MY DEAR MOTHER, —
I have every morning looked for a letter from Father, I long for an answer; it is now a month since I have had one from him. Do, if you please, send me either permission or refusal to be baptized; I have been kept in painful suspense. This is the 20th, and Mr. Cantlow’s baptizing day is to be the latter end of the month; I think, next week. I should be so sorry to lose another Ordinance Sunday; and with my present convictions, I hope I shall never so violate my conscience as to sit down unbaptized. When requested, I assured the members at the church-meeting that I would never do so.
I often think of you poor starving creatures, following for the bony rhetoric and oratory which he gives you. What a mercy that you are not dependent upon him for spiritual comfort! I hope you will soon give up following that empty cloud without rain, that type-and-shadow preacher, for I don’t think there is much substance. But, my dear Mother, why do you not go and hear my friend, Mr. Langford? He is an open-communion Baptist, and I have no doubt will receive you without baptism. Perhaps his preaching may be blest to Archer, Eliza, and my sisters, as well as to myself; would it not be worth giving up a little difference of persuasion for? God can save whom He will, when He will, and where He will, but I think Mr.____’s Mount Sinai’s roarings are the last things to do it, to all human appearance.
I think I might date this letter from a place in the Enchanted Ground, with the warm air of Beulah blowing upon me. One drop of the pleasures I have felt is worth a life of agony. I am afraid of becoming satisfied with this world.
My very best love to yourself, dear Father, Eliza, Archer, Emily, Louisa, and Lottie. I hope you are well. I am very much better; thanks for the prescription; and with my love to you again,
Your affectionate son,
P.S. If baptized, it will be in an open river; go in just as I am with some others…. I trust the good confession before many witnesses will be a bond betwixt me and my Master, my Savior, and my King.
Every so often I come across excellent illustrations of certain aspects of gospel truth. The following is one of them. Some years ago, an extremely wealthy man and his son loved to collect rare works of art. Their collection was legendary. When the Vietnam conflict broke out, the son went to war. Tragically, he was mortally wounded in battle while rescuing another soldier. The father was notified and grieved deeply for his only son.
About a month later, just before Christmas, there came a knock on the door. A young man stood there with a large package in his hands.. He said, ‘Sir, you don’t know me, but I am the soldier for whom your son gave his life. He saved many lives that day, and he was carrying me to safety when a bullet struck him in the heart and he died instantly. He often talked about you, and your love for art.’ The young man held out this package. ‘I know this isn’t much. I’m not really a great artist, but I think your son would have wanted you to have this.’
The father opened the package. It was a portrait of his son, painted by the young man. He stared in awe at the way the soldier had captured the personality of his son in the painting. The father was so drawn to the eyes that his own eyes welled up with tears. He thanked the young man and offered to pay him for the picture.. ‘Oh, no sir, I could never repay what your son did for me. It’s a gift.’
The father hung the portrait over his mantle. Every time visitors came to his home he took them to see the portrait of his son before he showed them any of the other great works he had collected. The man died a few months later. There was to be a great auction of his paintings. Many influential people gathered, excited over seeing the great paintings and having an opportunity to purchase one for their collection.
On the platform sat the painting of the son. The auctioneer pounded his gavel. ‘We will start the bidding with this picture of the son. Who will bid for this picture?’ There was silence.. Then a voice in the back of the room shouted, ‘We want to see the famous paintings. Skip this one.’
But the auctioneer persisted. ‘Will somebody bid for this painting? Who will start the bidding? $100, $200?’ Another voice angrily called out, ‘We didn’t come to see this painting. We came to see the Van Gogh’s, the Rembrandts and the Picassos Get on with the real bids!’ But still the auctioneer continued. ‘The son! The son! Who’ll take the son?’ Finally, a voice came from the very back of the room. It was the long-time gardener of the man and his son. ‘I’ll give you $10 for the painting…’ Being a poor man, it was all he could afford. ‘We have $10, who will bid $20?’ ‘Give it to him for $10. Let’s see the masters.’ The crowd was becoming angry. They didn’t want the picture of the son. They wanted the most worthy investments for their collections. The auctioneer pounded the gavel. ‘Going once, twice, SOLD for $10!’ A man sitting on the second row shouted, ‘Now let’s get on with the collection!’
The auctioneer laid down his gavel. ‘I’m sorry, the auction is over.’ ‘What about the paintings?’ ‘I am sorry. When I was called to conduct this auction, I was told of a secret stipulation in the will. I was not allowed to reveal that stipulation until this time. Only the painting of the son would be auctioned. Whoever bought that painting would inherit the entire estate, including the paintings. The person who took the son gets everything!’ This is exactly what has happened to the believer. We are blessed with all spiritual blessings in Christ. Ephesians 1:3 makes this explicit. It says that if we get the son we get everything. Here’s what the verse says, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:”
When we receive the son we get everything and best of all, we don’t even have to pay $10. All is given freely, graciously and abundantly.
And that’s the Gospel Truth!
For the same reason, the world was created, not in an instant, but in six days. The order of creation described, showing that Adam was not created until God had, with infinite goodness made ample provision for him.
2. With the same view Moses relates that the work of creation was accomplished not in one moment, but in six days. By this statement we are drawn away from fiction to the one God who thus divided his work into six days, that we may have no reluctance to devote our whole lives to the contemplation of it. For though our eyes, in what direction soever they turn, are forced to behold the works of God, we see how fleeting our attention is, and holy quickly pious thoughts, if any arise, vanish away. Here, too, objection is taken to these progressive steps as inconsistent with the power of God, until human reason is subdued to the obedience of faith, and learns to welcome the calm quiescence to which the sanctification of the seventh day invited us. In the very order of events, we ought diligently to ponder on the paternal goodness of God toward the human race, in not creating Adam until he had liberally enriched the earth with all good things. Had he placed him on an earth barren and unfurnished; had he given life before light, he might have seemed to pay little regard to his interest. But now that he has arranged the motions of the sun and stars for man’s use, has replenished the air, earth, and water, with living creatures, and produced all kinds of fruit in abundance for the supply of food, by performing the office of a provident and industrious head of a family, he has shown his wondrous goodness toward us. These subjects, which I only briefly touch, if more attentively pondered, will make it manifest that Moses was a sure witness and herald of the one only Creator. I do not repeat what I have already explained, viz., that mention is here made not of the bare essence of God, but that his eternal Wisdom and Spirit are also set before us, in order that we may not dream of any other God than Him who desires to be recognized in that express image.
John Calvin-Institutes of the Christian Religion-Book I-Chapter 14-Henry Beveridge Translation
Session 1 “Genealogy Baptist Style” [MP3]
Session 2 “How Christians Have Put the Bible Together”[MP3]
Session 3 “How Christians Have Put the Bible Together (Part 2)”[MP3]
Session 4 “How Early Baptists Put the Bible Together”[MP3]
Lord’s Day Worship Service – “Haggai 2:10-19 The Nature of True Religion”[MP3]
The right laws of interpretation may be obtained by observing the manner in which the Old Testament is cited in the New
2. The second principle which the expositor must make a most careful study of is that of scriptural quotation. Not a little help in ascertaining the right laws of interpretation may be obtained from diligently observing the manner in which and the purpose for which the Old Testament is cited in the New. There can be little room for doubt that the record which the Holy Spirit has supplied of the way in which our Lord and His apostles understood and applied the Old Testament was as much designed to throw light generally on how the Old Testament is to be used by us as it was to furnish instruction on the particular points for the sake of which passages in the Law or the prophets were more immediately appealed to. By examining closely the words quoted and the sense given to them in the New Testament, we shall not only be delivered from a slavish literalism, but be better enabled to perceive the fullness of God’s words and the varied application which may be legitimately made of them. A wide, but generally neglected, field is open for exploration, but instead of endeavoring here to make a thorough canvass of the same, we shall simply supply a few illustrations.
Arthur W. Pink-Interpretation of the Scriptures
by Sam Waldron
Section 1: Introductory Considerations
I. A General Description of “Theonomy”
A. Major Sources
1. Rousas J. Rushdoony
Theonomy, or as it is also called, Christian Reconstruction, has for its father R. J. Rushdoony and his prolific pen. Among his many books the ones which are most important here are first and foremost, The Institutes of Biblical Law, and his brief treatment entitled, The Meaning of Postmillennialism: God’s Plan for Victory. Rushdoony ascribes to Cornelius Van Til the greatest influence by far upon his thinking.(1) Rushdoony is the master influence in three Theonomic organs: The Chalcedon Foundation, “The Journal of Reconstruction,” and a newsletter entitled “The Chalcedon Report.”
2. Greg Bahnsen
It is probably due to Mr. Bahnsen that Christian Reconstructionism owes the name, Theonomy. His Theonomy in Christian Ethics with a foreword by Rushdoony is perhaps the single most influential and controversial of the Theonomic literature. He is also well-known for his book, Homosexuality: A Biblical View. This book illustrates what is best in the Theonomic perspective. Mr. Bahnsen is now an Orthodox Presbyterian Church minister in California. He is a graduate of Westminster Theological Seminary and formerly the Professor of Apologetics at Reformed Theological Seminary (RTS) in Jackson, Mississippi. Though a fine apologete in the presuppositional school of thought, he was dismissed from RTS in a dispute over Theonomy. The Covenant Tape Ministry distributes tapes of his teaching.
3. Gary North
Gary North was formerly editor of the “Journal of Christian Reconstruction.” He is the editor of numerous works including, The Theology of Christian Resistance, The Tactics of Christian Resistance. He is the author of a popularization of Christian Reconstruction entitled, Unconditional Surrender: God’s Program for Victory, as well as Backward Christian Soldiers and volume 1 of an economic commentary on the Bible entitled The Dominion Covenant: Genesis. He also contributed to The Failure of the American Baptist Culture edited by James B. Jordan.
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by Tom Chantry
Do Reformed Baptists exist?
That’s a question I’ve seen again recently – this time from a self-proclaimed Federal Visionist. Consider that: here is someone who denies sola fide yet worries that churches like mine which don’t baptize babies might self-identify as “Reformed Somethings.” We live in a strange world, don’t we! It is one thing to hear a strictly confessional Presbyterian or Reformed pastor arguing that we are outside the proper definition of “Reformed,” but it is quite another to hear it from those who – by any sane definition – are much further outside that circle.
Before we can answer whether Reformed Baptists exist, we must first identify what that designation means. “Reformed Baptist” is a term – albeit a compound term – with a definition and a history. Understanding that history is necessary if anyone is going to understand what the first word in the term means. While a number of useful brief definitions exist, I intend to address the question from the standpoint of history.
Read the entire article here.