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The Clarion Herald

    The end of another year fast approaches. Each of us have been the recipients of multiplied blessings; the objects of abundant mercies. God has not failed us! His faithfulness is stedfast and sure; His loving compassion the only thing that keeps us from being consumed. It is important that we honestly inquire whether, from our hearts, He has received a reciprocation of such faithfulness and love. Conscious of His eternal goodness and grace, we OUGHT to praise His name.
    How many times have we failed Him! Yet, He has never failed us. The past is history; we cannot do anything that will change it. We MAY acknowledge our failures, confess our sins and mourn the spiritual wretchedness that has so often plagued our unbelieving hearts. We have failed our Greatest Friend!
    Still, our Friend, Jesus Christ, the Lord, is willing to lift us up. Through His grace, the failure of the past may become a stepping-stone to spiritual excellence & joy -- provided we learn to commit our way unto Him. May our recognition of His "lordship" be manifested in joyful obedience of His Word.
-- Eugene L. Garner


    Because the sentiments of "Ana-baptists was on the increase, and spreading in all the colonies, the General Court of Massachusetts, on November 13, 1644, passed the following act:
    "Forasmuch as experience hath plentifully and often proved, that since the first rising of the Ana-baptists, about 100 years since, they have been the incendiaries of the commonwealths, and the infectors of persons in main matters of religion, and the troublers of churches in all places where they have been, and that they who have held the baptizing of infants unlawful, have usually held other errors or heresies together therewith though they have (as other heretics used to do) concealed the same till they spied out a fit advantage and opportunity to vent then, by way of question or scruple; and
    Whereas divers of this kind have since our coming into New-England appeared amongst ourselves, some whereof (as others before them) denied the ordinance of magistracy, and the lawfulness of making war, and others the lawfulness of magistrates, and their inspection into any breach of the first table;

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The Clarion Herald The Clarion Herald

which opinions, if they should be connived at by us, are like to be increased amongst us, and so MUST NECESSARILY bring guilt upon us, infection and trouble to the churches, and hazard to the whole commonwealth;
    It is ordered and agreed, that if any person or persons, within this jurisdiction, shall either OPENLY CONDEMN or OPPOSE THE BAPTIZING OF INFANTS, or go about secretly to seduce others from the approbation or use thereof, or shall purposely depart the congregation at the ministration of the ordinance, or shall deny the ordinance of magistracy, or their lawful right and authority to make war, or to punish the outward breaches of the first table, and shall appear to the court wilfully and obstinately to continue therein after due time and means of conviction, every such person or persons shall be SENTENCED TO BANISHMENT."
    Let it be here noted, that the

evident design of this law was to guard against such as refused to countenance infant baptism, and the use of SECULAR FORCE in RELIGIOUS AFFAIRS; which the Baptists HAVE EVER DONE from that day to this; but the other articles inserted in this act they have not owned; and the court then had no proof at hand, but were forced to have recourse to surmises, distant times, and foreign countries, for them; and a like method of treating the Baptists, in courts, from pulpits and from the press, has been handed down by tradition ever since. And can we believe that men so knowing and virtuous in other respects, as many on that side have been, would have introduced and continued in a way of treating, their neighbors, which is so unjust and scandalous, if they could have found better arguments to support that cause upon? I have diligently searched ALL the books, records and papers I could come at UPON ALL SIDES, and have found a great number of instances of Baptists suffering for the above points that WE OWN; but not one instance of the conviction of ANY MEMBER OF A BAPTIST CHURCH IN THIS COUNTRY, in ANY COURT, of the errors or evils which were INSERTED IN THIS LAW to justify their making of it, and to render our denomination odious".
        -- Isaac Backus, (History of the Baptists in New England, Vol. I pp. 151-152, dated 1777)
    Having paid so dearly for the liberty we enjoy, do you suppose our fathers would be pleased with such censuring of each other as is so prevalent among Baptists today?


    In First Thessalonians 5:12-13 Paul pleads with his brethren at Thessalonica to "know" and maintain a right attitude toward their spiritual leaders. He describes those spiritual leaders in a three-fold way:
    1) They "labor among you". And few there are among the saints who have any idea of how exhausting such labor may be, (See: I Cor. 16:15-18; I Tim. 5:17-18; I Cor. 15:10; 2:14; Matt. 10:40-41).
    2) They "are over you, in the Lord" -- in the sense of presiding or ruling, by example, (Heb. 13:7, 17; I Tim. 3:4-5, 12).
    3) They "admonish you" -- which literally means "to put sense into one's head", suggesting REBUKE.
    Those who faithfully fulfil such a role as spiritual leaders are to be "esteemed highly, in love, for their works sake". Spiritual leaders can never do their best work when subjected to constant, carping criticism on the part of those who should be following.
    It is important that pastor and people, in every local assembly, learn to work together in peace and harmony. Progress, made possible through "unity of the spirit, in the bonds of peace" describes God's will for every local assembly. And apart from such a harmonious function, on the part of every member there can be no genuine progress toward that maturity which honors the Christ. May the Lord truly unite our hearts to fear His name and to joyfully serve Him together!


    It is always a blessing to have brethren visit in our home and in the services of Landmark Church. Since the Thanksgiving Fellowship Meeting it has been our privilege to have two brethren visit with us who have brought joy, encouragement and blessing.
    In early December it was our privilege to have Bro. Edgar D. Sullivan visit in our home. Though he did not get to attend one of our services, his fellowship in our home was a blessing. We hope to have him back for a longer visit at a later date. The church will hear him at that time.
    Then, on December 16, Bro. Mike Little, of Lexington, Kentucky, paid us a visit. He had surrendered his life to the Gospel Ministry the day following our Fellowship Meeting. After a couple days of fellowship and study together in the Word, He spoke in the morning service at Landmark on Sunday. This was only his second message. It was a blessing -- such as suggested to us that he will be a biblical messenger.
    Both the pastor's home; and the pulpit of Landmark church, are ever open to those who love the Lord sincerely, and who are honestly endeavoring to follow His "order".
    Blessings on our brethren EVERYWHERE who are holding forth the "Word of life"!
-- Eugene L. Garner
    It takes a hundred men to make an encampment, but one godly woman can make a home.


    One of the greatest lessons to be learned from the book of Joshua is that there is a vast difference between "inheriting" and "possessing". And this a lesson which many Twentieth Century "believers" have missed -- to their eternal impoverishment!
    "Inheritance" for God's people involves the sum total of blessings that God has provided and given to us through Christ. Our possession involves only that portion of the inheritance that we appropriate to ourselves in actual experience, by faith. What is ours, by promise must become ours by actual possession.
    In the experience of ancient Israel the "inheritance" was possessed through conflict. And without the conflict -- pursued to victory -- the inheritance profited them nothing. The experiences of the covenant nation are written "for our admonition". Since this is true, our having been blessed "with all spiritual blessings in the heavenlies in Christ" profit us NOTHING except as we "fight the good fight of faith", through the glorious enablement of the Holy Spirit. But it must be recognized that this is by no means AUTOMATIC. It requires diligence.
    May God grant us hearts that are so yielded to His direction that we may truly POSSESS our inheritance. For Israel the INHERITANCE was the whole land that God had given to Abraham. The POSSESSION, however, was only that part which the nation appropiated by faith-obedience. The divine ideal is for the POSSESSION to measure up to the INHERITANCE!
    Our inheritance In Christ is what He is TO US, POTENTIALLY -- including all spiritual blessings in the heavenlies". Our POSSESSION in Christ is what he is to us IN ACTUAL EXPERIENCE -- determined by the measure and appropriation of our faith. Let us trust and follow him with our WHOLE HEARTS!          E.G.
    Have YOU asked God's blessings on your pastor as he prepares for the services this weekend? Will you stop RIGHT NOW and do so? And ASK IN FAITH! What great blessings are missed because God's peop1e do not ASK GREAT THINGS of Him!
    THANKS! It makes a difference.