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1915 Circular of Mt. Pleasant Association

CIRCULAR LETTER

The Mt. Pleasant Association of Old School Predestinarian Baptists in session with our sister church, Providence, Trimble County, Ky.,

Dear Brethren in Christ: - In the following of our former course we realize the necessity of again addressing you by way of a circular letter, that Brethren and friends might know, if God wills to direct our feeble hands, those things most surely believed amongst us. Therefore call your attention to a parable, spoken by the Lord Jesus Himself, found in Matthew, chapter 9, verses 16 and 17, also in Mark and Luke.

“No one putteth a piece of new cloth into an old garment; for that which is put in to fill it up taketh from the garment and the rent is made worse. Neither do men put new wine into old bottles; else the bottles break, and the wine runneth out, and the bottles perish: but they put new wine into new bottles and both are preserved.”

So seldom do we hear among so-called “Old School Baptists” of the present day the soul-cheering voice of the bridegroom, and we find some of those of His little ones ensnared in their nets truly fasting for the Truth of God. The bridegroom is taken from them and substituted and preached by designing men and some, who once were in the faith, but now departed, and they hold that the saint is the sinner and the sinner is the saint; or that it is the natural man or some part of him which is quickened to life to know the truth. Such doctrines cause the mocking Ishmaelites to rejoice and persecute the little Isaac, for it makes Ishmael, though a son of the bond woman, born of the flesh and is flesh, as legally an heir in Abraham’s house as Isaac, who being born of the free woman, pointing to Christ’s spiritual bride, the New Jerusalem, John saw coming down from God out of Heaven, from above is free and the mother of us all, “Born of the Spirit and is spirit.” The Ishmaelites prefer no predestination at all but will compromise with just a little Isaac and take it limited, provided it is limited to the extent of letting the Ishmaelites continue in Abraham’s house and be a partaker of Abraham’s blessings and still make a mockery of Isaac’s Lord and Savior; by continually trying to take the new cloth, which belongs entirely to Isaac and trying to patch up his old Ishmaelitish or Babylonish garment. But all the little Isaacs by virtue of their second birth, and when weaning time has fully come upon them, having learned, “being born of the Spirit and is spirit” that their first birth, born of the flesh and is flesh, is just as the dear old Apostle Paul put it: “Clay of the same lump.” Hence just as vile a sinner by their natural birth as the Ishmaelites but by the new birth, “a holy seed, an heavenly child,” have by experience learned that no man puts new wine into that old bottle of flesh; so when some men come saying, “You can patch the sinner with the saint and worship God or patch the saint with the sinner and worship the devil” we know that man speaketh lies. For Jesus says that no man can do it. And have we not the witness within, having tried to patch with those precious promises, belonging to the stranger and foreigner, the new man for his comfort here in time? I say, have we not tried with them, to make the old garment, old man, better, and each time, the light of the new man still showed that instead of getting better each application made the old garment worse and worse, until, like little Isaac, we had to cry “Father, behold the fire and the wood but where is the sacrifice?” Divine justice, stay thine hand, “behold the ram caught in the bush.” We see Jesus, now our sacrifice, and hear Him say, “neither do men put new wine into old bottles.” As we write this we know that we stand before the judge of high heaven, all time and final judgment entirely in His hand. Then let men and devils rage. They can do no more than our Father’s will. The Lord here is referring to the new man and in the new man the new wine and in referring to the old bottles is the old man.

Now we hear some say that this old man has two principles, and both principles belong to him. If so, it’s just a matter with the preacher to see that he gets the new wine in the new principle, but having no power over the Spirit to direct or retain the Spirit, should get some new wine in the old principle. Then brethren, both old bottles and new wine is lost. This may do for time Salvationists but we prefer it as the Lord has spoken. For in our ignorance we have tried some of those “one Adam” with two principles. And in setting forth we humbly hope the new wine got into the wrong principle and the old bottle break. And to my surprise they were full, yes, full, full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness. Paul says in II Corinthians, chapter 5, verse 17, “Therefore if any man  (be) in Christ, (he is) a new creature.” Again in Corinthians, chapter 3, verse 9 and 10, “Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds: and have put on the new (man) which is renewed in knowledge, etc.” Lie not, brethren, one to another, by saying this new wine can be put into the old bottles, old man, and put the old man or some part of him back in the worshipping of the God Eternal. But holding steadfast to the truth of God, “seeing you have put off the old man,” and are “waiting for the adoption, (to wit) the redemption of our bodies. And grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.” And as sure as we be of those in which there is a new man in the old man, a new creature in the old creature, a new bottle in the old bottle, just as sure the new wine will be put into new bottles, or into the new man. And as God has spoken, Matthews chapter 9, verse 17, “both are preserved,” the new man and the old man, the vessel of mercy, for both of them are predestinated unto the adoption of children. Therefore God’s little ones love to dwell upon God’s absolute predestinating power. For only in this is there hope for their mortal body being changed to immortal, the natural body into the spiritual and then they will ever be with the Lord. And yet, how some hate the words “absolute predestination!” but in all my experimental travel, I have found His predetermined power to be absolute; although it was even grievous, in old Abraham’s sight (Genesis chapter 21). For Abraham loved the Ishmaelite but God predetermined “in Isaac, shall thy seed be called,” and it was absolutely so. Again, we find before Jacob or Esau was born, He declared the hatred of one and the love of the other, showing He predetermined something. So when Isaac called and chose Esau to bestow that heavenly blessing on him, God, before the world was, had chosen Jacob and called him to receive that blessing, Gensis 27. Again His predestinated power was absolute. We find God set forth His Son in types and shadows as slain from the foundation of the world, and again He must have predetermined something. And that was according to the predeterminate counsel and foreknowledge of God that they “by wicked hands crucified and slain.” Again we see His power absolute, and they were made willing subjects to carry it out. But hold up, say those limited fellows, we will take it that far, but by their works confess they must help raise His body, but the angel spoke the truth and said, “He is not here but risen,” for He foreknew and predetermined that all of His body arose with Him, whom God has raised up, therefore it is absolute and we believe He will raise up and quicken whom He will. And when the last and final trump sounds every vessel of mercy, already predestinated unto the adoption of children through Jesus Christ our Lord, shall be changed and fashioned like unto the glorious body of our Lord and Redeemer. Then shall we ever be with the Lord and He will still reign absolute, “Now, unto Him who is able to do exceedingly, abundantly above all we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, unto Him, be glory in the church by Jesus Christ, throughout all ages, world without end, Amen.”

Elder W. A. Ferguson, Moderator.
Elder A. O. Chilton, Clerk.