Sidor som bilder
PDF
ePub

5. Manifestations of inequality even in the places used for worship.

CORRESPONDENCE. 6. The manifest interestedness of many of the teaching class.

DEAR SIR — I have just read the 7. The non-existenee of any fixed fund to article in last HARBINGER by your render worldly benefit societies unnecessary, correspondent (brother, I suppose) and to afford ample sustenance for the aged and

J. G. Lee, on State Churches. Í needing. Seven denotes perfection, and these seven

agree with him in regard to popular display a deathly condition. Now for the re election of pastors, but I think he has medies :

laid an undue stress upon the word 1. Take away the unsympathizing ministers, keirotonea. This, he says, ought to and introduce a new class — men, in every in- be translated “ chosen by show of stance, who have been trained in the congregation of which they are to become the overseers

hands.” That this was the primary —who possess all the qualifications required by meaning and derivation of the word, the Apostle Paul in his letters to Timothy and will not be denied ; but, like many Titus : thus abolishing college-made parsons, other words, it was diverted from it's and having, in every instance, tried men from the people, removing all high-sounding titles,

original use, and at the date of the and other distinctions of clergy and laity. Scriptures was used indiscriminately

2. Destroy the want of unity, by removing for an appointment to office or trust, all creeds, and uniting, not on OPINIONS, but whether by popular election or private ON FACTS; receive into your communion every man who believes that Jesus is the Christ, and

authority. Hence it is of no weight who obeys Him, allowing him to hold his opin- or proof on eit

or proof on either side. He appears ions as private property; abandon all party to me singularly unfortunate in his names, as Wesleyan, Independent, Baptist, &c. second example of the word, (2 Corin. and be called Christians, or disciples of Christ. viii. 18-19) unceremoniously exalting

3. Do as Jesus and as Paul did, viz., give ample opportunity to inquirers publicly to ask

| into the character of an evangelist, a questions and state their objections, not when brother merely chosen to accompany you meet for worship, but at times set apart Paul with the charitable contribution for the purpose.

for the “ poor saints at Jerusalem.” 4. Let your pastors cease to be the exclusive teachers of the church. Introduce with the

I know nothing more injurious to the breaking of the loaf every first day, the right cause of truth, than resting its eviof mutual exhortation ; say as Paul did to the dence upon untenable arguments ; Corinthians, "you may all prophesy one by one, and such, in this case, I consider your that all may learn, that all may be perfected.”

correspondent's to be. To draw at5. Regard the teaching of the Apostle James, and abolish pew-letting — make all seats alike,

tention to the dangerous consequences and pay for the house by the voluntary contri of letting such go forth to the public butions of the church.

notice, is my sole motive in making 6. Have a plurality of pastors, as the first I these remarks. churches had ; thus divide the labour, and let | them all work for their own bread, as Paul com

In his observations on the laying manded (Acts xx.)

on of hands in ordination, there ap7. Restore the contribution, attended to pears to be somewhat of confusion. every first day in the primitive churches, called He asserts that this laying on of the fellowship. Let each member contribute | hands was the medium of conveying with the idea that by this institution equality is produced (2 Cor. viü.), and by appropriating

some supernatural gift as a badge of a portion of the money now absorbed by the office — that this right of imposition “clergy," render assistance from all benefit as- belonged solely to the apostles, and to sociations unnecessary.

those immediately deputed by them. Thus, dear Sir, I have presented you the cure. Let it be applied. “British Christianity” will

| But he says, again, and says truly, become Judean Christianity, and all will be well. that the supernatural gifts bestowed I regret that space will not permit me to enlarge by the apostles, could not be transmiton these topics. I will only say to your readers, ted to a third person. No supernaif you wish we had said more, search the Acts | tural badge of office, then, could be of the Apostles, with their letters, and you will get the whole. Yours respectfully,

conferred by these delegates, and as D. KING. little by the humble presbytery that

laid ordaining hands on Timothy. In a slip of paper the names of those fact, I can see no proof of any super- of whom he approves for the offices, natural gifts bestowed in direet con- and it will be found, on collecting nection with ordination. It was just these papers, that the congregation is a solemn mode of designating the in subjection to the directions recordchosen parties to the sacred office ; ed in the Word of God; and that and instead of seeing any impropriety none but those possessing the qualifiin its continuance, I rather think cations, will ever be chosen to office. there is so in neglecting it.

If a man know not how to rule his I understand you have had a recent own house, how can he take care of communication from Brother Morison, | the congregation of God? We hope by which I suppose you will have had our Brother J. G. L. will continue a view of how matters stand with us in his contributions to the pages of the this quarter. Praying for success to HARBINGER, considering, as we do, your disinterested labours in its cause. | that they are well worthy the attenI remain, yours in the love of the tion of all our readers. J. W. truth,

J. D. Turriff, February 15th, 1849.

QUERIES AND REPLIES. NOTE. We do not hold ourselvesOn the cover of our last number we preresponsible for the correctness of every sented four Queries for examination by the sentiment expressed by our various

brethren, from whom we requested replies. No. contributors ; nor do we, at all times,

1 has occasioned three replies, Nos. 3 and 4 reply when differing from them in

two each, while No. 2 has been altogether opinion, and especially when first en

omitted. It would seem, therefore, that no deavours are being put forth for the

brother can make up his mind as to the meanedification of our readers. We have

ing of John v. 16, or what the sin unto death, been generally well pleased with the

for which we are not to pray, can possibly refer productions of our young friend and

to. Now as all unrighteousness is sin, the brethbrother, J. G. Lee; and we know ren cannot do better than abstain entirely from that he will neither be offended nor

it; and, by this means, the sin which is unto discouraged by others expressing their

death, and for which prayer is not to be offerdissent, in a kindly manner, from

ed, will never overtake them. They will then some of his positions. Respecting

have nothing to fear from its consequences, the election of elders to rule in the

whatever it may be. This is the best advice

we can at present give on the subject. congregation of the Lord, much has

With respect to Query No. 1, we have to rebeen said, and volumes written, on the

mark, that if the querist entertained the idea qualifications and manner of choosing

that a teachable, humble, obedient disciple of pastors, deacons, and deaconesses, for

Christ can be ever learning, yet not able to the churches of Christ. Prior to the

come to a satisfactory and blissful knowledge qualifications being pointed out by

of the truth, he is labouring under a mistaken the apostles, different modes of

impression. The Saviour said, “If any man choosing them might obtain, to that

will perseveringly do the will of God, he shall which common sense, peace, and

know of the doctrine of salvation, whether it good order, would now seem to dic

be of God, or whether the Saviour spoke it of tate. If a church strictly abide by

himself alone.” Yes, the full assurance of unthe directions of Paul and Peter, in

derstanding—of faith, hope, and love-is atthe choice of office bearers, there is

tainable to all who will seek it in the only apno need to mention either names or

pointed way.

J. W. number, nor to do it by show of hands :

QUERY No. 1_“In what sense can it be the members have the men and wo

said of the disciples that they are ever learning, men before them, possessing the qualle | and never able to come to the knowledge of the fications. Let each member write on truth ?”

ot do bett

thonahotos

[ocr errors]

REPLY.-- You will see by reading the third, and of men to appear in them whose characters, chapter of 2nd Timothy to the 8th verse, that as described, are entirely the opposite of the there were men of corrupted minds, destitute character of disciples of Christ. Now these of the truth, with a form of godliness, but de- teachers, and the women led captive by them, nying the power thereof; and these men, or a cannot surely for a moment be supposed to similar class of characters, crept into houses, stand in the same position as the disciples, to and led away silly women, laden with sins, whom it is said, “ Stand fast in the liberty with divers lusts; ever learning, and never wherewith Christ has made us free,” (Gal. v. able to come to a knowledge of the truth. And 1.) The parties referred to are also said to be why did not these silly women come to a know-“ laden with sins.” How different this to ledge of the truth? Because they had bad what is testified of the disciples, “ But ye are teachers, who had but a form of godliness with washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justiout its power. This cannot be said of the dis- fied, in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the ciples of Christ, for they have the form of god- Spirit of our God,” (1 C. vi. 11.) The persons liness, and not a form; and however short of whom it is said, then, that “ they are ever they may come of the power and knowledge of learning, and never able to come to a knowledge the whole truth, they have been taught of God of the truth,” it must appear evident, stand in from his word. But there are many in our marked contrast to the disciples of Jesus, who time who call themselves Christians, who himself said, “ If ye continue in my word, then would regard it as a burlesque to term them are ye my disciples indeed ; and ye shall know disciples; and these, like the silly women, go the truth, and the truth shall make you free,” from sect to sect, and from one preacher to (John viii. 32-3.)

J. M. to another, never coming to a knowledge of the Cupar, February, 1849. truth. And those who will not hear the truth, have themselves to blame. J. F.(Pitgair.)

QUERY No. 3.-" In what sense is faith the ANOTHER REPLY.-The description of cha- | gift of God ?" racter given of those who are ever learning, and never able to come to a knowledge of the

REPLY. — Paul says to the Ephesians, ii. 8, truth, scarcely warrants the conclusion, what

“ For by grace are ye saved, through faith, and ever they might have been, they were now

that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God." the disciples of Christ. They are said to beladen | The gift which the Apostle refers to in this with sins, led away with divers lusts. They passage is evidently salvation; and in referring were not then under the purifying influence of to the New Version, we find this prominently the gospel : but, on the contrary, were sunk in | brought to view. It reads as follows :--" For the grossest vices that degrade humanity. Their | by favor you are saved, through faith, and this teachers, too, were as far from the character of salvation not of yourselves, it is the gift of disciples, as were those licentious women whom God.” The common salvation, though a free they had led into bondage: indeed, they set | gift, is not an unconditional free gift. Faith is themselves in direct opposition to the cause of necessary, in order that the gift may become the Redeemer. In the 8th verse of the same available to the sinner. He who believes and chapter, the Apostle says. “ Now as Jannes is baptized shall be saved; he who believes not and Jambres withstood Moses, so do these also

shall be damned. Well, then, we are saved by resist the truth : men of corrupt minds, repro

favor, by a free gift, through faith, or by bebate (or of no judgment) concerning the faith.” | lieving the testimony concerning the Saviour. From snch Timothy is exhorted to turn away. If, then, the belief of that testimony be necesIn short, they were evil men and seducers, who

sary to secure the gift, that testimony must be were themselves deceived, and were in the

of a nature which can be believed ; and the evipractice of deceiving others, (see verse 13th, dences which prove the truth of the Saviour's and chap. iv. 2-3.) It is clear, then, that mission, must have their source in him who whatever these miserable captives might have conferred the gifts, viz. God. Where do we learned from these vain and profligate teachers,

derive our evidence, that Jesus is the Son of it would have been a moral impossibility,

God? We derive them from those writings through the agency of such ministers of the which make mention of him, styled the Word “ prince of darkness,” for them to have arrived of God. “God at sundry times spake by the proat a knowledge of that truth which saves and I phets, who testified of Christ;" “ to him gave sets the guilty free. Hugh LAUDER.

all the prophets witness.” “King Agrippa,"

says Paul, “believest thou the prophets ?” ANOTHER REPLY. — The inquirer has cer- | | Paul appeals to the testimony of the prophets, tainly found this passage in strange company, as being sufficient to produce faith in the mind on some foreign page, and never traced it home of man concerning Christ Jesus. God was the to see it associated with its own connection, or author of the prophetic testimony; the faith, such a query would not have occurred from this then, which it produces, is of necessity the gift passage. The Apostle had been foretelling of of God. The eunuch travelling homewards in * perilous times to come in the last days,” | his chariot was engaged reading Isaiah's beau

+

tiful delineation of the Saviour's life and suffer- | postor, Submit Mormonism to such a' test, ings. The picture sketched by the prophet and where is it? Prostrate in the dust. in this chapter (liii.) is life itself. It is an ex

G. S. (Liverpool.) act likeness of him who had not where to lay his head — who was wounded on Calvary for

ANOTHER REPLY.-Faith is the gift of God transgression. So striking was the picture as

in the same sense that any of the rest of our drawn by the prophet of him whom Philip

faculties are. But, in order fully to comprehend preached, that the eunuch was at no loss to

the subject, we might make it a previous quesdiscern that Jesus of Nazareth was the Son of 10

* tion, what is faith? None can pretend to solve God. As we have considered, the prophet

the question better than an inspired apostle, spoke by the Spirit of God; that which he

who says, “ Now faith is the confidence of wrote enabled the eunuch to perceive that Jesus

things hoped for, and the conviction of things was the Christ. The eunuch's faith, then, was

not seen." Now we arrive at this confidence produced by God's word. His faith was the

and conviction by the exercise of our reasoning gift of God. When the Lord was about to send

faculties, which are the gift of God: by these Moses to Pharoah, in order to the rescuing of

we examine the evidence in support of the truth the Israelites from Egyptian bondage, (see Ex

of any statement or testimony; and if it be odus iii. chap.) we find Moses expostulating

good, we are so constituted that we cannot with God as to the result of his mission. Hel withhold our faith, belief, or conviction : but if says, (1st verse, chap. iv.) “ They will not be the evidence is not sufficient, conviction is not lieve me, for they will say the Lord hath not

produced. In theological language faith is appeared to thee.” Now this is a rational con

spoken of as a something produced by immeclusion on the part of Moses: the Lord ac

diate inspiration or intervention of almighty knowledges the rationality of the argument by

power. Let us hear the same apostle on this conferring upon Moses supernatural powers, in point. He says, “By faith we understand order to confirm his testimony. Thus through

that the worlds were formed by the word of the medium of the sense of seeing, were the

God.” Would any one say, that in order to Israelites to be convinced of the genuineness of at

minenece of attain this understanding, an operation of diMoses's testimony. The faith thus produced vine power had to be exercised ? No! God was the gift of God. The miracles Moses per

has told, or testified, that such was the origin formed in Egypt, in addition to those already of the worlds. He has also given ample evialluded to, were for the purpose of bringing into

dence of the truth of the testimony, and by the contempt the gods of Egypt, and to convince

exercise of our reasoning powers in examining the Israelites that he who sent Moses was the

ses was the the evidence, we arrive at the conviction or unonly true and living God. We believe the

derstanding spoken of by the apostle. But, Scriptures to be the Word of God, because the

say some, - the apostle, in writing to the Epheharmony which pervades them, and the fulfil- sians, says in as many words, that faith is the ment of prophecy determine them to be such.

gift of God.” This would not be said, were it The prophets spake by the power of God. Our not that we first get our ideas, and then go to faith is, then, the gift of God. Faith is the

the Scriptures to prove them correct or true. evidence of things not seen. Mahomet testifies

The apostle, in the passage referred to, does not that the angel Gabriel appeared to him and

say that faith is the gift of God. What, then, gave him sundry revelations. I did not see the

does he say? He says, “ By grace are ye angel appear to Mahomet- I want evidence to saved, through faith, and that not of yourselves, prove that which I did not see. There is no

it is the gift of God." There are three words evidence-no well-attested miracle, nor any

used here by the apostle, quite different in their fulfilment of prophecy connected with it. Ma

signification, viz. grace, saved, faith, First, homedanism having no evidence to prove that

| grace, or the favor of God — unquestionably which I did not see, I discard it. MORMON

His gift: secondly, salvation — the object or ISM stands upon the same sandy foundation. | design in the bestowal of this grace or favor : Joseph Smith testifies that an angel appeared and thirdly, faith-the medium through which to him: I did not witness the interview--Ide this grace and salvation are laid hold on by mand evidence to prove that which I did not

e that which I did not mankind. W. M. (Mill of Craigston.) see; no evidence is there to prove fact, and therefore I discard it. The Mormons profess

QUERY No. 4.-In what sense can it be said to work miraculously, but as the sun has not l of Christians of the present day, By one spi. shed one single ray of light upon any of these / rit we are all baptized into one body D” wonderful operations in the open streets of any of our towns, I discard their pretensions. Would | REPLY.—There is no difference in the sense that men and women in this enlightened age as applied to Christians of the present day than would act as rationally as did Moses some 1500 | in the days of the Corinthians. There had been years before Christ. “They will not believe no need for putting the question, if the context my assertion,” says Moses, “ that thou hast had been consulted. It is a fruitful source of appeared to me." The Lord enabled him to error and bewilderment, that we take passages, give ocular demonstration that he was no im-'sentences, half sentences, and even words, out

of their connection, and endeavour to find a / and work of the Lord—to lead them to a fair meaning to them foreign to the general scope. development of the excellencies of the Christian “Now," says the apostle, “concerning spiritu- faith. When I reflect on the possibility of a al gifts, I would not have you ignorant, &c.; | falling away among the dear people in this inand further down he says, “No one can declare teresting locality, how such a grievous event Jesus Lord, except by the Holy Spirit.” And would affect many who are living in the anticiafter enumerating a number of spiritual gifts, pation of it. How hopeless it would render the he adds, “ Now all these does the one and the emancipation of the sincere and well-disposed, same spirit effectively work, distributing to from the thraldom of sectarianism. I can each respectively as he pleases.” Not only was understand Paul's visitation from house to house one and the same spirit to effect all this, but, / -his tearful warnings-his beseeching admoni. according to the testimony of John, he was “to tions—his giving himself to prayer, as well as convince the world concerning sin, and concern the ministry of the word. So far, however, our ing righteousness, and concerning judgment.” brethren have run well; and, at present, evince After the apostle had pointed out the diversi nothing so clearly as a desire to forget the things ties of operations by the same spirit, he goes on that are behind, and to press to those before. to state that notwithstanding all these diversi This commendation is written without any ties, the possessors of them constituted but one heart falterings, and I praise the Great Shepherd body; for, says he, “ As the body (the human that I can do so. To our other weekly engageframe) is one, although it have many members, ments in this place, we have added a Biblc Class and all the members of that one body being for adults ; this is the fifth week, and it has many are one body, so also is Christ; for, in | increased in interest so far. We meet in any deed, by (or through) one spirit, we all have person's house who may feel disposed to offer it. been immersed into one body.” By the con Out of the 5 times we have held it, it has been viction produced by the Spirit in his different but once in the house of a brother; indeed on operations confirmatory of the truth of the one occasion, a Primitive Methodist preacher, mission and divinity of the Lord, we have been of influence, kindly invited us to his dwelling, constrained to unite ourselves to him by being | and shewed us the utmost civility and attention. immersed into his name, thus putting him on, The brethren, too, in addition to their weekly or acknowledging him as head of the body. Loan Tract visitation, have opened a school on The apostle, after pointing out the reasonable- the Lord's day, for the instruction of the youth ness or congruity of the many constituting the of both sexes in the scriptures. Yesterday was one, adds, (as if to explain, or make level to the 3rd day for them; their pupils number 63. the meanest capacity, what he had said before, I was much pleased with the order in which of being by one spirit immersed into one body) | they were kept. I was at Haydon Bridge Now you (believers) are Christ's body, and January 25th, and the week following: promembers in particular;" or individual parts of claimed and conversed with several persons. the great whole. Conviction or faith that leads One female turned to the Lord, and 2 others to obedience, is as much the work of the same avowed faith in the Lord, but defered obedience! spirit now as then; and believers constitute Yesterday morning, a brother from Shields came the body of Christ now as then. So we must here to request me to immerse a young man conclude that it can be said of Christians now who had confessed the Lord, in the congregation as then, “By one Spirit,” &c. W. M. meeting at that place. The labors of our brethren

at Newcastle have been equally successful.

Since you last heard from them, 6 have been ITEMS OF NEWS. added to the Lord, and united to them accord

ing to his word. Dear Brother, I am astonished HOWDON PANS, NEAR NEWCASTLE, FEBRU- at the seeming mistrust of the adaptation of the ARY 12TH, 1849.-Dear Brother, I received Gospel to accomplish the regeneration of our yours of the 5th from Brother Davidson, and race, expressed or perhaps I ought to say read your notice of those added to the Lord with hinted at–by some of our good and able brethren. you on the 4th with pleasure. Oh! when we | True, the heart of man is depraved, a nest of have reason to believe that any of our ransomed unclean birds ; but then, God knew it, even race actually place themselves under our Sove-| the darkest depth of the evil: and if I read right, reign Lord, how rational the highest joy! The He has prescribed a remedy--and but one, and heavenly hierarchy, with all their lofty concep- represents it as amply sufficient to save to the tions of the great and good, can discover reason | uttermost—to cleanse from all sin, those who for joy, in the return of one sinner to the Father do believe it; and all mighty to draw, to win, of all. Since I last wrote to you from this all who do not. He speaks of the attestations place (Howdon) though I have laboured in much of the Spirit, as strong to convince of truthfeebleness, the Lord has not suffered me to spend speaks of truth as wisdom and power; nay the my strength for naught; 5 more persons have / wisdom and power of God, to persuade all to turned to the Shepherd and Bishop of souls. obedience. May the Lord save us all from self To the blessed God be all glory. Oh! for deception. As of old, so now, it is not the that needed wisdom to train them in the way Lord's hand that is shortened ; nor yet his ear

« FöregåendeFortsätt »