« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »
Observer. April 1. '76.
baptized he cannot be saved. I deny this is the meaning-1st, because there is not one word in the context referring to baptism, so that the claim is a mere assumption; 2nd, the verb employed (gennao, to generate,) refers to parentage and offspring, and not simply to emersion (parturition), for which a different word altogether would be required (tikto, to bring forth); 3rd, Jesus always, after making use of a startling paradox, gives an explanation of its meaning, and in this case, as in others, He shows, "this spake he of the Spirit." Tit. iii. 5: "God according to his mercy saved us by (dia) the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Ghost." Not one word here of baptism. Washing (not bath) is the proper translation; it refers not to immersion, but ablution. Ephes. v. 26: "Christ loved the church and gave himself for it, in order that he might sanctify and cleanse it by the washing of water in the word." Not a word here of immersion: it is cleansing, by ablution, in the word; the effect, the removal of every spot and blemish from His bride the Church (ver. 27). With respect to John i. 12, I can only meanwhile draw attention to the fact that it is an unjustifiable act of interpolation to introduce the idea of baptism here at all. Recurring now to subjects already so far considered, I am pleased to find that at last we are to have some passages of Scripture brought forward in support of the proposition and statements made, that (1) Baptism includes the remission of sins-and (2) that the repentant sinner receives pardon not on believing, but (3) subsequently in the act of Baptism. To passages of the word of God, I trust I shall ever be ready and careful to give every consideration and patient examination whilst I must decline answering the endless series of enigmas and riddles which are thrown forward instead for my solution. We really must keep the points of difference as declared in the opening propositions distinctly before us. I must therefore respectfully decline leaving these to launch out upon a disquisition in reply to such questions as that urged upon me in last letter. "Will he please tell us what was intended by the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven' given to Peter?" (With respect to the tone and temper of that letter, I will only say, I am grieved to see it, and trust it may be found possible in future to avoid-in the investigation of the will of the Lord as declared in His word-any ebullition of feeling inconsistent with His Spirit.) In the first two letters in reply to mine-not one single passage of Scripture is quoted in which Baptism is referred to-in the last one there are three 1 Peter iii. 21, Mark xvi. 16, Acts ii. 38. To the first, quoted as "Baptism does also now save
us," I reply that these six words no more give the meaning of the passage than do the seven, "Baptism does also now save us not." I will show this in due course. Mark xvi. 16, is an apocryphal addition to the Gospel. I am pledged to prove this at the conclusion of present discussion. Acts ii. 38: I have already shown (E. O. page 72), is parallel in expression with Mark i. 4. I am asked my reasons for confining the promises of salvation to repentant sinners who believe in Jesus-they are 1st, that as Jesus stands in antagonism to sin, he who in heart turns to Him must turn from sin, (repentance, change of thought.) Jesus said, Luke xiii. 3: "Except ye repent ye shall all likewise perish;" again, Luke XV. 7: " "Joy shall be in Heaven over one sinner that repenteth," and 10: "There is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth." When similar passages are produced respecting Baptism, I will acknowledge it stands in a similar relation to salvation, but not till then. I will now deal with the assertion that faith is perfected in baptism. It is stated thus: "I base it (pardon) upon a faith complete because perfected in God's appointed way, and such was the case with Abraham and others." "Abraham's faith was perfected by offering Isaac upon the altar." Very good; then Abraham's pardon, according to this theory, was bestowed upon him when his faith was completed by this specified act. James ii. 21: "Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he had offered his son Isaac upon the altar; 22: "by works was faith made perfect." Again (in E. O. page 56), "We find justification ascribed to works.' "The justified are saved and the saved are justified.” All very conclusive, but the fact has been overlooked, that this perfected faith on which pardon is said to have been based in Abraham's case, had place six and twenty years after the time of which it is written "Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness." [Do read Rom. iv. 1, 8.] and fifty years after his faith had already been "perfected" by the act of obedience, in leaving his native country at the call of God. When then were Abraham's sins pardoned and when are the sins of the believer in Christ pardoned? Is he justified once for all, or at each successive act of obedience during upwards of fifty years? The case of Noah is similar. Now let me ask is there nothing better to advance from Scripture in support of the statement that sinners are saved in the act of baptism? There is not. The doctrine is utterly foreign to the word of God. There is not, I repeat, a single passage in the whole of the New Testament which says so; and terrible is the responsibility of those who cast aside the words of Jesus, to trust in their own vain reason
ings. I hope again to show more fully that, God pardons the believer in Christ Jesus-justifying the ungodly not through works, not through baptism, but solely through faith.
With respect to the confessedly wilful alteration of my first proposition, I ask the reader to compare pages 56, 73, (5th), and 86 of the E. 0. to judge, (1) whether or not the altered terms are put forward as my propositions; (2) whether this is fair controversy; (3) or an unjustifiable manœuvre to snatch an apparent triumph. Edinburgh. H. MCINTOSH.
"THY LIGHT BREAK FORTH AS THE MORNING."
THE light which breaks over nature in the morning is Silent. As it rests on the busy city, and causes it to wake to activity and life, its influence is silent; it glitters on every dewdrop, it reflects itself in every lake, it crowns the wave of the sea with silver; but there is no echo its influence is silent. So the influence of the Christian character is silent! Its dependence is entirely upon Christ, its strength is alone derived from Him, its reward is looked for in a brighter world, its progress marked not by noise, but by success-not by outward show, but by deeds; glorifying God by patient endurance and trust when more active duty is denied.
The light of the morning is also Calm and Pure. It rests on many a lonely hut, it gilds many a wave of sorrow, it falls on many a home of bereavement, it is reflected on many a tearbedewed cheek; but its ray is always calm, always pure. So the Christian's light is calm and pure. Trials which may come to disturb the surface of life, which rend the heart and subdue the spirit, will be met with contentment and peace; and if called to pass through the fire of affliction, he knows in whom he has believed, and that these sorrows which are but for a moment work out for him a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory. difficulty and temptation come in his way, he is confident that his Saviour, having suffered, being tempted, is able to succour them that are tempted. The Christian's life is calm, because he knows that all things work together for his good, and that he can meet every difficulty and every trouble with a glorious promise; and it is pure, for nothing impure or unholy can dwell in its light.
But the light of morning is Joyous. It gladdens wherever it rests! It opens the closed flower, bids the daisy unfold its petals, revives the drooping plant, brightens the landscape,
Observer, April 1, "76.
rests even on the churchyard, and throws a halo of glory around the silent resting-places of those committed to the ground in sure and certain hope of resurrection to eternal life. So the Christian's character is joyous. Nothing makes life so happy, so true, so real, as the acceptance of Christ as our own. It gives promise not only of the life that now is, but of that which is to come; it takes all that is good and noble in this life, and blends thoughts, affections, and desires into the belief of the future; it hallows family relationships by a hope of reunion in a world where parting is unknown; it sanctifies affection by pointing to a world where love will be pure and holy; it gives man the hope of realizing hereafter what he most prizes now.
And this morning light goes on to a more perfect day; it may be feeble at the early dawn, but going from strength to strength, the shadows of earth will soon be past, every cloud that hid from view the Eternal will soon be rolled away, the mists which have hung over the valley will soon be dispelled.
Soon a far fairer morning
TO THE VICAR OF ST. BARNABAS,
"Rev." W. T. Hobson.-SIR,-In the E. O. of Feb. 15, I inserted, with my answer thereto, a question which you now say you put in writing for Mr. Green to send to me. In a second paper, addressed to him, but intended for me, as its contents indicate, you characterise my printing it as a great impropriety. You also complain that I did not insert the part referring to "Manx Churchman." But, sir, it is very difficult to exercise mercy toward some people, because they take advantage thereof for further wickedness. It was purely in a spirit of favour that I omitted reference to Manx Churchman. Over the signature "A Manx Churchman," you are understood to have published in the Isle of Man Times, attacks upon myself, which various of your townsmen unconnected with and unknown to me recognised as yours, and which they exposed and denounced in your public prints as impossible to have emanated either from a Christian or a gentleOn the right hand and on the left you are recognised as the writer of these letters, and when denounced as such, Manx Churchman denied that they emanate from a vicar, and variously sought to conceal the parentage of the discreditable offspring. Now, sir, the paper you handed to Mr. Green contains sufficient proof that it came from the same brain as the letters-the same construction of sentences, the same form of question and demand, the same going out of the way to designate us by nick
Observer, April 1, '76.
name; the same muddling of things that differ, in a way so peculiar that it may be doubtful whether another man on your island would do anything like it; the same spirit of catch and evasion, and the same evidence of its ungentlemanly and unchristian origin. But in addition to this, and the published reasons of Douglas men for putting to your account the dishonour of writing those letters, and the underhanded denial of their authorship, I have further reason. In one of them the writer quotes from a certain number of my little serial the Old Paths, intimating that that number had been put into his hands. That number has been traced to your possession, having thus come to you. We then take it as settled that from your heart and head emanated the "Manx Churchman" letters; and, that being the case, you may be right in intimating that it was an impropriety in me to notice anything you wrote to Mr. Green. Of course, in assigning to you the substantial authorship of those letters, I do not mean that the copy sent to the printer was in your hand, nor that there were not verbal alterations made by some churchwarden, or ex-churchwarden, or other satellite, taking the designation of Manx Churchman, so as to enable him to affirm that he is not vicar, clergyman, etc., thus palming the deception upon the public.
I have already made you acquainted with the ground on which I notice you at all-i.e., that you are a servant of the State, belonging to that department of the civil service known as the Established Church, another and higher State functionary being responsible for you. I deal, then, not with the man, but with the State Agent, and my intention is not to allow unworthy conduct to impel me to refuse such attention to any one of the nation's officials as I may deem useful to the people and to the church.
In my last I offered you equal space in the E. 0. for relevant reply. You have not pleased to avail yourself thereof; but you address a letter to Mr. Green, intended for me. That is your method of indicating contempt for our littleness. Very well, that leaves me at liberty to deal with your writing in any way I please. But the pretended contempt is but hypocrisy. If it were real, you would let us pass unnoticed; but you get behind a mask to do us battle, pretending we are not worthy attention.
You grant that my last letter makes our position much less odious than you thought it, that position being that the kingdom in John iii. 5 is not the final kingdom of glory. Then you intimated that "rather rashly you took for granted" that our position was otherwise, on the ground that Mr. Pitman had said something different. But, as you in the same writing represent Mr. Green as saying what he has written to inform you he never said, I cannot receive your testimony. You had, however, not to do with Mr. Pitman, but with me; and I explained to you, when you wrote as "Manx Churchman," that the present kingdom, and not the future, is there intended. You are, therefore, without excuse. Then you say that King and Co. are under the mistaken notion that to baptize means to immerse, which it never does in Scripture, and never does properly at all." Now, sir, do you know a little volume called "The Book of Common Prayer?" That book contains the law by which priests in your church shall govern themselves in the administration of
baptism. It gives no permission to sprinkle water in any case. If it be certified that the child is weak, "it shall suffice to pour water upon it." But otherwise the priest "SHALL dip it in the water discreetly and warily." Still you deny that dipping or immersing is properly baptism. Then why do you remain in a church which requires you ordinarily to declare, in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, that to be baptism which you deny to be properly baptism at all? You not only do the thing, but you take in vain the name of God by declaring that you do it by His authority. That is, unless you reply that you never dip or immerse the child, but under all circumstances pour water. that case the sin differs, but is scarcely less. You profess to give your unfeigned assent and consent to the standards of your church, you are hired to carry out its ordinances as the State directs, and you set at naught its laws, which you are specially called to honour and protect. Why? Because the hireling cares for the fleece more than for the truth. Depend upon it, sir, that this common inconsistency of State Church priests, is the fruitful source of the infidelity of the land; and a fearful account they will have to give when they stand before the judgment seat of Christ. E're that time comes, may the grace of God change your heart and conduct.
There are two or three items still to notice, which time and space compel me to leave over for a few days. Yours with best wishes, DAVID KING.
MR. HENRY VARLEY.-Dear Sir, I was induced by your kind invitation to attend your revival service in the Mechanics' Hall last evening. Your sermon seemed to me to be divided into three parts-The truth, less than the truth, and more than the truth. You certainly stated much of the truth in very forcible language and apt illustrations. I was pleased to hear you speak so forcibly against mere feelings, and on behalf of the real knowledge of adoption and salvation. Your anti-parsonic dress, manner, and style of preaching is a great march in advance of preachers generally, and commended your laudable efforts to my warmest thanks: so much for the truth. I must now express great regret at hearing you preach less than the truth. You said, "as soon as the sinner believes on the Lord Jesus Christ he enters the Kingdom of Jesus and becomes a child of God." If you will turn to John iii. 5, you will find the Great Teacher preaching otherwise, and declaring the whole truth. You said, "the jailor was told to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and he should be saved;" but if you turn to Acts xvi. 30 to 34, there the Apostle preached the whole truth and informed the inquirer that he had something more to do than simply
You rightly said it was not believing that saved, but what was believed, I would like to add, neither is it partly believing that will save, but a full and willing acceptance of the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. Your statement respecting Jonah not being in the belly of the fish for sometime after his ejection from the ship was not made very clear by your comment on the weeds being wrapped about
his head, etc. I quite fail to find any trace of lapse of time, but think the Book of Jonah teaches that the mariners cast him overboard, the fish swallowed him, and there he remained three days and three nights.
Your allusion to believer's baptism was very well timed and truthful; you observed it was a burial into the death of Jesus Christ, and believere were buried and risen with Him. This, sir, is the truth. (See Rom. vi.) But now hear yourself utter more than the truth. You said, "but mind you do not misunderstand me, remember baptism is ONLY a figure." The Holy Spirit does not so teach. (See 1 Peter iii. 21.) To say ONLY is to advance more than the inspired Apostle. We are there told that baptism now saves us-but not ALONE, nor only. We are said to be saved by faith, but not alone or only, James ii. 20 and following; nor are sinners saved by anything only, not even ONLY by the blood of the Lamb. Nor would it do for us to say that He is only a sacrifice. Faith is only believing, and baptism only a figure, the word only is more than the truth. You stated, "that steam was not an invention, nor a discovery." If not a discovery who uncovered it, or did it uncover itself? In your finishing appeal you said, "I am labouring for Jesus not for denominationalism, I care not where the fruit of my labour goes-to the Church of England, or to the Methodists, or to Baptists, or anywhere else; I am here for no party purpose, but for the honour and service of the Lord Jesus Christ." I think, sir, this is a little more than the truth, I hope we may be permitted to compare this appeal to a flourish of trumpets.
Let me ask you, for a penitent inquiring sinner, whether he shall go and support a Church of England whose doctrines are (many of them) dead against your own, and the truth, for instance: Infant Sprinkling, Sponsorship, Confirmation, Priestly Absolution, and a Bishop Consecrated Priesthood?
As a seeker after the truth would you advise me to go to the Church of England? Perhaps not. I think Mr. Varley would care more for my soul and advise me not, but to try and find some holier fellowship. Would you advise me to go to the Methodists? If so, where is the consistency of your pleading for New Testament teaching? Do not they hold many traditions untaught in the sacred page-as Infant Sprinkling, Class Meetings, Ministerial Supremacy, Conference, Law Making, etc., etc.
advise me to go to the Unitarians? They profess to be a very reasonable religious people; or should I go to the Christadelphians, who profess to be the only Christian people on the earth? Do you not care where the convicted inquiring sinner goes as the fruit of your labour? Surely, sir, this is more than the truth and needs recalling, correcting, and not repeating. Well, did you compare certain people's heads to lumber rooms, saying, "it took us preachers much of our time to clear away this lumber before there is much room for the truth." I agree with you, but think, in this instance, you were guilty of adding lumber to the present stock by preaching less than the truth, and more than the truth. The truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, is, and should be the conscientious creed of every faithful follower of the Lamb. Wishing you health and peace, yours in the Kingdom of Jesus the Christ. Nottingham. R. MUMBY.
Observer, April 1, "76.
CAIRO TO JERUSALEM. (Palestine Contingent. From Letter, No. 3.) CAIRO to Jerusalem! Let it not in this instance be for the reason, " that a prophet cannot perish out of Jerusalem." Poor Jerusalem! It is often easier to get an evil reputation than to win golden opinions; but who shall tell what thou hast paid for a sad and sinful notoriety? What story shall vie with thine for painfully absorbing interest, and where shall we find contrasts so striking as are presented by thy history? Nineveh, Babylon, and Rome stand out as historic giants-gigantic in their life and in their death; but none is like unto thee! A city superlative alike in privilege and in calamity, in glowing expectation, and in blighted hopes! City of Samuel, David, and Solomon, and of Caiaphas, Pilate, and Judas! City of Mount Moriah and Calvary; of the Holy of Holies and Golgotha! The home of the Shekinah, and the scene of the murder of God's Beloved!
What notes of sublime melody have reverberated through thy courts, and echoed from thy walls! What tones of mercy and tenderness have arisen, with the incense of thy worship! What billows of rage and hate have rolled along thy streets, to be answered by wrathful thunders, mingled with the laughter of demons!
Oh! blind Jerusalem. Waiting through long centuries, longing and languishing for the voice of thy Lover-for the presence of thy true King-for the liberty, the privilege, and the glory of the Messianic reign! Yet, when He came the brightness of the Father's glory-the Prince of Peace, the Son of David; Jerusalem said "He hath a devil," and to her children's song of "Hosanna!" she howled the chorus of infuriated madness-" Away with Him! crucify, crucify Him!" And yet! and yet! "Love that no thought can reach," wept over Jerusalem! saying, if thou hadst known, even thou, in this thy day, the things which belong to thy peace; but now they are hid from thine eyes." "How long, O Lord! how long?" Until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled." "Until they shall say, 'Blessed is He that cometh in the name of the Lord!" The veil shall be taken away. The wanderer shall return and find rest; the alien have a place in the commonwealth. The night has been long and dark; but the dawn approacheth! The gloom has been resonant with weeping; but the morning shall break with song! "For, if the fall of them be the riches of the world, and the diminishing of them the riches of the Gentiles; how much more their fulness?" "If the casting away of them be the reconciling of the world, what shall the receiving of them be, but life from the dead?" "Blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in; and so all Israel shall be saved; as it is written, 'There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob; for this is My covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins." "O! the depth of the riches, both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments, and His ways past finding out!"
Therefore, let not sadness prevail, as you view the present desolation; nor suffer despondency to sigh, "Alas!" as you wander over Moriah, Olivet, and
Observer, April 1, '76.
Calvary; but let faith be strong and hope exultant, in the might of Him, who once led His chosen out of Egypt, and can, in the ripe time, gather the dispersed among the nations, and lead them to glorify His name, in the acknowledgment of His Son Jesus Christ. Nor forget, that Pentecost, of the "beginning at Jerusalem;" when the first and noblest triumph of the Gospel was achieved, and the Kingdom of Heaven opened to the sons of men. And now, "Excelsior"-onward and onward-from grace to glory-from the city of humiliation, to "Jerusalem the Golden," whose light streams from the throne of God and the Lamb. Glory! Hallelujah!
Intelligence of Churches, etc.
THE PALESTINE PILGRIMS.-Our Eastern travellers are making rapid and cheering progress; they are thoroughly enjoying themselves, and their unanimous testimony is that the various places of interest already visited far exceed their expectations and outrival their powers of description. The sail across the Channel from Folkestone to Boulogne was smooth, but cold. They reached Paris about five o'clock, and after visiting the various places of interest in that fashionable city they left on Thursday evening, Feb. 10, travelling all night, and the next day they passed through the Alps. Here the scenery was grand; the mountain peaks, capped with snow, rising above the clouds and glistening in the sun.
After riding in the train for twenty-two hours they reached Turin late on Friday evening, and the next day they started for beautiful Florence. This city was reached at a quarter to seven, and time was spent in visiting its picture galleries, paintings and sculpture, for which the city is famous. Here the first Lord's day was spent, and, con equently, they gathered around the table of the Lord to "remember Him." On Monday they started for Rome, and in the evening they sighted the dome of St. Peter's away in the distance; at this, three hearty cheers were given. Two days were spent in the Eternal City, visiting St. Peter's, St. Paul's, the Catacombs, Forum, Palace of the Caesars, and all other places of interest. Wednesday, they starte l for Naples. Reaching there, they took a trip to the buried City of Pompeii, and trod the very streets that were trodden by the Romans 1800 years ago. On Friday, the 18th February, they embarked in the steamship Egitto for Alexandria. The weather was beautifully calm, and scarcely any waves; nevertheless some of the party were a little affected in the way that is common to sailors of a certain kind. They reached Alexandria in safety on Wednesday morning, Feb. 23, and from thence proceeded to Cairo. Here, then, we leave them for the present busily engaged in visiting that very interesting country, and we thank our heavenly Father for His goodness and mercy to them thus far, and pray that He may still continue to watch over them and keep them in perfect peace. The second Lord's day was spent on the Mediterranean. Here, too, the Lord's death was celebrated. B. ELLIS.
WALSHVILLE, ILL-A few days since an aged
lady, seventy years old, attended the meeting on Lord's day; although having lived so long without any profession of rel gion, during the discourse she wept like a child. Returning to her home, four or five miles distant, she sent word for us to come out to her house the following Tuesday, and preach again, as she was too feeble to attend church. This we gladly did, a number of the brethren from Walshville accompanying us. When we arrived at this place we found she had called together her "kinsmen, and near friends" to hear of Jesus, so that the house was filled. The circumstances suggested the incident at the household of Cornelius in Cesarea, which we read and commented on. The aged mother sat in her accustomed chair by the broad fire place, and listened with deep interest to the discourse. At the close, when we gave invitation for those who desired to confess the Saviour of sinners, to do so, she rose and came forward with tottering step, and in answer to the usual question, responded with great earnestness, "I do! I do! I do!" We then repaired to a stream near by to attend to the ordinance of baptism. Rising from the symbolic grave, she exclaimed, "Lord, help me to live a Christian life!" She was placed in a conveyance and speedily taken to her home, and was lifted into the house by the strong and willing hands of dutiful sons. Many of the friends remained in the afternoon a few hours, and spent the time in singing some of the beautiful songs of Zion, in which she engaged with great zest. was very partial to Bro. Shaw's "Golden Sheaves "one of the songs not born to die-which she raised herself, and led with a strong voice. We left her rejoicing in the hope of the gospel, and confidently expect, should we reach the land immorta, to see old mother Jordan among the "golden sheaves" gathered from the harvest fields of time.
BEDLINGTON.—For a number of years a few immersed believers have assembled every Lord's-day for the breaking of the bread and mutual edification in a small chapel, or room, in Bedlington; seating about eighty persons. Of late the little church has gradually increased and, without soliciting the world for aid, has erected a commodious chapel in the main road, at a cost of about £900. The erection is of stone and brick, perfectly plain, having at the back a small school room, which opens into the chapel when needed for larger audiences than usual. Saturday, March 11, C. Abercrombie, from Edinburgh, and D. King, of Birmingham, arrived to render aid in the opening services. On Saturday evening the chapel was really opened for worship, though the meeting was only announced to the church, members being invited to assemble for prayer. A happy meeting was addressed by C. Abercrombie, and the baptistery was also used, and a young man, a son of one of the members, was immersed into Christ. On the following morning, the chapel was comfortably filled, brethren being present from Newcastle, Shields. and other near places. R. Metcalf, of Bedlington, presided at the Lord's table. After the breaking of the bread, the prayers and the fellowship, D. King and C. Abercrombie discoursed upon the blessedness of those who know the pardon of sins, and upon topics connected therewith. In the evening, chapel and school room (opened into one) were crowded, many people going away. D. King preached on the Death of Christ. On Monday