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CHOICE SAYINGS OF NEWTON. My principal method of defeating heresy, is by establishing the truth. One proposes to fill a bushel with tares ; now if I can fill it first with wheat I shall defy his attempts.
Many have puzzled themselves about the origin of evil; I observe there is evil, and that there is a way to escape it, and with this I begin and end.
Apollos met with two candid people in the church; they neither ran away because he was legal, nor were carried away because he was eloquent.
I can conceive a living man without an arm or a leg, but not without a head or heart; so there are some truths essential to vital religion, and which all awakened souls are taught.
A Christian is like a young nobleman, who, on going to receive bis estate, is at first enchanted by its prospects: this in a course of time may wear off, but a sense of the value of the estate grows daily.
When we first enter into the divine life, we propose to grow rich; God's plan is to make us feel poor.
A man's present sentiments may not be accurate, but we may make too much of sentiments. We pass a field with a few blades—we call it a field of wheat: but here is no wheat; no, not in perfection : but wheat is sown, and full ears may be expected.
Contrivers of systems on earth are like contrivers of systems in the heavens ; where the sun and the moon keep the same course in spite of the philosophers.
We should take care that we do not make our profession of religion a receipt in full for all other obligations.
A man truly illuminated will no more despise others, than Bartimeus after his own eyes were opened, would take a stick and beat every blind man he met.
The Poet's Corner.
THE “GOSPEL BANNER.”
The one great contest be,
And Christ exalted be.
Lift high the “GOSPEL BANNER"! And join to wage the heavenly war,
We'll plead with one accord That makes his people one.
For union on this truth alone
That JESUS 18 THE LORD : Lift high the “GOSPEL BANNER" ! Then by our swift obedience show, With steady hand and strong
His power to save and bless, As heralds of a brighter day,
That men may be constrained to know That may not tarry long :
The Lord our Righteousness.
And Biblical Treasury :
CONTAINING THE WRITINGS OF ALEXANDER CAMPBELL AND COADJUTORS
IN AMERICA AND GREAT BRITAIN.
[CONTINUED FROM PAGE 9.] C HRISTIANITY is more worthy to be termed a system than is any cos: methodical arrangement of truths and facts to which philosophers have given that name-for its Founder, the constructor of the universe, was the author of all its first principles and consequent deductions, and did himself bestow upon them all their properties and relations. But man is obliged to search for these in objects already in existence, in order to construct his systems. He discovers that certain causes produce certain effects, but cannot discern the nature of the causes, or tell what is the reason that they produce such effects. Indeed, he does not know but that there may be causes unknown to him co-operating with those that are known, in producing them. His systems, in other respects, are imperfect, and every day receive improvements. But Christianity is complete in every part, and susceptible of no amendment. Now in proportion as any system excels in truth and importance, ought it to be guarded the more with jealous care and watchful anxiety. If philosophers, therefore, defend the dignity of their principles, are Christians worthy of blame if they guard theirs from violence with as much determined vigour ?
The Apostles attempted to preserve all the component parts of the Christian religion pure from the supposed amendments of its friends, and safe from the incessant attacks of its enemies. The truths, facts, commands, promises, and institutions, before noticed, were declared by these ambassadors of Heaven, to constitute the Christian religion. They permitted no sentiment to pass unscathed which denied any of the divine attributes—for these caused Jehovah to be the only true God, and consequently, were his glory. When, therefore, the Apostles displayed and vindicated the glory of God, they displayed and vindicated his attributes. Each one, as occasion served, was lifted high for the VOL. I.
admiration and reverence of mankind. But it was in connexion with one subject that they were always most vividly exhibited. This was, The Gospel. Indeed, here they all converged. Hence the gospel facts and doctrines are the brightest display of the divine attributes that men or angels ever saw. No one can believe the gospel facts! unless he believes in them; and he who denies the first, to a great! extent denies the latter. (1 John, v. 9, 10.) The Apostles, therefore, stood like pillars of fire around the facts. Being clad in the armour of the omnipotent God they kept close watch in his church—the heavenly i Jerusalem. All who would not fully acknowledge that Christ, the Son of the Blessed, died for their sins ; that he was buried, and rose again for their justification ; were refused an entrance. And if any within the city denied or perverted these facts, they were banished : and, in those days, they who were expelled from the church were regarded as driven from the presence of the Lord, and as cut off from all participation in his spiritual blessings. Reader! then there were no Christians : in the world—they were all in the church. And as determined were these representatives of the Saviour in refusing to hold communion with any who would not obey the moral commands. These explicitly unfold and enjoin the actions by which we are to manifest the principle of love towards God and man. He who practised lewdness, drunkenness, or pursued any other pleasure of the world, proved that “the love of the Father was not in him.” All such persons the Apostles avoided, (2 | Tim. iii. 4, 5.) So they did the man who was an extortioner, a liar, or a practiser of other kindred works ; for he openly declared that he did not love either his neighbour or Christian brother.
The promises which are the glory of the gospel, are those which are to be realized in the future state : and these constitute the hope of the gospel-They are, a resurrection of the body, a transformation of it, by which it shall be made to resemble the glorious body of Christ, (Phil. üi. 21,) so that, by consequence, it shall flourish in immortal bloom, and a bestowal of bliss overflowing and joy never-dying upon the new born being. When sorrows flung their grappling irons into the souls of the Apostles, this hope was their anchor which prevented them from being dragged into the whirlpool of deep despair :-it gave them joy and peace amid the horrid tempests which men and devils raised against them. Strange, then, would it have been, had they regarded that doctrine with complacency which denied the existence of such hope, or aimed to destroy one of its component parts. Hymeneus and Philetus denied the resurrection, and they were delivered unto Satan. (2 Tim. ii. 17.)
Neither could the Apostles be charitable towards those who refused an obedience to the institutions. We place, 1st. The reading of the Scriptures. John, the beloved, said, “ he that knoweth God,
heareth us; he that is not of God, heareth not us." The venerable Apostle meant, not that it was simply requisite to lend an attentive ear to the sound of their lips ; but to give devout attention to their precepts, whether commanded by word or writing. The New Testament Scriptures contain their expositions of the Christian religion in all its parts. He, therefore, who refuses to receive and read them as the oracles of Heaven-as the only guides to life and happiness—and as the only tribunal at which all religious controversies must be tried—has no fellowship with the Apostles, and, as a consequence, has no communion with God. (1 John i. 3.)
2. Baptism for the remission of sins. It is an immersion in water of a believing subject, in order to receive that blessing which was purchased by the death of Christ. (Mark xvi. 16 ; Rom. vi. 4; Acts ii. 3.) This being part of the commission which they had received from their sovereign Lord, let the candid reader judge, whether, as faithful servants, they would have exercised charity towards that doctrine which attempted to destroy or pervert it.
3. Fellowship. This was the contribution made every first day by the saints, for the relief of the poor, and the maintenance of the cause of Christ. No wonder that the Saviour ordained this institution, for he himself was the noblest example of benevolence that ever existed for the imitation of mankind. Although the beasts were sheltered better than he—for “ the foxes had holes, and the birds of the air had nests; but the Son of Man had not where to lay his head "—yet out of his deep poverty he gave relief to the poor and wretched. (John xiii. 23.) Every principle of Christianity is brought systematically into action, and so governed in all its operations. Hence this institution is the appointed medium through which our benevolence is to work. In Acts č. 42, it is stated as being instituted by the Apostles ; and from 1 Cor. wvi. I, it is evident it was attended to every first day. They were the vicegerents of Christ, and consequently were bound by love and duty not only to appoint this ordinance, but also to preserve its existence and purity.
4. Breaking of bread. The manner in which this was observed is esplicitly stated in 1 Cor. xi. 23 verse to the end. And in Acts xx. 7, that the time of observance was on the first day. In the first-named chapter Paul describes this institution in so solemn a manner, that no pious Christian can read the description without being impressed with the importance of the ordinance. It argues either great impiety or ignorance to disregard it, or in any way detract from its value. "No institution Iras the seal of Jehovah more deeply stamped upon it. The Holy T'welve would ņever have forborne with the man who had attempted to efface the impression.
5. Prayer is a supplicatory address to the Divine Being offered in
the name of Jesus Christ, with the lifting up of holy hands without wrath and doubting. (John xv. 16; 1 Tim. ü. 8.) These are the essential attributes of this highly requisite and solemn ordinance. Woe to theman who removes one! He attempts to block up the path of commu nication which God has made between heaven and earth.
6. Singing is a poetical exaltation of the attributes and deeds of God and his Son, harmoniously uttered with understanding and gratitude. (1 Cor. xiv. 15 ; Col. iii. 16.) Angels pour their melody at the footstool of the Eternal. Nature unceasingly sings a song of praise to Him. Thanks to our God for making it an institution in his church ! The voice of angels and Apostles, of the church and of nature, denounce the man who would deprive Christians of this joy-inspiring gift.
7. Church government. This consists of a watchful care for the house of God; a ruling of it in love and knowledge ; and feeding it with the food which God has given. These duties are performed by preserving a pure worship-by maintaining a scriptural attendance upon the ordinances—and by a right administration of the laws of discipline wbich Christ and his chosen twelve enacted. These essentials of church government are to be strictly observed and brought into action by the elders of the congregation, who are to be chosen out from among their brethren according to apostolic command and precedent. (See Acts xiv. 23 ; xx. 17, to the end ; and 1 Tim. iii. throughout.)
These, then, were the doctrines and institutions advocated and defended by the Apostles. Gentle and forbearing though they were, yet they became bold, vigorous, and determined, when any of these were controverted. We wish to engrave one truth most deeply upon the reader's mind-viz , that every one of the doctrines and ordinances has certain definite blessings attached to a belief and practice of it: so that he who believes and obeys them, not only obtains the smile and approbation of God, but besides this, also secures the needed mercies which the Divine Being has treasured in them. Thus, faith in the attributes of Jehovah, is a first cause of holiness, and, as a consequence, of happiness in the believer. This is but one of the many blessings which spring from it. Every one of the doctrines and institutions perform a part in the great work of raising man from the depths of sin and sorrow, and of elevating him to the regions of purity and peaceso that the Apostles proved their love for men by refusing to spare those who attempted to destroy any of these media of life and bliss. Indeed, it would have been wicked, and misanthropic in the highest degree, had they looked on with complacency and indifference, while men, blind to their own interest, had abstracted one constituent from Christianity. But they ever manifested charity towards those who had embraced the Christian faith, but who had not a clear conception that the Christian religion alone possessed the truth and power to save