The Warwick Baptist Association, in Session with the Middletown and Wallkill Baptist Church, June 6, 7, 8. 1860, to the churches of which she is composed, send Christian salutation.
Beloved Brethren: – In obedience to what we understand to be your wishes, we send you this our annual epistle, in which permit us to offer for your consideration a few remarks upon the subject of the Reigning Power of the Son of God.
While our beloved country is agitated from her center to her utmost boundaries with Political and Ecclesiastical strife, and the perpetuity of our most cherished civil and religious institutions greatly threatened, – while corruption and fanaticism abound most fearfully throughout the length and breadth of our land, it is most cheering to the saints to contemplate the supreme power, wisdom and providence of our God, who overrules all things for His glory and for the special good of them who are the called according to His purpose.
The consideration of the Mediatorial exaltation of our dear Lord Jesus Christ, and His investment of Almighty Power and free grace to reign, until all enemies are subdued under Him, is not only honoring to God, but consoling and safe to all who trust Him. However antagonistic to His cause and to the safety and peace of His blessed Church, the conflicting scenes of earth may seem to the limited understanding of finite beings, that certain prophecies, scattered throughout the Old Testament of the advent and reigning power of our Lord Jesus Christ, assuring us that He, as King, shall be higher than Agag, and His kingdom shall be exalted. – Numbers xxiv. 7. That He should ride upon the heaven in the help of His people, and in His excellency on the sky. – Deuteronomy xxxii, 26. Isaiah also testified, in the Spirit, of Him, saying, “Behold a King shall reign in righteousness, and princes shall rule in judgment.” – Isaiah xxxii.1. Also that “He shall be exalted and extolled, and be very high.” – Isaiah lii.13. In Psalm lxxxix, God has spoken in vision, concerning His kingly power and glory, and sworn by His holiness that His seed shall endure forever, and His throne as the sun before Me. “The enemy shall not exact upon Him, nor the son of wickedness afflict Him. I will beat down His foes before His face, and plague them that hate Him.” “Also I will make Him My first-born, higher that the kings of the earth.” “His seed also will I make to endure forever, and His throne as the days of heaven.” “Be unto the Son He saith, Thy throne, O God, is forever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of Thy kingdom; Thou hast loved righteousness and hated iniquity; therefore God, even Thy God, hath anointed Thee with the oil of gladness above Thy fellows. And Thou, Lord, in the beginning hast laid the foundations of the earth; and the heavens are the works of Thine hands. They shall perish; but Thou remainest,” &c. – Hebrew i. 8-12, and Psalm xiv. 6,7. Thus is He set upon His throne, and the everlasting perpetuity of His throne is declared, and the creation of heaven and earth are ascribed to Him as the works of His hands, and His power and glory shall continue when they all shall dissolve and pass away.
When the fullness of time, for His advent, had come, He bowed the heavens and came down; was made flesh, and dwelt among us; learned obedience in His humiliation; met and cancelled all the demands of the Law and Justice of God as the High Priest of our profession. Was delivered up for our offences, and raised from the dead for our justification. He carried our sorrows, bore our griefs, the chastisement of our peace was upon Him, and with His stripes we are healed – See Isaiah liii. 4. “For by one offering He hath perfected forever than that are sanctified.” – Hebrews x. 14.
Having finished transgressions and made an end of sin, conquered and vanquished death, led captivity captive, He ascended up to heaven, with a shout, and with the sound of a trumpet. – Psalm xlvi. 5. And with authority commands the portals of immortal glory, “Lift up your heads, O ye gates; and be ye lifted up, ye everlasting doors, and the King of glory shall come in.” – Psalm xxiv. 7-10.
Much may be written, and much is recorded in the in the Sacred Volume in regard to the relation which our Lord Jesus Christ sustains to His spiritual kingdom, and of His government of them as the special subjects of His sovereign free grace; but in this Circular, we designed more particularly to speak of His supreme power, to over-rule all the affaires of both heaven and earth, as a sovereign, to subserve His purpose and to promote the best interests of His elect and redeemed people. It is written of Him, “The Lord said to my Lord, Sit Thou at My right hand, until I make Thy enemies Thy footstool. The Lord shall send the rod of Thy strength out of Zion: rule Thou in the midst of Thine enemies.” – Psalm cx. 1,2. This “rod of His strength,” is described in the second Psalm, as a rod of iron, to denote its strength; see also Revelation ii. 27, and with His rod shall He break in pieces the nations of the earth, and dash them to shivers, as an earthen vessel. John saw Him mounted upon a white horse, and He had a bow, and a crown was given Him, and He went forth conquering and to conquer. – Revelation vi. And after His conflict with the beast and the false prophet,the dragon, and the destruction of Babylon, John saw Him emerge from the field of slaughter, on the same white horse, and He is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He doth judge and make war. And He had a name written which no man knew but Himself. And He had on His vesture and on His thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.” – Revelation xix. 11-17. He is thus brought to view as possessing an absolute power and sovereignty over all the kings and kingdoms of this world, and ruling and overruling all beings and all events, with the keys of Death and Hell at His command, and holding the stars in His right hand. He openeth, and no man can shut, and He shutteth, and no man can open.
“Here He exalts neglected worms
To sceptre and a crown;
And there the follow’ing page He turns,
And treads the monarch down.”
The commission given to Him, Psalm cx. 2, “Rule Thou in the midst of Thine enemies,” is duly executed by Him. “Gird Thy sword upon Thy thigh, O most Mighty, with Thy glory and Thy Majesty. And in Thy Majesty ride prosperously, because of Truth and meekness and righteousness; and Thy right hand shall teach Thee terrible things. Thine arrows are sharp in the heart of the king’s enemies, whereby Thy people fall under Thee.” – Psalm xlv, 3,5.
Jesus, the King of Glory, now seated on His Mediatorial throne, with all of heaven and earth at His command, presides over His church, sustains and defends her. He has power over all flesh, that He may give eternal life to as many as the Father has given Him. – John xvii.2. Nor is His power limited to earth. All the bright retinue of angels are swift as lightning to execute the orders of His throne. “All power, He says, “is given Me, in heaven and in earth.” – Matthew xxviii.18. His power extends to the complete control of all things. The bolts of heaven are by Him launches; the powers of hell restrained. Before Him angels worship, and devils stand aghast and tremble. The earth and all the inhabitants thereof are dissolved. He bears up the pillars of the universe. He executes His sovereign will in the armies of heaven and over the inhabitants of earth. He rides upon the wings of the wind, and makes the clouds His chariots. His footsteps, which are unknown to finite beings, are in the great deep, and His ways are past finding out. He is of one mind, and none can turn Him. The wrath of man shall praise Him, and the remainder He will restrain. Devils are chained to their appointed bounds by His decree; beyond His permission they cannot go. Sin is put away from each and every one of His elect people by His blood, and death and the grave are vanquished by Him. His saints are safe and secure from all successful opposition.
“Not a single shaft can hit
Unless the God of love sees fit.”
In conclusion may we not say to all the saints of God, Lift up your heads and rejoice; greater is He that is for you than all they which are against you?
“How can we sink with such a Prop
As our eternal God?
He bears the earth’s huge pillars up
And spreads the heavens abroad.”
“Let mountains from their sea’s be hurled
Down to the dens and buried there,
Convulsions shake the solid world,
Our hearts should never yield to fear.”
If the kings, potentates or rulers of the earth set themselves, God will displace them; for He Himself sitteth in the heavens, and He has set His King upon His holy hill of Zion. What can their sittings, their counsels, and their resolutions effect against the Lord and against His Anointed? And this Eternal God is the Refuge of His people, the sword of their excellency, and the shield of their strength, and their enemies shall be found liars unto them, and they shall tread upon their high places. The earth may be shaken, the foundations of our social and civil rights assailed by wild fanaticism, our States may be torn asunder, our personal, inalienable and invaluable rights threatened, anarchy and confusion may desolate our fair and, hitherto, happy land; persecution may rage, and the blood of saints may flow; but the Rock on which we rest will remain unshaken as the Eternal Throne, and our ultimate deliverance equally as sure.
“Then let the wildest storms arise,
Let tempests mingle earth and skies;
No fatal shipwreck need we fear,
But all our treasure with us bear.”
Suffer a word of exhortation. Fear not thou worm Jacob. Be not dismayed; Jehovah is Thy God. Look to Him, confide in Him, and remember that He is always at the helm. Pray for the perpetuity of our cherished institutions, for those who hold places of power over us, that we may lead a quiet life in honesty and godliness; that the sweet privilege of worshiping our God and Savior under our own vine and fig tree, according to the dictates of God’s word and Spirit, may, if it be the will of God, be preserved. And let us learn to appreciate them, and ascribe all our enjoyments to the goodness and mercy of our God. Whatever we may be called to endure of losses, crosses, proscription, or persecution, let it be our aim, as churches and associations, and as brethren, to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bonds of peace. Let us love one another with a pure heart fervently, and with unbroken ranks contend earnestly for the faith which was once delivered to the saints, and adorn the doctrine of God our Savior in all things.
Our adorable Redeemer is the God of the whole earth, and He is the Head over all things to His Church, which is His body, the fullness of Him that filleth all in all.
Gilbert Beebe, Moderator. 1860