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necessity, made participants in Christ's resurrection to glory and immortality! Reader, the commentator's objection has disappeared before the majesty of truth. How will the truth, as taught by the inspired Paul, suit human dogmas? How will sectarians receive it? What has become of Calvin and Hopkins's notion of the reprobation of man to endless misery? Where can the Arminian hypothesis, that bungling medley of absurdities, find a place? Who can answer the question-Have not those who are dead in sins, and are loved by God the Father with a great love, an interest in Christ? Have not those who are quickened together with Christ, an interest in Christ? Have not those who are raised with Christ, an interest in Christ? Are believers dead in sins? Never did whirlwind, when it came thundering from the stormy North, scatter chaff in its fury, more effectually, than Paul's doctrine scatters the chaff of sectarian dogmas. Away with them, says truth; and they disappear-they "vanish like the baseless fabrick of a vision ;" but they leave a wreck behind!
I am aware that some will object, and say, that this view of the subject implies the unpopular doctrine of the pre-existence of souls. "The prayer of Moses, the man of God," (Psa. xc.) implies this-viz: "Lord thou hast been our dwelling-place in all generations. [How long?] Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world; even from everlasting to everlasting, thou God. Thou turnest man to destruction; and sayest Return ye children of men." We learn from the Scriptures that Jesus Christ, "God's only begotten Son," existed in glory with the Father of all spirits, before he came, and appeared on our earth, as a Messenger of God's covenant to give life to the world. Jesus affirmed (John xvii. 5,) "And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was." Pro tou ton kosmon—not aionos age. And from Paul, that Jesus Christ is "prototokos pases ktiseos, the first-born of every creature." That is, existed before any creation whatsoever.*
It should be remembered, that Socinianism is one thing, and that Unitarianism, i. e. the Unitarianism that the Lord Jesus Christ taught and believed, is quite another thing. The unity of God, and not the triangular hypothesis, is the doctrine of the Scriptures. See Vol. I., Sermon XV.
In Col. i. 15, as above quoted, of Christ, moWrÓTOKOS пάons KTIOEWS,
sus saith, "I proceeded forth and came from God; neither came I of myself, but he sent me." (John viii. 42.)
It appears that the Jews of Christ's day believed in the pre-existence of the souls of men; coupled with the error, that man's pre-existent state, was a conscious and an accountable state of existence, wherein men sinned in their individual capacity. John's testimony is to this purport. (See John ix. 2, 3.) A man blind from his birth had his sight given him by Jesus. "And his disciples asked him, saying, Master, who did sin, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?" Now as it was Jesus' disciples that believed in a pre-existent state, if such a belief be a gross error, we are justified in saying, that Jesus would have corrected the error. Well, he did correct the error, for he said to them, "Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents.' This is a correction of the error of believing that men have sinned in a pre-existent state, and are punished after they receive an existence in the flesh, by being subjected to physical evils. But Jesus' reply to his disciples, does not correct the error of believing in a pre-existent state, simply, if such a belief be an error. Jesus made this an occasion of promulgating most momentous truth. He assigned as the true reason of the man being born blind, God's design, viz:-"That the works of God should be made manifest in him." Therefore, God has a good end to subserve by permitting the existence of physical evil.
Now it is as palpable as the sun at noonday, that the doctrine avowed by Jesus to his disciples, is precisely the same doctrine that Paul avowed, in the connexion of our text. And Paul's argument represents the effects of God the Creator's agency, viz: God operated in love,
pasa without the article, and consequently indefinite, God's Son Jesus' pre-existence in the most extensive sense is affirmed, because Paul adds, verse 17, "And he is pò návrov before all things." The pre-eminence of the Lord Jesus Christ, is fully taught by Paul, in the sense of his preexistence before all created things, and also, his being the first-born from the dead. Paul gives the death blow to Socinianism; and affirms the agency of God's Son Jesus, in the creation of, not heaven and earth, but all things in heaven and earth, "whether visible and invisible, thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers, all things were created by him"-and, be it remembered, that "all things," a metonymy for God's sentient kosmos, were created "FOR HIM!" Reader, remember this: All for Jesus Christ, God's heir, and nothing for the orthodox Hell, or Devils !!!
great love for the earthly kosmos, dead in sins; quickening the kosmos with Christ-raising the kosmos with Christ-not imputing to the kosmos their trespasses. As affirmed by Jesus, God did not impute sin to the man that was born blind, nor to his parents. The reason assigned is, "that the works of God should be made manifest in him." Therefore the argument of the Lord Jesus Christ and the divinely inspired Paul, are one. God did not impute sin to the kosmos, men universally-they were created "subject to vanity," that is, to a sinful statenot as a punishment, or to be punished, as men inflict evil; but that the works of God might be made manifest in them, as exhibited by Paul, in a new creation in the Lord Jesus Christ, the head of every man ; and illustrated by the application of Jesus, when he gave sight to the man that was born (or made!) blind, of God's judgment to effect the most beneficent purposes.
The declaration of the Lord Jesus Christ, (John iii. 6.) "That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is Spirit," rises like a mountain in the way of the errors of system-mongers and creed-makers. Kosmos, men universally, are flesh, or earthly, being the descendants of the earthly Adam. Death is asso
ciated with the flesh-death is the inevitable fate of all that wear the earthly image. Life can never be the boon of any man, beyond the grave, or spiritually in the flesh, save by an union with God's Son Jesus. IN Him is life— out of Him, and in the flesh, is death.
The distinction observed by Paul harmonizes with the truth. There is an important end to be answered, as the effect of God's reconciliation of kosmos to himself, viz: "He [Christ] died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which [who] died for them, and rose again." Reader, the word of Inspiration is, that through death, shall death be destroyed. (See Heb. ii. 14.) When kosmos, men universally, shall be the recipients of life from the dead, being raised in their Head, the Lord Jesus Christ, who "is the resurrection, and the life," then, and not until then, shall the reconciled kosmos live unto him who died for them, and rose again. But, remember, it is final, that it is they which live there is no life out of Christ. No one can live in a future state, world, or existence, except unto Christ. The orthodox dogma of men living in a future state of existence to a Devil and a Hell, is contradicted
by the whole tenor of the Scriptures. This vile, and abominable hypothesis, is at war with every principle of humanity, every dictate of reason, the doctrine of God our Saviour, and can find no favour save in the corrupt heart of fallible man. Well has it been affirmed by the pen of Inspiration, that "the heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked." All truth harmonizes, and man is seen in the flesh a victim to sin; a slave, in the full sense of the term, to the flesh, the propensities of the earthly Adam. "That which is born of the flesh is flesh." The earthly tree is known by its fruit.
Whatever errors may exist in the modern science of Phrenology, by cumbering the science with a whimsical detail, etc., it is almost demonstratively correct or true, in its division of man's faculties that prompt to action, and spur to gratification, viz:-Two classes of faculties, distinguished as moral sentiments, and animal propensities. Theology, correctly defined, and understood as promulgated in the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments, not only sanctions but sustains the two-fold classification of man's motives to action, by attributing to earthly or sensual propensities, all evil; and to a wisdom that discriminates and judges according to truth and righteousness, all that is excellent in humanity. Moral excellence, therefore, is the antipode of selfish motives, which seek for a sole object the gratification of the animal propensities. In the one case, the man is "sensual, earthly, devilish"-in the other case, the man governed in his motives and decisions by a Heavenly or a Divine Wisdom, is "pure, peaceable, gentle, easy to be entreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy." (See James iii. 15-17.)
It appears, therefore, from Theology, from Phrenology, and from facts, that man is so constituted as to become the recipient of wisdom or folly-virtue or vice-and to be a slave to earthly or animal propensities; or, by hearkening to, and obeying the dictates of Divine Wisdom, to become a free man in Christ; ennobled by aspiring to high resolves, and keeping under the base-born motives, which would make man a slave to degrading passions, and selfish appetites.
That the sensorium of man is the theatre of all that exalts the human character, or debases the man to a grovelling level with the dust, is too palpable to require proof. The Scriptures, by a metonymy, represent the heart of
man as the theatre of all his affections; the point from which diverge the passions that madden to crime, and the loving kindness that seeks the good of the great human family. The Scriptures, however, explain the metonymy, by affirming of man's understanding, or mental faculties, as the medium of all moral excellence. Therefore an enlightened understanding, which signifies a mind chastened and purified by Wisdom, will reject the lure of degrading propensities, and walk in the ways of a pure pleasure, and in the paths of peace. And it is too obvious to need argument to prove, or facts to illustrate, that unless man had been created precisely as he now exists, with faculties that antagonize, there could be neither virtue nor vice seen in contrast; nor motive to action that could colour the act, or refer to any standard of excellence on the one hand, or demerit on the other. But, humiliating as the conclusion must be to human pride, all facts, and all truth concur in attributing to earthly propensities, all that is evil; and to a Wisdom, greater than man has possessed, as a source, all that is good.
In conclusion I will remark, that a very important distinction exists between the religion of modern sectarians, and the religion of Jesus Christ. Self-esteem, the very thing that constituted the foundation of the hypocrisy of the ancient Pharisees, lays at the bottom of the pretensions of every bigot. It is a singular trait in the char acter of man, that in an exact ratio with his hypocrisy, or Pharisaism, is his spirit of condemnation of his neighbour. A condemnation that betrays a most wicked and malignant spirit, and a heart that is desperately wicked. The great Apostle and author of my text, has left on record his opinion of this subject, and it is too emphatic to be mistaken. Faith, hope, and charity, [or love,] these three, says Paul, but the greatest of these is charity. Which of these three is the greatest in the religious creed of modern sectarians? Reader, dare you outrage the truth so far, as to affirm that it is Love? Is not a substitute presented in the form of the creeds of the vari ous sects, and are not the multitude condemned, by their would-be judges, to a cruel Hell, as a penalty of rejecting the creeds of men? Alas! for man, when he rejects the religion of Christ, and substitutes the dogmas of men for the truths of Heaven. Reader, has the love of Christ constrained you to judge as Paul judged? or has the malignity of human creeds taken possession of your