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disobedient in the days of Noah, while the ark was preparing. And he speaks of only one preacher to them-Christ; one visit and one proclamation. This passage, therefore, as we understand and have expounded it, alters not the position of any tree which has fallen to the earth since the flood; nor the state of any human being, who has since died, in or out of Christ. And as for the Romish doctrine of purgatory, it gives it just about the same support, as our Lord's address to Peter, calling him a stone, does to the Romish doctrine, • Peter is the foundation rock of the church ;' certainly no more.
ADELPHOS. NEAR SOUTHBRIDGE, Mass., January 22, 1851.
From this laborious dissertation, I am only the more confirmed in the justness of the views I have long since given of this passage, which, through the ungrammatical, illogical, unscriptural, and pre. posterous gloss put upon it by interested Roman Priests, has been converted into a gold mine, richer far than the mines of California, stolen, too, from Pagan Rome, and its demoniacal worship.
How straightforward the sense of Peter in this passage, from the 18th verse to the end of the 20th-—" He (Jesus Christ) was made alive by the Spirit (hoo pneumati.) By which, also, he went and preached to the spirits (pneumatois) in prison, who formerly were disobedient, when the patience of God waited once (for all) in the days of Noah, while an ark was preparing, in which few, that is, eight souls (psuchai, not spirits, but persons) were saved through water."
To interpret this of Christ's personal preaching, is the first error; to make the spirits in prison the spirits of those who lived while Noah was building an ark, is the second error; and to preach to disembodied spirits in purgatory, or any where else, after death, in order to repentance, is the thire and consummating error. Let us listen to the sacred style. Those to whom Christ was to preach, according to Isaiah xlii. 7, are represented as prisoners“I give thee for a light to the Gentiles, to bring out the prisoners from the prison, and them that sit in darkness out of the prison house." Isaiah xlix.. 9"That thou mayest say to the prisoners, Go forth; to them that are in darkness, Show yourselves.” Why not, then, in this style, contemplate the wicked antedeluvians, as persons will more in prison than these, for their bounds were limited to a definite space. Those to whom Christ was to speak, are described by the Jewish
prophets as being "in prison," and not in prison only, but in the region and shadow of death and darkness.
Again: it was not in person only that he was to preach, but by his Spirit also.' He did not, in person, ever preach to the Gentiles ; but it was said that he should "be a light of the Gentiles, to open their eyes.” Certainly this was by the same Spirit, in the apostles, by which in Noah he preached to the antedeluvians, while in prison, during the 120 years, but not in prison when Peter wrote. It was by his Spirit, and not in person, he preached to the antedeluvians, as it is by his Spirit he has for centuries been preaching to the Gentiles. In both cases, as in many others, he is figuratively spoken of as doing in person what he did only literally by angels, or prophet's, or apostles.
Figuratively, the antedeluvians were in prison-bounds one hun. dred and twenty years; after which, unless they repented, they were to be destroyed. During this time Nuah, by the Spirit of inspi. ration and prophecy—the same Spirit that was in Jesus Christpreached, “unless you repent, you shall be drowned.” They repented not, and were drowned. Peter's allusion to this, for the sake of introducing baptism in a very strong light, and for pressing the claims of the gospel on the attention of his contemporaries, although in the style of all the Jewish preachers, has been, in this case, subjected to a most licentious, ungenerous, and unchristian interpreta. tion, to which, were he here, he would doubtless administer a severe reproof
THE ROMISH CHURCH,
IF INFALLIBLE IN HER DECISIONS, IS BOUND TO KILL PROTESTANTS,
PROVED BY A CONDENSED ARGUMENT.
The Romish church claims infallibility for all her ecclesiastical decisions; but these decisions must be made by a General Council. All decress made by a General Council, relating to doctrines and morals, and other matters of general interest to the church, are infallibly right, as acknowledged by Bishop Hughes, in debate with Mr. Breckenridge.
Now, the Fourth General Council of Lateran decreed, not only that it is right for civil rulers to kill all heretics devoted by the
church, but that it is their religious duty to do so; that they shall bind themselves most solemnly, by an oath, “ for the defence of the faith ; that they will study, in good earnest, to exterminate, to their utmost power, from the land ject to their jurisdiction, all heretics devoted by the church.” So imperative was the duty to kill all heretics, that the temporal lord who refused to execute the decree, was to be forthwith excommunicated ; and if he did not repent, and begin to kill them within one year, he was to be reported to the Pope, who was to absolve his subjects from the oath of allegiance, and expose his country to be seized by Catholics, who would kill them. Mark, too, the reward offered those Catholics who, “taking the badge of the cross, should gird themselves to the work of exterminating heretics,” viz: the same plenary indulgence granted those who went to take the holy land. But is this decree genuine, or is it a forgery upon the Roman Catholics, by an enemy? Dr. Breckenridge read it in oral debate with Bishop Hughes, and the Bishop admitted it to be genuine.
Did, then, the Fourth General Council of Leteran decide this great moral question correctly or incorrectly? If incorrectly, the claim of the Church of Rome 10 infallibility, must be forever aban. doned. If Roman Catholics say the council decided correctly, then we know what to expect, if ever they come into power in this coun. try. But we shall now copy the decree, lest we may be supposed to have garbled it, for improper purposes.
" We excommunicate and anathematize every heresy extolling itself against the holy, orthodox, Catholic faith, which we before expounded, condemning all heretics, by whatsoever name called, having, indeed, different faces, but having their tails bound together by a common agreement in falsehood, one with another. And being condemned, let them be left to the secular powers present, or to their bailiffs, to be punished with due animadversion; if clergymen, let them be first degraded from their orders, so that the goods of persons thus condemned, if of the laity, may be confiscated ; if of the clergy, they may be devoted to the churches from which they have received their stipends.
And let the secular powers be warned and induced, and, if need be, condemned by ecclesiastical censures, what offices soever they are in; that as they desire to be reputed and taken for believers, so they publicly take an oath for the defence of the faith, that they will study, in good earnest, to exterminate to their utmost power, from the land subject to their jurisdiction, all heretics, devoted by the church; so that every one that is henceforth taken unto any power, either spiritual or temporal, shall be bound to confirm this chapter by an oath. But if the temporal lord, required and warned by the church, shall ne
glect to purge his territory of this heretical filth, let him, by the metropolitan and the provincial bishops, be tied by the bond of excommunication ; and if he scorn to satisfy within a year, let that be signified to the pope, that he may denounce his vassals thenceforth absolved from his fidelity, and may expose his country to be seized by Catholics, who, exterminating the heretics, may possess it with out any contradiction, and may keep it in the purity of the faith; saving the right of the principal lord, so be it he himself put no obstacle thereto, nor impose any impediment; the same law, notwithstanding, being kept about them that have no principal lords. And those Catholics that, taking the badge of the cross, shall gird themselves for the extermination of the heretics, shall enjoy that indulgence, and be fortified with that holy privilege, which is granted to those that go to the help of the Holy Land.” A. W. C.
CONVERSATIONS AT THE CARLTON HOUSE-No. XIV.
Olympas.--I now specially call your attention to the 15th, 16th, and 17th verses of the seventh chapter, so much a matter of debate amongst good and great men. The passage reads in the New Ver. sion thus: “Besides, we know that the law is spiritual; but I am carnal, sold under sin. For that which I do, I do not approve; since it is not what I desire that I do, but I do that which I hate. If, now, I do that which I do not desire, I consent to the law that it is good.” In the Common Version it is still more difficult, for it is there translated : “ For we know that the law is spiritual, but I am carnal, sold under sin. For that which I do, I allow not; for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that I do. If, then, I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that it is good.” The difficulty is, how one and the same person could truthfully represent himself as doing what he willed not to do; or as willing one thing and doing another; or as doing what he hated, and hating what he did.
Clement.--I am glad that you have brought this subject again before us. It has been a hard nut for some commentators to open. Some affirm it to be irreconcilable. Others regard it as equivalent to representing a person having two souls.
Aquila.—1, indeed, have found it a difficult passage; but, on all the premises before me, have given the view of it which I deemed,
from my own experience, the most consistent with the main drist of the apostle. But if there be any error in my views, I will be most thankful to any of you who convicts me of it. I simply desire to understand the apostle, nothing caring how it may stand with my views and opinions on this or any other subject.
Olympas.-Men of renown, and of well earned reputation for talent and learning, have differed much in their interpretation of it. Still, they were not infallible, nor always consistent with themselves. We often feel that reason and conscience are on our side of a proposition, while interest and passion are on the other side. In such cases, there is apt to be an inward conflict, and one principle must yield-passion to interest, or interest to passion. They cannot both be of equal power.
Aquila.-- What seemed to settle my mind on this subject, is the fact that the two l's must be one and the same person ; because, at the end, he exclaims, “O wretched man that I am, who shall deliver me from this body of death!” The good I, willing to do, is the wretched man that I am, in view of the agony which is expressed. If the good I, willing to do what his reason and conscience approved, had not been hindered by another I, in himself opposing, whence this wretchedness—this agonizing exclamation !
Again : the new man is always good, and the old man is always evil. The good I, became no worse; and the bad I, became no better. The one, indeed, is spirit, and the other is flesh, and these are real controversies.
Every enlightened man, philosopher or moralists, feels in himself such an antagonism between his conscience and his passions. The Christian, too, must daily deny himself. Now, if there were no evil in himself, denial would be a sin, and the want of it a virtue. But self-denial, as preached by the Saviour, is to be duily and constant; so that the old man is never extinct in the present life. Hence, Christians are always to mortify the flesh, with its affections and its lusts, and to agonize, or “fight the good fight of faith,” in order to enter into the kingdom of glory.
But it is objected, that the Pagan Euripides, in his Media, could say as much as Paul said of himself:
Manthano men oia draan mello kaka
Thumos de kreissoon toon emoon bouleumatoon. “I know, indeed, that such things as I am about to do are evil; but my mind is better than my inclinations."
This, although not so much as Paul says, is similar to it, and at least evinces a conviction, that the good approved is not always