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Written by J.H.Oliphant   

 
MESSENGER OF TRUTH—JANUARY 15, 1883


Theology

THE FOLLOWING LETTER WAS PUBLISHED IN THE PAOLA NEWS, OF INDIANA, AT THE REQUEST OF THE WRITER, AFTER BEING REFUSED BY THE “AMERICAN CHRISTIAN REVIEW.” WE WILLINGLY GIVE IT A PLACE IN THE MESSENGER AND INVITE A CAREFUL EXAMINATION OF IT BY ALL LOVERS OF TRUTH.   

To: EDITOR AMERICAN CHRISTIAN REVIEW:

A friend has recently furnished me two numbers of your paper. The first number I noticed was Sept. 13th, 1881. The article referred to, was headed “Comments Again by W. A. Crutsinger.” It seems that Bro C had been informed that I was much agitated by his comments. In this he is certainly mistaken, for I never knew until now, that anything had been published against my little book. So far as I am concerned, I am willing that Bro C should still devote his time, and talent in that way. No good, or honest man desires to entertain false opinions on the great and awfully important subject, salvation. And if Bro C can show me that I am wrong, I have no more use for an error than any man living. He first quotes me as saying, “The work of conversion is God’s work,” He does not deny it, nor offer any reason why it is some other way. He then quotes, or pretends to quote, “Whosoever will, may come.” I have not been able to find the text. In Rev. 22—17, “Whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.” This encouraging invitation, is addressed to the character, whose WILL is inclined, to seek after divine things. He says, “To create some purposely to be damned, without mercy is inhuman,” and further on he says, “If every one BORN TO BE SAVED, WILL BE SAVED, not one such can be lost. Then if not lost, of course they can not be saved.” I agree with the first of these two quotations, and my only objection to it is, that he evidently intends to make it appear, that such was my opinion. I have never met a man who believes the sentiment he ascribes to rue in this quotation, nor have I ever read after one who did. My objection to the next quotation is that it is BAD LOGIC. The idea he intends is, that if one is BORN TO BE SAVED, he is, SAVED ALREADY. This is not good logic. If one were born SAVED, then we might say he cannot be SAVED. But Bro C betrays either ignorance or insincerity in ascribing these views to me.

In criticizing ones published writings, great care should be taken, not to misrepresent. He then says, “There is neither mercy, nor salvation, in Oliphant’s predestination.” I suppose he means, in predestination as I present it. I quoted Eph 1st 11, “In whom also, we have obtained an inheritance being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will.” Certainly salvation is the result of predestination in this passage. Also Paul, 2d Tim., lst-9. “Who hath saved us and called us with an holy calling not according to our works but according to his own purpose and grace which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began.” Salvation is put down here, as the result of God’s purpose, given before the world began. The Gr. for “WORLD BEGAN” is AIOFIONS, and would be as justly rendered,

FROM ETERNITY, or “FROM THE AGES ETERNAL.” The word “purpose” in this text, is equivalent to predestinate, which is from a Gr. word, meaning, to mark out beforehand, or predetermine. The single meaning of the text is, that God’s ETERNAL PURPOSE was executed in saving, and calling. Our Savior gives a like idea, John 17-2, “As thou hast given him (Christ) power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him.”

The doctrine of PREDESTINATION shines in this text, with a brilliancy that no human reason can eclipse, Also, Acts 13th—38, “And when the Gentiles heard this they were glad and glorified the word of the Lord and as many as were ordained to eternal life believed. The word ORDAINED, is from Gr. TASSO, and occurs but eight times, in the New Testament. Mat. 28—16, “Where Jesus had appointed them, “APPOINTED.” Luke 7—8, “1 also am a man set under authority, SET. Also Acts 22—10, “The Lord said unto me, arise and go into Damascus and there it shall be told thee of all things which arc appointed for thee to do,” “APPOINTED,” &e. This word TASSO signifies “to arrange, to set in order, especially in a military sense, to draw up in line.” See LIDDELL and SCOTT, Gr. Lex.

The doctrine of predestination is beyond a doubt maintained, or taught in this text. Many, very many passages might be cited, but I know that space, if nothing else forbids. Bro C then gives an exhibition of LATIN LORE, which he concludes by affirming that I “more resemble the boy Per, than one egg, resembles another.” Therefore what he says of Per, he intends to apply to me, he says, “Poor Per, has no soundness in him, he is totally depraved from the crown of his head to the sole of his feet, putrefied sores eat his bones, and wormwood and gall, change his flesh to gangreenish hue—he is doomed by the eternal purpose of God to be damned without mercy.” Certainly no man of true piety, or even good taste, will regard this as the production of a truly noble mind. I know 1 would blush to see my name attached to this as its author it savors too much of ‘‘railing’’ to demand an answer. We are not to return “Railing for railing.”

He then tells us that; “Sinners become God’s elect by obedience, and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ through sanctification of the Spirit.” The text he (perhaps) intended to quote is 1st Peter 1st & 2d, “Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father through sanctification of the spirit unto obedience and the sprinkling of the blood of Jesus.” it is not our OBEDIENCE, that sanctifies us, but by the Spirit we are sanctified UNTO OBEDIENCE. [I disagree with Elder Oliphant’s interpretation of this expression. I feel that Paul is referring to Christ’s obedience—DM] “We are created in Christ Jesus UNTO GOOD WORKS. Not by works of righteousness which we have done.” “Not of works lest any man should boast.’’ If men were by NATURE capable of obedience, they would not need to be “SANCTIFIED TO OBEDIENCE,” or “CREATED in Christ unto good works.” It is God that works in men, to will, and to do, “of his good pleasure.” The great Savior taught the necessity of being DRAWN to God, and of being BORN AGAIN. “Not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man but of God.’’

I see in your paper of Aug. 9th, he has made some comments. After some expressions of ridicule, and burlesque, more after the style of the politician, than of him who said “Let nothing be done through strife or vain glory.” And in a style that would by no means remind one of the dear Redeemer. He makes four quotations from the 9th page of my book. In the first I say, “The Ephesians were by nature the children of wrath even as others.” His reply is ‘‘Paul never said the Ephesians were by nature the children of wrath even as others.” After some little comment he says “The truth is the Ephesians were Gentiles and Paul was arguing that the Jews by nature, were children of wrath, same as gentiles.’’ He first denies it, when it has to be told by me, and then affirms the same thing himself. I was endeavoring to show that we arc not only sinners by PRACTICE, but that our very NATURE is involved in sin. As further proof I remark, “David was conceived in sin and shapen in iniquity.’’ Bro C replies, “False, there is no such scripture to be found.” He then quotes Ps. 61—5, “Behold I was shapen in iniquity and in sin did my mother conceive me.” Bro C. and every reader of your paper know there is no substantial difference in his quotation from my book, and this Ps. He then tells us that David was only talking about his mother. That she was “Sin” and “Iniquity.” He says David was “PURE AND HOLY AT BIRTH.’’ David’s mother being a sinner had no effect on him. Though she was a mass of sin, and iniquity, he was pure, holy and sinless child. David in that Psalm was confessing his awful sin, in the case of Uriah’s wife. Nathan laid open his sin to him, and he was pouring out before God his acknowledgments of sin. Bro C seems to think he stopped and gave us A LITTLE ACCOUNT OF HIS MOTHER’S CORRUPTION. His mother’s sin, according to Bro, C. had no effect on him, had no obvious relation to his case, but he simply volunteered a reference to her. The truth is, David knew what Bro C denies, “A clean tiling can not be brought out of an unclean,” and “that which is born of woman is unclean.” Bro C says, “Its pure and holy.’’ But David knew, that he was unclean from birth, that he sprang from an impure fountain, and that his awful sin was proof of it. He used this language, to magnify his sin, and set it forth in a darker light, and show the deep abasement he felt before God. If Bro C is capable of blushing, he certainly ought to blush at the position he has taken on this text.

His next quotation is, “The wicked are estranged from the womb, they go astray as soon as they be born speaking lies, Ps. ‘8—3 Here David is describing the wicked and he uses the language in the quotation to show how early in life, sin is developed in our character, “As soon as they be born.’’ Bro C says, “A man must be desperately hard pressed for proof to infer that infants speak lies.” David says they do “as soon as they be born.” When a man denies the Bible, I follow him no further. I doubt the propriety of disputing with Ingersol. He says, “No reader of common rationality will ever believe such palpable humbuggery’’ will no sensible reader ever believe what David says about sinners “as soon as they be born, &c” The Bible does teach that death came by sin, and infants are subjects of death. Christ came to SAVE SINNERS, and if infants are not of this class, no man can prove by the Bible that Christ saves them. Note the following epitaph:

‘‘Beneath this stone two infants lie,
‘If death’s by sin, they had sin, for they are here,
‘If Heaven’s by works they can’t in Heaven appear.”


After some other remarks, he says, “The OLD HARDSHELL BAPTIST, must have a queer dictionary, if man means infant.” He ought to know, that the word MAN in many places is applied to infants, but what kind of a spirit, induced him to say, “OLD HARDSHELL BAPTIST?” I don’t complain of the name, but what truly godly man, will admire the spirit that dictated this expression? There are many expressions in his comments, which savor of an overbearing temper that ill becomes a Minister of the gospel of Jesus Christ. In the close of his comments, he gives me a little counsel, which is good, and I shall try to take it, but in this he was EVIDENTLY INSINCERE. He sent the counsel to a paper I had never seen, and I did not know that such a paper was being published, he sent me no copy of it and had not a friend of mine, some 20 miles away, noticed it, and sent it to me, I should never have seen his counsel. I say that to my mind in this, he has BETRAYED INSINCERITY, which is a SAD and UNFORUTUNATE SHOWING for a Minister of the Gospel. —I will not give him counsel myself, but refer him to a verse that I do SINCERELY think, judging from his writing, would be well for him to consider, Ron. 12—13, “For I say through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think but to think soberly, &c.” Also 1Cori. 3:1—8, “If any man among you seemeth to he wise in this world let him become a fool that he may be wise.” If I would venture to counsel him, he would likely think it too great a humiliation for a British general to surrender to a chimney sweep.

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