Dissertations on the True Inheritance of the Saints


Matthew 5:5:— “Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.” DTIS 7.1

So says the dear Savior, and so said the Holy Spirit by the sweet psalmist in Israel. 1 This then is a promise of God, given by his Spirit, and ratified by his Son Jesus Christ. Who then will say, this promise will never be consummated? Many, my kind reader, have said what is tantamount to a denial of this promise, or an unbelief in its fulfilment. DTIS 7.2

The kings of the earth have opposed it, and will as long as the devil is prince of the power of the air, and ruler over the children of disobedience in the earth. The great men and mighty men of the earth, have, and will oppose this glorious promise, so long as the world is governed by physical force, and war, rapine, and lust are the instruments of power. The proud clergy will oppose this good promise, as long as they seek to please men, to lord it over the heritage of God, to obtain notoriety over their fellows; or to gratify their lust by sanctimonious names or titles, which our Savior forbade his followers to receive, or wear. DTIS 7.3

All impenitents will oppose it, so long as they possess reason or judgment: for they well know if none but the meek should inherit the earth, they themselves must be thrust out: and this is the very reason why a certain class of men never quote this text to prove universal salvation; because their reason tells them that shame would mantle their cheek with a blush, to claim this appellation for all men. DTIS 8.1

Then let me discuss my subject in the following order:
DTIS 8.2


I. WHO ARE THE MEEK? They are not the proud Pharisees, who think themselves better than others; for this would be a contradiction of terms. To say a proud man is a meek man, would be putting evil for good, and I should meet with the wo pronounced by the prophet Isaiah 5:20, “Wo unto them that say concerning evil, it is good.” And the wise man says, Proverbs 16:5: “Every one that is proud in heart, is an abomination to the Lord.” It cannot be a bigoted man; for the prophet has pronounced a solemn wo against all such. Isaiah 5:21: “Wo unto them that are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight.” DTIS 8.4

It cannot be those who are seeking honor of men, or one of another; for Christ says of such, “But I know you, that ye have not the love of God in you.” It cannot be those who are fond of titles, love the uppermost rooms at feasts, chief seats in the assemblies, greetings in the markets, and to be called of men Doctor, Doctor, or Rabbi, Rabbi; for Jesus says of the like, “Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers! how can ye escape the damnation of hell?” Matthew 23:1-23. Who then can it be? you may inquire; for there is no sect in Christendom, at the present day, but are seeking for the honors and emoluments of the world. I acknowledge your charge is apparently just, but not universally true. As it respects the leaders and most active men, as the world would judge, in all the sects of Christendom, I fear your objection would hold good in the main; and the reason is plain: meekness is modesty; it “vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up;” and, of course, in the bustle of the present day, meekness would not be found in the world’s first ranks. It is only in a time of severe trial, or great persecution, that you will discover the meek man in the front rank; and then he “doth not behave unseemly, seeketh not his own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil.” DTIS 9.1

Therefore, not many mighty, nor many noble, or rich, will be found in the company of the meek, in such a time as this. Yet DTIS 9.2

God has reserved, in my opinion, more than seven thousand, who have not bowed the knee to Baal, (the god of honor.) But, who are the meek? I answer, Christ was meek, as he tells us: “Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart, and ye shall find rest to your souls.” Again; “Behold thy king cometh unto thee, meek,” etc. Christ, also, has the same promise from the Father, Psalm 2:8: “Ask of me, and I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession.” The children, which are born of the Spirit of God, are meek, because they possess the same spirit which was in Christ. Isaiah 29:19: “The meek also shall increase their joy in the Lord, and the poor among men shall rejoice in the Holy One of Israel.” Those who are given to Christ by the Father, are called the meek. Psalm 22:26, 30, 31: “The meek shall eat and be satisfied: they shall praise the Lord that seek him: your heart shall live for ever. A seed shall serve him; it shall be accounted to the Lord for a generation. They shall come, and shall declare his righteousness unto a people that shall be born, that he hath done this.” Those who obey the commandments of God. Psalm 25:9, 10: “The meek will he guide in judgment: and the meek will he teach his way. All the paths of the Lord are mercy and truth unto such as keep his covenant and his testimonies.” Those who obtain salvation through faith, and are saved from wrath in the day of the Lord’s vengeance. Psalm 76:9: “When God arose to judgment, to save all the meek of the earth.” In one word, the meek are penitent, humble followers of Christ — obedient in word and doctrine — lovers of truth and righteousness, of a contrite spirit, a broken heart, and a reconciled mind to God; a poor and a persecuted people, hated by the world, despised of men, but chosen of God, and precious. DTIS 10.1

And now, my friend, where shall we go to find such a people as this? There is a people somewhere on the earth that will answer to the description of character given us by our blessed Master in Matthew 5:3-12, inclusive, or the promise of God would be of no effect. What sect, or denomination shall we visit, to find a people of this description? Let us go to the Baptist, — a sect to which the writer belongs. What do we see? A people “poor in spirit?” If so, they are making great efforts not to remain so much longer; for they are seeking anxiously for a good share of worldly goods and popular applause, and are very successful in their calling, in those things. Do they “mourn?” Yes, for the want of more riches and honors of this world. Are they “meek?” Many of them would blush to claim that appellation. Do they “hunger and thirst after righteousness?” I fear many, very many of us, are hungering and thirsting after the wisdom of the world, and to favor tyrants and slaveholders, more than to seek righteousness and truth. Will they show mercy? Not if you differ with them in the least article of their creed, or oppose the least of their popular schemes of the present day. But are they not pure in heart? Dare they claim this grace? No; unless a man can claim it, while his heart is full of self-love, a love of the world, and pride, avariciousness, and covetousness. Surely you will give them some praise as a sect. Are they not peacemakers; and may they not be called the children of God? They make no peace with one another, nor with other sects, if they cross their path. They plead for, and support war as a sect; and I would be very thankful to know in what sense they can be called peacemakers at the present day. Are they not “persecuted for righteousness’ sake?” If they are, then to be persecuted, is not what I have supposed persecution meant: but this, as a sect, they will not, dare not claim. DTIS 11.1

“Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely for my sake.” May they not claim this blessing as a sect? Where is the world saying all manner of evil against the Baptists? If we should claim this, the world would have reason to call us liars. DTIS 12.1

To what sect shall we go, where we may find the meek? To Presbyterians? No, no, say all the other sects, they cannot be the meek; for they are much more anxious to obtain good names from men, and honors of the world. Yes, yes, none seek for these things more. They cannot be the meek. And if we could give them the preference, still there is a difficulty, we cannot well surmount; — there are two parties there; and until they make peace, we could not call them meek; I refer to the old school, and the new school. DTIS 13.1

Where shall we find the meek? for they must inherit the earth. Shall we find them in the Church of England? Methinks I hear a rush, and all the other sects cry out, at once, no, no. Why, what’s the matter now? Shame, shame, to call them meek. They do not even pretend to have their members all born of the Spirit; and if pride, and the love of the world, and a love of the honors from men, and the high-sounding titles, are opposed to meekness, surely you cannot claim the world for them. DTIS 13.2

Shall we go and try the Methodist? Methinks I hear, from every other sect, no, no. They are as proud, and much more selfish, than others of our sects; they love the world, are covetous, and boasters, and, in common with modern sects, choose the highest seats. We cannot, will not, call them meek. DTIS 13.3

And, if we should go to any other sect, — to Christians, Freewill Baptists, Protestant Methodist, Moravians, Disciples, Lutherans, Unitarians, Greeks, Quakers, Shakers, Mormons, Turks, or Jews, we should hear a loud voice, — no, no, — from every other sect. Where then can we find the meek? I answer, — from the four winds of heaven, from every continent, from land and sea, from every age, from every clime, from every nation, kindred, tongue, and people, on our globe, from every sect, from Catholic and Jew, from high and low, from rich and poor, from bond and free, from the fair Georgian to the dark African: “For thou was slain and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood, out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation.” Not all, of any class, or sect, or nation, kindred, tongue, or people; but, out of every class; so says the text, and so my soul believes. “And hast made us unto our God, kings and priests, and we shall reign on the earth.” Revelation 5:9, 10. DTIS 14.1

But will not the earth be inherited by the meek before the resurrection of the saints? NEVER. But I have been taught to believe, says the objector, that the time was coming, in the gospel day, when the meek would inherit the earth; that is, the nations of the earth would, at some time, all become holy, and constitute a universal race of the meek. This could not be “the meek,” if such a state of things could be brought about; it would be only a PART of “the meek.” This promise to the meek seems to me to be a general promise to all “the meek”. DTIS 14.2

Did not the dear, meek children of God, who then heard the Savior speak, receive that promise to themselves, with all the other promises in that chapter? Certainly. Then, if you are correct in your views that only those who lived in that day will inherit the earth, you must see, that they have been deceived; for they have been dead near eighteen hundred years. And if that promise can be thus taken away from them who heard him, I ask, what promise was there given in that sermon, which might not, by the same rule, be taken away, and given to a people who may live in ages long to come? And what warrant have you, or I, that any promise belongs to us? I hope you see the folly of such constructions. DTIS 15.1

Again; the promise to Abraham, “that he should be heir of the world,” was not to Abraham or his seed, through the law, but though the righteousness of faith. For if they which are of the law be heirs, faith is made void, and the promise made of none effect. Therefore, it is of faith, that it might be by grace; to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed; not that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all. Romans 4:13-16. You cannot help but to see, that the promise to Abraham, that his seed should be heirs of the world, is virtually the same promise as made by Christ, “The meek shall inherit the earth;” and this is made sure to all the seed, both under the law and under the gospel. How then, I ask, can this promise be verified until after the resurrection of all the saints? “For God is not a God of the dead, but of the living.” DTIS 15.2

Again; if the meek are to inherit the earth in this state of things, I wish some one would prove to me which Christian sect will be the favored sect; for there can be no division in that state of meekness; they will all be peacemakers there. And you, gentlemen, who are in favor of such a millennium, and expect it to be brought about by the present gospel, and the means now in use, are very remiss in your duty, it appears to me, if you do not settle that point immediately, and begin your millennium without a moment’s delay. If ministers and watchmen ever will see eye to eye, in the gospel day, why not NOW? Come, show us the first fruits of your happy millennium. And begin ye watchmen in Zion; tell us, who shall lead us in this glorious cause, to make all sects one? Shall the mother Catholic church of Rome lead us? No, no, — no pope, cry a hundred voices at once. Who then shall lead us, — her oldest daughter, the English Episcopal church? No, — no bishops of England shall lead us, say a hundred voices more. DTIS 16.1

To whom then shall we look? The twin sister of the last, the Lutheran church? Ninety and nine voices join in one cry, — she is dead, twice dead, and ought to be plucked up by the roots; this will not do. DTIS 17.1

What do you say to some of her younger daughters, — the Presbyterians, for instance? No, by no means; we may as well be ruled by popes and bishops as by a presbytery. Indeed, gentlemen, you will be hardly suited. What do you say to the Congregationalist grand-daughter of the old lady? Away, away, say many speakers at once. She is proud; too much pride for her years, — cannot bear her. DTIS 17.2

Well, then, let us take another grand-daughter, in another line. What say you to the Methodist, — will you follow them? No, no, she has too many bishops for her cloth, — not a little too proud, and over much righteous, — cannot follow her. Then let us try some of the illegitimate daughters; — the Baptists. See, see, a hundred noses are turned up at once; all cry out, — it is an insult, — come from Munster, or nobody knows where, — tries to be proud, but makes a fool of herself, — shows her bringing up, — low bred, — but loves to imitate her more proud neighbors, — she is puffed up, doting on smaller matters of the law, — she has become vain in her imaginations, — thinking herself something, she knows not how others look upon her. We will not have her to rule over us. Shall we call up the other sects, legitimate, or illegitimate? Scores of voices cry out at once, name them not. DTIS 17.3

Where then shall we go? The watchmen must see eye to eye, they must lift up their voices together. Come, tell us, to whom shall we go? To Christ, — so say you all; but is Christ divided? And if we should go to him, and be one in him, we must drop our sectarian names, and be called by a new name. What, — Christian? No. Why not? Because it is the name of a sect already. Away with that name then. Shall we be called Unionists? Are they not a sect, as deep in the mud as we are in the mire? They say we must all come to them. We can have no fellowship for them; for they are only making new divisions in our old sects, to build up a new one to benefit themselves. Ye believers in a temporal millennium, tell me how you calculate to bring on your happy time, and who will rule the earth? Who will be our king, and who will set upon the throne of David forever? You are well aware, if the meek inherit the earth, they must have a king and a kingdom, and it will stand forever. For Daniel plainly tells us, (7:27,) “And the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom, under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the Most DTIS 18.1

High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him.” Serve and obey whom? I answer, the Lord Jesus Christ. See verses 13, 14: “I saw in the night visions, and behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of Days; and they brought him near before him. And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that (the meek from) all people, nations, and languages, should serve him; his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom, that which shall not be destroyed.” DTIS 19.1

But, says the objector, we read that Christ’s reign must cease. 1 Corinthians 15:24-28: “Then cometh the end, (viz., at the coming of Christ) when he shall have delivered up the (mediatorial) kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule, and all authority and power.” To me, this is the amount of Paul’s remarks: God has given all power on earth, into the hands of Jesus Christ, as mediator, to give eternal life to as many as the Father has given him, or as many as shall believe on his word; and when the end of this mediatorial kingdom shall come, he will raise his children, and all the meek of the earth, — “For he must reign, until he hath put all enemies under his feet, the last enemy that shall be destroyed is death,” — to him or the church: “for he is head,” or king, “over all things to the church;” then he will dash all the kingdoms of the earth to pieces; destroy all those wicked men who rejected the gospel, and who would not have him as mediator to rule over them; and shall raise his church and present it to God, without spot or wrinkle, holy, unblameable in his sight. See 2 Corinthians 4:14, Ephesians 5:27, Colossians 1:22, Jude 24. Then the glorified kingdom will be given to Jesus Christ, and he will be known as our God forever; for “he is over all, God blessed forever.” Romans 9:5, Colossians 3:11. See also Ephesians 1:22, 23: “And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be head over all things to the church, which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all.” But he will not raise the wicked until a thousand years after, says the objector. How then can he conquer death until the second resurrection? The inconsistency is not in the Bible, of which you complain; it is in your understanding of it. Where has God, or Christ, or the Bible ever promised to conquer death for the final impenitent?2 Show me the passage, and I will acknowledge the restorationist has some ground for his faith; but I never could find the least promise, or hint of anything of the kind. But will you not admit, says the objector, that the wicked will arise from death? Yes, I will admit it; or, which is the same thing, I will admit they live again in the flesh, but what has that to do with the subject? So far from death being conquered, they are no sooner raised and judged, than they are sent into the second death, which is apparently much more awful and terrible than any previous death; for from this death there is no reprieve. Well, then, will you not agree that they are raised in Christ? No, I cannot; because it needs proof. Will you not agree that they are raised by the power of Christ? I will; for all that are in their graves shall hear his voice and come forth, they that have done good to the resurrection of life, (death conquered) and they that have done evil unto the resurrection of damnation (death eternal.) “Thou didst cause judgment to be heard from heaven; the earth feared and was still, when God arose to judgment, to save all the meek of the earth.” Psalm 76:8, 9. “The Lord lifteth up the meek, he casteth the wicked down to the ground.” Psalm 147:6. The meek are the penitent and humble followers of Christ, who shall be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus, and have part in the first resurrection. Blessed, indeed, are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. “Thy people (the meek) also shall be all righteous, they shall inherit the land forever.” Isaiah 60:21. DTIS 19.2