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A Sermon Preached to the Honourable House of Commons

James Dodson

1644-Samuel Rutherfurd.-This sermon gives attention to the doctrine of God; the doctrine of the magistrate; and even hints regarding eschatology. By first expounding upon the Divine government, Mr. Rutherfurd is then cleared to consider what the character of lawful civil government ought to be considered. After all, as he points out, the magistrate is subject to a Higher authority and derives all that can be called power, by which he means lawful authority, only from God. This sermon then seeks to admonish and guide the members of the House of Commons to be dutiful in their administrations, even under such difficult times.

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Samuel Rutherfurd (1600-1661)

James Dodson

Samuel Rutherfurd was born in Nisbet, Roxburghshire, Scotland, sometime in 1600. He studied at the Jedburgh Grammar School and then matriculated at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland. He was There, he became a professor of Latin, in 1623. In 1627, he was settled in Anwoth, Kirkcudbright, as the parish minister—a settlement obtained through the patronage of Gordon of Kenmure, a promoter of true religion. From there, Rutherfurd’s fame spread as a proponent of strict Reformed orthodoxy. For this reason, he was deprived of his ministerial office, in 1636, by Thomas Sydserff, a bishop of Arminian principles, who found Rutherfurd intolerable. With the re-establishing of Presbyterianism, in 1638, Rutherfurd was translated to Aberdeen where he spent many useful years. He was appointed to serve as a Commissioner for the Church of Scotland at the Westminster Assembly where he remained until 1647 when he returned to his parish ministry. He wrote numerous important works of theology, “Trial and Triumph of Faith” (1645); “Christ Dying and Drawing Sinners to Himself” (1647); Covenant of Life Opened” (1655); and other works, including several Latin titles. He also wrote on the subject of church government, “Peaceable Plea for Paul’s Presbyterie” (1642); “Due Right of Presbyterie” (1644); “Divine Right of Church Government” 1646); and “A Survey of the Survey” (1658). He is most noted for his work on political government, “Lex Rex” (1644), which was condemned to be burned, and his “Letters” which form a compend of devotional thoughts seldom equaled in the English language. He died on March 19, 1661.

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Of Infant Baptism and Dipping.

James Dodson

1721-John Owen (1616-1683).-Here are a series of short points and exegetical comments designed to show the reasonableness of infant baptism and the unreasonableness of insisting that baptism means dipping, or immersion.

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Chapter V.

James Dodson

I have shown that the ordained channels or means of grace dry up and disappear at the second advent; and that wherever this is intimated, the grace conveyed is so bound up with the means of conveying it, that neither can without violence be torn asunder from, or be imagined to survive, the other.

But I said that the agencies of salvation would cease at the same time; by which I mean the present work of Christ in the heavens, and the work of the Spirit, as the fruit of it.

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Chapter IV.

James Dodson

We have seen that the whole elect and ransomed Church is complete when Christ comes. If this be correct, we may expect to find the ordained means for the gathering and perfecting of the Church disappearing from the stage,—the standing agencies and instrumentalities, the whole economy and machinery of a visible Church-state, taken out of the way. Here then is a test, the fairest and most satisfactory that can be imagined, by which to try the truth of our doctrine. Premillennialists maintain that the saving of souls is to go on upon earth after the Redeemer’s second appearing. If this be true, we shall find the means of grace surviving the advent. Whereas, if grace has ceased at Christ’s coming to flow from the fountain, we shall find that the channels for its conveyance have disappeared too—if the building of mercy has been completed, we may expect to find the scaffolding cleared away.

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Chapter III.

James Dodson

Our preliminary inquiries being now concluded, the way is open for bringing out the mind of the Spirit on the great question at issue, namely, Whether the fleshly state at the second advent, instead of coming to an end, will only be then reconstituted and inaugurated as one of the departments of a millennial kingdom;—whether, after one portion of Christ’s people have appeared with him in glory, for ever beyond the experience of imperfection and the reach of evil, another portion of them will be left below for a thousand years in their mortal bodies, subject to all the imperfections of the life of faith and the state of grace, as contradistinguished from the glory of the risen and changed saints.

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Chapter II.

James Dodson

We have seen that Christ’s second coming is the Church’s “blessed hope.” Its place in the Christian system, and in the Church’s view, is over against his first coming, as its proper counterpart. As “once in the end of the world he hath appeared to put away sin, by the sacrifice of himself,” so, “to them that look for him, shall he appear the second time, without sin, unto salvation.” As the grace of the one coming is received by faith, so the glory of the other is apprehended by hope; and thus, between the Cross and the Crown, the believer finds all his salvation and all his desire.

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Chapter I.

James Dodson

Premillennialists have done the Church a real service, by calling attention to the place which the second advent holds in the Word of God and the scheme of divine truth. If the controversy which they have raised should issue in a fresh and impartial inquiry into this branch of it, I, for one, instead of regretting, shall rejoice in the agitation of it. When they dilate upon the prominence given to this doctrine in Scripture, and the practical uses which are made of it, they touch a chord in the heart of every simple lover of his Lord, and carry conviction to all who tremble at his word; so much so, that I am persuaded nine-tenths of all who have embraced the premillennial view of the second advent, have done so on the supposition that no other view of it will admit of an unfettered and unmodified use of the Scripture language on the subject—that it has its proper interpretation and full force only on this theory. Assertions to this effect abound in the writings of all modern premillennialists.

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Part I.

James Dodson

The subject handled in this volume seems periodically to agitate the Church. It has its law of recurrence. In times of general excitement, of extensive change, of pervading uneasiness and trial, of mingled hope and fear—it invariably rises to the surface. The struggles of the primitive Church forced it up, and kept it alive; with the battles of the Reformation it revived; in the exciting times of the English commonwealth it took a pretty prominent place among the multitudinous questions which distracted the Church; and the first French Revolution—startling Europe, intellectually as well as politically, from the sepulchral repose of the last century, shaking the old continent to its centre, and impregnating the entire social system with new elements both of good and of evil—woke it up, and set inquiring minds to work upon it, to an extent unknown before.

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Messiah’s Second Advent.

James Dodson

1900-Calvin Goodspeed (1842-1912).-Baptist theologian Calvin Goodspeed presents a thorough and popular treatment of the subject of eschatology showing that Postmillennialism is the teaching of the Bible. One of the strengths of this book is Goodspeed’s careful exposition of many of the Scripture passages bearing on the topic.

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INTRODUCTION.

James Dodson

1900-Calvin Goodspeed (1842-1912).-In this introduction to his very useful manual of defense for Postmillennialism, Goodspeed, who was professor of theology at McMaster University, Toronto, explains why he felt the need to write this book.

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CHAPTER I.

James Dodson

1900-Calvin Goodspeed (1842-1912).-In this opening chapter, Goodspeed raises the very important question of when the dead will be raised. The doctrine of the resurrection is one of the keys to unlocking proper views of the second coming and demonstrating the defects of Pre-millennialists.

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CHAPTER II.

James Dodson

1900-Calvin Goodspeed (1842-1912).-In this chapter, Goodspeed begins with a discussion of the differences necessitated by the different views on the Millennium and its relation to the second coming of Christ.

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CHAPTER III.

James Dodson

1900-Calvin Goodspeed (1842-1912).-In this chapter, Goodspeed sets out the differences between Pre-millennialists and the Post millennialists with respect to the various doctrines connected with their respective views.

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CHAPTER IV.

James Dodson

1900-Calvin Goodspeed (1842-1912).-In this chapter, Goodspeed demonstrates that, contrary to Pre-millennial doctrine, there will be no probation, or opportunity to come to faith in Christ, after His second coming.

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CHAPTER V.

James Dodson

1900-Calvin Goodspeed (1842-1912).-In this chapter, Goodspeed undertakes to set forth a Postmillennial interpretation of Revelation 20:4-6 wherein he discusses the much disputed question of what is meant by the Millennium.

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CHAPTER VI.

James Dodson

1900-Calvin Goodspeed (1842-1912).-In this chapter, Goodspeed opens a discussion of the true nature of the Kingdom of God and begins to show why the Postmillennial view is more closely conformed to Scripture.

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CHAPTER VII.

James Dodson

1900-Calvin Goodspeed (1842-1912).-In this chapter, Goodspeed continues his discussion of the nature of the Kingdom of God showing that the Pre-millennial emphasis on its future coming is demonstrably false.

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CHAPTER VIII.

James Dodson

1900-Calvin Goodspeed (1842-1912).-In this final chapter on the nature of the Kingdom of God, Goodspeed discusses the peculiar notions of the Pre-millennialists respecting this doctrine and its views regarding the Davidic kingship.

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