« PoprzedniaDalej »
the end of the world, when the seed sown by the enemy shall be separated from the human nature, which was the seed sown by the Son of man; and consequent, upon this separation, the peo ple shall be all righteous, Isaiah Ix. 21, "Thy people also shall be all righteous: they shall inherit the land forever, the branch of my planting, the work of my hands, that I may be glorified."
Take away all sin, and the people will be all righteous. Sin is of the devil; it is the work of the devil; it is the seed of the serpent. But the human nature is not the seed of the serpent. It was God sowed this seed, and it is God who will reap it; and when he has thoroughly purged his floor, he will gather it into his garner. Observe, it is God who will do this; it is God who will thoroughly purge his floor, &c. &c.
Sir, it would seem as if you believed there was one God out of Christ, and another in Christ!! or rather that the Saviour is not God! in any other sense, than as the lord lieutenant of Ireland, to the king of England. I know this is a common opinion among professing Christians, but it is not a Christian opinion. The Christian has but one God; of which God, the prophet Isaiah speaketh, xlv. 21, "Tell ye, and bring them near; yea, let them take counsel together: who hath declared this from ancient time? who hath told it from that time? have not I the Lord? and there is no God else beside me; a just God, and a Saviour: there is none beside me."
The Apostle Paul knew no God beside the Saviour. "He is the only wise God our Saviour;" Jude 25th verse. The Saviour himself knew no other. Shew us the Father, said Philip, and it sufficeth us. Have I been so long with thee, Philip, and hast thou not known me? The Father and I are one. Although the divine nature is infinitely above the human nature, yet like the body and soul of him, that was exhibited as the figure of him who was to come, they both constituted one man, the man Christ Jesus, in whom dwelt the Godhead bodily. Yea, I repeat, in the human nature of the second Adam, all the fulness of the Godhead dwelt. No, no, no-Jesus will never be subdued. His kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and his dominion that which shall not pass away. But the Apostle tells us, 1 Corinthians, xv. 27, 28, "For he hath put all things under his feet." But, when he saith all things are put under him, it is manifest that he is excepted who did put all things under him.
And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him, that put all things under him, that God may be all in all.
When man was lost, the whole of human nature was lost as one son, one prodigal son; and when the second Adam has brought this once lost nature in its fulness, in his blessed self, home to the divine nature from whence it wandered, then God shall be all in all; not only in Christ, who is the head of every man, but in every member bolonging to that head. It is astonishing, truly astonishing, that it could ever enter into the wild imagination of man, to conceive that Christ Jesus, who, in his human character, always did what was pleasing to the divine nature, should be the last to be subdued! What is subdued must previously have been in oɲposition. The term subjection implies previous rebellion !!
You will excuse me, my brother; I have enlarged beyond my intention. When engaged upon these subjects, it is with reluctance I quit them.
I believe the articles of Mr. W's faith may be obtained in Philadelphia. Those we make use of are annexed to our hymn book; and if you hear of any vessel bound to this port, if it be your wish, you may receive both together.
I pray God our Saviour to give you, and those with whom you are connected, to grow in grace, and in the knowledge and in the love of God our Saviour.-Farewell.
To the Reverend C. R. of W—.
YOUR letter of August 23d by Mr. S. has reached me ; I am happy that my intention was answered, respecting the pamphlets with which you tell me you are so much pleased. I shall immediately attend to the hints you have favoured me with, respecting the doctrines you have propagated, as you say, for many
years and in many places, and I shall attend thereto with as much freedom as if my acquaintance had been of long standing.
First, That man was made in the image of God, is clear to all who pay any attention to divine revelation; but it is not so clear, even to the scripturaian, what the Holy Ghost intended thereby. Yet, had we from our infancy been taught by the scriptures of the Old and New-Testaments, instead of the scriptures of the Assembly's Catechism, we should not have been so much at a loss respecting this matter; we should then have seen, that the creating our first parents in the image of God was creating them male and . female, and calling their names Adam. When we are enabled under the directing influence of the Spirit of truth, who constantly taketh of the things of Jesus, showing them to us, to attend to this figure, we trace therein the glory of wisdom and grace divinely displayed.
The female was first created in the male. The God of grace and truth first speaks to her in her husband.. First, as a God of grace, Genesis i. 28, "And God blessed them; and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it:" &c. &c. And again, Genesis ii. 15, "And the Lord God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden, to dress it, and to keep it."
Secondly, As a lawgiver, Genesis ii. 16, 17, "And the Lord commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat;
"But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die."
It was not until after all this, the woman received a personal form, Genesis ii. 22, "And the rib, which the Lord God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man; in which form, she was still bone of his bone, and flesh of his flesh, as much as when she lay concealed in his side." And that she was made to understand, that what God said to her husband was said to her, while she and her husband made but one visible character, is manifest from her reply to the serpent, iii. 2, 3:
"And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden:
"But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die."
Now, when it is remembered that Adam was a figure of him who was to come, Romans v. 14, "Nevertheless, death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam's transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come.". When reverting to this figure, we behold Christ the second Adam, the substance of that figure, and as he is emphatically styled the husband of the ransomed race, Isaiah liv. 5, "For thy Maker is thine husband; the Lord of hosts is his name: and thy Redeemer the holy One of Israel; the God of the whole earth shall he be called." When we behold this ransomed face, who had grace given them in Christ, (the husbånd, the second Adam) before the world began, 2 Timothy i. 9, "Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began." When we revolve and compare all these testimonies, we see the grace contained in the formation of our nature, and then we are made to understand something of the divine purpose, when he said, Let us make man in our image.
But, should I follow the influence of my feelings, it would lead me beyond the bounds usually prescribed to a letter.
Secondly, You add, (and it is a very consolatory consideration) that we are all the offspring of God. Yes, our God who is a Spirit, is indeed the Father of our spirits; and if we, being evil, know how to give good gifts to our children, how much more doth our heavenly Father? I think we may venture to assert, that he will be as much more careful to provide for his offspring than we are for ours, as he is more powerful, more wise, and more gracious; and that he has been thus careful for every one of his offspring without exception, is manifest not only by his providential care, in which as a most indulgent Father, (indulgent even to the evil and unthankful,) he openeth his hand and satisfieth the desire of every living thing, Psalm cxlv. 16. But also as a God of grace, giving our Saviour to taste death for every man, which death was the wages of sin, Hebrews ii. 9. And as it is life eternal to know the only true God, he will in this also evince his paternal care; for they shall all, saith the God of truth and grace, know me from the least to the greatest; as it is written, they shall all be taught of God. You are, therefore, strictly correct in saying, that the love of God to man is unchangeable; and you may also add, that
it is unsearchable.
But in this is the love of God made manifest, not that we loved him, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Had God loved us because we loved him, to what reward would he have been entitled? Do not even Publicans the same? But as our God has proved his love for us sinners, by giving his Son to be the propitiation for our sins, 1John, iv. 10, in the same way he has proved his love for the whole world, 1John ii. 2. "He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world." As he has done this, we are authorized to place unbounded confidence in the justice, power, love, and mercy of Deity.
Again, you observe, "that Adam as a public character, a federal head, acting not only for himself, but for all mankind, brought his whole posterity into a state of sin, and consequently into the toils of death, which is the wages of sin. Thus death passed upon all men, for all have sinned." Romans, v. 15. Sir, I humbly conceive death did not pass upon our Saviour, as a descendant from Adam, then he would have suffered as a sinner, but as a sinner he could not have been a Saviour.
"Death takes hold of every individual of Adam's offspring, not only as sinners in him, but as sinners with him, for we have all sinned, and come short of the glory of God." But to the glory of our Saviour be it spoken, he was holy, harmless and undefiled, and separate from sinners. Hebrews, vii. 26. Sir, death did not take hold of Jesus with us, as the offspring of Adam, but it took hold of us, and every individual of the offspring of Adam, in him, as the second Adam. This was the truth which the love of Christ constrained the apostles to testify, when they declared that if one died for all, then were all dead. Probably this was the idea you had, although the mode of expression you made use of, did not, as I conceive, on the face of the letter, exactly convey as much.
I beg leave in the freedom of christian, brotherly love, further to observe, that although Jesus Christ was made under the law, to redeem them that were under the law, and that thus being recognised as the representative of lost humanity, indeed as the human nature itself, for it pleased the Father that in him all fulness should dwell, the curses of the law, or the curse in that law, denounced upon every one that continueth not in all things written therein, fell upon him, so that he was made a curse for us; yet, he was not as one amongst the rest of the offspring of an apostate head, VOL. II.