Is it the Truth of the Gospel?

A Letter

To Saints gathered unto the Name of the Lord Jesus, meeting at 25, Queen’s Road, Reading.

C. E. Stuart.

E. Marlborough & co., 51, Old Bailey.

Dear brethren in Christ, — A letter, addressed to you by Mr. J, B. Stoney, relative to my pamphlet on “Christian Standing and Condition” having been very properly handed to me, I am compelled, most reluctantly, to take up my pen to reply to it. It had been my wish, if possible, to avoid any public controversy with him, or with any other servant of God known and valued amongst us. But since he closes his letter with these words, “I need scarcely say, I do not unchristianize the author, but, as I should say of The Book of Common Prayer’ the system taught is subversive of Christianity,” silence on my part is any longer impossible. We shall meet in the course of his remarks with many strong statements about my teaching and myself. But I desire, in anything that I may have to say, to pass by all remarks in his paper of a personal character, assured that neither the making them nor the noticing them will conduce to the furtherance of that which we all ought to have at heart — viz., the better understanding of the teaching of the Divine Word. To many statements in his paper grave exception may well be taken. But as it is neither my wish nor my object to enumerate one by one all such, I shall only call your attention to some of them, in the hope and belief that enough will thereby be pointed out for each one to judge whether his very grave charge against my teaching has any foundation in fact.

At the outset Mr. Stoney states that his object in addressing you is “to preserve to you, as far as the Lord may help me, the truth of the Gospel, which I believe is ‘undermined in that paper.’ To effect such an object the one who seriously has it in view ought to appeal to the Scriptures, in which alone the truth of the Gospel has been really unfolded; for we can never in reason ask another to accept as Christian doctrine any statement of our own, unless it can be verified by a reference to God’s Word. How far he succeeds in doing that we shall see. In pursuance of his avowed object he proceeds to point out serious errors to which he would call your attention, amounting to the number of twenty-one. Let us look at them seriatim in Mr. Stoney's own words: —

No. 1. “The attempt made at the opening, in the first three-pages, to establish that truths are implied in Scripture which are not expressed, is a perversion of Scripture; for, though the resurrection of the saints was not expressly stated, the language which spoke of it as a fact was used. This error I should have passed over in silence had not Mr. Stuart deduced from it a false conclusion — that the new man is implied in the Romans, which is contrary to the object of the book, seeing that it was written to set forth, how the converted sinner is set here on the earth, while still encompassed with the flesh; and the verses referred to by Mr. Stuart (chap. vi. 18 — 22), as proving that the new man is assumed (p. 4),* do not refer to the new man, but to the effect of the Word in the believer. Fruit is always of the Spirit; but, doubtless, as we shall see farther on, it was necessary to Mr. Stuart’s system that the old man should put on a new appearance here, and this, in Mr Stuart’s mind, is the new man.”

{*The pages of my pamphlet refer to the second edition.}

On this I would remark, first — that, unintentionally I would fain hope, yet not the less really, my words are perverted. I have not said “truths are implied in Scripture which are not expressed.” I wrote, and I maintain it, “We may be quite correct in stating that such or such a truth is not directly mentioned in some particular part of the Bible; but, on the other hand, to go further, and to say it is not implied, or to be understood in that portion, may be to arrogate to ourselves an acquaintance with the fulness of the Word to which we can lay no just claim, and to find ourselves convicted of a serious mistake, like the Sadducees in the presence of the Lord.” No one, I should have thought, with the Scriptures before them, could gainsay that. The illustrations, too, which were given, one would have thought, were sufficient to establish the point. But Mr. Stoney would correct us here, and how? He would lead his readers to conclude that the resurrection of the saints was not expressly mentioned in the Scriptures at all! I wrote of resurrection of the dead, the question raised by the Sadducees with the Lord (Matt. xxii. 23), not that of saints merely. I wrote, too, of the Pentateuch, not of the whole volume of inspiration. Then if it is an error, a perversion of the truth on my part, to state that the resurrection of the dead was not expressly mentioned in the Pentateuch, what shall we think of the critic who tells us in the same breath that though the resurrection of the saints was not expressly stated, the language which spoke of it as a fact was used! It is difficult to see, if this is correct, wherein consists the perversion of Scripture of which I am accused. Does not the critic fall under his own lash on the one hand, and stand convicted of having misrepresented his opponent on the other?

But this error on my part you would never, it seems, have heard of from Mr. Stoney had I not deduced from it a false conclusion, that the new man is implied in the Romans, “which is contrary,” we are told, “to the object of the book, seeing that it was written to set forth, how the converted sinner is set here on the earth, while still encompassed with the flesh.” Strange it is, if this were the case, how the apostle veiled his purpose. We read (Rom. xv. 15), “I have written the more boldly unto you in some sort, as putting you in mind, because of the grace that is given to me of God, that I should be the minister of Christ Jesus to the Gentiles, ministering the Gospel of God, that the offering up of the Gentiles might be acceptable, being sanctified by the Holy Ghost.” His desire was to have some fruit among them also (i. 13). In accordance with this he gives us a most orderly treatise on the Gospel of God, but nowhere that I know of does he treat of the converted sinner on earth still encompassed with the flesh, unless we are to understand by this that the Christian is in his mortal body. But how else could he be still on the earth? What he desired was fruit in them produced by the truth of God held in power by the Spirit in their souls.

But what does the Scripture mean by the new man? In two senses is the term “new man” used, but only in one is “the new man” presented to us in the Word. In Eph. ii. 15, we read, “To make in Himself of twain one new man” — i.e., all believers from Jews and from Gentiles are made one new man in Christ. In Eph. iv. 24, we have the other sense in which “new man” is used; but there, and in the corresponding passage, in Colossians iii. 10, the definite article is met with — “the new man.” We may dismiss from our consideration the former passage (Eph. ii. 15). It is with the new man spoken of in the latter (iv. 24) with which we are at present concerned. It was to that I referred on p. 4, speaking of its characteristics, righteousness and holiness; and it is clearly that to which Mr. Stoney refers, since he speaks of “the old man” in contrast with it, and by the old man in Scripture is always meant the evil nature. Now surely all can understand what is meant in the Word by this term the new man, seeing that it is contrasted in Eph. iv. 22 — 24, and Col. iii. 9, 10, the only two places in which it occurs, with “the old man,” that evil nature which we all, alas! possess as children of Adam. To controvert, then the statement that the existence of the new man in the saint is implied in the Romans, is virtually to say that believers on the Lord Jesus Christ are not viewed therein as having a new nature at all — i.e., that they are not viewed as born of God, for by birth it is that we get a nature. Now is this, let me ask, sober teaching? Let us look into it a little closer, gathering from the epistle some information about the saints.

The apostle addresses all that were in Rome, beloved of God, called saints (i. 7). Such were justified by faith, and had peace with God (v. 1). Further, they had received the Holy Ghost (v. 5), who dwelt in them (viii. 9 — 11). So they were in Christ (vi. 11; viii. 1, 9,10). They were God’s children, and God’s sons, and they knew it (viii. 15 — 17). Then they were to reckon themselves dead indeed unto sin, and alive unto God in Christ Jesus, having, too, obeyed from the heart the form of doctrine delivered to them, being formerly servants of sin, but now servants of righteousness and of God (vi. 11, 17, 18, 22). They were likewise full of goodness, filled with all knowledge, able also to admonish one another (xv. 14). And, to sum it up in a few words, they were exhorted to live as Christians only can live (xii. — xiii.). Were they all that they are described? Had they all that they are said to have received? Could they do all that they are exhorted to do, and that in terms which implied that they were able to do it, without having the new man — the new nature? If so, man is not a ruined creature by the fall, the necessity for the new birth, on which the Lord insisted (John iii. 7) must be a mistake, and we can be God’s children, and speak of it, and know it, without it being implied that we have a new nature.

We are shut up to these, must we not call them, monstrous conclusions, if it is an error to teach that the new man is implied in the Romans, seeing we are told that “is contrary to the object of the book.” Or we must conclude that the Holy Ghost can dwell in an unregenerate person, for He dwelt in those saints. You must either then deny the holiness of God, or the ruin of the Fall, if you accept such teaching, professedly given to preserve to you “the truth of the Gospel.” One thing is clear: if such teaching is to be called “truth of the Gospel,” it is not the Gospel of God as set forth in the writings of St. Paul. For my part I repudiate it, and Mr. Stoney himself, see p. 49, condemns it, as he tells us the man of Rom. vii. has the Divine nature. But we are told that, “Rom. vi. 18 — 22 do not refer to the new man, but to the effect of the Word in the believer. Fruit is always of the Spirit.” Can one be a believer as Scripture speaks of one, without having the new man? Does the Spirit, we may ask, produce fruit for God from that which is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be (Rom. viii. 7)? Does fruit-bearing in the saint flow from the actions of the old man, which is corrupt (Eph. iv. 22), or from those of the new man, through the power of the Spirit of God? Who produces fruit for God, the saint or the unconverted person? I pass by the statement about the old man putting on a new appearance, as partaking of that character of remark which it is unprofitable to notice, and proceed to the second count of the indictment.

No. 2. “Mr. Stuart’s whole line of argument about the word stand or standing is erroneous. The word standing is one that we have all accepted, as setting forth how the blessed God has set us in His presence. His mode of interpretation, in making words which are used figuratively to express a mere fact, is misleading and unspiritual. Further on in the tract we find in the same way he uses the word “preserve” to establish that we do not change our persons, so that new creation is only preservation! It is sad to see a Christian so far outside the mind of the Spirit, that he cannot grasp His meaning beyond a mere literality. No doubt others have followed this line of interpretation, but to what would it lead? For instance, in the same way, ‘little children’ in John, might be said only to mean very young people. And even if we were to follow Mr. Stuart in his use of the word stand, we should arrive at a standing far beyond his limited definition. “What sort of standing is Eph. vi. 11, 13, 14? Not at all how God has placed me before Him, but how I stand here for the one who has wrought out the work, and whose place before God is mine. As a rule, no sentence in Scripture is repeated in the same sense. As one has said, ‘Scripture does not repeat itself’. Most of the unsound systems of interpretation are based on occupation with mere words, instead of with what is the mind of God in the passages. The result of this with Mr. Stuart is a jumbling together Romans and Ephesians, whereas one is the saint on earth going to heaven; and the other the saint coming from heaven, to express the heavenly man on earth. An error in interpretation is like a man going a wrong road — the farther he goes, the more out of the way he is. Mr. Stuart acquires his idea of standing from its opposite — that is, that the ungodly cannot stand in the judgment. Now, when God undertakes to give the believer a standing, is it a mere contrast to what he was before? Is he only an acquitted criminal? Is that the standing? If Mr. Stuart had left out the word Christian, and entitled his tract A Standing where there was No Standing, there would be some meaning in his paper; but to call his theory of a standing ‘Christian’ is simply untrue. The Christian standing is one given of God, and hence commensurate with His own love and purpose.”

As to “standing,” and what we are to understand by it, it is simply a matter of investigation from the Word. In what connection is the thought of it introduced in the pages of Holy Writ? “The word standing” he writes, “is one we have all accepted, as setting forth how the blessed God has set us in His presence.” Substitute the ground on which for how in his sentence, and the statement would be more correct. But why have we accepted the term? Is it not because Scripture tells us that saints who once, as unconverted, had no standing before God, can now stand in His presence, connecting that thought with the throne of God as I have endeavoured to point out. Hence a more careful definition, than that with which Mr. Stoney has furnished us, is required to express the Scripture teaching on the subject. Now one may observe that not a single scripture is here introduced to show that what I have written about it is wrong. “ Erroneous” “misleading” “unspiritual,” “untrue” are words easily written. To substantiate what is implied by them is another matter. One passage from the Word, from whence alone we can know anything about our standing before God, would outweigh whole pages of declamatory statements. Let my reviewer, or anybody else, boldly grapple with the subject, and show from the Word of God that what I have advanced is unsound teaching. Till then, the use of such epithets referred to only suggests the weakness of the cause intended to be defended.

We can pass by the reference to Eph. vi. 11,13,14, Mr. Stoney himself taking pains to point out that the passage treats of that which is outside our subject, as I had already noticed (p. 7). I would only remark that it speaks of us as in the heavenly places in conflict, whereas Mr. Stoney tells us it treats of “how I stand here for the one who has wrought out the work.” Does he mean to tell us that being in the heavenly places is standing here on earth? But we must pause for a little over the announcement of the difference between Romans and Ephesians. In the former we are told it is “the saint on earth going to heaven,” In the latter it is “the saint coming from heaven to express the heavenly man on earth.” Does Scripture support such a statement? In Ephesians and there only, is the saint said to be in the heavenlies in Christ (ii. 6); and in the last chapter he is viewed as there still (vi.), but exposed there to conflict with evil agency, and hence needing the panoply of God that he may stand against the wiles of the devil. There is no thought of his coming from heaven in that epistle. In fact, he would surrender what was his as a Christian if he did. He is viewed as in the heavenlies in Christ — i.e., in spirit, and as on earth in person at the same time. The one formerly a thief (Eph. iv. 28), who is certainly viewed as in Christ, is as clearly regarded as on earth likewise, for surely there are no people in want in heaven to whom he could give. The truth is that the Christian, to illustrate his position from Israel’s history, is in the land — i.e., the heavenlies — and in the wilderness — i.e., on earth — at the same time. He has, or should have, experiences proper to both, without leaving either the one or the other. He never comes from heaven; to do that would be to surrender his being in Christ. It would be a giving up of what God has done for him. To teach that, engenders confusion. To hold it, would land one really in bad doctrine, confounding the being in the heavenlies in Christ, now in spirit, with the being there in person by-and-by. All real Christians — i.e., saints — indwelt by the Holy Ghost, are there in Christ, and must be because He is there, and as long as He is there. They are not there yet in person — i.e., in body. If what is meant by the statement is, that at times one enters into the experiences and trials of the wilderness, or of service, as distinct from those connected with being in the heavenlies, that is, of course, perfectly true. But that is not what has been affirmed, and it is with that we are at present concerned.

But more, and this, to my mind, is a most important point, such language is in direct opposition to John iii. 31, 32: “He that cometh from above is above all; he that is of the earth is earthly, and speaketh of the earth. He that cometh from heaven is above all.* And what he hath seen and heard, that he testifieth, and no man receiveth his testimony.” There is then but One of whom it can be said, as yet, He came from heaven. To speak in that way of a saint now, seeing that Scripture tells us that the One of whom it is true is above all, is really to exalt the saint above the Lord Jesus Christ, for there cannot be two men above all. Perhaps some may exclaim, What literality! What lack of spirituality! Scripture, dear brethren, is sober in its statements. It behoves us to be sober in ours. “An error in interpretation” Mr. Stoney tells us, “is like a man going a wrong road; the farther he goes, the more out of the way he is.” True, indeed, that is. But greater evils often result, for pupils are apt to go farther wrong than the master, if once they have been started on the wrong road by the one whom they have taken for their guide. That constitutes a greater danger arising out of an unscriptural statement such as that just noticed. The Epistle to the Ephesians does not teach what is attributed to it. The Gospel of St. John distinctly condemns it. And how far Romans and Ephesians are jumbled together in what I have written any one may see, if they read what is said about Romans, Colossians, and Ephesians on pp. 13, 26, 27.

{*I am aware there is another reading, but one not generally adopted — viz., “He that cometh from heaven testifieth of what he hath seen and heard.” But this makes no real difference in the teaching of the passage. It is the Lord Jesus, and He alone, of whom such a fact is affirmed in God’s Word.}

Passing by, for the moment, all reference to the reviewer’s remarks on the word “preserve,” to which I may refer further on, I would just notice the objection taken to the title of the pamphlet, in calling it“Christian Standing.” One would have thought that what was true of a Christian might well be called Christian. Resurrection of the dead, for instance, is truth common to Jews and Christians, and the unity of God likewise. Did any one deny these truths, we should assuredly say he denied fundamental articles of the Christian man’s faith; not that they are exclusively Christian, but they are part of that faith once for all delivered to the saints. Had a better title suggested itself, I should readily have adopted it. With this criticism, however, on the title, I for one should have no sympathy for the reason just given. But two things are clear from the reviewer’s admission, that there would be some meaning in my paper, and of course his opposition to its title would never have been aroused, if I had called it “a standing where there was no standing.” First, then, the terms standing and condition must be kept distinct, as I have sought to do (pp. 5 — 7, 13); for it is plain we could speak of a person’s condition as dead in sins, who in that condition has no standing before God. And, second, the reviewer is himself, by his own words, a witness that a lack of seeing the ruin of man according to God does not underlie every sentence in this pamphlet. With his closing sentence every Christian will agree, “The Christian standing is one given of God, and hence commensurate with His own love and purpose.” But what shall we understand by Christian standing?

This brings us to the third count in the indictment: —

No. 3. “Mr. Stuart writes (p. 7): ‘The standing of the Christian, as is the case with that of the Israelites, is connected with the throne.’ This is entirely unscriptural and misleading, and the mere fact of assuming that there is any similarity between the Jewish standing and the Christian standing at once exposes it. The standing of the Christian is in direct contrast (see Hebrews) to the standing of a Jew. There is contrast, but no similarity. Let us remember we are not considering a believer’s standing, but Christian standing. Now, instead of the believer being placed before the throne of God, it is our Saviour who is the Mercy-seat — the One who went down into death for us, who 'having purged our sins sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high.’ As He, blessed be His name, was down in the lowest place for me, I am now, through grace, placed by Him in the same acceptance as Himself. The responsible man has failed; another man has come in, and this man’s standing, blessed be God, determines the Christian’s standing. Mr. Stuart, while he states the efficacy and value of Christ’s work, entirely overlooks, or does not apprehend, that everything now is in complete contrast to what it was to the responsible man. Here, without any desire to asperse the author, let me say, that the error underlying every sentence in this pamphlet is, that neither the ruin of man according to God is seen by him, nor the complete newness of the man introduced by our Lord Jesus Christ. I am persuaded that here lies the root of all his misapprehensions. I do not say — far from it — that he has not so grasped the work of Christ as to its efficacy for the soul’s salvation, but I do say every line of his teaching in this tract tends to subvert Christianity. I do not mean by that all vital religion, but I do mean the Christian standing and state introduced by our Lord Jesus Christ. It is evident that if you do not see that there must be a complete annulling of the first man — an entire setting aside of the man in the flesh — in the cross, you cannot see the perfectly new man introduced by our Lord Jesus Christ.

“I ask you, dear brethren, to weigh carefully Mr. Stuart’s statement, ‘placed before the throne of God by faith in the sacrifice of Christ.’ * Is each one still the responsible man to appear before the throne, and then to be acquitted through faith in the sacrifice of Christ? That is, that the only change from an Israelite to a Christian is, that the latter has a better sacrifice than the former. This teaching does not prevent the salvation of the soul, and does in a measure describe the standing of a millennial believer; but I contend that there is not in it a trace of the Christian standing which is our subject. The Christian standing is entirely and absolutely determined by Christ, the second Man. If this is not seen and maintained, the Christian standing cannot be apprehended. Hence, instead of being placed before the throne, as Mr. Stuart teaches, the quickened soul learns that the throne of judgment has been turned into a throne of grace; that Jesus, our Saviour, is the Mercy-seat (Rom, iii. 25). The Man who bore our sins is now the concentration of the glory of God. There all His nature and glory are displayed, and though not displayed in us yet, 'as He is, so are we in this world.' The first man had ‘sinned and come short of the glory of God,’ and there we were by nature; now, through grace, we are represented by the second Man, who has made peace by the blood of His cross, having borne the judgment of the first man, whose history terminated in the cross. ‘For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.' Hence I am justified, I am set in Divine righteousness, I occupy the same position or ground before God that Christ does as Man, when I believe on Him that raised up Jesus, our Lord, from the dead, 'who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification.’ He who measured my distance is now the measure of my nearness. Jesus, took our place in judgment, and now, through Divine grace, we who believe on God are associated with Him in His place; and there is no such thing as placing us before the throne of God as such. Outstanding is Christ’s place, the place He has entered into as Man risen from the dead; that determines ours, for we are in Him.”

{*Whence are the words quoted?}

The above is a long count in this heavy indictment. Many points in it might be noticed were one seeking to challenge them all, but as that would be tedious, a selection only shall be made. First Let me again remark, that all controversy about what it is that constitutes the Christian’s standing would be on the road for complete settlement if Scripture alone were taken as our guide, and how it speaks on this subject were determined by examining it. Mere assertions on such a matter avail nothing. All that we can know about it is from Divine revelation. Let Mr. Stoney, or anybody else, show from God’s Word that what has been written in the pamphlet sought to be incriminated is unscriptural, and that question would be settled. I was treating of the believer’s standing, which is synonymous, I should have thought, with the term Christian standing, seeing that all true believers are, and must be, Christians. Mr. Stoney says, he is considering Christian standing in contrast to that of a believer. But he tells us, that he, as a believer, is placed by Christ in the same acceptance as Himself. Is not the acceptance of the Lord Jesus Christ as our sacrifice the measure of every Christian’s acceptance? Mr. Stoney tries to make a distinction where there is no difference.

Second. Extravagant and unguarded statements are dangerous where God’s truth is concerned. Commenting on my statement that “the standing of the Christian, as is the case with that of the Israelites, is connected with the throne,” my reviewer declares it is entirely unscriptural and misleading, and the mere fact of assuming that there is any similarity between the Jewish standing and the Christian standing at once exposes it. The standing of a Christian is in direct contrast (see Hebrews) to the standing of a Jew. There is contrast, but no similarity.” Now, statements of this kind in an ordinary way one would be content to let pass, but in a document professedly written to preserve to Christians the truth of the Gospel, one naturally expects some measure of accuracy in what is put forth, and teaching which can be shown to be in harmony with Canonical Scripture. No similarity between the Jewish standing and Christian standing! All contrast, but no similarity! One asks in bewildering amazement on what authority is such an ex cathedra announcement based? One asks in vain. Tis true we read, “see Hebrews.” But surely we might have been favoured with something more definite than that. To turn us to an epistle of thirteen chapters in length, without indicating whereabouts in that letter we shall find confirmation of this sweeping assertion, there is contrast, but no similarity” is not what the reader would have expected. Well, we must search for ourselves. We read in Heb. x. 1, “For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect.” How could the law be a shadow of good things to come if there was no similarity between the shadow and the substance? A shadow, of course, is in contrast to the substance, but there must be some similarity in outline, if it is the shadow. In truth there was, as it spoke of the need of an offering in which life should be taken, and of substitution for the guilty one, whose acceptance before a holy God was bound up with that of the true offering, the blood of which would make atonement for the soul. It spoke, too, of the need, and a need which would in time be met, of a high priest of God’s appointment, who could make propitiation by blood for the sins of the people. Much of contrast there surely was; the yearly sacrifices and the earthly sanctuary being contrasted with the sacrifice of Christ who has entered by His own blood into the heavenly sanctuary, even into the holiest of all. Similarity, however, there was also. And further, the real standing of the people of Israel, as Levit. xvi. portrays in type, was on blood-besprinkled ground before the mercy-seat, which was in the holiest of all. Now that is really where every individual Christian stands, formerly typically set forth, now fully declared. For what was true of them nationally* is true of saints now individually. Much, of course, we have which they had not. But if the teaching of Levit. xvi., distinctly referred to in Heb. ix., x. is to instruct us, the standing for all saints before God’s throne rests solely on the sacrifice of Christ. Why else have we in the ritual for the day of atonement the bullock for Aaron and his house, and the goat for Israel, both treated precisely in the same way? Do we not learn what it was that to God’s eyes was typified on that day — viz., the one perfect sacrifice, which should be offered up, and on the strength of which, as Rom. iii. 25 tells us, God passed by the sins of the Old Testament saints? Now, did God pass them by because of the value of the blood of bulls and of goats? Heb. x. 4 answers that question. On what ground, too, will those so often referred to in his letter (apparently in a slighting way) as millennial believers stand before God, but on that of the sacrifice of Christ? And they will confess it, saying, “He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities, the chastisement of our peace was upon Him, and with His stripes we are healed” (Isa. liii. 5). All contrast, but no similarity, is going a little too far.

{* Nationally, because individually they never entered the holiest, and, as Ezekiel teaches us, the people in a coming day never will (xlvi.).}

Third. We are told that “Mr. Stuart, while he states the efficacy and value of Christ’s work, entirely overlooks, or does not apprehend, that everything now is in complete contrast to what it was to the responsible man. Here, without any desire to asperse the author, let me say, that the error underlying every sentence in this pamphlet is, that neither the ruin of man according to God is seen by him, nor the complete newness of the man introduced by our Lord Jesus Christ. I am persuaded that here lies the root of all his misapprehensions. I do not say — far from it — that he has not so grasped the work of Christ as to its efficacy for the soul’s salvation, but I do say that every line of his teaching in this tract tends to subvert Christianity.”

Most sweeping charges these. But, as at times in the natural world, the antidote needed is near at hand, so in this case the writer supplies the answer to his charges, whilst in the act of committing to paper such grave, and, I must say, unfounded, accusations. For how can one state, as is admitted, the efficacy and value of Christ’s work — i.e., His atoning sacrifice — which includes, amongst other things, substitution in its fullest sense, and yet it be true that in every sentence of the pamphlet there underlies the error that the ruin of man, according to God, is not seen? This surpasses my comprehension. Now, what is meant by all this? Is it intended to be understood that I do not see the ruin of man as fully as God does? I quite believe it. But what man does, at least whilst on earth? If it means anything else, I am obliged to give the statement the most unqualified denial, and I turn you to p. 19 in support of it. “In Christ. Humbling, yet blessed, and most practical truth. Humbling, because it tells us in the plainest way of the utter and hopeless ruin of man viewed as a child of Adam.” No one surely, with such words before them, is justified in making the assertion to which I have called your attention.

Fourth. What are we to understand by “the complete newness of the man introduced by the Lord Jesus Christ?” If it means the one new man of Eph. ii. 15, you will find I have referred to this truth on pp. 15, 22, 25. If it means that saints in Christ are new creation, I have spoken of that on p. 19. If it means the new man in the believer, I am not aware that the Lord introduced that, though only in His life on earth have we the perfect manifestation of it. If it be the truth of the Head and the Body, which together make up what Scripture calls the Christ, to that also I have referred on p. 15, pointing out, however, that it is outside the range of the subject on which I was writing. Till better informed, then, as to what it is to which the reviewer refers, I can say no more on this point.

Fifth. We are told, “This man’s — i.e., the Lord Jesus Christ’s — standing determines the Christian’s standing.” Is this so? We stand before God on the ground of the atoning sacrifice of the Lord Jesus Christ, as Rom. v. states. “We are justified by blood “(9), and have access by faith through our Lord Jesus Christ into this grace in which we stand (2). Is the standing of the Lord Jesus Christ (Mr. Stoney’s term, not mine) on the ground of sacrifice accepted on His behalf? Is it determined by it? Was He not, as man, always able to be in the presence of God, because of what He was and is — holy, righteous, the Sinless One? Now, if I had put forward that statement, I should feel that I was leaving out, either the keystone, as it were, of the arch — i.e., the atonement — or that I was bringing the Lord Jesus down to a level with us guilty creatures, conceived in sin and shapen in iniquity, who stand on the ground of an accepted sacrifice. He is, of course, the accepted one for us, the propitiation for our sins, but He is Jesus Christ the righteous (1 John ii. 1). He was always well pleasing to God before His death. We are accepted by virtue of His sacrifice. If we apply the word “standing” to Him, we must mean the ground on which He is for Himself in God’s presence. His standing, to use Mr. Stoney’s term, cannot of itself determine the Christian’s standing. That would be, on the one hand, to ignore, or reject our need of atonement; or, on the other hand, to teach that He had need of it also, which last would be blasphemy. It is His sacrifice which determines our standing.

Sixth. It is asked, “Is each one still the responsible man to appear before the throne, and then to be acquitted through faith in the sacrifice of Christ?” Each one cannot, it is clear in the nature of things, be the responsible man. One cannot be still what one never was. But each and all saints are responsible people, and will have to stand before the judgment seat of God (Rom. xiv. 10) to give an account to God. Personal responsibility, it is well to be remembered, does not end when one is converted, as the parable of the pounds, and also that of the talents, as well as the practical teaching of the Epistles, makes clear beyond dispute. Is not this at times in danger of being forgotten? It is true we are not put on the ground of responsibility to get life. Eternal life is God’s free gift to us in grace (Rom. vi. 23). No one, I conclude, would suppose I taught we get life by our works. But we are, and shall be whilst on earth, responsible creatures as regards walk and service, and we do well to remember this. Timothy was to keep the commandment till the appearing of the Lord Jesus Christ (1 Tim. vi. 14). He and we shall have to stand before the judgment seat of God, to receive according to what we have done as servants, and as redeemed ones.

Seventh. We read, “The first man had sinned, and come short of the glory of God, and there we were by nature. Now, through grace, we are represented by the second Man, who has made peace by the blood of His cross, having borne the judgment of the first man, whose history terminated in the cross. ‘For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.’” It is true, Adam, who is the first man, sinned, and I doubt not the Lord bore his judgment on the cross, and so we shall meet him in heaven. But Scripture says nothing about it, nor would it help us if it did. But the use made of Rom. iii. 23, applying it, as Mr. Stoney does, to the first man, is certainly very far from being an illustration of rightly dividing (or cutting in a straight line) the word of truth (2 Tim. ii. 15). Rom. iii. does not treat of federal headship and of its consequences, and does not state that the first man had sinned, but that all have sinned. Now, his application of the passage shows, what comes out elsewhere in his letter, that he confounds (I trust he will bear with me when I say it) the second part of the Gospel of God, as set forth in the Romans, with the first part. The first part (i. — v. 11) treats of the actions of men, and of God’s grace to sinners. The second part (v. 12 — viii. 11) treats of federal headship, and the consequences of the act of each head, in which all the race share. It is in this part of the Gospel that Adam is introduced. In the first part he is not mentioned. “All have sinned,” we read; “there is none righteous, no not one;” “they are together become abominable” etc. The responsibility and actions of individuals are treated of, not the act of the head, and its consequences, which in ourselves we have no power to avert. God would thus press upon all what they have done, and what they were, and what they deserved, and that each one, as a creature of God, is responsible for his actions. Then He brings in His grace, and sets forth the ground on which He can act in grace to save and to justify the ungodly. In all this part of the Gospel it is the individuals who are spoken of, that they may learn surely how they have failed, and what they deserved. Similarly, in Eph. ii. the former condition of individuals is set forth — dead in trespasses and sins; not that of the head of the race, nor of all the race as viewed in the head.

But when convicted and through grace saved, we learn what the evil nature is that is in us. Another branch of the Gospel is then needed — viz., God’s provision for dealing with that nature, and how we can be freed from its thraldom. It is here that the truth of headship of race comes in, and rightly so, as we see; for the act of the head, whether of disobedience or of obedience, affects all the race, as Rom. v. 12-19 plainly teaches; and so deliverance from the thraldom of sin within us is only to be known by owning and carrying into practice, by the power of the Spirit, the truth of being in Christ. His condition as to sin is mine, who am in Him, and is to be made good by reckoning myself dead to it. Now, to bring in the first man, who is Adam, the head of the race, in the first part of the Gospel, is to introduce disorder, and really the effect would be to weaken the sense in the soul of personal responsibility for one’s sins. For I am not responsible for being of Adam’s race, nor for having, as a consequence, an evil nature — the old man. But I am responsible for the acts of the nature, as being my acts. Hence God, in the Gospel in Romans, first deals with the question of our acts, and then with that of our nature. In this last the first man, the head of the race, has his place. Mr. Stoney, by his language, really confounds these two very distinct parts of the Gospel. “All have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” That is God’s verdict relative to every individual. “You hath He quickened who were dead in trespasses and sins.” That is God’s description of the condition of each one as a child of Adam. We have sinned, we were dead; we needed therefore propitiation to be made for our sins; we needed, too, life. Both are provided for by the coming and death of the Lord Jesus Christ, as John tells us: “In this was manifested the love of God towards us, because that God sent His only-begotten Son into the world that we might live through Him. Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us, and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins” (1 John iv. 9, 10). Scripture is clear as to the ruin of man by the Fall, and to the hopeless and helpless state in which all must ever have remained had not God sent His Son to die for sinners. No one really owning this can be said to deny the ruin of man by the Fall. These truths of the Word affirm it in the most positive and full way. I need not, after these remarks, seek any further to repel grave accusations on this point, which are met with more than once in Mr. Stoney’s letter.

But here I must call your attention to a very serious statement, which demands the most emphatic denial, if the truth of the Gospel is to be maintained. We are told that “the Lord has borne the judgment of the first man.” If by this was meant Adam only, no one could object. But the use here of 1 Cor. xv. 22 * negatives that supposition. Is it then intended for us to understand that the Lord has borne the judgment of all Adam’s race? for no other rational meaning can, I conceive, be got out of the words. Then we have universal salvation asserted in the plainest way. For if He has borne the judgment of the whole race then all must be saved, or substitution loses its value. Now, Scripture distinctly teaches the contrary; all, alas! will not be saved. Propitiation is for the whole world (1 John ii. 2). The blood of Christ is of such value in God’s eyes that He could act in saving grace because of it to all the world. But He who is best fitted to speak of the results of that death has Himself told us, “He gave His life a ransom for many” (Matt. xx. 28). We cannot be too clear and too decided on such a point, considering the doctrines rife in the present day. But can the writer mean the old man by the first man, as he seems at times to do? This, too, must be rejected. The Lord did not bear the judgment of a nature, but the judgment due to individuals. All those whose judgment He bore will undoubtedly be saved. It will be joy, indeed, when we are for ever freed from the presence of sin within us — the old man. It would subvert Christianity to teach that the old nature has been atoned for; we should never be freed from it then.

{*This passage treats of the body, not of our spiritual condition, so it is wrongly applied.}

Eighth. Just one other statement I will refer to, and then pass on. “The Christian standing is entirely and absolutely determined by Christ, the second Man. If this is not seen and maintained, the Christian standing cannot be apprehended. Hence” he adds, “instead of being placed before the throne, as Mr. Stuart teaches, the quickened soul learns that the throne of judgment has been turned into a throne of grace, and that Jesus our Saviour is the Mercy-seat” (Rom. iii. 25). At all events, then, Mr. Stoney himself being witness, the believer does stand before the throne of God. It does not cease, he teaches us, to be the throne, but it becomes a throne of grace. With all this outcry, then, against the word throne, it is admitted that the term is scripturally correct. Is not the throne of grace the throne of God? Whose throne else can it be? Has God, as God, two different thrones, one of judgment and another of grace? Would not the mercy-seat have been to Aaron a throne of judgment in a most solemn way had he approached it in an unauthorised way? Now, the mercy-seat in the Tabernacle typified the throne of God in the highest heaven — the holiest of all. Docs God vacate His throne? Is He not always on it? “He ruleth by His power for ever,” says the Psalmist (lxvi. 7). “The Most High ruleth in the kingdom of men” Nebuchadnezzar was to learn, and he put on record when he had learnt it, that’s God’s dominion is an everlasting dominion, and His kingdom is from generation to generation. And all the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing: and He doeth according to His will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth, and none can stay His hand, or say unto Him, What doest Thou? (Dan. iv. 32, 34, 35.) This looks very like God being on the throne. But where have I called it the throne of judgment? It is true that the thought of judgment is necessarily connected with that of the throne. The execution of judgment, however, and the trial of prisoners, are not the only or necessarily the constant actings of the throne. God is, and always will be, on the throne, but the throne is not always viewed as the judgment seat. To take an illustration from earthly things, though in such a matter the illustration must be a poor one, Pilate and Festus, Roman governors as they were all the time of their official life in Palestine, were not every moment, or perhaps every day, sitting on the judicial bench (see Matt, xxvii. 19; Acts xxv. 6, 17). Now the confounding these two very distinct thoughts — viz., the throne and the bench — closely connected though they are, is the cause of Mr. Stoney’s mistake. I cannot be answerable for his mistakes, nor for those of others. The mistake is his, not mine. I have not written, that I am aware of, that the believer stands before the throne of judgment, though I have written, and maintain it, that he can stand before the throne of God without judgment overtaking him. By-and-by he will stand before the judgment seat of God. Yet it is, and always will be true, “he shall not come into judgment, but is passed from death unto life” (John v. 24).

Then we are told, that if “it is not seen and maintained that the Christian standing is entirely and absolutely determined by Christ, the second Man, it cannot be apprehended.” One may well ask, did not Paul know the truth of our standing, and how to present it? Was he not guided to write about it in words taught of the Holy Ghost? Yet he does not say this. He tells us we have access through Christ by faith into this grace wherein we stand, believing on God who raised up Jesus, our Lord, from the dead, who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification (Rom. iv. 24; v. 2). He tells us of our standing before he teaches us of the Lord as the second man. To what he wrote I would desire to submit myself, for that I know is the Word of God. And believing what he has put before us, we have peace with God. But how one can have peace with God and yet not know the ground on which one stands in His presence, and which assures one of everlasting acceptance, is more than I can understand. I would keep to what I know is the Gospel of God.

Coming to the fourth count, we read —

“In p. 8, 'the hope of the glory of God’ is confined to the day of 'the display of God’s glory, when the King shall come forth in power, and establish God’s authority on earth by the execution of judgments, the saint no longer fears, but, on the contrary, looks forward to it as a hope.' I deny, on the whole weight of Scripture, that the hope in Romans is confined to this. The fact is, Mr. Stuart cannot get beyond a millennial saint, either as to standing or hope.”

Where did I say it was confined to this? It is most certainly closely connected with it. Had one been writing a paper on the glory of God, much more might have been said. I freely admit, however, my inability to compress into one sentence all that could be produced from the Word on that subject.

No. 5. “Mr. Stuart writes of Rom. v. 11, ‘We joy also, or boast, in God, knowing that He will listen to no charge that might be brought against us, however true such a charge may be’ (p. 8). There is no ground whatever in the verse for this statement. The simple meaning of the passage is that we, who before were enemies, now ‘joy in Him through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have received the reconciliation.’ We have been brought to Himself, and we joy in Him.”

Here again Mr. Stoney makes a mistake. I was enumerating blessings which flow to us as justified by faith, detailed in Rom. v. 1-11, viii, 33, 34, to which portions in proof of my statements I referred the reader. I never said Rom. v. 11 taught that God would listen to no charge against us. Rom. viii. 33, 34, do unmistakably declare it. In order, however, to take away any pretext for misunderstanding what I wrote, I have in the second edition inserted the little word “too” after “knowing.”

No. 6. “In p. 8 I find the statement, ‘If nothing can be added to make our standing more perfect, nothing can be added to give us any higher position as saints before God; nothing is higher in the universe than the throne of the Majesty in the heavens.’ Now, while judging of this statement, let us remember that the standing in Mr. Stuart’s theory is ‘the ability, through grace, of a fallen and once guilty creature to stand before the throne of God without judgment overtaking him.’ And here he says you cannot add to it, nor can the believer have any higher position! Surely my brethren must see the fallacy of this teaching. If this were written of the true standing, which is ‘as Christ is,’ I should agree, for no position can be higher than that; but this is asserted of one acquitted at the bar of Divine justice, on believing the death and resurrection of Christ. Acquittal before the throne is the highest standing in Mr. Stuart’s mind, and beyond this, however advanced he may be as to title or relationship, he can never come. It is, I repeat, all unscriptural, and he has fallen into this confusion because he does not see that God’s justification could not take place, but consequent and contingent on the setting aside of the first man in judgment, which was effected in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ; and hence every believer, who never had any locus standi in the old man, now, through grace, finds he has a standing in the man risen from the dead. And hence it is no longer what he is, but what Christ is before God. I trust I need not add more on this point. I have dwelt on it at much length already, but I must press on you, dear brethren, that this theory would rob you of Christianity, as a perfectly unique thing, into which you are called by the grace of God. It is vain to refer to Heb. xii. 23, and Rev. iv., v., for the throne of God. In the one we find (which I suppose is what Mr. Stuart refers to) ‘God the judge of all,’ but there is no question whatever of standing there; while in Rev. iv. and v. it is a throne of government towards the earth, and about to act in judgment, and the saints are in association with it, and enthroned around it.”

One word on a point apparently much misunderstood. “No higher position can a saint have” is what I said. This has been changed into the highest. And, whilst in what I did say I carefully guarded the reader from confounding the position of which I was writing with our relationship as children of God, and our special privileges as part of the assembly, people have run away with the idea that I swamped these two last in the first; on the contrary, I marked them off as plainly distinct from it.*

{*If the paragraph referred to (p. 8) is carefully read, this, I trust, will be seen. We are viewed at times in the Word as saints, at times as children of God, at times as members of Christ. Now, if one speaks of relationship, one speaks of nearness, not of height. Nothing can be so near to God as being His children. There was no depreciation of this truth in what was written; but, as being foreign to the subject of the pamphlet, one naturally did not expatiate upon it.}

Now, I must remark that he again misapprehends my words. He quotes them at the outset correctly; but, when commenting on them, makes me say that which I did not say, and which alters the sense. He writes, as my words, “you cannot add to it.” I wrote, on p. 8, “nothing can be added to make our standing more perfect” These words omitted by him are of importance. Can anything, I would ask, be added to the value of Christ’s sacrifice to make our standing on the ground of it more perfect? If anything can, point it out. But if anything can, it must, I conceive, so far detract from the efficacy in its fulness of that sacrifice by which God has perfected for ever them that are sanctified. That is a serious matter for our consideration.

But he proceeds, “If this were written of the true standing, which is ‘as Christ is,’ I should agree, for no position can be higher than that.” Very well. Mr. Stoney finds fault with my writing, “By standing is meant, the title and ability, through grace, for a fallen, and once guilty creature to be before the throne of God without judgment overtaking him” (p. 27). Now he tells us the true standing is “as Christ is.” I will quote the whole verse to which he refers us: “Herein is love made perfect with us, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment; because as He is, even so are we in this world” (1 John iv. 17). It is plain, then, if we get in this verse the true Christian standing, that it has some connection with the thought of the throne, since the Christian is to have boldness in the day of judgment by that which he knows is true of him now. Simple folk would probably conclude that, if this passage defines the true Christian standing, connected, as it certainly is, with the thought of the day of judgment, there can be nothing, after all, so radically wrong in that which I wrote, but to which Mr. S. here takes such exception.

Now, first, it seems strange, and it is a point on which he has not enlightened us, that Paul, who dwells so much on this line of truth, can furnish, it appears, no text which defines true Christian standing; but that John, whose professed object in writing was that souls may know they have eternal life who believe on the name of the Son of God (v. 13), is the one who has definitely expressed it. Second, if language is to convey any meaning to us, when we speak of our standing before God we speak of what constitutes it, where it puts us, and what we have. I can say I have a standing; I could not say I am a standing. Now, John here expresses what we are, not what we have — ” So are we.” Third, the apostle predicates something as true of the believer in this world. “As Christ is, so are we in this world.” Now, when we think of our standing before God as Scripture treats of it, we think of being before Him who sits enthroned in the highest heaven, not of what we are in this world, though our standing before Him in heaven is to be known by us whilst on earth. Hence, if we accept Mr. S.’s guidance here, we should fall into the mistake of which he wrongfully accuses me — viz., the not rising higher in thought than what he would call the standing of a millennial saint; for the passage in John views us as on earth, and not before God’s throne in heaven. For these reasons I could not point to 1 John iv. 17 as furnishing us with a definition of what true Christian standing is.* But all this makes plain that there is a complete difference between us as to what is to be understood by that term. Now, to learn how God’s Word speaks of it we must turn to that Word. It is this which in my pamphlet I have sought to do, and to serve my brethren by elucidating the truth about it, as enabled by God, from the Divine Word.

{*It speaks of us as clear from all fear of judgment, as the context shows us. And here let me warn you against taking such passages, as sometimes is done, in an unqualified way. The context, as I have said, shows its meaning; and this very epistle of John is a standing witness against the way it is sometimes quoted. For in Him is no sin (iii. 5); in us there is (i. 8); He is pure, we are to purify ourselves (iii. 2). We are through God’s rich grace as clear from Divine judgment as He is, but the difference between us and Him is immense.}

Another point I must here notice. It is forced on me against my wish. He writes of “one acquitted at the bar of Divine justice, on believing the death and resurrection of Christ. Acquittal before the throne is the highest standing in Mr. Stuart’s mind.” Elsewhere he has written of “an acquitted criminal.” Let me again say I have not said highest, but “no higher position” etc., which is not quite the same. Then, as to the phrases, “acquitted at the bar of Divine justice,”and “an acquitted criminal” — his terms, be it remembered, not mine, — I have no desire to make him an offender for a word. We may all offend in that way if not careful; but where the truth of the Gospel is concerned, one’s language needs to be guarded. I ask, Does God acquit a criminal? How could He consistently with His righteousness and holiness? He forgives the sinner, but that is not acquitting him. He justifies the ungodly — i.e., He reckons him righteous who was not so. Is it said in the Divine Word God acquits a criminal? We do read, “The Lord will not at all acquit the wicked” (Nahum i. 3). Acquittal is a term used of one who is found not guilty. God’s Word has declared that all have sinned, etc. (Rom. iii. 23). Such a term, I make bold to say, really tends to subvert the Gospel of the grace of God, and would deny to God the exercise of His prerogative of pardoning those who have sinned. An acquitted person is a recipient of no favour. He only receives what, in righteousness, he could claim. A sinner forgiven — an ungodly one justified — such an one is indeed a recipient of Divine favour. An acquitted criminal, where God is concerned, is a thought I must reject. Righteousness would surely be put to the blush were that true; and both redemption and atonement must in that case be surrendered. “We have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins” (Eph. i. 7; Col. i. 14). If, however, we are acquitted, that must be a myth. Again, if acquitted, no one can have borne for us the judgment of God. The truth of Divine judgment borne by our substitute is wholly inconsistent with the criminal being acquitted. The very foundations of our faith are thus irretrievably shattered. The Gospel of the grace of God must then be given up. I feel sure you are not prepared for this.

Then we are informed by the reviewer, that “God’s justification could not take place, but consequent and contingent on the setting aside of the first man in judgment.” What are we to understand by “God’s justification”? I suppose it means the righteousness of God, revealed in the Gospel (Rom. i. 17), manifested by Christ, being set forth a mercy-seat through faith in His blood, to declare it (iii. 21 — 26), which is to be submitted to (x. 3), and which all who are in Christ become (2 Cor. v. 21). Now this subject is treated of in Romans in connection with the sacrificial death of Christ for us — i.e., in connection with the first part of the Gospel as set forth in that epistle. God is seen to be righteous; His righteousness is shown forth in justifying ungodly ones, because of the efficacy in His eyes of the blood of Christ. Then Christ in heaven is God’s righteousness, seeing it is displayed in putting Him there, who glorified God on the cross. We — i.e., Christians — as in Christ, become God’s righteousness likewise. All may now see that Christ is that, because He is actually in glory. All will see that we have become that, when they see us there with Him. This, true of us now, because in Him, waits for its display to the universe our being in glory with Him. For God’s righteousness means His consistency with His character. Becoming His righteousness means our being illustrations and displays of it. And this explains the language of the Psalmist, “The heavens shall declare His righteousness” (50: 6), speaking of the Lord coming out of heaven to judge His earthly people, accompanied by all His heavenly saints. The event there is viewed as future, whereas in Ps. xcvii, 6, where His coming to reign is viewed prophetically as having taken place, we read, “And the heavens declare (or have declared) His righteousness.” We become then, in Christ, God’s righteousness; but that is a different thing from God reckoning us righteous, treated of in Rom. iv. Reckoned righteous is one thing, becoming God’s righteousness is another, seeing it is being the display of God’s consistency with His character. Hence I trust it will be clear to the reader that it is impossible to have our standing in the righteousness of God (see p. 38). I cannot have a standing in God’s consistency with His character; I can, however, have my standing in harmony with it, and I can be an illustration of it.

Now, Mr. Stoney, it seems to me, confounds, as I have before said, in what he writes the two first parts of the Gospel as set forth in the Romans. God’s righteousness is therein displayed in His gracious dealing with us where our sins are in question; but that term is not introduced in the Romans, where the truth about dealing with sin, the old man, is treated of. Of course, by the death of Christ on the cross, both these questions — i.e., of sins and of sin — have been taken up and settled. He made atonement for our sins, that God might righteously forgive, and justify us. God, at the same time, crucified our old man with Christ. The death of Christ, too, for all proved that all were dead (2 Cor. v. 14); the whole race being utterly ruined by the Fall. All this, of course, we must hold, if true Christian teaching is to be maintained. But the different parts of the one faith should be kept distinct in our minds, as Scripture keeps them, else confusion will result. So I could not say “God’s justification could not take place, but consequent and contingent on the setting aside of the first man in judgment.” If I rightly apprehend my reviewer’s words, “God’s justification,” to use his language, is seen to be in action consequent and contingent on the blood of Christ being shed for us (Rom. iii.), not by our having died with Christ (vi.). If it is meant by the setting aside the first man in judgment, that we are all brought in guilty before God, and, therefore, as sinners, deserving of everlasting punishment, our case, as far as we are concerned, being irremediable, I should agree; but I could not express myself about that as he does.

I have spoken of the need of keeping truths distinct, else confusion will arise. An instance in point is furnished us in the statement, “hence every believer who never had any locus standi in the old man.” The old man, if Scripture terms are to be used in a Scriptural sense, is in us all, whether believers or not. It is our evil nature. We have not, nor could we, nor could any child of Adam, have a locus standi in the old man, nor be in the old man, for it is inside of us. Does Mr. Stoney mean by the old man the first man, Adam, head of the race? All, as born into the world, are under Adam’s headship; and till any one has received the gift of the Spirit, he is, what Scripture calls, in the flesh (Rom. viii. 9). But our standing before God, I would repeat, as Scripture uses the term, rests on the death and resurrection of Christ for us, and not on our having died with Him, and being risen with Him, true though this is of every Christian. I would just add that I adduced Heb. xii. 23, and Rev. iv., v., in proof of my statement (which to me is unaccountable that any one should dispute), that there is nothing higher in the universe than the throne of God, on which He alone must only and always sit.

No. 7. “In p. 9 we have the statement, ‘Our standing, then, before the throne is seen in Romans to be complete before one word is said of our being in Christ.’ Now this betrays the writer’s real view as to our standing. Is it in Adam or in Christ that we get our standing? In Adam, according to Mr. Stuart, for he says that our standing is complete before one word is said of our being in Christ. I have already endeavoured to point out that there is not in this theory the truth that the old man has been judicially terminated in the death of Christ, without which God could not put any one in Christ. Hence, the believer, when justified, must be in Christ; he has no other standing. If the believer be justified, it must be through Christ, where Adam is judicially terminated, and now through grace in Christ, which is not in Mr. Stuart’s teaching. There was no justification until Christ rose from the dead (Rom. iv. 24, 25). The sin offering had been offered up, the old man had been crucified with Christ, that the body of sin might be destroyed, and He was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father. If there could not be justification until Christ rose, then what is detailed and opened out in Rom. vi. occurred before justification for the believer, though not as an experience; and if it had not, how could the believer have righteousness imputed to him? It is a denial of the work of Christ as to the annulling of the old man to allege that we could be justified, and retain it. The believer is justified through grace, because of the work of Christ, and in that work not only his sins are borne, but the old man is judicially ended on the cross, so that, on being justified, he is no longer regarded either in his sins, or in that man who was under the judgment of God. To God, he is now in Christ. Hence in Rom. vi. 11 it is written, ‘Ye also reckon yourselves dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God in Christ Jesus.’ Was the old man crucified with Christ after justification, or before it? If it occurred before, then “Mr. Stuart is clearly in error; and if it did not occur before, when did it occur? Will Mr, Stuart venture to suggest that the believer only requires to know that the old man was crucified with Christ, and that it was not His work, in order that God might be able to transfer the believer from Adam to Christ. Be assured, dear brethren, the evil of Mr. Stuart’s teaching lies here, and as we go on it will be more and more exposed.”

Facts, it is said, are stubborn things. Who, with the Epistle to the Romans in his hand, will venture to dispute my words, “Our standing, then, before the throne is seen in Romans to be complete before one word is said of our being in Christ, which,” I added, “takes us into quite a different line of things”? If my reviewer disputes the statement, let him prove its inaccuracy, and upset, by proof from Scripture, the last clause of my sentence which I have quoted, but which he omits. Is it in Adam or in Christ that we get our standing? he asks. The answer, if Scripture guides us, is, In neither. The standing before God of a creature who was ruined by the Fall, and is itself guilty of having sinned, is on the ground of a sacrifice accepted on its behalf. The one identified with the sacrifice is accepted according to all its value, as was true of souls, and always will be true (Gen. iv. 4; Lev. i. 4; Ezek. xliii. 27). Saints are represented before God by a person — the High Priest. Souls are accepted on the ground of, and when identified with, the accepted sacrifice. Keeping these truths before us we shall better understand things which differ. My standing before God’s throne, as accepted before Him, does not rest on my being in Christ, but on God’s acceptance of His sacrifice on my behalf.

But it is now solemnly put in so many words before you that I teach our standing is in Adam. To refute a statement one must first understand it. Now I affirm — will Mr. Stoney refute it? — that “where the saint’s condition or state as in Christ before God is the theme, his standing is not the subject of Divine teaching” (p. 7). Hence the truth of being in Christ is not before us where teaching about our standing is set forth. With those words of mine just quoted before him it is difficult to understand how he could pen such a statement. But does he mean by being in Adam the being what Scripture calls in the flesh, the contrast to being in the Spirit? The next sentence in the pamphlet to the one he has quoted, and indeed the whole of the paragraph which it heads, as well as the following one, is surely so plain that I need here only give the most emphatic denial to that of which he would accuse me. Can he mean by being in Adam the having any connection with him as head of the race? Certainly whilst here in the body our connection with him as the head cannot be severed. We bear his image, and suffer in measure the consequences flowing from his one act of transgression. Yet we who believe the Gospel of our salvation are, and evermore will be, in Christ. It is difficult, I must again observe, to meet statements, where terms, professedly used technically, are not found in that same connection in the Divine Word. But “the believer, when justified, must be in Christ,” we are told. “The one justified by faith is really in Christ” (p. 12) is the statement I made. Then I do not stand alone in what I teach; I am not all wrong. But I do not teach what Mr. Stoney affirms, which is a mere petitio principii — in plain English, assuming what has to be proved — viz., that the believer has no other standing but in Christ. But what confusion are we launched into! Confusion between Adam and the old man, confusion between our being ‘in Christ and what flows to us through Christ. I call your attention to it, “If the believer be justified, it must be through Christ, where Adam is judicially terminated, and now through grace in Christ, which is not in Mr. Stuart’s teaching.” Being justified through Christ, let me remind you, is not synonymous with our standing (as Scripture speaks of it) being in Christ, I have taught the former in the plainest language (p. 7). I distinctly reject the latter, and challenge Mr. Stoney to show me from the teaching of God’s Word that I am wrong.

And what are we to understand by the statement that “Adam is judicially terminated”? Above he has said that the old man has been judicially terminated in the death of Christ, and again, “judicially ended on the cross.” Adam, who is a person, and head of a race, seems here again used interchangeably with the old man — a nature in us. Now, I have no desire to wrangle about words.* One desires to understand, if possible, the writer’s meaning. If by judicial termination is meant its being condemned; that God has condemned sin in the flesh by the Lord’s incarnation and death (Rom. viii. 3); that our old man, too, is crucified with Christ (Rom. vi. 6); that the body of sin might be annulled, I could quite accept it; but condemning the old man, or crucifying it, conveys to me a different thought from judicially terminating it. Such language to me distorts the Gospel.** The old man is as yet anything but terminated. “Ye have died” we read (Col. iii. 3); “Reckon yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin” we are exhorted to as a consequence (Rom. vi. 11); and this will be effected as we are “bearing about in the body the dying of Jesus” (2 Cor. iv. 10). Again, “The law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death:” (Rom. viii. 2). But all this is spoken of Christians, not of their evil nature, which is anything but terminated judicially, or otherwise. We are to be dead to it, precisely because it is not dead. Now it is very important, if we are to be clear on such points, to keep distinct in our minds the difference between person and nature. Statements are made at times as if the old man, our evil nature, derived from Adam by the Fall, is dead and gone. The real question, and an important one, is, Am I practically dead to sin?

{*It has been judicially dealt with in the Cross of Christ; but if allowed to act, it is just as rampant as ever.

**But it is well to remember that Scripture knows of but two Adams, called therein respectively the first and the last (1 Cor. xv. 45), both men, and heads of races. Neither the race, however nor the evil nature are ever called Adam in the Word.}

Of course we must own that God condemned sin in the flesh by the incarnation and death of Christ, and that our old man has been crucified with Christ; but our being justified has reference to guilt consequent on the acts of a nature, and not to the nature itself. The statements of the reviewer indicate confusion between the nature and its acts, and how great that is any one may see, since he writes, “It is a denial of the work of Christ, as to the annulling of the old man, to allege that we could be justified, and retain it.” It would be a denial of the truth of God’s Word, and of fact, and certainly a misconception of a very important section of the Gospel in the Romans, to teach that we have got rid of the old man. Be assured that nature is in us, unchanged and unchangeable (Rom. viii. 7). And the second part of the Gospel in the Romans is to teach us how to be freed from the thraldom of that, which we must carry about in us till death, or the Lord’s coming delivers us for ever from its presence. Of course, what is based for us on the death of Christ, God effected by His death. He crucified our old man with Christ. But Rom. vi. treats of that which is to be made good experimentally in each one of us. Rom. v. 1, 2, tell of results for us based on the sacrificial death and the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. And the believer, I would again say, comes to be in Christ by the indwelling of the Spirit (Rom. viii. 9, 10). I need not dwell any further on this count, but will pass on; the question at the end of it, I must frankly say, I do not understand.

No. 8. “In p. 12 we have the statement, ‘For it is by the indwelling of the Spirit that we come to be in Christ.’ Now I beg of you to review Mr. Stuart’s theory in the two preceding pages. It is this: The one justified has believed in the gospel of his salvation, and is therefore sealed, and, because sealed, he is in Christ. Thus Mr. Stuart admits that a believer who is justified is in Christ; but, as justification is sufficient without any addition, that it is not necessary any way for the standing that he should be in Christ, for his standing is complete without it; in fact, according to Mr. Stuart, he is justified before being in Christ, because it is consequent on the faith that justifies that he receives the Spirit, and on receiving the Spirit indwelling that he is in Christ. Were we to accept this teaching, it would involve that we are justified before being in Christ, and this would necessarily suffer the continuance of the old man. Next, Mr. Stuart seems utterly at sea when he writes, 'The change from being in the flesh to being what Scripture terms in the Spirit is effected by the Holy Ghost given to us, and not simply by what the Lord has done for us’ (p. 9). Scripture teaches, ‘That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.’ ‘The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh and whither it goeth; so is every one that is born of the Spirit.’ The one born of the Spirit is not of the flesh, and, being justified, he is, when he is sealed by the Spirit, in the Spirit. If you live in the Spirit, walk in it. Mr. Stuart justifies a child of Adam, and then gives him the Spirit of God, and then he is in Christ; whereas it is clear from Scripture that the believer, being set in Christ, is coincident with his being justified; and he finds that, through Divine grace, he has an entirely new standing — viz., in the righteousness of God; that Christ Jesus died and rose again to obtain for him this new standing; that he is not in Adam, but in Christ; and that, consequent on believing on God, who raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead, he is sealed by the Spirit of God.”

So, then, it is right doctrine that being in Christ is coincident with being justified. If this means that being in Christ and being justified by faith are concurrent blessings, it is just what I have taught (p. 11). I suppose it means that, since he writes that, Mr. Stuart admits that a believer who is justified is in Christ. Clearly, then, the sweeping condemnation of my pamphlet (which we have met with) on the part of the reviewer cannot be justified, Mr. Stoney himself being the witness. Clear, too, is it (the reviewer attesting it) that being sealed with the Spirit is a distinct operation of God from being born of the Spirit. This, too, is what I have taught (p. 10). It is becoming evident, therefore, that something else is being exposed besides my assumed errors. But for myself I could not say, nor have I said, that I am aware of, that, consequent on the faith that justifies, the believer receives the Holy Ghost. Mr. S., I presume by his closing words of the eighth count, does hold that. I do not, because Scripture states doctrinally (Eph. i. 13), and in the Acts (ii. 38, x. 43, 44) shows it historically, that the gift of the Holy Ghost is consequent on believing on the Lord Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of sins. But justification is more than forgiveness. If any one will read carefully what is written on pp. 9, 10, 11, of the pamphlet he will see what is taught, and how far Mr. Stoney's remarks are justified and his conclusions correct.

It may help some to have here pointed out that what may be called the root truth in all this controversy is that of forgiveness of sins. The one who has received forgiveness is justified by faith, when he believes on Him who raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead, etc. (Rom. iv. 24). The blessings connected with justification cannot in their order be surpassed, nor increased (Rom. v. 1-11). But the one, who has received forgiveness, is also sealed by the Spirit, consequent on his having believed the Gospel of his salvation. Hence all that flows from the reception of the Spirit is bestowed on the believer. He is, therefore, in Christ, with all that is connected with it. He, too, is joined to Christ as a member of His Body. Hence it is that Christian blessings consequent on forgiveness of sins are concurrent with each other. To state the contrary is a mistake. To say I teach the contrary is inconsistent with fact, as any reader may see at a glance. And let it be remembered, for the Scriptures cannot be broken, “Ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you” (Rom. viii. 9). To be born of the Spirit is one thing. That is true of all saints. To be in the Spirit speaks of us as Christians, and is another.

No. 9. “Mr. Stuart’s summary of the Gospel of God in Romans is misleading and unsound. He writes (p. 13), ‘How instructive is the order of the Gospel of God as set forth in Rom. i. — viii. First, deliverance from the guilt of sin by what the Lord has suffered for us (iii. — v. 11); next, deliverance from the power of sin by the present application in practice by each Christian of the death of Christ to sin, and freedom from the law (v. 12 — viii. 11); and, finally, deliverance from the presence of sin by the power of God’ (viii. 12-39). Here he makes, from chap. iii. — v. 11, deliverance from the guilt of sin by what the Lord has suffered for us. This is not according to Scripture. The object of chaps, iii. 20 to iv. and last verse is to show how a believer is justified — made righteous — which the law could not do. Mr. Stuart calls this deliverance from the guilt of sin. Thus at length we have what is the highest position in the universe to which nothing can be added, even what it is to be placed before the throne of God, and that is neither more nor less than deliverance from the guilt of sin by what the Lord has suffered for us. If brethren accept this, they have surrendered the truth of the Gospel.”

Misleading and unsound! Words easily written, but they require to be substantiated, and that in this count he certainly has not done. He admits we get in iii. — iv. how a believer is justified, which I suppose is something very like deliverance from the guilt of sin by the death of Christ for us. For since, in chap, iii., all are brought in guilty — i.e., liable to judgment for their sins — God is seen to be righteous in justifying ungodly ones by virtue of the blood of Christ. Then, in iv., we learn that the principle on which God justifies, as illustrated in Abraham’s case, is faith, and not works of law; Abraham’s history, by the way, proving, what the reviewer has elsewhere denied, that God justified any one before the resurrection of Christ (p. 33). Next David is adduced as the example of the class of people justified — viz., those who have sinned. Then we have set forth the testimony, on believing which we are justified by faith (23-25), “If we believe on Him who raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead, who was delivered for our offences, but was raised again for our justification.” If any object to what I have stated as to the subject of Rom. iii. — v. 11, let them give us a more comprehensive and correct summary of it. Meanwhile, if Mr. S. challenges what I wrote as misleading and unsound, is it not for him to prove that I have surrendered the truth of the Gospel?

No. 10. “ ‘Next, deliverance from the power of sin by the present application in practice by each Christian of the death of Christ to sin, and freedom from the law’ (v. 12 — viii. 11). The meaning of this Scripture is that there were two men — Adam and Christ — one brought us all into condemnation; the other, by His act of obedience obtained righteousness for every believer; that the second brought the first to an end judicially in the cross, and therefore believers are no longer in that man, but in Christ; ‘therefore reckon yourselves dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus’ (vi. 11). And as in Christ there is freedom from the law, for we are dead to it by the body of Christ. The deliverance in this Scripture is the truth that the old man was crucified with Christ; and that, being dead to the law by the body of Christ, ‘the law of the spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.’ The deliverance, I repeat, is freedom from the existence, morally, of the body of sin and death; and Mr. Stuart, in saying that it is ‘deliverance from the power of sin by the present application in practice by each Christian of the death of Christ,’ overlooks the real meaning of the passage, and makes deliverance to be from the power of sin in practice, instead of the deliverance which would enable one to reach to the practice he speaks of. It is not easy to see what Mr. Stuart means; he does not see the right thing, and it is difficult to explain how a believer would have deliverance from the power of sin by present application of the death of Christ. This, if it mean anything, means this, that we are to apply presently the death of Christ in order that we should have deliverance from the power of sin. This plainly is unsound and impossible, unless I first see that I am placed in complete deliverance from it by the Cross of Christ before I enter on one bit of practice. Then, it is true, I am to arm myself with the same mind — that is, I reckon myself dead unto sin, being practically dead to everything for which Christ died — and thus I grow to ‘always bearing about in the body the dying of Jesus, that the life also of Jesus may be made manifest in our body,’ but it is evident all through this paper that Mr. Stuart does not see the judicial end of the first man in the cross.”

It is difficult, in one sentence, to express everything about a subject. Any wishing to understand more fully what one holds as to Rom. vi., will see a little more of it on p. 26 of my pamphlet, and, I think, can judge from it how far what I have set forth is misleading and unsound. But I should have thought any simple soul would suppose from a study of Rom. vi. that deliverance from the power of sin, by the application in practice of the death of Christ to sin (as I wrote), is certainly taught therein. “Shall we continue in sin?” is the question which heads the chapter. “Should we sin?” is the further question asked in ver. 15. To the first question, the answer is that we have died to it. How go on in that to which we have died? But how died to it? and when? By being in Christ we have died with Him to it, for He has died to it. Now “in that He died, He died unto sin once; but in that He lives, He lives unto God. Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God in Christ Jesus. Let not sin, therefore, reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey the lusts thereof. Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves to God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God. For sin shall not have dominion over you; for ye are not under law, but under grace” (vi. 10-14). These verses, make it pretty plain, first, that practice is what is insisted on, consequent on having died with Christ to sin, because we are in Christ; secondly, that for deliverance in practice more is wanted than the knowledge that our old man is crucified with Christ. We have to own it practically, else why are we exhorted to reckon ourselves dead to sin, but alive to God? Thirdly, that the passage does not teach “freedom from the existence, morally, of the body of sin and death,” but freedom from its thraldom and power. “Sin shall not have dominion over you.” Then it exists. So we are to reckon ourselves dead to that which does exist in us, and will, whilst we are on earth. We are to be dead to it, because it is not dead. Most practical this surely is, and a real gospel to those who have felt a thraldom against which they had no power.

Then, to carry the matter one step further, “Should we sin?” Since you cannot really continue in that to which you have died, no more should you obey a master from whom you have been emancipated. Once the servants of sin, they had been made free from it, and become servants of righteousness. Shall we rest in the mere doctrinal statement? No; that will not do. We must make good in practice the doctrines that we have learnt. “For as ye have yielded your members servants to uncleanness, and to iniquity unto iniquity; even so now yield your members servants to righteousness unto holiness” (v. 19). All this is very practical, and is a delivering gospel. And does not, I would ask, the reviewer, at the close of his remarks, justify the teaching which, at the opening of them, he condemns, as he writes, “I reckon myself dead to sin, being practically dead to everything for which Christ died?” But I would say, as Scripture does, to which? not for which, Christ died.

No. 11. “P. 13. ‘And, finally, deliverance from the presence of sin by the power of God’ (viii. 12-39). I really cannot imagine what Mr. Stuart means here. The passage is simple enough to the simple reader; even setting forth the state of one enjoying the deliverance of the passage we have been considering, the believer’s spiritual history on the earth.”

What says the Word? “For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God. For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of Him who hath subjected the same, in hope that the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the liberty of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth with pain together until now, and not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption — the redemption of our body. For we are saved in hope; but hope that is seen is not hope; for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for? But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it” (viii. 19-25). It is on the authority of this Scripture that I wrote what is complained of — “deliverance from the presence of sin by the power of God. In this last deliverance creation will also share.” Who will controvert this, with the Bible in their hands? And I should think it is plain that this passage in Romans takes us far beyond the believer’s spiritual history on earth, to which Mr. Stoney seems to limit it; for during his sojourn here groaning will, if he feels aright, characterise him (23), and not the state of deliverance for which he hopes.

No. 12. “P. 13. ‘There are two lights in which the sinner is viewed. In the one he is seen as a responsible, guilty creature, who needs a standing before the throne, but has it not; in the other he is seen as one dead in sins, who needs quickening. Rom. i. — v. 11 treats of the former; Eph. ii. 1-7 of the latter.’ This is very misleading. It is a mixture of truth and error that literally reduces the truth in the statement to error. In both Epistles the Spirit is describing the course of grace with regard to believers. In Romans the Spirit describes how the sinner who believes is justified. Like the prodigal son who has returned, he has no standing, but the Father provides it; while in Ephesians the believer is made acquainted with the sovereign act of grace, taking us up from the lowest point, of being dead in sins, to be quickened, raised up, and made to sit together in heavenly places in Christ. The effect of this error is that Ephesians is said to be condition, and not a word about position (a subtle way of ignoring our new and great position), and hence our being ‘in Christ,’ as condition’ is prominent.”

Let me quote, in reply, a little more of the passage from which he takes my words, following on where he has left off. “Now, where being dead in sins and quickening are treated of, condition, or state, not standing before the throne, is the theme, and the truth of ‘in Christ’ is then made prominent. This we see in Ephesians. Where standing is the theme, the sacrifice of the Lord Jesus Christ for us is brought into full relief, as we have seen.” Let Mr. Stoney, or anybody else, point out the mixture of error with truth in this. Is not the sinner viewed in these two lights? Where have I said Ephesians is condition? ‘In Christ’ speaks of condition, a truth not confined to the Ephesians, certainly. I should have thought that what was written was quite sound doctrine. Then we are told the Father provides a standing. Where shall we find that in the Word? Our standing before God has to do with us as saints, not as children. It is God that justifies, as God, and not as Father.

No, 13. “P. 14. ‘So the teaching about being in Christ is developed, in the Romans, and that at some length (v. 12 — viii. 11), as it is also elsewhere, when the manifestation of Christian life in the saint is the subject of the Apostle Paul’s teaching.’ Now the passage referred to here is really the explanation of how the believer obtains deliverance; and it is not, as Mr. Stuart asserts, a development of being in Christ, when the manifestation of Christian life in the saint is the subject. This passage was true of the justified one; but, as remaining down here in the body of sin and death, it was necessary that I should learn deliverance from the old man, and, therefore, my being in Christ is opened out to set me free, and not for the manifestation of Christian life.”

Again he misrepresents what I wrote. I did not say the passage was a development of being in Christ, but where “the teaching about being in Christ is developed,” etc. Can he gainsay what I stated? Is it not the simple truth? Then we read, “As remaining in the body of sin and death, it was necessary that I should learn deliverance from the old man.” But the body of sin, referring, I presume, to Rom. vi, 6, is in us, not we in it; and, certainly, there is no thought in the Word of Christians remaining down here in it.* This, again, is all confusion. There never was such a human creature as is here depicted.

{*The body of sin in Scripture is sin in us in its totality, not the mortal body. Speaking of the truth connected with practice, saints are viewed as having put off (like a garment) the old man, and having put on (as a garment) the new. This, of course, is descriptive of what our life and habits as Christians should display — true Christian profession — a different thought from that which Mr. S. expresses.}

No. 14. “P. 15. ‘In the Word these blessings, which are both effected by the indwelling of the Holy Ghost in the believer — viz., being in Christ, and our being joined to Him.’ This is not true, for then I should be joined to the Lord and in His nature simultaneously; whereas I am fit to be His companion, as of Him in life and nature, before I am united to Him. I must surely be in Him before I am united, but this asserts that I am not in Him until the Holy Ghost is indwelling.”

There is nothing like the Word to settle controversies. A great deal of assertion we here get, but no Scripture adduced on which the assertions are based. It is objected as wrong to teach that we arc not in Christ till the Holy Ghost is indwelling. What says the Apostle? “Ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is not of Him. And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. But if the Spirit of Him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, He that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies, because of His Spirit that dwelleth in you” (Rom. viii. 9-11). It is of the indwelling of the Spirit that the Apostle here writes, and of results that flow from it, and one is, “If you have not the Spirit of Christ you are not Christ’s” which Galatians shows us (iii. 28) is the same as being in Christ. It is by the Spirit indwelling, as here stated, that we come to be in Christ. It may seem easy to deny it, but it will be very difficult for anybody to disprove it, impossible, indeed, if revelation and not reason is to guide us. And as for the assertions and human reasonings, one need not notice them till proved correct by the Word of God.

No. 15. “P. 16. ‘Being in Christ necessarily puts us in the heavenlies.’ The drift of this statement is very damaging to the truth. Before, we have had that being in Christ was only condition, and now we are necessarily put in the heavenlies, because being in Christ — that is, in such a condition — so that being in the heavenlies is not position. Now this is corroborated by the next sentence. ‘We could not be in Christ without being there, for He is there; but, as members of His Body, we are viewed now as being on earth, NOT IN HEAVEN, though united to the Head, who is in heaven.’ Now, what does all this mean but that we are in Christ — that is, condition in heaven — because He is there, but though as members we are united to Him, the Head, who is there, we are viewed on the earth, and not in heaven. Strange indeed! Surely if I am united to the Head I am connected with Him wherever He is, wherever it may please Him to place me. In a word, from this teaching we have the condition of being in heaven, but not the position, though it is plain to any simple soul that union must have followed being in Christ, and that union connects us absolutely with Christ in the place where He is.”

Being in Christ, as the opposite to being ranged under Adam’s headship, is state or condition, who can gainsay it? But being in the heavenlies was never said by me to be condition, as the reader may see by a reference to p. 22, “So now we are there — i.e., the heavenlies; but as in Him — i.e., in spirit not in person. In that region, in which the Head of the race actually is, all ranged under His headship are viewed as now being, but in Him; and the order in which this truth is expressed, ‘in the heavenlies in Christ Jesus,’ is corrective of mistaken thoughts. We are not there in our persons, we are there in Christ Jesus.” With these, my words, as originally printed before me, I regret to be obliged to repel the accusation referred to. And I thought it was generally accepted that the Body of Christ is always viewed in Scripture at present as on earth, though united to the Head in heaven. “Why persecutest Thou ‘Me,’“ intimates that, not part of Me, but Me, though Stephen and other Christians had previously passed away by death (Acts xxvi. 10). Gifts are given for the edifying of the Body of Christ, and they certainly exercise their service for the Body down here. Again, “We being many are one Body” (1 Cor. x. 17), speaking here of all the saints on earth at any one time. Again, “Ye are Christ’s Body” (1 Cor. xii. 27), speaking of the Christians at Corinth. The Body of Christ is always viewed as complete in all its parts, a whole compacted together, and now edified by the gifts, “And compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the Body unto the edifying of itself in love “(Eph. iv. 16). How could this, which is spoken of as going on upon earth, be carried out, if the Body as such was not on earth but in heaven?

But, I observe, that my reviewer, whilst strongly objecting to what I wrote, tells us that, “if I am united to Him, I am connected with Him where He is.” And that “union connects us absolutely with Christ in the place where He is.” Now, when writing this, what had he before him? I will quote it, “The Head in heaven and the Body on earth, the two are connected in the closest possible way; but the members are always viewed as at present on earth, though united to the Head in heaven. By-and-by the Body will be displayed in heaven, when God’s purposes about His Son shall be accomplished (Eph. i. 22, 23). For that we wait; meanwhile, as Christians, we are in the heavenlies in Christ. As members of the Body, on the other hand, we are viewed as, and have a service as such to do, upon earth” (p. 16). Let Mr. Stoney boldly grapple with this and show from the Word it is wrong. By writing, “Union connects us absolutely with Christ in the place where He is” does He not endorse what He objects to? It connects us with Christ in heaven, but does not now put us into heaven.

No. 16. “P. 16. ‘But how do we come to be in Christ? It is by the indwelling of the Spirit that we come to be in Christ, and Christ in us. Now this was consequent on His ascension.’ Here, now, it fully comes out that being in Christ is not, in Mr. Stuart’s theory, ‘ concurrent’ with being justified, though in p. 11 he says it is, because the ascension was not necessary for our justification. The resurrection assured that, and hence no one is in Christ, according to this reasoning, who is not connected with the ascension — Christ in rejection — no Old Testament saints, nor saints in the kingdom, will be in Christ, and no saint is now in Christ, till he has received the Spirit. Now it transpires that Mr. Stuart does not see the nature of Christ in us apart from, or previous to, the Spirit giving us Christ’s power. It is Divine nature in Rom. vii. that delights in the law of God, and the lack in that state is, that there is not the knowledge of death to the first husband, nor the power of the Holy Ghost. Hence Mr. Stuart confuses nature with knowledge. The knowledge of being in Christ is consequent on the Holy Ghost coming down, but I was in Christ in the eye of God when Adam was set aside. If Jesus represented the believer in death, bearing his judgment, and clearing him of the man of sin and death, surely He represents him still more as risen from the dead. ‘For if by the offence of the one death reigned by the one, much more shall those who receive the abundance of grace, and of the free gift of righteousness, reign in life by the One, Jesus Christ’ (Rom. v. 17). I cannot follow Mr. Stuart into his efforts to show that there is not standing, but only state or condition, in being in Christ, when he writes, ‘Could we speak of the Son’s standing in the Father, when we speak of His being in the Father?’ He is confounding an actual subsisting fact in the Divine Persons with the work of Divine grace in man, which has transferred the believer from Adam to Christ, through His blessed work, and he is using this passage (John xiv. 20) inaccurately, because here it does not refer to standing, but to the knowledge of what ‘in that day’ would be theirs. ‘It is nature and life, and our place in that nature and life.’ Mr. Stuart should, if he could, have adduced some other Scripture to prove that ‘in Christ’ is not a standing. In p. 11 he says that justification being sealed and in Christ are ‘concurrent,’ but when he comes to account for these blessings seriatim, they are anything but concurrent according to his system.”

It is by the gift of the Spirit that we come to be in Christ. Rom, viii. 9, 10, teaches it. Can Mr. Stoney disprove it? If he denies it, he has to do with God about that, not with me. God has spoken about it. It becomes all to hearken. Equally unfortunate is the attempt to make out inconsistency in what I have taught about justification by faith and the being sealed with the Spirit being for the believer concurrent blessings. It is patent that they are concurrent blessings. For the one justified by faith must, as the words teach us, have believed the Gospel of His salvation, and so knows his sins are forgiven, consequent on which he receives the Holy Ghost. Scripture is plain about it when we come to it. But there is a fallacy and a forgetfulness of fact in this reasoning. The fallacy comes from the confounding the ground of God’s actings in grace with the time of His thus acting towards the believer. It is a Scripture statement, that we are justified by faith on believing God’s testimony to beneficial results from the death and resurrection of His Son (Rom. iv. 24, 25). It is a Scripture statement, that unless the Lord went away the Comforter could not come (John xvi. 7). The ascension was needed for this last blessing to be bestowed. But the objector shows forgetfulness of a fact in what he writes — viz., that the Gospel of the grace of God was not preached till after the coming of the Holy Ghost, so that every one who heard it was justified by faith, and was equally a recipient of the Holy Ghost, unless those at Samaria arc cited as an exception; but that was for a special reason on which I need not here enter. This fact, borne in mind, disposes of the objection against the statement of concurrent blessings. The bubble, for it is one, bursts at once.

And let me again remind the reader that what I stated was that they are concurrent blessings for the believer. That anybody can see who carefully reads what is written on pp. 10, 11. Then, as to John xiv. 20, it was referred to in proof of what it says, that consequent on the Holy Ghost coming they would know that they were in Christ and Christ in them. This truth Mr. Stoney admits, and admits further that that verse does not refer to standing. Then, being in Christ is not our standing, for the passage which first speaks of our being in Christ does not refer to it, he tells us. But his statement that “he was in Christ” in the eye of God when Adam was set aside is beside the mark, and misleading too. If we think of the purpose of God we read, “Chosen in Christ before the foundation of the world.” This was before “Adam was set aside.” His statement, then, to use a current phrase, is certainly defective. God purposing, too, is one thing; the carrying out of His purpose, and His way of carrying it out, are very different matters. Dispensationally no one was in Christ before He came and had ascended, for He was not Christ to us till made that as risen and ascended (Acts ii. 36). Doctrinally we come to be in Christ by receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost.

Again, he writes: —

“Further on he labours to show that ‘accepted in the Beloved’ is not the correct reading. I do not contend about readings, but I assert that the whole meaning of the passage is lost if the Beloved is not the measure of our acceptance. And, in reply to Mr. Stuart’s challenge, ‘what other passage can be quoted to prove it when this fails?’ now, then, hear the Scripture: ‘He hath chosen us in Him’ (that’s standing) before the foundation of the world. To what condition? ‘That we should be holy and without blame before Him in love,’ and to this we, who have since been born in sin and shapen in iniquity, shall come — ‘to be holy and without blame’ (Eph. v. 27). Now nothing can be plainer than that God’s purpose was to have us in Christ before there was an Adam at all, and that this, His purpose, is the meaning and import of ‘in Him,’ or ‘in whom,’ or ‘in Christ,’ all through Ephesians. It is painful to see a Christian so blind to the plain purpose of God that he cannot see that the blessed God had chosen us in Christ as our standing before the world began, before there was an Adam at all, though we have, since His purpose was formed, fallen into the ruin and misery of Adam. Mr. Stuart cannot divest his mind of what has occurred in the interim. He cannot go back to God’s purpose, and see that all that has occurred to contravene it has been removed by the Lord Jesus Christ, and everything is, through Christ’s work, as perfect and as beautiful before the eye of God as if never an Adam had existed, nor a world had been.”

As to God’s purpose stated in Eph. i. 4, it is not true to say that is not seen (see p. 25, which directly contradicts this). But, again, let me ask, could we speak of having our standing before God ere man was created, and centuries before we were born? It was God’s purpose that we, who as children of Adam had none, should have one, and it rests on the sacrifice of Christ being accepted before God. But when any one writes, “He has chosen us in Him (that’s standing) before the foundation of the world” all hope of coming to any agreement on such a matter is quite at an end; for begging the question is very far removed from proving from the Word what is asserted. As to the reading of Ephes, i. 6, I need say nothing more than has been already said (see pp. xix. and 18). If the now generally-received reading is the true one, we must accept it as God’s inspired Word, and must not import into the passage anything which is not there.

No. 17. “P. 20. ‘Hence the truth of new creation underlies all the New Testament teaching about the saint’s walk and conversation.’ Mr. Stuart studiously limits new creation to practical conduct. 'No fruit, then, for God can be produced by any one of us on earth, apart from our being a new creation.’ It is “because a believer is in Christ that he is a new creation, but he is not in Christ according to this teaching until the Spirit is indwelling, and no fruit has ever come from any one before the indwelling of the Holy Ghost, and that he was in Christ. Hence, the new creation is not in existence until there is power to bring forth fruit; and as the Spirit is the One who really produces the fruit, there is no new creation until the Spirit comes! Truly the fruit is the fruit of the Spirit. I never heard of the fruits of the new creation, I admit we are created unto good works of an entirely new order, and that the Spirit of God is the only power to effect these good works; but the new creation must have existed before the indwelling of the Holy Ghost, or otherwise there is no new nature in us, only a new power — a power which always influenced and controlled the saints of God, even when there was no one in Christ, for Christ had not come. Mr. Stuart is sinking into deeper and deeper confusion, because he does not see when a believer is in Christ. He has set forth that one is not in Christ till the Spirit dwells in him, and that he is not a new creation until after being in Christ, and that then the fruits come. This makes out that the Spirit can dwell in the ‘old bottle’ — the Wesleyan doctrine and the doctrine of the Friends — one entirely subversive of Christianity.”

Now, a confusion is evident here between the new man created after God, which is the new nature in us, and new creation, which, as in Christ, all believers are. For Mr. Stoney writes, “But the new creation must have existed before the indwelling of the Holy Ghost, or otherwise there is no new nature in us.” Does Scripture teach thus? Has not the man of Rom. vii. the new nature? Unquestionably. And this Mr. Stoney admits (see p. 49) where he calls it the Divine nature. But the condition of the one thus described is in the flesh (vii. 5), out of which such a person is only brought through the indwelling of the Spirit, as Rom. viii. 8, 9, distinctly state, “They that are in the flesh cannot please God. But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is not of Him” — i.e., in Christ. But every one in Christ is new creation, as 2 Cor. v. 17 tells us, “If any man be in Christ, he is new creation;” and of such only is new creation predicated in apostolic teaching. So it is as clear as possible from God’s Word, that new creation and the new nature are distinct truths, though, of course, closely connected; yet so distinct that a person may possess the one without being, according to New Testament teaching, the other.* For it is well to remark the language of God’s Word, which states that we are, if in Christ, new creation. It does not say we are in it, for we are it; and, certainly, no one reading pp. 20 — 22 of my pamphlet has any ground to say I limit it to practical conduct. It is plain, I trust, that from confounding the new nature with new creation, Mr. Stoney’s reasoning is (and I say it in no unfriendly spirit) quite fallacious, and so falls to the ground; and had he taken account of my words, “any of us on earth,” he would have seen that I was writing there only of saints in the present dispensation, and have spared himself the trouble of putting on paper what is not really to the point.

{*It should be remembered the question about us is, not when did new creation begin to exist, but how and when do we come to form part of it. The Lord Jesus as man is the beginning of the creation of God. Before His incarnation that truth was unknown. Till His ascension, of none of God’s saints could it be said, dispensationally or doctrinally, that they were new creation. Till the Second Man appeared, and had taken His place as Head of a race, that truth was not revealed.}

Further, were I to accept what he teaches I should be guilty of subverting Christian teaching, because it confounds that which Rom. Vii. and viii. make quite distinct — the difference between a quickened soul and a Christian, or, to put it in other words, the being in the flesh with the being in the Spirit; for, unless this last is true of the individual, he is not really a Christian at all. I desire to keep these things quite distinct, and, since Scripture unquestionably teaches that it is by the indwelling of the Spirit we come to be in Christ, and so are new creation, and that we are created in Christ Jesus unto good works, I can see nothing inconsistent with God’s Word in that which I wrote, but on which he comments adversely. And here I would say that his remark about the Spirit in the old bottle is quite out of place and uncalled-for, on two accounts — first, because my words which he quotes do teach the utter ruin of man as a child of Adam, and, second, because the Spirit dwells in the person, and not in the nature, though He can only dwell in one who has already a new nature, as having been born of God. So the “old bottle” will not do, unless by that term is meant the body. But even then his teaching would be wrong, because the Christian’s body is a temple of the Holy Ghost (1 Cor. vi. 19). In that sense the Spirit does dwell in the old bottle.

No. 18. “P. 21. ‘Again, will our persons be re-created — viz., our spirit, soul, and body? 1 Thess. v. 23 settles that question, as regards the saints, when Paul prays that their whole spirit, soul, and body may be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.’ Mr. Stuart entirely misapprehends the meaning of ‘preserved.’ It refers only to the present time, and it is used in connection with the word ‘blameless.’ To build on that word that our persons would not be new created is preposterous. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed in a moment in the twinkling of an eye. Everything will come out new. ‘As we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly.’ So that new creation is not limited to things not material. ‘Behold, I make all things new.’ ”

Unquestionably 1 Thess. v. 23 does refer to the future; for it says, as may be seen by reference to any good modern translation, “preserved blameless at (or in) the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.” To teach otherwise is to misapprehend its meaning. Then, if we affirm, re-creation of the body, we must deny its resurrection, which is a very serious matter indeed. For if we deny the truth of resurrection of the body, we do by that most completely subvert Christianity, to use Mr. Stoney’s phrase. For if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen (1 Cor. xv. 13), and we know what disastrous consequences would ensue. “Your faith is vain, ye are yet in your sins.” Resurrection is a fundamental truth of Christianity. So to assert the re-creation of our persons is to upset the foundation of the faith. We must not disguise the fact. I feel sure that Mr. Stoney desires to be as zealous for God’s truth as any one of us; but his teaching here most plainly surrenders it.

But how plain is the Word of God about resurrection, teaching it by facts and by doctrine. The Lord Jesus was raised. So in His Body in which He suffered He appeared, as we all know, after His resurrection. “Many bodies,” too, “of the saints which slept, arose and came out of the graves after His resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many” (Matt, xxvii. 52, 53). As to the doctrine, we read that the body which is sown is raised. “For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the paying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory” (1 Cor. xv. 53, 54). Would that be true if the body is re-created? Death would have triumphed then in retaining something, at all events. Again, “Who shall change (better, transform) our body of humiliation, that it may be fashioned like to His body of glory” (Phil. iii. 21)? Scripture is plain enough. And making all things new is not the same in Scripture as creating. “Everything will come out new.” Very likely; so does the butterfly from its chrysalis, but that is not new creation, nor re-creation. “As we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly.” All true. But our bearing the image of the heavenly is not re-creating our persons. It tells of the change. We shall all be changed, but it does not teach that our body, our soul, and our spirit are to be re-created, though we, in Christ, are new creation. It teaches the contrary.

No. 19, “P. 22. ‘And we are there in Him as saints, those once Jews and those once Gentiles together, one in Him; but thus viewed as saints, not as members of His Body.’ It is contrary to the truth to say that we are viewed as saints, and not as members of the one body. To whom does verse 19 of chapter i. refer, if not to the whole church? Has not the whole body been raised up in Him? Individually we enter into what was already true of every one of us corporately, and we are co-raised, Jew and Gentile, one and all, in Him to sit in heavenly places. “We are 'one body by the cross' as is stated in chap. ii. 16.”

It is true the body is spoken of in Eph. ii. 16, as I have stated in the paragraph from which Mr. Stoney has quoted. But it is not said we are “one body by the cross.” God’s Word is “reconciled unto God in one body by the cross.” Mr. Stoney’s statement would flatly contradict 1 Cor. xii. 13. It is a perilous thing to do that. It is true, too, that Eph. i. 23 speaks of the Body of Christ. But, certainly, ii. 1-10 views us as Christian saints, and not there as members of the Body, for the teaching about being in Christ is in question. The figures Scripture uses are helpful, and the doctrine of the Word about the Body and about being in Christ proves it. Shall we say we are viewed in Eph. ii. 1-6 as the Body of Christ? But the Body had no existence till after the Lord had ascended. “For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body” (1 Cor. xii. 13). Was the Body dead in trespasses and sins? Saints were; we who are Christians were. To hold such a dogma we must surrender distinctive teaching about the Church of God. Besides, the being in Christ, as Gal. iii. 29 teaches, brings us into association with Abraham — we thus become his seed. Was Abraham a member of the Body? Distinctive church teaching would be again surrendered if we confounded our being in Christ with being members of the Body of Christ. Both are true of us, of course, as Christians; but we must keep these truths distinct, or we upset Christian doctrine. I presume, from p. 49, Mr. Stoney believes that Old Testament saints will be found by-and-by in Christ. Will they ever be members of the Body of Christ?

No. 20. “P. 28. ‘Is, then, we may ask, being a new creation or a new creature part of the saint’s standing? Certainly, for I could not be in Divine righteousness apart from being in Christ before God. I could not be in His favour. I could not know the Father.”

If being in Christ is part of the saint’s standing before God, as Scripture uses that term, I would say once more, let the portion which teaches it be produced, and that would settle the matter. Knowing the Father is the result of new birth and indwelling of the Spirit. The one who knows the Father as his Father has the Spirit, and, as a consequence, is in Christ. But he knows the Father from the indwelling of the Spirit, and not because he is in Christ (Rom. viii. 15; Gal. iv. 6). We must keep distinct — again I say it — in our minds truths which arc distinct.

No. 21. “‘Hence the Word dwells so much on being in Christ, which, with the correlative truth Christ in us really owned, can alone enable us to be fruitful, and to be profitable servants. But our state as Christians and practical conformity to it are very different matters. The former is absolutely true of every Christian; the latter depends on our walk,’ This is an entire misapprehension of being in Christ and Christ in me. My being 'in Christ’ in the Romans is that I am in the Man who died for me, and through Him a standing is given to me in the righteousness of God. ‘In Christ' in Ephesians is as God in His purpose saw me, and which Christ fully effected for me, so that I am there fully according to His mind. And ‘in Christ’ in John is that I am becoming acquainted with my new position as in Him, and this fructifies into Christ being in me, ‘Christ everything and in all.’

“Thus, dear brethren, I have tried to set before you how ‘the truth of the Gospel’ has been seriously compromised by Mr. Stuart’s teaching. I do not for a moment assume that 1 have made no mistakes; but this I am assured of before God, that I am contending for the truth in opposition to a teaching which undermines it. And I may add that I have felt that I should not have acted in true brotherly love, had I not endeavoured to set before you the erroneous system of teaching which, I trust, many of you have listened to with a good conscience, and without apprehending any serious departure from ‘the truth of the Gospel.’ I need scarcely say I do not unchristianize the author; but, as I should say of the ‘Book of Common Prayer’ the system taught is subversive of Christianity.

“Yours in the love of Christ, and to serve you,
“23, Lonsdale Square, London, N., “J. B. Stoney.
“December 5, 1884.”

On this last count I need say nothing, as what is written does not touch the statement to which he objects. And here I conclude a task anything but pleasant to have to undertake, but one forced on me by so public an arraignment of the doctrine of the pamphlet entitled “Christian Standing and Condition.” To preserve to you the truth of the Gospel is the professed aim of my reviewer. Has he accomplished it is for others to judge. But this much, in conclusion, I will say — were I to accept what he writes, and it is with what is written that we are now concerned, I should surrender important and fundamental truths.

(1.) If the new man is not implied in Romans, man in nature, then, can produce fruit well pleasing to God. So the ruin of man by the Fall in that case is a myth, and the necessity for the new birth is all a mistake.

(2.) If the Lord has borne the judgment of the first man, all men will assuredly be saved. Rejecters of Christ’s atoning death will share in salvation wrought out by it. What need, then, to preach the Gospel at all? But what about God’s righteousness? Would not that be seriously compromised?

(3.) If our bodies are to be created anew, resurrection of the body is denied; but it is raised, we are told, in glory. Now, resurrection of the dead is a fundamental truth of the Gospel, which I for one am not prepared to surrender for any man or for any object whatever.

(4.) If God acquits a criminal, the truths of redemption by blood and of substitution must be struck out of the Christian man’s creed.

And (5.) If the Lord Jesus Christ’s standing determines the Christian’s standing, as I understand that statement, it would either surrender the cardinal truth of atonement, or lower the Lord to a level with His saints, neither of which, I feel sure, any of us would accept for one moment.

Misconceptions of what I have written, and confusion about things which differ, I have, as we have passed along, pointed out; but to all that might have been noticed I have not called your attention. Edification and the maintenance of truth has been my object; and if, in pursuit of such an object, I have been compelled to speak at times of myself, it has arisen from no desire for self-vindication, but from the necessity of the case, as having to answer objections raised against what I have taught. And now I would close reminding you and myself of the resource for God’s saints when apostles should have departed — “I commend you,” wrote Paul, “to God, and to the Word of His grace.” These abide, and the Holy Ghost, the Divine Teacher, is here on earth and in each true believer, to guide into all the truth.

Believe me, faithfully yours in Christ,

C. E. Stuart.

POSTSCRIPT.

Whilst these sheets were passing through the press a copy of Mr. Stoney’s letter, revised and published, was put into my hand. It calls for a word of caution and a word of explanation.

A word of caution; for the reader will find many differences between Mr. S's letter as now published and his letter as quoted in the preceding pages. I have given throughout the text of the original sent in MS. to Reading, with corrections in it made in the author’s handwriting.

A word of explanation is needed on behalf of my brethren here, occasioned by the announcement at the close of his printed letter made in the following words: — “As this letter in substance has been before the brethren at Reading for months in MS., I must now decline to answer any reference to it in print, or by letter.” It might seem from the above as if his letter had not been treated with becoming courtesy. On behalf of those concerned, I beg to state such was not the case. Its receipt, I understand, was acknowledged on its arrival; it received very careful attention, those who were able to meet together for that purpose going through it count by count; and, on the 23rd of January, Mr. Stoney was written to, and his attention specially directed to certain grave statements in it which he had failed, it was felt, to substantiate. A post-card was received in reply on the 29th of January, but no notice was therein taken by him of those statements to which his attention had been directed. And now, through the medium of the press, it is made known that no answer will be vouchsafed.

April, 1885. — A word on the phrase “ justified in Christ,” apparently much misunderstood, may help some. What it means the reader will find stated in the introduction to Christian Standing and Condition, page v. We are said to be justified in Christ in contrast to being justified in the law. “ By (or in) Him all that believe are justified from things, from which ye could not be justified by (or in) the law of Moses” (Acts xiii. 39). The import of the phrase here, and in Gal. ii. 17, iii. 11, v. 4, is sufficiently plain, viz., justified by, or in virtue of, Christ, in contrast to being justified by, or in virtue of, the law. It does not, it cannot mean that we are justified by being in Christ. For “if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature,” or new creation. Now, new creation does not need justification any more than the new man. Ungodly ones are justified. Such need justification. It would, then, falsify Christian teaching, and mislead people as to the bearing of that phrase, to maintain that “ justified in Christ” means that we are justified by being in Christ.