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Infant baptism is contrary to the principles of religious freedom

Infant baptism is contrary to the principles of religious freedom.

The deteriorating causes just noticed are also influential here. A people incapable of civil, must also be incapable of religious liberty. But there are here additional reasons. The very first act in religion is a gross violation of the great principle of freedom. No choice is left to the child. He is baptized, and placed in the church, as soon as he is born. His faith, his religion, his relation to God, is not a subject upon which he is ever to exercise his own powers of reason or judgment. His church is selected for him, and he is committed to the principles of that church, no matter what they may be, in its polity, in its doctrines, or in its forms. To question the truth of any thing he is taught, is presumptuous and criminal. He is not to doubt whether his church may in some things be wrong. He may prove her right if he can, but not wrong. In most countries it is at the risk of his reputation, his fortune, and his life, that he adopts any opinions, or practices, not sanctioned by authority. Talk to such a man about studying the scriptures to learn the true faith, and to gain correct knowledge of his duty! His faith and duty are prescribed. He dare not dissent. Why should he study the scriptures? He is prohibited from giving them any other than the authorized interpretation. He is obliged to believe what the church believes, and to do what he is commanded by her priests. Religious liberty is to him, utterly impossible. He is bound hand and foot, in hopeless slavery. And what is true of one man is true of a whole community, or of an entire nation, since it is composed of men all of whom are of the same character. Such a nation never can possess, they never can even understand religious freedom. Into this condition of things they are thrown by infant baptism. Therefore infant baptism is contrary to religious no less than to political freedom.

Am I told that the evil we are now considering might exist without infant baptism? If it might, then infant baptism cannot be justly regarded as its legitimate cause. But no, it could not exist, and would not, without it. To this cause it is truly and necessarily traceable. Without infant baptism there could have been no overshadowing and oppressive hierarchies; without it there could have been no degenerate nominal Christianity; without it there could have been no union of church and state; there could have been no lording it over the consciences of the people of God by men in power; there could have been no destruction of religious freedom. Let infant baptism be at once blotted out, and all of every successive generation of children taught the true principles of religion as set forth in the word of God; put the Bible into their hands, and teach them that in their faith and practice they must exercise their own judgment; that they cannot be members of the church unless they have repentance of sin, and a living faith in the Redeemer; and that no obedience can be acceptable to God which is not rendered from love to our Lord Jesus Christ, voluntarily, and intelligently; let all this be instilled into their minds, and religious freedom will instantly spring up, and spread itself over the face of the earth. Infant baptism is the true origin of the evil, and it must be banished from the world before the nations can be emancipated.

R. B. C. Howell- The Evils of Infant Baptism- Chapter 14- Infant Baptism is an Evil because it is contrary to the principles of Civil and Religious Freedom

CHRIST THE SON OF MAN

April 28, 2022 2 comments

HOW fond our Master was of the sweet title, the “Son of man!” If He had chosen, He might always have spoken of Himself as the Son of God, the Everlasting Father, the Wonderful, the Counselor, the Prince of Peace. He hath a thousand gorgeous titles, resplendent as the throne of heaven; but He careth not to use them; to express His humility and let us see the lowliness of Him whose yoke is easy and whose burden is light, He calls not himself the Son of God, but He speaks of Himself evermore as the Son of man who came down from heaven. Let us learn a lesson of humility from our Savior; let us never court great titles nor proud degrees. What are they, after all, but beggarly distinctions whereby one worm is known from another? He that hath the most of them is a worm still, and is in nature no greater than his fellows. If Jesus called Himself the Son of man, when He had far greater names, let us learn to humble ourselves unto men of low estate, knowing that he that humbleth himself shall in due time be exalted.

Methinks, however, there is a sweeter thought than this in the name, Son of man. It seems to me that Christ loved manhood so much, that He always desired to honor it; and since it is a high honor, and indeed the greatest dignity of manhood, that Jesus Christ was the Son of man, He is wont to display this name, that He may, as it were, put rich stars upon the breast of manhood, and put a crown upon its head. Son of man — whenever He said that word He seemed to put a halo round the head of Adam’s children. Yet there is perhaps a more lovely thought still. Jesus Christ called Himself the Son of man, because He loved to be a man. It was a great stoop for Him to come from heaven and to be incarnate. It was a mighty stoop of condescension when He left the harps of angels and the songs of cherubims to mingle with the vulgar herd of His own creatures. But condescension though it was, He loved it. You will remember that when He became incarnate He did not become so in the dark. When He bringeth forth the only begotten into the world, He saith, “Let all the angels of God worship Him.” It was told in heaven; it was not done as a dark secret which Jesus Christ would do in the night that none might know it; but all the angels of God were brought to witness the advent of a Savior a span long, sleeping upon a Virgin’s breast, and lying in a manger. And ever afterwards, and even now, he never blushed to confess that He was man; never looked back upon His incarnation with the slightest regret; but always regarded it with a joyous recollection, thinking Himself thrice happy that He had ever become the Son of man. All hail, thou blessed Jesus! We know how much Thou lovest our race; we can well understand the greatness of Thy mercy towards Thy chosen ones, inasmuch as Thou art evermore using the sweet name which acknowledges that they are bone of Thy bone and flesh of Thy flesh, and Thou art one of them, a brother and a near kinsman.

I will tell you the people whom Christ will save — they are those who are lost to themselves. Just imagine a ship at sea passing through a storm: the ship leaks, and the captain tells the passengers he fears they are lost. If they are far away from the shore, and have sprung a leak, they pump with all their might as long as they have any strength remaining; they seek to keep down the devouring element, they still think that they are not quite lost while they have power to use the pumps. At last they see the ship cannot be saved; they give it up for lost, and leap into the boats. The boats are floating for many a day, full of men who have but little food to eat. “They are lost,” we say, “lost out at sea.” But they do not think so; they still cherish a hope that perhaps some stray ship may pass that way and pick them up. There is a ship on the horizon; they strain their eyes to look at her; they lift each other up; they wave a flag; they rend their garments to make something which shall attract attention; but she passes away; black night comes, and they are forgotten. At length the very last mouthful of food has been consumed; strength fails them, and they lay down their oars in the boat, and lay themselves down to die. You can imagine then how well they understand the awful meaning of the term — “lost.” As long as they had any strength left they felt they were not lost; as long as they could see a sail they felt there was yet hope; while there was yet a moldy biscuit left, or a drop of water, they did not give up all for lost. Now the biscuit is gone, and the water is gone; now strength has departed, and the oar lies still: they lie down to die by each other’s side, mere skeletons; things that should have been dead days ago, if they had died when all enjoyment of life had ceased. Now they know, I say, what it is to be lost, and across the shoreless waters they seem to hear their death-knell pealing forth that awful word, Lost! Lost! Lost!

Now, in a spiritual sense, these are the people Christ came to save. Sinner, thou too art condemned. Our father Adam steered the ship awry and she split upon a rock, and she is filling even to her bulwarks now; and pump as philosophy may, it can never keep the waters of her depravity so low as to prevent the ship from sinking. Seeing that human nature is of itself lost, it hath taken to the boat. She is a fair boat, called the boat of Good Endeavor, and in her you are striving to row with all your might, to reach the shore; but your strength fails you. You say, “Oh, I cannot keep God’s law. The more I strive to keep it, the more I find it to be impossible for me to do so. I climb; but the higher I climb the higher is the top above me. When I was in the plains, I thought the mountain was but a moderate hill; but now I seem to have ascended half-way up its steeps, — there it is, higher than the clouds, and I cannot discern the summit.” However, you gather up your strength, you try again, you row once more, and at last, unable to do anything, you lay down your oars, feeling that if you are saved, it cannot be by your own works. Still you have a little hope left.

There are a few small pieces of moldy biscuit remaining. You have heard that by attention to certain ceremonies you may be saved, and you munch your dry biscuit; but at last that fails you, and you find that neither baptism, nor the Lord’s supper, nor any other outward rites, can make you clean, for the leprosy lies deep within. That done, you still look out. You are in hopes that there may be a sail coming, and while floating upon that deep of despair, you think you detect in the distance some new dogma, some fresh doctrine that may comfort you. It passes, however, like the wild phantom ship — it is gone, and you are left at last, with the burning sky of God’s vengeance above you, with the deep waters of a bottomless hell beneath you, fire in your heart and emptiness in that ship which once was so full of hope, you lie down despairing, and you cry, — “ Lord save me, or I perish!”

Is that your condition, my friend, or has that ever been your condition? If so, Christ came into the world to seek and to save you; and you He will save, and no one else. He will save only those who can claim this for their title, — “Lost;” who have understood in their own souls what it is to be lost, as to all self-trust, all self-reliance, and all self-hope.

I can look back to the time when I knew myself to be lost. I thought that God meant to destroy me. I imagined that because I felt myself to be lost, I was the special victim of Almighty vengeance; for I said unto the Lord, “Hast Thou set me as the target of all Thine arrows? Am I a sea or a whale, that Thou hast set a mark upon me? Hast thou sewed up mine iniquities in a bag, and sealed my transgressions with a seal? Wilt Thou never be gracious? Hast Thou made me to be the center of all sorrow, the chosen one of heaven to be cursed forever?” Ah! Fool that I was! I little knew then, that those who have the curse in themselves are the men whom God will bless — that we have the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves, but in Him who died for us and rose again.

Can you say that you are lost? Was there a time when you traveled with the caravan through this wild wilderness world? Have you left the caravan with your companions, and you are left in the midst of a sea of sand — a hopeless arid waste? And do you look around you, and see no helper; and do you cast your eyes around and see no trust? Is the death-bird wheeling in the sky, screaming with delight because he hopes soon to feed upon your flesh and bones? Is the water bottle dry, and doth the bread fail you? Have you consumed the last of your dry dates, and drunk the last of that brackish water from the bottle; and are you now without hope, without trust in yourself; ready to lie down in despair? Hark thee! The Lord thy God loveth thee; Jesus Christ has bought thee with His blood; thou art, thou shalt be His. He has been seeking thee all this time, and He has found thee at last, in the vast howling wilderness, and now He will take thee upon His shoulders and carry thee to His house rejoicing, and the angels shall be glad over thy salvation. Now, such people must and shall be saved; and this is the description of those whom Jesus Christ came to save. Whom He came to save He will save; you, ye lost ones — lost to all hope and self confidence, shall be saved. Though death and hell should stand in the way, Christ will perform His vow, and accomplish His design.

But for the most part Christ finds His people in His own house; but He finds them often in the worst of tempers, in the most hardened conditions; and He softens their hearts, awakens their consciences, subdues their pride and takes them to Himself; but never would they come to Him unless He came to them. Sheep go astray, but they do not come back again of themselves. Ask the shepherd whether his sheep come back, and he will tell you, “No, sir, they will wander, but they never return.” When you find a sheep that ever came back of itself, then you may hope to find a sinner who will come to Christ of himself. No; it must be sovereign grace that must seek the sinner and bring him home.

And when Christ seeks him He SAVES him. Having caught him at last, like the ram of old, in the thorns of conviction, He does not take a knife and slay him as the sinner expects, but He takes him by the hand of mercy and begins to comfort and to save. The Christ who seeks you today, and who has sought you many a day by His providence, will save you. He will first find you when you are emptied of self, and then He will save you. When you are stripped He will bring forth the best robe and put it on you. When you are dying He will breathe life in your nostrils. When you feel yourselves condemned He will come and blot out your iniquities like a cloud, and your transgressions like a thick cloud. Fear not, ye hopeless and helpless souls, Christ seeks you today, and seeking, He will save you — save you here, save you living, save you dying, save you in time, save you in eternity, and give you, even you, the lost ones, a portion among them that are sanctified.

Charles H. Spurgeon – Words of Warning for Daily Life, ‘Christ the Son of Man’

The Wednesday Word: More on the Blood Part 3

We continue this short series about the blood of Christ by noticing that,

7. The Blood gives us Boldness before God. (Hebrews 10:19).

When sin is troubling the conscience, we are afraid to draw near to God. Sin presents itself as an impassable and impenetrable barrier. Nothing but the blood can remove it. And such is the authority of the blood that it gives believers boldness to enter the very presence of God Himself.

Because of the blood, we are delivered from trying to worship or work our way into the presence of God. Understanding and grasping this brings freedom from all manner of legalism. We can now with holy, guilt-free boldness come into the Lord’s presence and find a welcome there. What immense provision God has made for us by the blood.

The blood of Jesus is the new and living way into His presence of God (Hebrews 10:19-20). Everyone who is cleansed by the blood is welcome there.

So how is it with you? Have you claimed the privileges of the blood? You may be the greatest churchgoer, and the most highly respected citizen in your area, but without the blood of Christ, your state is hopeless before God. When we trust in that precious blood, however, we discover perfect peace with God.” (Philippians 4:7; Colossians 1:20). If sin is burdening you, the blood is what you need. No good work can make you acceptable to God. To have acceptance in heaven, we must be cleansed by the blood. It is only then we can have boldness to enter the presence of God.

Conclusion

There’s a non-factual, ancient legend about the Holy Grail which tells how Joseph of Arimathea, got permission from Pilate to take the body of Jesus down from the cross and bury it. That part of the story is true. But then the legend goes on to tell how Joseph also had in his procession the golden cup which Christ had held at the Last Supper and which contained the blood which, at the cross, had flowed from the Lord’s wounded side.

According to this legend, Joseph carried the cup to Glastonbury, on an island in Somerset in England. There he formed an order of knights whose work it was to protect the precious blood. The chief of these knights was made their king. At certain times the king unveiled the golden cup that held the precious blood, at which times a glorious and radiant light fell on the faces of all who stood about, filling them with rapture and filling them with strength from on high. Only the pure in heart could look upon the cup and behold the wondrous light which streamed from the precious blood.

Of course, this is a silly story, which contrasts sharply with the truth of the blood presented to us in the New Testament.

Here are two reasons why this is a silly story.

1.) The Blood needs no protection from the hands of sinful men.

2.) According to this legend, only the pure in heart could look upon the blood. But this is nonsense. There is no one pure in heart. We have all sinned. And it is the sinner, not the pure in heart, who is welcome to look upon the blood. As the hymn-writer said,

“I hear the words of love

I gaze upon the blood

I see the mighty sacrifice

And I have peace with God.”

To summarize what we have considered, the blood is

1. Precious blood.

2. It is shed for many.

3. It makes atonement.

4. It is the means of remission.

5. It is the ground of justification.

6. It cleanses from all sin.

7. It gives boldness before God.

And that’s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com     

He that suffereth not only for righteousness, is not so wedded to his own notions as to slight or overlook the good that is in his neighbour

From this consideration, two things present themselves to our sight.

II. There have been, and may yet be a people in the world that have, and may suffer in the sense of the apostle here, according to the will of God.

Second, To prove this by reason is easy. The devil is not yet shut up in the bottomless pit-Antichrist is yet alive. The government in all kingdoms is not yet managed with such light, and goodness of mind, as to let the saints serve God, as he has said, whatever it is in some. And until then there will be in some places, though for my part I cannot predict where, a people that will yet suffer for well-doing, or for righteousness’ sake.

In order to a right handling of this matter, I shall divide this head into these two parts-

A. Show you what it is to suffer for well-doing, or for righteousness.

B. Show you what it is to suffer for righteousness’ sake. I put this distinction, because I find that it is one thing to suffer for righteousness, and another to suffer for righteousness’ sake.

[B. What it is to suffer for righteousness’ sake.]

Wherefore, that I may show you who may be said to suffer for righteousness’ sake, I will propound and speak to several things.

7. He that suffereth not only for righteousness, but also for righteousness sake, is not so wedded to his own notions as to slight or overlook the good that is in his neighbour. But righteousness he loves wherever he finds it, though it be in him that smiteth him (Psa 141:5). Yea, he will own and acknowledge it for the only thing that is of beauty and glory in the world. With the excellent in the earth is all such a man’s delight. Wherefore I put a difference betwixt suffering for an opinion and suffering for righteousness; as I put a difference between suffering for righteousness and suffering for righteousness’ sake.

If righteousness, if the stamp of God, if divine authority, is not found upon that thing which I hold, let men never suffer for it under the notion of righteousness. If sin, if superstition, if idolatry, if derogation from the wisdom of Christ, and the authority and perfection of his Word, be not found in, nor joined to that thing that I disown in worship, let me never open my mouth against it. I had rather fall in with, and be an associate of a righteous man that has no true grace, than with a professor that has no righteousness. It is said of the young man, though he went away from Christ, that he looked upon him and loved him (Mark 10:17-22). But it is not said that ever he loved Judas. I know that the righteousness for which a good man suffereth, is not then embraced of the world, for that at such a time it is under a cloud. But yet there is righteousness also in the world, and wherever I see it, it is of a high esteem with me. David acknowledged some of his enemies to be more righteous than he acknowledged some of his servants to be (2 Sam 4:9-11; 3:31-35). It is a brave thing to have righteousness, as righteousness, to be the top-piece in mine affections. The reason why Christ was anointed with the oil of gladness above his fellows, was, because he loved righteousness, and hated iniquity more than they (Heb. 1:9). Love to righteousness flows from golden graces, and is that, and that only, that can make a man capable of suffering, in our sense, for right-eousness’ sake.

John Bunyan- Seasonable Counsel or Advise to Sufferers

God shall enlarge Japheth, and he shall dwell in the tents of Shem

Arthur PinkGod shall enlarge Japheth, and he [Japheth] shall dwell in the tents of Shem.” The obvious meaning of the first clause is, God would give Japheth a numerous posterity, with widely extended territories, which has been fulfilled in the fact that they have not only gained possession of all Europe, North and South America, and Australia, but likewise a large portion of Asia. The stock of Japheth was to be the most energetic and ambitious of Noah’s descendants, giving themselves to colonization and diffusive operations, pushing their way and establishing themselves far and wide. But it is the second clause of Genesis 9:27 we are now more concerned with: “and he shall dwell in the tents of Shem”—he was to enjoy fellowship in the high spiritual privileges of Shem. Japheth was to come under the divine protection and be admitted to the blessings which were the peculiar but not exclusive portion of Shem.

Throwing the light of the New Testament upon this ancient prophecy, we find it clearly announced that it was through the line of Shem that the gifts of grace and the blessings of salvation were more immediately to flow. Yet so far from them being confined unto that section of the human family, the larger portion of it (Japheth) would also share their good. The Shemites were to have them firsthand, but the descendants of Japheth were also to participate in them. “The exaltation of Shem’s progeny into the nearest relationship to God, was not that they might keep the privilege to themselves, but that first getting it, they should admit the sons of Japheth, the inhabitants of the isles, to share with them in the boon, and spread it as wide as their scattered race should extend” (P. Fairbairn).

Here, then, in this early prediction through Noah we have the germ of what is more fully developed in later Scripture. It was only by entering the tents of Shem that Japheth could enter the place where divine blessing was to be found, which, in the language of the New Testament is only another way of saying that from the Jews would salvation flow forth unto the Gentiles. But before we develop that thought a little further, we would mention a very striking point brought out by E. W. Hengstenberg in his most suggestive three volume work on The Christology of the Old Testament. Amid his dry and technical notes on the Hebrew text, he shows how that “as the reaction against Ham’s sin had originated with Shem (Gen. 9:23), Japheth only joining himself in it; so in the future, the rich home of salvation and piety would be with Shem, to whom Japheth, in the felt need of salvation, should come near.”

And he [Japheth] shall dwell in the tents of Shem.” The earth was to be possessed and peopled by the three sons of Noah. Of them, Shem was the one selected to be the peculiar channel of divine gifts and communications; but these were to be not for his own exclusive benefit, but rather to the end that others might share in the blessing. The kingdom of God was to be established in Shem, but Japheth should be received into its community. Therein was intimated not only that “salvation is of the Jews” (John 4:22), but also the mystery of Romans 11:11, and so forth. Though “salvation is of the Jews,” nevertheless, Gentiles should be partakers of it. Though Shem alone be the real root and trunk, yet into their tree the Gentiles should be “grafted!” Though he appeared to speak dark words, yet, by the Holy Spirit, Noah was granted amazing light and was given a deep insight into the secret counsels of the Most High.

Arthur W. Pink- The Divine Covenants-Part Four-The Abrahamic Covenant

IT would be difficult to say to which the gospel owes most, to its friends or to its enemies

CharlesSpurgeonAs for me, I will behold thy face in righteousness; I shall be satisfied,

when I awake, with thy likeness.”- Psalm 17:15.

IT would be difficult to say to which the gospel owes most, to its friends or to its enemies. It is true, that by the help of God, its friends have done much for it; they have preached it in foreign lands, they have dared death, they have laughed to scorn the terrors of the grave, they have ventured all things for Christ, and so have glorified the doctrine they believed; but the enemies of Christ, unwittingly, have done no little, for when they have persecuted Christ’s servants, they have scattered them abroad, so that they have gone everywhere preaching the Word; yea, when they have trampled upon the gospel, like a certain herb we read of in medicine, it hath grown all the faster: and if we refer to the pages of sacred writ how very many precious portions of it do we owe, under God, to the enemies of the cross of Christ! Jesus Christ would never have preached many of his discourses had not his-foes compelled him to answer them; had they not brought objections, we should not have heard the sweet sentences in which he replied. So with the book of Psalms: had not David been sorely tried by enemies, had not the foemen shot their arrows at him, had they not attempted to malign and blast his character, had they not deeply distressed him, and made him cry out in misery, we should have missed many of those precious experimental utterances we here find, much of that holy song which he penned after his deliverance, and very much of that glorious statement of his trust in the infallible God. We should have lost all this, had it not been wrung from him by the iron hand of anguish. Had it not been for David’s enemies, he would not have penned his Psalms; but when hunted like a partridge on the mountains, when driven like the timid roe before the hunter’s dogs, he waited for awhile, bathed his sides in the brooks of Siloa, and panting on the hill-top a little, he breathed the air of heaven and stood and rested his weary limbs. Then was it that he gave honor to God, then he shouted aloud to that mighty Jehovah, who for him had gotten the victory. This sentence follows a description of the great troubles which the wicked bring upon the righteous, wherein he consoles himself with the hope of future bliss.; As for me,” says the patriarch, casting his eyes aloft; As for me,” said the hunted chieftain of the caves of Engedi — “As for me,” says the once shepherd boy, who was soon to wear a royal diadem — “As for me, I will behold thy face in righteousness, I shall be satisfied, when I awake with thy likeness.”

In looking at this passage to-night, we shall notice first of all, the spirit of it secondly, the matter of it; and then, thirdly, we shall close by speaking of the contrast which is implied in it.

Charles H. Spurgeon- The Hope of Future Bliss, A Sermon Delivered on Sabbath Evening, May 20, 1855; at Exeter Hall.

It is contrary to the principles of civil freedom

It is contrary to the principles of civil freedom.

It is the first step in a process which soon enslaves the mind, and throughout after life, leads captive all its powers. The child, without its own knowledge or consent, has been subjected to the ordinance in which he makes a profession of religion. As soon as his reason begins to dawn, he is, in popish countries and communities, obliged at regular intervals, to confess to his priest, all the actions of his life, and thoughts of his heart. He dare not entertain any opinion, which his confessor condemns. To him he must submit in all things. Thus a feeling of dependence and subjection is created in his earliest years, which is fostered in all subsequent life He must receive upon authority, as true, propositions which to his own judgment and reason, if he may venture to exercise them, are absurd; and he must hold as false those which appear to him incontestably true. He must adopt no sentiment but by permission of his spiritual guide. Habits of self-distrust, and submission to superiors, thus formed, are soon indelibly fixed in the soul. They can never be eradicated. In Catholic countries, and communities, children are thus reared. As a natural consequence, they are mentally, through life, inevitably, and irrecoverably slaves. His habits are characteristic of the man, and are, as a matter of course, carried into all the relations of life, civil as well as religious. Every citizen is sedulously trained to refuse the formation of any judgment of his own, or if he chance to do so, to distrust, and renounce it, the moment it is contradicted by those to whom he is accustomed to defer. Can such a man be free? He is necessarily, politically, a slave. His soul is bound in such fetters that he can no more recover from them than he can change his nature.

Infant baptism places men in this condition. Therefore infant baptism is contrary to the principles of civil freedom. Occasionally, I grant, as an exception to a general rule, a man may be found who is capable of breaking these chains, and rising above the evils of his condition. But he is almost alone. The great mass are content to remain in their bondage. No Popish nation, therefore, ever has been, or ever can be, free. The people are so trained that they must have masters. They demand to be ruled. How dare they form an independent opinion upon politics, or any other subject? They never did such a thing. The act is above their reach. They shrink from it with alarm. If, as lately in France, they arise, and achieve their liberty, it is done in tumult, and they remain in tumult, until, as that nation did once before, and so will again, we fear,[157] they sink back into despotism. The states of South America are called republics, but they are not free. They never can be, under existing circumstances, because all these destructive influences are embodied in their organic laws. Infant baptism is at the foundation of the slavery of the nations.

R. B. C. Howell- The Evils of Infant Baptism- Chapter 14- Infant Baptism is an Evil because it is contrary to the principles of Civil and Religious Freedom

WARNINGS TO CERTAIN SINNERS

CAIN was of the wicked one and slew his brother. “The way of Cain” is not hard to describe. He is too proud to offer atonement for his sin; he prefers his own way of sacrifice; he presents a bloodless oblation; he hates the obedience of faith; he smites the faithful Abel. See ye the way of Cain, and beware, Oh, proud self-righteous ones, lest ye run therein, for the steps are few from self-righteous pride to hatred of true believers, and murder is not far in advance. There is the seed of every infamy in the proud spirit of selfjustification, and it is a great mercy that it does not oftener show itself in all its terrific ripeness. Look ye, bold boasters of your own merits, at the mangled body of the first martyr, for this is the full-blown development of your rebellious self-conceit. From all pride and vain-glory, from all selfrighteousness and hatred of the cross of Christ, good Lord deliver us.

There are many persons whose brother’s blood cries to God from the ground. There is the seducer; he spake with honeyed words, and talked of love, but the poison of asps was under his tongue, for lust was in his heart. He came to a fair temple as a worshipper, but he committed infamous sacrilege, and left that to be the haunt of demons which once was the palace of purity. Such men are received into society; they are looked upon as gentlemen, while the fallen woman, the harlot-sister, she may hide herself beneath the shadow of night. None will make excuse for her sin; but the man, the criminal — he is called a respectable and reputable man — he may fill places of trust, and posts of honor, and there are none who point the finger of scorn at him. Sir, the voice of that poor fallen sister’s blood crieth to heaven against thee, and in the day of judgment her damnation shall be on thy skirts; all the infamy into which thou hast plunged her shall lie at thy door; and among the dreadful sights of hell, two eyes shall glare at thee through the murky darkness like the eyes of serpents, burning their way into thine inmost soul. “Thou didst deceive, and decoy me to the pit,” saith she; “thine arms dragged me down to hell, and here I lie to curse thee forever and ever as the author of my eternal ruin.”

Oh! there is one sinner who can look upon this in a solemn light! Who is it that has gone down to the pit? You man yonder — who is it that died but a few days ago? The woman who loved you as she loved her own soul; who idolized you; who thought you an angel. Shall I say it before God and to your face? — you ruined her. And what next, sir? You cast her off as though she were but dirt, and threw her into the kennel with a broken heart. And being there, her god having cast her off — for you were her god — she fell into despair, and despair led to dreadful consequences, and to direr ruin still. She has gone, and you are glad of it; glad of it, for you will hear no more of her now, you say. Sir, you shall hear of it; you shall hear of it; you shall hear of it! As long as you live her spirit shall haunt you; track you to the filthy joy which you have planned for a future day; and on your death-bed she shall be there to twist her fingers in your hair, to tear your soul out of your body, and drag it down to the hell appointed for such fiends as you; for you spilt her blood, the blood of her who trusted you — a fair, frail thing, worthy to be an angel’s sister, and you pulled her down, and made her a devil’s tool! God save you! For if He does not, your damnation shall be sevenfold. Oh! Thou son of Belial, what shall be thy doom when God dealeth with thee as thou deservest? Are these hot words? Not half so hot as I would make them. I would send them hissing into your souls if I were able; not so much to condemn you as with the hope that though you cannot make good the mischief you have done, you may yet turn from the error of your ways to seek a Savior’s blood, and find pardon for this great iniquity.

Then there are men who educate youth in sin. Satan’s captains and marshals; strong men with corrupt hearts, who are never better pleased than when they see the buds of evil swelling and ripening into crime. We have known some such; men of an evil eye, who not only loved sin themselves, but delighted in it in others; patted the boy on his back when he uttered his first oath; rewarded him when he committed his first theft. Satan has his Sunday-school teachers; hell has its missionaries who compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and make him tenfold more a child of hell than they are themselves. Most of our villages are cursed with one such wretch, and is there a street in London which is not the haunt of one such fiend, or more? Wretch, hast thou sought to entangle them in thy net? Hast thou, like the spider, thrown first one film about them and then another, till thou hast them safely in thy coils to drag them down to the den of Beelzebub? Then the voice of thy brother’s blood crieth from the ground, and at the judgment this shall be a witness which thou shalt not be able to confute, the witness of the blood of souls ruined by thy foul and evil training. Beware ye who hunt for the precious life!

Ay, and some base men who, if they see young converts, will take a pride in putting stumbling-blocks in their way. They no sooner discover that there is some little working of conscience, than they laugh, they sneer, they point the finger. How often have I seen this in the husband who seeks to prevent the wife’s attendance at the house of God; in the young man who jeers at his companion because he felt something of the power of religion! Is not this too frequent in our great establishments in London; where one young man kneels to pray and many are found to laugh at him and hurl some foul term at his head; not content to perish themselves. Like dogs pursuing a hart so will the wicked haunt the godly. Oh! You who are the enlisting-sergeants for the Black Prince of Darkness, you who seem never so happy as when you set traps for souls to inveigle them to destruction, solemnly do I warn you. Oh! Take the warning, lest God’s avenging angel, without warning, should soon overtake you with the dividing-sword which shall smite you even to the neck, and make you feel how terrible a thing it is to have tried to ruin the servants of the living God.

Then there is the infidel, the man who is not content to keep his sin in his own breast, but must needs publish his villainy; he ascends the platform and blasphemes the Almighty to his face; defies the Eternal; takes Scripture to make it the subject of unhallowed jest; and makes religion a theme for comedy. Take heed, sir, there will be a tragedy by-and-bye, in which you shall be the chief sufferer! What shall I say of those men who are more diligent by far than half God’s ministers are, whose names we see placarded on every wall, who will go from town to town, especially where in greatest numbers artisans are dwelling, and never seem content unless they are preaching against something that is pure, and lovely, and of good report; uttering things which would make your cheeks blanch if you heard them, and at the very reading of which the marrow of your bones might melt — dreadful things against the Most High, such as David heard when he said, “Horror hath taken hold of me because of the wicked that keep not thy law.” Should I address such, the voice of your brother’s blood crieth to Jehovah. The young men you have deluded, the working men you have led astray, the sinners whose lullaby you have sung, the souls you have poisoned with your foul draughts, the multitudes that you have deceived — all these shall stand up at the last, an exceeding great army, and pointing their fingers at you, shall demand your swift destruction, because you decoyed them to their doom.

And what shall I say of the unfaithful preacher; the slumbering watchman of souls, the man who swore at God’s altar that he was called of the Holy Ghost to preach the Word of God; the man upon whose lips men’s ears waited with attention while he stood like a priest at God’s altar to teach Israel God’s laws; the man who performed his duties half-asleep, in a dull and careless manner, until men slept too and thought religion but a dream? What shall I say of the minister of unholy life, whose corrupt practice out of the pulpit has made the most telling things in the pulpit to be of no avail, has blunted the edge of the sword of the Spirit, and turned the back of God’s army in the day of battle? Ay, what shall I say of the man who has amused his audience with pretty things when he ought to have roused their consciences, who has been rounding periods when he ought to have bean denouncing the judgment of God; who has been preaching a dead morality when he ought to have lifted Christ on high as Moses lifted the serpent in the wilderness? What shall I say of those who have dwindled away their congregations, who have sown strife and schism in Churches of Christ once happy, peaceful, and prosperous? What shall I say of the men who, out of the pulpit, have made a jest of the most solemn things, whose life has been so devoid of holy passion and devout enthusiasm that men have thought truth to be a fiction, religion a stage play, prayer a nullity, the Spirit of God a phantom, and eternity a joke? Among all who will need eternal compassion, surely the unfaithful, unholy, unearnest minister of Christ will be the most pitiable! What did I say? Nay, rather the most contemptible, the most despicable, the most accursed! Surely, every thunderbolt shall make his brow its target, and every arrow of God shall seek his conscience as its mark. If I must perish, let me suffer anyhow but as a minister who has desecrated the pulpit by a slumbering style of ministry, by a want of passion for souls. How shall such men answer for it at the bar of God — the smooth things, the polite and honeyed words, the daubing of men with the untempered mortar of peace, peace, when they should have dealt with them honestly as in God’s name? Oh, sirs, if we never play the Boanerges, we shall hear God’s thunders in our ears, and that forever and ever, and cursed of men, and cursed of the Most High, shall we be without end. In Tophet we shall have this wail peculiar to ourselves, “We preached what we did not feel; we testified of what we did not know; men received not our witness, for we were hypocrites and deceivers, and now we go down, richly deserving it, to the very lowest depths of perdition.”

But the voice of your brother’s blood crieth to God from the ground, even though you be no infidel lecturer, though you have never been debauched, though you have taught no heresy, though you have spread no schism. If your life is unholy your brothers blood is on your skirts. “Oh,” saith one, “if I sin I sin to myself.” Impossible! As well might the miasma say, “I am deadly to myself alone;” as well might the cholera say “My deadly breath is for myself only.” Your example spreads; you, like the leper, leave uncleanliness on everything you touch. The very atmosphere which surrounds you breeds contagion. What others see you do, they learn to do.

Some may rival you, and exceed you, but if you taught them their letters, and they learn to read in hell’s book better than you, all that they learn afterwards will come to your door, because the elements of sin they learned from your practice. I am afraid many people never look at their transgressions in this light. Why, you cannot help being leaders and teachers. If in your own house you are a drunkard, your boys will be drunkards too! I have heard of a man who flogged his boy for swearing, swearing at him all the time he did it. We know instances of men who feel as if they would sooner bury their children than see them grow up such as they are themselves, but yet how can it be helped? Your practice must and will influence your children; nay, not your children only, but all with whom you come into connection in the mercantile world. Do not think, sir, if you are a great employer, that your men can know what your life is without being affected by that knowledge. There may be some among them who have an inward principle which will not yield to temptation, but I know of hardly anything more dangerous than for a number of operatives to come constantly into contact with one whom they look up to as a master, who is also a master of the arts of sin, and a doctor of damnation to their souls. Oh! take care, if not for yourselves yet for others, or else, as sure as you live, the voice of your brother’s blood will cry unto God from the ground.

What shall the cry be against open sinners and infidels? It would be an awful thing to pray for a man’s damnation; but there are some people I know of who while they live do so much mischief, that if they were dead, men would breath more freely. I know a village where there lives a man who contaminates half the population. There is a leer upon his face at which virtue blushes; there is a sneer at which even courage quails. He is a wretch so well taught and so deeply instructed in the highest science of iniquity, that wherever he may go he finds none a match for him, either in his reasoning or in the infamous conclusions which he draws; a man who is a deadly Upas-tree, dropping black poison upon all beneath his shadow. I did think once I would half pray that the man might die and go to his doom, but one must not; and yet, were he gone, the saints might say, “ ‘Tis well,” and as over Babylon when she is destroyed and the smoke of her torment goeth up forever, the saints will say “Hallelujah!” so have I thought that over these against whom the blood of many young people cries to God from the ground, when they go at last to their doom, men might almost say, “Hallelujah! For God hath judged the great sinner who did make the people of the earth drunk with the wine of his fornication.”

What shall we do to be rid of the past? Can tears of repentance do it? No. Can promises of amendment make a blank page where there are so many blots and blurs? Ah, no! Nothing that we can do can put away our sin. But may not the future atone? May not future zeal wipe out past carelessness? May not the endeavor of our life that is yet to come, make amends for the indolence or vice of the life that is past? No. The blood of our brethren has been shed, and we cannot gather it up. The mischief we have done is not to be retrieved! O God! Souls that are lost through us cannot be saved now; the gates of hell are so shut that they can never be opened. No restitution can we make. The redemption of the soul is precious, and it ceaseth forever; the sin is not to be washed away by repentance, nor retrieved by reformation. What then? Hopeless despair for everyone of us, were it not that there is another blood, the blood of One called Jesus, theft crieth from the ground too, and the voice of that blood is “Father, forgive them; Father, forgive them.” I hear a voice that says, “Vengeance, vengeance, vengeance,” like the voice of Jonah in Nineveh, enough to make every man clothe himself in sackcloth. But a sweeter and a louder cry comes up — “Mercy, mercy, mercy;” and the Father bows His head and says, “Whose blood is that?” and the voice replies, “It is the blood of Thine onlybegotten, shed on Calvary for sin.” The Father lays His thunders by, sheathes His sword, stretches out His hand, and crieth to you, the sons of men, “Come unto Me, and I will have mercy upon you; turn ye, turn ye; I will pour out My Spirit upon you and ye shall live.” “Repent and believe the Gospel.” Hate the sin that is past, and, trust in Jesus for the future. He is able to save to the uttermost all that come unto God by Him; for the blood of Jesus Christ, God’s dear Son, cleanseth us from all sin. Flee, sinner, flee! The avenger of the blood that thou hast shed pursues thee with hot haste; with feet that are winged, with a heart that is athirst for blood, he pursues thee. Run, man, run! The refuge city is before thee. It is there along the narrow way of faith. Fly, fly, for unless thou reach that city ere he overtake thee he shall smite thee, and one blow shall be thine everlasting ruin. For God’s sake do not loiter! Those flowers on the left-hand side — care not for them; thou wilt dye that field with thy blood if thou lingerest there! That ale-house on the right hand? Stay for none of these things, He comes! Hark to his footsteps on the hard highway! He comes, he comes, he comes now! Oh, that now thou mayest pass the portals of the refugecity! Trust the Son of God, and sin is forgiven, and you have entered into everlasting life.

Charles H. Spurgeon – Words of Warning for Daily Life, ‘Warnings to Certain Sinners’

My wife is in the presence of Christ!

April 20, 2022 8 comments

As many of you know, my wife was diagnosed with a massive tumor in December 2020. She had her kidney taken out, one ovary removed, part of her colon, and some stomach lining. She went through chemo and radiation throughout 2021. However, all of this left a huge hernia on her left side, the side where the tumor was found.

In March of this year she decided to let the doctor go in and fix this hernia, after which she steadily regressed in her health. After having been rushed back to the hospital last Friday and another four hour operation took place, she was put into intensive care. Everything seemed like it was going well, until this past Monday morning, when she code blued and they spent 14 minutes trying to get her back. This resulted in damage to the lungs and even though she became stable for the rest of the day, nevertheless, close to 9:00 pm she code blued again and passed this life into eternal glory.

Sorrow and a broken heart has overtaken me, however, I rejoice to know that she is in the presence of Christ. God saved her towards the end of 2021. For the first time in her life she had a desire to read Scripture and committed to reading the Bible. She made it to the beginning of 2 Samuel and that is as far as she got. Not only did she commit to reading Scripture, but her whole demeanor changed. She now had a desire to serve Christ and to seek what was pleasing to him.

So even though I am heart broken, nevertheless I rejoice, because she is in the presence of Christ, a place were my heart longs to be. For to depart and be with Christ is far better, nevertheless to abide in the flesh is more needful to those of whom God has made me overseer.

So the purpose of this article is to call on those who follow me through this medium, to be in prayer, not only as I make funeral arrangements today, but prayer for me, as I travel through this pilgrim land without my lovely bride beside me. Maybe, just maybe, I will dedicate an article to her one day. But for now, I just give God thanks and bow humbly before him in worship and praise, for saving my dear precious wife.

Yours in Christ,

Hershel

The Wednesday Word: More on the Blood Part 2

In this short series on the blood of Jesus we have considered, so far, that the blood is precious, it brings us to God, and it has made atonement for our sins. We continue by noticing that,

4. Without Shedding of Blood there is no remission.” (Hebrews 9:22). What could be plainer, or simpler? We may weep and pray over our sins from the beginning of the day to the end; we may try multitudes of religious exercises; we may become monks or nuns; we may get baptized and take communion, but it is all useless when it comes to canceling sin.

Repentance, baptism, prayer, the Lord’s Supper all have their place, but it stands permanently written in God’s imperishable word that, “Without shedding of blood there is no remission.” Neither one, nor all these things combined, ever did, or will, put away a single sin. Remission of sins is full, free, and eternal, but wholly and solely through the precious blood of Jesus.

Has the blood been shed for you?

5. The Blood is the Ground of our Justification.

“Being now justified by His blood.” (Romans 5:9). God is for us; He is the justifier of all those who trust in Jesus. (Romans 3:26). The ground of Justification is that the man Christ Jesus died in our place. While we were yet sinners Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8).

We are justified by His blood and are and will be saved from wrath through Him. We are acquitted on the ground of the shed blood of the Lord Jesus. Because of Calvary, we are reckoned as being righteous. We are reckoned, in God’s eyes, not only as being those who have never sinned but also those who are righteous in His sight.

Jesus is coming back for a church without spot or wrinkle and the good news is that, by grace, He has covered our spots and wrinkles with His blood. In His love and mercy, He took our spots and wrinkles at the cross and made them His own.

Justification is God’s own work. It is the declaration that we are viewed as both sinless and righteous. It is an irreversible verdict. Every charge that could have been made against us has been made and every possible allegation has been answered by the blood.

This not-guilty verdict (justification) is received by faith alone and because of it, the believer in Jesus has been cleared by God Himself. “It is God that justifies; who is he that condemns? It is Christ that died, yea rather that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.” (Romans 8:33-34).

6. The Blood Cleanses from All Sin.

Water cleanses from dirt but it gets dirty in the process. The blood of Christ, on the other hand, has cleansed all manner of filth and sin but has remained pure and untainted. Such is the infinite and effective cleansing power of the blood that the believer is now seen, in God’s eyes, as being whiter than the snow.

“Whiter than the snow, the beautiful snow,

Whiter than the snow He has made me;

Whiter than the snow, the beautiful snow,

Whiter than the snow He has made me.”

The blood of Jesus Christ cleanses us from all sin. Every sin of which we have been guilty and every sin of which we will be guilty is cleansed forever. Not a spot, stain, or speck remains. We are once and forever perfectly cleansed before God.

We do not need to be cleansed a second time or have a second work of grace by which we will be made fully accepted before God. The cleansing blood of Christ has eternally canceled our entire debt. The blood of Jesus Christ cleanses us from all sin.” (See 1 John 1:9).

And that’s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com