Christ: <431151>John 11:51, 52 ? ?he prophesied that Jesus should die for the nation; and not for the nation only, but that he might also gather together into one the children of God that are scattered abroad.?
Since, Christ is the Word of God and the Truth of God, he may be received even by those who have not heard of his manifestation in the flesh. A proud and self-righteous morality is inconsistent with saving faith but a humble and penitent reliance upon God, as a Savior from sin and a guide of conduct, is an implicit faith in Christ. Such reliance casts itself upon God, so far as God has revealed himself and the only Revealer of God is Christ. We have, therefore, the hope that even among the heathen there may be some, like Socrates, who, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit working through the truth of nature and conscience, have found the way of life and salvation.
The number of such is so small as in no degree to weaken the claims of the missionary enterprise upon us. But that there are such seems to be intimated in Scripture: <400811>Matthew 8:11, 12 ? ?many shall come from the east and the west and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven: but the sons of the kingdom shall be cast forth into the outer darkness?; <431016>John 10:16 ? ?And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and they shall become one flock, one shepherd ?; <440412>Acts 4:12 ? ?And in none other is there salvation: for neither is there any other name under heaven, that is given among men, wherein we must be saved ?; 10:31, 34, 35, 44 ? ?Cornelius, thy prayer is heard, and thine alms are had in remembrance in the sight of God...Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons; but in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is acceptable to him...While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Spirit fell on all them that heard the word?; 16:31 ? ?Believe on the Lord Jesus, and thou shalt be saved, thou and thy house.?
And instances are found of apparently regenerated heathen; see in Godet on <430717>John 7:17, note (vol. 2:277) the account of the so-called ?Chinese hermit,? who accepted Christ, saying: ?This is the only Buddha whom men ought to worship!? Edwards, Life of Brainard, 173-175, gives an account ?of one who was a devout and zealous reformer, or rather restorer, of what he supposed was the ancient religion of the Indians.? After a period of distress, he says that God ?comforted his heart and showed him what he should do, and since that time he had known God and tried to serve him; and loved all men, be they who they would, so as he never did before.? See art, by Dr. Lucius E. Smith, in Bibliotheca Sacra, Oct. 1881:622-645, on the question: ?Is salvation possible without a
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