Originally Printed In 1825
Posted On November 6, 2021
Elder Wilson Thompson, 1788 – 1866, of the Predestinarian Old School or Particular Baptist persuasion, was a native of Hillsborough, Kentucky, but lived mainly in Ohio and Indiana. He was regarded by some as one of the most capable and sound Old School Baptist ministers that ever lived in the United States, being of English, Welsh, Scotch, Irish and German descent. According to Hassell’s HISTORY OF THE CHURCH OF GOD, 1886, Thompson, after settling in Indiana, due to the poor health of his wife, “was requested by Elder Isaac McCoy to join him in his Mission to the Indians, and he was at first disposed to do so; but, upon a thorough examination of the New Testament, he became entirely satisfied that the modern missionary system was, in all respects, directly contrary to God’s plan and to apostolic practice; and this persuasion increased the longer he lived. He moved to Lebanon, Ohio, on a call from the church at that place, and while living there he published two books, SIMPLE TRUTH and TRIUMPH OF TRUTH, opposing Fullerism, and thus brought upon himself much persecution.” Again, Hassell remarks, “let it be remembered that there was not the slightest particle of Arminianism in Elder Wilson Thompson’s preaching; he uncompromisingly proclaimed at this time, and at all other periods of his ministry, the scriptural doctrine of salvation by the sovereign, discriminating, efficacious grace of God. He did not, by the proclamation of false doctrine, gather into his churches a bushel of chaff for every grain of wheat; for mere numbers and dollars were in no sense his object. In regard to the use and effect of the preached gospel, Elder Thompson held, with the majority of Old School Baptists at that time, that it is not the means of imparting spiritual life to the dead sinner; that as no means can be used to give life to one literally dead, even so no means can be used to give eternal life to those who are dead in trespasses and sins; that, as all temporal means are used to feed, nourish and strengthen living subjects, and not dead ones, so the preaching of the gospel was the medium through which God is pleased to instruct, feed and comfort His renewed children, and not by which He gives life to the dead sinner whom the Spirit alone can quicken; that the Gospel is the proclamation of good tidings of great joy to those who have been given a hearing ear and an understanding heart to receive it, and to these it is the power of God unto salvation, saving them from the false doctrines of men, and feeding and making them strong in the truth.” Elder Thompson’s last sermon was preached before the Antioch Church, in Wabash County, Indiana, the third Sunday in April, 1866, from I John 5:1,2. He spoke, with his accustomed energy, nearly an hour and a half. He gently fell asleep in Jesus on the evening of the first of May, testifying in his last moments, “I have preached that which I believed to be the truth, and in prospect of death it is my only hope. For many years I have not known the fear of death, but have been waiting till my change should come, leaving the event entirely in the hands of a just God. How great a blessing it is to have a merciful and faithful God to trust in when I come to die ! My God is a God of purpose and power; He doeth all things right.”
This article dealing with the question of a believer’s Free Justification by the Blood and Righteousness of Christ alone, sets forth what we believe to be the true Scripture doctrine of a believers standing in the Lord Jesus Christ, and is one of the best and clearest articles on justification that we have come across.