The Declaration ["A Declaration of the First Principles of the Oracles of the Deity."] came into existence about the beginning of 1867. Its history is peculiar. It is an anonymous work, as all are aware: but of course it had a definite authorship -the suppression of which was due to an unpleasant complication with its pleasant compiler -a gentleman, originally from London, but who had been living for some time in the United States, and who was in England at this time on a visit of some duration. He came to Birmingham, stayed a while and made himself most pleasantly useful in the office -a lithe, active, cheerful, and munificent volunteer.
While co-operating in this way in the most acceptable manner, the idea of the Declaration was broached -that is, to get up a pamphlet which should set forth the truth is a series of propositions, with the proof texts quoted in full, instead of being merely referred to for the reader to turn up. Our agreeable volunteer undertook to provide the funds for the printing of a large edition of said pamphlet, to sell at a penny -whatever it should cost. (In point of fact, the first edition cost about sixpence per copy.)
He also undertook to collect the material for its contents; that is, to cut out and roughly arrange the various passages that would be wanted under various headings. As a matter of fact, he devoted a large amount of industry to this work, collecting footnotes from various writers in addition to passages from Scripture. The first idea was that the work should be wholly his, and with this idea, I had advertised it in advance as a pamphlet by him.
When he had collected all the material, he handed it over to me to put into shape. This I found a heavy piece of work, but I threw my whole energy into it, foreseeing in it a powerful instrumentality in the diffusion of a knowledge of the truth. What I did amounted to a complete writing of the work. I planned the distribution of the subjects; wrote all the propositions; arranged all the passages that my most pleasant friend had cut out, and the footnotes which he had industriously collected, and, in a word, gave structure and character to the work.
When it was finished, I found myself in a peculiar position. I had advertised it as my friend's work and it was not his work. I did not think there was any difficulty about this, since a simple statement that it was a joint production would put the matter right.
I proposed to my most pleasant friend that this statement should be made -and made in the mildest form, namely, that the pamphlet was by him and revised by me. I never imagined there could be any difficulty about this. The claims of truth required it, and knowing the malice that was at work against me, I feared the use that might be made of my allowing a work to go forth as the production of a liberal friend who had only collected the materials for it.
But, lo, my innocent suggestion was the application of a lighted match to gunpowder. I felt covered with shame; for the question of authorship in any honorary sense was nothing to me one way or other. I was simply aiming at truth and the service of the truth, and felt utterly humiliated to have to enter upon a contest in which I had to defend myself from a charge of seeking to rob another of his proper honour.
If the pamphlet had not been actually in print, and ordered in hundreds by expectant readers, I would have retired from the dispute, and left each man to take his own way. As the matter stood, it had to be argued and settled.
A conference of friends was brought to bear, and it was ultimately decided that the dilemma should be composed by issuing the pamphlet anonymously. A line in The Ambassador, stating in the fewest possible words that the pamphlet had been revised by me, put me right with regard to previous advertisements.
Since then (twenty-seven years ago) the Declaration has circulated in thousands and thousands of copies, and remains to this day the most largely circulating publication connected with the truth. The rupture cause by this incident was one of many deep wounds that have had to be suffered in the course of the service of the truth -a course which, so far as I am concerned, I have reason to hope is nearly "finished."
My days and my ways Ch 34.
All such rejoicing is evil
"Had I the time, the ability, and the money of some, what would I not do for the truth?"
This is a statement best left unsaid. It is a boast-a seeking of credit for unshown merit. For aught we know, we might do much less than the ones we criticise. Instead of bragging, it is better to turn one's thoughts to matters practical.
What are we doing for the truth with what we do possess? Could we not do a wee bit more? This is the question to which to pin ourselves when inclined to fly off into the regions of speculation. It is what we do, and not what we think we would do, that will count in the day of judgment.
To make ourselves feel good by dwelling on the real or supposed shortcomings of others is not a laudable exercise. It is a common failing, but none the less a very hurtful one. Self-elevation will reckon as nothing, and less than nothing, when the time comes for our life's account to be made up.
To appear good, or even to be good for a short time, whilst under the gaze of our brethren, is an easy matter. The true test of faithfulness comes when we are away from our brethren-when mingling throughout the week with the disobedient alien. It is then that we are tried, and it is then that we form habits and create a mind that will make us a blessing or a curse to our ecclesia.
If a brother is faithful away from the meetings - in his home and in his business - he will be also in the ecclesia. If he is unfaithful in his daily life, he will be - he must be - so in his dealings with his brethren. This is only natural. If we work this matter out we shall see that unfaithfulness behind the scenes is the cause of much ecclesial trouble-of the bitterness and dissension that is too often manifest in certain ecclesias.
Bro AT Jannaway.
The Christadelphian, May 1907
Names Written from the Foundation of the World
In the English Version, the eighth verse reads,
"and all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him (the Beast) whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world."
This is generally taken to mean that "the Lamb was slain from the foundation the world" - slain in the typical sacrifices of the Mosaic law. However this may be, the phrase "from the foundation of the world" in this place does not refer to the slaying of the Lamb, but to the writing of certain names in the Book of Life. This is evident from the parallel passage in ch. 17:8,
"and they that dwell on the earth shall wonder whose names were not written in the Book of Life from the foundation of the world."
This is expository of the former on this point. The Book of Life is essentially that of the Lamb slain; for there is no book registering names for eternal life, that has not been sprinkled with the blood of Jesus.
The slain Lamb's Book of Life is the Book of the Abrahamic Covenant, dedicated with the blood of Jesus, the Mediator of the New Covenant; and in this Book their names are not written who are ignorant of the promises, and, therefore, faithless of the Gospel preached to Abraham, and afterwards in the name of Jesus Christ.
These worshippers and wonderers are "alienated from the life of the Deity through the ignorance that is in them" (Eph. 4:18). The slain Lamb's Book of Life, whose first page was written at the foundation of the world in the days of Moses, promises the incorruptible, undefiled, and unfading inheritance reserved in the heavens to those, and to such only,
"who are kept by the power of Deity (the gospel of the kingdom Rom. 1:16) through faith, for the salvation ready to be revealed in the last time" (1 Pet. 1:4,5);
or "at the appearing (the apocalypse) of Jesus Christ-ver. 7. The promise is
"in thee, Abraham, and in thy Seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed;" and "all the land which thou seest to thee will I give it, and to thy Seed,for ever" (Gen. 12:3,7; 13:15).
This is a promise of eternal life and of an eternal inheritance to Abraham and his Seed; for they must be made incorruptible and immortal to enable them to possess a country "for ever." Nor can any sane person be in doubt as to what country is promised to Abraham and his Seed for ever; for it is plainly and expressly stated to be the land Abraham saw with his eyes when he was seventy-five years old - the land lying between the Mediterranean and the Euphrates...
"Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden,
and I will give you rest".
Our minds have no faculty to work on the infinite. We are adapted to the personal and the single. We can worship truth incorporate and individualised. Every power of the mind is thus drawn out: every spring of the heart opened. Christ meets all our need. He is the standard of our duty, the magnet of our loyalty; the absorbent of our love, the theme of our intellectual appreciations, the stimulator of our sublimest sentiments, and the adequate object of our most fervent adoration....
"in Him are filled up all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge."
In this is the perfect beauty of the gospel as contrasted with the wisdom of the world in its most pretentious forms-that in Christ, we have a man who is "the truth." Astronomic truth has no personal applications. It is beautiful, but it is high and cold, like the glitter of the stars on a frosty night. It speaks no hope and yields no guidance. We are glad to retire from the fatiguing futility of trying to grasp it, and to take refuge in our small mortal ways.
So with all other forms of scientific truth. They know us not and comfort us not as persons; and mock us with their sterile beauty and consistency, telling us that low and mortal we are, and must remain, and that the grave is the inexorable corollary of life.
...In Christ is peace. He combines all that the heart can desire or the intellect aspire to. He is a friend and a head, and at the same time, the incorporation of the eternal and the universal. Sublime and glorious combination! He gives bosom to the aching heart and pillow to the tired head.
...rest now, from the burden of human futility,-rest supernal in the issue to which he is leading human life on earth.
Sunday Morning 166 - TC 04/1866
We are apt to think if we could only hear the voice of God, we should find obedience easy. Let us temper this with the recollection that if He spoke, He would only say what He has already so abundantly said. It is for us to attend to what is written.
The Christadelphian, Apr 1886
We have no factionist objects to serve in the contention for complete Bible inspiration. Our only care is to maintain the Scriptures in the position of absolute authority and supremacy which belongs to them as the Word of God. It is for this that we have objected to the countenance of a doctrine that interferes with their character in this respect. The object is gained where this doctrine is sincerely repudiated, both in faith and fellowship. We have no sympathy with partisan agitation or party shibboleths.
Discussion with the alien may be a serviceable way of drawing attention to the truth on special occasions, but it is of questionable utility as a permanent feature. It is apt to create a love of debate for its own sake, and to check those true spiritual tastes which it is the mission of the truth to develope.
"Love, joy, peace, gentleness, righteousness, faith," do not grow in a polemic atmosphere. They are liable to shrivel in such an atmosphere, while the harsher critical propensities which delight in intellectual friction and finesse, are apt to grow with a strength that blights and deforms the new man.
It is difficult to walk wisely in the midst of the antagonisms generated by controversy. The subject of inspiration is no exception. Impulsive minds of limited view push strongly one way or other, and think it treason to stop short of their extremes. While some cannot open their eyes to the need of action at all, others are for acting where there is no need for action; and are ready to curse and impute evil motives to those who cannot unite in their movements. There is a time for action and a time for patience. We must beware of importing a partizan spirit into a fight for principle.
The division on inspiration has created a situation which perplexes some minds. The mist of this perplexity may vanish. The "other side," as some speak of them declare they believe in inspiration as much as those who have left them.
A sister, the other day, put the matter to a perplexed one in a form coming within the grasp of the simplest capacity-
"The doctrine of partial inspiration has been brought in; and there are two parties: one will tolerate it, and the other will not. You must choose which you will belong to."
This is putting the issue in a nutshell. It requires but one addition: that those who tolerate partial inspiration, while protesting there is no such thing, and that they believe in a wholly-inspired Bible, are in association with those everywhere who, by speech, in print, and by profession proclaim their belief in an inspiration that results in a Bible partly divine and partly human and erring. Not only so, but there are those among them who, in conversation, speak of parts of the Bible with an irreverence that devout minds could not sanction without sin.
The Christadelphian, Mar 1886
An Argument on the Soul 145 Years Old
-In Benjamin Martin's Philological Library, published in 1740, there occurs the following argument against the popular doctrine of the soul:-
"Notwithstanding the antiquity and universality of the doctrine of the soul's existence, and the many efforts of the most learned pens to support it, I have never yet been able to see anything of reason or truth therein sufficient to render it credible, or indeed intelligible.
The grand principle on which this opinion is received is that mere matter cannot think. It is granted it cannot; and it is also as evident that mere matter cannot move of itself; yet it does not follow that it is incapable of motion, of which, we know it is easily susceptible.
Why then should it be thought incapable of the power of thinking from the Divine Being! I have not seen it proved a contradiction by its greatest oppugners [to oppose]; yea, so far is it from that, we have frequent examples of mere matter being immediately endowed with the power of life and thought by the Divine Omnipotence.
Witness Moses' rod. Was it not matter one moment, and a cogitative animal the next? Is not dust mere matter? And did not God immediately convert it into animals by endowing it with life and thought? . . .
It is evident, therefore, that mere matter being capable (by the Almighty power) of the faculty of thinking is no longer an opinion, but real fact; and consequently the bodies of men and other animals are rendered capable of life and thought on principles more rational and intelligible than that of the existence of souls."
The Christadelphian, Apr 1886
-Brother D. Logan reports the adoption of the following resolution:-"That we, the members of the Christadelphian ecclesia meeting at the Temperance Hall, Pitt Street, desire to convey our hearty sympathy and approval of brother Roberts' action, and all brothers and sisters who have stood with him in his contention for a wholly-inspired Bible, and that we fully endorse the step he has taken in withdrawing from all who deny this important Bible doctrine, believing, as we do, that the logical outcome of such denial would be the entire destruction of our faith and practice in the whole of the book."
The Christadelphian, Mar 1886
How many loaves have ye?
A curious thing happened the other day. A brother was invited to unite with some parsons in a movement for the relief of the distressed in his town. For obvious reasons, he could not comply; but fearing his action would be misconstrued, he determined upon a measure of his own, which would combine charity and prudence.
He got a printer to get ready some slips announcing that for one week, he would supply 1s. packets of grocery for 6d. The copy had not been long in the hands of the printer when a boy came and asked for one of the sixpenny packets of grocery. The shop assistants had not been informed of the brother's purpose, and wondered what it meant. He explained, and the packet was got ready and handed over.
Then a man came in, and asked and got the same. Then others began to come. The packets, which had not been got ready, were prepared as fast as possible, and as fast as they were got ready, people came in for them, till, by-and-bye, the shop was full, and ordinary business suspended. This was in the day time. When the first supply was exhausted, the brother said no more would be given out till the evening at six o'clock, by which time he hoped to be ready with a supply that would last.
Before six, there was an ominous assembly in the street. Punctually on the stroke of the clock at the hour in came the people, and took away the parcels as fast as they could be handed. The crowd grew larger. Those who could not get in grew impatient, and forced a way in from a wrong door.
About 250 parcels had been given out, when it was found necessary to stop. When the crowd had cleared away, the printed notices arrived from the printer, and were never given out! The thing had flown through the town by mere rumour. An amusing occurrence, and a sign of the times, in a peculiar and painful sense.
The Christadelphian, Mar 1886
The dogma of the immortality of the soul reduces the Mosaic account to an absurdity.
When God breathed into man's nostrils the breath of lives, say they, He imparted to him a particle of His own essence, immaterial, and of course of a nature kindred to Himself, and this they style the immortal soul.
If this be true, what was it that sinned against God? A particle of God sinned against Himself. What became liable to the pains of hell for ever? The immortal soul. Then a particle of God became liable to the pains of hell for ever.
Does the immortal soul in rebelling against the law of God show that it is of a kindred nature to the Deity? What is subjected to glowing torments in hell for ever?
The immortal soul, say divines. Then God consigns a part of Himself to eternal misery for disobeying His own appointments. If this be wisdom, it is certainly that wisdom which the Scripture describes as
"earthly, sensual, and devilish."
CLIMATE AND SOIL OF PALESTINE.
-Palestine is a small country, but it presents great varieties of soil, climate, and water supply in various districts. We have the tropical Jordan Valley and the Arctic region of Upper Hermon and Lebanon. We have rich volcanic complanes in Bashan and round Jezreel, and sandstones covered with pines and cedars, and hard limestones, over which perennial streams flow between fine woods of oak and terebinth in Galilee, and yet more in Gilead.
We have flat maritime plains, sandy and marshy, hot and malarious, bounded by ever-rolling dunes, but well watered by sluggish streams from the clear springs at the mountain foot. These planes run from Carmel to Gaza, ever widening and supporting rich harvests.
We have the low chalk hills, with their luxuriant olive yards and wells of living water all along the eastern side of the maritime plain. Above rise mountains 3,000 to 4,000 feet high, and on the north attaining to 10,000 feet. These are generally rugged and bare, but carefully terraced and partly cultivated. The vine flourishes on these higher ranges, where the frost and mist and the strong reflection of heat from the rock to ripen the grapes.
But besides these richer districts we have the old deserts unchanged from the days of Abraham and of David; the flat, marly plateau of the Beersheba, where the nomads feed their flocks and herds, as Isaac did before them; the desolate peaks and gorges of the Jeshimon, where the dun partridge and the brown ibex roam as they did when David hid in these fastnesses from Saul among the "rocks of the wild goats."
The Christadelphian, Mar 1886
The Spirit of Christ
The question of the spirit (mind or disposition) of Christ is of surpassing importance in view of Paul's statement that
"If any man have not the spirit of Christ, he is none of his."
The character of that spirit is clearly defined in his precepts. A man will soon discover it who earnestly addressed himself to the "doing of his commandments." He will find it is a spirit of meekness and submission to evil, and of kind doing under bad treatment.
The man has not discovered it who thinks it admits of resentment, retaliation, evil-speaking, threatening, or resort to legal compulsions. Paul briefly sums it up in his own case:
"being reviled, we bless; being defamed, we entreat; being persecuted, we suffer it."
Of what unspeakable importance that this standard should be recognised and acted on in the ecclesias. James says:
"the body without the spirit is dead;"
what is the condition of a professed body of Christ without the spirit of Christ? The inspiration controversy brings this as well as other things under serious consideration. Can we doubt that this is a result intended by Him who controls all things?-Ed.
The Christadelphian, Feb 1886
-Brother Clark reports that a Special Meeting of the ecclesia was held on January 6th, to consider and declare its position on the inspiration question. The following resolutions were proposed by brother W. Chandler, and seconded by brother E. Grimes:-
1.-"We hereby affirm our unabated confidence in the Divine Authorship and consequent infallibility of the Bible, and in the reliability (subject to errors of transmission) of the copies in our possession-a recognition of which has hitherto been implied in our basis of fellowship."
2.-"We reject the doctrine which attributes to some parts of the Bible a fallible authorship, and we deem it our duty to decline the fellowship of those who believe it."
An amendment was proposed by brother Colebourne, and seconded by brother C. S. Tyler, as follows:
"That upon the question of inspiration, we affirm our belief in every Bible declaration upon the subject, accepting fully the apostolic statements, that 'Holy men of old spake as they were moved by the Holy Spirit,' and that 'All Scripture given by inspiration of God is profitable,' &c. But we deprecate most earnestly the making of any particular theory a matter of division in our midst, and we are prepared to give the brethren everywhere the right hand of fellowship who hold fast to the truth, as hitherto believed amongst us."
The amendment was carried by 36 to 27. As this amounted to a refusal to dis-fellowship partial-inspiration, the 27 and five others who were not at the meeting, resolved to separate themselves, as they could hold no communion with those who would tolerate such a dangerous doctrine as a partially-inspired Bible.
Being in a minority, they were obliged to leave. They have taken the bold step of securing the Athenæum, Victoria Street, which is twice the size and much better in every way than the old one.
"Although it will be hard work at first, we shall do the best we can to build up an ecclesia on the sure foundation of an inspired and infallible Bible.
The Christadelphian, Feb 1886
Heirs and Subjects of the Kingdom
The President and his congeners have not yet learned the difference between the subjects of a kingdom and the heirs of a kingdom. The latter are they who are to rule over the kingdom, and to possess the glory and honour of it forever; the former, the nation which is to obey their statutes and ordinances. [Christadelphians] are not the subjects of the kingdom. They rank higher than this. They are to rule.
They are joint heirs of all things promised to their Elder Brother-the Joseph of the family. If the President and his evangelists understood this, they would not prate about a kingdom being set up in Jerusalem on Pentecost. The apostles and their brethren were all joint heirs, and rulers of the kingdom elect. This is irrefutable; where then, were their subjects? Let them answer this if they can.
The subjects of the kingdom are the generations of the ages-those generations of the Twelve Tribes contemporary with the reign of Jesus on his father David's throne in Jerusalem: the descendants of the old clothes men of Chatham Street, New York, and of Rag Fair in London; and of the downtrodden and despised outcasts of Israel in all the Ghettos of Rome, Constantinople, and other sinks of Gentile abomination and iniquity.
These outcasts, however degraded, are not lower in the social scale than the Egyptian bondsmen from whom sprang the generations that conquered Canaan, and were the terror and admiration of the Orient under David and Solomon. The first generation that shall be resettled in the Holy Land by Jesus will be brought into the righteousness prepared of God for its justification.
"Their sins and iniquities will I remember no more,"
says Yahweh, and "they shall be all righteous"-a righteous nation, whose shepherds shall be after Yahweh's heart, and shall feed them with knowledge and understanding-Jer. 3:15.
There was no "change of government" effected in Jerusalem on Pentecost. All the Jews that resided or sojourned in that city, whether Nazarenes or not, continued to obey the laws. The Roman government was not changed; and the municipal and the ecclesiastical customs were observed as usual, and for nearly forty years after.
All that the [Christadelphian] Hebrews did was to cease from seeking righteousness by works of law. A [Christadelphian] in Britain abstains from seeking salvation through state-church, or dissenting institutions; nevertheless, he pays tithes, and taxes, and is careful not to violate the law. It was so with the Pentecostian [Christadelphians]-they continued to render unto Cæsar what belonged to him, and to God the things that were his.
The great event of the Day of Pentecost was, the proclamation for the first time of repentance and remission of sins in the name of Jesus as the Messiah, to all those who believed the gospel of the kingdom, and recognized his claims to its throne. All such were baptized, and became a society in Jerusalem; not a kingdom, but suffering tribulation in hope of receiving one.
Herald of the Kingdom and Age to Come, Jan 1856
The Dogma of "Immortal Souls" subversive of the Truth
1.-It contravenes the Mosaic account of the fall.
Moses says that God made man "a living soul;" but orthodoxy says that God made man an "immortal soul". God said
"in the day thou eatest of the tree of knowledge, dying thou shalt die;"
but the dogmatist says, "in the day thou eatest thereof thou shalt die figuratively, and thy body shall die literally;" and thus thy immortal soul shall become liable to the pains of hell for ever.
God said "dust thou art, and unto dust thou shalt return;" the dogmatical theologians say, "dust is thy body and of the Divine Essence thy soul, and unto dust shall thy mortal body return, and thy soul to me, or else to hell."
"And the Lord God said, Behold, the man has become like one of us, to know good and evil; and now, lest he put forth his hand and take also of the tree of life, and eat and live for ever; therefore the Lord God sent him forth from the Garden of Eden;"
-the dogmatists alter this to suit their systems in teaching that the pronoun "he" has reference to his body. With this emendation it should read "lest he put forth his hand and eat, and his body live for ever."
But, it is easier said than proved, that a "living soul" and an "immortal soul" are identical. They are not the same; but as diverse as blood and spirit.
It is obvious that the subject of the penalty is the violator of the law.
The eater of the fruit was to die, and the sentence was consummated in the 930th year of his age; but the record says nothing of liability to the pains of hell for ever.
The expulsion of an immortal from Eden, that he might not live for ever, is nonsense. The truth is, man is a living soul; that is, a living creature. He was created with a susceptibility of death or life eternal, predicated upon his own choice; which was a quality that distinguished and exalted him above all other animals.
In Eden, he held a position relatively to the tree of knowledge and the tree of life. Death and life eternal were before him; the one, the wages of sin; the other, the reward of obedience, as has been revealed. If he had been created subject to death, death would certainly not have been assigned as a punishment for eating the forbidden fruit; and had he been formed immortal from the dust, or immortality been breathed into his nostrils, eternal life would not have been connected with any thing exterior to him.
The truth is, that his destiny was predicated upon his actions. He disobeyed, and, in transgressing, he came under the sentence of the law, which said "to dust thou shalt return." This was a process of many centuries: a process which might have been interrupted. To avert this calamity, the Lord God expelled him from the garden; for had he eaten of the tree of life, he would have lived for ever an immortal sinner, and subject to all the ills of flesh eternally; therefore, because he had come to know evil, the Lord God drove out the man, that he might not "live for ever."
"Here is the patience and the faith of the Saints" -
Rev 13 Verse 10
When we read in the seventh verse, that exousia, authority, rule, dominion or jurisdiction, was given to the Beast," and consequently to his Lion Mouth, over every tribe, and tongue and nation, we know that the Beast represents the system of government existing in the outcast and unmeasured Court of the Gentiles (ch. 11:2): that is, over the tribes, tongues, and nations, of those countries, in which the Holy Polity in Christ, the Saints, and the Earth, or Witnesses, helping them, have contended for 1260 years against the Papacy.
The Saints, or true believers, have always known, though sinners, and sceptical professors, their kin, have not, that although their conflict with the secular and ecclesiastical rulers of the world would be proximately disastrous; yet, that finally they would themselves be the victors, and the personal avengers of the atrocious cruelties they had endured.
They have always known what the Beast is that is politically "worshipped by all that dwell upon the (Romish) earth;" and by which they have in ages past been vanquished: and being of that class that hath ears, they have heard "what the Spirit saith to the ecclesias."
They have understood what the destiny of "the Powers that be," which have led them into captivity and killed them by the sword, is decreed by the Eternal Spirit to be. They know that this Beast, with all its appendages of heads, horns, mouth, feet, and Name of Blasphemy, aggregately symbolizing the governments of the nations, are themselves to be led captive, or taken violent possession of; and to be destroyed by the judicial two-edged sword in the hands of the Saints.
They knew that the honour of executing vengeance upon the nations, and punishments upon the people; of binding their kings with chains, and their nobles with fetters of iron; and of executing the judgment written, when the Ancient of Days should come, was, in the wisdom and justice of the Deity, assigned to them (Psa. 149:6-9; Dan. 7:22). By this knowledge, they were energized to endure for the time-being the atrocious cruelty inflicted upon them by the great iron teeth of the Lion-Mouth. They endured in hope of this honour, and waited for it in faith.
It was their patience and their faith that the time would come, after the lapse of the forty two months, when they would slay Daniel's Fourth Beast, give his body politic to the burning flame, and deprive the other three Beasts of their dominion, which they would possess 1000 years (Dan. 7:11,12; Apoc. 20:4).
This has never been "the patience and the faith" of the worshippers of the Beast "who dwell upon the earth." These, who constitute "the Names and Denominations of Christendom," do not believe that the power leading "heretics," so-called, into captivity, or, in the language of the Inquisition, "immuring" them, shall itself be "immured" in the binding of its kings and nobles with chains: nor that such a power having killed "heretics" by the million with the sword, shall in like manner be by them destroyed.
They of whose names there has been no record (hou gegraptai) from the foundation of the world, in the book of the slain Lamb's life have no ear to hear such doctrines as this. The waiting for and belief of these things is a characteristic of the true believers, "who dwell in the heaven," though". pilgrims and sojourners upon the earth, and trodden under foot of the Gentiles; for where their treasure is, there is their heart, or affections, also.
War with the Saints
"And it was given to him to make war with the Saints, and to vanquish them" - Verse 7
This Beast that vanquishes the saints is the same that in ch. 11:7, is referred to as destined to make war against the Two Witnesses. There is, however, this difference of result observable in the Beast's war upon the Saints "who dwell in the heaven;" and his war against the Witnessing Prophets who had power to shut his heaven, that it should not rain in their days of the prophecy - he vanquishes the Saints, but does not "kill them;" but in regard to the Two Prophets, he both vanquishes and kills them.
The reason is this: he could not kill the Saints as a body politic, exercising power and authority in the Court of the Gentiles; because, not being politicians and political partisans, they never possessed them: it is therefore stated simply, that they were vanquished or overcome by the war. Hence, we find nothing about the saints rising from death until "the time of the dead" when Christ appears.
But, in the case of the Two Witnesses, or politico-ecclesiastical communities opposed to the Horns and their Lion Mouth, they were politically killed, and lay dead and unburied in the platea of the Great City three lunar days and a half of years, and afterwards became the subject of a political resurrection and ascension into the heaven of the Beast. The Saints who dwell in the heaven in Christ have never been there yet. A better resurrection and ascension than that of the Two Witnesses is in reserve for them.
...The Saints were killed by thousands in the war because they would not worship the Beast's Image. This was the fate of multitudes who did not dwell in the heaven; for the slaughter by the Beasts was often indiscriminate, on the principle that "the Lord would know his own;" for even Catholics dwelling in witnessing communities were not exempted from massacre and flame.
History is copious in the narration of the sanguinary persecutions and crusades raised against them by the Pope, who promised forgiveness of sins and eternal salvation to volunteers in his wars with the saints and witnesses, all of whom he blasphemed as "emanating from the pit of the abyss."
These volunteers responded to his incentives with enthusiasm; and in reporting the execution of their mission, would say, "we have spared neither age nor sex; we have smitten every one with the edge of the sword." Besides being subject to massacre, they were at all times by the canon law deprived of all civil privileges; and it was declared "homicidas non esse qui excommunicatos trucidant," that they who butcher the excommunicated are not murderers.
Wickedness in high places
These are Supernal States in which Paul locates principalities, powers, world-rulers of the darkness of the times of the Gentiles, which he styles "this aeon," and the spirituals of the wickedness enthroned throughout the earth.
These heavenlies are constituted providentially or instrumentally by human authority and power after "the course of this world;" and are the tabernacle of
"the Prince of the power of the Air, the Spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience" (Eph. 2:2).
This Prince-power and Spirit of the Air is Sin's Flesh; whose spirit pervades all sublunary human constitutions, styled "thrones, dominions, principalities, and powers,'' which Paul specifies as ''things in the heaven" or "the Air'' (Col. 1:16).
...The dwellers in this Aerial are the civil and ecclesiastical orders of society; such as, emperors, kings, diplomatists, nobles spiritual and racial, legislators, magistrates, priests, clergymen, parsons, and all of that class, styled by the apostle "spirituals of the wickedness" which reigns in "the Court of the Gentiles without the temple."
Between this heaven and "the Heavenlies in Christ" there is implacable and uncompromising hostility. No peace can be permanently established in the earth till one or other of these heavens be suppressed or subjugated: and who can doubt which of these heavens shall be shaken, be rolled up as a scroll, and be made to pass away with the great tumult of war?
The heavenlies, or high places, of this world are decreed to Yahweh and his Anointed Body; who, by the thunders and lightnings issuing from the throne newly set in the heaven, shall take the dominion under the whole heaven, and possess it during the Olahm and beyond (ch. 11:15; 4:1-5; Dan. 7:18,22,27).
This is the fiat of Eternal Wisdom and Power. The Seventh Vial, the last blast of the Seventh Trumpet, is to pour out its fury upon the Air, the secular and spiritual constitution of which will thereby be thoroughly and radically changed. The things now in the Air will be transferred to "them who dwell in the heaven" in Christ; who, having passed through the Vail of the Flesh which divides the Heavenlies, in the putting on of immortality, will be manifested as the Most Holy Heavenly in Christ; and the Air, filled with their glory, will become the New Heavens, in which righteousness will dwell forever.
The Air will then no longer be malarious with the pestiferousness of secular and spiritual demagogues, who "with good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple." The Prince of the Power of the Air will then be the Spirit that works in the children of obedience - the truth incarnated gloriously in Jesus and his Brethren; who, in the highest sense, will be those who dwell in the heaven.
Why baptizest thou
He did it because he was sent to do it, and commanded to do it.
He was commanded to do it because the word of God came to him, conveying the command as distinctly and directly as that same word came to Moses and all the prophets,
"not by the will of man," as Peter informs us, but "holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Spirit."
The very date of the coming of this word is exactly supplied: In the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Cesar ... the Word of God came unto John, the son of Zacharias, in the wilderness" (Luke iii. 1).
His baptism, his burning words, and commanding manner are all explained by this. He was the Lord's messenger, specially raised up and equipped,
"filled with the Holy Spirit from his mother's womb,"
and sent forth at the ripe moment,
"in the spirit and power of Elias,"
to do the work of
"preparing the way of the Lord."
Nazareth Revisited Ch 4
The believers of Acts 19:4, though "baptised unto John's baptism," required baptism into Christ, because the time had come for baptism into Christ to be required. The work of God had advanced a stage since the preaching of John, of which these persons were unaware; and just as it was necessary for those who had submitted to the divine institution of circumcision to conform to the new divine institution of baptism when they became aware of it, so those who had submitted to John's baptism were required to submit to baptism into Christ when the name of Christ, as a saving institution, had been fully developed by death, resurrection and ascension.
Christ was not preached in this way till Christ's departure.
Baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.
"Jesus made and baptised more disciples than John"
Those so baptised would not be John's disciples; for the baptism administered by Jesus during his ministry (by the instrumentality of the twelve) was identical with John's as regarded its object.
The people were by both called upon to repent in prospect of the Kingdom of God, and to be baptised for the remission of sins. It was only after the resurrection of Christ that his name was placed in the institution in a way that led to the complete eclipse of John's baptism.
The subjects of the baptism practised by the disciples of Christ would be... "the mass of Israel in that wicked generation." As for the apostles themselves (who had been baptised with John's baptism), we have no information that they were re-immersed on becoming associated with Christ. Christ chose them on the basis of John's baptism, to which he himself had submitted. It was a time of transition.
His direct choice of them (within the circle of an obedience which they and he had rendered to what God had enjoined through John) might lead him to dispense with the re-immersion which Paul deemed necessary for the Ephesian twelve (Acts 19.).
Possibly, the feet-washing at his last meeting with them, before he suffered, had a special significance in this connection. He seems to intimate that it was essential for their continued connection with him (John 13:8).
It may have been intended to answer the purpose for them that was served by re-immersion in the case of the Ephesian disciples. The whole subject is greatly simplified by remembering the authority of Christ as Lord and Master, to make such appointments as he pleased.
The Christadelphian, Jan 1886
The Foundation of the World
Thus, having passed sentence upon the serpent, the woman, and the man, the Lord appointed them a new law, and expelled them from the garden He had made.
These three sentences, and the new law, constitute the foundation of the world. This is a phrase which occurs in various passages of the Bible. It occupies a prominent place in the following text:
"then shall the King 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" (Matt. 25:34).
The words in the Greek are apo katabolhV kosmou, which, more literally rendered, signify, from laying the world's foundation. The globe is the platform; the world that which is constituted, or built upon it; and the Builder is God; for,
"He that built all things is God" (Heb. 3:4).
Now the world was not built out of nothing. The materials had been prepared by the work of the six days, and by the moral phenomena of the fall. At this crisis there appeared a natural system of things, with two transgressors, in whom sin had enthroned itself; and who were endued with the power of multiplying such as themselves to an unlimited extent. This population, then, was either to act for itself under the uncontrolled dominion of sin; or things must be so constituted, as to bring it into order and subjection to sovereignty of God.
The result of the former alternative would have been to barbarize mankind, and to fill the earth with violence. This is demonstrated by what actually occurred before the flood when the divine constitution of things was corrupted and abolished by the world. Man when left to himself never improves.
God made man upright; but look at the wretched specimens of humanity which are presented in those regions where God has left them to their natural tendency, under the impulse of their uncontrolled propensities. Man thus abandoned of God, degenerates into an ignorant savage, ferocious as the beasts of prey.
If the Lord God had renounced all interest in the earth this would have been the consummation of His work. Man by his vices would have destroyed his own race. But, though transgression upon transgression marked his career, "God so loved the world" (John 3:16), that He determined it should not perish, but should be rescued from evil in spite of itself. This He purposed to do in such a way as to make man reflect the divine nature in his character, and to display His own wisdom, glory and power, in the earth.
But chance could not bring this to pass. Human life, therefore, was not to be a mere chapter of accidents, but the result of a well-digested and unvarying plan. Things, then, were to be arranged according to this purpose, so that in their original constitution should be contained the rudiments of a "glorious manifestation," which, as a grain of mustard seed, should so unfold themselves under the fostering hand of God, as to become "a tree, which is the greatest among herbs" (Matt. 13:31-32), in whose branches the family of man might be refreshed.
In the acorn, it is said, can be traced, by aid of the microscope, the branches of the future oak. So in "the rudiments of the world" are traceable, the things of the future Kingdom of God. These rudiments, or elements, are exhibited in the sentences upon the serpent, the woman, and the man; and in that institution styled, "the way of the tree of life."
Out of these things were afterwards to arise the Kingdom of God; so that in constituting them, a foundation was laid upon which "the world to come" should be built; even that world of which Abraham was constituted the heir (Rom. 4:13); and which, when finished at the end of six days of a thousand years each, will manifest the woman's Seed triumphant over the serpent-power, resting from His work in the Sabbatism which remains for the people of God (Heb. 4:8, 9, 11).
Elpis Israel 1.4.
The duty of non-resistance is, doubtless, specially trying, especially in some circumstances, such as where a man lives in a lawless district; but duty is not altered by an increase in the difficulty of doing it. Either it is duty to be passive in cases of difficulty, or it is not our duty to be passive in any case. It is duty in all cases, or none, for the law of our probation, contained in the New Testament, makes no allowance for exception.
What can be done in such trying circumstances but to
"commit our souls to Him in well-doing, as unto a faithful Creator" (1 Pet. 4:19).
God has not forsaken the earth, and will not suffer us to be tempted beyond a certain point. Our part is to obey Him, regardless of consequences. Abraham faltered not in the killing of his own son, which was the greatest violence a parent could be called on to do to natural feeling.
If Abraham had sheltered himself behind the impossibility of the thing, and excused himself on the ground that it was contrary to nature, and incompatible with God's own principles of action, would he have been accepted? By no means. And how can we claim to be His children if we are not prepared to act as he did? Jesus makes this the test. He said to the Pharisees,
"If ye were Abraham's children, ye would do the works of your father" (John 8:39).
Job was accepted, whose motto was: "Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him." This must be our motto in relation to His commandments. They may seem hard sometimes, but the object in view-our preparation for life eternal-is high beyond all we can think.
Let us endure. The time is short; a glorious change is at the door, when, if we are now obedient, we shall no longer be commanded to be submissive to evil, but have the sword of judgment put into our hands for irresistible execution upon all the world.
The Christadelphian, Sept 1898
In our correspondent's letter, we have given Dr. Shepard's text as we find it in the original. Abstractly πγραλγρλγγέεσλα, rendered "regeneration" there, signifies a producing again-a meaning which implies that the thing or things so produced existed in some state previously to reproduction.
In Matt. 19. the word is used in reference to thrones, tribes, glory, ruling and rulers; which are the elements of a kingdom. It is therefore used there in a political sense, and implied when so used by "the King of the Jews," that those things did not then organically exist, but that they should be thereafter reproduced.
The kingdom of the twelve tribes had existed in the Holy Land, the only country where it can exist; but when Jesus spoke the words, the Holy Land was a province of the Little Horn of the Goat-the power that afterwards destroyed Jerusalem and the Temple.
From the days of John the Baptizer's proclamation to the time Dr. Shepard made void God's word by his traditions at Richmond, Yahweh and his king's land has continued to be a province of the Little Horn.
"We have no king but Cæsar, "
was the public avowal of a fact attested by all history to this day. Cæsar has been de facto; though not de jure, king of the Jews ever since. The Sultan is for the present the representative of the Goat's Little Horn. Could a kingdom be set up in the Palestinian province of his empire under a proclamation that M. Rothschild was king of the Jews, and not Abdul Medjid, against the Sultan's will enforced by the Pasha of Jerusalem?
Neither could a kingdom be established there under the old Sultan Tiberius Cæsar, in the presence of his Pasha Pontius Pilate, under a proclamation that Jesus, and not Tiberius, was king of the Jews. Not only was Cæsar's pasha ready to suppress all such treasonable attempts, but the Jews themselves and their rulers, were determined to uphold the Gentile government against any movement in the name of the hated Nazarene.
No, the kingdom of the Twelve Tribes did not exist when their de jure, but not de facto, king Jesus spoke the words: nor has it in any sense existed there since. To affirm the contrary is preposterous-sheer ignorance or stupidity, or both.
President Campbell and his congeners might just as well affirm that the United States was set up in Great Britain, because the American Ambassador and his fellow-citizens met at the London Tavern to celebrate the Fourth of July!! It would require something more to set up the Union there, than to celebrate American Independence, and to hold meetings to preach its principles, and to make proselytes to universal liberty and equality.
So long as Queen Victoria ruled the land, with the army and people on her side, there could be no setting up of Presidentialism without treason against her person and authority. A kingdom or republic is something more than an abstraction, or unorganized elements. Two hostile kingdoms cannot coexist in the same capital; much less possible is it for Cæsar and Messiah to reign together over Jerusalem; and to prate about the Apostles reigning in or over that city, where, at the will of Cæsar's vassals they were cast into prison, and finally expelled, is too absurd for serious confutation.
The throne of David, and the thrones of David's house, the Glory of Yahweh, the twelve tribes, and their twelve ruling princes, all existed in Jerusalem and the Holy Land in the days of David and Solomon; seeing then, that they did not exist when the greater than Solomon was there, nor since, it follows that reproduction in relation to what Jesus and his Apostles were interested in, imports the restoration of those things to their appropriate place. This is what the apostles themselves understood was to be accomplished "in the regeneration:" for, after Jesus had been discoursing to them about the kingdom some forty days subsequent to his resurrection, they inquired of him,
"Wilt thou in this time restore the kingdom of Israel?"
This question shows that they did not consider that Israel possessed a, or the, kingdom; therefore, they wished to know if he would not then re-produce it.
What does the President and his congeners do with this? How do they evade the force of it? O nothing more easy! "The apostles were ignorant, and did not know what they were talking about!" They had not studied at Bethany, or at some other equally orthodox school of Gentilism; and were, consequently, too carnal, too Jewish, in their notions of the kingdom? Then we must study Gentile theology to understand the words of Jesus and his apostles! Reader, is this your conviction? If it be, then burn your Bible, and cast the Herald into the bottomless abyss; you have no use for either.
In the re-production of the kingdom of the twelve tribes, the territory, the nation, and the capital, will all be the same-the Holy Land, the Twelve Tribes, and Jerusalem. The government will be monarchical "as in the days of old." This will not be changed. The persons by whom the government will be administered will be different.
Instead of David, succeeded by Solomon, succeeded by Rehoboam; it will be "Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews" succeeded by no one; and instead of the princes of David succeeded by the princes of Solomon, &c.; it will be the apostles and brethren of Jesus, the immortal princes of the house of Bethlehem, succeeded by none: for
"The kingdom shall not be left to other people, "
as in former years-Dan. 2:44. None, who have not previously been the subject of "a change of heart"-"renewed by knowledge after the image of God"-can have any part in that kingdom. This will exclude "the President and his evangelists;" for "they are alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them;" but sincerely do we hope that they are not yet "past feeling."
At present, they despise "the word of the kingdom;" and it is written, that
"Whoso despiseth the word shall be destroyed"-Prov. 13:13.
Without knowledge there is no righteousness-
"Sanctify them through thy truth; thy word is truth."
Ignorance of this truth is a barrier against sanctification by it. The truth must be known to be believed; and without faith, or belief of the gospel of the kingdom it is impossible to please God: and he that pleaseth not God is not righteous; and
"the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God."
Herald of the Kingdom and Age to Come, Jan 1856
Let us not refuse our help because the one needing it is not in the truth.
We must not be Pharisees-bigoted and selfish in the matter of alms giving. Our sympathy and kindness should flow out to all. The parable of the Good Samaritan expresses our duty. In this Christ pictures, in a sense, an outsider rendering help to one inside, and says,
"Go thou and do likewise" (Luke 10:30-37).
Our good-heartedness ought to be known and noted (as Christ's was) by all with whom we come in contact. This, however, does not mean that we should do good to be seen of men-this would be wrong. Let us, however, be careful not to employ Christ's words, which tell us that it would be wrong, in the interests of covetousness.
Open well-doing-if done with a pure motive-is acceptable to God and productive of much good (Matt. 5:16). Our duty is to show kindness-whether it is seen or not seen by our fellows-and to do so because it is reasonable, noble, and so commanded.
Bro AT Jannaway
The Christadelphian, May 1907
THE FOUNDATION OF THE WORLD
"Inherit the kingdom prepared from the foundation of the world."
As the woman had so wilfully sought the gratification of her flesh, when the Lord God passed sentence upon her He made it the ground of her punishment.
"I will," said He, "greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children: and thy desire shall be subject to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee."
This being her portion as the consequence of sin, the reverse would have been her condition, so long as her animal nature should have continued unchanged, if she had remained obedient. She would have brought forth children without pain and would have had fewer of them; nor would she have been deprived of that equality she enjoyed in the garden, and consequently she would have escaped that degradation she has experienced in all the countries of the world.
The punishment, however, was not inflicted simply as an individual sorrow. The pain was personal, and the subjection likewise; but the multiplication of woman's conception became necessary from the altered circumstances of things, which were then being constituted for the ensuing seven thousand years.
In the war divinely instituted between the seeds of the serpent and the woman, there would be a great loss of life. The population of the world would be greatly thinned; besides which great havoc would be made by pestilence, famine, and the ordinary diseases of the flesh. To compensate this waste, and still to maintain an increase, so that the earth might be filled, necessitated that part of woman's punishment involved in the multiplication of the conception, which is a great domestic calamity under the serpent-dominion of sin.
We hear much in some parts of the world of the political rights and equality of women with men, and of their preaching and teaching in public assemblies. We need wonder at nothing which emanates from the unenlightened thinking of sinful flesh. There is no absurdity too monstrous to be sanctified by unspiritualised animal intellect. Men do not think according to God's thinking, and therefore it is they run into the most unscriptural conceits; among which may be enumerated the political and social equality of women.
Elpis Israel 1.4.
Ministry of the prophets
... though the prophets were true prophets of the future, they were not fortune tellers or conjurors.
Israel did not apply to them for knowledge of private affairs. The course of private affairs was sometimes predicted in the course of their work, as when Abijah told Jeroboam's wife that her sick son would not get better (1 Kings 14:12-13), or Elijah told Ahab of the bloody ending of Ahab and his wife because of their murder of Naboth (1 Kings 21:19), or Isaiah informed Hezekiah of his recovery and the lengthening of his days (Isaiah 38:4).
But in all such instances, it will be found that the incidents of private life when prophetically illuminated by the light of inspiration, were ingredients in a public situation of affairs in which God was speaking for the guidance of his people, and were never the subject of treatment for private behoof, as in the case of witches, familiar-spiritists, sorcerers and soothsayers, and other kinds of impostors.
Still less, were they made the occasion of extorting fees as in the case of various heathen practitioners. The two things were as far removed as light and darkness, both in character and treatment.
The prophets were "the messengers of the Lord of Hosts," whose messages were delivered "without money and without price." They were examples of righteousness to Israel and the appointed heirs of life eternal, as Jesus recognises.
The empirics and pretenders of all kinds, who professed magical powers and knowledge of the occult (a class who abounded among the neighbouring nations), are denounced throughout the prophets as evil men, whom Israel were not only forbidden to follow or consult, but commanded by the law of Moses to destroy.
The Christadelphian, June 1898
- The resubmitted article below has met with some concern and comments follow - to be continued Yahweh willing
- Notes on the Mystery of Godliness
Human nature is a bundle of faculties, each of which is good and legitimate in its own place. There is nothing unclean in itself; uncleanness is a relative idea. A faculty, impulse, or propensity going beyond the bounds prescribed by law, becomes the cause of disobedience, and disobedience is sin, and sin has brought death; that is, has evoked from divine power the purpose of dissolution in relation to the nature we bear.For purposes of description, sin is the cause, but literal definition would give God as the actual cause, because God causes the results of disobedience. Disobedience is the result of over-activity of desires which, in their own place, are good. This over-activity may be the result either of want of balance in the mental organization, or want of enlightenment in a good organization.The latter was Adam's case; the latter and former combine in our case. We labour under the double disadvantage of ignorance and malformation of brain, that is, speaking generally of our inheritance by nature. Our cranial malformation is the result of the evil moral and physical conditions to which the race has been subject in a long line of sin-stricken generations.Doubtless, all the operations of our common nature have become deranged, the forces put out of balance, and the spirit or vital energy, generated by the blood, chemically vitiated. All this has resulted from Adam's disobedience, since that was the cause of the evil circumstances that have existed in the world for six thousand years.This deranged condition of nature is, in us, the cause of sin, and, therefore, metonymically, may be expressed as sin, but, literally, and in itself, it is not sin: this derangement did not exist in Christ. The intervention of divine paternity rectified the disturbed conditions, else he, like us, would have been a sinner.Just as a cultivated European brain is capable of higher development than the Hottentot, though generically identical in nature, so the brain through which divine power and wisdom were manifested among men, was made capable of higher things than "mere man," though generically the same.The "substance that came from Mary," therefore, constituted the basis of "the mind that was in Christ," holding to that mind the same relation that an undeveloped kernel does to the tree that is to result from its development. The kernel truly, requires air, sun and rain, to grow into a tree; but, nevertheless, it contains within itself the type and hidden invisible power of the tree that is to grow.So the 'holy thing' born of Mary, received the parental impress of Deity, by the Spirit, and therefore under the circumstances by which he was surrounded, he developed into a 'man separate from sinners.' I should therefore take exception to your proposition that nothing but uncleanness was inherent in the babe of Bethlehem.Legally, he was unclean; that is, he was under the condemnation of the law-God having laid upon him the iniquities of us all; but in his actual nature, he was the flesh and blood of Adam, 'prepared' by the Spirit for a Son-manifestation of the Eternal Father, that justification (by death and resurrection) might be developed for the sons of men.He was the condemned nature of man, in the hand of Almighty power, for the opening of a way of deliverance. That nature was historically a sinner, and under the dominion of sin, as regarded both moral condition and everlasting destiny. Therefore, it could be said that Jesus, though without sin, was 'made sin.' On the other hand, because the mortal nature he bore was a nature inheriting condemnation, that condemnation could come upon him (though himself sinless), without any violation of God's methods in the case.
The Ambassador of the Coming Age, Aug 1869
Comment by Bro Paul Hart<This deranged condition of nature is, in us, the cause of sin, and, therefore, metonymically, may be expressed as sin, but, literally, and in itself, it is not sin. >- Hmm - a fairly early use (and questionable IMO) of the word 'metonymically'- Which may not help when assigned to the incorrect cause for effects ...- I've turned up the original - and yes father-in-law has an exclamation in the margin- The sub-heading is "In What sense Was Christ Unclean?"- the text above is appended under reader correspondence / enquiry ...- In scripture flesh is termed 'sin' - the sentence would be better if it concluded with the term 'transgression'.1
- Dear Bro Paul ...Thank you for this intriguing and important comment requiring deep thought and further investigation...I'm afraid I do not understand your initial comment re metonomy. Will save your comment and keep it under consideration.Some initial thoughts though.
- "In What sense Was Christ Unclean?"
- The Lord was born into the world which is under the constitution of sin. He was born of a human and therefore defiled. Therefore sin's flesh according to maternity as a partaker of flesh and blood in the nature that had sinned. As a consequence, under the pressure of temptation, he felt the pressure of inordinate impulses - the sin of the flesh (Bro Thomas describes this arousal of the propensities as turbulence - in the KJV the motions of sin) yet he was without sin (transgression). He kept his body in subjection.
- "This deranged condition of nature"
- The deranged condition of nature Bro Roberts describes seems to me to parallel Bro Thomas' teaching in the Herald 1852 Bro Thomas' 'The Bible doctrine of the tempter considered'..The derangement having reference to the bias to sin in all the descendants of Adam, unlawful thoughts, - Messiah excepted - he being born of the will of Yahweh and not the will of man.
- While he was sin's flesh by maternity 'shapen in iniquity', he being born by the holy spirit was not sin's flesh by paternity. The seed of David, inhabited by Yahweh by the spirit from conception Luke 1:35.
- The psalms help us in our understanding of him as a man acquainted with grief and the depth of his sufferings in sin's flesh, weak and emotional according to maternity. That the Lord was not free of the impulses to sin, the cravings and desires of sin's flesh is evident in particular from the Wilderness trial following his baptism and is necessitated by his birth of a woman.
- In order that his trial might be severe and therefore a true test of his fidelity his sin's flesh was driven into the wilderness and tempted under circumstances of intense hardship and deprivation.This was a fiery test of his resolve.
- The rebellious promptings to sin were articulated by an adversary after the type of Job, and not by his own intellect, 'I and my Father are One' Jhn 10:30."
- In this the form of sin's flesh he assumed, differed from the form we possess. The promptings in our case do often proceed from within. In the two Adams they came from without"
- In Adam's descendants carnal reasoning or rebelliousness of the unenlightened thinking of the flesh unsubordinate to the spirit is a law in their members inciting them to sin. Hence the derangement. Not so the Lord whose mind was undefiled by evil thoughts, the unblemished lamb in thought, word and deed.
CANZUK - Re-emergence of Tarshish and the young lions -Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom. Friends of Israel.
Psalm 48 - Bro Arthur Hughes
"Oh, that men would praise Yahweh for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men" (Ps. 107:8).