Letter to the Presbytery of Newark


4. I will now state one more reason, why I cannot give heed to your admonition, and then I shall have done. LPN 1.89

There is a dying bed a little before me, and a judgment seat where I expect to stand and give account for all the actions of my life. LPN 1.90

Can I tell the people of God that they have no Saviour from sin during their whole lives; that live long as they may, and labor as hard as they may to find out the path of life, and pray as fervently as they may, and trust in their Saviour for the fulfillment of the promises as fully as they may, they are doomed hopelessly to sin against the Redeemer they love, more or less, even to their dying hour; that all their cries and struggles for help are vain, and that they must be, to some extent, rebels against the heart of infinite love, until the grim monster death appears for their deliverance? To me it looks like casting dust in the eyes of such as wish to see a way whereby they may be enabled to love their God and Saviour with a perfect heart; and “sewing pillows to the armholes” (Ezekiel 13:18) of those who wish to pass comfortably through life in their remaining corruptions, hoping to find a Saviour from sin, only when all opportunity for sinful enjoyment has passed away. LPN 1.91

I feel, brethren, that I could not go in peace to my dying pillow, or appear at the great tribunal, expecting the approbation of My Judge, if I did not tell God’s people that He has promised to “circumcise their heart, and the heart of their seed, to love the LORD their God with all their heart, and with all their soul” (Deuteronomy 30:6); to “sprinkle clean water upon them, and make them clean: from all their filthiness, and from all their idols, to cleanse them” (Ezekiel 36:25), and that these, with many other exceeding great and precious promises, were given for the express purpose, that through them, they might “cleanse themselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfect holiness in the fear of God” (2 Corinthians 7:1)-that by these promises, they might become “partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust” (2 Peter 1:4). LPN 1.92

I feel it to be a matter of unspeakable importance to the honor of Christ and the good of His cause, and the holiness and peace of His suffering heritage, that they be made to know that there has “come out of Sion a Deliverer to turn away ungodliness from Jacob” (Romans 11:26), and that God has said, respecting this Deliverer, “This is My covenant with them when I shall take away their sins” (Romans 11:27). It seems to me that God’s professing people do not know their Deliverer, and there are vast multitudes who seem altogether unwilling to know Him. Hence the reproach cast upon such as declare that there is a “Deliverer to turn away ungodliness from them and take away their sins” Romans 11:26-27. But I see not how I can lie down in peace on my dying pillow, or meet the Saviour in judgment before the universe, unless I do what in me lies to make Him known. I feel constrained to cry in the ears of the church, Behold your Deliverer; He has come to turn away ungodliness from you, and to take away your sins. Look to Him; believe on His name, and let “your iniquity be taken away, and your sins be purged” (Isaiah 6:7). LPN 1.93

And now, brethren, I have done. I cannot, for the reasons I have named, and in view of my final account; I dare not listen to your admonition for a moment. With my name you must do what you think right before God, and in view of an approaching judgment. I have no further defense to make. If you cannot own me as one of your number while I tell the church of Christ that He was manifested to take away their sins, and that they may and ought so to abide in Him that they sin not-that it is my privilege and theirs so to abide in Christ, that it is my belief that through the grace of God I do so abide in Him; if such a confidence in my Redeemer for the fulfillment of God’s exceeding great and precious promises, must still make me, in your estimation, an advocate of important and dangerous error, then just blot me out of your book, and let the transaction be recorded, as it will be, in the book of God, to be reviewed before the universe in the final day. That I hold the doctrine which you call important and dangerous error, and believe it to be the brightest glory of my bleeding Saviour’s gospel, is true; and I know that, if you knew the blessedness of trusting fully in Christ as your Redeemer from all iniquity, there is not a man of you, who would not choose that his tongue should perish, rather than be used to pronounce such a doctrine importantly and dangerously erroneous. But if you still adhere to that opinion, I must consider myself as no longer of your number, and you must do to me and with me as you think our Lord and Master requires. “Now may the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, make you perfect in every good work to do His will, working in you that which is wellpleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen” (Hebrews 13:20-21). LPN 1.94

Yours in the gospel, CHARLES FITCH