May 29, 2011

The ground of the sufficiency of His work - Styles

Christ’s sufferings proportioned to His people’s guilt, the ground of the sufficiency of His work.

We believe that as the death of the Lord Jesus was penal (that is to say inflicted on Him in punishment for the sins of His people), His vicarious agonies were proportioned to their guilt, and that He suffered at the hands of impartial Justice what they in their own persons must otherwise have endured in the place of endless woe, and that thus the measure of His sufferings rendered His oblation gloriously sufficient for the great ends contemplated in the covenant of grace (Isa. 53:5, 8; Rom. 8:32; 2 COr. 5:21; 1 Pet. 3:18).

“My Lord, my love was crucified, He all my pains did bear, But in the sweetness of His rest, He makes His servants share.

“His blood was shed instead of ours, His soul our hell did bear, He took our sin, gave us Himself: What an exchange is here!”

May 28, 2011

Sufferings according to the degree of their guilt - John Stevens

Mr. F.If the measure of Christ's sufferings were according to the number of those for whom he died, in such a manner as that if more had been saved, his sorrows must have been proportionally increased ; it might, for aught I know, be inconsistent with indefinite invitations."* iv Page 109.

Ans. 1. Whatever Christ suffered that had any saving merit in it, was endured by him as a public person, as the Head and Representative of his whole chosen body, for which body he suffered and died exclusively. He loved the church, and gave himself for it. The rest he never knew, and, therefore, certainly never suffered on THEIR account; so that they can have no invitation to the enjoyment of salvation on His account. Now, as it is clear, that Christ did suffer for some, and not for others, and as the scriptures call the atonement he made for some a ransom; and as the same persons are said to be bought with a price, and their debts forgiven by graciously providing them a Surety, and taking payment of him in their stead; we may, therefore, safely conclude, that the demands of impartial justice were greater than if only one sinner had been ordained to salvation; and that they must have been proportionable to the number of criminals appointed to obtain salvation thereby.

2. It is true, that not one sinner could have been saved had not Jesus laid down his life as a sacrifice; but, it is also true, that the expiatory sufferings of the Redeemer did not consist merely in giving up the ghost, but chiefly in what preceded that, for He endured the wrath of God, and paid the dreadful debt required, on account of his chosen people, so as to be able to say, before he expired and left his body, It is finished. Hence it appears that, though death must have been unavoidable, if only one sinner had been redeemed from the second death to endless life; yet, it by no means follows that our Lord's sufferings must have been equally great in dying. As a hint, merely illustrative, it may be remarked that while all men die, they by no means suffer alike in dying. Our Saviour's actual death, rather marks the termination of his sufferings, than the degree of them. Yet, if his sorrows were in proportion to the number of persons for whom he suffered, as they evidently were, Mr. F. has acknowledged indefinite invitations might be inconsistent for aught he knew.

3. It is said of the unjust sinner, that he shall eventually “receive according to the things done in his body, according to that he hath done." But, is there no greater measure of punishment justly due to a world of sinners, than there is to one? Then what is meant by the greater damnation and the more tolerable condition mentioned by our Lord? (*v.) If there are not different degrees of punishment, how can some have a more tolerable condition than others? But, if one lost sinner be to suffer as much as all lost sinners, as Mr. F.'s mode of reasoning supposes, then it must follow that one sinner does as much dishonor to the name of God as all mankind put together! It will next follow that man is not only accountable for his own faults, but for those of mankind. Where do the sacred writings hold out such sentiments for our reception? Paul says, The sinner shall receive according to that he bath done in his body; but, he has never said, that any one shall suffer according to what others have done in their bodies. Therefore if we suppose any one to stand in the place of one lost sinner, we are not, in so doing, to imagine, that such a substitute must, on that account, suffer as much as though he had represented all lost sinners. The greater the guilt, the greater the punishment: the greater the numbed *vi of sinners, the greater the measure of guilt. It must, therefore, follow that, “if more sinners had been saved, the sorrows of the Saviour must have been proportionably increased." But, Mr. F. admitted that if this were the case, then, for aught he knew, indefinite invitations might be inconsistent with particular redemption. (*v Matt. 10:15. and 23: 14).

(*vi ROM. 5: 15. Isaiah 53: 6, 12).

Now, as it is impossible that one sinner, in the few years of his embodied state on earth, should commit as much sin and do as much dishonor to God, as all mankind put together, or even as his chosen race, it is incredible that a just God can have punished Christ in the same degree, as though all the world had been to be saved by his death : or, that he would have suffered just the same as he did suffer, had only one sinner been ordained to salvation. Yet, this preposterous idea must be maintained, or Mr. F.'s system of indefinite invitations is without foundation in the death of Christ, by his own concession!

Mr. F. If the measure of his sufferings were according to the degree of their guilt, or if his sorrows must have been proportionably increased, if those who are saved had been more guilty ; it might, for aught I know, be inconsistent with indefinite invitations.": (* vii Page 109).

Ans. To be guilty, is to be chargeable with crimes that expose one to punishment. A man's being more guilty than his neighbor, supposes that he has sinned more heinously, and committed more crimes than his neighbor has. That the measure of Christ's sufferings was proportionable to the guiltiness of his members, whom he represented to God, and covenanted for, I conceive appears from the following considerations:—

1. Some are said to owe “five hundred pence, and others fifty;" which saying Jesus afterwards explained in the same connection, when he said (speaking of a certain woman) “her sins, which are many, are forgiven, for she loved much; but to whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little."* As all do not owe alike, I apprehend he who was Surety for the whole elect number of debtors was not required to suffer to the same degree for each one of them. Can it be thought that Christ suffered as much for every one of those infants that are saved, as he did for this woman? or, that God the Father shews as much grace in pardoning an infant, as he did in pardoning Saul of Tarsus, who styled himself the chief of sinners, because of his wicked deeds ?
(* Luke vii. 47).

2. The more grace the Father manifests in pardoning and justifying a sinner, the more heinous and numerous his crimes are thereby supposed to have been, and the more was required to be endured by Jesus, his Surety for him. For the sufferings of the Mediator, who agreed in covenant to hear the sins of a particular people, must have been according to the dishonor done to God, the sovereign Lawgiver, who is the party offended; otherwise the dignity and honor of the divine Law-giver would not have been restored.

3. Jesus Christ, in his work of mediation, was considered by his Father, as the Head and Surety of the chosen body, which contains many members. Now all these members are distinctly known, distinctly loved, distinctly brought into the world, distinctly preserved in Christ and called, and he is touched with the feeling of all their infirmities, in a distinct way and manner, and knows what every member bears: and why are we not to suppose that he suffered distinctly for the evil ways of all the members of his mystical body? In short, I question whether it were possible for Christ to suffer for his people, by bearing their sins in his own body on the tree, without suffering for them in a distinct way, according to the exact knowledge which he had of them.* (* Psalm 40: 12).

4. The Lord has frequently set forth the great sinfulness of Israel by the number of their sins; and I see no reason why we are to suppose that the Lord would deal with Israel according to the number of their sins, as in Numb. 14: 22. Jer. 5: 6. Lam. 1: 3. Hosea 9: 7, 9. Psalm 78: 40. and that so as to manifest an inflammation of wrath against the aggressors; and yet when he came to punish sin to the utmost in Christ, the public Head and Surety of the elect remnant, take no notice of the number of sins, so as to punish him accordingly.

5. Why do the scriptures so particularly set forth the sinfulness of those that
are saved, and also the merits of their Saviour, by the number of their sins, if it all stands for nothing? It. is said, “judgment was by one (offence) to condemnation; but the free gift is of many offences (*ix) unto justification, by the obedience of Christ." Now, how came the Apostle to speak so emphatically of many offences, if he considered the atonement of Christ in the same way as our author did? (*ix Rom. 5: 16).

6. The Holy Ghost convinces of sins, of many sins, and causes the chosen seed of the Lord to confess their sins as innumerable, and to feel grief at times on account of the number of them, and to ask for the forgiveness of them as being many, like the woman's of old; of whom Christ said her sins, which are many; are forgiven. Now, how is it that the saint, who is a member of Christ's body, and a partaker of his nature and spirit, should suffer under a sense of the number of his sins, and afterward praise God for the forgiveness of his many offences, if Christ his Head and ensample did not so suffer? Can it be thought the believer has a more distinct view of his criminality, and that with sorrow and pain, than what Christ had and felt in the great work of redemption? Surely not.

7. The omniscient and heart-searching God distinctly knows all the sins of his people; yea, he wisely permits them, and perfectly hates them; nor could he fail to punish them according to their desert. For this end they were laid, imputatively on Jesus, as their Head and Surety, who suffered for them distinctly, when he bore their sins, their numbered offences, in his own body on the tree. He, by the mouth of his servant David, said, “Innumerable evils have compassed me about, they are more than the hairs of my head." But why speak thus, unless the number of the sins referred to was the cause of his sufferings being the greater? Punishment is not inflicted in sovereignty, but in equity; and justice consists in assigning to every one his due; but, this implies that the measure of our Surety's sufferings was according to the degree of our guilt: if this be the case said Mr. F., indefinite invitations may, for aught I know, be inconsistent with peculiar redemption.

8. In the great day of judgment, all the deeds done in the body will come under notice, and the ungodly will receive punishment accordingly; from which it may reasonably be imagined that all the sins of the elect world were brought forward against their divine Surety, and distinctly and righteously punished in him, in the garden and on the cross. God will bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil. The preceding considerations have induced me to conclude, that our sins, as well as our persons, were viewed, numbered, and covenanted for distinctly, and so distinctly suffered for, that if one person, or one sin, had been lacking of the number atoned for, the load had been lighter on the person of Jesus our Surety and Redeemer: consequently indefinite invitations are inconsistent with the true doctrine of atonement.

May 22, 2011

God as doing what He permits to be done - Hassell

"The Interpretation of the Scriptures—Fatalism," The Gospel Messenger (Jan. 1894)

THE SCRIPTURES OFTEN SPEAK of God as doing what He permits to be done (see Job i.12, 21; ii.6; 2 Sam. xvi.10, compared with 1 Chron. xxi.1; 1 Kings xii.11, 15; xxii 20-23; Gen. xxxvii.28, compared with xlv.5 and 1.20; Psalm xxxix.8, 9; Isa. xlii 24; Amos iii.6; Acts iv.27, 28, compared with ii.23); for He is the Creator and Upholder of the universe, and could prevent the occurrence of anything He chose. The Holy One that inhabiteth eternity is, to sin in every form and in every being, a consuming fire (Heb. x.30, 31; xii.29; Isa. vi.3, 5; lvii.15). Even His sinless Son, when He represented His sinful people, was forsaken of His holy and loving Father, and delivered up to suffer the horrible death of the cross.


GOD'S PROVIDENCE OVER THE EVIL ACTS OF MEN By Elder Frank B. Beck, 1963 Clarendon Street Baptist Church, Boston

Why does God allow sinners to exit on the earth? Why does God allow sin? Why doesn't God save everybody? Why doesn't God destroy the Devil? Or, is God powerless in these matters? Are the sinful acts of men a part of God's eternal purpose according to His determinate counsel, or something apart from His purpose?

The Problem Of Sin

There is the problem of sin. How did sin originate? Did God purpose it, or permit it, or did it come in unexpectedly?

If we shall say that sin came in unexpectedly or unforeseen by God, then we charge God with imperfect knowledge. That is not the kind of God we know in the sacred Scriptures. He is perfect in Wisdom. "His understanding is infinite" (Psalm 147:5) "He knoweth all things." (John 21:17).

That God did know beforehand that sin would enter the world is gathered from Acts 15:18: "Known unto God are all His works from the beginning of the world " This includes the work of redemption from SIN and hell, which knowledge must include sin.

If God saw beforehand that sin would enter into the world, why did He not prevent it? Suppose that we say that He could not, we charge God with imperfect power. Again this is not the God with whom we are acquainted in sacred Writ, He does as He pleases (Psalm 115:3) and "all power" is given unto Christ "in heaven and in earth." (Matthew 28:18).

We cannot say that He could not. Then we must say that He would not. If we conclude that God could prevent sin from entering the world but would not, then it must be that the sinful acts men commit are included in the eternal purpose of God.

Concerning the evil acts of men be it said, that men sin of their own depraved wills. God is not the author of sin, nor does He "force" men to sin against their natural will. He doesn't have to — He leaves them to themselves and they willingly sin. They love it. But God uses the sinful acts of men to His own glory either in justice or in grace, in that He prevents sin, permits sin, directs sin, channeling the courses wherein He can manifest His glory, and determines how far the sinner or the Devil shall go. Further than His will, they cannot go.

I. God, In His Providence Prevents Sin

God oftentimes prevents sin. This is according to His grace and is not a matter of obligation. He does not have to prevent it and oftentimes does not. In the case of Abraham, Sarah, and Abimelech God prevented sin. Abraham and Sarah had journeyed into Abimelech's country and Sarah was a "fair woman to look upon? (Genesis 12:11) Therefore Abimelech took Sarah, but God warned him not to touch her. (Genesis 20:3-6) Indeed, Abimelech "had not come near her." (verse 4) Why was that? Surely that was not the natural thing to do on one's wedding night, except that it was God "withholding Abimelech from sinning against Him," as we read that He, in fact, did (verse 6) On the other hand God did not prevent Shechem from committing adultery with Jacob's daughter Dinah. (Genesis 34) Well may we pray in the words of the Psalmist: "Keep back Thy servant also from presumptuous sins." (Psalm 19:13). If God withdraws His preventive grace to keep us from sinning, we will be as the lowest demons in hell. Man's fallen nature is itself sin.

II. God, In His Providence, Permits Sin

God permits sin. This does not mean that He approves of it, for He judges it with the fiercest punishment. The severity of the punishment indicates the heinousness of the act in His sight. By permitting sin God, in righteous judgment, withdraws His preventive grace and leaves men to their sinful selves.

After David had committed adultery with Bethsheba God said to him: "Because thou hast despised Me, and hast taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be thy wife, thus saith the Lord: Behold, I will raise up evil against thee out of thine own house, and I will take thy wives before thine eyes and give them unto thy neighbor and he shall lie with thy wives in the sight of this sun. For thou didst it secretly, but I will do this thing before all Israel and before the sun." (II Samuel 12:10-12).

God hates adultery (Malachi 2:16), but will withdraw His grace from David's own house so that those nearest David will take his wives openly in adultery. God will punish David with his own sin!

In order to deceive sinful and deceitful King Ahab, the Lord "put a lying spirit" in the mouth of all Ahab's prophets (I Kings 22:23) assuring him victory if he went forth to battle. This is what Ahab desired. He did not want to hear any other message. So God gave him up to his lies though He warned Ahab that he was being tricked. (I Kings 22:13-28). God did not make his prophets lie. They were already false prophets, or liars, and all that occurred was to have these lying prophets tell the same lie at the same time. God did them no wrong. It is the same principle that runs throughout the Word of God. God permits the wicked to have his own way, gives him up to his own sin. That this is so, examine the following references:

"But My people would not hearken to My voice and Israel would none of Me, so I gave them up unto their own heart 's lust and they walked in their own counsels." (Psalm 81:11-12). We are informed that in the Old Testament times God "suffered all nations to walk in their own ways." (Acts 14:16). We are instructed that the Gentile nations gave themselves over to idolatry and that "Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, through the lusts of their own hearts to dishonor their own bodies between themselves." (Romans 1:23-24)

That the Gentile nations changed the truth of God into a lie and worshipped the creature more than the Creator and that "For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections." (Romans 1:25-26) "And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind to do those things which are not convenient." (Romans 1:28)

The wicked have not the revelation of God in the Old and New Testaments and in the Person of Jesus Christ. They reject the truth and love falsehood. Therefore, God will give them over to falsehood. "And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion that they SHOULD believe a lie, that they all might be damned who believe not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness. " (II Thessalonians 2:11,12)

Why is this? "Because they receive not the love of the truth that they might be saved. " (verse 10) All who continue in unbelief of the truth are to this end "appointed" (I Peter 2:8) and were "before of old ordained to this condemnation." (Jude 4)

God permits the sinful acts of men as a means to an end, to show forth the glory of His Justice and Holiness. "For the Scripture saith unto Pharaoh, Even for this same purpose have I raised thee up, that I might shew My power in thee, and that My name might be declared throughout the earth" (Romans 9:17).



A Compilation of Twenty-Six Authors From 1696 to 2005 on the Subject OF THE PREDESTINATION OF GOD

Published by:

The PREDESTINARIAN 1159 County Road 420 Quitman, Mississippi, 39355 A.D 2005


Predestination, Jonas C. Sikes (1900)
A Discourse on the Decrees of God, Hercules Collins (1696)
God's Determinate Counsel, Stanley C. Phillips Article Seventeen, Anglican Communion Chapter HI, Of God's Decree, London Confession, (1689)
Predestination, Christopher Ness, (1700)
Predestination, John Gill (1752)
Particular Election and Perseverance, Isaac Backus (1789)
Sovereign Decrees of God, Isaac Backus (1773)
Chapter HI, Of God's Decree, Abel Morgan (1775)
Absolute Predestination, Gilbert Beebe (1833 cf)
Absolute Predestination, Samuel Trott, (1833)
Predestination, James Wells (1839)
353 Predestination, Silas Durand (1901)
395 Absolute Predestination, Sylester Hassell (1902)
Absolute Predestination, William Smoot (1912)
Sovereignty Of God, J. B. Bowden (1926)
Absolutism Misrepresented, Joseph Fairchild (1926)
"Time Salvation" vs Predestination, P. IL James (1928)
Predestination, W. T. Judy (1929)
Predestination, J. R Hatcher (1929)
Predestination vs. Limited Predestination, J. W. Gilliam (1930)
Predestination, Frederick W. Keene (1930)
Predestination, John C. Hall (1936)
God's Providence Over The Evil Acts of Men, Frank B. Beck (1963)
Exposition of the Doctrine, J. W. Gilliam (1932)

[Note: This work is presented for careful study of the subject. While I recommend this work, I do not agree with the author of this work who presents Conditional Time Salvation Primitives as teaching duty-faith and misrepresents the doctrine of Time Salvation. I believe it is proper to call it gospel time salvation.]

If God did not purpose that sin should enter the world - Jonas C. Sikes (1900)

It has been suggested by some, that if we could prove that the first transgression was predestinated, then the predestination of all things could be established. So to this end I shall first direct my attention. In the first place, I would ask, did not God know that if He made Adam as He did and placed him where he would be subjected to the evil influence of the Serpent, that he would transgress? If not, where is the perfection of His wisdom? If He did, why did He make him and place him thus? Was it because He was not able to make a perfect man; one that would not yield to temptation? one that could not be corrupted? If so, where is the perfection of His power? If He did not have the power then, and has never, nor will never increase in power, will He ever be able to take a poor, fallen wretch and make a perfect and incorruptible man out of him? I suppose, however, that all who claim to be Old School or Primitive Baptists will admit that He had both the wisdom and the power to have had it different, if He had willed it different, but this would be an admission that He did not will it different, which would be to say that He willed it to come to pass as it did. These are self-evident facts. If God willed it to be different from the way it came to pass, is it not remarkably strange that He arranged things so that He knew that it would not work out as He intended it, when He could only have thought how He would have it to be, and said, "Let it be so," and it would have been so? It is a self-evident fact that needs no argument to prove it, that either the introduction of sin into the world was according to God's purpose, or else the whole covenant plan of redemption, the advent of Christ into the world, all of His righteous life, all His suffering and death, His resurrection and ascension are not the result of God's free and independent purpose, for it was to redeem man from the consequences of this act and its outgrowth that all the above took place. Hence, if the transgression was not a part of God's eternal purpose, then it follows that the covenant of redemption owes its existence (not to the free and independent purpose of God outside of an extraneous influence, but) to the act of a man by which it was made necessary and a way opened up for it to enter. So in order of thought it would stand thus: First, God determined to make a man. Second, He saw that man would transgress. Third, He devised a plan of redemption. This order cuts God's purpose in two, and sets them thus: First, God's free and independent purpose was to create man. Second, God's knowledge of man's independent act in transgression; and Third, God's necessitated purpose to redeem man was influenced by what He foresaw. If we follow this stream to its logical end, where will it empty? If God had rather sin had not entered the world, then it follows that there has never been a single act, or creature, or thing, in this universe that has been as God originally would rather have had it; because every act, creature, or thing, has been in some way affected by sin, which (according to that view) had rather had never existed. Even the earth, with which every living thing has to do, was cursed because of transgression, which God would rather have had different. Not even one act of the holy Son of God was as God would rather have had it, for His acts were to redeem sinners, when God had rather there had been no sinners to redeem. Nor throughout all eternity can anything be as it would have pleased God to have had it, for it will be one eternal song and shouts from the redeemed sinners praising Him for their redemption, when God had rather that man had never sinned. If this were so, then there would have been no redemption from sin and no shouting of praises by redeemed sinners. I shall trace this stream no farther at present, for I see from its course that it empties into the broad ocean of infidelity. But all of the above is true and much more that might be said, if God did not purpose that sin should enter the world.

May 7, 2011

BIOGRAPHY: Sylvester Hassell

BIOGRAPHY: Sylvester Hassell

FROM "ADVOCATE AND MESSENGER," SEPTEMBER 1928, BY ELDER R. H. PITTMAN: "BROTHER HASSELL IS DEAD!" These sad words were first heard by me as they were whispered in my ear during the morning service at the Ketocton Association Sunday, August 19, 1928, and as the news spread many hearts were saddened and tears of sorrow shed. And upon reaching home Sunday night I found a telegram from Charles Hassell awaiting me, and regret very much that I could not attend the funeral services of this dear man of God. He was very near and dear to me. For thirty-five years, we have been very close friends, and during the last years of his life, we were closely and intimately connected. His editorial service on the staff of the Advocate and Messenger was a blessing to thousands and an inspiration to his co-workers with whom he was in perfect harmony. The writer was last with him in January in a meeting in which he labored for reconciliation of estranged brethren; and on July 16th-his last letter to me-he said "I would be glad to see you again." But no more shall we meet in this life. He has been called up higher; and heaven to me is a little dearer, because of his going. Elder Sylvester Hassell, of Williamston, N. C.; minister, historian, teacher, was doubtless the best authority on church history in North Carolina, and possibly in this age. He stood among the foremost thinkers and writers of the United States. His ancestors came from England to North Carolina in the Eighteenth Century. His parents were Elder C. B. Hassell and his first wife, Mary Davis. He was born in Williamston, N. C., July 28, 1842, and died there August 18, 1928, having reached the ripe age of 86 years and 21 days. He was educated at the Williamston Academy and the University of North Carolina, taking a high stand at both, and graduating with honors. He was proficient in several languages, was principal of a school for young men in Wilson, N. C., and professor of languages in a northern college for some years. He published, in 1886, the Church History, the most complete work of its kind ever published by our people, and a monument more lasting than granite, to him and to his father, who began the work. In 1892 he became associate editor of the Gospel Messenger, and in 1896, its proprietor and managing editor, which position he retained nearly twenty years when the paper was sold to Elder Z. C. Hull, of Atlanta, Ga., from whom it was purchased by the writer in 1923, and all this time Elder Hassell has been on the editorial staff. He was twice married; first to Mary Isabella Yarrell, in 1869; and second to Francis Louisa Woodward, in 1876. Of his religious experience he recently wrote: "At the early age of ten years I knew and felt that I was a sinner. When about twenty years of age, I thought, I had consumption; and I fled to the law for justification, but found only condemnation. I was then led to feel, while alone in my bedroom at my father's house, that Jesus bore my sins in His holy death on the cross. I wept bitterly over this impression, but I waited five months to be assured of the reality of a blessed change in my soul. I then went to Skewarkey Church near Williamston, related my experience, and was received into membership. I was baptized the next day, January 11, 1864, by my father, Elder C. B. Hassell, in Roanoke River, when the ground was covered with frozen snow, and the ice in the river was more than an inch thick. It was the happiest day of my life. I began speaking in public in December 1871, and was ordained in August 1874. *****I have served Shewarky, Jamesville, Hamilton, Great Swamp, and Coneto Churches, but now serve only Skewarkey Church. I feel myself to have been only a poor sinner, an unprofitable servant, saved only by Sovereign, free, electing grace, if saved at all." Thus wrote this great man in the last editorial from his gifted pen. Truly, he was a Prince in Israel. As I am able to judge, it has not been my privilege to know one who bore more marks of real greatness. In manners, humble and retiring as a little child; in general information, he has been called "a walking encyclopedia;" in service, untiring and unselfish; in character, irreproachable and unstained; in deportment, gentle, kind and tender.

Articles may be found HERE

May 2, 2011

There is hope in the end, saith the Lord, that thy children shall come again to their own borders - Stanley C. Phillips

"At what point in time is spiritual revelation to an elect and redeemed sinner possible? The answer: Whenever one is quickened to life, or begotten again, or spiritually conceived. That “new creature” implanted within the “old man” of the flesh has ETERNAL life. This life never had a beginning. It knows the things of the Spirit of God within itself, whether it can adequately express or understand them or not. Such a person, then, “has the mind of Christ” since “Christ is in him, the hope of glory”. (1 Corinthians 2:16.) But, one may justly ask, “How early in life is this revelation possible?” The answer: Whenever it pleases God to reveal it. With John the Baptist, it was while he was yet in his mother’s womb! With David, it was “when I was upon my mother’s breasts.” (Psalm 22:9,) or as he also said, “I was cast upon Thee from the womb: Thou art my God from my mother’s belly.” (Psalms 22:10.) What David said of Himself may also be applied to Christ. (Of whom it appears to be prophetically intended.) If one suggests that these scriptures are special cases, we then present the next:

When Herod sent and killed “all the children that were in Bethlehem, and in all the coast thereof, from two years old and under,” (which had to have been a great slaughter!), it is written of these infants, “In Rama was there a voice heard, lamentation, and weeping, and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children, and would not be comforted, because they were not.” (Matthew 2:16-18.) But what was the gospel revelation relative to these little mangled infants? “Thus saith the Lord; Refrain thy voice from weeping, and thine eyes from tears: for thy work shall be rewarded, saith the Lord: and they shall come again from the land of the enemy (death). And there is hope in the end, saith the Lord, that thy children shall come again to their own borders.” (In the resurrection?) In this case, at least, one hundred percent of these infants will be in the resurrection of the just, unless there can be another interpretation of these passages which is not so clearly stated. Without discussing the state of all infants dying in infancy, the point to be made here is: That at least some infants, as here, die in infancy and are saved by the death of Christ. Second, the message, or glad tidings, i.e., the gospel has no part in making this true. “It is the Spirit that quickeneth, the flesh profiteth nothing.” (John 6:63.) There being but one way of salvation, such a salvation must invariably fulfill this prophesy. It must be able to include these infants as well as all elect adults alike. Who will argue that these infants repented and believed the gospel, or “accepted Christ as their Saviour? One must agree that (if they are saved at all) they were obviously elected, redeemed, ransomed, justified, called (in death), and quickened exactly as are all other elect who come to the age of understanding. Simply put, hearing the message of this salvation is a very great blessing to sensible sinners; but the message is about this salvation; not the cause of it! The hearing does not do the quickening, nor does the believing. Christ alone is the Saviour of sinners; not, “will be if you let Him.” It is rather too late for any “letting.” Christ has already died!" - Stanley C. Phillips

Time Salvation - Dalton, Tolbert S.

Obedience to God, is one of the absolute essentials to Christian life. A most beautiful lesson is taught us in 2d Peter 1st chapter, in which Peter first sets forth the work of God in giving us ALL THINGS that pertain to life and godliness, such as faith, repentance, remission of sins, and a blessed assurance that we shall at last be delivered from the power of sin, into the glorious home of the blest, and then changes the subject by saying, "besides this," which shows very conclusively that there is something else separate and apart from the work that God does for us. "Besides this giving all diligence, add to your faith, (not add faith but add to your faith) virtue." One of the most beautiful Christian graces that ever adorned one of Adam’s fallen apostate race, that is, live virtuously to the Lord as your only husband. Suppose that we, for instance, were married to a lady, and we leave her and go into a far country to prepare for her a home, and after we had been gone for some time we at last return, and inform her that all preparations are now made, and I am now ready to carry you to that delightful home I have prepared for you, and lo! and behold she has married several other men while we were gone, would you think that she added virtue to her pretended faith in me? Methinks you would say "no," and we doubt not that you would AT ONCE enter suit for divorce, and never live with her again, on earth. How my brethren, let us remember, that Jesus, our husband, has gone to prepare a place for us and said he would come again and receive us unto himself, that where he was there we should be also. Now suppose, when he comes he finds us, (his bride) married to every little institution in the world, instead of devoting our whole life to him, and endeavoring to show forth his praise, can we expect to receive his smiles? Can we expect Him to bestow upon us His precious jewels? Surely, we can not expect it. What else could we look for but to receive the chastening of His hot displeasure? Could we expect Him to bestow upon us the great blessing of temporal, or timely salvation? Surely we can not expect it. But was it true that Jesus was a changeable being, as we are, he would sue for divorce and have us to sink down to irretrievable woe and misery; but blessed be His holy name, He is not as one of us, for he declares, "though my children forsake my laws, and keep not my statutes, then will I visit their transgressions with a rod, yet my loving kindness will I not utterly take from them nor suffer my faithfulness to fail." Therefore seeing the great and unchangeable love our husband and Saviour has for us; Oh! how diligent we ought to be to obey all of his commands, and observe all of his precepts, and not go out of the church into the world and join the institutions, and marry and intermarry with all the abominations of earth, for when we do this we show our disregard for our husband. Should you wish to observe the rules of a Masonic fraternity, observe the rules Jesus has laid down for the government of His church, and you have it in full. Should you wish to be a temperance man, observe the laws of the church of God, and you have all there is in any temperance institution. Therefore we can see no need of a church member joining any secret order, in order to do good in the world, or to enable him to let his light shine, for if he does what the Lord commands him as a member of his church, he has all that is claimed for any secret order on earth, therefore we would say as did Peter, "Add to your faith, virtue," and don’t stop here, but add to virtue, knowledge." Suppose we were to leave our wives, and go into a far country, and before we left, we write a long letter, giving them full directions about how we wanted everything attended to while we were gone, and after we were gone she should lay it away in the desk, and never take it down to read, and see what we instructed to be done while we were gone, but would depend on some one else to read it, and tell them what to do, and then they do not know whether they have told them correctly or not, but they will depend upon them and do as they say, right or wrong, and we return and find everything different to what we instructed, and we ask, did you "add knowledge," to your faith? "Well no," I didn’t have time to read your letter of instructions, and let one of our neighbors read it, and tell me how to do, and I done as he said; I thought that would do. Do you suppose that we could smile in love upon them and say, well done my love? We imagine that almost any of us would fly into a rage and perhaps discard our companions because they had no more respect for us than to treat our letter of instructions with such disregard.

Jesus has left us a book (or letter) of instructions and has commanded us to search it. While he is gone, and thereby to "add to our faith knowledge." Shall we treat it with disregard, and lay it aside and follow our own notions, or conscience instead, or shall we hire a preacher to read for us, and tell us what it says, and then let him tell us what to do, and do as he says right or wrong? Or shall we obey the command of our Saviour and husband, and search it ourselves, and thereby "add knowledge" to our faith, and show our regard for His Word and live under His continued smiles, and save ourselves from the lash of a guilty conscience? As for us, we would join in with Peter, in saying, "Add to your faith knowledge, and to knowledge temperance," not by joining some institution but add this as one of the Christian graces, that should necessarily grow out or a renewed heart, "add to temperance patience;" that is, learn to be patient in whatsoever condition of life you may be placed, realizing that "all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose." Therefore, we ought to "Glory in tribulation, knowing that tribulation worketh patience, and patience experience, and experience hope, and hope maketh not ashamed, because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us." Therefore let us "add to our faith patience, and to patience Godliness, that is to be God-like in our everyday deportment, and to "Godliness add brotherly kindness." That is, should we see a brother over-taken in a fault, or in an error, let us not take him by the throat and demand full payment of all that he owes, but let us treat him with brotherly kindness, and try to restore him in the Spirit of meekness; and to brotherly kindness, "add charity," for if we see a brother have need, and shut up our bowels of mercy, and not administer to his necessities, how dwells the love of God in us? Therefore, let us consider that one of the important features in working out our time salvation is to "Add to our faith charity." "For if these things be in you and abound, they make you that you shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But he that lacketh these things is blind, and can not see a far off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins." Oh I how often we hear Christians say, "I am so dark and gloomy. Surely, it can’t be that I was ever purged from my old sins. If I was a Christian it would not be thus with me. Now my brother, you have only failed to add to your faith the above mentioned Christian graces, and therefore fail to enjoy the time salvation that God has promised on condition that you do these thing; therefore you are blind, and have forgotten that you were purged from your old sins." Then Peter came forth with his exhortation, "Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure, for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall."

You will observe that he does not tell them to elect themselves or call themselves, neither to act in away to get the Lord to elect them or call them, neither are they to make it sure to the Lord, for He knows all about it already, but make it sure to yourselves, and to your brethren, by adding all of the above named Christian graces, and if they do these things they shall never fall." He is not talking about falling from grace, but the Christian that does all of these things is never to fall into these dark old gloomy places, in which we are so often found, but by doing these things we are to enjoy the blessings of this time salvation, and to live in the enjoyment of the sweet presence of the Holy Spirit, and be able to rejoice continually in hope of heaven and immortal glory at God’s right hand, and not only so, but Peter says: "For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lords and Saviour Jesus Christ."

From this we draw the conclusion that the obedient Christian, that is the one that has been diligent in "adding to his faith virtue, and to virtue knowledge, and knowledge temperance, * Godliness, Brotherly kindness, * Charity, will, when he comes to press a dying pillow, have a more abundant entrance into the everlasting kingdom of God, than the one that neglects these things. We have heard some say when they carried to meet death, "that I have but one thing to regret, that is, I have not done my duty while I lived; I look beyond death, I have nothing to fear, but on this side, I have not added to my faith as I should have done. Therefore the obedient Christian has the more abundant entrance, Let us then endeavor to discharge our whole duty as followers of the Lord in this life that we may enjoy the sweet blessings of the time salvation, and when we come to die, we may have that abundant entrance into the everlasting kingdom of the Lord.

A very striking lesson is given us in the epistle of Jude. He begins the epistle with this language: "Jude, the servant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James, to them that are sanctified by God, the Father and preserved in Jesus Christ and called. Mercy unto you, and peace, and love be multiplied. Beloved, when I gave all diligence, to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that you should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the Saints."

This Jude spake to his brethren in view of the fact that none could enjoy this common salvation except those who strictly observed and contended for the faith which was delivered to the Saints. Not that Jude would teach that everyone must believe in some doctrine here in order to be saved in heaven, but this common salvation grew out of their strict observance of the truth of the faith (or doctrine) which was once delivered to the saints. And this Paul had reference, when he said to Timothy: "Take heed unto thyself, and the doctrine. Continue in them, for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee."

Of course, Paul would not teach Timothy that he was to save himself with an eternal salvation, nether was he to save his hearers with an eternal salvation, for Paul had just taught him differently; he said to him: "Be thou therefore not ashamed of the testimony of the Lord, nor of me, his prisoner, but be thou a partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God, who hath saved us, and called us 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 surely Paul would not now turn and teach Timothy, the very reverse of that, and tell him that by giving heed to himself and to the doctrine, that he would thereby secure to himself the very same salvation that Jesus worked out for him while he was here on earth. We presume that none will believe that, therefore we must conclude that Paul had reference to time salvation when he said: "Take heed to thyself and to the doctrine, continue in them, for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself and them that hear thee." And none of us would presume for a moment that Timothy was a Saviour and could save his hearers with an eternal salvation for we have shown in, previous articles that this was alone the work of God. And Paul says in Eph. 4:10-11-12-13-14: "He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens; that he might fill all things. And he gave some apostles, and some prophets, and some evangelists; and some pastors and teachers. For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ.

Till, we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of, the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.

That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the slight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive. But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in alt things, Which is the head even Christ.

All of the above Paul wrote as the object for which God gave his ministers, and not a single word said about them saving sinners with an eternal salvation, but a great deal said about their tenaciously contending for the true faith which was once delivered to the saints, that God’s people might be built up and established in the true faith of the gospel, and no more as children tossed to and fro with every wind of doctrine, whereby they lie in wait to deceive. Hence the preaching of the gospel, and their strict adherence to the faith, was to save them from the many lying wonders, and false signs, and cunning traps set by men of design to ensnare the poor unsuspecting child of God, Oh! how necessary then that the ministers of the Cross of Jesus be particular, about what they preach, lest they teach some erroneous doctrine, and thereby cause some dear little child to be entrapped by some false theory, and in the event come short of the enjoyment of this time or common salvation, We are living in a fast age, and an age in which we have many lo heres and lo theres, and if there ever was a time in the history of the world when God’s ministers should deal in plain, simple matters of fact, it is now. Look around you, dear reader, and see how many you can call to mind that you have every evidence to believe they are children of God, that are ensnared in the clutches of Arminianism, and are thereby failing to enjoy the blessings of that time salvation. What is the matter? Is it true that God sent them there? Surely it can not be true that God by His Holy Spirit has influenced one of His dear children to disobey Him, and join in with some other sect, and now calling for them to come out. He says: "Come out of her my people, that ye be no partaker of her sins."--And He commands us again to "touch not, taste not the unclean thing of which all are to perish with its using." Surely, God does not influence His dear children to go contrary to His commands. Nay, but some of us have got so straight, that we are like the Indian’s tree; we lean back a little, and instead of exhorting God’s people to a full discharge of their duty, we have rather told them to "stay away from the church just as long as they can," and never come to the church and discharge their duties as long as they can possibly keep from it, and many of the dear saints have been discouraged by such talk as this, and gone to other sects, because they thought the Old Baptist did not want them.

Now, my dear brethren this is wrong, you are not thereby contending for the faith which was once delivered to the saints, but it is rather denying the doctrine taught by Christ and his Apostles, and causing many of the dear saints to fail of the enjoyment of the blessings of this time salvation, Therefore we fail to save ourselves and them that hear us. Oh! my brethren, let us be careful how we teach, let us be found faithful in exhorting God’s people "to love and good works" let us endeavor with the ability that God gives us to show them the blessings that grow out of our obedience to the commandments of our dear Lord.

T. S. D.

The Old and the New Man - John R. Respess

"WHEN A MAN IS BORN AGAIN (we would not say born over) he, the man, becomes a new creature, but not a new creature in flesh and blood—for, so far as flesh and blood are concerned, he is the same creature—but as woman in pangs of travail is delivered by birth, so he is delivered by faith, and rejoices in the truth.

He is born of the Spirit—for God is a Spirit. He is new in spirit, new in hope, faith and love, and the works of faith. He is new in his views of truth, of God and himself; old things have passed away, and he is one spirit with the Lord, and hates what God hates, and loves what God loves; and hates what he once loved, and loves what he once hated. The old man is still, however, left; but the Christian man—the man himself as a Christian—lives by faith. It is the same man who is thus changed, who has now in spirit partaken of the divine nature; that now has struggles and hates his own depravity who once had no such struggles.

It was the same Paul who, after his change loved unto death the same truth that he before hated unto death. If it was not Paul himself, who was it? It was the same Gadarene who, one day was a fierce, wild and ungovernable savage, that sat the next day meekly at the feet of Jesus as a little child. He was the same man of flesh and blood—the same in size, features and stature—that he was the day before, but not the same in spirit; yet he had the depravity of nature to contend with until the struggle should end by death. He was a new creature; and what sort of a creature? Why, he was a “wonder” from the Lord of hosts; a man with two natures—the old man and the new man—such a being as no man could be who had never sinned and been born again; both a creature and a child, both created and begotten, both of God and of man."

The permission of things, and the things themselves - The Old Baptist Test (1867) - John M. Watson

"HOWEVER DARK AND STRANGE His providence may seem to us, yet the permission of such things, is in the permission of them right. If we only make the necessary distinction between the permission of things, and the things themselves, we will relieve the subject of much difficulty. The act, in itself, may be even contrary to the commandment of the Lord, but the permission of it may subserve important ends in His providence. In the case of Joseph, for instance, the acts which his brethren were permitted to do, were in themselves wicked, but the permission of them was followed by good results; good was in that manner brought out of evil, though they had no right or authority from God to do evil, that good might come out of it. Rom. iii, 8. This may be seen much more fully and conspicuously in the crucifixion of Christ. The wicked acts of His enemies in crucifying Him, produced the greatest and best results which ever occurred in this world; for through their acts He became a sacrifice for sins. In their wicked hands He suffered, bled and died, that He might redeem His people from all iniquity."

Infant Salvation

Infant Salvation

Mitchell, William M.

It is frequently the subject of anxious inquiry, by many persons, to know on what principle those who die in infancy can be saved. Strictly speaking there are but two systems of salvation contended for by the whole body of the religious world. There are supposed to be one thousand different religious sects now in the world: yet, divided and subdivided, as they are, so far as relates to, eternal salvation, all their creeds are merged into a conditional system of salvation. Of these thousand sects I know of but one denomination that holds exclusively to an unconditional system. The other the eternal salvation of the sinner to be dependant on conditions to be performed by the sinner, without the performance of which he will he eternally damned and lost forever. This conditional system represents God as simply proposing or offering salvation to all of Adam's race, on certain terms or conditions, to be accepted or rejected by each individual. If the terms are accepted and the conditions complied with,, eternal salvation is secured to each. If the terms are rejected, then the sinner is damned for rejecting the offers of mercy. Popular as this system is, and sustained by all the logic that a powerful and learned ministry can bring to bear, its effects in reaching the little infant, the idiot, and the untutored savage are so apparent to every thinking mind that various other plans have been thought necessary to reach the condition of these classes. It is well known that infants, idiots, maniacs and untutored heathen die as well as the "wise and prudent" of the world, and as they are totally incapable of understanding or complying with the terms or conditions of salvation, some other method must be invented, or it must be given up that there is no possible salvation for them. In order to evade this very unpopular, as well as absurd. conclusion. some have contented that little infants are not sinners, and consequently are saved on that ground. But if not a sinner what is it saved from? It could not be delivered from sin, if not ill any sense involved in it. If not a sinner, who is its savior? Surely not Jesus Christ, for his "name shall be called Jesus, for he shall save his people from their sins."--Matt. 1:21. Certainly, then "his people" of every nation, kindred and tongue, and of every age or class of life, are involved in sin, else it could not be said, he shall save them from their sins.

It is very evident from the Scriptures that there is but one plan of salvation, and that is Jesus Christ. "This is the stone which was set at naught of you builders, which is become the head of the corner: neither is there salvation in any other." This salvation, therefore, is not in means instrumentalities of man's invention or performing'; not in terms or conditions which he may accept; or reject; not in a state of innocence or of non-accountability to God's law, but in Jesus Christ. and him alone. Every qualification to make eternal salvation sure to every heir of promise, is in Jesus Christ, otherwise he had as well made no atonement for sin at all. If he had made nothing sure or perfect by his obedience, sufferings and death, then all are left under the same old legal system to work out a righteousness of their own, which at best could only secure temporal blessings, and not eternal things. "The law," with all its rights and ceremonies, even when strictly observed, "made nothing perfect; but the bringing in of a better hope through Jesus Christ made everything perfect by the which we draw nigh to God."--Heb. 7:I9.

But I wish here to notice briefly another point upon which some base the salvation of infants and idiots; that is on the ground of their non-accountability for sin. They admit what the word of. God plainly declares, "that by one man (Adam) sin entered into the world and death by Sin; so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned."--Rom. 5 :12. But they hold that for that original sin they are not acceptable, neither is any human being accountable until they live a certain number of years in the world, and cross, as they say, the "line of accountability." But what would the great God do with those who are not accountable to his holy law? He could not condemn them by the law that holds no charge against them! He could not redeem them from the curse of the law, when, indeed, they are not cursed or condemned by it! Hence we see that the "legs of the lame are not equal;" and being muddy and confused in mind on the great leading system of salvation by sovereign grace alone will lead to various other absurdities of those contending for a condition system of salvation be "Legion," yet, like their great type, when they come to tell each other and the world what the terms and conditions of salvation are, their language is all confused as on the walls of Babel. One says it is one thing, and another says it is another. But all agree that the main turning point of salvation is to comply with the terms which the Lord simply offers. Protestant sects say the terms are one thing, and the Catholics have several other things, such as confessing to the priest, praying out of purgatory, etc. The Mahometan says the conditions are prayer, fasting and alms. Prayer puts the sinner on the way to heaven, fasting brings him to the door, and alms lets him in. And thus Christ and his righteousness are of no avail on this conditional system only as these terms performed by sinners give virtue to his blood. What a shocking thought this is!

I now propose to show by the most positive and clear scriptural testimony the only plan that can possibly save an infant, or anybody else. Tim doctrine of salvation by sovereign grace alone is the only system ever published to the world that gives the least hope of salvation for those who die in infancy, or for any other character. If infants are not sinners and do not stand in the same relation to the law of God that all others do, they could not die. "The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law."--1Cor. 15. Adam embodied all his posterity, and when he transgressed the law of God all the human family sinned in that transgression. "Wherefore as by the offense of one, death reigned by one, and judgment came upon all men to condemnation. Rom. 5:15. It is therefore appointed unto all men "once to die." The fact that some infants die, establishes the testimony of the Scriptures that all have sinned. How then can they be saved from sin? Of course, not by works of their own, either good or bad. Our Lord Jesus Christ has said, "No man can come unto the Father but by me." There is no other name, given under heaven or among men, whereby we must be saved. If then there is but one way whereby a sinner can be saved, and that one way is Christ, then the notion that infants are saved by their innocence, their non-accountability, or by the piety, faith or works of their parents, cannot be true. How strange to think that the piety and works of parents can save ,their children, when. these things cannot be available in their own salvation. We have already said there is but one plan of salvation, and this only plan is perfectly adapted in all its parts to the final salvation and glorification of the little infant. Salvation is of the Lord, and therefore by grace and meets, in every particular, the wants of the most needy and helpless case. We will here note a few things as necessary to eternal salvation that the eterna1 self-existent, God should predestinate it and all the means by which it is to be obtained. "Having predestined unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will." A conformity to the image of Jesus Christ is necessary, and this is the result of God's predestination. Predestined to be conformed to the image of Christ.--Eph. 1 1:5, and Rom. 8:29. Second, it is necessary that God should require that every subject of salvation should be holy and without blame before him. This is obtained, as the result of election "Chosen in Christ before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love."—Eph. 1:4. We see that the result of God's choice is to make a poor, helpless and polluted sinner holy and blameless before him. "God hath not appointed us to wrath (as some affirm), but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ."--I Thess. 5:9. If the gracious God hath appointed any to obtain salvation, and the name and medium through which they are to obtain it, then it is vain to, think of obtaining it through personal innocence, non-accountability, piety of parents, or in any other way than what God hath appointed. He does not simply propose or offer salvation to the helpless, but he appoints that they shall obtain salvation through Jesus Christ. "He is able to save to the uttermost all that come unto God by him." There never has been, nor never will be, another one saved but those who come to God by Christ. They must come in his atonement, and in his righteousness. Cannot a poor ,little, helpless infant come through that channel as easily as an old practical sinner? Is not the adult expressly told that he must receive the kingdom of God as a little child, or he can in no wise enter?---Luke 18:17.

Third, redemption is necessary to salvatio, and this by our Lord Jesus Christ. If infants are not under the law of sin and death and cursed by it in common with all of Adam's posterity, they can never join in that heaven song of praise with other redeemed sinners, and say, Thou hast redeemed us to God by thy blood, out of every kindred and tongue and nation, and hast loved us, and washed us from our sin sills in his own blood.--Rev. 1:5, and 5:9. If infants are not sinners, they have no sins to wash away by the merit of the blood of Christ, and therefore can not claim Christ as their Savior and Redeemer, for he saves and redeems none but sinners. But here is a door of hope for the infant, and there is no other channel through which it, or any other, can be saved. "It is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners. Shall we teach a doctrine that would forever exclude the infant and the idiot from that salvation in Jesus Christ which has through free grace provided for helpless sinners? If proud men cannot have some honor in salvation, by performing certain conditions, to give efficiency to the work of Christ, will he still teach a system that would forever exclude these poor little creatures? Salvation by grace meets their condition. "This is worthy of all acceptation." Let none reject this on the ground of its inefficiency. It is worthy and meritorious--saves to the uttermost, fully and completely, the worst and the most helpless cases.

Fourth. a spotless and perfect righteousness is necessary to eternal salvation. Not simply a righteousness of the law, which a person may obtain by conforming to certain legal requisitions, but a righteousness wholly of God. This no mortal can obtain by works of the law. Christ has fulfilled the law in every particular, as the representative of all his people. Whose sins he bore in his own body on the cross, and the righteousness of that law is fulfilled in all in whom Christ is revealed, and they are thereby made free from the law of sill and death. But still there is another, and perhaps higher sense in which we might consider the righteousness of God as necessary to eternal glory. "The righteousness of Cod without the law."--Rom. 3:21. This is the essential righteousness of God, all inherent principle of his divine nature; it is the "ever-lasting righteousness" which Christ brought in when he abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel. Every soul that receives this justifying righteousness is perfectly passive in the hands of God, as much so as clay in the hands of the potter. "It is the Spirit that quickeneth, the flesh profiteth nothing." We are made the "righteousness of God in Christ.--2Cor.5:21. And Christ is of God made unto us wisdom and righteousness, sanctification and redemption."--1Cor. 1:30.

Fifth, justification is necessary to eternal salvation. This is also of God. "For whom did he predestinate them he also called: and whom he called them he also justified' freely by his grace, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.--Rom. 8:30, and 8:24. "Who then will lay anything to the charge of God's elect? God that justifies? Christ that died and rose again for them? Surely not.

Sixth, a spiritual birth is necessary to salvation. "except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God." This is entirely of God, and the mightiest intellect on earth has no more to do with it than the feeblest infant: for they are born not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God."--John 1:13. Does this doctrine exclude the infant from salvation? or does it not rather show that the adult is as dependent on the Lord to bestow salvation upon him as an infant is?

The last point we shall here make is simply to say that "All things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ."--1Cor. 5:18. All things in reference to our being in Christ are of God, and not of man. Our righteousness is. of him; our justification is of him' our redemption is of him; the quickening of the spirit and the application of redemption is of him; and he,-me our final and eternal salvation is of him, from first to last, and to !fire be all the glory. Seeing that these are facts not to be denied, what then is there in the way of infant salvation, any more than any other character? God hath concluded all under sin, that he might have mercy." And salvation is "not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that showeth mercy. --Rom. 9. Therefore we see that a system of salvation by grace alone as contended for and held by-all consistent Primitive Baptists, is the only doctrine that affords the least hope of salvation for little helpless infants, or anybody else.

In conclusion, I will here say that any doctrine that is preached to adult sinners, that will not embrace infants;, or an idiot, is wrong, and should at once be given up. We are told, however, that faith and repentance are necessary for adults, but not necessary for infants. Very true; but are not faith and repentance also of grace, as much as any other point in salvation? Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God." 1 John 5:1. Faith is the evidence of the new birth, and not the cause of it. As to repentance, it is the goodness of God, and not the goodness of man, that leadeth to repentance.--Rom. 2:4. -The power and grace that could teach a their on the cross, and could impart spiritual life to John the Baptist before he was born. and sanctify Jeremiah before his birth can and does reach the dying infant. Can we not trust our dear little infants, and all others, to his gracious hand? Abraham, when exercised by that faith that God had given him, was ready to offer up to God his only Son; and if we have the same faith will it not subdue our fears, and cause us to yield up ourselves and our children to his heavenly care?

Having extended this article to a much greater length than at first anticipated, I will bring it to a close. May the Lord guide all his dear children into all truth, for Jesus' sake.


---In Signs of The Times. 1870.

Here is a door of hope for the infant - Mitchell

"...redemption is necessary to salvation, and this by our Lord Jesus Christ. If infants are not under the law of sin and death and cursed by it in common with all of Adam's posterity, they can never join in that heaven song of praise with other redeemed sinners, and say, Thou hast redeemed us to God by thy blood, out of every kindred and tongue and nation, and hast loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood.--Rev. 1:5, and 5:9. If infants are not sinners, they have no sins to wash away by the merit of the blood of Christ, and therefore can not claim Christ as their Savior and Redeemer, for he saves and redeems none but sinners. But here is a door of hope for the infant, and there is no other channel through which it, or any other, can be saved. "It is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners. Shall we teach a doctrine that would forever exclude the infant and the idiot from that salvation in Jesus Christ which has through free grace provided for helpless sinners? If proud men cannot have some honor in salvation, by performing certain conditions, to give efficiency to the work of Christ, will he still teach a system that would forever exclude these poor little creatures? Salvation by grace meets their condition. "This is worthy of all acceptation." Let none reject this on the ground of its inefficiency. It is worthy and meritorious--saves to the uttermost, fully and completely, the worst and the most helpless cases." -Mitchell, William M.

Duty-faith Expositions

Free Grace Expositions