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TO THE DEFENSE OF THE PRIMITIVE
“TO THJEl TO THK TESTIMONY.”
WISON, NORTH C/VROLIT^A, OCTOBER 1, 1870.
Praise and Desires after God.
Come lot’s siivc in'iiisc to God a''ovo,
tils woiidioui works inoclaiin Ills love.
Ho moves tliroiigli iiever-cudiug space,
But none can .sec Ills face.
Th\ favors have been very great,
But we ne’er see ’till late,
How )iinch we owe Thee for Thy grace.
And then Thy power we trace.
Oh Lord, forgive us wliat we’ve done.
We ask for Tliy dear Son :
Who cainc on earth Ills life to give.
That W'c might ever live.
Our sins are e’er before Time, Lord,
Oh, draw us with a three-fold cord,
To serve Thee humbly aud in truth,
As did the lowly Kuth.
We I'ray Thee hear our mournful cry,
And every dc p dgawn sigh;
Oh leach us Lord to meekly yield.
And wilt Thou be our shield ?
How great and glorious is Thy fame!
Throughout the world they sound Thy name,
The hapipy one’s wlio’ll upward soar.
To reach the heavenly shore.
Withhold not Thy approving smile.
Be near us all the w hile ;
W’e love to see Tl y holy light,
Il’s sweet to mortal sight.
Mks. M. a. THOMPSON.
JiIacomb, Ii.linois, 1870.
A SPARK t F GP.ACE.
Brother Bodenhamer:—The above
text, though not found in the Bible,
is often repeated, and appears to be
ektensively incorporated into the sys
tem of religion as held by all who
contend for a conditional salvation ;
i. e. it is contended by them" tliat all
men possess by nature an inherent
»park of grace, or germ, of holiness
some where in them, which they may
ffultivate and nourish till it may ripen
into life eternal. I shall in this frag
ment try to refute this theory, and
*liall oppose it by another text not
found in tlie Bible, viz: Toted J)e-
lyravity; tliough the truth of the lat
ter theory 1 believe to be fully taught
In. the Seriiitnres.
Ifl succeed in overthrowing the first
tlfeory, I shall establish the second;
for if man by nature is destitute of
tpjT goodness or grace, he is, necessa
rily, in a state of total or entire dc
pravity. To the la\v, then, aud to
We sliall draw from the language
of inspiration a description of man in
his fallen state, and try to learn his
pedigree from the pens of men moved
by the Holy Ghost.
The nation of Israel Avere blessed
above any other people on earth with
moral advantages, and yet it was said
of them as a body, “The whole bead
is sick, and the whole heart fiiint.
! From the sole of the foot even unto
i the head there is no soundness in it;
but wounds, and bruises, aud putrify-
ing sores.” Isa. 1 : 5, 6. With this
positive and sweeping testimony we
miffht rest the case of tlie descendents
of Abraham. They have no moral
soundness in the head, nor in the
heart, and the whole man is a mass
of moral putrifactiou. Where then
does there reside any spark of grace,
or germ of holiness? The head says.
It is not in me, and the heart answers.
It is not in me, and the whole man
repouds to the query, Look not for it
in me, for I am corrupt.
At an earlier age of the world, be
fore the flood, God, in his infinite
scrutiny examined the race of man,
and lie ‘^saw that the wickedness
of man was great in the earth, and
every iinagination.of the tlioughts of
Ids heart was only evil continually.”
‘‘And God looked upon the earth,
and behold, it was corrupt: for all
flesh had eorrupted his way upon the
earth.” Gen. 6 : 5, 12.
The above is a dark picture of our
race as seen by the all-searching eyes
of the Creator before the deluge sw’ept
them away, and no goodness was
found in theiy hearts, but aZ/^es/thad
eorrupted his way. But at a later
period of the history of our fallen
race, nut only Isaiah, as has been al
ready quoted, but another inspired
writer, contemplating our corrupt
aud depraved nature,, declares that,
“The heart is deceitful above all
things and desperately wicked : who
can .know it?” Jer. 17 : 9. The
heart, then, was no better in his day
than it was previous to the flood—
no improvement—no goodness found,
but on the contrary. They will revolt
more and more, is the voice of inspir-1
But if there remains any doubts
about the matter, and any one still
questions the corruption and depravi
ty of the entire race, both Jews and
Gentiles, his attention is invited to
the language of David, as quoted by
the apostle, to wit: “We have be
fore proved both Jews and Gentiles,
that they are all under sin.” But to
what extent are t hey under the do^
minion of sin? Let inspiration an
swer: “Thereis none righteous, no^
not one. There is none that under-
standeth, there is none that seeketh
after God. They are all gone out of
the way, they are together become
unprofitable; there is none that doeth
good, no, not one. Their throat is
an op-en sepulchre; with their tongues
they have used deceit; the poison ol
asps is under their lips : whose mouth
is full of cursing and bitterness.—
Their feet are swdft to shed blood.
Destruction and miseiy are in their
ways, and the way of peace have they
not known. There is no fear of God
before their eyes. Rom. 8 : 9 to 18.
The above catalogue of crime and
corruption presents man in a deplor
able state, and examines him in detail,
and no good is found in the throat, or
tongue, or lips, or mouth, or eyes, or
feet; hence every mouth is stopped,
aud all the world becomes guilty be
fore God. Where is any inherent
goodness in such a polluted creature ?
Where can any spark of grace exist
in such a mass of sin and corruption ?
In a heartof iniquity there is no
room for any goodness.
But as some contend that the fore
going quotations allude more to the
coporeal than the mental man, (a mere
subterfuge, however,) we shall exam
ine more particularly the mental man
in the light of revelation. Wte have
already found that the heart, the seat
of the affections, is desperately wickx
ed and deceitful; and Christ says,
‘ ‘Out of the Aeari proceed evil thoughts,
murders, adulteries, fornications,
thefts, false witness, blasphemies.”
Math. 15 : 19.. Such a fountain of
corniption cannot contain any tiling
good, Avhile thus corrupt, nor can it
send forib any other than a co’Tupt
stream. Paul says, “The carnal m/ml
is enmity against God : for it is not
subject to the law’ of God, neither in ^
deed can be.” Rom. 8:7. And
again, “The god of this world hath
blinded the minds of them which be
lieve not.” 2nd Cor. 4:4. So there
is no spark of grace in the mind of
the unregenerate. The apostle says,
“Having the understanding darkened,
being alienated from the life of God
through the ignorance tiiatis in them,
because of the blindness of their
heart.” Eph. 4:18. Again, “There
is none that understemdeth, there is
none tiiat seeketh after God.” Rom.
3 : 11. The understanding then is
destitute of a spark of grace or good
T\\q judgment or understanding is
so perverted that they “call evil
good, and good evil, put light for
darkness and darkness for light,” tfec.
The conscimofl ig seared with a hot
iron, and the mind and con.scienct*
are defiled. But what about the af
fections of the natural man ? He
loves darkness rather than light, be
cause his deeds are evil. He hates,
the light, and will not come to it lest
his deeds should be reproved. John
3 : 19:30. But what about the/n-^
mill and the doiircs of the poor faileu
creature ? The case is a deplorable
one to contemplate: “Am icdl not
come unto me that ye might havt;
life.” “Wew/llnot have this Man to
reign over us.” “Depart from us,
O Lord, for we desire not the knowl
edge of thy ways.” Tiiey arc led
captive by the devil at his will. How
destitute tlien of grace, and of good
ness are fallen men ! How utterly
helpless are sinners, who are dead in
trespasses and sins ! Where now’ i«
free will f “No man can come to me,
except the Father which sent me
draw him.” “It is not of liim that
willeth, nor of him tliat runn^tlq buk
of God that she\veth mercy.”
Do I belong to such a degeuerate
and helpless race? That in me, that
is in my flesh, dwelleth nogood thing?
Oh, deplorable and wretched state!
Oh, what height and depth, and
hmirtb of love must be found in the