Aug 25, 2011

The Common Salvation - Hassell commenting on Silas H. Durand

The Common Salvation Written by Sylvester Hassell ADVOCATE AND MESSENGER Williamston, N. C., October 1924 "Brethren, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it is needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith that was once delivered unto the saints" (Jude 3). Elder Silas H. Durand, who was born in Bradford Co., Pa., June 5, 1833, and died at Southhampton, Pa., Nov. 12th 1924, was one of the ablest ministers and writers that ever lived in the United States. He often attended the Kehukee Association, and was heartily welcomed by our members. His preaching was very deep and experimental, spiritual and comforting. More than twenty years ago he published his early writings in a book called "Meditations on portions of the Word"; and since his death, his two surviving daughters, Mrs. Mildred Durand Gordy of Southampton, Pa., and Mrs. Edith Durand McCall of Winnipeg, Canada, have published his Autobiography and later writings in a book of 353 large pages, called "Fragments by Silas H. Durand," which his daughter, Mrs. Mildred D. Gordy, sends post paid for $2.50. Elder Durand was a strong predestinarian, and no one who knew him well and heard him preach and read his writings would ever charge him with the slightest taint of Arminianism. On pages 73, 74, and 75 of his "Fragments," is published an article of his on the above subject, "The Common Salvation," which was first published in the "Signs of the Times," at Middletown, New York, in March, 1900. It is a masterly and accurate exposition of the third verse of Jude, and his views are the same as those given in my article in "The Gospel Messenger" of June, 1897, and republished under the title, "Salvation," in "The Gospel Messenger" of Jan., 1921. For the information and edification of our readers, I will now give some extracts from this article of Elder Durand’s, as well as some similar extracts from other parts of this interesting volume. He holds that the "Common Salvation" of which Jude speaks, is the gracious and everlasting salvation from sin and hell, by the atonement of the Lord Jesus Christ, of all the elect – a salvation common to the whole family of God. And he says, "There is no other salvation which is common, either to all men naturally or to the saints. Natural salvation, as salvation from wounds or death in battle, from shipwreck, from loss or destruction by earthquake, fire, flood or disease, from misfortune or affliction of any kind, cannot be called a common salvation, for all are not saved from these things. Nor can that salvation of the Lord’s people from error, from fleshly walk or the loss or death that results from it, from stripes on account of transgression, which may be called a time salvation, be called common, for all are not saved in this sense. Some do works after the flesh and die; some transgress and are visited with the rod. His liability to wander from the right way, and yield to temptation in some of its many forms, and so suffer, is referred to by all the apostles, and is made the subject of faithful, earnest and tender admonitions and exhortation. But some do yield to the temptation for a time and suffer the consequences. There is an experience of the weakness of the flesh on the part of all the saints in some measure, so that very one that is received is scourged and chastised (Heb. 11:6). All must learn that they are dependent entirely upon the care and grace of God for the orderly walk which shall secure them this time salvation so that they will not depend on themselves, as Peter did, but upon the Lord. They must learn that we have the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves, but in God who raiseth the dead. Some, through the faithful labors of brethren, are saved from death (James v: 19, 20). Ministers, by faithful labor in the Gospel, save themselves and them that hear them from false doctrines and practice (1 Tim. iv: 16). All this is the work of grace. But some are left to see more fully, and experience more deeply, the corruption, depravity, and untrustworthiness of the flesh, even going so far in an ungodly walk that they are "delivered unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus." All for whom Jesus died are saved with an everlasting salvation, and shall finally be restored from all their wanderings, healed from all their backslidings, and brought home to glory, to the praise of the riches of God’s grace. This everlasting salvation is common to all those who are sanctified, set apart, chosen, by God the Father. But the enjoyment of this common salvation, while here in the flesh, is more in some than in others. To enjoy an inheritance which must be divided, the heirs must be as one, must be of one mind and one soul. And so it is with the Lord’s people when they are in the Spirit. They then dwell together in unity, the unity of the Spirit, and find how good and how pleasant it is (Psalm cxxxiii). But when the flesh prevails in the case of any, and they strive to walk by sight instead of faith, then their right to that salvation is not fully enjoyed. Sometimes their birthright is sold for some fleshly good, and they are deprived for a season of the light and comfort. But they cannot dispose of their inheritance, though they suffer loss in their daily experience. It was needful for them, therefore, that the apostle should exhort them to contend earnestly in their daily life, in their walk and conversation, for that faith, that doctrine and order of the Gospel Church, unto the obedience of which they have been called, and that they attend with care to all that pertains to the Church of the living God, seeking first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, above all worldly things. The grace which brought them salvation taught them all this proper Gospel walk (Titus ii:11, 12). Jesus is our salvation here in time, and to eternal days." On page 178, Elder Durand says: "There can be no turning aside by any of His people from the way of holiness, and from the truth of God’s salvation without an experience of pain. The chastisement will surely be felt for every transgression." And on page 270, he says: "Of course the Lord does not regard sin in the same way that he regards holiness. Of course His attitude toward it is not the same. How could one have such a thought? He hates and abhors sin: His infinitely holy nature is absolutely and forever opposed to it; is obnoxious to Him, and abominable in His sight." I desire to add two remarks: The Lord, our Heavenly Father, does not unmercifully chastise His children (Psalm 103:13, 14; Isa. 3:9). And sometimes He suffers His obedient children to walk in darkness to teach them solemnly the sinfulness of their natures, and their entire dependence upon Him (Isa. 50:10; Job 2:3; 8:25-27; 9:30,31; 14:4; 40:4; 42:6). S.H.

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