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Archive for August, 2021

Noah witnessed the out-breaking of human depravity, but also the failure of all religious means to restrain this out-breaking

Arthur PinkBut more; Noah had not only witnessed the out-breakings of human depravity in its worst forms, he had also seen the failure of all the religious means employed to restrain the same. Outside of his own little family, the worship of God had entirely ceased, the preaching of His servants was completely disregarded, and profligacy and violence universally prevailed. Even his building of the ark—”by the which he condemned the world” (Heb. 11:7)—had no effect upon the wicked. The divine warnings were openly flouted, until the Flood came and swept them all away. Nor had Noah any reason now to believe that human nature had undergone any radical change for the better, or that sin had been eradicated from the hearts of the few survivors of the Deluge. As Noah reflected upon the past, his anticipations of the future must have been anxious and gloomy.

Arthur W. Pink- The Divine Covenants-Part Three-The Noahic Covenant

Some here may never hear my voice again

SpurgeonBut I have some here, perhaps, who may never hear my voice again; and I will not let my congregation go, God helping me, without telling them the way of salvation. Sirs, there are some of you who know ye have not believed in Christ. If ye were to die where ye now sit ye have no hope that ye would rise amongst the glorified in bliss. How many are there here who if their hearts could speak, must testify that they are without God, without Christ, and strangers from the commonwealth of Israel. Oh, let me tell you then, what ye must do to be saved. Does your heart beat high? Do ye grieve over your sins? Do ye repent of your iniquities? Will ye turn unto the living God? If so this is the way of salvation: “Whosoever believeth and is baptised shall be saved.” I cannot reverse my Master’s order-he says, “believeth,” and then “baptised;” and he tells me that “he that believeth not shall be damned.” Oh, my hearers, your works cannot save you. Though I have spoken to Christians, and exhorted them to live in good works, I talk not so to you. I ask ye not to get the flower before ye have the seed. I will not bid you get the roof of your house before ye lay the foundation. Believe on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, and ye shall be saved. Whosoever here will now cast himself as a guilty worm flat on Jesuswhoever will throw himself into the arms of everlasting love, that man shall be accepted; he shall go from that door justified and forgiven, with his soul as sate as if he were in heaven, without the danger of its ever being lost. All this is through belief in Christ.

Charles H. Spurgeon- A Caution to the Presumptous, A Sermon Delivered on Sabbath Morning, at Exerter Hall Strand, May 13, 1855

The Presbyterian doctrine of infant salvation

We will now pay our respects to the doctrines on the subject, of Presbyterians, and other Calvinists.

These doctrines are set forth in the Westminster Confession of Faith, and Catechisms. We notice the following passages:

“The visible church” “consists of all those throughout the world, that profess the true religion, together with their children,” “and is the kingdom of our Lord Jesus Christ, the house and family of God, out of which there is no ordinary possibility of salvation.”[123]

It follows, of course, necessarily, that the children of those who do not “profess the true religion” and such, in their estimation, are the children of ninety-nine hundredths of the whole human race; are not of “the house and family of God;” are not in the church; are not to be baptized, and, for them “there is no ordinary possibility of salvation!” But Calvinists also tell us that they confer “benefits” upon the children they baptize. What are these benefits? The Confession answers:

“Although it be a great sin to contemn, or neglect this ordinance, yet grace, and salvation, are not so inseparably annexed unto it, as that no person can be regenerated or saved without it, [since there may be some unknown extraordinary possibility of salvation] or that all that are baptized are undoubtedly regenerated,” [since some of the infants thus “sealed,” may turn out to be of the “non-elect.”]

“The efficacy of baptism is not tied to that moment of time wherein it is administered; [all its sanctifying effects may not instantly be imparted] yet notwithstanding, by the right use of this ordinance, the grace promised is not only offered, but really exhibited, [conveyed] and conferred by the Holy Ghost, to such (whether of age or infants) as that grace belongeth unto [if they be elect] according to the counsel of God’s own will, in his own appointed time.”[124]

The grace promised, is conferred upon the infant by the Holy Ghost, in its baptism! What is the grace promised? We have the answer in the Catechism. It is

“The engrafting into” Christ; “the remission of sins by his blood, and regeneration by his Spirit;” “adoption, and resurrection unto eternal life.”[125]

These constitute “the grace promised,” and they are all, according to Presbyterians, and their kindred sects, given to infants in their baptism! Such infants, and only such, are in the church; and out of the church, “there is no ordinary possibility of salvation.” Thus we have an exposition of Calvinistic doctrines on the subject. They hold baptism to be the medium through which, to the infant who receives it, are conveyed “the merits of Christ’s death;” the blessings of grace and salvation! Again we have precisely the same old Popish teachings maintained by all the other sects of Pedobaptists. We have also, a like falsification of the true scripture doctrine of infant salvation.

Those who study the several Pedobaptist Standards, and other authorities on this subject, must be struck with the fact that they frequently speak of “the ordinary way” of salvation, and of the “ordinary possibility of salvation!” What do they mean by such language? Do they intend to teach their people that there may be some other way of salvation than that which God has revealed in his word? Has not Jehovah himself told them that, apart from Christ Jesus,

“there is none other name given under heaven among men, whereby we must be saved?” (Acts 4:2.)

There is but one way of salvation. Infants are saved in the same way that all others of the redeemed are saved, by the grace of God in Jesus Christ our Lord.

Am I told that the statements presented from the books may be true as to them, but after all, do not correctly represent the actual faith of the several communities involved? Is it affirmed that they do not, especially among us, credit this doctrine of baptismal efficacy, nor believe that baptism is necessary to the salvation of infants? If not, they do not believe their books! Why, then, do they continue to print and circulate these books, and to declare that they do believe them, heartily? If not, they do not believe their teachers! Why do they still hear, and sustain, and obey them? Say you they do not believe their own avowed baptismal doctrines? Why, then, do they still baptize their children? Why are they so alarmed when their children are in danger of dying without baptism? Why are they so impatient of any argument against infant baptism? Why this ceaseless effort to keep up infant baptism? Why all this, and much more, if they do not believe that their baptism has some sort of connection with the salvation of infants? Individuals among them are doubtless exceptions, but the masses still hold infant baptism as a condition of infant salvation. Their Standards teach it; their fathers believed it; they themselves cherish the same faith, more or less explicitly.

R. B. C. Howell- The Evils of Infant Baptism- Chapter 9- Infant baptism is an evil because it subverts the true doctrine of infant salvation

THE SELF-RIGHTEOUS GUESTS

DO ye see that other table yonder, in the middle of the palace? Ah, good easy souls! Many of you had thought that you never went to the feast of hell at all; but there is a table for you too; it is covered over with a fair white cloth, and all the vessels upon the table are most clean and comely. The wine looks not like the wine of Gomorrah, it moveth aright, like the wine from the grapes of Eshcol; it seems to have no intoxication in it: it is like the ancient wine which they pressed from the grape into the cup, having in it no deadly poison. Do you see the men who sit at this table? How self-contented they are! Ask the white fiends who wait at it, and they will tell you, “This is the table of the self-righteous: the Pharisee sits there. You may know him; he has his phylactery between his eyes; the hem of his garment is made exceeding broad; he is one of the best of the best professors.” “Ah!” saith Satan, as he draws the curtain and shuts off the table where the profligates are carousing, “be quiet; don’t make too much noise, lest these sanctimonious hypocrites should guess what company they are in. These self-righteous people are my guests quite as much as you, and I have them quite as safely.” So Satan, like an angel of light, brings forth a gilded goblet, looking like the chalice of the table of communion. And what wine is that? It seems to be the very wine of the sacred Eucharist; it is called the wine of self-satisfaction, and around the brim you may see the bubbles of pride. Look at the swelling froth upon the bowl — “God, I thank thee that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican.” You know that cup, my self-deceiving readers. Oh, that ye knew the deadly hemlock which is mixed therein! “Sin as other men do? Not you; not at all! You are not going to submit yourself to the righteousness of Christ; what need you? You are as good as your neighbors: if you are not saved you ought to be, you think. Don’t you pay everybody twenty shillings in the pound? Did you ever rob anybody in your life? You do your neighbors a good turn; you are as good as other people.”

That is the first cup the devil gives; and the good wine makes you swell with self-important dignity, as its fumes enter your heart and puff it up with an accursed pride. Yes, I see you sitting in the room so cleanly swept and so neatly garnished, and I see the crowds of your admirers standing around the table, even many of God’s own children, who say, “Oh, that I were half as good as he!” While the very humility of the righteous provides you with provender for your pride. Wait awhile, thou unctuous hypocrite, wait awhile, for there is a second course to come. Satan looks with quite as selfsatisfied an air upon his guests this time as he did upon the troop of rioters. “Ah!” says he, “I cheated those gay fellows with the cup of pleasure, — I gave them afterwards the dull cup of satiety, and I have cheated you, too; you think yourselves all right, but I have deceived you twice, I have befooled you indeed.” So he brings in a cup which, sometimes, he himself doth not like to serve. It is called the cup of discontent and unquietness of mind, and many there be that have to drink this after all their selfsatisfaction. Do you not find, you who are very good in your own esteem but have no interest in Christ, that when you sit alone and begin to turn over your accounts for eternity, they do not square somehow — that you cannot strike the balance exactly to your own side after all, as you thought you could? Have you not sometimes found, that when you thought you were standing on a rock, there was a quivering beneath your feet? You heard the Christian sing boldly —

Bold shall I stand in that great day,

For who aught to my charge shall lay?

While through thy blood absolved I am

From sins tremendous curse and shame.

And you have said, “Well, I cannot sing that. I have been as good a Churchman as ever lived, I never missed going to my church all these years, but I cannot say I have a solid confidence.” You had once a hope of self-satisfaction; but now the second course has come in, and you are not quite so contented. “Well,” says another, “I have been to my chapel, and I have been baptized, and made a profession of religion, though I was never brought to know the Lord in sincerity and in truth; and I once thought it was all well with me, but I want a something which I cannot find.” Now comes a shaking in the heart. It is not quite so delightful as one supposed to build on one’s own righteousness. Ah! That is the second course.

Wait awhile, and mayhap in this world, but certainly in the hour of death, the devil will bring in the third cup of dismay at the discovery of your lost condition. How many a man who has been self-righteous all his life has, at the last, discovered that the thing whereon he placed his hope had failed him! I have heard of an army who, being defeated in battle, endeavored to make a good retreat. With all their might the soldiers fled to a certain river, where they expected to find a bridge across which they could retreat and be in safety. But when they came to the stream, there was heard a shriek of terror — “The bridge is broken, the bridge is broken!” All in vain was that cry; for the multitude hurrying on behind pressed upon those that were before, and forced them into the river, until the stream was glutted with the bodies of drowned men. Such must be the fate of the self-righteous. You thought there was a bridge of ceremonies; that baptism, confirmation, and the Lord’s Supper, made up the solid arches of a bridge of good works and duties. But when you come to die, there shall be heard the cry — “The bridge is broken, the bridge is broken!” It will be in vain for you to turn round then. Death is close behind you; he forces you onward, and you discover what it is to perish through having neglected the great salvation, and attempting to save yourself through your own good works.

This is the last course but one: and your last course of all, the worst wine, your everlasting portion must be the same as that of the profligate. Good as you thought yourself to be, inasmuch as you proudly rejected Christ, you must drink the winecup of the wrath of God, that cup which is full of trembling. The wicked of the earth shall wring out the dregs of that cup, and drink them; and you also must drink of it as deep as they. Oh, beware in time! Put away your high looks, and humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God. Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and ye shall be saved.

Charles H. Spurgeon- Words of Wisdom for Daily Life- Article ‘The Banquet of Evil’

The Wednesday Word: HOW GOD GETS US TO HEAVEN! Part 1

Today, let’s consider the grand truth of Justification. Luther called it – ‘the truth by which the church stands or falls.’ If this is true, it means it is also the truth by which you and I stand or fall.

What a vital doctrine! If we think that we can be truly saved and lost, we have no understanding of Justification. Likewise, if we think that getting to heaven depends upon whether or not we die in a state of grace then, again, we have no understanding of Justification.

Here’s a good definition of Justification, ‘God out of his mercy and grace for Christ’s sake acquits us of sin and declares us righteous.’

So, let’s consider this truth of Justification. May we, in doing so, profit in our understanding and come to appreciate and love the Lord Jesus even more.

The first thing we notice is,

We are justified by God.

Romans 8:33 “Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect. It is God that justifies.”

Please turn loose your sanctified imagination with me for a moment. See the scene. You are in the Courtroom of God … in the dock.

The question is asked, “Is there anyone here who can accuse this person?” The request is greeted with silence.

Again, the inquiry is made, “Who will bring an accusation against this person?” Again, there is absolute silence … no voice is heard. No one speaks up!

So, the question is raised yet again, “Who shall bring a charge against this person? No one steps forward. Then, suddenly, there is a commotion in the courtroom. A voice calls out, “Make way for the Prosecutor in Chief.” We look around and there he stands, Lucifer, his satanic majesty himself.

He calls out, “I am the accuser of the brethren and I charge the person in the dock with sin.” His charges against you are valid for all have sinned.

But here’s the Gospel Truth. The only one who can declare a guilty sinner guilty is the judge of all the earth … the Almighty One. Satan and His accusations get nowhere with God because ultimately, all sin is against God not against Satan.

There is a moment more silence and then the Judge speaks up and tells Satan to hush, then declares, “My verdict is that … there is now no condemnation to those that are in Christ Jesus. All in Christ are acquitted of all charges against them.”

That’s stunning!

Let me explain. Sin had made us guilty, condemned and separated from God. But by virtue of Christ’s death on our behalf instead of being declared guilty, believers are now declared not guilty.

God the Judge declares this!

He is a righteous judge …In other words, His verdict is right.

He is the all-powerful judge. That means, His verdict will stand and not be overturned.

God had been sinned against so God Himself did something about the problem.

And what did He do?

He clothed Himself with humanity and in His power and wisdom became man without ceasing to be God. He did not become partly man and partly God, but was, in the person of Christ Jesus, fully God and fully man. The early church believed this. Here is the translation of an ancient inscription about Jesus, found etched in marble in Asia Minor,

“I am what I was – God.

I was not what I am – man.

I am now both — God and man.”

God came to this earth, became one of us and as man lived blamelessly and offered Himself to the Father as a sacrifice for our sins. He died on that cross, was buried and rose from the dead. All this He did as His people’s substitute.

He, the highest judge in all the universe has brought in the not guilty verdict to all who trust in Christ Jesus.

We are justified by God.

To be continued.

And that’s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com  

There is in God a sufficiency of power to keep them that have laid their soul at his foot

1. There is in God a sufficiency of power to keep them that have laid their soul at his foot to be preserved. And hence he is called the soul-keeper, the soul-preserver, (Prov 24:12) “The Lord is thy keeper: the Lord is thy shade upon thy right hand. The sun shall not smite thee by day, nor the moon by night. The Lord shall preserve thee from all evil: he shall preserve thy soul” (Psa 121:5-7). “The sun shall not smite thee”: that is, persecution shall not dry and wither thee away to nothing (Matt 13:6,21). But that notwithstanding, thou shalt be kept and preserved, carried through and delivered from all evil. Let him therefore commit the keeping of his soul to him, if he is in a suffering condition, that would have it secured and found safe and sound at last. For,

(1.) Then thine own natural weakness, and timorousness shall not overcome thee.-For it shall not be too hard for God. God can make the most soft spirited man as hard as an adamant, harder than flint, yea harder than the northern steel. “Shall iron break the northern iron and the steel?” (Jer 15:12). The sword of him is [used] in vain that lays at a Christian, when he is in the way of his duty to God: if God has taken to him the charge and care of his soul, he can shoe him with brass, and make his hoofs of iron (Deut 33:25). “He can strengthen the spoiled against the strong, so that the spoiled shall come against the fortress” (Amos 5:8; Eze 13:9).

He can turn thee into another man, and make thee that which thou never wast. Timorous Peter, fearful Peter, he could make as bold as a lion. He that at one time was afraid of a sorry girl, he could make at another to stand boldly before the council (Matt 26; Acts 4:13). There is nothing too hard for God. He can say to them that are of a fearful heart, “Be strong, fear not” (Isa 35:4). He can say, Let the weak say I am strong; by such a word, by which he created the world (Zech 12:8).

(2.) Thine own natural darkness and ignorance shall not cause thee to fall; thy want of wit he can supply.-He can say to the fools, be wise; not only by way of correction, but also by way of instruction too. He “hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; – yea, things which are despised, – and things which are not, hath God chosen to bring to nought things that are” (1 Cor 1:27,28). Wisdom and might are his: and when, and where he will work, none can at all withstand him. He can give thee the Spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of his Son (Eph 1:17). Yea, to do this, is that which he challengeth, as that which is peculiar to himself. “Who hath put wisdom in the inward parts? or who hath given understanding to the heart?” (Job 38:36). And that he will do this that he hath promised, yea, promised to do it to that degree, as to make his, that shall be thus concerned for him, to top, and overtop all men that shall them oppose. I, saith he, “will give you a mouth and wisdom, that all your adversaries shall not be able to gainsay nor resist” (Luke 21:15).

(3.) Thine own doubts and mistrusts about what he will do, and about whither thou shalt go, when thou for him hast suffered awhile, he can resolve, yea, dissolve, crush, and bring to nothing.-He can make fear flee far away: and place heavenly confidence in its room. He can bring invisible and eternal things to the eye of thy soul, and make thee see that in those things in which thine enemies shall see nothing, that thou shalt count worth the loss of ten thousand lives to enjoy. He can pull such things out of his bosom, and can put such things into thy mouth; yea, can make thee choose to be gone, though through the flames, than to stay here and die in silken sheets. Yea, he can himself come near and bring his heaven and glory to thee. The Spirit of glory and of God resteth upon them that are but reproached for the name of Christ (1 Peter 4:14). And what the Spirit of glory is, and what is his resting upon his sufferers, is quite beyond the knowledge of the world, and is but little felt by saints at peace. They be they that are engaged, and that are under the lash of Christ; they are they, I say, that have it and that understand something of it.

When Moses went up the first time into the mount to God, the people reproached him for staying with him so long, saying, “As for this Moses, – we wot not what is become of him” (Exo 32:1). Well, the next time he went up thither, and came down, the Spirit of glory was upon him; his face shone, though he wist it not, to his honour, and their amazement (Exo 34:29-35). Also while Stephen stood before the council to be accused, by suborned men, “All that sat in the council, looking steadfastly on him, saw his face as it had been the face of an angel” (Acts 6:15). Those that honour God, he will honour, yea, will put some of his glory upon them, but they shall be honoured. There is none can tell what God can do. He can make those things that in themselves are most fearful and terrible to behold, the most pleasant, delightful, and desirable things. He can make a jail more beautiful than a palace; restraint, more sweet by far than liberty. And “the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt” (Heb 11:26). It is said of Christ, That “for the joy that was set before him, he endured the cross, despising the shame” (Heb 12:2). But,

John Bunyan- Seasonable Counsel or Advise to Sufferers

Noah must have had a distinct and painful memory of sins that were past

August 24, 2021 3 comments

Arthur PinkAlthough the natural disposition of the animals preserved with him in the ark had been by Divine power brought under restraint, he could not be ignorant that, when again left at large, their natural tempers and the instinctive ferocity of some of them would be resumed; and multiplying, in a more rapid ratio than his own family, he might probably have distrusted his ability to cope with them, and might have anticipated the likelihood of perishing before their destructive violence. He knew, too, that the heart of man was full of evil, and that however his naturally bad propensities may have been awed by the fearful catastrophe from which he had recently escaped, the effect of it was not likely to be lasting; the time he might well fear would come—and that at no distant period—when the sinful tendencies of the heart would acquire strength, would be excited by temptation, and soon issue in the most disastrous consequences.

He must have had a distinct and painful remembrance of those sins of lawlessness and violence with which he had been familiar in the old world. He might reasonably dread their repetition, and look forward to times when human life would be held cheap, and when wanton passion would not scruple to sacrifice it in the furtherance of its selfish purposes, unrestrained by any competent authority, and only feebly checked by the dread of revenge. The prospect would have been anything but cheering, and it cannot be thought surprising that he should have contemplated it with feelings of concern and dismay. He could form his views of the future simply from what he knew of the past, and his memory could recall little but what was painful and distressing” (John Kelly, 1861).

Arthur W. Pink- The Divine Covenants-Part Three-The Noahic Covenant

Oh ye, my beloved, ye my brethren, think not that ye stand, lest ye should fall

August 23, 2021 2 comments

Spurgeon 1And now what more can I say? Oh ye, my beloved, ye my brethren, think not that ye stand, lest ye should fall. Oh ye fellow heirs of everlasting life and glory we are marching along through this weary pilgrimage; and I, whom God hath called to preach to you, would turn affectionately to you little ones, and say, take heed lest ye fall. My brother, stumble not. There lieth the gin, there the snare. I am come to gather the stones out of the road, and take away the stumbling blocks. But what can I do unless, with due care and caution, ye yourselves walk guardedly. Oh, my brethren; be much more in prayer than ever. Spend more time in pious adoration. Read the Scriptures more earnestly and constantly. Watch your lives more carefully. Live nearer to God. Take the best examples for your pattern. Let your conversation be redolent of heaven. Let your hearts be perfumed with affection for men’s souls. So live that men may take knowledge of you that you have been with Jesus, and have learned of him; and when that happy day shall come when he whom you love shall say, “Come up higher,” let it be your happiness to hear him say, “Come my beloved thou hast fought a good fight, thou hast finished thy course, and henceforth there is laid up for thee a crown of righteousness that fadeth not away”. On, Christian, with care and caution! On, with holy fear and trembling! On yet, with faith and confidence, for thou shalt not fall. Read the next verse of this very chapter: “He will not suffer you to be tempted above that which ye are able to bear, but will, with the temptation, also make a way to escape.”

Charles H. Spurgeon- A Caution to the Presumptous, A Sermon Delivered on Sabbath Morning, at Exerter Hall Strand, May 13, 1855

Methodist doctrine on infant salvation

But we will try their opinions by a surer and more tangible standard. What do our Methodist brethren teach on the subject?

The answer is found in the “Doctrinal Tracts,” written by Mr. Wesley himself, and published by order of the “General Conference,” as an authoritative exposition of Methodism. I invite you to examine the following passages: “What are the benefits,” says Mr. Wesley,

“we receive by baptism, is the next point to be considered. And the first of these is the washing away of original sin, by the application of Christ’s death. That we are all born under the guilt of Adam’s sin, and that all sin deserves eternal misery, was the unanimous sense of the ancient church, and is expressed in the ninth article of our own. And the scripture asserts that we were shapen in iniquity, and in sin did our mothers conceive us; that we were all by nature the children of wrath, and dead in trespasses and sins; that in Adam all die; that by one man’s disobedience all were made sinners; that by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin, which came upon all men, because all had sinned. This plainly includes infants, for they too die; therefore they have sinned; but not by actual sin, therefore by original sin, else what need have they of the death of Christ? Yea, death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those who had not sinned actually, according to the similitude of Adam’s transgression. This, which can relate to infants only, is a clear proof that the whole race of mankind are obnoxious both to the guilt and punishment of Adam’s transgression. But as by the offense of one, judgment came upon all men to condemnation, so by the righteousness of one, the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life.”

“And the virtue of that free gift, the merits of Christ’s life and death, are applied to us in baptism.”

Here you have a plain statement. Mr. Wesley proves very clearly, that all infants inherit sin from Adam, and are redeemed by our Lord Jesus Christ. But where is the proof that “the merits of his life and death are applied to them in baptism?” None is produced. The scriptures contain none. But still proof is offered, satisfactory to Mr. Wesley. Hear him. “The church declares in the rubric,” that “it is certain, by God’s word, that children who are baptized, dying before they commit actual sin, are saved.” “Here”, he adds, “it is plainly taught that infants” “can be saved only by the merit of Christ’s death, and that this merit is to be applied in baptism.”[121] The proof, then, is in the rubric! It is not in the Bible. Christ’s merits can only be applied to infants by baptism! Is not the conclusion strangely absurd that, after having redeemed all children who die in infancy by his blood, Messiah should still be dependent for the application of his merits to them, and without which they cannot be saved, upon the contingency of their baptism! If not baptized, they remain corrupt and sinful, because his merits and righteousness can in no other way be applied to them. Corrupt and sinful beings must be lost. Unbaptized children die corrupt and sinful beings. Therefore, according to Mr. Wesley, unbaptized children must be lost. In another place the Father of Methodism gives us the following argument:

“If infants are guilty of original sin, then they are proper subjects of baptism, seeing, in the ordinary way, they cannot be saved unless this be washed away in baptism. Infants need to be washed from original sin. Therefore they are proper subjects for baptism.”[122]

And this is the authorized and established doctrine of the whole Methodist church, English and American, on the subject of infant salvation! It is approved by the people, and published for their instruction and guidance by the General Conference! Our Methodist brethren, therefore, believe that “The virtues of Christ’s free gift, the merits of his life and death, are applied to infants in baptism;” that “Infants can be saved only by the merit of Christ’s death, and this merit is to be applied in baptism;” that “They cannot, in the ordinary way, be saved unless their original sin be washed away in baptism.” And what is this but the same old dogma, in substance, held by the Papists, the Lutherans, and the Episcopalians? They all teach that “Baptism represents pardon, sanctification, and salvation, through Jesus Christ; and that it always conveys the grace which it represents.” What a revolting subversion we here have of the scripture doctrine of infant salvation!

R. B. C. Howell- The Evils of Infant Baptism- Chapter 9- Infant baptism is an evil because it subverts the true doctrine of infant salvation

THE TABLE OF THE PROFLIGATE

TAKE a warning glance at the House of Feasting which Satan hath builded; for as wisdom hath builded her house, and hewn out her seven pillars, so hath folly its temple and its tavern of feasting, into which it continually tempts the unwary. Look within the banqueting-house, and I will show you four tables and the guests that sit thereat; and as you look at those tables you shall see the courses brought in.

At the first table to which I shall invite your attention, though I beseech you never to sit down and drink thereat, sit the profligate. The table of the profligate is a gay table; it is covered over with a gaudy crimson, and all the vessels upon it look exceedingly bright and glistening. Many there be that sit thereat; but they know not that they are the guests of hell, and that the end of all the feast shall be in the depths of perdition. See ye now the great governor of the feast, as he comes in? He has a bland smile upon his face; his garments are not black, but he is girded with a robe of many colors; he hath a honeyed word on his lip, and a tempting witchery in the sparkle of his eye. He brings in the cup, and says, “Hey, young man, drink hereto, it sparkleth in the cup, it moveth itself aright. Do you see it? It is the wine-cup of pleasure.” This is the first cup at the banqueting-house of Satan. The young man takes it, and sips the liquor. At first it is a cautious sip; it is but a little he will take, and then he will restrain himself. He does not intend to indulge much in lust, he means not to plunge headlong into perdition. There is a flower there on the edge of that cliff: he will reach forward a little and pluck it; but it is not his intention to dash himself from that beetling crag and destroy himself. Not he! He thinks it easy to put away the cup when he has tested its flavor! He has no design to abandon himself to its intoxication. He takes a shallow draught. But oh how sweet it is! How it makes his blood tingle within him! What a fool I was not to have tasted this before! He thinks. Was ever joy like this? Could it be thought that bodies could be capable of such ecstasy as this? He drinks again; this time he takes a deeper draught, and the wine is hot in his veins. Oh, how blest is he! What would he not say now in the praise of Bacchus, or Venus, or whatever shape Beelzebub chooses to assume? He becomes a very orator in praise of sin! It is fair, it is pleasant; the deep damnation of lust appeareth as joyous as the transports of heaven. He drinks, he drinks, he drinks again, till his brain begins to reel with the intoxication of his sinful delight. This is the first course. Drink, O ye drunkards of Ephraim, and bind the crown of pride about your head, and call us fools because we put your cup from us. Drink with the harlot, and sup with the lustful; ye may think yourselves wise for so doing, but we know that after these things there cometh something worse; for your vine is the vine of Sodom, and of the fields of Gomorrah; your grapes are grapes of gall, the clusters are bitter; your wine is the poison of dragons, and the cruel venom of asps.

Now, with a leer upon his brow, the subtle governor of the feast riseth from his seat. His victim has had enough of the best wine. He takes away that cup, and he brings in another, not quite so sparkling. Look into the liquor; it is not beaded over with the sparkling bubbles of rapture; it is all flat, and dull, and insipid: it is called the cup of satiety. The man has had enough of pleasure, and like a dog he vomits, though like a dog he will return to his vomit yet again. Who hath woe? Who hath redness of eyes? They that tarry long at the wine. I am now speaking figuratively of wine, as well as literally. The wine of lust bringeth the same redness of the eyes; the profligate soon discovers that all the rounds of pleasure end in satiety.

What,” says he, “what more can I do? There, I have committed every wickedness that can be imagined, and I have drained every cup of pleasure.

Give me something fresh! I have tried the theaters all round: there, I don’t care so much as one single farthing for them all. I have gone to every kind of pleasure that I can conceive. It is all over. Gaiety itself grows flat and dull. What am I to do?” And this is the devil’s second course — the course of satiety — a fitful drowsiness, the result of the previous excess.

Thousands there are who are drinking of the tasteless cup of satiety every day; and some novel invention whereby they may kill time, some new discovery whereby they may give a fresh vent to their iniquity would be a wonderful thing to them; and if some man should rise up who could find out for them some new fashion of wickedness, some deeper depths in the deeps of the nethermost hell of lasciviousness, they would bless his name for having given them something fresh to excite them. That is the devil’s second course. And do you see them partaking of it? There are some of you that are having a deep draught of it. You are the jaded horses of the fiend of lust, the disappointed followers of the will-o’-the-wisp of pleasure.

God knows, if you were to speak your heart out you would be obliged to say, “There! I have tried pleasure, and I do not find it pleasure; I have gone the round, and I am just like the blind horse at the mill, I have to go round again. I am spell-bound to the sin, but I cannot take delight in it now as I once did, for all the glory of it is as a fading flower, and as the hasty fruit before the summer.”

Awhile the feaster remains in the putrid sea of his infatuation: but another scene is opening. The governor of the feast commandeth another liquor to be broached. This time the fiend bears a black goblet, and he presents it with eyes full of hell-fire, flashing with fierce damnation. “Drink of that, sir,” says he, and the man sips it, and starts back, and shrieks, “O God, that ever I must come to this!” You must drink, sir. He that quaffs the first cup, must drink the second, and the third. Drink, though it be like fire down your throat! Drink it, though it be as the lava of Etna in your bowels! Drink! You must drink! He that sins must suffer; he that is a profligate in his youth must have rottenness in his bones, and disease within his loins.

He who rebels against the laws of God must reap the harvest in his own body here. Oh! There are some dreadful things that I might tell you of this third course. Satan’s house has a front chamber full of everything that is enticing to the eye and bewitching to the sensual taste; but there is a back chamber, and no one knoweth, no one hath seen the whole of its horrors.

There is a secret chamber, where he shovels out the creatures whom he hath himself destroyed — a chamber, beneath whose floor is the blazing of hell, and above whose boards the heat of that horrible pit is felt. It may be a physician’s place, rather than mine, to tell of the horrors that some have to suffer as the result of their iniquity. I leave that; but let me tell the profligate spendthrift that the poverty which he will endure is the result of his sin of extravagant spend thrifty; let him know also that the remorse of conscience that will overtake him is not an accidental thing that drops by chance from heaven, it is the result of his own iniquity; for, depend upon it, men and brethren, sin carries an infant misery in its bowels, and sooner or later it must be delivered of its terrible child. If we sow the seed we must reap the harvest. Thus the law of hell’s house stands — “first, the good wine, then afterwards, that which is worse.”

The last course remains to be presented. And now, ye strong men, who mock at the warning, which I would fain deliver to you with a brother’s voice and with an affectionate heart, though with rough language. Come ye here, and drink of this last cup. The sinner has at the end brought himself to the grave. His hopes and joys were like gold put into a bag full of holes, and they have all vanished — vanished for ever, and now he has come to the last, his sins haunt him, his transgressions perplex him; he is taken like a bull in a net, and how shall he escape? He dies, and descends from disease to damnation. Shall mortal language attempt to tell you the horrors of that last tremendous cup of which the profligate must drink, and drink for ever? Look at it: ye cannot see its depths, but cast an eye upon its seething surface. I hear the noise of rushing to and fro, and a sound as of gnashing of teeth and the wailing of despairing souls. I look into that cup, and I hear a voice coming up from its depths — “These shall go away into everlasting punishment:” for “Tophet is prepared of old, the pile thereof is wood and much smoke, the breath of the Lord, like a stream of brimstone, shall kindle it.” And what say ye to this last course of Satan? “Who among us shall dwell with the devouring fire?” Profligate, I beseech thee, in the name of God, start from this table! Oh, be not so careless at thy cups; be not so asleep, secure in the peace which thou now enjoyest! Man’s death is at the door, and at his heels is swift destruction! As for you, who as yet have been restrained by a careful father and the watchfulness of an anxious mother, I beseech you shun the house of sin and folly. Let the wise man’s words be written on thine heart, and be thou mindful of them in the hour of temptation — “Remove thy way far from her, and come not nigh the door of her house: for the lips of a strange woman drop as an honeycomb, and her mouth is smoother than oil: but her end is bitter as wormwood, sharp as a two-edged sword. Her feet go down to death; her steps take hold on hell.”

Charles H. Spurgeon- Words of Wisdom for Daily Life- Article ‘The Banquet of Evil’