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THE CREEDS OF CHRISTENDOM BEING OPPOSED TO GOD'S
WORD, AND THE RELIGIOUS PRACTICES NECESSARILY
We have demonstrated, in the several preceding Papers, that,
1. The Antichrist—the man of sin—the harlot, different terms for the same apostacy, is not atheistic anarchy, or a coming concentration of evil extraneous of Christianity, but is a something intimately allied therewith. In truth, what is emphatically and significantly called the Clergy Church is the Antichrist. The harlot represents a body which claims to be, and is not, the spouse of Christ. The Scriptures show that the daughter of Sion—the maid of Jerusalem, terms to express the Christian dispensation, would for a time “ go away backward." The prophecies concerning this are not few and isolated, but are many, a continuous stream of them running through the Scriptures. They show, that the truths of Christianity would be perverted to establish pretended claims; that the prophets or Christian teachers “would prophesy
falsely for a clerical ordained ministry, are limited to the spiritually ordained--the branches that abide in the vine. (John xv. 5, 6, 7.) The great crime of the Clergy Church consists in her false claims. False worship results from these, and hence Christendom is spiritually polluted.
6. Water baptism baptizes only into the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, or of Jesus Christ. The commission to baptize is limited to the name. Baptism, as administered by the Clergy Church, is represented to baptize not only in the name of Christ, but likewise to baptize withi the Holy Ghost, as also to baptize into Christ's death. Whereas water baptizes only in the name of Christ, the Spirit baptizes into Christ; and a baptism of suffering baptizes into the death of Christ. These are three several and separate baptisms. By the fiction of a godfather and godmother faith, infants are said to have a saving faith, and therefore said to receive these three several baptisms at the hands of the Clergy. Infant baptism, as thus administered, is unscriptural.
7. The Mass, an imitative sacrifice, is said, by the Clergy Church, to “ be propitiatory for the living and the dead;" and the Eucharist, as administered in the Protestant Church of England, is said, by some of her members, to be a propitiatory sacrifice. Whereas the Sacrifice once offered for the sins of the whole world is a completed Sacrifice. The Eucharist is appointed simply as a memorial thereof, and should be conducted as a commemorative feast, not carnally and gluttonously, but reverentially.
8. Christendom thinks, that God made the earth and man perfect, so that neither was subject to decay or dissolution ; that a prohibitory command was laid upon man as a test of obedience; and that being tempted to disobey, man and this fair creation underwent a change, whereby dissolution and death were brought into the world. It is thought that man disobeyed in consequence of the seductions of a rival to God, a wicked spirit, all but as powerful as God; who sought the overthrow of God's work, and whose devices occasioned an overthrow. To circumvent the devil, or this powerful rival, God propounds a scheme, offering, upon conditions, a heaven of eternal happiness to those who accept the scheme, and threatening with eternal torments in hell-fire all who reject it. All this is popular error, not warranted in Scripture, and highly defamatory of God.
The truth is, the earth and man in relation thereto were made, and intended to be, just what we find them to be. The devil is not a rival god, all but as powerful as the Almighty. God's purposes have not been frustrated, so that it needed, as supposed, an afterthought to correct a first miscarriage.
Man had, and has, a twofold nature given him, animal and spiritual ; and has been, and is still, subject to the laws which govern both. As animal, he is subject to the animal laws; as spiritual, he is subject to the spiritual laws. As animal, he
, has animal life, in common with all animals. As spiritual, he has soulical life. The primary law of soulical or spiritual life is union with God, or Life, the centre of all spiritual life. The union of two natures in man gives the subtle mind, whereby carnal affections reign, and draw off the soul from God. In this condition the soul dies, because the primary law of soulical life is violated. Man, from being under the influence of two laws, antagonistic,—“the law in the members,” pertaining to the animal ; and “the law of God in the inner man," pertaining to the spiritual,- is, by their conflicting tendencies, and by the subtle character of the union of the two natures, made capable of sinning Animals, as only animals, do not sin. The animal in man sins, because in combination with a soulical existence. Under the influence of the combined actions of the two natures, if God abide not in the heart, soul and body both sin; and the soul thus brought into the bondage of sin and death. The affections, instead of