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you on equal grounds. The statement here made, is so fair and honorable, that I think it must meet your acceptance. I do not mean by any of these remarks to call your candor or sincerity in question, but only to suggest that you have been led to view the subject in an improper light. Neither are you to understand the above in the light of a challenge. My only design is to state the case in its proper light, to mark the course which ought to be pursued by all who controvert this question. The statement and examination of your system will be attempted in our next.
REV. AND DEAR BROTHER, Having stated the question in debate, and the ground of the controversy, I will now endeavor to state your system, compare its several parts together, and test them by the volume of divine truth.
Your system in brief, appears to be this ;-Man possesses two natures, or principles, soul and body; the one pure, the other impure. All sin originates in the flesh, and when the soul is dislodged from the body, it is necessarily pure, and consequently happy. That this is a just representation of your views, will appear from the following quotations from your writings.
“The opposition of the law of the heavenly man to that of the fleshly, is meant by the prohibition."* "Sin is the fruit of the flesh.”+ "All sin originates in the earthly nature.”! "It is to the powers and appetites of the flesh that every sin we commit, may be traced.” “The scriptures plainly indicate that the constitutional infirmities of flesh and blood are, in fact, the source from whence all sinful temptations arise.”|| "Now it is plain from scripture that all sin, all wickedness, and all evil doings, are the works of the flesh.”T “The mind, spirit, soul, or whatever the reader pleases to call the immortal part of man, that spirit being eternal and immortally pure, was opposed to the passions which would immediately rise from the fleshly nature.""** "Another very
* Treatise on Atonement, p. 34.
+ lb. p. 49.
great inconsistency is to suppose that after people shall have ceased from all the sins enumerated in the text, and are in a constitution of existence where no such crimes can ever be committed, they are there to be tormented for what they did in this world."* “The hearer is cautioned against supposing that we allow that the next state will be subject to sin ; we distinctly say that the evidence of this, is wanting both in scripture and reason.”+ “As sin had its origin in the flesh and blood, and is the natural offspring of the lusts by which men áre tempted, and as no intimation is given in the scriptures, that sin ever was, or ever will be committed out of Aesh and blood, we venture to hope that sin will never exist after the present mortal state shall close."
Here then we have your system before us : that man consists of two natures, flesh and spirit; that the flesh is
the source of all wickedness, and the spirit is "immortali ly pure, so that the destruction of the body frees the soul from guilt.
I will now state the grand basis on which you found your hypothesis. In your “Treatise on Atonement," you attempt to make a distinction between the creation and formation of man. His created character was spiritual and pure, but his formed character was earthly and sensual. You say, "I have argued that the formation of man was after his creation, as appears from the account given by Moses, in Genesis. It seems reasonable to conclude that man, in a spiritual sense, was created in Christ, the heavenly nature, as his body was formed in Adam, the earthly. And as all our bodies came from that one formation, so all our spirits came from that one creation." "If Christ be the image of God, and
+ Lect. p. 409.
* Lect. p. 242.
Atop. pp. 192, 193.
man was created in God's image, it is plain that man was created in Christ."* “We are then informed by the sacred text, that God formed (not created) man of the dust of the ground.”+
From these passages taken from your Atonement, it would seem that man was first created a spiritual being, absolutely pure; and was created in Jesus Christ : and that some time after his creation, God was pleased to form him of the dust of the earth, and from this earthly constitution all sin proceeds. This hypothesis, wild and visionary as it is, is the foundation of your system; it is the basis on which your whole scheme rests. This is what you introduce to solve the profound question, Whence came evil?
You maintain that man was first created spiritual and pure. But of the truth of this, you have not produced a particle of proof. You further state that man was created in Jesus Christ. What idea you mean to convey by saying that man was created in Christ, I am unable to determine. One thiug however is certain, viz. that the evidence you adduce in support of this position is weak and inconclusive. The first passage you quote for this purpose, is Rev. iii. 14, where Christ calls himself, “the beginning of the creation of God.” Wakefield renders the passage, “the chief of the creation of God.” If this be its meaning, it furnishes no proof that Jesus Christ was created before men. But it is probable that St. Paul means the same, by "the first born of every creature,” that is meant by “the beginning of the creation of God.” And this he explains by saying, "he is the beginning, the first born from the dead."! Here the apostle explains the first born of every creature," to signify “the first born from the
* Aton. p. 31.
† Ib. p. 31.
dead;" that is, the first who was raised to immortal life. The passage therefore does not even prove that Jesus Christ was created before men. But if it should be granted that Jesus Christ was created before Adam, what has this to do with the point in question ? If Christ was created before Adam, this furnishes no proof that Adam was created in Christ. I presume it will be conceded that angels were created before men.
But does this prove that men were created in angels? According to Moses' account, it will be seen that the beasts of the field, fowls of the air, and fishes of the sea were all created before men; and it would follow from this, that men were created in the brutes, as clearly as it follows that men were created in Jesus Christ, from the position that he was the first of God's creation.
Because it is said by Moses that man was created in the image of God, and Christ is called by the apostle, “the express image of his person,” you infer that man was created in Jesus Christ. Now this argument rests entirely on the principle that the same word has invariably the same meaning in every connexion in which it may be found. But no man of sober sense will admit such a position. Should you admit this principle, it would follow that Jesus Christ is the self-existent Jehovah, that Moses is the God of the universe, and that the Jewish rulers are the Supreme Being; for the same names and titles are applied to Jesus, Moses, and the Jewish magistrates in some passages, which in others are applied to the Deity. It would prove that Jesus Christ is literally a lamb and a lion, a shepherd, a vine, a door, a star, and at the same time a stone. It would prove that Job and Christ are one and the same being, for both are called God's servant. Nay, it would prove, that the words, create and form, have the same meaning in the first and second chapters of Genesis, because