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to felicity. Such persons were not reformed in the least, by their sufferings, because death intervened and prevented its beneficial effects. Here again this scheme is at war with itself, and consequently cannot stand.
This scheme also asserts that the present state of the world will always continue. We hear its advocates challenging the exhibition of a single passage, that speaks of the dissolution of the earth, and cailing upon those who hold that doctrine, to give their reasons therefor. Now on this scheme it is perfect nonsense, to talk of a final reconciliation of all things to God. The scheme under examination maintains, that all sin originates in the flesh, and so long as men continue in this world, they will not be entirely reconciled to their Maker. So long as the present state of the world continues, and men come into it as at present, some at least will be in a state of unreconciliation. And if the present form of the world always remains, a reconciliation of all men can never take place. But we hear the abettors of this system constantly speaking of a time, when "all things shall be reconciled to God," when "Christ shall deliver up the kingdom to the Father, that God may be all in all." Here again this scheme is at variance with itself, and like a divided kingdom will be brought to dissolution.
These are a few of the many inconsistences with which this system abounds. How its advocates will reconcile these contradictions, I am unable to determine. Perhaps they may flee for refuge to the twentyfourth of Matthew, but what assistance the thirtyfourth verse of that chapter will yield them, let the reader judge. For myself, I am fully persuaded that "this generation will pass away before all these" absurdities can be reconciled. Notwithstanding the scheme of the immediate salvation of all men, involves many of the grossest absurdities, the doctrine of a future punishment, limited by a general restoration, is
free from all these embarrassments, and is perfectly consistent with reason and scripture.
For the Christian Repository.
MR. EDITOR.-There is a scheme of sacred criticism lately come before the public, which, for its conciseness and facility, has never, perhaps, been equalled. Those who are well skilled in this scheme, can interpret the most intricate and difficult passages of scripture with the greatest ease imaginable. Even passages which are incorrect in English versions, can be interpreted with the greatest plainness and consistency, without any appeals to the original. Every person of real discernment, must perceive the great utility of this system. The only embarrassment attending this scheme, is its peculiar idioms. It is necessary that those who wish to be expert in this scheme, should be well acquainted with all its technical words and phrases, as without this knowledge, they will be liable frequently to be led astray.
Probably many of your readers are not acquainted with this system, and therefore I will present them with a few exercises, as specimens, to give a general clue to the scheme.
The idioms of this system are the following:— 'heavenly nature,' 'heavenly constitution,'' heavenly man,' heavenly and spiritual man,' heavenly principle; earthly nature, fleshly nature,' carnal na ture,' carnal man,' Adamic principle, Adamic nature,' &c. &c. &c.
There are many passages of scripture which can be interpreted by recurrence to these idioms. Example. Matt. iii. 12. In this text, the 'chaff' signifies the Adamic nature, and the wheat,' the heavenly principle. The unquenchable fire,' by which the chaff is to be burnt, is God!
There are two or three key texts, by which a large number of passages may be opened. It is really astonishing what a large proportion of the New Testament can be explained by these key texts. Indeed, if a person is only apt in this scheme, there is scarcely a passage but that can be clearly understood by the help of these keys. This may be seen in the following examples. Any passage which speaks of the future coming of Jesus Christ, (such as Matt. xxv. 31. 2 Thess. i. 7-10, Acts i. 10, 11, &c.) is to be understood as applicable to the Apostolic age. See Matt. xvi. 28, xxiv. 34. Mark ix. 1.
Any passage which speaks of a resurrection to condemnation (such as John v. 28. Dan. xii. 2.) may understood by turning to Matt. xvi. 28. xxiv. 34. Any passage which speaks of a day of general judgment, (such as Rev. xx. 12, 13. Acts xvii. 31. Matt. xxv. 31-46.) is fully explained by Matt. xxiv, 34.* Those who wish to expunge the doctrine of future punishment from Christianity, will find much assistance from a thorough knowledge of this scheme. They who are well acquainted with it, can easily make it appear, that the coming of Christ, the resurrection of the dead, and the judgment of the world, all took place in the age of our Savior. So that we who now live, have not even a present judgment to fear, far less a future one. It is, therefore, strongly recommended to all those who wish to get rid of a future retribution to study this scheme.
This communication is not designed 'to give a full view of the system-only its general outlines. They who wish for further information are directed to the writings of its principal advocate.
* The reader will have the goodness to turn to the passages referred to and read them.
The two Ministers.
MR. EDITOR.-By inserting the following matter of fact, in your pacific Repository, you will confer a real favor on the subscriber, and present to your numerous readers a reasonable exposure of the singular conduct of a Baptist minister. R. S.
On the 2d Sabbath in August, 1820, at the West meeting-house in Townsend, Vt. the Rev. Ruel Lathrop, of Cavendish, a Calvinistic Baptist preacher, proposed delivering a lecture on the following text: Matt. xviii, beginning at the 15th verse-and be continued to explain each particular, to the 19th: "Moreover if thy brother trespass against thee, go and tell him of his fault between thee and him alone," &c. By turning to the text, the reader will discover, that the preacher was naturally led to treat of church discipline. He made some observations which were unobjectionable. To do him justice, it must be remarked, that he appeared to be well acquainted with church difficulties, and with the best method of exposing and condemning an accused brother. From his being so systematical and ready in his remarks, one would suppose him more skillful in pulling up tares, than in sowing the good seed of the kingdom. Understanding every winding passage in the scheme of serpentine cunning, he eagerly pursued an offending brother to the door of the church, thrusting him out, there being no possibility of a return. The observations to which I allude, were made on this part of the text: "Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven," &c. Explanatory of this, Mr. Lathrop informed his Baptist brethren, that they should be extremely careful, in their church meetings, how they dealt with an accused brother; because their doings were all sanctioned in heaven. If a brother were accused of a crime before that church, and they proceeded according to the rules laid down by our Lord, in his text, and they adjudged him guilty, and
turned him out of the church, it would be recorded in heaven, and never could be altered: Whatsoever ye bind on earth, said he, is bound in heaven; that is, it is fixed unalterably. On the other hand, if they tried an accused brother according to rule, and found him innocent,that would in like manner, be written in heaven; and as they had loosed him from the allegation here, so it would stand there ; and no alteration could be made. This consideration admonished them to be careful, patient, and candid in their examination of an accused brother; and, so much the more, as they were liable to be deceived in testimony, and give wrong judgment, after the strictest trial and most careful examination for facts. But Mr. Lathrop very gravely stated, that if the church were mistaken, and pronounced an innocent brother guilty, in consequence of false testimony, that was the brother's misfortune; for, since what they bound on earth, was bound in heaven, he must suffer as though really guilty of the crime alleged against him. This, he said, might seem hard; but it was agreeable to the words of our Lord in the text, and we had no right to alter his language, or find fault with the orders and rules of his house.
2. In relation to the words, "If any two of you shall agree as touching any thing they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father," the preacher observed, "What an encouragement, brethren, for union in prayer. If any two of you agree in your petition, an answer is certain. Your Lord has promised to answer any request you shall make, if only two of you are agreed. All ages of the church, have furnished proof of the faithfulness of our Lord, in fulfilling this promise; and there is the same encouragement for you now to be united, as for any others, who have gone before you!"
3. Having finished his observations on church discipline, designed for his brethren, Mr. Lathrop addressed himself to the rest of his audience, thus :"And before I close my remarks, I wish to call upon