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by Dr. John Thomas
If the subject to be passed into Abraham and Christ be an individual, the formula is sp ritual; that is, it places him in a moral and domestic or family relationship to them; but if the subject be a nation or a multitude of nations, then the formula is civil and ecclesiastical, or political.
A person in Abraham and Christ (and a man cannot be in one without being in the other) is the subject of adoption by a spiritual formula, which will be perfected in "the redemption of his body" at the resurrection; while nations in Abraham and Christ are adopted by a political formula, which is perfected in the blessings of good government, peace, equitable laws righteously administered, the enlightenment of all classes in the knowledge of God, universal prosperity, and so forth.
The formula of spiritual adoption is exhibited in the gospel.
It requires a man to believe "the promise made of God to the fathers" concerning the land of Canaan, the Christ, the blessedness of the nations in Abraham and his seed, eternal life by a resurrection, etc. ; and to be baptized into the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
When an individual has done this, he is in Abraham and Christ, and an heir with him of the promises he believes.
So that "the seed," though spoken of one person -- that is, of Christ -- comprehends all the believers of the promises, who, by adoption are "in him".
The phrase "the seed" is therefore used in an individual and federal acceptation.
Hence, whatever is promised to Abraham and Christ is also promised to their federal constituents -- to the sons of Abraham, and brethren of Christ, by adoption into the family of God.
But the formula of national, or political, adoption has not yet been promulgated to the world.
No people has ever been politically in God but Israel.
The natural descendants of Abraham in the line of Isaac and Jacob became the people of God in a national sense by the adoption provided in the Mosaic law.
But no other nation before or since has ever stood in the same relationship to Him.
Neither Egypt of old, nor Britain and America of modern times, can say, "We are the people of the Lord".
God has never called these nations "My people," for they have never been the subjects of political adoption as Israel were.
State religions are established upon the hypothesis that the people are God's people; and, therefore, as ac- ceptable worshippers as the Jews under the law; and that they are constitutionally "in God the Father and in the Lord Jesus Christ".
Hence, they call the nations of Europe "Christian nations".
But a greater fallacy was never entertained.
There are no Christian nations; neither indeed can there be until the formula of political adoption shall be made known.
The nations are now in Satan their father, and in his vicegerent the Lord Pope.
Hence, it may be said to them as Jesus said to the rulers and clergy of Israel, "Ye are of your father the Devil, and the works of your father ye do".
The Devil is their father by birth and constitution.
The nations of Europe became the people of Satan by constitution, when they put on the Pope as their high priest and mediator according to the Justinian code.
Having received this, they became Satan's seed, and the Pope's brethren; and being thus in Satan and in the Pope, are joint-heirs with them of a "just punishment, even an everlasting destruction," to issue forth "from the presence of the Lord and the glow of his power"; and which hangs over them, like the hair-suspended sword of Dionysius, ready to fall with death-dealing vengeance on every side.