Taken from Number 9, Volume Two, of the CHURCH ADVOCATE, of June, 1831.
Typewriten by Ben Hardin Irwin, February, 1923.
As it appears that the doctrine of the two seeds, can no longer rest in silence, I shall present to view, a few scriptural accounts on that subject, together with some remarks expressive of my understanding of those points of divine writ.
As what is revealed in God's word is certainly designed for the benefit of the church, and as we now know nothing of eternal and spiritual things, as the first cause or causes. not or the effects produced, but from the authority of the Bible, and the facts manifested, we should at all times, and in all cases, be willing to understand, know, and believe precisely what God in his word has declared to be the facts in such cases giving full latitude to the language used in communicating a knowledge of those facts; Knowing at the same time that no advantage can asise (?) us by believing error in the place of truth. The bare opinion of any man or set of men should not be taken as evidence; but God's word is a rich treasure of wisdom, and so far as any man may unfold a true knowledge of the treasure, that truth should be believed, though it may frustrate all our former views of things.
It having been my object to know what is Bible truth, and believing that knowledge to be as free to me as any other man, I have spent but little time in consulting the opinions of others, but have endeavored to understand for myself, what God has revealed to man independent to all human traditions. My object now is to lay before my readers some few scriptural declarations, which to my understanding proves the existence of the two seeds, and something of their production as manifested in time; but before I proceed, I shall state two considerations which I think will better prepare their minds to understand the Bible truth on that subject.
First. When we think or speak of a seed, (no matter what kind,) we should remember that the seed proves the existence of an original cause which produced it, and that it prosesses in itself a future production of the same nature of the original cause.
Second. The distinction should be kept in view, which exists between the seed and the faminality which brings forth the production of the seed, for although the seed cannot bring forth without the cooperation with something of the female nature, yet the production when brought forth, possesses the nature and quality of the original stock or cause which brought forth the seed, and was in it, independent of the nature and quality of the faminality which brought it forth. (Witness the same spot of earth bringing forth vegetation according to the nature of their several seeds,).
It is true that I have heretofore written on this subject, but I shall now in a plain short way, attend to the Scriptural account of the two seeds, as though I had not written. My readers must excuse me from being so short on many points. As the subject is too copious for the room I have to occupy, I hope they will improve on what I may say, and not suppose that I have said all that might have been said on the subject; and should any of my readers be disposed to condemn what I say, they might do well first to examine if they are not about to condemn the truth of God's word, Genesis III. 15, 16. “And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed, and it shall bruise thy head, and thou shall bruise his heel. Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow, and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children, and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.”
We should now observe with attention, first, that the existence of two seeds is here fully expressed, and the distinction plainly made between the two, as one being the serpent's seed, and the other being the woman's seed. Second. That the woman's seed here spoken of, was Christ, and that Christ is elsewhere spoken of as the son of man, the seed of David, Abraham, &c. which will show that the man and woman are but one, and that God now speaking respecting the serpent, and the woman, speaks of her seed in contradistinction to the serpent's seed, while Christ is expressed as being brought forth in his humanity, by or through the human family which God had created in Adam, the figure of Christ; and when we remember that the man and the woman are so completely one, that the one is now without the other, we can then understand how Christ is spoken of as being the beginning of the creation of God; the Church being his being his body and fulness, was the created matter; thus in his Church, as his body, he was created, while he himself, as God, was the creator, and so we may understand that the woman's seed here declared is expressive of Christ and his church, as both being one, and of course the member's of Christ's body, as well as Christ himself, are employed in the woman's seed here spoken of, while the war and contest between Christ the king of Zion, and the serpent, as manifested between the two different families is evidently declared, and the victory secured on the part of Zion's king. Third. We should observe that it was the woman's conception, and not her seed, that was multiplied, and that this multiplication of the sorrow and conception of the woman, was by the power of God, as a chastisement on her for her transgression, while no doubt the curse on the serpent was in view; this will show there was no additional number of her seed in consequence of the inlet of sin into the world. If the word multiply can be of any use in this place, it certainly does prove that there was a conception divinely appointed to the woman, and that in consequence of sin, her conception was multiplied, as being an additional number added; and as the serpent had a seed, if the woman is not here spoken to as being made susceptible of that seed, (through the means of her husband, who had parteken of the forbidden fruit at her hands,) and her conception so multiplied, that she could and did bring forth that seed as the production of the serpent, I have no knowledge how the serpent's seed has or could have been brought forth, nor of the true meaning of the language; and if the serpent's seed had never been brought forth, there has been no manifest enmity or war between his seed and the woman's seed, and of course the declaration of war between them was as unmeaning or improper expression. Fifth. If we are to understand the woman's seed, to be Christ in his humanity, in which God is manifested in the flesh, or to be the members of the church, the body of Christ, we certainly are to understand the serpent's seed to be the serpent in humanity, in which iniquity is manifested in the flesh, or to be the members of the body of sin and death. If the one seed has an allusion to natures only, the other certainly has to be understood in the same way, and therefore the certain existence of human beings or bodies are not expressed by either of the two seeds. Sixth. If Christ partook of his humanity from the created stock which rendered his capable of suffering for the sins of his church or people, yet no new creation took place; so we may understand how the serpentcould, in his seed, partake of humanity from the same created stock, by a display of divine power in multiplying the conception of creation, which renders him, in his seed, capable of suffering the wrath of God for his acts of rebellion against the rights and government of Heaven, which he has manifested by seducing God's good created beings to sin, in which act he has got into the creation of God, instilled his wicked nature into the hearts of God's creation, and thereby sowed his seed in the soil of nature, which seed being of their father the Devil, is still manifesting the nature of the serpent against God and his children, for which the glory and justice of God will appear in executing his fierce wrath on them as punishiment due to the serpent. Seventh. By the multiplying of the sorrow of the woman, we are not to understand that there would have been sorrow or distress in the world, if sin had not entered the world. No, this would contradict the very nature of divine revelation; but we are to understand that by reason of sin, sorrow had got into the world, and would attend the conception which God had divinely appointed before sin had entered the world, and that the multiplying of her conception, would certainly multiply her sorrow, and therefore the Lord does not say that I will greatly multiply thy sorrow in thy conception, but he saith I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception, in sorrow thou shall bring forth children, &c.
This proves that the multiplied sorrow of the woman belonged to that of her bringing forth children; and when we notice that the man was not cursed, (though severly chastised) but the serpent was cursed for what he had done, and that the ground was cursed for man's sake, and made to bring forth an extra production to his affliction, it will assist our understanding in this subject. This the reader can do while I pass on. Gen. IV. 25. “And Adam knew his wife again, and she bore a son, and called his name Seth, for God said she, hath appointed me another seed instead of Abel, whom Cain slew,” Here the woman seems to have some understanding respecting the promised seed. She knowing that her power of conception was from the Lord, acknowledged at the birth of Cain, that she has gotten a man from the Lord, yet her declaration nor Cain's conduct do not prove him to be the man of the Lord; but Seth is understood by her to be the seed given her by the Lord, instead of Abel, who evidently was a man of God. And the Apostle John speaks of Cain as being of the Devil, or that wicked one. Ch. V. V. 1, &c. “This is the book of the generation of Adam. In the day that God created man, in the likeness of God, made he him; male and female created he them, and called their name Adam in the day when they were created. And Adam lived an hundred and thirty years, and begat a son in his own likeness, after his image, and called his name Seth.”
We should now notice, First. That the sacred historian was here giving an account of the generations of Adam, in the day that God created him. Second. That although we have an account before this of the birth of Cain and Seth, and several generations of Cain's family, yet Cain appears not to be counted as belonging to Adam's generation, in the day that God created man. Third. That Adam was created in the likeness of God, and Seth was begotten in the likeness, and after the image of Adam; and if I have been correct in what I have heretofore brought to view, as to Adam's being created in the image and likeness of the triune God, we shall now understand that Seth now stands as completely clear of the serpent's seed being in him, as Adam did before he fell; that although Seth was a sinner, as having fallen in Adam, yet he stood as the appointed seed from whom should proceed the natural existence of the church of God, and Christ after the flesh; hence St. Luke brings to view that Christ came from the family of Seth, and that Seth was the son of Adam, and that Adam was the son of God. Chap. VI. V , 1. &c.
This is no doubt that sane flesh against which we are so much warned in the word of truth. Fourth. That here is the first account of the corrupt wickedness of the heart of man. Thus we may learn that the sons of God taking wives of the daughters of men, produced a great change of things. Verse 9. “These are the generations of Noah; Noah was just a man, and perfect in his generation, and Noah walked with God,” &c. Thus it appears that Noah in his generation had not mixed with the daughters of men. And this is represented as the cause why he was preserved in the ark. I have only room to remind my readers that the scriptural account of Ishmael and Isaac presents to our view two families; and that, of Esau and Jacob, it is declared that there are two nations, and two manner of people. This will teach us something if rightly understood, particularly if we call to mind that God loved Jacob and hated Esau, before the children were born, or had done either good or evil, and that Isaac blessed Jacob with the patricrchal blessing, and Esau with the earthly blessing, and that Ishmael was to beget twelve princes, and become a great nation; yet with Isaac God established his covenant, and in Isaac, Abraham's seed is called. And God said to Abraham, Genesis XVII, 7, “I will establish my covenant between me and thee, and thy seed after thee, in their generations, for an everlasting covenant, to be a God unto thee, and to thy seed after thee.” Saint Paul to the Gal. 3. 16, is pointed that this seed was Christ, and that the seed was but one, and not many seeds. This proves that the whole family of God or of Heaven is but one seed, and that Abraham was the literal father of the natural existence of this seed; that in Isaac their natural existence was secured, and their national covenant blessings to them; and that God is the father of the spiritual existence of this seed; that in Christ their spiritual existence is secured, and their spiritual covenant blessings to them. Thus St. Paul can say, I Cor. XII. 12, “For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body, so also is Christ.” Here we learn that Christ and the church are but one seed, and so I understand that the serpent and the many members composing his body of sin and death is but one seed. Thus there are two seeds, each one bringing forth after its kind. True it is, that the corrupt seed has so corrupted the good created seed, that God's family while unconverted, are by nature the children of wrath, even as others. Not that they are the product of God's wrath, but by reason of sin and transgression, the wrath of God might as justly be executed upon them, as upon the seed of the serpent. So it is by grace alone that God's children are saved from wrath. To this view of things the Lord saith, when speaking to Israel respecting her transgressions, “Yet I had planted thee a noble vine, wholly a right seed: how then art thou “And it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born unto them, that the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair, and they took them wives of all which they chose. And the Lord said, my spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh; yet his days shall be a hundred and twenty years. There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bore children to them, the same became mighty men, which wore of old, men of renown. And God saw the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually,” &c. We should here observe, First. That two families are here brought to view; one is designated as the children or daughters of men, and the other as the sons of God; and if they be not the families of Cain and Seth, I am at a loss to understand the truth of the Bible repsecting the creation of man, and Eve's being the mother of all living. Second. That the sons of God uniting with the daughters of men, brought in a strange family of children, and was, or produce that great sin and evil which caused the flood to be brought on earth. Third. A flesh is here brought to view which is so corrupt and corrupting, that God declares that his spirit shall not always strive with man, in consequence of his becoming that flesh turned into the degenerate plant of a strange vine unto me?” Jer. II. 21. Here it is plain that God has planted wholly a right seed; that there was no corruption in the seed which he had planted, but the noble vine, the product of that seed had turned into the degenerate plant of a strange vine unto the Lord. This right seed and this strange vine are both brought to view by St. John the Divine, Rev. 14th chap. The right seed is here presented as the harvest of the earth that was ripe, and the first angel that appeared with a sharp side was instructed to reap it; and the strange vine is here represented as being the vine of the earth, whose clusters were to be gathered by the second angel that appeared with a sharp side in his hand. The degenerated state of the earth is certainly here brought to view, and the degenerate plant or strange vine which captured and corrupted the wholly right seed, brought forth the means of the degenerate state of the earth, or creation.
These angels did not reap together, neither did they gather what they had reaped to the same place. The harvest of the earth is the product of the right seed, which as wheat is gathered into the barn, (Matt. XIII. 30,) and the clusters of the vine of the earth is “cast into the great winepress of the wrath of God.” The Saviour himself makes this subject more plain in Matt. XIII. 4, &c. “Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The Kingdom of Heaven is likened to a man who sowed good seed in his field, but while men slept his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way. But when the blade was sprung up and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares also. So the servants of the householder came and said unto him, sir, Did thou not sow good seed in thy field, from whence then hath it tares? He saith unto them an enemy hath done this. The servants said unto him, wilt thou that we go and gather them up? But he said nay, lest while ye gather up the tares ye root up also the wheat with them. Let both grow together until time of harvest, and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers gather forth first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn; but gather the wheat into my barn.” Had the Saviour left this parable unexplained, then we should have had a right to form our own opinions as to what the Saviour in reality intended to express by it, nor should we think so strange when men differ so widely on this subject; but s the Saviour has told us pointedly what the parable is, it certainly wicked in any man to undertake to correct the explanation which Christ has given of his own parable, by changing the features of even one sentence. Thus believing that Christ gave a true account when his disciples requested him to declare unto them the parable of the tares of the field, we will now attend to it.
Verse 37, &c. “He answered and said unto them, he that soweth the good seed is the Son of man, the field is the world, the good seed are the children of the kingdom, but the tares are the children of the wicked one. The enemy that soweth them is the devil, the harvest is the end of the world, and the reapers are the angels. As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire, so shall it be in the end of this world. The son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity, shall cast them into a furnace of fire, there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth. Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the Kingdom of their Father. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.” I conclude that the subject could not have been more fully expressed in the same number of words, than what is now before us, and certainly none but those who are disposed to criticise with, or contradict the Saviour, will attempt to dispute but that the Devil, as God's enemy, has sowed a seed in the world which has brought forth the tares, or children of the wicked one. We should here observe, First. That the field is the world, not the church. Second. That the good seed and, not good and bad natures. Third. That it was in the world that the Son of man sowed the good seed, and that it was the Devil, and not God, who sowed the tares in the same world. Fourth. The is the end of the world, and the reapers are the angels. Thus the Saviour had in view from the time of the good seed and the tares sowed in the world, until the gathering of the children of the wicked one, and the children of the kingdom, to each of their respective places, which takes place at the end of the world. Fifth, All things are to be gathered out of the kingdom of the Son of man, that offend, and them that do iniquity. Thus it appears that God will reign until the kingdoms of this world become the kingdoms of our Lord and his Christ, and that the imperfections of God's children which so often offends, will be taken out, as well as the tares, or them that do iniquity; then the righteous being clear of all their internal, as well as their external imperfections, and enemies, will shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father; while the tares, or children of the wicked one will be burning in or under the wrath of God, for their wickedness against God. the tares are both declared to be childrenharvest
We will again hear Jeremiah, ch. XVIII. V. 3.14. “Then I went down to the potter's house, and behold he wrought a work on the wheels, and the vessel that he had made of clay was marred in the hand of the potter; so he made it again another vessel, as seemed good to the potter to make it.” This figure was no doubt to show Israel the right and power of God in whose hands they were, and will serve to show that Adam was marred in the hand of God his potter, and that God made of the same clay another vessel, as seemed him good to make it. This is the way that Saint Paul seems to understand the thing. Ron. IV. 21. “Hath not the potter power over the clay of the same lump to make one vessel into honor, and another unto dishonour,” &c. It now appears that two vessels were made of the same lump of clay, which goes to show that when Adam sinned, and became marred in the hand of God, that God displayed his rightful power, and by multiplying the conception of the woman, made another vessel of the same lump of clay, or created stock; and thus the tares, or serpent's seed was sowed in the field, or world, and from the same created soil was brought forth into action in the world, and grows up so mixed and mingled with the wheat, or children of the kingdom, that nothing short of the wisdom and power of God can sever them. But the prophet Daniel declares in chap. II. v. 43. “They shall mingle themselves with the seed of men, but they shall not cleave one to another.” Thus it appears that God can separate the wheat and the tares, and that he will certainly do it at the time of harvest, and distinguish between the vessel to honor, and the vessel to dishonor.
And again the Lord declares in the 89th Psalm, when speaking of Christ, “Also I will make him my forstborn, higher than the kings of the earth. My mercy will I keep for him forever more, and my covenant shall stand fast with him. His seed also will I make to endure forever, and his throne as the days of heaven. My covenant will I not break, or alter the thing that is gone out of my lips. Once have I sworn by my holiness that I will not lie unto David. His seed shall endure forever, and his throne as the sun before me.” This is certainly the covenant of grace that is here declared, and the good seed, or seed of Christ, is here presented as being secured in that covenant, and as it takes all the family to complete the seed, if any part should be left out, the seed would be incomplete, and the glory of God eclipsed. Thus if the tares be the product of the good seed, the Son of man would suffer loss; and if the tares, or serpent's seed, consist only of the wicked nature in man, then nothing but wicked nature will be burned, and no existing mortals or human beings will suffer the wrath of God forever, and of course the Universalian doctrine is correct.
David was certainly personating Christ when he cried out, Psalms, 139, verse 13, &c. “For thou hast possessed my reins, thou hast covered me in my mother's womb, I will praise thee, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; marvelous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, and as yet there was none of them. Here it appears that all the good seed, or members of Christ as his substance, was plain in the view of God, and secured in his book, before they were perfected, or brought into actual existence; but no account of the tares, or serpent's seed, there. When we call to mind that the Psalmist in another place, when personating Christ, cries out, “All my bones are out of joint,” and yet a bone of Christ is not to be broken, and that the saints are of his flesh, and of his bones; it will really look as if the members of Christ, although they have become much deranged, yet they cannot be broken from him, and that the serpent's seed certainly not related to the bones and members of Christ. As we have not room to say anything, and the scriptures being too plain to admit of a doubt but that Christ is or was the seed to whom the promise was made; and that he and his church being one, are the same seed; that “a seed shall serve him,” and that “he shall see his seed,” &c. &c., we shall turn our attention to the serpent's seed, family, or generation, as manifested in divine writ.
David in the 109th Psalm, prays for the distress and destruction of a man, his wife and children, father and mother. Certainly this could not have been the family of Heaven, or world of men whom God loves, and for whom the Saviour died, that this man of God, when personating Christ, prayed so earnestly against. If not, there must be another family which God intends to destroy for their wickedness. The Saviour speaks of Judas as being the son of perdiction, and tells the Jews that they were of their father, the Devil, and says that the prince of this world hath no part in him. These, certainly, are not unmeaning expressions. Give every declaration its full weight, and see what it will prove; let the same terms be used in favor of a man or a people, being the children of God, and we should certainly think that it proved him or them to be the heirs of Heaven, then why not have their full weight to where they were applied by the Saviour?
The Jews were greatly insulted when implicated by the Saviour as being the children of fornication. This certainly would not have been the case had they not distinctly understood that there were two families which should have been kept separate from each other; and indeed, if words have any meaning attached to them upon that subject, it is easily proven that some in the Jewish nation were of the serpent's family, and therefore not entitled to the gospel rights for John the forerunner of Christ saith to the Pharasees and Sadducees, when they came to his baptism, “O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come?” Matt. 3,7. This would have evidently been a very improper expression for that man of God to have said to the good seed, the family of God, which had proceeded from him, who had become lost in sin, and who the Saviour had come to seek and save, at the price of his blood. (It is probable that Mr. Campbell would have baptised those people, and have trusted luck as to their repenting or reforming.) (Yes, he would have baptised the last devil of them; for he and his blind followers have dipped hundreds of thousands of devils. – Ben Hardin Irwin.) Let the word generation be admitted in any or all of the facts that are intended to be expressed by it, and it certainly will prove that those people were a family of vipers, and of course that they sprang from the serpent, or the seed of vipers. And Christ to the same point, Matt. 12, 34, “O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things, for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.”
We are unwilling to believe that the Saviour has slandered these people by falsely designating their family, race, or progeny, and certainly they were not the good seed, which had proceeded from him, and that he loved so well that he had come to die for them. No. He shows the very cause why they cannot speak good things, as bringing in view their origin, and showing the principles upon which their condemnation will rest. But the Saviour is still more plain. Matt. 23, 29, &c. “Woe unto you, scribes and Pharasees, hyprocrites! Because you build the tombs of the prophets, and garnish the sepulchres of the righteous, and say, if we had lived in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partakers with them in the blood of the prophets. Wherefore be ye witnesses unto yourselves, that ye are the children of them that killed the prophets; fill ye up then the measures of your fathers. Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell? Wherefore, I send unto you prophets and wise men and scribes; and some of them ye shall kill and crucify, and some of them shall ye scourge in your synagogues, and persecute them from city to city, that upon you may come all the righteous blood shed upon the earth from the blood of the righteous Abel, unto the blood of Zacharias, son of Barachias, whom ye slew between the temple and the altar, Verily I say unto you, all these things shall come upon this generation.” I was just thinking that it would be a little amusing should any of these learned editors who have been publishing to the world that the doctrine of the two seeds as published by me, were irrational and unscriptural, &c. should undertake to answer their purposes, by endeavoring to destroy the weight of the language, or by laboring to prove that Christ did not mean what he said, and of course speak falsely. The foregoing remarks of the Saviour should be observed with attention.
First. They were serpents, a generation of vipers, to whom Christ was directing his remarks, and of course they were not the product of himself.
Second. These were people who were manifesting great friendship to the prophets and righteous, while they were exclaiming against their fathers for what they had done, in and by which they acknowledged or proved to be of the same family that had persecuted the Lord's children, and their religion, though it manifested great zeal on the Lord's side, yet it was at war with God, to the persecuting of Christ and his followers.
Third. These scribes and Pharasees being the children of them that had killed the prophets, they were to fill up the measure of their fathers, which showed that the cup of the serpent's iniquity was not full; that the stores of wickedness were not yet exhausted, and that it takes the whole family of serpents or vipers, with all the corruption that is in each member of the family to manifest, expose to view, and ripen for the wrath of God, the great fountain of corruption that is encircled in, and belongs to the mystery of iniquity; and for this very purpose God would still send them godly men, who they were (not by nature which God had given them, but agreeably to the nature of their father, the Devil,) to persecute, kill, &c. A close attention of the tenth chapter of Matthew, particularly 20th verse, will afford much light on this subject.
Fourth. All the righteous blood shed upon the earth was to be charged to that generation, (here we should remember the souls under the altar, whose blood are calling for vengeance,) and it would be something strange for God to charge the guilt of Cain for shedding the blood of Abel upon the then family on the earth, without any regard to their connection with, or relationship to Cain. Thus it is but a fair conclusion to say that the Saviour was here bringing to view that or which should be gathered out of this kingdom and burnt in everlasting fire, which was prepared for the Devil and his angels. righteous blood had been shed upon the earth in the different ages of the world, and that it had been this family or race of serpents or vipers in every age, who had shed this blood, and therefore the just judgements of God, would at the proper time, be poured out upon the serpents, the generation of vipers, having in view the whole race, family of the serpent's seed or tares,
Fifth. It evidently appears from the whole subject here brought to view by the Saviour, that by some means or other, the serpents, the generation of vipers, had gotten into their possession the inheritance which God had given to the literal offspring of Isaac, as the promised seed and proper heirs, and that reason of this, the Jewish nation was now nearly ripe for her overthrow, while the gospel was about to be sent to the Gentile world, for the purpose of gathering in the outcast of Israel as the scattered sons and daughters of Zion. Here would be a very interesting field full of explanatory matter, had we but room to bring to view the progress of things before the coming of Christ, such as Abraham's sending to his kindred for a wife for Isaac; Jacob taking a wife of his mother's family, and Esau of Ishmael's family, (with many more marks of distinction,) The restrictions laid upon God's national people not to marry or unite with the rest of the nations of the earth, and they being charged with whoredom and adultery, and fornication for so doing, and their children being called the children of fornication, and being so adulterated, that in some cases they had to be driven out with their mothers, the strange wives, for the preservation of Israel. A correct understanding of these things with a view of the Gentile blood let into the Jewish family, and the scattering of Isaac's family among other nations, by reasons of these unlawful marriages with the particular distinction which is kept up between the different families of the earth, from the creation of man to the coming of Christ, and that of the lineage of the Saviour after the flesh, being so particularly designed even back to Adam, who is called the son of God. I say all these things if correctly understood, will afford much light to our understanding on this interesting subject, and will eventually show that the whole Bible is engaged to prove the existence of two families, which are so distinct in their origin, and to the places to which they are destined, that they should be kept separate and distinct while in this world, and that the mingling together of those families have been a great sin on the part of God's children, and that God ere long will make a final separation between those families by separating eternally the sheep from the goats. I shall make one quotation more. Prov. 30, 11, &c. “There is a generation that curseth their father, and doth not bless their mother. There is a generation that is pure in their own eyes, and yet are not washed from their filthiness. There is a generation, O how lofty are their eyes, and their eyelids are lifted up. There is a generation whose teeth are as swords, and their jaw teeth as knives, to devour the poor from off the earth, and the needy from among men. The horseleech hath two daughters crying give, give.” This is certainly plain to him who hath understanding, and had we room in conjunction with these remarks of the wise man to bring to view the bondmaid and the free woman, woth their sons, remembering that “Agar gendereth to bondage,” and that this Agar is Mount Sinai in Arabia, and answereth to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children,” we think that we could put to silence the ignorance of foolish men. We are at no loss for scriptural information in confirmation to the subject in hand, and might make quotation after quotation, but the want of room forbids, as we are so near the close of the “Advocate,” and some few other points of interest (in our view) still lie before us.
We shall now make a few remarks to show some of the benefits arising to the church of God, from a correct understanding of the doctrine before us.
First. It will furnish the church with a knowledge of Bible truth, which will enable her to withstand the errors of every false system. The Universalians and Arminians of every description have to fall before this truth.
Second. It will teach the children of God, that there is a reality in the christian warfare, and that it is not God nor his product against which they are engaged, but that it is, in reality, an enemy, and one that God intends to conquer.
Third. It will enable the church to account for the many plans and ways which are laid to lead the children of God estray, as to the source from whence these arrangements come, and the use or object designed by them, while it gives her such a knowledge of truth, that she is enabled thereby to withstand the enemy, and to expose their errors to the glory of God.
Fourth. It will, in a great measure, teach the church to understand the source from which the spirit and principle of moneyed and theopogical institutions for religious purposes, have sprung, the use the enemy has for them, and her duty in denying christian fellowship with them, and all other God-dishonoring errors.
Fifth. It will teach the church that the product of the serpent has been, and will be, the instrument of wickedness and cruelty against God and his children, and it has been by the stratagems of the serpent and his production, that have caused the members of which she is composed, to commit every act of sin and rebellion against their God, and that it is from the same production or instruments, of the serpent, that the children of God have suffered such bloody persecutions, while the church will understand that God has suffered all these things to take place, for the purpose of his own glory, in bringing the iniquity of his enemy to view, and then by displaying his rightful power in the deliverance of his own production, and executing his just judgements upon the family of vipers, as punishment due the serpent. This view of things will enable the saints to bear up under their many trials in the christian warfare, seeing that God is to be glorified by all their afflictions, while they will distinctly understand that not only their internal imperfections of weakness and wickedness are the product of the enemy, but also that their external enemies proceeded from the same source.
Sixth. The church by a knowledge of the doctrine of the two seeds, as revealed in the Bible, will understand that the serpent is manifested in his seed which he has sowed in the world; in that seed he commits his acts of rebellion against the God of creation and government of Heaven, and in the seed will be eternally punished under the wrath of God for his wickedness in God's righful dominion, committed by him in his seed; and thus the church will see something of the heinous nature of sin, not only on account of its being an act of disobedience to God, but also because of the corrupt source from whence the wicked disposition sprang; and the church will further understand by a knowledge of this doctrine, that the Saviour is manifested in his seed, which he has sowed in the world. In that seed he reveals himself as the Saviour of sinners, and in that seed God will be eternally glorified in the reign of grace, to the salvation of his people. This view of things will teach the church the cause why every member could hate sin, depart from iniquity, and by a well-ordered life show forth the praise of God.
Seventh. The church, by a correct understanding of the doctrine before us, will be much better prepared to maintain the scriptural doctrine of election or predestination as taught her in the word of God, and witnessed by the divine spirit to every converted soul of her body, in their experimental knowledge of saving grace. She can, by this knowledge, maintain the truth in a consistent way, on fair scriptural grounds, to the glory of God, and the confusion of her enemies; and though her enemies may rage, foam, and make a great noise, pomp, and show and worldly wealth and wisdom, abusing the truth by great swelling words of vanity, yet they will dread fairly to enter the field where the word of truth, the sword of the spirit is rightly wielded in the defence of this truth. This doctrine of the two seeds, or two families, being so abundantly declared in the word of God, although it has lain for many years as a concealed or hidden treasure, yet it was certainly designed for the benefit of the church in some age of the world; and as the signs of the times bespeak that the streams of iniquity are beginning to be poured in an extraordinary manner against the truth and church of God, the time is no doubt near at hand when the church will need a knowledge of this rich treasure of wisdom in order to enable her to bear up under her many afflictions, understand the signs of the times, and withstand the strength and stratagems of spiritual wickedness in high places. Much more might here be said to the advantage of truth, but I must stop on this part of the subject. I shall now answer a few points of inquiry that may arise upon the subject of the two seeds.
First. Is the serpent's seed human beings? If they are, how did they partake of humanity?
The serpent's seed are human beings; they partook of their humanity by means of the creation which God had made. Creation was made good; the serpent corrupted and got into it, for which cause God yet multiplied its conception, and made it capable of bringing forth the serpent's seed, and thus the children of the multiplied conception, coming through the created stock, are equally human beings with the children of creation, or Divinely appointed conception, and the old serpent the Devil, is also the Father of the wicked corrupt nature that is in man, or in the world.
Second. How was the serpent's seed conveyed to the woman?
By way of her husband, who had partaken of the forbidden fruit at her hands, and went with her in the transgression. Here we might reflect on the cause, extent, and effects of unlawful lust, and the begetting quality that belongs to man.
Third. Are the serpent's seed accountable beings to God, and on what principles will they be judged, condemned and punished?
The serpent's seed are accountable to God, because they are his rightful dominion, came into action in the world by way of God's creation, and live in this world on the bounties of Heaven, and they will be justly condemned, not because they are the serpent's seed, or that God had reprobated them to destruction before they were born, but because of their sins and acts of wicked rebellion against God, for they shall be judged according to their works.
Fourth, Is it not God-dishonoring, to say that so large a portion of the human family are of the serpent's seed?
I think not, particularly when we remember that the serpent had not power to create, and that the bringing his seed into action in the world, was by a display of divine power, on account of the serpent's coming into the creation of God and defiling it, and for a purpose of God's glory, in manifesting his enemy and placing him in a situation that just judgement could be executed upon him for his wickedness, while the glory of God could be displayed in the complete salvation of his children. However we will answer the balance of this inquiry by presenting a query or two of supposed cases. First. Suppose a sovereign possessing creating power, having knowledge of an enemy that would spoil his creation, should determine and create a stock appointing the existence of two thousand children to be brought into action through that stock, securing life, and safe deliverance of one thousand of those children in a secure place, and at the same time leaving the other thousand, (who had equal claims on him as their father and creator,) to a test of their obedience, and to become a prey to the enemy. The creator knowing that all would equally sin against him, and become dead in sin under the power of the enemy, from Whose power he would be unable to deliver themselves; yet he would secure to save one half of his children by his power and grace, and leave the other half of his own product in the hands of his enemy, which half the creator knew would never be saved, but must bear his wrath forever.
Second. Suppose this creator knowing precisely what his enemy would do, should determine and create one thousand children, securing that thousand in a safe place, appointing at the same time, that in consequence of the enemy's coming in and corrupting his family, he would, by a display of his own power, cause his enemy to be brought into action, in one thousand children, and to deal with those children according to their conduct. We again have two thousand children in our view. Now the question is, which of these supposed cases would be most honorable to the creator? In the one case, those to be lost would equally be the product of the creator, with those to be saved. In the other case, the creator would save all the product of himself, (though they had become equally corrupted with the product of the enemy,) and inflict the punishment due sin, on the product of the enemy as executing judgement on the enemy for corrupting his creation. Thus the creator would suffer no loss at last on account of the enemy, and the enemy would not have whereof to boast that he had got a great part of the product of the creator.
Fifth. What situation is the serpent's seed placed in, in regard to their chance of salvation by Christ?
Precisely in the same situation that the Arminian places the whole world in. If they will repent of their sins believe the gospel, come to, and obey Christ, God will save them. God has appointed no man to eternal destruction, but upon his wickedness. The impenitent sinner is appointed to wrath, and the obedient believer to life eternal. God saves his people from their sins, and not in their sins. The serpent's seed being found in the creation and dominion of God, God is entitled to their obedience; let them render to God his due, and it will be well with them. Gen. 4, 7. God's children in their fallen unconverted state are as corrupt and wicked by nature as are the serpent's seed. The cause why God's children are converted and saved, God loved them, gave them to Christ, gave them grace in Christ, draws them to Christ by the cords of his love, and by his power delivers them from the power of darkness, and reconciles them to himself, saving them, (for which they do not apply,) they neither have a saving faith in Christ, nor perform the work of faith. Although they did not fall in Adam, yet they are the product of the very corruption which caused Adam to sin, and being in the world when the law was handed down through Moses, they are found to be accountable to God, and will be justly condemned for their wickedness. I cannot say everything, but we may now see the necessity of preaching the gospel to every creature, and commanding men everywhere to repent, for the gospel of the kingdom is to be a witness unto all nations. I will now take the liberty to ask my reader a few questions. First. Is it either scriptural or reasonable to believe that there were any part of the creation, which was created by and for the Saviour, that was not given to him in the covenant of redemption? with an everlasting salvation. The cause why the serpent's seed are not converted, they not being the product of God, in his love, in his grace, nor in his purpose of salvation, therefore no divine power is extended to convert them to God, and thus they are left to the freedom of their own will. If they can come, as they say, let them do so. If they do not come to Christ for salvation, out of their own mouths God will judge them. They say they can, and yet they do not repent, believe and obey the gospel. From the spirit or principle of works (instead of grace) they sprang. The covenant of works is represented as being their mother. For lack of performance on their part, they will be condemned by the law. For want of grace
Sesond. Should any part of that which was created by and for the Saviour, be lost, will not Christ suffer loss, and the enemy have whereof to glory?
Third. As the prince of this world hath no part in Christ, may we not say that the subjects of his own nation, and the family from whence he sprang, hath no part in Christ, and yet have no part in him?
Fourth. As Christ partook of the flesh and blood of his children, and therefore evidently stands in flesh and blood relationship to them, does he stand in the same flesh and blood relationship to those that are lost? If so, will not the wrath of God be poured on those with whom the Saviour stands related? and why are we so much warned against a corrupt flesh, and the children of the flesh? And why is the family from whence Christ came, so particularly designated? Here we should call to mind that the law required a near kinsman to redeem the inheritance, and that the flesh and blood relationship which Christ stands in to his children, is that which secures the resurrection of their bodies.
Fifth. Will the wicked be raised in like manner with God's children, by the life and resurrection of Christ, (and yet have no part in him,) or will they be raised by a display of divine power, something like a curse on them? If so, will it not be something like the display of divine power that brought them into action in the world, which will prove a curse on the enemy who sowed the tares among the good seed or wheat?
In conclusion, I shall just remark that the doctrine of the two seeds is predicated on the truth of the Bible. The doctrine of predestination, the purity of God and his work in creation; the sovereign power of God in saving the product of himself, and his suffering no loss. The union or relationship existing in Christ, to and with his church, and the certainty of Christ's saving all his generation or seed, and of his not standing in union relationship with the generation of vipers. The certainty and self-existence of the power of darkness, without which the divine properties of
Deity could not be displayed to the glory of God, and every divine property is expressive of its opposite. The certainty of God's punishing sin in its author and not eternally in the product of himself. The certainty of each cause producing its own effect, and that God will ere long, finally separate between the product of each cause, and compel each production to return to the source from whence it came. &c. &c. God's ministers have long been engaged in proclaiming the gospel of Christ, and contending for the necessity of salvation, and that it required the power of God to save. And just as far as this has been done, the doctrine of the two seeds has been employed, or expressed in every gospel sermon, though the preacher himself might not have understood it. But one side of the subject of salvation has as yet been fairly investigated. While we have been declaring the power of God to save, we have not taken into view, the power from which God saves and delivers the captives. Thus one part of the Bible has, as yet, lain silent as a sealed book. This is what causes the saints to be so alarmed at the first view of the doctrine of the two seeds, and it is the Devil's interest to conceal this doctrine, or rouse all the prejudices he can against it. But the church now needs a true understanding of this doctrine, and God will no doubt rend the veil of ignorance. Having heretofore written more fully on the subject, and now being crowded for want of room, I must stop, leaving many things or points unexplained.
(Finished typewriting this masterly Editorial this the 19th day of February, 1923.