The Mt. Pleasant Association of Regular Old School, (Anti-Means) Baptist, now in session with the Providence Church, Trimble County, Kentucky, September 4, 5, 6, 1903; to the Churches of our membership, and all of like precious faith abroad, GREETING;
Very Dear Brethren in the Lord, and in the precious fellowship of the gospel:
In addressing you this our annual message of love, we will call your attention to Song of Solomon ii, 2.
"As the lily among thorns, so is my love among the daughters."
We have here the beautiful life of the church in her travel in time. There is as much difference between the daughters of Babylon and the church now, as there was when this Scripture was written, and this difference must continue to the end of time.
The church in her spiritual relation is of God, "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."
These children were chosen in Christ before the foundation of the world, head and body both spiritual, which the lily so beautifully represents.
Jesus says; "I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star." Revelation xxii, 16.
Again he says; "Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: and yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these."
These are a little people in every sense of the word. One husband, one bride, one building, the apostle says: "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."
It is a fitly framed building, "built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;"
Because of His great love he says; "Husbands love your wives even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; that he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, that he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle, or any such thing."
Again Solomon makes the same contrast; "As the apple tree among the trees of the wood, so is my beloved among the sons."
Any thing that originates from the flesh can not be acceptable to the God of heaven, because it originates from our flesh but the fruit of the apple tree is sweet to our taste, fruits of righteousness.
The apostle asks a question that forever shuts off the works of anti-christ, whith all her worship; "Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?" so we see that Babylon with all her daughters are cut off, and all the institutions of men. Oh dear children do we not see in the church, all that we should observe here in time, a rule to go by, a plumb line in the house of Israel forever; for "Behold a king shall reign in righteousness, and princes shall rule in judgement and a man shall be an hiding place from the wind, and a covert from the tempest; as rivers of water in a dry place, as the shadow of a great rock in a weary land." Isaiah xxxii, 1.
Now "as many as walk according to this rule, peace be on them, and mercy, and upon the Israel of God." When we fall in with any of the daughters we perish, the command is "touch not the unclean thing."
We are commanded to try the spirits, whether they be of God, "believe not every every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God."
The apostle says; "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ."
Now Brethren, in conclusion, "grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption," but let us lay aside "all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamor, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice, and be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you." "Grace be with all them that love our Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity."
J M Demaree, Moderator
A O Chilton, Clerk.