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spiritual resurrection by the literal resurrection of Christ, and represents those who are dead to sin, as being delivered from its baneful influence. His words are these -“If then ye be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth at the right hand of God. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.”* This passage teaches us that the Colossians were dead with Christ, and risen with him. Now in all these passages, St. Paul speaks of the same thing as in Rom. vi. 7. He speaks of a death to sin, and represents that those who are dead in this sense, were freed from the ruling power of sin. And in every instance he illustrates this by the literal death and resurrection of Christ. Every person whose mind is free from the bias of system, would acknowledge these passages parallel to the one in Romans. But will you pretend that the death spoken of in these passages, is the death of the body? Will you admit that Paul was literally dead, when he wrote his epistles, and that those to whom he addressed them, had departed this life?

Having noticed several passages in the epistles of Paul, let us now inquire what the other writers say upon this subject. St. Peter has a passage parallel to Rom. vi. 7. “Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind, for he that hath suffered in the flesh, hath ceased froin sin, that he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh, to the lusts of men, but to the will of God.”+ This passage renders the one in Romans perfectly intelligible. Paul says, “He that is dead, is freed from gin." Peter says, “He that hath suffered in the flesh, hath ceased from sin." Peter uses the phrase, suffered in the flesh,to mean the same as died. It is the same expression which he uses in the same passage, to express the death of Christ. All must acknowledge that St.

* Col. iii. 1, 3.

+ 1 Peter, iv. 1, 2.

Peter means the same by suffering in the flesh, that St. Paul does by being dead ; and the former means the same by ceasing from sin, that the latter does by being freed from sin. Here I think every unprejudiced person must admit that both apostles were treating upon the same subject, and laboring to establish the same point. Both of them speak of the literal death of Christ, and infer the point in debate therefrom. Now if we can ascertain what St. Peter meant by suffering in the flesh, and ceasing from sin, we shall then have ascertained what St. Paul meant by being dead, and freed from sin. But what was Peter's meaning? It is absolutely certain that Peter by suffering in the flesh, did not mean temporal death ; for after declaring that he who had thus suffered, or was thus dead, had ceased from sin, he tells us the effect, or influence of being thus dead—“that he no longer should live the rest of his time in the FLESH, to the lusts of men, but to the will of God." Those who had suffered in the flesh, and ceased from sin, in St. Peter's sense of these expressions, had not experienced temporal death ; for it would be a flat contradiction to say that they had died a temporal death, that they should live the rest of their time in the flesh, according to the will of God.

Now from the clause, “that he should live the rest of his time in the flesh,” it is as clear as any thing can be, that he was then in the flesh, and consequently the death cannot be temporal death. The death alluded to is a death to sin. This is corroborated by what Peter says in another passage in the same epistle. Speaking of Christ he says, “Who his own self bear our sins in his own body on the tree, that we being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness."* This passage expresses the same idea as the former, and removes every doubt from the apostle's meaning, if any doubt could exist before.

* i Peter, ii. 24.

He explains the death spoken of in the passage to mean a death to sin, and what he expressed in the other passage by the phrase, ceased from sin, he here explains to mean to live unto righteousness. It is incontrovertibly evident that St. Peter and St. Paul were treating upon one and the same subject; and as St. Peter's language cannot possibly be interpreted of a temporal death, it follows with moral certainty that the language of St. Paul, “He that is dead is freed from sin,” cannot be interpreted of the death of the body. After what has been offered upon the subject, I flatter myself that it will appear obvious to the reader that the passage, “He that is dead, is freed from sin,” will not bear the exposition you have given it. We have seen that the whole scope of the apostle's argument, and the context forbid it; that all the passages in which Paul treats upon the same subject forbid it; and that St. Peter in a parallel passage expressly cuts it off.

Before we dismiss this subject, we will notice an objection which may probably be urged against the view I have given of the passage. The objection is this ;the death spoken of can mean nothing short of temporal death, for no person is completely freed from sin in this world. This objection, however plausible it may appear, is founded upon a mistaken idea of scripture phraseology. When the scriptures treat upon any subject, they do it in popular language. When they speak of the righteous and the wicked, for instance, these terms are not used with strict philosophical exactness, but only in a relative sense. By a righteous man, the sacred writers do not mean a man who is absolutely perfect, or virtuous in the strictest sense of the term ; but only that he is comparatively so, more virtuous than men in general. And so on the other hand, of the wicked. In the scripture sense of the terms, a righteous man is not free from all sin, neither is a sinner devoid of all goodness. Noah

is called just, Lot just and righteous, Job a perfect and an upright man, and Nathaniel an Israelite in whom was no guile. Now these terms and phrases' are as expressive of immaculate purity, as the phrase freed from sin; and as you will acknowledge that the former apply to men in this world, there can be no impropriety in the latter's applying to this world also. We do not suppose that the apostle meant to teach that his brethren were absolutely perfect, or free from all inpurity. No, his only meaning was, that they were comparatively righteous. In a word, that they were freed from sin, in the same degree they were dead to it, that is, in a relative sense.

The passage in Romans is to be understood in the sane sense as many other passages. St. John says, “Whosoever is born of God, doth not commit sin."* Now we cannot understand this passage strictly, without involving many absurdities. John himself confesses that he was not without sin, and still he believed that he had passed from death unto life. But I need not labor & point which must be obvious to every reader of the scripture. If we turn to the 6th chapter of Romans, where the passage in debate is found, we shall see that Paul did apply the phrase free from sin, to men in this world. Verse 14th-"For sin shall not have dominion over you.” This amounts to as much as being freed from sin; for they were freed from sin, if sin had no dominion over them. Verse 18—“Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness.” In this passage it is expressly asserted that those to whom the apostle addressed himself were free from sin. Verse 22-"But now being made free from sin, and become servants to

God, ye

have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life." Here then it is expressly said in two verses at least, that the brethren of the Roman church were

* 1 John iii. 9.

free from sin. This not only removes the objection, but furnishes an additional argument in favor of my construction of verse 7th. We find by these quotations, that what is said in the last clause of the 7th verse, applies to men in this world, and this is a weighty argument in favor of the whole verse having such an application. At all events it destroys your argument. For it is clearly proved that the phrase, free from sin, in the 6th of Romans, does in two instances apply to men in this world, where you will admit that its meaning is only comparative; and if the expression, freed from sin, has only a comparative signification, even if you apply it to a future world, it will not exclude all iniquity. From what has been offered upon the subject, I think it will appear that the passage in question does not favor your system in the least; and that the passage simply means, “He that is dead to sin, is freed from its consequences.”

I have now noticed the principal arguments which are alledged in support of your views, and how far I have removed their force, is submitted to the reader. Thus far I have confined myself to your system, and the argu ments by which you support it. I have endeavored to show that your system is defective, and your arguments incon clusive; and if in any instance I have used expressions which are thought to border upon disrespect, I will offer this explanation ; my remarks have been directed to the system, and not to its author; and while I express my disapprobation of the one, I do not intend any disre. spect to the other. If what I have offered in opposition to your views, be valid, then the doctrine of the happiness of all men at the article of death, must be given up. For while I consider your system weak, I firmly believe at the same time, that you have defended it in the best possible manner. The defect lies not in the advocate, but in the system he has the misfortune to defend. Your defence being the best possible, if your arguments

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