« EdellinenJatka »
prince of this world is judged. On the 5th question also I will only note a passage of scripture. Eph. i. 10, “That in the dispensation of the fulness of times, he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth, even in hiin." Note on the second question ; it is very true that ministers or preachers of the gospel are called angels, in the scripture, and it is evident that ma. ny of them fall; but to suppose the angelic hosts, those beatific spirits or heavenly messengers of God, in whose service they are happy in the highest degree, should, in this their employment in heaven, where no unclean thing can enter, fall into rebellion, to me is very irrational, as well as übscriptural. If any of them be fallen from that state, I thipk no more reason can be given for the security of the rest. COPY OF THE RESULT OF THE COUNCIL.
Wednesday, May 5th, 1819. Pursuant to letters missive from the Baptist Church of Christ in Whiting, sent the following delegates from the following churches; met at the meeting, house in Whiting, on the 5th of May, viz. from Cornwall, Eld. Henry Green and Dea. Ezra Allen; Brandon, Eld. Isaac Sawyer and Jacob Kyawton ; Middlebury, Eld. Isaac Bucklin and J. P. Hyde, and formed into an Ecclesiastical Council, by choosing Eld. Henry Green, Moderator, and J. P. Hyde, Scribe. After prayer to God, for wisdom to direct, proceeded as follows :
1. Inquired of the church for the business before the Council, and was informed, that a labor had been commenced against Deacon Moulton Needham for beresy ; and that the church waited upon the Coun. cil for further directions in duty.
2. Proceeded to examine the doctrines of Deacon Moulton Needham, and found the charge against him to be irue. Then the Council adjourned to Mr. Ezra
Kelsey's, and after prayer to God for wisdom, resolved as follows :
That it is the opinion of this council, that the church should exclude Deacon Moulton Needbam froia their fellowship, for the following reasons :
1. For denying the doctrine of the endless punishment of the wicked.
2. For holding the doctrine that all rational intelligences will finally be eternally happy.
3. For denying the existence of fallen angels.
4. For not acknowledging the doctrine of the general judgment after the resurrection.
5. And are sorry to say, that we think Mr. Needham to have been exceedingly evasive, during his examination. Done by order of the Council,
HENRY GREEN, Moderator. Attest. J. P. HYDE, Clerk.
To conclude what I have to offer to the public, I shall make a few remarks on the labor of the church with me, and on what it was represented to have been, before the council. It is stated in the church records, That Br. D. Charch attended to the first and second steps of labor with me, as directed by our Lord in the eighteenth chapter of Matthew; but there was nothing said to me about heresy, and there is nothing said about heresy in the chapter referred to. It shows the proper labor of one brother with another for trespass ; stating that if the one in the fault shall neglect to hear the one offended, also neglect to hear the one or tivo taken with him, and likewise neglect to hear the church, he shall be unto him as a heather and a publican.
It does not appear from the direction of our Lord in this case, that a church is authorized to withdraw
fellowship; for it is not unto the church, the brother in fault is to be a heathen and a publican, but unto the one offended. But as the church have stated to the council a charge against me, very different from that contained in the first ceclaration, namely, heresy ; and as, on said charge, the council have stated their opinion to censure me to exclusion from the church ; and also, as the church afterward attended to the advice of said council, by excluding me from their fellowship, I feel it an incumbent duty to state my ideas, respecting what heresy is, as defined in the scriptures, that the reader may judge for himself whether I am guilty of the charge.
First, I offer a few ideas negatively, as, no doubt, many have a wrong idea of it. St. Paul confessed that after the way wbich some call heresy, 80 worshiped he the God of his fathers, but did not confess himself a beretic. It appears evident from this declaration of the apostle, there were some that accused him of heresy for holding to the resurrection of the dead, a very important trait of the doctrine of Jesus Christ, the Savior of singers, whose object in dying, the just for the upjust, or tasting death for every man, was to destroy death, and him that bad the power of it, that! is, the devil; and, in abolishing death, has brought life and immortality to light through the gospel.
Here let it be observed, that the church do not deny the resurrection of the bodies of all the human fam. ily, although by death they become totally inactive. They do not deny that this resurrection is wholly effected by Christ-not that he has provided a way whereby the body may be raised, if it pleases ; but when the last trumpet shall sound, all that have experienced a dissolution, must come forth to active life; and that after the resurrection of the body, it will be ineorruptible, that is to say, not subject to dissolution. This idea of the resurrection agrees with
mine ; of course, this cannot be what they have been pleased to term heresy in me before the council. My brethren of the church further agree with me, that the immortal soul is of infinité value ; that the body in its greatest health and beauty, is not to be compared with it ; yea, that in view of all the grandeur of this world, the soul is void or unsatisfied. They also agree that in sin, it is spiritually dead, that all the human family by nature are dead in trespasses and sins, and as in corporeal death, is a total inactivity of natural life, so in spiritual death, is a complete inactivity of spiritual life ; for death is simply the absence or extinction of life.
A very important question now presents itself to view, whieh demands à candid and impartial answer. Did Christ as a redeemer and mediator between God and men, by the great sacrifice of himself, do more, or do what he did, more effectually for the body, than for the soul ? Now if we answer and say that the destruction of spiritual death by Jesus Christ, was on condition that mankind, while dead, should mapisest a desire to enjoy spiritual life, would this be candid ? Might it not with as inuchi propriety be said to the body, when dead if it will árticulate, and say it wan!s to come to life, tlie atonement of Christ will then become effectual to its reanimation? Would it be candid or impartial, to pretend that a resurrection from spiritval death, is conditional as it respects a part of mankind ? I think not. St. Paul says, Rom. vi. 23, “The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life, tbrough Jesus Christ our Lord." Then if it be a gift, there is no condition concerning it. "For by grace are ye savetl, through faith; and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast,” Eph. ii, 8, 9. Now if I have been rightly styled a heretic, for believing Christ has wrought out salvation for the souls of mankind, as ful: ly and completely as he has for their bodies, so that death and the devil will not reign coeternal with God himself, while the scripture has denounced their destruction ; then, I confess, that in this way, I sincerely worship the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, not as the God of the dead, but of the living. Here I will quote the words of Christ himself, on the resurrection, at the time the Sadducees questioned hina about the seven brethren. “And the first took a wife, and died without children. And the second took her to wife, and he died childless. And the third ; and in like manner the seven also ; and they left no chil. dren, and died :" the woman died also. They desir. ed to know of Christ, whose wife among the seven she should be, in the resurrection. And Jesus answering, said unto them. The children of this world marry, and are given in marriage : but they which shall be accounted worthy to obtain that world and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry, nor are given in marriage : neither can they die any more : for they are equal unto the angels ; and are the children of God, being the children of the resurrection," Luke xx. 34, 35, 36. The Sadducees asked the above question with particular reference to the resurrection of the body ; and they were completely confuted by Christ's answer, so that certain of the Scribes replied and said, “Master, thou hast well said;" but they durst not ask him any more questions.
If I can understand the language that Jesus used in the above answer, then all whose bodies shall be paised, or that shall be the children of the resurrection, shall be equal to the angels, and shall be the children of God; and if children, then heirs ; heirs of God, and joint heirs with Christ.
The great apostle to the Gentiles says, 2 Cor. v. 14, 15, “For the love of Christ constraineth us, because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then