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was then upon earth, must be spiritually in us, growing and increasing, still doing the same actions and miracles within us.
Now, beloved, here is a Christ indeed, that will save you ; here is a Christ, a real Christ, that will do you some good, a Christ of the Father's sending. This is the Christ which indeed alone and only will bring you to heaven, to rest and peace, and pleasures for evermore.
“But before this time, when you see the woman in travail, and she hath great pain, so that she crieth out extremely, and hath bitter pains, I say bitter pangs, then you may know, and be assured, the child it is struggling to be born, and is near its delivery. That is, when this beloved old man (our own will, our selfwill) as the scripture terms him, who was never by us denied anything he desired, but all was carried on smoothly, according to his own desire; and now to be crossed, thwarted, and contradicted, oh! this is great pain to him! Oh! he cries out like a travailing woman! Oh! he would by no means forsake him. self, his own will, his own pleasure, his own profit, and take up his cross to follow Christ! What, forsake all that is dear to him, and so highly prized by him? This is death to him. Oh! when you hear your flesh cry out, Oh! would to God I had never been born, then I had never seen this day: Oh! let me die, let me die! I am weary of my life. When ye hear him, like Job, bitterly curse the day of his birth ; oh, beloved, this day is a terribie day to flesh and blood : it never saw such a day. Oh! it's a bloody day; it comes with a terrible, confused noise of the warriors, and garments rolled in blood, as the prophet speaks. It was never so haled and pulled: this was the flesh, t'other way the spirit, poor heart: it was never so torn in pieces : and full loath is the soul to come into this death: it will use all shifts to avoid it; for it is very, very terrible to flesh and blood. But know, beloved, when these pains are upon you, then the child is at the birth, near to be delivered. Indeed, this is, as the same prophet saith, 'a day of trouble and treading down; of perplexity, by the Lord God of Hosts in the valley of vision, breaking down the walls, and crying to the mountains.''
All this seems much to the point, but when we come to examine the work more closely, and look a little below the surface, we find a gross error, indeed, what we may justly call a shocking heresy, running through and tainting the whole work. The nature of this heresy will be apparent from a few extracts.
The subject of the first sermon is, “Have salt in yourselves,” and is what Mr. Garrard, in his preface, calls “a salt-and-fire sermon.' “The salt" in the text Dr. Everard considers to be Christ.
“But, to be short, and without any more circumstances (that we may come to the matter intended) the fire and the salt are both one, and that is Christ himself, as I have told you : he is the fire, so he is the salt, as the apostle saith (Heb. ii. 11), 'But he that sanctifieth, and they who are sanctified are all one.'* So Jesus Christ is the fire that salteth, and the salt wherewitha it salteth, as is expressed in the verse before the text.”
The Doctor, having given several reasons why Christ is compared to "salt,” adds this notable one:
But, beloved, to me all these reasons are but external common reasons; but the only and trae reason, and that wbich I conceive is chiefly intended is this,
“ That as salt is, for so it is, the central existence of everything; that is, salt is the substance, the strength, supporter, knitter and compacter of every visible mixed body: so is Christ to every creature. (Rev. iii. 14.) He is the beginning of the creation of God, and the mighty bearer, supporter, and upholder, bearing up all things by his mighty word and power.' (Heb. i. 3, and Col. i. 17.) 'Ho
* The apostle does not say so. His words are, “all of one,” which has a very different meaning. But this is not the only place where the Doctor wrests and misinterprets the Scripture.
is before all things, and by him all things consist;' and (Heb. iii. 14,) 'For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our coofidence stedfast unto the end. Take this as a maxim, there is no one thing in the world, but salt is the strength, the knitter, the supporter, the sustainer, the compacter of it; nay, if you knew all, the very sperm of nature, and the working spirit through the whole creation that it can never rest, but is always in co-agitation and operation; and there is nothing in the earth that you can give me, but I can give you the salt of it; as take a leaf, wherein you may think there can be no salt; but there is in it salt, and so in all other things : and indeed that is the life of every thing; the greenness, nor the form, nor any thing visible to the tye is not the salt, and yet salt is in it, though you see it not; even so is Christ that salt of every thing; it is he who fills all things, he who knits and upholds all things, is the essence, being, knitter, compacter, the spirit and life of all things, though you see him not; nay, more than all this, he is the very salt of the salt; for saith the apostle, “He is before all things, even the first-born of every creature, and he by whom all things consist."
The natural assumption which he here makes, that “salt is the central existence of every thing," we believe to be utterly false in fact, though the then state of chemical knowledge might have led the Doctor into the error. This, however, we pass by. It is against the monstrous doctrine inculcated thereby that we contend. Now, let us see how the Doctor applies his natural analogy:
“ He, in regard of himself, seasons all alike; he in himself doth not season some more, and some less ; or some have him, and some have him not: but as it was in the gathering of manna, they all gathered enough, though some gathered more, some less; they lacked not, nor had they any left: so Christ is in every one, in regard of himself, alike ; that is, the essential presence and being of Christ in every one alike, but not the perception and participation of him. He in himself is the form of forms, the soul of thy soul; yea, the soul of the whole world, yea, and of the whole creation, both of heaven and earth; and he cannot be more in one place than in another. But here, to have salt is to see, to know, to feel, and believe, and to be assured in ourselves that we have this salt, and that Christ is in us. Christ is, in regard of himself, every where, and in every one alike, but every one believes it not alike.”
The doctrine here taught cannot be misunderstood. Look at the following sentence:-—"He, in regard of himself, seasons all alike." “Christ is in every one, in regard of himself, alike; that is the essential presence and being of Christ in every one alike, but not the perception and participation of him. Christ is, in regard of himself, everywhere and in every one alike, but every one believes it not alike.”
The horrid lengths to which he carries this doctrine will be clear from our next extract:
“ Beloved, take knowledge of this, that the King of Glory is within you already: as when Elisha and his servant were environed round about with enemies, the mountains round the city full of chariots and armed men, his servant was afraid; but Elisha comforts him, and tells him there was no cause of fear; for they had more with them to preserve and defend them, than there was to offend and destroy them; for saith he, there are round about us chariots and horsemen for our defence : Elisha's eyes were open, and he saw them present; but his servant's were shut, and therefore he could not see them, although they were as near to him as to his master: then Elisha prayed, saith the text, that his servant's eyes might be opened, and immediately it was so, and then he also saw the chariots and horsemen, and fire round about them to defend them : they were there before he saw them, and his not seeing them did not make them not there: so Christ doth not then come into thy soul when
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thou first seest him there, when he works in thee as to thy sight and feeling, when he lives in thee; but then you come to know him and see him there, and then you come to know, ye are not reprobates, because he dwells in you workingly, apparently to your sight and feeling. For if you were reprobates, yea devils, yea, the blackest devils in hell, yet he is in you : no place, no creature can exclude him. The earth and heavens, yea, the heaven of heavens cannot contain him; no, nor exclude him, nor is he uny more in the highest glorious heaven, than he is in the lowest hell, than he is in the very prince of devils. But this they know not, they cannot see him in them, they are not able to see that be acts in them, and by them, but they think they act, live, and work by their own power, 'thinking that they fulfil only their own wills, their own malice, and do what they please, but they and we are both deceived."
We must call attention to two sentences in the above extract. We must take the liberty to call them horrid sentences. were reprobates, yea, devils, yea, the blackest devils in hell, yet he is in you; no place, no creature can exclude him. The earth and heavens, yea, the heaven of heavens cannot contain him; no, nor exclude him; nor is he any more in the highest, glorious heaven, than he is in the lowest hell, than he is in the very prince of devils.”
“ The blessed Son of God in the very prince of devils !" Does the “ Watchman on the Walls" believe this doctrine ? We think he must indeed have had his “ dark lantern” in his hand not to see the grossest error and heresy in such a sentiment as this. What foundation is there in the word of God for such statements? Where do those“ living oracles” declare that the blessed Immanuel " is not any more in the highest, glorious heaven than he is in the lowest heli, than he is in the very prince of devils ?” So far from being a scriptural doctrine, it is a branch of Deism, and is called by the learned, Pantheism,” which means that God dwells in all things and persons alike.
The root of this error lies here, that the Doctor confounds Christ's universal
presence as God with his spiritual presence as God-Man with his dear people, and, by so doing, has destroyed all the land marks between elect and reprobate, saints and devils, as well as laid a foundation for an experience equally delusive and erroneous. But how great must be that error which thus recklessly disannuls the highest and dearest privileges and blessings of the church! The indwelling of Christ in his church is one of her most precious blessings: “I in them, and thou in me.” (John xvii. 23.) “At that day ye shall know that I in
(John xiv. 20.) But if the Lord of life and glory dwell alike (for that is Everard's doctrine) in all, even in the blackest devils in hell, it is no privilege or blessing at all, and which belongs no more exclusively to her than it does to Satan. According to the testimony of the Holy Ghost, Christ dwells in the hearts of the saints by faith, (Eph. iii. 17,) through the communication of the Spirit, (1 John iii. 24, iv. 13; 1 Cor. vi. 17, 19,) as the hope of glory. (Col. i. 27.) As the Father dwells in Him, so does Christ dwell in his saints. “ I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one." (John xvii. 23.) But have devils and reprobates faith? Are they temples of the Holy Ghost? Have they a hope of glory? Or are
and I in you.
they made perfect in one with the Father and the Son? But as these blessings are all connected with, and flow out of the indwelling of Cbrist with his people, these consequences must follow if Everard's doctrine be true. To say then that Chrst dwells in all alike, yea in reprobates and devils, is outrageous and monstrous doctrine.
Most gross errors and heresies are founded upon some certain and acknowledged truth. It is in the misapplication or confusion of the truth that the heresy lies. Thus, the Socinian heresy rests on a cer.. tain truth-that Christ was really man; but this truth they misapply when they endeavour thereby to disprove his Godhead. So Christ's universal presence is a certain truth; but it is not true that because Christ is universally present as God, he dwells in all as God. He sees all things and all persons, and is about them, but not in them. These are two very different things. But first to mistake Christ's universal presence as God, and then to confonnd this misstated universal presence as God with bis spiritual presence as God-Man, is to teach awful error.
False doctrine invariably leads to false experience, and this we find exemplified in Dr. Everard. His doctrine of Christ dwelling in all alike quite throws down all the visitations and manifestations of Christ to his people. Look at the following extract:
“ Be not deceived, to think God comes or goes, for he cannot remove from place to place; he cannot fill you more than he hath filled you already; neither can he be nearer you than he is ; for he is one entire act of being, filling all things with his infinity; he cannot come nor go, nor remove, nor change, nor be more in one place, nor in one man more than in another; and yet David bids us' Open our gates that the king of glory may come in; stand open ye everlasting doors that the King of Glory may come in!' yet this is a certain truth, he cannot come in more than he is already come in : but the meaning must needs be, set open the eyes and doors of your knowledge and understanding, receive him more into your experience and feeling." What unscriptural sentiments are here expressed !
“ He cannot fill you more than he hath filled you already; neither can he be nearer you than he is.” “He cannot come nor go; nor be more in one place, nor in one man more than in another." How opposed is this sentiment to such scriptures as, “I will not leave you
comfortless; I will come unto you.” “Ye have beard how I said unto you, I go away, and come again unto you. “If a man love me, he will keep my words, and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.” “But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send." (John xiv. 18, 23, 26, 28.) “But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father," &c. “If I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart I will send him unto you."
Howbeit, when he the Spirit of truth is come.” (John xv. 26; xvi. 7, 8.) “While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word.”* (Acts . 44.)
“ And when Paul bad laid his hands upon them the Holy Ghost came on them.” (Acts xix. 6.). "O, when wilt thou come unto me.” (Ps. ci. 2.) Ànd not only is the whole language of Scripture opposed to the philosophical, heretical sentiment of Everard, that “Christ
dwells in all alike," but all the experience of the saints cuts it into & thousand pieces. Are not all the saints seeking or enjoying the visits of the Lord to their souls? The coming and going of the Lord, his drawing near to their hearts and withdrawing himself, his approaching nigh and standing afar off, are as much a matter of spiritual experience as the sun's rising and setting are matters of natural observation. And what a misapplication and false spiritualization of the passage from Psalm xxiv. 7, does he make, when the passage clearly refers to the ascension of Christ into heaven as the risen Mediator !
But now let us see how the Doctor handles this doctrine of Christ's universal presence as a matter of experience. For that is the grand test of truth and error:
“ But, beloved, give me leave, that you may understand me, if it please God to open your eyes to let you see these hidden secrets, which are kept close from ages and from generations. I will, in the plainest manner that I can, show you how Jesus Christ is said to be in you. That is, when he so begins to arise in you, that his fame spreads far and near, when he shows his own actions in you; for know this, Christ is always in you; he is at no time absent; as soon as ever ye began to have a being, he was in you in regard of himself, though you saw him not, because he is infinite; for that which is infinite is in all places, it is excluded out of no place; for if any place, if any creature, the least that is, were without him, he were not infinite; and because he is infinite, he is equally present in all places at once, and in all places alike: he cannot be more in one place than another; for if he should, he could not be infinite; and because he is infinite, he is and he must needs be all-present, in all places at once.
“ These things are out of all question, and known by every one that understandeth anything: I think none will deny them. He is as well in a dead wi. thered branch as in a green flourishing tree; but in the living branch, we see him grow and put forth his life: and so likewise he is in the deadest, rottenest member that is, as well as in the fruitfulest Christian : but here is the difference, in the one we see him not, we see not his life and fruit, but the contrary, and therefore he is in such a member as dead, dead to him, and dead, in appearance, to others; yea, that member is, as it were, twice dead and pulled up by the roots, as the apostle saith, and fit for nothing but to be condemned to the fire; for Jesus Christ, although be be in them as much as in the living bough or branch, yet to them he is dead and buried, and lives not in them and to them.
“Give me leave, and I will show, in some particular actions, what Christ did and dotb, when he begins to live in a man; for, till he begins to show the actions of life, he is as if he were dead, or not there. I will only touch upon some of his actions, which may be as a key to open and interpret the meaning of all the rest: for it is impossible to speak of all the actions that he did and doth; for the whole world were not able to contain the books which might be written of them, saith St. John; that is, of those actions and mighty miracles, that of which it is said, he goes up and down working daily, and doing good internally and spiritually in the souls of men.
“But the first motive that induceth, shows and persuades us that Christ is alive in us, in his nativity; which you know in the days of his flesh was first proclaimed by one angel, and afterwards by a whole choir of angels; the whole creation; and every creature sounds forth aloud his praises.
“When God hath once sent this one angel, or messenger, into thy soul, to show us, and to proclaim the reality and being of Christ in every creature, then thousands of angels sing the same to us, then every creature proclaims him with a loud voice (viz., to him who hath this light sent into his soul) that there is now to us a Son born, and to us a Child is given: glory only be to God in the highest, on earth peace; good will towards men: then all the angels, that is, all the creatures, they all jointly and harmoniously sing the same tune to us.