To see the vast quantity of religious magazines, books, etc., on religion in the present day is, what I shall say, disgusting! Yes, disgusting in the highest sense of the word. Correct doctrine, without one mite or drop of divine influences, is the character of magazines, book, and preachers innumerable and combined in the league of mere paltry and flimsy words. “O thou man of God; there is death in the pot!” (2 Kings 4:40) There are Particular Baptist magazines, books, and preachers of mere correct dry doctrine, as well as those among other denominations. “So that”, as Mr. Hardy, of Leicester, said, (and I sometimes believe it to be true) “the best Christians one meets with are those who go by the name of Huntingtonians, that is, the co-experienced followers of the late and great Mr. Huntington.” That great man, as Amos from being a herdman, was taken from carrying a coal sack, in order to show the elect race the difference of faith, which is of the operation of God, as contradistinguished from the faith standing in the wisdom of men.
Indeed, to see the deplorable mass of dry doctrine in magazines, books, and preachers in the present day, makes me so sick of them all as if I had taken, as it were, the most violent emetic in my soul. The very sight of all the mingled multitude described above, breeds a nausea of disgust even to hear their names or see the least memento of any one of them.
Inspiration is the word and doctrine which cuts off the whole herd of this unclean tribe which is infesting the land with dry doctrine. There are very few chapels in London where inspired preachers prophecy according as the Spirit gives them utterance. Self-sufficiency, self-made gifts, academy-made preachers, and the vast swarm of earthborn praters concerning Christ, fill up the rest of the places of worship in the huge metropolis. And just in the same manner is it with the places of worship in all England. And just so is it, too, with nearly every magazine and book that is printed.
The poor things that can fluently preach, pray, and write in mere correct doctrine concerning Christ, do not consider that the devil knows as much as, yea, very much more than any one of them. (Acts 19:15)
Thus, Huntington used to cut all these men off, and would never have anything to do with them. He called them “non-inspired preachers.” And, blessed by God, there are a few in the present day who will have nothing to do with the vast troop of those varnished wasps that buzz around the hive of Christ.
The honey and the inspiration are the sacred dew, anointing, and unction which alone do the least good to the broken-hearted, mourning family of God. This is the oil in the lamps of the wise despised virgins. The want of this oil is the want of the inspiration of God the Holy Ghost. Non-inspired men have the lamp of correct doctrine, but it is dry. Non-inspiration is the secret stamp of damnation on swarms of preachers, writers, and talkers about correct doctrines. “Thus”, as Huntington says, “when the cry was up, ‘Behold, the Bridegroom cometh: go ye out to meet Him!’ the foolish virgins quickly cry then to the wise, ‘Give us of your oil, our lamps are gone out!’ Gone out! How could it be else? There was no oil in them.” The wick and the lamp are nothing. If you set fire to the wick when there is no oil in it, it will be only like a flash in the pan, or like a candle in the socket just ready to go out. “Our lamps are going out!” “Going out! How could it be otherwise?” Thus, there will be millions at the last day, who will then find that their non-inspiration is the oilless manifestation of their carnal reprobation. Thus, all our correct doctrinalists will, as properly dried fuel, occupy a prominent place on the blazing pile of an eternal, inextinguishable, and awful hell, if grace prevent not. “Give us of your oil!” What! you begin then to see that the oil is all, and that the lamp and the wick of correct doctrine merely leave you no better off than the devil in hell. Eh! do you? On earth, people laugh at inspiration, that sacred, mystic oil. But the dry doctrinalists, when they get into hell, will find that inspiration is the sole and turning point between the elect and reprobate. The devil dresses up countless swarms of goats as preachers, writers, and talkers, with the lamp and wick of correct doctrine. Not a drop of oil. No! “Give us of your oil”, said they. “Not so, lest we have not sufficient”. For the true elect are scarcely saved. And, moreover, the oil of inspiration is incommunicable, except alone where God Himself gives it. Not a drop of that must ever moisten the wick in the lamp of a goatish dry doctrinalists. No; never!
The great mystery of divine influences, like a cloud skirting along, bordering and adorning true religion, is thus far far away out of the reach except of those who are highly favored of God Most High. And all the elect are highly favored alone. To see the horizon of the sky, bordered on an evening with a beautiful azure rim, long and alabaster-like, just before complete sun set, a token of farewell of the golden orb of day to the world, till the coming morn; this, I say, is an emblem of the fringe of glory bordering the divine vest of an elect man’s feelings through divine influences on his religion. Thus does inspiration, as a canopy, overcloud with beams of light, glory, and excellence, a divine man’s religion. Thus, as the harbinger of eternal day, and of a farewell to the fading scenes of this natural globe whereon we live, Divine influences stretch the mind, through inspiration, to be fixed on the Great Font of divine life and light alone; even to that city of God where there is a river, the streams whereof make glad indeed. (Ps. 46:4) Which gladness is the oil of joy, inspiration, and divine influences, flowing from the ever-living spring thereof, “Where”, as Huntington expresses it, “the Eternal Solomon, the Lord Jesus Christ, sits enthroned and crowned, as He in whom all fulness dwells.” Inspiration, the sevenfold gifts and grace of His Most Holy Spirit, the cleansing, renewing, reviving, cooking, and sanctifying operations on those parched by the fires of guilt and sin, are a part of the mystic fountain, opened thus for sin and for uncleanness in the city of the spiritual David. This inspiration, then, is in word, thought, and deed, what no dead-hearted doctrinalist knows any thing of. The lips of an inspired man are health. The mouth or pen of a dry, merely correct doctrinalist, swallow up much good, and mock the expectations of all but bastards, hypocrites, and fools. (Prov. 25:14)
For, the grand character of all non-inspired writers, preachers, and prayers is, that they never do the slightest good to sensible sinners and quickened souls, who have circumcised ears, and the festering sores of sin in their hearts. No big sounds of ready talkers will ever have any weight, except to such as “Doeg the Edomite, the Zephites, and the friends of professing Saul.” And as “Saul had more love to the witch of Endor than to David”, so dead Calvinists hate an inspired Christian, who can draw the line between bastard Calvinists, and those who are broken-hearted, mourning, and sin-destroyed penitents, stricken by the hand of God. “Have pity on me, have pity upon me, oh, ye my friends, for the hand of God hath touched me!” said Job to his three friends. (19:21) And I feel I had rather go a mile out of the way any time, than hear any one preach, howsoever gifted he might be, who had not the tongue of the learned from Divine inspiration alone.
There is a set of as dead Calvinists among Particular Baptist preachers, and church members, and writers, as need be found. In several of the counties of England, and in London, they swarm! Gifted men, there are, (to mention names is invidious) but their gifts are only natural, not inspired. Eloquent natural orators, like Tertullus. (Acts 24:1)
No; the doctrine of inspiration cuts off all these natural orators. Stage-players, mountebanks, and worshippers of self-display, are all the greatest preachers who are not inspired. “Sensual are they, not having the Spirit.” The most accomplished, the most naturally amiable men, the, most docile, soft, and pleasing disposition, gifts and abilities, are not worth one straw in the market of Zion, if not scented with the living water of regeneration running about the roots, and making all things new. For through the scent of the washing of the Spirit’s regeneration and renewings, a man is alone enabled to “bud and bring forth boughs like a plant.” But a mere natural, highly-gifted minister dieth and wasteth away; yea, a minister of this king, I say, giveth up the ghost, and where is he? “As the waters fail from the sea, and the flood decayeth and drieth up, so he lieth down and riseth not.” (Job 14) A non-inspired minister “kindles death on living souls,” and pleaseth well all oilless professors. “Our lamp is gone out!” said the foolish virgins. “Lo, their good is not in their hand: may the counsel of such wicked men, as dry trees, be far from me.”
A fountain sealed up, a spring enclosed, wells out of which the waters of salvation (and not mere head-knowledge) are to be drawn: a well, springing up unto everlasting life, and (speaking of the Spirit) rivers of living water flowing, satiating, replenishing; spreading fertility, health, and gladness wherever they come; these are the Scripture similitudes, conveying to the renewed mind the imagery, as it were, of that ennobling, glowing, and delight beaming inspiration of the Holy Spirit of God, secretly, on the heaven-born race. “The secret of the Lord is with them that fear Him.” (Ps. 25:14)
Tipped with divine dew, and edged with the living breath of God, a divine, inspired, and humble soul scatters the arrows and wields the sword of death among dry doctrinalists, to their sore dislike and hatred. For, like Laban’s images, their dry doctrine being stolen from them by the thief in the night, they then have nothing left. Anguish takes hold of them as a woman in travail. Thus do dry doctrinalists, as the ancient pharisees on Christ, gnash their teeth against an inspired man. Then they begin to abuse what they cannot understand. Then they begin, more or less, to sit on the seat of the scorner, and to say that there is no such a thing as inspiration. Then they say that correct doctrine and practice are enough. Then they blaspheme the secret golden oil, in which alone, as in the body’s blood, there is life. “For the blood is the life.” (Deut. 12:23) Thus, dry doctrinalists and the openly profane, dying so, meet at last in hell, “whereunto, also, they are appointed.” For, if exalting the wick and lamp, making these to be the light-givers; if being “as blind as bats, and rebellious as devils” against the light-sustaining eternal doctrine of the oil of inspiration; if rebellion and ignorance like this is not a mark of reprobates, I know not what is. Indeed, the parable of the foolish virgins, as true as the echo to the voice, is the very facsimile and the emblazoned death-warrant of the whole army of mere sound doctrinalists, who have not the oil of the perpetual, sensible, sustaining, illuminating, and all-in-all influences, inspirations, and fire of the ever-blessed and most benign and fountain-like Spirit of God, the alone Giver and Sustainer of life. As, in the natural world, we live, move, and have our being in God; so, regenerate and renewed souls walk, live, and have their elements, from first to last, from the Grand Font, whence all unction, anointing, inspiration, and dew descend. As Nebuchadnezzar was turned among the beast until he knew, by experience, that the heavens reigned; (Dan. 4:26) so dry doctrinalists shall know that there is a secret they never knew. So shall they know that mere correct doctrine and morality damn a man, as well as profaneness. So shall they know that to have eternal life abiding IN US is the secret, blessing, and mysterious anointing of God, breathed from the living breath of an inspiring and living God, on His own chosen friends, and on none else.
Further. Divine and inspired writing is, like Gideon’s fleece, full of dew, more or less. “And it was so: for he arose up early on the morrow, and thrust the fleece together, and wringed the dew out of the fleece, a bowl full of water.” (Judges 6:38) O sacred water of life! O bliss-replenishing moisture, drawn from the well of Bethlehem! (1 Chron. 11:17) O soul delighting, balmy, and crystal fount, whence these living, slakeing waters descend on the soul that is divinely made to thirst after Christ! Of this water of the Holy Spirit’s most sacred influences on the elect regenerated soul, Christ spake when He said, “If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give Me to drink; thou wouldst have asked of Him, and He would have given thee living water.” (John 4:10) Of these sacred dews of inspiration, imparting life and light to the chosen seed, nearly all writers on religion in magazines and books are as destitute as the devil himself.
Selected from The Gospel Standard.
By J.K. of Abingdon, Eng., 1838