Stated and Defended.
To Which is added a Few Pages of Advice To Children.

Elder James H. Oliphant

Member and Pastor of Union Church of Regular Baptists, Buena Vista, Monroe County, Indiana.



Preface.................................................. 5

Chapter I -
The Providence of God........................... 9

Chapter II -
The Doctrine of Total Depravity Vindicated...... 26

Chapter III
The Will of Men in Nature Shown to be Against God..................................... 47

Chapter IV -
The Doctrine of Election and Predestination Considered..................... 66

Chapter V -
The Atonement................................... 96

Chapter VI -
Various Covenants Made by God and Men Considered..................................119

Chapter VII -
God the Author of Faith.........................147

Chapter VIII -
Sanctification; by Elder P. T. Oliphant.........163

Chapter IX -
Of Good Works...................................182

Chapter X -
Fellowship; the 18th Chapter of Matthew Considered......................................196

Chapter XI -
The Doctrine of the Call to the Ministry Proven..........................................219

Chapter XII -
Of the Nature of the Call, with the Author's Experience.............................234

Chapter XIII -
The Duty of Churches to their Minister..........249
Chapter XIV -
Immersion Proven to be the Only Gospel Baptism.........................................267

Chapter XV -
Adult Believers Alone are Proper Subjects for Baptism.....................................284

Chapter XVI -
The Design of Baptism Considered................306

Chapter XVII -
The Lord's Supper...............................320

Chapter XVIII -
The Deacon and His Duties, with the Manner of His Ordination........................339

Chapter XIX -
The Ordination of an Elder; by Elder E. D. Thomas, of Danville, Ind..................358

Chapter XX -
The Doctrine of the Resurrection Proven; by Elder J. T. Oliphant, of Fort Branch, Ind....373

Chapter XXI -
Thoughts of Death and Heaven....................387

Chapter XXII -
Church Organization; by Elder E. D. Thomas, Danville, Ind...........................407

Chapter XXIII -
The Atonement; by Elder J. W. Richardson, of Petersburg, Pike Co., Ind....................418

Chapter XXIV -
Advice to Children..............................428


In presenting this work to the public I feel fully sensible of its many imperfections. Everything that comes from human hands bears the clear evidence of the weakness of its author. But while this is true, we should be willing to do what we can to disseminate truth, though in so doing we expose our weakness and imperfections. Those who write for the press are liable to be actuated by a spirit of "vain glory," which I have often thought of while writing these pages, and have earnestly sought to be freed from such a temper. It has been my earnest desire to advance the cause of truth and point the reader to the real truths of the gospel, and thus be a blessing to the dear cause of our blessed Redeemer, whose, as I trust, I am, and of whom I desire to be a servant. Life is but a span, and when we have done with that our opportunity to present the precious truths that relate to our eternal salvation will be over, so far as our personal labors are concerned. I feel sure that this thought has in some measure urged me to write these pages, knowing that when I have done with time they shall still speak for me; and, although they may be very imperfect, yet I feel sure that I have been enabled to present some very precious truths in these pages.
And with my whole heart, warm with love, I desire to thank the Lord that I have ever seen and known his truth, for sure I am that God is the great teacher of the human heart. I have felt very grateful for the kind manner in which the brethren have received my little book on the "Final Perseverance of the Saints." I trust its cordial reception has not filled me with self esteem, but with humble gratitude to God that one so sinful, so corrupt, and unworthy as I should be so highly favored as to be enabled to comfort any of the dear redeemed family of God. I pray God's blessing to attend these pages, and bless them to the good of his people.
I wish you, dear reader, to peruse this book with a feeling of charity to its author, and with a sincere willingness to receive the truth and be governed by it. What a stupendous thought that we are under the government of God, that we, who love God, are required to keep his commandments. Angels above adore the Lamb of God - Heb. 1. All power in the illimitable universe is in his hands, and He claims our obedience. With what anxiety should we search for truth, both in doctrine and practice, and when we have found it how carefully should we walk in it. I have been cheered by the good news that I have received from all parts of our Zion within the past year, and have felt hopeful that God would bless us with clear evidences of his general presence among us to establish and confirm his people in their most holy faith.
With a fervent prayer for Zion, I subscribe myself yours, dear reader, in gospel bonds.

James H. Oliphant,
Buena Vista, Monroe Co., Ind.
August 28, 1883

I have felt anxious to aid in inculcating good habits and sound principles among our children, and for this reason I have added a few pages of advice for children, which I hope will be a benefit to someone.

J. H. O.


By the providence of God we understand is meant the care he has of all his creation in heaven and earth; his control of the starry heavens and all the elements of nature in this world - the vegetable and animal kingdoms. But more particularly the care and notice that he takes of men in general, of kings and kingdoms, of nations and of individuals from the highest to the lowest, from the richest to the poorest, from the wisest to the most ignorant. And most particularly the constant watch-care he has of all his saints, not only with respect to their respective lots and conditions in this world.
In order to understand this important subject, or, I might say, any other subject respecting religion, aright, it is necessary to consider first what God is, and what are his attributes. He "is a spirit," and the scriptures teach that he is everywhere. That he is in every place is a sublime thought, hard for us to comprehend and yet plainly taught. On this, the language of David is: "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 hold me; if I say surely darkness shall cover me, even the night shall be light about thee." There is no going out of his presence by land or by sea, by day or night, in heaven, earth or hell. "The eyes of the Lord are in every place beholding the evil and the good." "There is not darkness nor shadow of death where the workers of iniquity may hide themselves." From these passages it is evident that there is no point in the universe but what God is there. Paul says "in him we live and move and have our being." As the fish in his native element is surrounded on all sides with water, so we are surrounded with Deity. As the air pervades and fills space and surrounds every insect, so God is about us. While he is in heaven the object of all praise, he is "not far from every one of us." It is a fearful thought that God is always with me beholding my evil as well as good thoughts, in the darkness of the night as well as by day. He never sleeps nor slumbers. There is not a human that is hid from him. "He beholdeth all the sons of men." "He looketh upon all the inhabitants of the earth." He is not only everywhere, but he is everywhere knowing. "He is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of our hearts." David tells us, "His understanding is infinite." So that from the lowest reptile or insect or worm or atom to the highest angel in heaven, he has a perfect knowledge of all; he needs no information as to what is in man or anything else. The Savior taught this idea with reference to the sparrow: "It shall not fall without our Heavenly Father." "The very hairs of your head are numbered."
But if God were everywhere a silent and inactive spectator, a bare observer of things, his presence among us would be an unimportant thing. But if he governs seasons and times, if he sends rain and dew, and cold and heat; if he decides the battle and controls nations, and fixes our time and lot, and stay on earth; if he be a father to the fatherless, a husband to the widow, a defense for his people and a covert to them from every storm, tempest, and trial; in a word, if he is everywhere and knows everything, to control, direct and manage it, then the doctrine of his omnipresence and omniscience is calculated to comfort his people and strike terror to his enemies. Were the saints of God casting their ballots for one to take the helm of that great ship called nature, or were they choosing one to preside over all the concerns of this world and bring them to an issue, honoring to God and safe to them, every one would say, "Jesus, let all power in heaven and earth be given to him, let him have power over all flesh that he may the more effectually be the Savior of his people." "Bring forth the royal diadem and crown him Lord of all." We believe that God does rule in everything and in all places. "He sends his rain upon the just and the unjust." This expression implies more than that of permitting it to rain. In speaking of the clouds Job says: "It is turned round about by his counsels that they may do whatsoever he commandeth them upon the face of the world in the earth." "He causeth it to come, whether for correction or for his land or for mercy." The rain, therefore, does not fall in obedience to a mere blind law of nature. If the cloud arises it is because the Lord "turns it round about by his counsels." If one says it is natural for it to rain, we answer that God is the author of nature, and in this case nature is but his "check lines" by which he conducts these affairs. The snow, rain, wind, hail, frost, lightning, all are mentioned in the bible as being under him as servants. "Hast thou entered into the treasures of the hail." "He scattereth the hoar frost like ashes." "He causeth the wind to blow and the waters flow." "God thundereth marvelously with his voice; great things doth he which we can not comprehend." "He causeth vapors to ascend from the ends of the earth; he maketh lightnings with rain and bringeth forth his wind out of his treasures." All this shows that God is not a silent, disinterested spectator in these great affairs, but that he is the great, active and wise agent who personally manages and directs. In mercy he sends the rain, and for correction he withholds it. He supplies the sources of all rivers, visits every herb with moisture, quenches the thirst of every animal. He rides on every storm, directs the scythe-winged lightning, whether it burst the oak or destroy the city. His hands give down the gentle dew or small rain, or drenching, destructive deluge, or pelting hail. He is in the snow storm and hail storm. Zech. 10:1: "Ask ye of the Lord rain in the time of the latter rain. So the Lord shall make bright clouds and give them rain, to every one grass in his field." Here we are taught to pray for rain, and if these things were not under his immediate or direct control we need not ask for rain. God has made promise that seed time and harvest shall not fail. Hence the seasons are in his hands. I do not doubt but that the great law of the universe produces the change of seasons, but he made that law. Droughts and famines are, therefore, not accidents, nor does the refreshing showers come by chance; let us, therefore, never murmur at the weather nor be alarmed. Thousands of years have fled and gone, and yet the inhabitants of the earth are fed. The providence of God provides for the beasts and fowls. Psalms 147:9: "He giveth to the beast his food and to the young ravens when they cry." Job 38:41: "Who provideth for the raven his food when the young ones cry unto the Lord," etc. The Savior refers to the lily, the grass, the sparrow, and the very hairs of our heads, as receiving the care of the Lord. How wonderful are the ways and works of God. In the eternal march of the planets and in the everlasting succession of seasons, and seed time and harvest, the hand of God is plainly manifest, but the same hand provides for the raven and sparrow and grass and every green tree and living thing. The bible teaches us to ascribe things to God that are daily occurring around us. Psalms 95:7: "He is our God and we are the people of his pasture and sheep of his hand." As a shepherd has the oversight of his flock, so the Lord has the care of all men, for "He is the Savior of all men" temporally. The wicked are kept by his hand; the very life they employ, in rebellion against him, is kept by him. Think, dear reader, that he prolongs your being and gives you all things to enjoy. These thoughts may justly alarm the ungodly, but they should truly comfort the saint.
He also reigns among men. "The Lord most high is terrible; he is a great king over all the earth." "God reigneth over the heathen." "God is king of all the earth." The devil is called the "God of this world," and yet God is "King of all the earth." In the rise and fall of nations the hand of God is directing. Though we may not be able to understand how, yet the Bible teaches that God governs in these things. Although Hazael was a wicked king, yet the Lord raised him up upon the throne. This the Lord did for a reproof of his people for their sins - 2nd Kings 8:20. See, also, Dan. 4:17: "To the intent that the living may know that the most High ruleth in the Kingdom of men and giveth it to whomsoever he will," and "sitteth up over it the basest of men." This is undoubtedly proof that God fixes the crown on what ever head he will, even upon the wickedest of men. Dan. 4:32: "Until thou know that the Most High ruleth in the kingdom of men and giveth it to whomsoever he will." Again: "And he doeth according to his will in the armies of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth, and none can stay his hands or say unto him what doest thou." See, also, Dan. 5:21 and 4:25.
There are many places that show that God decides political questions and governs in national affairs. It is difficult to see how that it is God's will for the wicked to rule and bad laws to be placed on the statute book. Ezek. 20:25: "Wherefore I gave them statutes that were not good," etc., but it is certain that while wicked rulers are ruling, that the purposes of God with them and their subjects are being carried out. It is a stupendous thought that the Almighty God gives shape to the political world and directs the steps of men. The wonderful providence of God preserves his people and directs the course of the various events of this life to their good. Hence we read: "All things work together for good to them that love God," etc. "Man deviseth his own way but the Lord directs his steps." "It is not in man that walketh to direct his steps," etc. The history of Joseph is a clear exhibition of this doctrine. God was in the whole affair, from his first dream to the final deliverance of the famishing family of Jacob. Pharaoh is a clear example of God's reigning providence over the events of life. The purposes of God and the evil of men met in these things. Joseph's brethren meant evil in their sale of Joseph, but God meant it for good. They unwittingly and sinfully carried out the purposes of God. So Pharaoh, though he was a wicked ruler, yet his conduct was a means of publishing the name of the Lord throughout the earth - Rom. 9:16. The whole history of the Jewish nation witnesses the over-ruling power of God in the affairs of men. It is easy for us to believe that God cares for the great planets of the skies, the tall angels at his feet, but not so easy to understand that he cares for the "sparrow," the "hairs of our head," and the small insect crawling at our feet. There is no dividing line between the doctrine of his universal providence and infidelity. He molds and directs the planets, and he guides the dusts in the storm. It is a comforting thought to God's people that the Lord reigns in all things; that he measures to us our affliction. It is blessed "concerning everything to cry my Father's will be done." In Rom. 1:20 we are taught to know the greatness of God by his creation; one said "the universe is God," but here we are taught that the universe is a creature. We see the wisdom, power and goodness of God in creation. The amazing wonders of heaven are the fruits of his perfection, but his hand is equally manifest among men. Our Savior says: "And why take ye thought for raiment; consider the lilies of the field how they grow, they toil not, neither do they spin." "Behold the fowls of the air, for they sow not, neither do they reap nor gather into barns, yet your Heavenly Father feedeth them; are ye not much better than they?" "Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field which to-day is and to-morrow is cast into the oven, Shall he not much more clothe you, oh ye of little faith?" The special providence of God over his people is here taught. We are to feel that he is ever with us, and that all the events of life, however dismal, shall work ultimately for the best. Jacob felt that God had bestowed wealth upon him, and was made humble by it; his words were: "I am not worthy of the least of thy mercies, for with my staff I passed over this Jordan and am now become two bands."
If our worldly business is prosperous we are to remember that God is directing all. We are not to use this doctrine unlawfully. Some have abused the doctrine of grace by urging that we may live in sin if it be of grace, and so the devil suggested to Christ that he should cast himself down from the pinnacle of the temple, "for God hath given his angels charge concerning thee lest at any time thou shouldest dash thy foot against a stone." Here the devil suggested a wicked use of the doctrine, but Christ replied, "Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God," as much as to say, "I know the doctrine you present is true, but you are endeavoring to make a bad use of it." So while we recognize the universality of God's providence in the care of his people, and know that he is the "Savior of all men, but especially of this people," yet we must not make an unlawful use of the doctrine. To rush foolishly into danger is to make an unlawful use of the doctrine, but when we are by duty called into danger we may place our feet upon this solid rock and feel courageous in the midst of the most dreadful contagions, or the roar of battle. We may feel that God cares for us, and sing with Hart:

"The shafts of death around me fly,
Till Jesus will I can not die."

It was the belief of these sentiments that caused the Apostle to say: "All things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose." It should not be used as a license to laziness or neglect, but should be used as a check to our pride in prosperity. We should remember that if we are advanced in life that we are favored of God; it should produce humility. David was humbled before God when he was advanced to the throne of Israel. Jacob was greatly humbled before God when he recounted his wealth, for he felt that he had it from God. And so we should, if we are blessed, ever remember that it should produce humility. How often do we see wealth and prosperity fatten pride and starve humility. We should know that it is a sad state of things if we are made proud and high minded by the mercies of God; they should humble us. If we are made honorable among men, or if we are blessed with a degree of usefulness above others, these things should bring us to the feet of the Lord in thanksgiving and humility. But wealth and worldly honor are not always best for us. Sometimes God sees and knows that adversity is best for his people - the furnace purifies the gold, and so afflictions sometimes remove our pride and undue attachments to this world. Therefore this doctrine is encouraging to God's people amidst affliction of every kind.
David says: "Before I was afflicted I went astray, but now I have kept thy word." "It is good for me that I might learn thy statutes." Psalms 119:67-71 and in verse 75: "I know, oh Lord, that thy judgments are right, and that thou in faithfulness hast afflicted me." Here he ascribes his afflictions to God, and feels that they are good for him. See 2nd Cor. 1:4-7. In James 1:1-12, we find it is good to have our plans crossed, our objects defeated, as it tends to fix our minds on eternal things. Oh, how much better to be tried and made to suffer here than to be left proud and haughty? When you see others made proud by prosperity and filled with the vanities of sin, you should be glad that you are so highly favored of God as to be kept humble. Our sins are our worst enemies; in curing these a severe treatment is often necessary; the amputating knife is often used to remove a diseased member, which alone will preserve the life of the patient; marines often cast valuables into the sea to save the vessel, and so God often removes from us our idols that we may be saved from sinking in the whirlpool of pride. How often have we prayed for humble hearts, that God would make and keep us humble. This end is often best accomplished by the rod of affliction. The rich man lifted up his eyes in hell, while Lazarus was conveyed to Abraham's bosom. Only see how different their states after death. The apostles were conveyed to heaven from scenes of martyrdom, while many have left high places on earth for low ones in hell. It is far better to have our sins curbed by adversity while we stay here than to have them run headlong with us to hell. Therefore, oh man of affliction, you may have reason to kiss your disease or affliction, you may have reason to praise and adore the Lord for his cross providence that now fills your body with pain or your heart with disappointment. Oh, Christian, you may sing with Kent:

"Tis well when joys arise;
`Tis well when sorrows flow;
`Tis well when darkness veils the skies
And strong temptations blow."

Your blessed God is in every affliction and in every trial. You may not see his hand, but it is there, as much so as when your soul is made to rejoice. Let us so trust him as to obey him in all things. We are

"In every state secure,
Kept by Jehovah's eye;
`Tis well with us while life endures
And well when called to die."

May a sweet sense of his everlasting presence heighten your joys and brighten your darkest nights of affliction, is my prayer.


The nature, extent and degree of human depravity is a subject of the first importance. We can not have a correct understanding of the remedy unless we fully understand the disease. No effort is necessary to prove that sin exists among us, but the power that it possesses to control men and women, the deep-seated hold it has in the human heart and affections, are what but few understand. For one to know the real evil of his own heart is sure to be attended with humility and distrust of self. Our first parents were made in the image of God - Gen. 1:16, but "by one man sin entered into the world and death by sin, so death is passed upon all men, for that all have sinned" - Rom. 5:12. I suppose the one man here referred to is Adam. He was made in God's image (morally), but we are informed that he sinned and death was the result of that sin, not only death to himself but death "is passed upon all men for that all have sinned." In some way his sin affects us all. By reading Romans 5:12, 19, it will be plain to you that all the long race of Adam was involved in his guilt and made subject to death by it. "For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners." Here the disobedience of one had the effect to make many (persons) sinners. This is a deep subject and much controverted. The justice of God in entailing upon the unborn millions of Adam's posterity the fatal results of his sin may not appear clear to all, but there are many passages of scripture that plainly teach the doctrine. It becomes us to confess the justice of all his actions, whether we are able to understand it or not. Whether it would be safer to us and more merciful in God to leave our destiny to our own uprightness or allow Adam to represent us all, is a question of some importance, and has been ably discussed by many; for my part, I feel sure that there is as much mercy in the system that allows one man to represent us all, and even more; he was good, with no bias to evil, and knew the Lord. I say the probabilities for our safety were greater with our destiny suspended upon his action than if left suspended upon our own. If the scriptures teach that we all became sinners by his sin, we need not labor to show the justice of the affair. It is enough for us to know that we are involved in the sin and guilt of the great head of our species. If we were not involved in the guilt we would not be in the penalty, which is death, but we all, from the unborn infant to the oldest man, are exposed to death, which at least is (if only temporal death) a part of the penalty, and if it be right to entail on us a part of the penalty, it would be equally right to entail the whole penalty upon us. So that when you find the principle upon which God is just in entailing temporal death (a part of the penalty) upon us, from the infant to the oldest, I am persuaded that you will be able to show his justice in passing the whole curse upon the entire race.
This curse includes eternal death, as appears from the words, "The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life." Here death is set in pair with eternal life in such a way as to show that death and life are of equal duration. So, upon the whole, we are "by nature the children of wrath" - Eph. 2:3. We are exposed to the wrath of God so that he may, in justice, at any time require our lives and consign us to eternal misery. In support of the above positions I will cite a few passages of scripture: "What is man that he should be clean, and he that is born of a woman that he should be righteous" - Job 15:14. From this text to know that one is born of a woman is sufficient to prove that he is unholy. To this point the same writer testifies again: "Who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean?" Again: "How can he be clean that is born of a woman?" These passages do not trace our sins to our own evil actions, but to our birth, showing that we are unclean from birth. I know that these positions have been disputed, but how we can do justice to the scriptures cited, allow to them their fair meaning, and yet maintain that we are not unholy from birth, is what I can't see. "Behold I was shapen in iniquity and in sin did my mother conceive me." This certainly shows that we are sinful from birth; the birth of the flesh, even though it be of the highest parentage, confers upon us a sinful nature, exposes us to God's tremendous curse, and certainly entails upon us the whole train of evils incident to our species.
In Romans 3:9 to 19, Paul gives a careful description of ourselves, "none righteous, no, not one. Also, see Isaiah 59:3 to 11, 14, the same sentiment plainly set forth. This corruption of nature is universal, it has its seat in every human heart. Isaiah 64:6: But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousness are as filthy rags. The whole race is set down as an unclean thing. Gal. 3:22: But the scripture hath concluded all under sin. No one of our species since Adam ever escaped death except Enoch and Elijah, nor has any one been found free from sin. Now I ask why this universal corruption of nature unless we received it from Adam, our common head? No proposition can be demonstrated to my mind if the whole race of men, from Adam down, from the old man to the unborn infant, is not corrupt and sinful. We say that gravity draws every weighty object to the earth's center, and none deny it, although there are thousands of objects that have never been tested. Now, I say that all men are depraved, that all are sinful, and exposed to death. I appeal to the bible, and it testifies to the truth of my assertion. I appeal to facts, and find that every human being has been a witness of the truth of what I say, for "all have sinned and come short of the glory of God." "There is none righteous, no, not one." I think we have found this depravity to be universal, and to belong to every one of our species. I think we have seen that it seizes us in our conception and birth, gives shape to our lives and characters as a tree gives quality to its fruit.
Our disease is not altogether in our actions, which are evil, but it consists in an "evil heart," a sinful "nature," and "enmity against God," our "tongues," "lips," "mouths," "feet," "hands." Yea, from the sole of the feet even to the head, all is evil. It is not more certain that water runs down hill than it is that we by nature do evil. What parent has not seen this fixed tendency in his children? Who is so blind that they can't see this tendency in all classes, the rich and poor, the wise and simple? You have but to open your eyes and you are confronted with evidences of the awful depravity of our nature. Yea, you may close your eyes and see in your own heart a sinfulness so deep, so uncontrollable that unless you are born again you never can enter the peaceful presence of God. The world's history is a commentary on human depravity; men in all ages have shown a ferocity to each other that exceeds the animal kingdom; how often have hundreds of thousands of our species met in battle array with weapons of death in hand, thirsting for each others' blood? Wickedness has stained every step of our history; fraud and deceit are in our ways; civil government is established to control the corruptions of our nature; jails, penitentiaries and the gallows are aids to keep in check the head long torrent; but how often does sin boil over in our legislators, who, under its force, legalize fraud and theft? and how often are the judicial and executive departments overrun with sin, so that juries give in wicked decisions, judges are bribed, judgment perverted, and civil government proves a failure.
It may be asked, Do not some sinners love their children, pay their debts, visit the sick, make good neighbors, etc., and, if so, are they entirely corrupt and depraved? I grant that there are some men, and even many men, who are unregenerate whom we esteem as well-disposed people, but in determining how much their acts of kindness are worth before God, we of course must be governed by the word of the Lord. The Savior, in Matt. 22:37, says: "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment, and the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself." Here the whole duty of man is reduced to two propositions - duty to God and duty to man. All our right actions that are prompted by other motives are evil. We are not only tried by what we do but by what we would do. I have read the third chapter of Romans, from 10 to 19, and thought the case too bad to apply to all our race. The words "There is no fear of God before their eyes" seemed too strong; also, "Their throat is an open sepulchre," and "Their mouth is full of cursing and bitterness." These words seem to deny the existence of anything good in man, and yet we see traits in the unregenerate that we admire. We see natural affections in some men to a very great degree. Some infidels have been men of great natural kindness. Also, some men have been great lovers of human liberty and justice among men that were, nevertheless, destitute of love to God. Although these qualities are admirable to us, yet they are but natural qualities, nor do they have God's glory for their object, nor are they prompted by love to God; hence they are worthless in God's sight. It is difficult to determine the degree of depravity that we possess, but I think it safe to say that we are as guilty in God's sight of all sin that we are hindered from committing by civil law as if we had actually committed it. See Matt. 5:28. Here our Lord charges guilt upon the man who looks upon a woman with lust. Also Rom. 7:7: "I had not known lust except the law had said thou shalt not covet." These references show that God looks not so much upon what we do as what we would do. A little thought will make it plain that many things besides love to God lead men to uprightness of life, and yet no actions are truly valuable in God's sight except those prompted by love to God. God has a just right to the undivided affections of all our hearts, and to our constant and untiring service. For a mortal man to deny these to his Maker is rebellion. To have our hearts set on the creature, or self, or anything aside from God is treason, and it is no apology to say that we are honest among men, or that we are kind to the needy, or that we love anybody or thing. God claims as his our affections. It is no excuse for thieves that they are honest among themselves, nor for traitors that they love each other; neither need we fancy that we have found something truly good in fallen man when we find some that are financially honest or some remains of human kindness among the. The thing required is pure love to God. Is there any of this in the unregenerate heart? if not he is TOTALLY DEPRAVED, totally destitute of the essential good that his Maker requires; he may speak with the tongue of men or angels, or give all his goods to feed the poor, or give his body to the flames, and yet he is nothing. God sets no value upon any action of men except what arises from love to him, and has his glory for its object. Hence, if we knew what men would do if all civil law were abolished and every sense of danger of future punishment was removed, then we might see man as God sees him. If all those feelings of self respect in men that lift them above many low, base acts were destroyed; if every restraint were removed from our world save the one, "Love to God," and men were left to act out what is in them, and we could contemplate man in this condition, we would see him as God sees him, we would see that "there is none good," "they are all gone out of the way." Paul's language would not be too hard for us - TOTAL DEPRAVITY would be a term sufficiently mild to describe our case. I confidently believe that there is not a solitary human being on the face of the earth that has any goodness about him save those who love God, and I as confidently believe that none love God save those who have been born of him. "He that loveth is born of God " * * No wonder our Lord taught the necessity of a new birth. The whole mass, the whole race is ruined. Every imagination of the thoughts of the heart is only evil, and that continually. * * * Every thought is wrong. "His heart is deceitful and desperately wicked above all things; who can know it." * * * Perhaps some reader will say, "I am not so bad as all this; I surely think I would not do so bad as some have done." So Peter thought when he said, "Though I should die with thee yet will I not deny thee" - Matt. 26:38, and when the temptation came he fell under it as grass before the keen-edged scythe, and so would you and I, dear reader, were we left to ourselves, and hence our prayer is, "Lord keep me as the apple of thine eye" * * * Our Lord teaches us to pray, "Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from the evil." * * * When the prophet made known to Hazael what he would do to Israel, that he would "set on fire their strongholds, and their young men wilt thou slay with the sword, and wilt dash their children and rip up their women with child." Hazael replied, "Is thy servant a dog that he should do this great thing" - 2nd Kings 8:13-14. But so he did, as his subsequent history shows. So perhaps you would be astonished if you knew what evil things you would do if left to yourself. Hazael seemed to be insulted when he was plainly told of what he would do; and if I tell you that your own evil nature would ride you into the basest of crime if all restraints of grace and of providence were removed, perhaps you will say it is not true. No human being need dare temptation, for he will fall under it as sure as it is presented to him and he left to himself. This the Christian feels, and hence his prayer is, "Lead us not into temptation." God's word assures us that we are defiled in thought, heart, in body, in mind - every faculty is against God, the whole man is undone. "His heels are where his heart should be and his heart where his heels should be." His heart is on this earth and his heels against God. Oh, reader, hast thou ever seen thyself in this condition? If thou hast known the pollution of thine own nature, thou wilt not complain of what I have written as too hard. Many a man has groaned and cried for grief when his true state was known to him. "God be merciful to me a sinner." "Oh, wretched man that I am!" "Lord save, or I perish!" Such prayers are but expressions of what a truly sensible sinner feels and knows to be true; but have you ever wept over your own sins? not only your sins, but have you not wept to see how prone you are to sin? It is hard to tell which grieves us most, our actual sins or our awful proneness to sin. One said, "Come, see a man that told me all things that ever I did," and another smites upon his poor, guilty breast, and says, "God be merciful to me a sinner." At one time you are grieved over your actions, at another you mourn over a sinful nature; by closely observing your heart you perceive there is a fountain of sin within that spoils your devotion, your prayers are ruined and every effort spoiled. Oh, to be stripped of all good and know it; to stand naked before God; to confess that in me there is no good thing, is what we never can forget if we have been there, and yet this is the real condition of every one. Reader, have you this knowledge of yourself? If so, you should ever bless and praise God that you know what it is to be a sinner. You can bear to have your wounds probed to the bottom, and though it be painful and grieves you to know how vile you are, yet you love the man or book that fairly tells you how bad, how corrupt, how rotten, and deceitful you are. It is not a pleasant task but a painful duty to thus arraign our race before God, and so earnestly plead against mankind as being destitute of any and everything that is good in God's sight; to contend that the whole mass is an unclean thing in the sight of the living God; that my own children and near relatives are by nature utterly void of any good quality; that "dead in sins" describes every unregenerate sinner. I do not thus argue because I want to be singular, or because I want to be unpopular, but duty and sincerity demand that I deal plainly. If we are to do any good by preaching to the people, which I hope to do, it will certainly be by preaching truth. The doctrine of the total depravity of our nature I sincerely believe to be taught in the bible, and to be sustained by the history of man, and to accord with Christian experience, and with sound reason. The positions above are sustained by the Seventh Article of Faith in the Methodist Discipline, page 19:
Original sin standeth not in the following of Adam (as the Pelagians do vainly talk), but it is the corruption of the nature of every man that naturally is engendered of the offspring of Adam, whereby man is very far gone from original righteousness and of his own nature inclined to evil, and that continually.
The Methodists agree with me that this corruption is naturally engendered of the off-spring of Adam. It is not the following of Adam in sinful acts that lies at the bottom, but it is ENGENDERED corruption by which his own nature is inclined to evil, and that CONTINUALLY. If he is continually inclined to evil there is no inclination to good in him, no bias to good, every tendency is to evil. It is his nature to pursue sin, to pursue good is above nature, it is unnatural, and hence no man can, or RATHER WILL pursue good unless he is first born of the spirit, and thus made spiritual. Such seems to be the doctrine entertained by the Methodist. The Regular Baptist says the same thing, using different words.
Article III: "We believe in the total depravity of human nature, and the recovery from that situation is wholly and entirely of the sovereign, free, unmerited grace of God in Christ Jesus."
(I quote from the articles of the White River Association, to which I belong).
This language is equally as strong as the Methodists use in setting forth the depravity of our nature. I might call attention to the confessions of faith of most all the prominent denominations to show that the wisest and best men of the world have been convinced that men in nature are wholly inclined to sin with no love to God, no will to serve him, and hence no power to do so. This great truth ought to be pressed upon the people from the press and the pulpit. Those who plainly preach it now are considered hard and uncharitable, yet it is more desirable to be regarded as an uncharitable preacher than to be an unfaithful one. Let us plainly tell the real condition of fallen man. When it is understood, it makes clear the need of a new birth; it tends to lead saints to God in prayer in behalf of others, with a full assurance that no power save that of God can give life to the dead or regenerate or quicken into life the poor, depraved children of men. It gives us just conceptions of the word grace in the New Testament. It shows the "riches of God's mercy" in the salvation of others as well as ourselves. It forever destroys all grounds of boasting and fills us with the thought that we have no valuable quality, or grace, but what we have received from God. Oh, reader, had you and I been left to our own choice by nature we would still have been enemies to God, unconcerned about our eternal interest; but such was God's love to us, "even when we were dead in sin," that he quickened us into life, opened our eyes to see how vile we were, removed the enmity of our hearts, and implanted within us his love and fear; and so he leads us through this world, amid trials and crosses of every kind. Though we were once hateful and disobedient, now we do sincerely love God and His people. How ardent ought our love to be to him that thus loved us in our guilt and sin, and brought us to his own fold, cured all our unwillingness and opposition by his own grace, filled our hearts with the joys of pardon. Should we not serve him and honor him in our lives by walking uprightly among men? Let us never forget the hand that broke the fetters of sin that once bound us, and cured that fearful enmity that held us. I would earnestly pray God to bless what I have written under this head to the good of the reader; if it should lead you to investigate the real condition of a sinner, to try your own case seriously.
If you be unregenerate and unconcerned, what think you of what I have written? Are you sure that your case is not so bad as I have here described? Is it true with you that there is on fear of God before your eyes? Is your heart on the things of this world that must pass away? Oh, dear reader, do not flatter yourself that this disease is anything but fatal. There is but One Physician in the whole universe who can cure you. I may faintly describe your disease, and you will find it as bad as I describe before you are through with it, but I can't cure it. It must be treated by the Physician himself. It can not be treated by letter or prescription, as some say, but by his own presence. Let me ask you seriously to think on what I have written, compare it with the word of God, and may God Almighty grant you grace and wisdom to know what is true. This fatal indifference that you now manifest must be cured. Your self-sufficient confidence must be broken. But if you have seen and felt yourself to be thus corrupt and evil, so that you long to be free from sin; if you have thirsted for a Savior's love and longed for righteousness, I must say truly that these are good signs of recovery. If your sins fill your heart with grief, and your eyes with tears, and you are led in secret to confess your awful guilt before God, it is a hopeful sign. Never did God ultimately cast away a poor wretch who sought pardon at his hands. His invitations are to the ends of the earth, and such are you; the hungry, and thirsty, and the lost, and such are you. You will, if you have been killed to sin, one day rejoice in God as a Savior. Oh, how sweet the name of Jesus sounds to those who know the real nature of sin. The whole plan of salvation is full of importance to you. Let us ever adore the God of all grace; that life and immortality have ever been brought to light, and may it be the privilege of the reader and writer to enjoy the full benefits of a crucified Savior in vast eternity.


We have seen that sin has dominion over men in nature, and rules them as a tyrant, so that the aims and desires of men in nature are sinful.
1st. We might show that it has blinded men with ignorance. Ephesians 4:18: "Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them," etc. Romans 10:3 "Being ignorant of God's righteousness they go about to establish their own righteousness," etc. Their going about is not to obtain the righteousness of Christ, but to establish their own. They are not ignorant of the being of God, for they are taught by the works of God that he exists - Rom. 3:18. But the nature of his law, the justice of God in that law, is what men by nature are ignorant of. By carefully reading Rom. 7:7 to 14, we will see that Paul, though versed in the letter of the law, was, nevertheless, ignorant of the law, and so is every unregenerate sinner on earth. When Paul became acquainted with the law he experienced a death. He saw the law was spiritual, and he was but natural; it required purity and perfection, and he had neither, and under such a knowledge of the law he ceased going about to establish his own righteousness and submitted to the righteousness of God. This is what no natural man will do if left to pursue his own course; he will believe that his own goodness is acceptable; he will call in question the justice of God in requiring perfection of an imperfect being; he will argue his own cause, apologize for his sins in many ways, but when once made acquainted with the law he gets such a knowledge of sin as he never had before. "For by the law is the knowledge of sin;" without this knowledge he never will nor can see the real propriety of a redeemer; he will naturally oppose the doctrine of imputed righteousness, and if he be of a religious turn his religion will proceed upon the Pharisee's ground. If he has a place in his system of Christ, it is not the place the Bible assigns him; Christ with him only makes up what he lacks. But a man made wise and cured of ignorance on this subject realizes the need of a redeemer, the propriety of imputed righteousness and the magnitude and riches of God's grace; he sees the law as spiritual and himself but natural; he is great in naught but sin, and feels and owns himself to be justly condemned; he views Christ as "a covert from the tempest;" he discards not only all his evil deeds, but (wonderful to tell to some) he discards all his good deeds, and confesses himself to have nothing to secure the favor of God. 2nd. The affections are perverted. "He loves darkness rather than light." - John 3:19. Though light and truth are desirable, yet he loves darkness better; he pursues evil by choice; verse 43: "They love the praise of men more than the praise of God." Though Balaam was convinced that the end of the righteous was a blessed end, yet he had no heart for their life or company. It is not natural for men to love God, but supernatural, as no stream can rise above its fountain. So no natural man will of himself love God. No doubt it is all men's duty to love God; his great mercy to us in a thousand ways claims our love, and unregenerate men know that God has a just claim upon their affections, yet they set their hearts on the creature, and not the creator, on the gift and not the giver. There is a great variety of taste among men in nature. Some pride in riches, some in great learning, some in fame, etc., but not one of the many millions of Adam's race voluntarily and untouched by grace, loves God. God only is worthy of love, and yet everything else, though temporal, must share the love of fallen man, while God, the great benefactor of all, must go unloved until he change the heart of the fallen creature. That men by nature do not love God is apparent by the course of men's lives; they toil both with hands and mind for worldly things. The great question is, "What shall we eat and what shall we wear?" "How shall I and mine have the pre-eminence?" The Bible, though the beast of books, and so acknowledged, is neglected, and the time spent in reading is devoted to something human, and often false, while God's word is allowed to lay untouched on the shelf. The mind is taken up with worldly things. "Every imagination of the thoughts of his heart is evil and that continually" - Gen. 6:5. How busy the mind is in contriving ways to promote self, and self-interest, for this life, while the great matters of eternity are allowed to go unconsidered. Often in his imagination he rolls in wealth, or sits on high places, and receives the applause of men, but never does he hold fellowship with God in this way. Psalms 10:4: "God is not in all his thoughts," he "does not like to retain God in his thoughts." He may, in a way, think of God, but he never thinks rightly of him; he never has one correct thought of his Maker; all subjects are pried into by him but the one needful. "The Lord knoweth that his thoughts are vanity" - Psalms 94:11. Men are wholly taken up with this world, although they have no assurance of remaining here long. The new birth, which is the gracious work of God, rectifies these disorders of men, sets their hearts on the Giver and on the Creator, and on "things above," leads them to change their company and books, and occupy their thoughts in self-examination and often in prayer to God. Sin, as a disease, manifests itself in perverting the whole man, his love, mind, body, and all that pertains to him; while grace meets all these needs by renewing the mind, changing the affections, etc. Bodily distempers, as smallpox, measles, fever, etc., are things that many by nature try to avoid and hate, but the real malignity of sin lies most in the fact that men love the disease and hate the remedy. The only remedy for sin is that that cures and rectifies the enmity (for "the carnal mind is enmity against God") and sets the heart on the Lord. The cure is not effected by the joint effort of God and the sinner, for the poor sinner has no heart in the cure, no love for the remedy, and while he admits the need of a Savior he defers the matter till some future time, and this deferring would never stop unless God interposes his own almighty power in illuminating the mind, taking away the heart of stone, and giving one of flesh, etc.
3rd. The will (being determined and decided by the mind and affections) is perverted, and on this part of the subject I desire that the writer and reader should take great pains. In order that men serve God and come to him as a Savior, there are three things necessary: 1st. They must have physical power, sufficient strength and natural ability, and this, I presume, all living men have; but little strength of this kind is needed to come to Jesus, it requires no long journey to reach him, no gold nor silver, nor yet the consent or aid of our fellow creatures; all men have a sufficient amount of natural power to come to him. 2nd. A sufficient amount of mental power, and, fortunately, the "foolish" of this world have a sufficient amount of mental power to come to Christ. Often men of weak and ordinary minds have a saving knowledge of Christ, while some that are extremely wise know nothing of his love and are utter strangers to his gospel. 3rd. They must have a will to come, they will not be brought against their will, and, if they have no will to come, though they may have the necessary natural power and the mental ability, they can not come.
God has given all men sufficient natural power and sufficient mental power, but all men have not the will to come to him. All men know that they should forsake their sins, and that God has a just claim upon their affections, yet they "will not come to him." Jesus says, John 6:65: "no man can come unto me except it were given him of my father." One reason why he "can not" is not for lack of mental power nor natural power, for all have that, but for want of will. There is a "great difference between natural and moral inability;" the sinner's inability to come is not natural but moral. If a man be commanded to look without eyes he is not responsible for not looking, because of his natural inability to look, but if he is commanded to compute the distance to the stars, he is not responsible for not obeying because of his mental inability; but if he have mental and natural ability and disobeys on account of his own unwillingness to obey, he is culpable. Now here is the ground upon which I rest the finally impenitent. God has made them able naturally and mentally to obey him; they have natural power to repent of their sins, to obey God's requirements, and they are sensible that they should, but they "will not."
Porter in his Compendium of Methodism, page 238, says: "There is nothing in God, nothing in his election and reprobation, nothing in the sinner's infirmities of intellect, heart or will, to make it impossible for him to come to Christ and be saved." He adds, "No, nothing."
I grant that there is nothing in God, or election, or reprobation, that prevents, but I deny that there "is nothing in his will." "He will not come," and as long as he is unwilling to come just that long he can not come. The same writer, on page 239, argues that "God has made all men able to come to Christ; that there is a certain amount of grace given to every man which makes him able, and this supposed ability to come makes it just and right in God to condemn those who do not come." There is no criminality in not doing what we have no natural or mental power to do, but the sinner's inability is moral, and to cure this inability he must be made WILLING, and if all men are cured of their unwillingness what hinders the salvation of all? The courts of our land do not punish persons for not doing those things they have no power to do, naturally or mentally, neither do we suppose the Lord does, but a lack of will is no apology for sin among men. Nor do we believe that God owes it to his creature, man, to cure this species of inability. Did the prisoner at the bar ever plead that he should have been made willing to obey the laws, or would such an excuse be considered good? Certainly not. And so we say that men in nature are unwilling to come to Christ, to have him reign over them, and their inability to do these things lies principally in their unwillingness to do them. "If they were willing the things would be done." Nor is God under obligation to make them willing. What court ever felt bound to make his subjects willing to obey the laws in order that he might of right punish them for not obeying? If they were willing, then in heart they would be parallel with the laws and the punishment could with safety be remitted; and so if the sinner is willing his service is accepted of God. The sinner's will is free from any external restraint. There is nothing in God that prevents him from coming; he voluntarily and freely prefers "darkness rather than light;" he willingly lives in sin and knowingly acts the part of a traitor against God. He is sensible that God has a just right to his heart and service, and yet his free will withholds these from God. It is not reprobation that keeps him from God, but his own evil heart; nor election, for the great end of election is salvation and not damnation. He is the sole author of his own ruin. "The carnal mind is enmity against God. * * If it be enmity it will not change itself, and if ever made willing, God must make it so. Some speak of free will as if they understood that the sinner is able to change his will this way or that at his own option, to move your foot; such are not my views of free will. The will, like every other faculty of man, is perverted, and against God. There are certain things that we naturally hate, and never can love them until their nature is changed into harmony with ours, or until ours is changed into harmony with theirs. So there are certain things we naturally love. The mother naturally and freely loves her child and can not do otherwise. So men are naturally opposed to God, and, this opposition being natural, they will not lay it aside. We do not naturally love or serve God; it is spiritual. "He that loveth God is born of God" - John. Some have urged that if the will be so settled against God that he can not come to God; if the moral bias against God be such that no human being can, or, rather WILL overcome it, it follows that accountability would cease; that if the bias to, and habit of, sin be so fixed in sinners that they can not avoid it, then all blame is removed from the sinner. The argument runs, that in order for blame to attach to a sinner he must be capable of resisting temptation, i.e., his will must not be so settled in sin that he can not do otherwise; and so on the other side, in order for men, angels, or even Christ, to be entitled to credit for uprightness, they must morally be capable of sinning, and so on this ground Christ, it is claimed, was capable of sinning, for, say they, "If he were not, who should honor him for his faithfulness;" and so if the sinner were not capable of loving God, who could or would blame him for not loving him? In order to prove that Christ was capable of sinning, the various places where he is said to have been tempted of the devil are referred to. The argument runs: "You could not be tempted to do anything that you have no ability to do, so Christ was tempted, and the fact that he was tempted proves him to have been capable of sin." This seems at first sight to be sound, but by a little examination it will be seen that the whole system is built on a misunderstanding of the nature of the sinner's inability to do good, and the Savior's inability to do evil. Christ evidently knew how to sin and had sufficient natural power to do so, but morally he had no power. Holiness occupied the throne of his heart, and no power could dethrone it; it was his fixed bias to holiness that rendered him impregnable. "It is impossible for God to lie." This impossibility grows out of his own innate purity; it is his essential glory that he is so good that he can not do evil, and it is certainly true that the stronger the bias to good in man be, the more virtuous he is. If a man be so inclined to honesty that he COULD NOT meditate murder or theft, it would be to his honor.
The mother can not destroy her child because she has no moral ability; she has the physical power and knows how, and yet she can not do the deed, and it is greatly to her honor that she can not. The virtuous woman could not meditate living the life of the prostitute, and we esteem it a virtue in her.
It may with safety be laid down as a maxim or an axiom, That the stronger the bias to good in any being the more virtuous. The best men on earth are those who are the most firmly fixed in the habits of virtue, and in our Savior there is no possibility of the overthrow of his own native holiness. We love those best who are most firmly biased to good.
Now, with reference to evil, the same manner of reasoning is good. Milton represents Satan as saying:

What though the field is lost, all is not lost;
The unconquerable will, and steady revenge, immortal hate,
And courage never to submit or yield
To wage by force or guile eternal war.

Here Satan is represented as having an unreconcilable bias to sin, no love to God, and by reason of his moral bias to sin he is "unreconcilable;" but does the fact that he can not but meditate sin excuse him from blame? By no means; if his inability to love or serve God grew out of any mental or physical derangement he would not be blamable, but it is in his moral bias to evil that his inability lies. No argument can reach him. I do not say that God has no power to cure his inability. Jer. 13:23: "Can the Ethiopian change his skin or the leopard his spots, then may ye also do good that are accustomed to do evil." Here, to do good is put down as impossible; if this impossibility were physical or mental there would be no blame attached, I grant; but it is moral, and therefore there is blame in the case. If your son fail to obey you for want of natural power he is excusable, but if he apologize for disobedience, saying I hate you and love your enemy, I know that I live upon your bounty, and am fed and clothed at your expense, but my aversion to you was so great that I could not obey you. This excuse might be true, but such inability only makes the sin the darker. Some persons may be so fixed in habits of vice, as theft, murder, adultery, etc., that it may be said they can not cease from such sin, but this kind of a "can not" is no apology for sin. Now in this way we urge that unregenerate sinners are incapable of coming to or obeying God; they know it is their duty, and that to live and die in sin is attended with ruin, but still their native aversion to God holds them in sin; by nature they would sooner die than cast themselves at the feet of Jesus as helpless wretches. From this reasoning I get another axiom, "The greater the bias to sin any being has the more worthy of censure and blame he is."
4th. But have I not in this and the previous chapter shown man to be averse to God? are we not crowded with evidences to this fact daily? Look at the kind of lives the great masses of men live. See them wholly given up to serve self in one way or another. Listen to the conversation we hear in public assemblies, in the streets, and say if man's heart is not wholly set upon earthly objects and not on the Creator. Reader, if you have a heart to "entertain a Savior God," let me quiz you about how it ever came to pass that your heart was made a fit temple for God to dwell in. How was this ever brought about? What hand first loosened the bands of sin and gave you to see your need of a Savior? Whence have you this great willingness to bear or suffer anything for Jesus' sake? Let us be sure to trace these great mercies to their true source, and when we do we will sing:

"Twas the same hand that spread the feast
That sweetly forced me in,
Or I had still refused to taste
And perished in my sin."

"Thy free grace alone
From the first to the last
Hath won my affection
And bound my heart fast."

Oh, can you ever forget God's great mercy to you in leading you to see your lost state, when you on bended knees confessed your sins and prayed for mercy? Who changed your heart and will? You ever must say that by the grace of God I am what I am. "It is God that worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure" - Paul. "Thy people shall be a willing people in the day of his power" - David.
5th. But if you are an unregenerate man, what do you think of this matter? Do you not feel inwardly an aversion to God, his ways and word? Do you not prefer for the present to live in sin without God? Do you not feel the force of the words, "Ye will not come to me that ye might have life?" These words describe your case. Your affections are here on earth. God has demonstrated to you that he has a just right to your service, and if you were now summoned to death you would be left entirely without excuse. It is your obdurate, perverse will that lies between you and all good. You are an accountable being, and know it. Oh, think what arguments prove too weak to move you. Though the work of death is all around you it moves you not. Though the Bible points to a state of endless torment, and you in the depths of your heart believe it, yet you venture another day, another week, or year, and so years of sin and rebellion are multiplied. The solemn, awful warning of death unheeded; the threatenings of the eternal God are tampered with; the sweet message of the gospel treated as a fable. Oh, think how fearful the spell that binds you. The earth yields her harvest under the influences of warm showers and balmy air, but you, as the barren rock, or the thorny field, yield no love to God who alone is worthy of love.
The heavens declare the glory of God - every star, every planet and constellation is full of speech. The whole earth is vocal with God's praise; every living and creeping thing, in its way, points us to God and praises his great name. Yet poor, sinful, evil man denies him his service, prefers darkness to light, evil to good, though that evil be connected with endless torment, and that good with endless life. What must be the awful, killing power of sin if it thus chains men down to the constant and unvarying love of evil?


1st. It is not my purpose in this article to discuss at length the subjects named. I would be glad to define, rather than defend. I am satisfied that we have been shamefully misrepresented by some popular writers, and the result is, there is a great amount of prejudice against us on this ground. As a sample of the misrepresentations that have been made of us, I will quote from "Doctrinal Tracts," written by Wesley, page 25: "The greater part of mankind God hath ordained to death, and it (grace) is not free for them; them God hateth, and therefore before they were born decreed they should die eternally. * * * Accordingly they are born for this, to be destroyed, body and soul, in hell." Who wonders that there is a vast amount of prejudice against this doctrine, when such statements as this are believed to be a fair representation of the matter? We are as far from believing the sentiments in the above quotation as Mr. Wesley was. On page 27 he tries it again: "By virtue of an eternal, unchangeable, irresistible decree of God, one part of mankind are infallibly saved and the rest infallibly damned." Again, on page 32: "How uncomfortable a thought is this that thousands and millions of men, without any preceding offense or fault of theirs were unchangeably doomed to everlasting burnings." Again, on page 39, he says: "To suppose him of his own mere motion of his pure will and pleasure, happy as he is, to doom his creatures, whether they will or no, to endless misery, is to impute such cruelty to him as we can not impute even to the great enemy of God and man; it is to represent the most high God as more cruel, false, and unjust than the devil." This last form of expression seems to be a favorite method of his to express his great dislike of the doctrine, that is makes "God worse than the devil." He repeats it no less than three times on one page (39). I am satisfied that the sentiment he here exposes was never entertained by anybody, or at least by those he tries to fasten them on. Page 40: "I abhor the doctrine of predestination," and a little on he shows that according to it, "God would be meaner than the devil." Every Bible reader knows that the words predestinate and predestination frequently occur in the Bible, and it certainly is a very unguarded expression to say, "I abhor the doctrine of predestination." It shows that his opposition was to a fever heat. On pages 40-41 he three times represents the doctrine as compelling men to continue in sin. Now if the people have read these statements, and believe them to be fair, we can not wonder that they have heaped hard names upon us. This little book, called "Doctrinal Tracts," has many such misrepresentations. It also has many misquotations of the scriptures, which is much worse than to misrepresent the views of men. On page 15 he quotes Paul to Titus, 2:11, as saying: "The grace of God that bringeth salvation to all men," etc. Also Hebrews 2:9: "He by the grace of God * tasted death for every man." These misquotations shamefully change the sense of the passages, which the reader can see by comparing these quotations with the texts in the Bible, and such blunders are common throughout the work. On page 104 he closes his arguments on "final perseverance" with the words: "Let him that standeth take heed lest he fall." The scripture reading is, "Let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall."! For similar misrepresentations the reader is referred to "Porter's History of Methodism," pages 226, 227, 230 and 240, where you will find the doctrine of predestination and election misrepresented and the favorite charge repeated, that it "makes God worse than the devil." The doctrine of predestination, as we hold it, does not represent God as creating any person for hell, nor as fitting any person for hell. It does not make any man's condition worse in any sense. It shuts heaven against no one. Those who oppose us claim that God will save all that love God or who are born of the spirit, or who die in infancy. (So do we.) But God, thou are told, by his eternal decree fixed before they had done good or evil, causes not only children of a span long (On page 41, Doctrinal Tracts. ) but the parents also, to pass through the fire of hell. Who knows but this is where that stale charge that we preach infants in hell not a span long came from. I have never read after or heard a man preach who believed the sentiment.
We sincerely believe that all who hunger and thirst after righteousness, who labor and are heavy laden, and who thirst after the water of life, we think and teach that all these will be saved. We sing:

"Can Jesus hear a sinner pray, yet suffer him to die?
No, he is full of grace; he never will permit
The soul that fain would see his face to perish at his feet."

"No sinner shall ever be empty sent back
Who comes seeking mercy for Jesus' sake."

Instead of believing that a very small number will be saved, we believe that a vast number, which no man can number, will be saved, and that God will be just in the final punishment of the wicked. They will justly perish for their sins, and realize that it is wholly their own fault. It is argued that the doctrine tends to wickedness and carelessness of life. We do not believe it. We feel under obligations to do right in life, and feel in duty bound to preach the gospel to every creature, and many of us are spending much time in trying to preach the gospel to sinners. I have marked the arguments of those who oppose us, and I am persuaded that they, generally, misunderstand our position.
There is no dispute about the number saved, except they believe that some fall from grace. This we deny. So that our view represents God as saving more than theirs by the number they think fall from grace. There is no dispute about whose fault it is that some are lost. We, with them, believe that it is the sinner's fault; that God remains pure, and his throne as white as snow in their eternal banishment from him. We all agree that sinners of all classes are accountable; all "under the law," and are under just obligations to love and obey God. There is a sense of this duty in all men. We all agree that it is right to preach the gospel to every creature, and this we are trying to do.
The real point of difference is, first, about the condition of men in nature. We view them as being so under the power of sin that there is no hope of their salvation, save by a plan wholly of grace; that God "makes us meet for the Master's use;" that he begins and finishes the work in us, while they hold that it is effected partly by God's grace and partly by their works. The real issue is as to whether it is WHOLLY of grace that we are saved, or whether is it partly of works. We believe that the experience of God's people proves that their salvation is wholly of grace in every part. Many Christians hate and oppose the doctrine of election who unwittingly oppose the real ground of the Christian hope. And secondly, as we differ about the condition of sinners, we differ about the plan necessary to their salvation. Where physicians differ about a disease they will necessarily differ about the remedy.
We should seriously consider God's dealing with us in our own cases, how it was that we were ever led to repentance: was it my own choice or was my mind graciously turned to that subject under my exercise of mind; was I able to do anything I thought to be good, or did I view all my works as mere filthy rags? In these things we all must agree, and I am convinced that a calm, thoughtful consideration of the matter will lead every Christian to acknowledge that grace, and grace alone, has rescued him.
If I should try to defend the doctrine, which I have not space to do at length, I would urge:
1st. That by reason of the native enmity of the human heart there could be no salvation without it; that no sinner would "ever approach the Lord if the Lord would leave him to follow his own inclinations." Therefore, election is "the chief corner stone of the amazing fabric of human redemption." In the previous chapters I have shown that men in nature are so depraved that they never would seek the Lord, and hence God must seek them if there is ever any salvation for them.
2nd. Christian experience invariably bears testimony that God quickens sinners into a lively sense of their lost condition, and so every saint on earth has within himself the clearest evidences of the truth of this doctrine.
3rd. The Bible abundantly teaches that our salvation is "not of works," "not by works of righteousness which we have done," etc. This being true, then the doctrine of election must be true.
4th. The Savior taught Nicodemus that sinners must be "born again" in order to see or enter the kingdom. Again, in speaking of this birth, John tells us that it "is not of blood, nor of the will of the
flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God." Now, if it is not of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God, then the doctrine of election must be true.
5th. The scripture in many places ascribes salvation to the previous purpose of God. Rom. 8:28: "And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are called according to his purpose." The Romans here are the called according to the purpose of God. Eph. 1:1: "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." Here, as any sane mind may see, the fact that we have "obtained an inheritance" is a result of the previous purpose and predestination of God. 2nd Thess. 2:13: "But we are bound to give thanks to God for you brethren, beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the spirit and the belief of the truth." 2nd Tim. 1:9: "Who hath saved us and called us with an holy calling not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace given us in Christ before the world began." If the doctrine of election is not taught in this text, I confess I would not know what words would express it. "Purpose and grace" were given us in Christ "before the world began." The late translation reads "from the ages eternal." Our being saved is the result of God's previous purpose, and, if so, the doctrine of election must be true. See, also, under this head, John 6:37,38,39. 6th. Many passages of scripture plainly teach the doctrine. John 5:21: "As the Father raiseth up the dead and quickeneth them, even so the Son quickeneth whom he will." John 17:2: "As thou hast given him power over all flesh that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him." These were given to him, not because they had eternal life, but that he might give them eternal life. "Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you," etc. Acts 2:39: "For the promise is to you and your children and to all that are afar off, even unto as many as the Lord our God shall call." Here the promise of the immutable God is to the even number that are called. Acts 13:48: "And when the gentiles heard this they were glad and glorified the word of the Lord, and as many as were ordained unto eternal life believed." How we can believe these passages to be true and yet deny the doctrine, I can't see. Acts 15:14: "Simeon hath declared how God at the first did visit the gentiles to take out of them a people for his name." This language, fairly interpreted, is full of the doctrine. Acts 18:9-10: The Lord visits Paul in a vision and informs him that he has much people in that wicked city, and, if so, they were at that time unregenerate. Election is taught as clear as a sunbeam in this. Read the connection, Acts 22:14, and Rom. 8:29-30: "For whom he did foreknow them he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, moreover whom he did predestinate them he also called, and whom he called them he also justified, and whom he justified them he also glorified." Strange that Wesley should say, "I abhor the doctrine of predestination." Any sound-minded man, not prejudiced against the sovereignty of God, who will read this connection to the close, will confess that it teaches the doctrine. See Romans 9:7,8,11,12,15,16,18. Here the doctrine is as plainly taught as language can make it. I have often been amused to see the poor, pitiful efforts some writers have made to escape the force of these words. If we allow words in the Bible to be as meaning as they are in other books, there is no way to escape the doctrine. Rom. 11:5: "Even then at this time there is a remnant according to the election of grace, and if by grace then is it no more of works?" etc. "What, then, Israel hath not obtained that which he seeketh for, but the election hath obtained it and the rest were blinded." How can we doubt the truth of this doctrine and believe our Bibles? These passages need no comment; they testify in as plain language as can be used. See Rom. 11:28-29. Here we learn that the "gifts and callings of God are without repentance," or "without change of purpose," as the words imply, that God does not change his purpose to call or save a sinner, but he executes or carries out his purpose. Gal. 4:28: "Now we brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of promise." Also verse 31. Here the saints are regarded as the children of promise; when we were born (again) the promise was fulfilled in the womb of that promise; we all lay until we were born (again). Eph. 1:4-5: "According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world that we should be holy and without blame before him in love," "having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself." How language could be plainer I can not see. Also, Eph. 2:4, 52; Phil. 1:29. In all these places the doctrine shines with a lustre that can not be eclipsed. Also, 1st Thess. 1:4-5: "Knowing brethren beloved your election of God," "for our gospel came not unto you in word only, but in power and in the holy ghost and in much assurance." He affirms that he knows their election, and tells why: because his gospel had come to them in power and in the holy ghost, etc. This proved to him that they were the elect of God. Read these passages in a calm and unbiased manner, allow every word to have its fair meaning and you will have to admit the doctrine. Also, v. 9: "For God hath not appointed us to wrath but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ." Here somebody was appointed to obtain salvation, which, if true, then the doctrine of election and predestination must be true. 2nd Thess. 2:10, 24-25. In all these places the doctrine is taught as plain as language can teach it. I will cite one more passage, Psalms 65:4: "Blessed is the man whom thou choosest and causeth to approach unto thee that he may dwell in thy courts," etc. Does God choose anybody and them to approach unto him? David says so, and pronounces them blessed. So the doctrine of election must be true. There is but one way to escape it, and that is, just affirm that it "makes God meaner than the devil." This was Wesley's way of disproving the doctrine. "Doctrinal Tracts," page 39: But you say "I will prove it by the scripture." Hold! prove what by the scripture? that "God is worse than the devil?" It can not be. If you are fond of this kind of reasoning you will have no trouble to disbelieve the doctrine, but if you believe the bible you will be compelled to believe the doctrine of election and predestination. 7th. The doctrine of election is full of comfort to God's people. What saint would be unhappy to know that God's love to me is older than the hills? that it was as strong for me when I was a poor sinner as it ever will be? that his great love to me, even when I was dead in sin, was such that he saved me from sin's power? No wife thinks less of her husband to know that he loved her years before she did him, and so no poor, tried saint need be unhappy when it is proved to him that the eternal JEHOVAH saw and loved him before the glittering orbs of heaven took up their eternal march, before our earth was fashioned from nothing, or before any part of the great universe was arranged. No saint should be alarmed at this, love so old and good, is more likely to last. I know it is not particularly comforting to the unregenerate, but we are not to comfort them that never mourn; we are not to bind hearts never broken, nor to feed them that were never hungry, nor give drink to them that were never thirsty. Therefore, I am not concerned to comfort impenitent sinners; but to every mourner on earth, to every heavy laden soul on God's footstool, I can say that election will never wound nor bruise you; it will bind your wounds, heal your broken heart, wipe every tear from your poor, penitent eyes; it will one day chase away the gloomy cloud that now shuts out the light of God's countenance and speak peace to your poor troubled mind. Your Savior, yes, your Savior, says blessed are the poor in spirit. Why blessed? Because God has chosen you to approach unto him. `Twas he that made your eyes overflow. Your burden of sin proves that God is now in mercy dealing with you, the world, flesh, nor Satan ever taught you to know how vile you are. You are now receiving his richest mercy. Others have no heart to grieve for sin; others are now pursuing sin with delight without a tear or sigh. This change in your case is from the Lord. This is comforting, I know, to the poor mourners to be assured time and again by those who love them and whom they love and regard as able to instruct them, that God does love them; that his immutable love embraces them, and that their awful sins have no power to shut them out of heaven.
8th. But it is urged that the doctrine of election tends to impiety. To this I might reply that the end of election is piety; it is inseparably connected with piety. We are chosen "that we should be holy and without blame before God in love," etc. No person dare scripturally claim to be elected without he be disposed to serve the Lord. "There is, therefore, now no condemnation to them that are in Christ Jesus who walk not after the flesh, but after the spirit." Election is not to be used for a "cloak of maliciousness." We are not to use our "liberty for an occasion to the flesh," but "by well doing" we are to put to silence the "ignorance of foolish men." "Shall we continue in sin?" God forbid, how can they that are dead to sin live any longer therein? We have, if we can lay claim to the election of grace, been killed to the love of sin.
George Whitefield was a man of great piety and godliness, but a firm, uncompromising advocate of election and predestination. John Bunyan, whose writings will go down to the latest generation, and who for piety was unexcelled by any of his day, was a strong believer in the doctrine and taught it in all his writings. Dr. Gill, the great commentator, most ably defended it. McHenry, who wrote the "Comprehensive Commentary," taught it. Scott, who wrote a commentary on every verse in the Bible, believed it. Boston and Huntington believed it. The humble John Flavel, whose writings are as sweet as honey, was a firm believer in it. And I will mention the name of Andrew Fuller, whose works present it. Newton, Toplady, Milton, Booth, all believed and taught it. Spurgeon, whose writings have comforted millions of the people of God, glories in the doctrine of election and predestination. The men who, under God, effected the great reformation, Calvin, Luther, and their contemporaries, almost universally believed it. It was the sentiment that animated their hearts and urged them on from victory to victory until religious liberty was established.
Take from our world the books written by predestinarians, and we would find the best and richest part destroyed. Let shame and confusion cover the face of that man who intimates that the doctrine tends to impiety.
The Regular Baptists in all ages have believed it. The London Confession of Faith and the Philadelphia Confession have been regarded by the Baptists as sound. They who claim to be old Baptists and yet oppose these sentiments, do shamefully expose their own ignorance.
Mr. Wesley, Porter, and many others insist that the doctrine makes God "meaner than the devil." We all believe that God will be just in the final condemnation of the wicked. It is not election that has separated them from God, but "your sins and your iniquities have separated between you and your God." It seems that these men must think that if election were true, that, as a consequence God would be the cause of all the sin in the world; that it would necessarily follow that "infants not a span long, and parents, too," would be by the decree of God appointed first, to sin, and second, to hell for that sin. "When the sun is withdrawn ice and snow cover the earth," and yet the sun is not the cause of ice; and darkness pervades all parts excluded from the sun's rays, and yet the sun is not the cause of darkness. And so where men are allowed to pursue their own course and follow their own desires, sin and death is their overthrow; but God is not the cause of their misfortune. It is their own sin. If we would know the grounds upon which Wesley thinks God will be just in the condemnation of sinners, we can find it on page 68, "Doctrinal Tracts:" "As it makes the whole salvation of man to depend on God, so it makes his condemnation to be wholly of himself, in that he resisted the grace of God, and when he might have been saved, would not." His whole condemnation rests on the grounds of resisted grace. If there had been no grace there would have been no resisting, and if no resisting, then no condemnation. I will ask of what use the grace when there could be no condemnation without it? It would be far better for there to be no grace than for grace to be the cause of men's eternal ruin; but if God would be unjust to condemn men without first offering them the gospel, they are not under the law until the gospel is preached to them, for if without the gospel the right of condemnation does not exist, they are not under the law of God until the gospel is sent to them, and if not under the law they are exposed to no curse, "for where there is no law there is no condemnation," and if exposed to no curse it would be hard to tell what they need to be saved from on his plan; not from condemnation, for God has no right to condemn them until the gospel is preached to them. I should think that Mr. Wesley did not intend what he said in this quotation if he had not in other places committed the same blunder. On page 69: "We do not indeed by this day of visitation understand the whole time of a man's life, though in some it may be extended to the very hour of death, but SUCH a season at least as SUFFICIENTLY CLEARS GOD OF EVERY MAN'S CONDEMNATION, which to some may be sooner and to others later, as the Lord in his wisdom sees meet." The words I have emphasized were emphasized by him. In these words he tells us just why God give a day of grace to the finally impenitent, "TO SUFFICIENTLY CLEAR" him of their condemnation. He would not be just without it. Neither does he thus visit them with any view of saving them. On pages 8 and 9 he says: "We may consider this a little further. God from the foundation of the world foreknew all men's believing or not believing, and according to this, his foreknowledge, he chose or elected all obedient believers as such to salvation, and refused or reprobated all disobedient unbelievers as such to damnation. Thus the scriptures teach us to consider election and reprobation." According to this, all disobedient unbelievers were foreknown, and as such he reprobated them to damnation; and yet he tells us that the spirit strives with them. Certainly God does not strive with them with any design of saving them, for they, Mr. Wesley tells us, were reprobated from the beginning. Well, for what does he give them a day of grace? "To SUFFICIENTLY CLEAR HIM IN THEIR CONDEMNATION." Now, I ask the reader to decide whether this view of the subject does not make God's proceeding in reference to the finally impenitent appear in a worse light than the one we give. They boast about the Spirit striving, and wooing, and beseeching sinners that God "knew from the beginning" would be lost, and then Mr. Wesley tells us that all this wooing is to "sufficiently clear God in their condemnation." On page 37: "It can not be denied that the gracious words which came out of his mouth are full of invitations to all sinners; to say, then, he did not intend to save all sinners, is to represent him as a gross deceiver of the people." He then pretends to quote the language of Jesus, Matt. 11:28: "Come unto me all ye that are weary and heavy laden." First, he does not quote the text right, and secondly, I ask any sensible reader if it proves what he quoted it to prove. Does it invite "all sinners?" It does invite all of a certain class, but does it invite "all sinners?" But in this quotation Mr. Wesley tells us that God intended to save all sinners, and on page 8 he tells us that some were reprobated to damnation from the beginning, and that he knew that some never would be saved. Is it true that Christ "intended to save all sinners" when he knew that all sinners would not be saved? Do you, or any intelligent being, intend to do anything that you know never will be done? And again, did Christ intend to save all sinners when he had from the beginning reprobated some to damnation? To save all when he had from the beginning determined not to save some? And why do our Armenian friends boast about the Spirit striving with sinners? Wesley tells us that in this way God gets the right to send them to hell. Wesley's hank is badly tangled, and his followers will never be able to untangle it.
I have never understood the gospel to furnish the grounds of the condemnation of sinners. Sinners "are condemned already." Paul says, Rom. 1:16: "For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power (authority) of God unto salvation (Wesley thinks it is his power to damnation) to every one that believeth, to the Jew first and also to the Greek." The right of condemnation exists without any gospel or any "wooing and beseeching and striving." If not, it were a great pity that there was ever a gospel given. Verse 17: "For therein is the righteousness of God revealed." It is this revealed righteousness that makes God's power or authority be in the gospel. The gospel contains a description of that "righteousness," and in this God's authority or power to save lost, guilty sinners lies; it is his warrant for taking them from under the law's tremendous curse and giving them a place at his own right hand in heaven, "from faith to faith." It is not revealed to the faithless sinner, but to faith. It is the man of faith that discovers that the gospel is not a modified law, or bundle of conditions. It is the man of faith that discovers that the gospel reveals a righteousness equal to the law's demand. The blind, unregenerate sinner will have it that the gospel requires a righteousness of man, but the man of faith will see that it reveals one to the poor, enlightened sinner, who is laboring to satisfy the law's claims, who is thirsting for righteousness; and when faith discovers that the gospel is not a law, that it reveals in Christ how that God can be just in saving sinners, he "ceases from his own works and enters into rest" - Hebrews 4:10; he "worketh not but believeth" - Rom. 4:5. The right of condemnation exists independent of, and prior to the gospel, in the order of nature, and he that thinks that the preached gospel is the ground on which God is just in condemning sinners, would far better suppress his gospel if he would be consistent. We repeat, that God is just in condemning sinners without a gospel, a Christ, or a sent Spirit, if not, far better withhold all these. All men by nature are under the law of God; it requires pure and unvarying love and obedience to God; every man feels in himself that he owes this to God. The law does not require this of all men on the ground that Christ died, or that there is a gospel, or a merciful Spirit, for had there never been a crucified Savior these duties would have been required. Man feels and knows that his Creator has a just right to his heart; that he should love and obey God, but he willingly pursues sin, rebels against God, and lives on terms of peace with the great enemy of God. While his Maker sustains his being, he is physically able, and mentally he is able, to do the things that God requires, but he still persists in sin, and finally for his own sins, and not the sins of others, he is shut out from God and heaven forever; he is responsible for the manner in which he treats the word as well as the works of God, as the law of God requires perpetual obedience, in all times and in all places, and at all seasons, and in all companies. He is adding to the list of his sin his unbelief - may be the root sin - not his unbelief that Jesus is his Savior, but his unbelief of God's Word, his threats, his promises, what he has said the end of sin shall be, and what he has said the end of righteousness shall be. If we are to judge a tree by its fruit, he does not believe these. His view of God is such that he does not love him, Christ to him is "a root out of dry ground" without comeliness, the law is a scarecrow, the gospel foolishness; he views God as approachable at any time, and so he procrastinates until almighty, all-glorious grace "opens his heart," works in him to will and to do, etc., or till death ends his mortal career. God is not under obligations to make his creatures willing to obey him, for this is universalism at once; it claims salvation as a debt and destroys the very idea of grace. Now, if he is not thus under obligation to all his creatures, he may act sovereignly in the matter. There were many widows in the prophet's day, but he was sent to but one. There were also many lepers, yet but one was healed. When our Savior referred to these facts it filled the people with rage. The Savior taught his right to do as he will with his own by the laborers in his vineyard, to each of whom he gave a penny whether he had labored long or short. We see his sovereignty in everything he has created, from the lowest worm to the tallest angel, from the atom in the sunbeam to the massive planet that rolls with splendor through its orbit, and in his works among the children of men. Death, like lightning, respects no man's person: some live long, others die soon, some are born rich, others poor. In everything we see sovereignty, and so he will "have mercy on whom he will have mercy," and shall mortal man call in question his acts? Shall the guilty criminal turn judge and decide his rights, and call in question the acts of the court? If criminals were allowed this liberty they would have an easy time. And shall fallen man, who is declared to be the enemy of God, mark out God's rights in his case? We say no. God has a right to do as he will in the case, and he will do all his pleasure and none can stay his hand or justly criticize his action. I feel this moment that he has a sovereign right to dispose of me as he will. I have no claims upon him. I have forfeited all.

"If my soul is sent to hell
His righteous law approves it well."

But I have an humble hope that for Christ's sake he has delivered me from the curse of the law, but all I ever get better than hell is the mere mercy of God.

"Thy mercy, my God, is the theme of my song,
The joy of my heart and the boast of my tongue."

Dear reader, may it be your lot and mine to realize God's sovereignty in the salvation of sinners.
Note: - We think that the doctrine of the two seeds, as taught by Parker, and also the doctrine of eternal vital union, as held by others, are opposed to the doctrine of election as taught by the bible, and that they are equally as objectionable as the doctrine of election as taught by Wesley. Each of these views finds the reasons of one's election in himself. Wesley ascribes our election to our obedience, which is at war with grace. Parker and others find a difference in the origin of men that accounts for the election of some and the reprobation of others, while the bible puts it upon the sovereignty of God. Eld. Lemuel Potter has recently published a pamphlet in which this subject is fully investigated, in which he has shown that all these views are open to the same objections: These pamphlets can yet be had by addressing Eld. Lemuel Potter, Cynthiana, Posey county, Indiana. CHAPTER V.

The atonement is that which makes satisfaction for sin. We must discriminate between the atonement and its effects. "And to make an atonement for the children of Israel, that there be no plague among the children of Israel when they come nigh unto the sanctuary" - Num. 8:19. In this place the atonement removed the wrath of God, and the consequence was they were secured from the plague. Also, Num. 16:46: "And Moses said unto Aaron, take a censor and put fire therein from off the altar and put in incense, and go quickly unto the congregation and make an atonement for them." This atonement was intended to make satisfaction to God for the sin of the people, and when it was made "the plague was stayed" - verse 48. The great atonement for sin was made by Christ. Our sin and rebellion against God constituted a permanent bar against all hope of mercy. God's mercy is only exercised in the way of justice. Hence the need of a mediator, one who could satisfy the claims of justice and make a full and complete atonement for all our sins, and give us just reasons to hope for a full deliverance from sin and all its terrible consequences. The great work of opening the book and loosening the seals (Rev.5:1-5) was performed by Christ. His relation to us, and interest in us, his own purity, and influence in heaven, his wisdom, and worth, all fitted him to undertake the work of our redemption. He is related to us as a brother. Heb. 2:11: "He is not ashamed to call them brethren." Also verse 14: "He took our nature, our flesh and blood;" in all things he was made like us, "that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest." In a great many places he is called the "Son of man" - Psalms 8:4 and 80:17; Dan. 7:13. He was evidently a man, and one of our number. The Bible shows that he was born of a woman - Mary. He was nursed and cared for as other babes. The account given of his birth and conception in Luke, 1st Chapter, is simple and impressive. And while he was man, he was God. Paul, in Hebrews 1st, speaks of him as "Upholding all things by the word of his power," "Being made so much better than the angels, as he hath by inheritance (or birth as the word implies) obtained a more excellent name than they." In this whole chapter he labors to teach that he is the very God. I know this is a mystery. That he is God I know the Bible teaches, and I know, too, that it teaches that he is man. It also teaches that his death is the only source of eternal life; it is an interesting task to study the cross of Christ, to ascertain and understand the reason why his death is of value to us. I shall try to open up this subject, and shall insist all the way that the atonement and salvation are of equal extent, the latter secured by the former.
1st. In his work as a redeemer he sustained a representative relation to us, and consequently his death was vicarious, or substitutive. I know that saints are vitally united to him, which union is secured by regeneration, but the relation I wish here to speak of was not vital, but legal, and is the real ground upon which his work as a mediator is of value to any one. The legal relation is the cause, and vital union in regeneration is the effect. It is of no note to me if there be a great sum in the bank and I am in no way connected with it. There is a legal relation between the heir and the estate left it in will, which will ultimately enrich the heir; and so Christ did bear a legal relation to his people in all his work as a mediator, which secures to them the full benefits of all he did or shall do as a mediator. Paul has his mind on this doctrine when he writes: "Husbands love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church and gave himself for it." "That he might sanctify and cleanse it," etc. - Eph. 4:25-26. The husband is the legal representative of his wife, and so Christ as our faithful and true lover gave himself for it, the church; he did not die for it, considered as sanctified and cleansed, but in its unholy and unsanctified state. Certainly the doctrine of relationship prior to regeneration is maintained, and upon this relationship he dies for us with the design of sanctifying and cleansing us. In John, 10th Chapter, Christ is frequently presented under the idea of a shepherd: "The good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep." There is a relation between the shepherd and his flock, though not a vital one, yet it is such a one that he is legally bound for all their misdemeanors. The shepherd is always looked to for injuries done by his flock; when he makes payment the flock is given up; and so we were transgressors, and under curse for our transgression, but the great and ever blessed Shepherd has died for us; our transgression was such that death only would remove it, therefore he died as a shepherd for us, and his death is supposed to equal all the claims against us. Truly in him, as our representative, we have all died and paid the utmost claims against us. This is taught in 2nd Cor. 5:14: "If one died for all, then were all dead." If the shepherd paid the debt, then in him, as a head, all the flock paid it. If Christ died for or in the room of all, then were all, representatively, dead, and all in Christ met the claims of law. The Socinians denied the divinity of Christ, and also denied that his death was expiatory; they claimed that it was not intended to meet the claims of broken law, but was a mere example of heroic virtue; they claimed that his death was not substitutive, and consequently salvation could not result from the atonement as they viewed it. I have not the works of Mr. Andrew Fuller at hand, but have recently read one volume of his works. I understand him to deny the substitutive character of Christ's death. He seems to hold that his death is sufficient for the whole world, or for many worlds equally sinful. It is true that Mr. Fuller held the doctrine of unconditional election, and that the Holy Spirit would regenerate the elect. He also held the doctrine of TOTAL depravity, and claimed to be a Calvinist. He held that the power of the atonement was determined by the worth or merit of him who died, which is infinite; therefore, the atonement is of sufficient value to save the universe, if necessary. Upon this he held that salvation was offered in the gospel to every one of the race, although none of the race would receive it unless enabled so to do by the Spirit, and that none but the elect would be enabled to receive it. Mr. Fuller is an excellent writer, but it is clear that his positions would contradict the doctrine of the transfer of sin to Christ, for if our sins were transferred to Christ and by him put away, then salvation is not merely a possible thing, but a certain one. Therefore, the power of the atonement is not determined by the mere value of his blood, but by the extent of his representation. If he represented the race on the cross, universal salvation will ensue; and if he bore the sins of no one particularly, then no one will be saved; but if he died as a shepherd for his flock, representing his flock, then his flock will be saved. I say the positions of Mr. Fuller deny that sin was actually transferred to Christ. It is difficult for us to see how that sin was laid on Christ. We can see easily how that a debt may be laid on the security, or pass from the wife to the husband, or from the flock to the shepherd, but how is it that our sins (not the mere deserts of sins) were laid on Christ? Some have held that he bore the mere deservings of sin, but we insist that he bore the sins, and consequently their deservings, for how could he bear the deserts of sin without the sin itself? If he did not bear our sins, then the sins of those who were saved never were punished, for they were not on Christ, hence not punished in him; therefore, we are not freed from sin. We may be delivered from the deserts of sin, but never from the sin itself; we may be pardoned, but on the Fuller plan we never can be justified, for if Christ only bears the deservings of our sins, and leaves the sins upon us, we are not in a justified state. The doctrine of justification has given trouble to all clear minds that deny the real and actual imputation of sin to Christ; they see and know that if sin is really imputed to Christ, that it will certainly result in salvation, and hence the Armenian and conditional systems have to go to ruin. They also know that if sin is not transferred to Christ then no sinner can be really and actually justified; he may be pardoned, but never justified. I have been pained and amused to read Mr. Campbell's peculiar views of justification. On page 276 of his work on baptism, he, speaking of justification, says it is "really no more than pardon." He knew that to admit that the sinner is really justified would also admit the real transfer of sin to Christ, and that sin by him was put away, and the next result would be, the eternal overthrow of his whole system; and, rather than give his own system up, he will virtually strike justification and such words out of his Bible, for if justification means "pardon" only, we have no need of the word at all. On page 277 Mr. Campbell says: "Evangelical justification is the justification of one that has been convicted as guilty before God, the supreme and ultimate judge of the universe. * * * It is utterly impossible that any sinner can be forensically or legally justified before God by a law which he has in any one instance violated." Here he denies the doctrine of justification entirely, which of course he must do to save his beloved Diana. For if justification is a Bible doctrine, the gospel is not a mere proclamation of terms and conditions of salvation, as he explains it, but it is proclaiming liberty to the captive, and the LAWFUL captive at that. On same page he says: "If the sinner is justified it must be on some other principle than law; he must be justified by favor and by right." If the sinner's sins were laid on Christ, and the law received its claims in Christ, then the very law demands the liberty of the sinner, and his justification is a matter of right, Mr. Campbell to the contrary, notwithstanding. Again, on next page, he says: "Still, it must be regarded as not a real or legal justification, it is, as respects man, only pardon or forgiveness of the past, but the pardoned sinner being ever after treated and regarded as though he were righteous - he is constituted and treated as righteous before God." In this he would teach that God treats as just one who is not just, which is a reflection on the sincerity of God.
The question is asked, Rom. 8:33: "Who shall lay anything to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifieth." In this the apostle challenges the universe to lay anything to the charge of God's elect, and Mr. Campbell comes up with his charge, that they are only treated as if they were just: "If he is justified it must be on some other principle than law." Thus Mr. Campbell arrays himself against Paul, Paul advocating the actual and real justification of the elect, and Mr. Campbell affirming it impossible, and declaring that though they are justified, it "is not by right." See Page 277, "Com. on Baptism." But the Bible abundantly teaches that God's people are justified. The word justifieth, Rom. 8:33, is from Greek Dikaioo, to claim as right. Webster says justify is to prove or show one to be right, just and conformable to law. This conformableness to law is the result of our sins being laid on Christ, and his righteousness being imputed to us. We before remarked that it is difficult to see how that our sins could be transferred to Christ, but it is certain that the Bible teaches that our sins were laid on him. In order to do this he must bear a relation to us as a shepherd, in which our trespasses as straying sheep are laid on him and he pays the debt for us. As the debts of the wife pass to the husband, so our sins were set to his account and he bore them, and their due, on the cross. "All we, like sheep, have gone astray; we have turned every one in his own way, and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all." - Isaiah 53:6. Here the flock is in trespass and its sins are laid on Jesus; he pays with his own life the price of our redemption; he has a right to redeem because he bears the relation of a shepherd. Again: "He shall see the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities." In this we are plainly informed that he "bears their iniquities." If so, they were transferred to him, and this lays the sure ground of justification. No one can assign a good reason why the many justified in this text are not the same whose iniquities were borne. He had no sin of his own. Peter says: "Who his own self bore our sins in his own body on the tree," etc. The passages that teach this doctrine are numerous. Read Lev. 16th Chapter, where you will find the offering of the scapegoat described: "And Aaron shall lay both his hands on the head of the live goat, and confess over him all the iniquities of the children of Israel, and all their transgressions in all their sins, putting them on the head of the goat, and shall send him away by the hand of a fit man into the wilderness, and the goat shall bear upon him all their iniquities into a land not inhabited," etc. In these typical services we learn that the sins of God's chosen people, Israel, were laid on the scape-goat, and so in the Lord Jesus, our sins were laid on him, and he suffered in our room and stead. "He was taken from prison and from judgment, and who shall declare his generation, for he was cut off out of the land of the living, for the transgression of my people was he stricken." The doctrine of substitution is taught here - he takes our sins and our place, and stands between us and the wrath of God. He becomes "a covert from the tempest," a "hiding place from the wind, the shadow of a great rock in a weary land." He receives in his body the full penalty due for all our sins, and now, in his name, we are set at liberty. Paul in Acts 17:3, alleged "that Christ must needs have suffered." Luke 24:46: "Thus it is written and thus it behooved Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead," etc. Verse 26: "Ought not Christ to have suffered these things and to enter into his glory?" These places show that there was a necessity for his death; that he ought to die, because he occupied our law place; our sins were made his by imputation, and he must die. And this he did as a substitute. If he died as a substitute for us, as a matter of necessary consequence we shall be set at liberty. Many who now live have not forgotten the nature of substitution as they learned it during the late war. When the substitute takes his place it is a permanent release to the person he represents; the law will not ask for more, it is satisfied. Matt. 20:28: "Even as the Son of Man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many." Here we are informed that Christ gave his life a ransom. The word ransom is from Greek Antilutron, and it is a reference to the exchange of captives, in which head is given for head, man for man. Our Savior is a ransom for each of us - gives his own life for our redemption. Such is the perfection of his offering that it will certainly accomplish the end desired. "He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not also with him freely give us all things." There may be passages that seem to favor universal redemption, but I feel sure that there are no passages that indicate that any of the redeemed shall finally be lost. If we are redeemed, then our redemption is eternal; and if we are ransomed, then we shall "return and come to Zion with songs and everlasting joys upon our heads," etc.
1st. The scriptures teach that Christ, as our Redeemer, sustained a federal or representative relation to his people. So his death was vicarious, or substitutive.
2nd. Our sins were transferred to Christ.
3rd. His righteousness is transferred to us.
4th. We are said to be justified.
5th. The Bible teaches that there is an inseparable connection between the atonement and the salvation of those for whom it was made.
6th. To affirm universal redemption is attended with many inconsistencies, and is not in harmony with the perfections of God.
Mr. Fuller urges that the atonement is sufficient for all, though only designed for the elect; i.e., that God is sovereign, and discriminating in his application, though general and universal in his provisions. This seems to me to array one part of his works against another. It is upon this, he lays the justice of God in the final condemnation of the wicked; but if the justice of God is not clear in the condemnation of sinners, without the atonement, then the atonement is not needed; but if we would know what are God's rights with sinners, let us mark what he does with his own Son when his own Son takes their place. If the life of his Son must go, when he takes the place of sinners, would not those same sinners be exposed to death had he not taken their place? Most assuredly they would. It is great folly to urge that Christ's death for the finally impenitent is necessary to justify God in their condemnation; his right to do this existed before, and this is why his Son came. Christ did not come to make it right to curse any one finally, but to secure the salvation of his people. "He shall save his people from their sins." We never can rightly appreciate the grace of God in giving his own Son for us, unless we can admit and understand that our sins were of sufficient magnitude to render our case justly hopeless without a Redeemer. To say that Christ, in his death, did as much for the lost as the saved, is equal to saying that his death does not secure any one's salvation, for if it saves one, why not all? If I am saved by it and my neighbor not, why the difference? Evidently the difference would grow out of my own action; that I am more easily touched by it; I was disposed to do my part, or in some way I was more in harmony with the divine arrangement; but this disagrees with fact. We often see the hardest of men touched and changed by grace, while others remain in indifference. We dare not trace this difference to the natural goodness of some and the innate evil of others; nor dare we trace it to the obedience of some and the disobedience of others. As to our nature, God declares us all alike to be the children of wrath, and he also abundantly teaches that it is not by works of any kind, but that it is of his own grace, "by the grace of God I am what I am." It is God that has made me to differ both from others and my former self. God said to Moses: "I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion." This sort of language is very humbling to our proud nature.
Christ on the cross is the great fountain from which flows the great river of mercy to us. The repentance of every poor sinner who has or will repent, may be traced to Calvary. All our hopes, all our joys, and all our bright prospects come to us from the cross. "I determined not to know anything among you save Christ and him crucified." When our hearts are sad and wrung with grief, the Holy Spirit, authorized by the blood of the cross, comforts us with fresh views of matchless love of God in Christ manifested on the cross. Young soldiers still are raised up as the old ones die, to publish and bless the name of Christ as our Redeemer, and still our beloved Zion exists in the midst of sore opposition without and the evil tempers of our own hearts. Why has not Zion been crushed long ago? Why have not her ministers been bribed away or won by the vanities of time? Because the blood of Christ still secures the hearts of its objects. The church is not going to be destroyed and overcome; our enemies need not boast, for the Lord has laid a sure foundation in Zion, which will, as long as time lasts, secure us.

"Dear, dying Lamb, thy precious blood shall never lose its power
Till all the ransomed church of God be saved to sin no more."

Sinners shall yet tremble under the divine influence of the Spirit as it carries out the designs of God in the redemption that is in Christ. Men shall still rise up to publish the name of the Lord, who
will ascribe all the honor, and power, and glory of the salvation of sinners to the name of Jesus alone; who will not divide the praises with any; and there shall still be assemblies that will weep tears of joy as their repentance, hope, love, faith, peace, pardon, and every grace is certainly traced up to Calvary as the great, effectual, and discriminating cause of it all, and the eternal and immutable love of God which first gave us to the Lamb. These soul-cheering sentiments will not die among us, although the world may detest them; but millions of lips will yet sing:

"`Twas grace first inscribed my name
In God's eternal book.
`Twas grace that gave me to the Lamb,
Who all my sorrows took."

Oh, how encouraging to us poor, weak mortals, that God Almighty is prosecuting his own work; that his success does not depend on men, nor money, nor any uncertain causes. The same hand that guides the massive planets is directing all the affairs relating to the eternal salvation of his people, and we may well say: "Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth as it is in heaven." Some call these "dry doctrines," but it is a soul-cheering doctrine, and when we can feel ourselves interested in it we rejoice, our tears are wiped away, and all our sorrows subside. It was Watts who said:

"My soul looks back to see
The burdens Thou didst bear
While hanging on the accursed tree,
And hopes her guilt was there."

He knew that if he was remembered by the Redeemer on the cross, that he would not be forgotten in death, nor in the grave, nor in the final conflagration that shall destroy the world. Oh, the cross, the cross, from it every gift of repentance emanates, every seal of pardon, every comfort for poor saints, every gift to the church; it is the soul of religion, the life of Christianity; it secures to us all our protection, as a covert from the tempest and hiding place from the wind. As the heart is the seat of life to our mortal body, so Christ and him crucified is the living fountain of life to his own cause on earth; though he is exalted to heaven, yet his power is felt throughout our beloved Zion. We have felt our own hearts beat with the life that emanates from him; we have seen unmistakable evidence that he is still in our midst to sustain us and his own cause.
Dear reader, are you interested in his precious blood? If so, you love him and his cause; if you have not gone into his service, you desire to do so - your heart is with his people. Certainly, you should willingly bear his cross, through evil as well as good report. He has left you an example in the river of Jordan and in his whole life to follow. How ardent, how constant, ought our love to be to him. With what patience ought we to endure hardness; but alas! we are so easily discouraged, our own weakness and imperfection so weigh upon us that we can not do the things that we would do. Though we know that every moment of our life should be his, yet much of our time is devoted to temporal things and things of sense. His death is a bright example of heroic virtue to us; he dared to be unpopular, he shunned the vain applause of men and preferred poverty; he boldly and meekly ventured into the very jaws of death; in all this he is to us a pattern. Let it be our hearts' delight to live with his dear, redeemed people; share their toils, tears and sorrows; let us take the whole weight of his cross upon us, and patiently endure till death shall deliver us into the eternal joys of our ascended Lord. We all need encouragement, therefore "Let us exhort one another to love and to good works, and so much the more as ye see the day approaching." There is much to encourage us, and we have great reasons to be a happy people. Our warfare is accomplished, our iniquities are pardoned, and our present light afflictions shall endure but for a moment, when we shall be at home with him who loved and redeemed us, and with an innumerable host of God's dear people, where all is love. Oh, can it be that I am interested in these precious promises? You who have borne the toils of his service a long time, have you not found him faithful? Some of you have grown way-worn, you have often been in perils among false brethren, and in this world you find no permanent rest. May I point you to the end of the race, where you will find a heaven of infinite happiness? Those tears of grief will cease to flow, and you will sigh no more, and no more will you lament your own unfaithfulness, or that of others. Oh, how timely! how sweet and suitable will heaven be to our weary souls; the long war will be over; our tiresome marches and alarming battles will all be at an end, and we shall be forever shut into the city of light. Things we have so long desired to know will be revealed. Our love which here is so sluggish, will be perfect. Company here that often interferes with our devotion shall be exchanged for companions who will eternally aid us in praising and adoring God and the Lamb.


"Behold the days come, saith the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah" - Heb. 8:8. The real nature of this covenant, it is my object in this article to inquire after. I am aware that it is the foundation of the gospel system. In approaching it I realize the need of wisdom from above to rightly understand and present this subject. The Savior refers to this covenant, Matt. 26:28: "For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins." (The words testament and covenant are from the same word in the original, "Diatheekee.") Also Mark 14:24: "This is my blood of the new testament which is shed for many." Also Luke 22:20, and many other places, the blood of Christ is mentioned as the "blood of the everlasting covenant." The blessings secured to us by an interest in this covenant are of an eternal kind. In the covenant made with the fathers, eternal life was not promised. God made a covenant with Adam, and, I may say, to us all in him, on one condition. From God's infinite superiority over Adam he had a right to name the terms of life and death. The terms were: "For in the day thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die" - Gen. 2:17. God laid no restraint on him to disobey, but by the publication to him of the result of disobedience he rather bound him to obedience. I will not undertake to vindicate God's justice in this transaction, but have referred to it as an instance in which God dealt with man on a conditional plan. The condition was easy of performance. God himself was the preacher by whom the terms of life and death were made known. Adam was free from any innate bias to evil, for "he was good." The blessing resulting from obedience was full of encouragement to obedience, and the result of transgression was sufficiently fearful to deter from disobedience. And Adam "was not deceived;" with a perfect knowledge of all this he sinned and involved all his posterity in ruin. I wish you, dear reader, to bear in mind that that was a conditional covenant; the publication of it to Adam was a giving of law, not a publication of gospel. Under the new covenant we read: "And their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more." Under this it is: I will mark your sin and regard the day and certainly inflict the penalty; and God faithfully kept that covenant with Adam and his posterity. Had God unconditionally given Adam the security of life, "kept him," "worked in him to will and do of his good pleasure." Had God said to him: "For the mountains shall depart and the hills be removed, but my kindness shall not depart from thee, neither shall the covenant of my peace be removed, saith the Lord." I say, had God used this language to him it would have resulted differently. This last is the language of the gospel, while Adam was under law. I hope we shall be able to distinguish between law and gospel as we pass along. We have now seen the fearful result of one conditional covenant. The next covenant that God has made, in which the happiness or safety of man is involved, was an unconditional one. Gen. 9:8-9: "And God spake unto Noah and to his sons with him, saying, And I, behold, I establish my covenant with you and with your seed after you." * * Verse 13: "I do set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a token of a covenant between me and the earth." The blessing of this covenant is secured to us unconditionally; every time we look at the bow in the cloud we see the token of this unconditional covenant, and we are reminded that the destruction of the earth by water is not to occur on certain conditions by man, nor is its preservation the result of the performance of certain conditions. God's promise secures all. Had he said to Noah, I will not send a flood upon the earth if the people will do right, or if they will do any specified thing, then we would have had another conditional covenant, and doubtless the world would have long since been destroyed by a second flood. But still the earth exists and is kept; seed time and harvest succeed each other, and will till time ends. Although the earth is filled with sin and violence, yet the bow of promise is seen in the dark cloud (a fit emblem of the wrath we deserve) and the faithful fulfillment of God's words to Noah and his sons is manifest. Isaiah makes a beautiful application of this covenant in a gospel sense, and forcibly impresses the mind that the gospel covenant, or the "new covenant," is like it in this particular - 54:7, etc.: "For a small moment have I forsaken thee, but with great mercies will I gather thee; in a little wrath I hid my face from thee for a moment, but with everlasting kindness will I have mercy on thee, saith the Lord, thy Redeemer." "For this is as the waters of Noah unto me, for as I have sworn that the waters of Noah should no more go over the earth, so have I sworn that I would not be wroth with thee nor rebuke thee." He says: "So have I sworn." His oath to Noah was unconditional, and so it is immutable and sure in its results; and his oath mentioned here is unconditional, and therefore surer than the "mountains or the hills." I wish you, dear reader, to mark the difference in these two covenants as to their results. The one brought ruin to all men; the other preserves a sinful world from just destruction by a flood; the one was attended with a curse, and under the other there is no curse, the oath and promise of God is remembered and the world preserved. In a gospel sense we need the same unconditional promise of God to secure us from the just claims of law and the just deserts of our sins. Our daily cry is, "When I would do good evil is present with me."
The next covenant I propose to your attention is mentioned in Gen.12:3: "And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse then that curseth thee; and in thee shall all the families of the earth be blessed." This covenant was made to Abraham; it was unconditional. And the history of Abraham and his family for 2,056 years proves that God most faithfully fulfilled this covenant. Paul calls the last words of this covenant the gospel - Gal. 3:8: "And the scriptures * * * preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, in thee shall all nations be blessed." This declaration contains an unconditional promise of the Messiah, and God, with a view to the certain fulfillment of this promise, takes Abraham and his seed into, and under, a special providence, and made an unconditional promise to Abraham that his seed should be as the sand of the sea shore and the stars of heaven for number. He also gave the land of promise unconditionally to Abraham. It should be remembered that Abraham is the great type of the faithful; and the promised land was a type; Sarah, the mother, is made a type of the new covenant - Hagar of the old; the birth of Isaac was the fulfillment of an unconditional promise, and his birth, from a natural view of things, was an impossibility. And Paul affirms that we, as Isaac was, are the children of promise. As before seen, the birth of Isaac was unconditional. And Paul affirms that we are likewise the children of promise. I have said that the promised land was given to Abraham unconditionally; it is true Abraham said, "Lord God whereby shall I know that I shall inherit it;" but this expression does not involve a condition. Abraham only asks for an evidence of his heirship; and so the seed of Abraham, by faith, desire an evidence that they are the heirs of God. "And we know that we have passed from death unto life because we love the brethren." This is an evidence that we have passed from death unto life. Paul in Gal. 3:18: "For if the inheritance be of the law, it is no more of promise: but God gave it to Abraham by promise." This circumstance is used to illustrate the gospel by the great apostle. God's covenant to Abraham was unconditional; and in this covenant he secured to Abraham the promised land unconditionally; Abraham is the heir and he received the inheritance as property secured to him by a will. If it had been conditional it would not have been by promise, and it would have been uncertain; but being by promise of God secured to him it was sure of fulfillment. And God remembered this covenant over 400 years afterwards when Abraham's seed was groaning under Egyptian bondage, and he brought them out of bondage and led them to the land of promise. Circumcision was given to Abraham, not as a condition upon which he should have the promised land, but "as a token of the covenant." The covenant had been made three years or more before circumcision was introduced, therefore circumcision was not introduced as a condition upon which these promises were to be fulfilled.
In the 28th chapter of Deuteronomy we have a covenant that is conditional. It is unnecessary here to copy the whole of it, as the reader can turn to it and read it, and I would request the reader to do so. The chapter is headed "Blessings for obedience and curses for disobedience." By noticing the curses named here you will find that they are all of a temporal kind, not a threat of eternal punishment, not a single promise of eternal life. This is not the covenant of which Jesus is mediator, but that of which Moses is mediator. It is not like the gospel, for it has curses in it. The gospel is good news, glad tidings, pardon, redemption, salvation, etc.; this is a purely conditional affair, with curses and blessings alternately promised for disobedience and obedience. Many have mistaken this for gospel, preached it for gospel, and urged it upon the people as a gospel system. The history of the seed of Abraham, according to the flesh, proves that this covenant on God's part was literally carried out, their sins were remembered, and the curses named in this chapter were faithfully visited upon them.
I wish now to invite the reader to the covenant in which the priesthood was conferred upon Aaron and his sons. Exodus 40:13: "And thou shalt put upon Aaron the holy garments and anoint him, and sanctify him that he may minister unto me in the priest's office." Also in Verse 15: "For their anointing shall surely be an everlasting priesthood throughout their generations." This transaction secured to Aaron and his sons throughout their generations." It was unconditional; Aaron had not sought it, and we are informed he did not desire it, but it was a pure gift to him, and secured to his long line of posterity reaching through a period of 1,500 years - unconditionally secured to him. His children after him did not take the office by choice, but they were born to it. Now get the thought that this was secured to Aaron's family by the will of God, not for any desert on their part, and then turn to 1st Peter 2:5, where he makes a gospel application of the subject: "Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ." The priesthood of Aaron is referred to here as a type and figure of the true Israel of God. In verse 9 he says: "But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people, that ye should show forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light." Aaron was a chosen generation and a priesthood. The Lord chose Aaron to this office. So the saints are "a chosen generation." They were born to the priesthood. So the family of God is born not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. And indeed, in all our near approaches to God we should remember that it is of God's divine mercy that we have ever been called out of the dark night of nature into his marvelous light. The holy garments were put upon them as the type of the righteousness of saints to show that we must have the imputed righteousness of Christ to prepare us to engage in God's holy service; and Christ is made unto us wisdom, righteousness, sanctification and redemption. And the anointing oil is a type of the anointing which is mentioned in 1st John 2:27: "And the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him." This is the spirit of God given to us "to bring all things to our remembrance," and to "take the things of Christ and show them to us."
The oil was a rich and sweet perfume which not only beautified the countenance and made the limbs supple, but it produced a rich perfume that was pleasant to all that were near. So the spirit of God softens our hearts and temper, and puts upon the saint such improvement that his company is sweet and his presence delightful to the church of God. But bear in mind this covenant provided that the garments should be put upon them and that they should be anointed with the anointing oil; this was a work to be done not by them, but these should be put upon them. Mark the unconditionality of this thing, and look for its fulfillment in the gospel covenant. Heb. 8:10: "I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people." And so the experience of God's people witness. "I was found of them that sought me not, and I was made manifest unto them that asked not after me."
There is one more unconditional covenant mentioned that I wish to refer to, to wit: That by which the sceptre was secured to the tribe of Judah. The first reference we have of this is mentioned in Gen. 49:10: "The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a law giver from between his feet, until Shiloh come; and unto him shall the gathering of the people be." We have the kingdom established in David, 1st Sam.15:28: "The Lord hath rent the kingdom of Israel from thee this day, and hath given it to a neighbor of thine, that is better than thou." * * * "The strength of Israel will not lie nor repent: for he is not man, that he should repent." 2nd Sam. 3:9: "So do God to Abner, and more also, except, as the Lord hath sworn to David, even so I do to him; To translate the kingdom from the house of Saul, and to set up the throne of David over Israel and over Judah, from Dan even to Beer-sheba." Here the oath of God is mentioned as fixing David upon the throne and securing it to him, not on conditions to be performed by him, but unalterably and unfrustrably setting the crown upon his head and that of his posterity to all generations. Psalms 89: "I have made a covenant with my chosen, I have sworn unto David my servant, thy seed will I establish forever and build up thy throne to all generations." "Once have I sworn by my holiness that I will not lie unto David; his seed shall endure forever, and his throne as the sun before me." Durability and permanence attend such transactions. God chose David and sent after him where he was tending the sheep, and anointed him as his chosen. David had not sought it. His words were, "Who am I" that this should be done unto me? The Lord chose him, anointed him and filled him with his Spirit - 1st Sam. 16. God made oath to him that he and his seed after him should occupy the throne to all generations - Psalms 89; and David in his 65th Psalms, 4, says: "Blessed is the man whom thou choosest and causeth to approach unto thee that he may dwell in thy courts; we shall be satisfied with the goodness of thy house, even of thy holy temple." Here the blessed one is chosen before he approaches the Lord, and, as a result of that choice he is caused to approach the Lord and dwell in his courts. Unconditionality is seen in this whole transaction. And the history of Israel for over 1,000 years shows that this covenant with David was faithfully kept. Of all these covenants we find two conditional: the first was with Adam, which resulted in ruin both to him and his seed; the other referred to in Deuteronomy 28 is mentioned by Paul, Heb. 8:9: "Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt, because they continued not in my covenant and I regarded them not, saith the Lord." The point of defect in this covenant is understood by the words, "They continued not in my covenant." This was a conditional one, and obedience upon their part was the condition upon which they were to be blessed. Paul in Rom. 8:3, mentioned the same difficulty: "For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh." "That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us who walk not after the flesh, but the spirit." Here we see that the first covenant was too weak to deliver us, but its weakness to save grew out of the fact that we "continued not in it," and it was weak "through the flesh." Therefore God sent his Son to fulfill the law in us. This great mediator then in performing the will of God, fulfills the law in us. In order, then, that the new covenant remedy this fault in the old, it must be one that can not fail "because we continue not in it." Therefore, it must be an unconditional one.
The words covenant, will, testament, are synonymous in meaning. The Greek word rendered covenant in Heb. 8 and 6:7-9, etc., is Diatheekee, which signifies "the disposition of property by a will, testament," etc. This is the covenant of which Christ is mediator. Heb. 8:6: Therefore Christ came to execute the "will" of his father. This was his business in this world. It was his "meat and drink to do his father's will." He said: "Wist ye not that I must be about my Father's business?" - Luke 2:49. Also John 6:37: "All that the Father giveth me shall come unto me, and him that cometh unto 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." Nothing is clearer than that Christ's errand was one fully matured in all its parts before he came. Heb. 10:9: "Then said he, Lo, I come to do thy will, O God. He taketh away the first (covenant), that he may establish the second. By the which will (or covenant) we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all." The Savior was not disappointed in the bitterness of his death, nor in the wickedness and opposition of the people, nor in the magnitude of the work assigned him. The Savior himself is styled the covenant, Isaiah 42:6: "And give thee for a covenant of the people, for a light of the gentiles; To open the blind eyes, to bring out the prisoners from the prison," etc. He is not only the "mediator" of the covenant, but the covenant itself. John says: "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." The term word here is from "Logos," and signifies, first, "the word by which the inward thought is expressed;" second, "The inward thought itself," "or reason." Christ seems to be a development of the eternal thought of God. To know him is to understand the will of God; he is the will or thought of God made flesh. "The light of the knowledge of the glory of God is seen in his face. In him we were chosen before the world was, and in him as the Logos or thought of God, grace was given us before the world was. There is another word in Greek sometimes rendered word, which is Rema, that which is said or spoken, a word, saying, expression, phrase," "also the thing spoken of a thing." (See Liddle & Scott's Lexicon.) From these definitions it would seem that Christ is the great thought of God incarnate, and that the scriptures contain what is said of him. Christ says: "Search the scriptures, for in them ye think ye have eternal life, and they are they that testify of me." The life is in Christ; he is the great covenant containing all the grace, and promises, and mercy, and goodness of God, and the New Testament as the Rema contains what is said of him and his fulness. The word Logos in Greek is found in the following places and many more: John 1:14: "And the word was made flesh," etc. John 15:3: "Now ye are clean through the word." 2nd Tim. 2:9: "The word of God is not bound;" 4:2: "Preach the word." Heb. 4:12: "For the word of God is quick and powerful." 1st Peter 1:23: "Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth." In these passages the term word is from Logos, which is not the written word, as before seen. Rema is found in the following places and many more: "Matt. 12:36: "But I say unto you that every idle word," etc. Luke 1:65: "And all these sayings were noised abroad;" 3:2: "The word of God came unto John." Acts 10:44: "While Peter yet spake these words."
The above references are enough to show that the term Logos, as applied by John to Christ, is not the written word, but that the eternal thought of God was contemplated. This thought, in which all the plan of salvation was matured and every opposition considered, was made flesh in the person of Christ. God had promised him to the prophets and the people through them; the time of his coming was fixed; the time of his suffering was fixed; the amount of his suffering was fixed, and the result of his suffering was fixed. These four things were fixed in the covenant of God, and we may say that in all he did and suffered he was not in the least disappointed, neither will he be disappointed in the least as to the result. In John 17:1, and 12:23, he says the hour is come. He often spoke of the hour. Dan. 9:26: "After three score and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off," etc., and many, very many places, show that there was a set time when Jesus should be crucified. Often his enemies sought his life, but his hour was not come. It is a sublime thought that in the mind of God the very time of his suffering was fixed. Truly it is a covenant ordered in all things, and sure Jesus knew when his hour was come. If we consider that his death is the foundation of all hope, that saints of all ages were to look to this event, we need not be surprised that the time of his death was arranged in the "everlasting (eternal) covenant" of God. No Bible reader will doubt but that the decree of God fixed the time of his death as well as that of his coming into the world. This wonderful man Christ was the Logos or thought or purpose of God made flesh, so 1st John 1:1, says: "That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life." All the fullness of God's eternal counsel is in him, every step he takes, from his birth in the manger to his exaltation at God's right hand, is fixed; angels above, as well as saints below, watch with awe his every step.
The amount of his suffering, it seems, was a matter of decree. Acts 4:27-28: "For of a truth against thy holy child Jesus, whom thou hast anointed, both Herod, and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles, and the people of Israel, were gathered together. For to do whatsoever thy hand and counsel determined before to be done." Also Acts 2:23: "Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God." The short history of Jesus, from the garden until he expired on the cross, is one of awful suffering, but it was all fixed in the covenant of God - the spitting, mocking, buffeting, scourging, and everything he endured was divinely appointed and so fixed that he must drink the whole cup; but the result of his suffering was as certainly fixed. He did not suffer to make some undetermined good end possible, but he suffered the just for "the unjust that he might bring us to God." "He who knew no sin was made to be sin for us that we might be made the righteousness of God in him." "Therefore doth my Father love me because I lay down my life for the sheep." It would be strange confusion to say that the time and extent of his suffering was divinely fixed and the result left contingent or uncertain. Isaiah 53:10-11, speaking to this point, says: "When thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed. * * He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied." From this we learn that in the very crushing jaws of his awful death he saw his seed and was satisfied; satisfied as he saw that life to all his seed was secured by his stripes, not conditionally secured to them, but certainly. We do not view the covenant as a bare proposal of salvation to sinners, but we conclude that God in his own eternal wisdom made choice of his people before the world was - Eph. 1:4, and according to that choice grace and purpose was given them in Christ from everlasting. 1st Tim. 2:9. Jesus was sent for their redemption to suffer and die for them, and God's eternal and unchangeable mind being fixed on them, their salvation was certain. I think it clear when we consider the condition of sinners, their ignorance and enmity against God, the state of their will, as shown in the previous chapter, I say we think it clear that no plan requiring any good thing to be done by sinners would reach their case; a penniless man could pay nothing, and sinners are destitute.
To be short, the whole teaching of the Bible is, that it is "by grace" we are saved; "not of works," "not by works of righteousness which we have done," and many places to the same effect. Some have professed to believe the doctrine of the total depravity of human nature, and at the same time taught a conditional plan of salvation. This appears to be very inconsistent; if sinners are totally depraved they are incapable of performing any condition, and must, if saved, be dealt with on a pure grace plan. To say that God makes them able to perform the conditions is to deny the doctrine of total depravity. And to make them able is but to cure the enmity of their hearts, making them willing, for the principal cause of their remaining in sin is their unwillingness to quit sin; this unwillingness constitutes an inability to come to Christ. I say if this is cured in all men universally, then all men universally will be saved, and total depravity is untrue. To profess to believe the "total depravity of human nature," and yet to deny the doctrine of election, special redemption, effectual calling, etc., is an inconsistency that no man can make harmonize. Therefore, intelligent men who teach conditional salvation deny the doctrine of depravity, election and special redemption, and I think that consistency will drive them to deny experimental religion, and this the Campbellites do deny, for if experimental religion is true, then salvation is purely of grace, for so every experience of God's children teaches. Under our experimental exercises we learned that we were wholly ruined by sin, lost, blind, helpless; our prayers were so full of sin that we ourselves condemned them; we felt, we saw, we knew, that we could do nothing; we tried our boasted scheme of works and found ourselves still ruined and unsaved, and in this extremity we confessed that "if I am ever saved it will not be for any goodness of mine, but wholly by God's grace." Who first taught you that you were ruined in sin? Was it man or God? Your reply: "Grace taught my heart to fear." Like David, you tell what the Lord has done for you. Did you learn under the Spirit's leading that you could do anything good? No; nothing but sin have I to give, was your cry. The terrible doctrine of depravity you knew was true; that salvation is by grace you knew was true. Now to argue for conditional salvation is to deny the great truths learned by experience. This is why the Campbellites deny the doctrine of experimental religion; it lays the axe at the root of their whole system. If this is true their whole system is false. It equally contradicts every other conditional plan. If in experience we learn that we are utterly helpless and can do nothing good, why or how can we teach that salvation is conditional? and did we not on bended knees before God confess that we were ruined, guilty, lost, and helpless? did we not weep over our hard hearts and confess our utter inability to do any good thing? If all this were true in our case, how can we hope for salvation only on a grace plan? If God first taught us our need, who will teach others? If we never could or did love God and seek him until he first taught us in our hearts by his Spirit, why should we think that others can or will do so? When we fairly consider the real teaching there is in experimental religion, we see no room for it and conditional salvation in the same plan. Reader, how was it with you, and how is it now? Who began the great work in your case, and who still keeps you? If you are a real Christian your answer will ever be: "It was grace that brought me safe this far, and grace will lead me home."
The false hope that now fills the minds of unregenerate men you know will have to be destroyed before they are ever saved. There is a perfect harmony in the doctrine of our salvation on a purely gracious plan which is suited only to lost and ruined sinners; a poor-house is suited only to the penniless - those who have any means of self-support are not fit for the poor-house, and so those who are in possession of power to do any good thing, they do not need a grace plan, they only want a law plan; they are not poor enough for the poor-house; they are not willing to depend wholly upon God for everything. But, reader, we, as a people, feel assured that our only hope lies in what Jesus has done for us; we trust in him, and him alone, for every needed qualification. "Helpless, look to him for grace; naked, look to him for dress." His righteousness, not ours, is our hope. Reader, what think ye? Will we sink into hell with such a faith as this? Is it safe to depend wholly upon God for everything that fits us for heaven? Such is our doctrine and experience. We expect to meet death in this opinion, and feel willing to risk it. May you and I, dear reader, ever be enabled to know the real comfort of these truths.


We do not regard faith as a condition of salvation, from the fact that it is a gift or a grace that God bestows upon us. While we believe that all men are in duty bound to believe in the being of a God, and to believe what God has said in his Word; yet, we believe that it is the result of God's grace that we look to Jesus for life; that we believe in him as an all-sufficient Savior, and receive him as our righteousness. We read in Heb. 12:2: "Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith." In this text he is declared to be the author and finisher of our faith; hence those who have this faith "are his workmanship" - Eph. 2:10. The faith, therefore, of God's people is a gift, or the result of divine power. It is called "the faith of the operation of God" - Col. 2:12; that is, it is the result of God's "operation." In Eph. 2:7, it is distinctly called "the gift of God." Again: "The fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance" - Gal. 5:22-23. Here faith is declared to be "the fruit of the Spirit." In this text, as faith is the fruit of the Spirit, so is love. "Love is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost" - Rom. 5:5. "We love him, because he first loved us" - 1st John 4:19. So love in us is not of human, but of divine origin. It is not the result of our efforts, but a gift; what ever goodness we have is from the Lord. So our faith is "the fruit of the Spirit." It is not faith that produces the Spirit in us, but the Spirit that produces faith. The Bible teaches us that God deals to us faith by measure. Rom. 12:3: "According as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith." If faith is measured to us by God it can not be produced in us by teaching. "Without faith it is impossible to please God" - Heb. 11:6. "They that are in the flesh can not please God" - Rom. 8:8. A man without faith can not please God, and if it be said that a man "must do something to get faith," we reply, let him do what he will he can not please God. If any man ever did please God it was after he had faith, for it is impossible without it. In Acts 3:16, we read: "And his name through faith in his name hath made this man strong; * * yea, the faith which is by him hath given him this perfect soundness in the presence of you all." Here faith is declared to be "by him," as well as in his name, and I argue that it is by him in the sense that Jesus is its "author and finisher." In Matt. 11:25, the things of God are said to be hid from some and revealed to others, and the reason assigned is "because it seemed good in his sight." This passage fairly interpreted proves that a saving knowledge of God is produced by a direct revelation from God. John 17:3: "And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent." So that to teach one to know God is no less a task than to give eternal life to him, but eternal life is God's gift - Rom. 6:23. Therefore to know God is God's precious gift, and he who presumes to teach the people to know God presumes to do that which God alone can do, and which he forbids him to do - Heb. 8:21. "Neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him" - Matt. 11:27. The Savior emphatically told the disciples that it was given unto them to know the mysteries of the kingdom, but to others it was not given - Matt. 13:11. So, under his teaching, those who understood his doctrine were enabled to understand it by a divine power, and hence Paul tells the Corinthians; "That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God" - 1st Cor. 2:5. Doubtless Paul understood that God's power was engaged to sustain and hold up their faith. If we are asked how men believe in him, we will let Paul answer: Phil. 1:29: "For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake." How terribly mistaken are they who hold faith to be nothing more than the mere product of teaching. 2nd Thess. 1:11: "Wherefore also we pray always for you, that our God would fulfill the work of faith with power." Can one make such a prayer who believes faith to be the result of teaching? Paul prays God to fulfill the work of faith in his brethren with power. He knew that God's power could fulfill their faith and complete it. Paul declares that "the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God" - Gal. 2:20. His faith was of the Son of God, and if of him it was not of any one or anything else. The doctrine of direct revelation is taught in Eph. 1:18-19, 20: "The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of his calling." Here the apostle thanks God that their understanding is prepared to know this hope, showing that Paul understood God to have prepared their hearts to know these things. "And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power." Undoubtedly this teaches that it is the "mighty power of God" that makes me believe or gives them faith. Not only does their faith stand in God's power, upheld and sustained by it, but the "mighty power of God" first makes men believe, EVEN "the mighty power" of God "which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him up from the dead." It was no mere teaching that raised Jesus from the dead, but an almighty influence from heaven. And the very Spirit that raised up Jesus dwells in his people - Rom. 8:11. It was the Spirit that opened Lydia's heart and prepared her to know and do the things taught by the apostles, and that had taught Cornelius, a poor gentile, to know and love God before Peter ever visited him. The faith of God's people overcometh the world, * and the just shall live by faith; * by it men are justified * and comforted * and blessed with righteousness * and have access with confidence into God's grace, * and we live by faith of God's Son; * and we are children of God by faith, * and God dwells in our hearts by faith, * and the end of our faith is the salvation of our souls. * It was faith that caused Moses to see such glories in God's people that he preferred their suffering to Egypt's glory, * and by faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the king, for he endured as seeing him who is invisible. The wonderful deeds that faith prompted God's people to do, anciently, tells clearly that their faith originated in God. The benefits derived, the effect it has in us and upon our lives, changing our rough, evil life into the lamb-like tempers of God's people; all these things, seriously considered, is no mean argument showing that God is the direct author of our faith.
I desire to continue this subject in a plain, simply way, to show that faith is not a mere conviction, or the result of teaching by men. Heb. 11:1: "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen," etc. The word rendered "substance" in the text is the same that is rendered "person" in the 3rd verse of Heb. 1, in which Christ is called the "express image of his person." Evidently the word person here and the word substance in the text means more than a mere influence or belief. It is certainly God referred to, so the word "substance" is not a mere influence, but it is no less than Christ. The Greek word rendered substance in our text is Hupostasis, signifying "anything set under as a support." What is it that supports the people of God? Is it a simple belief? No; it is Jesus. He is the chief cornerstone that bears up all our hope. "Metaphorically it is the ground-work of a thing, the foundation or ground of our hope or confidence," also "subsistence." The definitions given this word forbid the idea that this faith is anything less than a God-given grace which we feed, and by which we are sustained. This faith in us is Christ in us, the hope of glory. "He is our meat and drink" - John 6. Christ to us is what the manna was to ancient Israel; they were fed by it; so we are sustained by the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. As further proof that faith is more than a bare influence or belief produced by teaching, I call your mind to 1st John 4:4: "Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world." Who is this great one in the Christian by whom he overcomes? Christ, without a doubt. See, also, chapter 5:4: "And this is the victory that overcometh the world even our faith." What is ascribed to Christ in our case is ascribed to faith in another. Our faith overcomes because faith in us is no less than Christ in us, and he says: "Without me ye can do nothing." By ascribing to faith this power or merit, i.e., by viewing faith in us as Christ, we can see beauty in the whole chapter that our text is in. "By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death * because God had translated him, nor was he simply persuaded to be translated, but Christ, the almighty power of God in Christ, wrought this wonder in his case. In Heb. 11:11: "Through faith also Sara herself received strength to conceive seed, and was delivered of a child when she was past age." Such events as this, when ascribed to faith, can not be understood in light aside from that of faith's being a direct gift from God. Also by faith Abraham gathered up his son and hurried away into the wilderness, three days' journey, to make a sacrifice of him. Look at this affection of the father of his long-promised son, now made willing to slay him in obedience to the voice of God. Ask yourself, in all candor, is such faith the result of argument? No, NEVER. It is in-wrought by God's blessed Spirit, by which he is assured that God is able of his ashes to raise him up a son; by faith Isaac blessed Jacob concerning things to come, looked far into the future and foretold the destiny of his two sons. Joseph also by faith saw the deliverance of Israel, so that the power of faith enabled them to know the future. If we regard this faith as being Christ in these men, the narrative is easily understood. By faith (Christ) they passed through the Red sea and the walls of Jericho fell down; by faith (Christ) they subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, and stopped the mouths of lions. Nothing less than Christ in men can enable them to do all this. The mighty deeds of Gideon, and Barak, and Samson, can be explained in this way, and we can understand how David, the young stripling, took a sling and a few stones and sped away across the valley to meet the mighty Goliath, and how the three Hebrews walked unharmed from the fiery furnace, which was so hot as to consume them who threw them in; all this they did by faith. And Daniel came unhurt from the lion's den; Jesus was there also. Women also received their children from the dead, not by the mere force of argument, but by Christ, who is the resurrection. This divine faith caused the ancient saints to endure affliction as seeing him who is invisible. They endured being stoned and sawn asunder; they counted not their lives dear unto themselves, but gave up their lives as a toy; braved terrible storms of the wrath of men, faced death in every shape, looked on worldly honor, and wealth, and ease as nothing; by faith Elijah left his own native land and went to the mountain in the desert, not knowing of any friend on earth. And I will add, dear brethren, that thousands live to-day who are bearing burdens and hardships that nothing but grace within could cause them willingly to bear. Men who would die rather than give up their religion or Savior. Reader, has your heart ever been opened to see the fullness there is in a Savior? and you been led to love him above all things? so that, though you are a weak worm, exposed to death and sin, yet rejoice as seeing him who is invisible?
If the foregoing positions are true, then the doctrine of a direct spiritual influence is true. In all the cases of conversion given in the Bible there is evidence of the Savior's presence. On the day of Pentecost the Spirit was marvelously manifested, and under its influence Peter preached with power; the people were pricked in their hearts. By the Spirit Lydia's heart was opened, and under the Spirit's influence Paul and Silas sang the praises of God at midnight in the prison, and when the jailor was converted God's holy presence was fully manifested by the quaking earth and the unlocking of the prison doors and loosening of the prisoners; and the fact that the jailor came trembling, all proves God to be the direct author of the jailor's faith. Cornelius was a devout man, whose prayers and alms had been received of God before he heard the preached word. Saul of Tarsus was visited by an immediate "operation of God," the result of which was his conversion, and he assigns as a reason why the Thessalonians were the elect of God, that "our Gospel came to you not in word only, but in power and in the Holy Ghost and in much assurance." The true reason assigned why they had received the Gospel was, that it came to them in the power and great majesty of the Spirit. "Who hath believed our report, and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed." It is the revealed arm of God that makes way for the reception of the Gospel. In the parable of the sower, where some seed fell by the wayside, etc., it was not the falling seed that prepared the ground, and to demonstrate that the bare sowing of the seed cannot prepare the heart, we learn that none yielded a crop except what fell in a good and honest heart; a good and an honest heart is certainly one divinely prepared, and thus fitted to hear and obey the Word of the Lord. The case, also, of Philip and the eunuch is one in which the Spirit's work is manifest; the Spirit directed Philip there to instruct one divinely prepared in heart to receive instruction, and whose mind had been turned to look after divine truth; and after Philip had taught this serious man and baptized him, the Spirit caught him away. We learn that where the Spirit is there is liberty, and consequently where it is not there is bondage. Zacharias was filled with the Spirit when he spake the last twelve verses of John, 1st Chapter. Mary and Elizabeth were filled with it, and thus prepared to speak the words ascribed to them in the same chapter. Peter and John and Paul also spake by the power of the Spirit, and Stephen, and in fact all who ever spoke to a good purpose spoke in his power. Many men heard our Savior speak who were not benefited by it, and the Savior says to them: "Ye can not hear my words," and also affirms that to some it is given to know the mysteries of the kingdom, and to other it is not given. We should not overlook this class of scripture which abundantly proves that God is the direct author of our conversion. In the following passages a special, effectual and saving calling of God is plainly taught: "The promise is to you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even to as many as the Lord our God shall call." - Acts 2:39. "All things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose." - Rom. 8:28. "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." - 2nd Tim. 1:9. These passages teach that God calls with a holy calling, and with an effectual calling; and in no other light can we understand this scripture: "Not many wise men after the flesh, no many noble are called," etc. It is impossible to understand the things of the Spirit unless we are first made spiritual. "The natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit, neither can he know them." Nicodemus could neither see nor enter the kingdom until he was born of the Spirit, and this birth was "not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God." The will of man is wholly excluded from this work, and God is emphatically declared to be its author. To exclude the Holy Ghost from this world of ours would be to leave us in midnight darkness, spiritually. There would be no one convinced of sin, for the Spirit reproves (convinces) of sin, and there would be no hungering and thirsting after righteousness, nor mourning on account of sin; there would be no real service to God on earth. The Spirit is compared to the wind, and it is the people of God what the air is to this world; without it the whole world of animal and vegetable life would end, and so every vestige of religion would be at an end; but it can not be excluded from this world, although thousands are taught from the press and pulpit that they should neither expect or desire his presence or aid in their conversion. Their road escapes all mourning and weeping on account of sin; there are no tears and trembling for sin, no "God be merciful to me a sinner." Oh, how sad and awful to know that many have the reputation of being teachers in Israel who entirely overlook the real marks of a gracious state, and whose congregations never heard one true description of a mourner given. The nature and origin of faith as laid down in this chapter is in harmony with what I have said on this subject of depravity and the will.
I have given, as I believe, the Lord's manner of rescuing sinners from the awful situation they are in by nature. Praying that you and I may be the recipients of God's mercy in these things, I close.

By Elder P. T. Oliphant

According to the best lexicographers, the word SANCTIFICATION signifies to MAKE HOLY, or to SET APART FOR HOLY USE. The word as used in the New Testament is from the Greek (hagiasmos), and is defined SEPARATION, A SETTING APART; as used in the Old Testament, is from the Hebrew (quadeski), and signifies TO BE SEPARATE, SET APART, as Moses sanctified the people - Exodus 19:14; as the priests and altar were sanctified by anointing with holy oil - Exodus 28:41, and 29:36. In fact, almost all things connected with the temple and tabernacle were sanctified by anointing with holy oil, hence we read of an evangelical anointing. "But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you," etc. - 1st John 2:27. "Now he which establisheth us with you in Christ, and hath anointed us, is God; who hath also sealed us, and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts" - 2nd Cor. 1:21. As the anointing with holy oil anciently set apart the priests to holy service, even so the spiritual anointing above set apart the Corinthians to holy service. Evangelical sanctification is the work of the Holy Spirit, quickening, cleansing and purifying sinners from the guilt and power of sin, and includes all the effects of divine grace, as faith, love, repentance and good works. Sanctification is but a link in the golden chain of salvation. We are saved through the obedience and sufferings of Jesus LEGALLY; by the operation of the Holy Spirit efficaciously. Christ's death removed sin legally or judicially; the Holy Spirit inwardly and powerfully. Sanctification releases the sinner from lawful prison; justification from lawful claims. Sanctification changes our nature; justification our standing before God. We are justified by Christ's righteousness imputed to us; sanctified by his grace working within us. Justification delivers from God's wrath; sanctification conforms us to his blessed image. Sanctification is not only a divine work wrought within us, but also a glorious privilege given us of God, freely by his grace, which we are imperatively required to exercise. We are not elected to salvation and sanctified on account of obedience, either foreseen or otherwise, but elected "through sanctification of the Spirit, UNTO OBEDIENCE and the sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ." - 1st Peter 1:2. "Chosen you TO SALVATION through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth." - 2nd Thess. 2:3. As God produces our sanctification (or sets us apart) he is rightly and scripturally termed our sanctification. "For this is the will of God, (even) your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication." - 1st Thess. 4:3. That God does and will sanctify all his people, the Bible clearly reveals. "And the very God of peace sanctify you holy, and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it." God's plan of salvation does not place the creature upon the "stool of do-nothing," as some affirm, but rather takes him off of it, hence we read, "Chosen in Christ before the foundation of the world that we should be holy." "Created in Christ Jesus unto good works." All our good works are wrought within us by the blessed Spirit. There is not a single passage in the New Testament wherein the expression good works occurs, but what clearly teaches, or it is plainly inferable, that the Spirit produced them. Hence we are said to be "created in Christ Jesus UNTO good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them." - Eph. 2:10. Again: "Now the God of peace MAKE you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is well pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ." - Heb. 13:21. Sanctification is not an instantaneous work, but progressive, as we "grow in grace and the knowledge of the truth." - 2nd Peter 3:18. So long as we were in the flesh, and unregenerate, all our growth was in the flesh and sin, but after we were "born again," or born from above, as the original is, being "new creatures in Christ," we "grow up into him in all things" - Eph. 4:15; as it is written, "Your faith groweth exceedingly" - 2nd Thess. 1:3. Hence the apostle prayed, "Lord increase our faith." All Christians should be daily engaged in working out their salvation, not however with a view of meriting heaven or eternal life, nor as conditionally entitling them to anything; for, though Christians may grow in grace, increase in knowledge and holiness, and advance in sanctification, or the divine life, yet this is the effect of a divine power exerted upon them; they are the "workmanship of God," who in Christ has wrought a real new creation upon their souls, thus making them not only "partakers of the divine nature," but also imparting new desires, new views and new feelings; hence the ability and disposition to love God, and do good works, should be considered as a PART of their salvation, not as the cause of it, for God's will is that Christians should walk in good works, from their conversion till they finish their course in this world, so that their holy lives, as the effect of the spirit of grace, may stand forth as an exemplification and evidence of their salvation by sovereign grace. Both faith and good works are the workmanship of God, both are necessary as a PART of our salvation yet one is the effect of the other, and both the gift of God. For while it is true that "faith is the gift of God, not of works lest any man should boast," it is also equally true that "God worketh in us, both to will and to do of his good pleasure," and "makes us perfect in every good work, to do his will, working in us that which is well pleasing in his sight." As the natural man, by obedience to the laws of health, does not produce natural life, but only promotes and increases it. The Christian "gives diligence to make his calling and election sure," not sure to God, for in that sense they are "kept by the power of God," and "predestinated to be conformed to the image of his Son" - 1st Peter 1:5 - Rom. 8:29; but sure to themselves, for the more they are engaged in good works the brighter their evidence of acceptance with God, and the more they realize the "love of God shed abroad in their hearts."
Hence, says our Savior, "If ye keep my commandments ye shall abide in my love," but if they neglect their Christian duty, and thus "transgress the holy commandment delivered unto them," "he will visit their transgressions with the rod, and their iniquity with stripes." As God reigned over National Israel anciently, blessing them while they kept his statutes and ordinances, and cursing them when guilty of disobedience, even so Jesus reigns over spiritual Israel, or his spiritual kingdom, imparting spiritual blessings, as joy and peace, and comfort in the Holy Ghost to those who keep his blessed commandments, but indignation and wrath, tribulation and anguish upon those who disobey. But as anciently none obeyed to become Israelites naturally, even so none can become an "Israelite indeed" by obedience. The Lord's children do not obey to become children, as Christ did not obey his father to become a son; but "the love of Christ constraineth us;" "we love him because he first loved us;" "with loving kindness hath he drawn us;" like the spouse in the Canticles, they say, "Draw me, we will run after thee." It is their meat and their drink to do the will of their Heavenly Father. It is a gospel truth that the atonement, righteousness and mediation, or intercession of Jesus, has secured our ultimate sanctification; therefore the Holy Spirit quickens us together with Christ, and thus raises us up from a state of death in sin and imparts the grace of faith and repentance. Thus being quickened, the blessed gospel, wielded by the Spirit, excites, invites and exhorts to it. It describes our feelings and exercises of mind, as "poor in spirit," "broken in spirit and contrite in heart," "hungry and thirsty," "laboring and heavy laden with sin," as feeling to be "the chief of sinners," as "lost," etc.; and then encourages us to trust in Jesus, by the glorious news, that to such the kingdom of heaven belongs, that Jesus came to seek and to save such, inviting such to come unto Jesus and "cast all their care upon him." The soul thus quickened, and excited, finding no other refuge save Jesus Christ crucified, and the holy law of God pouring its curses upon every disobedient soul, flees for refuge to Jesus' blood and righteousness, and by faith exclaims:

"Just as I am without one plea,
But that thy blood was shed for me;
Nothing in my hand I bring,
"Simply to thy Cross I cling;

Naked, I flee to thee for dress,
Helpless, I come to thee for grace;
Back I to the fountain fly,
Wash me, Jesus, or I die."

Thus being enabled to embrace Jesus as the "Lord our righteousness" and our Savior, we press forward in the divine life for the full assurance of hope unto the end. In this way of diligence we also receive daily more and more of salvation, a greater and greater degree of sanctification, by a great liberty from sin, victory over it, peace and communion with God, and the earnest of heavenly felicity, while at the same time we glorify God, adorn the gospel, are useful to our brethren, and shine as Christian lights in the world. All the while we should consider that it is God working in us that willingness to repent and obey, of which we are inwardly conscious, for in all this God acts as a sovereign, according to his eternal purpose, without regard to anything foreseen in us or as a condition to be performed by us; so that what we have felt and experienced in the past, being given us freely by his grace, should excite us to more vigorous exertions and greater diligence, and cause us to depend wholly on God to enable us for every good work. For if God loved us while we were wandering upon the barren hills of sin and folly, drinking iniquity like water, and "for his great love wherewith he loved us, even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ," "how shall he not with him freely give us all things." Oh! Christian, Christian, where was thou when the Lord first found thee? On thy way to Zion, on thy knees in prayer, with thy face turned toward heaven? No, not in the least degree; but drinking iniquity like water, rolling sin under thy tongue as a sweet morsel, posting the downward road to eternal despair, at peace with Satan, at enmity with God, in fellowship with wickedness, at war with righteousness, with no desire for salvation, no feelings of repentance and no heart to pray. It was thus the Lord overtook thee as he did "Saul of Tarsus," in thy mad career of sin, and turned thee about and made darkness light before thee, and crooked things straight. It was thus he led thee in a way that thou hadst not known, and in paths that thou hadst not trod, until he taught thee the all-important truth that "salvation is of the Lord," and enabled thee to sing with ecstasy of soul:

"Twas all of thy grace we were brought to obey,
While others were suffered to go
The road which, by nature, we chose as our way
That leads to the regions of woe."
And now, with the prophet, you can say, "Surely after that I was turned, I repented." - Jer. 31:19. Not only did the Lord produce within us our first religious desires and emotions, but how often has he renewed those feelings and again turned us when we have forgotten him, and wandered in forbidden paths, so that like David we are often made to pray, "Turn us again, O God, and cause thy face to shine, and we shall be saved." - Psalms 80:3. It is thus the Lord begins the good work within us, and continues the same. Of this Paul was confident: "Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you, will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ." - Phil. 1:6. The soul of the Christian rejoices with the apostle in the thought that it is the "goodness of God that leadeth thee to repentance," for how often do we exclaim with the poet:

"Oh, had he not pitied the state we were in,
Our bosom his love had ne er felt;
We all would have lived, would have died, too, in sin,
And sunk with the load of our guilt.

Yes, had it not been for grace, all-conquering grace, we would still be drinking iniquity like water," or still "ignorant of God's righteousness, and going about to establish our own righteousness," destitute of hope, or at least a well-grounded hope, in Jesus; "but thanks be to God who giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ," for "Him hath God exalted with his right hand to be a Prince and a Savior, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins." - Acts 5:31. Hence Jesus commanded that "Repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem." The same Savior that "to the gentiles granted repentance unto life;" that arrested "Saul of Tarsus" in his wicked career; that opened the heart of Lydia of Thyatira; that visited Nathaniel under the fig tree, and that by a look melted into tears wayward Peter, and brought him to speedy repentance, is still at the right hand of God, and in the discharge of his office as the Savior of lost sinners; is still imparting, by his blessed Spirit, not the "sorrow of the world which worketh death," but a "godly sorrow" that "worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of." - 2nd Cor.7:10. You who have children, companions, friends or neighbors, that are still in the "gall of bitterness and bonds of iniquity," for whose salvation your soul is intensely engaged, "take it to the Lord in prayer;" go to Jesus on their behalf; make your wants known to him, for it is not true, as some affirm, that God has done all that he can for sinners until they make the start, for then how could we approach him on their behalf until they had made the start; but as "the preparation of the heart in man, and the answer of the tongue is from the Lord," we can come boldly to a throne of grace in behalf of the vilest, whilst we are at the same time "In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth." - 2nd Tim. 2:25. Let us labor therefore in all the means of grace, in every Christian duty, "For he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him." "There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God." "Let us labor therefore to enter into that rest." "Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as ye see the day approaching." "For the Lord shall judge his people, and chasten them in his hot displeasure." "It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God." "Judgment must begin at the house of God; and if it begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God." - 1st Peter 4:17. Let us therefore "present our bodies a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable unto God, which is our reasonable service;" and, like Paul, count all things but loss that we may know Jesus and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable to his death, "lest any of us should seem to come short of the promised rest" by falling into divers temptations, thus losing our comfort and subjecting ourselves to darkness and terror at the approach of death; or, lest we should dishonor God, injure the cause of Christ, and prejudice men against the gospel by falling into scandalous sins. "Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men." "Wherefore we labor, that, whether present (with the Lord) or absent (in the body), we may be accepted of him." - 2nd Cor. 5:9. If we would judge ourselves we should not be judged, but when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world." "Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous; nevertheless, afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruits of righteousness." Hence, the Lord chastises us, not to destroy our heirship, "but for our profit that we might be partakers of his holiness." David, the sweet singer of Israel, and a man after God's own heart, was made to pray, "O Lord, rebuke me not in thy wrath; neither chasten me in thy hot displeasure; for thine arrows stick fast in me, and thy hand presseth me sore." - Ps. 38:1-2. "Blessed is the man whom thou chasteneth, O Lord, and teacheth him out of thy law." - Psalms 94:12. "For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth." "But if you be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards and not sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not?" "As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten; be zealous therefore and repent." From all this we learn that the Lord's people are a disobedient and rebellious people, often wandering out of the way, falling into many hurtful snares and divers temptations, piercing themselves through with many sorrows. Oh! Christian, Christian, let us be up and doing; "let us take on the whole armor of God and fight the good fight of faith; acquitting ourselves like men; laying aside every weight; and the sin which doth so easily beset us; and let us run with patience the race that is set before us; looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith." "And whatsoever we do, either in word or deed, do all in the name of Jesus Christ, giving thanks unto God and the Father by him." "For if ye do these things ye shall never fall." Not that the Christian is in danger of falling back into an unregenerate state - for that would involve the absurdity of one unborning himself - but fall professionally, so that our Christian light will cease to shine, fall into doubts and fears, darkness and distress. But blessed be his holy name, he has promised that "though he fall he shall not be utterly cast down, for the Lord upholdeth him with his hand."
In conclusion I will say: Christian, Jesus is the glorious sun of righteousness, the nearer you revolve around him in your Christian orbit, the more you will feel the warming influences of his blessed Spirit; and the farther you move away from him and his precepts, the colder, darker and more unfruitful you will become. But we can never go beyond God's love, for we are "kept by the power of God;" and although the Son of Righteousness does not keep us all the time at the same distance from him, for we have our aphelion and perihelion, religiously, yet there is an attractive influence that keeps us revolving around him at a greater or less distance, our own intrinsic, or sinful motion, tending all the while to carry us farther and farther off from Jesus, the center of attraction; but there is another force, or influence, acting upon us (grace) that to a greater and greater extent, as the work of sanctification proceeds, subdues, removes and destroys our tendency to sin, and brings us more and more into the divine light, warmth and attractive influence of Jesus, the blessed Son of Righteousness, causing us to receive brighter and brighter evidences of our interest in him, feel more and more his love shed abroad in our hearts, weaning us from the world with all its vain allurements, subduing our pride, and reconciling us more and more to his will in all things, while our hearts exclaim: "O Keep us, dear Lord, as the apple of thine eye;" "keep us under the shadow of thy wing;" "nearer our God to thee, nearer to thee." But the hypocrites, like the comet, burst suddenly into view and soon pass out of sight without any fixed orbit, or movement. The apostle Jude compares them to "wandering stars to whom is reserved the blackness of darkness forever."
May God's grace richly dwell in all the saints, that they may have fellowship one with another, and speaking the truth in love may grow up into him, in all things, which is the head, even Christ, from whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.


1st. "For you are his workmanship created in Christ Jesus unto good works." One great end designed in our regeneration is, that we shall be disposed to goodness of life. "Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?" "God forbid, how can they that are dead to sin live any longer therein?" Here we are considered as dead to sin; it no longer affords us delight as it once did; and, indeed, we may in some degree determine our religious state by this test. If we are in heart killed to the love of sin and find our affections placed on better things, it is an evidence that we are in a gracious state. 1st Peter 2:15-16: "For so is the will of God, that with well doing ye may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men: As free, and not using your liberty as a cloak of maliciousness, but as the servants of God." Efforts have been made in all ages to show that the doctrine of salvation by grace alone tends to an evil life. Many of us have had this complaint to meet. "If I believed as you do I would not care how I live." The apostles were compelled to meet the same objection. Rom. 6:1-2, also 3:8: "And not rather, (as we be slanderously reported, and as some affirm that we say), let us do evil, that good may come." The report that Paul taught a doctrine in harmony with sin, or that in any way encouraged sin, was false and slanderous; but such has been the charge against truth in all ages. Now, the will of God is that we should "put to silence" this ignorant charge of "well doing." Show by our life that the tendency of Bible principles is to goodness of life; that although we do not believe that our doing secures eternal life, yet we are as careful to maintain good works as those who do believe that salvation is the fruit of doing. I have not found that the doctrine of free grace makes men careless in their lives, but that they who seem best to understand this doctrine are most careful in their manner of living. The enmity between Christ and Satan is established in the heart of every Christian. So that we may say that it is his choice to serve the Lord and oppose evil. Moses manifested this temper in preferring the reproaches of Christ to the crown of Egypt. David preferred the place of a door-keeper in God's house to the highest places of earth. All the prophets and apostles, and in fact, every saint, prefers affliction and Christ to worldly ease and sin. This preference is not based on fears of hell, but it grows out of the fact that God has changed our hearts from the love of sin to that of holiness. It is the native elements of the saints to love God, and delight in his presence and approval. We may see in the Psalms a true picture of every Christian heart: "How amiable are thy tabernacles, O Lord of Hosts! My soul longeth, yet, even fainteth for the courts of the Lord: My heart and my flesh crieth out for the living God." - 84:1-2. "My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God: when shall I come and appear before God? My tears have been my meat day and night, while they continually say unto me, where is thy God?" - 42:2-3. Also verse 5: "Why art thou cast down, O my soul? why art thou disquieted in me? hope thou in God," etc. Our sweetest comforts are found and enjoyed in fellowship with Christ. "Prisons would palaces prove if Jesus would dwell with me there." And so our most unpleasant moments are when we feel void of his presence and approval. What Christian has not felt sad and gloomy as a result of disobedience? And what one has not learned that an upright course of life is most productive of happiness? If we were simply seeking to get "all out of life possible," we would pursue that course dictated by Christ. In this way we honor him and his truth. In Romans 12:1, Paul exhorts to obedience from the mercies of Christ. The great mercy shown us by the Lord in a thousand ways in his providence, as well as what he has shown in Christ, makes an argument to us to unite with Christ as our great captain in his war against evil, and this argument, as a nail in a sure place, reaches our hearts. And saints in all ages have gone willingly into hardships of every kind rather than disobey the Lord. Death in all its worst forms has been met and braved by saints who loved the Lord so well that they would rejoice to die rather than disobey. The real foundation of obedience does not lie in an Arminian view of the gospel, but in the doctrine of grace, and a deep, unmovable principle of love to God and his cause. A similar argument is made in 2nd Cor. 5:15: "And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again." The argument here is: He died for us; rescued us from the eternal ruin, and for this cause we should feel that we are not our own to live to, and for ourselves, but to him who gave himself for us. This is a strong argument, and reaches our hearts, and we feel that "we ought his cross with pleasure bear." The Savior says: "If ye love me keep my commandments." We can manifest our love to Christ only by keeping his commandments. His glory is advanced, and our happiness, in duty. In this way we glorify God in our bodies and our spirits, which are his. The path of duty often lies in a low valley of self-denial, and reproach, disgrace and loss, but those who have gone in it have always reported that it is the happiest and best way.
2nd. In the ordinance of baptism we pledge ourselves to obey the Lord. - Rom. 6:3-4. To be submissive to his laws and commandments, we publicly take the place of a wife to him, in which relation we owe him implicit obedience. - Rom. 7:4. To depart from duty is far worse than to violate the marriage pledge, or prove defaulter in office among men; for we virtually swear allegiance to him, and are most solemnly bound to devote our lives to his service. We should let nothing drive us or bribe us from a straight course of obedience. It is an obligation to God, and should be more binding than any other. It is an obligation for life, and hence nothing but death terminates our duty to God. Our happiness and usefulness depend much upon it; the welfare of the church is connected with it in no small degree. We are exhorted, 2nd Peter 1:10: "Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall." Here the saints are exhorted to diligently labor to secure to themselves the comfortable assurance of their own election. Diligently perform every known duty; in all your ways acknowledge him; strive to enter in at the straight gate; watch against sin in yourselves, as well as others. "Keep thy heart with all diligence, for out of it are the issues of life." - Solomon. To keep our hearts aright requires diligence. There is so much remaining evil within us that opposes us in our Christian duty, our own happiness is lost when we yield to an evil temper, and in this way we lay the foundation for trouble to ourselves. "Wherefore laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil speakings." - 1st Peter 2:1. This was said to God's people, and we may learn from it that God's people are troubled with these same passions, and that a great part of our business is to guard against these, and, in our guarding, let us remember Paul's words: "Let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and Godly fear." - Heb. 12:28. If we are blessed with God's grace we can make successful war on our evil passions. To "be strong in the Lord and in the power of his might" is a kind of strength that none understand but the saints. Malice is a settled mind to injure others, which may be done by personal injury to their person or property, or may be done by the tongue circulating false reports or speaking of the faults of others. This is a hateful temper, and yet it lurks in all our churches; some are ready to mention the faults of others to gratify a low, malicious temper; we should guard against this, it is hateful in the sight of God, and who of us can in sincerity say, "We are clear of this fault?" The Savior taught us: "Love your enemies." How unnatural for us to do this, and how easy to entertain and cultivate an unkind feeling for our enemies; but if we diligently watch ourselves we will not give way to a malicious temper. He goes on: "Bless them that curse you; do good to them that hate you, and pray for them that despitefully use you and persecute you." This is all contrary to our nature; our neighbor may deserve our unkindness; he may evily treat us, but we can not indulge in unkindness without disobeying God, and we should not trample the law of the Lord underfoot because others have done wrong. Remember that nothing should be regarded as a sufficient excuse to trample on the law of the Lord. "Malice and all guile." Guile is the act of being insincere; double-dealing. This is a trait of our nature, to be two-faced; approve a brother to his face and condemn him to his back; to fain friendship where none is felt; approve a sermon with your lips when in heart you do not like it; to take great pains to make one think you love him when you do not. All this is to be laid aside. Sincerity is one of the brightest ornaments of a human being. We love the Christian man who means all he says; whose words are sincere words; but if we are not careful we will find ourselves speaking with flattering lips and indulging hypocrisy, which is to be lain aside. Envies are also mentioned among the evils to be avoided and lain aside. Few of us like to own that we ever indulge such a temper, yet I am persuaded that all God's people know that they are troubled with such a temper. Oh! what a low, mean temper is this. Yet it is more or less within all of us. The little song, "Saul hath slain his thousands and David his ten thousands," brought this scum to the surface in Saul, robbed him of his own happiness and made him a terror to others. The disciples were inquisitive to know who of them should be the greatest, and such a question yet arises within us. When we take a thoughtful look into our own hearts and see how much of evil there is within us, we rejoice that salvation is by grace alone. That temper (that rejoices when our brethren are advanced, thanks the Lord when others are blessed with liberty and receive the encouragements of other), is the one God approbates. When we can feel a self-denying disposition, a willingness to do what we can in that sphere, we are safe. The apostle adds: "And all evil speaking," or as Paul, in another place, says, "speak evil of no man." A failure to regard this admonition has often been the cause of great trouble among brethren. The tongue is an unruly member, and although all kinds of beasts and birds, etc., have been tamed, yet "the tongue hath no man tamed." How easy it is for brethren to whisper each others' faults without particularly designing evil, and some bird carries what was said to that brother, and trouble ensues. He is a wise man who has learned to bridle his tongue. We may all plead guilty of having disobeyed in this thing. As we regard the peace of Zion and our own happiness, and that of our brethren, let us seek to control our tempers. If our love is without "dissimulation," and it should be, we will be inclined to seek each others' welfare. We have abundant reasons to love the dear people of God. Christ loved them and gave himself for them. They are heirs to that inheritance that is reserved in heaven, and though now they are wearied with evil tempers and often act in an unlovely way, yet by and by they shall be freed from all these unlovely traits. We should "love the brotherhood," and willingly bear with each other. Surely, we should not seek to burden each other with unkind words or treatment. Let us love each other sincerely, and so act that it may be said, "behold, how they love one another." In union there is strength: united we stand, but divided we are a prey to our enemies, and destroy ourselves. "If ye bite and devour one another, take heed lest ye be consumed one of another." We should oppose and hate every evil thing and way. "Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good;" every kind of dishonesty in business, every low, cunning scheme or trick, we should hate and oppose, and be found on the right side of every question involving right and wrong. We have reasons to be a happy people; with a hope of eternal life, "the promise of the life that now is and that which is to come." We have reasons to rejoice. "Praise is comely in the sight of the Lord." We should often congregate and sing the high praises of our Great Redeemer who hath brought life and immortality to light.
In the hour of pain and trial we have reasons to be patient. Paul admonishes us to "be patient in tribulation." We know our pain will end, and end forever, and that our light afflictions will soon terminate in endless rest. It is not comely in a Christian to be impatient in sickness or disappointment. By considering that our state is much better than we deserve, we may strengthen our patience; others as good as we have been far worse off, and yet borne their trials with patience; and so our Savior endured with patience the agonies of the cross. If we realize what sinful persons we are, how much evil there is about us, how pride and self-esteem war against the real interest of the soul, we may learn that there is real need of trial that we may be humble.

"Afflictions, though they seem severe,
Are oft in mercy sent;
They stopped the prodigal's career
And cause him to repent."

We all desire that God would keep us humble, and we should bear with patience those things that do humble us. If my heart has grown proud, and my affections set on the things of this world, I should rejoice at tribulation that brings me to the feet of the Lord. We should ever be willing to condescend to men of low estate. Never indulge a spirit of revenge and retaliation. God hath said, "vengeance is mine," and we should not entertain a spirit of revenge. "Let nothing be done through strife or vain glory." We should never carry a spirit of strife; it is sure to end in our own injury; we should ever seek to overcome evil with good. The Christian life is a subject of vast importance, and should enlist every saint on earth. How shall I live to honor Christ and secure his approval? is a question we may well ask. God's blessings will attend the obedient; he has connected happiness and obedience all through his Word. Our influence on the world is measured by the amount of good we do. "Therefore, let us exhort one another to love and to good works, and so much the more as ye see the day approaching." A life of steadfast obedience growing out of the work of grace in the heart, is the best defense any of us can make of our doctrine, each of us being a living witness that the doctrine does not tend to "set men on the stool of do-nothing." For this we should seek with all our mights.


Every true lover of Zion is anxious to have peace prevail among us. Each member should labor to maintain the fellowship of the church. Great patience is required to live a consistent Christian life. We are all more or less imperfect and prone to err. We have our tempers, often ungovernable; and our tongues are often improperly employed. Also, we have conflicting interest in worldly things; we must have dealings with each other, buying and selling, borrowing and lending. Our children, with their various follies and imperfections, mingle together in social life. There are a thousand sources for strife to come up among us as a church; besides, each of us is liable to entertain a spirit of jealousy under which we interpret many things our brethren say and do for evil, when no evil was intended. "With green spectacles on, everything looks green." While we have a spirit of jealousy we can see no real marks of love in our brother. If he treats us well we are apt to think "it is for a purpose." If he visits us we are apt to suspicion him; and if he don't, we do the same. We put a bad interpretation on all he says or does; and we are all liable at times to be under such a spirit. Envy, hateful as it is, has a place within us; covetousness, malice, strife, hate, all, and more, have their influence upon us; and when we are governed by these, we are plunged into trouble ourselves, and often bring a whole church into trouble. Sometimes a brother or sister steps aside from the path of obedience, and soon imagines that the brethren are feeling unkind to them; interpret everything against themselves and become mild and shy; act and feel distant; vacate their seats in the church and bring on themselves and the church a vast amount of trouble unnecessarily. To guard against all these things is the true wisdom of a Christian. From these and similar considerations, it is clear that the only ground upon which we can hope to maintain fellowship is that of forbearance. "Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ." If we would maintain fellowship, the strong must "bear the infirmities of the weak, and not please ourselves." - Rom. 15:1. We are to expect our brethren and sisters to err, and do things that are wrong, and should not feel disappointed when we have some things to bear. * * * "If a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted." - Gal.6:1. If our brother errs, we are not to treat him cold and distant, but in a meek and quiet way seek to restore him to the path of duty and to the full fellowship of the church. If your brother does you a wrong you should think how liable you are to do wrong, and remember that you may, under temptations, do as wrong as he has. Think how tenderly you would be dealt with under such circumstances. Remember, too, that he is but a man in the flesh, with all the imperfections of our present state. If he has done you a wrong, you should not, for that, disobey God, who has taught you to deal tenderly with your brother. By looking over your past life you will perhaps see many places in which you have done wrong, and you should be willing to have your life tried by the same rule you use on others, for "with what judgment ye judge ye shall be judged, and with what measure ye mete it shall be measured to you again." So that, in trying our brother's case, we should ever remember that we may be tried. These considerations will make us moderate in our dealings with one another. It is a maxim in law that "he that comes into court must have clean hands." He that criticizes a brother himself must be above criticism. "Let him that is without sin cast the first stone." "First cast the beam out of thine own eye, and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote of thy brother's eye." If these considerations were always duly weighed, there would certainly be much less trouble in our churches.
If we consider the weakness of human nature, and the great power of the wicked one, we may thereby be led to apologize for the sins of our brethren. Our Savior said: "Father, forgive them, they know not what they do." A temper like this is the richest ornament of a Christian. We greatly desire that God should thus kindly and tenderly deal with us, and how reasonable, then, that we should exercise the greatest patience with one another. We are taught to pray "forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors." - Matt. 6:12. How many of us can say that "we have manifested the same patient, forgiving temper towards others that we would have the Lord manifest toward us." We cannot go before God in prayer consistently while we entertain an unforgiving temper towards others. I have heard brethren say that "if the brethren and sisters can bear with them in their imperfect manners, that they felt sure that they could bear anything sooner than have trouble in the church." This is a good state of mind to be in, but when these same brethren were tried and had something to bear they soon showed what mettle they were of by refusing to bear anything; sometimes vacating their seats in the church and remaining away from their duty until the patience of the church was exhausted. Because some brother or brethren had treated them wrong they would venture to sin against the whole church, and violate the plain word of God, which directs an entirely different course to be pursued. If your brother has injured you, are you, therefore, authorized to disobey God? Certainly not. The wrong of others should prompt us to live nearer and nearer to our duty. The 18th chapter of Matthew is regarded as being a full directory respecting our duty in matters of difficulty. In verse 15 we read: "Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between him and thee alone."
1st. This seems to have reference to matters of private trespass, or individual difficulty. The pronouns "thy" and "thee" seem to indicate that this instruction is intended to apply in cases where one member has been offended at another.
2nd. It is natural for one to say: "Well, he has done me a wrong and he knows it, and I will wait for him to come to me." But this instructs you to go to the offender and tell him your complaint; don't wait for him to come to you, nor tell your grievance to others; keep it in your own breast until you see him. Sometimes a brother becomes stubborn when he imagines that he has been offended, and quits the church. This is rebellion, and a worse sin against God than others have committed against him. The law directs him to go to the party and tell him privately about it. "Let nothing be done through strife," etc., but "in the spirit of meekness," "considering thyself lest thou also be tempted." It would be well to remember how our Lord dealt with us when he came to us. He told us all things that we had done. He displayed our sins before us, and that in such a sweet and affectionate manner that our hearts were won by him. We were led to repent of our sins and seek to do right. We were not made angry, although he opened the whole matter to us. Oh! what wisdom he displayed in approaching us, and how successful he was in gaining us! We may sin in our manner of going, or talking after we go. We must go "in the spirit of meekness," not in a rash, overbearing temper. "Let nothing be done through strife." We need both grace and wisdom to act prudently in a case of this kind, that our brother may feel that our object is good, and that we have not come simply to get ready for a church trial; show that you love him and want to gain him; that you want fellowship; lay all the matter open to him, and patiently hear his side, bearing in mind that you may have done wrong, and in some degree provoked him to do what he has done. Remember that you are fallible and liable to err, and if you gain the object sought you have gained a great victory. The church need never know that there has been a difficulty.
3rd. If he fail to "hear thee, then take with thee one or two more" of the brethren or sisters "that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established." This should all be done with the view of settling the matter. In selecting the "one or two," pains should be taken to get suitable persons, such as would be most likely to succeed, whose opinions would be heard with respect and without prejudice, and who would feel a great interest in getting a settlement. If he repent you are required to forgive him. "If he repent, forgive him." - Luke 17:3, and verse 4: "If he trespass against thee seven times in a day and seven times in a day turn again unto thee, saying, I repent, thou shalt forgive him." You should, in heart, forgive him and feel the same love to him that you would had nothing ever occurred to disturb your fellowship; this you will do, and feel if he TURN and you see that there is real penitence of heart with him, and you will love him as well as ever, and perhaps better.
4th. If he neglect to hear these, "tell it to the church." Of course this should be when the church is assembled for the transaction of business; and that same meek and tender temper should be manifested by the whole church. He should be kindly pointed to his error, and if he still persists in a stubborn, unyielding course, "let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican." That is, let him be expelled. Great care should be taken by the whole church not to manifest a harsh spirit of strife. Do this "in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ," and "by his spirit." - 1st Cor. 5:4. It is serious business to expel a member from the house of the Lord and its privileges. To do this in a vain, fleshly spirit of strife is a grievous sin. I have felt as serious when I have seen the church of God withdraw the hand of fellowship from a disobedient person as I ever did in my life. This should be a last resort with us. Amputation is deferred as long as it is safe to defer it, and it is at last performed with great pain to the body. And so we should feel pained to see one of our members severed from the body. I have known person who wept over their amputated limbs, and so we may justly weep to see sin control the members of our body so that we have to cut them off.
5th. The great principle of forbearance is taught in Matt. 18: 23rd to last, by the parable of a certain king who took account of his servants. One of his servants owed him ten thousand talents, which was about ten million dollars, and he had nothing to pay, but this servant fell down and worshipped him, etc. And the Lord of that servant forgave him the debt. This ten million of dollars represents how great a debt our Savior has forgiven us, but this same man, to whom so great a debt had been forgiven, went out and found one who owed him an hundred pence, which is less than one hundred dollars, and he laid hands on him and "took him by the throat" and demanded full payment. This shows, that though so much has been forgiven us, yet we are apt to entertain a harsh, unforgiving temper towards our brother. The last verse shows that our Heavenly Father will not forgive our sins if we do not from our hearts forgive those who trespass against us. Dear brother, how important that we should feel a tender spirit of forgiveness toward others. How it will embolden us to go to God for the pardon of our sins; to be able to say, "Lord, I freely, from my heart, forgive all that ever trespassed against me; I hold malice against none and pray a blessing upon my enemies, and now I come to thee for the pardon of my sins; my debt of sins to thee is immense, but I implore the pardon of all." Can we thus approach the Lord? If so, he will hear and forgive us, and our faces will glow with love and cheerfulness; but, on the other hand, if we are carrying malice and long settled hate against others, we shall not be forgiven. "Whoso stoppeth his ears at the cry of the poor, he also shall cry himself, but shall not be heard." And if we are deaf to all the Bible on this subject; if we entertain a low, unforgiving temper, we shall not be heard when we go before God in prayer. Mark 11:26: "But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Heavenly Father forgive your trespasses." Also Matt. 6:12: "Forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors." We are not likely to feel in death that we have borne too much with our brethren. You have a right to bear anything that comes upon you if it does not become an offense to the whole body; as long as it is a private, individual matter you have a right to bear it, and go along with it; fill your seat in worship, be kind, rendering "good for evil," and "overcome evil with good." This is heavenly, and the brightest ornament you ever wore on earth; but if you become sour, sulky and cross, act stubborn, wear a jealous face and look, your sin is likely to be greater than his who has sinned against you.
If we will duly consider what poor creatures of a moment we are, how short a time we have to stay here, and how much sin and evil controls us, it will help us to "pass over offenses." Shall we worry each other by taking each other "by the throat" for every offense? Let each of us think how poor, vile and sinful we are; let us run over the books to see how much the Lord has forgiven us; compare our sins of ten millions against God with our brother's sins of one hundred against us, and remember that all our's is forgiven; it will help us to forgive others. Besides, this harsh temper brings trouble to the whole church; it manifests that we are not humble as we should be. A person easily offended is too proud. Humility leads us to bear with each other. Our Savior opened not his mouth, although he was led like a poor sheep to the slaughter; and shall we open our mouths in charges and complaints when we receive trifling offenses from our brethren? The honor of the church greatly depends upon the fellowship of the brethren. The world is glad when Zion is in confusion. We never should bring a case up for the church to hear unless it is a very plain one; it is a burning shame to go before the church with a mere trifling case; all such you should bear and say nothing about it. This spirit of forbearance among brethren is the safeguard of the church, where "each can his brother's failings hide and show a brother's love." What I have said relates entirely to matters of private trespass. In all such cases the church should refuse to take notice of them until due efforts have been made to procure a settlement.
6th. In this same 18th of Matthew, verses 8 and 9, we have another class of difficulties: "If thy hand or thy foot offend thee, cut them off," etc. The church is compared to the human body - 1st Cor. 12. And so the church is here addressed as a whole. "If thy hand," that is, if one of thy members offend thee, "cut it off." If you have a chronic sore on your hand it may become dangerous to the whole body, and in such a case it would be better to cut it off. And so the church may have a member who is so corrupt in his deportment as to be a disgrace to the whole church; his evil conduct is not against any one member individually, and therefore he need not be dealt with as above described, but should be cut off, and if his future life proves him worthy he may be restored. "A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump," and so by the law of fellowship we may hold a corrupt man in our fellowship whose presence and association with us would be a disgrace to us as a church. A man guilty of theft or adultery, and whose character is generally known to be bad, would be a disgrace to the church and should be "cut off." In our rules of decorum this is mentioned as a "public offense." No one individually is hurt, but the church as a body is "offended," and as a body she should "cut him off." When a man is guilty of theft, our practice has been to exclude him, although he confesses his guilt and promises to reform. Yet it is held to be prudent to exclude for such public offenses, and should his future life be prudent, he may, without injury to the church, be forgiven and restored. In 1st Cor. 5, Paul directs that the man guilty of fornication be excluded; he does not seek to reclaim him, but instructs that he should be "delivered to Satan," which is understood by writers generally to signify exclusion; his simple promise to reform is not to be taken; let him be expelled, and then in case he does reform and give evidence of true penitence, he may be restored without injury to the church. By referring to 2nd Cor. 2, you will see that this same man mentioned in the first letter, was to be forgiven by the church, and so our usage is that for public offenses of this nature, sins that disgarce the person committing them, we do not seek to retain him, but withdraw the hand of fellowship from him until, by a suitable life, he proves himself worthy of a place in our body. Such cases are not unfrequent. In cases of bastardy, the uniform rule, so far as I know, has been to exclude. So of theft, murder, etc. We think the honor of the church requires it, and that where she fails to rid herself of such a person she is a partaker of his sins and justly loses her influence on society.
7th. Also, where members indulge in neglect of duty, vacate their seats, rail against the church or live lives that are injurious to us as a body, indulge in profanity or excessive drinking, etc. In all this the sin is against the body as a whole, and should be dealt with by the church as a body. Where the church can, with safety to her credit, bear with a member, she should do it, and should use all the means in her power to reclaim the disobedient. The parable of the one hundred sheep - Matt. 18:12, is intended to teach us that we should seek to reclaim the disobedient. Sometimes we see a brother or sister go astray, become cold and careless about their duty. We should use all the means in our power to reclaim them, remove their jealously by convincing them that we love them and desire their happiness and peace. As a shepherd would pursue the dear child of God and reclaim him from the ways of sin. But there is a time when prudence says, "cut them off," let the church maintain her true dignity in the end by plucking out right eyes or cutting off right hands that will not obey the laws of the Great King. On this subject Paul says, 1st Tim. 5:20-22: "Them that sin rebuke before all that others also may fear. I charge thee before God * * that thou observe these things without preferring one above another, doing nothing by partiality." Churches are apt to show partiality to their rich or learned members in these things, which is a grievous sin and should be carefully avoided. "Lay hands suddenly on no man." We should never in a rash and hasty manner exclude members; give them time to "bethink themselves," use suitable means to reclaim them and save them. He then adds, "Neither be partakers of other men's sins." While we should use care not to be too hasty and rash, we should not retain the offender to our own ruin. We may hold a member in our body until we "are partakers of other men's sins;" against this we should guard. "Keep thyself pure." Steer clear of rashness on the one side and undue indulgence on the other. I think it right for brethren to confer with each other about what is right in such cases. I have heard dear brethren ask with deep concern, "What ought the church to do?" "Are we doing wrong to let this or that one alone in their neglect?" These are often very serious matters to them that love the house of the Lord. Oh, dear reader, let me exhort you, never while you live to give the church and your brethren such trouble. If you have been neglecting duty, go to the next meeting and confess your error, and ask pardon of the church. Think how precious the cause, how deep the trouble that your course is giving, and be persuaded to do right. God is to be feared, and your course is against him and his people, and in harmony with Satan.
Be persuaded to obey the Lord in all things. If you have sinned, God will forgive you; your brethren will forgive you and receive you to their arms and hearts in fellowship again, and your own happiness will be promoted by it.
8th. The scriptures do not furnish us the manner of proceeding in public offenses as in private trespass. We are told to "cut them off" and "pluck them out," and "deliver such an one to Satan," etc., but we are not instructed just how this is to be done. In matters of private trespass we are instructed to "tell him his fault between him and thee alone," etc.; but all this is understood to relate to one brother dealing with another. As there is no particular method given, we are left to adopt such method as seems most appropriate. I think where one of our members is guilty of a grievous sin, demanding exclusion, that the matter should be first taken up and considered by the church, and a suitable committee appointed to visit the accused and give him or her notice of the complaint and cite him to the next meeting of business. In case he or she fails to be present, the church may, with proper testimony, exclude. The greatest possible pains should be taken not to exclude in a rude, passionate manner. The judge who passes sentence against the criminal is not mad; he but discharges his duty in obedience to law; neither should you be mad when you execute the law of the Lord. By manifesting rashness, you are likely to disturb the particular friends of the excluded, and you may, while rooting up the tares, root up the wheat also. The kind of evidence to be taken is a question of some interest; where church evidence can be had it is far better, and some good brethren have held that we should never exclude unless it be on the testimony of church members. It sometimes occurs that persons are esteemed by the whole community as guilty of gross sin, and yet no church member is able to state that he knows the party to be guilty. Persons have been tried for theft and sentenced to the State prison, and yet no brother in the church was able, from his own personal knowledge, to say that the party was guilty. In cases of this kind it is held by some good brethren that the most appropriate course would be for the church to select a committee of judicious brethren to investigate the facts and circumstance connected with the matter, getting all the evidence they can and report to the next meeting, and let the church act upon their report. I think this is a prudent course. In such cases I am aware that we should exercise great care not to suffer our brethren imposed on by those that are without. But unless we do receive the testimony of those without, in some degree, we are liable to retain in our fellowship those who are guilty of grossest crime, and even tried and sentenced to the State prison for gross crime.
In cases where our brethren habitually neglect their meetings and indulge in railing against the church, etc., I think the church should appoint a committee of brethren or sisters, as prudence would dictate, to visit the party and learn the cause of such neglect, find out the nature of their complaint and seek to remove the difficulties, making every effort possible to induce them to resume their duties, and make a report to the church. They should be induced to continue in the church if it can be done honorably, but if not let them be excluded.
The church should seek to keep the house of the Lord in an orderly manner by looking after her members and their conduct, endeavoring to demonstrate that there is power in religion to make men live upright lives. In this way she becomes the light of the world, and her presence and influence is felt for good in the community.
It is the duty of the church to see that the doctrine preached in her pulpit is sound, and in harmony with God's word. "A man that is an heretic after the first and second admonition reject." - Titus 3:10. A minister who preaches heresy should be discountenanced, and his authority called in. I hope that what I have written on this subject will lead to investigation, and in that way, if in no other, be a blessing.
Note - It is a rule in some churches, in settling matters of difficulty between brethren, to require all except the members to absent themselves from the house, so that the world may never know of there being a difficulty between the brethren.
The instructions in the 18th of Matthew requires it to be kept between the interested parties, first and second; the one or two should keep it a secret, and these churches hold that it should likewise be a matter known only to the church. I know no reason why this is not a prudent course.


We have ever held that God calls men to the work of the ministry. I desire in this to give some reasons why; also to define what we mean by "a call," together with something in regard to his duties and support. I would also be glad to give profitable advice to those who are exercised in mind in regard to this matter. We can hardly ascribe too much importance to this subject. If the true minister of the gospel is divinely impressed to this work, it follows that it is not every man's duty to preach, and also that intellect or talent alone do not prepare men for the ministry. I shall urge that every true minister is divinely appointed to that office.
1st. The importance of the work he is to do is such that it would not be consistent to say that it is left to the mere decision of men whether it is to be done or not. It is the "flock of God" he is to "feed." Is its food left uncertain? If not, it must be done, not left optional with men whether it is fed or not; but God will have it fed. There is nothing dearer to God than his church; he calls it his "bride," "spouse," "love," and such endearing names as indicate the strongest possible attachment. The church to him is "as the apple of his eye." He "commends his love to us" by giving his Son "to die for us." The minister's duty is to feed this object that is so dear to God. Can we harmonize this with the thought that it is left to the will of men whether it is to be fed or not? When we think of the vast amount of comfort the church receives from the true minister, how the burdens of life are lightened, and how sad and wretched the church would be without it, can we think that God has made no certain provision for it? Has he given his son to death by divine appointment for the church? Has her salvation and interest both in this world and in the world to come employed the eternal mind of God, and employed that mind in eternity, and yet has he made no provision by which the gospel of all this must be preached? Does God behold his people as pilgrims and strangers here; as "lambs among wolves," having no continuing city here; exposed to the temptations of the world, flesh and Satan, and yet in no way made certain their comfort, encouragement and instruction by the gospel? The coming of the dew and the rain are blessings we can not easily overestimate, but the preached word is worth as much to us; and is this natural blessing, divinely sent without money or price, and that which feeds the soul - yea, that which administers water to the thirsty children of God, left entirely with men? Does God provide for the grass, and leave his own children unprovided for? Are not his saints while here on earth of more value than grass, or "sparrows," or beasts, and if so, will he not at least as certainly provide for their food? Is there not an importance in this work that makes it a NECESSITY? Meditate on this sentence, "Feed the church of God," open to her the provisions made for her in Christ, his righteousness, wisdom, sanctification and redemption, his everlasting love to her and the many fruits and evidences of that love; describe the birth and life, and death and resurrection, and ascension of the Lord Jesus to her. Lay before her the various promises that reach to heaven for her; comfort her with the blessed prospect of life and immortality beyond the grave. Oh, what a comforting promise that points the mind beyond this world for lasting rest. Reader, there is too much importance in this work to be left to the mere inclination of the human mind; more reasonable that rain and dew be left for men to control; more reasonable that the succession of seasons, seed time and harvest, and day and night be left with men. A work so full of importance, so fraught with interest to the saints on earth, must be performed and men will engage in it who will have a whole heart in the matter, who will not wait for lucrative places nor seek to popularize the gospel.
2nd. The nature of the work, according to the Bible, is such that men will not voluntarily engage in it. The whole work is utterly incompatible with human nature. The Savior sent the apostles, "as lambs among wolves." Perhaps there is nothing more unnatural than for lambs knowingly to go into the midst of wolves, and yet in this way the first preachers were sent. The Savior never held out one inducement to the nature of the apostles, but told them to "beware of men: for they will deliver you up to the councils, and they will scourge you in their synagogues; and ye shall be brought before governors and kings for my sake," etc. - Matt. 10:17-18. Nothing would have been better suited to deter the apostles from his service than this address. He promised them the bitterest opposition of the world, and never promised them the favors of this world. "Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you and you shall be hated of all nations for my name's sake." Certainly those who would follow in this service are not influenced by any natural impulse. He nowhere promised them worldly ease, or honor, or riches. He constantly promised affliction, and persecution, and hatred of the world. Had he offered worldly inducements he would have had ease-and-gain-seekers in abundance; but stripes, and imprisonments, and hatred in this world were the principal things promised. Love to him was the great moving cause that led his apostles through trials of every kind, and finally through death. It was love that moved him to die on the cross, and the same principle in his apostles led them to suffer everything for his sake. They found his promise of worldly opposition fulfilled; one by one they were taken and sent to death by their enemies. Paul's life in the ministry was a scene of worldly suffering and privation; he suffered "the loss of all things" for the sake of preaching Christ; his honor, wealth and ease were all sacrificed, and finally and lastly, his life. We have no promise that the world will ever love the church better than it loved Christ. "The friendship of this world is enmity with God; whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God." What is there in such a service to induce a man to go into it of a natural kind? It is natural for us to seek ease, or honor, or wealth, but none of these are promised in this service; but the reverse is constantly foretold. John says: "Ye are not of the world, for I have chosen you out of the world; therefore the world hateth you." Which of the prophets, from Abel to Zachariah, enjoyed the approbation of the masses? Most of them were persecuted, if not put to death. "They were stoned, they were sawed asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword, they wandered about in sheep-skins and goat-skins, being destitute, afflicted, tormented." "They wandered in deserts and mountains, and caves and dens of the earth." This Paul gives as a condensed history of the saints anciently, or Old Testament saints, and the New Testament saints suffered the same things; even Jesus, "the green tree," and the same things were promised to his followers, "the dry tree," with a positive promise that "ye shall suffer affliction," "the world will hate you." And so the long line of martyrs from Jesus, the bloody history of the church found. The world continued to hate the gospel and its defenders, and as often as men have learned how to preach so as to escape the cross, they have ceased to be the servants of Christ and become the "enemies of God." The masses of men hate the doctrine of the gospel, and he that preaches the gospel may confidently expect the hatred of the world. If one finds the masses admire him as a preacher he has just reason to tremble. When the Savior taught the doctrine of election, Luke 4:25-27, the people were filled with wrath and thrust him out of the city and led him to the brow of the hill that they might cast him down headlong. "The carnal mind is enmity against God, and is not subject to his law, neither indeed can be, hence the preaching of the cross is foolishness and a stumbling block to the unregenerate. The minister is everywhere forbidden to engage in this service for filthy lucre's sake. Peter exhorts the elders to feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly, not for filthy lucre's sake, but of a ready mind." The service of God never has lawfully been made the means of building up wealth, or acquiring worldly honor, or ease, and these are the things men seek after in this world, and, as the opposite of these is promised to the minister, I think it safe to say that it is wholly unnatural for men to engage in it; hence the pulpit will ever be supplied with men who can say, "necessity is laid upon me."
In the third place I argue that the Bible plainly teaches that God calls men to that work. This argument, to be good, must be supported by scripture. If those who preached the gospel were called by the spirit, we shall conclude that they who now preach are called to that work. I shall not say that A or B is now called. I shall only show that the Savior did call men to that work while he was here; that he promised to be with his servants even to the end of the world. The reasoning that would admit that men were called all the way through the New Testament and deny their being called now, would also change every other doctrine and service. In settling the mode of baptism, we look to see what mode was practiced by the apostles, and since Christ has made none, and none else have a right to change it, therefore, we say that the mode then, is the only scriptural baptism now, and so with the subject in hand. If in the beginning those who preached were personally called to that work, they are yet, unless it can be shown that the Savior has made a change in the management of this matter, and who dare say he has ever made a change? Do we not need men divinely chosen to preach to us much as they in the beginning? Is not the gospel as precious and the saints as needy? What change is there in the gospel, or the Savior, or our need, that justifies the conclusion that there is any change in this particular? We need the same cross-bearing humble men to contend for truth and stand against error; men who are willing to sacrifice worldly honor, and ease, and wealth for Christ's sake; who will not stop and follow other pursuits because they pay better, or hunt for churches giving largest salaries, whose faithful lives prove that it is their delight to publish the gospel of Christ.
The American Christian Review of Aug. 9, 1881, editorial notes: "why don't our colleges, where hundreds of pastors are made annually to order and sent out to the highest bidders, furnish the churches with a sprinkle of preachers, proclaiming heralds of the cross, evangelist. * * * Manufactured pastors may preach or they may not, a desire very much regulated by the pay or no pay," * " but a born preacher will preach, must preach," etc. True preachers are not manufactured to order, nor by human skill, nor peddled out to the highest bidder, nor is their desire to preach regulated by the pay or no pay, but their words are daily "woe is me if I preach not."
In the beginning Christ selected the apostles; they did not seek the position, he sought them and assigned to them the work. He afterwards made choice of seventy, and later of two. - Acts 13:1-3. His method then was to personally choose men to the work. He also taught us, Matt. 9:38, to "Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth laborers into his harvest." This is evidence that he still intended, after he had left the world, "to send laborers" and supply the churches as before. We are not to apply to schools as human help to supply our pulpits, but look to God in prayer, ask him to send to our relief men who can break the bread of life and preach the gospel of Christ to us, "not for filthy lucre's sake, but of a ready mind." Paul addressed the elders of Ephesus as those whom "the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers." - Acts 20:28. The office they held had been conferred on them by the Holy Ghost. "The Holy Ghost, said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them." - Acts 13:2. Thus the church was informed by the Spirit that he had called them to that work, and where there is a man in a church called and fitted to preach the gospel, the Spirit still makes it known to the church. God personally visited the prophets of old and prepared them for his service. They did not feel themselves able to fill the places assigned them, but God promised them help. They complained of weakness and unfitness, and unworthiness, but all these objections were answered by God, and they were made to go, trusting the Lord. Moses complained of incompetency, David of unworthiness, Isaiah, Jeremiah, and the lesser prophets were sensible of their unworthiness and incompetency, but God encouraged them by suitable promises. It is written: "They that sow in tears shall reap in joy." "He that goeth forth and weepeth, shall doubtless return rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him." - Psalms 126:5-6.
May we not, dear reader, say that still there are men who feel that necessity is lain upon them; who can not be content without engaging in this work; who leave business and families without any contract for promised reward from men; who leave their families with sorrowful feelings, as the cows went lowing that were hitched to the ark; many of them men of fine intellects, who are naturally capable of filling the highest stations among men and building up fortunes in worldly pursuits, who seem to prefer to live lives of hardship and toil, anxiety and privation; who seem to be willing to sacrifice every worldly interest they have for Christ's sake and the gospel's sake. This is the spirit by which Moses preferred the afflictions of God's people to the honor of Egypt's crown, and by which David preferred to be a doorkeeper in the house of the Lord. The prophets were led by the same Spirit to declare truth rather than "smooth words," though it brought them into disrepute and brought upon them the opposition of their fellow creatures. Human nature is the same yet. The carnal mind is the same yet, "enmity against God" and his people. The world till yet "knoweth us not because it knew him not." Yet, the true minister, in the face of all this, goes to his work realizing that unless the Lord is with him in his labors to enable him to speak in power and in the Holy Ghost, his labors will be unavailing. Now, reader, have I not made my last argument good, that the scriptures teach the doctrine? I might, also, argue that the office itself is one that men can not learn to fill as they can learn to be physicians, or, lawyers. It is a work in which the heart is engaged - a work of love; he is allied in feeling with the church, and to him it is a labor of love. Paul understood his sufficiency to be of God, and that God made him an able minister of the New Testament, not of the letter, but of the Spirit. Men may learn to be "letter preachers," but not of the Spirit. It is, Eph. 4 and 1st Cor. 12, regarded as a gift, and so we regard it. In determining whether a man is a true preacher, we don't inquire, "is he smart?" or "is he a good talker?" but "does he feed the people of God?" "Can I get a crumb from his performance?" Do I feel, as he talks, that it is manna to my soul? Can he describe the trials, and conflicts, joys, doubts, fears, etc., through which I pass? Can he describe the exercises of a poor sinner in passing from law to gospel?"


We do not believe that God in an audible voice speaks to men in regard to this matter, but as mentioned in Exodus 35:21: "And they came, every one whose heart stirred him up, and every one whom his Spirit made willing," etc. The heart is "stirred up;" he is made "willing;" made to feel the great importance of the work. He reflects on the needy condition of the churches, the riches of the gospel, and sees humble inquirers after a Savior's love; he desires to comfort them. He feels an increased interest in the Bible; reads it, anxious to know its meaning. But with all this he feels unable to fill the place of a minister; groans under a sense of unworthiness. So much imperfection about himself, and the cause is so precious that he trembles at the thought of engaging in so sacred a work. He resolves to obey God in this matter, and again he decides not to obey; experiencing sorrow and joy, alternately, as he resolves to obey and again to disobey. He weeps and groans over the subject. Sometimes he longs to know what is duty, and prays to know what it is; passes sleepless nights, full of inquiry as to what is duty. His concern of mind is seen by the church, which soon discovers that the Lord is preparing a gift for them.
The church rejoices that God is leading one to serve them. They urge him to take part in service, which he reluctantly and tremblingly does. In his performance he manifests tenderness, and zeal, and love to God and his cause. He feeds the church; the weak ones are comforted; hungry, thirsty souls are interested in his remarks; mourners are entertained by him, and regret to see him conclude his remarks. Often he feels a great relief of mind when he has tried to speak or offer prayer; at other times he is filled with remorse at his own failures; fears he has injured the cause, and perhaps resolves to try no more. But still the word of the Lord is like fire locked up in his bones, seeking to find utterance, and he mentally exclaims: "Woe is me if I preach not the gospel of Christ." Thus he is exercised until he is convinced that he can not be happy unless he takes this cross and performs his duty the best he can. He realizes that he is a sinful man through life. He feels pride and sin working within him. He sees more corruption in himself than he sees in any other creature on earth. He loves and glories in the doctrine of grace, because he knows that alone will save him. Paul s words, to save sinners, of whom I am chief, and unto me who am less than the least of all saints, are fully understood by him. He is led in humility to the feet of his brethren to be to them an humble, faithful, steadfast servant. He feels that he is debtor to the people, so that with all his might he is ready to preach the gospel to them. - Rom. 1:13. He is allied in heart to the interests of the churches, so that he rejoices at their prosperity and weeps over their adversity. It is not his financial interest that causes him to go into this service, but he leaves his own pursuits of life, and wife and children, and unnaturally gives his time and mind to the interests of the church. A ruling power within him urges him to duty despite the claims of worldly interests. God only knows the feelings of his heart. As the milk kine that were tied to the cart, they go "lowing," or thinking of home. When one is thus sent, he has a message when he comes to us. He is not a self or time server, but he feeds the flock over which he is made overseer; his actions, looks, and walk all prove him to be deeply interested in the church's welfare. Thus, I believe the Lord prepares men to serve him as ministers.
Mr. Firth (William. Tyndale's son in the gospel), while in prison, with one hand chained, writing in reply to Sir Thomas Moore, said: "I assure you I neither will nor can cease to speak, for the Word of God boileth in my body like a fervent fire, and will needs have an issue, and breaketh out when occasion is given."
Never till life's end shall I forget the circumstances that led me first to try to exercise in public. My wife and I were both received into the church the same day. When I was baptized I was indescribably happy; I felt sure that I was in the path of duty, and was truly following the Savior. As my wife was raised from the water she clasped her hands, and in a few words praised the Lord. Her face was glowing with love, and I felt sure her service was sincere. I never shall be happier this side of heaven than I was there as I walked out of the water. I looked at the congregation on the bank weeping for joy, and some of them shouting the praise of the Lord. I felt an impression vividly and forcibly made on my mind that I would have to serve this people as a minister. I have never forgotten this impression. It was some weeks that I was free from trouble of every kind; not a doubt about my acceptance with God, and I enjoyed a full assurance of pardon and the joys of pardoned sin; but this scene of joy was interrupted by a return of the impressions above referred to. I began to feel that this was an immediate duty, and though I deeply felt it a duty, yet I was wholly opposed to it. I saw that it would overthrow all my previous plans of life. I had desired to amass a good share of this world's goods, and to become a minister destroyed all my plans. I can truly say that it was in no way in harmony with my feelings to preach. I also looked upon it as an awfully solemn engagement to try to preach the gospel. I realized that I was unworthy and incompetent, and would at times resolve not to engage in the matter, and then a sense of duty to God and his people, the great need of fallen man, and the great fullness there is in Christ, would follow me. So that I can truly say that I felt as great a distress about this matter as I had felt about myself as a sinner. I often went in secret to ask God for wisdom to know my duty, and for grace to perform it. At times my feelings were, that if I only knew my duty I would patiently perform it; at other times I felt wholly unreconciled to it under any consideration. I told my wife of my troubles on the subject, and found that she was most bitterly opposed to it. She would often burst into tears and urge upon me never to yield to such an impression. We often wept together over the matter, both desiring and dreading to do our duty. We felt the greatest possible degree of opposition to such a course of life. I remember the first time I ever left my home to go to meeting. While preparing my clothes for that trip, I observed that my wife was crying. I had been away from home several days at a time before, and had never seen her so affected. I asked her about the matter; she said she felt sure that I would leave her a great deal in the future. All this greatly affected me, and I resolved in my mind that I never would consent to pursue such a course of life. I went away with a sad heart, and was greatly distressed about what course to pursue. I felt that it was duty, and yet I felt unreconciled to it. But during my stay I was led in my mind to resolve to follow my convictions of duty, and when I came home I told my wife that we ought not to refuse to obey longer. I spoke of God's great goodness to us in the pardon of our sin, and how he had blessed us in worldly things; referred to his great power to bless in worldly things and his power to comfort her in my absence and reconcile both of us to our duty. I also spoke of how our lives and health, and that of our family, were in his hands, and that he could at his own pleasure call any of these away from us; of what the Savior had suffered for us, and that we ought to be willing to bear anything for his sake. I felt humble that night, and I felt a strong resolution to do my whole duty. She listened to this speech, and when I was done she went out of the house, evidently in great distress. I waited a long while for her to return, and seeing that she stayed so long, I went out to see what was the state of her mind. I found her with her face buried in her hands, crying as if her heart would break. She said she never could be willing to submit to this matter. This was a terrible trial to me; we wept together, and I know that our grief was great. I felt my resolution to duty give way before such bitter opposition; many events occurred in which I was made to feel that I could not trample on my wife's wishes in the matter. I had been often asked to take part in public service but had always refused. I would often leave church with a sad heart on account of it. The next Thursday night, after this incident occurred, I went to a night meeting. I told my wife, when I left home that night, that if I was asked to take part I could not refuse. I was requested to take part, and did, in opening service, though I felt that it was a weak effort; yet I came away feeling greatly relieved. I continued to take part when opportunity offered; sometimes I enjoyed a rich feast in duty, and at others I was greatly mortified on account of my failures. The brethren encouraged me very much. There were some brethren that I shall not forget as long as I live, who said and did all they could to encourage me, apologizing for my failures and going with me to my appointments, etc., Charles Burch, Wm. Graves, Hughes East, Hardin Edwards, and many more now dead and in heaven, whose words of comfort I shall long remember. I felt assured that I had their confidence and prayers. My wife also became reconciled to my duty, and I can say that she has very few times in life opposed me in going to my appointments.
The brethren finally gave me license to preach, and later I was ordained by the following presbytery: Elders Gideon Potter, David T. Poynter and E. D. Thomas; also Deacons J. C. Freeman, George Kinder and Henry Boruff. This was on the third Saturday in January, 1872. I became more reconciled to my duty, and have been spending much of my time since in trying to do what I conceive to be my duty. I sensibly feel that I fall far short of making full proof of my ministry. I have formed the acquaintance of many brethren whose acquaintance has been sweet, and whom I greatly love. I feel sure they are moving in the cause, because they feel they must. I believe that the true minister's wife has a heavier cross to bear, if possible, than he. Oh ! how few realize how much these women sacrifice of their own comfort. There are but few on earth, but yet there are some who do sympathize with them in their lonely moments at home alone, as a widow caring for a family and worldly concerns. Dear sister, allow me to remind you that the great Saviour knows your entire case; he is able to comfort you and support you under your trials. There are few on earth that you need tell them to, but the Lord can hear and will supply your wants. Oh! how heavy the cross becomes when you think that a whole life is to be spent in this way. Your husband absent, everything to see to, with no prospect of its ever being better. You lay by your hope of your husband's company at home and his society in visiting your friends; no human words can resign you to your task, but the Saviour's presence and the sweet thought that he knows all you endure, and while the brethren may forget you and neglect you, the Lord will keep you to the end. In all your sufferings he is witness, and in heaven you will feel a sweet peace and rest that will be heightened and sweetened by what you suffer here.
I promised in the commencement of this article to give something in the way of counsel to those engaged in this work, and I know that the counsel, if good, is equally applicable to me. In Acts 20:28, we have the words: "Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock," etc. To Timothy he says: "Take heed unto thyself and to the doctrine." Such expressions are worthy of our most prayerful consideration. "We have this treasure in earthen vessels." We are but "earthen." "We are men of like passions with you." - Acts 14:15. Also, "Elias was a man subject to like passions as we are." - James 5:17. We are subject to pride, and vanity, and selfishness. Our hearts are liable to be the habitation of jealousy, envy and covetousness. We have our natural inclinations towards ease and popular favor, and all these are at war with the soul. It was a view of these things that led Paul to say: "Oh! wretched man that I am, who shall deliver me from the body of this death?" Herein lies the necessity that we take heed to ourselves. "The servant of the Lord must not strive, but be gentle, in meekness instructing them that oppose themselves." A spirit of strife is forbidden. "Let nothing be done through strife or vain glory." We should not use our gifts for a vain glorious purpose, to promote our own selves. Our gifts should be employed to edify and comfort God's children. In all our discipline avoid partiality; give ourselves to reading, to prayer, to exhortation, be examples to the flock in word, and conversation, and charity, etc. Study the interests of the churches, seek to declare the whole counsel of God.
It is not necessary to constantly investigate any one subject, but the whole scope of the gospel. Bear in mind that we are to be of good report of them that are without. We should, therefore, be faithful in all our dealings with men. We have no use for a preacher who is not truthful and safe in business. If he is poor, let him be truthful and trustworthy in worldly affairs; better go ragged than lose your good name. One says: "Look to thy hinder parts, minister, lest while thy mouth doth preach the gospel, thy nakedness and shame be seen of them that hear thee." Again he says: "Covetousness makes a minister smell bad and look more like a greedy dog than a minister." - Bunyan. Pride is a poor thing to adorn a minister; be plain, dress plain and common, walk in a common, humble way that will make the people feel that you are not above them. Remember what kind of preacher and preaching you most admired and loved whn you were a poor mourner, and seek to preach to others in that way and manner that was then most comforting to you; don't be content with a few gospel notions in the head, but bear in mind the heart must be in the matter. While the mind should be stored with knowledge, the heart must be filled with love. "Let us have grace" is a suitable prayer for all of us to offer. Humility, moderation, chastity in conversation and thought, faithfulness to God and his cause, knowledge of his Word, with a mind drawn out fervently for the welfare of Zion, are all ornaments to the minister. Our congregations will judge us, and our usefulness depends much upon our standing among the brethren. I will close this subject by reminding you that we should not become discouraged because but few attend our preaching; truth will some day triumph. God's people will one day be known, and be exalted above this poor earth. We will all meet in eternal rest. "Our light afflictions which are but for a moment," will end in "an eternal weight of glory." "The sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that shall be revealed in us." Oh! brethren, "be ye steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord." Neither our rest, nor crown, is to be enjoyed in this life. Therefore "let us lay aside every weight, and the sin that doth so easily beset us, and let us run, with patience, the race that is set before us, ever looking unto Jesus, who is the author and finisher of our faith."


We have seen that the true minister is called to that work by the Lord; that he feels bound to do his duty as a minister. In order to be able to wait on the churches, he must read and "study to show himself a workman." He must ever be willing to quit his own temporal affairs to visit the churches, the sick, and the dying. He should not be unwilling to labor with his own hands, for he is taught to do this; but when his ministerial service is called for he should be willing and ready to give it. "Give thyself wholly to them; that thy profiting may appear to all." - 1st Tim. 4:5." The study of the Word and expounding it to others is to be the great business of his life. "Till I come give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine." This is Paul's counsel to a minister. "Neglect not the gift that is in thee." "No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life." These, with many more references, show that he should give time and attention to reading, to meditation, etc. He must necessarily devote his time and mind with a view to prepare himself to entertain the people, while he should bear in mind that his sufficiency is of God; yet he should seek to store his mind with a knowledge of God's word. "Add to your faith virtue, and to virtue knowledge." All this calls his attention away from his family and business. He must be at some expense to prepare himself with conveyance, clothing, etc.; besides, the needs of his family are the same as other men; his own clothes and those of his family wear out. I know this is a question we are often reluctant to talk about, and yet it is one the Bible speaks of. It is one of interest to the church, to the minister, and to his family. To the church, because its prosperity depends much upon its own faithfulness in duty, and to the minister because his happiness and usefulness is much affected by the regard and interest his brethren take in him. He wishes to be held as a brother, not a slave to his brethren; and when he has all his own expenses to meet, and family to see to, and yet give a majority of his time to the brethren, he is sensible that they should divide burdens with him, and where the church fails to do it he becomes disheartened and his energy as a minister is lessened. To his family, because they are entitled to a support either from the minister or those he serves. I regard the relation between the minister and the church as I do the relation between the members of a family. One should not be burdened and another eased; no one member of the family should bear the burden of that family; each one should seek to bear his share of the burden, and yet there is no hiring the members of the family to work. The wife and mother will not be hired to do what her station fits her to do. It is her heart's delight to care for the little ones and wait on the family. Yet she should not be required to give her time to these delightful duties and yet be neglected herself; she should share the comforts of life with the family. So with the minister; it is his pleasure to wait on the churches, and he could not be content without it, and will go to his task, although it be at his own expense, and although he knows his family has a natural right to his time and labor. Yet he should not be neglected because he is a willing servant. The brethren should not conclude "he will attend whether we divide burdens with him or not." This making a slave of him, and not a brother, and it will have a bad effect on his preaching and feelings. In worldly matters we know that a sense of honor requires us in public matters to divide burdens. The expense of any public enterprise honorable men want to divide, and they who are unwilling to do their part are regarded as covetous. If you request a neighbor to aid you in a matter that requires him to quit his business, you feel in honor bound to make his time good, and so with this case. If you ask a man to preach for you, you ought to be willing to divide burdens with him. It is unreasonable that you should expect him to attend three or four churches, clothe himself decently and support his family, and you be at no expense at all. This, I think, is clear. If our obligations to divide burdens in a worldly point is clear, is it less so in church? It seems to me that religion strengthens moral obligations rather than weakens them. Your duty to your minister does not rest on the same ground that your duty to paupers rests. You give the paupers when want makes it indispensable to them, but you should give to him, as you are interested in the same work he is interested in, as a brother, as one willing to divide the burden with him. You should not give to him as a hireling, for he is not a hireling any more than the faithful wife is a hireling. You should share with him as members of a family share in common the comforts of life, and in common perform the burdens of life. You should not seek to exalt and enrich him, for this he does not desire at your hands. He only wants to be treated as a brother; he wants to live upon an equality with you. Even if he is worth more money than you, you should not ask him to spend that money that of right belongs to his wife and children to pay his expenses in visiting you. Sometimes we hear it said there is danger of spoiling a preacher by giving; perhaps this is true, but if he is an humble man it will not spoil him for you to show a willingness to divide the burdens of life with him. While some have been spoiled by doing more for them than should have been done, I think others have been discouraged and injured by allowing them to attend their church, year after year, without giving them anything. They have been made to feel, and justly, too, that you were not concerned about them; that you were covetous and neglectful, and as a consequence their zeal and interest in the church has slackened. Perhaps you have helped some that afterwards proved that it was the money they wanted, and you will hereafter do nothing. Thus Satan has driven you to an extreme. In a church of ten male members twenty-five cents, on an average, from each of them every month, would help the man who preaches for them very much; it would make him know that they were interested in him, and lessen his burden, and this could be done easily and no one hurt. Let me ask you, dear reader, to think seriously on this matter? Is it right in you to live in the church year after year without being at any expense? Can you keep a clear conscience before God and contribute nothing to aid in bearing the expense of the church? In ancient times they of the Jews who sacrificed were required to bring the best of their flocks, something of value, to offer to the Lord. Perhaps you say, "The Lord will provide for the minister; let him trust the Lord." That is true, but what about your own case? Should you not be willing to make some sacrifice in his cause? Read your Bible carefully and see if God has not required duty at your hands? I have known brethren, in good circumstances, to live for years without aiding in any way the man who labored for them as a minister. I regard this as wrong, to say the least of it. If the minister is not worthy of being treated as a brother don't ask him to labor for you. Let me invite your attention to the Bible on this subject: "If we have sown unto you spiritual things, is it a great thing if we reap your carnal things?" Here he regards it as perfectly reasonable that the minister should receive at the hands of the brethren. It is written in the law of Moses: "Thou shalt not muzzle the mouth of the ox that treadeth out the corn." * "For our sakes no doubt this is written." "Do ye not know that they which minister about holy things live of the things of the temple, and they which wait at the altar are partakers with the altar." Lev. 6:16-26, and 7:8; Num. 5:9-10; and 18:8-20. Deut. 10:9; and 18:1. These references show that the priests did derive their support from their office, and yet they were not hired but divinely appointed to that office. "Even so hath the Lord ordained that they that preach the gospel shall live of the gospel." Preaching the gospel is not to be a starving business. God has ordained that his ministers shall be sustained in the discharge of their duty. Paul asserts in 1st Cor. 9:3-8, that his duty to the ministry does not destroy his rights as a man; he has a right to a wife and family as other men have. "Who goeth a warfare at his own charges, who planteth a vineyard and eateth not of the fruit thereof, or who feedeth a flock and eateth not of the milk of the flock." It is nonsense to deny these passages referring to the rights of men in the ministry. "Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give, not grudgingly or of necessity, for God loveth a cheerful giver." What is given should be given willingly. It is not the amount that is acceptable before God, but the willingness with which it is done. "If there be first a willing mind it is accepted according to that a man hath, and not according to that he hath not, for I mean not that other men be eased and you burdened." Again, speaking of the Corinthians, he says: "For to their power they were willing of themselves, praying us with much entreaty that we would receive the gift and take upon us the fellowship of the ministering to the saints." Phil. 4:15-17: "Now ye Philippians know also, that in the beginning of the gospel, when I departed from Macedonia, no church communicated with me as concerning giving and receiving, but ye only. For even in Thessalonica ye sent once and again unto my necessity. Not because I desire a gift: but I desire fruit that may abound to your account." It is needless to refer to all the passages that teach the doctrine. In the above quotation Paul regards their contribution as a fruit or evidence of the interest they take in the great matter of Christianity, and it is true till yet, that our interest in the cause is better known by what we do than by what we say. The true minister is not sent out to beg money, nor will he turn beggar of the people. The brethren should exercise sound judgment in this matter, and do their duty without being scolded or unduly urged to it, for if it is given reluctantly it is no "fruit to your account," and should not be given at all, unless given willingly. I remember when I was a boy that the brethren used to talk among themselves about the minister's needs. At different times I was sent to carry provisions and the necessaries of life, and to work on the farm for him while he was absent. I now think they did right. The deacons would call the attention of the brethren to what was their duty. The brethren were happier for having done their duty, and the minister felt that they were interested in him, while they desired him to be interested in them. This was right. Brethren ought to be interested in his welfare, and that of his wife and children. In many cases it is not the amount given, but the spirit of love that is shown in giving, that makes the best impression. I am satisfied that our deacons should take an interest in this matter, as I have tried to show in another chapter. I doubt the propriety or scripturalness of public collections, as many practice. In Matt. 6:1-4, we read: "Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven." Often in public collections the giving, no doubt, is to be seen of men. "Therefore when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward." It is not to be given for a show before men, but as a duty to God. It is not even necessary that the receiver know who the giver is. God knoweth, and it should be done as a duty to God. "But when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth; that thine alms may be in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret, himself shall reward thee openly." I do not suppose it is necessary to hide in order to give according to the spirit of this text; the real point in the text is, that you are not to give in order to be seen of men. "He that giveth let him do it with simplicity." - Rom. 12:8. Not in a pompous, showy manner, because you want your charity known by others. It is not wrong that those outside of the church be taught that contributions from them would be thankfully and kindly received. Long before I was a member of church or seriously interested for my own eternal welfare, I did contribute to such brethren as I believed were truly engaged in preaching the gospel. I felt it my duty, and did it, and I now think that what we do willingly and cautiously, being careful that what we do give should be given to worthy persons, is means well applied. While we should be willing to divide burdens with the minister, we should be equally willing to contribute to the wants of the needy, though I do not believe that we are to give to the minister from the same principle that we give to the poor and needy. "For the scripture saith thou shalt not muzzle the mouth of the ox that treadeth out the corn, and the laborer is worthy of his reward." - 1st Tim. 5:18. Here he is compared to a day laborer, and insists that he is worthy of his reward. He puts it on the ground of reward, not of charity simply. Our Savior has a like idea, Matt. 10:10: "Nor scrip for your journey, neither two coats, neither shoes, nor yet staves: for the workman is worthy of his meat." Luke 10:7: "For the laborer is worthy of his hire." From these and many more, that I have neither time nor space to quote, it is evident that our obligation to give to the minister is as sacred as our duty to give to him that plows our fields, nor should he be esteemed as a hireling. He can not be bought into the work nor hired out. The word is like fire in his bones, and must find vent, and while he has freely received and must freely give, and feels himself "debtor" to preach the gospel to you, you will act criminally to neglect your duty to him. You can not habitually neglect him and expect God's blessing to attend you. I have now faithfully, as time and space would allow, given my mind plainly. I have not said these things from selfish motives, God is witness, but feeling it my duty plainly to speak the truth on this subject.
I know that many of our brethren are awake to duty in these things, and I know that many have greatly neglected their duty in this particular. I desire that Baptists should all do their duty, we have the truth in doctrine, I have not a doubt of it; would that we were practically correct. We also do insist that our brethren should faithfully attend meeting, thus showing a living interest in the church, "neglect not the assembling of yourselves together as the manner of some is." In most of our rules of decorum it is disorder to neglect our stated meetings, and so is, whether it be in the rules or not. It is encouraging to see our brethren all fill their seats, and be interested in the welfare of the church, study the scriptures yourselves, select certain parts for investigation, compare views with one another and get your pastor's views. Don't depend on him to do all your reading, have a mind of your own, not a stubborn, self-willed mind, but do your own thinking, take an interest in the sermons, mark the texts and what is said about them. Imitate the example of the Bereans. Search for yourselves. Bring your children to church and teach them to keep good order while there. Manifest to them and in their presence that you are sincere and love the church, and love them and are interested. Be sure to walk well, whether you can talk well or not. Show by your lives that your religion is real and not simply in form. I am sure that in this way you can encourage your preacher and one another. The neighbors will take knowledge of you "that you have been with Jesus," and when there is one in your midst that has been led to the Savior, they would be inclined to seek a home among you. How often is it the case that one brother becomes hurt with another, and instead of taking gospel steps deserts his seat in the church, turns his back upon his solemn obligation to keep the order of the house. Others sometimes take sides with them and vacate their seats. The result is general coldness, evil speaking and general dearth. Oh, brethren, obey the laws of our Savior in these things, and don't be governed by your own unruly passions. Such things discourage a minister more than could be imagined. Stand by the rules of the church. If some brother offends you, bear it and fill your seat as ever, or follow the rule laid down in the 18th of Matthew. You know this is correct. Let me implore you dear brother to heed this correct advice, for in doing it you shall be happy yourself and make others happy.
If they who disobeyed Moses were punished with death, what may we expect in disobeying the "King of Saints."

"How ardent ought my love to be
To him who did so much for me;
I ought his cross with pleasure bear,
And place my whole affections there;
In his reproaches gladly share,
In tribulation joying."

How just and reasonable it is that we should, with patience and constancy, serve our dear Lord Jesus. When we recount his great sacrifices for us; his eternal love, and the rich promises he has given us of an eternal inheritance at his right hand. May you and I walk humbly before him as long as we live, is the prayer of yours in love.

Note. - In calling a man to the care of your church, you should remember that you are asking him to perform a very considerable task. Some three or four days out of each month of his time will be required, and the same with other churches, which amounts to over one-half of his time spent among the churches, besides his clothing, his horse, or conveyance, etc. All this is actual expense that must be met, and he must also give some time to reading and investigation to prepare himself to serve you. Have you performed your duty to him? Have you visited his house and inquired after his wants? Have you aided in bearing his expense? If not, you have no right to ask him to take the care of your church. The Bible does not sustain you in enjoying his labor from year to year for nothing. It is morally unfair and unjust for you to ask him to leave his home and family, and equip himself all at his own expense just to serve you, and you at no expense. If you have thus "despised" him and his office he will ultimately become discouraged with it, and seek another field of labor. If you are in lower circumstances than he is, it may be a good reason why you should give him less, but is it a good reason why you should give nothing? Is it just to ask him to make all the sacrifice in supplying the churches with preaching, on this account? Surely not. He should not be enriched by the churches, nor should they suffer him to be reduced to poverty. The truth is, God does not call men to work in the ministry that they may be enslaved to the churches, and for churches to thus treat their ministers is to enslave them, to "despise" them and their office. You should not, by any means, vote for a man to serve your church without being willing to do your duty. These lines may be criticized, but I am sure they are scriptural, and I feel that God approbates these sentiments.


Volumes have been written on this subject, and I have no thought that I shall be able to present anything new in the way of argument. I only propose to give the reasons and arguments that satisfy me, and upon which I act. The design of this work forbids that I should attempt to write at length. I would first say that we should be sincere and candid in our investigation; we should not act in this matter to please men, nor upon the opinions of men, but, if possible, find what the Savior and apostles practiced, and do likewise. The meaning of the word used to express the action of baptism has very much, if not everything, to do with the subject in hand. Not what it now means, but what it meant at the time the Savior and apostles used it.
1st. Webster in his definition says the word "baptize" is from a Greek word which signified "to dip." Of course he gives its present meaning in harmony with the practice of the various churches. Yet the question with us is "not what does it now mean" and how is it now understood, but "what did it mean in our Savior's day?" Webster says the original word "signified to dip." So our practice is in harmony with his definition.
2nd. The Greek words Bapto, Baptizo, Baptizma, and Baptizmos, are never rendered sprinkle or pour, that is, the Savior never used a word that expressed the action of pour or sprinkle to express baptism. Now, if the Savior and apostles never used a word to express baptism, that they in other places used to express sprinkling or pouring, we think it clear that they did not intend to teach that baptism should be performed by sprinkling or pouring. In Luke 16:24, we read: "Send Lazarus that he may dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue," etc. The word dip in this text is from the word "Bapto." Here the meaning is clearly expressed by the scripture itself. The water was not sprinkled on his finger, nor poured on his finger, but the finger was dipped in the water. I regard this as a clear argument in favor of immersion. Also John 13:26: "Jesus answered, he it is to whom I shall give a sop when I have dipped it." Here the word dipped is from Bapto. The Savior fixes the meaning of the word, and illustrates it by dipping. Also, Rev. 19:13: "And he was clothed in a vesture dipped in blood." This word dipped is also from the word Bapto. The blood was not sprinkled nor poured on the garment, but it had been baptized (or dipped) in the blood, so that his garments were "dyed," or he was "red in his apparel." The use of the word in these places fixes its meaning as that of immerse or dip. The Greek word Baptizo is never rendered pour or sprinkle. It is twice wash. - Mark 7:4, 8; and once washings. - Heb. 9:10. In these places it would be very unreasonable and unnatural, I think, to conclude that the washing was performed by sprinkling or pouring; possibly it could have been done by pouring, but the plainest sense of the connection is in favor of immersion. The first mentioned is Mark 7:4: "Except they wash they eat not." The washing of hands is here referred to, as shown by the previous verse. The usual method of washing hands is by dipping them in the water; also, the "washing of cups, and pots, and brazen vessels, and tables," etc. The usual method of washing cups is by immersing them in the water. The word pots is from the Sextarios, about a pint and one-half. So there is no difficulty in understanding the washing of pots to be in strict harmony with the views I am presenting. The word TABLES in the same connection may present some difficulty to the mind of some. The original for table is Klinel. It occurs ten times in the New Testament, and is rendered bed in every place except the one above named. - Matt. 9:2, 6. Mark 4:21; and 7:4, 30. Luke 5:18; and 8:16; and 17:34. Acts 5:15; and Rev. 2:22. Also, I may add that the meaning of the word Klinel is given by Greek lexicographers as follows: "That on which one lies, a bed, a couch, a bier." So the question is not how or what would be the most natural way of washing a table, but a bed, a couch, and every washer-woman in the land would say the best and easiest way is by immersion or dipping.
We have now noticed every passage in the New Testament where the word has been translated from the Greek to English. Of course the words baptize, baptism, etc., are not translations, but the Greek word itself with an English termination. We have found it three times rendered dip, and never rendered sprinkle or pour. We have found it twice rendered wash, and three times washing, but we have found the plain meaning of the texts in which wash and washing occur, to be very much in favor of immersion.
3rd. The first and principal meaning of the word, as given by Greek lexicons, is dip. Liddle and Scott gives it Bapto, to dip repeatedly, dip under, to bathe; Baptismos, a dipping in water; Baptistus, one who dips, a dyer; ho Baptistus, the baptist; Baptos, dipped, dyed; Bapto, Greek, and Immergere, Latin, to dip, to sink. For a lengthy and general reference to Greek (Book Page 272) lexicons showing that the meaning of the word is dip or immerse, see "Theodosia Earnest," 1st vol.; "Campbell on Baptism;" "Grace Trueman;" "Conversations on Baptism." The subject has, by these authors, been exhausted.
4th. The most learned men of the world have admitted the meaning of the word to be dip or immerse. John Wesley, in his notes on Rom. 7:4 - "We are buried with him by baptism," etc. - says: "Alluding to the ancient manner of baptizing by immersion." Here the eminent founder of Methodism admits the position we take, and although we would not regard him and such men as infallible; yet we regard it as evidence that we are right for those who practice sprinkling and pouring to confess that "the ancient mode" of baptism was to bury. McKnight, an eminent Presbyterian, says: "In baptism the baptized person is buried under water." On Epistles, vol. 1, p. 259, Dr. Barnes in his notes on Rom. 6:4 - "Therefore we are buried with him by baptism:" - says: "It is altogether probable that the apostle in this place had allusion to the custom of baptizing by immersion. This can not be proved so as to be liable to no objection, but I presume that this is the idea that would strike the great mass of unprejudiced readers." Certainly Barnes is correct in saying that the great mass would get the idea of immersion from this text. Luther: "Baptism is a sign of death and resurrection. Being moved by this reason, I would have those that are baptized to be wholly dipped into the water as the word imports and the mystery does signify." "On this account I could wish that such as are to be baptized should be completely immersed into the water according to the meaning of the word," etc.
John Calvin's Institutes, vol. 2, p. 491: "The very word baptize, however, signifies to immerse, and it is certain that immersion was the practice of the ancient church." Again, on John 3:23, and Acts 8:38: "From these words it may be inferred that baptism was administered by John and Christ by plunging the whole body under water. Here we perceive how baptism was administered among the ancients, for they immersed the whole body under water." These quotations show that the great founders of the Methodist, Presbyterian and Lutheran churches have borne testimony that the meaning of the word is dip or immerse. We might add a host of other names of prominent men who themselves practiced sprinkling and pouring, who, nevertheless, admitted that the word signified dip or immerse, and that the ancient practice was by "immersing the whole body in the water." Mosheim, Neander, Beza, Dr. Chalmers, George Campbell and many others. Now, read, I ask you if our practice of immersion is not sustained by the meaning of the word, and if so, how dare we change the rite? Who has a right to repeal or amend the laws of Christ? His law was given in words that signify immersion? How dare we substitute sprinkling? How others have managed to keep a good conscience, declaring the meaning of the word and the Savior's example to be immersion and yet practicing sprinkling and pouring, is to me a mystery.
2nd. We argue that immersion was the apostolic mode of baptism, from the places selected to administer the ordinance. Matt. 3:5-6: "Then went out to him Jerusalem and all Judea and all the region round about Jordan and were baptized of him in Jordan, confessing their sins." They were not baptized near Jordan nor by Jordan, nor was Jordan baptized upon them, but they were baptized in Jordan. This circumstance plainly shows that John's baptism was by immersion. The Greek word en is here rendered in, and is the same the Savior uses in speaking of Jonah being three days and nights in the whale's belly. Verse 13: "Then cometh Jesus from Galilee to Jordan unto John to be baptized of him;" and 16: "And Jesus when he was baptized went up straightway out of the water." Here our Savior was in the water and "went up straightway out of it." These narratives do not agree with the practice of sprinkling, nor pouring, for in neither case is there a good reason why they should be in the water. It is sometimes argued that immersion in Jordan was impossible from the swiftness of the stream. The Bible dictionary published by the Presbyterians, by A. W. Mitchell, gives the length at 180 miles. "The waters are cool and wholesome; the breadth and depth vary at different places." He speaks of "frequent rapids," twenty-seven threatening ones, besides many of less importance. He mentions one place where the water is eighty feet wide and four feet deep, which would be an excellent place for immersion. Where there are so many "fords" and rapids along a river there are certainly some places where the water is still, else it is one continuous rapid, which disagrees with our Presbyterians account of it. The case of Phillip and the eunuch, who went down into the water; also, John baptized in Enon, near to Salem, "because there was much water there." It is argued he baptized in these places because much water was needed to quench the thirst of the camels, asses, etc. - that the people rode to the place. We regard all such arguments as a mere dodge to evade the plain force of truth, and we think that a plain, honest man will gather the doctrine of immersion from these places. It is argued that the words "down into the water" mean down to the water, and up out of the water, means up from the water. If we are to suffer the plain teaching of the Bible to be thus explained away we would soon have to give the whole thing up. We are satisfied that a plain man who will take his Bible and read the account of every baptism in the new testament, will be led to the opinion that immersion was the mode practiced. The Roman brethren were "buried with him by baptism," and were "planted together in their likeness of his death." Planting is performed by a burial. "Burial with him by baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him," etc. - Col. 2:12. These references show at least that baptism effects a BURIAL. Luke 3:16: "I indeed baptize you WITH water." The word WITH is here supposed to teach that the water is applied to the candidate and not the person to the water. In reply to this, I say the word WITH in this text is the same word that is rendered IN in Matt. 3:6: "Baptized of him in Jordan;" 11: "I indeed baptize you WITH water;" v, 15: "unto all that are in the house." "IN the whale's belly." "IN the heart of the earth." The Capitalized words in these passages are all from the same Greek word. A careful examination of the New Testament will show that the word here rendered WITH is, in four out of every five places it occurs in the testament, rendered IN. Immersion is regarded as valid and scriptural baptism, I believe, by all denominations. The leading men of past ages have declared it to have been the original practice. Every case of baptism in the New Testament justifies the conclusion that it was performed by immersion, and many cases force that conclusion. The places selected to administer the ordinance, with every reference in the New Testament, tend to fix in our minds that immersion was the ancient mode. That it is too cold, or indecent for ladies, or unsafe for weakly persons, we regard as an argument being unworthy of candid consideration.
We have demonstrated many times over that "ice and snow can do no harm;" that the most delicate females can, with safety, go into the ordinance, even when the ice must be cut; that persons sick can with safety be taken from their beds and baptized. Hundreds of young ladies of taste and refinement have, like the dear Redeemer, went down into the water and been "buried in baptism," and if it looked "indecent" to some, they felt happy in the ordinance. In baptism we are not so much concerned about what the people would call "decent," but what God would approbate. No sight is more blessed than to see a man or woman of our poor, dying, fallen race go down into the water and submit to this holy rite. There is something in it that reminds us of Jesus in Jordan, and the same blessed Spirit that crowned our blessed Lord owns us poor mortals in the service. Oh! how often have we seen the brethren gather at the water's edge and join in a song of praise to God, followed by an humble prayer to God for his blessing upon the poor, unworthy servants, after which the humble followers of Jesus go down into the water. Oh! how solemn. What solemn thoughts crowd the mind of that beautiful young lady as she takes the minister's hand. Her prayer is that God will own her service. She mentally exclaims, Lord be with and own me now. She mentally, and sometimes vocally, says: "Farewell, vain world," "I leave this world of sin behind my back." Oh! reader, will God own this service? Do you not believe this is from heaven? The ordinance is administered; the candidate comes from the water happy. The congregation rejoices in the Lord together. Saints of all denominations as they witness the same, are forcibly reminded of Christ's baptism, and the eunuch's, and John's baptism in Jordan. Pure minded persons see nothing indecent in it. Sickly and feeble, old and decrepit persons experience no injury from it. It is an humble service that the proud and high minded will shun. It offers no encouragements to the proud, nor to hypocrites. There is enough sacrifice about it to be a test of sincerity. Our gay clothing for once is lain aside - ribbons, laces, silks, and costly clothing are forgot or left off. We feel for once free from pride while we enter this solemn ordinance. Reader, what think ye of this matter? Are you not convinced that Jesus, our Savior, was immersed in the river of Jordan? Have you followed him in this service? Baptists feel it their duty to maintain this service in the world. God owns it among us to our great comfort. We regard nothing else as baptism, and we believe that the scripture and all reason sustain us. And above all, we believe that God, by his Holy Spirit, owns our service and us in it.
Note: - If it be argued that we should in charity allow the person baptized to choose the mode by which he will be baptized, we reply, that if the Savior gave us the example by immersion, and enjoined it upon us in terms that clearly indicate immersion, then neither the person to be baptized nor the administrator has a right to change the ordinance. We deny there being any charity in such a course. If it be said the person ought to have a right to choose for himself respecting the mode, we would say, he has an equal right to choose the element, whether he will be sprinkled with sand or water, or whether we shall use wine or water in the sacrament. But the Savior used wine and not water in the sacrament, and he used bread and not fruit. He selected the element himself and we have no right to change it. If one would say, it is more charitable to allow the people to select their own manner of commemorating his death, that there is nothing in the bread, the real importance is in the thing signified. It can as well be signified with fruit as bread, that it is too rigid and uncharitable to contend that nothing but bread will do. To all this, we would reply, that the Savior selected bread. He made the selection for us, and therefore we are not a liberty to select fruit instead of bread nor water instead of wine. The Savior used wine - gave us the example in that way, and as we wish to follow him and imitate his example, we do not feel at liberty to say to the people that we want to be charitable above our neighbors therefore we will let them choose between water and wine in the communion, and that if they prefer, they can have sand sprinkled on them for baptism. This would be charitable, indeed, and some people, no doubt, would admire us for such liberality; but Christ gave us no such an example. We only wish to know the way in which he performed these ordinances. As he used wine and bread we use these elements in showing forth his death till he come. We have no right to allow our communicants to select some other way. And for the same reason we practice immersion; we find that Christ was immersed, and in this way he gave us the example. We have no right to say that some other way will do as well. The Savior never said that the person should select his own mode. "Follow me," is his command, which we think can only be done by imitating his examples. If the Redeemer was immersed, shall we substitute a service that escapes the cross in its room? We have no right to change the ordinance, and we deny that any other denomination under Heaven has such a right. If our members are fewer by it, we will nevertheless seek to imitate the great example, and those who are unwilling to aid us in preserving his examples pure in the world may go elsewhere. We do not wish to fetter men's consciences, and if after a careful and prayerful reading of the New Testament, you are convinced that Jesus and the apostles were sprinkled, that Philip sprinkled the eunuch, that John's reason for selecting a place where there was much water to baptize, was because he wanted to have plenty of water for the camels and asses that the people rode there; I say, if you come to these conclusions, we will not ask you to go into our church, we will not fetter your conscience. And if you should decide that all these cases and circumstances point to immersion, and yet feel like you prefer to imitate some one beside the great Savior, that although he was immersed you prefer to be sprinkled, we will not bind your conscience; we will very willingly allow you to go to those who are more charitable. If it is uncharitable to maintain the ordinances as they were delivered to us, we glory in being uncharitable; and if charity and liberality consist in asking the people to choose between the commandments of man and the ordinances as God gave them to us, we have no desire to be liberal or charitable.


It is universally agreed that adult believers are proper subjects of baptism. The Pedobaptists insist that infants should be baptized. Mr. Porter, in his history of Methodism, p. 286, says that infant baptism "takes the place of circumcision." On page 287 he says: "The Abrahamic and Christian covenants are one in their nature and object. Under the first, children were brought into covenant with God by circumcision, the baptism of that dispensation, * * and why should they be left out under the second?" It is well known that this is the foundation of infant baptism as practiced by Methodists, Presbyterians, etc. That as circumcision was a seal of the interest that the children of Abraham had in the covenant made with Abraham, so baptism is to be administered to infants as a seal of their interest in the covenant of grace. Therefore it is common for them to observe that "baptism came in the room of circumcision." Buck, in his Dictionary, gives this as their first argument. They think that if baptism under the gospel is what circumcision was under the law, that the point is clearly made that infants should be baptized. That as God is unchangeable, and did direct that infants should be circumcised, which was the sealing ordinance, so he now requires that infants shall receive the sealing ordinance. I will now try to answer this argument. Buck invites our attention to Gen. 17:12, where circumcision was enjoined. By reading the first twelve verses of that chapter you will see that God made a covenant with Abraham in which he promised to him and his seed the land that he was then in, and he required Abraham to maintain circumcision as a token (verse 11) of that covenant. It was not circumcision that gave the land to Abraham and his seed, but it was a token to them of their interest in the promise. This land was not given to the children of Abraham "by faith," but to his seed according to the flesh. The promise did not embrace spiritual things, but natural. There is a great difference between this covenant and that of grace, as much as there is between things "temporal" and things "eternal," or between a shadow and its substance. Here God made a promise to Abraham that his seed should have the land which he was then in, which the subsequent history of his children shows to have been fulfilled, when they were brought out of Egypt and led to that "promised land." But the fact that his seed was interested in that promise does not show that they were interested in the "promise of eternal life." - Heb. 9:12. In speaking of the true Israel, Paul says: "They which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God." - Rom. 9:8; i.e., although one may be the seed of Abraham according to the flesh, and interested in the covenant sealed by circumcision, yet he may not be interested in the second. Agreeably to this we read: "He is not a Jew which is one outwardly. * * * But he is a Jew which is one inwardly," etc. - Rom. 2:28-29. So we see that there were some who were not entitled to the promise of eternal life who were interested in the Abrahamic covenant, and others of the gentiles who had no interest in the first who were interested in the second. The seed of Abraham, according to the flesh, were embraced in the one; these are Jews outwardly, and these have an outward circumcision in the flesh; but they who are Jews inwardly and who are circumcised in heart, both of the Jews and gentiles, are embraced in the second. In determining who should be circumcised, they looked to the seed of Abraham according to the flesh, for to them was the promise made; but in determining who are embraced in the covenant of grace, we look to those who are Jews inwardly. Now, as circumcision belonged to every one interested in the covenant made with Abraham, so baptism belongs to every one who is embraced in spiritual Israel; circumcision to those who are Jews outwardly, as a token of their interest in the promised of God to Abraham, and baptism to those who are Jews inwardly, as a token of their interest in the promise of eternal life. It was a natural birth (of the flesh) that entitled a Jew to the promise of God to Abraham, and to circumcision; but the birth of the spirit alone fits us to lay claim to the promise of eternal life. We must mark the difference between the two covenants. The one confers temporal blessings to a nation of people, the other eternal life to the great family of God spiritually. With the one, circumcision is an outward sign of any interest in the promise of temporal blessings, and with the other, baptism (I grant) is an outward sign of an interest in the promise of eternal things. With regard to infants, all parties agree that they are saved that die in infancy. We deny, however, that they are saved because of their natural goodness. We deny that they are by the natural birth fitted for heaven. We believe (or I do) that they who die in infancy are born of the spirit of God, and thus made spiritual, incorruptible, and prepared to enjoy the company of God. Their happy death, or happiness after death, is not the result of anything they received in their natural birth, or for anything they are by nature, but of God's divine power in regeneration.
It is a great mistake that regenerated parents will produce regenerated children. In our first birth we are but generated, and while, among the Jews, this would entitle one to God's promise to Abraham, it does not entitle us to the promise of eternal life. Paul, in Rom. 6:3-4, puts regeneration before baptism, and it is upon this promise that baptism is an intelligent service. Also Col. 2:11-12, he makes the same point, that the body of our sins is taken away by the circumcision of heart, and as a consequence we are buried in baptism. Circumcision belongs to the generated Jew, and baptism to the regenerated, who are Jews inwardly. The evidence that infants are regenerated is entirely wanting, and as they grow up we are confronted with clear evidences that they are not regenerated. So, if it be true that baptism in the gospel takes the place of circumcision under the law, it is not true that a flesh birth gives one the blessings of the gospel, although it did give him an interest in the Abrahamic Covenant; and while we grant that circumcision did belong to those who were "Jews outwardly," yet we insist that baptism belongs to those who are "Jews inwardly."
2nd. There were whole households baptized, and from this it is argued that there must have been infants baptized. This is a very common argument, which seems to me to be of very little value to their cause. In Acts 16:33, we read that the jailer and all his were baptized. Now, if we had any way of proving that there were any babes in his household this would be argument, but in verse 34 we learn that he "rejoiced believing in God with all his house," so those who were baptized were capable of rejoicing and believing in God. From this we are sure there were no babes there, and the fact that men like Wesley, Porter, Buck, and many others, resort to this as argument betrays the weakness of their cause, and so the case of Lydia, Acts 16:15. She was far from home on business of a mercantile kind, and it is by no means safe to build the practice of infant sprinkling on the bare supposition that there was a babe in her house. The business she was engaged in and the distance she was from home, would tend to raise the presumption that she had no helpless babes with her. Also, the house of Cornelius, Acts 10: He is declared to have been a "devout man, and one that feared God with all his house." The angel told him to send for Peter, "who shall tell thee words whereby thou and all thy house shall be saved," and "the Holy Ghost fell on them." Those baptized here feared God, Acts 18:8. "Crispus believed on the Lord with all his house." Here those baptized "believed on God," which contradicts the idea that there were any infants there. "And I baptized also the household of Stephanus." - 1st Cor. 1:16. Here is another household baptized, but in 1st Cor. 16:15, we read of this same household that they have "addicted themselves to the ministry of the saints." I have now mentioned all the places where there were households baptized, and we find something said of each one that forbids the idea that there were infants, except that of Lydia. In every case they were said to "fear God" or "believe on God" or "minister to the saints," showing that every member of each household was of sufficient age to have understanding. And in the case of Lydia, her business and distance from home would rather raise the inference that there were no babes in her house. Besides this, it is not an uncommon thing to see whole families with no babes in their midst. Reader, let your mind run over your own acquaintances and think how many families there are without infants. I know of several whole households that belong to the Baptist church.
Now, I repeat that the fact that the wisest advocates of infant baptism have used this as an argument in its favor, justly raises the suspicion that it is a practice without divine authority. In Matt.19:13, we read: "Then were there brought unto him little children that he should put his hands on them, and pray." Also Mark 10:16: "And he took them up in his arms, puts his hands on them, and blessed them." These passages are frequently quoted to sustain the practice, but unfortunately for the practice, the passages say nothing about baptism. We learn that "he put his hands on them and prayed," but nothing is said about baptizing them. All parties admit that there is no plain example in the New Testament for it; that it is no where commanded by the Savior. It seems to me that if the Savior and the disciples had practiced it, that there would have been much of their time spent in administering the ordinance, and the fact that there is nothing said about it in all their letters, nor in the Acts of the Apostles, is pretty clear evidence that it was not done. A careful reading of the Methodist Discipline will lead you to the conclusion that it is practiced by them with the understanding that it secures regeneration to the child, and not only the Methodists, but the Catholics; and, I may say, all who practice it do it with the impression that it is a saving ordinance, which, if true, it involves the possibility of infant damnation. It has been common for our people to be charged with preaching that infants go to hell; but if I had time and space I could show that the advocates of infant baptism have virtually taught the doctrine themselves. We love our children as dearly as others, and feel anxious about them, but we have never believed that the Lord requires us to join them to our church without their knowledge or consent. We have not been able to see that the children who were baptized in infancy are any better by practice than others. We know that it is not required by the Bible, and therefore we do not practice it. Its tendency is to unite the church and the world. It is a sort of feeder of formalism in the church. It tends to destroy all distinction between the Church of Christ and the world, and therefore we have ever opposed it.
The believer in Christ is the only character who is entitled to baptism. "And Philip said, if thou believest with all thy heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God." - Acts 8:37. "He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved." - Mark 16:16. These passages show that none but believers were considered suitable subjects for baptism. A believer is one who has been born of God. He is spiritual, and therefore can understand the things of the Spirit. He is a Jew inwardly, has been "circumcised without hands," and "passed from death unto life." 1st John 5:1: "Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God." Also 1st John 4:2: "Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God." These passages prove that the believer is born of God, and is in possession of his Spirit. "Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him and he in God." - 1st John 4:15. The believer dwells in God and God dwells in him. "Where the Spirit of the Lord is there is liberty." The man in whom God dwells is "free from sin;" he is born again, and therefore should be baptized. John 5:24: "He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life." Baptism does not pass him from death unto life, but he "is passed from death unto life." So the believer is born of God; God dwells in him and he in God. "He that acknowledgeth the Son hath the Father." This man has been born again, not of corruptible, but of incorruptible seed, even by the word (Logos) of God, which liveth and abideth forever. "Born not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God." Such a person should be baptized; he should receive the "outward sign of an inward work." He is now "dead to sin" and should be "buried with Christ by baptism." John denied baptism to the multitude for the lack of this inward grace; he demanded fruits meet for repentance. Baptism to an impenitent person is of no value to him. Baptism is not a part of the remedial system by which the new birth is effected; it is the peculiar privilege of the believer who is already "passed from death unto life," and "is born of God." It is the act of the obedient child of God in which he puts on Christ before the world and vows to live in his service.
Peter, at the house of Cornelius, recognized that they had received the Holy Ghost, and upon this fact he baptized them. The Holy Spirit owned our Savior in the ordinance. He owned Philip when he was baptized, "and he went on his way rejoicing." The great Savior has promised that all who take his yoke upon them shall find rest. There is a rest to the saint in following Christ. He is made to rejoice in the Lord. In receiving members into our church we want evidence that they have been born of God. "The sow that was washed returned to her wallow in the mire." Outward reformation will not qualify one for the service of God. The new birth will produce a suitable reformation, and hence we want an evidence that the applicant has been born again. To tell a long experience is not essential, but to give evidence that you have repented of your sins is necessary; it is necessary that you love the brethren, and that in heart you love the Savior. "If ye love me, keep my commandments," says the Redeemer. We want evidence that you love the Lord Jesus, for if you do, his service will not be a task to you. Every person contemplating baptism should seriously examine his own heart. Dear reader, do you love the Savior? If so, he commands you to observe his ordinances; and if you look rightly at his service, you feel that it is a solemn engagement to enter into his service. "Am I prepared in heart?" is a suitable question for you to ponder well. "It is said that if any man be in Christ he is a new creature, old things have passed away and all things are become new." Do you know anything of such an experience? Is your heart set as much on this world as formerly? Do you delight in sin as much as ever? If you are prepared in heart for God's service, sin to you has "become exceeding sinful." "You are dead to sin," and can not, with delight, "live any longer therein." God's people are allied to Christ and his cause. You will, if you are a Christian, find that you have undergone a change in your thoughts of God and his Word. Paul experienced a conviction for his sin, and that before baptism; and you, if you are a fit subject for baptism, have had deep trouble about sin, and even now you understand the words, "when I would do good evil is present with me," in a way you did not formerly. You are a weak thing. You once felt strong and able to keep your heart when you got ready; but now you sensibly feel that your sin is more than a match for your strength.
Although you have vowed, and vowed again, to do better, yet you feel the force of the words, "Oh, wretched man that I am." When you compare yourself as you are, with what you are sure that you should be, you think it can hardly be that you are a Christian. You are not fit for baptism. The service is too holy for so unholy a being as you are. The church is composed of good people, and you are not good. You would be a spot in their feasts, and you would bring disgrace on the church and yourself too. You are so small that you feel unfit for God's notice. You can understand how God can notice others; how he can care for the hosts of Heaven and the saints on earth, but you can't understand how he can care for you as the very apple of his eye. You crave such care, but feel that it is too much to claim. You think, "Oh, how can the great eternal One, who knows my every imperfection, love me as a tender parent, and delight in me as a bride. How can it be that I, so like a sinner, should be beloved so." Your heart's desire is to do right, and if you felt sure that you were prepared for a place in his house, you would at once go into his service. You are interested in the church, you rejoice to see others follow the Savior, you would be glad to see whole nations fall at his feet "and crown him Lord of all," you would adore and exalt the name of Jesus if you could. Oh, how encouraging to many of us that God's people are not described as a strong people. Our Savior said, "Blessed are the poor in spirit: for their's is the kingdom of heaven." This kind of preaching gets down to you. Oh, think you, does he bless the poor in spirit? then I am that; he has come to me with his blessing; I am poor in spirit, I am bankrupt and penniless, I am naked and starving; if I can't claim that I need them, and am ruined without them.
The centurion felt unworthy that Christ should come under his roof, and you feel unworthy to go into his service, or claim a place among his people. Christ said of the centurion, "I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel." It is faith that fills us with low opinions of self and high ones of God. Oh, dear reader, have you thus discovered the corruption of your own nature and the great worth of Christ? Have you been made to love him and his precious cause? If so, you should keep his commandments. Unite with his people in their efforts to maintain his cause in the world. I would exhort you by the mercies of God, that you present your body a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable in his sight, which is your reasonable service. The low opinion you have of self prepares you to walk humbly in his sight. You ought not to confer with self, but by an obedient life prove your love to Christ.

NOTE. - The subject of re-baptism, or alien baptism, has been one of deep interest among us. Persons join other churches and then become dissatisfied and wish to unite with us. Whether we should receive them on their baptism, has been a question of serious inquiry. It is well known that Baptists believe the doctrine of church succession; that the church first organized by Christ has existed in all ages of the world to the present, and we claim to be in that succession. The various churches around us are of recent and human origin. Most of them originally came out of the Catholices. Whatever authority they have to administer the ordinances of God's house, they received from Catholicism. Our people hold that these are institutions of men, and are unauthorized to administer the ordinances of the Lord's house. What is known as the "branch system," we oppose. Those who hold it, say that "the general church is made up of the various denominations; each one is a branch of the church, and all together make the true church." If Baptists believe this theory they could consistently receive baptism from other orders, but as long as we hold the doctrine of Church succession we can not consistently receive baptism from any save our own people. Let us examine these branches that are supposed to make up the general church. One immerses and others sprinkle or pour; some teach the doctrine of apostasy, and all teach that Salvation is conditional. No two of them agree in opposing the doctrine of grace. Does one branch of a tree bear gourds, and another apples, another potatoes, and so on? No; this is confusion, or "Babylon." We do not belong to that tree; we are no part of it, and never were connected with it, and we can not receive its work without virtually accepting the "branch system." Those who believe the "branch system" can afford to receive each other's work and commune with each other, but we can not afford to do it. If we lay claim to the doctrine of church succession we must be a separate people and administer our own ordinances.
It is well know that the Campbellite Church sprang from A. Campbell, and that he was excluded from the old Baptist, in Virginia. Is there any reason in excluding a man from our church and still allow him to administer our ordinances? We think not. We think it very inconsistent to exclude a minister and deny communion with him and still receive his work. It is often the case that preachers are excluded from our body, who step off and set up for themselves, and we think that to receive their work is very inconsistent. The fact that the Campbellite Church has become strong and numerous is no reason why we should receive their work. They stand related to us as a clandestine lodge among the Masons does to the fraternity. Besides, they administer the rite "in order" to the forgiveness of sins, as a condition of salvation, and we have ever regarded this as a gross heresy. To receive baptism from their hands is to recognize their authority, and in a degree to tolerate their false views of baptism. If a person is satisfied with their baptism we think he ought to be satisfied with them. If he has become dissatisfied with them as a church, and believes their preaching to be generally false, he should not desire to bring the baptism he has received from the people he now renounces to us. If he renounces them, he should also renounce their work. Other orders, that practice sprinkling and pouring, sometimes immerse persons when it is contrary to their own faith. "Whatsoever is not of faith, is sin." We think it inconsistent to receive their work when they performed it without faith. It is very unwise for any person who desires to be immersed to go to those who practice sprinkling for it. They should go to one who believes that God requires it, and when he lifts up his hand towards heaven and says, "I baptize thee in the name of the Father," etc, he will be sincere, and it will be a work of faith with him. It is argued that if the person's conscience is satisfied, we ought to be. To this we reply, if their conscience is satisfied with the baptism, they ought to remain with the people who baptized them; besides, the proper administration of the laws of the Lord, does not depend on men's consciences altogether.
Does the Bible teach that the church of Christ has existed in all ages? and are we that church? This is the foundation of our course in this matter. If we are the church, then those institutions organized by Calvin, Luther, Wesley, Campbell and others, are not the church, but rival institutions, and we can no more receive their work than our fathers could the baptism of Catholics. As before said, if we lay down the claim of succession we can receive "alien" baptism. The question of communion and baptism seem to be bounded by the same line. If we can receive baptism from other orders, why not commune with them? There is no more sacredness in the ordinance of baptism than there is in the communion, and when we become willing to receive baptism from other orders we should be willing to commune with them. If we would preserve our history as a church we must be a separate people. And where persons ask for membership on their baptism received from other orders, it is better to reject them, reason with them, show them the inconsistency of such a thing, and if they are reasonable and sincere they will see the point and confess that it is reasonable. They will be glad afterwards, and love you for your faithfulness. I have had persons urge upon me that they were satisfied with their baptism, and wished to unite with us. In such cases I have urged them to stay where they were until they were convince that our course was right. I urged that we wanted to be a separate people, and that we could not give up our practice in this matter without surrendering a vital principle of our faith. The intelligent reader will readily see that we can not receive baptism from any other order without sacrificing our claim to church succession. Reasonable people will respect us for having sincerity enough to dare to be consistent. We know that it tends to make our members few, but we are anxious to pursue a consistent course. We are trying to maintain the order of the house of God. We are more anxious to do this than to have the applause of men. It is the only safe course we can pursue. CHAPTER XVI.

In olden times the true gospel was set forth in types and shadows. Abel's sacrifice set forth in a figure our Savior; every animal that was slain under the direction of God, in its way, pointed the mind to the Lord Jesus on the cross. The Paschal lamb pointed to the Redeemer as the great deliverer from sin. I have no doubt but that Bunyan is right when he makes the temple, with all its service, a type of something better. Heb. 9:1--11. In this place we learn from the apostle that all things connected with the temple were "a figure for the time then present in which were offered both gifts and sacrifices that could not make him that did the service perfect as pertaining to the conscience." "Which stood only in meats and drinks and divers washings and carnal rites," etc. "But Christ being come by a greater and more perfect tabernacle," etc. In this place he calls our minds away from the shadow to the true Savior. The Jews were prone to look to and depend on the shadow. These shadows were very useful, if used aright by the Jews, for they carried the mind to the Lord Jesus; but when they were used unlawfully they were a curse to Israel, and instead of carrying the mind of the people to the only Savior of sinners, they served rather as a blind to hide the only hope of a sinner. "But even unto this day when Moses is read the veil is upon their hearts," and they "could not look steadfastly to the end of that which is abolished." -- 2nd Cor. 3:13 to last. The service of the law was not given as a part of the remedial system by which sinners are justified before God, but as a shadow of it. In their bleeding victims they had a picture of Christ on the cross. Their incense, ark, mercy-seat, and every part of their service was significant, but their own blindness and proneness to legalize everything led them to "rest in the law." "And David saith let their table be made a snare, and a trap, and a stumbling block, and a recompense unto them." - Rom. 11:9-10. Their table of service which was instituted to point the mind to the Savior, had served them as a stumbling block; it had become a snare, a trap to their feet, so that their service became a curse to them. Their natural tendency was to legalize the whole service and make a Savior of it, and thus shut their eyes to the only Savior. The natural, unregenerate man will turn the very gospel into law and change the covenant of grace into one of works. The ceremonial law was to the Jews a real gospel, but they made a legal trap and stumbling stone out of it, that denied the real need of that inward change which alone fits us for heaven. And they contended for the law in such a way as to reject him to whom it was intended to direct them.
Circumcision was a type of the circumcision made without hands, and it distinguished them as the peculiar people of God as a nation, and in all this it tended to lead the mind to look for that inward circumcision which was performed without hands, and by which we are in heart separated from this world, and have the "body of our sins cut off." But the Jews were prone to regard this circumcision made by hands as sufficient, and thus trust in the shadow or pattern instead of the substance. Rom. 3:1--10, the apostle labors to deliver the brethren from this snare or trap, and reminds them that Abraham's justification before God was not secured by it. The Savior taught the Jews to search the scripture, "for in them ye think ye have eternal life, and they are they that testify of me." These poor depraved Jews believe that eternal life was in those ordinances, and carnal rites, but Jesus said, "they are they that testify of me; you will not find it in the ordinances of the law or gospel either, it is in me." This legal taint was found among the early Christians. - Acts 15:1. - There were certain person who taught that "except ye be circumcised ye can not be saved." Thus seeking to bring the saints into bondage, and assigning a place for circumcision in the remedial system equal to that of Christ.
The Galatian brethren were troubled with the same thing. Paul tells them, "Ye observe days, and months, and times, and years. - Gal. 4:10. He then adds, "I am afraid of you, lest I have bestowed on you labor in vain." This same legal bias was plainly observable among them, in which they were legalizing the gospel, and betraying a disposition to trust in part to the performance of ordinances. This is the natural tendency of men in all ages of the world. The gospel is often explained as a bundle of conditions, upon which life and immortality is suspended, thus making "a snare and a trap, and a stumbling block" out of the pure gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. In Rom. 1:16, we read, "For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power (authority) of God unto salvation," etc.; "for therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith." The gospel, then, reveals a righteousness which is suited to our need. The tendency of man is to "go about to establish his own righteousness," and in order to do it he generally legalizes gospel service, such as observing days and years, baptism, the Lord's supper, etc., and when I see this tendency in men, I become afraid of them, as Paul was of the Galatians. The doctrine of transubstantiation among the Catholics has its foundation in this error. The followers of Mr. Campbell have legalized baptism as certain teachers of old did circumcision, saying, except ye be circumcised ye can not be saved. It is not a part of the remedial system by which men are justified before God. The imputed righteousness of Christ is the ground upon which we are justified. We have shown in the previous chapter that baptism is the peculiar privilege of the believer. We have shown that the believer is "born of God;" "is passed from death unto life," and that he "shall not come into condemnation." The design of baptism is not to bring about a new birth, or save him from condemnation. In a word, it is not a part of that system by which sinners are justified before God. I know that many have labored hard to give it as much importance as those false teachers did circumcision.
Mr. Campbell, in his work on baptism, page 255: "We must give to grace, to faith, to repentance, to baptism, to the purpose of God the Father, to the blood of Christ, to the sanctification of the Holy Spirit, to each of these, severally, its proper place and importance in redemption and salvation, and to all of them a concurrent efficacy in the rescue and delivery of man from sin, misery and ruin." He here gives to baptism the same prominence that those false teachers did to circumcision, thus suspending all on its performance. It is a link in his chain of salvation, which, if it is lacking, there is no salvation. This is the result of that tendency in all nations and ages, to make a stumbling block of the ordinances of God.
I think I have shown that the believer alone is entitled to the ordinance of baptism, and I have also shown the believer to be in a saved state, "born of God," etc. Baptism is therefore not a part of the remedial system, but it is confined entirely to the family of God. It should not be performed with a legal bias of mind; it becomes a curse instead of a blessing when it is attended to as a passport to heaven. In Rom. 6:3-4, we have baptism as a burial; we are, verse 3, baptized into Christ; as the wife is one, essentially, with her husband, we are, by regeneration, made one with Christ; he is our life and head, the fountain of all our hopes. Verse 4: "Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death." From the fact that by regeneration we are one with him, we have, in the act of baptism, publicly owned him, whereby we have also solemnly pledged ourselves to walk in newness of life. When Christ was raised from the dead he was not simply restored to life, but was raised into a higher life. So we are in this ordinance raised to walk a new life, not after the manner of this world or our former lusts, but after the example of our Master; as we by natural death are separated from our worldly pursuits of life, so by regeneration we die to sin - see verse 2. And our burial in baptism is a showing to the world that we are dead to sin, and our raising from the water of baptism is with a view to live a new life. Persons who have been baptized should feel themselves solemnly bound, as if by an oath, to walk according to the commandments of God. In Gal. 3:27, it is called putting on Christ, or acting in our outward life what has been wrought within; it is confessing him before men, or a public marriage to Christ wherein we bind ourselves to live for him who has died for us. The marriage ceremony does not unite persons in heart, but it publicly and practically unites those who have been one in heart. So baptism does not, in heart, unite men to Christ, but it is the appointed manner in which we should acknowledge him. It is like an oath of allegiance, which binds us as long as we live to obey him. It is a picture that shows:
1st. Our death to sin. We confess in it that we are dead to sin; in it we teach others the great necessity of dying to sin. By a picture, when we stand at a grave, we see the dead buried; they are never, in civil countries, buried until dead. So we should not bury in baptism until there is a death to sin. How beautiful to see one in deep humility confess himself dead to sin; and
2nd. It is a picture of our being raised up by the Holy Spirit to walk in newness of life. The baptized should feel himself under the most binding obligations to live a holy life. The true wife feels bound to pursue a course of life that will honor her husband, and it is greatly to her disgrace to betray a spirit of disobedience at any time in her future life; and so it is very wrong and disgraceful for a baptized person to practice sin as formerly. This obligation is as lasting as life. We put on Christ to wear him through life and death. Putting on Christ may include, as some think, the imitation of Christ in our lives, a seeking of the same temper that he had; the same course of life among our fellow creatures. The disciples were known to have been with Christ by their conduct, and we, by carefully obeying him in all things, will be clothed with his spirit of love, forbearance, and tenderness, that would make us delightful companions for each other, and greatly prepare us to bear hardness, which we will more or less through life have opportunity to do. How careful should we be in our lives to fill our solemn pledge to God, taken in baptism. It is also emblematical of the great resurrection. In 1st Cor. 15:29: "Else what shall they do who are baptized for the dead, if the dead rise not at all? Why are they then baptized for the dead?" He shows that if there is no resurrection of the dead that our baptism was an unnecessary thing. In this solemn service we are constantly teaching the doctrine of the resurrection of our bodies. We shall by and by go down to the grave and be buried out of the sight of men, and this is shown by our burial in baptism. But we will not forever remain in the grave. The time will come when the grave shall be robbed of its spoil. This will be a glorious and triumphant day to the dear saints who now go sorrowing here; and this great privilege of saints is shown in picture, by his being raised from the water. Oh! dear reader, have you a hope of being raised to life eternal? If so, in this rite you may show forth that hope. Whom do you love best, this vain world or the dear Redeemer? If your heart is set on Christ, confess him. Go to this people who are endeavoring to maintain his service, and tell them the "reason of the hope that is within you with meekness and fear," and publicly put him on as your great exemplar. Bear in mind his people are a poor people in spirit; they feel and complain of their imperfections, but they love the great Redeemer and desire to manifest it to the world. They are trying to maintain his ordinances pure in the world. Their ministers are trying hard to maintain a pure gospel. Are you concerned for these precious things? If so, go to these people, ask for a place among them, never halting to inquire whether it will increase or lessen your popularity in the world. Your time for this service may be very short, and we know it can not be very long. You do not want to meet the enemy, death, without having publicly owned him as your Master to love and obey. You may urge that your hope is not clear enough, that you are unworthy, etc., but all this does not satisfy you; your sense of unperformed duty remains. You go away from the house of the Lord with a burdened mind on account of your neglect of duty. If you would be freed from a heavy heart, and receive the Savior's promised rest, deny yourself and take up your cross and follow the great Redeemer through the grave of baptism. You shall one day follow him through death, the grave and the resurrection. Oh! blessed hope, that we shall all be raised immortal in the sweet society of the great family of God, when we shall with joy sing: "O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?" How ardent ought our love be to him whose sweet employ it is to prepare us all for this bright destiny. Let us devote the remainder of our lives to his service in sincerity and truth.
God Almighty grant that it may be our sweet privilege to meet in that blessed day, and be allowed to unite to all eternity in the praise of our dear Lord Jesus Christ.

Note. - In the translation of the New Testament, called "The Living Oracles," approved by A. Campbell, the 19th verse of last chapter of Matthew, reads: "Go, convert all nations, immersing them into the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit." The common version reads, "baptizing them in the name," etc. Mr Campbell so renders this as to teach that men are BAPTIZED into Christ. We have ever understood this verse to teach that the disciples were to perform that right by his authority; "In his name," as agents do business in the name of another, so we perform this rite as the appointed servants of God. It is true, that if the word rendered "into" must mean "into," we would have to yield this point and agree that baptism is a part of the remedial system. The Greek word rendered INTO here is Eis. But these translators do not always render it INTO, which leaves room to suspicion that they were biased in favor of baptismal regeneration, and that it was their THEOLOGY and not their SCHOLARSHIP that led them to make this translation. In Matt. 10:41-42, the common version reads: "He that receiveth a prophet in the name of a prophet;" also, "He that receiveth a righteous man in the name of a righteous man;" and again, "And whosoever shall give to drink unto one of these little ones a cup of cold water only IN the name of a disciple," etc. The word IN in these places is from Eis, and Mr. Campbell does not render them INTO. Also, Matt. 18:20: "Where two or three are gathered together IN my name," etc. Here the word, IN, is from Eis. Mr. Campbell gives the same reading: "Wherever two or three are assembled IN my name," etc. Now why, unless it be to favor his peculiar views of baptism, should he render the word IN in this passage and INTO in Matt. 28:19.
By comparing this translation with the Greek concordance, we find that great pains were taken to render this Greek word Eis INTO wherever it would favor Campbell's notion of the design of baptism, but in a great number, and I believe, a majority of cases, he has rendered it by some other word plainly showing that his LEGAL notion of baptism decided him to render the word INTO wherever it would help to support his pet notion of baptism.


The Passover was instituted to commemorate God's passing over the dwellings of the Jews, when he slew the first born of the Egyptians. The Lord's last judgment upon the Egyptians was the slaying of their first born. The blood on the lintels of the doors and the door posts of the Hebrews secured them from this curse, and while the whole nation of the Egyptians were in mourning they left the land of their captivity. In Exodus 12, we have a detailed account of this whole affair; verse 24 reads: And ye shall observe this thing for an ordinance to thee and to thy sons forever. It was to be kept up to refresh their memory with their great deliverance from the destroying angel. The observance of this annually called their minds to God's wonderful mercy to them, and no doubt it was intended to set forth in type the Lord Jesus, who, as our Passover, was sacrificed for us - 1st Cor. 5:7. By whose death, as a lamb without spot, a far greater deliverance was obtained. God, no doubt, saw that it would be good for his people to have a service among them that would regularly call their minds to their great delivery, and keep fresh in their memory their former captivity. Besides, this, to them, was a "telescope" through which they saw our great Redeemer as "our passover" crucified for us. It was to them what the Lord's Supper is to us. Its great object was to point to Christ Jesus. Christ, on the night in which he was betrayed, ate the last passover with his disciples. Matt. 26:17-25: "And as they were eating the passover, he took bread and wine and introduced the gospel service of the Lord's Supper; and after this they went out into the Mount of Olives, where he was betrayed, and on the succeeding day was crucified." We will consider this subject under different heads:
1st. The elements used, bread and wine, were employed by Christ. "He took bread and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, take, eat, this is my body." Some have urged that the bread really became the flesh of Christ, but the plain meaning is that this broken bread is intended to represent his body which was broken for sin. It is but natural bread, but it signifies that you must spiritually eat of him. Bread is the staff of life naturally, but it is no more necessary to our natural being than Christ is to our spiritual being. We take bread to supply the waste of our body each day, and still our nature craves continued supplies; and so we have been feasting on the spiritual comforts of Christ for years, and still we can say, "I need thee precious Jesus." Bread, in order to be adapted to our wants, must be crushed and broken. The heavy pressure of the millstone is necessary to prepare the grain for our use, naturally; and so the thorns, the buffeting, scourging spitting, and the awful agonies of the cross, are but necessary to prepare food for our souls. Our Savior must be a crucified Savior; his body must be broken, and in the wisdom of God broken bread is best adapted to represent the body of our Savior. He also gave them wine, saying, "this is my blood of the New Testament which was shed for many for the remission of sins." Christ made choice of wine; why he did, he has not revealed. We know that wine is obtained by crushing the grape and pressing the juice out of it, and so the blood of Christ must run from his body to be capable of washing away sins. By considering how these two elements are prepared, we may be called to review the whole scene of Christ's suffering. When wine is old, it retains its strength, and the blood of Christ is today as capable of washing away sin as when it ran fresh and warm from his side and hands and feet.

"Dear dying Lamb, thy precious blood
Shall never lose its power
Till all the ransomed church of God
Be saved to sin no more."

Though it were many centuries since that blood was shed, and many thousand miles from here, yet it cleanses us from all sin; it assuages our griefs, and wipes the tears from our lamenting eyes; untold millions have felt its power to comfort the comfortless.
2nd. It was the same night in which he was betrayed that he took the bread and wine and administered the Lord's Supper. - 1st Cor. 11:23. From this it would appear that it was first introduced in the night. Also Matt. 26:20; and Mark 14:17. Also the fact that it was eaten in connection with the passover, which was eaten in the night, shows that our Savior introduced this service after night. I have known brethren who thought it should be attended to after night in imitation of the first example.
I remember once to have participated with the brethren at a night meeting, but I do not conclude that the time of day or night is a matter of so much importance as some other things connected with it. - Acts 20:7. "And upon the first day of the week when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached unto them, and continued his speech until midnight." From this we would infer that they took the Lord's Supper after night. But if we were to take it every night and every day, we would not sin in that particular; we might sin in our manner or design, but the sin would not lie in the hour of taking it. It was first introduced in a large upper room. - Luke 22:12. There may be instruction to us in the fact that an upper room was selected. Some have thought that it was intended to teach that we should leave all earthly matters behind and rise in our thoughts above all worldly things. No doubt we should regard the service of God as infinitely above all earthly pursuits, but still we would not infer that we should go into an upper room for that purpose, nor do we think that the time of day is a matter of great importance. We have sometimes taken it in the grove, in private houses, and at the church house. The matter of greatest importance, is the manner of taking it.
3rd. It has been thought by some that the real object of the Lord's Supper was to express our love and Christian confidence one for another. In 1st Cor. 5:11: "But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat." It appears from this passage that a church is not in a suitable condition to commune while a member of known bad character is in her body. In this case she should not go into this solemn service. But I would not infer from this that each member should have the utmost confidence in every other member, for if that were true, we would seldom find a church in condition to attend to this service.
The real object of the communion was to show forth his death till he come. - 1st Cor. 11:26; also verse 25: "This do ye as oft as ye drink it in remembrance of me;" also verse 24: "This do in remembrance of me." Brethren sometimes think that they can not take the communion with the church if there is any brother or sister who has gone astray in some particular, or done them an injury. Sometimes they will get up and vacate their seats till it is over, or stay away from meeting
on that account, and yet refuse to obey the gospel rule in Matt. 18, and thus commit a greater sin against God than their brother has against them. Reader, if you have been guilty of this, don't do so any more. It is this service in which you recall to your own mind and others the price of redemption; by this you review the whole scene of Christ's suffering in the garden, through his trial, and on the cross. You are not in this showing your Christian love or confidence in any one, else you must needs invite all Christians to your table, whether they be in the kingdom or not; but you recall the history of Christ. It is an emblem of his suffering, and it is good for us often to think of him. We sometimes look at the garments worn by our departed friends, and it brings fresh to our memory many events of their lives. It tenders our hearts, and we drink in the spirit of loved ones who are gone from us. So this is intended to call us back to Christ, his examples of humility, love and patience; it prepares us to bear with patience the trials of life. It causes us to loathe sin, since it cost the life and blood of Christ, and we are caused to shun every appearance of evil. We see in his death God's awful abhorrence of sin, and we should feel a great desire to shun it. It is a way of preaching to others. This bread and wine represents Christ crucified as our only hope. We are great and vile sinners, but the blood of Christ is our plea. We own to our neighbors and to the world that we are wretched sinners, but Jesus died for us. Oh! see in this wine an emblem of his flowing blood; it has quenched the flames of hell; it has washed me as white as snow; it has silenced Sinai's awful roar; it has brought life and immortality to light; and though we are so vile, yet we have redemption through his blood. His blood has sealed the covenant in which eternal life is secured to every heir of God. This is to be kept up in Zion till he comes again. It is to be perpetual.
4th. Hypocrisy is to be avoided on all occasions; but in this service how desirable that we should in heart be impressed with the real importance of the matter. If it is to "show forth his death," how desirable that we should be duly impressed with that event! It is a fearful thought that we should engage in that service without "discerning the Lord's body." - 1st Cor. 11:29. In contemplating the scene of Calvary, we are but reviewing the cost of our pardon. When our friend is dying we feel that it is no place for vain, light thoughts, no place to entertain unkind feelings for any. We are possessed with a spirit of forbearance and a forgiving temper; and, if the witnessing of a friend's death so humbles us, and banishes our evil tempers, what effect should a visit to Calvary have upon us? In this bread I see the body of Jesus which was beaten and mangled for me. My sins helped to make up his ponderous load that crushed him in the garden and on the cross. Oh! for grace to live without sin, to live faithfully to him, to own him aright. We should seek to the same patient temper that he exhibited on the cross, and all through his life. We are often so petulant that if our brother does a wrong we forsake the church, with all its service, on that account. This was not the temper of Christ. Though Peter denied him, he still loved him; and though the wicked ones nailed him to the cross, he prayed for them. And so we should earnestly seek that same patient temper and faithfulness that he had. Often, in taking these elements, we feel such a sense of our own vileness that we tremble to break the bread or eat it after it is broken. I have seen brethren refuse on account of their own unworthiness, but it is encouraging to such persons to know that this service is suited to their condition. We have no merit of our own, but these emblems point us to the fountain of all true goodness among men. Our sins are great, but this flesh and blood have been given as a ransom for me. If I were not unworthy I would not need them; but I am, and therefore I venture on him; I freely own to all the world that I am evil; but here is my hope set forth in type in this bread and wine. I would urge on our brethren and sisters that they do not refuse this service, or shun it, and that you seek for the true spirit of service in engaging in it. Lay aside all your malice one for another, and all envy, and every feeling of revenge. Your conduct should not be vain and light. How gently we handle the bodies of the dead, and how lightly we walk about them. So we should be deeply impressed with solemnity on this occasion.
5th. We are not told in the Bible just how often we should engage in this service, but we are told that as "often as ye eat this bread and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord's death till he come." - Acts 20:7. Some denominations take it every Sabbath. Most of our churches take it twice a year, and some three times per year. I would not object to it every Sabbath, if it could be done in "spirit
and in truth."


6th. This sacrament was first given to the twelve, or rather to the eleven, who had been previously baptized. Baptism, in the order of time, precedes the privilege of the Lord's Supper. This, I believe, is the opinion of all denominations. From John 3:23, we learn that the apostles were baptized prior to the Lord's Supper. Also, Acts 2: 41-42: The people appear to have been baptized prior to "breaking of bread." The first step in gospel service by Paul was to be baptized. Acts 9:18; and Rom. 6:3-4, goes to show that baptism is the first step in the "walk in newness of life." I do not know that any deny that baptism should precede all other church privileges. It this be true, then baptized believers are alone required to engage in this service. Sometimes persons have applied to our churches for membership, and before they were baptized the church has taken the sacrament. It is thought prudent and scriptural that he should not participate in this service until he be baptized.
These positions being true, we can not in consistency invite any to the Lord's table who have been sprinkled or poured on for baptism. Much complaint has been laid against us on account of our close communion practice, which, I am satisfied, originates in part from a misunderstanding of our position, and from a desire to weaken our influence, and from a spirit of strife. All admit that baptism precedes this ordinance, and if we are correct in our views of that subject, we must be correct in denying communion with all who have not been immersed. How any people who practice immersion alone can invite those who are sprinkled to their table, I can not see. They may thereby show a great respect for the feelings of their fellow creatures, but very little regard for the Word of God. We desire to be a consistent people, and we feel sure that it is a glaring inconsistency to claim that immersion alone is baptism, and yet in this solemn way recognize sprinkling or pouring. And further, this is a church ordinance. It was not first given to all the saints, but to the eleven, not simply because they were saints, and that they might express love to each other, but that they, in their organized capacity, might solemnly show forth the Lord's death till he come. On this occasion he said to them, Luke 22:29: "I appoint unto you a kingdom, as my father hath appointed unto me;" verse 30: "That ye may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom." Agreeably to this, the table was place in the organized church, and of course in order to eat at that table, we must go into the church. We are not at liberty to take these emblems out of the church to give them to those who are unwilling to come in. The Savior's words were: "I appoint unto you a kingdom." The word "appoint" here indicates that I make over to you a kingdom. I will presently leave the world; while I have been with you I have kept you; I have ordained such as I saw fit to go into my service as ministers, etc.; but now I shall leave you, hence I make over to you the control of the church; henceforth you are to administer its ordinances, ordain its elders and deacons, etc. This, I think, was the church of Christ, and the Lord's Supper was administered to it and in it; they were instructed to eat and drink "at his table in his kingdom." Upon this ground our practice of close communion rests. We believe that the church organized by Christ continues to this time, and that her history can be traced back to the apostles without passing through the Catholics. Some of our brethren have written on this subject, we think they have shown that our history can be traced back to the apostolic age; that we never have had any connection with the "mother of harlots." I am aware that many ridicule this claim, and urge that every denomination under heaven owe their existence to the Catholics. In Matt. 16:18, the Savior says, speaking of this church: "The gates of hell shall not prevail against it." This passage indicates the perpetuity of the church. The word "gates" is put for military strength, and indicates that hell's mighty hosts, who rush out of her gates to the attack shall never vanquish and destroy this church. If this prediction is true she has existed in all ages of the world, despite the persecutions through which she has passed. She is older and a million times stronger than the Catholic church to-day. She has never received her mark, nor been connected with her save in the relation of a martyr to the persecutor. She has never received her practices from the Catholic fraternity. Some have illustrated the church by what they call the "branch system:" That all the different churches are so many branches of the same tree, and all together make up the church of Christ visible. Of course Presbyterians, Lutherans, Episcopalians, Methodists, etc., can afford to adopt this sentiment, because it is well known that they all sprang from the Catholics, and that whatever legal authority they have to administer baptism, etc., they received from the Catholics. It is consistent for them to practice open communion, and mix and unite as churches, for they, all as branches, have grown out of the same trunk. But I appeal to the candid reader, can the Baptists consistently recognize these institutions of men as the church of Christ? Is it not far more consistent for us to continue, as our fathers have done, to be a separate people?
When A. Campbell was expelled from the Baptist Church he was vehement in denouncing the Catholics, as the "mother of harlots," and other denominations as her daughters. But in order to find a good apology for organizing a new institution, he necessarily urged that the true church had been lost and overcome by Catholicism, ignoring the prediction of Christ that it should never be destroyed, thus forming a pretext to set up a new sect of human origin, whose history can be traced, from memory, by men now living, to human authority. We want to be kind and social. We want to manifest a gentle Christian spirit to all, but we do not want, by word or deed, to recognize these institutions of men, as having any claim upon us, or as being of divine authority. This is the real foundation of our close communion practice.
Many have used this as a club, to beat us with. Some who believe in immersion alone, have been so inconsistent as to invite persons sprinkled to their table, and then complained of us, because we would not indulge in the same inconsistencies. Are we not consistent in our practice? I am sure that the intelligent reader can readily see that any other course would be yielding up the most vital principles of our denomination. We render ourselves unworthy the name of "Baptist" when we yield this position. We will never do it, although it makes us unpopular and contemptible in the eyes of the masses. We will still maintain our principles. Our great concern should be to maintain the "ordinances as they were delivered unto us." Reasonable men and women will see that we are consistent in this practice, and will admire us for our consistency.
From what has been said, I think it clear that we must be a separate people. We can consistently believe there are Christians in other denominations, and also some who have never joined any. We should love them dearly, be kind to them, and allow them the privilege of their own opinions freely. I hope what I have written on this subject will excite the reader to investigate the same.


1st. The word deacon in scripture signifies one who serves, or ministers; it is sometimes applied to the civil officers of the country, as in Rom. 13:3: "For rulers are not a terror unto good works, but to the evil." * * Verse 4: "For he is the minister (Diakonos) of God to thee for good." * * "For he is the minister of God," etc., deacon of God. It is also applied to our Savior. Gal. 2:17: "Is therefore Christ the minister (deacon) of sin?" It is also in a great many places applied to the apostles. 1st Cor. 3:5: "Who then is Paul, and who Apollos, but ministers (deacons) by whom ye believed," etc. Also, 2nd Cor. 3:6: "Who also hath made us able ministers," (deacons), etc. It is very commonly applied to the office of the apostles. It is also very commonly used in connection with alms, as 2nd Cor. 8:4: "And take upon us the fellowship of the ministering to the saints." The word ministering here is from Diakonia. Also, 9:1: "Touching the ministering to the saints," and very many other places, showing that the use of the word denotes serving, ministering, etc., either as a public officer or magistrate, etc., or as a preacher of the gospel, to express the work of Christ in our redemption, and also to express charitable acts, such as relieving the wants of the poor, contributing to the saints, or the ministers. We would, therefore, understand that the office-work of a deacon is to minister in some way to others. It is an office of benevolence and charity.
2nd. The first mention we have of persons being se apart to this office, is in Acts 6. From a careful reading of this place, we notice that the apostles had not only been preaching the word to the people, but they also had the care of the public stock, created by the sale of their estates, and making "all things common." The number of the disciples having greatly multiplied, it became a burden to them, and hindered them from preaching, etc. Besides there had a murmuring arose among the people. The Grecians thought that their widows were neglected in the daily ministrations. Of course, where such complaints were urged against the apostles, it was against their preaching, and tended to lessen their influence as preachers; besides, it claimed so much of their time as materially to interfere with their spiritual ministrations, therefore "the twelve called the multitude of the disciples unto them, and said, it is not reason that we should leave the word of God and serve tables," (deacon tables). "Wherefore, brethren, look ye out among you seven men of honest report, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this matter." Heretofore it appears that they were endeavoring to minister in things both spiritual and temporal, but finding that these two offices were more than they had time to fill, they, therefore, determined to give their time entirely to spiritual things, and appoint others to minister in temporal things. A careful reading of the New Testament will show that the church is to bless the world, by ministering spiritual food to the poor in spirit, and temporal relief to those who are temporally needy. In the establishment of this office, it appears that the apostles designed to give their time to the spiritual wants of the people, and that the deacons should minister in temporal things. This was the commencement of the office, which was to be perpetuated, as is seen from Paul's address to Timothy, 1st, 3rd chapter, where he mentions the officers of the bishop and deacon, gives the qualifications of each, showing that these two offices were to be perpetuated. "The bishop must be blameless; * * * not given to wine; no striker; apt to teach." He must be of pure character, so that he will have influence, and he must be "apt to teach." He is to be a teacher; he is to minister in spiritual things. His great business of life is to teach or preach; therefore, he must have a spotless character, and be of temperate habits, and not a novice. With these qualifications he will be prepared to minister in spiritual things. And the deacon, who is to minister in temporal things, must be "grave; not double-tongued; not given to much wine; not greedy of filthy lucre." Gravity is seriousness of mind, coupled with a suitable behavior; and this should adorn the office of deacon. To be double-tongued is to tell different stories about the same thing - to be one way in one company, and another way in another company; a person of this kind should not be put into the office; he is an officer in the house of God, and such defects in him would be disgraceful to the church of Christ. He should not be given to much wine, for a deacon to be seen drunk is a reproach, not only for him, but to the church that he serves; therefore it would be unwise to make a deacon of one who is likely to fall by this sin. He must not be greedy of filthy lucre; one who is so, is sure to make improper efforts to obtain money. He will betray his greed in his common business of life. The public mind will watch his daily course of life, and discover his undue thirst for lucre, which will give him a low place in the minds of the public, and make him a weight to the church; besides, it is his office-work to minister to the poor in such things as the church furnished him with, and if he is greedy he is a very unfit man to have the care of "tables." By comparing the qualifications mentioned in Acts 6:3, you will discover that it is the same office, with the same qualifications, etc.: "of honest report;" a man who is understood to be honest, safe to entrust with the care of these things. It is not every man nor every church member that would be safe to take the care of valuables. He must be full of the Holy Ghost, which will so control his actions and conversation as to make him an ornament to the church. "Wisdom" is a quality he should possess. It requires wisdom to determine what is proper under all circumstances. Sometimes persons become poor and needy by their own laziness, or sin, and it is certain that the charity of the church should not be used to nourish laziness, or sin of any kind. Wisdom is essential to determine what should be given and to whom given. Good counsel to the poor is often as valuable as money, and if he be wise and possesses the proper traits of a deacon he will be a good counselor, and his advice would be likely to prevail if he be of suitable character for a deacon. I think it clear that the seven mentioned in Acts 6 were appointed to fill the same office that Paul mentions as deacon in 1st Tim. 3:8 to 13, and that this office is to be maintained in the church.
3rd. I have before suggested that the church is to bless the world in two particulars: Ministering in spiritual things, and ministering in temporal things. The elder is to devote himself to the spiritual wants of the people. In Acts 4:32-34, 35, we learn that they sold their goods and made a common stock of it; that none among them lacked, etc. I do not suppose it is necessary that this state of things should be continued, but I think we are to learn from this that all our goods are to be common to the extent that no one is to be allowed to suffer while any brother has plenty. "If a brother or sister be destitute of daily food and naked, and one of you say unto them depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled, and give them not those things which are needful to the body, what doth it profit?" And again: 1st John 3:17: "But whoso hath this world's goods and seeth his brother have need and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him." I think these passages show that we yet have all things in common in such a sense that no brother should see a brother or sister suffer while he has the means to supply their wants. If you will read the Bible to see how much is said with a view of inculcating habits of charity, you would be surprised to see in how many places the principle is taught. In Matt. 25:35-40, we are taught that acts of charity to the saints are esteemed as if done to Christ. Solomon says: "He that giveth to the poor shall not lack." - Prov. 22:9; also 19:17: "He that hath pity on the poor lendeth unto the Lord."
I have not space or time to quote all that is said favoring habits of charity. Religion does not wholly consist in the mere forms of public service, but its brightest qualities are seen in visiting the fatherless and the widow, in giving of your worldly substance to the poor of this world. Ministering to the saints is urged upon the Corinthians, 2nd Cor. 9, Paul urges it upon the whole church. I have ever regarded it as a shame that one of our number should be sent away to the poor-house. It is a principle of our religion that we should sustain our poor, and, as in the beginning, this is to be attended to by the deacon. He should distribute the public fund for the relief of the needy. Our brethren and sisters die, leaving children who are often subjects of charity that we should look after, giving them suitable counsel, etc.
Paul says, 1st Cor. 16:2: "Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by in store as God hath prospered him, that there be no gathering when I come." This simple direction was intended to raise a fund of charity; each one was to lay up as God has prospered him. The amount he was to give was to be determined by the amount of his prosperity. By the pursuit of this course there would be means gathered to relieve the needy. This arrangement was in strict harmony with the great principle of charity taught throughout the Bible. It would put men as in the deacon's hand to help the poor with. In a congregation of fifty members, let one-half of them give ten cents for each week, which would be forty cents per month; this would be the sum of ten dollars per month appropriated to benevolent purposes. This amount of money in the hands of a wise deacon would relieve much want. It would impress the world that we designed to be a blessing. I am sorry to see that the practice of charity is so nearly ceased. The poor are not remembered by us; we never, or seldom ever, hear our deacons mention to the church that help is needed anywhere, and hence the church's ministration in temporal things is well nigh ceased. There are opportunities all around us, persons who would weep tears of joy to receive the kind attentions of our churches. Our churches could care for them without ever feeling the burden, and yet many of our brethren live years at a time without contributing anything to the wants of the needy. Many institutions of the world, as Masons, etc., manifest more charity than is often manifested by the church. Our deacons should study this subject, look around them for objects of charity, and call the attention of the church to them.
The brethren should be "ready to communicate." A few cents spent in this way would be of more use to us as a people than we are aware of. We should ever be forward "to remember the poor." Of course our brethren should be well instructed in the doctrine of grace, etc., but we should not neglect nor forget the practice of our profession.
Now these plain duties make the office of deacon necessary. It is not suitable for the elder to see after these things, for reasons above mentioned, and if we have no officer whose duty it is to see to these things it is certain to be neglected, and should our churches utterly neglect the poor, when the Bible so abundantly teaches that we should not? By no means; besides this there are many things connected with our church that need the personal attention of some one, as wood, light, repairs, and expenses of our pastor, which should be met, the keeping of our house in good order, sweeping, making fires, etc.; all this needs personal attention, and each member should be willing to bear his part of the burden, and for this reason he should contribute as the case requires and as "God has prospered him," giving his contribution into the hands of the deacon. Wine and bread to be used at our communion meetings must be prepared. All these things come under the head of temporal things or "tables," and are among the duties of the deacon.
No member should feel that he is not under some obligations to contribute. The Savior approved the widow who cast in two mites. Where brethren never invest anything in religion or its duties, they are not apt to set much store by it; at least such has been my observation. Where persons never give anything in a benevolent way, they seem to have but little interest in these things.
4th. The deacon should be chosen by the church. The apostles told the brethren to "look ye out among you seven men." In Acts 13:2, we learn that the elder is to be chosen by the church for ordination, and so the deacon. In making this choice, we are to look for the qualifications before named. Some have thought that 1st Tim. 3:12, teaches that he must have a wife; and others have thought that he should never have but one wife, though his first wife be dead. This is not the correct view of the subject, as may be seen by comparing Titus 1:6, with 1st Tim. 3:12. Here we learn that the elder must have one wife, i.e., he must not be a polygamist. No one imagines that the want of a wife disqualifies a man for the office of elder, nor does it disqualify a man for the office of deacon. The church may choose a man to that office who never was married, without violating the spirit of this text; or if his wife should die, he is not thereby disqualified, for the office, and he may take another wife without being disqualified, provided he be married to a woman of a suitable character - verse 11. When the church is agreed in her choice of a deacon he should be ordained by prayer and the laying on of the hands of the elders - Acts 6:6. The course usually pursued among us in ordaining a deacon is as follows: The church makes her choice of as many as she deems proper by vote of the church; the minority, if any, acquiescing in the choice of the majority, and thus making the choice unanimous. It would be lawful for one elder to ordain, Titus 1:5, but usually it is more appropriate to request the help of others, and in order to do this, the church sends a written request to sister churches for help. A record of this is made in the minutes of the church making the request; and the church receiving the request makes a record of her action and sends the aid desired. The presbytery for ordination is formed by choosing a Clerk and Moderator. The qualifications for the office are duly considered, and such questions as would tend to develop his suitableness for the office may be asked by the Moderator or any member of the council. Some brother intimately acquainted with the moral character of the candidate, should be taken into the council; and, after the necessary questions have been asked, the council usually retires for consultation; and, after becoming fully acquainted with his moral character, and being convinced of his suitableness for the office, they return and ordain by prayer and the laying on of the hands of the elders. On such occasions it is usual for the charge to be given in the form of a sermon, in which the duties of the office are considered and urged upon the deacon, and, I am satisfied, that the church should be fully instructed in her duty. The office of deacon is a mere farce if the church never furnishes him with the means to supply the needs of the poor, or meet the expenses of the church. It is mere child's play to ordain a man to fill an office when the course of the church allows him nothing to do in his official capacity. Our brethren in the ministry should labor to impress upon the churches that charity becomes the house of God; that it was a principle taught by the Savior and his apostles. And if each one of our churches would every month put a small sum in the hands of our deacons, with instructions to buy such things for the poor as they have need of. It would be a step in the right direction that God would own and bless, and would tend greatly to our own comfort. I would suggest that our brethren seriously consider these things, and that our deacons urge them upon the churches. Our duties in these things could be performed without burdening us, even in a conceivable degree.
I have seen tears of joy start in the eyes of poor people when they were presented with the charities of others, and I have derived ten times more comfort from means given to the poor than I could have obtained in any other way. If we love our Savior, we should seek to make his children happy. He does not need our aid, but many of his dear children do, and we are informed in his word that our benevolence to the dear lambs of God are as important as if bestowed on him. Should we not rejoice at every opportunity to do good to his suffering children; and should not our churches have officers whose duty it is to hunt them up and bear our liberality to them? Had you a child in a strange land and any should kindle care for it, you would feel as grateful or more so, as if it were done to you. So our Savior informs us that a cup of water given to one of his little ones shall never be forgotten. Have you, dear reader, ever taken pains to perform these duties? If you have been blessed with the abundance of this world you should be grateful to God, and remember when you go to your table richly laden with good things, that there are others who are subjects of pity. When you see yourself or your children warmly clad, and often in excessive dress, remember there are others in rags, and persons, too, who are as near the heart of the Lord Jesus as yourself. Read the case of the rich man and Lazarus. Remember the words of Paul: "Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not high-minded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy; that they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate; laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come," etc. - 1st Tim. 6:17-19. Riches are a curse when they shut up our bowels of compassion or when our hearts are set upon them; better a thousand times be poor than be rich with no heart to remember and pity the poor. The office of deacon is the proper channel through which our charities are to reach the objects entitled to them, and if we would maintain the office at all we must do it by using it, and giving it employment. Let us all be faithful in the performance of our duties. The church greatly multiplied immediately after the ordination of the seven; God blessed the church in the discharge of its duties, and we may expect divine approval in the discharge of our duty. It appears that some of the deacons did exercise a public gift immediately after their ordination. Stephen is mentioned in the 7th chapter, as publicly speaking of Christ; and Philip, in the 8th, is mentioned as preaching and baptizing. All this seems to have been done immediately after their ordination. I think it is hardly probable that Philip was ordained a second time. I do not believe that it is necessary to the office that one should be gifted to speak in public; yet if he has such a gift it does not disqualify him for the office.
Scott in his notes, says: "It appears plainly, from the forgoing history, that it was not as a deacon that he (Stephen) preached, * * * and no doubt many Christians not statedly devoted to the ministry and whose furniture was far inferior to his, would be capable of declaring Christ and his gospel to strangers in an edifying manner, and would not fail accordingly to do so as providence gave them call and opportunity." It is certain that the main design of ordaining the seven was to take the temporal oversight of the flock, that the apostles might have the more time to look after the spiritual welfare of the saints; and, I think it unquestionably true that there is still a ministration of temporal things needed on the part of the church, and the need of that same officer remains.
I sincerely hope that what I have said may lead to a profitable investigation of this important subject.

Elder E. D. Thomas

The apostle in his instruction to the church of God at Corinth, chap. 12, teaches them that there is a variety of gifts given by the same Spirit. The object is the edification of the body, or church; therefore he teaches that the judgment of the usefulness of these gifts belongs to the church. One speak at a time; the rest judge. The mind of Christ is thus obtained through the church. How nicely this idea harmonizes with his teaching in the fore part of the epistle, where he says: "Now we have not received the Spirit of the world, but the Spirit which is of God, that we might know the things that are given us of God." How careful the church should be in assigning to each gift belonging to her body the place where they would be the most useful, as well as have the greatest liberty in speaking. For instance, he that exhorteth on exhortation, he that teacheth on teaching. Let him that possesses the particular gift study to make himself as edifying to the body as possible, when the proper time to speak comes in his way.
It is evident from the foregoing remarks that some gifts were designed for pastors or overseers, and some for other purposes. How careful we should be in this discrimination, lest a useful gift be spoiled by assigning it an improper place, by requiring more of it than ability had been given by the Spirit to perform. I will now take up the subject of choosing and ordaining elders and overseers, sometimes called presbyters, embracing the variety of stations the office requires them to fill. Too much care and prayerful consideration can not be exercised in examination, both of the scriptures and the candidate, for this office. The word elder, implying an officer, ruler, or overseer, is found in Numbers 11:16. In 17th verse the Lord told Moses: "I would take of the Spirit which is upon thee, and put it upon them; and they shall bear the burden of the people with thee, that thou bear it not thyself alone." So the phraseology of the New Testament is borrowed from the Old. Paul to Timothy, 2nd Epistle, 1:7, says: "For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind." This being required to fill the office of bishop or overseer, the candidate must possess and give evidence of knowledge in the scriptures, and power to apply them as proof of every gospel idea they teach, apt to teach. And of love, untiring zeal in the cause of Christ, is founded in the love the individual has for the church of Christ. Almost impenetrable obstacles will present themselves in the way of faithfully executing the office, but love, burning in the heart, will triumph at last, declaring I count not my life dear unto myself, to testify the gospel of the grace of God.
"Of a sound mind." This qualification must be possessed, or the individual will be fanatical, puffed up with pride at success, easily discouraged, unbalanced in mind, easily thrown off his guard. He must be capable of reasoning from God and his power, as revealed in his Word, to the nature of the promises found in the gospel, so as to encourage the doubting to trust in the Lord, confirm the feeble, warn the unruly, feed the flock with knowledge of their relationship to Christ as a shepherd, prophet, priest and king, thus giving them knowledge of their safety under his care. This being proof of his gift being of the Lord, we next look after his character among men. He must possess all those virtues in character that make him an example of the flock, or else his gospel teaching will be contradicted by his life, he should be able to prove that he believes what he teaches by his works or else he will be despised. This power is manifest in ruling his own house well, having his children in subjection with all gravity, which can not be done without proper example; moreover, he must have a good report of them which are without, lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.
The foregoing qualifications being found by the church in which his membership is, they should be convinced that these combined qualifications are evidences that it is of the Lord, never calling a council in any case to get rid of the responsibility of deciding the case themselves, for no one can know more about a gift than the church to which the individual belongs. But when unanimously satisfied that the Holy Ghost has signified it, as in Acts 13 - "Separate me this man for the work whereunto I have called him" - then comes the use of a presbytery or council, composed of two or more ordained elders, well approved for faithfulness that will commit this office to faithful men, that shall be able to teach others also. Thus continuing a succession of the right kind of men in the sacred office of the ministry, sound in the faith. If afterwards they turn out heretic, after the first and second admonition, reject or exclude them from office; this will save the church from imposition. "In the multitude of counsel there is safety." As many sound brethren both of the ministry and deacons as can be obtained are advisable, as in the importance of the office will have its influence on all the churches now and in the future. The council having met, and the church still being of the same mind, will hand over the candidate into the judgment of the presbytery, adding to it some of their own number. A Moderator and Clerk will then be chosen, and they, as a body, can invite any present that are qualified to add strength to the council. Inquiry should then be made of the candidate if he is willing to submit his case and its results into their jurisdiction. If he answers affirmatively, the Moderator will proceed to ask for the reason of his hope in Christ; for, taking Paul and Timothy as a criterion, they were saved first, and then called to the ministry; and, as it was according to God's purpose and grace given in Christ before the world began, it is sure he has no other purpose in keeping a ministry for his church. If the proof is clear that he has been saved by the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Ghost, the Moderator can proceed to ask for those exercises of mind that have been produced by reading the scriptures or hearing the gospel preached. And whether, with the consolation, he felt a burning desire of heart to tell it to others. "The laborer must be partaker of the fruit." Not learn by memory somebody's sermons, and declaim them, but comfort somebody else with the same that he has been comforted of God. Giving evidence that he is speaking things that he knows, by experience; a living ministry, with the author of it in his soul, the hope of glory; Christ and him crucified, being to him all his salvation felt and realized, he could think of nothing else to comfort and instruct a poor, heavy-laden sinner like he has been. And, as the suffering patient only knows the comforts of a cure, so he will sympathize with, and labor to portray the sufficiency of Christ to save all who feel their need of him. This being the power within, and a door of utterance manifest to tell it, makes the call to the work of an evangelist. Having become satisfied thus far, the council can then hear him discourse on the principles of the doctrine of Christ, giving his views of the plan of salvation as revealed in Christ by the gospel; the scriptures that he would rely upon for proof of the positions taken. Or, if more satisfactory, questions by the Moderator and council may be asked on the doctrine, ordinances, discipline or government of the church; its officers, their use, their obligation to the church and the church's obligation to them, and the scriptural proof for the same. This will show that he is not only called, but his understanding has been opened to understand the scriptures. This fills the bill.
"Apt to teach." The council will then retire to make up their verdict. If they are all impressed favorably that it is of the Lord, they can agree to ordain by appointing one of the elders to make the ordaining prayer; another to deliver the charge to the candidate and church. In making the ordaining prayer, a convenient way is for the candidate to kneel in the center, and the elders to kneel around him and impose their hands upon him during the prayer. The Charge being delivered, a song of praise to God should be sung, and the right hand of fellowship given to the brother ordained, by all the council and church, as an acknowledgment of him in his office.
Having presented some proof of the call to the work of the ministry, and evidence of its being of the Lord, as well as some practical hints to guide in the matter, we will add some instruction to the pastor thus ordained, that we hope may improve his usefulness. The admonition, "Take heed unto thyself and to all the flock over which the Holy Ghost has made thee overseer." Take heed to thyself. Let the inquiry be: How shall I fill this office so as to be approved of God and acceptable to his church? Paul would say, give attention to reading. Read what? The Holy Scriptures. They are able to make thee wise unto salvation, through faith in Christ Jesus. I believe it a little unsafe to read commentaries, no matter what the reputation of the author, until a thorough knowledge of the Bible is gained, so as to be able to determine whether the author has given the correct meaning of the passage or not; so you can recognize the harmony with other places that occur to the mind, or the want of harmony, as the case may be, remembering that no prophecy is of private interpretation. It is your duty to preach the Word, not men's opinions. "If any lack wisdom, let him ask of God," says James. A prayerful study of the scriptures, to understand their spiritual meaning for yourself, will give a light upon the text that will not soon leave you, while the words of men will soon be forgotten, and perhaps leave you when you most depend upon them. Your office, and gift to use it, will bring you before all classes of men, the learned and polite, as well as the ignorant; but when before you, remember you are to preach the gospel to every creature. Be not ashamed of the gospel nor try to hunt something else to say because some learned or noble person is present, but keep in mind that God has concluded all under sin, by reason of the necessity of righteousness and the certainty of judgment to come. Take Paul's example before Agrippa. In a temporal point of view, Paul was the prisoner, Agrippa was the king; in a spiritual point of view, Paul was the called and commissioned servant of God, Agrippa was the condemned and guilty sinner before the court of heaven. This view made Paul bold and Agrippa tremble. So consider yourself and your audience in the sight of God, your judge and theirs also; fear God, and the fear of man will leave you.
The whole scriptures are the whole truth of revealed religion, therefore if you do not shun to declare the whole counsel of God, you must study the variety of conditions that men and women are in, when God's Word describes them, every step of the pathway of life, from sin's dark maze to the saints trying hour when soul and body is parting. Upon a close study of the Word of God, you will find him or her described. The careful and skillful workman must not give that that is holy to the dogs, it is children's meat; nor preach the law of sin and death to them that are not under the law but under grace, or in a gracious state; daubing with untempered mortar, or crying peace where God hath not spoken, is forbidden. What the law saith, is to them that are under the law; what the gospel in its promises saith, is to them that have been made free by the Son of God, and are under his law to them, which is called the spirit of life in Christ. Describe your own feelings as experienced when in these various conditions, and the effect faithful preaching had with you will govern in this discrimination of character better than any rule laid down. I have heard men say that their gift was to preach doctrine. That was a mistake of theirs. If they would study the experimental part of the Bible, or the practical obligation of God's people to live as becometh the gospel of Christ, as closely as they have the doctrine or system of grace, they would have as much liberty and more feeling in their preaching; for it is impossible to refer to our own experience without feeling, and to our obedience without remembering the emotions it produced. This is deeply interesting and encouraging to those seeking the way of the Lord. Next in studying the scriptures, is to learn what is meant by the idea of church, brotherhood, house of God, Mount Zion, all expressive of the different relations the Lord's redeemed sustain to the Great Head of the Church and one another. Here opens a wide field of gospel matter to discourse upon at various times. Use your own mind in studying appropriateness to the time, and circumstances that surround you and your congregation, so as to be instant in season and out of season, be able to reprove, rebuke, exhort, entreat; for these, the scriptures are profitable, when needed, and are given by inspiration for occasions that will come in the history of the church. So the pastor need not go outside of the gospel to be supplied for the occasion. Study and cultivate an intimate acquaintance with your congregation, watch with vigilance the approach of the enemies of truth; one blow from the Sword of the Spirit (which is the Word of God) well aimed at the right time, will do more than a pitched battle after the enemy is entrenched within your lines. A church well doctrinized and disciplined, will not be easily confused, but will be "steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord." I would suggest as a rule, that on the church meeting day, the pastor or visiting minister always preach a sermon on the duties of Christians to their Master, to the church and to one another. By consulting the Savior's teaching to his disciples, in the epistles to the churches, he will find abundant matter to discourse on a whole year, without repeating the same theme, and so doing, will increase the faithfulness of his mind, and start an exercise of mind in the church that will lead the brethren to search the scriptures to see whether these things are so. A growth in grace and in the knowledge of the truth will be the result, both with the pastor and flock. I have noticed that ministers that travel all the time have a few stereotyped sermons that give them the credit of able ministers, that would starve the flock if confined to one place long at a time; while a man of variety may not receive as much applause for a discourse, but will interest at home or abroad, and the more you hear the more you are willing to hear, because he is well instructed and brings out of his rich treasure things new and old. If we could retain all we read we might get through and quit reading, but the treasures are inexhaustible and the riches of wisdom unsearchable. Be not afraid of searching, the more you know the more you will find there is to know, and all profitable in its place. Do not attempt a subject that you can not see clearly its application, or you will be ashamed when done. Mind not high things, but condescend to men of low degree; always remembering your behavior will affect your preaching for good or for evil. In conclusion prepare yourself as though you had nothing else to depend on, and then look to the Lord as imploring for aid, as though you had no other aid, for "Paul may plant, and Apollos water, but it is God that giveth the increase." May God give us understanding in all things.


The Christian hope earnestly expects the vile bodies of men now in their graves, sleeping the sleep of death, to be awakened from the dead, to be awakened from the dead and made to live. For God has said: "Thy dead men shall live, together with my dead body shall they arise." Again: "The hour is coming when 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 evil, unto the resurrection of damnation." - John 5:28. By these words of our blessed Savior, we learn three things, viz:

1st. The dead will be raised to life.
2nd. The time in which they are raised from their graves.
3rd. Who will be raised.

Hearing God, who can not lie, in his Word say, all in their graves shall hear his voice and come forth, we believe him, and fondly expect it will be so. "Some have erred, saying the resurrection is passed." Erred as to the time. The time of resurrection from the graves is not in the past, but future; the hour is coming. There is such an hour, or set time, and it will be here with certainty. The persons who being dead shall live, are they that have done good, and they that have done evil. "The just and the unjust," the righteous, and the poor ungodly of all mankind will be included in the resurrection.
To further prove abundantly by God's own word in the blessed Bible, that resurrection of the bodies of the dead is truth, read Dan. 12:2: "And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt." Also, Acts 24:15: "And have hope toward God, which they themselves also allow, that there shall be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust." This was Paul's hope explained. The enemies of his faith also "allowed," or admitted the truth of his hope in that one particular. (Compare Acts 23:6). Paul again asserts and affirms this hope before King Agrippa. Acts 26:6 to 8. And he asked him the forcible question, viz: "Why should it be thought a thing incredible with you, that God should raise the dead?" God is almighty. "Nothing" good in his sight "is impossible with him." Considering who and what God is, what is incredible or in any way inconsistent with the nature of things? God is sufficient as a cause, to produce that effect, God made all dust out of nothing, and formed man out of that dust. By reason of man's sin he dies, and now returns to the dust from whence he is taken. The same God that made man have one existence, can make him to have a second living existence. And surely God, who has made both angels and men, is able to reproduce the bodies of all dead men, some to one state (of life), and some to another state (of damnation). When God tells us by his Bible that his purpose is: there shall be a resurrection both of the just and unjust; then who dares or has any right to deny it, or to even disbelieve that word? and so "make God a liar." - 1st John 5:10.
Annihilation of all men, old and young, us and our children, is a thought so dreadfully withering to our minds, that to sensible, thoughtful men and women it is unbearable. Then how dreadful, aye, how miserable life would be, if no hope carried us beyond the grave! To have no sure prospect of meeting, seeing and associating with any of our fathers, mothers, children, and loved kindred whom we have buried in the grave, and with them buried our present happiness of their company, O! how intolerable it would be to endure by any of us! Yet, more said would it be that no soul of man would ever see and rejoice in the heavenly glory of its Maker above! None to live among angels and learn the bliss of God and godliness? Who is able to rejoice in nonresurrection? If there is no resurrection, then Jesus is yet dead. Death holds forever Jesus and all now sleeping in the earth and sea, so that we have no living Savior and High Priest to remove our sins and save us, if resurrection is not true. "But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the first fruits of them that slept." - 1st Cor. 15:20. So there is some resurrection done now. Jesus' body is already raised. And John saw with this Lamb, Jesus, (Rev. 14:1-4) standing on the Mount Zion, with a hundred, forty and four thousand redeemed from the earth. "These were redeemed from among men, being the first fruits unto God and to the Lamb."
Now, dear reader, consider these first fruits. God has received them up in heaven to himself from the earth. "First fruits of them that slept," of all the dead. Read your Bible and answer this question: Did God ever receive an offering of first fruits from the vineyard, orchard, or wheat field in the hands of a high priest in Moses' tabernacle or Solomon's temple, and not preserve, mature, and save the CROP from which that offering was taken? No. The first fruits received, then the crop was safe, and harvested in due time in good maturity. In that was seen the principle of the resurrection. The law of first fruits (Ex. 22:29; and Prov. 3:9-10), is the law of the resurrection. So God having received the body of Jesus and those of a hundred, forty and four thousand of his church as first fruits of all the dead; this secures and makes safe the "harvest that truly is great of gathering in the entire crop remaining in the field," (the world). And just so sure as his crucified body was raised from the new sepulcher, with nail prints in its hands and a spear-wound in its side, and so exhibited to Thomas and the rest of his disciples, and afterward it was received up from Mount Olivet to heaven, even so sure will the bodies of all saints be raised like his.
Jesus is the pattern, like unto which all saved must be fashioned. Yes, even our poor bodies. For it is written, Phil. 3:20-21: "For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body," etc. Mark, our vile body is the thing he shall change. Change the vile or sinful body to a glorious body. Into a body all filled and clothed with glory. Not glory of earth, nor of stars and planets, but the glory of our ever blessed Jesus in heaven. Also Rom. 8:11. O what a change to be made in a vile human body! God can make it easily, I suppose. I have thought it would be no difficult work to the omnipotent, eternal, ever blessed God to make this change in our bodies, for he will do it so quickly. To him it is the work of a moment. The entire change can be made by him in the twinkling of an eye. Strange it is that what is done by him so very quickly and hence so easily, should be so very difficult to men to even believe.
Why is only the believing so difficult to men of brains, common sense and scholarship? Let Jesus' words answer, Matt. 22:29 "Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God." Ignorance of God's power, and of the Bible, is why men live in error about this change. Then in 1st Cor. 15:51-52, read how it is done: "Behold, I show you a mystery; we shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed."
To further disperse the clouds, fog and smoke of ignorance from our minds, and aid in ridding us of error on this subject, read 1st Thess. 4:13-18: "But I would not have you ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as other which have no hope." Remove the ignorance on this subject and it lessens sorrow about the dead. The light of truth as relates to when, and how, the dead will be made alive, increases hope in the soul. Hope saves from grief and sweetens even our tears. This rests on Jesus being raised. "For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus, will God bring with him." Believe God did raise Jesus from the dead, and it will be difficult to believe those in him sleeping will not also be raised.
Christ is raised for us. Its effect must also be seen in us. "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."
All this is said of those in Christ, new creatures in spirit and born again. The new birth is a change, a miraculous resurrection of the soul. The body must be born again when it comes from the grave, even as Christ is "the first born from the dead." Both the change of soul and body is a miracle of God's power, and a display of his reigning grace. The natural soul and body must be made spiritual, to live and dwell in a spiritual world. Earth is a natural world; heaven is a supernatural or spiritual world; the glory of one is not the glory of the other; hence, those who live on earth must be changed in their state or condition, to another state, to live in and enjoy heaven. Fish could not survive in the open air, nor birds in the water, unless God who made them change their state by recreation. So is illustrated (1st Cor. 15:39) that mysterious change God makes in men to fit them for his heavenly kingdom.
By his creative power, they "are created anew." By the "renewing" power of his Spirit they are made "new creatures" for a new world, a new home.
To effect this great work in us none but God our Savior is able. "Jesus is the resurrection and the life: he that believeth in him, though he were dead, yet shall he live." He then is the fullness and power, the life and essence of the resurrection. Examples were given on earth showing forth this power in the resurrection of Lazarus of Bethany, the widow's son, the ruler's daughter, and, in fact, in all the miracles he wrought. He that changed water to best wine, is able to change an earthly body into a heavenly body. For we read: "As we have borne the image of the earthy, (the first Adam) we shall also bear the image of the heavenly," (of Christ). - 1st Cor. 15:49. Again, in verses 53 and 54: "For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality." So when this is done, then what will be? "Death swallowed up in victory." The last and all enemies destroyed. Yes, even death destroyed. "There shall be no more death." - Rev. 21:4. If there shall be no more death, and death is ever destroyed, then I ask, can there be any remaining dead? How death can be destroyed and the dead not released and raised, we can not see.
By the fullness, power and grace in Christ, those who dwell in, and die in the Lord, shall also "in Christ be made alive." For in him they possess eternal life. Not so of those out of Christ. Out of Christ, the wrath of God abideth on them. The law worketh wrath, it takes its due course on those out of Christ, out of the "hiding place," the "covert" of saints, and they have no shelter from wrath, no cloak or covering for their sins.
Then how blessed is that soul whose "life is hid with Christ in God." So that "when he who is our life shall appear, then shall we also appear with him in glory." Here is seen "good hope and everlasting consolation given us through grace."
Perhaps you often try to imagine in your minds the glory of the scene when Christ and the saints all appear in glory together. Survey his transfiguration on the mount. He is suddenly covered by a bright cloud, his countenance is as the sun, his garments shining exceeding white as no fuller could white them, then heavenly visitors with him. Let this scene aid our weak minds in looking for the glorious appearing of the great God and our Savior in this world, with his people, at his second coming, for he will come again in like manner as he ascended up from Mount Olivet in a bright cloud of glory. Remember his promise: "I will not leave you comfortless, I will come unto you." "Behold I come quickly." Unexpectedly to most men on earth, he will come as a thief in the night. Many, unprepared for his coming, shall wail because of his sudden presence, to judge and reward all men. Paul certifies: "As it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment; so Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many. But unto them that look for him will he appear the second time without sin unto salvation." When he came before, he bore our sins in his body. When he comes again he will come without sin and make us like him; to make us sinless, immortal and all-glorious and heavenly, fit for a new home in heaven with God. Now, our sure and steadfast hope in Christ causes us to expect all this, will soon come to pass. We look for and greatly desire the glorious coming of Jesus, our adorable and blessed Savior, when we shall meet all redeemed souls of every age - patriarchs and prophets, apostles and saints, adults and infants, of all time; black and white, rich and poor, the sane and the idiot, are all to be changed, resurrected. God's grace will be honored and glorified in its sovereign power, and impartial goodness in saving and resurrecting a mighty host which no man can number, out of every nation, kindred, tongue, and people under heaven, to stand with him on Mount Zion. "And so shall they ever be with the Lord."
The use to be made of this subject, as we learn from the words of Paul, is to "comfort one another with these words." You will often be in trouble. These truths will comfort you. Comfort the bereaved and desolate. Let them be used on all occasions of sorrow. On funeral occasions, these words are soothing and consoling. Another use is to prompt us to active obedience to God. In 1st Cor. 15, last verse, it is said: "Therefore, my brethren, dearly beloved, be ye steadfast, always abounding in the work of the Lord, for as much as ye know that your labor is not in vain in the Lord."
This encouraging doctrine should be used to enforce a steadfast obedience at all times. Good works are not lost if resurrection is truth.


Death is the final doom of all living. None are rich enough to buy a release, and none wise enough to evade its approach. "It is appointed unto men once to die." - Heb. 9:27. This arrangement of God will overtake us all. Whatever uncertainty may attend other things, it is certain that all that live must die. "The wages of sin is death." This is a world of sin, consequently a world of death. "All are of the dust and return to dust." - Eccl. 3:20. A due consideration of this subject is well calculated to humble men, for why should man be proud who is hastening to the grave? Why should we indulge in pride when we know that our bodies must return to dust? Nor should we set our hearts on this world and what is in it, for soon we must lay it aside. If we look rightly at riches and honors, and such things, they are of small importance compared with those things that fit us for a safe passage over the river of death. We are accustomed to regard death as a great way off. It is natural for us to defer it to a great distance; but considered in the light of scripture, it is not far from any of us, either old or young. "Our light affliction which is but for a moment." It is but a little distance from the cradle to the grave; from middle age it seems but yesterday that we were youths, and, just as much longer, we shall be in the tomb, and perhaps much sooner. "Life is but a winter day, a journey to the tomb." It is thickly set with troubles. The stoutest must bow to some grief; every eye has tears that must flow. We must all learn that "man, at his best estate, is vanity." Oh! why should any be proud? Why should we grow angry with each other, and seek to render each other unhappy? Life, at best, affords but little pleasure and much sorrow, and we should remember that our evil passions are but means to increase our misery and that of others. But there is a condition to meet death in that takes away its gloom and renders it desirable. God's mercy is shown in the means he has employed to render us willing to die and go hence. Some become old and weary of life; tired of the sins of this world, they say, "our usefulness is done," "and we are ready to go." Sickness tends to wean us from time; disappointment often tends to resign us to God's ways. Most generally God's people become willing to go. In life and health we fear death, but in disease we grow more willing to go. God's presence makes us happy anywhere. This is one reason why we should desire to maintain communion with God, and retain the sweet sense of his pardoning love we first felt. And this is why, or one reason why, we should keep his commandments, that we might abide in his love. By disobedience we waste our joys, dry up the streams of peace that cheer us through life, and wound the Holy Spirit, and bring our hearts into pain. If we would enjoy the presence of God we must seek him, live for him, keep his commandments; and we have the promise that he will reveal himself to us as he doth not reveal himself to the world. No wonder the people of God are so anxious to maintain the service of God, and so careful to keep his commandments; it results in such exquisite delight. The holy presence of God in our hearts to sanctify our troubles, is of infinite importance. If we would endure affliction or meet death in a way becoming a saint, we must think of it in health, and ever remember that God's approval is worth more than gold or the approval of men. No doubt many die without one ray of hope for the future, and with dreadful apprehensions of their destiny, without God's cheering presence, with an evil conscience, a gloomy future, and a wicked past. Such a death is to be dreaded. Death is a terror to all men; but a hopeless, miserable death, without God, is terrible beyond description. In the parable of the rich man and Lazarus, we learn that the rich man died and lifted up his eyes in hell, clearly indicating that he had a miserable, conscious existence; that death inducted him into a place of torment as the result of his doing in this life. Oh! what a thought, that many shall leave vast estates and costly mansions, and take up their abode in hell. Some shall leave high places among men for the depths of hell. You that are clad in the righteousness of Christ have reasons to rejoice that you have ever been made acquainted with your own sins, and God's mercy. "What a friend you have in Jesus," who can and will sustain you in death, and give you a place in heaven.
It was this that caused the apostle to say, "I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand." He spoke of death as if he were about taking a journey; and so he was about to go to his Master, who had called him to the work of the ministry, and sustained him in all his trials. "I have fought a good fight, I have kept the faith, I have finished my course; henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord the righteous judge shall give me at that day." The gloomy views of death had been removed from him, and he looked upon it as we do taking a desirable visit. Again he said, "For me to live is Christ, but to die is gain." The state of the dead (Christian) is better than life; death itself may be dreadful, but it is far better to be with Christ. "For I am in a straight betwixt two, having a desire to depart and to be with Christ which is far better, nevertheless to abide with you is more needful for you." Death brings us into the presence of Christ, which is desirable. If we have served and loved him in this world, we may look at death as the ship that takes us to our own dear eternal home, and to him that loves us more fervently than any friend on earth can do. "If this earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens." This body may dissolve or be burned to ashes; yet I (the real man) shall survive and go to the house in heaven; disease may reduce me to "skin and bones," yet I will triumph and be strong; enemies to me and my Lord may sever my head from my body, yet me they can not hurt. For "while the outer man shall perish, the inner man shall be renewed day by day." The soul or real man can not be destroyed. "For we that are in this tabernacle do groan, being burdened, not for that we would be unclothed, but clothed upon, that mortality might be swallowed up of life." Our present state is a grievous prison compared with what awaits us; death is the gate which opens into infinite and eternal happiness; therefore, Paul groaned for deliverance into immortality and eternal life. Why should we weep for the dead who died in the Lord, whose sufferings are over and whose endless joys are begun. Stephen said, "Lord Jesus receive my spirit." "And he, being full of the Holy Ghost, looked up steadfastly into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God, and said, behold I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing on the right hand of God." Though he was stoned to death, yet he died happy; he saw Jesus and heaven opened, and these things made him happy in death.
Oh what power there is in the religion of Christ to comfort poor mortals like me! Our Savior said to the thief who was nearing eternity with no hope: "Today shall that be with me in paradise." Paradise is put for the third or highest heaven. - 2nd Cor. 12:2-5. And so the thief was carried to heaven from the cross. His was a wonderful leap, from disgrace on earth to the throne of God, amid the dazzling brightness of that eternal world, from the cross to eternal bliss. "Amazing grace," that confers such favors on poor sinful men.
A voice from heaven said to John, Rev. 14:13: "Write, blessed are the dead that die in the Lord from henceforth; Yea, saith the Spirt, that they may rest from their labors; and their works do follow them." Such views of death tend to resign us to God's providence with us. If we have his grace in death, we will not feel lonesome nor sad; we will be happy and full of hope. When Hugh Kennedy was dying, a friend said to him, "You have cause, sir, to be assured that the angels of God are in waiting to convey your soul to Abraham's bosom." He replied, "I am sure of it. And if these walls could speak they could tell how many sweet days I have had in fellowship with God, and how familiar he has been with my soul."
The physician said to Mr. John Dodd in his last sickness: "Now I have hope of your recovery." Dodd replied, "You think to comfort me with this, but you make my heart sad; it is as if you should tell one who had been long at sea and sore and weatherbeaten, on conceiving he was now arrived at the haven where his soul longed to be, that he must go back again to be tossed with new winds and new waves."
When Joseph Allen was on his death bed, he looked upon his weak, consumed hands and said, "These shall be changed, this vile body shall be made like Christ's glorious body. Oh, how glorious will be the resurrection day. Methinks I see it by faith; how will the saints lift up their heads and rejoice, and how sad will the wicked world look then. Oh come, let us make haste, our Lord will come shortly. If we long to be in heaven, let us hasten with our work, for when that is done away we shall be fetched. Oh, this vain, foolish, dirty world, I wonder how reasonable creatures can so dote on it. * * I care not to be in it any longer than while my Father hath either doing or suffering for me."
Elder Wilson Thompson, on his death-bed, when asked if his faith failed him, said: "O no; my God knows no change. My faith is in him, and, living or dying, all is well."
I might swell this little volume to a very large book, with the sayings of dying saints who bore witness in death that religion comforts in death, and that death is but the gate that opens into the gracious presence of God. Paul, speaking of the blessed home in heaven, says: "If we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it." Millions of saints in death have grown impatient as they have been permitted to see the "glory world;" they craved to be off and be with Christ, which is far better than to be at home here with wife and children.
We can not locate heaven. Paul spoke of it as being "absent from the body and present with the Lord," that is, in his gracious and revealed presence. "In his presence is fulness of joy, and at his right hand are pleasures for evermore." We shall find a fulness of joy in his presence; our joys will be complete and we shall be satisfied. The learned of this world will for ever fail to describe the heavenly world. In the translation of Enoch we have a clear intimation of the fact that God takes us to himself. "He walked with God: and was not; for God took him." - Gen. 5:24. "He was translated that he should not see death, and was not found, for God had translated him." - Heb. 11:5. Elijah also, and those who were raised at the time of Christ's resurrection. All this leads us to feel assured that God has taken them to himself.
Jacob's ladder reached to the world of light, and this ladder was a type of Christ, John 1:51, who is the "way" to heaven. Our Savior says: "I go to prepare a place that where I am there you may be also." "Come in, thou blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for your from the foundation of the world." All these passages fairly prove that there is a place where God reveals himself in great glory, and where all are pure, and that good men are taken to that place. The angels who came down at our Savior's birth, and the fact that Christ ascended, and also the appearance of Moses and Elias with Christ, all prove that there is a world where saints and angels, and the great Redeemer, in his glorified state, abide. John, while in Patmos, saw that blessed world. He saw their purity and heard their songs. To us that world is out of sight; but we live by faith, and follow "them who through faith and patience inherit the promises." - Heb. 6:12. Heaven is a city. Abraham looked for a city which hath foundations "whose builder and maker is God." "God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he hath prepared for them a city." - Heb. 11:10-16. Here we have no continuing city; we are strangers in a desert land, but the Lord leads us "by the right way," that we may go to a "city of habitation." - Psalms 107:7. As a city, it is safe from decay and invasion; its inhabitants are in no uneasiness about an enemy of any kind. Heaven is mentioned as "a better country." Our friends take long journeys to find a good country; they leave their native land and kindred to seek a land more productive; but heaven is a "better country." "Its health is perfect, and free from death and disease." "There sweeps no desolating wind across that peaceful shore," and we shall all be safely landed in that happy country by and by. Here God is present with his people when they pass through the "waters of affliction or the fires of persecution." - Isaiah 43:2. And supports them amidst the "valley of the shadow of death." Psalms 23:4. That is, by his grace we are supported and made to rejoice. But these are but an earnest of what awaits us there. We know not how he will appear. In this state we only "know in part;" we "see as through a glass darkly." - 1st Cor. 13:9-12. But their cup of joy shall be full. One drop of his love in our hearts fills us with joy, and we never can forget the first evidence of his love; but what must it be to feel nothing but his love, to see nothing but him and those who love him, and feel that we are eternally shut in, secure from every evil.
It is our delight to exalt the Savior here, but we shall there see him as the acknowledged Savior. The angels, who never sinned, will view him as the only Savior, and all the redeemed of the Lord shall honor him as their Savior. Our union to him as a bride, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, cleansed from all our sins, shall increase our honor and happiness. We shall have a perfect knowledge of the great doctrine of grace, and be perfectly free from doubt. Our faith shall be changed into sight, our hope into possession. No sickening temptations to infidelity; but this great, glorious truth that Jesus "reigns victorious over heaven and earth most glorious," shall be fully realized, and our song shall be, "Reign, sweet Jesus, ever reign." We shall there be permanently united to him in the bonds of perfect and everlasting love. This union begins on earth, but it shall be completed in heaven when we are gathered from every kindred and clime, to enjoy a full sense of our interest in him to all eternity; where we shall not see in part, but where we shall know him as he knows us; no dimming veil to hide his beauty or his love, and no evil conscience to lessen our joys. "And God shall wipe away all tears from our eyes, and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain," etc. There are many things in this life that cause tears to flow from our eyes, but all these shall be wiped away. There no pain shall reach our bodies, which are to be made like the glorious body of Christ (Phil. 3:21), and his body is alive for evermore. The long list of diseases that have kept our race in anxiety in all ages shall not be there; every one shall be in perfect health, both of body and mind. Constant pleasure, unmixed with pain, and the sweetest, eternal rest. No unpleasant circumstance to contemplate; no wicked ones to annoy. "They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more." - Rev. 7:16. There shall be no lack of supply there. Those who have labored hard to keep bread for themselves and families, and who have gone in rags and poverty all their lives, shall be set at liberty. All the ransomed ones shall have abundance; the provision shall be full; the feast shall last to all eternity. We have a rich supply of God's grace here, but there we shall have a fulness of glory. "The Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters." - Rev. 7:17. And the food shall be suited to our taste; it will be the hidden manna, or heavenly food prepared by God for his own dear family. We shall not be disappointed in our hopes; sometimes, in this world, we are disappointed and fail to receive the joys we desire, but it will not be so there; our company will be as sweet and suitable as we now expect it; God will be as good to us, and Christ will be as glorious.
"Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man the things that God hath prepared for them that love him." - 1st Cor. 2:9. Every promise of God shall be realized. We have often tried to encourage our brethren by pointing their minds to the vast ocean of bliss that awaits us in heaven. We shall have grateful hearts there, accompanied with pure and sincere love to God. We shall not suffer from the tongue of slander, nor see the hideous appearances of envy or jealousy. Every passion that brings trouble here will be left behind. No settled hate among brethren, nor evil speaking, nor neglect of assembling ourselves together as the manner of some is here; no abatement of our love to God and his dear people. Love shall reign supreme; every heart shall swell with love, and every tongue shall be employed in praising God and the Lamb.

"Think, oh! my soul, what must it be,
A world of glorious minds to see;
Drink at the fountain head of peace
Eternal glories to the Lamb,
And join with joyful heart and tongue
That new, that never ending song."
And bathe in everlasting bliss.
To hear them all at once proclaim
"Think, oh! my soul, if `tis so sweet
On earth to sit at Jesus' feet,
What must it be to wear a crown
And sit with Jesus on the throne?"

It is very encouraging to all the saints that we are tending to a state of endless rest; that all afflictions will terminate in endless rest. The old and feeble and sickly may look only a little in the future when their war will be over, when they shall reunited with their friends who preceded them.
Moses said to the children of Israel, "Your enemies whom ye have seen to-day, ye shall see them again no more forever." And this will be true of every saint when they cross the cold stream of death; you will never grieve again; you will never tremble to think of death again, it is all over and past. "The poor mariner encounters many storms; when one storm has blown over another comes, and these changes will continue while he sails on a troubled sea, but he looks forward to a time when he shall land where he is beyond the reach of the howling tempest." And so when we are safe over Jordan, we shall be beyond all troubles, the last difficulty passed, our song shall be, "Oh death where is thy sting, oh grave where is thy victory." Can it be, dear reader, that such a destiny awaits us? that we shall unite with a vast host, that no man can number, in an endless song of praise to God? Yes, if we love him now; if we have felt his own spirit bearing witness with our spirits that we are his, we shall see these things; but if we are still unconcerned about our eternal destiny, slight his Word, profane his name, and have our hearts set on the creature rather than the creator, we have no just reasons to claim an interest in these things. What anxiety should we feel that others should taste the grace of God and unite in his divine service? How we should long to see others rescued from the love and power of sin, for unless we are saved from the love of sin here, we shall not be saved from the curse due to sin hereafter. Oh, that God would show his own great power to win the hearts of men away from sin, and fill the hearts of saints with praise.
The best blessings of earth have their drawbacks. We esteem the enjoyment of dear friends very highly, but they are but momentary. We meet each other here with joy only for a moment, but our association in heaven shall never terminate. How sweet have been the moments when we have met our dear brethren here from different parts of the country, and worshipped together, and felt the warm current of love flow from heart to heart, and realized that we had been taught alike by the great Redeemer. Talked over our soul exercises, our hopes and troubles, and related to each other our tales of woe; but soon we took the parting hand to return to our necessary worldly pursuits, never to meet (all of us) again on earth. We hear the sorrowful tale - one has fallen here, another there; so that our sweets have their bitter; our brightest moments are followed by darkness. But there it is all joy, unmixed with sorrow; a happy meeting of all the saints, with no thought of parting. The source of happiness will be unfailing, and our own capacity for enjoyment shall be equal to the happiness afforded. We have found this a world of woe. Our own sins and the sins of others have been a fruitful source of trouble to us. Some of us pinched with poverty, others sore vexed with temptation; our love imperfect; our joys momentary; but in heaven all tears shall be wiped from our lamenting eyes. The widow shall forget her grief. The bereaved from every cause shall have their griefs assuaged. The old soldier in the war shall be discharged and go home to his eternal rest. Oh, how sweet will heaven be, where all see alike, and love alike, and know alike, safe fenced from Satan and all evil.
"Dear brethren, be steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labor is not in vain in the Lord."

Elder E. D. Thomas

Christ said to Peter, Matthew 16:18: "Upon this Rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it." We look carefully for the foundation for this church, and find that, according to Paul, he declares "other foundations can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ." The Catholic idea of Peter being the foundation is here contradicted. Paul also gives us the idea of the church under the figure of a building - "ye are God's building." And, again, in his Ephesian letter, he declares "ye are builded together for a habitation of God through the Spirit, in whom (Christ) all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord." The word church and body are interchangeably used by divine writers to express the called out, or separated condition of those who bear the title of being the church of Christ. Paul says: "There is one body (church), and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism. one God and Father of all." With these facts to govern us in our investigation, we turn to the language of Christ in John 17: "They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world." With what follows in this chapter, we are forced to the conclusion that the church he referred to, that he would build, is here under consideration, and its destiny mapped out. Now turn to Paul's first letter to Timothy 3:15: "But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth." This is the church that Christ gave himself for, that he might sanctify and cleanse, and present to himself a glorious church without spot or blemish. In this church Christ has fitly set every gift, and under the government he has given, ever subject of his divine grace is to be governed; subject one to another in the church for Christ's sake. This church becomes the custodian of his ordinances to keep them as delivered by the apostles, and see that they are administered by the proper officers at the proper time, and to sit in judgment over those who speak, and see whether they speak as the oracles or not; hence the power to receive members who give evidence that they are lively stones, ready to be built up a spiritual house; for the one Spirit, as they are called in the one hope of their calling, must characterize all the material, or no communion can be realized, for what communion is there between light and darkness, between Christ and Belial, between he that believeth and an infidel. And also, this church has power to execute the law of Christ against offenders, who shall not inherit the kingdom of God. They are classified by the apostle in his letter to the church of God at Corinth, 6th, chap., where he says: "Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived, neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God." God's house must be kept clean; it is for the Holy Ghost to dwell in, his sacred temple. The popular idea of a church must be wrong: that it is a place for unregenerate sinners to become Christians.
The church, nor her ministry, nor both combined, can make fit material for such a building. The material of which this temple is built is God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God has before ordained for his church to walk in. Christ said, "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." From this promise, it is clear that the church or kingdom, and the gospel and ministry that preach it are inseparable. The law is to go forth of Zion, and the Word of the Lord from Jerusalem. It can not be doubted, from the foregoing, that the gospel has been preached in its purity, and the church has practiced according to it, from the days of Christ down to the present time. We pause and ask, where is that glorious gospel he said shall be preached? It must be in the world, for the end is not yet. We can not find it by name, for, like the seven women in Isaiah, that should lay hold on one man, saying, we will eat our own bread and wear our own apparel, only let us be called by thy name to take away our reproach. Those so anxious to call themselves by Christ's name look very much like it. Denominational names have generally arisen from some peculiarity belonging to them, making them to differ from the order or faith of the people they were formerly identified with, or from assuming to themselves a faith and practice entirely new or differing from any religious body before them.
And now, dear reader, let me lay down a rule to govern us in this investigation that is fair, from the promises in the New Testament: Any church, no odds what name it claims, that does not manifest the first love, found in the primitive church of Christ for every principle of faith therein taught, so as to contend earnestly for the faith once delivered to the saints, and have no fellowship with them who teach otherwise, but rather reprove them; and also, that love that can not bear to see one of Christ's ordinances neglected or mutilated, or seek to please the world by conformity to its vain wants, rather than the meek and lowly Savior's conduct, whose example they must follow, you may be sure, if the candlestick, as the Spirit was pleased to call the church in Revelations, ever was there, it is removed, as threatened by the Spirit to the church of Ephesus. Look around you and see who is willing to commune with everybody who will commune with them, and knowingly violate the command, Come out from among them and touch not the unclean thing, and I will receive you." Christ's church can not admit of change in law or order. Look and see who is ever on the change to keep up with the fashion of this wicked and adulterous generation. Know ye not that this kind of friendship with the world is enmity to God? Our understanding of the church of God we are willing to submit to the scrutiny of the seeker after truth as in Jesus revealed. But two bodies are known in the scriptures: One is represented as the bride, the Lamb's wife, and is but one body, to him; "he that hath the bride is the bridegroom," says John the Baptist, and so say we. The other is Babylon, signifying confusion, represented by a woman capable of making the nations drunk with the wine of her fornication, her worldly greatness, riches and honor - making kings, rich men, mighty men, noble men, worship at her shrine and submit to her beastly reign. But God has said, "Come out of her my people, that ye partake not of her sins, and receive not of her plagues."
Dear reader, are you seeking a home in the church of God? The task may seem difficult to you, but the home in God's house is so richly provided with the good things of his kingdom, that one day in his courts is better than a thousand spent in rebellion against him.
I will, in the light of truth now before me, give some direction to our young ministers to guide them in constituting churches of a local character: One Lord, one faith, one baptism, must govern in every case of constituting in one body; Christ must be acknowledged head and lawgiver by obedience to him and him alone. One faith means agreement; two can not walk together except they are agreed. One baptism means, one understanding of its use, taking the yoke of Christ upon them, to be united in the one body, one action, that of being buried with Christ by baptism; one officer, performing the action by the authority of the church of Christ, acting under the commission, baptizing believers in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Agreement in these particulars will enable them to judge properly who to receive, and how to receive, into their fellowship. When a number of brethren and sisters, in good standing in churches holding these points sacred, are willing to letter out for their convenience, those thus lettered out can meet and agree to call by petition on as many ordained ministers and churches as their convenience will admit of, setting their day to meet and their place of meeting, when the ministers and deacons whom the churches may appoint will meet at the time and place signified; the brethren petitioning for the constitution will call upon some of the ministers or elders present to open service by singing and prayer, followed by a sermon appropriate to the occasion; after which the council of elders and deacons will become organized by electing one of their number Moderator and another Clerk. Those wishing to be constituted will then submit their faith as expressed in the form of articles, scripturally sustained, as they believe, by the Word of God on the various points involving fellowship; and, also, such rules of decorum, as they agree shall govern them in time of worship and business, so their Moderator can keep order in the house of God as ordained in all the churches of the saints, and reprove them for violating their covenant, if necessary; their names, male and female, attached to it, as agreeing in the fear of God to maintain for his name's sake. The council will then examine their faith, as expressed in their articles, and also their ability to keep up the order of God's house, by regularly assembling, and whether they have one or more of their number suitably qualified for the office of deacon, each with a wife qualified to act with him in the office, according to Paul's instructions to Timothy. These things being found to exist, the council can retire for consultation, and if agreed that it will be for the promotion of God's glory, the spread of the gospel and the spiritual happiness of all concerned, they will meet them and unite in prayer for God's blessing to rest upon them and his cause; after which, a song may be sung and the right hand of fellowship extended by the council to all the members of the newly constituted church, acknowledging them as an independent local body or church, subject to Christ. They can then appoint a Moderator, extend the invitation to receive members, keep up the order as delivered to them.
In conclusion, on this subject, I exhort you, as you love God, so manifest it by loving his people, his laws, his house, his ministers; never let your worldly concerns prevent you from doing your duty by your own management, nor let family ties control more than the Lord; they will sometimes conflict; deny self and self interest, and trust him who has said, "No man hath left father and mother, wife and children, houses and lands, for the kingdom of heaven and my sake, but shall receive four fold more in this life, and in the world to come everlasting life."

"My soul shall pray for Zion still,
While life or breath remains,
There my best friends, my kindred dwell,
There God my Savior reigns."

Elder J. W. Richardson

A great deal has been said and written upon this important subject. I am not vain enough to aspire to the honor of having made any new discoveries, but if I can offer a few thoughts that will throw any additional light on any part of this important subject, to the minds of any who may read this, I shall have accomplished my present desire. In discussing any question, the first thing necessary is to ascertain the meaning of the terms in the proposition to be discussed, and hence we give the meaning of the words atonement and redemption. 1st. Atonement. Mr. Webster gives the secondary meaning, "Expiation; satisfaction or reparation made by giving an equivalent for an injury, or by doing or suffering that which is received in satisfaction for an offense or injury. Specially, in the theology, the expiation of sin made by the obedience and personal sufferings and death of Christ, the ransom or deliverance of sinners from the bondage of sin and the penalties of God's violated law."
Some have thought that atonement and redemption mean the same thing; but it will be seen from Mr. Webster's definition that they do not, as we will try to explain more fully in the use of the following figure: A forecloses a mortgage on the lands of B. The law of this State (Indiana) is, that B has twelve months in which to redeem. Now, in order to redeem, B would have to pay all the principal, interest and costs within the time specified by law. The money paid would, in my view, occupy the place of the atonement, and the freeing of the land from incumbrance and putting B in possession, would be redemption. In proof of this view we quote the following scriptures, viz: "Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God, and our Savior Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works." - Titus 2:13-14. "Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God." - 1st Peter 3:18. "And they (those around the throne) sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy, * * for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood, out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation." - Rev. 5:9.
Dr. Gill says: "Our English word redemption is from the Latin tongue, and signifies "buying again." And several words in the Greek language, of the New Testament, are used in the affair of our redemption, which signify the obtaining of something by paying a proper price for it; sometimes the simple verb, to buy, is used. So the redeemed are said to be bought unto God by the blood of Christ; and to be bought from the earth; and to be bought from among men; and to be bought with a price; that is, with the price of Christ's blood." - B.D., vol. 2, p.1.
The above fully sustains my view. The half shekel paid for the Israelites, called the atonement-money, whereby they were preserved from any plague, sustains the same view. Redemption by Christ is buying his people out of the hands of justice, in which they were held for sin. His blood is the price paid into the hands of justice for them; hence, they are said to be bought, or paid for with it. By the blood of Christ poor sinners are redeemed from the claims of the law, from the love of sin, from all iniquity, and even from death itself, to an "inheritance which is incorruptible, undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for them."
The extent of atonement and redemption is next to be considered. In the Articles of Religion of the M. E. Church, we have the following definition of the atonement: "The offering of Christ once made, is a perfect redemption, propitiation, and satisfaction for all the sins of the whole world, both original and actual, and there is none other satisfaction for sin, but that alone. - Article 20. Is this definition correct? If it is, why should any of the human family be finally lost? It is passing strange that any person can believe that a just and holy God will send any one of the human race to the fires of an eternal hell, when for "all his sins, both original and actual, a perfect satisfaction" has been made! And, I may say, that, in my opnion, the view of the atonement that denies Christ to have died in the stead of some persons, is just as erroneous as that of our Methodist brethren.
What then, it may be asked, is the true doctrine on this subject? Let Spurgeon, of England, answer: There are in the world many theories of atonement; but I can not see any atonement in any one, except in this doctrine of substitution. Many divines say that Christ did something when he died that enabled God to be just, and yet the justifier of the ungodly. What that something is they do not tell us. They believe in an atonement made for everybody; but then, their atonement is just this: They believe that Judas was atoned for just as much as Peter; they believe that the damned in hell were as much an object of Jesus Christ's satisfaction as the saved in heaven; and, though they do not say it in proper words, yet they must mean it, for it is a fair inference, that in the case of multitudes, Christ died in vain, for he died for them all, they say, and yet so ineffectual was his dying for them, that though he died for them they are damned afterward. Now, such an atonement I despise; I reject it. I may be called Antinomian, or Calvinist, for preaching a limited atonement; but I had rather believe a limited atonement that is efficacious for all men for whom it was intended, than an universal atonement that is not efficacious for anybody, except the will of man be joined with it. Why, my brethren, if we were only so far atoned for by the death of Christ that any one of us might afterward save himself, Christ's atonement were not worth a farthing, for there is no man of us can save himself - no, not under the gospel; for if I am to be saved by faith, if that faith is to be my own act, unassisted by the Holy Spirit, I am as unable to save my self by faith as to save myself by good works. And after all, though men call this a limited atonement, it is as effectual as their own fallacious and rotten redemption can pretend to be. But do you know the limit of it? Christ hath bought a multitude that no man can number. The limit of it is just this: He hath died for sinners; whoever in this congregation inwardly and sorrowfully knows himself to be a sinner, Christ died for him; whoever seeks Christ, shall know Christ died for him; for our sense of need of Christ, and our seeking after Christ, are infallible proofs that Christ died for us. And, mark, here it is something substantial. The Arminian says Christ died for him; and then, poor man, he has but small consolation therefrom, for he says, Ah Christ died for me; that does not prove much. It only proves I may be saved if I mind what I am after. I may, perhaps, forget myself; I may run into sin and I may perish. Christ has done a good deal for me, but not quite enough, unless I do something. But the man who receives the Bible as it is, he says, Christ died for me, then my eternal life is sure. I know, says he, that Christ can not be punished in a man's stead, and the man be punished afterward. No,' says he, I believe in a just God, and if God be just he will not punish Christ first, and then punish men afterward. No; my Savior died, and now I am free from every demand of God's vengeance, and I can die absolutely certain that for me there is no flame of hell, and no pit digged; for Christ, my ransom, suffered in my stead, and, therefore, am I clean delivered. Oh glorious doctrine I would wish to die preaching it Speaking of the effects of the death of Christ, he says: Men have offspring by life; Christ had an offspring by death. Men die and leave their children, and they see not their seed; Christ lives, and every day sees his seed brought into the unity of the faith. One effect of Christ's death is the salvation of multitudes. Mark, not a chance salvation. When Christ died the angel did not say, as some have represented him, Now by his death many may be saved; the word of prophecy had quenched all buts and peradvertures. By his righteousness he shall justify many. There was not so much as an atom of chance-work in the Savior's death. Christ knew what he bought when he died; and what he bought he will have that, and no more, and no less. There is no effect of Christ's death that is left to peradventure. Shalls and wills made the covenant fast. Christ's bloody death shall effect its solemn purpose. Every heir of grace shall meet around the throne,

Shall bless the wonders of his grace,
And make his glories known.
[Fourth Series, Sermon 13]

I have quoted the above extract from Mr. Spurgeon, for the reasons that it expresses my views of the atonement in better language than I am able to command. I will quote the following passages from the Good Book in support of the foregoing views of redemption, and close: 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 at the last day. Speaking of them again, he says, My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all, and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand. Again he says: I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd giveth his life for his sheep. I lay down my life for the sheep. And, as if to prevent the possibility of its being said that he referred to those who were then his disciples, he added, And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold, them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice, and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.
Christ will, therefore, bring all his church, whom he hath redeemed to himself by his own blood, that they may receive from the hands of the Father of infinite benignity the heavenly inheritance which had been procured by his death, promised in his Word, and sealed by the Holy Spirit, and may enjoy it forever.

"Thou dying Lamb, thy precious blood
Shall never lose its power,
Till all the ransomed church of God
Be saved to sin no more."

With best wishes for the success of truth and righteousness, I am as I humbly hope, your brother in gospel bonds.


Text: - "Train up a child in the way he should go,
and when he is old he will not depart from it." - Proverbs 22:6.

Society is divided into two classes as respects moral condition, and every reader of these pages who lives to manhood, or womanhood, will take a position in one of these classes. You will be honorable, truthful and chaste; or, you will be dishonorable, a liar, and indecent. You will be intelligent, and have a well-stored mind with useful knowledge, or you will be ignorant. How important it is to you, and to your parents, and to all your friends, that you should be honorable, informed, truthful, and pure in all your moral habits. It would brighten your path through life, and make you an unfailing source of happiness to others. How anxious you should be to attain to this high position in life. "A wise son maketh a glad father," and so thousands of fathers have found it; "but a foolish son is the heaviness of his mother." Nothing so gladdens parents as that of seeing their children run in the path of virtue and honor.
It is my desire in these pages to give some hints and suggestions suited to urge and aid you to reach a point of usefulness and happiness. I assure you that much is required of you. You have many things to watch and many to do. One important thing is to watch yourself, and another is to take care of your time. Your health and strength be temperate habits in everything. Intemperate habits of eating in childhood are followed by bad results in old age. If you could think of it now, while young, and form a habit of regular and temperate eating, it would be a great blessing to you in after life. The habit of being out all night, exposed to all sorts of weather, in the pursuit of pleasure, is a sad mistake, and too dear a price for pleasure. Regularity of habits in eating, sleeping, and exercise, is of more importance to your happiness and well being than you can imagine. Your mental powers depend much upon your physical powers. A well developed mind needs a strong physical constitution.
1st. As a rule, it is safe to say that the use of tobacco is no advantage, but a disadvantage to health; besides, it is an expensive, filthy habit that should be avoided. I would recommend that you never begin a habit that is at once injurious, expensive, and filthy.
2nd. I think that we should discourage the use of spirits. Never treat any one, nor suffer any one to treat you, as a mere compliment. You should not enter inside of a grog-shop, nor form a habit of taking a dram when you go to town. These little beginnings may end in painful results. Thousands have been utterly ruined by spirits; therefore you have reasons to BEWARE.
3rd. The places you frequent, and the company you keep, will have much to do in molding your character in the eyes of the world, as well as in fixing the habits that will follow you through life. As the bullet is shaped by the mould, so your habits and thoughts will be shaped by the company you keep. "He that walketh with wise men shall be wise, but a companion of fools shall be destroyed." Persons who drink, swear, or indulge in profanity, are not likely to be of any real use to you. You should never make them feel that you are above them, but you should avoid their society. You should never seek the company of persons unless you feel willing that the public should class you with them, for you will, in the eyes of the public, be classed with the company you keep. "Birds of a feather will flock together," is a saying I heard when I was a boy, and so the masses of men will have it. I read, when a boy, of a dog called Tray, who was sorely beaten for no other thing than that of being found in bad company. It is often the case that young folks are unwilling for parents to choose company for them. As a rule, parents know better what company is best for you to keep, and you should pay great respect to their judgment in this matter. Fairs, shows, dances, frolics, etc., are not good places to learn moral habits, and they often prove to be expensive. How desirable that you should reach manhood or womanhood without a spot or stain on your good name. You can not too carefully guard yourself in these things.
4th. Your own good behavior in company will add much to your credit in the world. If your language is habitually chaste, your jests modest and sensible, and your actions in good taste, you will be respected. At church, take pains to observe good order, listen to the sermon, no matter how contrary to your opinion, and when meeting is out go quietly out, and indulge in no loud talking or laughing while about the house. Avoid all foppery or strutting in company. These things are disgusting to all sensible people. Never suffer yourself to talk in a proud, whining manner. Talk plainly, and in the same common way you do at home, or among your schoolmates at school. And walk in a natural, easy way in company. It is a sad sight to see young ladies entering church, as we sometimes see them, in a proud and haughty manner. Strutting shows a want of common sense; therefore avoid it. Don't speak unnecessarily of the faults of others; it will cause them to look for your faults, and you are sure to have them. Never refer to yourself in the way of praise as to your beauty, dress, education, influence, or religion, remembering the old saying, "self-praise is half scandal." The wise man says: "Let another man praise thee and not thine own mouth, a stranger and not thine own lips." You should suffer no one, however ignorant or poor, to think that you are above him in your feelings; remember that "when pride cometh, then cometh shame," and if you are entertaining a proud and haughty spirit it will be followed by shame; "before destruction the heart of man is haughty," and when your beauty, wealth, learning, or good name makes you proud, you have reason to be uneasy. Cultivate a habit of apologizing for the mistakes of others; it will cause others to apologize for you. Form a habit of cheerfulness when in company; it will make your company pleasant to others. Never be hasty to give your advice or opinion, it will cause people to think that you think you are "smart;" and for the same reason, you should not do all the talking yourself, remembering the proverb, "a fool is known by his multitude of words." - Solomon. Franklin has it: "A still tongue makes a wise head." Make it a point when in company to learn something. If the conversation is unedifying, you could bring up something that would be profitable.
5th. Economy should be carefully cultivated. Your future happiness greatly depends upon it. You must distinguish between economy and stinginess or parsimony. "There is that that scattereth and yet increaseth, and there is that that withholdeth more than is meet, but it tendeth to poverty." Economy does not forbid charity; it forbids wastefulness. Economy, therefore, is the friend and source of charity; by its practice we are able to supply our own wants and have something for the poor. Remember the saying: "A penny saved is worth a penny earned." "Take care of the cents and the dollars will take care of themselves." A careful, saving wife is worth a dozen of a wasteful, spendthrift disposition. Pride and extravagance are the forerunners of poverty, and often lead to fraud and dishonesty. If you are proud you should mark Solomon's words: "Every one that is proud in heart is an abomination to the Lord." Pride will lead you to desire to live beyond your means, and will ultimately bring you to need. "If you buy what you don't need now, you will, some day, be unable to buy what you do need." Don't form a habit of wanting to buy everything you see, because it is nice; this tempter, if submitted to, will enslave you and your parents; and you should not desire pride to be your master. It is a sad sight to see children dressed in find clothing and their parents owing for them: A young lady strutting in laces, ribbons and silks, and a mortgage on her father's home, is a woeful sight; what sensible young man would want her for a wife? and of what use or comfort is she to her parents? And so, a young man, dressed in extravagance, and often with a cigar in his mouth, a bottle or revolver in his pocket, or both, and a fiddle under his arm presents a sickening sight and yet we often meet with it. Take care of your books, at school and at home; take care of your clothes, don't be ashamed of patched trousers or boots, or of wearing an old hat or bonnet. It is a grand sight to see an intelligent, modest young man or woman at work with patched clothes on, seeing after the farm or kitchen. This is the very foundation of usefulness and success in life. In this way you save money for future wants, and what sensible person will fail to admire you for it. Never let your merchant think that he can sell you such things as are of no value; he will know that you are worthless as soon as he finds that you will bite at his breastpins, rings, ribbons, silks, perfumery, paint, prize-boxes, and such things as he has only to catch sap heads; let him know that you want no goods except what are of real solid use, and he will admire you for it. Don't buy things "because they are cheap." Don't seek to be the finest dressed one at church; always be clean, and keep your clothes so. Don't be stingy; there are things necessary for your comfort; the poor and sick need a little charity; a day's work, or something that you can spare that they need, will help them much, and give them a bright spot in life, and make your conscience feel good; these things you should pay for and do, but bear in mind there are many traps set to catch the fruit of your labor, which you must watch. Every lottery in the land is a swindle, and should be let alone. Keep your eye on our book peddlers, pill peddlers, lightning-rod peddlers, clock fixers, pack peddlers and patent right peddlers, etc., you are in danger of getting bit by them, and when they bite you they will laugh far most at your folly.
6th. Honesty is indispensable to every one who ever expects to be truly great or good. Let it be said "he is honest," and he can get any place he is able to fill; no merchant, banker or officer wants a dishonest clerk; no one wishes to leave or entrust his money or valuables to one he knows to be dishonest. You should use the greatest pains to secure to yourself the reputation of being honest, and you should feel within that you ARE HONEST. If you are conscious that you are dishonest, you never can feel that independence that you ought to feel; you can not feel that you are truly noble, for you know that you are not noble. If you want to succeed well, keep a good conscience; and to do this, keep a good opinion of yourself; and to do this, let your plans and actions be such that you are willing for all to know all about them; this will make you feel that you are noble. It will give you a bright clear open countenance, and enable you to face your employer, and face the world and your accusers, and your Creator. You will have a firmness and steadfastness of character that will be of infinite worth to you through life. Many years ago I took particular interest in the sixty third lesson in the Indiana Fourth Reader, which I would recommend you to study carefully: "If you would have your tongue worth anything to you in business, never employ it to misrepresent things with." "A merchant or tradesman who habitually lies about his goods, will be detected, and then his tongue is useless to him in business." "A false balance is an abomination to the Lord." "The lip of truth shall be established forever." "A just weight and balance are the Lord's." Don't sell anything with a hidden fault; always keep and live above such things as selling over-salted butter, or old feathers for new ones, or spoiled eggs, or tainted meat, or dirty wet rags, or damping your feathers, or wool, or greasing your wool with old grease before you sell it, or sprinkling your dried apples or peaches or wool before you sell them, or over-feeding or slopping your hogs or cattle before they are weighed. Never charge an unjust or extravagant price for your work or goods, when it is all left to you.
If your merchant makes a mistake in your favor, in counting, weighing, or measuring, or settling, or changing money, always correct; be as ready to correct mistakes in your favor, as you are those against you. Whatever you find return to its owner. Do no one private injury in his person or property; never circulate a false report about any one. In all I have said I wish you to understand that we should ever with manly energy contend for our own rights, while we give others justice. We should do justice by ourselves, therefore in all our buying and selling and mixing with men, we should have an eye to our own rights as well as those of others. In contending for our rights, let us be cautious; law suits are expensive things, and therefore should be avoided; better be loser than make an enemy sometimes. "If you are defrauded and have no other way to get redress, let it go and say nothing." This is better than to add an enemy to the injuries you have already sustained. "Let it pass and afterwards watch."
7th. Faithfulness and punctuality are of vast importance. When you make a promise, however small, charge your mind with it, and do it. If it be to mail a letter, pay a small sum of money, bring some little article from town, or bear a message to a friend, make it a point through life to perform it. It will become a part of your character, and will be of great worth to you. Notice that some men when they promise a sum of money on a certain time, or to be at a certain place, etc., that they are very careful to do it. It is of vast importance to you that when you make a promise people depend on your fulfilling it. In this way you get good credit. Your word becomes as good as your note, with good security. You should set a high estimate on your word, and so live that others will. This is the sure road to usefulness, and happiness, and honor. Young man, run in it.
8th. The wise man says: "Hear the instruction of thy father, and forsake not the law of thy mother." There is no one on earth who has a better right to your obedience that your parents. Children ought to love their parents with a pure and disinterested love. The love of a mother is intense. She has had your interest and well-being at heart from your infancy. You may be sure that she often prays for you, and desires that you may be good and useful. She is pained when she sees your conduct imprudent. You ought, while young, seek to make your parents happy. Make them feel that you love them, and delight to do their wishes. Parents are taught in the Bible to "chasten their children while there is hope." - Prov. 19:18. Your parents may find it necessary to use the rod on you, but this they should do in love for you. When you become grown up you will see that the chastisements of parents were a blessing to you. But you should so conduct yourself as to need no correction. If your parents love you they will endeavor to have your conduct good. "He that spareth his rod hateth his son, but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes." - Prov. 13:24; see, also, Proverbs 22:15; and, also, 23:13: "Withhold not correction from the child, for if thou beatest him with the rod he shall not die; thou shalt beat him with the rod and shall deliver his soul from hell." The responsibility of parents is very great. They should have the control of their children, and secure their obedience. When your parents grow old do not forget them; try to make them happy, visit them, and give them the full assurance that you love them. Now, while you are little, they labor for you and study your interest, and so when they are old do not forget it. Give them all the sunshine you can. They will love and appreciate your visits, or presents, or expressions of love. You should not, while young, make your parents blush with shame for your bad conduct. I have seen parents blush with shame for the ugly conduct of their children. Think of this. You may, when they are dead and gone, regret your course toward them now. Respect them, and the church, and remember that their credit as church members is affected by your conduct. Baptist parents love their children, and long to see them become good and useful; they wish them to be sincere, quiet, truthful and prudent. "Obey your parents" is a commandment of heaven. You should, with utmost care, mind what they tell you. If at times they ask too much, you should nevertheless obey them. It is ruinous to yield to a spirit of disobedient, and will give your parents pain, and you a bad name. Obey your teacher at school. Make him feel that you intend to obey him with pleasure. He will love you, and feel an interest in you, and will abundantly repay your kindness. Doing right is sowing seed that will ripen some time; some will ripen immediately, and some may not ripen for many years, but all will ripen. A good action is never lost; it will bless him who performs it. The "royal path" to honor, usefulness and happiness lies in the unwavering habit of doing right.
9th. "Control your temper." Form a habit of governing your temper. You can accustom yourself to anger on every provocation, or you can cultivate a quiet, even temper. When one is drunk with rage he is not fit to act or speak. "He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty." "He that ruleth his spirit is better than he that taketh a city." The man who controls his temper while others are abusing him, is a greater conqueror than he that takes a garrisoned city. Your enemy, while in a rage, is a fool, and it is your highest wisdom to make pleasant answers. "A soft answer turneth away wrath." The cold hammer moulds and shapes the hot iron. If you keep cool you may have your own way in the end, and feel much better yourself, and have the approval of others. Never become the settled and fixed enemy of any one, and be careful to make no enemies of this kind. "It is an honor for a man to cease from strife." It often occurs that men disagree in business, and ever afterwards entertain malice to their mutual injury. If possible, avoid this thing. It is far better to have the good will of a man, however worthless and evil, than to have his ill will. Let your course of life be honorable and kind, and you will have friends. "A man that hath friends must show himself friendly." Do not become a party to strife between others. You may seek to make peace, but never become a party in strife. Solomon says: "He that passeth by and meddleth with strife is like one that taketh a dog by the ears." He is likely to get bit himself. You should not make friendship with a mad man. If he is now mad and in a rage with another, he will soon be so with you, and you do not need him for an intimate friend.
10th. Accustom yourself to diligence in your business. Be willing to work with your hands; this is an honorable and healthy way of gaining a living. Remember that good management is of vast importance; therefore, consider what is best to be done, and when; lay your plans and work to them, and keep up with your business. Know the state of your flocks, your fields, shops, or whatever your business is. Avoid unnecessary bodily exposure, which leads to loss of time from business - and doctor bills. Maintain the purest friendship with your companion in life, and mutually cultivate a habit of close economy, and you will certainly become a substantial citizen. The man who can manage his own business will be called to take the care of others. "Seest thou a man diligent in business, he shall stand before kings; he shall not stand before mean men."
11th. You will of necessity have to take an interest in the political affairs of our country. We all have reasons to love our government that has for so long a time secured to us the rights we have enjoyed. And you should embrace such views as will best maintain our institutions. Do not be governed by a low party spirit, but let your aims be to promote the general good, bearing in mind that all the goodness is not in one party, nor all the evil in the other. These sentiments within you will lead you to talk with moderation to others; your views will be better respected, and your influence greater, by pursuing a conservative course. Be honest and conscientious in your actions, and never seek to carry your ends by unlawful means. Our institutions are in greater danger from bribery than any other cause. If the people are left to act with no influence upon them but reason and sound argument, our government is safe, but if bribery rules we will drift to ruin. Never, in any way, countenance unlawful means to carry political ends.
12th. My dear young friend, the Almighty, who upholds all things, has the first and highest claim upon our affections. He is the great source of our being. It is he that keeps us. All our plans will prove worthless without his blessing. We read in his Word: "Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth." He justly claims your love and purest affection. You are under the strongest possible obligation to turn away from sin and its love; and to God, with a true penitence of heart for sin.
God's indignation is eternally against sin, and you will not live a life of rebellion against him, and escape his wrath. For sin God once drowned the world; he sent down showers of fire upon the cities of the plain; he directed the entire destruction of whole nations; he destroyed Pharoah and his host. He is the same God to-day that he was then; his claims are just and reasonable. He claims your heart, your affections and service; and, within, you are convinced that you should give these to him. He will on a time say, "Depart, ye cursed, into everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels," and "These shall go away into everlasting punishment." Those who live lives of sin will make up this company. For sin he spared not his own Son. He will punish sin in his rebellious creatures. Oh child, it is a great thought that you are under the government of God. It may be unpleasant to you to know that you are accountable to God for every evil word, thought, or action; you need not say that you can not repent or turn from sin, or love your Creator; for though that may be true, yet it grows out of your unwillingness to do that which your heart tells you is right, and therefore in your inability lies your sin. How needful that you be reconciled to God, that you feel within that there is a settled peace with God, that you enjoy his great approval. You may dam against sin by moral habits, and seek to hedge it in by reformation, but all this will not cure the disease. You must have Christ within you, his own Holy Spirit must renew you. How gracious are his appeals, "Come unto me all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest." Oh, if you were truly weary with sin; if you did but feel a willingness to give the dear Redeemer your whole heart; if you felt within the force of the words,"God be merciful to me a sinner," then all would be easy. Your greatest trouble lies in your fixed love for evil, and your fixed unconcern about eternal things. In this lies your greatest danger. Do not be deceived about this matter. "You must be born again." Without this your church connection would be of no value, for as the sow returns to her wallow in the mire, so you will return to your sin. The root of sin must be cured or killed within. Never be satisfied about your state religiously, until you feel that you are dead to sin; until you have from your own heart repented of your sin, and realized that God's Holy Spirit bears witness with yours that you are a child of God. With this blessing you are prepared to live, and prepared to die. May God give you this matchless blessing!

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