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CORRESPONDENCE

Lanham, W. Va., Dec. 1, 1907.

Dear Brethren And Sisters In The Lord: – As to-day is the first day of December, and it being our regular meeting day of the Hopewell Church of Predestinarian Baptists, who meet on the first Sunday, and Saturday before, in each month, this time being set by our fathers in the year of 1833, and, as we humbly hope, we are a little handful of the fallen sons and daughters of Adam’s posterity, who have been led by the unerring Spirit of Almighty God to love the truth and to walk in the way our fathers trod, having no desire to fall in with the institutions of men, but to earnestly contend for the faith once delivered to the saints. I have just returned from our meeting, and while reading the last number of the Signs my eyes feel on the writing of sister E. Johnson. I am glad I went to that part of West Virginia and preached to the comfort of one of God’s humble children, for the prophet Isaiah has said, “Comfort ye, comfort ye my people, saith your God.” I can say that I enjoy being in such company as sister Johnson’s, for I feel that she is a mother in Israel, and if the Lord spares my life until spring, I hope to see you all again.

The modern Pharisees claim we have no right to go back into the old Scriptures for a text, as the old Scriptures were done away by the coming of Christ to make the way possible and passable for the universe of mankind; but I must say to the modern Pharisee, “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for instruction in righteousness; that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.” God’s people are set forth under the appellation of sheep, and when sheep go to battle against the enemy they go back in order to gather power, that when they come they may come with power. For this reason God’s ministers go back to the old Scriptures and come with the prophecy of Isaiah xliv. 21-25: “Remember these, O Jacob and Israel; for thou art my servant: I have formed thee; thou art my servant: O Israel, thou shalt not be forgotten of me. I have blotted out, as a thick cloud, thy transgressions, and, as a cloud, thy sins: return unto me; for I have redeemed thee. Sing, O ye heavens; for the Lord hath done it: shout, ye lower parts of the earth: break forth into singing, ye mountains, O forest, and every tree therein: for the Lord hath redeemed Jacob, and glorified himself in Israel. Thus saith the Lord, thy Redeemer, and he that formed thee from the womb, I am the Lord that maketh all things; that stretcheth forth the heavens alone: that spreadeth abroad the earth by myself; that frustrateth the tokens of the liars, and maketh diviners mad; that turneth wise men backward, and maketh their knowledge foolish.” O no, the modern Pharisees do not want to go back into the old Scriptures, for they know that prophecy is predestination, and as perverters of the truth they want to mislead or befog the minds of their hearers, and if it were possible they would deceive the very elect. But thanks be to God, who giveth us the victory through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, who abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel; for the gospel is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth. “The Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom: but we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumbling-block, and unto the Greeks foolishness; but unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God.” Bless his holy name, he hath saved us and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, knowing that man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ. Even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law, for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified. Dear kindred in Christ, we are freed from the law of sin and death by the shedding of the blood of the Son of God on the cross for us, and his blood cleanses us from all sin; so it is a special atonement for a special people, the spiritual Israel, of which natural Israel was a type. The redeemed of the Lord are of every kindred, tongue and people upon earth, for they shall all know him, from the least of them to the greatest, and the promise is that he will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities he will remember no more. “Happy art thou, O Israel: who is like unto thee, O people saved by the Lord.” He speaks, and it is done; commands, and it stands fast. He is not wooing and trying to save poor, lost sinners, as the modern Pharisees continually tell their congregations in their synagogues on the Sabbath day (law Sunday), Isaiah x. 15: “Shall the axe boast itself against him that heweth therewith? or shall the saw magnify itself against him that shaketh it! as if the rod should shake itself against them that lift it up, or as if the staff should lift up itself, as if it were no wood.” Now, dear kindred in Christ, we do not beg our axe to let us take it to cut wood, or whatever we want to use it for, for we are sovereign over the axe; neither does the carpenter beg the saw to let him take it and saw this plank; no, no wooing and begging, for he is sovereign over the saw; neither does the staff lift itself up to meet us on half way ground. What would you think if you were to hear one begging his axe or saw to let him use it to fell a tree or saw a plank! Surely you would think that such an one was fit for the asylum. The Pharisee preacher will tell poor, dead sinners to make the start, and then Jesus will meet them half way; that he is willing and wants to save them, but they will not let him; they will say that their salvation is conditional – if the dead sinner will do his part, then God will do his. I must say that I am sorry to know the spirit of conditional salvation has gotten into the Old School Baptist churches in some parts of the country, and, to befog the minds of the Baptists, they have coupled conditional time to the salvation of all, and they that will not accept of this conditional time salvation they say are absoluters. Well, predestination is absolute or it is not predestination at all, and I am glad to know that we, the Pocatalico Association, are not bothered with any of the ministry as sowers of mingled seed, for the gospel field is not to be sown with mingled seed, neither is a garment made of wool and linen to come upon thee. I feel sure that God has as many as three hundred who can lap as a dog lappeth water, as when the dog is lapping his eyes are looking in every direction, and I believe that God has his watchmen on the walls of Zion, and they are watching for the welfare of Zion. Do with this as you think best.

J. W. McCLANAHAN.

Signs Of The Times
Volume 76., No. 8.
APRIL 15, 1908.