THINGS SET FORTH IN THE FOREGOING
shewn in contrast with
THE THEOLOGICAL TENETS OF THE BULK
|1.-The Scriptures are to be read in their natural
sense, except where natural fitness and necessity determine a
metaphorical or symbolical construction.
||1.-The Bible not to be read literally, but to
be "spiritualised" or interpreted in a secondary and
non-natural sense, according to the established rules of "divinity."
|2.-The understanding of the Old Testament necessary
to the understanding of New.
||2.-The Old Testament done away with by the New,
and only useful to supply texts for sermons.
|3.-Man mortal, and made of the dust of the ground.
The life of man not himself, but the power which enables him
to exist, in the same way as the life of any animal sustains
that animal in being. It is the very same life that is possessed
by the beasts of the field.
||3.-Man immortal and made of Spirit from heaven.
The life of man, his immortal soul, which, inhabiting the body,
gives it life, and when it leaves the body, continues to exist
in a disembodied state as fully conscious as when the man is
|4.-Man in death in a state of non-existence
for the time being, requiring resurrection and judgment to determine
his future destiny
||4.-Man in death is not dead, but passes out
of "his body," and enters upon happiness or woe, according
to his deeds.
|5.-Immortality a state of incorruptible and
deathless bodily existence, developed by resurrection, and attainable
only by the righteous, at the second appearing of Jesus Christ
||5.-Immortality, the natural attribute of every
human being, and in the highest sense, a state of happiness in
heaven, to which the immortal souls of the righteous will ascend
|6.-The wicked will be put out of existence for
ever, by the infliction of the "second death" at the
||6.-The wicked will be tormented by the devil
to all eternity in hell, a bottomless abyss of fire and brimstone.
|7.-Judgment to come will be dispensed only to
the responsible classes of mankind, the rest never seeing the
light of resurrection, but perishing for ever like beasts.
||7.-Every human immortal soul will be re-united
its body at the resurrection, and will appear before the judgment
seat at the "last day," to be judged.
|8.-At the resurrection, the dead "come
forth" in unquickened natural body, to have it determined
whether they are worthy of the gift of immortality, or deserving
of consignment, after punishment, to corruption and death.
||8.-At the resurrection, disembodied immortal
souls enter incorruptible and immortal bodies, before they appear
at the judgment seat; and if found righteous, they take their
immortal bodies to heaven, and if wicked they drag them to hell.
|9.-God is ONE POWER, the Increate Father, by
whom all things have been created, dwelling in unapproachable
||9.-God is three co-equal, co-eternal elements
or powers, styled "Father, Son, and Holy Ghost," in
|10.-Jesus Christ, the Son of God through the
Holy Spirit's begettal, of the Virgin Mary, raised up as a "last
Adam," to remove (by death and resurrection) the death brought
by the first Adam.
||10.-Jesus Christ, the eternal Son, a part of
the eternal God from all eternity, who came into a body to suffer
bodily death for the sins of immortal souls, doomed to the eternal
pains of hell.
|11.The Spirit, the energy, or power of the Father
in heaven, effluent from His person and presence, filling universal
space. The "Holy Spirit," the same power wielded by
direct and specific will on the part of the Father.
||11.-The Holy Ghost, one of the Trinity, co-equal,
co-eternal, and identical with the Father and Son, though why
styled the "Holy Ghost " there is no answer; and why
sometimes Holy Spirit, while in other cases simply "Spirit,"
|12.-Angels, corporeal beings of incorruptible
spirit-substance, employed throughout the universe in the accomplishment
of the Father's purposes - exalted to their present position
||12.-Angels, incorporeal spirits, whose nature,
origin, and function are equally incomprehensible - supposed
to be largely recruited from the supposed immortal spirits of
|13.-The devil, a Bible synonym for sin - abstract
and concrete - existing as the spirit of disobedience in the
children of men and embodied and manifested in the persons and
institutions of the present order of things.
||13.-The Devil, a fallen archangel, who notwithstanding
his opposition to God, is allowed to retain possession of supernatural
power and permitted to tempt, harass, and ensnare poor immortal
souls to their destruction.
|14.-The kingdom of God, the visible and personal
administration of political affairs by Christ at his second appearing.
||14.-The kingdom of God, a state of the human
"soul," in which the impulses are subjected to the
|15.-The promises made to Abraham, Isaac, and
Jacob, yet to be fulfilled in the setting up of the kingdom of
God on earth, when all nations will rejoice in the righteous
government of the seed of Abraham, who shall save the children
of the needy, and break in pieces the oppressor.
||15.-The promises made to the Fathers fulfilled
in the preaching of the Gospel in heathen lands by missionaries,
and at home by ministers and clergymen, and more particularly
in the experience of those who "get religion" at revivals
and salvation army meetings.
|16.-Christ, the coming destroyer of all human
governments, and the appointed ruler of mankind: who will break
the kingdoms of men in pieces, like a potter's vessel, and raise
the standard of universal dominion in Jerusalem, the Holy City.
||16.-Christ, the spiritual king of his own people,
reigning in their hearts now and for evermore, and having nothing
further to do with Jerusalem, the Holy Land, or the earth, but
to consign all to the perdition of unquenchable fire at the last
|17.-The Saints - Christ's people - the destined
kings and priests of the world, destined to reign with Christ
over all the earth, administering his authority, and dispensing
blessings to all mankind.
||17.-The doctrine of a "temporal" kingdom
on earth, a carnal, "damnable doctrine." The only reigning
with Christ possible consists of the floating of immortal souls
in celestial ether.
|18.The covenant made with David yet to be realised
in the re-establishment of the kingdom of David in the Holy Land,
in the personal hands of Christ.
||18.-The covenant made with David fulfilled in
Christ's ascension to heaven, where he sits on the throne of
David, and rules the kingdom of heaven.
|19.-The second coming of Christ, the time when,
and the event by which, Christ's people will receive the promised
salvation, even the gift of immortality, by resurrection, and
the glory and honour of a throne in the kingdom of Christ, then
to be established over all the earth
||19.-The death of the Christian the great epoch
of his emancipation from this mortal coil, when his redeemed
soul mounts to mansions in the skies, and is received at the
portals of the celestial city by the angels, and conducted to
the throne before which he casts his crown.
|20.-The restoration of the Jews from their present
dispersion to their own land, a part of the divine purpose; and
the enunciation of it, an element of the Gospel, as part and
parcel of the "Gospel of the Kingdom."
||20.-The Jews are greatly deluded in expecting
a "temporal Messiah," and as for their restoration
(which is an entirely doubtful affair) having anything to do
with the Gospel, the whole suggestion is monstrous,
|21.-Christ's coming will be prefaced
by great wars, commotions, and distresses, and attended by terrible
judgements which he will directly bring down upon men to teach
the world righteousness, and prepare men for the government of
the Prince of Peace.
||21.-The Millennium will be brought about by
the preaching of the gospel, which will subdue human propensities,
and gradually bring mankind into a state of peace, harmony, and
goodwill. the Church will then be triumphant on earth and in
|22.-In the light of Daniel's visions, verified
by history, and recommended for enlightenment by Christ, it is
evident we are near the close of the human dispensation, and
that Christ may be expected within the lifetime of the present
||22.-The prophets are a sealed book, and he who
attempts to explain them, or to fix a time for the day of Christ,
is guilty of presumption amounting almost to blasphemy. At the
very least he is cracked and fit for the asylum.
|23.-In order to be saved, men must believe the
glad tidings (or gospel) of the Kingdom of God, set forth in
the prophets, and preached by the apostles; and must accept the
doctrine of immortality brought to light by Christ in his death,
resurrection, and ascension.
||23.-It is of no consequence what a man believes,
if he be sincere in his course of life before God, and believe
that Christ died for sin. Points of creed belong to by-gone days.
As for immortality, every man, sane or idiotic, has an immortal
soul to save.
|24.-Upon believing the gospel, a man must be
immersed in water for a union with the name of Christ, that his
sins may be forgiven, that he may be placed in a position to
work out his own salvation with fear and trembling, by patient
continuance in welldoing.
||24.-It is a matter of insignificance whether
a man be baptised or not. Christian baptism can be administered
by dipping, pouring or sprinkling, and is equally efficacious
to babies or grown-up persons - the instructed or the ignorant
- with or without faith.
|25.-There is no salvation apart from a belief
and obedience of the Gospel.
||25.-Babies, heathens and idiots, and all sincere
persons will be saved, irrespective of the Gospel.
|26.-Ignorance alienates from eternal life, and
makes death the certain and irretrievable lot of the subject
||26.-A state of total darkness makes an
immortal soul not responsible, and therefore qualified to enter
|27.-The obedience of the commandments of Christ
is essential to the salvation of those who believe the Gospel.
While faith (made effectual in baptism) turns a sinner into a
saint, obedience only will secure a saint's acceptance at the
judgment seat of the Christ. A disobedient saint will be rejected
more decisively than even an unjustified sinner.
||27.-The obedience of the commandments of Christ
is beyond human power. Salvation is not of works, lest any man
should boast. If a man hath faith in the atoning blood of Christ,
the righteousness of Christ is imputed to him, and although the
love of Christ will constrain him to good works, still his salvation
in no way depends upon those.
|28.-Forgiveness of errors and failures is secured
for saints, by the intercession of Christ, when they confess
and forsake them. Christ has no priestly function for the world
of unjustified sinners. He is a priest for those only who become
members of his house, in the belief and obedience of the Gospel.
||28.-To the last moment, Christians have to say,
"We have done those things that we ought not to have done
and we have left undone those things which we ought to have done;
and there is no health in us." The priesthood of Christ
avails for all mankind who are sorry for their sins.
TO THE INTERESTED READER
THERE EXISTS a body of people, scattered throughout
the English-speaking communities of the world, who hold the views
advocated in this book of lectures.
They are formed into communities styled "ecclesias,"
which is the Greek word translated "churches." They
use that word in preference to "churches," because
the word "church" does not express the idea of "ecclesia,"
either philologically or conventionally. "Church,"
in the abstract, means the portion of a lord, and in current
use, denotes a building set apart for religious purposes, or
any congregation professing the name of Christ, all of which
meanings are totally foreign to the idea expressed by "ecclesia."
"Ecclesia" means the assembly
of the called out, and is appropriately employed to designate
those who by the truth have been called out both from the world
and from the multitude of professing Christian bodies, who hold
the traditions of a corrupt ecclesiasticism instead of the doctrines
promulgated by Jesus and the apostles. It was the name bestowed
by the Spirit upon the communities holding the truth of Christ
in the early centuries; and as it has no proper English equivalent,
there is no alternative but to use it in its original form.
But there is another name by which those holding
the faith herein set forth, are individually distinguished from
the profession of orthodoxy. "Ecclesia" applies only
to a number, and approximately answers to "church"
of popular usage. But there is need for a name of individual
application (having a generic significance) answering to the
"Christian" of common parlance. The believers in Christ
were called "Christians," at Antioch, in the first
century, and afterwards, everywhere else. This was the name by
which they were known - the nickname which their enemies originated,
and which, at that time, was an epithet of disgrace, though from
the disciples' point of view, a name of honour. But the purpose
which the name served in ancient times is no longer answered
by it; it no longer distinguishes the brethren of Christ from
those who reject the faith of Christ. Everybody European
is called "Christian." The word defines nothing beyond
an adhesion to the historical tradition of Jesus Christ. It imports
nothing doctrinal. A man can believe anything and be a Christian.
For this reason, it has ceased to serve its original use.
But it may be argued, that the abuse of a
right word - a New Testament word - does not justify its repudiation
on the part of those apprehending it truly. The answer to this
is: the word is not necessarily a right word, because it was
invented by the enemies of the truth. The word is not a New Testament
word except that the New Testament records that it was used first
in Antioch, in reference to Christ's brethren, and afterwards
employs it only once as a current designation (1 Peter iv, 16),
and then only in accommodation to popular usage, in the same
way as Agrippa is recorded to have used it in reference to himself
in Acts xxvi, 28. No claim can be made for the name on the ground
of its divine authority. We must deal with it on the other grounds.
It was a name employed for purposes of social distinction.
It could be employed with no other object. To call a man
a "Christian," did not make him a saint; it only identified
him in the popular eye with a sect which, at that time, was everywhere
spoken against. This use of it is sanctioned by Peter, from which
it follows that it is Scriptural to acknowledge a distinctive
designation if it accord with the truth. "Christian"
accorded with the truth in the days of Peter; it does not do
What is to be substituted? Something expressive
of the truth something Scriptural - nothing of human derivation
- nothing expressive of human affinities. Everything savouring
of the Corinthian schisms must be reprobated. Let no man say,
"I am of Paul," as against another, saying, "I
am of Cephas," let us all say " I am of Christ,"
But how shall we do this in a name which shall be scriptural,
and yet distinguish from the masses of " Christendom,"
who call themselves " Christians"? The answer is before
the reader in the word
This answers all the requirements of the case.
It is the Anglicised form of the Greek phrase, Christou adelphoi,
"brethren of Christ," and is unmistakably distinctive,
never having been employed in the English tongue to designate
those who are Christ's. It has an advantage over "Christian"
in being more Scriptural and definite in its significance. "Christian"
merely expresses the world's dim and unintelligent apprehension
of the position of Christ's brethren. The world understood not
the nature of the relation subsisting between them and Christ.
It merely saw the former had something to do with the latter,
and called them Christ-ones, but "Christadelphians"
goes closer, and reveals the fact that the disciples of Christ
are not merely his servants, but his friends (John xv, 1415)
- his "brethren" (Heb. ii, 11, 17, Matt. xxviii, 10;
Rom. viii, 29; John xx, 17) - "joint heirs with him of the
promises made to Abraham" (Gal. iii, 29, Rom. viii, 17).
But it may be asked, why not express that
fact in plain English, and call them " brethren of Christ?"
For the simple reason that in plain English these words would
be as indistinctive as Christian, since all classes of professors
would own to " brethren of Christ." No one will acknowledge
"Christadelphian" but those who, from a knowledge of
the truth, realise the necessity of being distinguished from
the great apostasy in all its sects and denominations.
If these considerations are not satisfactory
to those who object to the Greek form of the phrase, and stickle
for "Christian," let them remember that "Christian"
is as much a Greek word as "Christadelphian," and that
the choice really lies between a Greek appellative devised by
the enemies of the truth in the first century, and one expressive
of the truth affirmed by the Spirit in the same age of
The Christadelphians scattered throughout
the world have no ecclesiastical organisation beyond the simple
arrangements necessary to conduct their assemblies as effectively
as possible for the objects in view, which objects are,
- 1st - their mutual upbuilding in the faith,
by observance of the Lord's Supper, "upon the first day
of the week" (Acts xx, 7; 1 Cor. xvi, 2), and exhortation;
- 2nd - the setting forth of the truth for
the enlightenment and salvation of the ignorant; and
- 3rd - a mutual care of each other in things
spiritual and temporal. They have no "ministers" or
paid officials of any kind, and in the absence of the Spirit,
no rulers. Official brethren are merely servants for the conduct
of the necessary business, and attendance to the general affairs
interests of the ecclesia. The brethren, one and all, meet on
the basis of brotherly love and good sense, all striving, without
distinction, to promote the general objects of their union.
Any desiring acquaintance with a view to fraternity
on the basis of the truth, can have their wishes gratified, by
reference to the address from which this book is issued, where
the applicant can procure the address of persons nearest his
or her neighbourhood.