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THEIR IDENTITY WITH THOSE OF THE MANICHEES.
PRECEDED BY ESSAYS ON
THE PURPOSE OF GOD IN THE INCARNATION,
OBEDIENCE, AND SUFFERINGS OF CHRIST;
AND FOLLOWED BY A SKETCH OF THE
PRINCIPLES, RISE, AND FALL OF THE PEOPLE TERMED
UNKNOWN-YET WELL KNOWN
He who wades through the chaos of conflicting statements and opposing doctrines, by which the little world of christians, called “Plymouth Brethren," has been convulsed and broken up, will rise from the study with one very clear conviction ; a conviction which furnishes the clue to their existing disorganization ; namely, that their theological views are deficient in a point of vital importance.
They seem to have been so accustomed to regard the mission of Christ in its self-evident bearing upon the sons of Adam, as to have quite overlooked the fact that other beings have fallen besides those of the human race, and that it might therefore be possible, the mission of Christ had some sort of reference to them also.
But the scriptures do, nevertheless, afford sufficient ground to conclude that the purpose of God in the incarn of His Son, had an aspect towards all who have fallen, whether of the Angelic or Adamic races. Was it not to draw our attention to this very thing, that the scriptures so pointedly note that Christ was
made a little lower than the angels," as well that he the Second Adam ?” Was it not that we might compare these statements, with those others which tell us that angels “ have sinned,” as well as man, and so guide us to the conclusion, that the purpose of God in Christ, contemplated and bore upon the state of evil, generally, whether in Angels or in men ?
This does not seem to have occurred to the Brethren ; yet might they, assuredly, have learned somewhat at least of it, from the mere words of God to the serpent; for those words imply, not only the defeating of Satan's device, for the destruction of the race which was to spring from the woman, but also that her seed (which is Christ,) should bring destruction upon the head of Satan himself.
Nor has this twofold purpose of the incarnation of Christ, been unnoticed in the New Testament. On the contrary, it was pointedly referred to by himself, in the words "Now is the judgment of this world ; now shalthe prince of this world be cast out ;" and in Heb. ii. 9-14, it is expressly declared that