Thursday, May 12, 2016

Wilson Thompson on Conviction

Elder Wilson Thompson wrote:

"We shall now proceed to show what men may experience and not be under the work of the spirit of grace. He may feel all that weight of guilt which the law of God charges upon him; and yet not be a subject of the spirits operation, for the law is the ministration of condemnation and death." 

He wrote further:

"When the law was given, the people of Israel were awfully alarmed, with the terrific sight, the mountain covered with fire and smoke, the shafts of death flying, so that if so much as a beast touched the mountain it was stoned, or thrust through with a dart, and the people were sore afraid, yet not under the work of the spirit, for they could unite in making a golden calf to worship. Men may experience very severe and bitter sensations under the sentence of the law, and mourn with aching and heavy hearts, under the ministration of condemnation and death, and all be like the mourning of the murderer that is condemned to be hanged for his crime; he mourns for the miseries that he is exposed to, and not for the heinous nature of his crime; this sort of mourning has self-love for its parent, the thundering of the law has affrighted it; the fears of hell terrify it; and the thoughts of death and judgment fill it with dismay; so when Paul reasoned of righteousness, temperance and judgment, Felix trembledThis sort of conviction leads men to act like Esau, who has sold his birth right; but when he saw that he was cut off thereby, he sought for a place of repentance in Isaac, but found none though he sought it carefully with tearsso men under this kind of conviction set about to seek for some place of repentance in God, by which the law of condemnation may be repealed, and its sentence revoked, and if they can imagine that they have prevailed on God to love them, and revoke the sentence of the law, upon conditions of what they have done, and what they now promise faithfully to do, they may conclude that they are christians, and upon their faithfully performing those conditions, all will be well with them; and thus they may have as much zeal for God as Israel had and no more according to knowledge than was theirs; in a word, if the fears of hell bears the greatest weight on the mind, we do not believe it to be the work of the spirit, or if our comforts are conditional, and depend on any thing done by us, or any of our faithful performances in future life, we do not believe it to be the work of the spirit; neither have we any right to believe, any thing to be the work of the spirit, but that which teacheth in the truth, and as we cannot pretend to show all the impressions that men may pass through, and not be under the work of the spirit; we shall in the third place proceed to speak of the impressions of those who are under the work of the spirit positively." (Simple Truth: Chapter 6)

If a preacher in today's "Primitive Baptist Church" preached this same message today, he would be viewed and labeled as an "heretic" and one who had left the view of the first founders of the "Primitive Baptist Church."

From Chpt. 56 - On Conviction III (SEE HERE)

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