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Posts Tagged ‘Regenerate’

Those who fall away never professed true faith

January 2, 2013 1 comment

Uniting with the Church however, important as this act may be, is any easy matter. It is but the beginning of the Christian life. Next comes the period of trial. Will all who join the Churches, bear the test to which sooner or later, they will most surely be subjected. Remember also that the period which is to try the strength of their faith, patience, obedience, and fidelity, extends through their whole life upon earth. With these facts before you, survey the scene which I will now sketch, as it passes. For one, the seductions of sense, ere long, prove too mighty; he yields; lives after the flesh, and dies. Another, carried away by the fascinations of the world,―wealth, ambition, honor, pleasure―is found sowing to the flesh; he reaps corruption. Then the righteous man―he who had been eminent for zeal, and good works, foremost in the sacred ranks, is overthrown, turns away from his righteousness, commits iniquity, and miserably perish! A succession of similar events continues. Their profession when tested, prove unequal to the trial! They have fallen; and are probably lost forever. Behold the picture. Is it imaginary? Alas! far from it. Do these facts, however, prove that the persons in question have “lost their faith, and regeneration?” Surely not. The facts all concur to demonstrate that they never possessed these high endowments. True they professed religion. But the indubitable evidence of a man’s faith and regeneration” is, not alone that he has been excited, and experienced fears and sorrows, and confidence and raptures; nor that he does many righteous acts, and is lauded as eminently devoted; but it is that he sustains the tests to which he is subjected in the christian profession. The “refiners fire” consumes the dross only; the pure gold all remains, and is by the process, rendered but the finer, and the brighter. Can it be proved that these men who have fallen, although they previously maintained the character of great piety, were ever rally regenerated? Never. Such proof is impossible, as long as men can appear to be what they are not. Then their fall is very far from showing that the doctrine of the final perseverance of the saints is not true.

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

The threats and warnings in scripture are addressed to the church body

December 19, 2012 Leave a comment

The threatenings, cautions, and warnings, with which the word of God every where abounds, imply, it is alleged, if they do not aver, the probability that some true christians will apostatise, and forever perish. They are therefore presented as a second objection to the doctrine it is my purpose to establish.

That such threatenings and cautions, and warnings, are of constant recurrence in the divine word, and that they are in their character, appalling, is most true. The premises are therefore cheerfully conceded, but the conclusion from thence, does not appear to me, by any means natural, or a matter of course. The reasoning is illogical, as I shall presently fully demonstrate. Let two important facts be here fixed carefully in the mind. The Church of Christ is composed, not of the regenerate alone, but of the unregenerate also. This is the first fact. The second is, that all these threatenings, and cautions, and warnings, are addressed to the members of the Church as a body. Both these truths will, I suppose, be readily admitted by all.

But I would be fully understood, and therefore, will refer you to testimony. I do not admit that the unconverted have any right to a place in the Churches. The word of God, we very well know, does not approve their admission. On the contrary, it is strictly prohibited. But those who administer the affairs of the kingdom of Christ upon earth, are men. They are imperfect; their administration also must therefore be imperfect. Our best efforts may be exerted to preserve the body pure from unworthy members, but we cannot read men’s hearts, and in despite of all our vigilance, very many find their way into the Church, who are strangers to repentance and faith; some probably, for some reasons, seeking to appear what they know they are not; and others candid, and sincere, but misled, and deceived. I state the simple fact that there are unconverted men in the Churches. So it has been in every age―-in apostolic as well as in our own times. A Judas, and a Simon Magus, were then members of the Churches, and stood side by side, with a James, and a John. So now, the converted and the unconverted, the eminently holy, and the profoundly depraved, meet and mingle in the sanctuary, and at the very table of the Lord. Such, to a greater or less extent, are all the Churches. This we know to be true, by the institution in the word of God of disciplinary measures to exclude the unworthy when discovered, and by our own personal observation.

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

Can Christians fall and be lost?

December 12, 2012 Leave a comment

But our first parents also fell from their original state of holiness. If so, may not christians under similar influences, fall and be lost?

This proposition demands our serious investigation. I observe, that between their primitive condition, and that of truly regenerated men of subsequent ages, no such similarity exists, as will admit of conclusive reasoning from the one to the other. Let several facts, evincive of the truth of this statement, be considered. You will, in the first place, remember that the covenant of God with them was wholly different from that upon which you now stand. To Adam Jehovah said―”Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat. But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not ear of it; for in the day thou eatest thereof, thou shalt surely die.”

The obligation of this covenant was a simple negative, upon a single point. How easy would have been compliance. The conditions were explicit―obey, and live; disobey, and die. The result need not be repeated.

With this, contrast the Gospel Covenant―”I will put my laws into their mind, (saith Jehovah) and write them in their hearts; and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people; and they shall not teach every man his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, know the Lord; for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest; for I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins, and their iniquities will I remember no more.”

Well may this be distinguished as “the covenant of grace!” How utterly unlike the Adamic. With our first parents all was unbending justice; with you all is favor, mercy, boundless forbearance. In the covenant with them, no provision was made for the pardon of sin; in the Gospel covenant, this is one of the strongest features. Besides all this, they were, until they sinned, utter strangers to pain, and sorrow, and wasting wretchedness. They had not experience of evil. You have known all its bitterness. And further, They disposed of their own life, and alas! incurred its dreadful forfeiture! “Ye are lead (to sin) and your life is hid with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also, appear with his in glory.”

Their condition was wholly different from yours. Almost its antipodes. The reasoning from analogy therefore―is here clearly out of place―it is not legitimate. Neither, as you now see, from the fall of angels nor of our first parents, from their original state of holiness, can any valid arguments be adduced, proving that regenerated men, once depraved and sinful, but now redeemed and sanctified, are liable to “loose their faith, and regeneration, or to continue in apostasy, and so eternally perish.” The objection is without relevancy, or force.

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

God’s work on us will bring us eternal delight and joy

November 27, 2012 Leave a comment

What pleasure it now gives the Christian to hear of the varied and wondrous ways in which God regenerates His people! What delight will be ours in Heaven when we learn of the loving care, abiding faithfulness, and mighty power of God in the preservation of each of His own! What joy will be ours when we learn the details of how He made good His promise “When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee; when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned, neither shall the flame kindle upon thee” (Isa. 43:2)—His providence working for us externally, His grace operating internally: preserving amid the tossings and tempests of life, recovering from woeful backslidings, reviving us when almost dead.

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

John Tombes

November 16, 2012 Leave a comment

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Only the Spirit can show you the things of Christ

“Without faith it is impossible to please God the Holy Spirit, and whosoever cometh to God the Holy Spirit must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him.” If you think the Holy Spirit is only an influence, you will carry no petition to Him, for no man ever asks an influence to help him. Do you believe that the Holy Spirit is a Divine person, that He is God, and will you tonight honor Him as God? You cannot spiritually discern the things of the kingdom of God; you cannot in the right way take hold of the things of Jesus Christ, and I cannot show them to you, and no other preacher can, and the whole church united cannot make one see Jesus Christ as his Savior; but there is One who can take the things of Christ and can show them to you so you can see them in a moment, in the flash of an eye, in the snap of a finger. I say the Holy Spirit can take the redemption that is in Christ and can make you see it and feel it and trust it as quick as a bolt of lightning leaped across yonder sky.

B. H. Carroll—The Faith that Saves—Triumphant Faith

One Reason we Forget Christ

We forget Christ, because regenerate persons as we really are, still corruption and death remain even in the regenerate. We forget him because we carry about with us the old Adam of sin and death. If we were purely new-born creatures, we should never forget the name of him whom we love. If we were entirely regenerated beings, we should sit down and meditate on all our Savior did and suffered; as he is; all he has gloriously promised to perform; and never would our roving affections stray; but centred, nailed, fixed eternally to one object, we should continually contemplate the death and sufferings of our Lord. But alas! we have a worm in the heart, a pesthouse, a charnel-house within, lusts, vile imaginations, and strong evil passions, which, like wells of poisonous water, send out continually streams of impurity. I have a heart, which God knoweth, I wish I could wring from my body and hurl to an infinite distance; a soul which is a cave of unclean birds, a den of loathsome creatures, where dragons haunt and owls do congregate, where every evil beast of ill-omen dwells; a heart too vile to have a parallel — “deceitful above all things and desperately wicked.”

Charles H. Spurgeon—The Remembrance of Christ—A sermon delivered on Sabbath Evening January 7th 1855