as revealed in the Counsels of Eternity.
Thoughts on a book entitled: "Names of Divine Persons."
This booklet shows that the controversy concerning Names and Relationships in the Godhead has reached a point where it is easy to understand and point out error. Mr. Taylor has ventured upon ground beyond his rights, denying the eternal relationships of Father and Son, the Son's eternal home in the Father's bosom, and His eternal distinction as the Logos. This has called forth written papers from many able pens, and his attempts to justify the error show a departure from sound doctrine which may be made plain to the simplest.
The first and main point to observe is the failure of the writer to distinguish between the ontologic and the economic, or, in other words, his constant confusing essential unrevealed Deity with the revelation of God in tri-unity as Father, Son and Spirit.
Apprehending this it is easy to see how he shuts out from the saints the revelation of eternal love, light and glory, made known to us by the Son, as well as the anticipatory activities of Father, Son and Spirit in that eternal past, in an endeavour to guard that which no one but himself is encroaching upon, namely, essential unrevealed Godhead. This is the secret of the whole defect, and any one who distinguishes between the two, that is, between the revelation of God in the Son, and that which must ever remain beyond our faith and knowledge, may easily see where he has gone astray.
The solemn thing is that all this philosophical reasoning is the attempt to support the first departure, and substantiate the negations above referred to. I venture to say that all the confusion can be traced to his failure to distinguish unrevealed and unapproachable Deity from the blessed revelation of God in the Son. Conscious of being on such holy ground I would not dare to make such statements without proof, but would seek the Lord's help to examine a few of the sentences on the first page, which I think will abundantly prove that the writer has lost himself while dealing with the most profound part of the Word of God. Take the first two sentences.
"To be balanced in considering so great a subject as divine Names, we must distinguish between God in absoluteness and in relativeness. The Deity has to be regarded by Itself, so to speak, that is, as before and outside relations with time and creation."
The distinction made in the first of these sentences is good but the word "relativeness" in such a connection is ambiguous. It seems to miss the truth of relativeness between the glorious [Persons*] composing the ever blessed Trinity. In the second sentence the distinction is also proper but I ask the reader to note that the Deity is designated in an impersonal way. No objection can be made for clearly Essence or Absoluteness is impersonal. In the next two sentences we read:
"In this aspect no one has seen or can see God. He is altogether beyond the grasp of the mind of the creature."
I bring forward these statements simply to express concurrence, for no one asserts that essential Deity comes within the creature's range. To speak of Deity, by "Itself" is to have before the mind that aspect of the Godhead which has not been revealed and which speaks of God as dwelling in unapproachable light. The writer may seek to guard this as long as he may and with him all will agree. But in doing it he sweeps aside the grandeur of revelation which has brought God to us as revealed in the Son. At this every one who through mercy has learned to appreciate that revelation is bound to protest. In proof of this, note the following:
"To assume that the declaration of God implies that men may now see God as He existed eternally is a mistake; it makes Him cease to be invisible, which according to John 1:18 and Col. 1:15 is not the truth. He is still the invisible God."
It is difficult to conceive how a person could betray himself as the writer does in these words. He admits that God is declared and in the same sentence tells us we cannot know Him. By the word "see" he evidently means "know" or "apprehend." This we gather from the following sentence where He says "God was seen in Christ."
But why should it be a mistake to assume, since God is declared, that we may see Him as He existed eternally? Did He not exist eternally in Love? (1 John 4:8-16.) and Light? (John 1:5). Was He not eternally active in that love? (John 17:24). Surely the Son declared God in this world as He ever existed and did so that He might be known in the heart of the creature that had wandered so far from Him. Or are we to follow the writer and accept that in the unchangeable depth of the everlasting God some change took place at the Incarnation of the Son so that we might get to know Him in this changed way?
Think of a person saying it is a mistake to assume that we can see God as declared, and in the next sentence saying God was seen in Christ here. Does anyone think I am treating the writer unfairly? Read his words again. "To assume that the declaration of God implies that men may now see God as He existed eternally, is a mistake." Is it not clear that if God is declared at all it must be as He eternally existed? If God was seen in Christ, as the writer says, will he tell us how He was seen if it was not as He existed eternally?
But the revelation of God goes further. Here I ask the careful attention of the saints of God. The revelation of God in the Son shows us not only God as He ever existed, but the grand scheme of eternal counsel which is the outcome of Who God is in His Being and Nature, and this brings to the view of faith something of the before-time activities of this glorious God. In these activities the Son was constituted "Heir of all things." An Heir does not become Son, but the Son is constituted Heir. (Heb. 1:2). This necessitated creation. Creation was not only by the Son but for HIM. (Col. 1:16).
From these activities within the Godhead with regard to each other, we pass to their activities with regard to the saints. These were the Father's love-gift to the Son. (John 17:6). Then look at the range of divine activities with regard to them. They were marked out for Sonship, (Eph. 1:5.) purposed for blessing, (2 Tim. 1:9.) promised eternal life, (Titus 1:2.) and wisdom was ordained for their glory. (1 Cor. 2:7). All this tells of the Being, Nature and activities of God, in the eternal past, and yet we are told it is a mistake to assume to know Him as He existed eternally.
On page 8 the same attempt is made to rob us of the Home of holy love and all its sweet and blessed joys brought to us, by confusing with it unrevealed Essential Deity which no one, except it be the writer and his followers, is attempting to touch. It is said there:
"The assumption that the declaration of God involves that the veil is removed, so that men may look on the Deity in its pre-incarnate relations, is unwarranted from Scripture and is false, as making the finite equal to the infinite. The creature is not capable of looking at the Deity in its abstract form and relations."
In this dogmatic statement Deity is spoken of twice in an impersonal way. First in "Its pre-incarnate relations" and then in Its Abstract Form and relations." There is no sense of the Home of eternal relations and holy delights which were to be told out here in a race not yet in being. No! all is "Deity, in Its pre-incarnate relations" and "Deity in Its abstract form and relations."
The writer misses the distinction and confuses between what Deity is in Its own Intrinsic and Essential excellence, as lying behind revelation, unknown and unknowable, and what the blessed Godhead is as made known by the Son in Three glorious [Persons*], Father, Son and Spirit. This latter is brought to us in the sovereignty of love, as we have seen from many Scriptures, for our eternal delight, and for His, who delights to be known in His Nature, Being, and counsels of love, in our hearts for ever.
This we humbly claim is the heritage of grace belonging to every saint of God. Are we to give it up and be bereft of the richest treasures of Divine revelation? Are we really at this man's bidding to part with love's Divinest communications, and be left with absoluteness and infinitude, or indeed with philosophical reasoning about the Deity in Itself, till certain "graded relations" were taken at the Incarnation or the Son.
We cannot, we dare not give all this up. And, moreover, we have a right to examine the claims and credentials of him who asks us to give it up. The person who tells us that it is a mistake to assume to know our God as He has made Himself known to us, hesitates not to tell us what could and what could not be needed within the Abstract relations of Deity. Speaking of "the Word" or Logos Mr. T. says:
"This term could have no application in the abstract relations of Deity, for the idea conveyed would not be necessary as between Themselves" (Page 11).
Mr. T. stands condemned here from his own mouth. By confusing between the revealed and unrevealed, as we have seen, he robs us of much that is heavenly and eternal while he daringly passes beyond the revealed and presumes to say what could not be necessary in the abstract relations of Deity.
But why should our seeing and knowing God as revealed make Him cease to be invisible? The New Testament is full of the truth that the saints are brought to see and know God, although He ever remains invisible. God is said to be invisible both before, and after being revealed by the Son. Old Testament saints endured as seeing Him who is invisible (Heb. 11:22). And now since He is revealed it is said the Son is the image of the invisible God. (Col. 1:15). The Son became Man to reveal God as He ever existed in His counsels of love, and this is known on the principle of faith.
Not only are we robbed of Col. 1:15, but John 1:18 is taken away as well. Any one can see the error of this by looking at 1 John 4:12. There the first eight words of John 1:18 are used: "No one has seen God at any time," and immediately afterwards it is said, "We have seen." But now let us look at what follows.
"That Christ is God, and that all the fulness dwelt in Him, is, of course true, but this is in Manhood, not in His eternal form and essence” (Page 2).
If we put a full stop after the word "Manhood" the full truth is here stated. In the previous sentence it is said to be a mistake to assume that we can see God as declared by the Son. Here it is admitted that Christ is God and that God was seen in Him. That it was in Manhood all agree. But why bring in eternal form and essence here? Every person entitled to speak of these things knows that neither the Form nor Essence of God has come within the scope of revelation. There is the greatest apparent jealousy for the truth, and in attempting to guard that which no one questions, he robs the saints of the richest part of Divine revelation. In attempting, to guard "eternal form and essence"—"Godhead mysteries which must be for ever beyond the creature"—the writer takes from the saints that which God delights to make known, that which is indeed the distinguishing feature of the Assembly's blessing, the relations, affections, counsels and activities of Father, Son and Spirit, long ere time began. The solemn thing, and that which shows that God has something to say to us in it, is that the person doing this appears as the vessel through whom new light is given, and those who cannot follow are charged with refusing light, "making the finite equal to the infinite," and looking into things not seen.
I would affirm with deepened emphasis that this delusion robs us of what is the very marrow of all true ministry. Think of it; the beloved Son of the Father came here, sent of the Father in the full joy of the Father's heart. to tell out the heart of God. How blessedly this has been done, and thus has there shown out the whole Nature, Character and Being of God, Father, Son and Spirit as mirrored forth in the counsels of eternity; counsels which display the blessed TRINITY in the delights of Godhead glory in consubstantial union and communion in the supreme rights of sovereign Godhead to be made known in the creation. Is it a mistake for us to assume to know this? I appeal here to the saints and servants of God universally. Was it not for this very reason that the universe was created. Yet this deluded man takes it from us with a sweep, leaving in its place absoluteness, infinitude, and eternal form and essence, till the Incarnation when "graded relations" were taken. And oh! how sad to think that these "graded relations"—which are relations of Father, Son and Spirit—involve for the writer, "relative inferiority in two of Them." But of this I shall speak later.
Should any think I am treating the writer unfairly, or be inclined to question the truth as above stated, I would ask them to read carefully the first chapter of Ephesians. New creation being the subject, the Spirit passes over the whole time scene, and begins with the subject of God's eternal counsel. With this in view our Lord Himself is first seen in death. God begins by raising Him up and setting Him at His own right hand. In the beginning of the chapter the counsels of God are opened out in such a way that we see a world of bliss spring from the womb of eternity, in which God is seen at His very best—speaking reverently—as having had it before Himself to bring it in, long before this time scene had existence. There is nothing here about absoluteness, or eternal form and essence. No, but thank God there is much about the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, in the glorious activities of His Being, in will, counsel and act, and in choosing, in Christ, before the foundation of the world.
In further proof of my assertion that the writer of this booklet is wrong in his apprehension of God, I would show that he is not clear of Tritheism however much he may protest against it. It is clear to those who give themselves to these things that certain words may be rightly used when speaking of God as ONE which could not rightly apply when speaking of any One Person in the Blessed Trinity. For example we speak rightly of God as Eternal, Infinite, Omnipotent and so on. It is clear that we cannot speak of three Infinite, or three Omnipotent [*]Beings. This is another plain proof of the writer's confusion in these things. He speaks on page 6 of three infinite, co-equal, co-eternal Persons. Is this the way the denial of our Lord's pre-Incarnate Sonship is supported? Three Infinite Persons leads to absurdity. Nor is it a slip, for on page 3 he speaks of each of the Beings in the blessed Trinity as "self-existent." I would ask if it is possible for the Person who speaks thus to be clear of Tritheism. Three self-existent Persons, if words mean anything, is three Gods.
Yet more solemn is the reasoning as to three Spirits. (page 9-11). I confess that here one trembles to attempt to follow the reasoning. The Spirit is said to have "part in the Deity." Then "the title or designation Spirit is relative." It is made clear that "relative" does not mean what is immanent and eternal. This is lost sight of here. Then this "relative appellation . . . conveys what God is essentially." Now, what God is Essentially is a term which covers the Godhead in Tri-unity as I have already noted from the writer's own words. After saying twice here that the designation Spirit conveys what God is essentially, Mr. T. tells us it is a title taken by One of the Persons in relation to the declaration of God. This is Tritheism and it shows that he is wrong in his apprehension of God by applying to one Member of the blessed Trinity a term which properly describes God essentially as ONE.
In proof of this we read "While the designation Spirit (page 10) conveys what God is essentially, it cannot be regarded as the name of One only of the divine Persons viewed in the conditions of absolute Deity." This I have insisted upon previously. It is certain that any term which conveys what God is essentially cannot be regarded as a name of One only of Godhead Beings. But that is not the way the writer speaks here. For Him, the designation Spirit, which designates or conveys what God is essentially must not be regarded as The name of One only lest we assume that the other two divine Persons were not Spirits. So that the designation Spirit which conveys what God is essentially belongs to Each, leading us unmistakably, in the estimate of the writer, to Three Spirits, Three essential Beings, Three Gods.
In arriving at this the writer uses the words of 1 Cor. 15:45, where our Lord is said to be "a quickening Spirit," saying it points to His Deity, asserting that He is a Spirit. By missing the point that in Deity our Lord is One with the Father and Spirit in Essential Being he views Him as a separate Divine Being. Then by applying the words of John 4, "God is a Spirit" to the Father as separate from the Son and Spirit, he arrives at Three Spirits, Three Gods. It will be admitted, I think, that rarely in the history of the testimony have such liberties been taken with holy things by a public teacher.
Enough surely has been said to prove that the writer of this booklet is all wrong, and that in attempting to prove his theories he is going further into darkness. But look a little at page 8.
"There is really no means of distinguishing the Persons in absoluteness save as by employing the relative names furnished in Scripture. Spiritual simplicity accepts this obvious fact, but controversy—in some—will insist, as it suits its purpose, on making certain titles or names retrospective. Those that do so forget that, to be consistent, they must hold that Christ was Son of Man before He became Man (see John 3:13; 6:62), and that our Lord bore the name "Jesus Christ" before He became Man. See 1 John 4:2."
It should be noted that distinctions and relations are admitted as existing within the Godhead in eternity (page 6, 8), but the Persons he says cannot be distinguished nor the relations defined as existing then. How can a person affirm that distinctions existed in eternity or in absoluteness? If there is no means of distinguishing why attempt to do it?
Then with regard to relationships, he says they are not defined. Here again he contradicts himself by telling us that they are defined by the relative names furnished in Scripture. His words are, "There is really no means . . . of distinguishing the Persons in absoluteness save as by employing the relative names furnished by Scripture.”
Father, Son and Spirit are said to be names divine Persons take as declared or revealed (page 3), but eternal relations are not defined (page 8). Of these two sets of relationships the one taken in time can be known but the other which is eternal, the writer says, Scripture does not furnish us with these relations or the names that express them (page 6). Will the reader note this confusion in things most holy. Eternal relations and affections suitable to them are said to exist, and to be marked by glory and affection, yet it is asserted that Scripture does not furnish us with these relations, or the names that express them. The writer stands self-condemned as stating things in this solemn matter which he admits Scripture does not tell us. That he does assert that there are two sets of relationships in Godhead is clear, the one class belonging to time which we can know by the designations Father, Son and Spirit, but the other class which belongs to eternity he says we cannot know. And yet he maintains these may be known by employing the relative names furnished in Scripture.
All this is the result of confusing between what God is as revealed in Triune glory as Father, Son and Spirit in His nature and character, and what He is in Essential Being as beyond revelation. Keeping this distinction clear it will be seen that while God in His eternal Form or Essence, or mode of Existence, is not revealed, God is made known in Triune glory, as Father, Son and Spirit, in the counsels of eternity, which discloses the distinctions, relations and activities, within the ever blessed Godhead, long before time began. And instead of the idea of two sets of relations, one of which is eternal and cannot be known, and the other in time which is to be known, eternal distinctions and relations with the affections proper to them were revealed by the One whose Presence here made known that God ever existed in Trinity. A short extract from a booklet by the late P. R. Morford may be useful here.
"We must ever remember that we can never enter on what God is Essentially in His Being. The blessed and only Potentate dwells in light unapproachable, as we see in 1 Tim. But that is
not God in revelation but God in His own essential Being. All we can enter upon is the light of the revelation of God. God has made Himself known—He has taken a certain way to make Himself known . . . It is of the deepest importance that we rightly understand the way in which God has made Himself known" (God is One. Pages 19, 20).
After all this confusion Mr. T. attacks others for wilful controversy by blaming them for making certain names or titles retrospective (page 8). Any one acquainted with this controversy knows that the writer and his school have adopted this line of argument to support their theories in all they have said; indeed, he is doing it in this very sentence where he is blaming others. If employing the relative names found in Scripture to distinguish the Persons in Absoluteness is not retrospective what is it? One sentence from Mr. M. W. Biggs, will suffice here.
"In this paper I will refer to some passages of Scripture which emphasize the deity of the Lord Jesus, but which refer to Him under titles or names taken in time, or proper to Him then."
In proof of this Mr. B. proceeds to use three outstanding passages and actually makes the term "The Word" (John 1) and "Son" (Heb. 1) titles of our Lord taken, in time, the same as the designation "Christ Jesus" (see "The Believer's Friend," Vol. 23, pages 127-135).
But to come back to the point before us. The subtle way that charges are made against those refusing the error is seen here. After attacking brethren as wilful controversialists, he says, "To be consistent they must hold that Christ was Son of Man before He became Man (see John 3:13, 6:62), and that our Lord bore the name of Jesus Christ before He became flesh (see 1 John 4:2)."
Now this is simply a false assumption, and one wonders at the state of mind of the one who makes it. The word "Son" designates, as we have seen, an eternal relation, while "Son of Man" denotes an official title. When our Lord speaks of Himself as "The Son of Man who is in heaven," He speaks of Himself under an official title. It is the same in chapter 6:62. To use Scripture in this way to blame brethren is virtually to deny that our Lord could speak of Himself, in His eternal dignity, under a designation which was His at that moment in time.
Any person taught of God can see that this insidious attack upon Divine Relationships is the result of levelling down the words of holy Scripture to a human level. We are told that "A Son must be begotten" and "The idea of a Son hardly fits in with co-equality." And Mr. T. says in a letter:—"It seems to me that the statement in the Creed that our Lord was begotten before all worlds is just if Sonship prior to Incarnation is held." One wonders how men could say such things and claim to have "new light." It is the deliberate denial of our Lord's Divinity by reducing His Sonship in eternity to that of Offspring.
But I must say a few words about what is said concerning graded relations. For the writer there is nothing but absoluteness till the Incarnation when certain "graded relations" were taken which involved inferiority in two of them. There is no thought of a God of grace coming after His fallen creature, nor of the Father and Son working during the pre-Incarnate ages, nor the Holy Trinity at work as seen in Isa. 6, John 12 and Acts 28. Was it absoluteness that walked with Enoch or talked with Noah? But enough of this.
The writer is most emphatic on what he calls graded relations. Commenting on a paper by Mr. W. H. Westcott, he says:—
"To say, as those who object are obliged to do, that "Son" and "Only-begotten" do not imply relative inferiority, (subjection, etc.) is simply to discredit the language that God has been pleased to use. These expressions are understood in this sense, and to say that God used them stripped of their ordinary meaning is surely not right."
Now it is well known that Scripture use of language is different from every other book and is the result of the Sovereign rights of Him whose word it is. The following extract will show this, and indeed show the weakness of much of Mr. T.'s reasoning.
"To take a familiar example, "We must be born again." If I take this in the "simple universal meaning" of being born, I shall stumble with Nicodemus on nonsense. Take the word "Son" applied to Godhead; has it the simple universal sense it has elsewhere? "The Word was with God, and was God." What does Word, or Logos mean? I affirm that in everything important referring to God, or even spiritual subjects, the words must have a meaning only to be known by those who have the divine key to it, whatever that is; because as human words they only express human ideas, and they are now used to express what is not the fruit of human thought but of divine. If I say, "Reckon yourselves to be dead unto sin—ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God," can I take the simple meaning of the words as they apply to the human order of thought by which they have been formed? It is absurd, and contradicts itself" (Coll. writ., vol. 9. J.N.D.).
But what are these graded relations? It is said they are such as are described by the names Father, Son and Spirit. In what way are they graded? In such a way as to involve relative inferiority for two of Them. Is it possible to credit the Person who speaks thus with the belief that the Son and the Spirit are God? But it is contradiction, for the person who speaks thus constantly affirms that our Lord's Sonship subsisted in His Godhead. If the word "Son" describes our Lord in eternal Personality how dare any one confine it to a "take time" relationship which involves for Him relative inferiority? In his efforts to maintain his theories, the writer makes statements which lead to the idea of relative inferiority within the ever blessed Godhead.
The Son, our adorable Lord, became Man, a Servant. Did that make Him relatively inferior? Was He ever more in the intimacies of Godhead than then, or could He be less on the level of the Father than God Co-Equal? Was it not when here a MAN that HE said, "I and the Father are ONE," and "All things which the Father has are MINE."
But what of the Holy Spirit? This we are told is a "taken" title and it involves for Him too, relative inferiority. This raises the question of the difference in grade between the One Who came to die, and the One Who though ever remaining in absolute Godhead came here as sent by the Father and the Son. "The designation, Spirit, conveys what God is essentially" we are told. The same person tells us it is a taken title involving relative inferiority.
But see what it leads to. The Son's stoop was to the lowest point of all. Did that make Him relatively inferior? Perish for ever the thought! But follow the reasoning. If the stupendous stoop of our Lord made Him relatively inferior, then the Holy Spirit must be more relatively inferior. It was in this relatively inferior condition though a glorified Man that our Lord sent the Holy Spirit (John 15:26, Acts 2:33). Such reasoning is painful but surely these things must be pointed out. Mr. Coates tells us that the word "Sent" implies a relative position that is not one of absolute equality. Was the blessed Spirit in a relatively inferior position when He was sent, or are we to conclude that HE was in a relatively inferior position to ONE our ever blessed Lord Who, according to this reasoning, was Himself in a relatively inferior position? HOW solemn, deeply, DEEPLY SOLEMN!
Little need be said here concerning the term "The Word." Others have met this in a way that settles the point for every sober-minded saint of God. See a paper from Australia entitled "The Doctrine of the Logos," by A. E. Tripet. From Bible Depot, 202, Pitt Street, Sydney, Australia.
For Mr. T. "It is quite obvious that the appellation "Word" is relative. It refers to the mind of God as being made known in Christ as we read in Heb. 1." The cool way Scripture is perverted is amazing. The writer is doing here what he blames others for doing wilfully on page 8, namely, making a designation of our Lord retrospective. To him it is quite obvious but for others to do it, it is wicked, even when his charge, as I have shown, is false. Is it not more obvious to the simple saints for whom Scripture was written that the statement "The Word became flesh" (John 1:14) proves that "The Word" is expressive of what He is eternally.
Here again the class that have unrighteously altered the Little Flock Hymn Book are at variance among themselves. In a letter by Mr. Frank Lock we read:—
"It appears to me that the title "The Word" would have application as in connection with creation not only Incarnation.. . . This we have to remember that He dealt with intelligent beings before men, some of whom became rebellious spirits, will be compelled to confess that Jesus Christ is Lord (Phil. 2:11). It is not said; In the beginning was the Lord, but the Word, yet having become Lord, even beings infernal are compelled to acknowledge Him as God."
Enough surely has been said to show the daring folly of this booklet. For pretension it is unequalled, for confusion and contradiction is it shameless, yet it claims to be the ministry of the Spirit and those who cannot accept its delusions are blamed for making the finite equal to the infinite. The Notes of Meetings at Birmingham, 1932, took Christ from us as I have shown. This book takes God from us and leaves us in a maze of Absoluteness, infinitude, and relativity, till certain relationships were taken at the Incarnation. The danger is not only Unitarianism, it leads to "the altar to the unknown God." Already individuals come together and sing:
"In form of God wast Thou, O Lord
By universal hosts adored."
When such Scriptures as Hebrews 1 are read there is silence. Every one is afraid, all is Deity, unknown and unknowable Deity.
Surely the Lord's voice is heard in all this. A glorious legacy of truth has been given to us. What have we done with it? There is plenty of talk of ecclesiastical position and much that meets us on the responsible side, but what have we done with that side of truth which unfolds eternal relationships, counsels and activities. Has the neglect of this not something to do with the present sorrow? Surely the present attack upon divine Relationships with all that holy range of affection, counsels and activities, is meant to awaken us to the whole range of truth just before the Lord calls His saints away.
May those who minister hear the voice of the Lord and may the beloved children of God be delivered from such Christ-dishonouring delusions.
A word now with the brethren of the new Hymn Book, and with the kindest feelings. You have adopted your Creed by the acceptance of the Hymn Book that excludes the eternal relations of Father and Son, the denial that our Lord is the eternal Word, and the refusal to own that the Father's bosom was His eternal place. You have submitted to be robbed of the revelation of the counsels of love and glory with the eternal relations seen in these counsels. Christ has been taken from you, and you have not only submitted to be robbed of almost every fundamental truth of Christianity, but some of you are found boasting in it under the delusion of progress, and calling this the Spirit's ministry.
It is well known that the latter class are exasperated at those venturing to question what their leader says, while from the former class the truth is withheld. Is it just to refuse, condemn, and, even without reading, put in the fire papers written by those who love the Lord and whose characters as brethren are unimpeachable. It is scarcely credible that sober men should do such things, when the deepest and richest things of divine Revelation are at stake.
But it is not new; it may be seen both in the Old and New Testament. Read prayerfully Numbers 13, 14. The two men of the returned spies, Joshua and Caleb, were to be stoned for resisting error and maintaining the truth of God which was His glory and the blessing of the very people who had become so infatuated as to bring themselves under the holy government of God and to fall in the wilderness. Likewise the Corinthian Epistles show the Apostle, to whom, under God these people owed their salvation, misrepresented and maligned by those for whose protection and blessing he was contending. Dear Brethren, is this not a serious call from God this moment to you?
Coming under the influence of an ecclesiastical system not only shuts out and hinders that which is of God in good men, but it actually calls forth the worst that is in them. Many at this moment, it is well known, have to consent to what their conscience condemns.
Pause, I beseech you, and ask what of the precious things of Heaven in which you rejoiced in past days. They are taken from you and you are left bereft of the best of the best; some of you in distress and others boasting in "new light."
I address you as the called of God. How pathetic to see those who are otherwise sober, led at the will of another and carried into that which is antagonistic to God and while casting out their brethren boasting of possessing the Spirit's present ministry. I beseech you to bow to God's word which unfolds to us the eternal relationships of Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
(Signed) Jas. McBroom.
Green and Co., Canton Press, Crown Street, Lowestoft.