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VIEWS ON MATT. 8:11,12.

Robinson’s Mills, ILL.
April 24, 1870.

MR. GILBERT BEEBE: - May I ask that you, or some other one of the Old School Baptists, will give your views, through the SIGNS OF THE TIMES, on Matt.8:11,12. By doing so you may perhaps feed some of the flock, and an inquirer after the truth may eat of the crumbs.

A Stranger.

REPLY. The text on which an explanation is desired reads thus: “And I say unto you, That many shall come from the east and west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven. But the children of the kingdom shall be cast out into outer darkness; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”

Great multitudes had gathered around the Savior, when he retired to the mountain, with the little company of his disciples to whom he preached that wonderful sermon recorded in the fifth, sixth and seventh chapters; and as soon as he came down from the mountain, great multitudes again gathered around him. In the assembled crowd was a Roman centurion, who manifested a greater faith than our Lord had found in Israel; that is, among the Jews. Having granted the prayer of this Gentile captain, and commended his faith as surpassing what had been manifested among the Israelites, he took occasion to explain what was calculated to astonish the Jews, who supposed that the long looked for Messiah would confine all his care, and bestow all his favors exclusively on the people of Israel. And Jesus said to them that followed him; that is, to the multitude that followed him into Capernaum, composed of Jews and Gentiles, that he had not found so great faith, no, not in Israel. “And I say unto you;” that is, to the multitude, principally of Jews, “That many shall come from the east and west;” that is, from the rising of the sun to the going down thereof, according to the prediction of Isaiah, 43:5. “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; even every one that is called by my name; for I have created him for my glory, I have formed him; yea, I have made him.” This prediction had reference to the spiritual Israel of God, and not to the natural or fleshly descendents of Abraham. The apostle testifies that, “They are not all Israel, which are of Israel. Neither, because they are the seed of Abraham, are they all children; but, in Isaac shall thy seed be called. That is, they which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God; but the children of the promise are counted for the seed.” Rom. 9:6-8. Isaac was the child of promise, and in him as the child of promise, in distinction from him that was born after the flesh, should the seed be called. By this seed, called in Isaac, the child of promise, we are told, is meant the children of God. This, the flesh could not make them; to be a child of God, one must be born of God. No fleshly birth, even though Abraham himself were our father, could make us sons of God, or heirs of immortality; for that which is born of the flesh, is flesh; and they which are the children of the flesh, these are not the sons of God. “Abraham had two sons,” both were his seed after the flesh, or in their fleshly relationship. The son who was born of the bond woman represented, in the allegory, all the carnal Israelites who depended for justification on the deeds of the law. For this bond woman, Hagar, is mount Sinai, in Arabia, and answers to that Jerusalem which is in bondage with her children. This Sinai covenant of works is mother to all who are of the works of the law; and all such are in bondage; for “as many as are of the works of the law, are under the curse.” This includes all, whether Jew or Gentile, who are not children of promise. The children of promise are born of God, by his Spirit, by virtue of the promise which God that cannot lie promised before the world began, although independently of the will or works of the flesh. Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. And, “being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word {or promise} of God, which liveth and abideth forever;” such, and such only, are as Isaac was, the children of promise. “A chosen generation, a royal priesthood, and a peculiar people.” “This people, saith the Lord, have I formed for myself, they shall show forth my praise.” “And they shall be mine, saith the Lord of hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels.” And, remember, “The foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his.” “And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.” “For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.” Acts 2:39. How many will the Lord our God call? He has condescended to settle for us this question; as it includes “even every one that is called by my name.” But from what distance? “Bring my sons from far, and my daughters from the ends of the earth.” Including all who are in the east and west, and north, and south. They that are ready to perish shall come from the land of Assyria, and the outcasts from the land of Egypt, shall come, and shall worship the Lord in his holy mountain at Jerusalem. “All that the Father giveth me shall come unto me, and him that cometh unto me I will in no wise cast out.” But does that include all that shall come to Jesus? It certainly does, for He says positively, “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 6:37,44. “I say unto you,” Who says this? “I that speak in righteousness, mighty to save.” Isa.63:1. What does he say? All may come if they will, or if men and missionaries, and money and means be liberally employed for the purpose? He says no such thing. Hear what he says. “Many shall come.” He speaks the word and it stands fast; he commands and it is done. The decree has gone forth from his month, and is irrevocable. Many. Every one that is called by my name, for I have created him for my glory. They shall come from every point of the compass, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven. That is in the kingdom of heaven where Abraham, Isaac and Jacob now are. Not in the worldly sanctuary, to be engaged in carnal ordinances, but in the Holy City, New Jerusalem, described in the last chapters of Revelation. In that Jerusalem which is not in bondage with her children, but in that which is above, is risen with Christ, which is free, and which is the mother of all who, as Isaac was, are the children of the promise. Not they who are the flesh of Abraham, but they who are of the faith of Abraham; for it is only in that faith which was counted in him for righteousness, that Abraham was made the father of many nations. In a fleshly relationship he was the father of but one nation. But all, in every nation and kindred of the earth, who have the faith of Abraham, are blessed with faithful Abraham. This is truly Old Baptist doctrine; for John the Baptist testified that, “Of these stones God is able to raise up children unto Abraham.” Abraham, the father of the faithful, Isaac, the child of promise, the son of the free woman, and heir of the inheritance of his father, and in whom the seed shall be called, and Jacob, God’s servant, and Israel, God’s elect, are all seated in the kingdom of heaven, and, “In the Lord shall all the seed of Israel be justified and shall glory.” Isa. 45:25. They shall sit down, for “God who is rich in mercy, for the great love wherewith he loved us, even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened as together with Christ, and raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus.” Not as the wicked, who are like the troubled sea, in perpetual commotion; but they shall sit down, repose in uninterrupted and everlasting rest, and go no more out forever.

“But the children of the kingdom.” Those who were recognized as such under the legal dispensation; the children of that covenant in the flesh of Abraham, whose mother is that Jerusalem which, like Hagar, is in hopeless bondage with her children. They shall be cast out with their mother, {the covenant of works and of conditions which gendereth to bondage,} for; “what saith the scriptures? Cast out the bond woman and her son; for the son of the bond woman shall not be heir with the son of the free woman.” The carnal Israelites filled the house of Abraham, which was typical of the spiritual kingdom of heaven, just as Hagar and Ishmael did in the type, only in a fleshly relation, and as Hagar was herself a slave, and the property of her mistress, she was in bondage, and could not be the mother of a free progeny. Just so the Sinai covenant, or the covenant of works, gendereth to bondage, and holds all who are under it, as slaves, and not as sons or heirs. Hence the apostle, in introducing this allegory, says, “Tell me, ye that desire to be under the law, do ye hear the law?” To be under it is to be a servant, but not a son. All of Hagar’s children are born after the flesh, and only stand related to Abraham in the flesh. So stood the Jews as a people; their lineal connection with Abraham could be traced back to him, and so could that of Ishmael. But whosoever the Son shall make free, shall be free indeed. Thus, while Ishmael represented all workmongers who are under the covenant of works, Isaac, as the promised son of Sarah, represents the promised seed of Christ, which are born not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. Hence Paul says to the Gentile saints in the churches of Galatia, “Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of promise.” “So then, brethren, we are not children of the bondwoman, but of the free.” Gal. 4:28 & 31. The children of the kingdom of heaven which were to be cast out, were children only in a fleshly relation, the same as Ishmael was a son of Abraham, and therefore like Ishmael and his mother were to be cast out; for no fleshly relation, or service rendered to the law of a carnal commandment, can possibly make any man a child of promise, or an heir of immortality, any more than anything that Hagar or Ishmael could do, could make Ishmael a child of promise. He was a creature of means, and born after the flesh, and was not the son which God had promised that Sarah should bear. By the circumcision of Christ, all this legal, fleshly connection was utterly cut off, and the bond woman and her son were cast out of the kingdom. The flesh of Abraham was mortal and corruptible, and that corruption and mortality was all the children of the flesh could inherit. The Levitical priesthood could not be perpetuated, by reason of death; but Christ holds his priesthood by the power of an endless life; and those of his priesthood are born of that endless life, and are heirs of immortality. All the election of grace are children of promise, as God had promised, “A seed shall serve him; it shall be accounted to the Lord for a generation. They shall come, and shall declare his righteousness unto a people that shall be born, that he hath done this.” Psa. 22:30, 31. Let us notice this promise. It is the promise of a seed. That seed shall be born, and shall declare God’s righteousness. And they shall come; for God has promised it. From the east and west, from the four winds, from the one end of heaven to the other, “He shall send his angel; with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect,” his chosen and promised seed, from among the Gentiles, and they shall be gathered into his kingdom, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and the children of the kingdom; that is, the children of the flesh, children of Abraham by the bond woman, shall be cast out into outer darkness. The light of Israel, the light which is the light of men, shall not enlighten them. For there shall be no natural or artificial light within her sacred enclosure. For the glory of God shall lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof. Rev. 21:23. But into the darkness of delusion and death which is without her enclosure, they shall be cast. This has been fearfully verified, so far as the Jews are concerned. “And there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” They should feel the scourge of his judgments, and weep under the terrible judgments that should, surprise them. But still retaining their malice and enmity against God, they shall gnash their teeth. “Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me; and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in; behold, he shall come, saith the LORD of hosts. But who may abide the day of his coming? and who shall stand when he appeareth? for he is like a refiner's fire, and like fuller’s soap.” “Then shall ye return, and discern between the righteous and the wicked, between him that serveth God and him that serveth him not. For, behold, the day cometh, that shall burn as an oven; and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble: and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the LORD of hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch. But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings; and ye shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall. And ye shall tread down the wicked; for they shall be ashes under the soles of your feet in the day that I shall do this, saith the LORD of hosts.” Mal. 3:1-2, 3:18-4:3.

If what we have written on this subject shall be of any service to A Stranger, inquiring after the truth, or to any of the Lord’s little ones, we shall not have labored in vain. As the appeal was to us, or to any other one of the Old School Baptists, we hope that what we have written may not deter others who may have more light on the subject, from letting their light shine.

Middletown, N.Y.
June 1, 1870.
Elder Gilbert Beebe