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THEY SHALL HEAR MY VOICE.

DEAR BROTHER WILLIAM: - According to the request of your correspondent brother Walden Wise, and according to your suggestion I have concluded to offer a few thoughts on the text, John 10:16, “Other sheep I have, which are not of this fold; them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.” In the first place we will notice the character of the Shepherd, who is none other but Jesus Christ the great Shepherd of the sheep, whom God hath brought again from the dead through the blood of the everlasting covenant, Heb.13:20; who has not only laid down his life for the sheep, but has taken it again, that they might be pardoned, or acquitted from all crime, and presented to God without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, and all this he has done not to make them his sheep, but because they are, and always were his sheep; and there can be no mistake as to the number of them and the certainty of their being called by name, and brought to the fold, while this seal, “The Lord knoweth them that are his,” {II Tim.2:9,} remains. The foundation of God standeth sure. And while the Shepherd has all power both in heaven and earth, why shall he not bring his sheep, surely he shall feed his flock like a Shepherd, he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young. Isa.40:11. But some are ready to say this has its application alone to such as are believers in Jesus. Truly it includes such as are already believers, as well as all them that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call, for the text says, other sheep I have {not intend to have, if I can get them,} but already have. Them also I must bring – as much as to say – such of my sheep as are among the Jews I have already brought; but other sheep I have which are not of this fold or belonging to the Jewish nation, but among the Gentile nations, them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice. This plainly shows that though they actually were his sheep, yet they had not as yet heard his voice, but by nature as related to Adam were children of wrath even as others, dead in trespasses and sins; but of them he says, “The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God; and they that hear shall live.” John 5:25; and at the 28th verse, he says, “Marvel not at this; for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, and shall come forth,” &c. Hence I conclude that human agency or power, has no more to do in calling and raising sinners from their awful state of death in trespasses and in sins, than it will have to do in raising the dead from their graves at the great resurrection day. Distressing it is to me that the false doctrine has become so popular and common in this day, that God now designs the salvation or conversion of the whole world, but cannot accomplish it unless we mortals use the means within our reach, which if done, thousands and millions might be saved, that otherwise must go down to ruin, and the blame fall upon us, for neglecting to use the means. Great God! What blasphemy! How does such doctrine agree with the language of the text, “Them also I must bring; and THEY SHALL HEAR MY VOICE.” Further, John 6:37, “All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.” “No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him; and I will raise him up at the last day.” John 6:44. Again, John 17:9, “I pray for them; I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine.” Many other texts might be referred to, to show the certainty of the Shepherd’s calling and bringing all his sheep; but I refer to only one more that now strikes my mind, “Fear not; for I am with thee; I will bring thy seed from the east, and gather thee from the west; I will say to the north, Give up; and to the south, Keep not back; bring my sons from far, and my daughters from the ends of the earth.” Isa.43:5,6.

But I pass on to the last clause in the text, “And there shall be one fold and one Shepherd.” In this the Savior refers, no doubt, to the breaking down of the middle wall of partition that remained under the Jewish, legal, typical, or old covenant dispensation, which wall prohibited the Gentiles from Jewish privileges. But now these old things having passed away, and the new covenant or gospel dispensation being ushered in, when it appears truly that God is no respecter of persons; but in every nation he that feareth God and worketh righteousness is accepted with him, so that the Jews and Gentiles, believers in Jesus are all entitled to the same gospel privileges, all making up the one fold of the one great Shepherd of the sheep. It is worthy of notice too, that such as have been brought into this fold, manifest it by following the Shepherd; for he says, “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.” John 10:27. To follow the Shepherd then is to render obedience to his commands, being steadfast in the faith, {or form of doctrine,} once delivered to the saints, taking his revealed word as a full and finished rule, both of faith and practice, not following the commandments and doctrines of men, but following the Shepherd of the sheep, through evil, as well as good report. I close for the present.

Yours in love,
D.W. Patman.
Oglethorpe Co., Georgia, Oct.24, 1856.