Lorenzo Dow.

The dealings of God, man, and the devil : as exemplified in the life, experience, and travels of Lorenzo Dow, in a period of over half a century: together with his polemic and miscellaneous writings, complete online

. (page 56 of 126)
Online LibraryLorenzo DowThe dealings of God, man, and the devil : as exemplified in the life, experience, and travels of Lorenzo Dow, in a period of over half a century: together with his polemic and miscellaneous writings, complete → online text (page 56 of 126)
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into a beautiful butterfly ; or the muck-worm
into a horn bug. Thus nature assume- one
form or shape for a while, then laying that
aside takes up another. In confirmation of
this idea, it appears thai one race of animals
\h beings goes from the stage, and another
comes on the carpet ; for instance, the bones
of a certain animal, found in different parts of
the continent of America, demonstrate there
was such a race of beings once, called the
Mammoth, which as far as we know r , are now
extinct: and the Hessian fly, which was dis-
covered a few years since, near where the Hes-
sian troops encamped, and from thence took its
name, supposed to have been brought by them
from Hesse — and since this insect has greatly
spread over New England, and destroys the
wheat: I have ntade much inquiry, bi
not learn that it is found in the country from
whence the Hessians came ; from this one
may infer and argue, that it is an animal,
come on the stage within late years, as it ap-
pears some other insects have done. In fur-
ther confirmation of this idea, and which
stands opposed to the account given by the
Bible, "that all animals were drowned., except
those with Noah in the ark," we find that al-
though it is natural for us to conclude, that all
animals would generate and be found on that
part where the ark rested, yet the racoon is
peculiar to America : this then is a new spe-
cies of animal, and Ave may say the account
cannot he admitted that all other parts were
drowned. But again in confirmation of revo-
lutions in nature we perceive, thai even if
scripture be true, once giants did exist: but
they are now apparently extinct. On strict
tation, it appears that earth and shells
congealed, form marble — and wood, when put
into certain lakes of water, become- .-tone.

The turf bogs in Ireland, which are found
on the tops of the highest mountains, or in the
valleys, miles in Ifengjh and breadth, and
scores of feet deep, evidently appear to have
been vegetables washed together by some
singular cause or awful deluge ; whole trees,



A CHAIN OF REASON AND REFLECTIONS.



with ancient artificial materials, being found
many feet below the surface. I likewise was
informed of a spring in that country, by putting
bars or sheets of iron therein, they would be
converted into copper.

On my way from Georgia, I could not but
observe great quantities of shells, which to me
appear to belong to the oyster, some hundreds
of miles from any salt or brackish water, and
it is quite improbable they could have been
brought by human art, considering the vast
quantities found in the Savannas or Piraras to
Tombigbee, and thence to the Natchez country,
and in the Chickasaw nation. It evidently
appears likewise, that this western country
was once inhabited by a warlike informed
people, who had the use of mechanical instru-
ments ; and there are evident marks of anti-
quity, consisting of artificial mounts and forti-
fications, &c, pronounced by the curious, who
have examined, to have been deserted long
before the discovery of America by Columbus.
One of those mounts, a few miles above the
Natchez, covers about six acres of ground,
forty feet above the common level, on which
stands another, forty feet high, making in all
eighty feet. Great numbers of these artificial
mounts, fortifications and beds of ashes, are
to be found, extending from the western parts
of Georgia, to the Mississippi, and then north-
ward with the waters of said river, to Lake
Erie, &c. all which denote it once was a
populous, and since is a forsaken country ;
which neither history nor tradition hath given
us any information of. Therefore it appears,
that greater revolutions have taken place in
this terraqueous globe, than many may im-
agine ; and hereupon we might suppose, that
the earth hath stood longer than the six
thousand years calculated from scripture —
and with the Chinese assent to their boasted
ancient histories, &c.

Thus I shall be an Atheist instead of a
Deist ; but I cannot be the one nor the other
according to reason, for if there be no God,
nature depends on chance, and this earth
would be like a well stringed instrument,
without a skillful hand to play upon it; or a
well rigged vessel, without mariners to steer
her ; for every thing that hath not a regulator,
is liable to go to ruin : and if all things de-
pend on chance, then by chance there may be
a God and a Devil, a Heaven and a Hell,
Saints and Sinners, and by chance the Saints
may get to Heaven, and by chance Sinners
may go to Hell. It is evident in reason, that
as a stream cannot rise higher than its foun-
tain, so confusion can never produce order;
for the effect cannot be more noble than the
cause : Consequently, if confusion had been
once, it must have remained ; but as the stars
keep their courses without infringing upon



each other in their different revolutions, so
that the astronomer can calculate his alma-
nacs years before hand, it is evident there is
such a thing as order ; and to suppose this
order to have been eternal would be arguing,
that the earth has stood forever, as we now
behold it ; and to suppose that the earth hath
forever had its present form, is to suppose that
there has been an eternal succession of men,
beasts and vegetables, and that to an infinite
number ; (for if the number be not infinite,
how could the succession have been eternal,)
and yet to talk about an infinite number, is a
contradiction in terms, for there is no number
but what may be made larger, by the addition
of units ; but that which is infinite, cannot be
enlarged. Again, if there has been an eternal
succession of men and beasts; by the same
rule there had been an eternal succession of
days and nights, and years likewise. This
must be allowed, (that infinite numbers are
equal, for if one number be smaller than the
other, how can it be said to be infinite 1)
Well, if infinite numbers be equal, and if
there hath been an eternal succession of years,
and days, and nights, we must suppose that
their infinite numbers are equal. And yet to
allow there hath been as many years, as there
hath been days and nights, is inconsistent,
seeing that it takes 365 to compose one year;
and if the number of years be less than the
number of days and nights, the number cannot
be admitted to be infinite ; consequently the
succession cannot have been eternal ; there-
fore it must be, there was a time when years
began : If so, we must admit the idea, that
there is something superior to nature, that
formed it, and thus of course an Almighty
regulator, that with wisdom, must have con-
structed and preserved this system ; and this
power and regulator must be self-dependent,
for no power could exceed it for it to be de-
pendent on, and of course, self-existent, of
course eternal, according to the foregoing :
and this Eternal, self-existent, all wise, regu-
lator, is what we term GOD, and what the
Indians term, the GREAT MAN ABOVE*
Various are the ideas formed concerning this
GOD : Some acknowledge one Supreme Being,
but disallow of what is called the Trinity;
saying, how can three be one 1 Answer, as
rain, snow, and hail, when reduced to their
origin are one, (water :) and as light, heat,
and color are seen in one element, (lire,) and
as the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian Oceans,
compose but one, so, if in natural things,
three can make one, why may we not admit
the idea with reason, that three can be one in
things supernatural and divine, &c. What is
meant by God the Father, is, that Eternal
Being that is every where present. What is



* •' Causeless Causator."



s



A CHAIN OF REASON AND REFLECTIONS.



meant by Christ the Son, the manhood of
Christ, being brought forth by the omnipotent
power of God, as the evangelists relate ;* and

» " Here I trust I may be permitted to say, with all due
respect for those who differ from me, *hat the doctrine
of the eternal Sonship of Christ is, in my opinion,
anti-scriptural and highly dangerous ; this doctrine I
reject for the following reasons :

1st. I have not been able to find any express declara-
tion in the Scriptures concerning it.

2dly. If Christ be the Son of God as to his divine na-
ture, then he cannot be eternal ; for son implies a. father ;
and father implies, in reference to son, precedency in
time, if not in nature too. Father and son imply the idea
of generation; and generation implies a time in which it
was effected, and time also antecedent to such generation.

3dly. If Christ be the .Son of God, as to his divine
nature, then the Father is of necessity prior, conse-
quently superior to him.

4thly. Again, if this divine nature were begotten of the
Father, then it must be in lime ! i. e. there was a period
in which it did not exist, and a period when it began to
exist. This destroys the eternity of our blessed Lord,
and robs him at once of his Godhead.

dthly. To say that he was begotten from all eternity, is
in my opinion, absurd ; and the phrase eternal Son is a
positive self-contradiction. Eternity is that which has
had no beginning, nor stands in any reference to time.
Son supposes time, generation, and father ; and time also
antecedent to such generation. Therefore the conjunc-
tion of these two terms Son and eternity is absolutely
impossible, as they imply essentially different and oppo-
site ideas.

The enemies of Christ's divinity have, in all ages,
availed themselves of this incautious method of treating
this subject, and on this ground, have ever had the ad-
vantage of the defenders of the Godhead of Christ. This
doctrine of the eternal Sonship destroys the deity of
Christ : now if his deity betaken away, the whole gospel
scheme of redemption is ruined. On this ground, the
atonement of Christ cannot have been of infinite merit,
and consequently could not purchase pardon for the of-
fences of mankind, nor give any right to. or possession of
an eternal glory. The very use of this phrase is both
absurd and dangerous ; therefore let all those who value
Jesus and their salvation abide by the Scriptures."— Dr.
Clarke.

We read, " No man hath seen God at any time." 1
John iv. 12. But Chiist saith to Philip "He that hath
seen me, hath seen the Father." John xiv. 0. Again, " /
in them, and Thou in me." John xvii. 23. i.e. the invisi-
ble manifestation, as Paul saith "Christ in you, the hope
of glory." Colos. i. 27. Again, " We will come untoAim,
and make our abode with Aim." John xiv. 23. Inthisthe
Christian feels God to tie his Father, Redeemer, and Com-
forter. And supposing the word Trinity is not to be
found in the Bible, or Persons the plural, yet there are
manifestations, and people should be careful not to
quarrel too much about nanus, forms, or words, But seek
for essential realities.

We read, Heb. i. 1, 2, " Goii— hath in these last days spo-
ken unto us by his Son, by whom also lie made the worlds,"
or, as John i. 1 — I. lb: existed as the Word, visible mani-
festation or Son of Ood : as, by an act of mind a thought
is begot, so this manifestation might be said to be begot-
ten by the will and power ol God, though some query it
does not appear to be written whether he existed as the
Son, or only as the Word, until he w as manifested in the
flesh.

The first covenant, the covenant of works, was made
with us in Adam, we being in his loins, lie was our
federal head and representative, and Ood required him
to keep a moral law of inn.
Adam fell from his innocent happiness, and wc '
his loins, fell with him. Well, says on.', would not God

be just to have damned us tor Adam's sin ' Answer a

punishment should nevei exceed thi tl in sion, and

i .■, we deserve not a personal punishment lor that
which wc were ac'v^r actually guilty ol , but as we were
passive in the action, should nave been passive in the suf-
fering ; of course as we fell in Adam's loins, should hai e
been punished in his loins, and of course ba\ <• pel ished
in his loins. Adam and Eve only were actually guilty,
and of course they only, deserved an actual punishment,
which 1 believe would have been just in God to have in-



that manhood being filled with the divine na-
ture, of course he would be God as well as :
man, and man as well as God — two distinct i|



flicted ; but to punish his- posterity with a personal pun-
ishment, for that of which they were never personally
guilty would be representing God as unjust, by making
the punishment to exceed the crime, which would ex-
ceed the bounds of moral justice. I therefore argue,
that as the punishment should be proportioned to the
crime, if a mediator was not provided, we should have
perished, by being punished in Adam's loins: and if we
had, then God's declarative glory must have been
eclipsed, he not being actually glorified in our personal
solvation or damnation. In further demonstration of this
idea, I argue, that as every title to any blessing was for-
feited by Adam's fall, they could never have been en-
joyed, except they were purchased, (for if they could
there was no need for him to purchase them for us. iic )
Our temporal lives being blessings, they came through
the merits of Christ, of course, if it had not been for
Christ's merits we should not have had this blessing, and
of course should have perished in Adam, as we fell with
him, as above. Rut as we read that Christ was a lamb
slain 'not from all eternity) from the foundation of the
world, though not actually slain until four thousand
years after ; meaning that God made a revelation of his
Son to the ancients, who were saved by faith in a Mes-
siah which was to come, the same as we are saved by
faith in a Messiah which hath come eighteen hundred
years ago, &c , as Christ said, "Abraham rejoiced to see
my day, he saw it and was glad." John viii. 56 : Ro-
mans i ' 10, 20, to ii. 14, 10. Galat. iii. S. Job was a hea-
then, yet observe his faith. Job xix. 25, 26.

Observe, as the first covenant, the covenant of works
was made with us in Adam, he being our head and re-
presentative, &c. So the second covenant, the covenant
of grace, was not made between the Father and the Son,
as some do vainly think, (there is no mention of such a
covenant in the Bible,) but was made with US IN
Christ, he being given to the people for a covenant, &c.
Isaiah xlii. 6, and xlix. 3.

God had a sovereign right to make the first Adam and
require his obedience, and when he fell, he'had the same
sovereign right to raise up the second Adam as he had
the first and to require his obedience. But says the
Deist, there would be no moral justice to make the inno-
cent sutler for the guilty. Allowing it, what then? If
the innocent suffer voluntarily, who can be impeached
with injustice? for instance, if I break a law, and the
the penalty is, pay live pounds or take the lash. If I can-
not advance the money. I must take the stripes. But a
gentleman steps up and voluntarily suffers the loss of
five pounds out ol his own pocket, nobody can be cen-
sured with injustice. .At the same time the law having
full satisfaction would have no further demand, and ol
course, 1 should be extricated from the punishment. So
Christ our second Adam, our second head and represen-
tative, was raised up to heal the breach that Adam made.
For this purpose he stepped right into the shoes of the
first Adam, between that law of moral innocence, that
\ il.im was required to keep for us, and kept it. even as
Adam was required to keep it. How did he keep it I
First h\ a passive obedience, having no will of his own
abstract from what that law required. Secondly, by an
active obedience, doing what the law did require, during
tin- thirty-three years which he resided in this vale of
tears. And thirdly, by voluntarily laying down his life
to Buffer in ■iir lieu, what we must have suffered in
Adam if lie diil not do it. Observe, it was not the divinity
of Christ that suffered, but the manhood. And where the
Bible calls Christ the Son of < Jod, it does not allude to his

Godhead as God, but manifestation; as we read Gal iv.
4: Heli. x. .'» : and i. 5,6: John xv. 13, and x. 18, that
"he was made or born of a woman, (who was the first in
the transgression) and made or born under the law, n> no

man ever came into the world as we are informed Christ
did," fcc. Luke i. 85. But, says one, Prove, that he did
it voluntarily. Very well— Christ saith, "greater love
than this hath no man, that he lay down his file lor his

friends," and "1 laj down my life for the sheep." Again.
" no man taketh my life from me— 1 have power to Iaj it

down, and power to take it again "

Now, if no man took Christ's life from him, then their
nailing him to the tree did not cause him to die; if not
then it must have been something else, and of course the



A CHAIN OF REASON AND REFLECTIONS.



natures in one person ; and it is no more in-
consistent with reason, to acknowledge that
he came as above, than to acknowledge a
miracle for the first man's origin ; which idea
in reason we must admit, for there cannot be
an effect without a cause ; and as men do
exist, it is evident there is but one way for
them to generate in nature ; if so, who did the
first man and woman generate from — to sup-
pose thai they came by nature, is to suppose
the earth brought them forth spontaneously;



sin of the world. Again, we read, that " Christ was
heard, in that he feared — and that he pleased not himself,
but gave himself a ransom." Heb. v. 7. Rom. xv. 3. 1
Tim. ii. 6. Luke xxii. 42. And Heb. xii. 2, "he, for the
joy that was set before him, endured the cross despising
the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne
of God, &c. Again, he said in the garden of Gethsemane,
"Not my will but thine be done," &c. which certainly
argues, that he had a human will, and when he thus gave
up voluntarily, &c. we find that the sin of the world was
laid upon him and caused him to cry- out, "my soul is ex-
ceeding sorrowful, even unto death," (and he never spoke
extravagantly) — and the agony of his mind, caused the
very blood to gush through the pores ol his skin, and ran
down like drops of sweat ; and by his dying so much
sooner than malefactors do in general when crucified,
the governor appeared to have been astonished, and mar-
velled if he were already dead, and could hardly believe
the account till he had called the Centurion and had it
from his own mouth, &o. Mark xv. 44, 45. 1 herefrom
infer, that as no man took his life from him, and as he
died out of the common course of nature, that something
out of the course of nature killed him — which must have
been the sin of the world — And when he had suffered so
much as what was necessary to suffer, even unto death,
the law which Adam broke had full satisfaction on him,
and having full satisfaction, it had no further demand. On
tli-e third day, the Divinity raised the Humanity from the
dead, by which means, life and immortality are brought
to light by the gospel ; and Glory be to God '.

We read nothing about John the Methodist, nor John the
Presbyterian, in all the Bible, but we read of John the Bap-
tist ; but what did he say ? John i. 29. He say eth, " behold
the Lamb of God which takcth away the sin of the world."

Observe, the sin of the world was the sin of Adam, as
he was the representative of the world, and Christ, the
second Adam, John says, took it away — How ? By-
atoning for it, Sec. Now if John preached up that Christ
took away tlie sin of the world, then all John's people
ought to preach it up ; and if he took it away, then it
does not lie upon us, and if not, then we do not feel the
guilt, only the effect, which is the evil corrupt nature in-
stinct within, &c. and not the guilt — this is the truth and
you cannot deny it.

Thus, you see the first covenant of works was made
with us in our first head, and the second covenant with
us in our second head (Christ.)

According to Isaiah liii. 6, "all we like sheep, are gone
astray, &c. and the Lord hath laid upon him (Christ) the
iniquity of us all."

Observe, John did not say the sins of the world, but
iin, the singular, and the prophet Isaiah doth not say ini-
quities, but iniquity, which must have alluded to the fall
of man. Therefore the planter is as large as the wound,
(t(f- and you cannot deny it. As we read, Rom. v. IS,
therefore as by the offence of one, judgment came upon
all men unto condemnation, even so (not uneven) by the
righteousness of one, the free gift came upon all men unto
justification of life. Observe the words justification and
regeneration are not synonymous as some use them, but
are of different meanings. Regeneration signifies to be
born of the Spirit of God : i. e. to be purified within by
it? inspiration, and to become holy and Godlike, &c. But
justification signifies to acquit and look upon us free
from guilt. And now if the free gift from God by Christ,
came upon all men unto justification of life, I herefrom
would infer, that God hath justified all men by the death
of his Son, i. e. acquitted them from what is called the
guilt of original sin, and looks upon them free therefrom
as they come into the world.



if so, take the inhabitants from an island, and
it would produce them again — but matter of
fact, sayeth it will not. Then if nature hath
not changed, it never brought forth people ;
for if it had, it might again do so, and if
not, a miracle hath taken place in nature.
#3^° What is meant by the Holy Ghost, is the
Spirit of God, proceeding from the Father,
through the mediation of the man Christ Jesus,
down to the sons of men ; the office of which
Spirit is to instruct mankind, and purify and
prepare them, for the enjoyment of God in
Glory.

If I deny there was such a person as Christ
on this earth eighteen hundred years ago, I
should deny three things: — 1st, our dates, —
2nd, all sacred, and 3d, the greatest part of
profane history ; which historians in general
would not be willing to give up. If I allow
there was such a person as Christ, I must ac-
knowledge his miracles too ; for the same
histories, sacred and profane, which mention
his person, relate his miracles; and to deny
his miracles, would be giving the histories the
lie, and of course destroy their authority. If
I allow his miracles I must allow his sacred
character also; for it is inconsistent with
reason, to believe that God would aid and
assist a liar, or an impostor, to do the mighty
deeds which we are informed Christ did.*



* There is an inward feeling of the mind, as well as an
outward feeling of the body ; for instance, sometimes my
mind is calm, yet I feel pain of body ; at other times, my
body is well, and 1 feel pain of mind, remorse, guilt, fear,
4'C. which are not feelings of the body, but in, or
of the mind, which feelings are as perceptible as the
wind blowing upon the body, and you cannot deny
it. Again, a man walking along, spies the wild beast of
the forest and feels his hair to rise and his flesh to crawl
upon his bones. What is the cause of this feeling ? It
must be the fears in his mind, originating from a view of
his danger, and perhaps likewise he may feel the
powers of his limbs in a measure to fail, and sits
down unJer the shock. Now allowing the above,
why should it be thought strange, if people were to
fall under the mighty power of God, operating upon the
human mind.

But, says one, it is inconsistent with reason to adopt the
idea that God will work in this form ; but I say hush !
There cannot be a law without a penalty, and we know
that we are accountable unto God, for our moral con-
duct; for we feel it in our own breasts, and when we do
wrong, we feel misery, and living and dying therein,
shall carry our misery to eternity with us ; as death only-
separates the soul from the body, but doth not change the
disposition of the mind.

Again, through the medium of organs, my spirit can
convey an idea to the spirit of another and make him
angry or wrathful, or please him with novelty, and make
him laugh and feel joyful : if so, then spirit can
operate on spirit, as well as matter upon matter, and con-
vey ideas, {aj= and you cannot deny it. If so, why not
the Oivine spirit operate on the human mind, and give an
inward conviction, &c. of right and wrong ? If we are
accountable unto God, then we are rewardable or pun-
ishable according to our behavior and capacity, and of
course, a day of accounts must take place when these re-
wards and punishments must be actually given. From
this [ argue, there is such a thing as moral evil and good,



Online LibraryLorenzo DowThe dealings of God, man, and the devil : as exemplified in the life, experience, and travels of Lorenzo Dow, in a period of over half a century: together with his polemic and miscellaneous writings, complete → online text (page 56 of 126)