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acting the Father's will, did by the Holy Ghost take a soul; and with and in that soul he did take flesh and blood of the Virgin; and having thus added a living soul, a soul living in fallen flesh, to his Divine nature he did act in it, by the Holy Ghost all the days of his flesh; and by the Holy Ghost in it acting he did redeem it from the bondage of the devil, he did make it obedient unto God, he did make the will of the fallen creature at one with the will of God, he did redeem flesh and blood in general, and hath become the Lord of it, to give eternal life unto as many as the Father pleaseth. His perfect holiness in the human nature is as necessary to the orthodox faith, as is the unholiness of the nature which he took. He came to reconcile these contraries in his own person, God and the fallen sinful creature: therefore he must take these two contraries, God and the sinful fallen creature, into union, and shew them in reconciliation, shew them to be at one.
He came to redeem the devil-oppressed creature: therefore he must take the devil-oppressed creature into himself, and shew it redeemed. He came to be our forerunner unto glory: therefore he must run before us, in the same tangled and perilous path in which we run. And thus have we, in the work of incarnation, the Three Persons, the fulness of the Godhead, manifested in a body.
We will close this attempt to vindicate and defend the orthodox faith, by reference to three texts, which shew how necessary to the office of our High Priest both ideas are; first, his identity with our fallen nature; and next, his perfect holiness therein. The texts are, Heb. ii. 17; Heb. iv. 15; Heb. vii. 26. We will conclude with interpretation, for the sake of those who are weak in doctrine. This is the literal translation and the true meaning of Heb. ii. 16, 17, as every scholar and interpreter who will follow us in the original will easily perceive: "For not by any means apprehended he angels (substance], but seed of Abraham apprehended he: whence (that is, because he apprehended seed of Abraham] he must [he owed] as to all particulars have been likened to the brethren, to the end he might become a merciful and faithful High Priest in things wherein we have to do with God." The argument of this passage and the context is, that, seeing it was prophesied in the Old Testament that he was to call the church brethren, and to live by faith, and to call men his children, it was necessary, for the verity of these words of God, that he should take
upon him the common condition of flesh and blood ; to the end he might die, and, dying, conquer the devil, and redeem the elect from the bondage of death And it was further necessary to apprehend seed of Abraham, and be every way assimilated to the brethren, in order that he might compassionate and faithfully represent their case before God, and, through
the fellowship of our sufferings by temptation, might be able to help us under our temptations. To the same effect is the passage Heb. iv. 14, 15; which, being literally rendered, is as follows: “Having then a great High Priest, who hath passed to the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast the
profession: for we have not a High Priest unable to sympathize with our weakness, but having been tempted in every way according to slikeness] sameness, apart of sin.” The argument of this passage and the context is, that we ought not to flinch from our stedfastness, because God's word is most discerning and penetrating; but in all our weaknesses, counting and reckoning upon the sympathies of our High Priest, we should take boldness to appear at the Throne of Grace, where He ministers, even He, who had the similitude or identity of all our temptations, yet stood apart from sin; and therefore is able, not only to sympathize with the tempted, but also to keep them apart from sin.
Now the last passage, Heb. vii. 26 : "For such an High Priest became us, holy, sinless, blameless, having been parted from sinners, and become higher than the heavens.” “He took part with the brethren” (ii. 14), “he was assimilated to the brethren in every thing” (ii. 17), to the end of becoming the High Priest : which dignity having attained in his resurrection, he is now parted from the sinners, with whom he had communicated in the flesh; and not only so, but lifted up above the heavens; so as, both in respect of his holiness and in respect of his power, to be able and willing to deliver us from sinful oppressors, as in respect to his flesh-and-blood humanity, he is able to sympathize with us labouring under their oppression. His communicating with us in our fesh-and-blood substance doth qualify him for the high priesthood ; his resurrection in holy and glorious and immortal substance doth bring him near to God, and put him separate from us: so as that he who heretofore felt with us, is now permitted to stand and represent those feelings in the presence of our God. His days of flesh put him into possession of our pitiful case, which he had undertaken to advocate; his taking holy flesh at the resurrection brought him up into God's presence, to advocate it there. Each is needful in its place, to our Mediator, both must meet together in our High Priest; and this hath ever been the doctrine of the orthodox church, and must remain so unto the end. The other two opinions are heretical in the last degree ; either doing away with the work of the Holy Ghost, or doingi away
with the separateness of the two natures of Christ ; each of which is an error of unspeakable magnitude, from which may God defend the church !
ON THE DOCTRINE AND MANIFESTATION AND CHARACTER
OF THE APOSTASY IN' THE CHRISTIAN CHURCH.
(Communicated by the Rev. EDWARD IRVING.) There is nothing more certainly declared in history, more thoroughly embodied in the constitutions civil and ecclesiastical of this land, than that the system of which the Pope of Rome is the head is no better, is no other than the manifestation of the apostasy which was prophesied of by Christ and the Apostles, and indeed all the Prophets, as being about to come over the Christian church. And if we refer to the pulpit, then know we well, from every document and from every relic of the Reformers, that it was the distinct, unqualified, and incessant preaching of the Pope as Antichrist, and of Rome as Babylon, and of the papal system as the great whore of Babylon, which wrought that mighty tide of holy wrath and indignation against the papal abomination, which hath not yet subsided amongst the people, though it be well-nigh subsided among the rulers, and too much among the clergy of this land. To make quotations in order to authenticate this fact, would be to weaken its evidence. It stands upon the universal harmony of all the Reformers, and has never been disputed. Nay, more, it is the only ground upon which the Reformers who separated from the Church of Rome can be vindicated from the mortal sin of schism. The Protestant Reformation is no better, is no other, than a great consummate act of schism, if the Church of Rome be not that apostasy, that Babylon, from which the saints are called to come out, Rev. xviii. 4. If the Papal or Roman (falsely called catholic) Church be a true church of God, then, as there cannot be two churches, those acts of the Church of Scotland and Church of England, constituting themselves upon another basis, and setting themselves up in direct opposition, article by article, against the papal faith and papal discipline, were acts schismatical and divisive, destructive of the unity of the church, and bringing in the hideous error of one church taking up the contradiction of another church which it still regarded as a true church; while the high acts of the realms of Scotland and England, establishing those two forms of the Protestant Reformed Church, were acts of direct insurrection against Christ, the Head of all, if so be He doth acknowledge the Roman Church as of his jurisdiction, and not of the jurisdiction of Satan. It was therefore no matter of choice with our Reformers, and they knew that well, but a matter of stern necessity and of self-justification, to maintain that the Roman hierarchy, with the pope at its head, was the very synagogue of Satan, and no church of the living God. Not that they were driven into that position by any necessity, or yet purpose of self-vindication, but that they were let into it by the eternal Spirit of God, and built up in it by the infallible word of God; and being once possessed of the mighty secret, all the powers of earth and hell could not wrest it from their hearts all the powers of fire and water could not quench their voice, that they should not utter it aloud unto all people that on earth do dwell.
But, lo, another race-a mongrel, not a genuine race-have arisen both in church and state, who, neither understanding the Scriptures of truth, nor yet the standards of the Church builded thereon ; perceiving no principle of the unity of the church ; discerning neither the existence nor the need of any mystery of iniquity; go about to doubt, and even to decry, the sure foundations of our Protestant Churches ; to accuse as narrow and sectarian that holy, righteous, and truly catholic spirit, in which the Reformers served God against the rulers of the darkness of this world and the spiritual wickednesses in high places. They have forgotten the first principles of the church by which our fathers steered the straight-forward course of their procedure, and therefore they cannot understand wherefore they should have proceeded so. It is not that we have discovered any new principles of ecclesiastical or political government, but that we have forgotten the old, and are vain and stupid enough to make a boast of our ignorance. It is not that three hundred years' experience has added any thing to the evidence in favour of the Papacy-very much to the evidence against it, but it is, that for nearly two hundred years, at least, we have been forgetting that evidence, and becoming familiarized to latitudinarian principles, which destroy the very faculty of judging between right and wrong, of cleaving to the one and steadily protesting against the other.
For the end, therefore, not of adding any thing new upon this subject-for I know not that I have any thing new to add—but for the purpose of bringing out of the great treasury of the church things new or old, according as the great Head of the house may furnish them to his servants, I address myself to the work of opening in the ear of the church of Christ, which hath obeyed the command of God to come out of Babylon; and in the ear of the Church of Scotland in particular, whose son and servant I am; and in the ear of this great Protestant kingdom, which requireth faithful counsel according to the word of God at the mouth of all the ordained ministers of the established churches, and in the ear of Babylon itself, for the calling out of those faithful ones within her hold, and for the speedier condemnation and judgment of that mystery of iniquity, for whose destruction I continually pray; and in the ear of Christendom itself, whose speedy judgment draweth on, I undertake to lay open the deep, deep foundation of that great question which now agitates this kingdom, and to which all Christendom is giving earnest heed: the question, to wit, whether we shall remain an Anti-catholic and Protestant kingdom, or whether we shall take the seed of the serpent (for the devil
gave to it his power, and seat, and great authority”) again into our councils and administration.
Now, there is no mystery of our faith which seemeth to me so little understood, and consequently so little taken advantage of, by the ministers of the church, as the Mystery of Iniquity : which unto the shewing forth of God's glory in the true church, hath as important a part, as the Fall hath unto the shewing forth of his glory in creation ; each being the grand demonstration of the negative, which precedes the demonstration of the affirmative ;the Fall proving that creation glory and creation power belong not to the creature, but the Creator; the Mystery of Iniquity, or apostasy in the church, proving that the glory of instructing and governing all things, which belongeth unto the church, is not in herself or from herself, but in her Head and from her Head, the great Redeemer of the church. This subject of the mystery of iniquity, though it hath been ably discoursed of in times past, both in respect of its idea and in respect of its form-as, by Dr. Henry More, and Mede, and others--yet in these last times it hath either been entirely lost sight of, or, by the few who still retain it in their knowledge, hath been employed merely in order to carry on the warfare of good Protestants against the Church of Rome. While therefore I would never forget this same object, I do propose, first, by the help of God, to open unto all the holy brethren this great subject of the apostasy, or mystery of iniquity, which is so much dropped out of mind. And this I shall do as a man of God, who “ought not to strive, but be gentle unto all; in meekness instructing those that oppose themselves, if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth, and that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will."
The method according to which it seemeth to me best to open this mystery of the kingdom, is, First, to hear Him who taught the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven and interpreted them unto his disciples—that is, to search the Gospels, wherein are contained the words of our blessed Lord ; and to prove out of them that it was both the purpose and the prophecy of Jesus Christ, our great Head, that there should be in the bosom of his church on earth, always, and in all places, a leaven of iniquity working, as well as a leaven of righteousness; a seed of evil-doers, as well as a seed of godly men. Secondly; We will then, from the Acts of the Apostles and the Epistles, which contain the authentic records of the primitive church for the space of forty years, shew the fulfilment of this prophecy and purpose of the