An Expository Series on the Articles of Faith
of the Primitive Baptist Church

Article 1. The Scriptures.

We believe that the scriptures comprising the Old and New Testaments, as given in what is known as the King James Translation, are of divine authority, and are to be taken as the only rule of faith and practice.

By Elder Claud E. Webb

The more carefully we consider the miracle of the Holy Scriptures, the more impossible the task of explaining that miracle appears. It is not within the power of the human tongue or pen to explain the way of divine inspiration, but we may discover many unmistakable evidences of the reality of things we cannot explain.

The Holy Scriptures are God-breathed, or inspired, and I do believe the evidences of that fact are so clearly seen, that no honest inquirer need be ignorant of the truth of it. It is through the force of such evidences that Primitive Baptists are constrained to believe this article of faith.

The plenary inspiration of the Scriptures is a fundamental point in Christian faith. Christ and the Apostles laid great stress upon it in the establishment of the first New Testament churches. If it be proven that the Holy Scriptures are given merely by human authority, then the Christian structure is of human authority too, and would fall, for it is based upon things taught in the Scriptures.

Without them we have no guide either in faith or in form. The truth of the Christian system then, and the reality of Christianity itself, is therefore dependent upon the truth of this principle of our faith, and stands or falls with it.

The strongest evidence of the divine authority of the Holy Scriptures is to be found in the consideration of the Scriptures themselves. Those evidences are many and unmistakable, and will lead the Christian student to a greater reverence for the Divine author. I call special attention to three unanswerable proofs. First, the infinitely Holy nature of the matter contained in the Scriptures. Second, the infinite perfection of word and composition. Third, the exact fulfillment of the words of the prophets.

First. What book, aside from the Bible, is free from the corruptions of human thought? But the Scriptures we find ever rising above the highest human ideals and drawing the best and noblest human beings still upward to higher heights and greater reaches of uprightness in thought and life, and still rising, they demonstrate the beauties of holiness and the wondrous perfections of Him who is higher than the highest. Ecclesiastes 5: 8.

Thus inspiring the greatest and best of men with the desire to be like Him who is above all, God blessed forever (John 3: 31; Romans 9: 5), while on the other hand its holy teaching condemns sin in all men, of all ranks, in all nations, without respect to persons, for which reason men in nature everywhere hate and denounce it as "faulty," "unjust," and "tyrannical," in all of which is clearly seen that it could not be a mere human production.

Second. The untarnished perfection of the Bible stamps it as the book of all books among men. The perfection of the word and composition, which the greatest infidel scholars of any age have been utterly unable to disprove, shows most clearly, the divine authority of the Holy Scriptures. The failure of such men to find a single flaw in the Scriptures demonstrate them to be far above any book mere men ever have or can produce.

The Bible is the most perfect book, and as such it is a perpetual miracle, and challenge to infidelity. Many hundred thousands of other books have been written by the ablest, most scholarly, and pious men, who have exerted all their talents to show the wonders, and extol the beauty, grandeur, and holiness of the Bible, but no other work known to mankind has attained to its perfection, which perfection I say, again, attests it to be an outstanding and everlasting miracle among men, and indeed, that it can be the work of none other but God only.

Third. What of the prophets? How shall we account for the perfect fulfillment of their words? Though we consider only that portion of their discourses which foretell the birth, life, sufferings, death, burial and victorious resurrection, and the glorious ascension of Jesus, the Son of God and Son of man, with the establishment of His church, the persecution and suffering of those who adhere to His teaching, but their continuance notwithstanding such persecution and suffering.

Then consider that all this was foretold from one hundred to seven hundred years before His birth, and we are again confronted with a miracle which can be accounted for only on the ground of divine inspiration. Thus we are constrained to join with the apostle who exclaimed, "Holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost." II Peter 1: 21.

When we consider these characteristics of the Holy Scriptures, the evidences of their divine authority is seen to be unanswerable. With the three above suggestions, which are not to be overthrown, and which we think will satisfy the attentive reader, we pass to the next point, that the Scriptures are to be taken as the only rule of Christian faith and practice.

Since the Holy Scriptures do bear, unmistakably, the marks of divine authority, and since no other book known to mankind bears those marks, we believe the Holy Scriptures to be the only divinely authorized guide in all matters of Christian faith and practice.

As a basis for faith, it sets forth clearly the revelation of God and His Son, Jesus Christ, declaring the majesty of God and His work in creation, nature, and grace, and showing salvation to be alone through Jesus, with the Holy Spirit as the only all-sufficient power working mightily in the human heart, regenerating and imparting spiritual life to those who were dead in sins, thus quickening and making them "new creatures in Christ Jesus."

Such is the ground work of the Christian faith as set forth in the Holy Scriptures, which all of God's dear people are solemnly charged to believe. Whatever may be presented to our minds contrary to this we are warned against as being destructive to our well being. "Though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you ..... let him be accursed." Galatians 1: 8.

This expression shows clearly that there is no other divinely authorized rule aside from that which is given in the Holy Scriptures, and hence, the Holy Scriptures are to be taken as our only rule of faith and practice.

As to church practice, the Scriptures are given of God as "a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path." Psalms 119: 105. They are for "doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works." II Timothy 3: 16-17. The church is completely furnished with instruction in regard to all matters of church order and discipline.

The services are fully described, with the kind of preaching, praying, and singing, which should be done, as well as a minute description of the persons who engage in such service. Nothing is in any sense lacking. The Scriptures are a complete guide.

If we are asked why we worship in our present order, our answer should be, "For so it is written." Or, if we are asked why we do not use outside "aids" or "helps" as others, we should be able to answer, "For so it is written." We should bear in mind that we need nothing other than that which is written. To suppose that we do would be to question the wisdom of God who gave us the Holy Scriptures as our guide.

The Scriptures are the only reliable or divinely authorized guide for the individual, as well as for the church. Every child of God is solemnly charged to give strict obedience to the Word of God. "Take heed how ye hear" is a serious and often repeated warning to those who read or sit under the sound of the Word of God.

We would do well to study carefully the Lord's awful pronouncement against those who set at naught His counsel, as recorded in Proverbs 1: 22, 23: "How long, ye simple ones, will ye love simplicity? and the scorners delight in their scorning, and fools hate knowledge? Turn you at my reproof: behold, I will pour out my Spirit unto you, I will make known my words unto you."

To hold His Word in disdain is to incur the most severe displeasure of the Lord. It is exceedingly impious, dishonorable, and dangerous, to lightly pass by the sacred teaching of the Holy Scriptures. May we all be blessed with the earnest wish to know and obey the Lord.

Article 2. The Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.

Part I. We believe in one God, and that the Father, Son or Word, and the Holy Ghost are one God, eternal, immutable, infinite in wisdom, power, justice, holiness, mercy and truth.

By Elder Claud E. Webb

That there is a God all nature declares. The evidences are on every hand, in all created things. "The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork." Psalm 19: 1. The sun, moon, and stars, in all their splendor and regularity of appearance, declare the glory of an omnipotent and all-wise Maker. The earth, with its perfect design of structure, its harmony in production, and perfect rhythm of its seasons, spring, summer, autumn and winter, declares the wisdom, power, and perfect understanding of a Master Designer.

We had far better suppose the accidental coming together of a beautiful picture without an artist, or a wonderful building without an architect, than to suppose the coming together of the universe, with its perfect harmony of design, with no designer. Truly, he is a fool, who hath said in his heart, "There is no God."

Our article states that God is eternal. "Thy throne is established of old; thou art from everlasting." Psalms 93: 2. Again, "Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God." Psalm 90: 2. "The eternal God is thy refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms." Deuteronomy 33: 27.

The words eternal and everlasting are the strongest known to men in expressing duration. Each of the above texts shows conclusively the eternal being of God. Faith in the eternal existence of God affords great comfort to His people, for, because He lives, they shall live also. John 14: 19. His name, Jehovah, denotes that He was, He is, and is ever to be.

We believe that God is not only an eternal being, but that He has universal being as well. He is omnipresent. "Who is able to build him an house, seeing the heaven and heaven of heavens cannot contain him?" II Chronicles 2: 6. "Do not I fill heaven and earth? saith the Lord." Jeremiah 23: 24. It is impossible to escape the presence of the Lord. Though men may try, they can never succeed.

"Whither shall I go from thy Spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence? If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there. If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea; even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me." Psalms 139: 7-10. These passages show clearly that God is everywhere. Children of God find great comfort in such assurance, and often have opportunities of proving the truth of it.

"Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee: yea, I will help thee." Isaiah 41: 10. This is a most precious statement indeed. True faith sees God as Jehovah-Shammah (the Lord is there. Ezekiel 48: 35.) Firm belief that the Lord is ever present quiets the Christian's fear, encourages boldness in Christian duties, and restrains sinful inclinations.

God is immutable. He does not change in His nature, purpose, or determination. It is a great comfort to know that He does not change. He is the same dear benefactor, yesterday, today and forever. "He is in one mind, and who can turn him?" Job 23: 13. "Forever, O Lord, thy word is settled in the heaven." Psalms 119: 89. "For I am the Lord, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed." Malachi 3: 6.

I beg the reader to very carefully consider these texts, for our hope of heaven, as well as our safety here, depends upon the truth of them. The Christian's safety lies in the immutability of God. "I am God, and there is none like me; declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure." Isaiah 46: 9, 10.

God is Omnipotent. He is infinite in power and might. There is nothing which could be more satisfying than to feel that we have an ever present, unchangeable, and omnipotent God. The "power of his might" is our defense. His power is displayed in His work. "Ah, Lord God! behold, thou hast made the heaven and the earth by thy great power and stretched out arm, and there is nothing too hard for thee." Jeremiah 32: 17.

"But Jesus said unto them, With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible." Matthew 19: 26. The fact that nothing is impossible with God is proof that He is omnipotent. Were He not greater than all nations of men and devils, He would find Himself more than matched by them. But He is greater than all. John 10: 29.

"And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunderings, saying, Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth." Revelations 19: 6. Please note, "The Lord God omnipotent." "O Lord God of our fathers, art not thou God in heaven? and rulest not thou over all the kingdoms of the heathen? and in thine hand is there not power and might, so that none is able to withstand thee?" II Chronicles 20: 6. The name Jehovah-Sabaoth (in which His saints trust) denotes that He is sovereign over all.

As there can be but one infinitely sovereign being it follows that there is but one God. We believe in the unity of God. The Scriptures, our Christian experience, and reason, teach that God is one.

"Know therefore this day, and consider it in thine heart, That the Lord he is God in heaven above, and upon the earth beneath: there is none else." Deuteronomy 4: 39. "Thou art God alone." Psalms 86: 10. This confirms our faith that there is but one God. Paul said, "There is none other God but one." I Corinthians 8: 4.

Full belief in the one true God instantly ends idolatry, and leads to true spiritual worship. In His oneness His people know Him as Jehovah-Ishi (God my husband). This constrains them to yield themselves and their whole heart's devotion to Him alone.

While God is truly and essentially one, yet He has revealed Himself as having within Himself a divine trinity, the Father, the Word (Logos), and the Holy Ghost; these three being one. I John 5: 7. We are not to suppose the being of three separate Gods, as some do, but that the three characters named in this holy trinity are properly the one true and living God.

The work of creation is attributed to God, yet in John 1: 1-3 it is attributed to the Word; in other places it is attributed to the Holy Ghost. These passages do not conflict with one another, but unite in showing the unity of the trinity. In John 1: 13 we are said to be born of God, while in I Peter 1: 23, we are said to be born by the Word of God, which liveth and abideth forever; and in John 3: 8 we read, "So is every one that is born of the Spirit."

These passages all show the trinity to be the one true and living God. God calls men to the work of the ministry, yet in Acts 13: 2, we read, "The Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them." Also we read in Mark 3: 14, "And he ordained twelve, that they might be with him, and that he might send them forth to preach."

The oneness of the trinity is a great mystery, but it is clearly taught every where in the Holy Scriptures. We read in Acts 5: 3, 4, "But Peter said, Ananias, why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost? Thou has not lied unto men, but unto God." Here the Holy Ghost is called God, while in Hebrews 1: 8, we read, "But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is forever and ever." So we see that even the name of God is equally applicable to each character in the trinity.

I especially call attention to Isaiah 9: 6, "For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder; and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace."

The finite mind cannot grasp the wonders of the triune God. We cannot understand how God can take upon Himself the form of humanity and so appear among men in human form but we know it is true that He did. There are so many things that we may not know about Him. Who, by searching, can find out the Almighty?

No wonder Paul would say, "Without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory." I Timothy 3: 16. Without some fair understanding of the nature of God there can be no intelligent worship of Him.

May the Lord bless the above remarks to the great good of the reader, and lead us all to a better and fuller knowledge of Him in whom is life eternal. "Now unto the King eternal, invisible, immortal, the only wise God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen." I Timothy 1: 17.

Part II. We believe that in the beginning in the space of six days, God created and brought into being the heaven, and the earth, and sea, and all that in them is. - Gen. 1, Psalm 146:6, Rev. 4:11.

By Elder Claud E. Webb

As a fitting introduction to all human intelligence in regard to the infinite wisdom, knowledge, understanding, and power of God, the Holy Spirit saw fit to inscribe as it were, upon the forehead of the Bible those fundamental words - In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.

Against those words the greatest and ablest critics among infidel scientists and teachers of all ages, and especially of more modern times, have practically beaten out their own brains. Still the sentence stands, and it has been well said that this one statement of the Holy Scriptures is - of infinitely more value than all the words of all the uninspired men that ever lived.

In searching for knowledge in regard to any given principle of the Christian faith the sincere inquirer will find the Holy Scriptures themselves to be of incomparably more value than all other literature to be found anywhere in the world.

As to the creation of the universe, with all that is contained within it, (which truly is the greatest and most miraculous natural event that ever confronted and confounded the mind of mankind), the Holy Scriptures do not argue or reason about it, but with the greatest simplicity - in easy to be understood language, and as though it were an easy thing with God, the scriptures simply and briefly state the matter.

It remains for us, His children, to accept and rejoice in the account God has given, and use it as a firm and trustworthy foundation to our faith in the Lord God omnipotent and His power to save. My help, said David, cometh from the Lord, which made heaven and earth. May the dear reader also adopt and rejoice in those words.

In the beginning. At the very threshold and dawn of time, when as yet there existed no material thing or substance, God, the eternal, self-existent, and almighty being, who inhabiteth eternity, by His creative power - the power of His infinite sovereignty, created (Bara), took of nothing and brought into being (for so the word means) the heaven and the earth, so that as it is written, Through faith we understand the worlds were framed by the word (Logos) of God, so that things which are seen were not made of those things which do appear. Hebrews 11:3.

In the wording of the above article it will be noticed that it is stated - God created and brought into being, - the heaven, the earth, the sea, and all that therein is. Bara, is said to be the strongest word in the Hebrew language to express making out of nothing, and scholars inform us that this word always suggests something new.

The only subject of this verb as found in the Bible is God. God only can create. Bara is used by three times in the first chapter of Genesis, verse 1, 21, and 27. In these passages it refers to the creation of the universe, to animal life, and to man.

It is said that everywhere else in that chapter God is said to have made, or formed, from an already created substance or material, as, And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. Gen. 1:26.

And again, And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul. Gen. 2:7. In reference to making or forming, the word Asah, or Yatzar, is used, which declares the making of something from an already created substance.

God created (Bara) man in His own image. Male and female created He them. Gen. 1:27. But God formed (Asah) man of the dust of the ground. And the rib, which the Lord God had taken from man, made he a woman. Gen. 2:22. These were not atoms nor molecules, but man and woman.

And out of the ground the Lord God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought them unto Adam to see what he would call them; and whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof. Gen. 2:19. So far as is known to mankind those names have not been changed since the creation.

And God saw every thing that He had made, and behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day. Gen. 1:31. Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. Gen. 2:1. And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it He rested from all His work which God created and made. Gen. 2:3.

I wish now to notice a few questions with which our ministers are sometimes confronted. First, Is it not conceivable that man developed from some lower form of life? Answer: All arguments which have ever been made in favor of such supposition have been mere speculations, and have grown out of a spirit of infidelity, with absolutely no foundation either in known fact, or in reason.

The purpose of any and every such argument has been to cast discredit upon the clear testimony of divine revelation, as found in the first chapter of Genesis.

Question No. 2. But may not those six creative days have been much longer than our present day? Answer: We have absolutely nothing either in Scripture or history, or in science, upon which to base a supposition that those days differed in the least from our present day.

It is only because the carnal mind is incapable of grasping that stupendously astonishing miracle displayed in creation by the incomprehensible power of God that unbelieving and confounded men have sought for some other manner of explaining the creation, by natural process, in which (perhaps) millions, if not billions of time years are supposed to have been required.

Thus carnal reasoning would reduce the majestic acts of The Lord God Almighty to such level as might be understood by man - and fallen man at that! This the infidel critics, scientists, and teachers of this world have always sought to do, and through their vain and foolish speculations and teachings they have proved only that - The world by wisdom knows not God.

Question No.3. But is it not possible that there are other earths inhabited by man, aside from this upon which we live? Answer: Such has been the speculation of many, but to what purpose is hard to understand - if it is not merely to cast doubt upon the simple statement of the Holy Scriptures.

In Genesis, Chapter 1, verse 1, as cited above, The heaven and the earth are expressed in the singular form. In Gen. 2:1, the earth is also expressed in the singular form, as everywhere else in the Bible. In Genesis 2:2-3, it is said that God rested from all His work which he had created and made. From which it can be consistently reasoned that nothing was created and made except that recorded in the first chapter of Genesis.

Aside from this it is declared that God hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth. Acts 17:26. And again, And Adam called his wifes name Eve; because she was the mother of all living. Gen. 3:20. From the passages here cited it will plainly appear that to suppose the existence of other earths, or other peoples aside from the descendants of Adam and Eve, is equal to assuming the existence of some other God and creator. This conclusion can not be escaped.

Believing the Scriptures to which I have referred are sufficient to sustain this article of the Christian faith, I will not needlessly use space by multiplying texts which the interested reader may easily discover for himself or herself; but will now conclude by saying that a full and sincere belief in the Biblical account of creation of the universe, and of man, is indispensable for the child of God who would enjoy the comforts of that faith which was once delivered unto the saints.

Such faith in the miracle-working power of God will serve as a great comfort in time of need, and as an efficient and effective deterrent to every evil work. May I now add only the reminder, that as soon as Eve began to disbelieve Gods Word she began to believe the falsehoods of Satan, and this in turn brought about her action of reaching forth her hand for the forbidden fruit, which she ate, and also gave to her husband; and through this transgression the world of mankind was soon plunged into the awful and universal state of sin and death - from which man, by his own supposed strength, can never extricate himself.

Of this deplorable state of mankind I hope to speak in another article of the Christian faith. And now, may it be the happy disposition of the gentle reader to trust in the Lord, believe His faithful word, and lean with love and confidence upon His precious promises.

Article 3. The Fall of Man.

Part I. We believe that in the transgression of Adam he fell under the condemnation of God's holy law, and that all his posterity were corrupted in him, and so are condemned in sin, and have neither will nor power to deliver themselves from this state and condemnation.

By Elder Joel Hume (excerpts from public debate)

The above article sets forth the Bible doctrine of "total hereditary depravity" of the human family. Total means "whole, full, complete, not divided." Hereditary signifies "that which has descended from an ancestor, or may be transmitted from a parent to a child." Depravity is defined as "corruption; a vitiated state of the heart; wickedness; corruption of moral principles; destitution of holiness or good principles." Without an understanding of the nature, extent and consequences of the disease of sin, we can not understand the remedy it requires, nor how or by whom it must be administered.

Adam, the father of mankind, was made "good and very good," and as such he was innocent of sin, and was a complete living man, comprised of both soul and body. Adam was given a law, which he was capable of understanding and keeping, and which God was perfectly just and right in giving. By violating God's just and holy law, Adam subjected himself, and his posterity also, to all that was threatened in the law; for, said Jehovah to man, "in the day thou eatest thereof, thou shalt surely die." Genesis 2: 17.

Now it must be acknowledged that when Adam transgressed the law of his Maker, all his posterity were in him, and consequently a part of him; hence, his act was their act, and the consequences were the same upon them all, which consequences are clearly set forth in the following declarations of Holy Writ: "And unto Adam he said, because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree of which I commanded thee saying, thou shalt not eat of it, cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life. Thorns also, and thistles shall it bring forth unto thee, and thou shalt eat the herb of the field. In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken; for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return." Genesis 3: 17, 18, 19.

The truth of this principle is plainly upheld by the Apostle Paul in Romans 5: 12: "Wherefore as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin, and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned." Notice it is said that "all have sinned," in the past tense; not that they shall or will, but have already sinned, by which we understand that they sinned in Adam, their federal head. We read further in the same chapter: "For if by one man's offence death reigned by one;" etc. (verse 17). "Therefore, as by the offense of one, judgment came upon all men to condemnation;" etc. (verse 18). "For as by one man's disobedience, many were made sinners, so, by the obedience of one, shall many be made righteous" (verse 19).

Notice, we are first told that ALL have sinned; we are next told that judgment came upon ALL men to condemnation by the offense of one; and finally, we are told that by the disobedience of one, MANY were made sinners. We understand that the MANY who were made sinners are the same number as ALL men, meaning the entire race of Adam's posterity. From Adam has descended the whole human race; and if he, the fountain head of the human family, be corrupt and depraved, his posterity cannot be otherwise, for it is an acknowledged truth that if the fountain be corrupt, the streams are corrupt also; or if the tree be corrupt, its fruit is also corrupt.

A few scriptures will suffice to show the extent of the depravity and inclination to sin which may be found in the unregenerated soul and fleshly body of the natural man, since the fall: "And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually." Genesis 6: 5. "The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence; and God looked upon the earth, and behold it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth." Genesis 6: 11, 12. "The Lord looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand and seek God. They are all gone aside; they are all together become filthy; there is none that doeth good; no, not one." Psalms 14: 2, 3. "There is none righteous: no, not one. They are together become unprofitable; 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; and there is no fear of God before their eyes." Romans 3: 10-18.

Is man able to save himself, or does he stand in need of a Savior? The whole race stood justly condemned before God, having neither the will nor power to deliver themselves from this state of guilt and corruption, but having instead a nature and disposition wholly inclined to sin and at enmity toward God. Therefore, we conclude that if man's salvation wereleft in his own hands, none would be saved.

Jesus declared the necessity of the new birth (of the soul in regeneration, and of the body in the resurrection, and man is just as passive and helpless in one as the other). The Apostle Paul taught the Ephesian saints, "And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins;" Ephesians 2: 1. He further taught them that God was sovereign in this work, "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that [both grace and faith] not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast." Ephesians 2: 8.

Men often prove the depths of their spiritual darkness by proudly declaring their ability to extricate themselves from this state of death in sins; but Primitive Baptists believe Jesus told the truth when he said, "No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day." John 6: 44. We further believe that the Father WILL DRAW all of his elect unto himself, for Jesus also said: "All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out. For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me. And this is the Father's will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but raise it up again at the last day." John 6: 37-41.

Jesus, our all in all, is the "Great Physician," who alone has the remedy for sin, and who is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption.

Part II. We believe in the fall, and consequently the depravity and just condemnation, of all of the race of man in nature, and that man has no power to deliver himself from this condemnation.

By Elder Claud E. Webb

Volumes have been written about the transgression and fall of Adam in the Garden of Eden. Many opinions have been advanced as to the nature, extent, and consequences of that fall, and it still remains a subject of important and interesting discourse and conversation. Of one thing we may be certain, no other single transgression in all the annals of history, human or divine, ever had so wide and devastating an effect upon the world of mankind.

Believing that every point in the Christian faith is of importance to the believing child of God, I offer my comment upon the above article in the hope that while it may not be the most interesting reading, it still may be of some benefit to the gentle Christian reader.

It would be my wish that the reader would read again the article above, and try to fix and keep in mind its several parts. By the fall, It is evident reference is had in the first instance to the transgression of Adam in the Garden of Eden. The suggestion follows that through his transgression he fell. The reader perhaps would be amazed to know all the conjecture and confusion which has resulted over such questions as What did he fall from? And, How far did he fall?

We believe Adam fell from whatever state and blessings he possessed prior to his transgression. While we do not believe that Adam was created a spiritual man and cannot therefore believe he fell from a spiritual state, I think there can be no question but that he enjoyed in some sense and in some good degree the great blessing of personal communion with God, his Creator. God talked with him, and he with God, and he was not afraid. This unspeakable blessing was lost through his transgression and fall.

The life which Adam possessed, as yet untouched by sin though but a natural life, was still spotless and pure. Fresh from the creative hands of God he was pronounced good, and very good. A good natural man created and formed to live in a good natural world into which sin had not as yet entered, and placed in the beautiful garden of Eden with every needed pleasure and benefit divinely supplied.

All this can be truthfully said of no other man who ever lived in the earth; and yet, from all of this, Adam, by transgression, fell. Question: How far did he fall? Answer: He fell all the way from a state of natural perfection and blessedness, into a state of imperfection, guilt, alienation from communion with his Creator, just condemnation, abject misery, and death. Tell me, was this not a fearful fall?

But the extent and consequence of Adams fall by no means ends here. God had warned - In the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die. Gen. 2:17. (It is worthy of note, and persons professing to be Christians will do well to remember it is written of those who live in fleshly pleasures that they are dead even while they live, - I. Tim. 5:6.)

It is evident the death pronounced upon Adam was not corporeal or physical death, for he lived many years after his transgression. It follows necessarily therefore that in his fall, he fell into a state of death in sin. Death is total. There is no intermediate state or condition between life and death, and therefore those who are said to be dead in trespasses and in sin are, at the same time, dead to all righteousness.

Sin defiles all with which it comes in contact. Possessing as we do, the Adamic nature, we are prepared to know something of what sin did to the life and nature of Adam. He was soon driven from the Garden of Eden, with every avenue of return closed behind him. Now his seed begins to multiply in the earth, and his first born was a murderer.

Abel also offered an offering upon the altar, signifying his knowledge of personal sin. Very soon, the fallen and terribly depraved nature of Adam began to be manifested in the lives and conduct of his descendants, and everyone followed his own wicked way until the flood came upon them.

Limited space compels me to omit much I would like to present in regard to the inbred depravity of the Adamic family, and I must, therefore, content myself with but a few passages. First, just before the flood: - And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. Gen. 6:5.

I call attention here to the fact that depravity extends to the thoughts and imaginations of the human heart. And the earth was filled with violence. And God looked upon the earth, and, behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth. Gen. 6:11-12.

Passing centuries do not change the inborn corruption of human nature. I ask the reader now to consider with me the findings of the great Apostle Paul. Hear him. We have before proved both Jews and Gentiles, that they are all under sin; as it is written [Psalm 14:1-3], 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. Romans 3:9-18.

This fearful indictment against the human race in nature is less severe in some respects than that of David, from whom the apostle largely quotes. Hear David, The Lord looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand, and seek God. They are all gone aside, they are all together become filthy: there is none that doeth good, no, not one. Psalms 14:1-3. (See also Romans 1:27 to 33.)

But where, we may ask, did this fearful condition begin? The answer is clear and decisive: By one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned. Romans 5:12. See also Romans 5:17-21. With these quotations I must content myself, though I must confess that I have seldom felt so reluctant to close an article so evidently unfinished.

Without a clear understanding and full belief of this article of faith I feel very certain no person will ever be able to fully understand his or her need of the grace of God, but, on the other hand, a clear understanding and full belief of the doctrine of depravity of human nature will lead to a full understanding and sincere appreciation of the doctrine of grace as displayed in the salvation of a sinner.

Few things are so obnoxious to the proud unregenerated heart of man as the simple truth that he is a sinner by nature. Tell him that he cannot, by any power he may think he had within himself, free himself from the natural love of, and inclination to sin, and he will laugh you to scorn. Tell him that he was born with a fallen and sinful nature, and that this nature is so inclined to evil that he cannot truly love God nor serve Him acceptably, and that he cannot even sincerely desire to do so, and you will have offered an insult to his proud intellect.

But tell him (in simple truth) that unless God graciously intervenes he is certain to spend eternity in hell, and he will rise up in proud anger against both you and God. He does not believe himself to be a slave held fast in the bonds of his own fallen and sinful nature, nor will he ever believe it unless it may please God to enlighten his native darkness through the gracious work of regeneration.

But friend, is it not an excellent truth that God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) and hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus. Eph. 2:4-6. May He keep and bless you always.

Article 4. Election.

Part I. We believe that God chose a definite number of particular persons of the fallen posterity of Adam in Christ before the foundation of the world to salvation. The reason for this choice is wholly of grace, and is unconditional on the part of the creature.

By Elder Archie Brown

I will try to define the leading words in the above article. Choose: to prefer, to elect. Chose is the past tense of choose. So, the act of this choice took place sometime in the past. The article says "He chose a definite number." Definite: to have distinct limits, fixed, exact, clear. The chosen then are distinctly limited. It says "particular persons of the fallen posterity of Adam." Particular: a part of anything. Particularity: quality of being particular, minuteness of detail, something peculiar, or singular.

This choice, then, embraces a peculiar part of the fallen race. They are peculiar because of what the election of grace does for them and works in them. It is peculiar, or strange, or amazing, that God would choose any to salvation when there was nothing in them, or in what they do, as a reason for it. There is nothing like it in the world or in heaven, except the illustrations of it that are given in the Bible.

It is argued by some that God chose some to salvation before the world began, because of the fact that he knew who would think good, do good, seek him, choose him, believe in him, etc., and on this account he chose them. If that is correct, then election to salvation is conditional. If Adam's work put sinners in position so God could reach them and save them, and he could not had Adam not done it, then our article is wrong.

Now, let us see how that looks. "God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and every imagination of the thoughts of his heart, was only evil continually." Genesis 6: 5. This was said 2,445 years before Christ. If that is the foundation of God's choice, it looks gloomy. Look at this. "The Lord looked down from heaven upon the children of men to see if there were any that did understand and seek God. They are all gone aside, they are all together become filthy; there is none that doeth good, no, not one." Psalms 14: 2, 3. This was 1,520 years before Christ.

It is hard to tell why God, who wanted to save sinners, would put their election to it on their good works, when he saw not one of them did good, or sought him, and every imagination of the thoughts of their hearts were evil. So it is plain, if that is the way of it, election to salvation is a failure. Let us see how they were sixty years after Christ. "There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God, ...... there is none that doeth good, no, not one." Romans 3: 11, 12.

They were no better, nor doing any better, after Christ came than they were before. Jesus said to the unregenerated, "Ye believe not because ye are not of my sheep." John 10: 26.

"He that is of God heareth God's words: ye therefore hear them not because ye are not of God." John 8: 47. If God put the choice to salvation, that he made before the foundation of the world, on the condition that the ungodly believe, or hear his word, why did he do it? He saw that the only ones that believed when his own Son preached were already his sheep, and were already of God. It would be just as hard to tell, outside of God's choice and appointment, how those who were his sheep and were of God, got to be that way, if they had to believe and hear in order to be his sheep, or to be of God. None believed except those who were already his sheep, none heard except those who were already of God.

In Acts 13: 48, we are told exactly who believed on one occasion. "When the Gentiles heard this they were glad, and as many as were ordained to eternal life believed." As the only ones that believed away back there, were those appointed to eternal life, what right have we to say that any others ever have or ever will do so, except the ones that were ordained to it?

"All thy children shall be taught of the Lord, and great shall be the peace of thy children." Isaiah 54: 13. Jesus referred to the text of the prophet when he said, "It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore, that hath heard and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me." John 6: 45.

In the 47th verse he says, "He that believeth on me hath everlasting life." If the believer hath everlasting life, he does not have to believe in order to get it. Who are those people who are going to be taught of God - hear, learn, believe, come to Jesus, - and none of them cast out at the last day? Here they are. "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." Ephesians 1: 3, 4. Those who will be without blame before him, will be that way according to, and in harmony with, this choice. That will be salvation.

"God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the spirit and belief of the truth." II Thessalonians 2:13. This choice was from the beginning and it was to salvation.

"Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you." John 15: 16.

"He is Lord of lords and King of kings, and they that are with him are called, and chosen, and faithful." Revelations 17: 19.

"I give waters in the wilderness and rivers in the desert to give water to my people - my chosen. This people have I formed for myself; they shall show forth my praise." Isaiah 43: 20.

The article says "particular persons" were chosen - peculiar, after he redeems them from all iniquity and purifies them unto himself. Then they are peculiar and zealous of good works. They do not come unto him to get purified. The work of grace is unto obedience - good works.

"But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people," etc. I Peter 2: 9.

"Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father . . . unto obedience." I Peter 1: 2.

"Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works." Titus 2: 14.

"Who shall lay anything to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifieth. Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea, rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God who also maketh intercession for us." Romans 8: 34, 35. Jesus will not condemn the elect. He has died for them and intercedes for them, and that insures him to be in their favor. God will not lay anything to their charge. He has justified them. This being true they are sure of salvation. All the wicked men on earth, all the hosts of hell can never get a case against them. The Supreme Judge is for them and no appeal can be taken.

Paul makes use of the case of Jacob and Esau to illustrate the sovereignty of God in his purpose of election. "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." Romans 9: 11.

This case illustrates plainly God's plan of election. Jacob was no better than his twin brother as a reason why God loved him. He had done no works to bring about the favor of God's love. Just so is the purpose of God in the election to salvation.

This admits of no reason outside of God's right to do as he pleases with the undeserving. It was an election of grace and it is sure to stand. When it is all over the elect shall be brought in. When time is no more "He shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other." Matthew 24: 31.

What will be appropriate to say, or to sing when the elect are gathered in? "To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved." Ephesians 1: 6.

The article says this choice to salvation is wholly of grace, and unconditional on the part of the creature. I offer the following texts as proof of our position. This question was asked Jesus, "Who then can be saved?" His answer was, "With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible." Matthew 19: 36. See also Titus 3: 3-7.

"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." II Timothy 1: 9.

The doctrine of God's choice leaves the non-elect right where the conditional system leaves all the race of mankind--to their own will, to themselves, their works, etc. It leaves them out, and that is as good as any fallen sinner deserves, or else none could be saved by grace.

Part II. We believe in the doctrine of sovereign and unconditional election, i.e., that God, before the foundation of the world, according to His eternal purpose and for His own glory, did elect or choose His people to eternal life and salvation, through Christ Jesus, out of the fallen race of Adam; and that this election or choice is definite as to number, and entirely unconditional on the part of the creature.

By Elder Claud E. Webb

The reader will understand the impossibility of including all the Scriptures bearing upon any given article of faith in the very limited space allotted in a church paper, and the necessity we are under of selecting only a very few of the many passages a minister would normally use in a spoken discourse. Indeed, one must omit so much that he feels sometimes to be entitled to being called unfair to his subject. But all this I trust the reader will understand.

Believing as we do in the Biblical doctrine of the total depravity of all the race of man in nature, i.e., that since the fall of man in the garden of Eden, human nature, being defiled and ruined by sin, possesses no innate disposition toward God nor godliness, but is possessed of a settled and definite disposition to evil, it follows necessarily that if anyone is ever saved it will have to be by the grace of God through the gracious and effectual work of regeneration; transforming him from what he is by nature, into what he must be by grace.

The Scriptures teach that God has chosen or selected some persons out of the sinful race of Adam, and that He has blessed them with all spiritual blessings necessary to the accomplishment of His purposes in their salvation. This choice of particular persons to life and salvation we call, as the Bible teaches, Gods sovereign and unconditional election.

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 (kosmos), that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love. Ephesians 1:4.

This passage shows four things: First, that the people of God were chosen (past tense) in Christ. Second, that this choice was made before the foundation of the world. Third, that God blesses them with all spiritual blessings; and fourth, that His purpose in doing all this is that they, who by nature were children of wrath even as others, should be holy and without blame before Him in love. So they were chosen in Christ unto holiness before the world began, and therefore unconditionally chosen.

Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, wherein He hath made us accepted in the beloved. Ephesians 1:5. This teaches positively that the children of God have been previously chosen and destined unto the adoption of children. It also shows that this choice is according to the will and good pleasure of God, and an act of His sovereign grace. Thus I believe our article is sustained.

It is an essential attribute of God that He is able both to see and know people and events before they exist as such. His ability to foresee, foreknow, and foretell, is demonstrated by all prophecy. It is His sovereign prerogative also to foreordain, pre-determine, and pre-destinate. This ability rests with God alone.

That He does fore-know His people, and that He has predestinated them is shown by the following passage, as well as many others: For whom He did fore-know, He also did pre-destinate to be conformed to the image of His Son. Romans 8:29.

The fact that He did foreknow some persons out of the Adamic race as His people, and that He did predestinate them to be conformed to the image of His Son, and did not so predestinate all the race of Adam is conclusive proof that His election is eternal, particular, and unconditional. And thus, once again our article is sustained.

Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father. - I. Peter 1:2. So Peter believed in the doctrine of election, based upon the foreknowledge of God the Father. He also believed it was according to His abundant mercy, and that the people of God were elected to an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away. And that this inheritance was reserved in heaven for the saints. So it was not a choice merely to some blessing in time. Please read I. Peter 1:1-5.

We are bound to give thanks always to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord. II. Thess. 2:13. But why did Paul feel bound to give thanks always to God for his brethren? Hear him: Because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation, through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth.

This is a good reason, is it not? But let us hear him again - God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ. I. Thess. 5:9. And again, In whom we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of Him who worketh all things after the counsel of His own will. Ephesians 1:11. Thus the apostle Paul and Peter agree, and together sustain this article of our faith.

God's foreknowledge and election of particular persons is stressed by their being described as having their names written in a book, or in heaven. To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven. Hebrews 12:23. Whose names are in the book of life. Phil. 4:3. But rather rejoice because your names are written in heaven. Luke 10:20. Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them. Psalm 139:16.

But the names of some persons are not written in the book of life, and these do not understand the great mystery. They that dwell on the earth shall wonder, whose names were not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world. Rev. 17:8. From this expression, however, it is clear that some names were written in the book of life from the foundation of the world. But in the wonderful vision of the final judgment John saw that whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire. Rev. 20:15. Dear friend, do you have assurance that your name is written there?

It is a blessed Bible truth that those favored persons whom God has chosen out of the sinful race of man He also calls and draws to Himself in time. I will call, and they shall answer me. My sheep, says our Lord, hear my voice, and they follow me. No man can come to me except the Father who sent me draw him, and I will raise him up at the last day.

Blessed is the man whom thou choosest, and causest to approach unto thee. Psalm 65:4. And finally, may the gentle reader rejoice in those precious words, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with loving kindness have I drawn thee. Jeremiah 31:3.

Article 5. Predestination.

We believe that God has predestinated the elect unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ according to the good pleasure of his will.

By Elder Claud E. Webb

A Sermon on Predestination: Romans 8:29,30; Ephesians 1:5-11.

At the request of brethren I have attempted to write out a few of the thoughts I expressed in a discourse I delivered recently.

Many descriptive terms have been coined by man, terms, which are nowhere found in the Bible. The term predestination is not to be found in any passage of scripture, but is used by every qualified teacher to denote the doctrine that God preestablished the destiny of His people, as is taught in the passages cited above. The word predestinate, is used twice in the Roman letter, and predestinated, is used twice in the Ephesian letter. Nowhere else are the words to be found in all the scriptures.

Our ablest authorities define the word destiny, as the end to which any person or thing is destined. While the word destine, means to decree, or appoint, as by divine authority before hand, the end or destiny, of a person or thing. A prefix, or fixing before hand, the destiny of a person or thing. Nothing more can be deduced from the term by correct reasoning. As found in sacred writing it does not refer to the words, thoughts or deeds or men, but exclusively to the destiny, as the word itself would imply.

Confounding the attributes with the acts of God by confusing the different Bible terms, as is so often done, seems to show a lack of sober thinking, and has invariably resulted in confusion, and often division in the ranks of God's people.

Foreknowledge is not predestination. Did we but stop for one moment to think, we will know that knowledge is a very necessary attribute of God. Known unto him were all his works from the beginning of the world. He knew from ancient times the things which were not yet done, and declared events to come. I think no Christian would deny the fact of God's infinite, supreme, and eternal knowledge. God is omniscient. He does not learn from day to day, as do His creatures. That which is past, present, and future with His creatures is all eternally present with Him. Hence, with Him, the Lamb was slain from the foundation of the world. With Him nothing is hid, but all things are naked and open unto the eyes of Him with whom we have to do. The night shineth as the day, yea, all peoples, things, and events from eternity to eternity are embraced in the infinite knowledge of JEHOVAH-JIREH. In that vast comprehensive scope of time He beheld, yes, and knew, the elect lady and her children! Saw and knew them as being polluted in their own blood. Saw and knew them as being washed and made white in the blood of the Lamb, the precious blood of Christ. He knew them in His gracious covenant, and not only did He know them before hand, but He also did prefix for them a most glorious destiny. For whom he did fore know, them he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son. Herein is the line clearly drawn. To have foreknowledge of people or events is one thing, but to predestinate, or prefix destiny for particular persons is quite another.

It is a fact worthy of notice that the scriptures read, whom He did foreknow, as referring to persons. Whereas, if the apostle had intended to teach that God's act of predestinating is coextensive with His foreknowledge, he doubtless would have said what He did foreknow. This, however, he has most carefully refrained from doing in any place, but always it is whom, them, we, or us, who are the happy subjects predestinated to be conformed to the image of His Son. Never is it what, that, or it.

Let us suppose that His predestination is coextensive with His foreknowledge, and let us read it so. Romans 8:29, then would read, for what he did foreknow, that he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son. Again, moreover, what he did predestinate, that he also called, and what he called, that he also justified, and what he justified, that he also glorified.

Again, in Ephesians 1:5, we would have this remarkable language, having predestinated all things unto the adoption of children. How silly and senseless the language becomes with such usage! And yet how plainly it brings out the true meaning of the word predestinate when we attempt to stand all things in the place where only whom he did foreknow belongs. Let me again state that to predestinate, is to prefix destiny, and this has been done for them that love God. This is the whole sense of the word as found in the Bible.

Gods determination is not his predestination. I have heard people who were asked for an explanation of the doctrine of predestination say, Why, it is all very simple; it is just a matter of predetermining what you will do or say. This explanation usually suffices for the simple and thoughtless, but is far from being a correct explanation of the doctrine. Nowhere in all the holy scriptures is the word used with reference to what men will do or say, but always with reference to the end to which they are being forwarded. Hence it would be right to explain it as being a mental act of deciding upon some point of destiny, to which you have determined to go or send some person. Inspiration never states that God predestinated that his people should do so and so, or that they should say so and so.

In reference to such things the word determine or other words expressive of determination is invariably used. It would be wrong to say, I have predestinated that my son shall study his lessons well. But it would be right to say, I have determined that he shall study his lessons well. It would be wrong to say, I have predestinated to husk corn tomorrow. But it would be good sense to say, I have determined to do so. It would be wrong to say, him being delivered by the predestination and foreknowledge of God, for this word would refer to the destination to which he was taken, and not to the manner of his being delivered. So inspiration said, him being delivered by the determinate council and foreknowledge of God. It would be most silly, considering the correct definition of the word, for Paul to say, I have predestinated not to know anything among you save Jesus Christ and him crucified. But it would be correct sense for him to say, I am determined not to know anything among you but Jesus Christ and him crucified, and so he spoke.

Determination, is an attribute of God, an essential quality of His being, antecedent not only of his act of prefixing the destiny of his people, but antecedent as well of all his acts. The word in reference to God signifies strength of character, resoluteness. It is this quality of his nature which causes him to be so established in one mind that none can turn him. He determines his purposes, and determines to execute them. He determines to work, and none can hinder. Determination precedes God's every act, whether it be a mental act of decreeing, or whether it be an outward act of executing his decrees. Did God decree that his people should finally be conformed to the image of his Son? Every Bible student will say yes. I ask then, did he first determine to do so? It must be that he determined to fix the destiny of his people before he fixed it. Would not the very nature of God compel us to believe that God determined to fix the destiny before he fixed it? It is the only course consistent with intelligent action. Then God's determination precedes his act of predestinating, and hence, is not predestination.

There is no place in all the scriptures where the words may be used interchangeably without altering the meaning of the passage. The original word, predestinate, the only word which inspiration seemed to think appropriate for usage, expresses a finality, and that saints, when so conformed, have attained to their destiny in the most infinite degree of their being. If the word predetermination cannot be used interchangeably with the word predestinate, why can it not? Because it does not express the same meaning, and hence, predetermination, is not predestination.

No word known to mortal man may be used as a perfect substitute for this which the Holy Ghost, by the hand of Paul, has indited four times in the sacred word of his testimony. And what a testimony is given by this single word! It testifies that the destiny of the people of God is ETERNALLY FIXED.

As found in the sacred volume, the word predestinate is applicable only to the blessed destiny of saints. Never, never would the Holy Ghost suffer an inspired mind to substitute another word. But how lacking in carefulness are uninspired men! And behold the resulting confusion. An eastern writer recently remarked: There can be no doubt but that in some sense predestination applies to all things. He soon seemed to fear for his position, and began to advance the names of able men, whom he insisted, upheld his views. The doctrines of God do not need to be propped up by human approbation. Predestination, as correctly used, denotes the act of God in predestinating, or, prefixing the destiny of his people. This is not so broad but all Baptists may receive it, and yet, it is as broad as ever an apostle used the word. Correct definition of the word predestinate will suffer no man to believe that it applies to all things, thoughts, deeds, words, and events. Yet we may most consistently believe that God has determined that all things, in the broadest possible sense of the all, shall fall out, on the one hand, by his causation, or on the other hand by his allowance, precisely as they do come to pass. This is a self evident fact, to which every intelligent man must agree. I doubt not but that it is also about the sum total of what Primitive Baptists believe on the subject.

We know, said Paul, 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 should be the firstborn among many brethren. So we see that the destiny of those who love God is established. But how shall those so destined attain to that destiny? The decree has gone out, but as no decree executes itself, there must of necessity be one with that executive ability required to carry forward the work to the end decreed. So the language of our second text comes to our relief, unfolding the plan and showing God the predestinator, to be the finisher as well as the wise author of the work. For whom he did predestinate, them he also called, and whom he called, them he also justified, and whom he justified, them he also glorified. Thus we see him, not by might, nor power, but by my spirit, saith the Lord, ever carrying forward the great work, even to the final glorifying of his people. Thus they shall finally be conformed to the glorious image of his dear Son. Moreover, the astounding perfection of this great work is shown by the fact that the number of the glorified, exactly corresponds with the number of those whom he did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son. Those who were glorified, were the same that were called; and those who were called, were the same characters precisely whom he did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son. The city lieth foursquare, there is no escaping this conclusion.

Finally, the truth of the doctrine of predestination does in no way depend upon the belief of the creature, but remains eternally true though all men should scoff. Still the true happiness of the Christian, and his establishment in the principles of the Christian religion, is indeed dependent upon his correct understanding and hearty endorsement of it. It can be truthfully said of no man that he is established in the gospel of Christ, who does not know the truth of its fundamental principles.

Those who unbelievingly condemn the very thought that God did predestinate his people, together with those who insist that it is applicable to all things, surely miss much of the honey to be found in this rock. What shall separate us from the love of God? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or the sword? Nay, in all these things, we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. For whom he did foreknow; he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son.

You, who unto Jesus, for refuge have fled.
Elder Claud E. Webb.
- Messenger of Peace, Vol. 56, No. 2, January 15, 1930, pp. 25-28.

Article on Predestination: Them he also did predestinate. - Romans 8:29.

In view of definitions commonly given in leading dictionaries used in our schools and universities, it is little wonder so many people look with disgust upon the Bible doctrine of predestination. I would be far from accepting the doctrine as defined by Webster, or any other dictionary I have been privileged to examine. May I give the following from Webster's New Universities Dictionary: Predestination - the doctrine that God has from eternity decreed whatever comes to pass, especially, by an unchangeable purpose, the eternal life or death of man.

The Academic Dictionary is very little better; and Webster's International Dictionary has it - 2. (Theol) The purpose of God from eternity respecting all events; especially, the predestination of men to everlasting happiness or misery. We are then referred to the Calvin creed. It is likely Webster was a Presbyterian, of the Calvinist variety.

Primitive Baptists are not Calvinists, and no church having right to the name of Primitive Baptists would accept the above definitions of predestination. It is neither the teaching of the Bible, nor of the church of God, and has never been. The doctrine that God has by unalterable decree predestinated all events, is the grossest blasphemy we have ever heard.

God hates sin, and has always hated it. Every drop of the blood of Jesus Christ cried out in abhorrence against sin, in all its forms. Ignorant, or malicious men, have always hurled against the Lords people the charge that they hold and preach the divine appointment of evil, and in Pauls day they charged upon him that he said, let us do evil that good may come.

Paul never said such a thing; but he did say that the damnation of such accusers was just. Paul did affirm, however, that God had predestinated those who love God to be conformed to the image of His Son. I expect this teaching will stand when all haters of truth are no more.

Predestination nowhere in the Bible is related to the acts of man. It is persons, not thoughts or deeds, which are the subjects predestinated. And to destinate is to fix the destination to which a person or thing is to be forwarded. It is a mental act, by which the destination is determined beforehand, and hence, pre-destinated. It would be wonderful if man had always used it as found in scripture.

To say God predestinated all events, is to say all events have a destination. This betrays ignorance, or it betrays the fact that we have allowed our minds to be led and influenced by the rantings of ignorant man, without thinking for ourselves.

It is true that the ancient Greek language was not as versatile as modern English, and hence a Greek word might be used with different significations. When the Greek is translated by English it therefore becomes necessary to use the English word which expresses the meaning intended by the Greek writer. Hence, proorizo may be translated by several English words, depending upon the original intent of the writer.

If St. Luke wishes to quote Peter as saying: - Him being delivered by the determinate (proorizo) council of God, ye have taken and by wicked hands have crucified and slain, he uses the word determinate or determinate counsel. The word determine would apply grammatically to the deeds of men, but the word predestinate would not, and is nowhere so used in scripture.

It always applies to persons, never to actions or events. And when it is used, the destination is always shown, that is, having predestinated us unto the adoption of children. Unto the adoption of children is the destination previously determined upon by God Himself, and let it be known, that, so far as the point of time is concerned, determination precedes the mental act of destining. Please read that again.

Not only has God predestinated those who love God to be conformed to the image of his Son, but moreover, whom he did predestinate, them he also called. In other words, He not only determined the destination, but brings his people to it. Hence, and whom he called, them he also justified. This is stated with all the assurance of an accomplished fact. In the mind and purpose of God it is so. Hence the questions, What shall we say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? Please read the eighth chapter of Romans from a better pen than mine.

As to God predestinating - as Webster puts it especially the predestination of men to everlasting happiness or misery, such an idea is the grossest of foolishness. Fallen man in his fallen state is already lost and condemned by his sin to hell. It is the most vicious kind of assault upon the holiness and majesty of God to say He has decreed this awful state, and only the awfully blinded heart of men, under the tutoring of Satan, could devise such an idea. Man has brought his own ruin, and that without the necessity of a divine decree. Let this not be forgotten. No lost sinner will ever say, even in hell, that he is there because God decreed it so. Satan may hate me for saying this, but the hatred is mutual.

However, out of the abundance of His infinite love and mercy, God has, and still does, snatch some as brands from the burning, and will, through the exercising of His own sweet grace, finally bring them home to the house not made with hands, eternal and in the heavens. May He so direct our precious young brethren in the ministry that they do not stumble into the errors in teaching which have so many times plagued the church and divided the dear family of God.

In humble hope of a better world.
Elder Claud E. Webb.
- Gospel Witness, Vol. 14, No. 7, March 1958, pp. 8-10.

Article 6. Jesus the Mediator.

We believe that the Lord Jesus who was set up from everlasting to be the Mediator between God and men, did in the fullness of time really and truly take upon himself a human body and nature, sin excepted, and in that body he suffered, bled and died as the surety of the elect, and in their room and stead, and for no others.

By Elder John R. Daily

As Prophet, Priest and King, the man Christ Jesus stands as the only Mediator between God, the offended party, and man, the offender. The word mediator is from the Latin word mesos, which means middle, or one that acts between two adverse parties to reconcile them. The High Priest of the Mosaic Priesthood, who was a type of Christ, was a mediator admitted from among men to stand before God to make a propitiation for them by sacrifice and then to intercede for those for whom sacrifice was made. So Christ, the antitype, was the High Priest of those he represented, and for whom he offered himself a sacrifice, and for whom he makes intercession at the right hand of God.

Jesus Christ purged the sins of those for whom he died, when he offered himself a sacrifice for them (Hebrews 1: 1-3). After that, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, to make intercession for the same ones for whom he died.

A priest in making his priestly offering could not sit down until the offering was accomplished. Jesus Christ could not have sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high if he had not purged the sins of those for whom he died. His death as a purging for their sins was accepted by God the Father, at whose right hand he sat down to intercede for them. This purging stood in the mind and purpose of God as a satisfaction for their sins by God. The acceptance of Jesus Christ as their intercessor is conclusive proof that full and complete satisfaction had been rendered.

Offerings under the Jewish economy were always sanctified or set apart for the ones for whom they were offered, whether for an individual or a nation. So Christ sanctified himself as an offering for those for whom he died, those the Father had given him. "And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth." John 17: 19. "Through the truth" is not from but from

It is with the dative, not with genitive. The meaning according to the original is not through the truth as a means but in a true manner. That is, Christ sanctified himself and offered himself, that those for whom he died might be sanctified truly and not typically, as under the Levitical Priesthood.

Having given himself for those for whom he died, he has entered into the Holy Place to represent them as an intercessor. "Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us." Hebrews 9: 12. "Who shall lay anything to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifieth. Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died. Yea, rather, that is risen again, who also maketh intercession for us." Romans 8: 33-34.

As Aaron bore the names of the twelve tribes of Israel, making sacrifice for them and acting as their intercessor, thus purging them typically, so Christ, the glorious antitype, bears the name of all for whom he died as a sacrifice, on the breastplate of his love and intercedes for them continually as their High Priest above, while as King he sends the Holy Spirit to quicken them and assure them of his success as their Mediator who obtained eternal redemption for them on the cross.

Christ and the Holy Spirit act with one consent together, the work of one being a complement to that of the other. Christ intercedes for those for whom he died, as an advocate in heaven, and the Holy Spirit quickens them and becomes an advocate within to bear witness with their spirits that they are the children of God. The atonement and intercession of Christ and the work of the Holy Spirit cannot fail. Therefore, all for whom Christ died will be eternally saved.

Article 7. Redemption.

Part I. We believe that Christ hath obtained eternal redemption for the elect, his life, suffering, blood and death constituting a complete and full atonement for their sins, and that this is the only ground of justification before God.

By Elder Lemuel Potter

Jesus the Only Sin Bearer

Jesus gave himself a ransom for many. His people were bought with a price, not with silver and gold, but with the precious blood of the Son of God, in whom they have redemption, even the forgiveness of sins. By the blessed Jesus, the purity of God's law was fully approved and eternally preserved, its righteous claims established and fully confirmed; its tremendous curse was by Him endured, and His people were exempted from wrath to come. In Him mercy and truth are met together, and righteousness and peace have kissed each other.

Jesus is the true antitype of the mercy-seat, whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation, through faith in His blood. The seat of mercy where Diety appeared propitious, was the cover of, and supported by the ark, which contained and preserved the Holy Law, which men had violated, denoting that the glory of God's righteous government must be secured before pardoning mercy could be discovered. The blood of atonement, sprinkled annually on the mercy seat by the high priest, was an acknowledgement of the guilt of Israel, and Jehovah's just authority; and likewise of their absolute dependence on His voluntary mercy, richly dispensed and gloriously displayed, consistent with His infinite hatred to sin, and inflexible regard to impartial justice and primitive equity.

Necessity of the Atonement

The necessity of the atonement arises from man's sin and its necessary consequences. A holy and righteous law was given to a responsible man, sanctioned by rewards and penalties, given by the most holy and just of all lawgivers - the God of Heaven - the moral governor of the universe.

This law rewarded the obedient and punished the disobedient. Sin is the transgression of this law, and if a man sins, he must suffer the penalty, himself, or another must suffer it for him. God, the law-giver, will not allow sin to go unpunished. The law requires everything that is good, or right, and forbids everything that is wrong.

As the law is the embodiment of all that is perfectly just and equitable, it requires nothing that is unreasonable. If man never violates it, it will never punish him, but if he does, it demands satisfaction. Its claims for satisfaction are perfectly just and right, so that no guilty person has a right to complain at the penalty of the law he has violated.

This law has been violated by our race, and for that violation we are justly condemned. We have been tried by the law, and found guilty of transgression, and for such transgression we stand exposed to the divine penalty. God, the Judge, is not under any obligation to release us, until we suffer the penalty. We have no claim upon Him at all for a remedy for our wrongs, and unless we are able to atone for our sins, we must suffer the penalty, or one that can must atone for us. If no one comes to our relief, we are condemned forever, for we are not able to make satisfaction for our sins. We might be sent to eternal perdition for our sins, and our eternity of suffering could never satisfy the law. Man is utterly incapable of rendering satisfaction for his sins; therefore, we can easily see the necessity of the atonement.

The demands of the law cannot be relaxed with any degree of honor to the law-giver, for, if the demands of the law be relaxed, the truth would be violated, and the rights of justice would be infringed, the interests of holiness would suffer, and confusion and disorder would be introduced into the administration of God. Under this state of things, what did Deity
do? He devised the expedient of the atonement.

Nature of the Atonement

It is very evident that the person atoning must be superior in dignity to those for whom the atonement is made. Such was the great sacrifice that was provided. Jesus Christ possessed all power and honor and glory. He was infinitely higher than the first Adam, even in a state of innocency. Adam was natural; He was spiritual. Jesus Christ was Lord of all, and the Father gave him power over all flesh, that "he should give eternal life to as many as the Father had given him."

And, as he came into the world to make an atonement, it was necessary that he possess the same nature as the ones for whom he atones. The law was given to man, and violated by man, and the penalty is justly demanded from man; so, in order to redeem, Christ was "made of a woman, made under the law, to redeem them that were under the law." "He took not on him the nature of angels, but he took on him the seed of Abraham. Wherefore in all things it behooved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people." Hebrews 2: 17, 18.

He who atones for the sins of the people must have a right to dispose of his own life, and freely offer himself to that end. No mere creature has the right to dispose of his life, for God alone is the rightful disposer of the lives of men. Christ had the right to dispose of his life. He says: "Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again. No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father." John 10:
17, 18.

One more qualification is necessary to make one fit to atone for the sins of the people, and that is, he must approve of the law, and acknowledge the justice of its claims. It would ill-become the Redeemer to complain that the law was too rigid in its claims, or that it exacted too much. But the one who atones must be one who honors the law, and who realizes the strict justice of its claims, and is willing to meet all its demands, though they be ever so severe. And one more qualification he must have. He must be free from all charges himself, and if he is not, he must require a sacrifice for himself, and his offering would be polluted, and in that case his offering would be of no value. Jesus Christ was spotless; His offering was "as of a lamb without blemish and without spot," I Peter 1: 19.

The Atonement Made on the Cross

"And they sang a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof, for Thou wast slain and hast redeemed us to God by Thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue and people and nation." Revelations 5: 9. In this text we are taught that He was slain, and that He redeemed us to God by His blood. If He redeemed us by His blood, and that blood was shed on the cross, then our redemption was completed on the cross. If we were redeemed by the blood of Christ, then the blood of Christ atoned for sin; and if His blood atoned for sin, then the atonement was made on the cross, for that is where He shed his blood. To redeem us to God by His blood, is the same as to reconcile us to God by His death.

"Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us; for it is written, cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree." Galatians 3: 13. From this text we clearly see that our redemption price was paid by the Savior on the tree, and that our redemption from the curse of the law was made there, by meeting the demands of the law for us. The law had just and equitable claims against us for our transgressions, which it held until our transgressions were atoned for. So, as Christ hath redeemed us from the curse, it must have been as the Apostle says here, being made a curse for us. How was He made a curse for us? It was by hanging on the tree.

"Who His own self bear our sins in His own body on the tree." I Peter 2: 24. What did He bear our sins on the tree for, unless it was to atone for them?

"Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him." Romans 5: 9. This text teaches that we are justified by His blood, and His blood was shed on the cross, and that being true, He evidently made an atonement on the cross.

Atonement For the Elect Only

God has an eternal purpose, and all the people were embraced in it that will ever be saved. He purposed to save them, and according to that purpose He works. If any should be saved that He did not purpose to save, then either God does not save them, or else He saves them without purposing to do so. "In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of Him who worketh all things after the counsel of His own will." Ephesians 1: 11.

We claim that all the people that will ever surround the dazzling throne of God, in Heaven, were predestinated to that end, and that they are, and will be, adopted into the family of God because He determined beforehand that they should be.

If God purposed to save all the race, then we wish to know why they are not all saved. If we say that God could not justly punish the wicked until Christ died for them, we deny the just claims of the law for sin; and if we say that Christ did die for them, and then they are lost, we say that Christ by His death did not make satisfaction to the just claims of the law for His sins.

"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." II Timothy 1: 9. We have here the covenant, and the people, and the grace, all in Christ before the world began, and the people will be saved according to all this grand and
perfect scheme.

Part II. We believe in the doctrine of particular redemption.

By Elder Claud E. Webb

By the term particular redemption we mean that redemption applies only to a portion or particular part of the human race. The word, particular, distinguishes one thing from another, some things from other things of the same nature or kind; or, as in this case, some persons from other persons.

All the descendants of Adam, by nature, are alike both as to their fallen nature, and as to their condition in sin, and just condemnation. The Biblical doctrine of unconditional election, as treated upon in our last article, teaches us that out of this fallen race of man God has sovereignly and unconditionally chosen some persons, and predestinated them to be conformed to the image of His Son. These are referred to by such terms as my sheep, my people, or children of promise.

The race of man as a whole is not referred to in this way. Therefore, His people are shown to be a selected or chosen people, and we believe the Scriptures to teach that God sent His Son into the world to redeem and save them, exclusively. The Lord's portion is His people: Jacob is the lot of His inheritance. Deut. 32:9. He sent redemption unto His people. Psalm 111:9. Thou shalt call His name Jesus, for He shall save His people from their sins. Matthew 1:21.

Redemption, as the word is generally used in the Scripture, is a legal term, and the act of redemption is a legal act. In law it means to purchase back something which has been secured to another by an agreement, or perhaps by a note or mortgage; or to secure the release of some violator of the law from the penalty which the law may justly demand for his violation.

Such redemption or deliverance can not be accomplished without the payment of all the law demands, but when the demands of the law are fully met, the guilty person is set at liberty, and may justly consider himself redeemed from the curse or penalty of the law he has violated.

We believe Christ redeemed those for whom He died by paying all the law demanded for their release. His sufferings were great, because the sin of His people, and the penalty for their sin, was great. But He did not suffer one pang too much. He must pay the penalty completely, or there could be no redemption.

But now when the demands of the law are fully met no just law or magistrate will ever demand more. The act of redemption therefore liberates the captive and sets him free. Thus those for whom Christ died upon the cross are redeemed and become the Lord's free men. (Only use not this liberty as an occasion to the flesh.)

This present article of our faith affirms the doctrine of particular redemption. While we can not believe the doctrine of what is commonly termed universal redemption, with all of its uncertainties and liabilities to failure, we do believe that Christ came into the world to redeem His people, and that the nature of His life and death was fully and suitably adapted to the accomplishment of His purpose. The word was divinely spoken, He shall save His people from their sins. What a friend we have in Jesus, all our sins and griefs to bear.

The passover feast was given to the people of God in Egypt. The blood of the passover lamb was stricken to the doorposts of their houses, and its flesh was to be eaten by them. It in no way benefitted the Egyptian world about them, nor was it ever intended to do so.

The sins of the Lord's chosen people, the church under the law, were confessed upon the head of the Scapegoat, and it was slain for them. The sins of the world were not placed upon it, nor did it die for others.

The Hebrew people were typical of the church of today, and every divinely appointed sacrifice was offered for them exclusively, and they alone were benefitted. God was pleased to denominate them His people, and His special care attended them. He cared for them as a shepherd would care for His flock, and often referred to them as such. It is a good and fitting representation, and they seem to have thought of themselves in the same way.

All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on Him the iniquity of us all. Isaiah 53:6. This beautiful and simply stated truth we believe.

Isaiah is often called the evangelist among the prophets. In his writings we will find a most beautiful account of the sufferings and triumph of our Saviour. He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem Him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But [please note carefully] He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon Him, and with His stripes we are healed. Isaiah 53:3-5.

But the story does not end here. When thou shalt make His soul an offering for sin, He shall see His seed, He shall prolong His days, and the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in His hand. He shall see of the travail of His soul, and shall be satisfied: by His knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for He shall bear their iniquities. Isaiah 53:10-11.

Note: My righteous servant shall justify many; for He shall bear their iniquities. People are justified only through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus. In whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace. Ephesians 1:7. This language is addressed to the Lords chosen people and not to the world at large.

The plural pronoun we refers to them and not to all mankind. We have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace. Redemption as here stated is shown to be equal and mean the forgiveness of sins, and this is in turn, according to the riches of His grace.

Writing to the Colossian brethren Paul gives thanks to God, who hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of His dear Son, [please note] in whom we have redemption through His blood, even the forgiveness of sins. Colossians 1:12-14. Again redemption and the forgiveness of sins are shown to be joined in separably together.

Under the law the offering of beasts as sin offerings was only figurative, and could never put away sin. However, those offerings, which were made year after year, pointed to the offering of the body of Christ, which would put away sin and sanctify or cleanse those for whom He died.

Jesus came into the world to put an end to the legal sacrifices, and to accomplish what they could not accomplish. Then said I, Lo, I come (in the volume of the book it is written of me,) to do thy will, O God. Hebrews 10:7. Whatever the will of the Father was, that He came to do, and we have that will clearly expressed thus: By the which will, we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. Hebrews 10:10.

The words for all are supplied words and simply mean, once, for all time to come, over against the yearly offerings under the law. From the passages we have considered it is shown that redemption from the curse of sin, the forgiveness of sins, justification, and sanctification of sinners is through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ. This will explain that beautiful passage in Isaiah 53, He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon Him; and by His stripes we are healed. Also, verse 8 reads, For the transgression of my people was he stricken.

Not only did the good shepherd give His life for the sheep, but I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. St. John 10:10. And therefore He declared, I give unto them eternal life, and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all, and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand. I and my Father are one. John 10:28-30. May His blessing ever rest upon His dear cause and people.

Article 8. Regeneration.

Part I. We believe that being born again is not the act of man, nor does it result from what he may believe or do; but it is the work of God, who gives eternal life, thus quickening the sinner, which causes him to confess his sin, and to feel the need of a Saviour.

By Elder J. C. Jones

Jesus taught the necessity of the new birth, or regeneration, when he said, "Ye must be born again." This necessity is just as great now as itwas then, and will ever continue to be so.

Those whom Jesus Christ came into the world to save were sinners of Adam's race, human beings with no higher claim than that of creatures. The individuals God created are the individuals given by the Father to the Son in the covenant of redemption, and are the ones whom Jesus will finally save in heaven.

These men and women at their best, or highest estate are simply human and wholly unfitted to see, enter, live in and enjoy the kingdom of God. So, Jesus said, "Except a man be born again he cannot see the kingdom of God." "God is a spirit," therefore his kingdom is spiritual, hence, the only way to enter that kingdom is by spiritual birth. There is only one way to enter the kingdom of God, and that is by being born again. This applies alike to all classes of individuals, whether young or old.

The service engaged in by the subjects of God's kingdom is a spiritual service. God seeks such to worship him as do worship in spirit and in truth. Before regeneration we love and enjoy the things of this world, care nothing about spiritual things, do not feel our need of a Savior, are out of correspondence with the spirit world, and as such are said to be "dead in trespasses and in sins." Ephesians 2: 1.

If they ever rise from their state of death in sin and are capacitated to live in and be adapted to the environments of the kingdom of God, they must be quickened, or given eternal life. So Paul taught the children of God at Ephesus that the cause of their now being children of God living in his kingdom and walking uprightly before him in love, (instead of walking after the course of this world and being led by the prince of the power of the air - the spirit that worketh in the children of disobedience) was that they had been quickened and raised up from this state of death by Jesus Christ the only savior of sinners. Jesus said, "I give unto them eternal life, and they shall never perish."

How helpless the dead are! How unable others are to help them! It takes the same power to reach the soul dead in sin and wake it up to a consciousness of its ruin and guilt before God and make it long for love and desire spiritual things, that it does to wake the bodies of the dead that lie in the graveyards.

Jesus said (John 5: 25), "The hour is coming and now is when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God and they that hear shall live." This clearly refers to giving life to dead sinners in regeneration, for in verse 28 he says, "Marvel not at this, for the hour is coming wherein all that are in the grave shall hear his voice."

It seems so unnecessary to have to argue that this wonderful work is the direct work of God's Holy Spirit independent of human instrumentality. God needs no vehicle to convey his Spirit to the hearts and lives of his people here in this world. The Bible abounds with instances of God coming directly into the lives of individuals and quickening them into divine life. On the other hand, there is not a single case recorded in the Bible where God uses means or instrumentality to impart life to the unregenerate.

Regeneration is the motion of God toward the creature. Repentance is the motion of the creature toward God, hence the new birth, or spiritual birth, must precede every spiritual emotion or act of the creature toward God.

A godly life evidences the fact that the individual has been born of God. As the fruit upon the tree proves the nature of the tree, so our lives we live prove whether we are children of God.

Regeneration is a creative work - "Created in Christ Jesus unto good work." Ephesians 2: 10.

Here the new birth is called a creation. God only can create anything. Man can form or make out of what God created, but he cannot create anything. God is the creator in this new creation as much as in the original creation of all things. "Therefore, if any man be in Christ he is a new creature." II. Corinthians 5: 17. The sinner is now capacitated to hear and understand the blessed gospel of Christ, to obey its commandments and engage in its sacred ordinances.

Their power to disobey, however, is not taken away, hence the gospel of Jesus is full of admonitions and exhortations to obedience and clear warnings against disobedience.

In a state of nature we are so in love with sin that we are unable to turn away from it in heart to love and service of God. In order that this blessed change take place in our lives, our very natures must be changed. God who created us is the one who can so effectually change our natures that we will turn away from it with disgust and hatred, and turn with delight to the service of God.

Jesus illustrated this change by making the water wine at the wedding at Cana. The change was real. This liquid was water a moment ago; it is now wine - the change was instantaneous. Jesus did it alone, to the wonder and amazement of those who witnessed this miracle.

Jesus of the Bible can and does work miracles. To my mind there is no greater miracle than that of a vile, wicked and sin-loving individual ceasing to enjoy sin and its evil practices, turning away from it with disgust and hatred and desiring a holy and godly life; feeling the need of a Savior, begging the Lord for his mercy and made to rejoice in the forgiveness of all his sins; inquiring, "Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?"; turning to the church of God, living in and enjoying its sweet and sacred service.

This complete change in the life and practice of the individual is caused by the new birth, which is wrought in the sinner by the unseen, yet irresistible, power and influence of the Holy Spirit.

Paul encouraged God's children at Philippi that this work would never cease, when he said, "Being confident of this very thing, that he that hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ." Yes, when this work is complete, all those born of God will stand before him without blame, being conformed to the image of Jesus - made like him. Then will our salvation be complete.

Part II. We believe that in the work of regeneration, God, by the Holy Spirit, calls sinners from the state of death in sin into a state of spiritual life, and that this calling is special, and in every case effectual.

By Elder Claud E. Webb

This particular point in our faith is usually referred to as effectual calling. While we are aware that there is more than one calling mentioned in the Scriptures, it shall not be our purpose in this present article to discuss those various callings other than to let the reader know we are aware of them.

There is, of course, a calling to the work of the gospel ministry, and No man taketh this honor unto himself, but he that is called of God, as was Aaron. Hebrews 5:4. And there is a call by the gospel ministry through the proclamation of the gospel, which doubtless is not always effectual, and which may go unheeded by many who should give attention to it.

Then it is also true that there shall finally be a general calling of the dead from the graves, which shall be universal, and in every case effectual. The hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear His voice, and shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation. John 5:28-29.

The purpose of this present article of faith is to teach the Bible truth that in the work of regeneration, or the new birth, God by the Holy Spirit calls sinners out of a state in sin and quickens them into a state of life in Christ Jesus. And you hath He quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world. Ephesians 2:1-2. But God, who is rich in mercy, for His great love wherewith He loved us, even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) and hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus. Ephesians 2:4-6. This calling, or quickening, or raising up, is exclusively the Spirit's work within the heart and life of the sinner, and it is in every case effectual. The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live. John 5:25.

By the termspecial, we mean special or particular persons are thus called. The calling is special, not general or universal. Whom He did predestinate, them He also called. Romans 8:30. He calleth His own sheep by name, and leadeth them out. John 10:3. My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. John 10:27. Among whom are ye also the called of Jesus Christ. Romans 1:6. Beloved of God, called to be saints. Romans 1:7. Even us whom He hath called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles. Romans 9:24. This is an holy calling, it is special, effectual, and exclusively of the Lord. 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. II. Timothy 1:9.

Many seem to confuse the calling by the Holy Spirit, which is always effectual, with the calling by the gospel ministry, which doubtless in many cases is ineffectual, and which often seems to pass unheeded by many who should give attention to it. But it is not the prerogative of the ministry to call sinners into a state of life in Christ Jesus, nor to offer them such life on some supposed gospel terms which do not exist.

It is true that there is a gospel call by the gospel ministry, in which those who have been blessed with the gift of eternal life are called or invited to the marriage supper, or gospel feast, and such persons should cease making excuses, and gladly take up their cross and make a proper public profession of their faith and love, and so follow their Saviour in a gospel and Christian manner.

God does not force sinners against their will, as some believe us to teach, but by imparting eternal life, He changes the hardened heart of the sinner, thus affecting also the mind and the will. Note the following very instructive language: I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people. Jeremiah 31:33.

Or, as it is written in Hebrews 10:16, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them. Thus both the heart and mind is changed, and brought into harmony with the law of the Spirit of life, which the Lord graciously imparts to them in the new birth.

Please ponder the following beautiful language: The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool. The Lord shall send the rod of thy strength out of Zion: Rule thou, in the midst of thine enemies. Thy people shall be willing in the day of thy power, in the beauties of holiness from the womb of the morning: thou hast the dew of thy youth. Psalm 110:1-3.

Finally, if the Biblical doctrines of Total Depravity, Special Election, and Particular Redemption are true, and they are, then it follows consistently and necessarily that this present article of the Christian faith is also true: and to this point I believe every truly saved person will agree - that they personally have been effectually and most graciously called unto a state of life and salvation by the Lord.

May this assurance inspire in each of us a fervent desire to know more about His wondrous plan of salvation, and enable the gentle reader to rest and rejoice in the blessed assurance of His infinite love, and mighty power to save: and as He who hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation and godliness.

Article 9. Eternal Preservation.

Part I. We believe that none who are born again will fall away so as to be finally lost, but that they will be preserved through grace to glory.

By Elder T. S. Dalton

It would be impossible for tongue or pen to picture the beauty and excellency incorporated in this grand and soul-cheering doctrine. In this rests the hope of the Christian. Believing that God will preserve him through all the trials and difficulties of life, he rejoices. Take this belief from him, and he must surely drag out a miserable and wretched existence.

Let us first enquire, can a christian fall? Surely he can; this is not the question, but can he fall so as to be eternally lost? The Bible often speaks of christians falling. Solomon says, "For a just man falleth seven times, and riseth up again." Proverbs 24: 16. Here Solomon speaks of the just man; this surely must be the christian man, he falls surely, yea seven times, but riseth up again, therefore we conclude that he is not left down to be lost forever.

The prophet Micah in viewing this grand doctrine, breaks forth in a strain of joy, and triumph saying, "Rejoice not against me, O mine enemy: when I fall, I shall arise." In this Micah shows his confidence in the Lord and his faith in His divine work, by telling his enemies, if he should fall, which he was liable to do, he would arise again.

Then David, that man after God's own heart, and the sweet singer in Israel, comes forth with his testimony in the cause, which should satisfy even the skeptic. He says, "The Lord upholdeth all that fall, and raiseth up all those that be bowed down." Psalms 145: 24. Here we would like to introduce a problem for some of our friends who believe in final apostasy to solve, for we confess our inability to solve it: If God lifts up all that fall, as David says He does, how many are left to be eternally lost? We expect that after you have tried all the rules of mathematics on the problem, your answer will correspond with ours, which is, none lost. David beautifully sets forth the reason why none are lost, "The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord, and He delighteth in his way. Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down, for the Lord upholdeth him with His hand." Psalms 37: 23, 24. David admits that the good man may fall, yea he does fall often, but thank God, he says, he shall not be utterly cast down, but the Lord shall uphold him. If God upholds him through all the trials and vicissitudes of life, he can rest secure and feel safe under the most trying scenes of his pilgrimage, and can adopt the language of Paul, "We joy in tribulations also, knowing that tribulation worketh patience and patience experience," etc.

But perhaps some will ask, "Suppose the christian should violate the laws of God and fail to keep His statutes, then surely God would turn away from him, and leave him to be forever lost." Let us call on David again, "If his children forsake my law and walk not in my judgments; then will I visit their transgressions with the rod, and their iniquities with stripes. Nevertheless my lovingkindness will I not utterly take from him, nor suffer my faithfulness to fail. My covenant will I not break, nor alter the thing that is gone out of my lips." Psalms 89: 30-34. How often we transgress his laws and fail to keep his judgment! But our Heavenly Father still loves us and visits our transgressions with a rod. Paul says, "Whom he loveth, he chasteneth." Therefore God loves his children, though disobedient, and will at last bring them off more than conquerors through our Lord Jesus Christ, to eternal joy and peace at his right hand.

Let us draw another conclusion from the language of the Savior to his disciples, "Because I live, ye shall live also." It is a logical truth, that in order for an effect to cease, the cause must be removed. Then why do God's people live? The answer is, "Because Jesus lives." Now if it is possible to dethrone Jesus, and bring Him into death again, there may be some possibility of God's people falling, or losing their life and being eternally lost. But Jesus himself says, "I am He that was dead, and am alive forevermore, and have the keys of death and hell." Paul says, "Death hath no more dominion over him." Therefore we conclude that the effect will never cease; hence God's people will live as long as Jesus lives, because He is their life.

Paul says, "When Christ, who is our life shall appear, then shall ye also appear with Him in glory." What a consolation to know that our lives are not in our own hands to keep ourselves, but as Paul said, "Our life is hid with Christ in God." This is a sure place, "Where moth nor rust does not corrupt, nor thieves break through and steal." And Peter says, "We are kept by the power of God through faith, unto salvation, ready to be revealed at the last time." Surely the trials of life can never overcome us with such a support as the Omnipotent power of God.

God made a covenant with Noah, saying, "As I have sworn that the waters of Noah should no more go over the earth, so have I sworn that I will not be wroth with thee nor rebuke thee, neither shall the covenant of my peace be removed, saith the Lord." Paul said, "An oath to them of confirmation was an end of all strife." And to Israel it is the end of all strife now, but to the Ashdod it is not, for they are disposed to dispute the oath of God, and not to believe any part of His word. In the same chapter God says, "No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper, and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn, for this is the heritage of the servants of God, and their righteousness is of me, saith the Lord." Therefore the child of God can sing that sweet stanza:

"Satan may vent his sharpest spite
And all his legions roar,
Almighty mercy guards my life,
And bounds his raging power."

Therefore when Paul said, "For we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose," we understand that all the tribulations and trials of the Christian's pilgrimage shall terminate in their good, and that they shall be brought off through them all and landed safely by the power of God, in the realms of eternal bliss! What consoling doctrine this is to the poor tempest-tossed children on their journey through this vain world of sin! May we love and praise our heavenly Father for His timely and eternal care of His children.

Part II. We believe in the doctrine of eternal security, commonly called the final preservation of the saints through grace to glory.

By Elder Claud E. Webb

I will define the terms of the article now to be considered. By the term Eternal Security, or Final Preservation, we mean that those persons who were chosen in Christ before the foundation of the world (Eph. 1:4), having been redeemed by Christ, (Eph. 1:7), and effectually called out of their native state of darkness and spiritual death into a state of spiritual life and light (Eph. 2:1, Rom. 8:30, I. Thess. 5:24, I. Pet. 2:9), will be everlastingly preserved or kept through grace, by the keeping power of God, and that they will not fall finally away.

The words used in stating this article, I define as follows: Eternal, endless, everlasting, having no end. By security, we mean the people of God are in a safe and secure state without liability of falling finally away. By final preservation we mean such persons shall be preserved from final apostasy and destruction. I will now offer a few passages which Primitive Baptists believe sustain this article of their faith.

I will appeal to the Apostle Peter as our first witness. Hear him: Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied. Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you, who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. I. Peter 1:2-5. This passage, among many other beautiful things, teaches that the elect are begotten again unto an inheritance undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for them, and also that they are kept by the power God unto it. Many other passages which the reader may call to mind teach this also, and of course we cannot have space here to refer to them all. But we will now call David as a witness upon this point. He speaks for himself and for the children of God. Hear him: I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help. My help cometh from the Lord, which made heaven and earth. He will not suffer thy foot to be moved; he that keepeth thee will not slumber. Behold, he that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep. The Lord is thy keeper: the Lord is thy shade upon thy right hand. The sun shall not smite thee by day, nor the moon by night. The Lord shall preserve thee from all evil: he shall preserve thy soul. The Lord shall preserve thy going out and thy coming in from this time forth, and even for evermore. Psalm 121:1-8. This language of David teaches us that David believed the Creator of the heaven and earth to be our keeper and preserver. The Lord is thy keeper. He shall preserve thy soul. Note those closing words - from this time forth, and even for evermore. By such expressions our articles of faith are sustained and we are encouraged.

We would argue the truth of this point in the Primitive faith from the nature of the love of God which is declared to be everlasting. I have loved thee with an everlasting love: Therefore with loving kindness have I drawn thee. Jeremiah 31:3. And again from the unchanging nature of God. I am the Lord, I change not: therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed. Mal. 3:6. And from the nature of His covenant with His people, which is said to be an everlasting covenant, ordered in all things, and sure. (II. Sam. 23:5). And from the immutability of His purpose to save His people. I have spoken it, I will also bring it to pass; I have purposed it, I will also do it. Isa. 46:11. And from the inviolable nature of his will: And this is the will of the Father which sent me, that of all he hath given me I should lose nothing, but raise it up again at the last day. Jesus.

But I now call Paul to witness for us. Hear him: Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifieth. Who is he that condemneth? Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? - v. 35. I am persuaded that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus. Romans 8:35-39. What shall we say then to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? (Verse 31.)

Jesus refers to His people as His sheep. The good shepherd giveth His life for the sheep. Now hear Him who is said to be the faithful and true witness. I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine. v. 14. My sheep 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. My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand. I and my Father are one. John 10:11, 14, 28-30. From these and many other similar passages we believe the Scriptures to teach the certain and final preservation of the people of God, and that they shall finally be brought by grace divine to their house not made with hands, eternal and in the heavens. May we praise Him more and serve Him better until it shall please Him to close our earthly days. And may His blessing rest upon the gentle reader - always.

Article 10. The Resurrection.

Part I. We believe in the resurrection of the dead, both of the just (elect) and the unjust, and that the unjust shall go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into life eternal.

By Elder S. L. Pettus

In this article of faith the Primitive Baptists have expressed their belief on one of the fundamental principles of the gospel. The importance of it is readily seen from Paul's statement that "if in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable." I Corinthians 15: 19. That was his conclusion if there is no resurrection of the dead.

By the term "resurrection of the dead" is meant that the bodies of those who die are raised to life. By the terms "just" and "elect" are meant all who will finally be saved in heaven. "Who shall lay anything to the charge of God's elect?" Romans 8: 23. "For thou shalt be recompensed at the resurrection of the just." Luke 14: 14.

That there will be a resurrection both of the just and the unjust is plainly stated in the scriptures. "And have hope toward God, ......... that there shall be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and the unjust." Acts 24: 15. In proof of this I also quote the language of Jesus, "Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, and shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil unto the resurrection of damnation." John 5: 28, 29.

Christ's Resurrection

Owing to the intimate relation existing between the resurrection of Christ and the resurrection of all who are born of God, I will notice some facts which prove that it was the body of Christ which rose from the dead. The body that was crucified, that was nailed to the cross and pierced with a spear, that died and was buried, revived and rose.

Jesus foretold his resurrection when he said, "Destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it up." "But he spake of the temple of his body." John 2: 19, 21. Also in these words, "From that time forth began Jesus to show unto his disciples how that he must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed
and be raised again the third day." Matthew 16: 31; 20: 18, 19.

A question: If the resurrection of Jesus was a spirit resurrection, as some people claim, why was he not raised until the third day? Their claim is that the resurrection takes place at the time of the death. Also, we notice that Matthew, Mark, Luke and John each tell of the empty tomb - the body of Jesus was not there. This is strong proof that his body was raised to life. Also, in his appearance to his disciples he showed them his hands, and his side, and his feet (John 20: 20; Luke 24: 39), thus removing all doubt in their minds as to his identity.

Resurrection of the Just

Paul says, "Now if Christ be preached that he rose from the dead, how say some among you that there is no resurrection of the dead." I Corinthians 15: 12.

He argues that if there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ is not risen, and preaching is vain, faith is vain, we are yet all in our sins, and they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished. Verses 13-18. But he boldly affirms that "Christ is risen from the dead, and become the first fruits of them that slept." Verse 20.

"Christ the first fruits; afterward they that are Christ's at his coming." Verse 23. Compare this with the language of Jesus, "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." John 6: 39.

The glory of the resurrection of the "dead in Christ" is declared in these words, "So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption; it is sown in dishonor; it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power; it is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body." I Corinthians 15: 42-44.

The Future State

The scriptures do not leave us in ignorance of the gracious provision God has made for his people to dwell with him forevermore, and the awful doom of those who die in their sins. "But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope." I Thessalonians 4: 13.

How sweet the consolation, that when our hearts are broken and the ties of nature are severed, and we must bury our loved ones out of our sight, we can turn to the precious promise of God in these words, "For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him." Verse 14. "Behold I shew you a mystery; we shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trump shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed." I Corinthians 15: 51, 52. (Also see I Thessalonians 4: 15, 16.)

How sweet it will be to hear the voice of Jesus say, "Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world." Matthew 25: 34. The precious hope of a welcome like this, in view of being immortal and incorruptible, enables us to say, "Thanks be to God which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ." I Corinthians 15: 57. We can claim no honor to ourselves for our salvation, for we were by nature the children of wrath, even as others. Ephesians 2: 3. It is by grace we are saved from our sins, from the curse of the law, from the awful judgment pronounced by the King when he says, "Depart from me ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels . . . And these shall go away into everlasting punishment; but the righteous into life eternal."
Matthew 25: 41, 46.

I have presented a small portion of the scripture testimony in support of what Primitive Baptists publish as their belief as stated in this article of faith. It is right for us to take heed unto the doctrine, which is also called sound doctrine, and is the doctrine that satisfies the hungry children of God.

Part II. We believe the doctrine of the resurrection of the dead, both of the just, and the unjust; and in a general judgment to come

By Elder Claud E. Webb

The doctrine of the Resurrection is so generally believed by religious professors of all faiths that it seems rather superfluous to present an article upon the subject, but since there have been some who do not accept it, I felt it would be right to state what our people as a church believe. By the term Resurrection of the dead, I mean the dead bodies of all mankind who die or will have died before the second coming of our Lord. Millions are now buried in graves wholly unknown to anyone now living, and doubtless other millions have perished in the mighty ocean's watery grave, but all are known to the majestic Creator of the heaven, the earth, the sea, and all that therein is, and He has said that the earth shall give up the dead that are in it, and the sea shall give up the dead that are in it, and all the dead - both small and great shall stand before God in that day which the Lord hath appointed, and at which time final judgment shall be rendered. Rev. 20:12-13. Our belief or disbelief shall not change Gods infinitely wise and unalterable decree. We believe God, that it shall be even as he said.

I offer the following passage in support of this principle of Primitive Baptist faith. First, the age old question by Job: If a man die, shall he live again? And Job's reply: All the days of my appointed time will I wait, till my change come. Thou shalt call, and I will answer thee: thou wilt have a desire to the work of thine hands. Job 14:14. I call attention to the expression: Thou shalt call, and I will answer thee. It will be Job himself who shall answer, and not another. This will be a personal matter with Job just as it will be, dear reader, with you and me. This is very clearly expressed by the Son of God in those well known words - The hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear His voice, and shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation. John 5:28-29. Note: All that are in the graves.

Thy dead men shall live, together with my dead body, shall they arise. Isaiah 26:19. Thus Isaiah gives expression to his faith. David said, As for me, I will behold thy face in righteousness: I shall be satisfied, when I awake, with thy likeness. Psalm 17:15. 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. Wherefore comfort one another with these words. I. Thessalonians 4:16-18.

Please note: When the Lord shall come again it will not be to establish some supposed millennial or thousand year reign upon earth, but to receive His dear children to Himself in the state of eternal glory - the resurrected state. Sown in corruption, they shall be raised in incorruption. Sown in weakness, they shall be raised in power. Sown in mortality, they shall be raised immortal. This which is sown a natural body - wholly prepared to live forever with the Lord in the state of glory. Bless the Lord, O, my soul, for this gracious promise!

Without multiplying texts upon this point, I believe I will offer the testimony of Elder Lemuel Potter as taken from his Labors and Travels. It will be seen, then, that I believe in the salvation of all the elect; and that they are men and women such as compose my congregation, and the soul is born of the Spirit of God, in the work of regeneration, in time; but at the dissolution of the body, the soul goes to heaven. Soul and spirit, in scripture mean the same thing frequently. Stephen said, Lord Jesus receive my spirit. Acts 7:59. He saw heaven opened, and Jesus sitting at the right hand of God, and I believe his spirit went immediately to heaven, at the death of his body.

Again, I believe that the body will be raised at the last day; the very same body that we bury in the ground will be raised up from the dead, and fashioned like unto the glorious body of the Redeemer. It will not be another body, gotten up in the place of the one we bury, for that would not be a resurrection. (It would be substitution.) Resurrection means to restore to life that which once had life; and to give vitality to that which never had it, would not be resurrection.

But the bodies of the saints die, and they are to be made alive (again), forever to bask in the ocean of God's unbounded love, to praise Him throughout the ceaseless ages of a never ending eternity. Amen. Potter. The only change I would make in the above quotation would be to remove the expression throughout. There shall be no end to the eternal praise in the state of glory. With this I know Elder Potter would have agreed.

As to the eternal judgment, so far as the mind of God is concerned the sentence is now known. There is nothing new with Him. But judgment shall one day be divinely and unalterably pronounced and every man shall receive that which God, in His infinite wisdom and righteousness, shall pronounce upon him. I rejoice that another book shall be opened which is called the Book of Life. Blessed are they whose names shall be found written there. May God grant that the name of my precious reader may be found there, and may that blessing through His mercy be mine.

Article 11. The Gospel.

We believe that the gospel is to be preached in all the world as a statement of the truth, and as a witness of Jesus for the comfort and instruction of regenerated men and women; but deny that it is to offer grace to the unregenerate or that it asserts there is an obligation resting upon the unregenerate to believe that Jesus is their Saviour.

By Elder Delbert E. Baker

The word "gospel" is derived from "Godspell," which when analyzed is "God" - good; "spell" - story, tidings; hence, gospel means, good story, glad tidings, a good or joyful message. According to Webster, it especially applies to the message concerning Christ and his salvation.

"Preach" means to proclaim or publish in public discourse. Hence, Primitive Baptists believe that the good news, glad tidings, joyful message concerning Christ and his salvation should be publicly proclaimed in all the world.

The word "world" means among all nations, as set forth in Matthew 24: 14: "And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come."

I shall not deviate from the direct subject of this article of faith to discuss who shall do the preaching, or where he shall go, but suffice to say, only those directly chosen and given ability of God himself are qualified to bear this message, and each shall bear it where God alone directs.

Vain and useless would be an attempt to reason away or minimize the utility or use of the gospel, since we believe the remainder of this article of faith. God has ever had and will always have a mission for his glorious gospel, and it is so perfectly adapted to his purpose for it that whenever delivered good will result from it to individuals, and his name will be glorified. I speak of the true gospel.

Note the article - "preached in all the world as a statement of the truth and as a witness of Jesus." The preacher here is a "witness of Jesus." Matthew 24: 14 says, "And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations." Of John, as recorded in John 1: 7, it says, "The same came for a witness to bear witness of the light," etc., while of the gospel ministry, as recorded in Acts 1: 8, it says, "But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you; and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth."

A true witness is one who states a truth, attests to a truth or event; one who gives evidence, or proof.

The Bible is a volume of unimpeachable evidence because God is the author of it by his inspiration. II Timothy 3: 16.

Each God-called preacher should present its teachings as unalloyed truth, a true statement on any subject with which it deals, and that it is a thorough furnisher unto all good works.

He receives his "charge" "before God and the Lord Jesus Christ," and should "study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth." While he should study and labor to find out the things taught in the Bible, and will not be profitable if he fails to do so, yet he must know that ability to see and bear spiritual truths comes from God and that his presence to assist in our study is necessary. In Galatians 1: 11, 12, Paul says, "But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man. For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ." Many other scriptures teach the same truth.

In the study of the Word we see God as the author of our carnal blessings and the donor of all spiritual blessings. Man is stripped of all righteousness and goodness, depraved, dead in trespasses and sins, devoid of any will or power to extricate himself from his helpless state, which resulted from his willful violation of a just and holy law. The testimony should be at all times, There is a way out - but not a way of human endeavor.

As a huge telescope enables us to get an enlarged view, as we look through it at the moon, so the true gospel, based upon the inspired teaching of the Bible, brings one character prominently before our mind as "the Way, the Truth, and the Life," the only substitute for poor, lost and ruined sinners, the only mediator between God and men; and helps us to behold his grace and love for us undeserving creatures. No wonder Paul exclaimed, "I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ and him crucified," and "We preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus' sake." II Corinthians 4: 5. Instead of the evidence telling lost sinners what to do to get eternal life, it teaches us how God gives it without work. Not for what we are, nor for what we can do, can be found the cause of the Christian life. All evidence given there is against our worth or merit, but Jesus is presented as the one "who bore our sins," as the one who "became sin for us," the one who died - "the just for the unjust."

The true preacher must at all times be a true witness for Jesus. The article says the object of the gospel is "for the comfort of regenerated men and women." "Regenerated men and women" means those persons who have been "born again" - those who have been given eternal life. Now for their comfort, strength, support, and consolation, and for their instruction, information and giving of knowledge this message should be delivered. Ephesians 4: 11, 12, states definitely the gifts of the gospel and their use: "And he gave 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," etc. Since the gospel is spiritual in its nature - a product of the Spirit - only spiritual characters can receive its spiritual import. Unregenerate men cannot. I Corinthians 2: 14 says, "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." "For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish, foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God." I Corinthians 1: 18.

How firmly founded upon God's precious teaching is this entire article of faith, and how akin it is to our experience of grace. How vividly we remember when we did not care for the gospel, when it bore to us no message, and when it was foolishness to us. How gladly and eagerly we grasp the evidence that if the gospel comes to us "not in word only," and comforts and instructs us that we are recipients of his marvelous grace and mercy. Not only does the gospel comfort the hearts of God's children, but it teaches them "all things" as commanded by the Savior. It teaches us things we should do, and the things we should not do. Heeding its holy counsel and the message borne by the faithful servant who loves the cause above any earthly ambition or joy, they are "saved" from false doctrines and practices, and guided in a pathway that will meet the approval of our heavenly Father, and we shall find comfort in every time of need. Not a sorrow nor trouble by the way, not a doubt nor fear, not a tear of sadness, but for which we can find comfort in the glorious gospel of the Son of God.

Article 12. Good Works.

We believe that good works, obedience to the commands of God, are well pleasing in His sight, and should be maintained in the church; but they are to be considered only as evidence of a gracious state, and are not a condition of salvation.

By Elder Lloyd Sapp

This, the twelfth article, is a very important one. In it are embodied two very important points of doctrine. First, we believe in good works. Second, good works are not a condition of salvation. Salvation by grace, and good works, should be held before our churches at all times.

There is plenty of scripture to teach that salvation is by grace, and also that good works are well pleasing in the sight of God. "Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven." Matthew 5: 16. Here we are told what to do, where to do, and the reason for such demand. The word "light" in this case means to give instruction. We may instruct by word and example. We should always be ready to give a reason of the hope that is in us. Our daily life should be such as to prove to the world that we love one another. Love for one another proves to all men that we are the disciples of the Lord. God's people are in possession of this light. They should let it shine, and that before men, that our Father which is in heaven may be glorified. We should be very careful that we are not letting our light shine to gain glory for ourselves. We do not light a candle to conceal it, but rather to light the room. Good works flow from faith and love, and by these good works men are induced to glorify the Father.

May Primitive Baptists everywhere remember that holy examples and abundant good works soften men's prejudices and win them to attend to the truth. This should be the aim and effect of our general conduct, though we should not do any particular action to be seen of men, or seek our own glory in any thing. We are his servants. If so, he is entitled to our services. The Lord has such a property in every creature as no man can have in another. He can never be indebted to us for our constant and unremitting services. Redeemed sinners are under obligation to obedience.

Of course, we can do no good works except by grace; therefore, we can find no grounds to boast of our good works. I have noticed it is those who let their light shine, both by instruction and example, who are the happy people. Possibly, good works have not been preached enough.

It has been said of our people that they do not believe in good works. Perhaps some may just want to say this, but if any have had occasion to say this by watching us, then it is indeed sad. Some may say, "How can we give glory to God?" We may do this when we confess our sins, love him supremely, commit ourselves to him, are zealous in his service, improve our talents, walk humbly, thankfully, and cheerfully before him, and recommend, proclaim, or set forth his excellencies to others. Good works show our gratitude, as well as being an ornament to our profession. They evidence our regeneration. They are truly profitable to others. We believe in good works! But -

We do not believe good works to be a condition of salvation. "For by grace are ye saved (eternally), through faith; and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them." Ephesians 2: 8-10. If we are saved by grace, our good works are not the cause of our salvation. Grace and worthiness cannot be connected by the same act and for the same end. The one must of necessity give place to the other, according to that remarkable text, "If by grace, then it is no more of works."

Sad, but perhaps no subject is more misunderstood than the subject of grace. Without a proper understanding of its import we can never make any considerable progress in the knowledge of the scriptures. The primary and principle meaning of the word grace is "free favor, unmerited kindness." Grace is the favor of God manifested in the vouchsafe of spiritual and eternal blessings to the guilty and unworthy, through our Lord Jesus Christ. Such is the eternal origin, such is the glorious basis of our salvation, hence it is carried on to perfection. Grace shines through the whole. As an elegant writer has observed, "Grace is not like a fringe of gold bordering the garment, not like an embroidery of gold decorating the robe; but like the mercy seat of an ancient tabernacle, which was gold, pure gold, and gold throughout."

Grace, in its proper sense, always presupposes unworthiness in its object. Hence, when anything of value is communicated by the blessed God, it cannot be of grace any further than the person on whom it is conferred is considered as unworthy. Grace, therefore, must exert and manifest her sovereign power, must supersede the reign and counteract the mighty and destructive operations of sin. Otherwise, she cannot bring the sinner to eternal life. Divine grace not only appears as reigning in our salvation, but appears with majesty. It not only shines, but actually triumphs; providing all things, working all things, bestowing all things necessary to our eternal salvation.

Thus, the Lord has drawn us through the free favors of his great grace. He has stirred our hearts, given us a new mind, humbled us in his fear, led us from the way of death and through mercy has called us upon the narrow path of life into the company of his saints. Many proud hearts have been made humble; the cruel, kind; the godless, godly, all by his grace. Many have testified of him even unto death. Many have been his witnesses through torture. Many have preached him in poverty. These can be no fruits or marks of false doctrine. There are those today who are willing to stand for his name though they suffer for it.

May all who believe in God be very careful to maintain good works. "These things are good and profitable unto men." Titus 3: 8. "And let us consider one another, to provoke unto love and good works." Hebrews 10: 24. Many times there are things to hold us back. The powers of Satan are forever offering a compromise. Pharaoh offered Moses five compromises. This was when Moses asked to go on a three days' journey into the wilderness. The compromises urged by Pharaoh are thus urged upon Christians today. The first says, in effect, "Be a Christian if you will, but not a narrow one; stay in Egypt," which will always end in world-conformity, world-pleasing, etc. Moses refused, saying that if he must go, he desired to take the old young, flocks and herds.

In three of my churches there are large families. The parents tell me that so often something seems to say, "Leave the children at home." But they refuse, and bring the children to church with them. Yes, and Pharaoh also says leave the flocks behind. This we cannot do and make a sacrifice to the Lord as did Moses. Dear ones, if we are going to maintain good works in the church, we must sacrifice much of this world.

Thanks be to the Lord for those who are willing to spend and be spent for the church; for those who take the children to meeting; for those who are willing to suffer the afflictions of the children of God rather than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season. Yes, we believe in good works, and we believe that salvation is by grace.

Article 13. Church Ordinances.

Articles 13 through 17 were written by Elder Walter Cash

We believe that baptism and the Lord's Supper are ordinances appointed by Christ for the church, and they are to be administered only by those who are clothed with authority of the church, having been regularly ordained.

The ordinances given to the church by Christ are designed to memorialize certain fundamental principles laid down in the New Testament which are to identify the true church of Christ. When one professes belief in Christ as the Savior it is essential that he professes before men in what manner he believes Christ procures release from sin, and what his present dependence is on Jesus.

The ordinance of baptism signifies the belief of the one baptized in the death and burial of Christ and also in his resurrection; the taking of the bread and wine, in the daily support given by Christ for the strength of his people spiritually. Besides these two ordinances there are none given for the observance of the church.

The ordinances are for the dividing line between the church and the world, and all true believers in Christ are commanded to observe them. All ministers are to teach and insist on their observance, and none are to be admitted into the church without baptism. Before one is admitted to them he must signify his faith in Jesus as his Savior, and give evidence that he is born again. The church is not for the unregenerate, but for those who have evidence of salvation.

Jesus said unto his disciples, "Ye are they which have continued with me in my temptations. And I appoint unto you a kingdom, as my Father hath appointed unto me; that ye may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom, and sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel." Luke 22: 28-30. Matthew refers to this in the following language, "Verily, I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel." Matthew 19: 28.

So, it is very clear that the character of the membership of the church is defined specifically. Taking all the connections into consideration it is just as well established that the ordinances are for the church and in the church. Persons are not to be baptized who do not enter the church. On the day of Pentecost, all who were baptized were added to the church. They were not baptized and turned loose in the world, as it were, and the Lord's supper is not observed in the general congregation and all invited. Jesus took those who first engaged with him in the rite apart from the world, and Paul gives instruction to the church at Corinth about eating the Lord's supper, and he speaks of it as being a strictly church affair.

A few churches put washing the feet of the saints as an ordinance, so making three ordinances; but the London Confession of Faith includes but two ordinances, and all the main statements of churches and associations have named only two.

It has been a general agreement with Primitive Baptist churches that only ordained ministers may administer the ordinances of the church. Recognizing this rule, the churches cannot receive the baptism administered by organizations which differ from the apostolic church on fundamental doctrines, as they cannot be called true churches, and have no right to confer authority upon ministers to administer ordinances. From this fact Primitive Baptist churches cannot receive those to its ordinances who have not been regularly received into orderly churches.

From these facts grow the practice of our churches in what is known as "close communion." It does not mean that we have no Christian fellowship for regenerated people who do not believe as we do; but it means that the ordinances belong to the church, and we dare not take them outside to people who neither believe its doctrines nor accept its teaching in an experimental and practical way. They are church ordinances and belong to the church - no organization but the church of Christ has a right to administer them.

They are God-given ordinances. "There was a man sent from God, whose name was John." John was sent of God to baptize, and this he did in the beginning of the gospel. So it is that gospel baptism is of God. Jesus himself instituted the Lord's supper; therefore, both the ordinances of the church are from God. They have not been instituted by men, nor by the authority of any man or men. This thought should be impressed on the minds of those who are entering into either of them, so they may feel the proper solemnity of the rites they are observing. This thought should also prevail against any influence that may be brought to bear to change them in any particular. They are to be kept and observed as given to the end.

Article 14. Baptism.

We believe that baptism is by immersion in water, and is to be administered to believers only, and who give evidence of having been regenerated.

Gospel baptism was first introduced by John the Baptist, who was sent of God to baptize, and to thus announce the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. "In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judaea, and saying, Repent ye, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand." John baptized in the river Jordan, and many came to hear him preach and were baptized of him, confessing their sins.

John did not baptize all who came to him, for when many of the Pharisees and Sadducees came to his baptism he informed them that they had to have other qualifications than to claim Abraham as their father, and demanded that they bring forth "fruits meet for repentance." Matthew 3: 8. This shows John's baptism to be identical with the baptism which was administered by Christ's disciples. It was not a rite that belonged to the old dispensation.

Jesus set the seal of his approbation on John's baptism by coming to John to be baptized of him (Matthew 3: 13). Also, in the account given of the baptism of John, and that administered by the disciples of Jesus, there is no difference made in the purpose or mode, for while John was yet baptizing the disciples of Christ were baptizing. "After these things came Jesus and his disciples into the land of Judaea; and there he tarried with them and baptized." John 3: 22, 23. Thus they continued to do until John was thrown into prison. And "Jesus made and baptized more disciples than John, (though Jesus himself baptized not, but his disciples)". John 4: 1, 2.

So, the preparation of those who showed the evidences of repentance for the kingdom of Jesus in the world was by baptism. Under the preaching of Jesus and his disciples believers were baptized, and the last command of Jesus to his disciples was to continue it. He said, "Go ye, therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost." Matthew 28: 19. This command of Jesus will remain in force to the end of the world, and in compliance with it all ministers in the church should insist on believers being baptized, or which would amount to the same, becoming members of the church. No one should consider that he has rightly confessed Jesus before men without doing so in the act of baptism.

Owing to the fact that men have thought to change the mode of baptism, the subject cannot be treated properly, now, without referring to the baptisms as administered by John and under the teaching of Jesus. It is needless to say that the baptism commanded by Jesus was in form the same as that administered by him, and the same as was observed by his disciples during the early years of the church.

Matthew, Mark, Luke and John agree that the place where John the Baptist baptized was at the river Jordan, and Matthew and Mark say that he baptized in Jordan. Matthew 3: 6; Mark 1: 5. Mark says "in the river of Jordan", so it was not simply a country called Jordan. John says that John the Baptist "was baptizing in Aenon near to Salem, because there was much water there." John 3: 23. If baptism had been administered by sprinkling or pouring, such a place for baptism need not have been resorted to.

The descriptions of baptisms were such as to settle the matter beyond dispute in the minds of those searching for truth. Matthew, Mark and John make a like statement that after the baptism of Jesus he came "up straightway out of the water," so he was down in the water of the river Jordan.

The idea that Jesus kneeled down in the river Jordan and then John poured or sprinkled water upon him, could not be entertained when the reference given by Paul is considered, for he considers it as a burial. "Therefore, we are buried with him by baptism into death." "For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection." See Romans 6: 3-5. Paul uses the expression "buried with him in baptism," Colossians 2: 12.

From these references it will appear that our article affirming that baptism is by "immersion in water" is according to the testimony of the inspired writers. Indeed, this is according to the history of baptism. Immersion was practiced exclusively up to the time of Novatian, when the first case of pouring is recorded. Novatian had water poured upon him while sick in bed. This was 250 A. D., and it was not considered regular baptism

Infant baptism was introduced before pouring, but it was by immersion. The first law for pouring was issued by Pope Stephen III, in the year 753, but this was permitted for sick infants only. In 1311 the council of Ravenna decreed that baptism could be administered by "aspersion or immersion." Up to 1600 England opposed sprinkling, but in 1644 the Presbyterian Establishment voted for sprinkling by a vote of 25 to 24.

There is not a sentence in the Bible that would authorize infant baptism, as all references show that only believers were fit subjects for baptism. Philip said to the eunuch, when he asked to be baptized, "If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest, and he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God." Then both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water and he baptized him. See Acts 8: 36-39. There is no authority for sprinkling, or pouring, or infant baptism but what has come down from the Roman Catholic church.

Primitive Baptists cannot receive as valid the baptism administered by any who are not of the same faith, and in order. To receive the ordinance when administered by others would be to recognize them as being the true church, which cannot be done while they hold doctrines not taught in the scriptures. Persons sometimes want to claim their baptism because when they were baptized they were conscientious; but they overlook the fact that in the act they professed the same faith before the world as the organization of which the minister was a member. So, if the organization cannot be recognized as the church of Christ, the baptism is null and void.

Article 15. The Lord's Supper.

We believe that the Lord's Supper should be observed in the church until the coming of Jesus at the end of the world, and that unleavened bread and wine should be used, of which none are to be invited to partake but members of the church and of other churches of like faith and order.

All Primitive Baptist churches observe the Lord's supper, and believe that it is to be esteemed as an established ordinance to be kept up perpetually to the end of time. It is left with each church to decide how often it shall be observed. Some churches take it four times a year, that is quarterly. Others twice a year, generally in May or June, and in October or November, and others observe it but once a year.

It is usual for the wife of a deacon to keep the linens and the cups and pitcher for the service. But any other member may do this, as the New Testament is silent as to the matter, and also as to whether a deacon or other member is to pass the emblems, but it is the usual custom for the deacons to do this, though it would be just as scriptural for any other member to do so. It is most appropriate to use linen cloths, one for the table and another to cover the emblems.

Different customs exist as to the details of the service, but an appropriate form would be for the table to be arranged before the beginning of the service which is to end with the observance of the ordinance. There might be a sermon upon the ordinance, or upon a subject connected with the suffering, death and resurrection of Jesus, at the close of which all participants might be asked to take seats in front, and together, so as to make it most convenient in passing the emblems, which they may pass from one to the other, he who is serving standing convenient to assist. Jesus said, "Take this and divide it among yourselves." Luke 22: 17. It is most usual to have a prayer by the officiating minister before the breaking of the bread, and a prayer before the pouring of the wine, as this conforms to the description given by Matthew: "And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to his disciples, and said, Take, eat; This is my body. And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it." Matthew 26: 26, 27.

The bread that is used should be unleavened as that is what the Savior used. He used the same kind of bread that was eaten at the passover. "Unleavened bread shall be eaten seven days, and there shall no leavened bread be seen with thee, neither shall there be leaven seen with thee in all thy quarters."

The bread for the Lord's supper may be made as follows: To a cup of flour work in a rounded tea spoon of butter, add a little salt, and work up with milk, leaving the dough stiff enough to roll out thin. Then mark off into small squares three-eighths to half an inch in size, marking as deeply as it will hold together, and bake. Do not use crackers or bread that has leaven of any kind in it.

Real wine, grape juice fermented, is to be used in the communion. Grape juice unfermented is "must" and not wine. It is but a mass of leaven, and is purified in fermentation.

The communion service is closed with singing a hymn, and usually by extending the hand of love and fellowship.

Article 16. Ministers to be Ordained.

We believe that those who give proof that they are called of God to the ministry, by edifying the church in that exercise, should be ordained by a presbytery and set apart to that work.

Primitive Baptists believe that God calls ministers, that is, lays upon them the burden of declaring the gospel. This appointment is by God himself, and is independent of anything that men can do, or are called upon to do. The church can only recognize this call and gift when it is put into exercise. There is not only a call, but a gift or ability, to understand the teachings of the scriptures, and to declare them before men, and to edify the church. That one can make a speech is not proof that he is called of God to the ministry, but he must actually be able to edify the church. His preaching must strengthen and comfort the church.

This is a serious matter for the church to take in hand, for if God has not called, the church can do nothing to make a man profitable. The church might educate him, but this will not enable him to preach to the comfort and strengthening of the people of God. It is plainly to be seen that the Lord does not regard education as a prerequisite to his calling, nor that it is necessary after the call, to enable the person called to preach acceptably and to profit. Most of the disciples were unlearned men. And this does not indicate that learning shall stand in the way of calling, for when a learned Paul was needed to write the most of the New Testament epistles, he was called for that purpose.

The church is to judge, therefore, by the evidence of a God-given gift, and she can only know this by actually testing the ability of those whom she has under consideration for this work. It has too often occurred that the churches have acted hastily in this matter, and have licensed and ordained men who were never able to edify the church, or to defend the truth before the people. So it is important that the clause which is in the 16th article be observed, which reads, "those who give proof that they are called of God to the ministry" are to be ordained. The inference from this is that they who do not "give proof" shall not be ordained. But the church should be very careful to try all who can in any way speak for the strengthening of the church, and encourage them to do all that God has fitted them to do. But it is very unwise to go further. A brother may be naturally quick to see and speak, and be learned too, but that is not the matter to be considered. Has God called him for the ministry? should be the matter for the church to prayerfully consider.

It has become a custom of the churches to "license" brethren whom they think perhaps the Lord has called to preach. If this license were taken simply as an encouragement to exercise in public it might not work so much harm as it does when all who are so licensed are treated as called preachers. But, if after license is given, it is clear to the church that the brother cannot edify the church as one who is called of God should, then it is hard to undo what has been done, and say to the brother, we were mistaken, there is not proof that you are called of God to the ministry. So as there is nothing in the scriptures for this action, and nothing in our articles either, it certainly would be the right course to be very careful and act prudently in this matter.

But the church should be praying that the Lord would send laborers into his harvest, and then watch for their appearance. And when it is manifest that one has been so sent, he should be made to feel that he is welcome, and be received with gladness. He should not be put aside because there are older preachers, for these older preachers will soon go the way of all the earth, and before they are called to go they should have been engaged in teaching and encouraging these younger gifts to fill the places which will surely be vacated as time goes on. And when these young gifts have given proof of their calling, which they cannot do if the church does not use them, then they should be ordained, which is a recognition by the church of the call of God and a bestowment of his spirit to preach with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven. I Peter 1: 12.

The ordination of ministers is necessary that unity may be preserved in the churches. If men were to be allowed to preach without formal recognition of their gift by the churches, no one would have the right to stop them, and they might not know the truth nor declare the doctrines as taught in the scriptures, and this would tend to factions and divisions. So no one ought to be recognized as being a preacher in order unless the church has approved him as to his soundness in the faith and being able to edify the church. This recognition is given in ordination in a formal way, and made a matter of record, that they who do not have it may not impose upon churches.

Jesus ordained the apostles. "And he ordained twelve, that they should be with him, and that he might send them out to preach." Mark 3: 14. And the names of those so ordained are given in connection with the record of ordination. The form of the ordination is not given. But it was different in this case to what it is in every other case, as Jesus himself ordained them, and perhaps conferred powers and blessing which can not be given in the ordinations by the church.

But from the references later among the churches we get both the form and the standing of those who officiated in ordinations. Paul in an exhortation to Timothy speaks of the "laying on of the hands of the presbytery." Now in New Testament times there was no distinction between the titles of elder, bishop and presbyter. So ordination was by the laying on of hands of elders, and those entitled to the distinction of being elders were ordained. "And when they had ordained them elders in every church." Acts 14: 23. Then ordination is conferred by those who have been ordained. A presbytery is any number of elders which may be called together to confer an ordination.

In Primitive Baptist custom, which seems to conform to what is told us in the New Testament, when the church has decided that she has in her number one who has been called to preach the gospel, which has been determined by proving that he can edify the church, she calls a presbytery, or calls upon a number of elders, who meet with the church. It is usual for the presbytery so met to choose one of their number to act as moderator, and another to act as clerk to make a record of the proceedings.

Then the presbytery chooses one of its number to interrogate the church and the candidate. The church is called upon for its record of the proceedings calling for the ordination. The church chooses one of her members to answer for the body. The presbytery may inquire if the church is satisfied with the proofs that the brother has been called of God to preach, and whether he has been edifying in his talks before the church.

Then the presbytery will question the candidate as to his evidence that he has been born again, and as to his impressions to preach the gospel. Proceeding further the presbytery will satisfy its members as to the soundness, doctrinally, of the candidate, and his acquaintance with Primitive Baptist practice. This is done to see if the candidate can be recommended to the churches generally. If the examination of the candidate has been satisfactory, the candidate is asked to kneel, and the presbytery kneeling around him, one of the presbytery, who has been chosen for that purpose, offers prayer, all the members of the presbytery laying hands upon the candidate. After the prayer, and rising to their feet, the presbytery give to the newly ordained elder the hand of fellowship, honoring him as one with them in the work to which the Lord has called him. The presbytery chooses one of its members to deliver a sermon of instruction, which is called a charge, reciting the obligations which fall upon those who engage in the gospel ministry, at the same time admonishing the church as to its duty toward the ministry. Finally the whole church extends to the brother the hand of love and fellowship. The clerk of the presbytery delivers to the brother ordained a "Certificate of Ordination," setting forth the names of the presbytery and the form of ordination, which may be signed by the moderator and clerk, or by the whole presbytery.

It is customary with some churches and presbyteries to admit all ordained members into a presbytery, whether deacons or elders. This does not seem to be a violation of any scripture records, but there is no plain authority for it.

Article 17. The Office of Deacon.

We believe that the church should choose members of its body who have the proper qualifications for the office of deacon who are to receive and disburse the funds of the church. They should be set apart to that work by ordination.

The Greek word which is translated "deacon: in the New Testament means "servant, attendant, waiter." This word in its verbal and noun forms occurs 101 times in the New Testament, but it is only rendered deacon five times. It is rendered "minister" sixty-four times and "servant" twenty-one times. In its general meaning of ministering, it is applied to pious women, Matthew 27: 55; to brethren, Matthew 25: 44; to preachers, Ephesians 6: 21; to apostles, Acts 1: 17; to angels, Mark 1: 13; and to Christ, Matthew 20: 28. but it is used in a special sense to indicate an officer of the New Testament church, and should be used by us in the same way to denote the same thing today.

That there is another office besides that of elder indicates that other work is to be done besides ministering the word. From the practice of some churches it might be thought that only one officer is needed, except at communion time, when a deacon is needed to pass the bread and wine. But there is nothing in the scriptures to indicate that this is the duty of the deacon rather than any other person. Some think, however, that in Acts 6: 5, where it is said by the apostles that it was not meet that they should leave the word of God and "serve tables," that it refers to the tables spread at the Lord's supper. But it has no reference to such at all. Especially in that case it meant the daily ministering to the Grecian widows who were being neglected because the disciples were multiplied, and the apostles needed to use all their time in preaching the gospel.

But as it is not stated just who may or may not assist at communion seasons, our custom of having the deacons to do so is not in violation of God's word. But instead of this being their principal duty, this is only one of the things that may be laid upon them as being in harmony with the character of the work to be expected of deacons.

Taking up the occasion of the appointment of deacons in the apostolic church it will be seen that there was work for them to do, and of such character that it was necessary to select men especially fitted for the place. The work of the deacons was principally to handle and distribute money, or its equivalent, but from the character prescribed for them there was no other work in connection with this.

It appears from all that has been said of deacons in the New Testament, that the seven chosen to assist the apostles, an account of which is given in Acts 6: 3, were chosen to the office of the deaconship. Deacons were mentioned later, and no other account is given than this above referred to of the institution of the office. And as the duty that it sets forth for those chosen in this chapter, and in other places, is in harmony with the meaning of the word, it is reasonable to conclude that the seven chosen by the church were deacons.

That the church had a fund in the hands of the apostles is clear from the fact that when members sold their possessions they brought the money to the apostles, showing that it had been the practice for them to hold the fund that was needed to be kept on hand. But the number of the disciples increased until the apostles did not have time to attend to this business, and keep up their preaching, and so the seven were chosen to take charge of this "business." See verse 3. Even prior to the crucifixion of Jesus a common fund was held by the apostles, as will be seen from the fact that when they sat at meat before Judas had betrayed our Lord, Judas was in charge of what money was needed for Jesus and the apostles. Some of the disciples thought when Jesus said to Judas, "That thou doest do quickly" he meant that Judas should "Buy those things that we have need of against the feast, or that he should give something to the poor." John 13: 27, 29.

From this it appears that Jesus had been training the apostles in the course that they afterwards had the church put into practice in the choosing of deacons. If it had not been the practice with Jesus and the disciples to buy what they needed and to supply the needs of the poor out of a common fund, the thought expressed in the 29th verse would never have occurred to them.

Now if it is not the custom of a church to have a fund, it has no use for a deacon, according to the original idea of his business. To ordain a deacon without the intention of putting anything into his hands to meet the outlay of the church, is to trifle with solemn obligations. If the elders who form presbyteries to ordain deacons would be true to scripture teaching, they would say to churches that ask them to officiate in these ordinations, "If you do not intend to use this deacon in a scriptural way, we refuse to ordain him."

These questions should be considered, not only by the brother chosen deacon, but by all the members of the church as well:

1. Is there necessity for deacons in the church?
2. What is the duty of the deacon?
3. What is the duty of the church to the deacon?
4. What are the qualifications of a deacon?

That there is necessity is answered by the fact that the office was instituted by those who were charged with setting in order all things necessary for the church. To question this is to dispute the authority of the apostles, and to say that financial matters are not to be considered in our churches. Then, according to the apostolic precedent, they are to be helpers of the ministry, and in this there is much that will fall to their duty. Visiting the sick and looking after members who are under the oversight of the church will fall to them as giving the minister more time to his work of preaching, and that is what deacons were chosen for to loose the hands of the minister for his work, the deacon taking part of what before was done by the minister of the word. The Lord has done nothing in establishing the church except what is necessary, and if a church does not use its deacons it is plain that it is not following in the steps of the primitive church. That there were deacons in the apostolic churches reference to the following scriptures will be conclusive: Acts 6: 3-6; Philippians 1: 1; I Timothy 3: 8-13. So to be apostolic a church must have deacons, and it might be added, and use them.

It is not possible to decide on the qualifications of a person to a place without deciding what he is to do. Overlooking this point churches have made mistakes by simply choosing a "good" man. There are many good men who have no special business qualifications. Paul wrote to Timothy, "For they that have used the office of a deacon well, purchase to themselves a good degree and great boldness in the faith which is in Christ Jesus." But if a deacon does nothing more than other members why this distinction? That the deacon may "use" the office, the church must use the deacon.

From the qualifications given by Paul to Timothy the deacon is to be a prominent member in the church, and to take an active part. See I. Timothy 3: 8-13. He should remember that in setting up this office, the work of the ministry was divided, and part of it fell on the deacon, so anything that he can do which is along the line of the minister's work, he may do it, and should do it when occasion requires, except of course the ministry of the word. He will find difficulties that must be met which will need great boldness in the faith. When the church needs to act in any direction it will be becoming in him to lead in the work. In looking after matters of discipline it will be all right for the members to look to the deacon, and make him feel that they are expecting him to act. When the minister is not present, he will take charge of the service, and after doing what he can himself, call on others who can help in such matters. And many members could, if they only would try prayerfully to be useful in the church. If a brother has been chosen for the office of deacon, and he himself realizes that he is unfit for the place, and finds it impossible for him to do what a deacon should do, he should resign the place. It is no more unbecoming for a deacon to resign his place than it is for a pastor to resign for good and sufficient reasons. Churches do make mistakes because they do not do as Paul told Timothy the church should do, "And let these also first be proven; then let them use the office of a deacon, being found blameless." That is, useful and proficient. It is the fault of the church if a brother is put into the office whose qualifications do not fit him for it, and not the fault of the brother chosen. But when a brother has submitted to the choice of the church he should then "use the office well."

From the fact that when the church chose the seven, the apostles laid their hands on them and prayed, it is taken that deacons should be ordained, and this is the practice of a great portion of the churches, and it seems consistent with the course of the apostles. The number of deacons in a church is to be decided by the needs of the church. But it seems proper in most cases to have as many as two, for then they may counsel with each other.

Deacons should exhort the covetous to duty, and if there be such as do more than their condition warrants, hold them in check, so that the burdens of the financial business of the church may be as evenly met as possible. It will require reat "boldness in the faith" but humility, patience and kindness will develop that.

Article 18. Feet Washing.

(The following article on Feet Washing is not accepted by all Primitive Baptist Churches, and the adoption or rejection of it is not made a basis of fellowship.)

We believe that washing the saints' feet is an example of Jesus Christ to be observed by the church.

The literal observance of feetwashing appears ever to have been an open question among the Primitive Baptists, some viewing it either as a church ordinance or as an example that the church as a body should follow, while others view it as a lesson to be kept in a spiritual but not literal sense.

The argument in favor of the observance of feet-washing, either regularly or irregularly in church meeting, is about as follows, viz.: In the thirteenth chapter of John it is recorded that the Savior, in rising from supper, took a towel and girded himself, poured water into a basin, washed the feet of his disciples and wiped them with the towel, and then said to them, Ye call me Master and Lord; and ye say well; for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet, ye also ought to wash one another's feet. For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you. Verily, verily, I say unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord; neither he that is sent greater than he that sent him. If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them.

Here is a command, it is urged, binding on the disciples and on all who should believe in the Lord Jesus Christ till the end of time. That it should be literally observed, too, as it was literally instituted. That its literal import cannot be dispensed with or construed away as being only figurative, no more than can Baptism and the Supper be dispensed with literally or be construed as merely figurative. And some on this side of the question also urge that as the washing immediately followed the Supper, so it should now be attended to immediately after communion, either quarterly or annually. While some recognize it as a duty only, others hold it as an ordinance inseparably connected with the Supper, and that it should be held just as sacred.

Those on the other side of the question hold that the washing of the disciples' feet by the Savior was intended to be restricted to them, or at farthest to the Jewish Christians in the East. They hold that it was a custom of long standing among the Jews to wash their own feet, or have some one else do it for them when weary and resting in the day time, or before retiring at night. They either went barefooted or wore sandals in traveling, as a general thing, so that their feet were soiled and required washing. These argue that something beyond the literal washing was intended, because the Savior said to Peter on the occasion, What I do thou knowest not now; but thou shalt know hereafter. They also instance the entire absence of anything of the kind in the Acts of the Apostles; and say that the allusion to it in I. Timothy 5: 10 clearly shows that the washing was of a domestic nature, and not in a church capacity: If she have brought up children, if she have lodged strangers, if she have washed the saints' feet, if she have relieved the afflicted, if she have diligently followed every good work. These, it is urged, are private and household duties and virtues, and do not refer to the ordinances or public proceedings in the church of Christ. They regard the act of washing the disciples' feet as entirely figurative of that love, humility, burden-bearing and stooping to the necessities of each other, which should characterize the chosen people of God throughout the world until time should be no more.

Excerpts above were taken from History of the Church of God, by Elders C. B. and Sylvester Hassell



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