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    “THE LAW AND THE GOSPEL.”

    The truths relative to these great fundamental principles are stated in plain terms; and there can be but little chance for an issue in regard to either premise or conclusion. We argue that all the unconverted (all who are not justified by faith) will be cut off at Christ’s coming, and the consequent impossibility of subsequent probation fromRDAC 147.2

    The Universality of the Law.-This truth is so easy of demonstration, yes, so evident of itself, that we feel that we have a right to use the words of the apostle to every Bible believer: “We write no other things unto you than what ye read or acknowledge.” The universality of the law we urge: (1.) on the acknowledged supremacy of God; and (2.) on the authority of plain declarations of Scripture. To deny it is to deny both the Scripture and God’s sovereignty.RDAC 147.3

    Romans 3:19. “Now we know that whatsoever things the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law; that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.”RDAC 147.4

    God is supreme—“his kingdom ruleth over all;” his law is binding on all, and all are amenable to him as the one “Law-giver.” Not only so, but all are transgressors of his law. The Scriptures are very plain on this subject, yet it is virtually denied by some to sustain their theories, who assert that the heathen have not now a sufficient opportunity to obtain salvation. And that there is an absolute necessity for a new system of probation under more favorable circumstances to be established in the future, to give them a more reasonable chance for life, and thus to vindicate the justice of God! Monstrous as this appears in the light of God’s revealed plan of salvation, I have heard it publicly advanced by a teacher of the Age to Come. A new system of probation is nothing less than “another gospel;” and that is precisely what the Age to Come is.RDAC 148.1

    Every one possessed of the spirit of the gospel must entertain feelings of pity for the heathen, as for all others under the dark and blighting influences of sin. The apostle felt for them, and was willing to lay down his life for the privilege of laying the offer of life before them; but having the mind of Christ, he “knew what was in man,” and faithfully described his natural state. See Romans 1:18-32; 3:9-19.RDAC 148.2

    Missionaries, and all who have dwelt in heathen lands, and all authentic history, assure us that wickedness of the most abominable kinds, and to an awful extent, prevails and has ever prevailed among the heathen. Of a truth it is said, “The dark places of the earth are full of the habitations of cruelty.” We are informed by those who have resided among them, that their ignorance of right is not so great as their hatred of right. Those who claim another probation for them attribute their wickedness to their blindness and ignorance; whereas the Scriptures attribute their blindness to their wickedness. Romans 1:28. “And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind.” See also verses 22-26; compare Isaiah 29:13, 14; Romans 11:7-10, 20; 2 Thessalonians 2:11, 12. Of the very best of the heathen, their sages and philosophers, Melancthon observed, “I admit that there were found in Socrates, Xenocrates, and Zeno, constancy, temperance, chastity. Those shadows of virtue existed in impure minds, and sprang from self-love; and therefore ought they to be regarded not as genuine virtues, but as vices.” Of this expression the celebrated historian D’Aubigne says: “This may seem a harsh judgment, but only when Melancthon’s meaning is misapprehended. No man felt more disposed than he was to own that the pagans had virtues worthy of human esteem; but he maintained that great truth, that the supreme law given by God to all his creatures is, that they should love him above all things. Now, should man in doing God’s commands, act from love to himself, not from love to God, could God ever approve of his thus daring to substitute himself in the room of his Infinite Majesty? And would there not be vice in an act involving express rebellion against the supreme God?”RDAC 148.3

    It must be confessed that all whose minds have not been renewed by grace through faith (which, of course, includes the heathen), are considered carnally minded. But “the carnal mind is enmity against God, for it is not subject to the law of God.” This justifies the sentence that “to be carnally minded is death.” To the same intent, and of the same general application are the words of Paul in Galatians 5:19-21. “Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strifes, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revelings, and such like.” These are placed in opposition to the fruits of the Spirit; and as surely as the fruits or graces of the Spirit abound where the Spirit dwells, and the Spirit cannot dwell where these are not, so do those prevail in all flesh, where the flesh with its affections and lusts is not crucified, or subdued by the grace of God. Not that all have outwardly committed all these crimes, but they inhere in the carnal mind, and are very often more restrained by circumstances than by the will. That which is perfectly subject to the law of God is perfect in love, for “love is the fulfilling of the law.” But that which is enmity against God, and not subject to his law, is complete in hatred to God, and a transgressor of his holy law in every respect. That all are by nature the children of wrath, and have carnal minds, will not be denied; and therefore all who are not justified by faith and made at peace with God through Christ, are in the deplorable condition described by the apostle.RDAC 149.1

    Perhaps none would claim exceptions to general declarations of this kind. Yet should they do so, we find Scripture declarations sufficiently particular to meet every objection. Having noticed the testimony respecting the world of man-kind, we next hear it said of the classes, “We have before proved both Jews and Gentiles, that they are all under sin.” Romans 3:9. Then of the individuals it is written: “There is none righteous, no, not one: there is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one. Their throat is an open sepulcher; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips; whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness. Their feet are swift to shed blood. Destruction and misery are in their ways; and the way of peace have they not known. There is no fear of God before their eyes.” Romans 3:10-18.RDAC 150.1

    The following plain statements lead to our conclusions on this point:—RDAC 151.1

    “The wages of sin is death.” Romans 6:23.RDAC 151.2

    “All have sinned.” Chap. 3:23.RDAC 151.3

    Therefore all are under condemnation to death. Verse 19.RDAC 151.4

    These truths need neither confirmation nor comment; if any would deny them we have only to say, “Who art thou that repliest against God?” But they might as well deny the statements at once as to deny the conclusions to which they unavoidably lead. As surely as these Scripture statements are true, so surely are they fatal to the position we call in question. They would be a sufficient vindication of the justice of God should he at this instant destroy them all from the face of the earth. And they must and will be so destroyed when the just judgments of God fall on a guilty world.RDAC 151.5

    Having thus shown the universality of the law of God, and the extent of the condemnation resting upon man, we further urge the impossibility of probation in a future age on what is plainly revealed concerningRDAC 151.6

    The Means and Conditions of the Gospel. The means by which we receive justification, remission of sins, and eternal life, are the death and mediation of Jesus Christ; and the conditions on which we receive them are “repentance toward God,” whose law has been transgressed, and “faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ,” who redeems us from the curse of the law. Acts 20:21. His death was necessary, because “without shedding of blood is no remission.” Hebrews 9:22; Leviticus 17:11-14; his mediation is necessary to present that blood to his Father and make intercession for us. It has been abundantly proved by the Scriptures that the mediation of Christ is a unit work; that Christ himself is the only offering acceptable to God in the sinner’s behalf; that his blood is offered but once; that his intercession is in but one place; that there is but one Mediator; and that he resigns his mediatorial office before his coming. The important question then arises, What is required of the sinner, in order that he may have an interest in the work of the Saviour, and be able to “stand in the battle in the day of the Lord,” and escape those plagues which are coming on the earth when “the wrath of the Lamb” is manifested against the ungodly? A few quotations from the word will show this.RDAC 152.1

    John 3:16. “God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish.”RDAC 152.2

    Luke 13:3. “Except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.” Hebrews 12:14. “Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord.”RDAC 152.3

    Romans 8:9. “Now, if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.”RDAC 153.1

    1 Corinthians 16:22. “If any man love not the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be an accursed creature.”RDAC 153.2

    Galatians 3:22. “The scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe.”RDAC 153.3

    1 Peter 4:18. “And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?”RDAC 153.4

    The promise is only to those in whose characters are developed faith, repentance, holiness, spiritual mindedness, who are pure in heart and righteous, at the coming of Christ. Such will be redeemed and have the glorious boon of immortality or eternal life conferred on them “when Christ who is our life shall appear.” What of those who are not holy? They must surely perish, for they are even now under condemnation according to the scriptures we have quoted. And there is no middle ground between them that are saved and them that perish. Said the Saviour, “He that is not with me, is against me; and he that gathereth not with me, scattereth abroad.” Matthew 12:30. There is no neutral ground. It is either gathering or scattering; righteous or wicked; life or death. Not the bare absence of inveterate or openly avowed hatred, but active, perfect love is required. Not merely abstinence from great out-breaking sins, but holiness of heart, and walking in the Spirit.RDAC 153.5

    I ask all, and entreat them to answer in the fear of God, and in humble reverence for his word, Is there any medium between those “under the law,” and those “under grace”? There cannot be; for as “all have sinned,” all are originally under the law; and none can be brought from under the law except by being placed under grace, or redeemed from the curse of the law by Christ. If they could, the cross of Christ would be of no effect. There can be no ground between condemnation and justification. All who are not justified necessarily remain condemned; and those who are not condemned are only freed therefrom by being justified. If there will be a class who will escape the judgments of God without availing themselves of the benefits of the gospel of Christ, then the gospel is local and limited in its application.RDAC 153.6

    To those who yet claim that it is necessary for God to place the Jews and heathen on a new probation in order to vindicate his justice, I would ask, Has not the present generation of Jews and heathen as good opportunities to know God’s will as the past generations have had? If so (and indeed it has better), has God been unjust to past generations? And if a new probation is necessary for these, would it not be equally necessary that those be raised from the dead and put on a new probation also? We should rather think that they who thus teach are charging God foolishly. Such vain reasonings and inferences will not settle so great a subject. Let them show by the Scriptures (1) that future probation is a Scripture truth; (2) the means and conditions on which it will be based; and (3) the class or classes who will then and there be placed on probation. There is not a particle of proof in the Bible in favor of their theory on any of these points.RDAC 154.1

    A letter written a few years since by J. M. Stephenson on this subject contains the following remarks:—RDAC 155.1

    “As for your quotations I can make no issue. I believe every one, when placed just where the Bible places them, namely, in the Jewish and Christian dispensations; but they prove nothing either for or against probation in the Age to Come, because they have no reference whatever to that dispensation. To prove that probation, in the present dispensation, will close when Christ comes, and to prove that there will be no probation in the future age, are very different things.”RDAC 155.2

    The above may justly be called a play upon words. We have never thought it necessary to prove that “probation in the present dispensation will close when Christ comes,” for it is universally admitted that the dispensation itself closes at that time; and of course probation in this dispensation could not possibly continue after the dispensation terminated. One truth is undeniable, to wit: that all are on probation in this dispensation; and that the probation of all ceases before Christ comes is evident from the proofs adduced that all are under condemnation, or “subject to the judgment of God” [Romans 3:19, margin], and I have never yet heard of any method by which condemned probationers of this age may be shoved over and given a new and different probation in another age. Reason, justice, and Scripture, all show that they will be held to account under the claims of the present age, in which they are already under condemnation. The judgment of all classes is clearly revealed, and the time given in Romans 2:12-16. Any system to give them another probation in another age would do violence to revealed principles.RDAC 155.3

    Again Mr. S. said in the same letter:—RDAC 156.1

    “God’s mode of saving men may change without change in principle. It was not the same in the Jewish dispensation it is in the Christian.”RDAC 156.2

    In these quotations it will be noticed there is an acknowledgment that probation terminates with this dispensation, though he thinks it will be renewed in another; and that the mode of salvation would be different from that of this age. But the latter declaration, in this connection, is somewhat ambiguous; for, if by the “mode of saving men,” he merely refers to positive institutions, his statement does not reach the case, as will be shown; but if by it he would embrace the plan of salvation, he is in error. This plan has never changed. It has ever been the same, though there have been different methods of illustrating and enforcing its saving truths. Each shadow of the Jewish age was equivalent to a promise; and these promises are now in process of fulfillment in the work of Christ in the sanctuary in Heaven. But not one declaration of the Bible can be produced to show that its conditions will apply to any in a future age.RDAC 156.3

    Reference to a change of “mode,” and a change from the past to the present dispensation, is of no avail, as there was no termination of probation at the close of that age, nor did the Judgment set upon the transgressors of that age, as will be the case at the close of this. Hence there is no analogy; it is reasoning from unlike to unlike. The question is not in regard to types and positive institutions, but to the duration of the gospel system on which all these institutions and ordinances depend for their existence.RDAC 156.4

    Positive institutions have only a relative importance. Those of the Jewish age looked forward to the work of Christ-his death and mediation-and without this they would have been of no importance whatever. The positive institutions of this age refer to the same things. But there is this difference: those of the Jewish ago all looked beyond that into the present age, while those of the present do not look into the future. Baptism represents the burial and resurrection of Christ; the supper represents his death, and this only “till he come.” The close of this age brings us to the last link in the chain. All past dispensations have been clearly connected, but there is no connecting link between this and any future time of probation. As this departs, the Judgment of the great day of God’s wrath opens before us. The Saviour’s work in the heavenly sanctuary will then be finished: he has entered Heaven once as a priest after the order of Melchisedec: when he leaves that station the saints will be sealed with the seal of the living God, and the filthy and the unjust will be so still. See Revelation 22:11, 12.RDAC 157.1

    It is easy to perceive how a change of positive institutions has taken place in the past, in strict conformity with established principles, as they all refer to a work now being done. “Things hoped for” are symbolized in this manner, but when his intercession ceases-when the atonement is fully made, they can have no further efficacy, as no remission can be granted after that time except on the principle of granting indulgence for future sins, by pardoning the crime before it is committed!!RDAC 157.2

    With much apparent confidence an appeal is made, in behalf of probation after the advent, to Acts 15:13-17. But it would be well for them to try to meet the undeniable facts respecting the covenants, the Judgment, and the destruction impending over the nations, and so to show that their construction of Acts 15 can possibly be right.RDAC 157.3

    Their claim on Acts 15:13-17 is based entirely on the supposed order of events. They assert that the tabernacle of David must be set up before the residue (remnant, Amos 9:12) of men seek unto-the Lord, and before the name of the Lord is named on the Gentiles. But if this claim is valid it will not prove anything for the Age to Come, for if it were so the comment of James would lead to one of the following conclusions: 1. The building of the tabernacle of David does not mean the setting up of the kingdom; or, 2. The kingdom was set up at the time of this conference described in Acts 15.RDAC 158.1

    The testimony of James is most positive that, under the preaching of Simeon, the Gentiles were then seeking after the Lord, and the Lord was then visiting the Gentiles to take out of them a people for his name. And we respectfully ask the Age-to-Come teachers to inform us for what James quoted Amos 9, in regard to the remnant and the Gentiles seeking the Lord, and the Lord calling his name on the Gentiles, if it was not to prove that that prophecy was being fulfilled, as related by Peter. Let them give a particle of evidence, if they can, that sinners seek the Lord in the future age; let them show a company out of every nation who came up under the blessed privileges of a future state of glory, where all surrounding influences would lead them to obey God; or, in other words, who did not pass through tribulation; did not suffer the reproach of the cross. But when they show that company they will show a company that came up “some other way” than that marked out by the suffering Saviour, and, according to his own words, that will be a company of thieves and robbers!RDAC 158.2

    Now there are two points before us which we think are beyond all controversy.RDAC 159.1

    1. The kingdom and throne of David were not set up at the time of that conference in Jerusalem.RDAC 159.2

    2. That the work of the Lord among the Gentiles, as foretold in Amos 9, was being fulfilled at the time of that conference; and this work has continued until this present time.RDAC 159.3

    Some have been led by these plain facts to doubt that the building again the tabernacle of David means the restoration of his kingdom or throne. But we see no good reason for such a doubt. The application to the kingdom is the most natural, the evident, if not the only one that can be made. It rather appears that the quotation of James (from the LXX, which differs from the Hebrew as may be seen by comparing Acts 15:13-17, and Amos 9:11, 12), takes in the whole scope of the work of Messiah, from his first to the second advent, citing specially to the restoration of the kingdom; because that will be the grand consummation of his Messiahship. To this all other parts of his work look, and therefore the gospel, under which repentance and remission are now granted, is called the gospel of the kingdom. And we cannot consent to the construction given to the text by the teachers of the Age to Come unless they can show that the remnant are not now seeking the Lord and that the Lord is not now calling his name on the Gentiles; which, with the words of James in this text, and of Paul in his letter to the Romans, before them, they will hardly undertake to do.RDAC 159.4

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