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Observer, Jan. 1, 71,
expressing the hope that this friendly visit will lead the way to such friendly intercourse as may ultimately ripen into a union of hearts and of hands in the work of the Lord.
With these explanations, we beg leave to tender to you the friendly greetings of the 30,000 Disciples whom we represent, and to express in their behalf, our sympathy with you in all your work of faith and patience of hope, and labour of love.
And we pray that your love and zeal and faithfulness may more and more abound, and that, guided into a full perception of your duty to this age, you may stand up in unbroken array for the truth as it is in Jesus, caring only for His honour and the integrity of His truth, and willing to suffer the loss of all other things, if you may but be counted worthy to labour and to suffer for the exaltation of His authority as Lord of all, until “every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that He is Lord to the glory of God the Father."
W. T. MOORE. President Hoyt, in response, said he was confident he expressed the sentiment of his brethren in giving expression to the pleasure they feel in receiving this communication, so full of thought in harinony with their own views and purposes, and expressing the hope that good for Zion will result from this incident.
On motion of Rev. T. J. Melish, the communication was referred to a Committee appointed by the Chair, as follows: R. Jeffery, T. J. Mellish, L. G Leonard, T. W. Ewart and R. Preston.
Rev. Dr. Jeffery, from the Committee to whom was referred the communication of the Christian Missionary Society, submitted the following report :
“As brethren attending the Ohio Baptist State Convention, we hail with gratitude to God, and with fraternal greetings, the communication presented through its delegation in behalf of the Ohio Cnristian Missionary Society, and recognize the spirit which prompted this overture as an expression of true Christian feeling in the yearnings for closer bonds of sympathy between different ranks of the disciples of our common Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, and as an earnest of the speedy fulfilment of the viour's prayer, that His people may be one. We accept the statement of doctrinal views set forth in the document as so nearly accordant with those for which Baptists are distinguished, as to form a hopeful basis of agreement in the essentials of the common faith ; as to justify a charitable and mutual toleration in regard to things in which we still conscientiously differ; and as to awaken the confident expectation that, ere long, those dividing differences shall disappear, and we shall all be found fighting our common enemies under the one standard of truth, on whose unfolded banner shall be inscribed in words of living light, 'One Lord, one faith, one baptism.' We hereby express our personal regard for the brethren constituting this delegation, assuring them of our esteem for their Christian character and their ministerial labours, and that we request them to convey to the body they represent our greeting of Christian love and good will; our congratulations for the zeal with which they have contended for the authority and sufficiency of the Word of God, rejecting the additions, and subtractions of human inventions and assumptions of civil and ecclesiastical denominations ; our rejoicing in their successes as a real contribution to the ultimate triumphs of the teachings of the Word
userver, Jan. 1, '71.
of God, and the visible unity of all God's people in the truth as it is in Jesus.
“Your Committee recommend that a delegation of five be appointed by this body to prepare a suitable and formal reply to this overture, and to convey in person to the Ohio Christian Missionary Convention, at its next anniversary, the Christian feelings of the Baptists of Ohio."
The report was received with marked applause, and unanimously adopted.
The Chair appointed Revs. R. Jeffery. of Cincinnati ; A. H. Strong, of Cleveland; H. S. Colby, of Dayton ; T. J. Melish, of Cincinnati, and L. G. Leonard, of Lebanon, as delegates provided for by the above report.
THE CRY FOR UNION: TO WHAT IS IT TENDING ? Almost from the one end of Scotland to the other the cry of “ Union ! Union !” has been raised by parties in the Free and United Presbyterian Churches. This cry has been echoed again and again for years, and now to such an extent does it prevail that in every town the Presbyters of these bodies are endeavouring to decide upon the expediency of uniting, and on what grounds the union should be consummated. The dissensions, the acri. monious debates, the wranglings, the misrepresentation of facts and the charges of apostacy, which this continual union cry has created, are saddening in the extreme; and, in the general conflict, one calmly looking on would be inclined to wonder how a sound and satisfactory union could be born out of so great confusion. But confusion must exist until this question be settled, as the decree has gone forth from the Assembly of the Free Church and the Synod of the United Presbyterian Church, that all Presbyters under their jurisdiction shall forward an answer to the question whether there is any bar to the union of the two Sects on the confession of faith as recognized by them? And shall union be the result? It is feared the result will be greater division than ever; indeed, judging from the manner in which the proposal of union has been received by the Presbyters, there is absolute certainty that should the movement be pressed both parties will be rent, and heartburnings and jealousies created which it will take years to allay.
To those who endeavour to view the progress of events in the light of God's word, the present battle among the churches will be seen to be really a battle preparatory to the much more important movement of Church dis-establishment, and the abolition, in an important degree, of human creeds as systems of faith. Skilfully as the weapons have been used on both sides in this strife-in which some of the most venerable and subtly learned divines have taken a bold and unflinching stand, the real issues of the contest have been involved in comparative darkness, though now and again there have burst forth streaks of dawning light, which will ultimately dispel the gloom and show that men are really fighting about the preservation of human creeds, and that satisfactory union upon them as a basis is impossible. That the conflict points to this will be the source of unmitigated joy to the thousands who advocate primitive Christianity, repudiating, as un-scriptural, control by the State, and discarding as mischievous all human systems of faith, and advocating union on the only sure and lasting basis of God's imperishable Word. This much, however, is perfectly clear, that when the present controversy has
Observer, Jan, 1, '71.
ended—and what may be the success by which it will be attended it is impossible to determine the tie subsisting between the Church and the State will have become very much smaller and consequently weaker by the voice of the dis-establishment party in the country becoming greater, bolder, and more powerful than ever.
To show that such a statement is justified we quote the following remarks made by the Rev. Dr. Wilson, of Dundee, who lately held the high and much coveted position of Assembly Moderator. In the debate on union in the Dundee Free Presbytery, in November, Dr. Wilson said :
“Let us ask what is the testimony of the Church by speech and utterance on this very subject of civil establishment of religion and endowment of the Church ? I say the Free Church testimony is emphatically this, and this only, that the Church must be free (hear, hear)—that it is unlawful to establish and enslave a Church-(applause)—and consequently that the existing Establishments of religion in this land ought to be demolished. (Prolonged applause.) [Rev. Mr. Cross—No, no.] If any one thinks he can impugn my reasoning by argument, he is at liberty to do so. I believe it is irrefragable—that the Free Church testimony is a testimony on behalf of the Church's freedom-that it is unlawful to establish a Church and enslave it, and consequently that the existing Establishments, being enslaved, are unlawful, and ought to be demolished. (Loud applause.) [Rev. Mr. Moncur-No no. Reformed.] The question naturally arises-Supposing all this to be true, is it not the duty of the State now to establish the Free Church, holding by all these principles and maintaining this freedom ? To this question I also unhesitatingly answer- No. I do not believe it is—(hear, hear)-and just because in the existing circumstances of this community I do not, and cannot believe that such an Establishment would be for the glory of God or for the good of the Church.”
Rev. Mr. Bruce, a member of the same Presbytery, said : " This position I am prepared to take up, and I take it up not as a voluntary, but as a patriot. What I want to see in Scotland is a National Church, embracing all Presby. terians, which would be an Established Church in the highest sense of the wordChurch established not technically or legally, but morally, because possessing the primary attributes of unity and peace, and wielding the maximum amount of spiritual influence in the land. Now, sir, there is only one way in our day of attaining this highest blessing. The old-fashioned compulsory method of bringing all the sheep into one fold is out of date. (Hear, hear.) And re-establishment on Free Church principles won't unite all Presbyterians. It might bring back some free Churchmen to the State Church, but it would leave all earnest voluntaries outside the pale. Some may not think that any great evil, but I venture to say that no patriot could have satisfaction in a scheme of reconstruction which would leave so large and respectable a body of Christians as the U. P. Church in an isolated state. Not re-establisment then, but dis-establishment must be our watchword for the future. (Applause.) I say this with no feeling of hostility to the present Established Church, but rather as one who does not despair of seeing men of patriotic spirit arise within it to say this very thing themselves."
As a straw shows in what way the wind blows, so the extracts given above indicate how the dis-establishment wave is increasing in length and breadth and impetuosity.
But if the momentous question of dis-establishment has risen, phønix like and most unexpectedly, from amid the confusion of the strife whether there is to be union, and has engaged the serious attention of all concerned, so also has there arisen, as we have said, another and much more perplexing, though a subsidiary issue,—whether human creeds are to be regarded as a satisfactory foundation for union? Then the dis-establishment of the National Church would be regarded as an advance towards the Reformation now advocated by many, the setting aside of human creeds by churches would be a much more natural advancement in that direction. That human creeds are necessarily schisimatical and heretical—that they embody and perpetuate the elements of schism from generation to generation, making those who are bound by them, love and hate artificially and irrationally--that they detach the mind from a free and unrestrained consecration of itself to the whole truth of God's
Book, and confine it to a certain range of tenets and principles—and that they are peculiarly hostile to reformation by ejecting eminent religious reformers from the churches in which they commenced their ministry, have been satisfactorily substantiated again and again; and the wonder is that they should have been preserved so long. But that they are now being discovered to be useless for the object for which they were frared is an uncontrovertible fact, as the following remarks by two divines all show_one of them a writer and lecturer of the highest popularity and reputation—the Rev. George Gilfillan, of Dundee, and the other an influential minister in the Free Church-the Rev. Mr. Bruce, also of Dundee. These remarks were also made during debates on the Union question in the end of November last,
Rev. George Gilfillan says;—
“It (the union movement) threatens at present to split up one Church into two or three distinct fragments, and the union it promises to the three negotiating parties will be dearly purchased by the new disruptions and fresh fractures which it will produce. It seeks to establish a Church upon a false basis, upon an agreement in opinion which does not exist, on standards of belief which are fast becoming obsolete in form, question. able in idea, and imperfect or untrue in much of their substance, threatens us with grave difficulties of finance, and with still graver difficulties when certain important questions alike of doctrine and of the connection between Church and State shall come to be decided, as they must be decided soon. The Church formed by it may be large, but the union will not be such a Church as the intelligence and consciousness of the age shall welcome, and as a panacea for the evils and dangers by which we are surrounded it is simply naught-meeting spiritual difficulties chiefly by material means, and offering a false and fluctuating front of battle to earnest and powerful adversaries."
Mr. Bruce says :“My difficulty is about the basis of union. I hesitate to affirm that the Westminster Confession of Faith, as at present accepted by the negotiating Churches, is a satisfactory basis of union, and I do so, not because I doubt the good faith of any parties in signing the Confession, but because the meaning of certain parts of the Confession very promi. nently involved in the negotiations is by no means “plain and obvious.' (Hear, hear.)"
Reader! the above is the testimony of divines, relating to two fundamental principles which have been long held and advocated by the promoters of Christianity as at first taught in its purity by the apostles. We appeal to you to reflect on what we have said. “ The whole scheme of union and co-operation, which the Living Oracles and the present state of the Christian religion in the world demand ; which has been, at different times and in various manners, illustrated and sustained in the present con. troversy against divisions, we shall here submit in one period. Let the Bible be substituted for all human creeds ; facts for definitions. Things for words; faith for speculation; unity of faith for unity of opinion; the positive commandments of God for human legislation and tradition ; piety for ceremony; morality for partizan zeal; the practice of religion for the profession of it, and the work is done."
T. Y. M.
LORD AMBERLEY & C. BRADLAUGH.
THE CHARLATAN UNMASKED.
In the recent debate, in Bury, between Mr. King and Mr. Bradlaugh, Mr. King uncovered the filthy demoralizing literature, commended in the highest terms by his opponent and through his paper largely disseminated. The following is merely a sample of the morality advocated in Mr. Brad. laugh's favourite volume.
Observer, Jan. 1, '71.
"Whether the children have been born in marriage or not is a matter of comparatively little importance.
Marriage is based upon the idea that constant and unvarying love is the only one that is pure and honourable, and which should be recognized as morally good. But there could not be a greater error than this. Love is like all other human passions and appetites, subject to change, deriving a great part of its force and continuance from variety in its objects; and to attempt to fix it io an invariable channel is to try to alter the laws of its nature.
Marriage is one of the chief instruments in the degradation of woman. “The icy formality of the marriage ideas is a constant damper to the enjoyment of youth ; it spoils the social pleasures between the young of both sexes, and casts a chill upon that intimacy and close sympathy which they should have for each other.
"The emphatic exclusiveness of marriage gives rise to very great evils. Both men and women, especially the latter, often fall desperately in love with one object; and if they cannot have full and sole possession of this they resign themselves to despair.
“Let those who will, marry; but those who do not wish to enter upon so indissoluble a contract, either on account of their early age or from a disapproval of the whole ceremony, should deem it perfectly honourable and justifiable to form a temporary connection.
• If a woman is to have only two, or at most, and in comparatively rare cases, three children, (she) can easily gain a livelihood for herself, and therefore require no protection nor aid beyond what the laws afford to each of us; why should she tie herself indissolubly to one man for life?
" The noblest sexual conduct, in the present state of society, appears to me to be that of those who, wh le endeavouring to fulfill the real sexual duties enumerated in a former essay, live together openly and without disguise, but refuse to enter into an indissoluble contract of which they conscientiously disapprove."
It having become customary for advocates of Secularism to associate the names of public men (as Lord Amberley and Mr. John Stuart Mill) with the degrading volume from which the foregoing is taken, Mr. King, in the debate, said that he could not believe that those gentlemen had ever sanctioned the connection of their names with the book in question. Mr. Bradlaugh, as repor. ed by the Bury Times, replied in characteristic terms.
"All that he (Mr. Bradlaugh) said on the previous evening was that Lord Amberley had been attacked because he had taken part in a debate on this question, at which he (the speaker) was present. He himself heard Lord Amberley say that this (Elements of Social Science) was the best book that was written on the subject, and that it ought to be in the hands of all working men. It was said in the presence of 70 or 80 of the most respectable physicians in the city of London ; so that in so far from it being a cheat, or subterfuge, he did not try to put on Lord Amberley an opinion about the book at all Therefore Mr. King told a lie.”
In response Mr. King intimated that he did not like to call a man a liar. He deemed it beiter to prove the falsehood and leave the audience to return their own verdict. He then drew forth a letter from Lord Amberley to himself, in which his lordship repudiated the book in the words following
“I was quite unaware that my name had beed used in support of the opinions to which you refer. Whoever has so used it has done so entirely without authority or sanction from me, and in total ignorance of my real views.
With the book you mention, “The Elements of Social Science,” I am indeed acquainted, but I regard it with the strongest disapproval. The author's ideal of society appears to be a state of unlimited license; ness being obtained by the indulgence of degrading passions. I contemplate such teachings with the utmost aversion, and I consider the wide circulation of the work which contains it the more to be regretted because its pretensions to medical authority (to which I am convinced it has but little claim) may easily mislead unwary or uninstructed readers.
Should any one attribute to me in your presence any sort of agreement with this pernicious work, I authorize you to contradict the statement in the most emphatic manner.'
The effect produced upon the audience by the reading of the letter and the exhibition thereof in his lordship's own-hand writing was tremendous,