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Babylonian Doctrine. pains : which cries of the Spirit and hasten the reign of univerare unutterable by man, and un- sal peace and happiness. intelligible to man, but known [This is the only form in to Him who searcheth the hearts which any thing analogous to of men, and knoweth the mind the doctrine stated opposite, of the Spirit. This is oneness can possibly be seen in the with Christ; this is entering present state of Babylon.] into His mind, and sorrowing with him : this, in a word, is salvation. (viii. 22–27.)
22. From such a height of 22. The doctrine of Election holy communion with God by being the peculiar mystery of the Spirit, and in the "con- Christianity, is to be kept sciousness of fellowship with continually before us in all our our risen Head, we know and dealing with the Gospel; and rejoice in the working together whatever appears to be inconof all things for good to them sistent with it, in the character that love God, the called ac- of God's love to men, the excording to his purpose and tent of the atonement, or the foreknowledge; whom he hath possibility of quenching the predestinated to be conformed Spirit, or falling away by apoto the image of his Son, that stasy, is to be denied and opHe might be the first-born posed to the uttermost. The among many brethren. (viii. end of election is not our con28–30.)
cern; but God will do all His pleasure, and cannot be frus
trated or grieved at all. 23. The testimony of the 23. A firm and steady faith Holy Ghost, bearing witness in the doctrine of the final perwith our spirits that we are severance of the saints is sufchildren of God; that God is ficient to produce in us the for us; that Christ, who died, comforting assurance that we yea, rather, who is risen again, can never fall away, without and intercedes for us at the any need of the attestation of right hand of God; does, in the person of the Holy Spirit the midst of tribulation and in us, which is not now to be persecution endured by us in reasonably expected, as the following the steps of Jesus, days of miraculous gifts have produce the firm persuasion gone by; and without any testhat we shall not by any creature timony arising from outward power be ever separated from tribulation
persecution, the love of God which is in which would savour of selfChrist Jesus our Lord. (viii. 16, righteousness. 31-39). 24. We ought to have great
24. We need not give our
Babylonian Doctrine. heaviness and continual sorrow
selves any real pain of heart of heart for our brethren, who by thinking, of our brethren have gone away from God; as
who come short of salvation, the Apostle, declaring the truth seeing it must be the purpose in Christ, and witnessed by his of God they should perish; conscience in the Holy Ghost and though we send them Bibles (which declares the mind of and tracts and preachers and God to have been in him), had Prayer-books, yet there is no for his brethren, who had apos- use in bearing a continual tatized from the adoption, and burden of heaviness and sorrow the covenant, and the glory, for them, else we should never and the promises. (ix. 1-5.) have any comfort at all !
25. The mystery of the pur- 25. The Old-Testament repose of God from eternity; the cord of God's dealings with the harmony of election with re- Jews, their privileges and apodemption and love to all men; stasy, their resisting of the the object of all creation; and Holy Ghost (Acts vii. 51) and the final issues of judgment to limiting the Holy One of Israel come; are all, in so far as God
(Psalm lxxviii. 41), contains has been pleased to reveal them, little that is now of much direct shewn out in large characters
use to us, because we are under in the making known of his a totally different dispensation. ways to Moses, and his acts
The prophecies have been long to the children of Israel ; and
ago fulfilled, and are the eviall these things are recorded dences that the book is of Di. for our warning and instruction
vine origin; but the New-Tesand comfort. (ix. 6-33.) tament part is what we must
attend to exclusively. 26. God's dealings by the 26. The Jewish dispensation Jews are expressly declared to
was only a shadowy introducbe the rule of his righteous- tion to the Gospel dispensation, ness, both in the goodness which is the perfect one, into shewn to them, and the severity the blessings of which the Jews which overtook them when they shall be finally admitted ; and fell into unbelief. But while it then the earth shall be filled is revealed that they shall yet with the knowledge of the again be restored to their dig. Lord, and all the glory of the nity as the peculiar people of reign of Messiah shall be seen, God, when the times of the without any preceding apostasy Gentiles are fulfilled, it is also or consuming judgments at all. declared that the Gentiles shall be utterly cut off and destroyed through unbelief and apostasy. (x. xi. 1–24.)
27. The Lord would not have 27. It does not affect our
Babyloniun Doctrine. the Gentiles ignorant * that the safety whether we be ignorant off-casting of the Jews, and
or not of God's ultimate purthe consequent calling of the pose concerning the Jews and Gentiles, is for a limited period ;
Gentiles : this only we believe, and that, when it is fulfilled that a thousand long years of (Luke xxi. 24), the Gentiles blessedness are promised to the must be cut off
, that the Jews world, which surely are not yet may be restored to their former begun ; and therefore, as the place and calling. Then the Lord is not to come until after mystery of God's dealings the Millennium, to judge the with man shall be fully re
world, any expectation of his vealed; the new covenant coming, or preparation for it, made with Israel (Jer. xxxi. is foolish and distracting; and 31, &c.), the blessedness of the not only pernicious to the compromised kingdom, shall begin; fort of the church in the
preand the depth of the riches sent day, but reflects a charge both of the wisdom and know- of ignorance upon our fathers, ledge of God be disclosed to and all the wise and good men the ages to come, that all cre
of the present day. ation may see and acknowledge that “ Of Him, and through Him, and to Him are all things; to whom be glory for ever. Amen.” (xi. 25–36.)
It were a needless labour to follow out this contrast through the details of the preceptive part of the Epistle, because, where there is unsoundness, perversion, and contradiction on all the leading heads of Apostolic doctrine, there must of necessity be a corresponding deficiency and denial of every point of holy conversation. And is not the history of every day the confirmation of this rule, in every square, street, and court of “ the great city?" On one occasion the Lord made an appeal, for confirmation of a charge against his apostate people, to the consciences of the people themselves : Is it not EVEN THUS, O ye children of Israel, saith the LORD?” (Amos ii. 11.) So now the charges against the men of Babylon the Great are many and grievous. Is it not so, that the traditions of men are exalted over the commandments of Jesus ? that the form of sound words has been supplanted by phrases of man's devising ? and that the ample provision of God's house, exhibited in the love and righteousness of the Father, the person and faith of the Son, and the power and presence of the Holy Ghost, has been denied and limited and made void, by the falsehood of human systems and schools and creeds? Is it not so, that through the teaching of men the gift of God has been changed to an offer? that the Gospel, glad tidings of great joy proclaimed to every creature, has dwindled into good news to believers ? that, not the goodness of God, but the fear of the wrath of God, is said to lead men to repentance ? that the judgment of all flesh by the Lord Jesus, is called an arrangement in which the elect only have an interest? that the apostasy of the Jews is believed to contain no direct warning to the Gentiles ? that the righteousness of the Father is confounded with the righteousness of Christ ? that the faith of Jesus is attributed to his Godhead, and so cannot be the example left us of faith in God ? that righteousness is denied to be the character of one who believeth God, but maintained to be a covering, or garment, prepared for believers, to cover their sins and hide their true character even from God's eyes? Is it not so, that the likeness of sinful flesh is taught to mean the most unlike of all things to sinful flesh? that the power of the Holy Ghost is regarded as diluted and modified into “ the influence of the Spirit ?” that, because in man’s flesh there is no good thing, it is asserted that the power of the Spirit cannot keep a man holy? that spiritual gifts are undervalued and unsought for now, as being fit only for the infancy of the church and uneducated Christians ? that a baptized man is called upon, not to keep down the flesh in death by being filled with the Spirit, but to keep up war with it, and seek to put it to death by degrees ; and in this warfare to use the law of Moses, rather than the Spirit of Christ; and, consequently, to regard the wretched state described in Rom. vii. as a very hopeful and delightful token of being in the way to heaven? Is it not even thus, in a word, that the absolute and uncompromising word of the Lord, “If any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is NONE OF HIS,” is explained away through notions of imperceptible though progressive sanctification, and human distinctions of ordinary and extraordinary, of saving and miraculous, of temporary
* It is certainly a singular coincidence, that there are but five heads of doctrine in all the Epistles introduced in these solemn words: they form a strange contrast with the proverbial Five Points, for the church is grossly ignorant of them all :
1. This mystery of the temporary dispensation to the Gentiles. 2. The analogy of the former and present dispensations. (1 Cor. x. 1-11.) 3. The whole doctrine of spiritual gifts. (1 Cor. xii. xiii. xiv.) 4. The first resurrection, at the coming of the Lord. (1 Thess. iv. 13, &c.)
5. The estimate of time which the Lord makes ; and the fact that He shall come suddenly, and with fiery judgments. (2 Pet. iii. 8, &c.)
and permanent, influences and experiences, and means of grace; whereby a man is regarded, and received, and flattered as a Christian, who neither has, nor pretends to have, the Spirit of God as a Person dwelling in him, leading him, crying out in him, and bearing witness with his own spirit, while he suffers with Christ now and waits for the redemption of his body, that
he is indeed a son of God, and an heir, yea, a joint heir with Christ, of the glory to be revealed at His coming ?
Oh come out of her! come out of her! ye people of the Lord ! " Go ye forth of Babylon, flee ye from the Chaldeans; with a voice of singing declare ye, tell this, utter it even to the end of the earth ; say ye, The Lord hath redeemed his servant Jacob : and they thirsted not when he led them through the deserts : he caused the waters to flow out of the rock for them : he clave the rock also, and the waters gushed out” (Isa. xlviii. 20, 21). May the great Head of the church, whose name is the Mighty One (Psa. xlv.), give point and power to these arrows of testimony; and quickly gather out many faithful and fearless men to bend the bow of the Spirit against Babylon, to shout against her round about, to bring forth the weapons of the indignation of the Lord ; for this is the work of the Lord God of
l hosts in the land of the Chaldeans. Amen.
CHRIST IN US THE HOPE OF GLORY.
Dear Christian reader, learn to know God, and learn to know yourself, that you may fulfil the end of your being. Know God as the Creator of all things, hating nothing that he hath made, but loving the work of his hands; and as loving man best, the last of his works, whom the Lord God made in his own image, to shew forth his glory. Know yourself, as one furnished with means of understanding what is the will of God, and, in doing that will, of glorifying him.
God, in forming man, endowed him with a capacity for receiving Divine revelations; and adapted the revelation to the capacity, in giving his holy word. Man, thus endowed, is held accountable for the use or neglect of this gift. Those who have used it well, shall be received with, “ Well done, good and faithful servant; enter thou into the joy of thy Lord :” those who have neglected or abused the word committed unto them, shall be cast out, as wicked and unprofitable, into outer darkness.
To the responsibility of man it is necessary that he be endowed with a capability of understanding and obeying the commandments of God; that they are clearly revealed, and that he has the power to obey; that he knows his Creator's will, and finds it suitable to his condition. And this responsibility lies upon all men alike, as all are the children of Adam, who was made