Primitive Preacher by Elder Grigg Thompson


Therefore, if any man be in Christ he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold all things are become new; 2Co 5:17.

The apostle’s scope in the context is to teach Christians that they should dedicate themselves wholly to the service of Christ who had purchased them with his own blood, and to dissuade them against a sinful partiality in respect to men; that they should know no man after the flesh, or regard them after the manner of the world, or according to external differences, wealth, or bearing, but according to their internal worth and excellence, or the evidence we have that Christ dwells in them. He that loveth him that begat will love him that is begotten of him, for it is this second begetting that imparts new graces to the soul, and binds the whole redeemed family together in the bonds of love and fellowship. It is to be regretted that the teaching of the apostle is so little regarded among those professing Christianity, and that so much fleshly partiality is manifested; the rich and the veil clothed are invited to sit up here in a conspicuous place, while the poor are pointed to the footstool, or a back seat. Such partiality is condemned by the apostle Jas 2:1-5, and shows that we judge after the flesh. Such partiality is not of God, for he hath chosen the poor of this world, and made them rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom. There is no better evidence of a worldly church and an unregenerated membership than to see them conform to the world and seek popularity with the wise and wealthy of the earth. If the rich and those filling high positions in the world, join their church, their name will be sounded abroad, and they will boast of the influence they have acquired. The apostle speaks of such “walking after their own lusts; and their mouth speaking great swelling words, having men’s persons in admiration because of advantage;” Jude 16. To gain popular applause and worldly influence they will desecrate the house of the Lord, and by their festivals, suppers, and other tricks to get money, make it a house of merchandise, such as Christ would call a den of thieves; Lu 19:46. Such worldly churches give evidence that with them old things have not passed away, they still live after the flesh, and think that the end justifies all the unhallowed means used by them to gain members, influence, and wealth. They pander to all the fashions and whims of the world, that they may thereby gain influence and wealth, and do not possess that new spirit by which the Christian is actuated. They that are in Christ are new creatures, and are to judge and measure all things by a new rule; “If any man be in Christ he is a new creature, old thing have passed away,” the world has lost its charms, we are done with the low, selfish spirit of the world, which is wholly governed by carnal interests; we have a new spirit within us, are to judge by a new rule, and to be actuated by a new principle, aim at a new and more noble end. “Behold, all things are become new.” These old things have lost their charms, have passed away from our affections, and are at war with the life we now possess; 1Pe 2:11.

The great question now before us to be determined is, whether a man be in Christ or not? a question upon which our eternal destiny hangs, and by it we must stand or fall forever. 0, how momentous this question is, and with what deep and solemn interest we should examine it in reference to our own personal condition, and the spirit that dwells in us. If we have hot the Spirit of Christ, and are not new creatures in him, we are none of his. A mere general profession of Christianity, and submitting to, and observing the ordinances of the church, may deceive the world, and get to ourselves the reputation of being in Christ; in fact we may deceive ourselves, and think that external obedience is all that makes the Christian; but all these things we may do and not be in union with Christ, or have any interest in his blood, or participation in his benefits. A personal interest in Christ and a vital union with his person and a participation in his benefits is the all important question to be determined by us. Nothing can be more solemn and important, for without it our destiny is fixed, and we are undone forever.

The apostle has given us the rule by which this great question is to be determined, namely, the new creation. “If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature.” By this rule, all our claims to an interest in Christ are to be tried and determined. If any man, no difference what his state or condition may be, high or low, learned or illiterate, young or old, or what his pretentious may be to an interest in Christ, however zealous he may be in attending to the external ordinances of the church, he must be tried by this standard. For, “If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature,” and if he is not a new creature, he is not in Christ, let his profession, his endowments, his work, his confidence, and reputation be what it may. It is not that he is a new creature physically; he is the same person he was, his flesh is not changed and immortalized, as it will be in the resurrection, but he is renewed in the spirit of the mind by a gracious principle imparted from above, which changes the affections of the soul, which sways and guides him in another way, and to a different end than he ever acted before. These holy principles and gracious influences not being educed out of any thing preexistent in man, but imparted from above, are called “a new creature,” and by this rule all of our claims to an interest in Christ must be determined.

The apostle does not satisfy himself by giving us this general rule by telling us that the man in Christ Jesus must be a new creature, but more particularly shows us what this new creature is, and how he may be known and distinguished from the world. “Old things are passed away; all things are become new.” By old things passing away is evidently meant the old desires, principles, and lusts we once delighted in, but of which we are now ashamed. They belong to and constitute the old man that is to be put off and crucified; the new creature, the regenerated soul, is dead to sin, can live in it no longer; his affections and delights for it have passed away, so that he now “hates the things he once loved,” and his hope and expectation is, that hereafter he will be wholly freed from sin and all corruption when these vile bodies shall be fashioned like the glorious body of our Savior. The apostle still further expresses this change wrought in the soul by “All things are become new.” By this he means the affections, feelings, and desires of the soul are so changed that we love the things we once hated. Our bodies may be said to be new bodies by the change wrought in them, and the endowments bestowed upon them in the resurrection. So the soul is now resurrected from a death in sin, and renewed by imparting new principles to it in the work of regeneration.

These two expressions, the passing away of old things, and all things becoming new, comprise the great change wrought in the soul in regeneration, and in other scriptures are expressed by equivalent phrases; sometimes by putting off the old man and putting on the new man; Eph 4:24; and sometimes by dying unto sin, and living unto righteousness; Ro 6:11; which is evidently the same thing the apostle here intends by the passing away of old things and making all things new. This is the most glorious work of the Spirit wrought in man in this world, and is noted by the apostle by a special remark and observation, “Behold!” Behold this wondrous, surprising, and marvelous change which God has wrought in man, this new and spiritual relation that is now created between the sinner and his God; the stranger and foreigner is now made a child and fellow citizen in the household of God; Joh 1:12; Eph 2:19. They have come out of darkness into his marvelous light; 1Pe 2:9; out of the old as it were into a new world. “Behold all things are become new.” They can now call God their Father. What a miraculous work of grace, 0 what a note of wonder. “Behold what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God;” 1Jo 3:1. How is it that any who believe the Bible, and have ever felt the regenerating power of God’s Spirit in their souls, can deny that any part of the sinner, either in soul, body, mind, or spirit, is changed in this new creation? When infidels and unbelievers scoff at these things, and call them vain delusions, and the wild fancies of a superstitious mind, we do not marvel; but when they who profess Christianity, and teachers of the Bible, will deny any such change, and ask, “By what the supposed change is effected,” and say, “My heart has never been changed; I love sin as well as I ever did,” we may wonder, but can come to but one conclusion, and that is, that old things have never passed away, and all things become new with them. “But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness to him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned;” 1Co 2:14. Thus the apostle explains why it is that men will deny these solemn truths and call them delusions and vain fancies. This new creation is a super-natural work, the work of the Holy Spirit in the soul of the man, and is infallible evidence of a saving interest in Jesus Christ. Contradicting those who deny this change, and explanatory of the truth, the apostle uses these words, “But ye have not so learned Christ: if so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus; that ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; and be renewed in the spirit of your mind; and that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness;” Eph 4:20-24. Here we have, in other words but of the same import, the self-same description of the man that is in Christ, that the apostle gives us in our text. In further illustrating this subject, I shall try to show, 1st. why the regenerating work of the Spirit is called a new creation. 2nd. In what respect every soul that is in Christ is renewed or made a new creature. 3rd, What are the remarkable properties of this new creation. 4th. The necessity of this new creation. 5th. How this new creation evidences our interest in Christ.

1st, Why the regenerating work of the Spirit is called a new creation. That there is analogy between the work of regeneration and God’s work in the first creation is plainly taught by the apostle, for it is the same almighty Author who created the world, and said, “Let there be light, and there was light,” that creates this work of grace in the soul, and enlightens the mind blinded by sin. “God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ;” 2Co 4:6. It is the same powerful word which created the natural light, that creates the spiritual light, and gives light and spiritual sight to the sinner. It is just as absurd to say that we made ourselves new creatures in Christ, as it is for us to say we created ourselves in the first creation, and it would be just as absurd for us to say we made ourselves to repent or believe, as to say we made ourselves to exist. The analogy in the two creations is still carried out, for the first thing God created in the first creation was light. And the first thing God creates in the spiritual creation is the light of the spiritual knowledge. “And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him;” Col 3:10.

Again, creation is to bring something into existence, something out of nothing. It requires no pre-existent matter. It does not bring one thing out of another. It gives a being to that which before had no being. So in the new creation there was no pre-existent spiritual life or light in the sinner. “Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which. is spiritual;” 1Co 15:46. The new creation is thus described by the apostle: “Who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light; which in time past were not a people, but are the people of God; which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy;” 1Pe 2:9-10. The work of grace is not educed out of the power and principles of nature, but is a pure work of creation, for in the unregenerated man there is nothing spiritual, he is wholly natural. Heathen philosophers could neither understand nor acknowledge the creation of the world, because it was repugnant to the maxim, “Out of nothing can be made,” and the philosophers of the present day are no wiser than they, and make the same mistake through their reasoning, and after the same manner some great pretenders to biblical knowledge declare it an absurdity to affirm that the work of grace is not virtually contained in nature, or some pre-existent created substance.

God, by his almighty power, gave the world its being by creation; Ge 1:2, and imparted to the rude map a quickening influence; De 32:11. So in the new creation, the spiritual birth, a quickening and life-giving influence must come from the Spirit of God; “So is every one that is born of the Spirit;” Joh 3:8; “That which is born of the Spirit is spirit;” verse 6 (Joh 3:6).

God, by his almighty power, created the world, and it is the same almighty power that supports it, and continues its being; the world owes its preservation, as well as its existence to the power of God. So in the new creation, the same power that creates the sinner anew must preserve and keep him in his new life. “Preserved in Jesus Christ;” Jude 1; “Who are kept by the power of God, through faith unto salvation;” 1Pe 1:5. It is in God we live, move, and have our being; Ac 17:28; and it is equally so in a spiritual sense, for it is by the quickening, renewing, and reviving, influence of his Spirit that we continue to believe and delight in God and his service, and without this continued influence upon our souls, we would perish; Joh 15:5.

In the first creation God beheld the works of his hand, and approved them as very good; Ge 1:31. So in the second creation, there is nothing God delights in more than the work of his grace in the hearts of his people, preparing and polishing them as lively stones do adorn his temple, and reflect his glory forever. It is not an outward privilege of nature, or natural polish put on by human instrumentality that commends any man to God, for circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing, but a new creature; Ga 6:15.

2nd. We are to inquire, In what respect every soul that is in Christ is renewed or made a new creature? He is renewed, in his state, for he is born of God, passed from death to life, from a state of condemnation to that of justification; 1Jo 3:14. He was a sinner condemned by the law, but is now freely justified by his grace, through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus; Ro 3:24. He was under the curse of the first covenant, and without hope and God in the world, but is now under the blessing of the new covenant, and sealed an heir of God and of glory. He was afar off, but is now made nigh unto God; was once a stranger, but now a new citizen and member of the household of God; Eph 2:12-13. This is a blessed, glorious change from a sad, helpless, despairing condition, to the most happy one ever enjoyed by mortals on earth, for of such the apostle says, “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus;” Ro 8:1. It is not a mere change of conduct, but a change of state and condition, they that were once darkness are now light in the Lord; Eph 5:8; they that were dead in sin are now quickened with Christ; Eph 2:5. The soul that was filled with despair and felt that he was under the wrath of God, and that his sins must forever separate him from his God, sees the thick cloud removed, the Sun of righteousness shines upon his soul, and God comforts him; Isa 12:1. You that have felt this change, will never forget “that day,” that happy day, “when Jesus took your guilt away,” and filled your soul with hope and love. It was the day of your espousal when the mutual pledges of love were given, and without a doubt or fear you could say, “My beloved is mine, and I am his;” Song 2:16. Whatever have been the trials, afflictions, doubts, and fears, you have passed through since “that day,” you still look back to and date your spiritual existence from that time. Paul never forgot the day when he traveled towards Damascus, and the light shone around him, and by the power of God’s grace and Spirit, he was changed from a persecutor to a servant and friend of Jesus. “If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature;” in regeneration the affections of his soul are changed so that he loves the things he once hated. His conscience was dead, seared as, with a hot iron, hard and without feeling, full of guilt and condemnation, but is now made alive, is purged, is tender, watchful, and full of peace; Heb 9:14. His will was rebellious, inflexible, and opposed to God, but is now obedient to the will of the Lord; Ps 110:3. His desires were once carnal, sensual, and pursued the vanities of the world, but now delight in God; Isa 26:8. His love was fixed upon earthly objects, was carnal and fleshly, now it is swallowed up in the infinite excellencies of God and of Christ; Ps 119:97. The joys and delights of the soul were once in the trifles and vanities of this world, now its rejoicing is in Christ Jesus; Php 3:3. His cares and his fears were once about worldly things, now he loves, fears, and reverences God; Ac 9:31. Once sin was his delight, now it is the object of his dread; 2Co 7:11. Once his expectations raised no higher than this world, and were of the world, but now from above; Heb 6:19. And look not to the things that are seen, but to the things that are not seen; 2Co 4:18. Once they yielded their members servants to uncleanness and iniquity, but now to righteousness and holiness; Ro 6:19. The change is a great one and those who have experienced it may well be called new creatures, created in Christ Jesus unto good works; Eph 2:10.

The man that is in Christ is renewed in his practice. The regenerated not being what they were, cannot act and live as they once did; Ro 6:2; for they have been quickened into a new life. “And you hath he quickened who were dead in trespasses and sins; wherein in times past ye walked according to the course of this world;” Eph 2:1-2. They were carried away in the stream of sin and iniquity by the strength of their corrupt natures and the customs of this world; but their case is now altered; they are lead by a new spirit, and walk in the paths of righteousness; Ps 23:3. When the apostle calls the mind of the saint back to his old companions in sin, and describes their corrupt practices, he says, “And such were some of you, but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God;” 1Co 6:11. This indeed is a wonderful change in practice, and in the state and condition of the soul; this change is so wonderful and remarkable that it sets all the world wondering at them, for they know not the power by which it is effected, “Wherein they think it strange that ye run not with them to the same excess of riot, speaking evil of you;” 1Pe 4:4. They “think it strange;” they stand and gaze with wonder and amazement, as a hen that has hatched a brood of ducks will stand at the water’s edge, and gaze at the young brood floating upon the smooth surface of the water. She cannot understand how it is they float upon the water, and think them very silly to venture on the dangerous waves. Thus do men of the world stand amazed, and wonder to see their old companions in sin, whose profane lips would often blaspheme the name of God, and run into all the excess of riot and wickedness of the world, now praying and speaking of God, of heaven, of Christ and the sweets of salvation, the riches of grace, and of things spiritual, having no more to do with them, or the vanities of the world. This astonishes them; they know a great change has been effected in their former companions, but they know not by what power, or from whence the power came that has wrought this wonderful change, no more than they know from whence the wind came that prostrated the sturdy oak; Joh 3:8. Vain and ungodly professors who deny that any change-is wrought in the nature, heart, or affections of the sinner in this new creation or regeneration, are more blind and ignorant of this gracious work, its nature and effects, than the world itself; and their language proves that they have never been made new Creatures in Christ, or felt the power of regenerating grace in their souls.

3rd. We are to inquire into, what are the remarkable properties of this new creation? 0, how little we know of the nature and operation of this new creation. The Savior himself speaks of it as a thing of great difficulty to be conceived of, or understood by the mind of men; “The wind bloweth where it listeth,” (pleaseth,)” and thou nearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh and whither it goeth; so is every one that is born of the Spirit;” Joh 3:8. Who can explain the wind and tell from whence it cometh? It has puzzled the brain of the philosopher. We can hear the roar of the wind as it rushes through the forest, we can feel its force and see its effects, but from whence it comes and whither it goes, we cannot tell. While we are sitting in this house, and the wind is whistling through every little hole and crevice, if I ask you, do you hear the wind? you will answer, yes. Do you see the effects, as the leaves are shaking on the trees? Yes, very plainly. Do you see the wind? No. Can you tell from whence it comes, and whither it goes? No; this is a mystery I cannot understand or explain-Just so in this new birth, regeneration, or new creation. When the Spirit blows upon the sinner, by its invisible power, he is carried away from his former delights and companions, the affections of the soul are changed, he is filled with holy desires and pants for the living God; Ps 42:1. The change is so great and visible that all can see it and be filled with wonder, but the power that has wrought it is invisible, and can not be comprehended by the natural mind, and for this reason they will call it a fancy, a delusion, a whim of the brain, but they who have felt its power, whether they can tell or not from whence it came, know that it has wrought a great change in them.

The work of grace in the sinner’s heart, and the effects of this new life imparted to the soul may be a great mystery that human philosophy can never explain, but it beautifies and makes lovely the new creature, for the beauty of the Lord himself is upon it, it is God’s work, and his divine beauties will be impressed upon it; Eph 4:24. When the artist takes a picture it is drawn after the man, and reflects his face and countenance; so this is God himself delineated by the Holy Spirit on the soul of the man. As holiness is the beauty and glory of God, so is this new creation created in the image of him that created him; Col 3:10. The regenerated soul hereby becomes holy; 1Jo 3:3, and can not sin, verse 9 (1Jo 3:9). Not essentially holy as God is, for he receives his holiness from God, it is the work of God in the soul; nor is he efficiently holy, for it is not in the power of the regenerated soul to make itself holy, nor to make others holy. As God lives to himself, so this regenerated soul lives to God; 2Co 5:15. As God loves holiness, and is of too pure eyes to look upon sin, so does the new creature, and desires it above all earthly honors or riches. In these things it is formed after the image of God, and is said to be a partaker of the divine nature; 2Pe 1:4. I can think of nothing that can be done to man or wrought in him while in this life that will adorn and beautify him as this new creation. We may acquire our millions, we may adorn our persons with costly silks and shining diamonds, but these will not give us the image of God; as we are made holy in our life, our walk, and conversation, we bear the image of God. Such is the beauty of this new creature that Christ, its life and purifier, is its admirer, and describes its beauty in the strongest language of love and admiration; Song 4:5-7.

This doctrine of a new creation positively and palpably negatives the doctrine of eternal vital union, for no created thing existed be fore it was created, and for it to be in eternal union with God, God would be in union with nonentity, nothing; and this nothing would be a part of his own existence, for union is a mingling together of the parts, and these parts make up the body. The members of our bodies are in vital union with each other, and began to exist at the same time. If the body was created, the head and all the members were created at the same time. If the head was eternal and self-existent, the body and all the members would be also, and it could not be said that they were created or creatures in any sense. To be in eternal union with God gives them an eternal existence or an existence that had no beginning, hence they were not created. If the new creature was created in Christ Jesus, there was a time when he was not in Christ Jesus, and could not be in eternal union with him, for that that is eternal has no beginning. In Eph 2:10, the apostle tells us that the saints were created in Christ Jesus, and the context plainly tells us when that creation took place. It was when they were quickened with Christ from their death in sin, and made spiritually alive. For there was a time when these very saints, these new creatures, who were the workmanship of God, created in Christ Jesus, were without Christ, aliens and strangers, having no hope and without God in the world; Eph 2:1).

This new creation is the work of God wrought in the soul of man, making it a partaker of the divine nature, and creating within it holy desires and affections, and giving it faith and love, which is the bond of union with Christ; for where there is no love, there is no union. The end and design of this creation is the complete and eternal salvation of the sinner, and by it such a change is wrought in his nature that he turns away from his wicked course, and seeks God and spiritual comforts, and the soul shows itself made for God by its workings after him, and its sorrows and sore afflictions if clouds of darkness get between it and its God. Salvation is the end of this new creature; so it is designed by him that created it. “Now he that hath wrought us for the selfsame thing is God;” 2Co 5:5. By this workmanship upon the soul he is now preparing it, and making it meet to be partaker of the inheritance of the saints in light; Col 1:12.

Of all the work God ever wrought upon the soul of man, this new creation is the most necessary. All of his future happiness and the eternal well-being of his soul depend upon it, and without it no man can enter the kingdom of God, or see his face in peace; Heb 12:14; Joh 3:3; “Except a man be born again, he can not see the kingdom of God.” Without Christ no man can be saved, and no man can have an interest in him without being a new creature. My text expressly tells you this, for, “If any man be in Christ he is a new creature.” 0 my friends! however carelessly you may listen to these words, or however slight your thoughts may be upon this matter, know, assuredly, that it is a truth as firm and unalterable as the eternal throne, that you must be a new creature in Christ, or be miserable forever and forever. Nothing can be substituted for or answer in the place of this change. If strictness of life could save you, why did it not save the scribes and Pharisees? Your high pretentious to religion, and strict observance of the ordinances of the church; your benevolence and liberality in supporting the church and the poor, however praiseworthy they may be; your repentance, self-denial, prayers, tears, and reformation, all, will avail you nothing in the salvation of your soul without this new creation, regeneration, or second birth. All that Christ has done and suffered, and the cleansing virtues of his blood, never did and never will save a soul without this new creation. Circumcision avails nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing. You must be a new creature, be born of the Spirit. 0 how necessary this work, and yet how careless and thoughtless the sinner is about it! The world with all its wisdom, with a false and unregenerated clergy to help it, has been trying to mark out a way to heaven without this new creation, but their ways are false and delusive, and are the ways of death and destruction; Pr 14:12. 0, my hearers, be not deceived. Let no false philosophy or false theology lead your minds away from this great truth: The sinner must be born again, or sink to endless woe. You may have all the wealth of the world, it will not buy heaven for you, should you give it all to feed the poor. You may have the purest robe of righteousness ever worn by scribe or Pharisee, and it will avail you nothing; Mt 5:20. Unless you are a new creature in Christ no natural virtues or human efforts can save you. 0 that God may give you to feel the importance of this subject, and to realize the great and solemn truth that must stand forever, that you must be a new creature in Christ, or be miserable forever.

This new creation is immortal. The soul is made partaker of the divine nature; it can never die. The grace of God is in the soul thus regenerated, springing up into eternal life; Joh 4:14. The new creature has a beginning, for it is a creation, the workmanship of God, created unto good works, and is capable both of increasing and decreasing, and may be brought very low, nigh unto death; Re 3:2; but he can never die; Joh 11:26. Man in all his excellencies and beauty is as grass, and will pass away in death; Job 4:21. But the grace imparted to the soul remains forever. Our riches, our friends, all our earthly comforts, may leave us, and we may be poor, friendless pilgrims on the earth, and like our Master, may not have where to lay our heads. But the graces God bestows will never die. They prepare the soul for heaven, and will ascend with it to that glory-world when death separates it from the body. These new creatures in Christ may be poor in this world, but they are rich in faith, and heirs of a kingdom; Jas 2:5. And he that has called them will never forsake them, but will make them to reign as kings and priests with him in their Father’s kingdom above.

This new creature is heavenly. It is not born of flesh, nor of blood, nor of the will of man, but of God; Joh 1:13. Its origin is heavenly; it is spirit born of Spirit; Joh 3:6. Its inheritance is in heaven, and thither are all of its tendencies; Ps 63:8. Its treasure is there, and its heart is there also; Mt 6:21. It can only live on heavenly food; Ps 4:6-7. It is dead to the world; the world can give it no pleasure. The object of all its delights is in heaven: “Whom have I in heaven but thee?” Ps 73:25. Take Jesus away from it and you rob it of its life, its comfort, its wealth, and all that is dear to it, and that it craves. The new creature expects nothing from this world but sorrow, affliction, and persecution, for the world is its enemy, and will hate it. Its comforts all come from heaven, and it waits and looks for the coming of its Lord. The life of this regenerated soul in this world is a life of warfare; 1Pe 2:11 But it waits patiently for the coming of Christ, and its longings and desires are for heaven; Php 1:23. The flesh lingers and clings to the earth, shrinks at the alarm of death; but the renewed soul looks to unseen things, and earnestly desires its house in heaven; 2Co 5:2; feeling that it would be far better to be absent from the body and present with the Lord; 2Co 5:8. It is not at home while here. The desires and affections that now control it are from heaven, and have created a desire and thirst in the soul that will never be satisfied until it is resurrected, and this vile body is fashioned like the glorious body of its Lord, and with that likeness it will be satisfied; Ps 17:15.

The soul that is made a new creature is a living, active creature. As soon as the vital principle, these holy desires, are begotten in the soul it begins to act: “Behold, he prayeth!” Ac 9:11. The very desires and wishes of its new nature is to live in the Spirit, and to walk in the Spirit; Ga 5:25. The world may think it strange, and wonder at the great change wrought in the sinner, but we should not think it strange when we read, “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works;” Eph 2:10. This internal work of grace changes our wills and affections, so that we delight to do the will of God, and find that our sweetest pleasures are to walk in the paths of duty and obedience to God.

The thriving of this new creature is in the way of obedience, growing from strength to strength; 1Pe 2:2; and changing from glory to glory; 2Co 3:18. The vigorous and constant labor of this new creature does not cause it to faint or grow weary; Isa 40:31; but in its labor, bearing the yoke of Christ, it finds rest; Mt 11:29. Its strivings and labors will never cease until it attains the just perfection and maturity for which it pants; Php 3:11, On this account it delights in the ordinances of God’s house, the duties of religion, and the society of saints; for they are helps in its great design. Let no one think that he is a new creature in Christ, when he can see no beauty in the ordinances of the Lord’s house, can receive no spiritual strength in the duties of religion, or comfort in the society of the saints. Thus I have tried to describe some of the properties and characteristics of this new creature, this workmanship of God, created in Christ Jesus, and while the world may wonder at the change wrought in it, and may hate, despise, and persecute it, it is wonderfully preserved, and supplied from the storehouse of heaven. We may look over our natural life and see the many dangers through which we have passed, and wonder at the providence of God in our preservation, but none of them are like those whereby the saint is preserved. The new creature has its sore afflictions, its times of temptation and desertion, in which it is ready to die; Re 3:2. It sometimes feels that its strength and liveliness are sadly abated, and its comforts almost gone; Re 2:4. Its evidences are sadly darkened; 2Pe 1:9; and the soul may draw sad conclusions about its state, concluding that it has been deceived or that its spiritual life has been quite extinguished; Ps 51:10-12. But though it seemed to be ready to die and give up all for lost, God wonderfully preserved it from death. All the dear saints are familiar with these fainting times, these dark and gloomy hours, when they are passing through the valley of the shadow of death; Ps 23:4; but God is with them there to preserve them, and bring them out, and give them their time of refreshing, verse 5 (Ps 23:5), so that their cup shall run over with joy.

4th. It is now my duty to demonstrate, The necessity of this new creation in Christ of all that ever expect salvation through him.

Every question has its negative and affirmative, and the negative of our text is, “That the elect, as such, eternally existed in God, a holy and spiritual seed, and never fell in Adam.” If this be true they could never need any change of nature or condition to prepare them for heaven or spiritual enjoyments. It is not to be wondered at that such vain babblers and blind guides in religion should deny, “That any part of the Adam man, in soul, body, mind, or spirit, is changed in regeneration.” The conclusion is irresistible if the premises be true, but the Scriptures upon this subject are so plain that the wayfaring man, though a fool, need not err therein. If you will search them you will find that God has laid the whole stress of man’s eternal happiness by Jesus Christ upon this work of the Spirit in the soul. This truth our Savior taught Nicodemus when he said, “Verily, verily, I say unto thee, except a man be born of the water and of the Spirit he can not enter into the kingdom of God;” Joh 3:5. Unless we have this change wrought in our souls by the Spirit of God in this new and heavenly birth we can never see God, for the apostle tells us without holiness no man shall see the Lord; Heb 12:14. And though some may teach that it is by innate holiness possessed by us in eternity, and others that it is by observing ordinances, professing religion, and observing the externals of Christianity, that we will commend ourselves to God’s acceptance without this new creation, we know they are deceivers, and the apostle shows how groundless all such hopes are. “For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature;” Ga 6:15. Christ and heaven, with all the spiritual blessings ever enjoyed by men, are the gifts of God, but man in his unregenerate state is not prepared to receive and enjoy them, for he is a natural man, and, as such, can not receive the things of the Spirit; 1Co 2:14. There is no way for him to know and enjoy spiritual things, but by being born of the Spirit, created anew in Christ.

This new creation is the first work of the Spirit in the soul of the sinner, preparing it to receive and enjoy the salvation that is in Christ Jesus. Our glory in heaven, if we rightly understand its nature, consists in two things-our assimilation to God, and our fruition of him; and both these begin with our regeneration in this world. Here we begin to be changed into his image; 2Co 3:18; for the new man is created after God. In the work of grace, or the quickening of the sinner dead in sin into spiritual life, God is said to begin a good work which will be finished in the day of Jesus Christ; Php 1:6. Nothing can be more irrational than to imagine that a design or work should be finished that never had a beginning. If the new creature eternally existed a holy, spiritual, and incorruptible thing, it had no beginning, and it needed no finishing, for it was perfection itself. Any change would have spoiled and defaced its beauty, for perfection will not admit of addition or diminution; either will destroy perfection. Take any thing from or add any thing to Deity, and his perfection is destroyed. If the new creature eternally existed “as holy and pure as God” any change would spoil its perfection, and disqualify it for its holy and pure abode. God can change imperfect things and qualify them for holy and perfect enjoyments, and this work he commences in the soul of the sinner in regeneration, and finishes when the body is redeemed from the grave, and fashioned like the glorious body of our resurrected Savior.

So necessary is this new creation that Christ says, “Marvel not that I said unto thee, ye must be born again;” Joh 3:7. Without it heaven would be no heaven, or place of happiness to you, and you could take no delight in God on account of the carnality of your heart, your love for sin, and the enmity of your mind; Ro 8:7, for enmity excludes all complacency, love, and delight. It is absolutely necessary that a suitable frame of heart and affections should be wrought in us towards God in order that we should love him and rest our souls and our all in him, and this temper is wrought in us in this new creation. “Now he that hath wrought us for the self-same thing is God, who also hath given us the earnest of the Spirit;” 2Co 5:5. Thus we see that regeneration and the renewing of the Holy Spirit changes the affections of the heart, and fills it with the love of God; Ro 5:5, moulds the man’s spirit into an agreeable temper, thus making us meet for the inheritance of the saints in light; Col 1:12.

It follows as a necessity that there can be no complacency in God without conformity to him. Where there is enmity, there is no union; but when the sinner is made a new creature in Christ, the affections of the soul are changed, and his state and relation to God are so changed that the apostle says, “Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that when he shall appear we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is;” 1Jo 3:2. From the very nature of things, God must be changed and made like us, which would be blasphemy to suppose, or we must be changed and made agreeable to God, and made to love God and desire him above all other beloveds; and this is what I am trying to prove, and what my text affirms. The absolute necessity of this change in all who expect or have any well-grounded hope of an interest in Christ is abundantly taught in the Scriptures, for we are carnal, sinful, and unholy in our unregenerated state, and we must have purity of heart; Mt 5:8; holiness, both of principle and practice; Heb 12:14; mortification of sin; Ro 8:13; longing for the appearance of Christ; 2Ti 4:8. These, with a multitude more, show the marks of our being new creatures in Christ. “So we must have a new Bible or a new heart” for if these scriptures speak the true and faithful word of God, the sinner must be born again, regenerated, quickened into spiritual life, resurrected from his death in sin, changed from an enemy to a friend, from an alien and foreigner to a son and fellow-citizen, and be created in Christ a new creature. This must all be true, or we must cast our Bibles away, and believe that all we have felt in our souls, giving us comfort and hope of a better life, is a vain delusion, and the Spirit’s witness with our spirit that we are the sons of God, is a false witness.

5th. The last thing to be considered is, How this new creation witnesses our interest in Christ. If we have all the graces of the Spirit dwelling in us, and manifested by us in our walk and conversation, our interest in Christ is certain, “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God;” Ro 8:14. What is the new creation, the new man, but all the saving graces of the Spirit, which adorn the Christian character, and assure the soul of its union with Christ? It is not this or that particular grace, as faith, or hope, or love, which constitutes the new man, for these are but the members, the new man comprehends all the graces of the Spirit. The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance; Ga 5:22-23. Any one of these graces gives evidence of an interest in Christ, but they are all to be put on. They are the new man, or all the graces of the Spirit. The old man is made up of the corruptions and deceitful lusts of our carnal nature, and is to be put off by us; Eph 4:22; but the new man which is created in righteousness and true holiness comprehends all the graces of the Spirit, and is to be put on by us and worn as a garment that adorns and beautifies our person; 2Pe 1:5-8. When all the graces of the Spirit dwell in us, and the effects appear, or the fruits are made manifest in our godly walk and conversation, the evidence of our interest in Christ is certain, and should not be doubted. But in the new creature you find the cause of this great change, the electing love of God; 1Pe 1:2; Eph 1:4-6; and in the new creature you find all the effects of an interest in Christ, and the indwelling of his Spirit. These are all the fruits of the Spirit, the works of obedience; Eph 2:10; Ro 7:4. There is hatred and opposition to sin; “He that is begotten of God keepeth himself, and that wicked one toucheth him not;” 1Jo 5:18. There is love to the people of God. Every one that loveth is born of God; 1Jo 4:7. There is a conscious respect for the duties and ordinances of the house of God; Eph 4:24. There is faith in Christ. “Whosever believeth that Jesus is the Christ, is born of God;” 1Jo 5:1. He delights not in the way of the sinner, “but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in his law doth he meditate day and night;” Ps 1:2. There is perseverance in the service of God, and victory over all temptations, “For whatsoever is born of God, overcometh the world;” 1Jo 5:4. All these fruits of the Spirit are not means or conditions performed by us to get to be new creatures in Christ, but are evidences of our new state and condition, and settle the matter beyond any reasonable doubt, for the Master himself has said, “The tree is known by his fruit;” Mt 12:33.

I have now passed through the order in which I proposed to discuss this subject, and I hope you all feel satisfied that the Bible teaching is, that God’s creating a new supernatural work of grace in the soul of any man is infallible evidence of a saving interest in Jesus Christ; the reason why the regenerating influence of the Holy Spirit is called a new creature, and in what respect the soul and mind is renewed by the renewing of the Holy Ghost; Tit 3:5; the special properties of this new creation, and how it evidences our interest in Christ. The whole subject clearly impresses the mind that this whole work is supernatural, the work of grace in the soul of man changing his carnal affections and desires, and begetting within him holy affections and desires. It is a creation, and a creation work is above the power of the creature. No power but that power which gave being to the world can give being to this new creature. It is not born of the flesh, or of blood, nor of the will of man, but of God; Joh 1:13. Human means, or instrumentalities, with all the ordinances and service of the church must forever fail, and cannot, in whole or in part, produce this new creature. We know that we are new creatures in Christ, and that God dwells in us, “Because he hath given us of his Spirit;” 1Jo 4:13. This doctrine drives despair from the mind of the Christian in regard to his unregenerated children and friends, and emboldens him to carry them to the throne of mercy in his prayers, knowing that where means and instrumentalities must forever fail, God can perform the work. Could we have looked upon dark chaos before the Spirit of God moved upon it, we could not have imagined the beautiful order and beings that sprang out of this dark lump. You may see no encouraging indications in your children or friends toward God, or spiritual things; nay, possibly they are haters of God, and persecutors of his children, they deride and hold in scorn the humble disciple of Christ. This, indeed, is sad, and very sad, but remember that the work of grace is from above; God can new create them, and command the light to shine in their hearts to give them the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. The Spirit of the Lord can breathe upon the dry bones and make them live; it can subdue the proud and stubborn heart, and make it willingly yield itself to God, and delight in the things it now hates. Thy heart may now be sad, tears of grief may stream from thy eyes, as you realize their sad condition, and your inability to change their hearts, or snatch them from their awful fate. But God can make thee rejoice; oh, he can turn all thy sad groanings into sweetest songs over thy most hopeless friend or child. As the father of the prodigal, thou mayest yet say, “This my son was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found. And they began to be merry;” Lu 15:24. Dear brother or sister, these difficulties are with men, and not with God. He can speak, and the dead live; he works the regeneration, quickening, conversion, and faith in the sinner by the same power which raised up Christ from the dead, and will subdue all things unto himself. Let the truth drive despair from your heart, and cause you with boldness to come to a throne of grace in their behalf.

To you, my unconverted friend, I want to say a word before I sit down. 0 that you could realize how miserable the state of all unrenewed souls are! They can lay no claim to Christ; not one of the precious promises of the gospel belong to them, and are therefore under an impossibility of salvation while in their sinful, unregenerated state. 0, sinner, if this is the state of thy soul today, and shall be forever, better had it been for thee never to have been God’s natural workmanship as a man, except thou be his workmanship as a new creature in Christ. So speaks Christ of Judas, the son of perdition, “It had been good for that man if he had not been born;” Mt 26:24. Lost beings are without light or comfort; they wander in darkness, and stumble into the pit. They shall indeed see Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of God, but they themselves shall be shut out; Lu 13:28. 0, it is better to have no being at all, than to have a being that only capacitates us for misery, and to desire death while death flies from us; Re 4:6. 0, sinner, this is thy state; think of it, lay it to thine heart; better thou hadst died from the womb, better the knees had prevented thee, and the breasts which thou hast sucked, than that thou shouldst live and die a stranger to the new birth. You today may regard this truth as a hard saying; you may hate it, and try to cast it from your mind, but he before whom you will have to stand in the great day of judgment, has spoken the truth with his own infallible lips, “Except ye be born again, you can not see the kingdom of God.” Dear, dying sinner, don’t be deceived; all who point out some other way for you to become a new creature in Christ Jesus are but lying spirits, and to follow their counsel will be eternal ruin. I love you, therefore I tell you the truth; I do not wish to daub you up with untempered mortar, or to beget within you a false, delusive hope. There is no salvation for you unless you be a new creature in Christ; your soul must be regenerated by the Spirit of God; you must be born of God, or be lost forever. 0, may God be merciful to you; may he, who by his grace, changed and made a new man out of a persecuting Saul change you, and make you meet for the inheritance of the saints in light. May God prepare all our hearts to receive the truth in the love of it.


“Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled;” Mt 5:6.

Our text is found in a sermon delivered by the greatest, wisest, and best preacher that ever lived in this world, and spoke to men. He was too wise to err. He knew the full meaning of every word he spoke, the thoughts of all hearts, and the true condition of man in his fallen, sinful condition, and how to speak to him when sensible of his true condition, in the way of comfort and encouragement. He knew that man in his sinful state, unquickened by the Spirit, was dead in sin, and past feeling; his mind blinded by the god of this world, and having ears but hearing not. He knew precisely what the word death meant; that it was an entire separation from life and the absence of it; so that the dead are past feeling. Naturally man is alive, and has all the senses to see, hear, and know natural things, and to walk after the things of this world, and to fulfill the desires of the flesh and of the mind. Death, whether it be temporal or spiritual, is a separation from life. You little ones, who do not claim much worldly wisdom, know that a snake may lie dormant and stiff in the winter, with no visible signs of life, but it is not dead; for if you warm it, it will soon be as active and full of life as ever; but cut off its head, and it dies; and all the heat or other means you can use can not give it life. This you can comprehend, and this is what death means.

Human philosophers talk much about the five senses being the avenues to the soul, and the only medium through which knowledge can be imparted; but your minds can comprehend the truth, that death destroys all the senses so that the dead can neither hear, see, taste, nor feel; for where these senses are present and active, the person is not dead. The Ephesian saints before they were quickened, were dead in sins; and the natural man can not know the things of the Spirit. We now understand what dead means; and such were not the persons addressed by the Savior; for the dead never hunger nor thirst, nor have any desires whatever; for in death man’s thoughts all perish with him. No knowledge or instruction can be imparted to the dead; for all the avenues through which knowledge is received are destroyed. You little ones, who make no pretensions to great worldly wisdom, can now see clearly that life must be in you, and your senses in a proper condition to receive instruction before you can hunger or thirst, or learn or know any thing.

As little as your pretentions to learning may be, you will readily see that life is not knowledge, but that which prepares us to receive knowledge, for the newborn babe has life, and all the senses, but it is almost without knowledge; yet it soon feels hunger and-thirst; and having life, it will soon begin to look for its food, and in whose arms it is safe. It is now clear to our little minds, and we can comprehend the truth, that the dead can not receive instruction or knowledge by sounds, or words, or arguments; by light, feeling, smelling, or tasting; for none of these sensibilities exist in the dead. This explains to us what Paul meant when he said, “For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness.” You will now see that this truth is a self-evident fact; that before knowledge of any kind can be imparted, life must exist in us; and life is the gift of God, and is derived from him; for he is its fountain. “The breath of the Almighty hath given me life.” This is true, whether it be vegetable, animal, or spiritual life; seeing it is God that “giveth to all life, and breath, and all things.” As natural beings, God has given us natural life, and with it natural sensibilities by which we can understand natural things; but he has declared in the word of inspiration, “The world by wisdom knew not God.” Why is it that it cannot know God? The same word says of the natural man, “Neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.” Here the fact of man’s inability, and the reason why he cannot know God are plainly given.

Your little minds have never been bewildered by human philosophy, and can easily understand this text, and give the reason why the natural man cannot understand and know the things of God. He is dead in sin, completely separated from spiritual life, and destitute of it. Therefore he cannot know or understand spiritual things, until spiritual life is given him. Hence the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; to them it has no power nor comfort, for it is to them a stumbling block and foolishness. They are as incapable of receiving its comforting and joyful instruction, as is the dead soldier when the shout of victory is raised by the army.

Christ, the speaker of our text, knew all this, and who it was to whom his words would be sweet and comforting when he said, “Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness.” For none do hunger and thirst but those blessed with life; and none hunger and thirst for spiritual things until spiritual life is given; and the blessed book, from which you learn the truth as it is in Jesus, declares that this life is the gift of God, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Nowhere does it speak of eternal life being given through any other medium; but in it we read, “And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God, hath not life.” Parental training, prayers, Sunday schools, or any other instrumentalities can not give you life; you must have Christ, for it is in him, and through him God gives you this life, and through no other medium. If the preacher as an instrument has the power to give eternal life, he has power also to forgive sins; but this power has not been delegated to men or means, it is “the gift of God, through Jesus Christ our Lord.” The forgiveness of sins is through his blood. To attribute either of these to the preacher is idolatry; and John says, “Little children, keep yourselves from idols.”

When the sinner is blessed with this spiritual life, he is blessed with spiritual sensibilities so that he can see as he never saw before; he can taste, feel, and hear as he never did before, and trembles under the preached word; for it sounds to him as it never did before. Now a hungering and thirsting is felt in the soul, which was never felt before, and these feelings are evidences that life is there; but they do not know where their food and water are to come from.

Come, little ones, let us talk about that a little; for you will never forget that dark and gloomy hour in your experience when you were made alive spiritually, , and could see that the law was spiritual and just, but that you were carnal and sinful. O what a hungering was then felt for spiritual food! but you knew not where to go to get it. Like the newborn babe you now hunger and thirst, but know not when to go to get the food and water you are hungering and thirsting for. You have life, and feel your hunger and thirst raging within you; but, O where is the food and water that I must have or die? To work you go with all the powers you have; you turn your face to Sinai, and hope to draw some comfort from the law; but “while trembling at the foot of the mountain covered with fire and smoke, and your sins like dark cloud hang over you, and despair is gathering over your soul, you hear the voice and terrible words: Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them. There is no life for me in the law, it is death, death, nothing but death! and under a sense of the justice; God’s law, and my thick cloud of guilt and in, my trembling lips repeat the words of the poet:

Should sudden vengeance seize my breath,

I must pronounce thee just in death,

And if my soul were sent to hell,

Thy righteous law approves it well.


“Hope is gone; I must die; there is no food or water for me. God’s just wrath is ready to be poured out upon my guilty soul. Friends can not comfort me; preachers can not comfort me; my own prayers are like a tinkling cymbal, or sounding brass; they can give me no comfort, for the just and holy law says, ‘The soul that sinneth, it shall die;’ and I die to all hope of mercy, or deliverance from the curse and load of sin and guilt that presses me down to endless woe.” 0, little children, you have not forgotten it; but with your little preacher, while you hear this you will travel back to those dark days, and feel the truth, that none but God could deliver you. But when God who caused the light to shine out of darkness, shined in the heart and gave you to see his glory in the face of Jesus Christ, you was then made to cry in ecstasy of joy inexpressible and full of glory “God has become my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid; for in the Lord Jehovah is everlasting strength.” And 0 with what joy and gladness you now draw water from the wells of salvation! You now turn to the Savior’s sermon on the mount, and read it as you never read it before; it is full of sweet instruction, of blessed comfort you never saw there before; and 0 how sweet the closing words of our text come to your heart, and fill it with courage and comfort. It is one of the wells of salvation, from which God’s strength now enables you with gladness to draw the water that quenches your raging thirst. “They shall be filled.” 0, little ones, he who can not lie has spoken these words for you; and as you read the blessed words, and have the witness of the Spirit in your hearts, you have some foretastes of the joys that are in reserve for you, when your little vessel shall land on the immortal shore. Your trials here shall soon end: the endless feast is drawing nigh, when you shall drink at the fountain above, and eat at the table of the Lord, and hunger and thirst no more forever. My little ones, may you and your little preacher meet in that happy place, where there will be no sin or death, doubts or fears, where all tears will be wiped away from our eyes, and we shall hunger and thirst no more. When your sorrows here shall end, you shall hear the sweet voice of your Father’s call: “Child, come home,” and heaven and glory will be yours forever and ever, 0 glory, glory glory! Amen.



“He that saith he abideth in him, ought himself also to walk even as he walked;” (1Jo 2:6)

In this discourse I propose to be practical and experimental, but at the same time I wish every thought and word to be consistent with sound doctrine. The doctrine of the Bible is not a dry theory that produces no change in the heart, affections, life, and practice of those who in truth receive it and believe it. But none thus receive it, except those who have the Spirit of Christ in them, and are born of God; (Joh 1:11-14). To all others it is foolishness, and they will not receive it, neither can they know it; (1Co 2:14). “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness; that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works;” (2Ti 3:16-17). The man of God is evidently the Christian, the man who has been born of God, who has the Spirit of God, and is prepared to know and understand the things of the Spirit. These were the characters John was addressing in this epistle; for these owe obedience to the laws and ordinances of Christ’s kingdom, and taste and feel the blessed reward connected with obedience, about which the world can know nothing. The Christian, who has the Spirit that was in John inspiring and moving him to write this epistle, can read it and be instructed by it. In this chapter he may find various marks by which the man born of God, the man interested in Christ may be known; amongst which my text presents a principal one. Some heretics have taught that men might have communion with God in sin, as well as in duty; that they can be as good Christians out of the church as in it; and be as good children, and as worthy of the smiles of their Father in disobedience as in obedience. In direct contradiction to this the apostle asserts the necessity of conformity to Christ, a Christ-like life and conversation. All who claim union with Christ, and an interest in his atoning blood, should give evidence in their life that Christ lives in them.

Our text supposes a character of this kind -“He that saith he abideth in him” -for this expresses a real union with Christ, an interest in him, and communion with him. When Christ speaks of his union with the Father he says, “I am in the Father, and the Father in me;” (Joh 14:11); and when he speaks of his union with his people he says, “I in them, and thou in me;” (Joh 17:23). This is a real union and communion with Christ, and it is put in opposition to those temporary and transient effects sometimes visible under the preaching of the gospel, as referred to by the Savior; (Mt 13:20-22); which, like the morning dew, soon disappear; as a sudden excitement produced by sympathetic words, that vanishes as soon as the voice ceases to be heard. In this expression, “abiding in Christ” is implied a solid and effectual work of the Spirit, regenerating the soul, purging the conscience from dead works and circumcising the heart to love the Lord God. Such an one is a new creature in Christ, has passed from death unto life, and is free from condemnation; he is dead to sin, and can live no longer therein. Let no man think that he abides in Christ, or is in vital union with him when he can live in sin and take delight in gratifying fleshly lusts. It is by walking “even as he walked” that we have our claims warranted and our Christian evidences brightened. Our text clearly teaches the necessity of imitating Christ, or walking as he walked, if we abide in him, and enjoy sweet communion with him. These words evidently refer to those ordinary works of Christ in doing good, administering to the comfort of the poor and afflicted, and in his daily life and conversation, and his obedience, to the Father. It is not expected, neither is it required of us to imitate the extraordinary and miraculous works of Christ, or those purely mediatory, for that we have no power or ability to perform, which belong to him alone as the Son of God, the Mediator between God and men. God has called us to a life of holiness and virtue, and it must be the care of all who profess and claim an interest in Christ, and union with him, to follow him in evil as well as good report, in suffering as well as prosperity, in trials and persecutions, “so to walk as he walked.” John has made this word so a very important word in the text; the emphasis seems to rest on it. This evidently means that the imitation should be exact, that Christ should be truly and faithfully exhibited and imitated in our life and conversation. It should be sincere, prompted by divine love in our hearts, leading us to follow Christ in all the paths of holiness and obedience; in all of his examples, precepts, and commands, according to the grace we have received, and the teaching of his word.

This word so, or, even as he walked, clearly shows that the life of Christ is a copy to be imitated by all his disciples; and as children at school learning to write should look at the copy before them, and then carefully try to imitate it, and make every letter just like the letter in the copy; so with the Christian; he has the copy before him, and he should keep his eyes upon it, and labor to draw every letter, every word, and every line of his life just like the copy. Keep the copy before you, and look nowhere else for a copy; Jesus is your copy, the one you are to “hear,” and to imitate in all things. Live daily and hourly, “looking unto Jesus, the author,” (beginner,) “and finisher of our faith;” (Heb 12:2-4).

I hold that every one who professes union with Christ, and to be a servant and follower of his, is bound by the law of love, written in the heart by the Holy Spirit, to imitate him in his holy life, walk in his statutes, and keep his commandments, under the penalty of forfeiting his claim to Christ, or fellowship with his brethren. If his life is the copy or pattern we are to follow, and his commandments the rule to govern us in life; if our spiritual comforts in this life, and communion with Christ and his people, are inseparably connected with our obedience to him, how careful we should be to keep our eyes on the pattern, and as dear children, be followers of him, imitating him in a holy life and conversation. This life of strict obedience may bring upon us the hatred of the world, and of all antichristian powers; but in this we are suffering nothing but what our Lord suffered before us, and we should keep his example in sufferings before us, and try to imitate him in bearing the reproaches of the world The author of our text says, “Marvel not, my brethren, if the world hate you.” It is God’s enemy, and your open and avowed enemy, so that you should never be led away by it. The devil is your enemy, and a cunning, artful one; and when he sees that persecutions and tortures will not destroy you, but that you grow and prosper under them, he will clothe himself as an angel of light, and come to you claiming to be a humble follower of Christ, whose soul is full of love for the blessed cause; and he wants to see the standard of Immanuel planted in every land, and the world converted to the religion of Jesus; and to effect this, we must have a system of cooperation through which we can concentrate all our forces and means; and we will soon see the world converted, and the millennial glory ushered in upon us. You love Christ and want the glorious gospel preached to all the world, and ask him, how is this to be effected? He answers you: “By forming a great national convention, and then State conventions; and let your churches, associations, and State conventions be auxiliary to the national convention. Let memberships, life memberships, and directorships be sold to raise money; let salaried officers be appointed to transact the business, and let salaried agents be appointed to travel all over the country to raise funds for this glorious purpose, and then the world will soon be evangelized.” When you have heard all this, go to your copy, and see if you find it there; hunt for the agents Christ sent out to collect money from the people; look, and find if you can, where a great convention, and auxiliary conventions were formed; and find, if you can, were he ordered that members, director ships, etc., should be sold for money. If you find nothing of the kind in your copy, shun it as you would the devil; for it is one of his devices to lead you away from Christ; and by following it you will forfeit your communion with Christ and his church. I shall not speak of all the institutions gotten up by men, called benevolent, and claiming your fellowship and support, as efficient means of grace for the conversion and salvation of sinners. Not one of their agents, or missionaries have ever yet said, “I am full and abound;” but their covetous hearts are forever crying, “Give, give; we must have more money, or our cause will perish;” and to raise the funds, church festivals, oyster, or strawberry suppers, sham post-offices, etc., are gotten up, and tricks of deception practiced. Dear child of God, look at your copy, and ask yourself the question, Can I live in fellowship with these things, and practice them, and say, “I abide in Christ, and walk as he walked?”

To follow Christ and keep his commandments is solemnly enjoined on his disciples by many express commands in the gospel. “But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation;” (1Pe 1:15). “Be ye therefore followers of God as dear children, and walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us;” (Eph 5:1-2). If we bear the name of Christ, that name should be honored by us; but it cannot be honored by us in following the traditions and teachings of men, or by substituting worldly inventions as auxilaries to his divine institution. But he is honored by us as we daily imitate him by holiness of life and daily obedience to his commands. “For to me to live is Christ.” The Christian honors Christ when his life is in exact conformity to him, and when every word and action of his reflects the graces of the Spirit, and gives evidence that Christ lives in him.

Walking in Christ implies obedience to him, following him, taking him as our leader, and our pattern in all things. In thus walking in Christ, no Christian walks according to the dictates of his own will, or wisdom; for no man in, and of himself has wisdom enough to direct his steps, or govern himself in divine things. If the Christian, in and of himself had this wisdom, his own will would be the rule of his action, and he would have no use for the ex ample of Christ; it would be of no force, and the divine prerogative would be set aside, which is the case whenever we get up institutions, and practice things not commanded by Christ. “I know, 0 Lord, that the way of man is not in himself; it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps;” (Jer 10:23). It could be no more presumptuous in the Christian to pretend to be his own guide, than it would to pretend to be his own maker. If the Christian’s own will was to be his own guide, the Catholic dogma of church infallibility would be established; for it would be impossible for him ever to err, or walk wrong. The Christian who professes union with Christ, and desires to maintain that union and fellowship with his church, must hear Christ in all things, and be guided by him in all he does, and keep his eye steadily upon him, and look nowhere else for a pattern or guide; so that, if any say, “Hear me; hear me;” or, “Here is Christ,” he can answer, “I will neither hear you, nor ask you to hear me; but I will hear Christ, and follow him, and follow no other.” Talk not to me about the defects in the pattern Christ has set for us, or that it will not meet the times, or the fashions and tastes of the world. His life was one of unspotted holiness, goodness, and love; it is a perfect copy for Ills followers, and he is most honored by them when they imitate it to the letter.

This walking in Christ clearly implies that the Christian is not his own guide, so he should not pretend to be the rule for others; but Christ should be his guide, and to him he should look for wisdom to guide him in every step of the way. It is true, as the apostle tells us, we should be followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises; (Heb 6:12). Again; “Take, my brethren, the prophets, who have spoken in the name of the Lord, for an example of suffering affliction, and of patience;” Jas 5:10. Paul was, perhaps, filled with as great a measure of the spirit of wisdom and holiness as any mere man ever was, and had as much right to set himself up as a rule or pattern for others as any more man could have, but he goes no higher than this: “Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ;” (1Co 11:1). I am but a frail, imperfect man at best, and am only right when Christ rules me, and I follow him. In Christ is perfect freedom from error and defects; his life, examples, and laws cannot be improved by any; and the nearer we live like him, the brighter our Christian light will shine. Paul commends the Thessalonians, because they “became followers of us, and of the Lord;” (1Th 1:6). The Bereans were called noble, because they searched the Scriptures, and tried the teachings of the apostles by them. No man, council, or convention of frail, fallible men has the right to prescribe doctrines, or rules to govern the practice or conscience of their fellow men in things of religion, or their duty to their God; in all this Christ is their sovereign Lawgiver, and they are to hear and obey him in all things. There is to be no adding to or taking from; no changing or altering to suit the flesh, or accommodate the world, or to make proselytes. Thus we have it from the mouth of the Lord; “Teaching them to observe all things, whatsoever I have commanded you;” (Mt 18:19-20). This is a specific command and expresses the whole duty of the gospel preacher, and obedience to this covers the whole duty of the Christian; it directs him to hear Christ, to look to him, strictly obey in all things his commands, and learn of him, and find rest to his soul. The command is specific, and forbids any thing not commanded by Jesus to be taught or practiced by the church of Christ. It is therefore gross and wicked rebellion against the King for his church to teach or practice any thing not commanded by him; and gross and criminal disobedience to change or alter his laws, or to say or teach that some other way will do as well as his commands, or the examples set by him. Here is a test of our love for Jesus, and of our loyalty to him as our King and Lawgiver. To the humble Christian, whose heart has been circumcised to love the Lord God, the thought would fill him with fear and trembling, and he will pray with David, “Give me understanding, and I shall keep thy law.” 0 Lord, make me to remember thy name, and keep thy law; “Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law;” (Ps 119:18).

Abiding and walking in Christ are fruits of the Holy Spirit, and good evidences that the sinner has been quickened into divine or spiritual life, born of God, and made a new creature in Christ Jesus; that his old pleasures have passed away, and that he now loves the things he once hated. That a great change must be wrought in the heart and affections of the sinner to prepare him for the service of God, is plain, for God hath said, “And I will give them one heart, and I will put a new spirit within you; and I will take the stony heart out of their flesh, and will give them an heart of flesh; that they may walk in my statutes, and keep mine ordinances, and do them;” Eze 11:19-20. “And I will give them one heart, and one way, that they may fear me forever, for the good of them, and of their children after them;” Jer 32:39. This is God’s work wrought in the sinner independent of all human means or agencies; and it is called by Paul a creation in Christ Jesus; Eph 2:10. And it is this creation, this being quickened into spiritual life, and born of God, that prepares them to walk in good works, and be followers of God as dear children.

This abiding in Christ, or walking as he walked, teaches us another profitable lesson; for it shows conclusively that the Christian is not left to his own fancies, or to what he may think expedient, or to what human wisdom may dictate would advance the good cause; but we must look to Christ, and ask the question: Has he set the example, or left the precept or command? Things may look good to us, and our carnal reason may say, There is nothing wrong in them, and no evil can come of the partaking of them; but if they are not taught by Christ, either by example or precept, they are forbidden, and we are told to “taste not, touch not, and handle not.” All humanly devised institutions, forms, and ceremonies connected with the church of Christ are like the idolatrous temple of old; they draw our minds away from Christ; they lead our feet away from his holy examples and footsteps. Thus the house of God, that should be a place of prayer, is desecrated, and turned into a house of fairs, festivals, tableaux, and vain amusements, to gratify our carnal lusts, and to gather money to fill the pockets of a graceless clergy, who will never say, We have enough. These things are all put in the list with profaneness, licentiousness, and carnal lusts, and are forbidden by the gospel; and every one who lives according to them should be rejected by the church of Christ, and every claim he may set up of being in Christ regarded as false; for it is written, “Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity;” 2Ti 2:19. “They that are in the flesh do mind the things of the flesh;” and the inventions of men, and the societies and institutions gotten up by men will please them; for they are the fruits of the flesh, and according to carnal wisdom. Such as these should put off the name of Christian, for they do not follow Christ. No man can abide in Christ and the fellowship of the Spirit, and follow these things. Let no man say that he abideth in Christ, unless he himself walketh even as he walked.

For the Christian to “abide in Christ, and walk as he walked,” gives evidence of his gracious state, and that the love of Christ dwells in his heart, and that he esteems Christ greater in holiness than all his creatures, and the only object worthy of imitation; for only that which is first and best in every respect is worthy to be the rule and’ measure of all the rest. It should be the constant desire, and the highest object in the saint’s ambition to be made conformable to Christ. This was Paul’s desire: “That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;” Php 3:10.

Christ has a perfection of being above any of God’s creatures; “For such an high priest became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens;” Heb 7:26. And he was perfection in all his works. He was perfect in his priesthood, perfect in his offerings, so that by one offering he put away sin, and “obtained eternal redemption for us.” His was a life of perfection, for God bore testimony and said, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” His life was, therefore, a perfect rule, a pattern to be imitated by all his followers. No error, no mistake could be found therein, for he was “holy, harmless, undefiled, and separate from sinners.” 0 Christian! is it true that your conformity to Christ is your test of union with him? The nearer you live to him, and conform to the pattern he has given, the nearer you thus approach to perfection, and the clearer will be your evidences that you are a child of God, and a joint-heir with Christ. What manner of person, then, should you be in all holy conversation?

The evidences of our regeneration, justification, and interest in Christ are felt in our souls as we abide in Christ, and walk as he walked; full assurance of this is never attained and enjoyed by us in disobedience. “As many as walk according to this rule, peace be on them, and upon the Israel of God;” Ga 6:16. If we grow careless, vain, and worldly, and live after the flesh, we shall die to our Christian peace and consolation; our consciences testify against us, and we walk in gross darkness. “Our rejoicing is this, the testimony of our conscience, that in simplicity and godly sincerity, not with fleshly wisdom, but by the grace of God, we have had our conversation in the world;” 2Co 1:12.

Dear child of God, rest assured you are deceived, when you talk about feeling the comforts of the Spirit, its witnesses in your heart, and the light of the Lord shining along your path, while you are walking in disobedience, ac cording to the course of this world, and disregarding the commands of the Savior, and not walking as he walked. “But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed;” Jas 1:25. “The fruit of righteousness shall be peace, and the effect of righteousness, quietness and assurance forever.” It is not bought by our obedience, but it is found in the way of holiness and obedience, in walking as Christ walked.

If the sweet and blessed comforts and enjoyments of our Christian life are inseparably connected with our obedience to Christ, with deep and heart-felt interest we may inquire, What things in the life of Christ are all Christians bound to obey? We regard the life of Christ as a living law, a perfect rule of conduct, and we should be governed by it as such. All the graces of the Spirit were represented in him in their full glory and perfection, in his walk, conversation, and works of mercy on earth. We can only imitate him imperfectly. Never man spake as he spake; none ever lived as he lived. “We beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth;” Joh 1:14. In the life of Christ there is a purity and holiness which make it a glorious pattern for the saints to imitate; and it is said, “As he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation;” 1Pe 1:15; in all your words and actions, at every point, that your light may shine before men. We must not forget that there is a two-fold holiness in Christ; holiness of nature, and holiness of practice. Our blessed Savior in his nature was pure, holy, undefiled, and free from the stain of sin, as it is said of him, and made higher than the heavens. “That holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.” In this we can never be like Christ; for he is called “the only begotten of the Father;” and no created being can ever be the Son of God, in the same sense that he was God’s Son. Of his conception it is said to Mary, “And behold, thou shalt bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God shall give him the throne of his father David; and he shall reign over the house of Jacob forever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end. Then said Mary unto the angel, how shall this be? And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the 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;” Lu 1. Again; “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth;” Joh 1:14 Paul testifies of him that he was God manifest in the flesh; that the fullness of the Godhead dwelt in him. And Christ says, “He that hath seen me, hath seen the Father.” This Son was the brightness of the Father’s glory, and the express image of his person; in him were all the perfections of God himself, for he was God manifest in the flesh.

We, as the chosen seed of Christ, children given to him in the covenant of grace, are the children of Adam, have descended from a corrupt and sinful nature, so that we cannot make ourselves holy, nor impart holiness to others. But our Lord Jesus is essentially holy, that is, he makes others holy. Therefore his sufferings and blood are called a fountain opened for sin and for uncleanness, to cleanse men’s souls, to purge the conscience; Zec 13:1. His blood cleanses us from all sin. In this work we cannot imitate him, neither are we required to try to do so; for we cannot make ourselves or others holy. The giving of eternal life, the regenerating of the man, the resurrection of the sinner dead in sin, and imparting holy desires and affections in his soul, cleansing him from all guilt and sin, so that he stands justified be fore God, are the works of Christ, and have never been delegated to any inferior being, in whole or in part. Proud nature will not relish this truth, it is too humiliating; I must in some way have a hand in my own eternal salvation, and the eternal salvation of others. Abasing and humiliating as it is, it is nevertheless true, that we can as well create ourselves men, as make ourselves saints, “new creatures in Christ.”

Christ is God, not a distinct person in the Trinity, but the whole Trinity; and when born of the virgin, he was called, IMMANUEL-God with us. He is therefore infinitely holy, and there can be no measure or bounds set to his holiness, as the Mediator of the New Testament, and the Redeemer of his people; “for God giveth not the Spirit by measure unto him;” Joh 3:34. It is only by covenant relation, and by imputation that the righteousness of Christ can be ours, for it is written, “But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption.: that, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord;” 1Co 1:30-31. Christ was, without simulation, truly and sincerely holy, and this appeared in the greatest trial of truth and holiness ever made in this world. “The prince of this world cometh, and hath nothing in me;” Joh 14:30. When he was passing through the greatest temptation, like pure gold tried in the fire, his divine goodness and purity only shone the brighter. When his soul was exceeding sorrowful, and he sweat, as it were, great drops of blood, falling to the ground, no dregs or dross appeared, but he said in humble submission, “Father, thy will be done.” While hypocrites and false professors, make more show of holiness than they really have, there was more holiness in Christ than ever appeared to the view of men, and more than they in their wisdom could see or comprehend.

There was perfect inward beauty and holiness in Christ, for God dwelt in him; and when divine light shines in the heart of the poor sinner, he can see that glory in the face of Jesus Christ; 2Co 4:6. If Christ be in us, and our hearts have been purged from an evil conscience, we should “put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.” or holiness of truth; Eph 4:24. Our purity of heart we receive from Christ; it is his work in us, and must be sincere and real, shining with inward beauty towards God, rather than towards men. We may deceive men by outward actions; but God sees our hearts and knows what prompts our actions. But internal beauty and holiness will be manifested by our external actions; and in various respects his holiness of life is presented as examples to be followed by us; and for us to neglect them, is on our part criminal disobedience, and must bring upon us the chastising rod. With this truth in his heart, the apostle teaches that, “we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest ‘ at any time we should let them slip. For if the word spoken by angels”-that old covenant that was imperfect and faulty-“was steadfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just recompense of reward; how shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him?” Heb 2:1-3. The Christian can bring no valid excuse for disobeying the commands of Jesus. A sense of his own unworthiness will not do, for Christ came to save sinners, and the chief of sinners. A fear that he will reproach the cause that is dearer than life to him is no excuse, for he has the promise that he shall be kept by the power of God. The frowns, contempt, and persecutions of the world are no excuse, for Christ endured all these things for you, and he is not ashamed of you, but owns you as his brethren. The frailties and shortcomings of others are no reason why we should live in disobedience; we have no right to consult the world, or the flesh, or to learn of men our duty, but to learn of Christ; and be not hearers of his word, but doers, if we expect to escape his chastenings, and to enjoy the blessings of the new covenant.

Christ was uniformly holy, at one place as well as another, at one time as well as another, in one company as well as another. He was all the time like himself, for the same tenor of holiness ran throughout his whole life. So ought it to be with his brethren, “holy in all manner of conversation.” 0, my brethren, look to your copy, and be sure to imitate Christ. Foolish talk and jestings are not comely, and do not reflect the life of Christ who never used vain and foolish words. Let not one part of your life be heavenly, and another earthly; or, as one expresses it, “Now a heavenly rapture, and by-and-by a worldly broil.” Look at your own Leader; he was a pattern of holiness to all that came nigh him, and conversed with him. 0 Christian, imitate Christ in this, and be not conformed to this world, or drawn into its wicked amusements, or vanities, even if they should put on the garb of Christianity, and name themselves “BENEVOLENCE.” 0, my Christian brother, or sister, imitate Christ; take his life and examples for your guide, and turn not to the right hand or to the left to please men, the world, the devil, or his angels that come dressed in the garb of angels of light, and with a great show of religion would lead you away from Christ and the pattern be has given you. It was this abiding in Christ, and walking as he walked, that was the commendation of the Thessalonians, and made them ensamples to all that believed in Macedonia and Achaia, so that in every place their faith to God ward was spread abroad; 1Th 1:7-8. “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven;” Mt 5:16. So walked our primitive brethren, when they were persecuted, imprisoned, and put to death, because they would not listen to the world, or follow the many “lo heres” and “lo theres.” Paul says, “Brethren, be followers together of me, and mark them which walk so as ye have us for an ensample;” Php 3:17. If our life and conversation be uniform, and patterned after Christ no one can associate with us and not be benefited; our holy example will have a restraining influence on the wicked, and exhort the confession that there is a reality in the religion we profess. But, on the other hand, what holy influence does church festivals, parties, and gaudy shows have on the minds of any? By them you may collect money to feed graceless preachers, and put into the mouth of the infidel the argument, that the morality of the church is no better than the morality of the world. 0, my brethren, stop and reflect; let the love you have for Christ constrain you to look at him; mark the holiness there presented, and withdraw from all these things; follow Christ, your great and glorious pattern, and stop the mouths of infidels.

Christ was so strictly holy that he could say to his enemies who were watching him with envious eyes, that they might find a flaw in some of his words or actions, “Which of you convinceth me of sin?” 0, my brethren, so ought we, in this life, to imitate Christ in our words and actions, “that ye may be blameless, and harmless, the sons of God without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in this world;” Php 2:15. Thus it becomes you and me, and thus shall the mouths of gainsayers be stopped by the professed followers of Him who walked circumspectly in the world. “For so is the will of God, that with well doing ye may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men;” 1Pe 2:15.

Dear Christian, if you will keep your eyes on Christ, you will learn perseverance; for Christ was perseveringly holy in his obedience to his Father, even to his last breath on the cross. So he began. So he finished his course on earth in holiness and obedience to the will of his Father. Think of this, treasure it up in your hearts, and be governed by it in your life and actions, for he is the great pattern, and should be imitated by us. It is shameful and unbecoming in any who profess Christ, to begin in the Spirit and end in the flesh; “For if ye live after the flesh ye shall die; but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body ye shall live;” Ro 8:13. “For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace;” Ro 8:6. It is in persevering in a life of obedience that we enjoy much of the love of Christ; for he says, “If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love;” Joh 15:10.  0 my Father’s children, it is a great thing to abide in Christ and his word, for to such he says, “Ye shall ask what ye will and it shall be done unto you;” Joh 15:7. If ye do these things ye shall be blessed in your deed, and find rest to your souls; Mt 11:29.

The obedience of Christ to his Father’s will should be studied by all Christians; it is a pattern for us that we should be careful to imitate. It is said of Christ that he learned obedience by the things which he suffered; Heb 5:8. We sometimes feel that our sufferings are great, and feel within a murmuring Spirit, but if we could keep our eyes upon our glorious pattern, we should feel that our light afflictions are nothing compared with what he suffered for us. I have been upon the battlefield, and have seen the wounded, dying soldier, struggling in the arms of death. I have heard his piteous groans as he breathed his last, in an enemy’s land, without a tender mother or kind friend to speak a tender word, or wipe the tear from his eyes; but in all this agony I never saw a drop of blood run from the unbroken skin. 0, what must have been the sufferings of Jesus when he sweat, as it were, great drops of blood falling to the ground! These are sufferings beyond any thing ever suffered by any other one in this world; but he bore it all, and said to his Father, “Thy will be done.” Dear saint, look to your pattern who learned obedience by the things he suffered, and never complain if you too have to suffer for him; for our present sufferings are not worthy to be compared with the glory that shall be revealed in us. They that wear white robes in glory are they that have come up through great tribulation.

Of self-denial, one of the great duties of the Christian, Christ has said, “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me;” Lu 9:23. To deny ourselves is not only to deny all our wicked and sinful lusts, propensities, and practices; but it is to deny, cast away, and surrender up all our self-confidence, all our hope of ever obtaining heaven, or immortal happiness by any works of righteousness which we can do, and come as a sinner justly condemned with nothing good to bring, home to Christ, as expressed by the poet:

Nothing in my hand I bring,

Simply to the cross I cling;

Naked, come to thee for dress;

Helpless, look to thee for grace;

Black, I to the fountain fly;

Wash me, Savior, or I die.


This is denial of yourself, and all that self has ever trusted in for salvation, before coming to Christ. Self-denial is gloriously, and most impressively taught in the life of Christ, and that the conformity of believers to it is their indispensable duty, for it is said, “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus; who being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God, but made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men; and being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient unto death even the death of the cross;” Php 2:5-8. Jesus Christ for the glory of the Father, and the love he bore to his people, denied himself all the delights and pleasures of the world. “The Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many;” Mt 20:28. He was all his lifetime “a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief;” Isa 53:3; more unprovided for in earthly comforts than the birds of the air, or the beasts of the earth. “Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head;” Lu 9:58. Yet this was not all. He left the bosom of his Father with the ineffable delights he there enjoyed, to drink the bitter cup of his Father’s wrath for our sake. 0, my brethren, look to your pattern, and imitate your self-denying Jesus. Read your copy; study it well. It is full of comfort, and will teach you to bear hardships as good soldiers of Jesus Christ, while pilgrims and strangers in the world; and to count your sufferings but light. The reproaches of Christ are greater honors than the world can give. The world may hate you, persecute you, and speak all manner of evil against you falsely; but remember you have the precious promise, and shall inherit his kingdom. If your road through this world is dark and thorny, and you are tempted to say, “My sufferings and labors are all in vain, my prayers have been but empty words,” believe it not, while it is written, “They that sow in tears shall reap in joy. He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him;” Ps 126:5-6. As Christ looked over Jerusalem, that wicked city whose people had stoned the prophets, and killed them that were sent unto to them, and would soon nail his hands and feet to the cross and pierce his heart with a spear, he loved and pitied them, and wept, knowing the awful calamity that would come upon them from a just God, and cried, “0 Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!” Mt 23:37. O, Christian, can you imitate your Savior, as you look over a world lying in wickedness, blinded by sin, and fearlessly traveling the broad road to endless destruction and misery? Do you not from your very heart weep for them, and in the spirit of your Master, when he was suffering the pains of death on the shameful cross pray, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do?” As I stand in this pulpit, I look over the crowd before me, and can see the young, the gay, the giddy, and the scoffer at religion. I see those who have been nursed in the lap of pious mothers; have been warned of the dreadful end to which sin leads, and have been pointed to Calvary, to the bleeding, dying Lamb of God, who taketh away the sin of the world, but it has all been as a sounding brass and a tinkling cymbal; your hard hearts have not been moved, it has had no charms for you. Often, perhaps, you have bowed at the family altar, and listened to the prayers of your father, and have seen the tears drop from his eyes as his prayer went up to God in your behalf. But your hard heart could feel nothing; you are beyond the reach of the preacher’s voice, or a father’s prayer. Nothing but the power of God will melt your hard and stony heart.

I see a sister weeping; I know her, and can understand the meaning of those tears that flow so freely from her eyes; her heart is burdened; she feels that her sorrows are more than she can bear. I can look into the face of the daughter, for whom those tears are flowing, floating upon the stream of time to the ocean of eternal destruction and misery, thoughtless and unconcerned. For you those tears are shed; for you those prayers are rising up to the throne of mercy. 0, blessed Jesus! was thy sympathizing heart moved with compassion at the tears of bereaved sisters at the grave of a dead brother, and wilt thou not hear the cries of these thy saints, whose hearts are broken with grief, as they look upon their beloved ones dead in sin, and realize in their hearts that thou alone canst give life to the dead, and break the fetters that bind their captive souls, and set the prisoners free? Thou canst save; thy word is spirit, and it is life. My dear brother, you tremble like a leaf shaken by the wind. I know thy feelings, I can read thy heart; for I, too, have shed the tear of sorrow, and drank the bitter dregs you are now drinking. 0, how sad it is to feel and know that our words cannot reach or move the hearts of those we love!

But there is a “Friend that loveth at all times;” his eyes are upon his children, his ears are open to their prayers, he knows the meaning of every groan, of every tear, and is touched with the feelings of our infirmities. You may sow your seed, weeping; you may water it with your tears; you may look upon a sinful, guilty world, who, after the hardness of their impenitent hearts, “treasure up unto themselves wrath against the day of wrath, and revelation of the righteous judgment of God;” Ro 2:5. You may fear that all your labor is in vain; but the day of singing will come; for he that blessed a praying, wrestling Jacob, and spoke out of the burning bush to him who had fled from his kindred, an exile and wanderer, will hear your groanings, as he did Israel’s of old; he will water, and cause the seed to grow. His almighty power will prepare the soil to receive the seed, and cause it to bring forth fruit, so that you shall see the ransomed of the Lord return, and come to Zion with songs; your tears of sorrow will be turned into sweet smiles of rejoicing; your sad groans into songs of praise. Fear not; the set time to favor Zion shall come, when “His servants take pleasure in her stones, and favor the dust thereof.” Be strong, trust in the Lord; for “in the Lord JEHOVAH is everlasting strength.” He has promised it, and confirmed it with his comforting SHALL. “The ransomed of the Lord SHALL return, and come to Zion with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads; they SHALL obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing SHALL flee away;” Isa 35:10.  I emphasize the shalls; they are sweet and comforting words in this dark day of Zion; they give the assurance that not one of the redeemed shall ever perish. If like sheep, they have all gone astray, and wandered from their God, they SHALL return in the affections of their souls to God from whom they have wandered; and then they will go to Zion, the city of God, his dwelling place, and the home for his children, “with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads.” The day of rejoicing shall come, when tears of sorrow shall be wiped from our eyes, and the singing of birds shall be heard in the land. The day will come when sorrow and sighing will flee away forever, when we shall enter into our house above, that brighter land, where God and the Lamb shall be the light of the place, and there shall be no more night, no more doubts and fears; for “we shall know as we are known,” and forever dwell in that happy place, where there is no sin, and no sorrow.

This glorious hope revives

Our courage by the way;

While each in expectation lives,

And longs to see the day.


From sorrow, toll, and pain,

And sin, we shall be free,

And perfect love and friendship reign,

In blessed eternity.


Dear saints, while here as strangers and pilgrims in this world, let us live looking to Jesus; let us never take our eyes from him; let us follow him in the ways of obedience, and in his holy conversation. 0, let us take him for our pattern in all things; for it is written, “He that saith he abideth in him, ought himself also so to walk even as he walked.”

Careless, thoughtless sinner, to you I wish to speak a few words; and what shall I say? You have sat quietly and listened to my imperfect description of what the blessed Savior suffered for poor sinners; you have heard of his tender compassion for his murderers, when he prayed, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do;” you have witnessed this day in his children the same loving, sympathizing spirit; you have heard their groans and prayers. Is all this to you as the chattering of a bird, or as music in the ears of the dumb adder? 0 how sad is thy condition! and how hard must be thy heart, when the dying groans, and the dying prayer of the Savior of sinners will not melt thee to tears! Can you sit unmoved, while you witness tears flowing from many eyes in this house? 0 that you could realize your true condition, and see the slippery place upon which you stand, and the fiery billows beneath you! Are your eyes so blinded by sin that you cannot see, and your heart so hard that you cannot feel? This, to me, and to these saints who are weeping and praying for you, is a sad thought. 0 that God may this day give you to see your condition, and feel the need of a Savior! Our arms are too short to reach you, we know; we feel it; and our words are too feeble to arouse your fears, or change the hard and stony heart.

Can aught beneath a power divine,

A stubborn will subdue?

‘ Tis thine, eternal Spirit, thine,

To form the heart anew.


Our tears and prayers can never wash your sin and guilt away; none but Jesus can save from sin, cleanse the guilty sinner, and save him from sinking down into the pit of endless woe! and all I can do is to close this feeble address with the humble prayer, God be merciful to sinners.

‘ Tis thine the passions to recall,

And bid them upward rise;

To make the scales of error fall

From reason’s darkened eyes;

To chase the shades of death away,

And bid the sinner live;

A beam of heaven, a vital ray,

‘ Tis thine alone to give.


I was born the llth day of April, 1811, and was baptized the 2nd Sunday in May, 1826, by Elder Wilson Thompson, a member of the Regular, or Primitive Baptist church, in Lebanon, Ohio, with twelve others, who were baptized at the same time, and, as far as I can learn, they are all called to their long home, and I am, of the thirteen, the only one left to enjoy your fellowship and Christian love, and to suffer with you the trials and afflictions which we all have to bear in this world of sorrow, sin, and death. You will notice that in this book I have invariably used the name PRIMITIVE BAPTIST when speaking of the church. About the first open and full division that took place between us and the Missionary or new order of Baptists was in the Kehukee Association, in North Carolina. The party maintaining the doctrine and order of the old Apostolic church took the name PRIMITIVE BAPTIST, because they thought it was the proper name for them to bear, and expressed what they truly were, as the church of Christ; and this name was adopted by the Baptists of the Southern States, and a large portion of those in the Western States. About the same time there was a split took place in the Presbyterian church, and the Calvinistic party took the name of Old School, and the Arminian party took the name of New School. Some of our Eastern brethren thought that, as these names distinguished between the Calvinistic and Arminian parties in the Presbyterian church, they would be proper names to distinguish between the Arminian and Predestinarian parties in the Baptist church, and so adopted the name Old School, but that name was never accepted by a large majority of the denomination. While the names Old School, and New School, might do among Presbyterians, who were a school people, and believed that no man should be allowed to preach the gospel unless he had been educated and prepared for the work in a theological school, or college. But we, as PRIMITIVE BAPTISTS, believed that God chose, called, and qualified his servants to do the work to which he had called them, and with this conviction we had declared non-fellowship for all theological colleges, or schools, gotten up for the purpose of preparing and fitting young men for the ministry. This being true, we thought the name Old School was not a proper cognomen, and would never adopt it. A great many of our churches in the Middle and Western States have never adopted either name, but still retain the name Regular Baptists, and are as sound and consistent PRIMITIVE BAPTISTS as we have, and we are all in full fellowship, and are the same people and church. If the party which we call New School have ever adopted that name I have never learned it from them. They have very readily adopted the name Missionary, and are proud to wear it, and have adopted all the modern and humanly-devised societies, associations, and conventions, with their salaried officers and traveling agencies, with schools to furnish them with an educated ministry. Against all these things the PRIMITIVE BAPTISTS, like their brethren of the 12th century, have declared non-fellowship, because they were not found in the commands of Christ, or in apostolic example or teaching, or in the pattern given us in the New Testament of preaching the gospel to every creature. We therefore claim to practice the true and primitive missionary plan, commanded by Christ and practiced by his apostles, and that those who have adopted their worldly systems, and humanly-devised machinery, unknown to the gospel are the antics, for, in rebellion against the command of Christ, they are getting up societies, institutions, and practices unknown to the gospel, and teaching the observance of things not commanded by Christ, which is rebellion; for the command of Christ is specific and specifies what we shall teach, and therefore every thing else is forbidden, for the rule of law is, Where one thing is specified, every thing else is forbidden.

I was with you when this modern, humanly-devised system was introduced among you in the West and South, and with what feeble ability I had as a soldier in the cause of Christ I Stood side by side with Joshua Lawrence, Stephen Card, Wilson Thompson, and a host of others, who bravely met the foes to truth and the primitive doctrine and order of the church of Christ, and in the hottest of the battle kept the banner of truth displayed, and drove the enemy from the primitive church and its communion. These brave soldiers in the cause of truth counted their lives not dear unto themselves that they might finish their course with joy, and the ministry which they had received of the Lord Jesus Christ. They died at their post, and their Father called them home to receive a faithful soldier’s reward. Of the old band of soldiers that kept our banner displayed, and never surrendered to the enemy, fifty years ago, but few now remain. Their heads are gray and their limbs palsied with age; they are upon the verge of the grave, and feel that their discharge will come very soon; and now, in their closing days, when they look back over the war and the battles fought, there is not a truth, nor an inch of territory for which they contended, that they would now yield, and they want to die at their post, like their brethren who have passed off before them, Their hearts have been filled with sorrow, of late, in seeing some of the young ones who have come into the ministry since the war was over trying to introduce in some shape or form the new things we had to battle against, and thus make history repeat Itself. I feel confident that I express the feelings of every one of these old veterans, and give the counsel they would give could they all speak to you, when I say; Mark those engaged in this unholy work, and do not bid them God speed, nor invite them into your houses. They are nothing but the old enemy. Their dress may be a little different, but the end and object aimed at is the same, and equally without gospel command or example. Remember the warning which Paul gave when he said, “For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them;” Ac 20:29-30

We that have had a name among you for sixty years know what we had to pass through on account of these false accusers of the brethren; the charges they brought against us to alienate the affections of the brethren from us, and to make us odious in the eyes of the world; and when we hear them reiterated by those who speak perverse things to draw away disciples after them, we are familiar with the language, and know the spirit from which it comes. Sixty years ago they called us a set of ignorant bigots, who were governed by an intolerant spirit, opposed to the spread of the gospel, and every thing that was calculated to build up Christianity in the world; that we preached nothing but dry Calvinism, and our churches were all dying out; that we were antinomians, and did not believe in good works; saying we were anti-means, and opposed to all good and efficient means now used for the conversion of sinners, and the salvation of the world. Even before that time, Mr. Benedict, in his history, called us by these names, and, in substance, said that before the stereotype edition of his history would reach the churches, our churches would be dead, and could never be resurrected again. He is dead, and his history has so sunk in repute that it is hardly known among the people. But these old, hated, and misrepresented people still live, and are numerically stronger than they were when he wrote. When you hear men, of yourselves, begin to utter these false and slanderous charges against the brethren, know that there is a wolf in your flock, and if he is not put out he will tear and rend you, for such do nothing but devour the flock, and carry off all the disciples they make to strengthen antichrist. I hope that you will hear my feeble warning, and the warning of Paul on this subject, and “watch,” and use the discipline of the church, turn all such intruders out, and shut your doors against them.

There is one thing more that I must speak of in this, my last address to you all, and I believe it is prompted by love and an ardent desire for your peace and prosperity. In some of our churches the baptism of those we have excluded from our communion and fellowship is received as valid. This is an inconsistency that has already caused great trouble in some parts of the country, and must and will, sooner or later, make trouble wherever it is practiced. It is palpably inconsistent for us to receive part of their works, and reject the other parts. You will not sit down to the communion table with them, and take the emblems from the hands of their minister, because you do not believe he has any gospel right to administer that ordinance, and his church is not the church of Christ. If you are correct in that view, how can you, in any consistency, or good conscience, receive baptism administered by him, and in the fellowship of a false church? This, to me, is an inconsistency that, if persisted in, must make trouble, and cause distress in your own body, sooner or later.

There is a difficulty connected with this subject that should cause us to act cautiously, and in the spirit of Christian love. I have known several able and beloved preachers among us who were received on their alien baptism, and they have baptized numbers among us. These things are past and cannot now be remedied. The only thing that can be done now, so far as I can see, is for our churches to resolve that they will not be guilty of the inconsistency any more, and upon that let peace and Christian fellowship abound among us. To attempt to dissolve these churches, and reconstitute them, would, it seems to me, cause great confusion without effecting any good. I hope the dear brethren will think upon this subject, and act with an eye single to the glory of God and the peace of Zion. A church, like an individual, may commit an error which she cannot remedy and in that case all she can do is to turn from the error and do so no more. In that case we should all forgive, and let brotherly love continue. Zion’s peace and happiness demand of us a great deal of Christian love and forbearance. There are vital points that do and should affect fellowship, and if we disagree upon them we can not walk together, but in mere matters of opinion we may differ, and should be very tender and forbearing with each other, for in such matters we may both be wrong. But where a truth is positively taught in the Bible, it must be subscribed to by all or we cannot walk together. To illustrate: The Savior says, “Except a man be born again he can not see the kingdom of God.” Here is a truth affirmed that must be subscribed to by all if we walk together in Christian union. I cannot believe that we have a church that would receive a person into its fellowship who would deny the new birth, or that the sinner has to experience such a change of affections, that he is made to hate things he once loved, and love things he once hated. I might go on to name a number of things of equal importance, but this is sufficient to bring before your minds the point I wish to enforce. Paul tells us that we are not to make a brother an offender for a word. But a brother that loves his brethren, and respects their feelings, and desires the peace and happiness of Zion; if he uses a word that is offensive to any of his brethren, if it is not a Scripture word; or if it is, and he uses it in a sense in which the Holy Spirit has never used it, will quit the use of it if he has a proper regard for the feelings of his brethren. We may use the words of the Holy Spirit to prove false doctrine, but to do so we have to pervert them, so as to make them give a different idea from what was intended, for if used in the same way and for the same purpose as by the Holy Spirit they will always teach the truth. For instance, the word means is a Scripture word, and when used as the Scriptures use it, should give no offense to any one, but as the Scriptures have never used it in reference to the giving of eternal, or spiritual life to the sinner dead in sins, if we have the love of our brethren and the peace of Zion in our hearts, we will quit using it in that sense, and use such words as the Bible uses to convey, our ideas.

I have witnessed the wars through which our church has passed in the last sixty years. I have seen the dark clouds gather over us, that filled our hearts with sorrow, and our eyes with tears. I have heard the boasting of our enemies when they thought our little army was defeated and scattered, and could never make battle any more. I have heard their shouts of victory suddenly stop, followed by an inglorious retreat, when they would hear the voice of a Lawrence, Gard, Thompson, Carpenter, Thomas, or Clark, who never surrendered, or were driven from their post. These were dark and sorrowful days for the children of Zion. They were passing through the fires. Their harps were on the willows, and they could not realize that it was God’s work to cleanse them, and to separate them from the dross, that the pure gold might shine. We can now look back and see the hand of the Lord in the matter, and how his almighty power was with and sustained the little band who stood firm and unmoved at their post, and boldly kept the banner of truth displayed in the thickest and darkest hours of the battle. I shall never forget the words of that faithful man of God, Stephen Gard, made one evening at my father’s house, where they were talking about the trials through which they had passed, when he remarked, “Brother Thompson, I never doubted for one moment the final victory of truth, but for years we had been accumulating dross, until we had vastly more dross among us than gold, and it had to be separated, and we had to pass through a heated furnace to effect it. Our God is a consuming fire. He is as the refiner’s fire, and the fuller’s soap, and when his church has to be cleansed we must bear the consuming flames. They are for our good, and will only consume the dross.”

The name of Wilson Thompson is so identified with the history of the PRIMITIVE BAPTISTS of the last seventy-five years that one cannot well write about them without referring to him. He was reared in the canebrakes of Kentucky, without even a common English education, but God called him from his plough-handle to stand in defense of the truth, and, as with Gideon of old, the enemy always suffered defeat, and had to retreat in disorder when they met him and his little army. And side by side stood Stephen Gard, Minor Thomas, Stephen Oldham, Samuel Carpenter, John Lee and Hezekiah Stites, as brave and noble soldiers of the cross of Christ as have ever lived. Their names can never be lost in the history of our church, and they must ever be regarded as gifts of God bestowed upon us, to lead us through the severe ordeal through which we had to pass. Such men we should love and cherish in our memory for their work’s sake.

War is always a calamity to be dreaded, but a civil war is the worst of all; for it can never be settled until one party is conquered and makes a full surrender to the other, or a complete separation is effected. In the time of war parties become embittered against each other, and use all their powers for each other’s destruction. The country is made a waste, and ruin and desolation may be seen wherever you go. It is even so in a religious, or church war. We have witnessed it, and have seen the destruction which marked its path wherever it went. 0, how sad we have felt as we have passed the old church-houses, where in days past we had met large congregations and loving brethren and sisters, who filled the house with their voices in sweet songs of praise! But now there is no coming together of the saints there. There are no sweet songs heard within the old and crumbling walls, which stand as a sad monument of war. But, as before said, the war had come. We had been collecting dross for years, and the ancient simplicity, and beauty, and purity of the church, had become so buried under a mass of dross, of worldly institutions, societies, and systems of worldly speculation, and money gathering, that she had almost lost the last marks of her primitive identity. But He who had said, “The gates of hell shall not prevail against her,” determined to consume this mass of dross, and to separate her from it, and restore her to her original purity, as a separate people who should dwell alone, and not be numbered with the nations. In effecting this, ism after ism arose among us and carried off their parties, until the little band whose garments were not stained with their unholy things were separated from them, and could look over the sea that was between them, and sing praises to Him who had, by his power, delivered his church, and once more purged her from the dross that was concealing her beauty, and destroying her primitive identity. Thank God I the war is over, and we are separated from them, so that we cannot any longer be held responsible for any thing they may do or teach. It is now our duty, as the friends of God, of truth, and of Zion the city of our solemnities, to go to work earnestly and faithfully to repair the breaches that war has made. Let us spend but little time in shooting across the river at our enemies. They are in their own territory; let them possess it in peace. But let us turn our attention to Zion, and with united effort go to work to repair the breaches, and strengthen the cords of love and fellowship, for love is the bond of union between us and our God, and love is the sweet cord that holds us together here, and makes our communication pleasant. 0, it makes the house of the Lord a sweet place to visit I It is a place of feasting, while we feel that his banner of love is over us.

Blessed be the tie that binds

Our hearts in Christian love.

The fellowship of kindred minds

Is like to that above.

Beloved ones, with whom I have suffered much, and with whom I have enjoyed sweet seasons of love, and pleasure, and comforts, that have more than paid for all, be entreated to let brotherly love continue. And may the God of grace and of love, who brought again our Lord from the dead, bless you, and keep you in love and sweet fellowship; and 0, may we all feel that our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son, Jesus Christ; and may he, by his grace, give us a home in heaven, where all but love shall be done away.



Dear Brethren:


Will you take kindly, in the close of this book, a short address from an old servant, who has been for sixty years in the war, has passed through many severe and hard-fought battles, and is now standing upon the verge of the grave, ready to drop his armor, receive his discharge, and go home to rest from his labors?


You are the called of God, to stand upon the walls of Zion, and watch for the good of God’s people. Your life is one of labor, toil, and exposure to the fiery darts of the enemy. Your responsibilities are great, and a lack of faithfulness in the discharge of duty on your part, may bring great distress and confusion among Zion’s citizens. When Moses delivered his last address to the children of Israel, he warned them of the dangers that would surround them when they entered the promised land; that the country was filled with idolatrous worshipers, and by them they would be led away from their God, and bring upon themselves his divine wrath. One little deviation from the law of the Lord, that might be thought very small and unimportant, brought upon them his wrath and correcting rod. The word spoken by angels was steadfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just recompense of reward; and you will not escape if you neglect the word spoken by the Lord, and confirmed unto us by them that heard him. Every thing not commanded by our Lord, and taught and practiced by his apostles, is forbidden, and classed with idolatry. It leads our minds away from Christ, and changes the order he has established in his kingdom, which is diverse from all other kingdoms, and is not to be numbered with the nations of the earth. An entire separation from all human and worldly institutions, and a strict observance of the commands of Christ, have been the infallible mark of his church in all ages of the world.

Worldly churches may practice the ordinances of the gospel as commanded; they may teach a great deal of truth, but let them withdraw from their worldly institutions and their humanly devised systems, and they are dissolved and killed at once. The very thing that maintains the distinct visibility and identity of Christ’s church, and insures her final triumph over all her enemies, is the certain destruction of all false churches. I therefore charge you before God, to watch this point, and guard it well. False churches will hate and abuse you, and call you hard names, but let none of these things move you; a faithful discharge of duty, and the comfort and peace of Zion are worth more to you than life, and all the honors earth can give. God has never promised you worldly honors, or wealth, or a smooth sea to sail over; your reward here is found in suffering persecutions, and bearing reproaches with his poor and afflicted people; for, “They that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.” Your reward is in heaven, and your crown is waiting for you when you shall have fought your last battle. Be the servant of the church; not for filthy lucre, but because you love her, and are willing to suffer for her, and with her. Be careful to feed the lambs and sheep, to nurse the little ones, to strengthen the weak knees, encourage the fearful hearted, and speak comfortable things to God’s people. I shall never meet you in this world; I shall soon drop into the grave, and be forgotten by the world; but my last words to you are: Be careful to maintain the purity of the church, and her entire separation from all the institutions of men. If men tempt you to the least deviation from the path marked out in the gospel, by the syren song of “No danger;” be not deceived; it leads to destruction. Again, I say, Remember the distinct mark that has in all ages identified Christ’s church, and preserve it; and at the end of your warfare and stewardship here, your Lord and Master will say, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant; enter thou into the joy of thy Lord.” God bless you! and so preserve you that you may keep your garments unspotted from the world. Amen.




“For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified;” 1Co 2:2

To be a minister of the gospel is to fill one of the most solemn and responsible positions to which any man can be called, and no man has the right to assume it but he that is called of God, as was Aaron; Heb 5:4. Paul was one of the called of God, not by man, or the will of man, but by the will of God; Ga 1:1; Eph 1:1. And he understood and felt the great responsibility, and he calls the elders of the church at Ephesus to bear witness to his faithfulness, and the manner of his life among them; Ac 20:17-21. To faithfully discharge his duty to God who had called him, and to the church of Christ whose servant he was, he felt to be more sacred to him than his own life; Ac 20:22-24. In this respect Paul was a model preacher, and has set an example worthy to be imitated by ministers of all ages, and it would be well for the church if all her pulpits were, today, filled with such honest, God-fearing men as was Paul. He felt that he was a debtor both to the Greeks, and to the Barbarians; both to the wise and the unwise; Ro 1:14; for God had committed to him a treasure for the comfort and happiness of others, and that he would be dishonest to his God, to himself, and to those for whom this treasure was given him, if he withheld it. This ministry was not given to Paul for his own personal benefit, or to be a means of procuring wealth or worldly honors, for the Lord said of him when he called him to this work, “For I will show him how great things he must suffer for my name’s sake;” Ac 9:16. And Paul says, “The Holy Ghost witnesseth in every city, saying, that bonds and afflictions abide me,” Ac 20:23. None of these things moved him, neither did he count his life dear unto himself, or stop to inquire how much money the people were going to give him, or what salary the church would pledge themselves to pay him for discharging his duty to God and paying them the debt he owed them. Nay, verily, the apostle counted not his life dear unto himself, so that he might finish his course with joy, and the ministry which he had received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God; Ac 20:24. Paul in giving his solemn charge to the elders of Ephesus says, “Take heed, therefore, unto yourselves, and to all the flock over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers,”-to fleece the church of God? No, no! To know what salary they will bind themselves to give you per annum? Oh, no! -“to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood;” Ac 20:28. And the other apostles have joined with Paul in the same charge, that the elder should not take the oversight of the church of God for filthy lucre, or for worldly gain, but to feed the flock of God. Neither are they to lord it over God’s heritage, but to be examples to the flock; 1Pe 5:1-3. The old, primitive ministers and elders esteemed themselves the servants of the church, and that their great duty was to feed the lambs and sheep of Christ’s fold with the sincere milk of the word, and by their life of humble obedience to Christ to give an example that should be imitated by them; 1Co 4:16. In the 12th century we find the church still steadfast in the apostle’s doctrine on this point, and in the 5th article of their Confession of Faith, as given by Jones, they say, “We hold that the ministers of the church ought to be unblamable, both in life and doctrine; and if found otherwise, that they ought to be deposed from their office, and others substituted in their stead; and that no person ought to presume to take that honor unto himself but he who is called of God as was Aaron; that the duties of such are to feed the flock of God, not for filthy lucre’s sake, or as having dominion over God’s heritage, but as being examples to the flock, in word, in conversation, in charity, in faith, and in chastity.” * Jones’ History of the Christian Church.-Page 828.

Notice the language in which Paul introduces my text: 1Co 2:1 “And I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech, or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God.” He made no effort toward a display of human learning, or the wisdom obtained from the schools, but in meekness, and in the earnestness of his soul declared unto them the gospel of the Son of God. And he assigns his reason for this in these words: “My speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit, and of power. That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.” The gospel is a mystery, and foolishness to the unregenerated, natural man. He cannot know it, and words and arguments can never reveal it to him, and beget faith in his heart in its truths; verses 7 and 8. 1Co 2:7-8 This knowledge, and faith in Christ, only comes by direct revelation from God as he reveals them to us by his Spirit; verses 9 to 12. 1Co 2:9-12 Words and arguments may today produce the same kind of faith in our minds that the miracles and mighty works of Christ begat in the minds of the Jews, for they believed that he was an extraordinary man, perhaps one of the prophets raised from the dead, for no man could do the works he did except God was with him. But when Christ would say, “I am the Son of God,” they would call him a blasphemer, and pick up stones to stone him. This faith was rational, for the prophets had wrought miracles, and it was rational for them to conclude that he was a man, like them endowed with super-human powers to work miracles among them, but that he was the Son of God, they could not believe, and did not know, for had they known this, they would not have crucified him; verse 8. 1Co 2:8 This knowledge could not be imparted by words and arguments, or by miracles wrought in their presence, but only by direct revelation, for Jesus so taught his disciples in these unmistakable words: “All things are delivered to me of my Father: and no man knoweth who the Son is, but the Father; and who the Father is, but the Son, and he to whom the Son will reveal him;” Lu 10:22. Human science may guide the mind of the philosopher, the astronomer, and the geologist into the hidden mysteries of nature, and clearly reveal to his mind that there is an Almighty Power, endowed with infinite wisdom, that has brought all these things into being, and fixed their order and harmony; for Paul tells us that the things that are seen declare his eternal power and Godhead; Ro 1:20; but the scheme of redemption, and the way of man’s deliverance from the bondage of sin and death human science or wisdom can never reveal, neither can it be taught, only by direct revelation to man by the Spirit of God; 1Co 2:10; Eph 3:5.

Paul says that he had not received the gospel, or his knowledge of Christ, by the ministry of men, or any other instrumentality, but by direct revelation from God; Ga 1:12. Hence the apostle opens our text with a negative expression: “For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.” Others may preach to you philosophy, and tickle your ears with their worldly wisdom, but I will warn you to beware of them, lest they spoil you; Col 2:8 for their wisdom can never impart to you a true knowledge of God; 1Co 1:21. The success of the gospel does not depend upon the eloquence and subtlety of those who preach it, but alone upon the power of God, who quickens the dead, and opens the heart to receive and obey the things spoken by his servants, Ac 16:14. We, as the servants of God, have this treasure, as earthen vessels, but the power is alone in God to give life to the dead, and to open the eyes to see, the ears to hear, and the heart to understand the glorious gospel we preach; 2Co 4:7. If faith came by words and arguments falling from the lips of man, it would stand in the power of man, and not in the power of God; 1Co 2:4-5. Neither could it be the faith of the operation of God. Neither could it be the fruit of the Spirit of God, for it would be the fruit of the man who produces it, and would stand in his wisdom. This faith would be the work of man, and not the work of God, the fruit of the Spirit, or an evidence that the man had been born of God. Paul knew and taught that the preaching of Christ was to the Jews a stumbling block, and to the Greeks, foolishness, and that the natural man cannot know it; 1Co 1:23; 2:14. It is hid to them that are lost, but to the “saved.” the “called,” the “believer,” it comes in all its strengthening, comforting power, and saves them from the delusions and vain speculations of the philosopher, and wise according to the flesh, but ignorant, dead, and blind to the things of the Spirit. The true minister of the gospel wants to know nothing but Jesus Christ, and him crucified; the humble, penitent believer wants to hear nothing else, for there is Salvation in none other. He is the only name given under heaven among men whereby he must be saved; Ac 4:12. This name is the sweetest ever sounded in the ears of the sinner who truly knows and feels his need of a Savior. It is his hiding place, his covert from the tempest; Isa 32:2; his hope on earth and joy in heaven. Paul knew and felt how precious that name is when he said, “This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief;” 1Ti 1:15.

I was once talking with a New School Baptist preacher about difficult passages of Scripture to preach from, and he remarked to me, “The most difficult text that lever tried to preach from is where Paul says, ‘For I am determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.’ The subject exhausts itself, and I can not get enough out of it to make a sermon.” My reply was, “You do not look upon that subject as Paul did, or see the riches, or fullness in it he did, or, like him, you would say, ‘It is unsearchable;’” Eph 3:8. This Jesus is a mysterious personage; one that human science can never comprehend or reveal. “He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not;” Joh 1:10. His conception and birth was contrary to the laws of science or nature, and was a subject of prophecy over seven hundred years before it took place, for it was then said, “Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel;” Isa 7:14.

Ahaz was a bad man, but he was a child of Abraham and of David, and the covenant made with them, and God was called his Lord, and his God, “And the Lord spake unto Ahaz, saying, Ask thee a sign of the Lord thy God.” But Ahaz refused, saying, “I will not ask neither will I tempt the Lord.” The prophet of the Lord then said, “Hear ye now, 0 house of David! Is it a small thing for you to weary men, but will ye weary my God also? Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign,” a double sign, of his good will to the house of David, for of you Messiah is to be born, and you cannot be destroyed with that blessing in you. The oath and promise made to David shall be fulfilled in a glorious and wonderful manner. He shall be an extraordinary person, not born by ordinary generation, not stained with common pollutions of human nature, born of a virgin in all her virgin purity, without sin, and incontestably fitted and qualified to have the throne of his father David. The mysteries of his character, and his glorious errand on earth, are wrapped up in his glorious and wonderful name, Immanuel - God with, us; God in our nature; God at peace with us; in covenant with us. This was fulfilled in their calling him Jesus, a Savior; Mt 1:21,23; and in the words of the angel Gabriel to Mary: “Behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David;” Lu 1:31-32. This to Ahaz, and the house of Judah, was a sign that God had not forgotten David, or the promise, or covenant, he had made with him, and that the promise should be fulfilled in this Son, born of a virgin, and called “Immanuel, God with us.” This child, though not born like other children, but born of a virgin, a thing impossible according to the law of nature, yet he shall be really and truly man, and shall be nursed and brought up like other children. Though he be conceived by the power of the Holy Ghost, and is as truly God as he is man, yet he shall not therefore be fed on angels’ food, but, as it becomes him, shall be in all things made like unto his brethren; Heb 2:17. Being born by extraordinary generation, and being truly, Immanuel, God with us, yet he does not appear in the full stature of a man, but a newborn babe, an infant, a child, a man-child, and is nursed, and shall gradually grow to manhood, and in wisdom, so as to know how to refuse the evil and choose the good; Lu 2:40,52. “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder; and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The Mighty God, The Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace;” Isa 9:6. This child, this son, Son of God, God manifest in the flesh, Immanuel, God with us, is man, the son of man, the Word made flesh, and dwelt among us. Thus being God made flesh, and invested with our nature, (sin excepted,) he is fitted and fully qualified to do us great good, and save his people from their sins. His dignity and name are above every name. He shall be called Wonderful, because he is both God and man, and was born of a virgin, mysteries that human reason or wisdom can not comprehend; but his redeemed and regenerated people shall know him, for he shall give them eternal life, and they shall worship him as the wonderful author and finisher of their faith. As Counselor, he is justly called Wonderful, for he is both God and man. As God, he can speak and it stands fast; can declare the end from the beginning; and works all things after the counsel of his own will. As man, he is our kinsman and Redeemer. His love is wonderful. It is eternal and unchangeable, and the objects of his love are his chosen people, who were predestinated unto the adoption of children, and ordained unto eternal life. As Counselor, he is the wisdom of God, and by and through him, God gives us counsel; Ps 16:7; Re 3:18. He is The mighty God, or The mighty One. All power in heaven or in earth is in him, and having wisdom to declare the end from the beginning, he has power to do all his will, and can save to the uttermost. Such is the work of the Mediator, that no less power than that of the mighty God could accomplish it. He must be God in all his divine, omnipotent power, and man, without the stain of sin, to accomplish the great work for which he came into the world. Christ says, “I and my Father are one.” “If you have seen me, you have seen the Father;” Joh 10:30; and Joh 14:9-10. Hence, whatever work he came into the world to do, he is qualified in every sense of the word to do it. When the man, the son that was born of the virgin, was baptized, a voice from heaven testified, saying, “This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased;” Mt 3:17, Paul, when preaching this Jesus, calls him holy; Heb 7:26; and Heb 4:15; 2Co 5:21; and without sin. He is The everlasting Father, The Father of eternity, the author and giver of eternal life. He can speak, and the dead live. His fatherly care and tenderness towards his people is eternal, and so he is the Father of a blessed eternity to them. He is the Father of the great and blessed work of redemption, and, as Counselor, arranged it, and perfected it in the virgin-son, the Immanuel, God with us. It was the product of his wisdom as Counselor, and his love as the everlasting Father, and that love will be manifest in his blessed reign over his subjects, for he is the Prince of Peace. He creates, preserves, and commands peace. He is our peace, and his peace keeps the hearts of his people. As a king, he reigns in righteousness, and His reign is one of peace. He is the author and giver of all good. All the peace that is the present, or will be the future bliss or happiness of his chosen people comes from him, for the government is upon his shoulder, and his only. The subjects of his kingdom are to obey him, and to have no head, lawgiver, or king but him. His reign shall be forever and forever, throughout all the generations of time. No power shall be able to destroy his kingdom, or one of his subjects, for, “He must reign till he hath put all enemies under his feet;” 1Co 15:25. As the son of David, he can rightfully reign on the throne of David, and over his kingdom, for God shall give him the throne of his father David; Lu 1:32-33. When Christ rode upon the ass, the multitude cried, saying, “Hosanna to the Son of David: Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord: Hosanna in the highest.” And when he went into the temple, and the blind and the lame were healed, the little children cried in the temple, saying, “Hosanna to the Son of David.” Mt 21:9,15 This word, hosanna, seems to be a form of wishing one well, and this must have been the meaning of the multitude who, as Christ entered Jerusalem, cried, saying, “Hosanna to the Son of David!” Lord preserve this Son of David, and rightful King! Keep him forever, and let thy blessings rest upon him, for he is the King, the Lord’s anointed, to reign upon his holy hill in Zion; Ps 2:6. He is filled with wisdom, and anointed to administer with prudence and equity the affairs of his kingdom, for he shall order it and settle it with justice and judgment. Every thing shall be arranged for the good and comfort of his subjects, so that no one shall have any cause to complain, or to alter or change any of the laws or ordinances of his kingdom. This is the Prince of Peace, which the angel of the Lord announced to the shepherds, saying, “Fear not: for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be unto all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David, a Savior, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you: Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, on earth peace, good will toward men;” Lu 2:9-14. This is the Jesus that Paul preached, and determined to know nothing else. For there is salvation in none other, and he is able to save, and shall save his people from their sins. For the Spirit of the Lord is upon him, and has anointed him to preach good tidings to the meek, and hath sent him to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; Isa 61:1-3. The first Baptist preacher that this world ever had, said, “Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world;” Joh 1:29. The law was given by Moses, and can never give life, or righteousness, to the justly condemned sinner; but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ, and through him God gives eternal life to the sinner dead in sins, and by him they are freely justified from all things, from which they could not be justified by the law of Moses; Ac 13:39.

Paul would preach Jesus Christ, and him crucified. He would tell the story of the cross, and how Jesus put away our sin by the sacrifice of himself. Christ and the resurrection should be in every sermon, indeed there cannot be a gospel sermon without it, for it is the foundation upon which Christianity rests, and in which the hope of every Christian is anchored. Paul’s method of preaching was, first of all to deliver unto them that which he had received; how that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the Scriptures; 1Co 15:3-4.

The death of Christ, the manner of his death, and the object of it, were the subjects of prophecy, and according to the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God. He was the seed of the woman, that was to bruise the serpent’s head, and by death destroy him that had the power of death, and deliver those, who through fear of death, were subject to bondage, and were the slaves of sin and death. It was not a mere voluntary offering, for there was a needs be for it, for without it there was no redemption. “And for this cause he is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance.” Heb 9:15. The first testament was not dedicated without blood. “For when Moses had spoken every precept to all the people according to the law, he took the blood of calves and goats, with water and scarlet wool, and hyssop, and sprinkled both the book and all the people, saying, This is the blood of the testament which God hath enjoined unto you.” And under this testament without the shedding of blood is no remission, for almost every thing under the law was purged by blood. All the offerings and sacrifices under the law were typical, or a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of things, and these sacrifices and offerings, which were made continually every year, can not put away sin, or make the comers thereto perfect. Where sin is put away, there is no further remembrance of sin, or no further offering for sin, but in the repetition of these offerings there is a remembrance of sin again every year. “The Holy Ghost this signifying, that the way into the holiest of all was not yet made manifest, while as the first tabernacle was yet standing.” Under the law the priest standeth daily ministering, and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never put away sin. Christ, by his one offering, has made an end of sin, has perfected forever them that were sanctified, and hath obtained for us eternal redemption. His blood is the blood of the New Testament, or covenant; by it sin is put away, and freely forgiven. “Now, where remission of these is, there is no more offering for sin.” The atonement is made, the redemption price is paid, the debt of his redeemed is paid, and they are purchased by his blood; Ac 20:28. This glorious work of the Savior is described by Isaiah more like a historian than a prophet. The fifty-third chapter of his prophecy, is a gospel sermon, a full description of Christ in his humiliation, his sufferings, and death; how he was rejected by men, as a root out of dry ground, as having no form or comeliness, no beauty or loveliness in him, that they should love him, or desire him. The time was fulfilled, when the King and Deliverer should come. All Israel were in expectation, but they were looking for him to come in pomp and worldly splendor, of high and noble parentage, worthy to be looked upon, and to fill the world with wonder and admiration. But this man is a carpenter’s son, and belongs to the poorest and most illiterate part of the community. They could see nothing in him to love or admire, but would look upon him with contempt and hatred, and reject him as an impostor. Thus it is with all the unregenerated world. They can see no beauties in Christ: nothing to draw their hearts to him, and cause them to love and worship him. To know him is to have eternal life, and this life is the gift of God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Isaiah knew this, and said, “Who hath believed our report! And to whom is the arm of the Lord revealed?” This knowledge can only be had by direct revelation from God, hence the preaching of Christ is to the Jews a stumbling block, and to the Greeks foolishness. To the unbelieving Jew Christ looked mean, contemptible, and despicable. They could see nothing in him that looked like a king, or a great deliverer. Christ was the “I AM,” the JEHOVAH, the “brightness of the Father’s glory, and the express image of his person” yet the world knew him not, for they had no spiritual life, or understanding, or sight, by which they could know him, or see his beauties. Christ had the beauty of holiness, and good ness enough to make him the desire of all nations, but the far greater part of those among whom he lived, saw none of these beauties, for they were spiritually discerned, and they as natural men, could not know them. The men who seemed to hate him worst, and persecuted him with the greatest severity, were those who were educated in the religion of the Jews, had read and professed to believe the prophets, and were looking for Messiah, the Son of David, who was to sit upon David’s throne. But in the meek and unassuming Jesus, they could see nothing to love, or to make them desire him. They judged of men by the sight of the eye, and their natural appearance, and they could see nothing in him that they should desire him; therefore they despised and rejected him.

He was a man of sorrow, and acquainted with grief. He was despised and rejected of men. The shepherds found the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. His reputed father was a poor carpenter, and his mother a poor virgin, both of the house of David, but that royal and illustrious family was reduced and sunk, so that Christ being born of such poor parents, he might be esteemed a root out of the dry ground, and of Galilee, a country of small repute, where nothing good, nothing great, could be expected to come out of it. The Jews were expecting that when Messiah should come, he would make a public entry, and come in pomp, and with observation; but instead of that, he grew up as a tender plant, before God. He was a tender plant that one would have thought might easily have been crushed: and so thought Herod, when in his exceeding wrath he slew all the children that were in Bethlehem, and in all the coasts thereof, from two years old and under; Mt 2:16. But God preserved him, and he grew in stature and in wisdom, so that at twelve years of age he confounded their learned men with his questions and answers; Lu 2:47. He had no form nor comeliness, nothing which one might expect to see in the Immanuel, God with us. They that saw him could see nothing in him more than in another man. Moses, when he was born, was exceeding fair; Ac 7:20; Heb 11:23. David, when he was anointed, was of a beautiful countenance, and goodly to look on. But our Lord, in his person, or manner of appearing in the world, had nothing of sensible glory, or that was calculated to meet the expectation of the Jews. His gospel was not preached with the enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in all plainness and simplicity, and his doctrine was objectionable to them, for it exposed their depravity, and robbed them of all their self-righteousness. It was expected that he should live a pleasant life, and have a full enjoyment of all the delights of men, which would fill the expectations of men, and gather crowds of admirers around him. But on the contrary he was a man of sorrow, and acquainted with grief. His life was a life of misery, poverty, and distress, so that he could say, “Foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of Man hath not where to lay his head;” Lu 9:58. Seeing his poverty, sorrow, deep distress, and humiliation, the prophet says, “Surely, he hath borne our grief’s, and carried our sorrows.” Sin had brought the curse on us, that we should eat in sorrow all the days of our lives; Ge 3:17; and our sins were laid on him, and his was a life of sorrow. He was unsettled, had no home, no resting-place, no downy pillows for his head; a man of sorrow and acquainted with grief, through his whole life. He was hated, persecuted, and rejected by men, and treated as one not worthy to live. He was of a tender spirit, and sympathized with the sufferings of humanity, and was among them doing good, healing their sick, giving sight to their blind, and raising their dead, and in return he received their hatred, their mockings, and persecutions, so that it was said he was never known to smile, but that his countenance always showed sorrow and grief. Who can read the life of our Lord and Savior, and witness the conduct of men toward him, and doubt the total depravity of human nature, and that the unpurged heart is wicked above all things? All these sorrows Jesus bore without uttering a word of complaint. 0, what a lesson is here before us for Christians to study! To learn to be patient in tribulation, and not to murmur or complain if the world hates us, and persecute us, for righteousness sake, but like Moses, esteem the reproaches of Christ greater honors than the world can give us. And why should we complain to suffer for him who has suffered so much for us? Let the world “deride and pity;” let them hate and persecute me; I will bear it all, and not complain, but rejoice that I am counted worthy to suffer for his sake. Jesus our Savior was a man of sorrow and grief. He had to meet and resist the temptations of the devil, and to bear the persecutions of the world. He knows what sore trials and temptations mean, and he knows how to deliver them that are tempted. His sympathetic and loving heart will be touched with the feelings of our infirmities, and his almighty power will deliver us from every temptation and trial. “0, what a friend we have in Jesus!” He is a present help in time of trouble, and will never leave or forsake us. Let us not then complain if we have to follow him through scenes of sorrow, affliction, and distress, “if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together;” Ro 8:17.

“Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things he suffered;” Heb 5:8. In the life of Christ we have an example of obedience that should be studied and imitated by us. The hatred of the world, persecution, the sword, or the stake, should never deter us, or keep us from a faithful discharge of duty to him who hath called us to his service, and by his grace separated us from the world. As lively stones, or transparent, reflecting stones, we should give evidence by our life of obedience that Christ lives in us, and that we are led by the same Spirit that was in him. “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God are the sons of God.” What must have been the feelings of Christ when, as an obedient son, he could look up to his Father, and say, “I have glorified thee on earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do. And now, 0 Father, glorify thou me with thine own self, with the glory which I had with thee before the world was.” There is a sweet reward felt in the soul of the obedient child of God that is worth more than all the joys of earth. This was felt by the dying Stephen, and by Paul and Silas in the prison at Philippi, and will be felt and enjoyed by all in the way of obedience. Christ kneeled down and prayed, and taught his disciples to pray, that ye enter not into temptation; Lu 22:40. Christ has set us the example to pray, and 0, what a privilege it is! When the soul is overwhelmed with sorrow and distress, we can carry it all to God in prayer. When Christ prayed there appeared unto him an angel, strengthening him, and 0, what strength and comfort has often been felt by the poor, distressed, and afflicted child of God, at the throne of grace! To that throne let us often go. Christ, both by example and precept, has taught us to forgive them that trespass against us, and to pray for our enemies, to be good, kind, and affectionate to all, and especially to the poor and needy, and to comfort those who are in trouble.

“When Jesus knew that his hour was come that he should depart out of this world unto the Father,” he taught the disciples a great lesson by laying aside his garments, and taking a towel and girding himself with it, and pouring water into a basin, and washing the disciples feet, and wiping them with the towel wherewith he was girded. And after he had washed their feet, and had taken his garments and was set down again, he taught them, saying, “Ye call me Master, and Lord: and ye say well; for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet, ye also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example that ye should do as I have done to you;” Joh 13. In this we are taught a lesson of humility, for if our Lord and Master has humbled himself to wash his disciples feet, so ought we, not only in heart and feelings, but practically, observe the example our Lord and Master has set.

On the night in which our Lord was betrayed and delivered into the hands of his enemies, he ate the supper of the passover with his disciples, and when the supper was ended, “He took bread, and gave thanks, and brake it, and gave unto them, saying, This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me. Likewise also the cup after supper, saying, this cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you;” Lu 22:19-20. This, like baptism, is a commemorative ordinance. In this we commemorate the broken body and shed blood, and in baptism his burial and resurrection, which is to be done but once and that in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost. But the supper is to be repeated often, for as often as we do it we show forth his death until he come again. The apostle has taught us that this should be done under a strict examination of ourselves, for it is not designed to satisfy our natural appetites, or to feed our bodies, but in remembrance of Christ our Pascal Lamb, who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and whose blood cleanseth us from all sin. 0, how often, when we have set at the table of the Lord, and taken these emblems in memory of him, have our spiritual strength and comfort been renewed! Here we commemorate the broken body and shed blood of the Testator, and that the will or testament is now in force, and the estate is made sure to all the heirs. After they had taken the bread and wine, they sang a hymn and went out into the Mount of Olives, and he taught them concerning his death and resurrection. And then Jesus came with them to a place called Gethsemane, “And saith unto his disciples, Sit ye here, while I go and pray yonder. And he took with him Peter, and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to be sorrowful, and very heavy. Then saith he unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death. Tarry ye here and watch with me. And he went a little further, and fell on his face and prayed, saying, 0, my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless, not as I will, but as thou wilt.” Here was sorrow such as the world never witnessed before, for while at prayer, he sweated as it were great drops of blood falling to the ground. In his soul he was suffering the pains of death, and there is no suffering to be compared with soul suffering. It was in Gethsemane that Jesus said, “My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death.” The prophet was evidently looking to the sorrows in Gethsemane, when he said, “Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed,” etc. It was here he prayed unto his Father, “0, my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as thou wilt.” Mt 26:39 It was in suffering he learned obedience, and here, in the exceeding suffering of his soul, he said, “Not my will but thine be done.” “The bitter cup shall be taken-I have come to do thy will.” The spirit of obedience was in the prayer, and an angel from heaven appeared unto him, strengthening him. In obedience he submitted to the frowns of Heaven, and to be bruised of the Lord, and as Shepherd of the flock the sword of the Lord was awakened against him; Zec 13:7. His persecutors, who witnessed his sorrows, supposed that he was suffering for some great sin of his own, but it was for our sins the Lord bruised him, for, “All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned, every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.” He was the Shepherd and owner of the flock, and he must bear the penalty due to their sins. They were laid upon him, and by him must be put away; and in obedience to that will, “He was made of a woman, made under the law to redeem them, that were under the law.” To do this the law must be honored, its penalties borne, and full satisfaction made. Could we this day stand by him when he prayed, and see the sweat fall as drops of blood to the ground, and hear him cry, “My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death,” we might learn the heinous nature of sin, and the awful penalty under which we, as sinners, lay.

The sufferings of Gethsemane now end, and the scene changes, and he says unto his disciples, “Rise, and let us be going: behold, he is at hand that doth betray me.” And Judas approached him and kissed him, and the band that were with him laid hands on Jesus, and took him, and they led him away to Caiphas the high priest, where the scribes and elders were assembled. “Now the chief priests, and elders, and all the council sought false witness against Jesus, to put him to death.” They sought for false witnesses against him, but found none. “At last came two false witnesses and said, this fellow said, I am able to destroy the temple of God, and to build it in three days. And the high priest arose, and said unto him, Answerest thou nothing? What is it which these witness against thee? And Jesus held his peace.” Here the words of Isaiah were literally fulfilled; “He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her Shearer’s is he dumb, so he openeth not his mouth.” “When the morning was come, all the chief priests and the elders of the people took counsel against Jesus to put him to death. And when they had bound him, they led him away, and delivered him to Pontius Pilate the governor:” “And Jesus stood before the governor: and the governor asked him, saying, Art thou the King of the Jews? And Jesus said unto him, Thou sayest. And when he was accused of the chief priests and elders, he answered nothing.” He silently and quietly bore their insults and cruelties without a word. “When Pilate saw that he could prevail nothing, but that rather a tumult was made, he took water, and washed his hands before the multitude saying, I am innocent of the blood of this just person: see ye to it. Then answered all the people, and said, His blood be on us, and our children. Then released he Barabbas unto them: and when he had scourged Jesus, he delivered him to be crucified.” This scourging was the cruel scourging of the Roman law inflicted upon a criminal justly condemned to die, and it is thought by some that Pilate made it very severe, hoping thereby to touch their sympathies, and obtain the release of Jesus, but they cried the more vehemently, “Crucify him, crucify him.” And the soldiers took Jesus into the common hall, and gathered the whole band of soldiers, and they stripped him, and put on him a scarlet robe, and platted a crown of thorns and put on his head, and a reed in his right hand, and in derision bowed before him, mocking him, and said unto him, “Hail, King of the Jews.” And they spit upon him, and took the reed and smote him on the head. And when they came near to a place called Golgotha they gave him vinegar to drink mingled with gall, and over his head was written, “THIS IS JESUS THE KING OF THE JEWS.” And with him were two thieves crucified, one on the right hand and one on the left, and Jesus between them, to mark him out as the vilest and most worthy of death. From the sixth hour to the ninth darkness was upon the earth; and about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? That is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” And Jesus cried again, and ‘ said, “I thirst,” and there being a vessel full of vinegar they filled a sponge with vinegar, and put it upon a hyssop, and put it to his mouth. When Jesus, therefore, had received the vinegar, he said, “It is finished,” and gave up the ghost. The bitter cup has been taken, the pains of death in its severest form have been suffered; the penalty of the law has been met and satisfied. The redemption price is paid, and the sins of his people are put away. The offerings and sacrifices of the Old Testament are ended; the vail of the temple is rent. No longer need they bring their heifer, or lamb, as an offering for sin. No longer need their priests enter the holy of holies and sprinkle the blood of their victim before the worldly sanctuary or mercy seat. It was finished when Jesus died upon the cross; the atonement was made. All the types and shadows ended in the substance. The law is satisfied, its curse is borne, its power to condemn the redeemed is gone. The door of mercy now stands ajar, and the meek soul who lies prostrate in the dust, filled with grief and despair, may now look up and hear the blessed words: “I will be merciful to your unrighteousness, and your sins and iniquities I will remember no more.” The blood of the new covenant is now shed, the covenant confirmed, and the inheritance made sure to all the heirs, so that not one shall be lost or fail to obtain his eternal inheritance. He bore the sins of many, of all that the Father had given him, who, if they had borne them themselves, would have been sunk to the lowest hell. 0, how this should abide in our minds, and how often we should meditate upon it! For whenever we think of the sufferings of Christ, we must see him bearing our sins. This view should melt our hearts, and fill us with love, unutterable love to him that loved us, and gave himself for us. He was numbered among transgressors in all of his life, for he was called and counted a Sabbath-breaker, a drunkard, and a friend of publicans and sinners; and in his death he was numbered with thieves, and died on the cross between them. And in the extremity of his sufferings he made intercession for transgressors. He prayed, “Father, forgive them” showing thereby, not only that he forgave poor, perishing, transgressing sinners, but that he was now doing that upon which their forgiveness was founded. That prayer was the language of his blood, crying, not for vengeance, but for mercy: even for poor, rebellious sinners. Can we today by faith,

Look back and see

The sorrows he did bear,

while hanging on the shameful tree,

and hope our guilt was there?

Let this question rise in every heart to day: Am I one embraced in that prayer? If so it will be answered, for the Father always hears him, for he prays not for the world, but for them that the Father hath given him; and all that the Father hath given him he will raise up at the last day. He shall have the glory of an everlasting Father, for under that title he came into the world, and he will not fail to answer to it when he goes out of the world; and in the great day he will say, “Here am I, and the children which God hath given me.”-Not one of them lost. The Redeemer shall have a seed to serve him, and bear up his name; Ps 22:30. He died to purchase and purify them unto himself; Tit 2:14. Through him eternal life is given unto them, and they are born of God. His Spirit by its quickening, life-giving power is the Author of their regeneration, and impresses his image upon them, and by it they are sealed heirs of promise. He died, but he rose again from the dead. He did not leave his children fatherless orphans, but took effectual care to secure to them the blessing and the inheritance of sons. Christ is their everlasting Father. His love is unchanging and eternal, and he loves them to the end, and will not leave them to the care of another, but will be their Father at all times, and they shall be kept by the power of God, through faith, unto salvation. His church is his bride, his beloved. He gave himself for her, that he might redeem her from all iniquity, and make her a glorious church, without spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing. The gates of hell shall never prevail against this church. As long as the world stands it shall remain in its spotless purity. It shall not be married to the world or any of its institutions, and shall have no husband, head, or lawgiver but Christ, who is of God, made unto her wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption. Christ is her Creator, her Maker, her Father, her Husband, and her Redeemer. She is the price of his own blood, and he will never forsake her. Christ is the justifying righteousness of his seed. “He was delivered for our offences, and raised again for our justification,” and, “By him they are freely justified from all things.” “In him dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily. And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power.”

0 how unsearchable are the riches of our Jesus! The treasures of his grace are inexhaustible. He clothes the naked with robes of righteousness and garments of salvation. He feeds the hungry with the bread of life, and leads the thirsty to fountains of living water. He opens the prison door to the prisoner, and sets the captive free. He binds up the wounded and broken heart, and comforts all them that mourn. He calls the weary, heavy-laden souls to him, and gives them rest. 0, sweet rest from all their sins and guilt! None that come unto him are sent away empty. He leads his flock as a shepherd, and carries the little ones in his bosom. He makes them to lie down in green pastures, and when they pass through the valley of the shadow of death, when all is darkness and gloom, and they can see no way of escape, he is with them. He safely leads them through, and spreads a table for them in the presence of their enemies. He makes their cup to run over with joy. When they are called to pass through the fire he is with them, and the fire shall not burn them, neither shall the flames kindle upon them. If they pass through deep waters, and are tossed upon angry waves, he is with them. The waters shall not drown them neither shall the billows overflow them. In every trial and temptation he will make a way of escape. He is a present help in time of trouble, and will never leave nor forsake his children.

Dear child of God, what a friend you have in Jesus! Do you wonder that Paul determined not to know any thing but Jesus Christ, and him crucified? Does not the name of JESUS fill your heart with love, inspire your drooping soul with confidence, and drive darkness and doubt from your mind?

Dear name, the rock on which I build,

My shield and hiding place,

My never-failing treasury, filled

With stores of boundless grace.

0, do you not this moment feel that if you had ten thousand hearts they should all be his?

Do not I love thee, 0 my Lord?

Behold my heart and see;

And turn each cursed idol out,

That dares to rival thee.

Dying sinner, is there nothing in Jesus that charms thy heart? Is he a root out of dry ground to thee? Can you see nothing in him to love or desire? Is your heart too hard to be moved when you hear of the cross, and what he suffered on it for poor, condemned, and helpless sinners? I know your sad condition. I have been where you are today, and I know nothing but power Divine can melt and soften the hard and stony heart; but from my heart to hearts I can humbly cry, God be merciful to sinners! 0, May the Spirit move and melt the heart of stone! This is all I can do.


“Be it known unto you, therefore, men and brethren, that through this man is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins,” Ac 13:38.

Truth is a treasure all should seek after; yet truth has been unpopular in all ages of the world. The prophets, and the first messengers through whom God spoke the truth to men, were persecuted, stoned, and put to death. John the Baptist, when he had borne his faithful testimony, was thrown into prison, and beheaded. The Son of God was rejected, persecuted, and crucified; and the little band who had received the truth from his lips, and were by him commissioned to preach the gospel of peace, love, and salvation to dying men, had to meet the same opposition, and many of them died as martyrs for the truth. This persecuting spirit belongs to the world, and it is of the devil, and must be felt in a greater or less degree by every faithful servant of Christ, who boldly bears witness to the truth. For it is written, “All that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.” The Holy Spirit testified to Paul that bonds and afflictions awaited him wherever he went; but this did not make him shrink from a faithful discharge of his duty to declare the whole counsel of God, both to Jew and Greek. From him let us learn to be faithful, and bear with patience the afflictions of Christ. The opposition of the world, and the persecutions we are called to endure, can never do the cause of truth any real harm. Indeed, the trial of our faith is necessary, and it is often good for us to be afflicted. Persecution and opposition from without are calculated to drive the saints together, and to strengthen their love for each other; for love is the bond of union that sweetens all our Christian associations, and under its influence we will esteem the reproaches of Christ greater riches than the honors of the world. Internal strife, and brother warring against brother, are what destroy the peace of Zion, and fill her children with mourning. “He that loveth not his brother abideth in death.” There is no spiritual life and enjoyment where hatred reigns. It belongs to the flesh, and, if nourished in our hearts, brings death to all our spiritual comforts. When men of our own selves arise, and speak perverse things, to lead away disciples after them, and sow the seeds of discord among the saints, it is then that the ways of Zion do mourn, the little, ones are trampled down, and we suffer a worse affliction than the world can possibly bring upon us. With these things Paul was acquainted, and calls them “perils among false brethren;” and many of us can witness that they are the severest trials that have befallen us in our Christian pilgrimage. It is not to be thought strange if the world hate us; it hated our Lord, and rejected and persecuted him; and the servant ought not to complain if he fares as his Master. No; we should rather rejoice if we are counted worthy to suffer for his sake; for, “Blessed are ye when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.”

God’s ministers may be turned out of houses, excluded from pulpits, and be refused to be heard in their own defense; but when the world persecutes them, and brethren prove false, and forsake them, like John the beloved disciple, they lean on the bosom of Jesus, and in that unchanging heart have a friend that will never forsake them. It is sometimes a great privilege to speak in our own defense. Paul once felt happy that this privilege was granted him. But it is a greater one to speak in the defense of our Lord and Master, and to maintain his honor and the glory of his character before a world that can have salvation in none other.

When Paul and Barnabas, by the direction of the Holy Spirit, had been set apart to the work whereunto they were called, they went forth visiting different cities, preaching Jesus and the resurrection. But they had not traveled long until they met one Elymas, a Jew, and a sorcerer, who opposed them all he could. This Elymas was a pretender to the gift of prophecy -a false prophet; one that would be taken for a divine, but doubtless was in league with the devil, and ready to pierce the servants of Christ. But Paul’s labors and sufferings were not in vain; for there was there also a Sergius Paulus, who, “when he saw what was done, believed, being astonished at the doctrine of the Lord.” But Paul and his company left Paphos, and came to Perga, in Pamphylia, and John, departing from them, went back to Jerusalem. When they left Perga, they went to Antioch, in Pisidia, and on the Sabbath day they went into the synagogue, and sat down. Paul: and his companions were strangers; they entered the synagogue quietly, and sat down among the people, to join with them in worship. “The law and the prophets were read, and the rulers of the synagogue sent unto them, saying, ye men and brethren, if ye have a word of exhortation for the people, say on.” Thus a door was opened to Paul to speak for his Master; to expound the law, the prophets, and the promises, and shew their fulfillment in Christ, the Redeemer. In meekness he arose, but stood up bold and undaunted, feeling that he was not ashamed of the gospel, to bear his testimony as a witness for Jesus. He beckoned with his hand, to call the people to silence, and to give attention to what is about to be spoken. It was a privilege he was glad to embrace, and he wanted all to hear, and said, “Men of Israel, and ye that fear God, give audience,” This was a solemn appeal, for they professed to fear God, and to believe the law and the prophets. The apostle uses no hard and insulting language, but speaks to them as a brother, and a believer in the law and the prophets, and a worshiper of the God of Israel. He does not charge them with hypocrisy, and with being the servants of the devil, but calls God their God, by saying, “The God of this people of Israel chose our fathers, and exalted the people when they dwelt as strangers in the land of Egypt, and with an high arm brought he them out of it.” He shows the long forbearance of God with that people, and how he destroyed the nations out of the land of Canaan, and divided their land to them by lot. How he gave unto them judges for the space of four hundred and fifty years, until Samuel the prophet; but that the people were dissatisfied, and desired a king; and that God gave them Saul, the son of Cis, a man of the tribe of Benjamin, by the space of forty years. And when he had removed him, he raised up unto them David to be their king, to whom also he gave testimony, and said, “I have found David, the son of Jesse, a man after mine own heart, which shall fulfill all my will.” “Of this man’s seed hath God, according to his promise, raised unto Israel a Savior, Jesus.”

This Jesus is the subject before us today. He is the “man” spoken of in our text, through whom forgiveness of sins is preached to ruined, perishing sinners. How welcome this gospel of Christ should be to a perishing world! It proclaims a Savior for the lost, a Deliverer for the captive, and that through him sin is pardoned, and the sinner justified. It is worthy of all acceptation. At his birth angels would sing, “Glory to God in the highest, peace on earth, and good will to men;” a Savior is born, the promise made to David is fulfilled. When Christ rode into Jerusalem on an ass the people shouted, “Hosanna! hosanna to the Son of David!” and when he entered the temple, the little children cried out, “Hosanna! Hosanna to the Son of David!” Matthew and Luke both trace his generation back to David, and to Abraham, to show that he was David’s son, and the seed promised to Abraham in whom the families of earth are to be blessed. I once heard a preacher quote the first verse of Matthew to prove that Christ had “a generation created in him, and that descended from him.” Such ignorance is really to be pitied, for the evangelist traces the generation from Christ back to David and Abraham, to show the fulfillment of the promise, and that Christ, according to the flesh, is David’s son. That the Christ was to be the offspring and son of David was understood and believed by all the Jews, and all who believed the Old Testament. And when Christ asked the Jews, saying, “What think ye of Christ? whose son is he? They say unto him, The son, of David.” Zacharias, when he was filled with the Holy Spirit; prophesied, saying, “Blessed be the Lord God of Israel; for he hath visited and redeemed his people, and hath raised up a horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David; as he spake by the mouth of his holy prophets, which have been since the world began.” Zacharias also regarded this as the fulfillment of the oath or promise made to David, and of the prophecies that had gone before concerning Christ, and reference is had to Jer 23:5-6; “Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth. In his day Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely; and this is his name whereby he shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.” That Christ is the seed of David is affirmed by Paul, when he says, “Concerning his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh;” Ro 1:3.

In our text, Christ is called, “man,” and “the Son of man;” and it is in his manhood or humanity that he is the seed or son and offspring of David, for he is both David’s Creator and David’s son. The divine nature of Christ was not divine by delegation, for he says, “I and my Father are one.” “If you have seen me you have seen the Father.” And we are taught by inspiration, that the whole fullness of the Godhead dwelt bodily in him. The divinity of Christ was never begotten, was not the seed of David; divinity did not violate the law, and the law could not look to it for satisfaction. “By man came death; by man came the resurrection of the dead.” While Christ was God in his divine nature, he was as truly and perfectly man in his humanity. For “there is one God, and one Mediator between God and men, the MAN Christ Jesus.” That Christ exists in any other nature besides his divine and human, and that it is in this third nature, that he is the Son of God, and the Mediator, is a vain speculation, and a palpable contradiction of what Paul says; 1Ti 2:5.

In the first intimation or promise given to fallen man of a Deliverer, he is called “the seed of the woman;” Ge 3:15. There is a strong presumption, from the language used by Eve at the birth of Cain, that she then thought she had gotten the promised deliverer, for she said, “I have gotten a man from the Lord.” But if such thoughts were in her mind, they were soon dispelled by the wickedness of Cain, and she was convinced that the coming of the promised one was yet future.

If the doctrine be true, as taught by some, that the flesh and bones, or literal body, or corporal substance of Christ did actually exist before time, he could not be the seed of the woman; for he existed before the woman existed, of whom he was made when he was made under the law. The criticism on the word made, will avail nothing, for if it means to form or fashion out of a preexisting substance, it is of that substance it is made; and that substance must have existed before the making or forming of the thing. Christ was made of a woman, as taught by Paul, Ga 4:4; “But when the fullness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law.” When the angel visited Mary to announce to her the birth of Jesus, he said to her, “And behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David;” Lu 1:31-32. In Mary’s son is fulfilled the oath of the Lord to David, for it is said, in Ps 132:11; “The Lord hath sworn in truth unto David; he will not turn from it: Of the fruit of thy body will I set upon thy throne.” Peter affirms the fulfillment of this oath, and that Christ, according to the flesh, was of the loins of David; Ac 2:30.

It is true that the Lord appeared to Abraham, and Manoah, and others in human form, and it is also true that he spoke to Moses out of the burning bush, and came down upon Mount Sinai in fire. There is a heavenly lesson to be learned from the form the Lord assumed when he spoke to his people anciently; for no one, I presume, will admit that the Lord is a literal fire, that covers a mountain with literal smoke. When he appeared to Moses in the burning bush Israel was suffering in the furnace of Egypt; his people, like the literal bush, were in the flames, but not consumed. A thought that might be improved upon, and give comfort to afflicted, persecuted saints of all ages; for the fires may burn, but can not consume them; for God is in the bush. The law is called the administration of death; and when the law was given the Lord came down upon the mountain in fire, and the mountain was covered with smoke; the sound of a trumpet was heard, and the voice of words which the people could not endure; and so terrible was the sight that Moses said, “I exceedingly fear and quake.” But when he appeared to Abraham and others in the form of a man, a deliverance was about to be performed, and the son of Mary is to be called “Jesus; for he shall save his people from their sins.” The deliverance of sinners is through the man Christ Jesus.

I have now sufficiently proved that Christ is, according to the flesh, the offspring or seed of Abraham, and of David, and that in him the oath and promise of God to David is fulfilled. But there is another thought that is worthy of attention and calculated to bring comfort to the Christian mind, for it presents Christ as a Savior, adapted in every point of view to the wants and necessities of fallen man. Paul, in the second chapter of Hebrews, tells us what man was in his creation, in these words: “What is man, that thou art mindful of him? Or the son of man, that thou visitest him? Thou madest him a little lower than the angels; thou crownedst him with glory and honor, and didst set him over the works of thy hands. Thou hast put all things in subjection under his feet. For in that he put all things in subjection under him, he left nothing that is not put under him. But now we see not yet all things put under him;” Heb 2:6-8. From this we learn that man has fallen, and lost the crown of glory and honor he received from his Creator, that all things are not now in subjection to him, but that he himself by his own act has become the servant of sin, and the subject of death. Man is the author of all his calamities, they are the fruits of his disobedience; by him sin entered into the world and death by sin. Paul, in tracing the stream of human depravity up to its fountainhead, says, “By one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin, and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned.” Sin is a transgression of the law, and how, or where sin existed before the law was transgressed, I know nothing about, and shall not pretend to say, leaving every one to draw their own conclusions, and speculate as much as they please. I shall be content to preach what is revealed in the Bible, and there I learn that, “By man came death,” and that by one man sin entered into the world. When man reached forth his hand and took and ate the forbidden fruit, the law was transgressed, sin was committed, it was man’s act that transgressed the law, and sin is the result of that act, for, “when lust conceived it brought forth sin, and when sin was finished it brought forth death.” Paul says, “By the offense of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation;” Ro 5:18. Man has sinned; the law looks to man for satisfaction, and as judgment had been passed upon all men to condemnation, there was no justification by the deeds of the law, for the law could receive no righteousness that was not commensurate with its own perfections. The law was weak through the flesh, and could not justify the sinner, therefore righteousness could not come by the law. This state of condemnation is the state of all men without distinction in their relation to Adam; there is no difference. Paul tells the Ephesian brethren, that when they were in their natural, unquickened state, they were the children of disobedience even as others, and ‘even as others means just like others.’ As the creatures of God, the children of Adam, and fallen sinners, there is no difference in the human family, for, “The Scriptures hath concluded all under sin;” Ga 3:22. And it is again said, “For God hath concluded them all in unbelief;” Ro 11:32. So there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek, all are alike dead in sin, without hope, and without God in the world. If I differ from any other man it is grace that makes the difference, and not my creation in Adam, for in him all were created alike; for of one blood God has created all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth. Cain was as much the son of Adam as was Abel, for it is said, “Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bare Cain, and said, I have gotten a man from the Lord. And she again bare his brother Abel;” Ge 4:1-2. Moses is particular to let us know that Cain is the offspring of Adam, the fruit of his body; and afterwards, speaking of the birth of Seth he says, “And Adam lived an hundred and thirty years, and begat a son in his own likeness, after his own image; and called his name Seth;” Ge 5:3. Cain and Seth were full brothers, and as far as the Bible account goes the devil had no more to do in the begetting of one than the other; and if it be true that Christ redeemed all that fell or sinned in Adam, he redeemed Cain, or Adam begat a son that did not exist in his loins. This is an irresistible conclusion, and shows the fallacy of that vain philosophy that is troubling the church, and leading God’s children astray. If Cain existed in Adam, he fell in Adam; but if he did not exist in Adam, Adam never begat him, and Moses is convicted of falsehood I believe Moses has told the truth, and that Paul has told the truth when he says, in speaking of God as the Creator of all things, “That he hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth.” This being true, we can at once see how all have sinned in Adam, and death hath passed upon all. The apostle, having thus spoken of man in his creation and fall, says all things are not now under him; he has lost his crown of glory, and become a fallen sinner, and death hath passed upon him and all his posterity in him. He then says “But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death.” Jesus is here spoken of as being made where man was made, a little lower than the angels, for the suffering of death.

Man had violated the law, and its penalty must be executed upon man; hence Christ took not on him the nature of angels, but the seed of Abraham, and in his likeness of sinful flesh he is called the Son of God. “For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God, sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin condemned sin in the flesh;” Ro 8:3. “Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil;” Heb 2:14. This flesh and blood was evidently the same as ours, only without sin; for Paul sees him as Adam was before he had sinned, a man without sin; for this man, Jesus, was holy, harmless, undefiled, and separate from sinners; Heb 7:24-25, But some will say, “If Mary contributed any thing to the body of Jesus, it would be sinful.” These persons forget that the Holy Ghost came upon her, and the power of the highest overshadowed her, and that the thing conceived in her “shall be called the Son of God.” But say others, “He received nothing from Mary but the blood, and that was all spilt on the ground.” What vain philosophy this is. For his is the precious blood, “The blood of Jesus Christ his Son,” that “cleanseth us from all sin.” The truth is, he was made of a woman, or the Bible is false, or Christ has never yet come in the flesh. As the Word of God, and the Wisdom of God, he existed before time, and it was by him that all things were made; but it was in time that he was made flesh and dwelt among us. The existence of Christ as the Word before the creation of the world is positive; but his being made flesh was prospective; for it was in the fullness of the time that he was made of a woman, made under the law, to redeem them that were under the law. Before time the Word existed, but in the fullness of the time he was made flesh, made of a woman.

We have now got a flesh and bone relationship between Christ and his people; for he is made a little lower than the angels; he took not on him the nature of angels, but the seed of Abraham, and according to the flesh sprang from the loins of David. His kindredship to his people is affirmed by Paul in these expressive words: “For both he that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one;” (one father;) “for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren, saying, I will declare thy name unto my brethren, in the midst of the church will I sing praise unto thee;” Heb 2:11-12. Christ is the seed of Abraham, and all Christians, all believers in Christ, are Abraham’s children. This is a covenant relationship; for it is not according to the flesh, but according to promise, and in this sense the believing Gentile was as much Abraham’s seed as the believing Jew, although not existing in Abraham’s loins. If we be Christ’s, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, we are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise; Ga 3:29. The inheritance was given to Abraham by promise; his seed was a promised seed, and embraced Christ and all the chosen people of God. Paul has illustrated this in the fourth chapter of Gal., verse 22 (Ga 4:22); “For it is written, that Abraham had two sons; the one by a bondmaid, the other by a free woman. But he who was of the bondwoman was born after the flesh; but he of the free woman was by promise. Which things are an allegory; for these are the two covenants; the one from Mount Sinai, which gendereth to bondage, which is Agar. For this Agar is Mount Sinai in Arabia, and answereth to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children. But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all.” As Isaac was, so are we the children of the promise, or the children of the covenant; for these are an allegory, and are the two covenants. When the promise was made to Abraham, “He saith not, and to seeds, as of many; but as of one, and to thy seed, which is Christ.” The inheritance could not be by the law; if it were it would make the promise of none effect; for it was given to Abraham by promise. This covenant is the mother of God’s children.

When Christ speaks of God’s children, he always speaks of them as a gift, saying, “Behold, I, and the children which God has given me;” “Thine they were, and thou gavest them me;” “Of all the Father hath given me;” “As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him;” “My Father which gave them, me, is greater than all.” They are never said to be created in him, only where the writer is speaking of their regeneration; they are then called “new creatures,” and said to be “created in Christ Jesus unto good works.” The idea that there was a creation before the beginning when God created the heavens and the earth and that Christ and his people were in that creation, is preposterous, and destroys the whole doctrine of redemption through the man Christ Jesus. For children, created in him before the world was, and before Adam was created, could not have sinned in Adam, and could not need redemption. The truth is, if they existed in essence and substance before the world was, as some affirm, they can be no part of Adam’s family, were not created in the six days, and belong to some other world than this. I am astonished that intelligent people will listen to such nonsense, and more astonished that professed Christians will pretend to believe it, when it palpably contradicts the Bible. The Savior says, “Thine they were, and thou gavest them me;” they are his portion, his lot; for “The Lord’s portion is his people; Jacob is the lot of his inheritance.” He has in them a property relation; for he is the Shepherd to whom the sheep belong, and as shepherd and owner of the flock he is responsible for the trespasses of the flock. Hence it is said, “Awake, 0 sword, against my Shepherd, and against the man that is my fellow, saith the Lord of hosts: smite the Shepherd, and the sheep shall be scattered; and I will turn mine hand upon the little ones;” Zec 13:7. If a flock trespasses, the owner is responsible, and has to answer for the sheep of his flock. “The hireling fleeth, because he is an hireling, and careth not for the sheep.” He has no property in the flock, and is no loser if the whole flock is destroyed. But Christ says, “I am the good Shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine.” The sheep belong to him, are his portion, his estate, given to him by his Father. And that we might know that he had other sheep besides those belonging to the Jewish nation, he says, “And other sheep I have which are not of this fold: them also must I bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd;” Joh 10:16. By virtue of this relation the iniquities of the flock were laid on him, and he died for his flock, as their substitute. God by the prophet hath beautifully expressed this truth in the following language: “All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he opened not his mouth.” “He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his generation? for he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was he stricken.” “Surely he hath borne our grief’s, and carried our sorrows.” “He was wounded for our transgressions he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed;” Isa 53. The sins of the flock are imputed to or laid on the Shepherd, and he puts them away by the sacrifice of himself; for he bore our sins in his own body on the tree.

This glorious doctrine of relationship is clearly taught in the doctrine of election. Christ is called the elect of God, for God says by the holy prophet, “Behold my servant, whom I uphold; mine elect, in whom my soul delighteth; I have put my Spirit upon him; he shall bring forth judgment to the Gentiles. He shall not cry, nor lift up, nor cause his voice to be heard in the streets. A bruised reed shall he not break, and the smoking flax shall he not quench: he shall bring forth judgment unto truth. He shall not fail nor be discouraged, till he have set judgment in the earth: and the isles shall wait for his law;” Isa 42:1-3. Again: “Behold, I lay in Sion a chief cornerstone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded;” 1Pe 2:6. His people are called a “chosen generation,” chosen from the beginning, chosen in him before the foundation of the world, and blessed in him with all spiritual blessings. Grace was given them in him before the world began; so, they have a portion in him, and can say with David, “The Lord is the portion of mine inheritance.” And again: “Thou art my portion, 0 Lord.” His people were given to him, and he was given to them, as it is written, “He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things;” Ro 8:32.

Election is personal, and positive, made in Christ before the world began. “According as he hath chosen us in him, before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love;” Eph 1:4. I have heard some quote this text in a way of triumph, and say, “How could they be chosen in Christ before the foundation of the world, if they did not exist in him before the foundation of the world?” And this existence, they say, “is both in essence and substance.” So that I cannot understand them, unless they mean that the elect existed in him before the foundation of the world as wheat exists in a sack, or a pig in a pen. They who use such expressions, must be careless readers of their Bibles, or ignorant of their own language; for there is no such an idea contained in the text. A bitter fountain cannot send forth sweet water: a sinful seed cannot exist in a holy parent. If the elect existed in Christ before the foundation of the world in substance or seed, it was a holy substance or seed, and could not be chosen that it “should be holy;” for it was already holy, and could be nothing else but holy while it existed in Christ unless he became corrupted and unholy; the seed would then inherit the corrupt nature of the parent, and all would be sinners together. God the Father chose his people before the foundation of the world, and he made that choice in Christ, and in Christ he blessed them with all spiritual blessings or things. While God in Christ made this choice, he chose them out of the world, out of all nations, and from among men. The choice was made in Christ, and not in Adam; but they were chosen out of Adam’s fallen race.

God, in the riches of his grace,

Did from eternity ordain,

A seed elect of Adam’s race

Eternal glory should obtain.

The psalmist, in personating the elect, or church of God, has used language that will cast a volume of light upon this subject: “My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them;” Ps 139:15-16. In this text we are taught; first, that God’s people were never hid from him, that they were present before him in his foreknowledge, before there was any of them in substance or actual existence; second, that they were written in his book, or positively chosen unto salvation; for it is said, “And whosoever was not found written in the book of life, was cast into the lake of fire;” Re 20:15. It is also said that all who dwell upon the earth shall worship the second beast, “whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world;” Re 13:8. This choice, or writing in the book, was not prospective, or in purpose, but was positive and absolute, and was before there was any of them in actual existence, or before they were created. Third, that in continuance they were fashioned, or brought into actual being, and were just such beings as existed in his foreknowledge. Some will then say, “Then God chose a nonentity, a nothing.” There can be no such thing as nonentity with God; for in his foreknowledge all things are present with him, and are as complete in his knowledge as they will be when time closes. He is not like man, who can not know any thing, only as it actually exists; but he says to man, “Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me, declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure: calling a ravenous bird from the east, the man that executeth my counsel from a far country: yet, I have spoken it, I will also bring it to pass; I have purposed it, I will also do it;” Isa 46:9-11.

If God from the beginning knew the end, and from ancient times declared the things that were not yet done, the election was positive, but the holiness of his people was prospective; for it is said, “That we should be holy and without blame before him in love.” The relation of Christ to his people is as eternal as their election, and when they were blessed with all spiritual blessings and grace in him, by the decree of God, they had a portion in him; and in time, according to his purpose, are saved, and called, and put in possession of that portion. “And of his fullness have all we received, and grace for grace;” Joh 1:16; grace given us in Christ before time; grace received by us in time, and this “according to his purpose and grace given us in Christ Jesus before the world began.”

The married state is used by the inspired writers to illustrate this relationship, and show how the sins of his people could be imputed to Christ, and he be legally bound for their trespasses. I have often heard it said from the pulpit that Eve was a figure of the church. Of this I know nothing; for Moses, the prophets, Christ, and the apostles have not said one word about it, and I only know what I learn from my Bible on this subject. If God has made a revelation upon this subject to these men, that he has not made in the Bible, of course they must preach it, and believe it; but as I have had no such revelation, I know nothing about it, and cannot and dare not preach it.

The woman as unmarried is never used as a figure of the church; she can not be a figure of it, for she has no husband; but it is as a married woman that she is a figure; and in this relation God speaks of her and says, “For thy Maker is thine husband: the Lord of hosts is his name; and thy Redeemer the Holy One of Israel: the God of the whole earth shall he be called;” Isa 54:5. The husband here is the Maker, the Creator; the wife could not, therefore, have been as old as he, nor existed in him in substance; for if that were true she was not created by her husband, but existed in him, and was really of his own substance. This contradicts God, and I cannot believe it. The apostle says, “For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. This is a great mystery; but I speak concerning Christ and the church.” To suit those people who hold an actual, eternal substance existence, this text should read, “For this cause should a man leave his father and mother, and be joined to his wife: for they two were eternally one flesh.” Paul says this union is “a mystery;” it is not a literal union, like the union between my hand and my head; for, if you pierce my hand, I feel the pain; but you may pierce the wife, and the husband does not feel the pain. The wife may die, and the husband still lives, or vice versa. The oneness or union of the husband and wife is a legal union or oneness, and while it may exist in purpose, it does not legally exist in fact until they are legally married, and when married they are in law one flesh. Having assumed this relation, and being made legally one, it is just as unreasonable for a man to hate his wife as it is for him to hate his own flesh; Eph 5:23-32. The wife should love her husband, and obey him; for he is the head of the wife, as Christ is the head of the church, and as God is the head of Christ. Thus God speaks to his children, when they obey not his voice: “Turn, 0 backsliding children, saith the Lord; for I am married unto you: and I will take you one of a city, and two of a family, and I will bring you to Zion;” Jer 3:14. This relation brings the church under obligations to love and obey Jesus, and to have no beloved beside him; our whole heart should be given to him. If we love him with a feigned or hypocritical love, he knows our hearts, and is not deceived in us. He is a jealous husband, and will not allow his wife to have any other beloved. Christ is a faithful husband; his love is eternal and unchanging; he gave himself for his church, his bride, that he might redeem her from all iniquity; that he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word; that he might present it unto himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. Not that it was eternally holy and without blemish. And he thus describes his beloved: “Thou art all fair, my love; there is no spot in thee. Come with me from Lebanon, my spouse, with me from Lebanon: look from the top of Amana, from the top of Shenir and Hermon, from the lion’s den, from the mountains of the leopards. Thou hast ravished my heart, my sister, my spouse; thou hast ravished my heart with one of thine eyes, with one chain of thy neck. How fair is thy love, my sister, my spouse! how much better is thy love than wine! and the smell of thine ointments than all spices! Thy lips, 0 my spouse, drop as the honeycomb: honey and milk are under thy tongue; and the smell of thy garments is like the smell of Lebanon. A garden enclosed is my sister, my spouse; a spring shut up, a fountain sealed. Thy plants are an orchard of pomegranates, with pleasant fruits; camphire, with spikenard; spikenard and saffron; calamus and cinnamon, with all trees of frankincense; myrrh and aloes, with all the chief spices: a fountain of gardens, a well of living waters, and streams from Lebanon;” Song 4:7-15.

Thus Christ expresses his love for his bride, and declares that his dove, his undefiled, is but one; for there is but one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling. Christ is no polygamist, he has but one bride, one church; to her he is married, and she owes perpetual obedience to him. Paul says, “Know ye not, brethren, (for I speak to them that know the law,) how that the law hath dominion over a man as long as he liveth? For the woman which hath an husband, is bound by the law to her husband so long as he liveth; but if the husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of her husband. So then, if, while her husband liveth, she be married to another man, she shall be called an adulteress; but, if her husband be dead, she is free from that law; so that she is no adulteress, though she be married to another man. Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another;” (not that ye eternally had been married to another; for then ye never could have had but one husband;) “even to him who is raised from the dead that we should bring forth fruit unto God;” Ro 7:1-4. Love is the bond that sweetly unites the husband and wife, and makes it their delight to serve each other; marriage legally unites them, and makes the husband the head of the wife, and answerable for her contracts and trespasses.

If the wife should commit a capital offense, such as murder, it can not be imputed to the husband according to human law; but if the sovereign power that framed the constitution of the State, and made the law, had put such a provision in it, the imputation of a capital offense would then be legal, for it was ordained and fixed by the constitution and law under which the marriage was solemnized. The man Christ Jesus was set up in the covenant of redemption for this very purpose, and it is according to the constitution, purpose, and decree of God. “Thus speaketh the Lord of hosts, saying, Behold the man whose name is The BRANCH; and he shall grow up out of his place, and he shall build the temple of the Lord: even he shall build the temple of the Lord; he shall bear the glory, and shall sit and rule upon his throne: and he shall be a priest upon his throne: and the counsel of peace shall be between them both;” Zec 6:12-13. And again: “Hear, now, 0 Joshua, the high priest, thou and thy fellows that set before thee; for they are men wondered at: for behold, I will bring forth my servant, the BRANCH. For behold the stone that I have laid before Joshua; upon one stone shall be seven eyes: behold, I will engrave the graving thereof, saith the Lord of hosts, and I will remove the iniquity of that land in one day. In that day, saith the Lord of hosts, shall ye call every man his neighbor under the vine and under the fig-tree;” Zec 3:8-10. Seven women may take hold of one man, saying, “We will eat our own bread, and wear our own apparel, only let us be called by thy name to take away our reproach;” but the reproach of none can be taken away except the lawfully married wife And by virtue of this marriage union it is said, “In that day shall the branch of the Lord be beautiful and glorious, and the fruit of the earth shall be excellent and comely for them that are escaped of Israel. And it shall come to pass, that he that is left in Zion, and he that remaineth in Jerusalem shall be called holy, even every one that is written among the living in Jerusalem: when the Lord shall have washed away the filth of the daughters of Zion, and shall have purged the blood of Jerusalem from the midst thereof by the spirit of judgment, and by the spirit of burning;” Isa 4:2-4.

The people of God, in their fallen state, are represented as being dead in sin, and Christ is called their life; so that, when he died, the law received all it could demand. With this view Paul says, “For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead: and that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again;” 2Co 5:15. “For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory;” Col 3:3-4. When this life is imparted or given to the sinner dead in sin, he is resurrected from that death, and the exhortation comes to him, “If ye, then, be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.”

The priestly office of Christ is another blessed relation he bears to his people, and as our High Priest he makes atonement for the sins of his people. The priests, under the law, could not continue by reason of death; but Christ was made a High Priest after the power of an endless life. Watts has most beautifully expressed this in the following verse:

Their priesthood ran through many hands,

For mortal was their race;

But thine eternal priesthood stands,

Unchanging as thyself.

The perfection of Christ’s priesthood is confirmed by the apostle, in contrasting it with the Jewish priesthood. For the priests under the law were sinners, and they had first to offer for themselves, and then for the people; but Christ had no sins of his own; he was holy, harmless, and separate from sinners, and had nothing to do but to offer for the people. The atonement made by the priests under the law, was retrospective, and not prospective; that is, it was for the sins of the past year, and had to be repeated every year; but Christ offered himself up once for all, and put away sin by the sacrifice of himself; so that he did not have to offer often, as did the priests under the law. Where sin is once put away, and a full and sufficient atonement made, there is no more remembrance of sin.

Every high priest under the law is taken from among men, is ordained for men, in things pertaining to God, that he may offer both gifts and sacrifices for sin; and he himself is compassed with infirmity; and by reason hereof he ought, as for the people, so also for himself, to offer for sins. The law made nothing perfect; for if the first covenant had been faultless, then should no place have been sought for the second. The first covenant had ordinances of divine service, and a worldly tabernacle, which was a pattern of the one shown Moses on the mount. In it “was a tabernacle made; the first, wherein was the candle-stick, and the table, and the shew-bread, which is called the sanctuary. And after the second vail, the tabernacle, which is called the holiest of all; which had the golden censer, and the ark of the covenant overlaid round about with gold, wherein was the golden pot that had manna, and Aaron’s rod that budded, and the tables of the covenant; and over it the cherubims of glory, shadowing the mercy-seat.” “Now, when these things were thus ordained, the priest went always into the first tabernacle, accomplishing the service of God. But into the second went the high priest alone once every year, not without blood, which he offered for himself, and for the errors of the people, the Holy Ghost this signifying, that the way into the holiest of all was not yet made manifest, while as the first tabernacle was yet standing: which was a figure for the time then present, in which were offered both gifts and sacrifices, that could not make him that did the service perfect, as pertaining to the conscience, which stood only in meats and drinks, and divers washings, and carnal ordinances, imposed on them until the time of reformation. But Christ being come an High Priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building; neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood, he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us. For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh: how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?” See Heb 9.

Now Christ, our High Priest, is not entered into the tabernacle made with hands, which was only a figure of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us. Neither does he have to offer himself often, as the high priest entered into the holy place every year with the blood of others; but now, once in the end of the world, hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself. The priests under the old covenant stood daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which could never take away sins; “But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins, forever sat down on the right hand of God; from henceforth expecting until his enemies be made his footstool. For by one offering he hath perfected forever them that are sanctified.” Thus the perfection of Christ’s offering, and the fullness of his atonement for the sins of his people is established, so that the saying is true, “The blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.” By him the bride is redeemed, her garments are made white, which is the righteousness of saints, and shall be presented unto her husband a glorious bride, without spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing.

In the order of Christ’s priesthood he was greater than the priests under the law, for they were made priests without an oath, and their priesthood was changeable, descending from father to son; for by reason of death they could not continue, and others had to take their place in the priestly office. But Christ was made a priest by the oath of him that said unto him, “The Lord sware, and will not repent, Thou art a priest forever after the order of Melchisedec.” And those priests were truly many, and could not continue by reason of death; but of Christ it is said, “But this man, because he continueth ever, hath an unchangeable priesthood.”

Christ was made a priest after the order of Melchisedec, and not after the order of Aaron; and the superiority of this Melchisedec was acknowledged by Abraham when he paid to him the tenth part of all the spoils; for it is the less that pays tithes to the greater, and not the greater to the less. And Melchisedec blessed Abraham; and without contradiction it is the less that is blessed of the greater. How great, then, must this man Melchisedec be, to whom our father Abraham paid tithes. And the sons of Levi, who received the office of the priesthood, had a commandment to take tithes of the people according to the law, that is, of their brethren, though they came out of the loins of Abraham. Thus Levi, who received tithes, paid tithes in the loins of his father Abraham; for he was yet in his loins when Melchisedec met him. Melchisedec, in the order of his priesthood, had neither father nor mother, beginning of days nor end of life; his was not a hereditary priesthood. If perfection were by the Levitical priesthood, there would be no need for another priest to arise, after another order. The order of Christ’s priesthood was after the order of Melchisedec, and not after that of Aaron.

Our Lord could not be a priest according to the law, for he was of the tribe of Judah, of which there was no remembrance at the altar. “For the priesthood being changed, there is made of necessity a change of the law. For he of whom these things are spoken pertaineth to another tribe, of which no man gave attendance at the altar.” Our Lord was of the tribe of Judah, of which tribe Moses spake nothing concerning priesthood. “And it is yet far more evident: for that after the similitude of Melchisedec there ariseth another priest, who is made, not after the law of a carnal commandment, but after the power of an endless life.” There was a disannulling of the commandment going before, for the weakness and unprofitableness thereof; for the law made nothing perfect, “but the bringing in of a better hope did, by which we draw nigh to God.” We may now draw near to God, with a true heart, in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water; “by a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the vail, that is, his flesh.”

Christ, as the Son of God and the High Priest of our profession, hath a name above every name: “Being made so much better than the angels, as he hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they. For unto which of the angels said he at any time, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee? And again, I will be to him a Father, and he shall be to me a Son. And again, when he bringeth in his first-begotten into the world, he saith, and let all the angels of God worship him.” As far as the object of worship is above the worshiper, so far is Christ above angels. “For such an High Priest became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens; who needeth not daily, as those priests to offer up sacrifices, first for his own sins, and then for the people’s; for this he did once, when he offered up himself. For the law maketh men high priests which have infirmity; but the word of the oath, which was since the law, maketh the Son, who is consecrated for evermore.”

As man, he was the promised seed of Abraham, the son of David, proceeding and coming out of his loins, according to the oath and promise of God; but as the Word of God, he existed with the Father, and by him all things were made. For “God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds; who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high.” As man he was made of a woman, made under the law, and his obligation to the law was acknowledged when he was circumcised; for every man that is circumcised is a debtor to do the whole law.

He came not to destroy the law, but to fulfill, and magnify, and honor it; and the law finds in him a righteousness commensurate with its own purity. The law is the transcript of God’s perfections; the Son is the brightness of the Father’s glory, and the express image of his person. Hence it is said that the law and the prophets bear witness to his righteousness; that he might be just, and the justifier of them that believe in him. The law could not justify the ungodly; therefore through the weakness and sinfulness of our flesh, none could be justified by the deeds of the law. “God sent his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh; that the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” He that knew no sin, was made to be sin for us, that we might be made the righteousness of God in him. And he has redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us.

As Redeemer, he sustains a relation to his people, for a previous right of property in thing redeemed must exist, to give the right of redemption. This property relation I have already sufficiently proved. To redeem, there must be an equivalent given, a price paid. Gold and silver, rivers of oil, and the cattle of a thousand hills could never redeem the sinner; it must be the sacrifice of a nobler object, and of richer value than they; for these things are valueless when compared to the soul, which is worth more than this world. But in the Redeemer we find the precious price, the equivalent; so that it is said he obtained for us eternal redemption. That blood that ran from the side of the dying Jesus was of more value than all the blood that ever stained a Jewish altar. This precious blood cleanses his people from all their sins. It is the blood of the covenant, the blood of the testament, shed for the sins of many.

There is a fountain filled with blood,

Drawn from Immanuel’s veins;

And sinners plunged into that flood,

Lose all their guilty stains.

Dear, dying Lamb, thy precious blood,

Shall never lose its power,

Till all the ransomed church of God,

Be saved to sin no more.

Christ was a man; he had both soul and body, and could, and did pay the redemption price for the whole man. It is said, “Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise him; he hath put him to grief; when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in his hand: he shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities;” Isa 53:10-11. Jesus said, when in Gethsemane, “My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death.” God says by the prophet, “Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and was numbered with the transgressors; and he bear the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.” This soul-suffering was evidently endured by Jesus, when, “being in an agony, he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground.” There is no suffering to be compared with soul or mental suffering. If the mind is easy, and there is no guilt on the soul, the body may be burned at the stake, and the dying martyr will shout and sing praise and seem hardly to feel the pains of death. But it is when guilt rests on the soul, and is felt and realized, that the man is crushed, and cannot bear up under it. Some of us have felt this soul-sorrow so heavy upon us that we could not take one more step, or stand upon our feet one moment; but fell prostrate on the ground, and felt that the very earth was giving way under us; surely, we could not have borne it much longer, had not relief come. Dear, dying sinner, listen to the words of Jesus, and may God enable you to comprehend to some extent their solemn import: “My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death.” “Exceeding sorrowful.” Who can comprehend what is expressed in that word? No sorrow equal to it. Oh! see the sweat, like great drops of blood, fall to the ground! Does not that tell of sorrow and suffering that exceeds all other sufferings? I have been on the battlefield; I have seen the ground covered with the dead and dying; I have approached the dying soldier, bleeding from a dozen wounds, and sinking in death upon the cold and wet ground; I have seen him turn his eyes to me, filled with big tears, and heard him say, “I am dying here upon the cold ground, away from all my loved ones, to be left without a burial. No mother to hold my aching head, or sister to kiss my burning lips.” Here was pain and suffering; but in it all I never saw the sweat, like great drops of blood, burst from the unbroken pores, and fall to the ground. Dying sinner, think what sorrows Jesus bore when he bowed himself, and prayed so earnestly, “Let this cup pass; but not my will, but thine be done;” and sweat, as it were, great drops of blood, falling to the ground! And it was our sins, which hung like a ponderous weight upon his soul; and in love for lost and ruined man, he bore the mighty load, and drank the bitter cup.

For love like this let rocks and hills,

Their lasting silence break;

And all harmonious human tongues

The Savior’s praises speak.

Well might the prophet, when carried forward in prophetic vision to Gethsemane, cry out in the following language: “Who is this that cometh from Edom, with dyed garments from Bozrah? this that is glorious in his apparel, traveling in the greatness of his strength? I that speak in righteousness, mighty to save. Wherefore art thou red in thine apparel, and thy garments like him that treadeth the winefat? I have trodden the winepress alone; and of the people there was none with me: for I will tread them in mine anger, and trample them in my fury; and their blood shall be sprinkled upon my garments, and I will stain all my raiment. For the day of vengeance is in mine heart, and the year of my redeemed is come;” Isa 63:1-4. He that was so poor that he had no downy bed to lay upon, and no shelter to protect his locks from the chilling frosts, but could say, “The birds have nests, and the foxes have holes, but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head,” did tread the winepress of the wrath of God; vengeance was in his heart; his raiment was stained with blood; so that it was said, “And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God;” Re 19:13.

This soul-sorrow Christ endured to make the redemption of his people complete; so the soul-suffering at the place called Gethsemane was just as necessary as was his bodily sufferings on the cross when crucified, in the great plan of man’s redemption. All that Christ suffered was absolutely necessary to accomplish the work the Father had given him to do. When his soul was made an offering for sin, and he cried out, “My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death,” there was still another bitter cup to drink, another painful ordeal to pass through; for his body must be made an offering; it must be nailed to the Roman cross, and his precious blood must run from the wounds inflicted on him, and stain the cross on which he hung and died.

It was while he was at the foot of mount Olive that he prayed so earnestly, and said, “Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me; nevertheless, not my will, but thine be done.” It was there that Judas betrayed him with a kiss; and from that place he was taken by the multitude, and brought into the high priest’s house; and it was there Peter denied him, and the man that held him mocked him, and smote him. “And as soon as it was day, the elders of the people, and the chief priests, and the scribes came together, and led him into their council, saying, Art thou the Christ? tell us. And he said unto them, if I tell you, ye will not believe: and if I also ask you, ye will not answer me, nor let me go. Hereafter shall the Son of man sit on the right hand of the power of God. Then said they all, Art thou the Son of God? And he said unto them, ye say I am. And they said, what need we any further witness? for we ourselves have heard of his own mouth;” Lu 22:66-71. After this the whole multitude of them arose and led him to Pilate, and began to accuse him, saying, “We found this fellow perverting the nation, and forbidding to give tribute to Caesar, saying, that he himself is Christ, a King.” After Pilate had questioned him, he said to the people, “I find no fault in this man.” This made them more fierce, and they accused him, saying, “He stirreth up the people, teaching throughout all Jewry, beginning from Galilee to this place.” When Pilate learned that this man was a Galilean, and belonged to Herod’s jurisdiction, he sent him to Herod; for Herod was at this time at Jerusalem. Herod, when he saw Jesus, was glad, for he had heard many things about him, and expected to see some miracle done by him. Herod then questioned him with many words, but Christ answered him nothing. And the chief priests and scribes stood and vehemently accused him. And Herod, with his men of war, set him at naught, and mocked him, and arrayed him in a gorgeous robe, and sent him again to Pilate. When Pilate had called together the priests, and the rulers, and the people, he said unto them, “Ye have brought this man unto me, as one that perverteth the people: and behold, I, having examined him before you, have found no fault in this man, touching those things whereof ye accuse him. No, nor yet Herod; for I sent you to him; and lo, nothing worthy of death is done unto him: I will therefore chastise him, and release him.” But they cried all at once, and said, “Away with this man, and release unto us Barabbas.” Pilate, willing to release Jesus, spake unto them again; but they cried, saying, “Crucify him, crucify him.” And the third time Pilate said unto them, “Why, what evil hath he done? I have found no cause of death in him; I will therefore chastise him, and let him go. And they were instant with loud voices, requiring that he might be crucified: and the voices of them and the chief priests prevailed. And Pilate gave sentence that it should be as they required.” Then they took him, and led him away. “And there followed him a great company of people, and of women, which also bewailed and lamented him. But Jesus, turning unto them, said, Daughters of Jerusalem, weep not for me; but weep for yourselves, and for your children. For, behold, the days are coming, in the which they shall say, Blessed are the barren, and the wombs that never bear, and the paps which never gave suck. Then shall they begin to say to the mountains, fall on us; and to the hills, cover us. For if they do these things in the green tree, what shall be done in the dry? And there were also two others, malefactors, led with him to be put to death.” When they had come to a place which is called Calvary, they crucified him, and the two malefactors, the one on his right, and the other on his left. While Jesus was hanging on the cross, he looked upon his relentless persecutors, who had unfeelingly nailed him to the wood, and said, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots. And the people stood beholding. And the rulers also with them derided him, saying, He saved others; let him save himself, if he be Christ the chosen of God. And the soldiers also mocked him, and offered him vinegar, saying, If thou be the King of the Jews, save thyself. And a superscription also was written over him, in letters of Greek, and Latin, and Hebrew: THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS.”

In the crucifixion of Christ we have the literal fulfillment of what was spoken by the prophets hundreds of years before. First, in the meekness of his death, between two malefactors; for it is said by Isaiah, “He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he opened not his mouth. He was taken from prison, and from judgment; and who shall declare his generation? for he was cut off out of the land of the living? for the transgressions of my people was he stricken. And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death; because he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth;” Isa 53:7-8; and secondly, in the words of the sweet singer of Israel, who in prophetic vision saw the multitude press about him and pierce his hands and his feet, and part his garments among them, and cast lots upon his vesture; Ps 22:14-18. David not only describes the multitude that pressed about him, and pierced his hands and his feet, and took his garments and gave them to the soldiers, every one a part, but his coat, being without seam, woven from the top throughout; they cast lots for it, whose it should be. He tells us of the very drink that should be given him in his dying moments; for he says, “They gave me gall for my meat; and in my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink;” Ps 69:21. Now, when Jesus knew that all things were accomplished, he said, “I thirst.” And they filled a sponge with vinegar, and put it upon hyssop and put it to his mouth. When Jesus, therefore, had received the vinegar, he said, “It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.”

All that a man could suffer by being barbarously and cruelly put to death, Jesus suffered on the cross. How hard must be the heart that cannot feel, and the eye that cannot shed one tear, when we read the story of the cross, and the dying groans of the sinner’s Friend! Dear friend, will you sit for hours, charmed over the pages of a novel, and shed tears, as you sympathize with the sufferings of a fictitious heroine? but open the sacred book, and read the sufferings of the Hero of our salvation, and not feel one tender emotion in thy hard and unfeeling heart and not one tear of pity start from thine eye? Poor, fallen sinner! the poet knew the hardness of thy heart, and has thus described it;

To hear the sorrows thou hast felt,

Dear Lord an adamant would melt;

But I can read each moving line,

And nothing moves this heart of mine.

The dying groans of the Man on the cross melts not thy heart, nor moves thee to tears. 0, no! he is to thee as a root out of the dry ground; you have no love for him; you see no comeliness in him, that you should desire him; you esteem him not. While I speak to you, dear dying sinner, in my own heart I can witness the truth, that nothing short of almighty power can ever melt your heart down in love at the feet of Jesus. The Christian knows it and can sing

But something yet can do the deed,

And that dear something much I need;

Thy Spirit can from dross refine,

And move and melt this heart of mine.

May that blessed Spirit melt thy heart and bring thee humble at feet of Jesus, for there is salvation in none other.

When the work was done, Christ said, “It is finished.” Upon the cross the seed of the woman bruised the head of the serpent; for through death he destroyed him that had the power of death, that is, the devil. The oath and promise made to David are finished and fulfilled; the words of the prophets are finished and fulfilled in the dying Son of God; all the types and shadows under the law are finished and ended in Christ. The vail of the temple is rent asunder; no longer is the holiest place concealed from the sight of the common people; no longer need the Jewish nation drive their bellowing herds up to the temple, to be slaughtered, and offered in sacrifice for the sins of the people; no longer need the high priest catch the blood, as it runs from the dying victim, and with it enter the holy of holies, and sprinkle it before the mercy-seat, overshadowed with the Cherubim; no longer shall God shine upon the mercy-seat, beneath the Cherubim, in approbation of their offerings. It is all finished in the dying Jesus, who has entered heaven itself by his own blood. The atonement is made, the debt of all his people is paid; he has made an end of transgression, and put away sin. So the apostle, in view of the finished work of Jesus, will ask the question in triumph, “Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect?” It is God that justifieth. Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died; yea, rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us; Ro 8:33-34. “By him we are freely justified from all things, from which we could not be justified by the law of Moses.” For he “was delivered for our offenses, and was raised again for our justification.”

Pardon and justification are distinct things. The criminal may be pardoned from under the gallows, or out of prison; but still he remains a guilty criminal; the pardon does not remove the guilt; it only arrests the law, and relieves the guilty one from its penalty. But to justify, is for the judge to declare the person arraigned, clear of guilt, just and innocent before the court and the law.

Here, again, is the legal relation of Christ and his people brought up before us as clear as the noon-day; for our sins were laid upon him, imputed to him, and he bore them in his own body upon the tree, and put them away by the sacrifice of himself; and his righteousness is imputed to us, and we are complete in him. In view of this truth, Paul, quoting from David, says “Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works, saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered. Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin;” Ro 4:6-8. And the apostle affirms that, “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.”

Some will say, then, “It is foolishness to talk about forgiveness, for if the redemption is full, the debt all paid, their iniquities all removed, and his people justified; there is nothing to forgive.” Such people forget what we are trying to prove in all this discourse, and what is so abundantly testified in the word of God; that Christ died for us, in the room and stead of the transgressor, and as surety paid the debt of the principal, and holds the judgment or claim in his own hand; and having paid all, he has the power to forgive the debtor; while the debtor, so far as the original creditor is concerned, stands justified; there being no claims against him, for the surety has paid all. “For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus, hath made me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God, sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: that the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” Forgiveness of sins is preached through the man Christ Jesus. After his resurrection, Christ, in teaching his disciples said unto them, “Thus it is written, and thus it behooved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day; and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem;” Lu 24:46-47.

In Christ the law has been satisfied and honored, the debt of his people paid, and their sins put away by the sacrifice of himself, their Surety and High Priest. For their sins were laid upon him, or charged to his account, by virtue of the legal or covenant relation he bears to them. This doctrine of covenant relation underlies the whole plan of man’s salvation; and without it the atonement is not vicarious, none can be saved by it, and my hope is forever gone. But if Christ, as the head, husband, shepherd, surety, and high priest of his people, has redeemed them, paid their debt, borne the curse, being made a curse for them; then all is under his control, and forgiveness is with him, and it is to be preached in his name. When Christ had paid the debt of his people, destroyed him that had the power of death, spoiled the grave, and rose from the dead, he was exalted a Prince, and a Savior, to give repentance and remission of sins to Israel.

The law knows no forgiveness; it has no heart to feel for the suffering criminal; with iron-grasp it holds him, and says, “Pay me that thou owest.” Could rivers of tears flow from our eyes, and we lay prostrate in the dust, and with an humble, aching broken heart pray for mercy, the law cannot hear our prayers, nor pity our helpless misery. But in its stem, unfeeling voice, says, “Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them.” The law is the administration of death; its demands must be satisfied; not one jot or tittle can pass until all be fulfilled. “For if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.” Again, “If there had been a law given which could have given life, verily, righteousness should have been by the law.” As we have already proved there was no perfection by the law, nor by its priesthood; for if there had been, what further need was there that another priest should arise, after the order of Melchisedec, and not be called after the order of Aaron? The law was fulfilled and honored in Christ, and he is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believes.

Christ, having fulfilled the law, and obtained for his people eternal redemption, holds the keys of their prison in his own hands; he can open the door and give liberty to the captive; he can say to the prisoner, Go free. He has the legal right, for he has paid all; the law is honored, and the prisoner goes free. The Holy prophet, inspired with these views, says, “Shall the prey be taken from the mighty, or the lawful captive be delivered? But thus sayeth the Lord, Even the captives of the mighty shall be taken away, and the prey of the terrible shall be delivered; for I will contend with him that contendeth with thee, and I will save thy children.” Christ can deliver the lawful captive, and bring forth the prisoner out of his filthy pit wherein is no water; for it is said, “As for thee also, by the blood of thy covenant,” (margin, whose covenant is by blood,)” I have sent forth thy prisoners out of the pit wherein is no water,” Zec 9:11. When the man sick with palsy was brought to Jesus, he said unto him, “Son, be of good cheer; thy sins be forgiven thee.” At these words the scribes began to say within themselves, “This man blasphemeth;” believing, as they did, that none but God could forgive sins, in their hearts they accused Christ of blasphemy, because he said, “Thy sins be forgiven thee.” Christ, understanding their thoughts, asked them, “Whether is easier to say, Thy sins be forgiven thee; or to say, Arise, and walk?” The case before them was beyond the reach of human skill; earthly means could not heal the man, and restore him to health and friends. Nothing short of the power of God could cure the man; hence it was just as easy to forgive his sins as to cure him of the palsy. “But,” said Christ to them, “that ye may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins, (then saith he to the sick of the palsy,) Arise, take up thy bed, and go unto thine own house. And he arose and departed to his own house;” Mt 9:1-7. When Christ had taken the cup, he gave thanks, and gave it to his disciples, saying, “Drink ye all of it, for this is my blood of the New Testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.”

One of the glorious provisions of the new testament or covenant, of which Christ is Mediator, is expressed in these sweet words: “For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more.” When Jesus was at the Pharisee’s house, there was a woman who was a sinner, who brought an alabaster-box of ointment, and stood at his feet behind him, weeping, and began to wash his feet with her tears, and did wipe them with the hairs of her head, and kissed his feet, and anointed them with the ointment. Now when the Pharisee which had bidden him, saw it, he spoke within himself, saying, This man if he were a prophet, would have known who and what manner of woman this is that toucheth him; for she is a sinner. And Jesus answering, said unto him, Simon, I have somewhat to say unto thee. And he saith, Master, say on. There was a certain creditor, which had two debtors; the one owed five hundred pence, and the other fifty. And when they had nothing to pay, he frankly forgave them both. Tell me therefore, which of them will love him most? Simon answered and said, I suppose that he to whom he forgave most. And he said unto him, Thou hast rightly judged. And he turned unto the woman, and said unto Simon, Seest thou this woman? I entered into thine house, thou gavest me no water for my feet: but she hath washed my feet with tears, and wiped them with the hairs of her head. Thou gavest me no kiss: but this woman, since the time I came in, hath not ceased to kiss my feet. My head with oil thou didst not anoint: but this woman hath anointed my feet with ointment. Wherefore, I say unto thee, Her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much; but to whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little. And he said unto her, Thy sins are forgiven; Lu 7:39-48. “The whole need not a physician, but they that are sick;” and it is not the righteous that Jesus came to call, but sinners; “For the Son of man came to seek and to save that which was lost.”

This cannot be true, if his people eternally existed in him in seed or substance; for existing there, they could not need a physician, nor be sinners, nor be lost. Neither can his people, if they so existed, be any part of Adam’s family; for this family were all created when Adam was created, and did not exist before that, only in the foreknowledge and decree of God. But his people are sinners of Adam’s fallen race; and the angel so testified to Joseph when he appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Take unto thyself thy wife Mary; for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost. And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS; for he shall save his people from their sins.” To save sinners! What a sweet word that is to proclaim in the ears of dying men and women. The angel may bear the news to Joseph; and again the angel may come down and proclaim it in the ears of the trembling shepherds; “For unto you is born this day, in the city of David, a Savior, which is Christ the Lord.” And a multitude of the heavenly host may fill the air with their songs of praise to God, saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.”

What a contrast is this with the giving of the law! God came down on Sinai in fire, covering the mountain with smoke, and the words spoken were so terrible that Israel could not hear them, and Moses feared and quaked; but now, veiled in humanity, he is proclaimed the author of peace. In union with flesh, he is in union with his poor and afflicted people, and can be touched with the feeling of their infirmities; and being in all points tempted like them, he can succor them that are tempted. He is our peace, having made reconciliation for the sins of his people.

Peace through him is now proclaimed to the troubled, sorrowing, dying sons and daughters of men. 0, let the poor, sorrowing, heavy-laden, heart-broken sinner, who is at the foot of Sinai, trembling with despair while the terrible words, “Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them,” are sounding in his guilty ears, and filling him with hopeless despair under a sense of just condemnation, turn away, and listen to the sweet words of Jesus who says, “Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.” It is not to that mountain that burned with fire, nor unto blackness, and darkness, and tempest, and the sound of a trumpet, and the voice of words that were so terrible that they who heard them entreated that they should not be spoken any more, that God’s humble poor now come; “But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels, to the general assembly and church of the first-born, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect, and to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel;” Heb 12:22-24. The blood of Abel cried from the ground against his guilty brother; but the blood of Jesus brings peace and pardon down to guilty sinners. “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 his cross; and having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it.”

Thus, Christ is the great Preacher of peace, and when he speaks to the sorrowing heart, its troubles are all gone, and peace, such as the world can not give, is felt in the soul. The prophet understood this when he said, “The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me; because the Lord hath anointed, me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the broken-hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all that mourn;” Isa 61:1-2. When Christ read this prophecy, he closed the book, and said, “It is this day fulfilled.” He is therefore the Preacher who is to preach good tidings unto the meek; and I hear him say, “Blessed are the meek; for they shall inherit the earth.”

The humble poor are the peculiar objects of the love of our God, “Who humbleth himself to behold the things that are in heaven, and in earth. He raiseth up the poor out of the dust, and lifteth the needy out of the dunghill; that he may set him with princes, even with the princes of his people.” To the meek, the humble and contrite spirit that claims no good of its own, does this great Preacher speak comfortable things. “For thus saith the high and lofty One, that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones;” Isa 57:15. The Lord says, “But to this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembles at my word.” This Preacher binds up the brokenhearted, and proclaims liberty to the captive. None but the poor, renewed sinner, who is made acquainted with his own guilt and just condemnation, can fully understand what is meant by “the brokenhearted.” In it is expressed a sorrow of heart that no human words can soothe.

We have seen the poor mother look into the face of her lifeless babe; her heart was broken; the little thing that had lain upon her bosom, and that she had kissed a thousand times, as a mother only can kiss, is gone, and gone forever. She can’t call it back; no words of friends can soothe her great sorrow, or heal the wound that is in her heart. The wife may drop her tear on the margin of her husband’s grave, while the earth that is to conceal him from her sight is falling upon his coffin, and turn away with a broken heart-no one can comfort her; she is bereaved; her best earthly friend is gone; she can no longer lean upon his breast, and feel the beating of his loving heart. Some of us know something of these things, and know that none like Jesus can heal our broken heart, and make us feel reconciled to our lot; but he can bind up the brokenhearted sinner. Ah, dear child of God!  you will never forget when your heart was broken, and when in vain you looked to earthly friends for help.

Your unworthy speaker will never forget the day, although he was but a boy, when his heart was broken. He had visited the silent grove; he had fallen upon his face, and cried for mercy; but he was a sinner, and he felt that God could not hear such a sinner pray. Finally, he concluded, “I will go to my father; he is a Christian, and I will ask him to pray for me; perhaps God will hear him, and have mercy on the justly condemned child.” When he approached his father, and said, “Father, will you pray for your lost and ruined child?” the father said, “My child, I have been praying for you ever since you were born, and I can still try.” The big tears stood in his eyes, which showed that his heart felt, but his words seemed like they would kill the poor boy; for they said to him, “If father has been praying so long for you, he can do you no good.” Ah! the heart was broken; no friend on earth could bind it up. Poor, dying sinner, have you ever felt it? Blooming youth, that I address today, can you, from an experimental knowledge, sympathize with that poor boy? If you cannot, some of these old gray heads around me can. The tears that are running from their eyes tell that they have not forgotten the day when their hearts were broken, and they felt that they had no friend in heaven or earth; that justice called for their life, and that there was no heart that loved, nor eye that pitied them. But when this great Preacher spoke and said, “I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more,” the broken heart was bound up, all its pain was gone, its sorrows soothed, and the poor, deserted one made to say, I have a Friend in heaven, a Friend that never will forsake me.

Tongue cannot express

The sweet comfort and peace,

Of a soul in its earliest love.

Will you go with me today to the dark and dreary prison? Will you look down into the cold and filthy vault, and see the poor, guilty, heartbroken, condemned criminal, lying helpless in his chains? Every petition he has made has met with no response; no one looks with a pitying eye upon him; he can hear no voice, or word, but the hard, unfeeling, cruel, but just sentence of the law, saying, “You must die.” Not one ray of light enters the dark cell to cheer him; not one gleam of hope is felt within him to bind up his broken heart. 0 what a sad condition this is! But I talk to some today who know that it is not a fancy picture. Ah, they will never forget the gloomy cell of their prison-house! They will never forget when they felt that the hour of their execution had come, and the last ray of hope had forsaken them; the glittering sword of justice was raised above them, ready to execute the sentence of the law. Ah, you will never forget when you cried, “Gone, gone, gone! Justice binds me here, and demands my life; I can not lift my eyes toward the holy throne, and bring one argument in my own defense; but with guilty lips and broken heart, must say, -“

And if my soul were sent to hell,

Thy righteous law approves it well.

It was in this dark hour of despair that this glorious Preacher opened thy prison door, and gave thee liberty; took off thy filthy rags, clothed thee in the bright garments of salvation, and said, “I have redeemed you; behold my hands and side; the law is satisfied. I have borne its penalty, and all is freely forgiven.” 0, sweet Preacher! Like the poor woman at Simon’s house, I will wash thy feet with my tears, and wipe them with the hairs of my head, and I will ever lay at thy feet and kiss them; for surely there never was one that owed so great a debt of gratitude as I do. Dear brethren and sisters, did you ever hear such a sermon before? Can you ever forget the comfort felt in your heart when Jesus took your load of guilt away, and spoke your sins forgiven? You then felt that the days of mourning with you were past, and that you would never sorrow again. “My sins are forgiven; Jesus is mine, and what more can I want?” But alas, alas! it is not long before the clouds arise; the tempter comes in, and tells you that you are deceived; your heart aches, and like the spouse, you weep upon your bed, and wet your pillow with tears. None can comfort you; no voice can take away your sorrows until this glorious Preacher speaks, and his voice binds up your broken heart, turns your prison into a palace, and fills you with joy that is inexpressible and full of glory.

Dear brethren and sisters, your voyage upon this stormy ocean will not be long; the fiery trials that befall you in this life will soon be over; and he who has spoken your sins forgiven, and delivered you from the power of darkness, shall call you up to the mansions above, where sorrow, sin, and death will be felt and feared no more; where there will be no more night: God and the Lamb shall be the light of the place, and your never-ending song will be to him that has loved you and redeemed you unto God.

Dear friends, I fear that many of you are today in the dark prison of just condemnation, and know it not, feel no concern, but love the chains that bind you down. Your heart is not broken; you feel no pain on account of sin, but drink it down as water. My heart feels for you; Christians feel for you; but our arms are too short to reach you, and my voice is too feeble to move your hearts to feel, or open your eyes to see. But 0, dear, dying sinner, may the great Preacher, whose word is spirit and life, speak to thee, and arouse thy guilty fears, and may cords of love divine draw thee to the dear Savior; for there is salvation in no other. “Be it known unto you therefore, men and brethren, that through this man is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins.”


“As newborn babes desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby;” 1Pe 2:2

The good Lord has blessed us with one more privilege of talking together about the goodness of our God, the riches of his grace, his parental care and watchfulness over us for our good and comfort. It makes our hearts burn within us with love when we talk about his goodness, tender care, and unchanging love to us poor, unworthy beings. 0 how sweet it is to lean upon his breast, to feel his loving arms around us, and with tears of love falling from our eyes lookup and say, “My Father!” the sweetest words ever pronounced by infant lips. Some of us will never forget that happy day, when we were enabled to cry, “Abba, Father,” and felt the witness within that God was our Father; that within his arms we had a safe protection, a resting-place, a shelter from the stormy blasts, that howl around us, a secure hiding-place from our fierce enemies. “The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous run into it, and are safe.”

The Lord’s people are often called babes, little children, and lambs, that need the constant care, attention, and protection of the Father or Shepherd. But in our text they are called “newborn babes,” such as have just begun to breathe the vital air, and are helpless, and have no knowledge where their food is to come from, or how they are to be fed and strengthened. They have life and the senses; they can feel pain and the cravings of hunger and thirst; they will cry under a sense of their needs, but they know not where their comforts are to come from. The little one’s cry will fill the mother’s heart with joy, for she knows her child is alive; she will embrace it in her arms, and nurse it tenderly, that it may be comforted and strengthened, and grow thereby.

I remember that when I was a little boy I went one night with my father to meeting, and after he had preached, several young persons, the children of the brethren and sisters, came to my father and fell down upon their knees around him, crying like their hearts were broken, and saying, “0 pray for me, a poor, lost sinner.” My father prayed, and then they sang several hymns, and all seemed to be happy but these young people who seemed to be overwhelmed with grief. I could see their parents singing, and expressing the joy of their soul, and I thought it strange, and that they were unfeeling parents, to be happy, and singing, and rejoicing, when their children were there upon their knees, grieving and crying, like those suffering great distress, and in despair. I thought they ought to get down and weep with them, and try to comfort them, and not be singing and shouting over their suffering children. But now I understand it; by the groans and cries of those dear children the parents knew that God had given them life and sensibilities, and had begun a good work in them, which he would finish in righteousness.

Peter, the author of my text, had not forgotten the solemn charge of his Master, “Feed my lambs.” The little, helpless things need nursing, attention, and feeding; and to this important work Peter was set apart, and by his Master prepared to do; for a dispensation of the gospel was given to him, and this was the food the little ones needed, and they would grow and thrive thereby. Peter was not told to give eternal life to the dead; for this power the Lord had never given to Peter nor any other one whom he had called and qualified as under-shepherds to feed the flock. God himself is the fountain of life; it is derived from him and none other, and Jesus says of his sheep, “I give unto them eternal life, and they shall never perish.”

Paul tells the elders of the church at Ephesus to “feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.” God has called them to this work, and given them the food the flock needs, and they will be dishonest to their God, to themselves, and to the flock over which God has made them overseers if they withhold. Peter says, “The elders which are among you I exhort, who am also an elder, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed; feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind; neither as being lords over God’s heritage; but being ensamples to the flock. And when the chief Shepherd shall appear ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away;” (1Pe 5:1-4).

The apostle here declares what the duties of the elders are, and what their reward shall be; but there is not one hint that it is required of them to quicken or give eternal life to the dead. Their duties are specified: 1; “Feed the flock of God which is among you.” 2; “Not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind.” 3; “Not as being lords over God’s heritage.” 4; “To be ensamples to the flock in all godly conversation and conduct.”

Paul, in his letter to the Roman brethren, says, “For I long to see you, that I may impart unto you some spiritual gift, to the end ye may be established; that is, that I may be comforted together with you, by the mutual faith both of you and me.” He loved them, longed to see them, and ceased not to make mention of them in his prayers; their peace and spiritual comfort was the desire of his heart; and as the servant of God, and their servant, he owed them a debt, and wished to pay it, that he might have fruit; among them, as among other Gentiles. For he says, “I am debtor both to the Greek and to the Barbarian, both to the wise and to the unwise;” (Ro 1:11-14). A treasure was committed to him for their benefit and comfort; and he would be unfaithful to God and dishonest to them, if he did not deliver to them what was committed to him for their good. So greatly did he feel this obligation resting upon him, he says, “Woe is unto me if I preach not the gospel.” It was not for worldly wealth or honor; it was not to fill his pockets with money, or to live in ease and affluence that Paul was so earnest in his work; but God had committed to him a treasure for his children, and he must pay it over to them. This was the feeling of our primitive preachers, and they counted not their lives dear unto themselves, so that they might discharge this duty faithfully. Persecutions, bonds, afflictions, imprisonment, and stripes could not deter them; they would be faithful in their vocation to him that had called them, and to the lambs of his fold whom they were called to feed.

Little ones, is this the character of the popular clergy of today? They claim to be the successors of these primitive preachers, but they have none of their character and features. They take the oversight of the flock that will feed them, and give them the most money; and Christ and him crucified is a stranger in their sermons. One of them has been preaching a series of sermons in our little town, and his first text was, “A Model Son;” his second, “A Model Daughter;” his third, “A Model Wife;” his fourth, “A Model Husband.” His sermons had no Christ, no Savior of poor, lost, helpless sinners in them; there was no food for little children and little lambs in the whole series; the whole labor was to get out a crowd and gather money. Do you think that Paul, or Peter, or John would claim relationship with such preachers? No; they would say, “Away with such trash.” “For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.” Paul would feed the little babes with milk, the sincere, pure, unadulterated milk of the word; for it was what their new life and nature required, and what their souls hungered and thirsted for, and they could not live and grow strong without it.

The newborn babe could feel its necessities, but knew not from whence its supplies must come; it could feel pain and grief of soul, but knew not where to look for ease; it could feel its sinful state, and hear the awful curse of the law pronounced against it, but it was blind to any way of salvation; it could see and feel that it was a slave to sin and death, but was blind to any way of deliverance. Little children, you know this. You can look back, and remember it all and how you wept, mourned, and cried in your despair and helpless state; but was blind to any way of escape. Paul had traveled the same road, and by divine light shining within, he was made to see the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ; and by revelation and a special call he was made a minister of the gospel of Christ, to go and hunt up these little ones among the Gentiles; “to open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in Christ;” but it is not once said, to give life to the dead; that is God’s work, and he will have the glory of it. Paul, nor any other minister, is not allowed to do this, directly, nor instrumentally, lest some should say, I am of Paul, or I of Appolus, or I of Cephas; and the glory would be given to men, and taken from the Lord. But the newborn babe may be taught and comforted, and have its mind and eyes directed to the true fountain of peace and salvation by the nurses and feeders that God has called and sent to it; as the eunuch was taught and comforted by Philip, the jailer by Paul, and Cornelius by Peter.

If the Jews argument against Paul were true, that faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God, it would not affect our argument; for the dead can not hear, and there is no human power that can make them hear. The natural man can not know the things of the Spirit; and no power can make him hear or know, but the power that can give life, hearing, and all the senses. This is a proposition too plain to be misunderstood, and I am sure it is understood by the little ones to whom I am talking, for the anointing they have received from the Holy One has taught them this truth, and they know that faith is not the medium through which life is given; but it is the evidence of life, and the fruit of the Spirit. “He that believeth on the Son of God hath eternal life, and shall not come into condemnation.” How do you know that he hath everlasting life? Because he is a believer, and faith is an evidence that he possesses that life.

There are two systems of salvation taught in the world that are consistent in themselves; one is consistent with the teaching of the Bible, and Christian experience; the other is not. You little ones will see this yourselves, when I present them.

The one teaches that man is not dead in sins, nor totally depraved, but has life and abilities in and of himself to hear the gospel, believe it, repent, and do all its conditions, come to Christ, and be saved. There is no grace in this system. One of its advocates, in a debate with me said, “When I do the commandments, I will demand heaven as a matter of right.” This is consistent, and makes all depend upon human works and instrumentalities; and he that attempts to mix grace with it, spoils the system, and makes it a batch of inconsistencies.

The other teaches that men, in their natural, unregenerated state, are totally depraved, dead in sin, past feeling, without strength, and can not know the things of the Spirit; that it is God’s work to quicken and make alive the dead, and this he does independent of all instrumentalities; that it is the blood of Christ alone that cleanses from all sin; and that the salvation of the sinner is wholly by grace, and not by works of righteousness which we have done, or can do. This gives God all the glory, and humbles the sinner down in the dust at his feet. Any effort to mix instrumentalities and human agencies with this system, robs God of his glory, and makes it a batch of inconsistencies and contradictions, which can never be reconciled by human wisdom.

I need not argue with you which of these is the truth; the anointing you have received from the Holy One has already taught you your helpless, ruined, lost condition, and that whatever change has been wrought in you is all of grace; and you can say, with Paul, “By the grace of God I am what I am.” If grace had not interposed, if God had not, of his own rich mercy and sovereign love, quickened and raised me up from that state of death, and changed the affections of my heart to love the things I once hated, I should today have been dead in sin, walking in the course of this world, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the carnal mind. So, whatever spiritual life I have, or hope of immortal glory, all are the gifts of God, and of free and sovereign grace. It was grace that taught my soul to fear, and gave me a view of God’s justice in my condemnation; and it was grace that relieved my fears, and gave me a view of Christ, the end of the law for righteousness to me, a poor sinner. 0 it was of grace, God’s rich, abounding grace, that I was given to Christ, and he was made unto me wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption; so that all the glorying I have is in the Lord, and through his rich, unbounding grace to me, the chief of sinners.

There is no philosophy and vain deceit in this. You little ones who have been taught of the Lord know it; you have been taught it in your own experience. You can well remember when you had no hungering and thirsting for righteousness, no panting after the living God, no love for Jesus or his dear people; their society you would shun, and their pleasures were no pleasures to you. But when spiritual life was given you, you felt a great change; there was a hungering and thirsting after spiritual food and drink that you had never felt before, which you will never forget; nor will you ever forget how you fainted and sunk down in despair when those means and instrumentality men came and tried to feed and comfort you with their conditional, old covenant gospel that had no grace, no life, no justification in it for the poor, condemned sinner, who laid guilty and helpless beneath the curse, and could draw no hope nor comfort from the law. All the promises their gospel gave were on conditions which you had no power to perform. If the food they offered had been within an inch of your mouth you had no power to take it, or appropriate it to yourself. You could not believe that any promise or invitation of the gospel belonged to such a vile and justly condemned sinner as you felt yourself to be.

Their conditional means gospel once suited you well, for you then believed you had power to comply with all the conditions, and it would have been an insult for any one to have told you that you were sunk in helpless guilt, justly condemned, with no power to help yourself, or to save yourself from endless woe. But now, prostrate on the ground, with a despairing heart, you have confessed this truth to God, and in the language of the poet can say.

Should sudden vengeance seize my breath,

I must pronounce thee just in death;

And if my soul were sent to hell,

Thy righteous law approves it well.

0 what a change you have felt! It is not a mere change of conduct, but the affections and desires of the heart are changed; your views of God are such as you never had before; he is now just, even if you are sent to hell, and all the world is saved; for you are such a vile sinner. I remember, about sixty years ago, of hearing a little boy of eleven years tell his experience to the church in Lebanon, Ohio; and when he was speaking of the views he had of himself as a great sinner, he said, “I felt that God was just if I were lost, and every body else were saved.” My father said, “Robert, how is this? You are but eleven years old.” He looked up to father, with the tears streaming from his eyes, and said, “0, eleven years, spent in sin against such a holy, good, and just God, are enough to sink me forever.”

0, little ones, you know what the boy felt; for you have drank of the same bitter waters; you have passed under the same dark and gloomy cloud of sin that cast you down in despair at the foot of Sinai, where you heard the voice of words, which killed your last, lingering hope, and taught you that there was no life or salvation for you in any conditional system. The conditions of the law ruined you, for you had violated them, and they cursed you. When the law was broken, the conditions not complied with, the penalty was certain and unconditional: “The soul that sinneth it shall die.” 0 what a dark moment that was to you, dear child! You almost lost consciousness, and felt that you were sinking into eternity without hope, without God, to bear the just penalty of sin forever and ever. If sin had sealed your lips so that you could not pray, your wounded, broken heart made the confession, “It is just.” But 0, what a change now took place! The voice of words, that was so terrible you could not bear them, ceased to sound in your ears; the thunderings of Sinai were all hushed, and Calvary, with its bleeding sacrifice, its atoning blood, the cleansing fountain that washes away all guilt, and purges the heart from an evil conscience, was brought before your eyes; and 0 the sweet voice of words you now heard sounding in your soul, and filling you with joy inexpressible and full of glory! There was no curse in them, no condition; they met your case, dispelled your gloom and despair, raised you up from the gate of endless misery, and filled your soul with love, joy, and peace, and your heart with the sweet songs of praise. 0 the word came from the blessed IMMANUEL: “I was made to be a curse for you; as it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree.” The conditions of the law are all fulfilled for you, poor, helpless sinner; you are no more under its curse, but under grace. “I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and iniquities will I remember no more.” This unconditional promise gave you hope then, and it gives you hope today; it has been your resting-place in all the warrings, fears, and temptations through which you have past; and you have his unconditional word: “I give unto them eternal life, and they shall never perish.” This strengthens your hope, and brightens your prospects, for your sorrows here will soon end, and in heaven, your eternal home, there is no sorrow, no sin, no death. Dear little ones, our meetings here will end; but there we will meet to part no more, and God and the Lamb will be the light of the place. So let it be, dear Lord.


“But faith which worketh by love;” Ga 5:6.

Our subject today is one of vital importance; one in which we should all feel a great interest, for without faith it is impossible to please God, or to come to him; Heb 11:6. Any service on our part that is not the work of faith, that is done without faith, or, “is not of faith, is sin;” Ro 14:23. This destroys every hope of the mere nominal professors, or them that put on the outward garb of Christianity, while they are destitute of the faith of God’s elect. Christ tells us that, “He that believeth not shall be damned;” Mr 16:16. He shall suffer the endless burning. Then how carefully we should all discuss this subject, feeling that our eternal well-being is connected with it, but especially we who profess to be Christians, looking not to the things that are seen, but to the things that are unseen, and hoping to wear a crown of rejoicing in the world that is beyond human sight.

In the system of salvation through Jesus Christ, every hope of salvation or immortal joys is excluded but what springs from grace, and is received by faith. It is faith that receives every covenant blessing that flows from a gracious Lord. The faith of God’s elect has Jesus for its author; Heb 12:2; and is an evidence that the Spirit of Him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwells in us. It receives Jesus for its object, his word for its warrant-his power for its support. Its aim is his glory, and love is its inseparable companion. Faith is a fruit of the Spirit, and an evidence of our union with Christ, and of our justified state; Ro 5:1. Faith differs from a mere opinion, or rational conviction and acknowledgement of a fact forced upon us by testimony brought to the rational mind by words and arguments used by man; for it would then stand in the wisdom of man, and not in the power of God. Paul says, “And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit, and of power; that your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God;” 1Co 2:4-5. Man can not believe just what he pleases, or believe against clear and unquestionable testimony, for truths may be so clearly demonstrated or proven to the mind that we are irresistibly forced to acknowledge them and believe them, when there is no love for them, and in our hearts we wish they were not true; Isa 53:3; Jas 2:19. This faith may confess the truth, but hate it at the same time. But the faith that is of God, and wrought in us by the same power that raised up Christ from the dead, is called “saving faith,” and is wrought in us by the Spirit of God, and by it we receive Christ as he is revealed in the gospel, our wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption. This faith has hope and love for its companions, and is manifested by our humble and faithful obedience to the laws, and to Christ, its author and finisher.

Works of obedience to Christ are associated with faith as its fruits; so faith without works is dead, being alone, as the body is without the spirit. James and Paul both bring forward Abraham, in whom dwelt the faith of God’s elect, to illustrate God’s method of saving and justifying his chosen people. The eternal purpose of God in the salvation of lost and ruined sinners of Adam’s race was embodied in the promise made to Abraham: “In thy seed shall all the kindreds of the earth be blessed;” Ac 3:25. In this promise was embodied a “mystery,” which was hid in God, and was the immutable purpose of his will, that in “the fullness of the dispensation of the times” he would gather in one all things in Christ, and that the Gentiles, who were not of the law, or the descendants of Abraham according to the flesh, should be made the children of Abraham, and, in Christ, heirs of the same blessings with the election of grace among the Jews; Eph 2:4-22; Ro 11:5-7. This mystery is made known to the saints by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, bearing witness with our spirits that we are the children of God; Ro 8:16; or as expressed in Col 1:26-27; “Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages, and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints: to whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.”

It is clear, therefore, that according to the covenant of grace confirmed in Christ, and preached to Abraham before the giving of the law of circumcision, this mystery was embodied: that neither circumcision nor uncircumcision availed any thing; but that we must be “new creatures;” Ga 6:15; “created in Christ Jesus;” Eph 2:10. This new creature is the work of God, for, “Ye are his workmanship.” Their heir ship and relation to God as sons, and heirs to spiritual blessings, rests not upon their fleshly birth as the children of Adam, or creatures of God, nor upon external rites, services, ordinances, or works of righteousness which they do, but upon the second birth, or regeneration, which is being born of God, born of an incorruptible seed, and made new creatures in Christ. The first birth brings us into this world with a life and sensibilities to enjoy the comforts of this world, and to suffer the pains and sorrows that flesh and blood are heir to. The second birth brings us into the spiritual kingdom with a life and sensibilities to enjoy the spiritual comforts and blessings of the spiritual kingdom of Christ, and to suffer the trials and afflictions of the saints, and the war of fleshly lusts against the soul. This work is an inward work, or the work of God in the soul; for, “He is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter, whose praise is not of men, but of God:” Ro 2:29. Abraham, who is a representative man, received the promise, and had faith in God before the law of circumcision was given, or he had yielded obedience to any external rite or ordinance. In speaking of this faith of Abraham while in uncircumcision, the apostle says, “For if Abraham was justified by works, he hath whereof to glory, but not before God.” Now, that faith was not a work or condition wrought by Abraham, but a fruit of the Spirit wrought in him, is clearly taught by the apostle in the following language: “Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt: but to him that worketh not, but believeth on Him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.” This faith begat in Abraham trust and confidence in God, so that he regarded not his own age, or the age of Sarah. He staggered not at the promise of God, although natural reason and fleshly evidence was against it. This faith, accompanied with love, wrought in Abraham a willing and obedient heart to do the commands of God. And his work wrought with his faith when he offered up Isaac on the altar, and he was now justified by works and not by faith only. When was it he was justified by works? It was forty years after God called him righteous, and confirmed to him by oath the immutable promise, or covenant, by which, in Christ Jesus, Abraham was an heir of eternal salvation, and justified in the sight of God. When James speaks of Abraham’s justification by works and not by faith only, he is speaking of the offering up of Isaac, which was forty years after the justification that Paul speaks of that was without works. And to prove that this salvation and justification is not of works, nor a condition performed by Abraham, Paul says, “To him that worketh, the reward is not of grace, but of Debt.” Abraham’s justification by works being forty years after God had justified him by grace, made him an heir of eternal salvation, preached the gospel of the covenant to him, and constituted him the father of the faithful, could not be the means of his heir ship, eternal salvation, or justification by grace.

Faith without works is alone. Works of obedience are the manifest evidence before men that we are the children of God, the friends of our Lord Jesus Christ. This obedience to God distinguished Abraham as an obedient child of God, an heir of eternal salvation; it was the justification of obedience, and by it he is made a pattern for all the redeemed and regenerated family. Not as a condition upon which eternal salvation depends, but as a living fruit and evidence of their regenerated state, and that the Spirit of God is in them, working in them both to will and to do the good pleasure of God. Circumcision was given to Abraham after he was justified and blessed of God, and had faith in God, and righteousness was imputed to him, and circumcision of the flesh was given him as an external sign of the internal circumcision of the heart, or of the faith he had, yet being uncircumcised in the flesh. “As many as are led by the Spirit of God are the sons of God,” and, “If any man have not the Spirit of Christ he is none of his.” It is by our works of obedience to Christ we give evidence of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, and that we are the sons of God; for, “By their fruits ye shall know them.” They who are of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham, are his children according to promise although they never existed in his loins as a seed, and are heirs to the promise and covenant of grace made sure to all the seed. Having been called by his grace, and cleansed by the washing of regeneration, and the renewing of the Holy Spirit, we shall walk in newness of life, and in obedience to the command of God, and observe and obey all the ordinances of his house just as he has commanded, without any change, alterations, adding to, or taking from. This is the obedience and work of faith, and in this way we lay up a good foundation against the time to come, and lay hold on eternal life. By doing the holy commandments of God we enter the holy city and have right to the tree of life. According to these works we are judged, and shall come forth in the resurrection of life as one that has done good, one to whom Christ will say, “Inasmuch as ye did it to the least of these my brethren, ye did it unto me.” “Come ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.” Thus all the saints should live, walk, and obey Christ. This is their character as set forth in the gospel, whether a representative man like Abraham is brought forth to illustrate their true character and what grace has made them, or whether the gospel be consulted to describe their works and character as the fruits and evidences of God’s Spirit dwelling in them, for all our works are wrought in God, and are evidences of our gracious state. With such their works are the works of faith and labor of love, and all harmonize in the glorious plan of salvation by grace, and exhibit before all beholders; 1st, What the blessed God has done for us and in us to make us right and acceptable before him in the righteousness of our. Lord Jesus Christ, which is to all, and upon all them that believe; 2nd, what we do in obedience to him as a proof of our heir ship and righteousness in him. When Christ went to John to be baptized he said, “Thus it becometh us to fulfill all righteousness.” All the commands and examples of our Lord are righteous commands and examples, and when his children obey him and imitate him, they are doing righteous works, and shall receive the reward, the answer of a good conscience toward God. In this way they are justified by works, and shall be blessed in their deed. The peaceable fruits of righteousness are enjoyed by those who do these things as they cannot be enjoyed by the disobedient. This should stimulate us to be followers of God as dear children, and walk in love, for if we abide in his word, and do the will of our Master, we shall abide in his love.

Thus good works are united with faith as the fruit of the Spirit, as beautiful adornments that distinguish the child of God from the world. They are called a white robe, by which they adorn themselves, the “righteousness of the saints,” by which they make themselves ready to meet the bridegroom; Re 19:7-8. The robe we wear is no part of our person, but its adornment. Our person is made righteous by the blood of Christ, -which cleanseth us from all sin. When we are called by his grace, and translated into the kingdom of God’s dear Son, and have our conscience purged from dead works to serve the living God, it is our duty and work to adorn ourselves with all Christian virtues; to put on the new man, which, after God, is created in righteousness and true holiness; to give all diligence to add to faith virtue, and to virtue knowledge, and to knowledge temperance, and to temperance patience, and to patience godliness, to godliness brotherly-kindness, and to brotherly-kindness charity. For if these things be in you and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ; 2Pe 1:5-8. By these works of faith we make our calling and election sure, and lay a good foundation against the time to come.

The present salvation and comfort of the Lord’s children is inseparably connected -with their obedience to Christ and their works of faith and love. Hence, Jesus tells us, “If ye abide in my word, ye shall abide in my love,” and the apostle exhorts us in language that can not be misunderstood, that we ought to be obedient to Christ Jesus, and to give earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let them slip; and assures us that if every transgression and disobedience received a just recompense of reward under the dispensation, spoken by angels, we shall not escape if we neglect so great a salvation, which was spoken unto us by the Lord, and was confirmed to us by them that heard him; Heb 2:1-4. It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God, and feel his chastening rod fall upon us. And upon the disobedient child it is certain to fall. There is no escape, only by taking heed to his word, walking in his statutes, and keeping his commandments. And in doing his commandments there is a great reward that the obedient child is sure to enjoy; for God, who can not lie, has said, “They that wait upon the Lord SHALL renew their strength; they SHALL mount up with wings as eagles; they SHALL run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint;” Isa 40:31. I have put an emphasis upon the SHALLS in this text. They are the Lord’s SHALLS, and should strengthen the faith of God’s children, and encourage them in the way of obedience, even in dark and trying times. Again it is said, “For the Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord will give grace and glory; no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly;” Ps 84:11. These are the faithful and precious promises of our God, and the comforts will be felt and enjoyed in the heart of every child who lives in humble obedience to Christ, and learns of him, and not of men; for God’s children are to have but one pattern, and their spiritual comfort and happiness are connected with and dependent upon their following the pattern.

In the religion of Jesus every comfort and blessing the child of God enjoys in this life is connected with the obedience of faith. For by faith we receive every covenant blessing and love of a gracious God. “Being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ;” Ro 5:1. Faith is not a mere assent of the mind, a mere fancy or opinion, produced by arguments or testimony brought to the natural mind, for it is the “substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen;” Heb 11:1. It is wrought in us by the same power that raised up our Lord Jesus Christ from the dead, and is an evidence that we are born of God, have passed from death unto life, and shall not come into condemnation. Instead of being the fruit of testimony, it is a witness testifying in the souls of the children of God, their interest in Christ, and the virtues of his blood; by this witness they are enabled to “read their title clear to mansions in the skies.” Some that hear me today will never forget when that witness first bore its testimony to their souls, and the dark cloud of guilt and despair passed away, and light and comfort filled their souls.

When the heart did believe,

What a joy I received,

What a heaven In Jesus’ name.

There is a faith that is begotten by words and arguments addressed to the rational mind, and this faith differs nothing from the faith of devils. The Jews who said of Christ, that he was one of the prophets raised from the dead, came to a rational conclusion from the evidence before them; for the prophets had wrought miracles, and even raised the dead. They knew that these works were superhuman, and that no man could do them, except God was with him; and when Christ did these works they believed on him as a prophet or even as one of the prophets raised from the dead. But when he claimed to be the Son of God they called him a blasphemer. and took up stones to cast at him. The spirit of an unclean devil had this faith, for he cried out, “I know thee who thou art, the Holy one of God;” Lu 4:34. His faith had no love in it, neither had the faith of the Jews, or they would not have taken up stones to cast at him. This faith which stands in human wisdom and human argument abounds in the world, and Paul, in the tenth chapter of Romans, describes it and the character of those governed by it, and he says they have a great zeal of God, but not according to knowledge; “For they, being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God.” This faith looks not to Christ, but to the law of works, and they who have it have no righteousness but what is derived from their obedience to the law. To them Christ and the atoning virtues of his blood are nothing; “For if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain;” Ga 2:21. But the faith of God’s elect looks to Christ as the end of the law for righteousness. The righteousness of the law is described by Moses; “That the man that doeth these things shall live by them.” “But the righteousness that is of faith speaketh on this wise, Say not in thine heart, who shall ascend into heaven? (that is, to bring Christ down from above:) or, Who shall descend into the deep? (that is, to bring up Christ again from the dead.)” It is true Christ died and was buried, and is risen from the dead, and now lives and reigns, and is giver or author, and the finisher of our faith. Faith as a fruit of the Spirit is wrought of God in our hearts. Therefore, “With the heart man believeth unto righteousness.” This believer hath the Spirit of God in him, and under its influence “confession is made unto salvation,” for, “Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God;” 1Jo 4:15. “Wherefore,” says Paul, “I give you to understand that no man, speaking by the Spirit of God, calleth Jesus accursed,” (anathema,)” and that no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost;” 1Co 12:3. Faith in the heart, confession with the mouth, and prayer, are fruits of the Spirit, and evidences that God dwells in the man, and he in God.

“The preaching of the cross of Christ is to them that perish, foolishness, but unto us which are saved, it is the power of God;” 1Co 1:18. To every believer, to every one born of God, quickened into spiritual life, having the faith of God in his heart, it is the power of God unto salvation. “For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, the just shall live by faith;” Ro 1:17. There is light in the glorious gospel of God to enlighten and instruct the renewed mind, the regenerated sinner, and to reveal blessed truths and comforts to the eye prepared to receive light. But unto them whose minds are blinded by the god of this world, who are dead in sin, our gospel is hid; 2Co 4:3-4. “But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God; for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned;” 1Co 2:14. If the gospel discerns spiritual things, gives spiritual instruction, we must have spiritual life to receive the instruction.

Human philosophy, or human wisdom, can never reveal these things. They are beyond its power of conception; it is hid from them. Christ says, “I thank thee, 0 Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes;” Mt 11:25. This truth is confirmed by Paul, when disputing with the Jews and devout persons in the synagogue at Athens; for it is said, “Then certain philosophers of the Epicureans, and of the Stoics, encountered him. And some said, what will this babbler,” (base fellow,)” say? other some, He seemeth to be a setter forth of strange gods: because he preached unto them Jesus, and the resurrection;” Ac 17:18. Human philosophy, or human teaching, never can reveal Christ to the unrenewed mind, or natural man, as the Son of God if Christ has taught the truth when he says, “No man knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him.” When Peter said, “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Jesus answered and said unto him, “Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-Jona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven;” Mt 16:16-17. There is nothing in human science, nor in the wisdom of men, that can reveal Christ and the resurrection to the natural man. Hence it is that Paul exclaims, ‘”Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God;” 1Co 1:20. “He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life;” 1Jo 5:12. Where there is no life there can be no knowledge, or faith, and as eternal life is given us in Christ, and he is our life, we only have spiritual life when we possess Christ, for he is the resurrection and the life, and it is his voice that the dead hear and live; for his word is Spirit, and it is life, for when he speaks the dead hear and live. “And if Christ be in you, the body is dead, because of sin, but the Spirit is life, because of righteousness.” “In him was life, and the life was the light of men.” Without this spiritual life there is no spiritual light within us. We may have the light of nature so that we can understand the things of man and of nature, but to understand the things of God, or of the Spirit, we must have the Spirit of God, for, “It is the Spirit that takes of the things of Christ and reveals them unto his children.” Light may shine upon the dead with all its brilliancy, but it gives neither life nor sensibility; it reveals no beauties, and gives no instruction. But, “He that hath the Son hath life,” and where this life is, the eyes are opened and prepared to receive the light, and the ears are prepared to hear, and the heart is prepared to understand and receive the “light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.” To this soul the glorious gospel of Christ can shine, and reveal to it the mystery of redemption, and the way of salvation through Jesus Christ. It is to it, the power of God unto salvation. To this soul it comes in power and demonstration of the Spirit, as evidence to the living, who are able to receive the testimony in all its divine force and power. This soul will tremble under the Word of the Lord, as it reveals to it the justice and purity of the divine law, and the corruption and sinfulness of its own nature. It will tremble and fall into despair, and confess the justice of its own condemnation. And it will be filled with joy inexpressible and full of glory by the same Word, as it reveals to it Christ Jesus, the way, the truth, and the life. But this man hath the Son of God in him, and hath faith given him to receive the testimony of the gospel, and appropriate Christ to himself, as did the spouse when she cried, “My beloved is mine, and I am his.” This is saving faith, wrought in the soul by the Spirit and power of Him that raised up Jesus from the dead, and by it we receive Christ as revealed in the gospel, to be our Prophet, Priest, and King; and our Lord, our Redeemer, and Savior; and trust in him, and rely upon him alone, as our righteousness, and justification, and salvation.

This faith begets within us sincere obedience to the laws and ordinances of Christ, in our lives and conversation. It assures us of the reality and worth of eternal and invisible things, and begets within the soul assured confidence in God, that he will infallibly perform what he has promised, whereby the believer is as confident of them as if they were before his eyes, or in his possession. For says Paul, “I know in whom I have believed; and he will keep that which I have committed to him against that day.” Faith’s firm foundation is the essential, supreme perfections, and immutability of God; his immutable truth, his unerring knowledge, his infinite goodness, almighty power, and unchanging love. This faith has a prevailing influence upon the will. It dwells in the heart, draws the affections of the soul, and renders the whole man obedient to the gospel; not as a slavish servitude, but the obedience of love. It is his meat and his drink to do the will of God.

Would not my ardent spirit vie

with angels round thy throne,

To execute thy sacred will,

and make thy glory known?

is the language of faith, the desires of the heart purged from an evil conscience. This soul finds its spiritual rest, its meat and its drink, its spiritual strength, and its comfort in doing the commands of Christ; in bearing the yoke, and learning of him. Thus the faith that is of God, the gift of God, the fruit of his Spirit, is ever distinguished from natural faith, or that faith produced in the natural mind by words and arguments, and sometimes called historical faith. There being no love with this faith, whatever acts of obedience may be performed, are the acts of a slave prompted by fear, or the hope of reward. It is said, “There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.” Such is the blindness that it is natural for us to mistake error for truth, fancy for faith, the heat of animal passion for love. Yea, we may be so confident therein that we may scoff at doubts and fears of the saint when passing under dark clouds, or temptation, or through the refiner’s furnace. But true faith ever worketh by love, even that love which suffereth long and is kind, envieth not, vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, does not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil, rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; 1Co 13:4-6. Jesus is essentially the truth. “I am,” says Christ, “the way, and the truth, and the life; no man cometh unto the Father but by me.” All the love God has to us poor, fallen, sinful creatures centers in Christ, and flows to us through, him. It was this love that chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love; that predestinated us to the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself; and hath made us accepted in the beloved, and we are made the righteousness of God in Christ. This is the sure and immutable foundation upon which faith is built, and upon which it rests. And when a knowledge of these truths is revealed to the regenerated heart, and faith embraces them, it fills that heart with love, and it will sing, -

Thou knowest I love thee, dearest Lord,

But oh! I long to soar,

Far from the sphere of mortal joys,

That I may love thee more.

This love in us is the fruit of God’s Spirit; the saint knows it and will testify with John, “We love him because he first loved us.” It is one of the great and deciding evidences of our being sons and heirs of God; for, “He that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God.” Without love there can be no union, and sweet fellowship. It is by this blessed fruit of the Spirit that we feel and know that our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ. The Spirit of God beareth witness itself with our spirit that we are the children of God. This is the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father, and feel assured in our hearts of our filial relationship with God; for, “Thereby we know we dwell in him, and he in us, because he hath given us his Spirit.”

Our evidences of being heirs of God are not found in any good that is in our flesh, for the more we look there for it, the darker the scene will get, and the greater will be our fears that we are no child, that we are a poor, deceived creature. Neither is our evidences founded upon any acts of obedience we have done, for hypocrites and wicked persons have put on all the externals of religion. It is the Spirit given to us bearing its witness with our spirit, that strengthens us and comforts us, and gives us assurance of our heirship while here in the flesh. This love embraces the brotherhood, all the family of God; for “He that loveth not his brother, abideth in death.” He is called a murderer, and hath not eternal life abiding in him. While the world is divided into sects and contending parties, this love embraces all who can speak the Shibboleth, or give Zion’s password, and this the most illiterate can do, for they are all taught of the Lord, “The secret of the Lord is with them,” and there is no fierce language that extols human powers, and abilities, and virtues among them. Their peace is great; they love the Father; his voice is sweet to them, and they love the children, for they see the likeness of the Father in them, and will seek to meet often with them, and talk about the power, the riches, and fullness of God’s grace, and the glory of his kingdom. We may talk about our church fellowship and peace, but there is no fellowship or peace that is worthy of the name where there is no love. Love is the sweet tie that binds our hearts together in fellowship.

Blessed be the tie that binds

Our hearts in Christian love,

The fellowship of kindred minds

Is like to that above.

We share each other’s woes,

Our mutual burdens bear,

And often for each other flows

The sympathizing tear.

The more our hearts are filled with this love, the more of heaven shall we enjoy here below, and the brighter and stronger will be our evidences of union with Christ; for by this “we know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren.” This love leads us to seek the society of God’s humble poor, who are hated and scorned by the world, and by false professors, and false churches, for this is a sect everywhere spoken against. But to suffer with them, and with them bear the reproaches of Christ is greater honors than the world can give, and in them are sweeter comforts than the world can know any thing about. To be esteemed worthy to suffer reproaches with Christ, and enjoy the fellowship and love of his poor and despised children here on earth, is higher honors than the world can give. To be a doorkeeper in the house of my God would to me be higher honors and sweeter pleasures than the world can give. The house of God to me is such a lovely place, and his children are such lovely ones that one day with them is better than a thousand in the pleasures and vanities of the world. Their language to the saints will be as the word of Ruth to Naomi, “Entreat me not to leave thee, nor to return from following after thee? for whither thou goest I will go; and where thou lodgest I will lodge; thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God; where thou diest I will die, and there will I be buried.” Every acceptable act of obedience prompted by this love in the soul. The world loses all its charms; we are willing to give it up and bear its frowns and hatred to be a disciple of Christ, enjoy his smiles and take his yoke upon us, and bear his cross, although the world may pity and despise.

           Men may trouble and distress me;
          ‘Twill but drive me to thy breast:
           Life with trials hard may press me;
           Heaven will bring me sweeter rest.

0, ‘tis not’ in grief to harm me

While thy love is left to me;

0, ‘twere not in joy to charm me,

Were that joy unmixed with thee.

I feel that I am this day talking to some who have felt this love in their hearts, and are yet living in the world, and from the people they love, and hope to live with when the troubles and labors of life are over. 0, how can you live away from them? Dear child, come home. This is your Father’s house these are his children, and your brethren and kindred. They love you, and you love them. I know you do. The tear I now see stealing down the cheek tells the story. 0, why do you stay away? You surely are not ashamed of the cross of Christ? I think I hear you say, “No! 0, how gladly would I bear it! I would hold it to my heart, but the honor is too great for me; I am too unworthy.” But, dear soul, I answer:

If you tarry till you’re better,

You will never come at all;

All the fitness he requireth,

Is to feel your need of him;

This he gives you,

‘ Tis the Spirit’s rising beam.

“You feel your need of him.” You have no hiding place, no shelter from the storm, no living water, or shadow of a great rock in a weary land, but in Jesus. You feel unworthy; so do all his children. He came to save sinners; to seek and save that which was lost.

Come ye weary, heavy laden,

Lost and ruined by the fall;

If you tarry till you’re better,

You will never come at all;

Not the righteous—

Sinners Jesus came to call.

His arms are ready to receive you, and the arms and hearts of his children are ready to embrace you, and bid you welcome to a place in the court of the Lord. It is sweet to sit in the banqueting house of Jesus, and beneath the banner of his love. This is the home of the saints, the bride of Jesus. It is here she meets her Beloved and hears his words of love, and her cup runneth over with joy. 0, come and feast with her; the table is spread for you.

Jesus, my Savior, let me share

The meanest of thy servants’ fare;

May I at last approach to taste

The blessings of thy marriage feast.

Yes, this feast is for you; come and taste with us the comforts that the obedient and loving child shall feel in obeying his Lord, and in sitting with His family, and feasting upon the good things he has prepared for you. For the One you love above all others says, “Eat, 0 friends; drink; yea, drink abundantly, 0 beloved.” Have you joys in the world? have you delights, then, that you can not give up for communion with the saints, and the peace of conscience you would feel in the way of obedience to Christ.? Answer these questions in your own heart, and be obedient to Him who has called you by his grace.

0, my brethren, do you love our God? Do you love the dear Savior who freely shed his precious blood for you? Do you love his kingdom, his laws, his ordinances, and his people? 0, is Zion, the city of our God, your delight? Then let your faith be joined with love, and be made manifest by your works and labors of love, for true faith only works by love. All devourings, bitings, and evil speaking are of the flesh, and are not of faith. If you have the faith that works by love, you will love your enemies, and pray for them. Your Savior, when on the cross, suffering the cruel tortures of that shameful death, prayed for his unfeeling persecutors and murderers. Your brother, Stephen, when his body was bruised by the stones cast at him by his enemies, and his soul was departing to his God, prayed for his murderers. 0, could the Spirit of our Master dwell with us all, at all times, and we be led and controlled by it, it would save us from ‘ many regrets and sorrowful days and nights. It would give us sweeter joy than to see our persecutors and enemies punished. Prayer is the desire of the soul, prompted by a knowledge of our needs and holy desires begotten within us by the Holy Spirit, and when we are imitating our Lord, in a life of obedience, we can approach the throne of grace with filial boldness, and there receive the mercy and grace we need; for he has said, “Seek, and ye shall find; ask, and it shall be given.” 0, what a privilege it is to come to a loving God, whose ears are ever open to our complaints and humble prayers! and you must come in faith, believing that he is, and is a rewarder of them that seek him.

Dear sinner, how do you feel? Is your heart so hard that love cannot move it? Are your eyes so blind that you cannot see the slippery place upon which you stand, with fiery billows beneath you? Can you hear the groans, see the sweat-like drops of blood, and hear the prayer of the sinner’s Friend, and feel no love for him in your heart? Can you sit and witness the tears and prayers of these dear saints, and feel no tender emotions? If this be the case, what can I say, what can I do, to melt your hearts, and fill them with love for the blessed Savior, and cause you to seek an interest in his atoning blood? Nothing! I realize it in my inmost heart. My arm is too short and feeble to reach you, and deliver you from the bondage of sin and death. All the powers of men or angels cannot save you. None but Jesus can save you, for there is salvation in none other. 0, may the Spirit of Him that raised up Jesus from the dead enter your hearts, that they may be melted down in love, and drawn to Christ, for there is salvation in none other for lost, helpless sinners.

Dear brethren and sisters, you are nearing the perfect shore. The stormy sea is almost past; the sorrows and troubles of time are almost over; your warfare will soon end; the time is near at hand when you shall, in triumph, enter the bright and sunny shore where faith will be lost in sight, and hope, in the possession of all you now hope for. But love, that eternal principle which unites you to God and his dear children, will never end or die. And as we journey to that happy state, through great tribulation, we can sing:

Haste thee on from grace to glory,

Armed by faith and winged by prayer;

Heav’ns eternal days before thee,

God’s own hand shall guide thee there.

Soon shall close thy earthly mission,

Soon shall pass thy pilgrim days;

Hope shall change to glad fruition,

Faith to sight, and prayer to praise.

Glory be to God, the author and finisher of “faith which worketh by love.”


“We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren;” 1Jo 3:14

Our text is the words of the beloved disciple, who leaned upon the bosom of Jesus, and listened to the sweet and instructive words that fell from his lips. This was a precious place to lean, and it seems he caught much of the spirit of love, tenderness long forbearance in affliction and persecution that were manifest in his Master.

John felt that he was a little, helpless child, that would be crushed and overpowered by his enemies if not protected by the power of his heavenly Protector; but when leaning on the bosom of Jesus he felt secure. He could feel the heart pulsate that is all love-that loveth at all times-that never changes, but is the same yesterday, to day, and forever. The dearest of earthly friends may leave me, and forget me, but this Friend never will. “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for thou art with me.” His watchful care over me is such that a hair cannot fall without his notice. He loved me, and died for me, to redeem me from the curse of the law when I was dead in sin and his enemy. When John leaned upon the bosom of Christ, and felt that there was a union between them that could never be dissolved, he could say, with his soul full of joy and confidence, “Behold what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not.” The world hated him, persecuted him, and put him to death, and we should not think it strange if the world hate and persecute us. “Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be; but we know that when he shall appear we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.” This is a glorious hope, and it is anchored in Christ the rock, both sure and steadfast. His name is a strong tower, and in it his little ones are safe. Little children, let no man deceive you, and lead you away from this strong and secure tower, and sure anchorage; for if you abide in his word, you shall abide in his love. 0 that love! unchanging love! that has touched and melted this hard and stony heart of mine, and raised me up from the gloomy shades of death and despair, to be a son and a joint heir with Christ, should inspire my soul with courage, to suffer with him here, and count my sufferings light, and sing with boldness,

Would not my heart pour forth its blood,

In honor of thy name?

And challenge the cold arm of death

To damp th’ immortal flame?


But when the needs be heaviness comes that we have to pass through that our faith may be tried, as gold in the fire, we lose sight of the sweet smiles that filled us with so much sweet joy, our confidence leaves us, and our songs are turned to mourning, and like the spouse in Solomon’s Song, we lay and weep, and feel like one deserted, and left without a friend or protector, upon whose bosom we can lean our head, and then with a sad heart we will say,

If a child, why am I thus?

Why this cold and lifeless frame?

Hardly sure can they be worse,

Who have never known his name.


Little children, I love to meet with you, and talk and preach to you, because you know the Father, and the truth, and that no lie is of the truth. We can talk about passing from death unto life, and understand each other. Your minds have not been darkened by human philosophy, and you have not been led away by that spirit of antichrist which is in the world, and is teaching that the sinner dead in sins is not quickened and made alive; that there is no change wrought in the affections of the Adam sinner by the glorious and gracious work of regeneration; or that this change is effected by agencies, means, and human efforts. I need not speak to you of these things, nor tell you that they all belong to the spirit of antichrist, and are false; for “ye have an unction from the Holy One, and ye know all things.” While we talk to you of those that would seduce you, we know that “the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him.” While I am warning you against these seducing spirits that tell you the dead can hear, repent, believe, and get eternal life, you begin to read the lesson which the anointing ye have received teaches you, and you know their teaching is false; for you know that you were once blind, and could see none of the glories that hang around the cross, and shine in the face of Jesus Christ, as you see them now. But they will say it is because you would not see; but you will tell them that for weeks, or months, and with some of you, perhaps, for years, you were laboring, toiling, and praying, to see how God could be just, and save a poor sinner like you. 0 how I did labor and strive after that knowledge! I would read my Bible; I would go to preaching; but the cloud grew only darker and darker, and I was taught to feel and know that I could not do the things that I would. But when “God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness,” shined in my heart, my eyes were opened to see his glory in the face of Jesus Christ. It was not a mere change of conduct, but a change of condition or state, a passing from death to life, from blindness to sight, from ignorance to knowledge, from deafness to hearing; and a new heart, new affections, new appetites were given me, so that I loved the things I once hated, and hated the things I once loved. I was a new creature; old things had passed away, and all things had become new. You could now say, like the blind man, “I was once blind, but now I see.” And by the anointing you have received of him, you will say, “I was dead, but now I live; was lost, but now I am found. Not that I found myself, but was found of him who came to seek and to save that which was lost.” The anointing you have received has written in your heart the sentiment of that good old hymn,

Amazing grace, how sweet the sound,

That saved a wretch like me,

I once was lost, but now I’m found,

Was blind, but now I see.


Twas grace that taught my heart to fear,

And grace my fears relieved;

How precious did that grace appear,

The hour I first believed.


Little ones, your seducers are crafty, and they will tell you that it is not the sinner that is changed, but a new man that eternally existed in heaven, that comes down and gets in this old man, and the war will last as long as they stay together; for they are antagonistic, and can never be reconciled. This brings you into trouble, for if this be true, then I, the sinner, am left out. For that heavenly child had no sins to be forgiven, no evil conscience to be purged, no hard and stony heart to mourn over, and to be melted and softened by God’s power and love. It was not dead in sins, and needed not to be quickened by the Spirit. Its election was not that it should be holy and without blame before God in love, for it was eternally so; it was not predestinated unto the adoption of a son, for it was eternally such; it could not be a new creature in Christ, for it eternally existed in him; it could not say, I am no more a foreigner and stranger, for it never was a foreigner and stranger; it could not sing to him that had washed its sins away, for it had no sins to wash away. This doctrine leaves me, the poor, fallen sinner, without hope. 0 the gloom that it brings over me! What shall I do? Go to your anointing; it will teach the truth, and tell you, “This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners.” And for your comfort, and to shut the mouths of these seducers, God hath said, “I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more.”

These seducers say that the soul is not a party in this warfare; but it is the territory that each party is contending for. But your unerring monitor will tell you that “fleshly lusts war against the soul.” Do these seducers, with their sophistries and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive, get you into trouble and confuse your mind? Go back with me to the days you can never forget, and tell me who it was that was burdened with a load of sin, that sought secret places to weep and pray, that lay sleepless at night, and shed tears of grief, feeling that the time of vengeance had come, land that the guilty soul must sink down forever in dark despair and endless ruin. To believe this strange doctrine you have to forget all these things, and drive from your mind the true sentiment of the poet you have so often sung with tears in your eyes, having felt the very things expressed:

When to the law I trembling fled,

It cursed me, and pronounced me dead-

I fell beneath its weight:

This perfect truth renewed my pain,

‘ The sinner must be born again:’

My woe I can’t relate.


Again did Sinai’s thunder roll,

And guilt lay heavy on my soul,

A vast and pon’drous load:

I read and saw this truth most plain,

‘ The sinner must be born again,’

Or sink In deep despair.


But while in anguish thus I lay,

Jesus of Nazareth passed that way-

On me his pity moved:

Although I might be justly slain,

He spoke, and I was born again-

By grace redeemed and loved.


Dear children, you know that you have felt a change; of this you cannot be mistaken, you cannot have a doubt; then, why be cast down with doubts and fears? 0 I am so fearful that the change is not the work of the Lord; that it is fleshly, and the effect of education and association. If you will look back to your experience you will get an answer that ought to satisfy your mind, and quiet the fears that so often distress you. Was there not a time with you when the company of Jesus was not desirable, and he was to you as a root out of dry ground, without form or comeliness, no loveliness that would draw your heart away from the world? You were happiest when you could think the least about him; but now he is the chiefest among ten thousand, and altogether lovely. His name is the sweetest name that falls upon your ear, in it are all your hopes and comforts; when his sweet face is veiled, and you can not see its smiles, your heart is broken; you feel like one deserted and left without a friend in the world; the day looks dark, and the night can give no sweet rest; earthly friends may then strive to make you happy, but all in vain. Why is it so with you if you do not love? This love began to be felt in your heart when God circumcised it to love him; it is his work, and a sure evidence that you are born of God, and have passed from death unto life. You may love your husband, or your wife; their presence gives joy, their company is pleasant, but this can not give you the joy your soul now hungers and thirsts for; but one smile from Jesus, one whisper of his love, one taste of his preciousness as your Savior and friend drives all fear and sorrow from your heart.

When but a boy I heard old brother Dewees tell a circumstance which I shall never forget: “My wife,” said he, had spent a very gloomy Saturday, and could sleep none all night; she was in Doubting Castle; she thought that she was deceived, and had deceived God’s dear children, and had no business to have a name or a place among them. I talked to her, but could give her no comfort. Sunday morning we started to meeting on foot; the country was new, and through forest all the way from my house to the meeting-house. My wife was sad, and most of the time weeping. She soon got some distance behind me, and as I came up to the road into which our path led, I met a brother whose heart was full of grief, and he soon began to tell me what a poor, deceived, deluded creature he was. ‘Stop, said I, until my wife comes up, and talk with her.’ She soon came up, and her eyes were red with weeping. The brother began to tell her what a poor creature he was, not fit to live, nor to die; for he was deceived, and had deceived the Lord’s people. ‘I am not fit to live among them, and the thought breaks my heart. 0 I love them so! I could lay at their feet, and wash them with my tears, if I could only feel that I was one of them, and fit to live with them.’ I watched my wife; I saw her countenance change, and soon with a smile she took the brother’s hand and said, ‘Hush your grief; cast away your doubts and fears; you love God’s children; you are born of God; you have passed from death unto life, and are no more a stranger and foreigner.’ We walked on to the meeting-house, and I took for my text, “We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren.” The Lord was with us, and it was a day of feasting to our souls, and as my wife and I went home she was happy, and walked through the woods singing,

‘I love thee, my Savior,
I love thee, my Lord,
I love thy dear people,
thy ways, and thy word.’

Little children, you know something about this love, and today you can say, with Israel’s king, “I had rather be a doorkeeper in the house of God, than to dwell in the tents of wickedness.” I had rather suffer afflictions with God’s poor and afflicted ones, than to enjoy all the vain earthly comforts a king’s palace can give. You are dead to the world, and the world is dead to you; the things that once gave you pleasure now give you pain. You now find joy and rest to your soul in bearing the cross of Christ, and learning of him; you now see ten thousand charms in him, that once your blind eyes could not see. You once esteemed him not, but now he is your beloved, and his presence fills your soul with joy that is inexpressible and full of glory. When he withdraws, your sorrow begins; away from him you have no peace, no resting-place for your soul. The strong and abiding desire of your soul now is, “Nearer, my God, to thee, nearer to thee.” Let me live “every day, every hour, and feel thy love and cleansing power.” All your comfort of love you find in Jesus, and you love him whenever you see him. You now see his likeness in his little children, and you love them and want to live with them. Now you can sit and hear them talk of the blessed Savior, of his love, and the riches of his grace, and never tire.

0 what a change you have felt! It is truly passing from death unto life, from darkness into light, from hatred to loving God and his dear children. Your greatest distress now is because you still find sinful lusts and evil propensities dwelling in the flesh, so that you cannot do the things you would. You desire to do good, to live holy and humbly, to be like a little child, and like John, to rest in the bosom of Jesus. You now love God, because he first loved you, and took your stony heart away, and gave you a heart of flesh-a heart that could feel and love. And you now love his children, because you see the likeness of the Father in them, and hope that you are kindred, and are all of the same Father. You can have no evidence of kindredship with those that have no change; that say they love sin as well as they ever did; that all that is said about the sinner’s being born again, and loving the things he once hated, and hating the things he once loved, is a vain delusion.

Dear little children, you have felt this change; you have been taught it by the anointing you have received, and you are the children of God. Cast away your doubts and fears; you are poor in this world, but rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom. Your loving, faithful Savior says, “Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.” Soon you shall sing the conqueror’s song in that bright and shining land where sorrow never comes, and all but love is done away. Your little preacher hopes to meet you there, to part no more forever. But while we are here we will meet often and talk about God’s power and the glory of his kingdom, and sing,

Blest be the tie that binds

Our hearts In Christian love;

The fellowship of kindred minds

Is like to that above.

SERMON ON Re 22:17

“And the Spirit and the bride say, come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely;” Re 22:17.

I believe it is agreed by all our brethren that this book gives us a history of the church from the time these revelations were made to the apostle John to the end of time, when the church shall, through Christ her King, triumph over all her enemies, and enter her glorified state, when she will no more need the light of the sun, moon, or stars, or any temporal light; for God and the Lamb will be the light of that place. There all tears shall be wiped from her eyes, and all cause of sorrow be done away forever. And there shall be no more curse. Purified from all sin, as a chaste virgin, without spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing, no charge can be brought against her. In this city, the eternal home of the saints, shall be the throne of God and the Lamb; and his servants shall serve him, and they shall see his face; not through a glass, darkly, or with a veil between; and his name shall be in their foreheads. There is no part of the human body more exposed to the sight of others than the forehead, nor more completely hid from our own sight. This is a happy arrangement, which keeps the saints humble, and esteeming others better than themselves. We can see the name of our God written in the foreheads of our brethren; we love them as the dear children of our God, in whom we see the loving, humble, quiet spirit of our Master dwelling. If I could see the same evidences in myself that I am a Christian that I see in them I would never doubt or fear any more. But 0! when I look into myself, I can see nothing but sin, corruption, and unworthiness; so that I fear I am not a saint at all; but if I am, I know I am the very least of all. The difference between the true child of God and the Pharisee is, that the Pharisee can always see his mark; it is the work of his own hands, and it is always clear and plain before his eyes, so that he has no doubts or fears, but feels that he has done his part, and holds God under obligations to him. But it is not so with the child of God; he never wrote that name in his forehead, and when he looks at himself and the imperfections and sinfulness of his own heart, he fears that blessed name has never been written upon him. He knows that he has felt a change; that he loves the things he once hated, and hates the things he once loved. He knows that whereas he was once blind he now sees, and he abhors his sinful, corrupt self as a poor, corrupt, filthy worm that can never cleanse itself from its slime and filth. He knows that he has felt a great change wrought in his feelings, his views of himself, and his views of God and his dear children; but he fears that this change is not the work of God, but that he is a poor, deceived creature. But, dear one, the name is in thy forehead; your brethren can see it, and they love you, and open their arms to receive you into their Christian fellowship. And you can read the lovely name in their foreheads, and love them, and embrace them, and at the same time wonder that they can love one so vile as you feel yourself to be. If this is true, what comfort it should be to you and me to have the fellowship of God’s children, and their witness that the name of God is in our foreheads. The judgment of God’s people should be of great worth and comfort to us, for they can see in our countenance what we can not see, and in our life and conversation what we can not see; for we feel that sin is mixed with all we do, and that “in me, that is in my flesh, dwelleth no good thing.”

When the bright day shall come that the saints shall enter into the city of God above, all fears, doubts, and darkness shall have passed away forever. They will no more need a candle, neither the light of the sun, for the Lord God giveth them light; and they shall reign forever and ever. We have many candle-dippers in this world, who are busy inventing lights by which they expect to evangelize the world and regenerate the hearts of men; but all their human lights and efforts can never give life to one sinner dead in sin. The sun, with all the lights that God has given to this world to drive darkness from its face, can never give life to the dead, or reveal to them any of the beauties of nature. That light gives life to the dead, contradicts both human philosophy and divine revelation. The glorious gospel of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, with all the light, comfort, and instruction it brings to the called, the regenerated, and renewed mind, is a stumbling block to the Jews, and foolishness to the Greeks. It is hid from the mind, blinded by the God of this world, so that “the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God; for they are foolishness unto him; neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.” Light may nourish the plant that has life in it, but it can never give life to that which is dead. In God is life; and when he shines in the heart, then is life there; for God is there, and the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ is given. These sayings are faithful and true; God is their anchor; from him, and by his authority they are published in the ears of the saints, or in the churches, that they may have hope in the dark and gloomy scenes through which they have to pass in this world. The church is the bride, the Lamb’s wife; and these faithful and true sayings, these precious promises and encouraging words are spoken to her by her Husband, who is faithful and true, the same yesterday, today, and forever, whose love is as immutable and unchangeable as himself.

His word is faithful and true; heaven and earth may pass away, but his word will stand as firm as his eternal throne. To destroy the bride, you have to dethrone her Husband, take his life, and put out forever the light that will shine in the glory-world. The promises of the God of truth and faithfulness, who can not lie, has been the comfort, resting-place, and strength of the saints under the old dispensation; and they are their comfort, resting-place, and strength under the new dispensation, or gospel. If the beast and the false prophet shall arise, and shall combine with all the powers of earth and hell; if they shall hunt you in the caves and dens of the earth; if the streets and cities are made to run with your blood, they shall not prevail; but when their cup of iniquity is full, like a millstone, they shall be cast into the sea, and shall sink to rise no more forever. 0, what words of comfort herein contained, and what strong encouragements are given to the church, the bride, the dear saints, to “keep the sayings of the prophecy of this book,” and never forget them. When the flood-gates of error are let loose upon you, sweeping away its tens of thousands, and the sword of persecution is glittering over your heads, ready to pierce you to the heart, fear not; keep in memory the sayings and prophecy of this book; fur it is therein written that God shall give them light, and they shall reign with him forever and ever. The prophecies and sayings of this book are not to be sealed up; they are to be kept open, and to be read by the saints, and in the churches, for their comfort and encouragement, as they are passing through the severe trials and persecutions here foretold, and know that the Lord God omnipotent reigneth and will fulfill all the promises of this, book, and give victory and eternal rest to his saints, his faithful ones, who keep its sayings.

For the time is at hand, it is sure to come, when the voice of the Bridegroom shall be heard: “Behold, I come quickly;” at a time when the world is not looking for him; too soon for the wicked and ungodly. The ungodly world will try to reason that all things will eternally remain as they now are; that matter is eternal, and can never be destroyed; but the end of time will be proclaimed, when an unthinking world is not looking for it; as a thief in the night it shall come upon them. The Universalist foolishly argues that his second coming is already passed; that it took place at the destruction of Jerusalem, which was in 72 after Christ; and this book was written in 96 or 97, at least twenty-four or twenty-five years after the destruction of Jerusalem. His coming to Universalists will be a surprise, and a destruction of the whole system upon which they have built their hopes of salvation. When he shall appear in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory, to take vengeance upon the wicked, and all things that know not God, nor obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, it will be too soon for them; they will not be looking for him, or desiring his coming. Their frightened souls, filled with alarm, and a desire to hide from his presence, will cry for the rocks and the mountains to fall upon them. How many in this house, if this were the hour of his coming, would feel it to be too soon, and say, I am not prepared to meet him?

Ungodly sinner, awful as the thought may be, and as much as you may try to put it out of your mind, or look at it as being far in the future, that day is coming when you will have to stand before your Judge; your condition will then be unalterable; you will remain eternally a wicked blasphemer, and the smoke of your torment will rise Up forever and ever. This awful truth is recorded in this book that is not to be sealed, but is to be read in all the churches, and proclaimed by all the faithful servants of our Lord, saying, “Woe to the wicked, it shall go ill with him; the reward of his hands shall be given him.” There can be no mistake; for he says, “Behold, I come quickly: my reward is with me, to give every man as his works shall be.” The thing is fixed; there will be no book of accounts to run over, and debts and credits to be canceled; the works of the wicked have been wicked works, and the reward shall be according to them. The justice of God will be fully vindicated in giving to the wicked according as his works shall be.

Christ says, “I was sick, and in prison, and hungry, and naked, and ye neither visited me, nor administered to me.” Now they have no one to administer comfort to them. “Depart, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels.” God’s justice and mercy will sweetly embrace each other, and gloriously harmonize in the salvation of the saints, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, the head and husband of the church. And when he shall come to receive his bride to himself, he will say, “I was sick, and in prison, and hungry, and naked, and ye visited me, and ministered to me. He will now comfort and minister unto them.” “Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.”

“I Jesus have 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.” It is Jesus who has promised to come again without sin unto salvation, that has sent his angel to testify these things in the churches, that the promise of his coming may be kept fresh in their minds, that they may live looking for him, and keep their lamps trimmed and burning, and be at all times ready to meet the Bridegroom. He that sent his angel to testify these things in the churches is the root and the offspring of David, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the rod that was to come forth out of the stem of Jesse. In this his divinity and humanity are associated. He is the son of David, and the promise made to David is fulfilled, and the truth was proclaimed in the temple of God when the children cried, saying, “Hosanna to the Son of David.” And he was David’s Lord and Creator, God manifest in the flesh; the same that was crucified, buried, and rose again, who was with the disciples for the space of forty days, and ascended out of their sight in a bright cloud, and gave promise to his disciples, by the two men in white apparel that stood by them, saying, “This same Jesus which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.” He now sends his servant to testify these things in the churches, saying, “Behold, I come quickly.” “And the Spirit and the bride say, come.” The Spirit was given to abide with and dwell in the saints, and be their comforter and instructor, until he come; and the Spirit joins with the bride in saying, Come, Lord Jesus. It seems that the object in having these things testified in the churches was, that they should be kept in mind, and the saints put upon their watch, and constantly prepared for the coming of their Lord.

The church is called the bride, the Lamb’s wife, his beloved-the purchase of his blood. “And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints.” She is called “the king’s daughter, all glorious within: her clothing is of wrought gold: she shall be brought unto the king in raiment of needle-work.” In these rich and costly garments she is adorned as a bride ready to receive the bridegroom. This rich and costly apparel is granted to her; it is the gift of the Bridegroom, and in it she is a glorious bride, without spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing. When a marriage is about to take place there is nothing that the bride desires more than to be clothed in such a way that she will look beautiful in the eyes of the bridegroom. Hours and days will be spent in adorning her person, and beautifying herself to receive him she loves. The truly and affectionate wife will on all occasions try to make herself look lovely in the eyes of her husband; to please him, and bind his heart to her will be the study and labor of her days. If he is gone on a journey, she will feel gloomy and sad in his absence; no one can fill his place; she will look with strong desire for his return, and adorn herself in her most lovely attire, to meet and welcome him home.

Dear brethren and sisters, you are the bride of Christ, and without his presence you are sad; none can fill his place. He is the chiefest among ten thousand, and the one altogether lovely. Have on your wedding garments, watch, and be ready; for unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation. He will come in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory, to wipe all tears from your eyes, to turn your sorrows into unending joy, and present you to his Father in the beautiful garments with which he has adorned you, the robes of spotless white, made white in his own precious blood. Has his promise inspired your soul with this precious hope? and is your heart filled with love to him, so that you feel that he is all you have or desire in heaven or earth? Then you will be looking for him with greater desire than ever woman looked for her husband, and when his coming is announced, with a feeling of joy that can never be expressed, you will say, “COME.”

It is through great tribulation we are to enter the kingdom of heaven. In this world we have a rough and thorny road to travel; we are beset with foes without and within; we have our gloomy days and dark nights. We often feel that we are alone; there is none like us; and if we try to call up some of the bright moments we have had, when we hoped we felt the Spirit bearing witness with our spirit that we were the children of God, it was to us like the manna that had spoiled; we could draw no comfort from it, but feared it was a delusion, a vain imagination. With what strong desire we would then pray for another token of good, an evidence from our Savior that we were the objects of his love. 0 Come, and decide this doubt for me! my misery I can never express while I remain in this wretched suspense. Am I deceived? am I yet without hope and God in the world? In this dark moment let the still, small voice whisper in thy soul, “I am thy God; I will strengthen thee; I love thee, and will never forsake thee; thou art mine, I have redeemed thee, and thy sins and thy iniquities will I remember no more.” 0 sweet visit this! the soul is filled with melody and joy. Christians, do you not desire and pray for these visits, these love feasts, along the dreary road you have to travel? Is it not your constant desire and earnest prayer, that our Lord would visit Zion with refreshing seasons? I know it is. But what will it be when Zion’s wars and afflictions are all over, and she is called away from the land of sorrow by the voice of the Beloved, saying, “Behold, I am coming; and my reward is with me?” The bride will mount upon wings of love to meet him. 0, it is the voice of my Beloved! “COME, LORD JESUS.”

And let him that heareth say, Come.” There are many, I find them wherever I go, that love the Savior, and love his people, and have a little hope within them that he loves them, and has freely forgiven them their sins; but they are secret disciples who have never publicly owned Christ, nor become identified with the church. They feel so unworthy that they fear they would be a reproach to the church, and to the cause that is dearer to them than life. They hear others tell of the work of grace in their souls, and because they cannot tell of as bright manifestations, and as clear evidences of the pardon of sin as they hear others tell, they try to cast off their little hope, and are waiting to get a brighter and better one. I feel confident that I am talking to some of these secret disciples today. You love the saints; you want to be where they are, and hear them talk; but you do not want them to talk to you, or think that you feel interested in the matter. When they talk of their sorrows and gloomy seasons, their doubts and fears, you can witness with them, and feel that they tell your feelings better than you can tell them yourself. But that bright and clear evidence of the pardon of sin, and that ecstasy of joy that you hear some speak of, you have never felt. That you have felt times of calm and rest to your weary soul, you can not deny; but that overflowing joy, when the soul was filled with inexpressible ecstasy and joy you have not felt, and therefore fear that you are no Christian. Sometimes when that little, glimmering hope has been strengthened, you have felt that if you were now with the saints, you would tell them what you have felt; and if they thought you worthy, you would live with them, and walk in the ordinances of the Lord’s house. But these glimmering lights with you are like a shooting star, they last but a moment, and then you are in the dark, and feel that you have no business among good people. The ordinances of the Lord’s house now look beautiful to you, and when you see others going down into the water, and being buried with Christ in baptism, it looks so lovely that you stand on the shore and weep, and feel in your heart, “0, that I was fit to go down too. When the saints meet to commemorate the sufferings and death of my Lord, I can sit and look upon the solemn scene, and weep because I am not fit to sit with them and commemorate him, in whom centers all the hope I have of salvation from sin, and of life and heavenly bliss.”

Ah, my friend! you love the Savior; you have been born of God; you are a child of his, and an heir of heaven. In disobedience you bring the chastening rod upon yourself; you are living beneath your privilege, and must walk in the dark while you remain in disobedience. As a secret disciple, you can not enjoy the comforts and blessings of the Lord’s house, and the society and communion of saints; but your hope of salvation is in Christ; take him away and your all is gone; you sink into eternal despair. 0 that little hope that anchors in him is worth more than a thousand worlds to you! Your prayer today, and all the time is, “Come, Lord Jesus, come and melt this hard and frozen heart of mine. 0 let me see thy smiling face, and with thy presence light up this dark dungeon where I dwell.” Dear one, you love the Savior; and although you are a secret disciple, and never had a visible standing in the church, her Husband is your Beloved, your Savior, your All; and when his coming is announced, your voice will be heard mingling with the voice of the Spirit and the bride, saying, “COME.”

But there is another character to be addressed, for it is said, “And let him that is athirst come.” Blessed be God, that it was said, “Seal not the sayings of the prophecy of this book.” Let its promises and comforts be published in the churches, to the poor, thirsty souls; tell them that the water for which they thirst Christ must give; and he freely gives without money and without price. Your sense of your guilt and unworthiness is no reason why you should stay away from this fountain of water; it is opened to the house of David for sin and uncleanness; it is the water you need, and Jesus invites the thirsty to come to him and drink. It is your privilege to come just as you are, with all your guilt and shame; you will never get any better. “If you tarry till you are better, you will never come at all.” There is nothing that men have been called to endure that is more distressing than thirst, raging, consuming thirst. And there is no suffering that the quickened sinner has ever felt that is equal to what was felt in his poor soul when thirsting for righteousness.

I see the tears stealing down the cheeks of some of the dear young people to whom I am talking. 0, dear one, are you a thirsty soul? are you ready to faint, and fall in despair? This blessed book says, “Let him come.” This water of life is for you. “And whosoever will, let him take of the water of life freely.” Has your stubborn, negative will, that would not come to Christ, been subdued by sovereign grace? Has God wrought within you a will, desire, and thirst for the water of life? Take it freely; it belongs to you. I need not invite you, or persuade you; the knowledge you have of your own condition, the thirst that is burning within you, and like a fire consuming you, is stronger than any persuasive words I could use. But from this blessed book I can read the word, and speak it to your despairing heart: “LET HIM THAT IS ATHIRST TAKE OF THE WATER OF LIFE FREELY.”

0, dear saints, one and all, join with me in giving glory, and honor, and praise to our God, that the sayings and prophecy of this book are not sealed up; but shall be published in the churches, and are the true sayings of him that will come quickly. “EVEN so, COME, LORD JESUS.”


“Brethren, I speak after the manner of men; though it be but a man’s covenant, yet if it be confirmed, no man disannulleth, or addeth thereto;” Ga 3:15.

Some have said that Paul was a novice in Christianity when he wrote this epistle, and the Judaizing teachers of his day labored to persuade the Galatians that he was inferior to the other apostles, and particularly to Peter, James, and John, whose followers they pretended to be, and like their Judaizing brethren at Antioch, taught that, “Except ye be circumcised after the manner of Moses, ye can not be saved;” Ac 15:1. Thus they mixed up the two covenants, and made the justification and salvation of the sinner depend upon his own works; and by their sophistries and appeals to the natural feeling which always favors a conditional salvation and lays the ground for boasting, for whatever depends upon works does not exclude boasting, they succeeded in alienating the hearts of the brethren from Paul, and to regard him as their enemy.

The design of this epistle is to vindicate the genuineness of his apostleship, that it was “not of men, neither by men; but by Jesus Christ, and God the Father, who raised him up from the dead;” and that the gospel he preached he had not received of men, neither was he taught it by men, but by revelation of Jesus Christ. Here Paul teaches that God specially calls men to the work of the ministry, and specially qualifies them to do the work he calls them to; that none have the right to enter this holy vocation, but those who are called of God, as was Aaron; that all schools and colleges gotten up to prepare men for the gospel ministry are assumptions upon the part of men, and have in all ages been the nursery of error, making the gospel of Jesus Christ nothing but a humanly devised system that can be taught as a worldly science may be taught. Against this Paul enters his protest, as have the Primitive Baptists of all ages, and those college-made preachers have no right to claim identity with the apostolic church.

The apostle then speaks of his faithfulness as a called servant of God to preach Jesus and the resurrection among them; and that freedom from the law and its curse came alone through Christ who was made a curse for us; that righteousness could never come by the works of the law; and that no man could ever be justified by the deeds of the law; for he says, “Therefore by the deeds of the law, there shall no flesh be justified in his sight; for by the law is the knowledge of sin.” And again he says, “Knowing that a 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;” Ga 2:16. And as a final and unanswerable argument, he tells us, “If there had been a law given which could have given life, verily righteousness should have been by the law.” Thus the apostle shows that all who preach a conditional salvation, or that justification is by the works of the law, destroy the doctrine of grace; for any thing obtained by works is not of grace; for, if “the reward is reckoned of works, it is not of grace, but of debt.” And this work system denies the virtue of Christ’s atoning blood, and makes his life of obedience, his sufferings, death, and resurrection a vain and useless sacrifice; Ga 2:21. The apostle then shows what the true condition of all who preach eternal salvation, or justification by performing conditions, or doing the works of the law, is; for he says, “For as many as are of the works of the law, are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them.” All are guilty, all have sinned, and the sentence of condemnation has passed upon all. All the promises and the curses in the law given by Moses to Israel were temporal and conditional, and their obedience to all its precepts and commands only secured to them national prosperity, and the land of Canaan; and by failing to keep the law, and to perform its conditions, they lost the land and all the blessings of that covenant. While that conditional covenant or law could confer no spiritual blessings, nor justify the transgressor, it was steadfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just recompense of reward. And to show the nature of a covenant, and what it really is, the apostle introduces our text: “Brethren, I speak after the manner of men; though it be but a man’s covenant, yet if it be confirmed, no man disannulleth or addeth thereto.”

There has been much disputing among the clergy about the meaning of the word covenant; some arguing that it means a bargain or contract between parties; and our text is referred to as proof; for Paul says, “I speak after the manner of men.” When men make a contract, and it is confirmed, it cannot be altered or changed, but it must stand just as the parties in the contract have agreed upon. But there is an exception to this; for the contracting parties may, by mutual consent, change or disannul their covenant; for having the power to make it, they have the power, by mutual consent, to change or disannul it. The learned tell me that the original word, diatheke signifies either a covenant, or testament; and in no place in the Scripture is it used to convey the idea of a contract made between God and other contracting parties. That in my text it means testament or will, looks plain; for after the death of the testator, the will is proven or confirmed, and it can not be disannulled or added to. The heirs are named in the will, and no one can be taken from or added to it. Every will set up in court must have personal election, and absolute predestination to make it a good will. Suppose that a will should be brought into court, bequeathing a large estate to any body, every body, or no body, just as it may happen; no heir named; no portion set apart to any heir; no time fixed when any one should be put in possession of the estate; the court would set the will aside because of these defects, and would say the testator was not in a sound mind, and not qualified to dispose of his estate. Strange, that a large majority of the professed ministers of the gospel will represent the will of God as being of this kind.

Once, when in a debate with one of Paul’s Judaizers, I asked the question, “Can God’s will be broken, or set aside?” He responded. “Yes, it has been broken, and will be broken again.” I then responded, “Universal damnation must follow; for under a broken and set-aside will, no one could inherit, or recover an estate.” This is true with a man’s will or testament, and this is the point the apostle is here arguing; for he tells us that the law, which was given four hundred and thirty years after the covenant that was confirmed before of God in Christ, could not disannul, or make void the promise; for if the inheritance be by the law, it is no more of promise; or in other words, it is no more of the covenant confirmed before of God in Christ, and salvation and justification must be by the law, and not by Christ. The Judaizer may say, “Abraham is dead, and the covenant or promise made with him is also dead, and of no force.” But the apostle responds, “Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made.” Then the Judaizer might say, “That embraces Abraham and all his posterity, and excludes the Gentiles forever.” But the apostle would respond and say, “He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ.” The covenant promise is in the singular number, and Christ is the seed, and he ever liveth, and the covenant or testament is not left without an heir to claim the promise. But the Judaizer may object and say, “Then the promise can benefit none but the one person.” But Paul anticipates this objection, and says, “And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.” The objector might say, “This is inconsistent; for the Gen tiles never did exist in the loins of Abraham; if they did, the promise should be to seeds, in the plural.” This objection is answered by the apostle in these words: “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female, for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.” But the objector may say, “This is an unaccountable, and irreconcilable contradiction in my mind; for if they did not exist in the loins of Abraham, how could they be blessed in that promise?” The answer is, The promise was not to Abraham and his seed according to the flesh, or because of a preexistence in his loins, but it was a promised seed, a given seed; for Abraham was old, and Sarah, according to nature, was past the age of bearing children; but God by promise gave him a son, and as Isaac was, so are we children of promise. For God had given Christ a seed, a people, who should serve him. Moses says, “For the Lord’s portion is his people: Jacob is the lot of his inheritance;” De 32:9. The words, portion and lot, clearly convey the idea of its descending to him by the will or testament of the Father. God, by the mouth of David, personating Christ said, “Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee. Ask of me, and I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession;” Ps 2:7-8. Jesus, when speaking of his sheep, his chosen people, says, “My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all.” His people were a gift from the Father, and it was to do the will of his Father, and redeem and save his people that he came into the world; for he says, “For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me. And this is the Father’s will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me, I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day;” Joh 6:38-39. Christ always speaks of his people as a gift; for he says, “I have manifested thy name unto the men which thou gavest me out of the world: thine they were, and thou gavest them me: and they have kept thy word;” Joh 17:6. And again it is said, “Behold, I, and the children which God hath given me:” Heb 2:13.

Christ is not spoken of in the Scriptures as a created mediator or head of the church; but as the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth. As the Son of God he was begotten of the Father, and born of the virgin Mary, and called the Son of God, or Immanuel-God with us. He was the Son of God, as no created being ever was, or ever could be. When Christ claimed to be the Son of God, the Jews accused him of blasphemy; and on another occasion, they took up stones to cast at him, because he said God was his Father, making himself equal with God. They understood that there was an equality and relation that the Son bore to the Father, that no created being could claim. As man, Christ was the seed of the woman, the promised seed of Abraham, in whom the families of men were to be blessed. He was the promised seed, and to him a people were given, and in the covenant of grace were made joint-heirs with him.

The apostle, having established the salvation and justification of the election of grace through the promise, and not by the works of the law, the objector might say, the law given by Moses did disannul the covenant or promise; for it talked so much about works, and so little about the promised Messiah. But to this the answer is, “If the inheritance be of the law, it is no more of promise: but God gave it to Abraham by promise.” It would therefore be inconsistent with his holiness, immutability, faithfulness, and wisdom, by any subsequent act to set aside the promise, and so alter the way of justification which he had established. If the promise was given to Abraham and his promised seed, we may be sure that God would not retract, or change, or disannul his promise; for he is not a man, that he should change; but he is God, and of one mind, and changes not.

The apostle having fully shown that justification was not by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, and that the promise was full, complete, and sufficient, and was confirmed, so that it could not be disannulled by the law, which was given afterwards, then the objector may say, “Why did God give the law by Moses? and for what purpose was the law?” The answer is, “It was added because of transgression;” and it did not interfere with the promise, but was to remain until the promised seed should come. This again shows that the promised seed was a unit, one person, and that person was Christ; for the law was to continue until the seed which was Christ should come. The law was not given to disannul the promise, or change God’s way of justifying his chosen people, who are sinners; but by the law is the knowledge of sin; Ro 3:20; and the law was given that the offense might abound; Ro 5:20.

The law was given because of sin, to expose sin, and to restrain man’s wicked lusts; and the purifications and sacrifices under the law, which could not put away sin, were given to that people as types and shadows to direct them to the only way whereby sin was to be expiated, and pardoned, and the sinner justified in the sight of God; that is, through the death, the blood, and by sacrifice of Christ, the promised seed. For this purpose the law was to continue until the seed should come, to whom, the promise was made; that is, till Christ shall come. But when the promised seed shall come, the blessings of the promise, and a full display of the riches and fullness of God’s grace in the salvation and justification of his people, chosen out of all nations and peoples, shall be fully revealed and brought to light in the triumphant victory over death and the grave, obtained by the promised seed in his resurrection from the dead. Then the law shall have answered the purpose for which it was given, and shall pass away.

The apostle adds another difference between the law, or covenant of works, and the promise, or covenant of grace; for of the law, he says it was spoken by angels, and to different persons, and in a different manner from the promise made to Abraham, and for a different purpose. The law was given to the Israelites, as a peculiar people, that God had chosen and separated from the rest of the world. The promise was spoken by God himself, and made to Abraham and his seed in the singular, which was Christ; and it included all the election of grace, that were given to Christ of all nations, Gentiles as well as Jews; and in Christ they were blessed with all spiritual blessings.

As the promise was given immediately by God himself, and confirmed to Abraham; but the law was given only by the ministry of angels, in the hand of a mediator, who was a servant; therefore it is not to be presumed that the design was to set aside the promise made to Abraham a long time before the giving of the law. It is unreasonable to suppose that in a transaction between God and the Jewish nation only, he should make void the promise made to Abraham and his seed, in which all the families of the earth should be blessed, whether they be Jews or Gentiles. The law given by the dispensation of angels, could never disannul or make void the promise God himself had made. The one covenant was in the hand of a mediator who was only a servant of God; the Mediator of the other covenant was the Son of God, and heir of all things; and he was as far above angels as the object of worship is above the worshipers; for angels were commanded to worship the Son; Heb 1:6. The law was a conditional, imperfect covenant, so that nothing was made perfect by it. Its best sacrifices could not put away sin, nor cleanse the worshipers from its stain and guilt. It is therefore unreasonable that it should set aside and make void the promise, or the unconditional covenant, that did make all things perfect, and bring in everlasting righteousness. Hence it is that Paul reproves the Galatian brethren for returning to the law, and seeking justification by the works of the law, “For,” says he, “As many as are of the works of the law are under the curse.” For all our works and efforts cannot remove the curse, or give us a righteousness that can justify in the sight of God.

The apostle in his epistle to the Hebrew saints refers to the promise made to Abraham, as being confirmed by the oath of God, evidently to encourage them to wait with patience, as did Abraham, and bear their afflictions and persecutions; for the promise was as sure to them as it was to Abraham. And it was confirmed to them by the oath of him who cannot lie, and the same consolation or comfort belongs to all the heirs of that promise, or covenant. This promise or covenant is settled and fixed in the counsel of God who cannot lie, who says, “My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure.” Nothing can defeat it, for he who made it knows the end from the beginning, so that nothing new or unforeseen by him can arise to frustrate or defeat his purposes, and promises.

“For men,” says the apostle, “verily swear by the greater: and an oath for confirmation is to them an end of all strife.” If a will is brought into court, and the witnesses to the will swear that it was the last will of the testator, and that he was in a sound state of mind to dispose of his estate, it settles the matter, and the heirs have no further doubt of receiving their estate. Then, why should the heirs of the heavenly estate fear? for God has settled all strife in this question, and that beyond what the oath of any man could do; for says the apostle, “Wherein God, willing more abundantly to show unto the heirs of promise the immutability of his counsel, confirmed it by an oath; that by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge, to lay hold on the hope set before us; which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which entereth into that within the vail;” Heb 6:17-19. “Wherein, God, willing more abundantly” than any earthly testator could do, or the oath of men could do, “to show unto the heirs of promise the immutability of his counsel, confirmed it by an oath.” As we have seen, a covenant or will, when confirmed, no man can take from it or add to it. It is the will of the testator, and must be carried out just as stipulated or specified in the will, and every heir must receive his portion according to the specifications. This will is confirmed by the immutable promise and counsel of God and by the oath of him that can not lie, and changes not. 0 what comfort this should give the heirs of promise! The road you travel may be a rough one, beset with enemies on every side; but the promise is sure; the full inheritance shall be obtained by every heir as sure as the oath and promise of God are true; for he has said, “I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.” Then you may sing with a heart full of confidence,

Fear not, I am with thee, 0 be not dismayed;

For I am thy God, and will still give thee aid;

I’ll strengthen thee, help thee, and cause thee to stand,

Upheld by my righteous, omnipotent hand.

Who can wonder at Paul’s saying, “For I am persuaded that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us,” (the heirs,)” from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord;” Ro 8:38-39. The inheritance is made sure to all the seed, or heirs set apart in the will; the Lord hath said it, and he will perform it.


“But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the first-fruits of them that slept;” 1Co 15:20.

The apostle has affirmed in our text a great and vital truth; one upon which the whole Christian system rests. It is the foundation stone upon which is built all our hopes and prospects for a better life than this. This doctrine was opposed by the Sadducees and the disciples of Epicurus, and the Corinthian church had become divided by these philosophers, and were disputing among themselves, some denying the resurrection. The apostle commences his argument by simply declaring what the old gospel was, and how they had believed it, and were saved by it, if they had kept in memory the things they had believed, unless what they believed is all a falsehood, and so in believing it they believed in vain. “For when I came to Corinth I preached unto you the gospel as I received it: 1st, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures; 2nd, that he was buried; 3d, that he rose again on the third day according to the Scriptures.” This was the beginning, the middle, and the end of Paul’s gospel; and it would have been happy for the church if the teachers of the gospel in all ages had made the apostle their example in this matter. It is a remarkable truth, that all attentive readers of the Acts of the Apostles must observe, that there is not a single sermon there recorded but Christ and the resurrection is the substance of the whole discourse; and it would be better for us today, and for the cause of Christianity, if we would pay less attention to the learning of the schools, and follow the example set by the Primitive or New Testament preachers.

The three points which constitute the gospel preached by Paul is the foundation stone upon which the Christian temple stands. Remove this foundation, and the whole super-structure falls, -every thing belonging to the Christian religion is a myth, a falsehood -a delusion. All our hopes of a future life are false, and when we die, we die like brutes, and that will be the last of us. Your friends, your brethren, your fellow-sufferers, who have fallen asleep in Christ, have perished.

1st, that Christ died. It is a fact stated by the apostle. It is not an argument, a conclusion, or speculation, or mere opinion, but a fact witnessed by the senses, for they had witnessed his trial, his crucifixion, and his death. Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, have all recorded his death, and have stated where he died. The very mountain is named on which he was crucified. The day upon which it was done is named, by whom he was condemned, and all the circumstances connected with his condemnation and crucifixion are so stated that there could have been no difficulty in disproving them all, if they had not been true. It is unreasonable to suppose that the Jews and Romans would have suffered such a statement to be published and circulated at home and abroad uncontradicted, if it had been untrue. But this truth was never denied by Jew or Roman, Sadducee or Pharisee, all have acknowledged that he did die. It was witnessed by them. Their own eyes looked upon him, upon the cross, and heard him cry, “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?”

2nd, He was buried. The witnesses to this state and name the very man who requested his body for burial; whose tomb it was that he was laid in; and that a guard of soldiers was placed around it to guard it, that no one should steal away the body. All these things are stated in such a way that it would be no trouble whatever for their falsehood to have been shown, if, indeed, they were false. But not one of his most inveterate enemies, Jew or Roman, has ever denied these facts; except what was said by the soldiers who were appointed to keep watch, who said, “His disciples came by night, and stole him away while we slept.” This fact is noticed by the witnesses of the resurrection, and the priests and elders are charged with giving the guards money if they would so report, and promised them if the thing came to the governor’s ears, they would intercede and persuade for them, that no harm should befall them. (It was death, by the Roman law, for a soldier to sleep at his post when on duty as a guard.) We have no evidence that this charge was ever denied by the priests, elders, soldiers, Sanhedrim, or any writer, or witness of that age. Let this testimony have what bearing it may on the resurrection, it proves that he was buried, and that the place of his burial was no secret; his tomb was known and watched. And this brings us to the last point in Paul’s gospel.

3rd, that he rose again the third day, according to the Scriptures. This is the first thought proclaimed in our text. “But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the first-fruits of them that slept.” And I propose to discuss it in that order; first, the resurrection of Christ, second, the resurrection of the saints. The resurrection of Christ is affirmed by the apostle and a host of witnesses referred to, who are all ready to testify to the same truth. But he does not leave it by making this general reference to witnesses, but tells us that Christ, after his resurrection, was seen by Cephas, then of the twelve, after that of above five hundred brethren at once, of whom the greater part remain ready to testify, and after that he was seen of James, and then of all the apostles. “And last of all he was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time.” We have the facts of the resurrection here stated, and the evidence adduced. Now for the arguments derived from the evidence submitted. For this evidence to be properly weighed and estimated by us, let us remember that Paul had bitter enemies at Corinth, old materialists, and Sadducees, who denied the resurrection, and the immortality of the soul. Now, as the enemies of Paul, and the opposers of his doctrine, they would scrutinize every thing he would say, and, if possible, detect any error, weakness, or falsehood that might appear in his arguments. Of this the apostle was conscious, and mark how he challenges them: “How say some among you that there is no resurrection, of the dead?” He is bold and defiant Surely, in this shrewd and polished city of Corinth, learned in all the science of the age, which was complimented by Cicero as the lumen totius Graecice, the eye of all Greece -surely, if Paul is vulnerable, if what he has stated as facts were false, and his arguments weak and inconclusive, the “eye of all Greece” will see it, and the ambition, the hatred, and wounded pride of his opposers will prompt them to publish it, and expose him before the world. But they are silent; not one fact affirmed by Paul is denied by them.

The apostle has here named the witnesses by whom this fact is to be proved, and has stated what they will testify. I shall first notice the character of the witnesses, and second, their opportunity of knowing the facts to which they testify, and the circumstances under which they testify which evidence their sincerity.

1st, The character of the witnesses: Who can read the New Testament, and learn the character of these witnesses, and not admire the wisdom of the Savior in the selection he made? Had he gone into the palaces of the rich, the learned, and influential, and made his selection, the whole story of the cross might have been treated as a cunningly devised fable, the invention and product of human wisdom. But he chooses the poor, the illiterate, and those who have no worldly influence, and the account given of them is that they were dull of understanding, not capable of making up and connecting a system of deception that would confound the wisdom of the world. In fact, worldly wisdom was not necessary; for it was not opinions, and scientific questions that they had to settle. It was facts, such as they could see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and handle with their hands: to have good ears, good eyes, and the sense of feeling, was important. Men who had followed fishing all their lives, who had been reared upon the waters, amidst the sound and roar of the waves, must have good hearing, or they would not hear the word of alarm, or the command when given. They must have good eyes to see objects and determine their shape and size and a keen sense of feeling that they may determine when any thing touches their vessel whether there is danger in the touch. It is reasonable to suppose that those reared and trained fishermen had educated and cultivated these senses, and these were the essential things to qualify them to bear testimony to the facts of which Christ had selected them to be the witnesses. Christ charged them with sloth of understanding, and it seems that they never comprehended his teaching until after his resurrection, ascension, and descent of the Holy Ghost on the day of Pentecost. The highest ideas they seemed to have of Christ and his kingdom were temporal and earthly. Although he had plainly taught them that he would be put to death, and that they would be persecuted and brought before the kings and rulers of this world, and by them be condemned, they seemed not to comprehend it, but looked upon Christ as the one that was to free Israel from political bondage, and make her the mistress of the world. The resurrection of Christ from the dead seemed not to have entered their minds. When Mary, Joanna, and the other women, visited the sepulchre, very early in the morning of the first day of the week, and found the sepulchre open and empty, they were astonished, and could not think what it meant: and, “Behold two men stood by them, in shining garments. And as they were afraid, and bowed down their faces to the earth, they said unto them, why seek ye the living among the dead? He is not here, but is risen;” Lu 24:4-6. These women bore the news to the disciples, who were equally astonished. “And their words seemed to them as idle tales, and they believed them not. Then arose Peter, and ran to the sepulchre, and stooping down, he beheld the linen clothes laid by themselves, and departed, wondering in himself at that which was come to pass;” verses 11,12 Lu 24:11-12 The same day two men went to a village called Emmaus, and on their way they talked of the things which had happened, and Jesus himself drew near and went with them. “But their eyes were holden that they should not know him. And he said unto them, what manner of communication are these that ye have one to another, as ye walk, and are sad? And the one of them, whose name was Cleopas, answering, said unto him, Art thou only a stranger in Jerusalem, and hast not known the things which are come to pass there in these days? And he said unto them, what things? And they said unto him, Concerning Jesus of Nazareth, which was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people: And how the chief priests and our rulers delivered him to be condemned to death and have crucified him. But we trusted that it had been he which should have redeemed Israel: and besides all this, today is the third day since these things were done. Yea, and certain women also of our company made us astonished, which were early at the sepulcher. And when they found not his body, they came saying, that they had also seen a vision of angels, which said that he was alive. And certain of them which were with us, went to the sepulchre, and found it even so as the women had said: but him they saw not. Then he said unto them, 0 fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken;” Lu 24:16-25.

While the enemies of Christ knew that he had taught the resurrection, and securely fastened the tomb and guarded it with soldiers to prevent its being robbed, and his resurrection being reported, his disciples seemed not to have thought of such a thing, and were overwhelmed with astonishment when his resurrection was reported to them, and none of them would believe it until they had seen him with their own eyes. When those who had seen Jesus told it to Thomas, one of the twelve, he said unto them, “Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe;” Joh 20:25. It seems that none of them were willing to believe that Christ had risen from the dead; the thing looked to them unreasonable, and was what they were not looking for, or thinking of. Let those in whom they had the utmost confidence, and would believe any thing they said about other things, tell them and solemnly affirm that they had seen the Lord, yet they would not believe. Now look at the character and conduct of these witnesses, and who can question their veracity! First, they were poor and illiterate men, not capable of concocting a deep-laid plan of deception; second, they did not expect any thing but a temporal deliverer in Christ; third, they did not think of his resurrection, or comprehend the benefits to be derived from it, and would not believe it when reported to them by their nearest and dearest friends. Nothing but to see him with their own eyes would satisfy them, or make them believe. Is this the caution of men who will bear false witness? This brings us to examine:

2nd, Their opportunity of knowing the fact to which they testify. I need say but little on this point, for we have already seen that three or more of the women, and two of the men, visited the tomb and entered it, early in the morning of the third day after the crucifixion, and found it empty, the body gone. That he was dead, and buried there, they all knew, and that his grave had been guarded by soldiers, they knew. They saw the place where the Lord lay, and the linen clothes in which he was buried lay by themselves, but the body was gone; and this filled them with wonder, for they knew not what it meant. “Then the same day in the evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled, for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you;” Joh 20:19. Then he exhibited unto them his hands and his side. Then they knew it was the Lord and were glad. But Thomas was not with them, but when he met the other disciples they said unto him, “We have seen the Lord,” but he believed them not, and said unto them, “Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe.” After eight days the disciples were again together, and Thomas was with them, and Jesus entered the room and stood in the midst, and said, “Peace be unto you.” And, addressing Thomas, he said, “Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands: and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side, and be not faithless but believing.” This was the second time he had met with them and shown them his hands and his side. But after this he showed himself a third time, at the sea of Tiberias. Here he conversed with them, and took bread and fish and gave them, and after they had dined Jesus gave Peter the command to feed his lambs; Joh 21:1-17. On one occasion when he met with his disciples, they were alarmed, supposing that it was a spirit, but he told them to handle him and see, and, “Behold my hands and feet; it is I, for a spirit hath not flesh and bones as you see me have;” Lu 24:37-43; and he did eat broiled fish and honeycomb with them. Thus he was with them for the space of forty days, showing himself alive by infallible proofs, they seeing him often, conversing with him, examining his person, his hands, and his side, and eating with him. Every opportunity was afforded them to detect a deception if there was any; and they would certainly have detected it had there been any, for they would not believe without this infallible proof. Honesty is written on every act of the disciples, and no witnesses ever had a better opportunity of knowing the truth of the things whereof they affirmed, and one of them affirms that they bear witness of that “which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled;” 1Jo 1:1. This brings us to notice:

3d, The circumstances under which they testify. The pages of history may be searched, and the apostles and’ first propagators of Christianity are the most extraordinary men the world ever saw. As historical writers, and laborers to establish and propagate the gospel of their Master, they have a character perfectly sui generis. They were selected from among the poor and illiterate, without wealth or influence. They witnessed the worldly poverty, the persecution, and ignominious death of their Master. The worldly kings, rulers, priests, and elders, were their deadly enemies. Prisons, the whipping-post, the cross, and the flames, were the penalties before them if they proved loyal to Jesus, and bore their faithful witness before the world. But none of these things moved them, and they would not “count their lives” dear unto themselves so that they could bear their faithful testimony. Their patient endurance of the severest tortures and death, and their boldness in the midst of them all, surely give incontestable evidence of their sincerity. But it may be said that thousands have suffered death, and tortures of the most barbarous character, rather than to renounce opinions that were evidently false. This is doubtless true, and proves beyond a doubt that they were honest in their opinions. But there is a marked difference between the two. Those who have suffered for their opinion, suffered for what they had reasoned out, voluntarily chosen, and become confirmed in. But not so with the apostles. They testified to facts that they had seen with their eyes, had handled with their hands. It was not conclusions drawn from reasoning, or mental or philosophical investigation, but facts exhibited to their senses of seeing, hearing, and feeling. We may be as honest in our opinions as Paul was when he verily thought he was doing God’s service in persecuting the saints, and our opinions may be equally false as were his. But when we state facts seen with our eyes and handled with our hands, there can be no mistake. We either state what we know to be true, or to be false. The witnesses of the resurrection of Christ have knowingly stated a truth or a falsehood, and they have done it under circumstances calculated to impress every candid mind with confidence. There was no earthly inducement to cause them to make such knowingly false statements, but every thing to the contrary. They must be deserted by friends, hated by the world, suffer the wrath of kings and governors, and all the tortures that cruel and unfeeling persecutors can inflict upon them. The courage and patience shown by these witnesses under their tortures, show that the things they stated were true; and that supernatural and miraculous power sustained them. Mr. Addison says, “I can not conceive a man placed in the burning chair at Lyons, amid the insults and mockery of the crowded amphitheater, and still keeping this seat; or stretched upon a grate over coals of fire, and breathing out his soul among the exquisite sufferings of such a tedious execution, rather than renounce his religion and blaspheme his Savior. Such trials seem to me above the strength of human nature, and able to overbear reason, duty, faith, conviction, nay, and the most absolute certainty of a future state. Humanity, unassisted in an extraordinary manner, must have shaken off the present pressure, and have delivered itself out of such dreadful distress by any means that could have been suggested to it. We can easily imagine that any person in a good cause might have laid down his life at a gibbet, the stake, or the block-but to expire leisurely among the most exquisite tortures, when he might have come out of them, even by a mental reservation, or a hypocrisy which was not without the possibility of being followed by repentance and forgiveness, has something in it so far beyond the force and natural strength of mortals, that we can not but think there was some miraculous power to support the sufferer.”

Let it not be forgotten that it was for publishing facts, sensible facts, and not for propagating opinions, that the witnesses of the resurrection suffered martyrdom. To suffer martyrdom for opinions proves the sincerity of the martyr, but it proves the facts when the person dies in attestation of a sensible fact. Call up in your mind the number of witnesses who testified to this fact, and for it suffered the tortures described by Addison, and not one of them admitted that they were mistaken, but with their dying breath said, “He has risen from the dead, and we are eye witnesses of the truth.” How could such testimony, given under such circumstances, be disbelieved?

But it will be said by the skeptic, these disciples were the friends of Jesus, and had been taught by him what they should publish after his death. To this I answer, It is, true they were his friends, and believed him to be a temporal deliverer that should deliver Israel, but of his resurrection they had no thought, and when he was put to death all their hopes in him were put to death, and they all returned to their old occupations, feeling that they were deceived. This is confessed by Peter when he says, “Hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead;” 1Pe 1:8. All the visions they might have had of an earthly kingdom and earthly honors had passed as a myth from their minds, and they were content to return to their fishing, and live by it. They had no thought of the resurrection, and would not believe it until they had seen the person of Jesus, handled him, examined his hands and side, and found every mark possible to identify his person. Witnesses never could more conscientiously and critically examine a fact to know it was a fact than did these witnesses.

It will be objected, however, that these witnesses were interested witnesses. If Jew or pagan believed this fact, the moment he confessed it he forfeited the respect and friendship of all, and put his own life and all he had in jeopardy. Now to the mind of a fair logician every convert made to Christianity in those days is a disinterested witness, and a most credible one, too. The apostles were the most competent and credible witnesses the world ever saw. They resembled in no point persons carried away by enthusiasm, attachment to opinions about which honest men might differ; but as men whose sole business it was to proclaim facts which had been submitted to the cognizance of all their senses. They do not merely affirm that they only saw the Savior after his resurrection, but they urge the matter by every other kind of sensible and incontrovertible proof. They proclaim that he repeatedly and familiarly conversed with them for forty days, and that during that time he had by many infallible proofs shown himself to be the identical person whom they had seen crucified, and concerning whose identity there could not exist the shadow of a doubt. Their testimony differs toto celo from any testimony on the subject of speculative opinions. Their sincerity is also a sincerity sui generis, of its own peculiar kind. I have been thus particular in presenting the circumstances under which they testified, to show that they were unimpeachable, and that no witnesses that ever testified to any fact were entitled to more credit, or stand before the world freer from any just charge of interestedness or deception. Their testimony not only proves the resurrection, but the resurrection of the identical body that was crucified, and torn, and wounded upon the cross, and buried in Joseph’s new sepulchre.

This brings us to consider, The resurrection of the saints. However abundant may be the proofs in the Bible of a universal resurrection of the good and the bad, the one resurrected to life and the other to damnation, the apostle in this chapter is only discussing and proving the resurrection of the saints, or those, resurrected to life and a blessed immortality and that is the point we now have before us, and all our arguments will have reference to the saints, or those resurrected to life and immortality.

The doctrine of the resurrection is learned from the Bible, and the Bible alone. There is nothing in nature or human science, apart from revelation, that would ever beget the thought of a resurrection of the body in any rational mind. In fact human philosophy contradicts this, and teaches that our bodies die, return to the earth, fertilize it, and pass into the composition of other bodies, and that their resurrection would be impossible. This doctrine was taught in Paul’s day, and he refers to it, and shows how human philosophy is at fault upon this subject, for he says, “Thou fool, that which thou sowest is not quickened except it die: and that which thou sowest, thou sowest not that body that shall be, but bare grain; it may chance of wheat, or of some other grain: but God giveth it a body as it hath pleased him, and to every seed his own body.” This is no resurrection, but is a propagating after its own kind. The life, nature, and character of the thing produced are not changed, but are after the kind of seed sown, for to every seed is given its own body, and it will only produce after its own kind. For the apostle further shows that, “All flesh is not the same flesh: but there is one kind of flesh of men, another flesh of beasts, another of fishes, and another of birds;” 1Co 15:36-41. These all propagate after their own kind, and if this is the resurrection, the body raised would not be the same body that was sown, but-it would be after the same kind, nature, and character. But in the resurrection of the dead it is not so, for, “It is sown in corruption, it,” (the thing sown,)” is raised in incorruption: it is sown in dishonor, it,” (the same thing again,) “is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power: it is sown a natural body, it,” (the same thing again,)” is raised a spiritual body;” verses 42-44 (1Co 15:42-44). Then it is very evident that the doctrine of the resurrection is not taught in the sowing of seed, or the propagating of bodies. Neither is it taught in the changing of the caterpillar, and the appearing of the beautiful butterfly. This is transmigration, or the passing of one thing into another, or of one substance into another body. This was the doctrine of Pythagoras, who taught that the soul passed into another body, and is the doctrine of all in the present day who deny the resurrection of the body. To deny the resurrection of the body is a total denial of the doctrine of the resurrection, for there is nothing but the body that dies and goes into the grave. This is clearly taught by the Savior when he says, “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul, but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell;” Mt 10:28. And it is clearly affirmed by Paul when he says, “We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord;” 2Co 5:8. The souls of the martyred saints that were seen under the altar, were in a conscious, sensible, state, although absent from their martyred bodies; Re 6:9. The resurrection applies only to that which dies and goes into the grave. Death is the consequence or penalty of sin, for the apostle says, “Wherefore as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that,” (margin, in whom,)” all have sinned;” Ro 5:12. Thus death passed upon all of Adam’s posterity, for all sinned in him, and all inherit his fallen, corrupt nature. This fact should be written in your minds and not forgotten: That we inherit the corrupt nature of Adam, because we were created in him, and had a seminal existence in him; but we receive the righteousness of Christ by imputation, because we were legally represented in him. If we were created in him when he was created, and had a seminal existence in him, and proceeded from him as a progeny, or generation, then his righteousness would be inherently ours. The modern Arian, two-seed party teach that Christ in his mediatorial headship of the church was the first thing God created, and simultaneously and identical with his creation the church was created in him, and seminally existed in him. And as they have falsely represented, and labored to make the saints believe, that that faithful old servant of Jesus, who stood high in the confidence of all the churches, was with them in their unscriptural doctrines, I shall here give a quotation from his own pen that should forever silence them, and make them blush with shame for their misrepresentation. He says, “Many have talked and written much about a spiritual headship of the church, which they say was created before all worlds; that is, this spiritual life and immortality of the church, was created long before creation, and the church, as a spiritual seed in this spiritual head, life, and immortality of the church, was also created in, and simultaneously with this spiritual, immortal creature. All this fabric is outside of the Bible, and God has never revealed it in that book, and neither we nor our children have any use for it, so we will let it pass back under its native shade.” (Life of Wilson Thompson, page 462). Thus it will be seen that he denounces this “simultaneous creation” doctrine as untrue and is out side of the Bible. They who represent him as believing their heresies are slanderers of the dead, and deserve not the confidence of any good and fair-minded people.

The Mediator between God and men is affirmed by the apostle to be, “The man, Christ Jesus;” 1Ti 2:5; not some spiritual existence that was neither God nor man. He is called the man of God’s right hand, that he had made strong for himself; Ps 80:17. This man was made of a woman, made under the law to redeem them that were under the law; Ga 4:4-5. God was his Father, and he was the Son of God, as no created being ever can be. For it was said to Mary, “The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the 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;” Lu 1:35. And the angels sang to the listening shepherds, “For unto you is born this day, in the city of David, a Savior, which is Christ the Lord;” Lu 2:11. In this man dwelt all the fullness of the Godhead bodily; Col 2:9; and he was God manifest in the flesh; 1Ti 3:16; and he was the Word that was made flesh and dwelt among us; Joh 1:14. This man was made flesh; and a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death; Heb 2:9; and as man he could carry our sorrows, bear our sins, hunger, thirst, and suffer weariness, pain of body and soul, all for us and in our room and stead, as our legal representative and substitute, and not at all on account of any sin or depravity of his own nature, for he was holy, harmless, and undefiled; Heb 7:26. This man was put to death in the flesh, bore our sins in his own body on the tree, and put them away by the sacrifice of himself; Heb 9:26. His soul was made an offering for sin; Isa 53:10; and his body a sacrifice; Heb 9:26. Thus, after a life of strict obedience and suffering, in which he fulfilled all the precepts of the law, he died the shameful, lingering, and painful death of the cross. His God forsook him, and there was none to help him. So he paid the penalty of the law by his death. He died according to the Scriptures, and was buried, and rose again the third day according to the Scriptures; 1Co 15:3-4. “So by man came the resurrection of the dead;” verse 21 (1Co 15:21). It was as man, and Mediator between God and man, that Christ died for his people; and the same man was resurrected from the dead, and in his resurrection from the dead was declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the Spirit of holiness; Ro 1:4. “The union of Christ and his church was a legal union, a oneness in the life and nature of Christ as man and Mediator. This oneness of nature as man was not the nature of man after his fall, but the uncorrupted nature of man before his sin.” **(Life of Elder Wilson Thompson, page 464. The Elder here negatives the ETERNAL VITAL UNION heresy, and teaches it to be a legal, or covenant union or oneness, existing between husband and wife, shepherd and sheep, surety and principal, and shows that by covenant arrangement Christ died as surety, or substitute for his people.)

The resurrection of Christ is laid down by the apostle as the foundation upon which rests the resurrection of the saints. He then proceeds to introduce his witnesses, who, as we have seen, for clearness and harmony of testimony, are unparalleled, and then, in effect, seems to challenge those who doubt the resurrection of Christ to enter their protest while the witnesses are alive, and can be examined and cross-examined; but no man ventured to accept the challenge. This, with Paul, was the great, the vital question of Christianity; “For if Christ be not risen, the dead rise not; and if the dead rise not, they that have fallen asleep in Christ have perished; we are found false witnesses for God; your faith is vain; you are yet in your sins; your baptism is vain, a foolish and unmeaning ordinance, commemorating an untruth. All the pains and persecutions I have endured by land and by sea, among false brethren, and among wild beasts at Ephesus, in the prison at Philippi and at Rome, -they are all in vain, for I shall die as a brute, and be no more, if there be no resurrection of the saints.” And well we may say, “If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable. But now is Christ risen from the dead,” and has, according to the promise of God, spoiled the grave; Ho 13:14; and hath brought life and immortality to light. The bright bow of hope hangs over the tomb where the body of the saint lies, and we mourn not as those that have no hope.

It was the body of Christ, the same body that was crucified and buried, that was resurrected, the first fruits of them that slept; and as he is, so shall we be, for the whole crop will be like the first fruits. The apostle uses the resurrection of Christ’s body to prove the resurrection of the mortal body of the saints. “But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you;” Ro 8:11. It is therefore the mortal body that is to be quickened and raised from the dead. If that is sown mortal, shall be raised immortal. The man of Uz, when sorely afflicted, and overwhelmed with grief and sorrow, would look beyond the troubled scenes of life, and the dark prison-house of the grave, and say, “For I know that my Redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth; and though, after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God; whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another; though my reins be consumed within me;” Job 19:25-27. The sweet singer of Israel, when looking at the prosperity, the wickedness, and oppression of the wicked in this world, and his own sorrows and afflictions, would envy their condition, and feel that his lot was hard; but when by faith he would look beyond this stormy sea, and see the happy land prepared for the Lord’s poor and afflicted ones, and feel the Spirit’s witness that he had a portion there, he would sweetly sing, “As for me, I will behold thy face in righteousness: I shall be satisfied, when I awake, with thy likeness;” Ps 17:15.

Modern Sadducees deny the identity of the resurrection, saying, “The body is of the earth, and will return to the earth, and that will be the last of it.” But the apostle, in arguing the resurrection, says, “These vile bodies;” “quicken your mortal bodies.” It is that which is sown mortal, shall be raised immortal. The graves shall deliver up the dead that are in them; Re 20:13. Jesus says, “All that are in the graves shall hear his voice, and shall come forth;” Joh 5:28-29. All this shows that it is the identical body that is sown, -that is sown a mortal body, -that shall be raised from the dead. But it shall be raised a spiritual, incorruptible, and an immortal body. This change shall be effected by the Spirit of him that raised up Christ from the dead. Flesh and blood, in its present depraved state, cannot inherit the kingdom of heaven, neither can corruption inherit incorruption. Corruption was no part of our original nature, but was brought on us by sin, and was never redeemed, but the man, soul and body, was redeemed by Christ, and will be delivered from all this corruption, which is called by the apostle the “old man,” or, “the body of the sins of the flesh.” Corruption is not essential to the existence of man. He brought it on himself by disobedience, and will be cleansed from it by the blood of Christ. So it will never be raised with the saint, but will be put off, and immortality put on. The work of Christ was not to restore man to his former state of natural purity, which he lost in Adam, for that would not prepare him for the spiritual kingdom of God, for the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit, neither can he know them. Natural purity could never prepare us for heaven, hence we must be born of the Spirit, -be made spiritual. This change is wrought in the nature and condition of the soul in the new birth, or regeneration, which is also called a resurrection from death in sin; Eph 2:5; Col 2:13; Joh 5:25. In this new birth, or resurrection from death in sin, the nature and affections of the soul are so changed that it is prepared to enter into and enjoy the spiritual comforts of the gospel. In the resurrection the body will be made spiritual, and prepared to enter into and enjoy the spiritual kingdom of God. Hence the apostle says, “We wait for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.” When this shall be accomplished the work of Christ in the redemption of his saints will be finished, and he will deliver the kingdom up to the Father.

Now the man, soul and body reunited, spiritual, immortal, and incorruptible, enters into and possesses that spiritual, immortal, and incorruptible estate, now reserved for him in heaven. In the resurrection of Christ as the first-fruits of them that slept the apostle shows more clearly the resurrection of the dead, the change which will be effected in it, with the glorious results which shall be realized by the victorious saints, when Christ shall come in the shining clouds of heaven, in power and great glory, to receive them and welcome them into the kingdom prepared for them. We must notice that a mere resurrection does not change the nature of the body, nor immortalize or spiritualize it. This is clearly proven in the resurrection of Christ, for he said to the disciples, “Handle me, and see, for a spirit hath not flesh and bones as ye see me have.” This not only proves the identity of the body, and that body not yet made spiritual, or a spiritual body which his spirit had assumed, but the identical body that died on the cross. The resurrection of the body, and the ascension of the body into heaven, are very different things. The intermediate space between the resurrection of Christ and his ascension to heaven was absolutely necessary to give his disciples the fullest opportunity to test the real identity of his bodily resurrection, that they might be prepared as witnesses to testify with certainty, and also to give him opportunity to teach them the nature of his kingdom, the gospel they were to teach, and the field of their labor, and to distinctly show, in the order of time, all the process of the resurrection of the body itself, and to show, as the “first-fruits,” all the change necessary to be wrought on the body to prepare it to ascend to heaven, and enter into its spiritual and immortal enjoyments. The character and appearance of this glorious change was exhibited to Peter, James, and John on the mount of transfiguration, and in his ascension was manifested in the presence of them all, as he entered the cloud; Mr 9:2-3; Ac 1:9. It was the same body that was transfigured, his raiment shining exceeding white as snow, so that no fuller on earth could whiten it, that died on the cross, was buried, and rose from the grave, and forty days afterwards ascended into heaven, and of this truth all the apostles and hundreds of the saints were witnesses.

Some contend that it is by virtue of the resurrection of Christ that the race of men universally will be raised. This is questionable and speculative, and the apostle does not so argue the question. He clearly shows that if Christ is not risen, the dead in Christ rise not; they have perished, for Christ, as the first fruits, exhibits what the whole crop shall be. For in his resurrection, “life and immortality,” (not life and damnation,)” are brought to light in the gospel.” It is evident that the saints shall be raised first, and the apostle says that their resurrection will be because of or by the Spirit of him that raised up Christ from the dead dwelling in us. In regeneration we receive the very Spirit by which, or because of which, our mortal bodies will be raised and made immortal and spiritual. This blessed resurrection is made sure to all the saints through the resurrection of Christ, the “first-fruits,” who in his death destroyed him that had the power of death, and in his resurrection spoiled the grave; who burst its vault, and triumphed over it; who has in his own hand the key to unlock the gloomy prison, and bring the prisoner out of the pit wherein there is no water. And he, having received power from his Father to quicken and raise up the dead, will quicken, revive, and raise up their sleeping dust, changed, spiritualized, and immortalized. The last enemy, which is death, will then be destroyed in the person of all his saints, and in their bodies that were once mortal, corruptible, and subject to pain and death, but now spiritual, immortal, and incorruptible, and beyond the power of sickness, sin, pain, or death. Beyond the stormy sea of death, and freed from the dark prison-house of the grave, their feet planted securely upon the bright and shining shore of a blessed and glorious immortality, with their vile bodies changed and fashioned like the glorious body of Christ, their Lord and Redeemer, they will be filled with divine delight, with heavenly ecstasies, and with immortal voices they will shout the victory and sing, Death is swallowed up in victory! 0 death, where is thy sting? 0 grave, where is thy victory?

This glorious hope revives

Our courage by the way,

While each in expectation lives,

And longs to see the day.

From sorrow, death, and pain,

and sin, we shall be free,

And perfect love and friendship reign,

In blessed eternity.

Blessed be God for the doctrine of the resurrection! And blessed be his holy name for the incontestable evidence he has given us, that these vile bodies of ours shall be changed, and made like the glorious body of our Lord and Savior. With soul and body in that glorious, divine, and heavenly image, we shall be satisfied, and have all that our immortal powers could desire or ask for. Then we shall know as we are known; shall see as we are seen. That which is in part shall be done away, and we shall fully possess that which is perfect. White robes, made white in the blood of the Lamb, shall adorn our person, and palms shall be in our hands, and we shall be crowned with crowns of rejoicing. Sorrow and sighing have fled away forever, and all tears are wiped from our eyes, and with immortal voices we will cry, “Blessing, and honor, and glory, and power be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb, forever and ever!” “Alleluia! for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth!” The marriage supper of the Lamb has come, the bride arrayed in her bridal garments has entered into the bridal chamber. Her winter is over, the storms and trials of time are past; no longer shall she wet her pillow with tears, and mourn the absence of her Beloved; no clouds shall rise between them, or doubts or fears destroy her peace. It was the hope of this blessed resurrection that sustained the poor, persecuted, and tortured women, who refused deliverance, feeling that to die was gain, and that their wounded, tortured, and mangled bodies might rest awhile in the dark and gloomy grave, but there was a glorious resurrection, and that He who has said, “Because I live ye shall live also,” would resurrect their dust, immortal and glorious, like his glorious body. It is this hope that looks beyond the stormy sea, and makes us patiently bear the trials of this present life, and sing as we pass along,

I would not live alway, I ask not to stay
Where storm after storm rises dark o’er the way;
The few lurid mornings that dawn on us here
Are enough for life’s woes-full enough for its cheer.

I would not live alway, thus fettered by sin;
Temptation without, and corruption within:
E’en the rapture of pardon is mingled with fears,
And the cup of thanksgiving with penitent tears.

I would not live alway, no-welcome the tomb;
Since Jesus hath lain there, I dread not its gloom.
There sweet be my rest till he bid me arise,
To hail him in triumph descending the skies.

0, who would live alway -away from his God,
Away from yon heaven, that blissful abode? 
Where rivers of pleasure flow o’er the bright plains,
And the noontide of glory eternally reigns.

Where the saints of all ages in harmony meet,
Their Savior and brethren transported to greet,
While the anthems of rapture unceasingly roll,
And the smile of the Lord is the feast of the soul.

This is the hope of the saint, and while I am speaking I know that there are many in this house, that by faith are looking beyond the river to that shining shore, and longing to rest there from the storms and billows that now toss their little barques, and fill them with fear and trembling. But, “Fear not: the waves shall not overflow you, nor the waters drown you.” Every wave makes one the less, and brings you nearer the shore. Sorrow may last for the night, but joy cometh in the morning. The night will soon pass, and the day that has no night will soon break upon us, and in the shining robes of heaven we shall enter into the marriage supper of the Lamb, and will sorrow no more. 0, it doth not yet appear what we shall be, but when He shall appear we shall be like him, and shall see him as he is. For he will come, and the dead in Christ shall rise first, and they that live and remain shall be changed in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, and we shall all be caught up with the Lord in the air, and so shall ever be with the Lord. “Comfort one another with these sayings.”

Dying sinner, you, too, will be resurrected. The sea, the grave, the rocks, and the mountains, cannot hide you from Him that sitteth upon the throne, and from the face of him you have slighted, for they that pierced him shall see him. You that live and die in sin shall hear his voice, and shall be resurrected unto damnation. 0, my soul! what a word to sound in the ears of an ungodly sinner, who is living without hope, and without God in the world! The day is coming when all that know not God, and obey not the gospel, shall be forever destroyed from the glory of his power, and sink down where the smoke of their torment will go up forever and ever. This, dear sinner, is the certain doom of all who die in their sins. None can deliver you but Jesus, and the gospel presents him as a full and complete Savior, able to save. 0, that the Spirit may enlighten your minds, and that you may be led to feel your need of Christ, and with a broken heart and a contrite spirit come to him, for he will never cast any such away. 0, if you are burdened, weary, and heavy-laden with sin, Jesus says, “Come unto me, and I will give you rest?” But if you are hard, unfeeling, and in love with sin, and delight in the road that leads to death, I have not a promise for you. I have not an encouraging word, but must take my seat, grieved in heart on your account, and leave you in the hands and to the tender mercies of a just God, who will deal rightly with all his creatures.


“Marvel not that I said unto thee. Ye must be born again;” Joh 3:7.

There are many things spoken by the Savior to his disciples, and written by the apostles in their epistles to the churches, that apply to Christians, and to Christians only. In explaining scriptures it is important that we should notice to whom the address is made, and apply the instructions and comforts to such characters or persons as the speaker or writer was addressing. To take the invitations, promises, and encouragements addressed to awakened sinners, mourning and seeking souls, and apply them indiscriminately to all men, is a perversion of the word, and giving the children’s bread to dogs. But there are scriptures that have a universal application to all the sons and daughters of Adam, and we should labor to enforce their solemn truths upon the minds of all. My text belongs to this class of Scripture, and teaches a great truth applicable to every man and woman belonging to the human family, be they great or small, rich or poor, learned or unlearned. If they are born of Christian parents, reared up under religious instruction, trained up in the Sabbath-school, and human skill exerted upon them to form the religious character, however good the character may be, and how ever much and closely the forms of religion may be observed, the truth of my text still stands in all its solemn force: “Ye must be born again.”

The man to whom the Savior addressed this language was a ruler among the Jews, and of the Pharisees, a religious sect among the Jews, who were very strict in their religion, and he, being a ruler among the Jews, was, doubtless, taught in all their religion. His religious training and character had not prepared him for the kingdom of God, hence Jesus said to him, “Ye must be born again.” Our children are gifts to us from the Lord, and it is our duty to bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord, and to train them up in the way they should go. It is doubtless true that parents can do much in forming the moral character of their children, and I fear that there is often a criminal neglect on their part in rearing and educating them. The most lasting impressions written upon our minds, and those that have the most influence over us through life, are those received in childhood and youth. In a large majority of cases the character that follows us through life is formed around the hearthstone of the parental house. The example and teaching of the father and mother, and the associations they select for their children, have much to do in molding the character of the child, which will follow it through life. I often hear parents say, “I can not talk to my children,” and I wonder why it is so. If they live before them as they ought, and set that religious and moral example that is worthy of imitation, why should it be a task to them to talk to their children, and give them parental advice and instruction?

Visit the man whose head is frosted by time, and who is just ready to fall into the grave, whose character is unstained by dissipation and crime, and ask him to whom, of all earthly beings, he is most indebted for the moral principles which have governed him through life, and saved him from disgrace and shame, and in a large majority of cases the answer will be, “My mother.” Dear friends, while I am talking many of you can call to mind the prayers, the advice, the kisses, and the tears of a mother, whose body now rests in the cold grave, and can see the controlling influence they have had upon you through life, and feel to bless God that you had a good, pious mother, who was not ashamed to pray with her children, to talk to them, and if a tear started in their eyes to kiss it away with her soft lips. Many of us have had such a mother, and we often visit the little mound of earth that covers her from our sight, and read the name upon the little monument that points out her resting place, and drop a shower of warm tears upon the dust that covers her, in grateful remembrance of the best earthly friend we, ever had.

I verily believe that mothers can do more to mold the morals and form the character of the child than the father can. It is on her lap we receive our first ideas, and she breathes into us her own nature and character. There is a responsibility resting upon a mother that I fear is not always fully realized by mothers. Fathers have their responsibilities, for they are every day of their lives, in their deportment and conversation, writing on the minds of their children moral sentiments that are to follow them through life. Some of us will never forget the prayers of our father, and the deep impression made upon our minds, as we saw him when rising from his knees wipe the dropping tears from his eyes. He had been praying for his children, and that God might give him grace and wisdom to live before them as a father should live before his children. Those prayers were not breath spent in vain, for they have followed us through all our after life, and have often come up before us as a warning voice when we were tempted to depart from the paths of virtue, truth, or honor. I would, today, and at all times, use all the arguments I am master of to encourage parents to be untiring in their efforts to bring their children up in the way they should go when old, and they will feel themselves abundantly paid for all their labor, when in age they are surrounded with a family respected by all the good, and in their moral life, and high standing in society, reflecting honor on the parents who reared them. The influence that education has upon the life and actions of men has long been understood, and over fifty years ago, Dr. Ely, in urging upon his denomination, (the Presbyterians,) the necessity of establishing colleges and schools in the Mississippi valley, said, “Give me the control of the schools in the United States, and I will soon control the ballot-box and the pulpit of the nation.” If this be true, how important that we should educate our children right, and, as far as possible, keep their minds free from all errors, either in religion or politics. Religious sentiments imbibed in youth, and received from the lips of parents, are hard to throw off, and are apt to stick by us as long as we live. But when we have given our children all the religious and moral culture in our power, and have done all we can to form their religious and moral character, and to prepare them for usefulness in society, we must not forget to impress upon their minds that all this will not make Christians of them; that human culture and human instrumentality can never prepare the to see or enter into the kingdom of God. To be made a citizen of that kingdom, and enter into its enjoyments, a man must be born again. He must be resurrected from his death in sin, and be made a new creature in Christ Jesus. When Jesus announced this doctrine to Nicodemus, notwithstanding his religious education, being learned in the law and the prophets, he was astonished and made to marvel and wonder at the teaching of the Savior. It looked to him unreasonable, and contrary to the laws of nature, -an impossibility; and when the religious Pharisee expressed his wonder at the unreasonable doctrine, Jesus simply repeated the declaration by saying, “Marvel not that I said unto thee, ye must be born again.”

In the discussion of this subject I shall pursue the following order:

1st, Who it is that must be born again;

2nd, The necessity of the second birth, and the nature of that birth;

3d, The agent or power by which the birth is effected;

4th, The kingdom into which it brings us, and some of the blessings connected with it.

1st, Who it is that must be born again. It looks like there could be no difference of opinion on this point, for Nicodemus was the man addressed, and evidently the man that must be born again. If it were some spiritual existence, a heavenly man, or a quickened spirit that had to be born a second time, Jesus would certainly have so told Nicodemus. But Jesus says, “Ye, the man I am talking to, the fallen sinner of Adam’s race, ye must be born again.” And Nicodemus evidently so understood Jesus, for he said, “How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born?” If it were a heavenly man, a quickened spirit, or the Spirit of Him that raised up Jesus from the dead, as taught by some, that has to be born again, Christ would certainly so have taught Nicodemus, and would have said, “Nicodemus, you misunderstand me. I do not mean that you, the fallen sinner, the son of Adam, must be born again. That would be working over old materials; that would be making a new hat out of an old one. It is not the Adam sinner in soul, body, mind, or spirit, that has to be born again, but it is a heavenly man, a quickened spirit, that was created such in me before the world began.” But the Savior intimated no such thing, for it was Nicodemus to whom he was talking, and Nicodemus, the Pharisee, he meant. If not so, why should he say to Nicodemus, “Ye must be born again?” If it were a heavenly man, a quickened spirit that was no part of Nicodemus that must be born again, why tell Nicodemus about it? He could not be bettered or worsted by the second birth, and could not enter the kingdom of God, for he who enters that kingdom must be born again-born of the Spirit. If it were a spiritual seed that was created in Christ before the world was created, and lay dormant in his loins until it is quickened and born, it is not a second birth, and there is no change of nature or character experienced by the seed in this birth. It was spiritual before; it is only spiritual now. It was incorruptible before, and is incorruptible now. The birth has effected no change in its nature or spiritual condition. But if it be the sinner that must be born again, or from above, then the sinner must experience a change to enable him to see the kingdom of God, and without that change he cannot enter into it.

Paul to the Ephesians says, “And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins.” This clearly teaches that it is the sinner dead in sin that is quickened and made alive in the new birth, or regeneration. That seed talked of, that lay dormant in Christ, could not have been dead in sin, for, “He was holy, harmless, undefiled, and separate from sinners.” He was “without sin,” “knew no sin,” and could not have a sinful seed lying dormant in his loins. The Ephesians to whom Paul wrote were men and women who had once been dead in sin, without hope, and without God in the world. But Paul believed there had been a great change wrought in them by the quickening power of the Holy Spirit, for he says, “But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ.” It is evidently, then, the sinner that is quickened; that is made alive; that is born a second time. The Colossian saints were taught that it was God, “who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son.” These saints were men and women who had once been slaves under the power of darkness, but had been delivered from that bondage, and translated into the kingdom of God’s dear Son. This was a great change in their condition, and they were brought into a kingdom that Christ says no man can enter without being born again. Peter, in writing to the saints who had purified their souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, exhorts them to love one another with pure hearts fervently, “being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth forever, “This simply teaches that the first birth was of a corruptible seed, and brought us into this natural world, fallen sinners, with corrupt propensities, sinful desires, and lusts. But the second birth is of an incorruptible seed. It is by the quickening power and regenerating influence of the Holy Spirit that we are born the second time. Can any one read the letter of St. Peter and doubt that it was the same person who was once born of a corruptible seed that was born again, or a second time, of an incorruptible seed? The whole Scriptures go to establish this truth. The object of Christ’s mission into this world was to “save his people from their sins.” It was sinners, and not a holy, sinless, spiritual seed, that he came to save. “It is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners.” Apply this subject to any class of beings other than lost and ruined sinners, and you strip the gospel of all its comforts, and there is nothing in it adapted to the wants and necessities of lost and ruined sinners. It is not the life that is born again, but it is the child, the sinner, that receives a new life, is quickened into a new being, becomes a new creature in Christ Jesus. The life is not the child, but is that which gives sensibilities, feelings, thirsts, and desires to the child. Jesus said of his sheep, “I give unto them eternal life.” The life given was not the sheep, but it was that which gave action and sensibilities to the sheep, and made them a living flock; and it is when spiritual life is given to the sinner that he is quickened into spiritual sensibilities, and spiritual thirsts and desires are begotten in the soul. This life is in Christ, and he gives it to the sinner, and by its quickening, regenerating, and resurrecting power the sinner is born a second time, resurrected from his death in sin, and holy desires, spiritual appetites, and thirstings are begotten in his soul. With this view the doctrine becomes an interesting one, and applies to me, and to you, and to every other sinner. 0, that this solemn truth may ever be before our eyes, and in our hearts: “The sinner must be born again or sink to endless woe.”

2nd, The necessity of the second birth, and the nature of that birth. If the thing to be born again were a spiritual existence, the second birth would not change its nature, or qualify it for any higher enjoyments than it was qualified for in its creation, and there would be no necessity for the second birth. If man were spiritual in his creation, there could be no need of a second birth to prepare him for spiritual enjoyments, but the first man was not spiritual, but natural, and just qualified to enjoy the natural blessings with which God surrounded him. To enjoy any higher state than this he must be born a second time-born of the Spirit. A holy, sinless, spiritual man is, in every respect, prepared for the kingdom of God without any change in his nature or condition. If it be true, as affirmed by some, “That none will ever go to heaven, but those that came down from heaven, and that there will not be one more in heaven when time is wound up, and the ransomed host put in possession of the spiritual land, than existed there before time,” then the new birth is a farce, a useless nothing. All that once lived in heaven are qualified in their nature and spirituality for that place, and can never need a new life and change of nature to prepare them for it. If spiritual beings have fallen from their spiritual estate, and lost their spiritual life and holiness, all that is necessary is to reinstate them. This would not be a second birth, regeneration, or a new creation, but a reinstating, or putting them back into their original state. It is affirmed by some that, “It is not true that the elect, as such, were created in Adam, but the elect of God, as such, were created in Christ Jesus, and existed in him before the natural creation took place.” If they were created in him, and existed in him, flesh of his flesh, and bone of his bones, they were created before Adam, (for he was created in the natural creation,) were no part of his seed, and could never be involved in his transgression, or inherit his corrupt nature. If Christ, the head of the body, was spiritual, all the members that composed his body, his flesh, and his bones, were spiritual, quickened into life when the head was, and as holy, spiritual, and pure as the head. This holy, spiritual man needs no second birth, regeneration, or new creation to prepare him for holy and spiritual enjoyments. But it is again affirmed by these teachers that, “Christ, as the seminal head of his own church, or body, dwelt in the bosom of the Father, was the begotten, and the only begotten of the Father, and the begetting and setting up of the head was the begetting and setting up of the body of which he is the head and life. And when the head was put to death in the flesh the life of the body, or church, was taken away, and all her members were dead so long as he remained in the grave; but when he was raised up, together with his dead body did all his members rise from death, and were quickened together with him.”

This, to me, is strange philosophy, for it makes Christ, the only begotten Son of God, a created being, and as such he could not claim equality with the Father, for he was only his creature; and if true, Christ is convicted of error, for he says, “I and the Father are one.” It also teaches that the begetting and setting up of Christ, the head of the church, or body, was the begetting and setting up of that body of whom he is the life and head, and that his church is his flesh and bones, and were all quickened into life when he was. It is a body of flesh and bones that was created and set up before the natural creation, and it was in this body he was put to death; this body that existed before the natural creation, which was his church, the body of which he was the head and life. This body of flesh, is what he is put to death in, and this body is his church, his flesh, and his bones, and when his life is taken, the life of his body is taken, and all die together, are buried together, and are dead so long as he remains in the grave. Now this is a mystifying, mixing up, and tangling of things, so that I cannot understand them, or see any consistency in them; but I can see that they palpably contradict the teachings of the Bible. Christ says, “As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep;” Joh 10:15. Paul says, “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;” Eph 5:25. Again Paul says to the church at Ephesus, “Feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood;” Ac 20:28. Now this is the church, his body, his flesh, and his bones, that were created when he was created, begotten when he was begotten, that he was put to death in, and that died when he died, lay in the grave with him, and was quickened and raised up together with him, that Paul says he died for, or in the room and stead of. One or the other is wrong. Their language can never be reconciled, and I believe Paul, the old Primitive preacher, was right. But it is said, “But when he was raised up, together with his dead body, did all his members rise from death?” Then so far as the church, the elect of God, is concerned, the resurrection is past. This is the very error of Hymeneus and Philetus, who, Paul says, “Concerning the truth have erred, saying that the resurrection is past already; and overthrow the faith of some;” 2Ti 2:18. But Paul comes up again and squarely contradicts this teaching, and tells us that the church, or elect, or saints, did not rise from the dead when Christ rose, for he says, “Christ, the first-fruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming;” 1Co 15:23. Here it is positively affirmed that the resurrection of those that are Christ’s will be at his coming; that Christ is now risen, the first-fruits, and at his coming all that are his, the whole crop, shall be raised from the dead, and gathered into the heavenly kingdom. Thus Paul, in about the year 59, warned us against this error, and so have the Primitive Baptists in all ages since, and thus they preach and affirm today.

This doctrine destroys the necessity of a second birth, or regeneration, or a new creation, for it was created spiritual and holy, in its flesh and its bones, its head and life, and could be no part of Adam or his family, and could not sin in him, or inherit his fallen, corrupt nature. Adam was not spiritual, but natural, was created in the natural creation, and was of the earth, earthy. He was not prepared for spiritual and immortal enjoyments in his best estate, much less after he had sinned and fallen under the curse of God’s holy law, and condemnation had passed upon him, and all his posterity. If this spiritual race ever fell from their state of holiness and purity, they fell head and all together, and the head was as much involved and as guilty as the members, and, in fact, if the head, like the head of your body or mine, controlled the members in all their actions, he was the guilty one, and the members were only the innocent instruments to do his wicked bidding. This rule prevails in all our courts; for a man is not guilty of murder, in the eye of the law, who kills his fellow by accident, without any forethought, design, or intention to hurt the man. In the head the wicked design or purpose is made, and the members of the body act in obedience to its command. The sin is the head’s and not the members’, for they had no power to resist the command of the head. This is a proposition too plain to need any argument, and will show that the Head, (Christ,) as represented in this theory, is the guilty one, and had to die for His own guilt, and his members, his church, his flesh, and his bones had to die because they were in vital union with him, and had no power to resist his will, or what he determined and moved them to do. This is not our High Priest, our Redeemer, whose blood cleanseth from sin. And our model preacher, Paul, tells us that such an high priest is no better than the priests under the law, who could make nothing perfect, nor put away sin by any of their offerings; but of our Priest he says, “For such an high priest became us, who is holy, harmless, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens,” and that this High Priest is the Son of God, “who is consecrated for evermore.” “He knew no sin,” but it pleased the Lord to lay our sins on him, and he bore them in his own body on the tree, and put them away by the sacrifice of himself. He was delivered for our offenses, and raised again for our justification. Whether Hymeneus and Philetus belonged to the old school or new school I cannot tell, but our Primitive preacher warned us against their errors, and the Primitive Baptists of all ages have denounced them as heresies.

Human goodness can never prepare a man for heaven. If we could be placed back again in the garden, with all the goodness Adam possessed before he fell, we would not be prepared for spiritual enjoyments, for we would be nothing but natural men, and the “natural man can not know the things of the Spirit.” This clearly proves that spiritual life must be given him, and spiritual sensibilities, desires, and affections begotten within him before he can know and enjoy the things of the Spirit. Christ says, “I give unto them eternal life.” Did he give them something they always possessed? Surely not. But our Primitive preacher says, “The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord;” and so preach the Primitive Baptists today. Christ says to his Father, “As thou hast given him,” the Son, “power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him.” This proves that, although they were his by the gift of the Father, they had not eternal life until Christ gave it to them. John, another one of our Primitive preachers, says, “And this is the promise that he hath promised us, even eternal life.” And again, “And this is the record, that God hath given us eternal life.” This life is given the sinner, dead in sins, when God quickens him, and raises him up out of that state of death, and by his divine power makes him partaker of the divine nature, and circumcises his heart to love the Lord God. In this work the sinner is put in possession of a life he never had before.

Man in his natural state is a sinner, dead in sins. The love of God is not in his heart, and the fear of God is not before his eyes. He must, therefore, be changed in nature and affections to prepare him to see and enter into the kingdom of God; for without holiness no man can see God.

If we consider how sinful and corrupt man is in his fallen nature, his mind blinded by the god of this world so that spiritual things are foolishness to him, and he can not know them; and what God is, the place where God’s throne is, and where no unclean thing can enter, it will appear clear in the very nature of things that the man must be born again, for it would be simply impossible for him to be happy in heaven if he were not holy. God is perfect in holiness; all things relating to true religion are holy and spiritual: but man by nature is unholy, and cannot relish or even discern that excellency. God and the nature of holiness and happiness are unchangeable; then man must be changed or he never can be conformed to them, or be happy in them. It is therefore man, the fallen sinner that must be born again, and changed in the affections of his soul, from hatred to love. Love is one of the fruits of the Spirit of God, begotten in the soul of the sinner born of that Spirit and an evidence by which we may know that we are born of God, for, “He that loveth is born of God.”

Man is natural in his creation, and by transgression has become corrupt and sinful. He cannot therefore see or know spiritual things, for he is natural; and he cannot enter into the holy communion with God, for he is corrupt and sinful. He must therefore be born of the Spirit to see the spiritual kingdom, and be cleansed from sin to enter into its holy and spiritual enjoyments.

It is therefore the sinner, the son or daughter of Adam that is born again, and the birth is a spiritual birth. The soul or spirit is quickened into life, raised from a death in sin, cleansed from sin by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost. The Savior says, “That which is born of the Spirit is spirit.” It is the spirit of the man that is born of the Spirit, and not the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead, for that would be the Spirit being born of itself. Paul says, “But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now, if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.” It is therefore clear that it is not the flesh or natural body that is quickened and made spiritual, for Paul was here talking to Christians, who had been born of the Spirit, and telling them that the body is dead because of sin; hence we are not debtors to the flesh to live after the flesh, for the flesh is still dead in sin; and it is fleshly lusts that war against the renewed, quickened, or regenerated soul.

The fallen, corrupt, and sinful state of the natural man, incapable of knowing or entering into the enjoyment of spiritual things, shows the necessity of the new birth, and that it should be a spiritual birth, and by it be prepared to enter into spiritual and holy comforts. The first birth is of the flesh and of man, but the second birth is thus described, Joh 1:12-13; “But as many as received him, to them gave he power,” (or the right or privilege,)” to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name; which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.” Hence, man has nothing to do, directly or indirectly, in bringing about this birth. It is of God; and in this birth the sinner is made par taker of the divine nature, and enters into the enjoyments of the spiritual kingdom, which no human instrumentalities, or human education, or training can fit him for without this birth. *This birth is a soul work, and is effected by the power of God in the soul of the poor, fallen, and ruined sinner of Adam’s race. It is not a mere change of action and nothing more, but the heart, the affections, the desires of the soul, are so changed that they love the things they once hated, and hate the things they once loved. The change is so great that it is called in Scripture the taking away the stony heart out of their flesh, and giving them a heart of flesh. The regenerated sinner is called a new creature in Christ Jesus. Many figures are used in the sacred word to illustrate this change. In my text it is called a birth; it is called a quickening in Eph 2:5; in Col 1:13, it is called a translation into the kingdom of God’s dear Son; and in Col 3:1, it is called a resurrection; and also in Joh 5:25. In these, and all other places where this change is spoken of, it is the sinner dead in sin that has to experience it, and then it is more than a mere change of actions; it is a change of spiritual condition, of having passed from death unto life. The change is so great that none who have ever felt it can be made to doubt or question the truth of it. You might ‘just as well try to convince the blind man who was born blind, that no change had been effected upon him when he had received the power of sight. The change in the sinner is just as great spiritually when he is quickened into spiritual life, as was the change naturally in Lazarus when he was raised from the dead and restored to his sisters. The dear saint who has felt this change may often have his fears whether it is the right change or not. He may often adopt the language of the poet,

I am a stranger here below,

And what I am ‘tis hard to know,

I am so vile, so prone to sin,

I fear that I’m not born again.

But ask that soul in its darkest moment if it has ever felt a change? If it loves sin as well as it ever did? and it will answer without a moment’s hesitation, “0, I hate the things that I once loved; I now see sin as I never saw it before. I know I have felt a change, but I fear it is not of the Lord, for if it was:”

‘ Why am I thus,

Why this cold and lifeless frame,

Hardly sure can they be worse,

Who have never known his name.’

Every tear, every groan, and every pain felt in our heart on account of our sins and our unworthiness of God is an evidence of this change. We all once viewed Jesus as a root out of dry ground, without form and comeliness, or any thing in him that we should love him. We esteemed him not, and tried to cast him away from us, and shunned the society of the saints. But now Christ is all to us; let him hide his face and it is mid night with our soul; darkness and gloom is all around us, and our harps are on the willows. But let Jesus appear, and my dawning is begun. His presence and smiles drive darkness from my mind, bind up my broken heart, heal all its wounds, calm all its fears, give me back my harp, strung and tuned, to sound his praise. Can it be that any who have felt Jesus thus precious to them have had the scales to fall off their eyes, and the spirit of their mind renewed, and then say, “I have never felt any change, I love sin as well as I ever did?” No, the dear child of God who has felt this change will say, “I hate sin and abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes on account of it.” Christ has made the test and fixed the stake that can never be removed, when he said, “Except a man be born again, he can not enter into the kingdom of God.” And can you, dear Christian, fellowship the man as a Christian, and invite him into your pulpit, who denies this change, and will stand up in the sacred desk and say, “My heart has never been changed; I love sin as well as I ever did.” As Baptists, we want you to decide, and let the world know that this is not the doctrine of our church.

3d. The agent, or power, by which the birth is effected. This birth, being a spiritual, heavenly birth, is of God, and not of the flesh, or the will of man. In nature we never willed our own birth, nor had any hand in bringing it about, and the very nature and condition of the sinner shows conclusively that he could never will or do any thing to bring about the second birth. The dead can never resurrect themselves, neither can their friends give them life. It takes the power of God to raise the dead. A death in sin is the absence of spiritual life, and all power to beget such a life. In this condition the sinner is beyond the reach of instrumentalities, however good and powerful they may be, to relieve the pain, and give comfort to the afflicted. The gospel is the power of God unto salvation to the believer. But none are believers but such as are born of God and are in possession of spiritual life, for Jesus says, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, he that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life;” Joh 5:25. Faith is an evidence of life and of this second birth, and can not exist where it has not taken place. Faith is not a means, or agent, through or by which this birth is ‘effected, but is an evidence or fruit of this birth; for it is said, “Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ, is born of God.” Words and arguments, or a preached gospel, can never give life to the sinner, dead in sin, or produce faith in his heart; for it is said, “But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.” If words and arguments, or preaching the gospel, could produce this change in the sinner, it would be of man, and no nature but what man possesses would be imparted. But it is of God, and in it the sinner is made partaker of the divine nature, is quickened into spiritual life by the Spirit of God; for it is said, “But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you.” It is therefore the Spirit of God entering the heart of the sinner that quickens him into a new life, resurrects him from a death in sin, and makes him a new creature in Christ Jesus; and faith and love are the evidences of this work, “for love is of God; and everyone that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God.” The great mistake of the world is, that they teach that faith is a condition by which we obtain salvation and sonship; while the Bible teaches that it is a fruit of the Spirit, and an evidence of the gracious condition of those who possess this gift of God and fruit of his Spirit.

But some will object to this, and say “The gospel is the means the Spirit uses in quickening the sinner, for Paul says, ‘For our gospel came not unto you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Ghost, and in much assurance.’ So it is through the hearing of the gospel that the Spirit reaches the heart of the sinner.” But, we answer, the text does not say that the power comes in the gospel, or that the Holy Ghost comes in the gospel, but that the gospel comes in them. We seldom hear a new born soul relate his experience but that he will refer to some time when he heard the gospel as he never heard it before, and he was made to tremble and weep, while those who sat right by him, and were hearing the same words, felt no such emotions. Why this difference in the two hearers? and why does this trembling soul now hear as he never heard before, and feel as he never felt before under the preaching of the gospel? It is because there is a Spirit and power in him that was never there before, that has opened the ears to hear and prepared the heart to understand the word preached. Having this power in him the gospel comes as it never did before, and awakens in him reflections and feelings he never had before under its sound. It makes no difference how fearful or how joyful a message may be, it will have no power to move those who cannot understand or hear it. But let the power to hear and understand be given, and then the effects of the message will be visible in those who hear. It is therefore the quickened sinner who trembles at the word of the Lord, and by it is instructed in the way of salvation.

But the objector to our views will say, “Jesus has taught us in the parable of the sower and the seed, that we should sow the seed broadcast, and it, falling into the human heart, brings forth a crop of holy fruits, such as faith, love, and obedience to the laws of Christ, and is the means of re-begetting, or regenerating the soul.” But we answer that the seed has no power to prepare or fertilize the soil. If it falls on stony ground, or among thorns and thistles, it cannot prepare the ground for its reception, and will perish because it cannot prepare and fertilize the soil. Paul may plant, and Apollos water, but God must give the increase, or prepare and fertilize the soil that the seed may grow and bring forth fruit, as he did the heart of Lydia that she should hear and obey the words of his servant. No sensible husbandman sows his seed in unprepared ground, expecting the seed to prepare the ground and bring him a crop. We are not the husbandman, and cannot prepare the human heart for the reception of the word; but it is our duty to sow the seed broadcast, for we know not what heart the Lord has prepared for its reception. We are to sow the seed in the morning, and to withhold not in the evening, for we know not which is to prosper, or whether both alike is to be good. We are not of that people who were never called to preach to sinners. The command we have received from our King is, “Go into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.” But we are nowhere commanded to prepare their hearts to receive it, but he that can prepare their hearts has promised to be with us always. With this promise, we go sowing the seed, and leaving the event with him who can prepare the heart for its reception, and fertilize it so that a crop can be produced, to his honor and glory.

The last, and perhaps thought to be the most conclusive proof brought against us on this subject by our opposers is found in Romans, tenth chapter. (Ro 10) It is contended that there our views are fairly met and squarely negatived. With a great show of triumph they will quote the text, “So, then, faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” That it is by hearing the word spoken by the preacher that faith is begotten in the heart of the sinner dead in sin, and he, through this instrumentality, is made a believer in Christ, and fitted for his kingdom.

We will now examine this text and its connection, and if all prejudice is laid aside, and we look at it calmly and rationally, I think all will see that it is one of the clear proofs of our position. If you will read the epistle to the Romans, you will find that a large portion of it is in dialogue form; first, the epistle affirms the truth and then states the Jew’s objection to it to illustrate, it is said, “What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?” This is evidently an objection brought against Paul’s doctrine by the unbelieving Jew, and Paul responds, “God forbid; how shall we that are dead to sin live any longer therein?” Again, the same objector would say, “What advantage then hath the law? or what profit is there in circumcision?” And Paul responds, “Much every way; chiefly, because that unto them were committed the oracles of God.” You will find in a number of other places Paul states the objection of the unbelieving Jew to his doctrine and answers the objection, and the text under consideration is one of these objections brought by the unbelieving Jew, stated and replied to by Paul. If you will look at the connection you will see that the apostle has been showing the difference between the law and faith; that the law belongs to this life, and only bestows temporal blessings; that. “Moses describeth the righteousness, which is of the law; that the man which doeth those things shall live by them.” “But the righteousness which is by faith speaketh on this wise, Say not in thy heart, who shall ascend into heaven? (that is, to bring Christ down from above:) or, Who shall descend into the deep? (that is, to bring up Christ again from the dead.)” Faith is a fruit of the Spirit, and all who have it in their hearts believe that God has raised up Christ from the dead, and that he is our peace, who hath made both one, who hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us, that there is now no difference between the Jew and the Greek, but that all that have this faith have access to God through Christ, “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

To this the Jews would object, for they believed that there was a difference between the Jew and the Greek, or Gentiles, and that faith was the fruit of human arguments and teaching brought to bear on the natural intellect or mind of man, and without this knowledge was imparted by man, they could never believe or call on God. They had no idea that this was a lesson that none but God could teach. Paul knew this, and in the 14th and 15th verses Ro 10:14-15 he gives us the Jew’s objection in as strong terms as the Jew could give them, and here they are. “How, then, shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? and how shall they preach except they be sent? as it is written, how beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things?”

This objection Paul answers by saying, “But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report?” Faith will beget obedience, and Paul lets the objectors know that they had not obeyed, and that their disobedience was an evidence of their unbelief, as Esaias saith, “Lord, who hath believed our report?” The same prophet that the Jew quotes to sustain his position, shows that he is wrong; that faith does not come by the report or the preaching of the gospel, or all that heard it would believe. But the Jew responds, “So, then, faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” The argument is, that there is no way for faith to come, but by words and arguments addressed to the rational man. It is the fruit of testimony, or evidence, and all the way that evidence can be brought to the mind is by words and arguments; but Paul answers firmly and positively, “But I say, have they not heard? Yes, verily, their sound went into all the earth; and their words unto the ends of the world.” They have heard the gospel; it has been preached; “Their sound went into all the earth; and their words unto the ends of the world,” and unbelief and infidelity still remains, and will remain until the arm of the Lord is revealed. For faith is not the fruit of words and arguments, but is the fruit of God’s Spirit, and is begotten in the heart by the operation of God, and is produced by the same power that raised up our Lord from the dead.

But the Jew will contend, as all natural men do, that this doctrine will never do. There is no way to get faith, but by words and arguments. Any other position is foolishness and nonsense in the extreme, and it is preposterous to say that Israel is in unbelief. For says the Jew, “But I say did not Israel know?” Israel is not in ignorance. She has been taught, she has been instructed. To charge Israel with unbelief is unjust and false. But Paul is not defeated or driven from his position, but will meet them with Moses, by whom the law was given, and says, “First, Moses saith, I will provoke you to jealousy by them that are no people, and by a foolish nation I will anger you. But Esaias is very bold, and saith, I was found of them that sought me not. I was made manifest unto them that asked not after me. But to Israel he saith, All day long I have stretched forth my hand unto a disobedient and gainsaying people.” Words and arguments with the Jews have failed, for they have Moses and the prophets and the law, with the priests, their offerings and typical service; they have had the preaching of John the Baptist, Christ, and the apostles; they have witnessed the miracles and the mighty works that Jesus did among them, and they are still in unbelief, and are a disobedient and gainsaying people, and have persecuted and put to death the very men that came preaching the gospel of peace to them. It takes more than words and arguments to subdue the enmity and hatred of the carnal heart, and to give spiritual life and sensibilities to the natural man, the man dead in sin. This Paul knew by experience, for he had heard them preach the gospel of peace. He had heard the eloquent and unanswerable appeal made by the dying Stephen, but words and arguments could not move him, and make a believer of him, until God revealed his arm, and by his mighty power subdued the hatred and murderous feelings of his heart, and revealed Christ in him and to him, and Paul would testify that it is “By the grace of God I am what I am.” For if God’s grace and almighty power had not interposed in his case, and changed the enmity, and hatred, and murderous feelings of his heart, he never would have been any thing else but a bloodthirsty persecutor of Christ and his people. Paul’s case is not an exception. All the sons and daughters of Adam have the same heart of hatred, and mind of enmity against God, are led by the prince of this world, the spirit that works in the children of disobedience. The fear of God is not before their eyes, the ways of peace they have not known. It is their delight to fulfill the desires of the flesh and the carnal mind. Nothing but the power of God can change the affections of their hearts, and make them love the things they once hated. A new life, new affections and desires, have to be begotten within them. They have to be made new creatures. The change is a great one, and is called a birth, a resurrection, a creation, and regeneration, and without this change no one can ever know or enjoy spiritual blessings or comforts in this world, or inherit and enter into the bright and endless joys of the upper world.

I read, and saw the truth most plain:
The sinner must be born again, or drink the wrath of God.

This solemn truth stands as firm as the eternal throne. No other work will ever prepare the sinner to enter into, and enjoy the kingdom of God. 0, are we today living careless and thoughtless upon this subject? Time with us is swiftly passing by, and we are rapidly approaching the eternal world, with this truth, as it fell from the Savior’s lips, sounding in our ears: “Verily, verily, I say unto thee, except a man be born again, he can not see the kingdom of God.” Dying sinner, these words are true. 0, may God give you to see it, and feel it in your soul, and may he, by his power and grace, work this change in us, and then we shall sing,

All hail the Lamb on Calvary slain,

For all who shall be born again,

Will shout thine endless praise.


“Come hither, I will shew thee the bride, the Lambs wife;” Re 21:9

Man, in his fallen state, is blind, vicious, and unhappy, and will remain so, unless changed by divine grace. Sin has dominion over him; and although he may acknowledge the existence of a God, yet, in reality, he is without God, and without hope in the world. Into this abyss of misery and wretchedness he has plunged himself, and has made himself a fit companion for devils and wicked spirits. He has violated the law of his Creator, and fallen under its curse; his soul is stained with guilt, and his mind has become enmity against God, so that he would fly from his presence. Man had not long been in this hopeless condition, when God promised a deliverer in the person of “the seed of the woman.” This Deliverer was to reign in righteousness and truth; his kingdom was to fill the whole earth, and to have no end. Time rolled on, and God renewed his promise to Abraham, and made him and his posterity the depository of his oracles.

He called Moses, and set him over the children of Jacob, and by his mouth revealed to them his will. The children of Israel were taken under the special protection of the Most High, and were commanded to have no God besides him. The religion given to the Jewish nation recognized one only infinite and holy God. Its ceremonies were wisely calculated to raise the mind of the people to the majesty of the Supreme Being, who dwells in heaven, and fills immensity. The morality of their religion was I pure, and taught them to love God with all their heart, to obey his statutes, and to do good to one another. It was also figurative; and every sacrifice that was made upon their altars was calculated to bring fresh to their minds the promised Redeemer, who should put away sin by the sacrifice of himself. God also raised up prophets among his people, who, from time to time, taught them of the coming of this promised Redeemer, of his character, and the nature of his kingdom. Moses, inspired with the spirit of prophecy, and remembering the ancient promise of God, says, “The Lord thy God will raise up unto thee a Prophet from the midst of thy brethren, like unto me; unto him ye shall hearken; according to all that thou desiredst of the Lord thy God in Horeb in the day of the assembly, saying, Let me not hear again the voice of the Lord my God, neither let me see this great fire any more, that I die not. And the Lord said unto me, they have well spoken that which they have spoken. I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee, and will put my words in his mouth; and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him;” De 18:15-18

The other prophets very clearly describe the character of the Redeemer, both in his humanity as man, Prophet, and King; and in his Divinity as God, the Almighty, and the everlasting Father. Their predictions were gradually developed, as the time for the entire accomplishment of the promise approached. By inspiration, the great Eternal unfolded to Daniel what was in futurity, and showed him, as fleeting clouds, the great empires which would succeed each other, and finally terminate in the reign of the SON OF MAN, to whom belonged all power, honor, and glory. And Daniel thus describes this glorious personage: “I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man, came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him. And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him; his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed;” (Da 7:13-14) To prove to the world that the man Christ Jesus, the son of Mary, was this King of glory, it was essential that the time of his coming should be clearly and distinctly foretold. Within the seventieth week from the publication of the edict for the rebuilding of Jerusalem, was the time fixed that the sceptre should depart from Judah. When the seventy weeks had expired, according to the word of the Lord, the sceptre had departed from Judah, the nation had become subject to the Romans, and felt that the power and authority had departed from her. These signs were observed by many of the Jews, and they recognized the time pointed out by the prophets, and were in expectation. They proclaimed everywhere that the Messiah was about to appear; and all people were expecting some great event at the time when Christ was born. The wise men saw his star, and came to worship him. When the curtains of night had fallen around the shepherds, and in silent meditation they were watching their flocks, suddenly the silence was broken by the sweet music of heaven; the glory of the Lord shone around them, and the angel of the Lord proclaimed to them the joyful tidings: “Unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord.” This was spread abroad, and caused wonder in the minds of those who heard it. It was not long until, according to prophecy, the voice of one was heard in the wilderness, crying, “Prepare ye the way of the Lord; make straight paths for our God.” The people in multitudes crowded to see him, and many were ready to receive him as the promised King. A Prophet had been promised them; the time for his appearance had come, and they asked John if he was that Prophet; and John answered them, “No;” and told them that he was not worthy to unloose his shoes; but said, “I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, Make straight the way of the Lord, as said the prophet Esaias.” But John fulfilled his mission, and pointed out the King to them, saying, “Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.” When John had borne his testimony, and fulfilled his mission, he sealed it with his blood.

This extraordinary man, that John calls “The Lamb of God,” is the promised seed of the woman, the Redeemer, the long desired of all nations. Carnal men esteemed nothing but worldly glory; they expected their king to come in the pomp and show of the world; his wealth and parentage must give to him dignity and prowess. But this man was humble and poor; his reputed father was nothing but an humble mechanic; and by way of reproach he was called “the carpenters son.” But his wisdom put to naught the wisdom of the world; the doctors and lawyers were confounded by him at twelve years old. He commanded the winds and the storms; he walked upon the waters; and in the desert he multiplied the loaves of bread. The sick, the lame, the blind, the deaf, the dumb, and those possessed of devils, implored his assistance; and at his word they were immediately relieved. When the weeping Mary and Martha had deposited the earthly remains of their dear brother in the silent grave, and four days it had lain in the cold embrace of death, he had but to speak, and the dead was raised to life; and if any were possessed of evil spirits, at his bidding they fled, confessing that he was the Son of God. All his works proclaimed who he was, so that a learned Pharisee said, “We know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him.” While these miracles proved that he was God, he was tempted, he hungered, and he wept at the tomb of Lazarus, giving evidence that he was truly man, and as such could sorrow, and suffer pain. The prophets foresaw him in his true character; and speaking of his manhood, called him a child born, a son given, a man of sorrow, and acquainted with grief. And speaking of his divine nature, they called him the everlasting Father, the God of the whole earth. In the word he is called God, and man; and besides these two, there is no other nature ascribed to him. As man, he has received of God, glory, honor, power, and a kingdom. He is called the man of God’s right hand; and as such he is set upon the holy hill of Zion, to rule and reign as King. As man, God called him his Son. When John immersed him in Jordan, God the Father said, “This is my beloved Son.” Who was the beloved Son? The man John immersed. The same was repeated upon the mountain, when the disciples were directed to “hear him.” He was their King, their Lawgiver, their Teacher. This is the Prophet which the Lord God promised to raise up from among their brethren, in whose mouth he would put his word, and unto whom they should hearken. “All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth,” says Jesus. He is, therefore, a King, but his kingdom is not of this world; it is a heavenly kingdom, and its subjects are made heirs of heavenly blessings.

He calls himself the Son of man, and also the Son of God; and declares that he came to do the will of him that sent him; and to set up and establish his kingdom on earth. He taught as one having authority, and spake as man never spake. He is clothed with the omnipotence of Deity; worldly wisdom is confounded by the brightness of his virtues; he is clothed with a glory which is infinitely more resplendent than any which belongs to this world. But he lives a life of humility, and is a man of fasting and prayer. He calls around him a few poor, illiterate men, and instructs them in the nature of his kingdom, by parables the most simple and striking. He sought not applause of men, and desired not worldly authority, or honor; for when the people wished to make him king, he fled into the wilderness. He knew for what end he came into the world, the work he was to do, and the bitter death he had to die. He taught the necessity of his death, and comforted the disciples with the promise of another Comforter, the Holy Spirit, who should abide with them, and should fill their mouths with wisdom when they were called to stand before the rulers and princes of this world. When the time determined for him to die came, he submitted to the ignominy of the cross, and like a sheep in the hands of the shearer, or a lamb brought to the slaughter, he was dumb, and opened not his mouth. For three dreadful hours he bore all the agonies of death upon the cross; the sun was darkened, the earth trembled, the rocks bursted, the veil of the temple was rent, and with his dying breath he cried, “It is finished.” The work of redemption is completed, the cleansing blood runs freely from the opened veins of the sacrifice, the promise is fulfilled, the types and shadows are ended, the imperfect, conditional covenant is done away, and an end is made of sin.

But he could not be holden of death; the third day he rises, and shows himself to his disciples; and for the space of forty days he is with them, and instructing them; he eats with them, and they handle him, and know that he is not a spirit, but that the man has triumphed over death. “For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead.” He asserts his sovereignty, by declaring, “All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth;” and he gives the apostles the command to teach all nations, and to baptize them, in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost. He specifies what they shall teach, and for their encouragement promises to be with them, even unto the end of the world. When he had finished his work, established his church, and gave to her the executive power in his kingdom to administer its ordinances, execute its laws, and do whatever he had commanded, he ascended up to heaven, where he ever lives to make intercession for the saints according to the will of God.

The manner of his death, as well as its object, was the subject of prophecy. Isaiah speaks of him when he says. “He was oppressed, and he was afflicted; yet he opened not his mouth; he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearer is dumb, so he opened not his mouth. He was taken from prison and from judgment; and who shall declare his generation? For he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgressions of my people was he stricken.” It was, therefore, as a substitute that he died, and it was for the sins of God’s people, his elect, his bride that he was cut off out of the land. Daniel understood this, and said, “And after three score and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself.” It pleased the Lord to lay on him the iniquity of us all. Christ himself says, “I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.” And again, “I lay down my life for the sheep.” He takes the place of the flock, dies as their substitute, bears their sins in his own body on the tree, and puts them away by the sacrifice of himself. He dies for his church, or in the room and stead of it, that he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, and present it to himself without spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing. His elect, his bride, had fallen under the curse of the law in her earthly head, Adam, and was so polluted with sin that she is said to be black as the tents of Kedar, and the sentence of death is passed upon her; she has become a prey to the mighty, and is in lawful captivity. With all Adams posterity she is dead in trespasses and sins, and “children of wrath, even as others.” God, who declared the end from the beginning, and from ancient times, the things that are not yet done, saying, “My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure,” before the earth was fashioned, or the deeps abounded with water, saw all that was in futurity, and established his covenant with his chosen. And in the book of his divine counsel all the elect were written, when as yet there was none of them. They were given to Christ as his bride his sheep, his portion; as he says, “Thine they were, and thou gavest them me.” Thus setting up, constituting, and appointing Christ the Husband, Shepherd, Head, and Representative of his chosen seed. The means of their recovery were provided before they were created, or had actual being; and according to this divine arrangement of infinite Wisdom, when they were created, and had fallen under the curse, in the fullness of the time, the appointed Husband, Shepherd, Head, Representative, and Redeemer, came to bear the penalty, pay the debt, and redeem his bride. He came, according to divine appointment, as it is written in the volume of the book, to do the will of his Father. By covenant appointment, and not by transgression, he comes under the law; the transgressions of his bride are imputed to him; he fulfills the law in her behalf, and bears the penalty due to her sins, redeems her by means of his death from the transgressions under the first covenant, that she might receive the promise of an eternal inheritance.

When we look at the bride as she stands in Adam, her fallen head, we find that she was created in him, and possessed all the goodness that belonged to him, and no more; and when he fell she fell in him into all the depths of sin, iniquity, and pollution in which his posterity was involved. For she was a part of the same posterity; so there was no difference. In this condition she was black, guilty, and helpless; the flaming sword of justice was suspended over her, ready to pierce her through. But, like Isaac of old, when the time had come for the victim to be offered, and the knife was drawn to strike the blow, a substitute was provided, and he receives the sword in his own heart, pays the debt of his captive bride, opens her prison door, proclaims her liberty, and brings her up out of the filthy pit into which she had sunk herself by sin. She is stripped of her filthy garments, clothed in robes of righteousness, and with garments of salvation. She that was as black as the tents of Kedar is now made as fair as the curtains of Solomon; she that had become a mass of corruption, deformity, and ugliness, is now made the fairest among women, and altogether lovely. She is compared to the rose of Sharon, and the lily of the valley; her garments are wrought gold, and she is brought unto the King in raiment of fine needlework, clean and white; for they are washed in the blood of the Lamb, which cleanseth from all sin. Her Husband, Head, Priest, and Redeemer has washed every stain from her, so that she can be presented unto the King without spot, wrinkle, or any such thing.

I have used the words bride and elect as meaning the same people; for they are a chosen people, chosen of God in Christ before the world began, and predestinated to be conformed to the image of his Son. This election was eternal, unconditional, and personal, and embraced all that should be redeemed by Christ. It was an act of Divine sovereignty, and wholly of grace. The elect were not chosen, because they were a holy, spiritual seed, or because of foreseen virtues, but that they should be holy, and without blame before God in love. If it were the purity of the seed, or the particular quality or nature of those chosen, that caused their election, or if it were foreseen virtues, then the election were a debt, or reward, and not of grace, but of works; for in that case the elected procured their own election. The elect were sinners of Adams race; for they were chosen out of the world, from among men, and were ordained unto eternal life, and to be conformed to the image of Jesus. This election was not based upon the actual existence of those elected, but upon the foreknowledge of God, who made the election when as yet there was none of them.

It was by man that sin entered into the world, and death by sin, and so death has passed upon all; (elect and non-elect;) for all have sinned. In creation, and as fallen sinners, there is no difference; the condition of one is the condition of all; “for there is none good, no, not one.”

But God has chosen his people through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience, and sprinkling of the blood of Christ. In the first Adam they have fallen, and become strangers, foreigners, and enemies to God. But by the electing love of God they have a standing in the second Adam, and when the fullness of the time was come he was made of a woman, made under the law to redeem them that were under the law; and they were represented in his life of obedience, and death of bitter sufferings. When Christ bowed his head on the cross and cried, “It is finished,” he paid the debt of all his chosen seed; and being delivered for their offenses, he rose again from the dead for their justification.

His blood cleanseth from all sin, and they are made the righteousness of God in him. In view of the complete and finished work of Christ, the Redeemer of all his elect, Paul says, “Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth. Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea, rather that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.” By the death of Christ upon the cross they are reconciled to God; and by his life they are saved. He is made unto them wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption; and they are complete in him, and justified from all things from which they could not be by the law of Moses. According to the divine purpose, in the fullness of the dispensation of the times, they are gathered together in him; regenerated, made partakers of the divine nature, called to be saints, that they might show forth his glory, and the exceeding riches of his grace in the ages to come. His elect embraces as many of Adam’s children of every nation, tongue, and kindred as shall enter into that eternal rest beyond this vale of tears. John describes them as a great multitude which no man can number, of all nations and kindreds, and people, and tongues, standing before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands; and crying with a loud voice, “Salvation to God, which sitteth on the throne and unto the Lamb.” These are they who have come up through great tribulation, and have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. This is the bride, the Lamb’s wife, the church of God, who is a chaste virgin, and has kept the commandments of God, and her garments unspotted from the inventions of men, and institutions of the world. She has passed through the fires of persecution, and her innocent blood has been shed, and her thousands and tens of thousands have suffered cruel tortures and martyrdom from the hands of her enemies, because of their faithfulness to their Lord, and refusal to unite with the societies of the world, and the inventions of men, which are unknown to the gospel, and the commands of God, or the sayings that she must keep to have a right to enter into the city, and take of its fruits. The souls of her martyred hosts, who were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held, are beneath the altar, crying with a loud voice, “How long, 0 Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth?”

The day of vengeance will come, when all these worldly systems shall be destroyed, and their builders sink in eternal disgrace. But the bride, who has kept the commandments, will hear the voice of the Bridegroom, saying, “Thou art all fair, my love; there is no spot in thee. Come with me from Lebanon, my spouse, with me from Lebanon: look from the top of Amana, from the top of Shenir and Hermon, from the lions’ dens, from the mountains of the leopards.” Her days of sufferings are over; with her lamps trimmed and burning, and clothed in her rich and spotless robe, she is waiting and looking for her Lord. A voice is heard, saying, “Behold, the Bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him.” Clothed in her wedding garment of spotless white she leaps with joy, claps her hands; and shouts, “Come, Lord Jesus!”

Look up yonder! See her enter the city that hath no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it, for the glory of God lightens it, and the Lamb is the light thereof. Listen! Hear the song: “Alleluia; for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth. Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honor to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready. And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white; for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints.” Their harps immortal are tuned, and,

Without a jarring note, they join

In ceaseless songs of praise,

And to the sacred Three in One

Loud hallelujahs raise.


Dear brethren and sisters, you may have a few more stormy days to pass through, dark clouds may gather around you, and you may feel the piercing of the enemy’s darts; but fear not, that happy home is yours, and your Beloved will soon call you up to be with him, where sin, sorrow, and death can never come; and with garments white you will enter the holy city, and sing a sweeter song than angels ever sung. Here you are a little flock despised and hated by the world; but fear not, the victory is sure; your Father will give you the kingdom.

Shout ye little flock and blest;

You on Jesus’ throne shall rest;

There your seat is now prepared,

There your kingdom and reward.


0 sweet day, when Jesus shall come to take his ransomed home! Let us keep our lamps trimmed and burning, and live constantly looking for his coming; for, “Unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.”

Dear sinner, your joys and pleasures are all delusive, and will soon be gone forever. The awful hour when you must quit this world, and enter the eternal world, is rapidly approaching you; it is not far off. Are you careless and thoughtless about that solemn hour? I tremble for you, and from my heart of hearts I pray God be merciful to the sinner. Jesus on the cross prayed for his cruel enemies; Stephen, the first martyr, with his dying breath prayed for his murderers. And with a heart full of love for you, and a strong desire for your eternal well-being, we can humbly pray, God be merciful to the sinner. But we close with the words of the Savior, when he prayed in the gloomy garden “Thy will be done.”


“And I say also unto thee, that thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it;” Mt 16:18

Christ is the King, Sovereign, and Lawgiver in this kingdom, and the subjects of the kingdom are to hear him, and do whatsoever he hath commanded. The church is that body Christ has organized in his kingdom, to execute its laws, as he has commanded. This is the church spoken of in our text, that is built upon the rock, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. This church is called the pillar and ground of the truth. To find out what this church is, and how we may know it, will be our work in this sermon; and to aid us in this work, we will first find what is the meaning of the word church.

The learned tell us that it is translated from the word ecclesia, and means among the Greeks the called out; that when qualified citizens of a town or city were called out to transact such business as belonged to them, they were called the ecclesia; that it did not mean the mass of citizens. This ecclesia was a local body, which transacted its own business, and each qualified member filled his own place in the ecclesia. We should never take what the learned say, without examining for ourselves, and in this, as well as all matters of religion, the Bible is the rule of our faith and practice; and by referring to those texts where the word church occurs, we may determine whether it is a local body, or some great representative body, as the Senate of the United States. I will now call up a few of the texts in the New Testament where the word church is used, and by them settle its true meaning.

“Then tidings of these things came to the church which was in Jerusalem; and they sent forth Barnabas, that he should go forth as far as Antioch;” (Ac 12:22). In this case it is clear that the church was a local body; for it was the church in Jerusalem; and it also transacted business; for Barnabas was sent by them as far as Antioch. “And when they had come, and had gathered the church together, they rehearsed all that God had done with them, and how he had opened the door of faith unto the Gentiles;” (Ac 14:27). Here again it is a local institution, and was called together to transact business, and the very business that is now assumed by conventions, boards, and associations, which are unknown in the New Testament, or the laws and commands of Christ, hence they belong to the kingdom of antichrist. These ministers had been traveling and preaching among the heathen; and had returned, and made their report to the church. If the new order of Baptists would compare their practice with this text, and with the apostolic practice, they would find that they are not Primitive Baptists, and that their system is as palpably opposed to the apostolic practice, as is the Methodist polity, against which they war so fiercely.

“Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother. But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established. And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as a heathen man and a publican;” (Mt 18:15-17). If the church here spoken of were not a local institution, the offended brother could not tell his grievances to the church; and if it were not a body to transact business, there would be no use in telling it to the church. From this text we learn also that each member is accountable to the church. I have carefully examined every place in the New Testament where the word church is used, and I am fully satisfied with the description given of the church, and that Christ and the apostles always use it in reference to a local body, organized to transact the business of his kingdom. The idea that the church is some great establishment, called the universal church, or some mystical, invisible body, called the church, belongs to the inventions of men, and is not found in the New Testament. All the epistles are written to local bodies, and in none of them is reference made to some great establishment, or national church. I shall then set down as my first stake that the church of Christ is:

1st; A local institution, distinct and independent of all others, to transact the business of the kingdom, according to the laws and rules prescribed by its King. To transact the business of Christ's kingdom, we must possess the requisite qualifications, and be legally a member of his church. Two inquiries here present themselves; first, the qualifications for membership; and secondly, the legal way of entering the church. If the church be a body to transact business, unconscious babes cannot be members, for they have no capacity to do business. This itself should decide that Christ never designed that infants should be church members. Christ taught Nicodemus that a man must be born of the Spirit, before he could see the kingdom of God; and that he must be born of water and of the Spirit, before he could enter it. It is evident that the second birth, or birth of the Spirit, is what qualifies them for church membership. It would be unreasonable to suppose one qualified to be a member of the church who was not a member of the kingdom. If none can enter the kingdom of Christ without being born of the Spirit, of course none can enter his church without being born of the Spirit. The birth of the Spirit begets in the heart repentance towards God, and faith in our Lord Jesus Christ. Faith and repentance are fruits of the Spirit, and evidences of regeneration; hence, when the eunuch demanded baptism of Philip, he said, “If thou believest with all thy heart thou mayest.” None were baptized by the apostles, only such as gave evidence of faith and repentance. Then, the birth of the Spirit, which is evidenced by repentance towards God, and faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, qualifies them for citizenship in the kingdom of Christ, and for baptism. We are told in the word that, “Then they that gladly received his word were baptized; and the same day there were added to them about three thousand souls.” It was after they were baptized that they were added to the church. Baptism, then, legally administered, qualifies them to be admitted into the church, to participate in the transacting of such legal business as belongs to the church. I will then put down as a scriptural mark of the church:

2nd; That her members are such as have been born of the Spirit, and that birth has been evidenced by repentance toward God, and faith in our Lord Jesus Christ; and have been legally baptized, and added unto the church.

Faith and repentance are gifts of God, and fruits of the Spirit, and evidences of the new birth. Baptism is an act of obedience to the command of Christ, who says, “He that believeth and is baptized, shall be saved.” And it is a public witness that the heart has been cleansed from an evil conscience. Our Lord Jesus Christ requires that all his followers should, be baptized in water, in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, as believed and taught by all orthodox Christians; but the mode of baptism has long been a bone of contention; one party contending that immersion in water, and this alone, is Christian baptism; the other contending that the ordinance may be scripturally administered by sprinkling, pouring, or immersion. The talent and learning of the Christian world have been elicited in this discussion; volumes have been written upon it, so that almost every Christian minister’s library abounds in works on this subject. I have not the vanity to suppose that I can bring up any new arguments, or present the subject in a new aspect; but I must not slightly pass over this subject, as it is a command of Christ, and we cannot be his church, unless we administer it rightly. If immersion is the only gospel mode, then all who practice sprinkling or pouring are rebels against the King, and cannot be the church he set up. Christ used the word baptize in the original Greek, and whatever it meant in that language should decide this question in its common, literal meaning; for it is in that way Christ uses it. The literal meaning of the word should never be deserted without good reason, or necessity; and I can see no necessity for Christ to use the word in any other than its literal meaning. By consulting the standard lexicographers, I find that they all agree in the primary meaning of the verbs bapto, and baptizo; for they give, “To immerse, or dip;” and for the nouns baptisma, and baptismos they give, “Immersion.”

Campbell, MacKnight, and Doddrige, learned Pedobaptists, agree that this is the literal meaning of the word. If there be no good reason found in this connection why the word should not be given its common, literal meaning, it would be improper for us to give it any other meaning. Words may be used metaphorically, but when there is nothing in the connection to force them away from their literal meaning, every correct rule of interpretation “will give them their literal meaning. In the Greek there are distinct words, which in their literal meaning express definitely the three different actions, to sprinkle, to pour, and to dip; viz: Baptizo, to dip; ranio, or rantizo, to sprinkle; ekcheo, to pour. Now, Christ has nowhere used the words rantizo, or ekcheo for baptism; but he has in all cases used the word baptizo, and its derivatives. If to sprinkle, or to pour expresses the mode of baptism, equally with dip, or immerse, is it not passing strange that Christ has never used them in reference to that ordinance? We have the three distinct actions of dipping sprinkling, and pouring expressed by their proper words in (Le 4:6-7). “And the priest shall dip (bapto) his finger in blood, and sprinkle (ranio) of the blood seven times before the Lord, before the vail of the sanctuary. And the priest shall put some of the blood upon the horns of the altar of sweet incense before the Lord, which is in the tabernacle of the congregation; and shall pour (ekcheo) “all the blood of the bullock at the bottom of the altar of the burnt-offering, which is at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation.” Here the words are used in no reference to the ordinance of baptism, and their common and literal meanings are given them; and each word has as distinct a meaning as the words dip, sprinkle, and pour, in the English language. If the word baptizo, when used in the Bible in reference to other matters, means to dip, why should it not mean to dip when used to express baptism? This question Pedobaptists have never answered, and it is one that I think is unanswerable by them.

I will now notice a few texts where the word is used, and show that the common, literal meaning is the only one that can properly be given to it. The first one is Joh 3:23-26; “And John also was baptizing in Enon, near to Salem, because there was much water there; and they came, and were baptized. For John was not yet cast into prison. Then there arose a question between some of John’s disciples and the Jews about purifying. And they came unto John, and said unto him, Rabbi, he that was with thee beyond Jordan, to whom thou barest witness, behold, the same baptizeth, and all men come to him.” The reason I take up this text first is, because some learned Pedobaptists contend that baptizo, in the New Testament, does not signify to immerse, to sprinkle or to pour, but to purify. Now, if the word baptizo in this text means purifying, it nowhere else has that meaning; but if you will look at the text one moment, you will see that it was not about baptism, but about purifying that the dispute arose. The word rendered purifying in the text, is not baptismos, but katharismos: therefore the dispute was not about baptismos, immersion; but about katharismos, purifying. This passage shows clearly that John was baptizing there because there was much water, a sufficiency to dip in. It is clear that John’s baptism was a dipping in water; but to avoid its force in the baptismal controversy, it is argued that it was not Christian baptism. This is, however, contrary to the teachings of the Scriptures; for they tell us that from the baptism of John, the kingdom of heaven suffered violence: that the law and the prophets were until John; since then the kingdom of heaven is preached.

If John’s baptism was not Christian baptism I would like to know what it was. Christ asked the Jews whether it was of men, or from heaven; and they dared not answer the question; and no sprinkler dare to answer it yet. But, suppose John’s baptism was not Christian baptism, it was a dipping, and proves that the word baptizo meant dip; and when the same action was performed by Christ, or the apostles, it is called by the same name. If when the priest dipped his hand in blood, the dipping was called bapto; and if John’s dipping the people in Jordan is called bapto, or baptizo, why should it have any other meaning when Christ and his disciples baptized? Christ was baptized by John, and it is unreasonable to suppose that he was baptized in one way, and yet required his followers to be baptized another way. To follow Christ it is essential that we should be baptized as he was.

There is no resemblance between dipping and sprinkling and pouring; for one is something done with the person, but the others are something done to the person. If sprinkling means something done with the person, as does dipping, then our Pedobaptists do not sprinkle or pour; for they sprinkle or pour the water, and not the person.

The text says, “And John also was baptizing in Enon, near Salem, because there was much water there. And they came, and were baptized.” If sprinkling or pouring were baptism, why did John select a place where there was much water? Much water is not needed for pouring or sprinkling-a small bowlful would be sufficient.

I once heard a learned Pedobaptist minister, who was about to sprinkle a little water on some for baptism, and to make his practice appear consistent, tell his people that, udata pollo meant, many waters; that there were many little rivulets where John was, and Jordan was the least of them all, and was not at any place more than ankle deep, and it was impossible for John to dip people in it; but that he took a cedar bush and dipped it in the water, and sprinkled the people, just as I will presently dip my fingers in this bowl of water, and sprinkle these people. Just at this time a Baptist minister stepped up and drank all the water out of the bowl, and setting down the empty vessel, said, “There, little Jordan is drank dry.”

The words udata pollo are rendered, “Much water, many waters, great waters.” This evidently shows that John selected Enon because there was much water there, a sufficiency to baptize or dip in. Many waters are not necessary to furnish water for sprinkling or pouring; a bowl or basin would hold enough for hundreds, or thousands.

There is another remarkable fact in reference to John’s baptism, which identifies it with Christian baptism; John required repentance before baptism, saying unto them, “Bring forth, therefore, fruits meet for repentance.” It is evident that he baptized none but adults; for none others could bring forth fruits meet for repentance.

John’s mission was “to make ready a people prepared for the Lord;” (not to prepare a people for the Lord;) (Lu 1:17). When they gave him evidence of this preparation, by bringing forth fruits meet for repentance, he baptized them; but if they failed to do this he rejected them; Mt 3:7. John was a Baptist; Christ was baptized by a Baptist; and his example has been followed by Baptists in all ages. Repentance toward God, and faith in our Lord Jesus Christ are prerequisites to baptism; and, like John, our churches always require fruits meet for repentance, or evidence of the new birth, before baptism. The same practice was observed by the apostles in the case of the jailer and his house, the eunuch, etc., which identifies John’s baptism with Christian baptism, and shows them to be the same, having the same prerequisites, and being administered in the same way, and to the same class of persons.

Can any one give a good reason why Philip and the eunuch both went down into the water, if Philip sprinkled or poured a little water on the eunuch? He could have sprinkled him in the chariot, without either of them leaving their seats. How foolish of them both to wade into the water and get wet, if a little water on the tip of Philip’s fingers was all that was required? But, like the Baptists, Philip required faith in the Lord Jesus Christ before he would baptize; and like them, he baptized him in the water. When Ananias came to Saul, he said, “And now why tarriest thou? arise and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord.” If sprinkling or pouring were baptism, Ananias should have said, “Sprinkle or pour away thy sins.” But Ananias used the word baptizo in its literal or common meaning; for it is usual to dip a garment in the water in washing.

In Eph 4:5, the apostle tells us that there is “One Lord, one faith, one baptism.” Now, if dipping, sprinkling, and pouring are all baptism, there are three baptisms; for there is no resemblance between dipping, and sprinkling and pouring. The first is something done with the person, the last two are something done to the person; the one is putting the person under the water and raising him out of it, the others are putting a little water on the person. These acts are different, having no resemblance to each other, and cannot all be baptism, unless there were three baptisms. But in Ro 6:3-5, Paul tells us what this one baptism in water is: “Know ye not that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection.” In this text baptism is defined to be a burial. Again, in Col 2:12, the apostle says, “Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are raised with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead.” Sprinkling or pouring has no resemblance to a burial, and cannot be the baptism of the New Testament. The church of Christ can have but one water baptism, and that is a burial in water, and a resurrection from the water; for baptism is not to sink to the bottom like a stone, and remain there, but it is to be buried in water, and presently raised up out of the water again. Neither is it gospel baptism unless the subject be a believer in Christ, a regenerated person, and the administrator be one set apart by the true church, and acting by the sanction of the church, over which Christ is Head and King.

Christ has appointed two commemorative ordinances in his church, the Lord’s supper and baptism, that are to be observed until his coming. The supper is to commemorate his broken body and shed blood; baptism is to commemorate his burial and resurrection. As repentance toward Christ, and faith in him, are prerequisites to baptism, so is baptism a prerequisite to the Lord’s supper. This was the example of the Savior; and the primitive church in all ages has made Christ’s example the rule of its conduct in this matter.

The church has Christ alone for its king and lawgiver, and claims no authority, only as it receives the authority from him. It can act only as Christ has authorized it to do, and whatever it does without his authority, without his command or example, is an assumption of power and a rebellious act. In his laws its powers are specified, and it has no right or legal power to do or teach any thing, but what he has commanded; (Mt 28:19-20). Where a command is given, and the thing to be done is specified, every thing else is prohibited. This is a rule that prevails in all courts, and should prevail in the church. It has no authority in the law of its King to delegate its power to any other body, or to do business by representatives, or committees; it may appoint messengers to bear a message, but when they have borne it, they have discharged their duty, and to do any thing more would be an assumption for which the church should hold them accountable, and should use its discipline. Each member of the church becomes such by his own voluntary act and choice, and is subject to the discipline of the church; but if the church acts contrary to the laws of Christ, no one is bound by its act The church, established by Christ, has him alone for its king and lawgiver, and holds and observes the ordinances as it receives them from him, without any change or improvement; and it holds them as articles of faith, and continues in the doctrine and teachings of the gospel. We may practice all the ordinances of the gospel, and in doctrine be heretics, and, of course, can not be the church of Christ, and have no legal right to administer any of the ordinances, for his church is the pillar and ground of the truth.

The kingdom of Christ is a heavenly, spiritual, and invisible kingdom, and a man must be born of the Spirit before he can see it; it is a spiritual birth that brings him into it, qualified to enter into its spiritual enjoyments and comforts. But the church is a visible body, established by Christ to execute the laws of his kingdom. This church is built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner-stone. Without the doctrine of the apostles and prophets, it cannot be the church that Christ built. The apostolic doctrine is, that there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost; and these three are one. Unity in the Godhead is therefore an apostolic doctrine, and an important article in the Christian faith.

The doctrine of election, according to the foreknowledge of God, is another fundamental article; for the apostles teach that God chose his people in Christ before the foundation of the world, that they should be holy, and without blame before him in love. See Eph 1:4

Predestination is also an apostolic doctrine, and is recognized in the faith of the true church, for there can be no uncertainty with God, who declares the end from the beginning saying, “My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure.” Angels, devils, and men are under his sovereign control, and cannot go beyond the limits prescribed by his sovereign decree. This decree binds the ocean, and all other created things, so that they can not go beyond them; were not this true, all nature would be a map of confusion, and this earth would be a great slaughter-yard; for there would be nothing to restrain the wicked propensities of the human heart. Predestination has reference to God’s elect, who are predestinated unto the adoption of children; and it is according to this unalterable purpose that in the fullness of the times they are called to be saints, receive the adoption of sons, are born a second time, or are created new creatures in Christ Jesus.

The total depravity of man in his fallen state, dead in sins, is another cardinal doctrine in the articles of the primitive church of Christ, and is taught by all the apostles and prophets. This article is expressed in language too clear to be misunderstood; for it is said that there is none good, no, not one; that the world lieth in wickedness, and is guilty before God; that the sinner is dead in sin, and the heart is deceitful and desperately wicked above all things; that the carnal mind is enmity against God, is not subject to his law, neither indeed can be. This depravity and irreconciliation to God on the part of man, shows the necessity of a change; for without holiness it is impossible to see God. The doctrine of the primitive church and the apostles is, that it is the man dead in sin that is quickened into spiritual life, and made a new creature in Christ; that it is the enemy that is made a friend, and the stranger and foreigner that is made a child and fellow-citizen. This is God’s work, independent of all instrumentalities; for Paul tells the Ephesian saints: “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them;” Eph 2:10

Effectual calling is the doctrine of the apostles and prophets, and steadfastly maintained by the primitive church. The prophet Joel says, “In mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance, as the Lord has said, and in the remnant whom the Lord shall call.” The apostle tells the Roman saints that they are the called of the Lord Jesus Christ; and that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. This call is not only effectual, but it is special; for the apostle says, “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.” Paul teaches that, “Whom he called, them he also justified.”

Justification, experimentally, follows calling, and is an apostolic doctrine. The sinner is not justified before God by works of righteousness which he has done, or can do, but by the righteousness of Christ imputed, as taught in Ro 4:5-8; “To him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness. Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works, saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered. Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin.” This doctrine will be maintained by the primitive church, and she will sing, “I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness.”

The apostle tells us that whom he justified, he also sanctified, and glorified; the final preservation of the saints is, therefore, an apostolic doctrine, and maintained by the primitive church of Christ. To deny this, is to make Christ speak falsehood; for he has said that, “None shall pluck them out of my hands.” “Because I live, ye shall live also.” “I will raise them up at the last day.” They are kept by the power of God unto salvation, says Peter.

The resurrection of the dead, the endless happiness of the righteous, and the endless punishment of the wicked, are taught by Christ, saying, “For the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, and shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation;” (Joh 5:28-29). “And these shall go into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal;” (Mt 25:46). The apostle, in declaring the faith and hope of the primitive saints, shows that these vile bodies shall be raised, and fashioned like Christ’s glorious body; that, that which is sown mortal, shall be raised immortal; that, that which is sown natural, shall be raised spiritual; and that, that which is sown in dishonor, shall be raised in glory. Those who deny the resurrection of the body are not built upon the doctrine of the apostles, and cannot be the primitive church of Christ.

Christ and the apostles teach that redemption was particular and special; that Christ gave his life for the sheep; that he gave himself for the church, and that he purchased it with his own blood. And this is a prominent article of the faith of the primitive church, which it has maintained in all ages of the world, since it was set up by Christ its King.

Our text clearly proves that Christ is the builder of the church; that he organized it, and gave it the laws that should govern it through time, and by which its identity should be preserved, and its distinct visibility maintained in all ages, distinct from all other societies or institutions, gotten up by men, and falsely called Christian institutions. The church is called “God’s building;” and, “God’s workmanship;” and every material in the building is fitted, framed, and specially qualified by the builder to fill that place in the building which he designed. As the members of the human body are many, and each fill a different office or place in the body, so Paul speaks of the church: “So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another.” He says that all these gifts are by the same Spirit. So each member has a place to fill in the body, and is for the comfort and edification of the body, as God has given it a gift; and without these gifts in its own body, a church cannot get along well. The apostolic rule is, to have elders and deacons in every church; and I doubt not but that it would have been well for us, if we had observed this rule to the present time. Where the church has not the proper gifts, she cannot do business in proper gospel order; and it would be better for her to unite with another church, than to attempt to live in the crippling way such churches do. If we would apply the measuring rod to many of our churches, we would find them lacking the gifts necessary to the New Testament church, which, perhaps, would account for much of the declension among us. Elders and deacons are the only New Testament officers of the church, and it would not be amiss for me to say a few things in reference to their qualifications and duties.

BISHOPS, OR ELDERS are those who are called and qualified of God to preach the gospel. None has the right to take to himself that calling but him that is called of God, as was Aaron; and to take the oversight of the church, not to lord it over the church, but to be its servant, and faithfully to serve it, and to feed the lambs and sheep of the Lord’s fold. In his moral character, “A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behavior, given to hospitality, apt to teach, not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous; one that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity; (for if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?) Not a novice, lest being lifted up with pride, he fall into the condemnation of the devil. Moreover he must have a good report of them which are without; lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.” He must be “sober, just, holy, temperate; holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince gainsayers.” He must not be “self-willed, not soon angry, not given to wine, no striker, not given to filthy lucre; but a lover of hospitality, a lover of good men.” He must be apt to teach, and sound in the faith of the gospel. He is to give himself wholly to the work; he is not to entangle himself with the affairs of this life, but he must serve and please him who has called him to be a soldier. In good works he is to be an example to the flock, not given to jesting, or disputing about words that gender strife rather than godly edifying. He should shun all places of wickedness and dissipation, and the very appearance of evil. The minister must love the cause of Christ above every thing else, so that he would not only be willing to suffer bonds, but even death for the name of the Lord Jesus. He should not count his life dear unto himself, so that he might finish his course with joy, and the ministry which he hath received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God. And he should love the church, and work for its good and peace, and should remember it both day and night in his prayers. He is called to be an under-shepherd of the flock, and if he is faithful to him that has called him, and to the flock over which he is overseer, he will often visit his flock, not only to feed them, but to ascertain if any diseased or weakly ones are among them; so that he may strengthen the weak and nurse and comfort the lambs and little ones. These visits should be entirely of a religious character, such as pertain to his pastoral duties, and should not be spent in jesting and joking, or vain conversation about worldly matters; but in serving God and talking of his power, and the glory of his kingdom; and he should warn, reprove, and rebuke, with all long-suffering and doctrine.

When quite young, I was once talking with an old preacher on the good effects of pastoral visits, when he, with much feeling, related to me the following circumstance: “I often visited around among the brethren, and would read God’s word to them, and in my feeble way, explain it, and try to enforce it upon the minds of parents and children; and we would sometimes have happy seasons together. I often visited the house of a wealthy brother and sister, who had an only child, a daughter. She was a vain, frolicsome little creature, indulged in all her whims and notions, and seemed to care about nothing but the vanities and fashion of the day. I often talked to her about her future state. She would treat me respectfully, but it all seemed to have no impression on her. One day I was there, and on taking leave of the family, the daughter followed me to the door, and as I took her by the hand to bid her farewell, I said, ‘My dear daughter, shall I entertain any hope that I shall ever meet you in heaven? She made me no reply, and I left. It was not many months after that until she professed a hope in Christ, and joined the church, and in telling her experience, she dated her first convictions from what I said to her on that occasion.” This should speak volumes to every pastor, and should teach him to sow the seed in the morning, and withhold not in the evening; for he knows not which is to prosper, this or that, or whether both alike shall become good; for he knows not what time the Lord will prepare and open the heart to receive and attend to the things spoken.

We have seen that the minister is to give himself up wholly to the work, and is not to encumber himself with the things of this life. It will follow, as a matter of course, that the church has duties to discharge towards him; and in reference to these duties we are not left to guess, for the Scriptures are so plain that he that reads must see. The church should supply his temporal wants, so that he may not be burdened with the cares of this world; for if he has to depend upon his daily labor for support, he can not fill the place of a pastor, nor serve the church profitably. But as Primitive Baptists, we profess to take the Scripture as our rule of faith and practice, and no better explanation can be given than to record what the Scriptures have said of the duties of churches to their minister. (1Co 9:7-14); “Who goeth a warfare at any time at his own charges? who planteth a vineyard, and eateth not of the fruit thereof? or who feedeth a flock, and eateth not of the milk of the flock? Say I theses things as a man? or saith not the law the same also? For it is written in the law of Moses, Thou shalt not muzzle the mouth of the ox that treadeth out the corn. Doth God take care for oxen? or saith he it altogether for our sakes? For our sakes, no doubt, this is written; that he that plougheth should plough in hope; and that he that thresheth in hope should be partaker of his hope. If we have sown unto you spiritual things, is it a great thing if we shall reap your carnal things? If others be partakers of this power over you, are not we rather. Nevertheless we have not used this power; but suffer all things, lest we should hinder the gospel of Christ. Do ye not know that they which minister about holy things live of the things of the temple? and they which wait at the altar are partakers with the altar? Even so hath the Lord ordained that they which preach the gospel should live of the gospel.” Ga 6:6; “Let him that is taught in the word communicate unto him that teacheth in good things.” 1Th 5:12-13; “And we beseech you, brethren, to know them which labor among you, and are over you in the Lord, and admonish you; and to esteem them very highly in love for their work’s sake; and be at peace among yourselves.” 1Ti 5:17,19; “Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honor, especially they who labor in the word and doctrine. For the Scripture saith, Thou shall not muzzle the ox that treadeth out the corn. And, The laborer is worthy of his reward. Against an elder receive not an accusation but before two or three witnessess.” Heb 13:7; “Remember them which have the rule over you, who have spoken unto you the word of God; whose faith follow, considering the end of their conversation.”

There is no need that I should say any thing further on this subject; the duty is so plain, and if the church neglect it, she is guilty of the same charge which God brought against Israel of old, when he accused her of robbing him in tithes and offerings. All contributions of money made by the Primitive Baptists are a voluntary, freewill offering, whether for the support of the ministry, or the poor among them, or for any necessary church expenses. They hold that each member should give as he proposes in his own heart, and as the Lord prospereth him. They will not enter into a bargain with their minister that they will give him a certain sum of money if he will preach for them a given time; neither would a consistent minister of theirs go into such a bargain with the church. They consider all such as hirelings, who are working for the fleece, and care not for the flock.

When I first commenced in the ministry, about fifty-eight years ago, I spent a night with Elder Stephen Gard at his house. I esteemed him a father in the gospel, and he lived and died a Primitive Baptist, without getting a stain of New Schoolism on his garments. In the course of our conversation he addressed me in his fatherly, familiar way by my given name, and said, “Brother Gregg, you are young. If you live to my age you will learn things you have never yet thought of; and I want to give you a little advice, for you will soon be called to the care of churches. Never become the hireling of any church. If you are called to take the oversight of a church, make it the subject of earnest prayer before giving an answer, and if you feel impressed that God is in the matter, obey the call of the church without asking them how much they are going to give you; say nothing about money. But if you visit them time and again, and they do nothing for your temporal comfort, take it as evidence that you are not in the proper place, that they are not benefited by your labors; for what the members do are fruits and evidences that they appreciate your labors, and that you are in the place God has appointed you. The man that will hire himself to the church as their preacher has no respect for the gospel rule, or for Zion’s King, and should be discarded by all true Baptists; and the church that will neglect her faithful servant has lost her reverence for the laws of Christ, and may expect her candlestick to be removed.”

The minister holds the high, responsible and important station of a watchman on the walls of Zion; his eyes are to be upon the city; he is to watch for her safety and prosperity; he had better forsake all his worldly interests than to forsake his precious trust. His solemn obligation is thus expressed in the poem,

In heaven’s high arch above his bead

A glorious form appeared,

Whose left hand bore a flambeau bright,

His right a sceptre reared, etc.

The watchman, who surveys the responsible duties of his office, must tremble at the thought of forsaking his high vocation, or making it subsidiary to his worldly interests. 0 that every watchman may meditate upon these things, and give himself wholly to them, that his profiting may appear to all.

DEACONS are considered next in importance in the church, and all the difference the apostle makes in the qualifications of the two is, that the elder must be apt to teach, and this is not required of the deacon. If the seven chosen by the disciples were deacons, their duties were evidently connected with the temporal concerns of the church. If he is to transact business for the church, and the money of the church is to pass through his hands, it is requisite that he should be “honest,” and that he should be a man who knows how to transact business. If by using the office of a deacon well, he gets to himself a good degree and great boldness in the faith, he must be a man who will pray in public and will speak in the church, and will not be backward in exhorting his brethren to a faithful discharge of duty.

The ancient practice of deacons, among Primitive Baptists, was to lead in worship at prayer meetings, and in the absence of the pastor, to lead in the meetings. If there were any poor in the church, he looked after them, and brought their case before the church, so that they might be assisted, and comforted by the church. They would also visit the pastor, and ascertain his needs, and inform the church of them, and exhort her to her duty. This part of the duty is too much neglected now-a-days, and poor pastors often suffer on account of the deacon’s neglect of duty. The church has set him apart to the office, and expects him to lay such things before her. I have seldom known a deacon to be faithful in the discharge of his duty, and the pastor be neglected by the church. The deacon should feel an interest in the prosperity of the church, and should be a peacemaker; and he should have an eye to the pulpit, to guard it against false doctrine; and if he knows of any disorder in the church, he should labor to remove it, and to reclaim an erring brother. He should be well instructed in the discipline of the church, and should not allow business to come improperly before it. In all cases of difficulty between members, they should try to get it settled before it is brought before the church, if possible. I would advise all deacons to read (1Ti 3:8-13) and try to be such as Paul there describes. The deacon can be a great help to the pastor in his labors, and the more faithful he is in the discharge of his duties, the stronger he will grow, and attain great boldness in the faith. Bishops or elders and deacons are all the officers the Scriptures speak of as belonging to the church; but God has bestowed upon her a variety of gifts, and each member should improve the gift God has given him.

In a great building every material has its place; and so every member in Christ’s church has its place; for all are not eyes, nor hands, nor feet; but all are useful in the body, and one cannot say to the other, “I have no need of thee.” The church is but one body, and has but one head and one lawgiver; and all her members are called by one Spirit, in one hope of their calling; “One Lord, one faith, one baptism.” The church is not a great, universal establishment, but a local organization, set up by Christ, its King and Lawgiver; and it owes obedience to him alone. The church is the only-organized body Christ has set up, and given authority to execute the laws of his kingdom. All other institutions or societies, attempting to execute the laws of his kingdom, are usurpers, or such as are called in the New Testament, “thieves and robbers;” and whatever they do is a nullity, and should never be recognized by the true primitive church. To be Christ’s church, it must be formed according to the New Testament model or pattern, and trace its identity back to Jerusalem, and to him as its builder; for the gates of hell were never to prevail against it, or destroy its visibility as the church. That pattern I have tried to point out in this short discourse; and will, in conclusion, sum up the scriptural marks of the church built upon the Rock:

1.   It is a local organization, distinct from all other organizations, and independent of them, and has Christ for its only king and lawgiver; and it can only be his church in order, while it faithfully executes and obeys the laws of his kingdom.

2.   It must be sound in the doctrine of the gospel; for no corporate body embracing heretical doctrines can be the church of Christ, which is the pillar and ground of the truth.

3.   Its practice must be according to the teachings of the New Testament; and it must reject all human institutions, laws, or ordinances. It can have no conventions, boards, associations, societies, or auxiliaries in its fellowship, or to help it execute or administer the laws of Christ, or do his work on earth.

4.   It has the right and power to receive members, and to choose its own officers, and to do whatever Christ has commanded, independent of all other bodies or institutions.

5.   Its members become such upon their own voluntary act, by giving evidence of their birth of the Spirit, repentance towards God, and faith in our Lord Jesus Christ. No unconscious babe, nor unbelieving adult can be a legal member.

6.   The two commemorative ordinances, baptism and the Lord’s supper, must be observed; the first is prerequisite to the second; that is, persons must be legally baptized, and received into the church, before they can legally commune with her.

7.   Baptism is to dip, or immerse the whole body in water, in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost; and none can be thus scripturally baptized, but such as have been born of God.

8.   No baptism is scriptural and valid, unless administered by a legal administrator, in fellowship with the true Primitive Baptist church, and set apart to that work. The baptism of an unauthorized administrator, or one appointed by a false church, is a nullity, and is not gospel baptism.

9.   The church can not delegate her power to any other body, or become subject to the laws and ordinances of any other society and be in fellowship with it, and still remain the church of Christ; for such a union destroys her identity, and distinct visibility.

10. She is bound by the laws of Christ to withdraw from all who walk disorderly, either in doctrine or practice.

11. She is to contribute of her earthly goods to support those who preach the gospel; she is to feed her poor, and do whatever else Christ has commanded.

12. The church can only appoint messengers to do a specific duty, and should always specify what must be done, or the duty to be performed; for she can not delegate her power to a representative, or be represented in any other institution.

13. She claims Christ for her head and lawgiver, takes the Scriptures for her rule of faith and practice, and will not submit to synods, conferences, associations, conventions, councils, or the rules of popes or priests.

14. She never persecutes, but regards all human societies as worldly; and she will not mix up nor mingle with any of them, and so maintains her distinct visibility.

15. She conducts all her business publicly, and each member has an equal right to speak and vote in her meetings of business.

16. She holds the doctrine of eternal, unconditional election, the predestination of God’s chosen people to the adoption of sons, justification by the imputed righteousness of Christ, special atonement, effectual calling, the regeneration of the sinner by the power and Spirit of God, the final preservation of the saints, the eternal happiness of the righteousness, and the resurrection of our mortal bodies, as taught in the Scriptures. She holds also the doctrine of man’s total depravity, and his utter inability to save himself, either in whole or in part; that by the deeds of the law no flesh can be justified; but that salvation is by grace alone, through our Lord Jesus Christ.

With these landmarks before us, we may look around and see who are entitled to be called the church of Christ; who they are that mingle and mix with no other societies; who they are that hold and teach the doctrine here set forth; who they are that have no conventions, boards, or councils to transact the business of their church; who they are that have no societies or auxiliaries to their church, to aid in doing the work Christ has committed to it.

In saying that these have been the true marks which have identified the church of Christ, from the apostolic days down to the present time, history will fully sustain me. Paul, Peter, and John warned the church against false teachers and seducers, and those that taught the commandments of men as the gospel; and said that such should be accursed, -expelled from the church, and not be invited into our houses, or bidden Godspeed. This declaration of non-fellowship of false doctrines, inventions of men, and worldly institutions, was reaffirmed by the faithful about the beginning of the twelfth century, in these words: “We hold in abhorrence all human inventions, as proceeding from antichrist, which produce distress, and are prejudicial to the liberty of the mind.” And again, they say in their articles of faith, “So many superstitious dedications of churches, commemorations of the dead, benedictions of creatures, pilgrimages; so many forced fastings; so many superfluous festivals, those perpetual bellowings,” (alluding to the practice of chanting, or instrumental music in churches,)” and the observation of various other ceremonies, manifestly obstructing the teaching and learning of the word, are DIABOLICAL INTENTIONS.”

In about 1836, the Primitive Baptist churches of the United States followed the example of the apostles, and their brethren of the twelfth century, and passed resolutions declaring non-fellowship for all worldly institutions and inventions of men, unknown to the gospel, as belonging to antichrist, and calculated to destroy the purity and identity of the church of Christ.

I will here give an extract from a pamphlet, written by one of our old and faithful ministers, who was known and endorsed by the Primitive Baptists of the United States, and published by them over forty years ago. “About a half century ago, the Modern Missionary Enterprise was concocted to evangelize the world, and in order to get earthly means to effect the ends, men of the world who made no pretentious to Christianity, were brought into all the religious associations formed for this benevolent purpose, by paying a given sum into its funds. Soon its auxiliaries and tributaries were found in every part of our government. In quick succession other institutions began to raise up and cover the breadth of the earth; and although each seemed to have a different object in view, and seemed to vie with others for money, numbers, and worldly preferments, yet each did all in its power to promote the interest of the other, and all were grasping for earthly wealth, place, and power. Charters, incorporations, and governmental donations were sought by them. Colleges, seminaries, schools, and schoolbooks were grasped, and brought under their control. The United States mail, steamboats, railroad cars, and highway travelers were sought to be stopped, and forced by fines and penalties to observe the first day of the week-called by them the Christian Sabbath. But with all their holy regard for the Christian Sabbath, they have seized upon it as a day for the labor of school-teaching and trafficking in tracts and books, and for the collection of money, and begging for contributions in cash; or contracts made, and promissory papers executed for future payment. The existing laws of our States are assailed, and Congress calumniated, because they will not be dictated to by the threats or petitions of these assumers.”

Religious fairs and festivals, parties and exhibitions, long processions and gaudy uniforms, and a thousand fantastical displays of will-worship and intruding sophistries; these various little hillocks have been growing, and ever and anon the two horns have been pushing on a little further, and a little further. Through all of its progress, the warning voices of a few have been heard, but not heeded; the syren song of “no danger,” or the sneer of contempt, or the slander of being a covetous, sectarian, antinomian, ignorant set of dupes to creeds; or tight-fisted bigots, iron-jackets, hard-shells, etc., whose voice should never be heard, but to be hated, nor their complaints, but to be treated with contempt, has been the response of the multitude who do homage to the second beast. The song of “no danger” is heard from every little hillock. No danger of what? Why, of an established church in America. This is not what we fear. This would be a revival of the first beast. We warn you not of the first old ten-horned beast; his day is passed, and his throne is now crumbling under him; but of the two-horned beast, who is now arising with an alarming strength, and has already displayed the gigantic power of his youth in hurling forth his anathemas against the Congress of the United States.

The second beast, although it exercises all the power of the first beast, is another beast, and the number of his name is the number of a man, which is six hundred sixty and six; not a, man literal, but incorporate; not that there will be that many charters or incorporations, but they will all be included in the same charter. For instance, incorporate the Union Tract Society, and all the members of that society are included, belonging to all the different denominations. The name of the beast was multiform; so with this law-made man. It requires wisdom to decipher and count the number of his name; for it embraces all the falsely called benevolent societies of the day. The Abolition societies who are praying Congress to violate their oath, in destroying the glorious compact entered into by the several States of the Union in the formation of our government, are allied with all the other societies; and with their mammoth funds and law-established bodies, with incorporate powers to hold and inherit estates, with the clergy at their head, they are one image, and are all operating for the same end, and all give their power to the beast, and help to make up his complete name.

Already is this beast established by all the ecclesiastical authorities around us, in all the schools, seminaries, and colleges; established by laws of incorporation, charters of special privileges and powers; established by special acts, governmental donations, and congressional appointments, with salaries from the National treasury.

With these facts before us have we no reason to fear when God has declared the second beast shall exercise all the powers of the first beast, and shall cause the blood of the saints to run in our streets? The Abolition world’s convention, that met a few years ago, was to build up the power of this beast. The Evangelical Alliance, that met in London a few years ago, embracing within its folds every sect and denomination, save the Old Baptists and Catholics, from the High church of England down to the Millerites of the United States, was to build up the power of this beast.

With the truth of what is here stated, the people of every city, town, and village, are familiar. Festivals, fairs, tableau, shows, sham post-offices, and every other device are gotten up by the church to raise money, and to get power and influence over the rising generation, and bring them under the complete control of the second beast, to give life and power to the image of the first beast, and to exercise all the powers, and reenact all the bloody scenes of persecution that were under the first beast. It was against these things we declared non-fellowship, which produced a division, and finally gave birth to what is now known as the Missionary or New School Baptist church; and for this we are hated and persecuted, as are our brethren of former ages, by all orders and sects. They will fight and quarrel with each other, but will all unite to persecute us, and to destroy us, if it were possible. We are “the sect everywhere spoken against.”

If you will consult history, you will find that the rise of the first beast was slow; but there were some of the faithful in that day who raised their warning voice against the assumptions of power, but their remonstrances and warnings were not listened to; for the syren song of “no danger,” or the tongue of slander and destruction, or the sneers and sarcasms of the excited rabble, or the thundering voice from the place of power, or the wanton reproaches and excommunication of the law-favored church and the law-established clergy, or all of these together, excited the populace, and they branded the humble, unassuming church of God with the epithets of incendiaries and deluded enthusiasts who were aiming to unhinge all good government, prevent the forward and upward march of the world, the elevation of the clergy, and the salvation of the world.

Under all these influences every tale of slander that malice could invent was resorted to in order to sink the friends of truth and of God still lower, and effectually to destroy their influence everywhere. These were the slow, but successive advances of religious tyranny. They wound themselves through a thousand rivulets, and ramified themselves into every avenue and department of civil government.

The seminaries of learning, schools and colleges, army and navy, halls of legislation, with councils and treaties, were soon under the control of the clergy, and disarmed, if its sanction were not obtained. These little streams, when viewed by themselves, were thought to be harmless and useful, and too small and docile ever to overflow and inundate the land; but they were all converging to the same center, and when they had reached the focus to which they were all tending, they formed the great sea which produced the fearful beast that made war upon the church of God, and stained the earth with the blood of thousands of martyrs. It was under the reign of this beast that a humanly devised system of missions to evangelize the world was gotten up, and missionaries sent out under human authority and pay. It is therefore a child of the mother of harlots, and when Judson and Rice broke off from one of her daughters, and came to the Baptists, they brought this relic of Catholicism with them, which soon caused disturbance, and forced us to reaffirm our loyalty to Christ and our abhorrence of the inventions of men.

It is easy to trace the history of the primitive church from the New Testament times through the dark ages by their path of persecution, blood, and martyrdom. They were hunted as sheep for the slaughter, and thousands and tens of thousands suffered martyrdom for their loyalty to Christ, and for refusing to affiliate with humanly devised institutions and societies, or fellowship them. When Luther and Calvin commenced their reformation, our brethren hoped that they were going to throw off the superstitious and unscriptural institutions of their mother church; but as soon as they got power, our brethren were persecuted and martyred by them because they would not take their unscriptural doctrines, practices, and institutions, which they, brought out of their mother church with them.

I have not time now to follow this subject, but for twelve centuries the primitive church was persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed. For he who had said, “The gates of hell shall not prevail against it,” has never forsaken her, but has preserved her by his power, and will not forsake her now while the united forces of the second beast are making war upon her.

The declarations of non-fellowship for all the institutions and inventions of men, and of false doctrines, and false churches, have distinguished the true church from all others in the past ages, and will in the future, until the end of time, when she will enter the holy city above, with garments unstained, and sing the song of victory forever and ever.

Many of the New School Baptists acknowledge that their practices, against which we protest, are unknown to the gospel, and the sooner the church is rid of them the better for it and the world; yet they will hang on to their errors, and persecute us for opposing them. This is a great inconsistency, and shows a great want of reverence for Christ and the laws he has given for the government of his church. But by the strict observance of these laws, she shows her reverence for him, and maintains her identity and distinct visibility from all the institutions and societies gotten up by men, with which she is here surrounded. Compared with others, we are but a little handful, and could be easily crushed if God was not for us. The way of life is a strait and narrow way, and but few find it; but the way of error is a broad road, and the many walk in it. The flock of Christ is called a little flock, that must expect to be persecuted and hated; for it is said, “If ye will live godly in Christ Jesus, ye shall suffer persecution.” The faithful servant of Christ esteems the reproaches of Christ greater honors than the world can give, and they know that these present sufferings are not worthy to be compared to the glory that shall be revealed in them; for if we suffer with him, we shall also reign with him. Zion is surrounded with walls and bulwarks; the enemy shall never be able to prevail against her; for the Lord Jehovah is her strength and salvation, and her walls of defense.

Glorious things of thee are spoken,

Zion, city of our God,

He whose word cannot be broken,

Formed thee for his own abode;

On the rock of ages founded,

What can shake thy sure repose?

With salvation’s walls surrounded,

Thou mayest smile at all thy foes.


“For these are the two covenants;” (Ga 4:24)

The apostle introduces this chapter by telling us that the heir, so long as he is a child, differeth nothing from a servant, that we were all under the law, and under its curse, until Christ came and freed us from the law and its curse, so that we were no longer its servants. In this connection Paul is evidently laboring to clearly and fully show the difference between the true believer in Christ, who trusts him alone for salvation and justification, and those Judaizers who trusted in the works of the law, and were bewitching them, and leading them away from Christ. He wonders that they are bewitched and led away from Christ by these Judaizing teachers, and asks them the question, “Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?” He would then let them know that those Judaizers did not understand the law, nor the condition of those who were trusting in the works of the law; for he tells them that, “As many as are of the works of the law, are under the curse.” He then addresses those Judaizers, and all who desire to be under the law, or a system of works and human instrumentalities for salvation and justification, and says, “Do ye not hear the law? For it is written, That Abraham had two sons, the one by a bondwoman, the other by a free woman.” He evidently presents this case to show them that the children of the flesh, or the children of Abraham according to the laws of nature, are not the children of God; (Ro 9:7-8). “The elder shall serve the younger.” So the promised seed was in Jacob, and not in Esau. As these Judaizers were so very fond of being under the law, and a conditional system, he would refer them to what was written; “And God said unto Abraham, Let it not be grievous in thy sight because of the lad, and because of thy bondwoman; in all that Sarah hath said unto thee, hearken unto her voice; for in Isaac shall thy seed be called;” (Ge 21:12) The son of the bondwoman was cast out, and not to be the heir, although he was the son of Abraham according to the flesh; but in Isaac the seed should be called, which is Christ, the promised seed. It is said of the birth of Ishmael that, “Abram went in unto Agar, and she conceived and bare Abram a son, and Abram called his name Ishmael.” But of Isaac it is said, “And the Lord visited Sarah, as he had said, and the Lord did unto Sarah as he had spoken: for Sarah conceived, and bare Abraham a son in his old age; at the set time, which God had spoken to him.” The birth of Ishmael was a birth according to the laws of nature; but the birth of Isaac was a miraculous birth, and effected by the power of God; and as was Isaac, so are we the children of promise, and are made such by the direct work of God in our souls, and manifested as such in the second birth, as born of God. Now, you Judaizers who are building your hopes of salvation and justification by the works of the law, or works of righteousness which you can do, deny this supernatural work of God in the heart of the sinner when he is born of God, and made a believer in Jesus Christ, and by faith made manifest as Abraham’s seed, and blessed with him.

Those Judaizers, and all who expect justification by the works of the law, are of the bondwoman, the children of the flesh, and as such, can never inherit the promised blessings. Thus the apostle points them to the history of Ishmael, and that they, like him, are children of the flesh, and know nothing about any birth, but a fleshly birth, and as such, can never inherit the promise. The apostle then gives the history of Isaac and his birth, and shows that his birth was a miraculous one, and not according to the flesh, or any human possibilities or probabilities, but was the direct work of God, and according to his promise. So, as Isaac was, are we the children of the promise, and are made manifest as such in a second birth-born of God. This birth is not after the order of a fleshly birth, by and through instrumentalities; but it is the direct work of God, independent of any agencies whatever, and not subordinate to any, except the power of God himself. Sarah was a free woman, and the lawful wife of Abraham, but according to nature she could never be the mother of children; nothing short of God’s power could make her a mother, and give her an heir; and this the Lord did for her, when he visited her according to his promise. The apostle then tells why he has used these two women, and given the history of them and their sons, and the use he intends to make of them: “These things are an allegory” which teach us more than is contained in the literal and historical meaning of the words. God designed in these two women to teach a great and glorious spiritual lesson, and to forever shut the mouth of all Judaizers, and teachers of salvation from sin by the works of the law, or upon a conditional system, where the conditions had to be performed by the sinner. “For,” says the apostle, “these are the two covenants.”

In discussing this subject, we must try to keep in our minds the points the apostle was using as illustrations, and the things of which he makes them figurative. Mount Sinai was called Agar by the Arabians, and thus the apostle uses her as figurative of the law given the Jews from Sinai. I will now try to show, first; how Hagar and her son were figurative of the law and those under it. Hagar signifies a stranger, or one that fears; and she may well represent the fear that filled the minds of the Jews when the law was given; for the words were so terrible that they could not bear them; “which voice they that heard intreated that the word should not be spoken to them any more;” and they could not endure that which was commanded; and a beast, touching the mountain, was stoned or thrust through with a dart. “And so terrible was the sight, that Moses said, I exceedingly fear and quake.” And it is to this mountain, that has not one comforting word for the sinner, but speaks in the voice of thunder its curse upon his guilty soul, that these Judaizing teachers would lead you. The law has no righteousness to impart to the guilty sinner; no cleansing fountain to wash away his guilt; no sweet words of pardon to whisper in his ears; but in a voice that must fill with despair the guilty criminal, says, “The soul that sinneth, it shall die.”

Again, Agar was an Egyptian woman, and not of the seed of Abraham, but of a different nation, of the people under whom the descendants of Abraham were in bondage; and when the law was given, the Israelites were traveling in a strange country, fleeing from their former master, and seeking the country which the Lord had by promise given to Abraham and his seed according to the flesh. Thus Agar may denote the law given to Israel after they had left Egypt, and were traveling through the wilderness to reach and possess the land of promise. The Jews were not allowed to cross the Jordan, and enter and possess the promised land under the leadership of Moses, by whom the law, or this covenant of works was given. This should teach us that the law can never bring us into gospel blessings, or make us heirs to the blessing of Abraham’s promised seed, and that freedom could never come by the law. Again, Agar was not Abraham’s wife, but the servant of his wife; and she was given to him by his wife, after the promise was made concerning his seed through Sarah. But the giving of Agar to Abraham, and her bearing him a son, could not prevent the fulfillment of the promise, that Sarah should have a son. This clearly denotes that the law, which was given four hundred and thirty years after the promise, or gospel was preached unto Abraham, could not make the promise of none effect; for it was confirmed by the oath of him who will not repent, or change from his oath, and can not lie. Again, Agar with her son was cast out when Sarah had brought forth her son according to promise; and as Agar was a figure of the law, she showed that the law should pass away or end when the promised seed should come, which is Christ.

The son of Agar was a figure under the law, or the natural seed of Abraham who were born after the flesh; for Ishmael was the natural offspring of Abraham, and was his son according to the flesh; but not the son by promise; which shows that the natural birth can never make any heirs to the promised blessing, which Paul calls the gospel. Ishmael was not Abraham’s heir; for it was declared that he should not be heir with the son of the free woman. This shows that it is not they that are born under the law, or that do the works of the law, that are heirs of the promise; but they who are born by promise are made believers in Jesus Christ, by the power of him who raised up Jesus from the dead, who are heirs of the promise and the seed of Abraham, although they never existed in his loins as a natural seed, but were given to him, and embraced in the promise, that in his seed all nations should be blessed.

This shows conclusively that it was not because of a seminal preexistence in Christ that we are his seed; but it is by covenant promise God has given him a seed, chosen out of all nations, and in his will or covenant has blessed them with all spiritual blessings in Christ. The heirship is not based upon the natural descent, or birth according to the flesh; but as we sing,

Sons we are by God’s election,

Who in Jesus Christ believe.

And this is according to his eternal purpose and grace, as arranged in that covenant which is in all things ordered and sure.

The name Ishmael signifies, “God who hears;” and it denotes the attention God paid to the Jews under that conditional, faulty covenant, which was their political or national constitution or charter. Whenever they transgressed, and were suffering the penalty, if they repented, and humbly returned to the Lord, and to the law he had given them, he would hear them, and by his mighty power deliver them from their afflictions. Ishmael, the son born after the flesh, persecuted Isaac, the son of promise; which denotes that the natural seed of Abraham, and all who have never experienced any birth but a natural, fleshly birth, and are under the law, building their hopes of justification by the deeds of the law and works of righteousness which they can do, will persecute the promised seed, or those who are born heirs to the blessings promised to that seed. The casting out of Ishmael and his mother soon after the birth of Isaac, may denote the casting out and dispersion of the Jews soon after the promised seed had come; and as Ishmael was cast out because he laughed at Isaac, and persecuted him, so the Jews were cast out because they mocked, hated, and persecuted Christ the promised seed, and all who believed in him. Ishmael was nothing but a natural son, and denotes that the law could bestow nothing but temporal or natural blessings, a land of milk and honey, fertile fields, fruitful vineyards, and national prosperity. Thus the bondwoman and her son denote the law of bondage, and those born under it are of a natural birth.

Second; I propose to show wherein Sarah and her son were figures of the new covenant, and those under it. She was a figure of the new covenant in her name, Sarah, which signifies lady, princess, princess of the multitude; and this name was given her because the blessing of God was upon her; and in the seed born of her, nations and peoples should be blessed, showing that the new covenant and its blessings were not confined to any one nation, but its children and the heirs of its promises are of all nations, who are to be born again, of incorruptible seed, born of God. Sarah was the mother of Isaac; so this covenant was the mother of the promised seed, and from its breasts of consolation, or precious promises, they draw all their food, strength, and comforts. Sarah was Abraham’s companion, and ruler in his house, so when she ordered the bondwoman and her son to be cast out, God told Abraham it is right; let it be as she says. From this we learn that all humanly devised systems, not commanded in this covenant, are to be cast out, as belonging to the world, or to the bondwoman and her son, who is not to be heir, nor live in fellowship with the children of the free woman, the new covenant. In the first covenant God gave Moses a house or people, over which he was ruler or lawgiver; and in the new covenant he gave Christ, the promised seed, a house or people, over which he should reign and rule, and that they should hear him in all things. Paul says to the Hebrew Christians, “Whose house are we.” And to the Son we owe obedience, and it is rebellion in us to teach or practice what he has not commanded. Sarah lived in Abraham’s affections long before Isaac was born, which shows that this covenant was the good will of God towards his people who existed in his mind or purpose long before the promise was made to Abraham, or the seed was born in whom the blessings were given.

Again; there was a set time for Sarah to bring forth the promised son; so it was in the fullness of the time that Christ the promised seed was made of a woman, made under the law, to redeem them that were under the law. “The law was given by Moses; but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.” And the law was added because of sin, and was to continue only until the promised seed should come; and when the fullness of time had come, a virgin conceived, and bear a son, and he was called the Son of God-Immanuel-God with us. He was the promised seed, and the Mediator of the new covenant. Sarah brought forth a promised seed, when, according to nature, she could not bear children; which shows the miraculous birth of Christ, the promised seed. And Isaac being a promised son, and born of a woman past age, and by the direct power of God who visited Sarah shows that the heirs of this covenant are not born by instrumentalities, but of God. As Isaac was a child of promise, so the heirs of this covenant are children of promise, given to Christ as a seed that should serve him. As Isaac was persecuted, so are the children of the covenant persecuted by all the Ishmaelites and Judaizing teachers; but they are to be cast out; and the glory of the law, which they preach, shall disappear and vanish away under the superior glory of the new covenant, which brings liberty to the captive, righteousness to the unrighteous, and brings forth its sons and daughters of the Gentiles, who have been born of God, and sanctified in his will as heirs of the promise. For these two women are the two covenants.

Third; we shall now try to ascertain why these are called the two covenants. The margin, instead of covenants, renders it testaments; and I believe that the learned agree that the word here translated covenant, means covenant, testament, or will; and I think that the reader of the Bible, if he will exercise a little common sense, will see that the words are used synonymously, as expressing the same idea, and are never used as a bargain and contract entered into between contracting parties. And to show why these are called two covenants, I will first speak of the law, and why it was called a covenant.

The law is called a covenant because it was appointed to Israel as a constitution, by which they, as a nation, should be governed until the promised seed should come; and again, because it was delivered in the form of a testament, bequeathing certain blessings to them as its heirs. I shall not take up and discuss the different opinions of men upon this subject-I believe it to be a constitution for Israel, forming them into a distinct nation, and conferring upon them certain privileges and blessings, which, as his chosen nation, God had given them. In attending to this subject, it will be necessary to pay some attention to the covenant of circumcision, which was established soon after the birth of Isaac, and intended to distinguish the natural family of Abraham from all the rest of the world, until the promise made to him thirty years before should be fulfilled. It was called a covenant in their flesh, and was to be placed on them at eight days old in order to prevent them from mingling with other nations; that thereby the seed of Abraham might be traced with ease. This covenant was respecting temporal things, such as a mark in the flesh of all the males at eight days old, a numerous offspring, a temporal country for their possession, and an abundance of good things, as the production of that fruitful land. God would rule over them, and be their King and Father, and they should enjoy the blessings of a bountiful providence, and victory over their enemies.

But all those promises were conditional: “If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land; but the uncircumcised man-child hath broken my covenant.” Thus the covenant of circumcision was conditional; for it could be broken, and its blessings depended on the willingness and obedience of its subjects. Under this covenant the descendants of Abraham were distinguished from all other nations, for about four hundred years, while they lived among other nations, and sometimes in sore oppression and slavery; but they multiplied greatly, so that in time they had increased to the number of six hundred thousand men of war, besides women and children. Now, the set time for them to possess the land God had promised them being come, God, by a special act of his providence, raised up Moses, and prepared and qualified him for that purpose; and by his rod of wonders, and working miracles, he leads the family of Abraham out of the house of bond age, and through the Red Sea.

And “in the third month, when the children of Israel were gone forth out of the land of Egypt, the same day came they into the wilderness of Sinai. For they were departed from Rephidim, and were come to the desert of Sinai, and had pitched in the wilderness; and there Israel camped before the mount.”

This was the spot God had selected to constitute Israel into a nation, and give them a national form of government; and when he had separated them from all nations, and brought them into the wilderness, and camped them before the mount, he called Moses, their leader, and gave him directions how to place them in order to receive their national constitution; and after all the preparations were made, the law was delivered to Moses, and by him brought to the people on two tables of stone.

In the covenant of circumcision the Lord their God had promised them a land, and now on the two tables of stone he gives them a constitution or law, under which they are to live as a distinct nation. These Ten Commandments are the covenant; and although they had many other laws, these only are called the covenant; (Ex 34:28); “And he wrote upon the tables the words of the covenant, the Ten Commandments.” These tables the apostle calls the tables of the covenant; (Heb 9:4). For the safe keeping of the covenant, the tables were deposited in the ark, and it was then called the “ark of the covenant.” The covenant of circumcision was to distinguish Abraham and his family from all other nations. It may perhaps, with propriety, be said, that the Sinai covenant was a larger edition of the covenant of circumcision. This covenant of all Israel, or the Sinai covenant, was, like the covenant of circumcision, conditional, beginning with an if. “Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenants, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me, above all people: for all the earth is mine;” Ex 19:5

God gave this covenant from Sinai, attended with an awful display of his majesty, to impress upon the minds of Israel the majesty and authority of its Author, and the danger of transgressing its commands. In it the duty of the subjects were taught, and the temporal blessing it promised guaranteed, upon the condition of their obeying its commands. Under this constitution there were many laws given for them to observe, and especially to rule them in their worship; and at length the law respecting the mitre in the house of Levi, and the sceptre in the house of Judah. These were both called covenants; because the one constituted or appointed the tribe of Levi to the priestly office, and the other the tribe of Judah to the kingly office. With respect to the first of these it is said, “And thou shalt bring Aaron and his sons unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation and wash them with water; and thou shalt put upon Aaron the holy garments, and anoint him, and sanctify him; that he may minister unto me in the priest’s office. And thou shalt bring his sons, and clothe them with coats: and thou shalt anoint them, as thou didst anoint their father, that they may minister unto me in the priest’s office; for their anointing shall surely be an everlasting priesthood throughout their generation;” (Ex 40:12-15). It was said unto Phinehas, the son of Eleazer, the son of Aaron, the priest, “Behold, I give unto him my covenant of peace; and he shall have it, and his seed after him, even the covenant of an everlasting priesthood; because he was zealous for his God, and made an atonement for the children of Israel;” (Nu 25:12-13).

The words everlasting priesthood express only that the priesthood was to continue parallel with the Jewish nation, and the covenant under which they were constituted as such. The same may be said of the kingly office established later in the house of David, as Nathan spoke to David: “And when thy days be fulfilled, and thou shalt sleep with thy fathers, I will set up thy seed after thee, which shall proceed out of thy bowels, and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build an house for my name, and I will establish the throne, of his kingdom forever. I will be his father, and he shall be my son. If he commit iniquity, I will chasten him with the rod of men, and with the stripes of the children of men; but my mercy shall not depart away from him, as I took it from Saul, whom I put away before thee; and thy house and thy kingdom shall be established for ever;” (2Sa 7:12-16). David evidently had this in mind when he said, “I have made a covenant with my chosen, I have sworn unto David my servant, thy seed will I establish, and build up thy throne from generation to generation.” And again, to show that this covenant with David is unconditional, and not to be broken, it is said, “If ye can break my covenant of the day, and my covenant of the night, and that there should not be any day and night in their season, then shall also my covenant with David, my servant, be broken;” (Jer 33:20-21). This may be considered a digression; but it shows conclusively that the idea that a covenant, in the Bible sense, is a bargain or contract, has its foundation in the false reasoning of men, and not in the word of the Lord.

The Sinai covenant was a constitution of the Jewish nation as such, given to them by the Lord, and it is properly called a covenant; but being conditional, it made nothing perfect.

I shall speak of the new covenant, which was confirmed, in respect to Christ, four hundred and thirty years before the giving of the law. The promise made to Abraham, constituting him the father of the promised seed, was confirmed to him in the year of the world about two thousand and eighty-three; and about four hundred and twenty-seven years after the flood; and four hundred and thirty years before the giving of the law on Sinai; and thirty years be fore giving the law on circumcision; and it is called the gospel preached unto Abraham. The covenant of circumcision was designed to distinguish Abraham’s natural seed or family; the law given from Sinai was to distinguish them as a nation, until the promised seed should come, and publish the covenant or constitution that should distinguish and separate the promised seed from the world. This covenant is called new, because God hath made the other old and ready to vanish away; new, because its subjects are to be born of God, made new creatures, made spiritual, so that they are prepared to receive the spiritual blessings given in it; new, because given by a different mediator. The law was given by Moses, who was faithful in his house as a servant, and figuratively represented by Agar and Ishmael, who were servants in Abraham’s house. The new covenant was in the hands of a Mediator who is the Son of God, and heir of all things; and Isaac, the son of Sarah, was a figure of him and she was a figure of this covenant. Thus we see the superiority of the Mediator of the new covenant over the mediator of the old covenant; the last was a faithful and obedient servant in his house; the first was the Son and heir, in whom God declared himself well pleased.

I shall now attempt to contrast these two covenants, and show the superiority of the new over the old, in its design, ministration, and guarantees. We have already seen that the first covenant was given to distinguish Abraham’s natural family from the rest of the world, until Christ should come. The new covenant was a constitution that should distinguish and separate the promised seed from the rest of the world, from Christ’s first coming till his second coming. The first covenant was designed to teach us man’s duties to man, and the duties of all men to God. This being a natural, temporal covenant, they could all learn it; and it was made their duty to teach it to their children, that it might be obeyed by them. But the new covenant reveals the only medium through which any of our services can be acceptable to God; that we must be born of the Spirit; for to serve God acceptably, we must worship him in spirit and in truth.

The first covenant was called the ministration of death; but the second, of righteousness and peace. The first covenant was given from mount Sinai, that might be touched, and burned with fire, amidst blackness, and darkness, and tempest, and the sound of a trumpet and the voice of words, which voice they that heard entreated that the words should not be spoken any more. (For they could not endure that which was commanded.) And if so much as a beast touched the mountain, it should be stoned, or thrust through with a dart. So terrible was the sight that Moses said, “I exceedingly fear and quake.” And the afrightened Israelites, repulsed with horror, fled back from the thundering mount. Thus the law reveals the wrath of God against all unrighteousness, and ungodliness of men, without one hint of mercy, or way of deliverance from that wrath. But the new covenant was ministered at mount Calvary, or mount Zion, when Jesus poured out his blood for the redemption of his people; and it falls with gentle strains and soothing accents of love and mercy on the ears of its subjects, proclaiming peace by the blood of the covenant to them that are afar off, and to them that are nigh; while the promised seed of Abraham, allured by its grace and glory, and drawn by loving kindness, with gladdened hearts, and heavenly and immortal prospects, repair “unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to the innumerable company of angels, to the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect, and to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel;” (Heb 12:22-24).

The first covenant was conditional, and all the promises and blessings of it were suspended upon conditions to be performed by the people to whom it was given; for it said, “If ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar people unto me above all people; for all the earth is mine.” For them to fail to keep one of the conditions, they forfeited their claim to all the temporal blessings promised them in the law which they transgressed, and God said, “I swore in my wrath, they shall not enter into my rest.” Being a conditional covenant, it made nothing perfect, and gave no certain warrant that the heir ever should enter into his inheritance, or keep it if he did. The new covenant was to remedy all the defects of the old, and make something sure to the heirs of promise. Seeing the defects of the old, God says, “Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah: not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers, in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they continued not in my covenant, and I regarded them not, saith the Lord. For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord: I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts; and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people: and they shall not teach every man his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest. For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more;” (Heb 8:8-12).

This covenant is unconditional, and its first clause declares that God will put his laws in their minds, and write them in their hearts. The first covenant was written on tables of stone, and they were to teach it one to another; for it was all temporal, and could be taught and comprehended by the natural mind; but when taught, it might be forgotten, and could not be written in their hearts or the affections of their souls by them who taught it; and they rebelled and transgressed, and God regarded them not. But this new covenant shall be written upon the fleshly tables of their hearts by the Spirit of the living God. The negative clause of this covenant is, that they shall not teach every man his neighbor, saying, know the Lord; for that knowledge can only come by direct revelation, and all who have it have eternal life. This life God gives them through Jesus Christ our Lord; and he gives us his Spirit, that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God; 1Co 2:12

In the next article in the new covenant God says, “I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people.” They are environed and kept by omnipotent power through faith unto salvation; for he holds them in his hand, and there is no power that can take them out of his hand. In this covenant or will God has given such assurance to the heirs of promise, that all doubts and fears should be dispelled forever. Paul, in presenting this subject, says, “Wherein God, willing more abundantly,” (than any earthly testator,)” to shew unto the heirs of promise the immutability of his counsel, confirmed it by an oath: that by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us;” (Heb 6:17-18). It is no strange thing that Paul, having this covenant written in his heart by the Spirit of the living God, should say, “For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord;” Ro 8:38-39 “I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people.” 0 how sweetly these words fall upon the ear of the heir of promise, when tossed upon angry billows, or overwhelmed with sorrows, temptations, and fears! This is his strong tower of safety.

You may have your conditional covenant, that makes nothing sure; it has no comfort for me; but give me the covenant that is unconditional, and established in the wills, and shalls, and oath of him that sware, and will not repent; in it I can trust, and fear not in the midst of the storm, or in the furnace of affliction; it gives me courage, and makes me sing,

That soul, though all hell should endeavor to shake,
I’ll never, no never, no never forsake.

The last and sweetest article in the new covenant, to the poor sinner, sinking down under a load of guilt and dark despair is, “I’ll be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more.”

The old covenant has no mercy in it, no door of hope for the guilty sinner; but a fearful looking for the fiery indignation and wrath of God; for under it the soul that sins must die. For the law says, “Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them.” No sweet word of pardon; for he that sins under Moses must die without mercy. The new covenant is a covenant of grace, and its Mediator, who is full of grace and truth, is exalted a Prince and Savior, to give repentance and the remission of sins.

My soul, no more attempt to draw,

Thy hope and comfort from the law;

Fly to the hope the gospel gives,

The soul who trusts the promise lives.

The new covenant is then the better covenant, and its promises are better promises; for they meet the condition of the poor, helpless sinner, that has no power or means to satisfy the law, nor hope nor comfort can from it draw. When, by the regenerating, quickening, and life-giving power of the Holy Spirit, he is brought to see and realize his true condition, he soon sees that the law, of which he once thought he could perform the conditions and so obtain eternal life, has no life to give; but it is the administration of death, and under it every hope of life and salvation that he ever had dies; for the law is just, but I am carnal, sold under sin. But, when God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, shines in the heart to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ, and writes in the heart this law: “I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more,” then the burden is gone, and this unconditional article in the covenant fills the soul with joy inexpressible and full of glory.

Dear, dying Lamb, thy precious blood,

Shall never lose its power,

Till all the ransomed church of God,

Be saved to sin no more.

The apostle shows the superiority of Christ, as mediator of this better testament or covenant, over angels, who were commanded to worship him; over Abraham, who was the friend of God, and to whom the promise was made; over Moses, who was faithful to his house as a servant; and over the priesthood of the law, who were made such without an oath.

Under the law there were many priests, because they were not suffered to continue by reason of death, and their priesthood changed from father to son; but Christ, because he continueth ever, hath an unchangeable priesthood. “The law maketh men high priests which have infirmity; but the word of the oath, which was since the law, maketh the Son, who is consecrated for evermore.” The offerings and atonements made under the law by their priests could never put away sin, or purge the conscience, for they had to be repeated every year, showing their imperfection, and that sin was not put away, or the worshipers cleansed. The superiority of the sanctuary, the ordinances, and the priesthood of Christ is thus described by the apostle: “Then verily the first covenant had also ordinances of divine service, and a worldly sanctuary. For there was a tabernacle made; the first, wherein was the candlestick and the table and the shewbread; which is called the sanctuary. And after the second veil, the tabernacle which is called the Holiest of all: which had the golden censer, and the ark of the covenant overlaid round about with gold wherein was the golden pot that had manna, and Aaron’s rod that budded, and the tables of the covenant; and over it the cherubims of glory shadowing the mercy-seat; of which we can not now speak particularly. Now when these things were thus ordained, the priest went, away, into the first tabernacle, accomplishing the service of God: but into the second went the high priest alone once a year, not without blood, which he offered for himself, and for the errors of the people; the Holy Ghost this signifying, that the way into the holiest of all was not yet made manifest, while as the first tabernacle was yet standing: which was a figure for the time present, in which were offered both gifts and sacrifices, that could not make him that did the service perfect, as pertaining to the conscience; which stood only in meats and drinks, and divers washings, and carnal ordinances, imposed on them until the time of reformation. But Christ being come a high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building; neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us. For if the blood of bulls and goats, and the ashes of a heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh: how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? And for this cause he is the Mediator of the New Testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance.”

Thus the excellency of the New Testament over the old is clearly shown; and while the old is the administration of condemnation and death, and holds its subjects in bondage; the new is the administration of righteousness and life, and makes its subjects free, so that they can receive its promise of an eternal inheritance. For Christ, the Mediator of the New Testament, has fulfilled all the conditions of the law: he is the end of the law for righteousness, and has freed the heirs of promise from its curse, so that they are no longer under the law, but under grace. By the body of Christ they are dead to the law, their first husband, and are now free to be married to another, even to Christ. Their redemption is complete and eternal, and in Christ they are freely justified from all things, from which they could not be justified by the law of Moses. The promise is now made sure to all the seed, or heirs of the new covenant; for the means appointed for their redemption and deliverance from under the curse and bondage of the first covenant had all the power and virtue to accomplish all that was designed; for unless it did possess this power and virtue it never could be efficient means; for means without power and virtue in itself to effect the end designed is no means. But the apostle shows that in Christ and his blood were all the power and virtue required to obtain the eternal redemption, justification, and salvation of all the heirs of promise.

Thus preached the primitive Paul, and thus preach the legitimate descendants of that primitive order today. Some of our commentators, who are not willing to give up the old covenant with its terms and conditions, say that there was grace in it, but not to the same extent that it is in the new covenant. But I can find no grace in the law; “grace and truth came by Jesus Christ,” and not by Moses or the law. Conditions and terms destroy the idea of grace; for, to receive the promised blessing the condition must be performed and the terms complied with; it is, therefore, of works, and whatever is of works is not of grace; and whatever reward is received of works, or of the performing of conditions or complying with terms, is not of grace, but of debt. Hence, there was no grace in the law, nor can there be in any conditional system where the conditions are a prerequisite to the receiving of the reward. For preaching this doctrine Paul and the primitive Christians were persecuted by the Judaizers and disciples of Moses, who were still under the vail; and by the same class are primitive Christians and their preachers persecuted, and slandered, and falsely accused today. These false accusers and persecutors belong to Agar and Ishmael, and hate the heirs of promise; the covenant they trust in has passed away, is cast out, and by it they can never inherit the blessings of the new covenant, or be heirs with the promised seed. From the days of the apostles to the present time, a class of Judaizers, preaching a conditional salvation, using the law unlawfully perverting the gospel and blending them together, draw the vail of Moses over the face of Christ to hide the glory of his grace, and the spiritual blessings of the new, absolute, and un conditional covenant, under the dusky shades of the old, conditional one, and thereby making the fulfillment of the conditions of the old covenant an indispensable prerequisite to a participation in the promises of the new one. Then attaching the curses of the old one to the graces of the new, as its counterpart, they thunder them both against saint and sinner, Jews and Gentiles, who do not fulfill the conditions of the gospel; (for this unholy mixture of two covenants is called gospel, by these Judaizers;) and thus they build up the self-righteous Pharisee, and drive, if it were possible, the saint, and the quickened, awakened sinner, into despair; for these know that they can not fulfill the conditions of the law, and of course, despair of ever enjoying the promises of the gospel. But when the old covenant is placed in its proper place, it is good to show the malignity of sin, and the penalty annexed to it; but the new covenant alone can reveal the pardoning mercy of that God, “who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit; for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life.” So the apostle contrasts the two covenants, and shows that the glory of the new far excels the glory of the old. “But if the ministration of death, written and engraven in stones, was glorious, so that the children of Israel could not steadfastly behold the face of Moses, for the glory of his countenance, which glory was to be done away; how shall not the ministration of the Spirit be rather glorious. For if the ministration of condemnation be glory, much more doth the ministration of righteousness exceed in glory. For even that which was made glorious had no glory in this respect, by reason of the glory that excelleth. For if that which is done away was glorious, much more that which remaineth is glorious;” 2Co 3:6-11

From this contrast of the old and the new covenants, it clearly appears that the old disappears, vanishes away, and loses its glory at the bursting forth of the superior glory of the new covenant; and Moses, the mediator of the old, put a vail over his face, that the children of Israel could not steadfastly look to the end of that which is abolished. Now Christ is the end of the law for righteousness, which fulfills every condition of the old covenant; and when it, (the old covenant,) shall turn to him, the vail shall be taken away; the end of the glory of the old covenant shall be clearly seen; the heirs of promise, both Jews and Gentiles, shall look into the new covenant, and see its unspeakable glories beaming in the face of Christ Jesus its Mediator. “We, beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image, from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.” Thus the new covenant, like a glass, reveals the glorious face of its everliving Mediator with eternal life in him for all the promised heirs, the bread of life for the hungry, the water of life for the thirsty, rest for the weary and heavy laden, a garment of righteous ness for the naked, and grace, free, sovereign, absolute, unconditional grace for the unworthy and impoverished sinner, that has nothing with which to buy, or means to obtain it.

To such comes forth the soothing promise from his lips without an if, or a discouraging condition to crush the poor, disconsolate mourner; and while the glad words of peace and free pardon are falling from his lips, with unstopped ears and enlightened eyes he beholds the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ, and beholding with joy and gladness the smiles of his unveiled countenance, his soul is fired with love, and filled with peace, while he sees the sceptre presented, filled with pardon for rebels, and hears the sweet, soul-comforting, approbating voice of God, saying, “Touch and live.” While the blood of the new covenant presents his justification, faith lays hold of it and bears its evidence to the soul of its heirship to the rich inheritance, unconditionally bequeathed in the will of God to all the heirs of promise, and hope anchors the soul both sure and steadfast into that within the vail. Then the thundering, and smoke, and terrible words of Sinai all pass away; the discouraging conditions that filled the soul with despair are fulfilled in Christ; the soul is free; there is therefore now no condemnation to the soul, for it is no more under the law, but under grace. The Judaizers and preachers of the old, conditional covenant, may try with all their sophistry and cunning craftiness, whereby they lay in wait to deceive, to make them satisfied to take the galling yoke of the old, conditional covenant on their necks again, but they can not; for they experience in the new covenant the rest remaining for the people of God, and those that have ceased from their own work and have entered into that rest. All their duties have become their choicest privileges, and are not conditions of their eternal salvation.

But the objector and Judaizing teacher will say, “If the new covenant is without conditions, we will never do any good works, but take our fill of sin.” Poor, deluded soul! you are still in nature’s night, a stranger to God and your own condition; for no Christian, who has been killed to sin, and made alive to righteousness, will so talk; for he has had his fill of sin, and mourns because he still finds it in his flesh, warring against his soul, and bringing him into trouble and sore distress. The one born of God, and taught by his Spirit, has the very principles of obedience implanted in him, and serves God of choice; for it is as his meat and drink to do the will of his heavenly Father; and no other services are acceptable to God.

Others will say, “If there are no conditions in the new covenant, there is no encouragement for the seeking, mourning sinner.” But this conclusion is false and unreasonable; for there is no condition that can be performed which can give comfort to the helpless, blind, and condemned sinner, who has no power or means to do or fulfill the condition. No conditional word or promise could bring such comfort or joy to his soul as the unconditional promise of the new covenant, saying, “I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more.” This is grace; this is mercy that meets the condition of the despairing soul; and like a beam of light and love shining from the throne above it fills the soul with joy inexpressible and full of glory.

Others suppose, that if there were no conditions in the new covenant, and the wicked could be convinced of it, they would rest easy and unconcerned; but this is both unreasonable and contrary to experience.

Suppose I should tell you, “This house is on fire; but all the doors and windows are open, and you can escape at leisure, and here is a pile of gold that will make you all rich that you can have;” your love of gold would make you stay to gather it, feeling that you have power to escape, if the danger should increase. But suppose another should call out with earnestness, “The flames are all around you; escape is impossible;” and you were to look and see that it was true, you would lose all the desire for the gold, and your despairing cries would rise in heart-rending accents. 0, thoughtless, guilty sinner, this is your true condition, and you know it not; and these blind guides are doing all they can to keep you in your ignorance of your true condition.

So we see that the unconditional covenant is better than the conditional one, and comes with delivering, saving power, when all other powers fail, and raises the poor, helpless, despairing sinner up out of the pit, and turns his despairing cries into songs of praise. If we could all see the excellencies and superior glories of the new covenant, we would never attempt to suck life and comfort from the breasts of Hagar, but would cast the bondwoman and her child away from us; like Isaac, we would suck the breast of Sarah, which flows with the sincere, unconditional milk, which will never be exhausted, and will satisfy all the hungerings and desirings of the soul. For these two women are an allegory, and are the two covenants.


“For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other; so that ye cannot do the things that ye would;” Ga 5:17

LITTLE CHILDREN, I am glad to meet you once more; our little meetings are little love feasts to me, for we all seem to have one spirit, and one train of thought, and draw comfort from the same rock, which is Christ. When children all agree they can sit and talk together, and feel happy. But our comforts, sweet as they are, are mixed with sorrow and pain; tears flow from our eyes, and our heart is pierced with the dagger of an enemy that is with us wherever we go, and we are like the Shulamite, as it were “the company of two armies.” This war is constant; our enemy lives in our flesh, and there can be no peace nor reconciliation between the two parties. The one party is the flesh, or the evil propensities and lusts that dwell in the flesh; and the other party is the soul; (1Pe 2:11); and the war commences the very day spiritual life is given us, and holy spiritual desires and affections are begotten in the soul. Before that, we were dead in sin, and had no hungering nor thirsting for any thing else. If we heard the Bible read or the gospel preached all was foolishness to us, and we did not believe it; but we thought ourselves alive, and able to do all things necessary to secure eternal salvation, happiness, and holiness. The doctrine of total depravity we abhorred, as something too humiliating and debasing to think about. Totally depraved-dead in sin! This is too preposterous, for any sane mind to believe. All men have a spark of grace in them, and have the power to so cultivate it, that they can come to Christ, believe on him, and be saved. All that is wanting is for us to make the start, and persevere to the end.

The men that taught us that the written word or the preached gospel is the means of eternal life, or of quickening and regenerating the sinner, and that all we had to do was to hear the gospel, believe it, repent of our sins, and obey it, and the blessing would be secured, our sins pardoned, and we made the heirs of heaven and eternal glory, were the preachers for us, for they gave us a chance to be saved, if we would only start in the work in good earnest; for we had the power of ourselves to do all this, if we would only make the effort. This does not rob us of our pride and self-esteem; it does not make us totally vile and dead in sin, nor lay us helpless and prostrate in the dust at the feet of sovereign mercy. He that talked the most about the means of grace, and the power of the gospel to make Christians of men and women; that it offered salvation to all upon terms and conditions; that all had the power to comply, and perform, and so secure the blessing, taught a consistent means system, and it fed our natural minds, for we could understand it, and it strengthened our confidence in our fleshly, natural abilities to save ourselves, whenever we made the resolve, and went to work. This would quiet our conscience, and make us feel easy; for we had time enough yet, and so we attended to it before we died all would be right, and this we intended to do when we had taken our fill of sin and the vanities and pleasures of life. Sometimes, when death would visit our family, and take our friends or loved ones, we would resolve to begin the work very soon; but the alarm would pass off, and we could afford to put it off, for the terms were easy, and we could soon do all that was required, and we did not feel like giving up the sinful pleasures we loved so well. Thus we lived, and these conditional means preachers strengthened us in our self-confidence and ability to do the work, and save ourselves whenever we got ready. A good resolution, and a promise that we would set about the work before long would quiet the conscience, and we could go into sin with all the delight we ever did. In this I have drawn no fancy sketch; you, little children, have experienced it all, and can now look back to the time when it was your delight to walk according to the course of this world, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and if any thing took place to alarm you, a promise would be made that would quiet your fears; for it was all in your own hands, and you could close in with the terms at your pleasure.

But there was a time that you will never forget, when, from some cause, you felt as never before, heard as never before, and saw as never before. Your soul was filled with fear; you trembled under a sense of guilt and condemnation; you felt that death was near, and something had to be done, or you were lost forever. And then you resolved to go to work without delay. I will go and pray, for the preachers have told me that prayer is one of the terms upon which eternal life and salvation are offered. “Ask, and ye shall receive.” Trusting in the virtue of my prayer, I fell upon my knees; but 0 my heart! I saw it as I never saw it before-deceitful, evil, wicked, corrupt above all things-from it had preceded all my wicked thoughts, and it had prompted all my wicked actions. I now could see sin in all its exceeding sinfulness, and that I was a vile sinner, and that God was of too pure eyes to look upon such a vile wretch as me, or hear a prayer from such a vile, deceitful heart as mine. Thus, for weeks, and months, and some of us for years, have gone weeping and mourning over our sad condition; and sometimes the burden would be so great, and the distress of soul so severe, we felt like we could not endure it much longer. Our favorite preachers, who had in former days eased our fears, and gave us courage and confidence with their means, instrumentality and work system, would now visit us; but 0 their gospel would fill us with utter despair, for in the light of a new and spiritual life we saw the heinous nature of sin, and the depth of our depravity and inbred corruption, so that we could join with the poet and say,

If I read, or sing, or pray,

Sin is mixed with all I do.

The words of the Savior would come: “Seek, and ye shall find;” and we would again hunt some secret place, fall prostrate upon the earth, pray, weep, and mourn, but all in vain; our case was growing more and more hopeless in our view every day. What could the Savior mean? We have prayed and sought him with a broken heart and tears of penitence, but have not found him. We go to the Bible and read the words of the Savior, to see what the matter is, and wherein we have failed; we read, and find that he was talking to his disciples, his dear little flock, who were following him, and suffering with him; and not to such a poor reprobate, hard-hearted, guilty sinner, as we felt ourselves to be. 0 what despair filled our mind, when we found our preachers had perverted the words of the Savior, and encouraged us to trust in our prayers, that fell from polluted lips, and came from a deceitful, wicked, corrupt heart We knew not what to do, or where to go; but we could not rest, or throw our burden off. Sometimes we thought: There is no mercy for me; my day of grace is past; my condemnation is sealed; there is no use to try any more; I will cast it off, and enjoy the world while I live in it But this was a failure; the burden was there, the heart was broken, and we could find nothing to give us ease. The world was dead to us; it had no pleasures for us any longer; its ways were now hateful to us, as the ways of death.

Surely there is no condition a poor soul was ever in that is more unbearably miserable, than to feel that he is cast off from God, from heaven, and all good people, and is killed to sin, and all the pleasures of the wicked. In this condition life is a dark, dreary, comfortless state; and there is no hope of a better state beyond this life. Little children, what I say is no fancy sketch with you; that dark and gloomy road you have traveled, without hope, and without God. Your blind guides directed you to Sinai and its conditional covenant; and you found that you had broken its conditions, had fallen under its curse, and that it had no life to give, no word of forgiveness to speak, no righteousness to impart, and no power to justify the guilty sinner. The words it spoke were so terrible, and were death to all your hopes; and beneath its curse you lay in helpless despair, convinced that no conditional system could meet your helpless, guilty state, nor give you hope and comfort. The way that the conditional preachers said is the way to life, you found to be the way unto death. You could now see that the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good: but I am carnal-sold under sin. The holy law can never give life to the condemned criminal, nor justify the guilty sinner. Your poor soul was now overwhelmed in despair; for you could see no way for the law to be honored, and the lawful captive delivered. The just sentence of condemnation is passed, and before it’s bar the criminal stands justly condemned, with no offered pardon, nor way of deliverance provided. “Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight; for by the law is the knowledge of sin;” (Ro 3:20). You now realized your condition before the law, and these words of Paul seemed to seal your fate forever: “For as many as are of the works of the law, are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them;” Ga 3:10. You had followed the directions of your blind guides, and had taken your money and good works, and gone to Sinai with them, but it was too late; the sentence was passed, the unconditional decree had gone forth: “The soul that sinneth, it shall die.” “Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them.” You saw that by the works of the law no flesh could be justified, and there was no hope for you.

There was a poor man in Georgia, who in a quarrel had killed his neighbor. He was tried, and condemned to be hung. There was great sympathy for him in the community; a petition for his reprieve was circulated; the judge who passed the sentence of death upon him signed it, also the prosecutor, and the jurors who had found the verdict of “guilty” against him. The day of execution came, but no pardon had yet come; he was taken from the prison to the scaffold where he was to be hung. His wife and two little children followed, crying like their hearts were broken, and seated themselves by him on the scaffold. A short sermon was delivered and prayer made, and the sheriff ordered all off the scaffold, and when the poor, condemned criminal bade his wife and little ones farewell, he cried, “Gone, gone, gone!” and fell, fainting, on the bosom of his wife. The scene was heart-rending, weeping and crying could be heard all over the vast crowd of people; but the sheriff, pale as death, proceeded to execute the sentence of the law. He raised the criminal from the bosom of his wife, ordered her off the scaffold, put the blindfold over his eyes, placed the rope that was around his neck over the pivot where he was to hang, and with a hatchet in his hand, he stepped to cut the rope that held up the trap upon which the criminal stood trembling like a leaf; but as he raised the hatchet to strike the fatal blow, a voice was heard, crying, “Hold, hold, hold!” All eyes were turned; a man was approaching as fast as he could with a paper in his hand. It was given to the sheriff, and was a reprieve, signed by the governor of the State. The sheriff loosed the prisoner, took the blind from his eyes, and said to him, “You are pardoned.” The wife had mounted the scaffold, the man saw her and approached her, crying, “Saved, saved, saved!” and fell, fainting, in her arms. The scene was solemn beyond description; screams and cries could be heard in every direction.

Little ones, you came to the law; your condition was like that poor man’s; every hope died within you, and helpless, you fell beneath the curse, and cried, “Gone, gone, gone!” It was death, and nothing but death, that you heard from the law.

But when the glittering sword of justice was raised, ready to pierce you, the thunderings of Sinai ceased, you heard the voice of terrible words no more, the veil was taken from your eyes, and instead of Sinai’s burning summit, Mount Calvary and the cross of Christ, his bleeding body, the cleansing blood of the New Testament were before your eyes, and the words of pardon fell from the lips of him that hung upon the cross, saying, “It is finished.” The law with all its curses end in him; its conditions are fulfilled; your debt is paid; you are freed from the prison, and from the law; and your sins are all forgiven. You stood wondering what this meant, when, with a smiling face and extended arms, he said, “I will be merciful to your unrighteousness, and your sins and iniquities, I will remember no more.” Then you fell helpless in the arms of Jesus; your fears were gone; a peace of soul was felt which you had never felt before. Then you could see the weakness and imperfection of the conditional system, that it was the law of sin and death, and all its works, offerings, and bloody sacrifices could not put away sin, cleanse the guilty conscience, nor justify the transgressor. But when the veil was taken from your eyes, and you saw Jesus, the sin-atoning Lamb, and heard him speak the word of pardon, your soul was filled with joy, and peace, and love, and you could say,

Come, brethren, help me sing his praise;

Oh, praise the name of Jesus

Come, sisters, all your voices raise;

Oh, bless the name of Jesus!

His name dispels my guilt and fears

No other name but Jesus;

Oh, how my soul delights to hear

The precious name of Jesus!

Then you felt that your sorrows were all over, that God had comforted you, and had become your salvation. The way of salvation through Jesus now looked so full and complete, so free and clear, you wondered that you had not seen it before; and you felt that you could tell it to every one, and they would see it as you did. So felt your little preacher, when that precious Jesus was revealed to him, “the way, the truth, and the life.” He was then about fifteen years old, and in the ecstasy of his feelings he thought of his sisters, and thought he could tell them of that precious Jesus, and make them see him and love him too, and that they would all be happy together. He went into the house where they were, and began to preach to them the riches and fullness of Jesus, the Savior of lost and justly condemned sinners; they became alarmed, and, crying, ran into another room, and said to my mother, “Brother is in the other room, raving crazy.”  My mother came to me, and said, “Son, what is the matter?” My heart was full of love, my cup was running over with joy, and I said, “0 mother! Jesus has been good to me, and forgiven all my sins. 0 help me praise him.” Mother embraced me in her arms, and as her warm tears fell upon my face, she shouted, “Blessed Jesus! Blessed Jesus! O he was precious to me when I was but a little girl! and he has now been precious to my dear child, and has taken his hard and stony heart away, and given him a heart to love his dear Savior.” 0, little children, that was a happy moment with your little preacher. That mother is now! in heaven, where she can look upon her precious Jesus without a veil between; and I hope, through the grace of the blessed Jesus, soon to be with her and bask in the sunshine of that; glory forever and ever. And there I hope to; meet these little ones that I am talking to now. You are upon the sea, amidst the storms and tempests of this life, but they can not drown you; but the last billow that shall come will cast you upon the bright and shining shore, where sorrow can never come, where parting will be no more; fears, temptations, and trials will all be over, and God and the Lamb shall be the light of the place.

The saints of all ages in harmony meet,
Their Savior and brethren transported to greet;
While anthems of rapture unceasingly roll,
And the smile of the Lord is the feast of the soul.

This hope is our anchor while tossed by the storms and billows of life, and it is a good hope through grace, that we cannot give up, while in trials and afflictions; we would sink in despair without it. If this hope looked only to this life, and gave no assurance of a better one, we, of all men, would be most miserable; but this glorious hope lifts us up to things above, and gives us courage to bear the trials of time.

When we first received this blessed hope, and our hearts were full of faith and love, like little children, we thought our troubles were over and that we had nothing before us but a smooth sea of peace, joy, and love. I was baptized the second Sunday in May, 1826, with twelve others; and for about two weeks my spiritual sky was clear; not a cloud appeared to cast a shadow over my mind. About this time the brethren and sisters paid my father what they called a pastoral visit; bringing their presents to help him feed and clothe his family, and spending the day in talking about the Savior, and singing his praise. On this occasion many of the young converts were in the company, and one, who was baptized the same day that I was, like me, had been sailing on a smooth sea. In the company was an old Sister Lamb, a mother in Israel, and a great talker. She had been long in the warfare, had passed through many trials and severe battles, and she loved to talk them over, and could tell almost every trial and dark place the Christian would get into. I, but a boy, sat silently, and attentively listened to their conversation; and as they would talk of their trials, doubts, and fears, and shed tears, I would wonder why they felt thus; for I thought if they would look at their experience and hope, they would drive all fears and doubts away. In the evening they all went home, and I walked home with the young sister who was baptized the day I was. We had been raised children together, and were about the same age. As we walked along we were talking about the conversation of the day, and of the troubles and sorrows, doubts and fears, these old Christians seemed to have, and we wondered why they did not look back to their experience and hope, which would certainly drive all their doubts and fears away. Just before we parted I said to her, “I want to make a bargain with you.” “Well, what is it?” said she “If you get into Doubting Castle, and lose all your comforts and joys, you shall come and tell me; and if I get there I will come and tell you.” She agreed to it, and we parted. As I walked home alone I was thinking over the conversation of the day, and the thought struck me: These are all Christians; I have no doubt of it, and especially old Sister Lamb; if you were a Christian you would have the same trials, doubts, and fears that they do; this should satisfy you that you are no Christian, that all with you is a mistake, and you are deceived yourself, and have deceived the church. 0 what a sad boy I was! I went home, but that was a sleepless night. I did not think I was doubting, for I thought it was a settled, plain case that I was no Christian, and was not traveling the road that Christians travel. The next day, according to my promise, I went to see my sister, and tell her my troubles. I found her in her room; her eyes were red with weeping. We both had suffered about the same way through the night, and when we parted we were both weeping in the presence of her mother, who had heard the most of our conversation, and she said to us, “0 my” children, God is teaching you both a good lesson; but you will come out of it like gold that is tried in the fire. I left with a sad heart, but could not comprehend the meaning of her words. Here commenced the warfare with me; and it is not yet ended; and I am sure you are all in the warfare, and love to sit and hear it talked about the balance of this little sermon.

When deliverance comes to the despairing soul, and it is freed from that old conditional system, called gospel by Judaizers and false teachers, and the unconditional promises of the new covenant, the gospel comes with its shalls and wills, and its words of mercy, grace, and pardon to the justly condemned soul, the joy is so great and every thing looks so clear, full, and free, and fully meets all the wants and needs of the poor, guilty, helpless debtor, who had nothing in his hand to bring. He thinks his trials are all ended; the world is under his feet; his fleshly desires and lusts are all subdued; and that his life will now be peace and uninterrupted joy. You would then sing, with a soul full of heavenly ecstasy,

On the wings of his love

I am carried above

All sin, and temptation, and pain;

I cannot believe

that I ever shall grieve,

That I ever shall suffer again.

But it was not long until you felt something like a thorn piercing you, and giving you pain; you turned your eyes within, and began to examine yourself to find what was the matter, and you soon saw that your old enemy still lived in your flesh; that carnal lusts and propensities were still there; they began to pierce and persecute you. Something would whisper in your ears, “Examine yourself, look into your heart, and you will find sin and evil are there yet.”‘ You look down into yourself, and begin to dig and hunt there for some evidences of your Christianity; but the more you hunt, and the deeper you dig, the darker the scene gets; you can find nothing good in the flesh, nothing to build a hope upon. Something within whispers, “You are a poor, deceived mortal; all your joys were visionary, and a delusion; for if you were a child of God all of these vile and sinful propensities would be gone, for he that is born of God sinneth not.” Gloom comes over your mind; fears make you tremble; you try to look back to the time when your load of sin and guilt was removed from your despairing heart, but darkness is there, and you wonder at yourself that you should have had such joy that now seems all a delusion-nothing but a vain fancy. “If I could get my old trouble back I would have some hope; for I could then weep over my sins; but now all feeling seems to be gone; I can not shed a tear, and if I try to pray, vain and foolish thoughts come into my mind which make me tremble and leave the place with a sad heart, feeling that I am not a child of God. I am deceived, and have deceived God’s dear children.” You will now sing, and feel the truth of the words in your soul,

I am a stranger here below,

And what I am ‘tis hard to know;

I am so vile, so prone to sin,

I fear that I’m not born again.

Little children, you are now in the war; the fight has begun, which will last as long as you live in the flesh. You now find a law in your members warring against the law of your mind, and bringing you into captivity to the law of sin, so that you cry, “0 wretched man that I am! Who shall deliver me from the body of this death?” You are now tempted and tossed upon angry billows; your soul is troubled and filled with doubts and fears; the load seems more than you can bear. “0 I am too vile to look up and call God my father and Jesus my brother.”

It is in these temptations, trials, and afflictions you learn to have fellowship for the sufferings of Christ. Your Savior was a man of sorrow and acquainted with grief; he was tempted in all points like as you are, and he has traveled this dark and gloomy road before you.

Little children, it is through seas of tribulation you have to make your pilgrimage here; for it is given you not only to believe on m, but also to suffer for his sake. It is through great tribulation that the ransomed host will reach the shining shore of blessed reality, in robes of spotless white, made white in the blood of the Lamb, and with immortal voices sing, -

Glory be to Christ, the Savior,

Who hath bought us with his blood;

Glory to the blessed Spirit,

Glory to the Mighty God.

These light afflictions, which are but for a moment, are not worthy to be compared with the glory that shall be revealed in us. For it doth not yet appear what we shall be, but when he shall appear we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. When these bodies, that are sown mortal and material, shall be raised immortal and spiritual, and fashioned like the glorious body of our blessed Jesus, we will be satisfied, and live in eternal peace. The body of the sins of the flesh, the old man which is corrupt according to the sinful lusts, will be put off and left behind, so that he can never trouble us any more.

It is our duty now to put him off, to crucify him and put him to death if possible; for he lives in our flesh, and is the enemy of our souls. It is not that we are to commit suicide, and literally kill our bodies, but we are to crucify these evil lusts and propensities, which war against the soul. When our bodies are resurrected immortal and spiritual, and made like the glorious body of Christ, there will be no old man; the immortal soul will enter the body, now made immortal, and it will be the one new man in heaven, and will reign with Christ forever. Some say that the old man is literally our body of flesh; but if that be true, our bodies will never be resurrected, for corruption cannot inherit the kingdom of God. The Christian’s hope would then be delusive, for we hope and wait for “the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.” Again, some say that when Christ died, all the elect or church died in him; when he was buried, they were buried in him; when he was raised from the dead, they all were resurrected with him. If this be true our hopes are all vain and a delusion, for the resurrection is already past, and Paul was mistaken and made a gross blunder, for he says, “But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the first-fruits of them that slept.” “For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. But every man in his own order: Christ the first-fruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming;” (1Co 15:20-23). Thus, in words as plain as language can speak, he teaches that the resurrection of Christ’s people was not at his resurrection, but will be at his coming.

The child of God has enemies without and within; false teachers and seducers will try to destroy his hope of a resurrection of his body, by telling him that the church, or all his elect people were raised when Christ was raised, and that the resurrection is past. “Nevertheless,” says Paul, “the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his.” His internal foes will try to persuade him that he is not a child, that he is too simple and vile. You, dear little ones, to whom I am talking, know all these things; the anointing you have received hath taught you all things, not only in reference to yourselves and your sinful, polluted nature, but the way of salvation through Jesus Christ our Lord. Your warfare will soon be ended, and you made more than conquerors through him that has loved you. 0, you have a Friend that loveth at all times, who will never forsake you but will keep you by his almighty power. His word is true, and he says, “Because I live, ye shall live also.” You need not fear, the victory shall be yours; for, “In the Lord, Jehovah is everlasting strength.” Amen.