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a snare; but whoso putteth his trust in the Lord shall be safe," Prov. xxix. 25. And I believe thousands have been, and still" are, taken in that snare; for, as the Saviour says, "they love the praise of men more than the praise of God,” John xii. 43. This is awful, as the Lord declares, “ Whosoever shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels," Mark viii. 38. But do let me hear a little more of the Lord's proceedings with Prodigalis, for I dearly love to hear of conversion work going on.
Cushi. Why, blessed be God, he is alive from the dead, as the scripture says, “ Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection; on such the second death hath no power," Rev. xx. 6.
Ahimaaz. Pray what do you supposė the Holy Ghost means by that text? Does he mean the preeminence of the saints at the general resurrection? Or does he mean the saints rising to newness of life by the quickening power of the Holy Ghost at regeneration?
Cushi. Doubtless the pre-eminence of the saints at the general resurrection is implied, because it is revealed that “ the dead in Christ shall rise first," 1 Thess. iv. 16. The saint shall have the pre-eminence in that day: “ This their (wicked) way is their folly, yet their posterity approve their sayings. Like sheep they are laid in the grave; death shall feed on them; and the upright shall have dominion over them in the morning," Psalm xlix. 13, 14. Thus you see the dead in Christ shall rise first; the upright shall have dominion in that morning when the Sun of righteousness shall arise: “ For, as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be,” Matt. xxiv. 27.
Ahimaaz. Pray what is meant by tho dead in Christ?
Cushi. There are two heads, who represent all the offspring of Adam; and every individual dies a member in union with one of those heads. The man that believes in Christ hath righteousness and strength in Christ; and, being joined to Christ, is of one spirit with him:“ He that is joined to the Lord is one spirit,” 1 Cor. vi. 17. By virtue of his spiritual union he is a part of the mystical body of Christ, and a member in particular, Cor. xii. 27. This union was from all eternity between Christ and the elect; but it is not revealed till regeneration: blessed are they that follow the Lord in the regeneration; "they shall sit on thrones,” Matt. xix. 28.
As members of Christ by grace, and in union with him by the Spirit, they live in this world; and as his members in union they accordingly die; hence they are said to die in him: “Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them,” Rev. xiv. 13. Persons thus departed are called by the apostle " the dead in Christ."
Christ is called the second Adam, the Lord from heaven, the quickening spirit; and those who die members of this heavenly head are to be like him ; “ As is the heavenly [head], such are they also that are heavenly [members,"] i Cor. xv. 48. “And, as we have borne the image of the earthy [head before conversion], we shall also bear the image of the heavenly [head,“ being converted]," i Corinthians xv. 49.
On the other hand, Adam is the fallen head of all that are in the flesh, or in their first-born state, who were never born again of the Spirit: hence they are called fleshly children; that is, “they that are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God," Rom. ix. 8.
Christ and Adam are the two heads, the representatives of all the children of men: “ And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit,” i Cor. xv. 45. These are the two heads; one is called “spiritual," and the other natural,” verse 46. Christ is the head of all the elect; they were chosen in him; and Adam is the head of all the reprobate: “ The first man is of the earth, earthy; the second man is the Lord from heaven,” verse 47. Those that die in their first-born state die members of the fallen Adam, and are in the flesh, being destitute of the Spirit; such are not the children of God, but of the flesh; and “flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God,". 1 Cor. xv. 50.
These are said not to fall asleep in the Lord, but, to die, yea for ever: “If ye live after the flesh ye shall die,” Rom. viii. 13; and, if so, they die in their sins. This is the case with every unbeliever: “If ye
believe not that I am, ye shall die in your sins,” John. viii. 24. The expression 'I am' signifies the self-existence, self-complacence, independence, and eternity, of Jehovah the Saviour. The pronoun 'I' excludes all others in point of dependence; and the word 'am' excludes both the past and the future tenses, and is expressive of his eternity. This name was revealed before the human nature was assumed: “ And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you. And God said moreover unto Moses, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, The Lord God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, hath sent me unto you: this is my name for ever, and this is my memorial unto all generations,” Exod. iii. 14, 15. The first verse includes the self-existence and eternity of our Saviour's deity; the second includes him as the God, the guard, and portion, of all the faithful, as he was to Abraham; the portion of every heir of promise, as he was to Isaac; and of every prevailer with him in prayer, as he was to Jacob. His revealing himself the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, excludes Ishmael and Esau; to shew that he is not the God of the dead but of the living, Matt. xxii. 32. This name the Saviour applies to himself, ye
believe not that I am, ye shall die in your sins."
Ahimaaz. You differ much in principles from the Arian.
Cushi. The Arian never knew the Lord, therefore he had better let him alone; his case is desperate; he has but one ground of hope left according to his own creed.
Ahimaaz. Pray what is that?
Cushi. Why, if the Saviour's testimony be a lie, and if the whole Bible be false, there is ground of hope for him; but, if God the Father's testimony be true, Hebrews i. 8; if the Holy Ghost's witness be true,
Matt. xxii. 43, 44; if the witness of angels be true, Luke ii. 11; and if the Saviour's witness be true, Rev. i. 8; he must be damned: “ If ye believe not that I am, ye shall die in your sins;” and “he that believeth not shall be damned," Mark xvi. 16. Thus, if Father, Son, and Spirit, have borne a false testimony, there is hope for the Arians; but, if a true one, they have brought “ in a damnable heresy, even denying the Lord that bought them, and shall bring upon themselves swift destruction,” 2 Pet. ii. 1.
Ahimaaz. I beg pardon, my brother, for breaking in upon your discourse; but I observed that, in your description of the two heads and representatives of the two families, which are called children of promise and children of the flesh, you seem to differ in judgment from many learned men; I mean upon the apostle's words, “ For, since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For, as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive," 1 Cor. xv. 21, 22. Many learned men from that text attempt to prove the death of all mankind in the first Adam, and the resurrection to life of all mankind in Christ the second Adam.
Cushi. If all die in Adam there is not a soul in heaven; and, if all are made alive in Christ, there is not a soul in hell. The preposition in' implies union, and the particle all'implies members. To handle the text otherwise is contradicting and giving the lie to a third part of the Bible. The elect do not die in Adam, for he never was the chosen head of God's elect, nor were the elect chosen in him; and, although they fell in the first Adam, they are not restored in or by him; for they had life in the second