how such passages of Scripture as Joh 6:37 would jar me. The question would arise in my mind : "How can any outside the number the Father gave the Son come to Him? It seemed to me that every text from which Brother McDonald preached (and at this time I was going to hear him regularly) would open my eyes more. I remember so well the day Joh 3:16 was his text. I just couldn't imagine how he could shatter my views of it. I could relate numbers of times that I was bound to accept the doctrine of election, but I certainly had no intention of it. So when it began to get sweeter to me all the time, I was sure enough distressed over what I was to do. It was a very serious situation with me. I felt I was acting a hypocrite-- my name on one church book, and my whole being in another! I used to sit out there by our church window and think: "Well, I'll always have to be on the outside looking in, figuratively speaking as well as literally."

The subject of baptism began to bother me. If I had been baptized, I felt it sacrilegious to be baptized again. So there I was. Sometimes I got so wrought up over it, I would cry until my pulse rate was terribly rapid. Of course, the result would be a fever. Sometimes I'd try to push it all aside and think: "Well, why so much worry? I couldn't possibly benefit the church any, and besides may never be able to go one time." There just wasn't any rest for me, only temporary. So, I tried to earnestly pray that God would direct me in this step. If it wasn't the thing to do, to settle my mind and not let me think about it so much. I certainly wanted to feel it was Him leading me in this unexpected (path), for indeed it was unexpected when my mind' was fully made up to ask for a home in the Primitive Baptist Church. I no longer felt it was wrong to be baptised, even though it had been very hard for me to understand why I should be. After I did, I wouldn't have even wanted to have been accepted without it, which of course I wouldn't have been.

I will not attempt to describe the sweet peace I experienced after my baptism. I just can't. I can't be a useful member; but, Oh, I do love them all so much and hope I can at least live in a way that they won't regret having taken me in. I can't think my stay here will be so many more years; but I'm so thankful for a sweet home in the little church I love so much. I hope I am thankful for all the blessings bestowed upon me. 'Tis true, Iv'e had many sorrows and have yet, but I'm so thankful I am able to count my blessings! I can't believe I'll have any more sorrows than I can not stand, alone, of course. I do believe that the same blessed Jesus, who lets me feel safe in this house alone, His divine protection will be with mg in my dying hour. For all the sweet friends that have so faithfully stood by me through my sickness, I'm thankful. For my dear brother and family, who have nursed me so far and I'm sure will never fail me, I'm exceedingly grateful. God has been so good to me, so much better than I deserve. He has let me stay according to my request, that, if it were His will, to see my two little girls grown, and they are such a pleasure. 'Tis true my friends and loved ones have given me their flowers while I live; and should there not be so many on my grave, it is all right. Especially, here do I want to mention Brother McDonald. His sermons have meant so much in my life. He has so faithfully overlooked my queer remarks. His many acts of kindness are greatly appreciated. Below are the words to the last little song I composed:

I am traveling toward life's journey's end
Knowing not how long I've got to stay,
But I hope when all my earthly trials are over,
That He'll lead me safely Home above.

CHORUS:
Where I won't have to lie and wonder
Why so much sadness comes my way,
For I feel there in God's lovely Heavenly home
All my tears will be wiped away.

DEDICATION : The Life of Mattie Perkins Womack, written and dedicated to ones I've loved since childhood, Sister and Brother Monroe Barfield.—This was written, possibly, in 1935. Sister Womack died in November, 1948.

Mrs. G. M. Barfield
Water Valley, Miss.

AN INVOCATION

AN INVOCATION (1947, January)

On what has now been said
Thy blessing, Lord, bestow!
The power is thine alone,
To make it spring and grow;
Do thou the gracious harvest raise,
And thou alone shall have the praise.

—Miscellaneous

AN OLD ARTICLE

AN OLD ARTICLE

By request of Elder C. V. Vandiver I am sending a copy of an old letter written by my father, and published in the Gospel Messenger, in 1884, and was republished in The Primitive Baptist of June 27, 1911.

MRS. R. H. WHITE.
Box 523, Pulaski, Tenn.

THE LETTER
DEAR BRETHREN, EDITORS OF THE Gospel Messenger:

Having been requested by the brethren at different times to write something for the Messenger, I have not consented till now, feeling my inability so sensibly. My mind has often been called to the travels of national Israel, which I understand to be a type of the church.

De 33:29, "Happy art thou, 0 Israel: who is like unto thee, 0 people saved by the Lord." This is the language of Moses, the leader of Israel, when he had made an end of blessing them. There are a great many peculiarities about those people. We wish to notice a few of them. First, these people were the descendants of Abraham with whom God made a covenant (Ge 22:17). This covenant was made with Abraham prior to the existence of his descendants. In this covenant He promised to multiply him as the sand upon the seashore and as the stars of heaven, which seems clear to my mind to represent in the figure the covenant of peace entered into between the Father and the Son ere man was created.

However, we are told by inspiration that God spake to Abraham on this wise: that his posterity should go into a strange land and be afflicted four hundred years, at the expiration of which time God would deliver them. According to promise they were brought, and according to the word of the Lord they went into bondage in the land of Egypt.

In the whole narration of the travels of Abraham and his posterity is shown the providence of God in bringing about the fulfillment of the promise. We must bear in mind that in all this catalogue there is not a syllable said about God's thus dealing with any other nation. Well might Moses say, "Happy art thou, 0 Israel: who is like unto thee, 0 people saved by the Lord." God, according to the covenant, at the appointed time visited Israel in Egypt and raised Moses to manhood in spite of the decrees of the king. What is more marvelous than all to the man in nature is he was reared in the house of Pharaoh. Although he was a king and bound and loosed the subjects of his kingdom at his pleasure, but God overruled and thus Moses' life was preserved, representing in the figure the Lord Jesus Christ. Moses having been brought up and taught in all the wisdom of Egypt, the Lord appeared to him in a flame of fire in a bush in the land of Midian, where he had fled through fear of the king. Moses was made to wonder at this miraculous sight, why the bush was not consumed, just as God's servants are till yet. What is our nature more than a poor bramble ready to be hurned? Well do I remember when I could not see how God could remain just and justify such a sinner as I. The Lord having thus revealed Himself to Moses, says to him: "I have heard the groanings of my people; I will send thee to deliver them." Moses, like all God's servants, began to complain of unworthiness. How different are God's servants to the servants of men. Moses complained of a stammering tongue and slowness of speech; but God gave him a spokesman; yes, without that spokesman God's servants would all be blank. But when He puts forth His sheep He goes before them. Moses went under the direction of God just as His servants go today, if His way is made to prosper. Moses, arriving in Egypt, began to perform the many miracles as the Lord directed him; but we find while the Lord had servants performing miracles, there were subjects of the king of darkness endeavoring to do the same. The magicians imitated them in many things just as they do today, but Aaron's rod swallowed them up, and when it came to bringing up those in which there was life they failed. So it is today (spiritually). They imitate God's servants in many things, but when it comes to giving life (spiritually) that is the work of God only. This is the record God has given eternal life, and that life is in His Son, although they are teaching poor, blind human beings that if they will give them money enough they will Christianize the world (give them spiritual life). The world is fuller of such teachers today than it was in the days of Moses. God having displayed His mighty power in Egypt, we see Israel take up their march; not by the way of the Philistines, though that was nearer. God does not lead that way, but He leads them around by the way of the wilderness of the Red Sea. This, I think, brethren, I experimentally realized. I had a nigh way marked out to travel. I expected to bring God under obligation by a few good works that I could perform, but to my great astonishment I found that God did not lead that way. The things I thought to be unto life I found to be unto death; so God leads Israel out with a high hand, the young, the old, the middle-aged; not one is left in Egypt.

Is it a figure? The apostle says it is. If figures do not cover facts they are of no use. We don't understand God to work by uncertainties. Then if figures cover facts will not all Israel spiritually be led out from under the bondage of sin or out of spiritual Egypt? Arminians with all their seducing flatteries must hide out here. We find when they were brought to the Red Sea they could go no farther. They had no power to divide the water; their enemies were pursuing them and the Red Sea was in front. Deplorable state! In agony they cry: "Were there not graves in Egypt that we might have been buried there?" They could see no way to escape death. In that critical moment God manifested His power in dividing the waters. Israel having been brought to a standstill point, the last gleam of hope gone, they were enabled to see the salvation of the Lord, and they passed through on dry land and ascended the banks of deliverance. They could sing a new song now: "Christ, My Righteousness." They had experimentally realized their own inability to deliver themselves, just as God's spiritual Israel, when they have been led by the still waters of His grace to the point where they can go no farther, and they see no way to escape death (eternally) they are experimentally taught that there is no power in themselves to extricate them out of the great vortex of sin; they thus begin to cry: "Oh, that I had died in infancy; then I might have been saved, but, alas, it is too late! I have passed my day of grace; my destiny is sealed. I could not see how God could remain just and justify a wretch like me." In their extremity God appears to their relief, divides the waters of that sea of sin that was red as crimson, and sets the captivated soul at liberty. Like Israel of old they can sing, "Christ, My Righteousness." Arminians, with all their boasted power, have failed in this case and the poor Israelite cries, "Salvation is of the Lord." Like his prototype he believes the Egyptian he has seen today he will see no more; but, oh, how soon the poor creature finds himself in a wilderness. Doubts and fears begin to arise and he begins to cry for that spiritual manna which is an anti-type of that manna which supplied national Israel in the wilderness, and again for that living water, the antitype of that water supplied Israel of old at the rock in Horeb, which rock, the apostle says, was Christ—that is, we understand in the figure. After forty years in the wilderness they were brought into Canaan, the promised land, the Lord going before them in battle and subduing their enemies. God had given them a High Priest to officiate for them in the priestly office to make atonement for their sins, bearing their names engraven on the breastplate worn by the priest. No other people was given a High Priest, none but the twelve tribes of Israel were engraved on the breastplate. Those priests, I understand, represent the Lord Jesus Christ, and this alone, to my view, upsets universal atonement. There were none but the children of Israel embraced in the covenant made with Abraham. It seems so plain I can't, for the life of me, see how God's children can be so far led astray by those Judaizing teachers. But we know, according to the Scriptures, that God has a people in Babylon; but Israel only could experimentally cry, "Saved by the Lord." No other nation could cry as they, because God had not delivered or saved them, but destroyed them before Israel. And if we take the Bible for our guide, just what we all ought to do, we can see exactly why the societies of men (called churches) so earnestly contend for works. Their prototypes had nothing but their own works, and figures must cover facts. Israel being delivered and brought into Canaan according to the promise, they had diverse laws given to them, not given to the nations around them, but to Israel alone, and by obeying those laws they were to enjoy the good of the land; not to make them Israelites, for they were Israelites before they received the law, but in order that they might enjoy the good of the land. This land, I understand, represents the church in its organized state, but they, being a rebellious people, began to desire a king that they might be like other people (the nations around them). Brethren, I fear that spirit is among Israel today. The consequence was, God gave them over to their enemies for a chastisement, but bear in mind they are yet Israel. It is said by the Prophet Isaiah, "Israel shall not be confounded, world without end; but they shall be saved in the Lord with an everlasting salvation." Now, dear brethren, if these people were types, shadows and figures, and if figures cover facts, how can one of God's children deny the special providence of God in their salvation? If God's purpose in the salvation of one can be thwarted, can not all be? And would not the whole plan of salvation be upon precarious ground? But, thanks be to God there was not one of Israel left in Egypt. Then this is in keeping with the words of Jesus when He said: "All the Father gave unto me shall come unto me, and I will raise him up at the last day." Then, dear brethren, although we have fiery trials, when Jesus is present in Spirit we can repeat the language of Moses: "Happy art thou, 0 Israel: who art like thee, 0 people saved by the Lord?" Not unto us, but unto thy name be glory and honor forever and ever. Yours to serve in gospel bonds, 

R. H. JOHNSON.
Lynchburg, Tenn.

AN OLD DOCUMENT

AN OLD DOCUMENT
(Copied from The Church Advocate, April, 1892.)

The following communication was written to Elder R. M. Newport, for publication in a paper published at that time by the said Elder Newport called The Western Predestinarian Baptist, which was issued from Charleston, Illinois. We simply give it a place in the Advocate without any comment, for we think that our brethren will be able to interpret the entire letter.

MOUNT VERNON, IND., March 11, 1844.

VERY DEAR BROTHER NEWPORT:

The religious world, at this time, appears to be divided up into many sects or denominations, all professing to be followers of the blessed Saviour, and to predicate their religious faith upon the Bible, while many of their religious sentiments, or articles of faith, are as directly opposite as darkness and light. A question would naturally arise in the mind, can those opposite religious faiths both, or all, be right? Does the Bible teach sentiments on the system of redemption that are directly opposite the one from the other? Surely Christians will all answer no. Another question would then arise in the mind of the enquirer: From whence comes the different doctrines taught by men in the present age on the subject of religion, if they do not come from, and are not predicated on the Bible? I answer, they grow out of the two following causes, to wit:

First. Men do not all understand the Scriptures correctly.

Secondly. Men have very unjust conceptions of the true character of the eternal Jehovah.

As evidence that most religionists do not correctly understand the Scriptures, it is only necessary to notice
the application made by modern Pharisees, of the following passage of Holy writ.

Php 2:12: "Wherefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling." This text is applied by modern workmongers to the sinner, in an unregenerate state. Hence, we hear them sometimes call aloud upon the sinner, and tell them that the great God calls upon them "to work out their salvation with fear and trembling." A more gross perversion of this command could not be made for the characters thus commanded were called "beloved," and had also obeyed, both in presence and absence of the apostle. They "shone as lights in the world" (Php 2:15). Hence, the connection clearly proves that this address was made to the Christian, and is applicable to them only, and the salvation to be worked out is nothing less, or more, than a salvation from ignorance, coldness, barrenness, temptation, error, delusion, the baseness of a guilty conscience, etc., all of which the Christian feels that they stand in need of salvation from every day.

Again, in Jas 5:19-20, it is said, "Brethren, if any of you do err from the truth, and one convert him, let him know that he who converteth the sinner from the error of his way, shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins." This quotation is used to prove preacher instrumentality in converting sinners from the love of sin to the love of holiness, while the text in itself has no such allusion; for the following reasons: First—the apostle calls them brethren, which he would not have done without some knowledge of relationship. Secondly —the brethren here addressed must have known the truth, or they could not have erred from it;—hence, I conclude, that the apostle is here pointing out the duty of brethren to each other, in case they, or any of them, should do wrong in departing from the order of the gospel, either in faith or practice. In this case we should visit our brethren, and try to show them the error of their course—what must be the result if they do not change their course—and if we succeed in convincing our brother of his error, either in faith or practice, we have then gained our brother, and have therefore converted him from the error into which he had fallen, and he is thereby saved from death, or from being cut off from the enjoyment of all the blessings and privileges of the church of God, which to the Christian is death, in that particular sense. The term soul, here being used only to denote the person or individual, and not the immortal principle.

That the term soul is frequently used to denote person, I need only refer to Le 5 & Le 6; but many other places might be referred to, if necessary. Hence, we see that the application of the above Scriptures, by hundreds professing to be preachers of the gospel, is wrong, and just so with many other passages that are used by those creatures, to try to brace up a system that they suppose to be proven by them. Now, if the people would only notice particularly the connection of Scriptures, who the speaker is, what subject he is on, and who is addressed, surely there would not be so much difference as to the true meaning of the Bible; but their imaginary, system of religion, perfectly corresponds with the character of their imaginary god. In conversing with a Methodist preacher some time since, he observed to me that God knew some things positively, and some things contingently. I asked him hi what his positive knowledge consisted? He replied, "that God knew positively that He would reveal a system of salvation, whereby all might be saved; but that He did not know who would be saved by that system, until the sinner makes the choice."

Now if this be so, every time a sinner concludes to repent and get religion, the Methodist god becomes wiser. Hence, he is dependent on poor, rebel worms for all the wisdom he has — so far as it relates to the salvation of sinners. Now if this is not an imaginary god, then I am wonderfully mistaken. One thing, however, is certain --- this is not the character of the God of the Bible.

Last March, during the debate between Elder Roberts and myself, at Newburgh, Warrick County, Ind., the said Elder Roberts observed that "God intended to convert or evangelize the world through the written Word." I asked him, if that was the design of the great Gods why it was not accomplished? He answered that men that preached the doctrine I did so neutralized the power of God that He could not accomplish through the written Word that which He designed. Here then is a description of the character of the god of the Campbellites. According to the account given of him by Elder Roberts, one of their own preachers, what a poor miserable unhappy being he must be, inasmuch as he loves everybody so well that he greatly desires to save them all; but there are a few old-fashioned Baptists in the world, whose power is so much greater than his, that they will not let him save the objects of his love, notwithstanding his great desire to do so. Are not such men much to be pitied? I feel to pity them in my heart.

Brother Newport, is it any wonder that men who have such contemptible views of the character of the great God, should so misunderstand and misapply His Holy Word? But those who have been taught a true knowledge of His holy character, view Him as the eternal, unchangeable and all wise Jehovah,- carrying on His own undisturbed affairs over the head of every opposition, and is not dependent upon angels, men or devils, for the accomplishment of His glorious purposes, which He purposed in Himself before all worlds. Here is the character (in a faint light) of the God of the Christian; and how often are their poor hearts made to rejoice when meditating upon His, divine character, as being of one mind, and none can turn Him. In connection with this precious text, having loved His own, he loves them to the end.

I close by subscribing myself your unworthy brother in tribulation and persecution. Pray for me. Your friend, 
JOEL HUME.

An Old Letter -- From PFC John H. Mooney -- In Germany,- March 21, 1945

An Old Letter -- From PFC John H. Mooney -- In Germany, - March 21, 1945 (2001, May - June)

The following letter was sent to us by Elder T. C. Mooney who said it was written a few days before the writer was killed in action in Germany. May the good Lord bless and sustain the bereaved ones, is our prayer. — Editor. (Elder C. H. Cayce)

The Letter

To the Church at Tickanetly:

Dearly beloved Brethren and Sisters ---  I received a letter from Brother J. B. Parker and Elder T. C. Mooney telling me that they received my letter back in the church as I requested, and sent me a telegram telling me about it. I haven't gotten the telegram yet, but I received the letters the brethren wrote me. It made me feel good to know I was connected with those I believe to be God's people. Not that I think I am worth so much to them, but I feel the need of the prayers and help of God's little children; and not only me, but we are required, according to the New Testament, to pray one for another, and let brotherly love continue and flow from heart to heart. I would deeply appreciate it if I could be there and attend services with you all, and I am hoping, and often try, in my weak way, to beg the Lord to be with us. If it is His will, I have no doubt but that some day I will be blessed to be with you again. I have been thinking for several days I would try to write a few lines to the church. It seemed as if I hardly knew just what to do last night after I lay down to try to sleep a little. I was trying, in my weak way, as I often do, to call on the Lord to be with us and our loved ones and friends we had to leave behind; and, as I often do, I tried to ask the Lord's blessings upon the old church. I was studying and meditating upon the opportunities I had once had and the way I had wasted many of them. I would like to say to you all and everybody that we don't realize what a grand privilege it is to meet with God's little children and our many friends, and hear the songs of praise sung, and hear God's servants speak of His wondrous love to His children, until we are deprived of the privilege of meeting with them. But I am glad we can call upon the Lord anywhere we are. I believe if we are in earnest He will hear our feeble plea. I am going to say, brethren, sisters, and friends, as often as you meet to try to worship His high and holy name, I feel like He will bless us in each and every effort we make in His name, if we put our trust in Him. Of course, we meet with seasons both dry and dull. But I feel sure if we seek the Lord with earnest hearts, we are sure to find Him. He is always with us, but sometimes we step aside and then we wander. But we always find our Saviour where we step off. I don't believe He ever forgets us, but sometimes it looks, from our actions, that we forget Him. But when sorrow comes, as it always does when we walk in disobedience, sooner or later, we find Him a merciful Saviour and a sweet Comforter to His little-children. Brethren, sisters, and friends, I am glad we can say thanks be to God for our wonderful Saviour. I just want to ask you all when you feel to call on the name of the Lord, and feel to remember an unworthy brother, remember me and my dear little family that I have had to leave behind. If we are never permitted to meet here on earth again, I feel sure there is a home for us up yonder where sorrow and wars never come, and that is a glorious thought, when we look beyond troubles and say glory be to God for a wonderful home up yonder. My prayer is that God will bless each and every one of you, and guide and bless you all in every effort that you make in the name of the Lord. So I will close by saying that I am hoping for the time to soon come when I can be back and meet with you as I once could. It seems like I could really enjoy being with you now, and I know I would enjoy the services.

As ever, a loving brother,
PFC. John H. Mooney

In Germany, March 21, 1945
Copied from The Primitive Baptist, June 21, 1945, page 182.

An Unexpected Call

An Unexpected Call (1989, January-February)

During the years 1896 and 1897 I served the four churches I had been serving for some time, Abner's Creek, Mt. Tabor, Mt. Zion and Salem. At the close of the latter year I was called by the same churches. I had made such poor success at farming that I saw I would be compelled to give up that occupation, and I thought of returning to my old occupation — teaching — the next fall, if I did not succeed better at farming. This I did not want to do, for since I had given it up I felt no desire to take it up again. I was sure I could not carry that work and preach for four churches, as teaching required so much more labor than it had required that I knew I could not carry it and preach every Saturday and Sunday. So I decided that if I had to go back to that work I would resign all my charges but the one in the neighborhood of any school I might be able to procure. I also thought some of locating closer to Indianapolis, and engaging in gardening and raising poultry.

While in this undecided state of mind, I received a letter from Brother John W. Grove, of Luray, Va., asking me to move to that country and take charge of Zion's Advocate as its Editor and Publisher. Elder T. S. Dalton, its last Editor, had given it up and had moved to Illinois. Four churches in Virginia had thus been left destitute of any pastor, and I was asked to take charge of them and the magazine. Elder George A. Bretz had been asked to take the place and had promised to do so, as he had been there on a visit and the people were well pleased with him, but when the test came one of his churches in Indiana persuaded him to abandon the idea. He recommended me as a suitable person to take the place, and it was on his recommendation that Brother Grove wrote to me. I was at once pleased with the opening, for I had really wanted to engage in editorial work, but I so doubted my competency and felt that I was so poor in this world's goods, and thought my ability as a preacher was not what it should be to occupy such a position. In answering Brother Grove I told him I greatly doubted my competency for the place he had invited me to take, told him that I was a very poor man, had a large family, and was sure my brethren had greatly over estimated me as a preacher. I thought this letter might end the matter, but I soon received another from him stating that he had shown my letter to representative members of the churches that wanted a preacher, and that they all had united in saying for me to come. I then began to consider it more seriously. It seemed like a good opportunity for me to escape the drudgery of the school-room which I so much dreaded, dreading it all the more because I knew it would take me from my ministerial work to a large extent. In answering Brother Grove again I told him I would not think of locating there without first visiting the churches. He agreed that that was the better course, and made appointments for me in the month of May, of that year (1898).

I left my home for that tour the 30th day of April. I went to New Bethel Church, in Fayette Co., Ind., where I preached the next day (Saturday) and twice on Sunday. Going by way of Cincinnati and Parkersburg, I reached Great Cacapon, West Va., Tuesday morning. Elder T. N. Alderton met me at the train and took me to his home in that town. I had never met him before but I loved him at once, recognizing in him a sincere and devoted minister of the gospel of Christ. I spend the say very pleasantly with him at his home, and preached in his church at night. The next day he and I started to Luray, where we arrived that evening. We were met by B Brother J. W. Grove with whom we spent the night. I preached that night my first sermon in the Old Baptist church in Luray (Thursday, May 5th). Friday, Saturday and Sunday I attended the Union Meeting at Mill Creek church, two and a half miles from Luray. On Monday night I preached again at the church in Luray. On Tuesday, I preached at Hawksbill church, on Wednesday at Alma, on Thursday at Naked Creek, and returned to Stanleyton on Friday, where I witnessed the death of an aged brother, Samuel Varner. The family requested me to preach the funeral the next day, which I consented to do. As some of the family had gone with Elder Burnam in the same unpleasant division that had taken place in Indiana, it was requested that Burnam take part also, to which I readily consented. The next day was the regular meeting of the church in Luray. I was present with Elder R. T. Strickler and preached. After preaching the church went into the call of a pastor, and I was unanimously chosen. I declined to accept at that time, but told them that I had decided to locate there, and would answer them when I came. I preached the funeral of Brother Varner at Hawksbill church that afternoon, Elder Burnam assisting according to request. I preached that night and the next day and night at Luray. I left on Monday for home, reaching there on Tuesday evening. I told my family I had decided to locate in Virgina, all of them seeming to be delighted with the idea of changing to another state.

As for me, this was a matter of serious thought. I had baptized a great many in the churches I was serving, and had become so attached to all the brethren and sisters that I realized that it would be a great task to break loose from them so suddenly. The days I spent on my tour in Virginia were days of unremitting struggle to me. To decide to make the change was one of the most difficult problems that had ever confronted me. I just could not know what was right, and so I weighed the matter over and over, trying to look on all sides of the question. I think if I every sought to know the Lord's will I sought to know it in this case. My decision was reached only after the most ardent wrestling of soul I had ever experienced. When I reached the decision I felt relieved, and I fully determined to carry out the plans that my mind framed, the steps thus taken being one of faith and not of sight. My name first appeared in the June number of Zion's Advocate as its Editor and Publisher. My first editorial is here given.

Salutatory

Under a realizing sense of our unworthiness, and greatly distrusting our competency, we have consented to accept the responsible position of Editor and Publisher of Zion's Advocate. In assuming the responsibilities of this new position we trust we are actuated by a sincere desire to glorify the precious name of our divine Master, and to edify and comfort His dear children. Any service rendered to the Lord, to be acceptable, must be unselfish. His penetrating eye looks through the surface of all our actions, and sees the very motive that prompts us. If we have in view our own promotion and glory, we may rest assured that our service is displeasing to Him. Desiring to be prompted by disinterested love, and to be clothed with the garment of humility, we now enter upon the work before us, praying that God may bless our feeble efforts to the good of His cause and the glory of His name.

In our attempts to step along the pathway of duty, we have desired to keep this great and noble end in view. We have no idea that anything we may say, or write, or do, will result in the eternal salvation of a single sinner, or exalt us to the right hand of God. His grace alone can save poor sinners like we are, and not one particle of glory of this salvation will ever belong to mortals.

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

Zion's Advocate is a magazine dear to the hearts of many of the Lord's children. To hundreds of them it has long been a precious, welcome visitor. The name of its founder, Elder John Clark, is still a household word in many homes. We hope to continue to make it what its name imports and what its respected and beloved founder intended it to be -an advocate of the cause of Zion. To this end it is our purpose to contend with earnest and unabating zeal for the long cherished Abstracts of Principles found on the second page of its cover. These we believe to be taught in God's Word, and confirmed in the life and experience of all His heaven-born children. The self-existing, immutable, omnipotent, omnipresent, and omniscient character of Jehovah, with His eternal perfections, is the unshaken support of all His foreknown, chosen and redeemed family. In this everlasting and never-failing rock they find a shelter and a support that defies the combined powers of existing foes. This to them is a refuge amid the tempest, a security against the scorching flames. This is the inexhaustible source of all their supplies, and the rich fountain of all their comfort.

Such is our God, who has been pleased to give us by inspiration the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments as a standard of faith. This teaches us all we ought to know, or believe, or practice religiously. Being thorough in its instructions it is the only infallibly correct book that has even been written. As it furnishes us with all good works, whatever we practice religiously not found in it, cannot be reckoned in the catalogue of such works. As it is the only standard of our faith, anything we believe not contained in its teachings, is erroneous. In conducting Zion's Advocate we propose to keep these important facts constantly in view, for we are sure that this course only will tend toward drawing the Lord's children together, and building them up in our most holy faith. We desire to make this paper a blessing to the cause of our beloved Zion, and wish to avoid publishing anything that will sow the seeds of discord and produce confusion. It will not be, therefore, the organ of those heretical doctrines that have disturbed the peace of God's people, prominent among which is the "Absolute Predestination of all Things" in the sense that God has predestinated wickedness just as He has the good that results from His own doings. That doctrine we do not believe, and the only reference allowed to be made to it will be the exposition of its fallacy. Whatever is so difficult to explain that few if any of God's children can understand it, had better be omitted entirely, as a paper of this kind is designed to benefit them, and nothing can benefit them that cannot be explained or understood.

We urgently solicit our readers to write for publication in the pages of our Advocate, thus aiding us to make it a welcome visitor to all our homes. The evidence of christianity as taught in christian experience is especially desirable as reading matter, while your views upon the teaching of God's Word, when in harmony with the general tenor of the same, will be gladly accepted. If you wish your manuscripts returned please enclose stamps for that purpose.

Finally pray for us that grace may be given to enable us to unfurl the banner of truth to the joy and consolation of the precious saints of God, and the glory of His adorable name.

Copied from Pilgrimage of a Stranger, by Elder J. R. Daily, page 226.

AND YET THERE IS ROOM

AND YET THERE IS ROOM

BY GIDEON
(Copied from Zion's Advocate, July 1, 1870)

What precious words are these: "And yet there is room"--room for you and me, believer, in the kingdom of our God, there to stand and bow before the great white throne among the redeemed; room now in the bosom of Jesus. Unworthy as we are of such love as His, yet there is room in His breast for our sorrowing souls: room in His wounded side who is our refuge in every time of trial; our sure defence in the hour of danger and temptation, when cast out and oppressed by the world, buffeted by Satan, tossed with tempests and not comforted. He is our anchor strong when we are driven about by contrary winds, cast often on the desolate shore of depression and grief by the whirlwind and the storm, and thrown back again on the wild waves of despair, and, in feeling, our ship half foundered and our compass lost. Yet even here His hand upholds and His arm defends, and, though unseen by the eye of faith, and to all appearance, deserted of God and man, He is round about our stormy track: "His way is in the sea." He comes forth visibly by and by, treading the proud waves beneath His feet; and whilst we are in an agony of fear, crying out, "Lord carest thou not that we perish?" He whispers, "It is I; be not afraid;" rebukes the raging tempest, and there is a great calm. Well may the astonished mariners exclaim, "What manner of man is this, that even the winds and the waves obey Him?"

In every storm, in every sea
Our Jesus makes a way;
His presence makes the darkness flee,
And turns the night to day.

"And yet there is room"—room in the banqueting house of His love and mercy for our starving souls, there to feed sweetly on the bread of life, the paschal Lamb, the rich provisions of undying love, and unmerited affection and grace; a feast of fat things, and wine on the lees, bath God prepared for us here, us poor, lost, ruined, forsaken, ready-to-perish ones, who, like our dear Lord and Master, are every day esteemed of the world and professors as stricken, smitten of God and afflicted; even for such, blessed be our God, there is room. It is the distinguishing grace and sovereign mercy of our covenant-keeping God which causes us to "stand still" and look on wonderingly while the angel of God's presence does wondrously—wondering at ourselves often what we are and where we are, asking the question, as did David, "What am I, 0 Lord God, and what is my father's house that thou hast brought me hitherto?" And with poor, gleaning Ruth, when looked kindly upon by Boaz, "Why have I found grace in thine eyes that thou shouldst take knowledge of me, seeing I am a stranger?" And when we are led to look at ourselves, and to call to mind the hole of the pit from which we were dug, and the horrible miry clay of sin and despair from which we have been delivered, we are abased and confounded and filled with astonishment that ever God, in mercy, should look upon such outcasts, wandering wretches, deserving no favor, but, contrariwise, meriting eternal death and punishment. Filled with a solemn sense of our undeservings and guilt, we abhor ourselves in dust and ashes, and dare not so much as lift up our eyes to heaven, but, like the poor publican, we are necessitated to smite upon our breast (the seat of our sorrow and our sin,) and cry, "God be merciful to me a sinner!" And whilst the High and Lofty One who inhabiteth eternity is condescending to regard us in our low estate, and take up His abode in our poor trembling hearts, we wonder still more, and the language of our ravished, love-smitten souls is:

0! why did Jesus show to me
The beauties of His face?
Why to my soul did He convey
The blessings of His grace?

0! how could He so sweetly smile 
On such a wretch as I
I who His name did once revile
And His dear truth deny?

But 'twas because He loved my soul,
Because He died for me,
Because that nothing could control
His great, His firm decree.

What grace! What love! What kindness and forbearance of the King of kings and Lord of lords!

To make room for the worst of sinners; to gather together the outcasts of Israel and the dispersed among the Gentiles, and bring them in to the wedding supper, to be clothed in His own spotless robe, and sit down among His much-loved, honored, royal guests; to seek that which was lost and bring again that which was driven away; to bind up the broken-hearted, give liberty to captives, and the opening of the prison doors to them which were bound; to heal the sick, give sight to the blind, strength of limb to the impotent; to make the lame man leap as a hart, and the tongue of the dumb to sing; and all this of His own free favor, loving-kindness and compassion.

0! for such love, let rocks and hills
Their lasting silence break,
And all harmonious human tongues
The Saviour's praises speak.

"And yet there is room!" Though a number which no man can number are already around the throne above, praising God and the Lamb, there is room still, and will be till every elect vessel is called in; and then there will be no more room—the Master will have risen up to the judgment, and the door will be shut. The same hand that shuts the blessed ones in will shut the accursed out, and that forever! Solemn thought!

But, sorrowing child of God, there is yet room for thee. Thy poor, sin-sicken, grief-filled, tried, tempted soul shall find an entrance there, when time shall be no more with thee, and the sins and trials of earth have done with thee forever. There is room for the leper, the blind, the halt and the lame; and thou, poor soul, art all these in thy own feelings under the teachings of God's Spirit and grace! Poor worm, there is room for thee. Jesus says there is. "In my Father's house are many mansions. I go to prepare a place for you, that where I am ye may be also." "Blessed are ye that mourn, for ye shall be comforted; blessed are ye poor, for yours is the kingdom of heaven." He further assures thee that thou shalt not be cast out: "Him that cometh unto me I will in no wise cast out." And while groaning over thy sin and mourning after and longing for a sight of the dear Lord of life and glory, He is even now interceding for thee at the right hand of the Father, pleading thy cause who art utterly unable to plead thy own. Bless His name! There is yet room—room in the mansions above when death turns us out of doors here. There, in the presence of God forever, in the heaven of rest above, our weary souls shall recline beneath the smile of Heaven's King—the smiles of Him who is the chie fest among ten thousand to us now, and the altogether lovely; and we shall go no more out to battle with the world, the flesh and the devil, but rest forever,

Where the weary rest,
Where the tried are blest;
And sins oppress no more
On that bright shore.

A few more trials, temptations, conflicts with hell and sin, a few more privations, sorrows, pains and tears, and we shall bid adieu to all we suffer here. Trial will be exchanged for triumph, temptation for victory, conflict for rest and peace unspeakable; privation, hunger, nakedness, thirst, for princely wealth which language cannot describe. Sorrow and sighing will have forever passed away, and, instead thereof will be given the garment of everlasting praise; disease and pain and death will afflict no more, will affright no more; all tears will be wiped away; beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, an eternal weight of glory for a short moment of affliction.

Weary of earth, myself and sin,
Dear Jesus, set me free,
And to thy glory take me in,
For there I long to be.

ANGELS

ANGELS
(Copied from Herald of Truth, January 1, 1884)
Martin, Tenn., Dec. 14, 1883.

DEAR BROTHER DALTON:
I heard you say in one of your sermons that you did not want to be an angel, but wanted to be above the angels. That is the way I understood you. Please explain, through the Herald, Mt 22:30. Yours truly, 

A. F. NEBLETT.

REPLY

In the first place, my brother, you misunderstood me in wanting to be above the angels. My language was: "I had read in a Sunday School hymn book --- I want to be an angel—and I said that it ought to be torn out and burned to ashes, for it showed an irreconciliation to the divine will of God." I then stated that "I did not want to be an angel, but preferred to be a redeemed sinner," upon the ground that I wanted to be reconciled to the will of the wise Creator. I then stated that redeemed sinners had the advantage of angels in glory, and I assigned as a reason that angels could not sing the sweet song of redemption, from the fact that they had never been redeemed, but were eternally happified with God in glory.

Mt 22:30 does not contradict my idea, but rather justifies the thought, in which the Saviour says: "For in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven"—which very clearly shows that we are not to be angels in heaven, but to be as the angels, that is like the angels, and to partake with the angels, in that happified state. To wish that I was an angel is to say that I wish that God's will was something else besides what it is, and shows very clearly that I have never been reconciled to God. Therefore I repeat my language: "I don't want to be an angel, but I prefer to be a redeemed sinner, to sing in the heaven of immortal bliss the sweet song of redeeming grace and dying love"—a song which angels cannot sing. 

Hoping you will be able to see the reasoning, and gather our ideas, I am, yours to serve in the cause of truth, 

T. S. DALTON.

Are They Lost?

Are They Lost? (1987, January-February)

"For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, and have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, if they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance, seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put Him to an open shame," Heb 6:4-6.

Sister Lyons, of Greenbrier, Ark., requests my views on the above Scripture. This Scripture is resorted to by some to try to support the idea of final apostasy; but it proves too much for those who claim that idea; because they claim the backslider can be renewed to repentance, In fact, they devote much time in trying to work over those who they say were once saved but have fallen from grace, But the text says if they fall away it is impossible to renew them to repentance. Why waste time trying to do something that is impossible? I may not know the main lesson the apostle meant to teach in the above Scripture, but, in my judgment, instead of it teaching final apostasy, it teaches the impossibility of such a thing, Just as sure as redemption was obtained by the crucifixion of Christ, and just as sure as He cannot actually be crucified again, then it is impossible for one of those He represented in His death to be lost eternally. If just one that He died for, and that He obtained eternal redemption for (Heb 9:12), were to be lost eternally, it would, indeed, not only put Him to an open shame and say that He failed to do what He came from heaven to do, and what the prophets and angels said He would do, but it would conflict with hundreds of Scriptures that teach His work to be perfect (De 32:4), that when He begins a good work He will perform it (Phil, 1:6), that those He gives eternal life to shall never perish. (Joh 10:28), that their lives are hid with Christ in God (Col 3:3), that they are kept by the power of God for an inheritance that is incorruptible and that fadeth not away (1Pe 1:4-5), that they are preserved in Jesus Christ (Jude 1; Ps 37:28), that they are loved with an everlasting love, from which neither things present nor things to come can ever separate them (Ro 8:38).

Evidently there is only one of two positions to take about the Scripture at the head of this article. It either means that the characters under consideration were only religious in form, without any grace in their hearts to begin with, or else the apostle was emphasizing the perfect work of Christ and showing the impossibility of apostasy, Notice he does not say they will fall away, but says, "if they shall." I really think he is teaching the impossibility of such a thing by showing what the result would be if such a thing was to occur.

---Copied from "Little Things," by Elder T. L. Webb, Sr., page 234.

ASHAMED OF JESUS

ASHAMED OF JESUS (1946, March)

Ashamed of Jesus Christ our Lord,
Ashamed to own His promised word;
Ashamed of Jesus' poverty, 
To save poor sinners just like me?

Ashamed of Jesus' life He lived,
Ashamed to own His Spirit give;
Ashamed to own His sovereign grace,
And render Him the thanks and praise?

Ashamed of Jesus' humble poor,
Ashamed to trust Him any more;
Ashamed to worship His own way,
Or trust His mercy every day?

Ashamed of Jesus' church and few,
Ashamed of His example, too;
Ashamed to follow narrow way,
Which Jesus walked from day to day?

Ashamed of Jesus' holy name,
And reason that the dear Lord came;
To suffer on a rugged tree,
Upon the cross of Calvary?

I wonder who will be ashamed
To own our blessed Saviour's name,
When they meet Him on the shore
To gather up His humble poor?

0, Lord, pray do not be ashamed
To own this sinner when thou come;
But be my Saviour, Priest, and King,
And grant thy peace to this poor thing.

THOS. F. LEWIS.
 Romney, W. Va.

ATTEMPTS OF THE POPE TO EXTERMINATE THE WALDENSES

ATTEMPTS OF THE POPE TO EXTERMINATE THE WALDENSES (1950, July)

Pope Innocent VIII, in 1488, determined to persecute the Waldenses. To this end he sent Albert d Capitaneis, archdeacon of Cremona, to France; who on arriving in Dauphiny, craved the assistance of the king's lieutenant to exterminate the Waldenses from the valley of Loyse: The lieutenant readily granted his assistance ; and marched a body of troops to the place; but when they arrived at the valley, they found that it had been deserted by the inhabitants, who had retired to the mountains, and hid themselves in caverns, etc. The archdeacon and lieutenant immediately followed them with the troops, mid apprehending many, they cast them headlong from the precipices, by which they were dashed to pieces. Several, however, retired to the innermost parts of the caverns, and knowing the intracacies, were able to conceal themselves. The archdeacon and lieutenant, not being able to come at them, ordered the mouths of the caves to be filled with fagots, which being lighted those within were suffocated. On searching the caves, 400 infants were found smothered either in their cradles or in their mothers' arms ; and upon the whole, about 3000 men, women and children, were destroyed in this persecution.

After this tragical work, the lieutenant and archdeacon proceeded with the troops to Pragela and Frassanier, in order to persecute the Waldenses in those parts. But these having heard of the fate of their brethren in the valley of Loyse, thought proper to arm themselves ; and fortifying the different passes, and bravely disputing the passages through them, they so harassed the troops, that the lieutenant was compelled to retire without effecting his purpose.

THE KING OF FRANCE FAVORS THE WALDENSES

In 1494, Anthony Fabri, and Christopher de Salience, having a commission to. persecute the Waldenses of Dauphiny, put some to death, sequestered the estates of others, and confiscated the goods of many ; but Louis XII coming to the crown in 1498, the Waldenses petitioned him for a restitution of their property. The king, determined to have the affair impartially canvassed, and sent a commissioner of his own, together with a commissary from the pope, to make the proper inquiries. The witnesses against the Waldenses having been examined, the innocence of those poor people evidently appeared, and the king's commissioner declared, "That he only desired to be as good a Christian as the worst of them." When this favorable report was made to the king, he immediately gave orders that the Waldenses should have their property restored to them. The Archbishop of Ambrune, having the greatest quantity of these poor people's goods, it was generally imagined that he would set a laudable example to others, by being the first to restore them. The archbishop, however, declared that he would not rstore any of the property, for it was incorporated with, and became part of, his archbishop. He, however, with an affection of candor, offered to relinquish several vineyards, of which he had dispossed the Waldenses, provided the lords of Dauphiny would restore all they had taken from those poor people; but this the lords absolutely refused, being as desirous of keeping their plunder as the archbishop himself.

The Waldenses, finding that they were not likely to recover any of their property, again appealed to the king ; and the monarch having attended to their complaints, wrote to the archbishop ; but that artful and avacious prelate replied, "That at the commencement of the persecution of the Waldenses had not been excommunicated by the pope, in consequence of which their goods were distrained ; therefore, till the sentence of excommunication was taken off, which had occasioned them to be seized, they could not be restored with propriety." This plea was allowed to be reasonable: and application was ineffectually made to the pope to remove the sentence of excommunication: for the archbishop, supposing this would be the case, had used all his interest at Rome to prevent the application from succeeding.

PROGRESS OF THE WALDENSES

At length this sect, having spread from Dauphiny into several other provinces, became very numerous in Provence. At their first arrival, Provence was almost a desert, but by their great industry it soon abounded with corn, wine, oil, fruit, etc. The pope, by being of ten near them at his seat at Avignon, heard occasionally many things concerning their differing from the church of Rome which greatly exasperated him, and he determined to persecute them. Proceeding to some extremities, under the sanction of his ecclesiastical authority only, without consulting the king of France, the latter became alarmed, and sent his master of requests, and his confessor, to examine into the affair. On their return they reported that the Waldenses were not such dangerous or bad people as they had been represented; that they lived with perfect honesty, were friendly to all, caused their children to be baptized, had them taught the Lord's Scriptures with purity, kept the Lord's day sacred, prayer, creed, and ten commandments; expounded the state. "Then," said the king, "They are much better Christians than myself or my Catholic subjects, and therefore they shall not be persecuted." He was as good as his word, and sent orders to stop the persecution.

AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH (Elder A. D. Wood)

AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH (1951, May)

According to the family record, I was born March 22, 1899, in De Witt County, Texas. I was reared on the farm, and continued to live on the farm until 1938. In the year of 1924 I was married to Miss Violet Neeley. I united with the church in 1926. Soon after uniting with the church, I began to exercise in a public way. To me it seemed I could not get anywhere in a preaching way. But in 1933 I was ordained to the full work of the ministry. Since then I have given most of my time to the service of God. I have made many mistakes in my poor efforts, but I do not want to turn back ; I desire to go on in the service. My entire family are members with me in the church—my companion; daughter, Lois Beth; son, William, which makes me happy. May I prove to be faithful to them and my God. "Finally, brethren, farewell." 

A. D. WOOD.

AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH (Elder Deward Fulmer)

AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH (1953, March)

I was born September 16, 1930, near Scranton, Logan County, Arkansas, to Hurley S. and Mary E. Fulmer, the third of eight children. Father and one sister have gone on.

I united with Friendship Primitive Baptist Church, near Subiaco, Arkansas, in September, 1945; was baptized by Elder B. Isaacs. I made my first attempt to preach there the following February. In 1947 we moved to Northeast Arkansas, and I moved my membership to Pleasant Union Primitive Baptist Church, Senath, Mo. In April of 1950, we had managed to get together seventeen members and were organized into Hay's Memorial Church, Jonesboro, Ark. I was ordained to the full work of the ministry and called to the care of the church the day it was organized ; and am still trying to serve them. We now have forty-eight members and a new church building near Nettleton, Ark. (Same church before mentioned). I am trying to serve Rector Church, Rector, Ark., and assist Elder A. M. Braden in the pastoral care of Pleasant Union Church, Senath, Mo.

On Dec. 25, 1950, I was married to Miss Ruby Lee Griffith, of Magazine, Ark. We now have one son, Jimmy Roland, fifteen months old, and the time has passed for the arrival of our second.

I am satisfied with the old Baptist people, and beg you to look over my many imperfections and allow me to live with you on out. I beg to remain, your servant, unworthily,

H. D. FULMER.

AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH (Elder Elmer Milholen)

AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH (1953, March)

I was a boy of nineteen when a witness within told me I no more cared for the things I had before loved and desired. I was made to wonder, when I had no place for using God's name in vain, and the profane words I had been using to my glory.

To this day, I do not know just what happened; but this I do know: I was not seeking nor asking that those things would leave me. After being burdened for about three months, for some reason I went to hear Elder J. T. Hallmark preach. He preached to me as though there were no one else there. Yes, I trust I was begotten by the gospel. When the opportunity was given for membership, I was up there ahead of my thinker. I do not know what prompted me—I trust it was the Holy Spirit.

That afternoon, September, 1924, Elder M. A. Norman and I were baptized. I felt my trials were over, my burdens were gone, and I had entered into that given rest the Saviour promises in coming unto Him. But, ere long, my burden was doubled, and I felt like I could never do what I desired to do (if indeed I ever have). I would turn and toss on my bed at night, but no relief. Brother Alley would ask me to introduce services, which I would do, many times praying that the burden be lifted, for I felt it was impossible for me to preach. Yes! I fought for several years to be delivered back to the world. Finally, when the punishment became so severe, I was ready to say: Lord, what wouldst thou have me do?

I know my efforts are poor. But, I receive, so much encouragement from God's little children, it holds me up to the extent I keep trying.

May the good Lord bless His people everywhere is my humble prayer. Pray for us—we need your prayers.

In hope,
ELMER MILHOLEN.

AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH (Elder Floy Gross)

AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH (1952, April)

I was born in Macon County, Mo., April 1, 1913; the son of Elmo and Lora Gross. My father died when I was six years of age. Mother and I moved in with my grandparents, Mr. and Mrs. T. L. Grubbs, near Atlanta, Mo.; here I made my home until my marriage. I graduated from the Elmer High School in 1931; and the winter of that year, I united with Chariton Primitive Baptist Church—where my mother and grandparents were members. Shortly after uniting with the church I began taking part in the service, in a public way ; and not long after that felt impressed to preach the gospel.

I was married to Naomi Ratliff in August, 1936. We have one daughter, who is now fourteeen. In the fall of 1938 we moved to Worthington, Mo., here we lived for two years, then moved to Queen City, where we now live. For eight years we operated the telephone exchange in our town; I am still an employee of the telephone company. My wife is custodian at our local school, where I take care of the fires.

I was ordained to the work of the ministry in October, 1947. I now have the full-time care of two churches, and an assistant at three others.

In gospel bonds, 
FLOY F. GROSS.

AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH (Elder Frank Guy)

AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH (1953, February)

I was born January 5, 1902. My father is W. M. Guy; my mother is Lizer May Guy. They have been real Primitive Baptists since 1907. They carried me to church all of my life. I could see them rejoice in tears, but somehow I could not feel it that way. So I went on walking according to the Prince of the Air. Alas, the night of July 3, 1934, I lay down in perfect peace with this old world. The next morning I awoke in trouble. I was not fit to live and I could not afford to die. It was awful to know what I went through with that day. So the next month I offered myself to the dearest people on earth, the Primitive Baptists. I went on in peace, but no more Prince of the Power of the Air. I went on that way until 1937, and all out of nowhere to me it came again, but different. The voice said "cry," and I said, "What shall I cry?" And so that has been a question ever since. What shall I cry? The good Lord has blessed me many ways and especially with health. I have missed meeting one Sunday in fifteen years; have been trying in my stammering way to serve four churches since I was ordained in 1938; in the meanwhile traveling many miles, I trust as Joseph, to see how my brethren are faring. God blessed me with a wife and four children, who have been so good to me under these bonds. So, "surely goodness and 'mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever."—FRANK GUY.

AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH (Elder George Stephenson)

AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH (1952, December)

I was born in Franklin County, Mississippi, July 12, 1912. My father is George F. Stephenson; my mother was Nancy A. (Callender) Stephenson. My father and mother joined Ephesus Primitive Baptist Church in 1916; were baptized by Elder C. L. Clark.

We left Mississippi in the year of 1922; moved to Franklin Parish, Louisiana, where I grew to manhood.

When I was a small child I loved the Primitive Baptists and the things they stood for, but, for some cause, I did not unite with the church' until the fifth Sunday in May, 1942; baptized Saturday before the fourth Sunday in June, by my great uncle, Elder W. T. Stephenson. I made my first effort to speak in the Master's name the first Sunday in September, 1942. On Saturday before the fourth Sunday in August, 1944, the church set me apart by ordaining me to the work of the ministry.

I know my efforts have been poor all along the way; yet I am willing to let the Baptists be the judge as to what good it is to them and the cause. My prayer has been, ever since I have been with the church, if my efforts do no good that no harm will be done.

In 1930, I was married to Miss Hattie Ratcliff, who has been of great help to me by way of encouraging me on. We have been blessed with two sweet little girls—our oldest is now thirteen, and our baby, ten years old. I have had the privilege of baptizing both of them into the church of my Lord. May God enable me to walk in such a way that they will never lose faith in me.

I have tried to serve from one to five churches ever since I have been ordained. Please pray for us.

G. W. STEPHENSON.
3811 North Sixth St.,
Fort Smith, Ark.

AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH (Elder George T. Tate)

AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH (Elder George T. Tate) (1951, October)

At present, I am far off the course I planned for myself as a young boy. Before I entered grammar school, I had already made up my mind to become a physician. I went though high school and more than two years of college with this in mind. However, when I felt that the Lord had placed upon me the responsibility of preaching His glorious gospel, I became very much concerned about how I would be able to study medicine. • After about two years thought and worry and prayer, I decided to give up my plans to study medicine. I am now a psychology major at Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee, with plans to get a doctorate in psychology and work in clinical psychology or some area of human relations.

I have loved the church and the people of God as long as I can remember, but I have not always felt that it was my responsibility to preach. It was a very shocking and disturbing experience when I first felt impressed to preach, but not only because of the reason given above, but more so because I feel so unworthy, so unprepared. Elder Milton Lillard was, perhaps, the greatest source of human inspiration in helping me to see that I should use even the little gift which the Lord had given me to the glory of His name. Then Elder Gene Thomas, another young minister, began to speak in His great name. I shall never forget the encouragement and inspiration which these two young men have been to me. May the Lord abundantly bless, tenderly lead and protect them.

About my family—only my mother is at present a member of the church. My father is greatly interested in the church, but has not as yet joined. I have one brother and one sister—both married; both older than I. I am not married—yet.

On the fifth of October of this year I was 20 years old—twenty years of His mercy. I have been a member of the church eight years. Elder Fred Stewart baptized me the second Sunday in October, 1943. He, too, has been an inspiration to me of sincerity and faithfulness. I was ordained to the ministry December 31, 1950. I am serving my home church, Mud Creek, jointly with Elder H. P. Houk. Pray for our little church. I love it better than my life.

Since I can remember, I have felt: "The Lord is my Shepherd ; I shall not want." And I hope and pray—and somehow feel that "Surely, goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life." Pray for poor, unworthy me.

To the King, eternal, immortal, invisible be all glory, honor, dominion and power both now and forever.

GEORGE T. TATE.

AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH (Elder J. Harvey Daily)

AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH (Elder J. Harvey Daily) (1951, August)

I was born February 17, 1881, in Indiana. My father was John R. Daily, who was a well known minister of the Primitive Baptist Church. My mother was also a firm believer in the doctrine and grace and loved her church meetings. There were ten children of my father's family—all became members of the church except one daughter who died at the age of one. Three were ordained as ministers.

I united with the church and my sister, Clara, and I were baptized together in September, 1897. Father moved to Virginia in 1898 and I assisted in printing the Zion Advocate. I made my first effort to speak in my Master's name when I was twenty years old, using for my text, "The Law is a Schoolmaster to lead us to Christ." In the fall of 1902 the church of Luray, Va., liberated me to speak wherever the Lord should direct. By invitation I spent a month in Indiana in 1903, and while there I met Miss Selena T. Marsh of Greenfield, Ind. We were married and went back home to Luray. February, 1904, I was ordained. My oldest brother, 011ie, was ordained in December, 1903.

Wife and I went back to Indiana and served churches until 1928 when we moved to Ohio. I labored there for twelve years, serving four churches most of the time. We moved to Macon, Ga., in 1930. I served churches and visited among the churches of the South for fourteen years. We moved to Virginia in 1943 and bought a home in Sperryville, Va. The brethren and churches in the four states have been good to us and we love them all.

For the first six years of our married life my wife was of poor health and was in the hospital several times. She has never been strong. We lost three boys in infancy. We adopted a daughter. She has had three precious children. They make their home with us. We have visited among the churches of twenty-four states and are still able to go in the Master's cause. We desire to spend our last days among the mountains and the precious Primitive Baptists here in Virginia. We love the cause and want to spend and be spent in the service of our Lord and Master.

J. HARVEY DAILY.

AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH (Elder L. C. Swanner)

AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH. (1951, April)

I was born September 15, 1917 into the family of Jesse and Sallie McCary Swanner. As far back as I can remember my parents have been devoted members of Zion Rest Church, Jonesboro, La. My father's parents were members until death. My mother's parents are still living and are members of a local sister church.

I have always had a deep respect for their religion (my parents), but in the spring of 1930 I became troubled. Mother would try to comfort me at night, after I retired from farm labour, as I cried, but she could not reach me. One morning my worries left me and I was happy as I worked in the field. I I felt God loved such a thing as me, and I loved Him.

Saturday morning came, and as it was the custom for us to go to church on regular meeting time, we went. I wanted to join, but, thought: "Only a lad. The members are older than I. What will they think?" I could see them happy and wanted to unite with them. When an opportunity for members was given, I offered myself. I was baptized the next day, June 12, 1930, by Elder C. M. Monk.

If I have ever been called by the God of Heaven to preach His gospel, it was soon after this, but I did not give over to my impressions until years later. I would study and try to harmonize the Scriptures, but I could not feel that I could defend His cause. I began to exercise in public in 1943; and was ordained by my home church, Zion Rest, Jonesboro, La., where I united the third Sunday in July, 1946. I am trying to serve them as pastor along with others. These people have been so good to poor me, until I feel I owe them all I have. Other people have been good, also, to me, far better than I feel I deserve.

I do not feel I am worth anything to the people, and realize my nothingness in the sight of a great God, but I do desire to try to live humbly at their feet, giving praise to whom praise is due.—L. C. SWANNER.

AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH (Elder Leon H. Clevenger)

AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH (Elder Leon H. Clevenger) (1951, June)

I was born March 14, 1880, in southern Kansas, near the Indian Territory line, where my parents were homesteading. Their names were Howard Clevenger and Cornelia J. Hightower Clevenger, and their parent were children of East Tennessee stock, mainly of English origin. My parents soon returned to northwest Missouri, where they had been born, and where I have spent most all of my past life. I received a hope in Christ when I was thirteen. On March 14, 1897, I was united in marriage with Mattie M. O'Dell, and on the following Sunday, March 21, 1897, we were both baptized into New Garden Primitive Baptist church, where our membership still is, and for which we thank the Lord. Fifty-four years together and in the church.

I began exercising in public in 1907; ordained in 1912. I was already acting as pastor of one church before ordination. I have served churches in my little way all these years and do not regret any service, time or effort that I have given them. I might look back and count many hardships—but all God-called faithful ministers have such ; and we all count it as nothing compared to the joy and fellowship along the way! I feel sure that I have never put anything into the service of God but what I have received double or much more every time.

Wife and I have traveled among the Primitive Baptists in many states. We thank God and His people for a kind reception and sweet fellowship wherever we have gone. We have spent practically all our lives in sight of old New Garden Church, near Excelsior Springs, Mo. We can now look across the hills and see her buildings. The future looks brighter than ever before. Hope is a little stronger and faith a little clearer! Just a little while to labor and then we go home. For, our Saviour will come and take us to that home He has prepared for us. So we walk hand in hand, wife and I, until He calls—and we hope we can go together! Your little brother in humble hope. 

LEON H. CLEVENGER.

AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH (Elder M. A. Norman)

AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH (1951, November)

According to the old Family Record, I was born June 17, 1905, into the family of Mr. Elijah and Mrs. Margaret Norman. They resided at that time in the western part of old Garland County, near Meyers, Arkansas.

It was here among the beautiful pine-clad hills and mountains that I was reared to manhood. In early life I had serious thoughts of God. But little did I think about a hereafter, or a duty toward that great and venerable Being. My father and mother both joined the Old Baptist Church while I was a small lad. I remember those precious days with joy. Yes, the family would circle around the old hearthstone, in front of a bright glowing fire in the old fireplace. Sweet memories flood my soul when I think of the company Dad and Mother would bring home with them from church.

In my early childhood days dark clouds hovered over our poor home. Mother took T. B. We could see that she was sinking from us. Then to add darkness to the cloud, my elder brother was called to the service of his country. And hastily trained and soon sent to the land of France. Mother passed away while he was gone. And then to add to our already heavy burden, we received the news that brother was missing in action. How our hearts despaired! Months later, though, we heard from him; he was well, and in Camp Mills, Virginia, and was coming home soon. How glad we were!

When I was a lad of nineteen, I united with one of the secret orders of the day. I desired to make a big mark in life. And I thought that was a good step forward. One day I went to church to hear that grandfather Kinsey of mine preach. I knew he was well stricken in years, and that I must soon hear him preach or else never have the privilege. I fully intended to get out of the house just as soon as grandfather was done speaking. I had great respect for grandfather's efforts. But beyond this, it had little effect on me. But when he closed this part of the services I was not able to get up from that old seat. It seemed that I was as helpless as if a great iron bar was strapped across my lap. I did not move—and I do not believe I could have moved.

Then Elder J. T. Hallmark arose and began to speak in the name of the Master. His words were powerful, different to anything I had ever before heard. Uncalled-for tears came from my eyes and trickled down my cheeks. I did not want them to be seen but just the same they flowed freely. Here I highly resolved to unite with the church of God. I went to that old meeting-house that morning looking down at the old Baptist Church—I left it that evening looking far up to her!

One week from that memorable day, I united with the church. One of my friend boys joined the same time I did. He is Elder W. E. Milholen. We had been companions in walking together after the things of this life. And now we were companions in a far greater cause. That evening we were both laid beneath the 'yielding waves. That was a peaceful and restful afternoon. Oh, the joys that God's little children get in obedience to that heavenly command.

Two weeks after I was baptized, I began exercising in a public way. I made my first effort in the ever-welcome home of Elder Hallmark. It was a happy and glorious evening to this poor boy. I had earnestly prayed if it was my duty to speak in a public way that God would show me some way that it was my duty. A few nights before I made this first effort I dreamed a dream. In my dream, Elder Hallmark, one of my sisters and myself were in an old house. I thought the house needed to be raised and moved to another part of the country. I called on Brother Hallmark to move the house. He looked at me astonished, as if I had said something astounding. When he made no effort to move the house I thought I began to call on the good Lord—and the house was raised up and sailed smoothly over a wilderness. And, as we glided peacefully along, fire broke out in the wilderness and began to consume it (the wilderness). From then on I felt like this dream was given to me to show me that it was my duty to speak in the name of our Saviour.

I have gone through many desert places in the work of the ministry; yes, through many dark places; along many thorny paths. But, I have found the joys far outweighed the burdens that have come my way. And today I long to go on and tell God's poor and afflicted that their home in heaven is waiting them up yonder ; reserved there for them; and they are kept by the power of God that cannot fail. It seems that my little efforts have been poor and unprofitable. Yet, all along the way, I have received some sweet evidence that the Lord was blessing me. I have so much to be thankful for. All of my brothers and sisters in the flesh are members of the Old Baptist Church, and I have a daughter who is a member.

I was ordained to the work of the ministry in a few months after I began talking in a public way. But, before I was ordained to the work of the ministry, I married Miss Lydia Fryar, of Oden, Arkansas. To our union four children have been born. Our first born died in infancy. How sad and disappointed we were. But, today, as gloom encircles this earth, I can truly say that I would not wish the little fellow back in this cold world of sin and sorrow. Should he have lived he might be in Korea in the battle. But as it is, his little spirit sings, and is happy in that home of glory.

I have recently moved to Ada, Okla. I did so much regret to leave the good brethren and sisters in Arkansas. I felt impressed to move this way. I am hoping that the good Lord will bless my efforts here. I regretted to leave some boys in the ministry. May God take care of them! Boys, go on speaking in the name of Jesus. His grace is sufficient!

With much love to the household of faith, I close, as ever a little brother, in hope.

M. A. NORMAN.
430 W. Eighth,
Ada, Okla.

AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH (Elder W. A. Bishop)

AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH (1952, February)

I joined the Primitive Baptist Church at Mt. Pisgah when I was twenty-two years old. In a short time I was ordained as a deacon. In 1904 I was ordained to the ministry. I have been serving churches all through my ministerial life. I am now seventy-nine years old. The Lord is blessing me to meet my appointments. I feel like my race is nearly run, but I have a strong hope that cheers me through life. My brethren are awfully good to encourage me along the way. I ask an interest in your prayers. Your brother,

W. A. BISHOP.

AUTOBIOGRAPHY (Elder C. M. Mills)

AUTOBIOGRAPHY (1951, July)

The first time I ever gave any thought to religion was when I was thirteen years old. I was at a Missionary Baptist church near my home. They were having a week or more meeting. The preacher said one night, "This is your last chance" and pointed his finger at me. After he had told some scary tales, commonly called graveyard tales, he opened the door of the church for members He tried to prevail on me, as he called it, to escape a devil's hell, but his manner did not appeal to me. The next day I was at church and he began with the same kind of scary tales, and said, "This is your last chance." The thought came into my mind That is what you told me last night. Now, if that was my chance, there cannot be another today; and If I have a chance this morning, then that was not my last chance last night! I noticed that he was so anxious to get members that he had falsified in trying to get them.

After this I watched him very closely. I heard him and, also, others, cross themselves in' the pulpit. I did not know anything about grace, but I could tell when a man crossed himself. A few years later I began working in a garage. My mind was so well occupied with mechanical matters that I soon lost sight of such things. I worked with men that drank, cursed and had bad habits. I gradually took up the habit of using some profanity but refrained from the others. I worked my way up to where I was recognized as a master mechanic.

In 1926 I became associated with a man in a garage of our own. Neither he nor I were religiously minded, only strictly business. During the big snow of 1927 several men were standing around the stove talking about the Watch Tower program, commonly called Jehovah's Witnesses. My partner became interested. One of the boys sold him a set of Judge Rutherford's books. Soon after this, I sold my interest to him and opened my own business. He soon became a follower of those people. A few years later, he closed up his business and went out selling these books himself. I bought a set from him and read for myself. The first thing that caught my eye was that Judge Rutherford denied that the body of Jesus Christ was raised alive out of the grave, and received up into heaven in body. I compared these books with the Bible record and found out that they did not agree. I cast these books aside and dismissed the matter from my mind. I was so well wrapped up in my business that I did not go to any church. My wife was a member of the Missionary Baptist Church in Concord, N.C.

The first Sunday in August, 1931, my family and I went to visit my parents, near Monroe, N. C. My father was dressed and waiting for the people to come by for him as they were going to the Communion Service at Lawyers Springs Primitive Baptist Church. He asked me to carry him, because the people he had planned to go with had not come for him, and, besides, he did not want to go off from home and leave me by myself. To which request I agreed. He said he would come home at noon. I did not go inside the church house, because it was already crowded.

I did not know the doctrine of the Primitive Baptists, nor had I bothered myself to find out. Two large barrels of water had been brought and left on a wagon near the rear of the church. While waiting for two small boys to drink, something happened to me, of which I am not fully able to understand until this day. I fell to the earth helpless, I was not in bodily pain, neither was I in a faint, because I was fully conscious. I thought it was death. For the first time L realized that I did not have the right to live on the earth, nor anywhere else. I saw that I stood justly condemned to die. I walked out into some thick young pines near the church, and tried to beg the Lord to please have mercy on me, a poor helpless sinner! The pleadings of my heart was: Lord, please let me live! The church dismissed service for dinner. As I walked into the yard, my father asked me what was the matter. I turned away in tears and while leaning against a tree, said, "I see no hope for a poor sinner like me." He said, "Thank God!" I could not understand why he was thanking God, when my sorrows were so great. Surely, he did not know my troubles.

I believe I understand it now; but I could not at that time. For about two weeks I saw no rest or peace, day or night. I pondered many things in my heart. I had heard it preached that, if a man rejected the Lord, he would be lost. I was convinced in my heart that Jesus Christ the Lord had power over death. The thought arose in my heart: If a man could not reject the powers of death (and no one can), how could he reject the power of the Lord, which is greater than death? I was thoroughly convinced in my heart that if the Lord did not deliver and care for me, it would not be done, because nobody else was able. I verily believed that Jesus Christ the Lord was able to care for me, but I could not see why He would bother Himself with a poor sinner like me. At that time I did not know that the Lord loved poor sinners! I was a poor beggar at mercy's door.

In reading and searching the Bible I found but little comfort, because I (lid not understand, or get the meaning of the Scriptures. I was all alone when the heavy burden, which had troubled me so in my heart, was lifted. When this quiet calmness came into my heart and soul, the tears of sorrow were replaced with tears of joy. By the support of this evidence and the comfort in my heart and soul, I was enabled to believe that Jesus Christ was my Saviour! From the depths of my heart I thanked the good Lord for His kindness and mercy.

A desire sprang up in my heart to talk of His goodness and mercy to poor sinners. I thought anyone could see how poor sinners were saved, but I soon found out differently. Some of my business friends laughed at me for talking about the subject. Only one of the men that worked for me was interested in the subject, and he differed with me at first as to how sinners were saved. Later on several of them gave some thought to the subject, because they discussed it with me at different times. The unprofitable words which I had picked up were immediately dropped. I was sick and tired, and, also, ashamed of such folly.

I joined the church the first time I heard the doctrine of salvation preached—that is my experience if not deceived. I soon began to talk about grace on the floor during conference. The brethren asked me to go into the pulpit, but that was too high a place for a poor little fellow like me. If I prayed once, I prayed a thousand times to know what the will of the Lord was concerning me. I preached to myself when alone. But, the thought came to me: God did not call men to preach to themselves. I decided to let the church be the judge and abide by their decision. This burden seems to be stronger at times than at others, but it has stayed with me for the past twenty years. My home church soon called for my ordination, which at first I would not give my consent—but I realized my brethren were to be respected. I have heard a few say that they had said, "They would die before they would preach," but I feared God to the extent that I did not feel like talking back in imputence to Him.

In trying to pastor churches, I am a poor excuse. I have been blessed to baptize over 400; and have taken part in over 700 funerals in the past twenty years. Preaching for the Old Baptists has caused me more concern than anything else in my entire life.

Your little servant, 
C. M. Mills.
3130 Central Ave.,
Charlotte, N. C.

AUTOBIOGRAPHY (Elder E. W. Hargett)

AUTOBIOGRAPHY (1952, July)

I was born October 30, 1894, in Union County, N. C., the son of Jno. W. and Tobitha A. Hargett; the third child of thirteen children—eleven of us yet living; was reared by strict parents; taught the principles of truthfulness and honesty; obedience in the home, and good behavior away from home. My parents did not belong to any church in my young days, yet they attended church, always carrying us (children) with them; seated in the church and remained quiet during the service. When we attended the services of the Primitive Baptists it always seemed a sacred place, an holy assembly, which I did not feel when we visited other churches.

Father sold our home and with his family moved to Union County, Ark., in February of 1908. The locality where we located there was no Primitive Baptist church near. We attended the Missionary Baptist church in the community. I heard such preaching as: We must turn from our evil ways, repent, exercise faith, accept Jesus, join the church and be baptized or hell would be our doom. This did not disturb me, for I had never felt to be a sinner. I felt as if I were as good as anyone, even as good as the preacher.

But, one day the tide changed. While plowing alone in the field, one hot day in June, in the year of 1914, the sun shining brightly, about 10 o'clock in the morning, darkness overshadowed me. The sun lost its brightness. The first time in life I felt to be the greatest sinner in all the world. Oh, the anguish of my poor soul for days and days—a sinner without a Saviour. I tried every remedy I knew for relief. I had heard that the Primitive Baptists preached that a portion of the human family was born for heaven and a portion born for hell—I felt surely it must be so, and I belonged to that portion for hell. (Let me say here: Primitive Baptists do not preach or believe this accusation.) I had often tried to pray to the Lord to save me, but at this time I could not pray for the Lord to save me. I needed His mercy, and was made to cry : Lord, have mercy on me! To my surprise, just as suddenly as the darkness overshadowed me, the light sprang forth, all my distress and the guilt of sin was taken away. I saw Jesus, a precious Saviour, and could claim Him as my own. I united with the Missionary Baptist church, and was baptized. Many happy days followed.

But, alas! Another trouble arose in my bosom, in about six months—the burden of the ministry, which caused me to spend many restless days and nights. I read my Bible every spare moment, read until late hours of the night, by the light of a coal oil lamp, searching for truths. I often read the Scripture concerning Jonah. I would often have such thoughts as: The Lord can kill me, but I will never preach. The church licensed me to preach; later ordained me to the work of the ministry; served churches among them, and was called a "Hardshell, preaching a doctrine that would send souls to hell." I became so disgusted, I thought I would quit; stay at home with my family.

One Sunday instead of going to the church I was trying to serve, I attended a Primitive Baptist service at Sardis Church. The late Elder C. M. Monk preached. Oh, how my poor soul was fed that gospel food that comes alone from God, so great was my rejoicing. T knew if I had a people in this world, these were my people! I begged a home with them; was received and baptized by the late Elder Jake Sandage in June of 1924. I preached for them ; soon they called a presbytery and ordained me. I was satisfied with the church as I found her. I have tried to uphold her principles in doctrine and practice. I have taken opposition to some of my own dear brethren when I thought they were departing from the principles that have ever characterized our people. I have served churches as pastor ; traveled some; preached in several different states. I feel to be so little and unworthy, but I feel to be thankful and grateful for the little place I have with so great a people. I have tried to live right ; also, have tried to keep myself unspotted from the world. I have never baptized a great number of people as have some, but the churches I have tried to serve, live in peace and sweet fellowship, which I appreciate above all else in my labors. I am not jealous of my preaching brethren. I have observed, and would admonish, all to so conduct themselves that no one would desire to accuse them falsely. I have passed through many disappointments; had many heartaches! suffered poverty but the Lord has sustained me through them all. I have had many sweet experiences in life ; received great encouragement from my dear brethren. I now think of one of the most outstanding expressions of encouragement that I have ever received. One precious sister of my home church remarked to me that they looked upon me as the backlog in the fireplace, to the church ; others would come and go ; many were consumed by the fire, but the backlog remained and could depend upon it. I hope I can live and die in fellowship with so great a people.

I am a poor unworthy servant,
E. W. HARGETT.

AUTOBIOGRAPHY (Elder Gene Thomas)

AUTOBIOGRAPHY (1951, October)

I was born in Scottsboro, Alabama, on January 2, 1929. My parents are Joe E. and Minnie C. Thomas. I consider it a wonderful privilege to have been raised in an Old Baptist home. My mother was a member of the church before I was born. Although my father does not belong, he is a staunch believer and defender. of the doctrine of the Primitive Baptists.

I united with the Primitive Baptist Church when I was eleven years of age. I belong at Union Church in the Mud Creek Association. From my earliest memories I have loved the Primitive Baptists. As soon as I learned to read, I began reading the Bible, THE PRIMITIVE BAPTIST paper, and any other religious writings. that I could find. Then, too. when I was only a child the feeling was about me that someday I would have to preach for the Old Baptists. If I have ever had a change or had what is c =only called an experience of grace, I can not remember when it begun, but I sincerely feel like I am continually experiencing His grace.

I made my first effort to speak in a public way on the third Sunday in June, 1948. My text on that day was Eze 16:6. On the first Sunday of December, 1918, I was ordained to the work of the ministry. I am now called to the service of three churches. From September of 1947 until June of 1951 (except during the summers) I attended Florence State Teachers College in order to prepare myself for the teaching profession. I am now teaching English and Health to the seventh, eighth, and ninth grades in a Junior High School.

1 believe that I can say with the poet, " 'Tis grace has brought me safe thus far," and I am trusting in His grace to lead me on.

A little servant,
GENE THOMAS.

AUTOBIOGRAPHY (Elder J. H. Oliphant)

AUTOBIOGRAPHY (1946, September)

From the Autobiography of Elder J. H. Oliphant, May, 1923

My great-grandfather's name was William Oliphant. He was born in Ireland, and brought to North Carolina when a youth. He was a Primitive Baptist, and I heard Elder Gideon Potter tell of preaching at the church at which he was a member, about 1815. He served as a soldier in the Revolutionary War.

My grandfather's name was Thomas Oliphant. He began preaching for the Primitive Baptists when nineteen years of age. His son, my Uncle Harvey, began preaching for the Primitive Baptists before grandfather died, and preached five years after grandfather's death, and died. Grandfather died in September before Lincoln's first election in 1860. Uncle Harvey died at the close of the war in April, 1865. My cousin, John T. Oliphant, began preaching before Uncle Harvey's death, and he is still preaching. So Grandfather Oliphant and his sons have now been preaching for the Primitive Baptists over a century, and holding the same doctrine and views generally.

I remember grandfather well, and of hearing him preach. He wrote a circular letter for the association which still exists, and which shows his views. He was born in 1871, and began preaching in the year 1800. So he and his son and grandson have now (in 1923) been preaching for the Primitive Baptists 123 years.
 
My father's name was Thomas. He was born in October, 1818, in North Carolina, and died in August, 1889. He joined the church, when a youth, and lived a consistent life all the way. He was a farmer and a hard working man. My mother's maiden name was Carmichael. Archibald Carmichael, her grandfather, was a Primitive Baptist in North Carolina, and was in the Revolutionary War. Grandfather Carmichael's name was Richard, was born in North Carolina, and was neighbor there of Grandfather Oliphant, and they were members of the same church. About 1820 they moved to Indiana and settled not far from Harrodsburg. Here they lived neighbors, and were members of the same church, which was old Hebron, in Green County, and of which grandfather was long the pastor, and "Uncle Richard" Carmichael, as he was called, was a zealous member.

My father and mother were married about 1839, and soon settled on a farm near Hebron Church. The farm was in Monroe County. I was born four years before they went on the farm referred to. They lived on that farm until 1881, nearly thirty-five years. Then they spent one year in Nodaway County, Missouri, after which they returned to Indiana where they ended their days. Mother died in April, 1885, and father lived until in August, 1889. They were both members at Hebron Church, and were faithful and helpful in every way to it. To them were born fourteen children, three of whom died in infancy, and eleven are yet living, except Richard, who was killed by a runaway team near Ravenwood, Missouri, in December, 1910. Mother died cheerfully and in full possession of her understanding. Her last words were whispered, "You will all come soon." Father died willingly and cheerfully. His last words were, "When I am dead I want my sons to stand around my bed and sing,

Amazing grace, how sweet the sound,
That saved a wretch like me."

He died about 1 o'clock p. m., and finished a life full of evidences that he was a sincere and noble man, and we sang the ,hymn in cheerful, solemn tones as he requested. Mother was contented about the three babes, and said, "I feel less uneasiness about the dead than about the living." Father was not a gifted -man in public. I never heard him pray in the church, but he often returned thanks at the table. They were deeply interested in the church in every way.

The White River Association was a large body. There were over a thousand members, as I remember. About 1860 there came trouble into the association, and it continued and grew worse, until in 1865 division came. I was an observer and interested in all. Good people went on both sides. There were preachers who tired of the "old paths" and doctrine, who believed in progression. Protracted meetings were held by them at which a hundred joined, and things looked discouraging for those who loved the old ways. Elder E. D. Thomas, of the Danville Association, rendered good help, and all the sister associations continued their correspondence with our tried people.

As time went by the house of Saul grew weaker, and the house of David grew stronger. The Progressives seemed to think there was room between us and the Missionaries to stand, but experience and time demonstrated that there was not. This fact has often been shown since.

I was born March 10, 1846, and was brought up to work on the farm. My chances for school were poor, such as the common schools afforded. I wish to notice the interest my parents took in my religious and moral training. They sought to fix in our minds a love for honesty, integrity, fair dealing, and justice among men. They took us to church, and encouraged us to go when we grew older. Mother talked to us more than father, and she would often tell us her experience, of which I have a vivid recollection yet. She often told us that we needed a blessing that she could not bestow on us.

The preachers came often to our home, but when they tried to talk to me, I shunned them. But often they would talk of divine things in our presence, and I loved to hear them. In the fall of 1863 I taught my first school. During the school term I got acquainted with Catherine Tague, and at once was interested in her, and we were married September 4, 1864. Her father, Jacob Tague, was a Dutchman, who was born in North Carolina. Her great-grandfather, Michael Tague, was perhaps born in the old country, but her father, Jacob Tague, was brought to Indiana about the time my father was, and they were neighbors. The Tagues were Methodists as far back as I have heard. When we were married we settled in a Baptist neighborhood, where we attended their meetings, but we both felt unconcerned as to our own interests.

Elders Gustin Carmichael, L. G. Burch, Jesse Burch, Mordecai Hatfield, Gideon Potter, Louis Walden, and Gilbert Hayse were the home preachers, I believe, of the association. Elder E. D. Thomas was a frequent and wecome visitor in the community, and we attended as we had opportunity, though with no special interest until in 1867.

In 1868 I became interested in religion. I met Elder L. T. Buchanan first in September of that year. I attended all the meetings, and my wife was also attentive. I observed in her an increased interest in the church, so we both waited impatiently from one meeting to the next. We were glad to be with the members. My interest was such that I could not conceal it. I thought that I had some affliction coming on me for months. I was so burdened in mind that it was my first thought in the morning and the last before I went to sleep. Without detailing what I did or said, I will mention that I went to hear Elder E. D. Thomas preach, and his text was, "Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness, for they shall be filled." He talked of it as follows: "The one that hungers and thirsts is now blessed, in the present tense. If you hunger and thirst after righteousness, you are now blessed. It does not say, blessed are the righteous, but blessed are they that desire to be righteous. Is there one here that longs to be free from sins, that would give the world to be free from all sin, Old to enjoy the loving presence of the Saviour? If so, you are now blessed, already has the mercy of God been bestowed upon you, and you now have a pledge for all the fullness of divine blessing."

While he talked in this way I considered my own case. Do I feel the need of mercy? Do I really long to be pure and free from sin? I knew that I did. But this was all new to me. I saw things in a new light. I had thought that I must first be righteous, and I had tried to be in every way that I could. But the preacher urged that if I longed to be righteous then this text applied to me. After it was all over, I went home with a little hope. I saw in my heart the desire, deep and sincere, and I felt that the text must be mine. So ever after that I had a little hope.

On Sunday evening after this, I was at an association at Indian Creek Church in the White River Association. I left the people and went to myself, and in a lone ravine, surrounded with underbrush, alone, I tried to pray, and while there I became satisfied, my trouble all left me. I felt at rest, a solemn composure of mind came to me. I came home Monday evening, and my wife had had a similar experience while I was gone. On Tuesday evening I felt discouraged, and felt that I was deceived. I sent for Elder D. T. Poynter to come and talk to us. He talked as I felt. He said doubts and fears were not uncommon amoung the Lord's people, that we must expect these things to come .to us. By the time he was done speaking, I felt my hope revive, and my joy was restored to me. My wife took part in the conversation, and I was then convinced that it was not common for the Lord's people to live in perpetual joy, but that clouds would come over us all. And now, after forty-seven years of life in the church, I still find dark trials to roll over me, and I am often made to cry, "0 wretched man that I am!"

On Wednesday my wife and I went to meeting and joined the church, and were baptized by Elder D. T. Poynter. It was a great comfort to have the fellowship of the members. My parents were there, and both were happy. When the hand of fellowship was given to us, father started the song,

0 happy time, long waited for,
The comfort of my heart.

Mother embraced us, and I enjoyed a sweet, solemn composure of mind. This was August 1, 1869, and I do not remember being harassed with doubt or fear for several weeks.

Soon after the above incident my wife and I went to the Danville Association. It was held at Mt. Union Church in the Shirley neighborhood, Boone County, Indiana. We went by the way of Center Valley where we first met Murdock Craven, and by Mt. Zion Church and Antioch, where we met the Josephs. We enjoyed the meeting and the trip. All was a continued feast. On this trip we first met Elder S. D. Harlin, whom I loved ever afterwards, as a faithful man. On our return we were at Crawfordsville over night. We did not know of any Baptists being in Crawfordsville. I had no doubts, nor fears, no weighty cares on this trip.

Sometime that fall I became interested in the churches. They were weak, and some of them not supplied with pastors. The recent division in the White River Association had been followed by protracted meetings by the Progressives. So it looked gloomy for our people. I felt deeply anxious about the churches, and felt impressed that I ought to take some part in a public way. There were three things in my way. My wife was utterly unreconciled to it, was one trouble; my unworthiness was another, and my incompetency. My wife became reconciled to it, so the first trouble was removed, but to this day I am troubled with a sense of my unworthiness and incompetency. I have as good evidence of being called to the ministry as of an experience of grace.

The first time I ever took part in public service was at the home of Brother William Sparks, near Stanford, Indiana, at a night meeting. I opened meeting by prayer, and it was a poor little prayer, but I found relief in it. This was in February, 1870. In January, 1872, I was ordained by the following presbytery: Elders Gideon Potter, D. T. Poynter, E. D. Thomas, and Deacons J. C. Freeman, George Kinder, and Henry Boruff.

This took place at Union Church in Green County, Indiana, where we first joined. I was called to the care of Spring Creek Church in April, 1870, and Guthrie's Creek and Indian Creek by June, 1870. I was also made assistant to Elder Potter at my home church. So in the year 1870, I was called to the care of four churches, and continued to serve that number of churches up to December, 1914, so it was over forty-one years I served four churches continuously.

I well remember the interest that was taken in me by Charles Burch, John Sharr, William Graves, J. C. Freeman, and others. These men are all dead now. They encouraged me, went with me to other churches, and showed their interest in me in every way. If I failed in an effort to preach, they made excuses for me, and showed in every way that they regarded me as a real sent minister of the gospel.

The church at Union prospered and many precious members were added to it during the twenty years I served it. And so at other churches in the association, so that the association became strong again under the faithful service of their ministers and visiting ministers.

AUTOBIOGRAPHY (Elder John R. Harris)

AUTOBIOGRAPHY (1952, August)

According to our family record, I was born near Thornton, Ark., Aug. 17, 1879. I am the oldest son of Lewis C. and Laura C. Harris. My father never united with the church, but was a believer in the Primitive Baptist faith. My mother was a member of the church. Our home was a welcome place for the Old Baptists and many of them visited in our home ever since I can remember. My grandfather, John J. Harris, was a member of the church. He had a brother, Elder Wm. S. Harris, who came with him from Chambers County, Alabama. They settled on farms near Chambersville, Ark. I have been informed that Brother Wm. S. Harris had an impression to preach the gospel while he lived here in Arkansas, but would not yield to his impression. So, he decided to move to Texas, thinking the impression to preach would leave him. He was mistaken in this. He 'was ordained to preach and continued in his calling until death. He was considered an able minister, and a peace-maker among the Baptists as long as he lived. Two of his grandsons are Primitive Baptist ministers : Elder W. W. Fowler and. Elder Paul Harris, of Dallas, Texas; both are held in high esteem among the Baptists.

I had serious thoughts about the hereafter from childhood. I have loved the Old Baptists ever since I can remember, and felt like they were the true church. Finally, as the years went by I asked for a home with them in the year of 1913. The church liberated me to exercise my gift, if indeed I had one, in 1915. I was ordained to the full work of the ministry in 1917. I have been trying to serve churches ever since. Now, at the age of 73 years, I am serving five churches in the bounds of the South Arkansas Association. We have never had any serious trouble in any of the churches I have ever served as pastor. Peace and fellowship seems to abound in all of the churches, for which I feel thankful to our God. A more complete biography of my life and call to the ministry was published in the March 23, 1933 issue of THE PRIMITIVE BAPTIST. I realize, as the poet expressed:

My latest sun is sinking fast,
My race is nearly run.

I remain, a poor sinner saved by grace, if saved at all. 

JNO. R. HARRIS.

AUTOBIOGRAPHY (Elder T. L. Webb, Jr.)

AUTOBIOGRAPHY (1952, July)

I was born in Thornton, Arkansas, November 30, 1930, the youngest child of Elder T. L. and Mattie Browning Webb. At that time my father was connected with THE PRIMITIVE BAPTIST paper. We moved to El Dorado, Ark., when I was three years old. I united with the Friendship Primitive Baptist Church there at the age of seven years. I was baptized, together with my sister (Doris), by my father on the third Sunday in June, 1938.

All I know about an experience of grace is that I have loved the church ever since I can remember and have rejoiced under the sound of the gospel when I didn't realize what it was all about. I first felt a burden to preach when I was thirteen or fourteen years old while at Pleasant Grove Church, Union County, N. C., listening to my father preach. I carried this burden during my school years, and finally made my first effort to introduce services at the age of 18. I was ordained by the authority of New Hope Church, Milan, Tenn., in May, 1951.

I am now trying to serve three churches. I feel my efforts to preach have been poor, but I trust I may live and conduct myself in such a way as to never bring reproach upon the Church and the Cause of our Master. 

T. L. WEBB JR.

AUTOBIOGRAPHY (Elder Thomas Tolley)

AUTOBIOGRAPHY

I was born September 20, 1929, in Gibson County, Tennessee, to Sam L. and Janie E. Tolley. I am the youngest of seven children—two of whom have preceded us in death: I have two sisters and two brothers liv­ing. On June 11, 1949, at the age of nineteen, I was united in marriage to Alta Mae White. To this union God has given one child, a son, Thomas Michael, born July 4, 1951.

I united with Old Harmony Primitive Baptist Church ,on the third Sunday in June, 1950. On Au­gust 31, 1950, my beloved wife and her mother united with the church and the same day we were all baptized by Elder James Russell White, my wife's brother, who had that day been ordained to the full work of the ministry. I was ordained the first Sunday in No­vember, 1951. I am now trying to serve three churches, although I feel very unworthy and incapable of if. I need the prayers of God's people. My desire is to al­ways be found walking in the old paths, and telling the same sweet truths that the Old Baptists have rejoiced in for so long.

When I come to the end of my stay here in this life may I be enabled, by the grace of God, to say as one of old : I have fought a good fight. I have finished my course. I have kept the faith.—Your servant, in a sweet hope,

SAMUEL THOMAS TOLLEY.

AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF ELDER V. F. LOWRANCE

AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF ELDER V. F. LOWRANCE (1952, January)

I was born in Eastland County, Texas, March 14, 1904, to William Thomas and Minerva Susan Lowrance. am the seventh child in a family of thirteen children; nine boys and four girls. Daddy and Mother have gone on to their eternal home; likewise two of the children. I was married to Virginia Ann Netty McDorman, September Ill, 1025. To this union four children were born, one passing away in infamy. The living are: Loretta Virginia, age 22, and married to Roy Glen Huneycutt., Parker (Pat) Thompson, age 19, and Peggy Jean, age 9.

I was reared by good, honest, Christian-hearted parents, but of an Arminian faith. I held membership in the same denomination with them for eight years; but there was never a time when I fully believed all their tenets of doctrine. I never knew anything about what. Primitive Baptists believe (only by hear-say), until I met and began to go to church with the girl that is now my wife. I was, from the start, greatly impressed with the manifest love of this people for one another and the cause they represented. I will not try to go into the details of my conversion from Arminianism to a knowledge of the truth of the gospel. Suffice it to say that it was hardly three years until I became willing to "forsake father and mother, brothers and sisters, and every earthly tie by the Lowrance name, and go ask this people for a home. I was received into their fellowship, and my wife and I were baptized together, third Sunday in August, 1930.

If I know what an impression to preach is, I was impressed in that way while I was with the other people mentioned above; but did not try to preach for them. It was said by some, that I came to the Old Baptists "preaching." I am not the one to judge in that matter, but they were good and kind to me and encouraged me along that line. So, when I was asked to take part in the services the following month, at regular meeting time, at the home church, I came forward and tried to speak a few words with much fear and trembling. I found that I could not talk as I would like to. That has been my experience along that line ever since. Although, I sometimes am made to feel that the good Lord has blessed me to speak in His name with sweet liberty, I have never made an effort in my life that I was entirely satisfied with. The good Lord, those precious brethren and sisters, and myself only know how I stumbled along until I was made to know, by experience as well as the teaching of God's Word, that it was not in me, that is in my natural ability, to preach the gospel! So, if I have ever preached the gospel, it was by the grace of God given unto me.

I was ordained October 19, 1932. Soon the churches began to call me to their care as pastor, including my home church, which I tried to serve in that capacity until I moved away. Before long, I was trying to serve four churches, despite the fact that I have never felt that I have the pastoral gift and have repeatedly told my brethren so. Yet, I have tried to be submissive to my brethren, and have relied upon their judgment rather than my own.

Three of my brothers joined the church before I was ordained, including my brother just younger than I, Elder V. J. Lowrance; but it was my privilege to baptize my oldest brother and two of his boys at one time, which was the first baptizing I did. The first marriage ceremony I performed was that of my youngest, brother. The second ordination I was in, was that of my brother, Virniel, mentioned above. Several years later 1 was called to the state of Colorado to assist in ordaining another one of my brothers to the work of the gospel ministry, Elder Alfred Lowrance.

It is with considerable difficulty that I try to give an account of the following event. Not only from the standpoint of the emotions that arise within me; but from the standpoint of finding words to describe it. I sometimes feel like I could write a book about it, and the meeting in which it occurred, but to try to go to any length in describing the event in this sketch would be out of place. So, I will just try to state the bare facts as best I can, and let it suffice for this time.

In the year of 1935, in a meeting at old Medlin Chapel Church, in Young County, Texas, my father, mother, two brothers and three sisters came asking a home in the church and were received amidst much rejoicing. The next day my brother Virniel and I baptized them as they stood in a row, my brother at one end and I at the other of the line, each baptizing one alternately until we reached the middle of the line where our father and mother were. Brother Virniel baptized our father and I baptized our mother. Great merciful God in heaven, thou knowest how unworthy we felt, and do feel; as well as how we were able to perform the sacred ceremony, only by thy grace and goodness. Many, many times have I looked back upon the scone, In Memory, an well an pictures that were taken at the time, and wondered how I was able to perform the sacred duty an well as privilege, and the only answer that I can find Is the goodness of our God! Even now, while trying to write these few words, I have to pause to wipe the blinding tears from my eyes. My cry in still, an one of old: "God be merciful to me a sinner."

In the year of 1936 I resigned the care of three churches in Texas, and with many doubts and fears, as well as tears, and in response to an impression of mind and the call of Cane Creek Church, at Thornton, and the encouragement of many brethren and friends, we moved to Arkansas. Soon, by their request and call, I was trying to serve four churches again. I still say, that I do not feel qualified to pastor churches, but am trying to serve my brethren as best I can, in the way they request. At present, in addition to trying to serve four churches, I have five regular monthly appointments extra; two weekly radio broadcasts of thirty minutes each, and one monthly broadcast. All on different stations. I trust this will not be taken as a boast or a complaint, but just a simple statement of fact that belong to the subject under consideration. It seems that it has been my mind all along to try to reach as many of the children of God as I could, with what I hope He has blessed me with by way of understanding His Word; which is said to be, "A lamp unto oar feet and a light unto our path." It has been my privilege to visit among the Lord's people and "As much as in me is" preach the gospel of the Son of God in twelve states of our nation. I have never visited a state that has not made me want to go back. Even now, I have on hand many invitations from several of the states, and some that I have never visited. However, my present duties will not permit me to travel as much as I have in the past but still I want to go among them as much as I can. I beg an interest in the prayers of all who may read this. 

In humble hope,
V. F. LOWRANCE.
Donaldson, Ark.

BAPTISM

BAPTISM (1957, December)

Baptism is an ordinance in the gospel of Christ committed to the care of his church on earth for all time. It is to be administered by regularly ordained ministers of the gospel. It is enjoined on all truly penitent believers. It is the door into the visible church or gospel kingdom. It is a prerequisite to the sacrament of the Lord's Supper, as it is first enjoined, and recorded before it. It distinguishes between the followers of Christ and the outside world. In its ceremony we have a confession of the Holy Trinity —the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost. The mode is an immersion of the body in water. In this, we have in a figure, the burial and resurrection of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.—Ro 6., Col 2. Also our death to sin, and resurrection to new life. In the same mode we have illustrated in a visible figure, the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Ghost which is shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour. It seems to stand in the lead, and is pre-eminent among the many good works which God has ordained, that we should walk in them. Unto which, also, we were created in Christ Jesus. Christ gave it the seal of His approbation and sanction when He was baptized of John in Jordan. The Father spoke His sanction in audible voice, while the Holy Spirit descended in the visible form of a dove and abode upon Him. In this He was anointed with the oil of gladness above His fellow kings in Israel. This ordinance is important for several considerations:

First.—Because Christ ordained and gave it His divine sanction. (Suffer it to be so now and forbid it not, for thus it becometh us to fulfill all righteousness.)

Second.—Because it is the door into the visible church, or gospel kingdom, for all time.

Third.—It is important for what it figuratively represents, as already noticed.

When ever, and where ever, this ordinance is properly administered, the spectator beholds in this figure, which divine wisdom has selected, the burial and resurrection of Christ. And, the believers, death to sin and life to righteousness, while the faith of the subject, and others, is much strengthened. Thus, in these particulars, baptism illustrates much that the gospel teaches. Add to baptism the sacrament of the Lord's Supper, and we have the further figure of His mangled body and blood shed. His flesh, meat indeed, and His blood, drink indeed. Whereof, if one eat and drink, he shall live forever. Thus, in the signification of these two standing ordinances in the church, we, by faith, see pretty much all the fundamental principles of the gospel system of salvation illustrated. What glory and beauty shines forth in them. Unlike the sacrament, and other duties and privileges, when once properly attended to, and the subject obtains a conscience void of offence, he may go on his way rejoicing. It will trouble him no more. In the same figure we have Illustrated to faith's view, our Lord and Saviour, overwhelmed in sweat, and tears, and grief, and blood, and death, which He, Himself, sums up in baptism. If all that is enumerated above, and infinitely more, is taught in the ordinance of baptism, how important that the lesson should stand at the threshold of the gospel church for all time, and be submitted to by every one that enters her sacred portals. As by one spirit we are all baptized into one (spiritual) body. So in water baptism we are all baptized in one visible body. And though the elements are two, the mode is one (one baptism). We close by exhorting all true believers to obedience to this great requirement in the gospel, and obtain that rest and peace no where else to be found.

C. A. PARKER, Mt. Vernon, Texas.
In Gospel Messenger, July, 1884.

BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU SAY

BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU SAY (1946, October)

In speaking of another's faults,
Pray don't forget your own;
Remember those in homes of glass
Should never cast a stone.

If you have nothing else to do,
But talk of those who sin,
'Tis better you begin at home,
And from that part begin.

You have no right to judge a man
Until he is fairly tried;
Should you not like his company,
You know the world is wide.

Some may have faults, but who has not—
The old as well as the young;
Perhaps you may, for all you know,
Have fifty to their one.

I will tell you of a better plan,
And find it works quite well,
To try your own defects to cure
Before to others tell.

I hope sometimes to never be
No more than some I know;
My own shortcomings bid me
Let the faults of others go.

Think of the harm that one can do
To those children of our kind;
So let us cheer them on their way,
And not cause them grief and shame.

Offered through grace to all of God's people. In hope,

J. W. Keith.
R. 1, Danville, Ark.

BE KIND TO AND RESPECT OLD AGE (1946, September)

BE KIND TO AND RESPECT OLD AGE (1946, September)

By Roy M. Woodfin, in South Pittsburg Hustler

How true if is that the child, be he ever so thoughtful of his mother and father, never really misses them until they are gone. Or it might better be stated that the boy or girl seldom appreciates his or her mother and father until they reach that stage in life when they have taken upon themselves obligations of their own—until children come into their own home. It is then that many times we recall those hasty words and actions strewn along our backward track.

Many times we could have been a comfort to mom and dad had we possessed these more mature years through which we are now traveling, but the young and inexperienced mind went hurrying along, thinking of those who brought us into the world only when he had moments to spare. It wasn't because we did not love them, cherish them in our hearts and minds, we just didn't know then what we know now.

Truly it has been said, will be said time and time again, over and over again, "There's no place like home," and without mom and dad what would home have been--where would we have been? It was mother who made us that good steak gravy, those good biscuits. It was mother who darned our stockings and patched our pants, while father sat in the other chimney corner and sewed up and put soles on our shoes which we had treated so shamefully kicking some brick bat or playing shinny on the school ground. When they would wear out, father made some kind of a riffle and bought us a shiny pair possibly with brass toes, or later in life a real shiny pair to go with our jeans suit.

How much we owe our parents, a debt that in many instances will never be paid, and this we trust will serve as a reminder to every boy and and girl of teen age and beyond. Be kind to mother and father. Obey and honor them for this is a divine law.

BEALOTH (1944)

BEALOTH (1944)

S.M.D.

I love Thy kingdom, Lord,
The house of Thine abode;
The church our blest Redeemer saved
With His own precious blood.

I love thy church, 0 God,
Her walls before Thee stand,
Dear as the apple of Thine eye,
And graven on Thy hand.

For her my tears shall fall,
For her my prayers ascend,
To her my cares and toils be giv'n
Till cares and toils shall end.

Beyond my highest joy
I prize her heav'nly ways;
Her sweet communion, solemn vows,
Her hymns of love and praise.

Jesus, Thou Friend divine,
Our Saviour, and our King,
Thy hand, from every snare and foe,
Shall great deliv'rance bring.

Sure as Thy truth shall last,
To Zion shall be giv'n
The brightest glories earth can yield,
And brighter bliss of heav'n.

BEATITUDES

BEATITUDES (1949, December)

The seven features of character set forth in the first part of the sermon on the mountain tell us what it takes to constitute true Christian experience and life and are known as the beatitudes. I call your attention to each one briefly. There is one more, or the eighth blessedness, mentioned but this one comes as a result of the seven graces going before. They are persecuted because of what they are. You will find this in the first part of the fifth chapter of Matthew. "And He opened His mouth, and taught them, saying, Blessed are the poor in spirit : for theirs is the kingdom of heaven."

The blessings under consideration throughout the discourse were not temporal or outward, but Spiritual, and inward blessings. The poor in spirit are they who in their deepest consciousness realize their entire need and dependence. This self-emptying conviction that is ready to acknowledge that "Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief" lies at the foundation of all spiritual excellence. Without it we cannot have access to the riches of Christ, but with it we are fitted to receive all Spiritual supplies, "for theirs is the kingdom of heaven." The poor in spirit already have the kingdom. While others are taking a false view of themselves and all around them, the poor in spirit have a type-knowledge of themselves, and this knowledge is riches to them. When taught by experience in the school of grace the need of mercy, then the soul becomes enriched with the fullness of Christ.

Again He said, "Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted." This beatitude is not mere worldly grief or sorrow, but it is that heaviness of heart caused by a sense of Spiritual poverty, and is the result of Spiritual conviction. Thus the soul breaks forth in religious mourning or lamentation. "Woe is me, for I am undone !" To such belong the blessed promise, "They shall be comforted."

"Blessed are the meek : for they shall inherit the earth." When the poor in spirit are enriched with the fullness of Christ, and mourning is turned into comfort, they will be led into a life or attitude of meekness, or a lowly and gentle spirit. Peter said, "A meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price." This disposition is the opposite of high-mindedness, and a quarrelsome and revengeful spirit. They inherit the earth—in fact all things are theirs.

"Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness : for they shall be filled." As hungering and thirsting are the keenest of our appetites, our Lord, by this figure, plainly means those whose deepest cravings are after Spiritual blessings. These blessings are called righteousness of Christ and because of this they are imputed to us. These blessings both justify and sanctify the soul, fitting it for the true service of the gospel. They also bring true peace and rest that really satisfy when nothing else can. "They shall be filled," or satisfied.

"Blessed are the merciful : for they shall obtain mercy." Jesus taught His disciples to pray, "Forgive us as we forgive others." It is not to be understood that our being merciful comes first as a reason of acceptance with God. To the contrary, His tender compassion toward us awakens us to be charitable toward our fellowman. The character under consideration is the poor in spirit that feels condemned within, and mourns because of this condition, but has found mercy and peace of soul that has satisfied him. It would be expected of him to be merciful, since all his sins have been forgiven. As he is looking back at the mercies received and also is looking forward to the mercies which he yet needs, the thought is presented, "Forgive and ye shall be forgiven."

"Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God." There is a difference between outward and inward purity. God looks at the heart. In regeneration
the heart is changed by the cleansing of the Spirit, but that which is meant here is a pure motive or purpose. This heart purity is a "heart sprinkled from an evil conscience" or a "conscience purged from dead works to serve the true and living God." They shall see God in their experiences. They shall see Him in the church and in His dealings f providence and grace. In fact they shall see and know Him as their God.

"Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God." These are they whose lives are peaceful. Their talk and their walk do not stir up strife, but have an influence toward religious and social peace and happiness.

Thus we have the seven characteristics of the true Christian life. As seven is a complete number, so we have a complete list of those things which are necessary in order that we manifest that we are true children of God.

J. HARVEY DAILY.
Sperryville, Va.
From THE PRIMITIVE BAPTIST, June, 1933.

Been with Jesus

Been with Jesus (2005, January - April)

"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" — Ac 4:13.

My mind has been exercised some on the above Scripture this morning, and I will endeavor to present some of my thoughts for the consideration of the readers of this paper, This was spoken concerning two ministers of Christ, In its first application, it applies to God's ministering servants. 1 understand this to be a holy boldness, such as Jesus manifested during His ministry on all occasions, even in Pilate's judgment hall. These preachers were imitators of their Master, and, to be sure, we should always imitate Him, Now it was not the doctrine He preached that caused them to take knowledge that they had been with Jesus, but that holy boldness was so much like Jesus. We may make a loud profession as ministers of Jesus, but what about our conduct? Are we cowards? Do we boldly contend for the teaching of God's Word? To be sure, the servant to God needs the boldness of a lion, for there are many enemies in the way, as is taught in figure in olden times; see David meeting the giant, Gideon with his three hundred soldiers and a great strong enemy, Samson and the Philistines. God's servants, and all His little children, should imitate their Master, contend for His truths against all odds, and prove that we have been with Jesus, We can prove we have been with Him by living humbly at His feet, and at one another's Feet, We can prove we have been with Him by our devotion to His cause, We can prove we have been with Him in imitating Him in forgiving those who have wronged us. May God help us to imitate Him.

S. N, Redford
(Deceased)
— Copied from The Primitive Baptist, August 16, 1945, page 247.

BEERSHEBA TO JERUSALEM

BEERSHEBA TO JERUSALEM (1953, May)

From J. Gadsby's Wanderings

The Holy Land, or the Land of Canaan, otherwise called Palestine, which name it derived from the Philistines, or Pales-tines, who originally inhabited the coast, is a narrow strip of land, bounded on the west by the Mediterranean, or "Great Sea," and on the east by the river Jordan, though three of the tribes, Reuben, Gad, and Manasseh, had their portion on the east of the Jordan. During the reigns of David and Solomon, however, the kingdom extended beyond the Jordan, even to the Euphrates, from which river, Tadmor in the wilderness (2Ch 8:4), now called Palmyra, is distant about 110 miles. This ancient city is now in ruins. Solomon's kingdom also ineluded a great part of Syria, even beyond Damascus, and extended to the Persian Gulf, embracing all Edom, or Idumaea. This did not, however, stand beyond the lines promised in Ge 15:18.

In the time of Moses, the population amounted to about two millions and a half; but in the reign of David, they had increased two-fold, viz., to five millions, besides the tributary nations who had been conquered by them.

After the kingdom of Israel fell before the Assyrian conqueror in the year 721 B. C., the country was the scene of continual changes and revolutions, until, in 1317, it was swallowed up in the Turkish empire.

"Trodden down
By all in turn, Pagan, and Frank, and Tartar,—
So runs the dread anathema,--trodden down
Beneath the oppressor; darkness shrouding thee
From every blessed influence of heaven;
Thus hast thou lain for ages, iron bound
As with a curse. Thus art thou doomed to lie."

On leaving the place of our tent, we found the valley covered with ruins, broken tiles, &e, a u st as we had passed these ruins, three men on horseback, and armed to the teeth, rode up to us and ordered us to stop. Our dragoman, at the risk of breaking his leg, immediately jumped from his camel, and seizing two horse pistols which he had in his bag, showed most determined signs of resistance. Meantime our camels were proceeding, and the robbers fell into the rear. Instead of going away, however, the fellows turned round, and began to "take stock," or make calculations of our strength. Seeing this, we halted, and Mr. Gray took out of his box two pocket pistols. They were not loaded, but, as the robbers did not know this, they galloped off. It was curious enough that, not only were G.'s pistols not loaded, but one of our dragoman's was in the same state, and the other had no firelock; so, had we come to close quarters, we should soon have got the worst of it. We saw no more of the men for some time, and then they were galloping along the plain on our left, evidently, as we supposed, going for reinforcements. We saw one of them fire a pistol, and they were soon afterwards out of sight. Several Arabs, with long hair and their heads uncovered, were galloping about, having lances in their hands. As the wind blew their long hair over their faces, and in all directions, they looked wild and ferocious in the extreme. An Arab boasts that he can pick up anything from the ground with his spear while his horse is at full gallop.

A little farther on, the fields looked quite black, as though covered with soot. On arriving at the spot, we found the appearance was caused by locusts, which were jumping about by millions. They ate everything in their way,  and then moved in a body to another spot.* They have been known to consume, in a single hour, everything that was green on 100 acres. (See De 28:38; Pr 30:27,33.)

* The Arabs call them "Faras-el-purdy," or Soldiers' Horses; and this is doubtless why they were compared to horses in Re 9:7,9. In Joe 2:2-11 their movements are fully described. Their leavings seem as if parched with fire; (verse 3;) their heads resemble those of horses; (verse 4;) when they leap from place to place, the sound is like the crackling of burning stubble, as I can testify; (ver. 5;) they rush straight on without regarding obstacles; (ver. 7;) if they alight on anything sharp, it hurts them not; (ver. 8;) nothing is impassable to them, no height of wall being sufficient to prevent their entering in at the windows; (ver. 9.) The earth (the common people) quakes before them; the heavens (the kings) tremble; the sun and moon (the nobles) become dark, &c. Such are the figures used in verse 10.

Locusts are eaten in the east. They are often gathered in sacks, and boiled, sometimes in water, at others in butter. Some say John the Baptist ate them, though others think the locusts he ate were a fruit called carouba, or locust. There are two kinds of locusts, some having four legs only, which the Jews were forbidden to eat, and others with six, four for walking and two for leaping; and these might be eaten. (See Le 11:20-22.) Birds, foxes, &c., devour great numbers, and a high wind or cold rain is said to destroy millions; and it is well it is so.

So plentiful were the crops everywhere except where the locusts had been, that I think the time must have been when the ground groaned to be relieved of its produce. There were hundreds of camels, horses, donkeys, cattle, sheep, and goats, grazing all around. In various parts, we saw stakes driven into the ground, and in others large stones placed, to divide the fields, instead of hedge rows, of which they were none. These stones and stakes are the "landmarks" mentioned in De 27:17.

We next came to an Arab encampment. I counted 75 tents, in the form of a crescent, and most of them were black, "black as the tents of Kedar," made of goats' hair. In one of these tents we saw 12 men; so if they each contained an equal number, there must have been 900 men, besides women and children; but this is not probable. The only furniture we saw inside any of them was a water pot and a mat for prayers. Indeed, these wandering Arabs never possess much, except a copper boiler, a pair of corn mill stones, a leather churn, some water skins, a wooden kneading trough, a goblet or two, and a coffee pot. They never have to work for their living, or at any rate only in a very small degree, but live upon the spontaneous productions of the earth. If, in the Bible, we read of the patriarchs, we read a true description of the "dwellers in tents" of the present day.** As the patriarchs lived, so these wanderers live now. They still drive their flocks from well to well, from pasture to pasture, as Joseph's brethren removed with their herds from Hebron to Shechem, and from Shechem to Dothan, (Ge 37:14-17. See also
1Ki 18:5.) A plurality or wives is tolerated by the Koran; and where they exist the women with their children dwell in separate tents, just as Rachel and Leah did; and the "furniture," that is, the saddles, &c., of the camels still forms seats, as the Arabs in the desert have neither chairs nor tables. (Ge 31:33-34.)

** Jacob was a plain man, dwelling in tents. (Ge 25:27.) To this day the richest sheikh amongst these nomad tribes dwells in a tent; and, moreover, he is expected to pitch It nearest to the spot. where wayfaring men are most likely to arrive, that he may entertain them.

The Rechabites also were dwellers in tents. They built no houses, planted no vineyards, nor drank any wino. They, probably, like the Bedouins of the present day, considered that those who built houses, and dwelt in them, might be more easily brought under the yoke of a tyrant than those who wandered about with their flocks, living on the simple and spontaneous productions of the earth. (See Jer 35.)

The expression in Isa 54:2, "Enlarge the place of thy tent," signifies prosperity. The tabernacle in the wilderness was a tent, and was beautifully hung with curtains, &c.; (Ex 26:1;) and so was Solomon's tent. When the Psalmist and Isaiah speak of "stretching nut the heavens as a curtain," they use the beautiful figure of a tent, and its graceful wavings in the wind. So, when Paul compares our life here to an "earthly tabernacle," he forcibly expresses its uncertain duration, pitched bore Way, in health and vigor, but removed tomorrow, the place thereof knowing IL no more. Nor is he less happy when he contrasts this mere temporary house, this transient home, with one of abiding stability, "a house not matte with hands, eternal in the heavens." (2Co 5; 1.) The same striking comparison Is made in Heb 11:9-10; 8:2, where Abraham's dwelling in tabernacles is set against his hope of a city which hath immovable foundations,--of "a tabernacle which the Lord bath pitched, and not man."

Job (xxx. 11) says, "He hath loosed by cord;" by which he means, He hath cast down my tent, or destroyed my prosperity; and the same figure is used by Jeremiah, in x. 20, tabernacle meaning tent.

A little farther on, we stumbled upon another encampment. As soon as we came opposite to the tents, a great number of men and boys ran up to us, and, taking hold of of our sheikh's camel, threw both sheikh and camel to the ground. Our dragoman and men all trembled with fear, and I wondered what would come next. My companions and I immediately dismounted, and ran to the sheikh's assistance; but what could we have done amongst so many? My eye was, however, directed upward, and I certainly did not feel the slightest fear. We imagined that they had been apprised of our approach by the three robbers I spoke of on another page. Presently we saw a man in a rich silk gown running toward us, and he immediately ordered the people to stand back. He was instantly obeyed, being, as he soon told us, the governror of that district. He had come from Daheriyeh, to collect taxes from these wandering tribes. He told us if we would give him two dollars, he would conduct us safely to his village. My reply was that I was an Englishman, and that I expected he would conduct us without fee; at any rate, he must leave the amount of his bucksheesh to us. He thereupon led the way, and we passed on in safety, Daheriyeh being about six miles farther on, and the said governor walking all the way. We soon reached the southern mountains of Judea, passing over some of them, and then along deep, narrow valleys. The hills were full of caves and the valleys of wells.

We arrived at Daheriyeh earlier than we had expected; but we found it impossible to learn, with anything like accuracy, the distance from one place to another.

Daheriyeh is a good-sized village, partly built of stone, which contrasted favorably with the mud cottages of Egypt. The valley all round was quite full of corn in ear. The governor inquired if we should like to sleep in a house, and the very thought of doing so caused a momentary pleasure; but, on seeing the said house, we soon changed our minds. It was built of mud and consisted of only one room, with a partition about two-thirds of the way across it. At the farther end of it was a baker's oven, flat cakes being then in course of preparation, and about a dozen Arabs being squatted in front of it, with their long pipes, smoking. On the right side were a henroost, pigeon box, &c., the tenants of which had retired to rest; and on the left were a goat and a donkey. The floor was, of course, only dry mud, and it very much resembled a half-ploughed field. There was no chimney, nor window, nor any other aperture, except one in the front, about 5 ft. high, which had to serve the offices of smoke escaper, light admitter, ventilator, and doorway. We soon scrambled out of this hole, and told the governor we were afraid it would be too hot for us. We therefore again pitched our tent, and the villagers soon supplied us with eggs, bread, and milk One thing I remarked in this bakehouse, that there was a quantity of mixed stubble lying on the floor, for burning, instead a wood This is a very common custom in the east where wood is scarce, and I saw no trees growing anywhere in this district, Does it not beautifully explain Mt 6:28-30? Shortly after our arrival, we took a guide from the village, and went to inspect an old sheikh's tomb, held in great veneration; but it was nothing particular. On turning a corner, we came upon a well, where were several women with their water puts; but immediately that they saw us they ran away, leaving their water pots behind. I took one of the pots up, to taste the water, which was good, and I observed that as soon as 1 Wits gone, the owner poured out the remainder and re-filled her pot. One of my companions ventured to look into one of the cottages, when a woman rushed out, and, raising an alarm, aroused half the village.

On our return to the tent, we found our dragoman in a sad fright, for some one had stolen one of Ids pistols, the only one that was worth anything; namely, the one with a firelock. We immediately sent for the governor, but he pretended to be perfectly horrified at the thought of such a thing, and declared we must have lost it, lie, however, said he would cause a diligent search to be made; but this was without effect, as the pistol was not forthcoming. My companions then went, very imprudently, I think, to take a walk, and, as it was my day to superintend the domestic arrangements, (for we took it in turns) they left me to manage in the best way I could. After thinking for a few moments, I ordered the dragoman to prepare some coffee, which he did; and I invited the governor, the schoolmaster, and three or four others, to come into the tent and take coffee with me; an invitation which, having first taken off their shoes they readily accepted. Having partaken of coffee, I offered them biscuits, which they also took; but, as was also the case with the coffee, I had to take some myself first, to satisfy them it was not poisoned. And now it was my turn. I directed Antonio to tell the governor once more that I was an Englishman, and to exhibit my passport' in the way he had done at Nackell, where the experiment had succeeded so well, and to say that, as he had now taken bread with me, he could not break faith with me; but that if he did, and if the pistol were not immediately forthcoming, I would report him next day to the governor of Hebron, who would send some soldiers to seize them all, as the sultan would not allow an Englishman to be ill used or robbed, without punish ing the perpetrators. Upon hearing this, the governor turned pale. He had not seen the trap that I had laid for him. It was on this account that the prophet was forbidden to eat bread or drink water in Bethel; for, had he done so, he could not have prophesied against it, without violating all the existing laws of hospitality. (1Ki 13:7-9.) And again, in Jos 9:14, it is said, "The men took of their victuals and asked not counsel at the mouth of the Lord;" and then Joshua "made peace with them;" which, indeed, he was bound to do, having taken of their victuals. So the governor of Daheriyeh, finding he was caught, said something to a man that was standing by, and in less than three minutes the pistol was brought into the tent, thus proving that the governor was as deeply implicated in the robbery as any of his men. When my companions returned, they seemed greatly astonished; but one of them, I regret to say, carried his national prejudices to such an extent as to be more than half vexed; and he took the opportunity of ridiculing the Royal arms, which were at the head of my passport. However, I passed over this, knowing that we should very soon separate.

The governor, with perfect self-possession, now informed us that, as this was a bad neighborhood, we had better have a man guard us during the night. To this we made no objection, as we knew that by this means we should make the whole village responsible for anything that might be stolen. We therefore engaged one, after a good deal of wrangling as to the amount of bucksheesh, but which was finally settled at five piastres. Afterwards, however, we had to engage two more men, as the first one pretended he was afraid to watch alone. One had a kind of hatchet, another a spear, and the third a club.

Here we had to change camels again, and again had we to endure the torture of bargaining for a fresh lot, though not so had as at Nackell. Of course we had also to pay the remainder of the money for the other camels; but we positively refused to pay for the tenth camel, which had not been sent. The sheikh cried and raved, hut the governor took our part, and we triumphed.

The next morning, the roars for bucksheesh exceeded anything I had over beard before, the governor taking the lead, though we had given him our water casks and a hat of other things. The attempts at robbery were must provoking. Every man, every boy, seemed as though he thought he had a right to help himself to anything we had; and we had ouch to look for ourselves. From the eldest to the youngest, they were the greediest wolves I had ever met with. We got off, however, tolerably well; and I can truly say I felt thankful for it. A few years must have made a great difference In these people, as Mr. Fisk describes them as being, when he was there in 1842, civil, and having none of the peculiarities of the wild Bedouins.

Our way lay over rough hills, the hills of Judea, and through divided fields of corn, stones being pot, up us landmarks, though in some places were walls. We had now only seven camels, two men and three boys with us. My camel was an exceedingly uncomfortable ono; so much so that, despite the heat of the day and ruggedness of the path, I preferred walking the greater part of the distance; but I walked cheerfully, knowing that I was treading the very path which had been trodden by holy men of old, and by Joseph and Mary on their flight into Egypt, being the direct way from Bethlehem to Beersheba. The scenery was romantic, and the cliffs, in some parts, were huge and precipitous, greatly resembling the old coach road between Bakewell and Buxton, in Derbyshire. The whole district bears marks of having once been densely populated.

Our voices echoed and re-echoed most melodiously among the hills. Wild roses and other flowers were growing in abundance, and wells of good water were also plentiful.

In about five hours, we passed over a hill, and then Hebron, in its picturesqueness, stood before us, on the opposite side of the valley. All the houses are high and built of stone, not rough stone, but hewn stone, well squared. Having flat roofs surmounted with cupolas, and the town being built on the hill side, the effect is most striking. Olive groves, vineyards, fig plantations, pomegranate trees, and general fruitfulness lay on every hand, with the plains of Mamre below. (See Ex 3:8.) From one of these hills, Abraham cast his eyes toward Sodom, and, behold, "the smoke of the country went up as the smoke of a furnace." (Ge 19:28.) ***

*** The ancestors of Abraham were idolaters, and probably Abraham also, until called of God. (Ge 12:1.) The Arabs say that Abraham's father was a priest, and a maker and seller of images; and that one day Abraham broke all the images except one, and then told his father that this one had destroyed all the rest, just to show his father the absurdity of worshipping images. The Jews add to this, that he was cast into a burning furnace for the act, but came forth unburnt

Hebron is called by the Arabs El Hhalil, "the Friend," and sometimes Hhalil Rachman, "the Friend of the Merciful," or; "the Friend of God." (See 2Ch 20:7; Isa 41:8; Jas 2:23.) The town is said now to contain about 10,000 inhabitants, one-fourth of whom are Jews. Here 10,000 Jews, who had 'escaped from Jerusalem, at the time of the siege, were sold into slavery. Until the time of Mehemet Ali, quarrels were ever arising between the inhabitants of Hebron and the Christians of Bethlehem; but when Ibrahim Pasha marched his army into Syria, he put a stop to them.

(Continued in June, For The Poor.)

BEERSHEBA TO JERUSALEM (1953, June)

From J. Gadsby's Wanderings

(Continued from May, FOR THE POOR.)

We pitched our tent outside the town, near a pool of good water, which was, perhaps, the well over which David hung the bodies of Rechab and Baanah. (2Sa 4:12.) There were flights of steps down at each corner. There is another well not far off, and one of them is assuredly the one. Both are very ancient. We were speedily awaited upon by the governor and doctor of the town, both Turks, accompanied by a guard of soldiers. They told us we should have to perform 15 days' quarantine before we could proceed, as no man from Egypt was allowed to enter any part of the Turkish dominions without. This announcement would, had it been possible, have made my hair stand on end; for, come what would, I had felt determined to reach Beyrout in time for the steamer. We had understood when we left Cairo that we should be detained some little time, and, being Saturday, we should have been willing enough to remain until Monday; but to be prisoners for 15 days was horrible to anticipate. But what could we do? The governor and doctor, having fulfilled their mission, returned to the fort, and left us to ruminate.

After dinner, we went into the town, and found it, like all other towns in the east, very deceptive, imposing when viewed from a distance, but consisting of dark, narrow, dirty streets. One of the, first things we went to see was the mosque, now standing over the cave of Machpelah, where Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Sarah, Rebekah, and Leah wore buried; kit we were not allowed to enter. Helena erected 0 church over the cave, about the year 326, and this is now converted into a Turkish mosque. All the sepulchres are said to be covered with rich carpets of silk, magnificently embroidered with gold, furnished, from time to time by the sultans of Constantinople. "More than 100 persons are employed in the service of this mosque, affording, with the decorations lavished upon the structure, a remarkable contrast to the simple life of the venerable persons to whose memory it is meant to do honor."

No one hardly doubts that here is really the piece of ground which Abraham purchased of the children (descendants) of Heth, (Ge 23.,) which was over against Mamre, the same as Hebron, and not merely near it, as some writers suppose.

Josephus says the monuments of the patriarchs at Hebron are of the finest marble; but this is probably a mistake; though, as no Christian or Jew, or even Mahometan of recent times, has been allowed to see them, nothing positive can be known. Whatever they are, they are excluded from view by the mosque which covers them. No one prevented our examining the exterior of the mosque, part of which is said to be Jewish work. Indeed, the Jews believe that the foundations, which still remain, notwithstanding Mahometan destructions, were built by Solomon. The entrance is by a long flight of steps. Buckhardt was admitted into the mosque, but it is certain he was not allowed to go below, into the caves. The entrance to them is guarded by iron gates, and wooden doors plated with silver having silver bulls and padlocks. The missionaries from the Church of Scotland, being accompanied by the English Consul from Jerusalem, were conducted up the staircase, but not a foot was suffered In tread on the marble floor of the mosque. (The Prince of Wales was admitted in 1862.)

A few yards from the mosque is shown what is called the sepulchre of Abner, in which David caused the head of Ishbosheth to he buried. (2 Main. iv. 12.) Some Jewish writers insist upon it that Adam and Eve were also buried at Hebron.

The town, until ruined by the Egyptians under Ibrahim Pasha, was a place of considerable importance. There is still a large manufactory of water skins and glass lamps and bracelets. I saw a large quantity; ready packed to be sent to Egypt.

My Scotch companion conversed in Italian with one or two Jews. They describe the Jews in Hebron as being comfortably off compared with their brethren in Jerusalem, though they had suffered greatly in 1834, when Ibrahim Pasha stormed the place, and let loose his soldiers, like blood-hounds, upon the people. Since then, however, travellers have been allowed to visit the place unmolestedly. The price paid was an immense sacrifice of human blood; but Mehemet Ali certainly accomplished much good thereby. "You are safe here," he once said to our Consul-General in Egypt, "and you should also have been safe in Palestine and Syria, had you allowed me to retain possession of them;" referring, of course, to the English driving the Egyptians back, after the siege of Acre.

In the valleys between Bethlehem and Hebron, David once lived as a poor shepherd boy, and he therefore well knew even the literal meaning of his own words, "He maketh me to lie down in green pastures;" and at Hebron he was afterwards anointed king over all Israel. For seven years and a half, he made Hebron the royal city; that is, until he was made king over all Israel, for, prior to that, he had been king of Judah only; and then he removed to Jerusalem; but, during those seven years and a half, it is probable he wrote many of his psalms. As Absalom's rebellion commenced in Hebron, it is likely that he stirred up the people on this account, promising them that if they made him king in the room of his father, he would restore to them their privileges. Indeed, I think this fact is confirmed by 2Sa 15:10: "Then ye shall say, Absalom reigneth in Hebron." Here too it was, that "Abraham and others enjoyed peculiar communion with God, and here that God brought Abraham forth, and said, Look toward heaven, and tell the stars if thou be able to number them! So shall thy seed be."

Hebron was one of the cites of refuge appointed by the command of God. (Nu 13:15; Josh, x. 7.) Hither the man-slayer was to flee from the avenger of blood. . Prior to the time of Moses, it was with the Israelites as it was and still is with the Bedouins. If a man slew another, the family, or tribe, to which the slain belonged never rested until either the murderer, or some one belonging to his family or tribe, had been slain by them. This was called blood revenge. It was not considered cruel, but was a point of honor; and it was as much the duty of the next of kin to the slain to pursue and take away the life of the slayer as it now is in England to aid in bringing a murderer to justice. An it. was, however, a barbarous custom, God commanded that it ahould be put to an end to; and for this purpose cities of refuge were appointed, so that the man-shyer might be protected until he had been tried by "the congregation." * (Nu 35:15-28.) Jewish
writers say that the people had to furnish him with every necessary until his deal h. To this day the Bedouins often say, "There is blood between us" and that blood must be revenged. They insist upon having "like for like,''—"blood for blood, life for life." (See Mt 5:38-39.) I have before me several most appalling accounts of the consequences of this custom; but I must pass them by. I may mention, however, that sometimes the relative of the person slain will accept of money or camels in lieu of blood; and this is called "the price of blood;" the Israelites were not permitted to accept of any compensation for the life of a man who had been proved to be guilty of wilful murder. (Nu 35:31.) A Mahometan is by no means to lose his life for killing "an infidel."

* Need I refer my readers to the heart-stirring figures which are used, both in the Old Testament and the New, drawn from these cities of refuge? I feel sure many of them will already have anticipated me. See especially Ps 46:1,7,11; 48:3; 57:1; Heb 6:18. The term "sanctuary" sometimes means refuge, as in Isa 8:14 and Eze 11:16, the idea being taken from these cities of refuge.

In the plain behind the hills, Abraham and Isaac fed their flocks; (Ge 13:18; 35:27;) and here the Lord promised Abraham a son. The ruins of a house a little way off are pointed to as having been the house of Abraham; but this is a "pious" mistake, as Abraham never lived in a house, but always in a tent. A well is also shown, near which Abraham is said to have received the angels. (Ge 18.) The plain is very luxuriant. In or near the plain, probably Jacob and his sons sojourned, prior to their going down into Egypt to Joseph.

Shortly after we had returned to our tent, the doctor came alone, and lectured us severely for daring to enter the town without having received pratique. (See page 93, Vol. 1.) It certainly had not occurred to us that we were doing wrong; though, according to the law of all nations, a man who breaks the quarantine rules is punishable with' death. However, he told us that, though he had the power to detain us for 15 days, if we would give him 100 piastres he would let us have pratique immediately, provided we would promise not to leave before morning. The money was speedily in his hand, and we soon engaged mules, for we had now done with camels, though we had not much faith in the doctor's assurances. Shortly afterwards, we threw ourselves on our mattresses.

During the night, the town appeared to be surrounded with wild animals. The howling of wolves, the screaming of jackals,* and the crying of foxes, were incessant and appalling; and these were answered by the barking of the dogs in the town, bidding defiance to the threatening invaders. The noises kept me awake every minute of the night. Our watchmen had a fire burning, and I believe it was necessary to keep off the wild animals. This is the custom, not only in the east but all over the world, and is figuratively referred to in Zec 2:5. As a set-off to these noises, however, I may mention that I heard the nightingale, warbling its sweetest notes, and soothing the otherwise unqualified wretchedness of the night. **

* The word translated foxes in Jg 15:4-5, probably means jackals, as jackals were and still are very numerous all over Palestine. When it is said that Samson caught 300, it does not mean that he caught them with his own hands, any more than Solomon built the temple with his own hands, though he is said to have built it. Samson was ruler over Israel, and, therefore, had plenty of men at command to obey his orders, and they could doubtless have caught 3,000 jackals if necessary. These jackals were probably "the little foxes" which destroyed the vines mentioned in Song 2:16.

** The nightingale is heard all over Palestine, especially about the banks of the Jordan. The lark also is a native. Game is abundant, especially partridges, which are fat and heavy.
(To be Continued)

BEERSHEBA TO JERUSALEM (1953, July)

From J. Gadsby's Wanderings

(Continued from June, FOR THE POOR)

In the morning, having no desire to see the doctor come and tell us he had changed his mind, we were off betimes. Our way lay along the valley of Eshol. (Nu 13:24.) The road was rough, but on both sides of us were numbers of vineyards,** and olive groves and watch towers were standing in every direction. These towers are occupied by the people during the time of the vintage, so that few persons are then left in the town. Here also were the ancient winepresses. (Mt 21:33.) The grapes of Hebron are still considered the finest in all the Holy Land. The abundance of grapes which fell to Judah's lot no man can doubt who sees the country even in its present deplorably neglected state. This abundance was foretold in Jacob's blessings, as given in Ge 49:11-12. Walnuts, pears, apples, cherries, and plums will not thrive well here; but other fruits, such as pomegranates, citrons, oranges, apricots, &c., grow to perfection. Bunches of grapes, weighing from 6 lb. to 7 lb., are said to be by no means uncommon; and Sir Moses Montefiore said he saw one bunch at Hebron a yard long. It was probably such a bunch that the spies carried betwixt two, though it might have been carried in that way to keep it from being injured. (Nu 13:23.) Dr. Kitto says the Duke of Portland produced a bunch of grapes at Walbeck that weighed 19 lbs., which he sent its a present to the Marquis of Rockingham, 19 miles distant, borne by men on a staff. Even travellers from Italy, where the finest grapes in Europe are grown, have expressed their astonishment at the size of the 'grapes and clusters in Palstine. The finest grapes are dried as raisins, and the juice of the rest, after being trodden or pressed out, is boiled down to a syrup, which, under the name of dipbse, corresponding with the Hebrew word for honey, is much used by all classes. We also passed a large number of ruined walls and some ancient wells; and a stream of water, from a living well, ran along the valley for some distance. Probably this was why, in Nu 13:2, the valley is called the brook Eschol. The hills, the valleys, and the springs are all here, as of old, "a land of brooks of water and fountains," some of the streams flowing fresh and cool from the mountains.

** See Isa 5:2-4. Here we read of "wild grapes." These probably refer to a plant which the Arabs call Aneb el dib, or wolf's grapes, or hoary night-shade. Like the true vine, it is a creeper, and somewhat resembles the true; but it is very pernicious to the true vine. It is, indeed, poisonous. "O thou man of God," cried the men who were eating of the pottage made of the fruit of this wild vine, "there is death in the pot." But Elisha cast meal into the pot, and the pottage became wholesome. (2Ki 4:39-41.)

The vineyards do not now extend for more than three miles; but the prospect, for about 12 or 15 miles, is truly beautiful, rivalled only by Greece, a succession of hills and dales, craggy rocks and sheltered nooks, rugged glens and peaceful plains. No sooner did we leave one luxuriant vale than another opened before us, seemingly still more beautiful; and as we crossed this hill or traversed that valley, I was constantly reminded of the Divine assurance to the Israelites that it was "a land of hills and valleys, clothed with woods," "a good land," a land in which bread should be eaten "without scarceness." (Dent. viii. 7-9.) Many of the hills contain caves, and in the crevices bees often take up their abode, whence the honey flows down the sides of the rocks, literally confirming the assurance that it was a land "flowing with honey."* (See also De 32:13 and Ps 81:16.)

* Bees are so numerous in some parts of the east that they are often very troublesome, and whole villages have been forsaken on account of them. Park, in his "Travels," relates that some of his companions once attempted to rob a hive, when the little animals rushed upon them with so much fury that the whole company, men, horses, and asses, had to scamper off in all directions. The horses were never caught again, and the asses were so severly stung that they died the next day. May not this explain Deut. 44? In the east, bees usually make their nests in rocks or hollow trees, or under stones. Honey is, therefore, often found "on the ground," as in 1Sa 14:25. The words translated "honey-comb," in Ps 19:10, and in several other places, mean literally the droppings from the honey-comb, which are always considered the sweetest of the honey.

The valleys, I believe, bear plentiful crops of tobacco, wheat, barley, and millet. If the vegetation now seem in some places to languish, or even, during the extreme heats, to become extinct, such exceptions to the prevailing luxuriance must not be ascribed solely to the general character of all hot climates, nor to the barrenness of the soil, but more to the state of barbarism into which all Turkish provinces have sunk. Though loneliness and barrenness are now in many places beheld where fruitfulness and prospeirty once abounded, the face of the country remaines the same, the rocks, mountains, and valleys being unchanged. Many ruins are to be found of walls which the ancient cultivators built to support the soil, in terraces, on the declivities of the mountains; of the tanks in which they collected the rain water; and of the little canals by which this water was distributed over the fields; all of which have now fallen into disuse.

About three miles from Hebron is a well called Ayun Derwa, which is probably the one at which Abner was treacherously seized by Joab's messengers. (2Sa 3:26.)

In about five hours the road became more and more rugged, and the hills wearisome, as they were almost destitute of cultivation. We had passed, on our right or left, several places mentioned in the Old Testament, but it would be tedious to name them all. It is only with the Bible in our hand that we ought to visit Palestine; for, on every other account, its annoyances would greatly outweigh its pleasures.

About noon, we reached the Pools of Solomon, three deep reservoirs, supplied by very powerful springs of excellent water, and thence conveyed to Bethlehem and Jerusalem, by means of an aqueduct. Dr. Robinson measured these reservoirs, and describes the lower one as 582 ft. long, and 207 ft. wide at one end and 148 ft. at the other. The others are not so large. They are constructed of stone, covered with cement.. The springs have been all so secured, as to leave no way of escape for the water but into the aqueduct The people of Bethlehem say that, in allusion to these springs, Solomon called his spouse "a fountain sealed." (Vol. II., p. 497.)

That these reservoirs were constructed by Solomon, few seem to doubt, as they bear unmistakable evidence of high antiquity; and it is probable that it was to these pools and the gardens around them that he referred, when he penned Ec 2:5. When I was there, the water was rushing with violence from the lower pool, but there was not much water in the upper pool. The water flows from the upper one into the middle one, and thence into the lower one.

This spot is supposed to be the Etam referred to in Jg 15:8,11; and Tekoa was not far distant. (2Ch 11:6.)

On leaving the pools, cultivation almost entirely disappeared, and we wended our way along a narrow valley, the hills on either side being nothing but barren rocks, on which the rays of the sun were reflected with such intense heat as to make the journey most distressing. In less than an hour we beheld Bethlehem, which is, indeed, "a city set on a hill, that cannot be hid," and is, I think, when viewed from a distance, the prettiest little town I ever saw. But

"'Tis distance lends enchantment to the view;"

for, like all other eastern towns, the interior is dirty; only this is "more so."

Having reached the summit of the hill, we entered the town, and were immediately conducted to the convent, said to be erected over the spot on which the stable stood, in which the Redeemer was born.. As I rode along the main street, I forgot all the pains I was enduring owing to over-much fatigue, and felt a serenity of soul I cannot describe; but the moment I entered the convent, I became as unfeeling as brass, for the mummeries of the place were revolting. A lighted candle being put into my hands, I descended into the vault below the church, excavated in the rock, and paved with marble. The vault, which is called the Grotto of the Nativity, was lighted up with dozens of lamps and tapers. It is in the hands of the Rornanists, Greeks, and Armenians.

At the extremity of this place, a circle in the floor, composed of jasper, &c., surrounded with silver, and having rays like the sun, is shown as marking the very spot where the Son of Man first appeared in human flesh. A 'marble manger is also shown in which the friars insist that the Infant of Days was laid; but this is playing upon our credulity rather too much.* Certain it is, that the Redeemer was born in Bethlehem, and it is equally certain that Bethlehem stands now where it stood then; but I am not prepared to say that the cave here shown must be the stable of the nativity, though the fact of its being a cave is no argument against it, as I have myself seen caves used as stables in the east and doubtless they were so 2,000 years ago; but the probability is, that the stable was in the court of one of the public khans, or caravanserais, which are common in the east, and of which I may have to speak presently. Nevertheless, it is remarkable, as one writer says, that almost every occurrence is represented as having taken place in a cave. Thus, if you would see the place where St. Anne was delivered of the blessed Virgin, you are carried to a cave; if the place of the Annunciation, it is also a cave; if the place where the blessed Virgin saluted Elizabeth, if that of the Baptist's or our Saviour's nativity, if that of the agony,, or that of St. Peter's repentance, or that where the apostles made the creed, or that of the Transfiguration; all these places, as pointed out, are caves.

* The present Pope, a short time ago, sent a piece of wood to the Duke of Brabant, as part of the manger; yet the manger, as shown at Bethlehem. is a marble one. One traveller says the friars admitted to him that this was not the real manger; but, if they did, they were not equally honest with us.

In the upper church there is a star inlaid in the floor, immediately under the spot, as the priests say, where the supernatural sign became visible to the wise men, and being directly over the circle. Mr. Stephens, an intelligent American, who was at Bethlehem a few years ago, says "The friars sometimes show a grotton where they say the Virgin took refuge from a shower of rain, and her milk overflowed; and now there is a faith among the people that, if a woman to whom nature has denied the power of nursing her children comes to this grotto, and prays before the altar, the fountain of life will be opened to her. Nor was the virtue of the place confined to those who should resort there in person; for the friars having prayed for, had obtained, a delegation of the Virgin's power; and a small portion of powder from the rock, swallowed in a little water, would be equally efficacious to women having faith." The hand of one of the children murdered by Herod, the earner in which Joseph waited to hear the news of the birth, the spot on which the wise men sat when they went to offer their gifts, and even the place where Herod murdered the innocents,—all these, and many others, the friars of the convent are, in their way, sufficiently learned in historical details to be able to show. I did not see them; but it was, I presume, because I did not give the friars time to show them to me, for I left the place in disgust; and then I began to thank God I was not as other men,—not as these Papists. My mouth was, however, afterwards closed in a way which it would be out of place to name here; and I was compelled to exclaim, "0 wretched man that I am!"

Not only was Bethlehem the birth-place of the Saviour, but it was also the birthplace of David; and other objects of interest attached to the place, which crowd upon the mind at once. Here Samuel first anointed David King over Judah, the Lord passing by his elder brothers; (1Sa 16:13;) and here his great grandmother was a poor gleaner, picking up the handfuls that the reapers of Boaz dropped for her. (See Ruth.)

Bethlehem is said to contain at present only about 1,500 inhabitants, all of whom are professed Christians,—Romanists, Greeks, &c. These often quarrel with each other, while the Mahometans around look on with delight. The women are fair,—fair, I mean, as compared with the Egyptians, and seemed especially so to us who had not seen woman's face for so long a time; and they were all unveiled. The young ones wear a kind of hood, descending on each side of-the face, and closing across the bosom, but not covering the face.

When Ibrahim Pasha entered the city with his Egyptian army, he drove out all the Arabs whom he did not kill, saying that Mussulmans and Christians could not live together; but he took a number of Christian boys to work at the factories at Cairo.

The people principally obtain their livelihood by manufacturing Romish devices, beads (rosaries) made of the kernel of the olive, crucifixes, the Virgin and Child engraved on mother-of-pearl shells from Ike Red Sea, &e. &c. They all appeared to me to be far more cheerful and high-spirited than the Egyptians, though they were equally persevering as the Arabs at Thebes, crowding round us and offering, for sale the various religious devices.

The hills near Bethlehem arc covered with gardens, and the prospect from the town is delightful. Fruits and provisions of every kind appeared to abound.

A. ruined village, behind the convent, is pointed out as the spot on which the angels appeared to the shepherds announcing the Saviour's birth; and a field is shown near, by which "the Virgin once passed and asked for beans. The owner of the field told her there were none; so, to punish him for his falsehood and lack of charity, the beans were all changed into stones, and the country has remained barren ever since!"

Towards the east are the mountains of Moab, from which district Naomi and her daughter travelled to Bethlehem; and a little beyond is the wilderness of Engedi, to which David fled, and where the Ammonites, Moabites, &c., united against Jehoshaphat, but destroyed each other. (2Ch 20.)

We had now come 20 miles from Hebron, and had six more to go to Jerusalem. On descending the hill toward Jerusalem, a ruined tower, called, I know not why, the Tower of Simeon, was pointed out. "Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace," said Simeon, when he clasped the Saviour in his arms, "for mine eyes have seen thy salvation." The place in which Habakkuk lived is also professed to be shown.

The tomb of Rachel is on our left, having a dome top, similar to the tombs which the Mahometans erect over their santons, or saints; and near to it is the well of which David longed to drink, and from which his three mighty men, breaking through the host of the Philistines, fetched him some of the water. (2Sa 23:15.) We also passed a village, said to be on the site of the one in which the shepherds lived, to whom the angels appeared to announce the glad tidings of the Saviour's birth. The birth-place of John the Baptist lay on our left on the other side of the valley. We met many pilgrims returning from Jerusalem, who all bade us welcome.

On rising from the valley, we came up to the Greek convent of St. Elias; but we did not tarry to visit it. Here the friars say Elijah rested, on his flight to Beersheba. (1Ki 19:4.) A little farther on is a well, which is probably the well of Nephtoah. (Jos 15:9.) We see traces of an aqueduct in several places. As it is in some parts, formed of earthen pipes, while in others it is constructed of stones and cement, it is probable it has had to undergo repairs, and that the repairs have been executed by ruder hands than those of the original architect. It is believed to have been constructed to convey water into the temple, where much must have been required in consequence of the frequent sacrifices and washings.

At length Jerusalem opened upon my sight. I was greatly disappointed, for it appeared by no means what I had anticipated. I had read such glowing accounts of first impressions, and magnificent appearances, and so forth, that I had perhaps, expected too much. The prospect is by no means equal to that of Constantinople. As far as grandeur of appearance goes, I ought to have seen Constantinople after I had seen Jerusalem, and then the latter place might have struck me with greater force. As it was, the view of Jerusalem seemed flat and uninteresting. It is true I saw its walls, its domes, its minarets, &c., but similar buildings I had seen elsewhere, over and over again. Nevertheless, as we drew nearer, it became really imposing, and I unhesitatingly came to the conclusion that it was one of the grandest spectacles in the world. The Mount of Olives rises gracefully beyond the city, while the deep valleys of Hinnom and Jehoshaphat encircle it. But I may say more of this by and by. It was to me a moment of breathless interest.

Just before sunset, we arrived at the Jaffa Gate, where we had to give up our papers, received at Hebron. An officer inquired how much we had paid at Hebron, and we told him, expecting that he would say we had not paid enough. We were, however, allowed to enter the town, riding on our mules. Formerly, no Christian was allowed to ride through the gate, but was compelled to dismount outside. We had pushed hard from Bethlehem to reach the gates before sunset; as we knew there could be no admission into the city after sunset until the next morning.* Even at that late hours, I observed several lepers sitting et the gate bogging.* * We all went to an hotel, which had been recommended to us, and ordered tea; shortly after which our consul, Mr. Finch, sent his janissary with cards for each of us, conveying also the consul's assurance that he would be happy to render us any service in his power. T. and I immediately tendered our cards in return; but our fellow-traveler pushed the consul's card away, exclaiming, "Tell Mr. Finch that I am an American, and shall go to the Prussian consul!" I had seen much of Brother Jonathan before, but was hardly prepared for so deliberate an insult as this. "Well," I said, "it is not necessary for you to send any message, but common decency would require that you should at least send your card in return." "No, no, AO," said he. "No Britisher for me!" Shortly afterwards, T. and I left him, and took our abode in the Latin Convent, which stands on Mount Acra. In various parts of the east, there are convents belonging to the Romanists and Greeks, the inmates of which are, I was informed, considered bound to entertain strangers, and to find them bread and water for a certain time, without charge. The Greeks are not, however, very liberal in this respect, while the Latins, or Romanists, open their doors to all. As it was the time of Lent when we were at Jerusalem, we were apprehensive that the friars in the convent would not allow us to have any animal food; but we were mistaken; for they found us bread and wine, and cooked for us everything we chose to send for from the butcher's. It is usual for travellers to make the inmates a present on leaving, and it is, indeed, considered unhandsome if they do not do so, unless they are poor.

* I mentioned elsewhere that most gates in the east are closed at sunset; which is done as a matter of precaution. When Isaiah (lx. 11) says of Zion, "Thy gates shall be open night and day," he implies perfect security from danger and rest from enemies. Nehemiah ordered the gates of Jerusalem to be kept dosed all the Sabbath, to prevent the men of Tyre selling their fish to the Jews on that day. (Neb. xiii. 16.)

* * It is generally believed that lepers are not allowed to enter the city; but Dr. Robinson says they reside together in a few mud hovels just within the Zion Gate; and I cannot say it is not so. It is certain, however, that they are strictly confined to their own district. All that I saw, and I saw many, wore most deplorable objects, half starved, and wasted, and some even deformed, by disease. 'the disease now called leprosy is not exactly like the leprosy described in the Old Testament; but resembles elephantiasis. The disease first makes its appearance in reddish spots, Ina circle, which are soon covered with a whitish skin; and this in a little time falls off, leaving the skin red and rough. The circles increase in size, being at first about as large as a shilling, and then of a half crown; hut they have been known to extend six inches. It is said not to be in any way Infectious, but is certainly hereditary. The lepers never marry except among themselves, and their children show symptoms of the disease when from 10 to 14 years of age. They suffer little or no pain, but are said to die by inches, though often living to be 46, and sometimes even 50.


The bread of the convent was excellent. All travellers who have ever partaken of it are loud in its praises; and justly so; for there is none to equal it in all Palestine, if even in Europe. Some say it is the best in the world, and certainly I never tasted any that surpassed it. The friars make their own wine, and the bread is, I believe, made of the yeast from the wine.

The room in which we slept contained several beds, and, having no carpet and but little furniture, it looked cheerless enough; but to me it was a palace. I had not slept under a roof, except a canvas one, for fifteen nights; and I can have no hesitation in saying that, for the first time in my life, I really knew the value of a house.

On retiring to rest, my bosom glowed with gratitude to God for His mercies. 0 how I could look back to the time of my leaving home five months before, and trace the way I had been brought! I had' lacked nothing, and had been protected and preserved amidst a thousand perils.

BEGGARS

BEGGARS (1952, June)

God's people are an afflicted and poor people, and can not live without support from the Lord. They are made conscious in regeneration of their poverty, blindness, lameness, nakedness, and the insufficiency of the flesh to supply their every need. There are none that truly go to the Saviour, but poor conscious souls whom He has quickened, and the life which is the light of men is in them and shines in them, showing them their wretched and miserable condition, causing them to look unto the hills whence cometh all their help. They now have soul trouble. After realizing the fruitlessness of the flesh to procure to themselves righteousness, justification, redemption, peace, pardon, and an evidence that heaven will be their home, they cry unto the Lord from the depths of tribulation and the Lord hears them. He never turns a poor beggar away empty. The lepers are cleansed by Him, the blind see, the lame walk, the deaf hear, the dumb speak forth the praise of God, and the poor have the gospel preached unto them. When the rushing billows are dashing against the ship threatening its destruction, they, from a conscious need of Him, go to Him begging—"Lord, save, we perish." The storm is all calmed. He only has to say, "Peace, be still," and all is quiet. Never one spake like this man. The sea and winds obey Him. The Pharisee may stand up boastfully, thanking God that he is not as other men, but the poor begging Publican cries, "God be merciful to me, a sinner." His blessed ears are ever open to the cries of His poor helpless children. He spoke to His poor mourning, hungering, thirsting children, "Seek and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened; and ask and it shall be given." The life of the Christian is a life of faith. We walk by faith, not by sight. By faith we eat His flesh and drink His blood, which is a bountiful supply.

It is a heavenly blessing to be a spiritual beggar. Left to our carnal wills, we would never be beggars. We want to have things our way and go to our meeting independent. God orders it otherwise. We have to beg Him for the spirit or worship. We beg Him for light and liberty to preach His precious sweet gospel. Old men who have been preaching for many years, enter this service with deep solemnity, fearing, trembling, and begging the dear Lord to prepare them for His worship and enable them to speak in His name. We beg the dear Lord for the spirit of prayer. How cold and formal our prayers when left to ourselves! It is good that we can approach Him at a rich throne of grace. One may possess millions, and another be a pauper, but God's grace levels them and makes them beggars. One has no advantage over another. The king has no advantage over His humblest servant. Both alike need redeeming and regenerating grace to prepare them for the sweet service of God. It is good to draw nigh unto God. The nearest approach we can make to Him is when we are truly begging Him for mercy. Sometimes, while thus begging, our souls are filled with light, warmth and vigor ; our spiritual strength is renewed; our eyes flow with tears of joy; and we feel in our souls that all things are ours, and we are Christ's, and Christ is God's. Recently, while on a tour, I resorted to a secret chamber to pour out my poor soul in bumble prayer to Him for preaching grace; I felt so barren and destitute in soul, but while begging He kindled a (lame of sacred love in my cold heart; my heart was soft, my eyes flowed with tears; and I felt happy and that the dear Saviour was sending me, and He would go with me all the way.

From Gospel Messenger, 1915.
L. HANKS.

Believe — Who can believe?

Believe — Who can believe? (1993, September - October)

When the question is asked, who can believe, the answer most likely would be, any one that is mentally capable, But when we begin to think of the question it is realized that additional information is required before a proper answer is given. It depends upon the subject matter under consideration, If the subject matter is spiritual data the answer most likely will be different than if the subject matter is natural data, The most common mistake is to assume that there is no difference between who can believe spiritual data and who can believe natural data.

A review of man's natural mental capabilities will be addressed prior to entering into the spiritual realm,

The first natural fact that needs to be set forth is that one has natural life before he can exercise any mental ability (such as hearing, seeing, believing and etc,), It is certain that hearing, seeing, believing, and etc, did not bring about nor assist him in obtaining natural life in any way, Secondly, every person born mentally competent has the natural capacities of faith, belief, will and etc..

The act of believing is a mental process whereby data is analyzed and if the data is accepted as valid it then is believed, otherwise unbelief is the result, Belief has never changed the information from bad to good or good to bad, To believe or not to believe a thing has never altered the thing, Belief is a position of the mind and of its self has no ability to perform or accomplish any task, It is however, a prime benefit to man to guide him along a prescribed avenue of thought to accomplish those tasks in keeping with his belief.

Every individual born without mental defect has the ability to receive information, mentally analyze it and come to a conclusion of acceptance (belief) or rejection (unbelief), Faith (confidence) is the element in the analysis process that judges the data to determine if the data is valid or not. It is evident that if faith (confidence) is misguided, then belief in false data results. A proper conclusion can only be achieved when, during the analysis process, faith properly identifies factual data. Data is stored in memory (of the mind) for future use based on faith in that data being true, Through faith in previously stored data being true, mental evaluation is applied to new information to determine if it is true or false, Thus, this process continues throughout ones life. It then can be said that faith (confidence) precedes belief in the natural mental process.

Man's will is that portion of the mental process which is stimulated by belief and it then motivates him toward action (mental or physical), A sequence of the mental process could be stated as follows: Faith is exercised upon incoming information to facilitate belief; belief brings about a will to accomplish that which is believed; the will motivates action.

The spiritual realm parallels the natural realm in many ways, as one must be born naturally before one can perform any natural task (mental or physical) so it is also in the spiritual: one must be born spiritually before one can perform any spiritual task (mental or physical), As hearing, seeing, believing or the exercise of the will does not bring about nor assist natural birth in any way; Likewise, hearing, seeing, believing or exercising the will does not bring about nor assist spiritual birth in any way, Further, as natural faith is required in the mental analysis process to determine factual information to facilitate belief, so it is with spiritual faith, Natural faith is manifested after natural birth, likewise spiritual faith is manifested after spiritual birth, Natural attributes are received from the natural parents (Mom and Dad) through natural birth. Spiritual attributes are received from our spiritual parent (God) through spiritual birth.

To validate some of these statements, a Biblical review of one phase of faith as recorded in the Scriptures is as follows: (NOTE: Comments within brackets are inserted in some Scriptures quoted to clarify the lesson by the writer.)

A. Faith is discussed by the Apostle Paul in 2 Thess, 3:2: "And that we may be delivered from unreasonable and wicked men: for all men have not faith," The faith that Paul has under consideration is a faith which is not naturally common to man because he states that unreasonable and wicked men do not have this faith and infers that righteous men do have this faith, Since the righteous have this faith and the unrighteous do not, it is needful to determine the source of this faith and how one comes by it, Paul answers these questions in Rom, 12:3: "For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith." This verse identifies God as the source and dispenser of spiritual faith to every man, The term 'every man' cannot include all mankind because Paul writing by the inspiration of God states for all men have not faith,' When other Scriptures are reviewed it becomes evident that the `all men' under consideration are all those born of the Spirit.

B. The necessity for the faith that is dispensed from. God is surly recognized in Heb 11:6: "But without faith (spiritual) it is impossible to please him (God): for he that cometh (in prayer, mediation, etc,) to God must (without exception) believe (a believer thru faith) that he (God) is (the living God), and that He (God) is a rewarder of them (that believe that He is) that diligently seek (look for) Him (God)," This Scripture states that it is impossible for one that does not have this faith to please God. It could then be stated that one is void of all righteous acts both mental and physical until one is born of the Spirit and comes into position (possession) of spiritual faith, An objection may be raised to the use of the term spiritual faith' but the term is validated by Gal, 5:22-23, "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law," One of the fruits of the Spirit is this same faith, therefore, it is referred to as spiritual faith. For an individual to manifest this faith, the Spirit must be in him and if the Spirit is in him he has already been born again (it is impossible to have fruit without the tree.)

C. As natural faith (confidence) is required to analyze incoming natural information to determine if it is true or not, in like manner spiritual faith is required to rightly divide incoming spiritual data to come to the knowledge of the truth, It is apparent that evidence is required before one can come to the knowledge of the truth. "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. For by it the elders obtained a good report. Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear." (Heb 11:1-3) Notice, this faith provides substance and evidence of spiritual things, therefore,' through faith we can come to a position of understanding or belief of truth. Paul addresses this fact in I C or, 2:9-12 when he states, "But as it is written, eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man (natural man), the things which God hath prepared for them that love him, But God hath revealed them (things) unto us by His Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God, For what man knoweth the things of man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God, Now we (those born of the Spirit) have received, not the spirit of the world (man is born naturally with this), but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God," Remember one of the fruits of the Spirit is faith and without faith we cannot please God or understand the simplest of spiritual truths, "But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they (spiritual things) are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned," The natural man (one not born of the Spirit) is completely helpless to perform any of the following actions spiritually: hear, see, believe, will to do something, to think upon God or even to pray. The natural man may very well read the Bible (a spiritual thing) and understand in detail the historical, cultural, social and governmental teachings and be able to talk with knowledge on these aspects of the Bible, but he cannot understand or believe one spiritual teaching without faith.

Some religious orders teach that a natural man must accomplish some act or condition, such as hearing the gospel, believing, accepting Christ or some other condition and when the man accomplishes the prescribed teachings he then will be born again, All acts that man can accomplish can be divided into two groupings, mental or physical work. In the preceding Scriptures the impossibility of a natural man mentally addressing spiritual things was noted. Since this dogma is so widely believed, other Scripture will be cited for consideration, In Rom, 8:5-9 a lesson is set forth which declares that natural man (one not born of the Spirit) cannot perform any mental activity concerning spiritual teachings, (verse 5) "For they that are after the flesh (natural man with natural attributes) do mind (attend) the things of the flesh (natural devotions); but they that are after the Spirit (spiritual man with spiritual attributes) the things of the Spirit (spiritual devotions), (verse 6), for to be carnally minded (natural mental process)is death (separation from God); but to be spiritually minded (spiritual mental process) is life and peace (fellowship with God), (verse 7), Because the carnal (natural) mind is enmity against God: for it (natural mind) is not subject (exposed) to the law of God, neither indeed can be (impossible to be subject or exposed by man), (verse 8), So then they that are in the flesh (natural state) cannot (without exception) please (perform a righteous act) God, (verse 9), But ye (those born of the Spirit) are not in the flesh (natural state), but in the Spirit (spiritual state), if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you (the reason for the spiritual state), Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of His (statement declaring that one is not a living child of God through Christ until spiritual born)."

In Ro 9, Paul speaking about the children of promise says in verse 11, "(For the children being not yet born (naturally), neither having done any good or evil (before they have accomplished any mental or physical works), that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works (works is plural, signifying all kinds of work), but of Him (God) that calleth;)", (verse 16) "So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy." Notice the terms willeth and runneth. These terms denote mental and physical work respectively, Paul writing under the inspiration of God states that mental or physical work does not assist or bring about spiritual birth in any way; but rather it is accomplished by the God that sheweth mercy, Remember life must precede belief in the natural as well as in the spiritual.

Joh 1:12-13, "But as many as received Him (Christ), to them gave He power to become the sons of God (manifest sons), even to them that believe (who can believe) on His (Christ) name: Which were born (this is how they were born of the Spirit which gives them the ability to receive Him and believe on His name as stated in verse 12), not of blood (not of any blood line), nor of the will of the flesh (mental process of natural man), nor of the will of man (mental process of any one else), but of God," This Scripture teaches as do many others that one is born again or quickened by the sovereign act of God. Eph 2:1: "And you hath He quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins."

Who can believe? The answer comes from the inspired word of God as set forth in many verses of Scripture, only children of God can believe!!! ! Paul states in Ac 13:48, "And when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad, and glorified the word of the Lord: and as many as were ordained (assigned, disposed, appointed or determined) to eternal life believed," Birth brings about activity, belief is the evidence of spiritual life, Jesus said in Joh 10:26-28: "But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you, My sheep (children of God) hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand," Who can deny the words of Jesus? All God fearing children should accept these truths gladly because they give God all the glory and teach that our eternal destiny is not based upon any mental or physical condition, work or attitude of weak and sinful man but in the hands of a sovereign, loving, merciful God that cannot lie or fail. The word of Jesus states 'Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on Him God) that sent me, hath (has) everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life" (Joh 5:24).

The question, 'who can believe' can be answered as follows: regarding natural data. all that are physically alive and are mentally competent, Regarding spiritual data, all that are spiritually alive and are guided by spiritual faith.

My prayer is that the grace and mercy of a loving God be upon you in accordance with His sovereign will and the Comforter will guide and direct you in all of your studies of the Scriptures, I will close with a verse from 1Co 1:31: "That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord."

In bonds of love,
Elder Bill Caraway
Choctaw, OK

BIOGRAPHICAL

BIOGRAPHICAL (1951, March)

Wife and I married while we were quite young. We have three daughters older than Raymond, his mother, still being young, suffered much from rebellion at the idea of rearing a large family. While under this state of rebellion, somewhat more than a year before Raymond's birth, she was praying over it. One day, when it seemed a voice spoke to her telling her that she should bear a son and that he would would be used as a servant of the Lord. It seemed that this assurance quieted her rebellion. Then when we learned that we were going to have another child, we both felt quite confident that this would be a son. We spoke confidently of this to our relatives and friends, who, sometimes, jokingly suggested that it probably be another daughter. But it was not. It has been most assuring to us to witness the unfolding of this impression, and, I may say, also, while he was in the service this gave us much assurance that he would return to us and to his greater work. Let this be as it may, we feel deeply grateful to the Lord for a son in the ministry, as well as for another son and three daughters in the church. We can not be grateful enough.

Elder Claud Raymond Webb was born in the village of Summum, Ill., on November 4, 1924, the oldest son of Elder and Sister C. E. Webb. e was received as a member into Providence Primitive Baptist Church and was baptised by his father on the first Sunday in March, 1940, at the age of fifteen years. He made his first effort, in a public way, by introducing services during the Salem Illinois Association in September, 1941, at the age of sixteen. He exercised publicly until he was inducted into the army in the Second World War, at the age of eighteen. He served in Europe through England, France, Belgium, Holland and Germany, until the close of that war. Returning' to the United States, he was married to Miss Betty White in 1945, while yet in camp expecting to be sent to the West Pacific.

He was released from the army, however, in January of 1946; returning home he resumed preaching and was ordained to the full work of the gospel ministry in November, 1947. e was soon called to take care of Friendship Church, which church he had been preaching for before his ordination, and at present serves, also, as assistant pastor of Des Moines Church. Besides these he preaches regularly{ for Mt. Zion and Providence Churches. Those elders comprising the Presbytery for his ordination were: Elders S. L. Pettus, C. 0. Johnson, Roy E. Barnes, W. A. Holmes, J. H. Hardy, L. E. Sutton Paul Brown, Floy E. Gross, J. 0. Symmonds, and C. E. Webb; together with several deacons. This young brother had the happy experience of having his young wife as his first subject for baptism. He is satisfied with the faith and order of the church as Christ gave it to His people.—C. E. Webb.

BIOGRAPHICAL OF ELDER D. J. LAMB (1944)

BIOGRAPHICAL OF ELDER D. J. LAMB (1944)

(From The Gospel Messenger, February, 1886)

My father's name was Matthew Lamb, and my mother's maiden name was Mary Gartman. I' was born in Emanuel County, Ga., November the 2nd, 1824, and was the first born of my parents. Neither of them were members of the church. My father lost his mind to some extent when I was quite young, and my mother died when I was about six years old.

I was raised up in sin and folly, having no father and mother to teach and guide me.. I took up with many gross habits of sinning, and when I would get sick it would cause me to think very seriously about death. When I was about seventeen years old, one night, I thought I was going to die in a few minutes, and I became so alarmed that I promised myself that I would do better; but I would soon forget my promise. When about twenty-one years of age I was seriously affected at the death of a young man, so I made a second promise to do better; but I soon forgot that one, and so continued in sin. When near twenty-eight years of age I was again made very serious under the sound of preaching, and at the close of the meeting I was made to shed tears freely. I then set out to do better and quit my gross habits of sinning and live a more moral life.

On the ninth day of January, 1851, I was married., Then I thought I could do good, for that doctrine was taught then by many, and I believed it. But when it pleased the Lord to show me what I was, by nature and by practice, I then saw that there was nothing good that I could do. This took place about the first of May, 1851, when I was plowing in my little farm. These thoughts began to run through my mind: "This world and all the things thereof shall all be burned up, and there shall be a general judgment of all mankind; and must I be there? Yes, to give an account for all the deeds done and acted in the body." I then saw my helpless condition, and could not see how I could escape the wrath of God. My thoughts were: "Lord, have mercy on me." This was my continual cry. I would hunt some lonely place to try to pray, but my sins would come upon me so heavily that I would have to leave the place weeping. Thus I continued until the next fall, when one morning I had lain in my bed as long as I could, I arose about the dawn of day and went out to feed the stock. I had to go after fodder, which was across a little ravine, and as I went up the hill this thought came into my mind as though someone had spoken to me: "You must pray or you will surely perish!" When I reached the fodder pen I laid my arm on the end of a rail, and about that time my strength gave way and I fell prostrate on the earth; my cry was, "Lord, have mercy on me, a poor sinner!" I then beheld Jesus in the agonies of death, and then these words occurred to my mind, "I died for your offences, I arose for your justification." I arose to my feet feeling that I was full of joy and gladness. My face was toward the east, and the sky was red and it looked to me like God was glorified in it. I then turned to the right, and a neighbor's house was in view, and the smoke was coming up from the chimney, and it seemed to me that the Lord was glorified in it. I continued to turn to the right, and the timber in the woods was next in view and it seemed to me that the Lord was glorified in the timber. My mind then turned to go to the house and tell my father-in-law what had taken place with me. But before I got to the house I thought, "If I tell him he will think I am a fool," and I did not tell him. In a few days my mind became greatly troubled, though not as it was before; my fears were that I was deceived. And in the midst of these troubles, I hope, the Lord again appeared, and, 0 how good I did feel! I thought then I would doubt no more; but I have had many doubts and fears since. My mind was then impressed to Christian duties.

In September, 1852, I went to Bodford's Church, and was received and baptized on the first Sunday in the same month by Elder Wheeler. My mind was led on from duty to duty. Family prayer was impressed on my mind, and after a heavy struggle I took it up. I still felt impressed to do something more. In July, 1853, I moved my membership to Bethesda Church, and in August, when old Brother Isaac Norris had closed his sermon he handed me the hymn book, saying, "Here, Brother Lamb, close the meeting," and before I could think I was up reaching after the book, and soon closed the meeting with prayer. At the next meeting the church agreed to have prayer meeting on Sunday, and said they wanted me to lead in the meeting, which I did, feeling that there was something for me to do, although I had never yet thought of having to preach the gospel.

In January, 1854, while clearing up a bit of land, and was chopping down the small growth, all at once these words came into my mind with force, "Did not our hearts burn within us while He talked with us by the way!" I dropped the blade of my axe on the ground,, with my hands on the end of the handle, and how long I stood in that condition I do not know. My mind was led into many things that Jesus did in making Himself known to His disciples. When my mind had gone through great meditations, these words came into my mind with as much force as if someone had spoken them: "You must preach the gospel." I said, "I will never do that." Thus my troubles about preaching began. I had no learning, and I thought I would only bring a reproach upon the cause. Many more excuses I framed up, until I became miserable in my feelings. One time I fell into sin and had to go to the church and confess my sins. It was constantly ringing in my mind, "It is because you don't preach!" And after about two years trouble it occurred to my mind to go and tell the preacher, who was old Brother Isaac Norris, about my troubles. I thought he would tell me what to do; that he knew I could not preach the gospel. So I went to see him, but I became so miserable I could not tell him my troubles that time. I was so miserable that I thought I would die before the next meeting, and I tried to beg the Lord to spare me until then that I might tell him of my troubles. So at meeting I met him, and, I hope, the Lord unloosed my tongue so that I might tell him my troubles. I began by saying, "Brother Norris, I am in a great deal of trouble;" and he said, "You must preach the gospel, and to day is the time for you to begin." And said "he had been watching me for a long time." Thus I made the start.

It was on Saturday before the third Sunday in May, 1855. At the next meeting the church made arrangements for me to have appointments among the brethren at their houses. In January, 1857, the church called for a presbytery to have me set apart to the work of the ministry, which was composed of Elders Isaac Norris, William Norris and Edward Riner. This took place at Bethesda Church, Jefferson County, Ga., the February following.

These are some of my reasons for being a Baptist and minister, if I can claim them as such, and I have served from two to five churches from then until now. Whether I be a minister or not the Lord knoweth, but this I feel to know that under these impressions,

Through heats and colds I've often went,
And wandered in despair,
To call God's children to repent
And seek their Saviour dear.

Canoochee, Ga.

BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH

BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH (1951, February)

Elder Claudis Hopkins Cayce was born in Moscow, Ky., on June 1, 1871. He was the oldest child of Elder Silas Fleming and Flora Magdalene Cayce. Elder Cayce felt to be a condemned sinner at the tender age of eight; received deliverance, and was enabled to rejoice in a Saviour's love in 1885. He united with the Primitive Baptist at Greenfield, Tenn., on the second Sunday in August, 1889, and was baptized by his father on Thursday before the second Sunday in September of the same year. He made his first effort to speak in the name of his Master in January 4, 1890, using Eph 2:8. as a text. "For by grace are ye saved through faith ; and that not of yourselves:, it is the gift of God." He was liberated to speak in public by the church at Greenfield, Tenn., on Saturday before the second Sunday in October, 1890, and was ordained by the authority of the church at Ralston, Tenn., December 6, 1896. He became connected with his father's paper, THE PRIMITIVE BAPTIST, in 1886, and became its editor at his father's death in 1905, and remained editor of that publication until! death called him home, November 4, 1945.

Copied from the PRIMITIVE BAPTIST, November 15, 1945.

BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH (Elder H. P. Houk)

BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH (1952, June)

Elder Harvey P. Houk, grandson of Elder Simeon Houk, was born October 29, 1877, in Jackson County, Alabama. He attended the public schools and graduated at Greene Academy in 1897, and began teaching the same year. He joined the Primitive Baptist church; and was ordained a minister by them in 1908. Since his ordination he has served churches from Chattanooga, Tenn., to Decatur, Ala. He was appointed postmaster at Gurley, Ala., in 1926 and served in that capacity for eight years. While his life has been a full one: preaching, farming, teaching, and postmaster, he ever held in mind his vow to his God and to his church. When his services were called for, he went. When his brethren, sisters, or friends were sick, he visited them; when anyone was in distress, Harvey Houk was ready to lend a helping-hand.

A full life cannot be filled alone, successfully. Harvey Houk was wonderfully blest with a help-meet, who always, though in ill health for many years, said: Harvey, go. Remember your vow to God. Our efforts are fruitless without His approving smiles. He can and will withhold His blessings-if we forget Him; He can and will bless if we obey! Sister Minnie now is sweetly resting until that glorious morn when Jesus will come again to gather His own; then there will be a happy reunion with all the redeemed, never to part.

After serving eight years as postmaster he again went back into the school room; retired in 1948. He is a member of Union Church, of the Mud Creek Association, and has served this church for forty years as pastor ; and, also, has served Old Flint Church, of the Flint River Association, as pastor for forty years; and the Mud Creek Association as moderator for thirty-nine years.

BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH OF ELDER SIDNEY BOAZ DENNY

BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH OF ELDER SIDNEY BOAZ DENNY (1951, September)

Elder Sidney Boaz Denny, ninth child of Elder Gabriel Denny and wife, Sarah Delphina Stone; was born in Surry County, N. C., on October 7, 1886. Reared on a farm, educated in the public schools, later took commercial Business Course. Elder Gabriel Denny, a veteran of the War Between the States, served as pastor of churches in Surry and Stokes Counties over a period of more than fifty years. Thus it will be seen that his sons came from sturdy Primitive Baptist stock ; three of whom became Primitive Baptist ministers.

On May 15, 1908 Elder Denny married Bessie J. Harris, daughter of Levy Harris and wife, Fannie Nelson of Tarboro. Elder and. Sister Denny have reared a fine family of three sons and two daughters.

On November 27, 1916 he was ordained to the work of the ministry. On November 24, 1928, he was unanimously called to fill the pastorate of Wilson Primitive Baptist Church, and has served this church faithfully and with sincere devotion since. In 1919 he was assistant pastor with Elder Sylvester Hassell of Conetoe Church in Edgecombe County.

It is said of Elder Denny on May 30, 1937: "He has shown himself a progressive citizen of enlightened and broad views, always ready to lend aid to worthy movements.—Few men engage in the pastoral care of churches realize more fully its sacredness and the great responsibility resting upon the conscientious servant of. God than he, a man of even disposition and real unselfishness. He has lived up to the highest ideals of his calling, winning success through merit and attracting confidence by the Godly life he has lived among us.—He preaches a broad religion, one that reaches high as the Heavens, broad enough and deep enough to include each and every one that has felt or ever will feel the need of a Saviour's love."—Extracts from The History of Wilson Primitive Baptist Church.

BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH OF ELDER W. W. FOWLER

BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH OF ELDER W. W. FOWLER (1951, January)

William West Fowler, born October 12, 1871, near Farmersville, Collin Co., Texas ; son of D. R. and Sarah M. Fowler. His father died when he was nine years of age. Lived on a farm in Hamilton Co., with his grandfather, Elder W. S. Harris.

While working for a wholesale drug house, in the city of Dallas, at the age of twenty, he became deeply concerned about his eternal welfare. He labored about a year under a deep conviction; finally embraced a hope of eternal salvation. Feeling deeply impressed to follow in the footsteps of his Saviour, he joined a Missionary Baptist Church in North Dallas, about the year of 1892. Began exercising about a year after uniting with this organization, liberated to preach, and continued exercising for about three years.

In studying the Bible, in his efforts to become qualified to speak in his Master's name, he was convinced that the church with which he was identified was in error, as to the position in regards to the eternal salvation of sinners. The more he studied the Word of God, and had the opportunity of hearing it preached by able ministers, the more convinced he was that Eternal Salvation was alone by the sovereign grace of Almighty God.

He left the Missionary Baptist Church and joined Lebanon Primitive Baptist Church, at Pottsville, Hamilton Co., March, 1895; ordained to the full work of the ministry the second Sunday in May, 1897.

Followed the profession of teaching in the Country schools for six years. Graduated from the Memphis Medical College, Memphis, Tenn., in 1903. Practiced in Mills and Hamilton Counties until 1914; at which time he moved to Dallas, limiting his practice to the eye, ear, nose, and throat.

During all this time Dr. Fowler (as he is usually called) has served churches, visited the Baptists in different sections and parts of the country; and has visited many different associational meetings.

BIOGRAPHICAL-EXPERIMENTAL (Elder W. B. McMillan)

BIOGRAPHICAL-EXPERIMENTAL (1954, April)

ELDER W. B. McMILLAN

Elder W. B. McMillan was born in Johnson County, near the town of Morrilton, Arkansas. It was in this part that he was reared to manhood. His father and mother were members of the Primitive Baptist church. His father was a minister of the gospel.

In early life, when a lad of around seventeen, a strange, and to him a very mysterious, thing happened to him. It happened to him one `day as he was returning from a search for his horses. Seemingly a dark shadow was cast over him. It distressed and alarmed him and caused him to weep and mourn. He could see himself as a vile and wretched sinner before God. Yes, as a criminal condemned to die. He felt that there was no way to escape death now nor hereafter. He could see the huge, dark iron curtain of death and judgment closing in on every side. The awful thundering threats of Sinai made him to quake and to tremble. He seemed to be facing judgment without mercy. He did not expect to live to see his precious father and loving mother -again. He had no hope of ever seeing brother and sister again. What a wretch he was!

His very breath was: "God be merciful to the a sinner." He stopped beside a big oak log and bowed a trembling frame, and with a broken heart he earnestly prayed to the great God of love and mercy. How great the load that bent him to the earth! He did not know how long he stayed on bonded knees, but when he came to himself, or rather when he regained consciousness, the great heavy load was gone. And he was on Mt. Pisgah's lofty height, the happiest he ever was in his life. All things seemed to be praising God. Just a little while past and he was condemned, all things in nature were draped in mourning. What a contrast now! Now he is free and happy and all thing's in nature are 'praising God. "The tongue cannot express the sweet comfort and peace of a soul in its earliest dawn." This loving Friend, Jesus, bid Brother McMillan go "Home to thy friends and tell them how great things the Lord has done for thee."

His great ambition in life was now to follow the great One that had done for him what no earthly friend could do. It was not long until he went home to his friends and gave reason for his hope, and was received into the fellowship of the church of God. He was soon laid beneath the yielding waves in Horse Head Creek. Yes, he was at home with friends, and his heart was relieved of the burden to be baptized. He had answered that call of a good conscience, and now his soul was happy in Jesus. He felt like his days of trouble were over.

But, Oh, now another burden is on his heart. A burden that he bore all the days of his life afterward. This burden was to preach the gospel of his Lord. Yes, he bore a load that only those who have borne it know what it -means. "Woe is me if I preach not the gospel."

The war between the states was raging during the time the above was going on. Brother McMillan had a brother in the army. Once he came in on a furlough to spend a few days with loved ones. He had not been there long until a bunch of cruel and wicked men, called "bush-whackers," got word of him being there. They went to the home to kill him. But before, they got there he saw them coming and ran for the cane breaks. They shot, at him several times, but did not hit him. Ills people had no more tidings from him until the war was over. Then one day he came home. How happy must have been his people!

Not long after the above incident, an awful death dealing plague swept; this part of the country. It was an epidemic of black smallpox. Whole families were swept into eternity. This dread and cruel disease invaded the home of Brother McMillan. For twenty dark days he was the only member of his family able to be up. He waited on them night and day. One day the death angel came and took a fair jewel, a sister, away from the home. He had no one to help lay her out; no one to help make the coffin; no one to help dig the grave; no one to help as pallbearers; no one to help sing; no one to pray but him, and no one to preach the funeral. Alone! He had to bury his sister. In a few fleeting days his mother fell before the grim reaper's stroke. Alone! Without any help or company, he had to bury his most precious friend, his mother. How trying must have 'been this experience. A few more days past and he had to bury another sister. In forty- two days from the time he was exposed to the disease, smallpox, he took his bed. He came close, or it seemed that he did, to death's dark door. He and his father and two brothers were the only ones of the family that survived the awful ordeal described above.

Think of what a load of sorrow must have weighted down the heart of this boy, and then add to that a burden to speak in the name of the Master, and we can have an idea what a load he was bearing. Before the guns of war ceased to roar he made a few efforts to speak in the church of God. But he soon rebelled, much to his sorrow.

During the later part of the war he met and married Miss Jartha Ann Mullins. Her father and mother were both killed during the dark (lays of this cruel war. After the dark clouds of battle had cleared away, Brother McMillan decided that if he would move off someplace where he was not known, that he might get relief and rest from his burden, speaking in a public way. He intended to go where they would not be asking him to speak in the name of Jesus. But wherever he went, day and night this burden was on his heart. One day with his wife and two children he loaded his belongings into the old wagon and started for Texas. He traveled the old Tanny Hill Trail. At Forum Gap he had to pay to pass through a toll gate. They got as far as Polk County. Here his wife, who had been ill for some time, became so sick that they could go no further. So here, near the Van Horn Springs they camped for weeks. For days Sister McMillan lingered between life and death. Her husband expected her death just anytime. But God showed mercy and she began to improve in health, and was soon able to let Brother McMillan get out and work for something to live on.

He went no further toward Texas. But settled down on a homestead of 170 acres of land. He settled down among a bunch of his friends, the dear Old Baptists. He soon began attending church at old Salem, at Big Fork, Ark. I think Elder G. Vandevier was pastor of the church at that time. Ere long he placed his membership with this church. The burden to preach was heavily bearing on the heart of this good man. Many restless days and nights of trouble he spent longing to tell of Jesus and His love—and yet he dreaded it almost as he would have dreaded death. Finally, he began speaking in the name of Jesus. In the later part of the century he was ordained to the work of the gospel ministry. Elders R. L. Piles, B. M. Greene, and C. Vandevier were in the presbytery.

Just awhile before he was ordained, some of Russell's literature fell into his hands. He was reading and studying this new doctrine with increasing interest. In fact, it was a strong temptation to him to embrace this theory. One night, after he had stayed awake until eleven, he retired and was soon in slumber-land. In a dream he saw an angel come to the foot of his bed. The angel bade him cease to read this literature. Telling him that it was filthy. He bade him go on preaching Jesus as he had been and promised him that Jesus would be with him. From some cause he did not think much about this dream the next day. In fact, he sat up until eleven o'clock the next night reading this literature—literature he had been warned against. After retiring on the second night, he again dreamed. But it was Jesus this time that came to the foot of his bed. He warned him to cease to read this literature, telling him that it was filthy; and bade him go on preaching as he had been and He would be with him. Next day Brother McMillan consigned this filthy literature to the flames.

Brother McMillan was a faithful worker in the church of God. He labored earnestly for peace and harmony among the Lord's people. He served New Prospect Church, at Board Camp, for years. Here and at other places his labors live on while he sweetly sleeps. He labored near home—never traveled very much away from home. He was a staunch and able defender of the truth of God. He loved the church and unselfishly gave himself for it.

I am indebted to Brother Charlie McMillan, son of Eider McMillan for the above information. Brother Charlie is a deacon of Board Camp Church. Brother Fred Barton is his faithful helper.

With love and respect for our dear old sleeping fathers, 

M. A. NORMAN
Oden, Ark.

BLESS THE WORD PREACHED

BLESS THE WORD PREACHED (1945, October)

Almighty Father! bless the word
Which through thy grace we now have heard:
O may thy precious seed take root,
Spring up, and bear abundant fruit.

We praise thee for the gift of grace,
Thus in thy court to seek thy face;
Grant, Lord, that we who worship here,
May all, at length, in heaven appear.

(No. 588 in a Baptist Hymn Book, by Elder Wilson Thompson)

BLESSED EVIDENCES (1943)

BLESSED EVIDENCES (1943)

(From Zion's Advocate, February 1, 1871)

ELDER JOHN CLARK:

Very Dear Brother in Christ—Once more, after a protracted silence, I venture to address you, and through the medium of your valuable paper, the lovers of our adorable Saviour, on subjects connected with the welfare of our Lord's family while on their pilgrimage to the tomb. Truly, many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the blessed assurance is given that out of them all the Lord will deliver them.

The Salem Association has undergone sore trials, afflictions and persecutions during the last year, which has resulted in the decrease of our members about one hundred and fifty. We think the difficulty now about settled, except in one church. To what extent division will work in that church we cannot now certainly tell. All this has grown out of a departure from the faith and practice of Regular Baptists, which has caused me about as much trouble and sorrow as I have been able to bear; but my confidence in the God of Zion remains unshaken; His counsel shall stand and He will do all His pleasure. Oh, what a blessed consolation to the poor, afflicted, persecuted, doubting and desponding child of the Lord, to know that their heavenly Father understands perfectly the motives and intentions of their hearts; that He cannot be deceived;-that He is our Judge, and that all the powers of darkness, combined with wicked men upon earth, cannot change or alter His eternal purpose of love toward His chosen people, but that Jesus, having loved His own that were in the world, He loves them unto the end (Joh 13:1). Surely there is great consolation to the afflicted of the Lord's family to contemplate their interest in the eternal love of Him who knows no change, but loves now what He has eternally loved, and will continue to love just what He eternally has loved, and no more. Poor, fallible man may change; the world, in all its demonstrations, may change; kingdoms and empires may rise and fall, and others be reared upon their ruins; yes, verily, heaven and earth may pass away, but all the purposes of God in Christ Jesus, touching the eternal salvation of all the redeemed, will stand unshaken and immovable, and in the midst of the wreck of matter and the crash of worlds, the bride of the Lamb, the elect of God, will gloriously triumph through the grace given them in Christ their Head and Husband before the world began. Here is safety; here is peace to those who are enabled to hope in the mercy of Him who was meek and lowly; and while those truly born of God indorse the sentiments above expressed, they are often led to seriously doubt their interest in the eternal and immutable love of God, because they so often feel cold, lifeless, dull and stupid, so very ungrateful. They are often made to cry:

If I love, why am I thus?
Why this dull and lifeless frame?

and hence, with the apostle, they exclaim: "0 wretched man that I am, who shall deliver me from the body of this death?" (Ro 7:24.) Well, dear, doubting child, permit me to say, those feelings are signs of divine life within the soul. None but such as have felt the plague of their own hearts ever have such feelings. Let me ask you, Do you desire to love our Lord more than you do? I know your answer well. Do you love those who you believe are truly Christians? Your answer is, If I love any people upon earth, I love those whose walk and conversation becometh the gospel of Christ. Well, do you love the order of the house of God? You say, If I am not deceived in the whole matter, I certainly do love all that is above named. Well, dear, desponding heart, so sure as you do, so sure you are a child of God, and have a home in heaven. Blessed, thought! 0 glorious consideration! that one so poor and vile as I feel myself to be should be entitled to such a rich inheritance. And now remember, dear Christian friends, that this same blessed Jesus who has loved you so devotedly will never leave nor forsake you. All the attributes of the eternal Godhead are pledged for your final triumph over sin, death and the grave, and to bring you off more than conqueror through Him that loved you and gave Himself for you. With such hopes as these, surely we may trials well endure, especially when we remember that our dear Lord has said, "in the world you shall have tribulation." Yes, dear brethren and sisters, this is a part of your legacy while in this wilderness you roam, but thanks to the name of our dear Redeemer, He has also said, "In me you shall have peace; be of good cheer, I have overcome the world." Let us, then, beloved of the Lord, try to live to the glory and honor of His dear name; contend earnestly for the faith once delivered to the saints, and for the order of His house or church; letting our light so shine before men that they may see our good works and glorify our Father which is in heaven. I often fear, dear brethren, that we who profess the religion of Jesus do not live as devoted to His service as we should. Can any of you tell me which the inspired writers labored the hardest to do, to get their brethren to believe right or to do right?

May the Lord help us all to meditate on these things, and to live soberly, righteously and godly in the world, and in the end of all our sufferings and sorrows, may we rest in that far off happy land where trouble and sorrow comes not to grieve the heart, there to enjoy uninterrupted peace in the presence of our dear Redeemer, world without end. Farewell. Your brother, in hope of eternal life,

JOEL HUME.
Owensville,Ind., January 17, 1871.

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(Copied from Zion's Advocate, February 1, 1871)

If God be your Father, you can want nothing that is good, but the determination of what is good must be left to His wisdom; for we are not so fit to judge of it nor to discern our own good. We should, therefore, commit all to His fatherly care and wise providence. Indeed, He chooseth rather to profit us than to please us in His dispensations, and it is our duty to refer all to His wisdom and faithfulness.—Manton.

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Greatness and preciousness do not often meet together; and many things are great, but then they are not precious, and many things are precious, but then they are not great; but in the promises of God to His church and people, greatness and preciousness do meet. —Pearse.

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(Copied from Zion's Advocate, September 1, 1870)

Forget not, O believer! that a revengeful foe attends thee whithersover in thiw life thou goest.  It is thy wisdom--because thou lovest God and desirest security--prayerfully at every moment to put thy trust in Him. "Lead me not into temptation, but deliver me from evil."

BLESSED JESUS (1944)

BLESSED JESUS (1944)

L. M.

Bless'd Jesus, source of grace divine,
What soul-refreshing streams are Thine!
O bring these healing waters nigh,
Or we must droop and fall, and die.

No traveler through desert lands,
'Midst scorching suns and burning sands,
More needs the current to obtain,
Or to enjoy refreshing rain.

Our longing souls aloud would sing,
Spring up, celestial fountain, spring!
To a redundant river flow,
And cheer this thirsty land below.

May this blest torrent near my side,
Through all the desert gently glide;
Then in Emmanuel's land above,
Spread to a sea of joy and love.

—From Good Old Songs, No. 549

BLESSED REMEMBRANCES (1944)

BLESSED REMEMBRANCES (1944)

(From The Gospel Messenger, October, 1896)

The time at which I write this article is Monday afternoon, August 17, 1896. Most distinctly do I remember that on Monday afternoon, August 17, 1863—just thirty-three years ago—occurred the most wonderful and blessed event of my life, to which I refer in the foot-note of page 541 of my Church History. I had for twelve years felt myself to be one of the greatest sinners in the world, though considered by those who knew me to be a model boy. For the last two of those years I had been a great sufferer from physical diseases (neuralgia in the chest and throat), so that often I could not eat or sleep, or find relief in any posture or from any remedy, and I felt that my sufferings were justly visited upon me for my sins, and that I would soon be called by a holy and angry God from my great sufferings here to still greater and everlasting sufferings in the dark and dreadful world of hopeless woe. In terror I fled to the fiery mountain of the Law of God, and found nothing but complete and awful condemnation there. I saw that the Law was holy, just, and good, and spiritual, and demanded perfection in every thought and word and deed, while I was altogether carnal and sinful. Becoming - dead to all hope of salvation by the Law; I read and meditated upon the written Word of God, and often sought places of solitude and abased myself before the Most High, and cried fervently with Him for His pardoning and purifying mercy. I longed to be not only forgiven for my sins, but also to be cleansed from sin—to be emancipated from its loathsome power—to be a free man in Christ Jesus as I should soon be a free man politically. And while in this awakened, seeking, hungering, thirsting, restless, anguished state of mind, I believe that I was led by the Spirit of the Lord Jesus to draw near, in humble and earnest reverence, to the most marvellous scene in the universe—the meek and lowly and spotless and loving Son of God hanging in bleeding and dying agonies upon the accursed tree, and I realized, in the inmost depths of my heart, that those unmerited and unparalleled sufferings were endured for me; that my vile and voluntary sins were the thorns and nails and spear that tore the flesh of my holy and gracious Redeemer, and crushed Him unto death, and laid Him in the tomb; and I felt the fellowship of His sufferings, and that I was crucified with Him, and dead with Him to sin and to the world; and then that I rose with Him to a new and blessed and heavenly life. Ever since that most memorable hour, all things have been different to me from what they ever were before—creation, providence, redemption, God and man, the Scriptures, the church, the ministry, the ordinances, pleasure and sorrow, life and death, time and eternity. Old things have passed away, and all things have become new, and all are of God. I have been taught to hate sin and love holiness, and to desire to love, worship, obey and be submissive to God, and to glorify Him, and to love His Word, His law, His gospel, His people; His ordinances, and all His ways, and to be kind and serviceable to all men as opportunity is presented me, and to pray for my enemies, and to return them kindness for unkindness, and good for evil, and blessing for cursing. The written Word of God shows that such feelings as these are the gracious operations of His Holy Spirit, and the blessed evidences of spiritual, divine, and everlasting life. I related my exercises to the church at Skewarkey, near Williamston, N. C., Saturday before the second Sunday in January, in 1864, and was received to membership and was baptized by my father, Elder C. B. Hassell, in Roanoke River the next day—the happiest day that I have ever experienced —when not one cloud seemed to intervene between my soul and the Sun of Righteousness. For nine blessed months I seemed to live comparatively above sin and temptation and sorrow; but then I found, to my distress, that I was a sinner still, just as much in need of the cleansing blood of the Lamb as I ever had been. And one night while bowed in earnest supplication on my knees by my bedside before retiring, I was all at once amazed and at first horrified by what seemed to be a river of blood pouring down upon me, but I quickly realized that it was the view of the renewed application of the blood of Jesus which cleanses from all sin. These spiritual visions are but the wonderful and glorious fulfillments of God's gracious and holy promises to His people. (Zec 12:144; xiii. 1; Ac 2:17; 1Jo 1:7.)

And though, during the last thirty years, I have passed through deeper trials than ever before, sorer bereavements, and severer diseases; though I have followed the mortal remains of my dear father and two lovely companions and four precious children to the silent tomb, and suffered intensely with affections of the kidneys, nerves, and heart, every bitter draught in my wilderness sojournings has been sweetened with the cross of Christ—Ex 15:23-25—every sorrow has been alleviated by the remembrance of my Saviour's heavier sorrows for my sins and for my salvation, arid I have felt the truth of the inspired words that "All things work together for good to them that love God."—Ro 8:28.

Our dear lowly, loving, and suffering Saviour enjoins upon all His beloved people to remember Him. Lu 22:19. Most holy and blessed are all the remembrances of the Lord Jesus. May His precious name be the deepest and last recorded in our hearts.

SYLVESTER HASSELL.

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If the Lord, whose royal prerogative is to punish or to pardon the criminal, declare that He will remember His iniquities no more, we may rest assured that it is an everlasting pardon—a free forgiveness never to be reversed.—BOOTH.

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There goes a rumor that I am to be banished. And let it come if God so will. The other side of the sea is I my Father's ground as well as this Side.—RUTHERFORD.

Blest be the tie that binds

Blest be the tie that binds
Our hearts in Christian love;
The fellowship of kindred minds
Is like to that above.

Before our Father's throne
We pour our mutual prayers;
Our fears, our hopes, our aims are one,
Our comforts and our cares.

We share our mutual woes,
Our mutual burdens bear,
And often for each other flows
 The sympathizing tear.

When we asunder part
It gives us inward pain;
But we shall still be joined in heart,
And hope to meet again.

This glorious hope revives
Our courage by the way,
While each in expectation lives
And longs to see the day.

From sorrow, toil and pain
And sin we shall be free;
 And perfect love and friendship reign
In all eternity.

BLEST BE THE TIE THAT BINDS (1948, November)

BLEST BE THE TIE THAT BINDS (1948, November)

Blest be the tie that binds
Our hearts in Christian love;
The fellowship of kindred minds
Is like to that above.

Before our Father's throne
We pour our mutual prayers;
Our fears, our hopes, our aims are one,
Our comforts and our cares.

—No. 62 in The Good Old Songs

CANAAN'S LAND (1942)

CANAAN'S LAND (1942)
C. M. D.
E. J. King

Oh, for a breeze of heavenly love,
To waft my soul away
To that celestial world above,
Where pleasures ne'er decay.

Eternal Spirit, deign to be
My Pilot here below,
To steer thro' life's tempestuous sea,
Where stormy winds do blow.

I need the influence of Thy grace
To speed me on my way,
Lest I should loiter in my race,
Or turn my feet astray.

Are not Thy mercies sovereign still,
And Thou a faithful God?
Wilt Thou not grant me warmer zeal
To run the heavenly road?

From rocks of pride on either hand,
From quicksands of despair,
Oh, guide me safe to Canaan's land,
Through every latent snare.

Anchor me in that port above,
On that celestial shore,
Where dashing billows never move,
Where tempests never roar.

—The Good Old Songs, No. 81

CARNAL MIND AND SPIRITUAL MIND (1944)

CARNAL MIND AND SPIRITUAL MIND (1944)

By Elder John R. Daily, in Zion's Advocate, September, 1899

"The carnal mind," says Paul, "is enmity against God." There are only two kinds of minds—the carnal and the spiritual mind. None but those who are be again have a spiritual mind. All others are opposed God, being in a state of enmity against Him. "I fear my mind is only carnal," says the doubting Christian. Ask yourself this question, "Do I really hate God Involuntarily comes the answer, "No, I am sure I not." Then your mind is not carnal, for "the can mind is enmity against God." Do you have any lo for Him and His people? "Yes," you say, "I know I love Him, and His people are certainly very precious me." Then you are not opposed to Him and at enmity against Him. You have been born again and have a spiritual mind. But your chief complaint may be that you are so sinful, so impure, that you can't believe a real Christian can be as you are. Your sinfulness troubles you, and you wish you could live a more upright life, which proves you are not in a state of enmity against your Maker. Moreover, you are grieved when you hear wicked people cursing that holy Being. How such language grates upon your ears and chills your very heart! Then your mind is not enmity again Him, otherwise such an effect would not follow. You know you are not as those are who blaspheme the name of God. Then your mind is spiritual, while theirs is only carnal. No mind can be spiritual until born again, for the fleshly mind is controlled by the lusts of the flesh, serves the flesh only, and is enmity against God, having no desire to serve Him and no love for His people. J. R. D.

CHARITY

CHARITY (1951, August)

My mind is somewhat impressed with charity. What is it? We are often told that it is love. However it is not love for one another but love to one another.

The love of Christ for His people led Him to come to them in flesh and blood, and to bear their sins, and to die for them, that they by Him might live pure and holy before God in love.

In our sins we had no love for God and His righteousness. We were enemies to God by wicked works. Some of us persecuted Him and His people and put some of them to death. Did that make Him hate us? No. His love went down beneath us in the pit of corruption into which we had fallen, and He brought us up out of the pit and out of the mire and clay. He set our feet on (our faith in) the Rock and He put a new song in our mouths, even praise to God.

Now He has sent His Spirit down from the court of glory to be our Guardian, our continual Guide, to lead us in paths we have not known, and to lift us up when we are cast down, to feed our hungry souls with food from heaven, to lead us to the fountain and give us the Water of Life to drink, to put on us the Robe of Righteousness which our dear Jesus Wrought out on the cross. Oh! the power of charity!

When this love is thus manifested it makes us love one another. It gets between us and the flesh. We see the faults which are yet in the flesh, and it hides a multitude of them. The work of Jesus and His love in that brother or that sister shines brightly enough in our love that we are ready to pass off the things of the flesh. We think of Jesus and His love to us. We think of our own rebellions against Him and His way and teachings; of how we parley with the flesh and turn our backs on Him and yet He loves us, He chastens us and forgives us. We resolve that we will not again be so rebellious and unfaithful, that we will live more unto the God who has so loved us and kept us, and who does yet keep us. But the first we know we are again in the ditch and all begummed up with its filth, and we loathe ourselves and don't know which way to turn to wash off this corruption. We are in no condition to appear before One so high, so holy, and we cannot go anywhere else. There we stand and hate our carelessness and forgetfulness that have gotten us in all this trouble.

Does our Lord cast us off as we see we so much deserve? No; He pours out His blessings on us and takes away all our filth, and speaks kindly to us. Why does He do this? Because He loves us and nothing can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. This is Charity.

Have we that love for our brethren? Our Lord said that we should forgive them seventy times in one day. What shall we do the next day? Forgive them seventy times seven, and again the next day, and the next to seventy times seven days. That is if love, the love of God, yet abounds in our hearts. When that love ceases then we may cease to forgive. Will it ever cease? Will God ever cease? God is Love. We love one another because God dwelleth in us. It is Christ we love, and if we love Him we love His habitation. Know ye not that your bodies are the temples of God? Then we love the bodies of our brethren because our Jesus dwells there.

'Tis true that our brethren do wrong; they do us wrong. But do we do no wrong? or are we so perfect that we are immune from wrong? Lord, deliver us from so unholy a thought. Think of the many wrongs we do against our dear Lord and of how merciful He is to us; thousands, it may be, in one day, and He forgives it all. Can my brother, my sister, do so much to me in a whole lifetime as I do against my Lord in one day? Surely not. Then if charity in Him forgives me so many sins and continues to do this every day, all the time, and that charity dwells in me, will I not forgive my brother his few sins against me? Else how shall I pray, "Forgive me my sins as I forgive those who sin against me?"

Oh, for love one to another!

Yours in hope, 
L. H. HARDY.
Atlantic, N. C.
. . . In The Gospel Messenger, 1916.

Children learn what they live.

Children learn what they live. (1991, September - October & 1995, November - December)

If children live with criticism,
They learn to condemn.

If children live with hostility,
They learn to fight.

If children live with ridicule,
They learn to be shy.

If children live with shame,
They learn to feel guilty.

If children live with tolerance,
They learn to be patient.

If children live with encouragement,
They learn confidence.

If children live with praise,
They learn to appreciate.

If children live with fairness,
They learn justice.

If children live with security,
They learn to have faith.

If children live with approval,
They learn to like themselves.

If children live with acceptance and friendship,
They learn to find love the world.

Dorothy Law Nolte

—From a service of Ross Laboratories.
@ Dorothy Law Nolte

CHRIST A CORNER STONE

CHRIST A CORNER STONE (1945, October)

Lord, dost thou show a corner-stone
For us to build our hopes upon,
That the fair edifice may rise
Sublime in light beyond the skies?

We own the work of sovereign love;
Nor death nor hell these hopes shall move,
Which, fixed on this foundation stand,
Laid by thy own almighty hand.

Thy people long this stone have tried,
And all the powers of hell defied;
Floods of temptation beat in vain---
Well doth this rock the house sustain.

When storms of wrath around prevail,
Whirlwind and thunder, fire and hail,
'Tis here our trembling souls shall hide,
And here securely they abide.

While such as scorned this precious stone,
Fond of some quicksand of their own,
Born down by weighty vengeance die,
And buried deep in ruin lie.

(No. 293 in a Baptist Hymn Book by Elder Wilson Thompson)

CHRIST AND HIS BRIDE

CHRIST AND HIS BRIDE (1953, August & 1996, July - August)

(Copied from Primitive Monitor, Feb., & Oct., 1887)

Christ is the bridegroom. His qualifications are so wonderful that tongue can not tell them, nor heart conceive of them.

1. For beauty : He is white and ruddy, the chiefest among ten thousand, and altogether lovely.

2. For wisdom: All the treasures of wisdom and knowledge are hid in Him, and He is infinite in wisdom and counsel. He brings to naught the wisdom of the world, and imparts His wisdom to His simple bride, making her wise unto salvation, and reveals to her the mysteries of the kingdom, which are hid from the wise and prudent of the world.

3. For riches: The Bridegroom is infinitely rich in all righteousness and power, glory, immortality, and bliss. His riches are unsearchable, durable, and incorruptible; and all who love Him are joint heirs with Him in all His glorious kingdom.

4. For honor : He is renowned in heaven and earth, having a name above every name. Honor and majesty are before His face; and He makes all who believe in Him honorable, for they are precious in His sight.

5. For strength: He is the man of God's right hand, whom He hath made strong for Himself. The strength of Omnipotence is in Him; for He is the Mighty God, the Almighty. He came from Edom, and from Bozrah, traveling in the greatness of His strength, and mighty to save.

6. For authority: He has power over all flesh, that He should give eternal life to as many as the Father gave Him. All power is His in heaven and earth. Every knee must bow unto Him, and every tongue shall confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

7. For meekness and lowliness: He is incomparable, and the great pattern for His poor saints. "Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me, for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls."

8. For constancy : He is the same yesterday, today, and forever. His name is, "I AM." He rests in His love, and changes not; His promises are yea and amen ; and His word shall be fulfilled. "The mountains shall depart, and the hills be removed; but my kindness shall not depart from thee, neither shall the covenant of my peace be removed, saith the Lord that hath mercy on thee." These are but a small part of the qualifications of the blessed Bridegroom. Go forth, then, ye daughters of Zion and behold Him. All the perfections 01 the Godhead shine with power and great glory in the person of our glorious Bridegroom. He is in the form of God, and thought it not robbery to be equal with God. Glorious is the person of the Bridegroom.

We will now speak a little of the bride. The bride of Christ may he viewed in a threefold situation: (1) In a state of nature ; (2) in a state of grace ; (3) in a state of glory.

We shall find her in a deplorable condition. I speak of God's chosen people, whether personally or collectively. She is a corrupt branch, sprung from the first Adam—sinful, vile, and guilty—altogether as an unclean thing. What can a sinner do for himself? What can angels or men do for him? He must inevitably perish, like the new-born infant cast out in the open field, unless some one takes it up.

Now this is the condition of Christ's bride, when He sets His love upon her, as you may see in Eze 16: "And when I passed by thee, and saw thee polluted in thine own blood, I said unto thee when thou wast in thy blood, Live," etc. We have another description of man in his natural state:, "And you hath He quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins," etc. "For we ourselves also were sometime foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful and hating one another." Thus you see how the Spirit of God describes the natural condition of all mankind. Oh, how may it fill His poor chosen saints with adoration to think that such a creature should become a bride to the Son of God! 0 the height and depth, length and breadth, of the love of God.

Let us view the bride in a state of grace, and see what a strange alteration free grace makes upon her. This is also shown in an elegant metaphor in Ezekiel, xvi. (1) He quickens her and gives her life—"I said unto thee, Live;" (2) He casts the skirts of His everlasting righteousness over her; (3) He takes her into a marriage relation with Himself, within the bond of the covenant; (4) He washes and cleanses her with the washing of regeneration; (5) He anoints her with the oil of His Spirit; (6) He decks and adorns her with the ornaments of holiness, and the graces of the Spirit; (7) He confers royal dignity upon her, and puts a crown upon her head; (8) He makes her perfect and complete in Himself, through the comeliness He puts upon her. Thus you see what the love of Christ does for His bride, while yet only in the time of her espousals. See Eph 2.

We might also view her in a. state of glory, when the marriage shall be consummated, at Christ's second coming. But this is what eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, nor has it entered into the heart of man. I will only refer you to two or three texts, that give us a glimpse of the glory that Christ will then confer upon His bride—Mt 12:48: "Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun, in the kingdom of their Father," Da 12:3; "Arid they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars forever and ever." Col 3:4: "When Christ, who is our life, shall appear then shall ye also appear with Him in glory." 1Jo 3:2: "Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when He shall appear, we shall be like Him; for we shall see Him as He is." At the transfiguration of Christ, "His face did shine as the sun, and His raiment was white as the light."

The bride of Christ longs for the consummation of the marriage at the last Judgment Day, when the body of Christ, shall be gathered together, and when the Bridegroom shall present her to His Father, "not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; and she shall shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of her Father. Paul had this in view, when he said, "There' is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, shall give me at that day; and not to me only, but unto all them also that love His appearing." The voice of the church is, "Make haste, my beloved, and be thou like to a roe or a young hart upon the mountains of spices."

Have you had a meeting with the Bridegroom? Have He and you had a pleasant and comfortable interview? Did He draw near and manifest Himself to you, as He does not unto the world? A meeting with Christ the Bridegroom puts new life into the languishing soul and spirit of the bride; and no wonder, for He is the Resurrection and the Life. "He that hath the Son hath life." A meeting with Christ, the Bridegroom, gives light to the bride when sitting in darkness, for He is the bright and morning star that brings day with, Him. He is the true light, and darkness vanishes before Him. A meeting with the Bridegroom fires the heart with love that many waters can, not quench, and floods are not able to drown. His banner is love, and the bride will follow the banner through life and death.—Ro 8:38-39.

If you have met the Bridegroom, you will study to keep His room for Him, until He returns again. Christ's bride will not take up with other lovers in His absence. When enticed by the devil, or the world to join with them in worshiping the creature more than the Creator, the true bride of Christ will be ready to say, with David, "Depart from me, ye evil doers, for I will keep the commandments of my God." The true bride of Christ is ready to resist, even unto death, striving against sin. She would rather venture upon the anger and displeasure of all the world, than endure one frown of the Bridegroom's face; and therefore, having presented herself as a chaste virgin unto Christ, she studies to maintain her chastity and purity. Every meeting with the Bridegroom fills the soul of the bride with a humble blush at the thoughts of her own unworthiness, and the undeserved love and kindness of the Bridegroom, insomuch that she is ashamed ; yea, even confounded, when she sees that He is pacified towards her, notwithstanding all her misgivings ; and this makes her cry out in the language of Job : "I have heard of thee by the hearing of the -ear ; but now mine eye seeth thee : wherefore I abhor myself and repent in dust and ashes." Believers are the true bride of the blessed Bridegroom; and well may we speak words of comfort to the bride for He himself says, that her heart shall rejoice, and her joy no man taketh from her,

For a farther presentation of the joy of the soul thus espoused to this one Husband, I shall only touch a little upon two Scriptural expressions, in which the closest union, and most intimate communion between Christ and ills spouse is held forth. In one place, Christ is said to have them, and in another, they are said to have Him. The first is recorded in St. Joh 3:29: "He that hath the bride is the Bridegroom." The second is recorded in 1Jo 5:12, where it is said of believers, the bride of Christ: "He that hath the Son bath life." Therefore, we may safely say, that the Bridegroom has the bride, and the bride has the Bridegroom. Christ has this bride.

First, By the eternal gift from the Father. See Joh 17:6: "Thine they were, and thou gayest them me." They were the Father's by electing love. He chose them from among the mass of mankind, and gave them to His Son, that He might redeem them with his blood, and call them, in due time, by His grace, and save them eternally.

Second, She is His by purchase. She is by nature the law's debtor and prisoner, and Satan's slave. "0," says Christ, "I have loved her with an everlasting love, and I am content to satisfy the law and justice in her room; let the curse of the law due to her fall upon me; let the awakened sword of justice rage against me, that they may escape; I will be wounded for their transgressions, and bruised for their iniquities."

Third, He has the bride by conquest. Although law and justice be satisfied, yet the devil having got possession, he will not quit the prisoner, unless she be taken out of his custody by main force. "Well," says the Bridegroom, "I will lead captivity captive, I will bruise the head of that old serpent, the Devil; I will spoil principalities and powers, and the lawful captive shall be delivered, and the prey taken from the mighty."

Fourth, He has the bride by her own consent, "in the day of His power"—Ps 110:3. He conquers her enmity against Him, by discoveries of His love and loveliness. See Ho 11:4; and Jer 31:3: "I have loved thee with an everlasting love ; therefore with loving kindness have I drawn thee." But it may be asked: Where is His bride? He has her in His house! For as King Solomon built a house for Pharoah's daughter, so Christ, the spiritual Solomon, builds a two-fold house for His bride—a house on earth, and another in heaven. We read of a house that wisdom built, which has seven pillars, and it is for the entertainment of this bride. The stones are laid with fair colors, and the foundation thereof of sapphire. And then he has prepared a house, yea, a "city, which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God." "In my Father's house are many mansions," etc. He has the bride, not only in His house, but in His hand. See De 33:3. "All His saints are in thy hand,"—in the hand of the Bridegroom. Joh 10:28: "I give unto thee eternal life ; and they shall never perish, neither shall any pluck them out of my hand." 0, believer! is not this a glorious spring of consolation. Thou art continually in the hand of thy glorious Husband and Bridegroom! He keeps His bride in the hollow of His hand, the hand of His power and providence. He shall gather the lambs with His arm, and carry them in His bosom. 0 how sweet to rest encircled within the everlasting arms of the eternal God! "He that dwelleth in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty"—Ps 91:1.

"Oh," says the spouse, "set me as a seal upon thine heart." As the priest had the names of the tribes of Israel upon his breast, so Christ has His people set as a seal upon His heart, and they can never be out of His mind. Now, is not this a glorious spring of consolation to the soul espoused to Christ? Believer, He has thee in His house, in His hand, in His arms and bosom, and bears thee upon His heart!

And now, if thou art the bride, and hast received Him by faith, thou hast the person of the Son for thy Husband and Bridegroom. "Thy Maker is thine Husband." You know, that in marriage, the relation is between the person of the man and woman; so in the spiritual marriage, it is the person of Christ and the person of the believer that are married. And what think you, believer, of being married to the glorious Son of God? To which of the angels did He ever say, Thou art the bride, the Lamb's wife? Being married to the Son of God, thou art a partaker of the divine nature, as He is a partaker of the human.

The beauty of the Lord thy God is upon thee. The Bridegroom imparts His beauty to the bride, and then she looks forth as the morning, fair as the moon, clear * as the sun, and He says : "Thou art all fair my love; there is no spot in thee." The Bridegroom's Father is thy Father. Joh 20:17: "I ascend unto my Father, and your Father ; and to my God, and your God." Christ, as the second Adam, and new covenant head says, for Himself and all believers—His bride: "Thou art my Father, my God, and the Rock of my salvation" —Ps 89:26. The Father, with loving kindness, draws His Son's bride to Him, with holy and humble confidence, crying, "Abba, Father." "Doubtless thou art my Father, and the guide of my youth." Perhaps, poor child, to thy own sense and feeling, you have been brought to say: "My life draweth night unto the grave. I am free among the dead. I am a dry tree, or like Ezekiel's dry bones:" but remember, that the fountain of life is with thy Head, Husband, Bridegrom. "Because I live, ye shall live also." He has betrothed thee to Himself, not for a day, or a month, or a year, or an age, but forever. "I will make with thee an everlasting covenant." The covenant stands fast with Him. "My covenant will I not break, nor alter the thing that is gone out of my lips."

(To Be Continued.)

CHRIST AND HIS BRIDE (1953, September)

(Continued from August Issue)

(Copied from Primitive Monitor, Feb. and Oct., 1887)

The way in which a sinner is brought to recognize the bond of this covenant is by faith in Christ, and not by the operation of man. He makes a sinner willing to be saved, without money, and without price, upon the footing of free grace, reigning in and through an imputed righteousness. Having the Son, thou hast all the promises of the new covenant, as so many wells of salvation, out of which thou mayest draw water with joy ; for all the promises of God are in Him, and in Him they are to the bride of Christ yea and amen. Oh! how great and precious are these promises. Having the Son for thy Bridegroom, the law, nor the world, nor life, nor death, have any action or process against thee. You know that in the law, the wife can not be pursued for debt; the creditors have nothing to say against the wife. Just so it is with thee, 0 believer, who hath the Son for thy Husband; He has met the righteous demands of justice, and was discharged of it in His resurrection; and, therefore, the soul married and betrothed to Him may lift up the head and cry: "Who can lay any thing to my charge? It is God who justifieth. Who is he that condemneth?" Whatever deep seas or Jordans of trouble you may have before you, the Lord has given His word for it, that He will be present with you. Isa 43:2: "When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee." etc. Why He has said:. "I' will never leave thee, nor forsake thee." Yea, when you lie down in the grave, you shall sleep in His bosom. Them that sleep in Jesus will God bring with Him. 0! what comfort it is to a dying saint to know that no sooner is He absent from the body, than He is present with the Lord. Like dying Stephen you can say : "Lord Jesus, receive my Spirit." And though you drop the body into the grave, where it sleeps quietly until the morning of the resurrection, yet the Bridegroom says: "I will raise him up again at the last day." This promise He frequently repeats.

0 lift up thy head, believer, for the day of thy complete redemption, even the redemption of thy body from the power of the grave, draweth nigh. The Holy Ghost, that quickened thee when dead in trespasses and sins, shall also quicken thy dead body; for "the earth shall cast out the dead"—Isa 26:19. See, also Ro 8:11. Your vile body shall be made like unto the glorious body of the Bridegroom. Thus you see what unspeakable consolation, and eternal triumph there is for the soul that is espoused to Christ: but the ten-thousandth part of it can not be told!

"Oh!" some poor soul may say, "these are great things indeed, but I am afraid they do not belong to me, I am afraid I am not the bride. He is such a great and glorious person, and I am such a poor, despicable woman, so guilty, so filthy ; I am afraid that His love is not for me. And therefore I am afraid to apply all that comfort, that belongs to the bride of Christ, to myself. Poor saint, it is one of the characteristics of the bride of Christ to be humble, lowly, and self-denying. She never admires her own beauty and excellence, but the beauty, glory, and excellency of her Lord. She does not boast of what she has received, but all her boasting and glorying is in the Lord; and the more humble, and self-denying the bride of Christ is, the more ameniable and desirable she is in His eyes.

"But I am so pestered with a body of sin, and death ; I find so much carnality, unbelief, pride, and other heart plagues, that I doubt if I ever have known Him. Do you remember how much the great apostle Paul was distressed with the law of sin which was in his members? He could say, "0 wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?" The flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh. Therefore do not draw rash conclusions upon this account. I once thought my heart could rejoice in Him as my Beloved, and I thought His left hand was under my head, and His right hand embraced me, and I could say: "My Beloved is mine, and I am His ! But alas ! He is gone; the Lord has forsaken me," is the language of those who are being tried. "Why sayest thou, 0 Jacob, my way is hid from the Lord!" Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the fruit of her womb? Yea, they may forget, yet will I not forget thee." Therefore, wait His coming, as they that watch for the morning, yea, more ; for as sure as the morning light will arise, after a dark night, so sure will He return to thy soul! "For a small moment have I forsaken thee; but with great ,mercies will I gather thee. In a little wrath I hid my face from thee for a moment ; but with everlasting kindness will I have mercy on thee, saith the Lord thy Redeemer."

Therefore, poor saints, be ye comforted with these words, and when Christ shall come, you will be caught up in the air, and in the clouds, ever to be with the Lord. May this be the happy state of us all, is the prayer of y9ur unworthy brother,

PETER THOMPSON.

CHRIST DRAWING ALL MEN (1942)

CHRIST DRAWING ALL MEN (1942)

(Copied from Zion's Advocate, December 1, 1870)

And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all (men) unto me.—Joh 12:32.

The "lifting up" of Christ here is explained by the evangelist in the parenthetical sentence that follows, that it was to show the mode of His death, which was to be by crucifixion, and between the heavens and earth, typified by the lifting up of the brazen serpent in the wilderness by Moses, and also to signify His office as Mediator; for as He is the "one Mediator between God and men," He must suffer between the heavens and the earth. In His divinity He must say, "I and my Father are one;" "He that hath seen me hath seen the Father;" and in His humanity, in taking of flesh and blood, of which the children are partakers, He is not ashamed to call them brethren, and, therefore, as the Daysman between Jehovah and the sinner, He is lifted up between them and can lay His hand on both.

The work of drawing sinners is sometimes ascribed to the Father. The words of Christ are: "No man can come to me, except the Father, which hath sent me, draw him." "No man can come unto me, except it were given unto him of my Father."---Joh 5:44,47. This is in accordance with the tenor of Revelation. "For as the Father raiseth up the dead, and quickeneth them; even so the Son quickeneth whom He will."— Joh 5:21. The life is in the Son. He is the 'resurrection and the life. In Him was life and the life was the light of men; and when He who is our life shall appear then shall we also appear with Him in glory. The drawing process is by, first, imparting life; then the will and the power to come to Christ. "Thy people shall be willing in the day of thy power." All that are drawn come to Christ; they do not stop short of Christ, "the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth." "All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out."—Joh 5:37. This coming to Christ is by the drawing of the Spirit, and there is an assurance that all that are thus drawn come to Christ. Those that are given to Christ are drawn to Him--come to Him and are saved. [The word men in the text is not in the original.]

The source of this love, and the drawing in accordance therewith, is thus testified to by the prophet: "The Lord hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love; therefore with loving kindness have I drawn thee."—Jer 31:3. This decides the question of the universality of expression in the text, "I will draw all men unto me." It can't mean all men individually, or universally, for the reason that all men do not come to Christ, are not saved; whereas the divine drawing brings them to Christ and to salvation. It means men of all nations—all classes, orders and conditions of men. In this sense Peter preached to the Gentiles. "God is no respecter of persons; but in every nation, he that feareth Him and worketh righteousness is accepted of Him." He has no more respect for a Jew than He has for a Gentile in a national sense. The redeemed of the Lord shall be brought up out of every nation, kindred, tongue and people under heaven, and they constitute the all men whom Christ will draw unto Himself, as He is lifted up from the earth. They constitute the "purchased possession," redeemed by the blood of Christ from among men. They make up the "Church of God which He hath purchased with His own blood." Nothing could redeem them but the "precious blood of Christ." Corruptible things, such as silver and gold, could not be received as a ransom.

The expressions, all men, the world, the whole world, every man, etc., which often occur in the Scriptures, are often to be understood, indeed, always to be understood, in a limited and restricted sense. The word all means every part, or all of whatever may be the subject of discourse. The Pharisees said of Christ: * * * "Behold the world is gone after Him" (Joh 12:10), but they who were of the world had not gone after Him, except to persecute Him, and but few of the world, comparatively, have gone after Him at any time. And again, John said in his Epistle, v. 19, "We know that we are of 'God, and the whole world lieth in wickedness." This is as broad an expression as can be found, and yet in the very verse and sentence in which it is found, bounds are fixed to it beyond which we cannot go. By the pronominal, "We," John limits it to the wicked, to unbelievers, and those embraced in the we that are of God, are not of the whole world that lieth in wickedness. This agrees with Christian experience, Christ formed in them the hope of glory. The called of God can trace up the stream of love in their souls for Christ and His people, to its source, God's love for them: His everlasting love wherewith He loved them, and that drew the wondrous plan. "We love Him because He first loved us." Therein is revealed the cause and the effect. God's great love wherewith He loved us; first, the drawing; secondly, as a consequence of that love, and, in return, as the effect, we love Him with a pure heart fervently—love His ways, His institutions, and His people; and, by and by, they shall all meet around the glorious throne, where they shall unite in the everlasting song of redemption by the blood of Christ.

0! what a sweet exalted song,
When every tribe and every tongue,
Redeem'd by blood with Christ appear,
And join with one full chorus there.

CHRIST IS LEARNED (1943)

CHRIST IS LEARNED (1943)

(From Zion's Advocate, September, 1899)

But ye have not so learned Christ, if so be that ye have heard Him, and have been taught of Him, as the truth is in Jesus.—Eph 4:20-21.

In these and the three following verses general reflections and facts in their broadest sense are discoursed of. The subject is infinitely great, and relates to all the children of God. It is a gift afforded them to "learn Christ," and by so doing to be unlike the heathen Gentiles who know not God, and to live unlike them. Great indeed must be the difference existing between those who have learned Christ and those who have never learned Him. None of mankind in nature know Him in this revealed way without learning Him. The saving knowledge of Christ, and the truth in Jesus, must be a blessing of infinite value. How sad is the fact that no human soul has this knowledge until he learns of Jesus to know Him! Hearing Christ and being taught by Him is the process by which to learn Him. Have you heard Him, and are you taught by Him? Then surely you possess riches. Oh, most precious knowledge!

The lesson to be learned is Christ. What a lesson this is! Observe that Christ is a lesson, a way, a theme, a lofty treasure house of wisdom and knowledge, to be learned by us, poor, ignorant, sinful creatures of earth. Some of every class, color, age, sex, and rank have learned Christ. "In Him all the families of the earth" are being blessed in learning of Him. To learn Christ is to receive a revealed knowledge of Him. It is more than to learn a book, a description or theory of Him, written or orally preached. It is to learn how sweet and personally precious He is in the soul: what He is worth to the sinner in whom He makes His abode. It is to receive Him and so learn the excellence, graces, and essential realities of Him in the soul "the hope of glory."

Remember the method by which to learn Christ revealed in our text, is to be called by Him in such a way that you hear Him and are taught by Him. This high and holy calling, and His teaching revealed effectually in lost sinners by His Holy Spirit, teaches them to know Him savingly and joyfully. Such "hear the voice of the Son of God," and live by Him and learn of Him. They learn He is life for the dead, hope for the hopeless, salvation for the lost, the way of redemption, regeneration and resurrection, and the avenue by which every grace and gift of God is obtained. The expression, "Taught by Him as the truth is in Jesus," shows that He, and truth in Him, must be the great realities learned, yet He must be our effectual teacher when we learn them.

In His office of Prophet He is our teacher, and foolish, lost sinners are made to be His pupils. "Thy people shall all be taught of God."—Joh 6:45. Truth is always acquired in the measure in which souls learn Christ—truth, not only in the letter, theory or description of it as it may be learned from books and gospel sermons, but truth in essence, in spirit, in the supreme realities, as the very truth of eternal life with its graces and divine powers received in the Christian soul.

The inward experience of this superior reality of "truth" in essence, prepares us to acquire, understand, and joy in the descriptive truth too, in the Bible and gospel. These two departments of truth should be well distinguished in theology. Truth in description, is found in the written and preached Word; but truth in essence, as "the truth is in Jesus," is His own divine nature of which we are partakers, the eternal life, the incorruptible seed of which souls are born again. 1Pe 1:23; 2Pe 1:4. Hence of His own will begat He us by the word of truth. Jas 1:18. It is the entire reign of grace imparted to all saints. It is the "unction from the Holy One," "the same anointing that teacheth you all things," in Jesus, "and is truth, and is no lie." Christ, and things learned in Him, are not fanciful, 'and not falsehoods or whims of the brain, but are true, divine realities.

Dear little children, when the Spirit of God's Son was sent forth into your hearts at first (Ga 4:6), you began to learn Christ in regeneration, the quickening of your souls by His own life, in your call to repentance, into marvelous light, of which He is the fountain. Christ is learned in this experience to be truly "the resurrection and the life," and the "true light" that reveals our sins. In conversion Christ is learned to be our Saviour in reality, the "Author of eternal salvation," to have "power on earth to forgive sins," to be the heavenly Physician who heals the broken hearted, recovers sight to the blind and frees the captive from sin. He is learned to be the "Door of hope" set open to us "in the valley of Achor," or vale of all our trouble.

Christ is learned in His office. As King He reigns over and in us, and raises us to reign over ourselves, our lusts, tempers and temptations in self denial and in loyalty to Him. As Mediator He is our High Priest, Surety, Advocate, Peacemaker, and Intercessor, to represent us and manage our case and cause, first on earth, and now in the supreme court of heaven. In being revealed in His saints He is greatly endeared to them in His near, sweet, and tender relationship to them all, as their Father, Husband, Brother, Head, Shepherd, and most familiar, loving Friend. When rightly learned He is known to be our true eternal riches; a rich portion; a bountiful supply of "bread of life" and "living water," His flesh being "meat indeed" and His blood "drink indeed;" our passover lamb crucified for us; a supply of "wine and milk," priceless and requiring no money to procure it. We exchange but rags, sin, corruption and insolvency for it, regardless of values. He is clothing, armor, shelter, a safe refuge to the consciously needy soul. Yea, Christ in His saints, in His church, in His gospel, in His ordinances and all His worship, is the sweetness and joy of all. A servant,

J. T. OLIPHANT.
Ft. Branch, Ind.

CHRIST IS OUR LIFE

CHRIST IS OUR LIFE (1948, September)

He lives! He lives! and sits above,
Forever interceding there:
Who shall divide us from His love,
Or what should tempt us to despair?

Shall persecution, or distress,
Shall famine, sword, or nakedness?
He that has loved us bears us through,
And makes us more than conquers too.

Faith hath an overcoming power;
It triumphs in a dying hour:
Christ is our life, our joy, our hope;
Nor can we sink with such a prop.

Not all that men on earth can do,
For powers on high, nor powers below,
Shall cause His mercy to remove,
Or separate us from His love.

The Good Old Songs No. 364

CHRIST OUR ALL IN ALL

CHRIST OUR ALL IN ALL (1948, February)

Saviour, I am growing old,
Naught to me now seems earth's gold.
Shine upon by brow today,
Life is fading fast away.
But, my Saviour, Thou wilt be,
Dearest of earth's joys to me;
Oh, my Saviour, Thou wilt be
Dearest of earth's joys to me.

How the pangs of moments lost
Fill my breast with thoughts storm-tossed,
When I view the fading ray
Of my vain life's little day!
But, my Saviour, Thou alone
Canst uphold me and atone;
Oh, my Saviour, Thou alone
Wilt uphold me, and atone.

Child, I hear Thee cry to me;
Fear not, I have died for thee.
Gladly for thee I atone,
And thy Father, thee will own.
Nothing needest thou to bring,
"Simply to My cross to cling."
How my heart delights to sing,
"Simply to Thy cross I cling."

—H. D. Brown.
The Gospel Messenger, May 1911.

CHRIST OUR PATTERN (1944)

CHRIST OUR PATTERN (1944)

(From The Gospel Messenger, October, 1896)

When Christ came to save men, He not only told them what to do, but showed them how to do it. He preached good doctrine, and He practiced what He preached. "Does he live it?" is the question sometimes asked when men have proclaimed the truth of Christ; and, alas! the best must confess their failure. They must nevertheless bear faithful testimony. If they fail to practice all gospel truth, this is a sad weakness and sin; but if they dare to lower the standard to accommodate their own short-comings, woe be unto them! They must preach the truth and "diminish not a word," even if every stroke of the two-edged sword is to themselves like a mortal thrust. But how much their word loses in weight and power from the lack of perfect Christian character in themselves! How mighty must be the word of one who could turn to' all His watching, spying, envious foes, and say, "Which of you convinceth Me of sin?"

For the first time the world saw in Christ's own life the example of a sinless, guiltless man. He walked up and down this wicked, weary world, with garments always white. His life was one long errand of mercy,' and His example taught us how we ought to walk, and to please God.

Toward God He manifested obedience, confidence, and fidelity. He prayed to the Father, and He taught us how to pray. He obeyed Him, and taught us obedience. Toward men He manifested patience, kindness, long-suffering, compassion, and grace. With regard to the past, He reviewed the glory that He had with the Father without a murmur or regret. For the present, He renounced its pleasures, splendors, pomp, and joys, and became a houseless wanderer, and sacrificed everything to the right, the true, the holy, and the good. As to the future, He looked forward to a kingdom, crown, and throne of glory in the day of coming triumph. And yet with all this glory in His vision, and legions of angels waiting at His beck, He was led as a lamb to the slaughter, and bore our sins without a murmur of complaint.

Christ's precepts and practice coincided. His teaching was faultless and His life perfect. The man who follows in Christ's footsteps shall be saved. The Pharisees gave good counsel and lived bad lives. They told men what to do, but would not do it themselves. They laid heavy burdens upon men, and refused to touch them with one of their fingers. 'This was the crime of which Jesus often accused them. Christ never told a man to do what He was unwilling to do Himself. The elect Captain of our salvation explored each dark and dangerous path before us. He led the world's forlorn hope in the fierceness of the thickest fight; and from the heights of victory and glory He looks back upon the surging columns which waver in the fury of the contest, and says, "Follow Me!" "To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with Me in My throne, even as I also overcame and am set down with My Father in His throne."

There have been men whose examples blessed the world many years. But the example of Christ has been the pole star of a struggling church; the beacon light that has blazed when every human light burned dim; the same yesterday, today, and forever; the comfort of the sorrowful, the strength of the weary, the trust of the tempted, the anchor of the tossed; the only one who in all the ages of this sinful world has . been a perfect guide, a perfect teacher, a perfect pattern, and an all-sufficient Saviour for the lost and ruined sons of men. And in the consideration of Him who endureth such contradiction of sinners against Himself, we find an antidote for the weariness and discouragements of time, and a transforming power that prepares us for the glories of eternity.—Selected.

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I will declare thy name unto my brethren: in the midst of the congregation will I praise thee.—Ps 22:22.

CHRIST WILL GUIDE US

CHRIST WILL GUIDE US (1949, April)

Good morning, brother pilgrim,
What, bound for Canaans coast?
March you to Jerusalem,
To join the heav'nly host?
Pray, wherefore are you smiling,
While tears run down your face?
We soon shall cease from toiling,
And reach that heav'nly place.

To Canaan's coast we'll hasten,
We smile, and weep, and praise Him,
To join the heav'nly throng,
Hark! from the banks of Jordan,
How sweet the pilgrim's song!
Their Jesus they are viewing,
By faith we see Him, too,
And on our way pursue.

Though sinners do despise us,
And treat us with disdain,
Our former comrades slight us,
Esteem us low and mean:
No earthly joy shall charm us
While marching on our way,
Our Jesus will defend us
In the distressing day.

The frowns of old companions
We're willing to sustain,
And, in divine compassion,
To pray for them again;
For Christ, our loving Saviour,
Our Comforter and Friend,
Will bless us with His favor,
And guide us to the end.

—The Good Old Songs, No. 298

CHRISTIAN CONFLICTS

CHRISTIAN CONFLICTS  (1952, March)

ELDER C. C. CAYCE:

Dear Sir—Tonight I am thinking of my sinful self, and often wonder if such a sinner as I am will ever reach the kingdom of God. This will, no doubt, sound foolish to you, but that is the way I see my poor sinful self tonight. Sometimes I feel lost and downcast in this world, and forever lost in the world to come. I don't know what would become of me if I were called to die. For some cause I have been thinking of writing to you, to see if you ever knew one that got in this condition, and at the same time, keep that same old path they had been traveling, and when they would do better they do worse than ever. This is the condition I find myself in every time I examine to see where I am.. I don't want to serve the devil all the time, but it looks like that is what I do. I like the Old Baptist Church more than any I have ever seen. I feel like they are right, if I know what right is—but as for myself, I am wrong all the way through. If not asking too much of you, I would like to have your views on the matter asked about. Please answer through your paper, and excuse me for bothering you. I believe you are a worthy man, and that is the reason I have written you as I have. Yours truly,

ANDERSON B. BOYETT.
Rt. 3, Kenly, N. C.

OUR REMARKS

In another place in this paper will be found a letter from Anderson B. Boyett, in which he asks us in regard to one desiring to do good and yet doing evil, etc. Desire springs from life. There can be no such thing as desire for natural things without natural life first. There can be no such thing as holy and righteous desires without the righteous life. The life is first.

When the Lord gives a poor sinner the divine life He does not take away the natural life. The natural life—the Adamic life—has a nature peculiar to itself. That nature is poisoned and contaminated with sin. Having that nature, sin is mixed with all we do. The divine life which God gives by the direct operation of His Spirit on the spirit of the sinner, has a nature peculiar to itself. It is called the divine nature. From that life, which is a holy life, and which nature is divine, springs all our hatred of sin, and all our desire to live a holy and righteous life. From that life springs the desire to "do good." "When I would do good, evil is present with me," says the eminent apostle to the Gentiles. This shows clearly that he had both natures —the divine nature, by reason of which he "would do good." It was his desire to do good all the time. Though he had such a desire, yet "evil is present with me." This shows that he also had the evil, or sinful, nature—"evil is present." That evil nature remains with us as long as we live in the world. These two natures are contrary to each other. They are not in harmony. They do not work together, but at variance. This is the reason of the warfare within—a continual fighting. There is no cessation of hostilities. "I find, then, a law in my members warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin, which is in my members," says Paul. Here are two laws, two natures in the one man, in the child of God. He was a child of Adam and a child of God—both at the same time. Being both at the same time, he had both natures at the same time. Having both natures at the same time, there was a continual warfare all the time.

"The flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other ; so that ye cannot do the things that ye would."--Paul. Here are the two natures again—and they are contrary to each other. One is the opposite of the other. One is holy and divine; the other is depraved, poisoned, and contaminated with sin. One is against the other. There is a continual striving —a continual warfare, "so that ye cannot do the things that ye would." What would you do? You would live above sin; you would live free from sin; you would live without the conflict and warfare here —but "you cannot do the things that ye would." We cannot attain unto such a state of perfection and happiness here—yet it is required of us, and we are encouraged, to press forward; always, we should strive for the things that are good. Paul said, that he had not attained unto perfection, and did not expect to attain unto it here, yet he says, "I forget those that are behind, and press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ." To "press toward the mark" requires a continual exertion. There is to be no "let up," no quitting.

We often make resolutions, and then break them. Still we have the desire, the will, to do good. We remember once, years ago, in our younger days, a brother said, "Brother Cayce, you say you desire to do better; you want to do better, and yet you don't do better. Now, why don't you do better?" We answered, "There may be several reasons why I do not do better. Sometimes it may be for one reason, and sometimes it may be for another reason. Sometimes it is laziness." The brother asked no more questions about it. We gave a Scriptural answer. "Thou wicked and slothful servant." Slothfulness is laziness. We are so often slothful, or lazy, in regard to religious matters. If we were all as slothful and lazy in our secular affairs as we are in church affairs, many of us would starve to death. No wonder so many of us are starving religiously. No wonder the poverty! No wonder the emaciated condition so many of us are in. We have been slothful, lazy, indolent, careless, unconcerned—"no matter; just any way will do." Just any way will not do. God's way is the only way that will do. "If a: man will not work, neither shall he eat." This is God's way, and there is no avoiding it.

But we have wandered. Not so much, either, but a little from the original question. We remember one New Year's day a long time ago as we were going to our office to work we met two sisters who were busily engaged in conversation. Now and then they would stop and turn, facing each other. They did not observe us until we were within a few feet of them. One of those good sisters long since "crossed over the river," and we are sure she is resting from all her trials and conflicts here. The other sister is yet living and may remember the circumstance. As we approached the sisters who were thus so busily engaged in conversation, we said, "What in the world are you all talking about? What is it that is so interesting?" They turned to us and said, "Brother Cayce, we were just telling each other of the many good resolutions we have made, especially our New Year resolutions, and how we have broken all of them, and how it seems that we get worse all the time, instead of better, and how we felt that we had as well quit making good resolutions —had as well quit trying. Brother Cayce, how is it with you?" In a second it flashed into our mind to show by a joke the absurdity of such a thing as to quit trying. So we said, "Well, I have just about decided to do as the boy I once heard of who was late at school one morning. That morning the ground was all covered with sleet and ice. When Johnnie arrived, so late, the teacher said, 'Johnnie, what is the matter? Why are you so late today?' Johnnie replied, 'Every step I took, I slipped back two.' Then the teacher said, 'At that rate, I do not see how you got here at all.' Johnnie replied, 'I just happened to think about turning around.' Now, I have been trying, and making resolutions to do better and to live better, and it seems that every step I take, I slip back two. So perhaps it would be better if I would turn around and try to see how mean I can be. Perhaps I may slip back two steps each step I take, and get there that way." We felt that Johnnie's absurd position, or statement, of turning around, was a fitting illustration of the necessity of us continuing to try, though the obstacles may seem to be insurmountable. We should endeavor to continually follow that holy and righteous desire to live a Christ-like life. The fact that one has such a longing desire is good evidence of the possession of the righteous life. May the Lord help us to constantly strive to keep the old nature in subjection and to follow the influence and teaching of the new or divine nature. 

C. H. C.
From Editorial Writings, Vol. IV.

CHRISTIAN EXPERIENCES (1944)

 CHRISTIAN EXPERIENCES (1944)

(Copied from Gospel Messenger, March, 1896)

DEAR BRETHREN:

There now may be found in all the papers, either bearing or claiming our name, much on the subject of Christian experience; and a large proportion of the correspondents publish at one time or another a sketch of their own personal experience. An experience of the truth is evidently understood to underlie all true knowledge of it. Although the world abounds with religious periodicals of various names and pretensions, and although published and supported by nearly or quite all of the different sects and denominations, yet the subject of the Christian's experience is hardly to be found in any of them. It is so entirely ignored that we might suppose that writers, readers and publishers were all alike, living and dying in utter ignorance of Divine teaching. The same may be said of the preaching. The burden and theme of what we call gospel preaching is bearing witness to the travel and experience of those who are being taught of the Lord—"We are His witnesses" and shall "Bear witness of Him." But what are we to testify, if it is not of the experience of those who are being taught and led by His Spirit? What good will our
testimony do if it does not bear witness with their experience that they are children of God? and if children, then, heirs, etc.

Christ is to us a personal Saviour. What do we know, or what can we know of Him, only as He is revealed in the experience of that redemption and -salvation that He is unto His people. What else will it be but this, if we are to "Speak that we do know, and testify that we have seen." Is that preaching the gospel that has no Christian experience in it?

The preacher declares what great things the Lord has done and is doing in the salvation of His people. The people respond to it to tell what great things they hope the Lord has done for them. A sense of this enkindles sentiments of love, of obedience, of praise and thanksgiving. Hence, these things are all accounted fruits of the Spirit or effects and results of the Spirit's work. Human volition never develops in these fruits of the Spirit, neither are they ever produced by the efforts and presence of one man upon another. Those who are working for the Lord, and are engaged in urging others onward in a supposed work for Him, know no obligations to Him. Why should they love a Saviour? What have they for which to praise God? Where do we find any repentance from dead works?

In my earlier life as the Baptist denomination found numbers among themselves ignoring Christian experience and explaining that a change of heart simply meant a change of conduct; those who would still maintain that "the sinner must be born again," run somewhat into an extreme the other way. They would set stakes, and bounds that people must be able to give precise dates, and to name the precise circumstances; making and insisting upon points that the inspired writers never required. So instead of instructing and encouraging inquiries, they were throwing stumbling blocks in their way. I think that in the present day the tendency is rather (at least in some sections of our country) to the error of their forefathers in this respect. There seems to be not only a disposition to receive without question all who offer, but to work upon the passions and fleshly feelings of the people so as to induce them to unite with the church when they would not if left to their own sense of duty. In the preaching of experience it might sound very well and be quite interesting if the preacher can go away beyond what he or anybody else has ever experienced, but it may be doubted whether it would benefit anybody. We expect a preacher to bring forth his testimony out of his own heart and life, and then we may hope that he will speak from heart to heart. I would as soon hear of what a person has not realized as of what he has. That is, wherein they have not experienced what they had felt to desire and hope for, and that the evidence they have has not been clear, and not at all as they wished. So that instead of having a very good and bright experience, leaving them no doubt, the evidence they have is only "here a little and there a little," dribbled along through several years, so that they have to continually say that if they are one at all, they are one of the least. I suppose they will nearly all say this, but it is certainly felt with oppressive weight by some. It has always been my lot to be among these weak timid ones and I would be glad to hear from more of them. It is undoubtedly more desirable to have a wonderful story to tell, and one that bears all the marks that could be desired; but if but very few can receive testimony from it, and those few in possession of the strongest and brightest evidence for themselves, will not many feeble ones be rather disheartened than encouraged. The Apostle John makes everything to hinge upon one word. That word is love. Love to the word of God and to the people of God and to His worship and the ordinances of His house. He that loveth is born of God and knoweth God. If he did not know Him he would not and could not love Him. The Master makes it all hinge upon a single sentence. It is "He that heareth the word and understandeth it." This shows an experimental knowledge of the word preached.

Lest those who are worried because their experience appears trifling and leaves them weak and in doubt we should publish their story. It will do just as well to tell us what seems to be against them as what they regard as in their favor. Let them tell us how they come to desire a Christian experience at all. They might also tell us why they would prefer the experience of others to their own. One devoted lady disciple in the days of the apostles was said to have attended to the things which were spoken of Paul. This is all we have of her experience, but one thing is said of her afterwards that we should observe. She said to the apostles, "If ye have counted me worthy, turn in and abide with me." And they accounted her worthy. Yours to serve in the gospel, 

E. RITTENHOUSE.
State Road, Del., January, 1896.

CHRISTIAN MOURNING (1942)

CHRISTIAN MOURNING (1942)

(From The Monthly Baptist Record, March, 1844)

The impression, which, on this occasion, I would leave distinctly on your minds, is, that the indulgence and manifestation of unaffected grief, at the loss of endeared relatives and friends, is by no means inconsistent with a feeling of entire submission to God; and that, instead of being injurious, this grief may have, and is designed by Providence to have, a salutary influence over us. I dwell upon this topic the more, because some suppose, that emotions of sorrow, under the most afflictive providences, are to be stifled, as inconsistent with the principles of Christianity; and with that perfect resignation to God which it is our duty to exercise. They imagine that a mind undisturbed by any of the agitating occurrences of life; and so completely abstracted from the world, as to receive no distressing impressions from events, which sunder us from our dearest friends and bring a dark cloud over our brightest prospects; is the nearest approximation to perfection.

I consider these views as entirely erroneous. He who strives to attain to this state, not only fights against the best instincts of his nature, but, so far as he succeeds, opposes the will of his Creator and the benevolent designs of his social existence. It is not the aim of the "glorious gospel of the blessed God" to paralyze or destroy our sensibilities. It assigns to them their limits. It regulates their movements. It purifies and exalts, but it does not forbid their exercise.

Weeping is an expression of nature's sympathy with others in their affliction; or it springs from the apprehension of some passing joys; or from some present loss which most tenderly affects us. It is therefore proper. Nay, he who is incapable of it is deficient in the sensibilities of our common humanity.

The grief occasioned by the loss of friends and benefactors is simply one of the modifications of love. The same affection, which manifests itself in expressions of joy and delight, at the presence and possession of an object, manifests in tears when that object is far absent, or is removed from us forever. Weeping is not, as some suppose, a proof of weakness, but of affection. When Jesus wept, the Jews did not say, "how weak He is! how improper for a man to weep! how wanting He is in submission to the will of Providence!" No! but they said, "How He loved him!"

Such tender sorrow in their bereavements, has agitated the bosoms of the wisest and best men, in every age. The memory of past days; of love's endearments; of a confiding friendship never betrayed; and of a thousand warm and tender expressions of mutual regard and esteem, now never, never to be repeated; rush unbidden upon our thoughts, and swell the tide of that grief, which seeks relief in sobs and tears. And well it is, that He who made us, hath in pity provided, that the swollen and hurried streams of feeling may pass off through the flood gates of the soul; otherwise the lonely and agonized sufferer would be overwhelmed.

It is, then, lawful to sorrow. It is, however, sinful to sorrow to excess. We may mourn, but we must not murmur. Weeping is a kind provision of nature, imparting to us relief in trouble, and helping us to throw off at least a part of the burden. But repining is nature rising up against Providence, and indulging in the feelings and language of dissatisfaction with the righteous allotments of heaven. As the line between mourning and murmuring is extremely narrow, we should indeed be careful, lest we pass it and sin against God. The boundary, however, is distinctly drawn. If our sorrow be such that we refuse to be comforted; if it lead us to neglect our present duties; or if it break out in the language of discontent; then is our sorrow selfish, excessive and displeasing to our heavenly Father. But, within its own limits, it is not only proper, it is salutary.—DR. SHARP.

CHRISTIAN SOLDIER

CHRISTIAN SOLDIER

C. M. D.

Long have we heard the joyful sound
Of thy salvation, Lord;
And still how weak our faith is found,
And knowledge of thy word!

How cold and feeble is our love!
How negligent our fear!
How low our hope of joy above!
How few affections there!

Great God! Thy sovereign power impart,
To give thy word success;
Write thy salvation in each heart,
And make us learn thy grace.

Show our forgetful feet the way
That leads to joys on high,
Where knowledge grows without delay,
And love shall never die.

—The Good Old Songs, No. 208

CHRIST'S DESERTION

CHRIST'S DESERTION (1958, August)

"My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?" —Mt 27:46. This is the fourth memorable saying of Christ on the cross; words able to rend the hardest heart in the world. It is the voice of the Son of God in an agony. His sufferings were very great before, but never in that extremity as now, when this heaven-rending and heart-melting cry brake from Him: "Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani!" In which observe the time, matter, and manner of His sad complaint.

1. The time when it was uttered was "about the ninth hour"; about three o'clock in the afternoon . . . This is particularly observed by the evangelists on purpose to show us how long Christ hung upon the cross, in distress both in body and soul; which was at least full three hours : toward the end whereof His soul was so distressed and overwhelmed that this doleful cry brake from His soul in bitter anguish.

2. As to the matter of the complaint, it is not of the cruel tortures He felt in His body, nor of the scoffs and reproaches of His Name: He mentions not a word of these; they were swallowed up in the sufferings within, as the river is swallowed up in the sea, or the lesser flame in the greater. He seems to neglect all these, and only complains of what was more burdensome than ten thousand crosses, even His Father's deserting Him. It is a more inward trouble that burdens Him; darkness upon His spirit, the hidings of God's face from Him, an affliction He was totally a stranger to till now.

3. The manner in which He uttered His sad complaint, was with remarkable vehemency: "He cried with a loud voice;" not like a dying man in whom nature was spent, but as one full of vigour, life, and sense. He stirred up His whole power of nature, when He made this grievous outcry. There is in it also an emphatical reduplication, which shows with what vehemency it was uttered; "My God, My God!" Nay, moreover, to increase the force and vehemency of this complaint, here is an affectionate interrogation: "Why hast Thou forsaken Me?" It is as if He were surprised by the strangeness of this affliction, and rousing Himself up with an unusual vehemency, turns Himself to the Father, and cries: "Why so, My Father? Oh, what dost Thou mean by this? What! hide that face from me that was never hid before! What! and hide it from Me now, in the depth of my other torments and troubles!"

Divine desertion generally considered, is God's withdrawing Himself from any, not as to His essence, for that fills heaven and earth, and constantly remains the same; but it is the withdrawment of His favour, grace, and love. When these are gone, God is said to be gone. And this is done in two ways, either absolutely and wholly, or respectively and only as to manifestation. In the first sense, devils are forsaken of God. They once were in His favour and love, but they have utterly and finally lost it. God is so withdrawn from them, as that He will never take them into favour any more. In the other sense He sometimes forsakes His dearest children; that is, He removes all sweet manifestations of His favour and love for a time.

This desertion of Christ by His Father was (i) a very sad desertion, the like to which in all respects never was experienced by any, nor can be to the end of the world. All His other sufferings were but small to this; they bore upon His body, this upon His soul; they came from the hands of vile men, this from the hands of a dear Father. He suffered both in body ,and soul; but the sufferings of His soul were the very soul of His sufferings. Under all His other sufferings Ile opened not His mouth, but this touched the quick, so that He could not but cry out: "My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken me?"

(ii) It was a penal desertion, inflicted on Him for satisfaction for those sins of ours which deserved that God should forsake us forever, as the damned are forsaken by Him. As their lives a two-fold misery upon the damned in hell, namely, the pain of sense and the pain of loss; so upon Christ answerably, there was not only an impression of wrath, but also a subtraction or withdrawment of all sensible favour and love.

(iii) It was a desertion that was real, and not fictitious. He doth not personate a deserted soul and speak as if God had withdrawn the comfortable sense and influence of His love from Him; but the thing was so indeed. The Godhead restrained and kept back, for this time, all its joys, comforts, and sense of love from the Manhood, yielding it nothing but support. This bitter doleful outcry of Christ gives evidence enough of the reality of it.

(iv) This desertion took place in the time of Christ's greatest need of comfort that ever He had in all the time of His life on earth. His Father forsook Him at that time, when all earthly comforts had forsaken Him, and all outward evils had broken in to gather upon Him; when men, yea, the best of men stood afar off, and none but barbarous enemies were about Him. When pains and shame, and all miseries even weighed Him down; then to complete and fill up His suffering, God stands afar off, too.

(v) It was such a desertion as left Him only to the supports of His faith. He had nothing else now but His Father's covenant and promise to rest upon. And indeed, this faith of Christ did manifest itself in these very words of complaint in the text. For though all comfortable sights of God and sense of His love were obstructed, yet you see His soul cleaves fiducially to God for all that: "My God," etc. His faith laid hold on God, under a most suitable title, or attribute; "Eli, Eli"; "My Strong One, My Strong One!" q. d."0 Thou with whom is infinite and everlasting strength, Thou bast hitherto supported My Manhood and according to Thy promise upheld Thy Servant; what! wilt Thou now forsake Me? My Strong One, I lean on Thee." To those supports and refuges of faith this desertion shut up Christ : by these things He stood, when all other visible and sensible comforts shrunk away, both from His soul and body.
The designs and ends of Christ's desertion were principally satisfaction and sanctification. Satisfaction for those sins of ours which deserved that we should be totally and everlastingly forsaken of God. This is the desert of every sin, and the damned do feel it, and shall do to all eternity. God is gone from them for ever: not essentially; the just God is with them still, the God of power is with them still, the avenging God is ever with them; but the merciful God is gone, and gone for ever. And thus He would have withdrawn Himself from every soul that sinned, had not Christ borne that punishment for us in His own soul.
(To be continued.)

CHRIST'S DESERTION (Continued from last Issue) (1958, September)

As satisfaction was designed in this desertion. of Christ, so also was the sanctification of all the desertion of the saints designed in it. For He having been forsaken before us, and for us, whenever God forsakes us, that very forsaking of His is sanctified and thereby turned into mercy to believers. Hence are all the precious fruits and effects of our desertions: such are the earnest excitations to prayer (Ps 77:2; 88:1,9). The fortifying and tempted soul against sin. The reviving of ancient experiences (Ps 77:5). Enhancing the value of the Divine presence with the soul, and teaching it to hold faster than ever before. These and many more are the precious effects of sanctified desertion. But how many and how good soever these effects are, they all owe themselves to Jesus Christ as the author of them; who for our sakes would pass through this sad and dark state that we might find those blessings in it.

Though this desertion of Christ did not drive Him to despair, yet it even amazed Him and almost swallowed up His soul in the deeps of trouble and consternation. This cry is a cry from the deeps, from a soul oppressed even to death. Let but these particulars be weighed, and you will say never was there any darkness like this, no sorrow like Christ's sorrow in this deserted state,—

(i) This was a new thing to Christ; that which He never was acquainted with before. From all eternity even until now there had been constant and wonderful outlets of love, delight, and joy, from the bosom of the Father into His bosom. He never missed His Father before; never saw a frown, or a veil, upon that blessed Face before.' This made it a heavy burden indeed.

(ii) As it was a new thing, and therefore the more amazing, so it was a great thing to Christ; so great that He scarce knew how to support it. Had it not been 'a great trial indeed, so great a spirit as He would never have so drooped under it, and made so sad a complaint of it. It was so sharp, so heavy an affliction to His soul, that it caused Him who was so meek under all other sufferings as a lamb, to roar under this like a lion.' For so much those words of Christ signify: "My God, My God, why had Thou forsaken Me? Why art Thou so far from the voice of my roaring?" (Ps 22:1).

(iii) It was too a burden laid on in the time of His greatest distress; when His body was in tortures, and all about Him was black, dismal, and full of horror and darkness. He suffered this desertion at a time when He never had the like need of Divine supports and comforts, and that aggravated it .. .

Inference 1. Did God forsake Christ upon the cross as a punishment to Him for our sins? Then it follows that as often as we have sinned , so oft have we deserved to be forsaken of God. This is the just recompense and desert of sin. Indeed, here lies the principal evil of sin, that it separates between God and the soul. This separation is both the moral evil that is in it, and the penal evil inflicted by a righteous God for it. By sin we depart from God, and, as a due punishment of it, God departs from us. This will be the dismal sentence in the last day:, "Depart from Me, ye cursed" (Ma. xxv). Thenceforth there will be a great gulf fixed between God and them (Lu 19:20). No more friendly intercourse with the blessed God for ever. Beware, sinners, how you say to God now: "Depart from us, we desire not the knowledge of Thy ways"; lest He say : "Depart from Me, you shall never see My face."

Inf. 2. Did Christ never make such a sad complaint and outcry till God hid His face from Him? Then the hiding of God's face is certainly the greatest misery that can possibly befall a gracious soul in this world. When they courged, buffeted, and smote Christ, yea, when they nailed Him to the tree, He opened not His mouth; but when His Father hid His face from Him, then He cried out; yea, His voice was the voice of roaring. This was to Him more than a thousand crucifyings. Surely, as it was to Christ, so it is to all gracious souls, the saddest stroke, the heaviest burden that ever they felt. When David forbade Absalom to come to Jerusalem to see his father, he complains: "Wherefore am I come from Geshur, if I may not see the King's face?" So doth a gracious soul bemoan itself: "Wherefore am I redeemed, called, and reconciled, if I may not see the face of my God?" It is said of Tully when banished from Italy, and of Demosthenes when banished from Athens, that they wept every time they looked toward their own country; and, is it strange that a poor deserted believer should mourn every time he looks heavenward? Say, Christian, did the tears never trickle down thy cheeks when thou lookedst toward heaven and couldest not see the face of thy God, as at other times? If two dear friends cannot part, though it be but for a season, but that parting must be in a shower, blame not the saints if they sigh and mourn bitterly when the Lord, who is the life of their life, depart, though but for a season, from them. For if God depart, their sweetest enjoyment on earth, the very crown of all their comforts is gone: and what will a king take in exchange for his crown? What can recompense a saint for the loss of his God? Indeed, if they had never seen the Lord, nor tasted the incomparable sweetness of His presence, it were another matter ; but the darkness which follows the sweetest light of His countenance, is double darkness.

That which doth not a little increase the horror of this darkness is, that when their souls are thus benighted and the sun of their comfort is set, then doth Satan, like the wild beasts of the desert, creep out of his den, and roar upon them with hideous temptations. Surely this is a sad state, and deserves tender pity! Pity is a debt due to the distressed, and the world shows not a greater distress than this. If ever you have been in troubles of this kind yourselves, you will never slight others in the same case. Nay, one end of God's exercising you with troubles of this nature, may be to teach you compassion toward others in the some case. Do they not cry to you: "Have pity, have pity upon me, 0 ye my friends; for the hand of God hath touched me!" Draw forth the bowels of mercy and tender compassion to them; for, either you have been, or are, or may be in the same case yourselves. However, if men do not, most certainly Christ who hath felt it before them and for them, will pity them.

Inf. 3. Did God really forsake Jesus Christ upon the cross? Then from the desertion of Christ, singular consolation springs up to the people of God; yea, manifold consolation. Principally it is a support in these two respects, as it is preventive of your final desertion, and a comfortable pattern to you in your present sad desertions. Christ's desertion is preventive of your final desertion: because He was forsaken for a time, you shall not be forsaken for ever, for He was forsaken for you; and God's forsaking Him, though but for a few hours, is equivalent to His forsaking you forever. It is every way as much for the dear Son of God, the delight of His soul, to be forsaken of God for a time; as if such a poor inconsiderable thing as thou art should be cast off for eternity. Now this being equivalent, and borne in thy room, must needs give thee the highest security in the world that God will never finally withdraw from thee. Had He intended to have done so, Christ had never made such a sad outcry as you hear this day : "My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?" Moreover, this sad desertion of Christ becomes a comfortable pattern to poor deserted souls in divers respects ...

Though God deserted Christ, yet He deserted not God. His Father forsook Him, but He could not forsake His Father, but followed Him with this cry: "My God, My God, why hest Thou forsaken Me?" And is it not so with you? God goes off from your souls, but you cannot go off from Him. No, your hearts are mourning after the Lord, seeking Him carefully with tears; complaining of His absence as the greatest evil in the world.

Though God deserted Christ, yet at the same time He powerfully supported Him: His omnipotent arms were underneath Him, though His face was hid from Him; He had not His smiles, but He had His support. So Christian, just so shall it be with thee: Thy God may turn away His face, but will not pluck away His arm. . .

Though God forsook Christ, yet He returned to Him again. It was but for a time, not for ever. In this also doth His desertion parallel yours. God may, for several wise and holy reasons, hide His face from you, but not so as it is hid from the damned, who shall never see it again. This cloud will pass away; this night shall have a bright morning. Saith God: "I will not contend for ever; neither will I always wrath; for the spirit should fail before me, and the souls which I have made."

Though God forsook Christ, yet at that time He could justify God. So you read: "0 My God, I cry in the day-time, but Thou hearest not; and in the night season, and am not silent: but Thou art holy" (Ps 22:2-3). Is not thy spirit, according to the measure framed like Christ's in this.? Canst thou not say, even when He writes bitter things against thee, Ile is a holy, faithful, and good God for all this? There is not one drop of injustice in all the sea of my sorrows. Though He condemn me, I must and will justify Him.

Though God took from Christ all visible and sensible comforts, inward as well as outward; yet Christ subsisted, by faith, in the absence of them all: His desertion put Him upon the acting (exercise) of His faith. My God, My God, are words of faith: the words of one that wholly depends upon His God. And  is it not so with you? Sense of love is gone, sweet sights of God shut up in a dark cloud. Well, what then? must thy hands presently hang down, and thy soul give up all its hopes? What! is there no faith to relieve in this case? Yes, yes, and blessed be God for faith. "Who is among you that feareth the Lord, and 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."

Christ was deserted a little before the glorious morning of light and joy dawned upon Him. It was a very little while after this sad cry, before He triumphed gloriously. And so it may be with you. Heaviness may endure for a night, but joy and gladness will come in the morning.

But perhaps you are saying, I fear I am absolutely and finally forsaken. Why so? Do you find the characters of such a desertion upon your soul? Examine and tell me, whether you find a heart willing to forsake God? Is it indifferent to you whether God ever return again to you? Are there no mournings, meltings, or thristings after the Lord? Indeed, if you forsake Him, He will cast you off for ever; but can you do so? Oh, no, let Him do what He will, I am resolved to wait for Him, cleave to Him, mourn after Him, though I have no present comfort from Him, no assurance of my interest in Him. Yet I will not exchange my poor weak hopes for all the goods in this world.

(Continued in next Issue)

CHRIST'S DESERTION (Concluded from last Issue) (1958, October)

Again, you say God hath forsaken you, but hath He taken away from your souls all conscientious tenderness of sin, so that now you can sin freely and without any regret? If so, it is a sad token indeed. Tell me, soul, if thou indeed judgest God will never return in loving-kindness to thee any more, why dost thou not then give thyself over the pleasures of sin and fetch thy comforts from the creature, since thou canst have no more comfort from thy God? Oh, no, I cannot do so; even if I die in darkness and sorrow, I will never do so; my soul is as full of fear and hatred of sin as ever, though empty of joy and comfort. Surely, these are no tokens of a soul finally abandoned by its God.

Did God forsake His own Son upon the cross? Then the dearest of God's people may, for a time, be forsaken of their God. Think it not strange when you that are the children of light meet with darkness, yea, walk in it; neither charge God foolishly, nor say He deals hardly with you. You see what befell Jesus Christ, whom He delighted in. It is doubtless your concernment to expect and prepare for days of darkness. You have heard the doleful cry of Christ: "My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?" You know how it was with Job, David, Jeremiah, He-man, Asaph, and many others, the dear servants of God, what heart-melting lamentations they made upon this account; and are you better than they? Oh, prepare for spiritual troubles. I am sure you do enough every day to involve you in darkness. Now, if at any time this trial befall you, mind these two seasonable admonitions and lay them up for such a time,—

(i) Exercise the faith of adherance, when you have lost the faith of evidence. When God takes that away, He leaves this; that is necessary to the comfort, this to the life of His people. It is sweet to live in views of your interest, but if they be gone, believe and rely on God, for an interest. Stay yourselves on your God when you have no light. Drop this anchor in the dark, and do not reckon all gone when evidence is gone: never reckon yourselves undone whilst you can adhere to your God.

(ii) Take the right method to recover the sweet light which you have sinned away from your souls. Do not go about one to another complaining; nor yet sit down desponding under your burden, but search diligently after the cause of God's withdrawment; urge Him importunately by prayer to show thee wherefore He contends with thee (Job 10:2). Say, Lord, what evil is it which Thou so rebukest? I beseech Thee show me the cause of Thine anger. Have I grieved Thy Spirit in this thing, or in that? Was it my neglect of duty, or my formality in duties? Was I not thankful for the sense of Thy love when it was shed abroad in my heart? 0 Lord, why is it thus with me?

Humble yourselves before the Lord for every evil you shall be convinced of. Tell Him it pierces your hearts that you have so displeased Him, and that it shall be a caution to you while you live never to return again to folly. Invite Him again to your souls, and mourn after the Lord till you have found Him. If you seek Him, He will be found of you (2Ch 15:2).

Wait on in the use of means till Christ return. Oh, be not discouraged; though He tarry, wait you for Him, for "blessed are all they that wait for Him" (Isa 30:18).—Flavel, 1630-1691.

—Gospel Standard, November, 1958.

CHRIST'S FINISHED WORK

CHRIST'S FINISHED WORK (1947, April)

(Copied from Zion's Advocate, November, 1854)

I have finished the work which thou gayest me to do.—Joh 17:4.

These words form a part of that interesting prayer uttered by our covenant head, when about to offer Himself a sacrifice for His beloved and chosen people. While making a few remarks, may the Holy Spirit, the Lord and giver of life, apply them with divine power, and shed a rich unction on the hearts of His chosen ones; and need I add, who shall have all the glory? Whatever Arminians, or Soclnlans, or Arians, or Sabellians may assert; the very chapter from which these words are taken Is sufficient, were there not another left on record, fully sufficient, to overturn their babel-building of wood, hay, and stubble; and cuts up by the root all the blasphemous and poisonous heresies of the present day.

"I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do." What is there left for the creature to perform? Nothing left for the church on earth to do. No: the work which the Saviour undertook He was fully competent and able to perform; and He did it fully, freely, and completely, to the satisfaction of divine justice, and to the magnifying and honoring the holy law of God.  Yes, and He did it alone.  Here His own word by the mouth of the prophet Isaiah, "I have trodden the wine-press alone and of the people there was none with me" (Isa 63:3). How consoling are the dying words of the dear Immanuel, "It is finished!" how comforting to the wounded spirit of a sin-sick soul.  It was at that very moment that He made an end of sin, and brought in an everlasting righteousness for His church; it was then when He exclaimed on Calvary, "It is finished," that He ratified with His precious blood the treaty entered into by covenant engagements with the eternal Three before the world was.

Behold the perfection of His work. Moses, the man of God, had a faith's view of this stupendous act of covenant love, and exulted in the personal interest the believer had in the Redeemer's work. "He is a rock, and His work is perfect" (De 23:4). Yes, believer, the Rock of Eternal Ages upon which the church is everlastingly built, and remains eternally secure; the Rock against which the gates of hell shall never prevail. It is a perfect work; it can neither be added to, nor diminished. Are you satisfied with such a work? God the Father was satisfied; divine justice was satisfied; hence, "this is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased," was echoed from the realms of bliss; was heard in our lower world; in confirmation of the perfection of the work the Saviour undertook to perform. The saints of God in all ages of the world, have been perfectly satisfied with this work; they were content to rest upon it, convinced that it was fully complete and gloriously perfect. If the work of Jesus was not perfect; if the salvation of His beloved people had not been complete; if divine justice had not been satisfied; He never would have risen gloriously triumphant from the tomb, gaining the victory over all His and our enemies. But His rising again from the dead, and bursting the gates of death, doubly proved the perfection of the glorious work He undertook to perform.

"I have finished the work which thou gayest me to do." Believer, read the chapter again and again; see the glorious truths it contains, and the mysterious harmony with which it abounds. See the divine sovereignty of Jehovah shining as a sunbeam through the whole. See the electing love of God the Father; the covenant love of Cod the Son; and if while thou art reading, the Lord the eternal Spirit; the divine testifier of Jesus, is pleased to illuminate thy mind, and to warm thy cold affections, I know thou will exclaim, "He is a rock, His work is perfect;" and thou wilt rejoice in the blessed words of thy covenant head and surety, "It is finished!" The believer glories in the perfect work of a crucified Saviour. It is on that robe of immaculate righteousness which He has wrought out, and which is freely bestowed on all His chosen family, that he gazes with infinite delight.  Clothed with this robe as with a garment, he views himself complete in Him; he is viewed as comely, through the comeliness his Lord and Master has put upon him, But He finished the work his Father gave him to do, and having so done His people are free, It may he proper to notice what this work was required of so divine a person, no less than Jehovah Himself to perform. This work was the salvation of His chosen people; a certain number chosen in Christ before the world; selected from the ruins of the fall; covenanted for in the councils of eternal peace; and for whom the Saviour undertook that perfect work which He carried on in their room and stead, and died the just for the unjust to bring sinners to God.

In confirmation of the all glorious and finished work of our gracious covenant head  and surety, many passages might be brought forward, but two or three shall suffice. The great apostle of the  Gentiles in writing to the Hebrews (Heb 1:2-3), speaking of the dear Redeemer, he says, "Who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of God." And again (Heb 10:14), "For by one offering He hath perfected forever them that are sanctified;" and our Lord's own words by the mouth of the Prophet Isaiah, (Isa 63:13) and following, and those which are the subject of these reflections, and here proved and confirmed, by the Apostle Paul, or rather by God the Holy Spirit speaking by the mouth of the apostle. Upon this delightful theme all the ransomed' millions now in glory are delightfully employed, "Unto Him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in His own blood," etc. And the church militant is anticipating the glorious period when she shall join the church triumphant in casting their blood-bought crowns at Immanuel's feet, singing, "Hallelujah! Hallelujah! worthy the Lamb!"

Believer, before I close, let me ask you and myself, How is it with our souls? Is Jesus to us the chiefest among ten thousand, and the one altogether lovely? Can you and I exclaim with the psalmist, from heartfelt experience, "Whom have I in heaven but thee? and there is none upon earth I desire in comparison of thee?" Is the Saviour's finished work the joy and rejoicing of your heart and mine? Do we, with the holy Paul, count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus our Lord? Do we pant earnestly to be found complete in Him, to be clothed in His immaculate righteousness? If such be our experience, we may adopt the language of the poet, and sing---

'Tis mine, the covenant of grace,
And every promise mine;
All sprung from everlasting love,
And sealed with love divine.

A SINNER.

CHRIST'S FREEDOM FROM SIN From the Gospel Messenger, October, 1896.

CHRIST'S FREEDOM FROM SIN From the Gospel Messenger, October, 1896. (1945, May)

The first impression which we receive from the life of Jesus is that of perfect innocency and sinlessness in the midst of a sinful world. He, and He alone, carried the spotless purity of childhood untarnished through His youth and manhood. Hence the lamb and the dove are His appropriate symbols.

In vain do we look through the entire biography of Jesus for a single stain or the slightest shadow on his moral character. There never lived a more harmless being on earth. He injured nobody, He took advantage, of nobody. He never spoke an improper word, He never committed a wrong action. He exhibited a uniform elevation above the objects, opinions, pleasures, and passions of this world, and disregard to riches, displays, fame, and favor of men. "No voice that has a name can be thought of in connection with Jesus Christ. Ingenious malignity looks in vain for the faintest trace of self-seeking in His motives; sensuality shrinks abashed from His celestial purity; falsehood can leave no stain on Him, who is incarnate truth; injustice is forgotten beside His errorless equity; the very possibility of avarice is swallowed up in His benignity and love; the very idea of ambition is lost in His divine wisdom and divine self-abnegation."

The apparent outbreak of passion in the expulsion of the profane traffickers from the Temple is the only instance on the record of His history which might be quoted against His freedom from the faults of humanity. But the very effect which produced shows that, far from being the outburst of passion, the expulsion was a judicial act of a religious reformer, vindicating, in just and holy zeal, the honor of the Lord of the Temple. It was an exhibition, not of weakness, but of dignity and majesty, which at once silenced the offenders, though they were superior in physical strength, and made them submit to their well-deserved punishment without a murmur. They were overawed 'by the presence of a superhuman power. The cursing of the unfruitful fig-tree can still less be urged; as it evidently was a significant, symbolical act, foreshadowing the fearful doom of the impenitent Jews in the destruction of Jerusalem. On the contrary, these two facts became fully intelligible only by the assumption of the presence of the Divinity in Christ; for they represent Him as the Lord of the Temple, and as the Lord of creation.

The perfect innocence of Jesus is based, not only negatively on the absence of any recorded word or act to the contrary, and His exemption from every trace of selfishness and worldliness, but positively, also, on the unanimous testimony of John the Baptist and the apostles, who bowed before the majesty of His character in unbounded veneration, and declare Him "just," "holy," and "without sin." It is admitted, moreover, by His enemies—the heathen judge, Pilate, and his wife representing, as it were, the Roman law and justice when they shuddered with fear, and when Pilate washed his hands to be clear, of innocent blood; by the rude Roman centurion confessing under the cross, in the name of the disinterested spectators: "Truly, this was the Son of God;" and by Judas himself, the witness of His whole public and private life, when he exclaimed in despair: "I sinned in betraying innocent blood." Even dumb nature responded in mysterious sympathy; and the beclouded heavens above, and the shaking earth beneath, united in paying their unconscious tribute to the divine purity of their dying Lord.

The objection that the Evangelists were either not fully informed concerning the facts, or mistaken in their estimate of the character of Christ, is of no avail. For, in addition to their testimony, we have His own personal conviction of entire freedom from sin, which leaves us only the choice between absolute purity and absolute hypocrisy: such hypocrisy as would be the greatest moral monstrosity on record.

The very fact that Christ came for the express purpose of saving sinners, implies His own consciousness of personal freedom from guilt and from all need of salvation. And this is the impression made upon us by His public life and conduct. He nowhere shows the least concern for His own salvation, but knows Himself to be in undisturbed harmony with His heavenly Father. While calling most earnestly upon all other men to repent, He stood in no need of conversion and regeneration, but simply of the regular harmonious unfolding of His moral powers. While directing all His followers, in His model prayer, to ask for the forgiveness of their sins as well as their daily bread, He Himself never asked God for pardon and forgiveness, except in behalf of others. While freely conversing with sinners, He always did so with the love and interest of a Saviour of sinners. He always did so. This is the historical fact, no matter how you may explain it. And, to remove every doubt, we have His open and fearless challenge to His bitter enemies: "Which of you convicteth me of sin?" In this question, which remains unanswered to this day, He clearly exempts Himself from the common fault and guilt of the race. In the mouth of any other man, this question would at once betray either the height of hypocrisy, or a degree of self-deception bordering on mad
ness itself, and would overthrow the very foundation 'of all human goodness; while, from the mouth of Jesus, we instinctively receive it as the triumphant self-vindication of one who stood far above the possibility of successful impeachment or founded suspicion.

Christ differed from all other men, not in degree only, but in kind. For although we must utterly repudiate the pantheistic notion of 'the necessity of sin, and maintain that human nature in itself considered is capable of sinlessness; that it was sinless, in fact, before the fall, and that it will ultimately become sinless again by the redemption of Christ; yet it is equally certain that human nature in its present condition is not sinless, and never has been since the fall, except in the single case of Christ; and that, for this very reason, Christ's sinlessness can only be explained on the ground of such an extraordinary indwelling of God in Him as never took place in any other human being before or after.

As to the actual condition of morals in the age of Christ and the apostles, Seneca, Tacitus, Persius, and Juvenal give the most unfavorable accounts, which fully corroborate the dark picture of St. Paul in the first chapter of his Epistle to the Romans. "All is full of crime and vice," says Seneca; "They are open and manifest; iniquity prevails in every heart, and innocence has not only become rare, but has entirely disappeared." Marcus Aruelius, the Stoic philosopher on the throne and the persecutor of Christians, complains that "faithfulness, the sense of honor, righteousness, and truth, have taken their flight from the wide earth to heaven."

If this is the testimony of the sages of heathenism, what shall we say of the Christian, whose sense of sin and guilt is .deepened and sharpened in proportion to his knowledge of God's holiness and his experience of God's redeeming grace. The entire Christian world, Greek, Latin, and Protestant, agree in the Scriptural doctrine of the universal depravity of human nature since the apostacy of the first Adam. There is not a single mortal who has not to charge himself with some defect or folly; and man's consciousness of sin and unworthiness deepens just in proportion to his self-knowledge and progress in virtue and goodness. There is not a single saint who has not experienced a new birth from above, and an actual conversion from sin to holiness, and who does not feel daily the need of repentance and divine forgiveness. The very greatest and best of them, as Paul and Augustine, passed through a violent struggle and a radical revolution; and their whole theological system and religious experience rest on the felt antagonism of sin and grace.

But in Christ we have the one solitary and absolute exception to this universal rule—an individual, thinking like a man, feeling like a man, speaking, acting, suffering, and dying like a man, surrounded by sinners in every direction, with the keenest sense of sin, and the deepest sympathy with sinners, commencing His public ministry with the call: "Repent; for the kingdom of Heaven is at hand" , (Mt 4:17) ; yet never touched in the least by the contamination of the world; never putting Himself in the attitude of a sinner before God; never shedding a tear of repentance; never regretting a single thought, word, or deed; never needing or asking divine pardon; never concerned about the salvation of His own soul; and boldly facing all His present and future enemies, in the absolute certainty of His spotless purity before God and man.

A sinless Saviour, surrounded by a sinful world, is an astounding fact indeed; a sublime moral miracle in history. But this freedom from the common sin and guilt of the race is, after all, only the negative side of His character; which rises in magnitude as we contemplate the positive side, namely, His absolute moral and religious perfection.—The Person of Christ, by P. Schaff.

CIRCULAR LETTER

CIRCULAR LETTER (1946, February)

The Muskingum Regular Predestinarian Baptist Association, now in session with the Beulah Church (August 26, 27, 28, 1892), to the several churches of which she is composed, sendeth Christian love:

Dear Brethren in Christ—Through the tender mercies of a merciful God, we have been permitted to meet once more according to our appointment as an Association. As it is customary to address you by a Circular Letter on some subject pertaining to the children of God, we have chosen the subject of Close Communion. Webster defines communion as mutual intercourse; union in religious faith and fellowship; a body of Christians having one common faith, celebration of the Lord's Supper. If all the children of God would believe and practice the definition given by Webster, and take the Scriptures for their guide, then would the offense cease of not inviting those of other churches, not of our faith and order, and in good standing, to commune with us.

We cannot have union in religious faith and fellowship without we are born again. The second birth is not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible seed, which liveth and abideth forever. When Christ is formed in us, the hope of glory, He has come unto our flesh, He has shown us our sins by the Spirit of God, and revealed Himself to us in such manner that we say He is our Saviour. Then we are fit subjects for baptism, and the New Testament teaches only one mode, and that is immersion.
Baptism is a prerequisite to communion. While many claim that sprinkling and pouring are baptism, they say immersion is baptism. So far as the doctrine, that our baptism is gospel baptism, we have the testimony of all. Baptists believe immersion to be the only mode, and that so far as the action of baptism is concerned, there is no baptism without immersion. Many that we think are children of God believe the Old School Baptists preach the truth; and say we preach nearer what the Bible teaches than any other denomination, and yet object to us because we do not invite all denominations to commune with us.

We believe no unbaptized person can be invited to commemorate the Lord's death till He come, by the authority of Christ and the apostles. We claim that although few in number, and always have been, are those that strive to enter in at the strait gate; strive to be obedient to God's commandments; seek to please God more than men, they are the true church of God, built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief corner stone. Christ said the gates of hell shall not prevail against her. We believe there has been a people ever since Christ constituted His church, who have contended for the doctrine of Christ and the apostles, and their history has been written by imprisonment, torture and death; because they would not conform to the church of anti-Christ, and for only a little more than a century past have Christians beet blessed with the privilege of worshiping God, according to the dictates of their own conscience, with none to molest or make them afraid. Paul wrote to the Galatian Church: "And I, brethren, if I yet preach circumcision, why do I yet suffer persecution, then is the offense of the cross ceased." If Paul had preached a conditional salvation; just be circumcised; be conformed to the world; try to have the friendship of the world, which James says is an enemy of God; and not have been so precise in his preaching Christ and His commandments, then would he have escaped persecution.

But our Lawgiver says: "If there come any unto you and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God-speed; for he that biddeth him God-speed, is partaker of his evil deeds."

Let each examine himself, and so let him eat; which is very necessary for we cannot discern the Lord's body without He is in us, in our flesh, which makes us a new creature. Also they must bring the doctrine of Christ and the apostles. And this doctrine of regeneration, faith and practice was spoken first by the Lord, and confirmed unto us by them that heard Him. If we permit open communion, how can we have any discipline in a church? If we exclude a member for any cause, God tells us not to eat with such. He says if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, railer, extortioner, idolater or drunkard, with such a one know not to eat, not to commune. But if we be open communicants, such a one can go to another church and join; return to us and we have no power to prevent him.

We cannot obey God and man. If we want discipline in the church, God tells us how to have it, and if we obey the doctrines and commandments of men, we can fellowship everybody, believer or unbeliever; and as far as the visibility of the church is concerned, there is no mark to distinguish it from the world. John testifies: "If any man shall add unto these things God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in the book, and if any man shall take away from the words of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city (church), and from the things written in this book."

But those who are so liberal in the broad way, believe that all have a right to commune together regardless of doctrine or practice. They admit immersion is the apostolic mode, and the only mode that can be proven; because everything in the New Testament pertaining to mode proves immersion; yet they will commune with persons they believe and know are not baptized.

Some false teachers say: "No adult person of sound mind can go to heaven without being baptized by immersion." Others, that no infant without being sprinkled, both of which are idolatry. Then what do we require? We want an evidence that a person has passed from death unto life; we want him to come to the church and tell what the Lord has done for him; we want him baptized by a proper administrator; by the apostolic mode; buried with Christ in baptism and arise to walk in newness of life.

Baptism represents a death, burial and resurrection. A person must be dead to sin; buried with Christ in baptism into death; that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.

This we believe to be the authority of one who is our King, Lawgiver and Judge, and who will save us. Farewell.

CIRCULAR LETTER (1886)

CIRCULAR LETTER

The Muskingum Predestinarian Baptist Association, in session with Jonathan's Creek Church, in Licking County, Ohio, August 20, 21 and 22, 1886, to the churches composing her body, sendeth Christian salutation:

DEAR BRETHREN IN CHRIST—In conformity with a time honored custom with us, we have once more, by the grace of God, met in this our seventy-seventh annual session; which occasion, under former custom, imposes upon us the duty of addressing you through the instrumentality of a cirular letter. Diversified and comprehensive subjects have been written upon, in years past and gone. Suffice it, for the present, to "stir up your pure minds by way of remembrance" of things pertinent to, and inseparable from the Christian life. In the First Epistle General of Peter iv. 8, he says: "And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins." Here is a noble rule in Christianity: charity among Christians, which implies an affection for their persons; a desire for their welfare; and a hearty endeavor to promote it—an affection, fervent, sincere, strong and lasting. This is recommended above all things, which shows the importance of it. It is greater than faith or hope (1Co 13:13). One excellent effect of it is that' it will cover a multitude of sins. There ought to be in all Christians a more fervent charity towards one another, than toward other men; have charity among yourselves (Heb 13:1). There is a special relation among all sincere Christians, and a particular amiableness and good in them which require special affection. It is not enough for Christians not to bear malice, or to have common respect one for another, they must intensely and fervently love each other. It is the property of true charity to cover a multitude of sins. It inclines one to forgive and forget offenses against themselves; to cover and conceal the sins of others, rather than aggravate them, and spread them abroad. It teaches us to love them who are but weak, and who have been guilty of many evil things before their conversion; and it prepares for mercy at the hand of God, who hath promised to forgive them that forgive others (Mt 6:14). Christians ought not only to be charitable but hospitable; one to another. Whatever a Christian does by way of charity or of hospitality, he ought to do it cheerfully, and without grudging. "Freely ye have received, freely give." It is the duty of Christians in private, as well as ministers in public, to speak to one another of the things of God. It highly concerns all preachers of the gospel to keep close to the Word of God and to treat that Word as becomes the oracles of God. Christians must not only do the duties of their place but do them with vigor and according to the best of their abilities. In all the duties and services of life, we should aim at the glory of God as our chief aim, which would sanctify our common actions and affairs (1Co 10:31). God is not glorified in anything we do if we do not offer it to Him through the mediation and merits of Jesus Christ. "God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ," who is the only way to the Father. The apostle's adoration of Jesus Christ, and ascribing unlimited and everlasting praise and dominion to Him, prove that Jesus Christ is the most high God over all, blessed forever. The frequent repetition of counsel and comfort to Christians, considered as sufferers, in every chapter of this epistle, shows that the greatest danger that new converts are in, arises from persecution to which their embracing Christianity exposes them. The good behavior of Christians under sufferings, is the most difficult part of their duty, but yet necessary, both for the honor of Christ and their own comfort; therefore the apostle, having exhorted them in the former part of this chapter to the great duty of mortification, comes here to direct them in the necessary duty of patience under suffering. An unmortified spirit is very unfit to bear trials. His advice to them relating to their sufferings is that they should not think them strange, nor be surprised at them, as if some unexpected event befell them, for though sharp and fiery, yet they are designed only to try, not to ruin them; to try their sincerity, strength, patience and trust in God. On the contrary, they ought rather to rejoice under their sufferings, because theirs may properly be called Christ's sufferings. They are of the same kind and for the same cause that Christ suffered; they make us conformable to Him; He suffers in them and feels our infirmities; and if we be partakers of His sufferings, we shall also be made partakers of His glory, and shall meet Him with exceeding joy at His great appearing to judge His enemies, and crown His faithful servants. True Christians love and own the children of Cod in their lowest and most distressing circumstances. There is no reason for Christians to think strange, or to wonder at the unkindness and persecutions of the world. Christians ought not only to be patient, but to rejoice in their sharpest and sorest sufferings for Christ, because these sufferings are tokens of divine favor; they pro: mote the gospel, and prepare for glory. From the fiery trial the apostle descends to a lower degree of persecution—that of the tongue, by slander and reproach. In such case He asserts happy are ye; the reason of which is "Because ye have the Spirit of God with you," to fortify and comfort you; and the Spirit of God is also the Spirit of Glory. This glorious Spirit resteth upon you, resideth with you, in you, and is pleased with you; and is not this an unspeakable privilege? By your patience and fortitude in suffering, by your dependence on the promises of God, and adhering to the word which the Holy Spirit hath revealed, He is on your part glorified; but by the contempt and reproaches cast upon you the Spirit itself is evil spoken of and blasphemed. The best men and the best things usually meet with reproaches in the world. The happiness of Christians not only consists with, but flows from, their afflictions, "Happy are ye." That man who has the Spirit of God resting upon him, cannot be miserable, be his afflictions ever so great. When Christians are vilified "for the name of Christ," His Holy Spirit is glorified in them. One would think that such caution as the apostle gives in this epistle, were needless to such excellent Christians as those were. But their enemies charged them with being murderers, thieves, evildoers, busybodies in other men's matters, etc. Therefore, the apostle, when he was settling the rules of the Christian religion, thought these cautions necessary, forbidding everyone of them to hurt the life or the estate and property of anyone, or to do any sort of evil; or without call and necessity to play the bishop in another man's charge, or busy himself in other men's matters. To this caution he adds a direction, that if any man suffer for the cause of Christianity, and with a patient Christian spirit, he ought not to account it a shame, but an honor to him; and ought to glorify God, who hath thus dignified him. The best of men need to be warned against the worst of sins; there is very little comfort in sufferings when we bring them on ourselves by our sin and folly. It is not the sufferer, but the cause, that makes the martyr. We have reason to thank God for the honor if He calls us to suffer for any of the duties or doctrine of Christianity.

FAREWELL.

CIRCULAR LETTER (1942)

CIRCULAR LETTER (1942)

The Muskingum Primitive Baptist Association now in
session with the Harmony Church, near Alexandria,
Ohio (August 22, 1934), to the churches composing her body, sendeth greeting:

MY DEAR BRETHREN IN THE LORD

Ever since I was chosen one year ago to write this circular letter, I have spent much time in thought as to what to write. My heart's desire and prayer is to write a letter that will be helpful and beneficial to our churches composing our association.

I have stood identified with the Baptists for more than forty-five years, and have seen our churches in prosperity, also in adversity. I have noted the cause in many instances.

We find that Paul, in the Corinthian letter, compares the church to the human body. To make his point clear, he says that there are many different parts of the body and as the Lord created it in such a way that each particular part of the body has a place of its own to function, no part of the body can take the place of another part. The all-wise Creator has placed each part as it has pleased Him. The eye cannot say to the ear, "I have no need of thee," for if the whole body were an eye where were the hearing? The hand cannot say to the foot, "I can get along without you," and so on through the whole body. Paul reasoned that each part of the body must function in its own particular place that there be no schism in the body; even so in the church. Oh, how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity, striving to keep the unity of the spirit in the bonds of peace.

Paul says that there are diversities of gifts, but the same spirit. The different gifts will work in perfect harmony if actuated by the same spirit. I can hear some brother say, "I do not have any gift," or "I do not know what it is. How can I discover it?"

Maybe, you have buried your gift or have hidden it under a bushel by not attending your meeting on Saturday, or by not helping your church in a financial way. Do you tell your pastor how you enjoyed his sermon, either by tongue or pen? Do you invite him to your home to spend the night or take a meal with you? Do you ever call at his home to talk about spiritual thing Maybe this is your gift.

Do you read the good old Book? There is no betty way to discover your gift. Every member has some particular gift that fits in somewhere to the benefit of t body. Paul says in 1Co 12:8, "For to one is give by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit." These are just few of the gifts that are mentioned in the Scriptur If you will take Paul's advice to Timothy, "Study shew thyself approved unto God," you will soon di cover your gift. Use it. You will soon enjoy doing and you will prove a blessing to the church and t church a blessing to you. Farewell,

M. B. CLAGGETT.

CIRCULAR LETTER (1943)

CIRCULAR LETTER (1943)

The Muskingum Regular Predestinarian Baptist Association, in session with Beulah Church, Licking Co., Ohio, August 19, 20, 21, 1896, to the several churches composing her body, sendeth Christian love and greeting:

Very Dear Brethren in The Lord—According to former custom, the time is again at hand when it becomes our duty to send you this, our annual epistle of love. As a subject for the same, let us invite your attention to the new commandment, which is recorded in Joh 13:34, "A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another." This feature, love, is a characteristic of God's children, not found among the many denominations of the world. So, "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."-1Jo 4:7-8.

"And every one that loveth Him that begat, loveth him also that is begotten of Him."-1Jo 5:1. We are informed in Joh 3:16, "God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life." When a sinner is born of God, and made alive to spiritual things, then love cometh with that life. He that is born of God dwelleth in God, and God in him; and he that hath not God hath not love, for God is love. The fruits of the Spirits are love, joy, meekness, goodness, etc., therefore when we recognize that love in any individual, we know that they have spiritual life, for these are inseparable.

We are commanded to let brotherly love continue; so we see in this, that love is implanted in the heart from a power that is on high, and it is our duty to so act toward each other that we will not rend these tender cords of love, but let it continue. "By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another." —Joh 13:35. Jesus said, "If ye love me, keep my commandments." And again, "Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words. He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings."—Joh 14:23-24.

So, beloved of God, let us search the Scriptures, to learn what is our duty, and pray Him to give us wisdom and power to do all that He has commanded, and keep ourselves unspotted from the world. And, "let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven." May the Almighty Hand keep you from the ways of wickedness and enable us all to so live that our lives may reflect honor and glory to His great and holy name. Blessed be His name forever, Amen. Brethren, farewell.

CIRCULAR LETTER (1944, December)

CIRCULAR LETTER (1944, December)

(Written by Elder U. G. Porter.)

The Muskingum Regular Predestinarian Baptist Association, now in session with Jonathan's Creek and Friendship churches (August 23, 24, 25, 1889), to the churches composing her body sendeth Christian greeting:

Very Dear Brethren in the Lord—Through the tender mercy and protecting care of our God, we are again assembled to worship Him from whom cometh every good and perfect gift, and, as has been our custom, we send you this our annual epistle.

We know of no subject of more importance to you than the walk of the child of God. There is more Scripture devoted to this subject than to any other subject in the Bible. Paul exhorted the Roman brethren to a Christian walk, saying, "I beseech you, therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service." The apostle had called attention to their lost and ruined condition, the terrible punishment due them, and their utter inability to extricate themselves from their miserable condition or to avoid their punishment. He had also shown them how God, through the exceeding riches of His grace and great mercy, had lifted them out of their lost and helpless condition, satisfied the just demands of the law against them, and made them heirs to an inheritance undefiled, and which fadeth not away. He then appeals to their gratitude, love and sense of duty to incite them to obedience. In the Hebrew letter these mercies are urged as additional cause of punishment for disobedience and also additional punishment, saying, "If the word spoken by angels was steadfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just recompense of reward, how shall we escape if we neglect so great salvation?" And again, "Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy who bath trodden under foot the Son of God, and bath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the spirit of grace?" The divine writer presents the idea that since we have been cleansed by the washing of regeneration or quickened into divine life, had our deaf ears unstopped and our blind eyes opened and had the teaching of the Saviour, we are under greater responsibility than those under the old dispensation, and our punishment for disobedience will be correspondingly greater.

What are some of the punishments? "If ye live after the flesh ye shall die"—die to the enjoyment of all those spiritual blessings the child of God has in obedience. We cannot feel in disobedience that sweet peace and comfort which comes with the consciousness of having done our duty. The Saviour will not come in and sup with us-and we with Him, because if we take not up our cross and follow Him, neither can we feel an assurance of our acceptance and final happiness; but we become blind, and cannot see afar off, and forget that we were purged from our old sins.

How different the path of obedience! "They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength. They shall mount up on wings as eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint." The Lord will never suffer the righteous to be moved, but His eyes are over them and his ears are open to their prayers. As long as we walk in that highway which the Lord has thrown up for His people to walk in, there can nothing harm us.

Let us then lay aside every weight and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith.

CIRCULAR LETTER (1944, November)

CIRCULAR LETTER (1944, November)

The Muskingum Regular Predestinarian Baptist Association, now in session with the Falls Licking Church, Muskingum County, Ohio, (August 21, 22, 23, 1901) , to the churches composing her body, sendeth Christian Greeting:

BELOVED IN THE LORD:

Having been the former practice to introduce for your conideration some theme in which all the body are interested, we crave your indulgence while we endeavor to trace the analogy between the passover instituted among the children of national Israel and the Lord's Supper, as observed by His believing children, or spiritual Israel, in these last days, and it shall be our aim to defend our practice of so-called "close communion."

We do not presume to be able to harmonize every detail of each, but such as have direct bearing upon our subject. For by so much did the vicarious atonement of Christ exceed the ceremonial sacrifices as the substance exceeds the shadow in reality, weight and force. One was ceremonial, legal, condemnatory; the other vital, spiritual, conciliatory; one was sacrificial, the other satisfactory; one was death, the other life. "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 in in the flesh; that the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit."

We note as the first great step in the ceremonial law, the rite of circumcision enjoined upon Abraham and his seed, as a token of the covenant between God and him; the sign and seal of every covenant keeping Jew; an everlasting covenant in the flesh.

The first covenants were with the Jews only, no others were recognized, and all through sacred history we see that God has had a people for His praise and glory. Yet being made with the children of men, they failed in the observance of them, for the sacrifices offered "could not make the corners thereunto perfect." But God, in His wisdom, had prepared a Passover unto Himself, sending His Son as a lamb (esteemed best among all the offerings , a perfect offering, "made Him to be sin for us who knew no sin," and "By His own blood He entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us."

"For if the blood of bulls and goats and the ashes of an heifer, sprinkling the unclean sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh, 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."

We pass now to the preparation for the last great Passover, and learn "That the Lord Jesus, the same night He was betrayed, took bread, and when He had given thanks, He brake it and said: "Take, eat; this is my body broken for you; this do in remembrance of me." After the same manner also He took the cup, when He had supped, saying, "This cup is the new testament in my blood; this do ye as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me. For as often as ye eat this bread and drink this cup, ye do show the Lord's death till He come."

'Twas in an upper chamber apart from the throng and multitude, with only the apostles present. It is to be repeated as a memorial when He has ascended to the Father, to prove the faith of His believing 'children in all succeeding time; the highest act of worship; the occasion for offering up spiritual sacrifice of thanksgiving, the most solemn ordinance of religion.

Here we will briefly notice the precept of the two covenants. Under the old, circumcision was a passport to participation in the Passover, and was obligatory, compulsory. Under the better covenant, established upon better promises, we are "circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ." As circumcision and the feast of the Passover were so closely allied under the old, so in the "better covenant" baptism and the Lord's Supper are inseparable, and no one is admissable to His communion who has not received his baptism, confessing Him before men, and the abuse or perversion of either destroys the whole structure.

While neither the circumcision of the old, nor the baptism of the new covenant is a saving ordinance, they are necessary to obedience; the answer of the good conscience; and as circumcision was a sign and seal of faith in God. under, the old covenant, so baptism is a token of faith in Christ, His death and resurrection under the new; for. "buried with Him by baptism into death, that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we should walk in newness of life."

As in the first Passover, ''No uncircumcised person, no stranger, no foreigner, no hired servant should eat thereof." We require evidence of circumcision of heart, testimony of Jesus, as "the way, the truth, and the life," proving by the fruits they bring, "ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ." We require this conformity to Scriptural obligations ere we admit anyone to partake of this, His ordinance, with us, because communion signifies fellowship, unity of faith, good will and affection; oneness, spiritual brotherhood. "A union begun and subsisting only in Christ, we must be one with Him, before we can be one with each other
in Him."

"We have an altar whereof they have no right to eat which serve the tabernacle."

A spiritual communion cannot be an open communion.

If the observance of the first Passover was binding upon those participating in that great deliverance throughout their generations, how much more binding, how much more solemnly beautiful, how much more far reaching must be the Passover memorial of love, hallowed by Christ, our perfect atoning Lamb, sacrificed once for all time.

How often this rite shall be observed is not prescribed, but may our communion together be sweet, borrowing of Heaven, while we sojourn here; may our eyes be turned "upward to the place where Jesus reigns above;" where our hopes center; where shadows and types are forever banished by the living presence, and the soul's longings satisfied.

"May the God of peace that brought again from the dead, our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, 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 forever and ever." Farewell.

CIRCULAR LETTER (1945, July)

CIRCULAR LETTER (1945, July)

Published in the Minutes of the Tennessee Association in 1892

To the Churches of the Tennessee Association:

Dear Brethren—We desire to stir up your pure minds upon the grand and important doctrine of the "Complete and Everlasting Salvation of all the Elect," alone and entirely by sovereign grace. This has been the foundation and distinguishing doctrine of the Regular Baptists from time immemorial.

When the Bible so emphatically declares that eternal life, eternal salvation, is by grace, it means that it is the free grace of God bestowed upon the dead, lost, sinner without any merit or good in him or performed by him. It must necessarily be unconditional on the sinner's part.

If the elect were, as some falsely teach, actually "God's eternal children," having eternal vital union with Him, their salvation could not be of sovereign grace, for we are taught by natural laws and human jurisprudence that parents are obligated—they owe it—to protect and support their own children. The cause of salvation would be in the creature, and therefore not of grace.

And if, as Arminians teach, salvation is on account of merit or good in the creature, or on account of conditions complied with by him, then the cause of salvation is in the creature and not of grace; neither is it part of grace and part of works. Ro 11:5-8.

That man, by nature, is dead in trespasses and in sins—totally depraved—is a Bible doctrine not denied by any true Primitive Baptist. Ro 3:10-20. "There is none righteous;" "none that doeth good, or seeketh after God." The heart—the seat of affection—is "deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked;" "alienated from God." "The carnal mind is enmity against God, not subject to His law, neither indeed can be." "So they that are in the flesh cannot please God." "The natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit." They "will not come to Him, that they might have life." "There is no soundness." "They are corrupt, full of wounds, bruises and putrifying sores, from the sole of the foot unto the head." Ro 8:7; Jer 17:9; Joh 5:40.

The Ethiopian cannot change his skin, nor the leopard his spots; they are so by nature. So we are all by nature the children of wrath, and cannot change our nature; helpless; dead to all spiritual good; without God, and void of all spiritual life. Isa 1:6; 1Co 2:14; Jer 12:17.

The cause of man's salvation must be something good in him, or done by him, or in that of another. The cause cannot be anything good that man has done; "they' are full of corruption;" none righteous; none that doeth good. It cannot be anything good done by him, for he is dead, without strength, totally depraved, unable to do anything good. If sinners are saved by complying with conditions, it must be good conditions, and the complying with such conditions must be good works or good deeds, and the cause of salvation would be in the sinner and not of grace. It is absurd to think that such terms or conditions could be anything less than perfect obedience to all of God's laws. "There is no law given that could give life." Upright man, after God had—unconditionally—given him life, lost all under the law with its conditional promises. How, then, can the fallen, helpless, dead sinner expect more? The New Testament is not according to the Old—conditional. It is established upon better—surer—promises. See Jer 31:31-34; 32:40; 33:14; Eze 36:25; 37:26; Heb 8:8-10; 10:16-17. It is all the work of God—grace, not conditional.

The cause of our salvation is what God does for us and in us. "He loved us with an everlasting love;" "chose us in Christ from the beginning, that we should be holy;" "predestinated us to be conformed to the image of His Son," who was made under the law, and paid the price of our redemption; "died for our transgressions and rose for our justification," and is our Advocate at our Father's throne. Thus He does for us. He calls us with a holy calling, to repentance and faith; regenerates, cleanses, sanctifies, pardons, preserves and glorifies us. This He does in us. It is all for Christ's sake—all grace. Not according to, or of, our works, but all and every part the work of God. Eph 1:4; 2:1,8,10; Ro 8:28-30; 2Ti 1:9; Tit 1:5.

Some may ask, Are not repentance and faith conditions of salvation? They are not so called in the Bible. They are evidences of our election and salvation, the gifts of God—that which He works in His chosen, as shown above. "He (Christ) was exalted to be a Prince and a Saviour to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins."—Ac 5:31. "We believe according to the working of His mighty power, which He wrought in Christ when He raised Him from the dead.—Eph 1:19-20. He came to call sinners to repentance; to grant or give repentance; to save His people from their sins. Mt 1:21; 9:13. And again, He declares, "All that the Father giveth me shall come to me;" "Other sheep I have which are not of this fold, them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice;" "and I give unto them eternal life, and they shall never perish."—Joh 10:16-28. It is useless and absurd to propose conditions to the helpless—the dead; conditions, or terms, are made to the living, not to the dead.

Christ saith, "I give eternal life;" and "as thou hast given Him power over all flesh, that He should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given Him."—Joh 17:4. The giving or imparting eternal life is called a creation, a begetting, a quickening, a washing, a cleansing, a birth. The work is all of God, and the creature the thing created—is entirely passive, as shown in all the foregoing expressions. It is preposterous to think of the untreated, the dead, performing conditions in which they may be created and made alive. The Lord made Adam and gave him life, not upon conditions, and then put the living man in the garden, to work, to dress it and keep it. Christ raised the dead and saved sinners —not upon conditions—and when they were raised, given life, then they loved, followed and obeyed Him, because He had saved them. They could not serve before. So we are "created in Him unto good works." "We love Him because He first loved us."-1Jo 4:19. The tabernacle and temple are types of the church. 1Pe 2:4-8; Heb 3:6; 1Co 3:16.

The builder predetermined to build, chose the material, prepared the same, and brought it into the building, "as it pleased him."-1Co 12:18-28. 'It is all his work. The material is passive in his hands.

These figures teach us how dead, lost, sinners are made alive and made children of God. Now, if there is any analogy between the figures and the things figurated, they show conclusively that eternal salvation is the free gift of God unconditionally bestowed upon the dead sinner, and that the sinner is entirely passive in the matter.

We know that Adam's (our) creation and life were not upon conditions; that our natural generation and birth were not upon any conditions complied with by us; that the sick and dead—when Christ was on earth—were not healed or given life upon conditions complied with by them; that the tabernacle and temple were not builded by or upon the working or choosing by the material; but all were passive, as the clay in the hands of the potter; and in like manner we are created in Him unto good works. Eph 2:10. We "were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God."—Joh 1:13. Born into His kingdom, and made heirs of God and members of His family by a heavenly birth. Joh 3:3-8; 1Pe 1:23. We did not will nor work before we were created—before we were born. We did not love, follow and obey before, but after, we had been given life. Then we love and obey because we have life; because we are children and heirs.

Our service is prompted by the principles of love and gratitude for what He has done for us, which are the highest and most powerful motives that could prompt us to true, unselfish and acceptable service.

When we reach the heavenly inheritance and are safe in the possession of its bliss and glory, our more perfect service and praise then will not be prompted by fear, nor upon conditions of getting into the possession of the inheritance, but upon the higher principles and motives of love and gratitude. We will ever love, rejoice, praise and adore Him because "He has done great things for us, whereof we are glad;" because "He has blessed us with all spiritual blessings;" "because He has saved us, and called us with a holy calling;" because we are His children and have been made heirs of the heavenly inheritance; because we are safe, and the blessed inheritance is sure to us for ever—and not in order to get in possession of it. Now, if love and gratitude for blessings and grace already given and possessed be sufficient incentives to our more perfect service in heaven, then should not that incite us, while on earth, to the highest degree of faithful service to God in obedience? Then, dear brethren, seeing we have such a glorious inheritance and such precious promises, made sure to us, we are bound by love and gratitude to glorify our gracious Redeemer by our obedience and unselfish service, because He has saved us and blessed us with all spiritual blessings.

Let the consideration of our sure, complete and eternal salvation, gratuitously and unconditionally bestowed upon us through Christ, bear us up in our afflictions, strengthen us to bear the cross, incite us to watch and pray, and to live and walk worthy of the vocation wherewith we are called. He hath promised, "I will never leave thee nor forsake thee," and "He is faithful that hath promised."

To Him be honor, glory, praise and thanksgiving.. throughout all the churches. Amen.

JOHN B. J. BRICKEY, Moderator.
R. H. SHIELDS, Clerk.

CIRCULAR LETTER (1946, August)

CIRCULAR LETTER (1946, August)
 
(September 1, 1945)

The Mississinewa Association of Primitive Baptists now in its one hundred and seventh session with Antioch Church in the town of LaFontaine, Wabash County, Ind., sendeth Christian greetings to the churches composing her body, and all believing the scriptural doctrine, wherever they be.

The most bloody and devastating war in the history of mankind has just closed, and I will try by the help of an all-wise Creator to offer a few thoughts for your consideration. More than two hundred and fifty thousand of the flowers of American manhood have been sacrificed in this bloody contest, and their bodies lie in the plains and mountains of Europe and the malaria infested jungles of Asia and Africa. The American people have escaped the horrors of actual war, but their nervous tension because of the war has risen to such extremes that some of them are striving after worldly things, instead of better things promised them for obedience and a godly walk laid down by the Saviour of sinners while here in this sin-cursed world. In Col 3:1, He told His disciples, "If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above." Let us therefore pray our heavenly Father that we seek for the old paths and walk therein, that we may enjoy the blessings promised in obedience. There never has been a time in the lifetime of the writer of this article when the love of money was more manifest in our midst than the present. Our people, a great many of them, seem to be money mad and pleasure crazy. They want more money, less work, and more pleasure as the wheels of time roll on. They seem to have forgotten the straight and narrow way laid down by the Saviour of poor, lost, and ruined sinners while He mingled with His disciples during His sojourn in this unfriendly world.

We claim to have the doctrine of Christ and His apostles handed down more than 1,900 years ago. Are we living up to this in discipline and practice? I am afraid not; in fact, I know we are not. Do we visit the sick and the widows as we once did? I am inclined to believe not. Do we all fill our seats in the house of God as we should? My answer is no! Too many times we would rather go to some worldly place of amusement than to the house of God, the sweetest place on earth. When one joins the church he or she obligates himself or herself to fill their seats in the house of God unless providentially hindered. Are we doing our duty'? Excuses of all kinds are made, and our ministers are obligated to preach to empty seats, which is discouraging to him and all faithful members. The writer of this article has had a name among the Baptists for more than sixty years, and is convinced the sweetest place in this war-torn world is when he is filling his seat in the house of God, listening to the melting story of the cross delivered by some good, humble watchman on the walls of Zion. Many are the cases in life's desert pathway we can look back to, and say the Lord is mine and I am His. Bless His holy name in saving a poor sinner like me.

There seems to be a neglect on the part of some to pass the weak churches by and go where there are greener pastures. This ought not to be, for Christ while on earth with His disciples said, "For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them." Let us pray God that we may take our harps down from the willows lest we find, as was the case with the churches of the Laodiceans, Re 3:15-16, "I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth." Let us pray God to give us grace and strength to resist the powers of darkness, and have our lamps trimmed and burning when the bridegroom comes to take His jewels home to live with Him in the climes of immortal glory where wars are unknown, and where all is love and peace throughout eternity. When we have been there ten thousand years we have no less days to sound His praise than when we first begun. May this be our happy lot and God speed the time to leave this world of sin and sorrow. This does not apply to Primitive Baptists only, but to all who believe the same Bible doctrine regardless of race, creed, or color.  Farewell till we meet again in time or eternity. 

W. H. WALLACE

CIRCULAR LETTER OF THE EBENEZER ASSOCIATION FOR 1858

CIRCULAR LETTER OF THE EBENEZER ASSOCIATION FOR 1858 (1959, January)

The Ebenezer Baptist Association, in session with the Robertson River Church, Madison County, to all them that love the Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity, sends Christian love.

DEAR BRETHREN—When the heart is instructed by the God of Heaven, and the pen of erring mortals guided by Him, much good may arise from epistles of love. Efforts of the most brilliant genius, unless directed by Him, will prove to be nought but the fading track of the short-lived meteor. In this attempt to address you, we hope sincerely, that our minds will be led to the contemplation of those things which immediately concern our welfare, and God's glory.

We propose making the Church of Christ the theme of this letter. The object was contemplated by the love of God, before the hills were tinged by the rich hues of Heaven's light, or a human voice awoke their echoes. When we consider who that God is, whose perfections swell beyond the limits of the mortal mind, and that He loves—what an exalted idea must we form of the object—the Bride, the Lamb's wife. Our description will be poor indeed, when compared with the outburst of the wise man, who asks, "Who is she that looketh forth as the morning, fair as the moon, clear as the sun, and terrible as an army with banners?" St. John, when on the lonely isle in vision sublime, beheld the "Holy City, New Jerusalem, coming down from God out of Heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband." Such are the illusions made by inspiration to that fair one—the Church of Jesus, that shall ere long receive the embrace of Heaven's King, and be admitted to privileges that she has now no stretch of mind to conceive of. An admission into a mansion of God's own structure, and furniture, is the ultimate destination of that people, that were loved even when dead in sins. They, with all the rest of mankind, lost in the fall the image of God, they became depraved, and enmity, and hatred, took the place of innocence. Was there anything in this degraded spectacle to elicit the love of God?

Let the bleeding Saviour answer. He offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears, because He was sent into the world to die the just for the unjust. He was given that the Church might be raised from ruin, cleansed from her stains. by His blood, elevated high up in the top of the mountain, and exalted above the hills. The Church collective is a congregation of believers called out of the world, and is the pillar and ground of the truth. While such a thing as the Church of God does exist upon earth, amongst the lo-heres and lo-theres, an earnest inquiry may arise in the minds of many, how is she to be designated?

We answer, by the Doctrine, by the Ordinances, and by the Practice, that characterized the first Gospel Church, that was constituted at Jerusalem, and which were made known by the teachings of Christ, and. His Apostles, who bore the word of the Lord from Jerusalem to all nations.

To show what was taught, we will quote from their own pens. Paul in the discharge of this great commission says, to the Galatian brethren (1:4,) who gave Himself for our sins that He might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father. It is said by him to the Roman brethren, (3 :25,) "Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification." —This was done, as we learn from Ac 2:23, by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, clearly showing that Christ was predestinated to cleanse His people from all iniquity. Having predestinated them to the adoption of children, according to the good pleasure of His will (Eph 1:5).

In this chapter at the 4th verse, Election is taught, "As He has chosen us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love. In Joh 15:13, it is written, Ye have not chosen me, (says Christ,) but I have chosen you.

The commissioned ministers taught also Effectual Calling, Justification, and Glorification, (Ro 8:39). Paul says, Moreover whom He did predestinate them He also called, and whom He called, them He also justified, and whom he justified He also glorified. Among the burnished gems that embellish the Christian cabinet, Sanctification and Adoptlon are not the least conspicuous. Paul to the Thessalonian brethren (2 :13,) gives this testimony, "Because God bath from the beginning, chosen you to salvation, through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth." (Ga 4:4-5,) "But when the fulness 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." These points of doctrine referred to, show the mind of God in regard to His people before the world was made, resulting in their manifestation in time.

Here is the bone of contention between the children of the bond woman, and the children of the free, whether the children are brought into this state by the free and sovereign grace of God, or by that plan that is based upon conditions. Upon Scriptural ground we make the assertion, that it is free and unconditional.

1. From man's incompetency to perform conditions acceptable to God, because his mind is enmity against God, not subject to His law, neither indeed can be, (Ro 8:7).

2. The Scriptures affirm, that it is the work of God alone. (2Ti 1:9,) Paul says, "who hath called us with a 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." And to Tit 3:4-5, "But after that the kindness, and love of God, our Saviour, toward man appeared, not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, by the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Ghost." This is the testimony of the Scriptures, and many (thank God) respond to the sentiment of sovereign grace, having this experience, that God found them in a waste howling wilderness, He led them about, He instructed them, He drew them by the cords of His love, and made them willing to forsake all and follow Him, and to obey His ordinances, viz.:

Baptism, (which is immersion) and the Lord's Supper. A great effort has been made to change the simplicity of the ordinance of Baptism, and instead of conforming to the plain Scriptural injunction, the wits of the world have been taxed to their utmost, to establish upon the ruins of the Bible ordinance the traditions of men. We have what we believe to be the word of God and must be governed by it. Matthew tells us in the 3rd chapter that Jesus came to John to be baptized of him, and Jesus when He was baptized went up straightway out of the water. In the 8th of Acts, 38 and 39th verses, we have this account of Philip and the Eunuch. "And he commanded the chariot to stand still; and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the Eunuch; and he baptized him, and when they were come up out of the water the spirit of the Lord caught away Philip." What can be easier of comprehension than this? a fool need not err. Immersion is clearly taught in these quotations, and we feel called upon to act only in accordance with this plain interpretation.

The sacrament kept in a proper way belongs alone to the church of Christ, and no one has any right to the table of the Lord, but those who have submitted to its prerequisite, immersion! Baptism is the first thing in the commission after discipling. Peter said to the convicted Jews, on the day of Pentecost, Repent and be baptized; and it is added, "Then they that gladly received his word were baptized, and they continued steadfast in the Apostles' doctrine, and fellowship, and breaking of bread, and prayer." The Church must conform to this teaching, and shut her doors upon all who will not obey it!

The Church of Christ is also known by her practice. In her primitive days, so strict and unwavering was she in the doctrines, and ordinances of Christ, that the wrath of ungodly men was brought down upon her. Her members were thrown in prison, threats, and persuasions, were alike employed to make them recant the doctrine, and throw off their allegiance to  the King of Heaven, but this treatment drove them closer to Jesus. The true Church was ready at any moment, to resign her worldly goods, the endearments of home, and life itself, for the cause of Christ. The shaping of her conduct to suit the world, and to conform to its fashions, and follies, was never seen.— She acted as if her desire was to carry out the design of God in calling her out of the world that was to glorify Him upon earth.

(Continued Next Month)

CIRCULAR LETTER OF THE EBENEZER ASSOCIATION FOR 1858 (1959, February)

(Continued from Last Month)

The Church of Jesus is the light of the world, a city that is set on a hill. The light that is shed around her, shows her high and elevated position, and exposes her to the view of all men. She is clean and white, every imaginary spot, that appears upon her fair escutcheon is readily seen by the world, and used as a proof against her legitimate claims. "Behold," says. the wise man "thou art fair my love, behold thou art fair." To sustain the honor of her King is pre-eminent; and therefore the constant exhortations of the faithful, to keep unspotted from the world, not to come down from her lofty height, to sit in the shades of night, and in the region and shadow of death, nor to place her light under a bushel. But let your conversation (says the Apostle) be as it becometh the Gospel of Christ, "That ye may be blameless, and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world," (Php 2:15). Have we, brethren, as the professed Church of Jesus, no wish to reach this standard? is not the honor of our Lord as dear to us as it was to the primitive saints? or do we in these degenerate days, think it nothing worth while, to keep ourselves from reproach, and the way of the Lord from being evil spoken of? Is it assuming too much, dear brethren, to call on you, to examine whether the distinction, between the Church and the world, is as manifest now are formerly? Is not the similarity too great? Do we all speak the same things? are we perfectly joined together in the same mind and judgment? Do we bear each other's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ?

Paul to the Roman brethren (15:1-3) says, We that are strong, ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves. For even Christ pleased not Himself, but as it is written, the reproaches of them, that reproached thee fell on me. Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, (Php 2:5). Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others. Christians belong to each other; if a member of this heavenly family is engaged in any business, or is pursuing any course of conduct, that is hurtful to the cause of the blessed Redeemer, he ought to abandon it. "For ye are not your own, ye are bought with a price." You are not placed here for the accumulation of wealth, and worldly honors, but for God's glory, and to fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ. Let us exhort one another daily, while it is called to day, lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin, (Heb 3:13). Visit each other, talk of Jesus and the Resurrection. Neglect not the house of God. Pray with and for each other. Administer to the wants of the poor, after the example of Jesus. "That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of. God.—Amen."

—Zions Advocate, 1858.

CIRCULAR LETTER OF THE KETOCTON ASSOCIATION FOR 1858

CIRCULAR LETTER OF THE KETOCTON ASSOCIATION FOR 1858 (1959, February)

The Messengers and Ministers, composing the Ketocton Association, to the Brethren, Churches, and Associations of like precious faith, sendeth Christian salutation.
VERY DEAR BRETHREN.—Through the mercies of our covenant God, we have been permitted once more to meet together in an associated capacity for the purpose of maintaining brotherly love and unanimity of doctrine and practice according to the Scriptures.

As there are so many different sects of religionists, and so many new schemes and plans sought out to constitute and establish their doctrines, that we know not to what length they may be permitted to go; and not only the world but those of whom we did hope better things are following their pernicious ways. We may well say, this is a day to try men's souls, and to cause us to reflect seriously on the words of the prophet, "Stand ye in the way, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls" (Jer 6:16). "To the law and testimony, if they speak not according to the word, it is because there is no light in them" (Isa 8:20). And as our attention is called to the way and old path, it must, of course lead our minds to the days when we first saw ourselves sinners before God. And 0 brethren! can we ever forget that awful state and condition we were then placed in! but when we were almost despairing of all hope, thinking we were lost and ruined sinners, justly condemned by God's righteous law, he, by his loving kindness, opened our eyes, unstopped our ears, and prepared our hearts to understand and realize our awful condition before God, when, by the power of our precious Jesus we were quickened into life, and brought to see, and know, and feel ourselves hell-deserving sinners justly condemned by our own sins. 0, brethren, could we have realized one promise of hope, it would have been like cold water to a thirsty tongue.

But we could find no way for escape; and though we sought forgiveness with every power within us, it availed nothing. After we labored and toiled till hope was gone, and all power had failed, and we had given up all hope; then, brethren, at an unexpected time, there was a way opened to our minds, a way which had been hidden from our view through all our trials and distress, a way which was made plain by the Holy Spirit, talking of the things of God, and showing them to us, by applying to us the promises recorded for his dear children to receive in due time, and we find them thus, "I am the way, the truth, and the life, no man cometh to the Father but by me" (Joh 14:6).

"A high way shall be there and a way, and it shall be called the way of holiness; the unclean shall not pass over it. But it shall be for those: the wayfaring man, though a fool shall not err therein" (Isa 35:8).

"Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are they that mourn, for they shall be comforted.—Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness for they shall be filled," &c. (Mt 5:3-6).

Now, dear brethren, when these or similar applications were revealed to you how did your soul leap for joy? did you not realize those great and precious
promises? and did not your very soul rejoice when you beheld Christ the way, the truth, and the life? an all sufficient Saviour, just such an one as you needed? that He was a full and complete Saviour, and was all you needed in time and in eternity? And with your whole mind you could say with the Psalmist, "Bless the Lord, 0 my soul, and all that it is within me bless His holy name." This, brethren, is the way, and the old path in which, we trust, our souls have been brought from darkness to light and from the power of sin, to the glorious liberty of the sons of God.

This is the way we have received Christ Jesus the Lord. And we desire so to walk in Him, according to the command of the Apostle, "As ye have, therefore, received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in Him. Rooted and built upon Him, and established in the faith as ye have been taught; abounding therein with thanksgiving, beware, lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the traditions of men, after the traditions of the world, and not after Christ, for in Him dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily" (Col 2:6-9.)—"For other foundations no man can lay than is laid, which is Jesus Christ" (1Co 3:11). And we are "commanded in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ to withdraw ourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly" (2Th 3:6). And to "mark them that cause divisions and offences, contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned and avoid them" (Ro 16:17). And now, dear brethren, when the old paths are so plainly pointed out to us by the word of truth, should we not take heed and stand fast in the faith once delivered to the saints? And though we may be scoffed at by the world and all the hosts of the anti-Christian tribe in this day of delusion, 'tis only a proof of that spirit which put to death the Lord of life and glory. And it will, and has made itself manifest against the children of God through all generations. And, 0, brethren, our prayer is, that He that dwelt in the bush, may abide in us, sustain and support us in all our trials and tribulations, and enable us to contend earnestly for the faith once delivered to the saints and reject every false way.

THOS. BUCK, Moderator.
THOS. N. ASHBY, Clerk.
Zions Advocate, 1858.

Circular Letter, 1852

Circular Letter, 1852 (1988, March-April)

Christian Patience by Elder R. Ross

Very Dear Brethren -- At your last annual meeting you agreed to have a circular, and that I should prepare one for inspection and choose the subject.

Now, brethren, I desire to call your attention to a few things relative to Christian patience.

Patience is a heavenly grace; it comes from above, from the Father of lights; He is called the God of Patience. It is increased and promoted by the Word of Christ, which he calls the word of his patience, and by the afflictions, which the people of God are exercised. Tribulation -- or the trying of your faith -- worketh patience. It is an essential part of real godliness, without which a person cannot be a complete Christian, hence that exortation in the first book of James — "Let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire; wanting nothing." It is connected with faith, hope, love, meekness, obedience and comfort, from which it appears to be of great importance in Christian life.

Patience consists in bearing afflictions without murmuring; enduring injuries, without revenge, and in waiting for suspended favors till God sees fit to bestow them. Tribulation disturbs the calm of life, and troubles its waters. Patience will still the mind, restore its peace, even in the midst of the most distressing circumstances. It is the opposite of passion; it is that by which we hold the reins of our spirits, or as the Lord expresses it, possesses our souls.

Beloved -- We must expect, in this world to endure afflictions from the hand of God. At such times passion would murmur and rebel like Jehoram, who, in the time of famine flew in the face of God, himself, saying, "this evil is from the Lord. Why should I wait for the Lord any longer;" but patience in like circumstances would enable us to say, with the church, "in adversity I will bear the indignation of the Lord. because I have sinned against Him."

Passion excited a better man than Jehoram to rebellion, and upon a much less trying occasion. Jonah, in his temper of mind retied and fainted at the
loss of a gourd, whereas David, in the exercise of patience, submitted guilty to God, saying, "if he says I have no delight in thee, behold, here I am." Said the good old king, "let him do to me as seemeth good unto him."

To you accounts not only to suffer affliction, from the hand of God, but to receive injurious treatment from the hands of men. None are exempt from this if they live long in the world, and Christians may expect an additional share of it on account of their attachment to that which condemns the conduct of the world. In these cases passion would seek immediate revenge like Peter when he drew his sword and cut off the ear of Malchus.

We must expect to wait for a time, ere we enjoy those good things on which our hopes and desires terminate. It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of God. God exercised the patience of His people of old in this way. He brought them out of Egypt with a promise of rest in Canaan; but He led them about for forty years ere it was accomplished. He gave His church the promise of His Son, the Messiah; but one generation fell after another, for the space of four thousand years ere it was fulfilled; and all this to exercise their faith and patience. God still tries our patience in a similar way. We have often to wait long in the path of duty for an answer for the success in our labors, for good and comfort under our troubles many, like the stony ground, have experienced some kind of a religious change. They have received the word with joy, and expected a succession of pleasure to attend them through life, and then to be taken to Heaven; but finding, as they go forward temptations and persecutions in their way, they become offended and turn their backs upon God and religion. The opposite of this, brethren, if the true Christian. His life is devoted to bring forth the fruit of patience, and most of those who went to glory from this were such as came out of the great tribulations, and we have no warrant to conclude that all hardships and difficulties are now taken out of the king's highway to Zion. Allow us, therefore, to offer a few remarks to your consideration, which may have a tendency in such exercises direct to excite you in patience to possess your souls:

First — Remember, brethren, you are not to be slothful, but followers of them who, through faith and patience, inherit the promises. Consider well the
afflictions, temptations and trials of the most eminent saints of God, upon record, in the Holy Scriptures and with what faith and patience they endured them. Look over the account given in the 11th chapter of Hebrews. Moses was exercised with many great difficulties; burdened with grievous trials; but he endured them, as seeing him that was invisible; but had respect unto the recompense of the reward.

Holy Job met with great losses and afflictions in the midst of which he could say: "Naked I came from my mother's womb, and naked shall I return; hither the Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away. Blessed be the name of the Lord." David, the man after God's own heart, compared his afflictions and distresses to being_ in a horrible pit and mirey clay, in which situation nevertheless, waited patiently for Jehovah, who heard and delivered him and set his feet on a rock, established his goings, and put a new song in his mouth. Jeremiah, who had seen afflictions by the rod of God's wrath, could yet attest that it was good that a man should both hope and wait for the salvation of God. The Apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ, and other primitive Christians endured a great fight of afflictions and took joyfully the spoiling of their goods, knowing in themselves that in Heaven they had a more enduring substance. Wherefore brethren seeing we have so many blessed examples before us, let us lay-aside every weight and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race set before us. looking to Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him, endured the cross, despised the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. To encourage you in the exercise of this grace of patience, let us remind you of the end and design of God in all the afflictions He suffers to befall His children. Consider that He doth not afflict willingly nor grieve the sons of men, but He doeth it for our profit, that we might be partakers of His holiness.

Now indeed no chastisings for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous; nevertheless, afterwards it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness to them that are exercised thereby. Hence one whose sufferings as well as labors were more abundant than those of his brethren, though they all had a plentiful share of afflictions and trials. could confidently declare. We know that all things work together for good to them that love God — to them who are the called according to His purpose. Job. amidst all his distress, expressed his faith in this comfortable truth, where he said, "He knoweth the way I take, and when He hath tried me I shall come forth as gold." Remember then, beloved, when you are in heaviness through manifold temptations there is a need be for it, and that the trial of your faith being more precious than of gold that perisheth shall be found unto praise and honor and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ. Is it not then a reason why you should patiently endure the cross that may be laid upon you, and stand still and wait for the salvation of God? Carefully guard against a peevish, fretful, murmuring, impatient, angry, revengeful disposition, which is so contrary to the nature and tendency of the gospel, offensive to God and destructive to your own peace and happiness. Consider how necessary is the exercise of patience in order to your enjoyment of the comforts of the Scriptures and your bringing forth fruit unto God. As such who are waiting for the promises, bliss and glory. Remember your crosses, trials and afflictions are but for a season, and how short a season when compared to an eternity of happiness. Why, then, should such transitory troubles discompose your souls and carry them out of your power. Patience will enable you to maintain a sedate self-possession, and to anticipate the promised rest. Let it therefore be your constant endeavor, by the grace of God, to be patient in your tribulations, knowing that tribulation worketh patience and patience experience, and experience hope, and hope maketh us not ashamed because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit, which is given unto us.

Flee from every sin; be concerned, through the Spirit, to mortify every disposition, to curb and subdue every inordinate affection and bitter passion. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good; do justly; love mercy; walk humbly with God, with full purpose of heart; cleave unto the Lord; be content with such things as ye have, for He hath said, "I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee." Watch unto prayer with all perseverance. Converse much with the word of God; regularly attend on His worship in private and public.

We hope these hints may be received by you in love. Let them abide with you; do not content yourselves with barely reading them once or twice and then lay them out of sight, but frequently turn to them and pray that they may he useful to you, and we beseech you to forget not to pray for us, for we are in a wilderness as well as you are — being men of like passions with yourselves and equally exposed. Pray, therefore that we may be comforted in all our tribulations; that we may be able to comfort others who are in trouble, by the comfort we ourselves are comforted of God.

Now, may the Lord direct all our hearts into the love of God and into patient waiting for Christ.

Thus we conclude commending you to God and to the Word of His grace, which is able to build you up and to give you an inheritance among them that are sanctified, Amen.

--Circular Letter of the Obion Association, September 1852, from "Edgar's Church History, by Elder Lewis M. Edgar, page 123.

COME AND HEAR, ALL YE THAT FEAR GOD

COME AND HEAR, ALL YE THAT FEAR GOD (1946, February)

(By Terry Trapp, Copied from Zion's Advocate, Oct. 6, 1860)

Come and hear, all ye that fear God, and 1 will declare what He hath done for my soul.—Ps 66:16.

1st. In reference to those who fear God. Who are they? And why do they fear Him? It is because they know and love Him by that wisdom which is from above —the Lord Jesus Christ, who is the wisdom of God, by whom alone we are made wise unto salvation, who of God is made unto us wisdom, righteousness, sanctification and redemption; thus the fear of the Lord is called the beginning of wisdom, and amounts to a fountain of life to escape the snare of death. In the times of anti-Christ we discover "they that feared the Lord spake often one to another, and the Lord hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before Him for them that feared the Lord, and that thought upon His name. And they shall be mine, saith the Lord of hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels; ,and I will spare them, as a man spareth his own son that serveth him." (Mal 3:16-17.) This final fear or regard to the divine will grows out of love to Him. They love Him and therefore fear to displease Him—hence they hate and forsake sin and groan for a conformity to His divine image, which leads them to bear the cross in all things, and walk in the precepts of the gospel, attending upon the ordinances of the house of God, and thus evince by the spirit they bear that they are born of God. This is that class of people whom the sweet singer in Israel calls upon to "Come and hear what God has done for his soul." This text, with many others, authorizes us in saying that something of the utmost importance is done for the soul. In the first place the soul was included with the body in the election of grace, as God made the soul of man as well as the body (Jer 38:16; Isa 57:16). And because it, the soul, is a creature of God, and fell with the body by reason of sin, under the curse of the law (as it is declared the soul that sinned should die), it could not apply to a part that actually previously existed in Christ, and therefore must be the created soul of the Adamic man, and consequently a subject of redemption with the body. To the law and testimony as proof, "The Lord redeemeth the soul of His servants; and none of them that trust in Him shall be desolate." (Ps 34:22.) Again, "For the redemption of their soul is precious, and it ceaseth for ever." (Ps 49:8.) "Thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thy holy One to see corruption." (Ps 16:10.) This is why Christ offered His soul with the sacrifice of His body, for the redemption of each that His soul became exceedingly sorrowful even unto death. Therefore if while we were enemies, we have been redeemed and reconciled to God, by the death of His Son, we shall also be saved by His life. This is why the soul is a subject of the forgiveness of sins, and of the healing of the malady caused by sin, which is to the resurrection of life by the implantation of the life of Christ in the soul which awakened Him from the slumber of death, who is the resurrection and the life, and he cannot possess Christ in his soul who has not been resurrected to life, because Christ is the resurrection and the life, hence it is written, "you bath He quickened who were dead in trespasses and sins." (Eph 1.) It is to these who have thus been made alive, that are called to hear what God hath done for their souls, none others could understand the glorious work which had been wrought for them. This work is further spoken of in Ps 19:7, "The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul; the testimony of the Lord is sure making wise the simple." But, says the disputant, conversion is a loose phrase and means a mere change of thought, and as the apostle that converteth another from the error of his ways, shall save a soul from death; therefore to admit, and therefore to make it mean more than a mere change of thought and action, would make one to be the saviour of another. Does not any body who is acquainted with the laws of our language know, that this is a subterfuge—a mere dodge of the truth of the subject. Let us try it by the Saviour who says, "Except ye be converted and become as a little child, ye can in no wise enter into the kingdom of heaven." Again, "Except a man be born again, he cannot see or enter in the kingdom of heaven." This is precisely the same language, from the same glorious Redeemer, who understood its appropriateness, to set forth the case in hand of the new birth of a sinner, and must be synonymous so far as the fact and effects are considered, otherwise God has two ways of translating the sinner from the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of His dear Son, and therefore two ways of salvation.

David does not mean the letter of the law in covenant form, in which case it can know no mercy, but worketh wrath on all it finds not in Christ by conversion or regeneration, or the new birth which I have proven to be synonymous with this term, by the highest authority. But the law or rule of the Spirit in Christ Jesus, which makes us free from the law of sin and death, for the law of the Spirit is but a transcript of His divine perfections; and when we possess in our souls His Holy Spirit, without which we are none of His, we have all the essence of the law, and the Spirit is life because of righteousness; but the body is dead because of sin; that is, it is kept inactive from the commission of sin. It is impossible for a soul to possess the Holy Spirit of God, and not possess the principle of holiness, which is the very essence of the law, which is holy, spiritual, just and good; so that without this law of the Spirit a man cannot be acquainted with the perfections of deity and the disparity of his own fallen nature in contrast with Him; or could not rightly appreciate the need and worth of a Saviour. "I will put my law in their hearts and print them in their minds; I will be to them a God and they shall be to me a people." This law of the Spirit is the fulfilment of ancient promise. By the prophets, I put my Spirit within them, and cause them to walk in my statutes, and do my judgments. Thus He sets on the throne of their hearts, as a refiner's fire and fuller's soap, to purify the sons of Levi, and redeem His people from all iniquity and purify unto Himself a peculiar people zealous of good works, to show forth His praise. Says David, "Bless the Lord 0 my soul and forget not all His benefits, who forgiveth thine iniquities, and who healeth all thy diseases." It is manifest that the soul here spoken of is the soul of one descended from Adam, and it is our relation to the first Adam that our souls have iniquities attached, requiring to be forgiven or the malady of sin to be healed. The soul of David was born from a natural death into a spiritual life. As he was first natural he could not be a fit subject of a spiritual kingdom till he was born of the Spirit, and according to our expositors of language, to convert is to change. Those who deny the regeneration of the soul, have to apply the terms conversion or change of the soul---the forgiveness of the iniquity of the soul—the saving of the soul—the purifying of the soul through the Spirit quickening from death in trespasses and sins, and passing from death unto life to that immaculate love that pre-existed in Christ before all worlds were. We should think they would not dare thus to blaspheme. There are those, and to their shame be it said, who roundly assert there is no change in the Adamic man. But brethren and sisters in the Lord, if we have been experimentally taught the truth, let us contend earnestly for the truth, let us continue to speak the truth in love one to another trusting in Christ for all things. "Come and hear, all ye that fear God, and I will declare what He hath done for my soul."

COME, AND LET US REASON TOGETHER

COME, AND LET US REASON TOGETHER (1950, August)

"Come now, and let us reason together saith the Lord."—Isa 1:18. Here is a special people addressed, "a small remnant." They tremble and fear tinder a feeling sense of their guilt and utter unworthiness; but God mercifully calls unto them, saying, "Come, let us reason together."

Some people think they are as good as any of their neighbors, and a deal better than most; and they try to thus comfort themselves. But unless God brings them to repentance and teaches them to place entire dependence upon Christ, they will sink into black despair. The Lord does not say, "Come pious, come virtuous ;" but "though your sins be as scarlet they shall be white as snow; though they be red like crimson they shall be as wool."

The Pharisees have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge ; they, being ignorant of God's righteousness, go about to establish their own righteousness, not submitting themselves to the righteousness of God; and thus they delude their own souls. But the characters alluded to in our text feel themselves to be double-dyed sinners. Do you really feel it? Do you confess it before God? If so, you are precious in His sight!

A sinner is a sacred thing;
The Holy Ghost hath made him so.

God will appear and save such as feel their need of Him; He came to seek and to save such, even them that were lost. The seeds of iniquity are sown in your heart. Saul of Tarsus walked according to the law, blameless ; but when God opened his heart, sin revived, and he died; and sin, taking occasion by the commandment, wrought in him all manner of concupiscence. He felt more deeply lost; his heart was circumcised, and he lay, before a heart-searching and rein-trying God, vile, polluted, and miserable.

Listen to the nature of the call: "Come unto me." How endearing is this word, "Come." What soul-subduing language! To think that the great Eternal Three-in-One should thus affectionately invite poor sinners to come and reason with Him! We should think it an act of condescension if the queen were to reason with her plebian subjects, or if a dignified person were to say to a poor sick and famishing creature, "Come to me, and I will be your friend. I will relieve your distress, and comfort you." The poor thing's heart would gladly listen and leap for joy. But here you see Infinite Purity standing at the door of mercy, and saying to such as feel their desolate state, "Come unto me." Then think not to place any hope in what you have done, or what you can do; but come, poor sinner, just as you are, with your burden of sin and guilt ; for Jesus says, "Come unto me, all ye that are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest." You stand between love and mercy on the one hand, and law and justice on the other. Of old, the leper had to be taken to the priest before he could be pronounced clean. You have the leprosy in your heart, and the blessed Spirit must lead you to Christ, who is our High Priest, to be cleansed.

Some might ask, "How are we to be led?" You must be blest with that faith which is of the operation of God the Spirit. Faith in Him will lead you to holiness and purity. "The Spirit and the bride say, Come ; let him that heareth say, Come ; let him that is athirst come; and whosoever will, let him come, and take of the Water of life freely."

Here is the Eternal Spirit saying, "Come ;" and the bride, the Lamb's wife, saying, "Come," and John, who heard, and all Christ's ministers say, "Come." To whom do they speak? Are you a sensibly-lost sinner? Have you been led to believe that Christ is a Saviour for the lost? Are you thirsting, panting, and groaning for mercy? You are the characters addressed. Are you willing to be saved in Gods own way—by grace—and that God shall be glorified in your salvation? The Lord never says "Come" to any before lie has made them feel their need of Him; and He makes them not only willing but glad to come. "Thy people shall be willing in the day of thy power."

So that there is a lawful coming. It is to come as a beggar, poor and helpless, maimed, halt, blind; feeling that you have no legs to stand upon, all your earthly props being gone. You then come breathing after mercy, sighing like the prisoner for liberty to believe. "But," some one attacked you and attempted to make you believe there is no God, he could not. What is believing? First, to believe that God is, that He is a rein-trying God, who will by no means clear the guilty, and not such a careless judge as some imagine. Next, that Christ is a mighty Saviour, one who can save the guilty. And, next that you are guilty and need such a Saviour. In these things you have the full assurance of faith; and by and by you shall have faith to believe that that Saviour is yours. The Lord draw you. Ask yourselves, can you seek refuge anywhere else? Then cry mightily to God for pardon; for Christ, the God of your salvation, will hear you. Why, poor dear soul, if it were possible for such a one as you to be sent to hell, they would not know what to do with you there. What! A poor sinner, groaning on account of his sins and panting after Christ as his Saviour, be sent to hell? Impossible! The very thought gives the lie to the gospel of God's grace.

"Come and let us reason together." "What are we to reason about?" "About your unbelief." As though Christ had said, "Did you think I did not come to save you. You believe I came to deliver the captives and set the prisoners free. You are bound, you are in prison, yet you think I will not set you free. Well, this is your carnal unbelief ; but by my Spirit you shall be made free. You say your sins are so great and so many. Did I not save a David, a Manasseh, a Magdalene, a Saul of Tarsus, a Peter, though he swore he never knew me, even after it had been revealed to him by my Spirit that I am the Christ? Is anything too hard for me? I came to save sinners, not the righteous. And has it not been revealed to thee that I am just such a Saviour as thou needest? Come, now, and let us reason about these matters."

The reason is not of a carnal nature. We cannot rightly go before God in our own strength, but on His strength ; namley, in Christ, who is our strength and our shield. If we truly confess our wretchedness, vileness, and total inability, God will enable us to reason, as expressed in Ho 14:2: "Take with you word, and turn to the Lord, and say, Take away all iniquity and receive us graciously; so will we render the calves of our lips." Jacob wrestled with God and prevailed; but not in his own strength but in the strength of Christ he had power with God and prevailed. Moses pleaded with God for the children of Israel; and what were his arguments? He prayed, "For the glory of thy great name is at stake." And where is God's great name? It is in Christ. But some in our day say, "Christ has done all He can to save sinners; and it only remains for sinners to do their part, and then they will be saved ;" and yet they are so foolish as to pray to God to help them. Thus does human reason contradict itself. But this is not the reason God intends. A poor sinner will be like Job, confessing his vileness, and saying, "What shall I answer thee?" God will answer thee, "I am thy salvation." You will say, "I am unworthy;" but God will say, "In me thou shalt have peace." Thus He will glorify His name in the hearts of the people.

Copied from "Sermons," by Wm. Gadsby; Manchester England, 1840

Cometh my help

Cometh my help (1990, July-August)

(Copied from The Gospel Messenger July 1888, page 297)

"I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help." Ps 121:1

There is no blessing of this tearstained world comparable to the revelation of God's love to men, and the gift of faith to their poor hearts. Great is our poverty and desolate our state, if we can only number as our friends the frail creatures of mortality, whose breath is in their nostrils. No arm offlesh, whether wielded by wisest kings or strongest giants, will avail in the extremities of man. No king is saved by the multitude of an host; no man delivered by much strength. A horse is a vain thing for safety, and chariots have lost their occupants in the mighty deep. No treasures of this earth will endure the fire of God's crucible. Ships go down and armies perish before the Almighty's breath, and before the requirements of His justice, all nations become as the dust of the balance, and guilt-stricken souls tremble as the topmost bough before the storm. Then there is need of substantial help. Tempests must pour their fury upon the earth's wide surface, and earthquakes shake its hidden depths. Pestilence, and war, and famine hang over its course, and the great silent reaper will never cease to use his glittering blade. Cursed has been this earthly planet, and fulI of sorrow, since man put forth his hand in disobedience, and thorn and thistles and the sweat of labor mark the footsteps of every generation. Disease and death, pain, misery and woe, blanched cheeks, trembling knees and failing hearts — is not the world full of them since God called sinners to account? but 0, my friends, these afflictions, the heritage of woe common to all men, are but parts of his ways in rebuking sin. The deep thunder of His power who can know, when in the majesty of His throne He comes into the hearts of men, and by His mighty Spirit convinces them of all their ungodly deeds, when indignation and wrath, tribulation and anguish comes upon the convicted soul of Jew, Gentile and Barbarian? When the day cometh that shall burn as an oven; the great and terrible day of the Lord, when He shall sit as a refiner's fire and a purifier of silver; who may abide in such a day, when there stands before the condemned sinner the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of the Almighty God? Who shall be able to stand when God, as a consuming fire, shall declare that the day of vengeance is in His heart, and He shall bid the sword of divine justice awake and vindicate the honor of His throne?

Surely when men shall come to know the exceeding sinfulness of sin — when they realize the majesty of God's insulted law, and find themselves transgressors in His sight — when the heart is smitten and the soul crushed under the burden of indignation — when the strength of man is brought down to the earth — when the righteous God trieth the hearts and reins of men, and they are compassed with gall and travail, surely there will be a wailing cry of distress, a lifting of the eyes for help, and blessed be the God of mercy, this cry will not be lost upon the winds. The longed-for help will come; it will come in time to save, and with power to answer the utmost need. That this is so, we have only to consider the expression drawn from the inspiring words of David, the man of God and representative of godly men: "I will lift up mine eyes to the hills, from whence cometh my help." What a sweet and grateful song was this from a Christian heart! What an abiding trust in the Lord God of Israel, under whose wings he was brought to trust. Could any language better demonstrate a living principle of faith? and wonderful to say, it reveals the strength and boldness of this implanted principle no less than its humility. There is here shown no weak and wavering trust in the arm of the Lord. Having found the true anchoring place of a helpless soul, the redeemed cannot turn again to the quicksands of human strength. That has ever proved a thorn-hedge to lean upon, and now the believer, through evil as well as good report, must trust in the hope of Israel. With this faith in his heart he can say, "though He slay me, I will trust in Him; though the fig tree and vine forget to blossom; though olives fail and fields are barren; though the flocks be cut off and the stalls are empty, yet will I rejoice in God; yea, though I walk through the very valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil. I will lift up mine eyes to the hills from whence cometh my help." 0, what confidence can faith impart! Blessings may linger, but no delay can dissipate this faith. Adversities may come, but cannot destroy it. Thought this help may be tardy he will wait; though it be not in view, he will lift up his eyes to the hills from whence it cometh. His faith is able to remove mountains, and he knows that blessings will come. Though strong this faith, it is not arrogant; rather, it is lowly and unassuming. It is abiding but not clamorous. Though strong as the lasting hills, it is gentle as the dews of heaven. Though but a little smoking flax, it will not be quenched till it laughs in victory. A bruised reed, it will rise up from storms that overthrow the cedars of Lebanon. If the question is asked, "where is boasting?" in the sense of trusting in human strength, it cannot be found in the children's faith. It does not parade its prayers, and fastings, and tithes, as a plea before the Lord. It says not to companions, stand aside, for I am holier than thou. It boasts not of being free from sin these many years. It never claims to move the arm that moves the world. It does not say, I will command this help to appear; it does not say that I will lift up my right arm and bring this help. 0, no; its words are, I will lift up mine eyes to the hills; just lift the eyes. A poor Christian must this be, in the world's esteem, who speaks of looking away to the hills for help; but 0, what a strong believer, to declare that this help cometh. Say those who have their own beard to eat, their own apparel to put on, who even have help to spare the Lord: What is this? what can there be in a look? Well, go and ask the penitent and weeping Peter, when Jesus looked such anguish into his soul; ask the poor, bitten, dying Hebrews who looked upon the typical serpent in the wilderness and found it to be life to their souls. Ask the ends of the earth, who, at the Lord's command, have looked to God's lifted Son and found the blessing of redemption.

"I will lift up mine eyes to the hills from whence cometh my help." What and where are the hills to which distressed and needy souls would look for help? They cannot be the hills and high places and green trees where incense was burned to Baalim and heathen altars reared. It was not to Ararat this look was given, whose summit God prepared for the floating ark when he remembered Noah. That place was ofinterest as a door of hope to re-people a ruined world, but no help springs from thence to cleanse the guilty soul. It was not to lonely Nebo the pilgrim looked, the mountain that gave to Moses a pleasing sight of the goodly land, the historic spot from whence the great law-giver was gathered to his fathers in the sleeping tomb. The work of the school master must be supplemented by lessons from the throne of God. The help the poor soul now desires must be found far down the stream of time from the grave of Moses. Neither was it to Sinai's brow, that hill of the law, whose craggy heights loom up above the Arabian wilderness, that David desired to lift his eyes, for out of this fearful mountain, that burned with fire and shook with tempest, is heard the voice of terror:

"And justice cried, with frowning face,
This mountain is no hiding place."

My help, says every spiritual, sin-smitten David, comes from other hills than these,

"I cannot satisfy the law,
Nor hope nor comfort from it draw."

I am without strength. and am sore wounded and undone: I must seek more fruitful hills than these, for it is no common help I need, and blessed be the Lord Almighty, o made heaven and earth, there is a hill whose every step is consecrated ground. Up its ascending heights there once was led with base malefactors, One who was able to help and mighty to save, and it is to Him and His marvelous work on Calvary's sacred brow, my faith would look. Never did ensanguined field witness such tragic scenes as transpired on this chosen spot of Israel's redemption. Never did warrior meet with such foes as when the Captain of Salvation fought the battle of deliverance, with garments rolled in blood. 0, to this hill, this hill of the Lord, let my faith ascend, let mine eyes be lifted up; for He hath a sacrifice in this mountain, and the time has come. The Lamb, in purpose slain ere time began, cometh up from Edom with dyed garments from Bozrah to tread the winepress alone, and stain His raiment with this Idumaean slaughter. What a culminating hour was this! It seemed to be the day for which all time was made. The Son of God is there to offer Himself, without spot, to God. He is there to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself; to magnify the law and make it honorable; to meet the long-gathering storm of righteous vengeance; to receive the stroke to sinners due; to restore that which He took not away; when the sword of the Lord was bathed, as it were, in heaven, and atonement made for the heirs of promise; when the glorious sufferer should see of the travail of His soul, and should be satisfied; when the pen of eternal justice should inscribe upon the volume of the book that God's will is done; that reconciliation is made by His priceless death; that salvation's work is finished; and that all the house of the true Israel shall be justified and glory in the righteousness and strength of the all-prevailing Lamb of God who taketh away their sins; through whose stripes they are healed, and by whom they are redeemed from all iniquity to serve the living God.

Well may David lift up his eyes to Calvary for help, for it is there alone the free gift of grace hath abounded unto many, and it is alone through the intrinsic holiness and virtue of the offering on that sacred mount that any poor soul shall be saved from wrath, or made to forsake sin's destructive way. It is from Calvary, and all it represents, that help cometh to every sin-sick, heavy laden soul.

But the text says: "I will lift up mine eyes to the hills." And so there must be another hill to Christians dear; another mountain interwoven with our Redeemer's history — a chosen spot bearing some conspicuous part in the mission of Him who came to tread for awhile these earthly shores, and here work out the mystery of godliness, being seen of angels, believed on in the world and received up into glory. We have already considered the tragic scenes that have invested Calvary with such transcendent interest to perishing sinners and enriched it with hope and help for dying men. It was there our Lord and great Redeemer came to die, and there He came to conquer death and destroy the grave. It was there He died and gave up the ghost, and there He was buried to rise again. "Now, in the place where He was crucified was a garden, and in the garden a new sepulchre, wherein was never man yet laid," and there they laid our dead Immanuel. He had proven Himself equal to the test of love on the agonizing cross; will He now be able to dethrone the monster Death and spoil the tomb? 0, ye who doubt the glorious resurrection of our Lord, and consequently the resurrection of His redeemed, behold the issue; come to the new sepulchre on the appointed morn and see if it be possible that He be holden by death. Death had stilled the warm currect of His blood; the tomb had received His lifeless form, and the iron-hearted mob had demanded a great stone, an armed guard, and the king's seal to keep Him there. "Ye have a watch; go your way; make it as sure as you can." What excessive caution and unreasonable efforts to secure one they had already killed. And so they labored, but of what avail this striving of the potsherds in the great decisive hour so close at hand? The great stone, though bearing Pilate's seal, was as powerless to bind as a scarlet thread. It was rolled away to become a chair of state for the Lord's angel to sit upon, who, as a new and stronger guard, had superceded the once defiant soldiers who now. Romans as they were, fell trembling back to the state of death vacated by our rising Lord. Poor, presumptuous clay, they became as dead men before the blistering powers of Immanuel's angel, whose countenance was like lightning, and whose raiment was white as snow. And what of our glorious Lord? Come see His empty tomb, and say if He has not raised again the temple of His body. Hear the angel's challenge, why seek ye the living among the dead? He has verified His own decree: 0 death, I will be thy plague; 0 grave, I will be thy destruction. His words spoken in Galilee are come to pass; He is risen and is alive forevermore, and because He lives, every one of His dying saints shall live again in the courts of unfading bliss. And now, having destroyed the last enemy, which is death, the Prince of life must be received into these fields of glory until the restitution of all things.

The wonderful scenes in the great spiritual drama of man's redemption, which was enacted, as we have seen, on Calvary, are to be concluded and confirmed on another mountain. Having loved His own, He loved them to the end. Having died for their sins, and risen for their justification, there yet remains the last grand scene of this heavenly mystery which closes with His being received up into glory.

There was a mountain hard by Jerusalem that Jesus loved, and to its familiar haunts it was often His wont to go. There, deep in the olive's shade, or reclining on grassy slopes, He communed with His uncultured band, imparting such lessons and giving such comfort as might make the hearts of kings to leap for joy. Along these wooded hills His kingly word has revealed such power as could only emenate from the throne of the most high God. It was there He wept with the bereaved and broken-hearted, and there He called the dead to life again. It was from this mountain He sent disciples to find the colt tied, whereon never man sat, that He might ride into Jerusalem to visit the temple and see how it was profaned by the demon of money; and sitting on this same mountain side, He told His disciples how there hung over this beautiful temple an awful and complete destruction, and declared what fearful calamites were determined upon the degenerate Jewish race. And when, with His chosen ones, He had partaken of the last sad supper, full though it were of mystical meaning, and when they had sung their last recorded hymn, it was to this mountain they went out to talk of a smitten Shepherd and a scattered flock. It was here, while the dews fell, and the night went on, He talked of the trying ordeal just at hand, and alone with the Father plead and mourned the bitter cup suspended before His lips. Yes, it was dear Olivet, or Mount of Olives, that witnessed such scenes as might make angels weep and heaven rejoice. Centuries before, the far-seeing prophet had declared that in the gospel day His feet — the feet of our Lord— should stand on the Mount of Olives and it was to this mountain side He would at the last lead His witnesses, that they might, in the midst of associations dear to all, terminate the happiest companionship ever known on earth. It was here His last act was performed, and that was to bless, with lifted hands, His little flock, and while He yet blessed them, His waiting chariot — a burnished cloud of heaven — received Him, and before their steadfast gaze His beloved form disappeared in its flight to the glory world.

To such a hill then, as this, so fruitful of tender recollections, so dear to the friend of sinners, so honored by His presence and His power, so rich with exhibitions of His piety and His love, His weary, sin-burdened people may lift up their eyes, knowing that He who so often placed the seal of His divinity on Olivet for the sake of a handful of followers, meant it for encouragement and help to His pilgrim saints till time shall end. It was on this mountain His feet last pressed the earthly soil, here was His last deed of ble ssing done, He last words uttered in the ears of men. No wonder these bereaved disciples stood and gazed steadfastly into heaven as if their lives were going away; as if they would gaze forever; as if they had forgotten His sweet words, "Let not your hearts be troubled, I go to prepare a place for you." And this mountain, with a diadem more glorious than its crown of olives, was to reverberate with words more musical than harps of the invisible world. White robed angels poured the balm of joy into the hearts of these men of Galilee, and their words float down to us, and down the unfolding years till another commissioned angel shall stand with one foot upon the sea and the other upon the earth, and declare, in the name of Him who made all things, that time should be no longer. "This same Jesus which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen Him go into heaven." This "same Jesus," the Son of man, who ascended in clouds, shall by and by be seen coming "in like manner," that is, in the clouds of heaven, with power and great glory; come to be glorified in His saints, and admired in all them that believe. Wonderful day! when the blessed Lord, who once rode the untamed colt into Jerusalem, shall ride in His excellency upon the sky; shall bow the heavens and come down with a shout, with the voice of archangel and the trump of God to raise His sleeping saints and bear them home. Wonderful day! when He who once had not where to lay His head, shall have crowns and kingdoms to bestow; when He who had to ask of the fishes of the sea the tribute money demanded by the kings of the earth, shall be so exalted that at His name every knee shall bow, and every tongue confess that "this same Jesus" is Lord to the glory of God the Father.

Then to these hills, figuratively, the heavy laden sons of men may lift up their eyes for needed help; not to worship the mountains, which were but as altars, but to trust in the mediatorial work that there was done. It is the gift and sacrifice whose innocence and righteousness are ours vicariously, the purifying fire to consume our sins, where we would look to Jesus, the mediator of the new covenant, to the blood of sprinkling that speaketh better things than that of Abel, we look for pardon and the remission of our sins, for justifying righteousness, and for a clear, unsullied title to the inheritance of the saints in light. I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills from when cometh my help.

S. B. Luckett
Crawfordsville, Ind.

COMMERCIAL CORRUPTION (1944)

COMMERCIAL CORRUPTION (1944)

(Copied from Friendly Companion, November, 1944)

It is naught, it is naught, saith the buyer; but when he is gone away, then he boasteth.—Pr 20:14.

The Bible gives abundant proof that man has always been the same in every generation since the fall. Where is the market in which the counterpart of this disclosure of fraud and selfishness centuries ago is not found? Commerce, the Lord's providential dispensation to bind man to man, is marred by his depravity. The wise man had before detected the iniquity of the seller (verse 10). Here he lays bare the buyer and, to bring it home more closely, He gives even the market-language: "It is naught, it is naught—the article is of an inferior quality. I can get it cheaper elsewhere. If it is worth so much, yet not to me; I have no present want of it, no particular care about it." And when by these convenient falsehoods he has struck a shrewd bargain, he is gone his way, then he boasteth, laughing at the simplicity of the seller, and is probably highly commended for his cleverness (Jas 4:16).

The same principle of fraud applies to the seller. If one says: "It is naught," the other no less eagerly cries: "It is good, it is good;" when neither speaketh either as he thinketh or as the truth of the thing is. The one is bent on buying cheap, the other on selling dear. The one decries unjustly; the other praises untruly. He asks one price, when he means to take another, and takes advantage of the confidence of his customer to impose on him a worthless article. In fact, no man's experience would serve him to comprehend, no man's breath to declare, the infinite variety of those secret and subtle falsehoods that are daily invented and exercised everywhere under the sun.

All of us are engaged in pecuniary transactions. With many it is the main business of life. Yet such are the temptations from our own interest or self-defence, the selfishness of others, and the general example of the world, to deviate from the straight line, that we should be most thankful for this probing analysis of deceit. The man of God stands on the frontier line of demarcation and warns against a single step of encroachment. Passing over the line is bidding defiance to the great King. The gain may be trifling, but the sin is vast. Enough of guilt was included within the dimensions of a single apple to bring death into the world and all its woe to successive generations. And here the law of God is deliberately broken, conscience is violated, deceit is practiced, evil is called good and good evil (Isa 5:20), our duty to our neighbour transgressed; and all this--perhaps without a moment of remorse—only to feed man's covetousness.

But do Christian professors always prove themselves clear in this matter? Yet how can we be Christians really, if not relatively and universally; if not in the week as we'll as on the Sabbath, if not in our dealings with men as well as our communion with God? What is our title to the name of disciples of Christ, unless we yield to His authority, and in heart, hand, and tongue, are governed by His laws? Let us each ask: Have we trembled before the solemn warnings of the great Lawgiver? Are we ready to be tried by His rules of guileless simplicity and reciprocal acted as justice? (Mt 5:37; 7:12). Have we always ad as under the eye of God? Are there no money transactions that we should be ashamed to have proclaimed upon the housetops? Are we prepared to go to the bar of a heart-searching God with a conscience void of offence both toward God and toward man? Let us never forget the gospel, as the only principle expulsive of selfishness in its active exercise of grateful devoted love, and in its indefatigable spirit of doing all to the glory of God.

CHARLES BRIDGES.

COMPARISON (1942)

COMPARISON (1942)

BETWEEN THE ANCIENT AND MODERN PROOFS OF
CHRIST'S DIVINE MISSION, BY H. H. TUCKER

(From Monthly Miscellany, February 15, 1849)

We are apt to think, that if we had lived in the days of our Saviour when He was upon earth, we would not have joined with the multitude in rejecting Him. When the evidences of His divine mission were so clear and, as we suppose, so overwhelming, how could they have believed Him to be an imposter? We would have yielded to proofs so irresistible. We would have accorded Him the honor due to His name. "If we had been in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partakers with them."

Such has been the sentiment of every age. Doubtless there has never been a generation posterior to the Christian era who have not condemned the unbelief of those who rejected the Saviour. Doubtless all have supposed that if the same circumstances had surrounded, themselves, they would have acted differently. As to ourselves it is a common impression among us that a peculiar guilt attaches to the unbelief of those who rejected and crucified the Lord of glory. We cannot imagine that the guilt of our estimable friends and relatives, who are still "concluded in unbelief," is at all comparable to that of the persecutors of our Lord. But an intelligent being who could look upon this generation as impartially as we do upon that, would pronounce the unbelief of those who now reject Christ, more amazing, and their guilt more enormous than that of the people whose hands were stained with His blood. Nor would there be injustice in this decision; because the proofs of Christ's divine mission are more numerous, more striking and more irrefragable now, than they were when He was upon earth. True, the people of that day had the solemn assurance, from His own lips, that He was the Son of God, and that He came to save a dying world. Nor was this all.

The truth of His word was attested by angels from heaven, by the very elements which obeyed His voice, by the very devils who acknowledged His authority, and by the very dead who rose from their graves at His bidding. Heaven, earth and hell, each sent witnesses, to testify that He was Lord of the worlds. But a proof more mighty than these remains yet untold. The very voice of God -from heaven, His dwelling place, proclaimed in tones of thunder to the world beneath, "This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased—hear ye Him." Notwithstanding such evidences as these, they did not believe that He was the Son of God, or that He came from heaven, or even that His object was the real and substantial benefit of the world. How astounding their unbelief! What delusion could have possessed them! Were they insane? They were not insane; for there are those in our midst of sane and strong minds who are still insensible to the force of these very proofs, even when combined with the additional force of many other proofs, equally incontrovertible, which have since accrued. The supernatural witness that testified of Christ, the mighty works that were wrought by Him, the stupendous miracles that followed the breath of His lips, the waving of His hand, or the touch of His finger, His extraordinary birth and His godlike walk, are as good evidences to us, that Christ was sent from heaven, as they could possibly have been to His own generation. These things proclaim that He was the Son of God, in tones which can be heard as distinctly, at the distance of eighteen centuries, as at the first moment. Time has not altered truth. The facts are precisely the same as they were at first; and the inferences from those facts are just as irresistible as ever. Every proof therefore of Christ's divine mission, which that people had, is as cogent with us as with them. But, in addition to these, we have other evidences which they had not. Some of these it shall be our object to specify.

First, we have the fulfilment of prophecy. Every thing that was foretold of the Saviour has come to pass. Even in the most minute particulars there has not been the slightest discrepancy. Incidents of His birth, life and death were described by the prophets, many hundreds of years before they transpired, with as strict accuracy as they afterwards were by the evangelists, who recorded the events just after their occurrence. This, of itself, were there no other evidence, would be satisfactory proof to the reflecting mind, that Jesus was the Christ.

It may be urged that as this fulfilment of prophecy took place during the lifetime of our Saviour, it was as clearly observable to His contemporaries as to ourselves. This objection has no force in reference to the death of Christ; for the coincidence of that with prophecy could not have been seen till after it had occurred. That it was seen then, there is reason to believe; for many of those who cried "crucify Him," afterwards gave evidence of deep conviction, and some of genuine repentance. To as much of the objection as remains, we reply, that allowance should be made for the fact, that in the perception of great events, distance gives an advantage to the beholder. Let such events transpire around us, and we see them not in their whole connection, but only part by part as they occur; and hence we cannot appreciate their magnitude. Thus if we stand close to the foot of a mountain, we can perceive neither its altitude nor its lateral dimensions, and we cannot realize its vastness. Those who are on a mountain, frequently cannot perceive wherein it differs from the common level of the earth. But let us be removed a few miles from its base, and we perceive, at a glance, its immense proportions, as it towers to the sky. The contemporaries of Christ witnessed, indeed, the facts in His, history which were the fulfilments of prophecy; but they had by no means the advantages for perceiving them as such, which are enjoyed by ourselves. In this regard, the point of view from which we behold these events is incomparably superior to theirs.

Besides this, it is to be observed, that since Christ's generation have passed away, the prophecies made by Himself have been verified. The destruction of Jerusalem, and all the shocking calamities of that most tragic era of the world's history, have occurred precisely as our Saviour predicted. In addition to this, there are other prophecies, now in course of fulfilment, which though not made by Christ, nor in reference to Him, are yet sufficient to attest the truthfulness of those who are His witnesses. It was foretold of the Jews, that "the Lord should scatter them among all people, from one end of the earth even to the other;" also, that they should be a "by-word among all the nations whither the Lord should lead them;" that they should be despised and scoffed at by all the people; that every sort of evil should befall them; but that notwithstanding all these calamities they should be preserved, and restored to the lands of their fathers, and gathered into the city of David. In the chapter of the Pentateuch first referred to, we find a most terrific account of the calamities of that people—enough, as we should suppose, to blot them out of existence forever. But we are elsewhere told that Israel shall still be saved, and that Jerusalem shall be their city. The consummation of these things has not yet come; but how strikingly the events, so far as they have transpired, correspond with prophecy! They were driven from their city by death and destruction, accompanied by ten thousand horrors which no language can describe. A paltry town is all that remains of their once magnificent capital. The mosque of Omar stands upon the site of the ancient temple. As for the remnant of Israel, they are literally scattered among every kindred and tongue and people and nation, from one end of the earth to the other. They are a by-word and a hissing—the objects of universal derision and contempt. Their very name has become a reproach. Words indicating meanness have actually been coined, by vulgar use, out of the once honored name of the people of God.

But dispersion and ridicule are the least of the evils that this wretched people have suffered. Our own country is almost the only one in the world where they are allowed the privileges guaranteed to other citizens. Elsewhere they are regarded and treated not only as if they were an inferior and degraded race, but almost as though they belonged to a lower order of beings. To despise and oppress them is considered a virtue. They are kicked like dogs from the mansions of the great, and are forced to kennel in the meanest and vilest of the lanes and byways. The great dramatic poet of Britain has led us to suppose that they were once scarcely considered capable of ordinary human feeling, or even of animal sensation. Their property has been subject to confiscation—their very lives have been in continual jeopardy. Every combination of influences that could tend to annihilate a people has been brought to bear upon them. Yet, astounding to relate, they have preserved their nationality, and possess it at this day in a far greater degree than the American people! Their individuality, as a people, is as clearly marked, their distinctive features are as obvious and as well defined, as if they had been ever since the reign of David, in quiet and peaceful possession of Judea. Not one of their national characteristics is lost. Their habits and customs, their pursuits and their mode of life, and their very countenances, are everywhere alike. The day of miracles is said to be past; but what greater miracle has ever occurred than the preservation of this people! Fires of persecution have raged around them, but weak and helpless as they are, they are unconsumed. They are like a flake of snow unmelted, in the crater of a volcano! With what astonishing precision does their history verify Sacred Writ! True, the end is not yet—we have not yet seen them gathered back to Jerusalem. But the same causes that have preserved them thus far, might preserve them for indefinite ages. Their final restoration will not be more wonderful—indeed it will be less wonderful than what we have already seen. Thus the prediction of Moses, reiterated sixteen hundred years afterwards by an apostle, is verified; the truthfulness and inspiration of both are established, and their testimony in favor of Jesus of Nazareth is confirmed. When our Saviour was upon earth, these proofs of His claims were not in existence. They are the offspring of succeeding ages.

II. Besides the fulfilment of prophecy we find another proof that Jesus was the Messiah, in the fact that His gospel was promulgated and established  by means wholly inadequate. Mohammedanism was spread by the sword; but no sword was raised, even in defense of the gospel of Christ. Every sword was against it. A wall of fire opposed its progress. Every engine of torture and death, that the ingenuity of men or the malignity of devils could invent, was brought to bear upon its adherents. Of the twelve apostles, only one escaped a death of violence. Nor were the less conspicuous believers in the gospel more fortunate. They were hunted down like beasts of prey, stoned, beaten, burnt, crucified, without respect to age or sex. Amidst an opposition so fearful and so tremendous, no arm was raised to propagate the gospel by force. It was done by the force of truth alone. Surely that truth must have been proclaimed by eloquent orators and learned advocates? No! it was proclaimed by a few ignorant, despised Galilean fishermen! A revolution more mighty than the world had ever seen, was wrought by a company of fishermen from a hated province, and who could not speak one word of the language of the people they were among, without betraying a mean and vulgar origin.

But perhaps their doctrine was one which harmonized with the tastes and feelings of the multitude, and all were disposed to seize with avidity that which was pleasing, irrespective of the source whence it came? Such was not the fact. The gospel they preached was in direct opposition to every wish, tendency and inclination of the human heart. It was a religion which required sacrifices, not of dumb beasts, but sacrifices of self. It was a religion characterized by all that was subversive of their preconceived and long cherished opinions, disagreeable to their taste and shocking to their feelings—a religion coming from a source most despicable, and combining in itself all that was abominable. Not only was the hand of every private citizen against it, but being positively ruinous to the priesthood, a class whose influence was unbounded, they exerted it against an opposition which no arithmetic could compute. Their all was staked upon the result. If the gospel triumphed, not only their influence (so dear to all who possess it), but their very means of livelihood was gone. The vigor and energy of their opposition being thus easy to account for, may well be imagined. Nor is the list of its enemies yet completed. The temporal dignitaries and crowned heads of the day, were jealous of the new religion. The same spirit which prompted the slaughter of "all the children that were in Bethlehem and in all the coasts thereof," waxed stronger and stronger against the doctrine of Jesus as it began to spread. People, priest and kings were arrayed in fierce hostility to the gospel. But yet in spite of all the tremendous influences which this gospel had to encounter, it spread like fire in the prairie! Its spirit seemed to be contagious. The' high and the humble, the rich and the poor, kings and potentates, all, all were subject to its mighty influence. It seemed to flash from eye to eye with the rapidity of the electric fire. Those who were "breathing out slaughter" against its disciples were sudtlenly transformed into its most zealous advocates. In the very spot where the persecution was fiercest, three thousand openly espoused it in one day! Nor was it confined to a single province. In the twinkling of an eye, as it were, it leaped over seas and burst out in Greece. A moment more and it was in the "city of the Caesars." It darted through the world to its utmost extremities. The remotest East, the islands of the sea and every continent had heard its sound, almost before the cross on which its Author was hung had been taken down.

Can anyone believe that this stupendous work, infinitely more amazing than anything that was ever wrought since the world began, was brought about by a dozen fishermen? Never! The spread of such a gospel, under such circumstances, is overwhelming proof that the hand of God was in it, and that He who instituted it came from heaven. Those who lived with Christ and who murdered Him, could not have foreseen these results; and those even who lived in the midst of these results, could not behold them in their fulness as we of modern days.

III. The perpetuity of the gospel is almost as astounding as its inception. The gospel, more than any other thing known to man, requires mental illumination and intelligence for its support. Yet through fourteen centuries of deep and midnight darkness, this gospel has prevailed. In every age it has been the same. It has lost none of its purity, nor one of its original features. On the other hand, it has made no accession to its doctrines. The whole system was complete at the very beginning. Like the fabled Minerva, mature in every feature, it sprang forth from its source. It has outlived the shock of ages. Nations have fallen—empires have crumbled into nothingness—the fashion of the world has changed, so that all is as different from what it was, as the inhabitants of different spheres may be from each other—but the gospel of Christ exists in its pure, unchanged, original simplicity. What but the hand of God could have brought it pure and unadulterated through the corrupting channel of the dark ages? What better proof can we ask of its divine origin, than the fact that it is unscrathed by the storms and mutations of eighteen centures? Quietly and unobtrusively it has held its ground. It has been like a taper burning with a steady and unflinching flame in the midst of a whirlwind!

In the days of Pilate and Herod, this proof, so overpowering, in favor of the gospel of Christ, was hidden in the womb of the future.

IV. Another proof, different in itself from those already considered, though of similar nature, presents itself to our view. The gospel has been fully tested. We have witnessed its results. Its beneficial effects are so obvious, that its bitterest enemies are compelled to admit them. We can compare nation with nation—those who have the gospel with those who have it not. We find that in China and Africa and our Western wilds, and wherever else the gospel is not preached, mankind are to this day ignorant, degraded, vicious, wretched and benighted. On the other hand, we find that in proportion as the gospel in its purity is professed by a people, they are intelligent, virtuous, prosperous, and in everything that tends to the better, progressive. What is this but the simple working of cause and effect? What is it that makes our own country superior to heathen lands? Take away the blessed gospel, with all that it has done for us, and we to too should be heathen. Our ancestors were heathen. The very language we speak gives evidence that we descended from a people as benighted as the Hindoos! Our names for the days of the week prove that we are the children of idolators. And but for the glorious gospel, we should be this day as our fathers were.
There can be no proof of the divine origin of the gospel more convincing to the mind of a rational being, than the benign and healthful influence which it so manifestly exerts upon all who possess it. Wherever it has gone, like its divine Author, it has scattered blssings in its pathway. It is to the moral world, what the sun is to the world we inhabit. Let its influences be withheld and all is waste, dreary, dark, and dreadful. Dearth, death, and decay, are consequent upon the universal gloom. But, let the glorious Sun of Righteousness blaze upon a people, and like the sun in heaven, it cheers, enlivens, and beatifies all who come beneath its genial rays. Verdure and beauty spring up on every side; flowers and fruits in rich exuberance ensue —life manifested, light, warmth, and all that is healthful, delightful, and blessed are the certain results.

These results are not occasional. They are uniform. In all ages and in all nations they have been precisely the same. Who dare say that such a gospel is not divine, or that its Author is not from heaven? Yet, this proof, like those already considered, has sprung up on a soil which is the formation of centuries. Those who lived in the age of Christ did not see the things that we see, nor hear the things that we hear. The gospel pointed them to its promises—it points us to its performances. What was future to them, is past to us. They could not believe that these things were about to be; we know that they have been, and they are.

It was affirmed, in the outset, that the proofs of Christ's divine mission are more numerous, more striking, and more irrefragable now, than when He was upon earth.

In the course of our considerations, it has appeared,

1. That these proofs are more numerous, because to those of early date others have since accrued which are equally clear, and, if possible, more convincing.

2. It has appeared that these proofs, as now perceived,
 are more striking; because, we look upon them from a more favorable point of view. When we look upon the earth on which we tread, we cannot perceive that it is round, because we are too near to it. But, at the distance of a million of miles, we could perceive, in a glance, its rotundity. Thus those who witnessed the miraculous evidences of the genuineness of the gospel, were too near to them to grasp them as comprehensively, and understand their beauty and force as readily as ourselves.

3. It has also appeared that these proofs are more irrefragable; because they are cumulative, and because they are corroborative of each other. They are like the stones of an arch, each of which, by its position, strengthens all the rest. And it may be added, that as the strength of an arch increases in proportion to the weight it bears, so the weight of succeeding ages upon the arch of proof on which the truth of the gospel is based, only serves to strengthen and establish it for ever!

Concurrent testimony is admitted to be the strongest of which the human mind can conceive. Here is the concurrent testimony of centuries. Christ confirmed the prophets. Now, time stands forth, a hoary, venerable, and ever-honored witness, who never spake aught but truth, and confirms both Christ and the prophets.

It might have been supposed, that amid the ten thousand developments of latter days, some little thing at least would have been discovered inconsistent with the claims of the gospel. Precisely the reverse is the fact. Almost every day something is revealed which reflects new light back upon the great source of all light, and makes its glory and divinity more manifest.

Let us indulge in a moment's pleasant reflection before we conclude. If, as we have seen, the proofs of the divinity of our gospel, have, thus far, continually increased in number and strength; may we not infer that they will thus continue to increase in number and power till the end of time? Certain it is, that the gospel will continue to be salutary in its results; that it will continue to spread; and that prophecy will continue to be fulfilled. If we compare the stream of evidence at first, to a rill stealing down the mountainside now increased to a mighty river, widening and deepening as it flows; and may we not suppose the continue thus to roll on, increasing in might and grandeur till it is lost in the ocean of eternity? Those who shall stand upon the earth at the last day, will behold, in the consummation of the gospel, a spectacle far supassing, in glory, anything that we have erer witnessed.

The proofs of the gospel of Christ afford beautiful and delightful theme for the Conte] mind. But now, we cannot appreciate them as we shall hereafter. Now we are like a traveler passing through a beautiful vale, who admires the verdant meads, the flowers, and fields, and all the objects pleasant to the sight that present themselves, to his view. Then we shall stand on Zion's hill, and look back upon all the landscape through which we have passed. Then we shall see all at once, what now we enjoy by piecemeal. Minute beauties will be merged in sublimer glories. New beauties will burst upon the sight, new glories will illume the scene, and new charms enrapture the sense. What now is beautiful, will then be magnificent; what now is pleasing, will then be ecstatic. Then we shall see the majestic symmetry of the entire system. Then we shall behold the appropriateness and fitness of things, all conspiring to one great result. 0, the sublime sight of the course of the gospel upon earth—the grand agregate of all its glories! Those who stand around the very throne of God will look back upon it with amazement and rapture.

COURTSHIP, LOVE AND MARRIAGE

COURTSHIP, LOVE AND MARRIAGE (1947, September)

By W. Harland Dilbeck, in Gospel Advocate, July, 1947.

As this article contains much material for thought, I desire to pass it on to you. The writer quotes from a Revised Edition of the Bible—Mrs. Cayce.

Heb 13:4: "Let marriage be had in honor among all."

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

Eph 5:22-23 : "Wives, be in subjection unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church : being Himself the Saviour of the body."

1Ti 5:14: "I desire therefore that the younger widows marry, bear children, rule the household, give no occasion to the adversary for reviling."

Ge 2:18: "And Jehovah God said, It is not good that the man should be alone ; I will make him a help meet for him."

Joh 2:1-2: "And the third day there was a marriage in Cana of Galilee ; and the mother of Jesus was there : and Jesus also was bidden, and his disciples, to the marriage."

The above are some of the Scriptures regarding marriage and the marriage relation. These in themselves make a very instructive teaching.

I do not write upon this subject in the belief that I know all about it. I am sure that there are among us many who from any and every standpoint might do 'better, but for some reason they have not felt the need for such a writing. I just hope that my humble effort may prompt others to preach and write along this line who may greatly improve on what is here found.

Yesterday, as I sat on the shore of a beautiful lake with my wife, I made the remark that the place where we sat would make a wonderful place in which to "court." My wife made the remark that many of our young people had the wrong conception of courtship.

What is courtship, anyway? We know that much that passes therefor is not. The Standard Dictionary defines courtship as "the act of paying court or wooing; the attention of a man to a woman, whom he desires to marry."

Goldsmith said "There is something excessively fair and open in' this method of courtship ; by this both sides are prepared for all the matrimonial adventures that are to follow." He suggests the vital element in courtship with which the dictionary did not deal. Courtship should be for the primary reason of determining if the man wants to marry the woman whom he courts, and vice versa.

Courtship may start in any one of many ways; but it always starts because the man sees in the lady that which he admires. The two may meet wholly by accident, or some of Cupid's would-be helpers may bring the young people together with obvious hopes of matchmaking. Whatever may be the case, it is for courtship to develop an interest one for the other, or to dampen and destroy their interests.

H. Vincent has said: "I am not one of those who do not believe in love at first sight, but I believe in taking a second look." That second look is the reason for courtship.

The most beautiful and the least disturbed matches in the world are those that begin in childhood. This may be termed by some as "puppy love," but love matches that begin in child life seldom get into the divorce courts.

Longfellow says : "There is nothing holier in this life of ours than the first consciousness of love, the first fluttering of its silken wings, the first rising sound and breath of that wind which s soon to sweep through the soul, to purify or destroy."

God designed that courtship should provide against mismating. The divorce evil, the broken homes, the sinned-against children are among the biggest problems of our social life today. These problems are largely due to mismating, and mismating is due to the want of that knowledge that a proper courtship would have provided. How often it happens to young people that even before the honeymoon period is over the newly married discover that they have little in common, and a grave mistake has been made!

A lifetime of unhappiness is too great a price to pay for a blunder that God intended to be avoided through a proper courtship. When the truly mated are married, they are able to see in each other something great enough to forgive and overlook and to exercise and test their love.

A wise courtship tests out beforehand all vital issues to a happy married life. For one to say after he is married, "If I had only known," is but to confess that his courtship was not what it should have been.

Remember this: There is a vast difference between a courtship and a petting party. Any courtship that degenerates into a petting party is almost certain to end in a mismating. I believe this to be the reason for many of the divorces today. I wish it were in my power to show the great danger here so that I might save a few of the many who are tempted along this line.

I refer you again to the Standard Dictionary definition of courtship "The attention of a man to a woman," not of a woman to a man. God made woman to be courted, and he made man to do the courting. Usually when a woman tries to do the courting she makes a failure at it, or even does worse and marries a man who is not worth having after she gets him. When I was a single man, going out from school to preaching appointments, I met many mothers who needed wisdom at this point. A girl may "set her cap," and that should be the limit. Even that should be done with modesty. The man who wants the whole field to himself is not the man a worthwhile girl should care for. The more rivals, the richer the conquest. To have won a girl away from a dozen or so other men is something of which to be proud. Maybe I am wrong, but I did not want a girl that no one else would have.

Girls, if you want the attentions of a certain young man, do not lavish all your attentions upon him at once. When a young lady seems to be indifferent to the attentions of a real suitor, there is something in him that makes him more determined than ever. And you, young men, should not be dejected or give up in despair if, at first, your attentions are not well received. My wife still tries to tell me that she did not like me at first. Coulton has well said : "The plainest man that convinces a woman that he is really in love with her has done more to make her in love with him than the handsomest man, if he can produce no such conviction ; for the love of a woman is a shoot, not a seed, and flourishes most vigorously only when grafted on that love which is rooted in the breast of another."

If most wives would only admit it, they would tell you that the first time their husbands tried to "court" them they showed them a cold shoulder. See what perseverance has done, and be encouraged, young men. Do not be like Captain Miles Standish and learn the hard way that "a faint heart never won fair lady."

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SOME THINGS THE GROOM-TO-BE OWES THE BRIDE-TO-BE

1. That he be a Christian. I am thoroughly persuaded that a Christian should not marry a non-Christian. I know that Paul's admonition that we "be not unequally yoked together with unbelievers" applies to things other than marriage, but does it exclude marriage? And why should Paul tell the widows that they were free to marry whom they will, only in the Lord, and permit others to marry out of the Lord? We have satisfied ourselves that it is all right just so long as he has respect for her religion. I sincerely believe that any girl who marries a man who is not a Christian is inviting disaster. Ask any woman who marries out of the church.

2. That he be morally clean. A man that does not keep himself clean has no right to the hand of a pure girl. The Bible does not teach double standards. But how is one to know? That is what courtship is for, and where this information is desired it will be forthcoming. Young ladies, if you will consider him your enemy who seeks to take your virtue, you will be making the most of your courtship period. You are not so desperate as to have to yield to one who is beneath your station in life. When I observe the large number of children handicapped for life because of the betrayal of purity into the hands of impurity, I am convinced of the occasion for this word of admonition.

3. That he prove his worthiness of a wife by his treatment of the womenfolk at home. I am sorrowful for a wife marrying a man who was not good to his mother and sisters. If a man is considerate of his mother, he is likely to be considerate of a wife when he gets her. Young lady, if you have not learned this about the man with whom you are keeping company, you are not ready to marry him.

4. He should be a man of good character. Marrying a man with the intentions of reforming him has sent many a wife into hell. Do not let him fool you with his good promises. A man who will not be a gentleman, to say nothing of becoming a Christian, before marrying a woman will not be one after he has gotten her. God and common sense unite in protesting against any girl marrying a man to reform him. We have all seen too many cases where experience corroborates the protest. Some lovesick lassie will say: "It will break my heart to give him, up." Had you not rather have a broken heart than a broken and disappointed life? I have noticed that giving one up because he was unworthy is not so serious as one might think. Though it may seem terrible for a little while, the recovery is usually quick, an one is wiser for the experience. Then a girl that permits herself to love unworthily desires to suffer for her folly. The suffering incidental to disappointed love is as nothing compared with a life in which death is often wished for. Parents, do not let your underage daughter or son keep company with one unworthy of your children. 

5. He should be capable of providing for a wife. The Bible teaches that a man should be the head of the home ; but if a girl should marry a man that, has no head, she has to answer in his place. A woman should be proud of the fact that she is known as the wife of her husband, but I feel sorry for the man that comes to be known as the husband of his wife. Whether, he is capable should be determined before it is too late. Living on love is a fine thing to joke about, but I, for one, would hate to have it as a steady diet.

6. He should be of a good temperament. An ill- tempered man does not deserve any woman, much less a good one. If a woman does not decide about a, man's temperament during the courtship, she is sadly lacking in the powers of discernment.

7. He must have genuine love for the woman,. "Love" is one of the most misunderstood words in our language. Many have thought they loved when soon after marriage they learned they did not even know what it meant to love. We frequently hear that love is blind, but courtship is not what -it should be until that question is settled beyond all doubting. If two really love each other, then their love will withstand all the jolts that the world may have to offer. Suffering for one you love is a pleasure. Lovers count it a pleasure to deny themselves and do for each other. If there is any question, wait till it is settled, and settled right.

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SOME THINGS THE BRIDE-TO-BE OWES THE GROOM-TO-BE

1. Of course it goes without saying that she should be a Christian. That term covers lots of ground. In its fullest sweep it covers all. If she does not meet this first requirement, there is no use to look farther if you are wise.

2. She should be good to her mother. She should make herself worth while in the home in which she lives. If the home seems over anxious to lose her, I think I should beware. A brother's estimate of a sister should go a long way with a man hunting for a wife. Her place in the affection of her companions is also worthy of consideration.

3. She should not be one who is quarrelsome and nagging. There must have been some like this in Solomon's day. He said it is better to dwell in a corner of the house top, than with a brawling woman in a wide house."

"It is better to dwell in the wilderness, than with a contentious and an angry woman."

"A continual dropping in a very rainy day and a contentious woman are alike."

Do you remember the married man who said that his conception of heaven was a place where there would be no nagging?

4. She should be the man's equal and have tastes in common with his. If she has lived on a plane her husband-to-be cannot afford, let him be slow in asking her to come down. If she truly loves him, she will change, but the disappointments here have been many and great. If she is above you in culture, do not try to, pull her down before asking her to marry you. You are the one who should improve. Marriage should always be an uplift, not a pulldown.

5. She should have high ideals. She should desire a real home with children, not a mere stopping place between engagements. She should make it understood that her children are not going to regard home as a restaurant and filling station. If you are wise enough to value such information, there will be a way to know the truth. I once heard of a wife who made the remark in public that her husband had not kissed her in forty years. A good minister standing by said, "Yes, and if she were my wife she could go a hundred more."

6. She should be a burden sharer. Every wife is either a sharer of her husband's burdens or an extra burden on him. Be sure the woman you are asking to marry you is a burden sharer.

WHEN TO MARRY

1. Never marry in haste to repent at leisure.
2. Do not marry too young. Be sure you know yourself, and then know each other.
3. Do not delay too long. It is possible to become selfish and so fixed in your ways that you will find adjustment a problem.
4. Never marry for money. However, if money is cleanly possessed, it is not objectionable even in the case of true love.
5. Never marry until you are sure you love each other.

When you are married, try to be as considerate of each other as you were before you were married. The breaking up of many a home has had its beginning at this point. Tidying up is just as appreciable after marriage as before. Make God the head of your home and His Word your guide.

CURIOUS EDITIONS OF THE BIBLE

CURIOUS EDITIONS OF THE BIBLE (1952, July)

Printing has advanced a long way since the early days of the first printed editions of the Bible.

Johannes Gutenberg, who is credited with the first printing of the Bible with movable types, was actually the predecessor to all printing from movable types. Although history is somewhat vague as to the actual dates and circumstances under which Gutenberg lived, the history of the 42-line Bible and the Bible itself is very interesting.

Gutenberg lived between the years, 1400-1468. He was born in Mainz, Germany of a patrician's family. The name was taken from a property long supposed to have been brought in by his mother but discovered by researchers to have been in possession by his great-grandfather.

The family was expelled from Mainz in 1420, and took refuge in Strassburg, where Gutenberg was found living in 1434, having already acquired some reputations for technical skill.

He left Strassburg for Mainz in 1444. Attempts at printing were heard of in various quarters but to carry out his own schemes, in 1450 Gutenberg associated himself with Johannes Fust, a wealthy citizen of Mainz, who supplied the money to set up a press and print the now famous "forty-two-line Bible."

Fust dissolved the partnership in 1455 and since Gutenberg could not repay his advances, retained possession of the plant, which he improved and used.

In this manner, though Gutenberg was known as the inventor throughout the 15th century, it was possible to claim the honor for Fust in the 16th. Later investigations, however, carried on in 1900 established Gutenberg's claims more firmly than ever.

In connection with the Gutenberg Bible, there are many curious editions of the Bible which have been printed. Besides the issues of the Bible which have historical importance are those notable for curious errors or for incidents of publication.

The following is a list of the more familiar of these, with their peculiar designations.

The Gutenberg Bible is a Latin Bible issued by Gutenberg at Mainz in 1452-56 A. D. It is also known as the Mazarin Bible, because the copy which first attracted bibliographers was discovered among the books of Cardinal Mazarin in 1760.

The Bible of Thirty-Six Lines is a folio edition of the Biblia Latina, of the time of Gutenberg, the pages of which contained two columns of 36 lines.

The Bug Bible is so called from its rendering of Ps 91:5: "Afraid of bugs by night." Our present version reads : "Terror by night." This version was printed in 1551 A. D.

The Breeches Bible, is a Geneva version so called from its rendering of Ge 3:7: "Making themselves breeches out of fig leaves." This Bible was printed in 1560 and was supplanted by the present King James version.

The Place Maker's Bible got its name from a typographical error which occurs in Mt 5:9: "Blessed are the place makers," instead of "peace-makers." It was printed in 1562.

The Treacle Bible, so called from its rendering of Jer 8:22: "Is there no treacle (instead of balm) in Gilead?" printed in 1568.

The Rosin Bible came from the same text as above but translated 'rosin' in the 1609 Donai version.

The He and She Bibles came from the respective renderings of Ru 3:15.—one reading "She went into the city;" the other, "He went," printed in 1611.

The Wicked Bible was so called because the negative has been left out of the seventh commandment (Ex 20:14), for which the printer was fined 300 pounds, in 1631.

The Thumb Bible got its name because it is one inch square and one-half inch thick, published in Aberdeen in 1670.

The Vinegar Bible was named from the headline of the 20th chapter of Luke, which reads "The parable of the vinegar" instead of "vineyard," printed in 1717.

The Printer's Bible so called because in a Bible printed prior to 1702, a blundering typographer made King David exclaim "Printers" (instead of "Princes")
have persecuted me without a cause," in Ps 119:161.

The Murderers Bible so called from an error in the 16th verse of the Epistle of Jude, the word "murderers" being used instead of "murmurers," printed in 1801.

The Standing Fishes Bible got its name from this passage of scripture, "And it shall come to pass that the fishes will stand upon it," Eze 47:10, printed in 1806.

The Discharge Bible has this error in 1Ti 5:21. "I discharge thee before God," printed in 1806.

The Wife Hater Bible comes from this mistake: "If any man come to me and hate not his father .. . yea, and his own wife also," etc., Lu 14:26, printed in 1810.

The Ears to Ear Bible was so called because of the error in Mt 13:43, "Who hath ears to ear, let him hear" printed in 1810.

In the Rebekah's Camels Bible appeared this error: "And Rebekah arose and her camels," Ge 24:16. This version was printed in 1823.

The To Remain Bible has this error in Ga 4:29 "Persecuted him that was born after the spirit to remain, even so it is now." This typographical error, which was perpetuated in the first 8 vol. Bible printed for the Bible Society takes its chief importance from the peculiar circumstances under which it arose. A 12 Mo Bible was being printed at Cambridge in 1805, and the proofreader being in doubt as to whether or not he should remove a comma, applied to his superior, and the reply, penciled on the margin, "to remain," was transferred to the body of the text and repeated in the Bible Society's 8 vol. edition of 1805-06, and also another 42 Mo edition of 1819.

The Caxton Memorial Bible was wholly printed and bound in 12 hours in 1877. Only 100 copies were printed.

—James Connor in The Blab Slab, March 15, 1952.

DARKNESS & LIGHT

DARKNESS & LIGHT (1947, October)

Tune: Going Over Jordan

I met my loving Saviour, Jesus,
When the shades of day was most at rest;
When clouds were dark, the sky so dreary,
He gave my soul sweet peace and rest.

Chorus
I want to go to see my Saviour
And be with Him forever more,
I want to be in that fair city,
Where sin and pain shall all be o're.

While going through this vale of darkness,
So dark and gloomy, was my plight.
No sense of joy, no hope of gladness,
Though He spoke peace to me that night.

He said thy sins are all forgiven,
This night of dark shall spurn away,
His sweetest love shone round about me,
I'm happy in His love today.

So now I seek Him in the morning,
To be my God, and be my stay,
To direct my every footstep,
From early morn till close of day.

Eldorado, Ill. 
Levi Gibson

DEATH

DEATH (1946, February)

(Copied from The Gospel Messenger, October, 1883)

What a thought! What a word! None like it in all the vocabularies of earth. The scythe that mows us all down, the overflowing stream that sweeps us all away, the sentence that lays us all low, the hand that dissolves all the relations of earth; separating husband and wife, parents and children, brothers and sisters, rulers and subjects, masters and servants, friend and friend-bringing all down on a cold, dead level—leaving all the tribes of earth, through all ages, in mourning over loved ones. Surely, in Adam all die. God has determined that every child of Adam shall feel the sting of death—except Enoch and Elijah, and the living saints on earth when Christ shall come to raise the universal dead, and judge the universal world. To thee, 0 death, we all must bow! But Christ has gained the victory over thee, and in His own time will destroy thee. What a sermon is in the words, Christ will destroy death! To the Christian are there any more such words? If we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so they that sleep in Jesus will God also bring with Him. Yes, in Christ will all sleeping saints be made alive, and all living ones be changed in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, and be caught up to meet the Lord in the air, and ever be with the Lord.. And we are to comfort one another with these words. Thus resurrected and changed, the saints in Christ will pass the final judgment forever acquitted, and enter together and forever the kingdom of glory. This is the end of the calling and career of all the children of God. To awake in the likeness of Christ, and to be with Him forever satisfied, praising God for undying love, ' and sovereign, redeeming, victorious grace, which brought them off more than conquerors, through every difficulty and over every foe. Dear children of God, as we must all die, and as we shall all rise and meet again to part no more what difference can it make who of us who dies first or lives longest, except to fill our measure in doing God's will here on earth?

Dear brethren editors, a late and sad event in our family has forced us to feel in our soul—the centre of our affections the weight and importance of the subject which heads this article. This king of terrors has been in our midst, and our youngest son, William A. Parker, is no more. He died of typho-malarial fever, on the 12th of June last at the end of only seven days' illness; aged 35 years, 3 months and 5 days. He was attended by two physicians to no effect. His fever never abated. He died unconscious, without a struggle or a groan. It was the sad lot of myself, his aged mother, and others of the family, and a number of friends, to stand by and see him breathe his last. To all the family and a large circle of friends he died much lamented. He was baptized in 1872, and maintained his profession by an upright walk and a godly conversation in the world; so we hope to meet him again where death cannot enter, and partings will be no more. He left a loved and loving wife and an eight-year-old son with us, to mourn the loss of one sc much loved and so much missed. What a difference between thinking of such an event and having to realize it in the very depths of our affections! We never knew how much we loved our dear "Billy" until we were giving him up, and since. We feel resigned; but being reconciled to God, does not make us either stones or brutes., It is well for us to know grief as well as joy. The day before the death of our dear son, I agonized in prayer to God—even in cries and tears—that, if compatable with His holy will, he might be spared to us; but the will of the Lord is done, the Judge of all the earth has done right. The days of our deep grief are passed away, and a quiet, sweet calm has ensued, and pervades us; and we feel that his loss, and the scenes connected therewith, have been sanctified to our good; -for it makes us feel forcibly that the Lord is God, and to realize more fully and 'directly our entire dependence and weakness. May the dear Lord keep us in the valley of humility, and near the cross, is the humble desire of a way-worn pilgrim.

Dear brethren editors, while I read the Messenger with considerable interest, several reasons conspire to deter me from writing; still I feel to offer this scribble to your discretion. If you find sufficient merit in it, you will give it a place in your columns; otherwise throw it aside. There is much commotion in my mind at times about writing, and I may or may not write again. Of course my time is short. Affectionately,

C. A. PARKER.
Mt. Vernon, Texas, August 2, 1883.

DEATH IN ADAM — LIFE IN CHRIST

DEATH IN ADAM — LIFE IN CHRIST (1952, December)

"For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive."-1Co 15:22.

This passage is relied upon by many to prove that the life in Christ is to be as extensively diffused as was the death entailed by Adam in the original transgression. But in the verse that follows, the apostle spoils that beautiful theory, for he adds : "But every man in his own order," (in the resurrection) "Christ the first fruits, afterward they that are Christ's at His coming." One prominent feature of the carnal mind, or of human nature unrenewed, is to rest in a false hope, and expect to go to heaven upon the ground that all go there, and hence every passage of Scripture that has a somewhat universality of expression in the letter, is seized upon as proof that there is a chance and hope for all. But the very fact that an individual expects to go to heaven upon the plan that all go there, is a proof that he does not expect to go there upon the ground of personal fitness for the place. Such passages as, "Behold the Lamb of God that taketh away the sin of the world," "He died for all," &c., are seized upon as proof pf a universal atonement and consequently of universal salvation. Especially is the Scripture at the head of this article considered conclusive proof that the second Adam is to restore the ruins of the first ; literally—all die in the first Adam, all are made alive in the second and the last all embraces the same number as the first.

It will be observed, by the attentive reader, that the subject under discussion in that chapter by the apostle, is the resurrection of the dead, and therefore the death by Adam and the life by Christ, in the verse cited, is with especial reference to that subject. There are three kinds of death spoken of in the Scriptures. First, the death in sin ; second, the death of the body, and thirdly, the death that Christians sometimes get into. "You hath He quickened who were dead in trespasses and sin ;" "the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God : and they that hear shall live." This is to live from the death in sin. "Marvel not at this : for the hour is coming in the which all that are in the graves shall hear His voice." This is life from corporeal death or the resurrection of the body. "Awake, thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light." This is the death in which the backsliding Christian is involved. (Eph 1:1; Joh 5:25,28; Eph 5:14.) Christ has power over death in every shape and form it assumes. He quickens or gives life to the dead soul. He is, also, "the resurrection and the life." He will redeem His people from the power of the grave. He will be the plague of death—the destruction of the grave.

He, also, has power to revive the work of grace in the hearts of His saints, and call them back from their wanderings and backslidings—to give them light and liberty in His service. The sinner, dead in sin, is as impotent for life and of deliverance from that state of death, as those that are in their graves are in effecting deliverance therefrom. In each case life is necessary to action in coming to Christ, and also in coming up from the grave in the resurrection. The death of the body of believers is the effect of sin, but Christ suffered in His body and soul was put to death in the flesh, and His soul was exceeding sorrowful, even unto death; was made an offering for sin; and, therefore, as He died as well for their bodies as for their souls, He regenerated the latter in time and will regenerate the former in the resurrection. "Behold," said He, "I make all things new." The body sown in corruption, is raised in incorruption; sown in dishonor, is raised in glory; sown in weakness, is raised in power; sown a natural body, is raised a spiritual body.

Those bodies that corrupted feel,
Shall incorrupted rise;
And mortal forms shall spring to life,
Immortal in the skies.

Behold, what heavenly prophets sung
Is now at last fulfilled:---
That death should yield his ancient reign,
And, vanquished, quit the field.

Yes, the prophets sung of this; they spake of the coming of Christ and the glory that was to follow; they were His witnesses in regard to His divine character and the work that He Was to accomplish, embracing, emphatically, this great work of changing their vile body. "He will swallow up death in victory; and the Lord God will wipe away tears from off all faces; and the rebuke of His people shall He take away from off all the earth for the Lord hath spoken it." (Isa 25:8.) "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." Well might the apostle, with this glorious assurance before him, shout in triumph—"0 death, where is thy sting? 0 grave, where is thy victory?" (1Co 15:55.)

In the resurrection the dead in Christ shall rise first. This honor have all the saints; and all those thus made alive, or who live again, (which implies a previous existence and a resurrection) died in Adam and are thus made alive in Christ. Their living in Christ in the resurrection is the consummation of the life imparted in the regeneration of the soul, and of the life of faith upon the Son of God, which they experienced while in the flesh, and all that have experienced the washing of regeneration, and the renewal of the Holy Ghost, will witness in happy experience the crowning work in the glorious resurrection.—J. CLARK. . . . Copied from Zion's Advocate, Sept. 1, 1870.

DESIRE PEACE UPON A SCRIPTURAL BASIS

DESIRE PEACE UPON A SCRIPTURAL BASIS. (1951, October)

We are glad to see almost a universal desire for peace among our dear people. None should be willing to exchange unity for division and confusion. Divisions are of the flesh and are the result of following the promptings of our carnal nature. In order to establish solid and lasting peace, we must do so upon a sound Scriptural basis. We must all remember that the dove, the undefiled, is but one. The Church of God is and should be one everywhere. In order to preserve that unity we must all remember that we are the body of Christ and members in particular, and what is wrong in one church is wrong in every local church on earth! If it is wrong to fellowship theft, drunkenness, adultery and gambling in one church, it is wrong to fellowship it in a sister church.

There is a blessed tie that unites all the members of the Church of God and we should love one another too well to do anything or introduce any measure that will cause alienation or sow seeds of discord. We should all be cautious not to ride hobbies, or make good brother an offender for a word. We have babes in Christ and some who are weak in the Church that need to be tenderly nursed and fed on the sincere milk of the Word until they gut strong enough to eat the strong meat. How tenderly the mother will nurse her feeble infant! If the Church was nursing the weak ones better and assuring them of our love to them, there would be more unity.

Years ago we knew good churches to declare non-fellowship for non-associationalists. This was too far-reaching. That action would, at that time, have excluded our venerable and most precious brethren: Elders W. M. Mitchell, J. H. Oliphant, G. W. Stewart, J. J. Byrd, J. E. W. Henderson, and many others. 'That act excluded those Elders and their churches who did not belong to an association. This is certainly unscriptural ; and even if those good brethren had been guilty of an offense they should have been tenderly labored with in love to reclaim them. Worldly courts do not hang a man without a hearing with testimony from both sides. This is hanging without trial or allowing the accused to make any defense. This is certainly wrong. They violated no law. We could not endorse such discipline then and cannot yet. It would have cut us off from our precious brethren with no fault in them. Pilate said, "Take ye Him (Jesus) and crucify Him; I find no fault in Him." His enemies could say, "We have a law, and by our law He ought to die." We should be careful about making laws to govern the Church of God. The Lord is our Lawgiver, and His law is perfect!

Many good brethren see the evil effects of one-sided councils to make laws ; and for a few to form themselves into a council and set up righteously excluded members and set aside the church that excluded them, is a dangerous precedent indeed for our people. Primitive Baptists should recognize no discipline except that executed by the Church of God. This is Scriptural and safe. If errors get into churches, let churches assert their rights and execute gospel labor to save. Preacher bossism is dangerous and should not be tolerated. Preachers are servants and not lords. If preachers get wrong they should lay their gifts at the altar and first get right before offering their gifts. Human customs should not be made a law. If observing certain forms or customs you are none the better, and omitting them you are none the worse, why you can all go on in love, but not force them as laws. Let us all stand in the way and see and ask for the old paths, where is the good way and walk therein, and we will find peace, rest, unity and fellowship. Let us all stand by the Scriptural positions contended for by our people in 1832; for our people regarded it safe then and it will be safe for Us today. We may admit one little departure after another until we will lose our visibility. Associations, as gatherings to worship God, are Scriptural, but when they undertake to execute discipline, non-fellowshipping Baptists by the wholesale, with no church labor, they are unscriptural! Mistakes have been made by Associations acting as higher courts, taking up excluded members or factions of a church to the dividing of the Association. This is certainly wrong! If a church divides, the Association should "hands off," and let them keep their trouble at home, and all the rest stay together. If they need help to settle, sister churches can aid them in that section. Plurality of wives or husbands cannot be tolerated by our people, or immorality. We need godly people in our churches, who serve the Lord from a principle of love, and who love one another with pure hearts fervently. We should keep ungodliness out, and have great tenderness and forbearance with each other when we are agreed on the grand essentials, When we united with Old Baptists we severed our connection with the world. Now, let us not love the world nor the things of the world, or unite with any of their societies, religious or secret, for they are all anti-Christian and their mission' is to divide and confuse and lead to degeneracy. Let us all then return to the Lord and follow Christ Jesus as Head and Exemplar, as little children, and there will be a sweet restoration of lasting peace. We need no Achans nor Agags in Israel. Let us all come together upon a loving Scriptural basis, regardless of the sacrifice, and there will he a glorious jubilee in Israel. 

Lee Hanks.
---From The Gospel Messenger, April, 1916.

DESIRING TO SEE THOSE WHOM JESUS HATH RAISED FROM THE DEAD

DESIRING TO SEE THOSE WHOM JESUS HATH RAISED FROM THE DEAD (1946, February)

(Copied from The Gospel Messenger, October, 1883)

They came not for Jesus' sake only, but that they might see Lazarus also, whom He had raised from the dead.—Joh 12:9.

So it now is with those who love our Lord Jesus Christ. They not only desire to see Him, but also to see those of the heirs of promise whom He hath raised from the dead. In their natural state, all are dead in sins, and they never get to loving the brotherhood of Jesus until they have "passed from death unto life." Then they are like those Jews who had come together not only to see Jesus, but to see Him who had been raised from a state of death and made to sit at meat with the Son of God. It is in this manner Christians are often drawn together for the worship of God, and and it is thus they "Lift up the voice together, and together with the voice they sing." They love Jesus, and they love one another. They have all been raised from the dead by the same power, and embraced in the same love, and they desire to see all such as Jesus hath "raised from the dead." They can understand one another, and having been taught of God and learned of the father, they come unto Jesus their Saviour. They have a like experience of sin, death and deliverance, and can therefore have fellowship one for another —each one relying alone upon the merits of the blood of Jesus to cleanse from sin. They love Lazarus and want to see him, and thus they are drawn together; and until they leave off "their first love," they will not "forsake the assembling of themselves together" for worship, unless providentially hindered. What a blessed thought to be raised from the dead, and come together to partake of a gospel feast, and sit at the "table with Jesus and with Lazarus, whom He hath raised from the dead!" Thus, "He hath raised us up together," and made us one in Him and with Him, "and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus."

We once heard that a certain beloved elder and gifted minister of Jesus was to be at a certain association, and as we never had met with him, though greatly desiring to see him, we made considerable effort to attend the same meeting. We were favored to meet with and form a very pleasant and loving acquaintance with the dear brother. During our interview the writer said to him: "It may be that my motive in coming to this association is not right; for if I had not heard that you were expected to be here, I should not have come." "Well," said he, "suppose you had heard that I was to be at a certain horse race, or bar room, or gambling table, would you have come to see me?" "No, no!" was the quick response, We saw it was not the mere person we desired to see, but because he had been raised from the dead, and ate at the same table with Jesus. "Every one that loveth Him that begat, loveth Him also that is begotten of Him." And it is "By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and keep His commandments." —1Jo 5:2.

Brotherly love and Gospel fellowship continue among brethren and churches in proportion to their steadfastness in the faith, and in proportion to the promptness with which they keep the commandments of God. It is said of the disciples of Jesus in the primitive days of Christianity, that such as gladly received the word of the Lord that was preached to them, "were baptized, and they continued steadfastly in the apostles', doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers."—Ac 2:42.

Dear brethren and sisters, do you love Jesus? Do you love Lazarus, whom Jesus loved, and whom He raised from the dead? If so, you want to see them and assemble with them.—M.

Deuteronomy 6:6, 7

De 6:6-7 (1987, January-February)

November 24, 1908

Elder C. H. Cayce:

Please give your views on De 6:6-7, "And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart. and thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up."

Pray for me, as I feel I need your prayers. Your unworthy brother,

L. 0. Carr 
Rt. 2,
Butler Springs, Ala.

REMARKS

These words which the Lord commanded were the commandments, the statutes and the judgments which the Lord commanded that Israel might do them, See verses 1 to 5, These people should continue to teach the law to their children, not to make them their children, but because they were theirs.

The law was to be taught them because they were Israelites. So, there is a teaching now, not to make people children of God. The Lord teaches the experimental lesson Himself. Then there is a gospel teaching for His children, and His ministers are required to teach this gospel lesson to God's people, and not to the unregenerate.

C.H.C,
— Copied from Selected Editorials from The Primitive Baptist, by Elder C. H. Cayce, Volume I, page 271.

DIVINE CONSOLATION

DIVINE CONSOLATION (1953, November & 1997, May - June))

I often find it for the welfare of my soul to hear of your welfare, and I at times find it good to tell another responsive heart my own exercises in things relating to our gracious God with whom we have to do.

Some days ago my spirit was so burdened with certain cares that are at times a burden indeed. In consequence of these things so oppressed was my heart the tears came into my eyes, my body appeared to be weakened. I saw the newly arrived newspaper lying on a chair. I snatched it up, thinking to bury myself in its tidings, and forget myself and all the trying providences of my God ; (0, how stupid I am!) but as I took up the paper I saw my Bible. I felt that is far better. Oh! that my God would be gracious to me. I put aside the newspaper and took up the -Bible. My heart was hungry for some word from the Lord. I am wearied with tidings of man's wickedness, with war, with its dreadful miseries, the hatred belching forth, not from the cannon's mouth only, but in the speech and writings of men. I sat down ; opened the Bible, and these were the first words that I read : "He shall feed His flock like a shepherd : He shall gather the lambs with His arm, and carry them in His bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young! Who hath measured the waters in the hollow of His hand, and meted out heaven with a span, and comprehended the dust of the earth in a measure, and weighed the mountains in scales, and the hills in a balance?"—Isa 40:11-12.

How quieting they were! My heart was eased, and lifted up in love, in trust in God. Surely, this was the gracious work of the Comforter, the Holy Ghost!

I found, also, as moment by moment I mused upon these words of the Holy Scriptures, that the sacred power of God was upon me producing humility, and a meekness of spirit before the Lord.

0! I know I am but a sinful, insignificant speck, and yet such a sacred comforting power I felt in those words that I was persuaded the Lord was mindful of me, that I was in His hand, that my life's minutest circumstance was subject to His good pleasure. "The very hairs of your head are all numbered."

How sinful, then, I felt is all my unbelief, my murmurings, my self-pity. Truly I felt to blush before the Lord, for I was ashamed of my distrustfulness.

"Nevertheless I am continually with thee; thou hast holden me by my right hand. Thou shall guide me with thy counsel, and afterward receive me to glory."

If the waters are in the hollow of God's hand, if He meteth out heaven with a span, 0! then, surely, all my small affairs are in His power. I felt to repose in the power of goodness of the Lord, who, I hope, is my everlasting Friend. I think I know what it is to be casting all my care upon the Holy One of Israel; but I find that I need to be wrought of God to cast my burden upon Him. In the burden and heat of the day I need, as did the Apostle Paul, that God's grace should be exceeding abundant with faith and love in Christ Jesus.

And who, and what am I that God should so graciously work in my soul, and incline me unto Himself; and give me everlasting consolation and a good hope through, grace in the dear Redeemer? I am nothing, a sinful, base thing; I am among the things that are foolish, to be despised (1Co 1:26-28). (The knowledge of this is no trifling thing; it is dreadful, humiliating. The more and more I see what I am in the flesh, the more I am ashamed, the more I loathe myself in my own sight.)

And yet I am constrained to believe that I am a vessel of mercy predestined to eternal glory by Christ Jesus. I see in my flesh no meetness for this inheritance of the saints in light: but He who hath wrought us for the self-same thing is God, who also hath given us the earnest of the Spirit: and I have hope that He who hath begun a good work in me will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.

If then I have the right, the power to hope that my ultimate destiny is to dwell with Christ and His church in glory, afore prepared thereunto by the operations of His grace, by the blood and righteousness of the Lamb of God, and if in the Resurrection at the last day I shall be found in my whole spirit and soul and body blameless ("Faithful is He that calleth you, who also will do it"-1Th 5:23-24), then I shall be like the glorified Saviour and shall see Him as He is. If such a blessed hope is in my heart (1Jo 3:3), then, in my pilgrimage unto this blessedness, let me trust in my God! Let me endure hardness as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. 0! let me be found cleaving to the Lord with full purpose of heart, glorifying Him in my body and spirit which are His.

North Berwick, Maine.
FREDERICK W. KEENE.
(Copied from The Gospel Messenger, 1916.)

DIVINE REBUKE

DIVINE REBUKE (1953, September)

"As many as I love I rebuke and chasten."—Re 19. After beholding by the glorious light of divine revelation an hundred, forty and four thousand that were sealed of the twelve tribes of Israel, John testifies that he saw a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people; and tongues, and they stood before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands, and cried with a loud voice, saying, "Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb."—Re 7:8-10.

Now could we tell just the number that John beheld in those two visions, we could tell how many of the human family are embraced in God's everlasting love. "As many as I love I rebuke and chasten." This text is emphasized by another, which says: "My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou are rebuked of Him; for Whom the Lord loveth He chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom He receiveth."—Heb 12:5-6. Thus it is clear that each and every child of God, being objects of Divine love, and therefore heirs of salvation, are alike subjects of divine reproof and correction. It is good for us to feel that we are chastened of the Lord for our evil thoughts and misdeeds ; it is a merciful and loving stroke that smites our evil conscience and checks our evil course.

A sense of divine rebuke, a consciousness of God's disapprobation followed by hearty repentance, are evidences of our Sonship and heirship of heaven. Hence in the exhortation, "Despise not the chastening of the Lord," we should not forget that the scourge is in the hand of our eternal, all-wise, merciful and loving heavenly Father, no matter how painful the strokes may be. It is enough, in our deepest sorrow and trying afflictions, to be enabled to say, or to feel, as did Job : "Though He slay me, yet will I trust in Him." David said, "For thy sake are we killed all the day long; we are counted as sheep for the slaughter" (Ps 44:26) ; and the apostles felt the same. But our omnipotent Father says: "I kill and I make alive." Dept. xxxii. 39.

Our dear Father in heaven is unconfined as to His ways and manners of correcting us ; we are often taken unawares by sudden afflictions and reverses. We are so forgetful of our past experiences and observations along this line that we are apt to repeat our own mistakes and involve ourselves again and again under the chastening of the Lord.

The apostle tells us that no chastening for the present seems to be joyous, but grievous ; but the Lord has a wise and gracious purpose in it, nevertheless, afterward, not before, nor at the present, but "afterward, it yields the peaceable fruits of righteousness to them that are exercised thereby." Through experiences of great trials and afflictions David learned that it was good for him that he was afflicted, and confessed that before he was afflicted he went astray, but "now"---afterward—"have I kept Thy precepts."

It is a sovereign prerogative of the Lord Jehovah to command His creature, man, and it is the "whole duty of man" to "fear God and keep His commandments" (Solomon).

But what would the keeping of the holy commandment of God, our holy fear, our reverence for His holy name, together with our patience under the pain and anguish of His rebuke, under the stroke of His just and righteous judgment, avail were it not true that His everlasting and unchangeable love underlies the entire matter? Oh, can a child of grace ever forget the words of the text: "As many as I love rebuke and chasten." God not only loves His chosen people, but bestows His love upon them, sheds His love abroad in their hearts by the Holy Ghost, which causes them to love Him and to love one another ; and assures them in His word that He so loved them that He gave His only begotten Son to die for their sins.

Believing these sacred truths according to the faith given us is a wonderful help to our patience in tribulation ; in fact, this God-given faith "is the victory that overcomes the world ;" it is given to each object of His divine love by measure according to the necessity of each. Jesus is the author and finisher of our faith, the end of which is the salvation of our souls ! But so long as we live in this earthly tabernacle we are subjects of rebuke and to chastisement ; and can only beg for divine mercy and leniency as David, saying: "Lord, rebuke me not in thy wrath, neither chasten me in thy hot displeasure."—Ps 38:1.

J.  E. W. HENDERSON.
Copied from The Gospel Messenger, November, 1914

Downward Course of Abraham

Downward Course of Abraham (1995, May - June)

For more than two centuries after the great flood, God suffered with the rebellion of all the scattered tribes as they persisted in pantheism (all god's) and polytheism (many god's) which are fundamentally evolutionary systems, rejecting or ignoring the concept of an omnipotent Creator and worshipping the creation and the creature rather than the Creator.

Although these early tribes were still aware of the true God, this knowledge gradually became of less and less importance to them in comparison with their own religious concerns. A classic passage of the Apostle Paul speaks of this in Ro 1:21-25: "When they knew God, they glorified Him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and four footed beasts, and creeping things. Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts to dishonour their own bodies between themselves; Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen."

One of the great tendencies of the ancients was to fall into "ancestor and family worship." This was a great tendency with Abraham, for as we shall see, that it was only when Abraham had no other choice did' he finally give-in to be separated from the last remaining family member that he brought, contrary to God's commandment, out of the Ur of the Chaldees, see Ge 13:8-11. We shall see that leaving the Ur of the Chaldees was not so difficult, but when he must leave his father and other family members behind, he just couldn't bring himself to do this; instead he disobeyed God and brought them with him.

The only true record of God's dealings with mankind were still being preserved through Noah's son Shem and his descendants. Finally one of these descendants, Abraham, was chosen to head a new nation, later to be known as Israel and named after Abraham's grandson. Through this nation God once again would reveal Himself and His purposes for the world; and through this nation He eventually entered the human family. The existing nations had gone off into the beliefs and practices of evolutionary pantheism and were unfit to receive God's revelation, so. God prepared a new nation, founded by a man of such strong faith in the true God of creation that he would forever be called "the father of all them that believe," (Ro 4:11). Also we might note that consequently, most of God's written word would be transmitted to mankind through the medium of the Hebrew language, the tongue of Abraham (Ge 14:13).

Now let us consider the call of Abraham, and how he struggled on a "downward course" for a long time before he finally, and then only by the grace of God, took up his place in the Land of Milk and Honey. We read in Ge 12:1, "Now the Lord had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house unto a land that I will shew thee." In Heb 11:8 we read, "By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went." Then we read in Ge 11:31: "And Terah took Abram his son, and Lot the son of Haran his son's son, and Sara his daughter in law, his son Abram's wife; and they went forth with them from Ur of the Chaldees, to go into the land of Canaan; and they came unto Haran and dwelt there."

In Ac 7:2-4, we read from Stephen's sermon, "The God of glory appeared unto our father Abraham, when he was in Mesopotamia, before he dwelt in Charm (Haran), And said unto him, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and come into the land which I will shew thee. Then tame he out of the land of the Chaldaeans, and dwelt in Charon (Haran): and from thence, when his father was dead, he then removed him into this land, wherein ye now dwell," (Canaan). Finally we read in Isa 51:2, "Look unto Abraham your father, and unto Sarah that bare you: for called him alone, and blessed him, and increased him."

From all of the above we see that God had called Abraham and Sarah his wife to "Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred," although Abraham walked by faith, "not knowing whither he went," and left the land of the star gazers, (Chaldaeans) he brought his father Terah and his nephew Lot with him. By doing this Abraham disobeyed God and began his "downward course" a course he would follow for a great number of years. He was willing to obey God partially but not completely. He was willing to leave the Ur of the Chaldees, (the world) however, he was not willing to leave all of it behind him. He was not willing to forsake all in favor of God; He would bring some idols (family) with him even into the land of Canaan (church). So it is with some today, if they would be allowed, they would bring the inventions of men (their idols) into the church; some others would be happy to become a member of the church if they could just bring their idols with them, but if thy must leave them behind they will just continue out there in the world where they can worship them.

God said to Moses, "I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy." (Ro 9:15-16) God had acted in a sovereign manner in calling Abraham, he had shown mercy and compassion to Abraham, which was far more than he was entitled to, he was a vessel of mercy, who like Noah, had "found grace in the eyes of God." Although Abraham alone was called, he should not question God as to why He didn't call others of his family, but rather, he should inquire why He would extend such grace and mercy to him. God owes us nothing, but we owe everything to Him, for "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 (as He did Abraham) into His marvelous light; Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy." See 1Pe 2:9-10.

Well, after five years of wasted time in Haran, located just out of Chaldee, and only after his father was dead, did "God remove him." "So Abram departed as the
Lord had spoken unto him.; and Lot went, with him." (Ge 12:4). Again Abraham "departed as the Lord had spoken," but again he was not willing to leave all behind him, he brought Lot with him. Almost obeying God just won't get it, by bringing Lot (some of the world, an Idol) with him he was blatantly continuing to disobey God, Abraham continued on his "downward course." "And Abram took Sarai his wife, and Lot his brother's son, and all their substance that they had gathered, and the souls that they had gotten in Haran and they went forth to go into the land of Canaan; and into the land of Canaan they came. And Abram  passed through the land." (Ge 12:5-6) Notice God did not allow Abraham to take up a place in Canaan (church) because he was not, as yet, a fit subject, he at this point in his life was still not willing to put God above all others, even his relatives. However, take note that they both, Abraham and Lot, had gained a considerable amount of this world's goods while they were in Haran, but it was not because they were obedient to God. We should be aware of the grace and long suffering of God here; for the abundance of their goods would finally be the reason for their separating. Let us however, be aware that we must not look at the accumulation of this worlds goods as a mark of God's approval of one's way of life, or a lack of this world's goods a mark of God's disapproval. Some of the most renown of the Lord's saint's lived a life of deprivation and suffering, while others of the most infamous lived a life of sloth and luxury. However, The Lord's people are thankful for what they have, and by the grace of God, are happy with far less of this world's goods than the worldling.

In Ge 12:7 we see that God promised He would give unto Abraham and his seed  the land of Canaan, however, the promise did not include Lot and his seed. Abraham built an altar there and the Lord appeared to him there, however, he tenaciously held onto Lot, "and he removed from thence."

"And he removed from thence unto a mountain on the east of Bethel, (house of God, church) and pitched his tent, having Bethel on the west, and Hai (a heap of ruin; the world of outer darkness) on the east and there he builded an altar unto the Lord, and called upon the name of the Lord," (Ge 12:8). There is no doubt that the Lord loved Abraham, and we know that there is no doubt that Abraham loved his God, however, we see that he pitched his tent out there in the world, not yet willing to obey God completely. He would, if he could, live out of the church and yet he would try to live above the evil world.

"He builded an altar unto the Lord, and called upon the name of the Lord;" between Bethel and Hai, but notice, it does not say "the Lord appeared unto him," as before. Many times I have heard folks say that they could serve God just as well and get just as much out of the church without being a member, as those who lived in the church could. Well that just isn't so, God has given us a commandment, "seek ye first the kingdom of God, (the church) and his righteousness," (Mt 6:33). We see here, that Abraham in his disobedience, trying to live between Bethel and Hai, was continuing on his "downward course," "Abram journeyed, going on still
toward the south," (Ge 12:9) and south always means "down" you never hear it said we're going up south. Furthermore, his downward course takes him "down into Egypt," (the world of outer darkness). There is no reason to suppose that this was so with Abraham, but that it is not that way today, remember, "Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today, and forever," (Heb 13:8). We should not expect that we will fare any better than Abraham the friend of God did, when we disobey God.

In Ge 12:10 it reads, "And there was a famine in the land and Abram went down into Egypt to sojourn there," that is, he planned to only stay for a short spell. No matter what the circumstances may be, there is never any place like the church to live and dwell in, for it is the "The Land of Milk and Honey," it is God's place, and it is the place He has provided for His little children to live in. When we think that we can flee into the world of outer darkness to find help, we shall be as Elimelech and Naomi, who like Abraham, in a time of famine in their lives, fled to the Moabities but only found sickness, death and poverty. Naomi said, "For the Almighty hath dealt very bitterly with me. I went out full and the Lord bath brought me home again empty." (Ru 1:21)

"And Abram journeyed, going on still toward the south." He continues on his "downward course," for the next thing we read, as he and Sari came near to Egypt, is that Abraham says to his wife, "Behold now, I know that thou art a fair woman to look upon: Therefore it shall come to pass, when the Egyptians shall see thee, that they shall say, This is his wife: and they will kill me, but they will save thee alive. Say, I pray thee, thou art my sister: that it may be well with me for my sake; and my soul shall live because of thee." (Ge 12:12-13). He thought that he could pass her off as his sister be cause of their family resemblance, they had the same father but different mothers, see Ge 20:12. Abraham isn't walking by faith now, he is walking by sight. We see him here in the weakness of the flesh, he is like a lost child, he is only concerned about himself, he fears for his life and is willing to even give his wife to others to save it. He frantically pleads that she enter with him into the lie he had framed. He felt like a sheep among wolves, far away from the shepherd and the flock, what a terrible condition to be in. Abraham had brought all this distress not only on himself, but on all that were with him, as he continued on his "downward course," and except for the grace of God, all of the horrors of this dark and terrible place would have consumed him.

We know that all of this scheme was the product of Abraham's mind, with the help of Satan of course, and he could have changed his course, but he didn't. It is a hard thing, doing the best that we. can, to try to live above sin when we are living in the church and under its influence, but out in Satan's world we are like sheep among wolves and are likely to be ensnared as Abraham was.

It would seem that Abraham had certainly come to a low ebb. He was not willing to leave his father and Lot for the pleasures of Canaan, but now was willing to give his wife to another to save his life.

As Abraham expected, so it was, for when they continued on "downward into Egypt," "the Egyptians beheld the woman that she was very fair. The princes also of Pharaoh saw her, and commended her before Pharaoh: and the woman was taken into Pharoah's house. And he entreated Abram well for her sake: and he had sheep, and oxen, and he asses, and menservants, and maidservants and she asses, and camels." (Ge 12:14-16). Again we should notice, that because a man may have much of this worlds substance, it does not mean that these riches are given by God for a special blessing; for we can see here that Abraham, at this particular time, was wallowing in sin.

We suppose, that Abraham probably thought his scheme was working out even better than he had supposed, because of the special treatment and gifts, he felt that his life was no longer in jeopardy and he was safe and secure; but remember, Jonah felt secure, he too like Abraham had fled "from the presence of the Lord," and felt quite secure, for he had "gone down into the sides of the ship; and he lay, and was fast asleep;" and he also continued on a "downward course," he went down into the sea, down into the fishes belly down to the bottom of the mountains and the earth and her bars was about me forever; yet hast thou brought up my soul from corruption, 0 lord my God. It would seem that Abraham had also surely come to the bottom of his.: "downward course," but finally by the grace of God, Abraham also was brought up into the land of Canaan.

"And the woman was taken into Pharaoh's house;" (Ge 12:15) surely Satan must feel well pleased with himself, for here Abraham who was to be the progenitor of David seemingly was about to have his seed defiled by the Egyptians. For the seed of Abraham, by Sarah, would one day spring forth king David, the progenitor of the great King David, but if there was no lesser David, then there would never be a greater David which was Jesus Christ, the Promised Seed, "And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed"; "he saith not, And to seeds, as many: but as one, And to thy seed, which is Christ," but the seed of the woman "it shall bruise thy head." See Ge 22:18; Ga 3:16; and Ge 3:15.

As stated the promised seed, Jesus, was to come through Abraham's seed, and he and his wife are one flesh: Sarah should bear the "son of promise," Isaac, and through him the "Promised Seed" would be given. Satan has always endeavored to thwart the plan of God, and it looked as if he would soon be successful in breaking the golden chain of salvation; should Sarah come to Pharaoh's bed the seed would be deified, the chain would be broken, however, we see that all of the subtlety of Satan was of no avail, for the "Lord plagued Pharaoh and hits house with great plagues because of Sarai, Abram's wife."

Abraham's scheme is exposed and he is called to stand, in his shame, before the proud monarch of the land of darkness. Pharaoh said to him, "What is this that thou hast done unto me? why didst thou not tell me that she was thy wife? Why saidest thou, She is my sister? so I might have her to me to wife; now therefore beheld thy wife, take her, and go thy way," (Ge 12:18-19). Abraham has no answer, and it is true that he stood convicted by his sins before Pharaoh, but more especially before his God; whom he must realize by now had, by grace, delivered him out of this den of lions. God's providence glistens brightly, for if Pharaoh had been left alone to follow his nature he would have required Abraham's life, but God softened Pharaoh's heart and he sent Abraham, Sarah, and all they had out of Egypt, and Satan is foiled again.

"And Abraham went up out of Egypt, he, and his wife, and all that he had, and Lot with him, into the south." (Ge 13:1).Notice, he went up out of Egypt, however, he still has his nephew Lot with him, none others are mentioned that are with him, Lot is the problem; thusly he continued "into the south"  that is, he is still on his "downward course." We might also mention that he took some other troubles with him when he went up out of Egypt, and continued traveling down south, he brought a lot of Egypt with him, see Ge 12:16, among which was a little Egyptian maid named Hagar, see Ge 16:3. Hagar would also prove to be an object of shame and distress to him in the days to come.

In Ge 13:5-8 we read, "And Lot also, which went with Abram, had flocks, and herds, and tents. And the land was not able to bear them, that they might dwell together: for their substance was great, so they could not dwell together. And there was a strife between the herdmen of Abram's cattle and the herdmen of Lot's cattle; *** And Abraham said unto Lot, Let there be no strife) I pray thee, between me and thee, and between my herdmen and thy herdmen; for we are brethren? "Then Lot chose him all the plain of Jordan? (Ge 13:11). Now Lot is finally gone, Abraham's downward course is over. "And the Lord said unto Abram, as Lot was separated from him. Lift up now thine eyes, and look from the place where thou art northward, southward, and eastward, and westward: For all the land which thou seest, (Canaan) to thee will I give it, and to thy seed for ever. And I will make thy seed as the dust of the earth: so that if a man can number the dust of the earth, then shall thy seed also be numbered. Arise, walk through the land in the length of it and in the breath of it; for I will give it unto thee, Then Abraham removed his tent (between Bethel and Hai, see Ge 12:8) and came and dwelt in the plain of Mamre, which is in Hebron, and built there an altar unto the Lord," (Ge 13:14-18).

May God bless us all. Amen.

Elder Kenneth W. Clevenger
Cameron, MO

DUTCH DISTRESS

DUTCH DISTRESS (1946, April)

(Copied from The Gospel Standard, February, 1946)

We believe the following extracts from letters of gratitude will be read with interest. We hope soon to publish a complete record of expenditure for purchases made and goods consigned, On behalf of the Committee we tender our sincere thanks to all friends whose liberality made possible this little service to our friends in Holland.

LETTERS ADVISING THE DISPATCH OF GOODS.

DEAR FRIENDS—The plight of the Netherlands, whose people we understand are suffering from acute shortage of warmth and clothing, has touched our hearts, especially as we consider the godly amongst them. And we have felt a desire to minister some relief, but alas it is but very little we can do! We are but a few feeble folk, and the strict rationing of clothing and other materials, as well as of food, makes it difficult to obtain more than bare necessaries. Our hearts are enlarged towards you, but our opportunity is small. However, we ventured an appeal in our monthly magazine, The Gospel Standard, which has brought us in response a nice quantity of used clothing and blankets (some new); also money gifts. The latter we are not at present allowed to transmit to Holland, but shall do so at the earliest moment possible. The clothing etc., has now been dispatched.

Nine parcels sent via the Red Cross have already been delivered and acknowledged; and now, after encountering and by the mercy of God overcoming many official obstacles, twenty bales have been sent through our shippers to three addresses. These we trust will duly arrive. We are asking you to very kindly undertake the distribution amongst any of the needy of the Lord's own people; for although we sympathize with all who suffer, we desire especially to assist the "household of faith" whom we love in the truth. Your reception of our Philpot's writings has formed a bond of spiritual union between us.

We are reviewing the question of the monetary help, and should be glad to know which would be most useful to you—cash or kind. It is believed that you are not yet able to purchase clothing or blankets, and other needful things, in Holland. There is, too, a ban here against sending some things out to you, such as soap or cycle tires, to name but two much-needed commodities. We trust that this ban may soon be lifted. We do not wish to make an ado about our little effort, but merely name these matters to show that the delay has been unavoidable, and that immediately we can do so the materials or money shall be transmited.

Beyond all material things, we cordially desire for you in the Netherlands—what we ourselves greatly need here—a renewal of vital godliness, which is at so low an ebb. It is often our lamentation: "Wilt thou not revive, us again, that thy people may rejoice in thee?" "Turn us unto thee, 0 Lord, and we shall be turned; and renew. our days as of old."

The Lord has truly exercised wonderful long-suffering to usward during this terrible war; we have not suffered as your country has. But alas we look in vain for signs of national repentance and turning to God. Rather we see increasing daring in defying Him, and violating His Word and Day. The future is gloomy. Unrest is everywhere; notwithstanding the merciful cessation of organized warfare, there seems little real peace. We humbly trust, however, there is left a small remnant of grace-taught souls who as in. Ezekiel's day "sigh and cry for the abominations that are done in the land" and in their own hearts. It is rarely that a true mourner over sin is to be found, to whom Christ and Him crucified is indispensably needful. But we believe this is one of the hall-marks of saving grace, which unites the whole family of God as one. "They shall come with weeping, and with supplications will I lead them. I will cause them to walk by the rivers of waters in a straight way, wherein they shall not stumble: for I am a Father to Israel, and Ephraim is my first-born" (Jer 31:9). In fundamentals the saints are one in Christ —one in language (Zep 3:9), one in hope of a common salvation (Jude iii; Eph 4:4), one in faith (Eph 4:13), one in love (Joh 17:23.), one in worship and praise (Php 3:3; Re 1:5; 22:9).

But with Paul we have to say (and with much more reason than he) : "Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect." And when our carnality does not prevail (which alas is too often!) and grace is given, we can continue: "But I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus" (Php 3.).

We are thankful to know that you have been supported in your great ordeal by faith in Him who is invisible, having realized the shelter of the "secret place of the Most High." How emphasized is the fact that there is no other place of real safety, when scientific discoveries have become a source of alarm even to the scientists themselves. The atom bomb which has been unleashed, reminds us of the divine warning of Peter: "The elements shall melt with fervent heat," and his exhortations (2 Peter hi, ). Also of Christ's admonition: "Watch ye therefore, and pray always. . ." (Lu 21.).

We trust that in all your losses and sorrows you may enjoy an interest in that gracious benediction: "Now our Lord Jesus Christ Himself, and God, even our Father, which hath loved us, and hath given us everlasting consolation and good hope through grace, comfort your hearts, and stablish you in every good word and work" (2Th 2.).

I am, dear friends, on behalf of the Gospel Standard Baptists, yours very sincerely in the gospel,

J. H. GOSDEN.
78 Buckland Road, Maidstone.
Dec. 10, 1945.

EXTRACTS FROM LETTERS OF THANKS

(Copied from The Gospel Standard, February, 1946)

My very dear and highly esteemed Friend—We have had a sorrowful season, and the effects of the Lord's anger are found in our country. Is there no cause? The Lord's hand has gone out against us, for many have been suffering the spoiling of their goods, many long and tedious imprisonments, many have lost their dear relations, their lives. The Lord says—and these words are applicable to our nation—"You only have I known of all the families of the earth; therefore I will punish you for all your iniquities" (Am 3:2). This we have found by bitter experience, for many have been brought to a low state of affairs. We could not believe the adversary and enemy should have entered our gates, for we were as those of Laish, a people quiet and secure (Jg 18:7,27). It is true there are many godly people in our country, but very divided. Oh, that the Lord would arise and would take His two staves called Beauty and Bands, and feed His flock!

As interpreter of the destitude here and elsewhere, I beg to tender my best thanks to the many unknown givers for the proofs of love they were so kind to send us. All people to whom I have distributed the goods have accepted it with a thankful heart and blessings of heaven above they invoke upon the heads of the dear givers. The gifts have alleviated the need to some extent. The Lord recompense their work and a full reward be given them of the Lord of Israel! Yours in the best of bonds, 

W. BAAIJ.
Tholen, December, 1945.

DWELL WITH THEE

DWELL WITH THEE (1947, April)

Softly now the light of day
Fades upon our sight away;
Free from care, from labor free,
Lord, we would commune with thee.

Soon for us the light of day
Shall forever pass away;
Then, from sin and sorrow free,
Take us, Lord, to dwell with thee.

—Good Old Songs, No. 159.

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It is reported of Alexander's footman, that he ran so swift upon the sand, that the prints of his footsteps were not to be seen. Thus may it be with Christians. Nothing is more pleasing to God than a hand liberally opened, and a tongue strictly silent.

EBENEZER

EBENEZER (1952, May)

Ebenezer was the name of a place in Palestine, perhaps in west Judah, so called by Samuel who set up a stone there as a memorial of a signal victory given by the Lord to the Israelites over their enemies, the Philistines. The name signifies the stone of help, which accounts for the saying of Samuel on the occasion of its being set up, "Hitherto hath the Lord helped us."—1Sa 7:12. The place is mentioned twice before (1Sa 4:1; 5:1), no doubt in anticipation of the event recorded in the seventh chapter to which we refer. The children of Israel had disobeyed the Lord and he had forsaken them. At this place they had met the Philistines in a former battle and had been repulsed with the loss of thirty thousand men, among whom were the two sons of Eli, the priest and judge in Israel. Even the ark of the covenant was taken. To add to their woe Eli fell and expired on hearing the dreadful news, he being an old man. For the long; period of twenty years the children of Israel were left to mourn the absence of that God who had formerly delivered them and cared for them.

Acting upon the advice of Samuel they put away their strange gods which they had kept among them, and returned to the service of the Lord. When threatened with another battle they implored Samuel to plead for them that they might be saved out of the hand of the Philistines. The Lord accepted the burnt offering of Samuel, and heard the petitions he offered in behalf of his people. Accordingly their enemies were discomfited by the Lord's terrible thunder, so that the Israelites not only defeated them but completely disbanded them, and regained all the cities they had taken.

As emblem of praise to God for this interposition in their behalf, Samuel set up his "Ebenezer." This "stone of help" was designed to give glory to the great, name of the God of Israel. It had been demonstrated that the strongest enemy was utterly powerless when Jehovah was engaged on the side of Israel. While they had gone far astray the Lord had not suffered them to apostatize entirely, and in remembrance of His covenant He raised up Samuel the last of the judges and one of the noblest men of Old Testament times, and brought them back to His service and miraculously blessed them in a time of great need. It was certainly the proper time to erect an "Ebenezer."

The Lord having forsaken them because of their rebellion, they had become reduced to a state of deep distress. They were thus prepared to magnify and adore the name of Him who had again appeared as their deliverer. David says, "I was brought low and He helped me. Return unto thy rest, 0 my soul, for the Lord hath dealt beautifully with thee." When in the dark valley of despondency the poor child of God wanders, he is thereby prepared to appreciate the timely help of the Lord when He appears as the rock of his protection and defense. As he retrospects the past, the rich mercy and protecting care of his God is brought to mind, and he joyfully lifts a sweet Ebenezer in honor of His blessed name. When the crushing weight of sorrow and pain bears heavily upon him, and the Lord appears as his support, from his grateful heart flows out an Ebenezer of praise. The Lord's hand being seen all along his eventful journey, he is constrained to sing:

Through many dangers, toils and snares,
I have already come;
'Tis grace that brought me safe thus far,
And grace will lead me home.

"Hitherto hath the Lord helped us." How forcibly is this taught to the Lord's people by His merciful and gracious dealings with them! The obstructions along the way are so great, the sorrows of life are so deep, that If the Lord did not help them none could cross the world's barren desert—all would fall by the wayside. But by Ws help they press on, and, as they are permitted to rest in the green pastures and walk by the still waters, they sing with triumphant joy,

Here I raise my Ebenezer;
Hither by thy help I'm come;
And I hope, by thy good pleasure,
Safely to arrive at home.

J. R. DAILY.
---Zion's Advocate, September, 1899.

Ecclesiastes 10: 2,20

Ec 10:2,20 (1986, November-December)

Dear Sir — I enjoy reading The Primitive Baptist and all your good pieces. I can say amen to them all. Mr. Webb, please give your views on Ec 10:2, also Ec 10:20. Yours in hope, J. Rod Hilliard, Goldston, N.C.

The above Scriptures read as follows: "A wise man's heart is at his right hand; but a fool's heart at his left." —Verse 2. "Curse not the king, no not in thy thought; and curse not the rich in thy bedchamber: for a bird of the air shall carry the voice, and that which hath wings shall tell the matter," —Verse 20.

In the first expression, I do not think it was intended to teach that there is a difference in the situation or position of the heart of a wise man and a foolish man. The heart of both, according to anatomists, is in the middle of the body, inclining to the left side. But by right hand and left is meant the usefulness and readiness in one and the disadvantage and awkwardness of the other. There is a great advantage in being wise. The difference between wisdom and foolishness is, indeed, great and is properly designated by the heart's inclination, as right and wrong — right hand and left.

Verse 20 teaches that it is not only wrong to speak evil of kings and the rich, or anyone else, but that it is dangerous; because there may be spies who will bear the message to them. The bird :n the air carrying the voice, of course, is figurative language. It teaches that our words, and even our evil designs and thoughts, may be revealed to others in a way that is unknown to us. So the safe plan, the wise plan and the plan that would be recognized by Him who knows all about us, is, if we cannot speak good things of people, keep quiet.

—Copied from "Little Things," by Elder T. L. Webb, Sr., page 238.

EFFICACIOUS GRACE!

EFFICACIOUS GRACE! (1951, November)

Now as I cannot believe before I have the Spirit of God, the Comforter, so I cannot have the Spirit Of God before I have the Christ of God, as I cannot have the Christ of God before I have the Father. Yet I can never come to the Father but through His Son and by His Spirit. 0! Blessed be God for everlasting love to the elect in His Son Jesus Christ! 0! This same ancient grace is efficacious grace !—Brine.

ELDER JOHN LELAND (1943)

ELDER JOHN LELAND (1943)

(From the Baptist Scrap-book, May, 1843)

A captain, the son of a man at whose house he had been invited to preach, forbid his entering the house of his father, with severe threatenings. "After I arose to open the meeting by singing, the captain came rushing into the house, sprang upon the bed, took his sword and drew it out of its scabbard, and stepping off from the bed with his arm extended and sword glittering, exclaimed, let me kill the d d rascal.' As he made a stroke towards me, the point of the sword hit the joists, and he behaved like an awkward soldier. The cause was this: my wife, who was seated near the head of the bed, when she saw the captain step from the bed with his drawn sword, and drawing back his arm to give the thrust, sprang like the lightnings of heaven, and clasped her arms within his elbow around his body, and locked her arms together and held him like a vice, till the men took away his sword. We then took a lantern and went into the road and carried on our meeting."

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Turn again our captivity, 0 Lord, as the streams in the South.— Ps 134:3.

In the East, the rivers, in the dry season, are little more than fleeting streams, and sometimes they are entirely evaporated by the powerful action of the sun's rays. The rainy seasons come, and the beds, forsaken by the ancient rivers, begin to receive their annual tribute from the fruitful clouds, and the mountain torrent, rolling in its accustomed channel, causes the streams to return again, changing the sandy waste into the majestic river, raising the sower's hopes, replenishing the parched land with the long desired verdure, and man and beast again rejoice in the earth's abundance. Thus prayed the pious Psalmist: "Turn again our captivity, 0 Lord, as the streams in the south;" that as the inhabitants of these sultry regions rejoice in the return of the reviving streams, so we, restored to our beloved country and temple, may rejoice in the long expected deliverance.-- W. Brown.

—From the Baptist Scrap-book, May, 1843

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COST OF A BIBLE

(From the Baptist Scrap-book, May, 1843)

In the year 1272, a laboring man in England was paid only three and a half pence, or a little more than three cents a day, for his work, and in 1272, a Bible, with marginal notes, sold for thirty pounds, or about one hundred and thirty-three dollars. It then required the entire wages of thirteen years' labor to purchase a Bible. What a change hath been wrought by means of the art of printing.

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Homer, the father of poets, who has enriched the world with his song, was himself abeggar. Luther, the great reformer in Europe was a poor man. Jefferson, the greatest statesman that the world ever produced, died insolvent. Paul, the chief apostle of the Gentiles, had no certain dwelling place—was hungry and naked—poor, yet making many rich. But ten thousand such instances fade away, when compared with the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, who, though He was rich, yet, for the sake of rebellious traitors, became poor, that they, by His poverty, might be rich.---Elder John Leland.

ELECTION AND PREDESTINATION

ELECTION AND PREDESTINATION (1947, February)

(Copied from the Gospel Messenger, March, 1885)

It is not our intention to enter into a lengthy discussion on the above points of gospel doctrine, but we wish to note a few things which we hope may be of sufficient interest to the reader to enlist his careful investigation.

1. We take it for granted that election is a Bible doctrine; and if there is one text that sustains it when correctly understood, then there is no other text in the Bible when correctly applied that can conflict with it nor condemn it. Our Saviour hath said, "The Scripture cannot be broken."—Joh 10:35. It is therefore one complete golden chain of revealed truth, every part of which is of the same material, and rests upon the same divine authority. It cannot be broken, nor severed asunder so as to have one part of it to teach one doctrine and another part to teach the opposite. Christ is not divided, nor is His doctrine in conflict with itself. Let us therefore have a text or two setting forth election as a Bible doctrine. "I have reserved to myself seven thousand men who have not bowed the knee to the image of Baal." This reserve that God made unto Himself is election, and this election preserved not only the people, but it maintained the purity of worship in Israel when the great body of the nation had "bowed the knee" in homage to idolatry. "Even so at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace."—Ro 11:5. It is evident therefore that election of grace is true, and that there could not have been even a small remnant of Israel saved from their sins nor preserved from idolatry but for the sovereign choice of God. It is true that Israel sought after righteousness, in their way, like all self-righteous men and women do now, but "Israel hath not obtained that which he seeketh for; but the election hath obtained it, and the rest were blinded."—Ro 11:7. We see therefore that election is not only a Bible doctrine, but that it has preserved the purity of worship, as it always will, and obtained a justifying righteousness for sinners which no works of their own could procure.

2. We wish to call very special attention of the reader, especially if he thinks that anybody is hurt, harmed or wronged by election, that such is not the fact. Election is of grace, and it does not hurt, harm •nor injure anybody. It makes the condition of those it embraces everlastingly and infinitely better without inflicting the least injury upon any who are not embraced in it. Were there no election unto salvation at all, the condition of those who are not embraced in the election of grace would be precisely the same that it now is. Election takes nothing from them, nor does it deprive them of any power or merit they have for procuring salvation. If men and women, as condemned sinners, have power or merit to procure their salvation from sin either in whole or in part, had there been no election, then we say they still have that power. Election of some unto salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ has not deprived others of any power or merit that they could have had or did have even had there been no election.

3. Inasmuch as there is a very general idea among men that if election is true at all, it is based on the good works which God foresaw that some sinners would do, we wish to state here, that neither their good works nor their bad works had anything to do in procuring their election or choice of God. Such a thought as this destroys the very idea of the sovereignty of God as proceeding in the salvation of sinners upon His own sovereign will "according as He purposed in Himself." If election was based on some good which God foresaw in those who are chosen unto salvation, then the 'Lord bath been moved and influenced in His choice by something out of Himself, and it could not be justly written that it is "according to His good pleasure which He bath purposed in Himself."—Eph 1:9.

4. The whole gospel system of salvation as set forth everywhere in the Scriptures is, that "By grace ye are saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast."—Eph 2:8. If therefore God is moved in His choice of some to obtain salvation by their works either good or bad, this would destroy the very idea of grace and upset the whole system of salvation as revealed in the Bible and taught in every Christian's experience. Grace and not works "reigns through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord."—Ro 5:21. And in no part of a sinner's eternal salvation does grace reign more conspicuously and more triumphantly than in election. "We are bound to give thanks always to God, for you brethren, beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you unto salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth."-2Th 2:13. If election was not of grace, why should the saints of God be bound by every consideration of love and gratitude to give thanks always and forever to God for it? If we are subjects of grace and subdued by grace, we are bound by every principle of the gospel of our salvation to give thanks always to God that He hath chosen us unto salvation, and as a result of this choice that we believe this heavenly truth.

5. Another point we wish to notice here is that election does not damn anybody. There is a theory that has obtained a very deep hold in the heart of men that if election of some of Adam's race to salvation be true, then the non-elect, or those left out of that choice of God, are damned eternally as a consequence of being left out of God's choice. But this is not the doctrine of the Bible. Neither election nor non-election is the cause of man's punishment. The Scriptures everywhere testify that man's sins are the cause of his punishment, and not election. Were there no other proof of man's entire alienation from God by wicked works than his attempt to charge his eternal banishment from the peaceful presence of God to election, this, of itself, would show the enmity of his heart against God. We hope the reader will distinctly note that we most emphatically assert that the Scriptures do not teach that any man is damned eternally in consequence of election or of non-election. Election damns no man, nor is any damned because he is not elected. Men's sins have separated between them and their God, and not election.

6. Men and women of Adam's race are already, and at all times, under the death penalty of God's law as sinners until they are delivered from it by the election of grace, and this deliverance of one from the power of darkness cannot by any means hurt nor condemn another who has not obtained salvation. He is only left where his sins have placed him, and left where he desires most to be. He is "fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind," and by his very nature he is a child of wrath, and as such the "wrath of God (justly) abides upon him."

7. Christ Jesus is the sum and substance of the gospel of our salvation, and as He came not into the world to condemn it, so there is no eternal death nor condemnation in the gospel, nor in any part of it. Election and predestination are cardinal points of the gospel, and like the "pure river of the water of life" they proceed "from the throne of God and the Lamb," giving life and salvation to guilty sinners. Chosen in Christ before the foundation of the world, that they "should be holy and without blame before God in love."—Eph 1:4. This text, like m Any others, shows conclusively that to be holy and blameless before God is the fruit or result of election. This is what election does for sinners who are alienated from God by wicked works. It brings them nigh to God by the atoning blood of Christ, gives them a holy nature, holy desires, pantings and longings after God. It results in giving them faith in the merits of Christ's blood to put away sin; it gives them repentance and forgiveness of sins according to the riches of God's grace in election. It begets in the subjects of grace a loathing abhorrence of sin, and a fervent desire to worship, love and serve the Lord in holiness and fear all the days of their life.

8. Instead of election or predestination damning anybody eternally, or being the cause of their damnation, there is not one humble prayer, one holy desire, nor one act of obedience to God, but what is immediately connected with and results from election. Could those who so bitterly oppose this blessed doctrine of grace but see and feel its power in the true spiritual light, they would be ready and willing to rejoice with inspired men of God and say, "0 Lord, blessed is the man whom thou choosest and causeth to approach unto thee, that he may dwell in thy courts."—Ps 65:4. "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ, according as He hath chosen us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love."—Eph 1:3.

It is plainly seen from the above and similar texts that the goodness and sovereignty of God as displayed in election and predestination is the source of rejoicing and thanksgiving to all those humble saints who have tasted the riches of God's pardoning love and mercy.

9. The fruits and evidences of election are manifested by conviction for sin .and turning away from it; repentance, faith, hope, love to God and His people, prayer, praise and all those heavenly emotions and desires of soul which result from being born of God. These are some of the blessed fruits of election, and he who dissents from and objects to election as thus taught in the Bible and in every Christian's experience, does in effect object to being holy and without blame before God in love. He objects to having any conformity to the image of our Lord Jesus Christ. These are plain and undeniable facts, for if we object to the only method that God has revealed by which He brings sinners to Him without blame, then of course we object to being blameless before Him in love unless by a way of our own.

10. The doctrine of the Bible as held expounded and believed by the Primitive Baptists is, that neither election, predestination nor non-election is the cause of the eternal damnation of any sinner.

WM. M. MITCHELL.

ELECTION AND PREDESTINATION (1959, March)

ELECTION AND PREDESTINATION (1959, March)

Editorial in THE PRIMITIVE BAPTIST, September 17, 1942.

We promised again to try to write some more on the above subject; so we will try to write a few more lines on the same. This time we will begin by quoting De 7:6-8:

For thou art an holy people unto the Lord thy God: the Lord thy God bath chosen thee to be a special people unto Himself, above all people that are upon the face of the earth. The Lord did not set His love upon you, nor choose you, because ye were more in number than any people; for ye were the fewest of all people: but because the Lord loved you, and because He would keep the oath which He had sworn unto your fathers, bath the Lord brought you out with a mighty hand, and redeemed you out of the house of bondmen, from the hand of Pharaoh King of Egypt.

Here we have the plain statement that the Lord had chosen Israel to be a special people unto Himself. He set His love upon them, and chose them, not because they were more in number than other people. Neither did He choose them because they were a good people, or better than other people. De 9:6: "Understand therefore, that the Lord thy God giveth thee not this good land to possess it for thy righteousness; for thou art a stiffnecked people." The Lord did not choose them because they were better than other people.

True, this choice was not unto eternal life, but they were chosen by Him as a special nation, and He set His love upon them as a nation. But national Israel were a typical people, and typified spiritual Israel. Abraham was chosen of the Lord, and was the father of this great nation. God promised him that He would make of him a great nation, and promised him an heir. Isaac was the promised heir. "Now, we, brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of promise."—Ga 4:28. Ishmael was not the child of promise. He was born after the flesh. His mother was a type of the old covenant given on Mount Sinai. Sarah was a type of the covenant of grace; so, in the type, Isaac represented the children of the covenant, the children of God, the children of promise. "And if ye be Christ's, then ye are Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise."—Ga 3:29. So was Jacob a promised child, and was a type of the Lord's children. The Lord made a promise concerning Jacob before He was born, and even before he was born God said He loved him. "The Lord's portion is His people; Jacob is the lot of His inheritance."—De 32:9. The Lord chose Jacob, to bestow the blessing upon him, and passed Esau by, and did not love Esau. He did Esau no harm, but simply left him alone. He was under no obligation to bless either Esau or Jacob; but He saw fit to bestow mercy and grace upon Jacob, and bestowed the blessing upon him. God loved Jacob and chose him before he was born to bestow the blessing upon him. Jacob's name was changed to Israel. "And God said unto him, Thy name is Jacob : thy name shall not be called any more Jacob, but Israel shall be thy name."—Ge 35:10. Israel, as a nation, were God's chosen nation, and were a type of spiritual Israel, God's chosen people.

God did not choose national Israel because they were good, or because they did good, nor because they made choice of Him. This choice was without any condition on the part of Israel, and without any good in them causing Him to choose them. But He made choice of them that they be a peculiar people unto Him. This being true, the Lord made choice of His spiritual Israel without any good in them causing Him to make the choice. The choice was made without any reference to good in them. He did not choose them because they were better than other folks, but of His own will and good pleasure. It was just because it was His will thus to do; it seemed good in His sight.

If sinners in nature were left to themselves not one would ever choose the Lord. One would necessarily be compelled to first think upon the Lord in order to choose Him. David says, "The wicked, through the pride of his countenance, will not seek after God : God is not in all his thoughts."—Ps 10:4. If the Lord had not chosen the sinner, and after the choice, and according to that choice, given the sinner a new heart and a new life, that sinner would never have even one good thought about the Lord; for while he is yet in that wicked state God is not in his thoughts. It follows, then, as a necessary fact and conclusion, that the sinner must be changed first in order that he have one right thought of the Lord.

It is the Lord's work to give the sinner a new heart; and as it is His work to do this, He certainly has chosen to do that work when He does it; and if He has chosen to do that work, He has, most assuredly, chosen the ones in whom He does the work.

If you are Christ's then you are a child of promise. God the Father promised you to His Son ; He gave you to His Son. "I will declare the decree : the Lord bath said unto me, Thou art my Son ; this day. have I begotten thee. Ask of me, and I will give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession."—Ps 2:7-8. The Father gave some to the Son. But this was before we had existence. So you were given to Him before you had existence. The Son chose those whom He asked for, and the Father chose those whom He gave to the Son. The choice of the Father and the Son were the same. And the Son has left this statement on record for our consolation and comfort and assurance: "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."—Joh 6:39.

Paul's hope of living with God in the glory world was based alone on the promise of God and His power and faithfulness to perform and to fulfill His promise. "In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lip, promised before the world began."—Tit 1:2. From this we see very clearly that Paul's hope was based alone on the promise of that God who cannot lie. We also learn from this that God promised eternal life before the world began. He did not bestow or impart eternal life to anyone before the world began, but He made the promise before the world began, and eternal life was the thing promised. As He made this promise, persons who did not yet exist must have been embraced in the promise. He either promised eternal life to all the race of Adam, or to a part of the race, or to none of the race. If He made the promise to none of the race, then none of the race will receive eternal life. But either some of the race or all of the race will receive eternal life. If all the race receive eternal life, then Universalism may be the truth. The Universalist says there is no such thing as an eternal hell, or place of eternal punishment. If there is no such place as that, then the Lord Jesus did not save a single one of all the race of Adam from anything at all; and so His death was all in vain, and He accomplished absolutely nothing by His suffering and death. This virtually denies that He was the Son of God, and to deny that He was the Son of God is to virtually deny the Bible being the truth ; and to deny the Bible being the truth is to virtually deny the very existence of God.

But some of the race receive eternal life. As God cannot lie, and as He promised eternal life before the ages of time began, then all who were embraced in the promise will receive eternal life. He promised eternal life to all those who were given to the Son. It must be true, then, that He made choice of those who were embraced in the promise. If your hope of heaven is based alone on the promise of God, and His faithfulness and power to perform what He promised—based alone on the work of the infinite Jehovah God, and not on any worth, or merit, or righteousness of your own—not even your thinking on His name, nor on your choice, nor your acceptance of Him, or anything under heaven that you have done, or can do, or may do—just as Paul's hope was based alone on the Lord, then you are a child of promise, and God made choice of you before you ever had existence; and He has brought you into divine relationship with Himself by the work of the Holy Spirit, the third Person in the Holy Trinity; and the Lord Jesus will raise you up at the last day in His own image and likeness ; and eternal joy and bliss will be yours.

(To be continued.)


ELECTION AND PREDESTINATION (1959, April)

(Continued from Last Month)

"Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, to the saints which are at Ephesus, and to the faithful in Christ Jesus: grace be to you and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ. Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. who bath 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."

In this language we find Paul embraced, and the saints at Ephesus are embraced, and all the faithful in Christ Jesus are embraced. The expression, "Faithful in Christ Jesus," means all those who are full of faith in Christ Jesus. That includes all who are full of faith in Christ Jesus in every age and every clime, in all the habitable parts of the world. The word our embraces Paul, the writer, and the saints at Ephesus and all those who are full of faith in Christ Jesus. It em- braces the writer and those he was writing to—all the persons addressed. God is our Father; and the Lord Jesus Christ is ours. Is is our Lord Jesus Christ. Paul's language means that "He is mine, and He is yours."

Then the word us embraces the same people, the same number—no more, and no less. He "hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ." Has He done this according to what we have done? Has He done this according to, or in harmony with, or in consequence of, some good thing done by us? No. What, then, is it according to? "According as He hath chosen us in Him." The pronoun Him refers to Christ; "according as He hath chosen us in Christ." He hath chosen in Christ the Apostle Paul, the saints at Ephesus, and all those who are full of faith in Christ Jesus.

Did He choose them in Christ because they first made choice of Him? No. They did not exist before the foundation of the world, and they would have to be in existence before they could make choice of anything. He made choice of them before they had existence, for He made that choice "before the foundation of the world." Before the foundation of the world was laid He made that choice. The expression, "before the foundation of the world," literally means "before the ages of time began." Before time was, before time began, He made choice of them. The choice was in Christ, for He chose them in Christ; and He did this before the ages of time began.

God did not save people before the ages of time began; but persons who did not then exist were chosen in Christ before time was. The Father had a definite purpose in view in making this choice. What was that purpose? Was it to give them an opportunity to become children of God? Was it to give them an opportunity to be saved, or to become holy and without blame by doing His commandments? No; that was not the object of the choice. What was it, then? It was "that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love." He chose them to be holy, and not because they were holy, or because they .would be blameless by their doing. The end of His choice was that they be made holy and without blame, and not that He chose them because they became holy and without blame. The choice was first, and they are made holy and without blame before Him as a result of that choice. To say that they were chose/ in Him as a result of, or because of, them becoming holy and without blame reverses the order and puts the effect for the cause, and the cause for the effect. God's choice is the cause; and the effect of that cause is that they are made to be holy and without blame before Him in love. It is because God loved them, and not because of something in them. There is no cause of God's love, as here brought out, outside of Himself. The cause is all within and of Himself.

Certainly, language could not be any plainer that God made choice of persons of Adam's race; and that this choice was made before the ages of time began. We remember being in conversation years ago with a man who denied the doctrine of election. We read these verses to him, and when we read the fifth verse we read it this way : "Having predestinated us unto the apostleship by Jesus Christ to Himself." He interrupted us to say, "There it is; you see He did not  predestinate that people should be saved; but He predestinated to make some apostles." Well, you know, we had to laugh right in his face. Then we read the text just as it is in the Book, and as quoted above: "Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to Himself." The apostle here plainly tells us that some were predestinated unto the adoption of children. How many were predestinated unto the adoption of children? All those who were chosen in Christ before time began. God determined beforehand that all the chosen ones should be adopted and brought into His heavenly family. He predestinated them unto the adoption of children. Those who are made to be His children, those who are finally brought into His heavenly family, were chosen in Christ to that end, and the choice and purpose existed before time began. They are brought into divine relationship with Him, and will be adopted into His family in heaven, as a result of His choice and predestination.

God does not save sinners by accident; but He saves them on purpose, and according to His choice. God purposed to save the sinner that He does 'save, and the purpose was before the saving was done. God intended to save the sinner before He does the- saving. It was God's purpose and intention to save every sinner that He does save. If any are saved who were not embraced in God's choice, and that God did not purpose to save, then some must be saved that God did not choose to save, and that He did not intend to save. If any are saved that God did not choose and intend to save, then God does not save them. And if God does not save them, please tell us who does save them? God has a place to put all those whom He saves—and that place is called heaven. Where will those be placed that God does not save? Some other place will have to be fixed up for them, because the place God has fixed will be filled with those that He saves.

Where is your faith fixed? Are you depending on societies, churches, preachers, or some other human being for your salvation? Do you expect to get to heaven by and because of what you do, or can do, or expect to do? If so, is your faith in Christ? If your faith is in Christ, then your dependence is all in Him ; your whole trust and confidence is in Him; you are-depending alone upon Him and upon what He has done, and is dolng, and upon what He has promised to do, for your home in heaven—that place where His people will finally be landed. And if your faith and hope and trust and confidence are all in Him, then it is true that you were embraced in God's choice. God made choice of you before time began, and predestinated you unto adoption of a child. You will be taken home to live with Him in eternal glory, when all the trials and conflicts of life are over. You will live with Him in that world where sorrows and trials can never be. There will be no wars there. There will be no sin there.

He wept that we might weep;
Each sin demands a tear:
In heaven alone no sin is found,
And there's no weeping there.

There'll be no sorrow there;
There'll be no sorrow there;
In heaven above, where all is love,
There'll be no sorrow there.

We will here call attention to what Paul said in Ro 9:7-16:

Neither. because they are the seed of Abraham, are they all children; but, In Isaac shall thy seed be called. That is, They which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God but the children of the promise are counted for the seed. For this is the word of promise, At this time will I come, and Sarah shall have a son. And not only this; but when Rebecca also had conceived by one, even by our father Isaac; (for the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of Him that calleth;) it was said unto her, The elder shall serve the younger. As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated. What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God? God forbid. For He saith to. Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy.

Here is text enough for more than we will be able to write for this issue. The first thing we wish to call attention to is the fact that Isaac was a promised child, , and that he was born contrary to nature. Abraham was old and Sarah was past the age of child-bearing. But God made promise that at a certain time He would come and that Sarah should have a son. That son was Isaac. Ishmael was born of Hagar, and Ishmael was not the promised heir. He was born after, the flesh. His mother was a type of the law' covenant, and he was not to be heir with the child of the free woman. Isaac was a child of promise; and so is every child of God a child of promise. "Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of promise."—Ga 4:28. Turn to the book and read the chapter, especially from verse 21 to the end of the chapter. "And if ye be Christ's then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise."—Ga 3:29.

(To be continued)

(ELECTION AND PREDESTINATION. (Continued from Last Month) (1959, May)

This is a clear and positive demonstration of the choice and purpose of God. The efforts of Sarah and her handmaid did not result in the birth of the promised child; but resulted in the birth of a mocker. Even so to this day—the efforts of all the societies in the world and the works of men do not result in the spiritual birth of one into the heavenly family, God comes, as He did then, in the power and might of His Holy Spirit, and the promised child is born into the heavenly family; and Jerusalem which is above, and is free, is the motner. This Jerusalem is the covenant which is everlasting, and is ordered in all things and sure. They were embraced in that covenant before they nad existence, "when as yet there was none of tnem." Hers is the doctrine of election, Cod's choice, and God's purpose clearly demonstrated.

Then the apostle refers to Rebecca, the wife of Isaac. To Rebecca and Isaac two boys were born, and they were twins. It seems that Paul was not satisfied to demonstrate and show forth the doctrine of God's sovereign choice and His predestination by the use of Isaac and Ishmael, so he now brings out two more boys —twin boys, who had the same father and the same mother. Though they were twins, yet Esau was born first. Under the law the family blessing was always to go to and be bestowed upon the elder, or the oldest boy. But God had not so cnosen in this case. Before the boys were born the Lord told their mother that "the elder shall serve the younger." The word elder literally means the greater and the word younger, literally means the lesser. Here is a promise of God concerning these boys before they were born. God made choice of the lesser, or the younger—Jacob—that he should serve the greater, or the elder—Esau. Here is a display of God's choice in the matter; and it was not the law by which it was manifested or done, but it was a display of His mercy and grace and His sovereign cnoice. God loved Jacob and bestowed the blessing upon him. God hated Esau, He did not love Esau, and passed him by and bestowed the blessing upon Jacob. This was not done because Jacob had done good and Esau had done bad, for it was before they were born, and neither of them had done any good or evil.

(To be continued.)

ELECTION AND PREDESTINATION (1959, June)

(Continued from Last Month)

"For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of Him that calleth."—Verse 11. Here the apostle positively and unequivocally declared that in this is the doctrine of election and God's purpose or predestination set forth. Why try to "wrest" this to try to make it teach something else? When and if one does that, is it not a clear demonstration of the fact that he is not satisfied with the teaching of God's Book? Years ago a lady said to us, "I do not believe that doctrine. I do not care if it is in the Bible." Why not be candid about the matter, and do as that lady did, just say positively that you do not believe the Bible?

God made choice of Jacob, and Jacob was a type of all God's people. "When the Most High divided to the nations their inheritance, when He separated the sons of Adam, He set the bounds of the people according to the number of the children of Israel. For the Lord's portion is His people; Jacob is the lot of His inheritance."—De 32:8-9. Jacob, then, represented the Lord's portion, the Lord's people, the Lord's inheritance. God love Jacob before he was born; and He loved His people before they existed. He 'loved them from everlasting, and will love them to everlasting. His love is eternal. He loved them from eternity, and made choice of them, and purposed to save them in eternal glory ; to deliver them from the curse of the law—to save them from their sins.

Just where the Lord found Jacob is where He finds all His people—in a desert land, and in the waste howling wilderness. And as He did with Jacob, so He does with each one of them. "He led him about, He instructed him, He kept him as the apple of His eye."

Is there unrighteousness with God because He does all this? Some people think so; for some will tell us that if God thus makes choice of one and saves that one without conditions upon his part, and does not give all the others a chance, that He is unjust. We have even heard some say that if He does this He is meaner than the devil. But the inspired apostle did not thus view the matter. He asks the question, in anticipation of what some say about the matter, even in this so-called enlightened day, "What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God?" Then He answers the question in positive language, "God forbid." It is God's sovereign prerogative to make choice of a poor sinner and deliver that sinner from eternal destruction from His presence—from eternal suffering in an endless torment. Hence "He saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion." In His declaration to Moses He declared His sovereign choice of sinners and His purpose to save them. He saves whom He wills to save. He has compassion on whom He wills to have compassion. He has mercy on whom He wills to have mercy. And it is alone the mercy of God by which a poor sinner is saved, and not what the sinner does. And God bestows that mercy upon whom He wills to bestow it. He has made choice of them, and saves them according to that choice and purpose. He made cnoice of them, and predestinated to save them. Hence He bestows His mercy upon those He has chosen and predestinated to save. Hence the salvation of the sinner is "not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy." The unregenerate sinner has a will, but his will is wrong; he runs, but he runs in the wrong way. The will the sinner has, and the running which he does, has nothing under heaven to do with his salvation. "It is of God that sneweth mercy." His salvation is all of God, and not partly of God and partly of his own will or work, or running.

Have you learned and felt this truth in your own heart? If you have, you have been taught of God. God was your teacher in bringing you to know this great truth. And if God has been your teacher, then you are a child of God; for the prophet said, "And all thy children shall be taught of the Lord; and great shall be the peace of thy children."—Isa 54:13. Everlasting peace is yours beyond this world of turmoil and war.

So by experience I do know
There's nothing good that I can do;
I cannot satisfy the law,
Nor hope, nor comfort from it draw.
My nature is so prone to sin,
Which makes my doing so unclean,
That when I count up all the cost,
If not free grace, then I am lost.

In that day there shall be a foundation opened to the house of David and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem for sin and for uncleanness.

The word shall is used in different ways or senses. Sometimes it is used in the sense of prophecy—simply telling beforehand what will come to pass at some time in the future. Sometimes it is used in the sense of a mere statement of fact. Sometimes it is used in the sense of a command, or in the giving of a command. Sometimes it is used in the sense of determination; it carries with it the idea of determination on the part of the speaker.

Let us look, for a few minutes, at Da 12:10: "Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried; but the wicked shall do wickedly; and none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand." In this text the word shall is used in the first place in the sense of determination—"many shall be purified, and made white, and tried." This is not something which they do themselves. It is something to be done by another, and done for and to them. They "shall be purified, and made white." The Lord determined that they should be thus made—made pure; they "shall be purified." Poor sinners are made pure by the work of the Lord. God the Holy Spirit makes the application of the blood of Christ to them, and thus they are purified and made white. The Lord determined to do this; and He chose those for and to whom this would be done, He chose those whom He would purify from their sins, and make white in the blood of the Lamb.

The next clause says; "but the wicked shall do wickedly." They do not do wickedly because God determined that they should; but they do wickedly because it is their nature to do wickedly. Hence, that is simply a statement of a fact. It was that way when the language was written; it was that way before the language was written; and it is that way yet, and it will continue to be that way. The wicked have always done wickedly because it was their nature to do wickedly; and they will always do wickedly, because it is their nature to do that way.

The next clause says, "and none of the wicked shall understand." Why is it that none of the wicked shall understand? The Saviour answers that question for us very plainly. In Joh 8:43 He said to some wicked Jews, "Why do ye not understand my speech? even because ye cannot hear my word." The reason why the wicked shall not understand is because they cannot hear His word—they cannot understand it. "None of the wicked shall understand" because they cannot understand. Something must be done for the sinner which he cannot do for himself in order that he be able to understand—he must be changed first, in order that he understand.

In our text at the beginning of this article the Lord declares that in a certain day a fountain shall be opened. This carries with it the idea that the Lord had determined the fountain to be opened, or that it should be opened. He was going to see to it that this would come to pass; He was going to bring it to pass. This certainly carries with- it the idea that the Lord determined this beforehand. That is God's predestination. Not only did He determine that this fountain should be opened, but He determined that a certain end should be reached—a certain thing should be accomplished by, and as a result of, tne opening of this fountain.

Note, carefully, that the text says "in that day." This signifies a certain day, a fixed day—not "in those days," but "in that day." The Lord determined to do this, or that it should be done, in a certain day. The day was fixed, or determined, as well as the thing to be done was determined. Tne Lord determined that this should be done at a determined time—in a certain day. "In that day tnere shall be a fountain opened." The Lord determined to do what He does, and determined tne time that He will do it. When the Lord does a thing, it is but the fulfilling, or bringing to pass, what He determined beforehand to do; and He does it at the time He determined to do it. He never gets behind with His work, nor does He get ahead with His work. He always does His work on time, and at the right time. It is always the right time for the thing to be accomplished which He determined to be accomplished.

The Lord did not say, in this text, that the fountain should be opened for the benefit of all mankind, or that all mankind might have access to it. Neither did He say that it would be free for all who would accept it; but it "shall be opened to the house of David and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem." The fountain is opened to these special people. It was not to be opened to the Amorites, the Hittites, the Jebusites, or the Perizzites, or the Hivites—but to the Israelites; the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem. The Lord made choice of those to whom the fountain should be opened. The fountain was not to be opened a part of the way, and they to come the rest of the way—but the fountain was to be opened to them; it was to reach them, and to benefit them. It was to do something for them and to them, or in them.

The fountain was not to be opened in order that there might be sin and uncleanness; but to take away sin and uncleanness. "The blood of Jesus cleanseth us from all sin." It is not baptism that takes away sin, or that cleanses from sin; but it is the blood of Jesus which does that.

A fountain is self-sustaining. It requires no power outside of itself to sustain it. A fountain is self-purifying. Place poison in the fountainhead of a stream, and the fountain will remove and carry the poison away itself. No power outside of itself is needed in order that the poison be removed. All the sins of the chosen people of God were laid on Jesus. "The Lord hath laid on Him the iniquity of us all."—Isa 53:6. But the fountain has carried all those sins away into the land of forgetfulness, and the Lord has said, "and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more."—Heb 8:12.

When the blessed Redeemer hung on Calvary's cross and bowed His head and gave up the ghost, and poured out His blood on Calvary's hill, the fountain was opened. It is self-sustaining. It needs not the help of men or angels in order that it be sustained; nor does it need the help of men or angels to make it sufficient to carry sins away into the land of forgetfulness. "For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins."—Mt 26:28. The blood of Jesus is sufficient to remit sins; hence baptism is not necessary in order to the remission of sins. This fountain was opened to, and for the benefit of, all spiritual Israel, the chosen of God ; and He predestinated their salvation; He predestinated htat all their sins and iniquities should be taken away by the efficacy of this fountain, and that they should all finally be brought home to glory, to live with Him in that glory world. He predestinated that they should be glorified.

There is a fountain filled with blood
Drawn from Immanuel's veins,
And sinners plunged into that flood,
Lose all their guilty stains.

The dying thief rejoiced to see
That fountain in his day;
I hope that blood was shed for me,
And washed my sins away.

Dear dying Lamb! Thy precious blood
Shall never lose its power,
Till all the ransomed church of God
Are saved to sin no more.

E'er since by faith I saw the stream
Thy flowing wounds supply,
Redeeming love has been my theme,
And shall be till I die.

When this poor, lisping, stammering tongue
Lies silent in the grave,
Then in a nobler, sweeter song
I'll sing thy power to save.

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 whom He did foreknow, He also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom He did predestinate, them He also called: and whom He called, them He also justified: and whom He justified, them He also glorified. What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? 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. It is God that justifieth.

Before taking up a line of thought in connection with the subject of election and predestination, we wish to say a few words concerning another matter contained in the Scripture above quoted. We wish to say a few tnings concerning the words all things in the text. Here is a real need of rightly dividing the word of truth, as the Apostle Paul taught Timothy, in 2Ti 2:15, where he said, "Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth." To rightly divide is to rightly apply—apply each Scripture where it belongs. To quote a text and apply it where the Lord did not put it is to wrongly divide the word of truth. To put it where it belongs, and apply it to what the Lord has applied it, is to rightly divide it. He did not say to divide truth from error. That will take care of itself when the truth is rightly divided, or rightly applied. Everything taught in the Bible is truth. Tne Bible is the truth. But every truth in the Bible belongs just where God has placed it. Let us illustrate this fact in this way:

In 2Ti 1:9 the apostle said, "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." Here the apostle tells us, emphatically, that this is a saving which is not according to our works. Our works, whether good or bad, do not have a thing in the whole wide world to do with this saving. The things which we do, or the things which we may leave undone, do not have a thing in the world to do with this saving. This is a saving which is not according to what we do. Can we rightly divide the word of truth by saying there is no saving at all that what we do has nothing to do with? Let us see what the same apostle has said in 1Ti 4:16: "Take heed unto thy-wit', and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them tnat hear theft" In this text the apostle tells Timothy he would save himself and them that hear him by doing his. Here is a saving, then, which this minister was to accomplish by doing what the Lord here commanded him to do, or by doing that which he was instructed to do. Timothy would not save himself in heaven by doing this. He would not save himself in heaven by doing this. He would not make himself to become a child of God by doing this. It was too late for him to save himself in the sense of being regenerated by doing this, for he was already a child of God and a called minister of Jesus Christ. He had already been born from above ; and hence it was too late for him to do this in order to be born again. But it was not too late for him to save himself from false doctrine, or from the doctrines and commandments of men, by doing this. It was necessary that he do this in order to save himself from false doctrines, or from the doctrines and commandments of men. By doing this, he would not only save himself from these things, but he would save them that hear him. The word hem", as it is used in this text, means to take heed, or to observe the teaching: It does not simply mean to hear the vocal sound of your preaching, but to take heed to it. This means to understand and then to observe the teaching. The unregenerate cannot understand gospel preaching, or gospel teaching. "Why do ye not understand my speech? even because ye cannot hear my word."—Joh 8:43. Jesus said this to some wicked unregenerated Jews. In verse 47 He said, "He that is of God heareth God's words: ye therefore hear them not, because ye are not of God." One must first be of God in order to be able to hear God's words, or to hear the gospel. "We are of God: he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God heareth not us."—1Jo 4:6. Those who really hear the gospel preaching are already of God; and the true minister is to save such persons, as well as himself from false doctrines, from the doctrines and commandments of men. This matter is very important for the benefit, instruction, and comfort of the Lord's humble poor, as they are pilgrims and strangers here; but this does not have a thing in the world to do with them reaching heaven, ro with their happiness in the glory world.

(To be continued)

ELECTION AND PREDESTINATION. (1959, July)

(Continued from Last Month)

One time when we were in discussion with a gentleman ne asked, "What in the world do you preach for? Why do you spend so much time in that work, and so much labor in that line? You say that no one is saved as a result of the preaching you do; then what do you preach for, if it is not to save somebody?" We replied that we do try to, and expect to save some folks, by our preaching, the Lord helping us. He then wanted to know what we expected to save them from. We replied by saying, "We expect to save some from the heresy which you teach." We are sure that by the Lord's help many of His little children have been saved froth heresy here in the world by the preaching which has been done by the Lord's true ministers. Here is a plain distinction which shows clearly the necessity of rightly dividing the word of truth. We need to apply the word saved where it belongs where and when we find it in God's blessed Book. The same thing is true regarding other things taught therein.

Suppose we apply the expression all things, as found in our text, to everything that exists in the world. If we do that, We are sure we would not be rightly dividing the word of truth. Will it do to say that God and Satan are working together? We were told, once, of a preacher who said, "God cannot lie ; but He raised up a nasty little devil to do His lying for Him." God did not raise Pharaoh up to lie, but to show His power in him, and that His name might be declared throughout all the earth. If that preacher told the truth, then God wanted some lying done, but was ashamed to do it Himself, so He "raised up a nasty little devil" to do that for Him. The only job the devil has, according to that, is what God raised him up to do, and what God wanted him to do—the things the Lord is ashamed to do Himself. So, according to that, they must be working together. Perhaps, according to that, they went into partnership, and are working harmoniously together, and God is as well pleased with the devil and his work as He was, or is, with the work of His dear Son. This may be true, but we confess that we have not so understood God's Book to teach. Satan has been working, from tne first account we have of him, contrary to God; and he is doing that yet.

Again, we are told of two things which do not work together : "For tne flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh : and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would."—Ga 5:17. Here are wo things which are contrary the one to the other. As they are contrary the one to the other, they are not working together. They are working contrary to each other. Here is wherein there is a warfare going on in the child of grace. That one who has been born of God, or from above, still is in possession of that old sinful nature, the flesh, and he is also in possession of the Spirit ; and these are contrary the one to the other. From hence arises the warfare within; and tnis is a. warfare that will never cease while they live here in the world. These two things are contrary the one to the other. It has always been that way, and always will be that way, here in this world. They do not work together. One influences and leads in one direction, and the other leads and influences in the opposite direction. We cannot rightly divide the word of truth by applying the expression in our text, all things, to these two things which are contrary the one to the other. The all things in our text, then, does not mean all things numerically, but it applies to the all things under consideration—to the all things which the Lord will give us, as expressed in verse 32, which the apostle says, or teaches, that the Lord will give us.

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 whom He did foreknow, He also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom He did predestinate, them He also called: and whom He called, them He also justified: and whom He justified, them He also glorified. What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? He that spared not His own Sop, 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? It is God that justifieth.

"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." Those whove God are those who are the called according to His purpose. They do not call themselves. They are called by another, and God is tne one who does that calling. "Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me His prisoner : but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power 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 1:8-9. God does this calling, and He does it according to His purpose. He does not call a poor sinner out of death into life, or out of nature's darkness into His marvelous light, by accident.

(To be continued.)

ELECTION AND PREDESTINATION (1959, August)

(Continued from Last Month)

He does that on purpose. He purposed to do the calling before He does it. If and when a sinner is called with this holy calling, God does that according to His own purpose and grace. It is a fulfillment of His purpose. It is but God doing what He purposed, or intended, to do. Those who are thus called by the Lord of glory, by the Holy Spirit's work, are thereby brought to love God ; and the ill things the apostle is talking about in our text work together for their good. The Father will, with Christ, give to these same persons the all tnings which work together for their good. "How shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?" This last statement is in the form of a question, and is the strongest way of saying that "He will with Him also freely give us all things."

Here is God's purpose, plainly stated by the apostle. To purpose to do a thing is to predestinate to do that thing. Remember that predestinate means to deter= mine beforehand. To determine a thing beforehand is to purpose a thing before it is done. As those who are called according to His purpose, and God does the calling, then God purposed to call those who are called. As some of the race are called, and some of the race are not called, it follows that God made choice of those He does call. Here is election and predestination; and no one can dispute it without disputing the plain and positive and emphatic statements of the Word of God. And if this part of the Bible is not the truth, who can tell whether any of it be true or not?

"For whom He did foreknow." There is a sense in which God foreknew and does foreknow all things—everything that has ever yet existed, or that will ever exist; everything that has ever yet transpired, or that ever will transpire—but here is a particular sense in which He did foreknow some that He did not foreknow others. The apostle did not say "what He did foreknow"—but "whom He did foreknow." He foreknew that every person would exist that ever has existed or that ever will exist. But these were foreknown in His everlasting covenant of grace, and the others were not. They were embraced in the covenant, and thus foreknown. He made choice of them and gave them to the Son in the covenant.

"For whom He did foreknow, He also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of His Son." Those who love God are those who have been called; those who have been called, and who love God, are those He foreknew in the covenant; they are those whom He chose and embraced in the covenant; and those He foreknew He also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of His Son. He also calls out of nature's darkness into His marvelous light.

He determined beforehand that these same people snould be conformed to the image of His Son. He predestinated that somebody should be conformed to the image of Jesus; and He calls every one that He predestinated. Every person that He predestinated to be conformed to the image of Jesus.

"Whom He called, them He also justified." How did the Lord justify them? "Much more then, being now justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him."—Ro 5:9. They are justified by the blood of Christ. Who are justified by the blood of Christ? Those for whom that blood was sned ; and He shed His blood for every one the Father predestinated to be conformed to the image of His Son. And every one that is justified by His blood shall be saved from wrath through Him.

What is the final end to be accomplished through all this? "Whom He justified, them He also glorified." Me final glorification of each one whom He foreknew in the covenant is the end to be reached. He predestinated just as many to be conformed to the image of His Son as He did foreknow; and He calls just as many as. He predestinated; and He justified as many as are called; and as many as were justified will be finally glorified. There will be just as many in the number glorified in the final windup as were in the first thing mentioned. There will be no increase in the number, nor will there be any decrease.

Sure enough, "what shall we then say to these things?" What do you say, dear reader? Do you object to being conformed to the image of Jesus? Do you object to being glorified and qualified to live with God in glory? Do you love God? If you love the Lord, it is because God made choice of you before time was, and embraced you in His covenant—knew you beforehand in the covenant—and predestinated that you should be conformed to the image of His Son; and Jesus died for you on Calvary's cross, and justified you by His blood; and the Holy Spirit has called you out of nature's darkness into divine relationship with Him, and thus brought you to love Him; and as certain as God lives you shall live also; and you shall live in a glorified state beyond this vale of tears. You shall live with Him where there are no wars, no bloodshed, no sorrow, no pain, no sickness, no sin, and no death. There will be no dark seasons there. Loved ones will not be called away to war, There will be no night there.

"If God be for us, who can be against us?" If God be for you in foreknowledge, in predestination, in calling, in justification, and in the final end of it all your glorification, then who can be against you? Satan, with all his, emissaries, can never be able to drag you down to eternal night. The Lord will, with His Son, freely give you all things necessary to your final glorification, and you will see Him as He is, and be like Him.

Since. the Father delivered up His Son for you, how shall He, not with Him also freely give you all things necessary to your final glorification and your eternal happiness beyond this life? These people the Father delivered up His Son for are His elect. "Who shall lay anything to the charge of God's elect?" God has an elect people—they are people—folks—sinners of Adam's fallen race! they are persons; not some imaginary, invisible, intangible something; but tangible human beings. They are God's elect ; He chose them; He embraced them by choice before the world was, before they had existence; He foreknew them as His in the covenant; He predestinated them unto the adoption of sons ; He justified them by the blood of Jesus; He calls them out of a state of death in sin to a state of life in Christ; they are preserved in Christ Jesus; He will see to it that they are all finally glorified.

Since it is God that justifies them, who can lay any thing to their charge? Who can condemn one that God justifies? If one be condemned that God justifies, then tne case must be appealed from God's high court in heaven to a higher court than His. Is there a higher court to which the case of one the Lord justifies can be appealed? Since God's court is the highest court, then there can be no appeal taken. And as no appeal can be taken, and as no appeal can be taken to another, or to a higher court, then their justification is an eternal or everlasting justification—it will never be any other way only that they stand justified before the Three-One God—the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. It is God that justifieth. God does this. God is the supreme Judge in His court, and His court is the Supreme Court. God Himself, through what His Son has done for you, justifies you ; He absolves you and makes you free from all guilt. Your guilt has been removed through what Jesus has done for you. "Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered."—Ro 4:7. The righteousness of Jesus is imputed to you and covers all your sips: and thus you are made pure in the sight of the Father. As your sins are covered, put out of His sight, He declares you innocent. The righteousness of Jesus is yours and in His righteousness you are innocent; and you stand justified in the sight of God. Well might the poet say:

Let me, my Saviour and my God,
On sovereign grace rely;
And own 'tis free, because bestowed
On one so vile as I.
Election! 'tis a word divine;
For, Lord, I plainly see,
Had not thy choice prevented mine,
I ne'er had chosen thee.
For perseverance, strength I've none,
But would on this depend,
That Jesus, having loved His own,
Will love them to the end.
Empty and bare I come to thee
For righteousness divine;
0! may thy glorious merits be
By imputation mine.
Free grace alone can wipe the tears
From my lamenting eyes,
And raise my soul, from guilty fears,
To joy that never dies.
Free grace can death itself outbrave,
And take the sting away;
Can sinners to the utmost save,
And give them victory.

Paul, a servant of God, and an apostle of Jesus Christ, according to the faith of God's elect, and the acknowledging of the truth which is after godliness; in hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began; but bath in due time manifested His word through preaching, which is committed unto me according to the commandment of God our Saviour.—Tit 1:1-3.

Here we have it that Paul was a servant of God. He served the true and living God. He was a loving servant. He was not this by nature, or while in an unregenerate state. While in an unregenerate state he thought he should do many things contrary to the name of Jesus of Nazareth, which things he has told us he also did. But the Lord, in His rich mercy and grace, arrested this poor sinner and changed him from a persecuting Saul to a praying Paul. The Lord made him a prisoner ; "Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me His prisoner."-2Ti 1:8. While it is true that he was a prisoner, he was brought to love his Captor. He was brought into divine relationship at..., and thus brought to love the Lord. Hence he was made to be a willing prisoner. "Thy people shall be willing in the day of thy power." —Ps 110:2. God's power was manifested in turning this man from hi evil way, and made him to become a willing servant.

Paul was not only a servant of God, but he was an apostle of Jesus Christ. There were already twelve apostles—one for each of the; twelve tribes; but this man was made to be an apostle to the Gentiles. He was our apostle. God had a people among the Gentiles, as well as among the Jews, and in the person of this man the Gentiles had representation in the office of the apostleship. In the work of an apostle to the Gentiles the Lord had a work for an educated man to do ; and He knew where to find the man, and He was able to call him and to put him into the ministry. He was able to make him a minister. He did not need the aid or assistance of any man or set of men to make this man an able minister ; He did not need the aid of some tneological school to give him the finishing touches. When the Lord has a work for an educated man to do, He knows Where to find the man, and He is still able to call the man and to put him into the ministry.

(To be continued)

Eleventh Article Of Faith

Eleventh Article Of Faith (1986, November-December & 1987, May-June))

April 28, 1908

Elder C. H. Cayce:
Dear Brother — For the benefit of a friend of mine who is a subscriber to your paper, i desire you, through the columns of your paper, to give an explanation of the eleventh article of the Abstract of Principles (the clause, "are all under the law to Christ"). The word "law" is the objection. Your unworthy brother.

Robards, Ky., Rt. 2 
0. P. Poore

OUR REPLY

The eleventh article of our Abstract of Principles, as published in The Primitive Baptist nearly every week, reads as follows: "That the children of God (those already born again) are all under law to Christ, and that it is obligatory upon them to obey this law; that in doing so they enjoy the blessings promised; but in disobedience thereto they suffer the penalty thereof, while here in this world." Brother Poore says the word "law" in this article of our faith is the objection. Well, we suppose if the Bible says this is true, Brother Poore's friend will accept it. The Bible is our standard of faith, and we are willing for this article to be tried by the Standard. "To the law and to the testimony." Let us go there and see if we can find anything like a statement that somebody who has been born again is under law to Christ. Turn to 1Co 9:20-21, and you will find this language: "And unto the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might gain the Jews; to them that are under the law, as under the law, that I might gain them that are under the law; to them that are without law, as without law, (being not without law to God, but under the law to Christ), that I might gain them that are without law." Here the apostle says plainly, "being not without law to God, but under the law to Christ." These are nearly the same words as are contained in the article of our faith. If the brother objects to the article of faith saying we are under law to Christ, we suppose he would object to the apostle saying the same thing. The apostle did say, "being under the law to Christ," and we are sure the brother cannot object to that. If he cannot object to that, then he can no longer object to the article of faith.

"For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death." — Ro 8:2. This being true, he is delivered from the law of sin and death, and is under law to Christ. This law proclaims freedom and liberty, while the law of sin and death proclaims bondage and death. To obey the law we are under to Christ is a loving and willing service; and the one who does this is "blessed in his deed." —Jas 1:25. "If ye love me, keep my commandments." — Joh 14:15. "If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them." — Joh 13:17. "The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple. The statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the Lord is pare, enlightening the eyes. The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever: the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether. More to be desired are they than gold; yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb. Moreover by them is thy servant warned: and in keeping of them there is great reward," —Ps 19:7 to 11. "For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; 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: and they shall not teach every man his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest." —Heb 8:10-11. This is the new covenant, and it is the claim of the Old Baptists that we are not worshipping under the old covenant. Then if we are now under the new covenant, God does write His laws in the hearts of His people; and if He does this, we are under obligation to observe those laws. To do so is not a slavish service, but a loving service. May the Lord help us to render that service, is our prayer.

Much more Scriptural testimony could be given, but we deem this to be sufficient. C. H. C

—Copied from Selected Editorials from The Primitive Baptist, Volume I, page 244.

ESTER (1943)

ESTER (1943)

L. M.

Poor, weak and worthless tho' I am,
I have a rich, Almighty Friend;
Jesus, the Saviour, is His name-
He freely loves, and without end.

He ransomed me from hell with blood,
And by His pow'r my foes controlled;
He found me wand'ring far from God,
And bro't me to His chosen fold.

He cheers my heart, my want supplies,
And says that I shall shortly be,
Enthroned with Him above the skies
0 what a Friend is Christ to me.

— The Good Old Songs, No. 491

EVERLASTING PEACE (1946, September)

EVERLASTING PEACE (1946, September)

0, for an everlasting peace,
With Jesus Christ above;
Where joy and happiness not cease,
But all be peace and love.

Where evils will not ever come;
Then I'll be satisfied,"
If I can only call it home,
Forever there abide.

I'm longing for the time to go,
And dwell with Him on high;
Then leave this sinful world below,
When I am called to die.

Lord, be my ever present guest,
While here on earth I live;
Then take me to thee there to rest,
With thee up there to live.

0, Lord, prepare my poor old heart
To sing thy worthy praise;
Until my time for to depart,
By mercy, and free grace.

This night, dear Lord, I humble pray
Before thy heaven's throne,
To bless me every night and day
While living here alone.

0, grant me Lord, a dying peace,
And faith to trust in thee;
Then save me by atoning grace,
And blood from Calvary.

Thos. F. Lewis.
Romney, W. Va.

Everlasting Task for Arminians

Everlasting Task for Arminians,

or a Letter to
the Rev. Edward Smyth, by William Gadsby

MR. SMYTH:

SIR—Learning you are again preparing, or rather gathering together, another volume of scraps, which you intend to publish to the world in vindication of freewill, and to hold up to contempt the doctrine of electing grace, after having a thousand thoughts revolving in my mind upon the propriety or impropriety of interfering in the business, seeing you have, in many respects, been so ably handled already, I at last resolved to drop you a few lines, to which I request your very candid attention; for I assure you, as far as I know my own heart, I have nothing in view but the glory of the eternal God and the welfare of Zion.

And, first, you are hereby desired, as early as possible, to inform those characters whom your extraordinary piety induces you to hold up to public view as murderers, upon what ground the salvation of a poor sinner depends; whether it depends wholly and entirely upon the free grace of Jehovah, or whether it rests wholly and entirely upon man's free-will, or whether it be a joint concern, depending partly upon God's free grace, and partly upon man's free-will? Should you be disposed to give the preference to the first of these, you will have the goodness to reconcile that to your Arminian creed, and for the better clearing of the way, you will be very particular in stating upon what branch of the free grace of God salvation does absolutely depend; and lest you should mistake what I mean, I will just state a few things, unto which I hope you will conscientiously attend. And in the first place, does the salvation of a sinner depend upon the everlasting love or mercy of Jehovah, or is it not possible for a sinner to be interested in that mercy, which is from everlasting to everlasting (Ps 103:17), and after all perish everlastingly? And if so, does it not evidently appear that salvation does not depend upon the mercy of God?

But secondly, does salvation depend upon redeeming grace, and may the characters redeemed unto God by the precious blood of Christ (Re 5:9), depend upon the efficacy of the redemption of Christ for salvation, seeing they are thereby redeemed from all iniquity (Tit 2:14), from the curse of the law (Ga 3:13), and out of the pit where there is no water (Zec 9:11), or may not a sinner be interested in the redemption of Christ, and be damned at last? And if so, does it not appear that salvation does not depend upon the redemption of Christ?

Thirdly, does salvation depend upon quickening, regenerating, or renewing grace? As it is written, "You hath He quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins." Eph 1. "Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost."—Tit 3:5. Or may not a sinner be quickened, regenerated and renewed by the Holy Ghost, and after all be banished from the presence of the Lord into the burning lake of never-ending perdition? And if so, does it not appear that this grace is not sufficient to save a sinner?

Fourthly, does salvation depend 'upon justifying grace? "Being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus."—Ro 3:24. "And by Him all that believe are justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses."—Acts 39. Or may not a sinner be justified by grace from all things, and after all be brought into condemnation, and have his everlasting portion with unbelievers in the torments of hell? If so, does it not appear that justifying grace will not save a sinner?

Fifthly, does salvation depend upon sanctifying grace? as it is written, "And such were some of you; but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God."-1Co 6:11. Or may not a sinner be sanctified in the name of the Lord Jesus and bythe Spirit of God, and be lost at last? If so, does it not appear that sanctifying grace will not save a sinner?

Sixthly, does salvation depend upon the grace of adoption? "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."—Eph 1:4-5. Or may not a sinner receive the adoption of sons, be an heir of God through Christ (Ga 4:5,7), and fall short of heaven at last? If so, does it not appear that salvation does not depend upon the grace of adoption?

Now if salvation does not depend upon any of these, separately considered, will you have the goodness to inform us whether it depends upon the whole of them, jointly considered, as one infinite treasure of immortal grace; or may not a sinner be interested in the whole of them, and after all perish in his iniquity? That is, may not a sinner be interested in the unchanging mercy of God, and in the redemption by Christ, and in the quickening, regenerating and renewing influences of the Holy Ghost; and may he not be justified from all things, and be washed and sanctified by the Spirit of God; and may he not be a son and an heir of God; I say, may not a sinner be interested in the whole of this grace today, and tomorrow die in his sins? And if so, how can salvation be of grace? But in order to give you room for your strength, and allow you every fair opportunity of proving salvation to be all of God's free grace, and yet the creed for which you contend be of God, I will ask in the seventh place, does salvation depend on the unspeakable gift of grace, viz., Christ Jesus? For "Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us, and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins."-1Jo 4:10. And if salvation depends on the unspeakable gift of grace, you will be particular in informing us upon what part of this gift it is that it depends.

Does it depend upon the work of Christ, or upon the characters He bears, or the offices He fills, or the fullness that in Him dwells, or the union and relationship that subsists between Him and His church; does salvation depend upon these things jointly or separately, or may not a sinner be interested in the whole of this grace, and be lost at last?

But to make the matter as straight as possible, I would ask, may not a sinner be interested in the work of Christ, that is, in his active and passive obedience on earth, and his intercession in heaven; and may he not build upon Christ as a foundation; shelter in Him as a hiding-place from the wind; rest upon Him as a resting-place; bathe in Him as the fountain opened for the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem for sin and uncleanness; enter into the sheepfold by Him, as the door and strait gate; trust in Him as the Lord, his rock and fortress, and deliverer, and strength, and buckler, and as the horn of his salvation, and his high tower (Ps 18:2); may he not receive Him as his Prophet, Priest and King; as the Captain of his salvation, his Day's-man, his Surety, Advocate and Mediator; may not a sinner live upon Him as the bread of heaven, the water of life, and the wine of the kingdom; may he not be interested in Him as the everlasting Father, and the elder brother, yea, a Friend that sticketh closer than a brother; may he not be united to Him as a loving Husband and a living Head; may note his life be hid with Christ in God, and he be life of His life, body of His body, bone of His bones, and flesh of His flesh; in a word, may not a sinner receive Christ as the Lord his righteousness and strength, his portion, and his all in all; be blessed with repentance unto life, and have Christ in him the hope of glory; "being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the Word of God, which liveth and abideth forever" (1Pe 1:23) ; be blessed with the fruits of the Spirit, as "love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance" (Ga 5:22-23); and after all be brought into condemnation? And if a poor sinnercan be interested in the whole of this grace, and be lost at last, do, sir, for the Lord and truth's sake, and for the sake of poor, perishing sinners, inform us upon what salvation does absolutely depend.

I presume it is impossible to propose to you, or to any other person, a subject of greater importance, and therefore I hope you will use all diligence to make the matter clear and straight; and if, upon due inspection and cool deliberation, you conclude that no sinner can be interested in the whole of this grace, and be damned at last, you will then, without the least reserve, inform us what part of it a sinner may be interested in, and yet be lost, and what part he cannot be interested in, and miss heaven, that we may be able to form some just views of our real state, and be no longer left at an uncertainty about the grounds upon which salvation absolutely depends.

II. Should you be disposed to give the preference to man's free will, and inform us that salvation depends upon the will of man, you will inform us how such a sentiment agrees with the Word of God. But if, after all, you cannot feel any real regard for me, yet for the truth's sake, and for the sake of poor, perishing sinners, you will inform us how such a sentiment agrees with the following passages of holy writ:

The first passage that I will recommend to your attention upon this part of the subject is Joh 1:13: "Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God." The second is in that precious chapter which you have employed your wits in giving a distorted, in and out explanation of (as Mr. Roby has made evidently appear), viz., Ro 9:16: "So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy." The third is Eph 2:8-9: "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." The fourth is 2Ti 1:9: "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." The fifth is Jas 1:18: "Of His own will begat He us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of first-fruits of His creatures." The sixth is Php 1:6: "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." The seventh is Ac 13:48: "And as many as were ordained to eternal life believed." See also the first six verses of the second chapter to the Ephesians. I could produce many more, but am inclined to think the above will be as many as you will be able to manage, and keep free-will upon its throne.

We also earnestly wish you to inform us whether the will of man became completely perverse by the introduction of sin, or whether it was only slightly injured, or whether it was injured at all; and if the former, what you and your brethren mean by free-agency and freewill; and if the latter, and salvation depends upon freewill, what do you mean by praying that God will have mercy upon all men, and save them with an everlasting salvation, and then tell the congregation that God has done all He can to save them, and the matter now rests with them, whether they will be saved or not? Surely, such vain jangling can never be acceptable to God, however it may feed the carnal mind of man; for if God has done all He can, why pray to Him to do more? and if He has not done all He can, why tell the people He has? Strange as such contradictions may seem to a sensible mind, they are frequently produced in the course of one hour by an Arminian preacher. Now, sir, depend upon it, the credit of your favorite system depends much on these things being made to appear clear; nor can an experimental child of God be satisfied with a shuffling put off.

III. If you feel disposed to say that the salvation of a sinner is a joint concern, depending partly upon God's free grace, and partly upon man's free-will, you will doubtless be careful to inform us where such a salvation is recorded, and how it agrees with the following passages of holy writ: "I, even I, am the Lord; and beside me there is no Saviour."—Isa 43:11. "Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved."—Ac 4:12. "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 of grace: otherwise work is no more work."—Ro 11:6. "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 balance: 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." "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."—Isa 40:13-17,22-23. And again: "For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called: but God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise" (pray, sir, do not forget that); "and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things that are mighty; and base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to naught things that are: that no flesh should glory in His presence."-1Co 1:26-29.

Now from this account given of man by the eternal God, it evidently appears that all the nations of the earth are but as a drop of a bucket, or the small dust of the balance, as grasshoppers, having no might; nay, they are as nothing, and less than nothing, and vanity. What flesh can bear it? Well, be it as mortifying as it may to proud man, God informs us by the mouth of the psalmist that "every man at his best state is altogether vanity."—Ps 39:5. And it evidently appears that if any of these particles of nothing, and less than nothing; and vanity, appear to shine brighter than the rest, there are but few of these saved. But God has chosen the foolish, the weak, the base, and the despised; and the end answered thereby is, that no flesh should glory in His presence; that, according as it is written, "He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord."

Now, sir, in case you should still feel yourself inclined to maintain that salvation is a joint concern, partly depending upon the free grace of God, and partly upon man's free-will, your work in this business is judiciously to inform us what deficiency there is in the free grace of the eternal Jehovah, and in what sense He needs the aid and assistance of this drop of a bucket, this small dust of the balance, these wonderful grasshoppers, these particles of nothing, and less than nothing, and vanity, yea, these foolish, weak, base, and despised particles of less than nothing, who, at their best estate, are altogether vanity; I say, sir, your work is to inform us, and that with the greatest accuracy and clearness, wherein these worms can aid and assist the great Jehovah in their eternal salvation, and upon what part of their aid salvation depends. And having done this, you will then inform us whether it be just and righteous in God to demand all the glory, and not to admit any flesh to glory in His presence, but in the Lord, seeing that all the goings forth of the free grace of God will never save one sinner, if the sinner neglect to do his part. It is to be hoped that you will not pass these things over as trivial matters, for they are matters of the greatest importance; and surely it behooves every sinner that expects to go to heaven to be well persuaded in his own mind upon what ground his salvation depends, lest he should be building upon a false foundation, and, after all his diligence and watchfulness, be found wrong at last.

Now, sir, as your conscience is so tender that you could not satisfy it till you had protested against the doctrine of unconditional election, you surely cannot die in peace without answering these important questions; important, I say, for I repeat it again, that nothing can be of greater importance than to know upon what ground salvation does absolutely depend; and if it will not be thought insulting your superior abilities and understanding, I will remark, that should you find yourself inadequate to the task, you are at full liberty to call in the assistance of any of your brethren, and truly they are many; for if the matter be but fully and clearly stated, it matters not to us whether the statement be the work of an individual, or the joint concern of a host; it is the truth itself we want to appear.

You will perhaps wonder that I so frequently mention the pronoun us, as if this epistle was a joint concern; but if you will only read a small pamphlet called "A Dialogue between a Barber's Block and a Methodist Minister," your wonder will perhaps be at an end, for there you will see the same question proposed, namely, "What is it that saves a lost sinner?" in which pamphlet some of the above questions are asked.

Thus you see that I am not the only person who wishes to know upon what ground salvation absolutely depends; and as I have never heard of any of your brethren that have ventured to solve the important question, I thought if the question be put to Mr. Smyth, and the nature of it be clearly stated to him, who can tell but he will exercise his superior talents in giving a plain, unequivocal, decisive answer; and I think I may venture to say, that in this town I can find some hundreds of people who feel themselves interested in the subject, and who will be sure to conclude that if Mr. Smyth does not answer the above, the just reason will be because he cannot. And therefore, if neither regard for the truth of God, nor a concern for the welfare of immortal souls, will induce you to answer this epistle, let your credit as a man of learning and talent, have some weight with you, and never let it be said that that country rustic, William Gadsby, has proposed questions to the Reverend Edward Smyth, formerly of Trinity College, Dublin, which he is not able to answer without exposing the fallacy of his own creed, and that, therefore, rather than do that, he will pass them by in cowardly silence.

I would not have solicited an answer, did not the subject appear to me to be a matter of the greatest moment. I am acquainted with characters who are in possession of an immortal soul, and consider themselves bound for an eternal world, and have had, or imagine they have had, some soul-ravishing foretastes of immortal felicity, and are living in daily expectation that, if the "earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens," where they shall be forever free from sin (a monster that their better part abhors), yea, where they shall be free from all the insults of hell, the sorrows of the world, and every. carking care, fear and distress, and be forever with the Lord; where they shall see as they are seen, and know as they are known, and in one immortal song chant forth the high praises of the triune Jehovah forever and ever. 0 how the soul longs to be with Christ, which is far, infinitely far better than to dwell below! Indeed, sir, they are expecting the period to arrive very soon, when their immortal sight will be favored with a clear view of the majestic blaze of Jehovah's unsullied glory, when all their powers will be sweetly employed in realizing those immortal blessings which are in reserve for those who wait upon God.

But if, after all, they are only building such expectations upon a false foundation, how awful, how dreadfully awful will be the disappointment! The very thought of being disappointed convulses the whole frame; and when such a thought prevails any length of time, it produces a tremor in the mind not to be expressed by tongue or pen. Therefore, to such souls no subject can be of greater importance than that now proposed for your consideration. We might expect to be princes and emperors, and be disappointed, but a disappointment of this nature is not worth a thought compared with the above; for all the riches, pleasures, honor and dignity which this world can afford are but poor, fleeting, perishing trash. A few years at most puts an end to the whole, and the beggar upon the dunghill, and the king upon the throne, will become equally level with the dust. But to be disappointed in soul concerns, concerns of an eternal nature, is awful beyond description; therefore, if Mr. S., or any of his brethren, feel any regard for poor, perishing sinners, who are thirsting for God, even the living God, let them inform us, with the greatest accuracy, upon what salvation does absolutely depend, that we may know upon what to ground our expectations.

Bear with me a moment, sir, for I have one thing more to propose, and then I have done for the present. If, after you have dispassionately discussed the above subject, you should still think yourself doing the work of an evangelist in holding up to contempt the doctrine of unconditional election, and still maintain that upon the ground of such a doctrine God is more barbarous than the worst of tyrants, nay, even as sanguinary and implacable as Apollyon himself, you will have the modesty to inform us what there is in sinners, and what they have done, that lays the eternal God under the obligation of providing for them a Saviour.

Now, sir, either God is just in electing some according to the good pleasure of His will, and leaving the rest without what you call a chance of being saved, or else man must have some just and righteous claim upon Him, whereby he has a right to demand salvation at His hands. Suppose upon this subject we propose a passage of Scripture for your consideration; and if we turn our thoughts to the third chapter to the Romans(Ro 3), we shall see that there were characters who slanderously reported the apostles, and affirmed that they said, "Let us do evil, that good may come," whose damnation, we are informed, is just. Having given this statement of the matter, does the apostle then begin to admire his own goodness, and the goodness of the rest of the apostles and believers in Christ Jesus, and intimate that they were characters more worthy of Jehovah's complacency and delight than those whose damnation is just? No, not a single hint of this nature, but quite the reverse. Hence he asks, "What then? Are we better than they?" To which he replies, "No, in no wise." That is, if I understand him aright, we are in no sense whatever more deserving of the favor of God than they; for we are by nature no better than they, but were by nature children of wrath, even as others. But what is the reason the apostle gives for such an assertion? A very plain and a very obvious one indeed, namely, that both Jews and Gentiles are under sin; and then, to illustrate the point, he quotes a variety of passages from the Old Testament, which give a short description of the real state of man by nature; as it is written, "There is none righteous, no, not one; there is none that understandeth, there is none that 'seeketh after God. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable.: there is none that doeth good, no, not one. Their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips: whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness: their feet are swift to shed blood: destruction and misery are in their ways: and the way of peace have they not known: there is no fear of God before their eyes."

This, sir, is a short description of fallen man, given by holy men of old who spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost; and from the same unerring authority we learn that "God made man upright, but men have sought out many inventions." Fertile inventions indeed,if the above be a true description of them, and who dare deny it? And pray, sir, for which of all these inventions is the eternal God obliged to provide salvation? Or what virtue can there be in these things, jointly or separately considered, sufficient to merit the immortal favor of Jehovah, or to render Him an unjust tyrant in case He gives them their portion with fallen angels? Does their virtue lie in their want of righteousness, and so because they are altogether unlike God He is necessitated to love and redeem them, or be unjust? Or does the virtue lie in their dreadful ignorance or want of understanding, or because they seek not after God, "having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart?"—Eph 4:18. Or does it lie in their having gone out of the way, and being altogether unprofitable, or because they do no good, seeing that they that are in the flesh cannot please God? Or does the virtue lie in that dreadful stench of sin which they emit through their throat, which is an open sepulchre, or in the deceit which they use with their tongues? Or is it in the poison of asps under their lips, which is a composition of every species of sin and rebellion? Or is it in that mouth full of cursing and bitterness they possess? Or does it lie in the swiftness of their feet to shed blood, or in the destruction and misery that are in their ways, or because they are strangers to the way of peace? Or does the virtue lie in their having no fear of God before their eyes? Now, sir, if there be no virtue in the whole of this, jointly or separately, that lays the eternal God under an obligation of extending His mercy toward, and bestowing His special favors upon them, He must be just in saving some, as the effect of His own purpose of grace, and leaving the rest to perish in their sins; I say, Jehovah must be just in so doing, unless His justice can be impeached upon some other foundation than what has already been stated.

But as I said in the beginning of this letter, that I have nothing in view but the glory of God and the welfare of Zion, so I say again, and can assure you that I do not wish to take any unjust advantage of you or your creed. We will, therefore, for the sake of getting more fully to the real truth, suppose that some men by nature are not so vile as others, and we will suppose that those who believe in the doctrine of unconditional election are by far the worst, and that those who believe in the doctrine you profess are by far the best, and we put the question to each, Do you believe that the eternal God would have been just had He left you to perish in your sins? What says the electionist to this question? Methinks I see everyone who in heart believes the doctrine, from a feeling sense of its intrinsic glory, ready to say, without the least reserve, "Just indeed! I have been astonished, almost to an infinite degree, that He could be just in saving me. I am quite sure I have deserved His righteous indignation in thousands of instances, and had He seen fit to banish me from His presence, into that place where hope never cometh, I must have said, even then, it is what I justly deserve. Thanks be to God for His unspeakable gift! Adored be His eternal name, that He has brought my poor, guilty, ruined, hell-deserving soul to know that He has made Him to be sin though He knew no sin, and in the riches of His grace has made such a God-dishonoring wretch as I the righteousness of God in Him!" "Wonder, 0 heavens! and be astonished, 0 earth! for the Lord hath done it." When by a precious faith I am enabled to behold unworthy me among the sons of God, the purchase of the precious blood of Christ, I am lost in wonder, I sink to nothing before Him, and am compelled, sweetly compelled, to cry from my very soul, "Lord, how is it that thou wilt manifest thyself unto us, and not unto the world?"—Joh 14:22. I am persuaded that it is not for works of righteousness which I have done, but according to His mercy He saved me, by the washing of regeneration and the renewing of the Holy Ghost. 0 my soul! let all thy powers unite in praising the eternal God for so great a salvation. Great God! fill me with thy blessed self; and may it ever be my highest ambition to be nothing, and to mangnify thine infinitely adorable name.

But hark! What do I hear? Is it not the voice of Mr. S. calling such language "cant?" 0, fie, fie, blush for shame! But whether you are capable of blushing or not, this is the language of a sinner saved by grace; and if you and your brethren were to call it by the detestable name of cant, ten thousand times ten thousand twice told, it would be their language still. I admit it is language that illy becomes a man who believes that God would be an unjust tyrant if He did not provide salvation for him; for what thanks can be to Jehovah for redeeming characters whom He in justice is bound to redeem? He either must do it or impeach His justice; and then wherein can grace and mercy shine? Indeed, sir, I am greatly mistaken if upon an inspection you are not induced to call the terms, grace, mercy and compassion of God, cant, too, or else give up that for which you plead. If salvation be a just debt that God oweth to His fallen creatures (and it must be, if He would be unjust in case He did not provide it), how can it be of grace and mercy? If your mind be not overwhelmed with enmity against the sovereignty of God, let these thoughts occupy it for a moment at least.

But we will now turn our thoughts to those characters whom we supposed might be considered the best sort of sinners, namely, the Arminians. Will Mr. S. inform us what claim these have upon the Almighty for an everlasting salvation? Now, sir, we earnestly wish you to be very particular in telling us what they have in them, or what is done by them, that is so virtuous in its own nature as to oblige the eternal God to provide salvation for them, or else be a cruel, unjust tyrant. But in order to get at the truth, we will suppose that Mr. S. is not able to answer for all this body, seeing they are so amazingly numerous, and we will therefore bring the matter into a narrow compass, and he shall be desired to answer for himself only. Then the matter now rests here: If you feel yourself inadequate to answer for the whole, you are desired to come forward and truly declare, without any reserve, what you have done that lays the mighty God under an obligation of providing salvation for you, and wherein Jehovah will be an unjust tyrant if He does not give you a chance of being saved. We hope you will state upon what grounds you can appeal to the infinite God, and tell Him you have a right in justice to expect salvation at His hands, and that if He withholds it, and leaves you to perish in your sins, He is no less than a capricious tyrant.

Should you feel yourself disposed to say that Jehovah ought to have prevented the fall of man, or provide a salvation that extends to all the fallen race, you will then, no doubt, inform us from what quarter such an obligation arises, or how Jehovah came to be thus obliged, and whether He was not as much under the same obligation toward angels as men; and if He be just in leaving fallen angels to perish, without a possibility of being saved, upon what ground can His justice be impeached in leaving fallen man to the same condemnation?

If Satan were as much disposed to cavil with the sovereignty of God as Mr. S., and had the same opportunity of publishing his views to the world through the medium of the press, could he not represent the Almighty in as odious a light, for passing by fallen angels and redeeming fallen men (seeing they are all the creatures of God), as Mr. S. has done, upon the ground of unconditional election? Indeed, sir, to be consistent with yourself, it is high time your bowels began to yearn a little over fallen angels, and instead of calling Satan the destroyer, and arch-fiend, etc., represent him in the same favorable light as you do fallen man, and be a complete champion for universal charity at once. 0, sir, think and tremble. I have often thought that man excels Satan himself in rebellion against God; for though we read of him tempting Christ, and of him crying out, "What have we to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of God? Art thou come to torment us before the time?" yet we hear nothing about his calling him a capricious tyrant, because He has not given them a chance of being saved. No, this species of rebellion, appears to be the sole prerogative of ruined man,

I have no more to say at present, only again to solicit your candid attention to the things proposed, and to request that you will give us a plain, unequivocal, decisive answer.

That the truth of God may run and be glorified, is the prayer of

Yours to serve in the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ,

WILLIAM GADSBY.
William Gadsby was born in January, 1773, in the village of Attleborough, in the parish of Nuneaton, Warwickshire.

He says of himself in The Gospel the Believer's Rule of Conduct,

As for what the world calls learning, I have but little of it. It was not in my parent's power to put me to school to learn to write, much less to learn grammar; and though I was taught a little to read, yet, in these days of youth and folly, I in a great measure forgot it; so that when I was called by divine grace I was not able to read tolerably one chapter in the Bible.

In 1805 or 1806 he wrote Everlasting Task For Arminians. "King, Immanuel, Redeemer, all glorious! I shall soon be with Him, shouting, Victory! Victory! Victory!" (raising his hand) "for ever." Shortly afterwards, he said, "Free grace! Free grace! Free grace!" Then in about three minutes to six o'clock, being Saturday evening, January 27, 1844, he looked at Mr. A., smiled, and fell asleep in his precious Jesus, without a struggle, without moving hand, or foot, or head.---A MEMOIR OF WILLIAM GADSBY.

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Who can say, I have made my heart clean, I am pure from my sin ?—Pr 20:9.

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Surely the churning of milk bringeth forth butter, and the wringing of the nose bringeth forth blood: so the forcing of wrath bringeth forth strife.—Pr 30:33.

Every Evil Work

Every Evil Work (1999, July - August & 2003, July - August)
 
Jas 3:16

The Apostle James speaks in this third chapter of two kinds of wisdom; one is earthly, such as men of this world have and rely upon to direct in all the affairs of this life; the other is heavenly wisdom, such as God giveth to His people. It is pure, kind, gentle, easy to be entreated without partiality, full of mercy and good fruits. The contrast which inspired writers have drawn in the scriptures between these two kinds of wisdom is very great indeed; so great that the combined wisdom of this world does not know God, and in comparison with God's wisdom it is but foolishness.

In the connection of the words heading this article, we have a brief description of some of the fruits of earthy wisdom, which, if carefully observed and put in contrast with the fruit of the Spirit, will help the humble believer to "try the spirits" by the word of the Lord, and greatly enable him to know "whether they be of God or of the wicked one." Earthly wisdom, however useful it may be when employed properly in things of the world, is nevertheless corrupt, and has a dangerous and corrupting influence when relied upon and employed in the church and kingdom of Christ. There is where its fruits are seen most clearly to be "Earthly, sensual and devilish." There is where it brings forth its bountiful crop of "envy, strife, and every evil work." When brethren in the church, especially preachers, become a little puffed up with a sense of their superior earthly wisdom above their brethren, they become somewhat like Haman in one particular: they want all the humble Mordecais in the church to bow down to them. Nothing can be done right in either church or State, unless done in harmony with their view of things, and by their advice or dictation. And if there should be two or more rival brethren of this character in the church, each striving for the ascendency over the other, destruction and misery will be in their path. Parties and religious factions will be formed, each holding with and following after its favorite man, and thus all become more or less carnalized, and walk and talk as, men of the world, with anger, malice, envy, hypocrisy, strife, and "every evil work." One party cries out for, and holds with Paul; and another for Apollos, and another for Cephas, and but few for Christ.

When under the influence of a carnal, worldly spirit, hatred and strife are sure to be engendered to such an extent as to stifle, hinder, or entirely prevent an impartial examination after truth. Neither party is in a frame of mind to do the other justice. Nor are they in a proper spirit to put a right construction on the word of God. They go to the Scriptures, not to learn what is the mind of Christ or of the Spirit, but to find some way of supporting their errors, or to know how they can best evade an unwelcome truth. Carefully they seize upon everything which they can distort or construe into their favor, but cover up or avoid all that wars against their pet errors. Thus the light that is in them has become darkness — darkness of the worst kind. It requires neither faith nor grace of any kind to be an earnest and zealous religious
partisan. The wisdom of the world, whether in the church or out in the world, can take a hand in this fight; and they are sure to do it. When Christians become carnal, and bite and devour one another, men of the world will be on hand to enjoy, if they do not help in the fight. — M.

— Copied from The Gospel Messenger, May 1887, by Elder Wm. M. Mitchell., page 252.

Remarks:

No doubt this was very timely and appropriate over 100 years ago when it was written by this very able and well accepted minister and editor. I fail to see, however, how it could have been any more timely then than it is now, in 1999! May God, indeed have mercy on us all.
Hartsel Cayce

EVIDENCES OF REGENERATION (1944)

EVIDENCES OF REGENERATION (1944)

From Gospel Messenger, March, 1896

DEAR BROTHER MITCHELL:

I have never heard you preach before nor since I joined the church, but what I' was strengthened, encouraged and comforted, as well as often feeling reproved. But always I have felt glad, and I hope thankful for the privilege of hearing you.

When I went to the Chapel in Opelika today, the thought came into my mind, "What will you hear today?" I had been thinking very seriously for some time past of asking you why it was that ever since I can remember I have had serious thoughts about God,and His worship, and have loved Christians and loved to hear them talk and to hear gospel preaching and wanted to be a member of the church, even when I was quite a child, but I thought I could never join the Baptists without telling an experience as others did, and this I could not do by telling the year, the day or the hour, of a change. I used to think I would be willing to suffer in any way the Lord saw fit if I could only have a bright evidence of a change. That is one reason for my joining the Methodists and of my staying away from the Primitive Baptists till I was driven through fear of some judgment falling upon me if I did not offer myself to them and leave the result with the church.

The reason I have attempted to write you this little note is because I cannot talk as I desire on account of timidity, but I wanted you to know that I am glad I went to meeting today, and I feel to hope the Lord directed you to answer these questions for my comfort, even without my asking you anything about them, and perhaps for the encouragement and comfort of others also. If I could have spoken for myself today, I would have said it is my sincere desire that you continue to preach to us at the Chapel as long as you are able. I cannot express how I feel when you speak as you sometimes do of discontinuing services there. 
MRS. M. J. EDWARDS.
Opelika, Ala., Nov. 17, 1895.

REMARKS.—There is no question with me, but what there is quite a number of dear children of God, who, like Sister Edwards, cannot tell the year, month or day, of any special conviction for sin or any bright and noted evidence of having passed from death unto life, but yet, they are subjects of saving, grace and of the new and spiritual birth as much so, and as fully, as those who can locate the very year, month or day of the marvelous deliverance.

If one loves God and loves the worship of God, loves Christians and bears witness to the truth of gospel preaching, hates sin and mourns over wrongdoings, feeling daily a continual warfare between flesh and Spirit, so that when they would do good evil is present with them, surely these are some of the unmistakable evidences of a spiritual birth, for everyone that loveth with this pure spiritual and heavenly love is born of God. God is love, and this love that causes one to hate sin is of God. It is the work of God alone and of the people there is none to help. It is a work of the Spirit of God as independently of all °means and instrumentalities as when He spoke the universe into manifest existence from nothing. And in this work of God, children, even little infants, are not excluded from being made partakers of the divine nature. And when this is the case that any have been quickened and born of the Spirit in their infancy, or when very young before they had known anything of the practical sins of life, or of the practical worship and service of God, they never can locate the day or the hour of this change because they were too young and ignorant to know anything of what all this wonderful work of God in them could mean. But the fruits of this work is sure to follow, and all who bring forth these fruits of the Spirit and desire to unite with the church and follow Jesus in baptism, should be as heartily received as though they could tell the day and the hour of their conviction and deliverance. This was the special point in our brief remarks at the Chapel from which Sister Edwards received the comfort of which she speaks. 

W. M. M.

Evolution's Guesses

Evolution's Guesses (1985, March-April)

Let the people who have been decoyed into accepting evolution consider the following facts which we glean from Elder G. W. Stewart's pungent book "Why?" Ramsay estimated the age of the earth at ten million years; Sir Charles Lyell at four hundred million (just a mite of a difference!); 'Darwin at three hundred million; Croll at twenty million; Tait at ten million. Here is a discrepence of 390,000,000 years. And yet evolutionists stumble over the trifling "discrepancies" of the Bible!

Rutot says the date of the first real men was 139,000 years ago; Osborn, 500,000 years; Geike, 200,000; Croll, 980,000; Sturge, 700,000; Townsend (anti-evolution), 6,000 years. Professor Le Conti says: "The time which elapsed since man first appeared is still doubtful; some estimate it at more than 100,000 years, and some at 10,000 years."

Bryan truly said that evolution was a million guesses.

"Advocate and Messenger" — 1925
—Copied from "The Advocate And Messenger," December, 1985.

EXCELLENT COUNSEL FOR PREACHER AND PEOPLE ALIKE

EXCELLENT COUNSEL FOR PREACHER AND PEOPLE ALIKE (1945, October

The following article, copied from Zion's Witness, was written by William Huntington. Concerning this great man we copy, first, the following account of him from Hassell's History, pages 611 and 612:

"In 1813 died William Huntington (born 1744). He was of low origin, and very poor, ignorant and dissipated; his occupation was that of a coal-heaver. He was converted suddenly and wonderfully, and became a Calvinistic Methodist preacher—a large chapel in London being built for his use. He had an extraordinary tact for spiritualizing everything; and seemed to obtain nearly all the bodily necessities and comforts for which he prayed. His numerous writings are esteemed by many sound English and American Baptists as the most deeply experimental and spiritual of any since the days of the apostles. He appended S. S. (Sinner Saved) to his name, as a contrast to the unscriptural ecclesiastical title D. D. (Doctor of Divinity)."

The Article

Forgiving a brother is heart work: "If ye from your heart forgive not every one his brother their trespasses." It is often done in word, when the heart is not concerned; as Saul forgave David, saying, "It is thy voice; return, my son David, for thou art more righteous than I." But while the evil spirit is still upon him the breach is sure to open again, and Saul appears a second time in arms to take away his life. So some forgive their brethren in word when in company with others who enforce it, only for fear of their refusals bringing the whole blame upon themselves, and sinking them and their reputation deeper in the eyes of their friends. But this is only hypocritical and partial; it is loving in word only. The old leaven is still working at the bottom, which soon breaks out again. Envy must be removed before the breach can be closed; for a gap within will soon make a Pharez without. "A wholesome tongue is a tree of life; but perverseness therein is a breach in the spirit." And if anything makes a breach in the spirit, it is envy and hatred against a brother, which in God's account is murder. And, therefore, all pretensions to love and good works are no better in the sight of God than Cain's offering, for he is still a wicked servant. And "the sacrifice of the wicked is abomination to the Lord; how much more when he bringeth it with a wicked mind?"

My friends, be each of you careful not to Ow the first offence; for the woe is to him. Thou mayest act upon the defensive when they become thine enemies without cause; and vindicate both thy faith and thy conduct with truth. Nor are we to give up any part of the gospel of Christ to gratify the humor of any; we are to contend earnestly for the faith, to be valiant for the truth, and to keep the good thing committed to us by the Holy Ghost that dwelleth in us. But there is a way for thee to escape this snare of the fowler, which is envy against a brother; and, consequently, thou wilt escape the punishment executed by the tormentors, Mt 18:23-25. First, as was before observed, give no just offence, either to Jew, Gentile, or the church of God, unless it arises for the gospel's sake; when this is the case, God is to be obeyed rather than man. Secondly, defend thy faith, experience, and conduct as far as truth and conscience will carry thee; which is every Christian's duty. Thirdly, gain a brother, if thou canst, without nursing his pride or his errors, without bowing to his folly, and without sacrificing any branch of the mystery of the gospel; for we are not to give up the Word, nor nurse the devil in him,. We are to give no place to the devil, nor suffer sin in a brother, nor fall down before the wicked; but to rebuke the devil, even if he comes in Peter, with a "Get thee behind me, Satan." If he sins against thee openly, to the injuring of thy reputation as a saint or servant of the Lord, thou mayest rebuke him before all, that others may fear; for "open rebuke is better than secret love." But if, by his errors, his fleshly saviour, his conduct in life, and his malice against the saints of God and the power of religion, he appears to be an enemy to the truth, he is not a brother, but a hypocrite. God hath made it manifest that he is not of us. He that is of God heateth God's word; he that hears it not, is not of God, nor he that loveth not his brother. He that keepeth Christ's sayings, he it is that loveth Him. And if a man hath not the doctrine of Christ, the same hath not God: nor is he to be received into our houses, nor into the church much less into the perfect bond of love, which is the bond of the covenant. "By their fruits ye shall know them;" not by their external fruits only; for a Pharisee, who is a painted sepulchre, may outstrip Jeremiah in the dungeon, or Job in the stocks; one is at war with the world, the flesh, and the devil, while the other is in alliance with them; but by the fruits of the Spirit, the good treasure of experience, and truth that comes out of a pod heart, as well as by their life and conduct, and by the fruits of their ministry (if they are preachers) or seals to it, or souls converted into God by them.

Furthermore, when thou findest that prejudice is conceived, indulged, nursed, and encouraged against thee, see that thou draw not forth thy breast to nurse their offspring, nor harbour their infant at thy door. If prejudice operates upon thy mind, and the devil labours to fix it upon thee, take it to God; inform Him of it; confess it; pray Him to remove it, and give thee a heart to love thine enemy, and a spirit of prayer to pray for him, and prevalence at a throne of grace to -prevail with God in his behalf, considering thyself, as being also in the flesh. "This shall please God better than a bullock that hath horns and hoofs" . If a brother in church communion sin against thee privately, he is to be told his fault. If he sin against thee openly, to the injury of thy character, reputation, or usefulness, deal faithfully with him in open rebuke. If he opposes Christ or His gospel, confute him. The mouth of a gainsayer is to be stopped; and if God does not bless it to his conviction, he will bless it to his confusion, in discovering the rottenness of his heart, that others deceived by him may flee from his shadow. This, faithful dealing is better than the flattery, deceitful fawning, or candour of hypocrites, which consist chiefly in defending the unconverted, justifying the wicked, levelling the walls of Zion, stabbing the power of religion, and uniting Christ and Belial, believers and infidels, together. But if they are false brethren, deal accordingly: "Answer a fool according to his folly, lest he be wise in his own conceit;" and this is done when his folly is answered by wisdom, and exposed by Truth. When we are commanded not to answer a fool according to his folly, lest we be like unto him, it means, we are not to answer his vanity with vanity, nor his folly with foolishness, for that makes us appear like unto him. The wise man must make use of wisdom, if he contends with a fool, whether he rage or laugh; and then he will always differ widely from him. In short, deal faithfully with all men, and thou wilt have the approbation of God, conscience, and Scripture, however men may disapprove; yea; and the children of grace too; for though reproof be grievous to him that forsaketh the way, yet he that reproveth him (when the reproof is seconded by humbling grace, and his pride and stubbornness are dissolved), shall find more favour in his eyes than he that flattereth with his lips. There are some to be found in the churches, whether false brethren or true it is sometimes hard to tell, who are unstable in all their ways; always biased by the last report, whether true or false; always carried away with the last acquaintance, and wonderfully ravished with every new doctrine or new observation, whether right or wrong. These, receiving every report, and being easily deceived, are always imposed upon, and are sure never to want tattling visitors. And when once an evil report of another is brought to such, whether it has any foundation or not, they immediately become your enemies, and spare neither your grace, character, ministry, or usefulness. These are *not the excellent of the earth, nor such as excel in virtue; therefore thou art not obliged to take all thy delight in them; but contrariwise, make them no part of thy privy council. Keep them objects of your love, and subjects of your prayers; but make them neither bosom friends nor companions in travel. Thou mayest gain such a brother and lose him a hundred times in a week; yea, two or three such intimates as these will cut you out work enough to employ you all the year round, only by going from John Nokes to Thomas Stiles, to prove or disprove every tale of, a tub; which ill becomes the real saint, who ought to mind his business, his Saviour, and his conscience; knowing that it is his witness, and that of his own conscience, which must buoy him up and bear him out, if ever he end in peace, or stand before the Son of man with boldness.. Furthermore, if such do you any act of kindness, it shall afterwards be thrown in your teeth, and proclaimed to the wide world, without considering that he who sows spiritual things has a right to reap carnal things. Such, if they are benefactors, soon repent of their liberality, forfeit the enjoyment of the blessing promised to the secret and cheerful giver, and make their bounty a matter of reproach, to injure the work and workman of God. I would sooner have three such friends as Aner, Eshcol, and Mamre who were confederate with Abraham, than have confederacy with a hundred such Israelites as Reuben, who are unstable as water, and excel in nothing but childish things.

To conclude, my friends. The only happiness on earth is (from what flows from) union with Christ; and to abide in Him is to abide in safety. Neither prejudice nor envy can strike a lasting root in a mind that is truly heavenly, nor grow nor flourish in a soul that abides sensibly in Christ Jesus. It is the silly one that is slain by it. And where it captivates a saint, it proclaims him at a distance from his God. The more he nurses it, the more fuel he adds to his future furnace of affliction; and perhaps at last he may be ranked among those who are saved by fire. If ever thou findest it working in thy mind, never come from thy knees without a stroke at that; and every temptation that nurses pride, or moves thee to prejudice, fall to praying for the object Satan moves thee to hate. To be led by the temptation is giving place to the devil; to act counter to it is to improve it to the honour of God and the confusion of the adversary. I have found a heaven upon earth in praying for those who without cause have offended and injured me. I have met with the sensible approbation of God in my heart, and my prayer has procured an answer to my own bosom, whether it was heard in their behalf or not. And God, that searches the heart, best knows who they are that in their heart forgive their brethren their trespasses. God turned the captivity of Job when he prayed, though his prayer was put up for his friends, when in very deed they had behaved themselves more like enemies than friends; for they had not spoken the things that were right, even of God; nor had they been convinced, though they had condemned Job. Be cautious not to disclose all the secrets of thine heart to every one that says "A confederacy;" neither cast your pearls before swine; nor frequent the houses of gossiping professors, where the life and power of religion are wanting, where no unity of judgment or union of soul are. to be found, and where nothing but tattling and talebearing abound. Such are Solomon's wood pile, where strife is generally kindled; and where there is no such wood, the fire goeth out. You will find that the objects of their hatred and raillery are in the general, such as God loves; and their hatred is raised by the knowledge, honour, and power that attend the just; which lay their superficial profession and hypocritical hopes in the dust. A bosom friend, whom God hath made manifest in your conscience, and who is in your heart to live and die with, who is sound in faith, steady in his profession, harmonious in his confession, consistent in his life, dead to the world, and alive to God, diligent in the means, experimental in his heart, and savoury in his conversation, is a friend and brother indeed. And when thou findest such a one, stick by him; two or three such as he at- a throne of grace are terrible as an army with banners. I have known many a hypocrite plucked out of his profession, and cast without the pale of the church; all his schemes blasted, and his heart discovered; the prejudiced weakling undeceived; the breach that he had made closed; the object of his hatred exalted; and all this in answer to a few petitions put up by two or three in private, while he himself never knew who dealt the blow. It was this sort of work, in the hands of Mordecai and Esther, that hung Haman at his own expense, and brought Herod to his death by worms; and it was a few fellow-servants telling their lord of the unmerciful servant that engaged the lord to deliver him to the tormentors. This is the way; and blessed is the man who lets all his requests be made known unto God; for he may say as Paul did, "I can do all things through Christ who strengtheneth me." Commit thy way unto the Lord, and in all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall establish thy thoughts, and direct thy steps. Be not like the horse or mule, that have no understanding; and He will guide thee with His eye, and steer thee over many a trap and snare which thou wilt be ignorant of till He discover them to thee. Do nothing without thy God; nor scrape acquaintance with every one who makes a profession, or speaks well of the minister who was sent with the first tidings of peace to thy soul. The devil has introduced many a child of his with this compliment of the season, and it has served as a key to pick the pockets of the simple in the end. If a man live near to God, and is alive to Him, and enjoys a good conscience before Him, his feelings, under the influence of the Spirit, will be tender; and such are more discerning, more acute, more susceptible than those whose joys are withered, and whose love is cold. Nor will God let such souls who depend hourly upon Him make a covenant, like the princes of Israel, with every pretended pilgrim that comes with his old sacks, clouted shoes, and mouldy bread, under the pretence of being foreign ambassadors, and coming because of the name of the Lord, when they, were only hypocrites, with lies in their mouths, come to save their lives; and took God's name in their lips to cover their guile; and were cursed, and set to the drudgery of hewing of wood and drawing of water for their pains. It is no wonder the princes were deceived when they asked not counsel at the mouth of the Lord. If thou livest in communion and fellowship with the Lord, He will both keep thee and guide thee. He will bar thy' heart against those whose hearts are barred against Him, and draw thine affections forth to those who love Him; and will often turn a pretender inside out before thee, and so exhibit him that thou wilt see through him as through a glass lantern. Like Simon Magus, he shall bolt oat something that will be sufficient to convince thee he is in the gall of bitterness, and in the bond of iniquity.

Thus, my friends, I have complied with your request. That the publication and perusal of this epistle may be a blessing to you and to thousands, is the desire and prayer of, dear brethren,

Your willing servant in Christ, and for His sake,
Winchester Row, WILLIAM HUNTINGTON.
Paddington. (No Date.)

EXEGESES OF SONGS OF SOLOMON IV. 12-16

EXEGESES OF SONGS OF Song 4:12-16 (1952, March)

Copied from Gill's Exposition.

A garden enclosed is my sister, my spouse; spring shut up, a fountain sealed.—Songs of Song 4:12. At a little distance from Bethlehem are pools of water, and below these run a narrow rocky valley, enclosed on both sides with high mountains which the friars, as Mr. Maundrell says, will have to be the enclosed garden here alluded to; but it is more likely that the allusion is to a garden near Jerusalem, called the king's garden, Adrichomius makes mention of, which was shut up, and only for the king's use and pleasure: to which the church may be compared; for its being distinguished from the world's wide waste, by the sovereign grace of God; and for the smallness of it in comparison of that; and for its pleasantness and fruitfulness, having pleasant and precious plants of great renown; or consisting of persons of different gifts and graces; in whose hearts these are not naturally, or do not .grow there by themselves; but are sown or planted and raised up by the Spirit of God, for which the fallow ground of their hearts is thrown up: and that every thing may be kept in good order, as in a garden, the plants are watered with the grace of God; the trees of righteousness are pruned by Christ's Father, the Vine-Dresser ; the fences are kept up, and the whole is watched over night and day; and here Christ, the owner of it, takes His delightful walks, and grants His presence with His people.

And the church is like an enclosed garden; for distinction, being separated by the grace of God, in election, redemption, effectual vocation, and for protection, being encompassed with the power of God, as a wall about it; and for secrecy, being so closely surrounded, that it is not to be seen nor known by the world; and indeed is not accessible to any but to believers in Christ; and is peculiarly for His use, who is the proprietor of it (Ver. 16 and v. 1).

(To be Continued.)

EXEGESES OF SONGS OF Song 4:12-16 (1952, MAY)

Copied from Gill's Exposition

(Continued from March For The Poor)

A spring shut up, a fountain sealed; the allusion may be to the sealed fountains great personages reserved for their own use; such as the kings of Persia had, of which the king and his eldest son only might drink; and King Solomon might have such a spring and fountain in his garden, either at Jerusalem or at Ethan, where he had pleasant gardens, in which he took great delight, as Josephus relates: and near the pools, at some distance from Bethlehem, supposed to be his, is a fountain, which the friars will have to be the sealed fountain here alluded to; and, to confirm' which, they pretend a tradition, that Solomon shut up these springs, and kept the door of them sealed with his signet to preserve the waters for his own drinking. Mr. Maundrell, who saw them, says it was not difficult so to secure them, they rising under ground, and having no avenue to them, but by a little hole, like to the mouth of a narrow well.

Now the church may be thus compared, because of the abundance of grace in her, and in her several members, which is as a well of living water, springing up into everlasting life (Joh 4:14). Because of the doctrines of the Gospel, called a fountain (Joe 3:18) ; with which Gospel ministers water the plants in Christ's garden, the members of the church; whereby they are revived, refreshed, and flourish; and their souls become as a watered garden, whose springs fail not. Though some read this clause in connection with the former ; a garden enclosed art thou, with a spring or flow of water shut up, and with a fountain sealed; meaning Christ and his fulness; from whence all grace is received by the church and its members; and with which they are supplied, and their souls are watered: and the phrase, shut up and sealed, which, whether applied to the doctrines of grace and truth, in and from Christ may denote the secrecy and safety of them from the men of the world; or to the grace of Christ, communicated by him to the saints, may denote the security of it, the invisible operations of it, and the sole exercise of it on him: for these phrases denote the inviolable chastity of the church to Christ, in her faith, love, service, and worship; see Pr 5:15-18; and are used in the Jewish writings, to express the chastity of the bride. Ambrose affirms, that what Plato says concerning Jove's garden, elsewhere called by him the garden of the mind, is taken out of Solomon's Song.

Ver. 13. Thy plants are an orchard of pomegranates; These plants are the members of the church, true converts, believers in Christ; pleasant plants, plants of renown, planted in the church by Christ's heavenly Father, and shall never be plucked up: or, thy garden, as it may be rendered; particular churches, well taken care of and watered; these make an orchard, or are like one, even a paradise, as the word signifies ; it is generally thought to be a Persic word: see Ne 2:8; Hellerus derives it from, to separate, it being a garden, separated and enclosed as before; one like Eden's garden, exceeding pleasant and delightful: and not like an orchard of any sort of trees, but of pomegranates, of which there were plenty in Canaan, hence called a land of pomegranates, De 8:8; many places in it had their names from thence, Jos 15:32; 19:13; 21:24. To which believers in Christ may be compared, for the various sorts of them, from their largeness, fruitfulness, and uprightness; saints have gifts and grace, differing from one another as to size, but all pomegranates, trees of righteousness; some are larger, and excel others, are full of all the fruits of righteousness; but all are, more or less, fruitful and upright in heart; 'and so the saints of the higher class may be here designed, as those of a lower are by other trees and spices after mentioned. With pleasant fruits; that are valuable, precious, and desirable, of which an enumeration follows: camphire, with spikenard; or cypresses, or cyprusses with nards; both in the plural number; the former may intend cypress-trees, so called on account of their berries, and fruits growing in clusters; see ch. i. 14; and the latter, because there are different sorts of them, as nardus Italica, Indica, and Celtica: to these saints may be compared, because pleasant and delightful, of a sweet smell, and rare and excellent.

Ver. 14. Spikenard and saffron, &c. The former is the best sort of nard, and therefore mentioned and repeated, to which saints may be compared, because of the graces of the Spirit in them; which, when exercised, give a sweet odor, and are exceeding grateful to Christ; see ch. i. 12; and the latter, according to Schindler, seems to have been read carcos, the same with crocus, and is a plant well known by us for its cheering nature; and has its name from the Arabic zaffran, because of its yellow or golden colour; but crocus, from corycus, a fountain in Cilicia, where it grew; it is properly joined with spikenard, since itself is a spica, and is sometimes called spica Cilissa. Next follow calamus and cinnamon, with all trees of frankincense; calamus is the sweet cane in Isa 43:24; cinnamon is the rind or bark of a tree, both grow in India, and in Arabia; as also trees of frankincense, which are only in Arabia; hence one of the Arabias is called thurifera, for they do not grow in all Arabia: the two first were ingredients in the holy anointing oil, and the latter in the holy perfume, Ex 30:23,34. Myrrh and aloes, with all the chief spices; Solomon's gardens might be furnished with all these; and with the above trees, plants, and spices, from Arabia Felix, where, as Appianus says, cassia grew in marshy places; myrrh and frankincense were gathered from trees, cinnamon from trees, cinnamon from shrubs, and their meadows naturally produced nard; hence called aromatif era, the spicy country: myrrh was also an ingredient in the anointing oil; and aloes, according to the Targum, is the same with lign-aloes; see Nu 24:6; not the herb which has a very bitter juice, but the tree of a sweet odor, which Isidore distinguishes, and is what is meant in Ps 45:8; Pr 7:17; and were both of a very fragrant smell. Now all these trees, plants, and spices, signify truly precious souls, possessed of the graces of the Spirit; comparable to them for their valuableness and excellency, their sweet smell, and the reviving and refreshing nature of them; which makes the subjects of these graces very agreeable to Christ, and to one another. What a garden is the church thus planted.

Ver. 15. A fountain of gardens, a well of living waters, and streams from Lebanon. Some take these words to be the words of Christ continued, speaking still of His church, and explaining and enlarging upon what He had said of Her, ver. 12; but they are rather the words of the church; who, upon hearing herself commended, and knowing that all her fruitfulness, and the flourishing condition she was in, were owing to the grace of Christ, breaks forth in these words, and ascribes all to Him, saying, 0, fountain of gardens, 0 well of living waters, &c., for so the words may be rendered in the vocative case. By the gardens may be meant particular distinct churches, such as were gathered in the first times a the Gospel, and since, as the churches of Asia, &c., separated from the world, and planted with trees of righteousness, such as are before described; and though there are many gardens or churches, there is but one fountain which supplies them all with gifts and grace, and that is Christ, and His fulness, the fountain from whence flow all grace, and the blessings of it: who also is the well of living waters; a well deep and large, fathomless and bottomless, dug by sovereign grace, and full of all grace; signified by waters, for the abundance of it; and said to be living, because by it dead sinners are quickened, and drooping saints revived; and is ever running, ever flowing and overflowing; so that there is always a supply for all Christ's gardens, and for all believers in all ages; who, with the bucket of faith, draw water with joy out of this well, or wells of salvation, Isa 12:3; and the flows of grace from hence are like streams from Lebanon, because of the abundance of it; the constant and continued supplies of it; the rapidity and force with which it comes, bearing down all obstacles in its way, and for the pleasure it gives, the flows of it being as delightful and grateful as stream of water in hot countries. Respect seems to be had to several places called the fountain of Gardens, which flowed from Lebanon, six miles from Tripoli, and watered all the gardens, whence it had its name, and all the country that lay between these two places; and there was another, called the well of living waters, a little mile to the south of Tyre; it had four fountains, from whence were cut various aqueducts and rivulets, which watered all the plain of Tyre, and all its gardens; which fountains were little more than a bow's cast from the main sea, and in which space six mills were employed : and there is a rupture in Mount Lebanon, as Mr. Maundrell says, which runs up it seven hours' travelling; and which, on both sides, is steep and high, and clothed with fragrant greens from top to bottom; and everywhere refreshed with fountains, falling down from the rocks, in pleasant cascades, the ingenious work of nature; and Rauwolff, who was on this mountain in 1575, relates: we came (says he,) into pleasant groves, by delightful rivulets that arose from springs, that made so sweet a noise, as to be admired by King Solomon, Song 4:15; and these streams gave rise to some rivers, as Jordan, Eleutherus, &c., to which the allusion is here. There were two cities, one in the tribe of Judah, and the other in the tribe of Issachar, called Eugannim, the fountain of gardens, Jos 15:34, and Jos 19:21.

EXEGESIS OF 1 PETER IV. 17

EXEGESIS OF 1Pe 4:17 (1951, August)

"For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?" The time is come—is now present; not that it will come after death, but the time is come "that judgment must begin at the house of God."

That judgment, I understand to be going on now with us, the children of God; and not only so, but I understand that in this judgment "every disobedience receives a just recompense of reward ;" and as such Paul admonishes the Hebrew children (ii. 1), saying, "Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let them slip." Was it in order to their eternal salvation that Paul admonished these Hebrew brethren to give heed unto the things which they had heard? Certainly not. For he says (i. 3) that Jesus Christ had purged their sins. Hence, as their sins had been purged, and as Christ had given Himself to redeem His people from all iniquity, their obedience could not be in order to their eternal salvation, nor in order to their acquittal or justification in a great coming and future judgment day, as is generally held and believed by all law worshipers and conditionalists.

Paul says, Ro 4:25, "Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification." We are taught here that Jesus Christ arose for the justification of all for whom He was delivered for the offences of ; and His resurrection being in order to their justification, eternally, it follows that they stand before God in a justified condition! Hence, the judgment which is now going on, and in which the judge "renders to every man according to his deeds" cannot be, as our conditional friends would have us believe, a judgment or decision passed upon us, or to be passed upon us, on a great judgment day yet to come. From the fact the time of this judgment. according to the text, is come. And not only so, but in this judgment, as we have already seen, it shall be rendered to each one according to his deeds, which would forever and ever cut the last one of us out of an interest in, or benefit from, the death of Jesus Christ, if this judgment had any reference whatever to an eternal justification; from the fact we learn with reference to this justification that "by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in His sight."

Our eternal justification is made secure by the resurrection of Jesus Christ, and therefore not predicated or hinged upon the obedience of poor, weak and sinful mortals, like all the children of Adam are. There must, according to the text, be a sense in which the children of God, the elect to whom Peter writes, are judged. Yea, not only judged, but chastised, punished when they disobey the commands of our God. -We remember that Paul says, Ro 8:13, "For if ye live after the flesh, ye" (who? ye saints at Rome) "shall die;" die to the enjoyment of the smiles and blessings of our God, which His children receive in obedience; "but if ye, through the Spirit, do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live." Live to the enjoyment of these great blessings. If that judgment begin at us, the Members of the church, the church militant, if we, who have been baptized, we, who constitute the visible church of Christ, do not escape this judgment, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?

It is very clear to our mind, that the apostle does not refer to the unregenerate sinner, simply because, as we have already seen, this judgment is not in' order to eternal life; neither is it a judgment in which the characters judged receive an eternal punishment; but it is a judgment that is going on now with every child of God. Yea, with every one who has been born of the Spirit of God; and not only so, but each and every one judged. Therefore each and every' one of His children have a sentence passed against them in this judgment. For if "ye be without chastisement, then ye are bastards and not sons." Oh, how we do pity those people who claim to be sanctified; that they never commit any sin. Surely, if they never feel that they commit sin, never disobey God, why then they, of course, receive no chastisement, and as such are bastards and not sons. Poor ignorant, self-righteous creatures. They are indeed yet without God and without hope in the world.

But to return—those referred to in the text, who obey not the gospel of God, are those of His children who are not walking in obedience, not showing (as James would command and admonish them to do) their faith by their works. Nor as Peter would command, adding virtue to their faith. Let me ask you, dear saints of God, you who are living out in the world, do you feel that you are adding virtue to your faith ? Remember Peter does not command you to add more faith. Nay, God has given you faith, that faith which came to you by revelation from God; that faith which is the gift of God. Yea, the evidence of things not seen. God has given you that faith; but you are commanded to add to that faith virtue. Instead of doing this, by being married to Christ and married to His followers, you are proving by your works that you are not married to Christ at all. Not, there lore, adding virtue to your faith.

Again Paul commands, Col 3:4: "If ye be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above." Now the conditionalist (Arminian) would say, seek those things which are above, in order to rise with Christ. While this is a perversion, you, dear saints, are guilty of a violation of this plain and positive command. Oh, how you, dear saints of God, that are living out in the world, are failing to obey the gospel of God. As such, no wonder the question: What shall the end be? The end is a continuous remorse of conscience, a continual feeling of guilt and condemnation for not taking up your cross and following your blessed
Saviour.

May God enable you so to do. Yea, may God enable you to "deny yourself, take up your cross" and come home to your friends; tell them what great things the Lord has done for you, having had compassion on thee. Be buried with Him by baptism, that like as He arose from the dead, so may you, also, arise to walk in newness of life. For as the next verse reads, "If the righteous (the obedient Christian) : scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear." This again cannot refer to our eternal salvation, for there is no scarcity in that; it being predicated upon the obedience, and the death, and suffering of our Lord Jesus Christ; but as our timely or common salvation is received and enjoyed in obedience, hence the scarcity of it. Notwithstanding, Satan dwells in the flesh and causes us to go astray, yet His glorious promises are sure and secure to us in the end of an eternal inheritance at His own right hand, beyond all our sorrows, afflictions, temptations, and back-sliding!

For the Apostle Paul informs us, Rom. viii, "Nothing shall be able to separate us from the love of Christ: 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 ;" for as He says again, Col 3:3-4, "For ye are dead and your life is hid with Christ in God; and when Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall we also appear with Him in glory."

Oh, what a precious promise! May we all be enabled, by grace, to appreciate these glorious promises, and endeavor to glorify God in our bodies, and in our spirits, which are His.

Hoping that these imperfect expressions or thoughts may be satisfactory to Brother Debenport, and some source of comfort and instruction to our
readers, we bid farewell in the Lord.

S. F. CAYCE.
(Copied from THE PRIMITIVE BAPTIST, August 1, 1886).

EXPERIENCE

EXPERIENCE (1945, December)

(Copied from Primitive Monitor, 1887)

By request of my dear husband, I will try to give a short sketch of my hope in a blessed Redeemer, though I feel very unworthy to claim such a relationship with Him. Yet I know that the solemnity of this subject, or theme of redemption, is one that does, or should interest the mind of every child of God while traveling through this vale of tears. And as the admonition of God's precious word presses the mind, `To be ready at all times to give to every one that asketh, a reason of the hope that is in thee with meekness and fear,' I feel to obey and rejoice in God for His great love so freely bestowed upon me a poor, helpless creature. Fifteen years ago I was made to feel happy and rejoice in a Savior's love. Previous to that time I was burdened with sin and felt greatly condemned. I begged for mercy with all my power, but there seemed to be none for me. My sins seemed to increase from day to day and my burden grew heavier. In asking the Lord for mercy all would be darkness and gloom, and when upon my knees, trying to pray, these words would fill my mind with horror, '0, Lord, what shall I do?' `What have I done?' 'What will become of me?' All the sins of earth and hell seemed heaped upon me. My sins and guilt would rise before me like mountains that almost pierced the sky. My poor heart seemed to be a mighty deep, where evil thoughts would swarm and creep, and when I had given up all for lost I began to sink beneath the frowns of a sin-avenging God. I went into my room and took up my Bible, opened at the fifth chapter of Matthew, and casting my eyes upon the fourth verse, I read, "Blessed are they that mourn, for they shall be comforted;" and in an instant my burden of sin was gone and I was rejoicing and praising the Lord. 0, how wonderful was the change. Everything seemed to be praising God. I thought I should never see any more trouble, but alas, I have many trying difficulties and sore temptations to pass through, having been called to follow two kind husbands to the silent tomb, and lived a widow life for nearly five years.

I surely thought adversity and sorrow was all my legacy in this world. But God's grace has sustained me all along my journey, and my hope has never entirely left me. January 6, 1882, I was united in the holy bond of matrimony to Elder M. E. Baldwin, of Sherman, Texas. I traveled with him a great deal to his meetings, and my associates were the Primitive Baptists, the peo¬ple I have always loved, having been raised by Baptist parents, and reared under Baptist influence. I was in¬clined to believe that they were the true church of God. This all caused me to read the Bible more closely than ever, and I was thoroughly convinced that it was my duty to be baptized in obedience to the command of my blessed Saviour; and on September 4, 1882, I united with the Mount Olive Church of Primitive Baptists, near Sherman, and was baptized by Elder D. T. White, of Gainesville, Texas. Since that time I have passed through many pleasant seasons of rejoicing among God's dear people, and traveled many thousands of miles with my dear husband in Texas and Missouri, visiting among the saints; but with all these blessed privileges, I still have dark trials to pass through, but my hope is in Jesus. "Though I walk through the valley and shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for thou art with me, thy rod and thy staff, they comfort me." The precious Bible is the book that I love to read; but to practice all its teachings is a hard task for me to perform, for I find a law in my members, warring against the law of my mind and bringing me in captivity to the law of sin. So it is hard to live the life "I would wish to live, but I shall trust in God, for He is my help in time of need. May He ever keep us all in the path of duty, and guide us by His blessed Spirit to live in peace with one an¬other, is the prayer of a little sister, if one at all. I tender my love to all the dear saints among. whom we traveled on our recent tour through Missouri.

REBECCA E. BALDWIN.

Experience (2001, September - October)

Experience (2001, September - October)

(From The Gospel Messenger, Dec. 1883)

Dear Brethren Respess and Mitchell — I have been reading the Messenger for the last year, and I don't see how I could do without it; and as my time is about out, I have made up a small club of names, which you will find enclosed. And as I had to write on business for the first time, I take the liberty of writing you a few lines; however, in so doing, there are many embarrassments in my way.

There are things in regard to my exercises of mind, both as a Christian and a minister of the gospel, that may be peculiar; at least I would be pleased to know if any other one has been exercised in the same way. When I first obtained a hope in the Saviour, if I ever did, I felt as clear of sin as if I had never committed one in life, and thought all my sorrows, trials and difficulties were ended, and that I would be a happy man the remnant of my days, and live in the enjoyment of the smiles of the Redeemer while this world was my home. But, 0, how sadly I was mistaken! On the fifth or sixth day after I obtained relief, it occurred to my mind that perhaps I was mistaken; that it might be nothing more than a delusion, or the fleshly excitement of the mind, and that after all my enjoyment I was deceived, and was in a worse condition than I was before; that my burden of guilt and condemnation was gone, and I had nothing upon which I could rely in its place. Surely I did desire most sincerely to have my deep sense of condemnation and guilt back again, that I might better understand where it went and what I had received in its place. I labored in this condition for several days, but was never able to get back the same burden that I had once felt, but found, to my distress and sorrow, that I was still a sinner, and therefore no Christian: for I thought Christians were good people, and surely I was not one of them. Thus I labored for some time — sometimes hoping, and sometimes despairing. I felt that I loved Christian people, but I was not fit to be among them. I often went to meeting, but felt so unworthy and sinful that I would take a back seat. I could not appear in front among those I believed to be Christians. I loved to hear the preaching, and I loved to hear them talk, but did not wish them to say anything to me. My mind became deeply exercised on the subject of baptism; but then the thought would arise, "You are no Christian; you are not fit to be baptized." I struggled on in this way for some time, but when I could live no longer under such distresses, I went forward to the church and I told them my feelings, requesting them to deal with me as a father would a child, and if I was not a Christian to tell me so. At that my wife, who had a hope for a long while before I received one, was called on to commence and tell what she hoped the Lord had done for her. I was very much surprised at her presenting herself, for I had not said anything to her about going to the church. When she was through, I felt like I had nothing that the church could receive. They, however, received me, with her, into fellowship, and we were baptized the next morning, October 10. 1875, that being the second Sunday, by Elder R. H. Johnson, the pastor of County Line Church. I now thought my troubles were over, for I felt satisfied, and I enjoyed myself well. But soon doubts began to arise in regard to my interest in regard to my Saviour; I felt that I was deceived, and had deceived the church. So powerfully did this impression work upon my mind that I felt that 1 ought to tell the church that I had deceived them; and upon several occasions resolved I would do so, but this passage of Scripture was impressed upon my mind with power: "Lord, to whom shall we go, for thou hast the words of eternal life?" I could not leave them. I loved them too well. My mind became deeply impressed upon the subject of preaching the gospel, but I could not believe those impressions were of the Lord. I thought such a poor, ignorant unworthy sinner as I could not be required to engage in a work of such importance; therefore I tried to throw off the impressions and get clear of trouble on the subject. But this I could not do; it haunted me day and night; sometimes more severely than others, until I could get but little rest anywhere. I was no company for my family. My wife would often ask me what was the matter with me, and I would put her off, by telling her not much of anything. But my troubles increased, and much of my time was spent in the woods, when the weather would permit. I was tempted to believe that Satan had influenced me to join the church, and now if he could get me to engage in the ministry he would have his ends accomplished; but determined, however, that I would disappoint him in that particular. My troubles grew worse. I felt that I could not live long in that condition, and indeed, I felt that I would prefer death rather than to engage in the work of such vast importance as the preaching of the gospel. I could not believe that a God of wisdom, justice and mercy would require such a creature as I was to perform such a work. I read the Bible as well as I could, and I could not find in myself one qualification for a gospel minister. I certainly did beg the Lord with all the powers that I possessed, to give my poor, burdened soul relief in some way. I was answered almost constantly with the text of Scripture: "I have set watchmen upon thy walls, 0 Jerusalem, that shall never hold their peace day nor night: ye that make mention of the Lord, keep not silence." - Isa 62:6. But this gave me no relief, for I am not one of those watchmen, therefore it cannot mean me. Such was my sorrow and grief, at one time, I remember well, in a deep, dark hollow, where I had been before, I said to the Lord, mentally, "My life is yours; you gave it to me, and you may take it away as soon as you please, but I will never try to preach to the public." Oh, what a presumptuous wretch I was! I had been in this condition of mind, more or less, for about four and a half years; but the Lord taught me to know that He could make me do as He pleased, and make me willing to be or do anything that He required, and this He did by the application of the following text of Scripture, with such power and sweetness that my poor soul was melted down in deep humility, and I cried out, "Lord, it is enough; I will try:" "My grace is sufficient for thee." 0, how sweet those blessed words! What peace and joy they gave me at the time, and many times since, when almost overwhelmed in sorrow, they have brought heavenly consolation. I had exercised in public only about fourteen months, when my ordination was called for; this I opposed, with all the sense I had, in urging the church not to be in such haste upon a-matter of such vast importance. But they urged my ordination, and at last this Scripture was applied to my mind, "The mind of the Lord is with His people," to which I felt to yield, and so my ordination took place on the second Sunday in October, 1881, and from that time until now I have been trying to preach and trying to quit; and now, if it is the will of the Lord, I will still try, in my weakness, to preach the unsearchable riches of Christ. I still have my doubts about my call to the ministry, and also in regard to my interest in the merits and blood of the dear Saviour. When I see a young preacher anxious to be ordained, I am afraid that all is not right with him. I know that if he is right, I am very wrong. If I knew that I had ever preached one gospel sermon, or prayed one gospel prayer, it would be a great consolation to me.

Dear brethren, I have briefly hinted at some of the exercises of my mind on the subjects above named, and I would be delighted to know if any other person ever had such thoughts or exercises of mind. When I sum the whole matter up, there are things of which I am certain — the first is, I feel and know that I am a poor, helpless sinner; and the second is, I know that if I am ever saved in the kingdom of God's glory, it will be all of sovereign grace abounding toward the chief of sinners. In those two things I cannot be mistaken. May the Lord, in rich mercy, once more visit and build up Zion, and cause peace to reign among her members, is the prayer of yours to serve in the cause of truth.

Dear brethren Respess and Mitchell, do with this as you think best. Farewell.

B. 0. Dearing
— Copied from The Primitive Baptist, January 21, 1943, page 19

EXPERIENCE (1946, January)

EXPERIENCE (1946, January)

(Copied from The Gospel Messenger, June, 1883)

Come and hear, all ye that fear God, and I will declare what He hath done for my soul.—Ps 66:16.

DEAR BRETHREN:
I have been requested by some of the dear saints to write my experience and call to the ministry, but have, from a knowledge of my imperfection, deferred it from time to time. I will now try to relate my travail, in part, in being led out of bondage, if not deceived in the matter.

At first I was full of my own righteousness, having but little use for the Primitive Baptists, speaking of them generally in a way of burlesque. I read the Bible some, but more for argument than anything else. But when asleep, the Saviour appeared to me, and gave me the Bible to read, telling me to read it; to which I answered, "I could not;" to which He replied, "I could; that I was an improved scholar." When I awoke, everything seemed to be praising God. This was in 1871, when God's' work was with me thus begun; and I was like a poor castaway, seeking some secret place in which to pray. My own righteousness had all given way; and my fountain run dry. In that condition my love for the people of God seemed to increase—the people I once hated. I hated the things I once loved. I intended that nobody should find out my feelings, and thought I had them all concealed; but it was but a short time until it was talked that I could not stay away from the church much longer; and I was surprised when I saw they had so much better an opinion of me than I had of myself. I wandered about in this condition for six or seven months; but finally going to the church and relating my feelings, I was, to my surprise, received. This was on Saturday before the fourth Sunday in August, 1871. That night I dreamed my Saviour came to me and put me to preparing timber for the altar, telling me that if well done, that I would have to hew for the temple; and one piece being prepared for the altar, and seemed to be well done. This was a happy feeling for a poor, cast down sinner. I was baptized next day by Brother John Dryden, and it seemed to me that all my troubles and toils were over, so that I went on rejoicing for two or three weeks; after which there began a self-examination, and I found there was a member in the church for whom I had no fellowship, and that member was myself; and I concluded the brethren had received me more for sympathy than for the cause of Christ, and that they were deceived. I went on in this condition for some time, but did not wish to disturb the peace of the children of God, but desired to practice the things that made for peace, but could not feel that I was worthy of a name or place amongst them; and when going among the brethren and sisters, could not feel that I was worthy to go into their houses; and though they treated me as kindly as possible, I thought it was surely only for manner's sake rather than love. During this time I made several promises to God that I would exercise my gift in public in order to get rid of my troubles, but believing that if I did, the brethren would disdain me; but woe was with me if I did not; so when meeting time would come I would put it off to the next meeting and the next. I continued in this way until my mind was almost gone. They would send me to the association, but whilst I could not feel that I was a proper one for it, yet I desired to be submissive to them. When I would get to the place of worship, this Scripture would often come to my mind: "Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan came also among them."—Job 1:6. At times I thought I had gone beyond the reach of God's mercy, yet I seemed to be orderly in practice—which may seem strange to some—yet I thank God, through Jesus Christ my Lord, who restrained me from evil practices and crimes. I knew that God was not slack concerning His promises, as some men count slackness; and that he who knew his Master's will, and did it not, should be beaten with many stripes. I often sought some secret place to pour out my complaint to God, but no relief could I find; and like one alone I seemed to be, as I was led through the wilderness—a land of desert and pits, of drought and the shadow of death—one through which no man passed, and where no man dwelt (Jer 2:6). It was a time of lamentation; my feet had almost slipped, and I was almost insane, though I don't believe I lost sight of that blessed Victim upon the cross. 0 wonderful! (for I can say no less), that I should have been preserved in such distress—for it seemed to me that every man's hand was against me, and I was made to hold my peace, counting all things but loss that I might win Christ, looking to Him as the author and finisher of my faith. When I laid down at night, I knew not whether I would awake in this life or in the depths of hell. I went on in this way two or three years,. viewing myself at times as hanging over the gulf of woe by a small thread, and that it would have been just in God to have cut the thread and let me sink never to rise again. I sought death, but it fled from me. But, dear brethren, I am unable to give a detailed history of my "ups and downs" whilst in that dark valley. One day I went to a meeting, and promised myself that if the brethren would agree to it, that I would try to close the meeting with prayer; but I drew back when the singing was over, as I had done before; and as Peter of old, when he denied his Master, and it came to his mind when the cock crew what he had done, so, if not mistaken, beloved brethren, I heard the same thing that Peter did, and examining, I found that Peter had denied his Master just as I had been doing. Oh, the trouble I was in! compassed about with thick clouds and thunders and distresses, so that I cried, Can mortal be found with troubles like mine! so that, with Job, I could say, Wherefore do I take my flesh in my teeth, and put my life in my hand? and, though He slay me, yet will I trust in Him, and I lay down, saying, When shall I arise and the night be gone? and, I am full of tossings to and fro unto the dawning of the day. It appeared to me that I had committed the unpardonable sin in the vows I had made to the blessed God of heaven, who rules the times and seasons. I came to this conclusion: that I could not die, neither could I live, and so took a trip to the western part of the state to see if I could get some relief, but none could I find. The day I left I was as if in the midst of a circle of darkness. Oh, great was the darkness! so that it seemed that the brute creation and the fowls of the air were praising God, and I thrust out! In that condition I could think of nothing to reach my case but Jonah cast into the belly of hell for disobedience. Whilst there, in Hill County, I vowed to my God, if He would enable me to get back home, I would try to serve Him the remainder of my days; and I now often when trouble awaits me, think of that. The nearer I got to home, the more the darkness gave way, until it was all gone. A short time after this a beloved brother (D. Richardson) said to me, "Do you not feel like it is your duty to exercise a gift in the church?" and I said to him, "I do at times feel so." But I was sorry he asked me that, for then I knew it was out and that I could not call it back. Elder J. R. Burns was the pastor of our church, and he requested the church to liberate any who might feel impressed to speak in the church; and about that time I made the attempt to speak in public. Brother Burns was a father to me until his death, which was not long after I commenced, in August, 1877. I went on trying to speak in His name; when it came to my ears that I was going to be mobbed, but by faith only could I stand, and they be turned away by His command. When the church began to speak of my ordination, it seemed to me that it was more than I could bear; feeling to be so very incompetent for that high and holy office; so I cried unto God to show me my duty; and one night I dreamed that I was the leader of the people, and heard a great noise and thunder in the elements, as of great calamity, and I told the people that it was what we should have before the end of time; and looking, I beheld Christ coming in the clouds with His power and great glory, two golden lamps on either side and Christ in the midst; and in His brightness I went to fall at His feet, when He said to me, "I am come to take the names of my people in the Book He had in His hand;" and said to me, "Your name is enrolled in it." No tongue can tell, nor pen write, the comfort I received from the heavenly vision. Truly,

God works in a mysterious way,
His wonders to perform.

On the 9th of February, 1879, I was set apart as an ordained minister to the work. Dear brethren, it was a point I longed to know: was I a fit subject to baptize one of God's children? But when The time came for that work, I could then say,. as David, "My heart was enlarged; and I could cry out and say, Salvation is of the Lord." So I have been trying to preach arid trying to quit, and it seems I can't do either. But there are three things I love to hear preached: A finished salvation, a complete Saviour, a perpetual love. There are two things I can rejoice in: My infirmity, and the blessed little hope I sometimes think I have. It is a comfort to me day by day. Your brother in humble hope, 
J. S. CONN.
Cairo, Jasper County, Texas.

EXPERIENCE (1952, May)

EXPERIENCE (1952, May)

On May the 3, A. D., 1843, there was born to John W. and Bithiah Simmons, in Monroe County, Georgia, a baby boy; they named him James Madison. They were Primitive Baptists. John W. Simmons was afterwards an Elder in the Primitive Church, and had care of churches for twenty-five years. He was an indulgent father, reared a very large family, and educated them. I, James M. Simmons, was, in common with other boys, a careless sinner. At times I would have serious thoughts in regard to death and eternity, and more particularly where the dead were and at buryings. Before I reached my eighteenth year the Civil War came on ; I enlisted in the First Regiment Ceorgia Volunteers, and served the entire war in the Army of Northern Virginia, and was present when General Lee surrendered. I had been used to going to church all my life, but knew nothing of the religion of Christ until I was nearly 35 years of age. The same sinner that was born of corruptible seed the third day of May, 1843, was born of incorruptible seed by the spiritual word of God that liveth and abideth forever, on the night of the 4th of September, 1877. I was living at my father's old homestead, occupying a room alone, I was caught up to heaven in a vision and viewed the mansions of eternal bliss, the beauty of which no tongue can tell; when I awoke or came to myself I saw myself a sinner as never before, ruined, lost, and altogether undone by reason of sin. I arose in the darkness of the night, went off to the woods, and fell on my face in prayer to God for mercy. I was then alive but did not realize it. I felt to be doomed to eternal dismay and banishment from God and all that was good. continued in that case for some days roaming in the woods, hunting secret places to pour out my soul in prayer to God for mercy. FinaIly the words of the Saviour to Martha were applied in my case with joy unspeakable: "I am the resurrection and the life; he that believeth on Me, though he were dead, yet shall he live." I felt that I had been dead in sin, but now was made alive to righteousness and pure holiness. But it was not long before serious doubts made their appearance; the evil spirit suggested to me that, it was all imagination. I have realized the truthfulness of the Scripture, many times since, that "the flesh lusteth against the Spirit and the Spirit against the flesh," so I cannot do the things I would, and l thanked Cod for the Scripture that says "the elder shall serve the younger." That "that is not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural, and afterward that which is spiritual." I told a part of what I have written to the Church at County Line, Jones County, Ga., and was received in the fellowship of the church on Saturday before the first Sunday in J uly, 1878, and was baptized the next morning by Elder David L. Hitchcock, of Putnam County, Ca., in the presence of a large concourse of people, among whom was Elders T. J. Basemore and J. H. Gresham. 1 felt that day as did the Ethiopian Eunuch after being baptized by the evangelist Philip, I rejoiced in the glory of God, a light shining in my soul giving me a knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. As I write these lines I feel the presence of that Spirit that I hope has reigned in my heart for these many years. I feel that God has made Christ to be unto me wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption; that it is not by righteousness which I have done, but by the mercy and grace of God I am what I am.

I am now growing old, my departure close at hand. I hope to be sustained in the critical hour of death by the hope and faith that has kept me thus far; that hope which is both sure and steadfast and entereth into that within the vail, where the forerunner hath entered for us, that is for all the redeemed; and that living faith which is the gift of God to all of His dear people, which will remove mountains of doubts and fears. To Israel's eternal King be the praise.

—JAMES M. SIMMONS.
Boyle, Miss., Feb. 26, 1915.
From Gospel Messenger, 1915.

EXPERIENCE (J. H. Ashmore)

EXPERIENCE (1953, August)

When I was a careless, carefree lad of twelve I was stricken with typhoid fever. While I was so sick, seemingly lingering between life and death, I saw a beautiful vision of two bodies. It taught me that there was a natural and a spiritual body, bodies terrestial and bodies celestial. It taught me that my poor body that was then suffering pain would be the same body that would live in heaven; that it was mortal now, but some day it would be immortalized and spiritualized and dwell in heaven a pure body. I wanted to say as did Job of old, "Oh, that my words were now written! Oh, that they were printed in a book! That they were graven with an iron pen 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." I longed to fly away and be at rest, and live with my Lord and His people in that beautiful land where sickness can never come. But the Lord was not yet ready for me to leave this old world, so I gradually improved until I regained my health.

When I was nineteen years of age, I was working one day for a lumber company, loading lumber in a box car when a loose car jammed into the one in which I was working. I was crushed between the wall and a lot of heavy lumber. I saw darkness coming over me. I was seriously injured, but I was at perfect ease as I went out. I was like one peacefully going to sleep. For three days and nights I was unconscious. While in this state I saw a vision glorious to behold. The blessed memory of it still comforts me when sorrows sadden my heart and many distresses I see. It seemed that I was out on the great plains. I looked heavenward and saw a rainbow in the skies. I think that represented the great covenant of grace that was ordered in all things and SURE ; though at that time I was wholly unaware that such a glorious covenant existed. It seemed that I entered into the rainbow. There I beheld the most glorious and beautiful sight I have beheld—a great host of people dressed in snowy white robes, as innumerable as the sand of the sea or the stars of heaven. They were singing a melodious song of free grace; and all of them had beautiful palms of victory in their hands, waving them. "Oh, heaven must be a wonderful place !" I wanted to go on right then to that beautiful place and ask for admittance. A voice seemed to speak, "Not now, but later you shall come in."

The third day after I was hurt in the lumber crash I heard the doctor say (the first thing I remembered as consciousness came back to me), "Notify his folks, for he will not be here very long." I spoke up and said, "Doctor, do something for me; I am going to get well." I gradually began to improve, though it was nine months before I could work again. I have never fully recovered from this accident. I will carry some of the scars to the grave with me, and will be a cripple as long as I live.

When I was twenty-one years old I was united in marriage to Miss Elizabeth Burrough. I was a happy man, with high ambitions to accumulate some of the wealth of this world, that my beloved bride and I might be secure when old age should come our way. One bright morning as I walked to the log woods to cut logs I was so happy and carefree; not a wave of trouble rolled across my peaceful breast. As I journeyed on, something took hold of me. It seemed that a voice said, "If you were to die now where would you go?" For the first time in life I saw myself a poor sinner, sinking down beneath the righteous frowns of an offended God. I thought surely I was the greatest and vilest sinner that ever lived or died. How the dark shadows covered me! I felt like I was unfit to live and certainly not fit to die. I wept and mourned bitterly. I thought death was surely coming and then eternal darkness would be my fate. I went on to the log woods. My partner saw that I was not as I was the day before. He thought I was very sick. We began sawing on a tree. When it was about half cut down it seemed that my strength left me. In agony of soul I left the log woods never to return. I thought I was going to die, and I wanted to see my beloved wife before I did. I felt like the hour of my judgment was come, that I had sinned away my days of grace and must 'soon sink down to endless woe and misery. My wife met me at the gate and asked me what was wrong. I told her I was sick and would soon have to die and leave her. She felt of my pulse and said," You have no fever, you will soon be all right." She then went on about her work, and I went to bed. Only those who have traveled in the same dark valley know the awful crushing burden that was in my heart. While I was in this deep, dark abyss of despair, one of my dear uncles came to see me. He inquired my reason for being in bed. I told him I was soon to die and then forever sink into dark despair. He seemed to rejoice. I wondered why. He gathered me in his arms and with tears in his eyes said, "Joe, I love you now more than ever before." I wondered what he meant. Surey he did not know what a vile sinner I was. If he did he would be hating me instead of loving me. But today when I see one in the condition I was then in, I am made to realize just what he meant. How it makes us love one when we see he is a poor mourner!

While I was in this wretched state of deep despair it seemed that in a vision I saw an angel come to the window near my bed. I thought I must soon die, and this angel had come to announce to me the sad news of my eternal doom. But the angel informed me that my time to die was not yet come, but would be up in three years. I accepted this as literal and thought I was given three short years to live. I dreaded to see the three years fulfilled. It grieved me sorely to think of what was waiting for me. Time swiftly moved on. Three years to a day I was in the field plowing, not thinking about death, when all of a sudden a voice seemed to say, "This is the day you are to go." How the dark clouds hovered over my poor soul! I started for home, wanting to reach there before I died, yet I had little hope of doing so. Something seemed to impress me to stop and pray. I knelt down to try to beg for mercy. The very breathings of my poor soul were, "Lord, have mercy op me a poor sinner." I was well aware that no mortal man could help me, that it was, "Lord save or I perish." What a vile sinner I felt to be, sinking into everlasting judgment. I felt as if there were a thousand angels prosecuting my case and accusing me to the Judge. I was a poor naked sinner without a robe to wear. I had been weighed in the balance and found wanting. Against me there was a debt of boundless meaures, and I a penniless pauper with nothing to apply on the interest or the principle. I despaired of hope. I gave up to die. I was forever gone as far as my own strength was concerned. As I arose from that sacred place a peaceful and heavenly voice said, "Soon the joyful news will come, Child, your Father calls, come home." Oh, sweet heaven of blessed rest! I did not know this language was a part of an old song. Here I saw how God could save a vile sinner and not sacrifice His justice. I saw Jesus as my mediator, my interceder, and Saviour. I saw to my great surprise and joy that He had removed the judgment from me and paid my debt. How my poor heart swelled in glorious gratitude to my loving Redeemer ! Oh, how happy I was! From one extreme to another—from the very depths of gloom to the very heights of glory divine.

After a while I went on to the house. I told my wife nothing about the great rest, peace and glory I had found. My whole desire now was to unite with the Old Baptist Church. I felt as if I could not live without the church. I wanted above all things else to go home to my friends and tell them how great things the Lord had done for me. I had been saved and delivered, and I wanted to show my gratefulness by my action.

That evening my wife and I went over to one of her uncles. He was a faithful deacon in the Old Baptist church. I dreaded to approach the subject and tell him I wanted to join the church, but finally I asked him if Zion's Rest Church might extend an arm down in this community. He replied, "Yes, if anyone here wants to get his shirt wet, we will have that done." I had to leave to keep my uncle from seeing me shed tears.

The following week I got a letter stating that Elder George Puckett and some of the members of Zion's Rest Church would be in our community for church the following Saturday and Sunday. I was glad. Saturday arrived and we met for church. After a soul-cheering, comforting and instructive discourse by our beloved Elder Puckett, an opportunity for members was extended. I went forward and told a part of my experience. I was kindly received into the peaceful pales of the old church, much to my joy. A brother-in-law of mine joined at the same time. On Sunday morning. I was laid beneath the yielding waves. Oh, what sweet joy, rest, and peace of mind I received in obedience to my Lord! "Oh, how happy are they who their Saviour obey."

I now thought all my troubles were over and that I was to go through life high on the mountain top. I thought, "No more shall the storm clouds gather, no more shall the tempest toss me on the dark waves of doubt and despair." But ere long experience taught me that "Man born of woman is of few days and full of trouble."

I enjoyed my church life so much for awhile. It was a heaven below. But something happened to me that caused my rest and peace of mind to disappear. A heavy burden came on my heart to speak in the name of my Lord. This I felt to be more than I could ever do. It was too much for a poor unlearned boy like me. I had riot gone to school three months in my life. I could not read or write my own name. And to think that a poor ignorant boy like that should preach! NEVER! I was heavily burdened and deeply distressed. I could no more cast this burden from me than I could my own shadow. I carried this load about a year. Oh, what a wretched rebel I was! I was continually praying for evidence as to whether I was called of God to preach. My load was so heavy, my burden so great that I began to go down in health. I despaired of life. I vowed that I would never preach. Even in bold defiance to my God I said, "You can kill me, but I will never preach." My health got worse and I began to think of what I said to God. I began to greatly fear that I would die. I was still praying for evidence.

One night as I entered the church house one of my brothers-in-law asked me to help him sing Amazing Grace. Here I fell down in the house. The brethren carried me outside, fearful I had a heart attack. I was unconscious for some bit, during which time in a vision I saw Jesus with an awful frown on His face. Someone told me that I could hide from Him in the pulpit, and that was the only place I could. I entered the pulpit and started to sit down, when a shining two-edged sword was let down in front of me. I took the sword in my hand and began to speak to the people, whereupon Jesus disappeared and I was so happy.

Even after this I was still determined never to try to speak in His name. I felt to be wholly unqualified, unfit and unworthy. Yet I was constantly praying to the Lord to give me evidence one way or the other, to show me whether I was called or not.

One night in a dream I was traveling and came to a church house. A woman dressed in glittering white came to the door of the house with pieces of silver in her hands. She started to give me a coin, but suddenly drew her hand back saying, "this was yours but you lost it by not doing your duty." She then gave me the fifty-three remaining pieces of silver, saying, "You shall now do your duty." I believe those fifty-three pieces of silver represent the number of years that I would spend in the ministry. If that be true I have three years left to labor here. God give me grace to spend it wisely.

Our association was to be held the fourth Sunday in September. I was appointed a messenger to represent my church in the associational meeting. I had such a heavy burden that it seemed I could not go. On Monday night before I was to start Thursday, I dreamed I was on a high mountain praying for evidence. I could look down in the valley about me and see water rising and coming on up the sides of the mountain. I thought the waters of judgment were to cover me up, and I was soon to drown in the waters of despair. An angel appeared to me and said, "Follow me and I will show you the way of escape." I followed this beautiful angel to the west side of the mountain. Here I saw about three feet above the water what appeared to be a telephone wire. I prayed and said, "I can't, it is impossible." But the waters kept rising, and as a last resort I started walking on the wire. All went well for a little way and then the wire began shaking and I lost my balance, and started to fall. But greatly to my surprise and joy I found that I had wings and could fly. I could fly awhile and then light back on the wire. I left the mountain far behind. I would fly a while and then walk a while, until I got to a land of peace and rest.

After this I was still not willing to walk on the wire and trust the wings of God's promises. On Wednesday night before I was to start for the association on Thursday I dreamed I was traveling in a smooth trailway. The path was very narrow. There were two men in front of me, dressed in white. They bade me follow them. I did. I came to a fig tree. I was starving for some of the figs on the tree, but they were green. I walked on the west side of the tree and saw a blue blaze of fire coming up out of the earth, extending into the tree where the figs were. I was soon eating delicious candied figs. How good they were! As I walked away from this tree a voice said, "You will be tried as by fire." And surely I have been.

On Thursday morning I left for the association in company with several of the brethren. I was so heavily burdened it seemed like I could not live. We arrived at old Brother Pitts' home. I asked for a bed immediately and told them I was very sick. The good old brother replied that I must eat supper before I went to bed, but I was not hungry. I could not eat. I went to bed. I could hear the brethren and sisters talking and all seemed happy and enjoying each other's company ; but I was suffering so I could not enjoy anything. I felt to be a wreck and a, failure—forsaken of God and left alone to my fate. After midnight the peopel got quiet and I went to sleep for awhile. I dreamed that I was walking along the same smooth, narrow trail that I had been seeing in dreamland. I traveled along until I came to one of the most beautiful rocks I had ever seen. It was as clear as crystal. On this rock was milk and bread. I began eating. It seemed this was the best milk and bread I had ever tasted.

While I was feasting on this delicious food a voice spoke. I looked and beheld a log house with the door facing the trail. A lamb came out of the house and said to me, "If this is not enough, come on in the house." I followed the lamb into the house. It disappeared and my Saviour appeared to me. He told me to sit down at the end of the table and express thanks. After this He bade me arise to my feet. When I did I saw a well-filled table of bread, meat and milk. He told me to pass the bread, meat and milk to other guests at the table. After I had obeyed this command, my Saviour asked me, "What does this milk represent?" I replied, "New born babes desire the sincere milk of the Word that they may grow thereby. Milk is experimental doctrine." He then asked me what the bread represented. I replied, "Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the Lord." He then asked me what the meat represented. I replied that it represented the fundamental principles of the gospel, such as foreknowledge and predestination of God.

I awoke early Friday morning with the burden crushing me down. I still wanted nothing to eat. I got a chair and went to the north end of the porch and sat down. In a few minutes dear old Elder Levi Foxworth came to me and got down on his knees and said, "What did you see in a dream last night? You call it a dream but it was a vision." I here broke down in tears, and the brethren asked me what was wrong. I could not tell them. Elder Foxworth motioned for me to follow him. We went out about one hundred yards in the pasture. Here he stopped and again asked me what I saw in my vision. Then he said without waiting for an answer, "I will tell you what I saw in a vision last night. I saw you in the stand preaching the gospel, comforting me more than any other man I ever heard. And now Brother Joe, I want to admonish you at the next opportunity you have at your home church to get up and tell the brethren how you feel."

Time passed slowly by to this poor rebel, but the next regular meeting of my home church finally came. Elder George Puckett asked me to introduce the services. I got up and did the best I could. I offered prayer. When I arose, Brother Puckett took me by the hand and said, "I enjoyed your effort." I looked back and the church was in tears. I thought I had said something that had hurt their feelings. This pained me very much. I resolved that I would never try again to speak in the Master's name. But before the next meeting time came I thought of the many things that I had suffered, of the scorching trails, of the sore judgments that had been mine to bear; and so I changed my mind and decided to try again. I feared that if I did not God would take my life. This last thought was a terror to me.

At our next meeting time I made an effort to speak in the name of my blessed Master. I found a sweet, a long-sought peace of mind. It was joy unspeakable and full of glory. I surely felt like a poor criminal that had just been let out of a dark dungeon into the beautiful sunshine. I had laid aside a great burden that had long given me pain. To our young men that are carrying a burden to speak in the name of Jesus, let me admonish you not to put this matter off, but go on in duty's ways. God's grace is all sufficient. I have ever found His grace sufficient. It has not failed me. I have failed of the grace sometimes, or failed to go to the throne of grace and hence I failed to have this grace at times. But it was not the fault of the grace. I was at fault.

In the year following my first effort in October, I was ordained to the full work of the gospel ministry. I felt so unworthy of this, but I desired to be submissive to my dear brethren and sisters who had meant so much to me. The brethren who ordained me were: Elders G. W. Puckett, J. J. Musgrove, W. M. Patterson and Steve Smith ; and a Brother Blankenship, who was a deacon. These dear brethren are all gone on to that blest paradise of God. It makes me feel lonely when I think of them being away. But my sweet hope is that a few mom toils, a few more tears, and I will join them over yonder in that land where we will never be separated from our dear brethren and sisters, but dwell with all of them in eternal peace, fellowship and concord.

Your little brother in hope,
J. H. ASHMORE.
R. 1, Merryville, La.

EXPERIENCE (Turner Lassetter)

EXPERIENCE (1958, December)

I was born April 29th, 1881, in Meriwether County, Georgia—near Luthersville. Was reared by humble, honest, God-fearing parents, who began life very poor in this world's goods, but very rich in faith and were devoted to the church.

My first remembrance was the night of October 28th, 1883. My mother lay a corpse—from typhoid fever. The commotion was great. I was carried, by some of my aunts, out into the yard by the old cherry tree. It seemed my father's heart would fail. His weeping impressed my young heart.

Time passed and my father married again. There, ware two children by my mother and three by his second marriage. My step-mother was a God-fearing woman. As months passed, I developed into a mischievous boy, needing correction for my stubborn and petty misconduct. My step-mother was faithful in correcting me when and where needed.

Over the hill on the branch I had an uncle with several children near my own age. I was very fond of visiting them so we children could play in the branch. This uncle was very wicked. His oaths would frighten me so I would leave, go home and vow I would never use such language.

When old enough for school, I was sent to a county school—when the school in town was near. When I became about fifteen years old, I was transferred to town school. Made myself a promise to always conduct myself properly. My schooling was a few months — January to May—then July and August.

The time came when I left home—went to Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. The family gathered about me (as if at a funeral) the Saturday afternoon in June. As I left my mother hugged me and gave me a $5.00 gold piece. In about fifteen months the family began to write and plead for me to come home, which I did. Visited homefolks for about two weeks; during that time I attended a protracted meeting. I shall never forget that meeting. On closing the service one night, the preacher gave an invitation: "All who wanted to be saved, come up, give me your hand and your heart to God." There I sat—near the front—did not respond.

My visit being up, I went to Atlanta and went to work in August for the Atlanta Milling Company, at the same kind of work I was doing in Oklahoma. The first week in October of the year 1903, I contracted a severe cold and became very sick. I realized I was in bad shape. On Monday after the first Sunday in October, 1903, I packed my belongings, called a Cab, went to the railroad station and boarded a train for Moreland, Ga. Arriving in Moreland, I obtained another conveyance and went to my father's home. It was near sundown when I arrived—very weak and sick. I managed to pull myself in the house; went to my mother's room, undressed and got into her bed. All the family were in the kitchen, yard and barnyard milking and attending to the stock. My sister came in, and found me in bed; immediately summoned a doctor--my uncle. I had double pneumonia; suffered day and night (had no sulphur drugs at that time), that was Monday. By Friday night, I could not turn myself in bed. I realized I could not last long in that condition. I began to take a retrospective view of my life. Had not been such a bad person—never
used profanity—had worked on Sundays while in (________NOTE: print bad at this point). That? seemed to worry me. I was getting worse all the time—restless and suffering so much. It came to me, as I remembered the preacher's invitation that summer night at the meeting: "Give me your hand—and your heart to God," that my answer was "you are worse than uncle." I recalled: I was without God and Hope in the world, my just punishment was woe and misery. I became so wrought up, I cried as loud as I could. All the family came about my bed at once—my father came later—my sister told me he was walking, praying and wringing his hands. At this point, something came over me—a vision. I saw Jesus—the most lovely to behold. I got a long breath and let it out. All my pain was gone —saw and heard things I could not repeat or understand—was in such wonderment. (It reminds me now when Paul referred to the third heaven.) It was beyond my understanding. I said: "I am ready to go." The reply was as audible as I ever heard anything: "we are not ready for you."

At this point, with help, I turned my face to the wall. I did not want to see or talk to anyone. The family came in to witness the end. Their commotion disturbed me from thinking. I began to recuperate. For days and nights, I had all the above to think about. I did not want to be disturbed. In two weeks I was back on the job in Atlanta. I was always rebellious when and where a child had to be conquered with the switch.

On the second Sunday in April, 1907 I went to the West Atlanta Primitive Baptist Church; told them a part of my experience mentioned above. I was accepted and later baptized by Elder Walden on the following second Sunday in May. Today, I feel to be the least and in the way: I could not (rise in?) church and make a sincere statement that I would not find so many faults with what I would state.

January, 1958, it came in my mind to make a trip to the Holy Land. I asked my wife to join me on the trip; she refused at first, but finally agreed to join me. I cannot explain why such a thought came into my mind. We made the trip; was gone during the month of June. Was a wonderful trip; saw things; had experiences could not have had otherwise. About thirty days after our return—all of a sudden—it came to, me. I saw some of the things in my experience in 1903, I then could not understand. That was so glorious.. I could not contain myself. To think: I am remembered these many years by One who does not slumber or sleep. I pray there will be more glorious revelations, before the end. By one who loves the doctrine: "saved by grace through faith and that not of yourself." Humbly submitted

—TURNER LASSETTER.
919 N. Highland Ave., N. E.,
Atlanta, Ga.

EXPERIENCE OF ELDER JAMES F. LILLY (1943)

EXPERIENCE OF ELDER JAMES F. LILLY (1943)
Composed by Elder James F. Lilly, Moderator (1919-1921) of the Indian Creek Primitive Baptist Association.

My brethren, hear, and I will tell
What troubles I have seen,
How Christ redeemed my soul from hell,
And canceled all my sin.

I wandered far in paths of sin,
Nor feared the dangerous road;
I loved the path I traveled in,
Although it led from God.

But all at once a voice I heard,
In accent plain but low,
"This way leads down to endless hell;
Do you not fear to go?"

Then all at once my sins I saw,
Like mountains all around;
I tried the merits of the law,
But no salvation found.

I traveled thus for months and days;
Did weep, lament and cry;
I saw my condemnation just—
No rest for such as I.

I tried in solitude to pray,
And called upon the Lord,
"Oh, save a wretch condemned to die,
In mercy, oh my God."

I thought of all the men who lived
None were so vile as I;
I had provoked a dreadful God;
Forever I must die.

And while in anguish thus I lay,
And life seemed short with me,
A gaping hell lay just beneath,
In which I soon would be.

But all at once, within my soul,
I heard a welcome voice;
It spoke of pardon bought with blood,
Which made my heart rejoice.

It said, "Poor sinner, look and see
Unworthy though you feel,
This crimson stream from Jesus' side
Your gracious pardon seals."

By eye of faith I saw the stream
That flowed from Jesus' side,
By which we were redeemed to God,
And justice satisfied.

I praised and shouted out aloud,
All glory to His name;
Forever be His name adored,
By which salvation came.

EXPERIENCE OF MRS. M. CHURCHMAN (1944)

EXPERIENCE OF MRS. M. CHURCHMAN (1944)

From Zion's Advocate and Herald 'of Truth, August, 1897

Agreeably to what my parents educated me in, I was sealous for the established church, and thought all were fanatics who dissented from it, and had as great an inclination to persecute them as Saul had. As a proof, there was a way through my father's yard for Mrs. M., a godly woman, to go to meeting, which she did every Sunday, and I really thought it my duty to set his great dog on her to molest her, and used sometimes to encourage him for a half a mile, together with the most bitter invectives, such as saying: My dog could smell the blood of fanatics, etc. The cur was thought savage to others, but such was the preventing providence of God that he never once fastened upon this gracious woman, notwithstanding I often tried to have him hurt her.

When I was about eighteen years of age, it pleased the Lord to lay on me a languishing fit of sickness, which raised in me some promise of a new life; and when recovered, at the persuasion of a neighbor who had been very useful to me in my illness, I went to hear that man of God, Mr. Holcroft. He preached powerfully of hell and judgment, which made me tremble and secretly wish I had never been there. Every time he mentioned the name of Christ it was as terrible as the thunders and lightning upon Mount Sinai. I wished myself covered with the mountains, and looked upon Christ as my terrible judge and enemy. This trouble I vented in floods of tears, and many wishes that I had never been born, and that I had never come there; 'for now, thought I, they will think me one of themselves which I, at that time, was fully resolved against. I seemed now to dislike them worse than ever. Satan also suggested, "What would my relations say?" They must never know that I had gone to a meeting of this sort. Thus in great worry and confusion, I sat till service was ended. After the sermon, whilst waiting for my friend, the minister came to me and asked me who I was, and where I lived, and whether I knew anything of the Lord Jesus Christ, etc., but such was my ignorance, and such the worry and