Archive

Archive for October, 2016

Blogging from the Bush

October 31, 2016 2 comments

Even though we live in an age in which we can click a button and be connected to the world, it seems that technology has not kept up with itself. What I am referring to is having access to go online or to have unlimited data. When we think of technology we have a preconceived idea that the United States is leading the world in its technological advances. However, when it comes to the internet, we are just as limited as some parts of the world.

I live in a rural area of the southern United States. In order to have access to the web, I must use a wireless connection. The main problem with this method, of having access to the web, is not the speed, nor the stability of the connection, but instead the problem lies in the price. Anyone who is familiar with wireless internet understands that in order to have access to wireless data, one must pay a hefty fee. Unlike those who are connected to cables, our data bills are extremely high. On top of paying a high bill, we are also limited by data caps.

This leads me to where I currently am in my ability to access the internet. I have worked at the same job for almost fourteen years. In that time I have always pulled weeks in the excess of 40 plus hours. For the past three or so years I have worked approximately 56 ½ hours a week, therefore I have been able to enjoy the fact that I have had at least 20 gigs a month.

For the first time, in my history of employment at my present job, I have been placed on forty hours a week. Now most people would enjoy this, seeing that now they would have time to browse the net and stay current with their blogging efforts. However, this is not true concerning my present position. When hours go down at one’s place of employment, then so does the benefits they have concerning the fruits of that employment. Therefore, I had to cut back on certain things in my life, in order that I might provide for my family. Providing for one’s family is commanded by God.

Since my data had to be cut back, in order to provide the necessary things in life for my family, I cannot search for relevant material for my blog nor blog as often as I have in the past. So I am calling on those, who read my blog, to pray for work to increase at my place of employment. This will enable me to gain back my hours and to be able to keep up my blog and website, if it be the Lord’s will.

I will continue to put out a daily quote and when I see that I still have sufficient data, I will put up an article or two.

This does not mean that I am neglecting my blog nor my website. I had begun a process of converting older books into ebooks (Pdf’s) a while back. I have went back to doing that since my hours and data have been decreased. When I am able, I will add these books to my Free Ebooks Page on my website.

So I covet your prayers in this matter and thank you for stopping by this blog.

Blessings in Christ,

Hershel L. Harvell Jr.

Categories: Comment Tags: , , ,

Happy Reformation Day 2016!

October 31, 2016 2 comments

Reformed on the Web would like to wish everyone a Happy and blessed Reformation Day!

Here is a four volume history on Luther and the Protestant Reformation:

James MacKinnon [1860-1945], Luther and the Reformation, 4 Vols. London: Longmans, Green & Co., 1925-1930

Volume 1- Early Life and Religious Development to 1517 (Pdf)

Volume 2- The Breach with Rome (1517-21) (Pdf)

Volume 3- Progress of the Movement (1521-29) (Pdf)

Volume 4- Vindication of the Movement (1530-46) (Pdf)

Jesse Mercer

Jesse Mercer (b. Halifax County, N. C., Dec. 16, 1769; d. Butts County, Ga., Sept. 6, 1841). Son of Silas Mercer, able pioneer minister and the eldest of eight children, five boys and three girls. His formal education was obtained under the tuition of John Springer, a Presbyterian minister and Princeton graduate who lived near Washington, Ga., and embraced some knowledge of learned languages. He had an additional year of study under a man named Armor in Salem Academy, a school maintained by his father, the first private Baptist school in Georgia.

Although reared an Episcopalian, Silas Mercer became a Baptist from conviction. He baptized his 17-year-old son Jesse into the membership of the Phillips’ Mill church. At the age of 20, Jesse Mercer was ordained as a minister, and in 1789 he began his first pastorate at Hutton’s Fork (now Sardis) which had been established by his father. Following the death of his father in 1796, he moved back to the old family home in Wilkes County to administer the estate. He became principal of Salem Academy which his father had founded, continued to serve as pastor of Sardis, and accepted calls to the other three of his father’s churches, Phillips’ Mill, Wheatley’s Mill (later Bethesda), and Powelton, and served them for 39, 32, and 28 years respectively. One of these, Powelton Church, was one of the chief rallying points of Georgia Baptists.

It was in the Powelton conference in 1801 that the foundation was laid for the missionary work of the Georgia Association, especially to the Creek Indians. In the Powelton conferences in 1802 and 1803, the general committee of Georgia Baptists for itinerant preaching and missionary work was formed. In 1822 the General Association of Georgia Baptists (changed, in 1827, to Georgia Baptist Convention) was organized. It held its first meeting in Powelton in 1823, and during the first eleven years of its history it met seven times in churches of which Jesse Mercer was or had been pastor.

At the age of 19 Jesse Mercer married Sabrina Chivers, who was his wife for nearly 40 years. Throughout his ministry he was an itinerant volunteer missionary and preached to many congregations in various localities in the belief that only through itinerant preaching would the gospel be carried to needy people in sparsely settled areas. On his trips he carried the tracts and books of the American Tract Society for gift and sale and also gave his support to mission work among the slaves. He was an ardent supporter of missions, Sunday schools, and temperance and financed the Temperance Banner, the first temperance paper in the South. He was a successful businessman as well as a preacher and philanthropist of his day.

For many years Jesse Mercer was the recognized leader of the Georgia Baptist Association and in the Georgia Baptist Convention. He served as clerk of the association for 21 years, as moderator for 23 years, and as writer of its history. He was president of the Georgia Baptist Convention for 19 years, from its founding in 1822 until 1841, when feeble health made his attendance impossible. He was a trustee of Columbian College in Washington, D. C., and the first president of the board of trustees of Mercer University, which bears his name. He was an able advocate and a liberal patron of education, particularly ministerial education, as indicated in his conducting Salem Academy for two years following his father’s death, in his gift of $2,000 for the first missionary to Texas, William Melton Tryon, and in his support of Mount Enon Academy, Columbian College, and Mercer Unviersity.

He attended four meetings of the Triennial Convention and preached the convention sermon in 1826. While returning from this meeting and en route home through South Carolina, Mrs. Mercer became seriously ill, passed away, and was buried at Andersonville, S. C. Soon Mercer’s own failing strength led him to lighten his work. He moved to Washington, Ga., where he founded the First Baptist Church in 1827, became its pastor, and served until his death 14 years later in 1841.

In Dec., 1827, he married Mrs. Nancy Simons of Wilkes County, the Gentile widow of a wealthy Jew, Captain Abraham Simons.

Aside from his father, the one who most influenced his interest in missions and Christian education was Luther Rice, whose service to missions and Christian education was nationwide. Jesse Mercer had the qualities of statesmanship in a high degree. He played the leading role in the organization of the Georgia Baptist Convention for collective counsel and co-operation, in the founding of Mercer University for the training of ministerial and lay leadership, and in the purchase and gift to Georgia Baptists of the Christian Index for publicity and promotion, which he published for seven years. His Cluster of Spiritual Songs, many of which were produced by him, went through several editions and was a worthy contribution to American hymnology. He also wrote A History of the Georgia Baptist Association (Washington, 1838).

Biographical Sources: Mallary, C. D. Memoir of Jesse Mercer, 1841.

Campbell, J. H. Georgia Baptists Historical and biographical, 1874.

© 1998, Southern Baptist Historical Library & Archives

 

Source [Reformed Reader]

The doctrines of the Grace of God makes a man look down upon himself and say, “I am nothing”

October 31, 2016 2 comments

SpurgeonAt the same time this doctrine makes a man look down upon himself. “Ah,” saith he, “I am nothing, there is nothing in me to merit esteem. I have no goodness of my own. If saved, I cannot praise myself; I cannot in any way ascribe to myself honor; God has done it, God has done it.” Nothing makes the man so humble; but nothing makes him so glad; nothing lays him so low at the mercy seat, but nothing makes him so brave to look his fellow man in the face. It is a grand truth: would God ye all knew its mighty power!

Charles H. Spurgeon- Salvation Altogether by Grace (2 Timothy 1:9)- Delivered on Sunday Morning July 29th, 1866

The Glory of a True Church- Of dealing with Hereticks and Blasphemers

Of dealing with Hereticks and Blasphemers

As touching Hereticks or Heresy, the same Censure, when they are convicted, ought to pass against them; Heresy is commonly restrained to signify any perverse Opinion or Error in a fundamental Point of Religion, as to deny the Being of God, or the Deity of Christ, or his Satisfaction, and Justification alone by his Righteousness, or to deny the Resurrection of the Body, or eternal Judgment, or the like. Yet our Annotators say, the Word signifies the same thing with Schism and Divisions; which if so, such that are guilty of Schism or Divisions in the Church, ought to be excommunicated also.69 Heresies are called Damnable by the Apostle Peter; without Repentance such cannot be saved, as bring in Damnable Heresies, denying the Lord that bought them.70

Two things render a Man an Heretick according to the common signification of the Word. 1. An Error in matters of Faith, Fundamental or Essential to Salvation. 2. Stubbornness and Contumacy in holding and maintaining it. A Man that is an Heretick, after the first and second Admonition reject.71 Now that this Rejection is all one with Excommunication, appears by what Paul speaks, I Tim. I. 20. Of whom is Hymeneus and Alexander, whom I have delivered unto Satan, that they may learn not to Blaspheme.72 Their Heresy, or Blasphemy was in saying the Resurrection was past.

Some would have none be counted an Heretick but he who is convicted and conde mned so to be in his own Conscience, mistaking Paul’s Words, Knowing t hat he that is such, is subverted, being condemned of himself. He may be con demned of himself, tho not for his Heresy, yet for his spending his Time about Questions, and strife of Words, to the disquieting the Peace of the Church ; or tho not condemned of himself directly, yet indirectly; according to the Purport of his own Notion, or what he grants about the Point in Debate, &c. Else the Apostle refers to some notable and notorious self-condemned Heretick. It is a great question, whether Hymeneus and Alexander were condemned in their own Consciences, about that Heresy charged upon them, and yet were delivered up to Satan. However the Rule is plain, respecting any that are subverted, and resolutely maintain any Heretical Notion, i.e. after he hath been twice (or oftner) admonished, that is, after all due means used, and pains taken with him, to convince him of his abominable Error; and yet if he remains obstinate, he must be delivered up to Satan; that is, the righteous censure of the Church must pass upon him, as in the case of other notorious Crimes. Heresy is a Work of the Flesh: and hence some conceive such ought to be punished by the Civil Magistrate.

Quest. What is an Admonition?

Answ. It is a faithful endeavour to convict a Person of a Fault both as to matter of Fact, and his Duty thereupon, charging it on his Conscience in the Name of the Lord Jesus with all Wisdom and Authority.

Quest. What is a Church Admonition?

Answ. When an offending Brother rejecting private Admonition by one, or by two or three Persons, the complaint being brought to the Church by the Elder, the offending Member is rebuked and exhorted in the Name of the Lord Jesus to due Repentance; and if convicted, and he repents, the Church forgives him, otherwise casts him out, as I before shewed.

Quest. May a Church admit a Member of another Congregation to have Communion with them, without an orderly receiving him as a Member?

Answ. If the Person is well known by some of the Church, and that he is an orderly Member of a Church of the same Faith, he being occasionally cast among them they may admit him to transient Communion for that time; but if he abides in that Town or City remote to the Church to whom he belongs, he ought to have his regular dismission, and so be delivered up to the care and watch of the Church where he desires to communicate.

Quest. If an Excommunicated Person hath obtained of God true Repentance, and desires to be restored to the Church, what is the manner of his Reception?

Answ. Upon his serious, solemn and publick Acknowledgment thereof before the Church, and due Satisfaction according to the nature of his Offence being given, the Elder solemnly proceeds and declares in the Name of the Lord Jesus,73 that the sentence which A.B. was laid under (upon his unfeigned Repentance) is taken off,74 and that he is received again as a Member, &c. To the Praise and Glory of God.75

Quest. How ought a Pastor to be dealt withal, if he to the knowledge of the Church, or any Members thereof, walketh disorderly, and unworthily of his Sacred Office, and Membership?

Take the Answer of another Author here.

Answ. ‘Those Members, to whom this is manifestly known, ought to go to him privately, and unknown to any others, (and with the Spirit of Meekness, in great Humility) lay his Evil before him, and intreat him as a Father, and not rebuke him as their Equal, much less as their Inferiour; and if they gain upon him, then to receive him into their former Affection and Esteem, for ever hiding it from all others. But if after all tender intreaties, he prove Refractory and Obstinate, then to bring him before the Church, and there to deal with him; they having Two or Three Witnesses in the face of the Church, to testify matter of Fact against him to their personal Knowledge.

2. ‘But before he be dealt with they must appoint one from among themselves, qualifyd for the work of a Pastor, to execute the Church’s Censure against him, &c.

Yet no doubt, the Church may Suspend him from his Communion, & exercising of his Office presently, upon his being fully Convicted. But seeing in the multitude of Counsel there is safety, sure no Church would so proceed without the advice of the Presbytery, or of a Sister-Church at least.

Q. Suppose a Member should think himself Oppressed by the Church; or should be Unjustly dealt with; either Withdrawn from, or Excommunicated, has he no Relief left him?

Answ. We believe he hath Relief; and also, that there is no Church infallible, but may Err in some points of Faith, as well as in Discipline. And the way proposed, and agreed to, in a general Assembly, held in London, 1692, of the Elders, Ministers, and Messengers of our Churches, we approve of, which is this; viz. The grieved or injured Person may make his Application to a Sister-Church for Communion; and that Church may send some Brethren in their names, to that Congregation that have dealt with him, and they to see if they can possible restore him to his place; but if they cannot, then to report the matter charged, with the Proofs, to the Church that sent them: and if that Congregation shall, after a full Information, &c. be persuaded the Person was not orderly dealt with, they may receive him into their Communion.

Benjamin Keach- The Glory of a True Church, And its Discipline Displayed (1697)

Charles Spurgeon’s Letters-Letter 88

TO MR. JAMES WATTS

BOROUGH, April 24, 1855.

MY DEAR SIR, —

I am usually careless of the notices of papers concerning myself, referring all honor to my Master, and believing that dishonorable articles are but advertisements for me, and bring more under the sound of the gospel. But you, my dear Sir (I know not why), have been pleased to speak so favorably of my labors that I think it only right that I should thank you. If I could have done so personally, I would have availed myself of the pleasure, but the best substitute is by letter. Amid a constant din of abuse, it is pleasant to poor flesh and blood to hear one favorable voice. I am far from deserving much that you have said in my praise, but as I am equally undeserving of the coarse censure poured on me by the Essex Standard, etc., etc., I will set the one against the other. I am neither eloquent nor learned, but the Head of the Church has given me sympathy with the unenlightened. I never sought popularity, and I cannot tell how it is so many come to hear me; but shall I now change? To please the polite critic, shall I leave “the people,” who so much require a simple and stirring style? I am, perhaps, “vulgar,” and so on, but it is not intentional, save that I must and mill make the people listen. My firm conviction is, that we have quite enough polite preachers, and that “the many” require a change. God has owned me to the most degraded and off-cast; let others serve their class; these are mine, and to them I must keep. My sole reason for thus troubling you is one of gratitude to a disinterested friend. You may another time have good cause to censure me ; — do so, as I am sure you will, with all heartiness; but my young heart shall not soon forget “a friend.”

Believe me,

My dear Sir,

Yours very sincerely,

C. H. SPURGEON.

Works of God- Providence: Designs of Providence- Book Third- Chapter 3- Section 7

Book Third

CHAPTER III.

SECTION VII.–DESIGNS OF PROVIDENCE.

In the view which we have taken of God’s providential government, we have included the fact, that he so orders the events which occur, as to accomplish his purpose. This is called predestination. The purpose of God respects the end which he has in view; and also the means which he uses for the accomplishment of this end.

The doctrine of predestination teaches that no event comes to pass, which is not under the control of God; and that it is so ordered by him as to fulfil his purpose. If it would thwart his purpose, the event is prevented; or if, in part only it would conduce to his purpose, only so far is it permitted to happen. This divine control extends over all agents, animate and inanimate, rational and irrational; and is exercised over each in perfect accordance with its nature, and with all the laws of nature as originally established. Physical agents are controlled as physical agents; and moral, as moral agents. The latter act as freely as if no providence over them existed. Their ends are chosen, their means adopted, and their accountability exists, just as if there were no predestination of God in the matter. Yet God is not unconcerned in any of these acts, but overrules each and all of them according to his pleasure.

The holy men of ancient times were accustomed to view the hand of God in everything with which they had to do; and the passages of Scripture are numerous, in which God’s direction of man’s affairs and actions is taught. “A man’s heart deviseth his way; but the Lord directeth his steps.”[17] “The king’s heart is in the hands of the Lord, as the rivers of water; he turneth it whithersoever he will.”[18] The gardener has his rivulet, with which he waters his beds; and, by cutting a channel here, and damming up there, he directs the fertilizing stream to whatever part of his garden he pleases; while the water, however directed, moves according to its own natural tendency. So the kings heart moves according to its own inclination; but the directing hand of God guides his movements, though freely made, to the accomplishment of such ends as infinite wisdom has designed. The passages are also numerous, which show that this direction of events is for the accomplishment of some purpose. God meant it unto good.[19] All things work together for good.[20] Each particular event accomplishes some purpose; and the whole combined accomplishes the grand purpose, to which the particular purposes are subordinate. So he who builds a house, has, in adjusting each timber, a purpose subordinate to the general or final purpose for which the whole work was undertaken; and to the accomplishment of which, the whole is directed.

The possibility that God should possess this complete control of all things, cannot be doubted by any who admit the doctrine of necessity. Even if human volitions are absolutely contingent, his control of overt acts must be conceived to be as perfect, as on the other hypothesis. As length and breadth are necessary to constitute area, as weight and velocity are necessary to constitute force; so volition and power are necessary to constitute action. He does not act, who has the will without the power, or the power without the will. Now, power is in the hand of God, and under his perfect control; and, therefore, whatever the will may be, no overt act can be performed but by his permission; and consequently, no influence can be brought to bear on any part of God’s dominions, so as to disturb his administration. This hook God has in the nose of every rebellious subject; so that, however filled with rage, he cannot move but by God’s permission.[21]

Again, even if human volition is absolutely contingent, it is still true, that men often foretell it with sufficient certainty or probability, to know how to direct their actions with respect to it. A sagacious sovereign knows the character of his subjects, and the parties which exist in his government; and he adapts the measures of his administration to meet the exigencies as they arise. Why cannot God, on the throne of the universe, manage the affairs of his government with equal skill? A human sovereign sometimes fails for want of time to deliberate. His enemies form their schemes, and their plots proceed to their accomplishment before he is aware of their designs; and, when they are discovered, he cannot command his resources, or digest his plan, in time to meet the emergency. But God sees every budding volition; and, as all his power man be exerted at any point of space, so all the resources of his infinite wisdom can arrange his plan, while the volition is taking its form as wisely and completely as if it were the result of an eternity of deliberation. God is verily able to govern the world; and who doubts that he is willing? And our belief that God governs the world, and predestinates its various events to accomplish the counsel of his will, is not dependent on a metaphysical speculation.

[17] Prov. xvi. 9.

[18] Prov. xxi. 1.

[19] Gen. l. 20.

[20] Rom. viii. 28.

[21] 2 Kings xix. 28.

John L. Dagg- Manual of Theology