I began typewriting this book
on the nineteenth day of January,
nineteen hundred end twenty three.
Sister Kate Alaton, in whose home
I did the work, read the text for me,
while I operated the typewriter.
– Ben Hardin Irwin.
(This copy made in April 19714 by Mrs. Geo. N. Miller.)
NOTWITHSTANDING it was my lot to be raised as an Indian hunter, in the back woods of the state of Georgia and never have had an education so as to enable me to understand even the smallest rule in arithmetic, nor the perusal of what is called the English Grammar five minutes in my life; while my engagements in the ministry, my limited situation, with the calls on me by the wants of a large helpless family, has prevented me from acquiring from the aid of man, the necessary qualifications to meet the wisdom of the world in a religious combat. Yet it has been the will of God, for some purpose of his own, to cause my lot to be such for a number of years, that I have been compelled to defend the cause of truth, relying on him for divine aid; or let error prevail to the dishonor of God, and the distress of his Church.
In this performance of what I believe God has made my duty, I have published several pieces designed to shew the iniquity of the principle and practice of what is called the “Baptist Board of Foreign Missions,” These have caused a combination of wisdom, arts, intreagues, and stratagems from that source, to be engaged for my overthrow. In addition to my former publications, I have lately published a piece, entitled “Views on the Two Seeds,” taken from Gen, the 3d. & part of the l5th v. “I will put enmity,” &c. This publication has roused the Arminians from their lurking places in nearly every quarter. This host of enemies seem equally engaged for my destruction, and as they are evidently joining in affinity with my mission enemies which in my opinion, will completely unite against me in one general combination, the united forces of the powers of darkness in the mystery of iniquity, which causes me to cry out “Lord help me,” for I know that except the Lord be on my side, I am gone, but if he be with me, I disregard all the powers, signs, and lying wonders that can be raised against me; and as I have become fully convinced it is not me, as a man, the war is against, but it is the truth of God’s word, which God is pleased to bring to light through me, his unworthy worm, that has so much alarmed the kingdom of darkness; as I am confident that Christ will reign until he puts all his enemies under his feet, I feel strongly encouraged to put on the whole armour of God, and be one of those “three score men that hold swords girt up on their thigh, because of fear in the night,” and through Divine aid, fight the battles of the Lord, so far as he is pleased to require me, regardless of what men and Devils can say or do.
I think that this voice from Heaven is beginning to sound to the hearts of saints – “Come out of her my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.” For I have but little doubt but that this combination of iniquity which is now manifesting itself, making lies its refuge, with all its marvelous signs, and lying wonders, in order to deceive, if it were possible, the very elect is about the last dying struggles of Antichrist; and that she is about to receive her reward for her iniquity. For I verily believe that the vials containing the last seven plagues of the wrath of God, is about to be poured out; and for her sins against God and his saints, “shall her plagues come in one day, death, and mourning, and famine, and she shall utterly burned with fire, for strong is the Lord God who judgeth her.” For him that is faithful and true, is about to judge her in righteousness, appearing on his white horse, with the eyes as a flame of fire, and a name that none can know but himself, wearing the vesture dipped in blood, while his name is called the word of God, with his heavenly armies following him, and his awful sharp sword proceeding out of his mouth, while he hath on this vesture dipped in blood, “and on his thigh this awful name written, KING of KINGs, and LORD of LORDS.” While I thus view that the workers of iniquity have so near filled up the cup of their wrath, and that the day of the wrath of God is near at hand, and that the old prophet Daniel is now about to stand in his lot, I feel as if I dare not hold my peace, but in the name of the Lord cry aloud “Come out of her my people,” &c.
My reader remember, I feel as if it is but a light thing for me to be judged with man’s judgement, knowing that while judgement must begin at the house of the God, that those who obey not the gospel of God, is near an awful end, while with the Psalmist David, I should not “fret myself because of evil doers, neither be envious against the workers of iniquity, as they are soon to be cut down like the grass, and wither as the green herb.” Thus a prayerful candour should rest in each of our hearts, while we sensibly feel that the wicked criticks, the wrestlers with the word of truth, the supporters of the Pharasel religion, with all the friends of the mystery Babylon and her daughters, together with all her idoletry, signs, and lying wonders, are now near their end.
As my view on the Two Seeds appears to have so much alarmed, and roused up the subjects of the kingdom of darkness and iniquity, while the enmity of the serpent and his seed are so plainly manifested at this time. In order to assist the candid inquirer after, and real friends of truth, I shall now proceed to take notice of some of the most particular object: of the doctrines in my views on the Two Seeds, as every point of the true gospel doctrine, has met strong opposition, and some candid searchers after the truth, by reason of the dark antichristian delusion, have thrown over the truth of God’s word, are greatly blinded, and are really at a loss to know what is right to believe and practice, as gospel truths.
It being one of my great objects in my views to remedy this evil, and shew what truth is in itself, as I believe that truth is worthy to be adored for what it is in itself, and needs no dressing by the art of man; and as I admit that my view on the Two Seeds, stands or falls on two points – I shall now proceed to take them up for examination, after which I shall endeavor to shew some few just conclusions drawn fromthese two permanent basis, in a consistency with the nature of God, as revealed in his word, and then conclude by bringing more fully to view, the nature, progress, and present appearance of the enmity between the serpent and the woman; and his seed and her seed.
These two points are, first, tha nature and certainty of the relationship or union which exists in Christ with his Church – and, secondly, the body of corruption or mystery of iniquity, being self-existent, as to its nature, and that the nature or first cause of sin and trangression never flowed nor proceeded from God.
As the subjects now before us are not only copious, but truly interesting, I have to lament (that as printing comes high in our back country,) that my circumstances in life will not permit me to do the full justice to these points as their merit deserves, but shall be compelled to limit my own views on a number of interesting points, while my remarks will be designed to comprehend more perhaps, than my reader will understand; therefore I request you, my reader, calmly and candidly to weigh every sentence well, and do not be too hasty in making up your option, but try them by the standard of truth, which will judge you and me in that great day, and by your own experience of grace, if you have got one, and if you have not, remember that a blind man is a poor judge of colours. And should you find me mistaken in some things, you should consider whither the real basis of the doctrine is defeated by such mistakes or not, and you need not think strange to find me mistaken some times, but I do not profess to be one of those perfect kind of men, but am candidly of opinion that the Bible is the only perfect book in the world, and though some may find fault with that book, yet it does me very well.
Agreeable to arrangement, the first thing is the nature and certainty of the relationship or union which exists in Christ, with his church. By this point of doctrine I wish to be understood as believing, and now aiming to prove, that Christ and his church are one; and if they are now, or ever will be, one, that, oneness has existed as long as Christ has existed, as it is impossible for a head to exist without a body, as for a body to exist without a head. And this oneness, nature and relationship, or union which exists in Christ with his church, is as actually to be understood in a spiritual sense, and viewed in the like manner as the oneness, nature, relationship or union which exists between the natural head and body, and as the natural head and body is brought to us as a figure, in order to represent plainly to our view the nature and certainty of the union existing between Christ the head, and his body the church. We should know that there is no shadow which exists without the substance which produced it, and the object which is designed to be represented by it, while we should remember that the head contains four of the senses of the body wholly in itself, and its proportionable part of the fifth; and it is well for the church that the union or relationship between her, and Christ her head, was not broke asunder and dissolved, her from her God, for then she would have retained only the natural (not the spiritual) part of the feeling sensitive pf the body, which should have been susceptible of eternal suffering. But how wonderful does the glory of God shine in the face of Jesus, when we behold the glorious plan of redemption, which secures in Christ the Churches glorious head, that spiritual part of the feeling sensitive of the body, with the seeing, hearing, tasting, and smelling sensative of the same; yes, the same body, and in consequence of his love and union to his body, remaining the very same love and relationship as it (yes I shall venture to say) eternally was, and will be the same; therefore love was the moving cause which brought Christ down, and by reason of the head being related to the body, it is just and consistent for the head to suffer for the body; and as the iniquity of the body could be laid upon, or imputed to the head, even so the righteousness of God, which was Christ the head, could be laid upon, or imputed to the Church, the body of Christ, and she be made partakers of those blessed sensitives of the body, which has been still secured in the head for her.
When we can understand the propriety of the head suffering for the act of the hand, by theft or murder, in a litteral sense, we may form some idea of the propriety of Christ suffering for his Church, and she being made the partakers of the benefits thereof. I cannot tell what you, my reader can do, but for my own part I cannot understand the consistence of the doctrine of election, the effectual calling, the justice of the sins of his people being laid upon Christ, his suffering for them; nor how the atoning sacrifice of Christ can be effectual to the salvation of his people, and particularly to the resurrection of their bodies, when I leave out of sight the union or relationship I view to exist between Christ and his Chursh. I am apprised that the Arminians believe in the doctrine of the election and union between Christ and his Church, but that all takes place when the soul is converted, therefore instead of the purposes of God standing firm, as being proposed in himself, they have to turn upon the agency of mortal beings, and I have about as leave have no God as such a one as that. And I think that the half blooded Arminian is but little better, if he did but know it. For although they have hewed out a larger sistern, yet it will hold no water; they contend that somehow or other, there was a covenant or bargain took place between two Gods or two self existent parts out of three, of the same God in a nature of a bargain between two contending parties coming to an agreemant with each other, in which covenant God the Father gives to God the Son, his people and this they call electing or choosing of God’s people in Christ; and so when converted the union takes place between Christ and his Church; but no union or relationship actually in Christ with his Church until then; but only contemplated in the council and purpose of God. Now, instead of holding the God honoring doctrine, that the covenant of grace is completely the purpose of God, which he has purposed in himself, independent of any being as a covanentee, and is confirmed of God in Christ, and the confirmation and purpose of which was made known to Abraham, (not made with him) four hundred and thirty years before the law was give, in which is treasured up “the manifold wisdom of God, according to the eternal purpose which he proposed in Christ Jesus our Lord,” as the medium of operation by which the same God has made the world, and through which he completes the salvation of his people.
They divide the Godhead into three parts, two of them contracting parties, while the third stands a witness to the bargain made, and thus Christ is at best a third part of the one God; and all the right or claim he has to his Church, is in consequence of this covenant, gift, and choice therein, until he performs the conditions of the contract on his part by dying for her, and opening the way by which she is converted and united to him by a living faith; and thus faith must be the bond of union, instead of love.
As I believe that this line of doctrine incorrect, and that the mystery of Godliness is more fully manifested in the work of redemption through Jesus Christ, than it was in the work of the creation made by him, and that it is the same God working all, and in all, while the Holy Ghost is bearing testimony to the heirs of salvation included in this covenant of grace, the appointment as proposed in himself; making known to them the rich treasures of his grace through Jesus Christ, which is treasured up in the same divine purposes of God for them, and that in conjunction with the gift and choice of God, to and in Christ his people, securing for them in the covenant of grace as his divine appointment of their salvation; the union between Christ and his Church is the securing and preserving cause, which makes this gift and choice effectual to their salvation.
It now becomes my duty to shew how far I exceed the half blooded Arminian, by proving from and by the word of truth, the ertenal union or relationship in Christ with his Church. in this I shall be short and plain; and should I succeed in proving the actual relationship or union in Christ, to and with his Church, to be such that it constitutes them one, not only in the purpose and council of God, but in actual relationship to each other, as the head and body stand related to each other, then one of the permanent basis of my views on the Two Seeds, will be settled, as I think none will contend that Christ stood in this actual relationship to any but the members of his body; as Christ is the medium of operation by which God the Father has performed all his works, and the mystery of Godliness is manifested in this flesh, and now if this flesh and blood of Christ, stands in actual relationship with the Father, the Divine nature, and at the same time stands in actual flesh and blood relationship to his children; we can then begin to see how Christ, by the sacrifice of himself, can fulfil, magnify and make honorable, that holy, spiritual, just and good law of God; and how his children consistent with justice, can be made partakers of the divine nature of God, and the benefits of the atonement be made over to them, as the righteousness of saints, by which they are freely justified from all things, from which they could not have been by the law of Moses.
We now attend to the testimony on these two points: as it will be granted on all sides that the Son is actually related to the Father, it becomes an easy matter to prove the relationship between the divinity and humanity of Christ; when we notice that the Angel told Mary, the mother of Christ, in the 1st. ch. of Luke, v. 35 – “The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and power of the Highest shall overshadow thee; therefore also, that holy thing which shall be born of thee, shall be called the Son of God.” This is certainly the humanity of Christ, which is here to be said an holy thing, and called the Son of God – Mat. ch. 1st, v. 20, “fear not to take unto thee, Mary thy wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost”. By the mouth of two or three witnesses every word is to be established, here are two pointed ones; and when we remember how often it is said of God, that he is the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, I think this union or relationship between the humanity and divinity will not be disputed, and thus we understand the divine nature of the blood of Christ, and why St. Paul calls it the blood of God. And as God is the spirit, we now see how Christ is a quickening spirit, and the spiritual Adam; thus we see why God’s holy one could now be corrupted, nor see corruption; and why the same spirit by whose power he was conceived and brought forth by the virgin Mary should yet retain its claim & efficiency to the body of Christ in the tomb, making a still greater display of its power, by quickening and bringing again our Lord Jesus Christ from the dead, and therefore he is “declared to be the son of God, with power according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead”.
The relationship, or union of Christ, to, or with his children, is next in hand. Christ took not on him the nature of angels, but the seed of Abraham, and, “was made of the seed of David, according to the flesh” – and as the child is related to the mother, so Christ, after the flesh, was certainly related to his mother, and she being of the lineage of Abraham, Christ is the seed of Abraham, as well as the seed of David, which proves the relationship, clear through the whole family of Israel, as in Isaac the seed was to be called. I am apprised that the spiritual union is admitted, and that the Jewish Church was in one sense, the mother of Christ, and as therefore as to the flesh he stood related to her; but if we stop here my object is lost, and I cannot see how the relationship can benefit the Gentile Church, as I claim the consistency of the benefits of Christ to his Church, both Jew and Gentile, flowing to her in consequence of the relationship or union, existing not only before conversion, but before worlds were; and therefore the natural existence of God’s chosen people is as absolute in the council and purpose of God, as the spiritual birth or union; and that in consequence of the natural, or flesh and blood relationship, the spiritual relationship is secured.
And now my answer to my purpose, I have to prove that Christ brought forth his Church, before his Church brought him forth, and the relationship or union, which I am now contending for, is that which did actually exist before the Church was spoke into a natural existence; and being retained and secured in Christ; the head of the Church, is the reason why the Church was not eternally lost, when she sinned and fell. This being the nice and particular point, I shall now attend to it in a particular manner; and should I be so fortunate as to attain to this point, the Devil may rage and vent his spite in vain, while I shall neither ask the full nor the half blooded Arminians any odds.
I shall begin with St. Paul to Heb. ch. 2d. v. 11th –“For he that sancitifieth, and they who are sanctified, are all of one, for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethern.” Verse 14th. “For as much as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same,” &c. – What a glorious thing is this, that Christ is not ashamed to call such worthless worms as we are, his brethern; and why? Because him and his Church, are all of one; and what a blessed oneness is this, and when did it take place; if not until the soul was converted, he was ashamed of us until that time; had this been the case, he would never have openly avowed the cause of his Church, and come into the world to have suffered shame and disgrace for her; and God would not have “commended his love to us, in that while we were yet sinners, that Christ should die for us.” No, this oneness is as eternal as Christ, as there can as well be a head without a body, as a Christ without a Church. And this is the cause why he came to sanctify his Church, and make them meet for himself; and here we find that the children, were already children, and partakers of flesh and blood, before he took part of the same; and this is the reason why he himself took part of the same, “that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is the Devil.”
This decides all disputes as to the flesh and blood relationship between Christ and his children, and goes strongly to show that the relationship existing before, was the cause of his taking on him this part of the same flesh and blood, in order to deliver his own from this bondage of death.
We will now hear what Jesus saith himself, and of himself, Rev. ch. 22, v.16 – “I. Jesus, hath sent mine Angel to testify unto you these things in the Churches, I am the root, and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star.” As these are the words of Jesus to his servant John, and to be testified in the Churches, not only clothes me with full authority to teach the doctrines contained therein, but furnishes me with the best testimony that needs no strengthening. Yet the 5th v. of the 5th. will serve to cast light upon the subject, for here one of the elders informs this same John, that it was the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the root of David, that was about to prevail, and open the book, and loose the seven seals. As Christ being the offspring of David, or the Lion of the tribe of Judah, is not the disputed point, as his mother was the house of David, and tribe of Judah, but the question is – Can David be the offspring of Christ too? – This is the nice point – if we will look at these two texts again, I think that we shall have to acknowledge the fact, (and if so I have gained my point) for here is Christ pointedly said to be the root of David; if so, the root bore David first, as St. Paul in letting the Roman brethern know, ch. 11th, how the Jews, as the natural branches were broken off from this same root, and they being grafted in, he lets them know they are bare not the root, but the root them; thus as it is the root that bears the stock or branches, so Christ was the root which bore David, he was the root and stem of Jesse.
We have now come to the point which called our attention to view how this root has produced, or brought forth the Church of Christ into narural existence; it is certain that no power can brought forth anything that is not in itself before brought forth, and as it is evident that all things were created by and for Jesus Christ, and that he was before all things, and by him all things do exist, yet none of these all things is to be considered sin and iniquity, as produced by his divine perfections, as a specimen of himself, for this would be as sweet water, and bitter, flowing from the same fountain, at the same time, which cannot be. But these all things, are the putting forth into action, that which actually was in, and belonged to himself.
Thus we have shown in my views on the two seeds, that the Church of Christ was in him, before they were spoke into a natural existence, and this union which existed in Christ, to and with his Church was not made in creation, but manifested figuratively by creation; and as no shadow, figure, image, nor likeness can exist before the substance exists which produced them; neither can any shadow, figure, image, nor likeness excel in greatness, quantity, nor quality the cause that produced them; so when God created man in his own image, after his likeness, and as it is generally given up that the first Adam was a figure of Christ, the second Adam; thus the earthly things when formed was a shadow of Heavenly things, which actually did exist, and will be manifested according as God has proposed in himself; and this image, likeness, figure or shadow cannot contain in it, ot (?) or them, anything greater, more in number, nor better in quality, than what actually belongs to the objects they represent. When God made man, he was created with the woman in him, and the law was given to the man while the woman was in him, and never given to the woman separate from the man, yet she was bound by that law, while her husband was accountable for her conduct. And for why? Because of their relationship to each other, they were still one.
It is now to be remembered that “In the day that God created man, in the likeness of God made he him. Male and female created he them, and blessed them, and called their name Adam, in the day when they were created.”
Notice they were first spoken of in the singular, and then in the plural number, and the woman was called Adam, as well as the man, and it must be because they were one. And when she was taken out of the man, and appeared separate from him, the same relationship still existed, for Adam said, “This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh;” all this goes to shew Christ and his Church one; Adam, with the woman in him, shews Christ, and the Church in him, before the Church was spoken into existence, and the separatimg of the woman from the man, shews the Church being spoken into actual existence in the world, both being called Adam, shews that Christ and his Church is one; and as the woman bears the name of her husband, so the Church bears the name of Christ, her husband; and as the husband is chargeable with the debt of his wife, and it is consistent and just for the husband to pay the debt of his wife; so Christ, the husband of the Church, is chargeable with the debt of the Church, his bride; and thus the consistency and justice of Christ suffering for his Church appears.
When Adam’s wife had sinned, she was now gone from him; and if the relationship had been dissolved by her act of sin, she would have been eternally gone, but as that love, union and relationship in Adam remained the same, it was as impossible for Adam to be happy without his wife, as for her to be happy without him. He received the forbidden fruit at her hands, and goes with her as she was still bone of his bones, and flesh of his flesh, and therefore they must live or die together. So when the Church had sinned, she was now lost, gone from Christ, and would have been eternally gone, had it not been for that blessed eternal love, union, or relationship which still remained, and existed in Christ, for with his Church, the Bride, the Lamb’s wife. She still being bone of his bones, and flesh of his flesh, it being impossible for Christ to be happy or complete without his Church, he receives her iniquity at her hands, accepts of the Father’s laying it on him, appears in her law place, determined to die with her, or that she should live eternally with him; comes into this sinful world, marries her human nature that she might be partaker of his divine nature; determined to seek and save his Church that was lost, proves his love and union to his Church, magnifies and makes honorable the law, blots out the handwriting out of the wall, that stood against his Church, dies for her sins, redeems her from the curse of the law, rises for her justification, leads captivity captive, receives gifts for men, ascends to the Father, and sends the Holy Ghost into the world to comfort his saints below, and meten the heirs of glory for the kingdom.
Oh my dear reader, how can you forbear crying out, oh glorious union, wonderous relationship, manifesting a love stronger than death, with grace which is more than a match for my wicked heart. I shall close this point by bringing a few more pointed evidences to view. David when personating Christ, saith, Psalms 139, vs. l5 & 16. Thy substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest part of the earth. Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all members were written, which in continuance was fashioned, when as yet there was none of them.” This is so plain that it needs so little comment; for here it appears that Christ’s substance was still in view, while he was created in secret, or created in the earth, in a dark figure in his body, the Church; and although his substance was still unperfected, or created, not actually collected together, yet in the book of God’s eternal mind, or purposes, his members were all written, even when there was none of them in actual existence, and in a durable perseverance of time as God was appointed, they shall be fashioned like Christ their head, and perfected to his glory.
Thus we see the saints of God were pointedly called the substance and members of Christ, and that before they were fashioned, formed, created or converted, and St. Paul to the Eph. ch. 1, vs. 9 & 10, lets us know that God was making “known the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure, which he had purposed in himself. That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one, all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth, even in him.” Thus it is evident that the collecting together the members of Christ’s body, his Church, by regenerating grace, is the recealing, and making known the divine will and purpose of God, which he had purposed, (not in the agency of man) but in himself. And in the dispensation of the fulness of (not time) but times, he will, in spite of every opposition, gather together in one (not part) but all things in Christ, not things which are out of Christ to bebrought into him, but the things which are in heaven or on earth, even in Christ, for this is the place, and no where else. This one which is to be gathered together, is no doubt the Church, the body of Christ, which is composed of many members, yet but one body and we learn in the 4th verse, that they were chosen in him (Christ) before the foundation of the world. Thus they were in Christ before converted; and it is because they are sons that the Holy Ghost is sent into their hearts, and thus Christ, verse 22d, is given, “to be the head over all things to the Church” – verse 23rd, “Which is his fulness of him that filleth all in all.”
Notice this well, Christ is the head over all things to the Church; this Church is not only the body of Christ, but the fulness of him. This Him is Christ, and he filleth all in all; thus the Church is the fulness of Christ, and Christ filleth all in all. Now brother Arminian which is the biggest or oldest, Christ, or his body the Church? Or can you pretend to say that there ever was a time, or eternity, a Christ without a Church? Or head without a body? Then how can you dispute with the word of truth any longer as to the union or relationship which exists with Christ and his Church. If there be any difficulty remaining, I think that will be removed when you come to 1st Cor. ch. 6, vs. 14 & l5 – “And God hath both raised up the Lord, and will also raise us up by his own power. Know ye not that your bodies are the members of Christ, and make them the members of the harlot? God forbid.” This settles the point, for here we have the cause why God will raise up our bodies, as well as the reason why we should not give our bodies members of any other society but the true Church of Christ, for the daughters of the old mother Rome are harlots, while the true Church is the body of Christ, composed of his members; and although our bodies are unregenerated, and so corrupted that they must die or be changed, yet they are (may not be, or shall be) but now are the members of Christ. And by reason of this relationship, to, or with Christ, although death by reason of sin, will kill our bodies, yet God will raise them up by his own power, as he has raised up Jesus Christ, a glorious body. And notwithstanding the unbeliever who is suffered to die in his sins, for the lack of this relationship to Christ, will be raise by the power of God; yet for lack of the same union with Christ, he will not be raised by the virtue and efficacy of the resurrection of Christ, but in my opinion by a display of just judgement against the workers of iniquity; as God will judge the world by Jesus Christ – much might be said here, but I hasten on.
Although I have produced sufficient testimony on this point, yet to leave the unbelieving world without excuse at the awful bar of God, I shall produce one or two more. Read the 12th ch. Rom. and the 1st ch. Cor. you will find there that the Church is composed of the members of Christ, and though many members, yet one body, and that they are the body of Christ, and members in particular; and that all the members of that one body, being many, are one body, so also in Christ. And all the members are of such use, that one cannot say to the other, that I have no need of you, or thee. And God has set the members in the body, as it hath pleased him, and such is their relationship to each other, that if one suffer, they all suffer with it.
What do you think now about falling from grace? For if one member suffers in hell, will not all be gone? Is not the ubion between Christ and his Church, and the members of his body with each other, such, that if the Devil gets one will they not all go together? If all this fails to satisfy you, come to the 5th ch. Eph. and in particular the 30th v. – here the old apostle is bringing to view the union or relationship between Christ and his Church, by the similitude of a man and his wife, which is not twain, but one flesh, and in this verse is as pointed as words can be – “For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones,” And although he admits he speaks a mystery, yet he tells us he speaks concerning Christ and his Church.
What now, brother Arminian? When you are told in pointed words, John, ch. 19, v. 36 – “A bone of him (Christ) shall not be broken.” Will the Devil get all or none? For he cannot get a part if God’s saints without all, and Christ with them, as they are of the flesh and bones of Christ, and a bone of him cannot be broken.
When we remember that no figure can exceed the substance, and that it is impossible to produce any similitude more striking to our senses, for to show the union or relationship between Christ and his Church, than that of the relationship of the members of the body to each other, that of the head to the body, and that of the man and his wife, and being flesh and bone of each other, and as Christ did exist before the world began, and creation was made by him, and for him, and that his people was created in Christ Jesus, &c. I begin to conclude that if you will not believe by the force of those evidences, that you would not believe though one should rise from the dead, and bear testimony to these facts. – Yet I will produce one more evidence, and so conclude this point, John, ch. 17, v. 5 – “And now O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self, with the glory I had with thee before the world was.” As Christ never made an improper request of the Father, it is now evident that he had a glory with the father before the world was, and requests to be glorified with the same. And if Christ had not a glory with the Father, with the Church in him, united to him, before the world was, this prayer could never be granted, for if there should be, when Christ brings his saints home, one more or one less; or if they should then be in him, united to him, and was not in him, united to him, before the world was, there would of course be a difference in the glory, and that would spoil all.
There is such a cloud of testimony on this point, that I can hardly forbear bringing to view, that the prophet lets the Church know that her Maker is her husband, that the Lord of Host is his name, Isaiah ch. 54, v. 5. and at one time a prophet speaking of Christ, saith, this is the name whereby “He” shall be called the Lord our righteousness; and at another time, speaking of the Church, saith, and this is the name whereby “She” shall be called, the Lord our righteousness, Jer. ch. 23, v. 6, and ch. 33, v. 16, All this goes to shew that Christ and his Church is so completely one, that they never have, nor never can be separated; and what God has joined together, let not man put asunder.
And now if I have proven the oneness, union, and relationship which exists in Christ, to, or with his Church, we shall understand that the Church was in Christ before the world was, that she proceeded from him, and notwithstanding she has sinned and become corrupted, yet the love and relationship of Christ her husband, remains eternally the same, and that in Christ still remains all uniting qualities, to unite, and bring her back to himself, and that in spite of men or devils, by the powers of divine grace, which was also given her in Christ before the world began. The enmity of her heart will be lain, and she brought to love her husband, adorned with his righteousness, as a bride adorned to meet her husband. I am well apprised of the art of the critick, but I have not time to fool with him now, and if I was to bray him seven times in a morter with pestle, yet would not his foolishness nor wickedness depart from him – his God and him for it, eternity will soon settle the dispute. I hope that you, half and full blooded Arminians, will candidly before God, examine where you stand, while I pass on to the second point proposed, which is, the body of corruption or mystery of iniquity being self existent, as to its nature, and that the nature, or first cause of sin and trangression, never flowed nor proceeded from God.
It is evident that there is, or was a mystery of iniquity; and when the man of sin was revealed, it was a manifestation of that which did exist in the mystery of iniquity. And it was evident by a body of corruption, in itself, or a body could not have proceeded from it, which was not only corrupt in itself, but corrupted everything that was captured by it; and if this corrupt body existed in God as a mystery of iniquity, until it was revealed, then there was a mystery of Godliness and of iniquity in the same first cause of all things. And as God is engaged in destroying the works of darkness, and putting his enemies under his feet, it is evident that one part of God is hard put to it to destroy and put down the other.
This is such a contemptible idea of God, that deist himself would blush at it. Well this must be the fact, or the great preparation to overthrow the darkness, is a mere bubble and a vane noise, or otherwise this mystery of iniquity, this source from whence the viperous generation has sprung, exists in itself, and never received its origin from the fountain of perfection, but is the opposite of God; and source from whence has flowed all sin, iniquity, sorrow, and death.
I am well apprised that this is a new subject; one that has not been illustrated from the press, nor pulpit; this is the reason why a number of God’s dear saints are alarmed at the first view of suvh a doctrine; and the king of darkness with his subjects, begin to fear, tremble, and rally all his forces, with the dreadful hue and cry against it. And for why? Because themselves with their source of iniquity, are about to be exposed to public view, and themselves brought to their final overthrow, as they are nearly ripe for it, while the chains of darkness, and veil of ignorance are about to be rent fromthe hearts of God’s dear children, and the subjects of the kingdom of God’s dear son. The members of the body of Christ is about to be delivered from their corruption and captivity, for there is no doubt but that Satan has for a long time been passing his religion, for the religion of Christ. But this cheat by a correct understanding of the point of doctrine, will be discovered, and truth appear to the glory of God. For in my opinion it is impossible for the glory of God to appear in the salvation of his people by Jesus Christ, if there was no power (except the prophet of his own nature) to deliver them from. And if there be a capturing, corrupting power or cause, in opposition to Christ and his kingdom, it would be extreme wickedness to charge God with being the author of that cause or power; and if this body of sin and death which St. Paul speaks of, Rom. ch. 6, v. 6, and ch. 7, v. 24, be the body or power, which has captured or corrupted the Church of God, and it be not one part of the power of God, at war with the other part, then it must be essential to the display of the glory of God; for the existence, nature and power of the enemy of his kingdom, to be exposed to public view, from whose power and possession God has and will save and deliver every captured member of Christ’s body, and in proportion to the power of the enemy, the glory of God will appear in the deliverance of his people.
Lest some mistake should arise here, it becomes necessary for me now to shew, that there are two essential points in the salvation or redemption of God’s people. First – The redemption from the curse of the law of God. As the father held the executive authority of his divine law, and it is contrary to the nature of God to save souls by a simple act of mercy, or at the expense of the justice of his divine law; and as the Church of Christ had become sinners by trangressing of the divine law, as well as captured and corrupted by the body of sin, and in order to open the way by which his Church might by regenerating grace, be translated from the power of darkness into the kingdom of God’s dear son. It became necessary for Christ by his actual passive and perfect obedience, as the head of his body, for her, and in her behalf, to fulfil, magnify, make honorable that law; and by the sacrifice of himself, redeem from the curse of the law, by giving himself for her, buying her at the price of his blood. Dying for her sins, and rising again for her justification. As justification is a law term, we can now understand that the Church is no more under the law, but under grace; and therefore repentance, and the remission of sins can be preached in his name throughout the world. For without this redemption from under the law, repentance, and the remission of sins, could not have been preached; neither would the Holy Ghost ever have been sent into the world; for the church would have eternally remained corrupted and captured.
Thus the redemption of God’s elect, the members of Christ’s body from under the law, is completed by the acceptable sacrifice of Jesus Christ; and this is what constitutes the gospel dispensation; the ransom is found, and the glorious news can now be proclaimed throughout, let the prisoners go free. We can now understand with ease what the second part of redemption, or rather salvation, is. It is that which which should call the immediate attention of every mortal being, for on this our eternal all depends; it is God’s work under the gospel, in delivering his children from the captured and corrupted state they have fallen into under the influence and government of the powers of darkness. Here is the great necessity of repentance and regenerating grace, for except we are born again, we cannot see the kingdom of God. This is the last awful turning point, where the poor universalian will meet his irrecoverable defeat. For each one should know, that while in an unconverted state, they are unprepared to meet God, while it is wicked presumption to say, that if I am elected that God will bring me in, in his own good time, and yet go on to sin and rebel against God, for we should notice in particular, that instead of God electing his people to heaven in their sins, that the whole scope of the New Testament, in declaring the doctrine of election, or appointments of God, it is to obedience, sanctification of the spirit, belief of the truth, &c. – And the disobedient unbeliever, dying in his sins, may be as sure of damnation, as the obedient believer may be of Heaven.
Thus we see that the deliverance of God’s elect from the powers of darkness is the object of God’s divine appointment, under the gospel; and now our present object is to bring to public view, as fully as we can in this short piece, what God has manifested of his enemy, the mystery of iniquity; I now come again to that point. In order to do this we have to notice that there are two causes or sources from whence causes and effects do flow, these two causes are opposite, one to the other, both are mysteries, and we have no knowledge of either, only as they are revealed and made known to us. One is the mystery of Godliness, the other is the mystery of iniquity. And neither can produce anything opposite, or contrary to its own nature. Iniquity in no case is disposed to make itself known by its own name, nor appear in its own proper garb, by which it may be known; neither will it make known the holyness of another, acknowledging it the right of another, but in all cases will endeavor to hide its own deformity, by denying its own name, and covering itself with righteousness of another. While on the other hand, it is the nature of righteousness to be bold, own its own name, and claim its own garments; while the just perfections of its own nature require it to make known iniquity, and expose and punish it. Thus we need not expect the mystery of iniquity, nor its workers, to own their names, nor make themselves known in their proper character; therefore from the source of perfect holyness we have to look for all correct information. Now keep in view one fact, and when rightly divided, amounts to two facts, and that is, all things are governed by two decrees of God; all good is under an absolute decree of God, for if the wicked hearts of men and devils could prevent our good, it would be done. And all sin and iniquity which is practiced in the world, God suffers it to be so, while he possesses power in himself to prevent it. Wicked men want to do wickedly, and God lets them do so, and will punish them for so doing, as they did not receive that wicked nature from him, and he tempts no man.
These things are necessary for to complete the manifestation of the glory of God. First – the manifestation of the mystery of iniquity, the enemy and opposite to God. Secondly – a knowledge and the power & wisdom of God in the display of his own divine perfections, which will appear in the complete overthrow of his enemy. Thirdly – the complete deliverance of his chosen people, the members of Christ’s body, from their state of captivity and hard bondage; by this glory of God will be completed, not only in the deliverance of his saints, but in the members of Christ’s body being completely united in one body, (not one member lacking) and all gathered together around the throne of God and the Lamb, which will be the eternal glory of God, and his church. While the streams of his wrath, the display of his just indignation, will be pouring out in one eternal storm upon the conquered foe, with all its subjects, while the smoke of their torment will ascend up forever and ever. And those that go down to that awful pit cannot hope for the truth of God; and instead of the torment of hell, humbling and preparing them for Heaven their wicked nature will be disposed to blaspheme the name of God day and night.
There is one thing more to be kept in view, that is, should there be any part of Jehovah which is never revealed, God can never be glorified by, or in that part. And if there should be any part of the mystery of iniquity, which is never manifested, that part cannot be punished, for God cannot be glorified thereby; therefore I conclude it is as much the purpose of God to make manifest what is contained in the mystery of iniquity, as to unfold the mystery contained in himself. Thus God reveals himself under his absolute decree, while he suffers his enemy to make known his malignant nature in works of iniquity. There is still one thing more to be particularly kept in mind, that is, that God’s method of making himself known, is in, by, and through his people, the product of himself, in, by, and through which he is, and will be glorified; likewise God’s method of making the mystery of iniquity known, is in, and through the natural subjests of the kingdom of darkness, the product of itself, in, by, and through which iniquity will be punished. By letting the workers of iniquity go on to sin agreeably to their own nature, until they fill up the cup of their own wrath, &c.
Thus we can account for and understanding God’s purpose in suffering all the persecution to take place in afflicting, and barbarously putting to death his saints, from the murdering of Abel to the present time. While he takes it all as done to himself, and is preparing to execute and avenge his just wrath and vengeance on the serpent and his seed, for their iniquity.
It would be presumption in mortals to undertake to comprehend and find out Jehovah; yet it is our high privilege, and unbounded duty to understand so much of him as he has revealed to us; and as God has revealed himself under different appellations, it is well for us to notice, that some of those names or titles, express more of the fountain of perfection than others, and these different titles express just so much of that fountain as is, or was needful to answer the purpose which was then designed to be accomplished. This fountain of perfection, or mystery of Godliness, was more fully revealed to Moses, than ever before, and for why? because it required a greater display of the properties of that divine mystery, for to accomplish the then designed purpose. Exo. ch 6, v. 2, – “And God spake unto Moses, and said unto him, I am the Lord,” v. 3, “And I appeared unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, by the name God Almighty, but by the name J E H O V A H, was I not known to them”. It here appears that Abraham, Isaac and Jacob had not so great a knowledge of what was contained in the fountain of divine perfection, as what is now revealed to Moses. And although I feel cramped lest I swell this place too large, I shall take room to present in short sentences some few things which are brought to light in this great revelation to man. 1st – that as Pharoah and his host, which had God’s national Israel, in bondage stands a lively figure of the power of darkness, which had captured the Church, the spiritual Israel of God, while Egypt shews the dark place that God’s elect was in, we can at once see that it required a greater display of the mystery of Godliness to redeem and deliver his people, then what had been revealed on any occasion previous to that work. 2d. – That in order to accomplish the work of salvation, it became necessary for the divine being to be known by his own name, JEHOVAH; that self subsisting being, possessing in himself every means and necessary qualification (not the least dependent on mortals) to carry into effect, and accomplish “the eternal purposes which be proposed in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Eph. ch. 3, v. 11. this takes the Areans’ head off, and sets the Arminians’ basis to trembling, for now it is evident, that instead of Christ being inferior to the Father, that he in his divinity, is himself the everlastingfather, the Prince of peace; and that more of the mystery of Godliness is manifested now in him, in the work of redemption than ever had been before, although the world was made by him and for him.
And now brother Arminian, while you have to acknowledge the work of redemption that greatest work that God has ever revealed to man; and behold the absolute purposes if God purposed in himself, Eph. ch 1. v. 9, while in spite of every opposition, he is manifesting them in and through Jesus Christ.
What do you think about the Devil, or anything else, frustrating the greatest work that ever God did? Do think of this, be honest if you can, and don’t try to get shut of these truths by wrestling with the word of God any longer, concluding as numbers of the Israelites fell in the wilderness by reason of transgression, that they fell from saving grace, for remember Moses fell short of the promised land, and we have heard of him since shining with Christ on the Mount. 3d. – Consider the difference between a self subsisting, and a self existing being; this will shew you the difference between the mystery of Godliness, and the mystery of iniquity; for one is not only self existing, but possesses in itself all the means to carry its will or purposes into effect, in spite of every opposition, while the other, although it exists in, or of itself, has not the means in itself to do its will, when the stronger than he forbids. 4th – Moses was the man through the law was handed down, and it is often called the law of Moses; and Moses is spoken of as the law, 2d. Cor. ch. 3, v. l5, keep your eye upon this. Aaron and Moses were brothers, and of the house of Levi. Moses was Pharoah’s God, and Aaron was his prophet, his spokeman, and the man with by and through which Moses performs his miracles in Egypt, &c.
Moses at God’s direction, consecrated Aaron and his sons to the priestly office, and made the Ephod, and garments for the priests to wear. Read at large the28th ch. of Exodus; notice every sentence well; here we find Aaron, the High Priest a lively figure of Christ, the great anti-type. thus we understand Moses to represent the law, and Aaron Christ, the great sacrifice the law has provided; and they being brothers of the house of Levi, shews the law and gospel both proceeding from the same cause or source; and Aaron being the prophet of Moses, by and through which Moses did and performed his miricles in Egypt, in delivering Israel out of her bondage, and his consecrating Aaron to the Priestly office, &c. all goes to show that Christ was the medium of operation, by and through which the works, wonders, and power of the divine law is unfolded and performed. The Father holding the executive authority of his own law, and this law points out the exact requirements of its divine perfections, to be performed by Jesus Christ, and consecrates him as the head and husband of his body, the Church, to the Priestly office, as the great antitype of all the Levitical Priesthood; and accepts of the sacrifice of himself, as a full atonement for the sins of his bride, the Church, and therefore the great deliverance of the Church is completed; and as Moses and Aaron were both sent together to make a demand of the Lord’s people of Pharoah, and bring them out by the signs and wonders, and awful judgements upon Pharoah, and the people of Egypt, while we learn that God’s purpose in raising Pharoah up, was to make his power known. So the law and gospel are both sent together to deliver the Church of Christ from her state of bondage, under the power of darkness, while the gospel proclaims the release to the captives, calling, come out of her my people, &c. the law is announcing its curses, preparing the seven angels, with the seven last plagues, in which is treasured up the wrath of God, to go and pour out the vials of the wrath of God, &c. while the voice of God sounds like thunder from Sina’s finery Mount, calling on the king of darkness the Antitype of Pharoah, “Let my people go that they may serve me” – while I have no doubt but that the purpose of God in raising up the man of sin, by suffering the mystery of iniquity to prevail, in bringing forth the power, signs, and lying wonders which were contained in itself, was the display of himself, making known the divine properties which belong to him, the self subsisting Jehovah; and thus when the enmity against God, which is contained in this iniquity, is manifested with the train of corruption which belongs to its own nature, the Lord will with a strong arm, delivered the captured afflicted people, while he will avenge their blood on the Serpent and his seed, the friends, lovers and workers of iniquity, by a more awful storm of his vengeance than ever before appeared from Sinai’s fiery Mount. Then repentance will be hid from the sinner, while they may gnaw their tongues for pain. This will be the fate of you that die in your sins. Read with attention nine of the last chapters of Revelation, and consider your latter and before it is eternally too late. 5th – The elders of Israel were first to be gathered together, and informed of God’s design in delivering of his people, that all Israel night be prepared (for there was not one to be left behind) by the time that God had accomplished his purpose in Egypt.
Thus God’s chosen people, his spiritual Israel, has first to be informed; they must be converted, every one of them, not one left behind; and therefore prepared for their glorious deliverance, by the time that the Devil and his subjects are fully ripe for their eternal destruction. In this the glory of God will shine in the face of Jesus, for he so governs the wheels of time, that exactly at the very moment that he calls in his last child of grace, and completes the redeemption of his purchased possession, the iniquity of the kingdom of darkness will be full, and ripe for their final destruction; he will then gather in even the very last member of Christ’s body, while the wicked, unbelieving, viperous race, will have to lie down in awful horror, under the pressure of wrath of Almighty God; then poor sinner you will persecute the saints no more.
I have not room to bring to view every particular in this subject – such as Moses, though an Israelite by birth, yet he became the son of Pharoah’s daughter, his being taught in all the wisdom of Egypt, his fleeing to the land of Median, marrying one of the seven daughters of the Priest, his meeting with the Lord in the flaming bush, on the very Mount that he was to worship God upon, on his return with Israel from their captivity; the Lord’s meeting with him on his way to Egypt, and seeking to slay him; his wife rescuing of him by circumcising of his son, casting it at his feet, charging him with being a bloody husbandunto her because of the circumcison; his wife being now sent back to her father’s and there remaining until Israel is brought out of Egypt; his father-in-law bringing his wife and two sons to him at the very same Mount of God where the angel first appeared to him in the flame of fire in the bush; and there himself, with Aaron, and the elders of Israel, joined with his father-in-law, the Priest of Median, in holding a feast in sacrifice before God. All these facts appear in the word of truth and deserves particular attention. – I must call your particular attention once more to this subject; mark it well. Jacob, or Israel, God declaed to be his son, even his first son, Exodus Ch. 4, v. 22 – and this son God calls out of Egypt, Hosea, ch, 11, v. 1 – “When Israel was a child, then I loved him and called my son out of Egypt.” One text more will complete the wall against the Arean, and Arminian, and establish the doctrine of the union, as well as pave the way to the establishment of the present point of doctrine, Mat. ch. 2, vs. 14 & l5 – “When he arose he took the young child and his mother by night, and departed into Egypt; and was there until the death of Herod; that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Out of Egypt have I called my son.” – As this son now to be called out of Egypt, was evidently Christ, and this has to be done in order to fulfill the perdiction of the prophesy, and this prophesy is positively found on God’s loving, and calling his national Israel out of Egyptian bondage. The union, relationship, and oneness with Christ and his Church, is now absolutely proven, for both are here named as one. Israel, his son; Christ, his son. By this we see, that as God called his son out of Egyptian bondage, which shews the spiritual bondage of his son in the Church, under the power of darkness; that he is now calling his Church, the body of his son, out of that bondage – calling “come out of her my people,” &c.
As I have paved my way to come to the point in hand, I shall now come to the positive part, which is to prove that the evil, the opposite to God, did exist before the fall of man; the first cause of sin, distress, and death, never did proceed from the perfections of Deity. As to the fact that iniquity does exist, is not the dispute; but the source from whence it sprang is the point in hand. I am apprised of the various notions about fallen angels becoming Devils, this, that, and the other, but I think that it will puzzle any one to prove that any angel which God created, has ever become a Devil. I shall notice what the scripture saith on that subject before I am done. I wish here to be understood, that I believe the power of darkness, and the power of God, are two separate powers, sources, or causes; and that the power of darkness has no power to prey, or act upon the works of God, only as God is pleasedto suffer it to be. When God had created the world, and before man had fell, or even the woman was taken out of his side, God caused the tree of knowledge of good and evil, to stand in the garden which he had put man in – Notice, this was not a tree of good and evil, but of the knowledge of good and evil. As such, God had not yet created evil, but had gave a signal that there was at that time an evil which did, exist. And as it is given up on all sides, that no shadow can exist before there is a substance to produce it; as such, it is evident that evil did exist before man sinned, and this tree was the signal of that evil, while the eating of the fruit thereof, brought man to a knowledge of it. And when man had sinned, the Lord God said, “Behold the man has become as one of us, to know good and evil,” Thus it appears, that although God did not practice evil, yet he had knowledge of that evil before man had fell.
We shall better understand what that evil really is, when we notice the serpent that was “more subtle than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made” – I am apprised that some suppose that this serpent was a being which God had created. Should this be proven a fact, I shall then believe that Christ and his Church is in great danger, for it is evident that Adam was the head of all earthly created things; God had set him over the works of his hands, and put all earthly things under him, and that all his natural seed, as well as every other thing which was put under him, were to be effected by his standing or falling, and therfore Adam was the figure of Christ, the head of all spiritual, or heavenly things to the Church, and his spiritual seed, with all the things put under him, wholly depending on the standing or falling of Christ; and now if the serpent was a being that God had made, it was certainly put under Adam; and if the greater or superior can be influenced, deceived, and overthrown by the lesser, or inferier, and this serpent was a being which was put under Adam, and did by his lying craft, deceive the woman, and by that means bring Adam down, with himself, and all other things which were put under Adam, then the serpent was certainly a lying, corrupt being before Adam fell, (and what Adam would have done with him provided he himself had not have fallen, I am at a loss to know) and St. Paul must have been mistaken when he tells us, that it was by man that sin had entered into the world, &c. while it would go to prove that there is yet a strong probability, that some inferior something, which is put under Christ in the plan of redemption, may, and will, by some lying art, bring about some way which Christ (by the antitype of Adam) and his kingdom, be completely overthrown. This idea is worse than believing in falling from grace, for it would go to overthrow Christ, and then it is certain that all would be gone, while it gives God the lye; for God declares all his works to be very good, while the supporters of this doctrine is trying to prove that there was a being that God had made, and put under Adam, which was corrupt, base and vile, with such influencing power that it could bring down all the rest. What more about this serpent? Perhaps sir, you think it is that tall angel that God had made, which had fell; but stop sir, you have not yet proven that such an angel ever did fall, and I defy you to do it. But should it be the case, what then? It must certainly be an encouragement to sin, for this angel must have become greater by reason of his sinning; for we have no account of the angels in glory increasing any, nor having spirits; while we read of the Devil and his angels, the spirits of Devils, &c. While he has become a king, with a number of subjects, instead of being himself a subordinate being. Perhaps you think that all these angels were once of the angelick host around the glorious throne of God, and fell with the great angel. – Should this have been the fact, he must have thinned the angelic throne very much, and produced considerable confusion and distress in the kingdom of ultimate glory, when he brought off his legions with him. I should be glad sir, to know how this angel became so corrupt, with such enmity in his heart against God, if there was no corrupt source, as a first cause, from where corruption and enmity did proceed. If you say that men or angels were placed in a state of probation, or trial, and yet no tempter; that is as absurd and inconsistent as to say, that the damsel shut up in a close room, where she never saw, heard or knew there was a man on earth, was a state of probation, or trial as to her virginity.
Now the fact is this, that if the mystery of iniquity, that wicked one, the man of sin, &c. spoken of in the 2d. ch. of 2d, Thessalonians, be not self existent, it is evident that he is the product of God, and he must be the author of all sin and corruption, and I would as soon believe that there was no God. As iniquity doth certainly exist, and is a mystery until it is revealed, it cannot be the act of trangression, because that manifests itself when acted, and does not exist before it is acted; and as this iniquity does certainly exist somewhere before it is manifested by act of trangression, if it does not exist in itself, it must exist in God, which cannot be. Should you now, in order to evade the force of truth, shift your ground, and contend that this iniquity took its rise in, or by the act of trabgression, I am ready to meet you on that ground. In addition to what is already brought to view on that point, it is only necessary to notice, that nothing can act above itself, nor out of the bounds of its own nature. While it is evident, when God created men, or angels, (provided they are created beings) that he made then good, and the law he gave them was equally good. The question now is, can a good being, by trangressing a good law, produce that which did not belong to either; this cannot be. Then where did the carnal mind come from, which is enmity against God; and this wicked, wretched nature that is in man, and so much distresses the saints of God. The consequence of a good being, trangressing of a good law, would only lay the trangressor under the penalty of that law, without producing any change in his nature. And had there been no first cause from whence we could have received a corrupt sinful nature, we should never have possessed the smallest enmity in our hearts against God; and the redemption from the curse of the law, would have been all that was wanting; no need of conviction, nor the gospel dispensation. Our hearts would have needed no changing; we might have been taken right off to Heaven, without anything further done. Thus to deny the corrupting cause, is the same as to deny the need of the gospel, convicting grace, salvation and deliverance from the power of darkness.
I now view this serpent that beguiled the woman, the manifesting of something of that mystery, of iniquity which did exist, distilling of its serpentine poisonous wicked nature, into the good beings which God had made; corrupting them; and thus from that source has sprung all our wicked, envious nature, while sin is in the trangression of the law, and the manifestation of what did properly belong to the fountain of iniquity, the opposite to the divine perfections of God. The word evil is sometime intended to shew the judgements which the Lord brings upon sinners, for their sins; this is what I understand by those passages which speaks of God creating evil, or bringing it into the city. But the tree of knowledge of good or evil, went to shew the bony of evil, sin, and death, St. Paul speaks of it in Romans, 6th ch. 6th v. and ch. 7, v. 24, which is the cause of all the sin and iniquity practiced in the world. We should do well to notice that we cannot speak of any of the divine properties of the Deity, but by the very expression we use, we strongly imply, that there is the opposite; and one cannot be manifested without the other. And as Jehovah has made himself known by different titles or appellations, and it requires them all, and perhaps more, to express the fulness of that divine fountain; even so this body of corruption and iniquity is manifested by different titles or appellations, and I have no doubt that it requires them all to express the matter contained in that mystery of iniquity; this corrupt matter is not fully included in the title Devil. This shews something very wicked and devilish; but there are many Devils, and therefore many wicked and devilish things, all receiving their fill from the same source of iniquity. The title, Belzebub, shews something more than the I5evil, as this shews the prince of Devils, the title, Satan, shews a contrary adversary, &c. And sometimes a number of such titles are used in particular cases, where there are particular manifestations of this fountain of corruption, as appears in Rev. ch. 12, v. 9, and ch. 20, v. 2,– Here this manifested iniquity is called the Dragon, that old Serpent, the Devil and Satan. In Isaiah, ch. 12, v. 12, it is called Lucifer, son of the morning, which shews the bringing of light.
We now come to a nice turning, point – I am apprised that some think that in all this, fallen angels, immaterial spirits, &c. are spoken of. When this error is corrected, it will become easy to understand the truth of the doctrine I am bringing to view. If my reader will notice in most of these cases, that it was actually man, and powers exercised by men, that are here spoken of, and thus human beings is the medium through which the mystery of iniquity is manifested; and those particular instruments or the powers of darkness bore these titles in consequence thereof; and therefore beings will bear the judgements due the mystery of iniquity, because of their relationship there – unto, as punishment due to the enemies of God; and thus the enemy and opposite of God, will be judged in his own production. Lucifer, the son of the morning, was evidently the king of Babylon, and he brought light, not that light was a product of his nature, but in his exalted state, he figuratively brought the light to the spiritual Babylon, the exalted state of the Pope of Rome; while his fall shews the complete overthrow of the anti-christian powers. The great red Dragon, the Beast, their Heads and Horns, are all particular marks of the powers of darkness, designated in men clothed with power, and manifesting the enmity of the serpent against Christ. The mediums through which that corrupt iniquity is made known. Pharoah, king of Egypt, is called the great Dragon, Ezekiel, ch. 29, vs. 3, 4, & 5
I feel that I must call the attention of my reader in a particular manner to these verses – v. 3, – “Speak and say thus, saith the Lord God. Behold, I am against thee, Pahroah king of Egypt, the great Dragon that lieth in the midst of rivers, which has said, mine river is my own and I have made it for myself,” Here Pharoah is not only called the great Dragon, but that he is living in the midst of his rivers, claiming the river for his own, and that he had made it for himself. The state of power, wisdom and wealth, is certainly the rivers here spoken of, which Pharoah was in possession of, and claiming as his own; and as there is no rightful, power, wisdom and wealth, for to govern, control and enrich the Church of God, but that which is of God, this claim and boast of Pharoah’s (as appears in verse 9) such wicked presumption that God was about to lay Egypt desolated, while at the same time, Pharoah, the great Dragon, was the medium through which the assuming, corrupting source, or cause of iniquity is manifested; capturing and corrupting the Church of Christ, which was at that time, in, and under the current and control of that river, which Pharoah claimed for his own, as he had made it. This is not the river which proceedeth from the throne of God and the Lamb, clear as a crystal; nor the river, the streams whereof makes glad the city of God; but it is the river, or flood of corruption, preceeding from the mystery of iniquity – claiming a right, power and glory, which alone belongs to God; while at the same time God’s chosen people was in this river, under hard taskmasters; and therefore Christ, when he called them of his apostles, told them that he would make them become fishers of men.
Thus God, in contradiction of Pharoah’s boasted splendour can tell in the 4th verse – “But I will put hooks in thy jaws, and I will cause the fish of thy rivers to stick into thy scales.” – What do you think of this, my reader? Will not this satisfy you as to the fountain, and rivers of iniquity, and the Serpent’s seed being the fish of the rivers of iniquity? And that God will actually cause the Serpent’s seed, or fish them rivers, for to stick fast to the scales of the Dragon, that old Serpent, the Devil; and that he will bring both the Serpent, and the fish of his rivers to destruction, as he informs us in the 5th verse – “And I will leave thee thrown into the wilderness, thee, and all the fish of thy rivers; thou shall fall upon the open fields thou shalt not be brought together, not gathered; I have given thee for meat to the beast of the field and the fowls of the heaven,” Take care Universalian, for God declares that he will leave them in their overthrown situation; and if this be the fact, they are eternally gone.
Now read in the 31st ch. 3d v, where God was, being a where God was being a comparison to Pharoah, and his multitude, and shews that the Assyrian was a cedar in Lebanon, with their branches, &c. This Assyrian was no doubt the king of Babylon in his exalted state, which God brought down. He was one of the tall cadars of Lebanon in his own imagination; had God’s chosen people captured, and boasting in a similar manner to that of Pharoah, while God made him the instrument to defeat and overthrow Pharoah, king of Egypt, as God often sets the Devil’s kingdom to war amongst themselves, all which goes to shew that it will be the case in the final overthrow of the kingdom of darkness, as appears in Rev. ch 17, vs. 16 & 17. Thus it appears that iniquity and corruption is a fountain in itself, and from it proceeds the streams or rivers of iniquity and corruption; and by the perfection, purity and power of God, the practice of that iniquity is manifested; and is often called the Dragon in the waters, as in Psalms, ch 7th, v. 13, and in Isaiah, ch. 27, v. 1, here it is called the piercing and crooked serpent, as well as the Dragon in the sea. A number more such passages might be brought to view, but this is sufficient, for we can now understand how it is that God has made the crooked serpent, and how the wicked enemies of God’s people, are the Serpent’s seed, and eating, or licking of dust, which is the Serpent’s food, as appears in Psalms ch. 72, v. 9, and Isaiah, ch. 49, v. 23, and ch. 65, v. 25, and Mel. ch. 7, v. 17 – thus we see that earthly things are the are the food of the Serpent and his seed, while the war which appears in Heaven, was not as some vainly suppose, in the kingdom of intimate glory, for that would be a terrible thing – but it is the Heaven on earth. Christ’s Church is called the kingdom of Heaven, and here is where Michael and his angels, and the Dragon and his angels, are at war. The war is still going on, and will be, until the great mystery, Babylon is overthrown, and burned with fire. Thus the saints of God need not stretch their thoughts to view their imagination, a set of invisible Ghosts, or spirits, at war in the air. No, it is necessary for every child of God to know, that the war is now going on, and that they are the soldiers for king Jesus, which have received the bounty, should stand to their arms, and fight the battles of the Lord, for it is through the subjects of Christ’s kingdom, that the spiritual war is fought under the direction of Christ their king, while his word and spirit is the weapons of their warfare; and the Christ will reign until he puts down his enemy. And for the encouragement of his subjects, he tells them that he saw Satan fall as lightening from Heaven, which is the bringing down of the enemy from his exalted state, which he had claimed to himself, in capturing and corrupting of the Church of Christ, while the king of the bottomless pit, carries on his war against the kingdom of Christ, through his subjects in this world; while the weapons of their warfare is the exercise of power, signs, and lying wonders, sword, gibbet, &c. It appears that the saints of God are sometimes called angels, and I have as little doubt but that the subjects of the power of darkness are the Dragon’s angels. As such the war which appeared in Heaven – Michael and his angels, fighting against the Dragon, and his angels, I conclude is the two powers manifested through their subjects in this world; yet I have disputed the point of God created angels falling, I shall say something about angels. I do not reccolect of reading in the Bible anything about created angels, I begin to conclude that those disembodied spirits, which are called angels, are not created beings at all, but that they are particles or proceeds of the same eternal spirit as God is a spirit, and there can be no holy existing spirits, but as such proceed from him. Should I now be correct, we can better account for the spirits of devils, or the devil and his angels; for they must be a similar manner the product of the invisible mystery of iniquity, or spiritual wickedness. This may seem like going too far; but I will tell you what makes me think so, and you may think as you please. We have no account of anything but natural matter ever being created; and as God is a spirit that fills immensity, and angels are spirits that belong to him, as well as proceeds from him; and when angels has appeared to his saints, it is often said, that God had appeared to them; it would be inconsistent for God to create an eternal invisible existing spirit, separate from himself. And if in addition to himself, it would appear that he was greater after these angels were created than before. This wont do; so I conclude that natural matter was created, but angels were not; but that they are the products of God, as a way by which he reveals himself, or his will, to the world, or his children in the world, yet all through Christ.
Lest you may think that I am wise above what is written, we will have some few points of God’s word on this subject. Math. ch. 18, vc. 10 & 11 – “Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones; for I say unto you that in Heaven their angels do always behold the face of thy Father, which is in Heaven. For the son of man is come to save that which was lost.” Several facts appears here. First – Christ’s care of his little ones; and as they were lost as reason of sin, he had come for the express purpose of saving them. Secondly – the danger of offending one of these little ones, because they actually had angels continually in Heaven beholding the face of the Father of Christ, their head and husband. – 3d, the evident or relationship which exists between the little ones on earth, in this world of sorrow and pain, and their angels in Heaven, beholding the face of God in glory. What soul reviving truths are these to the little Lambs of Christ; while it is evident that these little ones are the creation of God, but their angels appears to be that part of those little ones which still remained in Heaven; which was not created. And with me it appears reasonable to believe that this is a part of God’s children which was eternally in Christ; while the created part is the product of that which still remains in Heaven, spoke into action by the power, and for the glory of God, which have become captured and corrupted; and now to complete this glory, he will certainly deliver, and bring to himself in glory, this created part, where this created part, and its angel, will be one in Christ, to the glory of God, Heb. ch. 1, v. l4 – “Are They not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation.” Here St. Paul was shewing, that although Christ was superior to angels, yet, angels were sent to be ministering spirits for the heirs of salvation; which shews that angels are concerned in the salvation of the heirs of glory; while these heirs are created brings, and they are spirits, and therefore not created, Psalms, ch. 34, v. 7, “The angels of the Lord encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them.” It here appears that the angels are called the angels of the Lord, as well as The angels of God’s little ones; and while they are beholding the face of God, they are encamping around his saints; which goes to shew not only God’s care toward his people, and the union between the angels and heirs of glory but also the difference between created beings, and spirits which is the product of God as a spirit.
I might bring forward a great number of similar points of scripture, but this is sufficient to shew my views on this point; and except that it can be proven that God did create angels, or disembodied spirits, it already stands proven that angels are not created beings. And should this be the fact, we can then understand in a similar manner, how the angels of the Dragon, the old serpent the Devil, is the prophet of the mystery of iniquity, the spirit and fountain of spiritual wickedness; and we can better understand what St. Jude and St. Peter means respecting of the angels that kept not their first estate; and God’s not sparing of the angels that sinned, but cast them down, &c. For if I am right in viewing the mystery of iniquity, or power of darkness, self existent and the fountain of spiritual wickedness, and that source has flowed the spirits, or angels of the Devil; we can at once see from what source these angels has sprung, and had that iniquity have remained inactive, and never had captured and corrupted the Church of Christ, it would not have been accountable to, nor punished by the justice and wrath of God. But in that act of capturing and corrupting of the workmanship of God, it has become a violation of God’s righteous law, and therefore exposed to the curse of God; while God by this curse has opened the way (as I have shewn in my views on the Two Seeds) by which, what is contained in that fountain of corruption, may be manifested, brought to light, and suffer the punishment due to that iniquity.
Thus we see that not only the Serpent’s seed, or non-elect, but these angels would never have been brought into action, or accountable to God, if sin had not been brought into the world which God had made; but by the act of the Serpent, these, his angels, kept not their first estate, but have left their own habitation, and have sinned, and therefore God has chained them down to hell, until the judgement of the great day. He lets them go no further than he pleases; and thus the apostle argues, that if God has thus dwelt with those wicked invisible spirits, or angels, will he not deal out his wrath, and awful judgements, on the workers of iniquity, the product of that fountain of corruption, who have an eternal existence in this world, by, and through the enmity of Satan appears, in persecuting and putting to death, God’s dear children, for God will avenge the blood of his saints, on them that dwell on the face of the earth.
I cannot say everything that seems to lay before me, I must bring this point to a close; and if I have succeeded in proving that God is not the author of sin and corruption, but that the mystery of iniquity, or power of darkness, exists in itself, as the opposite of God, and the source from whence has sprung all sin, corruption and iniquity; it then become easy to understand the doctrines contained in my views on the Two Seeds, while it prepares our minds to understand, view, and realize something of the beauty and benefits of the doctrines, contained in some few, fair conclusions drawn from, or as certain consequences growing out of these two positive points of doctrine, when fairly considered together.
In attending to this, it is necessary to remember, that false principles can never afford just and fair conclusions; but just and fair conclusions are to be drawn from just and fair premises. I am apprised that numbers that call themselves Baptists, have been guilty of the sin of lying before God, and to their fellow man, in manifesting their opposition to my views on the Two Seeds, by stating that I have written, or held out, that God had created a set of beings for the Devil. That the Devil holds a creating power, and has created perhaps more people than God did. That the Serpent cohabited actually with the woman, and begot children by her, leaving out of view her husband, with a number more similar statements – all of which are false. And from these false statements, they draw conclusions, which represent a horrible thing to the public mind, all charged to me. – This is some of the lying wonders of that wicked one, which is deceiving many, and causing them to war against that which they have no knowledge of. So I shall now take the liberty to draw my own conclusions, from the premises I have laid in God’s words; and in doing of this, I shall no doubt take notice of some few more prominent basis, belonging to the premises. In order that the minds should be prepared to understand the doctrines correctly. we should keep in view what is contained in these two permanent points; the doctrine of the union or relationship in Christ, presents these facts; that Christ and his Church is one, eternally has, and will be one – Christ the head, the Church the body. That the Church when created, was the display of the power of God in speaking into actual existence the members which compose that body of Christ while the same relationship as it was before; and his Church was nothing more than what was in Christ before creation. that this body being created by, and for Jesus Christ, and his standing in the flesh and blood relationship to his children, shews that there were no false members, nor surplus in creation, and that the purpose of God, according to election, is as positively necessary, and manifested in the natural existence, generation and birth of these members of the body of Christ, which were created by him, and for him, as in the converting grace that reconciles them to God; and in consequence of this union, oneness, and relationship, the justice and glory of God appears in laying the sins and iniquity of this Church, the body, upon Christ, the head of the same body. And therefore the benefits of the sacrifice of Christ, can, and postively will be applied to even member of this body; not only to the souls of these members when converted, but also to their bodies in the morning of the resurrection; and if one little member should be lacking, the body of Christ will not be complete, and, of course all must be lost, as no incomplete thing can be glorified with God. Thus the glory of God, and the salvation of the Church, must depend on every member of the body of Christ being brought home.
The doctrine of the self-existence of the power of darkness, or mystery of iniquity, presents these facts. That there is an existing opposite to Jehovah, which never did receive its origin from God, the fountain of perfection. That this opposite to God, is, in its nature, a fountain of corruption sin & iniquity, from whence has flowed everything which is contrary to the nature of God. That this iniquity is in its nature, at enmity and war with God, and everything that proceeds from him; and therefore the iniquity of every human heart, with all the persecutions against the children of God, are natural consequences flowing from that source of corruption, and that the saints of God will never rest in peace, until that power of corruption is destroyed, by being close chained to Hell.
These two points of doctrine I think I have proven by the word of truth, and shall now proceed to see how they will fit, and work together, in the following conclusions. First – by these two points of doctrine it appears that there are two powers in opposition, in their very nature, one to the other, as sources from which matter has sprung. That one is the fountain of perfection, from which has sprung everything that is just, holy and good, as a product if its own divine nature; and that the other is the fountain of sin and iniquity, from whence has sprung everything that is corrupt, wicked, base and vile, as the product of its own wicked, corrupt nature. Seceond – That as this mystery of iniquity was only self-existing and not self-subsisting, it had not power to create the objects of its hatred, by which its corrupt, wicked, envious nature night be known; as well as opening up the way in which its opposite, the fountain of perfection, might be manifested. Neither had it a will to do these things, as it is evident that iniquity is ashamed of itself, and never wishes to be known as it is; but agreeably to its nature, is deceitful, concealing itself, and often hiding under the cloak if a better name, or pretended righteousness.
While the mystery of Godliness, being self-subsisting, possessing in itself the means and power, with the will to make himself known, and opened the way by which the mystery of iniquity, his opposite, might be manifested to his own glory; could and did create the objects of his love, as the product of himself, and without any infringement of his divine nature, could suffer his enemy to distil the Serpentine nature into, capture and corrupt these objects of his love which he had created, and by that means open up a way by which his enemy should be manifested in his wretched deformity; and that by his own power, in the display of his truth and justice, which was in himself, by the display of his wrath, by way of a curse levied upon the serpent and his seed, with the creation which he himself had made, by which the very nature of God appears opposed to, and at war with sin and iniquity. While at the same time, being infinite in wisdom, as well as power, he had secured in himself, (not in man) the life, purity, salvation, the certain and safe return to himself, in glory, these subjects of his love, by guarding against the invasion of this corrupt enemy. Choosing them in Christ their head, husband, brother, and friend, before he ever created them; while Christ was the medium of operation, by, and for whom they were created, as well as the medium by which the mystery of Godliness is manifested to them in the world. Third – That there is not now, never was, nor will be any more nor less of neither of these fountains or mysteries; and that which has proceeded from each of them, is the matter which was virtually in them before brought forth; and the bringing forth of this matter, is a manifestation of what was in the cause that produced it, and an evidence of these facts; as no cause can produce effects stronger then, or different from itself, neither can any fountain raise its streams above itself, (this is the reason that perpetual notion has never yet been started by man) while it appears that the manifestation of what is, or was contained in the mystery of iniquity, is as completely in the purposes of God, as the manifestation of what it is, or was contained in itself; and that it is as essentially necessary for it to complete to display of the glory of God, in his victory over the power of darkness, and returning every particle of matter to the source from which it sprung, bringing the objects of his love home, with triumph and joy, while he is chaining down his enemies to sorrow and pain, where they will trouble him , nor his saints no more; as what it would be for the strength, wisdom and power of an enemy to be known, in order to crown an officer with honor and glory, for victory gained over said enemy.
As I am apprised that there is something that will appear new to some, in this point of conclusion, which will no doubt be critized on; I shall take room to produce one or two evidences to prove the doctrine at least as old as the bible. The mystery of iniquity spoken of in 2d. Thessalonians, 2d ch. 7th v, is clear to the point; for this iniquity did certainly exist, and was concealed, or it could have been no mystery. Mat. ch 10, v. 26, “Fear then not therefore; for there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; and hid, that shall not be known,” If you will read this chapter, and notice the subject this stands connected with, you will then see (except you are really blind) that the persecutions against Christ’s apostles, was designed to make known the hidden things of darkness and hishonesty, as well as making known what was yet in himself, that they had not known. Ecclesiastes, ch. 1, vs. 9 & 10 – The thing that hath been, is that which shall be; and that which is done, is that which shall be done; and there is no hew thing under the sun. Is there anything whereof it may be said, see, this is new? It hath already been of old time, which was before us.” This, sir, fixes the business in spite of all you can do; its a nail in a sure place; and to prevent you from drawing it, I will now clinch it. Chapter 3d vs. l4 & 15 – “I know that whatsoever God doeth, it shall be forever; nothing can be put to it, nor anything taken from it; and God doeth it, that men should fear before him. That which hath been is now; and that which is to be hath already been; and God requireth that which is past.” And this a clincher?
If my doctrine be true, both the nail and the clincher is too plain to need any comment; but I think that it will be hard for any man to shew a consistent, satisfactory meaning to those points of God’s word, while he denies my doctrine. While we are considering what is included in the first question, if we turn our attention to the last verse quoted, it will explain on the whole matter; for that shews with its connection, that everything that had been before that time, was still the same; no adding to, or taking from it. And that which was yet to be manifested, had already been in the fountain or source from which it had, or was to spring. And as the time had been (speaking after the manner of man) that all the product of these two mysteries, or first causes, was completely in the fountain from whence they have sprung, separate and distinct, one from the other; from whence they have been spoken, brought, or driven into action into the action in the world, mixed, and mingled one with another. And God requireth that which is past; therefore it is his purpose to gather his saints together in himself, and drive his enemies to their own habitation, and bring about the separation and distinction, which was before the world began. And for that great end, the wheels of time is rolling on, unfolding the purposes of sod, until the appointed time comes, when all his purposes will meet together in the complete overthrow of the powers of darkness, and deliverance of every member of Christ’s body.
I night quote many more passages to the support of this point, but this is sufficient, as by the mouth of two or three witnesses, every word shall be established – and so I pass on to the fourth conclusion. As these two kingdoms or powers, are in their nature opposite one to the other, there appears to be an enmity existing between them. And this I shall now attend to; it is a nice, particular point, and what makes it more so, God saith that he has done it, Genesis, ch. 3d, v. 15 – “And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shall bruise his heel.” This is my old text, but in my views on the Two Seeds I have not taken up that point so particularly; here is where the two powers seem to come in contact, one with the other. The original sin is the first thing to be noticed in this, for that was the cause why the enmity was put between them. Here we shall find the iniquity on the part of the Serpent, and the manifestation made by the justice and power of God. This orignal sin, was the act of the eating of the fruit of that tree which God had forbid. Yet this seems to proceed from a curse, a nature, principle, or disposition, which the Serpent, the arch enemy of God, had distilled into the woman before she put forth her hand, and partook of the forbidden fruit. This is what I am after, for this is the cause of not only that woman’s sin, but every sin and iniquity which has been commited or practiced in the world, from that time until now. This is the Serpent’s seed, which has brought forth the viperous generation. But remember that her husband had received the forbidden fruit at her hand, and he was the way through which she received the Serpent’s seed in a way to bring forth, for her and her husband were both one, and she could not conceive without her husband, in whom was invested the begetting power. Let us examine what did take place with the woman; she appears to have had a conversation with the subtle Serpent, in which the Serpent seems to admit that God had forbid their eating of the fruit of that tree, but hold out to her that God’s object was to keep them in a state of ignorance, and to accomplish that purpose, he had been deceitful and lied. The Serpent could tell her that she should not surely die; for God doth know (said he) that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes will be opened, and ye shall be as Gods, knowing good and evil. Thus the woman not only disbelieves God, and believes the Serpent, but really possesses a thirst for a a higher station than what her God had made, or placed her in; and now begins to believe that instead of dying, as her God had said, that she, by eating of the fruit that she was to become greater, wiser, and more noble, than what her God had made her. She, now viewing the fruit, it seemed pleasant to the eye, as it possessed the quality of making one wise, she partook of it. What do you think now brother Arminian? Did the woman’s believing all these fine things, make them so? you have to say no; then away with your rotten stuff, saying, that what a man believes to be right, makes it right to him. Begin to think; it is not here where the spirit and principle of works first took place in the human heart and families, it certainly was.
Remember that as the man and woman were both one, they were both called Adam, and that there was not even one thing left for Adam to do to make him better ot greater, or oven preserve his present standing; his not being preserved him; the act of doing, became the sin. The law God gave Adam, was a law of prohibition, and not to be fulfilled by performance, while he remained as he was. Thus the spirit, principle, and nature of works, or doing sprung from the old Serpent, and by him, ingrafted into the human heart, inopposition to God; from which has proceeded every wicked, rebellious act against God. This is not the works of faith that I am talking about, which is found in the gospel, and enjoined on believers to perform, in evidence of their love to, and faith in Christ. No – it is the principle, nature, and works of the law, which was ingrafted, and. still prevails in the human heart, and evidenced in the world, religiously, politically, and profanly. Not that the law was sin – No, that is holy, just good. This is that nice point; now can the law be holy, just and good, and yet stand so close connected with the wicked nature which has proceeded from the Serpent, as appears to be the fact?
This brings us to view something of the enmity which God has put between the woman and the Serpent, and the two families. It is now evident that the Serpent introduced the principle and disposition of works, with the wicked God-dishonoring design; and the Church of Christ had now received this wretched thing, therfore had become captured by the Serpent, and from him received that carnal mind, which is enmity against God, and cannot be subjected to the law of God, Romans, ch. 8, v. 7, this carnal mind is said to be death; and is no doubt what Paul calls, the body of death, in the chapter before. Adam received carnality from the Serpent, which is that principle and nature which I have been describing. This separated him from God; this separation was the death which he died in the day that he partook of the fruit. He was now driven out of the garden, and exposed to every calamity that God of divine purity and justice might see proper to pour out upon a wicked, disobedient being. The Church of Christ was now gone, separated from God, the fountain of light; and dead in trabgressions and sin; and would have been eternally dead and gone, had it not been for their life, union and relationship, which still remains safe and secure in Christ, her head and husband; and in consequence of which, her loving friend and relation, could not, and would not let her go, but espoused her cause, and claimed his right. And now as the Church had received this carnally, which was in itself enmity against God, and with that corruption she never could enjoy her God, her Maker, and Husband. And as it was impossible to reconcile that carnality, or corruption, to the perfect nature and law of God, as it is to recognise perfection and imperfection together, which cannot be, (think of the Universalian,) The only way that remains for the salvation of the Church of Christ, is to separate every member of Christ’s body from that enmity and corruption, and that from then. And as the nature, right and power of exposing and condemning iniquity; and separating the precious from the vile, was in, and belonged to God. And as such, he, for those express purposes, with the display of his own sovereign right and glory, in truth and just perfection, handed down his divine law on Mount Sinai, with such awful majestic power, that it made creation to quake and tremble. Thus it appears that the Serpent had introduced the spirit, nature and principle of works; and this was that enmity and corruption which had not only produced enmity in the hearts of the members of Christ’s body against God, but had reconciled them to the government and power of darkness; as well as opening the way by which, (under the curse of God) that the Serpent in his seed, the product of the mystery of iniquity, might, and should be brought into action in the world, as I have shewn in my views on the Two Seeds. And now as the members of Christ’s body is captured and corrupted by the Serpent, reconciled to go with his seed and government. This enmity cannot appear and be known, except God makes it manifest; thus God puts the enmity between the two sources or families, by handing down his law, which is the perfect standard of works, and shews the corruption and iniquity of that spirit, principle, and nature of works, which the Serpent had introduced, by shewing how far it falls short of the true standard, that is in the perfection of God. It is true that this enmity appears in the world before the law was handed down on Mount Sinai. It is also true, that God was in some way and decree made known to the world in that dark time; just so far as God was known, so far that enmity appeared, and no further. But now on Mount Sinai he makes a great display of that which was in, and rightfully belonged to himself; by which the enmity ingrafted in the human heart, founded on falsehood, pride and unbelief, (and by which it is still supported) is manifested and brought to light. The law is of the same nature and substance, and therefore may be called the same law given to Adam in the garden; for it is a law of prohibition. And as Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, and from under the law, if this was not the same law, I should be at a loss to know which of the laws Christ redeemed us from.
This law is not sin, neither does it make sin, as some suppose; but by it, the sin and iniquity which actually is, abounds and is manifested. By this law is the knowledge of sin, and without it, no conviction can be brought to the hearts of sinners; nor condemnation appear against the Serpent and his seed. But by it conviction is, under the influence of the divine spirit, brought to the hearts of God’s elect; while the Serpent and his seed, has, does, and will appear guilty, and be justly condemed. This law, as it manifests the mystery of iniquity, the fountain of corruption, which is distilled in the human heart, and manifested by actual practice in the world; it being the covenant of works, by which this principle of works is detected, is therefore represented by the figure of Agar, Sarah’s bond-maid, as being a bondwoman, and a mother, bringing forth children. And for why? Because this law, or covenant of works, even while perfected in itself, manifests and makes known that corrupt source from whence the Serpent’s seed, the generation of vipers has sprung; while it, with the righteous power of its author, is chaining them down, in, and with their own cords of corruption and bondage, to suffer the vengeance of the eternal fire of God’s wrath. This law, making manifest, the wicked corruption of that carnality, (I now touch the nice point again) which is enmity against God, in its nature, and which cannot be reconciled to this law, which manifests its corruption, is what makes this law the enmity which God has put between the Serpent and the woman, and between her seed and his seed. Now as this law is holy, just and good, it can possess no enmity against that which is good, but shews its own opposition to iniquity, while it makes known the enmity that iniquity possesses against that which is good, and thus the enmity is between them. –
Now notice one thing in particular, and that is, that this enmity is not between the woman and her seed, nor any particles of them; neither was it between the Serpent and his seed, nor any particles of them; but between the Serpent and the woman, and his seed and her seed, and none else, and in no other way. By this it is evident that nothing but the Serpent and his seed will appear as the enemies of God, to be slew before him; while it is equally evident that the Lord has appointed the woman and her seed, (which is no doubt Christ and his Church) to be on his part; as such, none of them will appear on that great day his enemies, to be slain before him. Then the fact appears to be this; That as nothing but the Serpent and his seed will appear enemies, in that great day prepared for destruction, and if the Serpent and his seed be only disembodied wicked invisible spirits, or natures, possession no actual existence in this world, that no actual or visible existences will ever suffer the wrath or vengeance of God. But just as certain as the Bible is true, the universalian doctrine falls, and natural existences, or human beings dying in a state of sin and unbelief, will be judged, condemned, and suffer the vengeance of eternal fire, as sure as the Serpent and his seed appears in actual existence in this world, and will be judged and condemned, as the enemies of God. And now as to this doctrine, much depends on this law being the enmity which God has put between these two opposites, when I prove that to be the fact, don’t you think that I shall pin the basket, as to the doctrines contained in my views on the Two Seeds – So now let us try it, Romans, ch. 8, v. 6 – “For to be carnally minded is death,” &c. – v. 7, “Beacuse the carnal mind is enmity against God,” &c.
This shews that the following after the flesh, or being carnally minded, is that enmity and death which proceeds from the corrupt mystery of iniquity. 2d Corinthians, ch. 3d, v. 7 – “But if the ministration of death, written and engraven in stone, was glorious,” &c. this, with Romans, ch. 7, v. 10, “And the commandment which was ordained for life, I found to be unto death,” goes to shew that the commandment was not designed to give life, while those that did them, lived in them; possessing the temporal inheritance secured by so doing, but in reality that is the ministration of death to sin and sinners, and Paul found it so to him. Thus death appears on the part of the law, and is that enmity on the part of justice, manifesting on the carnality, which is the enmity, and death on the part of iniquity, – Iniquitty is death itself, because it separates, and is in its nature, separation from God, the fountain of life. The law is death, because it is the display of just power, in inflicting punishment on the workers of iniquty. The death that justice inflicts, is the separating of the Serpent’s seed from all the blessings which are common to all men, and confining them down to everlasting pain and misery, as a reward due them for their sin and rebellion against God. Thus the enmity of the law appears to terminate in the eternal death of the workers of iniquity, who die in their sins. Collosians, ch. 2d. v. 14. – “Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to the cross.” Here appears something like iniquity, in the law standing against us, even the chosen of God, because of the serpentine nature, which was in them. And if against them, there can be no doubt of its standing against the Serpent’s seed, as they never was anything but corruption. Thus the enmity of the law, which was put between the Serpent and the woman, and his seed and her seed, appears pointed in all these passages of divine truth. But we will come to Ephesians, 2d. v. l5 – “Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in the ordinances,” &c. Now dont you think this fixes the business? For this is plain, that the law is enmity as I have described, and that is abolished to the benefit of the believer in Christ, but still stands against the unbeliever.
I am apprised that the ingenious critic is watching me all the time, with an expectation that I will leave one gap down which he intends creeping out at; but stop sir, I have my eye upon that, as well as you, and if you dont watch close, while I am putting up that gap, I shall cut you off at the knees. I am as well apprised as you are, sir, that this handwriting, and law of ordinances, belonged to the shadow which the law had, of good things to come; and as it has met its antitype in Christ, you think it is done away. True, it is to the believer who has turned to Christ. We must now notice that the law contain three facts – Moral, national or political, and ceremonial. This I have took particular notice of in my views on the Two Seeds; yet the law is nowhere called laws, in the plural number; and yet at all times, when the time of giving of the law is referred to, our minds are led to Mount Sinai, when and where the moral law was given; all of which goes to shew that the national, and ceremonial parts of the law was completely under the eye and control of the moral obligation, which was a substance, and not a shadow. And therefore it was the right and power of the moral obligation, spoken of in all these things. – And the fact is, these carnal ordinances, which was offered year by year, was this shadow which the law had; and this shadow being carnal, rendered it impossible to make the corners thereunto perfect. This, sir, instead of answering your purpose for the supporting of the Arian principle in denying the divinity of the law, and thereby endeavoring to overthrow the divinity of Jesus Christ, goes to establish both; for if the law had not been of a divine nature, a real substance, it could not have had, or produced a shadow; and if anything short of a divine sacrifice, could have magnified and made honorable the law, these carnal ordinances would have been sufficient. This proves the divinity of the Saviour and that nothing short of a divine sacrifice could make the comers thereunto perfect. And thus instead of the book of the law spoken of in Galatians, ch. 3d, v. 10, being something and distinct from the moral law, or ten commandments, it is evident that it is the same moral law. – For this is the enmity, as it appears in 2d Corinthians, ch. 3d, v. 7 – “But if the ministration of death, written and engraven in stones,” &c. This is certainly the ten commandments, which was written and engraven in tables of stone. And as we have already proven that death is the enmity, and this is the manifestation of death, the thing is plain. And in Deuteronomy, ch. 4, v. 13, they are called the ten commandments, wrote upon tables of stone. This is spoken of in a way to shew all the law that was handed down by Moses on Mount Sanai, as appears in chapter 9, v. 11 – “And it came to pass at the end of forty days and forty nights, that the Lord gave me two tables of the covenant” – Here the ten commands is called the covenant, and in chapter 5, v. 22d, it appears that the ten commands, and what was contained in them, were all that the Lord had delivered to Moses on the Mount. This is further evident from Leviticus, ch. 26, v. 46, and ch. 27, v. 34, for here we find that all the statutes, judgements and laws, was included. And thus the wrighting them on stones which they were to take out of Jordan, and on the posts of the doors, &c. was the test of their obedience, or part of the law. And Christ can let us know that the whole law hangs on only one or two points, to be performed by man.
This leads us to another nice point; for as the law is that the enmity on the part of justice, and is in itself a law of prohibition; as of the nature of the law given to Adam in his holy state, which only prohibited him from action. But as, or since man has received the Serpentine nature and principle, by reason of his act, it now becomes necessary for a test of his obedience, not only to keep in view the law of prohibition, in its divine nature, but but to shew the negative part of the same divine law, which is the acts and performance of duty, both to God and. man, which is contained in, or called the book of the law, producing its carnal ordinances, as a shadow; and while the shadow shews Christ the great antitype, and the holy spiritual law with its divine authority and power, stands ready to judge, and condemn, even the foolish thoughts of the heart.
Thus the Serpent’s seed stands justly condemned for lack of performing the just requirements of that divine law; the principle of the practicle part of which he had introduced with a design to destroy the word of God. Now notice one thing that will settle this point, that is, it was not the prohibiting part of the law which the Serpent introduced the principle of, the negative, or practical part of the law; for when we notice tha law of prohibition, it implys that there is a nagative, or practical part to be required; and the Serpent sets men to perform the practical part, with a design of becoming as Gods, which was wicked; yet the law is not sin, but it is the strength of sin, while we are carnally sold under sin; therefore we see that the Serpent has introduced the principle of works, while the law in the practicle part, is the covenant of works, which is in bondage with her children, not able to give them life, for their covenant is death, sin and iniquity, both in their father, and the principle which brought them forth. By this time it is likely the wicked critic is beginning to smile, thinking he has caught me now; but stop sir, I am apprised that I have told you before this, that the law left, nor required nothing for man to do, or perform, to make him any better nor preserve his present standing; but sir, you should remember these facts: first – That man’s nature before he received that wicked nature, was completely in accordance with the law given to him; as such, there was no performance required or needed. Second – That the principle of works being introduced, opened the way for, and gave rise to the necessity of introducing of the practical, or negative part of the law; making it binding on all those who had received the principle of works, (until they are redeemed from it) as well as those which the principle has brought forth; thus it was handed down on the Mount, rounded on the positive part of the law. Third – That Adam was in an earthly paradise; and if man could keep the law to an exact point, that it could never raise him any higher than the transgression took him from; and the Serpent’s plan was to make them as Gods, and leave them in the earthly paradise; while God’s plan was, to raise the object of his level to a higher station, out of reach of trial or temptation, and therefore he turns man out of the garden, lest he should take of the tree of life, and live forever, (what a glorious thins was this, as man’s partaking of that tree would equally have defeated God’s purposes) opens the way by which the objects of his love is brought home to their higher station; while his enemy is justly condemned, and overthrown.
I conclude this point of conclusion by a few remarks on the 9th verse of Jude, respecting Michael and the Devil contending, and disputing about the body of Moses. Notwithstanding the man of sin, the son of perdiction, was not fully revealed, yet the mystery of iniquity was already working, and Jude was bringing to view particular manifestations of that iniquity designated in different characters or instances; and while on this subject, he makes use of the word “yet”, as much as to say, besides all this, or, notwithstanding all this. Michael, the archangel, when contending with the Devil, (he disputed about the body of Moses) durst not bring against him a railing accusation, but said “the Lord rebuke thee.” And by the next verse we learn, that Michael and the Devil, well understood what they were about, for he here uses the word “but”, and then goes on the say “these”, (which refers to the characters that he was speaking of before) “speak evil of these things which they know not; but what they know naturally, as brute beasts,” &c. And then goes on upon the same subject that he was on before.
This passage shews the enmity that we are contending for; with the war which has been, and is still going on between two contending powers, as will appear from Daniel, ch. 10, vs. 13 & 21, and chapter 12, v. 1, and the 3d chapter of Zachariah, &c. while the nice point is, to know on what ground the Devil could produce such a strong colour of claim to the body of Moses, that this great angel and prince durst not bring against him a railing accusation; for if the Devil had not have had a strong colour or claim to the body of Moses, the angel could justly have railed against him, for contending for that which he had no colour or claim for. – As I have already proven that Moses is spoken of as the law, or covenant of works: and that the Serpent had introduced the principle of works, we can at once see upon what ground the Devil claims the body of Moses, or covenant of works; for the Devil has introduced the spirit or principle, with a design to destroy the works of God; and God handed the perfect standard, by which the Devil is, and will be rebuked, and completely overthrown – thus the emnity is put between the Serpent and the woman, &c.
From these doctrines contained in these two permanent points, together with the conclusions drawn from them, it is evident that the purpose of God is to make manifest the corruption and enmity which properly belongs to, and is the real nature of the mystery of iniquity, the opposite to himself, as well as to make known the power and right which is contained in himself. For it is contrary to the nature and purpose of God to execute judgement upon that which is not known, as he could not be glorified thereby. And as we have already proven that the nature, right, and power of revelation is the proprieties of Deity, we can at once see how it is that the power of darkness, or mystery of iniquity, has become accountable to God, and a subject of his wrath. For notwithstanding it never received its origin from God, but exists in itself, and while it remained inactive was not accountable to God, although the opposite to him in its nature; yet the enmity of its own nature against God, was, and is such, that it is, and was, prone to seek an occasion against God, as it is for water to run down stream. While it was the purpose of God to suffer that enmity to appear, and the very instant that the Serpent beguiled and corrupted the beings that God had made, that instant he became a transgressor of the divine nature, or law of God, and a subject of his wrath – Thus the way is opened by which the divine perfections of God, in truth and justice, could appear in opposition to iniquity, by the curse levied on the Serpent and his product.
We can now see, as I have shewn in the supplement to my views on the Two Seeds, on what principle it is that God can cast the Devil, death and hell into the lake that burns with fire and brimstone, where the beasts and false prophets are. And now, as God is known, manifested and glorified in, by, and through his people the members of Christ’s body, the product of himself; so the Serpent is known, manifested and tormented, in, by, and through his seed, the members of his body, (the Mystery Babylon) the product of himself. We can now understand what is meant by the 9th chapter of Romans, vs. 20, 21, 22, 23, & 24 – St. Paul was in this chapter proving the doctrine of election, as to the rpinciple heirs of glory, both amongst the Jews and the Gentiles; by bringing to view the doctrine of election, as manifested in the natural birth of God’s elect or chosen people. And in doing this, being apprised of the enmity of the human heart, which was charging God with injustice, upon the doctrine of election he makes head against them in the 2d verse, by bringing to view that no man should reply against God his maker, for making hill thus. This shews the right and power of God, and the Serpentine nature which is ingrafted in the human heart against the sovereignty of God, while the 21st verse, by the similitude of the potter and the clay, shews that the vessels to honor, and to dishonor, although made of the same lump, yet it was not the same vessel which was made to honor, but another one. And as this lump was in my opinion, Adam in his created state, the vessel to dishonor could not have been made at that time, as all the works of God was very good, and to the honor of its Creator, before sin had corrupted it. And this vessel to dishonor, certainly was not to the dishonor of God, the maker, but to the source or cause why it was thus made; as the 22nd verse will shew the reason why this vessel to dishonor was made, and why God is sparing of the wicked, or letting the Serpent’s seed live in the world. God is willing to shew his wrath, and make his power known; this is the reason why he has raised up Pharoah, as appears in the 17th verse.
Now my reader, stop and pause a moment. Is wrath one of the divine perfections or properties of God? If so, there would be some propriety in contending that God created the non-elect, these vessels of wrath in Adam. But if wrath be a composition of the divine properties of Deity, manifested by truth and justice against iniquity; that corruption which is the opposite to incorruption; then this wrath of God is the just resentment of his own divine perfections against that iniquity, which has corrupted and captured the objects of his love; and as such cannot take an effect upon anything of his own image, or that which he pronounces very good; and therefore these vessels of wrath could not have been in Adam before he sinned, as it is contrary to the very nature of God to create as the product of himself, objects of his wrath and hatred; while the 23d verse, lets us know that God was rich in glory, and that he had prepared vessels of mercy to know it. And the 24th verse, informs us that it was not only amongst the Jews that these vessels of mercy had been before prepared, but also amongst the Gentiles.
Think of this brother Arminian, while we, in order to fully explain this matter, turn our attention to Jeremiah, ch. 18, vs. 3 & 4 – “Then I went down to the potters house, and, behold, he wrought a work on the Wheels. And the vessel which he made of clay was marred in the hand of the potter: so he made it again another vessel, as seemed good to the potter to make it.” This was designed to warn Israel against their iniquity, that is true; but it also shews what it is in the power of God to make them in consequence of their sins, and thereby shew what God had done with Adam, because of his sinning; for God was the potter, and wrought a work on the wheels of time, or nature; and Adam was the vessel made of clay, which was marred in the hands of the potter. And as I think that we dare not say that Adam was marred in the hand of his maker at the time that God pronounced all his works was very good; then this vessel was not made again another vessel, until man had sinned, or become marred in the hand of the potter. Thus we understand how the vessels of wrath were made of the clay of the same lump, to the dishonor; of that iniquity by which the vessel had become marred in the hand of the potter. – For when man had sinned, God, by the power of his curse made him again another vessel, as seemed good to him to make it.
It has now to be noticed, that there were two vessels, instead of one; or two uses made of this one vessel. For St. Paul saith, that there was of the clay of the same lump one vessel unto honor, and another unto dishonor; which shews that here was two made of the same lump. Thus the purposes of God, in Adam’s being the instrument of the natural existence of the members of Christ’s body was not frustrated. He yet remains the instrument for that purpose, while God makes this same lump another vessel, which is by the power of his curse, making the man and woman, which he had made good, and the Serpent corrupted; the instruments of medium, by, and through which the Serpent’s seed, or vessels of wrath are made, or brought into natural existence. And this is evident by the use St. Paul makes of this passage, in proving the doctrine of election, both as to the natural and spiritual existence of God’s chosen people, together with a smililar light offered in Isaiah, chapter 45, v. 9, respecting man’s striving, or contending with his maker; as the clay has no right to complain against him that fashioned or formed it, By all of which we are brought to see the purposes of God, in making known the mystery of iniquity, as well as the mystery of Godliness, and the way by which the Serpent’s seed are brought into action in the world, as I have more fully pointed out in my views on the Two Seeds. The doctrine contained in this conclusion, will be better understood when we consider on what principle the declarative cause of salvation, and condemnation will appear. On this ground the Arminians are widely mistaken, and a number of Predestinarians fall short of understanding it correctly. The word of God abounds with evidences to prove that the human family is to be judged and rewarded according to their works; and those which have done good is to be raised to the resurrection of damnation – From this line of scripture, numbers of saints all-but ready to conclude that there is something meriterious in their works; and at the same time unable to distinguish between the works of the law, and the works of faith. Thus, while their own experiences teaches them that salvation is wholly of God, or grace, they are often brought into bondage under the covenant of works; while the lazy or ignorant Predestinarians is often lulled to sleep under the conclusion that as salvation is all of grace, nothing left for him to do, and being so afraid of Arminianism, that they fail to perform the works of faith, which God has required in his word.
We will now call to mind that the moving cause of salvation is the love of God; this is the cause why God gave his son to die for us; and the cause why the objects of his love is brought to love God. Jesus Christ is the meriterious cause of salvation, because he has dyed for our sins, and rose again for our justification; and it is his precious blood that cleanses us from all sin. The Holy Ghost is the official or instrumental cause of salvation, because by it, the soul is born again, and the merits of Christ’s blood allyed; while it works faith in the soul, applying the evidences of redemption to the poor in spirit, by which they are enabled to lay hold on the hope before them. The works of faith is the declarative cause of salvation, because by the works of faith, we glorify God, in proving or manifesting that faith in the Saviour and his word; which works by love, and produces obedience to his commands.
While on the other hand the enmity of the Serpent is the moving cause of condemnation; for this is the cause why the heart of man is deceitful and desperately wicked, at enmity with God, and refuses salvation by grace. The meritorious cause of condemnation, is the practical part of sin, in thought, word, and deed, (for the law of God is spiritual, and takes notice of the foolish thoughts of the heart) because by it, the wickedness of the heart is made manifest, for out of the heart proceedeth every wicked thing. The official cause of condemnation, is the instinct of the spirit, and power of darkness, ingraven in the nature of man; because by the office of the mystery of iniquity, working in the heart of man agreeably to its own nature, under the covenant of works; the blindness, ignorance and wickedness of mankind is still kept up, and manifested by signs and lying wonders, in order to deceive if it were possible, the very elect. The declarative cause of condemnation is the truth and perfections of God; because by it, iniquity is manifestated and punished, to the glory of God, in the deliverance of the objects of his love.
There are two interesting points to the present age, and should concern every mortal being. First – To the unconverted man, for he should know the truth, that while he is in the unconverted state, that he an unbeliever, in a state of condemnation; and not because he is of the Serpent’s seed, but because of his sin against God. For it is the disobedient unbeliever that God has appointed to wrath; and while men in the love and practice of sin, they should know that they are in a state of condemnation; for this is one purpose of God in sending the gospel, that it should be a witness unto all people; and thus by rejection of salvation by grace, the enmity of the serpent is manifestated, and the condemnation of the unbeliever sealed, and justly so, to reign over them; and this is the condemnation, that light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. Second – The believer in Christ should feel a great interest here, for by their works of faith and love, in, and to Christ, his word, cause, and people, are manifested, while they shine as lights in the world to the glory of God, and benefit of his people. If you love the Lord he has made it your duty, and high privilege to claim a seat in his house. Follow your Saviour, and come over to the help of the Lord against the mighty, for God has appointed or elected the objects of his love, to sanctification of the spirit. Faith, and obedience, love, and good works, and so far as we possess these things, we are delivered from the powers of darkness; while we should remember, that the just is to live by faith. Yet it is by grace that we are saved. Let us now consider, that if the works of faith, is in any part the meritorious cause of salvation, then we must have that part, or we cannot be saved, for there must not be any part of that meritorious cause of justification lacking.
Then what will become of our infants that die in their infancy, or our friends that possess a hope on their death bed, or of the thief on the cross; for none of these can, or has performed the works of faith; and if it be the meritorious to one, all must have that merit, or else they are gone. Now take care brother Arminian, lest while you are guilty, in saying that I have preached that infants are lost, and in hell; that you be not found holding the doctrine that would prove the destruction of infants.
I now conclude that it is grace that produces faith and obedience, and not faith that produces grace. Neither is it part grace, and part works; for it is grace that gives the heirs of glory faith, and a right to perform its works, while it is that grace that was given us in Christ before the world began, that is manifesting in the hearts of saints, the iniquity in their own hearts, making the distinction between the Serpentine nature and the perfections of God, which produces the christian warfare in every converted soul; while the light of divine grace is making the distinction between the Serpent’s nature and work, and the nature and work of God, both within and without. We should now remember that to be converted from the covenant of works, to the covenant of grace, is as much the work of the spirit, as to be converted from the practical sin, to moral performance.
6th. The principle, or works of the law, appears to be an instinct of the human heart; although the Gentiles were without the written law, yet they did by nature, the things contained in the law, having not the law, are a law unto themselves, which shows the works of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the meanwhile accusing, or else excusing one another, as appears from Rom. 2d ch. vs. 14 & l5, this is the moniter which is in every man’s breats, instead of the work of the divine spirit, as some vainly suppose. Thus by a just understanding and fair conclusion of these two points of doctrine, we shall understand three facts manifested by the works of the law, or this conscience in every man’s breast. First – the enmity and corruption of the Serpent ingrafted in the human heart, as the principle of works, which he has handed down, by which the corruption of the human heart, under the influence of the enmity of the Serpent, is manifested. Third – The evidence of sin and iniquity, by the guilt and fear, (not love) which appears in the sinner under the curse of the law, being conscious of his lack of performance. –
Thus the spirit and principle of works, appears to be the enmity of the Serpent in the human heart, while the law of God is manifesting the iniquity and corruption thereof, which produces a knowledge of guilt, manifested by fear, as there is no fear in love. The law was never designed to lead men to love God, but its being the penalty, and death to the sinner, it makes him fear and tremble, and will slay the trangressor, without shewing him the beauty that is in the Saviour; working in him nothing more than the sorrows of the world, which is death. While it is the grace by the spirit, which shews the beauty of the Saviour, and works repentance unto life; it is the goodness of God that leads men to repentance, and not the fear of Hell.
7th. Christ was put to death by the power of darkness, the enmity of the Serpent, by the hands of wicked men. Yet he was delivered according to the foreknowledge, and determined council of God. By a correct understanding of these two points, we shall see how the wicked are the sword of the Lord; and God has manifested the enmity of the Serpent, by suffering the powers of darkness, by the wicked hands of its subjects to crucify and put the Lord of glory to death. They could do nothing with him until the hour had come. Pilate could have no power but that which was given him of the Heavenly Father; While at the same time Christ could have had the assistance of more than twelve legions of angels to his relief. Yet he submitted to the torture of wicked men, and for why? Because for that hour and purpose he had come into the world. Thus we can understand the glorious display of the two decrees of God, that by his suffering of the powers of darkness to progress with its enmity against Christ, his son, the head and husband of the Church, and heir of all things, he not only makes manifest the power and enmity of the mystery of iniquity, but so governs and controls its progress that he completes by its act the meriterious cause and way for the complete accomplishment of every point and part of his absolute decree, in the display of himself, and of his Church, by the sacrifice of Jesus Christ.– That although he was put to death by the hands of wicked men, who were under the influence of the spirit and principle of works, the enmity of the Serpent.
Yet he was the great antitype of the carnal ordinances contained in the covenant of works, which God had handed down in opposition to the principle of works, which the Serpent had ingrafted in the human heart. Thus by the blood of Christ, who, through the eternal spirit, offered himself without spot to God, purges out conscience from dead works, to serve the living God; and all the suffering of God’s saints is to be accounted for in the like manner, while the same purposes is to be accomplished thereby. Perhaps you, my reader, thinks by this time you have caught me in some mistake or other. That may be the case, and if you are under the influence of the enmity of the Serpent, you will try to cover all the truth you can with that error, but if you are taught by the spirit of God, you will charge the errors to my imperfectations, and give God the glory for the truth; but be sure that I am wrong before you venture too far, for God will judge you for your abuse of his truth.
I now recommend to you my reader, to work off the medicine with the word of God, and christian experience. Drink freely of the spirit of truth, for which apply to the God of grace, who giveth his holy spirit to him that asketh it of him. – “All things are plain to him that hath understanding.”
I shall now pass on to give a general view of the subject in a brief way in which I shall take some notice of the nature, progress, and present or late appearances of the enmity between the Serpent and the woman, and his seed and her seed. We know it to be a fact, that when a man has been for a long time in the dark, and when brought instantly to the light, that the light has a tendence to dazzle his eyes, so he cannot at once discover the beauty in the objects the light makes manifest. This may be the cause why so many are startled, and alarmed, at the first view of those strange things which I am bringing to light. But it only requires a moment’s reflection to bring to our minds, that the line of scripture which I have taken under consideration, has for a long time, lay almost as a useless part of God’s word; from which the Church of Christ has received but little or no benefit; and as it is evident that the source of perfection never produced a surplus thing, this line of divine truth means something, and I must acknowledge that I am some surprised to find men who profess to be believers in the word of God, engaged in strong opposition to my views on this subject; while, instead of correcting my errors (as they suppose) by bringing to light the true meaning of that line of truth which I have taken under consideration, they are acting the part of the deist in trying to produce other parts of divine truth to contradict me, and that part of the word of truth, which I have founded my doctrine on; and are rediculing both me, and the word of truth, together; which instead of offering conviction to my mind, goes to establish my doctrine, in proving the enmity of the Serpent and his seed, which is yet prevailing thus in those latter days, some are departing from the faith; but they are left without excuse, the light is beginning to shine, while it appears to me that that the whole book of God is engaged, either directly or indirectly, to the support of this doctrine, and every christian experience upon earth, is bearing testimony to the truth it contains. For the little doubting sister knows by experience, that there is an awful capturing, corrupting power, which is more than a match for her; that has, and still is, tormenting and troubling of her, while the view she has of the perfect holiness of God, convinces her, that this enmity never proceeded from God, as he tempts no man.
When we understand the doctrine of the union, or relationship in Christ, to, and with the Church, it shews the beauty, excellency, and meritorious cause, and source of redemption. And that God has a purpose in creating the objects of his love, by, and for Jesus Christ, while he is the elder brother, .with whom we shall, in consequence of his relationship to us, and us to him, be joint heirs with him in the kingdom of Heaven. And when we turn our attention to the mystery of iniquity, the Dragon, or Devil, and his angels, we find them not the product of the divine nature of God, and that the Devil, or his angels, as invisible spirits, are not created beings; for we have no authority to believe that God ever created invisible spirits or angels, neither of the kingdom of ultimate glory, nor of the lower regions.
We are informed in divine writ, that God created the Heavens and the Earth, and all things therein. But what Heaven is this? Not the kingdom of ultimate glory. Now examine the first chapter of Genesis, that will tell us what Heaven was. Examine this well, this is the key that will open into this whole mystery. Here we find that when God had created the Heaven and the Earth, that the Earth was without form, &c. and when God made the firmament, he divided the waters which were under the firmament, from the waters which were above the firmament, God called this firmament Heaven.
This is the Heaven which God created, and all things which are in this firmament of Heaven, or Earth, visible and invisible, as natives thereof, God has made. But in this there is no invisible spirits nor angels, as we have any account of.
Thus the angels of Heaven are natives of God’s throne and kingdom, while the angels of the bottomless pit, are natives of the kingdom of darkness. And as God’s little ones has angels which are not only beholding the face of the Heavenly Father in Heaven, but are also ministering spirits, ministering unto these little ones, which are the members of Christ’s body. So I conclude the Devil’s angels are attending the Serpent’s seed. And this is the war that is going on, Michael and his angels, are fighting against the Dragon; while the dragon and his angels are engeges for the overthrow of Christ’s kingdom; and the wisdom and power which conducts and maintains this war, is received from the source to which each army has sprung and belongs, manifested here on earth, by, and through the subjects of their different kingdoms. Yet it is to be remembered, that all the power of action in the world, which the powers of darkness can have, God suffers to be, as the right, power, and nature of manifesting of the powers which do exist, belong to God; it is the pleasure and purpose of God to suffer the power of corruption to be exercised against Christ and his Church, and therefore they could have no power, except it were given them of God. Thus the wrath of men shall praise God. Wicked men wants to do wickedly, and. God gives them power, by letting them act, and will punish them for their acts of sin, as he never gave them a wicked nature, and has the right to exercise of the power he grants, to be performed to his glory.
We can now better understand what is included in the 1st chapter of Colossiansm v. 16 – “For by him were all things created that are in Heaven, and that are in the Earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers; all things were created by him, and for him.” Now compare this with Eph. ch. 6, v. 12 – “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in High places.” Now my reader consider, it is certainly wicked for man to oppose and strive against God. And if these principalities and powers that St. Paul was wrestling against, were the same principalities and powers that God had created by, and for Jesus Christ, he was certainly at war against God, and teaching his brethern to do the same. Can this be the fact? think you say no. Well then what is the fact? I can see no other way but to acknowledge the truth. Dare we poor mortals, who have to appear at the awful bar of God, contend for a doctrine which gives God the lie, and charges him with being the author and that by, and for the blessed Saviour, of such base, wicked, corrupt things; and even of being the source and cause of spiritual wickedness in high places. Oh! blush at such a thought, and pray to God of grace, that the wickedness of your heart may be forgiven you. One of these passages shews us what was created, by who, and for what. And in the 20th verse, same chapter, we are informed that the Father has, by this same Jesus Christ, by, and for whom all things were created, “Made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by Him, I say, whether they be things in the earth, or things in Heaven.” St. Paul certainly did not lie; if not, it is impossible for those things that he was at war with, to be amongst those things that were created by, and for Jesus Christ; for if so, they would certainly have been reconciled to God, and of course no war, nor wrestling against him. While the other passage brings to our view an uncreated something, which does not belong to the creation of God, made by, and for Jesus Christ, but as an enemy, with its enmity, has crept into the creation of God, in disguise, and is now contending for that which is God’s right; and as God is not disposed to give it up, a war has took place; and here we have some description of that which is contained in the mystery of iniquity. Notice it well, we find that it is called principalities, and powers, and the rulers of the darkness of this world, and spiritual wickedness in high places. All these are high characters, when the child of God considers their enmity against them, they will, I hope, read and obey the next verse – “Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God,” &c.
There many more passages of divine writ on each of these points; but as correct understanding on these two will explain all of them, I shall pass on. The nature, progress and present appearances of enmity between the Serpent and the woman, and his seed and her seed, is the matter of the greatest interest to us at this time, for in consequence of that, the christian warfare is progressing, and we can be of little benefit in a war, unless we can have knowledge of the enemy. – When we search the words of truth, we find that from the death of Abel to the present day, it has been a scene of enmity and war. And when we candidly reflect on what the Lord has done through the progress of time, taking into view the strictness of the law, with the services rendered to it; the rise, progress, and fall of kingdoms, nations, and empires, it will prove to us, that this enmity, or war, is not a mere fancy or noise; but that God has been making bare his arm, in the deliverance of his people. When we duly consider on the calamities, persecutions, trials, and suffering scenes which God’s saints have passed through in the different ages of the world; with the present trials and afflictions of both body and mind which awaits all the saints of God, and then remember that there is not, nor never has been one pain, groan, nor sigh in vain, but are all designed to fill some purpose in the council of God, for his glory, and the good of his suffering children; I think that we shall be constrained to acknowledge that it is a truth, there is a reality in the enmity and war between the mystery of Godliness, and the mystery of iniquity; while it will prepare our minds to suffer the will of God in this world; and more particularly when we realize the sufferings of the loving Saviour for us, and know that there was not a groan, nor one drop of blood in vain; but all was necessary to accomplish the redemption of his people, and destroy the works of the Devil.
As I here take some pains to shew the nature of this enmity, I shall now proceed to shew something of the manner and progress of this enmity and war, between the powers of darkness, and the captain of our salvation, together with some of the appearances of the enmity and war. – As the Serpent has commences this attack, captured and corrupted the objects of God’s love. I shall first take notice of the enmity and weapons of warfare ingrafted in the human heart. The spirit and principle of pride and unbelief ingrafted in the human heart, upon, through, and by which the spirit and principle of works (which I have shewn to be the enmity on the part of the Serpent) are built, proceeds and appears. This being corruption as well as enmity, has armed the human heart with blindness, ignorance and ambition, all united to oppose the kingdom of God, and support infidelity, establish the honors, and kingdom of the powers of darkness. Thus armed, they venture out, rejoicing in the work of their own hands, while sporting in their own deceivableness, and with the powers, signs, and lying wonders, like the wise men of Egypt, working the miracles as near like the work of God as they can; deceiving and being deceived, while by their idolatrous traditions, custom and habits, in connecting with the former weapons, the human family in heart, becomes completely hernessed for the field of action, on the part of the Devil, to envy, hate, persecute and say all manner of evil against Christ and his Church, pursuing them even unto death, with all the malice, rage, and torturing inventions that their wicked heart can invent.
We will now take some notice of this enmity and war, as manifested. – It is now to be remembered, that in almost every case where the Lord reveals himself to, and through his people, that the Devil was engaged to do something as near like the Lord’s work as he could, claiming it to be the Lord’s work, and thereby intending to deceive. When the Lord sent out prophets or preachers, the Devul would send out prophets or preachers, and when the Lord would perform signs and wonders through his subjects, the Devil would work signs and wonders through the subjects of his kingdom; and the Lord suffered them to exercise great power, so that they could bring down fire from Heaven in the sight of men. This war is founded on, and proceeds from the principle of works; this enmity has appeared in the kings and nations of the earth, through all the war against the Israel of God, while it often appeared in God’s chosen people, when they married with the other nations of the earth, and went a whoring after other Gods, which was still another signal of the enmity and war. Satan’s kingdom is not only a confused kingdom, but has appeared in so many different principles and forms, and through so many different kings, kingdoms, empires, dragons, beasts, heads, and horns, that it is impossible for me in this short piece to notice every particular, or even every tenth one. But it should be noticed, that the principle of works, appeared in the Pharasees and Sadduces, manifesting its enmity against Christ and his followers; we should do well to remember that Christ warned us against the leaven of the Pharasees and Sadducees; while we should not forget this same principle appeared in Arminius (except that he had now got the name of Jesus, somehow or other in it) when he laid the Arminian’s plan, while we should notice the enmity and war which has been manifested in that plan against sovereign grace ever since. But when we come to where the man of sin is revealed, the establishment of the Pope of Rome; here we find a particular manifestation of the mystery of iniquity, the enmity and war; here is great holiness, power and authority claimed; here is where the Church is made national, instead of congregational; here is where infant baptism found its birth, designed to take away original sin, regenerate the child and make it a member of the national Church, which they called Christ’s Church; here is where the foundation is laid to change the the mode of baptism from immersion to sprinkling or pouring; here is where the education is found essential to the (which is called) gospel ministry, and salaries found for preachers, different to what St. Paul was in the habit of receiving, for his was forty stripes save one, besides shipwrecking, stoning, &c.; here is where the bare name of Christ is made to appear honorable, by the enmity of the Serpent, while merchandise is made of that which is called the gosple; and here is where an awful persecution sprang from, levied against the true Church of Christ, because she refused to submit to the change of things, and their wicked idolatry. This is the mystery, Babylon the Great, the mother if harlots, and abominations of the earth; and from her has sprang all the daughters of Babylon, where the marks and names of the beast are still found. This is the woman that sets upon the scarlet coloured beast, and the Lord is calling come out of her my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues, for the Lord is about to destroy her; she has exalted her against the Lord, and drank the blood of saints, therefore shall her plagues come in one day, death, and mourning, and famine, and she shall be utterly burned with fire, for strong is the Lord God who judgeth her.
This is that dark antichristian delusion which has captured the world in the gosple dispensation, and thrown its dark veil of ignorance, tradiction, and superstitution, in this principle of works, around the understanding of even numbers of the dear saints of God, which represent the true light of the gospel, which shines in the face of Jesus, and manifested in, and through the word from reaching their hearts or understanding. But the Lord is still calling, come out of her my people, &c. while I am labouring to rend this dark veil, and may the Lord of grace assist and direct you and me.
From this dark, corrupt has sprung a number of erroneous principles and practices, and some of them has made their appearances amongst the people called Baptists; and as I believe that same enmity, or principle of works is that abomination spoken of by Daniel the prophet, now standing, or aim to stand, in the holy place, or Church of Christ, I shall take notice of some few particular points, regardless of the feelings of mortals, for there is no time to be trifling with things now, courting smiles, nor fearing froi.ms, when the truth, souls of men, and glory of God is at stake; and am acting under oath to my God and fellow men, to hear the words at the Lord’s mouth, and blow the trumpet in Zion, and sound the alarm in God’s holy mountain, and all the inhabitants of the land may tremble, as the day of the Lord is near, nigh at hand.
It is now necessary to notice that this enemy against truth, this corrupting principle of works, when it has lost its power to perpetuate, and force its way, it will then use the subtility of the Serpent; appearing in the garb of the best and greatest friendship; soft, smooth language which is hard to withstand, clothing itself with the name of Jesus, and words, grace, grace; holding at the same time the dagger of death under this cloak of friendship, which will soon appear when it feels to have the power to succeed.
The first thing I will notice, is, that some odds of twenty years ago, the Predestinarian Baptist of Kentucky was courted by the Arminian Baptists, and finally agrees to lay down the names of distinction and be known by the name of the United Baptists, and at the same time suffers this cunning enemy to slip into the terms of the treaty or marriage, these few words, “That the preaching that Christ tasted death for every man, should be no bar,” (or words to about that amount) Although this is scripture language, yet I have but little doubt but that it was brought into this improper place, with about the same design, that the Devil tempted Christ with the Scripture; and the winds of subtilty, and enmity of the Serpent has oftentimes visibly appeared in the Baptist Church in consequence of that unlawful marriage. This was the leaven of the Pharasees and Sadducees, which has injured the whole lump, in this western country; the enmity has got into the Church of Christ, while her enemies are them of her own household, who will compass both land and sea to make a proselite, and when they have made him, he is two fold more the child of Hell, than they themselves. This treaty between truth and error, has opened through which the Devil can, and no doubt has brought a number of his ministers into the Church of Christ, appearing as ministers of righteousness; they can now preach any and every kind of doctrine, provided they have the name of Jesus in it, as tasting death for every man, and claim protection under the terms of this marriage, or union. This is the cause why we can now hear almost every kind of doctrine inculcated amongst the Baptists, and claim as Baptist doctrine. – This is the source from whence has sprung this mongrel breed, appearing half in the speech of Ashdod, and cannot speak in the Jews’ language, but according to the language of each people, “Which say they are Jews, which are not, but are the synagogue of Satan.” Here is where merchandise is made of the gospel, and saints of God; while the temple of God is made a den of thieves, a house of merchandise, and a place where the table of money changing stands. This is the time when the Church of Christ sinned, in suffering the association to rob her of her keys, which her Lord and husband had gave her, and thereby bringing her enemy into her own-bosom; which has spread its dire contagion, throughout the western country, while some of the old fathers of the gospel of the state of Kentucky, as well as elsewhere, have closed the evening of life with awful sensations of sorrow, grief, and anguish of soul, in consequence of this captured and corrupted state of Zion; her walls being thrown down, while numbers of her watchmen are taken captive by the enemy, and the Church of Christ groaning and struggling under the tyrannical hand of Pharoah, king of Egypt; and numbers of the present soldiers of the cross of Christ, are now suffering under the yoke of bondage, wherein they have again become entangled, experiencing something of that enmity which is the product Of that source; while they are labouring to establish truth, and bring out the Israel of God, from their state of bondage, and relieve the Church from the enemies of her bosom, by warning her against the cunning craftiness of men who lay in wait to deceive, and exposing to public view the corruption of the powers, signs, and lying wonders of the mystery of iniquity; while the voice of God is demanding his people of the powers of darkness, and calling, come out of her my people, &c.
Now the facts are, God never intends to make peace with the Devil, give any quarters to the corruption of iniquity, nor enter into the treaty of compromise with the powers of darkness; for when he divides the portion with him, as the strong, he will but give him that which proceeded from him; and therefore it is extreme wickedness for the subjects of Christ’s kingdom to enter into a compromise with the enemies of truth, and for which God will chastise them, as he did his nation Israel, for marrying with the rest of the nations of the earth, and going a whoring after other Gods; and an Arminian in the Church of Christ, is something like the rotten rail in the farmer’s fence, where the bad cornfield hog is apt to creep in at; for the enmity of the Serpent against God is such, that it requires him to seek every occasion against the truth, and peace of Zion that he can; he will bring every Arminian in the Church that he can, and thus he creeps into the Church, with a great appearance of zeal and friendship; and here he is now ready to take advantage in his power of the weak side of saints, and lead them into idolotry, patterning after the doctrines of Babylon, preparing to withstand and overthrow the truth, all under the sacred name of Christ. But let them once conclude that they have got the power in their own hands, or be like to be driven out, and how quick will the wind’s subtilty, and enmity of the Serpent appear. The truth of these facts, have no doubt been witnessed by some parts of Kentucky, as well as Illinois, and perhaps elsewhere.
The question is now – what shall be done? I recommend to read and obey, in a gospel sense, the 9th and 10th chapters of Ezra, and the 13th chapter of Nehemiah. The second thing that I shall notice, is the mission principle or system, which has crept in amongst the Baptists, and has formed itself into a body, claiming the title of the Baptist board, &c – supported by its tributary stream, of its own nature, from different quarters, and of various forms and qualities. From which has sprung, and to which is connected, a seminary of learning, a Theological school, with their train; and the religious tract societies, the Bible and Sunday school societies, with their train.
Although these are separate institutions, yet they have originated from the same source, and claim the honors in combination together. And as no one could have any just grounds of objection to the circulation of the Bible, (when done in a proper way) this institution is calculated to blind the eyes of the simple, and give currency to the corruption, fraud and iniquity which is contained in the principle of works, and enmity to truth, which is now manifesting itself in, by, and through these various forms, means and ways.
As the public is generally in possession of information respecting those institutions, their customs, manners and ways, it is not my design to illustrate this subject at this time; for all that is wanting to prove this to be the Arminian principle or spirit, or principle of works, and therefore is the multiplying enmity, ingrafted in the human heart by the Srepent, is, just to impress the mind of the candid inquirer after truth, so as to lead him to trace and examine into the facts which do exist, and is manifested on this subject, through, and by these institutions, and their various trains, in said matters of facts which do exist, when rightly compared with, and by the word of God, and Church history, will be found a number of the marks of the beast, subtility, winds, and enmity of the Serpent. Do not forget to listen to the call come out of her my people, &c. while I pass on.
The third particular that I shall notice, is, that there is no immediate call of the divine spirit to the work of the ministry and that the ability of, or in, the dispensation of God’s word, is not by the immediate aid of the divine spirit of God. Although these ideas are not confirmed alone in the mission principle, yet it is evident by the method taken by the mission system, to qualify, send out, and support ministers, that they have but little dependence on the divine spirit, for aid. When we notice some of the evils that attends such ideas as these, I think that we shall have no hesitation in believing that this is the principle of works, or enmity of the Serpent.
First – if the call and ability of the ministry, be not the immediate work of the divine spirit, then they must come from the source of nature, and therefore the religion of Jesus Christ is natural and not spiritual. If so, natural man can reason themselves into the faith and religion of the gospel at pleasure. Second – if the call and ability of the ministry be not the immediate work of the divine spirit, then the formal ministers who have been compelled, under a weight of mind, to venture their all, were all enthusiasts and fools; and those who are now under exercise of mind, weighted down under a sence of the worth of souls, and glory of God; viewing their own iniquity to engage in so great a work, are all under the spirit of delusion. Third – so far as these ideas prevail, they keep back the men who are under real exercise of mind, to embark in the gosple ministry, drownding them in confusion, laying them under violent temptation; while these self-conceited, worldly minded, truth abusers, fleece hunters, who careth not for the sheep, knowing nothing of the spirituality of the gospel, are puffed up and honored. And if those ideas could finally prevail, a corrupt ministry would prevail, turning the grace of God into lasciviousness; while the true ministers of Christ would be looked at with contempt, and the Church corrupted, and the truth trodded under foot. While it would then become an easy matter to take the next step, and deny the work of the divine spirit in converting the soul of men, and turning them from darkness to light, and then the enmity of the Serpent would have its full hold. Fourth and last – If the call and the ability of the ministry, be not the immediate work of the divine spirit, then, as it is wicked to pray to God (think of this brother Arminian, when you are praying to God to convict and convert sinners), all the prayers which have been offered up to the Lord of the harvest, to send more labourers into the vineyard, and to be with, and enable his ministers to declare the mystery, and truths of his word, with all the dependence on, and the prayers to the God of grace by the preacher himself, for divine aid in the ministry, have been vain and wicked; while we at this time, instead of looking to, and depending on God, for preachers, and abilities, we must be looking and depending elsewhere. – This would open the market for these man made, college bred preachers, who love to eat, and wear fine clothes, with a great name in the world, better than to work, and bear the cross of Christ, with the sufferings, and stigmas, which is the wages of all the humble followers of the Lord.
I am apprised of the vain, wicked arguments used for the support of these ideas; such as that these immediate calls, and aids of the divine spirit, was to the apostles only, as they were inspired men; and if there be men who have such calls and aids of the divine spirit now, they must work mircles, &c. and that their preaching should be wrote down as the inspiration of God; while the groth, and imperfections manifested in, and by the ministers of the gospel, is much harped on.
But all this trash vanishes as it were in a moment, when we come to realise of a truth, that the administration of life, is the gospel dispensation of the spirit, by which God makes us able ministers of the New Testament, notwithstanding the days of miracles have ceased, yet the Holy Ghost is that comforter which is to abide with God’s saints forever; and the power of working miracles was something more than that which makes men and women saints, or enables our sons and daughters to prophesy, or proclaim Jesus Christ the saviour of sinners – And no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost, and the diversity of gifts are all given by the same spirit of God; while we remember that God works as he pleases, and that although there is a growth in grace, and knowledge of Christ, yet it is the immediate aid, or teaching of the divine spirit, that produces this growth. Although much imperfection appears in the ministers of the gospel, yet all the purposes of God, accomplished through, or by these imperfect men, are under, and by the immediate aid and direction of the divine spirit. And this, instead of these thing arguing against the immediate call, or aid of the divine spirit, they go to prove, that religion is all of God, and we should be looking to him for divine aid, while all the true ministers of the gospel, knows with St. Peter, that if any man minister, that it is, or should be, with the ability which God giveth.
Thus we find that the principle of works, the enmity of the Serpent, is manifested in this way; and that this call is still sounding, come out of her my people, &c. There are three interesting facts which now present themselves to our view. First – That the spirit and principle of works, or enmity of the Serpent, is, not only the manifestation of the Serpent, which in its nature stands opposite to, and is seeking every advantage of Christ and his Church. But has so many different forms, ways, and plans, to deceive, capture, and corrupt the Church of God (some few of which I have brought to view) that we must now be convinced that nothing but divine power and grace, can save and deliver the Church from the corruption and enmity of the power of darkness. Second – That the power of the man of sin, the antichristian delusion, is not only the product of the Serpent, the medium, the way, by, and through which the enmity, corruption, and power of the mystery of iniquity is maintained, and carried on in the world, to the dishonor of God, and the distress of his Church. But by the marvelous signs, powers, and lying wonders which flow there from, all clothed with the apparent zeal, and name of religion, is that which has, and yet does, keep so many of even the members of Christ’s body lapped up in the dark cloud of ignorance, (which is the product of the serpent, and is corruption in itself,) chaining them down to the plans, doctrines, and tradictions of men, and thereby the true meaning of God’s word is hid from their understanding; while they are making lies their refuge, instead of making munition of rocks, the place of their defense. Third – That the time is not only at the door, when the Lord will save and deliver the objects of his love, from the dark, bewildered, captured, corrupted, and suffering situation that they are in, under the influence and delusion of this capturing enmity of the Serpent, and completely expose, defeat, overthrow, and chain down the Hell his enemy, the powers of darkness, with all the appurtanences thereunto belonging; but that he is preparing of his Church to emerge out of her captured state, making his angels, spirits, and his ministers a flame of fire, by, and through which, the gospel shall shine seven-fold brighter. Unfolding the mystery of divine truth; bringing to light the hidden things of dishonesty; exposing to public view the heinous nature, and deformed features of the Serpent, the spirit and principle of works, the enmity, with its train, by which the glory of God will appear, in separating the precious from the vile: gathering all thing out of his kingdom which offend, and them that do wickedly: pouring out his wrath upon his enemies of truth, slaying them before him, as they are now ripe to receive the reward of their iniquity, and therefore he calls, come out of her my people, &c.
I shall notice a fourth fact, which is equally true; that is, this enmity, the spirit and principle of works, does actually exist, before it is manifested. And every christian well knows by experience, that the clearer the light shines into their hearts, the more they discover of the corruption of this iniquity, and the stronger the struggles and esertions appears to be on the part of this enmity. From this, as well as the authority of the word of God, it is evident that the brighter and cleared the truths of God’s word are brought to shine, the harder and stronger the exertions, and oppositions will appear on the part of the powers of darkness, and its subjects; while the names of the poor earthern vessels, through which this light is made to shine, will be cast out as evil, and counted as the off scouring of all things, for the truth’s sake.
Thus the messangers of salvation, and watchmen on the walls of Zion, should have no more expectation of meeting, with the honors and applause of this enmity, the principle of works, the religion of the Serpent and the world, than that a compromise will take place between the perfections of Jehovah, and the corruptions of iniquity. And that instead of courting the smiles, or fearing the frown of the world; or being discouraged when they meet with trials in discharge of their duty, by slanders, persecutions, in perils in the deep, or with false brethern, they should know that all this opposition is the enmity of the Serpent, trials of their faith, and evidences that they are the ministers of the truth; while they should rejoice that they are counted worthy to suffer all these things for Christ’s sake; remembering, that great is the reward in Heaven. And that with each tempted Lamb of Christ should know that they have something to do in this tremendous war, if you can do nothing more than to deny the work of darkness, by the evidences of love and obedience, in following Christ into the wary grave, and filling a seat in the house of God. Do this, it is a great privilege and work. And you, poor tempted ambassadors of Christ, who are struggling under awful and solemn impressions of mind, often bowed down through manifold temptations, fearing that you will dishonor the cause of God, or one day fall by the hand of Saul; often thinking, and concluding that if you could sing, pray, exhort, or preach, like such and such a one, then you could venture out into the work of the Lord. Oh, my brethern, remember that the work is all of God, and if you can but in a broken stammering manner, publish to the world, that Jesus Christ is (not a half,) a whole, complete full Saviour, worthy to be trusted, honoured and obeyed; recommending him to your fellow men, and then to seek for, and trust in such a Saviour; come on, you need not be discouraged, this is a great shot against the kingdom of darkness, for the diversities of gifts by the same spirit is given to profit withal, and you are completely filling a place in the purpose of God, as the greatest preacher in the gospel field; and although you meet with trials, you can in the name of the Lord, call, come out of her my people, &c.
Being convinced of all these facts, and being apprised that there has been, is now, and a futher intention of a fraud, or frauds, practiced, or being practiced upon the public, and candid inquirers after truth, by a combination of different particles on this enmity, the spirit and principle of works, I now believe it my duty to endeavor to relieve the Church of Christ from her present enthralled, dark, and captured situation by reason of those errors, and warn her against the evils that are planning against her, by bringing to light, facts which have, and does yet exist in three particulars, in which this spirit and principle of works, the enmity of the Serpent, has, or is manifested, in the war against which I have been, and am now, particularly engaged, and feel for the truths and cross of Zion, a deep interest. First – the hard struggle and contest and war respecting the principle and practice of what is called the Baptist Board of Foreign Missions. Second – The contest and war respecting my views on the Two Seeds.
Third – The uniting and combining together in one general effort against the kingdom of Christ; the enmity of the Serpent manifested in those particular cases. As much has been said and done on each of these subjects, it would swell this piece to a large volume, for to give a null history of those cases; I shall only take notice, in a short way, of the most particular circumstances in which the public is most particularly interested; And I pledge myself to do all the justice to these three subjects that I am capable of doing in the limits I occupy; while I hold myself accountable for every pointed statement I make on these subjects.
First – The principle and practice of what is called the Baptist Board of Foreign Mission, has been a subject of controversy for many years, in which I have been engaged; and for the purpose of shewing the iniquity of that establishment, and warn the public against the evils connected therewith, in order to defend and preserve the cause of truth, I have written and published three publications – 1st entitled, A Public Address, &c. dated 1820 – 2d. Plain Truth, 1823, this was published by the authority of the Church of which I was a member – 3d. The Author’s Defence, in l824. In these I have noticed a number of noted marks of iniquity on the part of the supporters of the mission system. Some short time after my first publication, there was charges exhibited against me in a sister Church, on the subject of my publication by one of her own members, several months before I had knowledge of it. Now, as well as previous to this, the enmity of the Serpent seems to appear. I now found that truth and error could not dwell peaceably together, and that I must lay down the weapons of warfare against the great prevailing evil, or become a subject of discipline. Not being willing to surrender the cause of truth, and finding that truth or error must die, in order to reclaim my brethern from that sin, and releave the Church of Christ from that prevailing corruption, I proceeded to exhibit charges in gospel order against two brethern, who were connected with the Baptist Board of Foreign Mission, by way of a Mission society formed auziliary to said board. The Church of which they were members, refused to take up charges against them on that subject, inasmuch as she justified her members in the course they were pursuing. This terminated in a course of dealing; the Church of which I was a member, took up charges against her sister Church, for holding two and justifying of her members in the support of the principles and practice of the Baptist Board of Foreign Missions; a strong struggle now ensued, the thing passes on in various forms und ways, until the subject was referred to the Churches agreebly to the provisions off the constitution of the Association; and notice this, that the whole proceedings had been conducted as the constitution had provided, although alterations had been made in the constitution during the progress of this business; but now the Churches, the proper authority, is legally called on, and at the next Association gave their voice, which appears in the face of the Minutes, thus – “The cause of Missions shall be no bar to fellowship, 2 – Neuter, 1. – Justify the conduct of Maria creek Church, 2 – Cause of grief with Maria creek Church, 5. “The Association being tolerably equally divided on this subject, but little attention was paid to the voice of the Churches; more warmth than order prevailed. Frequent propositions was made for a division of the Association, and as we found that we could not live together, a division was agreed to on both sides, which reads as follows – “By motion, appointed a committee of five, to prescribe a division line for this Association, to wit: John Parker, Thomas Pounds, Asa Norton, Robert Elliot, and Daniel Parker, who report as follows, to wit: that the Wabash river be the line, and the Churches on either side of the river, join which side they think proper; and the Churches on the east side from themselves into am associated capacity at their pleasure, which was adopted. And on motion, as many of the Churches as think proper, will meet by delegates, at Little Flock, Curry’s Prairie on Saturday before the third Lord’s day in September, 1824, and we request as many of our brethern in the ministry, in the neighboring Associations to attend with us, as can with convenience.”
This is all that the minutes knows of the division, except that in the division of the minutes, one half was to be for the Wabash District Association, and the other half for the new one to be formed on the east side of the Wabash. I did submit to this division, notwithstanding I was apprised that there was some disorder in it; having no expectation that so wicked an advantage would be taken of it as has been; (this learnt me something.) I then thought that division best, being now fully convinced that we had to part; believing that there would be more peace and harmony, for the supporters of each side to be to themselves, having no doubt but that the face of the minutes would shew the design of the separation, and that Maria creek Church was under the censure, or admonition of the Churches composing the Wabash Association, and therefore none but the friends and supporters of the principle and practice of the Baptist Board (so-called) would consider her in order, to join in with any other orderly body of people, before that difficulty was settled; while I well knew that the Churches held the right and power to correct the errors of the Association.
In order to understand the enmity manifested by the false representations respecting the authority, acts and proceedings of that Association, several things has to be taken under consideration. First – Is the Association the head, ruler, and law giver of the Churches? or is she a creature of the Churches, for their own benefit, and therefore not bound by the illegal acts of the Association? Our constitution by which we then were governed, declares that the Association should not lord it over God’s heritage, nor infringe any of the internal rights of the Churches, while it secured the right of settling such matters by the voice of the Churches. Second – That the Association was composed of twelve Churches, and but ten Churches noticed on the cause of grief, and one of them silent on the subject. This will answer the point of criticism which is strongly urged respecting the constitution, stating on matters of dealing, that a determination of a majority of the Churches should be final. – Here the subtility and enmity of the Serpent appears, as the constitution failed to say, “of them that act or vote.” It is now contended, that the silent Church had determined in favor of the trangressing Church, and therefore it was a tie, and that a majority had not determined against her. This is what confused the Association, while it is evident that the silent Church had determined to say nothing on the subject, and submit to the voice of a majority of a balance of the Churches, this leaves the votes five and four. And again, this is not what should be called a distress, or cavil between two Churches; but a case of grief, while there was no charges against the aggrieved Church; yet her vote is not counted here; she is treated as though she had been a trangressor; and as there is no point of gospel discipline which sets the aggrieved member down upon a level with the trangressor, and takes from him the right of suffrage, nor gives the transgressor a right to vote on his own case, to relieve himself. It is evident that in this case the aggrieved Church had a right to her vote, and that the trangressor had not; this would make the votes stand six and four. Thus the corruption of this plea appears, which prevented the Association from doing her duty, in carrying more fully into effect the voice of the Churches. Third – That this division of the Association was unknown to, and without the authority of the Churches, and therefore could not be binding on them; and as such, the Churches composing the Wabash Association, still held the right to do with her transgressing sister as they believed the gospel discipline required. Fourth – That there was no Church or Churches dismissed in common form, for the purpose of forming this new Association; but each Church left it to the freedom of their own will, continue or join where they thought proper, which shows that the object was to divide asunder the opposers to, and friends and supporters of the principle and practice of what is called the Baptist Board of Foreign Missions; therefore no fellowship or correspondence could have been expected between the two, provided the Churches composing this new Association, should, in their formation, or by their conduct, prove their fellowship with, and to sail principle and practice.
When all these facts are duly considred, together with fact, that this division was urged on the part of the mission advocates; and then notice the use those mission advocates have since made of that division in order to deceive the public, and capture the Church of Christ, there will need no further evidence to prove the subtility and corruption of that enmity, the spirit and principle of works. At the formation of this new Association, Elder Thomas Kennedy and myself, attended, and finding that this Maria creek Church, was claiming a right as an orderly Church, to unite in the formation of this Association, the cloak that it had been a friendly division, and that she was legally dismissed from the Wabash Association for that purpose. In order that this fraud should not deceive the ignorant, Elder Kennedy and myself, refused a seat in the council, and proceeded to inform them, that the Churches composing the Wabash Association was still claiming their vote which they had gave at the last Association respecting the cause of grief with Maria creek Church, and unless the Church gave satisfaction, she would be reported expelled, in the next Wabash minutes, which would take place two weeks from that time, and if they received into that Association, they would be a disorderly body, and of course no correspondence need be expected between her, and the Wabash Association. Upon this information, the members from two Churches who had thrown in their letters, called for their letters, and refused to be organized in that body. This was sufficient warning against the disorder they were going into, and not only leaves them without excuse on that ground, but proves their determination to run all risks for the support and protection of the mission principle and practice. It was then stated, that the bruceville mission society, in which they were members, had dissolved their connection with the Baptist Board of Foreign Missions. I told them, that if this be the case, it would now be an easy matter for them to give satisfaction to the Wabash Association, as that was the cause of grief, and it would be a pleasing thing to me for fellowship to be restored, and the present apparent distress in the Baptist union prevented; and if Maria creek Church would inform the Wabash Association of these facts and that the cause of grief was removed, for the sake of peace and fellowship with their brethern, I had no doubt but that the bar would be removed, peace and fellowship abound. But I was answered privately, that they could not do this, for it was not for the sake of peace that they had done it, it was for the lack of money, which had caused them to withdraw their connection from the Board; and as soon as they were able, they should renew it again, and perhaps that might be within two years.
Thus I found that the lack of money could do more with them than the peace of Zion, and the fellowship of their brethern. The Churches composing the Wabash Association went on to claim their right, and caused these words to be spread on the face of their minutes, “Agreeably to the direction of the Churches (claiming their right to their votes in the last years minutes) Maria creek Church is published as excluded from this Association, for justifying her members in the support of the principles and practice of the Baptist Board of Foreign Missions.” At this Association, the Union Association applied for correspondence, but was rejected because of their having united with the Maria creek Church, which was considered in disorder; and the Wabash Association wrote her a friendly letter, informing her of the reason why she could not open a correspondence with her – all this appears on the minutes.
The struggle was now depending respecting the corresponding Association, and as truth generally depends on its own merits, it uses, nor needs but little exertion or sophistry to maintain its ground, or establish its standing, except of that of giving correct information, by which iniquity shall be left without excuse. This being done, but little exertion was used on its part; while iniquity has no eye to merit, wholly depending on subtility, falsehood and deceit, by which it may capture the innocent, much exertion was used on its part. Thus, when we met at the White River Association, in August l825, I found the minds of that body (with but few exceptions) completely shielded against truth, and captured by the subtility of the Serpent; light was of no use to them, because they were blinded by this iniquity, A close investigation on the subject took place, and this was the result, as appears on the face of the minutes – “From the face of the letter from Wabash Association, we discover, that the body has excluded from her fellowship, Maria creek Church, for refusing to deal with her members that were engaged in aiding the cause of missions, therefore, after nature deliberation, we withdraw our correspondence from her.”
Here the enmity and corruption of the Serpent appears; for there was no such information, on such broad basis in the face of the letter from the Wabash Association, neither had that Church ever been dealt with upon such a charge. The face of the letter from the Wabash Association informed them, that she had excluded Maria creek Church for justifying her members in the support of the principle and practice of the Baptist Board of Foreign Missions; not merely for aiding the cause of missions, but for supporting of the principle and practice of the board; this was the cause of grief. Some perhaps, will think it a very daring attempt in me, to charge that respectable body with such corruption. Very true, but I think it a much more daring attempt in that body, to be guilty of the iniquity; and I should not perhaps make so free, had I not been present, and warned them of the error of their record. But I being present, after that body had agreed to withdraw her correspondence, and the clerk asked for instructions how to make out the records, I informed them that the Wabash letter contained the proper words for them to use in their minutes, as the cause why the Churches composing the Wabash Association had excluded the Maria creek Church, and requested them to use the very same words, as that would be giving the public legal and correct information on that subject. And when I found that they were about to use the words which now appears in their minutes, being well apprised of their object to them words being the record; notifying them as often as twice, in the presence of that congregation, as calling on that congregation to bear witness, that if them words appeared in the face of their minutes, as the records of that Association on that subject, that I should consider myself fully authorized to contradict that record, and informed the public that it was false, or incorrect, as no such words appeared in the face of the letter from the Wabash Association. But truth could not stop the progress of iniquity at that time; it did not answer the present designed purpose which evidently was to cover their former iniquity and falsehood, by which the saints of God were then captured, and that success on the part of iniquity gained; as well as to secure success to further plans and designs of this principle of works; the enmity which was then laid in the depth of iniquity, by preventing the public from coming to a correct understanding of the cause of grief with Maria creek Church, and the real cause of her exclusion; and still making them believe that she had been excluded for suffering her members to give an Indian a Bible, a shirt, or something to the relief of them poor miserable beings; and therefore prejudice the public mind against the Wabash Association, as a wicked, hard hearted set of people, opposed to acts of charity, and the relief of the needy.
My authority for making this statement is this: I was informed by a member of respectible brethern in that section of country, that these things had been industriously circulated, and generally believed to be facts, through the bonds of that Association; and I heard it myself stated on the floor of the meeting house, with great appearance of zeal, in an affecting lamentable tale about the charitable, god fearing women, who after toiling with their little children until bed time, then going upon their knees, huddling them to bed, and setting up late, spinning and labouring to get a shirt, a coat, or some little something for the relief of them poor beings, and then must be dealt with and excluded for it. Oh what a wicked thing is this; while I did know that the very man who was making them remarks, with several others, who ground their arguments on similar basis, did at that time know better, for they had been told in words and in print, as pointedly to the reverse, as words could be uttered. Thus we see the use of the words, “aiding the cause of missions,” instead of supporting the principles and practice of the Baptist Board of Foreign Missions. This iniquity could be covered up by them words, but could not by the others, when correctly understood. Had that Association been clear of bias from that corrupt source, and fairly understood the facts, I have no doubt but that the thing would have been different.
Thus this erroneous act of that Association, was more owing to the subtility, corruption, and enmity of the Serpent, imposing itself upon the honest, or innocent ignorance of that body, through the instrumentality of a few individuals, than the wicked design of them as a body. Some of them are still bowed down in this hard bondage: shall this iniquity, corruption and enmity always prevail? I think not; for the Lord is still calling, come out of her my people, &c.
And when we met at the Little Pigeon Association, in September l825, we found them people prepared to receive correct information, and after a fair investigation of the matter, it appeared as if the voice of that people would go in favor of the Wabash Association; this being the case, as the last shift on the part of the Union Association, elders Samuel Anderson and Abner Davis, who bore her letter praying for correspondence with that Association, informed that body pointedly, that Union Association was not in correspondence with the Board of missions, and that the members of the Churches composing the Union Association, who had been connected with the Baptist Board of Foreign Missions, by way of an auxiliary society, had actually dissolved their connection with that Board; and now, as cause of grief which the Churches composing the Wabash Association had against Maria creek Church was removed, they could not see what bar was now in the way, and they did hope, that peace and union would take place. When hearing these statements made to that body with such appearance of candour, notwithstanding I had my fears that it was the subtilty of the Serpent, yet the way now seemed so easy by which peace could be restored to Zion, a gleam of hope sprung up, that perhaps there was a reality in the apparent candour, and the desirable object would be accomplished. I then informed them brethern, in the presence of that Association, that if Maria creek Church, or the Union Association, would inform the Wabash Association of these facts, officially, I had no doubt but that peace and union would take place, and at least my best endeavours would be engaged for peace upon them terms.
The Association now viewing such flattering prospects, of peace, laid over the decision of the question until the next session, completely with my own approbation, under the same prospect of the thing being settled. Elder J. H. L. Mourman, a correspondent from the Goshen Association, Kentucky, being present, and feeling such interest for peace to take place, and truth and justice to prevail, and that everything should stand fair and plain at the next meeting of the Little Pigeon Association; he took it upon himself to enjoin on elder Anderson to use his influence at the next meeting if the Union Association, for to inform the Wabash Association, officially, of the facts which he had stated to Little Pigeon Association, to which elder Anderson agreed, and pointedly promised to do; and lest some mistakes should take place at the next session of the Little Pigeon Association, and he himself not be present to correct it, elder Mourman called on elder Harper who was the then Moderator of that Association, took him to elder Anderson, and then Elder Anderson renewed his pledge, or promise to do that very thing. I have the certainty of this fact from the mouths of elders Mourman and Harper.
When we met at the Blue river Association in September, l825, I found the thing completely arranged; they had dropped their correspondence with the Wabash Association the year before on account of inconvenience of correspondence, but had failed to inform the Wabash Association of that fact, and now refuses to receive a correspondent from her, as a corresponding Association, and thereby makes the way easy for the Union Association to get in; but when the dark cloud of corruption was about to be driven away by investigation, the thing was made easy by about the same remarks that had been made to the Little Pigeon Association, with the same prospect of peace. Here I acknowledge myself dome deceived, but not very much, as I had seen so much before. In the course of the same week, while on our way to the Union Association, elder Anderson took an opportunity to observe to me, that it was probable from what had been passed or said, that I expected some attempt made on the part of the Union Association, to give the Wabash Association, that official information which was believed would reconcile her; he stated, that such an attempt might probably be made, but if it should be, I need not think strange to find him opposed to it, at least so far as to vote against it; for there was certain reasons why he could not support such an act, but failed to state what them reasons were. But I think on the same day, I came to a knowledge of the reason, for brother Joseph Chambers, one of the men that the charge was first exhibited against in Maria creek Church, that although these things were facts, and it appeared an easy matter for the Union Association, or Maria creek Church to inform the Wabash Association of them, yet they could not do it, neither could they do anything else, no odds what it might be, if the Wabash Association were willing to acknowledge a satisfaction on it; because, let it be what it would (said he) that we would do, and the Wabash Association acknowledge a satisfaction thereon, it would shew that they had in some degree relinquished the mission principle, and thereby weakened that cause, and thereby they could not do it, and elder Anderson had made about the same statement to others. I now thought that I understood the whole plan; which was to keep up the credit of the mission principles in securing themselves in the Baptist union, by blinding the public mind with one thing, while their real intention was another. I attended the Union Association, but no attempt was made to inform the Wabash Association of those fact upon which the prospect of peace rested. But I was still more surprised (for that was too barefaced) when I heard Alderson state to that Association, that notwithstanding their corresponding letter was not received by the Little Pigeon Association yet the bearers thereof were kindly received by that body, and invited to a seat with them, (this I know to be incorrect) as such, he recommended to the Association to invite the bearer of the friendly letter from that Association to a seat with them, which they did, and he accepted it, as their minutes will shew.
These are the facts, and when you, my reader, compare the different facts together, you can judge of them as you think proper. And should you find the principle of works, the enmity and corruption of the Serpent, here capturing and corrupting the Church of Christ, remember that God calls, come out of her my people, &c.
When we met at the Salem Association, in September, l825, a majority of that body was, either by their own mission principles, or so deceived by those lying wonders, that they were not only prepared to withstand the weight of truth, but really manifested a disposition to claim the right of discipline for the Churches composing the Wabash Association, by charging them with excluding Maria creek Church, unjustly; and yet failing to say, or even attempt to shew wherein, while the Church stood fare and no complaint of a violation of Church discipline; while it is to be remembered in all this, that these Associations still represent themselves as being opposed to the principles and practices of the Baptist Board of Foreign Missions, the very thing for which the Wabash Association had excluded Maria creek Church, and yet can felloeship that Church, at the expense of gospel discipline, and the felloeship of those who oppose that thing which they say they themselves do. The Wabash Association, tho’ weak and persecuted, yet felt it her duty to maintain her stand against the progress of this serpentine corruption and enmity, trusting to the Lord to bring his saints to his own help against the mighty, and insert the following in her minutes of October l825, “Agrees that whereby the Churches composing the Wabash Association, having determined that the supporting of the principles and practice of what is called the Baptist Board of Foreign Missions, is a deviation from the Baptist faith, as well as the true order of the gospel of Christ, and as such, feel it a duty to make it a bar to fellowship. Resolved therefore, That as Maria creek Church has been excluded by an act of the Churches composing this body, for holding to, and justifying the principles and practice of said Board, and failing to give satisfaction to their agrieved brethern: And whereas, the Union Association has, regardless of the fellowship of their brethern, as well as the order of the gospel discipline, in the face of all these facts, received said church into their body; that we now write to the White river, Blue river, and Salem Associations, and inform them, that as they have opened a correspondence with said Union Association, to the support of their disorder, as well as the Mission system; that under these circumstances our Church fellowing and correspondence, both directly and indirectly are now dissolved.”
When we met at the Little Pigeon Association, in September, 1326, I found that they were captured by the same spirit and principle of the enemy; they had no doubt been listening, and giving credit to the subtle tales of the Serpent. My reasons for saying this are, that although elder Harper had told me, after he learned that the Union Association had failed to make the attempt to bring about a reconciliation, and elder Anderson had not done as he had promised; that his rule was, that when there was a dispute amongst brethern, to say but little, until he found where the wrong, or corruption was. And (said he) they need not come to us for correspondence, (this he told me at the Salem Association, in September l825) yet when he is now called on to give information respecting the terms of peace, proposed and agreed to, as before described, with the use that elder Mourman had for him, when he had prepared him as a witness to that Association, respecting the promise made by elder Anderson, he did not seem to know so much about it as he did when he related it to me before; and he failed to say anything about elder Mourman taking him to elder Anderson to receive the pledge, until he was pointedly asked if it were not so? He then admitted in a low tone of voice, that it was so. In the next place, I was challenged by elder Charles Folke, to know the reason why the Wabash Association could not take the words of those individuals respecting the members of the Churches composing the Union Association dissolving their connection with the Baptist Board of Foreign Missions, as well as the official information? I then begged for but a few minutes to answer the question in, and it was refused me; and I think that they will not attempt to say that I had been troublesome or insulting to the Association. This looked to me like foul play, to suffer me to be challenge, and yet forbid me to answer. I think that there was something like subtilty and enmity of the Serpent here, and was afraid that truth would point it out; and agreeably to its nature, as it now had the power, thought it best to keep it. Thus, by the craft of a few individuals, the Association became confused, so that when the question was taken on the reception of the Union Association, she had a majority of active voters, yet she had but few votes, for I am very confident that there was a majority of that Association inactive at that time.
I shall now take the liberty to answer that question, as to my part; the reason why the information of individuals will not on that subject, satisfy the Wabash Association, as well as official information. First – By the conduct those individuals on that subject, our confidence is not only lost in them, but we are convinced that the reason why they refused to give the official information, is from a wicked design, and therefore an advantage is sought for, in order to keep up the credit and principles of the Board of Missions. Second – It was record charges that stood against them, and good order required record information to justify the Wabash Association in publishing to the world that she had received satisfaction. How long shall this iniquity prevail, in capturing and corrupting of God’s dear saints? While the Lord is still calling, come out of her my people, &c.
I am apprised that but a few, if any of these Associations, have a direct correspondence with that Board, and that this is made use of, for to deceive, in order to preserve the credit of the Board, and their own standing. They can now argue, that they have nothing to do with that Board, in no way, and this noise that the Wabash Association is making about the correspondence on that subject, is only a contrary whim of Parker, and he is a troublesome fellow at best; always at some of his devilment, (this has been said by some of them) it is not worthwhile to pay any attention to him; if we do, we shall always be in trouble. But this is the subtilty of the Serpent, to keep the door open to receive in amongst them the Missionary preachers principles and doctrines. They are called Baptists, smart men, and something new, no odds what they preach, somebody praises then, and the weak saint though he is bowed down on account of it, cant venture to attack so great a man, with his fame and protectors. Thus we see the cunning arts of that old Serpent in courting the Church, and forcing his way, to carry his points, in establishing his enmity and corruption, but the Lord is still calling, come out of her my people, &c. The Wabash Association has obeyed this call, and will not expose her virtue, to be courted in any such way. And although numbers are engaged in making the public believe that Parker is dead, a hundred men cannot save him, he is gone, these are his dying struggles, &c. – Yet I wish them to know, that I have glory in such a death; for “God forbid that I should glory save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ,” &c. And I verily believe, that if I am “dead, my life is hid with Christ in God,” &c. and if my religion is mixed with the honors of this world., or I seek to please men, I am not the servant of Christ. I sometimes feel willing to fill up my small portion that is behind of the sufferings of Christ, in my flesh, for his body’s sake, that is the Church. I have been at some loss to know which hated me the worst, the Devil, the Arminian, or the Missionaries. but as they are so near one, as t their religion, I need not trouble myself much about that, more than to do the professed Arminians justice, by saying, that in this case, they have been most moderate of any, yet I trust that they will be disappointed in their pleasing prospects of the overthrow of the Baptist Church, for God will save his people, and cause the walls of Zion to be rebuilt. It is not the professed Arminian that is making the fuss now; no, it is the mongrel breed that is speaking, half in the speech of Ashdad, see Nehemiah, chapter 13, v. 24, which say that they are Jews, and are not, but do lie. Revelations, ch. 3, v. 9, this is the sort that is raising the great noise, they are like to be stripped to their shame, and driven out of the Lord’s house; for the Lord has still preserved “a few names in Sardis, which have not defiled their garments. And (saith he) they shall walk with me in white, for they are worthy.” Rev, ch. 3d, v. 4. Here is encouragement for the soldiers of the cross. For him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, saith he that is holy, he that is true, he that hath the key of David, &c. &c. vs 7 and 12.
Some are hinting, and if it were too barefaced, would try to press the belief that I am aiming to lead off, and become a head of a sect or party; but it is too well known that I have contended for many years, that there is but one true gospel Church; and that I have been engaged in proving who is that true Church; endeavouring to establish her in that which she really is, and guard her against those instruments of iniquity that was seeking her virtue; and now my object is, by the plain truth of God’s word, for to make the pointed distinction between the true Church, and those who are Baptists, but are not. Let them relinquish their pretentions to the Baptist faith, or come out open and plain on the gospel doctrine, or else hold their peace; for there is now no compromise to be made, nor fellowship to be had, between righteousness and unrighteousness; nor communion between light and darkness; neither any concord between Christ and Belial; for God has decreed that separation between the precious and the vile; and I believe the time is near at hand. – And though the Church may appear small, weak, and contemptible, yet she is the beloved of Christ, her husband, and he will provide for her. Some may say that war is my delight; in this they are mistaken. It is true that I had rather have war when it comes for nothing, than peace, when it costs too much. I can truly say with the Psalmist, “I am for peace, but when I speak, they are for war.”
The spirit and principle of works, manifested in the Mission system, appears to be seeking every opportunity against the Church of Christ, in its power, for at Eeel river Association, in August 1826, notwithstanding that Association in the formation of her constitution gaurded against this iniquity, denying any fellowship or correspondence with it; yet from what I learn, by its false representations, and subtle intrigues, it so operated upon the passions of the Association as to prevail with her to write to the White river Association, informing her the reason why she could not open a correspondence with her. This was no doubt designed as an entering wedge, by which the peace of that body would be broke, her constitution changed, and a correspondence opened with the mission iniquity; or otherwise to reproach that Association for her simplicity and weakness, being a young Association the reason why she could not correspond with her, when the old one had not solicited a correspondence.
At the Little Wabash Association, in October 1826, I discovered that the subtilty of the Serpent had been very active in prevailing with the Churches to brake down the wall made in the constitution of that Association against the mission enmity; and if it had have succeeded, then Churches would soon have found themselves much exposed to the cunning craftiness of men that lay in wait to deceive. The thing is yet before the Churches of that Association, but I think they are beginning to get their eyes opened so as to discover the corrupt design, and the benefits of the strong guard in the time of danger. The Illinois and Sangamon Associations, with all those who have taken their stand against the iniquity manifested in this Mission system, may espect that enmity loses gope of success by its serpentine subtilty, to meet with persecutions, by way of reproaches and stigmy, and thereby share their fate with the Wabash Association. This, in the contest and war respecting the Mission system, God has manifested that Mission spirit and principle to be of the same nature as the spirit and principle of works, the enmity and corruption ingrafted in the human heart, while he is calling, come out of her my people, &c.
2d. The contest and war respecting nay views on the Two Seeds; in this I shall be short and plain. When I wrote my views on the Two Seeds, I had no idea of its producing any difficulty or distress with the real Baptists, yet I was apprised that the Arminian principles were at war with the doctrine contained therein. In a very short time elder Thomas Kennedy, manifested a violent opposition to the doctrine contained in my views. We had several interview’s together on the subject; he agreed as to the doctrine, but differed with me as to my manner of expression. – The Church took the pamplet under advisement, in order to ascertain if there be any eroneous points of doctrine discovered in it. I wrote the Supplement to my views, believing that at that time from the statements made by elder Kennedy to me, that it would relieve his mind, and give the public a more correct understanding of the doctrine contained in my views of the Two Seeds; but instead of this relieving his mind, he changes his opinion as to the doctrine on which he had agreed. The thing progressed on for sometime, I still believing the opposition to be from candid and pure motives, felt to use but little exertions on the subject, but to submit to whatever the Church might say or do, although I knew that a number were young, and that it could not be expected for babes in Christ, to be men and women in Zion, capable of judging such deep or mysterious points of doctrine. I just informed the Church, that as I wrote my own views on that subject, without the least design of making them binding on the Church, and believing them consistent with the word of God, and the Baptist faith, as well as deep and mysterious, I did not wish the Church to give a vote in favor of them, but to let the doctrine stand or fall on its own merits.
At length I became convinced that it was not only myself, and my views on the Two Seeds that was designed to be overthrown, but the fundamental doctrine of the gospel, and faith of the Church was one main object with the opposers of my views on the Two Seeds. When I found this to be the case, I felt that if God would give me grace to bear up, I would rather choose to come to stake, than give up the cause of truth. My reasons for believing this fact, is, that I found elder Kennedy pointedly opposed to the doctrine of the union between Christ and his Church, in the way I preached it. Me told me, that he believed my errors in my views on the Two Seeds, had originated from my incorrect ideas on that point of doctrine; and elder Brice Fields, lately from Kentucky, who was taking a very active part by way of giving council, in the opposition to my views on the Two Seeds, stood pointedly opposed to this doctrine of the union; while several of the laity were manifesting their opposition to that doctrine, and not one of them appeared in favor of it. These facts, with the general course of conduct pursued by these opponents, I believe fully convinced not only myself, but every sound Baptist, that had a correct knowledge of these facts, that they were more friendly to the Arminian system, than they were to the Predestinarians; and they pointedly objected against the Church coming to a correct understanding of what she considered was contained in the third article of her faith, which reads – “We believe Christ Jesus was set up from everlasting, as the Saviour of his Church, and in consequence of his union thereunto as the head, his righteous life, death, resurrection and assention, were the means whereby his Church is reconciled to God.”
When the subject came to be investigated, there was ten votes found against (as they said ray views on the Two Seeds, as the object was to find objectors to the doctrine, and not advocates for it, and as I did not require a vote in favor of it, the balance of the Church was silent on the subject, which consisted of l5 or 16 members present; the whole Church was composed of about 48 members. I now consider, that this case, according to our discipline, was to be decided by a majority, and as no search was made for the justification of the doctrine, that there was now a majority of at least five, that found no abjections to the doctrine, and therefore the thing should now stop; but they called on me to retract. I now found that death was decreed. The vote against my views, I knew would not hurt the truth; and if the doctrine was not truth, the sooner it was detected and overthrown the better. But being convinced of the object; and from the course that had been pursued, I saw no way by which the true faith of the Church could be preserved, and me submit to that call. Agreeably to the way the thing was conducted, if I submitted to this call, I might also give up my credentials, for I could not preach.
If I did not submit, I knew that I must become a subject of discipline, while I did believe in my very soul, that if I did submit to the call or for truth to fall with myself, while both the discipline and faith of the Church gave me the right of power to preserve the Church, with her faith, and defend the main pillar of the gospel, that I should be guilty of denying Christ, proving a traitor to the gospel, and surrendering all to the mystery of iniquity. Thus, when all the inteaties and propersitions failed, I was compelled in the close of my reply to call on me to recant, for to set forth the principles on which I claimed the constitution, and discipline of the Church, as The right of myself, and those who still remained with me, upon the faith and discipline of the Church; and proceeded by motion and second, that as the Church felt herself aggrieved with the conduct of some of her members, in consequence of the course they had pursued in their opposition to my views on the Two Seeds, to take up charges against said members.
1st. For opposing my views on the Two Seeds, with a design to overthrow the doctrines in the third article of the faith of this Church. 2d. For their improper course and conduct in their opposition to my views, and for the violating of the eleventh rule of the decorum of this Church.
The Moderator being one of Those members, be forbid my reading of the charges, and positively refused to take the voice of the Church on the motion then before her; upon which I proceeded to claim the constitution and discipline of the Church, and made a demand of the Church book and meeting house, both of them being in possession of my opponents, and they refusing to give them up, myself, with those who felt themselves aggrieved with those brethern on account of their principles and conduct, retired to where we could, and did proceed on, in, and with our business. Thus the separation took place in September 1826, and each party prepared for the Association, where we met the 30th day of that month; and although the constitution secured the right of deciding such difficulty to the Churches, yet it also secured each Church to the right of a seat in the Association, therefore the Association in compliance with her duty, had to give the seat to that party which she thought was entitled to it. – This she did, and referred the matter to the Churches for final decision. – By this time the opposition became very violent, and the enmity of the Serpent appeared in more forms than I have room to notice in that particulars.
I shall now proceed to the third, which is the uniting and combining together in general effort, against the Church, or kingdom Christ, the enmity of the Serpent manifested in these particular cases. It is now to be noticed, that I charge both the Mission and principle, and the spirit and principle which have raised this opposition to my views on the Two Seeds, of being of the spirit and principle of works, and therefore is the enmity of the Serpent, manifested against the gospel and Church of Christ; I shall occasionly take notice of evidences to prove this fact, as I pass on through this subject. The facts already brought to light is sufficient to prove the enmity of the Mission system, and elder Kennedy stood with me in part, through the Mission war, but when the split took place between him and me, he not only made elder Fields one of his counsellors, who acknowledged himself a Missionary in heart, but went to the Union Association in September 1826, in order to get council not to proceed in the case between him and me, or on the division of Lamet Church, not only from the members of that Association, but also from the correspondong members; and the advice he received, was, for to give a public invitation to the ministers to visit Lamet Church, and this he did; these facts we have from his own mouth, but no further as to the council he got.
Agreebly to the council and invitation, elder Samuel Anderson attended the next meeting of what them brethern called Lamet Church; elder Kennedy invited him to conclude meeting on Saturday, and he preached on Sunday. Now it is remembered that elder Anderson is a preacher belonging to this same Maria creek Church, which is excluded by the acts of the Churches composing the Wabash Association, and she being received into the Union Association, is the cause why the Wabash Association rejects a correspondence with her. We can well understand elder Kennedy’s object in applying to that source of council, as well as the reason why he received the council he did; while it proves the combination of these two sources uniting their efforts against me, the Wabash Association, and the true order and gospel of Christ. This act of elder Kennedy, and his party of the Lamet Church, (as so called) is, of itself, sufficient cause of grief, that, without a reconciliation, to exclude them. I am apprised, that Elder Kennedy makes a pretext of elder Anderson being invited to preach at the Glady fork Church sometime past, as an excuse for this conduct of his. But this will do him but little good, when the fact is known, and that he is one of the chief councillers which caused the Church to err in that case; for this is making a pretext of one error, to justify a far greater. From the general conduct of that party, with some plain hints dropped from them, there remains no doubt but that their design is to unite with the Union Association, notwithstanding that body is in disorder, and some of her members seem disposed to do any, and everything, to support that disorder. Yet I think there is too much virtue in that Association for to meet their views and accept of their disorder.
When we met at our Association 1826, (the time before named) the opposers to my views on the Two Seeds, and the Missionary advocates, appeared to be in full council together; and I am apprised that a particular advantage is sought against the Wabash Association, and many false statements and representations are made respecting the conduct of that Association, I shall be very particular in stating the facts precisely as they took place. As I am now fully Apprised that I had to withstand all the wisdom, art, intreague, and power of both the opposers of my views and the Mission advocates; that the destruction of myself, and the Wabash Association was the object; while the opposite part of Lamet Church did not value their life very high in the Wabash Association, (if they could get there) where they knew that I could not live, and therefore were willing to die, provided they could kill me by their death. I did believe it to be my duty to defeat all their designs, by claiming and exercising the exact right and power which was my right and duty to do in that Association. This is the cause why I took the stand, and pursued the course I did at that Association, and had I have done otherwise, iniquity would have got the advantage, and I should have been guilty. The discipline of the Wabash Association, continues the Moderator and Clerk in office until the next Association is organized; and should either of them be absent at the meeting of the next Association, the one present is to fill the vacancy by nomination; if both be absent, the oldest preacher of the body present is to take the place of a Moderator, and call on some one to serve as Clerk, until the Association is organized. I was now Moderator, and the elder Kennedy Clerk, by the former appointment. The right and power to keep order, now devolved on me; if I suffered disorder imposed on that Association, I am guilty. I did believe elder Kennedy disqualified to act as Clerk. He had a letter from his party, and me from mine; both cannot have a seat in the Association; the thing cannot lye still until the Association is organized, because the reason of the letters from both parties will rouse it; if I let it alone until that time, I give advantage by neglect of duty; if I give up my right, and suffer someone to take my place, it equally meets the wishes of the combined forces of my enemies, as it would be a kind of acknowledgement that I was wrong, (when I was confident I was not) and lay me dead, or still, for one year, until I should be relieved by the Churches.
Now who can blame me, when, with all these facts before my eyes, for to claim my right, not give back one inch, take my positive stand, defeat these wicked designs, and attend to the thing exactly in its proper place, as the minutes will shew I did, which reads – “Minutes of the Wabash District Association, convened at Thurman’s creek meeting house, Sullivan county, Indiana, on the 30th of September 1826. The introductory sermon was delivered by elder Richard M. Newport, from Matthew, 5th chapter, 20th v. “For I say unto you,” &c.
“1st. The former Moderator informed the members who were to compose the present Association, that in his opinion the former Clerk was disqualified to act as Clerk, and that he should, in compliance with his duty, to the rules of the Association, proceed to fill the vacancy, by appointing Asa Norton Clerk, until the Association was organized. Upon which the former Clerk positively claimed his right as Clerk, and stated that he considered the former Moderator disqualified to act. Upon which a question was taken, and the members who were to compose the Association decided by vote in favor of the former Moderator, and against the former Clerk, and confirmed the nomination of Asa Norton, to fill said vacancy.”
We then proceeded to the reading of the letters, when the Lemet letter was called for, I handed it in; and about the close of the reading of the letters, one of the opposite members of Lamet Church, informed us that he held a letter from what he considered Lamet Church, and if the Association would agree to take up and investigate the subject, he would hand in the letter. I informed him that we had no rule for receiving Church letters upon such conditions; and if he had a letter from that Church, and saw proper to hand it in, we were ready to receive it; but he failed to do so. I was again appointed Moderator at the organizing of the Association, after which another application was made for an investigation of the subject; the plea on their part had been, and still was, that it was inconsistent for the Association to give a vote in my favor when she had not investigated the subject. The reply on my part to that plea, was, that as the right of decision belonged to the Churches, and not to the Association, it was a violation of the principles of our union, for the Association to enter into a full investigation, as though she held the right and power to decide; and as a majority of the Association had been eye witnesses to, in and about the whole of the proceeding, that no investigation could inform them anything, and therefore the Association was prepared to do what her constitution required, in securing the seat of Lamet Church to her at that time, and I was willing on my part to risk my seat on the present information of the Association, rather than she should violate order. The Association refused to investigate the matter any further, and they still refused to hand in their letter; after we had gone through that day’s business, they made another application for investigation, and reflected on me for the absolute stand that I had taken, and because I had not either suffered elder Kennedy to have acted as Clerk, or gave up my seat as Moderator (either of which would have answered their purposes, as the Association denied holding the right of power) until the Association had been organized. I let them know that desperate cases required desperate remedies, as well knew their source of council, and that I thought that I well understood their plans and object for the destruction of the Wabash Association, and therefore felt it my duty to maintain my pointed stand against their designs. Through the course of the investigation on this subject, it had been frequently, publickly and pointedly stated without hesitation or reserve, that they had it in their power, and could, if they were permitted to do it, so clearly prove to the Association that they held the right of Lamet Church, That they could leave every mind without a hesitating doubt on that subject;. and if this was done, there would be no need of referring the matter to the Churches, as there would be no difficulty in the Association; while on this they urged the propriety and necessity of an investigation in the Association. When hearing this so often and pointedly atated, fully believing at the same time that they did know better, (as they did know that a majority of the Association could learn nothing by investigation) and that the main object was to leave a false impression on the pblic mind, and disgrace the Association by making the public believe that they were so anxious form, and would be safe by an investigation, and that I knew it, and I therefore was afraid of it.
Under this consideration I did believe that of two evils, the lesser was a chosen good; I recommended to the Association this cause, to open the door for a full investigation of the whole matter. As both parties seemed willing, the Association proceeded to do so. The opposes to give up their letter, or investigate the matter, unless the Association would rescind what she had done respecting my right as Moderator stating, that I would have an undue advantage over them, as I had a seat, and they had not. I then let them know that I would have no advantage of them, I would leave my seat as Moderator, and the Association might fill it as she pleasd during the time of investigation; myself, and the members with me from Lamet, would step right back on the level with them, none of us should vote on the case, and each one should have full priviledge in investigating the matter. The Association at length let them know that they were ready to receive their letter, and if they handed it to them, they should do with it as they thought proper. They handed in the letter on them terms; the minutes on the subject, Item, 8th. “The letter being presented, the bearers which claim themselves to be the bearers of the Lamet Church letter to the Association, which subject was referred to the committee of arrangement.
“9th. Adjourned until Monday morning, 9 O’clock.
“Monday, October 2d, met according to adjournment, and after prayer, proceeded with business. 1st. Received the report of the committee of arrangement, and discharged said committee.
2d. Appointed brother Joseph Thompson, Moderator, during the present investigation of the business of Lamet Church.
3d. On motion, the Association recognizes the vote given by the members of this Association, on Saturday previous to their organization, relative to the Moderator and Clerk.
“4th. The complaining part of Lamet Church requested to withdraw their letter, and refused any further investigation of the subject. And on motion and second, the liberty to withdraw their letter was granted, and as there appears a difficulty existing between two parties in Lamet Church, each claiming themselves to be the Church; and as we think this matter belongs to the Churches to decide, we refer the same to them, requesting Lamet Church to furnish the Churches with a copy of their records on that subject, together with the evidences relative thereunto, in order that the Churches may by their votes, decide on which is Lamet Church, as their cinstitution has provided.
“5th. Upon which the former Moderator took his seat,”
Thus we see, that notwithstanding all the pretensions of the opposite party, when the Association are willing to give them a full and fair investigation, they utterly refuse, except the Association would recind that which she had done on Saturday. The Association must now violate every principle of order, deprive herself of her present Moderator, and fall into confusion, upon the bare, broad assertion of these individuals, who call on her to retract, and yet refuse to produce any evidences to prove their own assertion correct or to convict the Association of the great wrong which they say she was in; giving them an undue advantage of her, to answer their own designs, while at the same time a majority of her own body, had personal knowledge that these statements were incorrect, and therefore good grounds to believe that their great pretentions were frought with mischief and design; or otherwise lay under all the stigmy and reproach that this combined force or enmity can invent, by nearly every false representation to answer their purpose, that they are able to impose upon the public. And thus when the Association found that these urgent pretensions for an investigation were not real, but designing, she secured herself by confirming what was done, regardless of all the signs, and lying wonders, the enemy was master of; and although some of the members of the Association, were not in possession of correct information on the case had been much distressed before, now became convinced that there was something the matter on their part, and therefore much better reconciled with the progress of business. This complaing part of Lamet Church, (as they call themselves) in combination with the Mission enmity, now finding themselves defeated, as to their designs in setting me a side, or confusing the Association, they now leave the Association, and unite in raising the hue and cry against the Wabash Association, the opposers to my views paving their way to get into the Union Association, while the Mission advocates embraces this favorable prospect of sinking and destroying the standing of the Wabash Association in the public mind, making them believe that she is, with Parker at, or as her head, such a disorderly body that she is no longer worth paying any attention to, and thereby rock to sleep, or lay down in silence, that spirit and principle of truth, which is still struggling for liberty in the Union Association, and her correspondence, and will no doubt, ere long, prove the final overthrow of the enmity concealed there, except it can be bound stronger by the cords of falsehood, ignorance, pride, prejudice, &c.
I shall not be surprised that in order for the further accomplishment of these purposes, if the public should be informed by the next minutes of the Union Association, that she justified her members who were directed by the last Association to bear a letter to the last meeting of the Wabash Association (this letter was to ease the minds of some of her correspondence) for not handing in said letter to the Wabash Association, inasmuch as she had become such a disorderly body, that they did not wish a correspondence with her; for there can be no doubt but that there was a design in withholding from the Wabash Association the letter which I learn was directed by the Union Association to be handed to her. All these facts and appearances goes to prove not only this enmity of the Serpent, but also the combination of these two points of enmity. Another evidence in this case is, elder Clark of Indian creek Church, belonging to the Salem Association, who is a Missionary in Principle, although there was no correspondence or Church fellowship, between the Wabash and Salem Associations, yet without ever saying a word to me on the subject in any way, took it upon himself to take one or two considerable routes, under the pretense of great distress of mind, in consequence of my errors, and the difficulty between elder Kennedy and myself, and appeared to be engaged to get some of the old preachers of the Salem Association to come and try if they could reclaim me from my errors, and settle the difficulty. Had elder Clark have acted the part of a candid man, and told the public, that something like four or five years past, he had made some public statements respecting a publication of mine, on the Mission subject, entitled a Public Address, &c. and that I had requested satisfaction for the false statements which he had made; and that he had become so offended at me for so doing, that it was one cause why the Indian creek Church. had joined the Salem Association, instead of the Wabash; and that he had generally spoken of me in a way of contempt every since; he need not have been at the trouble of saying anything more, the people would have understood that it was my destruction that his prejudice required; and the Salem Association would have understood, the reasons why he, through the Indian creek Church, had endeavored so hard to get me published in. her minutes something like an heritick; and it is very probable that if Indian creek Church herself, had have fully known the design of elder Clark, that she would not have wrote to me in the manner which she did; and if she fails granting me the privilege of her meeting house for a fair investigation of the subject with her, as I have requested, I shall them believe that she is afraid of the truth, and wishes to keep her evil deeds in the dark; and I have no doubt but that it has been though the same line of intrigue, that the Bethel Church of the Salem Association cane to write to me on that subject, and if she fails to answer my request of her, I shall be doubtful of the brotherly love and friendship which clothed her communication to me.
All these things are calculated, and no doubt designed to exasperate the public mind against me, and thereby keep the friends of truth in bondage a little longer. And again, elder Brice Fields, who as yet had not become a member of any Church amongst us, and, as before stated, being as he acknowledged himself, a Missionary in heart, took this opportunity to throw in his mite, and engaged in writing and preaching against my doctrine; and in the time of about the strongest struggle in the Church on that subject, he took this advantage, at that time to challenge me out in open combat. This I thought looked cowardly, to lay in ambush, shooting at a man in order, in the ranks, at time of engagement.
After the battle was over in the Church, I accepted of his challenge, and appointed the time to meet, but he failed; and I learn has since been reading in public, a second letter addressed to me, which I have not got, nor seen. I think that he is not acting correctly in reading a letter addressed to me, and still keeping it in his own hands, and he nay not at all times let the public know that it has been withheld from me. And I am apprised at him, and elder Kennedy, have each wrote a piece, which they say is in answer to my views on the Two Seeds; and the public has expected for sometime, from the rumor they have raised about printing one or both pieces, that they would have had the perusal of one or the other of these productions, or both, before this time; but for some cause, there is as yet, nothing brought forth, and I am beginning to think that they are afraid of public scrutiny, and calculate that they can answer their purpose better by their great swelling words of vanity, broad assertions, reading of, and commenting on their productions, when and where they can answer the best purposes, in blinding and confusing of weak minds, than to come open and fair to the light, that their doctrine may be manifest whether it be of God or not.
It is probable that they are waiting with a hope of getting some advantage of this piece; they are welcome to all that they can get. I ask no odds. While they pursue the line of truth, and should they deviate from that, the press is yet as free for me as them, and though I am poor, not able to fight a world, yet my all goes freely, for the defence of truth, and “I can do all things through Christ, which strengthens me.” Should it be the will of God my helper, I fear them not, but if need be, am ready to meet them, and as many of their backers as they please, (give me an equal chance) in public or private, at the pulpit or press. I do not make these remarks by way of boast or banter, but to let the whole Assyrian army know, that truth has nothing to fear, by investigation, and therefore its advocates are not afraid.
When I published my view on the Two Seeds, it was for the express purpose of benefiting the Church of Christ, by what I believe to be the true meaning of that line of God’s word, without the least design of commencing an attack upon any particular man or set of men; and have invited any that might think my doctrine thereon erroneous, not to war, but to inform the public that it is the true meaning of that portion of God’s word. Had these men have taken that course, I might have received benefit thereby; anf if in errour, been reclaimed from it; for I know the errour will do me as little good, as any other man. But no – this course did not suit them; instead of acting as faithful stewarts of God’s word, and teachers of the flock, by bringing to view what is revealed to the Church of Christ in that part of revelation which I have founded my doctrine on, and in my views on the Two Seeds, in a consistencey with the Baptist faith, they come out in the way of ridicule, against my doctrine; uniting with the avowed of myself, and the Wabash Association; as though if they could accomplish the overthrow of myself, and the Wabash Association, the whole mystery of God would be unfolded thereby, I consider these men occupy Arminian grounds, in their opposition to my doctrine; if they think the charge unjust, let them come out like men, and publish their views on the same line of Scripture, and on what grounds they predicate the predestinarian doctrine, and not keep their writing so concealed, the public mind is in suspense about it, and their principles behind the curtain any longer.
If anyone can do the same line of Scripture which I have taken notice of in my views on the Two Seeds, and this piece, any more justice than I have done, they may rest assured that they will not offend me by so doing, for a knowledge of truth is what I want, and I am not willing to receive abuse instead of that. Elder Fields has of late become a member of elder Kennedy’s party; this place has become a place of refuge for excluded, disorderly or disaffected people, who call themselves Baptists. My reason for saying this, is, that they have received one who was excluded from the Glady fork Church, one who was under dealings by that Church, and several who were dissatisfied with the conduct and faith of that Church, nearly all on account of the contention on the present occasion. This conduct proves that they pay me no regard to the fellowship, no:’ order of the Churches composing: the Wabash Association; and there can be no doubt but that their design is, to make the public believe that they are the only orderly people that is amongst us; and if they can get Maria creek Church to unite with them in the support of their disorder, it is probable that the information will seem to be in circulation and a reconciliation has taken place between Lamet Church and Maria Church, (this appears to be their object). I have no doubt but that this is the united plan, in order to make the public believe that elder Kennedy’s party of Lamet Church is all the orthodox and orderly part of the Wabash Association, and that they have withdrew from the disorder.
Elder Kennedy remarked, with a great appearance of candour, to me, (he had made about the same statement to others) a short time before our separationm that one particular distress of his mind, was, that when he took under consideration the great blessing that I had been to the Churches in this country, in guarding them against the Mission errour or evil, and then viewed the present errour that I had fallen into, he was doubtful that it would give the Mission advocates such advantage over me, that he feared all my labours was lost; (I yet believe his candour will forbid him to deny this,) and if he himself, or any other one, can reconcile this conversation, with his present conduct, in being not only about the first man to, but really so much engaged in uniting with very source of opposition, in order to defeat both me, and what I have done against the said Mission errour or evil.
They can do that which I cannot do. But as an apology to his present course, he has evidently, stated, that although he had some objection to the Mission system, yet it never was a bar in his mind, and that he had wronged his own conscience in opposing that system or principle as he had done; but the cause why he had done so was, that his brethern was oppose to the Mission principle, and as it appeared that one side or the other had to fall or die, he thought That he must take some stand.
Now those who have a knowledge of elder Kennedy’s positive opposition to the Mission system, with the apparent zeal and candour manifested therein, can decide as to what faith or confidence his present course, zeal, and candour is entitles to; or what weight his reproofs should have on a candid mind, as well as what must be the principles and fate of his follower’s, and particularly if they will take into view, his contradictory statements, as well as conduct, on that subject. I have no doubt but that elder Fields would fain make the public believe that because he fails to meet me in the investigation of the subject, is, that he considers me in such disorder that it would be improper; but this is only the best excuse that he can make, after challenging me in the manner he did; for I think that is not it. But when he finds that he cannot get an advantage on me, he dreads the consequences of attacking an old Jerusalem blade with its two edges, which cuts every way, with his short wooden award. The true faith of the gospel is worth fighting for, and thanks be to God, that he has given to, and directed his soldiers to put on the whole armour of God, – “Think not that I have come to send peace on earth. I come not to sent peace, but a sword,” &c. Mat. ch, 10, v. 34.
These people complain very much; their cry is, all that we want is a fair trial, before an impartial tribunal. This is certainly designed for to deceive, for two churches have already acted upon the subject, or the question referred to then, where these complainers had every opportunity of defending their cause. For although elder Kennedy would fain make the public believe that the business had been conducted before, and in these Churches in a hidden, conceded manner, designed to take the advantage of him and his party. Yet it is evident that he knew better, for in one case he was informed that the business was progressing in that Church, and was requested by at least one of the committee appointed by that Church on that subject, to bring forward all the records and information that him and his party was in possession of. And in the other case he was publicly and pointedly, while the Church was in session, by myself, and others, friendly and pointedly, solicited to bring forward all the Information and facts, that him and his party might be in possession of, that the Church might be prepared to give a correct decision on the subject, and upon his suggesting to the Church that he would endeavor to do so, provided the Church saw proper to postpone her decision. The Church upon said suggestion, made by elder Kennedy himself, did lay over the business until her next meeting in course. But no – they utterly refused to be governed by the voice of their own union, or the Churches composing the Wabash Association, and therefore refuses or neglects to furnish the Churches with any information on the subject – and for why? Because (they say) so many of the members of these Churches were present at the time elder Parker and the members with him, claimed the right of Lamet Church, and set with them after they withdrew; that we do not think these Churches fit judges of the case.
Thus is appears that they are not willing to abide the decision of the Churches who best understands the case; for the fact is, they do know that the members of the sister Churches, who were eye-witnesses to the whole business, knows no more of their heresy, corruption and disorder, that they will not, nor dare not come on trial before sound Baptists, where the facts are fairly and fully known. Ignorance, misrepresentations, and a mongrel set of judges will suit their case upon much better than a fair knowledge of facts, and the orthodox Baptists. And if they can succeed (by denying fellowship with, and a trial before the Churches composing the Wabash Association) in obtaining a selected set of Arminians and Missionaries, from the bounds of the Union Association, and her correspondence, to judge the case, they will do doubt consider them a well qualified tribunal; while they will have great hopes of disgracing, or destroying the Wabash Association, by having her desperate disorder (as they say) published in the minutes of so many Associations.
But when the orthodox Baptists recollects that the whole council wanting, is, or will be of those within them the Wabash Association refuses any Church fellowship, or union, they can with ease, understand the whole matter. And further, it is to be remembered, that the constitution of the Wabash Association, does not clothe the Association with the power to decide on matters touching of the peace and fellowship of the Churches, but provides that all such cases shall be referred to the Churches for decision. Elder Kennedy formerly united with me in securing this right to the Churches, and assisted in the formation of this constitution; but as he is so much in the habit of shifting his ground, I know not where to find him now. For by his exclaiming so much against the conduct of the Association, he would make the public believe that she held the right and power to decide on the case. When he comes to notice this, he must certainly know, that let the Association have acted as corrupt as may be, that the Churches are not chargeable with this corruption, until they by their act, be partakers of the same. And if he does believe the Association guilty, he, by refusing and neglecting to put the Churches in possession of the facts of the case, and standing his trial fairly before his own union, is guilty of being a traitor to the cause of truth, and Church of Christ; while he proves himself to be heading of a fractional party, “and if the blind lead the blind, they will both fall into the ditch.” I am willing to meet him before the Churches or our own union, and let every fact be brought to light, and abide the decision. But no – this wont do him, he fears that; but by this time I think that he must see that he has started too soon, for if he, instead of providing letters requesting helps from the Union Association, and her correspondence, (which appears to be the fact now, though he may see his errour and stop) had have stood his trial before his own union he might have had some grounds to have complained on; but now he proves himself guilty, by refusing to come to trial; ingaging in the destruction of, and denying the follow-ship with his own union, innocent Churches, which if they should err in this case, he is guilty, as he fails to labour to prevent their wrong; but instead of this, unites with their enemies for their destruction. For although I have no doubt but that there are sound orthodox Baptists in the Union Association, and her correspondence, who are captured by the prevailing principles of them people; yet it is well know that said principles are at enmity and war with thw Wabash Association.
This fractional party seems very industrious in reading and commenting on their part of the proceedings on that subject, to, and amongst the weak and uninformed part; but they cautiously avoid coming to the light, where their deeds can be reproved. – They will no doubt, prove a blessing to the Churches composing the Wabash Association, by relieving them of the few remaining mongrel heterodox members; for amongst such they spare no pains, and are very successful. The loss of such is not to be lamented, as the purging of the Church, is to the glory of God, and her benefit; but as the loss of orthodox members is to be lamented, to prevent such from being deceived by those deserters of the cause, is one reason why I have wrote so plain; while I defy them to contradict me on the fair principles of truth.
I am apprised that these people still hold some pretentions to orthodoxy; if this be a fact, why do they criticise, and refuse a trial before their union. Seeking refuge amongst those with whom their own union has no correspondence; tramping on the rights of their sister Churches, to the violation of the gospel discipline, by receiving of their members; while all that appears to be wanting of such members to gain them acceptance, is to express themselves strongly against the Church they are about to desert. It is evident that whenever any people deserts from, and becomes an enemy to the principles and discipline of their own union and government, and seeks redress elsewhere, while at the same time, instead of coming to a trial before, and labouring as the gospel directs, to show their union where, and what the errour is, they exclaim against their brethern, engage in their overthrow, and still pretends to hold the principles of their union, they prove themselves to be traitors to the truth, acting the part of hyproctites, laying in wait to deceive. This seems like hard sayings; but they are no harder than truth, and is worse for them to be guilty of the facts, than f or me, in order to prevent the saints of God from being corrupted and held in bondage by this iniquity, in compliance with my duty to publish the marks, and evidences of the enmity and corruption of the Serpent, that the lovers of the Saviour may take warning thereby, “And take heed that no man deceives them.”
I have not mentioned the names of these two brothern, nor any others in this piece, with a design of reproaching them, but for the express purpose of doing my duty to the cause of truth, exposing of iniquity, and faithfully warning of my fellow men against the spirit and principle of works, the enmity of the Serpent, with the means and ways by which it blinds, deceives, captures and corrupts the Church of Christ. – And it is not for me to know, or say, whether they are or are not apprised of the wickedness of the spirit by which they are governed. But it is my duty, regardless of the feelings of mortals, to being facts to light, expose iniquity, and shew the enmity of the Serpent, be it where it may, by by which conviction may be offered to that part of my brethern who are so blinded by the subtilty of the Serpent, that they feel candid in their own minds, in what they are doing; while those who are designedly laying in wait to deceive, may be exposed to public view. Neither do I care how good a man, or men may be thought to be, for all the good men upon the earth, will fail to make a good thing out of that which is within itself bad; and the truth out of that which is in itself false. And what little that I do know, I know as well as anybody. The better a man is thought to be, the more danger there is in him, should he be under the influence of the enmity of the Serpent.”
If my reader will but stop now, and pause a few moments, he will se by this long train of circumstances, and matters of fact, which I have brought to view, that the present Mission system, and the opposers of my views on the Two Seeds, are not only two streams or sources of the enmity of the Serpent, but they are now united in one general combines force; not against me, as a man, but against the true faith of the gospel; leveling its artillery against the foundation, and bulworks of Zion; endeavoiring to make the very names of the advocates of truth, who absolutely refuse to suffer the Assyrians to come into their land, and tread in their palaces, without raising against them the seven shepherds and eight principal men, for to stink in the nostrils of the public, casting their names out as evil, and counting them as to the offscourings of all things; while its advocates are raising up their children, with all those under their influence, with such bars of prejudices in their minds, against the truth, and messengers of salvation, that whilst we water their footsteps with tears, they can laugh us to scorn, (poor hearts, for all this they must come to judgement) making lies their refuge, in order to conceal their designs, deceive the inquirer after truth, and answer their purposes, all clothed with the scantity of a saint.
It would swell this piece too large for me to notice the different false representations which have been made respecting the progress of business in Lamet Church; the Wabash Association, the conduct of myself, elder Richard N. Newport, and others. And I am apprised that there are a number of reports in circulation prejudicial to my character, both as to my public and private standing. But I consider it sufficient to satisfy the public on that ground for to know, that the Lamet Church, the Wabash Association, myself, and elder Newport, stands unimpeached by the legal proceding; and stand as the defiance of those slanderers to make good their statements and representations, designed to make the public believe that we are in disorder; a set of heretics, deviators from the Baptist faith and discipline. And as to my character, either public or private, I hate cause to thank God, that he has preserved me, so that I am at the defiance of any, or every person on earth, to shew just grounds on which I deserve reproach; and these, my accusers, dare not meet me face to face, on any of these points on which they appear to wish to slander me before the public; this appears to be the last resort or shift of the enemies of truth, and friends of errour.
I regard not all this to myself, but I wish to release the cause of truth from reproach on my account, as I think it lies nearer my heart, than my own natural life. I am apprised that it is supposed that there cannot be so much war, contest, and confusion in the religious world, without a fault on both sides of the question. In this, my reader you may be wrong; for I think that the war, contest, and confusion which Christ has raised, and is carrying on against the powers of darkness, for the purpose of delivering his captured children, expose and punish the iniquity contained therein, is without fault on the part of the king of saints, and captain of the Lord’s hosts; and his watchmen are soldiers which he has armed for the field of action; and pronounces a curse against the man that withholdeth his sword from blood, they are completely in their duty in fighting the battles of the Lord, under the direction of the captain of their salvation. And as there is now a call to know who is the Lord’s side; in high time for the sons of Levi to be rallying to the standard of truth; and though it may be heart rending to natural feelings, let every man take the sword of the Lord in hand, and slay every man his brother, and every man his companion, &c. Exodus, chapter 32d, and come to the help of the Lord against the mighty; through grace, burst your chains asunder, and come out like men of war on the part of Zion, and obey the voice that is calling, come out of her my people, &c.
For you, my reader, may now understand, that the christians lot in this world, is a state of warfare, and that the spirit and principle of works, - which every christian experience can witness that it was, and is, the hardest and last thing for them to get shut of, is that enmity of the Serpent, that the child of God has to war against, both within and without; and as I have endeavoured, as I trust in the fear of God, to discharge my duty by warning you of, with the combined forces of this enmity, which appear to be now engaged for the overthrow of the Church of Christ, and capturing and corrupting the members of Christ’s body.
I shall now close this piece, by a few general observations respecting the doctrine contained therein. First – by a correct understanding of the doctrine contained in this piece, we shall see and understand the certainty and propriety of the existence and nature if the two opposite powers and causes, which are at war in their very nature, and against the other; and that one is the fountain of perfection, and the other of corruption. Second – That God was pleased to create the objects of his love, as the product of himself; and suffered the Serpent, his enemy, to capture and corrupt them; ingrafting his enmity in their hearts. While by his own power, he brings forth the Serpent’s seed into action in the world, in a way that they are accountable to himself.
As this piece may be read by some who have not seen my views on the Two Seeds, I will now name, that this is the alarming point in said views; and some suppose that I make a God of the Devil; but they are mistaken, for I only prove that he is a father, and therefore has children, by the principle of works which he has ingrated in the hearts of the objects of God’s love; and thus we see how the mystery of iniquity, though self existent, has become accountable to God; and by what law his children are judged and condemned; for the Serpent, although under no law, as there was no law given to him; yet, when he had meddled with, and crept into the hearts of God’s subjects, he was now in God’s dominion, and therefore accountable to him; and the subject of his curse, or wrath; and his seed, or children, being the product of that principle of works, of their father, the perfect standard of which is the law, or covenant of works, which Mount Sinai, by which they will be judged and condemned, for lack of performing the just requirements of that law, or covenant; which is the perfect standard of the spirit, or principle, from whence they srpung, and the nature of which they yet retain, which is the cause why they reject salvation by Jesus Christ. Third – We shall receive a benefit by a knowledge of this doctrine, which brings to our view, not only the certainty of this war, between the subjects of these two powers or kingdoms, but also the powers, signs, manners and ways, by which it is carried on, with the first principle of the war, or enmity on the part of the Serpent, by which the glory of God appears in the manifesting of the mystery of iniquity, and opening the way by which his own power shall be made known throughout the earth, by the deliverance of his own, while the dear children of God can rejoice in trials and tribulations, when they realise of a truth, that there has not been, nor will, be, one groan, nor sigh, racking pain of body or mind, nor one drop of blood, through all the persecutions which have been, or yet may be, in vain; but all is to terminate in the wise purpose of God, to his glory, and the benefit of the saints, in the final event of this awful war. Fourth – I believe that the time is near at hand when God will deliver his spiritual Israel from their state of bondage, and he is therefore unfolding the mysteries of his word to the understanding of his children, for the express purpose of separating of the children of the free woman, from the children of the bond woman; as they shall not be heirs together. Preparing of his saints to meet the awful storm of persecution which I believe awaits them, under the dying struggles of antichrist, as the darkest time of the night is just before day; while he is equally preparing of the friends and workers of iniquity for their final overthrow, under the last plagues, which he is promising to pour out on them.
Thus I am not surprised to hear of the prsent struggle between truth and errour, which now appears throughout the bounds of my knowledge; and so far as this piece may aid in manifesting, and driving out of the temple of God, this spirit and principle of works, the enmity of the Serpent, with its supporters, I am gratified, and my object is thus-far accomplished. Fifth – By a correct understanding of this doctrine, the doctrine of Predestination appears plain, glorious, soul saving, and God horouring. Although some may say that I destroy the doctrine of the election, by proving that the non-elect are the Serpent’s seed, and that God secured the salvation of all in Christ, that he is created in Adam, in his image, after his likeness. But if they will take notice that God not only chose his people in Christ, before the world began, securing their life and safe standing in him, as I have shown, but also treasured up that grace in him, which in time, according to his purposem distinguishes the heirs of glory from the Serpent’s seed, by regenerating grace. And thus the doctrine of election stands good on this line of doctrine, while the glory of God is most wonderfully displayed in the government, and ordering of the wheels of time, and nature. So about the time his chosen people were brought into a natural existence amongst the Gentiles, the viperous generation amongst the Jews were ripe for their overthrow; having called his chosen amongst the Jews the gospel was taken from them and given to the Gentiles, to accomplish God’s purposes there. So, with the fulness of the Gentiles, the Jews is again to be brought in, because there is still a seed left in them, and they cannot be destroyed until that seed is brought into a natural existence, and then God’s chosen amongst them will be brought in. Sixth – By a correct understanding of this doctrine, we understand on what grounds the declarative cause of justification and condemnation rests; and where the Arminian misses the mark, in resting the meriterous cause of justification on the works of faith and obedience (as they call it) instead of Jesus Christ; at least so far as to suppose that their obedience is the cause of saving grace being given them; while it is saving grace that produces the faith and obedience of, and to the gospel; and so far as that obedience is wrought through grace, so far is the child of God delivered from this bondage of corruption, and God’s declarative glory appears thereby; and as God has appointed his children to this salvation or obedience, he calls on them to make their calling and election sure, while it is called today; and to work out their own salvation with fear and trembling; letting them know that it is God that worketh in us, both to will and to do, of his own good pleasure.
Thus by his spirit, God works in, by, and through his children, that salvation which he has appointed them to. One thing should be particularly noticed in all this; that is not the redemption from under the law, or its curses, here skoken of, but the salvation from the captivity, corruption, and power od darkness; the volume of truth, with the christian experience, all goes to prove that it is the grace that saves to the works of faith; while God declares the justification of his saints upon the works of faith, which his grace has wrought in them; thus every child of God should be careful to maintain good works, and from the smallest to the greatest, mark well the diversity of gifts, all given by the same spirit, to profit withal. Each one should be as much engaged in the cause of God, as though it was in the power of man to save himself, his neighbor or his child; the mother should teach her children around her knees, the necessity of salvation by the loving Saviour, all knowing at the same time, that grace must do the work. While they are engaged at a throne of grace for sinners, and the cause of Zion, as the way God has appointed, remembering that all this is manifesting that which belongs to the mystery of Godliness. While on the other hand, it is the purpose of God, to manifest and punish iniquity; and all the external acts of sin, is that evidence of the wicked heart which God abhors, and the sinner who rejects salvation by grace, acts from the nature and principle of the Serpent, while he makes his own damnation just and sure, by rejecting that God is as willing to save him as he is to be saved by grace, while the gospel is a witness against the iniquity of the heart. All this is the manifestation of that which belongs to the mystery of iniquity, which God will destroy. Thus the cause of condemnation in man, but the right and power to condemn, is in God; while the cause, power and right of salvation is also in God, who will save all his pleasure, and his council will stand; governing all things after the council of his own will; so that when he rolls round the day in which he has appointed to judge the world in righteousness, by that man whom he had ordained, his chosen people, the very last member of Christ’s body, the last cap stone of the glorious spiritual building, will be brought in, crying grace, grace, unto it; while God will be unfolding, in one eternal round the glorious mystery contained in his own divine perfections. - And the glory of God will complete the glory and heaven of saints, who are reconciled to him and his glory.
While on the other hand, the mystery of iniquity, with its product, will be so completely unfolded, that the glory of God will still appear more wonderful, in the display of the might, majesty and perfections of his own divine properties, by executing his just vengeance and wrath upon the workers of iniquity, who, from the nature of their father, the Devil, not only refused to be reconciled to God, and accept salvation by grace, (as one of God’s decrees is, that none who come to him by faith in Christ shall be rejected,) but has also been the instruments by, and through the enmity of the Serpent, their father, has been manifested, and executed upon the members of Christ’s body, the objects of God’s love, capturing and corrupting of them, as well as persecuting them even unto death; with all the torturing, pain, and torment that their wicked malice, rage, and wisdom could invent. –
Thus all the sorrow, pain, and distress, with all the blood of saints, shall be required of them, and doubly repaid upon them, for they are worthy. The righteous shall be delivered out of their troubles. But oh! sinner, think – you have come in their stead; your condemnation will be just; you are not willing to be saved by grace; you will trouble the saints no more. The objects of God’s love, the product of himself, will be home to rest; while the enemies of God will be slain before him, and confined to the source from whence they came. God has given them a space to repent in, and they have rejected, and neglected the day of their visitation; while those that go down to the pit, cannot hope for the truth of God. A final adieu, poor sinner; the saints of God will water your footsteps no more. Remember my dear brethern, that your tears, prayers, exhortations, and proper exertions for the progress of Zion, and glory of God, is all of use in God’s purposes; and no odds how weak they may appear in your view, you should be engaged in the cause of God, as weak means often proves the greatest blessing.
In order to do justice to the subject in hand, I regret that I have been compelled to take up so much room in this short piece, in bringing to view some of the late signs of the times, and manifestations of the mystery of iniquity, which may appear as useless matter to some portion of my readers; but to others, it will be very interesting matter, the objects of a number of transactions, under their own observation, will be manifested thereby, as well as the doctrines contained in these two permanent points, being confirmed, and much explained to them; by bringing to their understanding the principle of works, the enmity of the Serpent, as manifested in a number of facts which they have been eye witnesses to.
8th. Although I am confident as to the duty of the Church of Christ, in being very particular repsecting her virute, (she being the bride, the Lamb’s wife) and faith of the gospel; yet she, with the shepherds of the flock, should act with great care and tenderness, with, and toward the lambs of Christ; it should not be expected for babes in Christ, to be men and women in Zion; they should be nursed by the Church, as a tender mother would her infant, that they may grow in grace, and the knowledge of our Lord and Jesus Christ. But whenever the child assumes the place of man, and considers he understands the doctrine of the gospel so well that he can venture an attack upon the faith of the Church, it is then high time to use the rod of discipline, as it is better to part with the right eye, or hand, than to suffer the faith of the gospel to be trodden under feet, and the Church to be captured and corrupted by the enmity if the Serpent, which is comparable to being cast into hell. Every christian experience teaches the distinguishing grace of God, and proves the doctrine to every believer. This when the child of grace can but understand the cause of their own spiritual existence, they will seek to war against the grace which saves them. The question now is – shall the watchmen and stewarts of God’s word contend earnestly for the faith once delivered to the saints, or for the sake of the feelings of mortals, (no odds who, when, nor where) let the corrupting ignorance or enmity of the Serpent prevail, to the breach of the watchman’s trust; the destruction of the Church, and dishonor of God?
9th. Although I have but a little limited knowledge of the sources of public information, the one by Mr. Stone, the other by Campbell, yet I feel it my duty to make a short remark on each. Mr. Stone’s object appears to be, the accomplishment of a general communion amongst the professed saints of God. His main ground of argument (so far as I have seen) to accomplish this object, is, that God has a family on earth, and that it be assuming and wicked for one of this family to reject from the Father’s table, another of the same family, because of some difference of opinion in some cases. The truth of his promises is acceded to by me; but there are several things tobe determined on before this conclusion will answer him any further purpose, than to deceive, and blind the simple. 1st. Is it not essential to the communion of saints, that this family of Heaven, even while on earth, should walk by the same rule, acknowledge the same truth, and be governed by the same gospel discipline? Without which they cannot rightfully be called a family. If so, what is that rule, faith and discipline? And who shall be the judge in this case? If he should say, that the Bible shall be that rule of faith and discipline, and every man be his own judge therein. While the truth of his standard is acknowledged, the question is – Does not every society in our day, profess to take the Bible for their standard, notwithstanding their confessions of faith, and discipline books? Now, which of us all understands and practices that criterion aright? And how shall the differences of opinions respecting the true meaning of the Bible be adjusted, compromised, settled, and the different sects brought to the Lord’s table together, without a sacrifice of conscience or truth? If we say that every man shall be his own judge in this case, will we not make the Lord’s family on earth as corrupt as a set of whoremongers, adulterers, and fornicators, as old Israel was when she mixed with the rest of the nations of the earth, to her overthrow; and the language of this family be as much confused or confounded as the builders of the tower of Babel; while the Church of Christ would be brought to drink of the cup of the Devils, and be partakers of the tables of Devils, as we cannot be partakers of the Lord’s cup and table, and the Devil’s at the same time, 1st Corinthians, ch. 10, v. 21. 3rd. If the caution given by Christ, Mat, ch. 24, vs. 4 & 5 – “Take heed that no man deceive you,” &c. be worth attention, and proves to us that there are deceivers in the world, it devolves on Mr. Stone to point out these deceivers, that this family of God may know how to guard against their iniquity. While he fails to do this, and still goes on to claim all those who profess the name of Christ, to be of the family of God, inviting them to what he calls the Lord’s table; leaving every man to judge od his own fitness; and thereby compelling by his cunning craftiness, the different sects to commune together; making the exalted opinion of the boasting Pharasee in his good performance, the stand of christian union, instead of the word of God, and teachings of the spirit; we shall strongly suspect him to be one of those who are trying to bring the bride of the Lamb to commit fornication with the man of sin, or daughters of the mystery of Babylon. 4th. It devolves on Mr. Stone to let the public know whether the Church of Christ, or family of God, is visible or invisible; and if visible, (as he is compelled to own, or fly in the face of divine writ) what is the mark by which she is to be known, and how is the true Church to be distinguished from the daughters of the mystery of Babylon? And whether or not the seven women spoken of in Isaiah, ch. 4, v. 1, who are willing to eat their own bread, and wear their own apparel, while all the use they have for the man, is his name, to take away their reproach, shall be entitled to the same rights and priviledges in the husband’s house, with that of the married wife, who wholly depends on her husband for support, and feels particular interest in the honours, wealth, and prosperity of her husband, and family? If not, how is that distinction to be made. And again – if the queens, concubines and virgins, spoken of in Song (of Solomon), ch. 6, v. 8, be not the “but one” so particularly designated in the next verse, he should make the distinction, in order that the members of that “one” should know the difference between the family of God, and those that would claim the inheritance unlawfully. Many more similar cases may be presented; but these will be sufficient for him to reconcile in his-Christian Messenger, for ’the present’.
Mr. Campbell, as well as Mr. Stone, seems to be fond of the name, “Christian”, but they fail to notice, that God’s people were particular sectariens too; who was separated from the false religion of their day, and that distinction should still be known. I am not disposed to cavil about names; but the true faith of the gospel is what I am contending for; and although Mr. Campbell adds the name of Baptists, to his publication, yet it is one thing to bear the name of Baptist, and another thing to be a Baptist in reality. It is probable that he wishes the public to consider him a superior grade of Baptists; but I am willing that he should know that I believe every real Baptist is a christian, and every real christian is a Baptist. As I have no doubt but that the saints being Christ like, by following his examples, is the reason why the desciples were called christians. There may be saints who are not Baptists, yet they are not the desciples of Christ, and are not entitled to the name Christian; because they fail to follow Christ in faith and practice. My particular object at this time, is to notice in a short way, his parable designed for wise men, respecting his iron bedsteads, in his whole No. 39. These things are implied by the term, bedstead, 1st. The stead, a place for a bed to lay on – 2d. The bed, with its furnature, not only designed to lay on the stead, but a place of rest and repose – 3. Those who are resting and taking a repose on the bed. As this parable is designed to represent something in religious matters, we should do well to notice, that on the gospel bed, or resting place, is where Christ the bridegroom, and the Church the bride, the Lamb’s wife, embraces each other. This is the bed spoken of in Songs, ch. 3, vs. 7 & 8, with the threescore valiant men about it, with their swords upon their thy, because of fear in the night; now if the bed is well guarded, there is no danger of the spouse that is to rest upon it. I should be glad to know of Mr. Campbell what kind of bedstead he would prefer for this gospel bed to be supported by; (for if the stead gives way, the bed falls, bridegroom, bride and all) perhaps he would choose something like the yarn string, that it would be so pliable that it would suit the length and shapes of any of the daughters of old Rome, that he might think proper to take in bed with him, in preference “To the eternal purpose in Christ Jesus our Lord,” Ephesians, ch. 3, v. 11. I am surprised to find Mr. Campbell contending for the apostolic order of things, and yet pass by the precise length of saints, the nature of the bed, and firmness and strength of the bedstead which secured all; all of which was so earnestly attended to in that day. Instead of this, he seems to offer his insults to the bride, groom, and all, by implicating the bride of Christ, ramking her with Og, king of Bashan, a giant who had an iron bedstead, Deut. ch. 3, v. 11. The Popes, and the daughters of old mother Rome, with their iron bedsteads, from three to five or six feet long. This is certainly insulting to Christ, who has secured the gospel, bed, bride, and all, upon himself, in the divine purposes of God, which he has purposed in himself, Ephesians, ch. 1, v. 9, in Isaiah, ch. 28, v. 20, we read of a bed that was too short, and the covering too narrow, because they were resting on a covenant they had made with death, and the agreement that they entered into with Hell. But this is not the rock which Christ has built his Church on, that the gates of Hell is not to prevail against. The Church of Christ may do wrong, but she is not in no case to be ranked with the Popes, and the daughters of the mystery Babylon, for the Lord declares that he has not withheld iniquity in Jacob. I am opposed to the confession of faith, and the discipline books; but I am fully convinced, that an abstract of principles is absolutely necessary, in order that the true Church may know herself, and be distinguished from the false societies.
Some may think that I am striking at every body, and every thing; but in this they will be mistaken. I am only striking at the spirit, principle enmity and corruption of the Serpent, let it appear where it may; and when I find these things festered by those who call themselves Baptists, I feel bound to expose them, more pointed than anywhere else. Although I agree with Mr. Campbell in opposing those man made machines, made for the purpose of manufactoring preachers; yet I am sorry to see him taking a similar ground with Mr. Stone, for the purpose of breaking down the walls of Zion. It is true that they both introduce the Bible, as the true standard, but they must both know, that the truth or falsehood of the Bible, is not the point in contest, amongst the different sects. But the question is – What is the true doctrines of the Bible? Let these great and wise men engage in teaching us that, and we may probably receive some benefit thereby. But no – they seem engaged in criticising on what they suppose to be the errours of others, while they fail to point out the true doctrines of the Bible, or faith of the gospel. Could they prevail with the different sects to lay down their confessions of faith, and discipline books, and take the Bible for their charter, (without any expression of their faith therein, or abstract of principles therefrom) while they yet retain the same principles and practices that they now do; what benefit would result from all this, except that they could succeed in bringing them all to the communion table together; letting them all believe and practice as they thought proper, in the bounds of morality. And could they do this, they would then accomplish the Devil’s object; the kingdom of God would then be gone; for that would be the gates of Hell, or enmity of the Serpent, prevailing against the Church of Christ, which is built upon a rock.
The fact is this, for to undertake to make out smooth easy terms, in order to compromise the difference between the Church of Christ, and the daughters of the mystery Babylon, is nothing more or less than to undertake to reconcile God and the Devil together, which cannot be done. One or the other must be conquered. The Devil’s plan is, to break down the walls and bulwarks of the city, or Zion of God, and bring all together; while God’s plan is, to call his people out of their captivity, and from amongst the Devil’s subjects, therefore he calls, come out of her my people, &c.
For to say that there is no true gospel Church visible in the world, is about as much as to contradict the word of God, and say that God has no kingdom on earth, and Christ no Church in the world. For to say that it takes every society to make out the Church of Christ, is as much to say, that God and the Devil is in copartnership together; or that Christ has no Church. For to say that everything which bears the name of Christ and appears moral, is the family of Heaven, and true religion, is about the same as to say, that God has no family, and there is no true religion; or that there is no impostors, and therefore God’s word is false in that respect, and there is no Devil, corruption nor deception. It is as much impossible for everything to be right that bears the name of Christ, as it is for God to lie, or cease to exist. And while I unite with these two gentlemen in recommending to all to lay down their discipline books, and confessions of faith, and take the Bible as the sure rule of faith and practice; I shall take the liberty to suggest to them the propriety of turning their attention to distinguishing between truth and errour; the true Church of Christ, and the daughters of the mystery Babylon, who has a number of God’s children captured; and while they are urging the necessity of laying down these discipline books, and confessions of faith; recommend to the Church of Christ the best method of distinguishing herself from the daughters of the mother of harlots. That her light may shine in her faith and practice, as she is taught in the Bible, and witnessed by the Holy Ghost. For although the Church of Christ> is much bewildered in the dark cloud of antichristian delusion, yet she is not, now will not be wholly captured by it. She never sprung from Popery. She was in existence before Calvin and Luther, claims her birth and rise with Christ and his apostles. And although overcome by the beast, has never been wholly destroyed, but has been preserved as the living witness to truth, through the worst of times. It is doing injustice to the Baptists, to call them Calvinists, for they existed before he did. And although he adopted some points of the Baptist doctrine, yet he was a great enemy to them; and I have no doubt but that God will still preserve a faithful few, that will not bow the knee to, nor kiss the lips of Baal. And these gentlemen, and all others, may rest assured, that the bride, the Lamb’s wife, has not, nor will not throw down her walls, nor open her gates for a christian intercourse with these principles and practices; which is at war with, and dishonoring to her husband; and which has caused her to wade through so many bloody scenes, and distressing trials. She could not be forced to it then by all the tortures that Devils could invent, and she is not to be courted to it now, by the cunning craftiness of men that lay in wait to deceive, her God will still preserve her.
I am well apprised that my situation and circumstances in life, will not permit me to stand with men who have a press under their control, makes it their business, and are supported by their income; yet regardless of all their criticism, or great swelling words, that they may see proper to use in order to destroy the weight of those few solemn truths which I have here hinted at; I shall venture them by way of caution, council, and introduction, to the afflicted, persecuted and envied little flock of God; being confident that it is as imposible for the Church of Christ under the gospel, to be wholly captured and corrupted, by the antichristian corruption and delusion, as it is for God’s word to fail, the power of darkness obtain the full victory over truth; and the kingdom of God, Christ and all, be finally and forever overthrown. And that this little few, in all ages, have been the faithful witnesses to Christ, and against iniquity; while the truth, and the power of God, has kept and preserved them, – and through them, God by his word and spirit, has been, and still is, calling to the objects of his love, who are still captured by the enemy, come out of her my people, &c.
For God has proposed in himself to convert his people to the faith, love, and practice of the gospel; and not suffer the gospel to be changed, converted, and suited to the views and feelings of carnal men; and it is wicked for mortals to undertake such a thing by dressing, concealing, or changing the true features of the gospel from that which God had purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord. The gospel is designed, (not to feed the unconverted) but to call in God’s people, feed the flock of God, and bear testimony against the unbeliever. There is just as much difference between the law and gospel, as there is between death and life; the law is conditioned on the creature’s part; while the conditions of the gospel is retained in God, as a standing firm in his own divine purposes, and he will not be frustrated.
The natural man discerneth not the things of the spirit, &c. The words of Christ, it is spirit, and it is life. The gospel, and religion of Christ is spiritual, and the ministration of the spirit. This is the main cause of the diversities of opinion representing the doctrines of the Bible. The natural man draws his conclusions from the exercise of his depraved natural reason; this is all he knows, and the world by wisdom knows not God. The man renewed by divine grace is taught the spirituality of the word of God, by the teachings of the divine spirit. Thus they differ, and the wisdom which comes from above, cannot, nor will not surrender to the vain, wicked simplicity of the wisdom of this world, which is foolishness to God. This is one cause why the Jews rejected and persecuted Christ; they being natural, understood the Bible in a natural sense; looking for a temporal king, to set upon the temporal throne of David, and restore the temporal kingdom of Isarael; and Christ’s dicsiples, although daily with him, hearing his words, knew no better until they were taught by the spirit.
I have discovered, (too late to change the words) that the words “instil” and “instilled”, convey the true meaning of what I designed by the words “distil” and “distilled” after used in this piece; but I wish my reader to understand them as such. And now my reader, perhaps by this time you have nearly read through this piece; I am apprised, that it is common for some people to pick up a pamplet, and slightly look over it; and without fully discerning the objects and doctrines contained therein, or evidences on which it is founded, lay it down, and agreeably to prejudices of the mind, make up their opinion for or against it. I hope that you will not do so with this, but read it again; weigh every point well, for the author is in earnest, and wrote under a solemn weight of mind.
As my object is to bring to view some particular facts of the mystery of iniquity, manifested in the late signs of the times; I cannot do justice to this subject, without taking some notice of a late circular, addressed by some members of what is called the Bruceville Mission Society, to the Baptists of Indiana. This circular appeared designed to encourage the Baptists of the state in promoting Sunday Schools, and providing for the support of Missionaries in their own state. It flatters then that the prospect of aid from an old Mission Society in the state of Massachutts, as their beloved brother, John M. Peck, in a late tour through the Atlantic states, has secured the attention and interest of said society, for the accomplishment of some of those desirable objects in the state on Indiana, Illinois and Missouri, so far as not only to expect a part of their funds, but also to appoint the persons whose names are annexed to the present course, inasmuch as the brethern to be employed as missionaries, are the preachers amongst themselves, whom the church receive and acknowledge, called, and qualified of God for the work; and they have
proceeded to appoint brethern Samuel Anderson and Abner Davis, for to travel and preach for six months.
Several things are to be noticed in this. 1st. If the Mission society was so friendly as to design a part of their funds for the benefit of those three new destitute states, and appoint these men as a committee to attend to their interest – why is this circular confined alone to the Baptists of Indiana, and not extended to Illinois and Missouri? This looks like defrauding these states. Perhaps the cause is, they are apprised that the following is inserted in the minutes of the Illinois Association, of l824 – “Resolved unanimously by this Association, That we view the general conduct and proceedings in this country, of these preachers, (and especially that of John II. Peck) patronized by the Baptist Board of Foreign Missions, to have been distressing to the brethern, and prejudicial to the cause of Christ, amongst the Baptist Churches in this union. Resolved further, That no preacher who has been, or shall be patronized by the Baptist Board of Foreign Missions, shall hereafter have a seat in the Association, unless he shall have withdrawn from their patronage or service,” It is to be remembered that this John N. Peck resides within the bounds of that Association; and although he denies being under the patronage of the Board, yet I presume, that instead of his withdrawing from its patronage, he was dismissed from it, and still retaining the principles, he seeks a similar place, amongst species of the same kind, 2d. This said John M. Peck, did in my presence and hearing, at the White river Association, in August, 1825, publicly and pointedly state that it was simplicity for a man when he got up to preach, to tell the people that he was dependent on the immediate aid of the divine spirit to enable him to preach; for, (he said) it is no such thing; and then went on to use a number of arguments to prove such an idea false, and that the ability of the ministry was by human aid; end some of this same committee were present, and heard it, as well as me; and can still claim him their beloved brother Peck; which proves that they fellowship him and his doctrine. – 3d. Elder Samuel Anderson did on the evening of the first day of October, 1826, at the house of Mr. Benjamin Harris, in Vigo county, Indiana, by way of opposition to elder Richard N. Newport’s preaching, and urging the propriety and necessity of God’s calling and quallifying men to preach the gospel, publicly and pointedly use about these words – “I believe that the only difference between the preacher and the lay members is, that the preacher is possessed of a talent”; (this he spoke of as being a natural talent) to communicate his ideas in a more intelligible manner than the lay man has. This I apprehend is the call to the ministry we have heard so much about. “And he has said at other times and places, which is easily proven – “That if there be any such thing as a particular or spiritual call to the work of the ministry, he knows nothing about it.” This is sufficient to prove, he does not believe that God, by the immediate work of the divine spirit, called men to the work of the ministry. 4th. Elder Abner Davis, in a letter addressed to me, dated, March 2d, 1826, designed to prove to me that my belief in God’s calling men to work in the ministry, was erroneous, he, after urging several arguments to prove the impropriety of believing in an immediate call of God to the ministry, remarks thus – “You will ask then, what is it that authorizes a man to preach? I answer that he must first receive Christ by faith, and then Baptized into the name of the Trinity, (I suppose he meant “in” instead of “into”) then it becomes his duty to recommend that religion that he has received, either in conduct or conversation or both, if he is capable of teaching, and fills the character of a bishop, that is his place,” &c.
This proves his faith on the subject. 5th. When you say, my reader, compare these facts together, does it not look somewhat strange, that the state of Indiana is to be supplied with Missionaries whom the Churches receive and acknowledge, called and qualified of “God” for the work, when it is evident that the very men now employed, deny such a call and qualification, as being by the immediate work, or of the divine spirit. This wont do the bulk of Illinois Baptist; and I think it will not do some of the Indiana Baptist much longer.
Would not this committee, or trustees, have acted more correct, if they had been told their brethern that the Missionaries to be sent, would be men that they might see proper to call, and judge qualified for the work; and that they would not have so much of the size of the call, as they did, or would, for the quanity of fat on the call. Elder Kennedy appeared as much opposed to elder Davis’s principles on that point as he was to my views on the Two Seeds, and did engage to assist me in that combat; but he has deserted me, and is trying to get to live with that principle, which proves that a double minded man, is unstable in all his ways, and I have found that the enemy, under the cloak of friendship, is more to be dreaded than the open, professed adversary. All this looks too much like the sublilty and enmity of the Serpent, for to be supported by the real Baptists, who feel their need of, and are taught to pray for the aid of the divine spirit, as well as for the Lord to send out more labourers, while they hear the voice of their beloved, calling, come out of her my people, &c.
10th. Because I have got a little beyond what some men can comprehend, or understand, they suppose that I have become wise, above that which is written. And while they are exclaiming against my errours, as they suppose, they can hardly begin to show the true meaning of the same line of Scripture, in a consistency with the word of God, and the christian religion, which I have undertaken ot explain; and thus the prejudices of ignorance is making more noise about this matter, than the wisdom that comes from above; and many are condemming of, and raising a great hue and cry against my views on the Two Seeds, who have never read, heard nor natured the doctrine contained therein, but have ventured an attack upon that which they know nothing of, only as prejudiced rumor has informed them; while others are acting the part of a deist, as they are unable to explain the line of Scripture which I have taken notice of; they have engaged in collecting Scripture to contradict, or overbalance mine; and thereby prove God to be the author of sin, and that he has created a set of beings for the purpose of damming them, or that salvation depends on the act of the creation, instead of divine grace, while if they can succeed in proving that the scriptures contradict themselves, they will then overthrow the whole, and establish the Deistical plan.
It might be well for all such storms that can be raised; the day of the judgement will decide all things. 11th and last. My reaser (?), I am about to leave you; and no doubt but eternity will witness the next acquaintance of a number of you with me. I am drawing towards the evening of life. I am willing to risk my temporal and eternal all, upon the doctrine contained in this piece. You may think that I am too censorious. I have to account to the judge of quick and dead, for my stewardship; I dare not at this awful time, daub your eyes with untempered mortar. I have no doubt that there are numbers of God’s dear children now captured in the Arminian sosieties; and while they preach the necessity of repentance toward God, and faith towards our Lord Jesus Christ, it is that truth which blesses to the hearts of men and women, which proves the doctrine of election, and salvation by grace, even while they are engaged in mixing law and gospel, works and grace, meritoriously together; and this is the reason why I am now engaged as a friend, proclaiming the voice of God, which is calling, come out of her my people, &c.
The wrath of men shall praise God. Knowing that the terrors of the Lord, we persuade men. You must not suppose that my not producing further testimony for the support of any, or all of the points of doctrine contained in this piece, was for lack of evidences in the book of truth, for the whole volume of revelation appears to unite, as one cloud of witnesses, to establish these truths. And when I get a glimmering glance, or view, through this dark veil, of the greatness and glory which appears in this gospel field; and then take a view of the small advance which my poor weak endeavours have made in it, I sometimes feel like sitting in silence, only crying out, my leanness, my leanness. But again, with a sense of the glory of God, and worth of souls, weights my mind with what the Lord requires at my hands, and where my great strength lyeth, I feel with the boldness of a Lion, to engage with all my might, in fighting the battles of my Lord; distinguishing between truth and errour, warning of my fellow men of their awful danger, and strenghtening of the Lambs of Christ in the truth, looking forward to that glorious and awful time when the kingdom of darkness will be ripe for its final destruction. And oh! poor sinner, I feel as if I shall be clear from your blood, as I have not shunned to declare the whole council of God, so far as he has enabled me. While all (not part) of the memebrs of Christ’s body will meet without a glass or veil between beholding each other face to face, there, with their glorious Redeemer, and hosts of Heaven, rejoicing, and viewing with wonder and amasement this glorious field of gospel truth, which I now can but just hint at. I trust that then, poor unworthy me, will be out of the reach of persecution. My thoughts now steps back, with a solemn inquiry. Oh, my persecutors where will you then be? May the God of grace and poor have mercy on you; turn your hatred to love, and save you in that awful day.
I feel tender towards my brethern who differ from me in opinion, and have gone such lengths, even while I have been compelled in justice to God and his cause, to speak pointed and plain. I ascribe their iniquity more to a blind, misled zeal, then the want of love to God, and the Redeemer’s kingdom. For some cause, God has suffered them to be thus blinded; but I trust that the time is near at hand, when God will rend the veil of ignorance, and cause the truth, with its glory, to shine to their understanding.
The subject is too copious to bring everything to view that lays before me; I must now stop. Should this be made a blessing to any, let the God of grace have all the glory, for he alone is worthy. That you, my dear reader, and myself, may receive and be partakers in the benefits of that glorious victory obtained through the blood of the Lamb, is the prayer of your poor servant, who, if a saint, feels least of all.
By the blessing of God, the author closed this work on the 25th day of February, 1827. D. P.
Want of time, and of opportunity, has precluded the author of this piece from examining it with the care he would have liked to bestow upon it; he therefore hopes that it will be read in a spirit of candour, and not of criticism. Look at the substance, and not the shadow. D. P.