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own choice, obey Him or His Son; that they would comply with the conditions of justification, and so be saved. These were the persons "whom He foreknew." They were, therefore, ideal not actual persons. They existed in prothesis, not in fact; still all that God did of them was as real as though they had been actual persons.
"Foreknow" is here to be taken with a single qualification. It must denote more than the naked act of being cognizant of. For in this sense, of course, God foreknew everybody; yet He did not predetermine everybody. It must denote both knowing and accepting. God foresaw that certain persons in the prothesis would obey His will. These were the persons He foreknew. But besides foreknowing them, He also approved and accepted them. The Saviour thus uses the words in the following passage: "Then will I profess to them, I never knew you; depart from Me, you that work iniquity." (Matt. vii. 23.) Besides mere knowing, the word here also means approving and accepting.
He also predetermined. He predetermined at the period when He foreknew and predetermined the persons whom He foreknew. All this occurred in prothesis. The persons whom He foreknew were the persons who He foresaw would do His will, whether before Christ or under Him, the redeemed. But He did not foreknow these and accept them because of His predetermination that they should obey Him. In the matter of their obedience, He left them wholly uninfluenced by any predetermining act of His; that is, He left them free. Yet He foresaw that they would do His will; and it was because of this, their own voluntary act, that He predetermined them. In other words, their obedience was not determined by His act of predetermination; but His act of predetermination was determined by their voluntary act of obedience. Had He not foreseen their act, His act would never have taken place.
To be of a form like the form of His Son. The reference is to the resurrection. When the prothesis was before God, He foresaw that certain persons would, when the opportunity was presented, become His children. These in purpose He accepted. Moreover, He then determined, which of course was an act of predetermination relatively to the thing determined, that in the resurrection their bodies should be of the same form as the glorious body of His Son. As He was predetermined to be like them before He went into the grave, so they were predetermined to be like Him after they come out of it. Thus it will be seen that in the prothesis the Father placed before Him, not only the resurrection of Christ, but also the very form He should wear
Observer, Jan. 1, '76.
after it. Nor was this all. He there also determined that this form should be the bodily form of all His children.
The reader will notice that I am a little free in rendering the clause in hand. My object is, while trying to be true to the original, to present the thought in a form which shall be intelligible to the ordinary reader, which is what he does not find in many translations of the passage. It is quite common to be so slavishly literal as to be hopelessly dark. This extreme I am willing to avoid.
That He might be the first-born among many brethren. The eis here is certainly telic; and the word first-born is designed to express, not so much the mere fact of being the first-born, as the honour and distinction of the fact. In all things pertaining to the family of God, Christ is to have the pre-eminence. He is the first-born from the grave; and to Him therefore belongs the honours of the first-born Son. Among these honours is that of giving the form of His glorified body to all the redeemed. His body is the type; and all their bodies will take shape after it.
And whom He predetermined, them He also called. Let the reader keep in mind that nothing here said is said of actuals. Every thing yet is in the prothetic form. The purposing is real; but, both the things purposed and the things to be affected by them, were all yet far in the future. "Them He also called: that is, He called them in purpose. Not that He called them in any special sense or special way, or that He called them and not others; for this is neither asserted nor implied. But He called them, if before Christ, by the preaching of prophets and other righteous men; or if under Christ by the Gospel; and just as He called them, so He called all, the difference being that they voluntarily accepted, while the others wilfully rejected.
But why, it may be asked, call those who God foresaw would reject? That it might appear in the judgment that He had made no difference; that He had made the same provision for all, the same tender to all, had left all alike free, and that each of his own accord, and with no discriminating influence from Him, had chosen his own destiny. Otherwise, God could not be vindicated against the charge of arbitrary partiality. Again: all must be called to enable Him to foresee who would accept and who not.
But it has been said, that it would have been better not to create man than that any should be lost and, accordingly, the question has been sharply put. Why did God create, if He foresaw that some would reject the call and be lost? But the objector does not know that it would have been better not to create; and he is estopped
Observer, Jan. 1, '76.
from making his ignorance the test of the fact. As to why God created the human race, I do not know, and not knowing, shall not affect to say. And whom He called, them He also justified. Still spoken, not of actual, but of prothetic per"Whom He called," and called just as He called those whom He did not justify." "He called "--this was God's act, what He did in carrying out His predetermination; but this done, He paused. And now those called accepted; while the others in precisely the same circumstances willed to reject. Upon this acceptance, which consisted in the obedience of belief, God justified them, remitted their sins, and henceforward held them as just. Now what here took place prothetically far back in eternity, is precisely what is now actually taking place every day under Christ.
And whom He justified, them He also glorified. He glorified in purpose, not actually but the justification is just as certain as though it had occurred of actually existing persons. All things stood prothetically before God-the Redeemer, the Gospel, the human family, the saved, the lost. As to the saved, the first act was the act of foreknowing, the act of pre-cognition and acceptance; and the last act, that of glorification. To exhaust these extremes, together with all the intermediate steps, would be to exhaust the Gospel. Of course nothing of this sort can be attempted here.
The two great errors into which many expositors have fallen, who have undertaken the interpretation of the present section, consist, first, in assuming that an act of foreknowledge necessarily implies an act of unalterable pre-fixture by decree of every fact of human life; and, secondly, that the predicates of the section, as called "justified," "glorified," are said of actual human beings. If the reader will only consent to free his mind from these two errors, he will find no serious trouble in discovering the meaning of, perhaps, the sublimest passage in the letter; but unless he does this, he will find it an hopeless enigma. The ordinary modes of explaining. the passage neither extract a ray of light from it, nor shed a ray of light upon it. The word prothesis, as already said, is the clue which leads us into the whole secret of the passage. moment we lose sight of this word, the passage ceases to be explicable; while with it, its meaning opens brightly out.
THE THRONE OF POWER.
THE God whose splendour of essential light
Where glories, which no mortal eye could bear,
A voice out from the Highest did proceed:
The king who makes his people so abhorred,
The prophets to confirm the king's desire.
And through the harness joints the arrow tore,
Spirits of force malignant still inspire,
One cries, "We have a Church, so old and grand,
With one great head and pastures of repose,
Come rather to cathedral forest aisle,
Come to the living fields and sounding flood;
In such communion seek for holy rest,
And drink the streaming life from mother's breast.
For even on her breast with death we strive.
In midnight masses. Thou art all divine !
(To be concluded in our next.)
Intelligence of Churches.
DISCUSSION ON BAPTISM-LINDAL.-The discussion which I mentioned in my last item of news as likely to be held has at length taken place. It originated in a boastful, and by no means respectful, challenge given by the Rev. L. O. Lewis, clergyman of the parish, at the close of an interview which it had become necessary to have with him in consequence of a slanderous statement he was reported to have made against some members of
Observer, Jan. 1, '76.
the Church meeting in the new chapel, with the manifest object of turning against us the person to whom the defamatory statement was made. At that interview, after denying the slander, and promising to clear himself from the charge, as well as from the imputation of falsehood, which the persistent testimony of the person to whom the statement was made tended to fix upon him (which promise up to the time of writing this he has not taken one step to fulfil), the rev. gentleman threw out the challenge referred to, saying he was ready to meet any man we could bring to discuss the subject of Baptism. Having expressed himself strongly about some statements in a paper published by Mr. David King, of Birmingham, concerning the State Church, the Church in Lindal concluded to ask Mr. King if he were at liberty to accept the challenge. Mr. King, though surrounded with many other important engagements, kindly consented to stand in defence of New Testament truth; and we have abundant reason to rejoice that he did so, after some delay occasioned by difficulty in gaining the consent of Mr. Lewis to any reasonable extent of time, he insisting upon two questions-viz.: The action and Subject of Baptism-being limited to two evenings. The debate was announced, and admission secured by a card, headed, "This ticket is only to be used on the condition that the holder of it shall in no way interrupt the proccedings." We have no wish to narrate the circumstances which made it necessary to make this stipulation for propriety of behavior. Their character will not be difficult to divine by those who witnessed the conduct of Mr. Lewis and a certain class of his adherents during the discussion. On the third night the chairman's authority was openly put at nought by the rev. gentleman. The scene which followed fully confirmed statements made to me of similar doings here before I came into the district. Mr. King he designated a "bully," and on my simply handing to Mr. King a copy of the New Testament translated by a dignitary of his own Church, the late highly-esteemed Dean Alford, he seemed to lose both head and conscience, and perpetrated two unmitigated falsehoods. The first, that I had been all through the discussion handing up papers to Mr. King, which thing I not only did not once do on any night of the debate, but never intended to do, nor felt any necessity for doing. The second falsehood was that five or six of them had been assisting Mr. King all through, whereas he had been alone. I rose on his thus publicly accusing me, to demand his proof. But no; The chair having been set aside I was (shall I use his own term) "bullied " down by him and a select portion of his supporters. I mistake the appearance of a number of thoughtful-looking persons, who seemed on the gentleman's side of the question, if they were not ashamed and grieved at the conduct I have described. The debate was held in Mr. Lewis's own schoolroom, estimated as holding 400 sittings, but it was calculated that certainly not less than 700 persons were present, especially on the last night; possibly enlarged accommodation had been provided by opening another part of the building. There were present each night bands of people from Barrow, Dalton, Askam, Kirkby, Ulverstone, and other outlying places that I cannot name. The interest increased to the close, and some thoughtful persons regretted that other four nights could not then be given to the examination of the remaining Scriptures relating to the topics discussed. The arrangement was that Mr. Lewis should affirm on both topics. On the first topicviz., that pouring and sprinkling are as valid baptism as immersion, Mr. Lewis at the outset (and so far in harmony with his own Church service) stated his conviction that we are certainly right in our practice of immersion, and he repeated this statement frequently through the course of the debate, claiming only that we
Observer, Jan. 1, '76.
INTELLIGENCE OF CHURCHES.
should admit that they were, or might be, also right, or, if wrong, only a little wrong. I think these were the very words in which he expressed his position. It is not my intention to present a sketch of the course of argument. If needed, probably another will do this. But I do not hesitate to affirm that generally the impression of those who carefully followed the course of the argument was that Mr. Lewis was sigually defeated in his attempt to maintain the validity of sprinkling and pouring as Christian baptism. Before leaving the platform, and on the way to our lodgings persons came to Mr. King to express their gratitude to him for the sound exposition of God's Word to which they had listened from his lips, at the same time telling us they were not Baptists. A neighbouring clergyman who was present also admitted to a friend from Kirkby that Mr. Lewis had sustained a crushing defeat." The second topic, that the baptism of babes is according to Scripture, was discussed, so far as Mr. King was concerned, under most disadvantageous circumstances. night of the debate that Mr. Lewis gave the signal for It was on the third general disorder by openly setting at defiance the authority of the chair. He said he had been made to promise to behave himself like a good boy (there had been reason to extort the promise), but he would no longer be bound; the chairman should keep time, but should not interfere between him and Mr. King. Some of his friends near me expanded the license to the extent that the chairman had no authority to preserve order in the audience. Hence Mr. King had considerable difficulty to obtain a hearing that night. Uproar at almost every speech, and not one audible or perceptible effort on the part of Mr. Lewis to quell the unfair conduct of his people. Mr. Lewis and his supporters, of course, thus made it evident how keenly they felt the defeat on the action of baptism, and how fearful they were of a similar issue on the proper subject of baptism if Mr. King were allowed a hearing. Our brethren, although tested as I have in part described, never once through the whole debate interrupted Mr. Lewis, and so far as I could observe, our Baptist friends observed the same decorum. Our sincere desire was that he should be heard with every advantage, and we did our part to secure it. On the last night, during the earlier part of the time, there was comparative quiet; but as the points of Mr. King's argument penetrated; disorder again and again ruled, until the chairman had to shame Mr. Lewis into an effort to secure a hearing. In his closing speech Mr. Lewis seemed anxious that the audience should take his view of the conclusion of the whole matter-viz., that the discussion had been useless; that we were at the close just where we were at the beginning. But the chairman did not share this view of the case. discussion was concluded, in a calm, deliberate, and After the impressive speech, he told the audience that he had come there not merely to discharge the duties of the chair, but with a sincere and earnest desire to ascertain the truth, and that he, at least, had received enlightenment, and thanked God for it. From which side he had received it he would not say there and here, in this paper, I will not say, as it will be better to leave the gentleman to make his own statement, if he so pleases. Bat other testimonies to the efficacy of the discussion in dispelling false impressions of our teaching, and in creating convictions of the unscripturalness of baptism without faith in the subject, have come in upon us from many quarters during the few days which have elapsed since it was concluded. At the conclusion of the discussion persons unknown to us came forward to ask if we had employed a reporter, as they had seen several persons apparently engaged in taking down the speeches of the debatants, and on hearing that we had not, expressed their regret that they could not have in a perma
nent form what they considered valuable expositions of Christian truth. We at Lindal and Kirkby share in that regret, and unite to request Mr. King to favour us by doing the next best thing-viz., reproduce and print abstracts of such parts of the debate as may tend still further to disabuse the public mind of the misconceptions created by the rev. gentleman and those who act with him. May we suggest especially those parts which set forth the truth concerning the remission of sins-viz., "By what it was procured," and "How it is enjoyed?" I am also sure that what was said on the origin and nature of the Church was appreciated, but the time was too short to do full justice to a theme so important. If I understood Mr. Lewis, he seemed to confound the Church with the world-perhaps a necessity of his position. In his estimate we were not willing that "the children of the devil" and "the pharisees," because children of the kingdom "-the tares and the wheat of the parable he referred to-should grow together in the Church until the harvest. Certainly the Lord saves us from such a wretchedly incongruous state of things by plainly declaring that "the field is the World." Might I add, the answer to the argument which Mr. Lewis sought to gain from our Lord's assurance that "of such is the kingdom of heaven," would, I think, be generally useful, and specially so to candid Churchmen who may not agree with Mr. Lewis in the unchurchly opposition to his own church service, which Mr. King so plainly exposed. In conclusion, we did not seek the debate-did not desire it; we had other and more congenial work to do in a wide district-work which God has signally blessed. But now, on looking back upon it, we thank God that it has occurred, rejoice in the fruit already gained from it in spiritual blessing to many, and, confidently anticipating a still wider spread of New Testament Christianity, address ourselves again to our work in the Gospel with increased vigour and enlarged hope. A word concerning the chairman, Mr. Thos. Troughton, the highly-esteemed Temperance agent of Ulverstone, a member of the Wesleyan Society, and who has the reputation of an eloquent local preacher. It is only bare justice to him to say that under very testing circumstances he did duty like a high-principled and honourable man. Kirkby.-On my return here on December 4th, I WM. MCDOUGALL. baptized two young men. W. M.
H. S. EARL.-In a report of "The General Convention at Louisville, U. S., we are informed that H. S. Earl, who was present, was commended to the grace of God by prayer and the hand of fellowship as a missionary to England. This Convention is for missionery purposes, but as yet has done little or nothing in foreign mission work. The report adds, that this young ard enthusiastic society said to H. S. E., "Go, and we pledge ourselves to stand by you to the extent of our ability. So he goes under the auspices of our Foreign Missionery Society." The General Evangelist Committtee, in this country, hearing of his intended arrival in Liverpool, deemed it well, with two or three others, to ask an interview, which was willingly accorded, and agreeably had, particulars of which will most likely be prepared in a few days by one to whom the same was committed. The intention of H. S. E. is to labour in the South of England and he has turned his attention to Southampton for inspection.
ANNAN. We are having good meetings here. Seven have decided for Jesus, and others are almost persuaded. TUNBRIDGE WELLS. We have been refreshed by a W. HINDLE. visit from our Evangelist Joseph Adam, extending over four Lord's days, resulting in stirring up the hearts of the brethren to greater diligence, and in the baptism of two, who made the good confession. S. T.
BRIGHTON.-The church meeting in Ship Street Chapel, Union Street, dwells in love and peace. We are glad to report the immersion of the youngest son of Bro. Still, this being the last of the family who have put on the Lord by conforming to His requirements. We have also received two, formerly immersed, who have learnt the Lord's way more perfectly. Joseph Adam (Evangelist) is expected here during the first month of the new year, when we trust by a united and energetic effort the cause will be augmented unto the glory of God. H. S. SPITTAL. On the evening of the 25th of November we celebrated the fourth anniversary of the opening of our chapel. We were favoured with a visit from Bren. Watson and Scott (Newcastle) and Aiken (Edinburgh), who delivered excellent and useful addresses. We were enlivened by a selection of music, and notwithstanding unfavourable weather we had a good and deeply interested company. Bro. Scott continued with us about ten days, and preached to large and appreciative audiences. J. R.
BALLARAT (Dawson Street).-Our meetings continue fairly attended. We have pleasure in reporting that a man and his wife have just confessed the faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, and united themselves with His followers. For several years they had disregarded the claims of religion and lived in a state of indifference, owing to the influence of unscriptural teaching. Now they rejoice in the assurance that He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life." C. MARTIN.
SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES.-After looking, waiting, and working with the best means we can command, there seems to be an awakening interest. We have recently had the good confession from four, whom we have baptized into Christ.
MANNING RIVER.-Our little church now numbers twenty-five, walking in peace and love, with a Sunday school of eighteen scholars. Two of our members have fallen asleep in Jesus. None of us seem able publicly to proclaim the truth, but we do what we can by tracts, &c. We now send you an order for pamphlets, tracts, &c., for that purpose. J. N. AUCKLAND.-Owing to the exertions of Capt. Stewart, of Dunedin, who travels from port to port, in the colony, we have a co-operative arrangement by which the churches in the north of New Zealand have been able to sustain an Evangelist (E. Lewis) for the last twelve months, with cheering results, at Wellington, Wanganui, Auckland, and at the Thames Goldfield, about forty miles distant. The tangible result has been, in Auckland, besides confirming the brethren in the faith, a total of fifty-one additions. This, with fourteen at Albertland (the result of the labours of a few scattered brethren who meet at each other's houses, some of them six or ten miles apart), make a total of sixty-five addition in Auckland. Of these, ten wer a small open communion congregation, who all, with only one exception, determined to conform to the "wholesome words of our Lord Jesus Christ." They have had six immersions, one restoration, and six transferred from us; now numbering twenty-three. At the Thames Goldfield there was a great movement; but Bro. Lewis could stay no longer. We are striving to keep up the interest. Bro. Caleb Wallis paid them a visit. Bro. Blood is there now, and we have word of seven immersions to take place. Bro. Lewis resides in Nelson province, and has been a disciple twenty-two years. His experience in the school of Christ has taught him humility, and given him great boldness in the truth. His clear, unflinching exposition, coupled with ready courtesy, make him a power his adversaries can neither gainsay nor resist.
Observer, Jan, 1, '76.
AUSTRALIA (ADELAIDE).--During the last month three have obeyed the Gospel. They have been added to the Church. T. J. G. Hindmarsh.-In the kind providence of our Heavenly Father, H. D. Smith has arrived from Melbourne to succeed me in my duties. I am therefore now engaged in the open field, and have commenced operations in connection with the church at Norwood. The committee desire churches needing help to intimate the same to W. H. Taylor or to myself. During the past month eight have been added to our number; seven by faith and obedience, and one by commendation.
Port Adelaide.-The readers of the Pioneer were informed the month before last of the arrival in this colony from Melbourne, just at the time of going to press, of W. H. Martin, of America. He entered upon his new sphere of labour by preaching in the Town Hall on Lord's day, August 8, to an audience of over 300.
G. W. S.
Hotham, Sept. 21.-Since our last notice in the A. C. Pioneer for July we have to report eighteen additions, nine being by commendation and nine by submission to the Saviour's commands. M. W. GREEN.
Lygon Street, Carlton.-A tea and public meeting was held in the chapel on September 2nd, having a twofold object in view. The first, to welcome H. L. Geeslin, who arrived from America by last mail; and the second, to bid farewell to H. D. Smith, who was about to leave for South Australia. About 400 sat down to tea, and at the public meeting the chapel was crowded. A goodly number from all the surrounding churches attended. The meeting was addressed by Brn. Adams, W. Robertson, M. W. Green, J. P. Wright, H. L. Geeslin, and H. D. Smith. The speakers, in speaking words of farewell to Bro. Smith, testified to his worth as a brother and his earnestness and faithfulness as a preacher and a teacher, and expressed the desire that he might be useful in the new sphere of labour to which he was going. The deacons of the Church presented an address to him, expressing their appreciation of the valuable services rendered to the Church during the period of his stay amongst us. A. T. Wedderburn, September 20, 1875.-It is with pleasure I record, through the Pioneer, that another young sister has confessed Christ, and was yesterday immersed into His name. J. L. S.
NATHAN HARRISON was born in 1809. His father was a Congregational minister, who suffered for having "the courage of his opinions." When a young man Nathan came to Staleybridge, and was led somehow to the Scotch Baptist Church in Ashton-under-Lyme, and was baptized on Lord's Day, November 19, 1837, in the river, near Dukenfield Bridge. I well remember, though only a boy, how ou the Lord's Day he would stand up to edify the church. Naturally timid and retiring, the perspiration would stand in large drops on his forehead while speaking, but in time he partly overcame that nervousness, and from his well stored mind he brought forth treasures new and old. He made no attempts at eloquence, but his words were with power, for he studied the Scriptures. He was kind, hospitable, and apt to teach. During his residence in Huddersfield more than twenty years ago, he gained the esteem and affection of the Brotherhood there, and was one of the few who commenced the church in Manchester. He was an upright man, rigidly conscientious, and loving truth. He was often called eccentric, but his eccentricity was the result of earnest endeavour to carry out the injunction, "Be not conformed to this world, but be ye transformed by the renewing of your