INTRODUCTION

In presenting myself before the public in the form of this little book, I have nothing to expect from the worldly-wise but ridicule and contempt. But I am not seeking to please men, but regardless of what men may think or say; I have given in a condensed way what I conscientiously believe to be the teachings of God, as written in His Holy Word, concerning the care of His people here in time. I trust that God in His great mercy to me - a poor sinner - has made me know that there is no confidence to be put in the flesh, seeing the great effort of the modern worldly-wise to lead and cause the children of God to trust in man, or to make flesh their arm. I have felt constrained to go among them with this little book, trusting that God has sent me. In writing I have studied brevity, and have condensed my arguments in every way that I could, merely indicating the arguments that would follow. This I had to do or this little pamphlet would have been a large volume. I hope, dear reader, that God will give you to carefully consider the arguments thus presented.

I would be sorry indeed to know, or to think that I had misrepresented any man's teachings, or beliefs. It is not in my heart to harm anyone, but I would under God's grace be of help to my fellows. For want of space I have not attempted to answer all the objections that I know will be raised against my arguments, but as intimated already, I have nothing to expect from the mere critic, for well do I know that every principle of depraved human nature is arrayed against the doctrine herein advocated. But to God's humble poor I appeal, praying that God will guide you while you search these pages, which I humbly hope He has impressed me to write to you, and that He will go with this little book among His distressed children and bring them back from their wanderings, if it is His will - that they may serve Him, the only true God, and rely upon Him as their only Saviour.

R. H. Boaz

A Poor Sinner

CONDITIONAL TIME SALVATION

PART I

 

In the Holy Scriptures, we find many texts, that, taken by themselves would seem to indicate that man was offered blessings, yea, even eternal life, on conditions to be performed by them, and that these conditions must be complied with, freely of the volition of their own will, because, "There is a way that seemeth right unto a man; but the end thereof are the ways of death." (Proverbs 14:12) Men have ever looked upon those Scriptures believing that they, must stand or fall, be saved or lost, on their own merits or demerits; and upon this seeming right way have been built all the various conditional systems of salvation that have, or does now, exist among men; whether the conditions are supposed to be performed by men before or after regeneration. The Church of God has, in all ages, had to contend with this self-righteous spirit, which is the spirit of anti-Christ, which supposes that God is desirous to bestow the rich blessings of His grace upon the sons and daughters of Adam, but that He cannot, or will not, unless they first become obedient to the supposed terms.

 

Of late years this belief has developed among Primitive Baptists to an alarming extent, that is, that salvation of God's children after regeneration, during this life, depends on their obedience to God's commands. And that their obedience wholly depends upon the volition of the will of the children of God. The advocates of this theory assert that God in regeneration gave His children power to do all of His commands, and promised to bless them, both with temporal and spiritual blessings if they would obey Him, and that these blessings are offered to them through the Gospel. Those that advocate this belief are careful to assert that eternal salvation is entirely of the Lord, but there is a time salvation that is produced, or procured, by our works. Now, I must say that I have not so learned of Christ. The term "Time Salvation" does not occur in the Bible, and why any lover of the truth should so forget himself, as to make a hobby of terms that are not once used by our Heavenly Father in "the record He hath given us of His Son," I cannot tell. The term "Eternal Salvation" occurs once in the Scriptures, and, the way the "Time Salvationists" reason out their theory, it would prove that this eternal salvation was conditioned on obedience, for it reads, "He became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey Him." (Hebrews 5:9) This only appears, however, by leaving out the first clause of the text which reads, "And being made perfect, He became the author of eternal salvation," etc.

 

In Matthew 19:16, it is said that: "One came and said unto Him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do that I may have eternal life?" In verse 17, Jesus answered him, saying, "If thou wilt enter into life keep the commandments." Shall we conclude that Jesus offered this man life if he would keep the commandments, or should we not receive it as a solemn reproof for his vain presumption (and ours), presuming to do something good to entitle one to eternal life? "There is none good but One, that is God." (Matthew 19:17) Then how presumptious and vain for any mortal to suppose they can do something "good" and thus merit God's favors. "A corrupt tree cannot bring forth good fruit." (Matthew 7:18) Then if there is "none good but one," and that is God, He must be the only source of all good. This conditional "Time Salvation" idea as believed and preached by some claiming to be Primitive Baptists, suppose that in regeneration we became the source of good; that we are, by regeneration, made and thus constituted the "good tree" and that we, the good tree, can bring forth good fruit at our own option; but can we not see the absurdity of such a position? A good tree can no more bear corrupt fruit, than a corrupt tree can bear good fruit; the sweet apple tree can no more bear crab apples than the crab tree can bear sweet apples. We know this literally from our own observation, and Jesus teaches it spiritually. In Matthew 7:18, "A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit." It seems to me that if we are the good tree (as some think) that we could do nothing but good. I cannot believe that we are the good tree here spoken of, but that it is "Christ in us the hope of glory." (Colossians 1:27) He is the source of all good works. "Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit, is hewn down and cast into the fire." (Matthew 7:19) Hence, when these trees that bringeth not forth good fruit, sprout up from our old nature (which is self will, self power, self wisdom, self-righteousness and such like), they are hewn down and cast into the fire. Here it seems to me the poor child might learn much. The pruning knife of the husbandman has been applied often in their experience, in cutting off these natural sprouts, which have so disturbed their peace. It is supposed by some that in regeneration we are partakers of the divine nature, and that we at our own option can exercise this nature, to the performing that which is good. But the illustration just given shows the reverse. The tree doesn't exercise its nature, but the nature exercises the tree and shows of what nature it is. Fruit-bearing before or after regeneration doesn't make the tree either good or bad, but only proves what the tree is. Human nature is prone to think that the cause of us doing good - and this conditional teaching cultivates this - lieth in us, and if we will exercise it, that we will receive in return as much, or perhaps more, than we invested. Jesus, in Luke 6:34, says, "if ye lend to them of whom ye hope to receive, what thank have ye; for sinners also lend to sinners to receive as much again." Now if this Time Salvation idea was true, our service to God would be no better than that of sinners. We, like they, would only pretend to serve God, when in fact, we would only serve our own selfish ends. But, says Jesus, in verse 35: "But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great." Now I cannot see how we can do these things in order to the reward and not hope for the reward; and if the reward is the incentive, I can see no difference in our works and that of sinners. In verse 38 of this chapter, Jesus says, "Give and it shall be given unto you in good measure," etc., but if you do this, while hoping for anything in return, you will have failed to obey the command. I would ask, Who can give in order that it may be given to them again, and at the same time not desire that it should be so?

These things to my mind, serve as a solemn reproof to us for our selfishness, and also teaches our helplessness and dependence upon Christ as our only Deliverer, to deliver us from this self-service. In Luke 90:25, we are told that a lawyer tempted Jesus, saying, "Master what shall I do to inherit eternal life?" In verse 26, Jesus said unto him, "what is written in the law? How readeth thou?" And he answering said, "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, etc." In verse 28, Jesus said unto him, "Thou hast answered right, this do and thou shalt live." Now must we believe that Jesus intended to convey the idea that this man had the power to do these things; and that He offered him eternal life on conditions of his doing them? No, but it is a reproof to this man's presumption as is shown in the record which Matthew gave of this in chapter 19:22. If men can do all things that are commanded, and are rewarded for their doing them, it seems clear that this man could have obtained eternal life by his works, and Paul was wrong when he said in Ephesians 2:19 "Not of works lest any man should boast." And when he told Timothy that God had "saved us and called us, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began." (II Timothy 1:9) In Luke 12:8-9, Jesus says, "Also I say unto you, whosoever shall confess me before men, him shall the Son of Man also confess before the angels of God." "But he that denieth Me before men shall be denied before the angels of God." Our Time Salvationists, tells us that this "confession" is left entirely with us - that we can confess Him at our option; that it all depends upon the volition of our will. It seems to me that Peter once had this view of it also when he said, "I will lay down my life for Thy sake." (John 13:37) But Jesus answered him in verse 38, "Verily, verily, I say unto thee, the cock shall not crow, till thou hast denied me thrice." And in Luke 22:32, "And when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren." Peter at this time doubtless believed, as some are now teaching, that he had the ability to keep himself, and he felt determined to exercise this power, let others do as they may; "I can, and will lay down my life for Him; I will never deny Him." Thus his proud nature boasted of his power, as any other poor fallible mortal will do when nature asserts itself. But when he was converted he was cured of all this vain boasting. In his writings to his brethren after this he is very careful to guard against this boasting, and praises "the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to His abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead," telling them that he and they "are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time." (I Peter 1:3-5) Again, it seems to me that if we receive ability in regeneration (as some say) to do all things commanded, then Jesus would not have converted Peter from the belief of it, and that had not Peter been converted, he would have remained a conditionalist and never said that God's children are kept by the power of God.

 

It is wrong and very sinful for God's children to deny Christ. We should confess Him in every thing; in our prosperity, and in our adversity, in our rejoicing; and in our sorrows, as our beginning and ending, as being Head over all things to the church, etc. But who, but a proud Pharisee would dare to assert that we can do this at our own option? Every doubt, every fear, that so distresses us, is a denial of Jesus. Who can avoid them? These "Time Salvationists" say we can by confessing Jesus before men. But Solomon says, "The preparations of the heart in man, and the answer of the tongue, is from the Lord." (Proverbs 16:1) This Time Salvation idea says, that the Lord prepares the heart in regeneration, but the answer of the tongue is our work, and this work depends upon us, so that we can give expression of this work at our option. The Apostle said in I Corinthians 12:3, "Wherefore I give you to understand, that no man speaking by the Spirit of God calleth Jesus accursed, and no man can say that Jesus is Lord but by the Holy Ghost." Then how vain and sinful it must be for those to be saying we can, when Jesus has forbidden such boasting. In Luke 12:11-12, "Take ye no thought how or what thing ye shall answer, or what ye shall say, for the Holy Ghost shall teach you in the same hour what ye ought to say." And, "For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you." (Matthew 10:20) If all this be true, which it is, the "confession before men" is not a voluntary act of the creature, but is the work of the Spirit of God, wrought in them, which when at work never fails - for God "shall not fail." "Being confident of this very thing, that He which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ." (Philippians 1:6) Paul was confident, that God, who began the work would perfect it. God after regeneration leads His children to Christ; causes them to acknowledge Him as their only Saviour, and Jesus positively says, "No man can come to Me (whether saint or sinner, no man can come) except the Father which hath sent Me draw him." (John 6:44) Then how sinful it must be, for men to boast of their powers to do, or not to do, and to represent God as trying to get, and offering to hire His children to serve Him! When I see an earthly parent try to get his child to obey him I pity him, for I know that such a parent is deficient somewhere; or if I see them offer to hire the child to obey, I am sorry for them, for it teaches the child to serve his own selfishness and there is no better way to spoil children. If we were perfect, as our Father in Heaven is perfect, we would not thus deal with our children. Conditionalists teach that Peter in Acts 2:38 offered the "Gift of the Holy Ghost" to the people, on conditions that they "repent and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ." Now if this is true, it appears to me that the Holy Ghost would be a commodity of exchange, to be received by us in exchange for our works, and that Simon was not so far wrong when he "thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money!" (Acts 8:20) But Peter did not offer to exchange the Holy Ghost with them for their works, but reminded them that the "Promise (of the Holy Ghost) was to them, and their children, and to all that are far off, even to as many as the Lord our God shall call;" (Acts 2:39) thus he bases the giving, or the gift, of the Holy Ghost as a sovereign act of God. In Acts 10:45 we are told that "on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost," and this was before they were baptized, as you can see in the same chapter; hence the gift of the Holy Ghost, is not procured in "time salvation," nor secured to the child of God by his obedience. It is a free gift, as all other Heavenly blessings are, flowing unto us for what Jesus, "our Righteousness," hath done for us.

 

This conditional idea, it seems to me, would represent the office of the Holy Spirit, as taking of what we did and showing it unto Jesus, instead of His taking of what Jesus did and showing it unto us; it makes the cause of us receiving blessings, to lie in what we do, instead of its being in what Jesus has done for us, and is still doing for us. I can hardly conceive of a doctrine that is more dishonoring to God, or more trying to the peace of God's children. It denies God's righteousness being sufficient for His children, but recommends that they must stand in their own righteousness. This mode of reasoning would lead to the belief that we only have a resurrection from the grave to life by doing good. "For the hour is coming in the which they 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." (John 5:28-29) If Paul, in Romans 8:13, meant that God's children can procure, or retain life by works, why did not Jesus mean that the resurrection from the grave depends upon our works, the language is as strong in the one text as the other, when He says, "They that have done good." "If ye ... mortify the deeds of the body," said Paul, "ye shall live." Now it seems to me that if the Apostle hinges the "life we now live," (Gal. 2:20) upon works to be performed by us, that Jesus does also the resurrection to life. I would ask here, then, where is the poor sinner that has seen himself as such that can afford to believe either? But Paul is not teaching that the life that we now live, in time, depends upon our works, but that it depends upon Christ to bring us forth from a dead state in nature to a life in Himself. Listen how he reasons on this: "So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God." "But ye are not in the flesh, but in the spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwells in you," (Romans 8:9) "and if Christ be in you the body (flesh) is dead because of sin;" sin has incapacitated the body, or flesh. The body is dead because of sin, and is not from works of righteousness. "But the spirit is life, because of Righteousness." (vs. 10) Life gives actions, and the spirit is this life. Action does not produce life, but is an evidence of it. Whose spirit is it that is "life"? Is it yours? If so, would it not follow that it was life because of your own righteousness? What child of Grace can afford to believe this? But it is not your spirit, but Christ's spirit. "If Christ be in you," says the Apostle in verse 10. There is no spiritual or divine life in you, only the life of Christ, "For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God, when Christ who is our life shall appear." (Col. 3:3,4) Christ is our life, and from Him flow all our spiritual works. Works that emanate from the flesh, are works of death - "works of the flesh." "The body is dead because of sin."(Romans 8:10) And so, the body is utterly unable to do works of righteousness either before or after regeneration - "that which is of the flesh is flesh," - but it is Christ that works in His people, - works His righteousness in them. This the Apostle teaches when he says of Christ, who "of God is made unto us wisdom and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption." (I Cor. 1:30) Not that He was made such unto us in regeneration, but "is made." "Time" salvationists would teach us that we can make Jesus thus to us by our works, and we try it very often, but it proves to be the work of death, of the body which is dead. If the Apostle means by the words, "If you, through the spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live;" (Romans 8: 13) that we must take the Spirit, as an instrument to do this work, and that the work is entirely ours (as some are already teaching), then it would be a dead body performing a living act, and not only so, but the life would be dependent upon death for action! The Apostle explains this in Galatians 2:20, saying, "I am crucified with Christ, nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me;" hence it is Christ's life, not Paul's. Paul was "dead because of sin;" "and the life which I now live, in the flesh," says he, "I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave Himself for me." Then, in anticipation of the objection that would certainly come against his reasoning, he adds in verse 21: "I do not frustrate the grace of God; for if righteousness (come) by the law, then is Christ dead in vain," Did you observe that he said if righteousness come by the law? Not if eternal life, or regeneration, but "if righteousness." He reasons further on this, "If' says he, "there had been a law given which could have given life, verily righteousness should have been by the law." (Gal. 3:21) Now before this "Conditional Time Salvation" theory can be true, it must be true that there was indeed a law given that could give life and righteousness. Paul clearly makes that point. These Galatians were affected with this error. The Apostle asked them, "Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?" (Galatians 3:3) They acknowledged that it was the Spirit that gave life, and that regeneration was the Spirit's sovereign work, but that righteousness was the result of their will in keeping the law. The Apostle assures them that this belief is foolish. If they began in the Spirit, then it is foolish to believe that they are now made perfect by the flesh. If conditional time salvation is true, it seems that the Apostle's entire argument in his letter to the Galatians is out of place. To my mind he is contending against the very idea now being advanced by todays Conditionalists that have come among us. The full Arminian doesn't believe they began with the Spirit, but the beginning is to them the sinner's work; and that they must work up to the Spirit; hence the Apostle could not have meant them. He could only have meant those who believe that regeneration, or the beginning, is the work of the Spirit, and after this, justification depends upon righteousness, which these Conditionalists say comes by their own obedience to God's command (law). The law, they affirm, we have power to do. If this conditional idea is true, what will we do with the following Scriptures: "In the Lord have I righteousness;" (Isaiah 45:24) "Their righteousness is of Me, saith the Lord;" (Isaiah 54:17) "He hath covered me with the robe of righteousness." (Isaiah 61:10) "If righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain." These do not say anything about eternal life, eternal salvation, or regeneration, but that "our righteousness" is of Him, (both in regeneration and afterwards). If any of God's children have works of righteousness, whence came they? Of their own volitions, or of the workings of God's Spirit in them? (Phil.2:13) What are good works? Are they not, as the Scripture affirms, "Love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance"? Paul says these are the fruit of the Spirit, (Galatians 5:22,23) not the fruit of the will of the flesh, but of the "Spirit of Him that raised up Christ from the dead, that dwells in you."

 

How vain then for us to boast what we can do, and how much depends on our doing! I think it blasphemy for men to speak of the infinite God being dependent upon His children for works of righteousness. "Lord, Thou wilt ordain peace for us, for Thou hath wrought ALL OUR WORKS IN US." (Isaiah 26:12) He did not work just a part of them in us, but rather, all our (righteous) works. Not that He tries to get us to work them, but He hath wrought them. With this view, Paul (who was schooled in the law) could write, "For it is God which worketh IN you, both to will and to do of His good pleasure." Not, which worked in you in regeneration and then left the "willing" and "doing" up to you, but worketh now; not for you to do as you please, but to do His good pleasure. (Phil. 2:12,13) He is the good tree that produces the good fruit. All other fruits are evil, being of the flesh, the corrupt tree, which was corrupted by the enemy of God, in the garden. Hence they that have done good unto the resurrection of life, who is it of? Men that have done good? David says, "There is none that doeth good, no not one." (Psalm 14:3) Paul repeated it in Romans 3:12. So it was in David's time, as in Paul's, there were none that did good, notwithstanding there were many living that had been regenerated. Paul said, "How to perform that which is good I find not." (Romans 7:18) And he wrote to his brethren at Galatia that they were in a condition that they could not "do," 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." (Galatians 5:17) What pride for men to boast that they could do if they would? David acknowledged his inability to keep the commandments "to do", and mourned over it, saying, "0 that my ways were directed to keep Thy statutes." (Psalm 119:5) This was after he was regenerated too, and in verses 25,37,40, and 88, he prays for quickening grace; "quicken me after Thy lovingkindness, so shall I keep the testimony of Thy mouth." David did not believe that his quickening depended on his keeping God's testimony, but rather the keeping of the testimony depended on the quickening. He also believed that keeping the testimony was sure to follow the quickening. "So shall I keep the testimony of Thy mouth" was his sentiment; hence the keeping did not depend upon David, but it depended upon the quickening.

 

Thus David agrees with Paul, when he said, "But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace which was bestowed upon me, was not in vain, but I labored more abundantly than they all; yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me." (I Cor. 15:10) He labored, yet it was not him, it was grace that wrought. The same Apostle says, "For we know not what we should pray for as we ought; but the spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered." (Romans 8:26) We are apt to think that Paul meant that the unregenerated know not how to pray, but this is not his meaning, for he is writing to the church of Rome, and placing himself with them, says, "We know not what we should pray for as we ought." Now if my "time" salvation, so-called, depends upon my praying, it must be that I must pray right or as I "ought," and if I "know not how" to do this, pray tell me how I can expect to obtain it? But the Apostle did not believe this. He did not believe that praying was our work but that it was a work of God wrought in us, as children of God. "But the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us, with groanings which cannot be uttered." Prayer is a blessing, not a condition depending upon us. We are wholly dependent upon God in prayer. I would ask here, if the "Spirit maketh intercession for us with groanings" can we avoid it, or fail to pray? It seems to me that the experience of God's children, of those who have experience, is that they pray because they cannot avoid it; they are entirely stripped of confidence in themselves, and are forced, at our option, lay hold of Jesus and perform works with Him! This would make Jesus a mere tool laying around dependent upon us. No child of God would dare think so of him, but it does mean that of ourselves we can do nothing spiritual or good. Hence, every spiritual work or emotion of the soul is the work of Jesus, wrought in us by the Holy Spirit. Therefore, Jeremiah could say, "This is the name whereby He shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS (Jer. 23:6) "And this righteousness IS OF ME, saith the Lord." (Isa. 54:17)

Part II

JESUS IS OUR LIFE

It is in Jesus "that we live and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, for we are also His offspring." (Acts 17:28) And it is after regeneration that we do live, and move, and have our being spiritually. Christ is not only the life of the church - His body - but He gives action to the body, working righteousness in us. "We are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousness are as filthy rages." (Isaiah 64:6) Thus, the prophet describes us after regeneration, for he, at the time he wrote was born of God. 0, how corrupt are our works! The best thing we ever did is as a filthy rag! Not the best thing that Christ hath done in us, but the best we ever did, before or after regeneration. This filthiness was not wrought in us by Christ, as these Conditionalists accuse me of believing, but is the fruit of our nature which is corrupt, and can only bring forth evil fruit. But when we, by faith, (not by works, you will observe) abide in Jesus, our works are pure because they are works wrought by Him in us. "It is God that worketh IN you both to will and to do of His good pleasure." (Phil. 2:13) Jesus "is of God made unto us wisdom and righteousness and sanctification and redemption, that as it is written, he that glorieth let him glory in the Lord." (I Cor. 1:30-31) This work goes on after regeneration, for you will notice that the Apostle said, "is made," not "was made" in regeneration, and you will observe also that this making "is of God," not of us. If, as some claim, that we can make Christ thus unto ourselves by our obedience, (which is clearly blasphemy) then we could, and indeed would boast as some are now doing - boasting of what they have done and can do. This working in us both to will and to do is after regeneration, and not as some are advocating, that God blessed us with eternal salvation, but left the working out of a "time" salvation in our own hands by our own will. This would give good cause for boasting if it were true. The Apostle found this boastful disposition among the brethren at Corinth and reproves them for it. Listen, "For who maketh thee to differ from another? And what hath thou that thou didst not receive? Now if thou didst receive it, why dost thou glory, as if thou hadst not received it?" - or, as if you had earned it. (I Cor. 4: 7) This would embrace every good trait that any of those Corinthians may have possessed, and Paul teaches that they are all gifts, and that they should not be puffed up for one against another. (verse 6) The saints at Ephesus were exposed to the same error, hence this language from the Apostle to them, "By grace are ye saved, through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God," "Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus, unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them." (Eph.2:8-10) Notice the text doesn't say for by grace ye were regenerated or have "eternal life," or by grace you were saved, but "by grace YE ARE saved." Salvation is not of works, if so, men would boast. He gives the reason why salvation is not, nor ever can be, of works, "For we are His workmanship created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained, that we should walk in them." He teaches here that the good works are in Christ Jesus, and that God hath ordained that we shall walk in them. Now we know that this walking is after regeneration, therefore "conditional time salvation" as now being taught by some is not the truth.

Some seem to think that the Apostle meant here, that God had established a line of good works for His children to walk in, and then left the walking entirely with the child; and that if they walk in "obedience" they will be saved. If this be true, the Apostle should have said, "for by works are ye saved." But this is not what the text teaches, but that the good works are in Jesus, and the child of God can walk nowhere else. We may try to walk in our own works, but we shall fail.

 

The child of God cannot walk in his own works; he can walk only in the finished work of Jesus, and this is not a voluntary act, but God has ordained it, hence the prophet could say, "The redeemed of the Lord shall walk there." (Isaiah 35:9) Shall walk where? On this, or in this way, and this way is Christ. "And a highway shall be there, and a way, and it shall be called the way of Holiness." (verse 8) Hence, the only way of Holiness that God's children can walk is to walk in Christ, not in themselves? They often try to walk in themselves, but they only stumble and fall; but when walking in this "way" the works of Christ do manifest themselves in their walk. But, says some one, Jesus said, "Come unto Me all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest." (Matt. 11:28) Well, does this not mean that the coming is entirely of us? No; that idea is directly opposite to what Jesus taught here. It says that "rest" is given to us when Jesus calls us away from self to Him. How any poor, laboring, troubled child of God can believe that he has the power to go to Jesus and get rest at his own option I am unable to tell. If you have the power to go, why do you stay away in sorrow so long? Have you not tried to get rest and failed? Why do you do this if you have the power to go to Jesus and get rest? Do you prefer labor and sorrow to rest and peace? Surely not. Such is not the experience of twice-born souls. Jesus never taught that God's children had power to come to Him by their works, or any other way. But He did teach that they have not the power. "No man can come unto me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him." (John 6:44) "No man," it doesn't matter whether he has been regenerated or not. Elder Kirkland, in his editorials tries to escape here, by claiming that Jesus in this text alluded to coming to Him in regeneration. Now this could not have been His meaning, because in regeneration there is no coming to Jesus, but Jesus goes to the dead sinner, and regeneration is an instantaneous work, while coming is not. Jesus taught our entire dependence upon God for our coming and our rest also; hence Paul could say, "Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ." (Romans 5:1) You will observe that we have peace through our Lord Jesus Christ; not through our works, as some now advocate. Here is the coming to Jesus, being drawn there by the Father, by faith, and made to rest from our works, and enjoy sweet peace through what Jesus has done, and is still doing for us as we are made to "sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus." (Eph. 2:6) Being clothed upon with His righteousness, we are for a moment made to stand and rejoice and glory in the Lord.

 

Part III

OF FOREKNOWLEDGE

 

If "conditional time salvation" is true, I cannot see how it can be that God foreknew all things. The Baptists have never had any trouble before in deciding that the Arminian, in their teaching of an offered salvation to sinners on conditions to be performed by them destroys foreknowledge. We could see very plainly that if salvation is offered to all sinners, upon conditions that they must obey the Gospel, and that their obedience depended upon the freedom of their will, that God could not know whether any or all sinners would be saved. Baptists have held that foreknowledge can only be upon the principle of the fixedness, or unchangeableness (immutability) of the thing foreknown, that if it were possible for a thing to be either of two different ways at the option of the thing, that there would be no way to determine how, or which way the event would be beforehand; that this could only be determined by the thing itself at the time it actually takes place. Hence, foreknowledge, from an Arminian standpoint, could not be true. If we have been correct throughout our past in this conclusion, which I believe we have been, then it follows that the same conclusion must be reached from this offered "time" salvation that is now being preached. For if God has offered His children timely blessings or salvation during this life, on conditions, and these conditions are to be complied with, at their own option, it occurs to me that there is no way possible to determine if one, or any of them will reach the blessings until they have acted. It will not do for us to say that God offered His child salvation on conditions, and made an effort through the ministry or otherwise to get him to accept the condition when He knew before He did this, that the child would not accept it. This would be charging God with folly and would also impeach His Almighty power. Every reasonable mind will admit that foreknowledge is as absolutely certain as knowledge after the fact, and they, will also admit that anything that can be either of two ways at the option of the creature, makes it uncertain as to how the outcome will be. In the Scriptures we find many commands written, but must we conclude that God gave those commands to try an experiment, not knowing what the result would be? Or, should we not believe that He had a specific purpose in every word that He spoke, or caused His servants to speak? If we say that He had a purpose in His speaking, will we then say that He did not know whether His purpose would be fulfilled or not? We are bound to say it, if "time salvation" as is now being taught by some is true. How does the following sound in the heart of you who believe God has a purpose in all that He does, and foreknows the results? "How many souls have hungered for the word you were impressed and gifted to speak? How many hearts have longed for the comfort that you were impressed to write in an article to your family paper? How many brethren have stumbled for want of the light you have smothered under the garments of your disobedience?" - Elder Kirkland in A. B.

Now, may I ask in this connection how long has it been that the Baptists of this country would have suffered such glaring blasphemy as the above to pass without rebuke? God has impressed and gifted His ministers to feed His children and they won't do it? God is disappointed and the children have to go hungry? There is no escape here; this is the legitimate conclusion. If God calls and qualifies a man to feed one of His children and he doesn't do it, God has made a mistake and is disappointed in His man, and His foreknowledge, His wisdom, His purpose and His power is defeated. How does such teaching harmonize with the teachings of the Arminians? How does such teaching harmonize with the following Scriptures: "For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater; so shall My word be that goeth forth out of My mouth; it shall not return unto Me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereunto I sent it." (Isaiah 55:10-11) Did God send His word unto a preacher with the view of feeding His hungry children and it return to Him void, or fail to do that He pleased? Who but a proud blasphemer would say so?

 

If we say that God foreknows all things, shall we not say that when He calls a man to preach, that He knows that He will comfort each one of His children, without a possibility of a failure, through this man's preaching? If not, He does not foreknow all things. Again, "known unto God are all His works from the beginning of the world." (Acts 15:18) Will we say that God knew from the beginning of the world that He would feed William through John's preaching, but John would not do the preaching, and William had to go without being fed? This is what this "conditional time salvation" theory says. It makes everything touching the happiness or comfort of the child of God, from regeneration to the grave uncertain; first, it depends on the feeble willingness of the preachers to preach, and then the willingness of the hearer to obey the preaching, and God does not know what the result will be until the trial is made! It represents God as depending upon men for His action, not knowing what He will do until men have acted. Such thoughts are too sickening to those whose hope is in the Lord. Paul did not believe it, but he believed that "the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ hath blessed (past tense) us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ, according as He hath chosen us in Him before the foundation of the world." (Ephesians 1:3,4) Peter testifies to the same, saying, "According as His divine power, (not the preacher's power) hath given unto us all things that pertains unto life and godliness through the knowledge of Him that hath called us to glory and virtue (good works)." (II Peter 1:3) Not through the knowledge of our works of merit. Hungerings and thirstings, sorrows and disappointments are also things that pertain to life. "For unto you it is given on the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on Him, but also to suffer for His sake." (Phil. 1:29) What! says one; do you believe that suffering is a gift unto us? Yes. That is what the text says and we want to believe the Bible, for we have experienced it. But this "time salvation" idea denies it. It says that we can avoid it by our obedience, and can live happily during this life! But Paul didn't believe such. He believed that we were appointed unto afflictions. "For ye yourselves know that we are appointed thereunto. For verily, when we were with you, we told you before that we should suffer tribulation; even as it came to pass, and ye know it." (I Thess. 3: 3-4) The Lord told Ananias that he would teach Paul the truth of this, saying, "For I will show him how great things he MUST suffer for My name's sake." (Acts 9:16) We "suffer reproach because we trust in the living God;" not because we were disobedient! All our sufferings must have been embraced in God's foreknowledge and are ordained to our good. Paul must have had this in view when writing to the church at Rome: "He that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the spirit, because He maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God. And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose." (Romans 8:2728) With this view the Apostle could say, "But we glory in tribulations also, knowing that tribulation worketh patience," etc. (Romans 5:3) Therefore we conclude that God comprehended in His foreknowledge, all our tribulation, whether they be caused by reproaches heaped upon us from those that are without, or false brethren, or the besettings of our own sins, all were known of God before the world began, and He causes them all, ultimately, to work together for our good. "So then it is not of him that willeth nor of him that runneth, but of God that showeth mercy." (Romans 9:16) Hence our salvation "in time" is of God.

Part IV

OF BELIEF

"That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shall believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation." (Romans 10:9-10) This Scripture by itself would seem to teach that belief was a voluntary acts of ours, and a condition to salvation. But God's children have learned by experience that they cannot believe in their heart until belief is in their heart, and further they have learned that they have not the power to make belief in their heart at their own option, and because of this they often conclude they are not a child of God; hence their sorrows. 0 that I could believe once more that Christ is the end of the law for righteousness for me, is almost the daily cry of the poor child. Every one knows that it is impossible for anyone to believe anything without evidence and that with the evidence, it is impossible to disbelieve. If belief is our work, produced by us, at our option, even after regeneration, then unbelief must produce belief, for until we do believe we are in a state of unbelief. This would be a corrupt tree, bringing forth good fruit, which Jesus says cannot be; unbelief does not, nor cannot produce belief. But do we never believe? Yes. How then? It is "according to the working of His (God's) mighty power." (Ephesians 1: 19) You will notice that we believe according to the working of God's mighty power. If I read the Bible which gives an account of the work of God wrought in Christ when He raised Him from the dead, and because of the power vested in me in regeneration, I believe, then I would not be believing according to the working of God's mighty power, but would believe according to my power. Belief is irresistible; it is produced in us by the working of God's power. It is a gift, "For unto you it is given, in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on Him." (Phil. 1:29) And when given, it drives out unbelief and sets the captive free. "For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world, and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith." (I John 5:4) Faith is here used in the sense of belief, and John says that it overcometh the world; that it is born of God. It overcomes all opposition, it drives out unbelief. And the poor child is delighted, not with anything he has done in producing this, but with what Jesus hath done in him; and is still doing for him. He believes now in his heart because belief is in his heart. He doesn't believe in order to get belief in his heart, but because faith is in his heart, and he is thereby saved. We should remember that faith never precedes, but follows after regeneration. The children of God are often groping in the darkness, until faith comes to them and makes them believe or trust in Christ; but in their wanderings in the dark, how piteously do they cry! What do they cry for if they have power to believe? If they could believe, they would turn their sorrow to joy; but they cannot until the Holy Spirit takes of Jesus' righteousness and shows it unto them. (John 16:15) Jesus is thus "of God made unto us wisdom and righteousness, sanctification and redemption," etc. If "time salvation" depended upon us, it would be of us that He would be made thus. When in this darkened state of unbelief, we may read the Bible, hear preaching, and try to pray, but all these things fail to bring relief until we are to the brink of despair, and we cry, "Lord, save me, or I perish," as did Peter. (Matt. 14:30) All our confidence in self power is gone, and it is here then that Jesus puts in His appearance and works belief in us. "This is the work of God that ye believe on Him whom He hath sent." (John 6:29) Belief is enjoined in the Scriptures, and unbelief is very sinful and God reproves it, but because this is so, it is no reason to believe that we can believe at our option. In Matthew 5:48, we read, "Be ye perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect." Here Jesus enjoins perfection; but who, but a fanatic, believes that they have or can obey this injunction or command? If God's children have power to obey all His commands at their own option, then sinless perfection can be reached in this life! There are moments that God's children experience sinless perfection, but not by their work, but by the work of Christ. "Being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus." (Romans 3:24) "Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ." (Romans 5:1) Not through our works, you will observe. This God does for us, and when we experience this we are perfect, we are justified, and made clear of the condemnation of sin. This is not done by us, but God did it for us, and we receive it by faith. "For by one offering, He hath perfected forever them that are sanctified." (Heb. 10:14) And we are made to enjoy this perfection "by faith" which is also the "gift of God." (Ephesians 2:8) Therefore salvation is not of us, neither in "time" nor eternity, for "salvation is of the Lord." (Jonah 2:9).

Part V

OF REPENTANCE

The prophets, John the Baptist, the Lord Himself, and the apostles all taught the doctrine of repentance. Now, if we are to believe that repentance, which is in "time," is a work to be performed by us, after regeneration, at our own option, and that God has promised to bless us on the condition that we perform this work, at our own option, as this Time Salvationists group teaches, then it seems to me that God has offered to hire His children to serve Him, and the devil was not so far wrong when he thought Job was serving God for hire. (Job 1:9) It is indeed wrong and very sinful for men, whether they be regenerated or not, to persist in sin and rebellion against God. According to the perception of the law they should quit it and repent of their sins. But because this is so, shall we conclude that God has left this matter with His children to do or not to do as they may determine? Or as an effort on His part has He offered to hire us to repent? I know that these Time Salvation advocates deny that this new system offers to hire God's children to serve Him. So do the Arminians deny that their teachings offer to hire men to serve God, but Spirit-taught Baptists can see very plainly that it does. Now, if repentance is entirely our work, left up to us to do, as the advocates of the conditional time salvation theory teach and prove by boastfully asserting that God is not going to repent for you; I say, if this be so, and God has promised that He will bless us if we will do this work, then it is clear to me that repentance would be the price charged for the blessing. If I offer a man one dollar to work for me one hour, then the hour's work would be the value of the dollar. Anyone should be able to see this; and should the man accept of my offer, I would have hired him to serve me. Some have tried to escape this by saying that it is not for, but in doing we are blessed. This is a vain effort, from a conditional standpoint. For if God has promised to bless me on conditions that I do a thing, and I do that thing, I, by the doing of it procure the blessing; and the Apostle was wrong when he said, "The just shall live by faith;" (Galatians 3:2); for they would have to live by works. And Peter was wrong when he said that God had given us all things that pertain to life and godliness, and this life is eternal life. (II Peter 1:3) The "time salvation" idea, says that all things that pertain to eternal life hereafter are gifts, but things that pertain to our spiritual life here, after regeneration, and the godliness that is manifested in us are not gifts, but are purchased by our works. Repentance pertains to life, and also godliness, and Peter said God gave it to us, not through our meritorious efforts, but through the knowledge of Him who hath called us to glory and virtue." Repentance is a step towards virtue, and God called us to virtue; not part of the way. Hence repentance is the work of God wrought in us. Jesus said to His disciples, "That repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name," (Luke 24:47) and it is recorded that "He hath also granted repentance unto the Gentiles." (Acts 11:18) If we say that repentance is a work of the child of God, depending alone upon the freedom of his own will, we would be preaching it in the name of the child of God. Peter, true to the teachings of his Lord preached it in the name of Jesus. Hear him, "Him hath God exalted with His right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins." (Acts 5:31) No conditionalism here; no "time" salvation wrought by the child's own option; but rather it is an unconditional gift of God. Israel are those that have been circumcised or born again, and Peter says that Jesus gives them repentance. Paul also preached that it was a gift, and so taught Timothy to be "in meekness instructing those that opposes themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth." (II Tim. 2:25) Repentance is a grace worked by godly sorrow for sin. Who can believe that godly sorrow, or any other sorrow, is a voluntary act of ours? It is a spiritual blessing and God hath blessed us with it in Christ. But if we say that repentance is more than sorrow, that it is a turning away from sin, then I am sure that "godly sorrow" must work it (II Cor. 7:10), which shows that it is a fruit wrought in us, not by us. "Turn thou me, and I shall be turned, for Thou are the Lord my God; surely after I was turned I repented, and after I was instructed I smote upon my thigh for I was ashamed." (Jer. 31:18-19) Again, no conditionally worked "time" salvation here! This was doubtless after Ephraim was regenerated that the prophet heard him thus bemoaning himself. Ephraim evidently believed that it was God's work to bring him to repentance and this by first turning him to it. The angel declared in Matthew 1:21, that "Thou shalt call His name Jesus, for He shall save His people from their sins." Not merely save them from the penalty due them for their sins, but from their sins here in this world also. Are we any less "His people" after regeneration than we were before? Then shall we say that He does this saving by merely letting us come out from our sins by repentance if we choose to? That would be ourselves saving ourselves by coming out of sin. Well, but, says one, "Peter said, Save yourselves from this untoward generation." (Acts 2:40) Yes; but we should remember that Peter was preaching when he said this, and Paul says that, "It pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe." (I Cor. 1:21) It pleased God to do the saving, though it was done through Peter's preaching, and Peter's preaching was not a voluntary act, but Spirit moved and directed. "And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost and began to speak with other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance." (Acts 2:4) Peter preached because the Spirit gave him utterance. Can a man truly, spiritually, preach the Gospel except the Spirit gives him utterance, and if the Spirit gives him utterance, will he fail to preach?

So, then, the preaching, the repentance, and the experienced salvation are all of God. "I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase." (I Cor.3:6) Peter believed this, for he said, "Neither is there salvation in any other; for there is none other name under heaven given among men whereby we must be saved." (Acts 4:12) Did you notice, whereby we must be saved; not was saved, but must be; not as unregenerate sinners, but "we" - the children of God here in time. Therefore this conditional time salvation cannot be true.

I know that some claiming to be Baptists are boasting that they can preach or let it alone as they choose, but these men, if you will notice, spend most of their time in what they call preaching in telling of the wonderful works of men, their own abilities, and what God "wants" men to do, and what God would but do for them if men would but work harder, if men would obey Him, and how much the growth of the church depends upon the work of men, and of how the happiness of the children of God depends mostly upon the preacher and their own good works, etc. Hence, these preachers that can preach or let it alone if they please, have never preached, cannot preach, nor ever will preach, until God calls and qualifies them to do so.

They call this duty preaching the Gospel? Now, I admit that such preaching as the above men can do or leave off doing is the only kind of preaching they can do of themselves because this is the language of those who are laboring under the law of sin and death; but when one begins to speak as the Spirit gives him utterance, he preaches quite differently. "We do hear them speak in our own tongue the wonderful works of God." 0 how this delights the poor trembling child! "The wonderful works of God." They speak of how the Lord "led Jacob about and instructed him," (Deut 32:10) after he was regenerated.

They don't stop to tell of how much depended upon Jacob's corroborating in the work, but indicate that it was all God's work. We hear them in our tongue say, "Salvation is of the Lord." (Jonah 2:9) You never hear them telling how Jonah could have kept out of the fish's belly, for he is already in. Neither do they indicate that Jonah could come out of himself - for if he could have, he would have; and if he had, he would have drowned, but they dwell much on the wonderful work of God in thus preserving Jonah and delivering him at last, and that he did preach, and God made him preach, though Jonah had tried to avoid it. You never hear one of God's ministers trying to prove that Jonah disobeyed Him. They often speak of being so low in their feelings that they have affirmed that "I will not make mention of Him, nor speak any more in His name," but relate how "His word was in mine heart as a burning fire shut up in my bones, and I was weary with forbearing, and I could not stay." (Jer. 20:9) They speak of the ministers being made obedient by this "burning fire" which consumes his rebellion, and that they were "made" willing in the "day of God's power." They assert that God is never disappointed, that when He calls a man to preach, that he will preach when, where, and what God designed he should; that God "worketh all things" - not part of them - "after the counsel of His own will," [Ephesians 1:11] that "He speaks and it is done; He commands and it stands fast."

They declare with great plainness that we, after regeneration, are dependent upon God for our obedience, "For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of His own good pleasure," (Phil. 2:13); that when God said through Peter, "Save yourselves from this untoward generation" that He "wrought with the Word" their obedience, and therefore all that "were ordained to eternal life believed," (Acts 13:48) and that His Word did not "return unto Him void, but it accomplished that He pleased." (Isaiah 15:11) When the Spirit gives them utterance, they insist that repentance is the gift of God, and that this gift is bestowed upon the living; that the living have not the power to produce it, but Jesus gives it to His children, to "Israel." Hence, conditional time salvation cannot be the truth.

Part VI

OF THE GOSPEL

Some speak of the Gospel as if it were a bundle of propositions, or offers, in which God offers to exchange His grace and blessings with His children for their works of obedience. Hence they tell us God has promised on His part to bless us with a good conscience and ease of mind if we will do our duty and if we will work diligently enough we will grow and reap a rich harvest, etc., but it all depends on us, in how and if we accept the proposition. Now they call this Gospel? Paul would have been ashamed of this kind of Gospel, but he said he was not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth." (Romans 1:16)

Did you notice that he said, "unto salvation to every one that believeth?" Not to every one if they will believe it. Who is it that believeth? Those that are born again. To those then it is the power of God, and it is unto salvation, mark you; it is not an offer of salvation. Nor is it their power, but it is God's power, and it is unto salvation, and all of this salvation is after regeneration. Now, anything that falls short of this, that is, of God's power and salvation, is not the Gospel, but it is at its best, a perverted gospel. In the 17th verse of this chapter the Apostle explains how this is: "For therein is the righteousness of God reveal from faith to faith." Notice, not the righteousness of the believer, but the righteousness of God; not from faith for works, but from faith to faith. As it is written, the just shall live by faith. You will notice here that the just do not live by works, but by faith, by this revelation which God makes, revealing the righteousness of God. 0 how this delights the poor trembling saint when this righteousness is revealed. This is indeed good news to the poor hungering, thirsting soul, but would it be good news to the poor starving soul in a desert land to tell him to go to work and earn his time salvation blessings; to "build ye cisterns for water?" No, indeed; this is what they have been trying to do, but the bread they received "satisfieth not." "Being ignorant of God's righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves to the righteousness of God." (Romans 10:3) This every child of grace will testify has been his course, in the absence of the Lord, ever since he has had a hope; trying to establish his own righteousness, and in his searching to establish his own righteousness he is brought very low, and is often heard to cry, "in me, that is in my flesh, dwelleth no good thing, for to will is present with me, but how to perform that which is good I find not." (Romans 7:17) If Paul, after regeneration, found the will was present, but even having the will, he still could not perform that which is good, then how can one expect a child of God to earn blessings by doing that which is good at his own option? Now tell a troubled soul that his enjoyment in this life depends on his doing good, would it be good news to him if he found himself as Paul? He does not know how to do good! How is he to do good when he cannot find out how? And suppose he did not even have the will to begin with? If you tell him that those born of God can do good; that they receive all the power necessary in regeneration to do good and that it is left with them, at their own option, as to whether they perform that which is good or not, you will only confirm his fears,

"Tis a point I long to know, Oft it causes anxious thoughts; Do I love the Lord or no; Am I His or am I not."

He has been fearing that he was not born again, and if it be true that those who are regenerated have power to keep all of God's commandments, then sure enough, he concludes that he has not been born again, for he realizes that everything he ever did, or does, and do, is mixed with sin. Thus, as thieves, Time Salvationists "beat him and strip him and leave him half dead." So we are mistaken in thinking this kind of preaching is preaching the Gospel. In Matthew 28:18-20, we read that Jesus said: "All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations." Teach them what? That all power is given unto the child of God? No; teaching them that Christ has all power in heaven and in earth; teaching them to observe all things whatsoever Jesus has commanded you. The new covenant under which Jesus sent His disciples to preach, commands: "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 of them to the greatest." (Jer.31:34; and Heb.8:2) Hence for us to teach spiritual Israel saying, Know the Lord, that they have power to know the Lord, if they will but use it, and that this knowledge in an experimental sense is obtained by their obedience, and that their obedience is entirely of themselves, would be teaching them to disregard His commandments. "They shall not teach every man his neighbor and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord." Now, mark you, Israel are those that have been born again spiritually. Those that have been circumcised in heart and of those God spake when He said: "For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put My law 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." The old covenant was written upon tables of stone and put into the hands of Israel and they broke it, "and I regarded them not, saith the Lord, for they continued not in My ways," but the new testament is written in the heart and "in the hand of a Mediator." (Galatians 3:19) In the hands of Jesus who is the "Mediator of a better covenant," it's promise is secured. (Heb. 8:6) And He keeps this covenant for us and in us, "working in us both to will and to do," "teaching them to observe all things that God has commanded." Now this teaching may be done through the ministry, but it is God Himself that does the effectual teaching in the heart. "I will put My laws in their mind and write them in their hearts." "I will," saith the Lord. Now, isn't it very wicked in man to say that the Lord has tried to keep His promise here, but in many instances He has failed; or that He has failed in any instance? If we preach that God called a minister to go, or with a design that he should go into a certain locality and preach that His children might thereby be taught to observe all things that the Lord has commanded, and the minister refuses to go for any reason, does it not follow that we preach that God has failed in His design, and also in His purpose? Then what does Jesus mean when He says: "All power is given unto Me in heaven and in earth?" Has He designed to teach all His children to observe all things that He has commanded and has He tried to get the preachers to go there for that purpose, but after all, they will not go? Is

there any Gospel in such preaching as this? Isaiah said, "And all Thy children shall be taught of the Lord." (Isaiah 54:13) Did the prophet prophesy the truth? Let us not forget that teaching never precedes, but follows after, regeneration. Jesus in John 6:45 refers to Isaiah, "it is written in the prophets, and they shall be all taught of God." Here then it is clear that God is the teacher, though he may speak or teach through the preacher, but when He does the power is sure to be ascribed to God by such that are taught of Him. This is the Gospel for "the Gospel is the power of God unto salvation" to everyone that believes. Paul says in Romans 15:18, "For I will not dare to speak of any of those things which Christ hath not wrought by me, to make the Gentiles obedient, by word and deed, through mighty signs and wonders, by the Spirit of God." If Paul did anything in this work he would not dare mention it. This, however, does not teach that Paul had done anything, but to the contrary, that Christ had wrought the work - nor that Paul had performed the work by Christ, but that Christ wrought by Paul. This is the Gospel, - the power of God unto salvation. Yes, it made the Gentiles obedient. "For I determined not to know anything among you, save Jesus Christ and Him crucified." (i Cor. 11:2) These Corinthians were children of God. They had been regenerated, and yet, the apostle would not advocate anything as a meritorious work of theirs or his. He even kept his own wisdom back, and only advocated Christ and Him crucified. Paul in speaking of himself would say: "I am chief of sinners;" "I am sold under sin." If "I am a minister by whom ye believed, yet it was Christ that wrought by me," wrought your obedience by me, but not I. Hence he preaches Christ. He preaches that it matters not what the "gift" may be, or the "administration," or the "operation," but that "God worketh all in all." Thus he preaches the Gospel, the power of God. "Preach the Gospel" said Jesus. In preaching the Gospel "we preach Christ crucified (unto the called) the power of God and the wisdom of God." (I Cor. 1:23-24) Notice, it is unto the called (which are called in time), it is to those that have been regenerated, that we preach Christ to, not them to Christ, for we "preach not ourselves, but we preach Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God." We are not to preach their power along with our wisdom? We preach that "God added to the church daily such as should be saved." We preach, "Lord Thou wilt ordain peace for us, for Thou also hath wrought all our (righteous) works in us." And, therefore, if we have any good works we should not boast, for we have nothing that "pertains to life," or "godliness," but what "God according to His divine power hath given us," that we are "preserved in Christ Jesus," that we "are saved by grace," that God "hath raised us up and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ," and He "worketh in us both to will and to do His good pleasure," because "He that is in you is greater than he that is in the world." He is "not willing that any" of us "should perish, but all come to repentance" (a timely experience), and it is God who "worketh all things after the counsel of His own will;" that He hath "predestinated us to be conformed to the image of His Son," that He hath called us, justified us and glorified us, and that He hath promised that we "shall never perish," but that "He will raise us up at the last day," and "because He lives we shall live also," and thus we preach the Gospel. Therefore "conditional time salvation" is not the truth.

 

Part VII

OF JUSTIFICATION

If "time salvation" is conditional, as some are beginning to teach, then it follows that we can realize our justification during this life by our works only, for when we feel our justification we enjoy our so-called "time salvation." If our enjoyment of salvation here in time depends at all upon our obedience, it must depend entirely upon it; for "if it be of works, then it is no more of grace. Otherwise work is no more work." "Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law, ye are fallen from grace." (Galatians 5:4) Hence, Time Salvationists are fallen from grace. Remember that this was written to those that had been regenerated, for they had "begun in the Spirit." They doubtless acknowledged that regeneration was alone of God, but thought that it devolved upon them to keep the law, and that by this they could be justified, "be made perfect by the flesh," or earn their blessings. (Galatians 3:3) They had precisely the same notion, or opinion, about this that Time Salvationists have today. Paul tells them that this is foolish, as he also taught the Roman brethren that "by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in His sight; for by the law is the knowledge of sin." [Romans 3:20] Before righteousness or justification (for one complements the other) can be by the law, or conditional, there must be a law that can give life; as you can see by reading Galatians 3:21. To justify is to make one clear of guilt; thus it is a blessing in experience in time. Now may I ask you dear children, can you by your own works make yourself feel free or clear of sin? I think that every child of God will say No. "Though I were righteous, yet would I not answer, but I would make supplication to my Judge. If I justify myself, mine own mouth shall condemn me; if I say; I am perfect, it shall also prove me perverse. If I wash myself with snow water, and make my hands never so clean; yet shalt Thou plunge me in the ditch, and mine own clothes shall abhor me. For He is not a man, as I, that I should answer Him, and we should come together in judgment. Neither is there any daysman betwixt us, that might lay His hand upon us both." (Job 9:15,20,21,30-33) You must be able to make yourself clear of guilt; or justify yourself, if Time Salvation depends upon your own works; for no one is enjoying salvation, or can, while he feels the weight of condemnation resting upon him. Have you taken up the notion the world holds, that you can do more good than evil, and that the good you do overbalances the evil, and therefore you are justified, and blessings are received? That would make the just live by works, would it not? Paul said that "the just shall live by faith," and that "no man is justified by the law in the sight of God." (Galatians 3:11) Justification can only result from the righteousness of Jesus Christ, and only to us by faith, by imputation of Jesus "who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from all iniquity." Thus He justifies us, having suffered for us; God having "laid upon Him the iniquity of us all." Our sins were taken off ourselves and laid upon Him, and He suffered for us, and was delivered for our offenses, and was raised again for our justification. (Rom. 4:25) He gave Himself for us. He was and is our life. When He who is our life shall appear; when the law had spent its fury, upon Him and was satisfied, then we were justified. Our sins, all of them, were purged in Him "who is our life," and in evidence of this "He was raised again for our justification." Hence, "If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above." (Col. 3:1) Does this mean that you can by your obedience raise yourself up with Christ to earn experimental knowledge of your justification here in time? It must mean this if "time salvation" depends upon you as some are now teaching. You should be glad that it does not mean that, but that God hath raised us up together and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus. (Ephesians 1:2-6) He made us feel our justification in Christ. "Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ." Therefore time salvation is not dependent upon our works. Sin is the source of all our troubles in this life and if salvation from sorrow and troubles in time depends upon your own works, then it would require sinless perfection of you, or your ability to do away with sin. This no mortal can render, but when Christ's righteousness is imputed to you, which God does when He "makes Christ unto you righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption," then you feel in your very soul that you are justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus. Hence, Conditional Time Salvation as now being taught by some cannot be true.

Part VIII

OF OUR SERVICE TO GOD AND THE RESULTS THEREFROM

It is taught by some who claim to be Primitive Baptists, that if you obey all the commandments, (which they affirm we have power to do if we but would), that God will bless us and so we would earn happiness. They teach us that those harassing fears, those troubled disputations of mind, those hungerings and thirstings, those mournings and bitter complainings, and those sighings and groanings that are common to the children of God can be dissipated by our loving obedience and this all depends upon the volition, or freedom, of our own will. Now because I deny this, some have accused me of being opposed to good works. I am opposed to their system, for I do not believe that anything is a good work when your faith is in yourselves, or any other man for "cursed is man that trusteth in man, or that maketh flesh his arm." (Jer.12:5) I believe that God's children should serve God; not themselves, their flesh, or any man. They should "love the Lord their God with all their heart, with all their soul, with all their mind and Him only should they serve." It is indeed very wicked in men, whether they are regenerated or not, to persist in rebellion against God. But because this is so, it is no argument that men can of their own volition go into the service of God; nor is it any reason why we shall believe that God has offered to hire His children to enter His service in order to receive His blessings. I know that it is denied that this system of which I am speaking offers to hire God's children to serve Him, but this only amounts to a denial - that is all, If I offer one of my children a penny if he will shut the door, I have offered to hire him to shut the door. I have seen some instance of this in parents in dealing with their children and the children soon learn to have no respect for the parents and will only obey them for a reward - will only serve their selfish interest: If I should teach one that if he would be more devoted to God, do all His commandments, that God would bless him with better crops, and get him through winter, with this belief, would I have any evidence that he, in his heart, was serving God? No! Why? Because it would be a plain case that the increase of his crop was what he was after. He would only serve for the profit that was in it, "thinking that gain was godliness." This is conditional time salvation teaching. I believe and try to teach that we should serve God willingly, from a principle of love to Him, not to ourselves, and that this is the work of the Holy Ghost wrought in us. "We love Him because He first loved us." (I John 4:19) Our service, I think, is always because of, not in order to. As to happiness, we are not promised much of it through this life. Happiness during this life is not an incentive offered to get us to serve God. Happiness is a state of peacefulness, complacency, and submission to God's will which works contentment of mind and spirit; it is not a reward for labor. Therefore the principles from which Time Salvationists act is false. Jesus promised His servants tribulation in this life. "In the world ye shall have tribulation." (John 21:33) "If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable," (I Cor. 15:19), was Paul's belief. "I have chosen thee in a furnace of affliction," (Isaiah 48:10) said God by Isaiah. "These are they which come out of great tribulation," (Rev. 7:14), said the angel to John. "Yea, and ALL that shall live godly in Christ Jesus SHALL suffer persecution," (I Tim. 3:12), said Paul to Timothy. From these statements, and many more of similar import could be given, it is clearly to be seen that the life of God's true children in this time world is a life of sufferings, of sorrows and afflictions. And it also appears from the Scriptures that those who serve God most, were the ones that suffered most. I admit that this is a strange conclusion from a carnal standpoint, and human reason is ready to condemn it as false, but this doesn't change the truth of it in the least.

Abel was killed because he served God BY FAITH, not by his works, you will observe. The prophets were hated and maltreated, and went in sorrow and grief all their lives because they served God by faith, rather than works. Job, of whom it was said, "in all the earth there is none like him" for patience and piety, none so devoted to God in His service, yet he was tortured as never man was, all because he served God by faith, and not by works. Moses forsook Egypt, esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than all the treasures there, "by faith" "when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter; choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season," or enjoy his Egyptian wrought time salvation. (Heb. 12:24-25) The apostles served God by faith, yet their lives were full of sorrows and grief, and they were finally killed because they served God, rather than themselves. Jesus had promised them before that they should be hated by all men and some of them should be killed. Oh, what an inducement to serve God in the Spirit, and how different to the Conditional Time Salvation being preached by vain men today! God promised sorrow, affliction and distress in this time life to His servants. Conditional Salvationists offer happiness, joy, prosperity, and peace if we will serve God and earn our blessings by our obedience (works). May I ask here, dear child of God, which of these have you found to be true in your experience? If you say the latter, then I say that you are a "bastard" and not a son; "for if any be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards and not sons." (Heb. 12:8) Therefore Conditional Time Salvation is not the truth.

 

Part IX

OF OUR HELPLESSNESS IN OURSELVES

As He did Jacob, God has touched all His children "in the hollow of the thigh," and they go lame all their lives, leaning upon their staff; leaning upon Jesus as their only support. Oh, how helpless they do feel themselves to be, and how careful they are to ascribe all the praise to God for their salvation and preservation! You never hear them boasting of what they can do, as the Time Salvationists, but they put men down as "grass," as "grasshoppers," as "the small dust of the balances," as "nothing," and as being "altogether vanity." They, under an experimental sense of their weakness, are heard to cry in the agony of their souls, "How long wilt Thou forget me, 0 Lord? Forever? How long wilt Thou hide Thy face from me?" If it be a fact that Time Salvation is of ourselves, as some now affirm, David would have known it. Then what folly for him to have thus prayed. He would have known that God would forget him and hide His face until he obeyed him! But he knew that wasn't true. After this we hear David rejoicingly say, "I waited patiently (not I work hard) for the Lord, and He inclined His ear unto me and heard my cry. He brought me up also out of an horrible pit; out of the miry clay and set my feet upon a rock and established my goings, and He hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God." Thus, we see that God put this song of praise in David's mouth; did all these things for him; and if I say that He also put the prayer in his mouth, it would not be wrong. As I have shown before, it is the Spirit Himself that maketh intercession for us.

Prayer is an acknowledgement of our helplessness, and of the soul's faith in the power of God to deliver - "Lord, if Thou wilt, Thou canst make me whole." As long as we have ability to deliver ourselves it is hypocritical in us to pray for help, and when we thus petition God, it can be nothing short of mockery. I have been astonished and mortified many times by Conditionalists in their pretense of prayer, asking God to keep His children in obedience, and follow it with a discourse in which they would spend almost all their time telling the children that their keeping depended on them; that they received sufficient power in regeneration to do all God's commands, and that if they would do them they would work out their own salvation. It is strange that it has never been any trouble for Baptists to see the inconsistency in the Arminians in asking God to do for the sinner and then telling the sinner that he has the power to do it, and that God is not going to do it for him unless the sinner lets Him, and that it all depends on the sinner's doings. If the Arminians are inconsistent, are not these Conditional Salvationists who teach the very same principles (although they claim to be "Primitive" Baptists) equally so? If Conditional Time Salvation as being introduced among us is true, I cannot see upon what ground we can ask God for any thing, for we are not dependent upon Him for anything. The system teaches that God gave us regeneration independent of any means, and that there is no way possible for us to miss heaven and immortal glory. And in this work God gave us power to keep all His commands, and if we keep them we can live happily during this life. Pray tell me what more do we need? But it is not the truth, thank God, and God makes His children know that it is not true. "For they shall remember all the way the Lord their God hath brought them." Not the way we brought ourselves; but the way the Lord brought us. "Except ye be converted and become as little children." Can we do this at our option? No, indeed! But God makes us feel our helplessness, as a little child, else how can we appreciate this? "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of God." (Matthew 5:3) Can we make ourselves poor in spirit in order to earn the blessing? I think not. If we do, or can do, all the commands, are we poor? No; we would be rich. We are poor because we have no resources of our own, and we feel the weight of our poverty. Oh, how we do hunger and thirst after righteousness as living souls! Why should we do this if our being filled depended upon our works? Now, if we have the ability to pray at our option, and God has promised to bless us on the condition that we pray, we would not be poor, but rich; nor would we hunger and thirst after righteousness. Who would hunger and thirst, when there was plenty of bread and water at his command? The prudent parent will make his child to hunger that he might appreciate the food. In our spiritual hungerings, we know not how to obtain the food. "We know not how to pray for that as we ought;" hence our weakness. We are inclined to this conditional idea only by believing that "it is of him that willeth or of him that runneth," contrary to the Scripture, (Romans 9:16) which destroys the idea of "mercy." Supposing that we have to live by works of our own merit, we do it of works instead of "by faith," but when we have tried our strength we find that we are helpless - unable to procure these timely blessings by our works. 0 how hungry we do feel (and we do this because we can't do otherwise until the Spirit leads us by faith, "which is not of ourselves, but is the gift of God,") for Christ, who of His bounty fills us to overflowing with His imputed righteousness. The poor, rejoicing child will now acknowledge that this was not caused by his works, for "many times by night on my bed I sought Him whom my soul loveth. I sought Him, but I found Him not." (Song of Solomon's 3:1) Hence we say that Time Salvation as now being taught among us is not the truth. But, says someone, doesn't the Scripture say "Add to your faith virtue, and to virtue knowledge, and to knowledge temperance," etc.; "If these BE IN YOU and abound," says Peter in II Peter 5:8. Well does this mean for us to make, or manufacture, virtue, knowledge, temperance, brotherly kindness and charity? If so, what does Paul mean when he says that these very things are the "fruit of the Spirit." (Galatians 5:22-23) You can see by this that God doesn't require you to make these, in the sense of producing them, but they are wrought in you by the Spirit of God, and so are the "fruit of the Spirit." They are all in the experience of God's children, but we lose sight of them often. Then how blind we are! We conclude we are not a child of God at all, and here we remain until, in His tender mercy, He comes to us (it may be through preaching) and causes us to travel over our experience and causes us to add all these things together, - these things that the Spirit has wrought in us, - to faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, to knowledge temperance, to temperance patience, etc., and when we thus go over the line and find that these things "are in us and abound," we are no longer "barren and unfruitful." But this Conditional system coming among us requires of us that we make, or produce, these graces ourselves, and thereby purchase admission into the everlasting kingdom.

God requires holiness in His children, for "without holiness no man shall see the Lord." We have not the ability to produce it, but the Spirit bears it. Holiness is the "fruit of the Spirit," and when God's children are brought under the reigning influence of God's grace, these good works manifest themselves in their life, not as a result of their ability, but as the result of the working of "God in us." Hence the text, "Blessed are they that do His commandments that they may have right to the tree of life." (Rev. 22:14) Conditional Salvationists read that to mean, "blessed will be they if they do His commandments;" but the text proves them already blessed: "Blessed are they." If we are blessed because we do His commandments, then we only have right to the Tree of Life by our works, which no child of God can afford to believe. But that is not the sense of this text, but the doing of the commandments is evidence of the blessed state; evidence that God is working in them both to will and to do of His own good pleasure. One of two things must be true: That the blessings we receive during this life are FREE GIFTS BESTOWED on us, or we get them in EXCHANGE FOR our works. If it be true that spiritual blessings that we enjoy during this life are free gifts, then those that are offering them to us in exchange for our works are in serious error. On the other hand, if spiritual blessings are dependent upon our works, then Paul was dead wrong when he thanked God because "He hath blessed us with ALL SPIRITUAL BLESSINGS in heavenly places in Christ; according as He hath chosen us in Him before the foundation of the world," (Ephesians 1: 3,4) unless God elected us according to our good works, for He blessed us according as He has chosen us! Dear children, we should be very glad God's blessings do not depend on our works, for we feel our inability in ourselves to work so sensibly. We know not what to pray for as we ought. So much of our time we cannot "sing with the spirit and with the understanding." If we read the Scriptures we have not the power to understand them. If we go to church services, often we are unable to preach or hear to profit. In all we do we cry, "My leanness, my leanness." "When we would do good evil is present with us." "How to perform that which is good I find not." "The things that I would I do not." All these things make us know that we are poor and helpless of ourselves. Then how sweet these words, "Not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit, saith the Lord." (Zech 4:6) Therefore, we must conclude that this Conditional Time Salvation idea is false.

But, says one, Paul told Timothy to "Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them, for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself and them that hear thee." Very well; but must we conclude that this matter is left to the option of Timothy, and depended upon him, or should we believe the truth as Paul taught at another place? That is, that God wrought by him, and made Timothy obedient, and when Timothy took heed, was careful in his life; should we not believe Paul again, "For behold, this self same thing, that ye sorrowed after a godly sort, what carefulness IT WROUGHT in you." Hence, when God speaks to one of His children, telling them to take heed, He works that carefulness in them, "Worketh IN them to will and to do of His own good pleasure." Hence Timothy's obedience did not depend on his ability to will or to do, but God worked in him, at the time, his obedience, both the will and the doing, and his saving those that heard him was only as he was occupied as an instrument in God's hands.

Again, Paul sets this forth in these words, "So then neither is he that planteth anything, nor he that watereth, but God that giveth the increase." (I Cor.3:7) Paul here acknowledges that nothing depended on him, or Apollos, or Timothy, but all depended on God. If he had laid the foundation, he did it "according to the grace of God, which is given unto me;" is given, not "was given," you should notice. For us to try to believe that Paul taught here that Timothy had the power, and that this matter was left to him to will or not at his option is absurd. For Paul had said before this, that he, although inspired, knew not how to perform that which is good, and that he did things that he would not, and what he did that was good, that it was not him that did them, but God. It is from Him, "By whom we have received grace and apostleship for obedience to the faith among all nations, for His name; among whom are YE ALSO the called of Jesus Christ." (Rom. 1:4,5)

Again, "For if ye live after the flesh ye shall die." (Rom. 3:13) Well, doesn't this mean that God's children can live after the flesh? Conditional Salvationists say so, and often act it too; but no. It says they cannot "live" after the flesh. Why? Because "death" results from the flesh. The argument is this: If your confidence is in something you can do to gain God's favor (this is living after the flesh), or your dependence is in the flesh, then death or condemnation will be the results, "For I know that in me (that is, in MY FLESH), dwelleth no good thing." How then can one that has felt this condemnation and death live after the flesh? If Time Salvation was as these Conditionalists are now teaching, our life as Christians would depend on the flesh, for they are teaching that life, and the enjoyment of God's children in this world depend upon their works - the very thing the apostle is arguing against! "For," says he, "to will is present with me, but how to perform that which is good I find not." If Paul's life and happiness in this world was dependent upon doing good, he would have been surely lost, for he knew not how to do good, even though the will to do it was present. "I find then a law (a LAW!), that, when I would do good, evil is present with me." He felt his helplessness in the flesh so sensibly that he cries from the very depth of his soul, "0 wretched man that I am, who shall deliver me from the body of this death?" If Time Salvation was conditional, Paul would have known that he must deliver himself by his works. But Paul knew that salvation is not now, nor ever was, of our works, and that if our dependence for life or blessings were really based upon works of the flesh, that instead of life, death would be our lot; instead of blessings, we would have cursings, for "Cursed is everyone that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them." (Galatians 3:10) Hence, if our life depends upon us keeping the law, death only can result. There is never, and cannot be a continuation in the righteousness of the law through the flesh. (James 1:23-25) But says he, "There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus." Why? Because "Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us." (Galatians 3:13) What for? "That the blessings of Abraham might come on the Gentiles THROUGH Jesus Christ," - not through OUR obedience, but His. These blessings are what we live upon, and you will notice that they do not come by or through our works, but through Jesus Christ. Without them there is nothing but death. Those that are in Christ Jesus "walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit." "And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the spirit is life because of righteousness." Because of whose righteousness? Ours? No, indeed. For if so we would be debtors to "the flesh, to live after the flesh;" our life would depend upon the flesh. Instead of Paul teaching that our life depends upon our works of obedience, as the Conditionalists are teaching, he teaches the opposite. "For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God." Others, then, led by the flesh must be the children of the flesh. Not, as many as are led by the flesh; by their works. No, for those so led, death is before them, and nothing but death. The apostle evidently taught in this connection that our only hope for life or salvation is in the Lord, "who is our life." For we know that life gives actions to the body, while the Time Salvationists teach that action gives life. Though the apostle teaches good works, he teaches them in the name of Jesus Christ, that "because He lives, we shall also live "with Him." Therefore, we conclude that Conditional Time Salvation now being introduced among us, is not true.

Can men disobey God? Yes, and this only can they do of themselves! Only when they are subdued by divine grace, and led by the Holy Spirit do they do otherwise. There is but two controlling spirits in man, one is the devil, Satan, who works in the flesh, and the other is God, the one is therefore anti-Christ, the other is Christ, the one is in the flesh, the other is in the Spirit. It never was the design of the devil that God's children should obey God and he works to the extent of his limited power to prevent it. And God in His all wise purpose has permitted him to succeed to the extent that it will redound to His own glory. "Surely the wrath of man shall praise Thee, and the remainder of wrath Thou shalt restrain." Yet when God's purpose is accomplished "he taketh the prey from the mighty and delivers the lawful captive, for I will contend with him that contendeth with thee, and I will save thy children." (Isaiah 49:25) The devil, in various ways, lead the children into the disobedience of the flesh and captivity, and he has no plan by which he succeeds better than to make them believe that their righteousness depends upon themselves, so that "being ignorant of God's righteousness," we see them "going about to establish their own righteousness," and thus they are led into bondage and the devil, through his ministers, teaching them the same doctrine that led them into this bondage. "For there they that carried us away captive required of us a song; and they that wasted us required of us mirth, saying, Sing us one of the songs of Zion. How shall we sing the Lord's song in a strange land?" (Psalm 137:3,4) What could be more plain? The very doctrine that these Babylonish preachers among us are preaching, that it is with the children to sing and make merry in their hearts at will, is the doctrine that leads to work, work, work - wherein there can be no rest. 0, my dear brethren, have you not realized the folly in such preaching? If not, you will. You will feel your helplessness when God gives you to feel the state of bondage under which you toil. But recall this in that day, "There is a REST for the people of God," and we "do enter into that rest when we cease from our works as He ceased from His." (Heb. 3:9,10) You have been led by these false teachers away from the righteousness of Christ your Saviour, which "makes you free," into a land of legalism. Do you not know that it is written in the law, that cursed is everyone that continueth not in all things which are written in the Book of the Law to do them, and that if you assume to be justified by the deeds of the law, that you have no claim at all on grace? (Galatians 5:4) If not, when you are made to feel it, oh! how barren this land of legalism will be to you. "Your harps" indeed, will then be on the willows, yea, you will sit down by the rivers of Babylon, yea, you will weep when you remember Zion as it was before you introduced your conditional works system. You will find that the Lord must "put the song in your mouth before you can sing." (Psalm 40:3) And, "the redeemed of the Lord shall return, and come to Zion with singing." (Isaiah 51:11) They that are His redeemed will return to the faith, while those that are deceived and deceiving will perish. "Then they that publish (not offer) salvation will say unto Zion, Thy God reigneth, and thy watchmen shall lift up the voice with the voice together shall they sing; For they shall see eye to eye when the Lord shall bring again Zion." (Isaiah 52:7,8) Notice, "When the Lord shall bring again Zion." Yes, then shall they see eye to eye and shall again sing together that salvation in all of its parts is "of the Lord." Therefore Conditionalism is not the truth.

 

Part X

IS THIS FATALISM ?

Some say that this view of God's effectual work in His children is fatalism, and thus scare the children from the truth. Let us see if what I have written is indeed fatalism. "Fatality is a fixed unalterable course of things, independent of God or any controlling cause; an invincible necessity existing in things themselves." - Webster. The ancient pagans worship Fate, which was to them that inevitable force which even the gods could not resist. This Fate was a Chance happening, unplanned, and uncontrolled by the gods. In truth, the Conditionalists are closer to being Fatalists than any Predestinarian has ever been. Now, reader, do you believe that the things herein written carries in them this doctrine of chance, or fatalism? No; you know they do not. Does the doctrine that I have held to say that men or things move independently of God or any controlling cause? Every one will know who reads this that it does not. But if God is "trying" to get His children to obey Him and they will not do it, but disobey Him, then their course must be independent of God; yea, more, this idea that God designed that a preacher should preach in a certain locality, and that he refuses to go to said locality, or if he goes he preaches on a different line to what God intended, or that God designed any obedience whatsoever on the part of His children, and has made an effort in that direction, and has failed to reach the end designed, then I say this idea denies the very existence of God, the Supreme Being, Jehovah, the eternal and infinite Spirit, the Creator and the Sovereign of the Universe! It denies His sovereign care for His church, His body, which He pardoned with His own blood. Now imagine, if you can, such a Being as this failing in any of His designs or efforts, if we may use such a word as "effort" in reference to Him. There isn't a conditional system of salvation taught upon the earth, but what legitimately leads to fatalism and infidelity. It doesn't matter whether the conditions are supposed to be applied before or after regeneration. All conditional systems offer salvation on conditions that men obey commands. In Christian countries, the commands are said to be "commands of the gospel," and conditionalists say, that men have power to obey them or not obey them, as they may determine for themselves by their own "freewills"; in other words, man's obedience (or disobedience) depends entirely, unaided, upon their own will. This being true, then they must act freely and willingly without any influence whatever, which would be "independent of God or any. controlling cause," hence, Fatalism. If we admit that there is a controlling cause that causes men to obey, then their obedience is NOT LEFT to themselves, and if not, salvation does not depend upon their obedience, but upon the Cause that caused obedience. If we say that God has exerted an influence upon His children with the view of bringing them to obedience, but they resisted and go on in disobedience, then their course is independent of God. I know that some will say, then man is not responsible for his acts, that he is a mere machine, etc. But because men say this, does it prove that it is true? No, indeed! Paul, when he was writing on this subject in the 9th chapter of his letter to the church at Rome said, "Thou will say then unto me, why doth He yet find fault, for who hath resisted His will?" If you will notice the apostle did not attempt to explain away the truth of his teaching, but reproved those that made such replies, "Nay, but 0 man, who art thou that replieth against God? Shall the thing formed say to Him that formed it, Why hast Thou made me thus?" All those that are making such replies against the doctrine of God our Saviour should feel reproved and be ashamed, for in these replies they deny the Lord that bought them, teaching that God has no more care for His children than to turn them loose in this world in their feeble weakness, exposing them to sin with all its miseries, making their escape therefrom during this life, wholly depend upon their own action and independent of Him or any controlling cause; when He clearly promised them, "God will not suffer you to be tempted above that which you are able to bear, but with this temptation, shall also make a way of escape, that ye also may be able to bear it." These replies say that God's "wish" was to comfort His children and build them up in the most holy faith through the ministry, but that He has no control over the ministry and the church, for the minister can preach when, where, and what he pleases, and the church can accept, reject, obey or disobey as they may determine. Conditionalism is Fatalism, clear and simple? Children of God, are you not glad that Conditional Time Salvation is not the truth?

 

Part XI

WHAT PRIMITIVE BAPTISTS HAVE BELIEVED

It is insisted by some that there is a salvation which is entirely of God, and that there is also a salvation which they call "Time Salvation," (and they refer to it as the "Two Salvations") which depends entirely upon the works of God's children, and they claim that this "Conditional Time Salvation" is Primitive Baptist doctrine. Let us look into this point and see if we can determine what has been Primitive Baptist belief along this line. Remember that this conditional time salvation idea is based on the assumption that in regeneration God's children receive power to do all God's commands, unaided by the Spirit, and that obedience is left entirely to their own choice; they can obey or disobey at their option. And their life time enjoyment depends alone upon their own decision in this. If they decide to obey, and will do it, they escape the sorrows that are common to the saints that otherwise they would suffer, thus representing the ability and the dependence to be in the believer, while some of the early writers (to my mind incorrectly) used the words "depend upon our obedience," they have universally agreed that our obedience, after regeneration, depended upon the working of God's Spirit in us, that m fact obedience was a work of God in us, wrought in us by the Holy Spirit, and that the ability was not at all in us. But recently it has been denied that obedience is worked in the children of God by the Spirit, and conditionalism, long opposed by Primitive Baptists replying against the Regular Baptists, is now being accepted among our churches. In the London Confession of Faith, published in 1689, which Primitive Baptists honor and claim that it sets forth their faith, we read "On Good Works" that good works are only such as God hath commanded in His Holy Word. These good works, done in obedience to God's commandments, are the fruits and evidences of a lively faith. The believers ability to do good works is not at all of himself, but wholly from the Spirit of Christ.

Now this needs little comment, unless we are inclined to believe that the Spirit of Christ is unable to overcome their inability. They say that good works are the "fruits and evidences of a true and lively faith." Then faith must produce them, it is clear, and as faith is the gift of God and cannot exist without works as James teaches, for living faith always produces action; therefore their works did not depend upon them, but upon faith. This is Baptist doctrine, from 208 years ago to the present (1897). All these English brethren still teach on the subject of good works, and rest on this idea that the ability is not in the believer to do good works, but in faith, which produces them. This view of the subject harmonizes beautifully with their belief of God's decree, of His foreknowledge, and of His providence, as you can see by reading their confession, while this conditional time salvation idea, as is now being taught, can never be harmonized with it.

A letter written by Elder John Gano, and adopted and published in the Minutes of the Philadelphia Baptist Association in 1784, says, "On Effectual Calling", "This is an act of Sovereign Grace ... and is such an irresistible impression made by the Holy Spirit upon the human soul as to effect a blessed change .... the author is God .... this is an Holy calling and is effectual to produce the exercise of holiness in the heart, even as the saints are created in Christ Jesus UNTO good works." The Philadelphia Association at this time believed that the grace of God produced the exercise of holiness in the hearts of the saints. In the Circular Letter of the same Association, published for 1789, we read that "Mere legal repentance originates in self love ... but repentance which is unto life and salvation has God for its Author, and does NOT arise from the power of free will .... but from the grace of God as the efficient, and the operation of the Divine Spirit as the impulsive cause ... this repentance is WROUGHT in the hearts of God's people to their edification, etc." Here you will see it is asserted that repentance, which is unto life and salvation (and in time, and referred to as a part of time salvation by the Conditionalists) has GOD for ITS AUTHOR, (hence it is not left with us to do or not to do according to our option) and that the grace of God is the efficient cause and the Divine Spirit is the impulsive cause, and that it is wrought in the hearts of God's people. Now I ask, can God's grace be efficient and inefficient at the same time? Will the Holy Spirit be the impulsive cause and we not be moved by the cause? How absurd! These Baptists believed that any repentance that was of any benefit to God's people, whether in respect to time or not, had GOD FOR ITS AUTHOR.

In the Circular Letter published in 1795, by Elder Samuel Jones, we read: "The Gospel contains no conditional offers of salvation." Elder Jones then would not have believed those now preaching among us that say that God has offered His children salvation in time, on conditions to be performed by them, for he says the Gospel contains no conditional offers of salvation. And this Association agreed with him, and this was the FIRST Baptist association in America! We will quote further from Brother Jones: "To make salvation conditional would rob God of His Sovereignty." Oh, says one, he is speaking of "eternal salvation." Answer: Yes, that is true. What other kind could he have possibly talked about, seeing there is none? He knew of but one salvation. But suppose, just suppose, there were two, and you make one conditional, would it not also rob God of His Sovereignty as much as to make them both conditional? Surely it would; it always has. For where has there ever been a conditional salvationist that believed in God's sovereignty? "What!" exclaimed Elder Jones, "take our happiness (a time experience) depend on man? If we will do part God will do the rest! Alas; what can man do in the business of his salvation, first to last, to merit it, or promote it? Is he altogether dependent on God? Yea, verily, that at every step in the beginning and progress of the gracious work he may cry, Grace, grace." Could anything be more plain? And could anything be more foreign from the ideas now being advanced by those that are teaching Conditional Time Salvation? He believed that salvation, from "first to last," was of the Lord, and true Primitive Baptists have ever believed it, and believe it yet.

We could quote more from Brother Jones to our advantage, but space forbids. [The whole article is found in the Minutes of the Philadelphia Baptist Association, 1707 - 1807, for the year 1795] We have produced enough evidence, however, to show that the prevailing belief of this association up to this time was in the grace alone system. But about this time anti-christ gained such influence in this and other associations that they to some extent began to leave off such teachings, and then went from bad to worse, until the true Baptists expelled the unsound conditionalist element from them. But we hear the same sentiments taught, such as the following from Elder Jesse Cox in his "Exposition of Revelations," pg.205, 1866, "We contend that all those in whom the fear of God dwells will thereby be led to please Him, and to abound with the good works of the Gospel, which God had before ORDAINED that we should walk in them, which are love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, sobriety, and the other good works enforced in the Holy Scriptures." This shows conclusively that Brother Cox believed that God's children would be led by the fear of God to please Him, hence their dependence upon this influence, and the certainty of the effect of the influence. On page 211, he says: "The Old School Baptists believe that good works are the sure fruit and effect that follow after justification." Did you notice he said SURE FRUIT and EFFECTS? If they are sure to follow, then it is not left to you and me to do or not to do, as we may determine. Grace determines this for us, "working in us to will and to do." And if time salvation depended on good works in us, yet it would not depend on us! On page 221, he says, "Upon that Great Agent (the Holy Spirit) we are all dependent for true and vital religion; not only to produce regeneration, but to perpetuate and live in the enjoyment of it." Does this look like Brother Cox believe that regeneration was God's work, but the enjoyment of it depended on our works? On page 475, he says, "And as salvation certainly follows predestination and results from it, so good works as certainly follow salvation and are the fruit and effect of it, for it is God that worketh in His children in all ages, both to will and to do, according to the good pleasure of His will. Good works is to practice faithfully what He has recorded in His word."

Is not this teaching here of Elder Cox, the noted Primitive Baptist preacher and writer, in perfect agreement with what I have herein written? Is it at all in harmony with the preaching that has been recently introduced among us in the last few years by Conditional Time Salvation teachers? Brother Cox believed in and taught good works, but that we work out because God worketh in, not merely in regeneration, but continues to work in His children, and that good works are sure to flow out from the inworkings of God's Holy Spirit. Hence, time salvation can only depend on our works in so far as our works are evidences of the inward workings of God's Spirit. The dependence is in the Spirit of God. To take any other view of Elder Cox's belief would witness.

Elder J. M. Watson, author of the "Old Baptist Test," held the same views that Brother Cox held. On page 50 of his book, he says: "Let him (the new creature) be led by the Spirit of God, and he will follow in the way of obedience. When God worketh in the soul both to will and to do, the fruit will be holiness of life, most assuredly." This is what I have contended for, but others say it may or may not be. On page 156, he says: "The good ground must be both given and cultivated by the Great Husbandman in order that its fruit may ripen to perfection." In the last quotation he, in substance, said that when this is done the fruit will ripen without fail. Does the conditional time salvation idea that is now being preached teach this? No, sir; for it says that God gave the good ground, and has cultivated some of it at least, and still there is no fruit. On page 181, Watson says, "Practical godliness can acknowledge no other source than God; it is God that worketh; and through man the work is made manifest." This is precisely what I am still contending for. Our works only manifest the workings of God's Spirit in us. We know that if the ground is good, and has proper cultivation it will bear fruit without fail, and we know further that good ground cannot cultivate nor water' itself, but is wholly dependent upon a superior power. Some say we are active in obedience. So say I; but only when made so by the workings of God's Spirit in us. The good ground is active in fruit bearing, but only when made so by cultivation, and we poor mortals have knowledge enough to know that with proper soil, proper seed, proper cultivation, proper nutrients, proper moisture, and sunshine, we will have a full crop, and without them we will not. This all know to be true, unless it is the blind and ignorant. God is the Great Husbandman and knows everything necessary to cause fruitbearing in His children, and He "freely gives us all things," knowing, without possibility of failure, what the results will be beforehand. Hence, dependence is entirely in Him; and God is the only source of practical godliness. On page 178, Brother Watson says, "When repentance is given, we bring forth fruit meet for repentance; when faith is given, we believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and when we are kept by the power of God, we persevere; and those who are created in Christ Jesus unto good works will perform them." Brother Watson make him contradict himself and destroy his doesn't allow any "ifs" here, but speaks in a positive sense; when God gives repentance we do repent, not may or can. This has been my position, but the conditional idea says we may, or may not; that God has striven with many of His children trying to bring them to repentance, but they have stubbornly refused His overtures and gone on in rebellion. For proof of this, read Elders Kirkland's and Cayce's papers. Elder Watson believed God's children should obey God, but that they were dependent upon God for obedience; that it was God working in them, that God exercised His children (to holiness) instead of His children exercising Him, as Conditionalists teach. I am aware that Elder Watson was combating the General Atonement Arminian idea, but he has also refuted this new idea, that after regeneration, we are left to act at our own will, for he says that God worketh in us to will, and when He has done this, we will act. Now if you find that Brother Watson has contradicted this somewhere else in his book, then his evidence is made void. I don't believe that he has, for I have read his book; but when he points out the errors among God's children and exhorts and admonishes them to turn from them, he does it, fully believing what I have quoted from him in the light I have indicated. This is the only bases upon which Scriptural exhortation or admonition can be given with any assurance of success. That is, God is the only "source of practical godliness." I know that depraved nature is ready to dispute this, but that doesn't change the truth. Elder Sylvester Hassell, junior author of Hassell's History, says on page 942, " I believe and I think that every Bible Baptist believes, that God is the Almighty, Allwise and All-holy Sovereign of the Universe. That He had a purpose worthy of Himself, however inscrutable to us, in regard to the entrance of sin into the world, as well as in regard to all things else. That by His supreme power and decree He restricts all the rage and malice of wicked men and devils to do no more nor less than what He will overrule for the good of His people and for His own glory. That men act voluntarily when they commit sin. I further believe that, while the sinner has destroyed himself, ALL his salvation from first to last, is of the pure, unmerited, almighty and unchanging grace of God." Here Elder Hassell expresses my belief, and he says he thinks that all Bible Baptists believe the same? That God had a purpose in the entrance of sin and all other things, and that He restricts men and devils, that they do no more or less that He will overrule (hence, or than He purposed), for the good of His people, and that their salvation, from first to last, is of grace. What does conditional time salvation say? It says that God has no purpose in sin in any sense, but would have prevented it; that many things occur contrary to His expectation, and never result in any good to God's children, or His glory, and could have been avoided by their obedience; and that salvation in time is alone by works, which we can perform at will. Is not the difference too plain to be denied? Therefore,

Conditional Time Salvation is not Primitive Baptists doctrine.

Conclusion

TO THE CHILDREN OF GOD

0, children of God, review the position you have assumed, and consider its results. The doctrine of conditionalism that you who have embraced limits the purpose of God, for it says that God had no purpose in our sorrows, in our hungerings and thirstings after righteousness, in our mourning; for they can all be dispensed with by our obedience, which we have power to render at our option. It limits God's wisdom, for He arranged a plan by which He thought to make all His children happy during this life, but the plan was insufficient, for many have never heard of the plan, and many that have, have refused to accept the terms; it limits God's foreknowledge, for it is, according to them, left- entirely with the children whether they will reach the blessings or not, that God intended them for all or none, as they might choose and act. It limits God in His power, for if He has often put forth an effort through the ministry to bring His children to obedience, but they have stubbornly refused to obey, then God has failed, yea, it destroys His immutability (unchangeableness) for it teaches that God loves His children today, but cares nothing for them tomorrow. In a word, it dethrones God and deifies the creature, representing that all things connected with God's children in this life depends on their works and that none of it depends on God's grace; that God "wants" to bless them continually, but He cannot, or will not, unless they obey Him. Then why, 0 why, are you so ready to follow such a teaching as this? This surely is not the God "who delivered us from so great a death, and doth (in time) deliver, in whom we trust He will yet deliver." This isn't the God that "with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning." This isn't the God that has "all power in Heaven and in earth." This is not the God that "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." This is not the God that "worketh in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure," or good pleasure of His will. In a word, this is not the God of the Bible, but it is a false god that has been set up in the camps of spiritual Israel, by men of your ownselves who have spoken perverse things and have drawn you away after them and by feigned words are making merchandise of you.

0 Lord grant to bring Thy children back to the truth, Amen.

THE END

A LETTER

To the Primitive Baptists and All that Love the Truth;

Greeting - Dearly beloved, it becomes my duty to write you this simple statement of things that have caused the present distressed condition of the Baptist in these parts. There has been a great deal said and written (purporting to be facts) in reference to the rise and progress of the trouble now existing among us. I am, indeed, very sorry that the brotherhood is so confused and torn to pieces. And more so, as some hold me responsible for the present confusion. Not that I am sorry that I have taken the stand I have against the encroachment of errors, but that my stand, or action, has been misconstrued; and this willingly by some. I cannot believe that my brethren would censure me if they fully understood the things that I have had to contend for. I make no pretension to infallibility, for I am reminded every day that I am a poor erring mortal. If I have opposed error and contended for truth, I am constrained to say, "Yet not I, but the grace of God, that was with me."

Now, please read a plain, simple statement of the causes (that I now feel it my duty to make to you) that have caused all this division and heart-rending sorrow among the Baptists in this country.

Above twelve years ago, (1885) we had an outbreak of what is known as the "Means Doctrine" in our association. Elders N. R. Little and J. K. Stephens championed the "means" side; Elders K.M. Myatt, S. F. Cayce and myself opposed them for a while, until all of a sudden Elders Myatt and Cayce offered to compromise by a resolution they presented to our union meeting. I objected to the compromise. This engendered a deep-seated prejudice against me among the Means element. From this time on I fought the battles alone, "yet not I" The result of the fight was we dropped three of the then four existing churches that now compose the Plielesic Association from our fellowship, together with Elders Little and Stephens. Elder Stephens and others manifested great bitterness against me during this time. But soon after this, all of these churches acknowledged their error and begged forgiveness and were received back with us. Almost immediately these churches began wanting to divide our Association, as they said "for convenience."

About this time, Elder J.V. Kirkland, who was then a member of Soldier Creek Association, became sick and claimed to have seen a vision in which he saw that the Baptists had been preaching and practicing wrong (as is shown in his published statement), and he set himself to oppose them "if he should get well." The result of this resolution was, when he got well, he turned right about from his former course in preaching and practicing. Before this, he had been a staunch defender of unlimited predestination, and the "Grace alone" system; but he now began to denounce Predestination as being "Fatalistic," etc. All these sayings he had borrowed from the enemies of the truth. He began teaching that, after regeneration, the child must make his own way here in this time world, according to his own choice; that God had promised him rewards "if he would obey Him;" and that obedience was wholly the work of the child of God and depended upon the free volition of the child's will. Pretty soon, he and others organized a Sunday School at Palmersville, Tennessee, with J. B. Ezell as secretary. This school was composed of members of any and all denominations who might wish to join. In their exercises they sang and prayed together, being led by any one, irrespective of religious order. Elder Kirkland espoused the "New Association Movement" and began to canvass the churches (that had been mostly involved in the Means heresy), and to urge them to get letters from the Bethel Association, and succeeded in getting four of our churches to follow him. They turned what they had called "meetings of days" into protracted, or rather distracted meetings [revivals meetings, so-called] in which they almost in toto neglected doctrinal preaching except to denounce and vilify it with such sayings as "strong diet would cause dyspepsia." As you have read in the papers, that if you waited for God to make you join the church you would never join. That God "wanted" you to join, but had left the matter with you, that God in regeneration gives His children ability to obey all of His commandments; that He "wanted" His children to be happy during this time life, that there was no need of all these doubts and fears that we complain of if we would do our "duty," that if we would do these things, which they would take the pains to assert we had the power to do, that we would reach a higher plain where we could enjoy the sunlight of God's smiles. They would tell the people that there were thousands that had a hope, but did not know it. They would tell how people might "know" that they were born again; that if the young people, when they came home on Sunday night, thought of something that they had said or done during the day that was wrong, and were sorry for it, it was a clear evidence that they were born again, and if they "wanted" to be happy, just come and join the good old church and be baptized for (in order to) the remission of sins; that there was no use telling an experience of grace; that all the Bible required was for them to confess the Saviour - that they believed that Jesus was their Saviour - that thousands were kept out of the church by this long experience telling, and wind up by telling (what they had read in some Sunday School book) of an empty rocking-chair, an unturned plate at the table, a little red-striped stocking hanging on the wall, and by this kind of foolishness these Primitive Baptists have the people crying all over the house. Now they would tell their brethren and sisters if any of them had friends present that they thought ought to join the church for them to go to them and persuade them to come to the church, and the result would be a "large in-gathering."

Now this is no fancy sketch. I have witnessed nearly everything that I have here mentioned in their meetings, and this is not all. They have introduced Arminian hymn-books into their churches (they say for class singing) for the use of the church in her devotional exercises. At first, they began to use such sayings as these: "I would to God that our people would send men to every nook and comer of the earth, that everyone might hear the Gospel preached," and that "we ought to have some system by which to send the Gospel to the destitute," etc. They would and did in the presence of our own preachers call on Methodist ministers to lead them in their devotional exercises.

I saw them (the Kirklands) invite all denominations to give the hand of fellowship to those joining the church, heard them deny the foreknowledge of God, and preach that baptism is in order to the remission of sins, saw them receive a man without any relation of an experience of grace, heard them preach against telling an experience before the church, and tell the people that all who had a hope ought to join some church, as though one denomination was as good as another.

In view of all this, what could I do but object to this as being "Primitive Baptist faith or practice." "But," says one, "did no one else object but you?" Answer: Yes. Many of the old members objected and complained of these "new things." But the Kirklands and their associates had baptized a "majority" into their churches, and those that opposed their way of doing had to submit or withdraw from the majority. This was what brought about the separation at Bethel. The majority tried to force the minority to retain Elder R. S. Kirkland as pastor, and make the minority receive the communion at his hands, which they were unwilling to do, as Elder Kirkland had been charged with departures, and the Bethel Primitive Baptist Association, of which Bethel church was a member, because of these charges had refused to receive correspondence from the Philisic Association. The minority contended with the majority that it would be disorder from them to retain Kirkland as their pastor, he being under charges, that it did not matter, per se, whether he was guilty or not, that he was under the charge, and that he "thereby forfeited all of his rights and privileges as pastor" until these charges were removed. The majority part, or conditional ists, would not hear to this; whereupon the minority withdrew from the majority, and declared themselves to be the church in order. Some two hours afterwards, the majority acted and pretended to exclude the minority for breaking church covenant. After this the minority in conference called upon each church of our Association to send three messengers, each, to meet with them and to look into their acts and advise them as to whether they had done right or wrong.

The majority of the churches responded, and after due investigation, decided that the minority had done right, And was the church at Bethel in order? The decision of this Council was, that any minister under charges of heresy, whether he be guilty or not, was thereby disqualified to administer the ordinances, and that the minority had the right to withdraw, or, in other words, exclude the majority. They based their decision on the following Scripture and Baptist discipline: "Now we command you, brethren, in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which he received of us." (II Thess. 3:6) It has been a precedent established among Baptists from the beginning that when a majority of a church become heretical, or departs from the original practice of the Scriptures, that the minority have a right to withdraw from them, and that when they do so they are, and always have been from Novatian until now, regarded as the church in order. Therefore, this Council could do nothing less than recognize the minority [the Predestinarians] at Bethel as the church, and so reported it, and she was acknowledged by the association as such. The majority, of course, held on to Elder Kirkland, and Kirkland publicly said that he would serve them if he had to wade through blood to his knees, denying the charges against him and publicly denouncing me as a liar!

At the suggestion of Elder S. F. Cayce, he, J.K. Stephens, R.S. Kirkland and J.V. Kirkland, and myself met in Fulton, Ky., to try to adjust the matter in some way. At this meeting I presented the following charges against R. S. Kirkland:

1. That he (at Bethel) received a member without a relation of an experience of grace.

2. That he invited all denominations to give the hand of Christian fellowship to those who joined the church.

3. That he said in his preaching that all who had a hope "ought to join some church, as though one church or denomination would do as well as another for a Home for God's children.

4. That he sent his members into the congregation to talk to their friends to get them to join the church.

5. That at this meeting, he (Kirkland), preached that repentance and baptism are "in order to" the remission of sins. - 6. That he denied that God foreknew all things.

The result of the meeting at Fulton was that Elder R. S. Kirkland frankly acknowledged three of the charges. In proof of this, I refer you to Elders K. M. Myatt, J. M. Perkins, A. J. Luther, and Monroe Kitts - all preachers, who say that Elder S. F. Cayce told them a few days after the meeting that he, (Cayce), believed Kirkland was guilty of everything Boaz had charged him with, for he had frankly acknowledged three of them publicly and virtually confessed them all.

With this knowledge, Cayce published in a few weeks after this meeting, in his paper, [The Primitive Baptist) their denial of these charges, and then refused me space for a reply for months The Kirklands now began to screen themselves, and grew bold in denouncing Boaz as a liar. The brethren began making propositions for an investigation. I accepted every proposition that was made. Then they refused every one, until finally Elder Sylvester Hassell came through this country at their request. When he came, the Kirklands took charge of him and hardly let him get out of their sight while here. After he left this part of the country, the Kirklands still with him, he wrote me the following proposition which I accepted: That I select three distant and disinterested brethren, and they (the Kirklands) three, and that they and I agree on the seventh; these to compose a Council to investigate all the differences between us, etc. But in the meantime our churches had seen the deceitful workings of the Kirklands, until they were unwilling to have any intercourse with them whatever, hence they refused for a time to have anything to do with the proposition. But finally, at Mount Zion meeting house last May, the Union Meeting, which was composed of all our churches, agreed to accept "The Hassell Proposition," and referred it to the churches for their ratification, - the churches to report at the next Union, of course.

Elder S.F.Cayce, the very one who made this motion, contended that the Union could not lord it over the churches, that this belonged to the several churches that composed the Union, not to the Union. At the next Union Meeting, which met at Little Flock last September, seven (7) churches reported that they were opposed to the having anything to do with the Hassell Proposition (the churches right), five (5) reported in favor of it; whereupon C. H. Cayce, a son of S. F. Cayce, made a motion that seven churches be dropped from the Union, and that they be allowed NO VOICE in this matter. Elder S. F. Cayce arose and made a speech in favor of his son's motion without being interrupted by anyone. When he sat down, I attempted to speak, but the Moderator, Elder K.M. Myatt, ordered me down, saying that I was out of order; that the accused had no right to speak!

In proof of the statement I have here made, I will refer you to nine out of every ten persons that were present at the meeting. The reason that I am thus particular in referring to proof is, Elder S. F. Cayce published a report of this meeting in his paper, in which he says that "the Moderator proposed to rule that the motion should be acted upon without any debating whatever on either side." The seven churches had gone contrary to my wish in denying the "Hassell Proposition," but they had done precisely what Elder S. F. Cayce and the Union meeting at Mount Zion had said was their right, and only theirs, to do; and because they had done this Elder Cayce and his son and Elder Myatt wanted to unseat them. I was unwilling to remain silent and see the rights of my brethren run over in any such way as this.

The motion failed, and Cayce and Myatt had their churches to quit us instead. But these seven churches reconsidered the matter, and concluded that it would be best for the Cause for them to accept the "Hassell Proposition." Accordingly, at our Association last fall it was agreed that the Hassell Proposition was accepted, and I at once opened correspondence with the Kirklands, the most of which has already been published, and will be unnecessary to repeat here. But there is something published in connection with these letters that I think should be noticed. I had proposed to them that each witness to be used in the investigation should be before the Council, and be sworn, if necessary. They refused to answer me, but insisted on calling the Council. In their mention of this in their papers, they say they accepted my terms and then I backed down, and prove their statement by three witnesses. I will say this of these three witnesses: That I know, and so do they, that two of them - Morgan and Croft - did not hear the conversation between Kirkland and myself. I was watching them, and by actual measurement later, they were thirty-two feet from us, on a crowded street with people talking, laughing and passing. The other name that they published as a witness I could not say where he was, but I will say this, that it does not matter where he was, for he did not hear Kirkland say that he would accept the terms proposed by me "in my letter." In proof of this, when we met the 12th of January, 1897, I presented the same "terms" to them, and they positively refused to agree to them in the presence of quite a crowd of witnesses.

I reminded them of their publication where they stated they had accepted them, and insisted that they agree to it again now, warning them that there were witnesses all around; but they refused to do it. When I found that I could not get them to agree to this, I then yielded to them, and we agreed to call the Council, and I asked them who they would agree upon for the umpire, or seventh man. They answered, "Hassell." I replied that I objected to him. They answered immediately that if they did not get Hassell they would not have anyone. I pleaded with them that it would be a violation of the Proposition itself to have Hassell, seeing as he had shown by his writings that he was biased. They answered that when Hassell wrote the Proposition they were present, and that it was an agreement between him and them that he was to be the seventh man. [The whole affair appears to have been politically rigged!] Then I told them that I could not, nor would not, submit to Hassell's being the seventh man. They knew before they named Hassell as the seventh man that I would not, nor could not agree to it, and doubtless took this course to break up the investigation.

Now, reader, I leave hurriedly passed over the causes of our present condition, and hope you leave not become wearied in reading. I have, of course, left out many things connected with this unfortunate affair that I would like to have mentioned. I have tried to give, in as few words as possible, a true statement of the rise and progress of our present troubles. We are now being stigmatized with such foolish sayings as "Can't-help-it-doctrine," "Fatalistic doctrine," and all such sayings as are now being published in Cayce's and Kirkland's papers - all because "we trust in the living God."

The Bethel Association is today contending for the doctrine [predestinarian] that she has always contended for. We believe in good works, and try under God's grace to perform them. But we DO NOT believe that the Gospel is a bundle of propositions and offers to be made to God's children or anyone else, but we believe it "is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth," and when we preach, we try to preach it. We do not believe that we or anyone else is preaching the Gospel when they are preaching the power of man, as the Cayces, the Kirklands, and others are doing now. We preach the gift of repentance, but we preach it in the name of Jesus; that He is "exalted a Prince and Saviour for TO GIVE repentance to Israel." We preach faith, but as being "the fruit of the Spirit." We try to teach God's children how poor they are in themselves, and how rich their Saviour is. We teach our weakness, but His power; our ignorance, but His wisdom; our sinfulness, but His righteousness, while those that have now departed from us are teaching to the reverse of this, if not, we would be together yet. This is where the Bethel Association has stood ever since I have been a member, which is 28 years last June (since 1869), and because we have opposed these new things, we have subjected ourselves to the misrepresentations and slanders of those that have introduced them.

Some that are now against us fought bravely with us until they thought they were on the unpopular side. Then they turned against us and have tried, and are yet trying, to destroy Bethel Association - all this "for filthy lucre's sake," supposing that gain is godliness. But, beloved, there are a few of us that are yet feeling content "to contend earnestly for the faith that was once delivered to the saints," and rejoice (at times) "that it is not only given us to believe on His name, but also to suffer for His sake."

Esteeming it a great blessing from God that we have been "reserved unto Myself (Himself) and have not bowed the knee to the image of Baal," (for we are not better than they who "slanderously report us,") we would have gone into the same idolatrous practices that they have, had not grace prevented us. Hence we have nothing to glory in but the Lord.

Hoping, dear reader, that God will give you to see the Truth, and make you love and practice it.

I am, Your friend, and, I hope, brother in Christ,

Fulton, Ky. R.H. Boaz, a poor sinner.

SUPPLEMENT

Since writing the foregoing, I have come in possession of a little book written by Elder G. T. Mayo, entitled, Things For Primitive Baptists To Consider And Decide Upon. Elder Mayo, at the time he wrote this book was the clerk of the Philesic Primitive Baptist Association. He says on page 26, "I believe that the church should have some system by -which it would be able to carry out the Commission of Christ." He bases this belief on his belief that: "I believe with all my heart that this command (commission) is binding on all of God's ministers and churches." You can see that he believed that it was the duty of the church to send the Gospel; a thing I charged upon the ministers of Philesic Association, which things they then denied. I have shown before that God does NOT depend on His church to send men to preach, but that He sends them Himself, and makes them preach where, when, and what He will. I will now show that the Bible Baptists have NEVER believed that He has required His people to have "some system" by which they can carry out the commission. I admit that at different times there have been men among them, like Elder Mayo (Fuller, Martin Ross, etc), that said they believed He did, and the Baptists at different times have had considerable troubles with this and its kindred beliefs as we are now having. But the true Primitive Baptists have always opposed it, as the Bethel Association has for the past many years.

The first attempt on the part of the Baptists in America to have a system was in 1814. Elder Hassell himself says in his church history, page 731, that "It was born of false zeal and we find nothing of it previous to this time (1814) in the history of the American churches, and nothing of it in England previous to the days of Andrew Fuller and William Cary. We cannot escape the conclusion, therefore, that the modern missionary system is an innovation and a human appendage to the church of Christ, worldly in its character and insulting in its nature to the King in Zion." Elder Hassell admits that the majority of the Kehukee Association was carried off into this "new fangled scheme" but denies that God ever authorized His church to organize any system by which the commission could be carried out. Elder Mayo, on page 47, states that the Kehukee Association inaugurated a system of prayer meetings in 1794, and says that he introduced the same resolution in his association. Then he asks, Was the Kehukee a sound Baptist Association? Suppose we let his friend, Elder Hassell, answer that question. "During this exciting time, (from 1794 to 1802, during the Frontier revivals) it might reasonably be supposed that some errors in practice would creep in. Too much reliance was placed at times on human means for the conversion of sinners and bringing them under a profession of religion." (H.C.H., Page 717) This is what I have accused the ministers of the Philesic Association of placing too much reliance on human ability. But more from the Church History, page 721. "In 1803 Elder Martin Ross introduced a resolution in the Association of which the following is a part: Is not the Kehukee Association called on in Providence, in some way, to step forward in support of the Missionary spirit?" This is what the ministers of the Philesic Association have now been insinuating for the past several years; that the churches should have some system, as Elder Mayo says, by which the commission can be carried out. Did Elder Hassell think this a sound idea? On the same page, hear him: "Simply to state this query is sufficient to show a settled purpose to depart from original ground, previously occupied by Baptists." This is the very things I have repeatedly said of the Philesic Association, but they have denied being guilty. But Elder Mayo at last comes out like a man and acknowledges his views. On page 48, he says that his preaching brethren claim to believe as he does, but would not act like him. Why?

 

"Because they were afraid, they said, that some one would say that we were trying to get up something new." No, Elder Mayo, the Kehukee Association in 1794 was not completely sound. The Mystery of Iniquity had already begun to work in her, which showed itself in that prayer meeting that was appointed by her. Like it began among us a few years ago, by the ministers and members that now compose the Philesic Association when you organized your prayer meetings and Sunday Schools, and commenced talking about sending the Gospel to destitute places, and "having some system," etc. This was done while you belonged to the Bethel Association; at that time the Bethel Association was not sound. But there were some that opposed your conditionalism and your new things as there were in the Kehukee. In the Kehukee these new things kept increasing until the year 1827. The Association then excluded them all. As it was with us, you have added new things to new doctrines until the Bethel Association withdrew from them all. First you had your Sunday Schools, then your prayer meetings, then your revival meetings, in which you use every exertion that you are master of to get people to join you; you have left off in some instances telling an experience of grace, yea, you preach against it and even made sport of it; you have gone so far that you have treated your mother - the Bethel Association - with contempt on account of her paucity of numbers, her old-fashion creed of faith, her experience of grace, her want of formal education and general deficiency in human polish and ability. There is no one that is familiar with your doings, among and towards us and will read the history given by Elder Hassell, of the New Lights that developed in the Kehukee Association, but what will be forcibly impressed with the similarity of your action. Your ministers have been heard to say, because our forefathers carried a rock in one end of the sack and the corn in the other end when they went to mill, was no reason we should; thus ridiculing us for our old fashion practice in religion, and unwittingly thereby acknowledging that you have departed from the "Old Paths." You are wont to stigmatize us as do-nothing-ists, as antinomians, as you have told in your own little book. You have insisted that young uneducated men, beginning to preach, should go to school, thus relying upon human polish more than the power of God. You have limited the blessings of God to His children to where the Gospel is preached, you have put the preaching of the Gospel in the hands of the church and the ministry, instead of God's hands. And thus you deny the power of God. You have denounced us as "fatalists," and thus you have followed, in your conduct towards us, precisely in the footsteps of the New School Baptists towards their mother, the Kehukee Association, and you claimed to be on Primitive Ground. So did they!

WHAT ARE THE CONDITIONS OF SALVATION?

BY ELDER SAMUEL TROTT.

Brother Beebe: - The next subject on which my views are requested is embraced in this inquiry: What are the Conditions of Salvation?

If the term condition were at all admissible in reference to that which is the sovereign act of Jehovah, I would give these as the conditions of salvation, namely: 1. That there are guilty, justly

condemned sinners to be saved; and 2. That a way was provided in which God is just in saving sinners or in justifying the ungodly. These are certainly inseparable from the idea of salvation though not conditions in the common sense of the term. If we were not sinners ruined in ourselves, and already condemned by the just and unchangeable law of God, we had not been proper subjects of salvation; but on the contrary would still be probationers; that is would be in such circumstances that our future destiny whether of happiness or misery would depend on our acts or the course we take. Could we get to heaven under such circumstances, it would be as much the consequent result of our own acts, as would be our going to hell in pursuing a different course; hence there could no more be salvation in the one case, than there would be unjust oppression in the other. So also in reference to the other circumstance or condition, justice must be satisfied; the law of God must be canceled in its demands or it would forever bar the flowing of grace to the sinner: God cannot deny Himself. Hence the grand leading subjects of revelation are that these circumstances actually exist, or that these conditions are fully met in reference to all who are chosen to salvation. Thus the use of the law on the one hand, to show our guilt and condemnation; "That sin by the commandment might become exceeding sinful." See Rom.7:7-13 & 3:19, 20. So on the other hand, the gospel is a declaration of Christ Jesus having magnified the law and made it honorable, and being the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth; and hence, of redemption and salvation in Him. Of Him it is said, "Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in His blood, to declare His righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; to declare I say at this time His righteousness, that He might be just and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus." Rom.3:25 & 26. Hence the justice of God is manifested in fully acquitting and justifying all them that believe in Jesus though in themselves they have sinned and come short of the glory of God, and are justly condemned by the law. So in christian experience, none can receive the hope of salvation in truth until they know themselves sinners, ruined and justly condemned by the law; and by faith know that God is just in pardoning and saving sinners alone through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus. On the other hand he that knows and feels his just condemnation as a guilty transgressor of the law, and the deep pollution of his nature and acts so as to have lost all hopes of escaping the curse by any thing of his, is the very character, whom, as declared in the Scriptures, Christ came to save. He came to seek and to save that which was lost. And he that by faith knows and receives Christ as the end of the law for righteousness, his hope for salvation resting upon a foundation that can never fail, is according to the Scriptural decision, a saved one.

But I presume the inquirer had in view conditions according to the common notion of the term; something found in us or done by us, which at least gives us the ground to hope for acceptance with God; such as our repenting, believing, sincerely seeking and loving God, &c. The natural mind becomes so completely imbued with this notion of conditions, by hearing and reading of them so much, as set forth by men, that even believers frequently, notwithstanding what they have been taught of themselves, and of Christ's full work, will be looking for some of these conditions as an encouragement to hope, instead of looking to Christ. Hence the propriety of discussing this subject. In contradiction to all notions of conditions performed by creatures interposing in the work of salvation; 1st. We are taught that "Salvation is of the Lord," that "He that is our God is the God of salvation." The consideration that He claims salvation to be of Himself; and that He is self-existent and absolutely independent, that everything else exists of and from Him, and therefore that He cannot be influenced to act from anything out of Himself, shows that salvation being of Him, it must be exclusively of Him. Were He induced to save by the creature's performing certain conditions, He would be controlled in the act by the will of the creature, and could no longer justly claim the sovereignty He does, when He says, " I even I am the Lord {Jehovah} and besides me there is no saviour. I have declared, and have saved, and I have shewed when there was no strange god among you: therefore ye are my witnesses, saith the Lord, that I am God, &c. Isa. 43:11-12. 2nd. The fact that those who are saved were, from the beginning chosen to salvation, and therefore before they actually existed or had done any good or evil, effectually excludes all conditions or works done by the creature. See II Thes.213, Rom.9:11. 3rdly. Salvation as wrought out is embraced in redemption; it is redemption from the curse of the law, and from under the law "Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us." Gal.3:13. And receiving the adoption of sons was the result of this redemption, Gal.4:4 & 5. And mark, it was God that sent forth His Son, &c., to redeem, and hence it was not that He was moved to it by any act of the creature. Even in His very birth as a Saviour, all fleshly power was excluded, He was made of a woman; not born by any act of man. And lest men might claim that God's thus sending His Son was the result of conditions performed by Abraham or his posterity, it is declared that, in the very relation in which Christ was born as a Saviour, His goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting. Micah 5:1 & 2, and Matt.2:5 & 6. Thus effectually debarring all creaturely influence or conditions from having any control over His coming. 4th. The experience of salvation, or being brought to have communion with God as a Father, is so represented in the Scriptures as effectually to deny its dependence on conditions. God is a Spirit, this communion of course must be spiritual, and of which the flesh can have no part. Therefore to enjoy it we must become spiritual. This can only be by our being born of the Spirit; that which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. The fleshly birth is the result of being begotten of the flesh. The spiritual birth of course must be the result of being begotten of the Spirit. So says our Lord, It is the Spirit that quickeneth, the flesh profiteth nothing. Of course the flesh has no part in the quickening or begetting. No room then for conditions here. See John 3:6, and 6:63. And of this birth as sons of God or as spiritual, it is said "Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God." John 1:13. Here all natural or blood descent is excluded, and of course all conditions performed by parents. No fleshly volition wills it, nor any will of man, even though he may be regenerated, produces it; but it is of God's sovereign volition. If we perform a condition as such do we not will the result? In excluding then the will of the creature, is not the condition excluded? - But 5. Not to be extremely tedious in multiplying proofs establishing the same fact, I will confine myself to this one more point of illustration. Paul in confirmation of the view above given of salvation as wrought out, says, Eph.2:4 - 6, "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, {by grace ye are saved;} And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus." Here he shows that the saints were delivered from it; and were raised up together and made to sit together in heavenly places - not placed back again in Adam's original state of innocency and like him left subject to conditions or the requisitions of the law; but embraced in the provisions of the heavenly or everlasting covenant, having no ifs in it, no conditions to render it uncertain, but ordered in all things and sure, Well therefore might Paul interrupt the thread of his discourse to exclaim, "By grace ye are saved," every line, and word, shows God as going forth in the sovereignty and independence of His love and mercy, toward guilty sinners; a love that even their being dead in sins, could not check, and one therefore which creaturely works could never have drawn forth. But Paul goes on in verse 7 to show an object God had in raising them up and making them sit together in heavenly places; namely, "That in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His kindness toward us through Christ Jesus." In the ages to come, that is, in the experimental deliverance, in all succeeding ages, of those He had made to sit together in heavenly places, He might show the exceeding riches of His grace, &c. One might have supposed that if Paul had mentioned only the riches of God's grace as that which He intended to show, no one would ever think of its being found so scanty as to be limited and confined within the bounds of such conditions as puny man could comply with. But the Holy Spirit knowing the proneness of man to bring every thing, even God's rich grace, down to the standard of earthly things and places, which all have limitations, directed the use of the still broader expression, the exceeding riches of His grace. That which is exceeding, must go beyond, over-top everything in competition; but if the grace of God in salvation, were suspended upon any conditions whatever, those conditions uncomplied with must bar that grace and therefore exceed it. And hence where sin abounded in the noncompliance grace could not abound. Not so, such is the riches of God's grace that it must exceed every impediment. So is the testimony, "That where sin abounded, grace did much more abound: That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord." Rom.5:20 & 21. It certainly can not be possible that a conditional salvation can consist with the exceeding riches and sovereignty of God's grace. Salvation must flow as sovereignly free from Him as did creation, for He is alike the God of both.

But again, many persons, generally sound, hold the idea of a conditional covenant contracted between the Father and Son, the salvation of the elect being suspended on Christ's fulfilling the

conditions thereof. The inquirer may have had reference to this idea. But there is no declaration made in the Scriptures of any such contracting between the Father and Son, nor anything to justify the idea of such a conditional covenant. That there is an everlasting covenant ordered in all things and sure established with the elect in Christ as their Head I think the Scriptures clearly teach. Of this covenant {or testament as the original word is in some cases rendered, though more generally rendered covenant} Christ is revealed as the Surety, Heb.7:22, the Mediator, Heb.9:15, and the Messenger, Mal.3:1, each of these terms conveys an idea very different from that of a contracting party, as will be manifest on a moment's calm reflection. The great mistake in reference to this covenant arises from man being disposed to think of God as such a one as themselves, and therefore when God's covenant is spoken of, they conclude it must be like the covenants existing between men; and to carry out the idea they split up the Godhead into contracting parties having distinct, and therefore clashing interests in the concern. But no such idea is conveyed in the language of any covenant revealed in the Scriptures. As the Psalmist says of the everlasting covenant, Ps.111:9, "He sent redemption unto His people: He hath commanded His covenant forever &c,", so it will be found in every covenant recorded, and in every reference to the everlasting or new covenant made in the Scriptures, that God appears as the sovereign Jehovah establishing every part by His absolute wills and shalls. Look at the covenant God established with Noah, &c., Gen.9:8-17; the one established with Abraham, Gen. 15:7-18, and the one, Gen. 17 - then to the covenant mentioned by David, II Sam.23:5 & Ps.89:19-37 and see the wording; and David's views of it, as confirmed to him as the type of Christ, II Sam.7, and then pass to Isa 59 21. and to the new covenant - Jer.31:31-34, and see if in any instance God appears in relation to those covenants in any other light than as the sovereign God commanding and promising in His own absolute independency? And then look through the Scriptures and see if you can find a single promise made to Christ as the Head or to His people in Him, depending on an if or contingency. If you cannot satisfy yourself hear Paul's testimony: "For all the promises of God in Him are yea, and in Him Amen, unto the glory of God by us." II Cor.1:20. I said above, this covenant was made with the elect in Christ their Head; thus all the other covenants mentioned in the Scriptures were made with certain persons as heads and their seed in them; the head being subject to the provisions of the covenant in common with the posterity. So in this in an infinitely fuller extent; He being their Head, their Life, their all, every provision centers in Him, whilst its blessings terminate in His seed. Thus the purpose and grace which secures their salvation, are given in Him, II Tim.1:9; all the promises of God are in Him, II Cor.1:20; and indeed He is the covenant; was given for a covenant of the people, Isa.42:6 and 49:8. And notice in all this, that Christ instead of being represented as stipulating and coming forward as a contracting party, is represented as the servant, God directing and promising that He shall do it and succeed. So Christ Himself represents the matter. He says not, that I came down from heaven to fulfill my part of the contract; but that, "I came down from heaven not to do my own will, but the will of Him that sent me," &c. John 6:38-39. Thus, in accordance with the above, when the sword of justice was commanded to awake, it was to awake against Him who was the Lord's Shepherd, against the Man that was His fellow. Zech 13:7. Thus, it was not by contract, but as the Lord's appointed Shepherd that He was accountable for the safety of the sheep. See also John 10:11-16. It was not to the God that was fellow to the Lord of hosts, but to the Man that was His fellow. It has been said that fellow means an equal. Not so, its proper meaning is an associate, and it here particularly designates, that Man who is the one Mediator, and who is associated in personal union with the Godhead. I think if the Scriptures are carefully examined on this head by anyone disposed to receive Scriptural truth, he will be convinced that the covenant securing salvation as sovereignly free and absolute as the purpose and grace thereby revealed; that God appears as God commanding it; and that Christ and His people are one in all its provisions.

To the inquirer then, in conclusion, I would say trouble not yourself about conditions of salvation. If you have been taught by the law to know that you are altogether sinful in yourself and justly condemned, be assured that God has provided in Christ Jesus a full and free salvation for you as thus helpless.

Centreville, Fairfax County, Virginia, S. Trott. Dec. 14, 1847.

DIALOGUE BETWEEN CONDITIONALIST & ANTICONDITIONALIST.

BY ELDER THOMAS BARTON.

Conditionalist. Well, neighbor A., how are you getting along in a religious sense? Are you still contented with your old notions of Antinomianism?

Anti-conditionalist. Yes, I see no cause to change my sentiments; and, according to what you call Antinomianism, so worship I the God of my fathers.

C. I do not doubt your honesty; my long acquaintance with you, and knowledge of your character, forbids me to doubt it; but still I cannot but think you are wrong, for the whole world is against you.

A. That is nothing new, nor does it in the least discourage me. Christ and his apostles were in the same condition - the whole world was against them.

C. But I mean the religious part of the world.

A. And so do I, for the world is the world, whether professing or not; I see no difference between the non-professing and the great mass of the professing world; all are under the same delusion, as relates to the plan of salvation; and the professing world is only the old wall whitewashed.

C. You say Christ was in the same condition; but was not Christ very popular while in the world? Great multitudes followed him.

A. Truly, there were great multitudes who followed him, and that, too, from the same motive which leads like great mass of our modern clergy, namely, for the loaves and the fishes; but, as a preacher, Christ was not popular. When he preached the doctrine of sovereign, discriminating grace, they said just what you conditionalists say now: "These are hard sayings; who can bear them?" And "many of his disciples went back and followed him no more." If he should appear among us now, and feed five thousand with a few loaves and fishes, it is very likely our popular clergy would follow him as long as they had any hope thereby of feeding their cupidity; but let him preach his and they will soon scamper off, and bear an evil report of doctrine, him.

C. This is one great objection I have to you - your want of charity; you think none right but Old School Baptists.

A. Just so; but why do you condemn us for what you must allow to everybody else? For there is not a man on earth that does not think everybody wrong who differs with him on any point in which he thinks himself right. Now you think conditional salvation right; and you must think everybody who differs from you on that subject wrong. We claim no more than you do in this particular. But, to your charge. This was the very charge, in substance, which was brought against the apostles and succeeding ministers by the heathens. You know they respected each others gods, and worshipped them when occasion called for it; but the apostles rejected the principle in toto, and thus incurred the charge of Atheism, and of being uncharitable. It is just so now; the popular denominations of the age respect each others gods; for in principle they are one; all the difference is in some sectarian peculiarity.

C. I find we differ as to the state of religion. I think the present a time of uncommon light; while you view it differently. I do not think there ever were such times for the spread of gospel light, for there is hardly a village now but has elegant churches in it, and of different denominations; and we see light is struck up in all directions.

A. Take heed that your light be not darkness. To me, such lights are no more than Will-o'-the-wisps, which only dazzle to blind, and lead to bewilder. Now, Sir, just view the trickery resorted to, to build and decorate the {so-called} churches, their amusing feasts, their gambling fairs, &c., and compare them with the principles and examples of Christ and his apostles, and you must see that there is no more affinity between them, than there is between a cabbage-head and a grindstone. If they would give to their various money-getting schemes their proper names, I should not trouble myself about them; but while they attempt to counterfeit the authority of Christ and his religion to sustain their abominations, the servants of God will have to bear testimony against them, even if the whole vocabulary of slander should be exhausted upon them, or even should they be chained to the stake.

C. True, there are extremes; but, then, the object is a good one, and this will answer the objection which you make to them.

A. It would be quite amusing, were not the subject too serious for amusement, to hear the Protestants crying out so lustily against Popery, when they have stolen one of the main props by which the corrupt edifice is sustained. I mean pious fraud, or the end sanctifies the means. On this principle, new and corrupt books have old and good names attached to them, to give them currency {lies invented to condemn heretics,} indulgencies sold to fill their coffers, and to feed the cupidity of avaricious priests; and now these are resorted to by Protestants, to build and decorate splendid temples, not to line the pocket of hungry clergymen, as they are called.

C. You appear to entertain very bad feelings towards the clergy.

A. I do; for I believe them to be among the greatest curses the world ever groaned under. It is to their influence, more than any other one thing, that the oppression under which the millions in Europe are now groaning, is to be attributed.

C. Ah, but they are the Catholic clergy.

A. All the difference between the Catholic and Protestant powers is attributable to the fact, that the latter never had the power of the former. Just the same as it was in the characters of Nero and Herod; the latter was as great a tyrant as the former, but his sphere was more limited, and hence he is less conspicuous on the list of tyrants. Protestants have whipped, imprisoned, tortured and burned such as they have denounced as heretics; and what more have the Catholics done? True, they have burned more, but that was only because they had more in their power; and now we hear our modern clergy lauding to the very skies their Puritan fathers of New England, whose history is deeply stained with the blood of martyrs.

C. Well, I am not disposed to justify the wrongs of Protestants more than you are; but to go back a little, I do think there is something due to public opinion, and it is certainly a fact, that all the preachers of the different denominations preach the doctrine of free grace; and this, I must think, is presumptive evidence against you.

A. I would like to hear you define what you mean by free grace.

C. Why, that salvation is free for all men, provided they will comply with gospel conditions.

A. That is, that Christ made an universal, conditional atonement; thus, for instance, he has done just the same for A. as for B.; and if A. should perform gospel conditions, he will go to heaven; but if B. should not, he will go to hell. Is this what you mean?

C. Yes, that is what I mean and believe; that Christ has made salvation possible for all men, provided they will comply with gospel conditions.

A. Why, there is neither grace nor salvation in this; both are excluded; for, according to this scheme, Christ has saved none; and if he does not save us, we are certainly lost. You admitted, that if A. performed the requisite conditions, he would go to heaven; but if B. did not, he would go to hell. Well, then, if neither of them performed the conditions, both would be lost; and what has the blood of Christ done for either? Nothing at all; for, after all that has been done for them, as you maintain, he has left them precisely in the same condition as they were before that something, you talk of, was done. And as to grace, there is not a particle of grace in it; for according to your notion of free grace, all our stores and auctions are free-grace stores and auctions. Any of our storekeepers will let you have all their goods, if you will comply with their conditions; and at our auctions, the conditions are generally read, and articles are struck off to the highest bidder. Just so with your conditional preachers; they act the part of auctioneers, by offering Christ to the highest bidder; and I can but think, from their manner, that they have taken lessons from Tidzel, the celebrated indulgence auctioneer. Grace is free favor, but that favor which is obtained upon conditions is not grace, it is reward. If you give a man money for services rendered, it is not grace, it is debt; but if you give to a poor man without service rendered, or to be rendered, it is grace.

C. According to your mode of reasoning, there can be no such thing as free grace; for if to make salvation possible for all men, upon certain conditions, excludes free grace from their salvation, I am sure that limited grace cannot be free; and you, by your contracted view of election, limit salvation to the elect; and I cannot see how this can be free grace.

A. Did you ever give anything to a poor man, in your lifetime, without any expectation of ever being remunerated?

C. Yes, I have more than once.

A. Well, was this act of yours a free favor?

C. Yes, because I had no expectation or desire to be remunerated

for

A. Did you give the same to every poor man you know?

C. No, that would be out of my power; there are too many poor for me to give to all alike.

A. Well, then, you admit that your gift, though free, was limited, and, according to your reasoning, could not be free, because it was limited. Now, Sir, is it not plain to you, that it was the nature, and not the extent of your donation, that determined the quality of the act? Had you given a dollar, to every poor man within the bounds of your knowledge, for services rendered or to be rendered, this would have made it a debt, not a gift; but had you have bestowed alms upon your poor neighbor without any prospect or desire of ever being remunerated, the act would then have been rendered a free grace act. And so in the matter of salvation; it is not the extent, but the nature of God's salvation, that determines its quality; and if but one poor sinner was the partaker of it, it would be an act of free favor, being bestowed without money or without price. Your system, Sir, may and does suit the views of proud Pharisees, who can stand and say, "God, I thank thee that I am not as other men; I pay tithes of all I possess; I fast twice in the week," &c.; but it will not suit the poor mercy-seeking Publican, who, convinced of his sin and guilt, feels experimentally convinced that nothing but mercy can reach his case. Suspend the salvation of such an one upon the small condition of one good thought, it would consign him to everlasting despair; he knows he has it not to render; for he now feels the truth of that Bible declaration, that "The thoughts and imaginations of the heart in man are evil - only evil, and that continually." Your conditionality goes to cover Christ with a mock robe, while it robs him of his glorious diadem, and places it on the head of the creature; his incarnation, toil, and sweat; his unparalleled sufferings in the garden and on the cross, are also rendered nugatory; for by it the whole human family, without one exception, are left precisely in the same deplorable condition in which Adam left them; but I rejoice to know that your system is not true. "He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied." "The Son of man came to seek and to save that which was lost." "Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works." "For by grace are ye saved, through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God." "Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but of his own mercy hath he saved us, by the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Ghost." Your plan, when brought into competition with the Scriptures, explodes into imperceptible atoms, and leaves its deluded adherents not a pin to stand upon.

C. Deluded adherents! Do yon mean to insinuate that I am deluded?

A. I do believe it to be the case, Sir, and can believe nothing else while you deliberately attempt to sustain the rotten hypothesis you are taking refuge in, on a baseless foundation.

C. Well, I must give you credit for your plainness; but still I cannot see as you do. There is a difference between us; yet I am willing you should go to heaven in your own way, and I will take mine.

A. No, Sir, it is not my own way, for had not grace prevented, I should have taken the same way that you are taking; but it is Christ's way, and not mine, and the only way that will lead to heaven. "I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life;" and, "No man cometh unto the Father, but by me." It is as plain as day, that we are not traveling the same road, but I am willing to trust my eternal all upon the plan I have been trying to define, and leave the final issue to that tribunal from which there is no appeal.

C. I cannot reconcile your system with the justice of God; I cannot see how God can be just in saving some, and not give all an equal opportunity of salvation.

A. If you will prove one thing, I will at once admit the force of your objection; that is, that God was under an obligation to save any of the fallen race of Adam; for if he was under an obligation to save but one, he was under an obligation to all; and if so, and he has only saved some, then your objection has weight.

C. If by obligation you mean, that he was bound to save any from a claim they had on him, I will not pretend to prove that he was, because this would exclude many from their salvation, and this I am not willing to admit; that you admit that he has saved some, and why he should save some and not all, or at least not give all an equal opportunity, is that to which I object in your scheme.

A. Let your objection be what it may, you have admitted enough to refute the objection, founded on the justice of God, by admitting that none have a claim on his salvation. Now, if an individual, having no heir-at-law, should bequeath to my neighbor a legacy, and should not name me in his will, I could not impeach him with injustice merely because my neighbor had no more claim on his estate than I had. The testator had a right to do what he would with his own; and as God was under no obligation to save any, and as he has, by a sovereign act of his own will seen proper to save some; he has done the others no injustice; he has only left them where they were placed by sin, under the curse of his righteous law. I have, however often been led to tremble for such objectors, when I remember that God is just.

C. According to your doctrine, I see no need of preaching, for the elect are sure to be saved.

A. Yes, Sir, they certainly will be saved, certain as that Christ has died for them, and is now at the right hand of God to intercede for them; but, Sir, as I presume you are a farmer, did you ever buy any sheep, and after you had bought them, order your boys to feed them? C. Yes.

A. Well, did you order them to be fed to make them your sheep, or because they were yours?

C. Because they were mine.

A. Then, will you not allow Christ the same right? He has bought a large flock of sheep; and with no less a price than his precious blood; and has he not a right to order servants, as he did Peter, to feed them? "Feed my sheep" - "feed my lambs;" was the command given him. Now this objection arises from a total ignorance of the design of the gospel ministry, which was not to make sheep, but to feed them; not to save or convert sinners, but to comfort and edify the household of faith, as fully explained by Paul in his epistle to the Ephesians, chap.4:11, "And he gave some apostles, and some prophets, and some evangelists; and some pastors and teachers, for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ; till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ." Here we have the design of the gospel ministry, given by the Holy Ghost, in which there is not a word about saving or converting sinners, but for the edification of the saints.

C. Well, I believe I must stop for the present, we may have another opportunity.

A. It is my prayer to God, if consistent with his righteous purpose, that, before another interview, you may be brought to see things in their true light, and if so, I am sure you will sing a different song, a song that will not put the crown upon the head of free will, but upon the head of sovereign, discriminating grace; and instead of making Christ a mere nominal savior, by your conditional scheme, you will view him as the Alpha and Omega in your salvation. Adieu!

TIME SALVATION

BY ELDER DAVID BARTLEY.

BELOVED - The Old Baptist people have long been troubled with the confusing doctrines of "means of salvation," "means of grace," and such like; but not until the present young generation rose up, who assume to be wise above all the fathers, has the confusing and uncertain sound of "conditional time salvation" been trumpeted forth in almost all the camps of Israel. In the last ten years this strange and startling blast of trumpets has echoed and re-echoed with exciting and bewildering effect, and great has been the widespread confusion and division, where peace and goodwill prevailed before. This dividing of salvation, and subdividing it into fragments and parts, partly eternal salvation, and partly time salvation, (as the teachers of this yea and nay gospel call it) they boastingly claim, is "rightly dividing the word." It certainly has a dividing quality, for it has scattered the flock. Yea, it has brought bitter strife and alienation into the rank and file of the conditional Baptists themselves. Thus has God confounded their language, and they cannot understand one another. And, as did the confused Midianites, they are now falling upon one another in deadly strife. But the remnant according to the election of grace, the little band with their spiritual Gideon, break their earthen pitchers that the true light may shine out, and shout, "The sword of the Lord and of Gideon." By this they conquer, for the Lord fights for them and gives them the victory.

Let us now consider salvation in the light of the Lord as revealed in the Word. "If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God." ,S Salvation is a Bible term, and it runs all through the divine Book, being used very many times, yet it is always the single, simple word, never plural, complex or compounded - "salvation." The plural word, "salvations", is not in the holy Bible. This term, "salvations," so, common and popular now, belongs to the literature of a yea and nay gospel, but it is NOT in the Gospel of Christ. This late word, "salvations," is incomplete without another word - "conditional," joined to it. For the recent salvations, so much talked of today, which depend upon creature obedience, are necessarily conditional. Any conditional salvation is necessarily of works, and entitled to a reward; therefore all conditional salvation is legal, yea and nay, and most uncertain. There is no grace at all in any conditional salvation, because the grace of God is free, unconditional, never sold and never bought. "Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt."(Romans 4:4) "And if by grace, then is it no more of works."(Romans 4:5) All conditional salvations call for works to obtain them, for something must be done. Hence, conditional time salvation cannot be the truth according to the Word of God. Grace is entirely excluded from this yea and nay doctrine of conditional salvations. The teachers of conditional salvation have not yet presumed to say the grace of God is conditional, and so all conditionalism is a denial of salvation by free grace.

Conditional Baptists, however, seem to think that they take away the objectionable features of Arminianism, or conditional salvationism, by confining it to "time," and so they qualify this legal doctrine of salvation by works by inserting the word "time" between the two words, conditional salvation, and make it read, "Conditional time salvation;" that is to say, salvation in time is conditional. If so, then salvation in time is not by grace, nor of the Lord.

Now it behooves us to know what salvation is, when it is, and who it is to. Salvation is redemption, deliverance; it is always in time, and it is always to the lost. No one who is not lost can be saved. The one who knows what to do, and can do it, is not lost. So doing conditions is not salvation at all, but merely working for a reward! We never go to salvation, because salvation is righteousness and justification, and we are sinful; but salvation must and does always come to us as lost. Salvation has no meaning to the one who is not lost, but claims ability to do and obtain the desired good. It is hypocritical to call that which is within our own power salvation. So long as Peter stood on the water, he did not pray, "Lord save me." Such a cry would have been false then; but when he had no power left, then the prayer was one of need, and salvation came to him.

When is salvation? Does it take place in eternity; or in time? It is important that we understand when salvation is. While the Bible clearly shows that God's purpose to save His chosen and predestinated people in Christ is eternal, the divine testimony is abundant and clear, that all the work of their full and glorious salvation unto holiness and a blissful immortality is begun and ended in time. This triple work of the Father, Son, and Spirit - three in one -consists in redemption, regeneration and resurrection. The resurrection of all the redeemed and heaven-born people of God shall take place at the last day of time. And so Christ said of all the church, that the Fathers will is that "I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day." And of every believer in Him He says, "And I will raise him up at the last day." The last day is a part of time. The resurrection of all the dead, who sleep in Christ, is the completion and crowning glory of their salvation. This is in time.

Redemption from the law of sin and death, by the death of the Son of God, is in time. So is salvation by His risen life in time. Paul says, "While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then being now justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him. For if when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of His Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by His life." (Romans 5: 8-10) This salvation by His life includes being born again, (in time), and passing from death unto life. "Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God." "Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God." (John 3:3; I John 5:1) All this is wrought in time. Paul therefore says, "He which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ." (Phil. 1:6) That is, until the full revelation of Christ in you in His resurrection, power, and glory. Until that glorious day, God will perform the good work of salvation IN you. 0 this is assuring and blessed, my beloved? In this faith Paul said, "For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed IN us." (Romans 8:18) This is the full glory of our ascended Lord Jesus Christ. God, who exalted Him at His own right hand of power, will perform His blessed work of salvation in us until the redemption of the purchased possession. "Then we shall be like Him; for we shall see Him as He is."

All the work of salvation is fulfilled in time. But the adjective, the long and dangerous handle, "conditional time salvation," is not found in the Bible as belonging to our time salvation. Nor should it, for it is not true in experience. But this is true: "Salvation is of the Lord," (Jonah 2:9) and this salvation is in time All the redeemed of the Lord shall be saved in time. "Who is like unto Thee, 0 people saved by the Lord!"

All legal teachers, who strive to burden the salvation of the Lord's people with conditions, are putting a yoke upon their necks which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear, but which is a curse and snare to the people, and a reproach upon salvation. But when they think that they have improved upon Arminian conditional salvation by inserting the word "time" in it, they are only deceiving and being deceived, for "this IS the day of salvation" now. "For He saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succored thee; behold, Now is the accepted time; behold, Now is the day of salvation." (II Cor. 6:2) So any one who is not saved in time has no salvation. Therefore, the modern term, "conditional time salvation," means no more nor less than conditional salvation. To prove this, they must first prove that Jesus is a conditional Saviour. This they dare not attempt to do. Salvation is of the Lord and IN Christ. Yea, He Himself is Salvation. "Mine eyes have seen Thy salvation." "Neither is there salvation in any other." Then there is no salvation in conditions, nor in man. "For by grace are ye saved through faith" - "not of works." (Eph. 2:8-10) "Truly my soul waiteth upon God; from Him cometh my salvation. He only is my rock and my salvation." "My soul, wait thou only upon God; for my expectation is from Him. He only is my rock and my salvation; He is my defense; I shall not be removed. In God is my salvation and my glory; the rock of my strength, and my refuge, is in God." David here personified the man Christ and every member of Christ. As this was true of David and Christ under the law, is it not equally true of us under the Gospel of grace? Since God only was the Rock and Salvation of His people under the old covenant, which was conditional, is He any the less their only Rock and Salvation under the new covenant in Christ Jesus, which is free from all conditions?

The Lord said, "For My people have committed two evils; they have forsaken Me, the fountain of living waters, and hewed them out cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water." This is a perfect description of conditional salvation; for it can hold no water of salvation.

But blessed be the Lord of salvation, Jesus saved His people from their sins, and gives them the water of life, and says, "The water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life." This is all my salvation and all my desire.

And now, brethren, I commend you to God, and to the word of His grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified.

 

David Bartley.

THE END.