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by Dr. John Thomas
In saying that there was no future resurrection, Paul charged the Corinthians with the mortal sin of repudiating the resurrection of Jesus; "for," said he, "if the dead rise not," as ye say, "then Christ is not raised".
Their heresy ate out this truth, which stands or falls with the reality of the "first resurrection" at his coming.
(verse 28) The question of "infant salvation" and "non-elect infant damnation," also rests upon the dogma before us.
"Orthodoxy" sends some infants to hell and some to heaven; though many "orthodox" persons are getting heartily ashamed of this part of the creed.
The apprehension of the damnation of their "immortal souls" on account of "original sin," has given rise to the Romish conceit of the rhantismal regeneration of infants by the Holy Spirit in the scattering of a few drops of water upon the face, and the use of a certain form of words.
This has been recently declared to be regenerative of infant souls by an English court of law!
This question was actually gravely discussed by bishops, priests, lawyers and ministers, in the year of grace 1849!
So true is it that "great men are not always wise; neither do the aged understand judgment".
As far as the infant is itself concerned, this Romish ceremony is of no importance, for it does it neither good nor harm.
In one sense, however, the subject of "the ordinance" is deeply injured.
He is indoctrinated by system into the notion that he was truly baptized when rhantismally "regenerated": and, therefore, when he is grown he troubles himself no more about the matter.
Alas, what havoc the apostasy has made with the doctrine of Christ!
Believers' baptism transmuted into rhantizing an unconscious babe for the regeneration of its "immortal soul"!
Would such a thing ever have been thought of but for the Nicolaitan "oppositions of science" "which," says the Lord Jesus, "I hate"?
I trow not.
How important, then, it is that we should have a scriptural understanding of the constitution of man.
If it should appear by an exposition of the truth, that there is no such kind of soul in the universe as that conceited by the pagan Greeks and Romans, and gentilized into the doctrine of the apostles by contemporary perverters of the gospel, the faith and hope of which it hath ulcerously consumed -- and handed down to us by "orthodox divines" -- and fondled in these times as an essential ingredient of a true faith: -- what becomes of the "cure of souls" by the dogmatical specifics of the day?
They are resolved into theological empiricism, which is destined to recede like darkness before the orient brightness of the rising truth.
Let us then endeavour to understand ourselves as God has revealed our nature in His word.
On the sixth day, the Elohim gave the word, saying, "Let us make man in our image, after our likeness".
In this word was life, spirit, or energy.
"It was God.
All things were made by it, and without it was not anything made that was made".