« PreviousContinue »
were all dead : and that he died for all," (or to leave out the Italic word, added by the translators) "and he died for all, that they which live should not benceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again." Plainly implying, that all who shall be subjects of the resurrection, or shall be brought to life, should not live unto themselves, but unto Christ who died for them and rose again ; who ascended on high ; who led captivity itself captive; and who has received gifts for men, yea for the rehellious. “He that is our God, is the God of salvation , and unto Gód the Lord belong the issues from death." Now, kind reader, why should it be thought a thing incredible that God should raise the dead by Jesus Christ our Lord, even those that are dead in sin, whils the oracles of God say, "Christ is the propitiation for the sins of the whole world,” and while propitiation means atonement or satisfaction for sin ?
Secondly, I treat of heresy in a positive point of view, namely, to show what it is. The scripture definition of it, I think, may be given in very few words. I conceive it to be a denial of salvation by Jesus Christ; or as St. Peter expresses, "Even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring uponthemselves swift destruction."
What will be the final end of those that the Lord bas bought? Is it a proof that he has not bought them, or that he will lose his purchase, because they deny him while they are in a state of ignorance ? Let us suppose a case A father, who has a son captured and made a slave to the Algerines, purchases the liberty of bis son by paying the full price of his redemption. A fellow captive, having come to the knowledge of his own ransom, and being about to leave those shores of painful slavery, again to enjoy the company of his wife and children in the land of liber. ty and happiness, is informed from good authority of the purchase of the son's liberty. He immediately goes and informs him of it, and entreats him to con. sent, without delay, to quit this state of cruel slavery, and enter into the enjoyment of his purchased freedom; but the son refuses to believe his word, and utterly denies the truth of it. Now does his denying it make it a false bood ? It may surely appear a falsehood to him, and he be subjected to all the distressing apprehensions of a life of slavery, merely in consequence of unbelief. But when he beholds the vessel prepared to convey himn home, his father taking him by the hand and presenting a writing which certifies from proper authority that the price of his redemption is paid in full, will he refuge to embark with his father, and enter into the enjoyment of his purchased freedom ? Leaving the reader to judge for himself, and to apply the metaphor, I return to a further notice of heresy. The person that is guilty of heresy, not only condemns others in that he denies Christ, as being the Savior of multitudes of his fellow creatures, but himself : for be is not certain but he is one of those whom he denies being purchased by the Lord, and so brings upon himself swist destruction. He should, therefore, by the decision of St. Paul, be ligfellowshipped. "A man that is an heretic, after the first and second admonition, reject; knowing that he that is such is subverted, and sinneth, being condemned of himself," Titus iii. 10, 11.
Finally. According to St. Paul, as he writes to the Galatians, chap. v. in his catalogue of the works of the flesh, which he said were manifest, we find heresy. In the sixth chapter be says, "they themselves who are circumcised keep not the law; but desire to have others circumcised, that they might glory in their flesh;" although it is testified, that every man that is circumcised is a debtor to do the whole
In another place, that as mapy as are of the
works of the law are under the curse. He further says,* "If there had been a law given that could have given life, verily righteousness should bave been by the law; "and, “If righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain." But the same apostle bas also said, that "Christ bath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us.”
Although some may place great dependance in their own works or performances, and in this way implicitly deny the Lord that bought them; yet I feel to adopt the language of the apostle, “But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ." 'Though I be accounted a heretic, while my faith is only the substance of things hoped for, or prayed for, by all denominations of christians, namely, the complete holiness and felicity of mankind, the offspring of God, and that entirely by Jesus Christ, who is emphatically said to be the Savior of the world.
I can now say with the apostle, “None of these things move me;" and may I be enabled by the spirit of my heavenly Father to give him the first affection of my heart, and manifest that impartial love to all my fellow-creatures which is required by the Lord of life and glory : with a glorious anticipation, by faith, view the time, when sin shall have an end, transgression he finished and everlasting righteousness introduced ; when God, at the last, shall reign king of nations as he now does of saints; when there shall be no opposition, but sweet subjection and harmony shall prevail in all his vast dominion.
MOULTON NEEDHAM. *Gal. iii. 21.
EDITORIAL' REMARKS. It is worthy of notice, on a careful review of the Proceedings of this ecclesiastical council with brother Needham, that the heresy for wbich'it condemned him, in the aggregate, consisted in believing too much in his Savior, and not enough io devils. pears to be the anxiety of the sage divines, composing the afore-named council, to establish their faith of devils, that they forgot even to mention the name of him whose ministers they profess to be. Consequently, in the Result of the Council," which they have given us, we find a total silence respecting the Savior. In the questions which brother Needbam stated according in the best of his recollection, not a word to this effect is to be found. The query is offered, whether tliose professed ministers of the Lord had not forsaken bis work, and engaged in the service of another. What do they pronounce heretical ? Denying the existence of fallen angels. What, then, orthodox ? Believiog in devils, and the eternity of devils. To believe in the perpetuity and power of devils, the endless misery of the wicked, and a general judgınent, after the resurrection, that begios and opens the horrors of interminable sufferings, are indispensable articles of faith, according to the orthodoxy of this council. Those articles of faith, we deem the only indispeosable ones, that are immediately necessary to the life of the christian. Is it necessary to make a man better, that he should be. lieve in the doctrine that teaches the endless misery of his fellow-creatures, and the prepetuity of devils ? If it be, then zealously defend it: if not, why, for this cause, exclude a brother from the church? Should a man have an incorrect opinion about fallen angels, have we reason to be alarmed ? Will it injure society? Does any one suppose it would prevent the sal
vation of souls?. And if he should not fully em. brace our views of judgment, shall we pronounce him a heretic? Did the ancient apostles, ever require a faith in such articles, as pre-requisites to entering their connexion !-But look at the spectacle before us ;-a council of ministers, and deacons, and an innocent brother brought to the bar to be tried for heresy ! , 'They pray to God;--and had they not told us of this, we could hardly have guessed that God was in their thoughts. For the only images introduced as personages, in the questions and result of the council, were such as they denominate fallen angels," and "devils.”
Let us now look at some of their questions. “Do you believe that all the human family will be saved ? Ans. “I believe that Christ is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.” Evasion ! Deacon Needham: You were not asked whether you believe God will save all men ; whether the devil will save them, nor whether they will save themselves : but whether (we ask not by whom) "they will be saved ?"
St. Paul said, "God will have all men to be saved." Jesus says, “I came down from heaven, not do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me. Needbam prays that the will of the Lord be done, and prays in faith ; but the council has pronounced his faith beretical.
Second and third questions, "Do you believe that the angels of heaven fell and became devils ?" "Do you believe the devils will be converted and go to heaven ?" This brings to mind the old story of Job. “When the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, Satan came also among them to present bimself before the Lord.” In the old council, Satan lost his case ; but in this, every decision was in his favor, and brother Needham was excluded from