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Observer, July 1, 71.
central people supernaturally sealed with appointed country and continual temple service, the glories not terminating in themselves, but enbracing light and diffusing blessings to all the world. Their history is sublime, notwithstanding all the shadows and limitary shapes of evil on the road; and God appears all through glorious in holiness-essential light and infinity of love flood the great altar stairs from His throne down to His footstool.
VI. We discover the tremendous protest of God against every form of Idolatry. The loyalty and fealty which are His, when rendered to another, from star down to brute or demon or personified force, entail on man the most dire woes, in diseases of soul and body-moral infamies and miraculous inflictions follow by necessity. The Supreme One is a jealous God, not merely for His own glory, but for the weal of His creatures, and the two things are bound by thongs of moral necessity. Hence, where
Hence, where man worships the creature, wrath must follow. The essential holiness of God either shines out as light or burns out as fire, according to the material it falls upon. His glory is simply His holiness outwardly revealed, which will either glorify or destroy, according to the situation of the moral agents among whom it is revealed. How terrible to Korah and his company, to Nadab and Abibu, to the blinded idolaters of Egypt; but how sublime in the burning bush, in the midnight column of fire and in the effulgence between the cherubim. How enchanting it was on the “holy mount" in our own age, and how much more triumphal it will be when it shines out in perfect splendour as we become like. Him, when we see Him as
VII. One other thing supremely important comes out in Genesis, notwithstanding all the glooms and disorders and deformities of sin, viz., the reality of communication between God and man. Though the punishment inflicted was frequently sharp and terrible, the world was not à God-forsaken world. God would neither hide His counsel nor His love from the mortals who sought light and strength from His sanctuary. There is no part of the old document more impressive than His com. munion with Abraham the Father of the Faithful. The faith of Abraham is indeed the moral miracle of the ancient days, and be well deserves his place as the heir of the world. He obeyed and went out, not knowing whither he went, for the voice which called was the voice of God. In defiance of natural laws, he believed that his seed would be numerous as grains of sand on the sea shore and bright as the stars of the vaulted sky. He was ready even to sacrifice the child in whom his hope seemed to be all centred. Unbelief is drunken-reels and staggers, but he staggered not at the promises of God, but was strong in faith giving glory. Mercifully the old connection between faith and the realization of life still remains steadfast, and we, with like confidence and consecration, may go with him into that country and city in the hope of which he lived and died.
G. G. (To be continued.)
FATHER HYACINTHE AND THE POPE. FATHER Hyacintho lately wrote to Monsignor de Merode, formerly his friend, to obtain for him an audience with the Pope, at whose feet he desired to open his soul in confidence. The Pope refused to receive him, on which Father Hyacinthe addressed to Monsignor de Merode the following words :—“Once the Good Shepherd ran after the lost sheep, and bore him tenderly back on his shoulders. Now the lost sheep seeks the Good Shepherd-or. him you regard as such-and is driven away. What a distance betwoen the Gospel and tho Vatican !"
Observer, July 1, '71.
BAPTISM FOR REMISSION.
We have often been asked, “Do you hold baptism to be a saving ordinance ?" Now, if we say, Yes, it is at once bruited abroad that we make baptism a saviour, and that all the unimmersed will be damned ! If we say, No, then it will be affirmed that a man can be saved as well without it as with it, and it is of small account, any way. We do not intend to be taken in such a snare. An ordinance cannot save ; an ordinance cannot remit sins ; nor yet can a principle, such as faith, save the sinner, or remit his sins. Yet faith is declared to be for justification, and baptism for remission; nay, it is even said, “ baptism doth also now save us." If we are asked, Who can forgive sins but God only ?". we should unhesitatingly answer, none. Yet Jesus said to the apostles, “Whose sins soever ye remit, they are remitted unto them, and whose sins soever ye retain, they are retained.” (John xx. 23). Again : if asked whether there is forgiveness except through the blood of Christ, or through the covenant sealed with His blood, we should answer unhesitatingly, No: "This is my blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.” And yet this very same expression eis aphesin hamartion for the remission of sins, is used in connection with baptism without any mention of the blood of Christ-even as faith is many times mentioned for justification without any mention of the blood of Christ. But it is answered, the blood of Christ is always implied in connection with faith, if not expressed. Very well. The same is true of baptism. The name of Christ, and the blood of Christ, and the grace of God, and the covenant of grace, are always implied in connection with baptism. Now pray tell us why there is any more danger about remission as belonging to baptism, than about remission as belonging to faith. And why this special sensitiveness lest baptism for remission of sins should draw our thoughts away from the blood of Christ, and no sensitiveness at all lest faith or repentance, as conditions of salvation, should do the same thing? For our part, we are not afraid of any form of speech employed by the Holy Spirit, and if we see any one inclined to settle down in admiration of select passages presenting in their form but a partial view of a subject, we at once attempt to correct him by calling attention to other passages in which other phases of the same question are presented. Taking all the Scriptures together that treat of this question, we learn
1. That forgiveness flows to us from the grace of God. By grace we are saved. Had there been no grace, there would have been no Christ, no death for sin, no faith, no baptism, no forgiveness.
2. This forgiving grace is made accessible to us through the death of Jesus, the Christ. He died for our sins—the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God. We are justified freely by the grace of God, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.
3. This grace is suspended, so far as our personal appropriation and enjoyment of it are concerned, upon certain conditions. We do not regard these conditions as arbitrary. They are gracious conditions, ordained with a special view to the conditions and wants of our nature; and we have a right to conclude that they are the very best conditions to meet our predicament as sinners that infinite wisdom could devise. These con ditions are faith, repentance, and baptism-faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, repentance towards God, and baptism into the death of Christ. We cannot here give space to discuss the question as to the adaptedness of these conditions to our wants, and the necessities of the case; we merely affirm
Observer, July 1, '71.
our conviction that in regard to baptism, as in regard to faith and repentance, there is a fitness in the appointment growing out of the nature of things.
4. This grace was administered by the chosen ambassadors of our Lord -the twelve apostles. They were authorized to proclaim the terms on which this salvation could be enjoyed. They made known these terms. “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved.” Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ, for remission of sins, and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” When these terms were complied with, the promise was reached, and the soul had peace and joy in believing.
Thus far, all is plain; and this, one would think, is enough. But we are asked, in what sense baptism is for remission of sins. We answer, it is not important to know, unless some one begins to urge a sense that subverts the grace of God, or the blood of Christ, or the necessity of faith. Let all these speculations cease all around, and let us be content to know that in answer to the sinner's inquiry, • What must I do to be saved ?" certain things are enjoined to be done, and when these things are done, the obedient soul has a right to the promise, “shall be saved." one suppose that when thousands responded to the counsel of Peter, · Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ, for remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit," they could all have told in what sense baptism was for remission ? Thoy knew what they were told to do. They did it. They received the promised blessing. That was enough then, and ought to be enough now.
We have no objection to stating what we conceive to be the connection between baptism and remission of sins, provided no one attaches to it more importance than belongs to it as our conclusion from Scripture premises. The language in which our idea would at any time be expressed, would depend on the point of view occupied at the time. For instance, the Gospel may be regarded as a Proclamation of Amnesty. It comes from the grace of God. It has cost the precious blood of the Lamb of God. It is published and administered by the apostles. It is offered to "all the world." Its conditions are, He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved.” Baptism is one of the conditions of pardon. When the rebel sinner abandons his sins, and closes in with the offer of mercy, he accepts these conditions, and the promise is his. God forgives him. His forgive
. ness is through the blood of Christ. The apostles remit his sins by authoritatively declaring the terms of pardon. His faith is for justification. His baptism brings him to the promise "shall be saved."
Again : all the blessings of the Gospel may be viewed as covenant blessings. Remission of sins is one of the pledges of the covenant. God is the author of this covenant; His grace originated it. Jesus is its Mediator, and has confirmed it by His death. The apostles are the “ministers of the new covenant.' Faith, repentance and baptism are the conditions of entrance into this covenant. The believing penitent ratifies the covenant on his part by baptism; or, if you please, he enters the covenant by the new birth of water and of Spirit, and is thus born into covenant relationship. Baptism is for remission of sins by virtue of its office in introducing the believer into the covenant which contains the promise of forgiveness.
Again: Christ Jesus is our Saviour. “He of God is made unto us wisdom, righteousness, sanctification and redemption.” The believer is
Observer, July 1, '71
" baptized into Christ Linto His death"-and this conducts him to the forgiveness of sins.
Once more : all the treasures of grace are laid up for us in the Kingdom of God. “Righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit" are the treasures of this Kingdom. In baptism the believer “enters into the Kingdom of God," and all its treasures are his. But had there been no grace there would have been no Kingdom. Had not the foundation been laid in the incarnation, life, death and resurrection of Jesus, there would have been for us no rightevusness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit; and faith and baptism into Christ could not have been.
Baptism does not forgive-God forgives. Baptism does not procure forgiveness-it is procured by the suffering Son of God. Baptism settles nothing as to the moment when God forgives. Its operation is manward, on certifying the believing penitent of forgiveness from God, in the name of Jesus Christ. As the divinely appointed means of introducing the believer into the Kingdom, the covenant, the family of God, and of associating him with the death of Christ, he is enabled to make an individual appropriation of all the benefits and blessings of that Kingdom, that covenant, that family ;-an appropriation, simply, of the blessings which the grace of God has provided, and which the mediation of Christ has brought to us.
It follows that every baptized believer has a covenant right to the grace of God. What God may see fit to do, outside of this covenant, in ovorriding its conditions, and extending His grace to others in view of incapacity, ignorance, or any other plea, belongs to another chapter altogether. One chapter treats of the covenant mercies of God, and the established conditions of access to them. The other treats of the principles of the moral government of God, by virtue of which he takes into account the ignorance and inability which have hindered many from accepting his covenant. The first chapter we may definitely understand. The second is only fully known to God Himself, and it does not become' us to be dogmatic in our speculations. But let it be distinctly understood that when we insist on faith, repentance and baptism as conditions of salvation, it is always implied that the Gospel is known, and that those to whom it is addressed have the capacity to understand it and the opportunity to
HOW MODERN GREEKS USE “BAPTIZO.” A CORRESPONDENT enquired through the columns of the Examiner and Chronicle, “whether baptizo is used among the modern Greeks in any but a theological and technical sense; whether it is used in common life to represent dipping or immersion; or is some other word employed, while this is only used to designate the ordinance of baptism ?" The Editor having sent the enquiry to Rev. A. N. Arnold, D.D., of the Chicago Theological Seminary, for many years one of the American missionaries in Greece, publishes the following reply from his pen :-" The above query can be answered in the most explicit manner. The word baptizo is used by the modern Greeks not only in the technical sense, as describing the Christian rite of baptism, but also in its primitive sense of 'to dip, to plunge, to immerse.' Prof. Sophocles, in his •Greek Lexicon of the Roman and Byzantine periods,' extending from B.c. 146 to
Observer, July 1, '71.
A.D. 1100, after defining the verb in question, 'to dip, immerse, sink,' adds this note: there is no evidence that Luke and Paul, and the other writers of the New Testament, put upon this verb meanings not l'ecognized by the Greeks.' In like manner the Greeks have continued down to the present day to use the word as a common and secular one, in no other sense than that in which their fathers used it of old, namely, 'to dip, to immerse.' In a Lexicon of French and Modern Greek published in Athens in 1842, the French word immersion' is defined by the three Greek words, "embapsis, baptisis, katadusis.' The last word is the one commonly used by ancient and modern Greek writers, when they have occasion to describe the act of baptism. Thus when they speak of trine-immersion, they always say tries kataduseis and never tria baptismata, because they regard the three immersions as constituting only one baptism, in the technical sense of the word. In an EnglishGreek Lexicon, published in Corfu in 1827, by a missionary of the London Missionary Society, & zealous defender of infant sprinkling, the first Greek definition of the word 'immerge’ is baptizo. The lexicographer, however, under an influence which those who knew him can scarcely understand, avoids using the word baptizo in defining the very next word, namely, 'innmerse.' How it comes to pass, that the Greek baptizo is an equivalent in English of immerge, but not of immerse, he has not attempted to explain.
" There is no lack of examples, in the Greek literature of the present day, of the use of the verb in question in the same sense, whether used literally or figuratively, in which it was used by Greek authors before it was ever appropriated to designate the Christian rite. In a description of the way of preparing the explosive gun-cotton which made so much noise a quarter of a century ago, the Minerva, an Athenian newspaper, says, Common cotton well cleansed, is taken, which being immersed (baptizomenon) for about half a minute in strong nitric Acid, is afterwards rinsed in pure water, often changed, etc.' Righteousness,' says Coraes, the most renowned of modern Greek writers, 'forbids an honourable man to dip (baptizein his pen in the filth of flattery. Again, the same writer says, when any one takes upon him to pronounce judgment upon whole nations, he ought to dip (baptizein) his pen, not in ink only, but also in intelligence. This figurative use of the word is so common that it may be regarded as proverbial. A merciless critic is said to dip (baptizein) his pen in gall.' One more example, in which the common and the technical applications of the word are intimately blended, must suffice. It is found in an Athenian paper called The Age (Aion).
• The Papists verily believe that they are saved by being sprinkled (rantizomenoi), and not by being baptized (baptizomenoi).'
"In fine, this Greek word has never changed its meaning. Alike in ancient and in modern times, alike in its common and in its ecclesiastical use, its meaning is, solely and always, 'to immerse, to dip.'”—Freeman.
WAR AND CHRISTIANITY.* It is evident that the whole train of Truth Seeker's reasoning is absolutely worthless, unless we grant his assumption that the sum of the law is also the sum of gospel morality. From such an assumption it unquestionably follows that the sole “instruction intended” by Christ in
* If " Truth Seeker" desires to reply he may occupy reasonable space, in view of the several which he has been opposed. Other writers, on this
question, must now confine themselves
to one page each.