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Happy Thanksgiving 2012

November 22, 2012 Leave a comment

Col 2:6-7 As therefore ye received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him, rooted and builded up in him, and established in your faith, even as ye were taught, abounding in thanksgiving.

 

William Bradford was governor of the Plymouth colony at the first American thanksgiving in 1621.

He wrote the following in “Of Plimoth Plantation”

“They begane now to gather in ye small harvest they had, and to fitte up their houses and dwellings against winter, being all well recovered in health & strenght, and had all things in good plenty; fFor as some were thus imployed in affairs abroad, others were excersised in fishing, aboute codd, & bass, & other fish, of which yey tooke good store, of which every family had their portion. All ye somer ther was no want. And now begane to come in store of foule, as winter approached, of which this place did abound when they came first (but afterward decreased by degrees). And besids water foule, ther was great store of wild Turkies, of which they tooke many, besids venison, & c. Besids, they had about a peck a meale a weeke to a person, or now since harvest, Indean corn to yt proportion. Which made many afterwards write so largly of their plenty hear to their freinds in England, which were not fained, but true reports.”

Pilgrim Edward Winslow described the Pilgrims’ Thanksgiving in these words:

“Our harvest being gotten in, our Governor sent four men on fowling [bird hunting] so that we might, after a special manner, rejoice together after we had gathered the fruit of our labors. They four in one day killed as much fowl as… served the company almost a week… Many of the Indians [came] amongst us and… their greatest King, Massasoit, with some ninety men, whom for three days we entertained and feasted; and they went out and killed five deer, which they brought… And although it be not always so plentiful as it was at this time with us, yet BY THE GOODNESS OF GOD WE ARE… FAR FROM WANT.”

 

Proclamation of Thanksgiving by the President of the United States of America

The year that is drawing toward its close has been filled with the blessings of fruitful years and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the Source from which they come, others have been added which are of so extraordinary a nature that they can not fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever-watchful providence of Almighty God.

In the midst of a civil war of unequaled magnitude and severity, which has sometimes seemed to foreign states to invite and to provoke their aggression, peace has been preserved with all nations, order has been maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed, and harmony has prevailed everywhere, except in the theater of military conflict, while that theater has been greatly contracted by the advancing armies and navies of the Union.

Needful diversions of wealth and of strength from the field of peaceful industry to the national defense have not arrested the plow, the shuttle, or the ship; the ax has enlarged the borders of our settlements, and the mines, as well of iron and coal as of the precious metals, have yielded even more abundantly than theretofore. Population has steadily increased notwithstanding the waste that has been made in the camp, the siege, and the battlefield, and the country, rejoicing in the consciousness of augmented strength and vigor, is permitted to expect continuance of years with large increase of freedom.

No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy.

It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently, and gratefully acknowledged, as with one heart and one voice, by the whole American people. I do therefore invite my fellow-citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next as a day of thanksgiving and praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the heavens. And I recommend to them that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to His tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners, or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty Hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it, as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes, to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquility, and union.

In testimony wherof I have herunto set my hand and caused the seal of the United States to be affixed.

[Signed]

A. Lincoln

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God has brought out his sword against pride

November 22, 2012 Leave a comment

Pride, thou hast indeed suffered severe strokes from God. Against thee has he furbished his sword, and prepared his weapons of war. The Lord, even the Lord of hosts hath sworn it, and he will surely stain the pride of all human glory, and tread all boasting as straw is trodden for the dunghill. Talk no more so exceeding proudly; let no arrogancy come out of your mouth, for the bows of the mighty have been broken, and the haughtiness of man has been bowed down.

Charles H. Spurgeon—Grace Exalted-Boasting Excluded—A Sermon Delivered on Sunday Morning, January 19th, 1862

Confession statement 1

November 21, 2012 Leave a comment

Published in 1646

The Text used: There has been some updating of Old English words but otherwise no changes have been made to the original texts.

CONFESSION OF FAITH of seven congregations or churches of Christ in London. which are commonly, but unjustly, called Anabaptists; published for the vindication of the truth and information of the ignorant; likewise for the taking off those aspersions which are frequently, both in pulpit and print, unjustly cast upon them. Printed in London, Anno 1646.

I. THE Lord our God is but one God, whose subsistence is in Himself; whose essence cannot be comprehended by any but Himself, who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light, which no man can approach unto; who is in Himself most holy, every way infinite, in greatness, wisdom, power,love: merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth; who giveth being, moving and preservation to all creatures.

1 Cor.8:6; lsa.44:6. 46:9; Exod.3:14; 1 Tim.6:16; Isa. 43:15; Ps.147:5; Deut.32:3; Job 36:5; Jer.10:12; Exod.34:6.7; Acts17:28; Rom.11:36.

The First London Baptist Confession of 1644/1646

The difference between backsliding and apostasy

November 21, 2012 4 comments

It is, secondly, necessary that you discriminate carefully, between backsliding, and apostasy. The former is the act of turning back from God; the latter is the forsaking, or the renouncing of the religion of Christ. Backsliding consists either in the relinquishment of evangelical doctrine; or in the loss of spirituality of mind; or in the gradual departure from correct morals. All these evils are embraced in apostasy. The backslider commits transgressions, but returns to his allegiance, and obtains forgiveness, and acceptance. The apostate continues; dies in his sins; and “so eternally perishes.” We teach that none of the true children of God―he believing, the pardoned, the regenerated, the sanctified―become apostate, but to backsliding, of every character and degree, all, it is but too evident, even the best, and most devoted, are constantly, and painfully liable.

R. B. C. Howell—Perseverance of the Saints

Two spiritual blessings-regeneration and preservation

November 20, 2012 Leave a comment

There are two eminent benefits or spiritual blessings which comprehend all others, filling up the entire space of the Christian’s life, from the moment of his quickening unto his ultimate arrival in Heaven, namely, his regeneration and his preservation. And as the renowned Puritan Thomas Goodwin says, “If a debate were admitted which of them is the greater, it would be found that no jury of mankind could determine on either side, but must leave it to God’s free grace itself, which is the author and finisher of our faith, to decide.” As the creating of the world at first and the upholding and governing of all things by Divine power and providence are yoked together (Heb. 1:2, 3), so are regeneration and preservation. “Faithful is He that calleth you, who also will do it” (1 Thess. 5:24)—i.e. preserve (v. 23). “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to His abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope . . . to an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled . . . who are kept by the power of God through faith” (1 Peter 1:3-5).

Arthur W. Pink—Studies in the Scriptures April, 1937 The Spirit Preserving

Out of your own mouth, therefore, shall you be judged

November 19, 2012 Leave a comment

Out of your own mouth, therefore, shall you be judged. The inability that you feel to do good, is entirely owing to your having no heart to it. It is of the same in nature as that of an unprincipled servant, who cannot seek his master’s interest, but is always defrauding him. You would not hold such a servant blameless. Nor will God hold you so. You are not destitute of those powers which render us accountable beings, but merely of a heart to make use of them for God. You take pleasure in knowledge, but desire not the Knowledge of his ways; in conversation, but the mention of serious religion strikes you dumb; in activity but in a his service you are as one that is dead. You are fond of news; but that which angels announced and the Son of God came down to publish gives you no pleasure. All these things prove, beyond a doubt, where, the inability lies. Or, if sin should be allowed to be your fault, yet, if it were a small offence, an imperfection that might be overlooked, or so slight a matter that you could atone for it by repentance, or prayers, or tears, or any effort of your own, there might be less reason for alarm. But neither is this the case. If sin were so light a matter as it is commonly made, how is it that a train of the most awful curses should be denounced against the sinner? Is it possible that a just and good God would curse his creatures in basket and in store, in their houses and in their fields, in their lying down, and in their rising up, and in all that they set their hands to, for a mere trifle, or an imperfection that might be overlooked?

Rev. Andrew Fuller–The Great Question Answered

John Tombes

November 16, 2012 Leave a comment

I am going to begin to blog a Catechism which was written in 1659 by an Anglican minister, who held primarily to Presbyterian views; with the exception of their views on infant baptism. It was herein, whereby he disagreed and wrote many treatises and papers against baptizing of infants. On top of his writings he also debated this subject with many a paedobaptist.

To give a brief introduction to John Tombes I will quote from wikisource. I understand that this information is provided by individuals, around the net, but seeing that it is hard to find concrete sources and seeing that what I have found seems to be in line with what is stated at wikisource, then I will use this internet source to provide my introduction.

 

TOMBES, JOHN (1603?-1676), baptist divine, was born of humble parentage at Bewdley, Worcestershire, in 1602 or 1603. He matriculated from Magdalen Hall, Oxford, on 23 Jan. 1617-18, aged 15. His tutor was William Pemble [q. v.] Among his college friends was John Geree [q. v.] He graduated B.A. on 12 June 1621. After Pemble’s death he succeeded him in 1623 as catechism lecturer. His reputation as a tutor was considerable; among his pupils was John Wilkins [q. v.] He graduated M.A. on 16 April 1624, took orders, and quickly came into note as a preacher. From about 1624 to 1630 he was one of the lecturers of St. Martin Carfax. As early as 1627 he began to have doubts on the subject of infant baptism. Leaving the university in 1630, he was for a short time preacher at Worcester, but in November was instituted vicar of Leominster, Herefordshire, where his preaching was exceedingly popular, and won the admiration of so high an Anglican as John Scudamore, first viscount Scudamore [q. v.], who augmented the small income of his living. In June 1631 he commenced B.D. He left Leominster in 1643 (after February), having been appointed by Nathaniel Fiennes [q. v.] to supersede George Williamson as vicar of All Saints, Bristol. On the surrender of Bristol to the royalists (26 July), he removed to London (22 Sept.), where he became rector of St. Gabriel, Fenchurch, vacant by the sequestration of Ralph Cook, B.D. In church government his views were presbyterian. He laid his scruples on infant baptism before the Westminster assembly of divines, but got no satisfaction. Declining to baptise infants, he was removed from St. Gabriel’s early in 1645, but appointed (before May) master of the Temple, on condition of not preaching on baptism. He published on this topic ; for licensing one of his tracts, the parliamentary censor, John Bachiler, was attacked in the Westminster assembly (25 Dec. 1645) by William Gouge, D.D. [q. v.], and Stephen Marshall [q. v.] was appointed to answer the tract. As preacher at the Temple, Tombes directed his polemic against antinomianism. In 1646 he had an interview with Cromwell and gave him his books. His fellow-townsmen chose him to the perpetual curacy of Bewdley, then a chapelry in the parish of Ribbesford; his successor at the Temple, Richard Johnson, was approved by the Westminster assembly on 13 Oct. 1647.

At Bewdley Tombes organised a baptist church, which never exceeded twenty-two members (Baxter), of whom three became baptist preachers. He regularly attended Baxter’s Thursday lecture at Kidderminster, and tried to draw Baxter, as he had already drawn Thomas Blake [q. v.], into a written discussion. Baxter would engage with him only in an oral debate, which took place before a crowded audience at Bewdley chapel on 1 Jan. 1649-50, and lasted from nine in the morning till five at night. Wood affirms that ‘Tombes got the better of Baxter by far; ‘ Baxter himself says, ‘How mean soever my own abilities were, yet I had still the advantage of a good cause.’ The debate had the effect of causing Tombes to leave Bewdley, where he was succeeded in 1650 by Henry Oasland [q. v.] With Bewdley he had held for a time the rectory of Ross, Herefordshire; this he resigned on being appointed to the mastership of St. Catherine’s Hospital, Ledbury, Herefordshire.

After his encounter with Baxter, Tombes’s oral debates were numerous. In July 1652 he went to Oxford to dispute on baptism with Henry Savage, D.D. [q. v.] On the same topic he disputed at Abergavenny, on 5 Sept. 1653, with Henry Vaughan (1616?-1661?) and John Cragge. His pen was active against all opponents of his cause. He had not given up his claim to the vicarage of Leominster, and returned to it apparently in 1654, when he was appointed (20 March) one of Cromwell’s ‘triers.’ Preaching at Leominster against quakers (26 Dec. 1656), one of his parishioners, Blashfield, a bookseller, retorted, ‘ If there were no anabaptist, there would be no quaker.’ Against quakerism and popery he wrote tracts (1660), to which Baxter prefixed friendly letters.

At the Restoration Tombes came up to London, and wrote in favour of the royal supremacy in matters ecclesiastical as well as civil. Clarendon stood his friend. He conformed in a lay capacity, resigning his preferments and declining offers of promo- tion. After 1661 he lived chiefly at Salisbury, where his wife had property. Robert Sanderson (1587-1663) [q. v.], bishop of Lincoln, held him in esteem, as did a later occupant of the same see, Thomas Barlow [q. v.] Clarendon, in 1664, introduced him to Charles II, who accepted a copy of Tombes’s ‘Saints no Smiters.’ In July 1664 he was at Oxford, and offered to dispute in favour of his baptist views, but the challenge was not taken up. With Seth Ward [q. v.], bishop of Salisbury, he was on friendly terms. He communicated as an Anglican. Firmly holding his special tenet, he was always a courteous disputant, and a man of exceptional capacity and attainments.

He died at Salisbury on 22 May 1676, and was buried on 25 May in St. Edmund’s churchyard. He was a dapper little man, with a keen glance. By his first wife he had a son John, born at Leominster on 26 Nov. 1636. His second wife, whom he married about 1658, was Elizabeth, widow of Wolstan Abbot of Salisbury.

He published: 1. ‘Vae Scandalizantium; or a Treatise of Scandalizing,’ Oxford, 1641, 8vo; with title ‘Christ’s Commination against Scandalizers,’ 1641, 8vo (dedicated to Viscount Scudamore). 2. ‘Iehovah Iireh . . . two Sermons in the Citie of Bristoll . . . March 14, 1642, with a short Narration of that . . . Plot,’ 1643, 4to (8 May, dedicated to Fiennes). 3. ‘Fermentum Pharisseorvm, or … Wil-Worship,’ 1643, 4to (1 July). 4. ‘Anthropolatria,’ 1645, 4to (9 May). 5. ‘Two Treatises and an Appendix . . . concerning Infant Baptisme,’ 1645, 4to (16 Dec.; includes an ‘Examen’ of Marshall’s sermon on baptism). 6. ‘An Apology … for the Two Treatises,’ 1646, 4to; ‘Addition,’ 1652, 4to. 7. ‘An Anti-dote against the Venome of … Richard Baxter,’ 1650, 4to (31 May). 8. ‘Precursor . . . to a large view of … Infant Baptism,’ 1652, 4to. 9. ‘Joannis Tombes Beudleiensis Refutatio positionis Dris. Henrici Savage,’ 1652, 4to. 10. ‘Antipaedobaptism,’ 1652, 4to (28 Nov., dedicated to Cromwell); 2nd pt. 1654, 4to; 3rd pt. 1657, 4to (replies to twenty-three contemporary writers). 11. ‘A Publick Dispute . . . J. Cragge and H. Vaughan,’ 1654, 8vo. 12. ‘A Plea for Anti-Paedobaptists,’ 1654, 4to (26 May). 13. ‘Felo de Se. Or, Mr. Richard Baxter’s Self-destroying,’ 1659, 4to. 14. ‘A Short Catechism about Baptism,’ 1659, 8vo (14 May). 15. ‘True Old Light exalted above pretended New Light,’ 1660, 4to (against quakers; preface by Baxter). 16. ‘Serious Consideration of the Oath of . . .Supremacy ‘ [1660], 4to (22 Oct.) 17. ‘Romanism Discussed, or, An Answer to … H. T.,’ 1660 4to (30 Nov.; preface by Baxter; replies to Henry Turbervile’s ‘Manual of Controversies,’ Douay, 1654, 8vo). 18. ‘A Supplement to the Serious Consideration’ [1661], 4to (2 March). 19. ‘Sepher Sheba; or, The Oath Book,’ 1662, 4to. 20. ‘Saints no Smiters; or … the Doctrine … of … Fifth-Mon- archy-Men . . . damnable,’ 1664, 4to (dedicated to Clarendon). 21. ‘Theodulia, or Defence of Hearing . . . the present Ministers of England,’ 1667, 8vo (dedicated to Clarendon; licensed by the bishop of London’s chaplain). 22. ‘Emmanuel; or, God-Man,’ 1669, 8vo (against Socinians; licensed by the archbishop of Canterbury’s chaplain). 23. ‘A Reply to … Wills and … Blinman,’ 1675, 8vo. 24. ‘Animadversiones in librum Georgii Bullii,’ 1676, 8vo.

[Tombes’s Works; Anabaptists Anotamized (sic), 1654; Wood’s Athenae Oxon., ed. Bliss, iii. 1062 sq.; Wood’s Fasti, ed. Bliss, ii. 397, 415, 461; Reliquiae Baxterianae, 1696, i. 88,96; Calamy’s Account, 1713, pp. 353 sq.; Walker’s Sufferings of the Clergy, 1714, ii. 4, 36; Calamy’s Continuation, 1727, i. 521 sq.; Crosby’s Hist, of English Baptists, 1738, i. 278 sq.; Palmer’s Nonconformist’s Memorial, 1802, ii. 293 sq.; Ivimey’s Hist. of English Baptists, 1814, ii. 588 sq.; Neal’s Hist, of the Puritans, ed. Toulmin, 1822, iv. 440 sq.; Smith’s Bibliotheca Antiquakeriana, 1873, pp. 427 sq. ; Mitchell and Struthers’s Minutes of Westminster Assembly, 1874, pp. 172, 216; Foster’s Alumni Oxon. 1892, iv. 1492; information from the Rev. J. H. Charles, vicar of Leominster.]