“The Pastors of churches hold the keys of the Lord’s Treasury”. (Am. Mess. Vol. 3, page 10.)
The American Messenger is a monthly publication of the American Tract Society and the organ of that institution. The Society, as our readers are aware, embraces the selfstyled “Truly Evangelical denominations of protestant professors of christianity in America and in other nations.” The words therefore at the head of this article purport to be the sentiment of all, or nearly all the protestant orders of religionists of the present age.
When the papists have claimed for their pontiff that he holds the keys of the kingdom of heaven, which they allege were given to Peter, these professed evangelicals cry, “Blasphemy!” and endeavor to raise against them the indignation of the public. They are shocked, or pretend to be shocked at their awful presumption; but how the papists will feel on reading the united expression of their protestant daughters even excelling them in blasphemy, we are not able to say.
By the keys of the kingdom of heaven, we have understood the apostolic authority and gifts of the Holy Ghost, by which the apostles were qualified to settle every point of doctrine, discipline and religious practice for the kingdom of our Redeemer. Not that they had any power vested in them to legislate or make laws; but that they were seated on thrones of judgment to judge the twelve tribes of Israel (the spiritual Israel, or kingdom of Christ) and whatsoever they bound on earth is bound in heaven, and whatsoever they loosed on earth, shall be loosed in heaven; so that from their decisions there is no appeal. For as they judged and gave their decisions by the unerring inspiration of the Holy Ghost, their decisions were the decisions of God himself and therefore irrevocable throughout all time in heaven and in earth.
From the testimony of the scriptures we learn that the Lord’s treasury is the Lord Jesus Christ, and in him are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. The life of all the saints is hid with him in God, and he is full of grace and truth. He only hath life and immortality, and all the promises of God are in him, yea, and amen to the glory of God by us. The fulness of the Godhead, and the complete fulness of the church is in him, and it pleased the Father that in him all fulness shall dwell. As the treasury or repository of power, all power in heaven and earth is in him. In him and in him alone we have redemption and the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace. The election, predestination, and eternal justification of the church are all in him. “According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world.” “In whom we have received an inheritance, being predestinated according to the good pleasure of his will.” “Being freely justified through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.” Surely shall one say, “In the Lord have I righteousness and strength.” “In the Lord” shall all the seed of Israel be justified, and shall glory. If all that is sacred and valuable in heaven and in the church is treasured up in Christ, then is not Christ most evidently the Lord’s treasury? And if there is anything sacred in earth or heaven that is not treasured in Christ, will the publishers of the American Messenger please inform us what it is? Let the candid reader then judge which of the twain excels in blasphemy, the Mother in claiming that her pope, as a successor of Peter, holds the keys of the Kingdom of heaven, or the protestant daughters in claiming that her clergy hold the keys of the Lord’s Treasury. We read in Revelations i.18, that the risen and glorified Redeemer, whose names are Alpha and Omega, who walked in the midst of the golden candlesticks holds in his hands the keys of hell and death; the prophet testifies also that the key of the house of David is with him, that he openeth and no man can shut, that he shutteth and no man can open. But in what part of the scriptures are we informed that the Pope holds the keys of the Kingdom of heaven, or that the pastors of the protestant churches of the nineteenth century hold the keys of the Lord’s Treasury?
But we may be told that the Society to whose sentiments the Messenger gives utterance does not mean the Lord’s Treasury in the sense above stated; but the Treasury of the Lord’s money, his financial affairs, etc. But in what part of the divine record are we informed of the Lord’s instituting a Treasury for filthy lucre? And where have we the testimony that he has entrusted the keys of such a treasury to such a set of “greedy dogs” as are the professed pastors of modern anti-christ? They are the last set of men on earth to be trusted with the mammon of this world.
April 1, 1854
Elder Gilbert Beebe
Editorials Volume 3
Pages 48 - 50