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Ministry by C. A. Coates
– Part One

• Affection for Christ:
Its Awakening
Its Decline
Its Revival
•  *** A Warning and an Appeal
History Repeating Itself
The Rejection of Christ
The Doctrines Preached
Failure of the Church Anticipated
The Path of Faith for Today
The Foundation of God – 1
The Foundation of God – 2
The Positive Side of the Truth
A Divine Position
Present Conditions in the Christian Profession: A Letter
Ministry by C. A. Coates – Next


C. A. Coates, 1862-1945

You may be familiar with the name and the ministry of C. A. Coates – however it's more than likely that there is personal information, of which you are unaware, in our Biography: C. A. Coates.

CAC's Outlines – and other ministry and gospel tracts – have been a help to many who know nothing of

Some of the first books I acquired, as a young believer in 1948, were CAC's Outlines of Genesis and Revelation.

Affection for Christ has been "highly recommended" to MB by Phil Gasston of New Zealand as "a must-read for every believer". May it recall you to what CAC calls

A Warning and an Appeal is a challenge to all of us who profess "to love our Lord Jesus Christ" – as to whether our love to Him is "in sincerity" as proved by our obedience.

Present Conditions in the Christian Profession is a cogent reply to some perennial questions. CAC's answers are even more pertinent in these days when the conditions in the profession generally – and among the successors of the early brethren – are far, far, worse than in 1926.


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Its  Awakening,  Decline,  and  Revival
2 Corinthians 11: 1-3
From 'The Paths of Life, and other Addresses'
Ministry by C. A. Coates, 19: 84-100

Affection for Christ: Its Awakening

The subject which is before me tonight is that of affection for Christ, or the state of heart which the Spirit is here to produce in the saints,

This is very strikingly expressed in the words which we have just read, where we see the object of the true evangelist.

This is the great object before the heart of God at the present time – to have a people saved not only from judgment and the lake of fire, but from the world;

I think a verse from Jeremiah 2 may help us to see in an Old Testament type when the soul may be looked upon as espoused unto Christ.

Such a moment as that has come in the history of every soul who knows the salvation of God.

No doubt there are many believers who have not reached a risen Christ simply because they have not had a Paul to "espouse" them to that "one Husband".

I trust that many of you understand the blessedness of a moment when Christ is really known by the heart, outside everything here, in the infinite greatness of His won triumph,

Affection for Christ: Its Decline

We can easily understand that if the devil has succeeded in turning Christ out of this world, it will be no pleasure to him to see a people here to whose hearts Christ is everything.

I am sure this is of great importance to us all, for I think we should all be prepared to admit that there is a great lack of the simplicity of affection to which Christ in resurrection is everything.

We cannot be too careful as to the influences which we allow to act upon us.

I need not say that worldly literature of all kinds has the same effect.

Then there is another thing. "My people have committed two evils; they have forsaken me in the fountain of living waters, and hewed them out cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water", Jeremiah 2: 13.

Affection for Christ: Its Revival

I will now turn to one or two scriptures which bring before us the ways of the Lord in His restoring grace when the hearts of His own have got away from Him.

In bringing about restoration the Lord makes use of two great agencies – Ministry and Government; or to put it in simpler words, He reaches us by His voice or by His hand.

"I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil: and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars:

Here we have ministry, or the Lord's voice, addressing itself to those whose hearts had left their first love, and seeking to call them to repentance.

How touching is that word, "Remember from whence thou art fallen".

"And repent". I think there is an immensity of grace in that word.

But there is another agency employed by the Lord to reach the consciences and hearts of His backsliding people, and that is Government.

Have you ever pursued an object without any success, and been mortified by the disappointment?

Let us read further. "Therefore, behold, I will allure her, and bring her into the wilderness, and speak comfortably to her [margin, "to her heart"] ", Hosea 2: 14.

Then further. "And I will give her vineyards from thence, and the valley of Achor for a door of hope," Hosea 2: 15.

A few words more. "And she shall sing there, as in the days of her youth, and as in the day when she came up out of the land of Egypt … And I will betroth thee unto me for ever … I will even betroth thee unto me in faithfulness; and thou shalt know the Lord," Hosea 2: 15, 19-20.

Beloved brethren, if this is the manner of His grace to Israel, surely our hearts are entitled to appropriate its sweetness to ourselves, who are called, through infinite love, to know Him in a closer relationship.

C. A. C.

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to all those who love
our Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity

We are living in days of religious activity. In the past century Christianity, if measured by its outward signs, greatly improved the position of this country.

I recognise thankfully the efforts made by many real Christians towards evangelisation, and that sinners have been converted to God.

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History Repeating Itself

The history of the fourth century appears to be repeating itself, in a modified form, in the twentieth.

The church secured the masses; she got the people to fill her sanctuaries, and to pour their money into her coffers, but at what a cost!

The forgiveness of sins, justification by faith, peace with God, the knowledge and assurance of salvation, the eternal security of the believer,

In the worldly church of the Fathers – both episcopal and papal – all these, and other more exalted truths, were either quickly ignored, grossly perverted, or flatly denied.

I raise a warning voice because I see so plainly the same principles at work today.

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The Rejection of Christ

It seems to be Satan's object at the present time to obliterate the fact that Christ is rejected, or at any rate to rob that fact of all its deep and awful significance.

The One who has been rejected was "full of grace and truth",

If the rejection of Christ has proved the real condition of fallen man, it has also become the starting-point of all the wondrous grace and blessings which have come out in the gospel;

Christian, keep it ever before your heart that this world has rejected Christ, and we can never gain popularity with the world except at the expense of loyalty to Christ.

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The Doctrines Preached

Then as to the doctrines preached. Vague and rationlistic ideas as to the inspiration of the word of God are becoming more widespread every day;

Unitarians are boasting in the spread of their anti-christian views as to the Person and work of the Lord Jesus.

That is, the church must come down to the level of the world before she can win the world's approval.

Sober-minded Christians will not deny that the old paths are being forsaken both as to doctrines and practice.

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The Failure of the Church Anticipated

Let us now turn to the word of God and see if such a state of things has been anticipated.

"Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which He hath purchased with the blood of own.

It is manifest from the above scriptures, and others which might be cited, that even in the apostles' days declension had set in, and no prospect of recovery is held out.

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The Path of Faith for Today

Many earnest Christians will be ready to ask, "What can I do to remedy this state of things? or how can I act so as to please the Lord in the present circumstances of the church?

In seeking to furnish a scriptural answer to these questions we must bear in mind that there is no hope held out in the word of God of a general recovery of the church.

Humiliation, self-judgment, and confession will surely characterise each one who is truly learning the will of God in these evil days.

If you cleave to the word of God and reject as error what is opposed to its teaching, you may be called a narrow-minded bigot.

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The Foundation of God – 1

There is however a direct word in Scripture for the guidance of every true Christian in such days as these;

Blessed be God! there is a foundation the security and stability of which nothing can impair.

Two things characterise the "foundation of God", one of which is brought before us in the words, "The Lord knoweth them that are His".

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The Foundation of God – 2

But the "foundation of God" has another seal – sometimes overlooked by those who rejoice in the first.

I do not wish to lead anyone to take a single step beyond the measure of light and faith which the Lord has given him,

Many Christians are sick at heart as they see the spread of ritualism, the encroachments of worldliness, and the bold advance of infidelity under a religious guise.

Further, the Holy Spirit uses the figure of "a great house" to represent the condition of the professing church in the evil days of which He speaks and in the midst of which we are now living,

It has often been remarked that the word here translated "purge" only occurs twice in the New Testament – in 1 Corinthians 5: 7, and in the scripture before us.

A man who holds, teaches, and maintains what is contrary to the word of God is a "vessel to dishonour".

You may say that if this were acted upon it would lead to many professedly christian congregations being forsaken by all true Christians.

"Flee also youthful lusts" is the next solemn injunction of the Holy Spirit in this connection, and never was the word more seasonable than it is today.

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The Positive Side of the Truth

Thus far we have been occupied with the negative side of the path of faith;

"Follow righteousness, faith, love, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart".

What precious objects of pursuit for the Christian!

Take courage, then, beloved Christians! These are the things which the Lord sets before you and which He would have your heart to pursue.

The scripture we are looking at does not lead us to suppose that we shall be isolated from all Christians, for it tells us to

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It is often urged, even by those who admit the excellence of divine principles, that it is a practical impossibility to carry them out in these days; but this is a solemn thing to say.

I am also aware that it will be said that those who have attempted to act upon divine principles have failed quite as much as others. What does that prove?

The sectarian divisions of the church are often excused or justified on the ground that all Christians can never be made to see alike,

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A Divine Position

No question should be of greater interest and importance for those who love our Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity than

Thank God! He will not fail nor forsake those who in loyalty of heart to Christ desire to be found in the path of faith.

In conclusion, I appeal to the christian reader not to think lightly of the privilege which, through the grace of God, lies within his reach.


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Letters of C. A. Coates: 22: 125-131, 1926

The questions raised in your letter are important, and they involve much that can hardly be dealt with briefly.

It is true that J.N.D. and J.B.S. would have received to break bread "a godly clergyman" or "a person known to be godly and sound in the faith

It is evident that J.N.D. and J.B.S. had in view, in writing as they did the spiritual conditions of the time.

Truth and divine principles do not change, but it has not been the way of God – either when first giving the truth through the apostles,

At that time those in the sects were marked individually and collectively by a very considerable degree of separation from the world, and by much true devotedness;

Now I do not learn from Scripture that it has ever been God's way to suddenly disown, or break the link with, what has been, in its day, of Himself when He brings in further and greater light.

There is a certain analogy between what the epistle to the Hebrews was to the believing remnant of Israel, then made partakers of the heavenly calling,

But every exercised Christian must see that there is an immense and solemn change in the whole condition of things since those days.

Then it must not be overlooked that if there has been a terrible down-grade movement affecting more or less all the organized bodies,

Things can only be maintained by God as we act on the principles laid down in 2 Timothy.

God works by the ministry of what is positive – by the truth.

In the light of these things the present condition of the Christian profession generally has been discerned to be one of great departure from the truth,

It is impossible to say that there is anything sectarian about this.

Every Christian is divinely called to the fellowship; it is there for every one who has faith and affection to take it up.

In the last days fidelity becomes of the utmost importance and the faithful word must have its place.

Members of religious bodies stand publicly committed to the acts of those bodies,

There is a further serious aspect of this question which we have to face.

It may be truly said that many now know nothing of the conflicts which have resulted in their being where they are; many, perhaps, converted long years after such conflicts have taken place.


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