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the following passage : That union which is unto incorruption our bodies have received by the laver, but our minds by the Spirit. Whence also both are necessary; since both are profitable in respect to the life of God. III. 17: 2. A similar efficacy he attributes also to the eucharist :-- Our bodies upon receiving the eucharist, he says, are no longer corruptible, but have the hope of the eternal resurrection. IV. 18: 5. (in G. c. 34). See also V. 2: 3. With this it may be well to connect what he had affirmed just before, namely: But altogether vain are they who contemn the whole arrangement of God, and deny the salvation of the flesh, and spurn its regeneration, saying that it is not capable of incorruptibility. V. 2: 2.
Clement of Alexandria, writing near the close of the second century, uses the following remarkable expressions:- Knowledge, therefore, is illumination, which removes ignorance, and gives perspicacity. Now the rejection of the bad is the bringing of the good to light; for what ignorance has sadly bound, is happily loosed by knowledge. And these bands are quickly dissolved by faith indeed on the part of man, but by grace on the part of God; our sins being removed by one healing remedy, BAPTISM, RECEIVED IN THE DUE EXERCISE OF THE
See his work entitled the Paedagogue, B. I. c. 6.1 Like Clement, Irenaeus seems to have taken it for granted that baptism was received in the exercise of reason and of faith, and that as being a most emphatic expression of faith on the part of men, it was pre-eminently connected with grace on the part of God.
If we have this in mind, it will help very much towards explaining a passage in which he speaks of certain persons thus: They were sent by Satan to deny the baptism of regeneration unto God, and reject the whole faith. I. 21: 1. (in G. c. 18). He contended, as we have already seen, that our bodies' were affected by the laver, but our ininds by the Spirit,' so that both were renewed or regenerated, and united to God; we being understood to have received the fundamental doctrines of the Gospel in the liveliest exercise of faith, at the moment of our baptism. He, it had already been stated by Irenaeus, he who retains unwavering in himself the rule of truth, which he received along with baptism, will acknowledge the terms derived from the Scriptures, and the readings, and the parables. I. 9: 4. (in G. c. 1, near the end).
1 Φωτισμός άρα η γνώσις έστιν, ο εξαφανίζων την άγνοιαν και το διορατικών εντιθείς, αλλά και η των Χειρόνων αποβολή, των κρειττόνων εστίν αποκάλυψις. Η γαρ ή άγνοια συνέδησε κακώς, ταύτα δια της επιγνώσεως αναλύεται καλώς τα δε δεσμά ταύτα, ή τάχος, ανίεται· πίστει με ανθρωπίνη, θεϊκη δε τη χάριτι· αφιεμένων των πλημμελημάτων ένα παιωνίω φαρμάκω λογικό βαπτίσματι. .
1849.) Examination of Passages.
655 On this passage, Massuet, the editor of the most valuable and complete edition of Irenaeus, (which was published at Venice, in 1734,) has the following note:—He means the general faith, that especially, as he himself explains in the next chapter, which is in one God, the Father almighty; and in one Jesus Christ, the Son of God, incarnate for our salvation; and in the Holy Spirit who foretold by the prophets the arrangements of God, and the advent, and that generation which is from the virgin, and the passion, etc. This faith Irenaeus represents as having been received along with baptism, as what the catechumens were taught so accurately before baptism, and what in baptism itself they professed, according to the words of its institution; as Tertullian states in his book on Public Shows. ... To this faith received in baptism and solemnly sworn to, almost all the holy Fathers who have written against the heretics, have referred, supposing that nothing is more efficacious for refuting the novelty of profane dogmas. ... But the more boldly did our author urge this kind of argument against the Valentinians, because they had impiously rejected the whole of the apostolic symbol or creed which was professed by those who were to be baptized.
In another place Irenaeus says, And since in that formation which was according to Adam, man made in transgression, needed the laver of regeneration, after he [the Saviour] put clay on his [the blind man's] eyes, he said to him, Go to Siloam and wash, at the same time restoring to him both the formation and that regeneration which is by the laver. And on account of this, when washed, he came seeing, so that he might know him by whom he was formed, and recognize him who gave him life. V. 15: 3. And in one of his Fragments on the book of Kings, is found the following paragraph : It was not in vain that anciently the leprous Naaman was cleansed upon being baptized, but it was for our instruction; who, being leprous in sins, are by the holy water and the calling upon the Lord, cleansed from the old transgressions, as new-born children, being spiritually regenerated, according to what our Lord said : Except any one be born again, by water and the Spirit, he shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.
How much of the representation in these two passages is fanciful, and how much evangelical, it is not necessary to determine. It is sufficient to know, and I do not hesitate to admit, that Irenaeus sometimes speaks of a regeneration as being connected with baptism. And, in view of the many passages which have been adduced, it surely cannot be denied that he also sometimes speaks of a regeneration, and sometimes uses some kindred term, in various other connections.
· Ex. Ms. Bibliothecae Coislianae Catena.
With baptism he associated the decisive reception of the true Christian faith, and transition from the world into the church, from a state of bondage to a state of redemption, from spiritual death to spiritual life. In some degree at least, he confounded the sign with the thing signified. This, it is well known, was done too generally, even in his early time. And thus occasion was given for some of the Gnostics to object that an undue efficacy was attributed to baptism. One extreme is apt to produce its opposite. Hence, it seems, they rejected what he denominates the baptism of regeneration. And to his strong statement of this he adds the following : But they say that redemption belongs necessarily to them who have received the perfect knowledge, so that they are regenerated unto the power that is over all; for that otherwise it is impossible to enter within the Fulness ( ivros ninpouatos), since it is this that leads them into Profundity (rò Bátos). Indeed, it is said, that the baptism of the appearing Jesus was of the forgiveness of sins, but that the redemption of Christ who descended upon him, was unto perfection. The one, they assert, was animal; the other, spiritual; and the baptism of John was announced unto repentance; but the redemption was procured by Jesus unto perfection; and that it is this concerning which he says, I have another baptism to be baptized with, and very much do I hasten to it. And to the sons of Zebedee, when their mother requested of the Lord to seat them with him in his kingdom on his right hand and on his left, they say that he set forth this redemption, saying, Can ye be baptized with the baptism that I am about to be baptized with? And they affirm that Paul has often expressly mentioned the redemption that is in Christ Jesus. I. 21: 1 and 2 (in G. c. 18). Compare 4.
Irenaeus himself, as we have seen, does not always confound baptism with regeneration, renewal, restoration, or introduction to a better state. Often, when he speaks of these, he has in view the incarnation and mediatorial work of Christ, as bringing the human family into a new relation to God.
He gives great prominence to faith and to the Holy Spirit, in whatever connection they may appear. And in a Fragment of his that remains,he says, The first thing is to deny one's self, and follow Christ; and they who do thus, go on unto perfection, performing all the will of the Teacher, being children of God by the spiritual regeneration (δια της παλλιγενεσίας της πνευματικής), and heirs of the kingdom of heaven ; for they who seek this first, shall not be deserted.
* Ex Codicibus manuscriptis Bibliothecae Regiae Turinensis.
Spiritual Reign of Christ.
WILL THE GRAND CONSUMMATION, GIVING THE KINGDOMS OF THIS WORLD TO CHRIST, BE INTRODUCED UNDER THE DISPENSATION OF THE SPIRIT ?
By Rev. Joseph Steele, Castleton, Vt.
What question can be of greater practical importance to the church of Jesus Christ, at a time when so many signs proclaim the day near at hand. Already the millenarian sees it at the door, and concentrates his plans and efforts upon those duties which harmonize with such expectation. He feels dissatisfied with the tardy and far reaching plans of benevolence, and earnestly demands that the church give up her dreams of evangelizing the world, and basten to gather in the last gleanings of the vintage. In all the aggressive movements of the day, and the success which has crowned them, he sees no cheering indications. In his view, the world is only waxing worse; the gospel is only a proclamation and not the power of God for the world's salvation; the good for which it was designed is nearly accomplished; and nothing great, nothing important, louching Zion's prosperity, is to be anticipated until the Redeemer shall come in person. On the contrary, a large portion of the church, adopting other views, and reading their duty in harmony with the expectation that, under the dispensation of the Spirit, the heathen are to be given to Christ for an inheritance, are laying plans and combining their energies to send the gospel to every creature; confident that the great harvest is yet to be gathered. In their view the cause is making progress, the signs betoken success, and the blessing of God upon their efforts is the seal of his approbation. They fancy that the systems of paganism are becoming decrepit, that the throne of Antichrist is tottering, and that the year of jubilee is near.
Views so widely dissimilar must exert widely different effects.
How far the Millenarian views, if generally adopted, would change the direction of the church, experience has not yet taught us ; but it seems manifest to us, that the effect would be dispiriting and disastrous in the extreme. The influence of opposing views may fairly be estimated from the past. No era in the history of the church is more clearly marked, than that of modern missions, and the fact is well established, that the originators and most active promoters of them, held the doctrine, that the world would be subjugated to Christ under the dispensation of the Spirit. The first appeal to the churches on the subject of a general concert made by ministers in Scotland, more than a century since, is founded upon this doctrine. President Edwards took up that appeal, and urged it with great force on the same ground. Fuller and his compeers, who actually established the Monthly Concert, out of which grew the work of missions, held the same sentiments and made them the spring of their enterprising zeal. It would be a deeply interesting work to trace the history of the missionary spirit as it grew and expanded in the minds of these devoted men, in connection with the great idea that the world is to be converted to Christ. They acted under a sense of responsibility for the accomplishment of this ; they felt that the work depended upon the Holy Spirit; and they prayed that the Spirit might be poured froin on high. An unusual spirit of prayer was gradually diffused in the churches. Christian benevolence and enterprise increased From step to step the work advanced until it has become the wonder and glory of the age. Let any one ask the question, what would there be left if all which has evidently grown out of the missionary character of our times were blotted out, and he will readily perceive how much it has accomplished. Can it now be believed that such fruits have sprung from an error so important as that of mistaking the object of the present dispensation, and the great end of Christ's second appearing? We grant there is danger in judging either doctrines or practice by immediate results; but if the Saviour's rule has any value, it is safe to judge both by their fruits when the experience of a century has fairly proved of what kind they are.
Such views and the results which have followed are in admirable harmony with the general object and plan of redemption. We know that the dominion of Satan in our world is a usurped dominion. By seducing man to sin, the great deceiver found opportunity to mar the work of God. Changed from love of God to hatred, from loyalty to disobedience, 'man became the willing subject of Satan. This triumph Satan has maintained hitherto; and so successfully has the strong man armed kept his palace, that he is rightfully styled "the god of this world." Could he but retain this dominion, his triumph would be complete. This cannot be. The truth and honor of Jehovah are both engaged to trample Satan under foot, and give the heritage to his beloved Son. How is this to be accomplished ? It is plain it might have been done by an exertion of almighty power, and in this way the holy angels may have expected to see it accomplished, when man fell. This however was not the method his wisdom chose ; and in the first promise made to the fallen race, he declares that the usurped domin