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except in and by Christ, is but an old error revived ; and hath so much of the spirit in it of the present Christ-despising generation, that let it be analyzed and sifted to its original principles, and a system of refined deism will be discovered at the bottom of the crucible. Let your correspondent, Mr. Editor, do by this, as I have done by all departures from “ the faith once delivered to the saints," bring them as we are commanded, “ to the law and to the testimony; if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them,” Isa. viii. 20.
Every error in doctrine begins from a want of spiritual and scriptural apprehension of the Person of Christ. I stay not to remark, what I hope is too plain and obvious to need the observation, namely, that until by regeneration or a new birth a inan is rendered capable of discerning the truths of scripture spiritually, “ he cannot receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness unto him; neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned,” i Cor. ii. 14.' Now, a spiritual, scriptural apprehension of the Person of our most glorious Christ, becomes the inlet to the regenerated child of God for the attainment of divine knowledge : hence, our Lord's own statement of it, “ If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also. He that hath seen me, hath seen the Father,” John xiv. 7-9. "I, and my Father are one," John x. 30.. Now this oneness, this union, which hath a full relation to the divine nature of our most glorious Christ, at once proves, that in the essence of Godhead, in all the perfections and attributes of Jehovah in his Trinity of Persons, Christ, as God, possesseth, in common with the Father and the Holy Ghost, equal sovereignty, eternity, and all the distinguishing properties, which, according to holy scripture, constitute Godhead. And the spiritual and scriptural apprehension of this leading truth of the gospel, being received into
the spiritual mind by divine teaching, gives the regenerated child of God clear and full views of the Person of Christ, that in his essence and nature in the Godhead, all is inherent and underived, being one with the Father and the Holy Ghost, “over all God blessed for ever. Amen."
Laying this, as scripture hath lain it, the foundation for all that follows, in relation to the Person of Christ, and for all the glorious work of Christ; the spiritually taught of God is led on to observe, in going over scripture ground, that when it was determined in the council of Jehovah, in his Trinity of Persons, that one of the sacred Three which bear record in heaven, should come forth from the invisibility of his dwelling, to make known the vast purposes of his will in relation to his church and people, this Holy One became the only one; and by assuming into union with his Godhead that holy portion of our nature, whereby in that compound, God and man in one, he might accomplish all those purposes revealed in the sacred scripture; he and he alone came forth the visible Jehovah, according to that statement, “no man,” or, as the word (oudeis) ought to have been rendered, no one, (as well angels as men) “ hath seen God at any time, the only begotten Son which is in the bosom of the Father, (not only was, but is now, agreeable to that other scripture, John iii. 13.) he hath declared him," John i. 18. Hence, therefore, we read that “ in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily,” Col. ii. 9. Hence also elsewhere, “ God was in Christ," 2 Cor. v. 19. And all scripture concurs in testimony, that all the Persons in the Godhead are in Christ. “ Believest thou not (said the Lord Jesus to Philip) that I am in my Father,
and the Father in me?” John xiv. 10, 11. And God the Holy Ghost is in Christ; not as in his people, in gifts and graces, and making our bodies his temple for the communication of his divine influences; but personally in Christ, as the Father is in Christ; so that Christ, from the infinity of his essence as God, and his suitability as man, and both blended in one, becomes the Mediator, and the only Mediator between God (in his Trinity of Persons, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost) and man; without whom, there can be no communications either here in grace, or hereafter in glory. And is it possible, for any one in the face of these scriptures, to say or believe, that God the Father dwells in his people as he does in Christ? Yes! it is possible, for all natural unrenewed men both to say and believe, because scripture asserts that "no man can say that Jesus is the Lord but by the Holy Ghost,” 1 Cor. xii. Their saying or believing, therefore, is not the result of divine teaching, but the presumptuous reasoning and headknowledge of the unregenerated mind.
But we must not stop here. The further we go in traversing the sacred ground of holy scripture, on the investigation of this subject, the more enveloped would the mind of the regenerated child of God be in blindness, on the supposition that our communications in grace or glory are not in and through Christ, but the indwelling God is with us as he dwells in Christ. In this case, what is become of that throne of our most glorious Christ, which in contradistinction to all creatures, was proclaimed to be “ for ever and ever?” What is gone by of the adoration of angels, who, at the bringing in the first begotten into the world, were commanded to worship him? What are we to understand of the personal glory of our Christ which he had with the Father before the world was, and which Jesus expresseth in terms so infinitely sublime, when he saith, “ glorify thou me with thine own self?” John xvii. 5. Do the advocates who would persuade us, that when they say God dwells in his people as he does in Christ, we have the inhabitation
of God, mean God in his Trinity of Persons, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost? If so, ought they not to explain how this indweling is without the Mediator ? Can he, “who dwelleth in that light which no man can approach unto, whom no man hath seen or can see,” make a manifestation of himself in a way contrary to his own declaration, when he said, - there shall no man see me and live?” Exod, xxxiii. 20. And is it possible for any man to conceive that Jehovah, in his Trinity of Persons, will make known to his creatures the revelation of his attributes, which all scripture proclaims to be incommunicable? We can and do, through the medium of uur most glorious Christ, spiritually enter into some apprehension of that sublime scripture, in which it is said, he is above all, and through all, and in you all.” Eph. iv. 6. His being and essence of a nature “ above all,” not only infinitely transcending all, but differing from all, as the distinction between the Creator and created. And when it is said, “ through all,” here again we can conceive that the Lord may and doth so be through all, that while distinct from, he may as the air, fill all. And when it is added, " and in you all,” here, by the gracious influences communicated from the Holy Three in One, through Christ, we have day-light let in upon the soul to give apprehension. But when the Lord challengeth for his own distinguishing prerogative his omnipresence, and saith, “ Do not I fill heaven and earth, saith the Lord ?” Jer. xxiii. 24.-how the advocates for God's dwelling in his people as he doth in Christ will explain this, I believe they have never considered. In Christ, as both God and man, here was power for this communication: he that was “ fellow to the Lord of Hosts," was capable of all fulness; but our fellowship is with him, that was, and is, “ the Lord's fellow;" and if we lose this sole medium of all manifestation, what part can we have in this incommunicable perfection of Jehovah, belonging alike as it doth to the Holy Three in One, his immensity ?
I must not trespass further. But I hope I have said enough under the Lord, to convince the spiritual church in Christ, (and it is for such I labour) that all communications to the church both here and hereafter, can only be in and through the glorious Person of our most glorious Christ. And very sure I am, that all that are regenerated and brought into an apprehension of the Holy Trinity, into what Paul calls, “ the acknowledgment of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ,” will discover also under the same divine unction, that our Christ is (what he called himself) “the Alpha and Omega; and in whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.”
I must not conclude, Mr. Editor, until that I have first admonished your correspondent not to be moved by what is going on in the present day. The whole prophecy of scripture is directed to prepare the church for it. And we are expressly told by John, that the way whereby we are to know that it is the last time, is, because it was foretold “ that antichrist should come," and there are now many antichrists. The Lord be praised that things are as they are: if they were not, I should want another bible. Let the whole church of Christ comfort themselves with this assurance; " the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, the Lord knoweth them that are his,” 2 Tim. ii. 19. In due time, the Lord will appear for Zion: and the promise is absolute, “ when the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit Jehovah shall lift up a standard against him," Isa. lix. 19.
Your's to serve in the Lord,