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---that these men are enemies of the Cross of Christ; that the heresy which they profess is totally destructive of Christianity, and utterly ruinous to the souls of men, and we humbly, yet with deep earnestness, and with brotherly affection and solieitude, press it upon our orthodox Dissenting brethren, that with men who have thus apostatized from the faith, and yet who call themselves brethren,' nay, shepherds of the sheep of Christ, we are plainly forbidden by Scripture to have any intercourse beyond that which is indispensable.
“ Let us suppose that this sect, instead of apostatizing from the faith of their fathers as they have done, had slidden into the grossest Antinomianism, and, still professing to be ministers of Jesus Christ, had lived themselves in the most open and abandoned immorality, and joyously led their people forward in the same dreadful career: we ask orthodox Dissenters, would a sense of common decency--a regard to public opinion the natural revoltings of their own mind—have allowed them volune tarily to assemble together in the same room, and hold polite and courteous consultation with men of this stamp, on such topics as form the subjects of deliberation at the meetings of the Union? Would they not have felt in their inmost souls, that, were the objects of that union incomparably more important than they are, they would never justify such an unnatural and disgraceful association ? Would they not, with loathing, have separated themselves from them?
" How does the Apostle speak of gross immoralities? He says, they are not even to be named amongst us, as becometh saints. And how does he speak with reference to a far less palpable departure from the truth of the Gospel than that which distinguishes Socinianism ? . If we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other Gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be ACCURSED. As we said before, so say I now again, if any man preach any other Gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be ACCURSED.” And will it be said for a moment, that the Apostle would have tolerated in his presence, and received unnecessarily into his society, and even, in secular matters of importance, into his confidence, the one class of men rather than the other ? Impossible.
“In truth, Socinianism, in some points of view, is far more to be dreaded than Antinomianism. The latter disgusts all, and is scouted by all. Even the unenlightened mind rises up
in horror against it. Not so with Socinianism. It is not an unnatural monster, which disgusts as it kills. It is a viper lying in a bed of, roses. The generality of men, who refer not to Scripture as their guide, see no great harm in it. It is simply a variety of opinion. Many of its professors, as well as indi. viduals belonging to many other classes of unbelievers, not to
say Atheists, are distinguished with every gentle and amiable accomplishment. It forms one of those cases in which the judgment of God is diametrically opposed to the judgment of the world. In the case of Antinomianism the duty of the Christian is clear; and it is easy, for the opinion of the world is with him. In the case of Socinianism his duty is equally clear ; but it is more difficult, for the opinion of the world is against him. This very circumstance, however, will make the true man of God watch over himself with a more godly jealousy, to see that, with regard to the professors of this insidious and deadly heresy, he acts agreeably to the spirit and precept of the Divine word not as man teacheth, but as the Holy Ghost teacheth ; ' not judging of the virulence of the evil by the standard of man, but by the standard of God.
“ The union has been continued so far without attracting much public observation, and, as far as we know, has not hitherto been publicly denounced, except in our columns. Such evils often in this way quietly exist for an extended period. We trust, however, the union will now be dissolved. We are quite aware, that to effect this dissolution will prove no slight effort of selfdenial to many orthodox members of it; especially to such of them as may be in habits of some intimacy with the scientific and literary sceptics and latitudinarians of the day. They must be content to sacrifice, in the estimation of these, their character as enlightened and liberal men. This will be no loss. Such in timacies are greatly to be dreaded. They are far more productive of evil than is generally imagined. May our brethren be faithful! May they shew that they cannot bear them which are evil!' The secular interests of their respective, societies will assuredly sustain no injury by a separation from heresy; and they will afford, what is much required, an example of faithfulness, and of zeal for the truth, to the Christian world."
It is our settled conviction, that, speaking of them as a whole, these Magazines are the most dangerous works which are disseminated in the church, and will drown the souls of those who are led by them in everlasting perdition.
They are entirely ignorant of the great question of the Inspiration of the Holy Scriptures, as they testified in the Apocryphal controversy.
They are inculcating most fearful Heresy concerning the Person of the Lord Jesus Christ, even denying his proper humanity, and that it was consubstantial with the human nature i of his mother : they assert, on the contrary, that he did not take the flesh of the Virgin Mary, but some unfallen flesh, like that of Adam in innocence; and which, consequently, was not sub-ject to infirmity, and required no redemption; therefore not in the least like ours: whereby they take from us all the practical
consolation of knowing that Jesus can sympathize with us in all our temptations, from having been a partaker of the infirmities of our nature. They destroy his Mediatorship, inasmuch as they do not make him unite in one person the Godhead, and the creature which was opposed to its Creator; but the Creator, and a creature which was not opposed to its Creator, sequently which needed no reconciliation or at-one-ment;-a heresy similar to those first heresies against the person of our Immanuel which brought down God's wrath upon the Eastern church, now a postate.
They deny that the office of the Holy Ghost was to preserve the human nature of Jesus sinless; for they assert that his human nature was essentially sinless, without any sustentation of the Holy Ghost at all : whence they deny the office of the Holy Ghost to preserve our bodies and souls in conformity to God's will ; forasmuch as the Holy Ghost can do nothing in the members of a body which he does not do primarily in their head : and hence, too, the life of Christ ceases to be any example for our imitation.
They deny the doctrine of Justification by Faith alone, as it was taught by our Reformers ; calling the expression of Luther in bis Commentary on the Epistle to the Galatians, and cited by Mr. Irving in his Sermons on the Last Days, as Antinomian: and they have invented some new notions, about what they call "fruits,” which are to be joined with Christ's righteousness before the soul of the sinner is to be at peace with God: as we have shewn in their review of Dr. Malan's tract “Theogenes.
They deny that Christ is the King of kings, the Lord of lords, and only Ruler of princes; and that all earthly sovereigns are his viceroys, ruling in his name, under his authority, over his people, and for his church; and that the powers that be are ordained of God : and they teach that religion has nothing to do with politics; that the people are the source of power; and that God's power either has nothing to do with the prosperity of states, or else that he prospers a nation of infidels, and of apostates from Christ, such as Socinians and Papists, as much as he does å nation of Christians.
They deny that the whole creation is interested in the incarnation and death of Christ; and assert that that work was undertaken only for elect men: as we have also shewn in their review of Mr. Érskine's treatise on the Freeness of the Gospel.
At length their infidel apostasy seems to have reached its height, and they are all in open and undisguised rebellion against the universal monarchy of Christ Jesus, teaching the people that the doctrine of his reign upon earth is “a mere human crudity of modern invention !!!"
Yet, in the midst of all these heresies, so great is their self
delusion that they surpass the publications which are openly irreligious in vanity, self-conceit, and arrogance.
The Congregational Magazine says " it is the spiritual part of the periodical press :” this claim shall not be denied; but if it be true, then the unspiritual part is more learned, more orthodox, more diffident; less personal, less abusive, and less coarse, than the spiritual.
The Eclectic Review says “it is the only journal which unites religion and literature !!!” There is probably none, with so large a circulation, so devoid of both at one and the same time.
The Evangelical implores its readers never to hear the preaching or read the books of any persons who speak of their coming Lord; beseeches them not to“ desert their old pastors; and applauds works which contain Pelagianism and Sabellianism, provided they oppose the doctrine of the kingdom of Christ.
These are your gods, O Israel! These are the avowed organs of Evangelicalism amongst the Dissenters of England! These are the works which say to all the authorized ecclesiastical authorities in the land, "Stand by, for we are holier than thou !”
TO THE EDITOR OF THE MORNING WATCH*
MR. EDITOR,--In offering the following remarks on the communication of W.D. in your first number, it is proper to premise that I am, on the authority of Scripture, a firm believer in the doctrine of a first resurrection of the saints. At the same time, I feel anxious that no questionable proofs should be resorted to for its establishment: and an impression that this is the case with respect to some of the observations of your correspondent, induces me to offer this paper. The result cannot, I imagine, be without advantage, whether it lead, on his part, to the withdrawal of some of his arguments as not sufficiently valid ; or, on the part of your readers, which I sincerely wish, to their more satisfactory adoption. My remarks I offer with great diffidence; especially as I have but a small library at command for reference.
1. The first thing I would notice is the inadvertence of W. D. in quoting inaccurately the expressions he wishes to distinguish. These he gives as, ή αναστασις εκ των νεκρων, and ή αναστασις των
* We have received several letters of remarks on the paper by W. D. in our first Number. We insert one. But all our correspondents direct their attention to the article, whereas the force of W.D.'s argument depends on the preposition; and its insertion, whether separately as a preposition or in composition, may not, we think, be disregarded by an accurate interpreter of Scripture.Ed.
verpwr. Now, if the books I have referred to may be trusted, the expression Ek TW vekpwv, only occurs twice in the whole Testament; namely, Coloss. i, 18, and Rev. i. 5*; and then it follows πρωτοτοκος, and not αναστασις: and αναστασις των νεκρων does not occur at all. We have always avaoTaois Ek vɛkpwv, or avaotaois vekpwv.. Now I do not think this at all immaterial, although it may at first appear so.
For even if it be allowed that £K TWV vekpwv means from out of the dead,” it does not at all follow that ex vekpwv has the same meaning. At least this last is a point which well merits the attention of your correspondent, in order clearly to establish it. On the contrary, I would venture to suggest, that ek vekpwv is properly translated “from being dead," or," from a state of death;" and that the Greek idiom, in the use of the preposition ek, properly admits of this interpretation, if it does not require it. I need hardly remind your correspondent of classical examples of this : we have one Soph. Trach. ver. 283, & odbiwv ažnov evpovoa. Blov: and we have two still more to the point in the New Testament; Romans vi. 13, WS EK verpwy (wvras," as alive from the dead;" and Rom. xi. 15, ζωη εκ νεκρων,
“ life from the dead.” Now in either of these cases I do not think the article would be admissible with the same sense : and its omission, therefore, in the expressions now under consideration, allows me at least to translate them in the same way as these; which at once does away with any argument from them, even supposing both translations allowable. Your correspondent evidently wishes to give ex its well-known meaning of choice; and in the case before us that choice is out of certain persons, called vekpoi : but am I mistaken in saying that in this case the Greek idiom positively requires the article ; and that “ from out of the dead” would not be made properly by Ek vekpWv, but by εκ των νεκρών και
Hence I do not think that in the only two places where EK TWY vexpwy occurs--namely, Coloss. i. 18, and Rev. i. 5—the full force is given in our translation ; for ek twv vekpwr here depends on "first,” and not on "begotten"-on the apuros in TPWrotokos--that is, ex has properly the meaning of choice; and therefore verpwv, as specifying from whom the choice is made, has the article. Whereas, in re-translating the English version of these passages, “first begotten from the dead,” it would be most natural to say πρωτότοκος εκ νεκρων : as we have αναστασις εκ νεκρών.
It may be objected, that with the sense which I adopt for εκ νεκρων, εκ νεκρου ought to be used when speaking of one person: but I believe the Greek will be found to admit equally of the agreement of vekpos with the person spoken of, understood; and of its
* Griesbach in this passage rejects the Ek.