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Written by Merideth Hodges   

Dear Friends,

Below is an article on Time Salvation by Elder M. (Meredith) Hodges of Tennessee.

Elder Hodges was raised in the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, but upon searching the Scriptures, he could find no validity for the infant baptism that they practiced. He left the Presbyterians and joined the Primitive Baptists in 1823. In 1839, he was ordained to the ministry. He had a long and fruitful life and passed away in 1888 in his 95th year.

David Montgomery

 

Zion’s Advocate-May 15, 1858

Time Salvation


To the readers of Zion’s Advocate.

DEAR BROTHERS AND SISTERS.-It seemed good to me at this time to address a short epistle of love to you to stir up your pure winds by way of remembrance, that you stand fast in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free. Relieving that much of our spiritual enjoyment in this life depends upon our conformity to the admonitions and precepts of Christ and the apostles; that there is a Time Salvation to be enjoyed in obedience only. The humble and faithful child of grace that devotes itself to the duties laid down in the New Testament will be more spiritually minded than the careless negligent one; to such the cross will be easier and the burden lighter, he or she will have the answer of a good conscience and peace of mind, enjoy fellowship with Christ and his people, and be able in a good degree to resist the temptations of the devil, and to mortify their own fleshly lust. While we live in a careless indifferent state, we are sure to grow carnally minded, which will be succeeded by blindness, coldness, indifference and darkness, which will give the enemy the advantage of us, and we pierced through with many sorrows, lose sight of our acceptance with God, and perhaps the fellowship of the saints, and become as salt that has lost its savor. How important then that we watch and pray, take up our cross daily and follow Jesus through evil and good report; be careful to maintain good works at all times and in every place, that we watch ourselves with constant guards. Then would our light so shine that others seeing our good works would glorify our father, which is in heaven.

Dear brethren and sisters let us take the admonition of St Paul to the Philippians “Work out your own salvation with fear and with trembling, for it is God that worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.” This is not God’s salvation that saves souls from death. God’s salvation was wrought by our Lord Jesus Christ on Mount Calvary, and by his holy spirit wrought in his people in the work of regeneration, and is that which worketh in us to will and to do of his own good pleasure and which qualifies us for working out our own salvation with fear and with trembling. As before hinted, our own salvation here mentioned is a time salvation, and we must work it out or go without it. God has only in the gospel, commanded his people to do that which they can do by his “working in them the will and to do,” and if we do it not then we may expect the rod with many stripes. But if we work it out, we honor God and our Lord Jesus Christ, and save ourselves from the evils that we are subject to, and that are incident upon a wayward life. This is a delightful work when we are in the right frame of mind for it, and to be in the right frame we must go to work (not to the law but to the gospel) and in performing our duty, our minds become spiritualized enough for another and so on throughout the whole.

One great duty is prayer, both secret and family prayer, another is giving attendance at prayer meetings, especially monthly meetings, but no light excuse keeps us away from meetings. Another duty is attending to the ordinances in due season, another is cultivating love with the brethren and watching over them for good (not for evil) and especially watching over ourselves, endeavoring to shun every appearance of evil. I do not believe that by anything we can do, will alter our relation with God as parent and children. But by obedience, we draw nigh to God, and he draws nigh to us with an approving smile. While the disobedient child lives under his frowns and the sore chastisements of his righteous and just rod.

In conclusion, dear brethren and sisters, permit me to say what I understand close walking with God is, simply taking Bible directions; therein we honor God and realize the benefits ourselves.- Finally read the scriptures, which are able to make us wise unto salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. Amen.


M. HODGES.

Fountain Head, Tenn., March 11, 1858.

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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.