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being given to God, are given to gods many; the lust of th. eye, the lust of the flesh, and the pride of life. By this violation of the primary law of spiritual life, the soul, or true living principle, which is in embryo, or in course of development in humanity, dies. Dies, not as do earthly bodies, by dissolution and ultimate decay, but dies spiritually; dies, inasmuch as the primary law of true or spiritual life, union with central life, is violated. God said to our first parents, and through them to all mankind, “In the day that thou eatest of the tree of good and evil, thou shalt surely die.” When man is drawn by the subtle mind into criminal indulgence, whereby the mind becomes carnal, he dies. The inner being, the soul, dies. The animal continues to live its allotted time; but the soul dies, buried for a time in the grave of sin and death. It is appointed unto all men thus once to die-a result of the union of the two natures; and so it is that “all in Adam die."
God's teachings in every age, as recorded in His Holy Word, is to assist man to recover back on earth the soul from sin and death. For this purpose have been the many manifestations of God, and finally, the crowning act in Christ. Christ is not a distinct personality, an eternal Son. Christ is God manifest in flesh, the everlasting Father, Isaiah ix. 6. The chief lesson taught is, that only by union with God can the soul be restored to life. When the primary law of spiritual life takes effect, so that the heart's affections are given to God, and as a consequence to fellow-men, then is the soul restored to life. Thus made alive in God, soul and body no longer sin ; “the mortal body is quickened by the Spirit that dwelleth in it.” Many acts may be injudicious, many not reach the high moral standard of the Gospel; the judgment may be weak, the lower nature yet in a degree influential, so as to render a conflict still to be sustained; but sin is not imputed. The earnest desire of the creature is to be led by God,
the Creator. If this be the supreme feeling, then it is no longer the creature that sins; but sin that dwelleth necessarily in a compound being, subject to antagonistic laws.
, Rom. vii. 17.
All who in this world give the heart's affections to God, are the elect of God. The elect are not a portion of mankind destined for future salvation, to the exclusion of the non-elect. It is God's purpose to have an elect body, that through them mankind may be instructed in various ways. They are made instrumental in the advancement of God's kingdom on earth.
The non-elect, and all who give not the heart's affections to God, are here dead, are under the dominion of death and hell. Death and hell are relative or synonymous terms, and signify a condition of the soul separated from God. This condition is limited to earth. “ The living God is the Saviour of all men, especially of those that believe.” The believers are saved here, the non-believers hereafter. As the compound being, man, is subject to sin and death, so that “ all in Adam die ;" so when the union of the two natures are determined, the spotted garment of the flesh is cast off, and the spirit returned to God who gave it, then it lives; and thus, “ All in Christ or God shall be made alive.” When the animal ceases to be, the carnal ceases to reign. When humanity is changed for pure angelic life, the affections can be no longer divorced from God; and thus “God will be all in all.” 1 Cor. xv. 28.
“ God is love." His government on earth is based on love. The everlasting fire decreed against the wicked, is a fire of inextinguishable love. It is a love which never wavers.
Its object is to burn out the carnal, so that the spiritual may live. Thus, when Christ came, He already kindled a fire. The precept enjoined upon men, to "overcome evil with good,” is a supreme law of spiritual life, and a primary law of God's government.
Nevertheless, an immunity from punishment is not secured. “ It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.” When needful, the tender Father spares not the rod. To overstep the boundaries of nature's laws, is to bring down certain punishment, and the contumacious and wilful may be made awful examples for the general good.
Having arrived at these several conclusions, which admit of no gainsaying, and they being the opposites of the doctrines taught in Christendom, it becomes imperative that a change be entered upon. A partial change for the better took place when Protestants threw off the tyrannic yoke of Papal Rome. A full Reformation is now demanded, such as shall give a fresh and living hue to terrestrial things. Protestant Christianity has long enough lingered in her path, and Pagan Papal Christianity has nearly long enough put “the branch to her nose.” She has nearly long enough “turned her back to the temple of the Lord, and her face towards the east, and worshipped the sun towards the east.” Ezek. viii.*
* Ezekiel is here describing some of the idolatrous practices of “the house of Israel.” It is not perceived by commentators that the house of Israel refers to our Israel, and the practices seen by Ezekiel in vision are said to refer to some now unknown practices of the Jews. This is a mistake. They refer to idolatrous practices of heathen Christendom. The putting “ the branch to the nose,” is a practice of Romanism. The branch represents Christ. The term is frequently used to mean this by the prophets; see Zech. iii. 8. The Papists have imitation Christs. At their altars they have a box, in which is placed an imitation Christ. The priests during the celebration of Mass, and at High Mass there are “ about five-and-twenty men” or priests officiating, repeatedly take out the imitation Christ, and with measured genuflexions put the imitation Christ, or " the branch to their nose.” With respect to turning their backs to the temple of the Lord, the Papal priesthood perform all their supposed sacrificial acts and devotions with their backs towards the people, the faithful of whom are “the temple of the Lord.” They turn their faces towards the east, since the altars are placed in every church on the eastern side. They also worship “the sun towards the east.” The sun is a symbol of God. In Hebrew times, the practice of the Jews at their devotions, to turn towards Jerusalem, was significant and proper. During this typical time-state, God promised that His glory should rest on earth in the Ark of the Covenant, placed in the temple at Jerusalem. Consequently, every pious Jew turned in his devotions towards God's glory on earth. In Christian times, the practice of turning towards Jerusalem, or the east, is idolatrous. It is practically to deny Christ's mission. The temple of the Lord is now the new Jerusalem, a spiritual temple in the hearts of the faithful. As the faithful now dwell north, south, east, and west—and God's glory on earth is among them, north, south, east, and west-so God should be worshipped, in spirit and in truth, north, south, east, and west.
Of the Reform needed, a slight sketch only it is thought prudent to make now.
I. With regard to Church Government. The government should be in the people. Each church or congregation should be an independent lesser circle, over which should preside an elder elected by the people. Besides the elder, deacons should be appointed by the people. To these unitedly should be delegated the governing functions. These should regulate the ministrations and services. These should be unpaid ministers. In addition to these should be one or more paid ministers, whose duties would be mainly missionary. In foreign missionary labours, the missionary to appoint an elder in every city or congregation, until the congregation be sufficiently instructed, and sufficiently advanced, to be capable of selfgovernment.
For federal acts, each lesser circle, independent with regard to its intestine constitution, should be included in a larger circle. To the larger circle would be accorded a presiding elder, chosen out of the body of elders of the lesser circles. This elder or bishop to be a paid bishop. His functions would be secular rather than spiritual. As a Christian, of course, in common with all Christians, he would be eligible to minister in spiritual things; and where a capacity existed for both, to such an one should be accorded double honour. 1 Tim. v. 17. The duties of this office would comprise all acts whereby the voice of the whole district would be conveyed to any or
every central Board, in each county or country, representing the several institutions of the country.
II. Of the reform needed in the National Ritual.
The Ritual should be made to conform to the light God vouchsafes. The Nicene and Athanasian Creeds put aside. The Ordination, Baptismal, and Communion Services carefully revised. The Confirmation Service discontinued.
In this slight sketch are presented the broad features of the ultimate phase of Christianity. To adopt them at once, in their full integrity, is not to be expected. We do not want
. a Revolution, but a Reformation. To prepare for it, to lead to it, and, in a measure, to set it up, let our present bishopsnow metropolitan lords- become urban, or rather, district bishops. Let the number of district bishops be increased by the addition into this rank of all Church dignitaries above rectors. Should the number be then found insufficient, add to them by some selected rectors.
With regard to the Church funds, let them be vested in a central board, subject to the control of a local board in each district in regard to its local funds.
With regard to the salaries of bishops and paid presbyters, let the amount be fixed, and to every newly-appointed minister assign the amount fixed. To the transition ministers pay their present legal incomes.
All capitular bodies, as now instituted, to cease. for the retention of Canonries is idle. If God awakens in the mind a consciousness of having received increased light, the recipient will find time to write, be his occupations what they may. That the plea is idle, compare the labours of, in other respects, busy men with the divinity labours of the mass of idle ecclesiastics in the past centuries.
That a change must be entered upon is certain. God has decreed the overthrow of the Clergy Church, and England is, apparently, an honoured land to lead the way to this result.