Predestinarian Books
                                              TABLE  OF  CONTENTS
1. – Foreword.
2. – Jan.5,
3. ­           
4. ­           
5. ­ Jan.17,
6. – Febr.18,
7. – May 25,
8. ­
9. – Dec. 14
11. April 21,
12. Dec. 16,
14. Nov. 11,
15. Nov. 18,
16. Nov. 30,
17. Jan. 20,
18. April 4,
19. May 24,
20. Aug. 30,
21. Dec. 29,
23. Jan. 1,
24. Jan. 1,
25. March 15,
26. April 1,
27. April 15,
28. April 15,
29. May 15,
30. July 15,
31. July 15,
32. March 1,
33. Nov. 15,
34. Jan. 1,
35. Jan. 15,
36. Febr. 15,
37. March 1,
38. April 15,
39. M<ay 1,
40. May 1,
41. May 15,
42. May 15,
43. June 15,
44. June 15,
45. July 15
46. Sept. 1,
47. Sept. 15,
48. Dec. 1,
49. Dec. 20,
50. March 3,
51. March 15,
52. April 7,
53. Oct. 29,
54. Nov. 16,
1852 – Autobiography of Elder Joseph L. Purington    3
1842 –Letter to Elder Jewett                                         4
1842 – Second Letter to Elder Jewett ................   12
1845 – A Separation from that which is false ........ 20

1850 – Subjection .......... 25
1853 – Giving Earnest Heed ........................... 30
1855 – The Bread of Life....................... 35
1855 – Thoughts on a Religious Tract..................   39
1856 – Thoughts on God’s Immutability ......................  43
1856 – The Way of man; not in Himself.......... 44
1856 – Eternal Vital Union #1......................51
1857 – Views on Acts 13: 36................55
1857 – Subject to Vanity .
1857 – Travels Among the Brethren .
1857 – Views on I Corinthians 13:13
1858 – Remarks on Church Order .
1858 – Eternal Vital Union #2
1858 – Religious Excitement
1858 – Modern Missionary Operations
1858 – “Whosoever Hateth His Brother”
1859 – Remarks on the Seeds of the Woman & the Serpent.
1859 – Repentance #1
1859 – Preciousness of Christ
1859 – Eternal Unconditional Election
1859 – “It came to pass”
1859 – Remarks on “We have passed from death unto life
1859 – Fasting
1859 – The Book of the Generation of Jesus Christ
1859 – Travel Among the Brethren .
1859 – Absolute Predestination
1859 – “Lest any man should fail”
1859 – Predestination and Eternal Vital Union.
1860 – Reproached for the name of Christ
1860 – Religious Intolerance
1860 – Consider the Apostle and High Prfiest of our Profession
1860 – “Whatsoever Ye Shall Bind on Earth­ Bound in Heaven
1860 – Will a Man Rob God?
1860 – “Unto us a Child is Born; A Son is Given”
1860 – “Little Children, Keep Yourself From Idols”
1860 – “We Shall be Saved even as They”
1860 – On Communion
1860 – “I Have No Pleasure in the Death of the Dying” .
1860 – “Take Heed Unto Thyself, and The Doctrine.
1860 – Remarks on II Peter 1:9.
1860 – Reply to a Comment by a Missionary Bapt.,
1860 – “I Will Sprinkle Clean Water Upon You”
1860 – Farewell Address to the Southern Baptist Messenger.
1860 – The War for Southern Independence .
1867 – The Forty­Fifth Psalm: First Letter
1867 – 2 nd . Letter on Psalm Forty­Five.
1867 – 3 rd . Letter on Psalm Forty­Five.
1868 – He is the Propitiation for our Sins
1868 – Repentance #2.
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.         22955. Febr. 7,
56. May 7,
57. July 28,
58. Nov. 8,
59. Nov. 20,
60. Dec. 10,
61. Dec. 23,
62. Oct. 11,
63. Febr. 28,
64. March 1,
65. July 3,
66. March 5,
67. July 10,
68. Jan. 9,
69. Jan. 14,
70. May 1,
71. May 7,
72. Oct. 28,
73. Jan. 18,
74. June 1,
75. Dec. 3,
1869 – Rest in the Lord, Wait, And Fret Not .
1869 – “I Have No Pleasure in the Death of He that Dyes”#2.
1869 – Sovereignty of God in Salvation
1868 – Forsaking All for Christ
1869 – A Memorial to Weeping Mary .
1869 – Aceldama: Judas’ Field of Blood
1869 – “If your light be darkness, how great is your darkness?”
1870 – A Refreshing From The Lord. .
1871 – Encouragement for Elder Gilbert Beebe
1871 – Christian Experience
1871 – The Offense of the Cross
1872 – The Coming of Christ
1872 – “Upon this Rock I Will Build My Church
1873 – A Contradiction of Sinners .
1873 – The Flesh and the Worlds
1873 – If God Spared Not the Angels that Fell”.

1873 – The Resurrection of the Body .
1873 – Comforted in All M y Tribulations
1874 – The Children of Israel Taken Out
1874 – Always Bearing About in the Body the Dying
1874 – Obituary of Elder Joseph L. Purington.
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This   book   was   first   compiled   by   Marc   Jacobsson   of
Michigan and published by him in a limited quantity. We have
located a few more articles by Elder Joseph L. Purington, and
added   these,   thus   expanding   the   selections   in   this   second
edition. Elder Joseph L. Purington was born in 1820. To place
his   services   to   God   and   Truth   and   God’s   elect   people   in
perspective, we note the following historical events. The first
missionary society in America was formed in May, 1814, six
years prior to his birth. 1820 was the year Elder Samuel Trott
baptized Thomas P. Dudley at Bryan’s Station, Kentucky and
during   the   same   year,   Elder   Wilson   Thompson   was   serving
churches   in   Missouri   when   the   Madrid   Earthquake   divided
the Mississippi River.
The   missionary   and   benevolent   societies   attaching
themselves to churches of all denominations threw the whole
American   Frontier   into   chaos.   During   the   Frontier   revival,
Joseph   Purington   was   caught   up  in   the   satanic   snare,   and
was   baptized   in   April,   1838   and   received   into   a   Baptist
Church.   He   quickly   noticed   the   madness,   or   frenzy,
surrounding these Baptists, and by July, 1841 he broke with
the  Antichristian group and was  baptized  and added  to  the
fellowship of the old school of divinity Baptists. This was the
time of The Great Baptist Separation, and thereafter his lot
was   cast   with   the   Predestinarian   Old   School   Baptists
brethren.   From   then   to   age   fifty­four,   he   preached   among
many   churches   throughout   the   eastern   and   southern   Old
School   Baptists.   He   left   New   England   and   purchased   a
plantation   in   north   Georgia.   His   slave   holding   was   rather
large, and many  remained  with him after the Emancipation
following the Yankee occupation post­Civil War. After the Civil

War, he personally cared for his cotton farms, which afforded

his a goodly income for those trying years in the South. His
articles were far apace due to his work­load on the plantation
near   Covington,   Georgia.   In   1869   or   1870,   he   moved   to
Alexandria, Virginia, where he served churches once served by
Samuel   Trott,   and   Robert   C.   Leachman,   and   after   him,   by
William Smoot and John Wood.
While   reading   these   articles,   one   may   learn   much
history,   and   will   be   edified   in   the   most   holy   faith   of   God’s
elect.  An  unintended   side  benefit  in reading   these   will be  a
growing sense of the turbulent religious upheaval of his day;
as   equal   to   the   extreme   religious   frenzy   now   possessing
modern so­called churches. The screams, shaking, jumping,
racket­making,   arm­slinging,   madness   once   noted   in
Scripture   of   the   followers   of   Baal   at   Mt.   Carmel,   and   the
present­day   Voodooism   of   the   Caribbean   somewhat   identify
the natural religion of this world’s adoption, and falsely claim,
to be “Christianity.” One may compare the quiet, humble, and
reverent worship of Zion with that of contemporary American
noisy and carnal religion. 
 Jan. 5, 1852 – Autobiography of Joseph L. Purington
Ramipo, N.Y., Jan.5,1852.
DEAR BROTHER: ­ About the time I left Maine, some of the
brethren and sisters requested me to write for the SIGNS, and
I have a mind so to do, inasmuch as I shall not be with them
this winter as formerly. I have been satisfied for a number of
years that in me, {that is in my flesh,} dwelleth no good thing,
for to will is present with me, but how to perform that which
is good I find not. It appears to me that I am more fearful and
trembling than I used to be, and have more of a sense of my
poverty   and   wretchedness.   I   frequently   ask   myself   the
question, “Can it be possible I am a Christian, and that I am
called to the work of the ministry?” Sometimes I am almost
overcome with the thought: “If it was not that I at times have
a   sense   of   the   goodness   and   mercy   of   God   toward   me,   I

should   be   overwhelmed   with   a   sense   of   my   sinfulness   and

wretchedness.”   For   this   reason   I   still   feel   to   hope   in   God,
through Christ Jesus our Lord. When I remember the great
and terrible wilderness through which the saints of God have
to pass, I reflect with some satisfaction on the dealings of the
Lord with me. It has caused me to take a retrospective view of
late   of   my   former   experience,   when   I   was   called   out   of
darkness into the kingdom of God’s dear Son. From the time I
was five, until I was seventeen years of age, I had many fearful
apprehensions of death, judgment and eternity. But it was not
until the summer of 1837 that I was specially  led to reflect
upon my situation before God. I cannot refer to any particular
time when I received my first impression, but I well recollect
that there was an alteration in my feelings which occasioned
deep   thought  and  reflection.  I  read  the  Bible,  tried  to pray,
and attended meetings with a firm resolution to get religion,
as it is called; but my prayers were very poor, and at last I got
discouraged,   and   resolved   to   give   it   up.   While   under   that
resolve I took up a book which providentially came in my way,
and the first  words  I  read were a quotation from  the Bible,
“Rejoice, O young man, in thy youth, and let thy heart cheer
thee in the days of thy youth, and walk in the ways of thine
heart, and in the sight of thine eyes, yet know thou that for all
these   things   God   will   bring   thee   into   judgment.”­Eccl.   11:9.
This left an impression on my mind that I never could remove.
I again resorted to my own works, for it was the way of my
own heart, and seemed right in the sight of my own eyes, but
instead of growing better, I constantly grew worse in my own
view, until the following Scriptures were applied to my mind:
“All   our   righteousness   are   as   filthy   rags.”   –   “After   we   have
done all we are unprofitable.”­  Isa. 64:6.  “If we offend in one
point we are guilty of all.”­James 2:10. It was a death blow to
all my hopes and expectations, for  sin revived  and I died. I
knew not what to make of it; for I could neither repent, weep,
nor feel sorrowful for my sins. My prayers appeared useless
and sinful, and my thoughts and ways were altogether vile. I
was lost and undone, and justly condemned, but had not that
sense   of   it   that   I   supposed   persons   under   a   work   of   grace

must   have.   I   wished   I   could   say,   “God   be   merciful   to   me   a

sinner,” from the heart, but I could not as I desired. One day I
left the workshop to go to the house with an unusual sense of
my   hardened   and   lost   condition,   and   on   my   arrival   at   the
house I was astonished at the peace of mind I felt. My burden
was   gone,   and   I   knew   not   what   to   think   of   it.   I   finally
concluded I had lost all of my convictions, and that I was in a
worse state than before. I concluded that I was deceived, and
settled down under that impression, with a resolve never  to
say anything about it. In March, 1838, a certain minister was
at the house of my father one day who closely questioned me
on my religious exercises. I evaded an answer until my father
told me to tell him {the minister} my thoughts; for, said he, “it
will not do you any hurt.” I proceeded to tell him, and soon
the minister left the house. After he was gone, it came fresh to
my   mind   that   I   had   deceived   him,   and   that   he   would   tell
others   that   I   had   experienced   religion,   when   it   was   all   a
mistake. I told my father the trouble I was in, and he advised
me  to   go  to  an  evening   meeting   which   was   to   be   held  that
night, and tell them I was deceived. I accordingly  went and
spoke in the meeting the first time in my life, but instead of
saying what I  intended,  I told the people  that I had passed
from death unto life. My mind was relieved and I was set at
liberty. The next day something said to me, “You have done it
now,   you   went   to   meeting   intending   to   remove   a   wrong
impression,   but   instead   of   that   you   confirmed   it,   and   your
situation is now hopeless.” I was in dreadful anguish of soul
for a few minutes, and then it passed off and left me in a sort
of   calm.   A   few   days   past   away,   and   without   any   particular
sense of duty, I went to the conference of a Baptist church in
the   neighborhood,   and   related   my   experience.   After   they
received me as a candidate for baptism, very unexpected to
myself, for it was difficult for me to believe that I had told a
Gospel  experience.  The  next  day  I  was baptized,  which was
the   first   Sunday   in   April,   1838.   I   went   into   the   water   in   a
trembling, fearful state of mind, but came out of the water in
a   calm   serene   frame   of   mind.   But   after   this   I   had   many
serious   fears   that   all   I   had   experienced   I   had   borrowed,   or

learned from  others.  I soon  began to take an active part in

social meetings and by degrees I gained some strength. But I
must stop my wandering lest I occupy too much space for one
communication.   I   was   a   member   of   a   New   School   Baptist
church,   though   at   the   time   I   knew   nothing   of   any   division
among the Baptists, but supposed they were all alike. I was
baptized by a man who was considered by brethren at that
time to be a Gospel preacher. He died about one year after I
was   baptized.   I   passed   through   some   severe   trials   while   in
connection with the New School Baptists, but finally in July,
1841,   I   left   the   church,   and   united   with   the   Old   School
Baptist   church   at   Bowdoinham,   Maine,   where   I   am   still   a
I   have   given   a   general   outline   of   my   first   experience,
without entering too much into particulars. I cannot say that I
am fully satisfied with what I have written, but it is the best I
can   do.   I   trust   the   experiences   of   the   children   of   God   are
essentially   alike,   though   they   may   vary   in   many
circumstances.   There   can   be   no   boasting   among   them,   for
“God resisteth the proud, but  giveth grace unto  the  humble.”
There is a growth in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord
and   Savior   Jesus   Christ,   but   it   is   altogether   different   from
what human reason can teach or have any knowledge of. The
Lord   leads   his   children   through   scenes   of   various   kinds,
which at the time they cannot comprehend, but are made to
see it afterwards, and to behold the purpose of God therein.
Or at least if they cannot comprehend it fully as they desire
they have to acknowledge the hand of God and confess that
his way is just.
DEAR BROTHER BEEBE: ­ In view of the gracious dealings
of our God with his church and people, and in consideration
of his  loving  kindness   and  tender  mercy   extended   toward  a
worm   of   the   dust,   I   feel   to   continue   a   relation   of   my
experience,   hoping  it  may  not  be  wholly  unprofitable  to  the

church of God. In my last letter I mentioned that after I had

become   a   member   of   a   Baptist   church,   I   began   to   take   an
active   part   in   social   meetings.   Sometimes   I   had   liberty   to
speak and pray, and then again my mind would be closed up
so   that   I   could   not   express   myself.   Within   three   or   four
months after I joined the church, I had some interesting and
comforting views on the plan of salvation, in a crucified and
risen Savior, which caused a strong desire to arise in my mind
to  go  forth   and   preach   the  gospel   of   the   grace   of   God.   The
successive doubts and fears, which I previously had, at times
were removed; I felt to rejoice in the Lord, and to joy in the
God of my salvation. My confidence in the Lord was increased,
and I was led on with rapidity in the Christian course. But I
did   not   express   any   of   my   thoughts   about   preaching,   for   I
concluded that it was common for young Christians to have
such exercises, and still be deceived in them. I continued to
pursue   rather   an   active   course   in   religious   meetings   for
several   months,  until  new   and  unexpected   difficulties   arose
which   brought   me   under   the   rod   of   correction   and   severe
chastisement.   My   strength   to  speak   in   defense   of   the   truth
was taken away from me, and I was suffered to experience the
fiery darts of the wicked. It will be remembered that I was a
member of a New School Baptist church, and that I was led in
a   different   manner   from   what   the   church   appeared   to   be,
which   occasioned   some   deep   trials   of   mind.   I   was   led   to
behold the spirit of opposition to God and truth, among the
New School (Missionary) Baptists, in common with all other
branches of modern Anti­christ, and I was a partaker of their
sins. In August 1839, this Scripture came to my mind, with
an impression I never felt before, “Satan hath desired to have
you,   that   he   may   sift   you   as   wheat.”  Luke   22:31.   I   was
confident   that   I   was   about   to   pass   through   something   that
would   try   me   to   the   utmost   extent.   About   the   same   time
another   passage   of   Scripture   was   impressed   on   my   mind,
“Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope
to the end, for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the
revelation of Jesus Christ.”  I Pet.1:13. I felt that I should be
sustained through it, and that the exhortation of the apostle

was applicable to me. A few days after this a thick cloud of

darkness came over me, in a very unexpected manner, which
deprived me of all sense of the preciousness of Jesus Christ to
my soul.
I must pass over a succession of trials and temptations, for
about one and a half years, during which time there was not a
promise   applied   to   me,   that   I   ever   should   again   experience
any   deliverance.   I   do   not   conclude   that   there   was   any
temptation   happened   to   me   more   than   what   is   common   to
man.   Sometimes   I   felt   to   weep   and   mourn,   that   I   should
question the truth of the Bible, and the existence of Christ,
and of God, or that I should arraign infinite wisdom at the bar
of   human   reason,   and   charge   Him   with   injustice   and
partiality.   But   such   seasons   of   sorrow   and   contrition   were
very   short,   and   seldom   experienced.   I   attended   Sunday
meetings very regularly the whole time, but it was of no profit
to me, for I heard no preaching that reached my case, or that
afforded   any   comfort   to   my   distressed   soul.   Some   of   the
sorrowful expressions  of the Old Testament  saints, at times
were a support, and encouragement to hope that deliverance
would   come   at   the   appointed   time.   At   last   I   refused   to   be
comforted, for the heavens appeared like brass over my head,
and  the earth like  iron under   my  feet,  for   everything  I  said
and   did   appeared   to   be   turned   to   my   disadvantage.   At   the
appointed time when all hope was taken away, and I was in
indescribable anguish of soul, deliverance came through the
application of the following Scriptures, “If the foundations be
destroyed what can the righteous do?” Psa.11:3. I was rescued
from the jaws of devouring death, from the pit of misery and
woe. I was in a state of perfect peace, and felt that underneath
me were the everlasting arms, to sustain and support me. My
mind was very weak and helpless, but I received assurance
that I was not overlooked in the unchangeable love and mercy
of   God   to   His   church   and   people.   It   was   very   plain   that   I
should have to leave the church of which I was a member,
though I trembled at the thought. I had felt at times a hard
unforgiving spirit towards them, a disposition to mangle, cut,
and destroy them if it had been in my power. But blessed be

God, I trust it was removed from me through an application of

the  following  Scriptures,  “Father forgive  them  for they know
not what they do.”  Luke 23:34.  “Lord lay not this sin to their
charge.” Acts 7:60. I felt to forgive them with all my heart, and
also   to   leave   them   in   the   hand   of   God,   who   has   declared,
“Vengeance  is mine, I will repay,  saith the Lord.”  Rev.12:20.
The words of Hosea rested with weight on my mind, in those
days, “Ephraim is joined to idols; let him alone.” Hosea 4:17. I
went to the church conference, and gave a brief relation of my
experience,   views   of   doctrine,   and   of   the   church,   and
denomination   and   that   I   should   leave   them,   and   where   I
intended to go. I probably talked about twenty­five minutes.
For the first time for a long season was I sensible of a perfect
deliverance from oppression and captivity. This Scripture was
applicable to me at that time.  “He giveth power to the faint,
and   to   them   that   have   no   might   he   increaseth   strength.”
Isa.40:29. I felt that the Lord had sustained me, and that I
could   run   through   a   troop,   and   leap   over   a   wall.   This
scripture   had   formerly   been   much   on   my   mind,   “And
judgment is turned away backward, and justice standeth afar
off,   for   truth   is   fallen   in   the   street,   and   equity   cannot   enter.
Yea,   truth   faileth,   and   he   that   departs   from   evil,   maketh
himself a prey.” Isa.59:14­15.
Having experienced a relief from the toils, and din of war, I
vainly supposed that I should enjoy rest and quietness, as I
had become  a  member   of  an  O.S.  Baptist  church,  but  in  a
short time my exercises in regard to preaching revived and I
soon began to be in trouble. Being a tanner and currier by
trade I tried to have my attention occupied in my business,
and dismiss all thoughts of the work of the ministry. I traveled
some   among   O.S.   Baptists,   and   tried   to   satisfy   myself   with
taking   an   active   part   in   meetings,   without   attempting   to
preach. But it was of no avail, for the more I shifted from side
to side, the more my trouble increased. I thought if I was only
qualified I should be willing to preach, for I was very selfish
and desired to have my own way. I desired death and longed
for it, as for a hidden treasure. But on a certain time, very

unexpectedly,   a   question   was   asked   me   by   some   invisible

power   in   the   following   manner,   “Will   you   preach,   or   shall  I
take my Holy Spirit from you?” I was stopped in my reasoning
in a moment. I trembled for fear of the consequences resulting
from such obstinacy, and willfulness on my part. The thought
of banishment  from the presence  of God, or that he should
take his Holy Spirit from me, was dreadful to reflect upon. I
had   rather   preach   or   suffer   anything   imaginable,   than   that
such   should   be   the   case.   After   I   became   satisfied   I   should
have to make the attempt, I continued to postpone the time to
some future period, until I was brought to a complete stand,
you  must   preach  now   or  die.   I   was   away   from   home   at   the
time; and I was led in my feelings to return home, and go to
the   church   of   which   I   am   a   member,   and   tell   them   my
exercises in regards to preaching. I proceeded to do so; the
way was made clear before me, and I made my first attempt,
by   taking   a   text   of   Scripture   on   the   second   Sunday,   in
November   1841.   I   looked   for   nothing   but   death   at   the   first
onset, and I can truly say, if the Lord had not been my help, I
should   have   perished   in   my   affliction.   I   am   far   from   being
satisfied with myself, for the longer I live, and the experience I
have, the more I am constrained to exclaim, “O, wretched man
that I am! Who shall deliver me from the body of this death?”
Rom.7:24. It is a matter of encouragement that it was said to
Paul,  “My grace is sufficient for thee, for my strength is made
perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in
my infirmities that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” II
Cor.12:9.   Paul   said,   “I   die   daily.”   He   also   said,  “As   it   is
written,   for   Thy   sake   we   are   killed   all   day   long;   we   are
accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things
we   are   more   than   conquerors   through   Him   that   loved   us.”
Rom.8:36­37.   It   is   also   said,  “This   is  a   faithful   saying,  and
worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world
to save sinners; of whom I am chief.” I Tim.1:15. The church of
God is led to believe and to rejoice in this the truth.
For five years after I began to preach, I had occasionally
feelings of deep unreconciliation to my course in the ministry.

But since that time I have been more at rest on that subject.

After I left the N.S. Baptists, for a long time I had a vivid sense
of   the   wounds   I   received   while   among   them,   but   it   is   now
passed   over,   and   a   sense   of   those   trying   scenes   are
measurably   forgotten.   All   I   have   experienced   thus   far   has
been calculated to establish me more and more in the great
truth of the Gospel. But I am deeply sensible that I am a man
unfit, and unworthy to be recognized among the saints of the
Most   High   God.   I   am   at   times   almost   overcome   with   such
reflections. I hope my apparent egotism will be over  looked,
and that   brethren  and  sisters  will bear   with my   infirmities.
Bear one another’s burdens, said Paul, and so fulfill the law of
I am now at Ramapo, Rockland County, New York. I shall
never   forget   the   brethren   and   sisters   in   Maine,   though
mountains,   hills,   and   rivers,   with   more   than   four   hundred
miles in distance now separate me from them. The churches
at Bowdoinham, Jay and Whittfield,  in a particular manner
bear   upon   my   mind,   with   feelings   of   solicitude.   May   the
blessing   of   God   abide   upon   them   and   upon   all   the   elect   of
God, throughout the length and breadth of this wide extended
The churches here are in union among themselves in the
fellowship of the Gospel of Christ. Some of our meetings have
been interesting through the presence of our God and King.
                                  Joseph L. Purington.­ Jan. 5, 1852
Second Letter to Elder Jewett:
DEAR BROTHER JEWETT: ­ I have for a long time had an
inclination to write to you to give an account of the dealings of
God with my soul; but feeling myself inadequate to the task,
my youth, my inexperience  in writing, my own insufficiency
with a sense of my nothingness, has kept me back. I hope you
will   pardon   me   for   thus   intruding   upon   you,   while   I   shall
attempt to write a few lines, hoping that the blessed God may
lead me aright.
I  was but  seventeen,  when  it  pleased   God to  call  up  my
attention to consider upon my soul’s eternal concerns, how it

stood between me and God. I fled first to the law, thinking to

please Him and to make amends for my sins; but the more I
did the worse I grew; my understanding was opened to see,
that   the   law   was   broad   and   reached   to   the   thoughts   and
intents of the heart. I died to any hopes of being saved upon
that principle; for by the law is the knowledge of sin. I saw
myself a sinner, lost and undone, “Lord be merciful to me a
sinner,” was my cry. I saw God’s justice in my condemnation,
and could not but say, He would be just to cast me off forever.
But I was then ignorant of its being the work of God upon my
soul, though so hoping; but I was afraid it was a deception. I
thought, if I only knew it to be God’s work, how glad I should
be. I prayed that I might not deceive myself or others. After I
had indulged a little hope, a peace of mind, I durst not trust
it,  fearing  there was  some mistake  about  it;  but  blessed   be
God, He did not leave me, but gently led me by His Spirit to
His Word. At that time I heard a Gospel minister preach, who
told all of my feelings, and who brought to view those great
and important truths contained in God’s Word, and my mind
as it was led into them, saw a beauty in them, that cannot be
expressed in words. Oh, how I then rejoiced, for I saw things I
never  saw before;  God’s  sovereign choice  in the salvation of
sinners in Jesus Christ, He being the foundation, the Author
and   Finisher   of   our   faith,   our   all   and   in   all   to   His   people.
Being led into and believing in these precious truths, I felt to
rejoice   with   joy   unspeakable   and   full   of   glory,   and   so
animated was I, that I felt like proclaiming it to the world. I
made a public profession of religion in the spring of 1838, and
joined what I then thought to be {and it was so in name} a
Predestinarian   Baptist   church   in   Richmond,   Maine,   being
baptized by the same man, under whose preaching I was led
into   the   system   of   the   Gospel,   who   at   that   time   was   their
minister for a few weeks.  My mind was soon established in
the truth, having heard much of it before my conversion; and
after God enlightened my mind, I was experimentally taught it
in   heart,   whereby   I   learnt,   that   there   is   a   great   difference
between   head­knowledge   and   heart­understanding   of   the
Truth; as I knew  one by  education, so the other  I knew  by

experience, being taught it by the revelation of Jesus Christ. I

stood   in   defense   of   the   Truth   as   a   private   member   in   the
church for three years and two months, and then left them,
having stayed with them {even to a day} as long as I could.
My   experience   for   three   years   was   bitter,   being   made   to
drink the wormwood and gall to all intents and purposes.  I
was alone in the church; my mind sunk under these passages
of scripture: “Truth is fallen in the street,” also “The godly man
ceaseth, the faithful fail from among the children of men.” I felt
it; I struggled, I toiled for life; “Will God forsake His people?
Will   He   give   His   heritage   to   reproach?”  The   lamentations   of
Jeremiah were a support and comfort to me. I ate them all,
they were words in season, I knew they were fulfilled at the
present day. “Oh that my head were waters and mine eyes a
fountain of tears, that I might weep day and night for the slain
of   the   daughter   of   my   people.”   Neither   could   I   complain.
“Wherefore   doth   a   living   man   complain,   a   man   for   the
punishment   of   his   sins.”   I   was   wounded,   bruised,   afflicted,
tempted,   distressed;   yea,   I   starved   in   foreign   lands;   no
comforter;   I   was   as   a   dead   man   out   of   mind,   as   a   broken
vessel. I continued so for several months together, till God’s
time came for my deliverance. This passage of Scripture came
with  power  to  my   mind.   “Ephraim  is  joined  to  idols, let  him
alone.”  My   duty   was   made   plain   at   that   time,   and   I   was
enabled by divine grace to relate to them plainly and boldly
my experience and travail of mind from the time I joined them
to that time; also that the church was not sound in the faith,
neither   were   the   Baptist   churches   in   general;   and   that   a
separation must surely take place, even now had it begun in
many places;  also that the professed Christian world was
in an exceeding corrupt state, and that there was and had
been   for   many   years   a   gradual   departure   from   the
simplicity of the truth as it is in Jesus.
After this, in the summer of 1841, I joined the Old School
Baptist Church in Bowdoinham and found a home at last in
the   truth.   But   as   my   mind   was   very   weak   and   needed
strengthening,   and   looking   for   nothing   but   death,   the   great

Physician   of   souls   had   mercy   on   me.   Hearing   of   a   few

despised   brethren   in   Jay,   about   forty­five   miles   distant,   I
visited   them,   found   them   firm   in   the   truth,   a   remnant
according   to   the   election   of   grace.   I   next   attended   the   O.S.
Baptist Association in Palermo, in September last. I then went
to   North   Berwick   in   this   state,   and   so   on   to   Woburn   in
Massachusetts,   found  brethren  in  the  truth,  who comforted
and   encouraged   me   onwards.   On   my   return   home,   being
sensible of my duty, I was enabled to do it, making the first
trial in November last, God has helped me thus far, when I
expected   nothing   but   to   fall   at   the   first   onset.   My   mind   is
engaged in proclaiming Gospel truth, I see nothing glorious in
anything else,  and I can say to the praise of almighty God,
that   it   was   of   Him   I   was   taught   it,   and   made   willing   to
proclaim it even to this day. My desire is onward, feeling to
press   against   opposition   in   holding   up   the   sovereignty   of
Jehovah,   eternal   election   in   Jesus   Christ,   particular
redemption, and the eternal salvation of all those, who were
given in the covenant of redemption between the Father and
Son ere time was; who are quickened in time by the special
influence of God’s Holy Spirit, brought to a knowledge of the
truth of their own character and of God’s character, and to a
discovery of Jesus Christ by faith as their only hope of eternal
blessedness;  also to speak  comfortably  to Jerusalem, to cry
unto   her   that   her   warfare   is   accomplished;   to   bind   up   the
broken­hearted, to comfort the feeble­minded, and to relieve
those who through fear of death are all their lifetime subject
to bondage; to say to the righteous that it shall be well with
him, but to the wicked that it shall be ill with him; also to say
in the language of the prophet;  Deliver thyself, O Zion, from
the   daughter   of   Babylon;   strange   children,   whose   mouth
speaks lies, whose pastors speak peace to them to whom God
hath not spoken peace; who compass themselves about with
sparks   of   their   own   kindling   and   justify   the   wicked   for   a
reward. Woe to them for their iniquities and abominations! It is
but about thirteen months, since I left the N.S. Baptists, but
it appears to me as though I had got into a new world. My
mind   has   been   free   and   at   rest,   as   it   respects   them,   ever

since. But I do not expect  to go through this world without

trials   and   disappointments.   It   is   the   common   lot   of   God’s
people;   chosen   in   the   furnace   of   affliction;   as   partakers   of
Christ’s sufferings. My only hope is in God, He is my shield,
my support, and I at times feel willing to endure all things for
the   elect’s   sake,   and   to   fill   up   that   which   is   behind   of   the
afflictions of Christ in my flesh for His body’s sake, which is
the church. I have tried to preach in several different places
among Old School Baptists, who love the truth for the truth’s
sake, which dwelleth in us and shall be with us forever, who
are the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the
truth;   who   think   that   a   dispensation   of   the   Gospel   is
committed to me, which is to me an encouragement, as they
should judge in the matter. And as I have an inclination to
travel among and see O.S. Baptists, God may direct my steps
into the West, willing to spend and be spent for the cause of
Christ   against   Antichrist,   in  holding   up   truth   and   exposing
error. May God have mercy upon, and keep us all to the end.
Yours in the truth,
J.L. Purington.
Richmond, Maine, 1842.
DEAR BROTHER JEWETT: ­ With a sense of my inability
in writing, as well as preaching, do I attempt again to send a
few lines to you, hoping to be led by the Holy Spirit of God in
so   doing.   I   take   comfort   in   reading   the   ADVOCATE   &
MONITOR,   believing   the   doctrine   there   included   is   the
doctrine   of   the   Bible.   I   hope   God   will   support   you,   in   your
editorial capacity, and otherwise, as you occupy an important
place. The professed Christian world have become so wise in
their   own   imaginations,   so   pleased   with   a   perverted   gospel,
that   they   come   out   in   opposition   to   the   discriminating
principles   of   grace,   plainly   and   boldly   in   their   public
periodicals and papers of the present day, as well as in their
public   assemblies;   which   shows,   that   for   a   periodical   to   be

sustained   on   pure   Gospel   principles,   separate   from   the

inventions of men, needs the power of God’s supporting grace.
I have read Rushton’s Letters &c., and am pleased with their
contents, believing the arguments he produced from Scripture
for the support of particular Redemption, are conclusive, to a
complete   overthrow   of   the   system   of   indefinite   atonement.
There is great need of a firm establishment in, and an earnest
contending for the faith once delivered to the saints, in this
wonder­working   day.   The   principles   of   eternal   election,   free
justification,   imputed   righteousness,   efficacious   and
invincible   grace,   are   the   soul   and   marrow   of   Christianity,
which   enlivens,   invigorates   and   warms   the   heart   of   every
Christian,   and   which   leads   him   to   contend   for,   {not   with   a
fleshly spirit or carnal weapons,} and speak in defense of, as
the Holy Spirit sheds abroad in his heart a love for them. Oh,
the preciousness of Jesus to every  sin­sick soul; how lovely
does all the divine character shine in the face of Jesus Christ
in all His attributes and perfections. And when the soul gets a
right   understanding   of   his   own   unworthiness,   sinfulness,
guilt and ill desert, then he begins to bemoan himself like one
of old, “I have surely heard Ephraim bemoaning himself thus
{saith God,} Thou hast chastised me, and I was chastised, as a
bullock unaccustomed to the yoke; turn thou me, and I shall
be turned, for thou art the Lord my God. Surely, after I was
turned I repented, and after I was instructed {or had a right
understanding   of   myself,}   I   smote   upon   my   thigh;   I   was
ashamed,   yea   even   confounded,   because   I   did   bear   the
reproach of my youth.” At such complaints and bemoanings
the   Lord   breaks   forth   into   these   heart­melting   expressions,
saying,  “Is Ephraim my dear son? Is he a pleasant child? For
since I spake  against  him I do earnestly remember him still;
therefore   my   bowels   are   troubled   for   him,   I   will   surely   have
mercy upon him, saith the Lord.” In this we see a manifestation
of the everlasting love of God towards His people in the midst
of   their   many   backslidings   from   Him,   which   proves   their
union to Christ, by election, effectual calling, and the internal
renovation of their souls by divine grace. Hence the absurdity
of that idea, (many advocate,) to admit the possibility of falling

from grace. Why, according to Scripture, it is as possible for

Christ to fall out of the Godhead, as it is for the elect to fall
out of Christ; for they are and will be kept by the almighty,
restraining and constraining power and love of God, through
faith unto salvation. Seeing the foundation is so sure, what a
source of comfort and consolation the people of God can have
through an application of the promises, which are all yea and
amen unto the glory of God, to their understanding, by the
blessed Spirit, sealing them heirs of God and joint heirs with
Jesus Christ. There is a joy that arises from a view of these
things by faith, which is unspeakable and full of glory, that
unconverted   men   are   strangers   to,   which   they   cannot
conceive of in all their imaginations; for,  “Eye hath not seen,
nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the
things which God hath prepared for them that love Him. But
God hath revealed them unto us by His Spirit;”  which shows
that   the   Spirit   of   God,   alone   is   sufficient   to   take   the   deep
things of God and reveal them unto His people. But what the
Christian   learns   is   by   experience,   and   experience   comes   by
trials,   and   trials   are   necessary   for   the   increase   of   faith,
through which the soul grows in grace and in the knowledge
of   our   Lord   and   Savior   Jesus   Christ.   The   truth   is   firmly
maintained here by a few, but the great majority of professors
appear to be walking in the way that Solomon said “seemeth
right   unto   a   man,   but   the   end   thereof   is   the   way   of
death.” I try to preach once a week, poor and inadequate as I
am for the capacity of a minister, being slow of speech, dull of
apprehension,   and   one   who   feels   sick   of   his   own
performances. Yet, “by the grace of God I am what I am,” and
have   been   enabled,   at   times   to   declare   the   truth   to   the
edification   of   some,   and   to   the   utter   confusion   of   others.   I
have preached in several different places among O.S. Baptists
within   sixteen   months,   but   most   of   the   time   have   been
confined to the church of which I am an unworthy member;
namely, Bowdoinham; which church I suppose is as much, if
not more opposed and slandered by the Antichristian forces,
than   any   other   church   belonging   to   the   Ancient

Predestinarian   Baptist   Association.   But   as   the   eternal   God

has been her defense in years gone by, so I trust He will be
her defense, for time to come, from all the rage and malice of
her enemies.
  The   aforesaid   Association   is   composed   of   six   small
churches,   extending   over   a   territory   of   seventy­five   mile   in
length by sixty in breadth. Our last associational meeting was
held   with   the   church   in   Anson,   sixty­five   miles   distant,   in
September last. One brother was ordained or set apart for the
work of the ministry, and one sister baptized. The business of
the Association was performed in harmony and the preaching,
exhortations,   and   prayers   were   much   to   the   comfort   and
edification   of   the   poor   and   afflicted   of   the   flock.   The   next
annual   meeting   of   the   Absolute   Predestinarian   Baptist
Association, is to be held, in Bowdoinham, Maine, on the 15 th
and   16 th   days   of   September   next.   Our   Association   holds
correspondence with the N. Berwick and Woburn O.S. Baptist
Churches, and we rejoice to hear, at our last meeting, from
their messengers, of their steadfastness in the truth, though
not enjoying that lively sense of religion, as they had in days
past. Since I left the N.S. and joined the O.S. Baptists, I have
enjoyed, with few exceptions, uninterrupted peace. When we,
as   a   church,   assemble   together   there   is   a   oneness   in   our
exhortations and prayers, which savors of the Gospel sound;
our depravity and rich, free and sovereign grace in the rescue
of our souls from ruin. I believe that such is our ruined state
by nature, that unless God works  in  us to will and to do of
His good pleasure, we should utterly renounce the truth, after
we have embraced it; not owing to any want of evidence to the
contrary,   but   to   the   blindness,   wickedness,   hardness   and
insensibility   of   the   heart   to   divine   truth.   A   sense   of   these
things leads us to pray, that God will not leave us to ourselves
a moment. A Christian is one who sees his liability to err in
divers   ways,   and   has   a   sense   of   his   senselessness,   and   a
sense of the want of mercy, by reason of the danger of sin. He
is one who pours out a sincere, sensible, affectionate prayer to
God in the strength and assistance of the Holy Spirit for such
things that God hath promised, and that he stands in need of,

believing  that he shall receive  them in God’s  way and time.

Paul saith, “I will pray with the Spirit and I will pray with the
understanding also.”  Again, he saith, writing to his brethren,
including himself with them, “likewise the Spirit also helpeth
our infirmities; for we know not what we should pray for as we
ought,   but   the   Spirit   itself   maketh   intercession   for   us   with
groanings   which   cannot   be   uttered;”  which   shows   that   the
apostle   and   primitive   Christians   were   sensible   of   their
inabilities to pray aright, without the help of the Holy Spirit.
And   since   “whatever   things   were   written   aforetime   were
written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort
of the scriptures might have hope,”  so we being troubled with
infirmities, as they were, can rejoice in the day of visitation.
From   these   considerations,   we   can   come   to   the   conclusion
that   the   great   cheat   of   the   devil   and   Antichrist,   wherewith
they delude the world, is to make them continue in the form
of any duty, the form of preaching, of hearing, of praying &c.
These   are they  that  have  a form  of  godliness,   but  deny  the
power; from such turn away. Now may the God of all grace
have mercy upon, and keep us all, with the elect of God, unto
His   heavenly   kingdom,   to   whom   be   honor   and   glory,   in   a
world without end. Amen.
Yours, in the afflictions and consolations of the Gospel of
J.L. Purington. ­ 1842
Richmond, Maine, Jan.17, 1845.
DEAR   BROTHER   {W.L.   Benedict}   IN   CHRIST:   ­   In
obedience   to   my   promise,   and   agreeably   to   your   request,   I
now take my pen in hand to address you, wishing you grace,
mercy   and  peace   from  God  the  Father,  and  the Lord  Jesus
Christ.  On  my   way   home  from   Warwick,   via  New   York  City
and Boston, I tarried one night in Woburn, had the privilege of
some conversation with Elder P. Hartwell, and found him and
his family enjoying a good degree of health. He intends visiting

New York the coming season. As it regards my bodily health it

is good; and as to my mind, I trust God has blessed me with
some   insight   into   those   glorious   truths   upon   which   our
eternal   salvation   is   based,   and   I  feel   established   in   the
belief that God worketh all things after the counsel of His
own will, and that the eternal salvation of His people is
secured in the covenant of grace; yea, and was ere time
began; and it is not in the power of men or devils to frustrate
His   purpose,   but   He   will   accomplish   His   design   in   the
dispensation of the fullness of times,  by  the working  of His
mighty power, in raising up from the grave of sin those that
are dead in trespasses and sins, in the implantation of a holy
principle of life in the soul, Christ formed in them the hope of
glory; and such are, and will be kept by the power of God unto
salvation, through faith, which is the operation of the Spirit of
the   living   God.   As   my   only   hope   and   confidence   is   in   the
immutable purpose of Jehovah, in regard to the salvation of
my own soul, or the salvation of others, I cannot, I dare not,
look to any other quarter, or proclaim any other doctrine but
the  doctrine  of free,  sovereign and  discriminating  grace.
But, dear brother, there are but few in these parts that have
any relish for gospel truth, and it does appear at times like as
though God was about to shake, not the earth only, but also
heaven, in separating the precious from the vile, and in fact,
this   shaking   has   already   commenced,   owing   to   the
accumulation of the progeny of Anti­christ. But we are not to
suppose   that   any   true   believer   will   be   shaken   from   the
foundation, which is Jesus Christ, on which the true church,
the   whole   elect   of   God,   does   rest.   No   one   whose   name   is
written in the Lamb’s book of life will be removed. And when
the   vast   assemblage   of   the   body   of   Antichrist   is   destroyed,
which we are to consider as those things which are shaken, as
of   things   which   are   made,   then   the   Gospel   church,   which
cannot be shaken, will remain and shine  forth,  “fair as  the
moon, clear as the sun, and terrible as an army with banners.”
Therefore let us not think it strange if we meet with a few fiery
trials   in   our   progress   onward,   for   the   Scripture   expressly

declares,   “I   have   chosen   Thee   in   the   furnace   of   affliction,”

which Scripture relates to Jesus Christ, “as one chosen out of
the people,” and also to the whole chosen people of God, who
were   chosen   in   Christ,   before   the   foundation   of   the   world,
which people are scattered among all nations and descriptions
of men.
We need not think it strange when we see confusion and
disorder in the religious world, considering how prevalent the
Arminian heresy is, and how truth is left free to combat it, by
which we discover the two contending spirits that agitate the
professedly Christian world at the present day; for there is a
vast   difference   between   being  saved   by   grace  and   being
saved by works, in regard to the eternal salvation of the soul.
Neither   need   we   think   it   strange   to   see   those   two   spirits
manifested, even in a single church; for  “what concord hath
Christ with Belial? Or what part hath he that believeth with an
infidel?   Or   what   fellowship   hath   righteousness   with
unrighteousness?   And   what   communion   hath   light   with
darkness?”  Hence   we   discover   the   truth   of   the   Scripture.
“How can two walk together except they be agreed?” Therefore
this shaking of the heaven {which we are to understand to be
the professed church of Christ} must continue until there is a
complete   separation   of   Antichristian   policy   and   hypocritical
profession from the true church of Christ.
The prophet Micah has given a very clear description of the
state of things as they now exist, when he says, “They build
up   Zion   with   blood,   and   Jerusalem   with   iniquity.   The
heads thereof judge for reward, and the priests thereof
teach  for  hire,  and   the   prophets   thereof   divine  for
money; yet will they lean upon the Lord, and say, Is not
the   Lord   among   us?   None   evil   can   come   upon   us.
Therefore shall Zion for your sake be plowed as a field
&c.”  Also   the   prophet   Habakkuk   has   given   the   same
sentiment   when   speaking   of   the   evils   in   his   day;   he   says,
“They   take   up   all   of   them   with   the   angle,   they   catch
them   in   their   net,   and   gather   them   in   their   drag;

therefore  they   rejoice   and   are   glad.   Therefore   they

sacrifice   unto   their   net   and   burn   incense   unto   their
drag;   because   by   them   their   portion   is   fat,   and   their
meat plenteous.”  By this we can discover  how Zion is laid
waste by false teachers, who have privily crept in, supposing
that gain is godliness, deceiving the hearts of the simple and
leading   them   astray.   But   the   eternal   God   is   at   the   head   of
affairs, and for the sake of His anointed He will make bare His
arm   and   show   forth   His   power   in   the   redemption   of   His
people, in His own way and time. I do not think it is any worse
for the heathen nations of the earth to worship idol gods such
as   they   have   made   with   their   own   hands,   than   it   is   for
professed   Christians   to   worship   Sunday   Schools,   Abolition
and   Tract   Societies,   with   numerous   other   societies   of   the
same description, which is based upon money and morality,
and to consider them as appendages to the church of Christ .
[Stan   would   add   steeples,   crosses,   and   all  pagan   additions   to   the   Antichristian
It   is   through   such   falsely   named   benevolent
institutions that many are drawn into their net and gathered
in their drag, whereby the D.D.’s and Rev. clergy are fed, and
their portion is fat, through heavy salaries bestowed on them.
They consequently rejoice and are glad when their plans are
affected   in   the   works   of   their   own   hands,   while   the   poor
tempest­tossed   and   afflicted   child   of   God   weeps   in   secret
places, and mourns over the disconsolate state of Zion. But,
dear brother, in the midst of these calamities remember that
the   Lord   God   omnipotent   reigneth,   “who   is   Head   over   all
things to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him that
filleth all in all.”
  It   is   a   pleasing   consideration   that   the   Lord   God   is   the
defense of His people, their refuge and deliverer in the day of
trouble, and that “Israel shall dwell safely alone from him that
puffeth at him;” and they are a happy people whose God is the
Lord, because they are a people saved by the Lord, and the
eternal   God   is   their   refuge,   and   underneath   are   the
everlasting arms; consequently their enemies shall be found
liars unto them, and they shall tread upon their high places.
Seeing,   therefore,   that   the   conquest   and   victory   will   be

complete through Christ, who is their Savior, Redeemer, and

chief Captain of their salvation, and as we hope that we are
interested in that salvation, and belong to the true Israel of
God, let us also go without the camp, bearing His reproach,
looking unto Jesus, who is the author and finisher of the faith
of His people.
It   is   my   intention,   if   I   live,   and   other   providential
circumstances   admit,   to   attend   the   Baltimore,   Delaware,
Delaware River and Warwick Associations, the coming spring
and  summer, and also travel  somewhat  extensively  through
New   York   and   Pennsylvania,   perhaps   into   a   part   of   Ohio.
However, in that I feel like committing my way to the Lord,
who I trust will lead and guide aright.
There are in this section all kinds of professors of religion,
and all kinds of doctrine that I ever have heard of, and but
few who contend  for the doctrine of grace. The New School
Baptists   and   Methodists   are   the   most   numerous   of   any
denominations   in   these   parts.   I   do   not   think   it   makes   any
great   difference   what   opinion   a   person   does   embrace,
provided   it   is   not   right,   or   founded   upon   the   testimony   of
Scripture.   So   as   regards   the   different   denominations   of   the
present day, they concur in principle upon the Arminian plan
of “do and live,” which plan is old covenant in its nature and
its tendency. Though we as a people pass by the name of Old
School  Baptists,  yet  we  are not  to  understand it  as  a mere
denominational   name,   but   as   a   title   whereby   we   recognize
ourselves as those who tenaciously adhere to the principles of
the   doctrine   of   grace,   the   old   school   of   divinity   and   the
ordinances   of   the   Gospel,   and   also   that   we   may   be
distinguished from the New Measure Baptists, who have gone
into   the   fooleries   and   inventions   of   Antichrist,   by   departing
from the faith and order of the Gospel. The Old School Baptist
Church in Bowdoinham, of which I am a member, is situated
seven   or   eight   miles   from   the   place   of   my   residence,   and
consists   of   twenty­nine   members,   some   of   whom   are   very
aged,   and   I   am   the   youngest   member   of   the   church.   Our
church   and   meetings   are   in   general   very   interesting.   The
church   was   constituted   about   the   year   1785   or   86.   It   has

stood firm upon apostolic principles ever since, and was not

led   away   by   the   same   corruptions   with   which   the
Bowdoinham Association did depart from her first principles,
of which Association the aforesaid church stood as a member
until about five years since, when she withdrew for conscience
sake, since which time she has been in a prosperous state,
and God has added to her numbers and graces. She is now a
member   of   the   Old   School   Predestinarian   Association   of
There are many things worthy of our attention in taking a
view of the early Baptists in our country, and comparing them
with the O.S. churches of our day, and to find the same unity
in principle, the same oneness of mind, while the most of the
professed   Baptist   Churches   have   gone   off   on   the   Arminian
ground   and   are   in   confederation   with   the   Antichristian
denominations.   And  since   the   introduction   of  human  policy
and   human   effort   towards   evangelizing   the   world   of   the
ungodly, there has been a gradual departing from the faith,
and   it   will   continue   until   they   utterly   perish   in   their
corruption. I believe that God will save all His people in the
fullness of times, and that the dark and benighted regions of
the   earth   are   to   be   blessed   with   the   glorious   sound   of   the
Gospel.   But   methinks   the   efforts   of   modern   Arminian
professors   will   turn   out   in   abortion.   I   do   not   thus   write   to
prejudice   your   mind   against   the   modern   improvements,   so
called, but to give some of my views concerning them, and to
show   that   the   cause   of   God   will   stand   without   the   aid   of
human policy or improvement, and that God will take care of
His   people   without   the   aid   of   Theological   Seminaries   or
Universities, or any other human institution, for the church is
founded upon Christ, the Rock of Ages, and the gates of hell
cannot prevail against it.
I must draw to a close, by observing that I intended to have
written   to   you   before,   but   have   been   hindered   by   many
unforeseen circumstances, but I trust you will pardon me for
my negligence, as many things often transpire to frustrate our
calculations.   It   is   four   weeks   since   I   returned   to   my   native
home, and I find my need of that grace which God alone can

give, to support my mind and to keep me from the evils and

snares to which I find myself exposed in this dark and cold
world.   I   preach   frequently,   and   whenever   an   opportunity
offers,   but   it   is   not   to   large   congregations,   but   to   a   few   of
Zion’s pilgrims, such as are not ashamed to own their Lord
and   make   His   counsel   known;   while   hypocrites   and   false
professors walk the downward road.
I would exhort  you, dear  brother, in the language of the
apostle Peter, to gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and
hope to the end for the grace which is to be brought unto you
at the revelation of Jesus Christ. I would esteem it a privilege
to receive a letter from you whenever you feel free to write.
I wish to be remembered to your wife and family, and to
Deacons Burt and Brooks, and to all inquiring brethren and
sisters in the Lord.
I remain, with all due respect, your brother in Christ,
J.L. Purington. – Jan. 17, 1845
Franklin County, Maine, Feb.18, 1850.
BROTHER   BEEBE:   ­   Within   a   few   months   past   I   have
visited North Berwick, Whitefield; and other places, and have
experienced   some   agreeable   seasons   among   the   brethren.   I
have been at Jay a few weeks,  but expect  soon to leave for
Richmond, Maine, the place of my permanent residence.
While   Zion’s   pilgrims   are   passing   through   a   land   of
drought,   of   darkness,   and   of   the   shadow   of   death,   they
occasionally experience a refreshing from the presence of the
Lord, and are made to sing as in former days, when they were
delivered out of the house of bondage. They find the valley of
trouble  to be a  door of hope, and they sing as in the days of
their   youth,   the   time   of   their   espousals.   The   presence   of
Christ allays their fears, and calms the tumult of their mind,
but   when   His  presence   is   withdrawn,   all  is   wild,   dark,   and
stormy. The temptations, afflictions, and chilling sensations of

mind  they   experience   lead  them   to  appreciate  the  goodness

and mercy of God in their deliverance and salvation.
Time is rolling on and carrying all human expectations into
oblivion. The sun will shine as bright over  our graves, as it
now does about our paths. Many of our relations, friends and
acquaintance   are   encircled   in   the   cold   arms   of   death,   and
soon we shall be with them, and all recollection of us will be
lost in following years. Thousands are annually conveyed to
the   silent   grave,   and   their   love,   and   their   hatred   have
perished,   and   the   remembrance  of  them   is   soon   gone.  “For
that which befalleth the sons of men befalleth beasts; even one
thing befalleth them; as the one dieth, so dieth the other; yea,
they have all one breath; so that a man hath no preeminence
above a beast; for all is vanity. All go unto one place; all are of
the dust, and all turn to dust again.” Eccl.3:19,20.
Man is a mystery to himself, and he cannot comprehend
his   own   existence   by   the   strictest   disquisition.   The   highest
attainment   of   human   or   theological   knowledge,   the   most
profound research into the labyrinth of mysteries, aside from
revelation, is foolishness when compared with the wisdom of
God. The uncreated, self­existent, and eternal Godhead is the
only Being that knows everything, and that comprehends all
things,   in   the   visible   and   invisible   world,   in   time   and   in
eternity. His ways are in the great deep, and His footsteps are
not known. The clouds are His chariot, and He rides upon the
stormy   sea.   The   heaven   is   His   throne,   and   the   earth   His
footstool, which He has made by the word of His power. He
inhabiteth eternity, and dwells in the light and holy place and
“with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive
the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite
ones.” Isa.57:15. O for a shelter under His wing, and a repose
in the bosom of His love, to sing His praise, and bless His holy
name, free from sin and sorrow.
I have had some meditation of late on the following text of
Scripture,  “But I keep under my body,  and  bring  it into
subjection; lest that by any means, after I have preached
the Gospel to others, I should be a castaway.” I Cor.9:27.

In the context, the apostle is speaking of the Christian race,

and   Christian   warfare,   and   of   his   course   therein.   He   was
sensible that unless the Lord worked in him mightily by His
Holy Spirit, both to will, and to do, he should not be able to
run the race set before him, or to fight in the war in which he
had enlisted, therefore he was constrained to trust alone in
God for strength to keep under his body, and to bring it into
subjection.   Doubtless   he   had   reference   to   the   same   body
when   he   exclaimed,   “O  wretched   man   that   I   am;   who   shall
deliver   me   from   the   body   of   this   death.”  Rom.7:24.   To   keep
under his body, and bring it into subjection, I conclude, is the
same as mortifying the deeds of his body through the Spirit,
so as not to let sin reign in his mortal body to obey it in the
lusts thereof. He endeavored to maintain his reputation as a
Christian,   a   minister,   and   an   apostle,   by   observing   proper
rules   of   decorum   at   all   times,   for   as   he   was   a   man   of   like
passions with others, he was careful lest that by any means,
such as drunkenness, dishonesty, or any other gross violation
of virtuous principles, he should be a cast­away to the church
of God, after he had preached the Gospel unto them. Some
suppose that the apostle had reference to falling from grace,
and being eternally lost by the expression cast­away, but it is
evident  from the context, that he had exclusive reference to
his outward Christian course. He had a special regard for the
honor of the visible church of Christ, both in his own conduct,
and   in   the   conduct   of   his   brethren.   He   often   warned,
reproved, and admonished them. He says in his letter to the
churches of Galatia, “Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill
the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and
the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary the one to
the   other,   so   that   ye   cannot   do   the   things   that   ye   would.”
Gal.5:16,17.   And   in   another   epistle   he   uses   the   following
emphatic language, “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the
mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice,
holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
And be not conformed to this world,” &c. Rom.12:1,2.

While I was a member of a New School Baptist church I
experienced the following severe temptation. I had been in a
tried and desponding state of mind for some time, when this
expression   of   the   Psalmist,  “and   let   his   prayer   become   sin”
{Psa.109:7,} was applied to me. It was spoken prophetically in
reference   to   some   person,   perhaps   Judas.   I   could   not   rid
myself of the impression; it followed me by day, and by night,
until   my   hopes   were   consumed,   and   I   was   driven   quite   to
despair. I thought I was a Judas, and a reprobate, and must
soon experience my just reward. I dared not attempt to pray
in   secret,   or   before   any   person,   for   it   was   heaven­daring
blasphemy   in   my   opinion.   The   heaven   above   appeared   like
brass, and the earth like iron under my feet, and I concluded I
was a vessel of wrath, reserved against the day of wrath, and
perdition of ungodly men. The opposition of depraved human
nature, and complicated temptations from the infernal regions
led me to reply against the Almighty, and to kick against the
purpose of the Godhead. I was sunk into the lowest hell, in
the abyss of misery and woe. I could express at times in the
bitterness   of   my   soul   some   of   the   language   of   Job   and
Jeremiah. It was the only comfort and support I had in those
days.   The   lamentations   of   Jeremiah   in   a   peculiar   manner
served as an antidote to the misery that prevailed in my soul.
Thus I passed on for several weeks with sudden changes of
mind, but no promise of deliverance;  the temptation having
the ascending power over me, until the Lord was pleased to
appear for my salvation at a meeting in the following manner.
In actual distress and anguish of soul, I made an attempt to
pray.   While   at   prayer,   not   expecting   deliverance,   this
Scripture entered my mind affording relief and comfort, “If the
foundations  be   destroyed   what   can   the   righteous   do?”
Psa.11:3. I arose from my knees in as calm and serene a state
of   mind,   I   think,   as   I   ever   experienced.   The   dark   frightful
clouds,   the   heavy   winds,   the   surging   billows,   the   dreadful
thunder, and vivid lightning had ceased, and my soul was at
rest   in   the   bosom   of   the   blessed   Redeemer.   “What   shall   I
render unto the Lord for all His benefits to me? I will take the

cup   of   salvation   and   call   upon   the   name   of   the   Lord.”
While   I   was   nominally   connected   with   the   New   School
Baptists, I was practically a partaker of their sins, and all my
endeavors   to   reform   the   church   of   which   I   was   a   member,
emanated from an incorrect view of the course I ought to take.
I   was   so   foolish   as   to   think   I   could   do   more   good   to
remain   with   them   than   I   could   to   leave   them.   And   the
pride   of   my   nature,   and   the   love   of   popularity   was   so
prominent,   that  to   leave   them,   and   join   the   Old  School
Baptists was revolting to my feelings.  Had the Old School
Baptists   been   more   numerous,   and   more   popular,   it   would
not have been so much of a trial, but as it was, my feelings
recoiled.   Hence   the   Lord   sent   sorrow   into   my   soul,   and
suffered Satan to sift me as wheat, until my expectations were
cut   off,   and   my   hopes   were   prostrated   in   the   dust.   “When
Thou with rebukes dost correct man for iniquity, Thou makest
his beauty to consume away like a moth; surely every man is
vanity.”  Psa.39:11.  But, thanks  be to His holy  name,  I was
brought through the fiery ordeal by His supporting hand, and
escaped like Job with the skin of my teeth.
Since I became connected with the Old School Baptists, I
have had no misgivings as to the course I have taken in that
respect.   My   mind   is   at   rest   as   far   as   former   troubles   are
concerned,   and   I   hesitate   not   to   affirm   that   my   hope   and
confidence in God has been renewed, and increased ever since
I united with them. If I am not egregiously deceived, I choose
rather to suffer affliction with the poor despised Old School
Baptists than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season. With
them I wish to live, and with them I wish to die.
But   I   am   still   by   nature   a   poor   sinner,   a   worm   and   no
man,   and   if   ever   saved   at   last   it   will   be   by   free   grace.   In
thought,   word,   and   deed,   I   am   like   water   flowing   from   a
fountain, so that I cannot do the things I would. I sometimes
wonder that I am spared on this terraqueous globe. But it is
of   the   Lord’s   mercies   I   am   not   consumed,   because   His
compassions fail not. I forbear writing any more in reference

to   myself,   as   I   am   not   satisfied   that   it   is   an   evidence   of   a
humble spirit. Pride will assume the appearance of humility,
and   a   man   may   speak   of   his   faults   from   a   spirit   of   vain
ambition, and self­justification. Somewhere I have read that
“true   humility   does   not   consist   in   telling   our   faults,   but   in
bearing  to  be  told of  them.”  Such  a  sentiment  is  admirable
whether it is applicable to me or not.
I close, by wishing you grace, mercy, and peace from God
the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ our Savior.
Affectionately yours,
Joseph L. Purington. – Feb. 18, 1850
May 25,1853.
TO   THE   READERS   OF   THE   SIGNS:   ­   Religionists   of   all
classes,   or   sorts,   that   profess   to   believe   the   Bible,   readily
admit  that  Paul was an  unwavering  advocate  for  truth, but
differ respecting the “truth”   which was advocated by him. It
would appear as though there were as many opinions as there
are stars in the firmament; but when those opinions are fully
analyzed,   the   difference   appears   very   small.   To   more   fully
explain my meaning, there are differences which appear very
essential among religionists, and which cause much difficulty
at   times,   each   class   being   very   strenuous   to   contend   for
opinions   of   their   own,   but   on   a   close   examination   of   their
principles to the foundation, the difference is found to consist
more   in   appearance   than   in   reality.  It   is   in   substance
salvation by works.  I have no reference in these remarks to

the   church   of   Christ,   but   to   the   systems   of   false   worship
manifest   in   these   days   under   the   disguised   name   of
At   the   late   anniversary   of   the   American   Tract   Society   in
New York, it was stated that “the design of the tract society, is
practically to save souls.” This was expressed in connection
with a preamble of their movements. In the celebration of holy
mass, at a funeral, Archbishop Hughes of the Roman Catholic

Church in New York, stated that “the offering of holy incense

in behalf of the deceased, was accepted of God through the
merits of Jesus Christ; and God through the merits of Jesus
Christ   would   bring   his   soul   into   the   world   of   felicity   and
happiness   if   it   was   not   already   there.”   He   was   saved
practically,   by   holy   mass!   Where   is   the   difference   between
being   saved   practically   by   holy   mass,   or   being   saved
practically by the Tract Society?
It   does   not   require   much   discernment   to   discover   the
absurdity   and   wickedness   of   such   statements.   A   babe   in
Christ can detect the deception.  Salvation is of the Lord, but
yet thousands called Protestants practically oppose this truth
by patronizing such unscriptural societies.
Paul said in his epistle to his Hebrew brethren, “Therefore
we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we
have heard, lest at any time we should let them slip.” Heb.2:1.
Those brethren to whom Paul wrote were not fully established
in the truth. They had given sufficient demonstration of the
work of God in their hearts, but they were liable to become
involved in the meshes of that old Jewish system in some of
its rites and ceremonies. To use a figure, they only saw men
as trees walking, therefore could not behold things clearly in
their spiritual vision. They were liable to be imposed upon by
false teachers, and Paul in his arguments labored to establish
them in the truth, and to comfort them in their afflictions. The
apostle declared that God who spake unto the fathers by the
prophets, has in these last days spoken unto us by His Son.
They had heard His gracious voice, and felt His love in their
hearts, but as they were babes in Christ there was danger of
their   being   poisoned   in   their   minds   by   some   improper
influence, and therefore fail of entering into that perfect rest
which is enjoyed by those who are settled and grounded in the
truth. If they had heard the things pertaining to their salvation
in relation to their obedience to Christ, to follow Him, to keep
His commandments &c., they were under obligation to give an
earnest heed thereto, lest at any time we should let them slip.
Paul reckons himself with them, and it is very evident he was
addressing the saints of the Most High. To be more explicit on

this point, he very conclusively shows that salvation is of the

Lord, and that they were under law to Christ and not under
the law given to national Israel. The things they had heard led
them off  from the system  of works  for  justification, and led
them to love, and obey Christ. To let them slip; not that their
salvation   was   committed   to   their   charge   to   keep,   and   they
were warned to keep it from slipping from them, as though it
depended upon themselves; but to disobey the commands of
Christ   as   His   followers,   would   bring   upon   them   the   rod   of
correction   and   chastisement.   Under   the   old   dispensation
every   transgression   and   disobedience   received   a   just
recompense   of   reward,   so   under   the   Gospel,   a   violation   of
Christ’s commands is followed by many stripes. There is no
way to escape chastisement if any of the Lord’s people neglect
so great salvation, or turn away from Him who speaketh from
heaven. Therefore to  let them slip  is virtually a turning away
from the commands of Christ, which afford peace and pardon,
to the doctrines and commandments of men, which envelop
the saints in darkness and distress.
The foregoing text is applicable to the church of Christ and
to  no   others.   It   is   perverted   from   its   legitimate   meaning   by
many, but its true application is alone to the saints of God. If
they depart from the commands of Christ they experience the
reward of their folly. If any brother or sister is prompted by a
wrong spirit to act contrary to the Gospel of Christ towards
any one, or towards one another, they will learn by experience
that the Scriptures are true. And it is very probable that some
have become useless to the church by improper conduct, and
by indulging a carnal spirit. This does not affect their eternal
salvation which is exclusively of God, but it affects their peace
and happiness in this world.
If what I have expressed is correct in substance, we learn
the   faithfulness   of   our   God   to   correct   His   children,   and   to
prepare them for His own glory. When led to acknowledge and
confess   their   folly,   they   behold   His   hand   in   truth,   and
Peter   said   to   his   brethren,   “Wherefore   laying   aside   all
malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil

speakings, as  newborn babes, desire  the sincere  milk of the

word, that ye may grow thereby, if so be ye have tasted that
the   Lord   is   gracious.”  This   evidently   corroborates   the
testimony   of   Paul   in   regard   to   the   obedience   of   faith,   and
being   under   law   to   Christ,   to   follow   Him   in   all   His
commandments. There is a great necessity of taking heed to
our ways, so as not to be involved in the corrupting influence
of this deluded age. The people of God “are kept by the power
of God through faith unto salvation.”
Dead   men,   literally,   have   no   life,   consequently   cannot
perform the functions of life. Dead sinners are represented as
being   destitute   of   spiritual   life,   consequently   are   dead   in
trespasses and sins, and the wrath of God abides upon them.
If a  man has  life,   he  breathes  and  moves;   so  if a  man has
spiritual   life   in   him,   he   breathes   and   moves   in   spiritual
things. There never can be an extinction of  this life  which is
Christ in the believer, the hope of glory. “We know we have
passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren.” We
love them because the truth is among them, and because the
Lord has set His sanctuary in the midst of them forever.
The   apostles   and   ministers   of   Christ   in   primitive   times
traveled,   and   preached   the   Gospel   in   its   purity.   They   were
men   of   like   passions   with   us,   as   is   manifest   by   their   own
account,   and   the   testimony   that   is   given   of   them.   They
traveled throughout the Roman Empire and were treated in a
cruel and abusive manner for the truth’s sake. The Jews came
to Paul on a certain occasion and said to him,  “We desire to
know of thee what thou thinkest, for as concerning this sect,
we know that every where it is spoken against.”  The Gospel
preached   by   the   apostles   subjected   them   and   the   lovers   of
truth to the obloquy of the world. The same truth has been
vilified from that time to this. The way of truth is evil spoken
of at the present day and age of the church. To declare what
God   has   spoken,   to   maintain   His   truth,   and  “to   contend
earnestly   for   the   faith   once   delivered   to   the   saints,”  is   an
important matter  for consideration.  Let it be like  “apples of
gold and pictures of silver.”

I will draw my desultory remarks to a close. When I left the

New   School   Baptists   and   became   connected   with   the   Old
School   Baptists,   I   experienced   a   great   deliverance.   I   feel   to
hope the Lord was in it, and I supposed, soon others would
leave them {New School} of my acquaintance. But I have been
mistaken in my anticipations. Some that did leave them and
join the Old School soon turned aside and I have concluded
that   it   is   altogether   useless   to   plan   out   a   path   for   others.
Follow me, said Christ to one of old, and may every disciple of
Christ remember the injunction in his own experience. I am
still counted among Old School Baptists, and notwithstanding
their infirmities, I am not yet willing to forsake them. I do not
expect very likely that I shall find any worse man among them
than myself; so on the whole I might as well remain where I
am. It is very evident that there is nothing very inviting among
them in a natural point of view, but from some cause I love
them   notwithstanding   their   decrepitude   in   appearance.
Various   motives   may   prompt   a   man   in   a   course   that   may
appear   right   for   a   season,   but   the   day   of   trial   will   make
manifest who are on the Lord’s side. Flesh and blood is not
able to endure the hard scenes that the church of God passes
through   in   this   vale   of   tears.   We   are   not   subjected   to   the
persecuting power of any law enforced by the civil magistrate
in   a   direct   infringement   on   our   religious   privileges,   but
depraved   human   nature   is   the   same   as   ever   it   has   been,
where ever  it  is manifested.   Our  privileges   are great in  this
country, but Gospel truth is as unpopular, and as antiquated
as  ever   it   has   been.   Its   preciousness   and  intrinsic  value   to
supply   all   our   need   is   a   sufficient   antidote   for   all   the
exigencies   of   our   situation   under   the   most   trying
I   wish   well   to   Zion   amidst   all   her   changes,   and
vicissitudes. I still feel to pray for her prosperity, and that the
Lord will increase her with men like a flock; as the holy flock,
and as the flock of Jerusalem is her solemn feast. Many of the
poor of the flock are now rejoicing in the word of the Lord, in
what God has spoken, and can bear simple testimony that the
mercy   of   the   Lord   endureth   forever.   Again,   there   are   many

who are in the wilderness, in distress, and trouble, and some

who know not where they are, but would like to know if it was
the Lord’s  will. Some  are probably  distressed  on account  of
the apparent differences existing among the Lord’s people at
the present time. It is indeed a matter of grief and sorrow; but
the differences are more in appearance than in reality. Let no
one strive to be great, but every one be willing to be small,
and a part of the difficulty, if not the whole, will be removed.
As I cannot write to my own satisfaction, I cannot justly
complain if the readers thereof are not satisfied. I will close
without further note or comment.
Affectionately   yours,         Joseph   L.   Purington,­   May   25,
Lexington, Greene County, N.Y.,1855.
BROTHER BEEBE: ­ While attending a yearly meeting at
Andes, Delaware County, New York, in February last, I was
requested   to   give   my   views   through   the   SIGNS,   on   the
following Scripture,  “And Jesus said unto them, I am the
bread of life; he that cometh to Me shall never hunger;
and   he   that   believeth   on   Me   shall   never   thirst.”  John
At the time when this Scripture was spoken, our Lord was
in conversation with the Jews, who followed Him not because
of the miracles which He performed, but because they did eat
of the loaves and were filled. When He testified that He was
the   living   bread   which   came   down   from   heaven   they
manifested their ignorance of His divine character. They knew
Him   not   as   the   Son   of   God,   or   as   the   bread   of   life,   but
supposed He was the son of Joseph, whose father and mother
they knew.
Absolutely and essentially Jesus Christ is the eternal God,
but as the Son of God, He proceeded forth, and came from

God, and is the living bread which came down from heaven.

Therefore as the Son of God, He is the bread of life. It cannot
be  justly   supposed   that   in the  sense  spoken   of  in the  text,
that He is the natural life of the Adamic family, and natural
bread for them to live upon. The birds of the air, the fish of
the sea, the beasts of the earth have animal life, and subsist
upon   temporal   food.   Our   Lord   was   not   from   the   earth   as
Adam, or from Adam by ordinary generation, “The first man is
of the earth earthy, the second man is the Lord from heaven.” I
Cor.15:47. The whole Adamic family was identified in Adam
before their individual manifestation by ordinary generation,
so   the   spiritual   family   of   God   was   identified   in   Christ   the
living bread before their individual manifestation in time. If it
was   not   so   there   would   be   no   manifestation   among   the
posterity of Adam of a people “born again of incorruptible seed,
by   the   word   of   God   which   liveth   and   abideth   forever.”   Paul
speaking   in   relation   to   the   communion   of   saints,   declares,
“The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of
the blood of Christ? The bread which we brake, is it not the
communion of the body of Christ? For we being many are one
bread  and   one   body,   for  we   are   all   partakers   of   that   one
bread.”   I   Cor.10:16,17.   Could   there   be   any   communion   of
saints if they were not  one bread and one body having life in
Christ? Certainly not! And His people are bone of His bone,
and flesh  of His flesh,  and are consequently  one bread and
one body.
I will now come to that part of the text upon which I was
requested to be the most full and definite in my remarks. The
Jews   supposed   they   were   coming   to   Christ   and   would   be
accepted of Him while they were seeking to be justified, as it
were, by the deeds of the law. They were the natural progeny
of  Abraham,  and  boasted   much  of  their  pedigree,  and  their
own righteousness before God. But they were enemies to God
by wicked works, and it was clearly manifest against Christ
and   His   apostles.   The   same   spirit   has   been,   and   still   is
manifest in the world since the apostolic age. Thousands have
supposed   they   have   come   to   Christ   by   their   self­righteous
prayers, and creaturely efforts, and make great pretension to

religion   in   a   variety   of   forms,   manifest   much   zeal,   and

devotedness, and yet after all, it is of the same nature, and no
better   than   the   righteousness   of   the   scribes   and   Pharisees.
They   will   treat   with   contempt   the   doctrine   of   free,
matchless,   distinguishing,   unmerited   grace.   Such   have
not come to Christ, neither believe on Him.
Jesus said to the Jews who murmured at Him, “No man
can come to Me, except the Father, which hath sent Me draw
him.”  John 6:44. There was a people who were under divine
instruction, and were drawn to Christ, and had come to Him,
and   saw   Him   in   the   days   of   His   flesh,   and   also   after   His
resurrection, and in His ascension, and who believed on Him
and were satisfied. They loved Him, and He was the bread and
water of life to them. They had seen, heard, and handled of
the good word of life and rejoiced in hope of the glory of God.
The Jews as a nation were under obligation to observe and
keep the laws, rites, and ceremonies which had been delivered
to   them   under   that   legal   dispensation.   But   through   the
wickedness of their hearts they substituted many things to be
observed   which   the   Lord   never   commanded   them.   The
violation   of   that   national   covenant   did   not   prove   that   the
covenant   was   bad,   but   it   proved   that   the   people   who   were
under it were a wicked race. But there was a spiritual family
that  dwelt  in  that national  house,  who  trusted in the Lord,
and had no confidence in the flesh. It is worthy of remark that
the   old   covenant   when   kept   outwardly   in   the   flesh   did   not
spiritually justify its subjects before God.
The ancient saints, probably, were faithful in obedience to
its requisitions in the letter; but they had the faith of Christ to
justify   them  before  God.  Life  and  salvation  from  sin,  death,
and hell, was not revealed in that covenant. If it had not been
for  the new  covenant  established   upon better  promises,  the
saints   under   that   typical   dispensation   would   not   have   had
any hope. Paul said, “Is  the law then against the promises of
God? God forbid; for if there had been a law given which could
have given life, verily righteousness should have been by the
law. But the Scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the

promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that

believe.”  Gal.3:21,22.   What   would   have   become   of   all   the
saints from righteous Abel until Christ came in the flesh, if
the law had existed without the promise of the Savior? They
must have remained in sorrow and mourning, for their own
works would not save them, and the law cursed them. They
would have hungered and thirsted without relief, or hope, for
the   law   in   its   demands   furnished   no   bread,   nor   water.   By
faith they were justified and did rest in hope, “Christ is the
end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth”.
But   the   text   says,   “He   that   cometh   to   Me   shall   never
hunger, and he that believeth on Me shall never thirst.” All the
redeemed family of God among the Gentiles are recognized by
the distinguishing characteristic he that cometh to Me, he that
believeth on Me, &c. It is natural for a sinner to suppose it is
his own act to come, and to believe. He vainly attempts to do
so   when   under   the   leadings   of   a   self­righteous   spirit,   but
when   brought   under   divine   teaching,   his   own   works   of
righteousness are swept with the besom of destruction, and
being   drawn   by   the   Father   away   from   his   own   works,   he
comes to the throne of sovereign mercy – a lost and ruined
sinner – and cries,  “God, be merciful to me a sinner.” He has
labored long and hard for life, has done all he could to live
upon,   and   receive   support   from   that   kind   of   bread   which
feeds hypocrites, nominal professors, and Pharisees; but alas,
to his sorrow and grief, his own prayers,  and performances
are a mass of corruption in his own view. He thinks he must
do something for life, but alas the law in its spiritual demands
removes every subterfuge from him. He learns that it is the
effect of grace to come to Christ; but he does not yet know
to his own satisfaction that he is actually coming to Christ. He
cannot see how God can be just and save him. He believes in
God from real knowledge of His character and divine law, and
His justice. He finds he is in a pit wherein is no water, and
cries, “Lord save or I perish.” He learns that it is not the work
of the creature to believe,  to repent, to cry for  mercy, or  to

pray; for he tries hard to believe, repent and pray, and fails to

do so, for his heart is unbelieving, hard, and impenitent. It is
only   by   the  still   small   voice  of   the   Spirit   that   he   has   any
knowledge of his deplorable condition, and the justice of God
in his condemnation. Being quickened to divine life he feels to
be in a state of death. He is kept under the law, shut up unto
the   faith   of   Christ,   until  that   faith  is   revealed   in   his
deliverance from wrath. Christ is the bread of life, and water
which   never   fails.   The   penitent   and   contrite   sinner   is   in
distress   and   trouble   until   his   hungry   and   thirsty   soul   is
satisfied   with   a   comforting   and   refreshing   assurance   of   the
blessedness of that dear Redeemer as the bread and water of
life. He believes on Him by an experimental knowledge of His
glory and preciousness. Being completely delivered from the
curse   of   the   law,   and   the   power   and   dominion   of   sin,   and
brought experimentally under law to Christ, he hungers and
thirsts no more as he did under the curse and condemnation
of the law. He is not under the law, but under grace. Being
established   in   the   Truth  he   feels   satisfied   with   the   glorious
way of salvation, and it is his meat and drink to do the will of
his heavenly Father.
The experience of the saints in substance is the same. The
deliverance of the church collectively, from under the law, and
her   redemption   from   sin,   death   and   hell   through   Jesus
Christ, is a scheme too profound for seraphs to pry, or finite
worms  to scan.   Paul  declared,  “But  of  Him  are  ye  in Christ
Jesus,   who   of   God   is   made   unto   us   wisdom,   and
righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption.” I Cor.1:30.
“They   shall   hunger   no   more,  neither   thirst   any   more;   neither
shall the sun light on them, nor any heat. For the Lamb which
is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead
them unto living fountains of waters; and God shall wipe away
all tears from their eyes.” Rev.7:16,17.
But do not the people of God still hunger and thirst? To
contrast   their   situation   under   grace,   with   their   former
situation under the law, they do not. A query suggests itself to
the mind. Are there not some now that hunger and thirst for

the bread and water of life? Very probably. In their experience

they are not yet set at liberty  fully, by the revelation of the
immaculate Son of God.
I will express another view of the subject. They that have
come   to   Jesus   and   believe   on   Him   will   never   hunger   and
thirst   any   more   as   aforetime,   for   those   things   they   once
enjoyed. They have seen an end of all perfection, and being
established in the gospel, Christ is their theme and song.
I have in substance expressed my views of the text, and I
trust   it   is   not   far   from   being   Scripturally   correct,   though
perhaps  it may  not be  satisfactory  to  all who may  read my
Joseph L. Purington. ­ 1855
Lexington, Greene County, N.Y., Dec.14,1855.
DEAR   BROTHER   BEEBE:   ­   I   was   recently   requested   to
examine   and   give   my   views   upon   a   tract,   published   by   the
American   Tract   Society,   entitled   “Muckle   Kate:   A   Gaelic
Woman   of   the   Scotch   Highlands,”   by   the   Rev.   T.M.   Fraser,
Free Church, Yester. Its purport is to describe the conversion
{so­called} of a “wicked old sinner,” between eighty and ninety
years   of   age.   Mr.   Lauchlan,   “a   godly   divine,”   composed   a
Gaelic song, in which Kate’s known sins were enumerated and
lashed   with   all   the   severity   of   which   the   composer   was
capable.   This   was   set   to   music   and   taught   to   some   young
persons, who were known to often sing songs and listen to the
gossip of the “old sinner,” instructing them to sing it in her
hearing   at   the   first   opportunity.   The   writer   says,   “It   was   a
strange, and as some may perhaps say an unwarrantable way
of  attempting   to  win   a  soul,   nevertheless   it   was  successful.
The appeal went home to the old woman’s conscience, backed
with   all   the   force   of   astonishment;   the   suddenness   of   the
stroke, coming as it did from so unexpected a quarter, gave

both point and poignancy to the blow; the shaft had found the

joint   in   the   harness,   and   driven   home   by   the   Spirit’s   own
hand it sunk deep, deep down into that old and withered soul
which had hitherto resisted every impression.” The final result
is said to be her conversion to God.
Much effort is made to build up a false system of religion
under the cognomen of the Christian religion; and a zeal of
God, but not of knowledge, causes many to do something for
God   on   the   principle   of   false   devotion,   exercised   by   a   self­
righteous, vain­glorious spirit. Supposing God is well pleased
with their works, they ignorantly conclude that the more they
do for God, the more they will be blest therein, and God will
bless their efforts in the conversion of sinners, and the more
efforts   they   use,   the   more   sinners   will   be   converted.   Those
who   do   not   discern,   fully,   the   difference   between   the   self­
righteous   religion   of   men,   whether   under   the   name   of   the
Christian religion or otherwise,  and the religion of our Lord
Jesus Christ, which  is purely  a revelation from  heaven,  are
deluded into the vain notion that the salvation of sinners in
some degree depends upon the puny efforts of sinful worms of
the dust. Hence the great stress that is laid upon the effort
system, or use of means, in saving sinners. The distribution of
tracts, and other kindred movements, is consequently harped
upon   as   some   of   the   benevolent   objects   of   the   age.   They
publish and circulate religious stories to feed and strengthen
the   minds   of   men   into   a   depraved   notion   that   they   can   do
something for God, and that God blesses the efforts of good
men  in  the  conversion   {so  called}   of  sinners.   And  doubtless
some   of   the   Lord’s   people   are   deluded   by   the   same   self­
righteous   notion,   and   carry   their   influence   to   sustain   such
improper   movements.   Whether   the   story   published   in   the
tract   referred   to   in   this   article   be   literally   true   or   not,   one
thing is certain, that the object  is to prove and sustain the
idea of the effort system, thereby to evade the truth of God by
having   the   work   of   regeneration   depend   upon  some
secondary   or   artificial   cause.  We   have   a   better   standard
than tracts, creeds, and stories which are often calculated to
confuse the mind, and bewilder the understanding, and lead

the simple and unwary astray. It is a lamentable feature of

this   dark   and   deluded   age   that   the   plain,   discriminating
doctrine   of   the   gospel,   is   perverted   by   the   substitution   of
religious   tracts,   Sunday   Schools,   and   many   other   societies
connected   with   the   doctrines   and   commandments   of   men.
Upon   this   principle   the   effort   system   must   first   be   brought
forward as the moving cause in regeneration, then the Holy
Spirit  is introduced  as  an  instrument  to execute  the work.
Sinners cannot be saved without the effort  system, and the
Lord is subordinate  in His movement  to the puny efforts  of
men.   Such   a   sentiment   is   absolutely   blasphemous.   If   there
ever was such a person as Muckle Kate, and she was made a
subject of grace at the time specified in the tract, it did not
depend upon any other power but that of God; but the foolish,
ignorant writer of the story brings forward the effort system as
the means of her conversion, and puts a false coloring on the
whole   statement.   If   sinners   are   saved   by   grace,   it   does   not
depend upon the effort system; the works of men, either good
or bad, have no connection therewith. But if it is by works,
then it cannot be by grace, and it must depend upon the effort
system,   altogether.   It   is   probable   that   the   whole   story   of
Muckle Kate is a fiction to turn the minds of men into a wrong
channel, and build up an unchristian influence in the world.
There   is   an   evident   design   to   turn   the   grace   of   God   into
lasciviousness by a virtual denial of the only Lord God and
our   Savior   Jesus   Christ,   by   having   a  wicked   old   sinner
brought forward as the evidence of the practical result of the
effort   system.   The   object   was   to  win   a   soul,   and   it   was
successful; therefore salvation, glory, and honor to the effort
system forever. Throw off the mask of the Christian religion
which is now upon the effort system to disguise its hideous
and deformed  visage, and the whole system  of Phariseeism,
self­righteousness   and   hypocrisy   is   made   manifest.   But
putting a good name to a bad thing will not make a bad thing
a good thing. To say that sinners are saved by grace, and yet
practically have it depend upon the efforts of men either good
or   bad,   is   absolutely   false   from   first   to   last.   It   is   God­
dishonoring in the premises.

We have a more sure word of prophecy than the writings of

uninspired men. The infallible word of truth, the inspiration of
the Holy Spirit, moved the prophets and apostles to record the
revealed truth of God. Paul said, in his epistle to the church
at Corinth, “Now we have received not the spirit of the world,
but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things
that are freely given to us of God. Which things also we speak,
not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the
Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.”
To   declare   and   testify   the   things   of   God   and   of   Christ,   as
things   revealed   and   known   by   holy   inspiration,   strikes   a
death blow to the effort system in all its ramifications. Some,
in   relating   their   experience,   have   dated   their   first   spiritual
exercises   at   the   theater,   ball­room,   and   some   other   such
places;   but   in   every   instance,   whatever   the   outward
circumstances may be,  spiritual life is communicated directly
by divine power and grace aside from any human agency. And
life always precedes action, and where there is life, there is
always   more   or   less  evidence  of   life.   The   evidence   of
regeneration is manifest in all the subjects of grace, showing
forth sufficient proof that “salvation is of the Lord.” With the
heart man believeth unto righteousness, and with the mouth
confession   is   made   unto   salvation.   The   preaching   of   Christ
and Him crucified was a stumbling block to the self­righteous
Jews, and foolishness to the learned Greeks, but unto them
which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of
God, and the wisdom of God. As it formerly was, so it is now.
The preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness,
but  unto us that  are saved it is the power  of God. Nothing
short of an experimental manifestation of revealed things now,
as in the days of the prophets and apostles, can enable any of
the subjects of grace to receive the Gospel in its proclamation
as a joyful sound. And no man can preach the Gospel unless
called,   qualified,   and   sent   forth   by   the   great   Head   of   the
Church for that special and definite purpose.

I   am   obliged   to   close   my   letter.   May   the   Lord   lead   His

people  into the  truth,  and  deliver  them  from  every  evil   way
and work for his name’s sake.
Yours affectionately,
Joseph L. Purington. – Dec. 14, 1855.
Newton County, GA., 1856.
BROTHER BEEBE: ­ I seize the present opportunity to pen
a few thoughts upon a Scriptural subject of vast interest. In
Jer.32:35,   we  find   the   following   language,  “And   they   built
the   high   places   of   Baal,   which   are   in   the   valley   of
Hinnom, to cause their sons and their daughters to pass
through the fire unto Molech;  which I commanded them
not, neither came it into my mind, that they should do
this abomination, to cause Judah to sin.”
The   eternal   God   in   immutable.   Man   is   a   frail,   mutable
creature.   The   government  of   God  over   all  world’s,   creatures
and things is a sublime Scriptural truth. National Judah at
the time of the foregoing declaration was in a state of rebellion
in   a   violation   of   the   command   of   God.   The   most   degrading
species of idolatry was manifest in its most cruel form. As God
has not commanded anything but what is consistent with His
perfections,   those  Jews  were  doing   that   which  God  said He
had not commanded them. It had not entered into the mind of
the   Lord   that   they   should   do   any   such   wickedness.   The
auxiliary verb should is expressive of a power to compel them
to   act.   (When   a   word   is   used   to   express   an   idea   the
connection   will   sustain   its   use   and   meaning.)   They   were
voluntary   in   their   wickedness,   for   God   did   not   command
them, neither did it enter into His mind to cause them, or that
they should do this great wickedness. It is atheism to suppose
that   infinite   Wisdom   had   no   knowledge   of   the   course   they
would   pursue   beforehand.   The   wicked   motives   and   acts   of
men are embraced in the divine arrangement. How could the

Eternal God by the prophet specify definitely seventy years in

the captivity of the Jews, if it was not settled in His mind?
Many   persons  have   concluded   that   sovereign   Predestination
makes   God   the   author   of   sin   simply   because   the   sinful
motives   and   acts   of   wicked   men   and   devils,   are   as   much
known and settled in the counsel of God, as the good motives
and acts of men, angels, and heavenly beings, are settled in
His mind. The word predestinate is used in the Scriptures in
reference to things purposed to transpire in time, and which
will roll round in the order and way which is known to Infinite
Wisdom.   If   the   course   of   wicked   men   and   devils   are   not
known   to   God,   and   the   bounds   of   their   habitation   set,   or
fixed, what encouragement can we have that the purpose of
God   in   the   salvation   of   sinners   may   not   be   impaired   or
frustrated?   The   absolute   and   essential   perfections   of   God,
secure,   and   sustain   the   accomplishment   of   all   He   has
purposed and designed. The Lord said, “I form the light, and I
create darkness; I make peace and evil; I the Lord do all these
J.L. Purington. – 1856.
Greene Co., N.Y., April 21, 1856.
DEAR BROTHER BEEBE: ­ The following testimony of the
prophet Jeremiah has been much upon my mind of late.  “O
Lord, I know that the way of man is not in himself; it is
not in man that walketh to direct his steps.” It is as true
now as it was when spoken by the prophet; and I believe there
are those now on earth who have a realizing sense of its truth.
Graceless men, of course, do not understandingly know and
believe   its   full   import.   If   God   has   a   people   now   under   His
special teaching, they have to acknowledge that the prophet
was correct in his testimony. Our way, naturally, is perverse
and contrary to the holy perfections of God’s character. The
service   of   sin   and   Satan   is   our   element   and   choice.   God’s

government is absolute and omnipotent. Earth and hell and

all   the   powers   of   darkness   are   held   by   His   Almighty   hand.
Mankind, considered in their fallen state, is voluntary in their
sin and rebellion. But they are chained, if I may so speak, and
it is a blessed thing that it is so. If God’s government over His
creatures,   and   over   all   things,   was   attended   with   any
weakness on His part, dreadful would be the consequences!
There is no lack of a disposition, or heart’s desire, on the part
of earth and hell to sin and rebel, but there is a lack of power.
As men resist His sovereign will and government, it is only as
He allows it so to be; and for what purpose? Is He not able to
prevent it? Yes. Then He has purposed it for His declarative
glory,   and  for   the   exhibition   of   His   wrath  on   the   vessels   of
wrath fitted to destruction. Adam, as he came from the hand
of   his   Creator   in   his   formation   and   manifestation,   was   a
natural man – sinless, and very good. He sinned, and all the
human   family   sinned   in   him   and   with   him.   Our   name   is
Adam. We are all sinners. Can it be there were any contingent
circumstances  transpired  with God after the creation of the
world and of man? No. Or, in other words, did anything take
place   whereby   God   had   to   revise   His   plan,   or   change   His
purpose? Certainly not! For centuries God suffered all nations
{Acts 14:16} to walk in their own ways, yet he bestowed upon
them   providential   mercies.   Were   they   voluntary   in   their
wickedness?   Yes.   Were   the   bounds   of   their   habitation   set?
Certainly. Is man an accountable being? Of course; otherwise
he   would   not   be   considered   criminal   for   his   sin   and
transgression. Christ said to the Jews, when they took Him,
“but this is your hour, and the power of darkness.” Were they
guilty and criminal in their course? Yes. Notwithstanding they
by   wicked   hands   crucified   the   Son   of   God,   yet   it   was
“according   to   the   determinate   counsel   and   foreknowledge   of
God.”  Men   naturally   suppose   they   love   God;   so   did   those
wicked   Jews.   They   ignorantly   worship   God,   trusting   in   a
righteousness   of   their   own.   The   prophet   said,   “The   heart  is
deceitful   above   all   things,   and   desperately   wicked;   who   can
know it.” A solemn truth, an affecting consideration is this. A
violation   of   the   laws   of   our   natural   existence   as   creatures,

such   as   intemperance,   licentiousness,   and   every   form   of

outward   wickedness,   is   attended   with   all   the   concomitant
injuries and calamities arising there­from. If there was no God
of providence, as well as of grace, there would be no God of
judgment and mercy to render to every man according to his
works. The universal government of the eternal God over all
worlds, visible and invisible, and over all things, is clearly set
forth in the Scriptures of truth. The prophets and the apostles
had   a   view   of   His   supreme   government,   and   expressed
themselves accordingly. It is well for the church of God that it
is so. The spirit of wickedness existing in the heart of man is
irresistible to everything but the irresistible power of Almighty
God. Nothing short of irresistible grace and love can kill the
sinner   to   a   love   of   sin   and   Satan;   and   when   quickened   to
spiritual life, he feels to be in a state of death. His cry is to
God for mercy, and his own life and conduct, and his sinful
heart,   looks   very   bad   to   him.   So   it   is   with   every   penitent
sinner; he is silenced and confounded through the multitude
of   his   sins   and   transgressions.   He   knows   and   feels,
experimentally and vitally, what is absolutely true in relation
to   all   of   the   human   family   –   the   justice   of   God   in   his
condemnation and destruction.
 Upon the principle of God’s unchangeable purpose of love
and mercy, he is made, like every other subject of grace, to
experience the forgiveness of his sins, and receives the spirit
of adoption as a child of God. All of the heirs of promise are
born of God, and hence possess a holy nature as the sons and
daughters of the Lord God Almighty. They are not  little gods,
but are the children of God, heirs of God, and joint­heirs with
our Lord Jesus Christ. Their everlasting Father is holy, so also
are the children; hence they are called the  holy people. They
live, and are supported by their heavenly Father; they subsist
upon   heavenly   food,   and   cannot   be   satisfied   with   anything
short of eternal uncreated things. Christ is their life, and their
life is hid with Christ in God; and when Christ, who is their
life,   shall   appear,   they   also   shall  appear   with   him   in   glory.
What a blessed consideration!

But   the   church   of   God   in   time   is   called   to   wrestle,   not

against   flesh   and   blood,   but   against   principalities,   against
powers,   against   the   rulers   of   the   darkness   of   this   world,
against   spiritual   wickedness   in   high   places.   Formidable
opposition! They have to wrestle against all of the powers of
darkness, of earth and hell. What would become of the family
of   God,   if   the   government   of   God   could   be   overthrown?
Dreadful thought! They have no sympathy from the world, the
flesh and the devil, and their depraved nature is perverse, and
opposed   to   all   that   is   good.   Is   it   not   a   soul­comforting
reflection   that   the   Lord   God   omnipotent   reigneth?   Most
certainly   it   is  to  all  those   who  love   God,   and  rejoice   in  His
government. He affords timely assistance to all His saints in
all   their   trials   and   afflictions.   He   keepeth   the   feet   of   His
saints,   for   they   have   not   sufficient   wisdom   of   their   own   to
direct  their steps.  Truly, their way  is not  in themselves,  for
Christ   is  the  way,  the  truth  and  the  life.   In  His   providence
they cannot control their own course and destiny, and upon
His grace they are altogether dependent. They learn much of
their own folly and weakness, and desire to be reconciled to
the   will   of   their   Creator.   They   are   a   happy   people,
notwithstanding the opposition they encounter. It is true the
flesh sometimes predominates and they are in trouble. I will
quote the language of a Christian brother of my acquaintance,
which   is   somewhat   expressive.   “I   have   been   whittled   down
some in my feelings; I have been plunged and vexed a great
many times. I have had my pride awfully mortified more than
once in my pilgrimage. More than once have I arraigned God
to   my   bar   because   His   works   were   not   congenial   with   my
devilish notions. If I had the handling of things, I would have
a   nice,   pretty   and   orderly   church.   But   the   word   says,   here
and there a traveler; and they that live godly in Christ Jesus
shall suffer persecution.” Because God’s ways are not as our
ways, therefore we are often in difficulty. We like to have our
own ways naturally, for God’s ways are equal, while ours are
unequal.   We   have   to   be   chastened   with   the   rod   till   we   are
sufficiently   humbled.   But   when   the   glorious   promise   is
applied and Jesus is revealed, and the darkness and distress

pass   away,   how   pleasant   it   does   appear.   Our   fears   are

removed;   comfort   flows   into   the   soul,   the   mind   are   at   rest,
and the peace of God reigns within. We rejoice in spirit, and
regret   to   think   we   were   so   unwise   as   to   mistrust   His
goodness. The Gospel, in its proclamation, is a joyful sound,
in that season that we walk in the light of His countenance.
The   process   of   being  weaned  from   the   world   and   from
hankering after the vanities which are bought and sold in the
great   city   which   is   spiritually   called   Sodom   and   Egypt,
requires   considerable   crucifixion   of   the   flesh,   with   its
affections   and   lusts.   And   to   have   our   old   man   crucified
produces   a   severe   conflict   within;   still   we   learn   that   it   is
profitable   to   us.   We   are   made   to   “glory   in   tribulations   also;
knowing   that   tribulation   worketh   patience,   and   patience
experience,   and   experience   hope,   and   hope   maketh   not
ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts
by   the   Holy   Ghost   which   is   given   unto   us.”  It   remains   the
incontrovertible truth of the eternal “I AM” that “salvation is of
the Lord.”
I have penned the foregoing thoughts as they arose in my
mind.   They   are   either   true   or   false.   If   true,   unquestionably
they will stand. Not simply as thoughts, but as the truth of
God; and as the truth of God it cannot be overthrown. But if it
is   not   true,   then   it   is   nothing   but   the   conjuration   of   a
depraved mind; I have no hope, no encouragement to believe,
no trust, no view by faith of anything which causes my soul to
rejoice, I am, I know not where. If Jesus is mine and I am His,
I can say, “My Lord, and my God.” But if there be no Jesus,
no   God,   no   eternal   happiness,   we   are   left   at   loose   ends   –
everything   is   uncertain;   we   are   in   a  chance  world,   or
something worse.
God   is   either   a   sovereign   in   His   providence   and   in   His
grace, or else there is no God. The fool hath said in his heart
there is no God. There can be no middle ground  between the
doctrine   of   the   absolute   sovereignty   of   God   and   downright
avowed atheism. They cannot both be true. If we acknowledge
the truth of the Bible, we must believe the first; if not we are
infidels   –   or   in   other   words   atheists   or   deists.   We   may

acknowledge a Deity, but yet deny divine revelation; if so, we

are   deists.   Some   of   the   greatest   features   of   atheism   now
manifest, is in a formal acknowledgement of the truth of the
Bible, and a virtual denial of its principles. For instance, there
are those who say they believe the Bible, and with the Bible in
their hands hold forth and pretend to say that sinners cannot
be saved unless we use the means – something must be done
by us, and others, to help or assist in the salvation of sinners.
Money   must   be   used,   and   much   effort   brought   into
requisition   to   save   sinners,   as   though   salvation   was   a
partnership or joint concern between God and men. God does
a part and the creature does a part, and if the creature does
his  part   God   will   save   him.   These   are   the   prevailing
sentiments of the present spiritual Dark Age. Many suppose it
is true, and never once question the incorrectness of it. And
actually, there are so many at the present day that are so in
the habit of sitting under the preaching of such unsound and
rotten doctrines, that when they hear the Gospel preached in
its   pristine   purity   they   are   greatly   astonished.   I   have   often
thought of the following Scriptures, which laid with weight on
my mind several years ago, and which I have not forgotten.
“Beware, lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain
deceit;   after   the   tradition   of   men,   after   the   rudiments   of   the
world,   and   not   after   Christ.”  I   have   no   doubt   some   of   the
Lord’s children are thus spoiled and their minds are confused,
their vision is marred, and they are weak and sickly. I have
been there myself; I have seen it, I have felt it to my sorrow. I
can   say   to   the   praise   of   God’s   grace;   however,   that
notwithstanding all of my troubles and sorrow in former days,
I did not suffer more than has been for my good, and I trust
for the glory of God. I partook of the wormwood and the gall,
and   I   have   not   forgotten   it.   My   soul   is   humbled   within   me
when I call it to remembrance, therefore have I hope.
Heaven and hell are greatly at antipodes, so is truth and
error. They that are not for us are against us, and they that
gather not with us scatter abroad. There are absolutely but
two   classes   of   people   on   the   earth   –   the   righteous   and   the
wicked. They all love God or hate Him. While they are all alike

by nature, yet regenerating grace produces a radical change

in them that are born again. A separation takes place; they
are delivered from the power of darkness, and translated into
the   kingdom   of   God’s   dear   Son;   they   are   made  meet  to   be
partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light. Can those
who   are   born   of   God,   absolutely,   be   happy   only,   in   the
presence   of   God?   No.   Why?   Because   they   love   God,   and
cannot   be   happy   only   as   they   enjoy   His   presence.   They
possess   a   heavenly   nature,   adapted   to   a   heavenly   state   of
existence.   Why   are  they   unhappy  sometimes?   Because   they
have   a   rebellious,   fallen   nature,   which   wars   against   that
which   is   holy   and   heavenly,   and   they   become   carnally
minded.   Can   graceless   men,   absolutely,   be   happy   in   the
presence   of   God?   No.   Why?   Because   they   do   not   love   God,
neither do they possess a nature {if it is proper so to speak}
that   is   adapted   to   the   enjoyment   of   His   presence;   they   are
enemies to Him by wicked works. I use the word nature, here,
to   define   the   difference   between   the   flesh   and   the   spirit   –
between   the   new   man   and   the   old   man   –   the   image   of   the
heavenly and of the earthly. They are opposite in their nature
and   character;   and   to   define   the   difference   between   the
righteous and the wicked – the one loves God, the other does
not   love   Him.   Hence   in  nature  and  in  principle   they   are   at
antipodes. If there is a union to God and to Christ, there is a
union   to   His   people.   Christ   said   to   His   disciples,   “He   that
receiveth you receiveth Me, and he that receiveth Me receiveth
Him that sent Me.”  This is  vital gospel union, from first to
last. If I hear a man preach the Gospel in its pristine purity,
and I have a union to it, I can receive him for Christ’s sake; I
love him for the sake of the truth he preaches. Upon any other
principle it would be a selfish love. The question arises in my
mind: Do I love God? Do I love Jesus? Do I love His people?
Do I love His commandments? Sometimes I can say I know
that I do, and that I feel a union thereto. But then, what am I?
What   sort   of   a   place   do   I   inhabit?   I   am   constrained   to
acknowledge God’s truth, that I am carnal, sold under sin. My
habitation is in the dust, and I am a worm of the dust. And
yet love God? Yes; for I can say with Paul, {if not deceived,}

“For I delight in the law of God after the inward man; but I see

another   law   in   my   members   warring   against   the   law   of   my
mind and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in
my members. O, wretched man that I am; who shall deliver me
from the body of this death. I thank God through Jesus Christ
our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God;
but with the flesh the law of sin.”
I have written more than I intended when I commenced.
My thoughts have run, and my pen too, but I have expressed
some of the sentiments and feelings of my soul. I once hated
the doctrine which I try now to advocate; and no other than
God   Himself   ever   caused   me   to   love   it   and   cleave   to   it,   or
caused it to cleave to me. I rejoice in it, and it is heavenly food
to my soul and living water to satisfy my thirst. I love to speak
and   write   in   relation   to   it,   as   the   excellent   things   of   the
kingdom of our God.
Yesterday it snowed throughout the day; yet I, with a few of
the brethren and friends assembled at the meeting house, and
I preached from Col.1:13. I realized, in some degree, that it
was more profitable than to remain at home. Still, the Lord
does bless His people, at home or abroad, as it pleaseth Him.
The   prophet   Ezekiel   is   describing   a   certain   city,   in  the   last
verse of his description of it, said,  “and the name of the city,
from that day, shall be, The Lord is there.” His presence is life,
and His loving kindness is better than life. “The Lord is there.”
Yours affectionately,
Joseph L. Purington. – April 21, 1856
Newton County, GA., Dec.16, 1856.
Upon a review of brother A. Moore’s letter published in this
number   of   the   MESSENGER,   I   have   concluded   to   express
some of my views in relation to some ideas expressed in his
letter.  His  views   or  mine,  are of  little,  or  no  consequence   if

they are not scripturally correct. But scriptural testimony will

stand   though   it   may   conflict   with   our   views.   I   claim   no
infallibility   in   my   views   any   further   than   they   are   in
accordance with the Scriptures.
The  indissoluble   union   of   Christ   and   the   church,   and
the   distinction   between   Adam   and   Christ,   are   worthy   of
special attention. Two separate and distinct families exist in
Adam and Christ; the first is natural, the second is spiritual.
Christ   existed   before   Adam,   but   Adam   was   the   first   in   the
order   of   manifestation   in   time.   Adam   is   the   Head   and
Progenitor   of   all   the   natural   family.   He   was   of   the   earth,
earthy. Christ Jesus is the Head and Progenitor of a spiritual
family.   The   Head   of   the   church   is   Christ,   and   the   Head   of
Christ   is   God.   He   is   the   Lord   from   heaven,   a   quickening
Spirit. A family must always exist in the Progenitor prior to
their development,  or  manifestation.  So in relation to Adam
and Christ: Christ existed  anterior  to time, as one  with the
Father, and one with His people. An  incorruptible spiritual
seed existed IN Him as the Son of God, and the life of the
church.  He   was   glorified   with   the   Father  before  the   world
was,   and   represented   in   Himself   the   elect   or   chosen   family
before that family was made partakers of flesh and blood. The
church had a spiritual existence in Christ in a oneness of life
and being, before she had a natural existence in Adam, when
Adam   was   brought   into   existence   by   the   power   of   the
Almighty.   When   Adam   sinned   the   human   family   sinned   in
him, and with him. The natural existence of the chosen family
is in the loins of Adam, and they were by nature children of
wrath even as others. Hence, by nature, there is no difference
between them and the rest of the human family. But in Christ
Jesus provision is made for them, for they are blessed with all
spiritual {not natural} blessings in heavenly places,  in  Christ
Jesus, according as they were chosen  in  Him {not into Him}
before the foundation of the world, that they should be holy
and  without  blame   before   Him  in   love.   A   family   of   children
always  partakes of the nature  of their Progenitor. That which
is born of the flesh is flesh; that which is born of the Spirit is

Spirit.   If   the   seed   is   corruptible,   the   children   will   be

corruptible. If the seed  is incorruptible,  the children  will be
incorruptible. Christ and His people are one. The existence in
a oneness of life and being with Adam is one thing, and the
manifestation   of  the  human  family   by   natural generation   is
another   thing,   or   in   other   words   the   bringing   forth   of   that
which   had   an   existence   in   the   Progenitor.   So   the   spiritual
existence of the family of God in a oneness of life with Christ
is   one   thing,   and   their   being   brought   forth   or   manifested
when called by grace, or born again, is another thing. When
sinners are called by grace, or with a holy calling there is in
them   a   new   creature   with   spiritual   powers   and   faculties   to
see, hear, and understand spiritual things. They receive the
spirit  of   adoption   (not   the   adoption   itself)   whereby   they   cry
Abba Father. When a person is born naturally, it proves his
union to Adam before he was born while yet in his father’s
loins, and when a person is born again it proves his union to
Christ, before he was born again. The manifestation of a thing
is not the creating of that thing, but it is simply bringing into
manifest   existence   what   actually   did   exist   before.   So   in
relation to Christ and the church; hence it is said: they are
“born of God of incorruptible seed, by the word of God which
liveth and abideth forever.” The manifestation of the church in
time   by   regeneration,   justification,   sanctification,   and
complete   redemption,   is   the   carrying   out,   and
accomplishment   of   the   grand   and   sublime   purpose   of   God,
not only in the manifestation of the sons of God existing in the
Sonship   of   Christ,   but   in   the   ultimate   conformity   of   the
church, both soul and body, to the image of Christ. Therefore,
in view  of this glorious truth, Paul said,  “For whom He did
foreknow,   He   also   did   predestinate   to   be   conformed   to   the
image of His Son, that He might be the first born among many
brethren. Moreover, whom He did predestinate, them He also
called; and whom He called, them He also justified; and whom
He justified, them He also glorified.” Rom.8:29,30.
John said, “And this is the record, that God hath given to us
eternal life, and this life is  in  His Son. He that hath the Son

hath   life;   and   he   that   hath   not   the   Son   hath   not   life.”  The

church   in   her   connection   with   the   first   Adam   is   lost,
condemned, and in a state of transgression. The natural life of
all   the   human   family   is   given   to   them   in   Adam,   and   the
church   has   natural   life   and   existence   in   Adam.   Could   the
natural family have life manifestively, if that life was not in
Adam   before   its   manifestation?   Of   course   not!   Therefore,
when eternal life is given to us when called by grace, we are
“manifested”   in   possession   of   that   eternal   life   which   is   in
Christ. There would be no Christian experience, no heart­felt
sense of heavenly things, no precious view of Christ, if we had
not actually a oneness of life in the Sonship of Christ, prior to
its bestowment upon us. That life is called “eternal life.” Paul
said,  “For the wages of sin is death,” referring to our ruined
condition by nature, “but the gift of God is eternal life through
Jesus Christ our Lord.”  If Christ is, experimentally, in us, we
have that life which is the light of men. Christ liveth in us,
and the life we live in the flesh, we live by the faith of the Son
of God who loved us and gave Himself for us.
The Scriptures testify that Jews and Gentiles are all under
sin. God had a special regard to National Israel for centuries,
while He suffered all nations to walk in their own ways. But
when the appointed time had come, God sent forth His Son,
made of a woman, made under the law, &c. God had a people
among   the   Gentiles.   The   Jews   and   Gentiles   were   twain,   or
two, but by the blood of Christ, or in other words, the blood of
the cross, they are made one  in  Christ Jesus. They are both
reconciled to God by Jesus Christ. Read Ephesians chapter 2,
10 th   verse   to   the   end   of   the   chapter.   Also   II   Cor.5:17­19,
inclusive. It was according to God’s purpose and grace given
to the church in Christ that Jews and Gentiles are made one
in  Christ   Jesus.   Therefore,   as   both   the   Head   and
Representative of His people, Jews and Gentiles manifestively,
are made the recipients of His love and mercy.
So long as Israel continued as a Nation, there was but a
remnant   according   to   the   election   of   grace   that   worshipped
God   in   the   Spirit,   and   had   no   confidence   in   the   flesh.   So

among the Gentiles the chosen family is but few in point of

comparison with the mass of the human family. And they are
saved   experimentally   by   grace,   and   are   made   to   say   that,
“Salvation is of the Lord.”
God   loved   His   people,   and   chose   them  in  Christ   Jesus
before the foundation of the world. He loved them when they
were  dead   in  trespasses   and   sins   in  the   loins   of   Adam.   He
loved them among the Jews, and among the Gentiles. And He
will   love   them   everlastingly.   And   they   reciprocate   His   love
when they experience His love bestowed upon them.
God reconciled sinners to Himself by Jesus Christ, but the
carnal mind is enmity against God, not subject to the law of
God, neither indeed can be. The Lord’s dear people learn daily
that their carnal mind is enmity against God, and continues
to be while they remain in time. But when they feel the Spirit
of reconciliation to God’s will, they are at peace with God and
their fellow men.
Notwithstanding   the   expression   of   my   views   as   above
stated, I will simply remark further that I have no fellowship
with the Manichean theory of two seeds, revived and improved
by   Daniel   Parker,   and   referred   to   in   Brother   Moore’s   letter.
There is no Scriptural authority to suppose that through some
fortuitous cause an eternal, self­existent evil spirit entered the
bounds   of   God’s   government,   with   a   seed   or   family   to   be
manifested   in   time.   All   worlds,   creatures,   and   things,   are
embodied   in   the   creation   of   God.   The   Lord,   by   the   prophet
declared, “I form the light, and create darkness; I make peace
and create evil; I the Lord do all these things.” Isa.45:7. The
seed of the woman is Christ, and the seed of the serpent, is
the   man   of   sin;   that   wicked   one,   the   son   of   perdition,   or
Antichrist. It is said in Scripture that  the serpent was more
subtle than any beast the field which the Lord God had made.”
Gen.3:1.   Therefore,   I   infer   that   the   serpent   is   a   creature   of
God. God made all things for Himself, even the wicked for the
day of evil.  His universal and absolute government is over
all   things,   visible   and   invisible,   worlds,   creatures,   and

What   I   have   written   is   through   no   other   than   the   most

kind,   and   brotherly   feeling   towards   brother   Moore,   and   the
brethren in general, and I trust it will be kindly received by all
J.L. Purington. – Dec. 16, 1856
1857 ­ VIEWS ON ACTS 13:36.
Richmond, Maine, 1857.
DEAR BROTHER BEEBE: ­ A few days since, I observed in
the 13 th  Number of the MESSENGER, a request from brother
D.F.P. Montgomery, for my views on Acts 13:36. “For David,
after   he   had   served   his   own   generation   by   the   will   of
God,   fell   on   sleep,   and   was   laid   unto   his   fathers,   and
saw corruption.”
I am ever willing to give such views as I may have on any
portion of Scripture, whenever I am requested, but a sense of
my   weakness,   nothingness,   and   unworthiness   vastly
preponderates in my own mind, to that extent at times, that I
can   scarcely   muster   sufficient   energy   to   speak   or   write
concerning   the   things   of   the   kingdom   of   God.   Should   the
Spirit of the Lord indite matter for me to communicate, most
joyfully I can speak or write in the great name of the blessed
Redeemer.   I   very   much   desire   the   blessed   operation   of   the
Holy   Spirit   which   comforts   and   consoles   the   saints   of   the
Most High God.
In relation to the passage referred to by our brother, I can
simply   remark   in   the   first   place   that   it   is   one   of   those
Scriptures,   including   the   subject   in   its   connection,   which
clearly establish the great truth, that our Lord Jesus Christ,
the Son of the living God, was of the seed of David, according
to the flesh. And Paul boldly affirmed in the synagogue of the
Jews at Antioch, that while Christ was raised from the dead
and   saw   no   corruption,   it   was   a   fulfillment   of   what   the
prophets had foretold in the Holy Scriptures, and that also the
wicked Jews had fulfilled the Scriptures in condemning Him.
The   Jews   were   looking   for   a   temporal   king   to   restore   the
kingdom to Israel, and expected he would come of the seed of

David, but had no knowledge of the glorious character of the

promised Redeemer of spiritual Israel. David in His day saw
the vision of the Holy One, and spoke of His coming in the
flesh,   and   the   glory   of   the   Gospel   kingdom.   Christ   existed
before David in His heavenly character as the Son of God, yet
He   condescended   to   become   the   offspring   of   David   in   His
incarnation when made of a woman, made under the law, to
endure   the   penalty   of   the   law   for   our   transgressions.   He
suffered for sins, the just for the unjust that He might bring
us to God.
David by ordinary generation was a sinner of Adam’s race.
In   no   respect   did   he   differ   from   others   in   that   particular.
Being called of God, and made a subject of rich and reigning
grace, he was enabled to bear testimony to revealed truth. He
was in the providence of God raised to be king over Israel. By
the   will   of   God   he   served   his   own   generation,   referring
probably to Israel and that by the will of God, he served that
nation,   or   people   the   day   in   which   he   lived.   And   also   he
fulfilled his part as king over Israel, and as a lively type of our
spiritual David he served his day and generation, and fell on
sleep, or in other words fell asleep in Jesus. He died in the
sense we speak of the death of the natural body. As a subject
of grace, having spiritual life in him, he only fell asleep when
disrobed of the earthly house of this tabernacle. He was not
separated   from   Christ   when   he   fell   asleep.   The   never­dying
soul & spirit when set free from its prison, was absorbed or
swallowed up in its union to Christ, and ascended on high to
the realms of immortal day. But his body, like his ancestors,
saw   corruption,   being   laid   unto   his   fathers,   or   buried   with
It   is   a   Scriptural   Truth   in   relation   to   all   of   the   heirs   of
immortal glory, that by nature they are children of wrath even
as others. When called by grace and quickened into spiritual
life, they realize sensibly that they are in a state of death or
separation from God. When set free from the law of sin and
death, by the law of the spirit of life in Christ Jesus, they are
made to sing of matchless love and mercy. As the disciples of
Christ,   the   followers   of   the   Lamb,   they   serve   their   day   and

generation by the will of God, in doing what the God of heaven

has   commanded   them.   Each   of   them  show   their   love   and
regard to the chosen generation of the Lord’s people, by a
steadfast adherence to the doctrine, laws, and ordinances
of God our Savior.  They fall asleep, and are laid unto their
fathers, or buried with all those who loved the truth and are
fallen   asleep.   Their   dying   ejaculation   is   like   Stephen,   when
about to fall asleep,  “Lord Jesus receive my spirit.” They are
not dead, or separated from Christ, but sleep in Jesus their
living Head and Savior.
But hark! A voice from on High speaks with emphasis, the
Holy One of Israel saw no corruption. He was raised from the
dead   by   the   power   of   God.   He   that   “was   holy,   harmless,
undefiled,   separate   from   sinners,   and   made   higher   than   the
heavens”  is the resurrection and the life. Corruption, earth,
and   worms   may   destroy   the   bodies   of   the   saints,   and   they
return   to   the   dust,   yet   it   is   declared   in   holy   writ   by   the
inspired apostle to his brethren, “But if the Spirit of Him that
raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, He that raised up
Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by
His Spirit that dwelleth in you.” At the redemption of the body
the slumbering millions of the redeemed of all nations, shall
awake from their long sleep with the likeness of Christ, and
ascend to the climax of all glory in the world of unsullied and
unspeakable excellency.
For finite worms to comprehend the resurrection
of the body, and the ecstatic joy of the glorified
saints upon the principle of human reason and
speculation, is as impossible as to comprehend the
Infinity of God. Even the saints can only know in
part while time endures. This Scripture is attended
with a blessedness when applied by the Spirit, and
is calculated to silence all speculation to the
believing saint. “Beloved, now are we the sons of
God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be;
but we know that when He shall appear we shall be

like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.” Whether my

views   on  the  foregoing   Scripture   with  the  connection   of  the
subject   so   far   as   I   have   expressed,   will   be   satisfactory   to
brother Montgomery I know not.
My wife and myself are now at the house of my father, in
the   State   of   Maine,   the   land   of   my   birth   and   place   of   my
nativity. We expect ere long to return to Georgia, if the Lord
will. May the Lord prosper us on our way.
Yours as ever,
J.L. Purington. – 1857.
Newton County, GA., Nov.11,1857.
DEAR BROTHER BEEBE: ­ I recall to my mind the request
of Sister Betsey Jennings of Tioga County, PA., for my views,
some   months   since,   through   the   SIGNS,   on   the   following
“ For   the   creature   was   made   subject   to   vanity,   not
willingly, but by reason of Him who hath subjected the same
in hope.”  Rom.8:20.
In   an   unlimited   sense   everything   which   was   created   –
everything besides the Creator, or everything not self­existent,
is   a   creature.   When   restricted   to   any   being   or   thing   in
particular its character is known by the description given, or
by   knowledge   which   we   personally   may   have   of   it.   So   in
relation to the creature in the text: Its character is described,
but   some   difficulty   may   arise   in   an   understanding   of   what
creature it is. Upon this point there is more than one opinion.
If I did not believe there was in Christ Jesus a spiritual family
denominated   children   of   God,   heirs   of   God,   and   joint­heirs
with   our   Lord   Jesus   Christ,   I   might   conclude   the   creature
spoken   of   had   reference   to   something   natural,   fleshly,   or
earthy. But when I consider Paul was writing to a people born
of God, and in whom Christ was revealed the hope of glory, I
conclude he was speaking of the new creature. Paul says, “If

any   man   be   in   Christ,   he   is   a   new   creature;   old   things   are

passed away, behold all things are become new.” II Cor.5:17.
Again,   “For   in   Christ   Jesus   neither   circumcision   availeth
anything, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature.” Gal.6:15. In
these   Scriptures   he   has   reference   no   doubt   to   the
experimental development of the new creature, when a man is
born again. Paul to the Colossians says of Christ, “Who is the
image of the invisible God, the first­born of every creature.”  In
Psa.89 th , the Eternal Father says of His Son, “Also I will make
Him, My first­born, higher than the kings of the earth.”  He is
called the first­born from the dead, also the first­born among
many brethren. If Christ, in His sonship, sustains the relation
of first­born, all such as are born again of Adam’s progeny,
are recognized in the class of every creature. The creature in
the   text   is   included   in   the   class   of   every   creature,   as   I
understand   it,   and   is   the   production,   or   offspring   of   a
spiritual   progenitor,   brought   forth   in   the   natural   or   earthly
man in the new or heavenly birth. The man who was dead in
trespasses and sins, is now spiritually alive, whereas he was
once alienated, and an enemy in his mind by wicked works,
he is now reconciled to God by Jesus Christ. It is the man
who is reconciled, not the carnal mind. A spiritual man now
dwells in the earthly man, and the same individual who was
pursuing a wicked course, is now a follower of Christ.
Was made subject to vanity. A creature is dependent upon
the Creator, or some superior power, and therefore subject to
that power in some form or manner. The creature is subjected
by the Father to vanity, not willingly, or in other words, not
voluntarily.   Vanity   is   expressive   of   emptiness,   a   lack   of
substance to satisfy desire. Vanity of vanity, all is vanity, all
that cometh is vanity. This world, with all its concomitants, is
vanity   and   vexation   of   spirit.   It   is   not   the   choice   of   the
creature,   or   new   man,   to   be   subjected   to   such   a   state   of
things, but is made subject by the Father. I will analyze this
part of my text experimentally. Does not every Christian know
and   feel   within   himself   at   times,   a   distress,   a   burden,   a
captivity, so that when he would do good evil is present with
him?   Yes.   Does   he   not   feel   himself   subjected   to   a   state   of

things which is irksome to him, and which he does not love or

desire? Most certainly he does. What is the occasion of all this
trouble? I answer that there is a  little something, to use my
own   mode   of   expression,   dwelling   in   the   man,   which   is
heavenly   in   its   origin,   nature,   and   desire,   which   cannot   be
satisfied   with   anything   in   this   transitory   state   of   existence.
Why?   Because,   there   is   nothing   in   this   world   to   feed   or
support the heavenly mind. There is a want of substance to
satisfy   desire.   Just   so   long   as   the   believer   remains   in   the
earthly   house   of   this   tabernacle,   he   will   certainly   find   a
subjection to a state of vanity which the new creature has no
interest in, no desire for, and to which he is not a voluntary
But by reason of Him who hath subjected the same in hope.
The   Father   hath   subjected   the   creature   in   hope,   as   it   is
written:   “Because   the   creature   itself   also   shall   be   delivered
from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the
children of God.”  Bondage of corruption is very expressive of
the state from which the creature is delivered. It accords with
what   Paul   says   in   relation   to   his   own   experience   when   he
exclaimed, “O, wretched man that I am who shall deliver me
from the body of this death, or bondage of corruption.” There is
a patient waiting of the creature for the time of deliverance,
notwithstanding its subjection to vanity. Paul says, “For the
earnest   expectation   of   the   creature   waiteth   for   the
manifestation of  the sons  of God.”  Its earnest   expectation  is
onward   and   upward.   Job   could   say,   “All   the   days   of   my
appointed time will I wait until my change come.” Paul desired
to   depart   and   be   with   Christ   which   was   far   better;
nevertheless it was needful for him to remain a season longer.
I   do   not   understand   that   there   is   an   unwillingness   of   the
creature to be subject to the will of the Father, and to remain
its   appointed   time,   but   there   is   no   willing   or   voluntary
subjection to a state of things which affords no satisfaction to
its   longing   desire.   A   willing   or   voluntary   subjection   would
indicate   a   disposition   to   always   remain   there.   I   might   be
subjected   to   the   necessity   of   staying   in   a   certain   place   a

number   of   years   which   are   allotted   me   by   the   God   of

providence. I might be willing to stay the time allotted me, for
the providence of God placed me there, and I believed it right
and just to stay, yet it was not voluntary on my part, it was
not   my   choice,   neither   do   I   like   the   place,   the   people,   nor
anything there. I am compelled to stay, yet I have no desire to
associate with the people, or to conform to their manners and
customs.   I   am   subjected   in   hope   of   deliverance.   Upon   this
principle God’s people are strangers and pilgrims in this vale
of   sorrow,   and   wilderness   of   sin,   and   are   traveling   to  that
better   country  where   the   inhabitants   will   never   part,   where
sickness, sorrow and death are never known.
The hope of the righteous is an everlasting foundation. It is
subjected in hope of eternal life, which God, who cannot lie,
promised before the world began. It is Christ in the believer,
the hope of glory. Hence with propriety it can be said in the
present tense, “for we are saved by hope.”
The   manifestation   of   the   sons   of   God,   and   the   glorious
liberty of the children of God, I conclude have reference not
only to their deliverance from the bondage of corruption, but
also to that period when that great event will transpire which
all the saints are waiting for; namely, the adoption, which is
called the “redemption of our body” in the resurrection. The
state of ultimate glory  which will break forth at that period
upon the saints, cannot now be realized or anticipated. Even
the   sufferings   of   this   present   time   are   not   worthy   to   be
compared with the glory which shall be revealed in the saints.
I submit what I have written to the consideration of sister
Jennings,   and   all   others   who   may   be   disposed   to   read   my
communication.   I   am   anxious   some   brother   would   give   a
correct view of the foregoing Scripture, as I have long desired
to   have   a   Scriptural   understanding   of   it.   I   believe   the
sentiments I have expressed are Scripturally correct, whether
they are really the meaning of the text or not.
Yours affectionately,               Joseph L. Purington. – Nov.
11, 1857


Newton County, GA., Nov.18, 1857.
DEAR BROTHER BEEBE: ­ Thinking a brief sketch of my
late journey to the Northern and Eastern States, might be of
some   interest   to   the   readers   of   the   MESSENGER,   I   have
ventured to submit an account of it for publication. For the
sake of brevity, I shall omit the names of numerous brethren
that I saw, with whom I have been acquainted for years, and
some whose acquaintance is more recent. I shall mention the
names of such brethren as I may have particular occasion to
refer to in the account of my journey.
Your readers are aware that I was originally from Maine,
and   resided   a   few   years   in   the   State   of   New   York,   before   I
came to Georgia. After taking up my adobe in this State, I was
disposed   agreeable   to   previous   arrangements,   to   journey   to
the North. Accordingly my wife and I left Covington, Georgia
on the 6 th  of June last, by Railroad, and after journeying three
days   and   nights,   arrived   in   the   city   of   New   York.   After
stopping   one   night   in   the   city,   we   proceeded   on   to   the
Warwick Association, held with the Middletown and Wallkill
church,   Orange   Co.,   New   York.   [The   Warwick   Association   was
composed of  independent churches,  as the  Warwick had  abandoned its
constitution   about   1842,   when   its   member   churches   unanimously
declared associations were not Biblical.­ ­See “The Golden Age of Baptists
in America, Vol. I;” page 189 and 202.]  We failed to arrive in time to
attend the first day of the Association, but were present the
two   following   days.   Here   I   met   with   a   large   number   of
brethren and sisters with whom I have been  acquainted for
years.   I  also  met   with  brother  E.A.   Meaders,  of  Mississippi,
with whom I had formed a pleasant acquaintance in Georgia.
This   Associational   meeting   was  one   of   the   most   agreeable  I
ever   attended.   It   was   truly   a   season   of   refreshing   from   the
presence of the Lord. We stopped at Middletown with brother
G. Beebe and other brethren, one week. Meanwhile I preached
at   Ramapo,   Rockland   Co.,   N.Y.,   one   Sunday.   We   then
journeyed  to Lexington Co., N.Y.,  via Newburg and Catskill,

where   we   remained   from   the   18 th   of   June   to   the   10 th   of

August. Meanwhile I  preached  for  the Lexington Old School
Baptist   church   every   Sunday,   but   one,   and   baptized   six
willing   disciples.   My   wife   being   sick   of  the  bilious   fever,   [an
illness consisting of high fever, accompanied with colic and/or loose bile,]
detained   us   nearly   four   weeks   longer   than   we   intended   at
Lexington. The  church at this place was under  my  pastoral
care, before, and at the time I came to the South, and upon
my return I formally resigned. In substance it had been done
before, as I was providentially hindered from returning at the
time I contemplated, and had written to that effect. I took the
care of that church agreeable to their unanimous invitation,
in   the   first   place,   and   resigned   with   feelings   of   mutual
Christian  love,   and   fellowship.   Those   brethren   and  sisters   I
shall long remember. I had not the care of any other church
during the time I resided at Lexington. The church was large,
and  demanded  all of my  service.  August  10 th   we started  on
our journey to Maine, and arrived at the house of my father at
Richmond,   on   the   13 th .   We   passed   through   Catskill   and
Hudson, N.Y., and Springfield, Worcester, and Boston, Mass.,
and Portland, Maine, on our way. I found my folks all well,
and felt the earnest ties of natural consanguinity in meeting
with them.  The Sunday following our arrival, I preached,
by   request,   at   the   Congregational   meeting   house  in
Richmond   village,   and   had   a   very   attentive   congregation.   [I
especially   call   attention   to   this   notation,   to   encourage   Old   School   Baptists
ministers   and   churches   to   be   more   Scriptural   and   “go   every   where   a   door   is
opened   to   them   to   preach   the   Gospel.   The   present   man­made   tradition   of   only
preaching   for   a   sister   church   “in  our   order”  is   not   Scriptural,   nor   was   it   then
practiced.   The   practice   evolved   during   the   divisions   among   the   “Primitives”
following   the   downgrade.­   SCP]   I preached  the next Sunday for the
Bowdoinham church where I am a member, about eight miles
from   my   father’s.   I   visited   the   O.S.   Baptist   church   at   Jay,
Maine,   which   church   I   used   to   supply   in   former   years.   I
stopped two Sundays with those brethren. The former pastor
of the church, Elder  J. Macomber, who for some years was
superannuated, died while I was there, and I preached at his
funeral. I had known him for years to be a firm, consistent
O.S. Baptist. There have been additions to the Bowdoinham

and Jay churches within one year by baptism. We attended

the Maine O.S. Baptist Conference at North Berwick, and had
a pleasant meeting. Brethren P. Hartwell, of N.J., L. Cox, of
Mass.,   J.A.   Badger,   Wm.   Quint,   and   J.   Steward,   of   Maine,
were   present,   with   numerous   private   brethren.   We   next
attended the Maine O.S. Baptist Association at Bowdoinham
village,   forty   miles   beyond   Portland.   The   above   mentioned
brethren were present, with the exception of P. Hartwell and
J. Steward. The meeting was one of interest. I had to part with
brethren   and   sister   with   whom   I   had   been   conversant   for
years, who knew me before I began to preach, with whom I
had   enjoyed   many   pleasant   seasons   together   in   Christian
fellowship and brotherly love. Some of them with myself had
passed through the fiery ordeal which necessarily arose when
the   principles   of   gospel   truth   were   assailed   and
misrepresented, and divers doctrines and practices had been
introduced   by   those   who   are   now   called   New   School   or
Missionary Baptists.
For   one   I   can   say   that   the   principles   of   the   New   School
Baptists,   and   those   of   the   Old   School   Baptists,   never   can
harmonize and come together. The principles of fraternization
do   not   exist   between   the   two   classes   of   people.   Whoever
desires a compromise, had better go over to the Missionaries
at once, and let the old Baptists alone. We have no use for
such   people.   And   if   there   are   any   persons   among   the   New
School Baptists, who desire to live with the Old Baptists upon
gospel   principles,   and   are  heart­sick  of   the   principles   and
practice of their old associates, and will come to us in a gospel
way, we are ready to receive them. Whosoever supposes that
the two classes of people can unite while each is governed
by   principles   entirely   at   antipodes   with   the   other   is
certainly   led   by   a   blind   infatuation.  And   to   suppose   the
Missionaries   are  reforming   and   coming   to   us,   is  a  mistake,
and to indirectly charge the Old School of Antinomianism is a
mere feint for the purpose of tricking the simple and unwary,
and   to   operate   against   the   cause   of   truth.   And   ideas   and
views of Gospel truth which may be sound in the abstract, are

calculated to deceive, where there is a virtual denial of the

life­union   of   Christ   and   the   Church.  In   this   way   the
enemies of the truth will endeavor to sap the foundation of the
believer’s   hope.   I   am   not   altogether   unacquainted   with   the
double­dealing course of such persons.
I will return to my narrative. On Tuesday, September 22 nd ,
we left Richmond, Maine, on our return to Georgia. We came
on to New York City, via Boston, Mass., Providence, R.I., and
Stonington, Ct., where we stopped three days at the house of
Brother J. Gilmore. His house seemed like one of my homes,
having spent much time there in former days when I supplied
the   Mt.   Zion   church   in   that   city.   We   continued   on   to
Washington D.C., where we stopped from Saturday morning,
Sept. 26 th  until Thursday night. On Sunday I preached for the
Shiloh O.S. Baptist church in that city, and had the privilege
of   witnessing   the   ordinance   of   baptism   administered   to   a
colored   sister   by  my   cousin,   brother   Wm.   J.   Purington,
[William J. Purington wrote about twice as many articles for the columns
of the SIGNS as did Joseph. We anticipate publishing his letters next­ SCP]
the pastor of Shiloh church. The season was one of special
interest. In company with Brother Wm. J. Purington and wife,
we   journeyed   to   the   Kehukee   Association,   N.C.,   passing
through   Richmond   and   Petersburg,   Virginia,   and   Weldon,
N.C., to Rocky Mount. We attended the Association one mile
from  Rocky   Mount,   at  the   Falls   of   Tar   River,  Nash   County,
North Carolina. Here we met with brethren Gilbert Beebe, of
N.Y.,   P.   Hartwell,   of   N.Y.,   R.D.   Hart,   C.B.   Hassell,   and
numerous   ministering   and   private   brethren.   Brother   B.
Temple,   [Elder   Temple   later   moved   to   Troy,   Alabama,   and   continued   the
publication at least through 1871, for I have copied portions of that issue. Needless
to say, the name “Primitive Baptist” came first from him, later Claude Casey picked
it up, and Sylvester Hassell pushed it as a name for the ecumenical denomination
after   1883   ­   SCP]   the editor  of the “Primitive Baptist periodical”
was also present. The congregation on Sunday was estimated
from   five   to   seven   thousand   persons,   of   which   number,
more than two thousand were Negroes.  After parting with
the   brethren   on   Monday   evening,   October   5 th ,   in   company
with  brother   G.   Beebe,   we left   Rocky   Mount   on  our   way  to

Covington, GA., where we arrived on Wednesday. We arrived

at   home   in   safety   and   found   all   well.   We   had   been   absent
from   home   four   months   and   one   day,   and   journeyed   by
railroad, steamboat, and other conveyance, about thirty three
hundred miles. The next day after our arrival, I left home by
private   conveyance   for   the   Oconee   Association,   at   Black’s
Creek, Madison County, about seventy miles distant. Several
brethren accompanied me on the way, and also on my return.
We   had   a   pleasant   meeting   at   the   Oconee,   and   everything
passed   off  harmoniously.  I  stopped  at  home  one  night,  and
then   went   on   by   public   conveyance,   via   Atlanta   and   West
Point, to the Primitive Western Association, at Mount Moriah,
Harris County, Georgia. Brethren G. Beebe, W.L. Beebe, D.W.
Patman,   and   D.L.   Hitchcock,   who   were   at   the   Oconee,
accompanied   me.   At   this   Association   I   met   with   several
brethren with whom I had formed an acquaintance one year
ago. I also met with some whom I had never  seen before.  I
met with brother Wilson Thompson of Indiana, with whom
I had formed an acquaintance, and heard preach more than
ten years ago in the Northern States. The preaching  at this
Association, so far as I could judge was in perfect unison, and
according to sound doctrine. I returned home the way I went,
and accompanied by the same brethren. The united testimony
borne   to   Gospel   truth,   at   each   of   the   Associations   I   have
attended   this   year,   was   soul­cheering   and   refreshing.   I   am
now   at   home,   eight   miles   south   of   Covington,   and   have   as
much   contentment,   and   peace   of   mind   as   I   ever   expect   to
enjoy in this vale of sorrow, and wilderness of sin. I will close
these   few   lines   which   are   imperfectly   written,   hoping   that
grace, mercy, and peace may abound towards you and all the
saints for Jesus’ sake.
                                        J.L. Purington. –Nov. 18, 1857.
Nov. 30, 1857 ­ VIEWS ON I COR.13:13.
Newton County, GA., Nov.30, 1857.
DEAR   BROTHER   BEEBE:   ­   While   I   was   at   the   Oconee
Association this fall, I was requested to give my views through

the MESSENGER, on I Cor.13:13.  “And now abideth faith,

hope,   charity,   these   three;   but   the   greatest   of   these   is
This epistle was written to the Church at Corinth, to them
that   are   sanctified   {set   apart}   in   Christ   Jesus,   called   to   be
saints,   with   all   that   in   every   place   call   upon   the   name   of
Jesus   Christ   our   Lord.   Its   application   more   or   less   to   the
saints   of   God   in   all   ages   is   clearly   manifest.   Among   other
subjects treated upon in this epistle, we find in the chapter
where  our   text   is  recorded,  something  is  said  in  relation  to
charity,   and   also   those   great   gifts,   and   much   eloquence   in
various ways without charity, can be of no profit. Whereby we
learn   that,   a   great   display   in   religious   matters   availeth
nothing, if we are destitute of charity.
And now abideth. And is a connective, or conjoining word.
The word now signifies at the present time. The word abideth
that which continueth, or remaineth the same. We learn by
this mode  of expression  the connection  of the text  with the
preceding   verses,   and   also   that   the   subject   in   the   text   is
immediately related to the subject in the context, and that the
final   conclusion   of   the   whole   subject   treated   upon,   is
concentrated, and settled in the last verse of the chapter. At
the   present   time   there   remaineth   faith,   hope,   charity,  &c.
With  whom  do  they  abide or  remain?  The  answer: with the
people of God collectively  and individually. By who are they
bestowed? They are bestowed by the Father of mercies, and
God of all comfort. If the saints of the Most High are made the
recipients   of   faith,   hope,   and   charity,   do   they   not   continue
with   the   saints   in   every   age   while   time   endures?   Most
certainly   they   do.   If   so,   can   the   Church   have   a   manifest
existence in time without them? I conclude not. In the strict
sense of the word, genuine faith without charity cannot exist
in the sense of our subject; neither can a genuine hope be of
any real service without charity. Yet charity is the greatest of
the three.
I   presume   my   friend   wishes   to   know   my   views,
particularly, of faith, and charity, and why, and in what sense

charity   is   the   greatest   of   the   three.   Faith   may   be   used   in

various senses, and is often spoken of in the Scriptures, but
in the text it has reference to something spiritually produced,
or   brought   forth   in   every   man  that   is  born   of   the   Spirit.   It
emanates   from   the   Spirit,   and   springs   forth   into   manifest
existence   in   every   person   that   is   under   heavenly   teaching.
Where   it   exists   there   is   an   assent   of   the   mind   to   divine
revelation.   There   is   an   actual   or   real   knowledge   of   things
which   exist   from   a   revelation   of   those   things   in   one’s
experience. Without faith,  it is impossible  to please God; for
him that cometh to God must believe that He is, and that He
is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him. We believe in
the actual existence of God, of Jesus Christ, of salvation from
sin, death and hell, upon the consideration that it is known
by experience. Faith is a substance in the saint, which causes
him to know, and believe things which really exist, though he
has no knowledge  of them by his natural senses, or vision.
There is an actual evidence of those things, in his own mind
of such an irresistible nature, that he is, at times, joyful, and
made   to   rejoice   through   the   inward   manifestation   of   those
things.   Such   is   the   power   of   unbelief,   and   the   corrupt
workings of a depraved nature, that if it was not for faith, the
saint would not be able to credit God’s word, or rely upon His
promises, and rejoice in things not seen by mortal vision. It is
peculiarly the faith of God’s elect, for there is no other people
which have it, or upon whom it is bestowed. If we belong to
that people we can call it  our  faith. And the victory we have
over the world, the flesh, and the devil, which causes us to
overcome   them,   is   our   faith.   It   works   by   love,   purifies   the
heart,   and   overcomes   the   world.   The   ancient   saints,
performed wonderful feats, by, or through faith, not that they
possessed   natural   power,   or   ability   to   exercise   faith,   but   it
exercised them, and enabled them to be faithful unto death. It
reveals a righteousness which justifies the sinner before God,
and   is   called   “precious   faith,”  or   faith   which   justifies   the
ungodly. It leads to an un­wavering  confidence in God, and
settles the mind in a belief of the doctrine of the Gospel. It
produces good works, such as the Scriptures warrant, in the

practice   of   the   saints,   and   not   what   men   may   teach,   or

dictate.   Having   the   internal   evidence   of   things   not   seen   or
known by human vision, we walk by faith, and not by sight.
We   see   through   a   glass   darkly.   Two   things   must   exist   to
behold   objects   which   exist.   We   must   have   eyes   to  see,   and
light   to   shine   around   us,   in   our   eyes,   and   upon   the   object
which is seen.  We can neither  have eyes,  nor  light, nor  life
when dead  in  sin,  but  when  spiritual  life  is communicated,
there   is   light,   and   eye­sight.   The   Gospel   glass   is   clear   and
transparent. The darkness being removed, by faith we see the
land  which   is   very   far   off.   We   cannot   come   into   actual
possession of  it now, for we are yet encumbered by the  body
of this death which is a dark, opaque body. Therefore, faith is
indispensably   necessary   while   the   saints   remain   in   this
transitory state of existence. Something further might be said
respecting faith, but the present must suffice.
Hope  is   a   partner   with   faith,   and   they   are   together   like
twin­sisters,   so   to   speak.   Though   they   exist   in   a   separate
capacity, yet one cannot exist without the other in relation to
eternal salvation. A good hope through grace in the mercy of
God   is   in   connection   with   faith   in   the   promises,   and
faithfulness  of God. Paul says, “For we are saved by hope.”
Again, “Christ in you the  hope  of glory” is a reality. It is an
anchor of the soul both sure and steadfast, and entereth into
that   within   the   veil,  &c.  The   hope   of   the   righteous   is   an
everlasting foundation. It is of heavenly origin, and holds the
saint, as an anchor, with good anchorage, holds a ship. The
reason why the saint cannot get rid of his hope is simply upon
the consideration that his hope holds him. He may sometimes
feel that his hope is very small, and as though he had none at
all, yet it remains as an anchor of the soul. The hope of the
hypocrite is as the spider’s web. The spider spins his web out
of his own bowels, and holds on to it, by its own power, so the
hypocrite’s hope is something of his own production, and he
holds   on   to   it   by   his   own   prayers,   resolutions,   and   good
determinations. As the spider’s web is easily destroyed, so the
hope   of   the   hypocrite   shall   perish.   Not   so   with   the   poor,
feeble, halting soul who may feel him self lost and undone by

reason of sin and transgression.  His inward exclamation is,

“Lord save or I perish,”  “I am oppressed, undertake  for me.”
His hope is in the God and Rock of his salvation. Where hope
exists   it   signifies   that   the   individual   has   not   yet   come   into
possession   of   that   which   is   promised   to   him.   A   glorious
inheritance of incorruptible riches is laid up in heaven for the
saints.   While   they   remain   in   time   they   cannot   come   into
possession of it, but their hope is in Him who is faithful and
true. They are subjected to a state of things which the new
creature, or spiritual man does not desire, but is subjected in
hope of deliverance from this bondage of corruption into the
glorious liberty of the children of God. As soon as the saints
come into possession fully of that which is promised in the
complete   redemption   of   the   Church   in   her   state,   the
expectation, desire, and anticipation of the saints under the
exercise of faith, and hope, will be realized and enjoyed in its
full   fruition.   And   if   so,   faith,   and   hope   will   be   no   longer
indispensably necessary. The saint will arrive at the climax of
all he anticipated, and hoped for. Faith and hope will cease, or
in other words, be swallowed up in universal love and praise.
Charity,   in   a   theological   or   religious   sense   includes
supreme love to God, and goodwill to man. Why the word was
not translated love, I do not pretend to say. I think it has the
same meaning. God is love, he that dwelleth in love, dwelleth
in God, and God in him. The origin of true charity, or love, is
in God. To love God supremely is only consequent upon the
bestowment   of   His   love   upon   us.   To   love   our   neighbor   as
ourselves, is a principle devoid of selfishness, and exists only
in quickened individuals.  The fruit of the Spirit is  love, joy,
peace,   &c.   It   is   a   constituted   part   of   the   new   man.   It   pre­
supposes union to God, to Christ Jesus, and to the family of
God in heaven, and on earth. In the context, Paul describes
the   nature   and   effects   of   charity   or   love.   According   to   his
description, there is but little of it manifested among men. It
has   no   connection   with   the  mock  philanthropy   of   the   age,
which  will  cause  men,   and  professed   Christians  to sacrifice
Truth for the sake of gratifying an aspiring, ambitious spirit.
Neither   does   it   have   any   connection   with   a   sort   of   fleshly

religious feeling which enlists the sympathy of our nature for

poor   sinners   in   telling   pathetic   anecdotes,   and   stories   to
arouse   the   religious   passions   of   men,   which   conflicts   with
God’s purpose of saving sinners. We have no authority to have
any more sympathy, or pity for sinners, in a religious point of
view, than what God has revealed in the Gospel of His dear
Son.   Self­love,   or   selfishness   appears   to   be   the   governing
principle of a large portion of the human family, and even in
the   visible   Church   of   Christ,   its   poisoning   influence,   and
effects   is   sometimes   seen   and   felt.   Where   true   charity
aboundeth there is hatred {great dislike, or aversion} to every
false   way.   We   love   God   because   He   is   a   Being   of   spotless
purity   and   perfection.   And   we   love   everything,   creature,   or
being that is lovely and holy. God loved sinners, not their sins,
even when they were dead in sins. He loved them in His Son,
and made them holy, and without blame before Him in love. If
we love the people of God for the truth’s sake, and desire to
occupy   a   low,   humble   place   at   the   feet   of   Jesus,   and   are
willing to serve our brethren, we are especially careful not to
wound   our   brethren   and   dishonor   the   cause   of   truth.   Any
company we dislike we will avoid from choice. On my return
from the North, passing through South Carolina at a certain
way­station on the Railroad, a number  of rowdy, boisterous
fellows entered the car, and commenced and continued their
noise   and   clamor,   very   much   to   the   annoyance   of   the   civil
portion of the passengers. I thought I knew what company I
did not like. They left after a while at a way­station, and verily
I believe their room was better than their company.
Charity   is   the   greatest   of   the   three;   first,   upon   the
consideration that faith, and hope, without charity or love, is
nothing. Where love exists, faith and hope necessarily exist in
the   saints.   Secondly,   love   is   embraced   in   the   first   moving
cause   in   the   bosom   of   the   eternal   God   in   the   salvation   of
sinners. He loved His people with an everlasting love. Thirdly,
they are made the recipients of love in time, and when they
fall asleep in Jesus, and are raised in the likeness of Christ,
love will exist without alloy in the world of unsullied glory. In
this world the saints, through the weakness of the flesh, and

the   corruptions   of   human   nature,   fail   to   love   with   that

fervency  of soul and ardent desire,  which the spiritual man
longs for, but when death is swallowed up in victory, and the
end   of   the   believer’s   faith   and   hope   comes,   love   will   exist,
without faith and hope, and will continue in its intrinsic glory
The friend who requested my views on the above Scripture,
I   have   no   personal   acquaintance   with.   His   request   came
second­handed to me and whether he is satisfied; or will be
with my views, I cannot tell, and perhaps never shall know. If
what I have written is the truth, it will stand upon its own
merits. It was the truth before I expressed it. If any, or the
whole of it is false, the writer of this article is responsible for
it. At any rate, it is my views of the text. I would request my
unknown friend to search the Scriptures and compare what I
have   written   with   that   infallible   standard.   If   he   has
repentance   towards   God,   and   faith   towards   our   Lord   Jesus
Christ, and a good hope through grace, and love to heavenly,
and   eternal   things,   he   is   recognized   among   those   who   are
blessed of God.
                                      J.L. Purington. – Nov. 30,  1857.
Jan. 20, 1858 ­ REMARKS ON MATTHEW 18:15­17.
Newton County, GA., Jan.20, 1858.
BROTHER   BEEBE:   ­   I   will   submit   a   few   remarks   in
relation to the 18 th  chapter of Matthew, 15 th  to the 17 th  verse,
inclusive,  “Moreover, if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go
and tell him his fault between thee and him, alone; if he shall hear
thee, thou hast gained thy brother. But if he will not hear thee, then
take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three
witnesses, every word may be established. And if he shall neglect to
hear   them,   tell   it   unto   the   church;   but   if   he   neglect   to   hear   the
church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican.” 
The foregoing rule of order is given by the great Head of the
church in cases of individual, and private trespass, and will
apply in cases of such trespass in distinction from public, or

open   violation   of   the   laws   and   commandments   of   Christ,

before the church and the world. The visible church of Christ
is composed of a number of individuals, more or less as the
case   may   be,   and  is  collectively   as  a  people   by   themselves,
subject to the King in Zion in all religious matters. Now for
instance, if brother A. should trespass against brother B. in
some personal and private matter known only between them,
B should go to A in a proper  manner, with a disposition to
reclaim him if possible, and should be cautious how and in
what   manner   he   should   speak   and   act.   If   he   fails   to
accomplish reconciliation, let him take one or two others for
whom A has no improper feelings, or pre­possessions, and if
he will not hear them, then tell it to the church. If the Gospel
rule   thus   far   has   been   strictly   observed,   and   no   tattling   or
slanderous   observations   been   made,   the   difficulty   comes
before the church in a proper manner. If he will not hear the
church,   the   case   is   plain   in   relation   to   the   course   which
should be further pursued; let him be unto thee as an heathen
man   and   a   publican.   The   supposition   is   that   the   church
disowns him in their fellowship.
Any   departure   from   this   rule   in   cases  of   individual
trespass is a violation of the law of Christ. But alas; how often
is it violated! A private trespass sometimes is known by all the
members before the aggrieved person has conversed with the
brother who has offended. Sometimes the members will take
sides   in the  difficulty,   ere  a  Gospel  course   has  been  taken,
and distress and trouble brought into the church, in a very
unjustifiable   manner.   Crimination   and   recrimination   follow
until peace and quietness is measurably forgotten. What was
a small matter in the first place now becomes public, and the
cause of Christ is dishonored in the church, and before the
world.   The   more   there   is   said   and   done,   the   worse   the
difficulty grows until in some cases, the churches lose their
visibility,   and   innocent   members   who   did   not   join   in   the
difficulty, find themselves without a house or home. It is not
agreeable   to   my   feelings   to   write   thus   on   the   subject,   but
justice to the cause of truth requires plainness of speech.

But when there is a case of  public trespass  which is not

against any individual in particular, the foregoing rule in the
18 th   of Matthew, will not strictly apply. The church can take
up   the   case   without   resorting   to   the   course   pursued   in   a
private individual trespass. I was once made knowledgeable of
a case of a young church member who had danced twice or
thrice in a ballroom, and had neglected the church for a long
time;   when   his   case   was   brought   before   the   church,   one
member   objected   because   Gospel   steps,   as   in   the   18 th   of
Matthew had not been taken with him. Some discussion arose
as   to   its   being   a   private   or   public   trespass.   The   majority
considered   it   a   public   transgression,   and   that   it   should   be
treated   as   such,   while   one   or   two   of   the   old   members
demurred.   Several   of   the   members   had   conversed   with   him
however,   before   the   case   was   brought   before   the   church.   It
certainly is not proper for a member to be in bad company at
any time, neither can it be proper for one member to watch
another by following him to do wrong, for the sake of proof
before the church of the erring brother’s transgression. We are
not to receive an accusation against a brother, simply on the
ground of hearsay alone. But when there is substantial proof
which cannot be contradicted  or disputed,  the case is open
and plain before all. And under such circumstances no one
person   is   under   obligation   to   take   private   labor   with   the
individual who has done wrong, unless he is disposed to do
so.   And   after   a   person   has   often   been   reproved   and
admonished,   and   yet   persists   in   his   folly,   no   further
forbearance   is   strictly   necessary.   The   church   of   Christ   is
commanded   to  “withdraw   herself   from   every   person   that
walketh disorderly,” &c.
We should remember in all cases of church discipline, the
importance   of   closely   watching   ourselves,   and   not   to   be
governed by the flesh in what we say or do. And endeavor to
have more respect for the order of God’s house, the welfare of
His cause, than for our natural feelings. We are liable to err,
and   to   be   tempted,   therefore   we   should   watch   over   one
another for good, and not for evil.

Bro. Wm. H. Morgan of Meriwether Co., GA., will accept my

thanks   for   the   reception   of   a   couple   of   Minutes   of   the
Primitive Western Association, which he has kindly forwarded
to me.
                                      J.L. Purington. – Jan. 20,  1858.
Newton County, GA., April 4, 1858.
[Without meaning any disrespect to Elder Purington, I make this observation.
During   the   downgrade   period,   a   great   many   elders   stopped   preaching   anything
that others objected to. To a great degree this is still carried on. Whether it was, or
was   not   true,   was   of   little   consequence.   In   such   a   behavior,  every   truth   of
Christianity can be muffled,  for the simple reason the natural mind of all men,
the canal mind, opposes all Gospel Truth. This hesitancy to preach aspects of the
Gospel that elders think will be objected to has led to a watered­down “Gospel,” or
nebulous dreams, visions, and generic nonsense sermons all over this nation. If
one is called of God, let Him preach God’s uncompromising Truth, or stay at home
and   not   take   up   the   poor   sheep’s   time.   In   Elder   Purington’s   apology,   this
character, “Brother Moore” is the same that objected to his first article on Eternal
Vital Union, so it is probable that he would object to absolute predestination and
regeneration as a spiritual birth, and other Truth’s for which he had no appetite.­
SCP. ]
BROTHER BEEBE:  ­ I  had concluded not to write  any
more by way of discussion with brethren, upon what is called
the “eternal union of Christ and the Church,” inasmuch as it
does not appear to be profitable to many of the readers of
the MESSENGER, and it seems to be almost impossible to
be understood  upon the subject.  But since Brother Moore
has   expressed   his   views,   and   presented   the   difficulties   and
objections which are upon his mind, I have concluded to write
again, not by way of discussion, but simply for the relief of my
own   mind.   I   shall   write   with   deference   to   the   views   and
feelings of Brother Moore.
I   must   confess   if   I   was   going   a   voyage   to   sea,   I   should
choose a ship or vessel whose hull I knew to be completely
sound,   and   the   masts,   rigging,   and   sails,   in   good   order   to
encounter   the   stormy   billows   and   convey   me   safe   to   my

destined   port.   Just   so   in   relation   to   a  professed  system   of

salvation, I desire something as sound and as substantial as
the eternal throne of God, and that will convey me safe over
all the storms, vicissitudes, and trying scenes which surround
the pathway of the saint in his pilgrimage through this vale of
tears   to   that   heavenly   world   on   high.   Such   a   system   of
salvation has God revealed from heaven in the Person of His
dear Son. That system or plan was hid in God, or concealed in
the  secret   place   of   the   Most   High  under   the   shadow   of   the
Almighty until He spread abroad the starry sky, and laid the
foundations   of   the   earth,   and   spoke   all   created   things   into
manifest  existence.  The revelation of the glorious scheme of
salvation is in time, whereby the subjects of grace are made to
speak forth the high praises of our God and King.
I  understand  that  it  was  embraced  in the grand counsel
and   purpose   of   God   in   the   creation   of   this   world,   and   all
things which were created, to develop or manifest the church
in   an   earthly   or   natural   state   of   existence   in   the   loins   of
Adam, and to exhibit the riches of His grace and mercy in the
salvation   of   sinners   in   and   through   our   Lord   Jesus   Christ.
Paul said, “For if by one man’s offence death reigned by one,
much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the
gift of righteousness, shall reign in life by one, Christ Jesus.”
Rom.5:17. Here are the two Adams. The first Adam {by order
of manifestation} is of the earth, earthy – a natural man; the
second   Adam   {by   order   of   manifestation}   is   the   Lord   from
heaven – a quickening Spirit. The first Adam, was the seminal
Head of the  natural family, the second the seminal Head of
the  spiritual   family.  Both   families   had   an   existence   in
their   Progenitors   before   their   birth   or   manifestation.
Hence the language of our Savior to Nicodemus,  “That which
is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the spirit
is   spirit.   Marvel   not   that   I   said   unto   thee,  ye   must   be   born
again.”  John 3:6,7. I must acknowledge to my mind it does
appear   that   every   intelligent   person   that   has   any   idea   of
cause and effect in the nature and operation of things, must

rationally   see   at   least   the   force   of   Scriptural   illustration   in

relation to the two births.
I understand the Scriptures to teach that Christ Jesus, not
only  existed  in His  eternal, underived   Godhead,  but  also  in
His   Sonship   as   the   Head   of   the   church,   ere   time   began,
Prov.8:22­31, John 1:1,5 & 17:5. And every Scripture which
speaks of Him in His manifestation, both before, and at the
time of His humiliation under the law, confirms His actual or
real existence anterior to time, and before His incarnation. He
proceeded forth and came from God, or the Father. It was said
to Mary, “therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of
thee shall be called the Son of God.” Luke 1:35, Isaiah 9:6,7.
Jesus said on a certain occasion, “Verily, verily I say unto
you,  except   a  corn  of   wheat   fall  into  the  ground,   and  die,  it
abideth alone; but if it die it bringeth forth much fruit.”  John
12:24.   Hence   I   understand   Jesus   had   reference   to   Himself
under   the   figurative   expression   “a   corn   of   wheat.”   Christ   is
declared to be the “ONLY BEGOTTEN Son of God.” “He saith
not and to seeds as of many, but as of One, and to Thy SEED
{speaking   to   Abraham}  which   is   CHRIST.”  Gal.3:16.   He   was
alone   the   embodiment   of   the   church   of   God,   as   Adam   was
alone   the   embodiment   of   the  human   family   when   his   bride
existed in him. A grain of wheat will not germinate alone by
itself, but put it into the ground and it dies, but in its death, it
will germinate and put forth fruit after its own kind. Christ
was alone in His sufferings and death as the seminal Head of
the   church   under   the   law   and   its   curse,   but   in   His
resurrection  from   the   dead  He   is  declared  to  be   the  Son  of
God with power. He is therefore the resurrection and the life
in the bringing forth and manifestation of the children of God.
“And if children, then heirs, heirs of God, and joint heirs with
Christ; if so be that we suffer with Him, that we may be also
glorified  together.”  Rom.8:17.   Every  person   that   is  called   by
grace   knows   that   before   he   experienced   the   resurrection
power of the Son of God in the forgiveness of his sins, that he
did experience a death under the law, and under its curse. I
am writing experimentally.

Brother Moore has written in a manner which is calculated

to produce the impression upon the minds of brethren, that
the  spiritual  life­union  of   the   church  in  the  Sonship   of  our
Lord   Jesus   Christ   before   the   world   began,  conflicts   with
election,   predestination,   the   Mediatorial   character   of
Christ,  purpose,   experimental   union,   and   other   kindred
principles of truth, while in fact this spiritual life union is the
foundation   for   election,   predestination,   Christ   as
Mediator, purpose, experimental union, &c. Paul said, “But
of   Him   are   ye   in   Christ   Jesus   who   of   God   is   made   unto   us
wisdom   and   righteousness,   and   sanctification,   and
redemption.”  I Cor.1:30. On the principle of relationship, and
ownership, Christ died exclusively for His people, He died for
the ungodly. On the principle of substitution alone, there can
be no legal transfer, or imputation of the sins of the elect to
It is folly to suppose that the mortal bodies, and human
souls of the saints existed in the Sonship of Christ before the
world   began.  None   teach   such   a   view.   It   is   scarcely
necessary to use words to explore such a construction of the
sentiment   of   eternal   or   spiritual   life­union.   Every   person   of
common   intelligence   knows   that   the   mortal   bodies   and
human   souls   of   the   saints   come   into  manifest   existence   by
ordinary  generation   in   Adam.   They   became   sinners   in
Adam, but are experimentally called, justified, and glorified in
Christ Jesus.
Speaking of the resurrection, Paul said,  “And as  we have
borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of
the   heavenly.”  I   Cor.15:49.   And   then   speaks   in   the
subsequent verse how it shall be accomplished.
The abundance of Scripture Brother Moore has quoted in
reference to the state of sinners by nature, and the bestowal
of spiritual blessings upon them, whereby they are called by
grace, and receive the  spirit  of adoption, and are manifested
heirs of immortal glory, is very much to the point in regard to
the effect of a prior cause, Christ the life of His people, and
that life manifested when they are born of God.

I do not expect to be able to remove the difficulties which

present themselves to the mind of Brother Moore in relation to
the   reception   of   the   sentiment   of   eternal,   or   spiritual   life­
union.   I   have   no   disposition   to   strive   for   the   mastery   in   a
discussion with him. I am willing to give my views, and also to
receive his views so far as I can understand and believe them.
I will here state that so far as the writings of uninspired men
are concerned on religious subjects I take no man, nor class
of men as a standard of my religious views. The Scriptures are
the only standard, and so far as my views or the views of any
man   are   in   accordance   with   the   Scriptures,   they   are   right,
otherwise   they   are   wrong.   As   much   as   I   may   respect   the
writings of Dr. Gill and others, I cannot believe all that he or
they   have   written.   As   I   have   a   degree   of   confidence   that
Brother   Moore   has   not  intentionally  and  designedly  garbled
and  perverted  the   sentiment   of   “eternal   union,”   as   some
others have done. I still continue to respect him as a brother
in   Christ.   He   has   given   his   views,   and   presented   the
difficulties and objections which are in  his  way. I will notice
his objections in the order in which they stand. In relation to
the phrase “eternal union of Christ and His church,” he says:
“1 st . It is not Scriptural.” I admit that the phrase is not found
in  the  Scriptures,   but  the   sentiment   is  there   in  its   fullness
and glory. Words are ordinary in their signification and use,
and have no other meaning only such as are put to them, and
often require explanation so as to be understood in their use.
He says further, “2 nd . It confounds the distinction between the
things of  time  and  eternity.”  Here  I  must  differ  from   him. I
understand that it  establishes  the distinction so fully, that it
makes   the   things   of   time,   so   far   as   eternal   salvation   is
concerned, to be founded upon the things of eternity. Further
he   says,   “3 rd .   It   destroys   the   broad   and   obvious   distinction
between cause and effect, recognized everywhere throughout
the   Scriptures,   the  life  of   Christ,   the   cause   of   life   in   His
saints.” Here I again differ from him. Instead of destroying the
distinction, in my judgment it fully establishes it. “4 th . To most
minds   it   represents   the  creature  as   holding   a   kind   of
partnership   with   the  Creator  in   His   eternal   underived

existence.” No such representation can  justly  be drawn from

the premises, as I understand the subject. “5 th . It confounds
‘the election of grace’ with a kind of  necessity.” As I am not
certain what is meant by this last specification, I will pass to
the next. “6 th . To most minds it represents the sinner of the
most desperate character, as being in union with a spirit of
holiness.”   [We have met others who declare these same objections today. The
one thinj\g they have in common is they fail to grasp the point that the elect in
seed­substance are  not  developed until natural birth. SCP.]  In no sense will
this   representation   apply   only   as   we   understand   that   the
sinner after he is born again has to exclaim like Job, “Behold I
am vile,” or like Isaiah, “Wo is me, for I am undone, for I am a
man of unclean lips,” &c., or like Paul, “O wretched man that I
am, who shall deliver me from the body of this death?”  Every
saved sinner {experimentally saved in the present tense} has a
union   to   the   spirit   of   holiness   and   loves   holy   things;   yet
exclaims, I am a sinner of a desperate character, not in his
actions or conduct, but in a sinful nature. “7 th . It represents a
branch  as growing in two different stocks at the same time.”
The church of God in her militant state possesses the  life of
Christ,   and   the   natural   life   of   Adam,   both   existing   in   the
person of the saints. The saints manifestly are the church of
Christ. Their earthly location which is temporary is in time, in
different   parts   of   the   habitable   earth,   while   their   spiritual
location   is   in   Christ   Jesus.   While  “the   outward   man  {the
Adamic man}  perishes, the inward man  {the spiritual man}  is
renewed day by day.” “8 th . It represents to most minds that
the   saints   lost   nothing   by   the   fall,   and   the   sinner   gains
nothing   by   redemption.”   It   may   so   appear   to   the   minds   of
some,  but  it  is not  correct, nor  do believers  in the doctrine
think so. I cannot tell what the representation of those with
whom   Brother   Moore   is   conversant,   has   been   upon   the
subject, but to my mind no such representation is deducible
from the sentiment of “eternal union.” The saints are sinners
by nature and are lost by the fall, lost as to the holiness of
God’s character and the purity of His law. By redemption the
bodies, and souls of sinners  {elect sinners,} are brought into
union experimentally and manifestly with God the Father, and

Christ Jesus our Lord, in time, and at the resurrection. They

sing, “Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and
unto the Lamb.” Rev.7:10. If they had never been lost in Adam,
and saved  in Christ  Jesus,  they  never  could have  sung the
foregoing   song.   “9 th .   It   represents   a   sinner   who   is   dead   as
united to Christ who is life,  or that the sinner  is not really
dead,  being   united  to Christ,  and  needs  no  quickening.”   To
my   mind   it   appears   plain   that   no   such   representation   is
deducible in a correct view of the subject. Sinners are dead in
trespasses and sins until spiritual life is communicated and
they   are   quickened,   and   united   to   Christ   experimentally.
“10 th .   It   destroys   the   distinction   between   purpose,   and
existing   realities.”   I   think   not   Brother   Moore.   It   was   not   a
reality that I  personally  existed before I was born, but it is a
reality that I did exist in Adam {not in purpose} before I was
born. If I am a child of God {and God knows whether I am or
not,} it was not a reality that I had a personal or individual
existence   in  Christ, anterior  to time, but  that  I did  exist   in
Christ in a spiritual sense, I certainly believe.
Just so in illustrating the subject now before us, in relation
to   the   distinction   between   purpose   and   existing   realities,   it
was not an existing reality that the church had her existence
in her militant state before time, but it is a reality now. It will
be a reality that she will exist in her triumphant state in the
world of unsullied glory. This will be the accomplishment of
God’s purpose of love and mercy which had its real existence
in the eternal Mind and in the Sonship of Christ before the
world began.
My   communication   has   rather   assumed   the   form   of
discussion, though I did not intend it when I began. I wished
to   relieve   my   own   mind   only.   I   could   write   more   upon   the
subject at issue, but I cannot reconcile my own feelings to the
strict propriety of doing so. Some may say that what I have
written   is   mere   abstractions,   or   a   system   of   metaphysical
reasoning. Be that as it may, God is my judge, and I feel to
rest upon His word and promise. With a sort of fearfulness of
mind that my communication will produce more disquietude
among the saints than it will profit and edify, I submit it for

publication. There   is some  probability  that  I shall  not  write

any   more   upon   the   subject,   any   further   than  what   may   be
embodied in the great subject of Gospel truth.
Without   possessing   any   unkind   feelings   towards   any
person   under   heaven,   if   I   know   my   own   heart,   I   close   this
imperfect scribble.                          J.L. Purington.  – April 4,
[Editor’s note: Elder Purington describes a “revival” which frequently
swept our country in the frontier period. After each of them, further
development of Antichrist is revealed, and the true church of God was
purged by the riffraff removing themselves and creating other religious
societies. In Purtington’s last four years, he baptized one-hundred and
twenty-four, in those churches which turned against the doctrine of the
SIGNS in 1890. Noticing the date, this is in the heated political climate
that divided the nation, North and South. Most textbooks do not
emphasize this point, that the so-called “Civil War,” was a religious
war. I am always disgruntled when I hear the so-called patriotic song, “I
have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord.” It was the evil song of
death and destruction the modern evangelicals were inflicting upon
“their enemies.” As a consequence, the southern states fought for
Independence and a return to the former Articles of Confederation.
But . . . .the Revisionists have won that battle. There was one more such
revival post-bellum, during the 1870’s to 1890’s as sound believers
spewed out of the downgrade churches, both Missionary and Primitives;
and established sound churches minus the humanism of the period.-
Newton County, GA., May 24, 1858.
BROTHER   BEEBE:   ­   The   SIGNS   OF   THE   TIMES   still
continue to bear unmistakable evidences of the darkness and
corruption which prevails in a religious point of view. One of
those  periodical  religious  excitements  which  occasionally   are
manifest in our land now can be seen throughout the length
and breadth of our country. It is mostly confined to cities and
villages,   though   there   are   a   few   instances   of   it   in   country
places. It first broke out in some of the Northern cities, where
the religious atmosphere is very pestiferous. It has advanced
to   the   South   where   considerable   proportions   of   the   same

unhealthiness and disordered elements exist. It seems to be

inseparably connected with the condition of man in his fallen
state.   It   does   not   lead   its   victims   to   a   heartfelt
acknowledgement of the Eternal Truth of God as revealed in
the Scriptures, but to a simple avowal of certain feeling and
changes   produced   by   the   circumstances   which   surround
them, and which are fleshly in their nature and character. It
is   quite   contagious   and   at   times   prevails   like   an   epidemic.
Strong minded men, as we would say, are overcome by it, and
persons of weak nerves and great natural excitability are the
greatest sufferers. Thousands of persons are inveigled into a
profession   of   religion   through   a   supposed   ability   and
righteousness   of   the   creature.   A   sort   of   zeal   attends   their
movements, marked with a vain­glorying, creaturely boasting
As much as the writer of this article desires to see the work
of   the   Lord   in   the   experimental   salvation   of   his   fellow
creatures,   he   cannot,   he   dare   not   repose   any   confidence   in
any   power,   means,   or   efforts   of   men.   Salvation   from   sin,
death, and hell, is exclusively of God from first to last. Our
Lord Jesus Christ is the Alpha, the Omega, the beginning and
the   end,   the   first   and   the   last,   the   ALMIGHTY.   When   He
works, none can let or hinder. The effect of the grace of God
upon sinners is an humble spirit, and a contrite heart, and
leads in the way of truth and righteousness. There is a love to
God, to holiness, to the personal character of Christ, and a
self­loathing, and a self­abhorring spirit in those who are born
May the Lord give His people a spirit of discernment in this
deluded age, to know and follow after the truth, and not be
deceived by the alluring wiles of Antichrist, or carried away by
the   cunning   craftiness   of   men   whereby   they   lie   in   wait   to
                                        J.L. Purington. – May 24, 1858.
Cottage Mills, Chattahoochee County, GA., Aug.30, 1858.

DEAR   BROTHER   BEEBE:   ­   I   copy   from   the   Tennessee

Baptist, published by Graves, Marks & Co., date Aug. 14, No.
48, Vol. 14, the following:
“We   find   the   word   missions   in   the   Minutes   of   the
Philadelphia   Baptist   Association   as   early   as   the   year   1773,
and what is more, the Kehukee Association of North Carolina,
appears there,  as desiring,  at  that  time,  the  continuance  of
missions! Will the  Primitive Baptist   (periodical) tell us what
this means? Is that paper, in spite of all its non­fellowship for
‘missionary’ brethren, a descendant from missionary fathers?”
Will some of our Georgia brethren tell him what it means,
and   relieve   him   of   his   distress,   he   seems   to   be   in   trouble?
Come brother  Purington, unsheathe your  sword, don’t  let  it
rust, if you do it will not cut every way. David said he could
leap over a wall, run through a troop, and one could chase a
thousand; so can brother Purington; if the Lord be with him.
I. Oates.
Covington, GA., October, 1858.
BROTHER BEEBE: ­ I have been from home so much for
several   weeks   that   I   have   not   had   time   to   comply   with   the
request of Brother Oates until now. The writer of the foregoing
extract   from   the  Tennessee   Baptist  evidently   intended   to
convey   the   impression   that   the   Primitive   or   Old   School
Baptists of the present time are not what they profess to be,
by his reference to the Baptists of three­quarters of a century
ago,   or   more.   Because   the   word  missions  is   found   in   the
Minutes of the Philadelphia Association of 1773, and because
the   Kehukee   Association   appears   there   as   desiring,   at   that
time, the continuance of missions, he would intimate that the
New School, or Missionary Baptists of the present day, are the
true Old School. So that by non­fellowshipping the missionary
operations of the present time, we disfellowship {as the writer
would intimate} the Baptists of nearly a century ago. As the

“Primitive Baptist” of North Carolina is requested to tell what

it means, I would not write on the subject, only in reference to
the   request   of   Brother   Oates.   I   do   not   expect   however,   to
relieve the distress {if he has any} of the writer of the foregoing
In the first settlement of the country much hardship and
exposure   attended   the   settlers.   Those   who   lived   in   older
portions of the country and were Baptists, often helped those
preachers   who   were   poor,   who   traveled   into   the   frontier
settlements,   and   preached   the   Gospel   to   them   that   were
destitute. This course was encouraged by the brethren of the
Kehukee Association towards relieving the preachers in their
labors, and necessities, as they were poor, and had families to
support.   The   word  missions  was   introduced,   and   used   by
them, expressive of what we have just stated. Those Baptist
preachers   were   called   of   God,   and   went   out   and   preached
without   taking   into   consideration   dollars   and   cents,   as   the
missionary   preachers   of   modern   times.   This   course   was
pursued   by   the   Baptists   of   Maine   in   the   first   settlement   of
that   country.   But   the   Baptists   increased   in   numbers,
corruptions   were   introduced   by   men   who   did   not   love   the
antiquated   doctrine   of   salvation   by   grace,   the   idea   of   a
popular   ministry   to   please   the   world   was   suggested,   and
actually introduced, until the cause of missions in its original
existence   was   perverted   and   became   a   money­making
business.   The   Primitive,   or   Old   School   Baptists,   North   and
South,   East   and   West,   after   a   time   excluded   those   who
continued to pervert, and make use of the cause of missions
in  a  manner   derogatory   to  its  original  meaning   and  design.
The   Kehukee   Association   was   among   the   first   to   disown
modern missionary operations.
It is not the word mission in the abstract that we object so
much   to;   it   is   the   use   that   is   made   of   the   word   in   its
application to that which is unscriptural and ungospel wise.
The   word   signifies  sending  or  being   sent.   When   applied   to
those   whom   God   has   called,   and   sent   forth   to   preach   His
Gospel agreeable to apostolic principles it will apply to the Old
Order   of   Baptists   in   our   day,   but   when   applied   to   the

organized missionary operations now extant, we disclaim all

connection   with   it   in   precept   and   example.   Neither   can   we
religiously fellowship those who patronize or approve of such
things. The Primitive Baptists disown the name  missions, or
missionaries  because   in   common   parlance   it   expresses   that
which they do not believe or fellowship.
Abundance   has   been   written   first   and   last   upon   the
foregoing subject explanatory of the principles and practice of
the O.S. Baptists. We do not expect to have justice done to us
by our enemies. It is vain for us to look for it. Many of our
opponents know what we believe and what our principles are,
and   consequently   misrepresent   us  designedly.   Others,   in
part,   being   ignorant   of   our   principles,   are   deluded   into   the
notion that we believe what we do not believe. How useless,
therefore,   it   is   to  suppose   that   our   religious   opponents   will
ever   acknowledge   that  the   doctrine  the   Old   School   Baptists
love   and   preach   is   God’s   truth,   unless   they   are   made   to
confess it by the work of grace wrought in their hearts.
It has been known for years that the O.S. Baptist ministers
have   traveled   thousands   of   miles,   endured   many   hardships
and   privations   away   from   their   families   and   homes,   and
preached   the   Gospel   to   their   fellow   men   without   money   or
price,   depending  upon  their   God,  and  the  kindness  of  their
brethren, without asking, or desiring aid from any Missionary
society  or humanly devised  institutions of men. And why is
this   not   reckoned   among   the   deeds   of   charity,   and   acts   of
benevolence   of   our   day?   It   is   simply   because   we   are   too
primitive for modern times; too antiquated for common notice.
And   why   is   it   that   our   opponents   endeavor   to   convey   the
impression by their papers and periodicals that we have no
precedent for our doctrine and practice if it was not that they
know that our faith and principles are more Scriptural, and
can be traced through the remote depths of antiquity eighteen
hundred years or more, than any other sect now in existence?
The facts are plain, and cannot be successfully disputed, or
Perhaps it will not be profitable for me to write any more
on   this   subject,   and  if   Brother  Oates   will   excuse   me,   I   will

most respectfully close this imperfect scribble by subscribing

myself a “sinner saved by grace.”
J.L. Purington. – Aug. 30,  1858
Dec. 29, 1858 ­ I JOHN 3:15.
Covington, GA., Dec.29, 1858.
DEAR   BROTHER   BEEBE:   ­   Brother   L.   Gass   of   Green
County,   N.Y.,   has   requested   in   a   private   letter   my   views
through   the   SIGNS   on   the   following   scripture:  “Whosoever
hateth   his   brother   is   a   murderer;   and   ye   know   that   no
murderer hath eternal life abiding in him.” I John 3:15.
In this epistle the inspired apostle dwells very fully upon
the   love   of   God   in   a   description   of   its   nature   and   blessed
effects.   In   this   chapter   he   contrasts   the   difference   between
love and hatred in a clear and lucid manner. He also shows
the difference between the works of God and the works of the
devil. The subject contained in the text is one of importance,
and should be carefully elucidated. Such views as I have I will
express for the consideration of Brother Gass, and the readers
of the SIGNS in general. If my views are not right, they are
such as I have.
Man in his fallen condition is in a state of sin and death;
death hath dominion  over  him. But those that  have  passed
from death unto life sustain a spiritual relation to God, and to
Jesus   Christ   our   Lord.   Therefore   “as   sin   hath   reigned   unto
death,  even so might  grace  reign through  righteousness  unto
eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.”  Rom.5:21. A great deal
has been said in the religious world about what is called the
“new birth,” or what “change” a sinner undergoes in the work
of salvation. I am not disposed to controvert the subject, but
in the way of expressing my views I will simply state in the
passage from death unto life an important change takes place.
Where   sin   had   dominion,   now   grace   reigns.   Upon   what
principle is this changed produced?  We answer  the new, or
inner man is of God,  the production of incorruptible seed.
That   seed   is   Christ.   I   do   not   understand   that   the   rational

powers and faculties of a sinner  are made spiritual, or that

his soul and body are new­modeled and changed from their
former state to that of complete perfection and purity, but the
relation he sustained to the earthly Adam is so changed that
he is now recognized as a child of God in love with heavenly
things, possessing within himself all the component principles
of a new creature, or new man in Christ Jesus, which cannot
sin   because   it   is   born   of   God.   This   constitutes   the
brotherhood among the saints of God. It is impossible for the
new, or spiritual man to hate his brother for being of heavenly
production; he is holy, lovely, and excellent in his character;
but when we consider that the saints in the earthly house of
this tabernacle possess a fallen corrupt disposition, which is
opposed to God and holiness, we no longer are at a loss to
understand   from   whence   cometh   wars   and   fightings   among
the saints.
The   same   spirit   that   was   in   Cain   when   he   killed   his
brother is the spirit of wickedness which is of the devil, “for he
that   committeth   sin   is   of   the   devil.”  Cain   slew   his   brother
because, his own works were evil, and his brother’s righteous.
Hence John could say, “Marvel not, my brethren, if the world
hate   you.”  On   the   same   principle   the   fallen   and   depraved
disposition of the saints is as wicked as that which actuated
Cain, or that is in the world. “Now the works of the flesh are
manifest, which are these, adultery, fornication, uncleanness,
lasciviousness,   idolatry,   witchcraft,  hatred,   variance,
emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies &c.” Gal.5:19,20.
“But   the   fruit   of   the   spirit   is  love,   joy,   peace,   long­suffering,
gentleness,   goodness,   faith,   meekness,   temperance;   against
such there is no law.” Gal.5:22,23. Here we have a description
of the  works of the flesh, and of the fruit of the Spirit, both
existing in the persons of the saints so that they cannot do
the good that they would do. Hence they are directed to “walk
in the spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lusts of the flesh, for the
flesh lusteth against the spirit, and the spirit against the flesh;
and these are contrary the one to the other; so that ye cannot
do the things that ye would.” Gal.5:16,17.

We have  now  an insight  to the meaning  of  our  text  as  I

understand   it.   John   says,  “He   that   loveth   not   his   brother
abideth   in   death.”   Paul   says,   “For   to   be   carnally   minded   is
death.”  Rom.8:6. When the carnal fleshly mind of the saints
predominates, or has the ascendancy, it will cause one to hate
his brother. And, “whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer;”
yes, it is a murderous spirit such as Cain possessed when he
killed   his   brother.   A   man   is   a   murderer   when   from   malice
aforethought with a premeditated design he takes the life of
his   fellow   creature.   It   is   not   an   uncommon   thing   when   a
church is in difficulty to see brethren and sisters at variance
with  one  another,  manifesting  a  hateful spirit  towards  each
other.   Perhaps   they   had   formerly   been   at   peace,   united   in
brotherly   love   and   fellowship,   but   now   an  opposite   spirit   is
manifest. A hard acrimonious, hateful spirit predominates or
has the preponderancy. There is an evident design to injure
one   another.   A   murderer;   yea,   those   that   are   most   guilty
retaliate on each other, while the innocent suffer, and perish
as to their joys and comforts, the cause is dishonored, and
suffers reproach, and many sorrowful and weeping hours are
experienced. Truly this may be called a  death. Further it is
murder in the first degree, a heinous crime, and its baneful
effects may be seen for years to come. Brethren may become
alienated   in   their   feelings   towards   each   other   under   the
exercise of a hard unyielding spirit.
“And ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in
him.” The course of a murderer is a violation of the laws of the
land;   a   criminal   act   which   subjects   him   to   trial   and
punishment.   Sinners   as   transgressors   of   God’s   holy   and
righteous   law   are   in   a   state   of   criminality   and   death.   The
wrath of God abideth on them. The saints being under law to
Christ,   are   amenable   to   the   laws   of   the   King   in   Zion,   and
whenever  they transgress  Christ’s commands in any way to
the wounding of the brethren, there is a criminality attending
it which will not pass unpunished. It is the same spirit that is
in the world; for it is of the world, and it is the work of the
devil. No man in a literal sense that will take the life of his
fellow­creature from malice aforethought, can have eternal life

in him, so on the same principle there can be no eternal life in

that   murderous   spirit   of   hatred   and   bitterness   which   will
cause one brother to hate another for the sake of gratifying a
selfish depraved disposition. Neither is there any eternal life
existing in the  body of this death, or bondage of corruption.
Paul was assured that in him {that is in his flesh} dwelt no
good thing. He speaks of keeping under his body {for he knew
there was no eternal life in it,} and bringing it into subjection
lest by any means after he had preached to others he should
be a castaway. Not fall from grace and be lost eternally, but be
a castaway as to his usefulness in the church of Christ. Such
an example is praiseworthy among all the saints.
Eternal   life   does   not   exist   in   Adam,   it   did   not   originally
before   his   transgression,   and   it   never   has   since.   It   is   not
found in  graceless   men,  neither  has it  any  existence  in the
fleshly   and   fallen   nature   of   regenerated   persons.   It   has   its
existence  in  Christ  alone  for He is the true God and eternal
life. That eternal life was with the Father and is manifest unto
His people. “And this is the record that God hath given to us
eternal life; and this life is in His Son. He that hath the Son
hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.”  I
John 5:11,12.
The   conclusion   from   the   premises   is:   that   while   all
spiritual blessings are given to the church in Christ Jesus, by
whom the saints are made partakers of God’s grace, the spirit
which   causes   discord,   variance,   and   distress   among   the
Lord’s people, must emanate from a wicked source, and is the
work   of   the   devil.   All   unrighteousness   is   sin,   and   he   that
committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the
beginning. We can rejoice, however, that for this purpose the
Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works
of the devil. All power is given unto Him in heaven, and earth.
Blessed be God, He must reign until He hath put all enemies
under His feet. And the last enemy that shall be destroyed is
death.   And   when   the   end   cometh   He   shall   deliver   up   the
kingdom   to   God,   even   the   Father;   when   He   shall   have   put
down all rule, and all authority, and power.

How encouraging is the reflection to all the weary pilgrims

of Zion’s King. What a tribute of praise and thanksgiving  is
due to the almighty God for such an expression of stupendous
grace   and   mercy.   Oh,   that   we   might   love   Him   with   all   our
heart,   soul,   might,   mind,   and   strength   while   time   endures
with us, and finally love, honor, and glorify Him forever in the
realms of immortal glory. May this be our happy portion for
Jesus’ sake.
Though I am removed far, far away from the dear brethren
and sisters in the northern and eastern States, with whom I
did   once   associate,   yet   the   bond   of   Christian   love   and
friendship, I hope, is not impaired which once existed between
us. I promised to write to many of them, but have failed in
several   instances   to   do   so,   not   from   a   lack   of   Christian
friendship,   nor   out   of   disrespect   in   any   instance.   I   am
situated   so   as   not   to   have   as   much   opportunity   to   write
private   letters   as   I   once   had,   having   more   to   claim   my
attention. I hope as much devoted to the cause I profess to
love now, as I have at any time within the last twenty years as
I still continue my feeble labors in the service of my Lord and
Master. As I  write considerable   for  the  MESSENGER, I  have
not as much opportunity to write for the SIGNS.
My Christian love and best respects to yourself and family,
and to all the dear brethren and sisters in Christ.
Yours in Christian bonds,
Joseph L. Purington. – Dec. 29, 1858.
1859 – The Seeds of the Woman and of the Serpent
Covington, GA., 1859.
15 , an earnest  request from  brother Culp for  my views on
Gen.3:15.  “And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and
between thy seed and her seed, it shall bruise thy head, and thou
shalt bruise his heel.”  Give whatever fair construction you may
of this text, and it will be found in direct opposition to Elder
(Daniel) Parker’s Two­seed system; for according to his system
the elect alone were created in Adam, and they of course were

Adam’s seed, and the non­elect were the multiplication of the

woman’s   conception,   they   of   course   were   her   seed,   in
distinction from Adam’s, and are the serpent’s seed, but the
enmity is between the woman’s seed, and the serpent’s seed,
and therefore between themselves. And the elect of course are
not involved in this enmity. But without pursuing that idea
further,   we   will   inquire   what   is   to   be   understood   by   the
woman’s seed. It must be a seed or posterity that does not
proceed from man, and of which therefore man has no agency
in bringing into existence. This is not and has not been the
case   with  any   of   the  natural  family   of  mankind.   Adam  was
alike   the   agent   of   Cain   and   of   Seth’s   being   brought   into
existence,   and   undoubtedly   of   Abel’s   existence   also.   See
Gen.4:2   &   5:3.   Hence   the   natural   family   is   all   the   seed   of
man. But Eve, the woman was a type of the church as Adam
was a figure of Christ or “Him that was to come.” As proof that
she   was   a   type   of   the   church   compare,   Eph.5:30­32,   with
Gen.2:23,24.   Hence   the   church   is   evidently   the  woman
intended  in the declaration,  “I will put  enmity between thee
and the woman;” for there has not appeared any more enmity
between Satan  that  old  serpent, and women naturally, than
between   him   and   men.   But   in   coming   more   directly   to   the
seed, we must bear in mind that Christ and His church are
one,   and  all   of   one.   Heb.2:11.   Christ   is   the  head  and   the
church is His body, and all the members are that one body.
See I Cor.12:12 & 27, and Eph.5:23 & 30. Hence as the head
naturally, and the body including all its members, constitute
but the one Person, so Christ and the church are one. Again
the   term  seed,   both   in   the   translation   and   in   the   original,
signifies   not   only,   that   fruit   which   the   plant   bears   and   by
which   its   species   is   propagated   or   multiplied,   but   also  that
from   which   it   proceeded.   There   is   in   this   case   a   peculiar
beauty and fitness in this generality of the term, the  seed of
the woman or, her seed. For Christ is not only as the antitype
of Adam, he from whom the church was taken, but he is also
the fruit she bears, and by which alone she is propagated. For
she is of his flesh, and his bones, and it is as Christ is held

forth   in   her   doctrine,   order   and   ordinances,   that   she   is

classed or her species is defined; and it is Christ in them the
hope of glory, that characterizes all her true children. Hence
although   in   some   instances   in   this   brief   text,   Christ
personally   is   intended,   and   in   others   His   body   and   its
members,   there   is   no   confusion   in   the   text,   whatever   there
may be in our minds. But it may still be asked further, why
this   figure   of   the   woman’s   seed   is   used?   I   answer   it   is   so
manifestatively.   First,   in   Christ’s   being   manifested   in   the
flesh, He was  made of a woman, no seed, no agency of man
was used or admitted into the formation of His manhood. So
in the production of all of the living children of the church,
although they are born into her doctrine and to a right to a
participation in her ordinances, fellowship, &c., and thus born
as her children, yet they are born not of blood, nor of the will
of   the   flesh,   nor   of   the   will   of   man,   but   of   God.   No   human
agency is used in the affair.
We will now enquire after the serpent’s seed. This is not “a
race” of natural persons by which the earth is in part peopled,
for God had provided for the peopling of the earth before the
serpent   beguiled   Eve,   in   the   command   to   Adam   in   the   day
God   had  created   him,   male   and   female,   to   be  fruitful   and
multiply and replenish the earth. Gen.1:28. What is it then? It
is not a natural or fleshly seed, but as the seed of the woman
throughout is a spiritual or religious seed, so is the seed of the
serpent. Our Lord illustrates this subject in His conversation
with the Jews. John 8:37, He saith to them, “I know that ye
are Abraham’s seed,”  again, He saith, verse 39, “If  ye were
Abraham’s children ye would do the works of Abraham,” and
goes on to tell them, verse 44, “ye are of your father the devil,
and  the  lusts  of  your father ye  will do.”  Now  in saying  that
they   were   the  seed   of   Abraham,  He   evidently   did   not  mean
that they were the spiritual seed of Abraham, but that they
were   his  natural   seed.   And   in   being   his   natural   seed   they
descended from him after the flesh, and consequently through
him descended from Adam, and were of course Adam’s seed.
And in saying they  were not Abraham’s children  He meant,

that they were not his spiritual children, or seed; not his in

the sense in which he is the father of all them that believe.
{See Rom.4:11,16} In verse 23, He had told them, “ye are from
beneath, I am from above; ye are of this world, I am not of this
world,”  thus   clearly   drawing   the   contrast   between   the   two
seeds. The one is heavenly, the other is of this world. But to
come   to   the   point,   I   understand  sin  to   be   the   devil’s   seed,
hence we are told, that “he that committeth sin is of the devil,
for the devil sinneth from the beginning.” I John 3:8. Hence in
telling   the   Jews   that  they   were   of   their   father   the   devil,   He
says,  “the lusts of your father ye will do,” and further adds,
“when he speaketh a lie he speaketh of his own, for he is a liar
and the  father  of it.”  John 8:44. Christ is truth and His seed
know and love the truth, and the truth maketh them free; the
devil is a liar, and his seed love a lie. Hence whosoever loveth
and   maketh   a   lie   is   classed   with   those   who   are   without.
Rev.21:27   &   22:15.   And   hence   the  devil  is   used   as
representing  sin  in   Heb.2:14,   compared   with   Rom.5:12,21.
The   enmity   which   God   has   placed   between   Satan   and   the
woman, and between his seed  and her seed, is that enmity
which reigns in the human heart in consequence of sin. “The
carnal mind is enmity against God,” and hence enmity against
Christ, and the children of God.
This seed of the devil or serpent, and this enmity is alike in
all   of   the   human   family   elect   and   non­elect,   in   a   state   of
unregeneracy. Hence, Paul tells the Ephesian brethren that in
times past  “ye walked according to the  course of this world,
according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that
now worketh in the children of disobedience.” Eph.2:2.
I   will   now   come   to   the   last   clause   of   this   text,   “It   shall
bruise thy head and thou shalt bruise his heel.”  The pronoun
here rendered it, is, in the original, of common gender, it may
be translated either he, she or it, according to the antecedent.
Many persons consider the woman’s seed that is Christ, to be
the antecedent here, and hence think that it should read  he
shall bruise &c., instead of it shall &c. It is true that as God,
Christ is over­ruling and controlling all the enmity of Satan

and of his seed, to the accomplishment  of His own glorious

purpose and to the ultimate downfall of Satan’s kingdom. But
the   translators   evidently   understood,   the  enmity  to   be   the
antecedent,   and   therefore   used   the   word  it;   and   I   think
correctly;   for   Christ   as  here  represented   by   the  seed  of  the
woman, is presented to view as the life of His people and in
His humiliation, as made flesh. We are told that, “Forasmuch
then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, He also
Himself likewise took part of the same; that through death He
might  destroy   him  that   had   the  power  of   death,   that   is   the
devil.”  Heb.2:14. It was evidently the enmity of the devil and
of   his   children   the   Jews,   that   accomplished   the   death   of
Christ, and hence that destroyed the devil’s power over death.
The same enmity is still manifested in the whole Antichristian
interest,   and   it   will  ultimately   prove   the  destruction   of  that
“And thou shalt bruise his heel.”  The word here rendered
heel signifies the extremity, or the sole or heel of a man’s foot.
This declaration may have reference to Christ in His spiritual
body, the church, or to Him in His own purpose. If the former,
then   it   refers   to   the   fact   that   the   devil,   with   all   the
persecutions he can raise against the church, can only kill the
bodies   of   the   saints.   Neither   their   life,   nor   their   future
happiness can he touch. The same is true in reference to his
temptations. If the Person of Christ be intended, then it refers
to His manhood, that which He last took into union with His
Person in being made of a woman. This manhood, the devil or
sin, did bruise to the full extent of the wrath of God’s law, so
that nothing short of His Godhead could have sustained His
manhood under the sufferings He endured.
J.L. Purington. – 1859.
Jan.1,1859 ­ REPENTANCE. (See page 228)
Covington, GA., Jan. 1, 1859.
True repentance is a godly exercise. It is not the act of the
creature in the sense we generally hear it spoken of. Anything

that the creature himself can produce, or put into operation

by   his   own   volition   may   properly   be   called   the   act   of   the
creature. Man, in his fallen condition, is an enemy to God and
opposed to His government, therefore, he has no fear of God
before   his   eyes.   Consequently,   it   is   impossible   for   him   to
sorrow   after   a   godly   manner   on   account   of   his   sins,   or
exercise that which he does not possess and is a stranger to.
He does not love God, therefore does not repent.
A   great   deal   is   said   in   the   Scriptures   concerning
repentance. There is evidently more than one king among men
spoken   of   in   the   Bible.   It   is   certainly   a   departure   from   the
standard of truth and justice in a natural sense for men to
pursue  a  course   of   outward   wickedness,   being   hateful,   and
hating   one   another,   seeking   to   gratify   their   own   sensual
passions   and   lusts   like   the   antediluvian   world,   the
inhabitants of Sodom and Gomorrah, and the Gentile nations
when suffered to walk in their own ways. Because there may
not be any outward, or expressed law to restrain men in their
wickedness,   does   not   destroy   the   principle   of   right   in   the
actions   and   conduct   of   men.   Speaking   of   the   sins   of   the
Gentiles,   Paul   says,  “Wherefore   God   also   gave   them   up   to
uncleanness,   &c.”   Again,  “For   this   cause   God   gave   them   up
unto   vile   affections,   &c.”  Also,  “God   gave   them   over   to   a
reprobate  mind   to  do  those   things  which  are  not   convenient,
&.” All this teaches us that God will recompense to every man
according to his works. And to be given up, or over to one’s
own   wickedness   is   a   great   calamity,   a   sore,   but   righteous
judgment   of   God.   This   was   true   in   relation   to   the   Jewish
nation   in   their   destruction   and   visible   extermination   as   a
people. It is certainly right and just that men should repent,
and   turn   from   their   sins.   This   is   true   in   relation   to   the
principle of right and wrong among men, and before God.
Upon a close examination of man’s character Scripturally
considered, he is destitute of all the functions of  spiritual life
and immortality. He is already condemned and the wrath of
God abideth upon him. He is not condemned by a law that he
was   never   under.   The   human   family   is   not   under   grace
naturally   considered,   but   are   under   law   to   God,   as

accountable   beings,   to   love   Him   with   all   the   powers   and

faculties   they   had   standing   in   the   first   Adam,   by   whose
transgression they were made sinners. Hence it is vain to look
for true Gospel repentance where it does not exist. To preach
repentance in the name of Adam or in the name of sinners is
certainly   unscriptural   and   absurd.   The   law   demands   every
thing of the sinner, but furnishes nothing. It shuts him up in
prison   upon   the   principle,  “Cursed   is   every   one   who
continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the
law   to   do   them.”  Gal.3:10.   Paul   says,  “Now   we   know   that
what   things   soever   the   law   saith,   it   saith   to   them   who   are
under the law; that every mouth may be stopped, and all the
world may become guilty before God.” Rom.3:19. No intelligent
reader   of   the   Bible   will   contend   that   it   is   by   works   of
wickedness   that   sinners   are   justified   before   God.   But   Paul
says that it is not by works of righteousness which we have
done. For the sake of argument we will admit that sinners can
perform certain works of righteousness, yet Paul says, “Now
to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of
debt.”  Rom.4:4.   Therefore,   all  hope  of  salvation by  works  is
excluded.   But   in   the   Person   of   Jesus   Christ,   salvation   is
revealed.   He   is  “exalted   a   Prince   and   a   Saviour   to  give
repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins.” True repentance
is a gift; sometimes it is called evangelical repentance. If it is
a gift, sinners are the recipients of it. It is freely bestowed. It is
a spiritual blessing coupled with forgiveness of sins. When the
Apostles  were  sent   out   to  preach,  they   were  commanded  to
preach   repentance   and   remission   of   sins   in   the   name   of
Jesus,   among   all   nations.   Why?   It   was   because   God   had  a
people among all nations. And that people are called  Israel,
with   whom   the   covenant   is   made.  “But   this   shall   be   the
covenant that I will make with the House of Israel; after those
days, saith the Lord, I will put My law in their inward parts,
and  write it in their hearts; and  will  be their God, and  they
shall be My people. And they shall teach no more every man
his   neighbor,   and   every   man   his   brother,   saying,   Know   the
Lord, for they shall all know Me from the least of them unto the

greatest of them, saith the Lord; for I will forgive their iniquity,

and I will remember their sin no more.” Jer.31:34. Here is a full
expression of new covenant blessings bestowed upon a special
and peculiar people. It furnishes everything that appertains to
eternal salvation.
John,   the   harbinger   of   Christ,   preached   the   baptism   of
repentance, saying,  “Repent ye; for the kingdom of heaven is
at hand.” Matt.3:2. At the time when the people, which sat in
darkness   saw   great   light,   and   to   them   which   sat   in   the
regions and shadow of death, light sprung up, “Jesus began
to preach, and to say, Repent; for the kingdom of heaven is at
hand.”  Matt.4:17.   The   Apostles   preached   repentance   in   the
name of Jesus, and so have all Christ’s ministers in all ages.
And   all   the   heralds   of   the   cross   of   Christ   still   continue   to
preach it. And all that see this great light which is sprung up
and are pricked in their hearts by the eternal Spirit cry out
“men and brethren, what shall we do.”  It is the goodness of
God, not the fear of hell that leads men to repentance. “Godly
sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of”
This  was the  case  with  thousands   on the  day  of  Pentecost,
and it is the same at all times when God pours out his Spirit.
Sinners   see,   feel,   and   realize   their   awful   state   before   God.
They sorrow after a godly manner like penitent sinners. It is
not the exercise of the fleshly  powers of the sinner, but the
spontaneous   overflowing   of   a   heart   deeply   sensible   of   the
spiritual demands of a righteous law. There is a union to the
law with an acknowledgment of its righteousness. “By the law
is  the  knowledge  of  sin.”  He feels  it  to be so.  What  the law
demands, the Gospel, which is Christ, the power of God, and
the wisdom of God, more than furnishes upon the principle of
unmerited grace. Christ is the end of the law to every one that
believeth. Genuine repentance is wrought in the sinner before
he experiences  the remission  of his sins. Peace  and pardon
flows to him through Jesus Christ.
The saints continue to experience this repentance more or
less all of their sojourning in this vale of tears. David felt it
when he acknowledged, “I have sinned,” and Peter went out

and  wept   bitterly.   Its   blessed   effect   upon   the   Corinthian

Church   is   worthy   of   imitation.   Paul   rejoiced   that   they
sorrowed to repentance. He says, “For behold this self­same
thing, that ye sorrowed after a godly sort, what carefulness it
wrought  in you; yea, what clearing of  yourselves; yea, what
indignation; yea, what fear; yea, what vehement desire; yea,
what zeal; yea, what revenge! In all things ye have approved
yourselves   to   be   clear   in   this   matter.”   II   Cor.7:11.   Gospel
repentance   therefore,   is   a   turning   from   our   sins   to   God,   a
clearing of us from every sinful way and work. It is the true
result of godly sorrow, and is accompanied with humility of
soul, and contrition of heart before God. The Jewish converts
turned   from   the   rites   and   ceremonies   of   the   old   covenant
system,   and   believed,   and   embraced   the   Gospel   system   of
salvation   by   grace;   the   Gentile   believers   forsook   their   idol
gods, and false worship, to serve the living God, and received
the faith and practice of the Apostolic Church, and continued
therein.   In   all   subsequent   ages   until   the   present   day   His
people have endeavored to follow the footsteps of the flock.
The gist of our subject is that Gospel repentance extends
no further than to Gospel characters, or those that are under
grace. As a command it is binding upon those to whom it is
given, and who feel the exercise thereof. May all Old School
Baptists, and every one who loves our Lord Jesus Christ in
sincerity,   remember   that   in   the   absence   of   love   to   God,   to
Jesus   Christ,   to   the   brethren   and   sisters   of   our   heavenly
Father’s family, genuine repentance cannot be in exercise. Let
us repent of our sins, and turn to God, and perform works
worthy of our profession.
Joseph L. Purington. – Jan.1, 1859.
Covington, GA., Jan. 1, 1859.
In the first place Christ is intrinsically precious, for in and
of Himself He is the complete embodiment of perfection and
purity. His preciousness consists in the loveliness and glory of

His character. He is the same yesterday, today, and forever.

He exists in His eternal Godhead as one with the Father, also
as one with His people. He “is the image of the invisible God,
the first born of every creature.” Upon Him was laid all of our
iniquities, and by His stripes we are healed. The imputation or
transfer of our sins to Him did not make Him a sinner, but
the covenant relation He sustained to all those that were given
Him   by   the   Father,   made   it   right   and   just   that   He   should
suffer. And in so doing, He, “who knew no sin, was made sin
for   us,   that   we   might   be   made   the   righteousness   of   God   in
Secondly; He is manifestively precious; for a wretched, lost,
and undone sinner who saw no preciousness in Him, when
taught to see and realize his condition before God, is made to
rejoice,   and   fall   in   love   with   the   precious   Redeemer.   He   is
altogether lovely to the believing soul. He believes from actual
evidence. Literally speaking, when a man is hungry for food,
he believes it from the simple fact, that he has the evidence of
it within his own self. So also in reference to the believer in
Jesus.   There   are   certain   things   existing   in   his   own   bosom
which cause him to believe, as it was, with the blind man who
was restored to sight, “One thing I know that whereas I was
blind, now I see.”  There is actual proof existing, for the soul
feels within him self a consciousness of something he never
possessed   before.   His   hungry   soul   is   satisfied   with   the
fullness there is in Jesus. His name is precious; he loves to
speak   of   Jesus;   like   an   aged   sister   in   Christ   of   our
acquaintance,   who   when   conversation   arose   about   Jesus,
opened  her  eyes,  enfeebled  by  age,  and could  talk of  Jesus
freely and boldly. Truly He is precious in life, in old age, in
death, and in the regions of unclouded day.
Joseph L. Purington. Jan. 1, 1859.
Covington, GA., March 15, 1859.

This essential principle of doctrine is a part of our religious

belief. In early life, we were opposed to it, as all men are, in
their   graceless   state.   In   after   life   we   were   taught   in   our
experience,   to   believe,   and   love   it.   As   we   entered   upon   the
stage   of   action   in   our   religious   course,   our   character   was
formed to contend for the doctrine of grace. As we profess to
be recognized among the number of those who are set for the
defense   of   the   Gospel,   we   will   endeavor   to   enter   into   a
Scriptural elucidation of this principle of God’s truth.
In the first place, however, we will state that many suppose
that   election   is   conditional,   and   consequently   not   eternal.
They say, or affirm that sinners must take the first step, and
accept   of  offered   mercy,   as   they   call   it,   and  then  they   are
elected. And their election continues so long as they continue
to be faithful. And if they are faithful unto the end, they will
then be saved. But if they cease to be faithful, they will fail of
eternal   salvation.   This,   in   substance,   is   the   view   of   a   large
majority of the religionists of the present time.
But   when   we   consider   that   the   Scriptures   abundantly
testify to the contrary, inasmuch as the fallen condition of the
human family renders it utterly impossible for them, or any of
them to make choice of that which they absolutely hate, we
discover that election is based upon something more firm and
abiding,   than   the   mere   volition   of   finite   creatures.   We   are
aware,   however,   that   the   view   above   expressed   is   more
congenial   with   the   selfish   feelings   of   men,   but   when   we
examine the Scriptures upon the point, we have to submit to
their testimony.
Every   person   of   intelligence   has   a   choice   of   something
which he loves; and rejects, or passes by that which he does
not love,  or is not  an object  of choice  with him. Election is
choice. This choice is based upon, and inseparably connected
with principle, love, or regard. If the citizens of this Republic
elect a President, or the citizens of Georgia elect State officers,
or the citizens of Newton County elect County officers,  they
are governed by some principle in their choice. If a gentleman
chooses a lady for his wife, he should be governed by the love

and regard he has for her. She should reciprocate upon the

same principle.
Upon   the   first   view   it   might   appear   singular   that   men
should be opposed  to Election,  or God’s choice,  as it is the
only channel through which sinners can be saved, but when
we consider that it conflicts with men’s choice and ways, we
are no longer surprised. The human family is in a state of sin,
and  death. They  have  a choice.  But  is it  to love,   and  serve
God? Certainly not! They love the service of sin and Satan. We
could quote an abundance of Scripture as proof.
In Paul’s Epistle to the Romans, he boldly affirms  eternal
unconditional  election, and refutes the objections  of cavilers,
and   opposers.  “For   the   children   being   not   yet   born,
neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of
God, according to election might stand, not of works, but
of him that calleth; it was said unto her, the elder shall
serve the younger. As  it  is written,  Jacob have I loved,
but Esau have I hated.”  Rom.9:11­13. The objector is now
ready   to   charge   God   with   injustice,   partiality,   and
unrighteousness,   as   a   certain   man   once   said   several   years
ago. “If this doctrine is true, and I am never saved, I can look
up in hell and charge God of being an Almighty tyrant.” Let us
hear Paul upon the subject in the 14 th  and 15 th  verses. “What
shall  we  say  then?   Is  there   unrighteousness   with  God?  God
forbid. For He saith to Moses, I will have mercy upon whom I
will have mercy, and I will have compassion upon whom I will
have   compassion.”  Paul   wrote   by   inspiration,   and   testified
God’s truth, therefore cavilers and opposers are at issue with
revealed Truth.
We will  make  some  remarks  in relation  to Jacob,  as the
Apostle has spoken of him relative to God’s purpose according
to election. His  name  signifies the  supplanter. He supplanted
Esau,   and   obtained   the   blessing   of   the   first   born.   Israel
blessed him as follows: “Therefore God give thee of the dew of
heaven, and the fatness of the earth, and plenty of corn and
wine. Let people serve thee, and nations bow down to thee; be
lord over thy brethren, and let thy mother’s sons bow down to

thee; cursed be every one that curseth thee, and blessed be he

that   blesseth   thee.”  Gen.27:28,29.   This   had   its   literal
fulfillment to a considerable extent when his natural posterity
came in possession of the land of Canaan, for God loved Israel
for   Jacob’s   sake;   but   we   do   understand   there   is   a   typical
application   to   Christ   and   the   church.   A   type   is   a  sign;  an
emblem   of   something  –  a   figure   of   something   to   come.   God
loved   the   church   for   Christ’s   sake,   and   that   before   time
began. We believe that Jacob was a graceless man, until God
appeared   to   him   in   a   vision   of   the   night,   as   recorded   in
Gen.28:10­22.   Moses   speaks   of   it   in   Deut.32:9­14.   What   a
beautiful   and   clear   representation   and   expression   of   the
calling, experience, and exaltation of God’s chosen people in
Christ Jesus! How admirable and glorious! He was surnamed
Israel,  “For as a prince hast thou power with God, and with
men,   and   hast   prevailed.”   Gen.32:28.   Here   is   another
representation of Jesus Christ and the typical embodiment of
the church of Christ in Him, as we understand it. Acts 5:31.
When Balaam was requested to curse Israel, he could not do
it,   though   it   was   in   his   heart   to   do   it   for   the   reward   of
divination. He says,  “How  shall I curse, when God  hath  not
cursed? Or how shall I defy whom the Lord hath not defied?”
Num.23:8.  He says further, “Surely there is no enchantment
against Jacob, neither is there any divination against Israel,”
&c.   Num.23:23.   No   device,   no   scheme,   no   weapon   that   is
formed, or raised up against the people of God’s choice, can
prosper. The Lord hath spoken it, and it will stand. The glory,
safety, and triumphant exaltation of the church in her Head
and Husband, is expressed by Moses in Deut.33:26­29. The
spiritual   dominion   of   Israel   or   Christ’s   kingdom   is   clearly
expressed   in   the   Scriptures.   We   have   entered   somewhat
largely into a description of the people of God’s choice, but we
have still further  remarks  to  present  in tracing  this  subject
through in its connection.
National   Israel   was   under   a   national   covenant,   and   was
entitled   to   the   temporal   blessings   of   the   land   of   Canaan,
according to the oath and promise of God to Abraham, Isaac,
and   Jacob.   The   spiritual   Israel   of   God,   embracing   believing

Jews and Gentiles throughout the world, are entitled to all the

blessings   of   the   new   and   everlasting   covenant,   upon   the
principle   of   everlasting   love   and   mercy.   As   Jacob’s   natural
seed after development was national Israel, so our Lord Jesus
Christ, who was made of the seed of Jacob according to the
flesh is God’s only begotten Son, the spiritual embodiment of
that seed spoken of by the Psalmist: “A seed shall serve Him;
it shall be accounted to the Lord for a generation.”  Psa.22:30.
That  generation   is   the   foreknown,   predestined,   and   chosen
people of God. In Adam, by natural generation, they are the
children   of   wrath,   even   as   others,   a   seed   of   evil   doers,   but
being   born   of   incorruptible   seed,   they   are   manifest   as   the
children of God. Hence Peter could say, “Elect according to the
foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the
Spirit   unto   obedience,   and   sprinkling   of   the   blood   of   Jesus
Christ.”  I Pet.1:2. Also,  “Ye are a chosen generation, a royal
priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people, that  ye should
show forth the praises of Him that called you out of darkness,
into His marvelous light.”  I Pet.2:9. When Christ was chosen,
and set up as the seminal Head, and spiritual embodiment of
the   elect   of   God,   all   of   their   individual   persons,   not   yet
created,   and   manifested   by   ordinary   generation,   were
foreknown, and chosen of God. They were in seed­substance
in  Christ,  yet   undeveloped,   as  Adam’s   offspring   were   in  his
loins   when   he   dell.   The   Ephesians’   church   being   thus
manifested   with   a   holy   calling,   Paul  says,  “Blessed   be  the
God   and   Father   of   our   Lord   Jesus   Christ,   who   hath
blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places
in Christ. According as He hath chosen us in Him before
the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and
without   blame   before   Him   in   love.”  Eph.1:3,4.   In
accordance therewith, he says in another place,  “But we are
bound to give thanks always to God for you brethren beloved of
the Lord; because God hath from the beginning  chosen you  to
salvation, through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the
truth.” II Thes.2:13. The predictions of the prophets relative to
Christ, and the church, are in accordance with God’s choice

of His people, which is corroborated by the testimony of Christ

and His apostles. We could transcribe an abundance of other
Scripture   in   the   Old   and   New   Testaments,   but   we   have
already   quoted   enough   to   establish   our   views   of  eternal
unconditional election.
We maintain, therefore, that election is  eternal  because of
the   existence   of   Christ   as   the   chosen   Head   and   life   of   His
people, from everlasting. And identically with the same period,
so  to speak,  when  Christ  stood  as  God’s  elect,  were  all  the
saints elected, or chosen. And grace was given them in Christ
before Adam’s dust was fashioned to a man, or they had fallen
under the curse of God’s righteous law. He loved them before
time began in the Person of Jesus Christ, and He loved them
when   dead   in   sin,   and   also   when   called   by   grace,   and
continues forever the same unchangeable love. Election, also,
is unconditional, for it is not of any works, good or bad, that
were foreseen of God in them. God did not love Jacob because
he was, as a man, any better than Esau, for the children were
not yet born, when it was said, “Jacob have I loved, and Esau
have I hated.”  Therefore,  “it is not of him that willeth, nor of
him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy.” Rom.9:16.
While the subject is now before us, and upon our mind, we
will call the attention of our readers to the character of Esau,
who,   though   the   first­born,   was   supplanted   by   Jacob,   and
only obtained a temporal blessing. Gen.27:39,40. As we have
already   stated,   God   loved   Jacob   and   hated   Esau,   not   on
account of any good or evil that either of them had done, for
they were not yet born, but that the purpose of God according
to election, in the case of Jacob, might stand, not of works,
but of Him that calleth. Esau was not God’s choice, but that
did not do Esau any injury; he was only permitted to have his
own   choice   in   selling   his   birthright,   and   by   trying   to
accomplish his own plans, and thereby fulfill the purpose of
God   in   the   case   of   Jacob,   and   also   accomplish   what   God
designed   in   the   case   of   Esau.   “The   elder   shall   serve   the
younger.”  As   Isaac   had   blessed   Jacob,   he   could   not
countermand the blessing  for Esau. Esau may represent, in

this instance, those whom God does not love, who are not the

objects of God’s choice. The law of God, represented in Isaac,
could not change, nor curtail its demands. Sorrow, tears, nor
lamentations are of any avail. No spiritual blessings belong to
Esau, or those whom he may represent. Esau’s rejection may
represent the rejection by the law of all the cries, prayers, and
tears of sinners in their attempt to be accepted by their own
righteousness   before   God.   Upon   this   principle   the   tribe   of
Judah,   or   the   Jews,   were   rejected,   though   they   were
preserved   as   a   people   until  Shiloh   come.   Gen.49:10.   As   a
nation   they   despised   their   birthright,   and   rejected   the
promised Messiah, who was to them a stone of stumbling and
rock of offence.
Esau   is   synonymous   with   Edom,   which   signifies  red,
earthly, bloody. Idumea has the same meaning. His kingdom
and  domain  is  one   of  war   and  blood.   Yet   Jacob’s   dominion
over him is expressed by Balaam. He says, “There shall come
a Star out of Jacob, and a sceptre shall rise out of Israel,” &c.
Literally   in   the   type,   the   “Star   of   Jacob”   has   reference   to
David,   king  of Israel,  and  the “Sceptre that  shall  rise out  of
Israel,”  has   reference   to   the   regal   or   kingly   government   of
national Israel, in the days of David. And,  “Edom shall be a
possession, Seir, also shall  be  a possession for his enemies;
and   Israel   shall   do   valiantly.”  Num.24:18.   For   a   literal
fulfillment   of   this   prophecy   see   II   Sam.8:14,   Psa.60:8­12.
When we view the “Star out of Jacob” as Christ in His kingly
office, and the  Sceptre that shall rise out of Israel, to be the
royal power and authority of Christ as King, we see something
expressive of dominion over  the enemies of the church. The
building of the tabernacle of David, referred to, and spoken of
in   Acts   15:16,17,   which   Simeon   quoted   from   one   of   the
prophets, is expressive of dominion.  “That they may possess
the  remnant of Edom, and of all the heathen which are called
by My name, saith the Lord that doeth this.”  Amos 9:12. The
overthrow and destruction of Edom is foretold. See Obadiah’s
prophecy.   The   following   is   very   expressive.   “Was   not   Esau
Jacob’s brother, saith the Lord; yet I loved Jacob, and I hated

Esau, and laid his mountains and his heritage waste, for the

dragons   of   the   wilderness.   Whereas   Edom   said,   we   are
impoverished,   but   we   will   return,   and   build   the   desolate
places. Thus saith the Lord of hosts, they shall build, but I will
throw   down;   and   they   shall   call   them   the   border   of
wickedness,   and   the   people   against   whom   the   Lord   hath
indignation forever.” Mal.1:2­4.
The kingdom of Antichrist is strikingly typified by Edom or
Idumea. Anti­Christ, signifies the adversary of Christ, the man
of sin spoken of in II Thes.2:3­11. Violence, war, and blood are
their escutcheon. Hatred to the church of God and truth has
marked their footsteps in all ages. It is still manifest, and can
be seen by any close and critical observer of the movements of
the age, who has an interest in the welfare of Zion. But their
overthrow is inevitable for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken
But   there   is   still   another   view   we   wish   to   express
concerning Jacob and Esau. It is said,  the elder shall serve
the younger. The fallen and sinful nature, or disposition of the
saints in the order of birth, or manifestation, is the eldest, or
first­born. In their condemned state, they are enemies to God
by  wicked   works.   In   the  second   birth,   or   when   born   again,
Esau is supplanted by our spiritual Jacob, the younger in the
order of manifestation. Where sin abounded, grace does much
more abound. Grace reigns; the new, or inner man, obtains
the heavenly or spiritual blessing, represented by Jacob. Esau
still lives, and his hatred to Jacob still continues. The earth is
his   home,   and   there   he   must   abide.   But   Jacob   has   the
dominion   and   makes   Esau   serve   him.   The   heaven­born
principle   of   love   to   God,   faith   in   Christ,   and   a   good   hope
through grace, enables the saints to obey Christ, and brings
the old man or Esau’s disposition to serve Jacob.
We have rather digressed from the subject at the head of
this   article,   but   we   will   return   to   it   again,   and   offer   some
concluding   remarks.   Graceless   men   view   this   principle   of
doctrine as a selfish, narrow, contracted, and bigoted system.
They consider the people who believe it in the same manner.

Yet God manifests the riches of His grace towards sinners on

this   principle   only.   Many   of   the   saints   are   sometimes
difficultied in their minds upon it, or in relation to it, yet they
have   to   acknowledge   it   to   be   the   only   way   of   salvation.
Election is  in  Jesus Christ for the exhibition of God’s power,
glory, and grace in the salvation of sinners. Some suppose if
election   is   true,   a   portion   of   the   human   family   can   not   be
saved,   because   they  are  not   elected.  We  will simply  remark
that the election of grace includes all, and every one that has
a true desire to be saved in God’s way; to be saved, not in, but
from their sins. It includes all that have, or ever will be saved
manifestively with an everlasting salvation. All those that are
saved ascribe the glory to God alone; and those that are left to
perish, cannot justly complain, as “they love darkness rather
than the light,” and are permitted to have their own choice. It
is upon the principle of mercy that any are saved, and as an
individual, we can say, if ever saved, it is by grace alone; if
lost, God is just.
We will remark that, we use the words saved and salvation
here   in   their   common   acceptation   in   the   experience   of   the
saints.  Strictly   speaking,   the  church  and  people  of  God  are
already   saved   in   Christ,  but   in   a   manifest   sense   they   yet
experience this salvation. We view that the soul and body of
the saints are embraced in the election of grace, and partake
of   this   salvation.   This   is   why   they   are   given  “the   spirit   of
adoption, to wit, the redemption of the body” at the last day.
Some think that election leads to licentiousness, but the
Scriptures teach differently. Peter says plainly to the contrary,
and so does Paul. Finally, we will say Election is a Bible truth,
and no Scripture can be found that militates against, or that
Joseph L. Purington. – Mar. 15, 1859.
April 1, 1859 ­ REMARKS ON LUKE 18:11­20.
Covington, GA., April 1, 1859.

On   page   thirty­five,   current   volume   of   the  MESSENGER,

Bro. H. Dennis requests our views, or the views of any other
brother on this portion of Holy Writ. We hope no brother will
withhold his views because we shall express ours. By giving
our   views   it   is   not   our   object   to   hinder   others   in   the
expression of theirs. But as we have views we are willing to
express them.
The   first   verse   of   the   paragraph   embracing   the   subject
before us, reads as follows:   “And it came to pass as He went
to Jerusalem, that He passed through the midst of Samaria
and   Galilee.”   Jesus   in   the   days   of   His   flesh   journeyed
whithersoever   it   was   His   pleasure   to   go.   His   spiritual
character was unknown to the Jews, but as a man He was
seen   and   known.   He   had   a   purpose   in   passing   through
Samaria and Galilee as He went to Jerusalem. It came to pass
agreeably   to   His   own   pleasure   for   the   accomplishment   of   a
certain   purpose.   Whether   His   passing   through   Samaria   on
this   occasion,   was   at   the   same   time   that   He   met   with   the
woman at the well, recorded in the 4 th  of John, we know not,
though it may have been. Jerusalem was the capital city of
Judea. Samaria was a city of the Ephraimites and the capital
city   of   the   ten   tribes   of   Israel   for   a   long   time.   In   the   New
Testament,   Samaria   always   signifies   the   territory   between
Judea   and   Galilee,   and   where   the   tribes   of   Ephraim,
Manasseh, and Issachar had dwelt. Many were brought to a
knowledge   of   Truth   by   Christ,   {John   4}   and   also   under   the
preaching   of   Philip,   Peter   and   John.   {Acts   8}   Galilee   was   a
large country  in the north  part  of  Canaan.  Here  our  Savior
chiefly preached, and wrought His miracles.
“And as He entered into a certain village, there met Him ten
men   that   were   lepers   which   stood   afar   off.”  This   was   a
providential meeting. A leper is one affected with the leprosy.
Lepers   were   excluded   from   the   society   of   other   people,   and
have sometimes formed one of their own, which accounts for
their  standing   afar  off.  The  leprosy  is  a dreadful  complaint,
and is found chiefly in warm climates. It is stated that in the
Tenth   and   Eleventh   centuries   it   was   common   in   Europe,

introduced there (it is supposed,) by the Arabs and Moors. At

present it is not so much known.
“And   they   lifted   up   their   voices   and   said,   Jesus   Master,
have  mercy  on   us.”  This   terrible   distemper   with   which   they
were   infected   was   very   distressing.   A   question   arises;   upon
what principle did they cry “Jesus, Master,” &c.? We answer:
the   fame   of   Jesus   was   spread   abroad   by   reason   of   the
abundance of miracles performed by Him. He was considered
an   extraordinary   person   in   that   particular.   They,   knowing
their   diseased   situation,   and   believing   in   His   extraordinary
power to heal diseases, from the fame which had gone abroad
concerning Him, lifted up their voices and called on Him for
mercy.   We   have   known   instances   of   persons   infected   with
some   malignant   disease,   or   under   the   power   of   some
distressing   complaint,   who   have   expressed   themselves   in   a
similar manner. This is often the case where there is no grace
in   the   heart,   nor   has   consciousness   of   one’s   lost   condition
before God.
“And   when   He   saw   them,   He   said   unto   them,   Go   shew
yourselves unto the priests. And it came to pass, that as they
went, they were cleansed.” Jesus when He saw them directed
them according to the Levitical law in the case of a leprous
person, to show themselves unto the priests. It would rather
appear   that   the   Jews   generally   supposed   the   leprosy   to   be
inflicted by God for the punishment of some horrible crime.
For   reproaching   Moses   the   distinguished   servant   of   God,
Miriam   was   infected.   {Num.12}   For   the   treacherous   and
dishonest   procuring   of   clothes   and   money,   Gehazi   was
smitten. {II Kings 5} For profanely presuming to offer incense,
king   Uzziah   was   punished   with   it.   {II   Chron.26}   It   appears
there was no remedy for it, only from God. When an Israelite
was suspected  by  others,  or  by  himself,  to  be infected  with
this fearful disease, he presented himself for inspection to the
priest, who, in trying him, was in no danger of catching the
disease. For a description of the plague of leprosy, the course
to be taken, and the only remedy that would apply see Lev.13
& 14. The law on that subject these men had either forgot or
never knew.

As they went, they were cleansed. Jesus healed them. His

power over diseases was signally displayed on this occasion.
Thus far we have traced our subject in a literal sense  only,
that is to say, according to the letter, not in a figurative or a
metaphorical sense.
“And one of them when he saw that he was healed turned
back, and with a loud voice glorified God.” This subject is quite
discriminating.   But   ONE   of   the   number   ONLY,   knowing   he
was healed, turned back, and glorified God. This illustrates,
in our view, the effect of a work of grace wrought in the heart.
No outward miracle performed on, or in the physical man, of
itself   considered,   ever   did,   or   ever   will  cause  any   person   to
glorify God in the  strict  sense  of the word. Man is a selfish
being, and when sorely afflicted, or in any imminent danger
from any cause, he will cry for mercy or help, but when the
affliction is over, and the danger past, he presently forgets the
whole,   and   is   the   same   man   he   was   before.   Not   so   with   a
leprous sinner, who is sensible of the corruption of his nature
by the transgression of Adam, and that the leprosy of sin, and
its   reigning   power,   is   of   a   most   penal,   dreadful,   defiling,
spreading,   and   obstinate   character   before   God.   His   cry   is
“Jesus, Master, have mercy on me.” There is a great difference
between the cry for mercy of  those  who are in distress from
some   outward,   or   physical   cause,   and  him  who   is   inwardly
distressed on account of his sins and iniquities before a holy
God.  Those  go   away   when   the   danger   is   over,   the  other
glorifies God with a loud voice. It may not always be expressed
in words, but is expressed in the spirit. When a leprous sinner
has   the   evidence   that   he   is   healed,   or   in   other   words,   is
cleansed by the application of Christ’s blood to his diseased
soul, he gives God the glory. He may have gone to the law for
relief,   and   to   the   priests   for   cleansing,   but   has   been
pronounced  unclean.   Unexpectedly   Jesus,   the   Great   High
Priest of our profession, heals him, and with a loud voice he
expresses the joy of his soul to his God. We know, in a literal
sense, when a person is sick, he will send for a physician, and
resort to every means in his power for relief, and if they all

fail, he is in distress,  and obliged to conclude he must die.

Just so with a person under the teaching of God’s Spirit, he
does all he can do, and it proves a failure, and he concludes
he must die. But blessed be God, Jesus is the Great Physician
who can heal the sin­sick soul, and enable him to praise the
Lord for redeeming love and mercy.
“And fell down on his face at His feet, giving Him thanks;
and   he   was   a   Samaritan.”  Here   is   the   blessed   effect   of   the
work of the Spirit in the soul. He fell at the feet of Jesus. The
manifestation of Jesus’ love and mercy to a lost sinner makes
him   feel   humble,   dependent,   and   childlike.   He  comes   down
into the valley of humiliation at the feet of Jesus. A delightful
“He that is down, needs fear no fall,
He that is low, no pride,
He that is humble ever shall,
Have God to be his guide.
I am content with what I have,
Little be it, or much;
And, Lord, contentment still I crave,
Because Thou savest such.”
Mary sat at Jesus’ feet and heard His word. The man out of
whom the devils were departed was found sitting at the feet of
Jesus, clothed, and in his right mind. The man spoken of in
our   text   not   only   fell   at   the   feet   of   Jesus,   but   gave   Him
thanks.   Here   is   an   expression   of   gratitude;   and
acknowledgement   made   to   express   a   sense   of   favor,   or
kindness received. Contrast the character of the nine with this
one man, and behold the discrepancy. No thanks from them.
The   former   illustrates   the   selfishness   of   the   human   heart,
while   the   latter   illustrates   a   truly   gracious   soul   impressed
with a sense of God’s goodness and mercy.
“And  he  was  a  Samaritan.”  He  was  an inhabitant   of  the
country of Samaria. When Shalmaneser carried the ten tribes
out   of   their   own   land,   he   transplanted   into   it,   others   from
Babylon   and   parts   adjacent.   For   an   account   of   this

circumstance, and other circumstances in connection with it,

and their mixed worship, see II Kings 17. An animosity existed
between   the   Jews   and   Samaritans.   The   contention   was   so
sharp   that   they   refused   common   dealings   with   each   other.
John   4:9.   The   Samaritans   refused   to   receive   our   Savior   to
lodge,   because   his   face   was   as   though   he   would   go   to
Jerusalem. {Luke 9:52,53} The Jews imagined them to be the
worst of men, and possessed of the devil. John 8:48. Yet the
Samaritan above referred to, and spoken of, was a subject of
grace, and manifested it on this occasion.
“And Jesus answering, said, Were there not ten cleansed;
but   where   are   the   nine?”  Upon   this   part   of   the   text,   our
brother   particularly   requests   our   views.   In   our   remarks   we
have   already   anticipated   this   part   of   the   subject;   and
expressed in part our views upon it. We are not to understand
by the language used by Jesus to the man that returned that
Jesus needed  information,  as though He did not know  that
there were ten cleansed, or what had become of the nine. O,
no! Though the language is in the form of an inquiry, the idea,
simply, is, there were ten cleansed, and there are nine that
have not returned. Jesus knew the hearts of all men – of the
nine,   as  well  as  the   one  that   returned.   As  we  have   already
intimated in our remarks,  the nine were cleansed  only  in a
literal sense, and being destitute of the grace of God in their
hearts,   they   showed   no   disposition   to   turn   back.   We   have
known   instances   of   persons   on   a   sick­bed,   who   through
bodily indisposition, and fear of death, have cried for mercy,
and promised the Lord they would live better for the future if
they   should   recover,   but   as   soon   as   they   were   restored   to
health   they   seemed   to   forget   it   all.   The   conclusion   is   that
adversity,   or   prosperity,   sickness   or   health,   blessings   or
judgments never did, nor never will produce a genuine work of
grace in the heart of a sinner. The fear of death, or the fear of
hell will not do it. Any means resorted to by men, whether it is
under the name of religion, or otherwise is of no avail. Though
there were ten cleansed, yet there were nine of them graceless
men. We might as well look for an Ethiopian to change his
skin,  or the leopard his spots,  as to look  for  them  that are

accustomed to do evil to learn to do good. We are speaking of

the character of men as sinners before God.
“There are not found that returned to give glory to God, save
this   stranger.”  It   would   appear   from   the   language   used   by
Jesus that there is some probability that the nine were Jews;
Also from a consideration of the fact that “this stranger” was a
Samaritan.   The   course   pursued   by   the   nine   may   serve   to
illustrate   the   rejection   of   the   promised   Messiah,   while   the
course   of   the   one   that   turned   back   serves   to   illustrate   the
salvation of the Gentiles. God’s people in their graceless state
are strangers and foreigners. As in the case of the dying thief
a matchless display of sovereign grace was exhibited, so also
in the case of this Samaritan is the same principle of Truth
illustrated.   And   it   is   equally   true   in  relation   to   every   saved
The last verse of the text now claims our attention, “And
He said unto him, Arise, go thy way; thy faith hath made thee
whole.”  Jesus commands him to  arise. This is expressive of
that command which extends to every one that is just born
into  the  spiritual kingdom   of Christ. The  command  will not
admit of any delay. Arise, go to the church and tell the Lord’s
people what great things He has done for you.  Arise, go thy
way,   not   any   way,   nor   every   way,   but   in   the   way   Jesus
directs,   the  good  and  right  way.   It   is   the   way   of   obedience
which   the   Lord   points   out   to   His   children.   Go   to   the
household   of   God,   our   heavenly   Father’s   children.   Express
your mind freely, openly and humbly to them. Fear not what
men may say of you. Baptism, the Lord’s supper, and all the
blessings   and   privileges   of   the   Lord’s   house   are   yours.
Therefore  thy way  is before thee, for the Lord has shown it
unto you. Thy way is the Lord’s way. Let not a sense of your
unworthiness   and   vileness   lead   you   in   the   path   of
disobedience.   If   you   look   upon   the   Lord’s   people   as   the
excellent of the earth, as the redeemed of the Lord, remember
the command, Arise, go thy way.
“Thy   faith   hath   made   thee   whole.”   This   is   a   very   good
reason why you should obey the Lord. We will illustrate: If I

was in possession of a certain gift to bestow upon any person

of   my   choice,   I   act   as   a   sovereign   in   bestowing   it.   He   that
receives it from me as a gift has a right to call it his own, as
much so as if he had bought it and paid for it. It is so in the
experience of the sinner. He receives faith as a  gift. It heals
him   of   his   leprosy,   it   makes   him   whole.   Faith   possesses
saving, healing power. It is not the act of the creature, but the
gift of God. The Lord Jesus is the Author and Finisher of this
faith. Being wrought by divine POWER, this faith, which “is
the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not
seen,” makes the sinner whole. This stranger spoken of in our
subject had faith which Jesus had given him, and that faith
had healed him, or made him whole, in a spiritual sense as
well as in a literal sense,  therefore  with propriety, Jesus said
to him, thy faith hath made thee whole.  [It is the editor’s opinion
that “Thy faith that made thee whole,” refers to the object of it, that is,
Christ.­ SCP.]
J.L. Purington. – April 1, 1859.
April 15, 1859 ­ REMARKS ON I JOHN 3:14.
Covington, GA., April 15, 1859.
A   friend   of   our   acquaintance   in   Green   County,   N.Y.,
requests our views on this Scripture:   “We  know  that  we  have
passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren.”  Though
we are  deeply  sensible of our inability to expound upon the
Scriptures,  like   many  of  our  brethren,  yet  we  are  willing  to
exercise what gift, we hope, the Lord has given us, in writing,
as well as in the public ministration of the word.
Many   of   the   dear   children   of   God   experience   much
solicitude of mind relative to their interest in Christ, whether
their exercises are such as are common with the saints. In the
Northern and Eastern States there is more freedom among the
brethren   in   speaking   often   to   each   other   relative   to   their
exercises  and travel  of  mind,  than  there  is in the  Southern
States, so far as our knowledge is concerned. It is profitable

and   strengthening   to   the   feeble   sheep   and   lambs   of

Christ’s flock, to speak often to each other of the dealings
of   the   Lord   with   them,   and  not  spend   so  much  time   in
conversing   on   worldly   matters   when   they   meet   for   the
worship   of   God.  If   it   is   a   privilege   for   the   saints   to
assemble together, let them not be so backward to speak
of the glory of Christ’s kingdom, and talk of His power. In
this way they may comfort and edify each other.  [We do not
know if this is still true in the Northern and Eastern States, but it is still
the case in the Southern States.­ SCP]
The   text   at   the   head   of   this   article   is   one   of   those   that
expresses   fully   the   very  marrow  and  fatness  of   a   Gospel
experience. No one that ever tasted that the Lord is gracious
can   deny   its   application.   There   are   some,   however,   that
believe   the  sentiment   of   our   text,  and   who  sometimes   hope
that they have a knowledge of it experimentally, who have not
confidence to say that they know that they have passed from
death unto life. Yet they love the brethren, though they have
serious fears that their love is selfish or carnal. Such ones will
often   manifest   more   interest   and   anxiety   in   the   welfare   of
Zion, and the honor of the cause of Christ, than many that
are   members   of   the   visible   church   of   Christ.   With  grief  we
have   to   say   that   the   precious   cause   of   Christ   is   often
dishonored   by   the   reckless,   inconsiderate   conduct   of   some
that profess the name of Christ. Those that wish well to the
followers   of   Christ   under   such   circumstances   are   often
grieved   and   wounded.   We   scarcely   know   a   Primitive   or   Old
School   Baptist   Church   of   our   acquaintance   but   what   there
are more or less of that class who believe  our doctrine and
faith, and manifest  an interest in the truth, but have never
publicly put on Christ in the profession of His name. Some of
them need encouragement, some reproof and admonition.
There are certain distinguishing marks by which the sons
and daughters of Zion are known.  A person  that is literally
dead shows no evidence of life. Through a galvanic process by
the use of means there may be an involuntary contraction of
muscles,   or   muscular   fibers,   in   a   dead   body,   but   no

communication of life. Where there is life there is sensation,

breathing, power of action. Just so with a poor sinner that is
quickened to divine life, not by the use of means, but by the
sovereign   power   and   grace   of   God.   There   is   life,   sensibility,
The  death  spoken   of   in   our   text   is   a   death   in   sin,
destitution   of   spiritual   life,   with   no   power   of   movement   or
action. It is a state of alienation from God as transgressors of
the holy law of God. This is the condition of all the human
family   before   God.   They   have   no   spiritual  knowledge   of   the
nature, spirituality and righteous demand of the law they are
under. The law says, “Cursed is every one that continueth
not in all things which are written in the book of the law
to do them.” Gal.3:10. Therefore, they that are under the law
are   under   its   curse.   There   is   no   power   to   love   God   or   His
people in this condition. They are as insensible and destitute
of any heavenly or spiritual exercise as a person literally dead
is of the functions of natural life. This is solemn Bible truth.
In relation to the chosen people of God in their graceless
state, there is a period with them all, that they are without
hope and without God in the world. This is death. Not only so,
but they are condemned not for rejecting the  offers of mercy,
as some call it, but in a violation of the law of accountability
to their Creator. “The soul that sinneth, it shall die.”
A   passage   from   death   unto   life   involves   the   idea   of   a
change in the condition of the sinner. Also a change is wrought
in   him,   as   all   Old   Baptist   preachers   and   brethren   of   our
acquaintance contend for. Every person that has knowledge of
the first principles of a Gospel experience, can call to mind a
knowledge   of   his   or   her   fallen   and   lost   condition   as   a
condemned sinner before God. This arose from some internal
operation,   like   the  still   small  voice   of   the   Spirit,   which
produces   life,   sensibility,   action.   Here  is   a   change   from   the
former lifeless, senseless, inactive state of the sinner. It is true
there   may   be   some   persons   whose   minds   were   spiritually
exercised at so early a period of life that they cannot tell of
any time when they did not feel themselves to be lost sinners.

This,   however,   does   not   destroy   the   idea   of   a   change,   in   a

passage from death to life.  No part of the man, either soul
or   body,   is   made   spiritually   holy   and   Christ­like   in   this
change, but Christ Jesus, who is the LIFE of the believer,
is, absolutely, the LIGHT that shines  in  the heart of the
sinner,   that   shines   in   darkness,   and   manifests   the
corruption and vileness of his fallen nature.  He was once
destitute of this knowledge, he now possesses it; he was once
destitute of LIFE and LIGHT, now he is in possession of it. Is
not this a change? Furthermore, he now has a view of the holy
character   of   God,   and   of   his   law   and   justice.   He   may   not
understand   them   properly,   but   acknowledges   the
righteousness of God in his condemnation. This he could not
acknowledge, if there was no love to the character, law and
justice of God.
When God speaks deliverance and peace to a lost sinner,
there   is   joy   and   praise.   He   can   say,  “whereas   I   was   once
blind, I now see.”  Love to the precious Redeemer and to the
brethren now is in exercise in his soul. Truly this is a change.
He  beholds   by   faith  the  glory   of  God   shining   in  the  face   of
Jesus Christ. He has passed from a death in sin to a state of
life in Christ.
“Amazing grace, how sweet the sound,
That saved a wretch like me,
I once was lost, but know am found,
Was blind, but know I see.”
But the idea of a passage from death unto life signifies a
passing from one place to another. He passes from under the
law and under its curse, from the land of darkness and death,
unto a state of life, justification and acceptance with God in
Jesus Christ. He is now no longer under the law, but under
grace.   The   relationship   of   the   sinner   is   so   changed   that
whereas he was under the law of sin and death, he is under
law to Christ, to follow Him continually.

Love   to   God   and   the   brethren   is   not   a   fleshly   or   carnal

exercise, as we have already stated. A person that is born of
God is in possession of love to God. This pure, heavenly, and
divine   love   is   of   God.   To   love   the   brethren   is   expressive   of
union  to them.  This  union   is   vital.  It  is   a   love­union,   as
well as life­union. This union is wholly and exclusively in
Christ. The fullness of the Godhead, the fullness of salvation
and all spiritual blessings, and the fullness of the church, are
all in Christ Jesus our Lord.
To  know  is not to be doubtful, but to have a satisfactory
evidence of anything which exists. If there is actual evidence
of existing facts in a natural sense, we certainly believe there
is in a spiritual sense. The language of our text is to the point
in that particular. Here is death and life, and a passage from
one   to   the   other.   The   evidence   of   this   fact   or   truth,   so   to
speak, is,  we love the brethren. Therefore,  we know  that we
have   passed   from   death   unto   life,   because   we   love   the
brethren.   We   may   love   some   of   our   brethren   better   than
others, simply from the fact that the image and character of
Christ may exhibit itself more fully in some than others. The
more   we   see   the   meekness   and   humility   of   Christ   in   our
brethren the better we love them, and the nearer they seem to
Our friend makes the following inquiry, “Do you think that
a person can love the brethren, and that love not be the pure
love of a Christian? I have about concluded that a person can
love   the   brethren   and   that   love   is   selfish   or   carnal,   or,   to
speak   more   plain,   they   may   love   the   brethren,   and   yet   be
destitute of the vital principle of the Christian religion. Will it
do   for   a   person   that   knows   he   loves   the   brethren   to   think
because he loves them, that he has passed from death unto
life, when he cannot bring up any other evidence to prove it?
Now,   to   me   these   are   serious   questions,   and   I   ask   for
If   the   views   we   have   expressed   in   this   article   are   sound
and Scriptural, {and we certainly believe they are,} we have to
reply to our friend  by stating that a person  cannot  love the

brethren   and   that  love   not   be   the  pure  love   of   a  Christian.

And   to   love   the   brethren   and   yet   be   destitute   of   the   vital
principle of the Christian religion is  impossible. God is love,
and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God and God in him.
Love   is   an   essential   vital   principle   of   the   religion   of   Christ.
There   can   be   no   other  positive  evidence   of   a   passage   from
death unto life, but love to the brethren. We will say to our
friend that the poetry you have forwarded us, {copied from the
SIGNS,} for publication, and which will appear in this number
of our paper, and which you say is in exact correspondence
with   your   own   feelings,   is   very   expressive   of   the   thoughts,
feelings and exercises of those who love the brethren and are
acquainted   with   the   plague   of   their   own   hearts.   Graceless
men have no trouble relative to themselves, whether they love
Jesus   or   the   brethren.   Those   that   see   and   know   the
unloveliness of their own fallen nature, have many fears that
they do not love the brethren as they ought and as they wish
to. Yet  they  esteem  them  as the excellent  of the earth, and
prefer to live and die with them, like Ruth of old.
Our   friend   says:   “I   could   go   back   six   years   in   my   own
experience   and tell  you   how  I  then  loved  the  brethren,  and
how   inexpressibly   sweet   the   name   of   Jesus   sounded   in   my
ear, and I think through all that time I loved them. I love them
still, but the question is, is not my love selfish?  And then I
think in this way; if a minister comes here, a stranger – I have
never seen before, of course have no acquaintance with him,
no   love   for   him,   but   let   him   preach,   let   him   speak   of   the
glorious   things   contained   in   the   Gospel,   and   to   speak   the
good news of salvation by grace, and my heart thrills with love
for him. Now, what kind of love is this? I often fear I know
nothing as it should be known, I see so much selfishness in
myself. I expect the writing of this is to gratify self. But my
paper  is  filled,  and I  must close,  though  I have  not  written
half what I wished to. I have often felt a desire to write you
some of my exercises, but thinking perhaps it would be of no
interest to you, I have not done so. Please excuse this.
Sincerely, your friend; A.”

We   have   made   extracts   from   the   letter   of   our   friend,

believing   that   the   exercises   therein   expressed,   will   apply   to
many of our readers. It is the language of Zion, the language
of a penitent soul.
For the encouragement of our friend, we will say the Lord
has been gracious to you for Jesus’ sake. The kind of love you
express   is  true  love   to   the   brethren.   They   are   your   people,
your kindred, your brothers and sisters. Own the relationship,
and confess what the Lord has done for you. Remember the
command of the dear Redeemer to His disciples, “Follow me,”
and go and do likewise.
J.L. Purington. – April 15, 1859
April 15, 1859 ­ FASTING.
Covington, GA., April 15, 1859.
We know not how far the custom has been observed among
the Old Baptists in the Southern States to observe a day of
fasting   and   prayer,   but   personally   we  have   never   witnessed
the custom among our brethren. If it was formerly observed
among the Old Baptists, they certainly have left it off, so far
as our knowledge is concerned. Our brother says it used to be
frequent; if so, there is a departure from a former custom. If it
was right and Scriptural for the church to appoint a day of
fasting  and  prayer,  the neglect   of it  is a  violation  of known
duty. But if there is no command in the New Testament for it,
{and we have never found any such command,} the neglect of
it   is   not   a   violation   of   duty.   If   it   was   a   custom  only,
unauthorized by the New Testament, a leaving it off is by no
means wrong or sinful. There is no merit in the observance of
it,  nor  anything  sinful  to neglect  it.  We know   not why  they
have   left   it   off,   unless   it   be   that   they   have   found   it   was   a
tradition   ONLY.   Be   that   as   it   may,   the   practice   of   it   is   not
enjoined upon the church in the sense that many suppose it
to be.
In   the   Eastern   States   the   Governor   appoints   a   day   of
fasting   and   prayer,   which   is   observed,   generally,   by   the
religious community. They assemble at 11 o’clock, A.M., to do

what   the   Governor   recommends.   They   eat   no   dinner,   and

sometimes no breakfast, but partake of a hearty supper. As
the Governor has no right in his official duty to appoint any
such day for a religious purpose, we have nothing more to say
on the subject.
The   church   has   a   right   to   appoint   a   day   to   meet   for
religious purposes as she deems proper and reasonable. But
it   must   be   in   accordance   with   the   Scriptural   command,
otherwise   she   violates   a   Scriptural   rule.   The   observance   of
days,   and   months,   and   years,   under   the   New   Testament
dispensation is not required.  To worship God is a spiritual
exercise.  Unless   performed   in   the   Spirit   it   cannot   be
acceptable before God.
Fasting,  in  a  literal sense,  is  to eat  little  or   no food.  We
could   refer   to   numerous   instances   of   fasting   by   men   that
feared   God,   in   the   Scriptures,   but   we   forbear.   Those
instances,   however,   were   under   deep   exercises   of   mind,
attended with peculiar circumstances. It was rather a custom
under the Old Testament dispensation. Many, however, fasted
for strife and debate, to smite with the fist of wickedness.
We consider fasting to be a spiritual exercise, expressive of
penitential mourning on account of sin, and supplications for
mercies. Prayer always attends it with a sense of one’s needy
and destitute condition before God. Sometimes, when a poor
penitent soul is in deep distress, he will literally abstain from
food   for   a   season,   by   reason   of   the  trouble   of   his   mind.   In
such   a   condition   he   will   pray   with   full   purpose   of   heart.
Fasting and prayer, under such circumstances, is scriptural
and acceptable to God.
Joseph L. Purington. – April 15, 1859.
May 15, 1859 – The Book of the Generation of Christ.
Covington, GA., May 15, 1859.

Brother S.W. Gresham of this County requests our views

on this Scripture which reads as follows,  “The book of the
generation of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of
Abraham.”  Such views as we have we are willing to give for
the consideration of our brother, and all those who may feel
interested therein.
Before   we   enter   upon   the   subject   of   our   text,   we   will
remark   that   a  book  is   a   record   of   something   which   is
published that may be considered of importance, or of general
interest. There are many kinds of books in existence.  Some
are very useful and instructive, while others are unprofitable
and useless. The books of Moses are the most ancient of any
of which we have an account; it does not appear that there
were any written before them. Anciently men used to write on
tables   of   stone,   lead,   copper,   wood,   wax,   bark,   or   leaves   of
trees. In very ancient times the Persians and Ionian’s wrote on
skins.   It   is   stated   that   about   240   years   before   Christ,   the
making   of   parchment,   or   papers   of   skins   was   improved   by
Attalus,   king   of   Pergamos.   After   which   books   of   note,   or
importance   were   ordinarily   written   on   parchment   for   1300
years. Paper manufactured from linen rags has been in use
about   600   years.   Since   the   art   of   printing   was   discovered,
printed books have been common.
The Jews, with the Israelites in general, were particular in
a record of their genealogy, or descent by birth from Abraham.
Therefore when reference was made to any particular person,
it was common to speak of him as the son of some man whose
name   is   mentioned   as   belonging   to   some   tribe   in   regular
descent   from   Abraham.   The   tribe   of   Levi,   in   relation   to   the
priesthood, was obliged in a special manner to observe their
genealogy. If any man officiated in the priestly office, who did
not   belong   to   the   sacerdotal,   or   priestly   stock,   he   was
immediately removed from the office. In the first of Chronicles
there is a record of genealogies for more than 3500 years. The
Scriptural signification of the word  generation  is  posterity, or
“offspring.”   Therefore  the   book   of   the   generation   of   Jesus
Christ  is a record, or history of His descent,  birth, life, and

death.   This   only   can   be   understood   in   relation   to   His

manifestation  according   to   the   flesh.   A   particular   order   of
descent is recorded in the Old and New Testaments, relative
to His genealogy. A race, or class of persons were alive at the
same   time   through   successive   generations   from   Adam   to
Christ. Matthew’s account of Christ’s genealogy is by Joseph
back   to   Abraham,   a   period   of   about   2000   years.   Luke’s
account is by Mary, the daughter of Heli, who was father­in­
law   to   Joseph,   back   to   Adam,   a   period   of   4000   years.   The
genealogies of Joseph and Mary, the espoused parents of our
Lord in a fleshly relation, are traced back to David where they
unite. It appears as though there were more generations from
Mary   to   David,   than   from   Joseph   to   David.   This   apparent
variation may arise from different  causes. Sometimes in the
record   of   genealogies   some   persons   had   several   name,   and
different   persons   had   the   same   name.   Fathers   and   son­in­
laws, grand­fathers, and grand­sons, and fathers and sons by
adoption, are represented as if proper fathers and sons. Jesus
Christ is called the son of David, the son of Abraham. Yet there
were several generations between David and Abraham. Jesus,
according   to   the   law   of   marriage,   was   legally   the   son   of
Joseph, but the son of Mary by conception and birth. By this
marriage   Mary’s   honor   was   legally   protected,   and   the   birth
and pedigree of the Lord Jesus was legally established, and
He was legally initiated into the congregation of Israel, and the
ordinances of the Jewish nation.
We will now refer to, quote Scripture, and present some of
our   views   relative   to   the   adorable   character   of   the   dear
Redeemer. The angel said to Mary, “The Holy Ghost shall come
upon   thee,   and   the   power   of   the   Highest   shall   overshadow
thee; therefore also that Holy Thing, which shall be born of thee
shall be called the SON of God.” Luke 1:35. This is sufficient to
establish his identity as the Son of God. We understand that
He existed in His Sonship, before His conception and birth as
the son of Mary. His being made of a woman, or of the seed of
David, according to the flesh, did not constitute Him the Son
of   God.   He   existed   as   such   before   He   was   manifest   in   the
flesh.   But   His   conception   and   birth   of   the   woman   was   a

development,   or   manifestation   of   His   glorious   character   as

described by Isaiah, “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son
is given; and the government shall be upon His shoulder; and
His   NAME   shall   be   called   Wonderful,   Counsellor,   the   Mighty
God, the  Everlasting  Father,  the  Prince  of  Peace.”  Isa.9:6.   In
relation to His character as Savior, the angel said to Joseph
relative to his wife, “And she shall bring forth a son, and thou
shalt call His name JESUS; for He shall save His people from
their   sins.”  Matt.1:21.   –   which   He   did.   In   reference   to   His
name  Christ,   which   signifies  the   Anointed   One,   the   Eternal
Father declares, “I have found David My servant; with My holy
oil have I anointed him.” Psa.89:20. Saul was anointed with a
vial of oil which is expressive of the weakness and bitterness
of Saul’s kingly power and government. A vial is easily broken,
so   Saul’s   kingly   government   was   soon   broken   and   given   to
another.   David   was   anointed   with   a  horn  of   oil,   which   is
expressive   of   the   stability,   firmness,   and   durability   of   His
kingly   government.   This   is   very   expressive   of   the   Person   of
Christ our exalted King in His royal power and government.
His   kingdom   is   an   everlasting   kingdom   and   His   dominion
shall have no end. The holy anointment of the dear Redeemer
by   the   eternal   I   AM   imports   His   calling   to   the   office   of
Mediator, Prophet, Priest, and King, and fully furnished with
all the gifts, and qualifications which the Holy Ghost imparted
to Him, and which dwelt in Him. For this cause He is called
the   Messiah,   Christ,   or   Anointed.   He   is   the   anti­typical
embodiment  of  all  the   anointing   under   the   law,   and   as   the
great Anointed One in His resurrection from the dead, He was
anointed  above all His fellows. The following language is full
and very expressive. “But unto the Son He saith, Thy throne O
God   is   forever   and   ever;   a   sceptre   of   righteousness   is   the
sceptre  of  Thy  kingdom. Thou  hast  loved   righteousness,  and
hated   iniquity;   therefore   God,   even   Thy   God   hath   anointed
Thee   with   the  oil   of   gladness   above   Thy   fellows.”  Compare
Psa.45:6,7,   with   Heb.1:8,9.   Christ   Jesus   was   David’s   Lord
and Savior in whom He trusted, yet in a fleshly relation He
was David’s son. David said by the Holy Ghost, “The Lord said

unto   my   Lord   {Jesus   the   Savior,}   Sit   thou   on   My   right   hand

until  I  make  Thine  enemies   Thy footstool.”  Psa.110:1.   In  the
Redeemer’s prayer to His Father He says, “And now O Father
glorify Thou Me with Thine own self, with the glory which I had
with Thee before the world was.” John 17:5. Notwithstanding
He is the Son of God, yet He is One with the Father. He says,
“I and my Father are ONE.” John 10:30. It was declared by the
prophet and quoted by Matthew, “Behold a virgin shall be with
child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call His name
EMMANUEL   which   being   interpreted   is,  God   with   us.”
Matt.1:23, Isa.7:14. Hence of a truth as Paul declared,  “God
was manifest in the flesh.” I Tim.3:16.
Having   spoken   of   the   descent   and   birth   of   Christ   in   a
fleshly relation, as well as of His character as the Son of God,
and also as One with the Father, we will speak of His life and
death. He came, as a servant under the law, in obedience to
the   will   of   His   Father.   He   came   as   the   Head   and
Representative   of   all   the   chosen   family,   and   through   the
covenant   relation   He   sustained   to   His   people,   He   redeemed
them by His precious blood. In the performance of this great
work, though He was rich, yet He became poor that His people
through His poverty might be rich. The foxes have holes, and
the birds of the air have nests, but the Son of man hath not
where to lay His head, said Jesus in the days of His flesh. He
laid   aside   His   primeval   glory,   and   took   our   infirmities,   and
bare our sicknesses. He was in all points tempted as we are,
yet without sin, therefore He is touched with the feeling of our
infirmities.   His   life   was  one   of   patient   self­denial,   a   man  of
sorrows and acquainted with grief. He was wounded for our
transgressions,   He   was   bruised   for   our   iniquities;   the
chastisement   of   our   peace   was   upon   Him;   and   with   His
stripes we are healed. As all the chosen family in the loins of
Adam were under the law and under its curse, therefore in all
things  it   behooved   Him   to   be   made   like   unto   His   brethren;
that He might be a merciful and faithful High Priest in things
pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the
people. In that He suffered He is able to succor them that are

tempted. He lived and died not simply as the son of Joseph

and  Mary,  but  as the Son  of God  and  seminal Head  of the
church. He bears our sins in His own body on the tree. He
died the just for the unjust that He might bring us to God.
The Godhead of our Lord Jesus Christ did not suffer, and die,
but that Immaculate Personage called the Son of God suffered
and died. He was put to death in the flesh, but quickened by
the Spirit. That same identical body, in which He suffered and
died,   was   raised   again   from   the   dead.   This,   to   our
understanding   serves   to   establish   the   resurrection   of   the
body of all the saints from the dead.
  The soul and body of the saints are of earthly origin by
descent and birth. They are called by grace, and made heirs of
immortal glory. While their fleshly descent is from Adam, their
spiritual descent is from Christ. It was the good pleasure of
our  God to develop,  or  in other  words,  to unfold and make
known His church and people, in an earthly state of being.
This   was   for   the   exhibition   of   God’s   power   and   grace
according to the eternal purpose which He purposed in Christ
Jesus our Lord. Their eternal salvation from sin, death, hell,
and   the   grave,   are   embraced   in   this   eternal   purpose.   Their
disclosure, or discovery  through their natural standing, and
fallen condition in Adam by ordinary generation, is one thing,
and the act of making known by the washing of regeneration
and the renewing of the Holy Ghost of their spiritual standing
in   Christ,   is   another   thing.   As   the   whole   family   of   God   in
heaven   and   earth   are   NAMED   in   Christ,   therefore   their
conception and birth by the power of the Holy Ghost in the
Person of Jesus Christ, is according to the will of the Father.
As in the natural birth, they are born of the flesh, so in the
spiritual birth they  are  born of  the  Spirit. As they  bear  the
image of the earthly Adam, so also they must bear the image
of the second Adam, the Lord from heaven. This will be fully
accomplished in the resurrection from the dead of the body of
all the saints.
However   contrary   to  human  reason   and   speculation   this
subject may appear, we conscientiously believe that it is Bible
Truth, and cannot be successfully disputed. The dear people

of God know in their experience, that no good thing dwelleth

in their flesh. All, and every good thing, they do possess was
imparted to them from a heavenly source. Consequently their
hope of deliverance from this bondage of corruption is ALONE
in   Christ.   They  “are   waiting   for   the   adoption,”   which   Paul
says,  “is   the   redemption   of   our  body.”   They   groan   within
themselves,   not   that   they   would   be   unclothed,   but   clothed
upon,   that   mortality   might   be   swallowed   up   of   life.   Their
earnest desire is to be clothed upon with their house which is
from heaven.  That which the saints derive by earthly descent
from Adam, will be swallowed up of life, or clothed upon with
their house which is from heaven. That which was, originally,
created   in   Adam   was   sinless   and   innocent,   but   became
contaminated by transgression and sins. Deliverance from sin
and   transgression   is   salvation.   The   soul   and   body,   and
everything   which   constituted   the   natural   man   before   the
transgression of Adam, is saved from sin, death, hell, and the
grave  in the  resurrection  of Jesus Christ  from the  dead.
The revelation of this salvation is known by the saints in their
experience, and will be fully known at the redemption of the
body   in   the   resurrection.  That   which  was   derived   from
Christ,   or   imparted   by   the   gracious   operation   of   the   Holy
Spirit,   causes   an   essential   change   in   circumstances   in   the
individual   to   whom   it   is   imparted.   He   now   has   an
experimental  union   to   heavenly   things.   That   which   was
derived from Christ, or imparted by the Spirit, is the new or
heavenly man. The new man and the saved sinner participate
together in the joys and sorrows which are common to all the
saints in their pilgrimage through this vale of sorrow. They are
one with Christ, even as Christ is one with the Father. They
will be satisfied when they awake with the likeness of Christ.
The gist of the subject embraced in the premises, is that
Jesus Christ in His underived character is the living and true
God, but as the Son of God, and Head of the church, He is
Mediator, Prophet, Priest and King. Furthermore as the Son of
God, He proceeded forth and came from God. Therefore His
descent and birth, according to the flesh, did not constitute

Him the Son of God, but He was made flesh, and dwelt among

men. The assumption of a fleshly body constituted Him the
Son of Man, sustaining a fleshly relation to His people. In that
body He suffered for our sins according to the Scriptures.
Joseph L. Purington. – May 15, 1859.
Richmond, Maine, July 15, 1859.
We are now in our native State, where we had our early
education, and where we were born, not only according to the
flesh, but as we humbly hope of the Spirit of our God, and
first attempted to preach the unsearchable riches of Christ.
After journeying, and attending Associations and meetings of
brethren of our faith and order in several of the States, and
also in Canada, we arrived here on the 30 th , in good health
and usual vigor of mind. We found our relatives and friends in
usual   health,   and   also   heard   from   home   with   a   degree   of
We   left   Covington,   GA.,   Tuesday   morning,   May   10 th ,   by
public   conveyance,   and   after   riding   day   and   night,   passing
through   Atlanta,   and   Dalton   GA.,   Knoxville   and   Bristol,
TENN.,   Lynchburg,   Richmond,   and   Alexandria,   VA.,   we
arrived at the house of our cousin, Brother W.J. Purington in
Washington   D.C.,   Thursday   afternoon.   He   had   an
appointment the same night at Alexandria, and we went with
him and preached to a full assembly of people. The next night
we   preached   at   brother   Towles,   in   Washington   to   a   small
company, we trust, of  saved sinners. Saturday, in company
with Brother W.J. Purington and wife, we went to Black Rock,
MD.,   where   we   preached   on   Sunday,   and   at   a   funeral   on
Monday.   We   next   attended   the   Baltimore   Association   at
Harford,   Harford   County,   MD.,   where   we   met   with   several
ministering brethren, and other brethren of our acquaintance.
The   meeting   was   one   of   interest.   By   the   request   of   Harford

Church, a presbytery was formed of ministers and brethren,

after   the   adjournment   of   the   Association,   to   hear   the
Christian   experience,   and   call   to   the   ministry   of   Brother
William Grafton, a member of Harford Church. After hearing
his   relation,   and   replying   to   numerous   questions   in   a
satisfactory manner, it was unanimous vote to proceed to his
ordination.   Elder   P.   Hartwell   preached   on   the   occasion.
Ordaining prayer was by Elder Gilbert Beebe at the laying on
of hands by Elders Samuel Trott, Gilbert Beebe, P. Hartwell,
Robert C. Leachman, D.L. Harding, William J. Purington, and
myself.   The   right   hand   of   fellowship,   and   an   impressive
charge was by Elder Trott. Also by the request of the church
brother M. Grafton was set apart to the office of a Deacon by
prayer and the laying on of hands of the presbytery.
We returned  to Baltimore,  where  we parted  with Brother
William J. Purington and wife, and preached on Sunday for
the  Ebenezer  church  in   that   city.   The  Lord   has   revived   the
church and added to her numbers, of late much to the joy of
the brethren. Brother G. Beebe preached on Monday night in
the   city,   and   on   Tuesday   we   rode   to   Wilmington   Delaware,
where we first met with Eld. W.C. Norris of Georgia, and in
company   with   other   brethren   attended   the   Delaware
Association at Cow Marsh, Kent County, Delaware – Elders G.
Beebe,   Harding,   E.   Rittenhouse,   T.   Barton,   G.W.   Slater,   W.
Housel, W.C. Norris, and J.L. Purington, ministering brethren
present. The preaching was according to sound doctrine. We
left   on   Friday   in   company   with   brother   Slater,   and   other
brethren and sisters, for Salisbury, on the Eastern shore of
MD. We preached at Jones’ Mills on Saturday, where brother
Slater baptized a colored brother. Sunday morning preaching
at   Rewostico,   and   two   of   the   lambs   of   Christ’s   flock   were
baptized. The Lord is manifesting his power and grace in that
region of country, in reviving his people, and building up his
visible   cause,   and   confounding   the   enemies   of   the   truth.
Sunday   night   and   Monday,   preaching   at   Salisbury.   In
company with Brother Slater and wife, we journeyed mostly
by public conveyance, to the Delaware River Association, via
Seaford,   and   Wilmington,   Delaware,   and   Philadelphia.   In

company   with   a   host   of   brethren,   sisters   and   friends,   we

arrived   at   Southampton,   Bucks   County,   PA.,   where   the
Association   was   held.   At   this   Association,   like   the   others,
peace,   harmony,   and   brotherly   love   pervaded   the   meeting.
There was a full attendance of ministering brethren, who lifted
up their voice together in the declaration of truth. The Sunday
following, in company with Brother Norris, we preached at 1 st
Hopewell, Mercer County, New Jersey, where Elder P. Hartwell
is pastor. This church has had large additions to her number
within a few years, and is probably the largest church of our
order in the United States. To the Lord belongs all the praise
and glory! In company with several brethren and sisters, we
pursued   our   journey   to   the   Warwick   Association   at   New
Vernon, Orange County, New York. At this Association there
were seventeen ministers from different states, whose united
testimony carried indubitable proof that Zion’s watchmen are
taught of the Lord, and see eye to eye with the prophets and
apostles, and also that all those who are taught of God receive
their   testimony.   As   there   was   a   great   concourse   of   people,
there   was   preaching   in   a   grove   near   by,   at   the   same   time
there was preaching in the house. Ministers present were C.B.
Hassell of North Carolina, S. Trott of Virginia, D.L. Harding of
Pennsylvania, P. Hartwell, and G. Conklin of New Jersey, W.C.
Norris   of   Georgia,   J.F.   Johnson   of   Kentucky,   L.   Cox,   Jr.   of
Massachusetts, G. Beebe, W. Housel, A. St.John, I. Hewitt, J.
Winchel,   W.   Choate,   H.   Alling   of   New   York,   G.W.   Slater   of
Maryland, and myself.
 The Sunday following, in company with Elders Beebe and
Harding,   there   was   preaching   at   Wallkill,   and   Middletown.
The Lord’s Supper was administered at Wallkill. On Tuesday,
June 14 th , Brother Beebe and I took passage in the cars for
Arlington, PA., where brother Conklin joined us on the way.
The meeting at Clark’s Green, Abington, PA., was not so fully
attended by brethren of the churches as was anticipated. Yet
the   gospel   was   faithfully   preached   to   the   comfort   and
strengthening of the feeble sheep and lambs of Christ’s flock.
We   parted   with   the   brethren   in   peace   and   harmony,   and
proceeded on to Barton, N.Y., by Rail Road, where we stopped

over   night.   Through   the   kindness   of   a   friend,   we   were

conveyed,   in   company   with   brethren   Beebe   and   Conklin,
down  the  valley   of  the Susquehanna  River   to  the Chemung
Association at Terrytown, Bradford County, Pennsylvania. The
meeting was held Saturday and Sunday June 18 th   and 19 th ,
and was of special interest. The congregation was large. The
preaching was in the fullness of the blessing of the gospel of
Christ.   Ordained   ministers   present   were   Elders   Beebe,
Conklin,   R.   Burritt,   K.   Hollister,   J.P.   Smith,   F.   Moyer,   J.
Beaman, and I. The  brethren parted  in love  and fellowship.
On   our   way   to   the   Old   School   Conference   at   Western   New
York, we parted with Brother Beebe at Waverly Station, on the
N.Y. & Erie Railroad. He returned home, and we, in company
with   brethren   Smith   and   Conklin,   preceded   on   to   South
Dansville,   Steuben   County,   N.Y.,   where   we   attended   the
Conference. Preachers present, Elders Smith, Conklin, Rector,
and  ourself.   Brotherly   love   and   fellowship   characterized   the
business transactions, with the preaching, and the reception
of the truth by the brethren, sisters, and friends in general.
Here   we   parted   with   Brother   Conklin,   and   the   brethren   in
general. We were taken to the cars of the Buffalo and Corning
R.R., and rode to Buffalo, New York. We parted with brethren
and sisters on the way.
Friday, June 24 th   crossed Suspension Bridge, and entered
the   dominions   of   Queen   Victoria,   in   company   with   brother
Joyce, of Dundas C.W. At Dundas, Canada, Brother Joyce left
us,   and   Eld.   Wm.   Pollard,   the   pastor   of   Dundas   church
became our traveling companion. We proceeded on the Ekfrid,
Middlesex   County,   C.W.,   where   we   met   with   brethren   and
friends. On Saturday, Sunday, and Monday, June 25,26 & 27,
we   attended   the   meeting   of   the   Old   Baptists   in   the   Scotch
settlements of Canada. Elder Thomas McColl, who is pastor of
the   church,   we   formed   acquaintance   with   in   an   interesting
manner, with numerous brethren and friends. There was an
immense   congregation,   who   listened   to   the   declaration   of
God’s truth, with great attention, and close interest. Brother
Duncan Laymont preached in the  Gaelic  language, which
was partly interpreted to us by a friend. We heard brother

McColl   preach   in   English,   and   brother   Pollard   also.  The

Lord’s supper was administered by brother McColl, partly in
English and partly in the Gaelic. We felt to be at home with
the brethren and partook with them. A brother, in the course
of   the   meeting,   related   his   experience   to   the   church   in   the
Gaelic,   which   was   interpreted   to   us   by   a   brother.   He   was
received, and baptized. His wife was baptized the same time.
We   preached   three   times,   and   our   feeble   testimony   to   the
truth   appeared   to   be   well  received   by   the   brethren,   sisters,
and friends in general. These brethren supposed until within
three or four years, that they were the only people in America,
that   contended   for   the   doctrine   and   faith   of   the   Primitive
church, until they heard of the church at Dundas, and also of
the Old School Baptists in the United States. We never were
more gratified, than in our acquaintance with these brethren,
and we shall long remember our pleasant visit among them.
We left on Monday and came to Dundas, C.W., and preached
at  night,  and  left  the  next   morning.  Our  acquaintance   with
the Dundas church was brief, but very pleasant. Most gladly
would I have tarried with them a little season, if it had been
more convenient to me.
  We came on the Suspension Bridge, and visited Niagara
Falls, one of the most grand and sublime exhibitions of God’s
power in the work of creation and Providence. The view was
attended   with   solemnity,   awe,   and   interest.   We   left
Suspension Bridge, Tuesday, June 28 th , at six o’clock P.M., for
Boston,   Mass.,   passing   through   Rochester,   Syracuse,   Utica,
and   Albany   New   York,   Springfield,   and   Worcester,
Massachusetts. We left Boston on the steamer, Lewiston, at
seven   o’clock,   P.M.,   Wednesday,   for   Portland,   Maine,   where
we changed the next morning on the Steamer T.F. Secor, for
Richmond,   Maine,   where  we   arrived   at   noon  the   same   day.
After journeying about seven weeks, and traveling 2850 miles,
we are at the further point of our destination from our family
and brethren in Georgia. As soon as we accomplish what we
have in contemplation we purpose to return home.
J.L. Purington. – July 15, 1859.


Richmond, Maine, July 15, 1859.
We learn that some opposition, and many objections have
arisen   among   brethren   whom   we   esteem,   to   our   article   on
Absolute Predestination, which was published in the second
number of the current volume of our paper. We also regret to
learn that the same kind of reasoning is resorted to, which is
commonly used by all grades of false religionists against this
principle of doctrine. It should be borne in mind that revealed
Bible   Truth   in   its   nature   and   character,   is   contrary   to   the
feelings, notions, and opinions of men. And brethren should
not forget that the sinful disposition is opposed to the Truth.
Because   we   may   not   understand   every   principle   of   God’s
Truth, is no reason we should oppose any principle we do not
understand. And to join with our enemies to oppose the truth,
because we do not approve of some particular sentiment, is
unjustifiable and wrong.
We are not disposed to controvert the subject at the head
of   this  article,   with   our   brethren.  Some  mistaken   views   are
evidently entertained by brethren on the subject. There is no
positive   necessity   of   pre­fixing   the   word  absolute  to
Predestination, only to define our views in distinction from the
different views of the religionists of our age. Predestination of
itself   in   its   legitimate   meaning   and   application   to   God,   is
necessarily   absolute.   It   cannot   be   otherwise.   It   is   not
synonymous   in   meaning   with  fatalism,   which   signifies:   A
positive   necessity   existing   in   the   things   which   do   exist,   or
which   transpire,  Independent  of   God,   or   any   controlling
influence.   As   we   expressed   our   views   respecting   Absolute
Predestination in our former article, we will express nothing
further   at   present,   only   to   remark   that   some   object   to   the
mode of expression, because it is not found in the Scriptures.
If a man should go into the woods and find all the materials
for a house, and then build the house, would any person say
that the materials were not in the woods before the house was

built?   Certainly   not.   We   understand   the   sentiments,   or   the

materials   composing   this   principle   of   doctrine,   to   be
interspersed through the Scriptures in such a manner as to
completely express the Absolute Predestination of all things. It
is not words, abstractedly considered, we contend for, but we
use   the   words   in   their   literal   meaning   and   application   to
express the sentiment in its fullness and glory as taught in
the Scriptures.
It   is   a   mistaken   idea   to   suppose   that   predestination
involves   the   necessity   on   God’s   part   to   cause,   or   influence
men to sin, as though they were forced to do it, because they
were predestinated to do it. Did not Joseph’s brethren, moved
with envy, act voluntarily in selling him into Egypt? Did not
Judas, moved by a covetous, wicked spirit, voluntarily betray
Christ into the hands of the Jews? And in both instances was
it not determined of God beforehand that it should take place
as it did? Simply our own feelings in the case, and what the
Scriptures teach on the point are two different things.
Some suppose that this sentiment makes God the author
of   sin,   destroys   man’s   accountability,   and   absolves   God’s
people from all blame, when they violate the law of Christ. As
no   such   conclusion   can   justly   be   drawn   from   anything   we
expressed in our former article, and as this principle of truth,
is in harmonious connection with the doctrine of the Bible in
all its ramifications, we will say nothing more on that point.
In   our   former   article   we   stated,   “In   our   judgment,   we
consider   there   is   no   middle   ground   between   the   Absolute
Predestination of all things, and open avowed Atheism.” It was
entirely  foreign   from   our   mind   to  convey   the   impression   by
such a remark, that such as did not endorse our views were
infidels. If any of our brethren have received that impression
from our remark, they have mistaken our motive.
In   conclusion   we   will   say   that   we   have   no   hesitancy   in
advancing   this   sentiment   as   an   essential   principle   of   our
faith,   but   we   have   no   disposition   to   use   any   influence   to
compel others to believe as we. ­J.L. Purington.July 15, 1859.

March 1, 1859 ­ REMARKS ON HEB.12:15,16.

Covington, GA., March 1, 1859.
This Epistle is one of the most argumentative, clear, and
explanatory of any written by Paul. He in a very able manner,
contrasts   the   former   dispensation,   and   all   its   rites,   and
ceremonies,   with  the   Gospel   Church   and  its   doctrine,   laws,
and   ordinances.   He   treats   upon   several   things   which   were
formerly practiced by God’s ancient people, as figures, types,
and   shadows   of   something   which   had   their   fulfillment   and
consummation   in   the   Person   of   Jesus   Christ,   the   great
Antitype, and which were closely connected with the Gospel
Church   in   its   order,   form,   and   glorious   development.   But
those Hebrew brethren were like some in our day, they were
dull   of   hearing.  “For   when   for   the   time   ye   ought   to   be
teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which
be   the   first   principles   of   the   oracles   of   God;   and   are
become   such   as   have   need   of   milk,   and   not   of   strong
meat.”  Chap.5:12.   This   Epistle   is   alone   applicable   to   the
saints,   and   especially   to   that   class,   who   are   not   fully
established in the faith of the Gospel, and who are hankering
after things forbidden by the Scriptures, for the gratification of
a fleshly mind.
God   spake   in   times   past   unto   national   Israel   by   the
prophets, but in these times, He hath spoken unto His church
and people by His Son, whom He hath appointed heir of all
things, and by  whom also He made the worlds.  If the word
spoken by angels was steadfast, and every transgression, and
disobedience received a just recompense of reward, so also in
the Gospel church and kingdom, every violation of the law of
Christ, any departure from the faith in precept or example, a
neglecting, or turning away from this salvation in doctrine or
practice by any of the saints, will receive merited punishment
from a just and holy God. The Lord is faithful to correct His
children, to sorely chastise them for their sins and iniquities.
It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God. He

will   not   countenance,   nor   approbate   sin   any   more   in   His

people, than among the workers of iniquity in general. Though
their eternal salvation is secure in Jesus Christ, yet God deals
with   them   upon   the   principle   of   righteousness,   truth,   and
justice.   See   the   context   from   the   5 th   to   the   11 th   verse,
After   exhorting   his   brethren   to   obedience,   and
admonishing   them   in   a   faithful   manner,   the   Apostle
introduces   the   words   of   our   text   in   the   following   manner:
“Lest there be any fornicator, or profane person as Esau,
who, for one morsel of meat sold his birthright. For ye
know how that afterward, when he would have inherited
the   blessing   he   was   rejected;   for   he   found   no   place   of
repentance, though he sought it carefully with tears.”
The   word  lest  signifies  for   fear   that  there   might   be,  &c.
Hence the necessity that those brethren should take heed and
be guarded against anything of the kind as expressed in the
text.  If   there   was  not   a   liability   that   something   of   the   kind
might   take   place,   the   Apostle   would   not   have   expressed
himself   in   the   manner   he   did.   We   learn   the   necessity,   and
importance   of   a   faithful   ministry   to   warn,   reprove,   and
admonish the saints of God.
We do not understand the word  fornicator, as used in our
text, to have reference, simply, to a literal violation of chastity,
but it expresses  the same in part at least as apostate: One
who   has   forsaken   the   church,   sect,   profession,   or   party   to
which   he   before   adhered.   The   Jews   are   represented   as
whores, harlots  and  adulteresses,  because  in  apostasy  from
God   they   prostituted   themselves   to   a   dependence   on   the
Assyrians, Egyptians, Chaldeans, and others, instead of God,
and copied after their idolatries. Jeremiah 3, Ezek.16 & 23.
The papal hierarchy is called the  great whore  and  mother of
harlots and abominations, because of its noted apostasy and
idolatry,   and   decoying   others   into   it;   and   such   apostasy   is
called fornication, whoredom, or adultery. Rev.17 & 19:2. The
word  profane,   in   this   case   signifies  despising   that   which   is

good and sacred. The example of Esau is referred to by the

Apostle as a fornicator, and as a profane person.
Esau   was  the   eldest  son   of   Isaac,   and   a   twin­brother   to
Jacob. In Gen.25:29­34, inclusive, we have an account of his
selling   his   birthright   to   Jacob   for   a   mess   of   pottage.   Esau
being the first­born, was entitled, according to the custom of
that   age,   to   the   first,   primary,   and   greatest   blessing.   He
apostatized, and sold, and despised his birthright, which was
a   sacred   thing.   He   was   supplanted   by   his   brother,   who   by
subtlety,   and   also   by   right,   as   he   had   bought   Esau’s
birthright, obtained the blessing of the first­born. When Esau
found   what   Jacob   had   done,   he   was   in   great   trouble,   and
cried with a great and exceeding bitter cry unto his father, but
it was of no avail. Jacob had  supplanted  him, and there was
no   repentance,   or   change   of   mind   with   Isaac.   To   use   the
words   of   Isaac,   “I   have   blessed   him;   yea,   and   he   shall   be
blessed.” Gen.27:33.
We   dissent   from   the   view   of   many   in   relation   to   Esau’s
character in its use and application in our text. Some speak of
it   in   the   following   manner.   A   person   who   has   passed   from
death unto life, and made a profession of the name of Christ
in the church, and who, after retaining  his profession for  a
season,   sells   his   inheritance   in   heaven   for   worldly   gain,
renounces his profession, and pursues a wicked course, is an
abominable apostate. And that after a season, having sinned
away the day of grace, as it is called, he comes to himself, and
finds that it is impossible for him to inherit the blessing, being
rejected,   and   that   the  door   of   mercy  is   closed   against   him
forever. And though he may sorrow, sigh, weep, and cry, and
seek   diligently   for   a   place   of   repentance,   he   cannot   find   it,
simply because he has committed the unpardonable sin, and
therefore the gate of heaven is shut against him, and he is
doubly­damned for his wickedness, to all eternity.
Others suppose that Esau’s character illustrates that of a
false professor  only, who under the pretence of great love to
the cause of Christ, joins the church, maintains his standing
for   a   season,  then  forsakes   his   profession,   and   becomes
openly more vile than before, hardened in sin and wickedness,

and   sinks   to   hell   with   an   accumulation   of   aggravated   sins

upon his soul.
We will investigate,  and give our views, as we understand
the subject. Those Hebrew brethren did not fully understand
that   all   the   Jewish   rituals   with   all   the   ceremonies   of   that
national covenant, were abrogated, and that they as the real
children of God, were now under law to Christ, to obey, and
follow Him as Prophet, Priest, and King. Furthermore, as the
children   of   God,   they   had   a   birth­right   claim   or   a   right   by
birth,   to   all   the   privileges   and   blessings   of   their   heavenly
Father’s   house,   the   church   of   the   Most   High   God.   Each   of
them   was   entitled   to   the   blessing   of   the   first­born,   being
begotten, and brought forth in the Son­ship of our Lord Jesus
Christ. Though the saints in the new birth, receive the spirit
of   adoption,   and   possess   within   themselves   a   new   and
heavenly   principle,   yet in  their  fallen  nature they  are  sinful
and vile still. This sinful and vile nature renders them liable,
at   times,   to   lust   after   evil   things,   as   the   Israelites   of   old
lusted,   and   justly   received   the   reward   of   their   deeds.   As   a
warning to his brethren, and by way of exhortation he says,
“Looking diligently lest any man  fail of the grace of God; lest
any   root   of   bitterness   springing   up   trouble   you,   and   thereby
many be defiled.”  Not fail of that grace which saves with an
everlasting salvation, but fail of that grace which is bestowed
upon   the   saints   in   the   blessings,   privileges,   fellowship,   and
communion of the saints in the visible church of God. If any
root   of   bitterness   springs   up,   {for   it   never   comes   down,}
something   of   an   evil   nature,   many   become   defiled,   and   the
confidence of brethren in each other is very much shaken.
He now introduces the character of Esau, as an example,
and as a warning to them in the following manner: First, they
should not apostatize from their profession, nor despise their
right by birth in the house of God for a morsel of bread. If any
one   of   you   {is   Paul’s   argument,}   should   sell   your   birthright
privilege  in the fellowship   of the saints,  for  worldly  gain,  or
any   bribe   which   may   be   put   in   your   hands,   and   thereby
dispose of that which is sacred and honorable as a follower of
Christ, you practically apostatize, and show that you despise

your profession, and love the world better than the cause of

the Redeemer. Have we not seen this practically illustrated?
Have   we   not   seen   those   we   esteemed   as   brethren,   for   the
gratification of their own lusts, sell all that they were entitled
to  in   their   profession,   out   of   love   to   the   honor,  riches,   and
pleasures of this world? Have we not seen the blessed cause
of   Christ   dishonored,   and   disgraced   by   the   unworthy;   yea,
wicked course of such persons? Just think for a moment of
brethren sacrificing all the privileges, and blessings they were
entitled to as the sons of Zion, for the purpose of gratifying
the flesh. Alas! Too many have done and still continue to do it.
And   when   reproved,   and   admonished   by   the   ministers   of
Christ, and by faithful brethren, they heed it not, but persist
in   their   course.   They   practically   prove   themselves   to   be
fornicators,   or   apostates,   by   associating   with   some   of   the
harlot   daughters  of  mystery  Babylon,   or  embark  with  those
who   practice   usury   for   gain   and   seek   some   high   place   of
honor   among   men   for   notoriety,   or   step   into   the   path   of
licentiousness   for   sensual   indulgence.   In   this   way   they
despise their birthright.
Secondly,   after   Esau   had   sold   his   birthright,   and   Jacob
had   obtained   the   blessing,   he   was   in   deep   distress.   By   his
own folly he had deprived himself of the birthright, and now
charges Jacob with supplanting him. Many such instances, in
principle, have been known in a church relation. Some, after
pursuing a course of folly for a time, find they have lost the
confidence of the church, but instead of acknowledging their
faults, they are ready to charge the church with pursuing a
wrong   course  with  them.  They   have  a  disposition  to inherit
the blessing, but show no desire to confess their faults. With
many   tears,   as   Esau   did,   they   seek   carefully   a   place   of
repentance   {change  of   mind}   in  the   church,   but   find   it   not.
They have gone so far, and done so wickedly that they cannot
be restored to the confidence of the church. They feel a sorrow
that they are rejected by the church, but like Esau, there is
no repentance of their sins, no real sorrow of soul for having
grieved the brethren by bringing an open disgrace upon the
cause   of   truth.   But   having   forfeited   their   standing   in   the

church, the loss of character and reputation by an ungodly

course,   and   not   finding   the   church   disposed   to  change   her
course,  and  restore  them   to her   confidence;   they,  like   Esau
{Gen.27:41}   are   disposed   in   heart   to   injure   those   of   the
church that they think have done them the most harm.
This   will   serve   to   illustrate   our   views   as   far   as   we   have
expressed. The question at issue is not whether such ones are
really   the   children   of   God,   or   not.   The   scope   of   Paul’s
argument, as we understand it, is to illustrate the low, mean,
dishonorable course of some who might be disposed to follow
the   example   of   Esau.   Hence   the   Apostle   exhorted,   warned,
and admonished his brethren.
We  are  aware that   some  suppose  if  any  of  the  people  of
God, forfeit their standing in the visible church of Christ, they
also   forfeit   their   spiritual   interest,   and   standing   in   Christ
Jesus. This is a mistaken view of the subject. No such thing
can   possibly   take   place.   The   text   will   admit   of   no   such
construction. All the promises in relation to eternal salvation
are absolute and unconditional. In relation to the enjoyment
of the privileges  and blessings,  which appertain to, and are
connected with the church of Christ in her order and practice,
they are experienced  only  by obedience to Christ in keeping
His commandments.
As we have no acquaintance with our friend J.C. Carter,
who  requested   our   views  on   Phil.1:15­18,   and   also   the   text
treated   upon   in   this   article,   we   will   submit   our   views   at   a
venture, whether satisfactory to him or not. If our views are
correct, we hope, however, that he may be profited by them.
J.L. Purington. – March 1, 1859.
Covington, GA., Nov. 15, 1859.
Brother C.A. Parker, in our last, and brother I.M. David in
this number, use some expressions relative to these two items
of the doctrine  of our  Lord, as contended  for  by  our  paper,

and   all   Baptists,   from   the   commencement   of   the   Christian

era,   which   seem   to   indicate   that   they   misapprehend   our
position; therefore, we feel compelled to re­assert our views on
these points, as we are aware that designing men, who have
gone   out   from   us   because   they   were   not   of   us,   have
endeavored   to  confuse   the   minds   of   such   as  have   not   duly
reflected   on   these   points,   by   misrepresenting   our   views   on
these subjects.
On Predestination, we have advanced no new doctrine; but
the very identical doctrine recorded in the Scriptures of Truth;
without which the Immutability of God cannot be maintained;
and the existence of a God is not more clearly taught in the
Bible than the foreknowledge and predestination of all things.
But objectors are not bold enough to deny the foreknowledge
of God. Yet in the beginning, before all His works of old, there
was   none   to   predestinate   or  certainly   fix  all   things,   or
anything,   unless   God   Himself   did   it.   See   Isaiah   40:13   &
Rom.11:34­36.   If   anything   could   occur   contrary   to   the
purpose or predestination of God, to that extent at least He
must have failed to do all His pleasure. But as He has said,
“My counsel shall stand, and I will DO ALL MY PLEASURE,” all
things must be subject to the over­ruling government of God;
and as He is unchangeable, what His will is now, is the same
it   ever   has   been.   Consequently,   IN   ALL   THINGS   GOD’S
PREDESTINATION   MUST   BE   ABSOLUTE,   according   to   our
understanding; yet we do not insist on anybody else agreeing
with us, unless their voluntary conclusions coincide with our
own, as ours  necessarily  are the same with  the  teaching   of
Paul.   See   Rom.9:11­13.   The  purpose   of   God,   mentioned   in
verse   11,   is   precisely   what   we   mean   by   His  predestination.
And that this purpose extends to the absolute government of
all   things   is   not   only   an   unavoidable   inference   from   His
infinite   power,   and   unlimited   sovereignty,   but   it   is   clearly
taught   by   the   express   language   of   the   Scriptures   of   eternal
Truth.   See   Isaiah   46:10,   also   Eph.1:11,   “BEING


On the  subject  of  Vital  Union,  the  Scriptures  are  equally
clear and pointed in their testimony. Vital union is life union,
or Oneness of life. Christ is the Life of His people, and that
Life   is   One   Life.   “When   Christ,   WHO   IS   OUR   LIFE,   shall
appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.” Col.3:4.
This settles the fact as to the union of life, and that Union
must have been as old as eternity, or there would of necessity
be a change in the Son of God.
Hoping   the   above   brief   statement   of   our   views   may   be
satisfactory to our brethren, who have been alarmed by the
misrepresentations of our adversaries, we would only add a
caution to our brethren everywhere not to be misled by the
false   representations   of   our   enemies,   who   would   make   it
appear that these points of doctrine are innovations upon the
old   doctrine   of   the   Old   School   Baptists;   and   if,   on
examination, it should be found that the points for which we
contend are sustained by the Divine Word, they must stand,
however much they may be opposed to our carnal judgments,
and feelings; but if they can be condemned by that infallible
standard, when we shall be ready to yield them, and accept
the   teaching   of   the   Spirit   of   Truth,   even   though   we   are
compelled   to   give   up   our   own   most   cherished   notions;   for
nothing can be of any permanent value but that which bears
the unmistakable imprint of Truth.
Joseph L. Purington. – Nov. 15, 1859.
Jan. 1, 1860. ­ REMARKS ON I PETER 4:14,15.
Covington, GA., Jan.1, 1860.
“If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are
ye; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you; on
their  part   He  is  evil  spoken  of;   but   on   your  part   He  is
glorified. But let none of you suffer as a murderer, or as

a   thief,   or   as   an   evil­doer,   or   as   a   busy­body   in   other

men’s matters.”
This   epistle   was   addressed   to   the   strangers   scattered
abroad in the primitive age of the church, and who are called
the elect of God. Their professed standing as the followers of
Christ   subjected   them   to   much   persecution   and   suffering
from a gain­saying world. Peter wrote to those brethren, who
were, probably, most of them Jews according to the flesh, to
comfort, and confirm them in the Truth amid the fiery trials
and temptations to which they were exposed, to direct them to
be subject to the Governments under which they lived; and to
warn them to take no part in the insurrections then formed by
the Jews against the Roman Government.  They  were not to
think   strange   of   the   fiery   trial   which   was   to   try   them   as
though some strange thing had happened to them, but they
were to rejoice, inasmuch as they were partakers of Christ’s
sufferings, that when His glory should be revealed, they might
be glad with exceeding joy. Then follows our text in immediate
connection to show that amidst all the reproach they might
experience for the name of Christ, they were to be happy and
rejoice in it, for  the Spirit of glory, and of God rested upon
them. By this we learn the blessedness attending those who
faithfully and boldly contend for the faith once delivered to the
saints, and whose life, conduct, and conversation correspond
with their profession. The reproach heaped upon the followers
of Jesus for righteousness sake, is a part of the legacy they
must have in this world, and is evidence in their favor. And
when they do well, and suffer for it, and they take it patiently,
this is acceptable with God. Even servants are directed to be
subject to their masters with all fear, not only to the good and
gentle, but also to the forward. For this is thank­worthy, if a
man   for   conscience   towards   God   endure   grief,   suffering
wrongfully. Therefore  to be reproached,  and to suffer  wrong
for Christ’s sake in obedience to the laws of civil Government,
and   also   to   the   laws   of   Zion’s   King,   is   a   source   of   joy   and
rejoicing to the saints. While the enemies of God and Truth
will   speak   evil   of   the   saints,   vilify,   and   misrepresent   their

doctrine and faith, it is virtually speaking  evil of Christ, for

what is spoken against the followers of Christ in doctrine and
practice,   is  spoken   against   Christ.  In  this  way   the  name  of
Christ is spoken evil of, and blasphemed in our day. But the
part   borne   by   the   saints   in   all   meekness,   humility,   and
lowliness of mind, when suffering reproach for Christ’s sake,
glorifies God, and honors the name of their Lord and Master.
They are not to render evil for evil, or railing for railing; but
contrariwise   blessing;   knowing   that   the   saints   are   called   to
inherit a blessing. The saints in our day should remember to
keep their tongue from evil, and their lips from speaking guile.
Also to shun evil, and do good; to seek peace and follow it. For
the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and His ears are
open to their prayers; but the face of the Lord is against them
that do evil.
  Happy   and   blessed,   therefore,   is   the   people   that   have
sanctified the Lord God in their hearts; and are always ready
to give an answer to every man that asketh them a reason of
the hope that is in them, with meekness and fear; having a
good conscience; that, whereas, they {the enemies} speak evil
of   them   {the   saints}   as   of   evil­doers,   they   may   be   ashamed
that   falsely   accuse   their   good   conversation   in   Christ.
Thousands have suffered martyrdom for Christ’s sake, while
in obedience to civil government, and the laws of Zion’s King.
Their  persecutors  were exercised  by a murderous  spirit like
the Jews  who  crucified  the  Lord  Jesus,   and  persecuted  the
prophets   and   apostles   even   unto   death.   The   saints,   while
suffering   martyrdom,   have   in   numerous   instances,   prayed
and sung praises to God, thereby exhibiting to their merciless
enemies,   their   innocence,   and   that   the   grace   of   God   was
sufficient for them amidst all their sufferings and distress.
A   murderer   is   one   who,   in   possession   of   his   reason,
unlawfully kills a human being, with premeditated malice; but
if a man suffers as a murderer, he receives the just demerit of
his crime, and is dealt with as he should be. The vengeance of
God   upon   the   Jewish   nation   as   the   murderers   of   the   Lord
Jesus, and as rebels against the Roman Government, was in

truth and justice. A murderer is, in reality, a man­hater, an

enemy to God, and civil society.
A   thief   is   one   who   takes   unlawfully   and   feloniously   the
property   of   another,   either   secretly,   or   by   violence.   If   he
suffers for his crime there is no reward in it. He only meets
with what he deserves. He has no reason to complain.
An evil­doer is one who does evil, commits sin, crime, or
any   wrong.   When   such   a   person   is   brought   to   justice,   and
receives   summary   punishment,   the   dignity   of   the   law   is
unstained, and good order established and maintained.
A   busy­body   is   a   meddling   person;   one   who   officiously
concerns himself with the affairs of others. Such a one is a
pest in society, and never hears any good of himself, from the
fact that he never does any good for any person to speak of.
Either, or all of these, is condemned by the apostles in a
clear and expressive manner. For a person to be a follower of
the meek and lowly Jesus, and yet be guilty of all, or any of
the above mentioned crimes, is a  monstrous incongruity. The
instigators of treason,  insurrection, and murder,  may call a
man of such principle when brought to justice, a martyr, but
the laws of God and man, in accordance with the Scriptures of
truth,   condemn   him   as  a   murderer,   a   thief,   an   evil­doer   in
other men’s matters.
If any man suffer as a Christian, or follower of Christ, let
him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf. To
love   mercy,   do   justly,   and   walk   humbly   before   God,
comprehends the life, and walk of a Christian.
J.L.P. – Jan. 1, 1860.
Covington, GA., Jan. 15, 1860.
Religious   intolerance   in   all   arbitrary   and   despotic
governments,   is   where   the   administration   of   the   temporal
government   of   the   nation,   and   the   administration   of   the
religious   government   of   the   church,  so   called  is   vested,   or
exists   in   one   man,   and   so   united   together   as   to  form   a

Church and State religion, and no class of religionists, who

may dissent from the established religion of the government,
are   suffered   to   exist   without   persecution.   Among   the
barbarous   nations   of   the   earth,   it   has   existed,   and   still
continues   to   exist,   and   also   among   the   more   civilized   and
enlightened nations its existence is more or less manifest. The
large majority of wars among nations have been, directly or
indirectly, religious wars. In fact man is a religious being in
some   sense,   either   innately   or   by   tradition,   probably   both.
And the religion of man, when fully exhibited, is opposition to
God’s government, and the peaceable principles of Christ the
Branch,   and   is   cruel,   unrelenting,   and   murderous   in   its
nature and operation.
The   arrogated   right   of   Kings,   Emperors,   Despots,   the
Crowned Heads, to dictate to men in religious matters, is the
fruitful source of all the persecution the church of Christ has
endured.  [We deem the “union of religion and state to be the crowning evidence
of  Antichrist;  the  Inquisition  is  a fair example­ SCP.]     It is very true that
some of the governments of the earth, even where a system of
religion   is   established   by   law,   will   tolerate,   or   allow,   or   in
other   words,   will   not   prohibit   or   hinder   others   to   enjoy   a
certain   degree   of   religious   privileges   under   restrictions   and
taxations. This is a mitigation of religious intolerance, while
the   assumed   right   to   prohibit   on   the   part   of   those   in
authority, is still retained.
At an early period of time the spirit of religious intolerance,
was clearly exhibited, when Cain killed his brother. Cain was
a religionist, and because his own works were evil, and his
brother’s   righteous,   he   would   not   suffer   him   to   live.   That
same spirit was manifested by the self­righteous incorrigible
Israelites   and   Jews   against   the   Prophets,   Christ   and   the
Apostles. It was also manifested by the Pagan government of
Rome   for   three   hundred   years,   and   was   transferred   to   the
Papal church, or in other words was changed in its external
appearance,   when   Constantine,   nominally,   as   a   Christian
offspring,   assumed   the   temporal   government   of   Rome.   The
Nicene council, in the fourth century, under the dictation of
Constantine,   showed   the   same   murderous   intolerance

towards   the   Donatists   and   Novationists   {the   only   true

followers of Christ at that time} as they did against Arius and
his followers. As the writings of Arius were destroyed, no one
knows   what   he   believed   only   as   we   have   it   stated   by   his
enemies. However the followers of Arius, when they had the
power,   persecuted   those   who   endorsed   the   creed   of   the
council of Nice. Not only the Papal church has carried out the
spirit of intolerance and persecution, but those who protested
{called   Protestants}   against   the   church   of   Rome,   have   also
manifested it not only in Europe, but in the Eastern, or New
England States and in Virginia. The Greek church, which is
under   the   control   of   the   Autocrat   of   Russia,   the   Emperor
Alexander,   who   is   the   head   of   that   church   in   the
administration of government in that Empire, moves upon the
same   principle   of   intolerance.   Mahomet   and   his   followers
exercised by the same spirit, conquered the most of Asia, the
north of Africa, and a small part of Europe. Whatever form or
phase that spirit may assume in its external appearance, it
remains the same in principle. It is Antichrist.
A species of religious intolerance exists in our own beloved
country,   though   it   is   more   to   be   seen   in   the   Northern   and
Eastern, or New England States, than in the South. Bigotry,
and   sectional   fanaticism,   under   the   lead   of   an   ambitious
clergy,   and   political   demagogues,   is   making   rapid   strides
upon our civil, religious, and social rights. As an illustration
of   this   principle,   when   the   Temperance   movement   was  first
introduced in Maine it appeared very harmless and inoffensive
as though it might do a great deal of good, but it was soon
hitched on to the professed church by the voluntary act of its
members, and made a test of church membership, as though
the church of Christ was not a temperance society  of itself,
and   then   hitched   on   to   the   State   by   Legislative   enactment,
which constituted Church and State temperance. In this way,
and   under   the   influence   of   the   same   spirit   of   intolerance,
vigorous  efforts   are  made  to  undermine,   and  overthrow   our
dearest rights and privileges.
The church of God, in all ages, has suffered all manner of
persecution   from   the   devotees   of   religious   intolerance,   and

they   still   suffer   the   ignominy,   scorn,   and   derision   of   their

enemies. A disposition to vilify, misrepresent, and bring into
absolute contempt, the faithful heralds of the cross, and the
meek and quiet followers of Jesus,  is among the prominent
marks of the intolerance of the age.
[NOTE:   Both   Gilbert   Beebe,   through   the   SIGNS   of   the   Times,   and
William   Smoot,   through   the   Sectarian   periodicals   were   almost   alone   in
opposing the Temperance League, or Society, but finally the Antichristian
movement   prevailed,   and   the   21   Amendment   to   the   U.S.   Constitution
outlawed   alcohol.   Because   it   was   unenforceable,   the   Amendment   was
annulled by the 22 Amendment. During the Prohibition, Old School and
Primitive Baptists made their own wine, and continued to use it in their
communion supper; most still use it in that ordinance.­ SCP]
Joseph L. Purington. – Jan. 15, 1860.
Feb. 15, 1860 – Consider the Apostle & High Priest
Covington, GA., Feb.15, 1860.
Brother A. Tomlin desires us to extend, according  to our
light, on the text now before us, which reads as follows:   “Let
brotherly   love   continue.”   Though we claim no superiority over
our brethren, yet we are willing to give such light, or views, as
we have of Scripture, so far as opportunity, and ability may be
afforded us.
The   language   of   the   inspired   Apostle   in   our   text,
presupposes   the   existence   of   a   certain   relationship   which
justified him in the admonition to his brethren. It was not in a
natural sense he used the admonition, for though they were
his   brethren   in   a   fleshly   relation,   yet   it   was   in   a   spiritual
sense only, he addressed them as “holy brethren, partakers
of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle, and High
Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus.” Chap.3:1. We learn
that their manifest existence as children of God, signified that
God was their heavenly Father, and that they had a spiritual
existence  in  the   Sonship   of   our   Lord   Jesus   Christ.   And   as
they   were   the   children   of   the   new   covenant,   or   Jerusalem
which is above, and had, therefore, a heavenly Mother, they
were the sons and daughters of the Lord God Almighty. Hence
the expression holy brethren was applicable to them, and not
to them only, but also to all the family of God, whether Jews

or Gentiles, in every nation, kindred, and tongue. Even in our

day   the   followers   of   Jesus,   which  are   scattered   abroad,   are
entitled to the same distinguished appellation.
But another  important consideration must  be considered
relative   to   this   people.   In   this   relationship,   brotherly   love
exists,   and   the   question   arises,   from   what   source   does   it
come?   We   answer   from   the   same   source   that   all   spiritual
blessings come. Says Paul, “Blessed be the God and Father of
our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual
blessings in heavenly places in Christ; according as He hath
chosen us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we
should   be   holy   and   without   blame   before   Him  in   love.”  This
love   existed   in   the   bosom   of   the   eternal   Father   before   time
began.   Its   origin   is   in   God,   so   to   speak.   It   is   of   the   same
nature in  its intrinsic  properties  with  the  character   of  God.
God is love, and he that dwelleth in love, dwelleth in God, and
God in him. His love to His people is called an  “everlasting
love”. He loved, and chose them in the Person of His dear Son.
Grace   was   given   them   in   our   Lord   Jesus   Christ   before   the
starry   heavens   were   spread   abroad,   or   the   earth,   the   seas,
and fountains of water were created. His Omniscient eye saw
them all involved in sin and death in the transgression of the
earthly Adam; yet He loved them, and provision was made for
them in their covenant Head and Representative. His love was
manifest   in   the   redemption   of   His   people,   when   Jesus   was
delivered   for   their   offenses,   and   raised   again   for   their
justification. He not only loved them when they were dead in
trespasses and sins, but it is called, emphatically,  His great
love wherewith He loved them, or us, and His quickening them
together with Christ in the manifestation of His great love to
them.   It   is   with   loving­kindness   He   draws   them.   Upon   this
principle the love of God is shed abroad in their hearts by the
Holy   Ghost,   which   is   given   unto   them.   We   love   Him,   says
John, because  He first loved  us. If we love  Him  who begat,
even God our Father, we love them also which are begotten of
Him. They are our brethren and sisters, heirs together of the
grace   of  God,   and  of   that   inheritance   which   will  never   fade
away.   While   the   saints   derive   their   natural   or   earthly

existence   from   Adam,   as   natural   life   was   given   to   all   the

human family in Adam, so they derive their spiritual existence
from   Christ,   as   eternal   life   was   given   them   in   Christ   their
spiritual Head. Therefore the saints can adopt the language of
Paul, “I am crucified with Christ; nevertheless, I live; yet not I,
but   Christ   liveth   in   me;   and   the   life   which   I   now   live   in   the
flesh, I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and
gave Himself for me.”
“Hail sacred union, firm and strong,
How great the grace, how sweet the song!
That worms of earth should ever be,
One with incarnate Deity!
One in the tomb, one when He rose,
One when He triumphed o’er His foes,
One when in heaven He took His seat,
While seraphs sung all hell’s defeat.”
The   word  let  in   our   text,   signifies   to  allow  or  permit
brotherly love to continue, or in other words, not to prevent or
hinder   it.   The   idea   is,   that   the   saints   are   not   to   allow   any
obstacle, or difficulty to arise among them in a way which is
calculated to hinder the free exercise of love to one another
and to impede their travel together in a church relation, as
the   followers   of   Jesus.   They   are   to   love   one   another   as
brethren,   and   allow   that   love   to   flow   freely   without   any
obstacle   to   prevent.   They   are   to   be   kind   and   affectionate
towards each other, as the Lord’s dear children.
Sometimes,   when   the   flesh   predominates,   they   become
carnal, and worldly­minded, and manifest  a very  bad spirit.
Take,   for   instance,   a   church   where   brotherly   love   and
fellowship   once   existed,   and  peace   and  harmony   abounded,
just   as   soon   as   jealousy,   discord,   and   an   evil   spirit   shows
itself, those that are the most guilty will resort, often, to self­
justification in their own defense, and condemn that in others
which   they   are   the   most   guilty   of   themselves.   Crimination,
and recrimination will necessarily follow, and if persisted in, a

church   will   soon   get   into   disorder   of   the   worst   kind,   and

perhaps   perish   out,   and   lose   its   visibility.   In   this   way   the
cause   of   Christ   is   dishonored,   and   the   enemies   will   say,
tauntingly,   “Aha;   so   we   would   have   it.”   Those,   who   have
caused   all   the   trouble,   will   continue   to   manifest   a   hard,
unyielding spirit, while the innocent, feeble lambs of the flock,
mourn and grieve in secret places. There is a great difference
between the old man’s being mad, and the new man’s being
grieved.   How   important   it   is   for   brethren   to   bridle   their
tongues,   and   to   act   calmly   and   dispassionately   in   all   their
movements, and especially so at the time of any agitation, or
excitement! A soft answer turneth away wrath, but grievous
words   stir   up   anger.   James   says,  “The   tongue   is   a   little
member, and boasteth great things. Behold how great a matter
a little fire kindleth! And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity;
so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole
body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on
fire of hell.” The Apostle further says, “Out of the same mouth
proceedeth   blessing   and   cursing;   my   brethren,   these   things
ought not so to be.”
When the saints let the corruptions and evil propensities of
their   fallen   nature   have   the   ascendancy,   peace,   quietness,
and brotherly love in the church, immediately disappear. How
important, then, is the admonition in our text. And how wrong
it   is   to   allow   carnal   reason   to   assume   the   control   of   our
judgment on revealed things, so as to reason on them as we
would on natural things. Because we cannot comprehend the
deep things  of  God,  only  by  revelation,  and  divine  teaching,
how   wrong   it   is  to  be  unreconciled   to  them,  and  to  oppose
them. The more the saints know of the deep things of God, the
stronger they are in the faith, and more deeply cemented in
their love towards each other.
The saints are to let brotherly love continue by a spirit of
Christian forbearance towards each other, each expecting the
same in return. The object, in all cases, should be to reclaim a
brother when he errs, and not to condemn him by impugning
his motives, and censoring his conduct. But this forbearance
will   not   admit   of   any   violation   of   the   law   of   Christ   in   His

church.   The   doctrine,   faith,   practice,   and   discipline   of   the

church must be steadily maintained. Any departure therefrom
is   a   violation   of   the   solemn   admonition   of   the   Apostle.
Brotherly   love  only  exists   where   the   Spirit   of   Christ   is
manifest.   And   it   continues  only,   as   the   strong   bear   the
infirmities   of   the   weak,   and   administer   to   the   comfort   and
edification of the poor, and feeble of the flock. And certainly
the   weak   should   consider   the   condition   of   the   strong,   who
desire, and require hearty, healthy food for their nourishment
and   support.   It   is   not   expected   in   this   imperfect   state   of
existence,   that   perfect   equality   in   an   experimental
understanding   of   gospel   truth,   will   be   realized.   Some   are
strong in the faith, others are more weak and feeble. Yet they
are all brethren in Christ.
The blessed and happy effect of the love of God in the soul
will cause the saints to love one another for the truth’s sake,
which   is   in   obedience   to  the   command   of   Christ,   and   is   to
their own peace, and comfort, and to the glory of God. The
enemies have no occasion to blaspheme when the saints love
one   another.   When   the   members   of   a   church   are   orderly,
demean themselves as good citizens, avoid tippling shops, and
bad company, live circumspect, obey the relations of life, and
mind   their   own   business,   and   very   particular   to   assemble
with   the   church   in   all   her   regular   meetings,   and   make   no
frivolous excuses to stay at home; we say when they do this,
brotherly   love   will   continue,   for   there   is   no   obstacle,   or
hindrance   in   the   way.   The   ministers   of   Christ   should   walk
according   to   their   profession   in   all   things   and   teach,   and
speak   the   things   which   become   sound   doctrine.   Much
depends upon the orderly course, and correct deportment of
those   who   minister   in   word   and   doctrine   relative   to   the
continuance   of   brotherly   love   among   the   saints.   When   a
preacher is carnal, strives for the mastery, is self­willed, and
is perverse in his course, grief and sorrow among the saints is
the result, and a scattering of the flock immediately follows.
But when he is exercised by the Spirit of the Lord, he feeds
the flock, comforts the saints, reproves, rebukes, and exhorts
with   all   long­suffering,   and   doctrine,   he   will   manifest   a

conciliatory, forbearing spirit; but great boldness in defending

the truth in meekness and fear is requisite. An establishment
in the doctrine and order of the Gospel, is not only demanded,
but an establishment in the laws, ordinances, and discipline
of   God’s   house,   is   necessary   for   the   permanent   exercise   of
brotherly love.
To behold a band of brethren and sisters walking together
in   Christian   love   and   fellowship,   speaking   often   one   to
another   of   the   Lord’s   dealings   with   them,   to   sing,   pray,
preach, and attend to the ministry of the word, is the most
lovely   sight   than   can   be   seen   on   earth.   It   is   heaven   here
below.   Truly   it   can   be   said,   “Behold   how   good,   and   how
pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity. It is like
the precious ointment upon the head, that ran down upon the
beard, even Aaron’s beard; that went down to the skirts of his
garments,   as   the   dew   of   Hermon,   and   as   the   dew   that
descended   upon   the   mountains   of   Zion;   for   there   the   Lord
commanded the blessing, even life for evermore.” Psa.133.
Many   of   the   Lord’s   dear   children   are   deprived   of   the
privilege   of   assembling   with   the   saints   for   public   and
social   worship.   Some   are   located   so   far   from   a   Gospel
church,   they   seldom   have   an   opportunity   to   attend,
others   are   infirm   and   advanced   in   years,   so   that   they
cannot attend. But whenever they have an opportunity to
converse   with   the   saints,   and   to   hear   the   Gospel
preached,   they   enjoy,   and   rejoice   in   the   privilege   even
more than those who often have the privilege.
In conclusion we will remark that we hope our brethren,
and   the   friends   of   Zion   generally,   will   duly   consider   the
importance of the subject treated upon in this article, and be
profited by it, and derive instruction from it, and conform to
the solemn admonition of the Apostle. And may we, ourselves,
consider its application to us as professed followers of Jesus,
and be enabled to pursue a course accordingly. –
                                Joseph L.Purington. – Feb. 15, 1860.

Mar. 1, 1860 ­ REMARKS ON MATT.18:18.

Covington, GA., March 1, 1860.
“Verily   I   say   unto   you,   whatsoever   ye   shall   bind   on
earth, shall be bound in heaven; and whatsoever ye shall
loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”
This   is   the   language   of   the   blessed   Redeemer   to   His
disciples   in   connection   with   the   rule   pointed   out   by   Him
relative   to   the   course   to   be   pursued   in   cases   of   church
discipline. When the Gospel church and kingdom was set up
and established among all nations, the twelve Apostles were
called,   qualified   and   appointed   by   the   Great   Head   of   the
Church to set in order every thing appertaining to the faith
and   practice   of   the   church   under   the   new   covenant
dispensation.   They   received   their   authority   direct   from   the
Lord Jesus, as He said to them at a certain time,  “Verily I
say   unto   you,   that   ye   which   have   followed   Me   in   the
regeneration,   when   the   Son   of   man   shall   sit   in   the
throne of His glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones,
judging   the   twelve   tribes   of   Israel.”  The   prophet   Isaiah
testified,  “Behold   a   King   shall   reign   in   righteousness,   and
princes shall rule in judgment.” The Lord Jesus is the King in
Zion, is King in His spiritual kingdom which His Father had
appointed Him, and the princes are the Apostles of the Lamb,
who sit as judges upon their thrones, and rule in judgment in
all matters concerning the church and kingdom of God. And
as   they   were   commissioned   and   sent   forth   to   preach   the
Gospel in all the world, they were endued with power from on
High, to decide what was truth, and what was not truth in all
matters relative to the church of Christ. From their decision
there was, or could be no appeal. Their decision was final, and
clothed   with   as   much   authority   as   though   the   Lord   Jesus
Himself   personally   had   been   present   in   the   setting   up   and
establishment of His church. The truth is, the Apostles were
full of the Holy Ghost, and their judgment in all matters, as

well as their acts in references to the church of God was valid

and   conclusive.   As   men   they   had   no   more   power   and
authority than other men, but as Apostles and Judges they
The   doctrine   the   Apostles   preached   they   received   from
heaven,   and   is,   therefore   called   the   Apostles   doctrine.   They
bound,   or   fastened   it,   as   with   a   band   or   cord   upon   the
church, and their act was confirmed or ratified in heaven. And
everything   relative   to  the  laws,   ordinances   and  discipline  of
the church is bound or fastened in the same manner.
They loosed or unbound the church from all the rites and
ceremonies of the Jewish, or old covenant dispensation, and
also from all the abominations of the Gentiles, such as their
religious idolatry and gross immoralities. And the act of the
Apostles in this particular also, was confirmed or ratified in
heaven. And as the church of Christ has a visible existence on
earth, and has had for more than eighteen centuries, the acts
of   the   Apostles,   both   in  binding  and  loosing,   still   remain
confirmed and ratified in heaven. Whosoever attempts to take
from, or add to their acts, either in doctrine or practice, is a
transgressor, and will be punished in a manner corresponding
with the nature of the transgression.
The Lord Jesus is still seated upon the throne of His glory,
and the twelve Judges are also seated upon their thrones in
the kingdom of our God. The church of God has but one King
and one Shepherd, and she has no other STANDARD writers
but what we find in the Scriptures of truth, and especially in
the   New   Testament.   And   whatsoever   is   not   preached   or
published   in   accordance   with   the   writings   and   acts   of   the
Apostles or Judges, however plausible it may appear, cannot
endure   the   ordeal   of   Eternal   Truth.   An   experimental
knowledge   of   the   truth   of   the   Scriptures   is   known   by
revelation or heavenly teaching, as the Prophets and Apostles
knew it. And unless the experience of the saints corresponds
with the Scriptures it can be of no account. The opinions and
notions of men are all vain, when tried by the word of revealed
truth.   Let   the   saints,   therefore,   act   wisely,   search   the
Scriptures and believe what God hath spoken.

We could write more on the subject before us, but at this

time   we   have   no   opportunity,   and   are   obliged   to   close   our
remarks, and as we have briefly expressed our views on the
text by request, we hope to be excused from writing any more
at this time.
J.L. Purington. – Mar. 1, 1860.
April 15, 1860 ­ REMARKS ON “Will a man rob God.”
Covington, GA., April 15, 1860.
“Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye
say,   wherein   have   we   robbed   thee?   In   tithes   and
Though   Malachi   was   one   of   the   minor   prophets,   yet   his
testimony is profitable and instructive to the saints. It was the
burden   of   the   word   of   the   Lord   to   Israel.   He   mentions   the
distinguished favors of God to Jacob and his seed, which is
Israel, and of his love to Jacob and his posterity in distinction
from   Esau,   whose   land   was   consigned   to   barrenness   and
drought.   He   reproves   the   Jews   for   their   ungrateful   and
unbecoming conduct towards their God, and declares that the
Gentiles   shall   be   called   to   the   knowledge   of   the   truth;   and
charges   the   Jews   with   profanation   and   weariness   of   the
worship   of   God,   and   with   offering   Him   sacrifices   blemished
and corrupted. Chapter I. He points out to the Priests their
neglect   of   instructing   the   people;   reproves   the   marriage   of
strange   wives,   and   their   frequent   and   groundless   divorces.
Chapter II. After informing them of the near approach of the
Messiah, to refine and purify them, he rebukes the Jews for
their   sacrilege   and   blasphemy,   and   declares   the   Lord’s
distinguished regard for them that feared the Lord, and that
thought upon His name, and, in a time of general corruption,
walked in His way. Chapter III. He concludes with a prediction
of terrible judgments on such Jews and others who would not
receive the promised Messiah, and of signal and special mercy
to those who should believe on Him, and speaks of John the

Baptist’s   coming   under   the   name   of   Elijah   the   prophet,   to

make   ready   a   people   prepared   to   receive   the   Lord’s   Christ.
Chapter IV.
Before   entering   into   an   exposition   of   the   text,   we   will
remark that National Israel was a Theocracy, or a government
under the immediate direction of God, and governed by laws
and ordinances which were given to Moses on Mount Sinai.
Blessings   were   promised   and   curses   denounced   upon   them
for their obedience, or disobedience as the reward, or penalty
annexed   to   that   conditional   covenant   they   were   under   (sic­
SCP).   There   was   no   eternal   salvation   promised,   nor
everlasting   damnation   pronounced   upon   them   in   that
covenant,   nor   by   any   of   its   laws.   When   they   were   obedient
they were blessed in basket and in store, in their out­goings
and in­comings with a plenty of corn and wine. God prospered
them and went forth at the head of their armies. But when
they were disobedient  they were cursed in their basket  and
store,   in   their   out­goings   and   in­comings,   and   famine   was
sent upon the land and cut off their corn, wine and oil, and
the Lord caused them to flee before their enemies. This was
repeatedly  verified  relative to their course as God’s National
people.   It   should   be   remembered   that   no   other   nation
sustained the same relation to God as Israel did.
In the text they are charged with robbing God. Robbery is a
violent   felonious   taking   from   the   person   or   presence   of
another. This is its common application. In the sense of our
text it signifies  to withhold what is due. A question is asked,
will a man rob God, or in other words, withhold that which is
due to God? He says, yet ye have robbed Me, or withheld that
which was due. But they in their wickedness and folly say,
wherein   have   we   robbed   Thee,   or   withheld   from   Thee?   He
replies, in tithes and offerings.
We will here state that to the tribe of Levi was assigned
the Priesthood. The tithes, or tenth part of the seed of
the land and of the fruit of the tree, and also of the flock
and cattle, were assigned to the Levites, after deducting
the   first   fruits   of   the   land,   and   the   firstlings   of   the

flocks for their offerings and sacrifices. These tithes were

holy   unto   the   Lord.   Lev.27:30,32.   As   the   Levites   had   no
inheritance among their brethren the tenth in Israel was given
them for  an inheritance. Num.18:21,  Deut.14:27­29.  And to
the priests were allowed a tenth part of the portion given to
the Levites in general. Num.18:26­29, Neh.10:38.
These   tithes   and   offerings   had   an   immediate   connection
with the priesthood; and were separated from a common to a
sacred use, and were devoted  or dedicated to the service  of
God   to   maintain   the   worship   of   God   under   that   typical
dispensation.   While   the   Priests   and   Levites   were   devoted   to
the   service   of   the   Lord,   they   received   tithes   from   their
brethren, the children of Israel, agreeable to the word of the
Lord. The offerings also were an essential part of the service
rendered by the people as expressive of their devotion to God.
When   the   tithes   were   brought   into  the   storehouse,   and  the
offerings punctually attended to, and performed, their course
was approved of God.
The   question   arises,   why   did   the   Israelites   or   Jews
withhold the tithes and offerings, or in other words, rob God?
We   answer,  through   covetousness,   which   is   idolatry.
Through their   self­righteousness   and inordinacy,   they  made
use of them to gratify their carnal lusts and sordid ambition,
in  false   worship   and   idolatrous  practices,   which   occasioned
the inquiry in our text. To make use of that which God has set
apart, or consecrated to a holy purpose to gratify a covetous
self­righteous spirit, is robbing God, and is idolatry. And yet
that hypocritical nation would try to justify their vile course
by great pretensions to the service and worship of God, by the
inquiry, “Wherein have we robbed God?” or, withheld that was
due? And when reproved and rebuked by the prophets, who
spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost, they manifested
their   spite   and   venom   against   the   prophets   by   persecuting
them unto death.
The   ministration   of   condemnation   that   Israel   was   under
was   glorious,   and   revealed   the   holiness,   purity,   and
righteousness   of   God   in  His   law   and   justice.  The   covenant,
laws, rites, ceremonies, and carnal ordinances binding upon

Israel under that dispensation, put them under obligation and

bounden   duty   to   observe   and   keep   throughout   all   their
generation.   In   the   keeping   of   them   God   was   glorified.   Any
departure,   either   in   withholding   what   was   due   to   God   or
substituting some works of their own invention, was punished
upon   the   transgressor   according   to   the   nature   of   the
transgression.   And   upon   this   principle   of   punishment   God
was also glorified in the final rejection and overthrow of the
Jewish nation in His wrath and vengeance.
The old covenant dispensation with its rituals, ceremonies,
carnal ordinances, meats, drinks, new moons, holy days, and
its sabbaths, have passed away, for they were the shadow of
things   to   come,   but   the   body   is   of   Christ.   Upon   the   same
principle the tithes and offerings have ceased by the bringing
in   of   a   better   and   more   glorious   dispensation   established
upon better promises. It is the ministration of life and peace,
and brings eternal salvation to sinners upon the principle of
an unconditional covenant. The Lord Jesus appeared as the
Great   High   Priest   of   His   people,   and   abolished   the   hand­
writing   of   ordinances,   nailing   them   to   His   cross,   magnified
and honored the law that His people were under, and by the
offering of Himself upon the cross, made an atonement for all
whom He represented, for whom the new covenant is made,
and   who   are   all   redeemed   by   His   precious   blood.   As   the
Mediator   of   the   new   covenant   He   said,  “Lo,   I   come,   {in   the
volume of the book it is written of Me,} to do Thy will O God.
Above   when   He   said,   sacrifice   and   offering,   and   burnt
offerings, and offering for sin Thou wouldest not, neither hadst
pleasure therein; which are offered by the law; then said He,
Lo,   I   come   to   do   Thy   will   O   God.   He   taketh   away   the   first
{covenant} that He may establish the second {covenant.} By the
which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of
Jesus   once   for   all.”  Therefore   the   saints   under   the   New
Testament   dispensation   have  not  come  to  Mount   Sinai that
burned   with   fire,   nor   unto   blackness   and   darkness,   and
tempest. But as Paul declared to his Hebrew brethren,  “But
ye are come to Mount Zion, and unto the city of the living God,

the   heavenly   Jerusalem,   and   to   an   innumerable   company   of

angels, to the general assembly and church of the First­born,
which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and
to spirits of just men made perfect, and to Jesus the Mediator
of   the   New   Covenant,   and   to   the   blood   of   sprinkling   that
speaketh   better   things   than   that   of   Abel.”  This   is
experimentally applicable to the saints now as formerly.
The church of God is under law to Christ, the law of love
and   obedience   to   His   commands,   and   are   to   follow   Him   as
their   Leader,   Commander,   and   as   the   Captain   of   their
salvation.   His   doctrine,   laws,   precepts   and   ordinances   are
binding  upon  them  to  observe  and  keep,  and  is  called  “the
faith   once   delivered   unto   the   saints.”  It   is   the   duty   and
privilege of the ministry to present Christ in their preaching
as   the   Way,   the   Truth,   and   the   Life,   and   in   so   doing   they
render to God the honor and glory due to His holy name. To
withhold   this   testimony,   and   preach   a   conditional   system
relative   to   salvation,   or   a   system   of   means,   agencies   and
instrumentalities, based upon the works of the creature which
feeds,   pampers   and   strengthens   men   in   their   own
righteousness, is robbing God, or withholding  from Him the
glory which is due. The work of the ministry is a holy work,
ordained of God for His glory, and the good of His people, and
shall   it   be   prostituted   to   the   avarice,   covetousness   and
gratification of a carnal law ambition? The Scriptures are the
only  text book we have on record, and shall it be prevented
from   its   legitimate   use   and   meaning   to   feed   a   covetous
disposition?   Alas!   Alas!   How   much   speculation   there   is   in
religious matters in our day. Men enter the ministry for the
sake   of   a   living,   are   called   “Reverends,”   and   “D.D’s,”   and
schools,   colleges   and   seminaries   are   established   to   educate
such men for the ministry. And when they are prepared and
sent out to preach as a matter of course they do not preach
Christ,   but   teach   for   doctrines   the   commandments   of   men.
They   pervert  the Scriptures  by  representing   that they  teach
what   they   do   not   teach,   and   wickedly   represent   that   the
salvation of sinners is dependent upon the use of means and

efforts  of  men;  and  in  this  way   beguile   unstable   souls,   and

lead   the   simple   and   unwary   astray.   The   introduction   of
religious   novels   and   romances   in   the   shape   of   tracts   and
Sunday   School   books,   is   a   part   of   the   machinery   which   is
used to deceive and draw away the minds of many from the
truth. Tradition and the writings of men are made more the
standard of religious belief than the Scriptures of truth. The
distinction   of   clergy   and   laity   is   observed   to   mark   the
superiority of the clerical fraternity, and the inferiority of the
private   members   of   the   church.   Modern   missionism   is
established without any Scripture command or example, and
hundreds of honest people, for aught we know, will contribute
their substance to its support, and think they are doing that
which is acceptable to God. Large monies are raised to extend
for religious purposes, so called, and to evangelize the world
through  the means  of Bible, Tract and Mission Societies and
Sunday School Unions. A large portion of the preaching of our
day is on these subjects, and all those who will not contribute
to sustain such societies and men, are charged with robbing
God by withholding their money from what they profanely call
the Lord’s treasury. Sometimes they will use the text which
we have at the head of this article, and pervert its meaning to
carry   out   their   selfish   purposes,   and   occasionally   trouble
some  of the dear  saints with  their   pernicious  application of
the   Scripture.   Much   more   could   be   said   in   the   way   of
describing   the   hypocrisy,   and   wickedness   of   the   age   in
religious   matters,   but   it   is   not   a   pleasant   subject   to   dwell
upon.   In   our   early   experience   we   endured   a   great   fight   of
afflictions,   surrounded   as   we   were   by   the   elements   of
scholastic divinity, and aristocratical religious popularity with
which New England abounds. Pride, fashion, vain­show and
popularity is the order of the day, and we speak of it, not to
ridicule and to stigmatize any class of people, but with grief
we express it.
In the New Testament it is recorded that Christ is the Head
of the church, the King that reigns in righteousness, and the
twelve   Apostles   are   the   Princes   that   rule   in   judgment.
Furthermore, Christ and His Apostles are seated upon their

thrones in the kingdom of God or Gospel church. All power in

heaven and earth is given unto Jesus, who called, qualified
and   sent   forth   His   Apostles   to   perform   the   work   assigned
them. On the same principle yet He calls whomsoever He will
to preach His Gospel. He calls sinners by His grace, and His
church is composed of living members. He pours out of His
Spirit and revives His work when it is His pleasure. And it is
the   duty   and   privilege   of   His   people   to   do   what   He   has
commanded them. And the Scriptures are plain to show the
way of duty as far as the Holy Spirit teaches. And as there is
no   record   that   Christ   and   His   Apostles   ever   approved,
sanctioned,   or   authorized   any   other   society   in   religious
matters   but   the   church   of   Christ,   the   saints   and   inquirers
after truth, need not heed what men and false teachers may
To withhold any part of the doctrine of the Gospel which is
revealed   from   heaven,   simply   because   fallen   man   squirms
under   it,   and   may   call   it   unprofitable   to   be   preached,   is
robbery in the sense of our text. God is glorified in the faithful
ministry  of the word. To be  governed  by a covetous  worldly
minded spirit as the professed followers of Jesus, and neglect
church privileges, and do as the world does, loan money at
usury   and   take   unlawful   percent   for   the   sake   of   gain,   is
another   species   of   robbery.   Loving   the   praise   of   men   more
than   the   praise   of   God,   seeking   for   honor,   popularity   and
wealth,   is   an  accursed   thing  among   God’s   people.
Drunkenness   and   debauchery,   slandering,   tattling   and
backbiting, is degrading not only to the world at large, but is
especially so among the professed people of God. It is robbery
in   a   Scriptural   sense   to   depart   from   any   principle   of   truth
either in doctrine or practice which God has commanded, for
God   is   glorified   in   His   purpose   of   love   and   mercy   in   His
church   when   the   saints   walk   in   the   truth,   and   love   one
another. The holy things of the kingdom of God relative to the
peace and prosperity of Zion are bestowed upon the church
for His declarative glory and honor. Therefore we should not
rob or withhold from God the glory due to His holy name.

If the tithes and offerings have any figurative application to

the Gospel church in any respect, we conclude it must be in
reference to the ministration of the word, the administration
of   ordinances,   and   the   practical   observance   of   the   rules,
precepts, duties, privileges and discipline of God’s house. An
attendance upon what God has commanded is in the way of
self­denial, and bearing the cross of Christ, and is acceptable
only  as   the   heart   and   soul   are   engaged   in   it,   and   is   not
grievous   to   be   borne.   When   faith  and   hope   are   in  exercise,
and the love of God inwardly abounds, the saints are satisfied
with what God has declared, and it is a privilege to them to
bring their tithes and offerings into the store house or Gospel
church.   The   Gospel   church   is   a   spiritual  house   to   offer   up
spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God by Jesus Christ, and is
not a house made of brick, stone, wood, or such materials,
but is a building of God, a house not made with hands, whose
workmanship   is   not   of   men,   but   of   God.   It   is   sacrilege,
blasphemy   and   robbery   in   the   fullest   sense,   to   withhold   or
add to the worship of God in His house or church, either in
doctrine,   precept   or   example,   contrary   to   the   statutes   and
commandments   of   Zion’s   King.   The   saints   are   a   Royal
Priesthood, and the Lord Jesus is Great High Priest, and they
{the saints} are kings and priests unto God and His Father, to
whom be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.
As   sister   Wilson   of   Jackson   County,   GA.,   requested   our
views of the text treated upon in this article, we have done
about   the   best   we   could   under   the   present   circumstances,
realizing as we do our inability and lack of understanding in
the Scriptures of truth.
J. L. Purington – April 15, 1860.
May 1, 1860 ­ REMARKS ON ISAIAH 9:6.
Covington, GA., May 1, 1860.

“For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given;

and the government shall be upon his shoulder; and His
name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The Mighty
God, The Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.”
In compliance with the request of Brother James Bridges of
Missouri,   in   our   number   before   the   last,   we   give   a   brief
statement of our views on the above text.
From   the   preceding   context   it   is   plain   that   the   Spirit   of
Christ   in   the   prophet   did   testify   of   the   Son   of   God   in   His
character as the Redeemer of the spiritual house of Israel, and
the name given in the text can apply to none other. Though
“there be  gods  many and  lords  many” among the children of
men in their vain imaginations and superstitious devotions, to
us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things,
and we in Him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all
things, and we by Him.
Premising then that there can be but the one character to
whom the name in the text can fully apply we shall endeavor
to   show   some   of   the   particulars   in   which   the   name   given
applies exclusively to Jesus in His character as the glorious
Mediator in whom the saints have their existence as their Life,
their Wisdom, their Power, their Father, and their Peace.
As their Life it is a glorious mystery how He is at once the
beloved of the Father, the spotless Lamb of God, and one with
His people who are the guilty transgressors of the Divine Law.
In this He must ever appear as emphatically the Wonderful.
No   light   of   human   or   seraphic   wisdom   can   explain   on   any
principle of human reason how this thing can be; nor is it at
all   requisite   that   it   should   be   comprehended   by   inferior
intelligences,   for   it   is   enough   for   us   to   know   that   God   so
declares the fact, and let our aspiring curiosity on this matter
be   content   to   be   still   and   know   that   HE   IS   GOD.   We   are
informed in the sacred volume that,  “it is the glory of God to
conceal  a thing,” and Elihu says, {Job 33:13,}  “He giveth not
account of His matters.”  In this view of His sacred character,

He is and must ever remain emphatically the Wonderful, the

incomprehensible and mysterious Holy One of Israel.
As   the  Counselor  He   is   equally   preeminent   above   all
others. No advocate ever displayed such unlimited power and
wisdom   as   shines   in   this   glorious   and   unapproachable
Counselor. Who, but this High and Lofty One that inhabiteth
eternity, could so order the cause of a guilty, self­condemned
sinner as to make him really spotless and holy in the piercing
sight of Infinite Justice? It is vain to seek among the children
of   the   dust   for   a   parallel   or   illustration   of   this   glorious
Counselor.   He   is   the   only   Being   in   heaven   or   earth   whose
name can at all resemble the character spoken of in the text.
When   His   people   had   become   involved   in   sin   and   the   just
sentence of the Law of God had consigned them to death, no
ordinary   counselor   could   have   undertaken   their   cause   with
any hope of success. The case is desperate when a criminal is
to   be   tried   before   an   earthly   judge,   and   acknowledges   his
guilt;   but   it   is  still   more   aggravated   when   the  Judge   is   the
God of the universe,  before  whose  eyes all things are open,
and whose  wisdom  comprehends  not  only all the actions of
men, but the whole workings of the desperately wicked heart
which prompted the crime. But vain as are all our efforts to
comprehend His character, or the meaning of His name, His
right to it is as firmly established as the pillars of heaven. And
God   has   said   that   His   name   is   above   every   name.   [Note:   The
names given in this context are inspired; but those names “theologians” made up
by adding vowels to the Hebrew characters, violate the Hebrew Law, to not take the
Lord’s name in vain. I speak of those man­made names of Yahweh, Eloihem, etc.,
because   such  names   are   not   in  the   Bible,   and   are   used   by   polytheists   to  have
multiple Gods, when in fact, “There is but one God” – the eternal Godhead who has
given to Christ Jesus the preeminence and fullness of the Godhead bodily. –SCP]. 
But, it is not only as the Wonderful and Counselor, that
His name is above every name that is named, not only in this
world, but also in that which is to come. His name shall be
called THE MIGHTY GOD. Not without right does He assume
this holy and reverend title. The Father says to the Son, “Thy
throne, O God, is forever and ever, the sceptre of Thy kingdom
is a right sceptre.” Psa.45:6 & Heb.1:8. See also Phil.2:6. The
character of the Redeemer cannot be divided. Though in His

capacity   as   the   Savior,   as   well   as   in   His   eternal   Deity,   He

exists in three distinct offices, He is yet the “One only wise
God our Savior.” But we cannot comprehend how He can be at
once   the   Eternal   God,   who   created   all   things   for   His   own
pleasure and glory, and also the Man Christ Jesus, suffering
the   just   deserts   of   His   people’s   transgression.  Shall   we
therefore conclude that it is not a correct doctrine, and
that   the   Scriptures   which   clearly   sustain   it   are
erroneous? Certainly not upon the same principle we should
have to yield the doctrine of the existence of God; for who can
comprehend   that   doctrine   in   its   infinity?   Let   us   rather   be
content to know that what God has declared is true, and it is
because   we   are   finite   worms,   that   we   cannot   comprehend
divine truth. Yet the truth is the same, and all our rebellion
and enmity cannot change it. Does the name convey too much
dignity   and   power   to   be   applicable   to   the   Redeemer?   He   is
worthy of all praise and adoration, for  He was slain for the
redemption of His people.
The   title,  THE   EVERLASTING   FATHER,   applied   to   the
Messiah, must be understood to allude to His relationship to
His people, the children given to Him as the Great Head of the
Church.   Isa.8:18,   Heb.2:13.   The   character   of   the  Father
seems to give rise to the question of Bro. Bridges, “Was there
ever a Son and no Father or a Father, and no child?” While it
is indisputable that the character spoken of is rightly named
the Everlasting Father, yet the inference that His children had
a   manifest   existence  coeval   with   Him   in   eternity,   is   not
sustained by the Scriptures. On the contrary He says by the
inspired Psalmist, “My substance was not hid from thee when
I   was   made   in   secret,   and   curiously   wrought   in   the   lowest
parts of the earth. Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being
unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which
in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none
of   them.”  Ps.139:15,16.   In   the   purpose   or   what   we
sometimes   call   the  predestination  of   God   the   children’s
manifestation was settled eternally. They then stood only in
seed substance, yet undeveloped that early. And in pursuance

of   that   predestination   in   the   fullness   of   the   times   before

appointed the children of God are  individually manifested  by
natural   generation,   and   then   manifested   as   the   children   of
God   b   y   a   spiritual   birth.   Their   creation   and   existence   in
Christ in eternity, before the foundation of the world, {Eph.1:4
&   2:10,}  must   not   be   confounded   with   their   individual
manifestation in time as members of the family of Adam.
The Redeemer is the  PRINCE OF PEACE  to His people in
His manifestation as the end of the law for righteousness to
every one that believes. In our condition as rebels and wicked
sinners against God, there is no peace or comfort for us; but
when Christ is manifest in His mediatorial character as the
righteousness of His people it is plain that He is our Peace,
having   put   away   sin   by   the   sacrifice   of   Himself.   Heb.9:26.
When   about   to   leave   His   disconsolate   disciples   in   this
enemies’   land   without   His   personal   presence,   He   comforted
them with the soul cheering  assurance,  “Peace  I leave  with
you; My peace I give unto you.” And the people to whom He is
the  Prince   of   Peace,   is   evidently   the   same   character   for
whom  He   is  exalted   a  Prince   and  Savior  to  give   repentance
unto Israel, and remission of sins.       ­  Joseph L. Purington.
– May 1, 1860
May 1, 1860 – “Little children, Keep yourself from
Covington, GA., May 1, 1860.
“Little children, keep yourselves from idols. Amen.”
These are the closing words of the inspired Apostle in his
first   epistle   to   his   brethren,   and   they   are   certainly   very
expressive, and as applicable now to the people of God as they
were   eighteen   centuries   ago.   The   Gospel   dispensation
continues, God’s purpose to call sinners by His grace, and the
work of grace in the hearts of those who believe, is the same,
and the same human depravity dwells in the mortal bodies of

the saints now as formerly. Notwithstanding they have been

called into an experimental union with heavenly things, and
have passed from death unto life, and at times rejoice in hope
of the glory of God, and speak forth His praises, yet they often
become   carnally   minded,   and   manifest,   or   show   forth   the
works of the flesh, and say and do that which is forbidden by
the laws of Christ.
John   addresses   them   as  little   children.   They   were   the
children of God inasmuch as they were born of God, and were
partakers of the Divine Nature, and were in reality, so far as
their spiritual existence is concerned, the sons and daughters
of   the   Lord   God   Almighty.   As   the   descendants   of   Adam   in
their experience of revealed truth they had received the spirit
of adoption, for God had sent forth the Spirit of His Son into
their hearts, crying “Abba Father.” When grace reigns in the
hearts of God’s children they all feel  little, no one wishes to
excel his brother through pride and vain glory, but each feels
to be the least, or less than the least in the kingdom of God.
They are willing to be taught of the Lord, and will not arrogate
to   themselves   any   superiority   over   their   brethren,   but   are
humble,   childlike,   and   love   to   sit   at   the   feet   of   Jesus,   and
learn of Him who is meek and lowly in heart. In the 1 st  verse
of the 2 nd  chapter, John calls them my little children, which, to
our   understanding,   signifies   that   he,   as   an   Apostle   and
Minister   of   Christ,   had   begotten   them   through   the   Gospel,
and was qualified to teach, instruct, and admonish them in
the things of the kingdom of God, as it is well known to the
saints,   or   should   be,   that   the   preaching   of   the   Gospel   and
ministry of the word, and gifts bestowed upon the church are
for the perfecting of the saints, and for the edifying of the body
of Christ, &c. Those whom God has made alive from the dead,
or  in  other  words,   have  been  born  of the  Spirit,  need  milk,
and   proper   nourishment   to   grow   and   thrive   in   the   Gospel
church   and   kingdom.   Much   depends   upon   a   sound   active
church   and   a   faithful   ministry   relative   to   the   growth,
instruction,   and   proper   nourishment   administered   to  young
believers and little lambs of the flock. These  little children  in
our   text,   were   in   a   teachable   condition,   and   as   such,   were

prepared to receive instruction from the inspired Apostle. And

all  that  John  knew,  the  Lord  had taught  him,  and  he  was,
therefore,   prepared   to   teach   and   instruct   them,   and   to   the
Lord belonged all the glory.
Keep yourselves  from  idols. Amen.  How   important  is  this
declaration and command. And yet how much it is overlooked,
and not heeded by many of the professed followers of Jesus.
John said in another place, “Love not the world, neither the
things   that   are   in   the   world,”  yet   it   seems   to   be   the   only
consideration in the minds of many who profess better things.
“If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of
the eyes, and the pride of life is not of the Father, but is of the
world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof; but
he that doeth the will of God abideth forever.” Some have sold
their   profession   of   Christ’s   name   for   a   mess   of   pottage,   or
some worldly gain, like Esau, who for one morsel of meat sold
his birthright, or like Demas of old, as Paul said, “For Demas
hath   forsaken   me,   having  loved   this   present   world,   and   is
departed unto Thessalonica.” II Tim.4:10.
But   the   saints   are   commanded   to   keep   themselves   from
idols. Well, what is an idol? We answer, it is an image, form,
or   representation   of   something   consecrated   as   an   object   of
worship, or a person loved and honored to adoration, and also
anything   upon   which   we   set   our   affection,   aside   from   the
Supreme Creator of all things, the God of heaven and earth.
Therefore to bow down, reverence, and adore any creature, or
thing   of   human   invention   as   an   object   of   love   and   special
regard   is   idolatry,   and   the   Scriptures   teach   that
covetousness is idolatry. The seat of idolatry is in the heart
or soul of man, and whatever is desired unlawfully is a great
sin before God.
As we before stated, sin dwells in the mortal bodies of the
saints, and is opposed to the holy and heavenly principle of
eternal   life   which   is   implanted   in   them   which   believe.   Paul
said to his brethren,  “Let not sin reign in your mortal bodies
that ye should fulfill it in the lusts thereof.” Or in other words,

“Let not sin have dominion over you, for ye are not under the

law, but under grace.”  God does not command His people to
do what they are not able to perform, but gives them grace
according   to   their   day.   Therefore,   for   the   saints   to   keep
themselves from idols is to follow Christ, and to do what He
has   commanded,   and   not   to   have   their   affections   set   upon
any of the vanities of this world, as to make them objects of
special regard and esteem. This world with its thousands of
allurements pleases the fancy and imagination, and is apt to
draw one’s mind on to forbidden objects.
When   Gospel   ministers   are   faithful   in   their   calling   and
profession   to   do   what   the   Great   Head   of   the   church   has
commanded, and when the disciples of Jesus are also faithful
in their practical course in the statutes and commandment’s
of Zion’s King, they keep themselves from idols. Nothing can
harm them so long as they follow that which is good and well
pleasing to God. Amen, or so let it be, is the concluding word
and sentiment  of  the  Apostle  in  this  epistle,  and  should  be
remembered by all the saints.­
                                  Joseph L. Purington. – May 1, 1860.
May 15, 1860 – “We shall be saved, even as they.”
Covington, GA., May 15, 1860.
“But   we   believe   that   through   the   grace   of   the   Lord
Jesus Christ, we shall be saved, even as they.”­  Acts 15:
These words were spoken under circumstances of peculiar
interest,   and   special   importance,   relative   to   the   well   being,
peace and prosperity  of the church of God. It appears from
the   context   that   certain   men   went   down   from   Judea,   and
taught   the   Gentile   brethren   as   follows.  “Except   ye   be
circumcised, after the manner of Moses, ye cannot be saved.”
This sentiment was entirely in conflict with the preaching of
Paul   and   Barnabas,   who   had   no   small   dissension   and
disputation with those men. The brethren finally determined

that Paul and Barnabas, and certain others of them should go

up   to   Jerusalem   unto   the   Apostles   and   Elders   about   this
question. As they were brought on their way by the church,
they declared the conversion of the Gentiles, which produced
great joy to the brethren. They preached salvation by grace,
without the works of the law, or any conditions in point
of merit and justification before God. Upon their arrival at
Jerusalem, they were received by the church and the Apostles
and Elders, declaring all things that God had done with them.
But certain of the Pharisees which believed, contended, “that
it  was  needful  to  circumcise  them, and  to  command  them  to
keep   the   law   of   Moses.”  The   question   now   was   sufficiently
defined, and the point at issue was made so apparent, that
the   Apostles   and   Elders   came   together   to   consider   of   this
matter. After there had been much disputing, Peter arose and
addressed the people, defended the truth, and the calling of
the Gentiles, repudiated the yoke of circumcision, and boldly
affirmed the doctrine of our text. Then all the multitude kept
silence, and gave audience to Paul and Barnabas, while they
declared the miracles and wonders God had wrought among
the Gentiles by them. After they had held their peace, James,
one of the twelve Judges, also spoke, referred to the testimony
of Simeon, and of the Prophets, relative to the salvation of the
Gentiles, and gave his sentence, which was, “that we trouble
not  them  which   from  among   the   Gentiles   are   turned   to
God. But that we write unto them that they abstain from
pollutions of idols, and from fornication, and from things
strangled, and from blood.”  [This, to my understanding, is one of
the most significant events in church history: Had the legalists prevailed,
the church among the Gentiles would have been greatly handicapped, for
circumcision is a very painful rite for adults. It is equally importance that
the commandment of the Church included so little: 1. Obstaining from the
pollution of idols; (2) obstaining from fornication; 3. obstaining from eating
animals  strangled   with  their   blood  not   spilled;  and;   4.  Obstaining   from
eating or drinking blood. These 4 things are the only prohibitions placed
upon   the   Gentile   churches.­   SCP].     His   declaration   and   sentence
was in accordance with the mind and views of the Apostles,
Elders, and whole church, and they concluded to send chosen

men   of   their   own   company   to   Antioch,   with   Barnabas   and

Paul,   namely   Judas,   and   Silas,   chief   men   among   the
brethren. They wrote by these messengers, and as the subject
contained in the letter, is one of great interest, we will copy it
entire.   “The Apostles, and Elders, and brethren,
send   greeting   unto   the   brethren   which   are   of
the Gentiles in Antioch, and Syria, and Cilicia.
Forasmuch   as   we   have   heard   that   certain
which   went   out   from   us,   have   troubled   you
with words, subverting your souls, saying, ye
must   be   circumcised   and   keep   the   law;   to
whom   we   gave   no   such   commandment;   it
seemed   good   unto   us,   being   assembled   with
one   accord,   to   send   men   unto   you,   with   our
beloved   Barnabas   and   Paul;   men   who   have
hazarded their lives for the name of our Lord
Jesus   Christ.   We   have   sent   therefore   Judas
and   Silas,   who   shall   also   tell   you   the   same
things   by   mouth.   For   it   seemed   good   to   the
Holy   Ghost   and   to   us,   to   lay   upon   you   no
greater   burden   than   these   necessary   things;
that ye abstain from meats offered to idols, and
from   blood,   and   from   things   strangled,   and
from   fornication;   from   which   if   ye   keep
yourselves,   ye   shall   do   well.   Fare   ye   well.”
After   they   were   dismissed,   they   came   to
Antioch, and as soon as they had gathered the
multitude   together,   they   delivered   the   epistle,

which   when   they   had   read,   they   rejoiced   for

the   consolation.   And   the   messengers
themselves   being   prophets,   exhorted   the
brethren   with   many   words   and   confirmed
In   relation   to   the   subject   and   circumstances   we   have
treated upon in the connection of our text, it devolves upon us
to give our views of the Scripture at the head of this article.
The line of demarcation so distinctly drawn, relative to eternal
salvation from sin, death, hell, and the grave, as expressed in
our   text,  entirely   excludes   all  hope   of  salvation  only  by   the
grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. Peter, and those with him who
believed to the saving of the soul, knew that their salvation
was   not   based   upon   the   act   of   circumcision,   or   any   of   the
works of the law, but upon the grace of God, therefore Peter
could boldly say, “But we believe,” &c. Some of the Jews asked
Jesus   the   following   question   on   a   certain   occasion.   “What
shall   we   do   that   we   might   work   the   works   of   God?   Jesus
answered   and   said   unto   them,   this   is   the   work   of   God   to
believe on Him whom He hath sent.”  John 6:28,29. Hence to
believe  on the Son of God is the  work  of  God, and not the
work or act of the creature. When Jesus asked His disciples
the   question,  “Will   ye   also   go   away?   Then   Simon   Peter
answered   Him,   Lord   to   whom   shall   we   go?   Thou   hast   the
words of eternal life. And we believe and are sure that Thou art
that   Christ,  the   Son   of   the   living   God.”  John   6:68,69.   When
Jesus propounded the question to His disciples,  “But whom
say ye that I am?” Peter replied, “Thou art the Christ the Son of
the living God.”  Jesus said to him in reply,  “Blessed art thou
Simon Barjona; for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto
thee, but My Father which is in heaven.” Matt.16:15­17. From
these Scriptures it is clear that a genuine, experimental belief
in the Son of God is the effect of the grace of the Lord Jesus
Christ in the soul, and not the work of the creature. In Peter’s
epistle to the strangers scattered abroad, he says, “Unto you,

therefore, which believe He is precious.”  Yes, it is a precious

truth to the dear saints, that Jesus is their Savior, Redeemer,
and only hope of eternal blessedness. A sinner saved by grace,
is the language of them all. They have no other hope, no other
Grace, is the  free  eternal love,   and  unmerited  favor,  and
good   will   of   God   to   perishing   sinners.   This   is   the   channel
through   which   salvation   flows.   It   is   called   the   grace   of   the
Lord   Jesus   Christ.   “And   if   by   grace,   then   it   is   no   more   of
works; otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works,
then   it   is   no   more   grace;   otherwise,   work   is   no   more   work.”
Rom.11:6.   As   long   as   it   is   clearly   established   by   the
Scriptures, that salvation is of grace, upon the principle of the
new covenant, how vain, and foolish, besides being absolutely
wicked it is for men to teach contrary to revealed truth, and
introduce   the   systems,   works   and   inventions   of   men   as   a
substitute for God’s grace in the salvation of sinners. It is not
upon   the   principle   of   a   general  atonement   for   all  mankind,
and a conditional salvation, the use of means, and the efforts
of men, that sinners are saved, for in that case it would be by
works,   but   it   is   according   to   the   covenant   which   God   has
made with His Son and the spiritual people in Him, the house
of Israel, and with the house of Judah, for saith God,  “I will
put My laws into their minds, 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.”  Heb.8:10­12.   It   is,   therefore,   vain   and
absurd for men to look for salvation by their own works, for it
is ALONE by the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. The Apostles,
Elders, and the whole church at Jerusalem have so decided,
and from their decision there is no appeal. It is confirmed and
ratified in heaven, and will never be repeated.
The Scriptures teach,  “For by grace are ye saved, through
faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God;  not of

works,  lest   any   man   should   boast.”  Here   the   distinction

between  grace   through   faith,   and  works  in   reference   to
salvation,  is clearly  expressed.   We are  aware,  however,   that
many suppose, and teach that salvation is not by works, but
faith  is given to every person alike, and that every man can
exercise faith if he will, and that his salvation depends upon
his exercising faith, and yet it is said that it is not by works.
For says Paul, “for all men hath not faith.” This species of self­
deception greatly abounds in our day, and many,  very many
honestly believe that it is the truth. But the truth is, man is a
guilty sinner before God, justly condemned, and the wrath of
God abideth upon him. Men are already condemned through
the violation of God’s holy and righteous law, having sinned in
Adam their natural progenitor. The law demands everything of
them,   and   furnishes   nothing,   affords   no   relief,   brings   no
salvation   to   them.   It   has   shut   them   up   in   prison,   under
sentence   of   death,   without   the   least   cheering   ray   of   hope.
Involved under the curse of that law there is no way to escape,
ONLY upon the principle of free, sovereign, distinguishing
grace.  And   those   that   are   sensible   of   the   condition   we   are
describing by heart­felt experience are ready to exclaim, and
in reality do so express it,
“Should sudden vengeance seize my breath,
I must pronounce Thee just in death;
And if my soul were sent to hell,
Thy righteous law approves it well.
Yet save a trembling sinner, Lord,
Whose hope still hovering round thy word,
Would light on some sweet promise there,
Some sure support against despair.”
Where is the sinner’s ability to exercise faith in our Lord
Jesus Christ? He would do it if it was in his power, but his
strength is gone, and his cries, prayers, and tears afford him
no consolation. I am lost and undone – God be merciful to me

a sinner, is his cry. He desires an interest in God’s grace; he

labors, and is heavy laden, and finds no relief. To illustrate,
how can a man who is in debt, and has no money, nor credit,
a beggar in a state of starvation, and sick nigh unto death,
pay   what   he   owes,   and   help   himself   out   of   his   wretched
condition, provide for his own necessities, and restore himself
to   health?   We   will   here   remark   that   dead   men   in   a   literal
sense have no knowledge of anything, neither do sinners dead
in trespasses and sins, have any knowledge of spiritual life,
they know not that they are condemned before God. It must
be those that are  alive, that have a sense of their condition,
which   realize,   and   feel   what   they   need.   As   it   is   in   a   literal
sense, it is the same in a spiritual sense. To feel the need of a
Savior,   and   also   that   the   only   Savior   we   need,   is   the   Lord
Jesus   Christ,   the   only   living   and   true   God,   is   an   essential
characteristic of saved sinners. The grace of God, which is the
grace   of   the   Lord   Jesus   Christ,   amply   provides   for   the
condition of those who are in debt, that have no money, for
Jesus has died, yea is risen again, and is ascended on high.
He,   as   the   Surety   for   His   people,   has   paid   the   debt,   for   it
pleased   the   Lord   God   to   bruise   Him,   to   make   His   soul   an
offering for sin, to redeem them from sin and death, and to
save them with an everlasting salvation. His atoning blood is
applied,   and   His   righteousness   is   imputed   to   them   which
believe, and they are, therefore experimentally justified by His
blood   and   righteousness.   It   is   called   the   righteousness   of
faith.   Faith   is   a   spiritual   production,   the  fruit  of   the   Spirit,
and those who have the Holy Spirit have faith. Can a dead
tree bring forth fruit? Certainly not. Neither can a dead sinner
exercise faith. But the saints are trees of righteousness which
the Lord has planted, and as Jesus is their Life, their faith is
a living faith. This faith exercises them, and John says, “and
this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.”
And as it is given to the saints, they receive it as a gift, and
consequently it is theirs. It was through faith, or by faith that
the “cloud of witnesses,”  Paul spoke  of “subdued  kingdoms,
wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths
of lions, quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the

sword, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in

fight, turned to flight the armies of the aliens.” As formerly so,
now the saints through faith perform prodigies of valor. And a
faith’s view of Jesus is salvation; as they are in debt, He has
paid   that   debt,   as   they   have   no   money,   He   furnishes   them
with all spiritual blessings freely; as they are bankrupt, and
have no credit, He stands as their Creditor before His Father’s
throne and pays all their expenses, to use a figurative mode of
expression.   They   do   not   pay   their   passage   to   the   world   of
immortal glory, but Jesus gives to them a free passage ticket,
{to use a figure} and they can say, “it is through the grace of
the   Lord   Jesus   Christ,   we   are   saved.”   Though   they   are
beggars in a state of starvation, Jesus clothes them with the
garments of salvation, and feeds them with the bread of life,
with   hidden   manna,   and   brings   them   into   His   banqueting
house, and His banner over them is love. They sit under the
droppings   of   His   sanctuary,   and   His   food   is   sweet   to   their
taste. He leads them into green pastures, and beside the still
waters. Notwithstanding they may be sick nigh unto death, He
is   the   great   Physician   who   never   lost   a   patient,   and   whose
medicine always relieves sin­sick souls, and restores them to
health. He is always furnished with medicine adapted to their
complaints, and is a present help in time of need.
  We stated that the law demanded everything, or in other
words,   demands   strict   love   and   obedience   to   God,   and
furnishes   nothing,   no   deliverance,   no   consolation   to   them
which are under it. On the contrary, God’s grace in the Person
of our Lord Jesus Christ demands nothing in a legal manner
of   sinners,   and   demands   no   more   than   what   it   furnishes
relative to eternal salvation. It meets all the just requisitions
of   the   law,   and   supplies   all   of   the   necessities   of  penitent
sinners, and furnishes or gives repentance and remission of
sin with all spiritual blessings to God’s new covenant people.
The   name  Lord  in   our   text   applies   to   the   Lord   God   of
Hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, the Lord of Sabaoth.
The word of the Lord by the prophet addressing the church, is
very expressive.  “For thy Maker is thine husband; the Lord of
Hosts is his name; and thy Redeemer the Holy One of Israel;

the God of the whole earth shall he be called.”  Isa.54:5. This

Scripture   among   many   others   is   sufficient   to   satisfy   every
candid inquirer after truth, relative to the Absolute Godhead
of   the   Lord   Jesus   Christ,   and   that   He   is   the   Savior   and
Redeemer of His people. The name Jesus signifies Savior, and
in reference to His manifestation in the flesh, the angel of the
Lord said to Joseph, “And thou shalt call his name JESUS; for
he   shall   save   his   people   from   their   sins.”  Again,   “And   they
shall   call   his   name   EMMANUEL,   which   being   interpreted   is,
God with us.” And the angel said to Mary, “He shall be great,
and shall be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God
shall   give   unto   Him   the   throne   of   His   father   David.   And   He
shall reign over the house of Jacob forever; and of His kingdom
there shall be no end.”  The angel said further to Mary,  “The
Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest
shall  overshadow  thee; therefore  also  that  Holy Thing  which
shall be born of thee, shall be called the Son of God.”  As the
Son of  God,  He is the Mediator   between  God and men,  the
man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself a ransom for all {whom
He represented, and who were chosen in Him,} to be testified
in   due   time.   As   the   Anointed   One,   which   the  name   Christ
signifies,   God  says,   “With  My holy  oil  have  I  anointed   Him.”
Again, “I will set His hand also in the sea, and His right hand
in the  rivers. He  shall  cry unto  Me, Thou art  My Father,  My
God, and the Rock of My salvation. Also, I will make Him My
first­born,   higher   than   the   kings   of   the   earth.”  The   office   of
Christ is very clearly expressed by Isaiah, “The Spirit of the
Lord God is upon Me; because the Lord hath anointed Me to
preach   good   tidings   to   the   meek,”   &c.  We   have   copied
considerable   Scripture   in   reference   to   the   character   of   our
Redeemer,   partly   to   let   our   readers   know   by   Scripture
quotations, our views of the Divinity of Christ, better than by
any words we could express on that point, and also to repel
the groundless charges of those who represent us, as holding
to Arian; or semi­Arian sentiments.
“We shall be saved, even as they,” is the last clause of our
text.  Peter   was   taught   a   great   lesson   on   a   certain   occasion

when he was on the house­top, and fell into a trance, and saw

the   heaven   opened,   and   a   certain   vessel   descending   upon
him, as it had been a great sheet knit at the four corners, and
let   down   to   earth.   In   it   were   four­footed   beasts,   and   wild
beasts, and creeping things, and fowls of the air. A voice came
to him, Rise, Peter; kill and eat. But he replied, not so, Lord;
for I have never eaten anything common or unclean. But the
voice spake again the second time, what God hath cleansed
that call not thou common. Peter being a Jew, had only eaten
the flesh of animals which parted the hoof, and chewed the
cud, and were considered clean by the Levitical law; hence, he
refused   to   eat   the   flesh   of   fowls,   and   animals   which   were
considered unclean by the same law. Peter knew not what to
make of the vision, until he went to the house of Cornelius,
where he had an opportunity to witness the work of the Lord,
in  the  salvation  of  Gentile   sinners.   He  saw   that   God   had   a
people among the Gentiles that He had cleansed, as well as
among the Jews. Peter now could say,  “Of a truth I perceive
that God is no respecter of persons; but in every nation, he that
feareth Him, and worketh righteousness is accepted with Him.”
Afterwards   when   Peter   went   up   to   Jerusalem,   they   of   the
circumcision contended with him, but he rehearsed the whole
matter   to   the   Apostles   and   brethren,   and   when   they   had
heard   these   things,   they   held   their   peace   and   glorified   God
saying, “Then hath God also to the Gentiles granted repentance
unto life.”
In   our   view   this   vessel   or   sheet   represents   the   new   and
everlasting covenant of peace, and the beasts, creeping things,
and fowls of the air represent the Gospel church among the
Gentiles   whom   God   hath   cleansed   by   the   washing   of
regeneration,   and   renewing   of   the   Holy   Ghost,   or   in   other
words,   by   the   blood   of   Christ,   the   fountain   opened   to   the
house of David, and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem for sin
and   for   uncleanness.   Therefore   we   Jews   are   saved   by   the
grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, even as the Gentiles. We stand
upon the same level, without the works of the law or of the
creature, ascribing salvation to God alone.
                               Joseph L. Purington. – May 15, 1860.


Covington, GA., May 15, 1860.
In reply to brother Wm. E. Freeman of Montgomery, Ala.,
as to his question, “How often should we commemorate the
death of our Savior, by coming around His table to partake, as
it were, of His broken body and shed blood,” we will state that
we do not consider there is any definite time mentioned; nor
how often it should be observed, particularly described in the
New Testament, but that the followers of Jesus should obey
Christ in the faithful observance of the Lord’s Supper, and as
often as they do it  they should do it in remembrance of Him
who suffered and died for them. And in so doing they show
forth the Lord’s death until He come. It would seem at, and
after the Pentecostal time for a season, it was observed daily
by the saints according to the 2 nd  chapter of Acts, and once on
the first day of the week as recorded in Acts 20:7. But as it is
binding upon the church as a duty and privilege to observe, it
should   not   be   neglected.   About   all   the   Primitive   Baptist
churches of our acquaintance in the Northern, Eastern and
Southern   States,   and   in   the   British   Province   of   Canada,
generally   practice   it   the   Sunday   following   their   regular
Conferences. Some observe it every month, others every two
or three months, or once a year, according to the time every
church has appointed for that purpose. Each church has the
right to appoint the time, either every week or month, or every
three   or   four   months,   as   she   in   her   judgment   may   think
proper. But in its observance, at all times, it should be done
in remembrance of Jesus. And in no case, if the church is in
Gospel order, should it be neglected.
  Brother   Freeman   says,   “We   have   divers   opinions   in
reference to the matter in this section of country.” Opinions,
simply   do   not   amount   to   much,   how   often   it   should   be
observed   unless   there   is   Scriptural   proof   to   the   point.   It   is
enough to know that the Scriptures teach,  as often as ye do
this  ye do show  forth the  Lord’s  death,  and  also,  do this  in
remembrance   of   Me.   We   will   state   however,   that   the   more

frequently   it   is   observed   a   liability   to   become   careless   and

indifferent   in   its   observance,   is   often   manifest,   and
considering the solemnity of the ordinance, the Lord’s people
should   observe   it   with   punctuality   and   with   feelings   of
devotion and humility before God.
J.L. Purington. – May 15, 1860.
June 15, 1860 – “I Have no Pleasure in the death of the
[Article #1. See also page 247.]
Covington, GA., June 15, 1860.
The   texts   upon   which   our   friend   L.M.   Cook   has   further
requested our views reads as follows,
 “For I have no pleasure in the death of him that dieth,
saith   the   Lord   God;   wherefore   turn   yourselves   and   live
ye.”   Ez.18:32.   “Say   unto   them,   as   I   live   saith   the   Lord
God, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but
that the wicked turn from his way and live; turn ye, turn
ye  from  your  evil  ways,   for  why will   ye  die,   O  house   of
Israel.” 33:11.
In   reading   the   Scriptures   particular   attention   should   be
paid to the subject in its immediate connection relative to the
speaker, the character or people addressed, or spoken of, and
the peculiar circumstances then existing. The speaker in each
of the texts before us is no other than the Lord God, and the
people addressed are the national people of God. The subject
is   the   same   in   both   texts,   and   we   will   treat   upon   them
accordingly. The prophet was a watchman unto the house of
Israel, and as such, it was his duty to warn the people. It is
specially   worthy   of   notice   that   Israel   was   under   the   Sinai
covenant which abounded with rites, ceremonies and carnal
ordinances, and no other people under heaven have ever been
under such a covenant. It was a conditional covenant, as we
have often expressed in our editorial articles, and there was

no   salvation   from   sin,   death   and   hell   promised   in   that

covenant as the blessings of obedience, nor eternal damnation
as the punishment of their transgression. The blessings and
judgments which they experienced extended  only  to this life,
and should be so understood. We are aware that legalists and
work­mongers who vainly suppose that salvation is optional
with them to choose or refuse, construe these Scriptures, as
they do many others to their own destruction, but to a careful
Bible reader, who is inquiring after truth and who desires to
know the truth experimentally, it will be plainly seen that God
is speaking,  not to gospel characters, but to law characters
in   our   texts.   The   law   dispensation   revealed   the   holiness,
purity, majesty  and eternal perfection  of the Lord God, and
Israel being under that written law or covenant, were obliged
to work day and night; yea, continually, to satisfy the law in
its just requisitions. When they were obedient in an outward
sense,   they   were   blessed,   when   disobedient,   they   were
punished.   But   the   spiritual   nature   of   the   law   which
demanded love to God with all the heart, soul, might, mind
and   strength,   the   carnal   Jews   were   ignorant   of,   like
multitudes in our day who contend strenuously for a system
of   works   of   their   own   invention,   and   oppose   the   vital
principles of the doctrine of Christ based upon the oath and
promise of God.
The   question   arises,   what   was   the   nature   of   the   death
spoken of that the Lord had no pleasure in? We answer, that
it was a state of distress and misery that the Jews brought
upon  themselves  by   their  own voluntary  transgression.   And
God   justly   dealt   with   them   according   to   the   nature   of   the
covenant they were under, which was severe punishment for
their   sins.   They   reaped   the   reward   of   their   own   folly   and
wickedness.   Sin   is   the  cause   of   all  the   misery   and   distress
which   is   experienced   by   the   human   family.   And   sin   is   the
transgression of the law. The calamities which the Jews or the
Israelites were then enduring in the Babylonish captivity, was
the   consequence   of   their   own   wickedness,   therefore,   God’s
way   was   equal,   but   theirs   was   unequal.   We   have   seen
instances   of   persons   who   have   made   themselves   very

miserable by a wicked course of conduct, and have cried out

in their distress, but as soon as they are out of misery, they
are the same as before. Therefore it is not the Lord’s pleasure,
or in other words, it is not pleasing to Him, the death of him
that dieth. But the inflexible demand of the law and justice
must be executed upon the transgressors.
But   Israel   was   called   upon   to   repent,   to   cast   away   from
them all their transgressions, whereby they had transgressed;
and make them a new heart, and a new spirit; for why will ye
die,   O   house   of   Israel?   The   Lord   had   no   pleasure   in   their
death, therefore, He says “turn yourselves and live ye.”
But the general construction of this subject in its use and
application is, that the Lord is very desirous to save all the
human family   [Note:   There   is   presently   a   great   dispute   between   sovereign
grace believers and work­mongers over a text in one of the new man­made Bibles,
which says, “God desires the salvation of all men.” The sovereign grace believers
find themselves bewildered by this false text, but being unwilling to burn it and
acquire an inspired Bible, they are trying every way possible to explain such an
awful   contradiction   to   reality!   It’s   better   to   burn   the   false   Bible   and   attain   a
peaceful   understanding,   than   try   to   make   such   a   falsity   agreeable   to   sound
doctrine! – SCP],   with an everlasting salvation, and that provision
is made for them all upon certain terms, or conditions to be
performed by them. He, therefore, is wooing and beseeching
them to come to Him, if they will, as it is not His pleasure that
any   of   them   should   perish,   but   that   all   should   be   saved.
Hence, turn yourselves and live ye, or in other words, turn ye,
turn ye from your evil ways, for why will ye die. Now if it is the
Lord’s  will that   every  son  and  daughter   of  Adam   should  be
saved, and He is trying to accomplish His will and pleasure,
and   is   not   able   to   do   it   because   sinners   will   not   turn   and
repent, He certainly does not possess power to punish them
for their sins, and therefore ceases to be the Almighty God of
heaven and earth.
But   as   we   before   stated   the   people   addressed   were   the
carnal Israelites, and the Lord called upon them to turn from
their wicked ways and live. In what sense were they to live?
Why   they   were   to   live   before   God   in   the   enjoyment   of   the
natural blessings promised in the covenant. Those blessings
were not spiritual but temporal, such as no other nation on

earth ever enjoyed. Therefore it is plain to our understanding

that   the   texts   apply   alone   to   National   Israel,   as   they   were
addressed to that people, and that the life and death spoken
of does not refer to their condition after the death of the body.
It is a clear case that it was the Lord’s pleasure to punish the
Jews   for   their   wickedness   in   the   seventy   years   captivity   in
Babylon, but He took no pleasure in their wickedness, nor in
the distress or death, they  were experiencing. Therefore,  He
says,  “as   I   live   I   have   no   pleasure   in   the   death   of   the
wicked; but that the wicked turn from his wicked way
and live.”
The   Jews   returned   from   their   captivity   in   Babylon,   and
prospered for a length of time, but become exceeding vile at
the time when the Lord Jesus was upon the earth, and as the
climax  of their  wickedness,  they  crucified  the  Lord  of glory.
But their destruction as a nation was foretold by the blessed
Redeemer. “Wherefore, behold, I send unto you prophets and
wise   men,   and  scribes;   and   some   of   them  ye   shall   kill   and
crucify,   and   some   of   them   shall   ye   scourge   in   your
synagogues, and persecute them from city to city; that upon
you may come all the righteous blood shed upon the earth,
from the blood of righteous Abel unto the blood of Zacharias,
son of Barachias, whom ye slew between the temple and the
altar.” This had its exact fulfillment upon that people.
We are to learn by the subject before us that God does not
countenance or approve of sin or wickedness in any sense of
the   word.   It   was   so   relative   to   National   Israel,   as   we   have
already   expressed,   and   therefore   we   cannot   reasonable
suppose that He will wink at it, or approve of it among men in
general. Whether we speak of it in reference to the voluntary
wickedness of nations, communities, or individuals, God will
render to every one according to his works.
When we speak of the salvation of the spiritual Israel or
elect of God, we speak of another covenant, entirely distinct
and   separate   from   the   covenant   made   with   National   Israel.
Hence   what   a   perversion   of   the   Scriptures   it   is   for   men   to
introduce that old conditional covenant, which is done away,
and preach it to sinners in reference  to salvation. They  will

take the texts at the head of this article and apply them to

sinners destitute of grace, and sometimes bewilder the feeble
of the flock with their pernicious sentiments. But the truth is,
the promises in the new and everlasting covenant is upon the
principle I will and you shall, and are not yea and nay, but are
yea and Amen to the glory of God. Ezekiel had a view of this
covenant when the Lord spake by him to Israel, “A new heart
also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you; and I
will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give
you an heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit within you, and
cause   you   to   walk   in   My   statutes,   and   ye   shall   keep   My
judgments and do them. And  ye shall dwell in the land  {the
land of gospel rest,} that I gave to your fathers; and ye shall be
My people, and I will be your God.”  36:26­28.  Remember  this
covenant   is   made   with   the  spiritual   Israel   of   God  as
expressed   by   Ezekiel   in   the   37 th   chapter   inclusive,   and   by
Jeremiah 31:31­34, and substantiated by the testimony of the
Apostles.   Perishing   sinners   are   saved   upon   the   principle   of
what   God   has   done   for   them,   and   they   rejoice   in   the
Sovereignty,   Immutability,   and   Eternal   Perfection   of   the
Everlasting Father.
Why this  hew  and  cry, therefore against the electing love,
and predestinating purpose of God in the salvation of sinners,
if the advocates of a conditional system were not trusting in
their own works for salvation? Why quote the texts, which we
have commented upon, to rebut and confuse inquiring minds
after the truth, if they did not rely upon their own power and
ability   to   save   them   selves   or,   to   do   something   towards   it?
They   will   argue   that   sinners   are   guilty   before   God,   but   the
idea   that   sinners   are   already   lost   and   condemned   in   the
transgression   of   the   first   Adam,   and   that  the   wrath  of   God
abideth upon them, they ignore and utterly reject. And that it
is by grace through faith, without works, in point of merit and
justification, they do not believe.
The deplorable ignorance of men upon the great subject of
Gospel truth will never be removed only as it is the pleasure of
God   to   remove   it.   And   to   suppose   that   God   is   not   able   to

accomplish His will and pleasure, when it is expressly said,

that He “worketh all things after the counsel of His will” or the
“good   pleasure   of   His   will,”   is   to   detract   from   His   Power,
Wisdom, Holiness, Truth and Justice. And His predestinating
or   determinate   purpose   of   love   and   mercy   relative   to   His
people,   will   certainly   be   accomplished,   for   there   can   be   no
accident,   or   fortuitous   circumstance   to   intervene   in   the
accomplishment of His will and pleasure. And to suppose that
God has no predestinating or determinate purpose relative to
the   wicked,   is   presumption   and   folly,   when   it   is   expressly
declared in the Scriptures that “the Lord hath made all things
for   Himself;   yea,   even   the   wicked   for   the   day   of   evil.”
Prov.16:4. And the Lord said to Pharaoh,  “And in very deed
for this cause have I raised thee up, for to shew in thee My
power, and that My name may be declared throughout all the
earth.” Ex.9:16. Worms of the dust will, however, say, “Why
doth He yet find fault? For who hath resisted His will? Nay,
but,   O   man,   who   art   thou   that   repliest   against   God,”   &c.
Rom.9:19,20.   Cavilers   and   the   enemies   of   truth   and
righteousness in general, while charging God of injustice and
partiality, and of being the author of sin, and of compelling
men to sin, and such like expressions, should remember that
it   is   the   height   of   presumption   and   madness   for   finite
creatures to reply against their Creator and to condemn His
ways. The Lord says, “For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither   are   your   ways   My   ways,   saith   the   Lord.   For   as   the
heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than
your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.”  Isa.55:8,9.
“His way is in the sea, and His path in the great waters, and
His footsteps are not known.”
Let the church of God, and all the lovers of truth, and also
our friend Cook, be at the feet of Jesus and hear his word,
and   follow   him,   and   find   rest   to   their   souls.–
Joseph L. Purington.­ June 15, 1860.

June 15, 1860 – “Take heed unto Thyself and the

Covington, GA., June 15, 1860.
“Take   heed   unto   thyself,   and   unto   the   doctrine;
continue in them; for in doing this thou shalt both save
thyself, and them that hear thee.” I Timothy 4:16.
In this chapter Paul foretells that in the latter times there
will   be   a   great   departure   from   the  faith,   which   has  had   its
fulfillment, and is being fulfilled in our day, and which proves
conclusively that he spake by the Spirit of inspiration. And he
also   gave   direction   to   Timothy   relative   to   his   course   in   the
church of the living God, what he should teach, and how he
should conduct, and that he should not be neglectful of the
gift   which   was   in  him   as  a   minister   of   Christ,   and   that  he
should mediate upon these things, and give himself wholly to
the work the Lord had called him to, and that his profiting
might   appear   to   all.   Paul   was   not   a   self­styled   “Doctor   of
Divinity,”   but   an   Apostle   of   Christ,   and   one   of   the   twelve
Judges   of   Israel,   and   was   qualified   to   teach   and   instruct
Timothy,   who   was   but   a   youth,   yet   one   of   the   Lord’s
minister’s,   and   had   received   his   tuition   in   the   school   of
Christ, or heavenly school, where Jesus presides as the  only
Reverend Doctor of Divinity the church of God has ever had,
or that she ever will need. And all the gifts the church has, or
ever   will   have,   the   Lord   Jesus   has   given,   for   when   He
ascended on high He gave gifts unto men, and Paul speaks of
those gifts, and the purpose for which they were given.  See
Eph.4:8­16. As much as we are in favor of human learning,
when   we   come   to   speak   of   the   Spirit’s   teaching,   and   of
spiritual   gifts,   we   can   never   advocate   the   necessity   of
instituting   Colleges   and   Seminaries   for   the   instruction   and
qualification   of   pious   young   men   for   the   ministry,   for   it   is
unscriptural   and   uncalled   for,   and   a   reflection   upon   the
Wisdom   of   the   Great   Master   Builder   of   the   House   of
Assemblies, and Teacher of His people. When a man is called
of God to preach, and to give himself wholly to the work, he

does not go to the  schools of men  to be educated and to be

qualified, but he enters the school of Christ and there receives
his   diploma,   and   graduates   in   Gospel   order,   as   all   the
prophets,   apostles   and   ministers   of   Christ   have   ever   done.
What Paul said to Timothy in the verses preceding  our text
are   applicable   to   the   disciples   of   Jesus   who   are   called   to
minister in word and doctrine, and should be strictly observed
by them.
Take   heed   unto   thyself.   This   is   spoken   relative   to   his
practical   course   in   the   ministry.   A   minister   of   Christ   is
exposed to the shafts of the enemy from every quarter, and
therefore   must   be   clothed   with   the   panoply   of   heaven,   or
armor of God. And when thus clothed he is invincible to all
the fiery darts of the wicked. But why take heed unto himself?
We answer: the command of the Great Head of the church,
through   the   inspired   apostle   is,  follow   Jesus.   And   to   follow
Jesus is to deny self, old wicked self. We do not mean by this
that the physical man is to deprive himself of the necessaries
and comforts of life, O no. But to put off the old man with his
deeds   is   the   command,   and   to   put   on   the   new   man   which
after God is created in righteousness &c. Timothy was a child
of   God   experimentally,   but   yet   was   possessed   of   a   fallen,
unsanctified   disposition   like   as   we   have.   When   a   man   is
exposed to any danger he should take heed to his course and
be careful how he walks. So in relation to Timothy, and every
minister of Christ. In his private walk in his family and among
men,   he   should   control   his   own   disposition,   and   live
according to his profession. In appearance a man may be “a
saint   abroad,   and   a   devil   at   home.”   A   man   may   preach,
seemingly,   like   an   angel,   and   yet   pursue   a   reckless,
imprudent course, acting out an ungovernable disposition. He
may   be   drunk   with   passion,   or   something   else,   as
drunkenness does not consist always in the improper use of
intoxicating   liquors.   Any   species   of   vice   and   immortality   is
condemned by the law of Christ, and hence to be a professed
minister of Christ, and be into some, or all the practices of
ungodly men is a disgrace to the very name of the ministry. To
take   heed,   is   to   be   careful   and   cautious   in   one’s   practical

course of life, conduct, conversation, and deportment among

men,   and   in  the   Church   of  Christ.  If   this   had   not   been   an
important   consideration,   Paul   would   not   have   enjoined   it
upon Timothy.
And   unto   the   doctrine.   This   is   another   important
consideration. He was, not only to take heed unto himself, but
also unto the doctrine. “He that abideth not in the doctrine of
Christ is none of His.” The doctrine of Christ is the foundation
principles of the experience, faith and practice of the church
of the living God. It is called  sound doctrine. It came from
heaven,   and   is   set   or   fixed   deep   in   the   experience   of   the
saints.   Without   it   all   of   the   notions   of   men   on   religious
subjects are not worth a straw, or in other words, are of no
account. The principles which compose the doctrine of Christ
are taught by the revelation and teaching of the Holy Spirit.
They are not taught as a science in the schools of men, nor by
human erudition, as many vainly suppose. These principles,
such   as   the   accountable,   and   justly   condemned   state   of
sinners   as   transgressors   of   God’s   law,   effectual   calling   by
grace,   free   justification   by   the   blood   and   righteousness   of
Christ, election, predestination, or God’s determinate purpose
of love and mercy in His beloved Son, and also of His wrath
and   vengeance,   and   other   kindred   principles   we   could
mention, altogether embody the doctrine which Timothy was
directed   to   take   heed   unto.   Notwithstanding   it   is  sound
doctrine, and reveals the  only  way of life and salvation from
the depths of darkness and despair, yet men will not endure
it;   yea,   millions   who   profess   to   be   the   followers   of   Jesus,
ignore it entirely. But the doctrine is invaluable, and must be
contended   for   and   preached.   It   will   never   do   to  yield   any
point, or principle of doctrine to please men, or to obtain the
good­will   of   our   fellow   creatures,   unless   the   truth   pleases
them. Therefore as it was said to Timothy, so it will apply to
the   heralds   of   the   cross   in   general,  take   heed   unto   the
doctrine, faithfully preach it in the love of it, and remember its
principles are God­honoring, and God­glorifying, but abasing
to worms of the dust. This is why men in their fallen state are

opposed   to   it.   Furthermore,   the   saints,   whose   only   hope   of

salvation is in Christ Jesus our Lord, are comforted, edified,
instructed and fed, when Christ, embodying sound doctrine,
is preached. They are profited thereby. They grow and thrive
under it.
Continue   in   them.   Yes,   Timothy,   and   all   of   Christ’s
ministers   are   not  simply   to   take   heed   unto   themselves   and
unto the doctrine, but to continue in them, or in other words,
to pursue the same course all the time, without turning to the
right or left under any circumstances whatever. It is the way
of self­denial and bearing the cross of Christ, and yet it is the
only way which affords any substantial peace and quietness of
mind   to   the   Lord’s   ministers.   Men,   who   have   entered   the
ministry   for   the   sake   of   a   living   under   the   pretext   of   great
solicitude   for   sinners,   will   very   easily   relinquish   their
profession for the loaves and fishes, if a fair opportunity for a
more profitable business presents itself. But when any one of
the heralds of the cross can settle down in ease and quietness
at home, and not feel the responsibility of his calling, proves
to our understanding, a state of alienation of mind which will
soon   destroy   his   resting   place,   and   perish   him   out   of   the
consumption. Not take his life in a natural sense, but reduce
him   to   a   state   of   distress,   sorrow   and   woe,   so   that   his   life
would be miserable to him, and his own clothes would abhor
him.   But   a   faithful   minister   learns   by   experience   that   a
continuation, practically, in the way of obedience is most for
his happiness and peace of mind, and for the glory of God.
Therefore, to continue to take heed unto himself, and unto the
doctrine is well pleasing to God.
For in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that
hear thee. A question arises, how save himself by doing this?
We will proceed to answer. It should be distinctly remembered
that Timothy was already a subject of grace, for Paul says in
his second epistle to him, {chap.1, verse 9,} “Who hath saved
us,   and   called   us   with   an   holy   calling,   not   according   to   our
works, but according to Hown purpose and grace, which was
given   us   in   Christ   Jesus   before   the   world   began.”  Timothy,
therefore,   was   called,   as   well   as   Paul,   to   an   experimental

knowledge of this salvation, not upon the principle of works of

obedience, but upon the principle of God’s purpose and grace.
Salvation is deliverance, consequently Timothy was to deliver
himself in doing as he was directed by Paul in our text. And it
was upon the principle that God worked in him to will and to
do,  that he  worked out  his own salvation or deliverance. Not
that he was to work out his final deliverance from sin, death,
hell   and   the   grave,   as   though,   some   part   of   the   work   of
salvation depended upon himself after he was called by grace,
but   by   doing   what   is   expressed   in   the   text,   he   practically,
saved or delivered himself from the vile practices of the men of
the world, who never made any pretensions to religion, or in
reference to the unscriptural doctrines and practices of self­
righteous professors, work­mongers and hypocrites. And not
only   so,   but   he   also   saved   himself   from   reproaching   and
dishonoring   the   cause   of   Christ   by   an   unworthy   course   of
conduct, and also saved himself from giving any just occasion
for   the   adversaries   to   speak   reproachfully.   Not   that   it   was
possible for him to escape persecution by  doing this, for they
that live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution; but he
enjoyed the gracious smiles of his Redeemer, and the answer
of a good conscience towards God, and the sweet assurance of
his acceptance in the Beloved, and God was therein glorified.
Timothy was, not only to save himself, but also them that
heard him in his practical course in the ministry. Many, very
many, suppose that the inspired Apostle had reference to the
eternal   salvation   of   sinners,   and   that   he,   and   the   other
Apostles were co­workers with God in this great salvation. As
there   is   no   such   expression   found   in   the   Scriptures   as   co­
workers   with  God,  or  God  &  Company,  working  together  in
the salvation of sinners; all consistent O.S. Baptists, will not
only   reject   the   expression,   but   also   the   sentiment.   The
Scripture that is often referred to as supposed proof on this
point is II Cor.6:1.  “We then  {as}  workers together  {with him,}
beseech {you} also that ye receive not the grace of God in vain.”
The   words   included   in   brackets   were   supplied   by   the
translators,   as   all   supplied   words   are   printed   in  italics,
signifying that they were not in the original language. Hence

to wrest from the true meaning of the Scriptures, and make

an erroneous application of them, is among the Antichristian
practices of the age in which we live. The truth is, that Paul
and the other Apostles, and all the ministers of Christ, were
workers together, or laborers together in the preaching of the
Gospel   of   Christ.   As   Timothy   was   exhorted   to   pursue   the
same course, it will be necessary to observe that he was to
save   himself   as   above   stated,   and   also   to   save   them   that
heard him, which we will illustrate in the following manner.
When Peter preached on the day of Pentecost, God poured out
of His Spirit in a gracious manner, agreeable to the prophecy
of Joel, and thousands were pricked  in the heart, and cried
out,  “men and brethren what shall we do?” It was the Spirit
that   performed   the   work   at   the   time   Peter   was   preaching,
which   caused   the   word   spoken   by   him,   to   have   a   powerful
impression upon their minds. Peter then preached repentance
and remission of sins to them, and testified and exhorted with
many   words,   saying   “save   yourselves   from   this   untoward
generation.” A great number gladly received his word and were
baptized,  and continued steadfastly in the Apostles doctrine
and fellowship,  in breaking  of  bread  and in prayers.  Peter’s
practical course, joined with his preaching and exhortation on
that   occasion,   with   the   circumcised   heart   and   ears   of   the
multitude present, and their voluntary course in receiving the
word and being baptized, saved or delivered them from that
untoward   generation.   God   is   pleased   through   the
foolishness of preaching to save them that believe, not them
which do not believe. This salvation, as we understand it, has
sole   reference   to   the   growth,   development   and   manifest
perfection of the saints in their deliverance from their former
course of folly and wickedness by renouncing the world with
all its vanities, and now pursuing a holy and unblamable life
in the house of God which is the church of the living God, the
pillar and ground of the truth.
When Stephen preached, being full of the Holy Ghost, they
were cut to the heart, and gnashed on him with their teeth,
and run upon him with one accord and stoned him to death.
Their   heart   and   ears   were   uncircumcised,   therefore   it   was

vain to suppose they would hear and be saved. It is only those

who   have   spiritual   hearing,   or   in   other   words   have   a
circumcised   heart   and   ears,   that   are   profited   by   a   faithful
ministry, and are saved by the practical course of those who
minister in word and doctrine.
Many of the dear saints have learned by happy experience
the truth of our text in the privilege of sitting under a sound
and faithful ministry, whose practical course is according to
the Gospel of Christ.
                                     J. L. Purington. – June 15, 1860.
July 15, 1860 ­ REMARKS ON II PETER 1:9.
Covington, GA., July 15, 1860.
Agreeable   to   the   request   of   an   esteemed   friend   of   our
acquaintance, we will give our views of this Scripture, “But he
that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar
off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old
The text is expressive of the condition of a person who has
had   the   eyes   of   his   understanding   enlightened   by   the   Holy
Spirit when called by grace, and his old, or former sins were
purged by the blood of Christ in his deliverance from wrath
and condemnation,  but is now blinded by the corrupting and
contaminating vanities, lusts, and intoxicating doctrines and
practices   of   a   gainsaying   world,   has   become   carnal   and
worldly­minded, is walking after the flesh, and is minding the
things   of   the   flesh,   and   manifests   but   little,   if   any   of   the
excellent   traits   of   character   which   constitutes   a   follower   of
Jesus.  In  the context  the inspired  Apostle  enjoins  upon his
brethren  certain  things, which are called  these things, in the
following manner, “And besides this, {in addition to what he
has before expressed,} giving all diligence, add to your faith,
virtue,   and   to   virtue,   knowledge,   and   to   knowledge,
temperance,   and   to   temperance,   patience,   and   to   patience,

godliness,   and   to   godliness,   brotherly   kindness,   and   to

brotherly kindness, charity. FOR if these things be in you and
abound, they {these things,} make you that ye shall neither be
barren   nor   unfruitful   in   the   knowledge   of   our   Lord   Jesus
Christ.” Then comes the words of the text. But he that lacketh
these things  is  blind.  Yes,  he  who  does  not, in his practical
course,  give  all diligence,  to  add to  his faith, virtue; and  to
virtue, knowledge, &c., is a transgressor of the law of Christ,
which is the law of love; and not only so, but these things do
not  abound  in  him, and  as the  legitimate  result   of  his  own
course, he is barren and unfruitful in the knowledge of our
Lord Jesus Christ, and therefore, these important things are
lacking on his part. This is descriptive of those who walk after
the   flesh,   and   not   after   the   Spirit.   Paul   speaks   against   his
brethren using liberty, or freedom in Christ, for an occasion to
the flesh, but exhorts them by love to serve one another. Also
to  “walk in the  Spirit, and  ye  shall  not  fulfill  the  lust  of  the
flesh.”  How important is this injunction, and yet,  alas, how
much it is overlooked, and apparently forgotten by many who
profess better things. The flesh is indulged, carnal nature is
brought into requisition in the settlement of difficulties often
among   brethren,   the   spirit   of   self­justification,   crimination
and recrimination is persisted in until all hope of an amicable
adjustment of seeming differences are entirely obliterated. It is
very   plain   where   there   is   a   lack   of  these   things  above
mentioned,   in   an   individual,   as   well   as   in   a   number   of
persons   together,   a   settled   blindness   rests   upon   his   mind,
and   perhaps   continues   for   years.   A   hard,   unyielding,
unforgiving   spirit;   with   a   careless   course   of   conduct,   is
manifest.   No   gospel   fruit   is   seen,   and   a   disposition   to   be
continually finding fault with others, and to be justifying his
own   course   is   very   observable.   He  cannot   see   afar   off.   No,
while he has a beam in his own eye, which greatly obscures
his vision, he seems to have wonderful ability to behold motes
in the eyes of others. He is blind, and cannot see afar off, for
he looks at objects in the “inverted mirror” of false reasoning,
and   through   the   “telescope”   of   prejudice.   He,   perhaps,

reasons   falsely   upon   the   doctrine   of   grace,   and   has   a

prejudice against them who preach it and who believe it.
And hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins. A
man cannot forget what he never knew, therefore it is plain, at
least to our understanding, that the character in our text, was
a   child   of   God,   and   as   such,   was   blind,   dim­sighted,   so
forgetful through the wicked imaginations of his own mind, as
to overlook, or forget that he was purged from his old sins. He
may   imbibe   erroneous   sentiments,   and   become   very   much
alienated from the truth as it is in Jesus for a length of time,
until he feels the rod of correction from the chastening hand
of   God.   We   have   known   several   instances   of   persons   who
through a vicious and willful course of conduct, have lost the
confidence   of   their   brethren,   despised   reproof   and
admonition,   injured   their   usefulness,   and   never   were,
properly,   restored   to   the   confidence   of   the   church.   A   sore
punishment will be visited upon them, for the Lord will not
suffer any of His children to go unpunished. They will suffer a
loss, yet they themselves will be saved so as by fire. Truly, it is
a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God, for our
God is a consuming fire.
There are some who do not believe that a person who has
passed   from   death  unto   life,   can   so   egregiously,   get   wrong,
and   do   wrong.   If   not,   we   confess   we   do   not   know   how   to
understand   many   portions   of   Scripture.   For   instance   in
Heb.2:3,  “How   shall   we   escape   if   we   neglect   so   great
salvation?”  This   is  only  applicable   to   the   saints,   and   to   no
others,   and   should   always   so   be   understood.   The   saints
cannot escape sore punishment when they neglect the word of
the Lord, or turn away from Him that speaketh from heaven.
Again   in   Heb.3:7,   it   reads,  “Wherefore,   as   the   Holy   Ghost
saith, today if ye will hear His voice, harden not your hearts.”
This   is  almost,   universally   addressed   to   men   and   women
destitute of grace, by preachers and others, when it has no
such application. It applies only to the Lord’s people, who are
alive from the dead, and have ears to hear. Therefore, now,
while   the   Holy   Ghost   speaketh,   they   should   hear   His   voice
and   follow   Jesus.   Not   harden   their   hearts   against   any

principle   of   doctrine   or   practice   enjoined   upon   them   to

believe, or to follow, simply because the fleshly mind cannot
receive it, or relish it. A large portion of the Israelites failed to
enter   the   land   of   Canaan   through   unbelief,   so   there   is   a
liability   for   the   saints   to   fail   of   the   glorious   Gospel   rest   in
Christ Jesus, through unbelief.  Not fail of eternal salvation,
for that is secured to them in the Lord Jesus, but fail of that
rest which is enjoyed by faith in the oath and promise of God.
Therefore, take warning from what the Holy Ghost saith, and
harden   not   your   hearts   against   the   truth   of   God,   His   word
and promise, as Israel did. Yes, let us, brethren, exhort one
another daily, while it is called today, lest any of us {or you} be
hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. For we, says Paul,
“are made partakers of Christ, IF we hold the beginning of our
confidence steadfast unto the end.”  Here the practical course
of   the   saints   is   clearly   expressed.   And   Paul   further   says,
“While it is said, Today if ye will hear His voice, harden not
your hearts, as in the provocation.”  A moments consideration
will cause every saint to see the application of this subject to
the Lord’s people only. If under the old dispensation, “he that
despised Moses’ law, died without mercy under two or three
witnesses. Of how much sorer punishment  suppose ye, shall
he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of
God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he
was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto
the   Spirit   of   grace?”  Heb.10:28,29.   By   this   we   learn   how
wicked it is, and what a sore punishment will follow, when the
Lord’s people forsake Him, the fountain of living waters, and
hew out to themselves cisterns, {institutions and inventions of
their own,} yea, broken cisterns which can hold no water. The
Lord will judge His people in truth and righteousness.
We have somewhat digressed from the text at the head of
this article, and will now return to it. From the remarks which
we have already expressed upon the text in connection with
other   Scriptures   which   we   have   presented,   and   also   from
what follows, we can have no other view of the subject. For in
the   verse   following,   Peter   says,  “Wherefore   the   rather,

brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure;

for if ye do these things ye shall never fall; for so an entrance
shall be ministered unto  you abundantly  into the  everlasting
kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” Here the way of
obedience in the love, service, and worship of God is pointed
out   with   the   blessings   annexed   thereto   also   promised,   as
contrasted of him who lacketh these things, and is blind, and
cannot   see   afar   off,   and   has   forgotten   that   he   was   purged
from his old sins.                                                        Joseph
L. Purington. – July 15, 1860.
Covington, GA., Sept.1, 1860.
[NOTE:   The   following   extract   regarding   Old   School   Baptists   is
somewhat universal – or, has been. When I was a senior in High School,
the local Banker at Colquitt, Georgia, retired and turned the business over
to his son. The city fathers made the day a “holiday,” and the senior class
was invited to hear his retirement speech from the Miller County court
house steps. I was familiar with the Old School Baptists, my grandmother
and uncle being members there. I also was aware that “Hardshells paid
their ‘just and honest debts.’” During the speech, the retiring Banker told
his son: “There is a religious people in this county ‘whose word is their
bond,’ and they always ‘pay their just and honest debts.’ It has been my
practice to never offend them by putting a note under their nose for them
to sign. If one says to you, “my word is my bond,” ask them what church
the attend and if they are of that people, don’t you dare insult them by not
honoring their word.” I still, now at 81 years of age, recall the feeling of
pride in being kin to such a people, and wanting to turn to other students
around me and tell them of what church he was speaking .”­ SCP].
EXTRACT   from   what   is   written   about   Old   School   Baptists,   in   a
Missionary   Baptist   periodical:   “There   are   some   things   in   the   history   of
those who are called anti­missionary Baptists very objectionable, which we
intend ere long to notice respectfully, but will do them the justice now to
say that in doctrines, their views of baptism, communion, pulpit affiliation,
and such like things, they stand upon a platform which the gates of hell
shall not prevail against. Business men say that they never lose anything
in   money   transactions   with   them.   It   is   proverbial   that   traders   are   not
afraid to trust hard­shell Baptists. Our civil and criminal courts are rarely,

if ever, troubled with them, and our sense of justice inclines us thus to

write independently of all that some men say. Their greatest mistake has
been in stopping too long in Romans, and not going on to the book of
Acts.  The   Bible   should   be   taken   as   a   whole   –   doctrines,   precepts,
invitations,   promises   and   ordinances,   and   blessed   is   that   man   who
appreciates it in its wonderful and glorious harmony.”
REMARKS:   The   above   we   have   taken   from   an   article
written by the senior Editor of the  BANNER AND BAPTIST, a
New School, or Missionary paper published in this State, and
which   was   copied   into   the  Tennessee   Baptist  of   the   26 th   of
May last. When those who are not with us in fellowship, but
are   opposed   to   us,  state   facts  or   the  truth  concerning   the
Primitive or Old School Baptists, we conclude they are worthy
of attention in our favor  as Baptists, but when billingsgate,
abuse   and   misrepresentation   are   heaped   upon   us   by   our
enemies,   we   seldom,   if   ever,   notice   it,   unless   the   cause   of
truth may sometimes demand it. We expect there are things
in   the   history   of   the   Primitive   Baptists   which   are   very
objectionable to the writer of the above extract, yet to do them
justice   he   says,   “that   in  doctrines,  their   views   of   baptism,
communion,   pulpit   affiliation,   and   such   like   things,   they
stand upon a platform which the gates of hell shall not prevail
against.” This is an affirmation which carries our history back
to a period of antiquity, altogether too ancient for to find any
record   and   authority   for   Sunday   Schools,   Bible,   Tract   and
Mission Societies, and like institutions of modern times. If, as
the Scriptures teach and is admitted by this writer, that the
Primitive   Baptist   church   stand   upon   Christ   the   Rock,   or
platform, against which the gates of hell cannot prevail, what
can   there   be   in   their   history   so   very   objectionable?   Their
rejection,   in   modern   times,   of   the   Schools,   Societies   and
Institutions which men have invented for religious purposes,
is   not   a   new   thing   with   them  in   principle,   but   is   a
distinguishing   mark   in   their   history   for   more   than
eighteen centuries past.  Their spiritual education is in the
School of Christ, where Christ is Teacher, and they recognize
no other  society  in religious matters but the  church of God,

which  was  visibly   set   up  and  instituted   by   the   authority   of

Christ and His Apostles eighteen hundred years ago.  [Note: This
is not exactly true. They also recognize associations of churches unknown in the
New   Testament   record.­   SCP]. 
As   the   prophets   went   forth   and
prophesied   as   the  word   of   the   Lord   came   to   them,   and   the
apostles and primitive ministers also went forth as the  Lord
called and sent them to preach His Gospel among all nations;
so also the Lord’s ministers, even now, go forth as the faithful
heralds of the cross; under the direction and authority of the
Great Head of the church, to preach more, travel more, and
endure more privations and hardships than any other class of
men called “preachers” in the United States or in the world.
[Again, while this was true in Elder Purington’s day, it is not true among them any
more. They go only where their associational moderators allow them to go. This
present­day   practice   is   relatively   new;   it   came   out   of   the   division   between   the
SIGNS, or “Spangle faction” and the ZION’S Landmark, or “Adams faction,” both of
which claim themselves to be the true church of God to the exclusion of the other.
In reality,  neither  collection of  associations  is the true church of God. There are
sound   churches   and   godly   and   orderly   brethren   found   among   both   groups’
churches. Christ said: “Upon this rock I will build My church, and the gates of hell
shall not prevail against it,”­ (the church).­ SCP].    Yet this is all ignored,
and set at naught by the modern standard of benevolence and
religious   enterprise.   And   why?   We   answer,   the   Old   School
Baptists   are   altogether   too   PRIMITIVE   for   these   days,   too
ANCIENT for this progressive age. Again, what can there be in
their   history   so   very   objectionable?   Of   course   it   cannot   be
anything   against   their   characters   as   honest,   upright   and
honorable   citizens,   from   the   fact   that   “business   men”   and
“traders”   say   they  never   lose   anything   by   them,  nor   fear   to
trust them. And if the civil and criminal courts are rarely, if
ever, troubled with them, they certainly are not outlaws, nor
aiders of abolition insurrections, nor an immoral people, but
obedient  citizens  to the civil governments  under  which they
live, and try, as much as in them is, to live peaceably with all
 The writer, however, intends ere long to notice respectfully
some things in their history which are very objectionable. Will
he find anything in their history which will conflict with the
statement   he   has   made   of   them   in   the   above   extract?   He
certainly will not eat his own words by any statement counter

to what he has already expressed. Their history is written by

the   finger   of   God   in   the   book   of   His   remembrance   in   the
archives of heaven, never to be effaced, nor obliterated. While
strangers and pilgrims on the earth they are subject to like
passions with others, and are liable at times to do wrong, yet
this does not change the principle in relation to their doctrine,
{not   doctrines}   faith   and   general   character   as   Old   School
and/or   Primitive   Baptists.   He   says,   however,   that   “their
greatest   mistake   has   been   in   stopping   too   long   in  Romans,
and not going on to the book of Acts.” He may have expressed
this in the convictions of his own mind, for we will not impugn
his motives, but it is only a  bugbear  that is raised to convey
the impression that in some way or other, the Old School and
Primitive Baptists do not carry out their principles in practice,
as though we did not take the Bible as a whole in doctrine
and practice.   The  Old  School   and  Primitive  Baptists cannot
endorse the Mission movements, nor any such like things, for
there   is,   not   only   no   authority   for   them   in   Romans,  but
neither   in   the   book   of   Acts,   nor   anywhere   else   in   the
Bible.  Then   we  inquire   of   every   candid   reader   of   the   Bible,
where is the greatest mistake?
                  ­            Joseph L. Purington. – Sept. 1, 1860.
Sept. 15, 1860 – “I will sprinkle clean water upon you.”
Covington, GA., Sept.15, 1860.
“Then   will   I   sprinkle   clean   water   upon   you,   and   ye   shall   be
clean; from all your filthiness and from all your idols, will I cleanse
you.” Ezekiel 36:25.
Being requested to give our views of this Scripture, we will
state   in   the   first   place   that   as   National   Israel,   under   the
National Covenant, was finally rejected of God, yet great were
the blessings and promises of God toward His New Covenant
people,  the  spiritual  Israel  of God, as expressed  in the text,
and in the preceding and subsequent verses. The blessings of
the New Covenant are wholly spiritual, yet figurative language

is often used to express the nature of those blessings, and the

bestowal of them upon the subjects thereof. The people that
are made the recipients of those blessings are called by grace,
as Abraham was called out of Ur of the Chaldees, and as the
heirs   of   promise   are   taken   from   among   the   heathen,   and
gathered out of all countries, and are brought experimentally
into their own land, which is the Gospel church and kingdom,
where Jesus gives His people rest. Then, at that time,  will I
sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean. This is
what the Lord does, and not man. When He sprinkles clean
water upon His people, they are made clean. It is water of life,
the   healing,   cleansing,   purifying   fountain   of   living   waters.
“There is a river, the streams whereof shall make glad the city
of God,” the holy place of the tabernacles of the Most High. To
sprinkle,   in   our   text,   is   to   wash,   to   cleanse,   to   purify.   The
declaration   is   unconditional;   the   Lord   says,   “I   will  sprinkle
clean water,”  &c. Here is no sprinkling of infants, or adults,
by the priest, or clergyman. No outward application of literal
water, nor meats, nor drinks, nor divers washings and carnal
ordinances,   can   purify   the   conscience   from   dead   works   to
serve the living  God. O no! The sprinkling  of clean water is
synonymous in meaning  with  the  sprinkling   of the blood  of
Christ. As the application of clean water, literally, will cleanse
the   body,   and   as   under   the   old   dispensation,   the   blood   of
bulls, and of goats, and the ashes of an red heifer sprinkling
the   unclean   sanctifieth   to   the   purifying   of   the   flesh;  “How
much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal
Spirit   offered   Himself   without   spot   to   God,   purge   your
conscience from dead works to serve the living God.” The use of
much soap and nitre, never can do this!. The works of men,
and the creature avail nothing to cleanse sinners from their
vileness and depravity. Truly, “the whole head is sick, and the
whole heart faint; from the sole of the foot, even unto the head,
there   is   no   soundness   in   it;   but   wounds   and   bruises   and
putrefying sores; they have not been closed, neither bound up,
neither   mollified   with   ointment.”  But   the   Lord   hath   said,
“though   your   sins   be   as   scarlet,   they   shall   be   as   white   as

snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.”

Isa.1:18.   When   the   work   of   cleansing   is   performed   by   the
sprinkling of clean water, or with the washing of water by the
word, or in other words, by the blood of Christ, the justified
sinner   now   saved,   experimentally,   can  praise   the  Lord,   and
say,  “not unto me, but unto thy name, O Lord, belongs all the
glory.” This sprinkling of clean water, or the blood of Christ, is
upon the sinner, or in other words, the sinner is the subject of
it, and enjoys the blessedness which arises from it.
From   all   your   filthiness   and   from   all   your   idols,   will   I
cleanse you.  Not only in their first experience of the work of
grace  in  their  deliverance   from  wrath  and  condemnation,  is
the sprinkling of clean water, or the cleansing blood of Christ
applied by the Holy Spirit, but in their after experience they
learn much of their need of this cleansing from their filthiness
and from their idols. Their language often is like one of old,
“Cleanse Thou me from secret faults.” Again, “Create in me a
clean heart, and renew a right spirit within me.” The old man,
or sinful nature of the saints, is opposed to the holy, heavenly
and   spiritual   life   which   is   imparted   to   them,   and   of   which
they   are   born   again.   Though   they   have   experienced   the
washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost, yet
the   flesh   is   full   of   filthiness,   and   in   love   with   forbidden
objects.   But   the   spiritual,   or   new   man   never   sins,   is   never
contaminated with the filthiness of the flesh, nor in love with
any   of   its   idols.   But   in   the   practical   walk,   and   course   of
conduct   pursued,   sometimes,   by   the   saints,   much   learning
and purification is necessary. The Lord Jesus sits as a refiner
and purifier of silver; and He shall purify the sons of Levi, and
purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the
Lord an offering in righteousness. This work is going on, and
will continue until the last vessel of mercy is experimentally
called,   justified,   and   glorified.   The   Lord   Jesus   is   like   a
refiner’s fire, and like fullers’ soap to purify and cleanse them
from   all   their   filthiness   and   idols.   Therefore   the   work   of
purification and cleansing is in safe hands, under the control
and government of Zion’s King. Blessed is the people, who can
now in the present  tense, abide the day of His coming, and

can stand His appearance. Those who can abide His coming,

and stand His appearance in the Gospel church and kingdom
now on earth, are the people whose offering is pleasant unto
the Lord, as in the days of old, and as in former years. They
are the people who know the joyful sound, and who walk in
the   light   of   God’s   countenance.   He   has   given   them   a   new
heart, and has put a new spirit within them, and has taken
away   the   stony   heart   out   of   their   flesh,   and   given   them   a
heart of flesh, or an obedient heart to do His will. He has put
His Spirit within them, and has caused them to walk in His
statutes, and to keep His judgments, and to do what He has
commanded them. They dwell safely in the heavenly land, into
which they have entered by faith, and God is  their  God, and
they   are   His   people.   This   is   the   people   described   by   the
prophet   Zephaniah,   “The   remnant   of   Israel   shall   not   do
iniquity,   nor   speak   lies,   neither   shall   a   deceitful   tongue   be
found  in their mouth, for they shall  feed, and  lie  down, and
none shall make them afraid.”­               Joseph L. Purington. –
Sept. 15, 1860.
Dec. 1, 1860 ­ A FAREWELL ADDRESS.
Covington, GA., Dec.1, 1860.
This   is,   probably,   the   last   article   we   shall   write   for   the
SOUTHERN BAPTIST MESSENGER.  It is only two years since
we became one of the Editors of the paper. We have had no
financial interest in the publication of the  Messenger, but as
we   feel   a   deep   interest   in   its   publication,   and   circulation
among the Primitive, or Old School Baptists in the Southern
States,   as   a   medium   of   Correspondence,   we   were   willing,
agreeably to the desire of many brethren, to enlist our feeble
services   in   communicating   to   its   columns   in   behalf   of   the
cause of God and truth. We have simply to remark that we
have   done   the   best   we   could   under   the   circumstances   in
which we have been placed. We have written what we believe
to be the truth of the Bible, and as such we have a conscience
void of offence toward God and men that we have done our
duty.   We   have   no   reflections   to   cast   upon   those   who   differ

with us in sentiment, and as to those who have charged us of

holding to sentiments we never believed, nor have at any time
preached, we have only to remark that we hope, if it is God’s
will, to open their eyes to see the folly of their ways, and cause
them to repent of their sins, and to have mercy upon them for
Jesus’   sake.   And   as   a   large   number   of   our   readers,   have
shown a commendable approval of our feeble services in the
behalf   of   the   cause   of   Christ,   they   have   our   esteem   and
affectionate   regard.   But   owing   to   circumstances   over   which
we have no control,  the MESSENGER will be discontinued
with this number of our paper. And our services also as an
assistant   editor   with   our   brother   (William)   Beebe,   will   stop
from this date. And as we are now satisfied that our feeble
services as a writer can be at present of no further use, we
therefore are disposed to relinquish our post as an editor, as
cheerfully as we first occupied it. But before we entirely close
our remarks we will submit a few considerations.
A   political   earthquake   is   now   shaking   the   Republic   that
once   was,   from   the   center   of   the   circumference,   and   is
rending it to pieces .[He refers to the coming Civil War promoted by religious
zelots in the North and northwestern states­ SCP.]  Our domestic, religious,
and political rights are seriously endangered. As we foresaw
many years ago the overthrow of this Republic by priestcraft,
and fanatical intolerance, the truth of it is now being realized.
Priest­craft and fanaticism in the shape of abolitionism  and
mis­called republicanism, are doing the deed. As the result of
the   hellish   and   heartless   course   of   the   minions   of
Antichristian   usurpation,   and   domination,   when   resisted
manfully   in   the   defense   of   the   religious,   political,   and
domestic rights of men, the country will, probably, be plunged
into war. We sincerely hope otherwise if it is the Lord’s will.
The   murderous   spirit   of   intolerance,   which   has   always
governed   the   devotees   of   priestcraft   and   fanaticism   is   not
easily   curbed.   It   will   give   vent   to   its   fury   whenever   an
opportunity presents itself. The past time with the present, in
our own country, is a practical illustration of its growth and
development. And the end is not yet. The relation of masters
and   servants,   an   institution   which   has   existed   from   time

almost immemorial, and by the authority and appointment of

God Himself, is seized upon by the minions of Antichrist, as
an  entering wedge  for the overthrow of the best government
the   world   ever   saw.   In   this   way   the   domestic   rights   of   a
portion of what was once the Republic of the United States, is
being impaired. On the same principle our religious rights are
being impaired. For the same spirit of bigotry, and intolerance
which will dictate relative to domestic rights of a people, will
arrogantly assume the prerogative to judge how people shall
worship   God,   and   will   exercise   that   prerogative   when   an
opportunity   presents   itself.   Therefore   when   the   domestic
rights of a people are taken away by legislative enactment in
the hands of a cruel and dominant party who may have the
control of a Government, the religious, and political rights of a
people, are also seriously impaired. Such is the state of our
country at the present time, as we understand it.
As to the mode and manner of redress in the order of God’s
Providence, it is not our duty and privilege to decide. We are
not a political man, though we have our political views. As a
citizen we insist upon our rights, we demand them. We would
defend our own homes and firesides in a legal way so far as
we had ability. We would resist tyranny, and oppression as
our inalienable right. But as a religionist, we profess to belong
to   a   kingdom   which   is   not   of   this   world,   and   which   is   a
kingdom   of   peace.   No   hostile   armies   there,   no   marshaled
hosts   for   the   battle   in   the   sense   we   speak   relative   to   the
kingdoms and governments of the earth. The warfare of the
saints is not conducted in a carnal way, for says Paul,  “the
weapons   of   our   warfare   are   not   carnal,   but   mighty   through
God, to the pulling down of strongholds &c.” The saints wrestle
not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against
powers,   against   the   rulers   of   the   darkness   of   this   world,
against spiritual wickedness in high places.
In the church, and among the people of God there are no
geographical   lines,   nor   boundaries.   They   are  one   people,
North,   South,   East   and   West;   in   fact   the   points   of   the
compass do not point out our location in any other section,
latitude, or longitude to the exclusion of others. They are one

in   Christ   Jesus,   and   they   love   one   another   as   brethren,

whatever   earthly   distinctions   may   exist   among   them.   The
doctrine   of   God’s   eternal,   electing   love   in   the   salvation   of
sinners remain as permanent as the everlasting throne of the
eternal I  AM.  And  though  the nations  and kingdoms  of  the
earth may crumble to dust, and mighty empires fail, and the
crashing,   smashing,   and   rending   to   pieces   of   this   Republic
continue until it is entirely gone, yet Zion is safe, for God is in
the midst of her, she shall not be moved, He will help her, and
that right early. Let  the saints therefore  rejoice,  and not  be
alarmed, nor appalled, for the Lord God Omnipotent reigneth.
J.L. Purington. – Dec. 1, 1860.
[This is Elder Purington’s first letter after the War Years. I
was   surprised   that   one   from   Maine   would   accumulate   as
many slaves as he possessed before and during the war. Let’s
face it, he was a “Yankee” in Covington, Georgia. This letter is
a good contribution to events and culture of the South from a
Yankee, turned Southerner. His Southern neighbor turned the
Union officer to him for spoils to feed the Union invaders! Also
note, the Old School Baptists was the only religious affiliation
that   did   not   divide   North   and   South   before   and   during   the
War for Southern Independence.­ SCP]
Dec. 20, 1866 ­ THE WAR &c.
Covington, GA., Dec.20, 1866.
DEAR BROTHER   BEEBE:  ­  Once  more,  after  a period   of
nearly five years, I take my pen in hand to write you a few
lines.   I   have   long   contemplated   doing   so,   but   the   unsettled
state of our national affairs with various considerations, has
kept me from my purpose. My long silence, I presume, is not
construed   into   an   indifference   or   lack   of   interest   in   the
Primitive or Old School Baptist cause which I still believe to
be the cause of God and truth. Neither can I believe that you
think I have forgotten you and your family. I often thought of

you   and   the   brethren   and   sisters   in   the   North   during   the

years of blood and carnage which have passed. I contemplate
with satisfaction the acts of kindness shown by you and the
Northern   brethren   towards   Southern   brethren   and   friends
incarcerated   in   Northern   prisons.   Such   acts   of   kindness
would have been reciprocated, but no means nor opportunity
presented, from the fact that no Old School Baptist was ever
found,   to   my   knowledge,   in   Southern   prisons.   This   is
significant of the fact that the O.S. Baptists at the North were
not   engaged   in   this   unholy   war,   further   that   they   were
compelled by the law of the land. I would write something for
publication   in   the   SIGNS   OF   THE   TIMES,   but   it   seems   I
cannot   express   my   thoughts,   feelings   and   views   in   a
justifiable   manner   for   publication.   I   will,   therefore,   content
myself by writing simply for your own perusal. I wish to renew
my subscription to the SIGNS, but there is yet no postmaster
at   Covington,   and   I   do   not   wish   to   risk   the   money   until   a
letter can be regularly mailed at Covington.
I  frequently  see  your  son,  brother  Wm.  L.  Beebe,   who  is
now   editor   of   a   paper   at   Covington,   called   the  GEORGIA
ENTERPRISE, and published by James Delaney and James W.
Anderson. I presume you are aware of this fact. The paper is
having considerable encouragement. Your son and family are
in reasonable health after his severe affliction in the death of
his only son. He was ordained to the work of the ministry by a
regular presbytery at  Holly Spring church, where he and I
are members,  on Friday the 22 nd   day of September last. The
presbytery   were   Elders   D.W.   Patman,   I.   Hamby,   Wm.   D.
Almand   and   myself.   The   same   day   two   brethren   were
ordained   deacons   of   the   church.   The   season   was   one   of
peculiar  interest.   The   brethren   who   were  ordained   deacons,
were officers in the Confederate army, came home during the
war on furlough, related their experiences to the church, were
received and baptized by me. One of them, brother Grant D.
Heard,   you   may   recollect.   He   was   a   prisoner   at   Johnson’s
Island, Lake Erie, and sent to you for help and you sent him
money   and   the   SIGNS   OF   THE   TIMES.   He   was   soon   after
exchanged and came home.

Perhaps you would like to know how I fared during the war

and since. I have reason to thank God for His goodness to me
and  my family. I  continued  to  supply  churches   and  attend,
what   is   called   among   Primitive   Baptists,   General   or   Union
meetings and Associations until the summer of 1864. During
that   summer   the   close   proximity   of   the   Confederate   and
Federal armies, the booming of the artillery, the rapid flight of
refugees   indicated   the   near   approach   of   danger.   I   was   at   a
General meeting in Gwinnett County, when the armies were
about Kennesaw mountain. Your son and myself attended a
General   meeting   in   Henry   County,   twenty­two   miles   from
Atlanta during the siege, and in less than one week before he
was captured at Conyers, GA. I had often prayed, I hope in
sincerity, that I might fall into the hands of God rather than
into the hands of men, for I knew God was merciful and man
was not, especially a vindictive foe. My prayer was answered.
It was revealed to me, unworthy as I am, that I should not be
harmed. The raiders in July were all around me, and I saw
some of them in the distance, but none came to my house or
were   on   the   plantation,   or   did   me   or   my   family   any   harm.
None   of   the   Federal   troops   came   to   my   house   until   after
hostilities had ceased, and came then only as they were sent
by one of my neighbors. They did no harm, only took some
provisions, and were a civil crowd. Some of them advised my
servants, who were true as steel, to stay with me and obey me
and   their   mistress.   When   Sherman’s   army   passed   through
this section in two bodies in November, 1864, I saw the light
of   their   camp   fires   north   and   south   of   me,   but   I   was   in   a
narrow space between them. At that time my little son was
dangerously   sick,   so   that   my   wife   and   I   despaired   of   his
recovery. We watched him day and night, and it pleased God
to restore him to health. I was taken sick in December and
confined   to  my   house   four   weeks.   I   was  also   very   sick   last
summer of a violent attack of bilious fever. My wife also has
been sick, but at this time we are all well excepting measles
among the servants.
I   have   seen   the   goodness   of   the   Lord   in   the   land   of   the
living, and I desire to adore and praise Him. During the war,

with   the   exception   of   a   few   weeks,   I   ceased   not   to   preach

Christ, and baptized several of the Lord’s children and quite a
number since the war closed. I baptized seven white persons
very   recently.   Several   churches   through   this   section   are
enjoying   a   refreshing   from   the   presence   of   the   Lord   with
considerable additions by baptism. The work continues with
such union, peace and harmony in the churches and among
the ministering brethren. This serves rather as an antidote for
the   terrible   scenes   of   trial   and   distress   the   brethren   and
sisters here have been subjected to, and serves to strengthen
their minds and fortify them against the sad and deplorable
state of things existing in our public affairs.
During   several   months   of   the   summer   and   autumn   of
1864,   when   we   were   in   constant   alarm   by   the   predatory
excursions of a relentless foe, and by the thievish propensities
of those who claimed to be friends, I had no idea of leaving
home   with   the   expectation   of   getting   to   any   better   place   of
safety.   I   saw   from   my   own   house   the   smoke   of   burning
buildings   set   on   fire   by   fiends   in   human   shape.   I   was   not
frightened,   though  I  knew  not  but  my  own  buildings  would
soon be in flames by the same incendiaries. I felt remarkably
calm and composed  most of the time, and preached once a
month, excepting  when I was sick, for the church near me,
testifying salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ. But those
days have passed away with the smoke and din of war, yet the
baneful consequences are still painfully felt.
  All is in confusion here to almost every imaginable form
and shape. No law, nor order regulating society further than
the military edicts of army officers. The State is not allowed to
be represented in the National Congress, and the people are
kept in painful uncertainty as to their future prospects and
arrangements.   This,   however,   is   only   the   condition   which
necessarily   follows   subjugation.   The   conquered   have   to
submit   to   the   conquerors   in   all   cases.   The   will   of   an
irresponsible   majority   in   Congress,   or   elsewhere,   is   as
despotic  as the Czar of Russia, or the Emperor of Morocco.
Nothing   better   can   be   expected.   We   must   submit   to   our
destiny.   I   counted   the   cost   a   long   time   ago,   and   am   not

disappointed.   I   am   still   buoyant   in   my   expectations,   and

hopeful   in   my   anticipations.   I   am   no   rebel,   nor   traitor,   but
can look any man in the face and solemnly affirm before God
and man that I have ever been loyal to the government under
which I lived. I consider it my duty to God rather than man in
all cases, even when the laws of man come in conflict with the
laws of God.
There has been no particular trouble worth mentioning in
this section of country from the black population. My servants
still remain with me, though I hope to get rid of them before
long. The expense of their support exceeds the income. Out of
twenty­nine   of   them,   only   eleven   more   than   pay   for   their
victuals,   clothes,   medical   attendance,   &c.   I   was   formerly
under   obligation   to   support   them,   now   I   am   free   from   that
obligation. I am sorry for them, only I hope while they have
their freedom I shall not lose my own. I know of no trouble of
importance among the black members in any of the churches
of our faith and order in this country. The political change in
their condition does not seem to throw them from their proper
orbit, or produce insubordination. I only know of two cases of
insubordination,   one   of   them   in   the   church   where   I   am   a
member, both of which resulted in their exclusion. The black
members continue dutiful and obedient to the law of Christ. I
have lost altogether by the war about fifteen thousand dollars
– a mere trifle for a rich man. I still have enough left  for  a
comfortable support to myself and white family, in case what I
have   should   not   be   taken   from   me   by   confiscation   or   by
onerous taxes.
As I have not seen the SIGNS OF THE TIMES since last
June, until within a few days, I know not whether you have
published   an   obituary   of   my   father’s   {Hezekiah   Purington}
death. He received two letters from me last winter by flag of
truce, and also one I sent him the 5 th  of June last. He replied
the 25 th   of the same month in ordinary health, and died the
next Saturday, July 1 st . He remarked at the close of the letter,
“I hope to see you once more before I die, and hear you preach
Christ   and   Him   crucified.”   There   was  more  than  four   years
that I received no letter, nor particular information from him.

He has gone to rest, I trust, free from the troubles and turmoil

of this life. He will never return to me, but I must go to him. I
miss the privilege I formerly enjoyed of writing to him and of
hearing   from   him.   His   letters   were   always   comforting   and
cheering to my mind. He always had a firm trust in the God of
Providence and grace. I parted with him last in August, 1859.
I have heard him say he experienced a hope in the mercy of
God when he was fifteen years old, about the year 1801. He
joined   the   Predestinarian   or   Old   School   Baptist   church   at
Bowdoinham, Maine, in 1809, where he remained a member
until his death. He was one of the deacons of the church as
far   back   as   I   can   remember.   For   firmness,   integrity,   and
honesty of principle he was not excelled. He died in peace, an
old man and full of years, and I revere his memory.
The   last   meeting   of   Yellow   River   Primitive   Baptist
Association   at   Harris   Spring,   in   this   County,   in   September
last,   was  one   of   special   interest.   Twelve   months   before,   the
country was being laid waste by the ravages of war, but the
scene had changed and the brethren met in peace. Some dear
brethren and sisters who had lost nearly their all, assembled
and   worshipped   God.   The   congregations   were   very   large,
orderly and attentive. The preaching was sound in doctrine,
and I  think profitable  to the lovers  of truth. I preached  the
introductory sermon from Eph.4:15, “But speaking the truth in
love, may grow up into Him in all things, which is the Head,
even   Christ.”  I   trust   the   Lord   was   with   us.   The   meeting   of
Oconee   Association   was   equally   as   interesting   with   a   full
attendance.   We   sat   together   in   heavenly   places   in   Christ
Jesus, and His fruit was sweet to our taste. His banner over
us was love. The brethren and sisters in general, so far as I
know, express the utmost cordiality of sentiment and esteem
towards the brethren at the North. I hope it may continue. I
trust   the   troubles   through   which   we   have   passed   and   are
passing will bind the brethren, North and South, together in
stronger   bonds,   if   possible,   of   endearment   than   formerly.   I
expect   there   are   political   differences   existing,   but   those
differences   will   not   be   introduced,   I   hope,   as   a   barrier   of
Christian  love  and  fellowship,  unless   the  differences  involve

some fundamental principle of Scriptural faith and practice.

The spirit that opposeth and exalteth itself above all that is
called God, or that is worshipped, has abolitionized the United
States government and opened the way for the introduction of
the  man of sin, that wicked; in all his ramifying powers, and
so   controls   the   civil   government   of   the   land   as   to   establish
principles by law in open opposition to the cause of God and
truth.   The   mystery   of   iniquity   is   working   with   all
deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish. There
was given to the first beast a mouth speaking great things and
blasphemies, and power or permission also was given him of
God to continue forty and two months, which, I presume, is
twelve hundred and sixty years. And it was given him to make
war   with   the   saints   and   to   overcome   them,   and  power   was
given him over all kindreds, tongues and nations. This power,
unquestionably, was exercised under the Papal establishment
of Rome. But it is said of the second beast that he exerciseth
all  the power of the first beast before him, and if so, he has
power to make war with the saints and to overcome them, and
to   have   dominion   over   kindreds,   and   tongues   and   nations.
This power, as I understand it, is now exercised by those who
rule   and   have   dominion.   When   the   wicked   bear   rule   the
people mourn. During these times of trouble, some of them of
understanding shall fail to try them, to purge, and to make
them white, even to the time of the end of these tribulations;
because it is yet for a time appointed. And the man of sin shall
exalt and magnify himself above every  god, and shall speak
marvelous things against the God of gods, and  shall prosper
till   the   indignation   be   accomplished;   for   that   that   is
determined   shall  be   done.   But   God   has   universal   dominion
over all.  “God hath made all things for Himself; yea, even the
wicked   for   the   day   of   evil.”  The   wicked   receive   their   good
things in this life, and the righteous their evil things; but at
death their conditions will be revealed. The faith and patience
of   the   saints   is   tried   to   the   utmost   extent   during   these
tribulations when they see the wicked prosper, and with an
iron   hand,   so   to   speak,   persecute   and   oppress   the   church.
And   to   see   some   in   whom   confidence   was   reposed   as

brethren, fall or turn aside from Zion’s way and walk no more

therein, is calculated to try the saints and cause them to trust
only   in   God.   But   they   that   are   kept   by   the   power   of   God
through   faith   unto   salvation,   and   are   truly   wise   and
righteous, shine as the brightness of the firmament, and they
that   turn   many   to   righteousness   as   the   stars   for   ever   and
I have penned some of my thoughts and reflections which
arise before my mind from the position I occupy in my views
and cogitations.  With the  exception  of  a  few  months  I  have
had as much liberty in preaching for the last five years as I
ever had. Of late I have had the opportunity of witnessing the
fruit of my labors in baptizing some of the sheep and lambs of
Christ’s   flock.   I   have   a   great   desire   to   journey   North   once
more   and   visit   the   brethren,   sisters   and   friends,   but   the
probability   at   present   is   very   small   of   doing   so.   If   the   way
should open next spring for me to go I shall improve it. I am
very well reconciled to my lot, and, having food and raiment, I
desire   to   be   content.   It   is   difficult   describing   the   state   of
things here, and no one can correctly form an idea, only by
experience and observation. I wish to be kindly remembered
to sister  Beebe,  your dear family, and all the dear brethren
and   sisters   in   general,   and   accept   an   expression   of   kind
regard yourself.
Your affectionate brother in Christ,
Joseph L. Purington. – Dec. 20, 1866.
March 3, 1867 ­ THE FORTY­FIFTH PSALM.
Covington, GA., March 3, 1867.
LETTER   #1.  DEAR   BROTHER   SULLIVAN:   ­   Yours   of
Dec.25, 1866, was received in due time, requesting my views
on   Psa.45:13,   with   some   remarks   on   the   entire   psalm.   My
mind,   time   and   circumstances   have   hindered   me   from
complying   with   your   request.   I   thought   immediately   on   the
reception of your letter that I would reply in a short note; but

failed to do so. I have not treated you as I ought, or as I would

like to have a person treat me. My mind has been so closely
absorbed   with   cares,   time   has   flown   apace;   and
circumstances have kept me constantly on the move. I hope
you   will   excuse   my   seeming   neglect,   though   I   have   not
intended any harm.
I remember with pleasure our acquaintance at the Licking
Association, and the agreeable season I had with the brethren
and   sisters   and   friends   in   Kentucky.   I   wish   I   could   enjoy
another   such   opportunity;   but   at   present   it   does   not   seem
As to my views on the psalm, and especially on the verse
you mention, it seems I am wholly incapable of writing on a
subject  so glorious and sublime, and fraught with so much
instruction   and   comfort   to   the   saints.   The   heart   of   man   is
incapable of inditing good matter, for it {the heart of man,} is
fully   set   in   him   to   do   evil.   This   is   too   apparent   to   be
controverted by any person of a sound mind. God has given to
His   people   a   new  heart  and   a   new   spirit.   On  this   principle
they love Him with all the heart, &c. In a collective sense the
people of God are His church, the body of Christ. There is one
body   and   one   spirit,   one   hope   and   one   salvation.   They   are
united to Christ in this indissoluble union. Being in the spirit
the church can say, “My heart is inditing a good matter.” What
is it? I speak of the things which I have made touching {or
concerning}   the   King.   Not   anything   I   have   produced   by   my
native energy and power, but that which is produced by the
spiritual working of a spiritual mind, or the heart or spirit of
Christ.  The   good  matter,   or  the   things   which   my  heart   has
produced,   or   upon   which   I   speak,   are   of   God;   they   are
concerning   the   King;   they   come   from   that   source   alone.
Everything   else   is   of   the   earth   and   originated   in   the   deep
recesses of a depraved imagination, the depth of darkness and
death. “My tongue” the pen of a ready writer. With the heart
man   believeth   unto   righteousness,   and   with   the   mouth   {or
tongue} confession is made unto salvation. The words  tongue
and  mouth  are used synonymously when used in relation to
speaking. The mouth can be speaking only by the use of the

tongue. When the heart is full of good matter flowing forth,

the  tongue   speaks   like   the  pen   of   a   ready   writer;  it  speaks
easily   and   freely.   At   one   time   the   Psalmist   was   dumb   with
silence while the wicked were before him; yet says, “My heart
was hot within me; while I was musing the fire burned; then
spake I with my tongue.” God’s ministers speak often under
similar   circumstances.   Their   heart   is   full   of   good   matter
concerning the King, His doctrine, laws and ordinances; they
speak   because   they   cannot   withhold   from   speaking.   Many
individuals, but one heart; and their heart often burn within
them like the two who went on their  way to Emmaus. Well
may the church speak of her  adorable Redeemer, “Thou art
fairer than the children of men.”  In His mediatorial character
He   stands   upon   the   earth,   yet   like   the   ladder   which   Jacob
saw   in   his   vision   reaches   to   heaven.   He   came   down   from
heaven and has gone back there; yet sustains the relation of
Mediator between God and His people. In His manhood as the
Mediator, He is fairer, more glorious, more exalted than the
children of men. I speak of His manhood alone in relation to
His   Mediatorial   character   as   the   Son   of   God,   the   Covenant
Head of the church, and not to His assumption of a fleshly
body when born of the virgin Mary. As Mediator, the angels of
God   ascend   and   descend   upon   Him.   God   talks   with   His
church, or communicates with her through Jesus Christ, as
God   talked   with   Jacob   in   a   night   vision   on   the   desert   of
Mesopotamia. By faith the saints ascend the way of God by a
living Mediator. They behold the glory of God shining in the
face   of   Jesus   Christ,   and   for   a   time   forget   their   own
infirmities, unworthiness, vileness, and such like, through a
faith’s view of Him who is fairer than the children of men can
ever be by any of the manufactured ornaments or decorations
of time.
This   fascinating   enchanting   view   of   Christ   absorbs   all
other contemplation with the church. She can say, “Grace is
poured into thy lips.” Our God has done it, for grace is given to
the   church   in   Christ.   Her   standing   is   in   Him.   Jesus   spake
words of peace and comfort to His needy followers, because
God hath poured grace into His lips. He says,  “Let not your

heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”  I have the keys of

hell   and   death.   Satan  and   his   infernal   hosts   are   under   my
control.   Kingdoms   and   governments   are   subordinate   to   Me.
All   power   in   heaven   and   earth   is   given   into   My   hands;
therefore fear not. The sweet words, thy sins are forgiven thee,
peace be unto you, comes from His lips with comforting force.
In view of the refulgent glory of the adorable Mediator, and the
glory revealed to the church in Him, she can say,  “Therefore
God hath blessed thee forever.” God has anointed Christ with
power and glory as King in Zion, as Head over all things to the
church,   which   is   His   body  &c.  He   loves   His   church   as   He
loves His Son who died to redeem her. Though Christ is the
embodiment   of   all   spiritual   blessings,   those   blessings   flow
cross­handed to the saints as the path they travel is a cross­
bearing   and   a   self­denying   way   through   this   vale   of   tears.
Jacob   blessed   Ephraim   the   youngest   son   of   Joseph   by
crossing his hands so as to lay his right hand on Ephraim’s
head   and   his   left   on   Manassah’s   head,   the   eldest   son.   The
church receives the blessing of the first­born cross­handed, as
Christ is the first­born among many brethren.
The church viewing  the dignified  character  of the Son of
God, His exalted position as Prophet, Priest and King, and His
majestic   power   and   universal   dominion,   can   say   with
enraptured   delight,  “Gird  thy  sword   upon  thy thigh,  O  most
Mighty,   with   Thy   glory   and   Thy   majesty.”  Principalities,
dominions, powers, worlds, visible and invisible, thrones and
governments   are   subject   to   Him.   He   sets   over   governments
and kingdoms the basest of men to execute His purpose and
to accomplish His will. The church rejoices in His government
and desires to see His glory and power manifested among the
nations. The church acknowledges Him only as her Sovereign
 Our God will avenge His people. He has set His Son upon
His holy hill of Zion, and He is established as King. The decree
has gone forth, the Lord hath said to His Son,  “Thou art My
son, this day have I begotten Thee.” God hath sent Him forth
in   His   glory   and   majesty;   and   in   His   majesty   He   rides
prosperously   because   of   truth,   and   meekness,   and

righteousness,  &c. The language of the psalm, from the third

to   the   seventh   verse   inclusive,   is   directly   applicable   to   the
Lord Jesus Christ in His Mediatorial Headship. Paul, in His
letter to the Hebrew brethren {Heb.1:8,9,} quotes a portion of
this   psalm,   showing   very   clearly   that   Christ   Jesus   in   His
Mediatorial character has a kingdom, and in that kingdom is
addressed   by   His   Father   as   follows:  “Thy   throne   O   God   is
forever and   ever.”  Here   he  unmistakably   affirms  the  dignity
and power  of  His  Sonship.  At  least  I   so  understand   it.  The
subject is so copious, so wonderfully glorious I am altogether
incapable of writing upon it. The act of affirming the dignity of
the Sonship of Christ by the church, in no way detracts from
the absolute Godhead. God is the Father of our Lord Jesus
Christ,   and   He   is   our   God   and   our   Father.   Christ’s
humiliation under the law with all that He suffered, &c., does
not in the least impair His character as the Son of God, and
as one with the Father. When all things are put under Him as
the Son of God, He also will be subject to the Father that God
may   be   all   in   all.   The   eight   and   ninth   verses   express   in   a
metaphorical sense the excellency  of the character of Christ
and   the   beautiful   manner   in   which   He   appears   as   King   in
Zion. His garments smell of myrth, aloes and cassia out of the
ivory   palaces.   Honorable   women   attend   Him,   called   King’s
daughters; referring no doubt to the daughters of Zion, or in
other words, to the children of God. Perhaps the queen at His
right hand in gold of Ophir has reference to the church in a
collective   sense   as   she   appears   in   the   kingdom   of   Christ,
justified  by His blood and righteousness. The declaration of
the King in the tenth verse unquestionably is to the church in
Gentile   lands,   directing   her   attention   to   Him,   and   that   she
should forget her own people and her father’s house. Here is
the experience of the saints, who forsake all for Christ. The
beauty  of  the  church is  something  invisible,  not  tangible  to
the natural senses.
I can write no more on the subject now, yet I
have not reached the thirteenth verse. As we know
nothing of spiritual things only as they are revealed

from heaven by our God, we are in His hands as

clay in the hands of the potter. If the potter has
fashioned us as vessels of mercy prepared unto
glory, it is a happy consideration indeed. If it should
be in my power to write anything further upon the
subject, I will cheerfully do so. Preaching and
writing on spiritual subjects is pleasant when the
Spirit of truth is seen and felt. Otherwise it is a task
which the flesh cannot bear. Please reply to this if
you feel like doing so. Sincerely your friend and
Joseph L. Purington. – March 3, 1867.
Covington, GA., March 15, 1867.
a few days since my first letter, giving some of my views on
the   forty­fifth   Psalm.   The   subject   is   too   great   for   finite
creatures to comprehend; neither can they by dint of study.
By revelation alone such profound truth can be understood
and appreciated. The surpassing dignity and glory of Christ’s
kingdom exceeds the highest attainment of man’s wisdom. I
would expatiate at large upon the subject  but have not  the
ability.   In   the   tenth   verse,  “Hearken,   O   daughter,”   &c.,  the
speaker is the Lord of Hosts, the God of the whole earth. She
is the King’s daughter spoken of in the thirteenth verse. This
daughter   is   not   of   the   earth   in   her   origin,   birth   and
manifestation. The daughters of earthly kings and monarchs,
though considered of royal blood, are despicable, and possess
all the elements of depravity in common with the degenerate
race   of   Adam.   The   highest   elevation   of   a   king’s   daughter
among men clothed with power and authority, and adorned
with ornaments and decorated with the most refined style of
beauteous clothing ever invented, dwindles into insignificance
before the daughter of our exalted King. The Gospel church
among the Gentiles in all lands is this daughter. She is born
of   God   and   sustains   a   spiritual   relation   to   Him,   and   her

standing   is   in   the   Lord   Jesus   Christ;   Jerusalem   which   is

above, and which answers to the new covenant, is her mother.
In   this   relation   we   find   that   it  “is   not   of   blood,”   {earthly
relation,} “nor of the will of man, nor of the will of the flesh, but
of   God.”  It   is   not   by   the   natural   organs   of   sense   that   this
daughter   hearkens  to  the  voice   of  her   heavenly   Father,   but
with   an   ear   which   she   possesses   of   a   spiritual   character.
Jesus   is   an   eye   to   the   blind   and   an   ear   to   the   deaf.   A
circumcised heart and ear which those possess who are born
of   God.   Those   who   are   manifest   as   the   King’s   daughter,   in
their fleshly relation to this world were children of wrath even
as others; hence they are called upon to hearken, consider,
incline the ear. Why? Because, you are my daughter and I am
your Father, Creator and Savior. Forget your own people and
your father’s house. You are not of the world, even as I am not
of the world. Turn away from the vanities of this evil world, its
charms, its allurements, its follies, its wickedness. Your own
righteousness is as fifthly rags, your own beauty is deformity,
your own worthiness is of no value whatever. In your earthly
parentage   you   were   conceived   in   sin   and   brought   forth   in
iniquity. Forget all these things and own Me as your Lord and
Savior.   Jesus   said   to   Levi,   a   custom­house   officer,   “Follow
me;” and he arose, left all and followed Him. He still speaks to
His people in mild complaisant language, “Son, or Daughter,
thy   sins   are   forgiven   thee.”   The   King   greatly   desires   the
beauty of this wonderful princess for she is all glorious within.
If it were possible to use or borrow the vocabulary of heaven
in a description of the glory and beauty of the church as she
appears in her exalted Redeemer, I might be able to write or
speak as I ought on so sublime a subject. Though the spirit is
willing, the flesh is weak. Enough is seen by faith, however, to
cause   the   saints   to   look   with   admiration   upon   the   glory   of
Christ,   and   the   glory   of   the   church   in   Him.   Levi   saw
something   in   Jesus   that   charmed   him;   so   did   the   other
disciples; so do all those who love Him in sincerity.
  The   beauty   of   Christ   is   so   completely   in   contrast   with
what   every   individual   saint   sees   in   himself,   {that   is,   in   his
flesh,} that while he rejoices in spirit in the Lord Jesus Christ,

and  the  beauty   of   salvation,   and  the  glory   of  God   in  Jesus

Christ, he utterly abhors himself. It is through a spiritual or
heavenly union to Christ alone that any beauty can be found
in the King’s daughter. She is all glorious within. Her glory is
not outside, is not perceptible to the natural eye or ear; the
world   does   not   see   her,   neither   has   any   knowledge   of   her.
When a person by revelation, or the Spirit’s teaching, has a
knowledge of Jesus, the Son of God,  then, and not  until then
has he a knowledge of the church, the King’s daughter. The
inside glory of the church is beheld in wonderful union with
Him  who died   and  arose  again as her  Redeemer.   She is  all
glorious   within;   there   is   no   imperfection,   defect,   spot   or
blemish found in her. “I have loved thee with an everlasting
love, therewith with loving kindness have I drawn thee.”  The
Lord,   her   Redeemer,   is   made   unto   her   wisdom,   and
righteousness,   and   sanctification,   and   redemption.   His
atoning blood and righteousness is hers. He is her Lord, and
the   direction   is,  “Worship   thou   Him.”   Not   worship   Him   in
gaudy temples adorned by art and man’s device – not sound a
trumpet and make a great display like the modern worshipers
of Dagon, who bow down and worship the bloody idols of their
own wicked and depraved imagination. Not join in with those
who under the pretense of great benevolence and charity are
willing to sacrifice our dearest rights on earth to the Moloch of
a   blood   and   “gunpowder   Gospel.”   God   is   a   Spirit,   and   they
that worship Him must worship Him in Spirit and in truth.
Worship Him in the sanctuary, in the solemn assembly. The
command   is   to   worship   Him   who   made   the   heavens,   the
earth, the sea, and fountains of waters. To praise and adore
the God of heaven is the most exalted service worms of the
dust   can   be   engaged   in.   This   daughter   of   the   King,   the
church, can be engaged in no more delightful service in time
or eternity. Her duty and obligation to the King is paramount
to all other considerations.
“Her clothing is of wrought gold.” The manner or custom of
ancient kings in oriental countries is probably referred to in
this   psalm   in   their   style   of   dressing   and   ornamenting   their
daughters preparatory to their marriage and admission to the

king. The most expensive and gorgeous appearance they could

present   was   calculated   to   attract   the   attention   of   admirers,
guests   and   spectators.   But   the   highest   point   of   outward
embellishment   is   a   faint   and   meager   representation   of   the
clothing   of   the   King’s   daughter.   She   is   all   glorious   within;
expressive   of   her   spiritual   composition   and   oneness   with
Christ;   but   outwardly   she   appears   clothed   in   the   majestic
symmetry attending the perfection of the church of Christ. No
eyes can behold her and live on earth only as it is seen by
immortal vision, or by faith. Frequently among men a person
may   appear   very   beautiful   externally,   while   the   greatest
defects, imperfections and vile deformity is concealed by fine
clothing, paint, &c. [ It is said that paint has sold a many a house; and
married off many a woman!]  This is true in a literal sense and also
true   in   relation   to   the   work­mongrel   system   of   religion   so
fearfully   prevalent   in   our   day.   But   the   King’s   daughter
appears the embodiment of glory and beauty, and her clothing
is of like kind.
“Wrought   gold.”   Its   intrinsic   value   is   immensely   great;
really it is beyond human computation. It is invaluable. The
imputed righteousness of Christ imparted to the church is the
righteousness   of   the   saints.   It   is   said   to   be   wrought   in
consideration of Christ’s obedience to the requisitions of the
law   and   justice   in   His   death,   resurrection,   ascension   and
glorification. In its manifestation to the church it is called the
righteousness of faith, or the righteousness  of God and our
Savior Jesus Christ. In relation to gold in a literal sense, the
original material is in the quarry or rocks. It is obtained by
hard   labor,   and   purified   of   its   alloy   and   dross,   and
manufactured into whatever the workman desires to make it
or   is   directed   to   make   it.   In   this   sense   it   is   wrought.   The
perfect work of Christ in the redemption of the church from
the law and its curse brought to light or revealed the life and
immortality  of the  saints,  showing  conclusively  Christ  to be
that life and immortality, and also their righteousness. In this
sense only is it proper to be called wrought righteousness. Not
in   relation   to   its   being   manufactured,   but   revealed   or
communicated. There is no alloy or dross attending it; of itself

it is pure. This clothing otherwise is called garments.  “I will

greatly rejoice in the Lord; my soul shall be joyful in my God;
for He hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, He hath
covered   me   with   the  robe   of   righteousness,   as   a   bridegroom
decketh   herself   with   ornaments,   and   as   a   bride   adorneth
herself   with   jewels.”  Isa.61:10.   Christ’s   garments   smell   of
myrth,   aloes   and   cassia   out   of   the   ivory   palaces.   Rich   and
costly   garments.   The   King’s   daughter   is   clothed   with   them
and appears in glory.
In   the   fourteenth   verse   another   metaphor   is   used.   “She
shall be brought unto the King in raiment of needle­work.”  As
all   her   clothing   is   furnished   by   the   King,   when   she   is
completely   dressed   she   is   brought   unto   Him   as   above
expressed. The church is made to appear before the King in a
manner   pleasing   to   Him.   Thus   adorned   she   is   happy.   The
virgins   which   follow   her   are   her   companions,   and   are   pure
and chaste as she is. I presume the virgins, spoken of in the
plural number, means individual saints who look upon and
esteem the church better than themselves. They are brought
also   to   the   King,   and   bow   before   Him.   With   gladness   and
rejoicing shall they be brought. It was so with the shepherds
on   the   plains   of   Bethlehem,   with   the   disciples,   with
Zaccheaus, and many others. It is so yet in the experience of
the saints. They enter into the King’s palace. The declaration
is,   They  shall  enter,   &c.   A   new   covenant   declaration.
Wonderful exaltation! Such is the privilege of the saints, and
they should not forget their high calling.
Perhaps I may write something more at some future day on
the   foregoing   Psalm,   as   there   are   many   things   of   interest   I
might notice. A more full embodiment of truth in higher colors
is not found in holy writ. Its magnitude outreaches the feeble
mind   of   your   correspondent.   Perhaps,   my   brother,   at   some
future period we may see these glories in a more resplendent
manner. So for the present, farewell.
Joseph L. Purington. – March 15, 1867.

Covington, GA., April 7, 1867.

31 st   came   to   hand   yesterday,   and   was   perused   with
satisfaction. Being at home today, and not otherwise engaged,
I seize the opportunity to write again. Upon a reperusal of the
forty­fifth psalm I find much more than could be written, and
which I have not the ability to communicate. It is only as the
heavens   are   opened,   and   our   minds   enlightened   by   the
Spirit’s   illumination   that   we   can   behold   and   wonder   at   the
riches   of   God’s   grace.   The   theme   of   salvation   is   soul­
enrapturing, and soul­inspiring, and soul­comforting to poor
needy   dependent   sinners.   As   the   throne   of   our   adorable
Redeemer is forever and ever, His kingdom is the same. He is
adorned   with   power   and   great   glory,   for   His   scepter   is   the
appropriate ensign of His royal power and authority. He will
reign, or have dominion until He puts all enemies under His
feet. In Him let the saints rejoice and be exceeding glad. He
has put His law in their inward parts, and written it in their
hearts. The love of God has come down from heaven into their
hearts, and they love Him in return. They love righteousness,
even as He who is their God loves  it, and hate wickedness,
even   as   He   hates   it.   His   people   are   one   with   Him   in   their
spiritual manifestation as the sons of God. They love what He
loves, and abhor that which He abhors, or hates. Christ Jesus
is   anointed   in   His   Mediatorial   character   above   His   church,
even as the Head is exalted above the body. The gladness and
unspeakable   joy   attending   the   spiritual   coronation   of   our
Redeemer fills all heaven with sounding praise. There is peace
in believing, and joy in the Holy Ghost. The saints from their
exalted   position   can   look   with   sublime   contempt   upon   the
base things of earth, and smile with holy joy upon the vain
attempts of man to subvert the law of Zion’s King.
If   my   mind   was   spiritually   exercised,   as   I   very   much
desired it to be, my pen indeed would be the pen of a ready

writer. The deep things of God are known by revelation, and

in no other way. Your correspondent often feels like one of old
to say, “Surely I am more brutish than any man, and have not
the   understanding   of   a   man.”  Prov.30:2.   To   dwell   upon   a
subject of so sublime a character as expressed in the forty­
fifth psalm seems too much for me. And what am I? A worm,
and no man. And yet the song is sung in the land of Judah,
the land of praise. God has put this new song in our mouth,
even   praise   to   our   God.   All   nations   shall   praise   Him,   all
nations   do   praise   Him;   that   is,   the   nations   that   are   saved.
None can sing the song of loves but those who are redeemed
from   among   men.   The   gates   of   praise   are   open   that   the
righteous nation which keepeth the truth may enter in. They
enter in who fear God and work righteousness; and no others.
They   leave  behind   all  their   rags,   manufactured   goods,   their
idols; yea, they forsake all for Christ. They worship Him in the
beauty of holiness. The daughters of Tyre is there with a gift,
not of her own production, but a spiritual sacrifice, even the
sacrifice of an humble spirit and a contrite heart. Even  the
rich   among   the   people   have   to   come   down   and   entreat   the
favor of our glorious King. Zaccheaus was rich and among the
publicans,   but   he   came   down   in   haste   in   obedience   to   the
royal mandate of the blessed Jesus, and received Him joyfully.
Levi, a custom­house officer, obeyed the heavenly summons
and forsook all and followed Jesus. Though not many wise,
noble,   rich   and   mighty   among   men   are   called,   yet   some   of
them are made heirs of immortality. God calls whomsoever He
will and sets them in His church. They come with gladness
and rejoicing, as thousands did in Pentecostal times, as the
shepherds on the plains of Bethlehem, and as many others
have come. And it is the King’s palace they enter into, the holy
Mount Zion, the city of our God. Many, very many metaphors,
figures, comparisons and illustrations are used in holy writ to
point out, and to familiarize to the saints the glorious things
of the kingdom of God.
The   saints   can   join   in   this   “song   of   loves”   when   the
heavenly vision of peace rests upon them. But alas! How often
the   mind   becomes   dark   and   benighted;   yea,   deeply

enshrouded with gloom and horrible forebodings. The pall of

death   rests   upon   us;   no   light   is   seen,   no   cheering   voice   is
heard, and like the psalmist  we can say,  “I am like a dead
man out of mind; I am like a broken vessel.” Psa.31:12. Or say,
“I   am   a   brother   to   dragons   and   a   companion   to   owls.”   Job
30:29. While out of soundings in the great deep of sorrow and
bitter afflictions we have to cry like one of old, “For Thou hadst
cast me into the deep, in the midst of the seas, and the floods
compassed me about; all Thy billows and waves passed over
me. Then I said, I am cast out of Thy sight; yet I will look again
toward   Thy   holy   temple.   The   waters   compassed   me   about,
even to the soul,” &c. Jonah 2:3­5. Yet we can say, “Salvation
is of the Lord.” When God speaks salvation to us, as He did in
the case of Jonah, we are vomited forth on dry land, or set
upon a Rock, and our goings established. Then again we can
sing   the   “song   of   loves.”   Or   it   may   be   we   are   walking   in
darkness and have no light, if so our glorious King declares in
emphatic tones, “Who is among you that feareth the Lord, that
obeyeth the voice of His servant, that walketh in darkness and
hath no light? Let him trust in the name of the Lord and stay
upon his God.”  Isa.50:10. The Lord of hosts, the God of the
whole earth declares, “Fear thou not, for I am with thee; be not
dismayed, for I am thy God; I will strengthen thee; yea, I will
help thee; yea,  I will  uphold  thee  with the  right  hand  of  My
righteousness.” Isa.41:10. Encouraging promises, how full of
consolation. When the vision of peace returns, as Jesus said
to His disciples, “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto
you,” it is a glorious peace. Then we can sing as in the days of
our youth, as in the former years.
The sons of God are princes in all the earth, occupying a
higher and more exalted position than earthly princes. They
are the legitimate sons  of the Eternal King, and receive  the
spirit of adoption when called by grace. The King’s daughter is
a   princess   in   a   collective   sense,   and   the   virgins,   her
companions   are   princesses,   the   daughters   of   the   Lord   God
Almighty,   and   heirs   of   glory.   Surely   each   one   can   say   in
ecstatic joy,  “I will make Thy name to be remembered in all

generations; therefore shall the people praise Thee forever and

It becomes the imperative duty and privilege of the King’s
daughter,   whether   we   speak   of   the   church   in   a   collective
sense or in its members, to look to her heavenly Father and to
her   heavenly   Mother   for   protection   and   support,   under   all
circumstances. Whether we pass through the fire, or through
the   water,   or   travel   by   day   or   night,   or   through   a   land   of
drought, of darkness, and of the shadow of death, His rod and
His staff they comfort us. Our Father and our Mother are near
by  to   watch  over   and   protect   us  by   day   and   by   night.   Our
Redeemer   is   our   shield   and   buckler.   Obey   the   laws   and
statutes of our King and we need not fear what men may do
unto us. The enemies of truth are in the hand of God as clay
in the hands of a potter; and so are we also in His hands. If
He  has,   my   brother,  prepared   you   and  me  for   glory,  to His
name belongs all the praise, now and forever.
You   refer   to   the   meeting   of   the   Licking   Association   last
September, as being a very pleasant meeting to you, not soon
to be forgotten. It was very pleasant to me. I have thought of
that   meeting   several   times   since   with   special   interest.   May
God bless you and the brethren and sisters of the association,
and some others also who manifested a special regard for the
In these days of distress and trouble I see nothing in the
future relative to this world which affords any comfort to me.
In a faith’s view of that heavenly building of God on high, I
behold a glorious future which enables me to surmount these
inferior things. Grace reigns, my brother. Farewell,
Joseph L. Purington. – April 7, 1867.
Oct. 29, 1868. – He is the Propitiation of our sins.”
Covington, GA., Oct.29, 1868.

DEAR BROTHER BEEBE: ­ Having just returned from the

cotton­field,   I   seize   the   first   favorable   opportunity   that   has
presented itself in several weeks of writing to you, and though
I   now   attempt   it,   the   circumstances   in   my   physical   and
mental   condition   are   not   altogether   so   desirable   as   I   might
wish them to be. But as a brother in Tennessee requested by
private correspondence my views on two passages of Scripture
which   pester   his   mind,   I   feel   rather   constrained   to   comply
with his request, as he desires my views through the SIGNS.
The Scriptures which trouble him have been written upon by
yourself, and perhaps by others, yet his mind is perplexed. I
do not expect to relieve his mind by anything I can write, but
simply to comply with his request, hoping it may benefit some
inquiring mind.
I trust the brother will understand me as addressing him,
and not brother Beebe, when I say that the difficulties which
pester you in relation to those Scriptures are not strange or
irreconcilable to predestination, election and other principles
of doctrine. This you admit, but cannot understand them to
your   satisfaction.   Well,   my   brother,   supposing   we   converse
upon the subject as though we were face to face.

The first Scripture you refer to is I John 2:2, which reads,

“And He is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only,
but also for the sins of the whole world.”  Here are believing
Jews   and   Gentiles   presented   in   full   view   in   the   atoning
sacrifice of the dear Redeemer when He died for the sins of
His people, according to the Scriptures. Believing Jews at first
did not properly understand how the atonement embraced the
Gentiles as well as the Jews. The apostles labored to establish
believing Jews and believing Gentiles in this great truth when
their own minds were enlightened to understand it. National
Israel was environed by a wall of partition, called  “the hand­
writing   of   ordinances,”  for   centuries,   but   when   Christ,   the
Mediator, came in the flesh, He abolished it, or blotted it out,
as   it   was   against   us,   and   contrary   to   us,   nailing   it   to   His
cross.   This   being   the   case,   Paul   says   in   his   letter   to   the
church at Ephesus, composed of believing Gentiles, “But now
in Christ Jesus, ye who some time were far off, are made nigh
by the blood of Christ. For He is our peace, who hath made
both {Jews & Gentiles} one, and hath broken down the middle
wall of partition between us, having abolished in His flesh the