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were always alive to a proper sense of virtue, we believe the idea of sin which we now oppose would be universally true; but this evidently is not the case. "Men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For every one that doeth evil, hateth the light.” There is that deception in iniquity, that however odious it may be to those that practise righteousness, it embraces those that commit 'it with the enticing charms of a lover. Are we then to look to the very darkness which men love, as containing a full and equal punishment for their transgressions ? Is this the whole "chastening of the Lord, that yieldeth the peaceable fruits of righteousness to them that are exercised thereby ?"
We find that men are generally in love with iniquity, much in proportion to their practice of iniquity. And altho we grant that the love of iniquity is founded on deceptive principles, and the promised happy consequences are a cheat to the soul; yet they are such as flatter the sinner, and are, by no means, calculated to dissuade him from pursuing his accustomed
Would a person be apt to account that which he loves as a punishment ? No; nor would it, properly speaking, have the effects of a punishment on the mind, till he is enabled to realize its chastening power. The argument, then, that sin does not, in many instances, carry with itself the reward of its full demerit, appears fully supported from the nature of the case. "It of course requires a punishment other than its own immediate effects and the loss of virtuous enjoyment. Did we suppose the opposite idea true, we could not account for the prolongation of sufferings for crimes, in the numerous instances in which we find them related. In the instance of Joseph's brethren's selling him to strangers, who carried him to Egypt, we find they were made sufferers for their crime, years after the transactions took place. Nor does it weaken the force of this argument, tho it be substantiated that they felt a compunction of conscience at the time of transgression.
Solomon says, “Because sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men are fully set in them to do evil,” Eccl. viii. 11. But it would seem that the plan of the sentiments we oppose, would not admit any delay of execution. Its abettors found one of their principal reasons against it on the consideration that the threatening of a future punishment cannot have a salutary effect on the mind. That the wicked are disposed to take liberties from lenient favors, is a position that does us no injury to allow; but it argues nothing against the execution of a proper punishment in due time.
On the subject of man's accountability, there is one idea that appears clearly attested, both by scripture and human experience, which opposes the notion that every sin is attended by its immediate, proportionate sting of conscience, and receives in the present tense, its due portion of suffering and punishment. The feelings of men are alive to conviction for sin, much in proportion to the general exercise of their minds in virtuous habits and good principles. The wretch that has long devoted himself to wickedness, experiences less remorse at the perpetration of crimes, than the mere novice, who is beginning to travel his unaccustomed road of darkness. This is an idea, which, no doubt, our opposing brethren will be unwilling to allow us ; for they cannot but see that the allowance the foundation of their sentiments of
proportionate punishment attached to every crime, and a proportionate sense of guilt to every sin. But we do not expect to convince, by an appeal to human experience, those whose sentiments, as we conclude, do not allow them to draw just inferences frotinch exa perience. We would therefore cite a few passages of scripture with reference to this point. See Jer. vi. 13, 14, 15.—"From the prophet even unto the priest everyone dealeth falsely. They have healed also the hurt of the daughter of my people slightly, saying, Peace, peace; when there is no peace.
Were they ashamed when they had committed abomination ? nay, they were not at all ashamed, neither could they blush." What language could better express our ideas than this? Had they experienced remorse or compunction for sin, would they not have been ashamed? But the divine testimony says, “They were not at all ashamed.” It appears they justified themselves in their abominations, and in crying, peace, peace, when there was no peace. Did they receive their punishment then? It appears not. But they were to receive it at an appointed time. “Therefore," says the word, “they fall among them that fall; at the time that I visit them they shall be cast down, saith the Lord.”
In Ezek. viii. 12, we find it stated that the ancients of the house of Israel say, “The Lord seeth us not; the Lord hath forsaken the earth.” Our readers cannot suppose, from this passage, that their feelings were alive to a due sense of accountability to God.
We cannot tell how the conscience of the fool that hath said in his heart, “There is no God,” is now convicting him of sin against God. We do not understand how those that were given over to a reprobate mind to do those things which are not convenient, because they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, were rendering their Maker that account which he requires. If it might be said, they were receiving that recompence of their error that was meet, it was not saying they had received it.
St. Paul says, "Thinkest thou this, o man, that judgest them that do such things, and doest the same, that thou shalt escape the judgement of God? or despisest thou the riches of his goodness, and forbearançe, aneuong suffering ; not knowing that the goodness, 9 Gad, leadeth thee to repentance ?”–Rom. ïi. 3,4. Here it appears that because some people do not experience the judgement of their crimes, they flatter themselves that they may escape them. If in reply, it be said, this is their mistake, they do experience the judgement, we answer, that we cannot con
ceive how any thing can be a judgement to a man of which he possesses no consciousness. Besides, the aforementioned text speaks of God's forbearance, which we cannot reconcile with the doctrine of immediate punishment in all cases without exception.
Matt. xxviii. 19.-Go ye therefore and teach all na.
tions, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.
The word name, by a Hebrew idiom, is often redundant. The phrases, name of God, name of the Lord, express no more than God and Lord. "ľ will praise the name of God with a song,” i. e. “I will praise God with a song," Ps. Ixxix, 30. “The name of the Lord is
a strong tower,” Prov. xviii. 10. “Blessed be the name of God for ever and ever," Dan. ii. 10. "I will cut off the name of the Chemarims," Zeph. i. 4. In all these examples, the word name is redundant, and might be omitted without affecting the sense.
In other cases the name of any person signifies the authority or doctrine of that person. “I am come in my Father's name, " John v. 45 ; that is, by the authority of my Father. “In the name of Jesus rise up and walk, Acts iii. 6; that is, by the authority of Jesus Christ. “By what power or name have ye done this p" iv. 7, or, "by what power or authority have ye done this p" St. Paul says, “I verily thought with myself, that I ought to do many things contrary to the name of Jesus of Nazareth,” xxvi. 7 ; that is, contrary to the authority or doctrine of Jesus of Nazareth. “In his name (authority or doctrine) shall the Gentiles trust.” Matt. xii. 21..
It hence follows, that being baptized into the name” of
any person, is the same as being baptized into the doctrine of that person; or into the person himself. This is what is consistent with what is stated in other places. “For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ, have put on Christ,” Gal. iii. 27. "Know ye not that so many of us as were baptized inte Christ, were baptized into his death ?” Rom. vi. 3. “They were all baptized unto (into) Moses in the cloud," 1 Cor. x. 2.
To be baptized into the name of the Holy Spirit, does not imply that this spirit is a person, any more than that death is a person for the same reason. And if to be baptized into Christ, be a proof that he is equal with God, you may infer the same of Moses.
In the words immediately preceding this 19th verse, Jesus said, "All power is given to me.” On the ground of this derived power, he sent the apostles to teach and baptize. Was it possible for them to think that he, who plainly declared he received all his power from God, could himself be God, could himself be perfectly equal with the Great Being who gave him all the power" he possessed, yea, that he was that Being ?
Baptizing in the name of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, simply means, initiating the disciples, by that rite, into the christian religion, as originating with the Father, made known by the Son, and confirmed by the miraculous gifts of the Spirit.
It does not appear that the apostles understood the words in the communion as a form to be used in the administration of baptism ; for there is no proof that they ever so used them; on the contrary, we are informed, that they baptized in the name of Christ, or in the name of the Lord Jesus, (See Acts ii. 38 ; and viii. 16, and x. 48, and xix. 5.) They must have understood this to amount to the same thing as baptizing in the name of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. That it was baptizing them into the christian religion. Those who were baptized were said to put on Christ; they took upon them his name, the profession of his gospel.
Sparks and Wright.