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Written by John R. Respess   

 

THE BATTLE

“And all the king’s servants that were in the king’s gate bowed and reverenced Haman; but Mordicai bowed not nor did him reverence. Then the kind’s servants said to Mordicai, why transgresseth thou the king’s commandment.  And when they spake daily unto him and he hearkened not unto them, they told Haman to see whether Mordicai’s matters would stand, for he had told them he was a Jew. And when Haman saw that Mordicai bowed not then was Haman full of wrath.”

Amalek was the first of the nations and the first enemy Israel encountered in the wilderness. During all their long servitude in Egypt they had had no trouble with Amalek; nor could they until they had been carried out of bondage. In Egypt they were the servants of Pharaoh and were not required to fight, but to work; they knew nothing of struggles save for natural or worldly things. The children or heirs of God whilst in nature know nothing of spiritual wants and have no spiritual struggles, but are the willing servants of sin making no war against it, never having been brought into contact with it as an enemy; but when freed from sin and made the servants of righteousness the warfare begins and continues until the end of their lives. In nature or unregeneracy they are free from warfare, or rather free from righteousness; free in the sense that acts of righteousness are not required of them, that is acts of faith or that obedience to God that can be rendered only of faith, and such obedience as cannot be rendered by the servant of sin or the unregenerate. For illustration, baptism is an act of righteousness when performed by a believer, because God requires it of believers of his children; but before they are made believers it is not required of them, nor would God accept it of them; because in that condition, as the servants of sin, they are free from righteousness. The Jews in Egypt, as servants of Pharaoh, were free from Moses, nor was service to Moses or God required of them until freed; because no man can serve two masters, nor is it required of him to do it. Whilst in Egypt they were conscious only of the power of Pharaoh, and to fulfill their daily tasks was all the obligation they felt, and with that performed they rested. But their rest was the rest of a slave. They knew no more of the power and enmity of Amalek than the unregenerate man knows of the power of sin in his depraved nature. But after he is born again and freed from sin and is made a child of God he encounters Amalek as the Jews when thrust out of Egypt encountered him in the wilderness. It is only those who have been thrust out of Egypt, who could stay no longer and could no longer find rest in their daily tasks, and when doubled tasks were beyond their ability to do; and who have been made dead or cut off from Egypt at the Red sea and then experienced life to God in his power and love in freeing them from Egypt and destroying their enemies, it is only these who are brought into contact with Amalek. Their last troubles in Egypt were very sore, unendurable, so they left from necessity; and the thought with them was no doubt that if ever freed from them that they would never have any more trouble; and that to be made free and have a country of their own and be kept by the Lord was to live in ease, plenty and free from struggles; and if they had been told that they would be poorer in the wilderness than in Egypt they could not have believed it.

Their life after freedom was not such a life as they expected, nor has it ever been to the children of God. They rejoiced in the Lord at the Red sea, and were thus being disciplined for the struggle with Amalek; the heavens that had been shut up to them in Egypt were opened to them, as they were opened to Jesus in his baptism in preparation of his struggle with Satan in the wilderness. We would not say that Jesus could not have encountered Satan before his baptism, but his baptism was certainly the antecedent step to the struggle; or in other words that the struggle could not have preceded the baptism; it was, so to speak, an invasion of the enemy’s territory, rendering the struggle inevitable. Whatever is done under the prompting of the Spirit antagonizes Satan and involves a struggle with him. It is certain that the Saviour’s baptism and the Father’s approval did not weaken him; but it rather strengthened him for the encounter. Nor did the deliverance of the Israelites at the Red sea render them less able to fight Amalek, but was really a preparation for it, and without which there would have been no struggle with him. The greater the manifestation of God’s power and love in our liberation from sin, the greater will be the struggle with the enemy; because the more we appreciate freedom from sin the greater will the loss of it be felt, and the greater the loss the harder will be the fight to keep it. Thus the enemy is strong as we are strong; if we have strong faith, it implies hard battles. When the prophet ate twice in short succession it was that he had to go forty days on the strength of that meat. There is nothing unnecessary given us, nothing that we will not need, and nothing therefore to be wasted.

The faith of the children of this world is not tried, but the faith of God’s children is always tried; God’s children march through a wilderness in which there are snares, traps and pitfalls, and in which they encounter enemies on every hand; they march in paths they have not before known; often hungry and thirsty, and are the most dependant and helpless of all people and can only go as God leads them, and only eat, drink and rest as God provides it for them. When the cloud rested upon the tabernacle they abode in their tents, and when it was lifted up they fell into line and marched onward following in the lead of heaven. They can’t get up a revival as the world does, but have to wait upon the Lord to bring them to their appointed places of rest. They are like the cony, a feeble folk, and have their house in the rock. Who would by nature, or by his own works, be one of them? Not one!

But Israel could not help hut fight; they could not go back and to go forward was to encounter Amalek; it was a necessity. So the battle was joined, and to Israel all was staked upon the issue. Amalek, if defeated, could retire from the field with only the shame of defeat; but Israel had no where to retire to, no place to lay his head. So the battle raged until the going down of the sun; it was hotly contested and at times hung in doubt; first Israel prevailed, then Amalek; retreats here and alarms there; the cry of victory on this hand and the moan of despair there. Moses grew weary and had to be seated upon a stone and his hands upheld by Aaron and Hur as Joshua led the host to the charge. The noonday sun poured down upon the ensanguined field and still the battle went on. The day wears away and the sun sinks slowly behind the hills and the shadows spread like a pall over the battlefield and the hand grows weak and weary and the breath short and faint, and the cry of despair goes up, Master save, we perish! and lo! the battle is won and the enemy is gone and a shout rends the air, Praise ye the Lord!

We battle now, not with flesh and blood, nor with carnal weapons; but with false doctrine; with pride, vanity, self-interest, envy, greed, lust, unbelief, worldliness, indolence and such enemies as he, often hidden, in our depraved nature. With such enemies as these we struggle, nor does it end only with our mortal lives.

Wherever Israel journeyed or lived, whether in the wilderness, in the promised land, or in captivity, there was Amalek. The people of God will not willingly serve sin; they are freed from sin and are the servants of righteousness; and the service of God is to struggle against sin, to realize that sin is an enemy that is feared and hated of their soul. They are often as a besieged city (II Kings, vi.) invested by an enemy stronger than she is. The siege lasted until her own stores were exhausted and her own strength gone; and as day after day she felt her own strength dwindling away and more and more helpless and hopeless, so she was unconsciously drawing nearer and nearer deliverance; as she grew weaker the enemy grew weaker; for the enemy was self-trust and self-righteousness; and when her own supplies were exhausted, and her own strength gone the struggle was over and the victory was won. But self cannot overcome self; nor does a sense of helpless-ness overcome the enemy; God overcomes for the help-less; for the Lord made the Syrians to hear a noise of chariots and the noise of horses, even the noise of a great host, wherefore they arose and fled in the twilight and fled for their lives.

Mordicai’s colleagues in the gate labored with him to get him right, and when day after day, he hearkened not to them and gave them no satisfaction, only telling them he was a Jew, they reported his case to Haman to adjudicate. They did not seem able to understand why he would not bow to Haman; and especially why being a Jew should forbid it. It seemed to have puzzled them as badly as it puzzled Rabshakeh (Is. xxxvi) that the Jews under Hezekiah would not give up and submit themselves to Sennacherib the King of Assyria; seeing they were so weak and few and that all the world was against them; he could not understand them and said: But if you say to me we trust in the Lord our God, is it not he whose high places and whose altars Hezekiah hath taken away and said to Judah and Jerusalem ye shall worship before this altar I The same as to say, God will not save you because you have offended him in taking away his high places and altars; you are opposing God in destroying his altars instead of increasing them, and you are lessening his worship. And the world to-day thinks that the Primitive Baptists in refusing worship at the Sunday school altars, missionary altars, education altars, et id omne genus, that they are opposing good things and are enemies to God and man. And because they oppose these things as departures from the faith and done in distrust of God’s power and love, and as unauthorized in his word and as contrary to their experience, they are charged as being anti everything good. We can join in with our fellow-citizens in building school houses, etc., in supporting civil government, and in doing all things that tend to natural and moral good; but when it is said to us you must do this thing to save souls; that our children will be lost without Sunday schools; that those for whom Christ died will be lost without a Missionary Board, then we do not do it, for to do it would deny the faith and the Lord God that bought us.. Nor are we permitted to aid in propagating such religion in any way that we can avoid; because such religion is not only false and dishonoring to God but is an injury to human society. Such religion has been in full blast in the world for now about one generation, and what is the moral condition of the world? Mr. George R. Stetson, a statistical writer of reputation, in an article headed The Rising Tide of Crime, asserts that crime is greatly on the increase and supports his assertions by facts.


The International Record, a Boston publication, says:

In the first place, I want you to remember that in no land in the world is crime so on the increase as in the United States. With all our patriotic pride, we have to confess that we are going downward in the scale of public morals faster than any great modern nation. In 1850 there were in the prisons of the United States nearly 7,000 prisoners; in 1860, there were 19,000; in 1870, about 33,000; and in 1880, more than 59,000. That is, in 1850, one in every 3,000 people was in prison; in 1860, one in every 1,600; in 1870, one in every 1,000; and in 1880, one in 873. During the last six years the tide has not fallen. The last report of our prison commissioners puts the proportion of our prisoners to the entire population as 1 to 575. This is bad enough, but Mr. Galton, a distinguished writer, expresses the opinion that the social condition of Athens (where Paul preached upon Mars Hill) taken as a whole, was as superior to ours as we are to the Australian savages.

Mr. Stetson ascribes as one of the causes of this great increase of crime, the abolition of family government; the children are given up to moral training outside the precincts of the family. And that is, no doubt, the true root of the matter. The Primitive Baptists have refused to bow to this Sunday School god, holding that the parent is the natural and divinely appointed instructor of the child in morals. Because God has implanted a love for the child in the parent that he has in no one else, and a care is therefore required of the parent that is not required of any one else, and which no one else can give; and to destroy this order of God is to injure both parent and child, and society at large.

Mordecai knew that though Haman was so highly honored in the world, that he was not in heart a lover of the king and queen; as we know that the good things, so-called and so reverenced by the world, and upon which the world depends for the salvation of man, are not prompted by God’s spirit, because they are a denial of his word. And what Primitive Baptist, who has experienced God’s grace in giving him faith, can turn from that experience and institute Sunday Schools for the salvation of his children, when he knows that they would not have saved him? Can he suppose that less grace will save his children than it took to save him? Does he not know that nothing less than the same grace that it took to save him will save his children, and that that alone will save them? How, then, can we bow to these things? We can’t do it, and God forbid that we should. And how can we aid such religion seeing it is an evil to human society, and is a fruitful source of human crime? Not long since we were put to the test in this thing. There was a Methodist district meeting in this town, and we were asked to aid in feeding and lodging the delegates: but we couldn’t conscientiously do it; and the reason was because it was aiding what we believe to be a false religion; not that we would not have fed our neighbors and fellow-citizens as citizens and neighbors, but not as official representatives of a religion that we believe to be an injury to mankind, And for such reasons Mordecai would not bow to Haman; and we are expressly charged to give no aid to another gospel; though we, or an angel from heaven preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.—Gal. i., 8. If there come any unto you and bring not this doctrine, receive him not unto your houses, neither bid him God speed.—2 John x. Of course this means one coming to us in a religious sense; and does not forbid our receiving them as neighbors and fellow-citizens; but it does forbid our aiding them religiously.

Mordicai’s faithfulness to the king and queen inflamed Haman’s wrath against him, as was to be expected; and Primitive Baptists may expect the enmity of the religious world; but they have either got to have that or the displeasure of God. “Know ye not that the friendship (religious friendship) of the world is enmity with God?”—James iv., 4. Mordecai had but little if anything of the world to lose; God was all in all to him. He had no political aspirations to gratify, no estate to save, no children to please in his religion, no country to love; he was indeed a stranger and pilgrim. He could not afford to be unfaithful to God; and to be faithful to God was to be faithful to the queen whom he loved and whom he served; and he knew that Haman, with all his affected zeal for the king and queen and the empire, was an enemy to the truth; and that his work in the long run would be for the injury of all, as Mr. Stetson has shown that such things hare resulted in this age to the great increase of crime amongst men. The Primitive Baptists cannot be charged in this age with aiding, as a church, time propagation of a religion that has greatly destroyed family government and family love, and increased infidelity and crime amongst men.

 

SIBEOLETH AND SHIBBOLETH

Haman thought scorn to lay hands on Mordecai alone, for they had shown him the people of Mordecai; wherefore he sought to destroy all the Jews in the whole kingdom of Ahasuerus. In the first mouth of the twelfth year of King Ahasuerus, they cast pur, that is, the lot, before Haman from day to day and from month to month, to the twelfth month. And Haman said unto King Ahasuerus, There is a certain people scattered abroad and dispersed among the people in all the provinces of thy kingdom; and their laws are diverse from all people; neither keep they the king’s laws therefore it is not for the king’s profit to suffer them.

Haman, like Mordecai, was a foreigner. In many respects he was so alike the Jews that none save a Jew could have told the difference between them. A great majority of thinking men in this day, to say nothing of the multitude; know no difference between the so-called churches, but suppose them in all essential things about the same. They suppose the Primitive Baptist about the same as the Arminian Baptist, except they think that the Primitives are poorer, more ignorant, fewer and more stingy and selfish. Indeed the Methodist Church has published it through her Book Concern that “thousands of us are notorious drunkards, and whose ignorance and immorality are a disgrace to the Christian name,” etc., (Dr. Summer’s works). To all, save the Jews, Haman no doubt seemed not only as good a man as Mordecai, but far superior in goodness and in every other respect. Christ only could detect the venality and hypocrisy of the Pharisees; but to the multitude, the devoted’ Pharisee seemed a much better man than even Christ himself. They paraded their goodness and sounded a trumpet before them, and gave alms with one hand, while with the other they laid burdens upon the people, and fleeced the poor, and devoured widows’ houses, as they do now. There were, doubtless, some of them sincere men, as Paul was in his false religion, seeking to live perfectly after the manner of the law that the Messiah might come. Christ did not, by any means, come up to their ideas of perfection; they charged him with being a wine bibber and glutton, and a friend and associate of bad men; and a violator of the Sabbath, because he healed a cripple on the Sabbath day; showing that with all their ostentatious prayers and alms, they hated Christ for relieving one whom they could not relieve, and whose relief gave them no honor; and that with all their zeal for God and affected love for man, they cared less for a suffering fellow-creature than they did for an ox, or a sheep. Now is such religion as that a blessing to mankind, or a curse? a religion that grinds the faces of the poor; that loads suffering humanity with burdens; that panders to pride, greed., gambling, wealth, extortion and excess; that makes begging honorable, placing a premium upon idleness and extravagance, and that drains the country of millions of dollars to be wasted upon fanatical adventurers into foreign countries, called missionaries! No wonder that many thinking men look upon such Christianity as a humbug, and take refuge in infidelity.

We read, not long since, an editorial item in the Christian Index , the Armenian Baptist organ of this State, headed, It Goes on the Sabbath, illustrating the teaching of that denomination on the subject of Sabbath keeping; and it seemed to us to be very much like the belief of the Pharisees in Christ’s day:

An active and earnest young minister was told of a miller who had, with unusual profaneness, repelled every effort made to influence him on the subject of’ religion. Among other sinful practices he usually kept his mill—the most striking object in the hamlet—going on the Sabbath. The minister determined to make an effort to convince him of the sinfulness of his practice. The next time he wanted flour he went himself to order it.

 ‘A fine mill, this,’ said the minister,  one of the most complete I have ever seen.’ This was the truth; the miller had heard it a thousand times before, and never doubted the fact. Still, he was gratified by this new testimony, and his feelings were conciliated towards the minister. ‘Unfortunately there is one defect in it,’ continued the minister, and a very serious defect, too.’ What is that?’ carelessly inquired the miller. ‘A defect likely to counterbalance all its advantages.’ ‘Eh’ replied the miller; ‘what is it?’ ‘A defect that is likely to ruin the mill, and will no doubt one day destroy the owner.’ ‘What is it!’ exclaimed the miller, impatiently; ‘can’t you say it at once?’ ‘It goes on the Sabbath,’ replied the minister in a firm and solemn tone of admonition. The man was convinced; and we trust those faithful words of that good minister were blessed to his conversion. Friends, how do you spend your Sabbaths?”

The teaching in that extract is, that running his mill on the Sabbath would be the probable cause of his damnation, and that stopping it on the Sabbath would be the means of his salvation. Now we would, no doubt, be charged with being very wicked by that “good minister” for refusing to bow to such Phariseeism as that; would he charged as being a Sabbath breaker because we refused to put Sabbath keeping in place of Christ’s atonement and the work of the Holy Spirit. That poor miller, if he was converted, and no doubt he was from grinding on Sunday, was as far from Christ, if not further, after his conversion than before. (Math xxi.) He must have believed, if he believed the “good minister,” that stopping his mill on Sunday would save him. But the Primitive Baptists keep Sunday because it is an ordinance of man; and it is a good law for man —and beast, for saint and sinner. All working animals, as well as laboring men and women, need one day’s rest in seven. If a Primitive Baptist should make a habit of working on Sunday the church would exclude him if he did not quit it. But we would be far from teaching or even insinuating such doctrine as that keeping Sunday would be the means of saving the soul; as far as we would from teaching that any other work of man would save him. To such doctrine we dare not bow, though it be the command of the king or the law to reverence it, yet, in the spirit in which it is kept by Haman and his followers, we dare not keep it. We should think that a miller who had no religion to speak of, only on Sunday, would be in danger of making up his lost toll during the other days of the week; and that he would be very much as the man out of whom the unclean spirits would go on Saturday night, and into whom they would reenter Monday morning, as into a house swept and prepared for them.—Matt. xii. Perhaps we shouldn’t mention it, but we wonder if it never once occurred to that “good minister” to stop his own mill from running on the Sabbath. His Sunday work was paid for as well as his Monday work. We have no doubt that with many of them, if the pay was stopped their Sabbath mills would grind no more.

Haman’s religion was of that kind that elevated him in the world and such as the world loved. And so near of kin is a letter faith to a God given faith, that the distinction is about the distinction between Sibboleth and Shibboleth—one to be detected only by a Jew or a spiritual man, and not always by him, especially when in spiritual childhood. Haman, like Mordecai; was an exile. He could tell, like the Jews, of the country and home he had given up for the land of his adoption and the service of the king; and he could tell much more; he could tell of the great estate to which he had arrived by his own exertions, until his seat was set above all the princes that were with him. And Mordecai and the Jews had also given up their country to become strangers in a strange laud, but how different the spirit in which they did it from the spirit in which Haman did it! Haman, no doubt had prayed, “God, be merciful to me, a shiner;” and Mordecai had prayed in the same words; but Haman’s spirit was the spirit of the Pharisee who boasted in his prayer of his goodness, whilst Mordecai cried in penitence and shame, as the Publican did. That is the difference today; and though the same words may be used, and the same forms and ceremonies be observed, yet they are as different as heaven and earth, and light and darkness, as Jew and Amalekite, as flesh and spirit, and grace and works. Haman’s religion elevated and honored him, but the religion of Mordecai and time Jews humbled them and glorified God. Haman could boast of giving up his country, but Mordecai could not; to Mordecai, his exile was a witness of his sins; to Haman, his exile was a witness of his own goodness; to the Jews it was all grace, and to Haman it was all works. Though Haman will lug in grace as he will lug in sin in praying the publican’s or sinner’s prayer, it is not because he feels to be a penitent sinner, but because he thinks the confession of sin is a good work for which God will reward him; whilst Mordecai confesses sin from necessity, and feels worthy of condemnation for it, yet cries for mercy. Mercy humbles Mordecai because he knows it is of grace, and nothing but grace; and hence he will not bow to Haman; he can’t do it in heart, even if he would, let the consequences he what they may. Haman knows nothing of grace; there is nothing in his experience but his own works.

But Haman was a man of great ability; a bright and shining light, and one whose fame and goodness overshadowed the highest and best in the king’s empire. And that a foreigner should attain such pre-eminence in an empire so great, attested ability of the highest order; not only the highest order of religious eminence, but with it was combined the highest order of mental culture and ability. And that Mordecai, a Jew, a member of a despised and subjugated race, a people seemingly to the world under the wrath of God, who had been stripped, and peeled, and forsaken, and impoverished, and who were wanderers and desolate, should refuse reverence to Haman, whom the king honored, and whom his noblest princes and greatest men reverenced, was an act of such unparalleled audacity as to fill Haman with astonishment and indignation, as much as it would fill the wise and cultured theologians of the present day with indignation for a few despised and uncultivated Primitive Baptists to refuse reverence to their religious learning, wealth and numbers; and as it filled the Rabbis with indignation that Christ, the unschooled carpenter, should set their learning and theology at naught.

 

THE LYING SPIRIT

In the same spirit, therefore, in which the Jews and Gentiles crucified Christ, Haman set about the work of destroying the Jews. Haman thought scorn to lay his hands on Mordecai alone, especially as he was nothing but a Jew. He was too lofty for so little a thing as the destruction of only one poor Jew; and too wise for it; for he knew that other Mordecais would arise if this one be destroyed, and that therefore the only effectual thing to be done was to exterminate the whole Jewish race. Haman was a strong man, as well as a wise one; he had convictions, even if they were false; and his religion, though false, was not of the “namby pamby” kind of the present day; he was no religious dude, but a man even if he was a bad one. He knew that it could not be of both works and grace, and that one or the other must fall. He knew that works made him what he was, as well as Mordicai knew that he was what he was by grace, and that these two could not live under and serve the king in the same spirit. He was not a Fullerite Baptist, who believe in both systems, and that the Bible teaches both works and grace, and that these diametrically opposite doctrines are both true! And yet they say that they believe the Bible is inspired and of God! We must believe that Haman had more faith in God than that. Haman went to work inspired by hatred of Mordecai and the Jews, and not by love for the king or kingdom. The same spirit has inspired the persecutions of the church through all ages. Rivulets of blood have been shed in the name of Christ by those professing to love and serve him, but who have always in heart been enemies to God and man.

Haman matured his plans; he was a far-seeing man, and did not propose attempting a thing and failing in it; he did not build without first counting up the cost. He was a whole year casting lots to obtain a favorable augury against the Jews. He was preparing the public for the destruction of the Jews, and making it popular with the people, as demagogues in these days do through the newspapers when they are seeking to spoil the commonwealth to enrich themselves. Like Ahab, Haman set out to get an answer favorable to his designs, nor would he heed any unpropitious augury or prophesy. Ahab sought the subjugation of Ramath Giliad, and Jehosaphat was persuaded into it with him, and they took counsel of the Lord as to whether they would succeed or not. That is, they took counsel of the prophets who spake in the name of the Lord, and that all the prophets professed to do, both false and true prophets, as they do now. There were about 400 false prophets, and they were unanimous in prophesying to Ahab as he wished; they encouraged him to go against Ramath Gilead and that the Lord would deliver it into his hands. And not only did they prophesy favorably to Ahab, but Zedekiah, the chief false prophet, invented the means by which the great work should be accomplished. He made great horns of iron, saying, “With these shalt thou push Syria until thou consume them.” It was a great work, and one in which the Lord would bless Ahab; it would add much revenue and honor to him and his kingdom. It was a work much like the mission work of false religion; by its means the world was soon to be converted to God, and the Millennium ushered in. There is hardly any estimating the power of false religion. When it has grown with their growth, men adhere to it as they do to the habits of a life-time. Like the crook made in the limb of the apple tree when a twig, it cannot be straightened without breaking. Nothing short of God’s grace can deliver one from the lying spirit of false religion. The sacrifices its votaries will and have made are almost incredible. “If the Jesuit was wanted at Baghdad, he was toiling through the desert with the next caravan. If his ministry was needed in some country where his life was more insecure than that of a wolf—where it was a crime to harbor him—he went without remonstrance or hesitation to his doom. When, in our time, a new and terrible pestilence passed round the globe; when, in some great cities fear had dissolved all the ties that hold society together, when the clergy had forsaken their flocks, when the strongest natural affections had yielded to the love of life, even then the Jesuit was found by the pallet which the pastor, physician and nurse, father and mother had deserted, bending over infected lips to catch the faint accents of confession, holding up to the last to the expiring penitent the image of the expiring Redeemer. But there is no doubt but that the ardent church spirit that made the Jesuit regardless of his ease, liberty and life, made him also regardless of truth and mercy; that no means which promoted the interest of his religion or church, seemed to him unlawful. It is alleged that in the most atrocious plots recorded in. history, his agency could be distinctly traced; that constant only to his order, he was in some countries the most dangerous enemy of freedom, and in others the most dangerous enemy of order. He labored to reduce the world under the laws of his church; but he done so be relaxing her laws to suit the temper of the world. Instead of toiling to elevate human nature to the standard fixed by Divine precept, he lowered the standard until it was beneath the average level of human nature. He gloried in multitudes of converts baptized in remote regions, but it was believed that the facts of the gospel had been concealed from them, (of which we have not a particle of doubt). It was not strange that people of all ranks crowded to the confessionals in the Jesuit temples, for none went discontented away. If he had to deal with one truly devout, he spoke in the saintly tones of the primitive fathers; but with that large part of mankind who had religion enough to make them uneasy when they do wrong, and not religion enough to keep them from doing wrong, he followed a different system. In his books of casuistry were to be found doctrines consolatory to transgressors of every class. There the bankrupt was taught how he might, without sin, secrete his goods from his creditors; the servant was taught he might, without sin, run off with his master’s silver. The Italians were glad to learn that they might shoot at their enemies from behind hedges. To deceit was given a license sufficient to destroy the whole value of human contracts and human testimony. In truth, if society continued to hold together, if life and property enjoyed any security, it was because common sense and common humanity restrained men from doing what the Jesuits assured them that they might, with a safe conscience do.” See Hassel’s Church History, pp. 514 and 515.

Under the influence of this lying religious spirit, the heart is hardened and the conscience seared; it robs a man of even natural love and compassion, so that the Levite and priest can pass unconcernedly by a fellow-creature and brother lying stripped and half dead by the wayside.—Luke x. It destroys fraternal love, so that the thrifty elder son becomes enraged with his father because he had compassion upon his own erring and penitent brother.—Luke xv. The self-righteous Pharisee can look with a heart of stone at the weeping Magdalene kissing the feet of Jesus (Luke vi.); he can give in charity, but in his ostentatious giving “there is no fraternity;” but he condemned Jesus because he fraternized, for their good, with publicans and sinners. —Luke xv. He can weep over the heathens, and compass sea and hand to proselyte them, and see the dogs lick the sores of a starving brother at his own gate.— Matt xxxiii. and Luke xvi. He can build the tombs of the prophets and garnish the sepulchers of the righteous whom his fathers slew, and persecute living prophets for teaching the same the dead prophets did.—Matt. xxiii. He tithes mint, anise and cumin, and omits the law, judgment, mercy and faith.—Matt. xxiii. He strains at a gnat—a little unclean thing—and swallows a camel—a big unclean thing. He condemns Christ for not keeping his traditions, and violates the law of God by his traditions.—Mark vii. He seeks honor of men, to be called Rabbi, and to have the chief seat; he prays at the street corners to be seen of men, and in secret devours widows’ houses. His conscience is so seared under the influence of this lying spirit, that more than forty of them can make a conspiracy with the chief priests and elders to possess themselves, by lying, of Paul’s person, and then murder him.—Acts xxiii. The same spirit will impress men again to do what it then -•did, when the time ripens for it; but it has its seasons, -nor will it come before its time; when the fig tree putteth forth leaves summer is nigh. Three years of Christ’s teaching brought on his crucifixion; and such teachings as his, to such people as he taught, will bring as it has brought in the past, thousands of his people to the stake. Haman’s work against the Jews ripened in twelve months. Hatred inspired their zeal, and they got drunker and drunker with fanaticism; and the more they drank the more they thirsted and the more they could drink, until in their delirium they saw what they wanted, and what they never could have seen in sobriety. Like Belshazzer, when his princes, wives and concubines had made themselves drunk with the wine of Babylon, drained from the golden vessels of the temple of Jerusalem, they praised the gods of gold, silver, brass, iron, stone and wood. “They had a great outpouring.” In this sort of preparation Haman went before the king; he went with a lie in his mouth against the Jews. It was none the less a lie because there was -truth mixed with it; the wine that Belshazzear drank was none the less the wine of Babylon because it was drained from the golden vessels of God’s temple. It was mixed with truth to make the lie more effective. There is a certain people scattered abroad and dispersed among the people in all the provinces of thy kingdom: that was true, as the king knew; and their laws are diverse from all people; and that was true in a religious or spiritual sense, but not in the sense designed by Haman; neither keep them, the king’s laws; that was also false in spirit; as false as the charge was against Christ in violating the spirit of the Sabbatical law in doing good on the Sabbath day; therefore, it is not for the king’s profit to suffer them, which was false in every sense. The same sort of falsehoods are told on Primitive Baptists; that we oppose morality and favor ignorance and immorality; and the same was told on Christ, that he was a glutton, drunkard, the prince of devils and an enemy to civil government. Can we bow to and reverence such religion as that in bidding it God speed in any sense.

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 27 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.