Monthly Archives: November 2014

Happy 2014 Thanksgiving!

The series from The American Christian Review will resume next week. Since it is Thanksgiving week, I think it would be in order to say something about the giving of thanks. But I thought it might be best to let the word of God tell us about thanksgiving.

“When ye will offer a sacrifice of thanksgiving unto the Lord, offer it at your own will” (Lev. 22:29). And “stand every morning to thank and praise the Lord, and likewise at even” (I Chron. 23:30). “At midnight I will rise to give thanks unto thee because of thy righteous judgments” (Psalm 119:62). “It is a good thing to give thanks unto the Lord, and to sing praises unto thy name, O most High” (Psalm 92:1). “Offer unto God thanksgiving; and pay thy vows unto the most High” (Psalm 50:14). “In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you” (I Thes. 5:18).

“Therefore I will give thanks unto thee, O Lord, among the heathen, and I will sing praises unto thy name” (I Samuel 22:50). “For in the days of David and Asaph of old there were chief of the singers, and songs of praise and thanksgiving unto God” (Neh. 12:46). “Now therefore, our God, we thank thee, and praise thy glorious name” (I Chron. 29:13). “Give thanks unto the Lord, call upon his name, make known his deeds among the people” (I Chron. 16:8).

“I will give thee thanks in the great congregation: I will praise thee among much people” (Psalm 35:18). “That I may publish with the voice of thanksgiving, and tell of all thy wondrous works” (Psalm 26:7). “To the end that my glory may sing praise to thee, and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give thanks unto thee for ever” (Psalm 30:12). “For in death there is no remembrance of thee: in the grave who shall give thee thanks?” (Psalm 6:5).

“O give thanks unto the Lord; call upon his name: make known his deeds among the people” (Psalm 105:1) “Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened” (Romans 1:21). “Surely the righteous shall give thanks unto thy name: the upright shall dwell in thy presence” (Psalm 140:13). “O give thanks unto the Lord; for he is good; for his mercy endureth for ever. And say ye, Save us, O God of our salvation, and gather us together, and deliver us from the heathen, that we may give thanks to thy holy name, and glory in thy praise” (I Chron. 16:34-35). “O give thanks unto the Lord; for he is good: because his mercy endureth for ever” (Psalm 118:1).

Therefore, “let us come before his presence with thanksgiving, and make a joyful noise unto him with psalms” (Psalm 95:2). “Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name” (Psalm 100:4).

“I thank my God always on your behalf, for the grace of God which is given you by Jesus Christ” (I Cor. 1:4). “I thank my God upon every remembrance of you” (Philip. 1:3) and “cease not to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers” (Ephes. 1:16). “First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you all, that your faith is spoken of throughout the whole world” (Romans 1:8). “But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth” (II Thes. 2:13). “But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (I Cor. 15:57).

“Continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving” (Col. 4:2). “Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God” (Philip. 4:6), “For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving” (I Tim. 4:4). “Now thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ, and maketh manifest the savour of his knowledge by us in every place” (II Cor. 2:14). “And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him” (Col. 3:17) “saying, Amen: Blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and honour, and power, and might, be unto our God for ever and ever” (Rev. 7:12).

Happy Thanksgiving, Eric L. Padgett


The following is the continuation of an article written by J. R. Howard and originally published in the American Christian Review, edited then by elder Benjamin Franklin (not the statesman). I will present more of this article at a later time. Please review the previous posts to get the complete context.
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

“On this rock,” said Jesus, “I will build my Church, and the gates of hades shall never prevail against it.” Nor have they ever done so, nor will they ever be able to do it. The powers of the unseen world; persecution, corruption and division, opposition of every kind and character, have been arrayed against it, and have all been unsuccessful in attempting to put down and destroy it. And though it was predicted concerning it that it should be…in a state of depression, and perhaps of corruption, or partial corruption, yet it has never become extinct. It has always continued to exist in some place, and in some state or condition.

Hence Satan attempted at first to destroy the Church by persecution, but “the blood of the martyrs became the seed of the Church,” and he failed. He then attempted to destroy it by corruption, and the long, dark night of the Roman Catholic apostasy came on. But Luther sounded the trumpet of reformation, the light of truth began to dawn upon the benighted world, and the true Church began gradually to emerge from the long, gloomy, dark night; but she did not get entirely out. Seeing her emerging, Satan then attempted to destroy her by division. And then “a thousand and one” sects arose, one after another, or really more than six hundred! But he is destined to be foiled and fail here, for the full blaze of Divine truth is now shining in all its pristine purity, by the influence of the current reformation in restoring the ancient Gospel; and the Church, again in her primitive apostolic purity, is destined to go forth in the strength and power and irresistible might of the Lord of Hosts.

Here, then, we have the first mark of the true Church of Christ—origin and perpetuity. The Church, now, which can establish a claim to these marks, is THE Church of Christ all things else being equal, or if not otherwise defective.

The Church of Christ is known and recognized in the New Testament, by such appellations as these: “Church of God” “Churches of Christ.” Jesus calls it, “My Church.” Hence, we may with propriety call it the …”Church of Christ.” In fact, we are not authorized by the Bible, or in the New Testament, to call it anything else than according to the Divine nomenclature. The New Testament recognizes no party or sectarian names whatever. The names, “Roman Catholic Church,” or “Episcopal Church,” or “Presbyterian Church,” or “Baptist Church,” or “Methodist Church,” and so on, are nowhere to be found there, and are not recognized by it; nor are the names Roman Catholics, Episcopalians, Baptists, Methodists, Presbyterians, etc.

All such names, as party appellatives and distinctions, or as distinctive appellations, are condemned by the Apostles in the most unreserved and unqualified terms, and ranked by them among the “works of the flesh.” Says Paul to the Corinthians, in reference to this: “Ye are carnal [fleshly]; for whereas there is among you envying and strife and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men? For while one saith, I am of Paul; and another, I am of Apollos; are ye not carnal?” Will the Lord Jesus Christ, when He comes the second time, own as His Churches those wearing any other names than His–or than those names in the New Testament authorized by Him to be worn? Most assuredly not!

For illustration: Suppose a man was to leave his wife and family to make a visit to a distant foreign country, necessary to be made and to be necessarily absent for some long-stated or indefinite period of time, but at the same time with the promise and assurance of returning again, to receive her again, and live with her as his bride, and to be again united to his family; and suppose that during his absence, she was, with a perfect knowledge of all these things, to throw away his name and take some other name, and be found when he returned wearing that other name, think you that he would own and take her as his bride? By no means. He would most assuredly refuse and reject her. Now, the Church is called the bride, or wife, of the Lord Jesus Christ, and He is called her husband. “The bride, the Lamb’s wife.” “Prepared as a bride, adorned for her husband.” “I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.”

Now, the Lord Jesus Christ left the world about eighteen hundred years ago, ascended to heaven, was crowned Kings of kings, and took His seat on the throne of the universe “at the right hand of the Majesty on high,” and has left in His WORD the promise and assurance of His returning again to earth, to receive His bride, the Church…But what has taken place since He ascended? As we have shown, corruption, division and apostasy have done their evil work; and His Church, which His Apostles left pure, undivided and uncorrupted, wearing His name alone, and observing His ordinances, worship and commandments, has apostatized from Him, “left her first love,” and become an abominable sectarian organization…Hence, the Lord Jesus Christ, when He comes the second time, to be united to His bride, the Church, will disown every one of these corrupt, unauthorized religious organizations remaining–will reject every one of them, and will recognize but the one true Church, wearing His name, to the exclusion of all others. And fearful will be their destiny then!

Here, therefore, is the second mark or the true Church. The Church that wears the [name of Christ-ELP], to the exclusion of all party or sectarian names, and whose members do not wear any names but that of “Christian,”…as found in the New Testament, is the Church of Christ, all other things being equal, or having all the other necessary marks.

Eric L. Padgett


The following is the continuation of an article written by J. R. Howard and originally published in the American Christian Review, edited then by elder Benjamin Franklin (not the statesman). I will present more of this article at a later time. Please review the previous posts to get the complete context. To summarize, Mr. Howard, using the illustration of plotting a piece of property, makes the point that we must find the original corner of the Lord’s church in order to have the true design and extent of the Lord’s church. Some, however, have plotted new pieces of property, distorting the original ground the Lord had plotted. He now continues that…

__ __ __ __ __ __

Some, taking advantage of this state of things, and others having made fruitless searches for the old corner, began, each one, to make a new corner for himself, and to run out a corresponding tract on the old survey to suit their own notions and opinions. In process of time other tracts were run out, in accordance with new corners, or in correspondence with preceding ones, until, tract added to tract, they had almost entirely covered the old survey.

The Roman Catholics were the first trespassers on it and made the first new corner, and run out a very large tract. This trespass on the old grant opened the way for others; and the corner they made became a key corner for a chain or connection of chains.

The Episcopalians then made a corner, from the Roman Catholics, and run out a tract. The Presbyterians made one in connection, and run out at first one tract, and then this became a key corner, from which they ran out several other tracts, and then divided their first tract between the Old School and the New School. The Methodists made a corner from the Episcopalians, and at first run out one tract, and then from this as a key corner ran out several other tracts, and then divided the old tract between the Church North and the Church South. The Baptists made one, but “ran past Jerusalem,” not to Jericho, but to John the Baptist in the river Jordan, and thought they had made their corner there, but were mistaken, as they made it in modern times and somewhere else, and then ran out one and afterward several tracts. And thus on with all the other sects or denominations. But none of these began at the right corner.

The beginning corner of Roman Catholicism was made at Rome. The beginning corner of Episcopalianism was made at London, that of Presbyterianism in Scotland, that of Methodism at Oxford in England, of Baptistism in Germany, of Lutheranism there at Wittemburg, of Calvinism at Geneva, And so on through the long catalogue of sects or denominations and religious parties. None began at the right place. But the beginning corner of the Gospel—of pure, Apostolic, primitive Christianity—was made at JERUSALEM—”beginning at Jerusalem.”

Justinian made the beginning corner of Romanism, Henry VIII of England made that of Episcopalianism, John Wes-ley that of Methodism, Menno of Baptistism, John Knox of Presbyterianism, Martin Luther of Lutherism, John Calvin of Calvinism; and thus on to the end of the long catalogue of religious sects or parties in Christendom. But the Apostle Peter made the beginning corner of the Christian dispensation, of pure, uncorrupted Christianity, and, as we have shown, by special commission of the Lord Jesus Christ himself (See Matt 16:19 and Acts 2:14, 38; 10; 15:7).

The Apostle Peter, and not Alexander Campbell, made the beginning corner of the Christian Church. Alexander Campbell only acted the part of the man who shewed the beginning corner of the survey. He exposed and tore away the human additions and appendages, the traditions, mysticism and error with which the marks on the Jerusalem trunk—the corner of primitive Christianity—had been covered over, obscured and hidden from the view of men, and identified it, by the original marks, to be the same one made by Peter. And this is the reason why there is such an outcry against Alexander Campbell, and why he is so much opposed and abused by the various religious parties, who have made their new corners and run out their tracts on the old survey. They know that the identification of the old corner, for which he is contending, will be fatal to all their old claims; that if that stand (and it will stand), they will have to give them all up and “abandon the ground” which they have taken—the man-made systems they have espoused. Hence the great excitement and contention throughout the length and breadth of the land, the opposition to this identifier of the old corner and those associated with him, the debating and declamation every where.

Had Alexander Campbell made a new corner, and run out a new tract on this old survey, according to the chart and compass of “orthodoxy,” (as so self-styled), so as not to have interfered with the claims of others, he would have been hailed as a good orthodox neighbor, and welcomed into the sectarian community. But he identified the old corner; and in this consists the great head and front of his offense.

And as finding and identifying the original corner of the old survey did not constitute the man who found it the locator or owner of the land, so the identification of the old Gospel, of the Church of Christ, does not make Alexander Campbell the inventer of a new system or the founder of a new party. This he has always disavowed or disclaimed in the strongest terms. He has been only the humble instrument in the hands of God in the restoration to the world of apostolic and primitive Christianity, as it was left uncorrupted by the Apostles, and as it came completed and perfected from their hands.

The sectarian occupants of the new tracts, made and run out on the old Gospel survey, have tried in various ways to show that these marks made by Peter are not the true marks of the old corner. Some have endeavored to prove that faith alone is the only mark, and they accordingly made but one chop on their tree. But this would not do—would not constitute a legal corner. Others contended that there were but two marks necessary—faith and repentance—and they accordingly put two marks only on their tree. But neither of these will do, as the law requires three chops in all cases, all the country over, to constitute a genuine and legal corner; and to be a lawful and acceptable one it must have these three. Hence one chop will not do, and two are no better than one. These three marks were necessary; and accordingly the Apostle made three on the old Jerusalem trunk— 1. Faith; 2. Repentance; 3. Baptism “for the remission of sins.” And as every corner must have its “pointers” to point to it and show where it stands and is to be found, and that it is the true corner, so this has its pointers. It has thirteen pointers, the thirteen Apostles, who always point to it as the genuine corner—to this alone, and never to any other. The genuine corner must have these three marks; and every corner that lacks them is not the right corner. To begin at such a one is to begin wrong; and there is great danger, in such a case, of running wrong and ending wrong! “Take heed.” “Be not deceived.” “So run that ye may obtain.”

Eric L. Padgett


The following is a lengthy extract of an article written by J. R. Howard and originally published in the American Christian Review, edited then by elder Benjamin Franklin (not the statesman). It is the second part of this series from his pen. It is worthy of our consideration in this day and age. I hope you will continue to read the full article as it is offered.



The Church of Christ originated, as we have shown, in the days of the Apostles, and was founded by them; while all others began in after ages, and were founded by uninspired men. It was founded by the Apostle Peter, under a special commission from the Lord Jesus Christ—the other Apostles “standing up” and concurring with him—and began at Jerusalem on the first Pentecost after the resurrection and ascension of Christ; while all other churches were originated by other and uninspired men, without any Divine influence or authority, and began at other places, and in after ages, most of them in modern times, and some of them even in our own day. But such were the corruptions of the Christian religion for ages—such was the influence of false systems, pretending to derive their authority from the Bible— such the perversion, misapplication, suppression and obliteration of its truths—that these marks were well nigh lost sight of, particularly those by which the primitive Gospel is to be recognized and identified, as that preached and taught by the Apostles. These marks were faith, repentance and baptism in order to the remission of sins, in the original and scriptural import of these terms, and with their true object and design. But we can perhaps better illustrate this by the following anecdote of the “beginning corner:”

In early times, and before the settlement of the Western country, many thousands of acres of land were taken up in it under authority of Congress, by various individuals in compensation for services rendered the country. The manner of this was as follows: A corner was made, called the “beginning corner,” on some tree by making three chops through the bark with a hatchet, one above the other, facing some one of the four cardinal points, so as to be at right angles with the other row. If one faced east, for instance, the other must face north, or south, as might be desirable, so as to form a right angle. Or, if one faced north, the other must face east or west, and so on, so as to form the tract of land from the angle made. Lines were then run, in the directions facing these chops, to certain distances each way, and then right angles again made, called corners; and lines run again, facing these, so as to meet or “close” at another point called a corner, diagonally opposite the first or beginning corner—including within the angles or lines a tract of land of a given amount of acres, in a square or oblong, as might be most eligible. But none but the first, or “beginning corner” was marked as above, which was done in order to identify the tract at a future day. The survey or tract had always a call for a certain tree, with these marks or chops upon it, as the beginning corner; and to render the finding and identification of it certain, the trees around this “corner tree” were also marked with chops facing it, called “pointers,” because pointing to it, and the finding and identifying of this corner tree was necessary to the identification of the land and the consequent possession of it. Sometimes another tract of lands was run out, or called for, calling for this particular tract and its beginning corner; and then perhaps several others calling for this, or for each other as connected with that. These were called a chain or connection of grants or surveys; and the beginning corner of the first tract, the key corner, as when found, as it were, unlocking or opening to the whole, or as a key or clue by which to find and identify all the others. Sometimes, and in some cases, where many years had elapsed, the beginning corner was very difficult to find, and required much searching for, and close examination; and sometimes the aid of some one acquainted with it when made was necessary, in order to find and identify it is Such was the case before us, which we have selected for our illustration, and in order to understand which we have made the preceding remarks.

An old Revolutionary soldier in Virginia held a claim for one of these tracts of land, or “old surveys,” as usually termed, somewhere in the Western country. He had neglected it for a long time, until the country became settled up, and covered over with other claims and tracts, made by entries, when at length he came out West to search for, find it, and take possession. But it could nowhere be found! The whole country in which it lay was covered over by other tracts or claims—no room was found for his, and no one could inform him where it was. What was to be done? After searching long and in vain, he was about to sit down in despair, when he heard of a man who knew where the corner was, and could point it out to him. Joy and hope fill his bosom, and he immediately goes for him, engages his services to show it, and brings him to the section of country. They commence the search. A particular tree is called for in the grant, in a certain location; and a similar one is found in a corresponding situation. But vines and parasitical growth have so grown, and twined, and wound around the trunk and covered it over, that no marks can be found. They go to work and tear off and strip it of these, when, behold! there are the identical marks, the original chops in the bark, as made there at first; and joy springs up in the old soldier’s breast and animates his heart at the glad discovery. The beginning corner is found, the land identified, and his claim established. But his land is all covered over by other and subsequent claims. One man has made himself a beginning corner, and run off a tract—another had taken the first as a key corner and run him off one, and another and another, until the whole of the original survey was covered over! What is to be done? Here is the original and real claimant, his corner found, and his land clearly identified, but all claimed by others! Will they now surrender their claims as false and untenable, and purchase of the rightful owner and
settle, or live upon his tract? By no means. They will rise up in arms against him, call him all sorts of hard names, vilify, abuse and slander him, and contend against the clearest evidence that they are the rightful owners. There is a general combination against him to put him down and oust him! The cry is that he is trying to take our land from us, that his claim is a false one and ours the genuine, and all this. They say that he is mistaken about the beginning corner, that these marks on it won’t do, that they are not the same made there at first, etc. They all go to law with him, in the vain hope of gaining and establishing their own claims, by perversion, misrepresentation, or in any other way that will offer them, and their well-paid lawyers, any hope or chance. But the testimony is produced in court that these old chops are the true and genuine marks and this the original beginning corner; and suit after suit goes against them, their claims are invalidated, and the old grant is established to their complete discomfiture!

We come now to the application of this illustration to the restoration of the primitive Gospel and primitive Christianity. In that part of the commission recorded by Luke, we read: “Thus it is written, and thus it behooved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day; and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name, among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. Here, to use our illustration, is the BEGINNING CORNER of the Christian Dispensation. It was made by the Apostle Peter, at Jerusalem, on the first Pentecost after the resurrection and ascension of our Savior, by the authority of Christ, and in accordance with the general commission here quoted, given to all the Apostles, and the special one given to Peter to set up, or open the kingdom of heaven. He made the three marks necessary for a legal corner on the old Jerusalem trunk.

1. Faith, produced by his discourse, and evinced by his hearers being “cut to the heart” by the words of the Holy Spirit spoken by or through him, and the question, “What shall we do?”
2. Repentance, when he commanded them to “repent.”
3. Baptism, for remission of sins, when he commanded them to “be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins.”

These marks were plainly and visibly made, so that all could see and understand them; and none then disputed them, or the validity of this beginning corner. But in the lapse of ages, they were well nigh lost sight of, and came near being entirely obliterated. The parasitical growth of error, superstition and mysticism, and the traditions, inventions and corruptions of men crept by slow degrees, and twined and wound around the old Jerusalem trunk and covered and matted it over, until the old marks were obscured and almost entirely lost sight of and forgotten.

Eric L. Padgett