“It is written in the prophets, and they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me.”—John 6:45

Mark, my soul, these precious words of thy Jesus. It was one of the old testament promises, that all God’s children should be taught of him. And as this condescension of God, in teaching, implied the Father, so the blessed consequence and effect of it should be, that every one thus taught proved his being a child, and inclined his heart to come to God in Christ as a Father. My soul, art thou come? Art thou looking to, leaning upon, trusting in, walking with, and seeking for Jesus? Is he the Lord thy righteousness, thine only righteousness, thine only hope, thine only confidence? Dost thou, like the apostle, count all things else but dung and dross to win Christ, and to be found in him? Courage then, my soul! These are blessed tokens of thine adoption character. None but God the Father, by his Holy Spirit, could have taught thee these things. None but He, that revealed his Son in the heart of the apostle, could have been thy teacher. Thou hast both heard and learned of the Father, and in proof thereof thou art come to Christ for life and salvation. Fold up then this precious scripture in thy bosom for thy daily use, and examine thine interest in Christ continually, by a mark so sure and infallible. And remember what the Lord Jesus hath said, as a collateral testimony to the same blessed truth: “All that the Father giveth me (saith Jesus) shall come to me: and him that cometh I will in no wise cast out.”

Continue reading

CANON

A word used to denote the authorised catalogue of the sacred writings. “The Greek word” says Dr. Owen, “which gives rise to the term canonical, seems to be derived from the Hebrew kaneh, which in general signifies any reed whatever, 1 Kings 14:15. Isa. 43:3. and particularly a reed made into an instrument, wherewith they measured their buildings, containing six cubits in length, Ezek. 40:7; 43:16. and hence indefinitely it is taken for a rule or measure. Besides, it signifies the beam and tongue of a balance. Isa. 436:6. ‘they weighed silver on the cane; that is, saith the Targum, ‘in the balance.’ This also is the primary and proper signification of the Greek word. Hence common, wherein it signifies a moral rule. Aristotle calls the law the rule of the administration; and hence it is that the written word of God being in itself absolutely right, and appointed to be the rule of faith and obedience, is eminently called ‘canonical.'”

The ancient canon of the books of the Old Testament, ordinarily attributed to Ezra, was divided into the law, the prophets, and the hagiographia, to which our Saviour refers, Luke 24:45. The same division is also mentioned by Josephus. This is the canon allowed to have been followed by the primitive church till the council of Carthage; and, according to Jerome, this consisted of no more than twenty-two books, answering to the number of the Hebrew alphabet, though at present they are classed into twenty-four divisions. That council enlarged the canon very considerably, taking into it the apocryphal books; which the council of Trent farther enforced, enjoining them to be received as books of holy Scripture, upon pain of anathema. The Romanists, in defence of this canon, say, that it is the same with that of the council of Hippo, held in 393; and with that of the third council of Carthage of 397, at which were present forty-six bishops, and among the rest St. Augustine. Their canon of the New Testament, however, perfectly agrees with ours. It consists of books that are well known, some of which have been universally acknowledged; such are the four Gospels, the Acts of the Apostles, thirteen epistles of St. Paul, first of St. Peter, and first of St. John; and others, concerning which doubts were entertained, but which were afterwards received as genuine; such are the Epistle to the Hebrews, that of James, the second of Peter, the second and third of John, that of Jude, and the Revelation. These books were written at different times; and they are authenticated, not by the decrees of councils or infallible authority, but by such evidence as is thought sufficient in the case of any other ancient writings. They were extensively diffused, and read in every Christian society; they were valued and preserved with care by the first Christians; they were cited by Christian writers of the second, third, and fourth centuries, as Irenxus, Clement the Alexandrian, Tertullian, Origen, Eusebius, &c.; and their genuineness is proved by the testimony of those who were contemporary with the apostles themselves. The four Gospels, and most of the other books of the New Testament, were collected either by one of the apostles, or some of their disciples and successors, before the end of the first century. The catalogue of canonical books furnished by the more ancient Christian writers, as Origen, about A.D. 210, Eusebius and Athanasius in 315, Epiphanius in 370, Jerome in 382, austin in 394, and many others, agrees with that which is now received among Christians.

Continue reading

“For, verily, when we were with you, etc.]”

In presence, in person, as they then were in heart and affection; when they were first among them, and preached the Gospel to them:

“we told you before;”

Before it came to pass;

“that we should suffer tribulation:”

Which they might say by virtue of Christ’s prediction to all his disciples, that they should have tribulation in the world; and upon its being the common case of God’s people, and the usual way through which they enter the kingdom; and the Apostle Paul might foretell this, upon the discovery that was made to him how many things he should suffer for the sake of Christ, and which therefore he always, and in every place expected; and he might have a particular revelation of the disturbance and opposition he was to meet with at Thessalonica:

“even as it came to pass, and ye know;”

Referring to the tumult and uproar in (Acts 17:5-10), and which should be considered so far from being a discouragement, that it was a great confirmation of the truth of their mission and ministry; nor could it be so surprising to them as it might have been had they had no previous taste of it.

Continue reading

Three times in Romans 15 the Apostle Paul draws our attention to the character and attributes of our glorious Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ with descriptive titles to comfort and encourage the church. Our Great Redeemer is called ‘the God of patience and consolation’, ‘the God of hope’ and ‘the God of peace’ (vv. 5, 13, 33). How blessed we are that God the Holy Spirit should leave us these wonderful descriptions of the Godhead as reminders and tokens of God’s love and grace for His people.

Our blessed Saviour is both the source of these graces and the dispenser. Our Great Provider is Himself patient and teaches patience to His people. He is trustworthy and faithful and teaches His people to hope and trust in Him. He is eternally at peace with Himself; self-contained, self-sufficient, self-contented and secures peace for His people by reconciling us to Himself and speaking peace to all His seed.

The God of Patience

How patiently our Saviour endured the contradiction of sinners. How we tested and taunted Almighty God with our wickedness in the days of our opposition; shaking our fists in His face. How adamantly we withstood His whispers of love, despised His gentle pleadings, mocking His forbearance as weakness. “Despising the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God was all the time leading us to repentance.”

Each one of us deserves to be punished as rebels, and damned to eternal separation. Yet, thank God, our Beloved is the God of patience, waiting to be merciful in conversion and ever longsuffering towards us His people despite our failings, weaknesses and faults.

What an example He provides for us to follow. As we wait patiently upon Him whom we recognise now as our Great God and Saviour, He becomes to us the source of all good, the fountainhead of every perfect gift. As He suffered patiently and endured for us the full weight of God’s wrath against our sin, might we not follow our Master when called to endure the opposition of men against us? Is the servant greater than his master? The church learns patience by looking to the God of patience.

The God of Consolation

Yet here, too, is a blessed promise, for our God is also the God of consolation. Our Saviour comforts His people in their trials, consoling our troubled hearts. He draws near to us in our loneliness, uplifts us when we are downcast, nourishes our soul when we hunger after righteousness, and refreshes us when weary. He bears our griefs and carries our sorrows. He is our Jacob’s Ladder by whom ministering angels supply all our needs, granting gracious promises, bestowing gospel blessings.

Like their Saviour, the Lord’s people in this world sow in tears. Jesus wept in sympathy, by which He taught us to love one another, and in bitterest anguish and pain indicating that no trial in this world is unknown to His people. I am convinced there will be no one in the day of judgment who will be able to say with any legitimacy that the elect people of God had an easier passage in this life. But through the tribulation comes endurance, from trial comes patience, from suffering a dependence and reliance upon our God.

The God of Hope

The Lord Jesus Christ is the God of hope to the church, in whom our trust is placed and upon whom our faith is fixed. On the cross we see our redemption won. In the empty tomb victory is declared, and the ascended Christ is the pledge of eternal life. In the gospel we hear His plan of salvation expounded and the good hope of the believer is assured in trusting a good and loving Saviour.

Upon who else can we trust, upon what else place our hope? Recently, I buried a close relative. It is many years since she last had any thought for the so-called riches or pleasures of this world. In life there is no lasting hope, in death no other hope. The Lord Jesus Christ is the God of hope, and a more suitable Saviour, a more able Deliverer, we could not wish or find.

The God of Peace

The King of Peace has won the peace that passes understanding. That peace with God is possible is wonderful for sinners to know, but oh, what manner of peace it is in its nature, depth and endurance. Its blessedness is beyond our ability to describe and transcends our finite minds. It shall be known only by experience. How troubled this world appears to the child of God, but what eternal contentment, joy and union stretches out before us in glory.

The peace is beyond the understanding of natural man in his spiritual ignorance. It is beyond the understanding of angels who stand in awe as the plan of redemption unfolds and reconciliation in time and eternity between God and man is revealed in every convert of sovereign irresistible grace. It is beyond the understanding of devils for whom no peace ever will be found. And though it is beyond the understanding of the guilty sinner with his felt need of pardon and grace, it is embraced, believed and rested upon to his soul’s everlasting relief.

The Lord Jesus Christ has made peace through the blood of His cross. How wonderful the plan of redemption appears to those whose sins are washed away, who are made ready by grace for the presence of God. What a story of love and mercy is salvation by grace. God Himself has stooped to die and pay the price of His bride’s deliverance from sin.

Patience, consolation, hope and peace are blessed gifts of heavenly love from the God of all patience, consolation, hope and peace. May God grant us to know these truths in our hearts and to experience their power in our soul as He comes and ministers these attributes of His character and nature to us.

Peter Meney

——————————————

Peter L. Meney is the editor of “New Focus“, a web-based magazine available online. Its purpose and aim is to spread as widely as possible the gospel of Jesus Christ and the message of free, sovereign grace found in the Holy Bible, the Word of God.

Continue reading

“Praise waiteth for thee, Oh God, in Zion.”—Psalm 65:1

Is this the language of my heart? Am I indeed waiting until that Jesus be ready to receive my poor praise? Hath God the Holy Ghost prepared my heart? Oh then, hasten to him, my soul, with thy morning offerings, poor as they are; for sure I am, Jesus is waiting to be gracious. God will accept both thee and thy offering in him the Beloved. Go forth to meet him as early and as often as thine heart can wish: depend upon it, thy Redeemer will be beforehand with thee, and is waiting thy coming. Neither thy praise nor thy prayer can outrun his love; for both are the blessed effects of his grace, and of his own quickenings. Precious Jesus, grant me to come as often as I need thee. And, Lord, if thou wilt grant me this blessing, I shall never be from thee, for I need thee every moment.

Continue reading

SCRIPTURE

Is a word derived from the Latin scriptura, and in its original sense is of the same import with writing, signifying “any thing written.” It is, however, commonly used to denote the writings of the Old and New Testaments, which are called sometimes the Scriptures, sometimes the sacred or holy Scriptures, and sometimes canonical Scriptures. These books are called the Scriptures by way of eminence, as they are the most important of all writings.–They are said to be holy or sacred on account of the sacred doctrines which they teach; and they are termed canonical, because, when their number and authenticity were ascertained, their names were inserted in ecclesiastical canons, to distinguish them from other books, which, being of no authority, were kept out of sight, and therefore styled apocryphal.

Among other arguments for the divine authority of the Scriptures, the following may be considered as worthy of our attention:

“1. The sacred penmen, the prophets and apostles, were holy, excellent men, and would not–artless, illiterate men, and therefore could not, lay the horrible scheme of deluding mankind. The hope of gain did not influence them, for they were self-denying men, that left all to follow a Master who had not where to lay his head; and whose grand initiating maxim was, Except a man forsake all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple.–They were so disinterested, that they secured nothing on earth but hunger and nakedness, stocks and prisons, racks and tortures; which, indeed, was all that they could or did expect, in consequence of Christ’s express declarations. Neither was a desire of honour the motive of their actions; for their Lord himself was treated with the utmost contempt, and had more than once assured them that they should certainly share the same fate: above working as mechanics for a coarse maintenance; and so little desirous of human regard, that they exposed to the world the meanness of their birth and occupations, their great ignorance and scandalous falls. Add to this that they were so many, and lived at such distance of time and place from each other, that, had they been impostors, it would have been impracticable for them to contrive and carry on a forgery without being detected. And, as they neither would nor could deceive the world, so they either could nor would be deceived themselves; for they were days, months, and years, eye and ear-witnesses of the things which they relate; and, when they had not the fullest evidence of important facts, they insisted upon new proofs, and even upon sensible demonstrations; as, for instance, Thomas, in the matter of our Lord’s resurrection, John xx. 25; and to leave us no room to question their sincerity, most of them joyfully sealed the truth of their doctrines with their own blood. Did so many and such marks of veracity ever meet in any other authors?

“2. But even while they lived, they confirmed their testimony by a variety of miracles wrought in divers places, and for a number of years, sometimes before thousands of their enemies, as the miracles of Christ and his disciples; sometimes before hundreds of thousands, as those of Moses.

“3. Reason itself dictates, that nothing but the plainest matter of fact could induce so many thousands of…

Continue reading

“That no man should be moved by these afflictions, etc.]”

Which the apostle endured for the sake of preaching the Gospel among them, and which he feared might be a means of troubling their minds, of shaking their faith, and moving them from the hope of the Gospel; for though none of these things moved him, who was an old soldier of Christ, and used to hardness, and an apostle of Christ; yet these were young converts, and not used to such things, and therefore might be staggered at them, and be offended, as stony ground hearers are; and though the apostle hoped better things of them, yet was he concerned for them, that no one among them might be unhinged by them, or succumb under them:

“for yourselves know that we are appointed thereunto;”

By the immutable decree of God: afflictions, as to their nature, measure, and duration, are appointed for the people of God, and they are appointed for them; this is the case of all who will live godly in Christ Jesus, and especially of Gospel ministers; of which these saints had been apprized by the apostle, and therefore was nothing new, unheard of, and unexpected, or to be looked upon as a strange thing; and seeing this was the appointment of heaven, and the will of God, they should be patiently endured, and quietly submitted to.

Continue reading

A Sermon Preached By William Gadsby At Hedworth, On Wednesday Evening, June 14th, 1848. The following discourse was the last preached in Warwickshire by the late Mr. Gadsby. It was delivered on Wednesday evening, June 14th, 1843, at the Baptist Chapel, Bed worth. The chapel was densely crowded. While preaching, Mr. G. seemed to be quite at home. After often hearing Mr. Gadsby for the space of 26 years, and having outlived him upwards of 30 years, yet the savour of his preaching is not erased; for there are times and seasons when the words and the sweetness attending his ministry come quite fresh to my mind. Well; he has gone, and is beyond the reach of all trouble, safely landed; and we who are now past the age of threescore and ten, but yet in the wilderness, can and do look back with a grateful heart to God for his great mercy that we are still spared to show forth his power to the rising race. The simple reading of the sermon will give but little idea of the burning energy, the, and power in the preacher during its delivery. The above remarks were made by Mr. T. Player, many years a local minuter residing in Coventry. He was the reporter who took down a number of Mr. G.’s sermons, as well as this one.

“Say unto my soul, I am thy salvation.”—Psalm 35:3

You and I stand on the verge of an eternal world, and unless God himself say to the soul, “I am thy salvation,” we must eternally perish. The great body of professors of religion are quite satisfied in talking about or hearing of a salvation. They tell us what great salvation God has accomplished for us, if we will but close in with it, if we will but do our part; and other professors please themselves with, talking about the discriminating doctrines of the gospel, and more or less ridicule the inward teachings and workings of God the Spirit in the soul, and the feelings of the poor sinner under them. But, whenever the Lord the Spirit circumcises the heart of a sinner by the knife of the law, he lays his heart open, and lets the contents of the heart begin to ooze up with abominable filth, guilt, and horrors. Nothing will then do for the soul short of the Lord speaking, and saying to such a soul, “I am thy salvation.” (This is what some superficial religionists call “corruption preaching.” Mr. Gadsby was wont to say such professors were sinners assuredly; but they were pretty sinners, never having seen their own ugliness as in the Bight of God; and not having been made to feel the malady, they knew little or nothing in reality of the remedy. Let the poor tried child of God judge how far he was right.)

All the efforts of nature will leave a man to perish in his sins. There is not strength enough in an angel to save him. In fact, if all the angels in heaven were to unite to save one sinner, that sinner must be eternally lost if he had not a better salvation than they could give him. He must have a salvation which none but the Lord himself is, and none but he can make known. If you are never brought to see and feel the need of such a salvation, your religion is not worth a thank’ee.

I shall endeavour, as the Lord shall give me wisdom and grace, and strength of body and mind, to make a few remarks on the following particulars:

I. Show what makes this salvation essentially necessary and particularly suitable for the sinner.
II. What this salvation couches in it.
III. That God himself, in his Trinity of Persons, is this salvation.
IV. Show the effect of a sinner being made to feel his need of this salvation. The quickened sinner, made alive to God, will be putting up this petition, and never rest satisfied without an answer, “Say unto my soul, I am thy salvation.” It will not do for him to be told all have a chance of being saved; it is all lumber to such a poor sinner. The man must have a salvation that leaves no chance of being lost. This alone will fit his troubled conscience; therefore his soul will from time to time vehemently cry, “O Lord, say unto my soul, I am thy salvation.”
V. Show what is the effect of the Lord revealing this salvation to the conscience.

I must be brief. May the Lord the Spirit lead me to speak such, things as his solemn Majesty designs to apply to your hearts.

I. Show what makes this salvation essentially necessary and particularly suitable for the sinner. What a blessing it will be if the Lord lays open some poor heart to-night! If he does, and lets you feel what your heart is, you will not be able to find a greater wretch than yourself in all the town. There may be practically worse; but you will feel, between God and your soul, the seeds of all iniquity within you. If they have not come out in practice, there is no merit due to you; for had the Lord placed you in the same circumstances as some are, and left you to your own workings, they would have come out. So we have cause to…

Continue reading

Preface

29 Nov 2022, by

The 1646 Westminster Confession Of Faith, Article 7, Paragraphs 2&3:

”The first covenant made with man was a covenant of works, wherein life was promised to Adam, and in him to his posterity, upon condition of perfect and personal obedience. Man by his fall having made himself incapable of life by that covenant, the Lord was pleased to make a second, commonly called the covenant of grace: wherein he freely offered unto sinners life and salvation by Jesus Christ, requiring of them faith in him that they may be saved, and promising to give unto all those that are ordained unto life his Holy Spirit, to make them willing and able to believe.”

The 1689 Second London Baptist Confession Of Faith, Article 7, Paragraph 1:

“Man having brought himself under the curse of the law by his fall, it pleased the Lord to make a covenant of grace, wherein He freely offers unto sinners life and salvation by Jesus Christ, requiring of them faith in Him, that they may be saved; and promising to give unto all those that are ordained unto eternal life, His Holy Spirit, to make them willing and able to believe.”

The language of the 1646 Confession is representative of the Presbyterian view of covenant theology, whereas that of the 1689 Confession represents the view of the Reformed Baptists. Both groups subscribe to a conditional covenant of grace, believing that God has made a covenant with sinners in time, requiring of them faith in Christ in order to be saved. This teaching sometimes goes by the name of Duty-Faith, and is often accompanied by the free offer of the gospel. It is on the basis of this conditional covenant that the foregoing groups have constructed their frameworks of covenant theology.

Benjamin Keach (1640-1704), one of the leading Strict and Particular Baptist pastors in London, endorsed the 1689 Confession, as his name appears with thirty-six other representatives “in the name of and on the behalf of the whole assembly”. However, three years later, he preached two sermons rejecting the notion of a conditional covenant of grace. In so doing, he destroyed the foundation upon which the Presbyterians and the Reformed Baptists have built their covenant theology.

The sermons were occasioned by the death of…

Continue reading

“It is high time to awake out of sleep; for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed.”—Romans 13:11

Solemn consideration! What time is it with thee, my soul? Let me ask, with the prophet, “Watchman, what of the night? The morning cometh, and also the night.” Perhaps there may be but a step between me and death. Am I really awakened from the sleep of carnal security? Am I alive from spiritual death? Am I dead to the world, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord? Oh Lord Jesus, impress these solemn enquiries upon my soul yet more and more, since everlasting happiness, or everlasting misery hangs upon the decision. My beating pulse is hastening to fulfil the appointed number. Even while I think of these things the account is increased. Every fleeting breath is one the less to take. Lord, make me wise to remember my latter end!

Continue reading

BIBLE

The name applied by Christians by way of eminence, to the collection of sacred writings, or the holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments.

I. Bible, ancient Divisions and Order of. After the return of the Jews from the Babylonish captivity. Ezra collected as many copies as he could of the sacred writings, and out of them all prepared a correct edition, arranging the several books in their proper order. These books he divided into three parts. I. The law. II. The prophets. III. The Hagiographia, i.e. the holy writings. I. The law, contains–1,Genesis;-2, Exodus;—3, Leviticus; -4,Numbers; -5, Deuteronomy. II. The writings of the prophets are-1, Joshua;-2, Judges, with Ruth;-3, Samuel;-4, Kings;-5, Isaiah;-6, Jeremiah, with his Lamentations;-7, Ezekiel;-8, Daniel;-9, The twelve minor prophets;-10,Job;-11, Ezra;-12, Nehemiah;-13, Esther. III. The Hagiographia consists of -1, The Psalms;-2, The Proverbs;-3, Ecclesiastes;-4,The song of Solomon. This division was made for the sake of reducing the number of the sacred books to the number of the letters in their alphabet, which amount to twenty-two. Afterwards the Jews reckoned twenty-four books in their canon of scripture; in disposing of which the law stood as in the former division, and the prophets were distributed into former and latter: the former prophets are Joshua, Judges, Samuel, and Kings; the latter prophets are Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and the twelve minor prophets. And the Hagiographia consists of the Psalms, the Proverbs, Job, the Song of Solomon, Ruth, the Lamentations, Ecclesiastes, Esther, Daniel, Ezra, the Chronicles. Under the name of Ezra they comprehend Nehemiah: this order hath not always been observed, but the variations from it are of no moment. The five books of the law are divided into forty-five sections. This division many of the Jews hold to have been appointed by Moses himself; but others, with more probability, ascribe it to Ezra. The design of this division was that one of these sections might be read in their synagogues every sabbath day: the number was fifty-four, because, in their intercalated years, a month being then added, there were fifty-four sabbaths: in other years they reduced them to fifty-two, by twice joining together two short sections. Till the persecution of Antiochus Epiphanes, they read only the law; but, the reading of it being then prohibited, they substituted in the room of it fifty-four sections out of the prophets; and when the reading of the law was restored by the Maccabees, the section which was read every sabbath out of the law served for their first lesson, and the section out of the prophets for their second. These sections were divided into verses; of which division, if Ezra was not the author, it was introduced not long after him, and seems to have been designed for the use of the Targumists, or Chaldee interpreters; for after the return of the Jews from the Babylonish captivity, when the Hebrew language ceased to be their mother tongue, and the Chaldee grew into use instead of it, the custom was, that the law should be first read in the original Hebrew, and then interpreted to the people in the Chaldee language; for which purpose these shorter sections were very convenient.

II. Bible, History of. It is thought that Ezra published the Scriptures in the Chaldee character, for, that language being generally used among the Jews, he thought proper to change the old Hebrew character for it, which hath since that time been retained only by the Samaritans, among whom it is preserved to this day. Prideaux is of opinion that Ezra made additions in several parts of the Bible, where any thing appeared necessary for illustrating, connecting, or completing the work; in which he appears to have been assisted by the same Spirit in which they were first written. Among such additions are to be reckoned the last chapter of Deuteronomy, wherein Moses seems to give an account of his own death and burial, and the succession of Joshua after him. To the same cause our learned author thinks are to be attributed many other interpolations in the Bible, which created difficulties and objections to the authenticity of the sacred text, no ways to be solved without allowing them. Ezra changed the names of several places which were grown obsolete, and, instead of them, put their new names by which they were then called in the text. Thus it is that Abraham is said to have pursued the kings who carried Lot away captive as far as Dan; whereas that place in Moses’ time was called Laish, the name Dan being unknown till the Danites, long after the death of Moses, possessed themselves of it. The Jewish canon of Scripture was then settled by Ezra, yet not so but that several variations have been made in it. Malaachi, for instance, could not be put in the Bible by him, since that prophet is allowed to have lived after Ezra; nor could Nehemiah be there, since that book mentions (chap. 13:22) Jaddua as high priest, and Darius Codomanus as king of Persia, who were at least a hundred years later than Ezra. It may be added, that, in the first book of Chronicles, the genealogy of the…

Continue reading

“And sent Timotheus our brother, etc.]”

In a spiritual relation, having the same heavenly Father, and belonging to the same Jerusalem, which is free, and the mother of us all; of the same household and in the same relation to Christ, the firstborn among many brethren; or their brother in the ministry, who was employed in the same business, and did the same work they did; or he is so called, on account of that strict and intimate friendship which subsisted between them, by virtue of which they stuck as close as brethren, or closer to one another than brethren usually do:

“and minister of God;”

Of his making, and not man’s; of his calling and sending, and of his blessing and succeeding; and who was a minister of the things of God, of the mysteries of God, of the truths of his Gospel; and who ministered according to the ability God gave him, and was faithful him:

“and our fellow labourer in the Gospel of Christ;”

He was a labourer, and not a loiterer in the Lord’s vineyard; one that laboured in the word and doctrine, that studied to show himself a workman, that gave himself wholly to meditation, reading, exhortation, and doctrine, and preached the word in season and out of season and was a fellow labourer with him who laboured more abundantly than any of the apostles; and not in the law, but in the Gospel, even in the Gospel of Christ, of which he is the sum and substance, author and preacher. The Vulgate Latin and Ethiopic versions leave out these words, and so do Beza’s ancient copy and the Alexandrian manuscript, “and our fellow labourers”, reading the latter part of the clause in connection with the former thus, “a minister of God in the Gospel of Christ”, as the former of these versions, “in the doctrine of Christ”, as the latter. These characters are given of Timothy, partly to show what honour was done the Thessalonians, in sending such a messenger to them; and partly that they might receive him with the greater respect, and treat him according to his character, office, and dignity; and chiefly to observe to them the apostle’s great affection for them, in parting with so dear and useful a minister for their good and advantage, as follows:

“to establish you;”

Which though the work of God, it is usually done by the ministry of the word; and then is the end of the Gospel ministration answered to the churches, when they are established by it; for notwithstanding the saints are in a stable condition, as in the arms of love, and in the hands of Christ, and in the covenant of grace, and upon the rock of ages, and in a state of regeneration, justification, and adoption, from whence they can never fall totally and finally; yet they are often very unstable in their hearts and frames, in the exercise of grace, and discharge of duty, and in their adherence to the cause and interest, Gospel and ordinances of Christ, through the prevalence of corruption, the temptations of Satan, and the reproaches and persecutions of men: and these Thessalonians were young converts, and just planted together as a church; and at their first setting out, sustained a considerable shock of afflictions, which made the apostle concerned for their establishment in the faith which they had received:

“and to comfort you concerning your faith.”

This is another end of the Gospel ministry, to comfort afflicted minds, and distressed consciences; it is the will of God that his people should be spoke comfortably to; the doctrines of the Gospel are calculated for that purpose, and the ministers of it should be Barnabases, sons of consolation. These saints might be in some doubt about the grace of faith, whether it was right or not, or about the doctrine of faith they had received; and therefore Timothy is sent to comfort them under their afflictions, which might have created these doubts, and to remove them, by showing them that their faith was like precious faith with the apostles; and that the doctrine of faith they embraced was the faith once delivered to the saints, and was the true faith of Christ: the words will bear to be rendered, “to exhort you concerning your faith”, as the Vulgate Latin version renders them; that is, to exhort you to continue in the faith, to stand fast in it, in the exercise of the grace of faith, and in the doctrine of faith, and in the profession of both. The Syriac version renders it, “to ask”, or inquire of you concerning your faith, being willing to know how it stood, since they left them, as in (1 Thessalonians 3:5).

Continue reading

AN ORDER OF SERVICE FOR DIVINE WORSHIP; DESIGNED FOR PRIVATE DEVOTIONS, FAMILY GATHERINGS AND CHURCH MEETINGS.

Sermon—“Forsaken”

For the full order of service, including hymns and reading, please follow this link…

Continue reading

‘But now commandeth all men everywhere to repent,’ Acts 17:30. This text has been considered a most clear and full authority for the duty of all men to repent and believe unto salvation. But this ‘all men everywhere’ we have sufficiently explained elsewhere, showing that this text cannot be taken to mean individual universality of all men, without doing violence to other texts, such as those of ‘all flesh,’ nor without direct opposition to the conduct of God’s power now for these eighteen hundred years. But a people of all nations and tongues, and of all sorts are intended, the same as they charged Paul with teaching, saying, ‘This is the man that teacheth all men everywhere,’ Acts 21:28, and which could not be all men individually everywhere, for no man could do so much as that. And beside, Paul was forbidden to go to some places and people where he was minded to go with the gospel, Acts 16:6,7; and yet the very same phrase is used for Paul’s teaching as is used in our text for God’s commanding; and which is of the same meaning in which Ananias must be understood in saying to Paul, ‘The God of our fathers both chosen thee, that thou shouldest know his will, and shouldest hear the voice of his mouth, for thou shalt be his witness to all men of what thou best seen and heard,’ Acts 1:14,15. And so only is it, that ‘All men shall fear and declare the work of God, for they shall wisely consider of his doing,’ Psalm 64:9.

Continue reading

Great changes are occurring in the contemporary theological scene and there seems to be a mass exodus from the old paths of our fathers in the faith to the new-fangled paths of what is now known as ‘Evangelical Calvinism’. The inspired teachings of the New Testament, the Reformation and the preaching of such 18th century stalwarts as John Gill, James Hervey and Augustus Toplady are being given up for the teachings of a comparatively nobody who is being re-created as a star, given VIP treatment and promoted as the new Luther, the trumpet blast, the sounder of the alarm, the one who fanned the smoking wick of the evangelical Awakening into a blaze and the prophet of the new evangelism. This person is none other than Andrew Fuller (1754-1815) who is being rehabilitated by the new orthodoxy and presented in a form which even he, in spite of his many heresies, would not have recognised as his own work.

Deceptive marketing strategy under a sound slogan

Fullerism has thus once again raised its ugly head amongst Particular Baptist and Reformed churches and become a product marketed under the catching slogan The Gospel Worthy of All Acceptation. Just as Fuller strove to make the Baptists respectable and clean them of what he called the dunghill of High Calvinism, so his modern fans are presenting him as their only hope in making Christianity a rational religion which even fallen man can comprehend and follow faithfully. We are thus seeing one formally Calvinistic church after the other, followed by their magazines and newsletters, proclaiming a ‘modified Calvinism’ which claims that the old doctrines are too high, or even hyper, and that an inner knowledge of the truth is as common as the offer of salvation is universal.

Anyone protesting against this down-grading of true religion by these people, who have rejected the Five Points and teach the relativity of the Law, must expect to be called a Hyper-Calvinist and an Antinomian. These are scornful names that Traill, Gill, Brine, Hervey, Toplady, Whitefield, Huntington and Hawker had to bear before us and God honoured their work no less for that. This paper will seek to show that a true Christian cannot possibly be a Fullerite as this would mean rejecting the eternal truths of God’s Word and rejecting the eternal validity of the Mosaic Law and Christ’s precepts as a statement of God’s eternal nature. It would mean believing that sin, the fall and redemption are to be understood merely figuratively and accepting the error that Christ was never placed under the Law on our behalf but ever remained above and beyond it. There is thus in Fullerism no imputation of sin, no transfer of guilt and punishment, no substitution, no satisfaction, no indwelling righteousness of Christ. Indeed, the whole work of Christ in His redemptive sufferings and death, for Fuller, was an arbitrary sham merely to shake man into an awareness of his natural duties to shun evil and seek God and thus grasp out and take the forgiveness that is his for the asking.

Fuller’s two-tier system of reason and revelation

Fuller’s teaching on Scripture is part and parcel of his general teaching on law and revelation. There are two kinds of rules which nature and revealed religion point out to us. The one is eternally right, the other is only right as long as God will have it that way. The former is natural i.e. part of nature and relies on man’s recognition of what Fuller calls ‘the nature and fitness of things.’ The latter is revealed i.e. not part of nature, is secondary to natural law and points to…

Continue reading

“Until the day break, and the shadows flee away, I will get me to the mountain of myrrh, and to the hill of frankincense.”—Song of Solomon 4:6

Methinks I would have every poor sinner, until the day dawn of awakening grace breaks in upon his soul, get away to the ordinances of God in the mountain of the Lord’s house: there lie should live, there wait, until the Lord speaks to his soul. And methinks I would have every poor sinner that is awakened, until the day of glory breaks in with an everlasting light upon him, get away to the gospel mountain, where the odour of Jesus’s incense, and the savour of his blood and righteousness, become sweeter than myrrh, and more fragrant than frankincense. Here, Lord, cause me to get away from all surrounding impediments, and to be constantly found waiting, that my soul may drink in the fresh, reviving, renewing streams, until Jesus himself, the morning star, breaks in upon my soul, to lead me home to his everlasting glory, in his bosom for ever.

Continue reading

LANGUAGE

In general, denotes those articulate sounds by which men express their thoughts. Much has been said respecting the invention of language. On the one side it is observed, that it is altogether a human invention, and that the progress of the mind, in the invention and improvement of language, is, by certain natural gradations, plainly discernible in the composition of words. But on the other side it is alleged, that we are indebted to divine revelation for the origin of it. Without supposing this, we see not how our first parents could so early hold converse with God, or the man with his wife. Admitting, however, that it is of divine original, we cannot suppose that a perfect system of it was all at once given to man. It is much more natural to think that God taught our first parents only such language as suited their present occasion, leaving them, as he did in other things, to enlarge and improve it, as their future necessities should require. Without attempting, however, to decide this controversy, we may consider language as one of the greatest blessings belonging to mankind. Destitute of this we should make but small advancements in science, be lost to all social enjoyments, and religion itself would feel the want of such a power. Our wise Creator, therefore, has conferred upon us this inestimable privilege: let us then be cautious that our tongues be not the vehicle of vain and useless matter, but used for the great end of glorifying him, and doing good to mankind. What was the first language taught man, is matter of dispute among the learned, but most, think it was the Hebrew. But as this subject, and the article in general, belongs more to philology than divinity, we refer the reader to Dr. Adam Smith’s Dissertation on the Formation of Languages; Harris’s Hermes; Warburton’s Divine Legation of Moses, vol. iii. Traite de la Formation Mechanique des Langues, par le President de Brosses; Blair’s Rhetoric, vol. i. lect. vi. Gregory’s Essays, ess. 6. Lord Monboddo on the Origin and Progress of Language.

Continue reading

“Wherefore when we could no longer forbear, etc.]”

Or “bear”, as the word properly signifies; or “bear that”, as the Ethiopic version reads; that is, “that desire”, as the Arabic version renders it; that ardent and longing desire of seeing them again, expressed in the latter part of the preceding chapter; which was as fire in their bones, and was retained with great pain and uneasiness; but now they could hold it no longer, and like Jeremiah, (Jeremiah 20:9) were weary with forbearing, and could not stay; or it was like a burden, which they stood up under as long as they could, even Paul, Silas, and Timothy, but now it became insupportable:

“we thought it good to be left at Athens alone:”

That is, Paul and Silas, or Paul only, speaking of himself in the plural number; for he seems to have been alone at Athens, at least at last; he considering everything, thought it most fit and advisable when at Athens, where he waited for Silas and Timothy, having ordered them to come thither to him from Berea, (Acts 17:14,15) either to send orders to Berea for Timothy to go from thence to Thessalonica, to know the state of affairs there, and Silas elsewhere; or if they came to him to Athens, of which Luke gives no account, he immediately dispatched Timothy to Thessalonica, and Silas to some other part of Macedonia, for from thence they came to him at Corinth, (Acts 18:5) such was his desire of knowing how things were at Thessalonica, that he chose rather to be left alone at Athens, disputing with the unbelieving Jews, and Heathen philosophers of the Epicurean and Stoic sects, sustaining all their scoffs and jeers alone; and was content to be without his useful companions, Silas and Timothy, who might have been assisting to him at Athens, in hope of hearing of his dear friends at Thessalonica.

Continue reading

Forsaken

29 Nov 2022, by

“And when the sixth hour was come, there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour. And at the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani? which is, being interpreted, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? And some of them that stood by, when they heard it, said, Behold, he calleth Elias. And one ran and filled a spunge full of vinegar, and put it on a reed, and gave him to drink, saying, Let alone; let us see whether Elias will come to take him down. And Jesus cried with a loud voice, and gave up the ghost. And the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom. And when the centurion, which stood over against him, saw that he so cried out, and gave up the ghost, he said, Truly this man was the Son of God. There were also women looking on afar off: among whom was Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James the less and of Joses, and Salome; (who also, when he was in Galilee, followed him, and ministered unto him;) and many other women which came up with him unto Jerusalem.”—Mark 15:33-41

We may be sure there was never a day in the history of the world quite like this day. In the first three hours the Lord Jesus Christ hung on the cross there had been general activity; a coming and going of soldiers, people and priests. In many respects Christ’s crucifixion was an execution similar to many others, the soldiers gambled for the Lord’s cloak, some people began to drift away.

There was a short communication between the Lord and the men with whom He was being crucified. Jesus had even been able to speak briefly to His mother and His disciple John in a tender moment of filial care and concern. But no one was prepared for what happened next.

Nature reacts

At noon, as the sun reached its peak its brightness suddenly dimmed, then darkened, then disappeared. The mocking cries of the Jews diminished with the light and were replaced with cries of fear and confusion. There was an earthquake, the ground moved, the rocks around about split and the graves of dead saints were opened and their decayed bodies exposed to the air.

The huge woven veil which hung in the temple separating the holy place from the holy of holies was ripped into two pieces from the top to the bottom just at the time when the daily sacrifice was being made. Imagine the…

Continue reading

“For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.”—Romans 5:6

My soul fold up this sweet and precious scripture, and carry it about with thee in thy bosom, and in thine heart, that it may help thee on at any time, and at all times, when thy strength seems gone, and there is no power left. Was it not when the whole nature of man was without strength, that Christ was given of the Father? And was it not equally so, when Christ came to seek and save that which was lost? And was it not in due time when Christ died for the ungodly; due time in his resurrection, due time in his ascension, “when he ascended up on high, led captivity captive, and received gifts for men, yea, even for the rebellious, that the Lord God might dwell among them?” Go further yet, my soul, as it concerns thyself was it not due time indeed, when Jesus passed by and saw thee in thy loathsome state of sin, cast out to perish, and when no eye pitied thee, that then his eye compassioned thee, and bid thee live? Who more ungodly than thee? Who more weak? Who more undeserving? Did Jesus then look upon thee, call thee, strengthen thee when thou wast without strength, and hath helped thee to this hour? Oh then, trust him now, trust him for ever. “His strength is made perfect in thy weakness.” And depend upon it, when thou art most weak in thyself, then is the hour to be most strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. He that in due time died for the ungodly, will be thy strength in due time of need.

Continue reading

REVELATION

The act of revealing or making a thing public that was before unknown; it is also used for the discoveries made by God to his prophets, and by them to the world; and more particularly for the books of the Old and New Testament. A revelation is, in the first place, possible. God may, for any thing we can certainly tell, think proper to make some discovery to his creatures which they knew not before. As he is a being of infinite power, we may be assured he cannot be at a loss for means to communicate his will, and that in such a manner as will sufficiently mark it his own.–2. It is desirable. For, whatever the light of nature could do for man before reason was depraved, it is evident that it has done little for man since. Though reason be necessary to examine the authority of divine revelation, yet, in the present state, it is incapable of giving us proper discoveries of God, the way of salvation, or of bringing us into a state of communion with God. It therefore follows.–3. That it is necessary. Without it we can attain to no certain knowledge of God, of Christ, of the Holy Ghost, of pardon, of justification, of sanctification, of happiness, of a future state of rewards and punishments.–4. No revelation, as Mr. Brown observes, relative to the redemption of mankind, could answer its respective ends, unless it were sufficiently marked with internal and external evidences. That the Bible hath internal evidence, is evident from the ideas it gives us of God’s perfections, of the law of nature, of redemption, of the state of man, &c. As to its external evidence, it is easily seen by the characters of the men who composed it, the miracles wrought, its success, the fulfillment of its predictions, &c. 5. The contents of revelation are agreeable to reason. It is true there are some things above the reach of reason; but a revelation containing such things is no contradiction, as long as it is not against reason; for if every thing be rejected which cannot be exactly comprehended, we must become unbelievers at once of almost every thing around us. The doctrines, the institutions, the threatenings, the precepts, the promises, of the Bible, are every way reasonable. The matter, form, and exhibition of revelation are consonant with reason.–6. The revelation contained in our Bible is perfectly credible. It is an address to the reason, judgment, and affections of men. The Old Testament abounds with the finest specimens of history, sublimity, and interesting scenes of Providence. The facts of the New Testament are supported by undoubted evidence from enemies and friends. The attestations to the early existence of Christianity are numerous from Ignatius, Polycarp, Irenxus, Justin Martyr, and Tatian, who were Christians; and by Tactitus, Sueton, Serenus, Pliny, &c. who were Heathens.–7. The revelations contained in our Bible are divinely inspired. The matter, the manner, the scope, the predictions, miracles, preservation, &c. &c. all prove this. –8. Revelation is intended for universal benefit. It is a common objection to it, that hitherto it has been confined to few, and therefore could not come from God who is so benevolent; but this mode of arguing will equally hold good against the permission of sin, the inequalities of Providence, the dreadful evils and miseries of mankind which God could have prevented. It must be farther observed, that none deserve a revelation; that men have despised and abused the early revelations he gave to his people. This revelation, we have reason to believe, shall be made known to mankind. Already it is spreading its genuine influence. In the cold regions of the north, in the burning regions of the south, the Bible begins to be known; and, from the predictions it contains, we believe the glorious sun of revelation shall shine and illuminate the whole globe.–9. The effects of revelation which have already taken place in the world have been astonishing. In proportion as the Bible has been known, arts and sciences have been cultivated, peace and liberty have been diffused, civil and moral obligation have been attended to. Nations have emerged from ignorance and barbarity, whole communities have been morally reformed, unnatural practices abolished, and wise laws instituted. Its spiritual effects have been wonderful. Kings and peasants, conquerors and philosophers, the wise and the ignorant, the rich and the poor, have been brought to the foot of the cross; yea, millions have been enlightened, improved, reformed, and made happy by its influences. Let any one deny this, and he must be a hardened, ignorant infidel, indeed. Great is the truth, and must prevail.

Continue reading

In this chapter the apostle expresses his great love to the Thessalonians, by sending Timothy to then, to establish and comfort them; and declares his satisfaction with the things he brought of them, and concludes the chapter with fervent prayers for them: such was his affection for them, that he chose rather to be left alone at Athens, and send Timothy to them, though so very dear and useful to him, as his characters show, to the end that they might be established and comforted, (1 Thessalonians 3:2)

And not be shaken with the afflictions the apostles met with, seeing these were no other than what God had appointed them to; and besides, they had been apprized of them before hand by the apostle, (1 Thessalonians 3:3,4)

But however, lest Satan should get an advantage of them, the apostle could not be easy without sending to know how things stood with them, (1 Thessalonians 3:5)

Next he proceeds to give an account of the success of this mission, and the satisfaction it gave him and his fellow ministers to hear of their faith and charity, their remembrance of them, and desire to see them, (1 Thessalonians 3:6)

Which comforted them under their afflictions, made them lively and cheerful, filled them with joy and thankfulness, and put them upon praying to God to see their face, and perfect what was lacking in their faith, (1 Thessalonians 3:7-10)

And then follow the petitions themselves, which are made both to God the Father, and our Lord Jesus Christ, that their way might be directed to them, that they might increase and abound in love to one another, and to all men, as they did to them, and that God would establish them in holiness in his sight, at the coming of Christ, (1 Thessalonians 3:11-13).

Continue reading

There are three leading divisions in this chapter. The first contains a refutation of those who ascribe a visible form to God (s. 1 and 2), with an answer to the objection of those who, because it is said that God manifested his presence by certain symbols, use it as a defence of their error (s. 3 and 4). Various arguments are afterwards adduced, disposing of the trite objection from Gregory’s expression, that images are the books of the unlearned (s. 5-7). The second division of the chapter relates to the origin of idols or images, and the adoration of them, as approved by the Papists (s. 8-10). Their evasion refuted (s. 11). The third division treats of the use and abuse of images (s. 12). Whether it is expedient to have them in Christian Churches (s. 13). The concluding part contains a refutation of the second Council of Nice, which very absurdly contends for images in opposition to divine truth, and even to the disparagement of the Christian name.

Sections.
1. God is opposed to idols, that all may know he is the only fit witness to himself. He expressly forbids any attempt to represent him by a bodily shape.
2. Reasons for this prohibition from Moses, Isaiah, and Paul. The complaint of a heathen. It should put the worshipers of idols to shame.
3. Consideration of an objection taken from various passages in Moses. The Cherubim and Seraphim show that images are not fit to represent divine mysteries. The Cherubim belonged to the tutelage of the Law.
4. The materials of which idols are made, abundantly refute the fiction of idolaters. Confirmation from Isaiah and others. Absurd precaution of the Greeks.
5. Objection,—That images are the books of the unlearned. Objection answered, 1. Scripture declares images to be teachers of vanity and lies.
6. Answer continued, 2. Ancient Theologians condemn the formation and worship of idols.
7. Answer continued,—3. The use of images condemned by the luxury and meretricious ornaments given to them in Popish Churches. 4. The Church must be trained in true piety by another method.
8. The second division of the chapter. Origin of idols or images. Its rise shortly after the flood. Its continual progress. 9. Of the worship of images. Its nature. A pretext of idolaters refuted. Pretexts of the heathen. Genius of idolaters. 10. Evasion of the Papists. Their agreement with ancient idolaters.
11. Refutation of another evasion or sophism—viz. the distinction of and .
12. Third division of the chapter—viz. the use and abuse of images.
13. Whether it is expedient to have images in Christian temples.
14. Absurd defence of the worship of images by the second so-called Council of Nice. Sophisms or perversions of Scripture in defence of images in churches.
15. Passages adduced in support of the worship of images.
16. The blasphemous expressions of some ancient idolaters approved by not a few of the more modern, both in word and deed.

1. As Scripture, in accommodation to the rude and gross intellect of man, usually speaks in popular terms, so whenever its object is to discriminate between the true God and false deities, it opposes him in particular to idols; not that it approves of what is taught more elegantly and subtilely by philosophers, but that it may the better expose the folly, nay, madness of the world in its inquiries after God, so long as every one clings to his own speculations. This exclusive definition, which we uniformly meet with in Scripture, annihilates every deity which men frame for themselves of their own accord—God himself being the only fit witness to himself. Meanwhile, seeing that this brutish stupidity has overspread the globe, men longing after visible forms of God, and so forming deities of wood and stone, silver and gold, or of any other dead and corruptible matter, we must hold it as a first principle, that as often as any form is assigned to God, his glory is…

Continue reading

“For lo, I will command, and I will sift the house of Israel among all nations; like as corn is sifted in a sieve; yet shall not the least grain fall upon the earth.”—Amos 9:9

Blessed promise to my poor soul; sifted, blown about by temptation. Look then to Jesus with it, and plead it under every new sifting time. Corn must be sifted, for it is much covered at times with tares and chaff. And so must the seed—of Jesus, that the precious may be known and separated; “for what is the chaff to the wheat?” saith the Lord. Oh Lord, if it please thee, for thou knowest the necessity of it, sift me, try me, separate me, not only from the ungodly, with whom I am constrained to dwell, but from myself, from my own trifling, vain conversation, from the corruption of indwelling sin in my fallen nature, from the vain thoughts which lodge within me. Yes, precious Jesus; sift all, and every thing which is unsuitable to thee, and let the whole fall through the sieve, that thou alone mayest remain with me, for sure I know my God hath said, though his Israel be sifted, yet not the least grain of the true wheat shall be lost.

Continue reading

MOLINISTS

A sect in the Romish church who follow the doctrine and sentiments of the Jesuit Molina, relating to sufficient and efficacious grace. He taught that the operations of divine grace were entirely consistent with the freedom of the human will; and introduced a new kind of hypothesis to remove the difficulties attending the doctrines of predestination and liberty, and to reconcile the jarring opinions of Augustines, Thomists, Semi-Pelagians, and other contentious divines. He affirmed that the decree of predestination to eternal glory was founded upon a previous knowledge and consideration of the merits of the elect; that the grace, from whose operation these merits are derived, is not efficacious by its own intrinsic power only, but also by the consent of our own will, and because it is administered in those circumstances in which the Deity, by that branch of his knowledge which is called scientia media, foresees that it will be efficacious. The kind of prescience, denominated in the schools scientia media, is that foreknowledge of future contingents that arises from an acquaintance with the nature and faculties of rational beings, of the circumstances in which they shall be placed, of the objects that shall be presented to them, and of the influence which their circumstances and objects must have on their actions.

Continue reading

“For ye are our glory and joy.]”

Or “our joy”, as the Syriac, Arabic, and Ethiopic versions read; this is a repetition, and a confirmation of what is before said; and signifies that these saints were then the glory of the apostles, being the seals of their ministry; and whom they gloried of and rejoiced in, and hoped and believed they would be such, as would be their joy and crown in time to come, and for ever.

Continue reading

Note 13. Several living ministers who once denied Duty-faith, now hold and preach it, and thus “build again that which they destroyed,” (Gal 2:18.)

But good men, with holy David, should “hate and abhor lying,” (Psa. 119:163,)—and the substitution of falsehoods for the Gospel is surely the worst form of untruthfulness.

Duty-faith is objectionable; for

1. Baptists who hold it, cannot plead that the Bible and the Bible alone, is the basis of their theology. They blame others for enforcing unscriptural tenets, and freely quote the Bible in denunciation of their errors. With what consistency can they do this, when they know that one distinguishing article of their own creed has no support in the Word of God?

2. The late John Andrews Jones, in the Earthen Vessel for September, 1863, conclusively shows that the Fullerian system of Duty-faith “tends to overthrow the distinguishing and glorious doctrines of the Gospel.” History substantiates this. The churches which adopted it at the close of the eighteenth and the early decades of the nineteenth centuries never contemplated abandoning the truths of the sovereignty of God in the election, redemption, and effectual calling of saving sinners. In how many of these churches, however, are these truths held to-day? The Down-grade is the natural and inevitable result of the departure from the truth which Andrew Fuller inaugurated.

3. It is a cause of the most deplorable division among Calvinistic Baptists. Till it was introduced, the Particular section of the Denomination was harmoniously united in the interests of the truth. This error severed them. Duty-faith mainly kept J. Stevens and J. H. Evans, J. Wells and C. H. Spurgeon apart. Duty-faith prevents all true Strict and Particular Baptists from active intercourse and fellowship with the brethren of the “Home Counties Baptist Association,” whereas they and ourselves would be one on all evangelical questions, but for this most unscriptural error.

How, then, the lie of Duty-faith can be practically harmless we cannot conceive.

Continue reading

AN ORDER OF SERVICE FOR DIVINE WORSHIP; DESIGNED FOR PRIVATE DEVOTIONS, FAMILY GATHERINGS AND CHURCH MEETINGS.

Sermon—“Jehovah My Shepherd”

For the full order of service, including hymns and reading, please follow this link…

Continue reading

AN ORDER OF SERVICE FOR DIVINE WORSHIP; DESIGNED FOR PRIVATE DEVOTIONS, FAMILY GATHERINGS AND CHURCH MEETINGS.

Sermon—“The Earthly And Temporal Covenants: Part 1”

——————————-
Some of the points I cover in this teaching video:
The Presbyterians and the Traditional Reformed Baptists believe God established a conditional covenant of grace with sinners (Gen 3:14,15), the substance of which is one and the same with the succeeding covenants, administered differently at various stages in history. The 1689 Federalists, a branch of the Reformed Baptist movement, believe God promised to establish a conditional covenant of grace with sinners (Gen 3:14,15), the pledge of which was renewed in each of the succeeding covenants, and finally established on mount Calvary with the death of Christ. I do not believe the scriptures support this notion of a conditional covenant of grace, and therefore the covenantal frameworks of the foregoing groups are erroneous.
In my view, the biblical covenants should be arranged under two categories: (1) Two spiritual and perpetual covenants—Works and Redemption; (2) Four earthly and temporary covenants—Noahic, Abrahamic, Mosaic and Davidic. The spiritual and perpetual covenants are concerned with the human race and are the basis upon which sinners are in relationship to or with God; the earthly and temporary covenants are concerned with the Jewish race and the physical coming of the Messiah into the world (yes, even the Noahic Covenant).
A Summary Of My View On The Earthly And Temporary Covenants:
I believe the thread which ties together the earthly covenants is the promise of the coming Messiah—First, each covenant was made by God with individuals belonging to the bloodline through which the Messiah would be born; Second, the purpose for each covenant is directly linked to the coming Messiah. It is from this bloodline that God the Father would prepare a body for His Son. And, it is for this reason God set this bloodline apart with special honor (making with them earthly covenants, giving to them special laws and bestowing upon them earthly blessings) during the first 4,000 years of history.
However, with the birth of the Messiah came the end of His bloodline, resulting in the cancellation of these covenants and the termination of the special honor God placed upon the Jewish people as a race. In no sense should these earthly covenants be identified with a conditional covenant of grace, or, to be one and the same with the covenant of works or the covenant of redemption.
The earthly covenants were designed by God to established the boundaries around which He would relate to and bestow earthly blessings upon the Jewish people as a race, in honor of the Messianic bloodline. The spiritual covenants are designed by God to establish the boundaries around which He relates to the non-elect and the elect throughout the course of history.
In this study, I provide a fuller explanation for the first half of the first paragraph of the summary statement.
Jared Smith, Muntinlupa, PH (25/11/2022)

For the full order of service, including hymns and reading, please follow this link…

Continue reading

“And it shall come to pass, that every thing that liveth, which moveth, whithersoever the rivers shall come, shall live.”—Ezekiel 47:9

Listen to this promise, my soul, and make it the subject of this morning’s meditation, of this day, and every day. See how rich, how extensive it is in the life-promising power. And the river of life in Jesus possesseth all these blessed effects. To every poor sinner, brought into this rich stream, it gives life, spiritual life, eternal life. And who shall describe the length, the breadth, the heights, the depths of it? Not only extending over all the continent of the earth, but from the borders of hell to heaven, and from one eternity to another. And its sovereignty is such that it bears down all before it—washing away sin, and guilt, and misery; diffusing streams of life, and grace, and mercy; opening sources of joy, and peace, and happiness, for ever and for ever. Oh precious, precious Jesus, make glad my soul with the streams of this river; be thou the fountain of all my happiness, and let all my springs be in thee.

Continue reading

Copyright © 2019, The Association of Historic Baptists