Hezekiah, to his well beloved Brother William:
CONTINUED FROM PAGE 10.
Offspring of God, (in the universal sense of the word) and accomplishes the work he came to perform, he will surely save and not destroy the Devil. See page 133, conclusion page 161, speaking of the character of God, he says, “whom we are all bound to acknowledge to be the God and father of all spirits.” This being granted, there is no argument for the salvation of all the offspring of God, that does not equally prove the salvation of all devils, as it does the salvation of all men; and if the destruction of any of the family of man is cruel, the destruction of him that held the power of death must be equally cruel. Chap. 5, pages 31 & 32, he endeavors to prove that man by sin is not totally depraved. The word depraved signifies sinful; and if man is not totally sinful, there must be some part at least innocent, if not holy, it must be good. In what part does that good dwell, or where shall it be found? Is it in the heart? And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every immagination of the thoughts of his heart, was only evil continually, Gen. vi. 5. The heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked , Cor. xvii. 9. Then there is no good quality or disposition in the heart. Is there any in the conduct? The Lord looked down from heaven upon the children of men to see if there were any that did understand, and seek God. They are all gone aside, they are altogether become filthy: there is none that doeth good, no not one, Ps. xiv. 2,3. See also Rom. iii. 10 to 18 inclusive: surely there is no good disposition, no good immagination in the thoughts of the heart, no good conduct: but they are altogether become filthy: they must be totally sinful. Thus in denying the doctrine of total depravity, he contradicts one of the plainest principles in the Bible. Chap. 7, page 10, he calls “Shem the oldest son of Noah.” By this it may be seen that he is a careless verser of his Bible; see Gen. x. Where Moses gives us an account of the generations of the sons of Noah, 21st verse: unto Shem also, the Father of all the children of Eber, the brother of Jeppeth the elder, even unto him were children born. Jeppeth then was the eldest of the sons of Noah, and not Shem, Chap. ii. On the New Testament, pages 34 & 5. It may be clearly seen that his argument is highly fallacious, by comparing Exod. xxix, and Lev. i. With what he has said on the subject of atonement. He also says, page 76, “Let it be observed, that the atonement was never intended to do violence to strict justice, by saving sinners from deserved punishment, but rather to save us from deserving punishment by producing reformation.” We do not pretend that violence is done to strict justice by mens being saved from punishment, in the forgiveness of sins; but we do claim that through this man (Jesus Christ) is preached the forgiveness of sins, and by him all that believe are justified from all things from which ye (or they) could not be justified by the law of Moses, Acts xiii. 38,39. And that Paul was sent to the Gentiles to open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may (or might) receive forgiveness of sins, Acts xx. 18. Not punishment for sins, for Jesus is exalted to give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins. In whom we have redemption thro’ his blood, the forgiveness of sins, Eph. i. 7. Col. i. 14. Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, bring made a curse that was due to us. It is altogether folly for men to talk of their being forgiven their sins, and of being punished to the full penalty of the law for the same crimes that are forgiven them.
Chap. 3, on the N. Testament, pages 88,89, “Before he would allow them to go out and preach that gospel, which is to every creature in all the world, he ordered them to tarry at Jerusalem, until they should receive the promise of the Father; or in other words be endowed with power from on high, for they had not by regeneration, received a knowledge of the universal extent of God’s gracious promise of salvation; and this they could not comprehend until by being born again, they should receive the ministry of reconciliation.” He also carries the idea that Peter was not converted, nor capable of strengthening his brethren in the faith of the gospel, until he saw the sheet let down from Heaven; and also that the rest of the Apostles were not born in the knowledge of the truth as it is in Jesus, until thro’ the means of a converted Peter, they were taught this from on high. To show the sophistry and futility of his argument on this subject, we need only turn to the following scriptures: 1 John, v. 1 “whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ, is born of God.” Compare with Mat. xiv. 16, when Jesus in the 15 v. asked his disciples, whom say ye that I am? Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the son of the living God. Here then we have plain positive testimony that Peter was born of God; 17 v. Jesus answered & said unto him, Blessed art thou Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven, see also John vi. 69. Again, 1 John iv. 7, Beloved let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God. Compare with John xxi, 15,16,17, there hear Peter appeal to the knowledge of his Lord that he loved him; and then say, was not Peter born of God? Surely no testimony can be more clear, or full to the point. But in order the more fully to show the folly of Edwin’s theory, we will notice one part of his argument where he insinuates that the Apostles were born on the day of Pentecost: for it was then that they were endowed with power from on high. The testimony we have adduced proves that they were born of God before that time, and is sufficient to prove beyond all successful controversy, that they were born of God before the crucifiction of Christ. But, Edwin seems to blend the vision of the sheet with the day of Penticost, or if he admits that the vision of the sheet was afterwards, (which really was) his argument was to show that he did not believe that the Apostles were qualified to preach the gospel to the extent of God’s gracious promise of salvation at that time. Query, how much more extensive did they ever preach it, than Peter preached at the day of Penticost, saying: the promise is to you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call. Can it be possible that any man acquainted with the religion of Jesus – with a Bible in his hand, can be so blind and stupid, as to form or receive ideas respecting the doctrine of regeneration, and the new birth, so contradictory to plain Bible testimony as Edwin Ferris has exhibited – a sketch of which we have noticed.
In Chap. 10, on No. 3, pages 124,125, speaking of the happiness of the righteous in eternity, he contradicts himself with only three lines between. His words are, “A happiness so perfect cannot be increased, nor can it ever decay. God the eternal source of all joy, will constantly swell the tide of human bliss.” What fool does not know for a tide to swell, is for it to increase. How could a man of common sense be so blind as not to know that a discerning reader would notice such barefaced contradictions in his work? In chap. 12, page 137, he asks “was John a prophet under the law, and was Jesus baptised under the law?” Then he answers “yes,” and attempts to prove it.
To be Continued.
Signs of the Times
Volume 3, No. 2
January 21, 1835