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assures us that the preaching was to those who were disobedient in the days of Noah, but you assert that it was not to them, but to men like them who lived thousands of years after. Peter tells us that the preaching was to the inhabitants of the old world, but you say it was to the inhabitants of the new. You assert that the passage is dark, and I know not what passage would be otherwise, if its language was tortured to this degree. Now, if St. Peter could not express the idea that the apostles preached to the Gentiles, any plainer than by saying that Christ preached to the spirits in prison who were disobedient in the days of Noah, his language must be dark indeed. You assert that Peter's account is a figure, but it would require/something more than a figure to make the apostle's language support your exposition.
Your remarks upon the 16th of Ezekiel, are too indefinite to require an answer. If the passage is so "wrapped up in the marvellous,” that you can form no idea of its meaning, then how can you assert that my exposition is incorrect? The remainder of your piece has but little which deserves the name of argument.
One thiig, however, appears evident, that you exclude faith in Christ from the means of salvation. And well you
you save thousands, nay the whole human fanıily without the gospel itself, for you apply the gospel only to this world. For the future, it is hoped that we shall hear no more complaining when we say that you save men without faith and repentance, and without the mediation of Christ. Yours in the faith of the gospel,
CHARLES HUDSON. Westminster, Mass. Feb. 14, 1826.
For the Repository. MR. EDITOR-In regard to the subject of controversy between me and Br. Loveland, this is the last time I shall tax your generosity to admit into your columns any thing from me. To Rev. Samuel C. Loveland.
Sir, I understand you, in your letter to me in the Repository for August, that, because I had contended that man, as it respects the spirit and natural body, has no preeminence above a beast, I was attempting to reduce man to the level of the beast in all respects. Perhaps I did not rightly apprehend your meaning, but if not, I cannot see why you should have asked, in relation to that point, “why Jesus Christ came to save men rather than heasts."
I see not why man may not have the same body anil spirit as the beasts have, and yet be capable of being saved by Jesus Christ when beasts are not. Any being capable of receiving “the law of the spirit of life,” is capable of being saved ; and I have yet to learn how this capability depends on a peculiar kind of body and spirit. How are men saved by Jesus Christ? Ans. “By grace, through faith.” “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved." Are infants and idiots capable of believing in Christ? I am sure you will not pretend it; and, if not, they are incapable of being saved by him. In fact they need no salvation. Why not? Because they are not sinners. But they are not incapable of being saved because they have not the same body and spirit which are common to human nature. No, this is a consideration entirely foreign to the question. Had a beast a sufficient capacity of mind to distinguish between moral right and wrong, he would be capable of being saved, by Jesus Christ, with the same body and spirit that he now possesses. I am speaking of that spirit which you refer to as the soul. Therefore
if you made no more than a natural deduction from my premises, as you say, I am entirely mistaken. But if man is what I represent him to be, you ask, "what entitles him to the appellation of child of God, in distinction from the beast.” I answer, bis capability of receiving the spiritual law; that is to say, the resurrection. (See Luke xx. 36.) “And are (says Christ) the children of God, being the children of the resurrection.” Is this your reason why men are the children of God ? Certainly not. Your reason is, they are the children of God because they have, naturally, an immortal soul, or spirit. My reason is that which Christ offers as above quoted. Men are no more the children of God-than the beasts, only as they are the children of the resurrection. For the foregoing reason, and no other, is m a styled the offspring of God. As to my positive assertions, that you cannot prove, by scripture, the existence individual human spirits without bodies, I hope you will consider them excusable until they are proved to be false; for when I see your able pen foiled, as I think, in attempts to overthrow them, I despair of their ever being overthrown.
In attempting to meet my argument which went to show that man was said to be created in the image of God in the same sense that all things were said to be put under his feet, you have, as I think, refuted yourself. After laboring to show that in these instances the past time is not put for the future, that God did not call those things which be not as tho they were, you arrive at this remarkable conclusion; "that altho man's dominion over the living creatures of earth, air and sea, was universal, there did occur exceptions, in which man could not exercise the authority that was his right.” So, altho it is said, “Thou didst put all things in subjection under his feet,” all things are not yet in actual subjection to him. And why may I not say, on this
your own ground, God created man, universally, in his own image, yet there do occur exceptions, wherein men do not yet bear the image of God? If there may be exceptions in the one case, why not in the other 8 The terms in both are alike. It is as positively said that all things were put in subjection to man, "all sheep and oxen, yea and the beasts of the field, the fowls of the air, and the fish of the sea, and whatsoever passeth through the paths of the seas," as that man was created in the image of God. And if man, according to your own statement, has but in part actually acquired that dominion over the beasts, I only ask you to be consistent with yourself, and to allow that man has not yet, fully, acquired the image of God. “Beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, we are changed into the same image, from glory to glory," and shall as soon fully bear it, as we shall be able to control all the beasts, fowls, &c. . But as the dominion of man over the beasts, &c. is to be exercised in the resurrection state, Br. L. thinks the beasts too must rise from the dead. But is not Christ in the resurrection state i and yet does he not exercise that dominion over men who are not in that state which is necessary to subdue them to his law ? If so, it follows that the resurrection of inankind in general, will be no hindrance to their exercising dominion over beasts, tho the beasts rise not. Men, in their resurrection state, may as well subdue the beasts to their authority, as Christ, in the same state, may subdue men to his. In the 65th chapter of Isaiah, we are taught, that after the new heavens and earth are created, “they shall build houses and inhabit them,” &c. which will undoubtedly require the service of some of the beasts. But perhaps Br. L. may think that when the resurrection comes, the earth will be depopulated, the beasts all de. stroyed, and men, in the form of bodiless souls, or spirits, will migrate to some unknown world. It may be so, but I adopt no article of faith without proof. Pardon me, sir, if I smile on reading the following in your letter "The spirit, or soul, which is the image of God, when clothed with an earthly body, bears, not in itself, the image of the earthy; but in the resurrection, bears the image of the heavenly." The body, then, is the image; the natural body is Adam's image, and the spiritual body Christ's image. Well, sir, and pray what is the image of man between death and the resurrection, when he has no body at all? This is the grand subject of dispute between us; and now the case stands thus-You insist that mankind exist, individually, between death and the resurrection, in the forın of nobody, in the image of nobody, but capable of being punished for all the misdeeds they had done in this world, when they bore the image of Adam, and were somebody. Alas! what is not education capable of doing in the work of absurdity! When I exist, as an individual, neither in the likeness of Adam or Christ, nor, I may add, of any thing else in heaven or earth, I shall probably be able to believe all that you do about bodily souls, or spirits.
You seem to consider 1 Peter iii. 18, 19, 20, direct proof of the existence of human spirits without bodies. But what does that scripture say? Ans. Christ, “being put to death, &c. went and preached to the spirits in prison, which once were disobedient," &c. Now, sir, this text just as much proves that the spirits in question existed withont bodies when they were dis bedient in the time of Noah, as when they were preached to by Christ. It says, simply, spirits which once were disobedient. It does not say whether they were spirits of men, whether they were in human bodies or not. I have just as good ground, frons that text, to say they were never human spirits, or the inhabitants of human bodies, as you have to say they existed out of human bodies at the time of their being preached to in prison.