header image
Home arrow Writers arrow Wilson Thompson arrow Simple Truth: Chapter 5
Simple Truth: Chapter 5 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Wilson Thompson   


DISCOURSE V.

On the Atonement, and Man’s Justification by it.

The doctrine of atonement has been as much abused by men, as any point or subject that ever was delivered to man from the scriptures of truth: but as we do not aim at controversy, we shall simply attempt to show what we understand by the atonement, and who are interested in it; and in order to do this we shall persue the following method. First, show what we understand by the atonement. Secondly, who are interested in it. And thirdly, how their justification is affected by it.

1. We are to show what we understand by the atonement; the word atone according to Walker, means to agree, to answer for, to expiate, satisfy, appease. Atonement signifies agreement concord, expiation, satisfaction, thus the atonement performed by Christ, was his answering for us, and making satisfaction, and thereby expiating our guilt, by atoning for our crimes: to this diffinition of the word, the scripture most cordially agrees: see 1. Cor. 5. 7. Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; 1. Peter 3. 18. For Christ hath once suffered for sons, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God. Romans 5. 10. 11. 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. And not only so, but we also joy in God, through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement. Thus we see that the apostle understood the word as we do; but although all agree in the meaning of the word, yet there is a very great difference in the manner of illustrating this doctrine; and great division of sentiment, and a very material difference in understanding it; insomuch that one author tells us, that the atonement means reconciliation; and that reconciliation is effected, not by Christ dying to make satisfaction for our sins, nor bearing the penalty of the law as our representative; but by the power of sympathy, or by our reflecting on his sufferings, as an example for us to follow, we become reconciled to God, and so what we call the new birth, he calls the atonement: See Stones Second Address. Others say the atonement is Christs procuring or purchasing, some easy terms of salvation for us, and also purchasing all our blessings, both command special, and that by dying for original sin, he removed original guilt and placed mankind, in a state of probation, with power to fulfill certain conditions, and thereby secure their salvation; or reject those terms and be lost. Others tell us that both of these are wrong, for the atonement is Christ dying to pacify the Father, and by sprinkling his rich blood upon the burning throne, calmed the Fathers frowning face and turned the wrath to grace, and reconciled the father to the elect, and procured all temporal blessings for the none elect; thus while they are disputing on this subject, Mr. Fuller in his gospel its own Witness, undertakes to reconcile the disputants by informing us that the atonement was effected by Christs bearing a partial punishment for sin; not so as to fulfil the letter of the law, but to preserve the spirit of it, so far that the malignity of sin might be exposed, and God might forgive it, without appearing to act contrary to moral government; but still we have to think for ourselves, and differ very much from all those good men; for we believe, that the work of atonement was effected, not by Christs appearing to do what he did not do; that is appearing to fulfil the law; and not fulfiling it, according to Mr. Fuller, but by fulfiling to a jot and title, magnifying and making it honourable; not by purchasing blessings temporal or spiritual for us, but by dying for our sins according to the scriptures; not to affect our tender passions with human sympathy according to Mr. Stone, but to remove the curse being made a curse for us. Not to change the disposition of the Father towards us, by turning his wrath to grace, but by bearing our sins in his own body in the tree: Not to purchase some easy terms of salvation for us, and place us in a state of probation, but to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself; not original sin only but of many offences, unto justification of life; not a partial or conditional justification, but justifying us from all things from which we could not be justifyed by the law of Moses. Thus the atonement of Christ evendently is his suffering all that punishment which our sins, both original and practical did or could demerit, and thereby satisfying the just penalty of Gods law which we had violated, and by being wounded for our sins, and bruised for our transgressions, the chastisement of our peace was upon him, and thus the righteous servant of God justified many be bearing their iniquity. The atonement did not purchase any spiritual blessings for the elect of God, for he that spared not his own son but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him freely give us all things; neither did the atonement purchase the favour, grace or love of God; but was the strongest evidence, that he had given us grace in Christ before the foundation of the world, neither did the atonement purchase heaven for us but acquited the church from all condemnation, so that after regeneration they shall inherit the kingdom prepared for them before the foundation of the world: neither did the atonement make God love the church, but was the greatest commendation of the love of God, for greater love hath no man then this, that a man should lay down his life for his friend, but God commendeth his love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us. Neither did the atonement purchase any temporal blessings for the world; for the earth and the fullness of it is the Lord’s, and he gives or withholds as he pleases. He sends rain on the just and the unjust, as his favours bestowed to the world in creation; not as favours purchased by the atonement; neither did the atonement purchase the gifts or graces of the spirit, but freed the church from under the ministration of condemnation and death, and placed them under grace, and thus prepared the way for the spirit of grace to bestow its gifts and graces upon them, which it could not have done, while they were under the curse; without rendering them as miserable as Adam must have been if he had have eaten of the tree of life, after he had become guilty by eating of the tree of knowledge. Neither did the atonement purchase any thing for the world or the church either temporal, spiritual or eternal: but he purchased the church by his own blood; not that he purchased the church from the Father, but purchased it, or redeemed it from under the law, by his blood which answered every penal demand that the law could have against it; and by thus paying to the law its full price or demand, they (his people) are no more under the law, but under grace. Thus we have shewn what we understand by the atonement; and shall proceed to shown in the second place, who are interested in the atonement.

2. Those and only those are interested in the atonement that were united to Christ, before all worlds, for the atonement could effect none else; for justice would not allow of Christs suffering for sin, without union to the sinner; nor could we be justified by the blood of Christ without union with him, but as this union is disputed by many good men, and we think mostly on account of not understanding it. I shall endeavour to treat on this subject as plain as possible, and shew the indispensable necessity of such union in order to our being interested in the atonement by Jesus Christ; or being saved by him, upon the principles of equity. My present design is to render with as much plainness of speech as possible, the reason of my ideas intending thereby to prove at once the necessity and utility of this union; all our hopes of salvation are built upon this assertion, God is good; and that we may rightly conceive of him as being good; it is as necessary to see him justice, holiness, and truth, as mercy and love; for all those is necessary to meet in one, to constitute real goodness, but where is the justice of laying our sins on Christ if we were not so united to him, as to make it just. I am sure no one would call that judge either just, or good, that would place the crime of the guilty, to the account of the innocent; and punish him for it; but it hath pleased the Lord to lay the iniquity of us all on him, and he was wounded for our sins, and bruised for our transgressions; but is there any more justice in wounding Christ for our sins without union, than there would be in hanging one man, because another had committed murder? but if Christ and those for whom he suffered, was united as head and members; then the justice of the act does clearly appear, when the head of the body suffers with and for his members, then we cannot conceive of God as being good nor just in the imputation of our sins to Christ, without the consideration of union, if we call God holy, and yet say that he punished his own beloved son, for crimes that he never had done, nor was in any sense united to those that had committed them; must we not of course think them holy men that sacrifice their innocent sons to molock? If Christ died for our sins and was not united to us, it was contrary to truth, which declares that they are bone of his bone, and flesh of his flesh, then the truth stands unimpeached, for he and them make but one; he the head and they the members.

Thus we see the necessity of union between Christ and those for whom he made atonement. Again, if Christ had volunteered himself to die for us, it could not have done us any good without union because it would not have done us any good without union because it would not have removed our guilt, any more, then an innocent person’s being hanged unjustly would remove the guilt of the highway robber. If I am guilty of a capital crime, I remain guilty, if all the innocent men in the state of Ohio should volunteer to suffer in my stead, then if Christ died that God might be just in justifying; he must have been united to the church, before he suffered for them; or else the act of punishing Christ for their sins, is so far from having any appearance of justice in it; that was an earthly king to be guilty of such an act with his son, it would almost cause the blood to run cold in our veins, and every heart would rise up against the cruel act of the unequaled tyrant in human shape.

But ought we not to feel a double shock when we hear men trying to place this crime to God’s account; O my soul come thou not into this awful dilemma.

The christian world in general is willing to agree, that Christ and his people are united after faith, but not before; then it becomes our duty to examine when this union took place; and what the cementing bond of this union is. First, we sill examine if faith is this bond of union. Secondly, If Gods breathing into man the breath of life is this union; and Thirdly, attempt to shew what this bond is, and hint at is antiquity and strength; and shew how it clothed Christ with the right to make an atonement.

1. We are now to examine if faith is this bond of union; faith is a grace of the spirit that has to do with that union; but so far from being the bond or cement of it, that if we were not united before faith acted, it could never act; for it is an evidence of things not seen; but it could not be an evidence of union with Christ, unless such union had existed previous to the evidence of faith; an evidence is that which witnesses to a fact, but it never can create a fact, but the fact must first be a fact, and then the evidence can bear testimony to that fact; so by faith we know the world was made; that is, by the evidence of faith we know it. Whether faith is considered as retrospective or prospective it acts on facts; if it evidences that there is a heaven, it is a fact, and was so long before faith could have given an evidence of it. So respecting this union, faith is an evidence of it, but it must have been a fact before faith could be an evidence of it; and thus if ever faith is spoken of in scripture as having any thing to do in this union it is because it apprehends it, and bears witness of it.

Again faith has no uniting quality in it, but simply evidences to the truth; and is therefore called a belief of the truth; but if it has any uniting quality in it, it must unite us as much to bad men, as to good ones; as much to the world as to saints; and as much to the devil as to God; for it bears evidence to the truth of the one as certainly as to the other; and is a belief of the one, as much as of the other; so it is our happiness that faith cannot unit us to any thing but can apprehend union where it is; and division where it is. Thus we have seen that faith is not, nor cannot be the bond of union.

2. We are to inquire if Gods breathing into man the breath of life is the bond of union between Christ and his church: although this is much more reasonable than the other, yet this is equally false; for we find this union existed before creation, for in thy book all my members were written, then they were united with him as members, and their names written in the lambs book of life slain from the foundation of the world.

3. We shall now hasten to show what this bond of union is, & hint its antiquity and strength; and show how it clothed Christ with the right to make the atonement. – The bond of union between Christ and his church is love; and this cementing bond unites the church to both the human and divine nature of Christ, or the pre-existing soul of Christ and God in it; for God says yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love, and Christ says, thou hast loved them as thou hast loved me, and thou lovest me before the world was, but this uniting bond not only existed between God and his people, but between the soul of Christ and the church, for he loved the church, and gave himself for it; love is very dissimilar to faith; first, it has an uniting quality in it; it unites husband and wife, it never can be without union, for union is its very nature; it is that uniting bond that cements together all that it encloses; secondly, it differs from faith, for when faith evidences the truth of the being of wicked men and devils, love does not unite us to them because God is love and if God is love we are lost when we go to hint the antiquity of this union; we can only say it is as old as God, for God is love; but love must have an object or it ceases to be; for I cannot love, and love nothing; love is that endearing or uniting perfection of God, which could only exist, so long as the object beloved existed; nor could God be love before the object was beloved, neither can love be controlled, for it brings forth, produces, or sets up its own object, that is, must necessarily have an object, in order to is own existence; and as God is self-existent and independent, his existence as love, brought forth its object, which was the soul of Christ will all his people in it, and the very existence of God as king could only be because he had subjects for a king without a kingdom, is no king at all; so love without an object is no love at all. So we see that in order to our speaking of God as being love, or his existing as love, there must be an object beloved, and in order to his being a king there must be subjects, and thus the pre-existent soul of Christ, was the object of the love of God and his people in it were the subjects of his kingdom, and Christ was the medium of operation through whom God exercises his authority in the government of his kingdom; for in the pre-existing soul of Christ, the subjects of this kingdom were chosen, before the world, when we speak or read of a choice being made in Christ before the world, we re not to understand, that God was looking through Adams posterity, and picking out one here, and another there, and writing their names in the book of life, and refusing the rest, for they were chosen in Christ before the world and not in Adam; for he did not exist before creation; and the choice was not an act that took place, or was planed some time after the existence of God, either before the world or since, but was a consequence of, and inseparable from the existence of God as king, and this kingdom was organized in the pre-existent soul of Christ; in whom all blessings, purposes, promises and grace of God were given them, or in whom the whole design of God toward them was expressed and all this not by an act of God, but as a thing inseparable from the being of God, under the name love, mercy, king, sovereign, lord or any other name he bears, in which his superiority is implied, thus you see, that our union to God, or the divine nature of Christ is a consequence of God’s being love, and while God remains to be love our union must of necessity continue, without any addition or dimunition, unless God increases or diminishes. And our being chosen in Christ is a consequence of Gods being a king, and our being interested in those blessings and graces in Christ, is a consequence of the nature and design of God, which never can be seperated from him, unless he becomes dispossessed of his nature. This is the nature of our union with Christ, and this the bond of it, and to this agrees the scripture of truth. And thus we see all the elect of God were chosen and blest, with all spiritual blessings in Christ, and thus the human soul of Christ was pregnant with all the subject, blessings, & graces, of Gods kingdom; and as the only active representative, it acts for them all, having them all in it. Thus the union between Christ and his church is taught in the scripture, I in them, and thou in me; We are members of his body of his flesh and of his bones; whether on member suffer all the members suffer with it; for as the body is one and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body, so also is Christ. Ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular; He is the head of the body the church: the head over all things to his church; which is his body, the fullness of him that filleth al in all. Ye are complete in him; we being many are one body in Christ, and members one of another. For: both he that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one.

We think if unnecessary to repeat any more scripture here, for the above texts are a specimen of the Bible on this subject; so we have seen what the bond of union is; and have hinted the antiquity and strength of it, and shall now shew how it clothes Christ with the right of making the atonement, we have seen the necessity of this union with God, in the pre-existent soul of Christ brought forth and set up, as the certain effect of the being of God under the idea, of love or the authority of a king, or of God under either of those characters; and so Christ existed then as properly the head of the church, or kingdom of God, while they were all in him, as Adam did exist head of the human family when they all were in him. And as the creation of Adam gave him the right to represent his posterity in Eden before God, because they were naturally related to him; being united in him; so Christ had the right of representing his posterity, by virtue of union with them which as a consequence of God’s existence, and ever since God a king his people or subjects were his portion; and ever since God was love, Christ with his church in him, was set up as the object of that love, and ever since the Lord was God, that holy nation, whose God the Lord is, and the people whom he hath chosen for his own inheritence have been blessed. Now we have seen that according to the nature and constitution of things, Christ was always united to his church as their head and representative, and thus he has the right of making the atonement for them, and they can be benefited by it; in this way the just of God appears, in the imputation of Christ righteousness to the church, just in the same point of view that Adams sin or guilt, was imputed or entailed to his posterity. So Gods independent existence, consequently brought forth his own medium of operation, for the government of his kingdom, clothed Christ with the right of redemption; and in him our happiness was inseparably connected with an exhibition of the glory of God, so that the highest display of his glory is in effecting our happiness; thus all the works of God in creation and providence, as well as in grace, are for the accomplishment of his purposes in displaying his glory in the government of his kingdom, and the whole gospel, is only an exhibition of his eternal design or purpose; thus the very being of God secures the church in Christ; in whom they must always remain while God remains a king, for they are his subjects; and the human soul of Christ is their representative, in whom the whole platform of government is treasured and in whom God is prepared to make every display of himself, that he ever designed to make. So when God displayed his power in creating a world, it was by Jesus Christ; when he displayed his glory in redemption, it was by the same Christ; & when he shall display his glory in judging the world in righteousness it will be by the same Jesus Christ; and in a word, all we do know, or ever shall know of God, is in and by Jesus Christ; and as creation was a work of God, preparatory to the display of his glory; the earth became of course the theatre upon which the display should be made; and as the church or kingdom of God was the object of that display, it naturally required that Adam as a figure, of him, by whom that great display should be made, should be the highest part of creation.

And as the display of Gods glory, was to be made by Christ, who contained all his people in him; it was proper that all the posterity of the figure should be contained in him; and as all the spiritual blessings of Gods kingdom were in Christ, so all the temporal blessings of the world must be in the figure, and as the whole rule of the government of his kingdom was in Christ; so the whole rule of the government of the world must be in the figure: thus Adam was a figure of him that was to come; for he was the most exalted part of the creation, had all his posterity in him, so all temporal blessings were his; of all the trees of the garden thou mayest freely eat; and the rule that should govern the world was contained in the law given to Adam and all the human family in him, but afterwards when the woman was seperated from the man in person, but remaining bone of his bone and flesh of his flesh, she was deceived and was in the transgression, and gave to her husband, and he not being deceived willingly partook of it, knowing the consequence that would follow; and as the woman united to him, bone of his bone and flesh, of his flesh, had eaten of the forbidden fruit, he must eat or be seperated from her and so he did eat. What a beautiful figure is Adam of Christ, Adam was created with the woman in him; - Adam was the head of the woman; - Christ was the head of the church. Adam had the law & temporal blessings of the woman given to her in him: Christ had the law of love and all the spiritual blessings of the church, given to the church in him. – Adam received the forbidden fruit from the woman after she had eaten: - Christ received the consequence of the transgression of the church after they had sinned. – Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression. Adam loved his wife and said for this cause shall a man leave his father and mother and shall cleave to his wife and they two shall be one flesh: Christ loved the church and gave himself for it, which was bone of his bone and flesh of his flesh. Thus the head of the woman is the man and the head of the church is Christ. And here in creation we have a beautiful figure of the union between Christ and the church; which gives him the right of redemption; and shows the justice of our sins being laid on Christ. Again when God makes a display of his glory in giving the law we see a plain figure of the relationship in the case of redemption; if one of the Hebrews became poor and was sold; a kinsman was allowed to have the right of redemption. And in the fullness of time when God makes that great display of himself; which all the other displays were preparatory too; the substance of the figures in the former displays comes forward, with the glory of God shining in his face, and the whole Godhead dwelling in him bodily; publishes the eternal counsel or disposition of God, declares himself united to them as their head and husband, and acts the part of a kinsman in redemption. Thus we have seen that the union between Christ and his church clothed him with the right to make the atonement; and now we shall show how their justification is effected by the atonement of Christ.

Justification is a law term, and is the reverse of condemnation; to justify is to declare one to be just, or innocent; thus God justifies the church. Legal justification can only take place where there is no guilt or lawful charge to condemn; and thus God justifies because Christ has died; that is Christ has put away sin by the sacrifice of himself, who was the head of the church, and thereby clears them as his members from guilt; and thus God is just when he justifies them, and in the very same sense the church was justified, for their sins were placed to Christs account as their head and representative and thus he was as a lamb slain from the foundation of the world, ever since Christ was brought fourth the head and representative of his church, he has been accountable as such to God for all the acts of those he did represent, and though their sins could not stain him with impurity, yet as he is their head and they in him, their sins must be charged to him, and the punishment due to their sins must be inflicted on him. Therefore the sword of justice must slumber until the head of the church comes to satisfy its demands, and then awake against him, instead of the sheep; for all we like sheep have gone astray we have every one turned into our own way; but the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all, and in the very same sense that Christ was accountable for the church; the church was justified in him.

But when Christ came into this world to make the atonement, he came with his people in him, as they always had been, and in this sense they may be said to suffer in him, to die in him, to rise in him and to be glorified in him, and to have their seats in heavenly places in him, for as he is, so are we in him; for whether one of the members suffer, all the members suffer with it, or whether one member be honored all the members rejoice with it. Thus we have seen that the nature and being of God hath joined Christ and his church together, and let no man attempt to put them asunder, but thus united they stand, and Christ as their head is constitutionally the only one that can make the atonement, and he can atone for none but such as are constitutionally the members of his body, or Gods kingdom, nor will justice allow of one other sin being laid to his charge, nor of one of the sins of his people being laid to the charge of any other but him; thus there is an indispensable necessity for Christ to make the atonement, and all his members were in him when he did make the atonement, and his dying is the same by virtue of this union, as if they all had died; for the love of Christ constraineth us, because we thus judge that if one died for all, then were all dead; & that he died for all, that henceforth we that live, should not live unto ourselves, but unto him that died for us, and rose again. Thus we have become dead to the law by the body of Christ, crucified with Christ: thus Christs being united to the church as their head and dying as such; they in him have been represented in death, under the penalty of the law, and in him every charge of the law is fulfiled completely; and they are as clear from guilt in him, as if they never had committed one sin, and are justified by the atoning blood of Christ: for justice demands their justification; and who can lay any thing to the charge of Gods elect? for it is God that justifieith; who is he that condemneth? it is Christ that died. Thus we see that Christs dying for the elect clears them from every possible charge so that no one can condemn, for God who cannot look on sin with any degree of allowance justifies them freely from all things not in part only but from all things from which they could not be justified by the law of Moses. Thus the atonement completely justified the whole elect church or kingdom of God which was in Christ, when the atonement was made, and so when he died for us according to the scriptures and we in him; he never could have arisen from the dead while one sin stood charged to him on our account, or against the church in him but he having (by the atonement) obtained for us the forgivness (or discharge) of all our sins, he rises again from the dead, with his church in him as saith the scriptures, thy dead body shall live, my dead body shall arise after two days will he revive us; in the third he will raise us up and we shall live in his sight. Thus as our justification was completed by Christ; dying for our sins; so our justification is demonstrated by the resurrection of Christ from the dead, and so it is said, he died for our sins and rose again for our justification. And so Christ ascends to heaven with all his people in him, as completely clear of sin, as they were before sin entered the world, so we see that justification is a consequence of the atonement, and the atonement could only justify the church, for none others were united to him; but they by virtue of union with Christ, are justified, as truly justified by his fulfilling the law as Adam’s family or posterity by virtue of union with him became condemned by his transgression of the law. Thus we see the sum of what we have said on this subject, stated by the apostle as follows, whom he did foreknow them he did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his son, that he might be the first born among many brethren; and whom he did predestinate them he also called, and to whom he called them he also justified, and whom he justified them he also glorified; all is done, all is in the past tense; justified and glorified, as well as predestinated, and this can only be true of us in Christ, and in him it is true; for in him we have our predestination, calling, justification, and glorification, all in him and not in ourselves; nor shall we ever be justified in ourselves, if we had the faith of all the apostles & prophets, for faith can do no more in our justification, than in our union with Christ, that it can only evidence the truth of that which was a truth before it did evidence it, so faith never could have apprehended our justification, or have brought us one evidence of it, had our justification not been a truth before, for faith to apprehend and bear evidence too; thus we have seen that union between Christ and his church; clothed him with the right of redemption, and that by the atonement all the subjects of the kingdom of God are justified from all things. And now we shall close this discourse, by showing where justification places the church.

First, - it places her clear from the curse of the law, therefore she cannot be condemned with the world. Secondly, - it puts away all her sins and therefore she cannot die eternally, for she is justified into life. Thirdly, - it places her in a situation that regeneration will be a blessing to her and within the bounds of the spirits regenerating work, or in the field of its labour, for the spirit of God does not go to work outside of his kingdom, it does not give the blessings of Gods kingdom, to the subjects of another kingdom, nor are the subjects of Gods kingdom prepared to receive regeneration, until they are justified; for it would be a curse to them instead of a blessing, for then they would be born of the spirit and yet under the law, and under the curse, and they would be spiritual and the atonement could not effect them, that is, they would be born of the spirit and so would be spirit; and the atonement could do them no more good than it could do the fallen angels; but this is sufficiently guarded against, and I think this is clearly taught where the flaming sword was placed, to guard the way of the tree of life, lest man should eat of it, while he was under the sentence of death and so live forever, for if the tree of knowledge was a sign or figure of the law, and the tree of life, was a figure or sign of the gospel, then the eating of the former, made the fruit of the latter dangerous; so while we are under the curse of the law, regeneration which is the fruit of the spirit of the Gospel, would be also dangerous; and until the flaming sword is quenched in the atoning blood and is stamped with the signature of Almighty God, from end to end, saying I am well pleased for his righteousness sake; we cannot be regenerated by the spirit; but when we are justified by the blood of Christ, we are prepared to receive regeneration; so I say justification places the church within the bounds of the spirits regenerating work, or in the field of its labour. But justification does not fit the church for heaven, or to enjoy God, it only clears her from guilt, because the atonement of Christ has satisfied the demands of the law in her behalf; but it effects no change in her, and therefore she must be regenerated and born again, for as I said before, so say I now, justification is a law term, and that righteousness which justifies must be according to the law, but all the graces of the spirit, belong to the ministration of the gospel, and cannot come under the curse of the law, therefore, they must follow after justification, that is, they can come to those and to those only, who are free from under the curse of the law; thus justification places the church in readiness for regeneration and faith, with all the graces of the spirit, and it (the spirit) bestows its blessings on all those, that are thus prepared to receive them.

And now reader has it bestowed them on you? perhaps you are disputing with this doctrine, because it saps the foundation of vain glorious boasting, and human pride, defeats self righteousness and exalts the Saviour, but pause for a moment, and ask yourself, am I a subject of the spirits operation; if I am not, alas for me! I have no sufficient evidence of an interest in the atonement, whether this doctrine be true or not; but if I am a subject of its operation, I have the best evidence of my interest in the atonement, and of my justification by it; and am compelled by infinite goodness, to sing with wonder and joy;

O to grace how great a debtor,
Daily I’m constrain’d to be;
Let thy grace, Lord like a fetter,
Bind my wandering heart to thee.
< Previous   Next >

Purpose

The Primitive or Old School Baptists cling to the doctrines and practices held by Baptist Churches throughout America at the close of the Revolutionary War. This site is dedicated to providing access to our rich heritage, with both historic and contemporary writings.