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ORIGIN OF PREDESTINATION OF ALL THINGS

In the preceding chapter I have succinctly shown the origin of what our people call the two seed, non-resurrection doctrine; also its connection with our people, and I am quite sure that no one who is acquainted with the history and origin of the doctrine will deny what I have said. In this chapter I shall attempt to show the origin of predestination of all things, and at the proper place show how, and when, and by whom it was introduced among the Primitive Baptists.

The absolute predestination of all things is an alien to God, a stranger in the camps of Israel; a perverter, a disputer, a foreigner, having no hope and without God in the world. Its origin is bad, its claims are false, vociferous and pretentious. It cries for admittance into the sacred precincts of the church of God; and when it gains the admittance sought for it wants to be recognized as of heavenly origin. The only way to satisfy this doctrine is to let it have its way in all things. It does not love to be opposed and exposed. It seems to have some knowledge of iris internal deformity and ugliness, and therefore does not lovingly admire the man who exposes its rottenness and ugliness to public gaze.

Myers Outlines of -ancient History page 838, says: "Zeno, founder of the celebrated school of the stoics, lived in the third century before our era (about 362-264), He taught at Athens in a public porch (in Greek, stoa) from which circumstance comes the name applied to his disciples." Zeno was a philosopher of the Pythagorean school.

Pythagoras, who lived some 380-300 years before Christ and is claimed to be the originator of philosophy, taught "the doctrine of the transmigration of souls, an idea he had doubtless brought from Egypt." Myers, p. 330.

Zeno taught the doctrine of the predestination of all things, or fatality, in his school at Athens several centuries before the advent of Christ into the World.

Robinson in his history of the Bible, page 438, says: "Stoics, a set of fatalistic heathen philosophers, so named from the Greek word signifying porch, or portico; because Zeno, its founder, more than three centuries before Christ, held his school in a porch of the city of Athens."

It may be claimed that the Stoics were Atheists, or did not believe in a Supernatural Being and therefore that is the reason they are, and were called fatalists.

"They believed in the doctrine of fate, which they represented as no other than the will and purpose of God, and held that it had no tendency to looseness of life." Buck's Theo. Dic,, p. 560.

Remember that Zeno first taught the doctrine in his school at Athens and also that the Stoics were philosophers and embraced the doctrine of predestination of all things from this stoical school, and were teaching it in the city of Athens in Paul's day. "Now while Paul waited for them (Silas and Timotheus) at Athens, his spirit was stirred in him, when he saw the city wholly given to idolatry. Therefore disputed he in the synagogues with the Jews, and with the devout persons, and in the market daily with them that met with. h him. Then certain philosophers of the Epicureans, and of the Stoics, encountered him. And some said, What will this babbler say? other some, He seemeth to be a setter-forth of strange gods: because he preached unto them Jesus, and the resurrection." Acts 17: 17, 18.

Thus we see that Paul was not a Stoical predestinarian, or an Epicurean arminian, but occupied just where all Old Baptists should occupy today between the two extremes. Paul did not believe as the Stoic and Epicurean philosophers did. If he had they would not have "encountered him" or said he was "a setter forth of strange gods: because he preached unto them Jesus, and the resurrection." So the Primitive Baptists of our day, like Paul did at the city of Athens, do not agree with those who are preaching fatality, or predestination of all things.

It may be said that there is a difference between fatality and absolute predestination of all things good and evil.

"Fate. 1. Primarily a decree or word pronounced by God, or a fixed sentence by which the order of things is prescribed. Hence, inevitable necessity; destiny depending on a Superior cause, and uncontrollable. According to the Stoics, every event is determined by fate." Webster.

The eternal fixedness of all events good or bad is a "fixed sentence by which the order of things is prescribed." Surely if all things were fixed men cannot do otherwise than the way prescribed or fixed for them to do; hence, inevitable necessity. I understand the phrase absolute predestination of all things to mean that every thought, every act, either good or evil, was so minutely and definitely determined that all things have, and will occur just precisely as God fixed for them to come to pass.

The Jewish Pharisees also believed in absolute predestination of all things. Josephus the Jewish historian in Wars · of the Jews, book 2, chapter 8, section 14, says of the Pharisees: "These ascribe all to fate, (or providence) and to God, and yet allow that to act what is right, or the contrary is principally in the power of men: although fate does co-operate in every action. They say that all souls are incorruptible, but that the souls of good men only are removed into other bodies, but that the souls of bad men are subject to eternal punishment.

Fleetwood in his Life of Christ, page 250, is speaking of the Pharisees said: "A third tenet was, that all things were subject to fate; or, as some expressed it, to the heavens. It is not easy to conceive what they meant by this; Josephus, indeed, will have it that they designed to reconcile the fatality of predestination of the Essenes, with the free-will of the Sadducees."

Robinson, in speaking of the Pharisees said: "They believed with the Stoics, that all things and events were controlled by fate; yet not so absolutely as to entirely destroy the liberty of the human will." Bible Dic., p. 339.

Moshiem, in speaking of the Pharisees, said: "They held absolute predestination, and at the same time, with the Sadducees, they held free-will." Eccl. History, p. 164.

Jesus said to His disciples concerning the Pharisees and Sadducees: "When understood they how that He bade them not beware of the leaven of bread, but of the doctrine of the Pharisees and the Sadducees." Matt. 16: 12. Jesus said again: "But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men." Matt. 15: 9.

The phrase "predestination of all things" is of man, and not of divine origin or sanction, and those of our brethren that hold on to it are absolutely guilty, for "Thus have ye made the commandment of God of none effect by your tradition." Matt. 15: 6. The phrase absolute predestination of all things violates this Scripture: "Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus." 2Tim. 1: 13.

Paul said again: "If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of the Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness; he is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings, perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself." 1 Tim. 6: 3-5.

Is the doctrine that God has predestinated sin and all ungodliness wholesome words, "even the words of the Lord Jesus Christ" and "according to godliness"? Is lying, stealing, idolatry, adultery, fornication, murder, falsehood and all the abominable wickedness of earth according to godliness? If so "These things teach and exhort." Verse 2.

The Essenes were also a Jewish sect and according Josephus were held in honor by Herod. Josephus in his Antiquities of the Jews, book 13, chapt. 5, sec. 9, of the Es-series says: "But the sect of the Essenes affirm that fate governs all things, and that nothing befalls men but what is according to its determination."

Again Josephus said: "The doctrine of the Essenes is this, that all things are best ascribed to God."

Fleetwood in his Life of Christ, page 253, says of the Essenes: "With respect to their faith, they believed in the existence of angels, the immortality of the soul, and a future state of rewards and punishments, like the Pharisees: but seem to have had no notion of the resurrection. They considered the souls of men as composed of a most subtle ether, which immediately after their separation from the body, or from ,the cage or prison, as they call it, were adjudged to a place of endless happiness or misery, · They were likewise entirely averse to the Sadducean doctrine of free, will, attributing all to an. eternal fatality or chain of causes."

Moshiem said of the Essenes: "They viewed the law of Moses as an allegorical system of spiritual and mysterious truths, and renounced all regard to its letter in the application of it. They held absolute predestination, and that only the soul would be punished in a future state."

The celebrated German critic, Michalis, defines the Essenes as "A Jewish sect, which began to spread itself at Ephesus, and to threaten great mischief to Christianity, in the time (or, indeed, previous to the time) of St. Paul; on which account, in his epistles to the Ephesians, to the Collossians, and to Timothy, he declares himself openly against them." Michalis, vol. 4. p. 79.

Moshiem, the great ecclesiastical historian, says: "It was in Egypt that the morose discipline of Asceticism (the Essenian or Therapeutan took its rise; and it is observable that that country has in all times, as it were by an immutable law or disposition of nature, abounded with persons of a melancholy complexion, and produced, in proportion to its extent, more gloomy spirits than any other part of the world. It was here that the Essence dwelt principally, long before the coming of Christ." Vel. 1, p. 196.

Here is what Gibbon, the infidel historian, says about one of the schools in which the philosophy of absolute predestination of all things was taught: "The groves of the Academy, the gardens of Epicurus, and even the porticos of Stories, were deserted as so many different schools of skepticism or impiety." Ch. 16.

The primary and largest library that ever was in the world, was said in that day to be at Alexandria in Egypt. The first of all that most mischievous of all institutions or universities was the University of Alexandria in Egypt; where lazy, indolent and corrupt monks, wily and infuriated fanatics, first found the benefit of clubbing together to keep the privileges, benefits and advantages of learning to themselves, and concocting holy mythological mysteries and inspired legends, to be dealt out as the craft should need, for the perpetuation of vain philosophy, deceit, tradition, and Egyptian ignorance, superstition and consequently of the ascendancy of juggles and Jesuits, who were holy hypocrites and reverend rogues and defamers among men.

From this pandemonium we get the doctrine of eternal antagonistic principles, now called the "eternal children" doctrine,. Or two-seedism, also the absolute predestination of all things. Who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean. Job says, not one. These ancient schools were the treasure cities of Pharaoh and the senility of the schools and the age of absolute predestination of all things does not commend them to the children of God. The doctrine of absolute predestination of all things when separated from truth or the people of God, cannot live long, for, it carries within its makeup the very elements of star{ration, and in a short while it will unavoidably die on its own feeding. The closer we rummage this doctrine the more incompatible will it appear to us. It does not exclusively, appear attired with the royal inwrought habilaments of the King of Peace, but also with the fixed the destiny and every act of men and devils before the highest dust of the hills was fashioned. The eternal purpose of God is in Jesus Christ, and we are asked to believe that the eternal purpose of God in Christ, which is full of grace and truth, does not only embrace truth and righteousness, but falsehood, unrighteousness and all the midnight crimes of men and demons. My heart sickens when I see so many of the Lord's people bewitched by this impetuous, implacable and importunate doctrine of pagan contrivance.

Watson in his Theological Dictionary, page 370, says of the Essenes: "From the account given of the doctrines and institutions of this sect by Philo and Josephus, we learn that they believed in the immortality of the soul; that they were absolute predestinarians."

This heresy did not originate with Christ and the twelve apostles,: but among heathen and Greek philosophers who attempted to supplant and suppress the religion of Jesus Christ. Paul fought with those philosophers, two-seeders and absoluters at Ephesus. He says: "If after the manner of men. I have fought with beasts at Ephesus, what advantageth it me, it the dead rise not? let us eat and drink; for tomorrow we die." 1 Cor. 13: 32. Paul said again to the Ephesian brethren: "Let no man deceive you with vain words, for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience, be not ye therefore partakers with them." Eph. 5: 6, 7. When a man comes along affirming that God purposed sin, ask him to prove it, and when he fails tell him that such are vain words and are calculated to "deceive the hearts of the simple." Rom. 16: 18.

Jeremiah said: "For thus saith the Lord of Hosts, the God of Israel; let not your prophets and your diviners, that be in the midst of you, deceive you, neither hearken to your dreams which ye cause to be dreamed, for they prophesy falsely to you in my name. I have not sent them, saith the Lord." Jer. 29: 8, 9.

The man who says that God purposed sin simply cannot prove it by God's Word, for it does not say so, and by it we are commanded to "prove all things (1 Thess. 5: 21) that we breach. It is as clear as the noon-day sun in its meridian heights that absolute predestination of all things is not of God. When the doctrine is preached it has a chilling, blighting, confusing, dividing and frost-like influence among the children of God. It does not bring peace, comfort and consolation to the weary and feeble of the flock of God. It does not bind up the broken-hearted, or give joy and gladness to the halting and feeble lambs of God. Isaiah said: "And the work of righteousness shall be peace; and the effect of righteousness quietness and assurance forever." Isaiah 32: 17. Where this doctrine is preached churches are chilled, cold, lifeless, inactive, not prosperous hence, to preach it is not a work of righteousness. If the preaching of this doctrine was a work of righteousness its effect would be quietness. As this doctrine when it is preached has a turbulent, disturbing, dissatisfying and perplexing influence, it should be shunned and avoided by the people of God. It carries with it a spirit of apathy and antipathy for all those that essay to call in question its divine origin and Scriptural authenticity. It is anxious to tell you that all your sins were embraced in the almighty fiat of God, and that all things must be just as they are, that if they were not just as they are and have been, no one could tell how things would have been; and when you reply that you do not believe any such stuff it turns and rends you and at once denounces you as being unsound in the faith. It will tell you that you are an Arminian, and at the same time, if the doctrine be true, your belief could not have been different without frustrating the eternal purpose of God in Christ. The doctrine is an enemy to God and to Jesus Christ, for it forestalls God's judicial government of His people. It antagonizes His laws, exhortations to obedience, and sets at naught His commandments. Ever since the entrance, by adoption, of this frantic, frigid, frolicsome child of the Dark Ages among the Old Baptists they have had a war on their hands. The advocates of this doctrine may furbish, scour, polish, embellish, ornament, illustrate and explain it, yet they can never so clothe it or explain it so that the Lord's people will have it. It is a fact that the ablest and most careful advocates of this doctrine are in almost all they say or write on the above subject trying to explain it, and when their explanation of the doctrine passes into the hands of some brother who does not believe the doctrine he cannot, it seems, correctly represent what his brother believes on predestination of all things v/with his brother's explanation in his hand. The doctrine should be relinquished which needs everlasting explanation and will repine almost every time anyone says aught against it. It will rencounter you on the street, in the lane, in the church house, in the closet or on the house-top. It is a renegade, for it has deserted its original associates and comrades and come to live with the Old Baptists, and it seemed to know that the Old Baptists took the Bible as the mar/of their counsel, so it paints its face like Jezebel of old, with divine authority and sanction, and is upstairs and wants unmolested possession and preeminence in the household affairs. Preaching that God has purposed all the murder, adultery, fornication, lying, cheating and every other evil act is not a work of righteousness, for when such is preached the church is disturbed, peace is destroyed, there is no quietness where the tenet is preached. It may be said that the doctrine of predestination of all things good and evil does not make God the author of sin. Just how sin and all its concomitants can be a part of God's eternal purpose and God not be the cause and the author of the things embraced in His eternal purpose is yet to be explained.

The Bardesanists is a sect so denominated from their leader Bardesanes, a Syrian of Eriessa, in Mesopotamia, who lived in the second century. They believed that the actions of men depended altogether on fate, and that God Himself is subject to necessity. They denied the resurrection of the body, and the incarnation and death of our Saviour. Buck's Theo. Dic., p. 45.

It may be objected that the doctrine of absolute predestination of all things subjects God to "necessity". If it was. fixed by the Lord for Cain to murder Abel could God have kept Cain from murdering Abel without interfering with and keeping His decree from being fulfilled? If not God Himself is subject to necessity.

In speaking of heaven and hell Dr. Carlton says: "And God was compelled, according to the very nature of things, to create inhabitants for both conditions and places, or the creation of such conditions and places would have been wholly unnecessary." Diagram of the Churches, p. 12.

Compel means to drive or urge with force or irresistibly; to constrain; to oblige; to necessitate. Webster. Thus we see that the doctrine of absolute predestination of all things subjects God to the doctrine of necessity, compels Him to do certain things and will not let Him keep men from committing the awful crimes they are guilty of.

The Priscillianists held to a mixture of Gnostic and unitarian tenets. They denied the resurrection of the body and said that all men are subject to "necessity, to sin." Rutter's Church History, pp. 84, 85. Priscillian, the originator of this sect was put to death A. D. 384. If God purposed sin, men had to sin; hence under the necessity of sinning.

The Eunomians existed in the second century anal were a branch of the Arians. They believed that "There is one God, uncreated and without beginning; who has nothing existing before Him, for nothing can exist before what is uncreated; nor with Him, for what is uncreated must be one; nor in Him, for God is a single and uncreated Being. This one single and eternal being is God, the Creator and Ordainer of all things, first, indeed, and principally of His only begotten Son; and through Him all other things." Buck, p. 172.

The reader will please note the fact that all who believed absolute predestination of all things in the centuries of which I now speak were called heretics, and therefore had no connection whatever with the church and people of God. It is · strange, indeed, if this doctrine was taught by the apostles that they never recorded it. The reason why they never recorded it is because they never preached it, and the reason why they never preached it is because it is no part of the gospel of the grace of God. And is it not strange that some historian has not told us and proved it that the Novatianists, Donatists, Paulicians, Waldenses, or the Ana-baptists believed in the absolute predestination of all things good and evil, if they believed such a doctrine. No, those in early times who believed in the doctrine did not belong to the church of Jesus Christ. And as long as it remained where it belonged it was not an intruder, it was harmless, but when it got footing among us it has harmed us, for it has put at variance churches and associations and disturbed the peace and happiness of individual families.

Mohammed was born at Mecca, in Arabia, about the year 570, A. D., began preaching his religion in 610, died in 632. Hassell, p. 414. Mohammed believed in God, in angels, in his scriptures (the Koran), in his prophets, in the resurrection and judgment, in God's absolute decrees. He said: "The heavens and the earth are His own, and there is nothing in all their copious furniture but what invariably obey Him." Smucker's History of all Religions, pp. 173, 174.

This is what extreme predestinarians are now claiming to be Old Baptist doctrine.

Again the historian said: "The doctrine which they call orthodox is that whatever doth or shall come to pass in the world, whether it be good or bad, proceedeth entirely from the Divine Will, and is irrevocably fixed and recorded from all eternity in the preserved table; and that God has secretly predetermined not only the adverse and prosperous fortune of every person in the world, but also his obedience or disobedience, and consequently his everlasting happiness or misery after death; which fate or predestination it is impossible by any foresight or wisdom to avoid." Smucker p. 178. The above is predestination of all things straight. Historians tell us that Mohammed was born on Monday, began his apostolic functions on Monday, fled from Mecca on Monday, made his entry into Medina on Monday, took Mecca on Monday, and at last it is said he died on Monday.

For over eight hundred years have we traced this heathenish, dualistic doctrine of two-seedism and the absolute predestination of all things good and evil, and not once have we found the least vestige of it among the Lord's humble poor, neither can any man on earth do such a thing during this period.

Brother Hassell said: "Mohammed was a licentious, ambitious and vindictive man; and his religion was a strange compound of truth and error, of Judaism, Rabbinism, Christianity, Heathenism and Fatalism, p. 415.

If Mohammed preached absolute predestination of all things good and evil and that was fatalism in his day, how is it that the same sentiment is not fatalism yet?

Here is Brother Hassell’s definition of fatality: "Fatalism is the doctrine that all things, great or small, mental and material, were eternally and inexorably predetermined by an eternal, irresistible fate, or destiny, or necessity, an endless and adamantine chain of causes and effects, so that nothing, not even any thought, or feeling, or word, or action of any human being can, by any possibility, in the slightest respect, be different from what it is, and thus no man is really to blame for anything he does, because he cannot help it." Messenger, 1894, p. 181.

If all things are embraced in God's eternal purpose and the "all things" thus embraced should fail to come to pass then it would follow that the thing God decreed to be failed to be. The eternal fixedness of alt things by the purpose of God is exactly the definition of fatality as defined by Elder S. Hassell in the above quotation. If it was predestinated for Adam to sin do you think Adam could have kept from sinning? If he could not keep from sinning didn't he have to sin? If this is not exactly what the phrase absolute predestination of all things means and asserts, then I am honestly mistaken in what the expression means. If there is one .thought, emotion, or pulsation of heart or nerve, good or bad, or one act, good or bad, that was not eternally purposed of God, then the oft repeated expression is positively untrue. If the purpose of God is eternal, and we know it is, (Eph. 3: 11) and the purpose of God includes all events of time, good or bad, then just so many good acts were definitely fixed for us to do, and let come what may, we must do just that many good acts, while on the other hand we must do just so many bad acts, and let things be as they may, nothing can be brought to bear to cause a failure along this line, for our destiny and every intervening act was minutely, definitely, accurately, effectively, indubitably, immutably and indomitably fixed by the eternal and inexorable purpose of God. So, according to this doctrine, God's people had to do just as they have done, for it was effectually thus fixed in eternity, we are asked to believe, by the God of heaven, and the Wicked and vile had to do as. they have done, for the same eternal purpose Of God, we are taught to believe, also fixed all the mean things that have been, or may b6 done. Yes, if it is fixed for us to disobey we cannot obey, and on the other hand if it is fixed for us to obey we cannot disobey. If this be true then God does not and cannot control us even by the law of the Spirit of life which is in Christ Jesus, If the acts of men, both good and bad, were determined and fixed by the Lord before He made man, then that man cannot be governed or controlled by law, seeing that his acts and every movement are purposed and fixed and therefore controlled or governed by the purpose of God. The judicial and moral laws of God cannot operate or be in force under the law of the absolute fixedness of all things.

Elder R. H. Boaz says: "But if God is trying to get His children to obey Him and they will not do it, but disobey Him, then their course is independent of God. Yea more, this idea that God designed that a preacher should preach in a certain locality and that he should preach on a certain line, but the preacher refuses to go in said locality; or if he goes he preaches on a different line to what God intended or that God designed any obedience whatever on the part of His children, and has made an effort in that direction and has failed to reach the end designed, then I say this idea denies the existence of God; God the Supreme Being ,*** the eternal and infinite Spirit, the Creator and the Sovereign of the universe." Boaz Pamphlet, pp. 47, 48.

According to the above the preacher is under absolute and arbitrary taw, which if true the preacher cannot disobey or obey, for he is under an unconditional law and not a moral law. This is about what Mohammed arid his heretical ancestors taught on the absolute decrees of God. According to the above quotation the obedience of God's people was eternally, absolutely and, irresistibly fixed, just as the eternal salvation of alien sinners was fixed; just as flue will of the alien sinner is excluded in regeneration, just in precisely the same way is the will of the children of God excluded in their obedience to God. If the preaching of the gospel was purposed of God just as the salvation of sinners was purposed, then no preacher ever disobeyed God. The preacher that is under this absolute and arbitrary law in order to disobey God would have to frustrate the eternal purpose and counsel of God; which Of course he could not do. So according to this theory the preacher had just so much preaching to do, and he had to preach on certain lines or just as the purpose of God had prescribed, and he will have to go just where and when and preach on just such a line as was eternally fixed for him to preach on. If the preacher stays at home the theory is, he had to stay at home, he did not have the ability to go to preaching that day. Certainly no "absoluter" believes the preacher has the ability to go to preaching when the Lord had purposed for him to slay at home. Do you think a man can do what God has purposed for him not to do? If so, what becomes of the eternal purpose and design of God?

Again the same writer says: "The Baptists have held that foreknowledge can only be upon the principle of the fixedness, or the unchangeableness of the thing foreknown, that if there was any way possible for a thing to be one of two ways at the option of a thing, that there would be no way to determine how, or which way the thing would be beforehand, that this could only be determined by the thing itself at the time." Ibed, p. 19.

Thus we have in the above extract the eternal fixedness and unchangeableness of all things foreknown. The argument, or rather the idea of the text cited above is that the unchangeable foreknowledge of God fixed all things one way or the other. If the man obeys, that is the way it was fixed; if he disobeys, that is the way it was fixed; "which fate or predestination it is impossible by any foresight or wisdom to avoid." So said Mohammed and so say the absoluters of our day. What say you, brethren? And as the alien sinner is passive in regeneration, so the children of God are passive in obedience, for they are under absolute and unconditional law, if under law at all; therefore their wills are not consulted at all in the matter of obedience.

Boaz quotes Brother Kirkland as saying: "How many souls have hungered for the Word you were impressed and gifted to speak? How many hearts have longed for the comfort that :you were impressed to write in an article to your family paper? how many brethren have stumbled for want of the light you have smothered under the garments of your disobedience?" Here is Boaz's comment on the above humble and christian statement: "Now, may I ask in this connection, how long has it been that the Baptists of this court would have suffered such glaring blasphemy as the above to pass without rebuke? pp. 20,21. Boaz further says: "Who but a proud blasphemer would say so ?"

If Brother Kirkland said what he is quoted as saying he said right. It was only one of the many good things he has said, and Boaz believes that it was purposed of the Lord, and therefore taxed for Brother Kirkland to say it, .and when he said it Boaz thinks it was "glaring blasphemy." If Brother Kirkland had acted independent of the purpose and will of God in this matter, Boaz says that would have been fatalism, but as he acted according to the will and purpose of God it was only "glaring blasphemy." Who but a poor deluded mortal would say so? Think of the idea, when the will and purpose Of God are fulfilled or complied with a servant has glaringly blasphemed his God. God had the power to have had it different but as He did not have it different that is the way He wanted it to occur, is the unscrupulous philosophy of some of our modern philosophers.

Dr. S. M. Carlton, whom I think well of and believe he is my friend and not my enemy, said, after quoting Dan. 4: 35: "Does this look like God has delegated permissive free agency to wicked men and devils, or does it look like was controlling all their actions by His sovereign and unchangeable decrees? but all for His own glory. All things wore created by Him, and for Him, and He is before all things, and by Him all things consist. 0ol. 1: 16, 17. Did He create evil? If He did He created it for himself, out of which evil all sin emanates. I form the light and create darkness; I make peace and create evil; I the Lord do all these things." Isa. 45: 7. Well He created evil for Himself, He had a special use for it or He would not have created it," Open Letter to A. P. Koen, Oct. 1, 1901.

Thus we see, according to the Doctor's philosophy, that God does not control His people by law, but by "Has sovereign and Unchangeable decrees." Such a doctrine absolutely and flatly denies and contradicts any judicial and governmental control of the people. There is no place in such a doctrine for the Lord to govern and control His people by law. I suppose that is the reason why the doctrine has in the last few years taken upon itself the garment Of unconditional enjoyment and happiness of the Lord's people in this life. If the statement of the Doctor is true, that God created ;evil, out of which all sin emanates, then sin proceeded, as Mohammed taught, from the Divine Will. Surely whatever God creates is God's creature. If God created evil, out of which sin came, then evil is a creature, and from this creature of God sin came. If God created evil in the sense the Doctor Claimed He did, then God created evil before man sinned, as sin emanates from evil. Paul said: "Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned." Rom. 5: 12.

It seems that we must have a few men among us today who will hear or read some such expressions as the last quotations, and that God predestinated the first sin and all other sins, and many other similar expressions, and then when the asserter of these things says, "I do not believe that God is the cause of sin, though He purposed it, willed it and wanted it, and the covenant of grace would have been a failure without it, and I do not believe God is the author of sin, or the influencer of sin," the offense is removed, the odium and odor is extinguished. Yes, a simple denial, that God is not the cause or the author of the thing He created for His own special use, is a sweet, soothing palliative, for by it the turbulent waves are stilled and the contrary, angry, cyclonic winds cease to blow. So along the lines of march there is occasionally the gentle sound or voice of some sentinel heard, or echoed, there is no vital difference, only a difference in expression.

I will quote from another absoluter: "And in every place Where he speaks of the goodness of His works He says, 'And it was good,' i. e. His work was good, not good in its nature, but the work was good. Like in natural things, and men's work here in this world. I may make a good ax handle out of pine timber; i. e. my work ,will be good, I have done a good job; and yet the ax-handle is not a good one in its nature because it is made of pine wood and pine is too soft and brittle to make a good, durable handle. If I had made it of hickory, or of some other tough, durable wood, it would have been a great deal better handle in nature, and yet the work done by myself no better, and maybe not so good. So if the reader will read the first chapter of Genesis carefully and thoughtfully, he or she will find that it was the work that was done that was good; and not essentially the nature of the thing made. God always does good work, He never does any but good work.* * * He made the devil and He made him to be a devil, and so he is a good devil in his place for he has ever filled his place so well that his fame is very notorious." Five Books of Moses, pp. 1, 2. From this we learn that William Ransom Welborn is a full blood "absoluter." He believes that the creation of Adam was like a man making an ax handle out of pine, the man's work was good and the handle would have been good also but for the fact that the nature of the material was not good. So the reason why Adam was not a good man is, the Lord had bad material to make him out of. The work of God was all right, that was good. Was there any part of Adam that was not God's work? Suppose you subtract the work of God in the creation of Adam from Adam and then tell us what is left. And then suppose you tell us who created that part of Adam that was not God's work? And the devil was a good devil? Who told you so? It seems that Welborn believes that the Lord did a better job when He made the devil than He did when he made Adam. When the Lord made Adam the Lord's work was what was good, "i. e. His w6rk was good." "He made him to be a devil, and so he is a good devil in his place;"

Jesus once said to the Pharisees who believed absolute predestination of all things: "Ye are of your father the devil, and the lust of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie he speaketh of his own; for he is a liar, and the father of it." John 8: 44.

None of the prophets, Jesus Christ nor the New Testament writers seem to have as good opinion of the devil as William R. Welborn. Is there not a cause ?

I will now quote from page 28: "My theory is that God created Esau and that He wanted him and gave him every principle which he possessed, for if He did not, then some one else had a part in Esau's formation." Yes, that is it, "my theory" that has lead so many of God's people away from the truths of the Bible. That is just what the whole thing is, "my theory," and "my theory" has no department in the gospel of peace. The etymological derivation of this "theory" is enough to condemn it in the minds and affections of all right thinking and peace loving people into perpetual oblivion.

A doctrine that depreciates and vitiates God's judicial government of His people should be shunned, for it has so fixed things that men, yes the children of God must be delinquents, and until the doctrine is deodorized of its pagan, scholastic and theorizing aspects the children of God had better handle not and touch not the unclean thing. It is deleterious and delusive for the children of God to countenance any theory or doctrine that does not conduce to their happiness and well being. This doctrine seems to have an intoxicating, delirious and deplorable effect on many of the children of God. It seems as they delve into and penetrate this doctrine that it creates an irremediable relish for a reverie into the theorizing and speculative regions of unrevealed things. I feel sure that the genuine christian or child of God will not be ashamed or offended at the unvarnished truth, for he loves to be sincerely dealt with. And as for hypocritical perverters and Pretenders, they I suppose ought to be offended, that either they may be humbled and made to repent of their pretentions or be allowed no right to the profession which they disgrace. And now, my dear reader, in whose heart the love of God is shed abroad by the Holy Ghost, in whom this divine and energizing Spirit hath breathed His heavenly life, and whom He hath anointed with the holy unction and oil of gladness, what saith thy heart to this heavenly truth, that God by His Spirit and grace works in you the will and all holy desires or inclinations to right doing? We cannot have a right thought as a child of God, a wish, an affection, a work acceptable in the least degree without Jesus, for He plainly says "without me ye can do nothing." The Spirit and the Scriptures are witnesses in us that this is true; indeed the christian's heart feels it true. Superficial christians may doubt this truth, but the real child of God cannot, for they have heard Him and been taught by Him, and also by His Word, that none but almighty and pulsant power could have raised us up from a death of trespasses and sins; and nothing but irresistible and invincible grace Could have protected us since we were thus raised. And since having been thus raised we have seen in manifold ways and instances how readily the Lord has come to our relief; when but for His delivering power we would have sunk under our temptations and environments. The blessed Jesus furnishes us with knowledge, not notional or speculative, but with such complete intelligence of indispensable and necessary truth which enables us to receive it as a most heavenly and priceless truth which belongs to us to relish and enjoy. He sanctifies our afflictions to our good and prevents our entanglement with things beneath that would lead to our ultimate destruction. He gives us, at least occasionally, a sweet and reverential complacency of heart or soul and many happy hours of sweet repose which no eye but His beholds, and no mind but a true christian's can conceive. Oh, how kindly, tenderly and compassionately He subdues the emotions of sin in our mortal members, and checks those harsh and rugged dispositions which no strength belonging to the natural man could subdue. What meek and loving submission, what placid and serene contentment, what abstraction and loving separation from the world and from self dotb it induct or introduce into a heart which was like a bullock unaccustomed to- the yoke. Oh, what a debtor, yes a daily debtor, we are to Jesus for His wisdom, power and grace to sustain and comfort and save us. This is indeed a salvation, a deliverance, which is a priceless gift, au almighty rich and free salvation which all the heavenly hosts and the redeemed family of God have to richly enjoy. We have a bad world indeed to live in for awhile, many are its snares, pitfalls and difficulties, but soon the joyful news will come, "Child, your Father calls, come home!" Grace is to be had here, yes in this world, and we receive grace for grace, and thus we grow in grace and in the knowledge of divine and heavenly things. Soon, yes, very soon shall the time come when the shadows shall all disappear, and the day of the Lord shall dawn, and the full effulgence of divine beatitude and glory shall irradiate in all its transcendent realities, and fill and make unalterably and inexpressibly happy our redeemed spirits. Yes, soon we shall see Jesus and be just like Him. Oh, brother, we have a wonderful Saviour and He has wonderfully saved us and wonderfully redeemed us from our sins to Himself. All things here are full of labor, pain and toil, but how surpassing it will be when the wonders and riches of God's grace for poor sinners shall burst forth upon our ravished souls in those realms of heavenly bliss, where mortality shall be swallowed up of life. 0 death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? shall be on every heart when the great and notable day of the Lord shall have come. Then in the perfect illumination of the Spirit and grace of God and without one cloud to obscure our faith and confidence we can adopt the apostles words and proclaim the ineffable and unparalleled theme: "0, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God: how unsearchable are His judgments, and His ways past finding out." Rom. 11: 33.

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We have successfully traced the doctrine of absolute predestination of all things good and evil for eight or ten centuries and have found no trace of it among the Baptists. We found it among the haters and despisers of the people and church of God. I conclude therefore that the reason why we fail to find it among them is because they did not believe it; and the reason why they did not believe it is because it is not in their Bibles; and the reason why it is not in their Bibles, God did not put it there; and the reason why God did not put it there was because He did not purpose to; and the reason why He did not purpose to was because he He did not purpose all things good and evil. The things, yes all the things, He has purposed He has plainly said so in His Word, and as He has not said in His blessed Book that He has purposed all things, I don't know how those that believe the doctrine can prove it. If we are to prove all things we preach by the Bible, and the Bible does not say that God has decreed all things, how are we to prove by the Bible that the predestination of all things is the truth? You may redress, restate and explain this doctrine and still it is a receptacle for the wickedness of earth, because it includes and embraces it. You may fashion and refashion it and still you will not get rid of its heathen origin and vindictive features. The only way that I can think of is to dig it up by the roots and cast it to the moles and bats. The doctrine is a kind of summer refrigerator, and its most prominent regalia is the spirit of disputation. It is indeed a xerophagy for the dear children of God to even try to subsist upon, and it is so hard and flinty that those seeking juicy and mellow fruit will be sadly deceived if they expect such fruit of this doctrine.

The doctrine of the absolute predestination of all things good and evil was not preached by our people before John Calvin's day nor during his day. If I am mistaken in this statement, will some one who reads this please give the history that teaches to the contrary of the above statement? Surely if our people believed the doctrine before, or during Calvin's day, some of them preached it. If a man must subscribe to the doctrine of absolute predestination of all things good and evil to be a sound Old Baptist, and the Baptists had no such article for 1832 years, was there any sound Baptists for 1832 years? The doctrine was introduced among the Old Baptists by Elder G. Beebe of New York in 1832. No church that I have any knowledge of in Elder Beebe's country, or any other state in the union, was constituted on such an article of faith. While this hateful doctrine was among the reformers of the so-called reformation they were fussing, quarreling and fighting each other over it; and it is a painful and lamentable fact that since its introduction among the Old Baptists they have fussed, fought, and in some sections of the country divided over it. Like the false mother in Solomon's day, it had rather see or have the live child, or church, divided than to confess its true maternity or paternity. It was while the real mother of the live child slept that the exchange was made and when she awoke to give her child suck "behold it was dead." 1 Kings 3: 21. Yes, and while the Old Baptists slept the reformers who had overlaid the child of absolute predestination of all things "at midnight" exchanged the dead child into a new bed, and when morning came some few of the Old Baptists attempted to give it "suck" but "behold it was dead." If it is so important that the Baptists must believe in the doctrine of the absolute predestination of all things in order to be sound Old Baptists, will you please tell me why it is that the churches are not constituted on that article of faith?

There is absolutely no use in anyone denying the symptoms of fatalism being plainly seen in the sayings and writings of some now claiming to be Old Baptists. Elder S. Hassell says: "Like nearly all the other doctrinal errors among Primitive Baptists, a tendency to fatalism seems to have come in through the broad door of dualism (two-seedism) about sixty years ago." Gospel Messenger, 1894, p. 181.

Brother Hassell says again: "But I greatly regret that there is a growing tendency among some of our people to reduce the Bible doctrine of predestination to the pagan doctrine of fatalism."

Again the same writer says: "This unmoral tendency to fatalism and pantheism--to make God, and not man, the real author or cause of sin, and thus to destroy the distinction between right and wrong--appears in such unguarded and unscriptural expressions as the absolute predestination of all things without any explanation or qualifying phrase, 'God predestinated sin in the same way he does holiness,' 'sin is a creature of God, and a very good thing in its place,' 'God introduced sin into the world,' 'God prepares the evil heart as well as the good heart,' 'God was the sole cause of Adam's partaking of the forbidden fruit,' 'God's suffering sin is the same as His commanding sin,' 'Sometimes the spiritually enlightened child of God hardly knows which most to admire sin or grace,' 'Permissive decrees are permissive nonsense,' 'We are compelled to do everything we do,' 'Men are not accountable,' 'God is the moving cause of sin,' 'God is the sole efficient and responsible cause of all the wickedness in the universe.'" Gospel Messenger, 1894, p. 181.

Elder J. K. Holcomb said: "But we see here, that Sublapsarians were Arminians, and as the Primitive Baptists never were Arminians, they were Supralapsarians." Take Heed, p. 33.

Elder J. R. McCarty writes me that he heard a preacher claiming to be an Old Baptist say: "The transgression of Adam was as necessary as the crucifixion of Christ."

A man who claims to be an Old Baptist, living at or near Cash, Texas, said in a letter of March 16, 1902, to his cousin who lives near Alexander, Texas: "Could Adam have kept the law? You may answer yes, but I say not so. The evidence is against you, my brother, for it is impossible for a man in nature as Adam, was of the earth earthy, and naturally a child of wrath, Eph. 2: 3, impossible I say. *** Did God have any purpose in the transgression? To be sure He did. That very act was the cause, the first great cause, on man's part of us receiving every blessing which we receive in time."

"Hence, if the transgression was not a part of God's eternal purpose, then it follows that the covenant of redemption owes its existence (not to the free and independent purpose of God outside of any extraneous influence, but) to the act of a man by which it was made necessary and a way opened up for it to enter." J.C. Sikes in Advocate of Truth, April 1, 1901.

We translate the sentence thus to get at its meaning. Hence, as the transgression of Adam was a part of God's eternal purpose, it follows that the covenant of redemption owes its existence to the act of a man by which it was made necessary and a way opened up for it to enter.

Again the same writer says: "If God had rather sin had not entered the world, then it follows that there has never been one single act, or creature, or thing, in this universe that has been as God originally would rather have had it," which by interpretation means: As God had rather sin would enter the world, then it follows that there has never been one single act, or creature, or thing, in this universe different to the way God originally would rather have had it. In the same article the writer further says: "But I will say this much more, if the logic contained herein is true with reference to the first transgression, it is also true with reference to every other event of time." Remember the idea is that everything is as God originally intended and purposed for it to be. God said do not kill, but He rather for them to kill. He says do not bear false witness, yet He rather for His people (some of them) to swear lies.

I tell you the Lord is to-day punishing His people for allowing those ultra or extreme views on predestination to be preached among them. To think that some of the dear children of God are contending that all the wickedness and meanness just had to be as it is. Yet they will try to get men and women to live better, still the doctrine is, let them live as they may they can do no less wickedness than was allotted them or placed to their account. If they live a life of virtue and rectitude it was thus fixed, and no persuasion or circumstance could in the least have swerved them from such a life. To deny this would be to deny the doctrine. On the other hand if they live a life of profligacy, shame and disgrace, that kind of a life, we are asked to believe, was fixed and marked out for them to live, and nothing can be brought to bear that would in the least mitigate their shame. This is one of the most profuse and promiscuous doctrines I ever heard of. It will in one instance keep you from doing wrong by fixing it so you are bound by its iron and unrelenting clutches to do right, and then it also fixes it so you can only do wrong. If you say you do not believe such a doctrine, then you deny the eternal fixedness of all things good and evil. If a man attacks the doctrine he had it to do at the time he did and in the very way he did, for to attack a thing is one of the events of time, and it just had to be, for the doctrine says it had to be. And if the attack of the man on the predestination of all things, whether it be in the right or wrong spirit, fails to work for your good, then you don't love God, for one of your proof texts reads, "And we know all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose." Rom. 8: 29. Why all this ado and consternation about the churches declaring against the doctrine? they had it to do. What say you, brethren? Are you dissatisfied with what the churches did? If so are you not dissatisfied with predestination of all things or a part of it? I guess you are not satisfied with the purpose of God relative to having those bars put up. Your doctrine has come home to you, and it will stay with you. Will you stay with it? You are bound to know that putting up those bars was one of the many "events of time," and when the exact and therefore purposed time had fully come the Lord fulfilled His holy and righteous decree in putting up those bars, and it seems as if you were about fixing to discountenance and disown your doctrine, for you are wanting the churches to undo what you say the Lord predestinated for them to do. Don't you believe the Lord predestinated for the churches to put up those bars? Do you think they could have kept from it? If they could not have kept from it, is it not true that they had it to do? If they had it to do why do you censure them? You say you have been misrepresented; if so, that was one of the events of time, and you say that all events of time are purposed; you had to be thus treated if the doctrine be true. Are you dissatisfied? If so, are you not dissatisfied and objecting to your doctrine? "O man, who art thou that repliest against God?" Rom. 9: 20. When you say you believe in the predestination of all things, then you say you believe God predestinated for the churches to do as they have done. And the Lord is now bringing to pass just what you say is a part of His eternal purpose, and you are nearly dead, and some of you say you are killed, the Bible says a "time to kill," Eccl. 3: 3. Really, has your doctrine killed you? The doctrine is that the Lord predestinated for the churches to pass those resolutions and at the appointed time they did it, and now you say you just will not submit to, or live under, nor recognize as sound Baptists those who did just as you say God wanted them to do. And so you just get right up in conference and declare non-fellowship for what you believe the Lord predestinated for the church to do. Why not take the doctrine when it comes home to you? It will stay with you, and if it is a good thing why not stay with it? You say the Lord purposed for the church to pass the resolutions and at the same time predestinated for you to non-fellowship a part of what you say the Lord purposed to be done. Do you say yes? Do you say no? If yes, take your doctrine; if no, quit your doctrine. If all things were predestinated by the Lord before the world was made, then all things are occurring precisely as the Lord willed, rather, wanted and desired, and it ill becomes any of His people to pray otherwise than, "Father, thy will be done." Why art thou so cast down? and why are you so offended at your Arminian brethren? (as you call us). We had to believe and do as we have done. Don't you think so? If yes, why not hold your peace? If no, they have passed no resolutions against you. You may say all this is of the flesh and only carnal reasoning. Well let that be as it may, it just had to be that way, for the doctrine is, it was thus fixed from all eternity and I just had to so reason. Don't you think so? Strange as it may seem you will contend that all things were unalterably fixed by the decree of God ere the world was made, and then try to get your Arminian brethren, as you call us, to see things as you do, when according to your doctrine God had put those things out of their sight and fixed it so they had to see differently to the way you do. If God purposed all things, then of course He decreed that some of His people should believe in the absolute predestination of all things, and at the same time fixed it by the same eternal purpose that some of His people should not believe the doctrine. What say you, brethren? Do you think I can believe something God has purposed for me to disbelieve? If the doctrine be true, then in order for me to believe and act differently the decree of God would have to be altered or changed. Can you change the decree of God? Can God change it and still be unchangeable? What say you, brethren? Again, if the doctrine be true, then the Lord has a class of preachers who are preaching and writing that He has purposed all the wicked acts of men and devils; He has another class who are preaching, writing and contending against the first class; He also has a third class who contend against the first and second, and when this triumvirate meets there is no union, no sweet fellowship and communion in spirit. Why all this? It had to be, unless things can be otherwise than you say the Lord purposed for it to be. Again, if two wicked men are shooting each other to death, (and we know such things frequently occur) and that is a part of the eternal purpose of God, and a part of the all things He worketh after the council of His own will, did God purpose more in that thing than He worketh? Was there anything good in the affair? If so, what was it? If it was all sinful and wicked, did not God work it? Did God purpose all of it? Did God work less than He purposed? or did God purpose it and then have nothing more to do with it? If so, is not that what you call fatality?

The predestination of God is a judicious and most wholesome doctrine of the Bible, but a few Old Baptist preachers have a strange way of adorning and embellishing it by including in it all the filthiness, wickedness, murder, rape and blasphemy of earth.

I wish now to subjoin a few extracts from some of the heretical sects that held to the absolute predestination of all things good and evil, and I want to specially ask the reader to notice the extreme sentiments and expressions used by some of the admirers of the doctrine while it was exclusively among the reformers, and contrast them with some of the ungodly, unholy, untruthful and unbaptistic expressions as quoted above.

The Materialistic philosophy and the Fatalistic philosophy are kindred heresies.

The Materialist says: "That there is some fixed law of nature respecting the will, as well as the other powers of the mind, and everything else in the constitution of nature; and consequently that it is never determined without some real or apparent cause foreign to itself, i. e. without some motive of choice; or that motives influence us in some definite and invariable manner. So that every volition, or choice, is constantly regulated and determined by what precedes it; and this constant determination of mind, according to the motives presented to it, is what is meant by its necessary determination. This being admitted to be a fact, (don't that make you think of the absoluter?) there will be a necessary connection between all things past, present and to come, in the way of proper cause and effect, as much in the intellectual as in the natural world. So that, according to the established laws of nature, no event could have been otherwise than it has been, or is to be, and therefore all things past, present and to come are precisely what the Author of nature really intended them to be and has made provision for." History of All Religions, John Hayward, p. 114.

The absolute and universal purposes of God means that nothing could have been otherwise than it has been, for the way it has been was as God intended it should be. If you have been lying, stealing, getting drunk, or if you are in jail for cold-blood murder you were only doing as God intended and purposed you should do, and it could not have been otherwise for God thus purposed and fixed all things to occur just as they have occurred. Have I misrepresented your doctrine? If so, was not that one of the all things God intended to be? If it is one of the all things God intended to be, and you are dissatisfied because I misrepresented you, are you not dissatisfied with your doctrine?

Here is what Elder D. Bartley said: "Then, certainly, every sin and all the iniquities of all His countless people were imputed to Christ, and God imputed them to His Son; therefore they were all definitely known to God, and positively determined and fixed in His unalterable counsel and purpose; so accurately determined in number and magnitude that not the least sin could possibly be omitted or left out, nor one more committed than Christ redeemed His people from." Advocate of Truth, June 1, 1901.

And thus we see that the absoluters and Materialists believe alike on the decrees of God. The absoluters believe that the people have a definite number of sins to commit and that it is impossible for the people to commit less sin than was purpos2d, or even one sin more than the Lord really intended or purposed. Is it possible that Old Baptists are gong to allow some of their preachers to preach that the Lord has certainly, definitely, positively, accurately and unalterably fixed the number and magnitude of the sins of His people? Do I misrepresent you when I say you preach that God wanted His people to commit each and every sin they have committed or ever will commit? Do I misrepresent you when I say you preach that sin was an absolute and indispensable necessity in the salvation of human beings? Do you believe God could have saved Adam if he had not sinned? If no, then don't you believe salvation was conditional? Really, don't you preach that if Adam had not sinned that the covenant of grace would have been a failure? Don't you preach, or believe, that in order for the covenant of grace not to fail a good man had to sin?

Now let us read the following from Dr. Bartley: "Yea, heaven itself, holy, happy heaven, is peopled with a countless multitude of glorified saints through the ordained entrance of sin and death." Advocate of Truth, June 1, 1901.

According to this quotation from Dr. Bartley God's people go to holy, happy heaven through the ordained entrance of sin and death. Dr. Bartley believes that a good man (Adam) had to do mean or he could never go to "holy, happy heaven." If the Doctor says that I misrepresent him, and it is sinful for me to do so, the reader will please remember that the Doctor believes that the Lord certainly, positively, accurately and unalterably fixed the number and magnitude of all my sins, and the Doctor and all other unlimited predestinarians further believe that it is impossible for me to commit less sin than was allotted me or placed to my account, for the Doctor says, "they were all in God's infinite account." So if I misrepresent the absoluters, and it is sinful for me to do so, then I had it to do, for the Lord, you say, purposed for me to commit just so many sins. If I misrepresent you and you are not satisfied with it, is it not true that you are dissatisfied with your doctrine?

But let us hear the Materialist again: "To establish this conclusion nothing is necessary but that through all nature the same consequences should invariably result from the same circumstances, for if this be admitted, (Don't that make you think of the philosophy of the absoluters?) it will necessarily follow that, at the announcement of any system, since the several parts of it, and their respective situations, were appointed by the Deity, the first change would take place according to a certain law established by Himself, the result of which would be a new situation; after which the same laws containing another change would succeed, according to the same rules, and so on forever; every new situation invariably leading to another, and every event from the commencement to the termination of the system being strictly connected, so that, unless the fundamental laws of the system were changed, it would be impossible that any event should have been otherwise than it was." Hayward, p. 114.

Thus we see that the Materialistic idea is that man is a necessary agent, and that in some irresistible and incomprehensible way every act and thought of his life were unavoidably and unalterably fixed and determined so Positively "that not one past action could possibly not have come to pass or have been otherwise than it has been."

I am sorry indeed that some of the Primitive Baptists have run predestination into the fatalism of the Stoics, Pharisees, Essenes, Gnostics, Mohammedans, Materialists and the Necessarians.

The Necessarian says: "That everything is predetermined by the Divine Being; that whatever has been, must have been; and that whatever will be, must be; that all events are preordained by infinite wisdom and unlimited goodness; that the will, in all its determinations, is governed by the state of mind; that the state of mind is, in every instance, determined by the Deity: and that there is a continued chain of causes and effects, of motives and actions, inseparably connected, and originated from the condition in which we are brought into existence by the Author of our beings." Watson's Dictionary of all Religions, p. 747.

Thus we see a very striking analogy between Necessarianism and the absolute predestination of all things. ]f predestination extends to all events, then all things had to be as they have been or may be. If you deny the analogy, then you say that it is possible for a thing not to be as it was purposed to be.

Elder J. K. Holcomb, who has a name with the Old Baptists has this to say about the Primitive Baptists in his pamphlet, p. 33: "Now, a brother said once that the Primitive Baptists were Sublapsarians; but we see here that Sublapsarians were Arminians, and as the Primitive Baptists never were Arminians, they were Supralapsarians."

The Supralapsarians were a heretical sect that lived in John Calvin's day and had no connection doctrinally or otherwise with the Baptists. Here is an abridgement of their faith: "The Supralapsarians are persons who hold that God, without any regard to the good or evil works of men, has resolved by an eternal decree, supralapsum, antecedently to any knowledge of the fall of Adam, and independently of it, to save some and reject others: or in other words, that God intended to glorify His justice in the condemnation of some, as well as His mercy in the salvation of others; and for that purpose decreed that Adam should necessarily fall." History of All Religions, Milner, p. 482.

The doctrine in the above extract has never been the doctrine of our people, and I for one am not willing for it to be preached among us as Old Baptist doctrine.

I have before me a copy of Dr. Carlton's book and in it is a complimentary letter from Elders Charles Holcomb, J. K. Holcomb and Noah T. Freeman, and here is what they say of Dr. Carlton: "Our dear brother has harmonized the apparent contradictions (to the casual reader of the Scriptures) and has thoroughly established, to our minds, God's absolute predestination of all thing's good and evil, and all for His own honor and glory. He has shown beyond cavil why God chose His elect people in Christ before the world began, and did not choose others; why God created evil in opposition to good; the reason why God was compelled to have a hell, in order to have a heaven; and that He was obliged to have bad men, in order to have good men; and that good could not exist without its opposite, evil." Diagram of the Churches, p. 7.

Now, reader, please follow me while I quote some of the sayings of the haters, maligners and heretics of John Calvin's day, John Calvin said: "A wicked man, by the just impulse of God, doeth that which is not lawful for him to de." Watson's Theo. Dic., p. 202.

Zuinglins said: "When God makes an angel or a man a transgressor, He Himself doth not transgress, because He doth not break a law. The very same sin, namely, adultery or murder, inasmuch as it is the work of God, the author, mover and compeller, is not a crime; but inasmuch as it is of man, it is a wickedness."

Here is what Dr. Twisse said: "God can will that man shall not fall, by His will which is called voluntrus signi; and in the meanwhile He can ordain that the same man shall infallibly and efficaciously fall, by His will which is called voluntas beneplaciti. The former will of God is improperly called His will, for it only signifieth what man ought to do by right; but the latter will is properly called a will, because by that decreed what should inevitably come to pass." Again the writer said: "God's will doth pass, not only into the permission of sin, but into the sin itself which is permitted." Ibed, p. 202.

Zanchius said: "Reprobates are compelled with a necessity of sinning, and so of perishing, by this ordination of God; and so compelled that they cannot choose but to sin and perish." Again the same writer said: "God works all things in all men, not only in the godly, but also in the ungodly."

Piscater, another writer of Calvin's day, said: "Judas could not but betray Christ, seeing that God's decrees are immutable; and whether a man bless or curse, he always doeth it necessarily in respect of God's providence, and in ~o doing he doeth always according to the will of God." Again the writer said: "It doth or at least may appear from the Word of God, that we neither can do more good than we dos nor omit more evil than we omit; because God from eternity hath precisely decreed that both (the good and the evil) should so be done. It is fatally constituted when and how much every one of us ought to study and love it." Ibed, p. 202.

The historian from whom I am now quoting, in speaking of the time Baxter assailed the above extreme expressions, says: "From that time to the middle of the eighteenth century, those dogmas which are usually designated as ultra-Calvin or Antinomian, received no support, except from such divines as Dr. Crisp and his immediate admirers." p. 202. "These last were of the views of Tobias Crisp, whose sentiments had disturbed the churches in past years.*** The above churches met in assembly, April 17, 1704, at Larimore's Hall. *** This assembly disapproved Dr. Crisp's sentiments, and stated such for the government of the churches." Again the writer said: "The meeting regrets the irregularity of some professors, who had withdrawn from this association, probably from the censure passed on ultra-Calvinism. Among the brethren (40 preachers in the meeting) present, great unanimity prevailed." Orchard, vol. 2 pp. 881, 832.

Dr. Crisp's sentiments are disturbing the churches again and because some of the churches have censured Dr. Crisp's sentiments, some of his immediate admirers have withdrawn from the churches and associations. Such expressions as "predestination of all things," "God purposed sin," "God willed sin should enter," "God created evil," "God has a special use for sin," are borrowed, and the proverb is true, "And the borrower is servant to the lender." Prov. 22: 7.

Who are the Primitive Baptists? those among us who have borrowed from our enemies and refuse to say, "Alas, Master, and it was borrowed," or those who have not borrowed any of the Ashdodish language.

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 13 September 2006 )
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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.