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I am about to notice the reasonableness of Christ coming to redeem man when we do not believe that ours is the only world that exists. Astronomy teaches that it is not. Our chief astronomers have shown that the planets are worlds like the earth, and that the fixed stars are suns—the centres of systems like ours. I do not think it reasonable to suppose that the earth is the only planet inhabited by intelligent beings. Then, if other worlds exist and are inhabited like unto ours, it is just that some one should make intercession for them also, as Christ did for us. Christianity calls God just. In John 3 chap., 16 verse, it is said, “God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth on him shall not perish but have everlasting life.” But why should the earth be selected out of an extensive group, and made the particular care of God? I do not think it unjust that Christ should save man, but may not other worlds require to be saved as well as this? and we must either believe that God was unjust in sending his only Son into this world, when it is probable that other worlds require equally as much as this, that their Maker should die for them, or we must think that this world was more degraded than any other, and that God was not so merciful to man as Christianity states him to be. Requesting an answer,
AN ENQUIRING FRIEND. Northampton, April 21, 1855.
A REPLY TO “SILVERWATER’S” OBJECTIONS.
The opinion that Elijah was to appear personally before the coming of Christ was a general one among the Jews.. John's design was evidently to destroy this notion. Christ showed his disciples that the Scriptures had been fulfilled, and that Elias had come in the person of John the Baptist, that John had come in the spirit and power of Elijah ; and I think it does not require any very great amount of penetration to see the great similarity of the work, character, and of habits, to that of the great prophet, and although John the Baptist was not personally the Elijah in his office, work, and character, he was he of whom Malachi predicted.
“ Silverwater" objects because the Bible does not say that John turned the hearts of the fathers to the children; but, supposing that it does not, is that evidence that he did not do it? I should think not. But there is evidence that John did answer to the description given by Malachi. If "Silverwater” will read the third chapter of Matthew he will see with what power and success John preached to the Jews. And is there no evidence from that that there were many homes made happy; that there were better fathers, better mothers, better brothers, and better sisters ? Religion is the same now as then, and there are many now that are made happy by its influence.
He objects again to the statement that the disciples who followed him should sit on twelve thrones. He asks, Are devils and wicked men not only to be admitted into Christ's kingdom, but to sit on thrones? We answer, no. The passage does not say so-does not say Judas would. It
which followed me in the regeneration" shall sit on twelve thrones. But Judas did not follow Christ through his regeneration; he did only a part of it—therefore, was not entitled to the reward he promised his true followers.
I don't see that “Silverwater” makes a case out at all in regard to the three days in which Christ was in the grave. Supposing that “ Silverwater” had buried a brother on the Friday, and, in company with another friend, went to the tomb on Sunday. If the friend asked how long he had been in the grave, would the answer not be a very natural one. This is now the third day.
As God, Jesus is everywhere; there was then no contradiction in saying to the
thief thou shalt be with me in Paradise to-day. He was man as well as God, and that explains the language, "My God, my God, why hast thou førsaken me ?" He was dependent on the Father only as man; as God he was equal with the Father.
ON MODERN INFIDEL ADVOCATES,
DEDICATED TO G. JACOB HOLYOAKE AND JOSEPH BARKER.
Away, you Apostates and infidels too ;
Your motives are selfish :-for, when did we see
Gold ! gold is their idol; they love the bright ore,
They may pour forth their blasphemies, nonsense, or wit;
The Bible they've tried to destroy, but in vain--
They may go round the country and tell their great tale,
They are books wrote by Holyoake and some by his “Friend,"
But adieu to such mortals-the time will soon como es
J. B, Hyde.
ANSWER TO QUERIES AS TO THE FALL. SIR,
Seeing in No. 16 of the Defender two questions as to the Fall, I thought I would try to answer them. The first was- Is the 18th verse of the 3rd chapter of Genesis to be understood literally or figuratively. My reply is, that it is to be understood literally ; that the land should bring forth thorns and thistles in great quantities; but not so as to leave no rooin for what has been, and what was to be, the food of man, viz. “ the herb of the field.” . The second question was
-Were savage beasts—as lions, tigers, &c.—tame before the Fall? I reply that before the Fall they were in entire subjection to man, but that there were animals, living on other animals, before the Fall, Geology plainly teaches. See Hitchcock's Religion of Geology--page 75.
A YOUNG BIBLE CLASS SCHOLAR. Stockport, April 23rd, 1853,
TO THE EDITOR OF THE DEFENDER.
you will be kind enough to afford me a little space in the next number of the Defender, I will try to answer "Our John's” queries. * I am of opinion that Gen. 3. 18, is to be taken literally, for before the Fall it is stated (see Gen. 2. 9,) that “out of the ground made the Lord God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight and good for food.” Hence we infer that the earth would only bring forth such things as would please the eye, satisfy the appetite, and gratify the taste; not thorns, thistles, or noxious weeds ; therefore, man's duty in “ dressing and keeping" the Garden would be easy and pleasant, sweet and refreshing; for all things were adapted to promote his happiness. It After the fall man was to "eat bread of the sweat of his face.” Hence he would have to labour long and patiently in cultivating the earth before it would produce food for his sustenance, for “thorns and thistles” would spring up and choke the good seed which he had sown, and make him sorrowful and dubious as to whether his labours would be crowned with success.
He was to eat the “herb of the field"-wild herbs and fruits in contradistinction to such as the Garden yielded ; for "every herb bearing seed which was upon the face of the earth," and the fruit of every tree yielding seed, were to be to him for meat before the fall, but afterwards he would have to search and labour in order to procure them.
It is evident that man's food, while in a state of innocence, was the herbs and fruits of the earth, which God had pronounced to be good. It was after the flood when permission was given to eat fleslı, but their was no encomium passed upon it; nor was the permission to eat fesh ever extended to the blood, for eating blood is distinctly prohibited, and the probibition is imposed on Christians by the Apostolic decree.-Acts 15. 28, 29.
I am of opinion that lions, tigers, &c. were tame, and perfectly under man's control before the fall; for, if they were not, it would have been impossible for Adam to have named them, and searched for an help-meet for him.
Again, if we examine the Scriptures, we may justly infer that man was in a state of happiness and peace, similar to that which is promised to the faithful inheritors of the divine blessing upon the second coming of Christ ; and in order that perfect peace may reign among the chosen people of God, that there may be nothing to hurt or destroy them, God promises (Lev. 26.6) that he will rid evil beasts out of the land," Again Ezekiel 34, 20th to 31st verses, where the
kingdom of Christ is described, it is said at the 25th verse, “ And I will make a covenant of peace, and will cause evil beasts to cease out of the land; they shall dwell safely in the wilderness, and sleep in the woods." See also Job 5,23—Isaiah 11,6 to 9, chap. 65,25-Ezekiel 34,25-Hosea 2,18—Psalms 91,13 —and Isaiah 35,9.
Hoping that I have satisfactorily answered “ Our John's” queries, and that the Defender's open page will be the means of creating a thirst among the people for more biblical knowledge,
I am, dear Sir, yours truly, Hyde, April 23rd, 1855.
DELTA. LECTURE ON SECULARISM.-On Thursday evening, the 29th March, the Rev. Mr. Rutherford, of Newcastle, delivered a lecture in the Town Hall, East Hartlepool, to a crowded audience, many of whom were artisans of the town, on the antecedents and distinguishing principles of Secularism. The lecture was distinguished, beyond many other exercitations of the rev. gentleman which it has been our lot to hear, by trenchant and forcibly expressed arguments, clearness of arrangement, and a temperate spirit in debate. An opportunity for discussion was offered, but no advocate of Secularism encountered the lecturers views; and before separating a cordial vote of thanks was, on the motion of Mr. G. Blumer, seconded by the Rev. J. Kneebon, unanimously accorded by the meeting. The Rev. Mr. Howson, in awarding the vote, expresse a hope that another opportunity of hearing Mr. Rutherford enlarge on this subject would be secured for the people of Hartlepool.-Sunderland News.
EARLY OCCUPATIONS OF EMINENT MEN.—Columbus was a weaver ; Franklin was a printer; Arkwright was a barber ; and Ben Johuson was a bricklayer. Let every body remember that. Yes; and certainly one of the greatest writers of the present day spent his youth as a bricklayer's labourer, and now he might fairly mark á 1, and add D. D. to his name. Go a little further. Cary was not a shoemaker, but a “mender and repairer.” Then there was John Williams, whose life the present Archbishop of Canterbury said he would call the twentyninth chapter of the Acts of the apostles : he was an artisan in a dock yard. I was going to say that all the great men in the history of the world were labouring men. What was the apostle Paul ? a tentmaker, a preacher, and a fisherman. And what was the master of them all? In the sixth chapter of Mark, the Redeemer of the world is actually spoken of as being a carpenter. May not working men be proud, and feel the dignity of their position, if their Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ was actually spoken of as a carpenter !
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Who knows not that truth is strong, next to the Almighty; she needs no policies, nor stratagems, nor licensings to make her victorious, those are the shifts and the defences that error uses against her power.—MILTON.
SATURDAY, MAY 12, 1855.
EIGHT OF THE ARTICLES. Christianity a Religion of Love .........
Observations by Observer.......
Education in Gateshead....
Counsels to Young Men....
300 302 303 304
CHRISTIANITY A RELIGION OF LOVE.
Christianity, as might be expected of a divine religion, makes its appeal to the entire man—to his sense of safety, of truth, of duty, of beauty, and, above all, to his sense of gratitude. All are influential principles, but gratitude has a power to move, and melt, and constrain the soul, far above all the rest. The fear of danger and the love of life may lead a man for a season to put forth alınost superhuman effort, his love of truth may lead him to pursue it at any cost, his sense of duty may lead him to steer through a very ocean of trouble, with a directness and an energy in which its wildest storms can produce no deflection, his sense of beauty may make him the subject of every lovely thing, material, mental, and moral, that can be brought within the sphere of his attention ; but it is the sense of gratitude in the Christian which controls, and moulds, and masters his entire nature, which leads him to serve with a heartiness which time cannot abate, and a heroism which opposition cannot conquer. Dark clouds may cross his path, calumny may hang heavy upon his heart, and with all the sensibilities of a man, he may cry, “O! that I had the wings of a dove that I might flee away and be at rest;" but soon the higher principle of his nature will bear him above all, and make him manfully to remain at his post of
No. 19, Vol. I.