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  • THE DAILY CALENDAR OF PEACE AND WAR - November
    1 Corinthians 13 to prove that the warlike passion even in the least degree is opposed to Christianity It is high time for the followers of the meek and lowly Jesus in every part of the world to study the genius of their religion It is a shame upon what is called the Christian world that it has not long since borne universal and indignant testimony against that enormous evil which still rages not merely among savages but among scholars philosophers Christians and theologians John Angel James November 15 Shall those who ought to be the light of the world and the salt of the earth dishonor their high calling and defile their garments by engaging in the conflicts of human ambition violence and revenge Shall they admire the splendors of martial idolatry and delight themselves in acts of mortal cruelty If risen with Christ ought they not to seek the things of Christ inhale the perfumes of his spirit and follow in his footsteps Is it for them to fly from the dangers of Gethsemane to look with despair from afar on the non resistant cross and make themselves one with a mutually defiant and destructive world Friends Review November 16 The practice of Christians in times past is no proof that war is compatible with the spirit of Christ Even one of the immediate followers of our Savior whose eyes had rested upon his benignant countenance whose ears had drank in the melody of his voice would have called down fire from heaven to consume his Master s enemies He knew not said Jesus what spirit he was of The practice of professing Christians is no test of duty it cannot be depended upon as a proof of the right By it you would draw the white robe of Christianity over all the errors crimes and corruptions of Christendom The banner of the Cross has floated heavily blood soaked over rapine and violence all over the earth making the name of Jesus a by word and reproach to the infidel and the heathen Oh bring not the deeds of professing Christians as your defense of war Samuel E Coues November 17 One of the most formidable obstacles to the cause of peace in this country is the glory of the Revolutionary war Had the American Revolution failed it would have been a bloody rebellion Since it succeeded we call it a glorious Revolution But the end should not sanctify the means We should look at it by the light of eternity Did it not send many a poor soul to his last account with all his imperfections on his head Would anyone give his own soul for all the advantages of the Revolution If such a person can be found then he can easily answer the question of Christ What shall a man give in exchange for his soul William Ladd November 18 How can love consist in doing harm Love works no ill to his neighbor Did

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  • THE DAILY CALENDAR OF PEACE AND WAR - December
    away all bitterness and wrath and clamor who are kind and tender hearted and forgiving to one another who take pity on others who honor all men who walk in love who do nothing through strife or vain glory but instead in lowliness of mind esteem others better than themselves who have hearts full of mercy who ever follow the things that make for peace and things wherewith one may edify another who follow peace with all men and abstain from all appearance of evil who have the spirit of Christ in them and who suffer for enemies rather than make them suffer how can people such as these ever engage in war William Ladd December 15 It is a sad day for humanity when the heroes are the destroyers and hosannas are sung to those whose weapons are not love and truth but are instead fire and sword Every pain is taken to make soldiers and officers think that they are the greatest and best of their day If our hearts and our consciences were alive we should reject with horror the idea of making a military man the great man of the nation and enthroning him aloft as our grand representative before the eyes of both Christendom and heathendom We implicitly say by such an act that that is our highest ideal of what a great and good man is Nothing shows more distinctly the low and coarse nature of modern civilization than the choice of warriors to conduct the affairs of Christian nations A A Livermore December 16 To sacrifice our lives for the liberties laws and religion of our native land are undoubtedly high sounding words but who are those who will do it Who is it that will sacrifice his life for his country Will the senator who supports a war Will the writer who encourages patriotism Will the minister of religion who recommends the sacrifice Take away war and its fictions and there is not a man of them who will do it Will he sacrifice his life at home If the loss of his life would procure just as much benefit to his country as the loss of one soldier s in the field would he be willing to lay his head on the block Is he willing for such a contribution to his country s good to resign himself to the executioner without notice or remembrance Alas for the fictions of war Where is such a man Men will not sacrifice their lives at all except in war and they do not sacrifice them in war from motives of patriotism In no rational sense therefore can it be said that the soldier dies for his country Jonathan Dymond December 17 Let it not be forgotten that the virtues that shed their charms over War s horrors are all borrowed from Peace they are the emanations of the Spirit of Love The flowers of gentleness kindness fidelity and humanity which flourish unnoticed in the rich meadows of Peace receive undeserved admiration when we discern them in war They are like violets shedding their perfume on the perilous edges of the precipice beyond the borders of civilization God be praised that Sidney on the field of battle with dying hand gave the cup of cold water to the dying soldier 13 That single act of self forgetful sacrifice has consecrated the name of the gallant Sidney beyond any feat of his sword and beyond any triumph of his pen But there are lowly supplicants in other places than on fields of blood Everywhere there are opportunities for deeds of like greatness Know well that these are not the products of war They do not spring from enmity hatred and strife They spring instead from those benign sentiments whose natural and ripened fruit of joy and blessing can be found only in peace Let me not be told then of the virtues of war Let not the acts of generosity and sacrifice which have blossomed on its fields be invoked in its defense No true good can come from such a giant root of bitterness Charles Sumner December 18 War is one of the greatest plagues that can afflict humanity it destroys religion it destroys states and it destroys families Any scourge is preferable to it If Adam had seen in a vision the horrible instruments his children were to invent he would have died of grief Christians fight not with sword and rifle but with sufferings and the cross luther December 19 Paul tells us that love is the fulfilling of the law because it does no ill to its neighbor But the soldier s whole business is to do him all the ill he can Do good to all men War goes upon the avowed principle of doing them evil as the only means of accomplishing its objects War seeks to kill as its grand aim and in fact is the most terrible engine ever devised for the wholesale destruction of mankind You shall love your neighbor as yourself Can the soldier do this and still continue his trade of human butchery George C Beckwith December 20 War can never long prevail without the physical and moral aid of Christians I feel distressed that the professed followers of the Prince of Peace the meek patient lowly and forgiving Lamb of God do not feel their individual responsibility in this cause and by coming out from this sin throw their whole power on the side of peace truth and love Where are the ministers of the sanctuary Where are the precious sons and daughters of Zion Oh earth Cover not the blood that soaks your soil and conceal not the slain who have covered your fields until the disciples of the Great Peacemaker the Church of the bleeding Lamb shall awake to her duty and wave the Peace Banner of her Prince over the world Titus Coan December 21 Was there ever an object

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  • Non-Resistance Asserted - Part 2
    man received power to overcome the flesh or carnal desires Before this he was earthly minded but now he became Heavenly minded This is very plainly discerned in the conduct and conversation of the Apostles before and after they had received the Holy Spirit They now stood in a new relation to God and a new influence took possession of them and brought forth new fruits This is where Christ s kingdom had its origin in the hearts of those true believers who were wrought by the spirit into the image of Christ Christ plainly told his Apostles Except ye be converted and become as little children ye shall not enter into the kingdom of Heaven This amounts to a plain declaration that they were at that time not yet converted in that sense in which the Savior applied the word This position is denied by great numbers of professed Christians and to explain myself briefly is the reason for this digression In the first place the plain declaration of the Savior should be enough to set the question at rest He was speaking to his Apostles and he said ye that is they to whom he was speaking except ye be converted If they were at that time such converted persons as the Savior had in view he could not have addressed them as he did We all know that the word conversion signifies change When applied to man it means that his views sentiments or faith is changed But every such change in man is not the conversion that the Savior had in view The language of the Apostles plainly shows that they had no conception of the nature of the kingdom that Christ was about to establish And it also plainly betrays the self love that dwelt in the heart I do not allude to their language on this occasion only but to their language generally while the Savior was with them in the flesh The kingdom of Christ is a spiritual kingdom and spiritual things must be spiritually discerned The Apostles at that time had not yet received the Holy Spirit consequently they could not discern the kingdom or the Savior s description of it The greatest and most marvelous change in the mind sentiments or affections of man which is recorded in the Bible is that which was wrought on the Apostles and disciples by the power of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost as well as what followed on other believers afterwards From that time we do not observe a single expression betraying ignorance of the nature of Christ s kingdom or betraying self love in themselves The love of God in the heart was displayed in all they said and did and their love to the brethren and even their enemies was perceptible in their actions There was no asking who was to be the greatest no asking who should sit on the right or left in the kingdom no asking if they should smite with the sword or if they should pray for fire to fall down from Heaven and consume their enemies They prayed to God while being stoned to death Lord lay not this sin to their charge and when they were buffeted they went away rejoicing that they were accounted worthy to suffer shame for the name of Jesus This was the change or conversion that I believe the Savior had in view when he addressed the Apostles as quoted above and without which they could not enter into the kingdom of Heaven God winked at the times of man s ignorance but now the time had come when the true light appeared and he commanded all men everywhere to repent The kingdom of Heaven was set up in the heart by the power of the Holy Spirit and I conceive the change that the Savior alluded to was not wrought until this was done The reason why Christ said to his disciples that they could not bear those many things which he had to say unto them was because they were yet carnal their hearts were not yet changed by the Holy Spirit But when this spirit would come he would lead them into all truth This is the reason why God did not give man the commands under the Law which he did under the Gospel They were still carnal they could not bear or comprehend Gospel commands Their hearts were in the world and to direct them in a way in which they would be required to sacrifice worldly interests would have deprived them of all comfort and would have made them miserable They could not bear it Therefore they had to be directed in such a way as to make them as happy as the circumstances of their condition and relation to God would permit them to be made For this reason they were directed in such a way under the Law as to improve their material condition yet still directing their attention to some future good and advanced condition far surpassing their present state It is very evident that Christ did not come into the world to improve its political condition to advance worldly wisdom to favor external interests or in any way to improve the material condition of man Every question having relation to any such end was evaded and answered so as to tend to the spiritual welfare of man and the salvation of his soul Man s inclinations were already too strongly bent in this direction and Christ s teaching and instructions were to draw him from it and to direct him to the attainment of a higher better and more enduring substance Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all other things shall be added He told us not to care for what we shall eat or what we shall drink or with what we shall be clothed Rather enter into life lame maimed or with one eye than having all our members and be cast into Hell And again fear not those who kill the body but after that can do no more These were his teachings in a general way and they show clearly the purpose that brought him into the world The blessings which are among the first of his recorded promises are of a spiritual or eternal kind I do not believe the blessings promised in the beginning of Christ s Sermon on the Mount are intended to be bestowed on anyone who is possessed of only one of the traits of character named therein and destitute of all the others if indeed this could be so But I think the whole taken together is intended to form the complete character of a Christian who from a motive of love to God obeys the further commands given in this sermon Moses the Law and all the legal ordinances and ceremonies could not take away sin or give the spirit of God Christ did this showing that His power far exceeded that of the Law Christ as the son over his own house having given Moses the Law and ceremonies as his servants all the authority they possessed could very properly at his coming assume higher authority than they possessed and especially as he only authorized them to act until he came and they by his authority spoke of his coming and referred the faithful to him for a better knowledge of the will of God Christ at his coming said Of old it was said Thou shalt love thy neighbor and hate thine enemy By that of old He evidently meant that statute of Moses which was under the old covenant based on the Law for there it says so But I as the new lawgiver say unto you love your enemies bless them that curse you do good to them that hate you and pray for them that despitefully use you and persecute you He also said Ye have heard that it hath been said An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth But I say unto you that you resist not evil But whosoever shall smite thee on the right cheek turn to him the other also and whosoever will sue thee at the law and take away thy coat let him have thy cloak also Christ told us why we should do this He wishes the children of God to be distinguished from those of the world He said that ye may be the children of your Father which is in Heaven for He maketh his sun to rise on the good and on the evil and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust He will have us show our parentage by this and how it distinguishes us from others For if you love them which love you what reward have you Or if ye salute your brethren only what do you more than others Do not even the publicans so Christ will have his disciples to conduct themselves so as to distinguish them from the world and to show that they partake of the Divine nature All will admit that Christ did give commands and that we must obey them I would ask what those here cited are if they are not commands Is there a single command given by our Savior that sounds more imperative than these here named It was said of old and they acted accordingly But now I say unto you do thus Christ told his disciples plainly that they would have to suffer But he told them if they were persecuted in one city they should flee to another When his Apostles showed their self love by asking who should be the greatest in the kingdom of Heaven he reproved them severely by telling them in very emphatic language that unless they were converted and became as little children they could not enter into His kingdom at all And when several of them asked Him whether they should pray for fire to come down from Heaven and consume their enemies He told them they did not know what manner of spirit they were of When Peter drew his sword the Savior told him to put up his sword in his place All Christ s conduct and actions were in accordance with these teachings and declarations When he was reviled he reviled not again when he suffered he threatened not but committed himself to Him that judgeth righteously Peter said that He left us an example that we should follow His steps I would ask our opponents what is the example of Christ which we are to follow These are Christ s direct teachings and they are as plain as I would know how to make language If the Savior did not mean this I am at a loss to know what the purpose of His language was Every syllable of His teaching was in this spirit of passive submission and non resistance and every action of His life was in accordance with the same spirit In view of the charge of Moses that we shall hear Christ and His own repeated declarations that we must obey His commands and do the will of the Heavenly Father it is highly important that we form correct conclusions in regard to what He did teach Not everyone that sayeth unto me Lord Lord shall enter into the kingdom of Heaven but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in Heaven Why call ye me Lord Lord and do not the things which I say And again He that hath my commandments and keepeth them he it is that loveth me He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings If ye love me keep my commandments The Father which hath sent me gave me commandment what I should say and what I should speak and I know that His commandment is life everlasting What are we to understand by His commandment if those here alluded to are not such Go into the world and preach and baptize is His command but what are we to preach Evidently what He preached and taught and as He said Teach them to observe all things whatsoever I command you the first question with us should be what are His commands Then the Old Testament reason and necessity all must yield to Him for Christ is supreme commander The Old Testament sound reason and necessity all harmonize with Christ s teaching if examined and directed by the spirit of God but if it should be dark to us that we cannot bring them to harmonize we must yet give Christ supremacy for we are commanded to take every thought captive under obedience to Him Paul said that the mind shall be in us which also was in Christ Jesus How are we to know Christ s mind if not by His words and actions The Scribes and Pharisees evidently understood the Savior to teach non resistance or else they would not have concluded as they did If we let this man thus alone all men will believe on Him and the Romans shall come and take away both our place and nation The Christian nations are the greatest warriors known and it is often asserted that the best Christians make the best soldiers If this is so why did these wily and sagacious Jews come to the conclusion they did If Christ s religion made them better soldiers than they were before why could the Romans more easily take away their place and nation than if they were not Christians The same argument is made use of now against the non resistant doctrine If all men would do so what would become of the country and nation they say So long as the Apostles hearts where not changed by the Holy Spirit they could not rightly understand the Savior s doctrine or comprehend his meaning when He spoke of His kingdom hence the expressions before alluded to But after they had received this spirit we hear them make no more such expressions but all their teachings acts and deeds harmonize and agree most perfectly with this self sacrificing non resistant spirit Paul said in Romans 12 Dearly beloved avenge not yourselves but rather give place unto wrath for it is written Vengeance is mine I will repay saith the Lord Therefore if thine enemy hunger feed him if he thirst give him drink for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head Be not overcome of evil but overcome evil with good Doesn t the Apostle here show an exact agreement with our idea of what the Savior taught Again Paul said in Ephesians 5 Be ye therefore followers of God as dear children and walk in love as Christ also hath loved us and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet smelling savor This is very exactly to the point of Christ s expression when He commanded his disciples to love and do good to their enemies He said they shall do so that they may be the children of their Father in Heaven who deals so graciously with the children of men as to send rain and let His sun shine on good and evil The evil and unjust are God s enemies The expressions of Paul and Christ are very nearly in the same words and surely mean the same thing Be ye followers of God as dear children The more obedient a child is to a parent the dearer he or she is and parents do address them with expressions of endearment But such children as are disobedient are not usually addressed as dear children Children who love their parents and are attached to them usually imitate their good example Therefore the Apostle addressing his fellow believers said that as dear children they shall obey God Since they have been made children of God by faith and partakers of the Divine nature by the spirit of God heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ He will have them show their birth nature and nationality by displaying in their deeds and actions the distinctive attributes of the parent But Paul said further we shall walk in love What is walking in love We have all experienced a sense of love and know what it is but this is a thing that we cannot command in ourselves nor can others command it in us and if we do experience the sensation it is not walking in it We read a great deal in the scriptures about walking walking in the ways of the Lord in the Law of the Lord in the ways of their Father walking in the ways of the ungodly in sin in unrighteousness etc and walking before the Lord with God worthy of our vocation etc It is evident therefore that to walk in the sense here intended is meant our words deeds and actions These shall be in accordance with the idea expressed by that in which we are said to walk To walk in love then is evidently intended to mean that we shall speak do and act the part which love would dictate But towards whom shall we thus conduct ourselves or walk Evidently towards all men even our enemies Christ especially mentions them our friends he need not mention Nature will teach us this for even the Gentiles do so But the Apostle makes his meaning very plain by telling us how we shall love and walk He said Walk in love as Christ also has loved us and gave himself for us Christ loved us when we were His enemies and showed His love by giving himself for us While we were acting in defiance to

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  • Non-Resistance Asserted - Part 3
    reward of natural prosperity comfort and enjoyment of the blessings of this life But it is not possible they can enjoy the love of God unless they are converted and receive the Holy Spirit 11 Neither have they promise of eternal life If this were not so salvation would be obtained of works without faith These men may be officers in Government may be Generals in the field or soldiers in the ranks and commit no sin in those duties and will not be condemned for them any more than they will for any other moral duty they perform It is asked Is there one law for sinners and another for Christians I say yes Sinners are under the law of justice where all men were before Christ came Christians are under the law of grace and love where Christ put them The others are where Christ left them because they would not obey His call There are great numbers of persons whom we must esteem very highly for the excellence of their moral virtues and honorable principles who would yet be as the young man was very sorrowful if they must sell or give up all the respect and esteem they have in the world to become a disciple of Christ But as I have said an infidel may be all this so that these virtues however estimable do not make a Christian One of our opponents says The law of God allows the individual to defend himself except in one case that of persecution for righteousness sake I am permitted yes even enjoined to resist all evil If by the law of God the author means the Mosaic Law there is this error in it that the Law alluded to makes no exceptions for righteousness sake It plainly says An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth and there are no exceptions made And if by the law of God is meant the commands of Christ to his disciples then the other part is without warrant Christ plainly said that we shall not resist evil and there are no exceptions made in regard to the evil Christ said If they sue thee at the law if they take away thy goods if they smite thee on the cheek He here notices three different kinds of evil legal injustice theft and personal violence in none of which we shall resist There is neither command nor precept in the whole Gospel that says we shall resist evil of any kind 12 If a man attacks me with intent to kill no matter what the object is it is an evil and if I choose to kill him as the author says to prevent him from killing me I certainly resist that evil In such a case I recompense evil for evil and Paul said that we shall do this to no man Man may argue that it is no evil to kill a man under such circumstances but Paul s meaning is clear for he afterwards said in the same chapter Romans 12 Dearly beloved avenge not yourselves but rather give place unto wrath for it is written Vengeance is mine I will repay saith the Lord Be not overcome of evil but overcome evil with good This argument shows that the author does understand that Christ forbids resistance to some kinds of evil but where is his warrant for confining it to that of persecution for religion only This is certainly a clear assumption Christ named the most aggravated cases of evil To sue one by law and take away their coat is certainly very oppressive There can hardly be a case imagined which would be harder than this To strike one in the face is as great an indignity and insult as could be offered To take our goods by stealth is very provoking and persecution for righteousness sake is the most unjustifiable of all persecution To persecute from motive of interest would not seem to be so utterly diabolical as for righteousness doing good This is so unreasonable so fiendish that no man will admit it They will always frame some pretext for an excuse Christ has evidently mentioned the most extreme and aggravating cases for some purpose Is it reasonable that we should not resist in such aggravated cases of evil and yet do so for some minor or trivial cause Christ could not mention every individual species of evil so he mentioned the most aggravated cases knowing that if these must be borne there are no others that could justify resistance It is said The key to the whole scope of the New Testament is that Jesus Christ teaches the individual and not the State Governments have no future beyond this life and are incapable of immortality Christ teaches the individual duty to the individual Assuming that all that the Apostles taught is the same as if Christ had taught it himself it is evident that we are taught more than individual duty to individuals He taught all the duty we have to perform It is true Christ and the Apostles do not teach the state or any individual their duty as a servant or officer of the State Families have no future nor are they capable of immorality yet we are taught in the Gospel what is the duty of the husband to the wife of the father to the children of the master to the servant of the wife to the husband and children of the children to the parents and of the servants to the masters These are highly important duties and cannot be violated or neglected with impunity and serious consequences may result even to society from their neglect But how much more important is the duty of the governor of nations or the fate of vast armies where one man often has the comfort and even life of thousands of persons in his hands The highly important trust of many officers of Government and the many allurements attending their positions would certainly call for some warning and wholesome instruction to enable them to escape the dangers to which they were exposed Is it not singular that Christ and his Apostles should have omitted giving any instructions to the believer in such important positions and dangerous exposures if it were as is often asserted the duty of Christians to serve their country in the ranks or as an officer in the field according as he could best serve the interest of his Government or to serve in other positions in the Government when they pointed out their duty in so many positions of so much less importance Their duty to the Government is especially dwelt upon but never a word about the duty in the Government 13 This in connection with Christ s commands is conclusive evidence that Christ never designed they should occupy a place there This absence of direction in regard to duties in the Government also shows very conclusively that none of Christ s commands are given to the unconverted They had the Government and he left it to them with the directions they had before which were all they had need of It is said Non resistants fail to recognize any organizations but their own contracted sects and that they ignore the authority of the United States as far as they dare This is an error True non resistants admit the authority of the Government of the United States and admit that it is God s ordinance to man for good Not one will ignore its authority or resist its power even if they had opportunity or ability to do so They acknowledge their duty to honor and obey it in all things except where a duty is attempted to be imposed which is contrary to the teaching of the Gospel Here they think they should obey God rather than man but in no case resist We are told to read the 13th chapter of Romans and open our eyes to the light of Heaven The Apostle Paul is here speaking to his brethren and has no allusion to the unconverted Every soul of them is commanded to be subject to the higher powers The Apostle evidently does not intend here to assert that his brethren should obey the powers when they would make an unscriptural request of them No professed Christian will assert this and it would be at variance with the Apostle s own practice Then it proves nothing for our opponents until they prove that the Gospel makes it a duty to fight More than this we may refuse to obey and still be subject If the powers ask that which we cannot conscientiously perform they can but attach a penalty for disobedience We submit our body and our all to them they may impose a fine confiscation of property imprisonment or death upon us If we submit without resistance we are still subject to them The Apostles Peter and Jude disapproved of those who speak evil of rank and title Peter likewise said that we shall be subject to every ordinance of man for the Lord s sake and Paul said that he would not have spoken evil of the high priest if he had known that he was ruler of the nation Of these things true non resistants make conscience We freely admit that there is no power but of God and that the powers that be are ordained of God And also that whosoever resists the power resists the ordinance of God and those who resist shall receive to themselves damnation Non resistants do not resist the Government when they refuse to fight What have they done The Government first called for volunteers No true non resistant could respond to the call They remained at home and pursued their peaceful avocations as before The powers next ordered a draft for men but generously offered to exempt such as were conscientiously non resistant The non resistants are not responsible for the conduct of knaves who perjured themselves Next the powers again ordered a draft without exempting any for conscience sake The request was personal service or money three hundred dollars The personal service they could not render The money belongs to the kingdom of this world and they had a right to demand it as their own Paul said that we shall pay tribute and custom to whom it is due and said we shall do so because of the duties the Government has to discharge They now ask for our person or the money The latter is theirs and we make conscience of the duty to pay it and feel that it would be wrong to refuse to do so 14 But suppose the powers would order a draft and refuse anything but personal service Then there would be no way but submit to the consequences of refusing to obey whatever the consequences would be but resist the power we could not The commands of the Gospel are founded upon a different principle from what those of the Law are The Law holds out a promise to those who are under it that they shall receive a reward for obeying its commandments The Gospel invites those under the Law to embrace its principles and receive its favors and prompts those under it by a principle of love to obey its commands out of gratitude for the favor already bestowed on an unworthy object The motive of obedience under the Law is to receive reward These Paul called servants But the motive of obedience to the commands of Christ in true New Testament believers is gratitude for the favor God has already bestowed These Paul called sons The true believer does not inquire so much what is his duty to do to be saved as what he can do to honor God for saving him The one is the legal principle the other is Divine love The kingdom of Christ is founded on the principles of love forbearance patience and passive submission to injustice wrong and evil in any shape The kingdom of this world is founded on the principles of justice and resistance of evil The kingdom of Christ is composed of truly converted or new born souls who have received the spirit of Christ and who must be actuated by the same principle which influenced Christ and moved him to come into the world to save sinners who were his enemies It is plainly to be perceived that this spirit or principle is directly opposed to the principle that must rule in the kingdom of this world The first is that of love returning good for evil long suffering forbearance and in short what Paul terms the fruits of the spirit The latter is an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth punishment of evil by retaliation or overcoming evil by coercion The believer being in possession of the spirit of Christ and under the influence that actuated Christ must of necessity be prompted to the same course of conduct and actions towards his fellow man as Christ was It is plain then that this would forbid him to take any part in an institution organization or ordinance in which he must of necessity violate the principle on which his own kingdom is founded or the spirit of which he is born This is the ground upon which non resistance is based It is the spirit that influenced Christ and if the spirit of Christ is not in us then we are not His To be consistent then we must be in this world as pilgrims and strangers A pilgrim or stranger has no rights and does not belong to the country or kingdom where he stands in that relation A pilgrim or stranger is ineligible for office and is not fit by reason of some disqualifying principle which is attached to him to discharge the duties or trust of an officer of the Government Thus the children of God by reason of the principle above referred to are disqualified to discharge the duties of office in the kingdom of this world and are said to be pilgrims and strangers on earth They live in the kingdom of this world by tolerance only and hold possessions or property only by permission of the powers that be When one is in a strange country so long as their affections and interests are in their native land they are satisfied to bear the disadvantages they labor under there They do not feel concerned about the laws or institutions of the country wherein they are strangers They have no right as a citizen to vote in elections to seek to influence legislation or in any way to control the policy of the Government and if they have any petition to make they make it through their own government or its accredited agents Thus it is with non resistants They are disqualified to discharge the duties of office in the Government by reason of a responsibility they are under to obey a higher power and to discharge duties which are inconsistent with the best interests of the Government They have higher interests at stake than they have in the kingdom of this world and they are satisfied to suffer the disadvantage of being aliens in view of the attachment or affection and interests they feel in the land of their birth They are commanded to pray for Kings and all in authority that they may have a peaceable and quiet life Thus if they have any petition to make they make it through the head of their own Government who has promised to protect his own and they have the confidence that he will protect them not in property and person but in spirit and in the joy and comfort which believers enjoy by the love shed abroad in their hearts through the Holy Spirit If God sees fit he can move the hearts of those in power to grant a peaceable and quiet life to his people which they are in duty bound to receive with gratitude from his hand Government is bound together by mutual interests and is established for the good of the community on the ground of mutual benefits and mutually to bear the burdens attending its support For anyone to seek to influence or control the authorities or laws for their advantage or claim the protection of the power and then refuse to bear their proportion of the burden of defending the power is inconsistent and dishonest Strangers have no right to come into a country unless the authorities permit them Neither will they allow them to do so unless it is their interest they should do so If they permit or invite them to do so they yet have no rights but what are given them until they renounce their allegiance to their native land and swear fealty to the land of their adoption In that case they not only obtain rights but are also under all the obligations of native inhabitants No government can exist without the sword and occasionally having war and the idea of having government without it is an absurdity Therefore if we will not use the sword we must separate ourselves from the kingdom of this world Otherwise we are inconsistent and liable to censure and suspicion Foreigners who would claim exemption from military duty and who would yet criticize the acts of those in authority seek to control elections shape the laws of the country or influence the policy of the government and nation would be looked upon with a great deal of suspicion True non resistants do not censure the present Chief Magistrate for the policy he has adopted or the measures he is endeavoring to carry out It may be the very best for

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  • Non-Resistance Asserted - Part 4
    this would overthrow their own position And if this exception were admitted what would it amount to They would differ in opinion as they always do One would say It is just and would fight another would say It is unjust and would refuse to obey the power and by their own argument they would place themselves in the position we stand on Paul said in 1 Corinthians 1 Not many wise mighty or noble are called but God hath chosen the foolish weak and despised to confound the wise and mighty Persons of this class are but little acquainted with international law and disputes consequently they could not be expected to make correct decisions Therefore the difficulty and danger could not be avoided To prevent all such difficulty inconsistency and embarrassment as well as to preserve the hearts of his children from anxiety and distracting care God has chosen his children out of the world to serve him in spirit and in truth in singleness of heart and has said that they cannot serve God and mammon He has commanded them to labor with their hands in the things that are good so that they may have to give to those who are in need For this reason it is the duty of every Christian to follow some calling trade or profession so that they may be useful to their fellow man and not to eat the bread of idleness Care and idleness are alike unfavorable to devotion and God has so ordained that his children shall be preserved free from either The Savior said that we shall make our first care be for the kingdom of God and his righteousness and all other things shall be added unto us He does not intend that the things we need for our natural life shall be given to us without our labor or effort to obtain them or He would not have commanded us to labor with our hands But He will have us to do our duty and commit the rest to God without care for the consequences for with all our care we cannot change the result Who by care and thought can add a cubit to his stature or make one hair white or black God desires the undivided affections of his children He has given them his spirit which sheds his love abroad in their hearts and has separated them from every duty that would tend to alienate or divide their affections The world has this tendency and for this reason God has separated his children from it so far as it is possible The various and exciting duties of office in the kingdom of this world suits at law and politics all have a tendency to distract the mind and draw the affections away from God and things pertaining to life eternal Therefore the Lord has denied them these privileges so that he may retain their affections and their separation from them may show to the world that their treasure is in Heaven and their affections there also While consistency requires that they should take no part in and not seek to shape or influence the laws of the worldly kingdom God needed nevertheless to give such direction so that his children should not come into collision with the world Christ told his disciples the children should be free but to avoid offence He commanded them to submit in a matter that involved no principle He told them to give to Caesar the tribute money bearing Caesar s image and inscription and Paul said that we shall be subject to the powers and not resist and pay them what is due to them Peter said that we shall submit to every ordinance of kings and governors for the Lord s sake Neither of them intended that we shall obey regardless of what Christ has taught They suffered martyrdom rather than disobey God or violate the principles of the Gospel Government is necessary it is right and good it cannot exist without law and law must be supported by the sword No law would be regarded without the sword being with it All officers in the government are supported by the sword and their duties are discharged by virtue of its power It is plain then that if the New Testament forbids the use of the sword to Christians it must also forbid them to hold office in the government for these all belong to the same kingdom and are supported by the same power If they cannot exercise this duty themselves then they cannot consistently delegate it to another If they cannot themselves use the sword they cannot consistently put it into the hands of another to use for them The true principle of non resistance therefore separates its possessor entirely from the kingdom of this world They are in the world but not of the world and as they are not of it so they have no right to take part in its affairs or seek redress at its hands for any grievances they may have suffered from any source or from any cause It would be unreasonable that they seek protection or assist in electing officers or make and shape laws or direct the policy of a foreign power especially if they will not share the burden and responsibility of its support or defense in the hour of danger They live in the kingdom of this world by its tolerance and if the world thinks them worthy to dwell in peace and to let them enjoy the rights and privileges of citizens they accept the favor with gratitude and are duty bound to be obedient to all their laws and regulations and to pay all taxes duties fines or whatever rates or levies the government may see fit to impose upon them This duty the apostle Paul said we shall make conscience of not from fear of the penalty that would follow a refusal but for conscience sake The kingdom of this world has power over the things of the world and whatever portion of its goods we have possession of when they ask it of us it is our duty to give it It is theirs and they only ask for what is their own when they demand it of us We recognize and acknowledge the authority of the government over our bodies and all we possess When government demands our personal service in any matter that is contrary to what God s word teaches we may resign our bodies into their hands to bear whatever they see fit to visit upon us Resist we dare not since it would be contrary to Paul s teaching and obey them where God has forbidden we cannot therefore submission is the only course they can pursue I have said before we find no fault with the Government for the course it has pursued or is now pursuing We do not pretend to say whether its policy toward the South has been just or unjust Herein the wisdom of God is displayed The duty of His children is the same whether they live North or South or whether the Government has dealt justly or unjustly or whether the rebellion is justifiable or unjustifiable Their duties cannot be affected by what the world does We have until now been well contented under the power that has dominion over us We acknowledge that it has been an ordinance for good to us feel grateful for the favor it has until now shown us and feel it to be our duty to pray to the Lord for His blessing upon those who have been instruments in His hand in dispensing this great favor and that He will further endow them with wisdom and discretion so that they may be able to discern what is right and just and above all that He may give them grace to know His truth and a willing mind to obey it But to pray for the success of any measure or policy of the Government or to pray for the success of the army North or South I find no warrant for in the Gospel either in letter or spirit God sees not as man sees His ways are not as our ways nor His thoughts as our thoughts No man can stay His hand or say What doest Thou It may appear very desirable to us that the Union should be restored slavery abolished and other reforms instituted under the restored Union but God may have higher objects in view than it is possible for man to divine No one can be otherwise than pained at the thoughts of the effusion of blood this war has induced and at the great suffering consequent upon it Our sincere and earnest prayer should be that His object may be speedily accomplished and that men everywhere both friend and enemy may turn to the Lord with all their hearts and find grace and favor with Him We do not recognize those as true non resistants who profess to have conscientious scruples about bearing arms and yet identify themselves so far with the kingdom of this world as to appeal to the powers for protection from suffering or to redress any grievance they may suffer who will serve what are called civil offices under the powers that be who will vote for officers to make or execute laws in the kingdom of this world or such as will not go to the battle field themselves but will hire substitutes to go and do that for them which they say they dare not do themselves True non resistants do not put their trust in an arm of flesh God has promised to care for them and in him they trust They do not profess to believe that God will protect them from suffering but He is able to do so if it is His will and if it is not His will man cannot prevent it If He wills it He has a purpose in it and we should pray to the Lord that His purpose may be attained in us and we may only be made worthy to suffer for His name and not to do anything whereby God may be dishonored They know that the race is not to the swift nor the battle to the strong they glory neither in their wisdom in their might nor in their riches but they glory in this that they know the Lord who exercises loving kindness judgment and righteousness in the earth Their life and worldly goods are in the hands of the Lord He gave them and He has many ways by which to take them away again Their concern is not so much how they may preserve these as it is to preserve the life that is begotten in the soul by the power of the incorruptible seed of the Word of God They look upon the commotions in the world as being in the hand of the Lord who can control them according to His pleasure and the interest they might take in them or the efforts they might make to control them could have no effect except the effect it would have on themselves in drawing their minds and affections away from more important objects Those in the world do not have this trust in God their all is in the world Their treasure is earthly and their hearts and affections are with their treasure on earth To preserve this treasure is their object and as they are carnal so they resort to carnal means to accomplish their end This is natural and reasonable and so long as they resort to fair and honorable means 17 are not at all to be censured Since the commencement of the present war when the War Department called for fresh levies of troops and when our State was threatened with invasion people have collected money to arm and equip militia for local or State service and also for bounty to induce men to volunteer in the National service This is not inconsistent for the world or such as profess that it is the duty of Christians to take up arms in defense of their rights and country But it is certainly inconsistent for those who profess to be non resistant to pay or arm others to go and do what they say is wrong to do themselves The principle of non resistance is that God is the portion of the believer and no harm can befall those who trust in Him If He allows them to be robbed plundered of their goods and property they do not look upon it as necessarily being harm to them God has said that all things must work together for good to those who love him This consideration induces an exercise in their minds which will bring peaceful fruits of righteousness from the chastening of the Lord God has given them the Holy Spirit and this affords joy comfort and consolation under any bodily affliction or deprivation with which they can be visited They can therefore thank God that he has given them a treasure which man cannot take from them It would be a very gross violation of this principle for non resistants to show their reliance in or dependence on an arm of flesh by joining in with the world to contribute money for bounty to induce men to volunteer or to arm and equip men to go forth and defend their person and property 18 They are weak flesh with all other men and this flesh will ever shrink from suffering Their weak and timid nature may suggest the desire to see a strong army stand between them and danger and even feel a secret wish or be gratified to see men enlist for defense These are the natural promptings of our perverse nature at which every faithful believer will be alarmed and will be more concerned about resisting this evil or more fearful of being overcome by it than they will be about the enemy of the State They will pray to God to enable them to overcome this enemy and deliver them from its power and also that if it is His will to permit the enemies of the country to inflict any injury on their person or property that He would give them grace to bear it in true Christian submission and in all trials to walk worthy of the Lord It would be very inconsistent to indulge or gratify this weakness by yielding ourselves up in obedience to the flesh Christ said that we shall be wise as serpents but harmless as doves The dove will flee from the falcon until it is captured when it submits without resistance It would seem as if the disciples of Jesus might use their natural reason or ingenuity to escape capture or injury by their enemies but must be harmless when captured and never prevent capture by defense to flee or hide themselves but never to resist evil There is at the present time quite an excitement in the country on account of the pending draft Meetings have been held in the different sub districts to devise means to induce men to enlist so as to make up the quota of men required for each township This is all right and proper in men who do not profess to be defenseless and many are induced to engage in it from motives of humanity or consideration for the feelings of their neighbors upon whom it would operate seriously But how can those who profess to be disciples of Jesus Christ and who say as such that Christ has forbidden them to fight join in with our opponents and pay men to go and fight for them or in their stead It is said It is to avoid the draft but by what means By inducing other men to go in our stead Anyone can see that there is no consistency here If it is wrong for me to go it is wrong to pay another to go for me One of three motives must induce men to engage in this course to place men in the army to fight to avoid the inconvenience of fighting or to save money by getting the substitute cheaper than the commutation fee True reliance upon God which every Christian should have will cause us to adhere closely to His word or commandments with a full assurance that He will make a way to escape without violating the principles of His Gospel But in saying God will make a way to escape I do not wish to be understood that He will make such a way that we will escape without personal inconvenience and suffering God has allowed some of His most faithful children to be severely tried by personal affliction but yet He sustained them in faith and love so that they could overcome and bear what to our natural sense would seem impossible to endure The work that God has wrought in the soul of the believer is what He has promised to protect This is the believer s most precious treasure and he is willing to sacrifice everything else rather than lose this or dishonor his God by transgressing His command or violating the principle of His Gospel God has brought the highest honor to His name by the suffering of His children and should we shrink from anything that would bring honor to the name of our God If we have not the confidence that God will support us in faith and strengthen us so as to enable us to be faithful we dishonor God by unbelief and if we are not willing to endure the loss of all things for His sake we cannot be true

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  • No Concord between Christ and Belial - Part 1
    meekness considering thyself lest thou also be tempted Bear ye one another s burdens and so fulfill the law of Christ John said Hereby perceive we the love of God because He laid down His life for us and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren If brethren walk faithfully in this rule they show a distinguished love and man must close his eyes to the force of reason and truth if he does not recognize a principle in them that the world does not possess Paul s command here makes it the duty of one brother to labor to restore another whether the fault was committed against himself or whether it in any way concerned him personally or not The world does not usually concern itself to reform one who commits an error They may talk about it and spread the fault abroad but they do not labor to recover the erring and if the fault is committed against themselves they usually complain and speak to others about it much rather than to the offender and if they speak to him at all it is rarely in a meek and gentle spirit The believer who is in the true love of God cannot pass by and however much it may go against his natural feelings he is constrained by love of his brother s soul to address him in such manner and spirit as he deems most likely to win him or work conviction on his mind John said Whoso hath this world s good and seeth his brother have need and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him how dwelleth the love of God in him Therefore when they do good communicate and suffer for their brother even to the laying down of their life for him they show the fruits of love and men can comprehend it as such This spirit faithfully and honestly obeyed and carried out must work conviction in the heart for it is said that by it all men shall know that we are his disciples The world may reproach defame malign and persecute the children of God as much as they will They cannot help it and in their hearts they do still bear witness to the power of truth for Christ has said that all men shall know therefore they must know Christ further told his disciples to beware of false prophets who come to you in sheep s clothing but inwardly they are ravening wolves Ye shall know them by their fruits Do men gather grapes of thorns or figs of thistles Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit Christ must have intended that his disciples should know false prophets or he would not have told them to beware of them And to beware of them they must also know them or they could not do this To know them they must have evidence by which to do so and in so important a matter this test must also be a certain one Therefore the Savior gave them an unerring rule Ye shall know them by their fruits a good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit In saying to the disciples that they should beware of false prophets Christ must have intended that they should make some distinction between them and the true prophets The prophets taught the people what was the will of God and if the disciples knew any to be false and were told to beware of them what would be more natural than to withdraw themselves from hearing them And especially as Christ further said Take heed that no man deceive you The fruit that the Savior here speaks of as being the test of its producer s quality must evidently be the fruits of the spirit Every tree the Savior said is known by his own fruit A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil By nature we are all evil and carnal walk according to the flesh bring forth its fruits or works and are represented by a corrupt tree We fell from the spirit and under the flesh by the transgression of our first parents and we are in the flesh as long as the works of the flesh manifest themselves by our words deeds and actions The evil treasures of the heart are our self love carnal affections and will which have emanated from the Devil and forbid the carnal mind to be subject to the law of God From this principle or spirit the works of the flesh flow or are brought forth and are called its fruits In those who are converted this spirit or principle of evil is subdued and the spirit and love of God which was lost in the fall is restored and now controls the believer This is the good treasure of the heart and now since the Holy Spirit has the control of the heart and has power to overcome the evil treasure the good fruits of the spirit must be brought forth This is the infallible test that the Savior has given to his disciples by which they shall know the false prophets and everyone who professes faith for every tree is known by his own fruit The false prophets to whom the Savior alludes cannot be of a lewd vicious and immoral character They come to you in sheep s clothing That is they appear in the garb of sanctity They are decent moral and upright in their dealings and association with man but still there is an infallible test in their fruits by which the disciples shall know them and yet they are forbidden to judge The purpose of the enemy of all good is to hinder the work of God from prospering by every way he can and he has no better way to accomplish this purpose than by preventing obedience to the commands of the Savior Therefore he seeks to screen his false prophets from the light in which they may be known by hiding them behind the command not to judge What is the reason that there is so much holy horror expressed at the thought of judging and never a warning given to beware of false prophets The Devil is the prince of darkness and his object is to keep man in darkness for there he can carry on his work to purpose but as the light makes manifest he shuns this and tries to keep his emissaries from coming to the light so that their deeds are not reproved Christ said Everyone that doeth evil hateth the light neither cometh to the light lest his deeds should be reproved But he that doeth truth cometh to the light that his deeds may be made manifest that they are wrought in God To know a man by his fruits cannot be judging him for Christ commanded the one and forbade the other There must therefore be a distinction Paul said of Timothy he professed a good profession before many witnesses Thus a man might make a good and sound Gospel profession that no one could object to but if we would know that he was immoral in his conduct or led a life inconsistent with that profession we would know by these fruits that he could not be what he professes 19 By saying so or telling him that in the course of life he is leading he cannot be saved we would not be judging him By his fruits we would know him as the Savior has commanded But if there was nothing in his walk and conversation inconsistent with this good profession and we would yet undertake to condemn him or say he is not a disciple of Jesus then we would judge and transgress the command of Christ But if one comes to us and is moral and of good deportment so that he might in his outward conduct resemble a disciple of Jesus and would yet profess a doctrine that is not according to godliness or would not profess the doctrine of Christ we must know that Christ has not sent him The fruit of his lips would prove that he is a false prophet and we would not be judging him by shunning him for God s word has already judged him and we would only be obeying what Christ has commanded A little reflection must convince every candid mind of the importance of rightly understanding the intention of the Savior in giving these two commands If his disciples should undertake to make themselves judges of motives or intentions much evil and injustice might be done to innocent persons And the door of his house would be shut or closed against some of Christ s little ones Again if they did not observe the precaution to take heed to the doctrine and life of those who profess what leaven would be introduced into the church And the wolf in sheep s clothing would soon kill destroy and scatter the lambs of Christ But it is objected that we thus make ourselves judges of what Christ does teach reject the opinion of all other men and say we are right and all others wrong But what then did Christ mean when he said Beware of false prophets who come to you in sheep s clothing but inwardly are ravening wolves By their fruits ye shall know them Paul said to the Romans Now I beseech you brethren mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned and avoid them For they are such as serve not our Lord Jesus Christ but their own belly and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple The Lord Jesus Christ taught prayed for and insisted on unity in the Church and such a unity as could be comprehended by the world for in his prayer to His Father Christ desired that his disciples should be one as He and the Father are one that the world may believe that Thou hast sent me John said that Christ died to bring together in one the children of God that are scattered abroad Any doctrine that would cause division is contrary to Christ s doctrine Therefore it is false and Paul told his brethren to avoid them Why Because such do not serve the Lord Jesus Christ They are none of His In our day the popular church is very much divided and the teachers are very numerous who countenance it and say that it may be so and still be right They tell people only to embrace religion and unite themselves with any of these numerous branches as they are called Is this not contrary to Christ s doctrine And according to Paul they should be marked and avoided Paul also charged Timothy to instruct the Ephesians to teach no other doctrine and he himself would take heed unto himself and to the doctrine And John said Whosoever transgresseth and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ hath not God He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ hath both the Father and the Son If there come any unto you and bring not this doctrine receive him not into your house neither bid him God speed for he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds Does this not agree with what Christ said And show how John understood Christ Beware of false prophets which come to you said Christ John said If there come any unto you and bring not this doctrine receive him not This shows how John taught us to beware and what the consequences will be to such as greet them with God speed In order to carry out these instructions of Christ and the Apostles we must have a sure rule or guide so that we may certainly and surely know what the doctrine of Christ is That evil principle which I have observed is the cause of bringing forth the fruit in the unbeliever is self love It is the cause of our obeying the lusts and desires of the flesh and the mind Jesus Christ was manifested to destroy the work of the Devil and this principle being one of the chief of his works and antagonistic to the work of the Lord he levels some of his chief denunciations against this principle Christ did not deal much with special sins but leveled his shafts against the principle that is the parent of sin In denouncing the principle he denounced every species of irregularity that arises from that source Among the first of Christ s declarations or at least prominent among them is Deny thyself and take up thy cross He that would save his life shall lose it but he that will lose it for mine and the Gospel s sake shall find it Not a single command did he give but what is at variance with self love Not a single sentiment did he utter that will in any way harmonize with this principle The good principle which constitutes the good treasure of the heart from which the good fruit flows is the love of God shed abroad in the heart of those who are converted by the Holy Spirit Upon this principle all the commands of Christ are based and as Christ does not deal so much in special sins so He does also not dwell so much on special virtues but a great deal on the principle that commends the virtues to God The same act may be sin and abomination to God in one person and pleasing and acceptable to Him in another One person may contribute to relieve the necessity of another from a motive of vanity to be seen by men and have their esteem This proceeds from the reprobate principle of self love before alluded to and it is displeasing to God Another may contribute to relieve the same necessity from a motive of love to God and its consequent fruit of good will to men and the act is a sacrifice with which God is well pleased Those who possess this good treasure or Divine principle do by its influence detect every approach of Satan through their flesh by which he would influence them with this evil spirit and by the power of the Holy Spirit they are able to overcome the deeds of the body keep it in subjection and take their thoughts captive under the obedience of Christ Self love is the cause of all strife quarrelling contention war and bloodshed James said From whence come wars and fighting among you Come they not hence even of your lusts that war in your members And Peter said Dearly beloved I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims abstain from fleshly lusts which war against the soul All extravagance in fashions and fashionable diversions are for the gratification of this principle and proceed from the flesh Let anyone pause and reflect what is the ground that causes people to adopt modes or fashions of dress which serve no kind of useful purpose but are oftentimes exceedingly inconvenient and besides so expensive as to make their cost inconvenient also and burdensome Is it not the principle of self love which the Savior has said we must deny This is certainly a command of the Savior and when we violate it we show an evil fruit When we see men do those things which cannot be prompted by anything else than this evil principle we cannot help but know them to be such as the Savior has commanded us to beware of Those who by painful experience have learned to know this evil principle cannot fail to know what its fruits are for Christ has said they shall know them As love is the evidence by which all men are to know the disciples of Christ All men shall know that ye are my disciples if ye have love one to another As I have said this love must have something to distinguish it from carnal love and must and will convince the world of the truth also however much they may desire the contrary conviction then the contrary must convince or prove the opposite The absence of this love must prove that they are not his disciples When one brother can see another err and not use the means of love which Christ has given for the purpose of restoring him he cannot love him and the disciples of Jesus may know by this fruit that he is not in possession of the spirit of God When Christ has commanded us to love our enemies and do good to them and we see men contrary to this command fighting and killing them there can be no difficulty in determining that these are fruits which flow from the evil treasure of a man s heart The Apostle Paul in his epistles was more specific in naming the different acts that constitute violations of the principle that underlies the chief commands of the Gospel That which the Savior termed the evil treasure of the heart the Apostle usually called the flesh and the good treasure of the heart he called spirit In other places they are distinguished by light and darkness Paul said in Romans 8 For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh but they that are after the spirit do mind the things that are spirit For to be carnally minded is death but to

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  • No Concord between Christ and Belial - Part 2
    that they are under any other spirit than that of the world Jesus Christ and the Apostles have given us the command to beware of false prophets and not to be yoked together with unbelievers and said by their fruits we shall know them This then we hold is not judging but Jesus Christ has already judged and given us his judgment The reason why we can take no part with these worshippers or acknowledge them as brethren is because we look upon it as being a spiritless exercise and nothing less than idolatry The same spirit that led men into idolatry of old and the Jews to depart from the Law of the Lord has led to this carnal irregular service We feel constrained in obedience to the command of the Savior and his Apostles to withdraw from their worship and reprove them and bear a protest against all the unfruitful works of darkness no matter under what guise or pretences they are practiced We are accused of being selfish uncharitable and self righteous The latter principle is highly offensive to God and man No Christian can be self righteous for they cannot be Christians until their own righteousness becomes as filthy rags to them and they as humble beggars come to cast all their own virtues away and accept the merits and righteousness of another They can continue to be Christians only so long as they continue to cast away their own and depend on the merits and righteousness of Christ True charity is that which cries aloud and spares not regardless of person and profession It reproves rebukes exhorts and admonishes with all long suffering and doctrine Self love or selfishness seeks the favor and good will of man We confess that we feel this in the flesh as well as all other men do and if we would let this influence us it would lead us to such a practice as would secure us the good will of man There is no practice in our profession that brings us so much reproach as this and self love if it influenced us at all would certainly not lead us to a course in which it has to suffer so much mortification If we would even protest against the popular religion of our day as strongly in all respects as we do yet would attend their worship and service occasionally and only relax this one feature of our profession it would secure us a very large degree of their friendship and favor and also secure large accessions to our church It would seem to me therefore that natural reasons would show thatthis cannot be the motive But this we will admit that if the motives attributed to us by our opponents influence us then our religion is vain The destruction of this principle is the very object for which the religion of Jesus Christ was instituted and it will accomplish this purpose and where this purpose is not accomplished there is also none of his religion for they are antagonistic principles and can no more exist together in the heart than light and darkness can commune I have said in the foregoing part of this work that the religion of Jesus Christ is reasonable and consistent Every man who rises to preach the Gospel does by the act make a virtual profession that he is a converted man and under the influence of the Holy Spirit who directs him what to teach One teaches that it is our duty as Christians to take up arms and defend or fight for the country another tells us the Holy Spirit teaches him that it is sin This will suffice for my purpose There might be many more such differences cited but I will forbear Can any reasonable person believe that these can both be instructed by this Holy Spirit This is neither reasonable nor consistent Then it cannot be the religion of Jesus Christ or else His religion is not consistent Paul said We are ambassadors for Christ as though God did beseech you by us If any two or more men would come to our President professing to be ambassadors from any foreign power and would represent the will of their Sovereign in a very widely different manner what would our President do He would evidently refuse to have anything to do with anyone until he would apply to the power to know whom or whether any of them was his accredited agent Thus every sincere and upright person must do Apply to Jesus and His Word and there he will find an infallible guide Christ said in John 10 Verily verily I say unto you He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold but climbeth up some other way is a thief and a robber but he that entereth in by the door is the Shepherd of the sheep Christ is here evidently speaking of the visible church Into this unconverted persons have climbed from the beginning of its institution The invisible church no unconverted person can enter The visible church is here compared to a fold of sheep the shepherd or pastor of which must also have entered into the fold by true conversion through Christ the door To such a shepherd the porter or Holy Spirit opens He goes before and the sheep follow him for they know his voice and a stranger will they not follow but will flee from him for they know not the voice of strangers Isn t the Savior s meaning here very plain He told us as plainly as it is possible for language to do that every unconverted person who enters the visible church of Christ is a thief and a robber and especially such as assume to preach the Gospel Let the expression sound as offensive as it will we must take it as it is the word of Christ You and I whoever we are whatever we may think of ourselves or whatever the world may think of us if we have not been truly born again or converted and thereby entered into the fold of Christ through Him we are a thief and a robber Turn it which way we will we can make nothing else out of it it sounds the same awful warnings in our ear All who enter into Christ are brethren of one family and are here compared to sheep of one fold The shepherd is the minister or teacher or spiritual guide of the external or visible church or fold It can be very easily comprehended that it is important that he should himself have entered into Christ by true conversion and that by a life of humility and self denial he also continues in him so that Christ by the Holy Spirit may direct him what to teach To him the porter openeth The Holy Spirit opens the word of eternal truth to the true shepherd of Christ so that he may lead and direct the sheep of Christ into the living pastures and to the pure fountains of the living Word of God The sheep those who have entered the fold through Christ those who have been truly converted know his voice They have themselves experienced the work of conversion have felt what sin is have also felt what the love of God is and being thereby made partakers of the divine nature they know its influence and they are also enabled by this light to distinguish what is truth and what is error Therefore when their shepherd speaks of these things they do not sound strange to them the voice is familiar they have themselves experienced them When the shepherd speaks to them of the mode by which Satan seeks to lead them away from the simplicity of Christ and teaches them their duties these all agree with the spirit they have received and they know the voice Natural sheep know their shepherd they also know his voice and they follow him wherever he leads them Thus the true children of God will follow their teachers He goes before them said the Savior He sets them a good example and they follow after him as he does the shepherd and bishop of their souls Jesus Christ The stranger is evidently intended to mean one who has not entered the Church or fold through Christ but has climbed up some other way and is also a thief and a robber These are called strangers because they are not fellow citizens with the saints and of the household of God They do not belong to the household of faith and are therefore strangers Whenever there is a family of children born of the same parents any other one in the house who does not stand in the relation of a child is called a stranger He is of strange blood and cannot be heir with or enjoy the rights of a child Thus those who enter into the church and are not born again by the incorruptible seed of the Word of God are not of the household or heirs of God They are strangers and when they speak their voice is strange They speak of things that the children have not learned of Christ When they teach a doctrine differing from what Christ taught it is strange to them They have not so learned Christ and they will not hear it They will flee from him because they know not his voice The thief cometh not but for to steal and to kill and to destroy The thief is the same as the stranger He is not born of God is a stranger and is dangerous besides He is a false prophet and an unbeliever has a strange voice and by this fruit the sheep know him and so will not hear him because they know he is come only to steal kill and destroy He is disobedient and stubborn and the Devil has his work in him as it is said he works in the children of disobedience This is as witchcraft and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry Reflect well on these words and mark what Christ said He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold is a thief and a robber This refers to and includes everyone who is not born again It matters not how honest and well meaning he may be if he is himself deceived and truly imagines he is called of God to preach the Gospel he is nevertheless a thief and a robber even though he is deluded He is blind at the best and if the blind lead the blind both will fall into the pit Many of the Gentiles may be in a measure innocent yet what they sacrifice they sacrifice to devils and not to God These not having entered in through the door are thieves and robbers they are strange and dangerous and the Savior said that the sheep will not hear them they will flee from them because they know they steal kill and destroy They may not steal any earthly treasure may not kill or destroy the body but they steal the heavenly treasure of love to God by infusing false doctrine into the mind and instilling ideas and views which tend to the gratification of the flesh and the mind thereby robbing the soul of the love of God and poisoning it with false doctrine so that the soul must die Thus they steal kill and destroy If Christ had not given the sheep evidence whereby they could surely know the stranger and hireling from the good shepherd they would not know how to make this distinction here referred to But Christ said that they will not hear a stranger but will flee How could they flee if they do not know Then it is evident that where there is a strange voice those who do not flee are not sheep for they will flee The Savior further called this stranger thief and robber a hireling and said He careth not for the sheep Christ gave His life for the sheep and those who have been converted and entered into the fold through Christ the door are made partakers of the divine nature receive the mind of Christ and have the love of God shed abroad in the heart through the Holy Spirit These love the souls of their brethren and would run any and every risk to secure the safety of the flock over which the Holy Spirit has made them overseers But the hireling has no further interest in the work he is engaged in than his wages and when he sees these to be in danger he will not work The hireling has no interest in the sheep He does not care for them Therefore when he sees the wolf coming he will flee He sees his wages to be in danger and these he will not risk The devil is evidently the wolf here spoken of or alluded to and it is said that he may be seen coming He seeth the wolf coming The devil or wolf approaches the flock of Christ by working on the lusts and desires of the flesh and the mind inclining them to light mindedness and carnal enjoyments This is first wrought in the mind and feelings of the individual unperceived by any other and if those whom he is approaching would be watchful and flee to the great shepherd of their souls the wolf could get no advantage Neither could he approach close enough for the shepherd to perceive But when he gets so much hold as to be perceptible in the walk and conversation then the shepherd can see the wolf coming This is by any of the fruits of the flesh manifesting themselves Here they must labor as Christ and the Apostles taught us for the purpose of making the erring aware of their decline This is not done by declaiming in a general way against sin and the works of the flesh but by laboring individually with those who are infected with leaven as Christ taught If the shepherd would see a wolf capturing a sheep it would do no good to cry wolf he would have to enter into combat with the wolf if he would rescue his sheep David said that when the lion and the bear took the lamb out of the flock of which he was the shepherd I went out after him and smote him and delivered it out of his mouth and when he arose against me I caught him by the beard and smote him and slew him This was attended with danger to David but he felt an interest in the sheep and he did not flee at the approach of the wolf It is not an uncommon thing when a brother falls into error or is captivated by the flesh if the shepherd labors to make him aware of his sin the spirit or wolf will rise against him This may bring him into danger and trouble but the faithful shepherd is not deterred from doing his duty by any personal consideration But the hireling who has no interest in the sheep but the wool who does not serve the Lord Jesus Christ but his belly fearing he may incur the displeasure of the offender or his interests or reputation may suffer passes by and so the wolf catches and scatters the whole flock How significant is this word scatters The flock of Christ or his fold is a unit There are three score queens and four score concubines and virgins without number My dove my undefiled is but one She is the only one of her mother she is the choice one of her that bore her Songs of Solomon 6 When the flock is scattered it is evidence that the wolf has caught them Take the church in its present popular sense and it cannot be scattered A thing to be scattered must be in some kind of contact or proximity first but the present nominal church is already so scattered that no wolf could accomplish more and is evidence that the wolf has long since been among them In Leviticus 17 the Lord said Thou shalt in any wise rebuke thy neighbor and not suffer sin upon him Christ and the Apostles plainly instruct us how we shall labor with our brethren so as not to allow sin upon them and if they will not reform we shall hold them as heathen men and publicans But who does not know that the most shameful irregularities occur in the great popular churches of the present day Drunkenness lying cheating backbiting defaming and gossiping are of frequent occurrence and can not help but come to the knowledge of the pastors but we hear little of confessions retractions or restitutions being made or even a scriptural rebuke being administered especially if the offender is a person of respectability in society or of influence and good standing I know there are many persons of estimable moral character amiability and virtue among them but these also very well know that what we assert is true of numbers of their brethren Thus the hireling flees and the sheep are destroyed It is said that Luther was so much disgusted in his latter days at the immorality of his people in Wittenberg that he left the place in disgust with the intention of spending the remainder of his days elsewhere There is no doubt but Luther declaimed loudly and earnestly against these immoralities but had he been a faithful shepherd taken none into the fold but such as gave evidence that they had entered into Christ then fed the flock with the pure living pastures of the Word of God and

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  • No Concord between Christ and Belial - Part 3
    that it is not right for Christians to fight and who also hold that we must not be conformed to the world in following their fashions and customs but who are plain in their dress and manners The prophecies in the Old Testament represent Christ s kingdom or Church as being one of unity and love All the figures and representations of it are of the same nature They point to a visible unity When Christ came His teaching and commands were of the same import and He prayed to His heavenly Father that it should be so When the day of Pentecost was fully come and the time arrived which had been spoken of by the prophets the time when he would establish this kingdom it was such a visible unity They were all by one spirit baptized into one body and became of one heart and mind The Church or kingdom of Christ agreed with the prophecies and figures represented in the Old Testament It accorded with the teaching figures and prayers of the Savior The Scriptures cannot be broken and the Church could be nothing less or more than what God had declared it should be This unity was the work of the Holy Spirit which by converting souls to God makes believers to be of one heart and mind and all those who allow themselves to be led by the Holy Spirit must continue to be one This cannot be otherwise for there is but one truth the Holy Spirit is called the spirit of truth and it is said It will lead us into all truth Wherever opposite or conflicting doctrines are held by professed Christians one party must be in error and these cannot be led by the spirit of God I have observed that Christ prayed for this unity and its continuance The Apostles after the establishment of the church earnestly urged its preservation and continuance and severely reproved and condemned those in whom the first symptoms of divisions or ideas tending to that end manifested themselves Paul writing to the Romans said Now I beseech you brethren mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned and avoid them For they that are such serve not Our Lord Jesus Christ but their own belly and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple According to the declaration of the Savior we cannot be His disciples or enter into the kingdom of Heaven unless we observe His commandments keep His sayings and abide in His word The commands of Christ cannot be obeyed and observed in the Church unless there is this visible unity existing among its members Those who deny the necessity of a visible unity in the Church admit that there must be a unity in the essentials All professed Christians hold conversion to be essential and the idea that it is unnecessary would be rejected as heresy But if conversion is essential are not its fruits equally essential Conversion is the parent or cause of unity and throughout all nature effect must follow cause Where there is not unity there the Holy Spirit s influence cannot exist Therefore unity among believers must be as essential to salvation as conversion itself To deny the visible unity of true believers is therefore to deny the doctrine of Christ and is contrary to what true believers have learned Nothing can tend more to cause offences and divisions among believers than the denial of this principle of absolute visible unity among the children of God Those therefore who deny and reject this doctrine deny and reject the doctrine of Christ and cause divisions contrary to the doctrine which every believer has learned and Paul said we shall mark such and avoid them They hold a doctrine that is contrary to love the voices of those who advocate it are strange to the sheep of Christ and the sheep will not hear or follow those who utter it for they know not the voice of strangers but will flee from them There are large numbers of those who profess the religion of Jesus Christ divided among societies of different names who call themselves defenseless Christians Many of them also protest against the right of Christians to follow the fashions of the world in dress and style of life Many of these are plain unassuming upright citizens and their general deportment and character is unexceptionable It may be asked why we refuse to worship or have Christian fellowship with these seeing they are free from the extravagance and folly chargeable to so many others of the great sects of Christendom We have already shown in the foregoing part of this work that they are mostly inconsistent with their profession They still take part in the kingdom of this world and show thereby that their non resistance is not founded on the true principle There may perhaps be some who do not take any part in elections or hold any office in the worldly kingdom Of this I am not certain But so far as I have knowledge they all deny the visible unity of the church They all reject the idea that the children of God must be of one heart and one mind 22 As I have said before nothing can tend more to cause divisions than the doctrine these hold If it is contended that everything that is in the way of union and harmony is from the devil it will cause those who have the fear of God before their eyes to search diligently for every cause of dissension and endeavor to remove it But if it is held that divisions are allowable such causes as lead to divisions will excite no alarm The devil will not be resisted and thus divisions are encouraged or caused Therefore Paul said to mark and avoid them The spirit of disunion is a grievous wolf The true and faithful shepherds of Christ will be exceedingly alarmed for the safety of the flock where they see him make his appearance and will labor earnestly to preserve the flock from being scattered But if they are told this is no wolf the sheep may be thrown off their guard and thus fall a prey to the devourer The fruit of this denial of the unity of the Church or children of God is confusion and discord with a great train of inconsistencies Some of these defenseless Christians contend that there is no visible Church on earth Others contend that it consists of the upright in all the different churches and others again that all the different denominations are different branches of the true Church Christ said to his disciples that He is the vine and they are the branches If these are the branches of the vine Jesus Christ they must all bring the same fruit If the fruit is not the same they cannot be branches of the same vine Those who hold that Christ and his Apostles teach the doctrine of non resistance cannot possibly believe that those who teach that it is the duty of Christians to take up arms and defend themselves on the field of battle can be called of God to preach If non resistance is true then these must be false witnesses of God Yet they will contend that they may be ambassadors of Christ and that the Lord may bless their labors and work through them They will worship with them preach with them and thus give them the right hand of fellowship bidding them God speed and still contend that their doctrine is false Christ said that we cannot gather grapes from thorns or figs of thistles yet these contend we may Those who deny that the Church is visible at all thereby condemn themselves They break the bread and drink the cup of the Lord and still admit that they are not the Lord s body If God s Church is not visible then those bodies which profess to be Christ s Church must be dead Yet they will worship and preach with them Do they not admit they themselves to be dead by this Can a living member of Christ be attached to a dead body If their own body is not the body of Christ then they themselves with all that are in it must be defiled for Paul said that a little leaven leavens the whole lump No one can continue in a leavened body without becoming leavened themselves or else Paul s word in 1 Corinthians 5 is not true Some of this class of professed Christians acknowledge that they should not make a practice of attending the meetings and worship of those who are so directly opposed to them in principle They say it would not be right to go to their meetings on purpose to hear them preach or worship with them but on the occasion of a funeral or if they accidentally come in contact with their assembly it is not their duty to withdraw These acknowledge having some perception of the duty of a separation but make it a partial one If the worship is idolatrous or their exercise is displeasing to God and it is our duty to reprove or lay off a testimony against them can the occasion excuse us Will the sheep hear the stranger s voice if he chances to meet him in an opportune place There is a great deal said in the Scriptures about spiritual fornication Christ s Church is compared to a chaste bride But if the bride of Christ thus has interaction with the world in its idolatrous exercises does she not lose this comparison Or would a bride be considered chaste and virtuous if she should receive the advances of a stranger because it was a particular occasion or she had not sought his society This all comes from denying the doctrine of the unity of the church and an indistinct perception of the principle which must govern the true believer and on which all commands of the Gospel hang and rest Christ does not say that his sheep will hear the voice of a stranger at a funeral Neither did Paul tell his brethren they need not mark and avoid those who cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine if they fall in their way by chance Neither did he say that we need not reprove or rebuke the unfruitful works of darkness at funerals Nor did Christ say that we need not beware of false prophets there The great cry about the self righteousness and uncharitableness of those who separate themselves from the worship of those who do not obey the Gospel of Jesus Christ charging them with tacitly saying I am holier than thou is all a device of Satan to make God s people appear odious to the world so that he may counteract the influence of their good example and the reproof they administer to those who yield to the flesh and desires of the mind Those who truly and faithfully walk in the spirit do not regard this They could even rejoice in it and would rather desire it than otherwise if they did not know that in their ignorance and blindness their enemies are treasuring up against themselves wrath against the day of wrath and the revelation of the righteous judgment of God Neither would we think it worth our while to attempt to vindicate our cause if it were not for the hope that the prejudice may thereby be removed from the minds of some and the way opened for truth to reach the understanding The true non resistants and faithful disciples of Jesus Christ whose hearts have been thoroughly changed by conversion and who are led and influenced by the Holy Spirit will keep the narrow way unfalteringly regardless of all the opposition which Satan the world and their own flesh can make regardless also of the number and size of the anti Christian sects which may spring up around them Time and circumstances make no change in their minds or principles Truth is true and unchangeable and however much science or popular opinion may change truth is still the same The great Babylonian structure of the popular system of religion commonly called the Church may be fitly compared to a chain composed of an almost interminable number of links The two ends of this chain might be very distant from each other but still there would be a connection running through the whole and unless a link was entirely severed from the rest the extremities would be dragged together wherever the body would be taken Those societies therefore whose profession and general practices are ever so distant from the most extravagant and those guilty of the most scandalous disorder have no association with them Yet they still associate with others who are not quite as strict as themselves and these again with others until the chain is completed and forms one united body Therefore the spirit in Revelation said Come out of Babylon my people that ye be not partaker of her sins and receive of her plagues The Apostle Paul said A covetous man is an idolater and covetousness is idolatry Again Be not deceived Neither thieves nor covetous nor drunkards nor revilers nor extortioners shall inherit the kingdom of God Paul further said A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump If covetousness is idolatry or makes all the worship or service such a person can render or bring sinful and idolatrous and if such a covetous person is a member of the Church and the pastor and congregation have knowledge of it and they do not purge out this leaven then they become leavened with him and are partakers of his sins They become an idolatrous and impure body and as a consequence their service or worship can be nothing else than idolatry Covetousness may dwell in the heart and others may not be aware of it For others to know it there must be fruit to reveal it So long as our deeds and actions do not convict us of it those associated with us in worship do not become defiled But when our business acts or deeds reveal the spirit which influences us the leaven will speedily leaven the whole lump if it is not purged out A professed gambler one who makes any game of chance his business or one who is in the habit of resorting to games of chance must be easily known to be covetous for the tree is known by his fruit Certainly then any Church or body whose pastor or members knowingly retain a gambler in their congregation or communion must be a dead idolatrous body All those who associate with him in a spiritual capacity are justly chargeable with his sins It has not been a long while since nearly if not quite all the States in the Union tolerated or legalized money lotteries and in some States they still exist Numbers of members of the popular Churches of good standing and influence in the Church made lottery brokerage a business to say nothing of those who were in the habit of dealing in tickets and seeking gain by the chances of the lottery wheel Even Churches as a body resorted to it to raise money to build houses of worship and raise funds for church purposes In our own and most other States the law has interposed and put a stop to the system but up to the time the law made the proscription Church members were as actively engaged in the business as others If gambling is coveteousness and coveteousness is idolatry must not these popular Churches have been a body of idolaters I suppose there were some clergymen who labored and exerted their influence to have lotteries abolished In a moral point of view this was right and good and I rejoice exceedingly and am thankful to God that he put it into the heart of the powers to abolish so great a moral evil and fruitful source of misery and degradation But what is the duty of the ambassador of Christ Can he sit down and cry wolf only while the wolf is tearing and devouring the lambs of Christ until the law interposes and delivers them It is his duty as a porter in the house of God to see that no covetous idolater enters the temple and if he should creep in unawares or if he should become leavened by the enemy after he had entered to purge the Church speedily of all such leaven and not allow the whole body to become defiled Dr Bellows in his letter explaining the correspondence between the standing committee of the Sanitary Commission and the managers of the Metropolitan Fair on the subject of raffling speaks of a rising tide of Christian sentiment If the Church by the light of her example exerts such an influence on the moral sentiment outside of the Church as to lead men to abandon immoral practices and thus create arising tide of moral sentiment or if you choose Christian sentiment it is highly commendable and an honor to God But it may be questioned whether this is an expression which can be applied to the Church with propriety Can there be a rising tide of Christian sentiment in the Church There may be such in the popular or nominal Church but can there be such in the true Christian Church Christian sentiment has never risen above that of the primitive Church and it is doubtful whether it could ever sink much below it That spirit which makes us Christians and reigns in a true Christian Church is the same which wrought so effectually in the Apostolic Church and is a

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