‘And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed.”
Will you allow me to present you a verbatim copy of Elder Daniel Parker’ great works – (the Views and Supplement) on the Two Seed doctrine, typewritten by myself, while suffering much bodily and lental pain? – Ben H. Irwin
(The above was hand written and pasted on the back of the preceding page.)
Being well apprized, that there are various ideas on the subject of the Christain Religion, and believing that each one has, and ought to have, an equal privilege in offering their views on this all-important subject, I have felt it my duty to offer the following remarks, for the instruction of the candid inquirers after truth. These remarks, if correctly understood, will stand a complete wall against the Universalian’s extreme error, of the love of God to all men, on which he boasts of his charity, and lays as a foundation, on which he believes in the redemption of all the human family; and the Antinomian’s errors, who hope for salvation without repentance toward God and faith in Jesus Christ; as well as the Arminian’s false plan in mixing grace and works meritoriously together, and bringing the sovereign predestination of God to turn upon the agency of the creature, and thereby making salvation more to depend upon the soft, pliable nature of man, than the riches of Divine Grace.
If we wish to understand truth correctly, we can begin at no better place than the beginning of God’s revelation to man, and trace it through, for it is like the chain without one broken or open link in it; thus the two seeds, with the enmity between them, and the source from whence they sprung, is worth attention.
Much has been said upon the doctrine of Election and Non-Elect. If we could correctly understand the light afforded us, in this part of the curse levied on the Serpent, for what he had done, it perhaps would afford us as much information as any part of Divine Writ. Without any regard to oppositions and criticisms, being well apprized of my inability, and magnitude of the subject, yet relying on Divine aid in the Word of God, under a sense of duty to stand in my lot, I shall venture my views for public scrutiny. I shall first show a distinction in the natural existence of these two seeds; and secondly the two Covenants by which they are distinguished. I hope my reader will examine the evidences which support my views, and not condemn me without Scriptural authority, for it is best to be found on the side of the truth, although it may seem hard for nature to reconciled or 1ove.
First. The natural existence of these seeds appear first in out text – yet there are sources from which they sprung. The seed of the woman was no doubt Christ in the prime or true sense of the word. Yet, as Christ and his church are one, Me the head and the church the body, we shall find the seed to be the members of the body.
A Trinity appears in the one only true and living God. And when he said “let us make man in our image, after our likeness,” he spake to himself or of himself – “the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost”, which are one. And “so created man in his own image, in the image of God created in him, male and female created he them”, so it is evidenced from these, as well as a number of other passages of Divine Writ, that God was the standard by which he himself made man. I am aprized of various ideas on this point, but let it suffice me to give my own, independent of others. I now view man, at the first, a complete figure of the triune of God. For Adam now stood with the seed and the woman in himself; the woman the instrument by which the seed should be brought into a natural existence – thus as the Father, Word, and Holy Ghost are all one, and in one, so was the man, seed, and the woman; God the Father, Christ the Seed, and the Holy Ghost the instrument of their spiritual existence. So as we bore the image of our natural father, from our natural birth, we shall bare the image of our heavenly Father by his spiritual birth.
The child receives from the mother the blood and the life, therefore is the seed of the woman, while she is susceptible of the seed of man, by which she concieves; as such God would say to Abraham, “in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed.” And Christ is said to be the seed of Abraham, after the flesh, as his mother sprang from the lineage of Abraham. So Christ was the Spiritual Adam, and in him the spiritual seed and the Holy Ghost, susceptible of the same, by which they are born and made partakers of the divine nature of their parents. More of this after awhile.
We shall now return to man in his first formation. When Adam stood with his wife and seed in him, I cannot believe that there stood any in him but the church of Christ – therfore all that stood and fell in Adam, were the elect of God, chosen in Christ before the world began. Some of my reasons are these, (weigh them well), there are two settled points with me. First, That God never created a set of beings, neither directly nor indirectly, that he suffered to be taken from him, and made the subjects of his eternal wrath and indignation; (think how this would be consistence with the Divine Creator?). Second, that God, as God, in no case possesses more love and mercy than power and wisdom. If he does, oh, think, the pain and distress the great I AM must feel and bear, to see the objects of his love anti mercy to sink to woe and misery for the want of power and wisdom in himself to save (where would be the glory now?)
As there is a third equally settled in my mind, which is that the Universalian doctrine is false, and the unbelievers, dying in their sins, will sink to eternal woe – it now devolves on me to show from what source the Non-elect has sprung. So at it we go.
I shall first take another view of Adam; for as he bore the name, and was the head and sovereign, of not only of his own seed and wife, but of all creation which was put under him, and they all were affected by his standing, or falling. So he was the figure of Christ, which was to come, who were the things of all principlalities and powers, and all things were to be affected by his standing or falling in the work of redemption. As there can be no living head without a body, there can be no Christ without a church; and Christ was from everlasting to everlasting, ere the earth was, by and for whom the world was made. And as there can be no shadow without substance, I view Adam with the seed and woman in him, the complete figure of the Lord Jesus Christ, with the church in him, before all worlds was; therefore, while he was in the world, could look to his Father to glorify him, with the same glory that he had with the Father before the world was.
When the woman was taken from the man, she appeared separate and distinct from him, yet she was bone of his bones and flesh of his flesh. This shows the church of Christ, when spoke into existence into the world: she now appears separate and distinct from Christ, her head: yet the relationship, and love of Christ her head, was still the same. When the woman was beguiled by the Serpent, and partook of the forbidden fruit, she was now gone into sin – her husband remained holy (as to his act), yet such was the union, she being bone of his bones and flesh of his flesh, that he could be no more happy without her than she could without him, As she could not come to him, I think his love was such, that he determined to die with her, or else she should live without him, for they could not be parted. He now received at her hands the forbidden fruit, and went with her. “Thus the man was not deceived, but the woman being; in the transgression”; and thus the man and woman being one, by one man, sin and death has come into the world – and all their natural seed were fallen, begenerated beings, unfit for heaven!
This shows Christ and his church – the love and union between them – for as the law was never given to the woman, distinct from her husband, but to the man while the woman was in him, which made her accountable to her Creator, and her husband accountable for her act. So the law was never given to the church, distinct from Christ her husband, but to Christ the husband of the church before the church was spoken into existence, which made the church accountable for her trangression, and Christ responsible as her husband, for the debt of his bride had contracted – while it proves the law indefinite, and the eternal covenant, or purpose of God in Christ for man’s redemption.
Thus when the church was beguiled and had sinned, Christ was not deceived, but his love, relationship, and union to, and with her, was such that he could not be glorified without his bride, therefore he resolves to die with her, or that she should live with him; for it was impossible to separate them – his love was stronger than death. He takes upon himself, not the nature of angels, but the seed of Abraham, marries her human nature, owns the debt of his bride. “The children being partakers of flesh and blood, he takes part of the same,” while, “he that sanctifieth, and that are sanctified, are all of one.” He bore our sins in his own body on the tree; dies for her sins: rises again for her justification, redeems her from the curse of the law, and brings life and mortality to light through the Gospel; washes her spiritual seed with his own blood, and fits them for eternal glory with himself. No wonder Saint Paul was made to cry out, “O the depth of the riches both of the knowledge and wisdom of God,” SC, when he was reviewing the great display of eternal love, the plan of redeemption.
I shall now notice what the divine law required of man. I call this an infinite law: the reason as Saint Paul calls it spiritual and holy, just and good, which are titles belonging to no other but a Divine character. And if the law is not infinite it cannot inflict infinite punishment, as nothing can act above itself; and of course the universalist doctrine is right, and the wicked have some encouragement to go on in sin, and the saints of God may tremble with fear, for their justification (which is a law phrase), will be a finite nature, and they will be liable to fall, even when they got to heaven, as Adam was in his first estate. This law required nothing to be done by Adam to preserve his standing, or making him any better – it was a law of prohibition, (though a finata being) was able to perform. The act of doing became the sin. Thus we see where the spirit and the principle of doing came from. The serpent distilled it into the woman, and set her to doing that which God had forbid, with a spirit of pride and unbelief, with a vow of making herself something more than her God had made her: thus the spirit and the principle of the works of the law for justification became instilled in the human heart, and has been at war with the sovereignty of God from that day to this.
As Satan introduced this spirit and principle, God was pleased to hand down his righteous law, the perfect standard of works by which sin should be known, and offences abound, which law admits of no defect, but contracts guilt on the failure of one point as guilty of the breach of the whole; by which the Devil and his children will be judged and justly condemned, from their own on principle, for lack of performance.
The first account we have of man after the fall, works and guilt appear, for they were sewing fig leaves together to hide their nakedness, and hiding from their God, which showed their principle, fear and guilt.
This brings us to the text – here God, as a curse to the serpent for what he had done, lays the foundation of war between the Serpent and woman, and the Serpent’s seed and the woman’s seed. The woman here is certainly a figure of the church of Christ. The enmity of the Serpent against the church has plainly appeared through the persecutions in the different ages of the world, while standing opposed to the works of darkness, has proved her enmity to the Serpent. And the woman’s seed here spoken of, I think was Christ and his elect in him, which was created in Adam, and by ordinary generation God designed should be brought into a natural existence in the world. And as Christ and his people are one, wherever I find of this seed, distinguished in their natural birth, I shall feel authorized to notice it as the seed of the woman. The Serpent seed here spoken of, I believe to be the Non-elect, which were not created in Adam, the original stock, but were brought into the world as a product of sin, by way of a curse on the woman who by sin, was made susceptible of the seed of the Serpent, through the means of her husband, who had partook with her in the trangression, and thereby became the medium through which the Serpent’s seed was, and is communicated to the woman, and she became the mother of this seed, which is evidently the curse God laid upon her, when, “Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception, in sorrow shalt thou bring forth children, and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.” Thus we find a multiplication of the conception of the woman, which, I have no doubt, was the inlet of the Serpent’s seed into a natural existence in the world, with the enmity of Satan in their hearts, against Christ and his elect seed, which was here called the seed of the woman.
I shall now attempt to prove the natural existence of these two seed. The Curse on the ground for man’s sake is plain to the point; thorns and thistles it was to bring forth to him: which I view includes all the poison, pernicious production of the earth. Then I conclude that before sin entered the world, that the earth and its production was all good, worthy of their author, who could not make anything but what was good. Now, if the ground, being the feminine gender, as well as the woman, could be made susceptible of the curse for man’s sake, and bring forth to him an extra production, which was not formed in his bowels in his creation, and this production of the poison, bitter, pernicious quality, injurious to her natural production, and dangerous to the creation that God had made, while her natural production was sweet and good, benefit to animal creation – I may, is it not reasonable as well as scriptural, to believe that woman, when she had sinned against her God, had received the Serpentime nature, was made, by this act, with the curse, susceptible of the serpent’s seed, and, (through the means of her husband who had partook with her) and thereby conceive and bring forth extra production, the seed of Satan, the Non-elect, enemies of God, from the nature of their father, the Devil, pursuing his lusts with emnity against the Elect seed.
It is further to be observed, that the same earthly blessing, the same warming beams of the sun, and showers of rain upon the earth which bring forth and support the good, sweet, and natural productions of the earth, whose seed was created in her bowels, bring forth and support the poisonous, bitter productions, which spring from the bowels of the earth by reason of the curse; just so, the same natural earthy blessing which supported the Elect, or woman’s seed, while in this life, are equally beneficial to the support or preservation of the Non-elect, or Serpent’s seed: and thus equal partakers of the earthly blessings which flow to the world through Christ, and are therefore accountable to God, the Author of their good. It is evident that there are two seeds, the one of the Serpent, and the other of the woman; and they appear plain in Cain and Abel, and their offsprings. The Serpent’s seed is first spoken of, and Cain appears, although Eve owns him as a man from the Lord, yet she does not claim him her seed; and John, First Epistle, chapter 3rd, verse 12, when speaking of the manifestation of the children of God, and of the Devil, tells us that Cain was of the wicked one. His offering is of the fruit of the ground on which the curse had fallen, as well as the product of his own labor, which could not be offered in faith, but proves the principle of works which the Serpent had introduced: while Abel’s offering of the firstlings of the flock, which was a figure of Christ, and could be offered in faith. Eve claims Abel as her seed, and can say at the birth of Seth, that God had appointed her another seed, instead of Abel, whom Cain slew.
Thus the emnity between the two seeds appears, and the wickedness on the part of the Serpent’s seed, when Cain slew Abel. We should do well to remember in all this, that the things which are not seen are plainly set forth by the things which are seen. We now find Seth, the woman’s seed, and Cain, the seed of the Serpent, and when he dwells in the land of Nod was multiplying. When Adam begat Seth, it is said that he begat a son in his own likeness, after his image. I now view Seth, like Adam, while the seed and the woman was in him, distinct from the Serpent’s seed; and have no doubt that his offspring (separated from Cain) was those said to be the sons of God, while the daughters of men, spoken of, were cain’s offspring. And thus we view the two families. And when the sons of God took them wives of the daughters of men, this was a great evil. The two families now unite and mingle together – their children became giants, or mighty men of renoun. This brings us to the iniquity that causes the world to be drowned. Thus the generations spoken of in Prov. chap. 20, vv. 11th, 12th, 13th, and l4th that cursed their father and doth not bless their mother, &c, is now poluting the generation of God, While the Sons of God are mingling with them and nothing but divine wisdom, power, and grace, can ever sever them. But Daniel saw by the toes of the great image, which was part of iron and part of clay, which would not mix together, that although they did mingle themselves with the seed of men, they should not cleave one to the other – so God is able to show his sons. And St. Paul can say, that because they were sons, and sent forth the Spirit into their hearts, &c.
Noah (although the earth was corrupted with wicked adultry) was just a man, and perfect in his generation; so God preserved him on the earth. Yet, notwithstanding the perfection of Noah’s generation, the seed of the Serpent quickly appeared, perhaps preserved by the wife of Ham, which was likely of the corrupted race. So it was, we find Canaan cursed by his grandfather for his father’s wrong, which proves him to be of the Non-elect, and therefore of the Serpent’s seed.
The next particular distinction we have is Abraham’s two sons, one by the bond woman, and the other by a free woman. Ishmael, although permitted to live before the Lord, had become a great nation, yet was evident of the Non-elect for he was not to be an heir with Isaac, the son of the free woman, while the emnity appeared between the two seeds. Esau and Jacob is still more to the point of distinction, both of the Elect and the Non-Elect with emnity between the two seeds: while they struggled together while in the womb, and God could let the mother know that two nations were in her womb, and two manner of people should be separated from her bowels; and St. Paul is pointed on this subject, and saith, “For the children, being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God, according to election night stand, not of works, but of him that calleth, it was said unto her (that was the mother) the elder shall serve the younger. As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated.” This proves the three points, 1st. Esau, the Non-elect, or Serpent’s seed: 2nd. The principle of works distilled into the human heart by the Serpent, and Esau, from the source of his origin, belonging to that principle. 3rd. Jacob the woman’s seed or Elect of God, appointed to salvation by grace. Christ calls Judas the son of Perdition, which proves him to be the seed of the Serpent, and tells the Jews that they were of their father the Devil, and his lusts they would do. And again, Christ sayeth, that he was only sent to the lost sheep of the house of Israel, and when speaking of the seed of Satan, he calls them a generation of vipers. These are all to the point in hand.
The parable of the tares and good seed is pointed. For Christ this himself to the exact point, and tells that the sower of the good seed is the son of man – “The field is the world, the good seed are the children of the kingdom, but the tares are the children of the wicked one.” “That the enemy that soweth them is the Devil, the harvest is the end of the world, and the reapers are the angels.” “As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire, so shall it be in the end of the world.” This is too plain to need any comment. As to the passages referred to on this subject, are generally known to Bible readers, I have not taken room to refer to chapters and verses.
I am well apprized of the several views on this line of scripture, and it is generally believed that they allude to two natures in man, The Serpent’s seed, the fallen, wicked nature, which appears in all these cases; and the woman’s seed, or the good seed, are the good qualities in man which he receives from his Creator, or more particularly in the children of God when converted. If this general view be correct, then I am wrong, and the universal and the Universalian is right, and the good part of all men will be saved, while the wicked, sinful part will be burned up; for God will not punish any part of himself. I will admit, that the good seed which are the saints, are manifested when converted; but I will contend that they were created in Adam, their natural head, by which they, through the woman, should be brought into a natural existence, chosen in Christ, their spiritual head, and they, through the Spirit, should be brought into a spiritual existence. As such, they were virtually the sons of God, in the plan of redemption, and chosen in Christ, him the elect head, and them the elect members, which makes up the body belonging to the head.
As this subject is very copious, and claims the whole body of the Bible for its support , and as I design this piece to be short, I but glance at evidences, just so as to lead the mind of my readers to the point in hand, hoping and believing; that the Lord will give the candid reader the aid of his divine spirit, so as to enable him to trace every sketch I give to its proper extent, and give it its true weight: and one thing should be noticed, and that is, that as the good seed and the generation of Christ is so pointedly established in God’s word, that the seed and generation of the Serpent (by way of inference) in all thoses cases, especially proven and established.
In humiliation of Christ, the iniquity is made, “Who shall declare his generation?” I say nothing short of the Spirit can do this work, for it is a spiritual generation. Thus the spirit declares that a seed shall serve him, it shall be accounted to the Lord for a generation.” and that this shall be “a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a peculiar people, &c,” and when his soul was made an offering for sin, he should see his seed, &c “His seed shall endure forever, and his throne as the days of heaven.”
If these passages, with a number of similar ones, mean nothing, the Bible is lost; if they mean anything, they mean what they say, and Christ has a seed and generation; and if he has, they were created in Adam, his natural seed, and from him received their natural existence, and in him fell, sinned, and came short of the glory of God, partook of the serpentine nature, and became children of wrath, even as others: while they were chosen in Christ, his spiritual seed, and from him received their divine existence, and in him stand holy and complete in the glory of God, partakers of the divine nature, and become the children of the kingdom, even with Christ.
Thus Christ is the head and glory of his church or kingdom, Now if Christ is King of Zion, and has a seed and generation, so is Satan King of the Bottomless Pit, and has a seed and generation. If God, for a display of his almighty power, has, by and for Jesus Christ, spoke the elect seed and generation into a natural existence in this world, in Adam, their natural head, and suffered Satan to lead them captive, subject to sin and bondage, corruption and death, taking posession of their hearts, engrafting his wicked nature, principle, and emnity in them, subjecting them to the penalities of the divine law by which the way is opened for the greater display of the eternal wisdom, power, love, mercy, holiness, truth, and justice of God in the redeemption of the seed and generation (which by sin is lost), and from the curse of the Divine Law, is releasing them from the bondage of sin and death, the claims and captivity if the power of darkness, – by Jesus Christ, the covenant head, in the plan or covenant of redemption, of and for this seed or generation of Christ by and through which the Holy Ghost is sent into the world.
The seed, regenerated and born of the spirit, washed and made clean in the blood of the Lamb, their nature changed, and they made meet for the kingdom of God, while the Lord’s people is his portion, and Israel the lot of his inheritance. While he is dividing the portion with the great, and the spoil with the strong, (which was, I think, Satan). Thus the glory of God shines in the face of Jesus Christ, which is the glory in, by, and through his seed and generation; while the God in them stand opposed to the works of darkness. And thus the enmity of the woman’s seed appears, bruising the head of the Serpent, wherever he appears. I say, if all this be a fact, then is this a just inference? That Satan was suffered (for this farther displays for the glory of God) to exert his mighty (not almighty) power on the creature which God had made; and not having the power to create (which if he had he would have been almighty), but only to beget, through the being which God created, his seed and generation, which is sin, conceiving and bringing forth a set of beings (for the Devil is sin and the fountain of sin) directly from the fountain of iniquity, bearing the image of the father of their natural existence.
Possessing in their hearts, from the source they sprung from, enmity against the sovereignty of God, and kingdom of Christ, with the principle of works, which principle subjected the elect of God (which was created in Adam) to sin and trangression, and is yet, and ever has been, the enemy of God and his elect.
The principle, which was engrafted in the woman in the garden (unbelief and pride) flowed from the Serpent, which led her to do that her God had forbid, with a view of making herself more wise and great, and her husband received it at her hands, was not only the curse of man’s fall, but is the mother of all sin and iniquity, and for the knowledge, destruction, and condemnation of this principle, with its production, the perfect law of God was revealed. This knowledge and destruction is wrought in the hearts of the elect by the effectual work of the Divine Spirit, while the condemnation and punishment of this iniquity, will justly fall on the Serpent, in his seed. Thus the glory of God will appear in the condemnation of the wicked, as punishment due the Serpent. – And for this purpose, I view the Serpent’s seed was permitted into existence, and now the parable of the tares and good seed is plain, for Christ points them out as esisting seeds, or persons, and not natures in persons.
As God is glorified in, through, and by his seed, the church, the bride, the Lamb’s wife, (which is no more twain, but one flesh) through the victory obtained in, and by, Jesus Christ, against his enemy, the Devil. So Satan will be judged, condemned and punished, in by, and through his seed or generation, in the loss of the victory in the war against the Lord and his Anointed. As the war against Satan is carried on through the instrumentality of God’s people, manifested by their opposition to the errors of Satan, while the weapons of their warfare is not carnal, but mighty, to the pulling down of strongholds: so Satan’s war against Christ is through the instrumentality of his people, while the sword and bloodshed has been the weapons of their warfare.
Notice and remember, that when anything or person makes great preparations for or to accomplish a small object, that it agrees and proves weakness and ignorance; and as this character cannot be attached to the divine being, we cannot fall on any better plan to form the idea of the greatness and power of the Devil, than to take a view of the Almighty God of heaven and earth exerting his divine properties in the redemption of his people, for his own glory and the overthrow of Satan and his kingdom, while we remember there was not an exercise in vain in all the heavenly arrangements and administrations – all the heavenly hosts seem to be engaged in this work. The Triune God displays his wisdom and power, while angels are at his command. Not one event has transpired in the providence of God but what was designed for the accomplishment (in the end) of his noble work through the course of the ceremonial law, the Levitical priesthood. Of all the beasts and birds slain, not one drop of blood was in vain, but all went to show Christ the great sacrifice, with the redeeming quality of his blood; the wars of nations, the rise and fall of kings and kingdoms, persecutions and trials of saints, with their peace and prosperity, all have their purposes. But just bring your mind to Christ, his servitude in this world, his agonizing pains in the garden, his shameful and awful suffering, his crucifixion, his resurrection and assention, not a groan, nor a drop of blood in vain.
Oh, think of this and the suffering of saints, and providence of God, from then till now, and ask your common reasons, as well as the revelation of God, has all this, and a great deal more, been done, just to defeat a mere immaterial spirit or two. Oh, this would be a contemptible idea of God, degrading to his character. I cannot view the Devil as only a bare immaterial Spirit, dodging here and there, ashamed to show himself – no, I view him a mighty power, (not almighty) “the prince and power of the air, that works in the children of disobedience,” who, by some means, got the world and the creatures that God had made into his possession, and was permitted to make use of them to answer his purpose, so far as to bring himself by his seed into a natural existence, and set up his kingdom in the world, in the opposition to the kingdom of God, and has and yet seems to reign in a great degree, predominant in the hearts of men, as well as in and over the world, while nothing short of God, in Christ, manifested by the power of the divine spirit, can supplant him.
Thus we see the propriety and certainty of God’s permitting, and the Devil’s bringing, his seed into an existence in this world, that the greater display of the Divine Being might be made in the redemption of his elect, the defeat and final overthrow of the powerful enemy, the Devil, with his seed.
I am apprized that unbelieving critics will try to believe (notwithstanding what I have said on the subject) that agreeable to my view the Devil has created a great set of beings: this is not my view; for if the Devil had the power of creation, he would be almighty. There is a great difference between creating and begetting. A man may beget, but he cannot create. Which is most reasonable to believe, That Satan had a power to beget a principle and nature in man (which is admitted on all sides) or to believe that he, by permission, possessed power to beget material existences through or by the beings God had made, and in whom he had begot his own principle and nature. The power of creating beings alone belongs to God, therefore is God; and yet, consistent with himself did suffer his enemy to take possession of even the hearts of men, the top piece of his creation, which brought a curse on all creation: then no marvel, that he suffered the fruits of sin, the Serpent’s seed, to appear in a form to suffer the penalities of his divine nature or law, due to sin and trangression of his divine nature.
Another point of inquiry arrises, did the Serpent’s seed, or Non-elect, stand or fall in Adam? answer, No, the elect of God only was created, stood, and fell in Adam, partook of the serpentine nature, and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others; and therefore the original sin is in, or entailed on them, while the Serpent’s seed. Although they did not receive it by the fall of man, yet they received this wicked nature immediately from the same corrupt source, which had evolved the elect of God; Thus in the nature of the two seeds no difference appears; for Satan had wholly captivated the elect, and engaged his image in their hearts.
And though Satan’s seed had not fell in Adam, with the elect, under the curse of the divine law, yet they were sin in the abstract, flowing from the fountain of corruption. This explains Christ’s remarks to them when he saith, that if he had not come and done the works that no other would have done, they would have had no sin; but now they have no cloak for their sin, that is, as they had no sin by the fall of man; yet, although they as beings had nor, in this case, been the active violators of the law of God, yet they were sin in themselves, and now, by their refusing the Lord’s Christ, their sins appear, and are no longer covered.
This leads us to the ground on which the justice and glory of God appears, in the condemnation of the Serpent’s seed, or non-elect; for it is the duty of the Devil himself to worship God in Christ; and he now, in his seed, refuses, and is therefore, in and with his seed, justly condemned to eternal woe, to bear the wrath of God. Thus we see the need of the gospel being preached to every creature, to leave them without excuse; for the non-elect stand on the same ground that the Arminian says the whole world stands on, for Christ rejects none that come to him for salvation on gospel terms, and those that seek shall find. Now, if they will, they may come, and it is their duty to obey the gospel and come; and if they will not, they are justly condemned, for God is as willing to save them, as they are to be saved by Christ.
Then why should they complain of the injustice in God, when the faith is in themselves? But will they come? What is their will but the will of their father, the Devil? And God is not bound to brine them, but consistent with his divine perfections, can let them alone to fill up their cup of wrath, against the day of wrath, &c. And thus let alone, their will is to follow their father, which they do.
Come, my reader, let us reason together a moment. You may think my doctrine wretched – but think again, is it scripturally and experimentally reasonable to believe, but that there are sinners lost? Are these lost sinners the creatures of God by creation? Is it not more reasonable to believe they have sprung from Satan, than from the Divine Being? As I think you believe me, that God never created any one for destruction, is it not more to the glory and honor of God, to believe that he will punish Satan in his own seed., than in beings, which he himself had made, and Satan had got possession of? Does God Possess more love and mercy than wisdom and power? Does, he, as God, want to save more than he will or can save? How can these things be, and he be a God of infinite power and wisdom? Think of these things, and if they fail to bring you to this truth, then I request you to answer, at least in your own mind, these questions I have proposed, with the evidence that have produced, satisfactorily, in another way; for they all mean something, and the truth is what we ought to know and practice. Perhaps you are ready to inquire, what benefit can arise from the belief of this, should it be a truth? I answer, truth exalts the Divine Being, humbles his saints, and defies the enemies of God. And amongst all the truths that appear, this is best calculated to answer and defeat the Arminian errors, and Universalian false basis. Establish the saints, and prevent controversy, as far as it is believed, while, instead of its preventing saints from preaching to, and praying for sinners, if it is believed aright, stimulates them to their duty.
Then while we believe God has a people to be saved from their sins, (and not in them), and that the glory of God appears in, by, and through his people, (as this doctrine shows) and through them the war agaist Satan’s kingdom is carried on, and sinners brought to knowledge and truth, called in, and “born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the world of God, which liveth and abideth forever.”
Some may think I believe the Serpent cohabited with the woman. Certainly he did, so far as to beget the wicked, sinful principle and nature in her, which was the cause of the sentence being passed against her by her Maker: – but not to beget children by her, in no other but through or by the man, which as her husband had received the forbidden friut, and partook of the same principle and nature of Satan. Now a proper medium or way through which the Serpent’s seed may be communicated to the woman, which was now prepared to receive the same, concieves and brings them forth. We are told by divine authority, that God hath made of one blood all nations that dwell on the face of the earth. What shall we do with this? I answer that it is evident that the child receives its blood and life from the mother. And as God in creation made the original stock, and by the curse multiplied the conception thereof, then it is true, and with this view of things consistent. For although God did not create the Serpent’s seed, or non-elect, in Adam, yet he had given man the power of begetting, and the woman of conceiving: and Satan, by sin, through the man, begets his seed in the woman, while God, for sin by the woman, multiplies her conception; and thus the Serpent’s seed comes through the original stock, and yet God not their creator in the original stock.
I now proceed to give a short biography of the two generations springing from these two seeds, as they have appeared at various times in the world, manifested by God’s providence, as well as the emnity which has appeared between the two. We are not to be wise above what is written, yet that which was wrote aforetime was wrote for our learning, and we are entitled to the benefit of all the information given therein.
As Satan had yet the possession of the world, and his seed pushed into existence, while the seed of the woman, or elect of God, was mingling with them, until God was pleased to make a distinction and raise up a people to his name; for which purpose he called Abraham from his father’s house, directed him what to do, gave him a promise of the Savior, promised the land of Canaan to him and his seed for an inheritance, made a covenant with him, in which the inheritance was secured to the proper heirs, gave circumcism a distinguishing signal of the proper heirs, renewed the covenant with Isaac and Jacob, from whom sprang this twelve tribes of Israel: and thus the Lord distinguished a nation of people which he claims for his own, and saith that he has chosen them from among the other nations of the earth: not because they were the greatest, for they were the least: told them of the persecutions or bondage they should meet with: forbids them to marry with the rest of the nations of the earth and conducts them on through wars, persecutions, and calamities to their promised inheritance, giving them his law for their light and guide, protects them in their duty, and chastises them for their disobedience.
Thus we see that God has plainly manifested his seed in the national or natural point of view: while at the same time the Serpent’s seed stands equally distinguished in the same point of view. While God, the father and husband of his national inheritance, was teaching his people how to worship him, and Satan leading his people into idolatry, while at the same time the serpentine nature, which was in the elect of God, was leading them to idolatry, fornification, and whoredom, with the Serpent’s seed or rest of the nations of the earth. The wars, contentions, and envies, through all this course, proves the enmity between the two seeds. Sometimes the Serpent’s fury appears, while the sword is used; at other times his subtlety appears, when court-ships and marriages are offered, and proffers are made to join in affinity in re-building the Lord’s temple, and worshiping therein, claiming themselves as worshipers of, and offering service to the same God that Israel did. These are all figures which are to learn us something.
One thing more I must notice, that is the tower of Babel, and confounding of languages. At the building of this tower, all the people were of one tongue, but here God was pleased to confound their language. Thus when Nehemiah was permitted to go up to the temple, he found there were Jews that had married wives of Ashdod, of Armnon, and of Moab, and their children spoke half in the speech of Ashdod, and could not speak in the Jews’ language, but according to the language of each people. Thus we find the character of the mongrel breed, the consequence of the marriages between the two seeds, and their fate. All this we have a use for in this gospel day. The time at length rolls round that God intends to distinguish the woman’s seed, his elect, his kingdom, or spiritual church, or body. – Christ makes his appearance, completely the woman’s seed (named in one text) and the kingdom of God in this world. Kingdom, it fully implies king, subjects, and powers, or government, which shows that Christ and his people are so completely one, that I am fully justifiable in counting the elect of God in Christ for the woman’s seed.
Christ baffles all the malice, rage, and subtlety of Satan, establishes his kingdom in the world, which is called the body of Christ, his church, and his bride; in her he sets up his name, gives her the law of faith for her government, and sent her the Holy Ghost to change and seal divine instruction to their hearts, while he lets them know by his instruction that Anti-Christ, the man of sin, was nearer at hand and would be revealed. Thus Satan, who was always trying to deceive the elect, (because of his enmity against God,) and for that purpose do something as near like the Lord’s work as he could – now pushes his church or body into a similar existence, which is the Pope of Rome, the mother of harlots.
The church of Christ is called his body and his wife: so the Pope of Rome is the body and wife of Satan. As the church or kingdom of Christ is the temple of the Holy Ghost, the dwelling-place of God on earth, therefore the mother of the spiritual or religious existence of the elect, or woman’s seed, travailing in pain to be delivered, and through in, and by, whom God is known, reigns, and displays his works and wonders of the glory in the world – so the Pope of Rome, the church or kingdom of Satan. is the temple or dwelling-place of Satan on earth, therefore the mother of the spiritual or religious (for Satan has a religious or spiritual influence over man) of the non-elect, or Serpent’s seed, travailing or exerting to bring forth all the daughters she can, and through, in, and by whom Satan is known, reigns, and displays his works and wonders of darkness in The world.
Thus the enmity between the two seeds, in a spiritual point of view, is known. Now we have a use for the tower of Babel. The object for the building of this tower was, that the top might reach to heaven, to save themselves.
This shows the Pope in his exalted state, setting, by his own declaration, on the throne of God, and exalting himself above all that is called God’s; claiming heavenly light, liberty, and power, not only able to save himself, but also others. This was an exalted state indeed.
The confounding of the language, literally, at the building of this tower, which stopped the work, and scattered the people with different tongues throughout the world. This shows the confounding of the language, spiritually at the reformation or revolution of the Pope of Rome, which stopped their work, in a great degree, and scattered their daughters, or religion throughout the world; for the confounding of the language only broke the combination, and by that means stopped the work, but did not change the heart – they scattered with the same nature which they had while at work. So the confounding of the language of the Pope only broke the combination, and served to scatter the same principle throughout the world, without a real change of heart.
As we can now account for the origin of the different tongues, literally, throughout the world, and the reason why the different nations cannot so well correspond with each other, for want of understanding each other’s language; so we can now understand from what source has sprung the different sects or languages in religion, as well as the reason why we cannot correspond with one another, because we cannot understand their religious language. Thus we better understand Solomon, when he tells us there were three score queens, four score concubines, and virgins without number; while the beloved is one, the only one of her mother – this one is the church or Christ; while we see from what source has sprung the number of the daughters of the mother of harlots.
For I have no hesitation in saying that the true church never sprang from, nor come out, nor through the Pope or dome; while I am equally bold to say, that each society, whose origin can be traced from the Pope or Rome, either direct1y or indirectly, of the mother of harlots.
While we Baptists can boast in the face of all our opponents that our religious principles and practice existed before the Pope, and never came, through that corrupt source while we claim ourselves that living church Christ built upon the rock, which the gates of hell cannot prevail against.
The church, St. Paul calls the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth, the Kingdom which the prophet Daniel said should be set up in the earth, which should never be overthrown. So, either the natural original language, at the building of the tower of Babel, was preserved or not, we claim, both from history and the word of the divine truth, the original language of the Apostolic church or Christ. Thus we see, in part, why the Baptist fences up their communion table: for as Israel was forbid to marry with the rest of the nations of the earth, and when they did, it was a great sin, they were polluted, and God chastized them – so the spiritual Israel is forbid to marry or unite with the other nations or societies of the earth and if they were, it would be an equal crime, and chastisement would be their fate; and as that marriage produced children speaking part of two tongues, so there would be a mungrel breed amongst us, which perhaps neither family would own. There is too much of this breed now amongst us, speaking part works and part grace.
Perhaps some may think, from what I have said, that I think there are no saints, but among the Baptists – no, I have no doubt but there are thousands elsewhere; yet I believe they are captured by the Serpent’s seed, or stratagems; and it is high time they come ought of her – for the Lord calls, come out of her my people, that ye partake not of her plagues.
It seems hard for me to say, that all other sects but the Baptists are the daughters of the old mother Rome, or anti-christain churches or sects, but I have no doubt of the fact; and all that is wanting to prove this fact to every serious or candid mind, is just to fairly understand where each one has sprang from; for whoever has sprung from her, is certainly her children, which appear visible in the world: for it is evident that Christ has set up his visible church or kingdom in this world, and it is not divided, but remains but one body made up of many numbers. And although I admit the reformation under Calvin and Luther, and that they were great lights in that dark time, yet their anti-christian or wrong principle or spirit appears in their setting up and establishing their societies, for the church of Christ had still remained through all this dark and worst times, suffered the rage and awful persecutions of Satan’s kingdom, And now Calvin and Luther, instead of uniting with the suffering church of Christ, which had ever lived and renamed the light of the world, (though weak and contemptible) they formed other societies which were that moment the body of anti-Christ, or daughters of the old mother some, because they were anti - or opposite to the church of Christ, and have remained the enemies of the church ever since. The same may be said of every sect which has sprung from them ever since. And although I admit there may be, and is, saints amongst them all those various sects, yet they are guilty of fornification, and belong to the body of the anti-Christ. For while Christ lives, and his church remains one, it is the duty of all saints to unite with her, as coming to help one of the Lord, against the mighty. And each and every sect which has not been set up, separate and distinct from the church, no odds how many saints may be in them, they are justly called the daughters of Babylon, the synagogues of Satan – for they are enemies of the church of Christ and are often seducing her to whoredom and fornication.
I do not make these remarks in way of contempt on other societies, but to show the error in forming, uniting, and supporting of sects and societies separate and distinct from the true church. For if we admit the church of Christ to be but one, then we must admit that all the sects or societies are not the true church or churches. I am aprized that some will contend, that the saints in all theses different sects, compose the true invisible church. This may be the fact; but it is simplicity for us to argue this war, for the support of the religion of the different sects, for two reasons: – First, we have nothing to do with the invisible church, and there is no such thing; for Christ’s church is visible to him, be the numbers whom they may; and although we may have no knowledge of some of the members of his church, yet he has revealed a church to us, which is visible to the world, to the saints, and to the false society; for had not this been the case, there never would have been a persecution against the church of Christ, and the enmity between the two seeds would never appeared, and there would have been no bruising, neither head nor heel.
2nd. The controversy, persecution, and opposition between and amongst the different sects, is (provided Christ’s church be opposed amongst these sects) the church, or Christ and his kingdom, divided and at war with itself; and if this be the case, the kingdom of Christ is gone, and Satan has gained his point – we are all gone.
This would not only be a simple view, but a wicked, unbelieving thought. The word of God authorizes me to view the church but one body, standing (under the direction of her Lord) opposed to the seed of Satan, or anti-christian errors, be them where they may, and that the time has come that seven women have taken hold on one man, and ready to eat their own bread and wear their own apparel, all they want is his name to take away their reproach. This I view to be the Serpent’s seed taking holt on the name of Christ, but refuse him the honor, power, and right to do the part of the husband, but claim the honor of supporting themselves; these are the daughters of the old mother Rome, who are at war, not only amongst themselves, but united against the church, the married wife of the Lamb.
Thus the war between the two seeds appear, while Satan’s kingdom, being divided, must fall, and the victory will appear on the part of the Lamb of God, in union and preservation of his kingdom. No doubt but the captured saints amongst the daughters of the old mother, will be brought; home. I believe that there is much moral virtue amongst these false sects, as well as a number of precious truths, and saints. My heart feels to love their good, but stand opposed to their origin, and antichristian errors, while my heart’s desire and prayer is that they might come to the truth, and the church of Christ.
It takes three points to secure the christian fellowship to each member of Christ’s church – a unity of faith, experience, and practice. By the true faith or doctrine, the judgement is informed. By the experimental knowledge of the divine grace, the passions or feeling are made alive, and united to the gospel faith or principle, in love. And an orderly walk in the examples of Christ, is the fruit of faith, and experiences of God’s elect, (this is the works of faith) – this the three-fold chord of the christian union or fellowship, which is not easily broken. But let one stran of the cord be removed, and all is gone; the same as if one stran, or divine character of the triune God, was taken away, he ceases to be God.
Thus the members of Christ’s church are visible, and as this is the only way they are known, all who fail to produce these evidences of grace, let their pretentions or zeal be what it may, we have no scriptural knowledge of them, as members of Christ’s church; and it becomes our duty to let them know that they are not of us. I am aprized that there are some of those false societies that can out-love the church of God; for the church of Christ, being taught by the Divine Spirit, cannot love anything which is dishonoring to her husband, therefore cannot love anything; while others possess more charity, (as they say) and seem as if they can love anything that is in a moral form, regardless of faith or experience, and yet refuse to submit to the gospel government; and often appear like the man who pretended great love to the lady, yet fails to marry her, but seeks her virtue, and will bed with her, which often produces children, that causes the mother to blush, and the father is not willing to own – just so these so great lovers of the church of Christ refuse to submit to her doctrine or government, although they may be candid and honest people in their own mind, and respectable citizens, yet I have no doubt but that it is the emnity of the Serpent and his seed, through the medium seeking the virtue of the church, and aiming to commit fornication with her, which is too often the case, and a mungrel set of children appears speaking part of each tongue, perhaps neither of the parents are willing to own, and feed at their table. These fornicators and adulteresses hath no part in the kingdom of heaven. Remember the fate of Israel when she went a whoring after other Gods, and committed fornication with the rest of the nations on the earth. How doth Satan, by or through these daughters of the mother of harlots, court the bride of the Lamb? I think something like the man who is trying to slander the woman with all his might, yet in the face of all these facts, when he meets the woman by the way, is ready to say, Well, madam, notwithstanding I have said that you are one of the most ugly, deformed, and base creatures that have ever saw, yet I am willing to marry, or at least bed with you; and if you refuse I shall say everything bad about you that I can.
Just so the Baptist church is courted; it is often said of her, that she is most ugly, deformed, and base in her principles and practice; and some have ventured to say that her doctrines come from Hell, and is of, or from the Devil – yet will urge on her for a communion and fellowship, and when she refuses, they are ready to say that the Baptists are a hard-hearted, hide-bound, narrow-contracted, bigoted, and self conceited set of beings. Thus it appears they would be willing to commune with something like the devils, or at least with hellish doctrines. O, think, what does this mean? Is it not the emnity of Satan with his hellish policy, designed for the destruction of Christ and his church? (for destroy one and the other is gone.) Would any virtuous woman submit, by such a courtship as named? I think not. Neither w ill the church, the bride, the Lamb’s wife, while she remembers her suffering scenes under the power of the old mother and some of her daughters, when they had the power. Satan’s plan has ever been to kill and destroy when he had the power; and when that failed, then to put on the appearance of an angel of light, and lays his stratagem to seduce and lead the saints estray.
Fifty or sixty years ago, was there any application made to the Baptists, by any of these daughters of the old mother Rome, for communion? I think not. At that time the Baptists were looked down at with contempt, while at the foot of presecution was on their neck. Was not the emnity of the Serpent’s seed plainly seen and felt then? But since liberty of sconscience had been protected by our civil law, truth has had full liberty to defend her cause, Satan and his kingdom has begun to tremble. His last stratagem is to deceive, by appearing as an angel of light, and his ministers as ministers of righteousness and by his cunning art in coming as nigh the truth as his nature can admit, have drawn off a number of the precious children of God, both preachers and laity, who have taken up their abode in the synagogue of Satan, while others stand amazed in wonder at the enmity and war between the two seeds.
This is the time of danger; there is more to he dreaded from the stratagems of a cunning, flattering enemy, than the open declaration of war from a professed one. Therefore, my brethern, watch and stand fast in the Lord and the power of his might. For me to lead your minds to red dragon, the beast that rose up out of the sea, with his seven heads and ten horns, and the beast that rose out of the earth, with his two horns like a lamb, together with the image of the last beast was to raise to the first, with the power to be exercised by it, their marks and names, would swell this piece too large for my present intention. Yet they, with the wars, progress, and signs which attended them, which are all evidences in this case (the two seeds) and their enmity, which I hope will be remembered and noticed by the readers of this piece; and let all the friends of Zion desert the cause of Satan, and come to the help of the Lord against the mighty, for now is the time that help is wanting, the power of persecution, the foot is taken off our necks. Truth has full liberty – the church of Christ has now become the object of all the daughters of the old mother Rome; but few of them but what offers her a seat at her table; plans are laid to catch all they can, more joy at catching a Baptist than converting a sinner; often more rejoicing under the doctrines of God’s dear children laying in hell, than that of salvation by grace. The seducing spirit is now in the world, it is the last and cunning shift, or turn of Satan to seduce good children to whoredom and fornication, mingle and mix his doctrine and seed with the doctrine and seed of Christ. In the time of this pretended friendship is the time of great danger, for the enmity of the heart is the same as it ever was, all that is wanting is power. Guard from not only going into their tents, but keep them out of yours, for this is the same time Satan will bring all he can of his seed into the church, in order to spy out her liberties, and lead astray. Remember old Israel, they did well while they obeyed their Lord, but when they were seduced, and mingled with the other nations of the earth, they were chastized, and sometimes were captured: their God could curse them, but their enemies had not the power. So there is no danger of the church of Christ, while she keeps clear of idolatry and woredom – her enemies have no power over her, but her God will chastise her for her sin. I fear there are too many, who prefer to be Baptists, like the woman who boasts of her virtue, and refuses to lay with the man, but let him but just call himself by her husband’s name, and steal his shirt, she can lay with him very contented. Having just made these short remarks on the two seeds, there existence, individually and collectively, with some signals by which they are known, I now come to the second part proposed, which is to show the two covenants by which these two seeds are distinguished.
By these two covenants, I understand the appointment or purposes of God; and one is said to be the ministration or death, the other the ministration of life. Thus death and life are brought to view in and by these two dispensations of God. It is now necessary for us to understand what each of these covenants contain, and the objects God designed by each of them, in order to be short and plain, I shall notice each of these covenants, and their contents, by turns, as they may come before me. There was a cause why each of these covenants or appointments of God were made. The principle of works which Satan ingrafted in the woman in the garden, and her husband received at her hands, and which the whole family of Adam has from their parents received as an instinct, which is the serpentine nature, that all men bring into the world with them, founded on, and springing from pride and unbelief, attended with blindness, ignorance, and, in a word, death, to all that is spiritually good, with enmity in their hearts against God, while the elect of God is led captive by the Devil at his will, as well as opening a way by which Satan’s seed is brought into existence in the world. This principle was to turn into doing something, in order to make themselves something else, better or wiser than their God had made them - this proves that they were dissatisfied with their God, or his work. Could this principle prevail, it would dethrone the God of heaven, and Satan would prevail. The Almighty God, who had permitted all this to be done, being determined to maintain his dignity, punish iniquity, and save his elect, was pleased (that as Satan had introduced the principle of works) to separate a people to his praise, and hand down his divine law, the perfect standard of works, by which sin might appear, his elect (by the divine spirit) brought to a knowledge of themselves as sinners, by the perfection of God, shining through his divine law, and by his spirit converting them from works to grace, and from the love of sin to the love of holiness, as well as to display the divine perfections of truth and justice, in the punishment of sin in Satan in his seed.
This law contained three grand points. 1st. The ten commandments, or moral law: this is that infinite law that shows the power and perfection of God its author, and takes notice of the thoughts of the hearts of men; he that fails in one point is guilty of the whole. This is God’s eternal rule of right, the same in substance as given to Adam in the garden. I would ask those who think this a separate law from that given to Adam, which of the two laws Christ redeemed us from? The law when handed to Adam, and also to Israel, was completely an expression of God’s divine perfection and sovereignty. The second part was the national law, for the good government and well-being of the people he had chose, which still shows his sovereign right to govern. The third part, was the ceremonial law, this is contained in carnal ordinances, figurative of Christ’s church and gospel. This is what Saint Paul alludes to when he tells us, “The law having a shadow of good things to come.” Now the law itself is not a shadow, but a substance. But the ceremonial was what the law had, as a shadow, which was that part which, containing carnal things, (and not spiritual sacrifice) was only a figure of heavenly things, and therefore could not make the comers thereunto perfect, (but the bringing in of a better covenant did) while both the national and ceremonial law was completely under the direction of the moral law, for the trangression of either of these was a violation of the moral law. Now watch, you that are called Pedobaptists, for I may touch your foundation or corner stone, for it was not the covenant of grace that God made with Abraham in the 17th chapter of Genesis, to which circumcism was annexed, as a seal, for Abraham was not a covantee, nor the appointment of God, for men’s eternal salvation, he could not save himself. St. Paul, speaking of the covenant of grace, tells us that this covenant, confirmed before, of God in Christ, the law which was four hundred and thirty years after, could not disannul, so that it should make the promise of none effect.
Thus it appears that the covenant of grace was confirmed before, of God, in Christ, and promised to Abraham four hundred and thirty years before the law was handed down. This promise was made in the 12th chapter of Genesis, something like twenty four years before circumcism. The difference or distinction between the two covenants when first handed to Abraham, was this – the covenant of grace contained in Abraham’s seed a blessing to all the families or nations of the earth, while the covenant of works contained a legacy to Abraham’s natural offspring. There is a difference between my seed being a legacy or a blessing to a people, and that of a legacy or blessing being given to my children. This is the case now, for in Abraham or his seed (which was Christ spoken of,) the world was to be blessed, while on the other hand the land of Canaan, a temporal inheritance, was promised to Abraham’s natural children, which was contained in the covenant of works made with Abraham and his seed, to which circumcism was annexed, in order to distinguish the legal heirs of the inheritance from all others.
It now devolves on me to prove that this covenant, which God made with Abraham and his seed, to which circumcism belonged, was the covenant of works. This will be done when I prove that circumcism belonged to the law, for the law was that covenant, notwithstanding this covenant was made with Abraham something like four hundred and four years before the law was handed down, yet it should be remembered that the law was given before Abraham’s seed got possession of the inheritance which God had promised Abraham in that covenant; and God told Abraham that his seed should adjourn four hundred years in a strange land, and after that he would bring them out with a strong arm.
Thus when the Lord had brought his people out of bondage, and was bringing them to possess the land which he had promised Abraham in the covenant that he had made with him, he handed down his law to them for their guide, which had a shadow of good things to come. This is the covenant that St. Paul speaks of as being made with our fathers when God took them by the hand and brought them out of the land of Egypt. For the covenant God made with Abraham was renewed with Isaac and Jacob; and Jacob was the church or nation of Israel – for God said he had found Jacob in a waste, howling wilderness, &c. And the prophet Amos cries (in an address to the Lord) “By whom shall Jacob arise, for he is small.” Thus we see the propriety, and certainty of the covenant that conducted Israel through the wilderness, and which they were governed by while in the land of Canaan, being the same that God made with Abraham, and renewed with Isaac and Jacob; and this covenant had waxed old and was ready to perish something like eighteen hundred years ago; and it certainly ought to be worn out by this time, but still it is still tried to be kept alive by the daughters of the old mother Rome.
When I prove that circumcision belonged to the law of Moses, then my point is complete; because God gave the covenant of circumcism to Abraham, which secured his seed, heirs of the inheritance promised in the covenant; and if we find circumcision belonging to the covenant (when renewed with Jacob) which is called the law of Moses, because it was handed through him, then the thing is plain. Christ’s own words are plain to the point. When he was accused of Sabbath breaking, in way of his defence he brought their own conduct to view, John 7th chapter, and 23rd verse, “if a man, on the Sabbath day, receives circumcism, that the law of Moses should not be broken, are ye angry with me because I have made a man every whit whole on the Sabbath day;” and Paul to the Galatians, 5th ch. 2d and 3d verses, “I, Paul, say unto you, that if ye be circumcised, Christ shall profit you nothing, for I testify again to every man that is circumcised, that he is a debtor to the whole law.” If circumcision belonged to the covenant of grace, why did St. Paul speak so hard against it? I think this sufficient, without producing any more testimony, as by the mount of two or three witnesses is to be established.
Now if I have proven, that it was the covenant of works that God made with Abraham, and that circumcision did belong to the covenant when renewed with Jacob, or Israel, then I have taken away the chief corner-stone of infant baptism – and I think before I am done I shall take away the whole of its foundation.
The next thing to consider is, what was included in the covenant of works, to whom it belonged, and what we are to learn from these things, when compared with the covenant of grace, the heirs and substance contained therein. The covenant of works contained the land of Canaan as the inheritance. The law, or covenant of works, attended with circumcision, which was the mainspring of the covenant, and the proper signal, with a legal birthright, to manifest the heirs. The heirs of the inheritance was the woman’s seed, or the elect of God; and God’s purpose seems to be, to distinguish his elect from the serpent’s seed, and manifest to his people, by types and shadows, a better covenant, and a more glorious inheritance, as well as to prepare them to possess it, (and it, them.) The divine nature of the law (when attended by the spirit to the quickened soul) shows them the wickedness of the principle of works, which Satan had ingrafted in them. How far they fell short in living up to its divine requisitions, and the great need they are in for a better covenant, the national nature of law, show them the perfect duty they owe one another, and their obligation to their God for to obey him, by which their lack of performance appear, and conviction is brought to the enlightened soul, and shows them the need of divine aid. These two points of the divine law are yet in force, by which, through the work of the divine spirit, sinners are still brought to see their need of a Saviour. The ceremonial nature or part of the law, showed them, by types and shadows, through the whole Levitical priesthood, a way of redeemption, from the curse of the divine nature of the law, by the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. This is the part which is abolished, because the great antitype is come. All these things goes to show the covenant of grace, and benefits contained therein. Abraham seems to be God’s first selection, for to show these two covenants; and he has two sons, one by a bond-maid the other by a free woman. This, St. Paul tells us is “and allegory, for there are two covenants, the one from the Mount Sinai, which gendereth to bondage, which is Hagar.” Notice this passage well, for Hagar’s son was born after the flesh, and Sarah’s son was born after the promise, or spirit.
Remember how often the scripture speaks of the flesh and its consequences. Here we may understand what is meant – for here we have a clear distinction between the serpent’s seed, the non-elect, and the woman’s seed, the elect, as well as the covenants by which they are distinguished. Paul is so pointed that he saith that this Hagar is Mount Sinai, and which gendereth to bondage. Now we see that the principle, and wicked nature which the serpent distilled into Adam and Eve in the garden, and has run through all their race; and which law, from Mount Sinai, is the pointed expression of, It shows the perfect standard of works genders to bondage; which shows a breed, a race, a beguiling production, &c. Not only of a principle or nature in people, but a separate race, which doth flow from that source of corruption which the divine law or covenant from Mount Sinai binds, or shows their bondage, for Hagar was the mother of a large nation of existing people; and the word is, that her son shall not be the heir with the son of the free woman, while “he that was born after the flesh, persecuted him that was born after the spirit, even so it is now.
The enmity appears plain here between the two seeds. Abraham is the father of both these children. How shall we reconcile this with the present doctrine. We must now remember that he was the instrument of the two seeds too. I now view Abraham a figure of God in this case; from him flows a blessing to the world, while with him the covenant, or ministration of death is made, which shows life flowing from God, and death the wages of sin. The display of truth and justice upon the wicked, the complete covenant with, or in the divine properties of death. Again, Abraham had these two sons by these two woman, the one by a bond-maid, and the other by a free woman (his married wife). This bond-woman shows the production of the serpent’s seed, which was always in bondage (in their father the Devil) under the divine perfections of God, which was displayed in the covenant from Mount Sinai. Now remark that the married wife, Sarah, gave her bondmaid to her husband, and that from a wicked motive, that was, to bring about the birth of an heir, before the time God had intended. She was too inpatient to wait the Lord’s time – yet this did not prevent the Lord’s purposes; and she was no doubt sorry for it afterwards, when Ishmael was persecuting Isaac. This shows Eve in the garden; the serpent and his seed was completely her servant, while she obeyed her God; but when she partook of that wicked nature, she was dissatisfied with her situation. She gave her hand-maid (that is the power of darkness) to the Lord, her husband, and thus from the power of darkness (not the married wife) springs the Ishmaelites, the enemy of the church, the married wife. Which no doubt the church has felt many a painful hour under persecutions on that account since; but notwithstanding all this, the purposes of God is not frustrated.
Thus I view Eve the figure of the church, the Jerusalem which is above, the mother of the children of promise – she the married wife, and in her the elect seed – How is God the father of the non-elect, or serpent’s seed, if they are not created in Adam? Was Ishmael the seed or product of the married wife? You have to say no –neither was the non-elect, or serpent’s seed, ever created in, nor sprung from Eve, in her happy state of creation, as the married wife of God in the covenant of redemption in Christ the head of the elect.
Now we begin to see how God was the father of them: they flowed from his curse, not only on the serpent, but also on the married wife, (Ishmael was a curse to Sarah.) Thus we see they were not created in Adam, in his first formation, but sprang from the fountain of corruption, as manifested by these two covenants. Abraham could pray to the Lord that Ishmael might live before him, and the Lord could tell him that he heard him on his behalf, and had blessed him, and would make him fruitful, &c. Thus God blesses the serpent’s seed with the good things of this life, and the strength to multiply. And the tares are not rooted up, but suffered to grow with the children of God in this world, as to worldly goods. All of Abraham’s children were not heirs, although they were admitted to the benefits of the covenants made with Abraham, so far as to be circumcised; Neither are all that God has permitted to be born in the world, heirs of the covenant of grace, although permitted to live upon the temporal blessing secured by it. It was not only Ishmael, and those that Abraham had by his last wife, that were not heirs, but there were some bought with his money, which had children born in his house, (although circumcised) were not heirs. This is what St. Paul means when he tells the Romans, that they are not all Israel which are of Israel, “neither because they are the seed of Abraham are they all children, but in Isaac shall thy seed be called.” “That is, they which are the children of the, flesh, these are not the children of God, but the children of the promise are counted for the seed.”
Thus Paul is plain – the children or serpent’s seed, were not the children of God, but the children of the promise. Now we come to the point, “In Isaac shall thy seed be called.” None but Isaac’s seed should inherit the promise, and not all of them; for Esau was Isaac’s son, and he was not an heir. Isaac was a figure of Christ; his natural seed was the elect heirs of the temporal inheritance: so Christ’s spiritual seed were the elect heirs of the spiritual inheritance. But what shall we say of Esau – is he the serpent’s seed, and sprung from the figure of Christ? How can this be? The serpent’s seed, or non-elect, although they are not created in Adam, not yet given to Christ in the covenant of redemption, yet they, as the tares, are suffered to grow in the world with the good seed – (the saints are the salt of the earth) – and although their natural existence sprang from the power of darkness, by a curse, and permission, yet the support of their temporal existence flows to them through Christ – and thus he is the Saviour of all men, but especially of them that believe. Thus we see how Esau sprang from Isaac, and the same womb that Jacob did: for from the same womb of God’s providence, springs the elect and the non-elect, through the forbearance of God, in or by the sacrifice of Christ, (for take the atonement away, and the world is gone instantly) and yet God can love Jacob and hate Esau. Thus the covenant of promise, which included the land of Canaan, with a long line of figures representing Christ and his kingdom, was made with Abraham, renewed with Isaac, the figure of Christ, and then with Jacob, the figure of the church. As this covenant, and what it contains, is the figure of the covenant of grace, and what is contained in it, Isaac, in this covenant, is the figure of Christ, and his natural seed the figure of Christ’s spiritual seed. Now, from Isaac springs Jacob, the figure of the church, and from Jacob springs the twelve Patriarchs, from whom sprang the twelve tribes of the national Israel, which was the figure of the twelve Apostles, from whom sprang the twelve tribes of the spiritual Israel. Jacob had these twelve sons by four different women, by each a part of the number. This shows that from the four quarters of the earth shall spring a part of God’s elect, and that Christ has a people amongst all tongues and nations of the earth; and for fine sake of God’s elect, all nations are preserved. Jacob married but two of these women, the other two were their hand-maids, one to each of the women. This shows the two covenants, and each of them a hand-maid, which is, the national law was a hand-maid to the covenant of works, to show the obligation we are under to God and one another, as well as show the sinner how far he falls short of perfection. The ceremonial law was a hand-maid to the covenant of grace, to show, by types and figures, the way of life and salvation through Christ. Jacob married each of these women, one through necessity, the other of choice, through love; so Christ married both the covenant of works and grace. The covenant of works he married through necessity; he had to be circumcised to become a debtor to do the whole law. Thus he was a minister of the circumcision, for the truth of God, to confirm the promises made to our fathers. He married the covenant of grace of choice, through love to his bride, which was included in this covenant. And now by the marriage of these two covenants, both the hand-maids are preserved and bring forth. Leah and her hand-maid had more sons than Rachel and hers – so there are more convictions than conversions – the law convicts more than the gospel converts.
Jacob served seven years apiece for each of his wives, yet he served the whole for Rachel: so all the services of Christ to satisfy the law, as well as the engagements of grace, was for his beloved bride in the covenant of grace. Leah was the oldest, therefore the first to be married; so the justice of the divine law had the first claim on the church, therefore first to be satisfied. Leah was tender-eyed, and always trying to buy her husband’s good will, but Rachel could see clear, and never tried to buy the love of her husband, for she knew that he did love her, yet we have no knowledge but that Rachel was as obedient wife as Leah. Thus it appears that the Arminians, with their covenant of works, are tender-eyed, nigh-sighted, and always trying to buy God’s love by their works, while the true church, the beloved wife, never tries to make her husband love her, because she has knowledge that he does love her, and yet she is as obedient a wife as the Arminian in the covenant of works. So one obeys from fear or jealousy, and the other from love and pleasure. Esau took the daughter of Ishmael to wife, while Jacob took a daughter of his mother’s brother to wife, who was the daughter of Abraham’s brother. Thus we view Leah the figure of the covenant of works, with the Arminians in it; while we view Rachael, a figure of the covenant of grace, church of God in it.
And the two covenants, which contain the two seeds, are plainly set forth by these marriages, while the distinction or emnity between the two seeds are brought to view. Jacob begat the twelve Patriarchs, which I have said was a figure of the twelve Apostles; but to stop the mouth of the wicked critic – for as Judas fell they may suppose that I have lost one of my antitypes – but stop and I will bring you again to Rachel. Notwithstanding she was the beloved wife, the figure of the covenant of grace, with the church in it, she acted the part of Sarah, the beloved wife of Abraham, and with about the same motive had given her hand-maid to her husband, and she brought forth Dan, her first-born, who was to be a serpent by the way, an adder in the path, &c. Thus Den, proceeding from a bond-woman, who, from a dissatisfied mind in her mistress, (with the providence of God) she had give to her husband; which is a plain figure of Judas, who was the son of perdiction. As Dan was numbered with the twelve Patriarchs, so Judas was numbered with the twelve Apostles. As the tribe of Dan was lost and no account of it, in the sealing of the hundred and forty four thousand, (twelve thousand of each tribe) so Judas was lost from the twelve tribes of the spiritual tribes of Israel. As there was a substitute found (one of Joseph’s sons) to fill the vacancy and keep up the number, so there was a substitute found to fill up to vacancy occasioned by the fall of Judas. This fall of Judas was not from saving grace, but from the part of the ministry and apostleship. The object of his fall was that he might go to his own place, for he was not fit for the place he was in, because he is said to be a devil, and the son of perdiction. This product of Rachel may be answered in the same manner as that of Sarah’s: while we see the type and antitype completely fits, and God’s arrangements are all complete, whether we understand them or not. The complete number of the tribes of Israel, both temporal and spiritual, are kept up.
Now we find the twelve Patriarchs the complete figure of the twelve Apostles. The twelve tribes of Israel composed the nation of Israel, and were the only heirs of the inheritance promised to Abraham in the covenant made with him, and to whom the carnal ordinances belonged. And when Aaron entered into the holies of holies once a year, to offer a sacrifice for his own sins and the sins of Israel, he took the names of these twelve tribes engraved on his shoulder plates, he offered sacrifice for their sins, and none others – so the twelve Apostles completely composes the twelve tribes of spiritual Israel, who are the only heirs of the gospel inheritance; and when Christ, their sacrifice, entered the holy gates of heaven for them, he had their names engraved on the shoulder plates of his priestly robe, on his arm, and on his breastplate and thigh; and none others.
When the priests offered, as God had commanded the first ripe grain of the harvest or the first of the firstlings of the flock, the offering was accepted, it secures all the rest of the harvest, or flock. No danger after that of the flock or harvest, the priests never went empty-handed to the altar. So Christ did not ascend his father’s throne or holy carts of heaven for us, empty-handed, but took with him the first ripe grane of the harvest and the first of the firstlings of the flocks; which have no doubt was those that rose at his ressurection, which I believe was the hundred and forty-four thousand which was sealed of the twelve tribes of Israel – twelve thousand from each tribe –by their number, shows the twelve Apostles, the twelve foundations of the new Jerusalem, and the twelve gates; these were the first ripe fruits of him that slept.
No wonder I believe this, when John the divine saw them, and cries out and said, “and I looked, and lo, a Lamb stood on the Mount Zion, and with him a hundred and forty and four thousand, having his father’s name written in their forehead.” Thus John saith that he saw them, and I believe it. Now if this offering was received, it secured all the rest of the Lord’s harvest, or flock; no falling from grace, if this is done. When Aaron entered the holies of holies, if the sacrifice was rejected, Aaron died, and the sins of the people remained – in fact all was gone. Now the golden bells on the hen of Aaron’s garment, was of use; for when Israel, who was so deeply interested in the matter, could hear the golden bells, they knew that Aaron was alive, and of course their sins remitted. So when Christ entered into heaven, the holiest of holies, if his offering was rejected, he himself must die, as well as his church; for they were so united they must live or die together.
Thus his disciples waited at Jerusalem for the sound of the golden bells. At the day of Pentecost they heard the sound, the Holy Ghost came as a rushing mighty wind, brought the glorious news from Heavan that Jesus was alive, which proved the offering was accepted, and their sins remitted. Thus the gospel trumpet, or golden bells, have been ringing ever since; and while the tempted lambs of Christ can hear the gospel trumpet blow, they may know that Jesus is alive, and because he lives they shall live also – for the harvest and flock are all secured. Thus we find that as the natural seed of Isaac, by Jacob, the twelve tribes of the national Israel, were the only legal heirs of the inheritance included in the first covenant, so the spiritual seed of Christ, by the gospel church, the twelve Apostles, are the only proper heirs of the second covenant, and benefits included therein.
When the national Israel crossed Jordan, a man, (agreeable to the Lord’s direction) out of each tribe of Israel, took a stone from the feet of the priest, and carried it to their lodging place, for a memorial of the Lord’s work in bringing Israel over Jordan, while they left a pillar of twelve stones in the river Jordan. Thus their children were, from the evidences of these stones, to be informed of the miracle performed by the Ark of the Lord, in dividing Jordan, which had to be crossed before they could possess the promised inheritance.
Which shows the justice of the divine law, with its depth and death against the sinner, which lays between the sinner and the gospel inheritance, the Ark of the Lord, which contained the law on tablets of stone. The covenant which the nation of Israel was under, shows us Christ, the Ark of safety, which contains the covenant of grace, which the spiritual Israel is under. The priest standing in the middle of Jordan with the Ark, until all Israel had passed over, shows us the Christ the great High Priest, standing in the middle or center of the justice of the divine law, in the depth of its divine perfections and requisitions, suffering the death which it demanded of his elect bride: and there he stands, and will stand, a glorious High Priest, until all the spiritual Israel passes over to possess the gospel inheritance. The twelve stones taken from the center of the Jordan, exactly from the feet of the priest, snows us the doctrines of the twelve Apostles, taken exactly from the feet of the priestly office, in the center of the Jordan, exactly where Christ meets the justice of the divine law, contained in the covenant of works, whith all the shadows which it hath, and brings life and immortality to light through the gospel. The pillar of
twelve stones set up in the river Jordan, shows the firmness and perfection of the divine law which was given to the twelve tribes of Israel; which each was bound to observe, with all the shadows thereunto belonging – which all lay buried at the bottom of the stream, never to rise against the proper heirs of the gospel, or covenant of grace.
In Jordan Christ was baptised, which shows a complete surrender to death, and an evidence of the resurrection from the dead, as well as leaving an example for his children to follow to show their faith, love, and obedience in, and to, him. The beloved Redeemer marches out of Jordan on the heavenly Canaan side, “preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, and saying, the time is fulfilled, the kingdom of God is at hand, repent ye, and believe the gospel.” Thus Christ appears the king of Zion, claims his right, establishes his kingdom, lays his twelve foundations, (which is the twelve Apostles) himself the chief cornerstone on which he build his church, “abolishes, in his flesh, the enmity, even the law of commandments, contained in ordinances, for to make in himself, of twain, one new man, so making peace:” brek down the middle wall of partition that was between the Jews and Gentiles, and extends the gospel to the Gentile world; gives his disciples the promise of the Holy Ghost, and tells them, that when it is come unon them, they should receive power to be witnesses unto him, in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and to the utmost parts of the earth.
Thus we see some of the benefits of the covenant of grace. Christ told his twelve Apostles, that they had not chosen them, but he had chosen them, and that he had ordained them, that they should go and bring forth fruit, and their fruit should remain. I now view all the saints, from then till now, the fruit of the Apostles, the same as all the national Israel was the fruit of the twelve Patriarchs. And if I am right, the saints will not fall from grace, for God has ordained that the fruit of the Apostles shall remain.
As I have denied circumcism belonging to the covenant of grace, it becomes my duty to say something about it. I am apprized that some have supposed that baptism has come in the room of circumcism. I think not. For if so then Baptism is a substance, and essential to eternal salvation: for no shadow can be raised without a substance – neither is any shadow as weighty as the substance which causes the shadow. Now which is most precious, blood or water? Circumcism was sealed with blood – a painful thing; baptism with water – no pain in it. Thus you may see this won’t do. But should you say that baptism is a shadow, then you fall; for one shadow cannot produce another shadow – and it is evident that circumcism was a shadow – another part of infant baptism is taken away. It is said by some that circuncism was the door into the Jewish church, and the seal of the covenant of grace. Think, if this should be the fact, how did females become members of that church? This you can’t tell. And what right have you to baptise a female child, if baptism had come in the room of circumcism? This will puzzle you. And what is worse than all, if circumcision be a seal of the covenant of grace, I defy any man to show on just grounds, by which a woman can hope for salvation, or any of the benefits included in that covenant – for they are without the seal, and therefore without hope. I think you had better quit this ground, and give up infant baptism, for this is your main foundation; and I would as soon believe that a woman had no soul, or that women were all eternally lost.
I will try to show you a better way, and it you refuse it, and sin against better light, your sin be upon your own heads; for I shall be clear on that ground. I will again bring to view, that Israel’s natural seed, which grew into a nation from the twelve sons of Jacob, was a figure of Christ’s spiritual seed, which grew into a holy nation, through or from the twelve Apostles. The covenant of works, which they were under, with the inheritance included in it, which was the land of Canaan, with the benefits therein, shows us (the figurative part) the covenant of grace, which Christ’s seed are under, with the inheritance included therein, which is the gospel church, with the benefits therein.
Isaac’s natural seed being the only heirs of the inheritance of Jacob, shows us that Christ’s spiritual seed is the only heirs of the gospel church. The natural birth of Isaac’s seed – thus the natural kingdom shows the spiritual kingdom. Perhaps you will agree with me in these points: if you do, I will ask you one more question on circumcision. Would you think it reasonable to have circumcised Abraham’s or Isaac’s natural before they were born? If you say no, then why will you baptise Christ’s spiritual seed before they are born of the spirit?
I will now tell you about circumcision. It is not the door into the Jewish church; for Isaac’s seed were born heirs, and circumcision sealed them the legal heirs of their birthright, and bound them to obey the covenant that secured it to them. If they refused circumcision, they were cut off from their birthright. Numbers were circumcized that were not heirs – therefore it could not be the door. But it required both, the birthright and circumcision, to secure the inheritance to them. Now, the circumcision of the flesh under the law, shows the circumcision of the heart under the gospel.
Here we find an antitype, a substance that is worthy of circumcision, in the great type in the national church. For every child of grace will agree that the experimental knowledge of divine grace, is a substance, worthy of a shadow; thus Christ’s seed, by birth of the spirit, are born heirs of the gospel church, or inheritance, and the sealing of the holy spirit of promise, seals them heirs of their birthright; “and having this seal, the Lord knoweth them that are his.” Here I must observe that it takes two things to make a saint; it is one thing for me to be accepted by a company, and another thing for that company to be accepted by me; our children are born heirs of our inheritance, yet they are born naked, and therefore, not well accepted in the family, without being clothed; the child, by the nature of birth, loves the father’s family, and is reconciled with them – the parents clothing the child, reconciles the family to it – so they are happy together in the family. So the saint, by the birth of the spirit, receives a sense of divine love, which makes heaven a heaven to him.
Here we see the need of Christ to be our righteousness, heavenly robe, the father has procured for his children: this makes them appear beautiful and accepted in heaven. This, the sealing of the spirit, the circumcision of the heart, is the real point on the covenant of grace to the saint. These two things secures the inheritance to the heirs of the covenant of grace. Yet the birth end the sealing of the heirs of the gospel church are both of the divine spirit, and take place at the same time, and may be considered the sealing of the heirs of grace, the circumcision of the heart, as both belonging to the experimental part of divine grace.
Now as the circumcision of the flesh, made with hands, belonged to the law of works, and bound the seed of Isaac to observe all its precepts, so the circumcision of the hart, made by the spirit if God, belongs to the law of faith, and binds the seed of Christ to observe all the precepts Christ has laid down for them. Thus we find that circumcision of the heart, made by the spirit of the living God, sealing the heirs of the imortal glory to their heavenly inheritance, has come in the room of circumcision made with hands, which sealed the heirs of the land of Canaan to their earthly inheritance. And St. Paul is plain to this point, Romans 2d chapter and verses 28 and 29, “for he is not a Jew which is one outwardly, neither is that circumcision which is outwardly in the flesh.” “But he is a Jew which is one inwardly, and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, not in the letter, whose praise is not of men, but of God,” And again, when speaking to the Colossian church, and letting them know how that they were complete in Christ, “In whose name also (he saith) ye are circumcized with the circumcision made without hands in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ.” Many other passages of divine truth might be brought to view, but this is sufficient for the lovers of the truth; and the enemy of the truth will not believe, though one should rise from the dead, and bear testimony with the word of God.
We now find that the covenant of works contained in its own inheritance, heirs, and ordinances; which all go to show the covenant of grace, which contains the inheritance, heirs, and ordinances belonging to it. And the covenant of works, meeting its divine claims, for the believer in Christ, as well as the antitypes of all its figures, going to show Christ and his kingdom; and as the heirs of the inheritance under the law covenant had to be born into a natural existence before they could inherit the things contained therein, so the heirs of the inheritance under the gospel have to be born into a spiritual existence before they can inherit the things contained in the gospel covenant. Thus we find Christ a spiritual king, and the kingdom he has set up in the world a spiritual one, which has ever stood a witness for truth, and bore testimony against the errors of the Pope of Rome and her daughters.
The time is come that God is to be worshiped in spirit and in truth. Christ, the king of Zion, has set up his kingdom, (the gospel church) and his law – not the law of works, but the law of faith, which works by love – for not only the good government of his church, but to distinguish her from all the daughters of the mother of harlots; while she remains the light of the world, and the salt of the earth. If we have eyes, we can now see that no one has a right to the church of Christ and her ordinances, but the true believers in Christ who produce the evidences of their faith. Now remember the trinity I have shown in the christian fellowship. Baptism is an ordinance in the church, not out of it – belongs to the believers and not unbelievers – belongs to the law of faith, but not to the law of works. There is a trinity in the christian baptism, first, a gospel subject is required, which is a true believer in Christ, (he himself, not his father or mother is). 2d. A gospel mode which is to bury the body all over under the water; that as Christ was baptised in Jordan to show his complete surrender to the death the justice of the divine law required of him as the head and husband of his church, with his resurrection and complete triumph over death, and the grave. And he, as the covenant head of his elect, in the covenant of grace, to whom the promise was made, and for whose sake the law was added, because of trangression, til the seed should come to all his enemies, and taken possession of his inheritance, his church, and now reigns her king, not only to govern, but to defend her from all her enemies – so should every believer in Christ be buried with him, by baptism into death; that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of his Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life, knowing that those who are baptised into Jesus Christ are baptised into his death. By this act, the believer shows his faith in the virtue and actual death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, with its merits, righteousness, and life of his elect in him, as well as his own death in Christ, to the powers of the divine law, and his own resurrection to the life of God in Christ, and therefore to walk in the footsteps of Christ, or this new life, he has in Christ, to the glory of God, showing by his walk that the victory on the part of Christ, is won, together with the death, burial, and resurrection of his own body, by the resurrection of Christ. A gospel administrator is required, which is one who has received the legal authority to administer the ordinances of the gospel, and that from the proper authority, which is the church of Christ; for although the word and spirit of God calls and qualifies the preacher for the work of the ministry, yet Christ has given his word and spirit the keys of the kingdom, to his church, with proper authority to attend to, regulate, and enforce the law on, and with, the subjects of the kingdom, as to the extent of his government; and thus the preacher must have the legal authority of the church, as well as a call of God to the work.
And thus the love and union between Christ and his church appears; for the external regulations and order of the law of Christ, which has to be attended to and executed by the church, under the direction of the word of Christ, their king, which he has given to the church, as the keys of the kingdom, by which word the church knows her husband’s will, what characters to bind or to loose. And this power was given to none but the church, and the married wife who is the body of Christ, and only fit character (with himself, which is the head of the body) to hold any power in the gospel government. And this is what constitutes the whore of Rome the mother of harlots and her daughters, the body of anti-Christ, and the reason why they are anti-christians, because they have refused to submit to the authority of Christ in his church, and have set themselves up in separate bodies, claiming the name, word, and authority which Christ gave to his church, the married wire. And this is the reason why the church of Christ should claim the right of government, in the ordinances of the gospel, so sacred. That she should not give any credit to the works of the daughters of the old mother Rome, for Christ, her husband, has give the right to her, and bid her to take heed that she be not deceived, for many shall cry, lo, here, and lo, there; but follow ye not after them. Which shows that anti-christ is the enemy if her husband, and while he is claiming the sacred rights, titles, and names, that he is aiming to steal from, or rob her Lord of these sacred things, which belongs to him, and he has given to his church only.
Thus we see that the church of Christ is the tabernacle of the Lord: while the church of Rome and her daughters are the tabernacle of Satan. Perhaps some may say this is too hard a sentence; but what else can I say, when I have to come to the point. While I view the church of Christ in the world, to be but one body, and not joined to an harlot, and remember that the mother of harlots claims the gospel name and ordinances, yet I have no doubt but that there are numbers of precious God-fearing men in other societies, who will praise God in heaven, but I think they are deceived by the anti-christian delusion, and it is high time for them to come out of her (the mother of harlots.)
Believing that the Lord will bring his elect from under the power of delusion, is one reason why I have offered this short sketch of my views on this important subject, hoping that the blessing of God may attend it. Much might be said on this subject, but I need not apologise for not saying more, unless I could have better grounds, than I have, to believe what I have said would be received by even professed Predestinarians; for I am aprized this will try their iron sides, but if it be the truth it will stand the test. The points of scripture that I have brought to view mean something, and if they do not mean what I say, I hope my opponent will let the public know what they do mean. In the first place I have brought to view the elect and non-elect, the seed of the woman and the seed of the serpent, and shown their natural existence in the world. In the next place, the two covenants by which they are distinguished, and, by the converting grace of God, his elect are known. The nation of Israel was God’s elect people, as a temporal nation; he chose them in Isaac, for there the seed was called, as well as in Abraham: thus the natural existence of the woman’s seed appears. The spiritual Israel was God’s elect as a holy nation, chosen in Christ, who is their spiritual life. Had God a right of choice? If he had, why do we complain? What harm has God’s choice done? Has it hindered one soul from coming to God, or obtaining salvation through Christ? For he will not cast out any that comes. Then, instead of complaining, come on; God hath not said that you shall not come, but if you come aright, you are to obtain mercy. Then God has done nobody any harm, by electing his people in Christ. But what good has election done? It has saved thousands; and in fact all that will ever praise God in heaven, will praise electing grace. Then who complains of election? Is this complaint the language of saints. No, but of the serpent and his seed. For why? Because the sovereignty of God defeats all the plans of Satan; while the object of Satan is to destroy the kingdom of God – the enmity of the heart, which appears in his seed, requires it. Is there any difference in the enmity of the hearts of the elect and the non-elect, while the elect are in the state of nature? I think not. For by nature the elect are children of wrath, even as others; Satan has got full possession of their hearts – they are dead in trespasses and sins. This argues the necessity of the quickening power of divine grace, under the direction of the sovereignty of God. If there be an elected, there must of course be an elector. And the question is, did the sinner elect or chose God, and by his obedience, influence him to have mercy on him? Or has God elected or chose the sinner in Christ, and by his spirit bring him to Christ for salvation? The christian has no difficulty in answering this question. Then we will conclude, God’s love to his people is the cause of their love to him; and that he is the influencer, and they are the influenced – thus God is glorified, and they are happier. God will save his people from their sins, and not in their sins. This is the reason the gospel should be preached. Notwithstanding the election of grace, God has appointed his own means to bring his elect home; and the saints of God should each one consider the duty they owe to God, who stand in their lot, for the works of faith is required of them; and each one has something to do, for all are of use, as members of the body of Christ, filling their place in the body. And notwithstanding the doctrine of the election is true, it is the duty of christians to exeet themselves to show sinners their need of Christ, as though it was in their power to do it – while they should engage at a throne of grace, that God may bless their labors, fir God works through and by his people; and all that christians can do is obey. And Christ, in his passion of love and grace, touched with sympathy, could weep over Jerusalem; and saints, under the influence of the same spirit, can and should weep over sinners. And the preachers of the gospel should realise that it is their business to preach Christ; the Saviour of sinners, and urge the necessity of repentance toward God and faith in Christ; while they should remember that it is the Lord’s work to bring sinners to the knowledge of the truth, therefore teach the church of God to pray the Lord for the outpourings of his spirit, and ingatherings of his people. And each saint,, though ever so small, should know that there is something for them to do in the church of Christ; if they cannot preach they can pray – for the preacher is wholly dependent on the Lord for the success of his labor: and though the child can do but little in the field, it is no reason that he should do nothing. The human family is dependent on one another – for from the hunter in the wild forest, to the mariner on the ocean, as well as from the beggar on the dunghill, to the king upon his throne, are all of use to each other, while all are dependent on the farmer: so there is not a saint, from the smallest to the greatest, but are of use to the church; and yet all dependent on the grace of God in Christ. Then no wonder that I, with others, feel to invite all the saints of God to the fold of Christ.
And notwithstanding I have said things in this piece, that some may think to be very hard against other societies, yet I have wish the public to know that I have no doubt but there are a number of precious truths preached by other societies besides the Baptists. When they tell the sinner the necessity of repentance, or conversion, faith in Christ, &c. these are solemn truths, with the necessity of an orderly life; these things – are not what I oppose – but setting up of separate societies from the church of God, their Arminian stuff or works of the law, such as placing their exertion in the place of the Divine Spirit, or aiming thereby to influence God; admitting members into their body who cannot give a reason to their hope in Christ; their infant baptism and sprinkling instead of baptism; criticising on divine truth instead of obeying it; denying scriptural and experimental doctrines, and supporting error in lieu thereof; refusing the government or discipline of the church or Christ, seeking their hurt instead of her prosperity, &c. which are all marks of the beast. All the gospel truths held in other socities, are held in the true church, then why should the saints of God refuce to come to her, where they can enjoy, not only these truths, but all others, as well as get rid of their Popish errors. I have no doubt but they have imposters amongst the Baptists; but if there are they have crept in, they have not come in with the door wide open.
We now see, that by the two covenants, the two seeds are distinguished, in the providence of God; and be my views corrector not, as to the source from whence the natural existence of the non-elect sprang, it is evident that the distinction was plain through the prophetic dispensation, between the elect and the non-elect, in a national or natural point of view. God did choose some, then, to inherit the promise, and left others: and we have no right to ask him the reason why. Then if God has done this in natural things, in the covenant of works, it certainly shows us spiritual things in the covenant of grace. And now in the display of the gospel, in the covenant of grace, the distinction is more wonderful, because it is made by the work of the Divine Spirit. In calling God’s elect, note one thing, that is, the gospel never offers grace to any man, if so, it would be the nature of the law covenant, conditional on the creature’s part; and if the gospel be conditional on the part of the creature, it is founded on law principles, and ceases to be the gospel of Christ. But it is grace that offers the gospel to the world of mankind. The gospel is Christ, the way of life and salvation to all that want it. The Jews refused him, and so will every one that do not see and feel the need of him.
Thus the covenant of grace contained Christ. – And if this had been all, we should have yet been all lost, because we were blind and could not have seen any beauty in him, neither would we have had any right to the benefit included in him, had he been all, and him separate and distinct from his people, before they believed on him but as this was not the case, we find his people was in him in the covenant, as his seed, which we should see when the Father made his soul an offering for sin. As Christ’s kingdom was a spiritual one, he was not all that belonged to the covenant, for the work of the Holy ghost is wanting, as well as the angels, with all the heavenly hosts, &c. This all belonged to the covenant of grace; it is now a better covenant than the other, because it contained better things, and could make the comers thereunto perfect. Thus it is the work of the Divine Spirit which shows the sinner his need of Christ. Thus the saint knows that it was grace that showed him the need of a Saviour, it was grace that showed him Christ in the gospel, and it was grace by the spirit that applied to Christ to his poor needy soul; and in fact it was grace which had done all, and in all, and grace will be the Christian’s theme in time, death, and eternity. My tongue, pen, and thoughts all fail me on the theme of grace. –
Thus the distinguishing grace of God makes known the heirs of grace, included in the covenant of grace; and we have no knowledge of the heirs of grace, until God works that renovating change in their hearts, while the poor soul, with a heart-felt’s sense, can cry out, I am conquered, grace was more than a match for my hard, wretched, wicked heart.
The poor blind Arminian thinks that God has but just now ejected that soul. I venture to say that there is not one Christian Arminian experience in this world, nor in Heaven; for let the Christian Arminian relate his experience, and he will tell what the Lord has done for him; his head and heart does not talk alike. God has converted the heart, and the Devil the head – this is speaking half of each tongue. I just request the christian Arminian to pray and preach alike. For when you pray to the Lord to convince. convict, and convert the sinner, I think you do well; but when you preach to the sinner, and tell him that he has a great deal to do to get his soul converted, you contradict the prayer you pray. For it would be a sin to ask to do that for my man which God had given into his power to do for himself.
Thus all the Lord brings to the knowledge of saving grace, we are authorised to say in God’s elect. And what God shows us he has done, (if we believe him a God of infinite wisdom and power) we believe he has just done that which he, in himself, eternally intended to do. And as no man can see the kingdom of God, except he is born again, all unbelievers are the non-elect to us, although they may not be to, or with God. As such, the preacher need not fear that he is doing wrong, when he urges the necessity of repentence towards God, and faith towards our Lord and Jesus Christ – for he should command men everywhere to repent. For the sinner is justly condemmed for his own sin, and the enmity of his heart against God will constitute his hell. Which enmity appears as much, or more, in the principle of works which the serpent distilled in his nature, than the open profanity of his wicked conduct; and there is therefore as great a necessity for repentance on that ground as any other. The serpent is the only thing I know, which has a forked tongue, which shows us the two ways that Satan has to suit the taste of men. Open profanity and unjust measure, is the first course of men under the influence of Satan; but when they become alarmed under the view of death, hell, and judgement, then his religion is his next plan to suit their taste and reconcile their mind – this is a natural religion, which teaches moral virtues; and if there was no futurity nor accountability, this religion would be of service to the human family, for their wellbeing in the world. This is a good hand-maid to true religion indeed; but when we make it the Saviour, it becomes the master and not the servant. This is Satan’s object – and thus his wickedness and enmity appear; for could this prevail, it would dethrone the God of Heaven. This is the religion of the covenant of works – conditional on the part of the creature. Satan has introduced the principle in man; and God has set the true standard in his law, which shows the effect in man’s performance. This religion works by fear and not by love; it judges by the actions, and not of the heart. This is the religion that pesters the people to get, and keep; and when they have lost it, or the novelty produced by it, they think that they have fallen from grace. There is a difference between the subject’s keeping religion, and religion keeping the subject.
Thus we see the difference between the covenant of works and that of grace. The religion of the one is to be got and kept by the subject, while the religion of the other gets and keeps its subject through faith unto salvation. The covenant of grace possesses life and power, gets, keeps, preserves, and seals its subjects, to the day of redemption. If religion be natural, then, men can believe and practice it acceptably; but if it be spiritual, then nothing short of the divine spirit can effect the work, make the dead soul alive, and engrave the image of God on the spirit of man. Could man believe this, there would be more praying, and less dependence on works. Thus every drooping saint may take comfort in the covenant of grace – as God has revealed them, one of his elect, of the flesh and bone of Christ, and that as a bone of his shall not be broken, while he lives they shall live also. Let us stimulate every child of God to love and obedience to their Redeemer.
We now see, that, according to my view of things, that the serpent’s seed is not only a wicked nature, in God’s elect, but that sin has brought forth beings susceptible of the punishment due to sin; and that God never created beings to bear the wrath due to Satan, So the Universalian may rest no longer on his false basis, thinking that the two natures are the seeds, and that death or hell will refine them. –
And again we view the principle or works introduced by the serpent, and the woman received it in the garden, gave to her husband, and he partook with her; that by this, not only the non-elect are brought into existence, but the elect, or the woman’s seed, which were created in Adam, while the woman was in him, were completely captured, and partook of the same serpentine nature, and therefore unfit for Heaven unless converted.
We have viewed the distinction in their natural existence in time; and in viewing the two covenants, we find the law was given, not only that offences might abound, but by it, is the knowledge of sin: which proves that this was Adam’s trangression in the garden; for by his act he came to a knowledge of good and evil. And thus we see that the knowledge of sin is not only designed to show the perfection of God, in his divine law, for the purpose of bringing his elect to see and feel their great need of saving grace, by the mighty workings of his spirit in their hearts, but also to show the justice of God in the condemnation of Satan’s seed, who not only refuse to worship God in Christ, and be saved by grace, but falls far short of living up to the requirements of the standard of works, even while pursuing the principle of their nature.
We now view the covenant of grace, with its good things, which were hid beforetime, and now manifested under the gospel, according to the eternal purpose of God, which he had purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord. Thus grace proclaims Christ the gospel of our salvation; and by the work of the Divine Spirit the elect are called in, and the enmity of Satan in his seed is manifested, and their iniquity appears – and as they were the product of sin, and not included in the covenant of grace, the sovereignty of God is not bound to bring them to the saving grace in Christ, but consistent with his divine perfections, can let them alone under the common calls of the gospel. For many are called, and but few are chosen. And thus let alone, they follow the wickedness of their own hearts, rejects Christ in the gospel, and make their own condemnation just. an8 sure; while they are preserved fort he sake of God’s elect, and live upon the bounty of Heaven while they do live in the world, and are accountable to God, the author of all their good. The wicked are now left without an excuse; and every man should know what while he is in the state of unbelief, he is in sin, and unfit for the company of saints, in time or eternity.
The sovereign power of God now displayed in Christ, or covenant of grace, in bringing home the captive, which were as sheep going estray; and in spite of all the powers of darkness, manifested in the anti-christian spirit, has set up his church, and perserved it until now, notwithstanding the wicked persecutions and ingenious plans laid for their overthrow, (which I have heretofore brought to view.) The saints of God are now called to the church of Christ, to possess an inheritance amongst them that are sanctified, to work the works of faith, and let their light shine. And although I have no doubt but Satan has numbers of God’s children captured, under delusion, and their traditions, yet Michael and his angels will prevail over the dragon and his angels, through the blood of the Lamb.
I view the time not far distant when the Lord, in the covenant of grace, will display his power in the behalf of his captured elect seed, and bring them out of all the anti-christian delusions – then infant baptism, and sprinkling or pouring, as a mode, whose noted marks of the beast, and enmity of the serpent’s seed, will be laid aside, with all the sectarian parties, and their combinations against the church of God. For the Lord will destroy the internal reign of antiChrist, by the brightness of his coming in the gospel of Christ, and the glory of God will be risen upon Zion, while the children will flock to the standard of King Emanuel; and the judgements of God will be poured out on the mother of harlots &ndash “her plagues shall come in one day, death, and mourning, and famine, and she shall utterly be burned with fire, for strong is the Lord God that judgeth her.” Therefore I exhort saints to take the counsel the Lord has gave. He calls, come out of her my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.
Notwithstanding I view the time rear at hand when the enmity of the serpent and his seed will no more be felt by the (this sentence was not finished, page 71, FMM)
When I view the times, I have some awful fears that the church will pass through a bloody persecution before that happy moment – while many of her enemies will be those of her own household, “Beware of wolves in sheep’s clothing.” There are too many who are called Baptists, that speak part of the language of “Ashdod”. Let the Church of Christ honor their Lord, take care of the keys he gave her, walk in his command, love his word and ways more than the honors of the world, and reject the flattery of the enemy of her Lord.
By a close view of this short piece, we shall see that one of its great objects is, to make the pointed distinction between the kingdom of Satan, with the marks which distinguish the two seeds. And the few remarks made upon Baptism, are (without entering into the details of the subject) sufficient to destroy or take away the whole foundation of infant or unbelievers baptism, and show that we must be “Christ’s” or else we cannot be Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise – that is, we must be believers in, and partakers of, Christ and his salvation, or else we have no right to the benefits or privileges of the gospel church or inheritance. And should we claim that which is not our right, we sin against the God of Heaven, for which we shall be judged in that awful day. And should the heirs of the gospel inheritance unite with, or surrender their rights to the anti-christian powers, it is a sin of such magnitude that they are justly deemed whore-mongers or fornicators, and therefore not entitled to the privileges of the church of Christ. This goes to show baptism is an ordinance of Christ (not of the law) in his church or house, (not out of it) and belongs to believers in him (and not unbelievers), and that all the rights, privileges, powers, and authority belongs to the church or house of God, and none else. And now, as the table of the Lord is placed in, and belongs to, the church or house of the Lord, the cause is now sufficiently shown (without any further detail) why the Baptist fence up or secure the table of the Lord from the supporter of error and anti-christian doctrines or practices. Now if the virtuous woman is right, when she considers her husband’s bed, where she enjoys his embraces and evidences of his love, so sacred that she will absolutely prohibit, not only the professed enemies of her husband, but even the pretended friends, with all the others, from the privileges of that bed, which alone belongs to her husband – then the Baptist are certainly right, in the positive stand which they have taken on that ground, believing themselves to be the married wife , the church, the bride, the Lambs wife; and her opposers or pretended lovers should not only know that the fault is in themselves, as they are unfit, or refuse to come into the church of Christ, but should blush at such an attempt on the virtue of the bride of the Lamb, instead of complaining of her resistance, the same as the man who denies marriage with the lady should blush at his attempt on her virtue, instead of complaining of her refusals to yield to his will.
Doth the virtuous woman complain because the attempt is not made on her virtue? No; but because it is. Will she make such an attempt herself? I think not. Then the Baptist have the cause to complain of the attempt made on her virtue, and not because it is not: while she has never opened her doors for a general communion, or an attempt of fornication. Will the virtuous woman, bacause she has changed her maiden name, by marrying the man, suppose that she has the right to every man’s bed, that every man has a right to her bed? I think not. Neither should anyone think, because they have joined a society which gives them the name or title of christian, that they are at liberty to join in with, or receive in with them, every name, title, or sects of professed religions.
The church of Christ and the mystery of Babylon, are both presented under the figure of a woman; therefore these remarks are suited to the case in hand. There is one Lord, one faith, and one baptism: there is but one right way, while there are many false ones: there is but one Holy Ghost, while there are many false spirits gone out: there is but one true gospel church, it is not divided. Truth stands on its own basis, and never needs a cloak for its recommendation – while error and falsehood are put to their shifts and seldom ever dare to appear without claiming the garments of truth for their own, in order to deceive. Let the church of Christ always glory in her head and husband, love truth and fend its cause, and with patient christian fortitude meet and bear the enmity of the serpent or his seed, while she remembers the truth will protect and defend her, where and when she is not able to defend it; and that God will appear in the power of his might in the defence of truth, the destruction of its enemies, and deliverance of its subjects.
There is one thing more that I must notice before I come to a close. I have but just hinted at the trinity in the christian union or fellowship. I now state, the christian religion is composed of these three grand points, and could either be taken away the whole is gone – 1st. The principle of the gospel or faith: 2d. The experimental knowledge of divine grace, or birth of the spirit: 3d. The practical or external gospel order and moral obedience to the word of God, the law of faith. Now as these three stands the permanent point of the christian religion, each of these should be equally preserved and attended to, without an infringement on either: and fort his purpose I view that God has, by his spirit, gave the diversity of gifts to his church and people.
Thus we find the three points, or branches of doctrine, belongs to the ministerial function, united completely in one, as a threefold cord. And now the great or only difficulty is, to exercise, or use those gifts in their proper places, without confusion, suspicion, or impeachment, to each other. This is a lesson that preachers, as well as the church, should learn: for I have no doubt but that the Lord has called and qualified men to fill or occupy each of those points in the christian religion. And when men step out of their proper place or calling, their usefulness is not only lost, but they often prove injurious to the cause of Zion.
The difference and tilling the ground, as well as that of attending to the walls of the garden or city, and occupying or cultivating within the walls, should in this case be duly considered. For when the Lord has prepared a man to attend the walls of Zion, for to maintain, protect, and defend the fundamental doctrines of the gospel, this is his work – yet he must know the reality of the experimental and practical part of the christian religion, and have great use for these points in the establishment of the doctrines of grace. This preacher should be cautious how he censures the preachers which are called to occupy a different station in the gospel field – and so should the preacher that is qualified to attend to the experimental part of religion, be equally cautious on the same ground. And here lies the evil, for often find that those preachers and exhorters whose work is to attend to the experimental and practical part of christian religion, are either uniting in principle with the Arminian system, and opposing the doctrine of grace, or so afraid of being called Arminians that they desert their proper place in the work, and undertake the business of fencing or well-making, and in so doing, proves very injurious to the cause of religion for it is the work that they are not prepared to do.
We should all do well to remember that to preach the doctrine doctrinally, experimentally, and practically, is the duty of the preachers; but to effect the work of the heart is the supernatural work of the Divine Spirit of the Lord. And to preach the necessity of repentance, faith in Christ, and obedience in the gospel, completely belongs to the gospel field. And when the enemies of truth venture to challenge the doctrines of grace, with the inquiry, if this doctrine be true, what is the use of preaching? We may consistently answer, that God has not only appointed the end, but has also ordained the means which, under his sovereign control, never fails to lead to, and to accomplish the end designed in his counsel. And therefore we love and preach the truth, while relying on and praying to the God of grace to affect the work. The same may be said when we are charged with preaching one way and exhorting another.
I again exhort the heirs of the gospel inheritance to stand in their lot, contend earnestly for the faith once delivered to the saints, and regard not the enmity of the serpent nor his seed, take comfort in all your trials – under this view, that God will bring home his elect, the woman’s seed, the church, the body of Christ, and crown her with Christ, her head – where Satan and his seed will spoil her peace no more; and Christ, her head, will be glorified with the Father, with the glory which he had with him before the world began. His church will then be in him, and with him, as completely as they were before they were spoke into existence in the world – not one member lost. While Satan and his seed will be banished from God and his people forever, to bear the wrath of God. Thus God will be glorified in the redeemption of his elect in the covenant of grace, as well as a display of his justice in the punishment of sin under the covenant of works.
May the Lord attend this by his spirit, as far as it is right and if any good results from it, be his name glorified thereby, is the sincere prayer of his servant.
(The end of the Views on the Two Seeds..–Ben H. Irwin.)