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  • Samuel at Gilgal

    This year I will be sharing brief excerpts from the articles, sermons, and books I am currently reading. My posts will not follow a regular schedule but will be published as I find well-written thoughts that should be of interest to maturing Christian readers. Whenever possible, I encourage you to go to the source and read the complete work of the author.

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John Witherspoon On The Best Friend To American Liberty

John Witherspoon

Quoting John Witherspoon – Signer of the Declaration of Independence, Clergyman, and President of Princeton University:

“While we give praise to God, the Supreme Disposer of all events, for His interposition on our behalf, let us guard against the dangerous error of trusting in, or boasting of, an arm of flesh … If your cause is just, if your principles are pure, and if your conduct is prudent, you need not fear the multitude of opposing hosts.

What follows from this? That he is the best friend to American liberty, who is most sincere and active in promoting true and undefiled religion, and who sets himself with the greatest firmness to bear down profanity and immorality of every kind.

Whoever is an avowed enemy of God, I scruple not to call him an enemy of his country.” (Sermon at Princeton University, “The Dominion of Providence over the Passions of Men,” May 17, 1776)

President Grover Cleveland’s Thanksgiving Day Proclamation

Grover Cleveland

By the President of the United States:

The goodness and the mercy of God, which have followed the American people during all the days of the past year claim our grateful recognition and humble acknowledgment. By His omnipotent power He has protected us from war and pestilence and from every national calamity; by His gracious favor the earth has yielded a generous return to the labor of the husbandman, and every path of honest toil has led to comfort and contentment; by His loving kindness the hearts of our people have been replenished with fraternal sentiment and patriotic endeavor, and by His Fatherly guidance we have been directed in the way of national prosperity.

To the end that we may with one accord testify our gratitude for all these blessings, I, Grover Cleveland, President of the United States, do hereby designate and set apart Thursday, the twenty-fourth day of November next as a day of Thanksgiving and Prayer, to be observed by all the people of the land.

On the day let all secular work and employment be suspended; and let our people assemble in their accustomed places of worship and with prayer and songs of praise, give thanks to our Heavenly Father for all that He has done for us while we implore the forgiveness of our sins and a continuance of His mercy.

Let families and kindred be reunited on that day and let their hearts, filled with kindly cheer and affectionate reminiscence, be turned to the source of all their pleasures and to the Giver of all that makes the day bright and joyous.

And in the midst of our worship and enjoyments let us remember the poor, the needy, and the unfortunate; and by our gifts of charity and ready benevolence let us increase the number of those who with grateful hearts shall join in our Thanksgiving.

In witness whereof I have set my hand and caused the seal of the United States to be hereunto affixed.

Done at the city of Washington, this twenty-fifth day of October in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and eighty-seven, and of the Independence of the United States the one hundred and twelfth.

Hell Is No Longer Fashionable!

Archibald Alexander

There is no greater mischief done to men, than by spreading among them false opinions which remove beneficial restraints. I am writing here about those restraints which preserve men from indulging in sin, or relying on a false security. Those same false opinions persuade men to neglect that preparation which is necessary for death and judgment. One such false opinion may be more dangerous than all others to the good of men; it is the opinion that there is no Hell or future punishment. Archibald Alexander gives us more information to help our understanding of this matter:

“He, who believes on the Son, has everlasting life; and he, who believes not the Son, shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.” (John 3:36)

Here there is no room for any doubt on account of the import of particular terms. That the life here spoken of is life in a future state cannot be denied, for it is expressly called everlasting life; and it is expressly asserted that unbelievers shall not partake of this life. Now if they are deprived of life in the future world, they are deprived of happiness; there is no medium between life and death, happiness and misery. Unbelievers must therefore be miserable in the future world. And this seems to be asserted strongly in the last words quoted: “And the wrath of God abides on him.” These words do not merely signify that the unbeliever is under wrath while in this world, but that this is an abiding state. It is the contrast to the possession of eternal life. While the wicked are in this world, they are indeed under a sentence of wrath, but the execution of this wrath is reserved for a future state. The greatest sinners and most obstinate unbelievers live in ease and pleasure here, and do not suffer the wrath under the sentence of which they lie. But it will abide upon them, and the vials of this divine wrath will be poured out upon them to all eternity. . . .

Let us now attend to a few testimonies from the apostle Paul. “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life, through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Rom. 6:23. Here the just rules of interpretation require us to consider death, as it stands in contrast with eternal life, to be eternal death.

“For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ; whose end is destruction.” Phil. 3:18, 19. This destruction, which comes at the end of the sinner’s course, cannot be natural death; for all are subject to death—the friends as well as the enemies of the cross. It is certainly a destruction which is peculiar to the wicked, and as it is their end, must be future punishment, or the second death. (“Future Punishment: The Universalist Refuted” by Archibald Alexander)

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