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In every sense the Lamb is the light and glory of the New Jerusalem. No one will doubt that He is figuratively, but is He literally the light of the heavenly city? We are told there will be no need of sun or moon, "for the glory of God did lighten it and the Lamb is the light thereof."
What faintly shone on earth before
Now beams and shines for ever more.
We learn that the earth was lightened with the unveiled glory of an angel. (Rev. xviii. 1.) When a little of the glory of the Lord was permitted to shine on the plains of Bethlehem, the shepherds were sore afraid. When our Saviour was transfigured, there was seen a little of the glory, with which He is now arrayed, and it is said, "His face did shine as the sun, and His raiment was white as the light." According to Peter (2 Ep. i. 16), it is evident that in the transfiguration, the Apostles had a representation of what the power and coming of the Lord Jesus will be. If while in His mortal state on the Mount, He was so clothed with glory, that His face shone as the sun, how must that face be clothed with glory now, and how will it shine in the heavenly Jerusalem.-American paper.
Bright home of saints Jerusalem!
Thy glory is the Lamb of God
His bosom is thy rest.
Observer, Feb. 1, '76.
means the one can only be a very imperfect image of the other.-Moses Stewart.
The New Jerusalem is named, with an evident reference to the Tabernacle of the Old Covenant, "the Tabernacle of God with men." (Rev. xxi. 3.) That which was merely a moveable and portable tent during Israel's wanderings in the wilderness, and afterwards became a temple of Cedar, now appears, in the vision granted to the seer of the New Testament, as a strong city, which the imagination of interpreters has in vain attempted to describe. That symbol, and this vision express the same conception, as it appears in different stages of its development. The dwelling of God with his people still bears an imperfect character in the tabernacle, and the temple; for not only is the dwelling place of God, still separated from the dwelling places of His people, but that separation is moreover maintained by the necessity which exists that human mediators should intervene. Christianity has already effaced the distinction between the priest and the people, so that the court of the temple may now be said to constitute a part of the Sanctuary-all have become priests, and may always approach the mercyseat. Still, the distinction established between the Sanctuary, and the Holiest of all, continues to exist, as we are yet walking by faith, not by sight. But this distinction also will be abolished in the consummated state of the Kingdom of God. "The Tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them."
But the august vision of the seer admits also of a further, and a retrospective application; the heavenly Jerusalem realizes not only the conception involved in the Tabernacle, but also fulfils and completes the one set forth in Paradise, for "in the midst of the street of it is the tree of life." (Rev. xxii. 2; Gen. ii. 9; iii. 22.) And thus it harmoniously combines in itself the beginning, the middle, and the end of the Kingdom of God.-Kurtz, Sacred History, p. 434.
We will turn aside for a moment to notice the number Four. Every attentive, reader must have observed how frequently this number occurs in connection with the Tabernacle. Now four whenever symbolically used in Scripture, is the number of the world. Four is stamped everywhere. There are four elements-fire, air, earth, and water. The points of the compass are four. There are four seasons, and four grand divisions of the earth. In the Scriptures we have four living creatures, emblems of all creaturely life, and each of them with four faces, and four wings; four beasts coming up out of the sea, represent the four great world empires; the four metals composing the image,
Observer, Feb. 1, '76.
sets forth the same phases of empire; the enumeration, wherever this is wished to be exhaustive, of the inhabitants of the world, is by four, namely, kindred, tongues, peoples, and nations.-Dr. Seiss.
We ask, then, what can be the meaning of the constant recurrence of this number in things pertaining to God's Sanctuary? Does it not point to the world as the Lord's, and to the time when the kingdoms of this world will become the Kingdom of the Messiah?
The position of the Tabernacle was itself significant; it stood in the very centre of the camp. The priests were its body-guard; and around it, three on each side, were arranged the Twelve Tribes. Was not this typical of the time when God's Kingdom should be visible on earth, and when He shall dwell in that blessed centre the New Jerusalem, with the nations gathered around Him? (Rev. xxi. 1, 2; Lev. xxvi. 11, 12; Ez. xxxvii. 27, 28.)
Jesus shall reign where'er the sun
His Kingdom stretch from shore to shore,
Baptism is an ordinance of God, enjoined upon every disciple of Jesus, emblematical and symbolical, in which the great truths of the Gospel and their reception by the believer are proclaimed, but not accomplished.
THAT Baptism is an ordinance of God--that Christian Baptism is the immersion of the body in water, in the name, by the authority, of Jesus, into the name, into subjection to the authority, openly confessed and professed, of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit-all interested in this discussion will, I think, acknowledge. Further, that it is enjoined upon and incumbent upon every disciple of Christ, upon every one who has accepted Jesus of Nazareth, the only begotten Son of God, as Saviour, through faith in Him, we are all agreed. But in proceeding to consider the other terms of the proposition heading this letter, I ask the reader's attention whilst we notice the meaning of the terms emblematical and symbolical. Both of these words are derived from the Greek - emblem from emblemma, the act of gazing upon, something seen; and symbol, from symbola, a sign. The ideas conveyed by these words, although closely allied, are not exactly the same. The two ordinances of the Christian Dispensation, Baptism and the Lord's Supper, are said to be
emblematical, inasmuch as by things which are seen they picture to the mind things which cannot be seen. As in the Supper the bread broken and the wine poured out are emblems (something seen) representing in symbol the body broken and the blood shed on Calvary more than 1800 years since, so with the ordinance of Baptism the water is the emblem, the visible element which, by the nature of its action on the body immersed in it, represents in symbol the purification of the soul from the pollution of sin. Further, we find in Scripture the action of immersion, the lowering of the body into the water, its submersion and subsequent emmersion -represented as a beautifully significant symbol of burial and resurrection, which the believer is thereby taught in faith to anticipate, and, realizing, to walk in holiness of life as if they were accomplished facts. It is, further, an act. of confession and profession on the part of the baptized confession of sin and need of a Saviour, profession of faith in and submission to Jesus as Saviour, and acknowledgment of the great mystery of Godliness, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, into whose name the believer is immersed. All these truths, and other collateral ones, are set forth in various passages of Scripture. Thus we have Baptism into not only the actual element, but into emblematically, symbolically, and as an act of profession illustrated variously, in the fourteen cases in which the term is used in the New Testament as follows: -Baptism into (1) Repentance; (2) into Remission of Sins; (3) into the Jordan; (4) into the Name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit ; (5) into the Name of the Lord Jesus; (6) into John's Baptism; (7) into Jesus Christ; (8) into His Death; (9) into Death; (10) into the name of Paul; (11) into mine own name (Paul's); (12) into Moses; (13) into One Body; (14) into Christ. In all these cases, however differently it may be rendered in our English version, the phrase in the original is the same-Baptize or Baptism into (eis). Literally and actually it can only take place by the immersion of a body into a liquid; but figuratively-symbolically, or as an expression of discipleship-it is said to take place into the object or subject named. Not one of the great truths of the Gospel is in one way or other proclaimed or set forth in this ordinance; yet neither Repentance, Remission of Sins, Union with Christ, Death, nor Resurrection are accomplished or bestowed upon the believer in its administration. This leads me at once to review the position taken up in my first letter, and to join issue with the statement that Baptism" includes the remission of sins, change of state, and consequent change of relationship to Father, Son, and Holy Spirit." It is a relief
for simple minds to turn from the ingenious theories of subtle intellects to the plain words of the Lord Jesus. These are designed, not for the wise and prudent, but for those who in understanding are as babes. My first proposition is The pardon of sins is received by the repentant believer whenever he believes in the Lord Jesus. That is a plain proposition, and admits of plain proof. Let us look at it. John iii. 15: The Son of man must be lifted up, in order that (hina) whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. 16: God gave his only begotten Son in order that, whosoever believeth in him should not perish but have everlasting life. 36: He that believeth on the Son hath (possesses) everlasting life. v. 24: Verily, verily I say unto you, he that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation but is passed from death unto life. vi. 47: Verily, verily I say unto you he that believeth on me hath everlasting life 40: This is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son and believeth on him may have everlasting life. Well, I would think these very words of the Lord Jesus Himself ought to have weight with His Disciples, we have these truths enunciated as eternal verities with the most solemn and pointed asseveration, repeated again and again, whosoever, every one, that believeth in Jesus, shall not perish-hath or possesses eternal life, shall not come into condemnation, is passed from death unto life-the belief and the salvation are simultaneous, the same mood and tense, employed to describe both, linked inseparably together, co-existent, independent of all conditionalism, it is in vain to insinuate doubt by the expression. "Were it certain He rightly interprets these words," Truth is its own interpreter, I appeal to the understandings and consciences of all who love the Lord Jesus-if these words can possibly bear two interpretations-as futile is the insinuation that they are antiquated and obsolete, "uttered under the old dispensation." What! did not Jesus say He should be lifted up that all who believed in Him should be saved? Is it pretended that this referred to those who believed in Him only before He was lifted up? Has it come to this, that we are to pick and choose among the doctrines of the great Teacher-to manipulate, interpollate or suppress--to toss aside whatever does not fit into our theories asserting one saying had reference to after years and others to that day only? Why then were these things placed on record? What does the writer of them mean? When he says (John xx. 31) "These are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and
Observer, Feb. 1, '76.
that believing ye might have life through his name. Was it then under the old dispensation that this same writer, somewhere about A.D. 90, penned these words, "Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God." "These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God that ye may know that ye have eternal life." Was it under the old dispensation that Paul declared (Acts xiii. 39), "By Him all that believe, are justified," or that Peter asserted (x. 43), Whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins. Not one word in all this of baptism, it has its place, and its purpose it was instituted in wisdom by Him who made man-and woe to those who despise, reject, are ashamed of, or trifle with any command of the Most High God, it is essential for all the purposes for which it was instituted, but these do not include the remission of sins, the forgiveness of sins is dependent upon simple, heartfelt trust in the Lord Jesus. It is the instantaneous consequence of faith in Him, not simply belief, that the message is true, belief about Him, Felix believed that, when he trembled but faith in Him, as a personal Saviour for the personal sinner. Let us, just to make this plain, contrast the doctrines maintained by those specially calling themselves Disciples, with those enunciated by Him who is Lord and Master. In last issue of the Observer we have them formulated thus
1. THE LOVE OF GOD-Originating cause. 2. THE DEATH OF JESUS-Meritorious and Procuring cause.
3. FAITH AND REPENTANCE-Qualifying cause. 4. BAPTISM-Receiving cause.
Contrasted with this the statement of Jesus stands (John iii. 14-17.)
1. THE LOVE OF GOD-Originating cause. "God loved the world."
2. THE DEATH OF JESUS-Meritorious cause. "The Son of Man must be lifted up." 3. FAITH IN JESUS-Receiving cause. "In
order that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life." "Whether it be right in the sight of God to hearken unto you more than unto God, judge, ye."
"I am reminded there were those that believed in Jesus but did not confess_Him, but there were those that believed in Jesus and confessed Him and called themselves Disciples; yet Jesus did not believe in them, for He knew what was in them: He made, and by the hands of His disciples baptized disciples; but there were amongst them those whose faith was not perfect, for in spite of profession-notwithstanding image and superscription, and a fair appearance of genuine metal, the coin was base at the core, it
Observer, Feb. 1, '76.
was a spurious, superficial, unreal thing. He who looketh upon the heart would have none of them, and He has testified of them that at the last He will reject them in the presence of angels and men. Depart from Me, I never knew you." I care not whether baptism be the stumbling-block or the fear of man, or the doctrine of Christ, whatever it be that stumbles the semi-earnest soul away from Jesus-His words shall be found true in their sad experience, "Whosoever is ashamed of Me and of My words of him shall the Son of Man be ashamed when He cometh in the glory of His Father." "Whosoever shall deny Me before men, him will I also deny before My Father, who is in heaven." But equally is the converse true. "Whosoever shall confess Me before men, him will I also confess before My Father, who is in heaven." Let us certainly be faithful with our erring brethren, let us struggle to show them their mistake, their error-their sin, it may be -in neglecting the form and mode in which Jesus appointed His disciples should profess His name that solemn ordinance which is blessed of Him to every one who understands it and humbly submits to it,-but, oh! let us beware of falling into the weak superstition of supposing that the remission of sins is in any way dependent upon the administration of Baptism, that Baptism is a receiving cause, or medium of reception of the pardon of sins, or that to the contrite sinner believing in Jesus, humbly trusting in His all-sufficient atonement, the pardon is in any way delayed, deferred, or suspended until Baptism or anything else is accomplished. No, a thousand times, No. He that believeth hath, whosoever believeth is, passed from death unto life.
The absolute necessity of curtailment to keep within available space necessitates my deferring reply to pointed questions and other matters advanced in last issue. I trust to dispose of these satisfactorily again. Edinburgh.
THE CHRISTIAN'S BATTLE-SONG.
COMRADES, Come take up your cross,
Count your earthly gain but loss,
Crowns instead of earthly dross
Wait us over there!
Wave the streaming banner high!
Round us throng unnumbered foes,
We but follow in His train,
Why, with worldly doubts and fears,
Chariot-wheels are coming near,
Clothed in spotless white. Farewell then to vanished dreams, Sorrows deep and darkest streams; Welcome! Heaven's glory beams,
After life's long night.
Oh! the friends in counting o'er
'Mong the ransomed blest!
There in full to rest.
"Tis not "Victory or death".
"By My blood is won." Onward then, with joy and song Though the fight be hard and strong, Heaven's rest will come ere long
Ev'ry toil be done.
Mothers there, their tears shall dry,
And their crowns will bring. -"Worthy is the Lamb that's slain !" This the universal strain ; "Crown Him, crown Him!" our refrain, "Glory to our King!"
Intelligence of Churches, etc.
A BAPTIZED CHURCH AMONG THE BEDOUINS.About twenty-five years ago a company of young men started out from Damascus, headed for Jerusalem. They had not gone far before a band of armed horsemen surrounded them, and ordered a halt. The leader said the caravan might move on, unhurt and unharmed, if they would deliver up one of their number, a young man named Randall, who should not suffer if he would come along with them peacefully. The terms, though hard, were acceded to, and the last look his companions had of him was to see him mounted on a fine horse, attended by gay
horsemen of the Bedouin Sheik of the Le Arish tribe.
The young man was taken to the Sheik's tent, and to his surprise found a magnificent entertainment awaiting him. Arzalia, the Sheik's daughter, had seen the young man, and fallen in love with him, and this is the wedding feast. The young man and Arzalia are married. His tent was guarded by night, and his person watched by day lest he should escape, and this guard kept over him for years. He and Arzalia, however, seemed happy; children were born to them, and their domestic life was marked by true affection. Randall rapidly acquired the Arabic language; his wife has readily mastered the English. Their children were taught in both. Who was this Randall? In Oneida Co., America, lives his father, who has never seen the face of his son. This father is now a man of some seventy years, who was brought up among the Indians. At the age of twenty-one, the chief of his tribe said, "You had better return to the white people, for among them you can be more of a man than among the Indians." He returned, married a Welsh lady, and while she was on a visit to her relations in Wales, the son was born. The mother dying soon after his birth, he remained until manhood with his kindred in Wales, and was taking a trip through Syria, previous to his return to America, when he was captured by the Sheik and compelled to marry his daughter. His mother was a Baptist, and he, before he left Wales for the Orient, was baptized. When he was admitted to the Sheik's family, they had to receive his religion as well as his person. Through him his wife became a Christian; his father-in-law became a patron of his son-in-law's faith; his children were brought up in "the fear of the Lord;" his son has become Sheik of the tribe, the father-in-law having died. All the surrounding tribes have become favourable to the new religion, and have pledged their swords in its defence. Many have been baptized; hundreds of children have been taught the new religion.
But a dervish, a zealot of the Mohammedan faith, had for a long time been endeavouring to stir up opposition and persecution; strove to have Randall's sons thrown out of the employ of the Turkish government, and failing in this, turned his assault upon a daughter of the foreigner, and charged her with witchcraft and apostacy from the true faith. She was brought before the meglis, composed of 144 venerable Sheiks and effendis, to charges which involved her life. The charges having been presented and substantiated as best they could be by witnesses, she was called upon to answer them through her advocate. She, although but fourteen years of age, dressed in the neatest manner, and with a placid face, and calm heart, and unfaltering trust, responded: "Most venerable fathers, I will reply in person;" and then with fervour and faith and power, holding her Bible in her hand and frequently reading passages from it, she made a defence worthy an apostle; and when she finished, the unanimous verdict was in her favour, and the chiefs of the tribes pledged each other their swords anew, to defend all Christians who thought and felt as Rosa did. But the old dervish breathed revenge, and determined to take that young life. The trial was in October, 1872. In June, 1873, while Rosa was teaching a class of forty-two little
girls in a grove, the way to heaven, the dervish stealthily approached, and before any one was aware, he had murdered the maid and fled. The fleetest horses of the tribe, with armed riders went in pursuit. He was soon captured, tried, and executed. But the work is growing, the truth is spreading, and a new chapter in the history of spreading Gospel light has been unveiled to us, alike startling and impressive. When the whole story is told (as it soon will be), a more remarkable chapter in the history of the preaching of the Gospel has not been offered this century.
In the last letter from Lady Arzalia Le Avish Randall, giving all the particulars of her child's trial and tragic death, occurs this beautiful sentence and earnest request: Pray for me, that my piety may be as humble as the violet, as enduring as the olive, and as fragrant as the orient." We hope in the course of a year to offer the readers of this sketch, the entire story from the hut of the Indian to the tented church of the Bedouin; but we could not consent to keep "the glad tidings" to ourselves any longer, and so have told our story in brief to-day. Laus Deo-National Baptist.
DECLINE OF INFANT BAPTISM.-The Christian Era quotes from the official report of a recent Methodist Conference in North Carolina-pretty good authority, we should think, as to the correctness of the Era's surmises. Says the said report
During the progress of the twentieth question the matter of iufant baptism came up, owing to the small number of infants reported baptized in some of the districts.
Mr. Burton stated that the cause of the scarcity of infant baptism was because of the want of a proper degree of attention on the part of the pastors. The people were not educated to it.
Rev. A. W. Mangum spoke in reference to the injury done to the cause of infant baptism by a prominent Methodist publication.
Rev. J. P. Moore thought that the cause was because of the objection parents had to having their children baptized when they themselves might object when they came to years of discretion.
An extract from the report of the Virginia Conference indicates that a similar apprehension of the truth exists among that body :
Madison.-John W. Hildrup. Report good; nothing against him; only one infant baptized.
Fluvanna.-The Rev. John W. Howard. Report good; nothing against him. The Bishop did not think that the church was making any headway, if, out of 500 members, not a single infant baptism. The report of the minister showed that the best men on his circuit objected to having their children baptized.
Bedford.-Edgar H. Pritchett. Reported no infant baptism, which was accounted for by the brother, who stated that it was because there were fewer children this last year.
Apomattox.-James E. McSparian. Reported being in ill health; infant baptism, none, stating that it had gone by the board.
All over the country, the Era asserts, similar evidence of the neglect of infant baptism exists. Presbyterians and Congregationalists share in the decline of the practice as well as Methodists. It flourishes only in the Episcopal and Catholic Churches, for these churches have a logical motive to observe the practice, which does not exist among those denominations which reject the idea that