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Full text of "Redemption after death"



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<J^ PRINCETON, N. J. ^ 



Presented bpPcQ- 7B~S . \/ ^ (7\r\\ <2j V O ,~S) ."D . 

Division .Trrrr.Trrv.— ^ 

Section . . P*^ ' / 



THE 



Magazine of Christian Literature. 



Vol. 1. 



DECEMBER, 1889. 



No. 3. 



For The Maoaziite of Christian Literature. 

REDEMPTION AFTER DEATH. 

BY PROFESSOR CHARLES A. BRIGGS, D.D., UNION THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY, N. Y. CITY. 



The time has fully come when Protestant 
Churches are compelied to confront the ques- 
tion of the Middle State and the nature of 
Christian life therein. This crisis is duo : 
(1) to an entire change of attitude toward 
the Second Advent of Jesus Christ ; (3) to 
the spread in the churches of the Arminian 
doctrine of probation ; (3) to the general 
acceptance of the new doctrine of the uni- 
versal salvation of infants ; (4) to the devel- 
opment of the doctrine of sin and guilt in 
connection with a further unfolding of Phil- 
osophical Ethics and a deeper study of Chris- 
tian Ethics. In these four directions Prot- 
estantism and especially Calvinistic Church- 
es, have departed a long distance from the 
Creeds of the Reformation and the Confes- 
sion and Catechisms of Westminster. 

/. Liiniting the Love of God. 

The doctrine of the Middle State depends 
chiefly upon the doctrine of redemption. 
All mankind are born into this world in a 
condition of sin and ruin. All need re- 
demption. Redemption is born of the love 
of God. God is love. The love of God is 
the well-spring of election, predestination 
unto life, and all the acts and works ©f God 
for the accomplishment of the redemption 
of man. It i^audootrine of scholastic Prot- 
estants that div'inc sovereignty is the source 
of the election.. Some of these scholastic 
divines have goile so far in their subordina- 
tion of the divijno love to the divine sover- 
eignty, tliat they have pushed the love of 
God and the compassion of the heavenly 
Father behind the justice of the judge and 
the good pleasure of the sovereign ; and 
thereby liave come close to the unpardonable 
sin of limiting the grace of God and denying 
the power of the Divine Spirit. A genuine 
f Protestantism, sucli as we find in the creeds 
I of the Reformation, teaches that God's elec- 
I tion is an election of ffrace. The grace of 



God is so vast and inexhaustible that we\ 
may assume that God will redeem a larger I 
number of our race than any man could sup- 1 
pose. God's love and power to save are in- 
finitely greater than the love and redemptive 
yearnings of all creatures combined. I 

The love of God works redemption 
through Jesus Christ the Saviour of the 
world, and through the Holy Spii-it, who 
imparts the new life and growth without 
which salvation is impossible ; and also 
through the paternal superintendeaice and 
government of tlie Heavenly Father. The 
redeemed consist, tlierefore, of those who 
belong to the elect of God, who have been 
purchased by Jesus Christ and who have 
been born of the Holy Sj^irit. The re- 
deemed consist of the elect only. Tiiere can 
be no redemption that does not oricl;inate in 
the election of grace ; in the love of the 
Heavenly Father's heart. The R^formersl 
and Puritans apprehended the love of God 
and magnified the divine grace in election 
and predestination. That is the reason they 
made so much of these high doctrines. 
Tliey also emphasised the doctrine of fof^ 
giveness of sins, Avhich is so closely related 
to the doctrine of the divine grace. Scho- 
lastic divines, when they s ubstitu tgd sov-l 
ereign election for the election, of g^*ace, di- 1 
vided mankind into two classes, thbse pre- | 
destinated unto life and those predclstinated 
unto everlasting death, and thus m ide both 
classes dependent upon the good pli asure of I 
the will of the sovereign, without i ogard to 
their actual sins or acceptance of tic provi-^ 
sions of redemption. As a natural result of 
this theory the mass of mankind were 
doomed to everhisting perdition in lell fire, 
and only a few were snatched from t' lo burn- 
ing. These scholastic divines alsfl substi- 
tuted God the Judge for God tha Father, 
and accordingly overlooked the Fal herhood 
of God and abandoned the doctrlili f of f or- 



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106 



MAGAZINE OF CHRISTIAN LITERATURE. 



[Dec, 



ojiveness of sins. The supreme forms of 
this scholasticism were the supralapsarian 
theory, that made the decree of election and 
pretcrition prior to the decrees of the crea- 
tion and the fall of man, and the kindred 
Antinomian theory, that made justification 
eternal and entirely independent of human 
faith and repentance. 8uch scholasticism 
had no need of a jMiddle State between 
Death and the Day of Judgment. It is hard 
to see what need there was of life in the 
present world. It is difficult for this theory 
to explain why God did not send men to 
heaven and hell at once in accordance with 
his arbitrary and eternal decree, which has no 
respect to life in this Avorld and life after 
death, without requiring them to iindergo a 
life and death which have no effect what- 
ever upon their eternal welfare. Antino- 
mianism has ever been regarded as a heresy. 
It was a sad mistake that supralapsarianism 
was not placed with Antinomianism in the 
catalogue of heresies. The repute of a few 
distinguished divines, who maintained it, 
ought not to have restrained the Church 
from branding their error with the stigma 
it deserves. 

God's love is a love that is eternal in its 
origin. It is also everlasting in its outgo- 
ings toward God's creatures. It is a love 
time and above and beyond all time, 
also a love that enters into time and 



hension 



prior to 
but it it 
pervades all time. If we have a real appre- 



of the Living God and of the Fa- 



therhoo 1 of God we cannot doubt that the 
divine ove is a living and unfolding love, 
and that it assumes the form of parental love 
that never forsakes the child from his birth 
onward through all the ages of his growth, 
even to the end. From this point of view, 
if life in this world is brief and life in the 
Middle State is long, we must rise to the 
conception of the love of God as accomplish- 
inoj even greater works of redemption in the 
Middle State than in this world. The Ro- 
man Catholic Church has ever had this con- 
ception. Its doctrine of purgatory has a 
powerful influence upon the religious life in 
this woi-kl, and upon the entire system of 
Roman Theology. Protestantism, when it 
threw overboard the Roman Catholic doc- 
trine of purgatory, also threw away with it 
much oj the ancient Catholic doctrine of the 
Middle ^tate. It magnified the love of God 
in the , ^race of election and forgiveness of 
wins in i his life, but did not trace the work- 
ings of lie divine grace in the Middle State. 

//. Tlie Living Ood. 

ProtAtantism, however, laid hold of the 
doctrinAof the Living God, and found vital 



union with Him in redemption, and, in this 
respect, overcame the abstract ideas of God 
that governed the Roman Church. This 
doctrine of the Living God was abandoned 
by Protestant scholastics. Dr. Isaac Dorner • 
again brought it into prominence, and it is 
becoming fruitful in a living theology. This 
doctrine is important for the unfolding of 
the Middle Stp,te. Those who are in vital Ij 
relations with the Living God can never die. jl 
They live on beyond the gate of death ; they 
live the life of God, in communion with 
God. Such a life, hid in this world with 
Christ, there manifests itself in its richness 
and fulness. It unfolds from one degree of 
glory into another. What wonders of re- 
demption are wrapped up in life with God ! 
What infinite possibilities are within the 
reach of that being whose life is begotten of 
God, and whose life has no other end or aim 
than the transcendent experience of divine 
sonship and the supreme blessedness of God- 
likeness ! 

///. Narrow Views of Redemption. 

Protestantism was at fault in taking too 
narrow a view of redemption. It Avas nec- 
essary to magnify justification by faith and 
carefully separate it from sanctification and 
glorification, but it was a mistake to lay 
such stress on justification and faith that 
sanctification and love were thrown into the 
backgi'ound, and this to such an extent that 
some divines had the assurance to teach 
that good works were hurtful to salvation. 
This narrowing of the original base of the 
Reformation was the chief reason why Staup- 
itz and other evangelical men preferred to 
remain in the Church of Rome. The Church 
01 Rome still maintains a more comprehen- 
sive view of redemption than is common in 
Protestant Churches. Her fault is that she 
does not distinguish and properly define 
justification and sanctification. Protes- 
tantisyi defined justification, but left sanc- 
tification in a very uncertain condition. 
The Puritan Reformation unfolded the doc- 
trine of sanctification and defined it as a 
progressive work of God, but did not define 
^ its appropriating instrument. It laid stress 
on "the importance of ^anotification in this 
life. It saw that sanctification must be| 
completed in the Middle State, but it left! 
this subject in such an obscure form that it 
has been the general opinion in Calvinistic 
Churches that sanctification was completedf 
at the very moment of death. ' 

IV. Judgment at Death. 

This interpretation was favored by the 
scholastic divines, who coined the doctrine 



1889.J 



REDEMPTION AFTER DEATH. 



107 



of a judgment at death which assigns to 
heaven or hell or purgatory. This doctrine 
of a judgment at death has no warrant in 
the Scriptures or in the creeds of Christen- 
dom. It is not only unsupported by Scrip- 
ture and the Symbols, but it violates them 
all ; for it throws the day of judgment into 
the background, robs it of its place and im- 
portance in the Christian system and in re- 
ligious experience, and applies many passages 
of Scripture that belong only to it, to the 
judgment at death, and so makes death the 
supreme issue. 

Furthermore, the doctrine of a judgment 
at death is a heathen doctrine derived from 
the lieathcn mythological conception of a 
god of the realm of the dead. It was taken 
up by the scholastic divines of the Middle 
Ages, and borrowed from them by the Prot- 
estant scholastics. It does violence to the 
doctrine of Scripture and the creeds, that 
the human race had its probation in Adam, 
and when he fell was judged in him and 
condemned to death and the abode of the 
lost. The heathen doctrine of a judgment 
at death throws both the or! spinal judgment 
and the final judgment into the background, 
and puts a crisis in a false place in the his- 
tory of redemption.* 

V. The Second Advent. 

Furthermore, the attitude of Theology, 
in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, 
has been changed toward the great crisis of 
the Second Advent and the Day of Judg- 
ment. The doctrine of the Scriptures and 
the doctrine of the Church in all its Creeds 
and Liturgies is that the Advent is immL- 
nent. Tlus is expressed in that wonderful 
"fiymn. Dies Irce. But in the eighteenth cen- 
tury two errors, that were revived by the 
Anabaptists and a few isolated scholars, 
gained a rapid supremacy in the Theology 
of the Protestant Churclies. The one of 
these is the Premillenarian doctrine. This 
separated the advent of the Messiah by 
a thousand years from the last judgment. 
It retained the church doctrine of the im- 
minency of the Advent, but pushed the 
divine judgment into the background. 
The other error was still more serious, for 
it postponed the second Advent as well as 
tlic judgment until after the Millennium had 
been completed, and thus antagonized the 
doctrine of the Cluirchas to the great crisis. 
Til is latter opinion has so prevailed in the 
nineteenth century, that it has been regard- 
ed as orthodox, owing to its advocacy by 



* See ISn^'n^tdthefy pp. flto ieq., 1889, Charles Scribner'a 

Sons. 



leading divines in the British and American 
Churches. * 

Both of these serious errors should be ban- 
ished, with the doctrine of a particular judg- 
ment at death, as all alike contrary to the 
Scriptures and the Creeds ; and us obstruc- 
tions to the development of a Biblical and 
Historical Theology. The Millennium of the 
Scriptures and of the Fathers is not an ob- 
ject for our future expectation. The Church 
has already enjoyed that experience and is 
enjoying it now. The Millennium of popu- 
lar conception is a conceit without support 
in the Scriptures or in the Creeds. The \ 
crisis that we are to look forward to, long 
for, watch for, and pray for, is the Advent of 
our Ijord in glory and judgment at the end 
of the age, to glorify his saints and perfect * 
his kingdom. In modern Eschatology the 
Millennium has usurped the place of the 
Middle State. 

VI. The Means of Grace 

The Roman Catholics teach that the di- 
vine grace is imparted by the sacraments of 
tlie Church. Accordingly, all who have not 
enjoyed these sacraments are excluded from 
heaven, and also from purgatory. The 
Lutherans teach that the grace of God is 
imparted by word and sacraments. It is 
difficult for the Lutheran to extend re- 
demption beyond the bounds of the Chris- 
tian Church and the use of the means of 
grace. The Reformed Churches teach that 
the divine grace is not limited to the ordi- 
nary means, and hence the Divine Spirit may 
work apart from the Church and its ordi- 
nances, and so it is possible to conceive that 
the Kingdom of God is more CKtensive than 
the visible Church. But the question still 
remains. How may the divine grace be ap- 
propriated by the person to be redeemed ? 

The Protestant Reformation madi; an im- 
portant advance in the History of Doctrine 
by its definition of Justification hy Faith 
only. This is the banner doctrine of Prot- 
estantism, the doctrine by which the Cliurch 
stands or falls. The Roman Catholics con- 
found justification and sanctification, Tliey 
make sanctification tlie product of the sac- 
raments of the Church in this life. It is ap- 
propriated by the use of the sacraments. It , 
is carried on in the Middle State by purga- 
torial fires. The Protestants separated justi- 
fication from sanctification, and represented 
that justification was appropriated hy faith 
alone, and not through the bare use of the 
sacraments. They taught that sanctification 
was the fruit of justification, but mey did 



♦ Brings' WfiWier? pp. 200 seq. 



tt 






d:UJZ(/4s:^ 



not carefully define it. It is the merit of 
tlie Puritan Reformation that it defined 
sauctification, rejientance, and the doctrines 
related to them. These doctrines were con- 
sidered in their relation to this life and the 
ultimate state, but were not applied to tlie 
Middle State. 

Calvinism remained indifferent to the 
question of the Middle State, because it was 
content to leave all to the electing grace of 
God. 

VII. Probation. 

But Arminianism and Semi-Arminianism 
could not be so indifferent. Daniel Whitby 
first formulated the doctrine of Probation in 
this life, in his attack upon the Five Points 
of Calvinism ; and Bishop Butler gave it 
currency among all the opponents of Eng- 
lish Deism, so that it has been largely ap- 
propriated by Calvinists, and has in many 
respects warped Calvinistic Theology.* 

The doctrine that this life is a probation 
calls attention to the fact that it is so in fact 
only to a very small portion of our race. 
And if the redemption of a part depends on 
their useof their j)robation, how can those 
' "be saved who have no probation at jill ? It 
\/ seems necessary, therefore, to e'xiend proba- 
tion for these into the Middle State, or to 
give the vast majority of mankind over to 
the devil. Accordingly, Whitby tauglit the 
aimihilation of the wicked, f and Butler 
consistently held to the extension of proba- 
tion into tlie future life. J Other probation- 
ists must either follow their example or else 
abandon the doctrine of probation altogeth- 
er. Arminians and Semi-Arminians must 
in the end take one of these two alternative 
courses. 

Arminians and Semi-Arminians, who are 
in our churches, and who believe in the doc- 
trine of probation, must face this question. 
^ If probation is to be extended to the Middle 
^A/, State, they must in some way conceive of 
^f the gospel extending into Hades, for it is 
difficult to see any possibility for rci't^uera- 
tion there^without it. Several t luinics have 
"been proposed to overcome this difficulty. 

(1) Some think that when our Saviour 
preached to the imprisoned spirits ho organ- 
ized those whom he saved into a church, 
and left them in Abaddon with a commis- 
sion to preach his gospel to the lost. This 
is not in itself impossible. It might be said 
that such a mission would be so difficult and 
exacting, that it is hard to believe that the 
SaviouB would lay it upon any of his re- 



[Dfec, 



. 108/ ^ TT MAGAZWE OF QMRISTIAN LITERATURE. 



y 



Ittff^-milthfj- ? pp. 217 
' titncntaries, II. These. 
Jalogy, 1. 13, II. 6. 



feq. 

p. 391, cd. 1710. 



deemed. And yet I cannot help the thought 
that there have been and are to-day Chris- 
tians who would be willing to go into the 
depths of Abaddon to glorify Christ and save 
souls. How much more, those Avho may 
have been redeemed by Christ in Abaddon 
itself might regard it as a privilege to labor 
for him in this prison of the lost T 

(3) It has been conjectured that hypo- 
crites and others, who know the gospel, but 
have no saving experience of it here, may 
recall it there and be saved by it, and in this 
way become the iireachers of Hades. In 
that ingenious book. Letters from Hell, the 
author suggests that hypocritical priests and 
people assemble in church on the sabbaths 
in Hell as was their habit in this world, and 
that they are tormented by not being able to 
recall the gospel to their minds. It seems 
to me that it is far more likely that the 
larger portion of them would remember it. 
Such a paralysis of the memory is unpsycho- 
logical. The lost are not to be imbeciles or 
madmen. 

And it is not incredible that a considerable 
portion of the Bible miglit be recovered 
from the memories of those who go thither. 
This is certainly true if the current opinions 
in the Christian Churches are true, that all 
Heretics and Jews are sent there. A Hades 
full of Protestants, as the Romanists think, 
could hardly be without the Gospel. A 
place of torment where Roman Catholics are 
found by the hundreds of millions — popes, 
archbishops, monks, nuns, and all, could 
hardly be in such terrible ignorance of 
Christ and his Word. The Old Testament, 
with its Messianic j^romise, could hardly jmss 
from the minds of all Jews. Even Unita- 
rians, Universalists, and German Rationalists 
might reasonably recall some of those pas- 
sages of the New Testament that contain in 
them the sum of the gospel, and are called 
by Luther little Bibles. In this case we 
would have to ask Avhether the gospel could 
lose its i^ower there ; whether it would be 
deprived of the influence of the Divine 
Spirit, and finally, whether all those who 
have gone there have become so hardened 
as to be incapable of faith and repentance? 

(3) It has been generally thought by the 
advocates of an extension of redemption to 
the abode of the lost, that the Saviour might 
commission some of the redeemed of this 
world to preach his gospel there. It is true 
this would be a difficult and hazardous work 
for any man to undertake. It is true that 
there was an impassable gulf that Abraham 
and Lazarus were not allowed to cross. But 
this did not prevout our Saviour from_cri)Sg- 
ing that gulf during his ministry to the 



1889v] 



REDEMPTION AFTER DEATH. 



101) 



V 



underworld, and it docs not exclude the pos- 
Kibility that he might bridge that chasm for 
tlie heralds of redemption in his wondrous 
love for lost souls. It is conceivable that he 
may have done tliis. But it is without any 
warrant from Holy Scripture and must re- 
main pure conjecture. The difficulty lies 
not in the inability of the Messiah to send, 
or in the readiness of preachers to go, but in 
the feasibility of the work itself. 

JVIany in the early Church thought this 
work feasible. The Sheplierd of Hermas 
represents the apostles and martyrs as carry- 
ing on the preaching of Christ in Hades. 
And, indeed, what man is there, wlio has a 
spark of heroism, who would not rather 
work for Christ among the lost in Hades, if 
there were any possibility of sucli a work, 
than to pass centuries in a dreamy state of 
existence in Paradise, or live a life of ease 
and selfish gratification in the heights of 
heaven ? Far better to work in Sheol than 
idle in heaven. The current views of the 
state of blessedness are unethical and de- 
moralizing. They have little attraction for 
men of intel lect and ])owcr, or for souls on 
lire with love to C'lr.L t and eager for the re- 
demption of men. It we cannot serve our 
(Saviour in heaven better than on earth, there 
is little to attract us after death. But 
thanks be unto God, we know that we may 
glorify him in the better world. We may 
share the aim of Paul, that whether in 
heaven or on earth we may be well-pleasing 
to Him. There are inexhaustible treasures 
of redemption that we may appropriate for 
ourselves, and that we may share in distrib- 
uting to others. 

All such theories of redemption of lost 
souls after death are castles in the air. No 
one can put any confidence in tlicm. They 
have no solid ground on which to rest. 
They are not so dangerous as some would 
have it ; they do not convince any one ; 
they cannot disturb the real faith of the 
Church. They may unsettle those Avho 
see the crisis for mankind in the event 
of death. And they will render real service 
if they sliould destroy this error altogether. 

They may expose the weakness of the cur- 
rent Eschatology. They may tlius be a 
blessing in disguise. For the real faith of 
the Church, as expressed in the creeds of 
Christendom, looks forward, now as in the 
ages of the past, not to the day of death or 
a millennium, but to the Second Advent of 
the Messiah and his day of judgment, when 
He will make the final decision that will is- 
sue in everlasting ruin to some Avretched 
ereatiires-feiit in-^ '■ier}s;^figH[;lis8 to ttic hu- 
man race as a whole. 



VIII. Salvation of Infants. 

In the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries 
in the Lutheran, Anglican, and lieformed 
National Churches, the entire population 
belonged to the Church by baptism, and the 
great majority by partaking of the Lord's 
Supper. The National Churches took entire 
possession of their respective countries, and 
either banished, reduced to submission, im- 
prisoned, or put to death dissenters. TheA 
conception of the everlasting death of chil- 
dren did not spring into the mind of theo- 
logians or the people, except so far as they 
were involved in the everlasting damnation 
of the heathen. This was taken as a matter 
of course. But in those days there was lit- 
tle contact with the heathen, and the mind 
of men was not impressed with this awful 
fact. There were a few theologians, such as 
Zwingli and Coelius Secundus Curio, who 
held that the grace of God extended to the 
heathen. But at that time theology did not 
confront the problem. 

The development of Puritanism in the 
seventeenth century and the origination of 
a large number of sects in Holland and Great 
Britain, such as Anabaptists, Baptists, Qua- 
kers, Unitarians, Universalists, Arminians, 
and the new circumstances that arose, dis- 
closing thousands and millions of unbaptized 
children in Christian lands, forced the ques- 
tion of the salvation of unbaptized children 
upon the attention of theologians. Further- 
more, the result of the religious conflicts in 
Great Britain and Holland produced a large 
class of men and women who declined com- 
munion Avith the churches in the way of 
sacrament. The strict rules of the dissent- 
ing churches, excluding all but those who 
would comply with their rules, and changing 
the churclies into a multitude of religious 
clubs, increased the number of the popula- 
tion who did not belong to the Church and j 
were not professing Christians. This forced 
the ministry to consider wliether these men 
and women, many of them leading upright 
lives, Avcre to be damned in Hell forever. 
In the eighteenth century these matters 
came before the mind and heart of Chris- 
tians as never before. The result of these 
things has been a gradual cliange of opinion 
on these subjects, and the recognition of the 
universal salvation of infants and the ad- 
mission that men may be saved who are not 
in communion with the Church. 

Tlie present century brought the phurch 
of Christ face to face with tlie heatlieB. world. 
Hundreds of millions of heathen stj ad over 
against nominal Christians half the \x num- 
ber. The latter must be reduced b ^ multi- 



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110 



MAGAZINE OF C 



^ 



^RISTIAJSr LITERATURE. 



tudcs who arc iiiliabitauts of Christian lands, '', 
but who do not profess the faith of Christ. 
It is safe to say that there are not one liun- ■ 
dred millions on the earth to-day who com- ' 
ply with the methods of salvation taught in 
Christian Churches. The damnation of 
these millions of heathen, who have never 
heard of Christ, and millions of nominal 
Christians, who do not use the means of grace 
offered them by the Church, is~'an awful 
fact for tlT6 Church to confront after nearly 
■ two thousand years of Christianity on the 
earth. The ministry and the people do not 
really believe that these multitudes will be 
damned. The matter is eased a little by the 
theory that the dying infants of the heathen 
arc saved, and some of the best of heathen 
adults may attain redemption ; but the great 
mass of the adult population of Asia and 
Africa — yes, of Europe and America also — 
are doomed to heli-fire according to the pop- 
ular theology. The ministers preach it, and 
i^Jie people listen to this doctrine as they do 
to many others, but they are not moved by 
it. They accept it as orthodox doctrine 
without understanding it ; but they do not 
really believe it in their hearts. HJJiQ' did^ 
they would be more worthy of djamnation ' 
than the heathen themselves. If a single 
man were in peril of physical death, the whole 
community would be aroused to save him. 
No price would be too great. Men and 
women would cheerfully risk their lives to 
save him. Those who would not do this 
would be regarded as base cowards. But 
here, according to the average missionary 
sermon, are untold millions of heathen per- 
ishing without the gospel, and at death go- 
ing into everlasting fire. Vast multitudes 
of unevangelized persons in our cities and 
towns and villages are confronting the same 
cruel destiny. 

If the ministry and people really believed 
it they would pour out their Avealth like 
water ; they would rush in masses to the 
heathen world with the gospel of redemp- 
tion. There would ])e a new crusade that 
would put the old crusades to shame. Those 
who have the gospel, and will not give it to 
others who know it not, may incur a worse 
doom in the day of judgment than the igno- 
rant. Those who knew the Lord's will and 
did it not will be beaten with many stripes ; 
those Avho knew not and did things worthy 
of stripes with few stripes. * 
I The difficulty is to construct the doctrine 
I of the salvation cf infants and the heathen 
in harrnony with established doctrines. 
TheJ^Qtestant doctriiic of justification by 

* Luke xii. 48. 



faith implies that there can be ji o salvation -\ 
;vithja^t justilication on the part of God and ^ S 
faitl}''bn the part of man. The Westminster a ^ 
doctrine is that, t 

" God did from all eternity, decree to justify all 
the elect ; and Christ did, in tlic fulness of time, die y^ 
for their sins, and rise again for their justification ;^ 
nevertheless tliey are not justified, until the Holy- ^ ^ 
Spirit doth, in due time, actually apply Christ unto " 
them" (xi. 4). 

This passage not only teaches the common 
Protestant doctrine of justification and con- 
nects it Avith the doctrine of election, but 
it also rules out the Antinomian doctrine of 
eternal justificationrjvithout faithT'' which 
was current in the time of the AYesnninster 
Assembly. The AYestminster divines did 
not think of any application of Christ apart 
from personal faith ; for they distinctly state : 

" Redemption is certainly applied, and effectually \ii 
communicated, to all those tor whom Christ hath fr. 
purchased it ; who are in time by the Holy Ghost 
enabled to believe in Christ, according to the gos- 
pel ■' (Larger Catechism, Ans. 59). 

Believing in Clirist is therefore universal so 
far as the elect of God and the redeemed of 
Christ are concerned. There. i^^osaly^on 
without personal faith. 

The Westminster divines were not clear in 
their views as to the faith of infants and in- v 
capables. Some supposed that the children, 
being bound in the covenant with their par- « 
ents, the parents' faith laid hold of justifica- 
tion for their children ; others supposed that ^ 
the germs of faith and repentance were * 
planted in them by the Holy Spirit in the 
work of regeneration either in connection 
Avith Baptism or apart from it. 

ISTo orthodox Protestant thought of justi- 
fication without the exercise of^personal fajlh 
on the parT^of the justified, lliere must 
be an application of Jesus Christ by the Holy 
Spiiit to every one to be saved, and there 
must be a personal appropriation of Jesus 
Christ on the part of all Avho are redeemed. 
The order of Salvation is necessary in all its 
l^arts for every child of God. 

" Those whom God effectually calleth he also 
freely justifieth" (xi. 1). ( Westminster Confession of 
Faitli.) "All those that are justified, God vouchsaf- 
cth, in and for his only Son, Jesus Christ, to make 
partakers of the grace of adoption' ' (xii. 1). " They 
■vvho are effectually called and regenerated, having 
a new heart and a new spirit created in tlicm, arc 
farther sanctified really and personally" (xiii. 1). 
" They whom God hath acccptetl in his Beloved, 
effectually called and sanctified by his Spirit, can 
neither totally nor finally fall away from the state 
of grace ; but shall certainly persevere therein to the 
end, and be eternally saved " (xvii. 1). 

There is but one way^f salvation for all, 
one orilo salutis. Tliere fs but one kind of 
justification, one kind of sanctification, one 



v^ 



1889.] 



REDEMPTION AFTER DEATH. 



Ill 



kind of saving faith, and one kind of repent- 
ance unto life. The modern extension of 
tl\^ doctrine of redemption so as to include 
not only infants of Believers, but" alTTnf ants ; 
and also so as to embrace not only the peo- 
ple of God under the Old Covenant and the 
people of God who accept the New Cove- 
nant, but also multitudes from among the 
heathen, who have not the light of either of 
these covenants, but only the light of ua- 
tiu'.ej raises the question how these can be 
saved consistently with the Protestant doc- 
trine of justification by faith and the Puri- 
tan doctrine of sanctification. It is evident 
that the orthodox divines of the seventeenth 
century constructed their systems of doc- 
trine without any conception of such an ex- 
tension of redemption. The theory of some 
modern theologians, such as the elder and 
younger Hodge, that they may be saved 
without personal faith, subverts the funda- 
mental principle of Protestantism. The 
current unformulated theory that they can 
be saved without acceptance of the right- 
eousness of Christ undermines the funda- 
mental principle of Christianity. Christians 
are not saved in classes or masses, but as in- 
dividuals out of the mass of corruption. It 
is anti-Christian to say that the entire race 
of men may be regarded as redeemed, unless 
it is expressly said that they are lost. On 
the contrary, the Bible and the Creeds teach 
that all are lost unless they are personally 
redeemed and experience the work of grace. 
There must be some way in which infants, 
incapables and pious men beyond the bounds 
of Christendom may be brought into con- 
tact with God and His Christ, and have an 
opportunity to believe in him, or they cannot 
be saved in accordance with the teachings 
of the Scriptures and the creeds of Chris- 
tendom. Unless this can be done Protes- 
tantism — yes, the entire system of Christian 
doctrine, breaks down. 

The fault of modern Protestantism has 
been in neglecting the doctrine of salvation 
as a whole, with its ordo salutis, and in 
thinking too exclusively of the initial steps. 
Justification by faith was too exclusively in 
the minds of the early Protestants, and re- 
geiieration is unduly prominent in American 
ProfestanT Theology since the rise of Meth- 
odism, having 'taken the place of the older 
doctrine of Elfectual Calling. It is not diffi- 
cult to understand that the ]3ivine Spirit 
may regenerate all the elect in this world, 
and plant within them the seeds of faith 
and repentance, so that redemption may 
I mvni tejjg^li Ti n i n g ^ro f or infants and in- 
• ■apuDlesT S^Tnay^Is'o''"see''tTiT8~iaith and 
repentance germinate and spring up under 



the light of nature, and feel after God and 
His Christ in many among the heathen ; but 
the redemption thus begun must in some 
way bring them to Christ in order that they 
may have the possession and enjoyment of 
salvation. 

From the Arminian doctrine of probation 
and of human responsibility for the initia- 
tion of redemption, the first steps of regen- 
eration must take place in the Intermediate 
State for all these persons or not at all. 
But from the Calvinistic position, which 
makes the divine grace prevenient, it is easy 
to hold that every elect person is a( tually 
regenerated in this life before he lea^ es the 
world. It seems that the birth o\ little 
children into this world would have no sig- 
nificance if they were not to have th eir re- 
generation here also. They must b( bom 
as children of Adam to take part in i\. e ruin 
of the race, and it would seem that oi ly the 
children of Adam have a share in th 3 Sav- 
iour of the race. From this point of view 
Calvinism ought to have no hesitation in ad- 
vancing into the doctrine of tho lliddle, 
State. The_£aliiLtiQ'u Avhich isbo^ih^wi- 
^^yzegejQ^iapm^Iis- Citrried_.Qii_.His^. For 
"The vast majority of our race who die in in- 
fancy or have lived beyond the range of the 
means of grace, their salvation begjm in 
this life by regeneration is carried on m the .' 
Intermediate State with the exercise of per-, ' 
sonal faith in Christ, whom they know there 
fo r the fir s^;. There the germs of faith and \ 
repentance that have been put in their\j 
hearts in regeneration by the Holy Spirit U 
spring up in the sunlight of Christ's own .1 
face, and lay hold of him as their Saviour, i 
Not till then are they justified, for there J 
can be no justification without faith for A 
them any more than for others. The I nter- ( I 
mediate State is for them a. state-ci iiessed / 
possibilities of redemptioii. This is bbauti- 
"fiilTy expressed in a hymn of Ephraim, the 
Syrian, translated by Professor Gilbert : 

"Our God, to Thcc sweet praises rise ' 
From youthful lips in Paradise ; 
From boys fair robed in spotless white, 
And nourished in the courts of light. 
In arbors they, where soft and low 
The blessed streams of light do tlow : 
And Gabriel, a shepherd strong, 
Doth gently guide their tlocks along. 
Their honors higher and more fair 
Than those of saints and virgins are ; 
God's sons an; they on that far coast. 
And nurselings of the Holy Ghost." 

The Intermediate State is. therefore, for 
a considerable portion of our race a state for , ,' 
the cgnsurmnatJ.OTi — of.^Uicir jn.'^ti^ci'^i&n- 
The Protestant doctrine of justificrtti|bn bv 
faith alone forces to this position. 



(J 



i 



P.7. 



1 



s.n. 



T 



lOi 



h 



113 



^1 i^t (jL^ A 



(a^'T 



Ht^ 



/^ 



>^ 



MAGAZINE OF 



IX. Progressive ^anctijication. 



C^ISTIAN LITERATURE. 



[Dec. 



U. 



K 



But justification by faith belongs to the 
carher stages of redemption. All those who 
are justified are also sanctified. No one can 
be ultimately and altogether redeemed with- 
out sanctification. 

It is necessary that believers should have 
the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, and that 
they should be " more and more quickened 
and' strengthened in all saving graces to the 
practice of true holiness, without which no 
man shall see the Lord," and '* so the saints 
grow ^n grace, perfecting holiness in the, 
fear of God." The doctrine of immediate 
sanctification is a heresy which has always 
been rejected by orthodox Protestants. 

The Westminster Confession definitely 
states I: " This sanctification is throughout, 
yet imperfect in this life." Jf. imperfect in 
this life for all believers, there is no other 
state in which it can be perfected save in the 
Intermediate State. The Intermediate 
State is therefore for all believers without 
exception a state for their sanctijication. 
They are there trained in the school of 
Christ, and are prepared for the Christian 
perfection which they must attain ere the 
judgment day. 

I am well aware that it has been a com- 
mon opinion that believers are at their death 
— that is, in the very moment of death, com- 
pletely sanctified. This opinion seems to be 
favored by the statement of the Shorter Cate- 
chism — " The souls of believers are at their 
death made perfect in holiness." (Quest. 37.) 
This is one of a number of instances in which 
the Shorter Catechism by its brief, unguarded 
statements has occasioned error. The Larger 
Catechism is fuller and clearer when it says : 
" The communion in glory with Christ, 
which the members of the invisible church 
enjoy immediately after death, is in that 
their souls are then made perfect in holi- 
ness, and received into the highest heavens, 
where they behold the face of God in light 
and glory. (Quest. 80.) 

The phrase " immediately after death" is 
the phrase of the question : " What is the 
communion in glory with Christ which the 
members of the invisible church eujo}' im- 
mediately after death ?" and it is designed to 
cover the entire period of the Intermediate 
State as distinguished from the state of 
resurrection, and it is not limited to the 
moment after death, in which the Interme- 
diate State has its beginning. This is clear 
from Question 82, where the general ques- 
tion. " What is t he communion in glory 
^KicMthT'inembers'cTTtTTrrnTiTnble chtirch 
havci 'ith Christ ?" is answered in the follow- 



el-; 



ing three divisions of condition, which appear 
in three questions that follow : " The com- 
munion in glory, which the members of 
the invisible church have with Christ, is in 
this life, immediately after death, and at 
last perfected at the resurrection and day of 
judgment." It ought to be clear to any one 
that, having made sanctification a work of 
God's grace and a growi;h extending through 
the entire life of \ the believer and left in- 
complete at death, Mid that, having denied^^ 
the doctrine of imn;iediate sanctification, *^ 
the Westminster divines could not be so in- 
consistent as to teach that at the moment 
of death, occurring at various stages in the-^ 
growth in holiness, sanctification then 
changed its nature, ceased to be a progres- " 
sive work, a growth, and became immediate, *\ 
an act of God like justification. This would 
be to undermine the Protestant doctrine of , 
sanctification. It is essential to the integ 
rity of the Protestant system of faith that i 
we should resist the Antinomian doctrines 
of eternal justification without faith and of 
immediate sanctification at any time or in 
any state or place. 

There are some theologians who persuade 
themselves that they can believe in the im- 
mediate justification and the immediate 
sanctification of infants, of incapables and 
of heathen adults in the change of death, in 
that supreme moment of transition from this 
life to the Middle State. Such a theory 
may be stated in words, but it is inconceiv- 
able in fact. What a transformation would 
take place in the intellectual and moral 
powers of infants, incapables and the dark- 
minded heathen ! Such a metamorphosis is 
not taught in the Scriptures or the Creeds. 
It would violate the intellectual and moral 
constitution of man. 

Those who believe it may claim that all 
things are possible to God. But it might 
be said that it is just as possible for God to 
use the water of Baptism, ex oj^ere operate, 
to work regeneration, as Sacramentarians be- 
lieve ; and it is just as possible that the ele- 
ments of the Lord's Supper may be changed 
into the real body and blood of our Lord, as 
the lioman Catholics believe. These divine 
transformations are just as possible to God 
and just as credible to the mind of man as 
the immediate transformation of a little babe 
into a perfectly holy man in the image of 
Jesus Christ ; or of the instantaneous ac- 
complishment of the entire ordo sahttis for 
an idiot in the very moment of death. All 
such magical doctrines are subversive of the 
entire structure of Protestantism. They 
belong to rh— «g€ r.£_j>wgif^- ajifl.have. no 
place in an age of Eeason and Faith. 









1889.] 



REDEMPTION AFTER DEATH. 



113 



It was a keen thrust of Mohler that Prot- 
estantism without 4. purgatory must either 
let men enter heaven stained with sin, or 
else think of an imWediate magical trans- 
formation at death, W whi ch sin mechani- 
cally and violently f afls oS from us with the 
body. Hase justly replied that Protestant- 
ism would hot accept this dilemma, and that 
Protestant Theology taught that the divine 
grace was operative, and men capable of 
moral development after death. This view is 
the established opinion in German Theology. 
Dorner, Martensen, Kahnis, and other di- 
vines teach that there must be a growth 
in sanctificatio.u in the Middle t^tate. All 
ProTestants must accept this doctrine or 
they are sure to be caught in the inconsis- 
tency of magical, mechanical and unethical 
opinio Qs. This opinion is commonly held 
by Protestants in Great Britain. Why 
should Protestants in America lag behind 
their brethren in Europe ? We have been 
caught in the snares of recent errors. Let 
us break through the snares and re-establish 
ourselves in the ancient Christian doctrine 
of the Middle State. 

The deeper ethical sense in German The- 
ology since Kant forced divines to distinguish 
grades of sin and guilt and punishment, and 
to study as never before the psychological 
origin of sin and its development in human 
nature. Attention was thus called to the 
words of Jesus that the sin against the Holy 
Spirit was the only eternal sin, the only un- 
pardonable transgression. This sin is not 
only unpardonable in this age, but also in 
the age to come. This raises the question 
whether any man is irretrievably lost ere he 
commits this unpardonable sin, and whether 
those who do not commit it in this world ere 
they die are, by the mere crisis of death, 
brought into an unpardonable state ; and 
whether, when Jesus said that this sin against 
the Holy Spirit was unpardonable here and 
also hereafter, he did not imply that all other 
sins might be pardoned hereafter as well 
as here. This conclusion was reached by 
Nitzsch, Tholuck, Julius Muller, Martensen, 
Dorner, Schaff, and many others. 
' The doctrmoof immediate justification and 
sanctification at death involves the conceit 
that the child who dies in infancy a few mo- 
ments after birth is immediately justified and 
sanctified, receives saving faith and all the 
Christian graces in an instant ; while his 
brother, who lives in this world, is not justi- 
fied until he reaches the age in which he 
can exercise personal faith, and then he; has 
all the struggles of life to undergo until he 
roaches the limit>' oOT'i''i;!jAJJf<^-}iajfchout the 
icomforts of sauctiijcatiun, which he cannot 



receive until death. If this were so, then 
blessed are those who die in infancy, and 
thus outstrip their fellows in the Christian 
race. Vastly better to be born to die, than 
to be born to live in this uncertain world. 
What laarent would not prefer to lay all his 
children in an early grave, assured of their 
salvation, rather than expose them to the 
dreadful risks of life and the possibility of 
eternal damnation? According to the cur- 
rent beliefs, those Chinese mothers who put 
their children to death make more Chris- 
tians than all the missionaries. 

Overcome with such reflections, we might 
express our misery in the complaint of Job, 

" Why died I not from the womb ? 

Why did I not give up the ghost when I camo from 

the belly ? 
Why did the knees receive me ? 
Or why the breasts, that I should suck ? 
For now would I have lain down and been qjuiet, 
I would have slept ; then had I been at rest. ' ] 

The Christian doctrine of sanctification 
forces us to the conclusion that the Middle 
State is now and has ever been the school 
of Christian Sanctification. The Eoman 
Catholic doctrine of purgatory is a perver- 
sion of the true doctrine. It is mechanical 
and unethical, like other peculiar doctrines 
of the Roman Catholic system. But it is 
better than a blank agnosticism. There is 
much truth and some comfort in the midst 
of its errors, and it has profound consolation 
to offer to the bereaved and penitent. Here 
is one of its greatest strongholds. It is less 
mechanical and less unethical than the 
theory that has prevailed among Protestants 
that there is both immediate justification 
and immediate sanctification in the article 
of death. 

The doctrines associated with Christian 
sanctification lead to similar results. Are 
the experiences of saving faith, assurance 
of grace and salvation, religious worf^hip, 
the communion of saints confined to a few 
adult Christians in this life ? Have Ithey 
no meaning for the vast majority of thje re- 
deemed ? Eathcr for the best of Chris|;ians 
the sublime truth and comfort involved in 
these doctrines are not realized until they 
enter upon the Middle State. 

Those who hold the doctrine of iiamediate 
sanctification at death do not really under- 
stand the Protestant doctiiiio of sanctifica- 
tion and th e princi])Uv^ < f ('liri<ti:ni EtlJics^^ 

Regeneration is an act of God and I'rom 
its very idea is instantaneous, for it is the 
production of a new life in man. Regener- 
ation is only one of the terms used-m the 
Xew Testament to "describe this begin l-j^g 
of Christian life. Resurrection is moreffi-e. 



I. 






t ^4 



^/-r. 



^^ 






114 



J/:i GAZINE OF CHRISTIAN LITERA'TURE. 



[Dec, 



4~ 



quently used. Creation is also employed. 
Effectual Culling was preferred by the West- 
minster divines. All these terms indicate a 
divine originating act. Regeneration is al- 
ways such, and cannot be otherwise. 

ikit sauctilication is the growth of that 
life from birth to full manhood, to the like- 
uess of Christ. It is ahvays in this world a 
gi-owth ; it is incomplete with the best of 
men at death. Docs it change its nature 
then ? Shall the little babe, tlie idiot, the 
seeker after (Jod among the heathen, the 
Roman Catholic, the Protestant, and the 
saints of all ages, all alike in an instant leap 
over this period of growth, however different 
their stage of progress may be? Shall a babe 
become a man in an instant? Shall a sav- 
age become a philosopher in a moment ? 
Shall a little boy become a John Calvin, and 
a John Calvin be conformed to the image of 
Christ, all at a divine creative word? Then 
Ithe difference between regeneration and 
sanctification has disappeared for the vast 
/majority of the redeemed. 
kZrxlJk ^^ regeneration and sanctification are one 
^"^ /^jict, how can we distinguish the intervening 
/..> *-«/act of justification; and if regeneration, 
justification, and sanctification may all be 
one at death, why not in this life, as the 
Plymouth bretliren teacli ? AVhy was the 
world turned upside down at the Protestant 
[{eformation in order to discriminate justi- 
lication by faith from sanctification if, after 
all these centuries of Protestantism, they 
;irc really identical for the vast majority of 
our race, and are only to be distinguished in 
those in Christian lands who live to matu- 
n^ rily and become true Christians ? Then 
_y Protestantism would be not only a failure, 

i^ 4 but also one of the greatest crimes in his- 
^ /tory. This is the pit of ruin into which the 
^ \ Niogmatic divines of our day would force us 
.» /tCS2 rather than gxtend the light of redemption 
— into the Mid dle Sl^ate. i 

TTiose dnines who confound eanctifica-! 
tion with justification do not understand the 
principles of sanctification and Christian 
Kthibs. Sanctification has two sides — morti- 
fication and vivification ; the former is man- 
ward, the latter is Oodward. Bglicxfijcajiilp 
enter the Mi ddle »State_.eatQr_Bitij£sa ; they 
are pardoned and justified ; they are mantled 
in the blood and righteousness of Christ ; 
and nothing will be able to separate them 
from his love. They are also delivered from I 
all temptations such as spring from with- 
out, from the world and the devil. They/ 
are encircled with influences for good suclij 
^-^/*y have neier -Cuip^d, .before. But 
X}\£;frjf^- still the same persons, with airffi'd' 
gifti ' ' ■ " ■ 



rr 



:> 



Xf^ f '? 



and g;ace8 and also all the eviLhabitI' 



of jniiid. disposition, and temper they had 
when tiii'v k'i't the world. It is unpsycho- 
logical to suppose that these will all be 
changed in the moment of death. It is the 
Manichean hcresxto hold that sin belongs 
To tHe^pTiysical organization, andisTaid aside 
with the body. If this were so, how can any 
of our race carry their evil natures with 
them into the Middle State and incur the 
punishment of their sins ? The Plymouth 
Brethren hold that there are two natures in 
the redeemed, the old man and the new. 
In accordance with such a theory, the old 
man might be cast off at death. 13ut this is 
only a more subtile kind of Manicheism, 
which has ever been regarded as heretical. 
Sin, as our Saviour teaches, has its source in 
the heart, in the higher and immortal part 
of man. It is the work of sanctification to 
overcome sin in the higher nature. We may i 
justly hold that the evil that lingers in the] 
higher moral nature of believers Avill be sup- 
pressed and modified with a^ energy of re- 1 
pentance, humiliation, confession, and de- 
termination that will be more powerful than 
ever before, because it will be stimulated by 
the presence of Christ and his saints. The 
Christian graces will unfold under more 
favorable circumstances than in this world. 
If it were possible that sanctification at 
death would make men so perfect in holi- 
ness a^ to remove all evil tendencies and 
habits, and not only destroy their disposition 
to sin, but so lift them above temptation 
that they would be not only like our Sav- 
iour during his earthly life, ^^o.^sr non peccare, 
but also like our Saviour after he had sanc- 
tified himself and risen victor over sin, 
death, and Satan, and attained the position 
of 7ion posse peccare ; even then they would 
only have accomplished the negative side of 
sanctification, the mortification or entire 
putting to death the old man of sin. They 
would still have to undergo the process of 
vivification and learn ilie practice of true 
holiness. Wliat i:)ractice have infants and 
imbeciles when they fenter the Middle 
State ? How far short ^in practice do the 
best of men fall ? Are' they no longer to 
have an opportunity for the practice of true 
holiness ? Will there be no chance to learn ' 
what true holiness is ? The Middle State 
must, from the very nature of the case, be a 
school of Banctification. 

X. Tlic Reigning Christ. 

It was a profound saying of Henry B. 
Smith that Eschatology ought to be Chris- 
tologized. It is greatly to be regretted that 
he did not'uTFiI nis ~O^Tl " ai-tt^iiiiou^tcrthat 
theme, and give us the fruit of his iuvestiga- 



1889.] 



REDEMPTION AFTER DEATH. 



115 



tions. Dr. Schaff gave his attention to this 
subject many years ago in his book on the 
Sin against the Holy Ghost, and has added 
not a few vahiable hints in his later publi- 
cations, 

Christ is the mediator between God and 
man in tlie exercise of his offices as prophet, 
priest and king. Those who passed a few 
years in tliis world, and then went into 
the Middle State and have been there for 
centuries, have not passed beyond the need 
of his mediation. The interval between 
death and the Judgment has its lessons 
and its training for them as well as for 
ns. The prophetic office of Christ continues 
to those who are in the Middle State, After 
his own death he went to the abode of the 
departed spirits, and preached unto them his 
gospel. He ascended into heaven, taking 
his redeemed with him. All those whom 
he has purchased with his blood ascend to 
him to abide with him. The redeemed rob- 
ber is not the only one to whom he has some- 
thing to say in the Middle State, All be- 
lievers enter his school and are trained in 
the mysteries of his kingdom. Those mys- 
teries are not cleared up by a flash of reve- 
lation ; they are revealed as the redeemed are 
able to apprehend them and use them. It 
is improbable that Augustine, Calvin and 
Luther will be found in the same class-room 
as the redeemed negro slave or the babe 
that has entered heaven to-day. The Fa- 
thers and doctors of the Church will be the 
teachers of the dead, as they taught the liv- 

Christ's priestly office continues for them. 
They who enter the Middle State still need 
his blood and righteousness. Even if they 
commit no positive sin they do not reach 
' positive perfection until their sanctification 
has been completed in the attainment of the 
complete likeness of Christ. They need the 
robe of Christ's righteousness until they 
have gained one of their own. He is still 
their surety, who has engaged with them and 
with God to present them perfect in the last 
great day. 

But, above all, Christ is a king in the In- 
termediate State. Here in this world his 
reign is only partial ; there it is complete, 
|JIere his kingdom is interwoven with the 
kingdom of darkness. There it is apart 
from all evil and hindrance. His reign is 
)ntiro over his saints, and they are being 
prepared by him for the advent in which 
they will come with him to reign over the 
world. 

The Church is chiefly in the Intermediate 

tibule of it. In this woTId we have 



I 



learned to know in part the Messiah of the 
Cross ; there in tho Middle State the re- 
deemed know tho glory of the Messiah of 
the Throne. There the Church is in its 
purity and complete organization, as the 
bride of the Lamb. There Christ the head 
and his body the Church are in blessed 
unity. We have glimpses in the Apocalypse 
of the vast assemblies of tho saints in heaven 
about the throne of the Lamb. And the 
Epistle of the Hebrews gives us a picture of 
their organized assembly on the heights of 
the heavenly Zion. It is important for the 
Church on earth to have a better apjirehen- 
sion of its relations to the Church in the 
Middle State. Tho Protestant branch of 
Christendom is weaker here than the Rorr^an 
Catholic. It is high time to overcome tlhis 
defect, for it is not merely agnosticism, it is 
sin against tho mysteries of our religion. 
The modern Church ought to return to the 
faith of the ancient Church, and believe in 
the " Communion of Saints." 

AT. Consistency of Christian Doctrine^ 

We have developed the doctrine of the 
Middle State in tho light of other established 
Christian doctrines. If the Churcli has. _^ 
rightly defined these, then it results from 1 
them that wo must take that view of the \ 
Middle State that they suggest. If wo iire I 
not prepared to do this we cast doubt upon 
the legitimacy and competency of these doc- 
trines. We confess them inadequate and 
insufficient. The Calvinistic system, withr 
its principle that salvation is by the divine* 
grace alone, and that this grace is ever pfe-|^ ^'><- 
venieut, enables us to believe that the ordd< \ «-t.^>, 
salutis begins for all_wjioaTesaied_ h}^ ! ,. , ' 
regeiyration^;QX. fKeJSoIxBpi^^^ life.' ' 

Tms regeneration begets the seeds of a per-f 
feet Christian life. For some the 07-do sal- 
utis makes no further advance in this lile ; 
for others it advances in ditferent degrees 
and stages ; but for all the redeemed tlie 
Middle State is of vast importance as the 
state in which our redemption is taken ip I 
where it is left incomplete in this life aid 
then carried on to its perfection. This view ' 
of the Middle Stato gives it its true theo- 
logical importance. It enables us to look 
forward with hope and joy for an entrance 
upon it. This lifo is an introduction to it. 
It mediates between death and the resurri c- 
tiou, and prepares for the ultimate blesse d- 
ness. ' 

We have thus far considered only the re- 
deemed. Those who do not belong to that 
company also enter intothA Aridrlla J^-ot-y. 
But their place is a dflferent one. It is ^\^^^ ^ 
resented as a prison, a place of destructiip^ 



116 



MA GAZINJE OF CHRISTIAJSf LITER A TUBE. 



[Dec, 



^v 



and torment before the resurrection of Christ, 
ill which tliey are reserved for the day of judg- 
ment. There is a silence on the fate of the 
■wicked in the Middle State since the resurrec- 
tion of Jesus that is profound and unbroken 
ill the New Testament. The presumption 
is that their condition has not been changed 
by the resurrection, and that they remain in 
the prison-house of Hades. There are some 
who hold that there is a possibility of release 
from the prison house to join the company 
of the blessed. Such a hope would, indeed, 
be a comfort if it could be indulged for all 
■ mankind. But there seems to be no solid 
basi s on v .'liich tn vv:A it. Tlie grace of God 
is so gi'and and glorious in its wonders of re- 
demption that we may rest upon that as the 
solid rock of comfort. We gain more lioj^e 
here than we can get from any other source 
whatsoever. We may be certain that when 
the final verdict has Jaeen rendered, we shall 
not be surprised that so many were not 
saved. But we shall rejoice at the wonder- 
ful extent and richness of the redemptive 
love of God in the unexpected multitudes 
of the blessed. And these will be not 
chiefly babes and imbeciles, but men and 
women who have undergone hardships in 
this life, and have overcome in its trials and 
temptations. 

If we could find evidence in the Scrip- 
tures that there was any possibility of the ex- 
tension of the benefits of regeneration and the 
efficacy of the means of grace into the abode 
of the lost, we should be glad to follow it. 
Or if we could see any evidence from other 
Christian doctrines that would lead to such 
a hope we would gladly embrace it. The 
Scrijitures are not so decided against it -as 
miiny.jiuppose. The one passage with refer- 
ciifce to Dives is not decisive for the present 
di$pensation, and therefore does not shut the 
door of hope. The preaching of Jesus to 
tlijo spirits in prison is not decisive for the 
prbsent dispensation, and therefore does not 
o^en the door for a larger hope. Jesus by 
hifi resurrection made a change in the abode 
of the dead, by taking some of them at least 
with him from Hades to Heaven. We do 
not know what changes liave been made in 
Hades in other respects. 

The Arminian doctrine of Probation 
fojrces all those who believe in it to extend 
that probation into the Intermediate State. 
Sooner or later they will do it. But the 
Cnlvinistic system is in a very different po- 
fition. The Calvinistic system solves the 
diiTicultics in a much better way. It docs 
ijfitjimit the grace o f God by human ability 
ffmabilityr Ana "^^^TTteTTr-rs Tn^t-hmg in 
C^^xanism itself that prevents the extension 



of redemption into a future life. In point 
of fact, Universalism sprang out of an ex- 
treme form of Calvinism. The grace of God 
might work in Hades as well as in this 
world. Eegeneration might take place there 
as well as here, with or without the use of 
the means of grace. But we cannot escape 
the consideration that no one goes to Hades 
who has not been previously in this world, 
Avhere the work of regeneration might have 
been wrought without waiting for the Mid- 
dle State. If multitudes of infants and im- 
beciles are regenerated before departing from 
this life, why not also all others who are to 
be redeemed ? 

Let us heed the Saviour's warning, 
" Judge not that ye be not judged." AVe 
should cease damning our fellow-men and 
sending them to hell for difference of doc- 
trine, of polity, and of mode of worship. 
Certainly if it rested with men, not one of 
us would ever see heaven. If the historic 
churches were to be the judges, they would 
empty heaven save of a very few ancient 
saints, and fill hell with historic Chris- 
tianity. 

If the judgment of the ecclesiastical au- 
thorities of the historic churches were rati- 
fied in heaven to-day, as they claim that they 
will be, every Christian now in the world 
would be excluded from heaven when he 
dies by the official decision of some one or 
more of the various ecclesiastic organiza- 
tions that now govern the Christian world. 
What a rcductio ad absurdum is the present 
opinion of Christendom on this subject ! 

The Messiah is at hand. There is a day\ 
of judgment that is hastening on. We are 
none of us prepared for it. Let us be thank- ; 
ful that there is a Saviour and a congi-ega-l 
tion of saints in the Middle State ready to 
receive us and prepare us for that day, audi 
that when we depart this life in feebleness? 
and imperfection we may be received into} 
the company of the blessed, who will| 
strengthen us and help us to climb the] 
ascents of sanctificatiou and glory. 



CHEAP MISSIONARIES AND MIS- 
SION EDUCATION. 

[.1 Reply to ilic ai'ticle, " CJieap Missionaries," bt/ 
Meredith Totcnsend, reprinted in our November 
ntimber, pp. 93-97.] 

BY PRINCIPAL MILLER, C.I.E., LL.D. 
From Tfie. Contemporary Renew, Oct., 1689. 

It is a sign that the missionary movement 
lias oi'A'Y'^YrJ'^^tjn^^i^^tv when it .1>*'"7.|)S i 
be treateu ao one of the forces bv which (in 



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