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ORIGIN OF TWO-SEEDISM.

I shall endeavor to write a few articles on the origin of two-seedism and absolute predestination of all things good and evil. The two points of doctrine mentioned have precisely the same originators. This I feel quite sure no informed man will deny. The people who first preached the two-seed doctrine and absolute predestination of all things good and evil had no connection with the church of God. This being true the church should have nothing to do with either of the above named heresies. If the doctrines mentioned above have an heretical origin it is unsafe, unwise and unscriptural, and therefore wrong for the church to countenance the doctrine of heretics. These doctrines have not had a uniform name all the time. Calling the same doctrine by another name does not change the nature of the doctrine. Two-seedism in all of its various ramifications and deceptive appearances should be shunned, for it carries with its divergent make-up the elements of devastation, declension and division.

In the days of our Saviour there was a heresy which was opposed by John called by historians gnosticism. The teachers of this heresy were men who belonged to the schools of Egypt and of Alexandria, which were the very mud-sills of scholastic rottenness and vain philosophy. These men, who, from blending the philosophy of the East, or of Greece, with the doctrines of the gospel pretended to be wise and amply able to explain the doctrine of the New Testament, and even boasted of their revelations, new discoveries, and deeper knowledge of the Scriptures and theology than others. I have seen this same spirit among some of the "absoluters" of our day; they would say, we should not fall out with a brother because more has been revealed to him than to you or I. I do not object to revelations of the right kind, but when any one claims that God has revealed something to him and that man preaches that revelation to the Lord's people and they know nothing about it that man is mistaken in the source of his stupendous revelation. Secret things belong to God but revealed things belong to us and our children.

The origin of Gnosticism has been variously stated. The principal ingredients of this heterogeneous, divergent, Platonic, Pythagorean doctrine of Metempsychosis, or transmigration of souls, is much older than New Testament christianity. The Gnostics believed that the body of Jesus Christ was only an imaginary body, and thus they strenuously contended that Jesus did not come in the flesh, and were therefore opposed by John. They believed in two antagonistic principles or spirits, one good and the other evil; and that the children of God were emanations from God and when they died returned to God from whence they came.

Among these ancient heretical Gnostics, two-seeders and absoluters there were various branches, just as there are among the modern two-seeders and absoluters, yet they all belonged to precisely the same family and corrupt origin. These doctrines in their incipiency had a corrupt and poisoning influence, and it is observable that age and even getting among the Lord's people and into the sacred precincts of the church of God has not rendered it respectable, or in the least removed its original devastating and offensive influence. There were the Cabalistics, Corinthians, against whom John Wrote. There were also the Nicolaitians mentioned in Revelation, and the Ebonites, all of which were branches of the same system and corrupt fountain. The Cabalistic system was said to be a kind of science held to by some of the Jews, and they pretended to get the doctrine by revelation. If we will only take time enough to read I think we will be thoroughly convinced that instead of the Jews getting this two-seed, nonresurrection doctrine by or through revelation that it is a tenet of the Pythagorean, Platonic, Oriental and Alexandrian philosophy of heathen origin, and therefore borrowed from the Egyptian schools. Just so with the absoluters, if they would read they would find that the Bible nowhere taught that God purposed sin. And not only so, but if they would read history they would soon find that it was the haters, malingers and inveterate enemies of Jesus Christ and New Testament christianity that first preached and taught in their schools the absolute predestination of. all things good and evil.

The following is an epitome of the tenets held by the Originators of the doctrine that is now called two-seedism, or non-resurrectionism: "Human souls are distant emanations from Deity: and after they are liberated from .their material vehicles will return, through various stages of purification, to the fountain from whence they first proceeded." Watson’s Dic., p. 190.

The Cerdonians were an ancient sect of heretics who lived in the first Century and believed in two eternal principles. They also denied the incarnation of the Son of God and the resurrection of the body. Buck's Theo. Dic., p. 82.

The Carpocratians were a branch of the ancient Gnostics and lived in the second century.

The Encratites were also another ancient sect of the Gnostic kind, and they also lived in the second century.

The Marcionites were a very ancient and seemingly a popular sect of the same Gnostic fraternity. They also held to two principles, one good and the other evil. They also denied the real birth and passion of Jesus Christ and the resurrection of the body.

The Manicheans, so named from Manes who was a Persian and educated among the Magi, were another sect that believed in two eternal principles, one good the other evil. They also believed that at death the good spirit went back to God while the evil spirit went back to Satan. They also denied the resurrection of the bodies of the saints of God.

"Manes borrowed many things from the ancient Gnostics; on which account many authors consider the Manicheans as a branch of the Gnostics. *** They denied that Jesus Christ, who was only God, assumed a true human body, and maintained it was only imaginary; add therefore they denied His incarnation and death." Buck's Theo. Dic., p. 338.

Thus Manes who is said to have been born in Persia A. D. 240, and put to death about 277, revived the two-seed, non-resurrection doctrine held to by the Gnostics and other heretical sects, some of whom I have briefly mentioned above, who were the ecclesiastical ancestors of Manes and his followers.

"They denied the real existence of Christ's human nature, and supposed Him to suffer in appearance only.*** They denied the doctrine of the resurrection. Christ came, they said, to save the souls of men, and not the bodies. In many leading principles they thus evidently agreed with the Gnostics, of whom indeed they may be considered a branch." Watson's Theo. Dic., p. 658.

The above doctrine has been believed by a few among the Old Baptists. Some seventy or eighty years ago, to the detriment of the Old Baptists, especially in some parts of the United States, it developed that an Old Baptist preacher, Elder Daniel Parker, had revived and imbibed the old Manichean heresy that had been dead for centuries.

Elder J. M. Watson said: "Our exposition of the resurrection brought to view such a palpable difference in our tenets, that it will be useless to compare them here. Why, brethren, so great a difference between us? From whence came Parkerism, with its perverting tendencies? It was born of a Persian Magi, reared in the nursery of polytheism, about the year 277 was brought into parasitical union by

Manicheans with the gospel; since then it has presented itself, in many new and changing forms, to the consideration of the christian world; of late years it has assumed the modification and name of Parkerism, and it is so adroitly aired in christian apparel as to deceive many real christians, who are now bewitched by its semi-pagan doctrines. Set up as it is, at this time, it invades the eternity of God's being, and then in pagan blindness attempts to set up an eternal, self-existent spirit of evil: rejects the great truth that God is the Great First Cause of all things; deifies the souls of the elect, in giving them an eternal existence and union actually with God, and withholds them from the non-elect; brings Adam up Out of the earth as a formation to receive those souls as an infusion from God, as a portion of divinity, and has him to fall in such a way as to exclude the non-elect from a participation it, then multiplied the woman's conception into bodies for the seed of Satan to dwell in; then at death annihilates the bodies of both the *elect and non-elect. Nor is this all; it goes forth with a hard spirit here; has, of course, no sympathy or concern for the children of the Devil; hints that prayer is useless in our pulpits, or elsewhere; dries up the sincere milk of the Word; poisons the strong meats of the gospel; and confusion, contention, disunion and chilling winds follow in its serpentine wake! This is Parkerism, when stripped of its pagan patches, of its semi-christian garments, and made to stand forth in all its naked ugliness! Will you have it brethren, notwithstanding all this? Will you say we misrepresented it? If so, prove it, and we will retract anything of the kind." Old Baptist Test, pp. 296, 297.

Yes, and all the above can be said of absolute predestination of all things good and evil, for it is a scion of the same corrupt stock and the family resemblance is so striking that any unbiased mind will readily perceive the likeness. I will now give verbatim the first article of faith containing the two-seed doctrine among the Baptists: "We believe the Serpent has a seed also, and they are of their father, the Devil, whose work their well do, We believe both of these seeds to be spiritual, and have a spiritual existence in their respective fathers before they are manifested or developed in the flesh or in the world:" Old Baptist Test, p. 301.

The two-seeders will unblushingly tell you that they are the old stock of Baptists, still the above is the first article of the kind that ever appeared among the Baptists purporting to be Old Baptist doctrine. It is true that the Catholics accused the Waldenses of the two-seed heresy in the following language: "That with the Manicheans the Waldenses believed in two principles, one the good God, the Creator of good, and one evil, which is the Devil, the creator of evil." In reply the Waldenses said: "We believe that the Holy Trinity created all things, both visible and invisible, and that He is Lord of all things in heaven, earth and hell, as it is said by John, All things were made by Him, and without Him was nothing made." Old Baptist Test, p. 802.

I will now give the first article that was ever put forth by the Baptists purporting to be Old Baptist doctrine that contained universal predestination. Elder Gilbert Beebe in his prospectus said: "2. The absolute predestination of all things." Editorials, vol. 1., p. 7. The Signs of the Times published the above article of faith as an expression of what its editor believed in 1832. The above is the first article of the kind ever put forth by the Baptists of any kind. I would kindly ask any one that now believes in the absolute predestination of all things to show any article of the kind put forth by the Baptists prior to the one above. Old Baptist history simply furnishes nothing of the kind. It is absolutely new among the old Order of Baptists, and no man can trace the above expression farther back among the Baptists than the beginning of the "Signs of the Times," which was in 1832. It is a fact that the two-seed doctrine was introduced among the Primitive Baptists by Daniel Parker, and it is also true that the doctrine of the absolute predestination of all things was introduced among the same people by Elder Gilbert Beebe, the originator of the Signs of the Times, in 1832. The introduction of two-seedism among the Primitive Baptists marks a painful epoch in the history of our people, The same may be truthfully said about absolute predestination of all things. Its best and ablest admirers cannot, or have not yet explained it so the great body of Baptists have understood it or believed it.

I will now make a few quotations from history to show that the two-seed doctrine is still alive and advocated by men who claim to be Primitive Baptists.

Dr. S. M. Carlton says: "They are lost upon a principle of justice, and that justice is based upon the fact that the heirs of perdition (in a spiritual sense) are not God's. They come from the infernal regions, and they will return to Satan, the author of their spiritual existence. And in like manner the heirs of promise will return to Christ in heaven from whence they came, who is the author of their spiritual existence." Diagram of the Churches, pp. 10, 11.

Here is the Gnostic, Platonic and Pythagorean doctrine. The Doctor says again: "It is therefore reasonable to suppose, from common sense, as well as from inference, admitting that the Scriptures were silent upon this subject, that all who were not embraced in this covenant were heirs of perdition, and that their spiritual existence hailed from the under world, and must by right return from whence they came." p. 11.

Again the Doctor says: "Suppose we say that the family of Perdition stood condemned in the mind of Jehovah before all worlds were, and that their spiritual existence was virtually in the loins of Satan .before God spoke into existence their natural beings, and that God made them for the very purpose that His foreknowledge comprehended for them, and that without them He could not have show, n His wisdom, power and goodness toward the children of mercy; for the terms 'good' and 'heaven' would have been vague terms, without meaning, if they had not had their opposites, 'evil' and 'hell'; 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." p. 12.

On page 14 the Doctor says: "And so far as choice is concerned, God chooses the heirs of promise because they are His, and does not choose them to make them His; and He rejects the heirs of perdition because they are not His."

H. Hays, who was a Missionary Baptist preacher, in reviewing the above sayings of Dr. Carlton says on pages 50, 51: "But I know its father--Daniel Parker. It is not like the Babe that lay in the manger, but it is as one coming from the horrible pit from which the Doctor says a part of the human family came. I am astonished at Dr. Carlton, claiming to be an Old Baptist and believing such a theory. If I was an Anti-mission Baptist I certainly would sue Dr. Carlton for damages for publishing any such creed over my name."

A. Gordon said: "Now, my dear sister, we agree with you, that God has no partnership with the Devil or his children, or that the Devil draws upon Eve for bodies. We believe that every seed produces its own body." Potter on Election, p. 2.

The editor of the "Herald of Truth," who was a "two-seed Baptist" said: "No man will be taken to an eternity of bliss, or sent to an eternity of woe for what he does in this world. But those that are accounted worthy of an eternity of bliss will receive it upon a principle of heirship, as an inheritance for what they are, and not for what they do. So, also, with those sent to the regions of misery will be sent there for what they are, and not for what they do. We say, without fear of successful contradiction that our doings in this life only effect us in this life." Potter on Election, p. 2.

Elder G. Dalby said: "The non-elect are no more related to the elect than the cockle-bur is to the corn, both growing in the same field." Ibed, p. 3.

Martin Ellis said: "Then I ask the question: Which is the oldest in substance, Christ or his bride? The figure that Paul uses in the earthly Adam shows they were the same age," Ibed, p, 4.

The above quotations positively connect and identify in doctrine some claiming to be Old Baptist with the Gnostic heretics who were condemned by John and other New Testament writers.

When the Paulicians were accused of Manichean tenets they repeatedly denied the charge. In speaking of the Paulicians Milner said: "That this sect also despised the whole of the Old testament, is asserted, but on grounds which seem utterly unwarrantable. For they have said to have done this as Gnostics and Manichees, though they steadily condemned the Manichees, and complained of the injustice which branded them with that odious name. They are also charged with holding the eternity of matter, and the existence of two independent principles; and with denying the real sufferings and real flesh of Christ. It seems no way was found so convenient to disgrace them as by the charge of Manicheism. But I cannot believe," says Milner, "that they held these tenets; not only because they themselves denied the charge, but also because they unquestionably held things perfectly inconsistent with such notions." Milner's Church History, vol. 3, p. 204.

The modern advocates of the ancient dualistic two seed doctrine that are now separated from the old order of Baptists, it seems needs must dispute. The doctrine is continually being attired in a new dress, and When its new Clothing is taken off it is very perceptible that "it cares neither for the general peace of Zion, the union of associations, nor the order of Old Baptist churches." Watson.

In this chapter I have looked into the origin, in a brief way, of the two-seed doctrine, and shown how it surreptitiously connected itself with the old order of Baptists some seventy or eighty years ago through Daniel Parker. Since its serpentine introduction among us we have had a fight on our hands. Just so with its twin sister, or brother, absolute predestination of all things. These two doctrines are perverters of the truth, disturbers of the peace and happiness of God's people. Thank God the day of their rebuke and final rejection is at hand. I see daylight coming. Come, O sweet day of rest. My soul longs for thee, for thee I live, for thee I sigh! Oh, brother preachers, let us put on the whole armor of God, gird on the sword of the Spirit and cut those noxious, corrupting, hurtful and destructive doctrines down. Let us go forth in the Spirit. and meekness of Jesus and defend the sweet and precious doctrines of Jesus and the apostles against the defamers and defacers, who persistently and rigidly attempt a defense of the heresies mentioned in this chapter. But above all things let us have fervent and reverential charity for one another, and avoid both of the above extremes, for they eat as doth a canker. They live by disputation, and if we will quit disputing with these mythological, mutinous and ruinous doctrines they will die on their own feedings.

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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.