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by Dr. John Thomas
It is incurable.
Religion is a system of faith and practice.
The faith of religion embraces what God has done, what He promises to do, and what he teaches in His word; all of which is presented for the elaboration of a godlike disposition, termed "the Divine Nature" in the believer.
To be of any value, religion must be entirely of divine appointment.
The obedience of religion is a conformity to "the law of faith," resulting from the belief of "the things concerning the Kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ".
It is termed "the obedience of faith"; for believers only can yield it.
The repentance of religion is the thinking contrary to the flesh, and in harmony with the testimony of God; accompanied with an Abrahamic disposition as the consequence of believing it.
The morality of religion is the taking care of the widows and orphans of Christ's flock, and "keeping one's self unspotted from the world".
Collectively, it is the "fruits meet for repentance".
Religion hath its "elements, " which are styled "weak and beggarly".
These are "days, and years, and months, and times"; "meat and drink"; sacrifices, ablutions, ordinances of divine service, holy places, veils, altars, censers, cherubim, mercy-seats, holy days, sabbaths, etc., "which were a shadow of things to come; but the substance is of Christ".
The elementary doctrinal principles of religion are few and simple; and no other reason can be given for them than that God wills them.
They may be thus stated: -- a.
No sinner can by any means redeem his brother, nor give to God a ransom for him, that he should still live for ever, and not see corruption.
Sin cannot be covered, or remitted, without the shedding of blood.
The blood of animals cannot take away sin.
Sin must be condemned in sinful flesh innocent of transgression.
Sins must be covered by a garment derived from the purification-sacrifice made living by a resurrection.
To be naked is to be in an unpardoned state.
The proximate principles of religion are "repentance from dead works, faith towards God, doctrine of baptisms, and of the laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment".
CHAPTER 6 Among the many and various titles of the Supreme Being in the scriptures of truth, is that of a Builder, or Architect; as it is written, "the Builder of all things is God".
Pursuing this suggestion, I remark, that "a wise master builder" never begins to build without a design.
He draughts this after a scale of so much to the foot.