Clerical Theology Unscriptural – Part 2

07/11/2011

Continuing on from Part 1 this article written over 100 years ago by John Thomas is republished because of it’s excellent Biblical exposition. Written in the unusual style of a conversation it has very helpful Bible proofs which expose the error of mainstream Christianity.

BOANERGES AND HERESIAN.

HERESIAN: You do not seem to entertain any more respect for the Church than for the Romish and Protestant ministries. Are you not aware that the Church is a most august institution, and that, in the words of the Lord Bishop of Oxford, “its vocation is resistance to innovation “? He says that “what was handed down as Christian doctrine was true, and that the office-bearers of religion had no right to admit the question of private judgment, but were called upon to declare heretical all dogmas not sustained by that venerable authority. If the House of Lords supersede the church’s function of deciding what was truth, it would promote the infidel spirit of the age, which denied the existence of truth itself” (Dispatch, June 9th, 1850). This is apostolical, for it is the judgment of a right reverend successor of the apostles. He says, that it is the church that is to decide what truth is: hence the laity of course have nothing to do but to believe what the church decrees; and to exercise private judgment to ascertain whether what the church teaches is really truth or not is sheer presumption. The church has handed down “baptismal regeneration,” “infant damnation,” “infant salvation,” “immortal soulism,” etc., and declares them to be a part of the truth; therefore, although you seem to have the better of the argument, I cannot release my hold upon them, until I am convinced that the “venerable authority” of the church is unworthy of respect.

BOANERGES: His lordship’s opinion is a piece of prelatical arrogance and absurdity. “The Church” is a mere fiction ; a phrase signifying nothing definite in the use of it. “The Church says” is of the same force as “they say” a sort of ecclesiastical on dit, which signifies anybody, somebody, or nobody says. North of the Tweed, the church says that prelacy is abomination ; on the South, that it is a true and wholesome apostolic institution. It pronounces a thing to be truth in one latitude, and error in another. If by “the church,” he means the Church of England, his assumption is preposterous. What order of its communion has authority to lord it over men’s consciences? The Episcopal? The Bench of Bishops? Are these the men to decide what truth is? Proud, fleshly minded, worldly men, ignorant of the gospel and reprobate concerning the faith! Men so dark in the mysteries of their own craft that a council of laymen are obliged to interfere to prevent them from becoming the byword and laughing-stock of the people?

HERESIAN: But, my dear friend, do you mean to say that the ‘Church of Christ is a mere fiction? If not, please define it.

BOANERGES: The Church of Christ, or as it is also styled, “The Church of the living God,” is easily defined. Church is a word representative of the Greek noun ecclesia. This is formed of (ek) “out of,” and “to call,” and signifies an assembly convened by a call or invitation. An ecclesia of Christ is a congregation called together out of the world by the invitation contained’ in the gospel of the Kingdom. Such is in general terms a Church of Christ. The national churches of England, Scotland, and Ireland, have no affinity with such a church. These national establishments constitute “the world” in contradistinction to “the Church of the living God,” being composed of “all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life” (1 John ii. 16). Their bishops, priests, and ministers are men of the world, who “love the world, and the things that are in the world;” therefore, “the love of the Father is not in them” (1 John ii. 15). They are proud, carnally-minded men, especially the bishops, who owe their wealth and dignity to the friendship of the world. Being of the world, the world loves them; for “it loves its own.” If the world did not love them, it would not make them dignitaries of a worldly, or state-church; but because it loves them, it promotes them to glory and honour. The State finds them to be useful tools in promoting its policy; therefore it makes use of them on the principle of you fiddle to me, and I’ll dance to you! These are stubborn and notorious facts. Clergymen are made bishops on political grounds. Whig ministers turn whig clerks into bishops for whig purposes. Whig and tory premiers never think of translating one of “the meek” (Matt. v. 5), or “the poor” (James ii. 5), to a seat in “the House” as a spiritual lord, however well-skilled they may be in the truth. The principles of these “Heirs of the Kingdom” and inheritors of the earth would be too independent, too just and honest, for their crooked purposes. In truth, premiers would not know when they had found a disciple of Christ; for “the world knoweth them not:” neither would a disciple condescend to sit in such “a Synagogue of Satan” as the House of Lords. It is a fit place enough for bishops: for being the enemies of God and the blasphemers of His name, they are at home there with the hereditary folly and incarnate wickedness of the age.

HERESIAN: Why, Boanerges, you strike me dumb! What! our holy bishops, the office-bearers of the religion of England’s venerable church the enemies of God, whose special heritage they claim to be?

BOANERGES: It is even so; for it is written,” the friendship of the world is enmity with God; whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God” (James iv. 4). This is an apostle’s testimony against them who claim to be his successors: and I have already proved that they are blasphemers of God’s name in pretending to regenerate an infant by sprinkling it with mesmerised water, which they call “holy,” in “the name of the ever-blessed Trinity” as their phrase is! They are the devout worshippers of Mammon; for they love money and are covetous. They cannot therefore be the servants of God (Matt. vi. 19-21, 24; Luke xii. 15-21: xvi. 13). They dare not deny the applicability of these things to themselves; for if they did the world whom they serve would with one voice proclaim them liars. The Bible, which they absurdly and impiously proclaim to be their religion, condemns them as idolaters; as it is written, “Covetousness is idolatry” (Col. iii. 5). It therefore excludes them from the kingdom of God. “Know this,” saith the scripture, “that no covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God” (Eph. v. 5). Your clergy are notorious friends of the world and servants of Mammon. They may cry, “The people of the Lord are we!” But it is a vain cry. They may prophesy in his name; cast out demons in his name; and do wonderful works in it too: but while they “work iniquity” as idolaters and blasphemers the Lord repudiates all relationship with them. Whatever offices therefore they bear belong to Mammon’s church and not to God’s.

HERESIAN: If then I understand you in relation to “church,” the word in the Bible sense does not signify the Bishops and their clergy, a parish house, kirk or conventicle?

BOANERGES: In no case. The Bishops and their men have arrogated to themselves the word clergy, which in scripture is applied to a church or ecclesia. But it does not belong to them, for it is a word that pertains only to an aggregation of Christians, which they are not either in faith or practice. The word is used by the apostle Peter (1 Pet. v. 3) in the plural number, as med’ hos kata-kurieuontes ton kleron, that is, “neither as being lords over the clergies” or heritages, “but being examples of their flock”. The “Flock of God “is made up of “the heritages” or congregations-an aggregation of the clergies or churches which are constituted of all the faithful, both men and women, and not of a particular order of men ruling over the flock. Those whom Peter exhorted to feed the flock were “shepherds,” not wolves in sheep’s clothing like the clergy of the Apostasy. They were servants, not lords: servants of God and fellow-servants of His laity. As to” houses made with hands” God has none such upon the earth at present. There is an instance in the clerical version of the Bible where “religious houses “are termed” churches” (Acts xix. 37). But the word used by the writer was hierosylos from hieron, a temple, and sylao, to despoil; and not a compound of ecclesia. It should, therefore, have been rendered” robbers of temples” and not “robbers of churches,” as king James’ bishops and clergy have given it. According to their carnal notions “church” was a capital rendering for hieron; for when clericalism got the upper hand of paganism, under Constantine and his successors, it seized upon the temples of the gods and turned them into temples of saints. Hence through their teaching the idea has fastened itself upon the public mind, that these houses dedicated to saints are” houses of God” where He dwells in spirit and meets with the people in prayer; so that when they go up to the parish temple, or conventicle even, they vainly imagine that they are going up to the house of God. In this respect they are as blind as the old Athenians, and like them have got to learn that “the Lord of heaven and earth dwelleth not in temples made with hands” (Acts xvii. 24), but in the heavens.

HERESIAN: But what better name could have been given to the houses in which parishioners meet for divine worship than that of “church”?

BOANERGES: A better name hath been bestowed upon them by the spirit of God If the churches or heritages of God met in the parish temples there might be some “show of wisdom” in naming the house after the company it contained. They are in truth mausolea of the dead -tombs of the mouldering dead, and places of resort to “the dead in trespasses and in sins.” You err, Heresian, in styling the worship “performed” there “Divine Worship.” It is a mere “show of wisdom in will-worship and humility” according to act of Parliament, which authorizes certain “commandments and doctrines of men” to be observed throughout the land. “Divine Worship” is worship of divine appointment such as that of the Mosaic Law, and the worship of the primitive Christians. God never appointed the English and Scotch parochial and cathedral worship; it is therefore not divine; and as He had not required it, it is vain and useless, having the divine reprobation stamped upon it in these words, “in vain do they worship, Me teaching for doctrines the commandments of men (Matt. xv. 9).

The better name for the clerical temples is recorded in Daniel (Dan. xi. 39), namely, Betzari Mauzzirn or BAZAARS OF PROTECTORS. This title defines them exactly. The steepled houses are Bazaars or places of spiritual merchandize. The parochial and cathedral clergy are the merchants (Rev. xviii. 23); and tithes and souls of men, which they drug with their spiritual nostrums, under pretence of “curing” them, the merchandize in which they traffic (Rev. xviii. 11-13). They have carried on an enormous trade in these things ever since the Roman Emperors, the chiefs of the Dragon power (Rev. xiii. 2, 4), enabled them to open shop. ‘ They have acquired vast riches by the sale of their trumpery. But, God be thanked, a time is rapidly approaching when “no man buyeth their merchandize any more.” Their occupation will soon be gone, and men will have a glorious day after God shall have destroyed the craft by which they have their wealth.*

I saw a remarkable illustration of the appropriateness of the name “Bazaar” to religious meeting houses the other day while sojourning in Derby. There were bills with the word “Bazaar” in large capitals stuck up in nearly every window announcing that a Bazaar would be held there for the sale of fancy articles, and the exhibition of a model steam engine, for the pious purpose of raising the wind to enable “the church” to pay off the debt incurred in building a house for God! People of all denominations were invited to “come and buy” wares, which might doubtless be obtained for two hundred per cent. less at any other shops in the town. A bazaar was to have been held at Saint Warburg’s, one of the national temples, but was deferred for a year!

Vast numbers of these clerical bazaars are devoted to Mauzzim or Protectors. When the clergy seized upon the temples of the pagans they changed their dedications. While in the hands of the pagans they were inscribed to Mars, Bacchus, Apollo, Diana, Venus, and so forth, who were regarded as the protecting gods and goddesses of the temples bearing their several inscriptions ; but when the clergy got possession of them they changed the protectors’ names. By an apotheosis common to themselves and the heathen, they deified the “souls,” or ghosts, of dead men and women, called them “saints,” and adored them as guardians or protectors.

* The following passage from Scott’s Commentary may not be without use in this place, seeing that he is an “orthodox “authority. In commenting upon the merchandize of the Harlot, as described in Rev. xviii. 9-19, he says:-

“To number ‘ the persons of men ‘ with oxen and homes is no doubt a most detestable and antichristian practice, fit only for ‘ Babylon the great.’ Yet even this, cruel, unrighteous, and hateful as it is, must not be considered as the worst traffic even of this our land. for ‘ the souls of men ‘ are traded for by those who take the cure of them for the sake of the emolument, and the abundance of delicacies obtained by it; and then either leave them to perish in ignorance, or poison them by heresy, or lead them on the road to hell by a profligate example: strenuously and by every calumny, if stronger means are withheld, opposing all who attempt to prevent the dire effects of their vile Conduct. Many of these spiritual wickednesses, and this merchandize of souls-by feigned words, equivocating subscriptions and declarations, nay, worshipping God in expressions which are avowedly deemed false by those who use them, and all this for filthy lucre’s sake – will be found under different forms even in the Protestant Churches: and perhaps no denomination is quite free from the guilt of rendering religious profession and sacred functions subservient to worldly interest, credit, ease, and indulgence. In these things we ought to come out and separate from Babylon, if we would not partake of her plagues.”

“This is strong enough, coming as it does from a churchman; but the notorious fact is that ‘ the cure of souls is sold at the auction marts in England on the same principle as shares in banks or railways. The same office, which will give you information as to the one, affords information for the most eligible investment of money as to the other.’ So much for one sample of the Harlot’s merchandize in England: and the harlot may be known by her wares.”- Andrew Jukes,

Diana and Venus were superseded by the Virgin Mary, Veronica, etc.; Mars, Jupiter, and others, by Peter, James, John, etc. Men and women, temples and nations, statues and pictures, have all their Mauzzim or protecting saints and saintesses throughout “Christendom” to this day; and so excessive and gross is this superstition that lest any should be omitted, Church-of-England office-bearers, for certain handsome sums of gold, have dedicated and consecrated Bazaars to “All Saints” and “All Souls !” Precious “graces” and right-reverences these to declare what is heretical or true! It is such as they that are alone the real promoters of the infidel spirit of the age, causing as they do the way of truth to be denied and blasphemed by their pernicious practices.

HERESIAN: Then you deny that cathedrals, parish houses and conventicles are “churches” in any scriptural sense, and that the worshippers at the altars are the people of the Lord?

BOANERGES: I do in all good conscience before God. There has been no temple on the earth made with hands since the destruction of the temple in Jerusalem by the Romans belonging to the Lord; and there will be none until “the Man whose name is the Branch shall build the temple of the Lord” (Zech. vi. 12, 13; Jer. xxiii. 5; Isa. xi. 1), described by Ezekiel (Ezek. xxxvii. 28: xl. 5: xli. 1). Among the Gentiles the Lord’s temple is his people, and not a house of wood, stone, or brick. Addressing those in Corinth who had been washed, sanctified, and justified by the Name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of God (1 Cor. vii. II), the apostle inquires, “Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? The temple of God is holy, which ye are ‘ (1 Cor. iii. 9, 16,17). And to the same class of people in Israel he says, “We are Christ’s house if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end” (Heb. iii. 6). And another apostle saith to the same class of people, “Ye as living stones are built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God by Jesus Christ: ye are chosen a generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should show forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light” (1 Pet. if. 5, 9). These things are affirmed of the men and women who had” purified their souls in obeying the truth through the spirit unto unfeigned love of one another.” There were no clergy then as distinguished from “the laity.” All the laoi of Christ were God’s lot, inheritance, or clergy. The elders, overseers, and rulers among them were inspired men-men super-naturally endowed “for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the Body of Christ” (Eph. iv. 12); still they were no more than brethren highly esteemed for their work’s sake. There are no such divinely qualified men now in or out of the “one Body” of Christ. Bishops, priests, ministers, apostles, angels, prophets, evangelists, pastors, elders, teachers, or preachers, whether state or nonconformist, Irvingite, Mormon, or Southcotite, and all such-are but a miserable imitation. and counterfeit of the meek and humble men through whom the Holy Spirit manifested itself for the profit of all their faithful brethren (1 Cor. xii. 7). Instead of being the Lord’s people they are mere interlopers and usurpers who have started into life out of that “Mystery of Iniquity” which was concocted by their reverences Hymeneus and Philetus, Phygellus and Hermogenes, Alexander the coppersmith, Demas and Diotrephes, Nicolas, and other “dogs” of whom, saith the apostle, “beware” (Phil. iii. 2).

HERESIAN: You bring strange things to my ears, and with a boldness and weight of testimony which shakes my faith in the whole ecclesiastical establishment of Christendom. You speak as though it were impossible you could be mistaken in what you say. None of our divines talk to us of these things; how is this?

BOANERGES: Because they are too high for them, they cannot attain them. “How can they believe who receive honour one of another; and seek nor the honour that comes from God only?” Fettered by their creeds and articles which they must stomach or lose their stipends, they dare not do otherwise than profess to “believe what the church believes” whether they can understand it or not. The “office-bearers” of their superstition will not admit the right of private judgment. They must swallow the whole herd of camels, or renounce the service of “the church.” This church-authority is their ruin; for seeking to please men they renounce the service of Christ (Gal. i. 10). “The fear of man bringeth a snare.” It is by this that the clergy are bound hand and foot; so that they can and dare only to speak as the scribes. It is “yea and nay” with them; but with those whom the truth has freed it is “amen in Christ Jesus.” I believe, therefore do! speak; it is for you to judge what I say. If I speak according to the Law and the Testimony, it is at your peril to reject what is said; but if I speak not according to these, then my speech is no more to be regarded than the opinions and assumptions of your “divines” of Exeter, Oxford, and Canterbury.

HERESIAN: Seeing then that you have upset all my notions of “Church” will you be kind enough to define it in such particular terms that I may be able to know when I have the happiness of forming the acquaintance of one of those “living stones” of which the Lord’s” spiritual house” is built?

BOANERGES: A very reasonable request. The Holy Oracles then, teach us that a Church of Christ is an assembly of men and women who, believing the Gospel of the Kingdom of God and the Name of Jesus, separate themselves from sinners, and are imbued with the spirit of the truth, as illustrated by the disposition and lives of the prophets and’ apostles; and who, upon an intelligent, love-working, and heart-purifying faith, have been immersed into the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit; and thenceforth perfect their faith by walking in the steps of Abraham’s faith, which he had being yet uncircumcised. Nations and their kings, bishops and clergy, have nothing to do with such a church as this but to do their best to corrupt or suppress it. It is composed of “the poor of this world, rich in faith, whom God hath chosen to be the heirs of the kingdom which he hath promised to them that love him” (James ii. 5). “He scatters the proud in the imaginations of their hearts; he puts down the mighty from their thrones, and exalts them of low degree. He fills the hungry with good things, and the rich he sends empty away.” The dignitaries of church and state, and the wealthy of the land are in their life-time now receiving their consolation. It is as impossible for them to enter into the Kingdom of God as it is for a camel to go through the eye of a needle (Matt. xix. 23, 24). They must renounce the world and the flesh, and humble themselves that they may be exalted in due time. They must come to regard themselves simply as stewards of the riches they possess, and make such a use of them as God has marked out in the scriptures of truth (Luke xvi. 9-13; Acts iv. 32; 1 Tim. vi. 9, 10, 17-19). A man cannot lay up for himself and his heirs treasure upon earth as the clergy and sons of pride are wont to do, and have also treasure in heaven (Matt. vi. 19-21). If a man be parsimonious toward God, he will give sparingly to him (2 Cor. vi. 6). It is he only shall become fat who deviseth liberal things.

HERESIAN: I perceive, then, that the church of Rome and the family of churches that has been born of her, do not constitute “the Church of Christ which he hath purchased with his own blood?”

BOANERGES: You are perfectly correct in this; and, therefore, to none of them in whole or in part has God committed the high office of “deciding what is truth,” as Oxford saith, or of “making known to the principalities and powers in the heavenlies the manifold wisdom of God” (Eph. iii. 10). Their clergies do not know what it is, therefore it is impossible they can declare it to the princes and potentates of the nations. They can make known to them the mysteries of Romanism, Calvinism, Lutheranism, Wesleyism, and so forth; but then these schisms are no part of “the manifold wisdom of God.” The church of Christ fulfilled its mission in this particular in the first century of its existence; but the circumstances under which it is placed in the nineteenth, render it impossible to do so now. The “principalities and power in the heavenlies” are inaccessible to the members of the One Body. They are hedged in by the resistances of the State-Churches-the harlot-daughters of the drunken woman (Rev. xvii. 5)-whose “office-bearers” take good care that nothing shall get at them but their own “philosophy and vain deceit.” Were a man now to stand in their presence and explain to them the manifold wisdom of God in regard to His kingdom and the name of Jesus, they would not believe, for there would be Satan standing at their right hand in the persons of the archbishops and bishops of their respective superstitions, ready to withstand him and to turn them away from the faith by perverting the right way of the Lord. Imagine the Queen of these realms listening to me upon the subject of “baptismal regeneration” and “the church,” and then turning to their right reverences of Exeter and Oxford, and saying, “My lords, are these things indeed so? Am I in very deed only the ‘ head ‘ of a synagogue of Satan whose ‘ transformed ministers ‘ (2 Cor. xi. 13-15) ye are? The ‘Defender of the Faith,’ not of Christ, but of the apostasy that was to come? (2 Thess. if. 3). Is this the spirituality of which ye are the lords and myself the Queen?” What else would they reply but “Certainly not, your Majesty: this Boanerges is a pestilent fellow, and ringleader of heretics, whose doctrine if received would turn the world upside down. Ours is the true church which your majesty and all your predecessors from the great and pious Henry VIII. (except the bloody Mary and that rascal Cromwell) so highly adorn. What it has handed down as true is true, and not to be disputed. Whatsoever is contrary thereto is false and heretical, and he that utters it ought to be turned over to Satan that he may learn not to blaspheme.”

HERESIAN: If the bishops and their clergy had you at their disposal, you would have no reason to rejoice in their tender mercies! But returning to baptismal regeneration, I should like to know in few words the order in which believers’ regeneration was changed into infant-regeneration.

BOANERGES: The “bath of regeneration” (2 Cor. xi. 113-15), (loutron palingenesias), as the apostle styles” the bath of the water” (loutron tou hydatos), was first converted into “holy water” by a supposed admixture with spirit. This spirit in the water was then assumed to be a sufficient substitute for faith in the gospel; which led to the change of the subject to be bathed from an adult to an infant. Baptismal regeneration was then complete, consisting of the dipping of an infant in the bath instead of a believing adult. A further improvement, however, was deemed expedient on account of its convenience in the countries subject to the pope. On the ground that a few drops of holy water “rightly administered” were as sanctifying as an ocean, “the church” decreed its homeopathic, or infinitesimal, exhibition ! Sprinkling, or rhantism was to be called baptism, and “the sign of the cross ‘ was to be added. In this way a distinguishing” mark (Rev. xiii. 16) was set upon the pope’s subjects, both loyal and rebellious; so that wherever the spirit of the system of which he is the head prevails, there the sprinkling of infants is practised, and stoutly maintained in the face of scripture, reason and common sense.

HERESIAN: You deny then that infants can be regenerated?

BOANERGES: I affirm that the Scriptures do not teach regeneration to infants. The regeneration taught there has relation to men and women (John i. 12-13: iii. 5), to the Twelve Tribes of Israel (Matt. xix. 48), and to the nations (Psalm lxxii. 11, 17), as such. They record the generation of things and their degeneration; and predict also their regeneration. The order of the degeneration is revealed as the order of the regeneration, and may be stated thus-

DEGENERATION.

The understanding darkened (Gen. 3:1-6).
The moral sentiments or heart defiled (Gen. 3:7-10).
Disobedience, or sin, the fruit of lust and unbelief (Jas. 1:14-15).
God’s displeasure incurred (Gen. 3:16-19).
Death and corruption the
REGENERATION.

The understanding enlightened (Acts 26:18).
The heart purified (Acts 15).
Obedience the fruit of faith (1 Pet. 1:22).
The favour of God regained (Acts 2:38; 10:43).
Life and incorruptibility the consequence (Gen. iii. 16-19). result (Rom. vi. 22). Before men or nations can be regenerated they must be enlightened; and the knowledge by which this is effected must be divine knowledge, for mere human knowledge is incapable of purifying the heart of man. Divine knowledge, which is God’s, when believed with “full assurance” (Heb. v. 11 ‘ x. 22) works obedience to His law, which is the point at which union with Him ensues, as the disobedience was the crisis where separation between God and man occurred. Thus the favour of God was lost by unbelief and transgression, and may be regained by the opposite, that is, by faith and obedience. This “obedience of faith” (Rom. xvi. 26 ; iii. 27) begins with the gospel of the kingdom obeyed, and continues in the practice of the truth until death terminates the conflict between “the law of sin” and “the law of the spirit” (Rom. vii. 23: viii. 2) within us. Read the testimonies I have adduced, Heresian, and then say if you find infant regeneration taught in the Word of God.

HERESIAN: I admit that I do not ‘ but do you in rejecting the doctrine of baptismal regeneration also reject the doctrine of baptism for the remission of sin? Is it not a scriptural doctrine?

BOANERGES: If by “baptism” is to be understood the sprinkling, pouring, or dipping of a man in water, saying “I baptise thee into the name,” etc., without regard to faith, or the quality of the faith, which is determined by the things believed, I say that the dogma of remission of sins in baptism is unscriptural. There can be no remission of sins without belief of “the truth as it is in Jesus;” for it is the “faith that works by love and purifies the heart” that is counted to a man for righteousness. He must not only have faith, but it must be the “one faith” (Eph. iv. 5), even the belief of “the things concerning the Kingdom of God and the Name of Jesus Christ'” for the condition is, “He that believes the gospel (Mark xvi. 15-16; Rom. i. 16-17) and is baptised shall be saved.”

HERESIAN: What is faith?

BOANERGES: “The substance of things hoped for, and the evidence of things unseen” (Heb. xi. 1).

HERESIAN: How does it come?

BOANERGES: “By hearing the word of God” (Rom. x. 17).

HERESIAN: Then it is not a sort of mesmeric aura called “grace in the heart” that comes over a man?

BOANERGES: No. It is the belief of the testimony of God concerning things, past, present, and to come. You cannot of yourself know them, for “they are spiritually discerned” (1 Cor. if. 14).

HERESIAN: What is meant by that?

BOANERGES: It imports that men to whom God has not spoken are unable of themselves to search out or discover the riches of Christ; and that if they come to know, or discern them, it must be by a revelation from God.

HERESIAN: Is this revelation made to every man by or through the spirit?

BOANERGES: No. It was conveyed from God to the prophets of Israel, to His Son, and to His apostles, to be by them made known to the world. God’s revelation, therefore, is a matter of testimony, and not an afflation, or aura, termed “grace” by those dark bodies called “the schools.” God has revealed all He intends to reveal until the revelation of Jesus Christ in his kingdom, when he will send a new law forth from Zion, and a word from Jerusalem (Isa. if. 2). Hence, the faith that regenerates, sanctifies, and justifies must embrace this testimony, which presents the “one hope of the calling” to view, belief and adhesion to which are indispensable if we would be saved (Col. i. 22-23; Rom. viii. 24).

HERESIAN: But is not baptism connected in some way with remission of sins?

BOANERGES: It is. The remission of sins is granted to a believer of the gospel of the kingdom through the Name of Jesus as the king or Christ (Matt. if. 4, 2): and no such believer can get at that name without immersion in water into the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.

HERESIAN: Ah! I perceive how it is. If a lady wish to take on herself a man’s name that she may have a legal right to all that belongs to his name, she must come lawfully to the marriage ceremony. The instant this is performed his name is named upon her, and she acquires new rights and privileges on account of his name, but not simply on account of the ceremony; for the ceremony is only valid where all things are according to law. If she be married to another, the ceremony imparts nothing to her; but if she be legally eligible, then the ceremony gives her everything on account of her husband’s name.

BOANERGES: Your perception of the matter is according to truth. If “repentance and remission of sins” were “granted” (Acts v. 31: xi. 18) on account of the ceremony of immersion without regard to faith or its quality, then any man, woman, or infant, dipped according to form would have remission of sin or sins. This would be sacramentalism such as the ignorant contend for. But the doctrine of Christ recognizes no such absurdity. Immersion into “the Name” is an indispensable ceremony; but it can only unite or marry those to the name of Jesus who believe the untraditionized gospel of the kingdom of God and of his Christ.

HERESIAN: It must be even so; and it appears to me that those who profess to be married to Christ, but have not submitted to the ceremony appointed by his law, are living in sin. Collectively they constitute a harlot and not a married wife. For the benefit of such will you be so good as to define true, scriptural, baptism as it stands opposed to church sacra-mental-rhantism?

BOANERGES: No baptism can be Christian baptism unless the subject of that baptism be a true believer of the gospel preached by Paul and the rest of the apostles; and as the figures used in speaking of it in the word are a washing, a burial, a planting, and a birth, with water, and not earth or flesh, as the receptacle or mould into which the subject is cast-the ceremonial action can only be an immersion in water. In view of these premises, then, baptism is the immersion in water in the name of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, of one, who with the heart believes unto righteousness the things of the kingdom of God, and with the mouth confesses unto salvation that ,Jesus is Christ the Lord to the glory of God the Father (Rom. x. 9-13; Acts viii. 5, 13, 35, 38, 39). Such a baptism will entitle the subject of it to repentance, remission of sins, and eternal life (Luke xxiv, 37; John xx. 31) through the name of Jesus as the only name under heaven given among men, whereby they can be saved (Acts iv. 12).

HERESIAN: A thought occurs to me here that if your definition of baptism be correct, and I have no reason to doubt it, then, although the dissenters do not profess the dogma of “baptismal regeneration,” they are an unbaptized, and therefore an unclean people: and their “churches …. harlots,” and not of the betrothed wife or bride, just as much as the state-churches of England, Scotland, and continental Europe.

BOANERGES: This is inevitable from the premises. The dissenters admit that “baptism” is necessary; at least they do so if their creeds are correct exponents of their opinions. But the definition I have presented, and which no man, be he bishop, priest, or minister, can set aside, shows their “baptism” to be no baptism at all; and they themselves consequently to be unborn of water (John iii. 5); unburied with Christ in baptism (Rom. vi. 3, 4, 5); unrisen with him through the faith of the operation of God; unbaptized into Christ Jesus and into his death; uncircumcised {Col. ii. 11-12) in the putting off of the body of the sins of the flesh; nor planted in the likeness of his death, and therefore will not be in the likeness of his resurrection (Rom. vi. 3, 4, 5). These conclusions are inevitable from the premises contained in the definition. They have therefore no ground of boasting against the state-churches in this particular. If these be black so are they. Dissenterism is very well as an antagonism to state-churchism; but as a way of righteousness, I should as soon expect to inherit the kingdom of God by turning Mohammedan as by becoming a professor of any of the forms of faith ending in ism.

HERESIAN: If then you be neither Greek, Roman, Protestant, churchman, nor dissenter, pray what are you, Boanerges, for I should like to know?

BOANERGES: Ask those men and women, whose name you will find in the sixteenth of Romans, what they were’ and whatever answer they, give I am willing to abide by.

HERESIAN: But divines teach, and men repeat it after them, that if a man be “born of the Spirit,” it is quite unimportant for him to be “born of water.”

BOANERGES: “Divines” teach many very foolish and pernicious dogmas, and this among the number. The Lord Jesus, who is to possess the kingdom, says that no man can enter it unless he be born of two things, namely,” out of water” ex hydatos, “and of the spirit.” The spirit is the begetter. He is the Father of lights, and begets men and women by the word of truth (James i. 18′ 1 Pet. i. 22-25), through the belief of which they are brought into the water. Hence, they are said to be “sanctified and cleansed by the bath of the water with the word ;” and thus “by one spirit they are all baptized into one body” (I Cor. xii. 13). It is good evidence that a man is not born of the spirit who is not born of water.

HERESIAN: I apprehend that few will be willing to admit that. Would you say that all who are born of water are born of the spirit? Are there not many pious people who have not been baptized, who are far more circumspect than multitudes who are very zealous for water?

BOANERGES: I do not mean to say any such thing. The vast majority who go into the water come out of it as they went in, namely,” dead in trespasses and sins.” No immersed man is born of the spirit who does not understand and believe with “a good and honest heart” (Matt. xiii. 19, 23; Luke viii. 15) the things of the Kingdom of God and the Name of Jesus Christ. A man who is begotten of the Spirit believes the truth, and his faith “works by love” and purifies his heart, and induces him gladly to submit to whatever “the law of faith “requires. Many people are “pious” or have an ignorant zeal of God’ but such piety is not the fruit of the Spirit. The piety engendered by the Spirit is “righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit” (Rom. xiv. 17), which results only from an intelligent belief of the “exceeding great and precious promises” contained in God’s knowledge (2 Pet. i. 2-4), styled “the word of the Kingdom.” The only persons that illustrate this piety in a scriptural manner are those whom “the word” has caused to pass through “the bath ‘of the water,” which has thus become to them, and to them only, “the bath of regeneration,” on account of their having been renewed by knowledge after the image of Him that hath created them” (Col. iii. 10)

HERESIAN: I understand you to teach then, that to be “born of God” is to be “sons of God;” and that like children of the flesh, they are begotten first, and born afterwards. That they may be begotten many months before they are born; or they may be begotten, and never come to the birth, and so prove to be mere abortions. That God who is spirit begets them by His “word of truth,” which is “incorruptible seed;” and that when this seed becomes Christ formed within them by faith (Eph. iii. 17), they seek to “fulfil all righteousness,” and gladly descend into the bath that they may be born of water into the family of God as it now exists among men. Am I correct in understanding you thus?

BOANERGES: You are, Heresian; and will now, I doubt not, clearly perceive how it is, that in the word no one is recognised as born of the Spirit of God until he is born of water, seeing that no child can be born of its father until it is born of its mother.

HERESIAN : This then accounts for water being put before spirit in the discourse of Jesus with Nicodemus. The water first yields the child of God from its womb in its appearing in his family. It appears there for the first time in connexion with the water, having been previously begotten and planted there by the truth assuredly believed. But is this intellectual and moral begettal and birth the full import of the phrase “born of the spirit?”

BOANERGES: By no means. The true believers are “children of promise as Isaac was” (Gal. iv. 28). Isaac was
“born after the spirit,” that is begotten of the spiritho kata pneuma gennetheis). Had his birth depended upon the procreative vigour of Abraham and Sarah he could not have been born (Rom. iv. 10). It was necessary, therefore, that they should both be energized. This was effected by the Spirit as really and physically as the formation of Adam from the dust. Hence, he is said to have been “born after the spirit” a child of promise, as distinguished from Ishmael, who was “born after the flesh” in the ordinary course of things. The Lord Jesus was also “born after the spirit,” and a child of promise as Isaac was; with the difference that Isaac was from the loins of Abraham, but Jesus was not from the loins of Joseph; but “made of a woman” by the spirit, or creative energy of God. The true believers, or believers of the promises, have not yet attained to sonship upon this principle. They are “children of the promise” at present in the primary sense of believing the promises, one of which is that their mortal bodies shall be made alive by the Spirit (Rom. viii. 11). By faith they are elected in Christ to be children by a resurrection to life. When their faith becomes fact they will have become “children of God, being the children of the resurrection,” and so “equal to the angels” (Luke xx. 36). This is the highest sense in which divine sonship is revealed in the word-a believer and doer of the word (Jas. i. 22) begotten of the spirit from the dust to live for ever. Jesus attained to it in being raised from the dead, as it is written, “Thou art my son; this day have I begotten thee” (Psalm ii. 7). When the sons and daughters of God elected for his kingdom, being joint-heirs with Jesus of all things (Rom. viii. 17, 29, 32; 1 Cor. ii. 22; Heb. i. 2) shall “be planted in the likeness of his resurrection” as they hope to be (Rom. vi. 5), they will be “like him” (1 John iii. 2), sons of God begotten by his spirit from the dead (Rom. i. 4). Their birth of spirit will then be complete.

HERESIAN: To be born into the Kingdom of God, then, requires a considerable time. It appears that a man cannot now be translated instantaneously into it; yet it occurs to me, that there is a passage somewhere which justifies an opposite conclusion?

BOANERGES: You refer, doubtless, to the words “the Father hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son” (Col. i. 13). This sounds something like it. A person unacquainted with “Moses and the prophets” might infer from this that the passing into the kingdom was now, and instantaneous; but no man whose eyes have been opened would come to that conclusion. Even the context forbids it. The antithesis of the text is “the power of darkness,” to “the kingdom,” or “the power of light.” In the interpretation of the word, especially of the epistles, we must always bear in mind the subject being discoursed upon by the writer. In the chapter before us, “the Hope that is laid up for us in heaven” is the theme; which “Hope,” when it gets possession of an honest and good heart, becomes the power of light to it. The subject-matter of this hope is the Kingdom of God, into which hope the believer of it is “translated” when he is “baptized in the name of Jesus” as the Lord and King of the kingdom, which the God of heaven will set up when the kingdoms of this world become the kingdoms of Jehovah and of his Christ (Rev. xi. 15; Dan. ii. 44: vii. 9). The doctrine of the Kingdom of God believed is “righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit” (Rom. xiv. 17), as. all can testify who believe it; and into which they are translated when they obey the gospel of the kingdom and the name. The true believers who are living at the coming of Jesus to smite the imperial image upon its feet, will be corporeally changed in an instant; in the twinkling of an eye (1 Cor. xv. 51, 52; Phil. iii. 21); but even then they will not instantaneously “enter the Kingdom of God,” but with the resurrected dead will be caught up to meet the Lord in the air (1 Thess. iv. 17); after that, they will descend (Rev. xxi. 2, 9, 10: xix. 7, 8: xi. 2), and co-operate with him (Psalm cxlix. 5-9; Dan. vii. 26) in the work of subduing the nations, and establishing the kingdom, which they will possess during the second millenary of its existence. As you say, it takes a considerable time to enter into the kingdom of God. It is not an instantaneous translation. Instantaneity belongs to the kingdom of the clergy. The sprinkling of an infant’s face with holy water in the name of God, or the dipping of “a penitent believer” in the existence of Christ-is enough to translate such into the kingdom of Antichrist; but it is utterly inefficacious for translation into the Kingdom of God and of his Christ. To enter into this kingdom a man must believe the truth concerning it (Mark xvi. 15, 16), be of a humble and contrite spirit (Matt. xviii. 3), and be immersed into the name of the holy ones (Matt. xxviii. 19). This is beginning to do well. He must thenceforth “patiently continue in well doing, seeking for glory, honour and incorruptibility” (Rom. ii. 6, 7, 16; James i. 25). In so doing he acquires a character with reflects the image of God as from a mirror, and secures to him His approbation. From baptism to death is the period of a true believer’s probation, and is, therefore, not of equal duration in all cases. Being “after the Spirit, he minds the things of the Spirit,” and is thus stamped, marked, or sealed of God for eternal life. He dies because of sin, or of the evil that came by sin into the flesh, and sees corruption mouldering into dust. After death, such persons may “dwell in the dust” (Isaiah xxvi. 19), sleeping there (Dan. xii. 2) for hundreds of years; yet they are not forgotten of God. Not one of them will be lost. For “the same Jesus who was taken up into heaven will come in like manner as he was seen going into heaven” (Acts i. 2), when “he who raised him up shall raise them up also by Jesus” (2 Cor. iv. 14). At the epoch of his descent from heaven with a shout (1 Thess. iv. 16); Phil. iii. 20, 21), he will “build up again the tabernacle of David that is fallen, and close up the breaches thereof; and raise up his ruins, and build it as in the days of old” (Amos ix. 11-15). In doing this he will “restore again the kingdom of Israel” (Acts i. 6). This restoration constitutes “the restitution of all things which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets from the age” (Acts iii. 20-22) (aionos) when the Mosaic code was promulgated. These” times of the restitution” are the era of “the Regeneration when the Son of Man shall sit on the throne of his glory” (Matt. xix. 28); and of “the Economy” (oikonomia) when God shall gather together in one imperial dominion all kingdoms, people, nations, and languages under his king (Eph. i. 10; Dan. vii. 14; Zech. xiv. 9). At this great crisis of the world’s history, Christ’s brethren will appear before him and be welcomed with the benediction, saying, “Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world” (Matt. xxv. 34).

HERESIAN: Such blessed ones, then, are “spirits” when they become “equal to the angels,” and possess the kingdom?

BOANERGES: They are, even as Jesus is by his resurrection “a spirit giving life” (1 Cor. xv. 45) pneuma zoopoioun); “for that which is born of the Spirit is spirit,” or spiritual body, as” that which is born of the flesh is flesh,” or animal body (John iii. 6; I Cor. xv. 44). “Flesh and blood” and “spirit” are used in these texts in relation to man in different states. Their qualities differ materially. The former is corruptible, and therefore mortal flesh; while “spirit “is incorruptible and therefore when vivified immortal flesh. The first belongs to man in the present state of existence; the last also to man, but in a future, higher, and eternal state. Flesh is the germ of spirit, which is produced from the mortal flesh after the analogy of an oak from an acorn. The transmutation of flesh into spirit was illustrated in the change of the mortal body of Jesus into a body incorruptible and living; and will be hereafter on a larger scale when the true believers among the living shall be changed in the twinkling of an eye at the coming of the Lord.

HERESIAN: I understand then, from what you have adduced, that men are not now in the kingdom in any sense; but that the kingdom is the subject of the “one hope of the calling” from which are irradiated as from a common centre all the things which constitute the great recompense of the reward promised to the righteous. Am I correct in this?

BOANERGES: You are. “Flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God;” because “corruption cannot inherit incorruptibility” (1 Cor. xv. 50). It is physically impossible; for those “who are accounted worthy” of the kingdom are not to vacate it, and leave it to other people as the kingdoms of the world are left, that is to successors (Dan. ii. 44); but being once appointed to its glory, honour and power, they are to possess them “for ever, even for ever and ever” (Dan. vii. 18, 22, 27). Can mortal man, whose feeble existence with difficulty ekes out threescore years and ten, possess such a kingdom and glory for ever? Assuredly not. He must first become immortal, or endued with incorruptibility and life. He will then be physically qualified to share or “enter into the joy of his Lord” (Matt. xxv. 21; Heb. xii. 2; Acts xiii. 34; Isa. lv. 3).

HERESIAN: You used the phrase “penitent believer” just now; does that mean a believer of the truth in a state of sorrow or distress, anguish or remorse, on account of his past sins and of the torment due to them?

BOANERGES: The phrase belongs not to me, nor to the scripture, but to the jargon of the schools. A penitent with them is one who believes so much of what they call “the truth” as to confess that he is a sinner who deserves to be tormented in fire and brimstone eternally, which produces in him the state of mind you speak of. If he has got so far mysticism as to “experience a hope” of being saved from this torment through Christ, he is then regarded as being an evangelically penitent believer-one who is the subject of “evangelical repentance,” as they term it. This, however, is not the “repentance unto life” (Acts v. 31: xi. 18; Luke xxiv. 47) spoken of in the word: but “the sorrow of the world that worketh death” (2 Cor. vii. 10). Repentance unto life is purification of heart, or soul, resulting from a faithful appreciation of the goodness of God (Rom. ii. 4), and evinced by a faith and disposition such as shone forth in Abraham, in the prophets, in Jesus and his apostles. This meek, humble, child-like, and faithful disposition is styled in scripture “the divine nature;” and characterises those who are begotten by the word of truth. So that when such an one is immersed into the name of the Holy Ones this faith and disposition are “granted” to him for “repentance and the remission of all past sins” through the name of Jesus. This faith and disposition though possessed Would not be granted to a man for “repentance and remission of sins” who refused to be immersed into the name of Jesus; for they are only granted in his name, not out of it. A believer of the Gospel is out of Christ until he has been baptized into him; and until his faith brings him to obedience in all things commanded, he has neither the faith nor disposition of Abraham, and is therefore not of his seed, and consequently has no right to the promises made to him (Gal. iii. 26-29). A “partaker of the divine nature,” one who is begotten of the word and born of water, is a converted man–one turned into a new man or creature in Christ Jesus; and truly repentant. Having entered into the elect family of God by his new birth, he has become “a little child” (1 John ii. 12), and “an heir of the kingdom.” Though fifty years old when born of water he is but a babe in Christ. It was to such babes as this that John wrote, saying,” I write unto you, little children, because your sins are forgiven you for his name’s sake.” And Jesus said, “I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes; out of whose mouth God has ordained strength to put to silence the perverters of the truth” (Matt. xi. 25; Psalm viii. 2). Babes and sucklings of this class are the “regenerated infants” of the Bible. Regenerated, not by clerical conjuration and sleight of hand, but intellectually and morally by a love-working and intelligent belief of “the exceeding great and precious promises of God” concerning his kingdom and his Christ, who has left on record the notable saying, that “except ye be converted and become as little children, ye shall in no wise enter the kingdom of God.”

HERESIAN: If these be so then is the world undone! The clergy and their people are altogether gone out of the way; and in the nature of things are utterly irreclaimable by any human means that can be brought to bear upon them. [ confess that I have lost all faith in them and their traditions. They are, doubtless, to some extent learned in college lore, but their learning serves little else than to make their darkness visible. I renounce all such dogmas, with those who teach them, root and branch; and seeing that it is hopeless for me to attempt their illumination as already they say “we see,” I shall at least endeavour to save myself from this untoward generation by obeying the gospel of the kingdom of God in the name of Jesus as the Christ.

BOANERGES: Your resolution is both a wise and good one, and worthy of adoption by all good and honest hearts. There is nothing to be expected from the clergy as a body, high or low, national or nonconformist. The systems bequeathed by our carnally-minded ancestors have made them what they are; and like “true sons of the church” they will contend to the death for their old mother, by whose craft they have their wealth. They are paid enormous sums to perpetuate the systems which create and sustain them; and so long as their errors are profitable, their shouts will rend the air in honour of the deities they adore. There is no getting at their consciences as a body except through their covetousness. Stop their pay, and abolish the “honours,” and the saying will soon be verified in them “no pay no preach.” If the State would appropriate to the necessities of the poor, the property it formerly wrested from the Mother of Harlots, and bestowed upon her English and Scotch daughters, and leave them to support the clergy who appreciate their ministrations, the public would be no longer distracted and perplexed by their foolish disputations about infant baptism and regeneration, “baptismal regeneration,” immortal soulism, kingdoms beyond the skies, and questions of a like unprofitable character. But the immediate deliverance of mankind from these fictions is not to be expected. The clergy for a few years longer will retain their hold upon the public purse, ; and consequently will continue zealously to” pervert the right ways of the Lord.” The end of their career, however, is certain. The blind whom they lead will be made to see by him whom Jehovah hath appointed to “enlighten the Gentiles;” who will come to him from the ends of the earth, and say, “Surely our fathers have inherited lies, vanity, and things in which there is no profit” (Jer. xvi. 19). When they make this confession, the Lord will have “destroyed the face of the covering cast over all people, and the veil that is spread, over all nations” (Isa. xxv. 7), by “teaching them of his ways.

They will then “speak a pure language, and call upon the name of the Lord to serve him with one consent” (Zeph. iii. 9). In this way, “they will walk in his paths” (Isa. ii. 3), and “walk no more after the imagination of their evil heart” (Jer. iii. 17). The occupation of the clergy will then be gone, and their heaven will have passed away. They will no more have it in their power to collect tithes and annuity taxes by means of infantry and dragoons; but, excluded from the kingdom of God, those of them who survive the judgments coming upon them, will be reduced to the lower ranks of society to which they properly belong. Their kingdom will be abolished, and its obsequies celebrated by a jubilee of nations.

HERESIAN: That is an interesting testimony of Zephaniah. If the nations all come to serve the Lord with one consent, as he testifies, where will be the religions and denominations which now divide the world? Will they not all be abolished from the earth?

BOANERGES: Assuredly they will. The schisms of apostate “Christendom,” Greek, Latin and Protestant, national and nonconformist, Mahomedanism and Paganism, will all fall with the kingdoms that sustain and patronise them. Not one of them will survive the fierce anger, indignation, and jealousy of the Lord. They are the “lies” and “vanities” of the Gentiles which result from their evil imagination. A believer of the gospel of the kingdom has no sympathy with any of them.

HERESIAN: But if nothing save omnipotence can set the world to rights, why do you labour by word and pen to convince men of what you believe to be the truth?

BOANERGES: The apostles command all true believers to “fight the good fight of faith,” and to “contend earnestly for it as once for all delivered to the saints” (1 Tim. vi. 12; Jude 3). This contention is a matter of duty, the performance of which is not optional, nor dependent on the prospect of success or failure.’ We have nothing to do with consequences. If no one will obey the faith it is still our duty to contend for it. We are exhorted to save ourselves, and others if we can; and it contributes to this salvation of one’s self to “contend for the faith.” If others will not be saved, we cannot help it; we shall have done the best we could, and there we must leave it. But as to “converting the world,” in the popular sense, by preaching, such a result is not contemplated in the scripture. The gospel was not preached for the purpose defined by the clergy; but as a call or invitation to glory, honour and immortality in the Kingdom of God. That is to say, God intends to set up an indestructible kingdom among the nations which shall rule over them all. The king and peers of its realms are to be holy, just, and immortal, which naturally the sons of men are not. They are to be “equal to the angels, and the children of God, being the children of the resurrection.” This is a high and holy degree, and a requirement which necessitates the postponement of the setting up of the kingdom until God has provided “such a people for His name.” To collect this people, He sent an invitation to the Jews first, and then to the Gentiles by Jesus and the apostles. As they were invited to this holy degree it is styled “a holy calling;” and the degree itself the subject of “the one hope of the calling;” and those who accepted the invitation are said to be “called to God’s kingdom and glory” (1 Thess. ii. 12), and sometimes simply “the called.” The time allotted to this work of collecting together the future rulers of the nations (Rev. ii. 26-27: v. 10: xx. 4: xxii. 5) to the gospel invitation in the name of Jesus Christ, is from the day of Pentecost till his return. The work is almost accomplished, and will be entirely finished when the few who are still needed to fill the Lord’s house shall be brought in (Luke xiv. 23).

HERESIAN: That being so, I shall without further delay put Off the clergy and their foolishness and accept the gospel call.