« FöregåendeFortsätt »
anticipated were to be found in that old coun- Christian acquaintance with each other, and to try, so long past its prime. If my memory effect a greater measure of cordiality and coserve me, it was between eighty-five and operation for the more general extension of ninety churches I saw reported for England, those precious germs of truth which germinate Scotland, and Wales ; and something over two to eternal life. O that we may add to our thousand church members. True, these are knowledge a corresponding zeal and a proonly a few among the tens of millions that portionate ardour! How important the work make up the population of Great Britain ; still, -how arduous, and yet how blessed and there is reason to be encouraged in view of honorable! the progress indicated by this number. Even Should you find leisure to write, be assured a humble few who prove themselves true I will find time and inclination to read. The “ children of the kingdom,” advocating the current volume of the WITNESS has been fortruth with all the zeal of truly devoted subjects warded to your address, and I have received of the heavenly king, will ultimately leaven a your paper from January to July. I thank whole country, and successfully wrest the you for these tokens of good will. Please let “strong holds” from the power of the enemy. me know what numbers of our provincial paper From what I see in your HARBINGER, it is have arrived in Nottingham. impressed upon me that you have a goodly | Wishing you God speed, and desirous that number of intelligent, warm-hearted, and yourself and all who labour with you may be ardently devoted brethren, who co-operate with personally and religiously blessed in every you in pleading the cause of the Lord.
effort to promote the work in which you are A true band of co-operants will work semi- engaged, I am, your's, wonders in a community. I am persuaded,
With Christian regard, Brother Wallis, that even the disciples, al
D. OLIPHANT. though somewhat advanced in the Christian 21st July, 1849. school, are still far behind in mutual actionary measures, and have not yet attained to a thorough
LETTER FROM RICHMOND (U.S.) vigorous and steadfast zeal, based upon principle, necessary to the execution of enlarged and DEAR BROTHER WALLIS--Your kind epistle comprehensive plans for the diffusion or the came to hand a few days ago. By the HARgospel and its attendant blessings. There is a BINGER for July I have an account of your meagreness of soul in reference to this subject meeting at Sunderland. You had peace and wholly at variance with the spirit and noble concord there, and unanimity of feeling. I would greatness of Christianity. Little--very little suggest that you only have annual meetings of -O how little, is done in the gospel for the that general character, because they are atgospel's sake! Local interest, personal interest, tended with great expense to most of the deleor some species of opinionated interest, apart gates or churches. The money spent in trafrom the cause of Christ or the love of truth, velling might be much more profitably employwould seem to hold governorship over most of ed. The district plan is the best plan for some what is done in the name of religion. But I time to come for all Great Britain. Each dismust withhold further commentary on this trict can have its quarterly or semi-annual topic, for you will desire some items of news. | meetings for consultation, co-operation, prayer,
We have in Canada West between twenty and preaching; and these can appoint delegates and twenty-five churches. The whole will not to an annual meeting for general purposes. at present number a thousand members. Our Cheshire forms one district : that district meetincrease has not been rapid, owing to a variety ing looks at Cheshire and its immediate inteof canses, some of which are like these :- First, 'rests, while the general meeting looks at Great a number of unworthy men who commenced Britain and Ireland. This district system can preaching and making converts in the province; do great good; in fact, single churches and insecond, a lack of acquaintance among the dividuals can do much if they feel so disposed. churches, and a consequent want of co-opera Wherever there is a brother capable of teaching tion; third, too much of that species of enter- the church, keep him at it; and another of exprize which is visionless as respects “the things horting, let him exhort; and every man who above;" fourth, a zeal sometimes not accord is capable of addressing the world, who is able ing to kuowledge, and the exhibition of an to preach the gospel with power and effect, the unlovely spirit, in opposing sectarianism. district should send him out. This is a rare These are a sample of the hindrances to the talent — very, very few possess it. A man progress of truth in past times among the must be made up of the following contradicpeople with whom we dwell. But I am happy tions : he must be bold as a lion, and innocent to add that some, if not all these obstacles to as a lamb--wise as a serpent, harmless as a our advancement, are being overcome by means dove-uncompromising, and still conciliating and influences more in harmony with the spirit -stern as a judge, and bland as a courtierand power of the gospel of Christ.
grave without being sullen, and pleasant with. There is at present a successful effort among out being volatile-dignified without being our widely separated congregations to cultivate proud, and familiar without being pert -a
friend of God, a brother to man — feeling for down long-standing institutions. What a safe the weakness of human nature, without con- investment!
J. H. niving at sin-aiming to bring all men to God Richmond, Va. July, 1849. through Christ, not through himself. Your plans, both local and general, mast
PREVAILING ERRORS. always be squared upon your means; and the
DEAR SIR-I find that the HARBINGER is hearts of your people should expand to the dimensions of the field opening before them, and
more urgent than any periodical I have seen in whitening already to harvest. The Lord often
recommending all characters to a closer study
of, and implicit obedience to, the Bible. tries his people in this way, and if they are
Befaithful and benevolent, he pours his rich bless
| lieving this to be one of the best of inculcaings upon them. But if they shrink back with
tions, I sacrificed expositions, creeds, &c. that
I might be an adherent of the Bible alone. the cry of poverty on their lips, when they are spending largely on their lusts, he will send / Were all to do so, I firmly believe that the them leanness of soul, perplexity and trouble pre
The present imperfect state of Christendom would in all their ways. “ They that sow to the flesh
soon vanish away, and that the union our blessshall of the flesh reap corruption, but they that
ed Lord prayed for would ensue-a union which sow to the spirit shall of the spirit reap life
infinitely excels that of the Evangelical Alli. everlasting.” “ They that sow sparingly shall
ance. I must confess that since I have become
addicted to the Bible alone, I have detected reap also sparingly.”
many errors held by myself, as well as by the In addition to regular plans sustained by
religionists in this vicinity. means raised by sums graded according to ele
While visiting a school of the Wesleyan vation in worldly goods or annual income, there
Methodists, two of its scholars having rehearsed might be a private purse extra of all other sub- | the decalogue, a teacher interrogated them on scriptions, made up by men of faith, who desire the subject from a catechism. when I learnt to live for some purpose, and to do something
mething | that they taught this youthful congregation that worthy of themselves and the age in which we their obedience to the ten commandments was live. How easy could you select twenty men
sufficient to put them in possession of eternal from among your ranks, who would be glad to
life! The Bible says no such thing. The law subscribe £10 a piece for the purpose of send
of the New Institution which was to go forth ing out the gospel more extensively, and of en
from the city of Jerusalem, is the only medium listing the attention of an order of minds which
shown in the Bible for our salvation. “No others cannot reach. In our country this has
man,” said Christ, “ cometh unto the Father been far from a losing business, even when
but by me”-that is, by his gospel. Certainly looked at commercially. It is self-sustaining, this is no matter of opinion, but of faith. almost always after the few first efforts. God
The first teachers of Christianity faithfully prospers the liberal minded, but the parsimo- l observed. and rigidly opposed. in the face of nious are allowed to hold on to the world, un- | the fiercest hostility, the prevailing errors of til their mouth is filled with gravel.
their day, the chief of which seem to have been I would recommend, then, that this private the following :-“ For a good work we stone plan be proposed, and I doubt not it will be thee not, but for blasphemy, and because thou successful, because, in many instances, ten being a man, makest thyself God” — “ His dismight club their mite together, and send it ciples came by night, and stole him away while through one of their number, as a church we slept”—“Except ye be circumcised after might raise it and send it through their elder the manner of Moses, ye cannot be saved.” A or evangelist. Many have been sustained in great portion of the New Testament is devoted our country by the liberality of a few in this to the refutation of the preceding errors. To way, and sent to labor on fields where all would be imitators of the first Christian teachers in wonder where the sustenance came from; and this point, it is indispensable for us to watch many souls will appear in eternity thus plucked the errors of the day, which tend to mar or as brands from the burning, to the honor of corrupt the New Institution, and that we do men unknown on earth as benefactors, but our utmost, by tongue and pen, to refute them known in heaven. Should you propose some- and to retard their venomous progress. It has thing like this, I shall be glad to send my mite been rationally remarked, that “ Nothing to aid some poor soul in my father-land to shake should be adopted into the Christian church, off the yoke of bondage, and to put on the but what is found in the New Testament, either armour of light. My hope is large, and there in express terms or approved precedent.” Now fore I think from what I know of your calibre fasting forms a part of some Pedobaptists' reliin Great Britain, it will be easy to start forty gion; they fast when the cholera, or any other or fifty who will be glad to cut down their ex- epidemic makes its appearance; and also. if I penses by that much, in order to lay up trea- mistake not, when it ceases to rain for a consures in heaven, where thieves do not breaksiderable time. We are occasionally ordered through nor steal—where governments do not by the head of the State Church to fast in repudiate, nor faction, mob, nor military, tear 'similar cases; but have we this kind of fasting
in the New Testament, “ either in express mains to be fully accomplished :” and, “ that terms or approved precedent ?” Ought the if that be not the case, then it has not only fasting which is found in the New Testament, never been fulfilled, but it never will be." to form a part of Christianity now? These But what saith the scripture ?--" This is that questions, I think, are somewhat of the practi- which was spoken by the Prophet~ I will pour cal kind you earnestly ask for ; and I hope you, out of my spirit upon all flesh, &c.” (Acts ii. or one of the brethren, will take up the subject, 16-17. The margin of this passage refers ns and treat largely upon it.
to Ezek. xxxvi. 27, and others.) Your's in the kingdom,
This prophecy of Ezekiel, it is said, belongs
Edwd. EVANS. to the church. But the church is composed of Penrallt, Llanidloes, Aug. 8, 1849.
such as have “new hearts;" with whom the spirit of God does dwell: and who are walking
in His statutes. These promises, as it appears REMARKS ON QUERIES AND REPLIES. to me, were made to Israel according to the
flesh , and would have been fulfilled to them DEAR SIR-In further reply to the query 2,
had they not failed to fulfil the needful condipage 235, I beg, in the first place, to offer a
tions. For all the promises and threatenings few remarks on the paper of your correspondent,
of God are conditional-conditions, it is true, E. M. pages 375–376.
are not in every case stated. In that of Nineveh, The“ latter days,” it is said, “include this
for instance, the denunciation was made abpresent age and the age to come.” What
solutely and unconditionally; yet the sequel ground there is for the assertion that “the day
shows that it was understood conditionally. in which God will judge the world,” Acts xvii.
But here, Ezek. xxxvi. 36, the conditions are 31, “the day of judgment” 2 Peter iii. 7-8,
expressed—“I will yet for this be inquired of is the same period of time as the thousand
by the house of Israel to do it for them.” years mentioned in Rev. xx. 4-6, I am at a | Now it should be clearly ascertained what was loss to conjecture. To Him, indeed, “who
ho meant by inquiring of God in those days : only hath immortality,” “one day is as a l because whatever was the sense of the phrase thousand years, and a thousand years as one at that time is the true sense. That it does day :" but so, I conceive, it is not to us. In
not refer to prayer for the out-pouring of the “the world or age to come”-“the day of
spirit, is, I apprehend, sufficiently palpable : judgment,” &c. E. M. appears to anticipate a
and therefore any further remarks upon it larger development of spiritual gifts and opera
would be out of place here. tions than in the days of the apostles, or in
I know of no part of the New Testament in any period from that time to the present.
which the apostles, by precept or example, have Now, I submit that we are not thus taught by given authority to the disciples of Jesus to any inspired writer.
pray for another out-pouring of the spirit. “Both these scriptures," I Cor. xii. and
The query, p. 376, deserves the best attention
he Eph. iv. 4-16, it is said “have been realized in
of your correspondents. It is the question. the present age.” True, that in that part of
M. D. H. the present age in which these passages were penned, to one was given, by the Spirit, the gift of healing, to another faith, &c.; but as QUERIES AND REPLIES. suredly not so in our day. Luke xi. 13, is said to be sufficient authority
QUERY.-" Will you please inform an in“ to pray for the continued out-pouring of the
quirer what is the meaning of the Saviour, spirit.” ' Now the pouring out of the spirit, is
Mat. v. 21-6 ? Did the Saviour, in this pasphraseology which, in the New Testament is
sage, intend to teach, that no disciple of his employed in reference to two cases only (Acts
was to approach the throne of grace, or the taii. 17, x. 45 : and see Harbinger p. 235–6.)
ble of the Lord, while at the same time rememIn these cases the spirit was poured out im
bering that a brother had such a ground of mediately from heaven. In other cases, it
| complaint against him, as to prevent their uniwas imparted by the laying on of hands (Acts
ting together in the same exercises ? A scripviii. 17, xix. 6, &c.) And if so, what propriety tural answer will greatly oblige.” T. S. can there be in praying for another, or for REPLY.—The passage referred to, as tranthe continued out-pouring of the spirit ? slated by Dr. G. Campbell, reads as follows:
E. M. says “it was shown, that to worship | “ You have heard that it was said to the anGod in spirit and in truth, we must pray for cients, “Thou shalt not commit murder : for the spirit.” Now I cannot perceive how or whosoever commits murder shall be obnoxious where this has been shown. On p. 235, it to the judges. But I say to you, whosoever is indeed asserted. To me it appears to be is angry with his brother unjustly, shall be ob“adding to His words,” who spake as never noxious to the judges; whosoever shall call man spake.
him fool, shall be obnoxious to the council; but The prophecy which includes the promise of whosoever shall call him miscreant, shall be “the out-pouring of the spirit,” it is said, “re-l obnoxious to hell-fire. Therefore, if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there recollect that circumstances would be indispensably necessary. thy brother has ground to complain of thee, It is quite possible that A. B. for many years leave there thy gift before the altar: first go past, has been a most honorable and consistent and procure reconciliation with thy brother, member of society, and of the church of which then come and offer thy gift. Compound he was a member: he may have, nearly up to speedily with thy creditor, while ye are on the the time of his embarking at Liverpool, filled road together : lest he deliver thee to the judge, up his obligations in the family, in the world, and the judge consign thee to the officer, and and in the church, with great punctuality and thou be thrown into prison. Verily, I say unto respectability. It may be, that in the course thee, thou wilt not be released, until thou hast of events, some unexpected occurrence in comdischarged the last farthing." The Saviour is mercial affairs (especially if it were a partnerhere instructing his disciples, by making known | ship concern) has so embarrassed him that he to them the personal and superior morality of became entangled with the affairs of this life, the gospel to that contained in the law given by and could proceed no further in the sphere in Moses. In speaking of bringing a gift to the which he was then moving. In order, therealtar, he might, in the first instance, refer to fore, to extricate himself, he arrives at the those gifts, and the state of mind in which painful conclusion of emigrating to New York they were brought to the Jewish altar. Pri- until his affairs can be honorably settled. We marily, however, he would refer to the gift say this may be the case. Still, so secret and brought by the disciple to that altar, of which precipitate a line of conduct cannot be apthey had no right to eat who serve the taber-proved either by his family, the church, or his nacle. Therefore, when thou bringest thy gift creditors : on the contrary, it must be reproto the altar, and there rememberest that thy bated by all of them. But what is the duty of brother has ground to complain of thee, because the church in such a case? We say, let the of your not paying your just debts, or of some members show to each other and to the world other way in which you may have designedly their decided disapprobation of this conduct, injured him, and are, therefore, in a state of and then wait until the party can be communienmity against him-leave there thy gift before cated with, and furnish reasons for the adoption the altar; first go and procure reconciliation of so unwarrantab'e a proceeding. The case may with thy brother, then come and offer thy gift. then be adjudicated upon according to the eviThe injured brother may not be at enmity with dence. Some brethren would say at once, let thee; and therefore it is your duty, remember the matter rest until the party be heard from, ing that you have injured him, to go and seek when, perhaps he may be able to justify even reconciliation for your guilty conscience at his an apparently wrong step. But we are comhand, before you can worship God in truth, manded to admonish every offender, at the purity, and righteousness, or obtain forgiveness same time that we account him not as an eneof sins from Kim (Gen. xli. 9, xlii. 21, Lev. vi. | my, but as a brother in the Lord. 2-7, Luke xix. 8.) The circumstance of a bro Would the church in New York, or any of ther being offended, and refusing to sit at the the churches in the United States, receive such Lord's table with you, because you do not ap- | an individual into their communion, without a prove of unleavened bread and teetotal wine, recommendation ? We hope not, though even &c. is mere whim, and is beneath the notice of worse than this has been done by some of them. any intelligent disciple of the Lord. The feast
J. W. of the Passover was a feast of mourning and affliction; while the feast of Pentecost was to be kept with leavened bread, and great joy QUERY. — “ Were children placed in the throughout Israel.
J. W. church of God by divine appointment; and if
so, can less than the divine authority deprive
of that privilege ?" QUERY.—“I wish to state a supposable case REPLY.—Children were placed by divine apof discipline, and shall be glad if you, or any pointment in the church under the law, but of your contributors will favor us with a reply.
unconscious infants were not placed by God in A. B. who resides at Bath, leaves home for his church under the gospel. IF A. Scott says Bristol, where he has business ; instead, how
that the churches are identical, how can he reever, of going to Bristol, he makes his way to
concile such a notion with the fact that unless Liverpool, takes his passage in the first steamer
a man were born again he could not enter into that sails for New York, leaving his family,
family, the one, although he had been born and brought creditors, and connections, without giving any up in the other (John ü. 5.) Will A. Scott intimation either to them, or to the church of info
of inform us what privilege baptism confers upon which he is a member and an officer. How |
an infant ? Does he not know that all the should such a case be dealt with ?” Y. Z.
privileges of the Christian church are of a spiREPLY.-To decide correctly on the fore- ritual intelligent nature, and therefore cannot going supposed case of discipline-which, how- | be enjoyed by any one who is incapable of ever, may be a real one--a knowledge of all the knowledge, faith, love, and obedience ?
QUERY 2.-“ Where is it mentioned in the prive of that privilege?” No--no less than New Testament, that the Jews complained of divine authority. And let no one suppose we the abridgment, by divine appointment, of reason from inferences on this point : for the church privileges to their children?”
rejection of infants we have divine authority REPLY.—The argument for infant baptism,
in abundance. I adduce the first prohibition glanced at by this query, takes it for granted
from John the Harbinger (Mark iii. 8-10,) that when the Jew became a Christian he
“Bring forth fruits meet for repentance; and abandoned at once all the laws and ordinances
think not to say within yourselves we have of the Mosaic economy, and ceased to circum
Abraham for our father, for I say unto you, cize his children. But this is contrary to fact.
God is able of these stones to raise up children The converted Jew circumcised his children.
to Abraham. And now, also, the axe is laid Even Paid circumcised Timothy because his
at the roots of the trees; every tree that mother was a Jewess; and Peter, eight years
bringeth not forth good fruit, is hewn down after the Pentecostal proclamation of the gos
and cast into the fire.” The second is from pel, was like to have been condemned for asso
the Messiah himself, (Luke xvi. 16) “The law ciating with the uncircumcised. It was long
and the Prophets were until John. Since that till the Jew understood that the two churches
time the kingdom of God is preached, and --Jewish and Christian — were not identical,
every man presseth into it.” Mark it welland therefore saw no reason to complain of the
“Since the time of John” the kingdom of abridgement of church privileges to his chil
God was preached, requiring other constitudren whom he still circumcised and looked | tions for the reception of Jew, as well as upon as being in the church with himself,
Gentile. After hearing the announcement of though they were neither baptized nor attended
the approach of “tne kingdom of God,” the to the Lord's supper.
Messiah said, Into that kingdom no one can
enter, “Except born of water, and of the QUERY 3.-"If infant baptism is not of spirit.” Yes, although descended from the divine authority, where or when did it com- / loins of faithful and pious Abraham-although mence, and who protested against it ?" all the Jews were in spirit as Cornelius, “ giv.
REPLY.-It commenced in the church at a ing alms, praying to God continually,” “unless very early period of its history. This is no born of water and of the spirit, they cannot marvel, when we consider how prone the hu- | enter the kingdom of God.” Last, though not man heart is to depart from the simplicity of I least, Gal. iv. 21st verse to the end. In the divine truth and worship. The mystery of in
24th verse it reads, “Which things are an iquity begun to work in the days of the apos- | allegory; for these are the two covenants, the tles, and infant baptism is one of its main pil- | one from Mount Sinai, the other from Jerusalars. Many of the grossest errors of the Ro
lem, which is from above-the mother of all mish superstition are hoary-headed with age,
believers." And verse 30,“ Nevertheless, what their origin being lost in the distant clouds of
saith the scripture, cast out the bond maid and antiquity. Tertullian protested against infant her son.” Why? shall we not entreat for the baptism in the second century. His argument fleshly seed of Abraham, and continuance of against it is a very good one, and one which we
a very cood one and one which we infant membership ? By no means. What often use still, viz. that baptism is of no use to
saith the scriptures? " Cast out the bond infants, its design being the remission of sins maid and her son, for they shall not be heirs (Acts ii. 38.) His opponents replied that bar. with the son of the free woman.” These few tism was necessary to infants, to wash away passages are clear, positive, and invincible original sin. We have heard the same reply proofs against infant membership. What an to the same argument in our own day.
incongruous term," infant membership.” An D. L. infant a member of the church of Jesus Christ!
Can infants repent ? Can infants believe ?
Can an infant be baptized for the remission of QUERY 1.-“ Were children placed in the sins? If to these interrogations you answer, church of God by divine appointment ? And if No! why, then, talk any more of infants being so, can less than divine authority deprive of members of the church of Jesus Christ? that privilege?” — The divine reception of infants into the church, and their rejection, 2.“ Where is it mentioned in the New was formerly, with me, a question of great Testament that the Jews complained of the disputation, until I became familiar with the abridgement by divine appointment, of church Jewish and Christian dispensations : for with privileges to their children? If you can find out a correct knowledge of both these dispensa | it, please to name the chapter and verse.”tions, the mind never can be settled on the According to the four Evangelists, Matthew, questions before us. “Were children placed in Mark, Luke, and John, we have hundreds of the church of God by divine appointment ?” I instances of the Jews complaining of their answer, certainly they were. I presume that rejection, of which they often heard from the will be enough on that part of the question. “parables of the Messiah. And be it observed, “And if so, can less than divine authority de- 'once for all, that fleshly connection was the