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light from the Holy Ghost under restrictions. The Holy Spirit will not condescend to any such terms. Nothing would have been so grateful to us in the new teaching we attempted in that church than to have submitted it to the judgment of such men as Professors Pattonand Warfieldand others of their class. We wrote to certain of them and urged them to candidly review our recent book. We sent frequent copies of the magazine to the Professors in our seminaries, to all our leading editors, and others. We were most anxious for the judgment of the Church, and requested the Presbytery to delay giving their advice until we might obtain that which would be at least an index to it. But this substitute for a Jerusalem Chamber proved most unreliable. There was what seemed to be a conspiracy of silence. And, indeed, the men who were best prepared to judge in such a matter were handicapped in the way we have indicated. They must be faithful to the " system." We were thus virtually shut off from the help and guidance which, in a proper condition of the Church, we ought to have been able to obtain, and of which we felt the need. For we have no idea that the judgment of one man can often be set up against the judgment of his brethren. We are members one of another; and we are bound both to correct and to edify one another. But, in order to this, there must be room for perfect freedom and candor. There must be absolute willingness to know, and liberty to speak, the mind of the Spirit. This cannot be where the whole matter is prejudged by a "system," and where the men whose advice is sought are put in the position of the pledged defenders of it, and where all their temporal interests are tied up in its perpetuation.
There is thus a radical defect in the constitution of the Presbyterian Church which only some great convulsion can remedy. It has built itself upon the theology of the seventeenth century, on the assumption that God had nothing more to teach His church beyond it. It has made no provision for further expansion and illumination in the knowledge of the ways and works of God. It created no permanent Jerusalem Chamber. It has grown, indeed, in intelligence and liberality, but at the expense of its honesty. For so long as it allows no one -to dispute the supremacy of its "system," it puts upon its adherents the necessity of cramping within it thoughts it was never meant to hold, and forces them into intellectual inconsistencies and subterfuges damaging to their spiritual life and fruitfulness.
"If any man think that he knoweth anything, he knoweth nothing yet as he ought to know." 1 Cor. viii. 2.
"For we know in part, and we prophesy in part." xiii. 9.
"He that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man." ii. 15.
"Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty." 2 Cor. iii. 17.
A FULLER STATEMENT.
Although we were allowed while on the floor of the Presbytery, and during the debate, to make an important correction in the Committee's digest of our views, yet it would be wrong to suppose that we accepted that statement as complete or as satisfactory to ourselves. It starts out with a misleading sentence,—" He believes that the death and resurrection of Christ inure to the benefit of the unregenerate, especially the heathen, as well as those who die in a state of regeneration." We do indeed believe that to the unregenerate there has been secured by Christ the gift of another life through resurrection, but nothing has been further from our teaching than that it is a benefit of the same kind and order as that which reaches the regenerate. Only he that is born of God can inherit the Kingdom of God. But we do hold that, as the wages of sin is death,— including the bondage and privation and misery of that death-state into which the outcast spirit goes,—so resurrection is essentially recovery from death, bringing back, even where there cleaves to it a heritage of evil from the past, the opportunities of life.
This view of resurrection was forced upon us from a study of the Old Testament. Behind its revelation of the wrath of God to be visited upon men and nations for their sins—a wrath which pursues them to death and shuts them up as captives in sheol—there are frequent promises of a future gracious intervention which should reach even these captives in death. This hope is defined in the New Testament (Acts 23, 6), as "the hope and resurrection of the dead." That it includes classes of mankind, Jew and Gentile, who cannot by any stretch of definition be viewed as regenerate, is plain from such passages as Hosea xiii, where an Ephraim joined to his idols and a self-destroyed Israel are promised succor through their ransom from sheol, and Ezekiel xvi, where even Sodom is promised restoration from her captivity. Indeed the foundations of a gospel of the resurrection are deeply laid in the Old Testament; and it is difficult to see how Dr. Francis Brown could make such a warm-hearted presentation of "Divine Love in the Old Testament" as is given in the last Presbyterian Review without perceiving that the crowning manifestation of this love was to be this provision to bring back from death these masses of mankind consigned to sheol, under the just judgments of God. It is this very provision which makes the gospel of Jesus Christ "glad tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people." And nothing short of this can fulfill the oft repeated promise that in a chosen seed— Christ and His church—all the families of the earth shall be blessed.
The special point, therefore, which we raised against the Confession is that it converts this provision to rescue the human race out of the pit of death and hell into an unspeakable curse to all but the elect. Whereas the elect are such because they are chosen to the high honor of being the bearers of this bounty to their captive brethren.
The eschatological teaching of our Lord must therefore be interpreted in obedience to this fundamental principle that there is a redemptive quality in resurrection. His warning words about being cast into hell—addressed privately to disciples—(Mark ix. etc.), relate to an immediate danger, lying this side of resurrection from the dead. The same is true of the judgment-scene in Matthew xxv. There is a "damnation of hell," from which men need immediate deliverance, and which even disciples cannot wholly escape, except as they are willing to surrender the old man of sin to death. For not "God out of Christ," as the text is constantly misquoted, but our God is a consuming fire. The Christian, in thus yielding himself unto God, passes out of death unto life, and becomes even now a sharer in his Lord's resurrection. All other men must "lose their souls" in death, and go into a captivity, deepened and prolonged according to the intensity of evil character. And their ressurrection, although a deliverance, must still be one "of judgment;" that is, the new life conferred is not an emancipation into the glory of the eternal life, but only into new conditions of trial and judgment, graded according to previous character, with the liability to a second death, out of which Scripture gives no promise of a second resurrection. The superiority of this scheme of eschatology is,
1. It makes room for those large promises to the human race which underlie the Scriptures.
2. It preserves undiminished the Scripture warnings against the loss of body and soul in hell, as an immediately impending peril.
3. It makes the judgment of the world to begin at the right end of our Lord's Messianic reign, and does not remand it to a remote assize of the future.
3. It makes resurrection to be what it essentially is, a boon to the race, the purchase of Him who gave himself a ransom for all.
4. It emphasizes this truth that this great harvest of life must be reaped according to the universal law of deeds done. "To every seed his own body," and "without holiness no man shall see the Lord."
5. It gives a new meaning to missions, in that it proclaims not only an immediate salvation to the believer on Jesus, but invites him into that chosen company who in the sacrifice of themselves upon God's altar, become "baptized for the dead ;" and so answers the anxious cry of the heathen, "What of our ancestors?"