The following communication to me, expressing such comprehensive, soul-reviving, and God-honoring views of God's way of making saints – the doctrine of salvation by grace, the cause why, and certainty of, the complete deliverance and salvation of the church – the cause and nature of the war between God and the devil, &c. &c. all of which being so congenial with my own views, and the objects intended to be maintained by this work, that I have thought proper to lay it before my readers, hoping that I shall not infringe on the feelings of the writer by so doing, he having no expectation of its appearing before the public, as the face of the letter will in itself show.
Elder Daniel Parker
Lebanon, Warren County Ohio,
Dear Brother Parker:
Some time past, I received a Prospectus from you for publishing by subscription, “The Church Advocate.” I obtained a few subscribers for the work, but hearing that you had declined the prosecution of it, I desisted the solicitation. If the work is still progressing, (as I have lately heard) please inform me, and I will renew my diligence. I am convinced, that in this day of error, iniquity, superstition and perversion, a work of this kind well managed, would be very useful. The world is almost deluged with periodicals, tracts, and religious newspapers, but the truth is as hard to find in them, as good silver in a counterfeit dollar, that is not worth reading again, yet some of it is so tinged with truth, that it would pass pretty well by moonlight.
I have thought for several years of undertaking such a work myself, but hitherto I have deferred it; and if you should go on with yours, I should be glad to occupy some of its pages, but the distance is so great that the postage would be rather too heavy a tax. I have heard that yourself and elder Newport intend making us a visit next summer; this news is highly gratifying to many of the Lord's people in this region, but to none more than myself – do come, dear brethren do come.
I have read with some attention, you views of the “Two Seeds,” and also “The Second Dose,” in both of which I found much to approve, nay, to admire; but The Second Dose is much better sweetened than the first; and it being “dealt out in broken doses,” became less alarming to the patient, especially those who had but a light touch of the legal fever.
Arminianism occupies different thrones in different people. In the Christian, it sits in the head; but in the unconverted, it sits in the heart – the head is the seat of judgment, but the heart is the seat of affections. In the former case, broken doses of suitable medicine, skillfully administered, with a few drops of promise-cordial, and a little eye salve from the apothecary of self-abasement, and a few strengthening plasters, made of the sovereignty and immutibility of God's purposes, confirmed by his oath to the heirs of promise, will put all to rights, and the nerves being strengthened, the stomach cleansed, and the eyes healed, the delirium will subside, and the judgment and affections will unite and make war with this old king; and if they should not slay him, they will cast him in prison, and refuse to support him, because he is a traitor. But if the latter be the case, do all you can with the head or judgment, and if you get it as sound as a rock, so that it sounds as clear as a bell “salvation to the Lord,” the man will still serve the old king, for he is governed more by his affections than by his judgment.
Religion is in a state of mediocrity with us. The churches are well united in the gospel, and stand in “one Lord, one faith, and one baptism.” The Glassites, or the Sandimenian philosophy, as taught by A. Campbell and others, made some rapid surges against the strong battlements of God's invincible Zion, and had the Lord's Magazine been exhausted, the siege would have been fatal, but the stores were full, and the word of the Lord roared out of Zion, and the siege was soon raised, the philosophers fled in disgrace, and we hear but little more of them in these parts.
Health, crops and markets are good. The weather is very fluctuating, with very frequent rains. It has got so late in the evening that I must drop my pen until to-morrow morning.
This is a warm cloudy Christmas morning, and I have been thinking on the birth of Christ, and the song of the angels, and wondering how I could feel so languid and cold, while I reflect on the advent of the Saviour of his people – yes, his people, his seed, his church; which in the bonds of eternal indissoluble love, was one body, inseparably joined to one head, in whom they all have their sonship, and filial relation to one father, as joint heirs with their first born brother, both to his victories and his glories, his righteousness and promises, his fullness and crown.
You know the children of God are called a gift to Christ, as he said “Behold I and the children which God hath given me” – hence, they were the children of God, and as such they were given to Christ as his brethren, and so he said, “I will confess thy name among my brethren, in the midst of the church will I sing unto thee.” Thus they are the children of God, and brethren of Christ, embraced with him in the same covenant or will of their father. – This is a glorious subject, in which, much of heaven, much of grace, much of glory and of God, is revealed to men. This bond, like heaven's charter, secures inviolably the rights of the heirs – holds in its immutable circumscription, the whole family, both in earth and heaven, and with the power of irresistible attraction, draws them all to the centre, until they shall all be perfect in one. The relation subsisting between Christ and the elect, has its origin and consummation in the sovereign and immutable love of God. This love knew no beginning, and is as durable as eternity; it tempers and harmonizes every link in our salvation; it exhibits its divine excellence in every grace of the spirit, of mercy and justice, in all the system of redemption, justification, pardon, perseverance and glory; and while God is love, he will hold his elect within his Omnipotent grasp, and none shall be able to pluck them out of his hand.
Now, dear brother, this is love; not that we loved God, but that he loved us; this loves takes our affections captive, and we love him because he first loved us. O that we may enjoy its constant influence, and love God with all our hearts, and each other as brethren, the children of one father.
My family is in good health –
Give my respects to all the brethren,
I am yours in the Gospel,