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For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God; being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit: By which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison; which sometime were disobedient, when once the suffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls, were saved by water.

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Who shall give account to him that is ready to judge the quick and the dead. For, for this cause was the gospel preached also to them that are dead, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit.

We find no passage of scripture that expressly states, man possesses an immortal soul. The idea is not then to be expected from express testimony, but to be gathered by inference or deduction from scriptures that seem to embrace or allude to this sentiment. Although this idea is commonly held in the christian church; yet we find, it is not universally allowed. Its disallowance is necessary to the future annihilation or non-existence of the wicked; and consequently must be embraced by all who hold that doctrine. Man therefore, in his sinful state, according to that sentiment, possesses nothing to be saved, but looks for something given in regene ration, that is fit for salvation in life and immortality. When Christ came to save mankind, what, according to that doctrine, was there for him to save but mortality and dust?


-things which cannot inherit the kingdom of God? Surely nothing of a durable nature; nothing that can inherit the kingdom of God; and consequently he saves nothing, for he found nothing to save. If he give the creature a new immortal soul, it could not properly be said to be "born again." Its condition would appear more like generation than regeneration; an original birth than a second one.

Man, according to the scriptures selected, stands in a certain relation to his Maker; and from this relation, we may infer some things concerning the nature of his existence. Let the inquiry now he made, what we may understand by man's being created in the image of God? The idea of an image is that of likeness and resemblance. But God is not like corruptible things. Man, we read, was formed of the dust of the ground, with an assurance that he should return to the source from which he was taken. Can this formation be in the image of God? If so, why would not silver or gold graven by art or man's device, represent a just figure of this image? It is evident, it can of man in his earthy formation.

God is invisible, yet it is seen he exists, by visible created objects. So man meditates, reasons, approves, disapproves, plans, and designs; but the immediate origin or source of these is as invisible as our Creator. That which is the source of our thoughts, reasonings, &c is what is usually termed the soul;

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sometimes spirit; and in respect to this is man to be considered in the image of his Maker. If we could attach any ideas of form or shape to the soul, we might likewise of God, of whom we conclude man in this respect is an image.

When it was said Adam begat a son in his own likeness, after his image; and called his name Seth, we consider ourselves instructed to believe, Seth possessed the features and form of our first earthly progenitor. But when it is said, God created man in his own image, as we can have no idea of form or shape concerning our Creator, so we cannot suppose this image relates to any visible figure whatever. It cannot relate to an infallibility of nature; for though man was declared to be very good, in common with the Creator's works, he was not infallibly so. God is infallible, but man is fallible. It does not appear that any thing of a perishable nature, can possess the image of God. As the image spoken of cannot relate to form or shape, if we admit one perishable thing to be in the image of God, what rule have we by which we can exclude any other perishable thing from this title? I know not any. It appears, therefore, evident that man possesses an immortal part, in consequence of being created in the image of God. He is constitutionally fitted for happiness, and when in any degree miserable, it is by disorder, and: not from original constitutional nature.

Perhaps it will be asked how disorder can be attached to that which is constitutionally immortal? It evidently cannot, but by being united with different principles. Gold or silver can be debased by the alloy of baser me. tal; but still loses not its own innate quality, so but what it can be refined, and be pure gold or silver as it originally was. Wicked men are compared to debased silver. "Reprobute silver shall men call them, because the Lord hath rejected them."

It is conceived any thing may be properly termed immortal that has not the seeds of dissolution in its nature; yet always dependent upon the Deity, and may by his power be destroyed. God is the only being that does or ever can possess an independent and underived immortality.

When man was first created, he was said to be in the image of his Maker, but when formed of the dust of the ground, there was no mention made of the image,and undoubtedly because his formation did not at all relate to it. We sometimes hear of man's losing the image of God by what is called "the fall;" but there is no mention made of it in scripture, nor have we reason to allow the idea. God is. yet the Father of all, though not the Father of wickedness or corruptibility, as is easily proved from the scriptures, we have selecte for this purpose,

We find that notwithstanding the transgres sion of man, he is taught to pray, saying,


"Our Father which art in heaven." If God be our father, it follows that we are his children; and if children, the image in which we were created is not lost by sin. Christ exhorts the people, saying, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you and persecute_you, that ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven." If from this text, the inference be drawn, that of doing these acts of kindness constitute us the children of our heavenly Father, a disregard of them would deprive us of this privilege, it is still plain to be seen that God is the Father of them all, without any reference to their loving or hating, blessing or cursing. The text, then contains, apparently a contradiction. God is the Father of all; consequently all are his children; and yet, they are not his children, without loving and blessing their enemies, and praying for them. Let these ideas distinctly appear in their proper place, and our subject is clear. Those that are not the children of their Father, for the want of his love and kindness, are not his children in re-spect of character, and in this respect only ;: for they do not the works of their "Father in heaven, who maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust." In this sense Jesus de-nied the Jews; "If ye were Abraham's chil-dren, ye would do the works of Abraham.??'


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