Page images




CHAP. that speaketh blasphemies? Who can forgive sins but

God alone ?

18. But that power was not diminished after Jesus left the world ; the true and real members of the Church or body of Christ, had the same power on

earth that Jesus had ; according to his words, Whose John xx.

soever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them ;
and whose soever sins ye retain, they are retained.

19. Hence saith the apostle to the Corinthians, 2 Cor. ü. “ To whom ye forgive any thing, I forgive also : for

if I forgave any thing, to whom I forgave it, (gr.

dice inãs.] by you forgave I it, in the person of Christ.” 1 Cor. V. And again, “ In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ,

when ye are gathered together, and my spirit, with
the power of our Lord Jesus, to deliver such an one
to Satan."

20. Thus it is evident that the Church and messen-
gers of Christ stood in very character, and acted
by the very same spirit and power of the Lord Je-
sus, which he had i'eceived from his Father, and giv.
en unto them. Whatsoever they taught, was taught
of God, and whosoever received, despised, or reject-
ed them, received, despised, or rejected not man,
but God.

21. Hence the words of the apostle, “God hath iv. 7,8. not called us to uncieanness, but unto holiness. He,

therefore, that despiseth, for rejecteth,] despiseth

(or rejecteth] not man, but God.” " He that re48, 49.

jecteth me, said Jesus, and receiveth not my words,
hath one that judgeth him : the word that I hav
spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day.
For I have not spoken of myself; but the Father
which sent me, he gave me a commandment what
I should say, and what I should speak.”

22. And whatsoever Jesus spake of himself, per-
tained also to his followers : for all that the Father
gave unto him, he gave unto them, even eternal life :
as he expresses it in his address to the Father.

23. “ Now they have known that all things, what

soever thou hast given me, are of thee. For I have John zvü given unto them the Words which thou garest me, and 7,8,9, & they have received them.--I pray for them : I pray 20,22, 23. not for the world. Sanctify them through thy truth;


1 Thes.

John xil

[ocr errors]


[ocr errors]

thy Word is truth. As thou hast sent me into the CHAP.
world, even so have I sent them into the world. Nei-
ther pray I for these alone, but for them also which
shall believe on me through their word-And the glo-
ry which thou gavest me, I have given them ; that
they may be one, even as we are one : I in them, and
thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one ;
and that the world may know that thou hast sent me,
and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me."

24. In the same order which his Father had placed
him, he also placed them, as his joint body, and en-
dowed them with the same power and authority,

25. “ Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that l'e- John 3 tk. ceiveth whomsoever I sead, l'eceiveth me; and he 30, and

. that receiveth me, receiveth him that sent me. As my Father hath sent ini, even 80 send I you.Then as the Father was revealed in Christ ; so in the same manner is Christ revealed in his Church, as his true body. And as God is the head of Christ ; so is Christ the head of his Church.

26. And as whatever was done by Christ, was done by the Father; so whatever is done by the true Church and body of Christ, is done by Christ himself.

27. And as the Father judged no man, but committed John v.
all judgment to the Son; so in like manner, when the
Son had finished the work on earth which was given
him to do, he committed all judgment to the saints,
in whom he promised to dwell, and out of the Church
he judgeth no man. Know ye not, saith the apostle, 1 Cor. ti.
that the saints shall judge the world ?

28. And as no man hath seer. God at any time ; but
the only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Fa-
ther, hath declared him ; so no man haih seen the Son
in his glorified state, at any time ; but his only begot-
ten saints, who are in him, and he in them, they have
declared him in his true character. God is a Spirit,
and cannot be seen, known, or worshipped, but by and
in the Spirit. For the things of God knoweth no man, il.
but the Spirit of God.

29. Then, as Christ, that is, the Anointing, with
which Jesus was anointed, alone knew the Father,
being a quickening Spirit, one with the Father; it is
evident that no man can know the things of Christ,

[ocr errors]

1 Cor. Il.


CHAP. but the Spirit of Christ, which is in his truly begotten


30. The Church, or body of saints, which Christ himself had begotten, which was in his bosom, as he was in the bosom of the Father, was the only salt of the earth-the light of the world—the only house, or temple of the living God on earth, and the only pillar and ground of truth among men : therefore it was impossible for any soul to find God or Christ to salvation, in any other place, or through any other medium, than through the Church, or saints, the true mem

bers of his body, in which he dwelt. Acts . 31. This is clearly proved by the case of Cornelius

the centurion, a devout man, and one that feared God with all his house, which gave much alms to the people, and prayed to God alway. But he was not yet saved. And the angel who came to Cornelius, could inform him that his prayers and alms were come up for a memorial before God, and intimate to him that he was not yet saved, and that in order to obtain salvation, he must send for Simon Peter.

32. But why could not the angel administer salvation to him, without being beholden to Peter? The truth is, it was not in his power ; that power was committed unto the Church, as hath been shown,

33. Salvation was only in and by Christ, and Christ, from the beginning, had not taken on him the nature of angels, but the seed of Abraham, and was, and still conunued to be manifested in the flesh, and dwelt in his temple or earthly tabernacle, where he promised to dweli.

34. Therefore the most that the angel could do for this devout man, was to inform him where he could find an entrance into the kingdom of heaven, and direct him to that temple, or habitation of God, from which the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus, could be communicated.

35. And as Peter was a real member of the body of Christ, who had Christ the Word and power of salvation, and eternal life, dwelling in him, with au

thority to transmit the same to others ; therefore the 13,14,15. angel said to Cornelius, “ Send men to Joppa, and

call for Simon, whose surname is Peter, who shall tell

Acts xi.


thee words, whereby thou and all thy house shall be CHAP. saved.

36. And when Peter came to Cornelius, and those who were with him, and preached unto them that Word, which he had in him, which God had appointed to be the judge of both quick and dead, the Holy Ghost fell on them, as it did on the apostles at the beginning ; and they were transiated from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan into the kingdom of God's dear Son.

37. By this circumstance, together with what hath been said, it is verified beyond all contradiction, that unto the angels God hath not subjected the world to Heb. . . come, or the building of his habitation among men. Nor was there any angel, or spirit in heaven or on earth, that could open and administer the true way and power of salvation and eternal life, but that Spirit and power which abode in the Church. 38. It was in the Church that Christ was set upon

Compare the right hand of the Father, in heavenly places, far Eph. i. 3. above all principality and power, and might, and do- 21, 22, 23, minion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but in that which is to come. Here God the Father put all things under his feet, and Christ was given to be the head over all things to the Church, which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all. 39. And that the Church was the only medium, Aets is.

1, 2, 3, through which the gospel of salvation and eternal life could be adninistered to mankind, is also manifest from the conversion of Saul of Tarsus, while on his way to Damascus, breathing out threatnings and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord.

40. If it be supposed that Saul at that time, in reality, saw Christ Jesus, it is a mistake. Saul was not at that time in a situation to see Christ, for he was sinning against him ; and John testifies, He that sin- 1 John the neth hath neither seen him nor known him.

41. Christ is the true light, who coming into the world, enlighteneth every man. But the light that shone upon Saul blinded him : and moreover no man can even call Jesus Lord, and much less see him, but by the Holy Ghost. And Saul neither received his



40, 15.

CHAP. sight, nor the Holy Ghost, until three days after,

when he received both, through Ananias a member of Christ's body.

42. But Saul himself relates his seeing a vision, and hearing a voice, saying, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? Who then was he persecuting ? Not that light that struck him blind, nor that voice that reproved him. These he respected as the glory and voice of the Lord, as much as his fathers had respected the cloud of glory which covered the mercy seat; but Christ in his real habitation he had not respected, but persecuted him in the true members of his body.

43. He had persecuted Christ in Stephen the martyr, and he had persecuted him in those men and women, whom he had hauled forth and committed to prison. And it was only in the members of Christ, that he, or any oiher could either love or hate him,

bless or curse him, receive or reject him ; according Mat. xxv. to Christ's own words : Verily I say unto you, In as

much as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye huve done it unto me.

44. And therefore, as Christ dwelt no where for true salvation to men, but in his living witnesses, the vision could only direct him where to find Christ, and

through whom he must receive his instructions, sayActsix.6, ing, Arise and go into the city, and it shall be told

thee, what thou must do.

45. When therefore Saul was obedient to the heavenly vision, and Ananias also followed the instructions which he had received through another vision, and actually laid his hands on Saul, in the very Spirit and power of that Jesus whom he had seen in vision on the way, then Saul received his sight, and was filled with the Holy Ghost : and then, and not till then, did he know Christ: and abiding certain days with the disciples, straighiway he preached Christ in the synagogues, that he is the Son of God.

46. It is evident, that, by finding his union to Ananias, a member of the Church, he found his union to Christ, and became, himscis, a member of Christ's body, and a joint heir 10 the promised inheritance. And thus, having Christ in him, he was thereby qualified to preachi, among the Gentiles, the same gos


« PreviousContinue »