The circular Letter of 1791, written by Elder
Wm. Vanhorn, treats of the final perseverance of the saints, and
contains the following paragraph:
“We exclude, in the consideration of this
subject, all false professors of religion, of every description,
whatever may be their attainments, as in the grace of knowledge,
talents or tongues, and power of working miracles who, nevertheless,
are and continue destitute of the renewing grace of God. Hence,
those who have made a fair show in religion for a time, as the
foolish virgins, Matthew 25; the branches who were in the true vine,
either by profession only, or in relation to Abraham, John 25.
Those who in a sense may have tasted of the good word of God, as the
stony-ground hearers, Matthew 23; or as Herod, who heard John
gladly, Matthew 6:20. Those who may have embraced the doctrine of
the gospel, frequently styled, ‘The Faith,’ in the New Testament,
Acts 24:24; 1 Timothy 1:21; 2 Timothy 3:8; as Hymeneus and
Alexander, who in time made shipwreck thereof, 1 Timothy 1:20.
Those who have been enlightened, and had the gift of prophecy, as
Balaam, 1 Cor 13:2; or who had the gift of tongues-power to work
miracles, and as such tasted of the powers of the world to come, or
of the gospel dispensation, as Judas, Hebrews 6:5-all such we
exclude-of all such there is no sufficient evidence that any of them
were renewed by the grace of God, but of many of them the fullest
testimony that they were not. We therefore cannot plead their
perseverance in grace, which they never had; nor can such instances
of defection, with any propriety, be produced as objections to the
doctrine of the final perseverance of the saints. We assert that
those only will persevere in the way of eternal life and attain unto
it, in whom the regenerating grace of God has or will take place.
This fact is proved by the everlasting love of God to His people; by
the covenant of grace, ordered in all things and sure; redemption by
Jesus Christ; the charge He has taken of His people; the promises of
the gospel; the perfections of God; His immutability, justice,
power, wisdom, faithfulness and truth all engaged to bring the heirs
of grace, through perseverance therein, to glory. The doctrine of
the perseverance of the saints in grace is not the doctrine of their
perseverance in wickedness-is not a licentious doctrine. How shall
they, who are dead to sin, live any longer therein? Romans 6:1-2.
Elder C.B. Hassell and Elder Sylvester Hassell,
History of the Church of God Published 1885 (Georgia:
Reprinted by Old School Hymnal Co., 1983), p566-567.