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Written by Wilson Thompson   

DISCOURSE VII.

Being an address in which is collected together the sum of the whole matter.

Studious reader; in this little book you have seen truth exhibited in six short discourses; and now we close the whole with this address, in which we purpose to collect together the leading ideas of each, and shew their concord in the system of our salvation by grace. In the first discourse we have shewed that there is but one God, and that all creation is under obligation to worship him, on account of the majesty of his character and glory, and for the favors bestowed on them in creation and providence.

In the second discourse we have shewed that this God was manifest in the flesh of Jesus Christ, and was the same object of worship and possessed the same majesty that he did before he was manifest in the flesh.

In the third discourse we have shewed, that the human soul of Christ pre-existed creation, as the medium of operation by which God created the worlds, and was the deposit, in which was treasured up all Gods children; with all their graces and all the purposes, promises and spiritual blessings the church should ever stand in need of.

In the fourth discourse, we have shewed that the notion of a covenant under the idea of a bargain is erroneous, and that it is not used in scripture to express God’s determination in our salvation; but that the purpose of God is used in stead thereof, and is the most proper for us to use.

In the fifth discourse, we have shewed what the atonement is, who was interested in it, how they were interested in it, and how their justification was affected by it.

In the sixth discourse we have shewed what the work of the spirit is, and what are the evidences of it; and now we have collected the leading ideas of each discourse, and shall shew their concord in the system of our salvation by grace. We are taught there is one God, and there is none other but he, and that he is love; he must therefore love something, and he did love Christ; for the very nature of love requires an object, and the very being of love brings forth and sets up its object: thus the soul of Christ was brought forth, and set up as a consequence of Gods being love: but the object of love was not Christ to the exclusion of the church, but Christ with his church in him; he the head and they the members: this is abundantly taught in the scriptures; for when God is spoken of as being from everlasting, there is no dates to express it by; but it is declared to be before creation, as in the 90th. Psalm 2d. verse: Before the mountains were brought forth or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting thou art God. So when Christ is spoken of as the head of his church, and the object of God’s love, it is expressed by the same mode of expression, as in Micah, 5. 2. Out of thee Bethlehem Ephrata shall he come forth unto me, that is to be ruler in Israel, whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting; and in the 8th, of Proverbs, I was set up from everlastiing or ever the earth was, and thus we are taught, that the very nature and being of God from everlasting, set up his own medium of operation from everlasting, whose goings forth as the head of Israel or the church, was from everlasting; as such he represented them before the world was, for he had his delights with them. Thus Christ could say, thou hast loved them as thou hast loved me; Christ and the church are but one, as it is said my beloved is but one; but one elect; he the husband and she the bride, the lamb’s wife in him, as Adams wife was in him when they were created; but one beloved; yea I have loved thee with an everlasting love; and again, we love him because he first loved us. – God did not love his people, because of any thing good he foresaw in them, but because his nature was love; Christ and they in him, were necessarily and constitutionally the object of his love; they were the subjects of his kingdom as a natural consequence of his being a king; for the same assemblage of things that constitutes a king, constitutes the subjects of a kingdom, and fixes the bounds of his special dominion; this bound was the human soul of Christ, in which all the subjects of his kingdom were constituted and encircled; and the very being of a king and subjects, implies his right of government, his medium of operation in government, the privilege of the subjects of his government; and the appointment of a king naturally produces all those consequences of his being a king; and although God was a king without appointment, his own independent existance invested him with the right of government, so his own existance brought forth his own medium of operation in government , which was Christ with all the subjects of his kingdom in him; he active and they passive; and thus in him the disposition of God is expressed towards them: all their grace or the favor of their king, is here given them; here the king’s great and precious promises for the subjects comfort and confidence are given; here the king’s great and precious promises for the subjects comfort and confidence are given; here the whole Godhead, undivided dwells, and there is no way to come to this king but by this medium, Christ; no way for God the king, to exhibit his glory to his subjects, but through the same medium; no way to commend his love to them but by the same medium; and thus Christ is a mediator between God and man: not the divine nature of Christ, but the man Christ Jesus, or the human soul of Christ, which we have before proved was and is the man, in scripture and in common use; here we see that God’s kingdom was organized in heaven, before creation, so was not of this world; here was the eternal purpose of God, and the appointment, choosing and predestinating of his people, that we have spoken of in examining the word covenant; thus after the kingdom, with all its subjects and government was completely organized and established in Christ, who stands the active head of the whole kingdom, and in whom are treasured up all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge; when God for his own glory created the worlds it was by Jesus Christ; and when he created man of the dust of the earth, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, man became a living soul, and ruler over the rest of creation, and was in the image of God and the figure of him that was to come. In this image or figure we are taught what creation was designed for, that is, we are taught by the authority given to Adam, in the image of God to rule over the earth, &c. that the earth is designed as the place where the government of God, in whose image Adam was created, should be exercised; and Adam being created with all his posterity in him, and the law being given to Adam’s family, and their privileges all given them in him who was a figure of Christ, teaches us that Christ of whom Adam was a figure, was the one active head, in whom all his seed or Gods kingdom was constituted; and that all the law or privileges of Gods kingdom was given them in him; and the woman being created in the man, and receiving the same name (and he called their name Adam) with him, and continuing in him until all the commands, privileges, prohibitions and penalties were delivered to him, and then being separated in person, but remaining still bone of his bone and flesh of his flesh, we are to be taught by this figure, that the kingdom of God or his church was organized in Christ, and remained in him, until all their rules of government with their privileges, grace and spiritual blessings, were given them in him; and when they were separated in person, or put forth in Adam, they still remain members of Christ’s body, of his flesh and of his bones; and by Eve’s being deceived, and eating the forbidden fruit, and giving it to her husband and he partaking of it from her hand, not being deceived; we are to learn that the church was deceived by the subtilty of Satan and fell in to sin, and under the curse of the law, but that Christ was not deceived, but received sin from the hand of the church; not that he sinned but that he received sin from them, or bore their sins which were set to his account as the head of the church; and as the whole race that was in Adam, was affected by his receiving the fruit from his bride; so we are taught that all that was in Christ, was affected by his receiving sin from his bride; for as Adam by eating the fruit from the hand of Eve, sunk all those that were in him under the penalty of the law, and the power of sin: so Christ by being made sin for us, raises all those that were in him, and makes them the righteousness of God in him; and so when God created the world by Christ for his own glory, he gives us the head piece of creation, as a figure of Christ, by whom he would display his glory on the earth; and when man had fell, from the state of honour in which he was created, and become exposed to death, God let the serpent know, that as he had commenced a subtile warfare upon his kingdom, put forth in the woman, as a figure of the church, he would put enmity between the woman’s seed and the serpent’s seed, and that her seed should bruise the serpent’s head, and he should bruise his heel: this was a declaration of war, between the two kingdoms; for the serpent or the king of the bottomless pit, has become an aggressor by tempting and beguiling the woman; so God declares open war with him, and lets him know, that the medium of his operation should come in the seed of the woman, and bruise the serpent’s head and thereby gain a complete victory over him. Here was some intimation of deliverance by Christ: this was expressed again to Abraham saying, in thy seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed: this work was shadowed out in the ceremonial law or the Levitical priesthood: but wonder O heavens! the weeks of Daniel are expired; the God of glory, with his treasury of blessings for his kingdom, comes down to receive a body of flesh prepared for him to assume, and to publish the rules for the government of his kingdom, make known the medium of conveyance from heaven to earth; exhibit to view his eternal purpose, reveal the glory of his grace in the face of Jesus who opens God’s treasury on earth to furnish his captivated subjects with all spiritual blessings, and engages in the battle, and by death destroys him that had the power of death, that is the devil; bruises the serpents head, dies unto sin, vanquishes death and takes away its sting; he bore the curse of the law, magnified and made it honorable, and thereby completed and justification of all his church, and rising he evidenced their justification, and brought light and immortality to light through the gospel; he establishes his kingdom on earth, under the same constitutional government under which it was organized in heaven before all worlds; then he assends to where he was before with all his people complete in him, but in themselves they remain depraved, fallen sinners; but in him justified and saved; but when Christ had ascended up where he was before, the king of this kingdom inspired some of the subjects, to write his will and testament, in which the great purposes and promises of God, with all his spiritual blessings are guaranteed to his subjects; hence the gospel contained in the New Testament, is an exhibition of God’s disposition towards his people, which were in Christ when his kingdom was first organized; but when his kingdom was established on earth it was exhibited in the New Testament for their instruction and comfort here on earth: now the blood of Christ, as the blood of the testator is that which makes the will of force, and places the heirs to the heavenly legacies on fair footing to receive the spiritual blessings, being free from the law by the atonement, and placed under the dispensation or ministration of grace, men of like passions with ourselves are raised; up and qualified by the spirit, to open the will of our heavenly father and the rules of his heavenly kingdom, and point the heirs to the incorruptable inheritance and enforce the law of love; this is called gospel because it is glad tidings of great joy; it presents Jesus Christ as the way to the father; points to his blood, as that by which our justification is completed; commends the love of God, the king to his subjects, and under its ministration, the subjects are brought by divine influence, to mourn on account of their disaffection to their king; thus the goodness of God leadeth to repentance, the divine nature is given them, and they are reconciled to God under the ministry of their minds, Christ in them the hope of glory; they are born again of an incorruptable seed by the word of God: and being born of the spirit they are spirit; they being his people, are made willing in the day of his power; the bond of union is revealed to them, which is love; not that we loved God, but the he loved us and sent his son to die for our sins; they love him because he first loved them, and can say to each other with pleasing wonder, behold what manner of love the father hath bestowed on us, that we should be called the sons of God. Thus the heirs of promise or the subjects of God’s kingdom are prepared to return to heaven again, where they were first organized a kingdom; and having part in Christ’s resurrection being risen with him, they shall all be raised in bodies like our saviour’s glorious body, when the last display that God designs to make of himself on earth shall be made. Then the earth shall have answered the purpose for which it was made, and may be consumed in flames; while Apolion’s armies must retreat from the judgment hall of our king; filled with horror and dismay, under an irrecoverable defeat to roll under the ponderous weight of their own enmity and rebellion, while the law of God which they despised, will now be executed upon them with all its curses. But the subjects of the kingdom of God, will enter into the kingdom prepared for them before the foundation of the world, there to enjoy the presence and smiles of their king eternally. Thus we have shewn that the kingdom that was organized in heaven before the world, in Christ, shall be all gathered to heaven again, to enjoy eternal glory in Christ, by whom every display of God’s glory has been made in the government of his kingdom; so we have seen the six foregoing discourses are all in concord, linking together in the system of our salvation by grace. First we have seen that there is but one God and that he is love in his nature and a king in his office; this his nature and official character, set up the human soul of Christ and the church in it, as the object of Gods love, and organized them a kingdom before the world, and that the soul of Christ was that in which the whole Godhead dwelt, and in which his kingdom was organized with all its spiritual blessings; that in this way Christ and God and the church are united together. The man Christ is the head of the church; and God is the head of Christ, thus the being of God as love unites Christ and the church, and this union gives Christ the right of redemption, and Christ’s redeeming them from under the law, completes their justification, and their justification places them under the ministration of the spirit, and the spirit changes the affections, or implants new ones in them, and prepares them to enjoy God and heaven when they drop off the flesh; thus they enter into the kingdom where they were first organized. This great purpose of grace inclosed the church in Christ before the world; and the world was created as a theatre on which to make a display of it. The Livitical or ceremonial law illustrated it under figures.

The prophets shewed before the coming of that just one; but the gospel reveals and publishes the will of God in which is a development of the eternal council.

The God of glory is manifest in the flesh; the heavenly company sing glory to God in the highest; on earth peace, good will toward men; all the glory of the former dispensation vanishes, by reason of the glory that excelleth: and as Mr. Campbell has well said, it was devised in eternity. Eternal life was promised in relation to it before the world began.

Four thousand years prepared its way and introduced its establishment. All the lights of four thousand years twinkle into insignificance, when the blaze of its splendor burst forth. When its august mediator appeared; the rod of wonders drops from the hand of Moses; the mitre falls from the head of Aaron, and the diadem and scepter departs from the house of David,

When the sacrifice is exhibited, the brazen and the golden alters lose their victims, the golden censor smokes no more and the sons of Levi no longer minister in sacred emblems. When its promises and its laws are unfolded, no thunder bursts on Sinai, no trembling shakes the ground, no fiery law denounces vengeance, but tongues of seraphs whisper peace. When its worship is instituted, the chosen tribes to Jerusalem’s temple go up no more, the worldly sanctuary not now is thronged with unfit crowds; the bellowing herds and bleating flocks with mingled sounds no longer rend the skies. But social prayers and united songs of triumph, rise from hearts smitten with the love of Zion. When its ordinances are instituted, no bloody rights embrws, the administrators hand; no bitter herbs accompany its stored feasts, but from natures wide domain, the choicest elements distinguish its sacred rights; water that purifies and refreshes, bread the staff of life, and wine that cheers the heart of God and man, emblems of Heaven’s best gifts, (Judges 9. 13.) the spirit of benevolence which it breathes, knows no artificial bounds, it respects not climes or nations, tribes nor tongues, but embraces in its bosom the frozen Icelander and the sun-burnt Moor. Its spirit is the spirit of love, of sacred awe, and of a sound mind; its zeal is not the infuriate damon of religious parties, that oft has gorged itself on the blood of human sacrifices; nor is it the child of blinded bigotry nor of wild enthusiasm – it is a true regard for the glory of God and the good of man. Its subjects are not the children of one birth, nor those of one particular family, they are twice born, once from above; their nativity and citizenship are in mount Zion alone. They are not subjects by constraint, but volunteers, a people made willing by the power of the highest. Their obedience is the obedience of love, for their king accepts no other; their seal is no external mark impressed by the hands of man, but an impression made not in the flesh, but in the spirit, by the finger of God. The laws by which they are governed are laws inscribed, not upon tables of stone, or on paper only, ministered by human hands, but on the living tables of the heart. The blessings which it conveys are not surveyed by the sun nor measured by time, they transcend the visible creation, they extend beyond the stars, and endure to eternity. The guarantee of them is not the word of man that repents, nor of the son of man that deceives: it is the promise, the oath, and the seal of the eternal, who is faithful to execute and omnipotent to accomplish. Blessed are the people that are in such a case; yea blessed are they whose God the Lord Jehovah is. For they may rest upon the immutable purpose, oath, promise and grace of God that cannot lie, and rejoice evermore, and in every thing give thanks to him who hath given them everlasting consolation and good hope through grace. And now I close this address, praying that grace, mercy, and peace from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ, may be with all our spirits, establishing us in every good word and work.

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