Dr. Philip Henry Adams
The Conditions Of Salvation
"Mr. Larrimore (sic), the noted preacher of North Alabama, and who has preached much in Collierville, selects a ladder of four rounds for his favorite illustration of the conditions of salvation.
Now, he says, knock faith out, and all the rest fail, so if faith and repentance and confession, you fall short of the salvation; baptism must be added as the consummating act, or the sinner is inevitably lost." —The Baptist.
We have no idea that Dr. Graves intended to misrepresent our teaching when he worth this brief paragraph. However, little explanation may elucidate the subject. We presume he received his information from others, whose memory, like our own, may not be perfect, for, though we have labored considerably in Memphis, where he resides, it is probable that he never honored us with his presence. It has never been our custom to preach negatively—to prove, by the testimony of the Holy Spirit, that they can be saved by complying with the conditions prescribed by “the Great Physician.” When a physician prescribes three pills for the recovery of a sick man, assuring him that they will be, in his car, a sovereign remedy—an infallible one—unless uterly devoid of confidence in the physician, he does not devote hours, days, and weeks, to the discussion of such questions as, “Is the medicine essential to my recovery?” “Can I not get well without it?” “Are not two pills as good as three?” “If two will do, why not one?” “Will not something else do just as well?” Nor does it concern him how many sick men have recovered without taking pills. He takes the medicine, and, if the physician was neither deceived nor a deceiver, recovers.
The Great Physician of souls can neither deceive no be deceived, therefore every sin-sick should who faithfully follow His prescription “to the end, shall be saved.”
It is possible that we remember our own illustrations distinctly as those who have heard them used. If our list of illustrations ever contained a ladder, it has been lost, and every vestige of it erased from our memory. The “favorite illustration in question consists, not of a “ladder of four rounds,” but of three, four, and even five platforms, erected one directly above another, over the regions of endless despair, one of them, at least, consisting a sure foundation on which the souls of responsible men can rest without fear. The number can not be scripturally extended beyond five:
1. Faith, 2. Faith and repentance. 3, Faith, repentance and confession. 4. Faith, repentance, confession and baptism. 5. Faith, repentance, confession, baptism, and a faithful Christian life.
We never heard any on assert that no person can be saved without complying with all the conditions in the fifth platform; but the Holy Scriptures do teach, and therefore we believe, that the Lord will save all who faithfully comply with them; for, “being made perfect, He became the author of eternal salvation to all them that obey Him. Hebrews v:9. —Such persons have no reasons for ever doubting their security; for, if the first platform—“faith alone”—be a true, sure, firm foundation, that can never fall, they are safe, since they believe the Gospel, believe the entire testimony of the Holy Spirit, consequently have all the scriptural faith attainable, and are therefore above—directly over—this firm, immovable and imperishable foundation. The same is true of all the intermediate platforms. Should any or every one of these prove to be a sure foundation, those on the topmost platform would be saved. They would also be saved should the lowest and the intermediate platforms all fall. Therefore, whether we can or cannot be saved by “faith alone,” faith and repentance alone; faith, repentance and confession alone; or faith, repentance, confession and baptism alone—those who believe the Gospel with their whole hearts, truly repent of their sins, make “the good confession,” “are buried with him by baptism into death,” and live faithful, Christian lives till “life and its labors are o’er,” shall “have right to the tree of life,” shall “enter in through the gates of the city,” and “shall never see death anymore.”
The foregoing I have copied from “The Little Angel,” of December, 1876, regarding it as a model reply to the misrepresentations put forth in “the Baptist,” and which is still urged against us as a people. I regard Bro. Larrimore’s(sic) “illustration” as a good one, which never can be set aside by any sophistry which can be brought against it, and therefore wish it reproduced in the columns of the Firm Foundation for the benefit of the younger members of the Church, especially preachers who are studying to teach sound doctrine.
-P.H. Adams, Firm Foundation, 1886, Vol. 3, No. 2, page 2
By Whom Was The Kingdom Set Up?
When *S.C.H. read my article, and saw that I had turned all Dr. Norton’s proof-texts against him, the gentleman changed the issue, like a shrewd lawyer with a bad case. Why a man should cling to an untenable position when he sees it fall to the ground is strange to me.
To try to break the force of my logical arguments, based on infallible scriptures, S.C.H. brings in some new issues, which I now proceed to notice. As I had shown in my former article that Jesus Christ, as the God of heaven, did, during his personal ministry on earth, in fulfillment of the prophecy of Daniel [2:44] set up his kingdom—built the church—S.C.H. denies that Jesus Christ is the God of heaven. Here then, is the first issue. I affirm that Jesus Christ is God—the God of heaven. In favor of this, I submit the following:
1. Isaiah, 642 B.C., vii:14, says: “Behold, a virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.”
2. Matt. 1st gives an account of the birth of Christ, and quotes the above prophetic testimony from Isaiah, and in the 23rd verse says: “They shall call his name Immanuel.” Matthew also calls him Jesus—“God with us.” Let us see if the original sustains this definition. Hebrew: Imma, “with;” Nu, “us,” and El, “God”—the future name of Jesus, showing that he will be “God with us.”
3. John i:1 says: “The Word [the term he used for Jesus Christ] was God.” The Greek is, Theus en o logos—God was the Word.
Second Issue.—The second false issue which S.C.H. makes is this: “John the Baptist set up the kingdom as the authorized agent of God.” This flatly contradicts the inspired prophet Daniel. The prophet, 2:45, when interpreting the king’s dream and alluding to the coming kingdom, says: “It was cut out of the mountain without hands.” But if the position of S.C.H. be correct, it was done with hands, unless S.C.H.’s agent—John the Baptist—had no hands!
Now, reader, you can here see where a false position leads us—to deny divine inspiration—has made John a man without hands!
The prophet, by the phrase, without hands, simply means without human agency. But John was a human; therefore he could not set up the kingdom. Reader, which will you believe, Daniel or S.C.H.?
Third and last issue.—S.C.H. says: “Christ himself disclaimed the act of setting up the kingdom.” Then, in support of this declaration, S.C.H. quotes Luke 22:21. Luke here represents Christ as saying to the apostles: “I appoint unto you a kingdom, as my Father hath appointed unto me: that ye may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom, and sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel.”
Here S.C.H. confounds the present gospel kingdom with the coming millennial kingdom. This is the kingdom the Father hath appointed to the Son. If S.C.H. is correct, the twelve apostles are now sitting on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel! Reader, are they? This promise of Christ to the apostles will be fulfilled when Christ comes the second time to earth, and establishes his millennial kingdom, and will reign with his apostles, at Jerusalem, which will then be the metropolitan city of the Messianic Empire.—D.D. Swindall, in Baptist and Reflector.
“When Doctors disagree who shall decide?” Lofton and Davidson are in a controversy on “Election” in the same paper, and they—the Baptists—are differing on other matters. I thought that perhaps these points might be of use to you sometime, and so send them.
Dr. P.H. Adams, Firm Foundation, August 14 1890, page 2.
*Not clear who S.C.H. is. Potentially, a premillennialist who had writen an article Dr. Adams was responding to.
Christian Leader, 1898-11-29, page 5
Apostolic Times, 1870, 01.27, p.334
Directions To Grave
Florence City Cemetery is located in South Central, Texas in the city of Florence. A few miles north of Austin, take I-35 to Georgetown. Just north of town take exit 265 and continue on Frontage Road. Take Hwy 195 north toward Florence. In Florence, turn left on E. Main St. Then turn left on Love St. Then, Left on Story Ave., You will see the cemetery begin on your left. Head into cemetery from Story Ave. and when you enter, the Adams plot is back to your left in older section of the cemetery.
Photos Taken 10.2004
Webpage produced 01.06.2017
Courtesy Of Scott Harp