HARVEST GATHERING AND SIFTINGS

 

ZION’S WATCH TOWER VOL. XI. ALLEGHENY, PA., MAY, 1890. NO. 6.

 

R1214 201214

 

...However, we were then merely getting the general outlines of God’s plan, and unlearning many long-cherished errors, the time for a clear discernment of the minutiae having not yet fully come.  And here we should and do gratefully mention assistance rendered by Brothers George Stetson and George Storrs (See Note about Henry Grew written by Storrs below), both now deceased, the latter the editor of The Bible Examiner.  The study of the Word of God with these dear brethren led, step by step, into greener pastures and brighter hopes for the world, though it was not until 1872, when I gained a clear view of our Lord’s work as our ransom price, that I found the strength and foundation of all hope of restitution to lie in that doctrine. Up to that time, when I read the testimony that all in their graves shall come forth, etc., I yet doubted the full provision-whether it should be understood to include idiots or infants who had died without reaching any degree of understanding, beings to whom the present life and its experiences would seem to be of little or no advantage.  But when, in 1873, I came to examine the subject of restitution from the standpoint of the ransom price given by our Lord Jesus for Adam, and consequently for all lost in Adam, it settled the matter of restitution completely, and gave fullest assurance that ALL must come forth from Adamic death and be brought to a clear knowledge of the truth and to fullest opportunity of everlasting life in Christ.

 

Thus passed the years 1869-1872, and the years following, to 1876, were years of continued growth in grace and knowledge on the part of the handful of Bible students with whom I met regularly in Allegheny. We progressed from our first crude and indefinite ideas of restitution to clearer understanding of the details, God’s due time for clearer light not having come until 1874...

 

C.T.R.

 

—————

 

BIBLE EXAMINER REGARDING HENRY GREW

Vol. XXIII NEW YORK, MARCH, 1880. No. 10

 

In 1837-three years prior to his withdrawal from the M.E. Church-George Storrs’ mind was first called to a consideration of the subject of the final destiny of wicked men as being, possibly, an entire extinction of being and not endless preservation in sin and suffering. This was by a small anonymous pamphlet put forth, as he learned, by Henry Grew, of Philadelphia. He read it to pass away a leisure hour while passing from Boston to New York. It was strange to him that so plausible and Scriptural an argument could be made in defense of a doctrine which he had always regarded as unworthy of a serious consideration; for he had never doubted that man possessed an immortal soul. A new train of thought had now been waked up in his mind; but he proceeded with great caution in examining the subject, and in conversing with any one upon it. He searched the Scriptures carefully, and sought every opportunity to get information from ministers in particular. As the inquiry continued, the strongest arguments urged against this, to him, new view, served to carry his mind into the conviction of its truthfulness and Scriptural basis. After several years’ investigation, conversation and correspondence with some of the most eminent ministers, and looking to God for direction, he became settled that man has no immortality by his creation or birth; and that "all the wicked will God destroy" -utterly exterminate...

 

...To take a position, then, which should sever himself from them, and separate himself from the relation which had so long existed, with the certainty that he must forever after be excluded from their pulpits, if not from their Christian regard, was a trial to his mind which could not have been endured except under a deep sense of the truth of that position which he now felt called to advocate and defend. Relying upon God, he chose to follow his convictions of truth to any and all other considerations; and he took his stand in defense of the doctrine, that there is no immortality out of Christ, and therefore wicked men will be consumed-destroyed-or cease from life-be no more-"be as though they had not been."

 

He wrote three letters to a prominent and able minister of the Methodist E. Church, with whom he had been intimate. In reply, he acknowledged that he could not answer Mr. Storrs’ arguments; and he never undertook it. On the contrary, after a few months, they had an interview, and examined the subject together, which resulted in his advising Mr. Storrs to publish the letters he had written him, but with a request to withhold his name. Accordingly, in the spring of 1841, four years after his attention was first called to the subject, two thousand copies of the "Three Letters" were issued from the press and sent abroad. This was not done without counting the cost.

 

MR. LEE’S LAST ARGUMENT

BIBLE EXAMINER— / VOL. III. / No. 4. /— PHILADELPHIA, APRIL 1848 The beginning part of this article is missing in the copies existent.

 

By HENRY GREW

 

...everlasting, it necessarily follows that their punishment is everlasting.

 

MR. LEE’s LAST ARGUMENT

 

"The expressions ‘death,’ ‘shall die,’ ‘destruction,’ ‘shall be destroyed,’ &c., are all used in other senses that that of annihilation."

 

That these terms, which, in their proper and literal import, as applied to man, plainly import the cessation of conscious existence, are sometimes used in a secondary or figurative sense, is true. This however gives us no authority to set aside their primary and literal import where there is not necessity to do so. If we do so, we make the Scriptures a nose of wax, and can prove anything we please. God threatens the violater of his law with death. Sin is the transgression of the law. Death is the opposite of life, the cessation of it. "The soul that sinneth, it shall die." "The wages of sin is death." Does the Almighty promulgate the fearful penalty of his law in figurative terms? Does any earthly legislator do this? If the terms death, destruction, destroy soul and body, perdition, burned up, utterly consumed, &c., &c., are to be understood figuratively, who shall determine their import? If, indeed, the word of the Lord as plainly declared that the wages of sin is imortal wo, or eternal life in misery, as it declares that the wages of sin is death; if it as plainly and positively declared that the soul that sinneth shall live forever in torment, as it does that the soul that sinneth shall die, then indeed we might inquire after some figurative import for the one or the other of these contradictory passages. But when these threatenings of death, destruction, &c., which are so plain that he who runs may read and understand, are not even apparently contradicted by a single passage in the original Scriptures connecting actual suffering with endless duration, it appears to me a great perversion of them into harmony with this horrible doctrine. So far from the justice, or any other perfection, of the Almighty requiring any greater punishment than is implied in the literal import of these dreadful threatenings, it is an impeachment of those perfections to suppose it. That the entire and everlasting destruction of the sinner from the presence and glory of God, attended with various degrees of torment as justice and apportion antecedent to cessation of being, is an adequate manifestation of the great evil of sin and of the divine displeasure against it, is a proposition which no man can reasonably deny. Mr. L remarks: "The expression ‘cut him asunder’ as clearly expresses the act of taking away existence, as any term used; and yet, after they are cut asunder, they receive their portion and weep and gnash their teeth." I reply that our Lord’s declaration does not necessarily imply anything more than that destruction shall be connected with weeping and gnashing of teeth. If this is denied we may refer the expression, "cut him asunder," to the first death, which is expressed by the terms "cut off,’ "cut down," which is perfectly compatible with the destruction of his being, by the second death, in the lake of fire where there will be weeping, wailing, &c. However we may understand the passage, it certainly is not true that the phrase "cut him asunder," "as clearly expresses the act of taking away existence (forever) as any term used." The declaration, "whose END if destruction," and the expressions "everlasting destruction, "" destroyed forever," "perdition," "lost," all express it more clearly.

 

"How futile is it then to pretend that any or all of" the passages adduced my Mr. Lee, prove that sinners will exist in endless misery, "in the face of so much proof," they shall be destroyed forever." Ps 92:7.

 

HENRY GREW

 

 

"WHY WILL YE DIE?"

BIBLE EXAMINER Philadelphia, June 1848

 

Such is the gracious expostulation of our Father in heaven to his perishing children, who, by transgression have exposed themselves to the penalty of his holy law, which is "DEATH." "The soul that sinneth it shall die." O, let us hearken to the voice of his love! He assures us that he has given his own Son to die for us, that whosoever believeth on him might not perish but have everlasting life, and kindly asks, "Why will ye die?" "As I live saith the Lord, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that he turn and live. Turn ye, turn ye, for why will ye die?"

 

O the remorse that will agonize the man that is now preferring the perishing riches, or honors, or pleasures of this transitory state, to all the ravishing glories of Immortality, when he shall see Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and all the humble followers of the Lamb in the Kingdom of God, and he himself thrust out!

 

O ye whose hope will be as the spider’s web, because ye purify not yourselves as Christ is pure; ye who have a name to live and are dead, who have the form of godliness without its power; ye who lay it up for yourselves treasures upon earth, and are not rich towards God, be kindly entreated to pause one solemn moment. Is it possible that, with the voice of eternal truth warning you so fearfully, "Except ye repent (reform) ye shall perish;" that you will continue to deprive yourselves of all the inconceivable and interminable joys of God’s everlasting kingdom to be destroyed "soul and body in hell," for the sake of a momentary gratification in the idolatrous possession of the vanities of the presnt world? What will it profit for a man to gain the whole world and lose his life forever? Who can estimate the gain of losing our present life for Christ’s sake, and finding it in life eternal? Why will ye die?

 

H. GREW

 

HENRY GREW’S RESPONSE TO DR. THOMAS

 

DR. Thomas remarks: "It does not necessarily follow, that if a man be not saved, he is therefore consigned to the lake of fire, which is the second death. It is written ‘Whosoever speaketh against the Holy Spirit, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world (aion, age or dispensation) nor in that to come,’ Mt 12:32. Does not this imply that there are some offenses, whether of omission or commission, that will be forgiven in the future age?

 

I reply, that the passage whether it imports that those who commit this sin in the present age, shall not be forgiven in it or the future; or that the sin shall not be forgiven whether committed in this age or the future (in which, although righteousness shall generally be established, some will die an hundred years old accursed, Isa 65:20,) it does not necessarily imply that anything more than that this sin shall never be forgiven. It is therefore an inadequate basis for the opinion that men dying in impenitence will ever be forgiven. I understand our Lord, Joh 8:21, to connect dying in sin with eternal separation from himself, —"ye shall seek me, and shall die in your sins: whither I go, ye cannot come."

 

Dr. T asks, "Is there no alternative to the resurrected between possessing the kingdom and being destroyed in the lake of fire?" It appears from the divine testimony that there is not. The names of all the human family are either written or not written in the Book of life. From Re 20:27, we learn that all those whose names are therein written, will enter the kingdom and from Re 20:15, we learn that all whose names are not written there, will be cast into the lake of fire.

 

"The scriptures which teach the non-resurrection of millions." I ask where? Where, I ask the learned Dr., is his scriptural authority for rejecting the literal import of our Lord’s words, Joh 5:28. "ALL that are in the graves shall hear his voice and shall come forth" &c. "There shall be a resurrection both of the just and of the unjust." Ro 2, teaches, that "in the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ, " he will render to every man according to his deeds, "every soul of man that doeth evil, and every man that worketh good." It is true indeed that "where there is no vision the people perish:" the apostle, however, plainly teaches that those who have sinned without law (i.e. written law) will be judged "in the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ," which necessarily implies their resurrection: "It is appointed unto all men once to dies, but after this the judgment." Heb 9:27. If indeed, we have any plain positive declarations that some of the human family will never be raised from the dead, we must understand these universal terms in a limited sense, but not otherwise. Will the Dr. favor us with the chapter and verse? On No. 2 and 4 I remark, most cordially do I agree with Mr. T. in respect to the faith of those who "cry ‘Lord, Lord,’" who do not "believe his doctrine or obey his voice." Without holiness "no man shall see the Lord." But he affirms that a man "cannot be saved in any sense unless he also believe the prophetic truths concerning the kingdom of God." He also maintains "that a correct belief of doctrine and facts, with repentance, immersion and holiness, are indivisibly essential to salvation in the kingdom of God." I reply, 1. Dr. T. has no produced any scripture and "prophetic truths," &c., or that immersion is essential to salvation. 2. We have scriptural truth and fact to the contrary. In 1Co 8: we find the person whos views of the unity of God and of idols were incorrect, recognized as a Christian brother, 1Co 8:11. Ro 14:1, proves that persons may be "in the faith" of the Son of God, and, consequently, be in a state of salvation and yet be "weak" i.e. erroneous or ignorant in respect so some truths. Being weak is contrasted with having knowledge. 1Co 8:7, 11. In the various passages which stae particularly the characters which have no inheritance in the Kingdom of God, the unimmersed are never mentioned. It is an undenaible fact, although immersion is the duty of every believer, and consequently, he who is immersed is more "acceptable to God," all other things being equal, than he who is not immersed; there are many real Christians who are unimmersed, who , on the whole, are more conformed to Jesus Christ, and, consequently, are more "acceptable to God," than many real Christians who are immersed.

 

3. If a correct belief of all scripture "doctrine and facts" and "prophetic truth," is essential to salvation; if, as the Dr. affirms, "we must believe the whole truth, or, be dashed to atoms." I ask, "Who then can be saved?" Highly as I esteem the biblical knowledge of Mr. T., I assure him that his opinion should make him tremble for his own safety. Has he a "correct" knowledge and "belief" of all "prophetic truth?" Does he discern accurately all things which all the prophets have foretold concerning the Kingdom of God, and the true periods of their fulfillment? If so, I think he may more truthfully adopt the words, "I only am left," than did the prophet of old. For the sake of poor humanity, however, I rejoice in the assurance that he would be vastly further from the truth, than number one is from "seven thousand." The Editor of the Examiner well observes, "If we believed to constitute a man a real Christian, he must be perfect in knowledge and judgment, we should never hope to find a Christian on earth, till the next age shall come."

 

In Dr. T’s No. 3 he remarks, "One error is as fatal to a man’s salvation as a multitude of errors believed." This, as a general proposition, is inadmissible. Whether one error is so or not depends upon the nature of it. It is not the number but the character of a man’s error which determines their consequence in respect to his salvation. To substitute my own merit for the foundation God has laid in Zion for salvation, is "fatal;" but neither "one," or a hundred errors, respecting some "prophetic truths," is so. The word of truth teaches the fatal consequence of the former, but not of the latter.

 

On No. 6 it is observed that "the gospel is made up of particular truths." The question is asked, "Which of those particular truths have we authority to dispense with as unnecessary to salvation?" I answer, such "of these particular truths," as the bible itself does not make necessary to salvation. It is an undeniable fact that the bible recognizes among the saved, some who are "weak," or in error, respecting some "particular truths." It is equally a fact, that it declares some errors to be fatal to salvation. We may well expect then to find a marked line between these two classes of errors. So it is. Those errors of faith and practice, with those principles, which exclude men from the holy kingdom of God, are plainly declared to be thus fatal. See 1Co 6:9-10, Re 22:155. Unbelievers and immoral men are excluded, but the unimmersed and those who have not "a correct belief" of "prophetic truth" are not; consequently, no man has authority to exclude them. It is indeed our duty and privilege to occupy our talents and opportunities in seeking after all the truth of God.

 

On No. 11, I have only to remark, that the person whom "the apostle John forbid the true believer" to receive, &c., was one of those "who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh," 2Jo 7: and not one who believes that he has thus come, and, in the flesh, died for our sins, but does not understand and believe the truth that he actually and really suffered and died in respect to his highest and divine nature.

 

John Wesley justly remarked: "We may die without the knowledge of many truths, and be carried to Abraham’s bosom; but if we die without

 

The ending part of this article is missing in copies on hand

 

 

A SECOND REJOINDER TO DR. THOMAS

BIBLE EXAMINER VOL. III. PHILADELPHIA, AUGUST, 1848. No. 8.

BY HENRY GREW

 

The essential importance to salvation of believing and obeying the Gospel of the Kingdom in respect to those who hear the Gospel, is as much my "impregnable position" as it is that of my friend; nor am I conscious of cherishing any more "love" or "charity," which is not in accordance with truth, than he has expressed. He remarks that "The truth belongs to God, not to me." True, but he must excuse me for not admitting that all his explanations of the truth belong to God. I trust that, by divine favor, it is my love to God’s truth, or what I understand to be such, that I oppose some of his views. MY inmost soul responds to his remarks on the importance of an inflexible adherence to the word of the Lord.

 

NO MEN DIE PENITENT WITHOUT FORGIVENESS.

 

On Mt 12:32, Dr. T., in a former article, remarked—"Does not this imply that there are some offences, whether of omission or commission, that will be forgiven in a future age?" Had I not reason to suppose that my friend thought that some dying in impenitence would be forgiven? He however now explains more fully, and without affirming, he thinks it to be according to "the scope of the word," that some men of "penitence" must wait for forgiveness till the "Future Age," because, forsooth, the committee of the church had not the power of forgiving their sins in this! It appears to me that this speculation is a violation of an important principle of the divine government, and of the plain teaching of the Spirit of Truth, that "he that confesseth and forsaketh his sin shall find mercy." It was necessary indeed for the reformed Corinthian to receive forgiveness from the Church, in order to be restored to their fellowship, but this was not necessary in order to his being forgiven of God. If a man in similar circumstances, as my friend’s case to illustrate the subject supposes, truly repents, God waits for no committees or churches to pardon him. "Let the committees or churches to pardon him." "Let the wicked forsake his way—and let him return unto the Lord who will have mercy, and to our God who will abundantly pardon." So the Publican found it without going to the Council or Sanhedrim. Churches and Committees may err through partiality or imperfect judgment. Our intelligent friend, admitting that men dying in impenitence are never forgiven, asks, "What has that to do with men of faith, dying in sins ‘not unto death?’" Here is another anomaly! What prophet or apostle every taught that men of faith die in sins? If me of dead faith were in tended, it is perfectly correct, but I do not so understand Mr. Thomas. I would remind my friend that Paul directed the Corinthian Church and not a "Committee of brethren," to "deliver" the offender "to Satan for the destruction of the flesh," &c.

 

UNIVERSAL RESURRECTION

 

I have now to examine the single passage adduced by Mr. Thomas to prove the "non-resurrection of millions." Isa 26:14; 25:11, 26:13 are quoted, but Isa 26:14 is the only one that has any word on the subject of "non-resurrection." Who are the lords that "had dominion" over Israel, of whom it is said "they shall not rise?" NATIONS, as my friend justly remarks, "Egyptians, Philistines," &c. This is confirmed by Isa 26:15. It is the "nation" that the Lord removed far unto all the ends of the earth, thus scattering and destroying it. This explains the subject of their death, or destruction, or non-resurrection. As nations "they are dead," as nations "they shall not live." As nations "they are deceased, they shall not rise." such is the fact respecting those powerful nations which once "tyrannized over Israel." The connection of the passage thus teaches that it is in perfect harmony with the plain declarations of inspired truth, that "ALL that are in the graves shall hear his voice, and shall come forth," &c. "there shall be a resurrection—of the just and unjust." "And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God," &c. I object to our friend’s comment on the word ALL in Joh 5:28. our Savior does not say, all that have done good or evil shall come forth, neither does the connection require us to limit his words to such. He says, "All that are in the graves shall come forth." All in the graves, whether "small" or "great," as John saw in prophetic vision, Re 20:12, whether capable of moral action or not. The "all" in Joh 5:28 therefore "is (not fully) defined in the next." The fact of those who are morally responsible for their actions receiving their due reward those who died too "small" to be thus accountable. The connection consequently does not warrant the limitation. If it did, it would surely avail little to prove the non-resurrection of the lords over Israel, who did "evil" by wholesale. The word "all," if limited to those who have actually done good and evil, must include them.

 

Dr. T. remarks, "As to the Gentiles who had sinned without law," they perish. True, but when will they finally perish? "In the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ." Ro 2:12-16. This proves their resurrection. It is equally evident from Ro 2:12 and connection that those who "have sinned without law" (I.e. the written law) and those who have sinned in the law, shall be judged on the same day or period. By what authority does my friend connect Ro 2:16 with a part of Ro 2:12 only? The apostle makes no such distinction as his remarks imply. He asks, "How would friend Grew judge Cossacks, Hottentots, Caffres," &c. "by Paul’s Gospel, or Moses’ law, who had never heard of one or the other?"—"Where no law is, there is no transgression," and "without faith it is impossible to please God." These two principles decide the fate of millions. "Where there is no vision the people perish." Here I learn the source of my friend’s error respecting the "non-resurrection of millions." It is a consistent inference from false premises. IF indeed there is no other law given to man than the law of Moses and the Gospel, then have many no law by which they may justly be condemned. It is not so. "Cannot the reader see," and cannot Mr. T. see, that "all the gentiles which have not the law (or the Gospel) are a law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another?" Ro 2:14-15. No rational men are without all law, "because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath showed it unto them. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse;  because that when they knew God they glorified him not as God," &c. Ro 1:19-21.

 

I can assure Mr. T. that my vision is not at all bewildered by "that little monosyllable ‘all.’" That is often used in a limited sense, I am fully aware; nor is my belief that it is sometimes used in a literal sense, any proof to the contrary. Quoting Heb 9:27 from memory, I made a common mistake, inserting the word "all." I did not, however, give it in capitals, as my friend incorrectly quotes me. The passage is equally pertinent to my argument without that word as with it. My object was not to prove that all men die, but that all who do die are to be raised. "It is appointed unto men once to die; but after this the judgment." It appears to me that Paul teaches that death and subsequent judgment are appointed unto the same persons, at least to those who are morally accountable, which the "lords" who had "dominion" over Israel certainly were.

 

FAITH IN PROPHETIC TRUTHS NECESSARY.

 

Mr. T. observes: "Mr. Grew doth not like my position, that ‘a man cannot be saved in any sense, unless he also believe the prophetic truths concerning the kingdom of God.’" This is not a fair version of the matter. This is not the position which I object to. I know that "the subject matter of these truths is the kingdom, and the kingdom is the subject of the Gospel." "the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy." The position I object to is this, "we must believe THE WHOLE truth, or—be dashed to atoms." So affirms the Doctor. I have put the objectionable words in capitals. The two positions are vastly different, as every intelligent reader must perceive. No man can believe the gospel without believing prophetic truths. "He that believeth not (the gospel) shall be condemned." Millions, however, have believed and obeyed the gospel, who have died without a knowledge of "the whole truth." if my learned friend is an exception, I believe him to be the first, except "the faithful witness," since the foundation of the world.

 

I am happy to see him recede from this position as he does in his last article. To "believe the whole truth," implies, as I have wrote before, that we "discern accurately all things which all the prophets have foretold concerning the kingdom of God, and the true periods of their fulfillment," i.e. so far as these periods are recorded. Mr. T. himself says that "an incorrect belief of doctrine and facts is a belief of error." Mr. T. now says, "I am far from saying, that such a discernment is necessary to entitle a man to entrance in the kingdom of God." Very good. We will not hope that we shall not be "dashed to atoms," although we have not yet attained, neither are already perfect in the knowledge  of the "whole truth." My friend will now have to furnish himself with an answer to such of his questions to me as the following: "Which of those particular truths have we authority to dispense with as unnecessary to salvation?" Most cordially do I join with him in saying "that illumination in the one thing is essential, not as a mere matter of knowledge, but that this knowledge may effect a renewal unto life through a participation in the divine nature." It will be in good time to call upon me "to adduce chapter and verse" to prove that men can "be saved without faith in the kingdom," when I affirm it. I respectfully ask my friend to exercise his rational powers sufficiently to discern the difference between having "faith in the kingdom," and having knowledge of "the whole truth;" also to discern the distinction between quoting the words of an author, as a happy expression of your own thoughts, and quoting him as "authority." No "johns of any sect" will I "introduce," as authority, except the inspired Johns of the sect of the Nazarene.

 

IMMERSION NOT ABSOLUTELY ESSENTIAL TO SALVATION

 

Dr. T. maintains that "repentance, immersion and holiness, are indivisibly essential to salvation in the kingdom of God." I object to this sentiment as unscriptural and absurd. I am, however, inaccurately represented in the following remarks: "The apostle Paul says: ‘Repent and be baptized, EVERY ONE OF YOU, in the name of Jesus Christ.’ It is not absolutely necessary, says Mr. Grew, for ‘the immersed are not excluded from the holy kingdom of God.’" Now I say that it is absolutely necessary, in order to stand complete in all the will of God, but not to salvation. With respect to those who know it to be their Master’s will, I do not deny that it is essential to salvation. I deny that "the effect of such teaching" is to influence any not to conform to the commandment, except it be those selfish souls who have no right to the ordinance, until they have love for God sufficient to induce them to do something more for his glory than what they suppose to be absolutely essential to their own salvation.

 

Dr. T.’s distinction between being "weak in faith," and being "weak in the faith," is of no avail to set aside the proof from Ro 14:1, that we are bound by Christian law to receive those "who are in the faith" of Christ, who are weak or erroneous on the subject of immersion. To this law, which is as positive and important at least as that of immersion, there is no exception. A single exception would divide the body of Christ. The command requires the forbearance of all errors of judgment which are not totally incompatible with being in the faith of Jesus Christ.

 

So far from immersion being essential to being "in the faith," no man has any right to immersion who is not already in it. When the Eunuch declared his faith in Jesus Christ as the Son of God, Philip recognized him as a Christian and baptized him as such. It is true faith in Christ, which implies the principle of love, and willing subjection to Jesus, which constitutes us Christians. It is not necessary to "adduce a single case from the New Testament" of a person being recognized as a Christian who was weak or erroneous on the subject of immersion. It does not appear that there were any such. There was no occasion for it. The teaching of the apostles was perfectly harmonious, not diverse as that of the sects of later ages. The law of Ro 14:1 is just as authoritative now, as it would be if it had been applied to a thousand such cases in the apostolic age. The law itself is authority sufficient without any example. There is not way of evading it but by denying that the unimmersed are "in the faith." You may find "a white crow or a black swan" as easily as a single case in the New Testament of a person being recognized as a Christian who believed the Deity is three persons; shall we therefore deny the Christianity of all such? My argument from 1Co 8:11, remains unrefuted. It is indeed easy to say, "this is no case in point," and as easy for me to say that it is. My friend says of the person referred to in 1Co 8:7, "His ‘views of the unity of God and of idols were’ not ‘incorrect.’" I say that the apostle affirms that they were. Now for the proof. "But to us there is one God, the Father of whom are all things and we in him; and our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him. Howbeit there is not in every man that knowledge; for some with conscience of the idol unto this hour eat it as a thing offered unto an idol: and their conscience being weak is defiled." yet the Doctor says his views of the unity of God and of idols are not incorrect! Why then, I ask, was his conscience weak and defiled, any more than that of the apostle and others in eating such mean if he knew correctly, like them, "that an idol is nothing in the world, and that there is none other God but one?" I ask the reader to peruse the entire chapter and see whether or not the apostle does not argue the indivisibility of a correct knowledge of the unity of God and a correct knowledge of idols. It is manifest from 1Co 8:7 that the person referred to had not a correct knowledge of idols; and from the whole connection it appears that it was because he had not a correct knowledge of the unity of God, as the apostle most plainly declares in 1Co 8:7, the antecedent of which, is the unity of God in 1Co 8:6.

 

But "we all have knowledge" on these things, says Paul, my friend remarks, to prove that the views of the person referred to respecting the unity of God and idols were not incorrect. Paul shall explain himself how he uses the word "all" in this case. "We know that we all have knowledge—as concerning therefore the eating of those things offered in sacrifice unto idols, we know that an idol is nothing. Howbeit, there is not in ever man that knowledge,  &c. Such is the apostle’s version of the word "all." Mr. Thomas contends for an exception in the word "all" in Joh 5:28, where Jesus Christ makes none, but rejects one which the apostle here plainly and positively makes. Was it because "that he sees it dancing before his eyes like a will-o-the-wisp?"

 

BORN OF WATER.

 

Notwithstanding Dr. T’s assurance, I am "rash enough to say" that this term does not necessarily mean baptism. As he excludes from salvation all the unimmersed, I hold him to adduce one passage which necessarily implies their exclusion from the kingdom of God.  Joh 3:5 is not such a passage. "Mr Grew (does) regard Jesus as authority" in all cases; but not men’s explanations of his words. I object to affixing the sense of literal immersion in water to this term "born of water" in this passage:

 

1.  Because it is not according to the order of the Gospel to represent our being first baptized and then born of the Spirit, or to represent that these things are simultaneous. Men are born of the Spirit previous to their being qualified for baptism.

 

2.  Because such a construction is a violation of those passages which connect salvation and inheritance in the kingdom of God with true repentance towards God and faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, which precede immersion in water, according to the order of the Gospel. It may be said that according to this reasoning the penitent believer may be saved without subsequent obedience to the commands of the gospel. It is not so. True repentance, is reformation, and necessarily implies obedience to all the known commands of God, but it does not necessarily imply the knowledge of, or obedience to, the ordinance of immersion. There are true disciples of Christ who could not be immersed without sin; for "whatsoever is not of faith is sin." On this subject they are "weak, (i.e., erroneous,) though in the faith.

 

3. Because the scriptures of truth furnish a better and more consistent construction. Compare Eph 5:25-27. "Christ also loved the church; and gave himself for it: that he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word," &c. Here the renewing and sanctifying influence of the truth on the soul is represented by the washing of water. In Joh 3:5 the same blessed work of divine favor is represented by being "born of water." Nor is there any tautology. Mr. T.’s "perfect reductio ad absurdum," is a man of straw of his own creation. We are under no necessity of giving his version of our views; "Except a man be born of spirit and of spirit. The phrase "born of water," refers to the means by which the work of renewing is done; born of the Spirit to the agent that does it. "Of his own will begat he with the word of truth." The phrase born of the water by the word, would be as proper as the phrase "washing of water by the word," found in Eph 5:26. Mr. T’s positiveness respecting the import of the passage is the more remarkable, as he himself confesses that the word "born" is used as a "metaphor." Of what avail then is it for him to say that to be literally born, is "an emergence from a place in which the subject was previously out of sight." Does he not abandon the idea in respect to the term, born of the Spirit? Surely he will not say that being born of the Spirit is "an emergence from (the Spirit)—in which the subject was previously out of sight;" but if a man may be metaphorically born, of the Spirit without such an emergence, he may be metaphorically born of water, without such an emergence.

 

Finally, I object to the exposition because it involves the absurdity of the Almighty excluding from his kingdom those who love and serve him better than some whom he receives. It is in vain to deny that there are believers in the Gospel who, through false teaching, are in error on the subject of immersion, who on the whole, are more like Christ, more devoted to the service of God, more obedient to his commands, more dead to the world, and better practical Christians, than some real Christians who are immersed. Surely we may demand something more than a "metaphor" to sustain such an incongruity in the divine government as this.

 

The fact of immersion being "a gracious privilege" is no proof that "it is not the duty" of the believer. It is both. Being a command, it is our duty to obey. Its being "worth nothing," it "submitted to as a mere duty," on the principle of selfishness, is no proof that it is not a duty.

 

I thank my respected friend for his caution. If, however, I am an "apologist for error, ignorance and disobedience," because I deny the absolute necessity of a discernment and practice of "the whole truth" in order to be saved, the Doctor now is so likewise, for he remarks, "I am very far from saying, that such a discernment is necessary to entitle a man to entrance into the kingdom of God." If to oppose the magnifying of error beyond truth, is to be an apologist for error, I wish to be such. Let my friend also "beware" and listen to a caution of higher authority: "Why does thou judge thy brother, or why does thou set at naught thy brother?" The unimmersed believers are not to be excluded from the Christian brotherhood.

 

I would suggest for serious consideration, whether we do not break (I do not say one of the least, but) one of the important commandments in breaking the law of Christian forbearance? Ro 14:1-4; 15:7. It is because I wish to "do and teach" all the King’s commandments, that I am endeavoring to teach my friend this law, and save him from the evil of rejecting those whom Christ receives, Ro 15:7; and of offending the little ones who believe in him.

 

In conclusion, noticing that my dissent from the construction given to Isa 26:13-14 subjects me to the charge of being "no sane man," I beg leave to say, "I am not mad, most" modest Doctor, "but speak the words of truth and soberness."

 

HENRY GREW.

 

 

REPLY TO C.B. HOTCHKISS: "QUERIES ON BAPTISM"

BIBLE EXAMINER VOL. III. PHILADELPHIA, DECEMBER, 1848. NO. 12

 

"QUES. 1." It is admitted by learned pedobaptist that the Greek word imports immersion. See G. Campbell’s dissertation on the word. He admits that it ought to have been so translated. John could not well immerse by sprinkling. Surely he need not have gone to Enon "because there was much water there," if he only wanted to wet "a bunch of hyssop." The sprinkling "described by Paul, Heb 9:19, is a sprinkling of blood, typical of the atoning blood of our blessed Lord. Our immersion in water is an appropriate emblem of our burial with Christ and rising with him to newness of life. See Col 2:12. "Buried with him in baptism," &c.

 

"QUES. 2. John not only preached repentance, but the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Mark prefaces his record of John’s ministry with the words, "The beginning of the Gospel of Jesus Christ," Mr 1:1. Paul confirms the same, Ac 19:4. "John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people that they should believe on him which should come after him, that is on Christ Jesus:" "Behold (said John) the Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world!" I wish that all modern preachers preached the Gospel as well as John. Surely the baptism of Christ and his apostles, Joh 3:22, was connected with the preaching of "the Gospel of the kingdom."

 

"QUES. 3." It will not only "do to read it (baptizo) were immerses," but the fulfillment of the prediction Ac 2:2-4, requires it. When they were baptized with or in the Holy Ghost on the day of Pentecost, they were immersed in the holy element, for "it filled all the house where they were sitting." "In a literal fire" they were neither immersed or sprinkled. The prophet is not to be so understood.

 

"QUES. 4." Peter’s hearers in the house of Cornelius were indeed baptized with or in the Holy Ghost. I see no objection to our friend’s supposition that this was "the baptism of fire and the Holy Ghost." But the record of this whole case if fatal to his sentiments; giving in fact a clear affirmative to his question, "Is there any other baptism left for the Christian dispensation but the baptism of the fire and of the Holy Ghost?" After they were baptized with the Holy Ghost, Peter said "can any man forbid WATER that these should not be baptized which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we? And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord." Ac 10:44-48. To suppose then that the baptism of the Holy Spirit supercedes the ordinance of immersion in water under the Christian dispensation, is to "be wise above what is written" by the Spirit of Truth.

 

"QUES. 5." Baptism is not "the antitype" of Moses’ sprinkling with blood. The blood of Jesus is the antitype of this. John never "sprinkled all the people." He did not rantize them HE baptized (i.e. immersed) them. As the sound like a mighty wind, and the cloven tongues fell on the disciples on the day of Pentecost when they were baptized with or in the Holy Ghost, it is proper to say of Peter’s hearers, Ac 10, that when the Holy Ghost "fell on them," they were baptized in the same.

 

"QUES. 6." I agree with our friend on this question and think that Joh 3:5, may be understood in a sense "different from literal water."

 

"QUES. 7." To suppose that the new birth insisted upon by our beloved Savior, irefers to the time of our entering the kingdom at his second appearing, is to suppose that we are not the children of God until that period. We are not his children until we are begotten and born of him. John writes of those who received Christ, when on earth, as persons who were then born of God. Joh 1:13. This phrase is not used in reference to our entering into the joy of our Lord as his glorious appearing.

 

"QUES. 8." With all dues respect for the judgment of my friend, I really think the "probability" of his being "mistaken," is quite as "strong," as that those would be so, who were so inspired by the Holy Spirit to teach those things, and only those things which Christ commanded them, that they could say, "He that knoweth God heareth us." 1Jo 4:6. In respect to circumcision "as touching the Gentiles which believe, we (said James) have written and concluded that hey observe no such thing," &c. Ac 21:25. In respect to the Jews there was no command for them to discontinue it at any particular time. The only case we read of any apostle practicing it, is Paul’s circumcising Timothy whose mother was a Jewess. He says, "Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing." He taught those who depended on it, that Christ would profit them nothing.

 

"QUES. 9." Whether there is, or is not "salvation without immersion," it was "benevolent in Paul to thank God that HE had baptized but two or three" of the Corinthians, so long as they were glorying in men, and saying "I am of Paul and I of Apollos." Paul did not thank God that he had baptized no more of that particular church, because baptism was not a duty, or because it is unimportant, but "lest any should say that (he) had baptized in his own name." 1Co 1:15. He preferred the honor of his divine Master to his own. By the declaration "for Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel," we mush understand that the annunciation of the glad tidings of salvation to a dying world, was the principle and great object of his mission. If he had no commission from Christ to baptize he could not have baptized at all; for that only which he "received from the Lord Jesus," he taught. See 1Co 11:23; Mt 28:19-20.

 

"QUES. 10." The true answer to this question is found in the practice of the apostles. This practice proves that Mt 28:19 means immersion in water, which (as is evident from Ac 10:44-48,) was not superceded by the baptism of the Holy Ghost. See also Ac 8:36, 38; 2:38. This could not be the baptism of the Holy Ghost for this was promised them as a subsequent favor. Ac 8:15-17 proves the same. The Samritans were not baptized with the Holy Ghost by the laying on of the apostle’s hands until some time after they were immersed in water by Philip.

 

Paul’s act in Ac 19:6 is not explanatory of the baptism mentioned in Ac 19:5, but a subsequent act. Strictly speaking, neither the baptism of water nor the baptism of the Holy Ghost (in the scriptural sense of that phrase,) can save us. The bestowment of miraculous gifts, and not the conversion of the soul to God, is the true import of the baptism of the Holy Ghost. The apostles were converted long before the day of Pentecost. When they were then baptized with the Holy Ghost, they were furnished with miraculous gifts "and spake with other tongues." Ac 10:44-46, confirms this. It was water baptism which emblematically washed away Paul’s sins. Ac 22:16.

 

HENRY GREW

 

As the foregoing article will probably close, for the present, the discussion on the subject of baptism, we take the liberty to dissent entirely from Br. Grew’s position that the baptism "with the Holy Spirit" was being "immersed in the holy element;" for, if the house was "filled" with it, it was filled by the spirit being "poured out, or shed forth" upon them, and not by their being "immersed in" it. We wish not to protract the discussion, and therefore say no more at present.

 

—Ed. Ex. GEORGE STORRS

 

 

ADOPTION—STRICTURES

BIBLE EXAMINER. PHILADELPHIA, APRIL, 1849

 

ROTHER STORRS:—Among the excellent remarks found in the exposition of the first chapter to the Ephesians, there are some which appear to me to demand a candid review. The exposition maintains the Scripture truth that "holiness—is the property or characteristic of a spiritual nature;" also, that "in order to attain to the divine nature which is spiritual," —(i.e. man) must be born again—viz., of the Spirit. This necessarily implies that the spiritual birth is the origin or efficient cause of all holiness in man. It is God’s own work, as the Spirit of Truth declares; they are born "of God." "If any man is in Christ he is a new creature; old things have passed away, and all things are become new, and "all the things are of God."

 

Now if this work of God is itself, as the Expositor admits, the cause of holiness, it cannot be performed by God on the ground of any previous holiness in man. It must be as the word itself declares, because he will have mercy on whom he will. If so, he may purpose to have mercy on whom he will. I refer not to the mercy of the spiritual birth. What objection then can the Expositor have to admitting a choice of such persons (whom God thus determines to renew) in Christ Jesus, before the foundation of the world, as the words of the fourth verse plainly imply? What objection to admitting the predestination of persons to this renewal? Is not this the proper import of the words in the fifth verse, "predestinated us unto the adoption of children?" Do we not become the children of God when born of God? We may as well object to the performance itself on that work of renewal which is the cause of all holiness in man, on a part only of the human family, (which I understand the Expositor to admit) as object to God’s eternal purpose to perform it.

 

It is remarked that "no man can be a child of God by adoption till he puts on immortality." Whose children are, we then, after renewal by the Holy Spirit, until the trumpet shall sound? What is the proof of this novel sentiment, for we must "prove all things?" Two passages are given. Ro 8:23, "waiting for the adoption, to with, the redemption of our body." Not an iota of proof is here. The apostle does not say the adoption of children, and if he did the connection would prove that it referred to the adoption of the children of God to the possession of a peculiar privilege. But there is no reference in the passage to the manner in which, or the means by which we become the children of God, which the Scriptures so plainly teach in numerous passages, is by our being begotten and born of the Spirit of God, by faith in Christ Jesus, &c. &c.

 

The other passage adduced is Lu 20:35= 36. They which shall be accounted worthy to attain that world and the resurrection from the dead, can die no more, and are the children of God, being children of the resurrection. The passage necessarily implies no more than that "they which shall be accounted worthy," &c., are the children of God, and are also the children of the resurrection. Ontes, from eimi, to be, does not mean because.

 

It is observed that the saints are children of God by faith—or anticipation," &c. Is this a fair interpretation of the words of inspiration, "Ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus?" Did the apostle mean that they were not the children of God, but they should be at some future period? Is his proposition equivalent to saying, by faith you anticipate that in some future time you shall be the children of God? As well may we affirm that when he informed them that they were "justified by faith, " he meant that they were still under condemnation and unpardoned, but might anticipate forgiveness at some future period!

 

1Jo 5:1-2. These verses teach the palpable truth that all who are now born of God are now the children of God.  Joh 1:12-13, proves the same. If these Scripture proofs are deemed insufficient, surely the following must settle the question, "Beloved, NOW are we the sons of God and it doth not yet appear what we shall be." Here the present and future are contrasted, and what we now are is positively declared.

 

Must not our friend have overlooked the scriptural testimony when he exclaimed, "What! a ‘corruptible man’ now an adopted child of the incorruptible God?" If the believer in Jesus Christ, who is conformed to the holy image of his Savior, by the renewal of the Spirit of God, was nothing more than a "corruptible man," there might be some propriety in such an exclamation. Against such an exclamation may we not use the following? "What!" a man "begotten" and "born of God; " not a child of God. A man who has "received the spirit of adoption, whereby" he cries "Abba Father," not a child of God! A man who "dwelleth in love" and "in God and God in him, whose body is the temple of the Holy Ghost," not a child of God. "Thy Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit that we are the children of God." Sure the Expositor must recede from such a position. If such are not the children of God, to what class do they pertain? Shall we denominate them, as Br. Campbell some years ago denominated unimmersed Christians, "friendly aliens?" IF we are not "The children of God" we are "the children of the devil:" See 1Jo 3:10 for proof. See also Mt 5:9; Joh 11:52; Ro 9:26; 1Jo 5:2. It is true indeed that although we are "now the adopted sons" or children "of God," 1Jo 3:2, we have not attained to the perfect stature of men in Christ Jesus, neither shall we be perfected until "the adoption" into the perfect kingdom of God, by our resurrection from the dead. In the joyful expectation of this glory, let us now be "followers of God as dear children."

 

HENRY GREW

 

(EDITOR’S NOTE FROM GEORGE STORRS)

 

We let Br. Grew’s strictures pass with a brief remark: He, at last, admits all we contended for viz., that to be children of God by faith is one thing, and to be so by a "perfect" adoption is another, and a very different matter. When we believe, we become children of God by faith: but suppose we were never to be "adopted into the perfect kingdom of God, by a resurrection from the dead?" Then surely, we never would be God’s adopted children in that peculiar sense in which we used the phrase, because not partakers of his immortality, incorruptibility, endless life. An apostle has said—"We are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our faith steadfast unto the end:" Heb 3:14. "The man Christ Jesus" became the adopted Son of God by his resurrection from the dead; "as it is written in the second Psalm, Thou art my son, this day have I begotten thee." See Ac 13:30-34; where Paul expressly applies this to the resurrection of Jesus from the dead. Let the readers of the Examiner look again at our exposition of Ephesians, chapter 1. and see if we have not given sufficient evidence that the adoption, emphatically, is not till the resurrection: because the incorruptibility of the entire man is essential to it, and that is THE HOPE of the Gospel.

 

Perhaps we ought to make the additional remark, on Br. Grew’s view of God’s "purpose to have mercy on whom he will have mercy" —that God has himself clearly specified "on whom he will have mercy:" viz:" Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; and let him return unto the Lord, and HE WILL HAVE MERCY UPON HIM:" Isa 55:7. No other promise, or "purpose of the mercy of the spiritual birth" has God made, or revealed. So we believe; but we have neither time nor room to enter into that discussion: those who wish to see it discussed in all its length and breadth are advised to read "Fletcher’s Checks." That work can be had of almost any Methodist Preacher, and is worth its weight in gold.

 

 

ON ATONEMENT

 BIBLE EXAMINER. VOL.IV. PHILADELPHIA, JUNE, 1849  No. 6.

 

Far be it from us, that we should be charmed away from the Cross of Christ by any human eloquence or philosophy. What is the doctrine of that Cross whence emanates the life-cry to a lost world? It is, that God had made the soul of his Son "an offering for (our) sins," Isa 53:10; that he has "laid on him the iniquity of us all," Isa 53:6; that "he bare the sins of many," Isa 53:12; that "he was wounded for our transgressions," and "bruised four our iniquities," Isa 53:5. He was "cut off, but not for himself." Da 9:26. If this language does not reveal the "\2vicarious" sufferings and death of the Son of God, which some person affirm is a "pernicious doctrine," what confidence I ask, can we have in any of the words of the scriptures? The savior himself and  his apostles confirm the obvious import of the words of the prophets. "I lay down my life for the sheep." Joh 10:15. "The Son of man came to give his life a ransom for many." Mr 10:45. "Christ died for our sins;" 1Co 15:3; is sacrificed for us, " 1Co 5:7, "that by means of death, for the redemption of transgressions," &c. "to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself." Heb 9:15, 16. "Bare our sins in his own body on the tree." 1Pe 2:24. Without this great and glorious truth of the "vicarious" suffering of the divine Son of the Infinite, "the grand problem" of life for a lost world, finds no solution in the combined wisdom of angels or men.

 

It was the defense of this very doctrine, that "our Lord Jesus Christ gave himself for our sins, " that called forth the anathema of the inspired apostle, "though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel—let him be accursed." Ga 1:3-8. This is the only platform on which our Father’s wondrous love places its lever to raise a fallen world.

 

Justice is "offended," and must be satisfied, or sinners cannot be saved. God is the just God as well as the Savior. How he can be just and save transgressors of his righteous law, is itself a grand problem, solved only by the Cross of Christ. From perverted views of offended Justice, we may turn aside, but we may not turn aside from the oracles of God. "Awake, O Sword, against the man that is my fellow, saith the Lord of hosts, smite the Shepherd," &c. "He shall  magnify the law and make in honorable." "Whom God hat set forth to be a propitiation, through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness, for the remission of sins that are past—that he might be just and the justifier of him which believeth on Jesus."

 

The doctrine of vicarious suffering and death was shadowed forth by all the sacrifices under the law, particularly by the scapegoat. These were types of "the Lamb of God which taketh away the sins of the world." The doctrine may be rejected by the wisdom of this world, yet it pleases God by the foolishness of its preaching, to save them that believe.

 

HENRY GREW

 

 

HENRY GREW’S REPLY TO A.B. MAGRUDER

BIBLE EXAMINER VOL IV. PHILADELPHIA, NOVEMBER, 1849 No. 11.

 

By reference to my former articles, my friend will find my arguments to disprove his construction of some of the texts he has adduced in the present communication. I shall not repeat all these arguments. I submit it to his intelligent consideration, whether or not, as "an ally" to Dr. Thomas, he ought to show, if he can the fallacy of my arguments, instead of re-quoting the texts and repeating the objectionable constructions. Other passages, however, are now quoted, which demand our impartial consideration. Far be it, that any of us should see "triumph instead of truth." I desire to bring every theological opinion to the test of that word which abideth for ever: even the opinion, which consigns thousands of the holiest and most devoted servants of the Lord Jesus, since the days of the apostles, to the lake which burneth with brimstone and with fire, which is the second death! We must not shrink from the scriptural investigation of a tenet, although it clearly implies that such men as Martin Luther, Philip Melancthon, John Knox. George Whitefield, Philip Dodridge, and a host of holy men, who have willingly gone to the stake for the truth of the Lord Jesus, because they did not understand their duty to be immersed in water, will be "punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his power!!"

 

Mr 16:16; Joh 3:5, I have already considered.

 

Before commenting on other passages, I beg leave to call attention to a scriptural fact which may aid us in coming to the knowledge of the truth on the question at issue. We find two classes of passages in the holy volume. One class teaching us all Christian duties, and another teaching us what will certainly exclude us from the kingdom of God. These must not be confounded. Our Lord makes this distinction, Mr 16:16, between faith and baptism. Many true Christians "suffer loss" by their prejudices against, and misapprehension of, some truths; yet they shall be saved. A man suffers inconveniences and delay, by not choosing the very best road to the place of his destination. This, however, is no proof that he will never arrive there.

 

Ac 2:38 connects repentance and baptism with "the remission of sins." in the case of Paul, washing away of sin (in some sense) was connected with baptism. Col 2:12, rising with Christ is connected with is. 1Pe 3:21, connects it with salvation. Are we not, by other passages relative to the subject, to ascertain in what sense baptism is to be understood in these texts? Now it is a remarkable fact, that in every one, baptism is connected with something else, without which it would be worthless? in one it is connected with faith, in another with repentance, in another with "calling on the Name of the Lord," and in another, with "the faith of the operation of God." yea, in the only passage which declares that the figure of baptism saves us, the inspired apostle precludes the idea of this "figure" saving us, in any other sense than figuratively, by saying, "not the putting away the filth of the flesh,  but the answer of a good conscience towards God." Were Simon Magus, Ananias and Saphira, Demas, &c., saved by immersion in water, in any other sense than figuratively or professedly? I ask my opponents whether a "FIGURE" (1Pe 3:21) saves really or figuratively? Mr. Magruder’s comments and inferences on this passage are as unworthy of his good sense as of his Christian charity. He remarks, "MR Grew and Peter are directly at issue." What does Mr. Grew say? I say that baptism is a figure of our salvation, and that it does not really save us, nor is it absolutely essential to real and eternal salvation. What does Peter say? He says that baptism is a "figure," and saves us, but that it is "not the putting away the filth of the flesh (i.e. by water) which saves us, but the answer of a good conscience towards God." MY friend objects to my question, "Is Mr. Magruder’s construction of the passage correct?" adding, "I offer no construction." Is it no "construction," to say that the passage imports the essentiality of immersion to eternal salvation? Does Peter say this, or anything which necessarily implies it? Let every candid reader judge. Mr. M. further remarks, "I cite Peter’s plain and positive declaration, "baptism DOTH also now save us," "and it is that Mr. Grew combats and denies." Mr. G. does not deny this. I admit it in the sense which Peter explains it in the entire passage. Mr. M.’s citation is partial. Why did he not fairly quote the whole of it? I deny my friend’s inference that the passage implies that no man can be saved without immersion in water. For this he is pleased to represent that I "impeach the apostle’s veracity!" Suppose that I misapprehend the apostle, in understanding him that the "figure" or baptism saves us only figuratively; is this impeaching his veracity? I ask, with Christian meekness, that Mr. M. would consider the fact, that, on a mutilated passage, withholding that part which supports my view, he bases, not only the above serious charge, but implicitly (by referring me to Ro 3:4) the more awful one, of being a liar against God! "Judge not that ye be not judged," &c.

 

Ac 2:38. The plain and numerous promises of pardon to penitent believers in the scriptures refute my opponents’ consideration of this passage. I have examined their reply to this declaration, and endeavored to show the fallacy of it. It remains for them to prove that I have not done so.

 

Ac 11:13-14, in connection with Ac 10:43, 47-48. Peter "shall tell thee words whereby thou and all thy house shall be saved." What words? "To Him (i.e. Jesus Christ) give all the prophets witness that through his Name, whosoever believeth on him shall receive remission of sins." Thus do "all the prophets witness" against my opponents, who teach that there are thousands who believe on the Savior, who never "receive remission of sins." The apostle indeed "commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord." May we justly infer from this that no man can be saved without baptism? What are the premises from which this inference must fairly flow? That the knowledge of, and obedience to, ALL the commandments of the Lord is essential to salvation. This is a false principle, for it is in manifest contradiction to scriptural precept and to scriptural fact. It is opposed to the imperative requisition to receive the "weak" (or ignorant) who are "in the faith" of the Lord Jesus. Ro 14:1, 3. It is opposed to the fact of the believer being recognized as a Christian by the apostle who, like modern Trinitarians, had not a correct knowledge of the divine unity, (1Co 8) a subject of much more importance than a correct knowledge of the figurative ordinance of immersion. The argument proves too much, and, consequently, proves nothing. You may as well quote Ac 2:42, to prove that the Christian, who conscientiously declines the literal breaking of bread in commemoration of the death of Jesus Christ, understanding it (erroneously) merely in a spiritual sense, cannot be saved. On the same principle we must make the correct knowledge and practice of all things pertaining to the order of the Christian church essential to salvation.

 

1Co 15:20, in connection with Ac 18:8, proves that we are saved by the truth of the Gospel. The declaration that the Corinthians "hearing, believed and were baptized," certainly does not necessarily imply that baptism is essential to salvation. Indeed if the declaration was, that they were saved by hearing, believing and being baptized, it would no more necessarily imply that they could not be saved without baptism, than the declaration that A. was saved from drowning by B. C. and D. necessarily implies that he could not have been saved without D.

 

Ac 22:16, must be understood figuratively. The sins of Simon Magus were not really washed away by baptism. To have our sins cancelled or washed away and to be justified, are synonymous expressions. We are justified by faith, which precludes baptism.

 

Ro 6:2-5. It is preposterous to understand this passage otherwise than figuratively. The allusion is indeed to our literal baptism, but were we literally "baptized into his (Christ’s) death?" Our immersion in water is figurative our holy change, we die to sin and rise to "newness of life." So far from the figurative ordinance being essential  to this holy "newness of life," it is an undeniable fact that among real Christians, we find some unimmersed more holy in their habitual walk than some of the immersed.

 

1Co 6:10-11. Here are the persons enumerated who shall not inherit the kingdom of God. Alas! four our opponents, the unbaptized are not among them. It is well for the penitent believing thief and many others of the godly. It is for Mr. M. to inform us the reason of this important omission from this and every similar passage in the oracles of truth.

 

Ga 3:27. The question, "Have they (who have not been baptized) put on Christ?" I not only answer in the affirmative, but affirm that some of this class do so, more than some real Christians who are immersed. They are indeed in fault, neglecting, through ignorance, to put my friend if he will deny, that those put on Christ, who "put off the old man" and "put on the new," who "put on, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, long-suffering, forbearing one another and forgiving one another?" I pray that he may put on Christ by forbearing his weak brother.

 

Eph 5:25-26. I admit that baptism is, to believers, "a means of sanctification." This however, is no proof that all other means, without this, are inadequate to that sanctification which is essential to salvation.

 

Col 2:12, I have answered.

 

Tit 3:5. I have no objection to McKnight’s rendering. "The bath of regeneration." I admit the allusion to be to immersion. But I ask, was their immersion real "regeneration," or was it a figure or profession of their previous renewal? Was Demas really regenerated by baptism? No man is qualified for baptism who is not previously regenerated.

 

Heb 10:22-23, admits of a similar answer. Baptism is an important part of that worship which is "acceptable" to God; but this is not proof that it is soimportant that no worship can be acceptable without it.

 

1Pe 3:18-22, is answered.

 

You think that the Romanist "superstitiously magnifies (the) virtue" of baptism. Surely he may say, "Physician heal thyself."

 

I cordially unite with you in your charge of inconsistency, against those Baptists who make immersion "a test of fellowship at the Lord’s table," but not "to fraternal relations in any other respect."

 

In my remarks on the term "born of water," B. Ex., Vol III., page 116, you will find a reply to some of your closing remarks. you should have proved the fallacy of this reply, if you can. "I would insist" on obedience to all the holy principles, and also to all the ordinances of the Gospel, as essential to the perfect Christian. Blessed by God, he does not reject, or allow his children to reject, the "weak in the faith," because they are not thus perfect. You say, "what God has joined together, I would not put asunder." To this my inmost mind responds. The question is, Has God joined together, faith in his Son, &c., and baptism, not only as duties, but as duties essential to salvation? What is the fact? What has Jesus Christ done in relation to this matter? In the great Commission, when he sent forth his disciples for the salvation of a lost world, he joined faith and baptism as duties, and separated them as essential to salvation, resting final and eternal condemnation on unbelief only. Mr 16:16. You therefore, I think join what Christ has separated, which is no less objectionable than to put asunder what he has joined.

 

I hold that God’s promise of salvation to the believer in Jesus excludes every thing, as essential to salvation, but what is essential to faith in his Son. If not, his promise fails. Faith and love, i.e. obedience to all his known commands, are inseparably connected. Baptism is not so connected. This is an important truth, overlooked in your argumentation. The pertinency of your final illustration depends altogether on the question, whether or not baptism is as essential to salvation, as the wails and roof of the house are to the existence of the house? "To quote passages" which show that baptism is a duty and essential to a perfect Christian, and argue that without it no man can be saved, "would be as wise and pertinent, as to cite authority from a work on architecture, to prove that" a variety of things are necessary to a perfect house, and then conclude that if one of these is lacking, it is no house at all.

 

In the commencement of his article, my friend expresses his "hope," that "the discovery of truth" is "the object of both." I regret to perceive that, in the close, his charity takes wings. He sits in judgment on my motives, and traces my supposed error to a disposition "to support an opinion already embraced," instead of "following out the testimony to its legitimate results." I pray the Lord to grant us both a single eye to his holy truth.

 

HENRY GREW

 

 

RESPONSE, BY HENRY GREW

BIBLE EXAMINER PHILADELPHIA, AUGUST, 1850.

 

So far from objecting to any "exhibition of the scriptural importance of baptism, because it clearly implies, that such men as Martin Luther," &c., will perish everlastingly, I remarked that "We must not shrink from the scriptural investigation of a tenet although it clearly implies that such men as Martin Luther, &c." will so perish. I hope that, by the grace of God, I am no more disposed to "stultify God’s word, and deny the obvious truth to save any man" than is Brother Magruder. Such a consequence, however, ought to lead to a close examination of the tenet, whether it is "God’s word" or not. It appears that it has had some salutary effect of this kind, for my friend now changes his position, and avoids the consequence.

 

He now takes the position, that immersion is "one of the conditions of remission of sins, pardon, adoption as a child of God in this life."

 

In his former article, after quoting sundry passages, he remarked, "I submit it to Mr. Grew and the candor of the reader, if this testimony from holy writ does not establish the position beyond doubt or question that "baptism is essential to salvation." Bible Ex., vol. iv. p 165. There is no limitation to "this life." P. 141, vol. iii, Immersion is represented to be essential to "claim entrance through the gates into the City." Does not this refer to salvation beyond "this life?" P. 148, Mr. M. remarks, "Dr. Thomas maintains, that ‘repentance, immersion and holiness, are indivisibly essential to salvation in the kingdom of God.’" Mr. M. endorses the sentiment. On he next page, citing Lu 7:29-30, he asks, "Does not this passage necessarily imply their (the unimmersed’s) exclusion from the kingdom of God?" Is it not a necessary "consequence," from these premises, that when the Son of Man shall come in his glory, and "say unto them on his right hand, come ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world," the unimmersed, whatever their characters may be, will be excluded from the kingdom of God?

 

It is honorable to my brother Magruder, that he finds his foundation shaking, and staps off to something firmer. I hope that he will still proceed and very rationally conclude, that if by ignorance on the subject of Christian baptism, may not exclude penitent believers in Christ from the fellowship of God and the Lamb in the perfect kingdom, that it should not exclude them from the fellowship of imperfect saints in the imperfect church on earth.

 

Br. M. remarks, "But surely, because they may be so (i.e. holy men referred to, may be hereafter saved,) we are not justified in encouraging men (as we do by such arguments) to neglect and undervalue a divine ordinance," &c. If Mr. M. thinks that he does so, by admitting truth, I do not. It is the consequence of error we are to deprecate. The fact that many penitent believers in Jesus Christ, whose lives have been consecrated to his service, shall be saved, though they have erred on the subject of immersion, gives no encouragement to those who willfully neglect to ascertain their duty in respect to baptism, or to those who neglect to do their duty when they know it.

 

I hold no opinion of the Roman Catholic Church, "which clearly implies the eternal death of such holy men as Thomas a Kempis, Pascal, Fenelon," &c.

 

Our friend makes some unwarrantable remarks on my representation, that the "figure" of baptism saves us only figuratively. I ask still, whether a "figure" saves really or figuratively? Did it really|@, or only figuratively save Ananias and Sapphira, Demas and Simon Magus? He concludes, that if it does not save really, it ought to be "abandoned wholly, as inconvenient and worthless." He may as well conclude the same respecting the Lord’s Supper. The ordinances of Jesus Christ are not "worthless" because they are figurative, or emblematical of salvation, and of the means by which his commandments," whether figurative or otherwise. All manifest the truth.

 

On 1Pe 3:21, it is asked, "was Noah’s only a figurative salvation?" I reply, that it was only such, so far as baptism is compared to it. There was indeed a real salvation from the flood, but this salvation in the ark was a figure of the salvation of the redeemed in Christ. Baptism is a "like figure" to that figure. The family of Noah, though really saved from the flood, were not then really saved in Christ from eternal death. Of this salvation, their salvation in the ark, was only a figure. So, in the "like figure" of baptism, men are only figuratively saved. "Anti-type" is indeed a literal translation. Our version, however, gives us the true idea; for that baptism is "the substance" of that salvation of which the salvation in the ark was a type, is manifestly false, and a palpable absurdity. The substance of that salvation is our actual eternal salvation in Jesus Christ, which many who have been baptized, will never attain. If Mr. M. is surprised at my considering baptism to be only a figure of this glorious salvation, he is assured, that I am no less astonished that he should consider it "the substance" of that salvation of which the salvation in the ark was a type, is manifestly false, and a palpable absurdity. The substance of that salvation is our actual eternal salvation in Jesus Christ, which many who have been baptized, will never attain. If Mr. M. is surprised at my considering baptism to be only a figure of this glorious salvation, he is assured that I am no less astonished that he should consider it "The substance." In baptism we are planted "in the likeness of (Christ’s) death." The ordinance is figurative of the death and resurrection of the Son of God, and of our dying to sin and rising to newness of life. But, alas! the reality does not always accompany the figure.

 

Mr. M. affirms that "baptism procures for believing penitents, spiritual life, pardon, safety and adoption." Consistently with this view, he represents that, until the believing penitent is immersed, he is neither "regenerated," nor "in Christ," nor a child of God, nor are his sins forgiven! He exclaims, "What! one regenerated, in Christ, a child of God," &c., "and yet with an evil conscience?" Inferring most illogically from the fact that baptism is "the answer of a good conscience towards God," that believing penitents must have an evil conscience until they are baptized! According to Mr. M. believing penitents are unregenerated, out of Christ, unpardoned, and children of the devil. Truly, this pentance and faith, in order to magnify baptism! If believers in Christ are out of Christ, if penitent sinners are not regenerated and forgiven, I have yet to learn the first principles of the oracles of God. Repentance is a holy change from the love and practice of sin to the love of God, and the keeping of his commandments. It is the effect of regeneration, or being begotten of God. The penitent "cannot sin, because he is born or begotten of God." 1Jo 3:9. This proves that regeneration precedes repentance. So of faith; the Spirit has recorded, that "Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ (i.e., with the heart, unto righteousness) is born (or begotten) of God." 1Jo 5:1. If men repent and believe without this divine renewing by the Holy Spirit, then such renewing is unnecessary. The very work for which this renewing is needful, is previously accomplished!

 

Mr. M. remarks, that "If baptism be or procure for us ‘the answer of a good conscience,’ there is no good conscience without it," &c. So he concludes that "Mr. Grew has his regenerated Christian with a bad conscience!" Mr. M.’s error consists in his unwarrantable inference from the fact of baptism being "the answer of a good conscience," that nothing else can be the answer of a good conscience without it. Peter’s words imply no such thing. I affirm that every act of obedience to the divine commands is the answer of a good conscience towards God. Repentance, and faith in the Lord Jesus, which Mr. M. acknowledges should precede baptism, are both answers of a good conscience. According to him, the holy men we have referred to, lived all their lives, and died with a bad or evil conscience. Yet, he says, they "may escape condemnation at the last day." How can this be? Which is most marvelous, brother, M., that men should be saved here, without a good conscience, or that they should be saved hereafter without it? Or rather which is most marvelous, that "penitent believers" should be saved, who, through ignorance of duty, have not a good conscience in respect to baptism, or that men should be saved hereafter, who have no good conscience in anything.

 

To the holy command to all believers to be immersed, I say with Br. M., "Amen."

 

All that Mr. M. has written on my remark, of the Savior separating faith and baptism, as essential to salvation, is nullified by the fact, that if our blessed Lord had not intended the separation advocated, he would have said, not as Mr. M. states, "He that believeth not and is not baptized, shall be damned," (which might not condemn the baptized unbelievers, though I question it,) but, he that believeth not, and he that is not baptized, shall be condemned. However it may be with Mr. M., our Lord would have had no difficulty in expressing the sentiment without "blunders."

 

It appears from the second concluding inference, that our friend, after all his magnifying of the importance of baptism, considers that even this, with faith in Christ, and repentance towards God, is insufficient for salvation, without believing that remission of sins is obtained only through baptism. He is consistent. Only let him go on with his principle to its legitimate extent, and he will see its fallacy. He must make the admission of everything which he believes to be truth, essential to salvation. His argument, "Without faith it is impossible to please God," will equally apply to numerous other points on which those whom he fellowships, dissent from him. This fellowship happily, subverts his principle.

 

To the final remarks, I add a cordial Amen! God grant that the professed followers of the Lamb may "examine themselves, and see whether they are in the faith." O, that we may indeed stand complete in all the will of God, that we may not be ashamed before our blessed Lord, at his coming.

 

 

A STRICTURE

BIBLE EXAMINER. NEW YORK, DECEMBER 1, 1851

 

Dear Brother Storrs: You affirm that "Paul never said any such thing" as that "there shall be a resurrection both of the just and unjust." Is it so? Let us see.

 

Ac 24:15. Paul speaking of himself, said, "and have hope toward God, which they themselves ALSO allow, that there shall be a resurrection of the dead both of the just and unjust." What doth the word also import but that Paul himself allowed such a resurrection? Did he allow it because fallible and erring men believed it? No verily. No more than he would allow the worship of the goddess Diana, or the god Jupiter-Ammon by the same authority. The previous verse shows that what he believed were "things written in the law and the prophets" who "spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost." Now if Paul allowed that there shall be a resurrection both of the just and the unjust, and implicitly said so, how can your affirmation be true? Is not his declaration some "such thing?"

 

HENRY GREW.

 

 

THE PENALTY OF THE LAW.

BY HENRY GREW IN 1852.

BIBLE EXAMINER, NEW YORK, DECEMBER 1, 1856

 

A law is a requisition, or enactment, enforced by penal sanction. This distinguishes it from mere advice.

 

Man is an intelligent moral, and accountable being. He is subject to law, the law of his Creator, which is the law of righteousness, and the law of love.

 

NO law can be violated with impunity, whether natural or moral. ‘The heavens declare the glory of God and the firmament showeth his handiwork,’ because each heavenly body keeps its proper orbit. All move in perfect harmony. Not one can leave its true orbit without disastrous result.

 

So the physical laws of the human body cannot be disregarded without injurious consequence.—Food, drink, raiment of suitable quality and quantity are essential to health. How dearly does the intemperate man pay for indulging his appetite with the poison of alcohol! No less extensive are the evil effects of excessive and improper eating.—How many have been hurried to a premature grave by adhering to a fashionable and injurious mode of dress!

 

Our present inquiry, however, has special reference to the penalty which the Judge of all the earth has affixed to the transgression of his law of righteousness and love. Various and diverse are the opinions of a fallible and erring men relative to this important subject.

 

It has been supposed by some that this penalty consists only in the mental and physical evils of the present state, to be terminated by a temporary death; and that the whole human race are destined to eternal life and happiness. They hold, that it is not compatible with infinite goodness, either to sustain any intelligent and moral being in eternal misery, or to destroy them forever.

 

Others maintain that the penalty of the law consists in all the miseries of the present life, followed by temporary death, which will be succeeded by eternal life in mental and physical agonies, severe and terrible as the Almighty can inflict, and the creature, with ever increasing capacity, can endure.

 

‘What saith the scriptures’ of eternal truth?—When the ever blessed God created man, and gave him commandment, with what did he threaten him in case of disobedience? ‘In the day thou eatest thereof dying thou shalt DIE.’ Did the Almighty add to this, subsequent eternal life in torment?—Not a word to indicate any such thing. Let us read again: ‘The soul that sinneth IT SHALL DIE.’ Again, ‘the wages of sin is DEATH, but the gift of God, is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord!’ This passage is very instructive.

 

‘The wages of sin is DEATH.’ Death is the cessation of life. It is the opposite of life in all its states and conditions. Life, in a miserable state, is no more death than life in a happy state.

 

Wages’ is that which is justly due for work.—The preposition that ‘the wages of sin is death,’ is equivalent to the proposition that the just desert of sin is death. This declaration of divine truth determines what is the just desert of transgression. Let no man presume to diminish or add to the word of the Lord.

 

Now if the wages, or just desert of sin, is death, it follows that any punishment, which vastly exceed this, is unjust. IF the punishment of eternal existence in agonizing torments is not more than what sin justly deserves, it follows, unavoidably, that death, which will terminate all consciousness, is not the just desert of sin. It falls infinitely short of what justice demands, and the divine testimony consequently falls. ‘Let God be true and every man a liar,’ that opposes his testimony.

 

Now let us consider the connected testimony. —’The gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.’ Observe the contrast. It is not eternal in different conditions, as the self-styled orthodoxy represents the future states of the two characters of men to be. It is LIFE and DEATH> Other scriptures harmonize with this great truth. ‘He that hath the Son HATH LIFE, he that hath not the Son shall not see LIFE.’ The declaration is no where to be found in the inspired volume that the finally impenitent are to lose happy life, or shall not see happy life. The terms used in reference to this awful subject throughout the Bible all harmonize. ‘Destruction,’ ‘perdition,’ ‘perish,’ ‘consumed,’ ‘devoured,’ ‘burned up,’ come to an ‘end,’ &c., accord perfectly with the literal import of the term death, which is plainly declared to be the penalty of the law.

 

The scripture doctrine of Immortality confirms the same. Is there a single declaration that all men are immortal or ever will be? Not one. An immortal being can never die. ‘Mortal man,’ is the language of scripture; Job 4:17. Immortality is not an attribute of human nature. It is the gift of God through Jesus Christ, and an object to be sought for by faith in the record that God has given of his Son, and by patient continuance in well doing. Ro 2:7. ‘This is the record, that God has given us eternal life, and this life is IN HIS SON.’ No eternal life in, or from the first Adam, who was of ‘the earth, earthy.’ It is in the second Adam, who is ‘the Lord from Heaven.’

 

The proposition that ‘the wages of sin is death,’ plainly imports and teaches, that the cessation of the sinner’s life or conscious existence, is a punishment perfectly satisfactory to divine justice and adequately honors the violated law of God. It follows, therefore, that the horrible dogma of eternal existence in agonizing torments is a libel on ‘the just God,’ as it is on ‘the Father of mercies.’

 

H. GREW.

 

 

STRICTURES

 BIBLE EXAMINER, NEW YORK, MAY, 1853

 

BRO. STORRS:—It is desirable for the sake both of truth and charity, that we should be careful how we write of those things the Lord has graciously taught us by his Word and Spirit, which many of our beloved brethren in Christ do not yet understand. Certainly their prejudice is sufficiently strong without any increasing it unnecessarily, by magnifying the comparative importance of our peculiar views to the violation of Christian truth and love.

 

I have no disposition to detract an iota from the scriptural importance of the gracious and glorious doctrine of LIFE IN CHRIST ALONE: or that Immortality is not an attribute of human nature, but the "gift of God" through his beloved Son our Savior. I must however meekly, but earnestly, protest against rendering the "one body" of the Lord Jesus, by making the knowledge of this particular truth essential to salvation, as a brother has done in the last Examiner, in the following language:—"To attain this salvation, even though the mighty aid of a gracious Redeemer, it is all-important, nay absolutelynecessary, that he, Man, have a proper and just estimate of what he really is—both by birth and nature. As long as we think ourselves of an immortal nature by birth—we cannot possibly cultivate a true and earnest desire to attain salvation through Jesus Christ alone."

 

If our brother had only affirmed that Christians, who hold the fable of natural immortality, cannot have a true idea of our obtaining eternal life, or salvation from the second death, "through Jesus Christ alone," he would have affirmed an important truth. But what he has written consigns to eternal perdition those who have not only had an "earnest desire to attain salvation through Jesus Christ alone," but have borne the cross after him, loving him to the death, and sealing their holy testimony for his truth with their blood.

 

That "the belief in our natural immortality, creates a carelessness about committing sin," when such a belief has induced the belief of universal salvation, may indeed be true in respect to ungrateful sinners. The error could not produce such an effect in a holy mind.

 

Our brother further remarks:—"It is palpably evident to any mind that is endowed with the slightest degree of reflection, or the smallest perception of rigth and wrong, that a God of INFINITE, unbounded, unending LOVE, would never punish with eternal torture or misery, any of his creatures, not so say his children, for the sins of a life time." Now that this horrible dogma is a gross perversion of the glorious truth of God, and highly dishonorable to every divine attribute, I verily believe; but that when I preached it, or when thousands of others preached it, we had not the slightest degree of reflection, or the smallest perception of right and wrong, is hardly admissible.

 

Still more objectionable is the remark, "This belief in innate immortality, I take to be the basis of all that hardness of heart, that keeps man from God, the true cause of that blindness which veils the plainest truths of the gospel in impenetrable darkness to the great mass of mankind."

 

It is indeed true that this erroneous faith is the cause of blindness in respect to the true penalty of God’s law, the real desert of sin, and future punishment, as well as in reference to the great and glorious fact, that we have LIFE ONLY in the Son of the Blessed; but to say that it is "the basis of all that hardness of heart that keeps man from God" is an unwarrantable exaggeration. It is to say, either, that among all the millions that have believed it, there has not been a single real Christian, or that after a man is born of God and renewed in his inmost mind by the Holy Spirit, "the basis of hardness of heart, which keeps man from God," remains!

 

"Above all these things (let us) put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness."

 

Fraternally yours, HENRY GREW

 

———-

 

NOTE BY THE EDITOR (GEORGE STORRS). —In the stricture of Br. Grew on the phrase, "absolutely necessary," we fully concur. We overlooked it when inserted, or we should certainly have stricken it out. We have had so many cares upon us, and so much traveling to perform during the winter, that we have hardly been able to keep that look out that an editor ought to do.

 

The second point in the strictures would have been uncalled for, had the writer, referred to, have simply added—"where the truth on the subject has been presented." that was, doubtless, his meaning. So we understood him.

 

The last point in the strictures would also have been uncalled for, if the word "all" had been exchanged for much, or most of; and the words, "the true cause," for the main cause. With the amendments we should fully endorses the sentiments expressed by the brother whose remarks occasioned Br. Grew’s strictures—in the spirit of which we harmonize.

 

 

THE CROSS A REVIEW

BIBLE EXAMINER—Philadelphia, Dec. 2, 1853

 

Dear Bro. Storrs: As you nobly remark, ‘The freedom of thought and expression of thought, we will maintain for ourselves and concede to others,’ I send for publication in your valuable periodical, a few strictures on Mr. Ham’s articles ‘on the Doctrine of the Cross.’

 

Yours, in Ch. love,

 

Henry Grew.

 

 

In Mr. Ham’s very interesting articles on ‘The Doctrine of the Cross,’ there are a few remarks which I beg leave to review ‘in love.’

 

Not only do I most cordially unite with our talented friend in rejecting the ‘theory which professes to explain the Christ of the Scriptures by placing him on the category of mere humanity only;’ but as cordially do I respond to all his representations of Him who is ‘the image of the invisible God,’ with a single exception. He remarks ‘And if we were to analyze this deeper feeling, shall we not find it to be akin to that hallowed feeling with which we venerate the Supreme God himself?’ To this no objection can be justly made, for the word of divine inspiration teaches us that, as the Father has committed all judgment to the Son, he is to be honored, in some sense,  even as we honor the Father. Joh 5:22,23.

 

But the writer adds, —’Nay, more: can our analysis show that the feeling is not really identical?’ I reply, it is, as the writer himself says, ‘akin, ’ but not ‘identical.’ The latter involves the important error, of giving that glory of absolute supremacy and independency to another, which the Father exclusively possesses, and which he declares he ‘will not give to another.’

 

‘The Greek, in John’s Gospel, translated ‘with God,’ is ‘pros ton Theon.’ The idea of the preposition pros is that of nearness, bordering upon, yet not absolute identity; likeness without sameness.’ The representation of Philo Judæ us, who was contemporary with our Lord, quoted also by the writer from Dr. Pye Smith, that the Son is ‘fixed the nearest, there being no intervening existence,  to the Only One, who is self-existent,’ is also incompatible with identity. The Father is self-existent and independent. The Son, though in respect to all created beings, he has the pre-eminence, is ‘begotten’ and dependent. His own testimony is, ‘I live by the Father.’ Our feelings of adoration, &c., should be in accordance with Truth. The Father is to be worshipped with feelings of adoration, &c., in harmony with the great truth that he is, as Jesus Christ, ‘the faithful Witness,’ declares, ‘the only true God.’ Joh 17:3. The Son is to be worshipped with feelings corresponding with the truth that he is the ‘first begotten of the Father;’ the very ‘image of the invisible God,’ and the only Name by whom we must be saved from everlasting death. These feelings, truly analyzed, cannot be ‘really identical.’

 

The intelligent writer remarks ‘In the view of the parable of the wicked husbandman, which sets forth the morality of our Lord’s treatment, and the estimation in which God, as the Lord of the vineyard, regarded his Son’s rejection, it will not be doubted that the crucifixion of Christ, so far from being acceptable to God, or demanded by any principle of his perfect moral government, was altogether a guilty violation of his holy will, and a daring defiance of his law authority.’

 

Now, I ask not whether or not this representation of the death of the Son of God, will stand the test of any ‘scheme of popular Christianity.’ I ask, will it or will it not stand the test of the Word which abideth forever? Let us see.

 

That the rejection and crucifixion of the Son of the Blessed, was, in respect to the Jews, ‘ a guilty violation of (God’s) holy will,’ revealed as the standard of their duty,  is no question of controversy. They did so ‘with wicked hands.’ This truth, however, must be received in a sense which will not invalidate other divine testimonies relative to the same subject, which are equally plain and positive.

 

Whether or not the act was or was not, in any respect, ‘ acceptable to God,’ the following declarations of the Eternal Spirit will determine.

 

It pleased the Lord to bruise him; he hath put him to grief, when thou shalt make his soul (life) an offering for sin, he shall see his seed,’ &c. ‘That he by the grace of God should taste death for every man.’ ‘Awake, O Lord, against my Shepherd, against the man, my fellow, saith the Lord of hosts:’ ‘Jesus Christ, whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation for sin, through faith in his blood,’ &c. ‘Him being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain.’ ‘For of a truth, against thy only child Jesus, whom thou hast anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate with the Gentiles and people of Israel, were gathered together, for to do whatever thy hand and thy counsel determined before to be done.’ When Peter objected to the crucifixion of our blessed Lord, Jesus said, ‘Thou savorest not the things which be of God, &c.

 

Whether or not the inspired writers ‘allude to the crucifixion of Christ as being designed to satisfy any judicial demands of the law of God; or to secure the moral efficiency of the divine government,’ the following passages will determine.

 

‘Whom God has set forth to be a propitiation (mercy seat) through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past through the forbearance of God; to declare at this time his righteousness; that he might be just and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.’ ‘He hath made him to be sin (i.e., a sin offering) for us that we may be made the righteousness of God in him.’ ‘Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us; for it is written, cursed is every one who hangeth on a tree.’ ‘Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures.’ ‘Washed us from our sins in his own blood.’ ‘In whom we have redemption through his blood.’ ‘And for this cause he is the Mediator of the New Testament, that by means of death for the redemption of the transgression, that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance.’ ‘Once in the end of the world (age or state) hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself.’’For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son,’ &c. ‘This man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins,’ &c. ‘He was wounded for our transgression,  he was bruised for our iniquities,’ &c. ‘The Lord hath laid on him the iniquities of us all,’ &c. ‘He shall bear their iniquities.’ ‘Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God.’ ‘Gave himself for our sins.’ Other similar passages might be adduced.

 

If it was no part of the divine wisdom to make the life of him, our blessed Saviour, ‘an offering for sin’if it did not please ‘the Lord to bruise him,’ where, I ask, is to be found the import of the former sacrifices, ‘That could not make him that did the service perfect,’ being only ‘imposed on them until the time of reformation?’ Where shall we find the true solution of that important declaration, ‘Without the shedding of blood, there is no remission,’ if it is not found in the announcement of the harbinger of the Son of the Blessed, ‘Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world?’

 

Whether or not these divine testimonies can possibly be reconciled with the unqualified denial that the death of the Son of God was ‘demanded by any principle of his (God’s) perfect moral government,’ is submitted to the intelligent reader. I ask what language could the inspired writer have employed to teach such a sentiment, which would be plainer or more appropriate, than the declaration that the design of the God of Salvation, in this transcendent transaction was, ‘that he might be just and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus?’Rom. 3:26.

 

If the above, and other kindred passages, do not teach some important connection between the death of the Son of God, and the righteousness of the divine government in the forgiveness of sin if they do not teach that our Lord’s obedience unto the death of the Cross, was, in some important sense, vicarious, I despair of learning any thing from the sacred volume.

 

None of these passages declare that the innocent Saviour was punished; neither do they necessarily imply, that he has so paid our debt to the Father, as to exclude the plain and important scriptural doctrine of the Father’s mercy and forgiveness.

 

[To be Continued.]

 

THE CROSS A REVIEW

BIBLE EXAMINER—New York, February 15, 1854

 

BY HENRY GREW.

 

Our respected brother Ham, referring to the testimony of our blessed Lord concerning his death, remarks as follows:

 

‘His crucifixion, he tells us, was an act of highest impiety and cruel wrong; a manifestation of godless hostility to the holy laws and purposes of the Most high, and merited the severest marks of the divine displeasure. He says no more.’

 

Being, with the pious writer, by divine favor, ‘set-free to sit at the feet of the great Teacher,’ let us unite in humbly ‘asking the Lord ‘Jesus Christ the meaning of his last sufferings and death.’

 

That the meek sufferer considered, as did his inspired apostle, that the crucifixion was the work of ‘wicked hands,’ is not to be questioned. Is it true that ‘he says no more?’ Is it not a matter of fact, that he said more respecting the divine design of his death, than he said in direct condemnation of the act of his murderers? Let us hear him.

 

‘I lay down my life for the sheep.’ ‘I lay it down of myself.’ ‘Therefore doth my Father love me because I lay down my life,’ &c. John 10:15-18. ‘The Son of man came to give his life a ransom for many.’Mark 10:45. ‘As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.’John 3:14, 15. ‘And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me. (This he said signifying what death he should die.)’ ‘The bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.’John 12:32, 33; 6:51. ‘This is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.’Matt. 26:28.

 

Surely, we must not affirm, that our gracious Redeemer ‘says no more’ than that ‘his crucifixion was an act of highest impiety,’ &c. In the above passages, we clearly perceive the same connection between his voluntary death, and the salvation of a lost world, which is exhibited by the inspired prophets and apostles, in passages I have quoted in my former article; particularly in Isa 53, and Ro 3:25,26.

 

The zealous apostle, previous to his enlightenment on this divine purpose, when our dear Lord gave notice of it, said, ‘Be it far from thee, Lord: this shall not be unto thee. But he turned and said unto Peter, get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me; for (in objecting to my sufferings and death) thou savorest not the things that be of God,’ &c., plainly teaching ‘the meaning of his last sufferings and death,’ as being ‘the things that be of God.’Matt. 16:231-23.

 

On the last confiding prayer of ‘the Son of the Blessed,’ ‘Father, into thy hands I commit my spirit,’ brother H. remarks, ‘How natural is this language in the lips of the dying Christ, on the supposition that he was conscious, at this time, of no other than an endeared filial relationship towards his divine Father; and how unnatural, on the supposition that he was conscious of being in the attitude of an imputed criminal, expiating a world’s offences by suffering the penalty due to these offences.’ ‘The Lord Jesus, at this time, was only conscious of a Father’s presence and a Father’s sympathy.’ What then meaneth that affecting exclamation, ‘My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?’ How natural is this language in the lips of the dying Christ on the supposition’ that ‘the Jehovah hath laid on him the iniquities of us all;’ how unnatural, if the Father did not ‘make his life an offering for sin;’ ‘a propitiation for the sins of the whole world?’ How unnatural is this language according to the views of our intelligent brother. ‘Awake, O Sword, against my Shepherd, and against the man that is my fellow, saith the Jehovah of Hosts, smite the Shepherd,’ &c.Zech. 13:7. He supposes that if the death of the Son of God was of a vicarious character,’ we should have expected language betokening a sense of the most distressing rejection by God,’ &c. How significant of such ‘a sense,’ is the language actually used by the sinner’s dying friend; ‘My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?

 

The divine testimony indeed reveals no such absurdity as the Son of God ‘suffering the penalty due to (our) offences,’ which is ‘everlasting destruction.’ Still more absurd is such an opinion on the part of those who believe the penalty to be eternal torment! The truth, however, must not be rejected, that ‘God hat set (him) forth to be a propitiation, through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of Godthat he might be just and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.’Rom. 3:25, 26.

 

I advocate no ‘scholastic theology’ or theory of fallible man. Let us beware, however, lest in plucking up the tares, we pull up the wheat also.

 

I have only to remark, that the corresponding testimony of the prophets and apostles teaching us that the ‘last sufferings and death’ of the Mediator, were in accordance with the divine purpose, and ‘a propitiation for the sins of the world,’ is of equal authority with that of the Savior. They ‘spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost’ ‘the doctrine’ and ‘the commandments of the Lord.’2 1:21 Ac 13:12 1Co 14:37.

 

That ‘the parable of the wicked husbandmen;’ and other passages, fully show that ‘the crucifixion’ of our blessed Redeemer ‘was the highest expression of human wickedness,’ is no subject of our present controversy. It is to the inference deduced, by our respected author, from this obvious truth that I demur. The inference is, that it could not have been ‘for any purpose connected with his (God’s) own righteous government,’ &c. We may as well infer from the fact of Joseph’s brethren delivering ‘with wicked hands’ their brother to the Ishmaelites to go down to Egypt, that God did not send him there ‘to preserve a posterity in the earth and to save (their) lives by a great deliverance.’ Ge 45:7. So fully is the divine purpose recognized in the affair, that it was affirmed by Joseph to his brethren (to be understood of course in a qualified sense) ‘So now it was not you that sent me hither, but God.’ verse 8. It is a glorious truth, both rational and spiritual, that the Ruler of the Universe causes ‘the wrath of man to praise him.’ What man does for evil, God overrules for good. The word, which we declare to be ‘the only rule of faith,’ as positively declares the crucifixion of the Lord of glory to have been according ‘to the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God,’ as that it was done ‘with wicked hands.’ Ac 2:23 4:27,28. Their voluntary wickedness was indeed, as Mr. Ham observes, ‘the proximate cause’ of the atrocious act. The purpose of God was the remote cause, operating in some manner, inscrutable to finite minds, in perfect harmony with the moral agency of men. ‘The stern logic of common sense’ must admit, that the ways of an infinite being may, in some respects, be ‘past finding out’ by finite minds.

 

Mr. H. argues, ‘that as Satan was the prime instigator of that deed (the death of the Lord Jesus) Satan must have given the satisfaction,’ i. e. ‘for sins.’

 

For the phrase ‘satisfaction for sins,’ being unscriptural, I do not contend. The argument however is, that Satan must have done the good which the death of Christ did. If so, it follows that as Satan instigated Joseph’s brethren to sell him to go into Egypt, Satan must have the credit of saving many ‘lives by a great deliverance!’ Satan indeed did, in both cases, instigate that to be done which was the occasion of great good by God’s overruling wisdom. But as he meant that for evil which God meant for good, he is justly condemned; and to God belongs the glory. A murderer may aim the fatal ball at my head, it may pass me and enter that of a wild beast, who is ready to tear me to pieces and thus safe my life. This alters not the murderer’s guilt. It does, however, according to Mr. D’Israeli’s logic.

 

Again, it is argued that if ‘the justice of God was maintained and magnified by the death of the Lord Jesus Christ, then it follows, from the New Testament representations of the causes of Christ’s death, that God’s justice was maintained and magnified by the highest injustice and wickedness of men.’ The truth that Jehovah thus causes the wrath of man to praise him is established and illustrated by various scriptural facts. The history of Joseph, already considered, presents one of these facts. The justice of God was maintained and magnified by the wickedness of the King of Assyria, who was the sword of the Lord’s anger against Israel for their sins. It was not in the heart of the proud monarch to fulfil the divine purpose; his object was the gratification of his own selfish ambition, he was therefore justly punished. Isa 10:12. Wicked men are God’s sword. The Philistines, &c., were such. Modern wars are exhibitions of the same. Wicked nations are the executioners of God’s righteous judgements against other wicked nations; ‘for God hath put in their hearts to fulfil his will.’ Re 17:17.

 

It is also inferred from the supposition that the death of Christ is ‘the reason why God forgives sin,’ that ‘the world’s guilt was purified by the foulest guilt the world ever perpetrated,’ &c. The abstract contemplation of this atrocious act, independently of other aspects, in which the Spirit of truth has taught us to view it, may indeed excite the exclamation. ‘Marvelous conclusions!’ We shall however demand of ‘the stern logic of common sense’ that it shall suspend its decisions until all the divine testimonies relative to the subject are considered. By quotations from these testimonies I have shown that ‘whatsoever’ ‘wicked hands’ did in this case was what God’s ‘counsel determined a fore to be done,’ ‘to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins,’ &c. Ac 2:23 4:27,28 Ro 3:25,26; &c., &c. ‘It pleased the Lord to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed,’ &c. Isa 53d chapter. ‘Marvelous conclusions’ indeed of divine wisdom and love, which ‘the angels desire to look into,’ transcending probably, in some respects, their perceptive powers as they do ours.

 

In connection with the atrocity of the Jews, we must consider the fact of the voluntary sacrifice of the Son of God who ‘died for our sins;’ (’I lay down my life of myself.’ Said the friend of sinners. ‘I lay down my life for my sheep,’) as well as the fact above stated that, ‘It pleased the Lord to bruise him’ and to ‘make his soul (life) an offering for sin.’ What, I ask, has ‘the stern logic of common sense’ to object against the principle, that a being of infinite perfections should overrule evil for good, the greatest evil for the greatest good?’

 

I would ask the intelligent writer, in view of what I have stated above, whether the representation, that ‘it follows’ from the doctrine of vicarious suffering, ‘that the greatest sin which was ever committed is the reasonable cause why God should forgive all other sins’ is not too limited and partial? Must not the voluntary offering of the matchless Son of God, who is the brightness of the Father’s glory and the express image of his person, be involved in ‘the reasonable cause’ of God’s forgiving the sins of the penitent believer? That there is something pertaining to this wondrous transaction which transcends human reason is freely admitted.

 

How our respected author can maintain his views consistently with his avowed determination ‘to appeal first and last to the law and the testimony for the rule of our faith,’ I cannot possibly conceive.

 

It is remarked that ‘men must and will reason.’ Certainly. But what has reason to offer in objection to the proposition that a being of infinite wisdom can overrule evil for good? What has reason to show that the voluntary offering of the Son of God, may not so magnify’ and make ‘honorable’ his violated law, that he may now ‘be just and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus?’ Admit however, that the subject transcends the compass of human reason, I affirm that it is both reasonable and scriptural to admit also, that the ways of the infinite Jehovah should, in some respects, be ‘unsearchable’ and ‘past finding out.’ The candid and talented writer well remarks, that ‘it is both wise and Christian to compare notes.’ He will admit, that proving some of the popular views of the doctrine of atonement, or reconciliation, to be wrong, is not proving his own views to be altogether right. It is indeed absurb, and palpably false in fact, to suppose that our blessed Lord suffered the entire penalty of the law for sinners; for this penalty is the eternal death of all who have sinned; whereas the Saviour does not die eternally even for one sinner. This, however, is no proof that his death was in no sense vicarious, or that he did not die ‘for us according to the Scriptures.’

 

The prayer of the Saviour, ‘Father, forgive them,’ is indeed incompatible with the supposition, that he has given entire satisfaction, in the sense of paying the Father our whole debt. This, however, does not prove that his death was, in no sense, a judicial transaction; or that it was not necessary that God ‘might be just and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.’ The divine wisdom has seen that this sacrifice was needed, that ‘mercy and truth,’ ‘righteousness, and peace’ may embrace each other in the wondrous plan of our salvation. It may be supposed that forgiveness, in this view of the subject, cannot be entirely free on the part of the Father. I reply, that neither Scripture or reason require any such freedom in the case, as shall subvert the truth that ‘God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven’ us. Eph 4:32. ‘God is Love.’ To this infinite source, we must trace the entire system of our redemption from sin and death, both in respect to means and end. Yet ‘the oneness of Christ and his Father,’ in this glorious work, is, as our author represents, perfect. There is indeed a theory which seems to imply that ‘the compassion isall on Christ’s side.’ This involves the absurdity that there is a being in the universe more merciful than ‘the Father of Mercies.’ The scriptural truth that God will ‘declare his righteousness’ as well as his mercy in the forgiveness of sin, implies no such degrading incongruity.

 

‘Now unto Him who is able to’ unite us in truth and love, and ‘to present us faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy; to the only wise God our Saviour be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen.

 

 

THE CROSS A REVIEW

BIBLE EXAMINER—New York, June 1, 1854

 

BY HENRY GREW.

 

Our respected friend, Mr. Ham, quotes the words of Paul, expressing his desire to ‘fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his body’s sake, which is the church.’ After giving Mr. Barnes’ exposition of the passage, Mr. Ham affirms, ‘In his view they (‘Christ’s sufferings’) were exemplary, not expiatory.’ I am assured that he will allow me to do Mr. Barnes the justice of correcting this inference. On reference to Mr. B.’s comments on Ro 3:25, he will find the following plain and positive declaration: ‘It means that God has publicly exhibited Jesus Christ as a propitiatory sacrifice for the sins of men.’ ‘In what sense,’ asks Mr. B., ‘is he declared to be a propitiation?’ He answers (1) ‘The main idea, in regard to the cover of the ark, called the mercy-seat, was that of God’s being reconciled to his people; this is the main idea in regard to the Lord Jesus, whom ‘God hath set forth.’ (2.) This reconciliation was effected then by the sprinkling of the blood on the mercy seat. Le 16:15. The same is true of the Lord Jesusby blood. (3.) In the former case it was the blood of atonement; the offering of the bullock on the great day of atonement, that the reconciliation was effected. Le 16:17,18. In the case of the Lord Jesus it was also by blood; by the blood of atonement. But it was by his own blood. This the apostle distinctly states in this verse. (4.) In the former case there was a sacrifice, or expiatory offering; and so it is in reconciliation by the Lord Jesus. In the former, the mercy-seat was the visible, declared place, where God would express his reconciliation with his people. So in the latter, the offering of the Lord Jesus is the manifest and open way by which God will be reconciled to men. (5.) In the former, there was joined the idea of a sacrifice for sin. Le 16. So in the latter, and hence the main idea of the apostle here is to convey the idea of a sacrifice for sin; or to set forth the Lord Jesus as such a sacrifice. Hence the word ‘propitiation’ in the original may express the idea of a propitiatory sacrifice,  as well as the cover to the ark. This meaning accords also with its elastic meaning to denote a propitiatory offering, or an offering to produce reconciliation. Christ is thus represented, not as a mercy-seat,  which would be unintelligible; but as the medium, the offering, the expiation, by which reconciliation is produced between God and man.’

 

Our friend will perceive, from the above quotations, that so far from Mr. Barnes considering the sufferings of Christ ‘not expiatory,’ he considered this ‘the main idea of the apostle in Ro 3:25,26. He also makes this general remark, ‘When therefore the blood of Christ is spoken of in the New Testament, it means the offering of his life as a sacrifice, or his death as an expiation.’ Mr. B. indeed truly affirms that the apostle desired ‘to be just like Christ: alike in moral character, in suffering, and in destiny:’ i. e.,  I apprehend, holy in character, patient in suffering, and to share in his Master’s sufferings, and in the glory which is to follow. Mr. Ham may as well infer that these words of Mr. Barnes exclude the truth, that Jesus Christ is the Head of the Church and King in Zion, because he says the apostle desired to be ‘in destiny’‘ just like Christ,’ as to infer that his words exclude expiation,  because he says the apostle desired to be ‘in suffering’‘ just like Christ.’

 

Our friend remarks, ‘The Cross of the ‘orthodox’ churches is the symbol of ideas exclusively identified with Christ as the fulfiller in behalf of the human race, of a mission, which the moral government demanded, and which they could not fulfil themselves. It symbolizes the competency to do and suffer, what divine justice made indispensable to the forgiveness of men’s sins and their acceptance with God, but for which mankind are wholly incompetent.’

 

Whether or not the Cross was that ‘which the moral government demanded,’ the reader may determine for himself by reference to Ro 3:25,26 Heb 9:22, &c. If the gracious fact, that the saved are ‘reconciled to God by the death of his Son,’ does not teach that fallen man is ‘wholly incompetent’ to reconcile himself to God, does it not necessarily follow, that his agonizing death, for this purpose,  was nugatory and superfluous?

 

It is objected that ‘according to Christ’s teaching man himself must have a Crossand take up his cross,’ &c.; but according to the ‘orthodox’ view, ‘Christ alone can touch the Cross he alone can ‘take up’ the cross, because he alone can express its significance and fulfill its conditions. ‘What is the argument here? It is this, if the disciple cannot bear a cross in all respects as his Master, he cannot bear any cross at all. I ask our intelligent friend if this is sound reasoning? I ask him to take a more enlarged view of ‘Christ’s teaching.’ The dear Savior indeed has taught that every true disciple ‘takes up’ his cross and ‘bears’ it; but when, I ask, for the holy truth’s sake, did he ever teach that any disciple must take up his cross, or ‘shed’ his ‘blood for the remission of sins,’ as he taught respecting his own Cross? Certainly, for the honor of the Son of the Blessed, we can maintain that, in this sense, ‘Christ alone can touch the cross he alone can express its significance and fulfill its conditions.’ We do say, in reference to this point, to men and angels, to cherubim and seraphim, ‘stand off,’ presume not to share an iota of the honor of the Son of God as ‘the propitiation for the sins of the whole world.’ 1Jo 2:2. Penitent and believing sinners have indeed a precious and glorious ‘inheritance’ in the Cross, but ‘the christianity of the New Testament,’ while it recognizes some important similarity between the Cross of the Master and that of his disciple, recognizes also an important distinction. This I have proved by the Savior’s own words above quoted, and by numerous other passages. This, I submit, proves the fallacy of our friend’s inference from the passages relative to the disciple bearing the cross; that ‘the idea of expiation cannot enter into its doctrinal significance’ in respect to the Cross of Christ.

 

Php 3:10, it is asked, ‘If Christ’s ‘sufferings’ and ‘death’ were expiatory, how could Paul suppose that his sufferings could be in fellowship with those of Christ, and his death be conformable to, or resemble, Christ’s death?’ I reply that they could not be so in all respects,  but that they could be so in various respects. I respectfully submit to Mr. Ham, whether or not the oversight of this important distinction is not an error interwoven with his eloquent writings. Paul’s sufferings were ‘in fellowship with those of Christ,’ inasmuch as they were endured in the same holy warfare with the powers of darkness, and for the manifestation of the same holy truth. In this important sense his death was conformable or resembled that of his divine Master. As Mr. H. himself remarks, ‘’he experience of Christ and his disciples is one in principle, when they suffer for righteousness’ sake, and one actual fact, when, like their Master, their uncompromising fidelity costs them their life”blood. Then they drink of the cup that he drank of and are baptized with the baptism wherewith he was baptized.’ In this respect, they had ‘a common experience with Christ,’ but this is no proof that Christ had no other experience in which they could not participate.

 

The General of an army, with his subordinate officers and all his soldiers, have ‘a common experience;’ engaged in the same cause exposed to similar dangers, toils, and sufferings, they have a common fellowship. Yet there is an important distinction. The General occupies a ‘unique’ position: on him devolves the authority and responsibility of supreme command. In this, not a man in the entire army can participate. Many may fall on the sanguinary field, but the death of the General may be attended with consequences which attach to none other. So the Captain of Salvation and his followers are engaged in the same warfare, and have fellowship in its toils and sufferings, and final glorious victory, the passage to which is through the same gate of death. Yet the death of the former may involve consequences to which the death of the latter may have no claim. As the ‘one Lord,’ ‘Mediator,’ ‘Head,’ and ‘King,’ he stands ‘unique’ in unrivalled glory.

 

Our talented friend must yet unite with us ‘in the new song, saying, Thou art worthyfor thou wast slain, and has redeemed us to God BY THY BLOOD out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation.’.

 

 

RESPONSE TO BR. HUDSON, BY BR. GREW.

Bible Examiner New York, June 1, 1854.

 

Dear Br. Storrs:I cheerfully comply with your request to make a few remarks on Br. Hudson’s letter.

 

Our design, I apprehend, is not to enter upon the ‘questions of philosophy,’ important or ‘unimportant,’ which have no bearing on our Father’s revealed truth in the New Testament of his love in Jesus Christ. We would prefer to comply with ‘Dr. Arnold’s’ suggestion, to ‘pray and visit the poor.’ These important duties, however, we suppose to be properly consistent with the free discussion of any philosophy which presumes to nullify any part of ‘The doctrine of the Lord’ which abideth forever. Such philosophy the inspired apostle has well denominated ‘oppositions of science falsely so called.’1 Tim. 6:20. Br. Hudson accords with us, in the solemn obligations to obey the divine injunction, ‘Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of menand not after Christ.’Col. 2:8. Any and every philosophical dogma which denies the divine testimony, that fallen man is ‘MORTAL,’Job 4:17; that ‘the wages of sin is DEATH,’Roim. 6:23; that in the very day of death man’s ‘thoughts perish,’ also his love, knowledge,  with all mental powers; Ps 146:4 Ec 9:5,6,10; any and every philosophical dogma which predicates human immortality, or eternal life, on man’s inherent nature, and not on the gratuitous ‘gift of God through Jesus Christ our Lord,’Rom. 6:23; we assign to the category of the wisdom which ‘is foolishness with God.’

 

Nor is this all our objection to the popular theory of the nature of MAN. This theory, while it annuls the decree that he, the guilty man, shall return to dust, and invests him with an indestructible element which bids defiance to the power of death; divests and robs the doctrine of the Resurrection of MAN of all its truth and glory. What does that theory assign to be resurrected? The MAN, whom the voice of inspiration has declared has PERISHED, if there be no resurrection?1 Cor. 15:18. Nay, verily; but a mere appendage, unessential to his vitality and glory. The theory, so far from admitting the scriptural testimony, that death introduced man into a state where ‘there is neither knowledge or device,’ assures us, that it is the very hour in which he is ‘made perfect in holiness,’ and in which he shall ‘immediately enter into glory.’

 

We ask Br. Hudson if these divine testimonies do not necessarily involve a negative answer to the question ‘Is the soul a distinct entity’ from the material organism? The question is not, whether or not there is any distinction between body, soul and spirit. The question is, whether or not, after the Creator had ‘formed MAN of the dust of the ground,’ he created and imparted to the man thus formed, any spirit, or substance, any thing whatever, capable of vital conscious existence independent of the man formed of the dust of the ground? What is the addition, in the divine testimony, to the declaration that God formed MAN of the dust of the ground? Simply, that he ‘breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and man became a living soul.’ Is it possible that our intelligent brother can suppose that such a declaration is an adequate basis for the popular theory of a ‘distinct’ independent, indestructible ‘entity?’ Must he not perceive that the foundation of his superstructure ‘is in the dust?’ We ask him to put this declaration, together with the injunction, ‘Cease from man whose breath is in his nostrils, ’ into his metaphysical crucible, and see if it is possible to transmute them, so as to sustain the affirmative of the question at issue. Is not the latter passage of eternal truth a complete refutation of the popular exposition of the former?

 

It pertains to our respected brother, who at present, we understand, adopts the affirmative of the question at issue, to sustain it by scriptural proof. Hoping that, by the grace of God, truth is our object, we ask him to do so. We thank him for his proposal to ‘try’ to do it. In the letter before us, we find but little argument directly bearing on the question. It is not necessary to the determination of the question of ‘a distinct entity,’ to ascertain accurately the properties either of matter or spirit. These indeed transcend, in some respects, the power s of the most acute philosopher. The question is to be determined by the word of the Lord, in which not a single declaration is found that man, in the general,  or that ever a single man, by nature,  is immortal.

 

We ask our brother to favor us with answers, from the Sacred Scriptures, to the ‘fair questions,’ proposed in his letter. He refers to the arguments of opponents, but does not, in his first communication, attempt to show their fallacy, with the exception of one or two. In reference to the proposition that ‘it was matter that became a living soul, and therefore man is only material,’ Br. H. remarks, ‘Let us take the argument and see what it will prove. ‘The Word became flesh.’ Now the clothing of the Word with flesh could not more change its nature than the inspiring of the clay with vital breath could change its nature.’

 

I understand that the incarnation of the Son of God did constitute some change in the nature of his entire person, which then additionally consisted of the ‘body prepared,’ not before assumed. So also the vital breath changed the nature of the inanimate man; by this he ‘became a living soul,’ or person, which previously he was not. The vital breath did not change the materiality of the organic man, neither did the incarnation change the spirituality of the Son of God, but in both cases there was a change in the persons. Adam became a living man, and our blessed Lord became the Logos or Word ‘made flesh.’

 

But Br. Hudson’s question is not, Is man only material? It is, ‘Is the soul a distinct entity?’ Man may be, and is, a compound being, although his component parts are incapable of distinct and independent vital entity. We do not affirm, unqualifiedly, that man is only material. The Creator has endowed the material organism with understanding, will, and affection. The question is, do these powers pertain inseparably to the material organism, or to a distinct independent entity? We can find no authority, in either reason or scripture, to deny the former. Our reason requires no denial of the power of God to endow matter with thought. It involves no contradiction. Scripture affirms the cessation of thought with the cessation of animal life. Ps. 146:4. If thought, memory, and affection, prove a ‘distinct entity in man, ’ they prove the same in brutes. If this is proved, it constitutes no proof of immortality,  either for soul or body. This depends on the will of the Creator. On Him every thing is dependent. ‘He can create and he can destroy.’ We will wait for our brother’s proofs.

 

HENRY GREW.

 

 

RESPONSE TO BR. HUDSON, BY BR. GREW.

Bible Examiner New York, July 1, 1854.

 

Dear Br. Storrs: Not learning from Br. Hudson’s former article, how far he accords with the popular theory, in advocating the distinct entity of the soul; I proposed the question he has quoted. As that theory implies the immortality of every human soul, either by nature or divine decree, it implies its indestructibility in respect to fact. We accord with him that no ‘false issues’ shall be created, and that ‘this discussion is better confined to the question in hand.’ We hold our friend ‘responsible’ only for what he avows to be his own sentiments.

 

That our discussion may be conducted intelligently and profitable, in christian love, for the truth’s sake; we desire our brother to give us, fully as he can, the ideas he attaches to his proposition of the soul being a distinct entity from the body or the material organism. ‘Usage’ does not always ‘give words their (true scriptural) import.’ He remarks, ‘I hold with many others that the death of the body does not destroy the soul I hold for that very reason it is destructible in a special proper sense. Precisely because it is a distinct entity, it may be destroyed,’ &c. ‘I on the one hand, query whether the soul is not naturally immortal,’ &c.

 

I ask our friend, if it is naturally immortal,  is it not naturally indestructible?

 

‘Nor are we debating’ (Br. H. observes) ‘whether the soul can act independently of the body, or of some body. Nor whether the soul is asleep or awake, conscious or unconscious, in the intermediate state: But does the soul exist when the earthly body has decayed, and ere the spiritual body is assumed? I hold that it does exist properly and actually,’ &c.

 

I ask if the proper and actual existence of the soul, as a distinct entity from the body, does not necessarily involve its consciousness? If we prove that no part of man has consciousness in the intermediate state, do we not prove that man possesses no such distinct entity from his material organism, as Br. H. supposes? Is that a distinct entity worthy of any man’s advocacy, which has no knowledge, or thought, or affection? However, if Br. H. can prove, from the bible, that man possesses a distinct entity from his body which can exist in this dormant state, or in any other, far be it from us to deny it.

 

We gratefully accept the caution ‘to be considerate how (we) appeal to a ‘Thus saith the Lord,”but we must assure our friend, that we cannot reject any thing the Lord hath spoken to us, although the whole catalogue of ‘Infidels and Satan himself should subscribe to it. See Math. 8:29. We admit that ‘the soul may survive the body without being immortal.’ The question is, does man possess such ‘a distinct entity.’ Or soul, as Br. H. imagines?

 

I proceed to review our friend’s remarks on ‘the Bible argument.’

 

‘Gen. 37:35, Jacob says, ‘I will go down into the grave, to my son mourning.’ Br. H. asks, ‘did he not conceive of Joseph as still, somehow, existing?’ I reply, that the words imply no other conception than that of a dead man. Not the shadow of proof is here, that Jacob supposed any ‘entity,’ ‘distinct’ from the dead body, existed, either conscious or unconscious. The word is sheol, but what does the patriarch say about any ‘distinct entity’ of his son being there? Not a word. ‘It was in sheol or hades, ’ Br. H. remarks, ‘that he expected to be gathered unto his son. But how could this be, if his son was out of existence?’ I answer, if Jacob’s idea of sheol was a scriptural one (which we have no right to question), he could have no other expectation of being ‘gathered unto his son’ in sheol than of being gathered to him in a state where ‘there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom,’ Ec 9:10. Against such a ‘distinct existence’ we do not argue. The existence of an entity, distinct from the body, is a very different matter, and remains to be proved.

 

As Br. H. thinks it is proper to remark that neither sheol or hades can be properly translated ‘grave’ in any passage in the bible; I think it is proper to remark, that Mr. G. Campbell, in his Dissertations, observes, contrary to his own opinion, that ‘it appears at present to be the prevailing opinion among critics, that the term, at least in the Old Testament, means no more than Keber, grave or sepulchre.’ After all his own ingenious reasonings, he approximates to the scriptural definition of sheol,  Ec 9:10, by remarking, ‘Thus much in general seems always to have been presumed concerning it; that it is not a state of activity adapted for exertion, or indeed for the accomplishment of any important purpose, good or bad.’ ‘I freely acknowledge that, by translating sheol,  the grave,  the purport of the sentence is often expressed with sufficient clearness.’ For an example, he adduces the passage, ‘Ye will bring down my grey hairs with sorrow to the grave.’ (Sheol.)

 

This, he affirms, ‘undoubtedly gives the meaning of the sentence in the original,’ &c. In understand this to be the import of the term in Ge 37:35, as our translators have given it. Be this, however, as it may, the clear representation of the Bible is, that whatever the precise meaning of the term (sheol) may be, that it is the place or state of dead men,  where there is ‘no work, or device, or knowledge, or wisdom,’ and not any place or state of any distinct entity from the material man, which is the matter assumed by our friend and pertains to him to prove.

 

1Sa 28:12 is referred to. Our friend remarks’The whole passage needs an abler solution than I know of, to disprove the survivance of the soul’ I do not know that any writer has referred to for this purpose. We have no need of it. We have plain positive divine declarations, which we have given, and which remain for Bro. H. to answer. But as our brother has adduced it, in proof of ‘the survivance of the soul,’ as a distinct entity, we will examine his comments. He claims that ‘it is to be understood as it reads.’ Let him then be consistent. How does it read? Does the woman propose to bring any disembodied spirit down from heaven or from any place of the survivance of such ‘a distinct entity?’ Neither the king nor the woman propose any such thing. ‘Bring me up whom I shall name unto thee.’ ‘Whom shall I bring up?’ is the language. What brought she up? ‘An old man cometh up; and he is covered with a mantle.’ Now ‘if it is to be understood as it reads,’ it must be understood that the veritable bodily man, Samuel, was raised from the dead and came up out of sheol, where ‘there is neither knowledge or device,’ &c, clothed with a mantle! The representation, to answer our friend’s purpose, should have been a conference with a disembodied spirit, somewhat like the pretensions of the ‘seducing spirits’ of our own times. As it is, it is entirely adverse to his purpose. He writes, ‘suppose it was only a phantasma Samuelis that appeared, the language of verse 19 indicates that Samuel was still in existence.’ I affirm that it indicates nothing more than that Saul and his sons should be with Samuel in Sheol,  where there is no knowledge or device, &c., i. e., in the state of the unconscious dead; which was not ‘to speak false [but truly] of the intermediate state.’

 

Ps 16:10 is next introduced. ‘For thou wilt not leave my SOUL in hell, (sheol or hades); neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption. Thou wilt show me the path of life;’ &c.

 

I understand our friend to admit that the soul of our blessed Lord was actually in hades or sheol,  for these are synonymous terms. It follows that his soul was in a state where ‘there is no work nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom.’ Ec 9:10; i. e., in a state of unconsciousness, for where there is consciousness there is knowledge. This settles the point, unless we deny the Bible definition of sheol and hades. Bro. H. asks, ‘But was his body in hades?’ I answer yes, verily; his entire person was there, in the unconsciousness and insensible state of the dead. In marvelous wisdom and love, our Father gave his own Son, soul and body,  to die for us. ‘By the sacrifice of HIMSELF,’ and not an inferior part of himself (a mere human body) hath he ‘put away sin.’ Heb 9:26. His soul was made ‘an offering for sin;’ Isa 53:10. ‘His own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree; 1Pe 2:24. The import of these divine testimonies is, that THE ENTIRE LIFE of the Son of God was sacrificed for the sins of the world.

 

Ec 12:7, ‘Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return to God who gave it.’ The reference is manifestly to Ge 2:7. ‘And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.’ Scripture is its own best interpreter. At death, ‘the dust,’ of which MAN was ‘formed,’ returns to the earth as it was, and the spirit, i. e., the breath (by which the man became a living soul,) returns to God who gave it. Br. H. remarks, ‘If the spirit is owned by Him from whom it came, without having become a part of Him, it must have a separate existence.’ Certainly, the breath or spirit of life which, like all created things, ‘came’ from God, is no part of the uncreated Jehovah. But I ask our brother, if he means to assert that the breath, or spirit breathed into man’s nostrils as the cause of life, which leaves him at a particular period, and thus causes his death, is itself a surviving conscious soul, a distinct conscious entity? If not, the passage presents him no proof of his opinion.

 

The original terms, nesme, nephish, ruach, psyche,  and pneuma,  translated soul, spirit, mean breath or life. See Taylor, Parkhurst, &c., on the words. The terms translated soul and spirit are applied to the lower animals, Ge 1:20. In the 30th verse ‘every thing that creepest on the earth, wherein there is life,’ is in the Hebrew said to have ‘a living soul.’ See margin. Ec 3:19,21 ; the same term (ruach) is applied both to man and beast; ‘yea, they have all one breath,’ which proves that the breath God breathed into man’s nostrils originally, was the same which he gave the beasts. If man has an independent, surviving, distinct, conscious entity, we must either deny the divine testimony that, in respect to death, ‘MAN hath no pre-eminence above a beast;’ or that the latter also possesses such a distinct surviving entity.

 

We respectfully assure our brother that we humbly conceive, that, so far, he has offered us no evidence to induce us to accept an opinion which we believe to have originated in heathen philosophy, and which divests the glorious doctrine of the resurrection of its chief importance. We must still believe that as the dying Savior was shown no ‘path of life,’ but by a resurrection from the dead, Ps. 10L11; Ac 2:31; so his followers will find none other. Yours for the truth,

 

HENRY GREW.

 

 

IS THE SOUL A DISTINCT ENTITY?

BIBLE EXAMINER, NEW YORK, JULY 15, 1854

 

Bro. Storrs:— I pray for divine grace to review, with a single eye to truth, the passages of the sacred volume of our brother Hudson has adduced to prove that "the soul that sinneth shall (not) die," (in the proper sense of that term,) with the body, being a distinct living entity therefrom.

 

Isa 10:18. It is not a little remarkable that a passage which so fully and so clearly represents an entire destruction both of soul and body (if the reference is to the men of the army) should be adduced to prove the pre-eminent survivance of the former. As utter destruction of the man is the truth presented, why should it be thought "unnatural in such a connection to speak of consuming the life," &c.? It appears perfectly consistent. It may appear otherwise to one who assumes that the soul is a distinct and deathless entity; but this is the very question at issue, and remains to be proved. The term "soul and body" in the passage no more implies that the former is a distinct entity from the body, and the term "spirit and soul and body," 1Th 5:23, implies that man has two distinct entities besides his body. All combined constitute but one living entity.

 

Da 12:2. "And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake," &c. Br. H. says, "This certainly is not a re-existing from non-entity. The question is, Is it, or is it not, a re-vivification from a state of unconsciousness? Mark, the entire reference is to that which slept "in the dust." Certainly that which slept in the dust was dead; so that no proof can be drawn from the term "sleep" in favor of any distinct entity that did not die. Not a syllable of intimation is given in the passage that the awaking is to be effected by any re-union of such a distinct entity with the body. This is to be effected by the voice of the archangel. The modus of the resurrection, on any theory, transcends our finite comprehension. The divine testimony is simple on the glorious subject; involving no contradiction. It is, that MAN dies (and not some inferior part of man) and that God raises him (i.e. man) from the dead. It is perfectly competent for the Almighty to re-animate the sleeping dust, to give it a perfect organism, identical, in respect to all the powers of thought, memory, and affection, so far as is necessary to accountability for deeds done in the present state. Are we to deny the positive testimony of the Eternal Spirit, that all these mental powers perish with the bodily functions in the hour of death, Ec 9:5-6, 10; Ps 146:4; 6:5; 115:17; Job 10:18-19; because we cannot solve all difficulties concerning personal identity? All known philosophical and material facts are opposed to the popular theory. These facts identify mental operations with the brain. A man’s brain is diseased. Has he any consciousness of any distinct entity which is independent of and unaffected by the physical disorganization? So far from it, every such disorganization of magnitude, is always connected with mental derangement. The brain, on recovery, is not strictly identically the same. Yet the man’s memory recognizes those things, the knowledge of which he had entirely lost for a time. The restoration of physical and mental powers, subsequent both to disease and death, will be amply sufficient to constitute that kind of identity which is essential to accountability. This is all the identity which is essential to accountability. This is all the identity we intend or need to prove. It man’s mental powers of independent of a dead brain, as Br. H. supposes, must they not be independent of a diseased brain? The contrary, however, is the fact.

 

Mt 10:28. Certainly this passage, abstractly considered, appears to teach that man possesses something which can survive the body. But what shall we say when we find not one only, but several passages, which as plainly declare that man can destroy, and in fact, has destroyed the soul. See Jos 10:28, 30, 32, 35, 37, 39. He must reconcile them by considering that man can destroy the soul in one sense, but not in another. Thus we reconcile the apparent opposite declarations, God tempteth no man, and God tempted Abraham. The true rendering of the passage, I suppose, would be, "Not able to kill the life," which gives no support to the supposition that man possesses any distinct entity from his material organism. Man can destroy the soul or life temporarily, but not eternally. If this is not the precise meaning of our Lord’s words, we must allow an import, consistent with the numerous divine testimonies, previously adduced, that the entire man is subject to death, and that, in that hour, all his mental as well as physical powers perish.

 

Mt 17:4. What is the representation here? Is it that the disembodied spirit of Moses appeared? No. It was a bodily form which the disciples saw and recognized as Moses. Our friend writes, "If then his body was not here, we can only infer that his soul had, and has a separate existence," &c. Now this miraculous vision must be understood as a literal reality or not. If the former, his body was there, and seen by the disciples. If the latter, it affords no evidence relative to the question at issue. If the former, it is more than a "shadow of proof" of the resurrection of Moses, against which, I know of no solid objection.

 

Mt 22:32. Our brother’s argument is ingenious, but it is fallacious. Its fallacy consists in overlooking the true subject of consideration. There is not the least reference to the present state of the patriarchs, excepting that they were dead. Whether or not they were then existing, was not the question of the Sadducees, who believed that death terminated human existence. The doctrine of the resurrection was the sole subject of consideration. To this, and this only, our Lord’s answer and reasoning pertinently applies. Mark, "As touching THE RESURRECTION OF THE DEAD, have ye not read that which was spoken unto you by God, saying, I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. God is not the God of the dead but of the living." what is the argument here of our blessed Lord? Is it that the patriarchs must be now living, in order that God may be the God of the living. No, verily. The argument of the faithful Witness is, that they must be raised from the dead, or God would be the God of the dead. Now it is manifest, that if the patriarchs were existing in glory, as our brother seems to suppose, God would be the God of the living, if there were no resurrection of the dead. So by our brother’s plausible reasoning, the entire force of our Savior’s argument is completely nullified. The passage, so far from sustaining the popular opinion, manifestly subverts it! Our brother may ask, is it not a matter of fact, according to the sentiment we advocate, that "God is now, at least, the God of the dead?" I reply that Lu 20:37-38, plainly teaches that, in view of their resurrection, they live unto "God, who quickeneth the dead, and calleth those things which are not as though they were." Ro 4:17.

 

Ac 7:59. "How could Stephen pray "Lord receive my spirit,’ if, upon expiring, he became altogether dust?" I reply, as the dying martyr had the infallible promise of his Savior that he would "raise him up at the last day," it was perfectly proper for him to commit his spirit or vital breath—his life, into his Redeemer’s hand. Stephen is dead—the entire man is dead; but his "life is hid, (concealed, not manifest, or conscious, anywhere,) with Christ in God," and when Christ his "Life shall appear," then shall "Stephen appear with him in glory." He had no pre-eminence over David in this respect, who has "not ascended into the heavens." Ac 2:34. We assure our respected brother, that the truth of God is, that he must "wait for his Son from heaven," to see him, and to enter into the joy of his Lord. It is this truth which gives significance to the petition, "Even so come Lord Jesus," to which we cordially respond our—Amen.

 

HENRY GREW

 

 

IS THE SOUL A DISTINCT ENTITY?

BIBLE EXAMINER, NEW YORK, AUGUST 1, 1854

RESPONSE BY HENRY GREW

 

Bro. Storrs:— On 1Co 15:17-18, Br. Hudson remarks, "Why, my dear friend Ham that deceased Christians have not perished, is the very thing that Paul proposes to prove." "Christ has risen—THEREFORE they have not perished, is what every Corinthian child must infer." This is true; but the question is, does the apostle’s declaration imply that the dead had not perished at all, or that they had not perished forever? What is the argument of the inspired writer? Is it that dead Christians had not perished, because they "have souls that can survive their bodies?" Not a word of this. I ask Br. H. candidly to consider, ought not this to have been, and would not this have been the argument of the apostle, if such was the fact? But he predicates this blessed hope, that the dead saints had not perished forever, on the fact of Christ’s resurrection, and the consequent resurrection of his saints. He became "the first fruits of them which slept," by his own resurrection.

 

The representation is, yea, the positive plain declaration, not that man survived the dissolution of an outward material tenement, but that THE MEN, the "brethren," 1Co 15:6, "they," the persons, had fallen asleep in death; 1Co 15:18. Now, instead of replying altogether on the fact of the resurrection, to prove that they had not perished forever, if Br. H. is correct, such an argument would have been entirely inappropriate and superfluous. If their souls "survive their bodies," the apostle had only to declare the fact to prove that the saints had not perished. There was no need to refer to any resurrection. Man had not died; he had only escaped as a bird from a cage. Suppose a man to strike the bird-cage and break it to pieces. The bird flies away. Who, in his senses, would argue that the bird had not perished, because the cage could be mended? The entire argument, throughout the glorious chapter is adverse to the popular sentiment, and in perfect harmony with the declaration of the inspired Psalmist, That in the day of death the "thoughts (of man) perish;" which Br. H.’s views deny. The resurrection of men, who have temporarily perished in death, involves no absurdity, and is perfectly competent for the Almighty to accomplish, who of stones can raise up children to Abraham.

 

2Co 5:4, "Not for that we would be unclothed." "Here," Bro. H. remarks, "the body seems to be spoken of as the tabernacle or vesture of the soul." The passages teaches that in death, men (we) not a part of men, or of us, are unclothed of something; but that an immortal soul is unclothed of anything is a mere assumption. Br. H. must prove by the divine testimony that man possesses such a soul. The unclothing—according to fact and Scripture testimony, that man’s thoughts, knowledge and affections perish at death—must refer to the cessation of life and all these powers. The context requires this construction. "Not for that we would be unclothed but clothed upon, that mortality might be swallowed up of LIFE." His desire was not to be unclothed of life, but to be clothed upon with immortal life. Now, it is undeniable that the apostle had his mind on the resurrection, and not an any intermediate state of felicity for a surviving soul. He clearly teaches that it is at the resurrection, and not before, that mortality will be swallowed up of life. See 1Co 15:54; and this was the object of his desire. If Br. H. is correct, he should have desired to be unclothed that that he might "immediately enter into glory," or, if it is said, that he meant, he did not desire the pains of death, by the expression of being unclothed; still he ought to have expressed his desire of the felicity which, according to Br. H., immediately follows. His desire was for that for which God had "wrought" the saints, 1Co 15:5, which was, "that mortality might be swallowed of life," 1Co 15:4; i.e., by the resurrected body or house from heaven, 1Co 15:2. Until that period, the apostle, so far from expecting felicity, represents the saints as groaning, "waiting," not for happiness at death, but "for the adoption, to with, THE REDEMPTION OF OUR BODY:" Ro 8:23. This plainly proves that when he desired to depart and be with Christ, it was, that he might be with him at his coming at the resurrection. Our dear Lord plainly teaches, Joh 14:3, that we shall not be with him until he comes again.  See also Col 3:4.

 

2Co 12:2. This refers to a miraculous vision, the modus of which the apostle could not define. To adduce such a passage in opposition to plain scriptural declarations, is totally inadmissible. But our opponents ask, "Does not the passage imply, necessarily, that the apostle supposed that there might be such a thing or state as being out of the body?" Certainly it does imply that he supposed that he might have been out of the body in some sense. There is, however, no necessity for supposing that a distinct entity, called the soul, was separated from the body. He might mean that he did not know whether he was caught up bodily, or whether it was a mere mental vision.

 

1Th 5:23. In reply to our brother’s question on the passage, I remark that, in manifest opposition to his theory, the apostle represents the perfection of spirit, soul, and body to be inseparably connected. There is not the least intimation that the spirit or soul would be perfected before the body, nor any thing which warrants an idea that they are not mutually dependent. If we understand, with some, that the pious prayer refers to our perfection in the present state, body, soul, and spirit are connected. I apprehend, however, that the reference is to our perfection at "the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ."

 

Ga 5:17, needs no expunging for us. It implies no immortal soul, or any essence, distinct from the material organism capable of surviving it. It simply represents the warfare of the same mind which is sometimes fleshly or carnal, and sometimes spiritual or holy. Thus in connection with this very passage, the works of the flesh are declared to be "envyings, emulations," &c., which are exercises of the mind, in connection with the physical organism. As for "certain facts of consciousness," referred to by our brother, we ask him to explain. We are conscious of possessing knowledge, thought, and affections, but not of immortal existence, or of any distinct entity independent of the body. our friend’s view of this subject is a matter of belief, not of consciousness. Whether his faith is true of false, must me determined by the oracles of God.

 

Heb 12:23. I do not certainly know whether our brother means that we are clothed upon with immortality at death, or at the resurrection. If the latter, as it rather appears, then the departed are not now perfect, and consequently, the passage affords no proof of their present conscious existence. I reply in the affirmative to his question. They are made perfect by passing from the unclothed state (i.e., unclothed of all vitality, thought, affection, &c., as the Scriptures plainly declare them to be in the hour of death,) to that in which they are clothed upon with immortality.—Our "need of supposing" this, is the word which abideth for ever. The evidence that "the spirits of just men" are not made perfect until the resurrection, is so clear that even the advocates of a conscious intermediate state admit it. Mr. G. Campbell, who believed sheol, or hades, to be a state of consciousness, admits it as being a state of "silence" and "darkness;" and "that it is not a state of activity adapted for exertion, or indeed for the accomplishment of any important purpose, good or bad." If they are conscious so far from being perfect, they must be groaning, "Waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of their bodies," Ro 8:23. Paul never dreamed of perfection until immortality is put on at the resurrection. In Php 3rd chapter, he plainly teaches that he would not be perfect until he should "attain unto the resurrection of the dead." this was the glorious fact for which he was "apprehended of Christ Jesus," and the prize for which he labored."

 

In this passage and its connection the apostle is contrasting the old and new covenants, the Mosaic and Christian dispensations. In Php 3:23 he opens before the believer the higher privileges and blessings, to which the better and everlasting covenant entitles him, at the coming of the Lord Jesus; the glories which will be revealed in the saints at his coming. His meaning is, that we are come, by faith in Christ, into that state where we shall ultimately possess the blessings enumerated in Php 3:22-24. The things are yet future.—"The general assembly and the church of the firstborn," consists of the entire elect of God, the whole family of the redeemed. The family is not yet complete. We are not yet come to it. When the Son of man shall come in his glory with his holy angels, and not before, we shall actually come "to Jesus the Mediator of the New Covenant," and "to the innumerable company of angels."—Then we shall come "to Mount Zion, the city of the living God." "the pure in heart shall see God," the Judge of all. His tabernacle shall be with men, and he will dwell among them and be their God. Then we shall associate with all the spirits of just men made perfect. The whole family of the redeemed are to be perfected, and presented together as a chaste bride unto Jesus Christ: Eph 5:27. This presentation, is not at death, but at the resurrection: 2Co 4:14; Jude 24. It is then our Lord will come in his glory. Many indeed have died in faith, but "received not the promise," i.e., have not yet received the great promise of the gospel, which is eternal life; 1Jo 2:25; "that they without us should not be made perfect;" Heb 11:40.

 

1Pe 3:19. "Spirits in prison," Milton says, "literally, in guard, or as the Syriac version renders it, in sepulchers, in the grave." The Spirit of Christ in Noah, preached to those who were in the grave when Peter wrote. 2Pe 2:5 —By the term spirits, I understand the person, as the terms souls must be understood. Ac 27:37; Ps 33:19. So the word "bodies" must be understood, Ro 12:1, as including the entire person.

 

To the question on 3Pe 2:9: I reply, the Lord knoweth how—to reserve the unjust (in the grave) to the day of judgment to be punished.

 

Re 6:9. It would be absurd to give this passage a literal construction. No one can suppose that the souls of the departed are under an altar in heaven. The blood is the life. In the sacrifices under the law it was poured under the altar. As the blood of Abel cried from the ground for revenge, so the blood of the martyrs cries for vengeance against their persecutors.

 

In the passages our brother has thus far adduced, I find nothing really inconsistent with the plain declarations of the eternal Spirit that "the dead know not anything," and that "in that very day (the) thoughts perish."

 

Yours for the truth, HENRY GREW.

 

 

IS THE SOUL A DISTINCT ENTITY?

BIBLE EXAMINER, NEW YORK, OCTOBER 1, 1854

 

RESPONSE BY HENRY GREW

 

I am sorry if I have, in any respect, "misapprehended" Bro. H. I trust that, by divine grace, it is our mutual desire not to "philosophize" or "reason" in any manner which is inconsistent with the revealed truth. "Let God be true." It is no marvel, if, in our continued discussion, some little misunderstanding of terms should occur. Let us forbear one another in love and patiently explain.

 

Bro. H. says, "I query whether the soul is not naturally immortal, though I am sure the smaller number of souls may be actually immortal." now as the scriptures of divine truth so plainly teach that God will destroy the wicked, "soul and body," Mt 10:28, I must still think it is of "use," to elicit truth, to ask, "if it, (the soul), is naturally immortal, is it not naturally indestructible?" In my view, this conclusion is unavoidable. How does our Bro. understand the declaration, God "only hath immortality?" Is not the import, that He only is by nature immortal? If so, if follows that no other being is naturally immortal. Moreover, I ask our friend, if he can establish the opinion, that the human soul is naturally immortal, by a single "thus saith the Lord," which he justly demands of us to sustain our faith? We have given him the divine testimony that man is "MORTAL;" that Immortality, (possessed naturally only by God himself) is the gift of God "through Jesus Christ," to be obtained by a vital holy union to Christ, and "patient continuance in well doing." If it is our natural attribute, we owe it, not to redemption but to creation. What is the holy record? It is "that God hath given us eternal life, and this life is IN HIS SON." Hallelujah! Bro. H. is "sure the smaller number of human souls may be actually immortal. "Does not this imply that he does not believe that all human souls will exist forever? Does it not imply that many souls may be destroyed forever? If our friend is correct in supposing that natural immortality may be forfeited, he is still bound to adduce some divine testimony that man was created immortal.

 

I asked, "if the proper and actual existence of the soul, as a distinct entity from the body, does not necessarily involve its consciousness?" Bro. H. thinks this is philosophizing, and asks for a "thus saith the Lord." of course, as I believe the opinion is a dogma of vain heathen philosophy, I do not suppose that the Lord has said anything about it, except to condemn all philosophy which is "not after Christ." Col 2:8. I supposed, however, that the idea of "a distinct entity" of a disembodied spirit, or soul and still think, that such an entity, destitute of all knowledge, thought, and affection, is unworthy of our advocacy. The gold in the mine undiscovered is not analogous. The gold undiscovered is intrinsically the same as when discovered. An unconscious spirit is not the same as a conscience one. I supposed I understood my friend on this subject. He wrote—"The soul survives the first death, either by the law of its nature, or by some equivalent law which we do not understand." He now writes, "I am not ashamed of the idea of an unconscious soul." Can he then conceive of the soul surviving without consciousness? I assure my dear brother, I had not the least idea that I was misrepresenting him, when I inferred from his own declaration, that "the soul survives the first death, " that he believed the "felicity (of the saints) immediately follows death." Are we now to understand him that the soul, as a distinct entity, survives without consciousness? If so, must he not admit that when man kills the body, he, in some sense, kills the soul also? Must he not admit with us that man can kill the soul in one sense, but not in another?

 

He remarks, "In my view that existence is well worth while which makes my essential being the same in the life to come as in the present life, so that ‘mine eyes shall behold’ my Savior, and not another being in my stead. Such an intermediate existence, be it never so unconscious, I think I should value for what it accomplished." If any scriptural proof were adduced for such an unconscious intermediate state of ‘a distinct entity,’ we would not presume to affirm that it is destitute of ‘value.’ As no such proof is offered, I ask, what can such a theory accomplish more than a resurrection of the entire man from the dead? The period of unconsciousness is the same in both cases. In the latter, the life of the believer is hid with Christ in God, to be restored at the appearing of Jesus. "When Christ who is our life shall appear THEN shall we also appear with him in glory." Then, and not before, shall we see him and be like him forever. The glorious power of God, in the resurrection, will secure our "essential being" so far as conscious identity is concerned.

 

"Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints." It is asked, "Can this death mean their temporary destruction and annihilation?" Let the scriptures of truth answer. "And the Lord said, I will DESTROY man whom I have created from the face of the earth." Ge 6:7; 9:15. The words destroy and destruction are used also in reference to the first death in the following passages. Ge 18:23; Ec 7:16-17; Joh 2:19; 1Co 6:13; Ps 90:3; 91:6. Several of these passages refer to the death of the righteous. All are pertinent. If the first death of the wicked is a temporary destruction, the death of the righteous is the same. They have no pre-eminence in this matter, abstractly considered, either over wicked men or beasts. Ec 3:19. That this death is not limited to a part of man—that there is no soul, or distinct entity which, as our brother affirms, "survives the first death," is most clearly proved by the plain declaration of the Eternal Spirit, that in that very day (of death) the "thoughts perish;" "also their love and their hatred and their envy is now perished." The Savior’s soul was in sheol (though not left there) where there is no work, or knowledge, or device. Ec 9:10; Ps 16:10; Ac 2:31.

 

"Grant that the saints exist during the intermediate state," our brother remarks, "and this language is appropriate as expressing the care God has for them—but quite absurd, if it be a condition of non-existence." I ask if the death of the saint may not be precious in the sight of the Lord, whatever view we may take of the intermediate state? I affirm that the promise of a resurrection to life eternal proves it to be so, notwithstanding the fulfillment of the decree, (plainly applicable to the entire man) "Dust THOU art and unto DUST shalt thou return." has our brother never sung that God

 

"Looks down and watches all my dust Till he shall bid it rise?"

 

Did he sing an absurdity? I trow not.

 

In reference to Mt 10:28, I ask brother H., how we can reconcile the two scriptural declarations that man does kill the soul, and that man cannot kill the soul, except by supposing that he can kill it in one sense but not in another? I did not affirm that killing it temporarily, but not eternally, was the precise meaning of the Savior. Brother H. may reject my comment if he pleases. I will thank him for a better one. He must however give me the one reconcilable with the plain and repeated declarations of the Bible, which we have adduced, that the entire man is subject to death.

 

On Ge 3:19, our friend remarks, "The body must be alive, or there is no man." "We are agreed in this." Nay, my brother.  If we were, we should both disagree with the spirit of truth, which pronounced the perfect material organism "formed—of the dust of the ground," to be "MAN" previous to the impartation of life. The testimony is not, that the organized dust became man by the impartation of life. It is, that by the simple impartation of "the breath of life," "man became a living soul." The organism was man before. God breathing into the nostrils made the man a living soul, or person—a living man. I seriously ask our brother to review this divine testimony of the creation of MAN, independently of all human theories. "The Lord God formed MAN of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and MAN became a living soul." I submit the question to the intelligent mind of our brother—Is not the plain teaching here, that the perfect material organism, formed of the dust of the ground, with the breath of life in the nostrils, imparting animation to the whole frame, constituted the living man? Will he deny our affirmation, that there is not a single word here to warrant the notion of any entity distinct from the breathing living organism formed of the dust? Is it possible that the Spirit of Truth, giving account of the creation and constitution of man, should wholly omit that which constitutes the far more important part of Him? Alas! for the anomaly. That which the oracles of God denominates MAN, the wisdom of man denominates the mere tenement of man. Must not such wisdom be foolishness with God? Two marvelous errors demand consideration. The wonderful perfect organism formed of the dust by the omnipotent hand, and declared to be MAN, is reduced to a mere tenement of man; and the breath of the nostrils, which simply gave animation to the man, is exalted to a distinct entity of superior nature, capable of survivance when its tenement is dissolved! Thus has a heathen philosophy of an immortal soul nullified the revealed truth of God.

 

Our friend thinks "that disembodied souls have not been commonly called" men, "though believed to exist." The common sentiment appears to be that the disembodied soul is essential man, who, at death, if a saint, goes to his reward. The Savior’s parable is adduced to prove that the "rich man" is now in conscious misery. He remarks, "the body alone, or the soul alone, is not the man." Although the original term translated soul is, in the scriptures, occasionally applied to the mental powers, its proper import is life, and is often so translated, though not as often as it should be. I have proved from Ge 2:7, that the material organism itself is man, who, by the breath of life in his nostrils, became a living soul or person.

 

Our brother correctly affirms in reference to the term "nephesh" that it "was neither dust nor was it taken from the dust." This however is no proof that it imports "a distinct entity," or an immortal essence of any kind. The learned believers in the natural immortality of the soul admit that the proper import of the term is "breath." We derive much confidence of the correctness of our views from the fact, that the word of the Lord, (the only reliable source of information on the subject,) contains in the original, not a single sentence or word, warranting the opinion of man’s possessing any "distinct entity" from the material organism, animated simply by the breath of life. Truly "Bro. G. will not say that the nephesh returns to God who gave it." It is no more a "distinct entity," or surviving conscious substance, subsequently to its leaving the body, or the man, than it was such an entity or substance anterior to its being given to the man. Ec 3:23, the same original word, ruach, is used to denote "the spirit of the beast" as is used to denote "the spirit of man." It is no more "a distinct entity" in the one case than in the other.

 

Our brother thinks that the subject of death was not fully revealed to Adam. I reply, that which was revealed to him on the subject is totally subversive of the opinion of our opponents. God threatened Adam in a manner to be understood. In no other sense could he understand the threatening, "THOU shalt surely dies," than the entire man should cease to live. "Dust thou art and unto dust shalt thou return." But this is not true if the nobler part, "the soul (as our brother affirms) survives the first death." The threatening in this case, was not fulfilled in the first death. Isa 10:18; Mt 10:28 are referred to as revealing the subject of death "in fuller terms." The former is opposed to our friend’s opinion, for it clearly represents the entire consuming of "both soul and body" at one and the same time. The other equally fails our brother’s purpose, for psuche so far from importing "a distinct entity," means "the breath, vital breath, the vital principle." Robinson’s Lexicon. This is the primary meaning. It suggests another and more unobjectionable import of the words of our blessed Lord, which I submit for consideration. Man can kill the body, or the man, but cannot kill the life. He cannot destroy the principle of life. The vital breath returns to God who gave it. When God made man of the dust of the ground he imparted "the breath of lives" (Heb.) that mysterious principle which he imparts to entities or substancies as he pleases. This distinguished the animate from the inanimate. "Ye are dead," i.e., liable to death; ye men, not a mere part of you, and "your life is hid with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory." Col 3:3-4. How is the life of dead believers hid with Christ in God? If it is by the survivance of distinct entities, constituting the chief part of men, then certainly the men have never died. Our life, i.e., its restoration, is secured "with Christ in God," and will be granted at his appearing who is "the resurrection and the life." Thus the word of truth connects our life with our resurrection.

 

May the Lord grant us understanding in all things.

 

Yours for the Truth, HENRY GREW.

 

 

GOD DIED?

BIBLE EXAMINER, NEW YORK, NOVEMBER 1, 1854

 

"GOD DIED." So said Henry Ward Beecher of Brooklyn, N.Y. Will he please inform us who sustained the Universe when the ever-living God was dead? and who restored His vitality and infinite powers?

 

HENRY GREW

 

—-

 

This expression seems to be a favorite one with Mr. Beecher, as we have heard of his using it more than once. We hope he will meditate on Br. Grew’s questions, and if he cannot give both a rational and scriptural answer, cease to employ it. The EXAMINER is open for his reply.

 

ED. EX. (GEORGE STORRS)

 

 

IS THE SOUL A DISTINCT ENTITY?

BIBLE EXAMINER, NEW YORK, NOVEMBER 1, 1854

 

RESPONSE BY HENRY GREW

 

Dear Br. Storrs. — When our respected brother H. uses the term "conditional immortality" I understand him to "recognize" it as the scriptural doctrine. But I cannot allow him to represent "the soul as immortal," previous to the fulfillment of the condition. If Athanasius teaches, that "if men wish to be actually immortal, they must try for it," and also "speaks of the soul as immortal" antecedent to such trial, I ask Bro. H. to inform us how he proves the necessity of a man trying to get what he already possesses. This is as intelligible as the proposition that three distinct intelligent person constitute but one intelligent being." To be the reputed "father of (such) orthodoxy as this, is an honor no one need to envy.

 

I dissent from the opinion that "the question whether the soul is naturally mortal or immortal," is "unimportant." If immortality, or eternal life, is the gift of God by nature, then it is not the gift of God "through Jesus Christ," as the Scriptures of truth declare. Ro 6:23. If man is immortal by nature, he is not dependent on a resurrection from death for eternal life, and the importance and magnitude of that doctrine is destroyed. The soul, which is supposed to be immortal, and never dies, being considered the essential and main part of man. If immortality comes by nature, it comes by the first Adam, not by the second, by whom alone man has life everlasting. 1Jo 5:11-12. Is it "unimportant" to rob the Savior of this honor? He it is who "hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel;" 2Ti 1:10. This glorious attribute pertains, not to nature, but to our Father’s rich grace in the gospel. It is the crown of that marvelous system of redeeming love.

 

Ge 3:19. I submit that our friend’s remarks on this passage are entirely inadequate to set aside its obvious import. The declaration of "the Lord God," "dust THOU art, and unto dust shalt THOU return," is to the entire man; and not to an inferior part of man. It is a complete refutation on the opinion that man possesses "a distinct entity" not subject to death.  The phrase "a house is built," is unmistakable. The declaration that an immortal soul, or being, is dust and will return to dust, is a gross violation of truth.

 

I have spoken of life as a "mysterious principle." Br. H. asks, "If he does not explain and solve this mystery, how shall I know but that it may be an entity?" I reply, because the divine testimony most clearly teaches, that the organic man, formed "of the dust of the ground, became a living soul," or person, by the simple addition of the breath of life in his nostrils. Ge 2:7. Is the breath of the nostrils such a distinct entity; such an immortal soul as reputed orthodoxy supposes man to possess? Such an opinion may well teach us to "cease from man whose breath is in his nostrils." In view of this latter passage, the theory of an immortal soul in man by creation falls like Dagon before the Ark of God.

 

I ask our brother to inform me why he objects to my calling animal life, common to man and all inferior living creatures, a "principle."

 

Job 10:19, 22, it is affirmed, "just as much proves the utter and eternal annihilation of Job himself, as it proves anything. In the absence of all counter testimony we might suppose this, although Job does not affirm that the state of "darkness" and "death" would be eternal. He describes the nature and consequences of death, so long as it reigns, whether temporally or eternally. What he affirms of the subject he affirms of himself as a man, and not of some inferior part of himself. He uses the personal pronoun, I, throughout his description, which utterly excludes the idea of any distinct surviving entity. Job indeed had hope concerning the future. On what was that hope founded? On the belief that he possessed a distinct entity which had escaped the power of death? Let us hear him. "MAN dieth (not an inferior part of man)—MAN lieth down, and riseth not till the heavens be no more, they shall not awake, nor be raised out of their sleep. Oh that thou wouldst appoint me a set time, and remember me! If a MAN die, shall he live again? All the days of my appointed time will I wait, till my change come. Thou shalt call and I will answer thee: thou wilt have a desire to the work of thine hands." Job 14:12-15. The glorious doctrine of the Resurrection WAS THE hope of Job, as it was "the hope of Israel." Ac 28:20. "Moved by the Holy Ghost," (2Pe 1:21,) he spoke of seeing his God, not at death, but when his Redeemer should "stand at the latter day upon the earth." Job 19:25-27. Christians of the nineteenth century of Messiah’s era should learn of Job.

 

PS 6:5. "For in death there is no remembrance of thee." We have offered the common sense argument, that is David, Hezekiah, &c., desired recovery from sickness, because, in case of dying, they could not praise the Lord or have any remembrance of him, they never sang as the moderns do,

 

"And when my voice is lost in death Praise shall employ my nobler powers."

 

They had no faith in the survivance of "a distinct entity" which would praise God. In reply to our brother’s remarks on the passage, I observe, —It must be certainly be admitted that David "held the firm hope of a resurrection," for he declared that God would guide him by his counsel and "afterward receive (him) to glory." Ps 73:24. Br. H. affirms "if he did hope in a resurrection, he did wrong to deprecate the gloom of the intermediate state." The fair question in the case is, did he do wrong in desiring, (in submission to the divine will,) to remain longer in the land of the living where he could praise God, which the dead cannot do? Supposing he did to wrong in this matter, what does it prove relative to the question at issue? Nothing at all. Br. H. affirms also, that "In fact, David is praying that his enemies may not have occasion for triumph in his untimely death." The Psalmist uses no such plea in his prayer. His plea is, "For in death there is no remembrance of thee," &c. If, however, Br. H. is correct on this point, it has no relevancy to the question at issue. It is easy to assert that "the Psalm proves nothing respecting the nature of the soul." I submit the question to the intelligent reader; whether the declaration that "in death there is no remembrance of God," is no proof at all, that death destroys the memory, and, by parity of reason, other mental powers of man.

 

Ps 30:3. It is asserted that "here ‘sheol’ is translated grave, but without warrant." That "the body was never buried in sheol. Nor was the pit named in the latter clause of the verse, a place of burial." Here are three assertions, but where is the proof? "Sheol was the place or state of the dead," it is said. I ask, is not the grave the place of the dead? But, it is added, "in which they were always contemplated as having a proper existence, except when the wicked are spoken of and that without mention of the second death." "Contemplated" by whom? Why does not our brother refer us to the testimony of the Holy Spirit involving such contemplation? Because some fallible men have so "contemplated," is no more proof of its truth, than the contemplations of the Papists, relative to purgatory, is proof of the truth of that dogma. I affirm now that sheol is properly translated ‘grave,’ that the body is buried in sheol, and that ‘the pit’ in the verse does refer to the "place of burial."

 

One testimony of the Eternal Spirit annihilates all these assertions of our brother relative to sheol. He will find it in Ec 9:10. "Whatsoever they hand finded to do, do it with thy might; for there is NO WORK, NOR DEVICE, NOR KNOWLEDGE, NOR WISDOM in sheol whither thou goest." In the name of truth, I ask Br. Hudson what sort of "proper existence" is this for an intelligent being? The learned George Campbell who, in direct opposition to Ec 9:10, supposed the term sheol to denote "the state or place of conscious departed souls," not only admits that it often means grave, or sepulcher, but that in his time it was "the prevailing opinion among critics, that the term, at least in the Old Testament, means no more than keber, grave or sepulcher." Moreover, he even represents this state of the departed, which Br. H. contemplates as a state of "proper existence" for disembodied saints, as "not a state of activity adapted for exertion, or indeed for the accomplishment of any important purpose, good or bad." The reader will please judge between our different comments on Ps 30:9. "What profit," &c. As much as to say, "O Lord," if I die, I must cease to "praise thee" and to "declare thy truth." David’s plea that if he died he should cease to praise God "a proof text of the distinct entity of the self or soul from the body," capable of surviving it to praise God with nobler powers! Alas! for the cause.

 

"Ps 88:11-12, proves the same as Ps 6:5," our friend remarks. True, and both prove that death terminates all consciousness.

 

Ps 146:4. "In that very day his thoughts perish." This, at the most (it is remarked) would only prove the unconsciousness of the dead. The text does not kill the soul. What kind of "a distinct entity," or soul is it, Bro. H., which is destitute of thought and consciousness? If the terms "counsels, plans," &c., is a better translation, it is essentially the same; all these imply "thoughts." Besides, your theory, so far from admitting that the "bright" "counsels," &c., of the saints perish in death, implies that they become brighter.

 

Ec 9:5-6. I must express my surprise at the unwarrantable manner in which our brother disposes of this plain and positive refutation of the natural immortal soul theory. "We need only appeal from Solomon foolish to Solomon wise." —On what authority does he attribute the words to "Solomon foolish?" Why, forsooth, because we do not find the words, "Thus saith the Lord," in the first part of this chapter. If this is good authority, then may we reject a great portion of the Bible. If we meet with any proposition in the writings of David, or Paul, or Peter, we do not approve, in the immediate connection of which, we do not find the words, "Thus saith the Lord," we have only to appeal from David, &c., foolish in David, &c., wise! To the general principle of inspiration, there are indeed exceptions; but of these the Bible itself informs us. Job 42:7; 1Co 7:6, 12. We have no right to make others. If we begin to do so, where shall we end? This is perverting God’s word to harmonize with our own fallible opinions, instead of subjecting those opinions to the word which abideth forever. Ec 9 contains no "Epicurean faith." The word "all" is frequently used in the holy Scriptures in a limited sense. "All things come alike to all," (understood in a qualified sense perfectly warrantable,) is in accordance with fact. The reference is to similar providential events in the present state, happening "to the righteous and to the wicked." To the former, God overrules them for good. Ro 8:28. This solves the mystery.

 

Isa 26:19. All I contend for is, that the passage clearly implies that death is the destruction of all life, and that, for all future life, we are dependent on the divine promise, that "the earth shall case out the dead." No absolute identity of the material particles is involved in the doctrine of the resurrection. Paul teaches otherwise. 1Co 15:35, 44. We shall know ourselves to be the same intelligent persons. Carnal philosophy, not knowing the power of God, will "deny the resurrection," whatever view may be taken of the subject.

 

Isa 38:18. "Gloom" is appropriate to death. Hezekiah knew better than to invest it with that halo of glory (as our poets do) which pertains only to the doctrine of the resurrection. His testimony accords with that of the prophets and Apostles. Job 10:19-22; Ps 6:5; 30:9; 1Co 15:18; Isa 53:12. Our friend commends Br. Bushnell’s "Christ in Theology" to "all who love to think." I commend such to the Bible, as far more clear and definite. If any man can ascertain definitely Br. B.’s views of the nature and origin of the Son of God, from his writings, he can do more than I can.

 

Bro. H. asks, "What was it that died?" and answers, "The death was evidently that of the body," &c. Was this all that died, brother? If so it follows that God never gave His Son, (who was with him before the world was, and who took the body prepared for him,) to die for us. The Spirit of truth answers the question in a manner more worthy of the divine wisdom and love. God made "his soul an offering for sin;" i.e., the life of His own Son, and not merely the life of a human body. "He (the Son of God) poured out his soul (or life) unto death." The Son of God said, "I law down MY life for my sheep." "I am he that was dead." He did not say, I law down my human body, or my human body was dead. My soul laments that the transcendent wisdom and love of God, in the gift of HIS OWN SON, ("made so much better than the angels," to DIE for the sins of the world, should be so egregiously disparaged by the substitution of the death of a mere human body!

 

1Co 15:44, 47. "The adjective ‘natural,’ from the word psuche," our friend remarks, "might be technically translated soul-ual." He will please remember this, as it proves the impropriety of those who imagine the term to signify an immortal distinct entity from the body. It is opposed to spiritual. It is asked if pneuma, called the "quickening spirit" in 1Co 15:45, and "the Lord from heaven," in 1Co 15:47, is a distinct entity, or only an attribute of the spiritual body? Certainly, "the Lord from heaven," is a distinct entity from his saints. Bro. H. appears to suppose that the "quickening spirit" refers to man. This is an error. The quickening spirit is Christ, who will quicken our mortal bodies by his spirit (not ours) which dwelleth in us. Ro 8:11. God "raiseth the dead" by His Son, "BY whom are all things," whom he hath "made a quickening spirit." The apostle presents no distinction between the body and the spirit of man. The contrast is between the "natural body" and the "spiritual body." It is raised a spiritual body, not by a reunion with any distinct human entity, but by the power of the second Adam, the quickening spirit, who is "the Lord from heaven." The entire absence of any intimation in the chapter of a re-union of "a distinct entity" with the body, or that such a reunion has anything to do with our resurrection, goes far, of itself, to prove it a fallacy of vain philosophy. Not a word does the inspired writer give us of "the incorruptible body (being) quickened by pneuma as a distinct entity of man. On the subject our brother has entirely mistaken the apostle. Respectfully and humbly submitted for the truth’s sake in Christian love,

 

HENRY GREW.

 

 

IS THE SOUL A DISTINCT ENTITY?

BIBLE EXAMINER, NEW YORK, DECEMBER 1, 1854

 

Bro. Storrs—Bro. H. concedes that Ec 9:10, would be very decisive," (i.e., of our views of the unconsciousness of the intermediate state) "if there were no question about the identity of the witness." I have asked him for his authority to institute such a question, the manifest tendency of which is to invalidate the divine authority of the scriptures in general. I respectfully ask him to reply to my remarks on this subject. I ask him to consider, seriously, what more authority he has for denying the inspiration of Solomon respecting sheol, than the Universalist has to deny his inspiration respecting future judgment.?

 

If Ec 9:9 is "Epicurean advice," then Epicurean advice is, so far, good and scriptural; and we may as well represent Ge 2:24, and various other passages relating to marriage (honorable in all) as unworthy of "the Eternal Spirit." Justice to Solomon requires that his words (Ec 2:24,) should be considered in their connection, as referring exclusively to temporal things, and are to be qualified by other declarations in the same record, e.g. Ec 12:13. He is wisely showing the folly of modern and ancient merchants and others, in toiling and perplexing themselves to increase their wealth, instead of enjoying what God has given them. Is not this truly "vanity and vexation of spirit?"

 

Ec 1:17, is appealed to as a vindication of the charge of Solomon’s foolishness in affirming that in sheol there is no knowledge, &c. "And I gave my heart to know wisdom, and to know madness and folly: I perceived that this also is vexation of spirit." What, I ask, is there here to sustain such a charge? If we understand him as searching to know the difference between wisdom and folly, by his observation of human actions and other means, is this "Solomon foolish," because it might be accompanied with some vexation of spirit? If we understand him as referring to his own excessive carnal gratification, as attended with vexation of spirit, I again ask, how is this testimony foolish? When our friend can adduce a divine declaration, in the book of Ecclesiastes, that Solomon therein "has not spoken the thing which is right," (Job 42:7,) he may offer a parallel "the book of Job."

 

"Brother Grew (does) know that the inspiration of the book is one thing, (and) to believe that each proposition it contains is a divine revelation, is quite another thing." I gave examples of this. But how are we to determine the exceptions? Who but the inspired writers themselves have a right to make them, as they have in fact done? See for example 1Co 7:6, 12. What better right has our brother to question the inspiration of Ec 9:10, than I have to question that of Ec 12:14, on which he proposes to "prosecute (his) appeal in the present discussion?" The writer gives no more intimation of being inspired in the one case than in the other. This matter needs to be settled. If writers may question the inspiration of passages which conflict with their theories, the Bible ceases to be a rule of faith and practice. The case now before us, is not one of "interpretation, " the "principles" of which Bro. H. well advises us to "study." It involves the higher principle of inspiration. We agree as to the import of the passage. The alternative is, that its inspiration must be denied or our brother’s theory must fall.

 

I cannot admit that it appears our brother is "not mistaken in (his) views of the book of Ecclesiastes," because other fallible "candid writers" agree with him. Ought he not to give us some just grounds for the opinion of those writers before he requires our acquiescence? Both he and they should have paused before they presumed to commence expunging from God’s book. They should have asked, where will it end? Our brother cannot establish his views by limiting this excision work to the writings of Solomon. He must extend it to the writing of others who "spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost:" to the words of David, Ps 146:4; 6:5; 115:17; of Job 10:18-19; of Hezekiah, Isa 38:16, 19; of Paul, 1Co 15:16-18; aye, of Jesus Christ also, Mt 22:31-32, who clearly teaches, that in order for God to be the God of the living, the dead patriarchs must rise from the dead, which is not true if the patriarchs had "a distinct entity" which is now living. In this case, God is the God of the living though there should be no resurrection of the dead. When our brother has disposed of these passages, I will give him another catalogue of similar import.

 

A certain "identity" is indeed essential to a "proper judgment of man after death." I protest, however, against all human philosophy, relative to identity, which contradicts the divine assurance that man’s mental powers, i.e. his "thoughts," knowledge, and affections, "perish" at death. Philosophers are not agreed perfectly on this subject. Bro. H. thinks his "good friends" ought to respect the opinion of "John Locke;" yet he charges Locke with a "mistake" on this very subject! We have indeed no disposition to shield a palpable absurdity, or contradiction, with the omnipotence of Jehovah. But the limited mental vision of man often prematurely pronounces things to be absurd, which increasing knowledge has proved to be otherwise. This has been remarkably exemplified in the arts and sciences, particularly in astronomy. The Sadducees considered the doctrine of the resurrection to absurd.

 

If the "reorganization of a thing which has properly (i.e., entirely) ceased to exist is an absurdity," it is not involved in my views of the resurrection. I understand the inspired apostle to teach a connection between the "natural body" and the "spiritual," analogous, in some respect, to the seed of wheat sown and the body produced by vegetation. The latter is not an entire new creation independent of the former. So the spiritual body is not a entire new creation independent of the natural body. "It is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body." Something sown is, in some state, raised. The absurdity, therefore, of one thing having "two beginnings of existence" is no more involved that that of an entire and absolute new creation. This view also implies that, in the spiritual body, there will not be an entire exclusion of "the same bodily particles’ of which the natural body consisted.

 

If Whately is correct, in admitting so minute a particle of matter as he states, to be sufficient to secure the identity of the body, it follows that the identity of the body does not depend on its union with any distinct entity. Of this "atomic nucleus," Bro. H. says, "it is possible." He cannot therefore charge it with absurdity. But he supposes that "a distinct entity" is essential to prove "the identity of the being" or the man. I ask now, if as Mr. Locke admits, and Mr. H. does not deny, "that God can, if he pleases, superadd to matter a faculty of thinking" (Essay, vol. 2, p. 146, 167,) where is the necessity of this "distinct entity" to constitute the identity of the being, or the man? Is it not as easy for the Almighty to impart the faculty of thinking to the material organism, raised from the dust, as to the impart it to such an organism created out of the dust? If Bro. H. admits, with Locke, the possibility of the faculty of thought being superadded to the material organism, he must not object to our denying the necessity of "a distinct entity" as involving absurdity.

 

Our appeal, respecting this matter, is not to "the language of mankind generally," nor to that "of Christian communities," but "to the law and the testimony" of God’s truth. Our brother remarks, "I define the soul to be that vital power which makes man to be an individual or a person." If so, it follows that Adam was not "an individual or person" previous to the impartation of this "vital power." I reject this human philosophy because it opposes that which is divine. Adam was denominated man before he had any "vital power" at all. Was he a MAN, and yet not "an individual or person?" God formed MAN (not a mere tenement for man) of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils (not "a distinct entity," but) the breath of life; and man became a living soul." Now unless Bro. H. will affirm that the breath in a man’s nostrils is "a distinct entity" from the man formed of the dust of the ground, his human soul is not to be found in this divine testimony of the nature of man. Will he affirm this? Is the breath of the nostrils a distinct entity from the material man, capable of a separate conscious survivance? Was it such a conscious distinct entity pervious to its original impartation to the nostrils? The simple truth is, the wondrous organism, formed by infinite skill and power "of the dust of the ground," was man, an individual, a person, but without animation, until God imparted the breath of life, or lives. Then the lifeless man, individual, or person, or soul, "became a living soul," or person. When this breath departs he becomes as the scriptures of truth declare, a dead soul or person. How then can Bro. H. think that his view "accords with the general tenor of scriptural language?" Can he adduce any plain testimony from scripture which even apparently contradicts that of Ge 2:7? I have adduced numerous passages to confirm the obvious import of Ge 2:7, which, in plain and positive terms, declare, not only that, in death, the animation of the physical structure is suspended, but that all its mental powers cease. The power of death’s scepter is vastly greater than most Christians are dreaming about. I ask our friend to inform us how he reconciles these divine testimonies with his views; this would commend them to me far better than an appeal to the opinion of John Locke, or that of "good Christians generally." I am not disposed to wait to enter the "bark" of truth until "the BIBLE EXAMNIER" can make it "popular with good Christians generally;" neither have I any fears for the "frail bark," so long as he, who can calm all surging waves, is on board with his holy prophets and apostles. I invite Bro. H. to join our honorable company.

 

He asks, "What idea has he (Bro. Grew) in mind when he talks about a soul?" I reply, my ideas are different at present from what they were when my faith stood in "the wisdom of man." If I say, there were one hundred souls on board a vessel which is lost; I mean that there were so many persons, as it is used in Ac 27:37. When, by divine favor, I can adopt the words of Mary, "My soul doth magnify the Lord," &c., I mean that I, with all my powers praise him.

 

On nesme, rendered soul in the O.T., Taylor in his Hebrew Concordance, says, it signifies the chameleon, a kind of lizard, which has its mouth always open gaping for air, upon which it is said to live. It is rendered breath and breatheth in the following texts, and expresses natural life, whether in men or beasts. De 20:16; Jos 11:11, 14; 1Ki 15:29; 17:17, compare 1Ki 17:21 where the breath of the child is called "his soul."

 

Of nephish Parkhust says—"As a noun nephish hath been supposed to signify the spiritual part of man—I must confess that I find no passage where it hath undoubtedly this meaning. Ge 35:18; 1Ki 17:21-22; Ps 16:10, seem fairest for this signification. But may not nephish in the three former passages be most properly rendered breath; and in the last a breathing or animal frame?" Taylor says—Nephish signifies the animal life, or that principle by which every animal according to its kind lives. Ge 1:20, every moving creature that hath the soul of life; anve Ge 1:24, let the earth bring forth the living creature, the soul of life; and Ge 1:20, ever beast, fowl, &c, wherein there is life, the soul of life; Le 11:46. Which animal life, so far as we know anything of the manner of its existence, or so far as the scripture leads our thoughts, consists in the breath. Job 41:21; 31:39, and in the blood, Le 17:11, 14."

 

Nesmes and nephish, I understand are the only two words rendered soul in the Old Testament. Ruah, translated spirit, Taylor says has the following significations "—1st, the wind, air, breath, Job 41:16; Ec 3:19. 2nd., any temper, disposition, quality of the mind, good or bad; Nu 14:24; Jud 9:23; 1Sa 16:14-15; &c. In particular, the spirit is put for vigor, liveliness or courage of mind; Ge 45:27; Jos 5:1; 1Ki 10:5; Job 6:4; 32:8. 3rd. The spirit or principle of affections in brutes; Ec 3:21. 4th. The Spirit of God. 5th. Any spirit or ghost; Job 4:15."

 

Of Psyche, Parkhurst says—"It means breath; animal life; a living animal that lives by breathing; the human body though dead; the human soul or spirit as distinguished from the body; the mind, disposition," &c. This term is rendered life and soul in various passages. Pneuma is rendered both spirit and life,  in the margin breath, Jas 2:26; Re 13:15.

 

I ask every candid reader, if it is not evident that reference to the original terms translated soul and spirit can never sustain the popular opinion that man possesses "a distinct entity" which can survive his animal frame?

 

Bro. H. asks, "if the soul is a quality, or a property, or an attribute which God pleased to add to matter, —has the soul itself have any attributes?" I reply the "living soul" is the man; the material organization to which God was pleased to add the breath of life. Man possess attributes. He has no "distinct entity," call it soul, or what you please, possessing "quality, or a property, or an attribute" independent of the material organization. The breath of life, or "soul of life," Ge 1:20, (Heb.) is a quality or property; but it is not a distinct conscious entity. Is not this "intelligent precision?" I am aware that it will not chime at all with my friend’s erroneous theory.

 

He supposes the soul to be a "power which energizes, informs, and moves the body." He, however, admits that God may have superadded thought to matter. I ask if life and thought are not adequate to energize, inform, and move the body? Is not his "distinct entity" superfluous? I do not presume to say what power can or "cannot exist" without its appropriate organism." I only affirm that man possesses no such independent power—I am not aware of using any argument which implies "that God cannot exist without an appropriate bodily organization." It is revealed that "God is a spirit." Who can define this? Who can affirm that it excludes every thing from the Almighty, but what is the object of mental contemplation? How then are we to understand the promise to the "pure in heart" that they "shall see God?" Is he not now the object of their mental perception?—But this subject "is too high for me."

 

To Bro. H.’s remarks relative to the analogy between the "human soul" and "the brute soul," and "the vital principle" in trees and plants," it is sufficient to reply, that as he admits, that "by a general law," the latter "may actually perish with their organisms," so by God’s plainly revealed law the former will also perish.

 

Our friend appears to be approximating to truth. He admits the soul "may be—wholly non-acting in—death." This is poor orthodoxy. It is an imitation of our presumption in differing from "Christian communities." This certainly is not giving much "advantage to him who argues that the soul is absolutely immortal." An immortal soul "wholly non acting" for six thousand years, would be an anomaly indeed!

 

Every Christian must of course believe and advocate what appears to be "most consistent with the general tenor of Bible language." I ask Bro. H. to inform us how he reconciles his views with the numerous passages I have adduced in opposition. As to "Christian communities," he well knows a vast majority of persons embrace the creeds of their fathers and teachers, without following the example of the noble Bereans, who critically searched the scriptures to see whether these things are so.

 

I agree with Whately, that "no error can be considered as harmless and insignificant which tends to put a stumbling-block in the way of believers in the gospel," &c. The question is, who is teaching "error?" The truth itself, however, may be "to the Jews a stumbling-block and to the Greeks foolishness." to some, it is the power of God. Far be it, however, that we should "needlessly expose our religion to hostility or scorn." if any doctrine is of this character, it appears to me to be the monstrous dogma of immortal souls writing in ceaseless and ever increasing torments!

 

I entreat my friend not to suppose that I consider the belief of my "theory of the soul’s nature" essential to salvation. I do, however, consider the rejection of the dogma of ceaseless torments as essential to true knowledge of the revealed character of our Father in Heaven, as "the just God" and as "the Father of mercies."

 

I have already disclaimed shielding any absurdity by the power of God. The question is, is it absurd to suppose that our "thoughts" and affections which God’s word declares "perish" in death, can be restored by a resurrection of the material organism? is it a manifest absurdity to suppose that this resurrected organism may have a vivid recollection of its mental activities previous to its dissolution, and a consequent consciousness of its just accountability before the Judge of all the earth? I do not perceive it. The fact of that being "raised" which was "sown" —1Co 15:44 —excludes the idea of "a second origination of ones own proper being." The fact that in all the numerous passages which relate to the resurrection, there is not a single indication that the reanimation of our body is to be accomplished by a reunion with any disembodied spirit, is worth of the serious and candid consideration of our opponents.

 

How far my "philosophy differs from that of the materialists of past history," is a question quite unimportant in this discussion. The question is—is it in accordance with divine truth? I will not deny that my blessed Savior is the Son of God, because it is a "point of similarity" with the faith of the Devil. The remarks on "Pantheism of the ancient Stoics and the doctrine of Epicurns," I consider irrelevant. It is no marvel that controversialists should sometimes make unwarrantable inferences from the sentiments of their opponents.

 

I admit that we are not to reason against the truth of any doctrine from the abuse of it. If, however, we can establish our views of the intermediate state, we certainly demolish the principle basis of purgatorial impositions. Has not this device "exposed religion to hostility and scorn?"

 

In conclusion, my heart cordially responds to the catholic spirit of our beloved brother. Far be it, that we should cease to love and fellowship any who manifest love to our dear Lord by "the Christian life." I reciprocate our brother’s courteous remarks, and thank him also for his kind manner in conducting this controversy, and regret if any of his "arguments have been misunderstood." I pray that in his new enterprise, he may be guided by the Spirit of truth, and that, through our Father’s grace in His dear Son, we may meet where we shall "know even as (we are) known."

 

Yours, in love, HENRY GREW.

 

 

INSPIRATION AND REVELATION

BIBLE EXAMINER, NEW YORK, JANUARY 15, 1855

 

Dear Brother—If Bro. H. will please refer to my article he will perceive that I have not recognized any "distinction between inspiration and revelation," but between the general inspiration of a book and the inspiration of "each proposition it contains." The Epistles to the Corinthian church were, in general, inspired by the Holy Spirit: but several items of advice therein, where the judgment of the apostle, given, "not by commandment," or inspiration.

 

Our friend now asks, "But have I denied or questioned the inspiration of Ec 9:10, or any part of the Bible?" I ask him, if ascribing the passage to "Solomon foolish," is not either denying its holy inspiration or ascribing that which is "foolish" to the Spirit of God? Not for a moment could I suppose our brother could be guilty of the latter! Surely it is now time for him frankly to confess, that is has been Hudson inconsiderate. I now understand him as admitting the inspiration of the passage. Let us now connect this admission with the concession that the passage "would be very decisive (i.e. of our views of the unconsciousness of the intermediate state,) if there were no question about the identity of the witness." I ask Bro. H. if this does not terminate and settle the controversy in our favor? I can perceive nothing in the quotations from philosophers or theologians which conflicts with the obvious sense of the passage.

 

May the Lord grant us grace to "save the Bible," by rejecting the vain philosophy which opposes its plain and eternal truth, and which is "foolishness with God."

 

Yours in the blessed hope, HENRY GREW

 

 

"MORAL DEPRAVITY"

STRICTURES BY HENRY GREW

BIBLE EXAMINER, NEW YORK, APRIL 1, 1855

 

Dear Brother Storrs: —You remark, "‘By the offense of one, Adam, judgment came upon all men to condemnation,’ to death , or physical corruption. As to a moral corruption or depravity, that is quite another matter," &c.

 

It is indeed true that moral and physical corruption are distinct matters; but this does not solve the difficulty of the passage. How can the judgment of the law come upon anyone, except such as are subjects of it? How can it come upon any "to condemnation," except such as it considers a transgressor of its moral requisitions? "Sin is the transgression of the law," and nothing but sin, of which ‘death’ is ‘the wages.’ Must we not then admit that the law condemns none but sinners?—If so, and if "by the offense of one (the) judgment (of the law) come upon all men to condemnation," does it not follow that the condemnation of all? Can you favor us with a little more light on the subject?

 

Yours Truly, Henry Grew

 

 

 

FROM HENRY GREW, PHILADELPHIA

BIBLE EXAMINER, NEW YORK, APRIL 1, 1855

 

DEAR BRO. STORRS.—I rejoice in the grace of God given you, not only to proclaim boldly what you understand to be his holy and glorious truth, but "to keep *you) free from that bigotry which thinks no light can be elicited beyond that now enjoyed." In the same humble spirit, I desire to offer a few suggestions, relative to that great change in the human character, which the Eternal Spirit has made essential to a participation of eternal life in the Kingdom of God.

 

The correctness of your faith, that our Lord in Joh 3:3 refers to a moral change, and not exclusively to "the resurrection of the last day," is demonstrated by the fact that the scriptures declare this change to have been actually experienced in this mortal state. Joh 1:13; 1Jo 5:1-2; 2:29, &c. I do not perceive any particular reference to our resurrection from the grave in the passage. This indeed is a glorious promise, elsewhere revealed, as being essential also to our entering into the joy of our Lord in his coming kingdom.

 

This solemn asseveration of the great Teacher, demands the attention of dying men. By the light of divine revelation, ("that which is born of the flesh is flesh," &c.,) you have well defined this important change, as " a moral and spiritual development which man has not by his birth of the flesh," and that it is effected "by the regenerating power of the Spirit of God." you correctly represent it as being "a new element," which "must be introduced" which "the man of flesh could not possibly develop," &c. In a variety of appropriate expressions, you represent it as the source and origin of all spiritual or holy discernment and exercise. So I understand it.

 

You propose an excellent adequate foundation, but, beloved, it appears to me that you have commenced building your superstructure before you have laid your foundation. In stating "What precedes this moral change, or new birth," you very correctly state certain convictions of truth, and also selfish exercises which the animal man may have. We agree that the operations of the Spirit of God are various, not only in respect to gifts bestowed on the Church, 1Co 12:6; but also, that in some manner, his Spirit strives with the animal man: Ge 6:3. It is not to be doubted, that, sooner or later, the Spirit of truth will so dispel that cloud with which selfishness blinds the human intellect, that ever impenitent and unbelieving sinner will stand "speechless," and self-condemned before a righteous and holy God. Some have this conviction in the present state who are never "born again."

 

But my dear brother thinks that "Godly sorry for sin," "goes before the new birth, to some extent." A godly sorry which you well distinguish from that selfish repentance which only "fears detection and punishment" —a sorrow which "has respect to the law of God as ‘holy, just,  and good" "—a sorrow which influences the prodigal actually to return to his Father, to sever him forever, while "his heart melts within him," "overwhelmed with a sense of his amazing ingratitude," &c. A sorrow which can flow only from a heart of love to the blessed God, so affectingly illustrated "by the Apostle in 2Co 7:9-11," which you have quoted.

 

Now brother, I have several considerations to present to your candid and logical mind.

 

1st. "Godly sorrow for sin," is a spiritual or holy exercise. Your just definition of it necessarily involves the principle of holy love, which is "the greatest" in the sight of God: 1Co 13:13. If then, it "goes before the new birth," it is developed by the animal or natural man. The animal man does discern spiritual things, and loves them, before he is "introduced into the spiritual state by the regenerating power of the Spirit of God," all which you have correctly denied.

 

2. If the natural or animal man can develop the greatest of holy exercises before "this moral change or new birth," for what purpose is the new birth? Certainly not to change the moral principles, for there can be no better moral principle than godly sorrow which involves the principle of holy love. Neither can it be necessary for the communion with the Father and the Son in the kingdom of God, for the Savior declares that both will make their abode with the man that loves them. Joh 14:23.

 

3. "Every one that loveth is born of God." 1Jo 4:7. "The fruit of the Spirit is love." Eph 5:22. The new birth, therefore, must precede every exercise, emotion, or principle which implies holy love.

 

4. The unrenewed are denominated as persons "in the flesh," who "cannot please God," but every one who loves him does please him, all such, therefore, must have been previously renewed. The true penitent is "in the Spirit."

 

5. Godly sorry like all other godly or holy exercises is one of the functions of spiritual life, the previous existence of which, it necessarily implies. A man can no more develop spiritual exercises, antecedent to spiritual life, begotten of God, than he can develop animal exercises antecedent to animal life begotten of man.

 

6. You truly affirm that "without it (godly sorrow) it is vain to pretend that we are in Christ and new creatures." Do you not admit that with it, we are new creatures? Being such, you correctly state to the effect of the new birth.

 

Finally. If godly sorry for sin does not constitute evidence of the regeneration of the human mind, no other godly or holy exercise can constitute such evidence. If we can have one spiritual exercise without spiritual life, we can have others.

 

You correctly state that "peace," "love," and "obedience," are "what follows the new birth? Did not the justified publican, who, by divine grace, exercised godly sorrow, go down to his house in "peace?" Does not true contrition of heart flow from "love" to our heavenly benefactor? Does not such a spirit influence to general "obedience?"

 

Yours in Christian love. HENRY GREW

 

NOTE BY THE EDITOR GEORGE STORRS—All we shall say at this time, in reply to Br. Grew is this—Our language is, "Such sorrow goes before the new birth to some extent." Nor does it, to the extent we speak of, imply "love to God;" but it does imply a discovery that the law of God is holy, just and good. This discovery the intellectual man can and does make; hence the exhortation to him, prior to conversion, "repent, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out," &c. Ac 3:19. "God now commandeth all men everywhere to repent;" Ac 17:30. Repentance, "to some extent," is enjoined on every soul of man as a prerequisite to his acceptance with God; and, of course, before the love of God can flow into the heart, or before that development can take place, which we denominate the new birth. WE also believe, that a more pure and deeper sorrow follows the new birth, when the spiritual development enables the person to see sin in contrast with holiness in his own experience, as well as in the clear discovery he now as of the glorious nature of holiness in God.

 

 

THE CHRISTIAN ADVOCATE

BIBLE EXAMINER, NEW YORK, MAY 15, 1855

 

Dear Brother Storrs —"Beloved, think it not strange, concerning the fiery trial which is to try you as though some strange thing happened unto you: but rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy." That we are "reproached for the name of Christ," by Mr. Mattison’s charge of "deism" against the word of the Lord, "all the wicked will he (God) destroy," Ps 145:20, is, beyond all controversy, most plainly manifest by our Savior’s testimony, teaching sinful men, whom Mr. M. denominates immortal, to fear a destruction (not of happiness merely, but) of soul and body in hell.

 

Moreover, a demonstration that we err on this point would not justify Mr. M. in classing us with those who reject the divine authority of the holy scriptures. If a correct understanding of all divine revelation is essential to save us from such classification, Mr. M. may well tremble for his own salvation.

 

In the spirit of Christian meekness we may, I humbly apprehend, require of Mr. Mattison, some concession, and some further specific engagements relative to discussion, previous to admitting any more of his communications into the BIBLE EXAMINER. Yours for the truth as it is in Jesus Christ.

 

HENRY GREW April 26th, 1855

 

 

QUERLES

BIBLE EXAMINER, NEW YORK, JUNE 15, 1855

 

Dear Bro. Storrs —I have read with interest your remarks in No. 9, on man’s dependence on God "for aid to accomplish what is demanded of him."

 

For a clearer understanding of this important subject, permit me to enquire how far you recognize the "dependence on his Creator," of a sinner at present indisposed to love God, which is demanded of him? Is he, or is he not, dependent on God for a disposition to accept "this needed aid—clearly proffered to him"? If you say that his is, does it not follow, either, that God gives a disposition to all men to accept this aid, or that he gives it to whom he pleases, and that this is the cause why they accept the aid while others continue to refuse it? If you say that he is not, do you not sever his "dependence on his Creator," in a most important point, which you affirm must "not" be done? Moreover, if you say that his is not dependent on God for an inclination of disposition to accept this aid, must you not admit that while a man has NO disposition to love God, he may have a disposition to accept of offered aid to love him? Does not this involve the absurdity of a man’s being willing to use means to obtain an end, for which he has not only no true desire, but "against" which his whole "mind" is at "enmity"?

 

Affectionately yours, HENRY GREW

 

 

 

THE GREAT WINE PRESS

 

I desire to imitate your commendable modesty in avoiding positive affirmations "in relation to the course of prophecies yet unfulfilled." The unwarrantable confidence of some of our brethren, in the certain verity of their own opinions, concerning the precise time and manner of the fulfillment of the prophetic word, and their corresponding dogmatic assertions, has tended unhappily to disparage, in the minds of many, a due attention to the subject of prophecy, and prejudiced them against the reception of revealed truth relative to the personal coming and reign of our blessed Lord.

 

You "have thought that the Crimea might prove to be the great wine-press of the wrath of God." I understand, from Ezekiel’s prophecy and that of John, that the mountains of Judea, "without the City" of Jerusalem, will be the scene of that terrible and righteous manifestation of divine vengeance.

 

John says, Re 14:20, "the wine-press was trodden without the city," i.e. Jerusalem, as appears from Eze 38:21-22. "And I will call for a sword against him (Gog) throughout all my mountains (the land of Israel) saith the Lord God; every man’s sword shall be against his brother. And I will plead against him with pestilence and with blood, and I will rain upon him and his bands, and upon the many people that are with him, an overflowing rain, and great hail-stones, fire and brimstone." Compare Re 16:14-21, where the battle of the great day of God Almighty at Armageddon is described in similar language. "And there fell upon men a great hail out of heaven;" &c.

 

It rather appears to me that the prophecies of Eze 38:21-22 Zec 14:3; Re 14:20; 16:14-21 are all synchronical. If so, before the Son of God, the minister of the Father’s vengeance, reads the wine-press of the wrath of Almighty God, numbers of the children of Israel must return to Judea and build the villages, being "brought forth out of the nations," which Gog will know before he gathers his armies to go up against them, when, after a temporary triumph, "the Lord will go forth and fight against" him, to the entire destruction of all his armies. Eze 38; Zec 14.

 

Our present consolation, my dear brethren, amid the scene of human butchery and woe which the Crimea and other parts of this wretched world presents, is the glorious fact that "the Lord reigneth," and will overrule the wrath, and pride, and ambition of man, for the accomplishment of his own infinitely wise and gracious counsel concerning "the restitution of all things" in this disordered planet, declared by his holy prophets.

 

The day of the Lord hateth greatly. What manner of persons ought we to be, in all holy conversation and godliness!

 

Yours in Christian love, HENRY GREW

 

Providence, R.I., Aug. 2, 1855

 

 

REPLY OF HENRY GREW TO RUFUS WENDELL

BIBLE EXAMINER, NEW YORK, SEPTEMBER 1, 1855

 

I did not see your question until the present week, being from home. I see no ground for limiting the term "spirit" in Ac 23:8, "to devils," although it includes them, or the devil and his angels. It appears to me to be used in this text in a general sense to express the disbelief of the Sadducees in the spirits whether good or bad. The term "unclean spirits," Ac 15:16, &c., implies that there are spirits of a different character.

 

 

ALL THAT ARE IN THEIR GRAVES WILL COME FORTH

 

The beginning part of this article is missing in copies on hand

 

according to their works, antecedent to the first? If so, is it not equally matter of fact that they were not so punished previous to "the gospel dispensation," as that they are not so punished at present? If our beloved brother thinks that wicked men do not now receive a just retribution in the first death and its antecedents, so Asaph thought respecting the wicked of his day. Did he not learn, when he went into the sanctuary of the Lord, that after their first death, in which they had "no bands," which terminated a life of carnal case and prosperity, they were to be "utterly consumed with terrors," which necessarily implies future consciousness to meet such a doom? See Ps 73.

 

Our brother very properly asks for "a positive text or two." I will give him the words of the Judge himself.   Joh 5:28-29; Ro 2:5-16. The strongest objection to a literal construction of our Savior’s words, is perhaps found in Isa 26:14. The passages must be reconciled. Now, as the Savior affirms plainly and positively that "ALL that are in the graves shall hear his voice and come forth," and the prophet does not affirm that "they shall not rise" from their graves, ought we not to understand the latter as referring to a restoration to their power and dominion over the people of God, (see Isa 26:13) and thus harmonize the passage with the words of the Savior? Or if this is not true, most of the prophet’s words, must-we not give them a construction which shall comport with the Savior’s words, which are certainly plain and more specific in respect to the nature of the resurrection?

 

Other passages our brother pilgrim has quoted, may still easier be referred to the wicked being cut off to "rise no more" to persecute the people of God in the present state; and thus be reconciled with the plain testimony of the Savior. Joh 5:28-29, and others of similar import.

 

The inspired apostle, Ro 2, affirms, in reference to "the righteous judgment of God," "in the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ, " that he will render "tribulation and anguish upon every soul of man that doeth evil, of the Jew first, and also of the Gentile," those that "have sinned without law," including all persons who lived before "the gospel dispensation." Now as this "tribulation and anguish" is to be endured "in the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ, " they must be raised from the grave to endure it.

 

For other testimonies, confirming the same truth, our dearly beloved brother is referred to may articles in the EXAMINER. May his sun go down in peace to rise in the splendor of immortal day.

 

HENRY GREW

 

 

THE RESURRECTION FROM THE DEAD OPPOSED TO THE DOCTRINE OF THE IMMORTALITY OF THE SOUL

ESSAY IV. —THE SCRIPTURAL EVIDENCE

BIBLE EXAMINER—VOL. X.  NEW YORK, OCTOBER 1, 1855.  NO. 19

 

(Continued from page 276)

 

Returning to the book of Genesis, we find in the destruction occasioned by the flood, that a similar mode of description is applied not to man only, but to "fowls," to "cattle," to "beasts," and to "creeping things; " for "all in whose nostrils was the breath"( soul) "of life, of all that was in the dry land died." (Ge 7:22.) Thus also, when the prophet Isaiah would represent the total insignificance of man, he explains, "Cease ye from man, whose breath"( soul) "is in his nostrils, for wherein is he to be accounted of." (Isa 2:22.) So in Job also, where Elihu is addressing the Deity. "The Spirit of God hath made me; the breath of the Almighty hath given me life." (Job 33:4.) We are therefore perfectly willing to take the often quoted verse from the second of Genesis with the fullest latitude that can be given to the words as they stand, without even availing ourselves of the correct and original meaning of the term rendered soul, and the passage then conveys this distinct information—that God created man from the dust of the ground; that he breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and man became a living soul—consequently and necessarily he was before that event, a soul; not a living one, certainly; not animated, but yet he was a soul—the whole, and not a part of him, being such. The interpreter, therefore, of this passage, who should be able to attempt to deduce from it the doctrine of the soul’s separate existence, its immaterial and inherent separate immortality, is placed upon one or the other of the horns of this dilemma, one of which he must necessarily choose; either, first, that the word soul in this passage should have been rendered person; and consequently, man’s becoming a living soul, in that sense, is altogether foreign to the subject of an immortal soul: or, secondly, that if man were a soul, before he became a living one, then the immateriality and inherent immortality of the soul is without a basis.

 

A like instance of the injury done to the Scriptures by the retention of phrases which do not convey the original meaning, occurs in the first book of Kings, where common sense points out that the word "life" should have been inserted instead of "soul;" from an inattention to which is to be dated whatsoever confusion or misconception may have been attached to the passage. "And it came to pass that the son of the woman, the mistress of the house, fell sick, and his sickness was so sore, that there was no breath left in him." (1Ki 17:17.) From this relation, it may be observed, that it is not quite apparent whether or not the child was actually dead; as it appears, that after Elijah’s prayer he "revived;" though in either case the miraculous power exercised by Elijah remains the same; and in either case, too, it is evident that our translators, in using the word soul, have improperly rendered the passage—"And she said unto Elijah, what have I to do with thee, O thou man of God; art thou come unto me to call my sin to my remembrance, and to slay my son? And he said unto her, give me thy son; and he took him out of her bosom, and laid him upon his own bed, and he stretched himself upon the child three times, and cried unto the Lord, and said, I pray thee let this child’s soul"( i.e. breath,  or vigor) "come unto him again: and the Lord heard the voice of Elijah, and the soul"( breath or vigor) "of the child came unto him again and he revived;" 1Ki 17:21, &c. An instance further illustrative of this case occurs in First Samuel where an individual that had been engaged in battle, and fatigued, "revives;" and when he had partaken of food, "his spirit," (we are told) "came into him again." "David’s men found an Egyptian in the field," (who was fatigued) "and brought him to David, and gave him bread, and he did eat; and they made him drink water, and they gave him a piece of cake, of figs, and two clusters of raisins, for he had eaten no bread, nor drank any water for three days and three nights, and his spirit came to him again." (1Sa 30:11, &c.)

 

So that, whether on the supposition of the widow’s son having been actually dead, or otherwise, the relation is not that an immortal soul had escaped from within him, and, upon the prayer of the prophet, it came to him again; but that respiration having been suspended, either partially or otherwise, it was now restored to him; and his lungs operated upon by the air, he again breathed, and lived as before.

 

The word spirit, as it occurs in our common version, no less than that of soul, will be found to have misled Scriptural inquiries: must stress having been laid upon the following and similar passages, merely because this term spirit is to be found therein, without any consideration as to its correct meaning, or any view to the connection in which it stands. "In thee, O Lord, do I put my

 

... A page is missing in copies on hand at this point ...

 

to endure now for his dear name. I freely pledge five dollars for the year, if you judge best to publish weekly, but advise you not to do so without sufficient funds to preclude embarrassment.

 

Yours in Christian love, H. GREW.

 

Providence, R.I., Aug. 9th. ‘55

 

 

 

WILL THE WICKED DEAD LIVE AGAIN?

BIBLE EXAMINER—VOL. X.  NEW YORK, OCTOBER 1, 1855.  NO. 19

 

Br. Storrs —I am disposed to reconsider this question, if I may be favored with a single eye to God’s holy truth and the spirit of Christian humility and love. If the objectors to controversial theology would limit their objections to the anti-Christian manner of conducting it, they would act more consistently with the Divine injunction to "contend earnestly for the faith once delivered to the saints."

 

The belief that the equity of the Divine government is involved in the correct determination of this question, is my chief inducement to comply with your proposal. The Scriptural evidence in favor of the affirmative, derived from the positive testimonies and righteous principles of the Word of the Lord, appears so plain and conclusive that all doubt is excluded from my mind.

 

1. The plain and positive declaration of "the faithful Witness," Joh 5:28, that "ALL that are in the graves shall hear his voice, and shall come forth; they that have done good to the resurrection of life, and they that have done evil to the resurrection of condemnation," is corroborated by the inspired testimony of prophets and apostles from age to age.

 

2. "Enoch the seventh from Adam prophesied—saying, Behold the Lord cometh with ten thousand of his saints to execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds," &c. Jude 14-15. The plain teaching of Enoch to the people of his generation was, that a future day of judgment would come when they would be convinced of their iniquity. They must, therefore, be raised from the dead to be thus convinced in that day.

 

3. Da 12:2, declares a resurrection of the two classes of men. "Many (or, the multitudes) that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt."

 

4. It was the knowledge of this doctrine that convinced Asaph of the equity of the Divine government, notwithstanding the prosperity of the wicked in the present state. Ps 73. "When I thought to know this, it was too painful for me; until I went into the sanctuary of God; then understood I their end. Surely thou didst set them in slippery places: thou castedst them down into destruction. How are they brought into desolation, as in a moment! they are utterly consumed with terrors." This cannot refer to the first death, which Asaph knew before was the common lot of all men, and in which he says, that some of the wicked "have no bands." It was a view of "the second death," Re 20:14, with its attendant horrors, that convinced him, that the transient sensual gratification of the wicked, in the present state, is reconcilable with the righteousness of God.

 

5. The Old Testament furnishes us with more evidence. "God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good or whether it be evil." We know that this is not done in the present state. "Know thou that for all these things God will bring thee unto judgment." Ec 11:9; 12:14. The great and solemn truth that God "shall judge the world in righteousness," was repeatedly announced by the prophets before the Christian era, which more fully reveals the fact that he has appointed a day, yet future, for this august purpose. See Ps 9:8; 98:9; 96:13.

 

6. I find nothing in either Testaments which can warrant our rejection of the plain import of the Savior’s testimony, Joh 5:28, which affirms the resurrection of the wicked as plainly and positively as the resurrection of the righteous. The import is confirmed by him in other passages. After proposing for consideration the solemn question, "What shall a man give in exchange for his life?" he adds, "For the Son of Man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and THEN shall he reward every man according to his works." Mt 16:26-27. "He that rejecteth me and recieveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him; the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him at the last day." Joh 12:48. Those who rejected the word of salvation spoken to them by Jesus, must therefore be raised from the dead to be thus judged "at the last day." This is also implied in our Lord’s words, "It shall be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon at the day of judgment than for Chorasin and Bethsaida." Mt 11:22; 10:15; Mr 6:11.

 

7. See also Lu 13:24-29. Those very persons whom the blessed Messenger of salvation taught in the streets of the cities of Judea, will say, "We have eaten and drunk in thy presence," &c., WHEN THEY SHALL SEE Abraham, &c., in the kingdom of God and themselves thrust out. How can this be if they are never raised from the first death?

 

8. "Whosoever shall confess me before men, him will I confess before my Father which is in heaven, but whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven." Mt 10:32-33. "We shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ," Ro 14:10, to be confessed or denied by him "before" or in the presence of the Father. "ALL" therefore must "come forth" "to the resurrection of life" or "condemnation." See also Mr 8:38; 9:43; Lu 9:26. "Whosoever shall be ashamed of me," &c. The Savior, in reference to those who rejected his words, said, "The word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day." Joh 12:48. "I say unto you, that every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment." Mt 12:26. They must be raised from the dead to be judged.

 

9. "Fear him, which AFTER HE HATH KILLED< hath power to cast into hell." Lu 12:5, compare Mt 10:28. These two passages, with 2Pe 3:7, teach that the impenitent will be destroyed in the conflagration Gehenna was an appropriate figure. Certainly, the "multitude of people" whom Christ addressed, Lu 12:1-5; had no reason to fear such a doom if the first death terminated their existence. They were "in danger of (Gehenna) fire." Mt 5:22.

 

10. Mr 12:40; Mt 23:14; Lu 20:47, teaches that some will "receive greater condemnation" than others. This is not fulfilled in the present state. The present is not the perfect and final state of righteous retribution. The reference, therefore, must be to "the last day," or "day of judgment," which he expressly stated in other passages. Thus he appealed to the opposing and hypocritical Pharisees, "How can ye escape the condemnation of Gehenna?" Mt 23:33. Yet they will escape it, if there is no resurrection of the unjust.

 

The testimony of the apostles harmonizes with that of their Master.

 

11. Peter, Ac 10:42, testified to the Gentiles that Jesus Christ "was ordained of God to be the Judge of quick and dead." See also 1Pe 4:5. SO Paul to Timothy, 1Ti 4:1, "I charge thee before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom." The dead in general, for the apostles make no distinction. Indeed, John, who, in the isle of Patmos, had a revelation in vision of the actual future facts of the awful and final judgment, says, "I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God—and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books according to their works—And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire." Re 20:12-15. "This is THE SECOND DEATH."

 

What and where is the second death if the wicked die only one death? The plain representation here is, that they will be raised from the dead, to "stand before God," to be judged and cast into the lake of fire, which the renovating conflagration of the earth that now is, will constitute. It is "reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men." 2Pe 3:7. Further evidence is found in the declaration concerning the first resurrection, which will be the exclusive blessedness of the righteous. "But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished;" Re 20:5; an expression which indicates that they will then rise, as the apostle plainly states in the following verses, 2Pe 3:12-15. "The sea (will give) up the dead which (are) in it," 2Pe 3:13; i.e. the dead in general, "to be judged every man according to their works."

 

12. Ac 24:15. "And have hope towards God, which they (his accusers) themselves ALSO allow, that there shall be a resurrection both of the just and unjust." Both the apostle and his accusers allowed or acknowledged the resurrection of both characters. It was his solemn and faithful preaching of this "judgment to come" which made Felix tremble. Ac 24:25.

 

13. "It is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment." Heb 9:27. Succeeding judgment is co-extensive with death. "God (is) the Judge of ALL." Heb 12:23. He "shall bring every work into judgment with every secret thing, whether it be good or whether it be evil." See Ro 2:16, also. I can perceive no rational fulfillment of this plain and positive declaration unless the wicked shall stand hereafter at the judgment seat. The resurrection of the Son of God is an "assurance" given {unto ALL men," that God "hath appointed a day in the which he will judge THE WORLD (net merely a part of it) in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained." Ac 17:31. The term "day" denotes a period of time adequate for this purpose, so necessary for the vindication of the equity of the righteous government of Jehovah before the intelligent universe. We are therefore cautioned to "judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, who will both bring to light the hidden things of darkness and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts." 1Co 4:5.

 

14. The reader is requested to refer to the second chapter of Romans, where the apostle represents the despisers of God’s goodness and mercy of his day, as treasuring up "wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God." That this revelation of wrath cannot refer to the destruction of Jerusalem or any other calamity previous to their first death, is evident from the fact that he declares it will be when God will render "eternal life" to the righteous and "tribulation and anguish upon every soul of man that doeth evil, of the Jew first and also of the Gentile—in the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ." If the first death terminates the conscious existence of the wicked, then the persons Paul refers to had no cause to fear any such revelation of the righteous wrath of God in the future judgment.

 

15. The perfect and holy justice and righteousness of Jehovah, which constitute the joy of all holy intelligences, require a judgment and retribution, which is reserved to the future. This reservation presents an occasion for the exercise of faith in our Father who "doeth all things well." "Clouds and darkness are now round about him." He "holdeth back the face of his throne and spreadeth his cloud upon it." Nevertheless "righteousness and judgment are the habitation" of that throne. The appointed day will more fully manifest and declare it. It is here indeed that, in some degree, in the present state, it is well with the righteous and ill with the wicked, but neither reap the full fruit of their doings or reward of their hands in the present state. The poor disciple of the Son of the Blessed is found a beggar full of the sores at the gate of the palace of the wordling, who is clothed in purple and fares sumptuously every day. The enemy of God and righteousness glides smoothly on the sea of sensual delights, while the man who loves his law has to exclaim, "all thy billows are gone over me." For the trial of the Christian’s faith, which is more precious than that of gold which perisheth, the wicked are now permitted to persecute and trouble the righteous. God will "recompense tribulation to them which trouble you," wrote the inspired apostle to his brethren in Thessalonica; but when? Not in the present state; but "when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels," &c. 2Th 1:8. The troublers of the Thessalonian Christians must therefore be raised from the dead that this word of the Lord, by his apostle, (see 1Co 14:37) may be fulfilled.

 

16. A "sorer punishment" awaits the despisers of the Gospel, than awaits those who died under Moses’ law. Heb 10:29. The sacred writer represents that this "sore punishment" will be inflicted when "the Lord shall judge his people." Many of the despisers of the Gospel suffer far less during their mortal life and in the hour of death, than some who died under Moses’ law. "It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God." Heb 10:31. These tremendous words have an import to the impenitent, of which all the sufferings of the present life and of the first death are but a faint shadow.

 

"O what tremendous horrors hang Around the second death!"

 

17. We see the wicked spreading themselves, in carnal prosperity, "like the green bay tree," and depart in false hope with "no bands in their death;" but they are "reserved to the day of destruction; they shall be brought forth to the day of wrath." Job 21:30. "Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him; and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen." Re 1:7. They which pierced him therefore come forth "to the resurrection of condemnation." Joh 5:28.

 

18. So must the worshippers of the beast, that, antecedent to the termination of their existence by the second death, they may be tormented in the presence of the Lamb and the holy angels. Re 14:10.

 

19. "All liars shall have their part in the lake of fire and brimstone." Re 21:8. But this is the instrument of "the second death." Re 20:14. They must, consequently, be raised from the first.

 

20. "Knowing the terrors of the Lord (says the apostle) we persuade men." The righteousness of God demands that we neither add to or diminish from that punishment of the impenitent which his own word reveals. Let us faithfully present it to dying men, praying, that they may escape it by fleeing to the adorable and adequate refuge infinite love has provided.

 

Yours in Christian love, HENRY GREW

 

 

REPLY TO BROTHER JONATHON WILSON

BIBLE EXAMINER—VOL. X.  NEW YORK, OCTOBER 15, 1855.  NO. 20

 

Br. Storrs —If Christian brethren would always interchange their views, and present their arguments, in the same spirit with which the good old "Bibleite" has addressed us, we should not hear so much objection to theological controversy.

 

Our brother, whom we love, "for the truth’s sake which dwelleth in him," understands "that there will never be any resurrection of the wicked that did not come under the gospel dispensation." He believes, however, that to "the wicked since the gospel day," "a second death is threatened, which cannot be executed without a resurrection."

 

It may be well for us to inquire, Why is a second death necessary in any case? Is it not because impenitent transgressors are not punished according to their works, antecedent to the first? If so, is it not equally matter of tact that they were not so punished previous to "the gospel dispensation," as that they are not so punished at present? If our beloved brother thinks that wicked men do not now receive a just retribution in the first death and its antecedents, so Asaph thought respecting the wicked of his day. Did he not learn, when he went into the sanctuary of the Lord, and after their first death, in which they had "no bands," which terminated a life of carnal case and prosperity, they were to be "utterly consumed with terrors," which necessarily implies future consciousness to meet such a doom? See Ps 73.

 

Our brother very properly asks for "a positive text or two." I will give him the words of the Judge himself. Joh 5:28-29; also Ro 2:5-16. The strongest objection of our Savior’s words, is perhaps found in Isa 26:14. The passages must be reconciled. Now, as the Savior affirms plainly and positively that "ALL that are in the graves shall hear his voice and come forth," and the prophet does not affirm that "they shall not rise" from their graves, ought we not to understand the latter as referring to a restoration to their power and dominion over the people of God, (Isa 26:13) and thus harmonize the passage with the words of the Savior? Or if this is not the true import of the prophet’s words, must we not give them a construction which shall comport with the Savior’s words, which are certainly plain and more specific in respect to the nature of the resurrection?

 

Other passages our brother pilgrim has quoted, may still easier be referred to ass the wicked being cut off to "rise no more" to persecute the people of God in the present state; and thus be reconciled with the plain testimony of the Savior. Joh 5:28-29, and others of similar import.

 

The inspired apostle, Ro 2, affirms in reference to "the righteous judgment of God," "in that day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ," that he will render "tribulation and anguish upon every soul of man that doeth evil, of the Jew first, and also of the Gentile," those that "have sinned without law," including all persons who have lived before "the gospel dispensation." Now as this "tribulation and anguish" is to be endured "in the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ," they must be raised from the grave to endure it.

 

For other testimonies, confirming the same truth, our dearly beloved brother is referred to my articles in the EXAMINER. May his sun go down in peace to rise in the splendor of the immortal day.

 

HENRY GREW.

 

 

 

REPLY TO BROTHER JACOB GRIM

BIBLE EXAMINER—VOL. X.  NEW YORK, OCTOBER 15, 1855.  NO. 20 BY HENRY GREW

 

Br. Storrs —Br. GRIM presents some Scriptural remarks concerning Adam and the law of death as a consequence of sin, which appear to me to harmonize perfectly with the Savior’s testimony. Joh 5:28-29. If the final doom of the impenitent is eternal death, "the law of death" is not "set aside" by a resurrection to condemnation and a second death.

 

My respected brother takes the negative of the question, "Is there positive testimony that the wicked shall be made ALIVE." I take the affirmative and respond to our brother by giving him Joh 5:28-29, Ro 2:5-16, to be reconciled with Joh 11:25; 3:36, quoted in his article.

 

Now for the test. Admitting that "the wicked dead will be made alive" to endure temporary "tribulation and anguish’:Ro 2:99; to be succeeded by "the second (or eternal) death;" Re 20:14-15; are not the words of the Savior still true, that He is "the resurrection and the life, and he that believeth in (him) though he should die, will live; and every one that liveth and believeth in (him) will not die forever," Joh 11:25? But admitting that the wicked will NOT be made alive, are not his words untrue, that "all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, and shall come forth; they that have done good to the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil to the resurrection of condemnation?" Joh 5:28-29. "He that believeth on the Son hath life eternal; but he who obeyeth not the Son, shall not see life." I give the passage as our brother quotes it. Now as our Lord promises life eternal to the believer, is it not reasonable to understand him as declaring that the unbeliever or disobedient shall not see such life, i.e. life eternal? Is it a fact that the unbelieving Jews "did see life" temporarily while in unbelief, as sinners do now. Now this fact must be reconciled with the Savior’s words. May not brother Grew as well say, the Savior must mean that-eternal life, to which he refers in the first clause of the verse, as brother Grim say that he means future life subsequent to first death?

 

Respectfully submitted, HENRY GREW Philadelphia, Sept. 24, 1855.

 

 

 

IS THERE POSITIVE TESTIMONY THAT THE WICKED DEAD WILL BE MADE ALIVE?

H. Grew’s Rejoinder to Respondent.

BIBLE EXAMINER. VOL. X. NEW YORK, NOVEMBER 1, 1855. NO. 21.

 

I cordially thank my Respondent for the kind and Christian manner in which he reviews my communication. Let us continue our discussion with a single eye to the holy truth and humble dependence on God’s Holy Spirit promised to guide us into it.

 

It is suggested "that there is not to be found a single positive declaration in the Bible ‘that the wicked dead will be made ALIVE,’" I take issue with my brother on this point, and claim the character of "positive testimony" for Joh 5:28-29; Ro 2 and understand other passages as containing positive declaration may substantially be made without use of the word "alive." If that is predicated of the rising dead which cannot possibly exist without life, is it no "positive testimony" that they "will be made alive?" I concede, indeed, that "the resurrection may not of itself necessarily imply being made alive:" i.e. it is possible for Jesus Christ to give the dust the form of humanity without animation. To do so, however, for the purpose of judgment or "condemnation," appears to me to involve absurdity. But the text declares something more than a resurrection. It declares that the very same persons who come forth to the resurrection of condemnation "shall HEAR his voice," the literal sense of which term necessarily implies life. Nor have we any more authority to give a figurative import to the term hear than to any other term in the passage, the whole of which is manifestly of literal import. So Ro 2:6-16, I consider "positive testimony," because it is not possible that what is therein declared could be fulfilled without the wicked dead are made alive. Neither can Mt 26:64 be literally fulfilled except the wicked persecutors of the Son of God are hereafter made alive to "SEE" him.

 

It is observed of Joh 3:36, "this text seems to affirm that the wicked shall not be made alive more strongly than Joh 5:28-29, affirms they shall be: in the last text it is an inference that they are raised to life; in the former text it is positive testimony that they ‘shall not see life.’" Let us test this statement.

 

Is it "an inference" that the wicked "shall hear his (the Savior’s) voice?" Can they hear without life Does "the former text" contain positive testimony that they "shall not see life" after the first death, which is the question at issue?

 

Now I submit that in the one passage there is nothing but what may be taken literally, and in the other there is something which cannot be taken literally. The wicked as well as the righteous dead may literally "hear" the Savior’s voice, literally "come forth," &c., but it is not literally true that "he that believeth not the Son shall not see life;" for it is a fact that such do see life. A necessity exists, therefore, for qualifying this term in this passage, while no necessity exists for qualifying the term in any other. Let us learn of the Savior the true import of the phrase "shall not see life." "Verily, verily, I say unto you, except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you. Whoso eateth my flesh and drinketh my blood hath eternal life," &c. Now as these persons had life in their unbelief, the pharse "ye have no life in you, " must mean ye have no eternal life. Is it not then the most reasonable and scriptural conclusion of the phrase, in Joh 3:36, "shall not see life," to consider its import, shall not see eternal life?

 

Isa 26:14, is quoted as "testimony of a positive character." Testimony of what? Certainly that "they shall not rise" in some sense. My candid respondent will himself admit that testimony of as positive a character is found in Joh 5:28-29, that they shall rise, in some sense, in the words "shall come forth—to the resurrection of condemnation." He must also admit that in the latter text the testimony is positive that they shall rise from their "graves." In the former the term graves does not occur. It will also be admitted that, as our Lord, who is to be judge himself, speaks of a resurrection of both classes connected with judgment, which the prophet does not, that there is more evidence of reference to a resurrection after the present state, in the words of our Savior than in those of the prophet. The question is how can we best reconcile the passages? I can do so for myself by considering Isa 26:14, and Jer 51:39, as teaching that those who had assumed an unrighteous dominion over the people of God had been destroyed to awake and rise no more to persecute them in the present state.

 

It is remarked that it is "in a figure of speech (the evil) are said to come forth to the resurrection of condemnation." To this it is sufficient to reply, that we have no more authority to say this, than we have to say that it is "in a figure of speech that the good come forth to a resurrection of life."

 

It is admitted that "in some sense all are raised." Let us then ask, for what rational purpose are the wicked raised, if not to consciousness to endure the "shame" of condemnation, and "few" or "many stripes" of "tribulation and anguish," Ro 2:9, which their different degrees of guilt demand? If the "eternal judgment" simply requires that they should be distinguished from the righteous, why are they not left in the dust of the first death instead of being reformed to be cast into the fire of the second? Re 20:15. Is it reasonable to suppose that the sea and the grave (Re 20:13) will give up corpses to be "judged every man according to his works" without being made alive? If so, it is indeed no marvel that they will be "speechless." I apprehend however that they will be so, because they will be convinced (as Enoch prophesied) of their iniquity, and of the righteousness of the divine judgment against them. If not, where will be "the terror" which the apostle connects with their appearance "before the judgment seat of Christ?" 2Co 5:10-11. Must not the spectacle of human corpses standing to be judged (even if not questioned as the parable Mt 22:12 seems to imply) appear to my intelligent brother to wear the aspect of a farce?

 

"In the prophecy of Enoch (it is observed) the being made alive of all the wicked dead is an inference." Let it be noted that the words in Jude 14, "Enoch—prophesied of these," referred to the wicked men of the apostle’s day long since dead, see Jude 4. How are these men to be convinced when "the Lord cometh" except they are made alive? See Jude 15. There is no necessity for limiting the import of the word "all" in this passage, as in those quoted by my brother. How, I ask, can it be supposed "that the prophecy of Enoch in its original sense, "applies only to the judgment of the flood, when Enoch himself fixes the time of it "when the Lord cometh with ten thousand of his saints?"

 

I do not think that Da 12:2 necessarily implies that "the wicked are awakened at the same time as the righteous," although we should so understand it, in the absence of plain testimony (see Re 20:5; 1Co 15:23) to the contrary. The passage will be fulfilled though a thousand years intervene between the resurrection of the two classes. I understand that Michael will "stand up" for the people of God until he gives up the reign to the Father. This glorious period (for which may divine favor prepare us) will include the thousand years’ reign and subsequent general resurrection and judgment. Re 20:12-15.

 

Admitting "these and those" to be a correct translation, I understand it as follows, "And many from out oif the sleeprs of the dust of the ground shall awake, these (in the first resurrection, Re 20:6) to everlasting life, and those (which remain; in the second) to reproaches and everlasting contempt." "The awakening (from out of the sleepers) is evidently predicated of the many and not of the whole," as Professor Bush remarks; but this does not imply that the others shall never awake. Nor does the text declare, in any terms, that they are to remain forever in the dust to reproaches, &c. Something must be added to complete the sentence "to reproaches and everlasting contempt." I can conceive of nothing more appropriate than to supply the term "awake" which occurs in the former part of the verse.

 

My beloved brother informs us he has "still to learn where ‘in the sanctuary’ Asaph learned anything of a second death." He will permit me to ask him what the difference is, between learning that the wicked, who prosper in this life and have no bands in their death, are to be "utterly consumed with terrors," and learning that they are to suffer a second death? "Terrors" imply life; to be utterly consumed with them implies death. Our respondent is mistaken in affirming that Asaph "does inform us that in going into the sanctuary of God he learned he had himself been ‘foolish and ignorant’—in supposing that the prosperous rich had ‘no bands’—in their death." He no more, informs us so than he informs us that he learned he had been ‘foolish and ignorant’ in supposing that "pride (compassed) them about as a chain, or that "their eyes (stood) out with fatness." I understand that he leaned that he was "foolish and ignorant" in being "envious at the foolish when (he) saw the prosperity of the wicked," who had "no bands in their death," &c.

 

Waving the consideration that Eliphaz did not speak right as Job did, Job 42:7, his testimony is reconcilable with that of Asaph, and both are in harmony with facts on this subject. What Eliphaz says of the wicked is true of some. What Asaph says is true of other. The mystery (which a future retribution can only solve) is, that any of the wicked (and the number is not few) should enjoy so much carnal ease and prosperity, and have false hope and comparatively little or not torments in their death. In respect to some ungodly men it is, as our brother affirms, "hard and terrible work to die." With others, however, it is far otherwise. Many presume on the mercy of God, and are willing to die, though unprepared by true repentance; others believe that all will be saved; while others are too stupid and hardened to be concerned about the future, playing the fool to the last hour of mortal life.

 

Ec 11:9; 12:14, it is thought, "do not seem necessarily to import that the wicked dead shall be made alive again to be judged, and that the judgment referred to may all be executed in the present life by many ‘days of darkness—trouble and trial.’" The objection to this view is, that it is not in accordance with fact. Many ungodly young men do not receive such retribution in the present state. It is true indeed that a "judgment which determines character must be before the righteous dead are made alive." So there must be a judgment which determines character, before Jesus Christ places "the sheep on his left hand and the goats on his right," this however, we know from his own testimony, will no preclude a subsequent personal judgment.

 

In respect to Mt 16:27, I ask, must not the persons addressed have considered the Savior’s words applicable to themselves? I understand that he is coming in his glory to reign a thousand years and judge the wicked at the close. May not the word "then" justly be applied to all the transactions previous to his giving up the kingdom to the Father? "The solemn question, ‘What will a man give in exchange for his life?’" does not necessarily import "that the Wicked should have no life after death;" the fact that they will finally lose life forever is a satisfactory exposition. Indeed our Lord’s direction to fear something "AFTER" being killed. Lu 12:5, clearly implies consciousness after the first death.

 

The fact of our blessed Lord judging me so far as to place the sheep on his right hand and the goats on the left, is comportable with his so far judging men as is necessary to raise the righteous before the wicked. His subsequently judging in the former case, proves the propriety of a subsequent judgment in the latter. How then can Joh 12:48 "seem to establish the (negative) of the question at issue?" It is indeed true that "it is them that believe in Jesus that his ‘words’ expressly declare he ‘will raise up at the last day.’" But it is as true that his words also expressly declare that "they that have done evil" "shall hear his voice and shall come forth" "to the resurrection of condemnation;" Joh 5:28-29, which necessarily implies a resurrection of the question at issue. Whether it will be within the particular period denominated "the last day" or not is immaterial to the question.

 

I submit that Ro 14:10, "We shall all STAND before the judgment seat of Christ," does "necessarily import the personal presence of those judged." So Mt 12:36. If the phrase "every idle word" does not admit of a strict "literal construction," the words "they shall give account," implies personal living presence. My brother’s remarks on Lu 12:5, however correct, do not disprove the plain import of the text, that wicked men have something to fear after they are killed in the present state, which is not true unless we allow the affirmative of the question at issue.

 

Peter certainly refers, 2Pe 3:3, to persons in the last days; but this is no proof that 2Pe 3:7 does not refer to the ungodly in general. From Mt 25:41, we learn that "the devil and his angels" and the wicked of the human race will be destroyed in the same fire, which Peter teaches will be the conflagration of the present truth. But Satan is not to be destroyed until after the thousand years reign of our blessed Lord. Re 20:7. I understand that the new earth perfected will not be until after that period. Be this however as it may, it is evident from Re 20:12, that the resurrected "dead, small and great, stand before God" after this, to be judged, and some of them to be "cast into the lake of fire" which "is the second death." That standing before God to be "judged"— to "give account" &c., clearly implies consciousness and life, it seems to me cannot reasonably be denied.

 

To our brother’s exposition of Mr 12:40; Lu 20:47; Mt 23:14, as not referring to any period "beyond the present state," it is sufficient to ask if "the queen of the south (rose) up in the judgment with (that) generation (to) condemn it," at the time of the destruction of Jerusalem." Mt 12:42.

 

On the second death it is asked, "What and where is the second death of ‘death and hell;’" &c? It is not written that the second death is such of death and hell. "The lake of fire" is the antecedent. That this will be the second death of wicked men is evident from the declaration that on the "holy" "the second death hath no power." Re 20:6. Why, I ask, should it be though "strange" that the phrase occurs in no other "book but Revelation," when the same truth is repeatedly declared in other sacred scriptures?

 

What is being "cast into hell" after being killed, Lu 12:5; to be destroyed soul and body, Mt 10:28, as our Lord plainly teaches, but "the second death?" The same truth is taught in Ro 2:9, unless we suppose the "tribulation and anguish" to be endless. So Ps 73, that by "terrors" they will be consumed, after one death in which they had "no bands."

 

Another idea is suggested, —"a death with a resurrection is the first death: a death without a resurrection is the second death." "there is such a difference in the death of the two classes that the first does not die in the sense the other does. Very true, but how does this prove, that a death with a resurrection is "the first death," unless all the righteous die before any of the wicked? I cannot perceive that any of the points of difference between the death of the two classes our brother justly states, can be properly defined by the terms "first" and "second"

 

I assure my dear brother I am perfectly willing to give up Re 20:5, if there is even a probability of its being an interpolation. I can well afford to give up this and others. I consider our Lord’s plain testimony Joh 5:28-29, of more weight in favor of the affirmative, than all that can be brought in favor of the negative of the question at issue. This is an adequate foundation on which "to build (the) doctrine," until some testimony, equally plain and positive for the opposite, is adduced. The testimony of our Lord, however, is sustained by numerous passages.

 

Ac 24:15. In addition to brother Cook’s just remarks on this passage, to which the reader is referred, I observe that, if the resurrection of the wicked is essential to the honor of the divine government, as I believe, it is properly an object of hope to the righteous. Not that "their anguish and despair," abstractly considered, is an object of "desire" either to God or man. "The poor disciple of the Son of the Blessed" can "derive no comfort in seeing" the "torments" a righteous God inflicts on sinners in the present state. It will not do to reason against facts. What amount of suffering righteousness requires antecedent to destruction which is to be the end of the wicked, Php 3:19, and whether all, or part only, is to be endured in the present state, the word of the Lord must determine. Our brother’s appeal to our feelings proves too much.

 

On Ac 24:25, I shall only remark, that as Paul’s representation of Christ’s "future judgment or rule" caused Felix to tremble, he must have considered himself as interested therein. It seems to me that he understood that he would be personally accountable at that judgment.

 

The phrase, Heb 9:27, "once to die," applies to all men, and is therefore perfectly proper, though some men will have a "second death," as all will not die "twice." Both the dying and the subsequent judgment are manifestly of a general character.

 

It is supposed that the justice and righteousness of Jehovah "may be fully answered, possibly, by the wicked not seeing life," &c. But how can this be if the one who deserves "many stripes" is treated precisely in the same manner as he who deserves but "few?" My compassionate brother’s wishing "not to witness such hopeless anguish" as will attend "the second death," is no more proof that it will not be endured, than his wishing not to witness the anguish of any death, or of those whom he admits will be cast into the lake of fire proves that they will not suffer that. God’s revelation that this "second death" is appointed, "is" evidence that his "justice (cannot be) vindicated" without it.

 

What the Lord Jesus will do when "revealed from heaven," may include, I apprehend, all his work until he gives up the kingdom to the Father.

 

Heb 10:29. If, as our brother remarks, the apostle speaks of "the greater desert" of the rejecters of the gospel it would seem necessary that they should be raised to suffer accordingly, for it is an incontrovertible fact that some despisers of the Son of God do not suffer any more, if so much, in the present state, as some who "transgressed the law of Moses." Neither can we suppose that at the destruction of Jerusalem, transgressors received the just retribution of "few" and "many stripes" according to their individual characters.

 

Let Job 21:30 be examined in its connection to ascertain whether or not he teaches that the sinner, who "dieth in his full strength being wholly at ease and quiet," is nevertheless "reserved to the day of destruction" and "shall be brought forth to the day of wrath?"

 

Re 1:7. That the words "‘every eye’ here, embraced only the ‘kings and priests,’" does not agree with our Lord’s words, Mt 24:30, "then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven." It is not indeed to be supposed that "every eye shall see him" at once. My brother states that some are to see him "at a subsequent period." If we allow that the wicked shall him, "at a subsequent period," on the "great white throne," Re 20:11, (which clearly teaches that the resurrected dead of different characters are to be judged,) we may understand the words "every yet," &c., in a literal sense. Although they are to "stand before God," it will be "before the judgment seat of Christ." 2Co 5:10.

 

Re 14:10, cannot prove "eternal torments," because the divine testimony is plain and positive that a destruction of soul and body is the "END" of the wicked in a "second death." The words "forefer and ever’ are frequently used in a limited sense. Compare Re 19:20. Do not both passages refer to the lake of fire which will be their second death? Re 20:14-15.

 

I cannot consider the lake of fire a mere "symbol." As the "instrument" of the destruction of the old world was literal water, that of the destruction of the present will be literal fire. See 2Pe 3:5-7. This literal fire is to be "the perdition of ungodly men." Mt 10:28 appears to confirm the same. What degree of "terror" is proper to be presented to "lead men to forsake sin," the divine wisdom alone can determine. The "terror" the apostle refers to is manifestly connected with the appearance of the "bad" "before the judgment seat of Christ." 2Co 5:10-11. All which is respectfully submitted.

 

H. GREW.

 

 

IS THERE POSITIVE TESTIMONY THAT THE WICKED DEAD WILL BE MADE ALIVE?

H. Grew’s Second Rejoinder to Respondent.

BIBLE EXAMINER. VOL. X. NEW YORK, NOVEMBER 15, 1855. NO. 22.

 

Dear Br. Storrs: —I cannot perceive anything yet advanced on the negative of this question, which may be allowed to invalidate the plain testimony of Jesus Christ, Joh 5:28-29, to say nothing of the other numerous testimonies advanced to confirm it. It seems to me that this single passage outweighs all yet adduced to the contrary.

 

1. Respondent’s remarks on Ro 2 have been duly considered. They do not appear to me to meet the main argument for the affirmative of the question at issue which the solemn truth of this chapter presents. The principle Respondent states, are placed, is judged by the law under which they are placed, is indeed correct, and will be maintained in the final judgment day. Respondent remarks that "no penalty could be justly inflicted on men of which they had no express information, or which was not embraced in the law under which they had lived." The penalty of death appears to have been clearly revealed. If a "second death" is a just penalty, I cannot perceive why it may not be "justly inflicted."

 

2. Respondent thinks the truth of the chapter is in part fulfilled by the past national judgments, and to be fulfilled in part "at a future period, when the Gentiles will have a day of judgment and wrath." Two forcible objections arise in my mind to this view. The judgment referred to by the apostle in this chapter is not the judgment of nations but of individuals. It is a "judgment of God who will render to every man according to his deeds." In the national judgments to which Respondent refers, of "Sodom—Egypt—the Cananites and especially the Jews," there was no such judgment rendered to individuals according to their deeds. Sinners of various degrees of guilt, children and adults were destroyed in one common ruin. The other objection is, that the judgments to which Respondent refers are mostly past, whereas the judgment to which the apostle refers is future. Moreover, the judgments to which Respondent refers were at different days, or periods, whereas the judgment to which the apostle refers in this chapter is "THE day when God shall (future) judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ:" Ro 2:16. Is not this the same day referred to by the apostle, Ac 17:31, "because he hath appointed a day (or period) in which he will judge the world in righteousness by the man he hath ordained," &c.; which is evidently yet in the future?

 

3. I do not perceive that the threatening Respondent quotes, and which have been executed in past time either against Jews or Gentiles, afford any reason or argument against a judgment yet future. As it was just in the Almighty to follow one judgment against guilty nations with another, one plague succeeding another, so it may be just to follow all the past national judgments with an individual judgment in which the "few" or "many stripes" shall be inflicted, antecedent to the second death, as the works of individual may justly demand.

 

4. Please to notice that the judgment day, referred to in Ro 2 appointed for all, (they which have "sinned in the law") is "the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ;" but the judgments Respondent refers to, of the different guilty nations, were not so. In these judgments they did not "all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad;" 2Co 5:10; which passage evidently accords with Ro 2:16. The fact that wrath came upon them as a nation, "to the uttermost," is perfectly reconcilable with the scriptural testimony of a subsequent individual judgment.

 

5. Respondent asks, "What principle in the divine judgment demands whose wicked dead one to be made alive again for another judgment and execution?" A very reasonable query, certainly, I reply, that in these national judgments individuals are not dealt with according to the different degrees of their guilt which the principle of divine justice requires. It is therefore both a scriptural and rational principle, that "every one of us shall give account of himself to God." Ro 14:12. Is it not then an important "object to be gained," if justice is meted to individuals?

 

6. The appeal to the feelings of "holy intelligences," if it proves anything, proves too much. If "the terror of the Lord" in a future individual judgment, is not to be realized, because it is not congenial with our compassionate feelings, then Respondent should not affirm his faith, as he does in the terrible judgments to be executed on the living wicked at the coming of the Lord; for neither are these congenial with our compassionate feelings. Holy intelligences "cry Hallelujah," when God’s righteous judgments are manifested against his enemies, not because either they or JEHOVAH himself has pleasure in their death or sufferings abstractly considered, but both have pleasure in the righteous maintenance of his holy government.

 

7. What more "insincere" (it is asked) than for a being to profess that he has "no pleasure in death of the wicked and yet make him alive to torment and put to death a second time?" As well might it be asked, "What more insincere than for a being to profess that he has no pleasure in the death of the wicked," and yet put him to death at all? If he may, consistently with his sincerity, do the latter because justice requires it, as consistently he may do the former on the same principle.

 

8. Very kindly, with our superficial view of the righteous government of God, we might offer, as Peter did, Mt 16:22, a prayer in opposition to suffering, and say "O let us not be sad by the sight of such misery and despair as must attend the making alive of all the wicked dead." But, beloved, why stop here? Why not add, "O let us not be sad by the sight of such misery and despair as must attend" the execution of they wrath on the living wicked at they coming. If Respondent would demure to offer the latter petition that they in their graves who have done evil should not hear the Savior’s voice and come forth "to the resurrection of condemnation."

 

Most cordially do I allow that a diversity of opinion on the question at issue may be entertained by true Christians. Christian character, however, is somewhat affected by our errors of judgment concerning the revealed truth of the ways of the lord. The more our minds harmonize with that truth the more we honor our Father in heaven.

 

Yours in Christian love, HENRY GREW

 

P.S. I have endeavored to condense my rejoinder so as to occupy the less space in your valuable periodical.

 

 

 

IS THERE POSITIVE TESTIMONY THAT THE WICKED DEAD WILL BE MADE ALIVE?

H. Grew’s Third Rejoinder to Respondent.

BIBLE EXAMINER. VOL. X. NEW YORK, DECEMBER 1, 1855. NO. 23.

 

Dear Br. Storrs: —I will condense my further remarks on the subject of our amicable discussion, as much as I am able.

 

1. The Respondent thinks my faith on the subject "but an opinion." What is my brother’s? The question is, Have I or have I not adduced plain and positive testimony that there shall be a resurrection of the unjust to a temporary life, for the purpose of a righteous manifestation of the justice of God towards individuals, according to their works? Let our readers judge.

 

2. Respondent remarks, that "it seems now, the strength of the affirmative, as far as positive testimony is concerned, is in Joh 5:28-29." I submit that I have adduced other passages which contain the same testimony.

 

3. I was fully aware that the term "hear," like most other terms, is used figuratively, and that inanimate objects are represented as hearing, as in Eze 37:4. This, however, is no proof that it is not to be understood in a literal sense in Joh 5:28-29. The question is, can such plain and positive testimony for the negative of our question be adduced as to warrant the rejection of the literal sense? No brother has, in my opinion, adduced such testimony. It really surprises me, that brethren, can deny Joh 5; 28-29, to be positive testimony for the affirmative, and yet consider that the declarations that the wicked "shall not see life," &c., are of this character, when these declarations never affirm that they shall not see life after death, and when the scriptures explain such declarations by affirming that they have to "eternal life abiding" in them. 1Jo 3:5. The scriptures evidently teach that eternal life only is worth of the name of life, in the high sense of the term. Thus our Savior told the Jews, "Ye have no life in you." Joh 6:53, see also, 1Jo 5:12, which no more proves that they cannot have a temporary life after the first death, than it proves they had no life at all when the Savior spoke to them, or when the apostle wrote. The last clause of Joh 6:54 is no more "superfluous," according to my views than according to that of my brother, who admits that Joh 5:28-29 proves that the wicked will be raised.

 

4. It is remarked, "We see no necessity for qualifying the term life in the text "He that believeth not the Son shall not see life," Joh 3:36. How so, brother? Unbelievers certainly do see life in some sense: the term therefore, must be qualified. Whether you have authority to qualify it by the words after death. Whether I am right or wrong in respect to the question at issue, it is clear to me from the Scriptures, that the phrase, "shall not see life," presents no adequate foundation to sustain the negative.

 

5. I see no force in the remark, that "there is no power of revival from the dead by" life "derived from mortal Adam." If divine justice requires a resurrection to temporary life, the power of God will accomplish it.

 

6. Respondent remarks, "Any life subsequent to death is by and from Christ, at the last day. No such life it would seem, can ever become extinct; therefore the wicked ‘shall not see life.’  Why does it seem that such life cannot become extinct? I see no difficulty if divine justice requires it. Nay, more, the Scriptural doctrine of "the second death" appears to me clearly to require it. I can hardly think that Respondent’s definition of "the second death" is satisfactory to his own intelligent mind.

 

7. Please examine Lu 20:35-36, in connection with Re 20:4-6, and see that "the plain teaching of our Lord" is not "contradicted by the idea that the wicked dead will be made alive again." It will not be denied that the Scriptures teach a first resurrection, and that the saints only will have part in it. Why speak of the first resurrection if there is no second? Why speak of the wicked not living again until after the thousand years are finished, if they are not to live again at all? Lu 20:35 refers to the first resurrection which will be from among dead ones, leaving the rest who will not live again until the thousand years are finished. They will then live again temporarily and suffer a "second death." It is the subject of this first resurrection only, who are "blessed beyond the reach of dying again."

 

8. The fact that my explanation of Isa 26:14, and Jer 51:39, "is a self evident truth," does not prove it to be incorrect. It is a self evident truth that "the Lord is good," yet this and other similar truths are revealed in the word of the Lord. I am not positive that my comment is correct. If it is not, as Joh 5:28-29, and other passages are plainer than these are in favor of the negative, (which I think I have proved,) a construction must be given in harmony with the affirmative.

 

9. Permit me to ask, if the wicked "dead stand before God" and are judged, which my brother admits, does it not necessarily follow that they stand there either alive, or as "corpses to be judged?" That dead men should stand before God to be judged and then cast into a lake of fire to suffer a "second death" when they have no consciousness, is, to my understanding, totally inadmissible, dear brother.

 

10. My views do not imply that the righteous who are raised, or are alive at the coming of the Lord, will be judged after the thousand years, or a "third" time. Those who will be judged after the thousand years, are those who will be raised from the dead after that period, as Re 10:12-13 clearly teaches.

 

11. It is affirmed that "not one word is said of any (of the wicked dead) being made alive." Look again, brother, at Re 20. A first resurrection is declared; the "blessed and holy" subjects of which are to live and reign with Christ a thousand years. The rest of the dead (i.e. the unholy,) are not to live again until the thousand years are finished. After this comes a general delivery of the dead to be judged. Now, brother, is it not evident that the persons described in Re 20:12-13 include the very persons described in Re 20:5, who are not to live again until the thousand years are finished, who then will live again being raised to be judged and suffer a second death in the lake of fire? Is not this the obvious common sense teaching in the chapter? So it appears to me. I have no objection to your calling it "an executive judgment."

 

12. On Lu 12:5, I remark that our blessed Lord does not present an utter extinguishments of life simply as the object of fear, but being cast into gehenna, which according to Re 20:14, will be the lake of fire, and second death of the wicked. If being killed forever by the first death is all they have to fear, why did our Lord teach them to fear being subsequently cast into fire of which they could have no consciousness? Moreover, we have more light on this matter in Mt 10:28, which teaches that after men have killed the body, God will destroy both soul (i.e. life) and body in gehenna. Now, brother, if life is destroyed in gehenna, or the lake of fire, which, according to Peter, will be the conflagration of the earth; then the wicked must be alive when they are cast into it. Truly, you remark, "the fear is now, in this present time," but the question is, fear of what? The answer is, according to Mt 10:28, fear of destruction of life, and body in gehenna after men have killed the body, fear of "the second death" in the lake of fire.

 

Why, brother, should it seem "exceedingly strange that the phrase "second death" never occurs in the Bible except in the symbolical book of Revelation, if in other parts of the same truth is revealed in other words? If men are to fear a destruction of soul (or life) and body by the Almighty, after men have killed the body, is not this a second death? In this "symbolical" book there are some plain literal propositions of divine truth.

 

13. "The dead (Respondent remarks) are raised incorruptible," and hence infers that if wicked dead men are made alive, a second death, my my sense, "is an impossibility." There is more in the inferences than in the premises. It is not the "wicked" but the righteous dead only, that are raised incorruptible. I understood my brother to admit that our Lord’s words prove that the wicked dead will be raised and come forth, though without life.

 

14. It is observed that "Paul never speaks of another resurrection in which men are raised corruptible and in dishonor." Permit me to ask if the testimony of other inspired writers that the wicked dead shall awake from the dust to shame and everlasting contempt," Da 12:2, and "to condemnation," Joh 5:28-29, is not to be credited unless Paul says precisely the same thing? Let su, however, see if Paul has said nothing on the subject. He certainly allowed that "there shall be a resurrection both of the just and unjust." Ac 24:15. He taught that "we must all appear at the judgment seat of Christ, that every one may receive the things done in his body according to that he hath done whether it be good or bad;" 2Co 5:10; which necessarily implies a resurrection of both characters; and in the following verse he clearly teaches that the wicked are then to meet "the terrors of the Lord." This surely "in his account," is something different from their being "immortal and glorious."

 

15. My dear brother considers that as the present torments, &c., of the wicked may be designed for their benefit or for that of others, that my illustration of this subject is "no parallel." Now, if my brother admits that no "future anguish and torments" will be suffered by the living wicked, at the coming of the Lord, accompanying their destruction, but such as will benefit themselves or the righteous, his reasoning is consistent. But he does not admit this. The terrible death, by "flaming fire," in which he believes the Lord will take vengeance on the wicked at his coming, will not be designed for either of the above purposes, and they certainly might be destroyed in an easier manner. My brother must admit that divine justice requires it, and the same justice may require a second death for others. It remains for our brother to prove "the injustice of destroying the ungodly of the old world by water and then making them alive again to destroy them by fire."

 

16. It is true indeed, that "the wages of sin is death." This is the great penalty of the law. It is however equally true that some men are much greater sinners than others, and that the principle of justice requires that they should be punished accordingly. I have divested myself of some "old theological notions," but this appears to be a dictate of common sense, and abundantly confirmed by the scriptural doctrine that "we must all appear at the judgment seat of Christ to receive according to the things done in the body," &c.; not simply to die or "to be dead," but, in addition, to receive "few" or "many stripes." To my understanding, this is "a course indicative" not "of a harsh and implacable spirit," but of justice and righteousness. If Respondent does not admit this, I do not perceive how he can reconcile with these attributes, the punishment he admits God does and will inflict on the impenitent.

 

Yours in Christian love, HENRY GREW.

 

 

IS THERE POSITIVE TESTIMONY THAT THE WICKED DEAD WILL BE MADE ALIVE?

H. Grew’s Fourth Rejoinder to Respondent.

1855

 

Dear Br. Storrs: —You are certainly giving your readers some good evidence that truth is your object by opening your columns to full and free discussion. In the last kind "Response" several objections are presented, to which I beg to very briefly to reply.

 

1. Respondent remarks, "The reason why a second death may not be justly inflicted on those who lived before the Christian dispensation, to us seems obvious, viz: because no such penalty had been revealed; no law was promulgated with such a penalty; and ‘where there is no law there is no transgression,’ hence such a penalty, it seems, can not be justly inflicted."

 

I reply, that law, with the penalty of death, was revealed. If Respondent’s reasoning is sound, it is so, on the principle that no penalty can be justly inflicted unless it has been specially stated previous to transgression. Now, this principle is not correct. A father may threaten his son with punishment if he transgresses, without stating particularly how he will punish him. Any mode of punishment, which is not too severe for the crime,  may be justly inflicted, although not previously stated. Moreover, "the second death" is no more than death, which was originally threatened.

 

2. Respondent states past facts of judgments correctly; but these pare perfectly compatible with, nor can they invalidate, future facts plainly revealed in the Scriptures; one of which is, that the dead will stand before God to be judged, and they who are not found written in the book of life will be cast into the lake of fire, which is "the second death." Re 20.

 

3. I cannot admit that in the past general judgments Respondent refers to, when persons of vastly different degrees of guilt, were overwhelmed in one common ruin, that "every man" was judged according to his works. Where does he find the "few" and "many stripes" in these cases? Moreover, Ro 2, &c., teaches that this individual judgment and "anguish" will be "in the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ," which day or period is still future. I beg the reader, and my dear brother also, to remember that Joh 5:28, 29, is far from being all my evidence in the case.

 

4. I see not the difficulty Respondent imagines in respect to the testimony, "ALL things written" of "wrath" and "vengeance," should in the days he spoke of, be "fulfilled." To me the import is obvious, that all that was written of vengeance to be taken IN those days, was actually fulfilled in those days. Respondent must permit me to marvel that he can suppose that this outweighs Joh 5:28, 29, and Ro 2.

 

5. I cannot admit that Ac 17:31 "proves nothing as to making alive the wicked dead." IF this is not to be the fact a very small part of "the world" will ever be judged in the "day" appointed, (which is manifestly future) in the common sense construction of the declaration in the passage. Please compare Re 20:11-15. It is indeed true that ruling also is included in Christ’s judging the world, yet it will be perfected by reward and punishment.

 

6. Respondent remarks that "not one word is said of any dead being made alive in Ro 2, except those who sought for glory," &c. The question is, Is anything written which necessarily implies it? It is not written that the righteous dead will be made alive, or raised to life, in the chapter. The promise of "eternal life" necessarily implies it; so the threatening of "tribulation and anguish" necessarily implies that the wicked dead will be made alive to endure it. Observe, both are to be rendered "to every man according to his deeds in the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ."

 

7. 2Co 5:10 —To "appear before the judgment seat of Christ is to receive the things done in the body without being made alive, is a supposition by rational faculties refuse to admit. Respondent remarks the text "may have reference to Christians alone." If so Respondent has to prove, not only that Christians "have done bad" and will suffer loss in some respect, but that they, whom Christ will welcome to the everlasting kingdom, as the blessed of his Father, will then endure "the terrors of the Lord!" The fact that in the context, he addresses the church in general, as true Christians, stating the characteristics and privileges of such, is no evidence that he considered them all of this character. Indeed we know the contrary, for some of this very church had profaned the Supper of the Lord, eating and drinking condemnation to themselves, and had been cut off by death for their wickedness. 1Co 11:29, 20. So in his letter to the churches in Galatia, he writes to them as "the children of God," Ga 3:26; yet of some he spoke in doubt, Ga 4:20. He solemnly charged the teaching that some might be "reprobates," or false professors: 2Co 13:6. Well, then, did he set before them "the terrors of the Lord," which hypocrites are to meet at the future judgment! The same as revealed to Asaph. Ps 73:19.

 

8. Abstractly considered, Jehovah has "no pleasure at all" in the death of the wicked. Respondent desires not too reason against the word. HE perhaps overlooked the fact that "it PLEASED the Lord to bruise" his Son, to "put him to grief," to "make his life an offering for sin," for wise and glorious purposes. For the same purpose, even to maintain the honor of his law, he has pleasure in the death of the wicked, a manifestation of his righteousness and justice. This indeed does not prove that the wicked will die more than once. The fact that there will be a second death rests on the plain, divine testimony. Re 2:11; 20:6; 21:4.  Our brother GRIM will please observe that the first two passages at least, prove that men are to be the subjects of the second death. Of this death Respondent’s theory gives no satisfactory definition.

 

Yours in Christian love, H. Grew

 

 

DID JESUS AND THE THIEF DIE THE SAME DAY?

BIBLE EXAMINER—NEW YORK, DECEMBER 1, 1855

 

Dear Br. Storrs:— Your remark, "The fact is, the thief did not die the same day that Jesus did: for the Jewish day ended at evening or sundown. Jesus died about 3 o’clock, P.M., but when the evening was come, the thieves were still alive," &c.

 

How do you prove that they were alive when the evening was come and the Sabbath commenced? We read indeed that "when the even was come, Joseph went to Pilate and begged the body of Jesus;" Mt 27:57. But where is the proof that the thief was then alive? Our blessed Lord indeed died first, but as he died about three o’clock, P.M., the thief might still die on the same day, before the even was come. That he did so, rather appears to have been the fact from John’s words, Joh 19:31. "The Jews therefore, because it was the preparation (Friday) that the bodies should not remain upon the cross on the Sabbath day, (for that Sabbath day was a high day,) besought Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away. Then came the soldiers and break the legs of the first and of the other which was crucified with him. But when they came to Jesus, and saw that he was dead already, they break not his legs."

 

As the object of the Jews was to prevent the bodies remaining on the cross on the Sabbath day, is it not reasonable to suppose that they were removed before the Sabbath commenced?

 

If the body of the Savior had been removed by Joseph previous to the soldiers breaking the legs of the thieves, this indeed would be proof that they died after "the even was come," because Joseph had no permission to remove it until that time. But this was not the fact. It is evident, from Joh 19:33, that Jesus was still on the cross, though dead, when they broke the legs of the thieves.

 

The bodies might all be removed from the crosses before "even was come," and Joseph subsequently obtain permission to take our Lord away for burial.

 

If I have overlooked any evidence of the truth of your affirmation, please inform me.

 

Yours for the truth—In Christian love, HENRY GREW

 

———-

 

RESPONSE BY THE EDITOR

 

Dear Br. Grew:—You ask relative to the "thieves" crucified with Christ—"How do you prove that they were alive when the evening was come and the Sabbath commenced?"

 

It was objected to our view, that thief did not die the same day Jesus did, last April, (see Ex. April 1, p. 104,) and we admitted we might be mistaken. We made this admission rather than enter into a controversy about it, which must necessarily involve the day of the crucifixion, which we think not best to enter on. We will only say, we have long been of the opinion that the crucifixion took place on Thursday. But was are not disposed to spend time in the discussion of that point. Jesus’ own testimony is that the Son of man would be "three days and three nights" in the tomb; but that is not so if he was crucified on Friday, in any way that we have been able to see; for he certainly rose on the "first day of the week." We have not said the thief was alive "when the Sabbath commenced; though Br. GREW infers it from supposing the crucifixion took place on "Friday." Let us call attention to a comparison between the evangelists.

 

Joh 19:31. "The Jews because it was the preparation * * besought that their legs might be broken," &c. Mr 15:42. "And now when the even was come,  because it was the preparation, that is the day before the Sabbath, Joseph * * * went to Pilate," &c.

 

These two texts show that it was the "preparation" day, or day before the Sabbath, that the thieves’ legs were broken; and that it was the preparation day that Joseph came for Jesus; and was when "even had come;" showing the transactions both done in one and the same day. Now, as Jesus died before the "even was come," and the thief was alive when the "even was come," as it was the "preparation," that is "the day before the Sabbath," that their legs were broken, and which is declared to be the time of Joseph’s taking Jesus, we can come to no other conclusion than that the thief was alive when "the even was come;" and hence did not die the same day with Jesus.

 

There was the "preparation of the Passover," (Joh 19:14,) which was the day of the crucifixion; but there was also "the preparation" for the "Sabbath," which was "the day before the Sabbath," Mr 15:42. It was when "even had come" that this day of preparation for the Sabbath commenced. It was at that time Joseph came for the "body of Jesus." Joseph "took him"—Jesus—"down" from the cross: see Mr 15:46: hence none of the bodies had been "removed from the cross before the even was come."

 

Again, It is not to be supposed that the chief priests and Pharisees would transgress on the Sabbath day so much as to go to Pilate, and get permission to set a watch and seal the sepulcher and do all that work on the Sabbath. But they did do all these things on the day that "followed the day of preparation;" see Mt 27:62-66; hence, we conclude, "the preparation of the Passover" is the day here spoken of, and was the day of the crucifixion; and that "when the even was come" commenced the preparation day for the Sabbath, and that it was on this day, which followed the Passover "preparation," the chief priests and Pharisees came to Pilate, &c. According to the common notion, Jesus was not put in the tomb till the Sabbath had actually begun; yet Luke says "That day was the preparation day and the Sabbath drew on." Lu 23:54. Then it is added, "The women * * * beheld the sepulcher and how the body was laid: and they returned, and prepared spices and ointments, and rested the Sabbath day according to the commandments." Lu 23:55-56. Did they prepare these spices and ointments on the Sabbath day, and at the same time rest according to the commandment? We think not. Yet the common theory makes Jesus to be buried on the Sabbath day, the women briskly at work, and the chief priests and Pharisees at Pilate’s court, setting a watch, and sealing the stone of the sepulcher; and all this on the Sabbath day!

 

 

IS THERE POSITIVE TESTIMONY THAT THE WICKED DEAD WILL BE MADE ALIVE?

Henry Grew’s Fifth Rejoinder to Respondent.

BIBLE EXAMINER-New York, January 1, 1856

 

Dear Br. Storrs: —A very few remarks shall close what I have to offer on the first question.

 

1. Respondent’s admission "that the wicked dead will have a resurrection ‘in some sense,’" certainly nullifies one of his main proofs: Isa 26:14, "They shall not rise." Indeed it appears to me to be, substantially,  a renunciation of his theory. He will, I presume, admit that it will be a "resurrection (to) condemnation," to which it appears common sense requires us to attach lie or consciousness.

 

2. I submit, dear brother, that I proved from our Lord’s testimony respecting the few and many stripes, and other passages, teaching that men are to receive hereafter according to the deeds done in the body, that "divine justice requires a resurrection to temporary life," &c., and that I have not merely "assumed" it.

 

3. Permit me to ask, if the declaration concerning a certain class of men, that they "shall not be hurt of the second death," does not imply that the opposite class will be "hurt" or "suffer," by it? Re 2:11.

 

4. Far be it that I should hang upon Re 20:5, if it is "spurious." Re 20:12 stands in a connection which appears to prove the same as Re 20:5 seems to imply.

 

5. Truly Respondent remarks, the question is what God will "do with the entire man" hereafter; but the question at issue is, do not our Lord’s words, "Fear him, which after he hath killed, hath power to cast into hell," Lu 12:5, clearly teaches that wicked men have something to fear after the first death? Can they not be "hurt by the second death?" Re 2:11. Does not Mt 13:42, teach that when, "after he hath killed," Lu 12:5, he casts into hell, that "there shall be wailing, " &c., which certainly implies life?

 

6. I freely admit that the infliction of punishment which justice requires is connected with the moral order of the universe and is for the general good. The question is, can it be proved that "the second death" which its attendant suffering, is not of this character?

 

QUESTION II. "IS TEHRE TESTIMONY AS TO THE MEANS OR POWER BY WHICH THEY (the wicked dead,) ARE TO RECEIVE LIFE?"

 

I answer in the affirmative.

 

1. We have the testimony of "the faithful Witness," that they "shall hear his voice and come forth—to the resurrection of condemnation." Joh 5:28,29. You see, my brother, my sword is a two-edged one. As the Spirit of God is given to his Son without measure, Joh 3:34; his voice, in this case, is the same as the Spirit or power of God.

 

2. If Ro 8:11, was the only passage relating to the subject of the resurrection, it might indeed be improper to allow a resurrection "both of the just and the unjust." Respondent’s own rule of interpretation requires him to compare and harmonize the passage with others relating to the same subject. The indwelling of the Spirit may be a special evidence to the saints of their resurrection, in perfect consistency with the fact that the wicked also will be quickened by the power of God. Respondent admits that the passage does not disprove their resurrection in some sense.

 

QUESTION III. "IF THE WICKED DEAD ARE MADE ALIVE, BY WHAT MEANS IS THAT LIFE SUSTAINED DURING THE JUDGMENT, OR ANY PERIOD ALLOWED TO TORMENT AFTER?"

 

"This is a question that it will take a little ‘common sense’ to solve," Respondent observes. Precious little common sense, brother, is required to solve all difficulties which may be supposed to attend the subject. Infinite wisdom and power can easily furnish the means.

 

Truly yours, HENRY GREW.

 

 

 

IS THERE POSITIVE TESTIMONY THAT THE WICKED DEAD WILL BE MADE ALIVE?

H. GREW’s SIXTH REJOINDER TO RESPONDENT.

BIBLE EXAMINER-New York, January 13, 1856

 

Dear Brother: — If I am not taxing your patience and that of your readers too much,  will offer a few more suggestions before the subject of the resurrection of the wicked dead, is dismissed from your valued periodical. It appears to me that Respondent overlooks the validity of inferential reasoning. If the inference is necessarily involved in the premises, it is conclusive. If the wicked dead cannot hear the voice of the Savior and come forth to the resurrection of condemnation without being made alive, the testimony of Jesus in Joh 5:28-29, is conclusive proof of that fact. So of Ro 2 chapter, and other passages which I have quoted. If "in the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ." (i.e. judge the world," Ac 17:31,)" every man"; Ro 2:6; "every soul of man that doeth evil," "Jew" and "Gentile," Ro 2:9, is to suffer "tribulation and anguish, " it necessarily follows that they must be made alive to suffer it.

 

I submit that the terms used in this chapter, clearly teach that the apostle is not referring to the judgment of any particular nation, or to those only who will be alive on the earth at the coming of the Lord Jesus, but to "THE day" of general judgment "of MEN," which the sacred scriptures abundantly reveal. The apostle not only uses the terms "every man"; "every soul of man that doeth evil," "the Jew first and also the Gentile," but he includes those who have "sinned (past tense) without law," and those who have sinned in the law," which expressions, include those who had sinned previous to the Gospel day. It is indeed true that the terms, "the world," "all the world," &c., may sometimes be used in reference only to the living, as the connection plainly teaches; but surely, this is no proof that the same terms may not be used in the more comprehensive sense, including both the living and the dead. That persons who are destroyed in one general ruin by earthquakes, &c.; do not receive the "few" and "many stripes," "according to the deeds done in the body," appears to me to be a palpable fact needing no proof.

 

In respect to the Almighty having pleasure in the punishment of the impenitent, I supposed the simple quotation, "It pleased the Lord to bruise him (his Son) he hath put him to grief," would be sufficient for my intelligent brother; clearly proving, that if he was pleased to put his Son to such suffering, that he might be just and the justifier of sinful men, he may be pleased to put the impenitent to suffering for the display of his justice. Howeever, as my respected brother acknowledges that the wicked will actually die forever, although the Almighty, has no pleasure in their death, he may as well acknowledge that they may actually endure antecedent "tribulation," &c., although the Lord has no pleasure therein.

 

The literal import of the term "second death," necessarily implies a "second deprivation of life." I cannot admit my brother’s authority to reject that import.

 

Some persons may wonder that I have not adduced, 1Co 15:22, "as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made live." I have not adduced it, because I think that the phrase IN Christ, and indeed the apostle’s description of the raised, limits this verse to the righteous. I am not a Universalist. I believe that the wicked will be raised BY Christ, but not IN him.

 

Respectfully submitted, HENRY GREW

 

 

WILL ANY DEAD BE MADE ALIVE MORTAL?

BIBLE EXAMINER-New York, February 1, 1856

 

Dear Brother Storrs, —Respondent proposes for consideration the fourth question, viz. "Do the scriptures distinctly teach any who are made alive by a resurrection, at the last day , are mortal?"

 

We are happily agreed that the penalty of the divine law is literal "death, " or cessation of conscious being. Ro 6:23; and that there is no deliverance from this awful doom, but by vital union of penitent man to the Son of God. "The gift of God is eternal Life through Jesus Christ our Lord." "He that hat the Son hath LIFE and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life." 1Jo 5:12; Joh 3:36. Consequently, we agree, that if the impenitent and unbelieving are raised to life at all, it must be a "mortal" and not an immortal life.

 

I have presented to our readers numerous divine testimonies, which in my ivew, teach a universal judgment both of a judicial and executive character: passages which declare facts relative to the judgment of the wicked, which necessarily imply life and its functions, such as hearing, suffering, &c. Connecting these passages with the class, relative to the penalty of the divine law, the conclusion plainly is, that many who will be made alive by "a resurrection (to) condemnation," will be still "mortal" and liable to a "second death." Re 20:14. Therefore,  I have no need of adducing any other proof to sustain the affirmative of the fourth question than what I have already presented.

 

Admitting, as we do, that the condemnation of the wicked is to everlasting death; the Savior, I conceive, does "distinctly teach that (many will be) made alive by a resurrection at the last day, who are mortal" and will die "the second death." "ALL that are in the graves shall hear his voice and shall come forth, they that have done good to the resurrection of life, and they that have done evil to the resurrection of condemnation." Joh 5:28-29. I see no authority, dear brother, in all the passages Respondent has quoted, for setting aside the literal sense of our Savior’s words, which sense I think that I have also confirmed by other passages.

 

The revelation of a "second death" and of persons being "hurt" therby, (clearly implied in Re 2:11,) teaches that some will be "made alive by a resurrection" in a "mortal" state. There can be no second death without a resurrection to temporary life from the first.

 

The sacred scriptures "distinctly teach that some will be made alive by a resurrection," in a "mortal" state, by teaching, as our Savior does, Mt 10:28; Lu 12:5, that there is something for men to fear "AFTER (being) killed" in the first death; viz: a destruction of soul and body in gehenna, or "lake of fire," which Peter teaches us will be the conflagration of the present earth, 2Pe 3:6. Now, brother, if the first death terminates all consciousness forever, then there is nothing more or "after" that to fear. Please observe, it is not merely everlasting destruction, that the Savior teaches them to fear, but a destruction of a peculiar kind,  a destruction in gehenna, or lake of fire, Lu 12:5. "Fear him, which after he hath killed hath power to cast into hell," &c. Mt 5:29 also. A man need fear no more to be cast into a lake of fire when he is dead than to be cast on a bed of down.

 

These solemn warnings were addressed to men living in the days of our Lord’s first advent, THEY were taught to fear this dreadful doom of being case into a furnace, or lake of fire where there will be "wailing and gnashing of teeth."

 

I fully accord with you that no judgment of investigation is necessary to enlighten the omniscient Jehovah concerning the actions or characters of men; but this is no proof that the divine wisdom may not institute a declaratory process concerning "the deeds done in the body," that God’s righteousness in judgment may be made manifest to an intelligent universe. This principle is clearly recognized in the inspired account of the judgment at the coming of our Lord, Mt 25th chapter. If this refers exclusively to those who are alive at his coming, it appears to me to present the principles on which all final judgment of men will proceed. These principles clearly involve the consciousness of those who are judged.

 

Rejoicing in the anticipation of seeing eye to eye "when that which is perfect is come," I am, dear brother, as ever, yours in Christian love,

 

HENRY GREW. Philadelphia, January 20th, 1856.

 

 

FROM HENRY GREW

BIBLE EXAMINER-New York, March 1, 1856

 

Dear Brother Storrs: —I am no advocate for any degree of punishment, unwarranted by the sacred scriptures, in order to deter sinful man from transgression. In what appears to me to be the truth on this important subject, I do see a salutary restraint on the sinner, which Respondent’s theory annihilates.

 

Some writer on the passage—"It is appointed unto men once to die, but AFTER this the judgment"; remarks, "the last clause of my text, throws terror into the first." Although sinners can have no definite impression of the unscriptural dogma of interminable torment, they may some affecting sense and expectation of a future conscious judgment, in which God will deal with them according to the degree of their sinfulness, which may either check their sinful career, or, by the grace of God, induce their conversion to righteousness.

 

If the sinner can persuade himself that the first death is the end of him—that he shall never "appear before the judgment seat of Christ," or consciously meet an angry God, is it reasonable to suppose, that he will fear to add sin to sin, as much as if he believes in a future conscious judgment when he shall receive "few" or "many stripes" according to his demerit? Has not the "fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation" of a holy God, beyond the grave, withheld the almost determined suicide from the perpetration of the rash act? Does not this awful expectation of a righteous future judgment, prevent many from terminating their present miseries by self destruction? Respectfully submitted without enlarging as I could on this point.

 

Fraternally, yours, HENRY GREW

 

 

 

REPLY TO "Macknight Jr."

BIBLE EXAMINER-New York, May 15, 1856

 

BY HENRY GREW

 

Not doubting the sincerity of my friend’s declaration that he "wants the truth and that alone," I cheerfully comply with his request, and humbly attempt to "show wherein (I) believe (him) wrong," praying that we may yet be united in the truth of "the second death" which divine justice reserves for the wicked. Re 2:11; 20:14.

 

I must object to the paraphrase on our Lord’s words, Lu 20:37-38, because the words employed there express an idea which our Lord’s words do not express or warrant.

 

"Now that the dead are raised, even Moses showed at the bush, when he calleth the Lord the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob. For he is not a God of the dead, but of the living; for all live unto him."  Now, I ask, what is there here to warrant the idea that Christ and the Sadducees were agreed in the belief that "the deceased wicked—are never to be made alive" as the paraphrase represents? Our Lord’s plain teaching is, that the words of Moses, prove the resurrection of the dead, i.e. the dead in general. This was the subject of consideration between the Lord and the Sadducees. "Now that the dead are raised," Lu 20:37. Our blessed Master does not say, "Now that the (righteous) dead are raised."

 

Let us however admit, for the present, that our Savior in this passage simply declares that the righteous dead will be raised; this will not sustain the paraphrase. The declaration that one class of men, viz: the righteous, shall be raised, is perfectly consistent with his declaration in another passage, Joh 5:28,29, that both classes shall be raised. "ALL that are in the graves shall hear his voice and shall come forth, they that have done good unto the resurrection of life (i.e. eternal life) and they that have done evil to the resurrection of condemnation." In the name of truth, I ask, how can the declaration, in one passage, that there shall be a resurrection of the just, invalidate the declaration of another "that there shall be a resurrection both of the just and unjust?" Ac 24:15

 

It will be admitted I presume, by my friend, Macknight Jr., that our Lord’s words, "all live unto him," Lu 20:38 are founded on the doctrine of the resurrection of the dead. I submit now, whether or not our Lord’s plain declaration Joh 5:28-29 that there shall be a resurrection of both classes, is not an implied declaration (contrary to the paraphrase) that both classes shall be made alive. As the reason our Lord assigns why the dead righteous live unto God, is their resurrection; it follows that the dead wicked, whose resurrection he as plainly and positively declares Joh 5:28-29, do also live unto him; which certainly they may do, though not eternally. The idea of dead corpses rising to stand at the judgment seat, to "give account" Mt 12:36, be judged, and condemned; is too absurd to be admitted.

 

It may be said, that our Lord in Joh 5:28-29, speaks of the righteous only as having a "resurrection of life." This however presents no difficulty when we consider that he often used the simple word "life" to denote eternal life. —Thus he told the Jews Joh 6:53. "Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink his blood, ye have no life in you;" although they possessed natural life. "The bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world, i.e. eternal life.

 

In reference to the words, "I am the God of Abraham," &c., our brother remarks, "the relation here brought to view, is nowhere in the Pentateuch said to exist, and hence it does not exist, between God and the eternally non-existent. (i.e., the wicked,) and it is thus seen to be peculiar to the righteous." How so? May there not be a common relationship of the Creator to all men, and yet a peculiar relationship to his redeemed children? This common relationship is taught by Moses himself; Nu 16:22; 27:16, declaring Jehovah to be "the God of the spirits of all flesh," although many of them then were, and many others yet are, morally, the children of the wicked one. All men "are his offspring." Ac 17:28. That the righteous dead, by the riches of divine favor in Jesus Christ will be entitled to glorious "privileges," is true, but how this can impart the shadow of proof, that the wicked dead are not reserved to a "resurrection of condemnation" to suffer "the second death," Re 20) I cannot perceive. Surely it is no "privilege" to be raised, to be "cast into the lake of fire," to be "hurt of the second death," which the inspired apostle most clearly teaches, will be the fearful doom of those whose names are "not found written in the book of life." Re 20:11-15. The phrases that God is the God of Abraham, &c., and "the God of the spirits of all flesh," are abstractly considered, equally significant, although other passages plainly teach that he is the God of the former, in an important sense, in which he is not the God of the latter.

 

The supposition that by the dead (verse 38) "Christ designated the deceased wicked" only, is inadmissible, because his simple argument is, that if there is not resurrection, he would be the God of the dead, by being "the God of Abraham," &c. Our brother, indeed is "aware that to admit (his) view on this point, is to yield the notion of the living again of the wicked dead." This, in my opinion, would be to yield the plain testimony of the word of the Lord, as I humbly conceive I have proved in the Examiner.

 

As I consider the moral consequences of rejecting this doctrine, and of teaching that the impenitent have nothing to fear after the first death, are of very serious, and lamentable character, I respectfully submit to the candid review of my friend "Macknight Jr." and the reader the following passages as establishing the doctrine:—Joh 5:28-29; Lu 2:4, 5; Ac 24:15; 17:31; Heb 9:27; Mt 7:21-22; compare Lu 12:43-48; 11:31-32; 1Jo 2:28; Re 20:11-15; Ro 2 noticing the connection of Ro 2:6 and Ro 2:16, comparing the latter with Ac 17:31; Job 14:12; Da 12:2; Re 11:18; Jude 14-15; 1Pe 4:5; Re 1:7; 2:23-25; 22:12; Mt 12:36. Ingenuity may perhaps present some plausible objections to the obvious import of these testimonies. I ask our brother Macknight Jr., my beloved brother Storrs, and the readers in general of the Examiner, to review these, passages and consider, in the exercise of their good common sense, their manifest import. May the Spirit of Truth unite us in the faith of the true doctrine of the Lord. "Grace be with all who love our Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity."

 

HENRY GREW

 

 

 

THE RESURRECTION

The Bible Examiner, July 1856

 

Br. Storrs—I trust that a brief review of a few new arguments presented in your articles on 1Co 15th chapter will not be deemed inadmissible.

 

Although you consider "that the apostle was not speaking of a ‘general resurrection’ at all," you add, "whatever may be the fact in relation to such a resurrection." This appears to concede that this chapter, which treats exclusively of the resurrection of the saints, does not disprove a ‘general resurrection.’ Yet on the 43rd verse you remark; "Surely this belongs alone to those in Christ; but it is the dead without limitation," &c.

 

How can this be? You have just before written that "none but those ‘in Christ’ are embraced." This is surely a ‘limitation,’ for you will not say, with the Universalist, that ‘@all’@ the dead are in Christ. That "the peculiarity of the revival from the dead," which the apostle here treats of, i.e., to "GLORY," is "Manifestly a gospel benefit," is very true, but this is no proof that there is no "resurrection to condemnation," (Joh 5:29,) which is not such a benefit.

 

So also the fact, that none but the saints, who are to be raised "incorruptible and immortal," "came within the apostle’s view in the re-living of the dead ones" in this chapter, is surely no evidence, that none others came within his view when he testified to a "resurrection both of the just and the unjust," Ac 24:15, or in Christ’s view, Joh 5:29.

 

The words, "neither doth corruption inherit incorruption," applies to the corruptible bodies of the saints. It proves nothing as to the question at issue.

 

My dear brother thinks he can adduce an argument in his favor from the fact that, in respect to the saints of the first resurrection, Death will be swallowed up in victory, and that this will be "the time of death’s complete overthrow." Let us see if this is the terminus of death. The saints rise to "live and reign with Christ a thousand years," Re 20:4. "The nations" in the flesh over which they will have "power," Re 2:26, Da 7:27, will be subject to death. See also Isa 65:20. After the thousand years, the multitude who go up to assail the beloved city, will be devoured by death. The terminus of death will be in the lake of fire, which will be the second death" to the resurrected wicked, as Re 20:12-15 appears to me clearly to prove. THEN "the wicked dead are eternally shut out from view, and from life" and not, brother, at the period of the first resurrection, as you represent.

 

Fraternally yours, HENRY GREW

 

Phila. June 18th, 1856.

 

 

REPLY NO. 3 to MACKNIGHT, Jr.

BIBLE EXAMINER, NEW YORK, OCTOBER 1, 1856

 

I deem it necessary to reply but briefly to our brother’s last article. I humbly consider the plain and positive testimony of Jesus Christ and his apostle, that "they that have done evil" "shall hear his voice and shall come forth unto the resurrection of condemnation," and that "there shall be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and the unjust," to outweigh volumes of such reasoning on Lu 20:37-38, as our ingenious friend has presented us.

 

He will permit me however, to ask him to review the manner in which he has endeavored "to expose" the "fallacy" of my argumentation and affirmations. He has, for this purpose, made three assertions without proof of their verity; the incorrectness of each I shall endeavor to show.

 

1. He remarks, "If (in keeping with Br. G.’s position) the common relationship secures the revival of all men from the dead, it must secure ‘the resurrection of life’ mentioned in Joh 5:29—in which case the peculiar relationship, being unnecessary, could not exist." I ask, why must it? I deny this necessity, and affirm that, for the purpose of righteous judgment, God may raise the wicked to temporary and not eternal life as Joh 5:29 imports.

 

2. "Any relationship of our heavenly Father to his sleeping saints which brings them to life (which Bro. G. declares the common relationship does) must make them immortal and incorruptible," &c. No, brother, not any relation. The relation of Lawgiver and Judge does not accomplish this, but the peculiar relationship of REDEEMER. This glorious result is not "made certain by the ‘common’" relationship. You see therefore that "the peculiar relationship" is no "meaningless affair."

 

3. "If Bro. G. is correct in saying that, in case of the righteous, ‘the peculiar relationship’ is necessary to perpetuate the life which a ‘common relationship’ secures, it follows inevitably that there must also be a ‘peculiar relationship’ to the wicked to accomplish the post-resurrection ‘tribulation, anguish’ and subsequent destruction Bro. G. believes awaits them." Indeed! What sort of logic is this, brother? Because the ‘peculiar relationship’ of Redeemer is necessary to perpetuate the conscious existence of the saints in glory, ergo, "a peculiar relationship the wicked" is necessary to secure their temporary life for the purpose of actual suffering, according to the different degrees of their guilt, antecedent to their destruction! For the truth’s sake, which I doubt not my brother is seeking, I ask him to inform us how he harmonizes such reasoning with our Lord’s declaration of a "resurrection of condemnation."

 

In my view, it is of little importance to our controversy, whether the peculiar relationship alone is, or is not referred to in Lu 20:37-38. It is undeniable that the subject of consideration in that passage is, not the final judgment of men, but the resurrection. It is to the passages which refer to the latter awful subject we must especially refer to ascertain the destinies of accountable men, although it is true that in Joh 5:28-29 our Lord connects eternal life and condemnation with the revelation of the doctrine of the resurrection. So in Lu 20:36 he teaches the immortality of the resurrected righteous; but this is no proof of my brother’s opinion in his paraphrase, that the wicked, who are to "come forth to the resurrection of—condemnation" will have no consciousness "before the judgment seat;" a supposition which with all due respect for my opponents, I must consider neither more or less than a ridiculous absurdity. Will our brethren inform us, for what purpose they are to be raised at all if they are to have no consciousness of the judgment.

 

I have only one more consideration at present to submit to the candid consideration of my esteemed brother. Suppose we should admit that our Lord in Lu 20, considers the righteous dead as eternally living to God, and (as the "antithesis" to this,) the wicked dead as eternally dead; how would this prove that the latter may not have a temporary life for the purpose of judgment, &c., any more than it proves that the righteous are not a present actually dead? If the righteous dead may now be considered as living to God on the ground of their resurrection to eternal life notwithstanding they are actually temporarily dead, the wicked may be considered as eternally dead on the ground of their condemnation to eternal death, notwithstanding they may be raised to a temporary life. Grace be with all who love our Lord Jesus in sincerity. O that we may "abide in him" in all holiness, "that we may not be ashamed before him at his coming."

 

HENRY GREW.

 

 

FROM HENRY GREW.

BIBLE EXAMINER, NEW YORK, DECEMBER 1, 1856

 

Dear Bro. Storrs.—If our dear brother RUFUS WENDELL will quote any remarks of mine "misrepresenting (his) position," I will follow his commendable example in another case, and "withdraw them." I hardly need to say to him, that if I have done so, it was unintentional.

 

I pray, dear brother, that the great Captain of our salvation may uphold you in your arduous warfare. I sympathize with you from experience in the treatment you receive from men of perverse minds. Let us remember our dear Master, what contradiction against himself he endured for our sake! O for more of his spirit of holy fortitude and patience. Soon the conflict will end and the everlasting victory be achieved. One smile of welcome to the joy of our Lord will amply compensate for all we are called to endure for his dear namesake. As David, who sometimes thought he should surely fall by the hand of his enemy, "strengthened himself in his God, "so may my brother STORRS.

 

You understand that although the Devil "is a usurper in relation to God—it (I say he) reigns by right in relation to man." Yet you say, God "did not give man the right to transfer that dominion (over the creatures) to another power." Now if man has no right to confer this right, the Devil cannot receive it as a right from him. The devil therefore is a "usurper" both as it respects God and man, though, for wise ends, it is permitted by Him "who worketh all things after to the counsel of his own will."

 

On your remark concerning angels, permit me to ask—"Are they not all ministering spirits sent forth to minsters for them who shall be heirs of salvation?" Heb 1:14. It is true indeed that we may err respecting "their intercourse with man," as we may on other scriptural subjects.—Commending you and yours to our Redeemer’s all-sufficient grace, I am as ever yours in Christian love.

 

HENRY GREW. Phila., Nov. 11th, 1856. N. B. Two dollars enclosed for my next year’s subscription.

 

 

"THE COVENANTS"

 BY HENRY GREW

BIBLE EXAMINER. VOL. XI. NEW YORK, NOVEMBER 1, 1856. NO. 21

 

Dear Brother Storrs.—While I sincerely thank our brother CAMPBELL for many excellent remarks on the Covenants, I am obliged to dissent from him in some particulars.

 

I do not know what he means by the affirmation that "there must be an end to the plan of salvation, through faith: for faith is the confidence of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. But when seen, faith is no longer in exercise.—Salvation then must depend on obedience, as before the fall." If he had not added the last remark, I should suppose he referred to the glorified state, subsequent to all human probation. During this probation I see no scriptural evidence for salvation for any man but "through faith."

 

I understand, with brother C., that "the new covenant of Jer 31:31," has in that place, exclusive reference to the house of Israel, to be fulfilled at their future gathering. I understand however, that this covenant is "the gospel covenant, the mystery which Paul was made a minister of," though our brother thinks "it cannot be." To prove this he refers to Eph 3:1-6, and remarks, that "it will be seen, that no gospel covenant with Gentiles was revealed to the old prophets; but that the Gospel to the Gentiles was a mystery (i.e. secret) which in other ages was not made known to the sons of men." "Now the apostle does not say that no gospel covenant with Gentiles was revealed to the old prophets," but that "in other ages was not made known to the sons of men AS it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit, that the Gentiles should be fellow heirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the Gospel." The import of which is, that it was not made known to men in general, nor even to the old prophets, in the same full and clear manner, as at the coming of our blessed Lord.—This construction I will now sustain by scriptural facts.

 

Ga 3:8. "And the scripture foreseeing that God would justify the heath through faith preached before the Gospel unto Abraham, saying, IN thee shall all nations be blessed." "Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, and to seeds, as of many; but as of one, and to thy see, which is CHRIST. And this I say that the covenant, that was confirmed before of God in Christ, the law which was four hundred and thirty years after cannot disannul that it should make the promise of none effect." Gal 3:16-17. —Here "the gospel covenant" was revealed to Abraham four hundred and thirty years before "the law" or Sinaic covenant.

 

The same glorious covenant of favor to the fallen and guilty children of men was revealed to the prophet Isaiah. "And in that day there shall be a root of Jesse, which shall stand for an ensign of the people; to it shall the Gentiles seek, and his rest shall be glorious." Isa 11:10. See the entire chapter, also chap. 42. (Isa 11$, 42$) "I the Lord have called thee in righteousness, and will hold thy hand, and will keep thee, and give thee for a covenant of the people, for a light of the Gentiles." See also Da 7:14; Mal 1:11, &c. Thus did the prophets, by the Holy Spirit of God, testify the same truth announced by good old Simeon when he took the infant Savior in his arms, declaring him to be Jehovah’s salvation "prepared before the face of all people; a light to lighten the Gentiles and the glory of they people Israel." Lu 2:32. So Peter declared. See 1Pe 1:10-12.

 

If "no gospel covenant with Gentiles was revealed to the old prophets," it follows, that no Gentile sinner will ever be saved, for there is no other covenant of eternal life, or salvation from everlasting death; than that revealed to Abraham and "confirmed before of God in Christ," even four hundred and thirty years before the law. In deed this covenant of wondrous love and mercy was announced in the presence of Adam in the words of the serpent; "and I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head and thou shalt bruise his heel." Ge 3:15.

 

I thank my dear brother for maintaining the great and glorious truth that "God, more merciful than the Gentiles, has promised to make a new covenant with the house of Judah and Israel," "and to set his hand the second time to restore them." His denial, however, that there is "any fore-ordination or irrevocable decree in all this," is marvelous indeed! I ask, what is the difference between an absolute unconditional declaration that in the future God will write in their hearts, &c., and an "irrevocable decree" that he will do so? "Conditional prophecy (our brother remarks) is a twin pseudo to the never dying soul; they are both traditions of men." In the above declaration God foretells, or prophesies, what he will do in the future. It is the unconditional determination to give the disposition to repent and believe the truth, without which indeed there is no salvation. It is as unconditional as "A virgin shall conceive and bear a son."

 

Our brother understands by the text "until the fullness of the Gentiles be come in," "the end of gospel probation," i.e. of the Gentiles. He distinguishes between "gospel probation" and the probation with which the Jews will be subsequently favored. I do not understand this. Are not the Jews to be saved by the Gospel? To my astonishment he affirms that "Jacob cannot be the converts to Christianity, because his ungodliness is to be turned away after the happy state of the Christian is secured." Will he please to inform us then, by what other Name under heaven Jacob can be saved? This is all wrong. When the Jews are grafted into the same olive tree with Gentile Christians, they will be "converts to Christianity." Ungodliness is to be turned away from Jacob" long before "the happy state of (all) Christian (Gentiles) is secured." So the inspired apostle plainly teaches. "Now if the fall of them (the Jews) be the riches of the world, and the diminishing of them the riches of the Gentiles, how much more their fullness?" i.e., how much more shall their conversion to God, be the means of the conversion of the Gentiles? This sense is confirmed by the 15th verse. (Ro 11:15) "For if the casting away of them be the reconciling of the world, what shall the receiving of them be, but life from the dead?" i.e., to "the world." Then shall the prophetic word be fulfilled, "ALL NATIONS shall serve him." Ps 72:11. The converted Jew will be instrumental in its glorious accomplishment. "Blindness in part is happened to Israel until" the commencement of this glorious era, "until the fullness of the Gentiles be come in," i.e. until the commencement of the period of the fullness of salvation to the Gentile world shall become "the kingdoms of our Lord and of his Christ."

 

Paul, brother C. says, "places the coming of the Deliverer, and the covenant of Jeremiah at the end of the gospel dispensation." When, where, or how does the apostle do this? No proof is given. That "the Gospel dispensation" is to end at the second coming of our blessed Lord, is one of the errors of the popular sects. It diminishes the revealed fruits of redeeming love a hundred fold, for it is not until he comes in the clouds of heaven that all nations will bow down before him and serve him. See Da 7:13-14. The gospel dispensation will continue in the age to come, triumphing gloriously when Satan is bound. Re 20.

 

If the covenant of Jeremiah is not fulfilled until the end of the gospel dispensation, it will never be fulfilled at all, for it is only by faith in the gospel that perishing men become the children of God, which is the great blessing of the covenant. See Ga 3:26. "One party (it is affirmed) cannot make a covenant." The term covenant is used in the sacred scriptures with considerable latitude of import. The covenant of Jer 31:31-34 was the absolute determination, or purpose, or decree of God alone. Hence its infallibility. It secures the performance of man’s repentance and faith (which are conditions of salvation, in a certain sense,) by God’s unconditional and absolute determination to write his law on the heart. To suppose that the promise in that covenant is conditioned on man’s previous repentance, is to suppose that God promises to write his law on his heart, after man has written it there himself, and consequently does not need it to be done by the Almighty.

 

Indeed our brother himself, affirms that this covenant, "cannot bring on any conditions of nay people." Does it not follow then that it is a decree, and covenant of "one party" only?

 

Truly it is remarked, that "the gospel covenant is, in all its essential elements the Abrahamic covenant of grace, but I think my brother errs in not considering the covenant of Jer 31:31, 34 also essentially the same. He remarks, "that the Gospel covenant cannot be made with any nation as a nation." Why not, if it were the purpose of God? However, Eze 20 plainly teaches, that although this covenant includes a great number of the literal house of Israel, it does not include them all, for at the future period when the elect are brought "into the bond of the covenant," Eze 20:37. Some of Jacob’s seed will be purged out, who "shall not enter the land of Israel."—Eze 20:38.

 

Very correctly our brother considers that there is no need of the God of salvation making any other covenant in the future with the house of Israel, than that which was made essentially with Abraham. Sinners of every age and dispensation are saved from eternal death by ONE covenant only, and by the ONE SEED of that one covenant only "which is Christ." "The Gentiles adopting the Abrahamic faith," are saved by the very same covenant which is called "a new covenant," in contrast to the old Sinaic covenant, not because it had not been revealed to the house of Israel in general as it will be in the future, as the Sinaic covenant was revealed to them generally when God had brought them by Moses out of Egypt.

 

For this eternal covenant of infinite wisdom and love, by which "a multitude which no man could number, of all nations and kindreds and people," shall enter in through the gates to the holy city, let our praises now and forever ascend to Him who sitteth on the throne and unto the Lamb.

 

 

THE SYLLOGISM

FROM HENRY GREW

 BIBLE EXAMINER, NEW YORK, FEBRUARY 1, 1857

 SEE EXAMINER DECEMBER 1.

 

Dear Bro. Storrs.—The syllogistic effort of my intelligent brother, to prove that "there shall (not) be a resurrection of the dead both of the just and unjust," Ac 24:15, and that the sleepers in he dust, "shall (not) awake to shame," &c., really reminds me of a drowning man catching at a straw. Do you not perceive that your syllogism refutes your own sentiments as much as mine? My dear brother believes, with me, that although the great penalty of the law is death, yet that God threatens the wicked with torment. "Upon the wicked he shall rain snares, fire and brimstone, and an horrible tempest," Ps 11:6. They are to suffer agony which will cause "wailing and gnashing of teeth," "tribulation and anguish" is to be endured by "every soul of man that doeth evil." When the vials of God’s wrath are poured on the wicked, it is written, "they gnawed their tongues for pain." Such indeed is the intensity of their judicial punishment that they will in vain desire death. All this my brother believes. Now, if you are correct in affirming, as you do, that "A revival into life, from death, to torment awhile and kill again ‘vastly exceeds death,’" I am equally correct in affirming that the torments you do admit also exceed it, and therefore such torment "is unjust."

 

I deny that any temporary torment, either antecedent or subsequent to the first death; ‘vastly exceeds death’ which terminates for ever (as ‘the second death’ will) the existence of an intelligent being. Such death is to be contemplated as involving the loss of the eternal enjoyment of the Infinite source of all good. A blessing in comparison with which, all suffering that is not endless, is light and but for a moment. Unending torment would "vastly exceed death." Now brother, the scriptural and rational arguments which you adduce to vindicate the justice of God, in punishing men with torment antecedent to the first death, will equally vindicate his justice in punishing them with torment between that period and the second death. The present state is not a state of perfect retribution; God has therefore "appointed a day in the which he will judge the world in righteousness," &c. Ac 17:31. It is a notorious fact, that although both the righteous and the sinner are recompensed in the earth in some degree, neither are in just proportion to their works. See Ps 73:3-7 which includes the comparative "prosperity of the wicked" both in life and death. Ps 73:17-19 clearly teach that this first death, in which many have "no bands," is not their end."

 

You are correct in saying that "the first sense of kai in Ac 24:15 "is that of and," but you know that this cannot be the import of the word in this text. The second sense given in the lexicon is also, which our translators have correctly given. The other words "moreover," "besides," &c., are of similar import, and if used in the text would imply that others believed the doctrine besides "themselves." But am I mistaken in supposing that you admit a resurrection of the unjust, although not to life? I certainly have so understood you. Yet now you affirm that they (some of the Jews) admitted a resurrection "both of the just and unjust" which was more than was ever written in the law or prophets." In denial of this assertion I affirm that God’s prophets, holy men of old, who "spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost," did give "utterance" not only to the sentiment of a resurrection of both classes but to the resurrection of the wicked to a temporary life and conscious punishment. I submit to our readers that I have proved this in your periodical. I will now prove it again. Da 12:2. "And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall AWAKE, some to everlasting life and some to shame and everlasting contempt." Ps 73:3-4, 17-19. If however the doctrine was not revealed in the Old Testament, its revelation in the new is perfectly sufficient to establish its truth.

 

You "wish Bro. Grew to find where (Paul) taught such doctrine and not rest it on a doubtful text." In the name of truth I ask, am I resting my faith on the resurrection of both classes of men on a doubtful text when I rest it on the words of "the faithful Witness" of the truth? "ALL that are in the graves shall hear his voice, and shall come forth; they that have done good to the resurrection of life, and they that have done evil to the resurrection of condemnation." Joh 5:29. May you not as justly represent me as resting my faith of Christ’s divine Sonship on a doubtful text, when I believe his testimony that he is the Son of God?

 

Nor is there any difficulty in finding that Paul’s testimony accords, without doubt, with that of his Master. Please see in addition to Ac 24:15, Ro 2:1-16, specially 9th and 16th verses, 2Co 5:10-11; Heb 9:27; 1Co 4:5; Col 3:24-25. I protest against the representation that Paul has "left his hearers, and those to whom he wrote, to infer" the doctrine of an after death judgment for men in general. He affirms it plainly Ro 2nd chapter; Heb 9:27; 1Co 5:10, and elsewhere. Yet if it is only taught inferentially, if the inference is necessary, the proof is ample and conclusive. Please refer also to Ec 12:14; Mt 12:36; 16:27; Lu 12:43-48.

 

You remark that Paul "taught the Corinthians, if our sins are not forgiven when we die, we are perished." 1Co 15:17-18. Now, brother, Paul’s teaching in the passage, is, that "if Christ be not raised" the saints are not forgiven, living or dying; and that the latter "are perished." It is not that Christ being raised, there shall be a resurrection of the just but not of the unjust.

 

If Joh 5:29 does not teach "a penal resurrection" please inform us, what language can teach it.

 

Yours in Christian love, HENRY GREW.

 

 

HENRY GREW TO RUFUS WENDELL.

VOL. XII. NEW YORK, APRIL 15, 1857, NO. 8

 

Dear Bro. Wendell.—Your last courteous article shows that you misapprehended my sentiments, and consequently still think that Bro. Grew of 1852 does not harmonize with Bro. Grew of 1856.

 

"Sin when it is finished, bringeth forth death." On this you remark, "To agree with your sentiments, my brother, this text should read—"Sin when it is finished, bringeth forth (a revival into life for the purpose of ‘actual suffering of protracted unutterable torment of body and mind and) death." No, brother, for my sentiment is, that sin is not finished at the first death, but at the second. So long as the wicked have conscious existence, so long sin exists.

 

It is a work of supererogation, dear brother, for you to quote texts to prove that "sin in progress is often attended with sufferings which are mercifully designed to exert a reformatory influence upon the transgressor," *c., for on this matter we are perfectly agreed. The question is not whether this is "often" the case, but whether or not it is always so, and always will be so until "the second death?"

 

You remark, "The disclaimer of Bro. Storrs in regard to my ‘believing in a judicial punishment antecedent to death’ was proper," &c. I understand your sentiment, therefore, to be that "judicial punishment" for transgression consists simply in the cessation of conscious existence. On this point we are indeed at issue. That transgressors of such different degrees of moral turpitude, should meet precisely the same "judicial punishment," appears to me to be a violation of justice and of numerous plain declarations of the word of God.

 

This holy word, in harmony with natural justice, teaches that the Judge of all the earth will judge men "according to the deeds done in the body," and according to their different degrees of light and knowledge; and that some will be punished with "few stripes" and some with "many." The Scripture doctrine, that some are worthy not only of death, but of a "sorer punishment" than others, who were punished with death, (see Heb 10:28-29,) commends itself to every enlightened conscience. I submit to my intelligent brother, and our readers, that this passage is itself conclusive proof that "judicial punishment" includes more than death or simple cessation of life. "He who despised Moses’ law DIED without mercy, under two or three witnesses; of how much sorer punishment (i.e.., than mere death) suppose ye shall be thought worthy who hath trodden under foot the Son of God," &c. That such "sorer punishment" will be actually inflicted, is evident from the declaration in the immediate connection, "Vengeance belongeth unto me, I will recompense, saith the Lord." Heb 10:27 also proves that the "sorer punishment" is not designed for reformation, but is connected with final destruction. Our blessed Lord’s declaration concerning the judgment of those cities which had seen his might works, as being more intolerable than that of Sodom, confirms the same principle whether "the day of judgment" refers to a period connected with the first death or the second. The people of Sodom were punished judicially with death, but the despisers of the gospel in Caprnaum, &c., were to be judicially punished with something more tolerable. "Shall not he render to every man according to his works?" Pr 24:12. Certainly he does not, if he inflicts the same judicial punishment on the impenitent heathen man as on the willful despiser of the gospel, or on the man who misimproves one talent as on him who misimproves ten. Where much is given much will be required. On the same righteous principle the rewards of grace will be given, some of its blessed subjects having rule over five cities and some of ten. He that soweth bountifully and he that soweth sparingly will reap according to their works.

 

Moreover, in Ro 2, the "judicial punishment" of the finally impenitent is plainly and positively declared to be something more than death.

 

The period of this judgment is "the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ." Compare Ac 17:31. The inspired apostle, "knowing the terrors of the Lord," warned sinful men to repent and believe the gospel, not only by the awful consideration of eternal death, (which is indeed the great penal sanction of God’s holy and righteous law) but by a preceding terrible "tribulation and anguish," "indignation and wrath," &c. Ac 17:5 clearly teaches that this is included in their "judicial punishment," or "righteous judgment of God."

 

I freely confess, therefore, that when writing in opposition to eternal torments as the penalty of the law, I affirmed "that the cessation of the sinner’s life or conscious existence is a punishment perfectly satisfactory to divine justice, and adequately honors the violated law of God," I should have added, to be strictly accurate, the antecedent anguish, &c., threatened in the word of truth. You are aware that the affirmation you have quoted to prove me inconsistent, was made when I was considering the injustice of eternal torments. The sentiment that a temporary punishment of various degrees, between the resurrection of the unjust and their second death, was considered by me as essential to the manifestation of divine justice, was evident by the advocacy of the doctrine of a revivification of the wicked dead for this purpose.

 

You inquire, "Now if you believe the ‘second death’ is a state in which, because it is an unconscious one, no misery can exist, how can you predicate of that death ‘horrors’ which you cannot see in the theory of the non-revival of the wicked dead?" I reply, when we speak of the agonies or "horrors" of death, either of the first or second we refer, of course, to the sufferings which precede the actual cessation of life. Your "theory of the non-revival of the wicked dead," some of whom have "no bands in their (first) death," Ps 73:4, excludes, in my opinion, that judgment and suffering "according to their works," which both justice and divine revelation require. The various degrees of "tribulation and anguish (inflicted) upon EVERY soul of man that doeth evil—in the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ," Ro 2:9-16 —the "few" and "many" stripes, then received, will vindicate the justice of God in the view of the intelligent universe, which, dear brother, your theory utterly fails to do.

 

The above answers your questions, "how the wicked can be literally ‘hurt of the second death?’" The reference is to their sufferings in the lake of fire, which will produce their second death, Re 20, which certainly, abstractly considered, is "a state in which there will be a total negation of life and consciousness."

 

I suppose all death and all suffering to be the consequence of sin, although the final and eternal extinction of being, which includes the loss of the enjoyment of the infinite God to eternity, is the great penalty of his holy law. By the grace of God we will "pray" for each other, and all saints, that we many be united in the holy truth, and, until then, forbear one another in love.

 

Affectionately yours, HENRY GREW.

 

Philadelphia, February 27th, 1857.

 

N.B.—I wait your kind effort to reconcile Heb 9:27; Joh 5:28-29; Ro 2:6-16; 2Co 5:10; Re 20:11-15; Ps 73:4, 7-19, with your views.

 

 

NEW VERSION OF THE BIBLE

BIBLE EXAMINER VOL. XII. NEW YORK, JUNE 15, 1857 NO. 12

 

Dear Brother Storrs—Permit me to ask your candid review of your remarks in opposition to the present noble effort of many of the children of God to give to dying men, his entire revelation of holy truth in their own tongue, which at present they have not. My heart’s desire and prayer to God is, that he will crown the enterprise with divine success.

 

After all the arguments you present in the "extract" —after all that can be presented, the fact, (perfectly adequate to nullify all opposing arguments) remains, viz: God’s revelation of his holy and eternal truth and divine commands is not now given ENTIRELY to people who read the English language, in their own tongue. I submit that this ought to be done, and that, if a version is perfectly accurate, with the single exception of one divine precept or ordinance, given in unnecessary ambiguous language, a new version, giving that divine command in plain terms, ought to be given to the people.

 

It would do violence to all my reverential feelings for the Word of God, and indeed to my common sense to withhold my approbation from the purpose of "The American Bible Union." What is this purpose? "We believe that the Scriptures should be translated, fully and without reservation, into every language among men," &c.

 

It is remarked that "there are controversies in the churches which depend almost entirely on the meaning of a word. That word should be left as it is in the original, without assuming in a translation that the meaning claimed for it by a particular denomination is the only meaning of the word, or the real meaning in the Bible."

 

Now, dear brother, I grant the conclusion if the premises are correct. If it is a mere sectarian assumption that the word referred to, is susceptible of a perfectly correct and plain translation into English, then leave it "as it is in the original." That this is not the fact, and that the word is susceptible of a correct and plain translation, is demonstrated by the fact that hundreds of learned and pious men of different denominations have so testified.

 

I submit that the question is not whether any present English translation is "the best translation of the Scriptures that has ever been made in any language." The question is, can we not have a better? Your own quotations, brother, give an affirmative answer to this questions, declaring, —"There need be no question that it is capable in many respects of being improved."

 

If the fact that the King James version is "the best that has ever been made," is an adequate reason for not making another, then the fact of the Bishop’s Bible, or some other, being the best that had ever been made, was an adequate objection to the King’s version being made.

 

On enquiry, dear brother, I think you will be satisfied that, by the grace of God, there are person engaged in this blessed enterprise who have a single eye to the holy truth and glory of God, and other requisite qualifications for this important work.

 

Yours as ever in Christian love. HENRY GREW

 

Philadelphia, May 26, 1857.

 

———-

 

REMARK BY THE EDITOR.—We give the foregoing from Br. Grew as his right to express his opinion on a subject, in regard to which we uttered ours a short time since. We wish to say nothing more on the topic at present, except to refer the readers to the article which has drawn out Br. Grew’s criticism, page 152; and especially to our remarks in the EXAMINER of January 15, page 27, in which they will find our settled conviction on the "Revision" question; and our mind is unchanged in the matter.

 

 

ON THE DEVIL AND HIS ANGELS

BIBLE EXAMINER. NEW YORK, NOVEMBER, 1857

 

Dear Bro. Storrs—For the sake of eliciting truth, I desire to offer a few suggestions on this subject, in the same spirit of Christina candor with which you have presented your views. I would not do this, did I not consider the subject of some practical importance. If there is a personal Adversary, invisible to us, who, by subtle evil machinations, "goeth about seeking whom he may devour," it is important that dying and accountable men should know it; for if his existence is not admitted, there will be no watching against his devices, one of which, I apprehend, is to persuade men that he has no existence. It may be said, it is our duty to watch against all evil; but it cannot be our duty to watch against an evil which has no existence. If there is no devil, we have no need to fear, his evil devices. "What saith the Scriptures?"

 

It is a plainly revealed truth, that there are in the universe "angels who kept not their first estate." Jude 6. These must be personal beings, for evil principles do not change. Our Lord refers to these fallen angels, in connection with their head, the devil, Mt 25:41; for whose destruction material fire will be prepared, and who are "reserved—unto judgment of the great day." Jude 6. The proof that this fire will be material, is found in 2Pe 6:7; which teaches as plainly that "ungodly men" will be destroyed by literal fire, as that the old world was overflowed with literal water. Our Lord, Mt 25:41, teaches that this same fire will be "prepared for the devil and his angels."

 

Moreover, we read of "the wiles," and of "the devices," and "the snares" of the devil; which expressions indicate personal mental exercises.—Jude refers to a disputation between "Michael the archangel" and "the devil—about the body of Moses." He is represented as a subject of knowledge, Re 12:12; as being a sinner and a liar from the beginning, 1Jo 3:8; as a subject of desire, Lu 22:31. He is a "prince" and a "god," Joh 14:30; 2Co 4:4. Now these things can be predicated only of a personal being.

 

Neither evil principles nor mental temptations are "angels." Nor can they be destroyed by material fire. Intelligent beings, and not mere principles, are "reserved unto the judgment of the great day." Nor can the latter be considered as devising, &c., or entering into a disputation, such as Jude describes. Sin, or a lie, is an evil principle; but a sinner or a liar is an active, personal, moral agent. Such also is a subject of sinful desire. Such are the princes and gods.

 

Moreover, the true principles of biblical interpretation require us to understand the personal pronouns uniformly applied to the devil, as indicating personality, unless such construction involves absurdity, or plainly contradicts the tenor of divine revelation, neither of which can be affirmed in this case.

 

There is no more absurdity in supposing that angelic moral agents may fall, than that human moral agents may fall; nor is there any passage of inspired truth which denies that the devil is a person.

 

The record of our blessed Lord’s temptation, by the devil, plainly represents two person addressing each other. It is true that impersonal things are sometimes personified in the sacred Scriptures. Common sense, however, teaches the proper construction in these cases. It is not necessary to suppose that "the Son of God did actually see a fallen angel" with his bodily eyes. He possesses superhuman powers, being made "much better than the angels," Heb 1:4; whereas, man was made "a little lower than the angels;" Ps 8:5. He might be perfectly conscious of the presence of the devil, and the recorded interchange of communications might take place without the use of any of those physical organs, which, in addition to superior powers, he possesses in common with his brethren.

 

It appears to me far more honorable to the holy Redeemer of a personal tempter. "Desire for food is the occasion of the temptation." This indeed was "natural" and innocent. But how can we suppose that, to the holy mind of the Savior, it was perfectly natural for the idea to suggest itself, to supply himself by an act of his power—"If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread?" I know that the supposition is, that the mind of the Creator had no fellowship for a moment with "the idea;" and if the idea expressed was simply that the Son of God had power to work such a miracle if he chose, it would be harmonious with his holy character; but the words express more than this. From some quarter there comes a plain and positive direction to do the evil deed. So in respect to another temptation, "Cast thyself down." We all abhor any construction which would impeach the holy character of our divine Lord. It was not any "idea" of his own. It was the wicked suggestion of another being, even "the prince of this world." Joh 14:30.

 

In conclusion, permit me, my beloved Christian brother, to assure you I highly appreciate your noble position of fearlessly discussing all theological subjects, without regard to the frowns of a self-styled orthodoxy. I cordially sympathize with you in all you are called to suffer, through the influence of bigotry, for advocating what you believe to be the truth of God. O, let us meekly endure all things, after the pattern of our great Exemplar, who will soon amply reward us by a cheering welcome in his joy.

 

Yours, in Christian love, HENRY GREW. Phila., Oct. 1st, 1857.

 

 

THE GRACIOUS WARNING

BIBLE EXAMINER. Vol. 13. MARCH, 1860. No. 3

BY HENRY GREW

 

"My Spirit shall not always strive with man." Ge 3:6.

 

THIS gracious warning of a long-suffering God, is not to be restricted to the antediluvians. The same merciful admonition was given to the unbelieving Jews, and is now applicable to impenitent Gentiles.

 

There are two plainly revealed truths, demanding the special regard of a sinful world hastening to the eternal judgment of Almighty God. One is, that our Father in heaven is "merciful and gracious, slow to anger, forgiving iniquity, transgression, and sin." The other is, that He "will by no means clear" the impenitent. Sinful and selfish man often cavils at the decrees of the infinitely wise and benevolent Ruler of the Universe. There is, however, no decree, or immutable purpose, more clearly revealed in the word of the Lord, than that announced by Jesus Christ, "This is the will of him that sent me, that every one that seeth the Son and believeth on him, may have everlasting life." Joh 6:40. There never was, or ever will be, a more sincere utterance of truth, on earth or in heaven, that the declaration of infinite love, "Whosoever will (may) take the water of life freely." Re 22:17.

 

What a spectacle of heavenly love and mercy, demanding the admiration of men and angels, was that, when "Jesus stood and cried, if any man thirst, let him come unto me and drink." Joh 7:37. "O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered they children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!" Mt 23:27.

 

O LOVE DIVINE, ALL LOVE EXCELLING!

 

In addition to "the unspeakable gift" of his Son, our gracious Father has given his Holy Spirit, to reprove and convince the world of sin; Joh 16:8, especially of the great sin of unbelief; Joh 16:9. The Spirit of God enlightens, and awakens stupid men to a consciousness of their guilt, and danger of everlasting death. Among the sins charged against dying men in the holy word, is that of "resisting the Holy Ghost." Ac 7:51. This is a prevalent sin in the present day. The long-suffering of a gracious God, which should lead to repentance, is abused and the monitions of his Spirit resisted, unto the dreadful mandate goes forth against the ungrateful sinner, he "is joined to his idols, let him alone."

 

Dear reader, how important is the question, who of us are committing this sin of resisting the strivings of the Holy Spirit of God? Let us seriously ask, "Lord is it I?" As the awakening influences of the Spirit are designed to convince the sinner of the duty of giving his whole heart to God, which the divine law requires, it is evident that every person resists the Holy Spirit so long as he withholds his heart from God. There is no substitute for this high duty. Neither pardon, or peace, or eternal life, can ever be attained without it. Like Simon we may believe and be baptized; like Demas we may join the Christian church, but so long as holy love is not the ruling principle of action—so long as we "mind earthly things" chiefly, our knowledge is vain, our faith is dead, our profession is a lie before the heart searching God, and our "end is destruction." With all our specious morality, we are resisting the great appeal of the Spirit of God—"My son, give me thine heart."

 

Is not this, alas! the wretched state of many professors of religion? Have they not a name to live while they are spiritually dead? Have they not the form of godliness without its transforming power? Are they not the unhappy victims of idolatrous covetousness, which is an insuperable barrier to the love of God and man in the human heart?

 

Search (us) O God, and know (our) hearts; try us and know (our) thoughts: and see if there be any wicked way in (us) and lead us in the way everlasting."

 

Philadelphia, Feb. 4th, 1860.

 

 

Baptism

BIBLE EXAMINER Vol. 13. JUNE, 1860. No. 6.

BY HENRY GREW, PHILADELPHIA.

 

MR 1:1-4; "The beginning of the Gospel of Jesus Christ the Son of God; as it is written in the prophets, Behold, I send my messenger before they face, which shall prepare thy way before thee: the voice of one crying in the wilderness, prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight. John did baptize in the wilderness, and preach the baptism of repentance, for the remission of sins."

 

Here we find the Gospel dispensation commencing with the immersion of John, which proves John’s baptism to be Gospel or Christian immersion. This divine ordinance, indeed, is significant of the precious truth of the glad tidings of our Father’s love to a perishing world, manifested in the death and resurrection of His beloved Son, and in our consequent conformity to our blessed Lord. Ro 6:3-5; Col 2:12.

 

As further proof of the Christian character of John’s immersion, we may consider the following passages: —"The Law and the prophets were until John: since that time the kingdom of God is preached," &c. Lu 16:16  "And from the days of John the Baptist, until now, the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence," &c. Mt 11:12. Now, as we find, the inspired writers, in recording the facts of the Christian dispensation, "beginning from the baptism of John," —Ac 1:22; and learn also that John preached both repentance towards God and faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, as Ac 19:4 plainly affirms, on what authority, I humbly ask, can we deny John’s baptism the character of Christian immersion? Joh 7:38, refers, I apprehend, to the future state. Shall we do so because John’s ministry preceded the termination of the Jewish dispensation at the death of our divine Master, when he nailed to his cross the "carnal ordinances," which were shadows of better things to come? Let us pause in view of the inevitable consequence of such an inference. From these premises we must equally infer that the anomalous supposition, that Christ’s baptism was not Christian or Gospel baptism, for, before his death, "Jesus made and baptized more disciples than John," &c. Joh 4:1. Jesus was a greater water immerser than John; "though Jesus himself baptised not, but his disciples." By His authority they baptized; therefore, it is written that He baptized. John and Jesus baptized simultaneously. See Joh 3:22-23. "After these things came Jesus and his disciples into the land of Judea, and there he tarried with them and baptized. And John also was baptizing in Aenon, near to Salim, because there was much water there." Our blessed Lord honored this sacred ordinance also, by personally submitting to it, saying, "Thus it becometh us to fulfill all righteousness." He was immersed by John in the Jordan. Mt 3:13-15. Multitudes have since rejoiced to follow his holy example. Ac 8:39.

 

The fact of our Savior’s directing some, whom he healed, to present their offerings as Moses commanded, Lu 5:14, teaches us that the Christian dispensation commenced before that of the Law of Moses entirely terminated. The former lapped on the latter. We find no requisition in the law of Moses for such an immersion as John practiced. The word "this," in Ac 19:5, being in italics, the passage does not prove that these "disciples" were re-baptized. In the fourth verse, (Ac 19:4), Paul taught them that by being baptized "unto John’s baptism," (Ac 19:3), they were already baptized "into the name of the Lord Jesus."

 

Another question now demands our very serious consideration.

 

Was this divine ordinance of immersion in water, (which was practiced by Jesus Chrst and his forerunner,) a temporary institution only, or a permanent one, like that of the Lord’s Supper, to be observed by his disciples "till he come?" 1Co 11:26. When, dear Christian brethren, we consider the saying of our blessed Master, "He that hath my commandments and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me;" we must surely allow that a right understanding of this subject is of no trivial importance. More especially is such an understanding important, when we find that immersion is the only duty specially connected with believing the holy truth of the Gospel, in the great commission given by our Lord to his disciples. Mr 16; 16.

 

That the immersion in this commission is immersion in water, is demonstrated by the subsequent practice of the apostles, who were directed to teach believers "to observe all things whatsoever" Jesus "commanded" them: Mt 28:20; and who were so inspired by the Holy Spirit of God, that they could say, "He that knoweth God, heareth us; he that is not of God, heareth not us." 1Jo 4:6. Paul, indeed, 1Co 7:6, spake his own opinion, "not by commandment," which notice of exception makes the general rule the stronger. See 2Co 13:8.

 

After the baptism of the Holy Ghost on the day of Pentecost, Ac 2:1-5; we find the apostle Peter commanding his hearers as follows: "Repent and be baptized (immersed) every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ, for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost." "then they that gladly received his word, were baptized." Ac 2:38, 41. "Philip went down to the city of Samaria, and preached Christ unto them." "When they believed—they were baptized both men and women." Ac 8:5-12.  Verse 36, proves that this was in "water." Indeed, they were afterwards baptized with the Holy Ghost by the apostles; verse 17. The Eunuch presents us another similar case. Ac 8:36. Passing on in the divine record, (to which all our opinions must submit), we come to the case of Saul of Tarsus, that patter of the mercy and long-suffering of our gracious Gather and God of salvation. Ananias long-suffering of our gracious Father and God of salvation. Ananias was commissioned to go to him at Damascus, and putting his hands on him, said, "Brother Saul, the Lord (even Jesus that appeared unto thee in the way as thou camest), hast sent me, that thou mightest receive thy sight, and be filled with the Holy Ghost—and he received sight forthwith, and arose, and was baptized." Ac 9:1-18. Subsequently, we find him baptizing the Jailor and his believing household. Ac 16:33-34. The apostle indeed thanked God that he had "baptized none, but Crispus and Gaius, and the household of Stephanus." 1Co 1:13-16. But why did he do this? Not because baptism in water was not the duty of all believers; but, "lest any should say that (he) had baptized in (his) own name." He was so jealous for the honor of his divine Master, that he was glad that he had given no more innocent occasion for such a false report. If immersion in water had not been the command in his Master’s commission, he would not have baptized those that he did. It appears from Ac 16:15, that Lydia and her believing household were baptized by his direction. 1Co 1:17, only implies that preaching, and not baptism, was his principle work.

 

Our next proof, from the holy record, that baptism in water is a permanent divine institution, both for Jewish and Gentile converts to the religion of our Lord Jesus Christ, is found in the case of Peter’s preaching the Gospel to the "household" and "friends" of Cornelius. "While Peter yet spake these words" (of grace and truth,)" the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word." "They heard them speak with tongues and magnify God." But this baptism of the Holy Ghost was no substitute for water immersion, for the inspired apostle said, "Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we? And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord." Ac 10:24-48. So at Corinth: "Many of the Corinthians hearing, believed and were baptized." Ac 18:8.

 

I submit that these uniform, numerous testimonies are conclusive, relative to this important subject. Whatever may be said of John’s baptism, immersion in water into the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost," (or "into the name of the Lord Jesus,") practiced by Jesus Christ to a greater extent than by his harbinger, Joh 4:1, and by the inspired apostles, subsequent to their being baptized with the Holy Ghost, is thus established, as a permanent ordinance of the Christian church, as is the Lord’s Supper, "till He comes" for our eternal salvation.

 

If this is denied, we humbly ask, when and where did the obligation to observe it terminate? Was it at the Pentecostal baptism of the Spirit? Why then do we read of its subsequent observance by the inspired apostles?

 

Some years since, I was conversing with a friend (Quaker) on this subject, who conceded the above fact, but supposed that the apostle were mistaken in their duty! Indeed! The apostles, to whom the Son of God "hath given commandments" for the edification of his body, the church; appointed to teach his disciples "all things whatsoever (he had) commanded" them—the apostles, who had the promise of the Holy Spirit to "bring all things to their remembrance whatsoever (Christ had said) unto" them, and who, consequently, affirmed, "We can do nothing against the truth, but for the truth," were incompetent for their divine mission! Ac 1:2; Mt 28:20; Joh 14:26; 2Co 13:8. This throws us out to sea without helm or compass. If the apostles were mistaken in respect to their Master’s instructions on the subject of baptism, they may have been so in regard to other subjects, and their record of his general teachings is not reliable. "If any man think himself to be a prophet or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things" which the apostles taught and wrote, "are the commandments of the Lord." 1Co 14:37. "For (they) received of the Lord, that which also (they) delivered unto" us. 1Co 11:23.

 

The baptism of the Holy Ghost appears to have been a peculiar operation, for the purpose of imparting miraculous gifts, for the confirmation of "the great salvation" at its first establishment. "God (thus) bearing (its heralds) witness, both with signs and wonders, and with divers miracles and gifts of the Holy Ghost, according to his own will." Heb 2:4. It is not to be confounded with regeneration. The apostles were regenerated by the Spirit of God, before the day of Pentecost, when they were baptized with the Holy Spirit. As the regenerated by the Holy Spirit are not now possessed of miraculous powers, they cannot be said to be baptized with the Holy Ghost, in the scriptural sense of that peculiar term, it being always manifested by miraculous powers. All true Christians are indeed immersed or "baptized into one spirit" of holy faith and love. The "one immersion," Eph 4:5, is a duty common to believers in all ages, the immersion of the Holy Spirit is not; the former, therefore, I understand to be an immersion in water.

 

Whether or not this view of the baptism of the Holy Ghost is correct, the Divine authority and permanent obligation of water immersion is fully established, I humbly submit, by the scriptural evidence I have adduced. We have clearly seen that the former was not a substitute for the latter. Ac 10:45-48, &c. The fact that baptism, in water, is often denoted by the simple term "baptized," and the baptism of the Holy Spirit, being defined as being baptized "with the Holy Ghost," or "the gift of the Holy Ghost" being "poured out" upon them, appears also to require water immersion, as the true import of our Lord’s commission. See Ac 2:41; 8:5-12; 9:18; 13:33; 10:48; 18:8. In these passages, it is admitted that the reference is to water baptism, although water is not specified. In the cases of the baptism of the Spirit, we find the "Spirit" specified. Ac 2:4; 8:15-16; 10:45-46.

 

We have indeed no divine authority for supposing that a correct knowledge and observance of this ordinance is essential to the salvation of true believers on the Son of God. Jesus Christ has never said, (as he affirms of impenitence and unbelief), he that is not baptized "shall perish" or "be condemned." Let us, however, seriously consider, that a correct understanding and observance of all the commandments of the Lord, is essential to our standing "complete in all the will of God." To be made perfect in this holy will, is the desire of every heaven born soul. "Blessed are they that do his commandments," &c. Every act of holy obedience being attended with a blessing, every misunderstanding, and consequent non-observance of a duty, involves a loss of divine blessing. The writer, writes from a blessed experience which sixty years have not obliterated. His immersion was to him a falling into the arms of his Redeemer, to be saved by him eternally "from the law of sin and death." Yet while he regrets that any of his beloved Christian brethren have not enjoyed the same blessing, he hopes that, by divine grace, he shall never withhold His forbearing love from any who love our Lord Jesus in sincerity. "To Him be glory both now and forever, Amen."

 

Philadelphia, April 10th, 1860. HENRY GREW.

 

 

Expositions

THE WORLD’S CRISIS

 

(Dec, 26, 1860?)

 

Mr 14:32-35 -"And they came to a place which was named Gethsemane: and he saith to his disciples, Sit ye here while I shall pray.  And he taketh with him Peter, and James, and John, and began to be sore amazed, and to be very heavy; and saith unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful unto death: tarry ye here and watch.  And he went forward a little and fell on the ground, and prayed that, if it were possible the hour might pass from him. And he said, Abba Father, all things are possible unto thee; take away this cup from me: nevertheless, not what I will, but what thou wilt." Heb 5:7-Who in the says of his flesh, when he had offered up prayers and supplications, which strong crying and tears unto him that was able to save him from death, and was heard in that he feared."

 

What cup did our Savior desire "might pass from him"? Was it his death on the cross? No, my brethren, for he "was heard in that he feared," and he was not delivered from the death of the cross; but he was delivered from the agony of that "hour" in Gethsemane, which would, it appears, have terminated in death, had not "an angel appeared unto him from heaven, strengthening him."-Lu 22:43.

 

It was the immutable purpose of his heart of love to lay down his life for his sheep."-Joh 10:15. "For the life of the world" -Joh 6:51; "that whosover believeth in him  might not perish, but have everlasting life." -Joh 3:16  From this purpose of Jehovah’s wise and gracious purposes, the Son of the Blessed never faltered for a moment.  When his zealous disciple objected to prophetic fulfillment he was immediately reproved among the part of the "adversary" class of the things which were of man and not of God." It is not to be supposed that he himself would over waver in respect to this great purpose of his incarnation.

 

1Ti 6:14-16-"That thou keep this commandment without spot, unrebukeable, until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ: which in his times he shall shew, who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings and Lord of lords; who only hat Immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto: whom no man hath seen, nor can see; to whom be honor and power everlasting. Amen." Here is an object to be shown and a person who shall show it. The object to be shown is Jesus Christ. He who "shall show" him is the Father, who is the "blessed and only Potentate," etc.  "He (the Father) shall send Jesus Christ," etc.-Ac 3:20. He alone is the invisible God. Jesus Christ has been seen of many of the human race. He assures us that he lives by the Father, without excepting his divine nature.-Joh 6:57. The Father alone (whom our blessed Redeemer assures us, Joh 17:1-3, is "the ONLY true God") is possessor of independent immortality.

 

Respectfully submitted. Henry Grew.

 

 

 

PRE-EXISTENCE OF JESUS CHRIST

THE WORLD’S CRISIS

 

December 26, 1860

 

The following answers to the five questions proposed on this important subject are respectfully submitted.

 

1. Adam "formed of the dust of the ground" was the first Adam.

 

2. "If he had lived" to the present time, he would have been older than the "body-prepared" (Heb 10:5) by the Father for his Son; but not so old as the Son, who "was in the beginning with God," who is "the first born of every creature," by whom God, "created all things" "in heaven and in earth," etc. Joh 1:2-14; Col 1:15-17; Eph 3:9; Heb 1:2; Re 3:14, etc.

 

3. 4.  Answered above, by the plain scriptural distinction between what the second Adam was "according to the flesh," and what he was according to his divine and matchless sonship.-Ro 1:3,4; 9:5.

 

5. The second Adam, who "is the Lord from heaven" (1Co 15:47), "could exist before the world was," although the first Adam "did not;" because it was the purpose of Him "who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will," that he should so exist; which the passages quoted above prove.

 

Our adorable Emanuel (Re 5:13) may, in some respects, be compared with Adam, Moses, and David, but, strictly speaking, he has no compeer.

 

"God, in the person of his Son, Has all his mightiest works outdone."

 

"Nor earth, nor seas, nor suns, nor stars, Nor heaven his full resemblance bears; His beauties we can never trace, Till we behold him face to face."

 

HENRY GREW

 

 

 

Birth-Day Thoughts

THE WORLD’S CRISIS

 

Wednesday, January 2, 1860

 

Entering this day my eightieth year, I with dutiest gratitude of heart, to adopt the words of the Psalmist, "Come near, all ye that fear the Lord, and I will tell you what he had done for my soul."  He formed me in the womb, laid me on my mother’s breast, nourished me there.

 

The revolving years of manhood have been crowned with his loving kindness, and filled up with his tender mercies. Nearly threescore fleeting years have intervened since that blessed era of wondrous love, when the good Shepherd of Israel called me, wandering in the wilderness of sin, and brought me to his fold. Yet in that hour of divine mercy to a perishing sinner fresh in his heart’s memory as the event of yesterday. There, with adoring gratitude, shall it be cherished through the countless ages of eternity.

 

To the honor of my Father in heaven, I do now and ever ascribe all my salvation to the unsearchable riches of his grace in his own beloved Son Christ Jesus. Far be it that I should glory, save in the cross of Christ "by whom the world is crucified to me and I unto the world." O blessed "law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus (which) hath made me free from the law of sin and death, "to reign with him in his kingdom!"

 

Among the innumerable mercies which have crowned the fleeting years of an unworthy pilgrim to Mount Zion, I desire to record this day the blessed influence of the Spirit of my Father, inducing me to see for the holy truth at his own pure fountain, and to renounce the doctrines and traditions of fallible men, which make void "the word of the Lord" which "abideth forever." Most refreshing has it been to emerge from the clouds of darkness, which cast their murky shade around the throne of "the Father of mercies." To enter into more perfect fellowship with the Holy One, is ample remuneration for all loss our sanctification may cost. Surely the honor which cometh from "the alone God," which a single eye to his truth secures, is preferable to that which cometh from "a man that shall die, and the son of man which is as grass."

 

With my mercies, I classify all those trials of faith and patience my Father’s chastening love has appointed, through every fleeting year.  Blessed be his holy name! He has given me to "know that his judgments are righteous altogether," and that "in loving kindness he has afflicted me." "light and but for a moment" do they indeed appear, when we remember the animating promise of my Lord’s coming to take his longing bride into his everlasting embraces, and that these trials of faith are working out for me "a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory!"

 

O that the little remnant of mortal life may be more faithfully consecrated to the services of the God of my salvation.

 

HENRY GREW Philadelphia, Dec. 25th, 1860.

 

 

1 Cor. 15:24-28

THE WORLD’S CRISIS

 

DATE (?-1860)

 

"Then Cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom (the reign) to God, even the Father," etc. This clearly implies, and antecedent possession of the kingdom by the Son. He could not deliver up a kingdom which he did not actually possess. The promise of the Father to give him the kingdom or reign on the throne of his father David, is not yet fulfilled. He is not at the right hand of his Father on His (the Father’s) throne. At his second personal coming, he will be on his own throne. -Re 3:21; Da 7:13, 14.

 

"The kingdoms of this world are (to) become the kingdom of our Jehovah and of his Christ." -Re 11:15. "The Father, of whom are all things," will put all things under the feet of his Son. He will give him the reign to triumph gloriously over the powers of darkness.

 

This reign must continue until all enemies are put under the feet of Jesus Christ, which will be at least "a thousand years."-Re 20:4. At his coming, the work of the glorious conquest commences, proceeding until "all things shall be subdued unto him." Not until "he shall have put down all (opposing) rule, and all authority, and all power," will he deliver up the kingdom to his Father, when God shall be "all in all."  Re 20:24 declares that it is the "kingdom" or reign, which is to be "delivered up."

 

May divine favor prepare us for the awful and glorious scenes which will soon open upon this insensible world.

 

HENRY GREW

 

 

THE LORD’S SUPPER

THE WORLD’S CRISIS

 

DATE (November 28, 1860)

 

Our divine Redeemer instituted this dinner to be observed by his disciples "until he comes" to receive us to himself in the kingdom-1Co 11:23-26. His desiring was the continual "remembrance," in our too forgetful hearts, of his dying and living love for us.

 

Accordingly, we find that all "who gladly received the word" of the truth of the gospel, "were baptized," and continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayer."-Ac 2:42. How "steadfastly" they continued in the observance of these precious privileges for the honor of their Master and their own edification and holy rejoicing, we learn from Ac 20:7 -"And upon the first day of the week (not on the first Sunday of the month or quarter year) when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached to them," etc. "It is not written that Paul administered to them whatsoever part he might have taken therein." To an unsophisticated mind, the plain teaching here is, that it was the custom for the disciple of the Lord Jesus Christ at Tross, to come together every first day of the week to break bread and attend to the other ordinances of divine worship, as we read, Ac 2:42. This frequency of the observance of the Lord’s supper is confirmed also in 1Co 11:20.-"whenye come together therefore into one place, this is not to eat the Lord’s Supper, for in eating every one taketh before other his own supper," etc...; i.e. their disorderly manner was not the right way of observing the ordinance. The passage implies, that the professed design and duty of their coming together, was to eat the Lord’s Supper. That this was the practice of the Christian churches in general, we learn from the fact that the inspired apostles taught the same things "in every church." -1Co 4:17.

 

Now, beloved brethren, it is a fact worthy of our serious consideration, that although the disciples, when they assembled on the first day of the week, attended to Christian ordinances in general, the breaking of bread is the only ordinance which is mentioned as the special object of their coming together. They "came together to break bread." -Ac 20:7; 1Co 11:20. Can it then be right to omit three fourths or more of the time, the very ordinance which was the chief design of the assembling of the saints according out our only rule of faith and practice? From 1Co 11:33 we learn that the Supper was first observed after assembling. It was not put in the background. Is not this divine institution the memorial of the Father’s love, in the unspeakable gift of his only begotten Son to die for us, and of the love of the good Shepherd in laying down his life for the sheep? Is it not the memorial of the great fact, which constitutes the foundation of all our hope of deliverance from the second death, and of our immortality in the promised kingdom of God?

 

Have we not been corrupted from the simplicity which is in Jesus Christ, by allowing "lords over God’s heritage" to make their presence and service essential to the disciples enjoyment of the privileges their Lord has given them? I do not indeed question the sincerity of some, who, through the power of tradition, really suppose that none but an ordained elder has the right to baptize and to break the sacramental loaf. But I do affirm that they have no more scriptural authority for supposing it, than they have for supposing that none but an ordained elder has the right to pray or read the holy scriptures in the congregation.

 

Christian churches existed before officers were appointed and had elders ordained in them.-Ac 14:23. In the absence of plain evidence of the contrary, we must believe that, previous to the appointment of elders, they "came together to break bread," as well as to pray and sing and exhort one another. And why is it we may ask?  Cannot a Christ brother give thanks for the bread and the cup, or for the sacred blessings of which they are the emblems? Where there are elders in churches, it is proper for them to preside in the observance of Christian ordinances; but they have no power to impart virtue to these emblems, as popish priests pretend.

 

As civil governors are appointed for the better enjoyment of our property which is our excellent right, so church officers are appointed for the better observance and enjoyment of the antecedent rights of disciples. Until officers are appointed, every assembly of "two or three" believers have a right and are bound in duty to come together on the first day of the week to break bread, pray, sing, read the sacred Scriptrures, and exhort one another in the best manner they can, according to the ability God has given. In doing so, with Holy spirit to glorify their Father in heaven they have the promise of the presence of their king, an ample remuneration for all the apposition of modern Sanballats.

 

Jesus Christ has commanded baptizing with preaching-Mt 28:19. Phillip who baptized the eunuch, was not ordained.  But he was one of the men appointed to take care of "the daily ministration" -Scriptural things-Ac 6:1-5. Having preached Jesus unto the Ethiopian, who declared his belief that "Jesus Christ is the Son of God," he immersed him into his name.

 

Dear Christian brethren, the honor of our blessed Master, and our own spiritual welfare demand our return to the simplicity of the New Testament of Jesus Christ. Let us, like the first Christian churches, come together "on the first day of the week" "to break bread," and to exhort one another, lifting up holy hands, in prayer and thanksgiving, singing, not by proxy, but with grace in our hearts, making melody to the Lord. For Christians, who are able to exhort and admonish one another to shut up their house of worship, or to neglect the breaking of bread, because they have no ordained elder, is a lamentable renunciation of duty and privilege. As the light of the world for the salvation of the perishing, we are thus directed to hold forth the world of life, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord, blameless, looking for the glorious appearing of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever. Amen.

 

HENRY GREW

 

 

 

"HE THAT WINNET SOULS IS WISE."

BIBLE EXAMINER Vol 13. DECEMBER, 1860. No. 12

 

ONE of the important duties and high privileges of every redeemed sinner, is to labor to win souls to Jesus Christ. "He that winneth souls is wise." Wise, because "he that converteth a sinner from the error of his ways shall save a soul from death, and hide (or prevent) a multitude of sins." Wise, because "they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament, and they that turn many to righteousness, as the stars forever and ever." Wise, because every converted sinner adds a star to the crown of our blessed Master whom we delight to honor. Wise, because our Father in heaven will be eternally glorified in the salvation of every lost sinner.

 

Beloved brethren in the Lord, are we not too negligent in regard to this high duty? We pray for the salvation of our fellow men hastening to everlasting death. Are we proving the sincerity of our prayers, by the faithful use of those means by which God is pleased to answer our prayers? Are we earnestly and affectionately warning perishing men to consider their latter end, and to accept the mercy freely offered in the Gospel to every penitent, believing sinner? Alas! how many opportunities of speaking a word to the poor sinner, which, by the Divine Spirit, might conduce to his everlasting life in the kingdom of God, are suffered to pass unimproved! Where is that love which moved the Son of the Blessed to weep over dying men? Let us cherish this love, brethren, that our bowels of compassion may yearn over the perishing. Then, out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth will speak for God, and we shall win souls to Jesus Christ, who shall enter with us through the gates into the "eternal city."

 

Especially, beloved, let our daily, holy living demonstrate to the infidel and the perishing wordling, the excellency of our sacred faith, in its power to transform depraved man, and produce righteousness, truth, love, and peace, in this revolted world.

 

"Ye are my witnesses, saith the Lord." O, brethren, do we realize the responsibility of this high position? Let us pause and solemnly inquire, Are we, in our daily walk, in our tempers, dispositions, words and actions, true or false witnesses for God? Are we indeed "the light of the world," and "the salt of the earth," or are dying men stumbling over our covetousness, and pride, and vanity into everlasting perdition?

 

Let us understand that no correctness of theological opinions will be admitted "at the judgment seat of Christ," as a substitute for that "pure and undefiled religion" which consists in visiting "the fatherless and widows," and keeping ourselves "unspotted from the world." All our boasted knowledge, and faith, and hope are worthless, unaccompanied by that blessed practical love which assimilates us to Him, "who went about doing good."

 

HENRY GREW. Philadelphia, 1860.

 

 

 

THE BAPTISM OF THE HOLY GHOST.

BIBLE EXAMINER January 1861

 

"Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all." 1Co 12:4-6. These operations are sometimes confounded.

 

Our divine Redeemer, before his ascension, "being assembled together with (his disciples) commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which ye have heard of me. For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence." Ac 1:4-5.

 

What was the nature and design of this baptism of the Holy Spirit?

 

What are the recorded facts concerning it?

 

"And when the recorded facts concerning it?

 

"And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place—and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance." Ac 2:1-12. "And it came to pass that while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul, having passed through the upper coasts, came to Ephesus; and finding certain disciples, he said unto them, have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost. *** And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues and prophesied." Ac 19:1-6.

 

"And they of the circumcision, which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter" (to the house of Cornelius) "because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost. For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnified God." Ac 10:45-46.

 

From all these cases, we plainly learn the nature and design of the baptism of the Holy Spirit. It was the impartation of the miraculous powers to believers, for the confirmation of the truth of the glorious Gospel of the blessed God, for the salvation of a lost world, at its first promulgation, after the first advent of the Son of God.

 

It is plainly distinguished, both from the act of Divine renewal, or regeneration by the same Spirit, and from the ordinance of immersion in water. Nor was it a substitute for either. The apostles of our Lord were the subjects of regenerating grace long before "the day of Pentecost," when they were baptized with the Holy Ghost. They were true believers on the Son of God. Mt 16:17. "Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ (i.e. ‘with the heart, unto righteousness,’) is born of God." 1Jo 5:1; Ac 11:17, also proves that this baptism of the Spirit, was a gift, distinct from, and subsequent to, the gift of believing. That it was not a substitute for water baptism is clearly proved by the fact, that both believing Jews and Gentiles, subjects of this miraculous gift, were commanded to be baptized in water. @Ac 2:38-41; 10:44-48; 8:14-19.

 

The ordinance of immersion in water has a permanent position with the command to believe the Gospel, in the great commission of the Head of the church to his apostles: Mt 28:19. It is the "one baptism." Eph 4:5. For the "one body," or church of Jesus Christ. In harmony with this truth, we read that, "they that gladly received His word were baptized." Ac 2:41. Ac 2:38 proves that this was water baptism. See also Ac 10:47. "Can any man forbid water?" &c. The command to be baptized (or immersed) is given to "every" penitent believer. Ac 2:38. "Blessed are they that do his commandments that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter through the gates into the city." Re 22:14.

 

 

 

 

THE NATIONAL FAST

THE WORLD’S CRISIS

 

"If thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath aught against thee; leave there thy gift before the altar and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift." Mt 6:23,24

 

Such is the holy and imperative requisition of the Son of God, through whose mediation only our offerings of worship are acceptable to our Father in heaven. He who is welcomed to ascend the holy hill with his offering to the Arbiter of all the nations of the earth, is "he that walketh uprightly, and worketh righteousness," etc. Ps 15:1-2. Here, then, in the Word which abideth forever, is the duty of the nation plainly announce, before it presumes to come before the Holy One with its offering of fasting and prayer. The nation must remember that four millions of the human brotherhood have somewhat against it. Somewhat! Alas! who can adequately portray the dark scenery of the nation’s guilt of vile oppression, protracted in defiance to divine command and long-suffering, until Mercy herself consents that eternal Justice shall be avenged on such a nation as this!

 

It is possible that we can be so morally blind and infatuated as to expect the Almighty to repent himself of the evil he has appointed, while we refuse to repent of the sins which require the infliction of the evil? Do we not hear his solemn declaration that "he that turneth away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer shall be abomination"? —Pr 28:9. Do we not know that his law is to "proclaim liberty throughout all the land to all the inhabitants thereof"?—Le 25:10. "Is not this the fast which I have chosen? (saith the Lord) to loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke"?—Isa 58:6. "For the oppression of the poor, for the sighing of the needy, now will I arise saith the Lord;" etc.—Ps 12:5. "Behold the Lord cometh out of his place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity: the earth also shall disclose her blood, and shall no more cover her slain."—Isa 26:21. Is not this now fulfilled in this guilty land! How then are we to obey the divine injunction to be reconciled to our brother, before we offer our gift of fasting and prayer, that our Father in heaven may turn away his anger from us?

 

It is most manifest that these commandments of righteousness demand the immediate deliverance from bondage of every slave in the District of Columbia, and in every State of the northern confederacy. The public announcement, also, that God’s law shall be obeyed, that no slave shall be delivered unto his master which has escaped from his master unto us." De 23:15. This is the imperative duty of the people and their rulers. Thus ought we to be reconciled to our outraged brother, before our gift of fasting and prayer is offered to the just and righteous God, who has assured us that "to OBEY is better than sacrifice, and to HEARKEN, than the fat of rams." 1Sa 15:22.

 

If we refuse, as is to be feared, then while our unholy prayers are presented to the Lord of the Sabaoth, the cries of the victims of our oppression, and the clanking of their galling chains, will enter into his ears s a protest against a gracious answer. "We are verily guilty concerning our brother, in that we saw the anguish of his soul, when he besought us, and we would not hear; therefore is this distress come upon us." Ge 42:21 —The copy here is illegible except for the phrase ..." by the grace of God..." —"We lie down in our shame, and our confusion covereth us: for we have sinned against the LORD our God, we and our fathers, from our youth even unto this day, and have not obeyed the voice of the LORD our God." Jer 3:25.

 

HENRY GREW. Philadelphia, Sept. 10, 1861

 

 

 

SONSHIP OF CHRIST

 

Dear Editor:—In the Essays of Andrew Fuller on various scriptural subjects, there is one on the "Sonship of Christ." The following extracts appear to me so scriptural and logical, that I beg leave to offer them for the consideration of your readers.

 

Yours for the truth, HENRY GREW.

 

"It has been frequently suggested, that the ground of Christ’s Sonship is given us in Lu 1:35, and is no other than his miraculous conception: ‘The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.’"

 

"It is true that our Lord was miraculously conceived of the Holy Spirit, and that such a conception was peculiar to him; but it does not follow that by this he became the Son or "only begotten Son of God." Nor does the passage in question prove any such thing. It may be a reason given why Christ is called the Son of God; but not why he is so. Christ is called the Son of God as raised from the dead, and as exalted at the right hand of God, Ac 13:33; Ro 1:4. Did he then become the Son of God by these events? This is impossible; for sonship is not a progressive matter. If it arose from his miraculous conception, it could not for that reason arise from his resurrection or exaltation: and so, on the other hand, if it arose from his resurrection or exaltation, it could not proceed from his miraculous conception. But if each be understood of his being hereby proved, acknowledged, or as the Scriptures express it, declared to be the Son of God with power, all is easy and consistent. Whether the terms, Son of God,  and only begotten Son of God, be not expressive of his divine personality, antecedent to all consideration of his being conceived of the Holy Spirit, in the womb of the virgin, let the following things determine."

 

"First: the glory of the ‘only begotten of the Father,’ and the glory of the ‘Word,’ are used as convertible terms as being the same; but the latter is allowed to denote the divine person of Christ, antecedent to his being ...( the copy is illegible here) ... the same therefore must be true of the former. ‘The Word was made flesh, and we beheld his glory,’ that is, the glory of the Word, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.’" Joh 1:14.

 

"God is frequently said to have sent his son into the world.   Joh 5:23; 6:40; 10:36 ...( the copy is illegible here) ... not disciples, but for consequences of his sending them, of their preparation for ...( the copy is illegible here) ...  is their ...( the copy is illegible here) ... Christ  ...( one word in the copy is illegible here) ... the Son of God antecedently to his miraculous conception, and consequently, he did not become such by it—Is the fullness of the ‘God sent forth his Son, made of a woman; made under the law, that he might redeem them that were under the law.’ -’God sent his own Son, in the likeness of sinful flesh.’ —The terms ‘made of a woman, made under the law,’ are a parenthesis. The position affirmed is that God sent forth his Son to redeem the transgressors of the law. There is equal proof that Christ was ‘the Son of God’ before he was ‘made of a woman,’ as that he was ‘the Word’ before he was ‘made flesh.’ The phraseology is the same in one case as in the other. If it be alleged that Christ is here called the Son of God on account of his being made of a woman; I answer, if so, it is also on account of his being made under the law, which is too absurd to admit of a question. Moreover, to say that "God sent his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh," is equal to saying—that the Son of God assumed human nature: he must therefore have been the Son of God before his incarnation.

 

"Christ is called the Son of God antecedent to his being ‘manifested to destroy the works of the devil:’ but he was manifested to destroy the works of the devil by taking upon him human nature; consequently he was the Son of God antecedent to the human nature being assumed."

 

Mr. Fuller was a Trinitarian, and believed the contradictory dogma of eternal Sonship, and of his supreme Deity eternally begotten. An absurdity which he himself implicitly repudiated in his concession that "in the order of nature, the Father must have existed before the Son;" which harmonizes with our Savior’s own testimony, "I live by the Father," and can neither be reconciled with strict eternity or independence. His scriptural arguments, to prove his pre-existence as the Son of God appear to me to be conclusive.

 

 

 

TO OUR AGED BROTHER—HENRY GREW

 

Long has thou fought the battle of the Lord, My honored brother, and hast nobly done. While some have turned aside to jarring strifes, Contending about names, or minor points Taught is the blessed Word, and others still Have fallen into error, thou has stood For Truth and Righteousness—firm at thy post, Defending boldly, and yet gently too, The full, harmonious, perfect and complete Gospel of God—precepts and doctrines both, All linked together in one lovely chain, To elevate and sanctify the creature man, And make him "meet for the inheritance" "Of saints in light." And now thou dost commend That Charity which is the "bond" indeed "Of Perfectness"—embracing all within Its spacious heart who truly love the Lord. Not those alone who think as we may think, Or who in knowledge are quite far advanced; But takes in all, the lonely and the meek Of every sect or grade in whom is found The principle of right—love to our God And to our neighbor. Thou dost advocate This broad and heavenly rule; and my heart says Amen to such pur teaching, from its depth. I do not deem thee faultless, nor would say Thou are from every error wholly free For this would make thee more than fallible— But that thou givest "good and wholesome words,’ And that thy teachings in the main are right, Is my sincere conviction. yet to God Belongs the honor for all thou hast done, And still act doing in this blessed cause, To which your hear most readily responds. And my the same kind hand that hath thus far led you, my brother, through life’s checkered scenes, Still lead and guide, preserving, if His will, Till He whom thou so long has waited for, Shall in his glory come again to earth!

 

Thus prays your Sister in the same blest hope. A. C. JUDSON.

 

 

REPLY TO G. W. STETSON

THE WORLD’S CRISIS

 

DATE (?-1861)

 

In reply to the question of Bro. G. W. Stetson, I remark that I understand that the union of the pre-existent Spirit, (denominated the Son of God, Rom. 1:4,) with the body prepared him, qualified or capacitated him for that actual participation of "our feelings and infirmities," which constituted him a faithful High Priest, whose offering and mediation were acceptable to God.

 

The fact that the divine Spirit of the Son of God existed anterior and independently of the body prepared him, involves no proof that mere human spirits can exist independently of the body. The Son of God was a peculiar being. Although, in his incarnate state of humiliation, he "was made like unto his brethren"; in his original "begotten" divine nature, he was made "much better than the angels," Heb 1:4, whose nature is superior to ours. Heb 2:7.

 

As the Son of God, in his divine nature, was "begotten of the Father," Joh 1:14, his declaration, "I live by the Father," Joh 6:58, must be understood as referring to his highest nature, and consequently, the words, "thou shalt make his soul (life) an offering for sin," Isa 53:10, may be referred to the same nature. I understand that it was the voluntary offering of the heights and entire life of the Son of God, in conformity with the will of the Father, in connection with his general obedience, which constituted and adequate "propitiation for the sins of the whole world"; so that God might be just and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus." 1Jo 2:2; Ro 8:2. I appears to me, that both the Trinitarian and simple Humanitarian theories are open to the serious charge of diminishing the efficacy of the great sacrifice by limiting the actual death of the Son of God to simple humanity.  I understand that my brother S. is not an advocate of either of these theories.

 

HENRY GREW