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As we have in the first volume devoted a number of articles to the exposition of modern devices, we shall still continue true and faithful to the principles on which we have set out; and, in this volume, pay a little more attention to the primitive state of things than we have in the former. For while we would endeavour to unmask the. clergy and their kingdom, we would wish to call the attention of our readers, occasionally at least, to the contemplation of that glorious superstructure built by the founder and his skilful architects, described in the New Testament.
We have only to assure every one who may read this work, that any article, written in proper style, by any person, clergyman or layman, in opposition to any sentiment we have expressed, shall be received with pleasure and correctly inserted. We will give every opportunity to our readers to judge for themselves ; for we have never yet been afraid to publish the remarks of our warmest opposers ; nor could we ever yet see the propriety of laying an embargo on the ears of those who hear us, lest they should be misled. We wish the exhortation of the Apostle to have its fullest latitude-“ Prove all things and hold fast that which is good.” And as both the Old and New Testament wise men teach us to answer different persons in a different style, for reasons there assigned, so we shall ever discriminate betwixt those “ of whom we ought to make a difference," the interested and the disinterested errorist. We hope ever to manifest that good will is our motive, and truth our object.
CONFESSION UNTO SALVATION.
[From the Millennial Harbinger, Vol. I.] The moderns talk about “head knowledge” and “heart religion"_“ believing with the head,” and believing with the heart.” Let me say, once for all, that I value not, and will never plead for, any thing under the name of religion, which does not influence the head, the heart, the tongue, the lips, the hands, the feet—the whole body, soul, and spirit. The blessed Gospel is not believed, is not received, is not obeyed, when the heart is not purified, the under
standing enlightened, the conscience purged from dead works to serve the living God.
The end, object, and consummation of the Gospel is “LOVE from a pure heart, from a good conscience, and from faith unfeigned.” But I am religiously opposed to all such foolish speculations about faith or belief which make faith consist in any thing else, more or less, than the persuasion that the Gospel is true. Those who distinguish between the head and the heart, between assent and approbation, usually quote the following sentence from the Epistle to the Romans, chap. x. “With the heart man believeth unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” The sophism which they impose upon themselves and followers in this citation, is easily detected when we observe, that, while they contrast the head and the heart, Paul contrasts the lips and the heart. This is quite natural, rational, and common. Men's lips and hearts do not always agree. They often profess to love with their lips while their hearts are filled with hatred. The lips and hearts of all true Christians agree: “ As he thinketh in his heart, so doth he truth express.” To apply the words of Paul to the head, is to offer violence to them, and to make the sacred writings of non-effect.
To confess with the lips is quite another thing from bclieving with the head. It is different, too, from sincerely believing. The 6 unfeigned faith" is the faith of the heart. But the contrast is between faith and confession-righteousness and salvation. Faith and righteousness are now connected-some way connected under the Christian economy; so are confession and salvation.
Now, among the commentators and sermonisers of the day, I know of none who has drawn the contrast which Paul draws here, or who marks with any sort of precision the difference here laid down: “ With the heart man believes unto righteousness, and with the lips confession is made unto salvation.” To confess unto salvation is diffe rent from believing unto righteousness. In whatever way we understand the phrase "unto righteousness,” either as the effect or concomitant of believing, in the same manner we must understand the phrase “unto salvation;" for the phraseology and the contrast establish the same connexion
between confession and salvation that there is between belief and righteousness. God bestows righteousness upon faith, and salvation upon confession. It is an act of pure favour to impute or count to a man belief for righteousness. But he did so with Father Abraham, and he has promised to do so with all his children. Under the Christian economy he connects salvation with confession. It is an act of favour to treat a man as though he were righteous when he believes; and it is a similar act of favour to bestow salvation upon a person the instant he confesses Christ.
I know that the actual enjoyment of salvation in this life is a different thing from the actual enjoyment of the perfect and eternal salvation consequent upon the resurrection of the body. No man is made perfect until he attains to the resurrection of the just. As the kingdom of Jesus in this world differs from the everlasting kingdom of glory, so the salvation of the soul here and the salvation of soul and body at the resurrection from the dead, materially differ from each other. We are saved here when we confess Christ, and we shall be saved hereafter when Christ confesses us before his Father and the holy angels. .
Salvation is a term used with much latitude in sacred and common writings. Israel were saved when they crossed . the Red Sea; that is, they were then delivered from the power of their enemies. Their marching through the Red Sea was called the salvation of God; so every deliverance from danger has been called a salvation. But in the New Testament, besides the ordinary applications of the term, it is applied to denote pardon of sin, or deliverance of the mind from guilt, and the purification of the heart from the pollution and dominion of sin; and also for the future and eternal salvation of the whole man from every 'trace and every consequence of sin. " Now," says Paul, " is our salvation nearer than when we believed.”
It was testified of John by the Holy Spirit, that he was to prepare the way of the Lord by giving knowledge of salvation through the forgiveness of sins. The salvation which all men enjoy under the government of Jesus Christ in this present world, is a salvation from the guilt, pollution, and dominion of sin. Hence Jesus saves his peoplethose under his government from their sins. Hence
in the sacred writings all who are now pardoned are said to be saved. The Lord daily added to the congregation, says Luke, the SAVED—those who had been baptised into Christ.
To be saved is to be pardoned, to be brought under the sceptre of Jesus. Hence all who believed and were baptised were said to be saved, because Christ had declared they should be saved. The confession with the lips, or the public profession of the faith, was made at baptism. Hence the connexion between this confession and salvation.
Public acts, or public professions, were called the confessing of Christ in the apostolic age. Jesus himself witnessed a good confession before Pontius Pilate ; and the martyrs were originally called “ confessors of Christ" by way of eminence, because the public profession of him before the tribunals so resembled the good confession of Jesus before Pontius Pilate as to obtain for them this honourable title. But the first public act of a disciple by which he openly and formally puts on Christ is emphatically to confess Christ; and because it was the immediate fruit of faith, Paul, in speaking of our entering into the enjoyment of salvation, declared that as God bestowed righteousness through faith, so under the reign of his Son, he bestows salvation through confession. So that now, under the reign of favour, it is the institution of Heaven that faith and righteousness, confession and salvation, shall be inseparably connected. “ With the heart man now believeth unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” So that, saith the same authority, 6 if you shall confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus, and believe in your heart that God has raised him from the dead, you shall be saved.”
Thus our souls are saved, and thus are we prepared for the salvation to be revealed at the last day. The salvation then to be disclosed is not the pardon of sin or the purification of the heart; these were but preparatives for it; but then we shall be made like unto the Son of God, conformed to his image as exactly as we have been conformed to the image of our common father Adam. “ The redemption of our bodies” from the power of the grave, and the transformation of these bodies into spiritual, incor
ruptible, and immortal bodies, will be the ultimate triumph of the Saviour and of his disciples. He has become the King eternal, immortal, and invisible; he alone has the gift of immortality, and he alone can bestow immortality upon mortal man.
To this ultimate and eternal salvation Christians turn your eyes. It is nearer to you now than when you first believed and confessed the Lord. Imitate Paul, who was willing to do anything, suffer anything, sacrifice everything, that he might, “ by any means, attain to the resurrection of the dead." This glorious resurrection is promised to all them who obey the great Captain of Salvation, and to none else: for he became the author of eternal salvation to all them, and to them only, who obey himnot only once, but to the end. The prize of immortal glory in the presence of God, the crown of righteousness and life, is that which none but the courageous, persevering, and triumphant, can lay hold on. As we sincerely believe that God has raised Jesus from the dead, and have confessed him before men unto salvation ; as we have begun well, “ let us hold fast our begun confidence and our boasted hope unshaken to the end." Let us so run that we may obtain this most glorious prize.
(From the Millennial Harbinger, Vol. I.] Many good men, whose whole lives have been one continued struggle with themselves, one continued warfare against error and iniquity, have reprobated religious controversy as a great and manifold evil to the combatants and to society. Although engaged in a real controversy they knew it not; but supposed that they only were controversialists who were in debates and discussions often. Had they reflected but a moment, they would have discovered that no man can be a good man who does not oppose error and immorality in himself, his family, his neighbourhood, and in society as far as he can reach, and that he cannot oppose it successfully only by argument, or, as some would say, by word and deed-by precept and by example.