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my child, will soon be over with you ; the world will soon slip through your hands, or rather you will soon slip through it: it seems but the other day since I received these instructions from my dear father, that I am now leaving
with you : and the God that gave me ears to hear, and a heart to receive what my father said to me, will, I hope, give you grace to love and follow the same instructions.
Thus did Paternus educate bis son.
QUERIES ANSWERED. Query. “WHETHER had we better, to save from the error of their way, treat as aliens, all unbaptized persons, or acknowledge them as worshippers of the true God, and as a kind of half-way Christians ?”
M. W. Answer. We have no half-way Christians in fact, though we have many in practice. If turning away from a professor ignorant and prejudiced, or if telling him that we regarded him as no better than a heathen man or a publican, and would neither sing, nor pray, nor worship God in his presence, would propitiate his ears and give us access to his heart, and tend to his illumination, one might hazard it; but such a course only obtains for him that does it unqualified reprobation as a proud self-righteous Pharisee, and for ever nullifies his efforts to gain à favourable audience—without which he can do nothing. Besides, we are to treat all men with respect, and give them full credit for all they possess, and without flattering them into a system of selfdeception ; like Paul, we should to the Jew become a Jew, and to the Greek become a Greek; yea, become all things to all men, without conceding the truth, that we might gain men to Christ. There are many good men, of large intelligence, possessed of many Christian virtues, who are not immersed ; and who, though not constitutional citizens of his kingdom, would lay down their lives for Christ. These ought to have credit for all they possess; and as Priscilla and Aquila took Apollos (who, though an eloquent man and mighty in the Scriptures, knew only the baptism of John,) and instructed him better ; so ought we when such persons come in our way. Now many excellent persons there are in our day standing to the kingdom of Jesus just as Apollos stood before he heard these gifted disciples teach the way of the Lord more perfectly.
A. C. Query. “Ought Christians to pray with any with whom they would not commune in all religious or Christian institutions ?” Dr. J.
Answer. Christians may pray with all persons who wish to pray through the Mediator; and none else will ask them to pray. Prayer is not a Christian institution any more than singing psalms. They prayed and sang praises under all dispensations. But they did not observe any of the peculiar institutions of Christ's kingdom in the first
or second ages of the world. Now as Christians, we can only commune with Christians in Christian institutions ; but as religious men, we may perform any act of religion with religious men that is common to all dispensations. Hence both Jesus and Paul prayed and gave thanks in the promiscuous companies which flocked around them without asking any questions for conscience sake. John iv. 22., Acts xxi. 6., 1 Tim, ii. 8., John xi. 41, 42., John xii. 27, 28.
We are indeed under obligations to pray“ for all men," and to “pray every where,” “ with all prayer and supplication ; ” and as our Lord addressed his Father in the presence of the thousands whom he fed and to whom he preached, and prayed even for his enemies ; surely so ought we do as his disciples and followers !
A. C. Query. “What is a church to do when its Elders leave them on the Lord's day and go to other meetings ?”..
Mrs. T. Answer. Appoint new Elders. Whenever the shepherds abandon their flocks, it is high time they were put into other hands. I do not know how such persons can watch for the souls of their flock, or give a good account of themselves when the King of kings comes. A. C.
DISCIPLINE. MR. A. CAMPBELL,–
I HAVE just finished reading your Essay on " ORDER ;” and you know, from many proofs now in your possession, that I flatter no man, but that I bring every man's works to the test; or, like Mr. Jones' surly mathematician named VINCE, I always say when I have finished reading “ Well, but what does all this prove ? »
Now let me say to you, that this same Essay gave to me as much, if not more, consolation than any thing written by you or any other man since I believed the Apostles' teaching to be of God; not because any thing in it was new to me, but because the things which I had learned from the teaching and example of the Apostles and the first Christians were set in order so as to be the more clearly seen, and because that by it I was the more convinced that those who learn in the same school, and are taught by the same teachers, speak the same things.
I, who never entered any other school of theology than the church of Jesus Christ, and who never read any man's works on theology until after I had entered the church, have repeatedly taught to the church of which I am a member and a servant, almost all the things taught in your Essay, of which the whole church can testify. This fact is strong circumstantial evidence that what you have taught in the Essay was not learned in any school of human device.
In church discipline I had taken a view which differs a little from the one expressed by you. In the 18th chapter of Natthew our Lord gives directions to his disciples how they shall settle private difficulties between individuals; and if they fail to succeed, then, after proper preparation, by summoning witnesses to take notice of the charge, and of the refusal to comply with the laws of the King by the party accused, they shall then report the case to the church, &c.
Here I turn to the Apostle for instructions how the church shall attend to this matter-whether the whole church, male and female, shall sit and hear all the testimony of the witnesses pro and con, in all cases, ("incest” not excepted,) and then by a vote it shall be determined whether the accused is guilty or not; the majority to determine the guilt or innocence of the accused. Or whether the church shall set apart men (not women) as judges, who shall sit in judgment, and hear all the testimony, pro and con, in the case; and then decide as to the guilt or innocence of the accused, and report their decision to the church for confirmation.
I understand the Apostle Paul to instruct as above (in substance) in all cases that come before the church: “ If, then, you have cognizance of a matter pertaining to this life, why do you set those to judge who are of no account in the congregation ! For shame to you I say it." Here the Apostle had reference to the tribunals in the Roman government. In it Judges were appointed ; and some of the ignorant disciples in the church were in favour of going before the Judges appointed in the civil government to have their difficulties adjusted; but Paul condemns that practice, and shows that the least esteemed in the church were better qualified to decided a case by the laws of Jesus Christ than any of the Judges in Cesar's dominions were, and that the jurisdiction of the church extended farther than the jurisdiction of Cesar did. Cesar's Judges had no cognizance beyond human beings; but Christ's judges had cognizance of angels as well as men; for if an angel were to preach any other gospel to them than the one preached by the Apostles, they had power to judge and condemn him as well as men.
By attention to the instructions of the Apostle, the whole church, male and female, old men, young men, and babes in Christ, are not detained to hear all the testimony detailed by the witnesses relative to some shameful breach of the laws of the King," that should not even be named amongst them as saints." Nor are fathers compelled to sit in judgment upon their children, nor husbands upon their wives, nor wives upon their husbands and children, nor children upon their fathers and mothers. Thus has the Apostle guarded against the harrowing up all the ties of nature, and putting to the blush all the relatives of a transgressor.
I will now detail our practice, as a church, in cases of discipline. If the offence have been originally of the individual kind, when report is made to the Elder he inquires of the reporter whether the laws of the King, as expressed in Matthew xviii., have been properly attended to; and on being answered in the affirmative, he calls upon the church to appoint men to investigate and report whether the accused is guilty of a breach of the King's laws or not, and whether he be penitent and willing to ask forgiveness of God and of the church, or not. If, upon report, he be penitent, he then publicly confesses his fault and asks forgiveness, and is forgiven; but if not, he is separated from the privileges of the church, by confirming the report of the judges thus set apart by the church.
Where the offence is of the public kind originally—upon report being made to the Elder, the same proceedings are had as before detailed. Iy much esteem, I remain your's,
REPLY. MR. M. Winans.
THERE are but few whose approbation of my Essay on Order, or of my general essays on the things pertaining to the kingdom of Messiah the Prince, I more highly appreciate than that of brother Winans.
In the present instance I would rather have the concurrence of one whose only guide and directory is the Oracles of God, who has capacity to understand the book according to the most obvious rules of interpretation, who has been an active member of a community meeting every week in honour of the institutions of Jesus, than the concurrence of the
most learned prelate or presbyter in things ecclesiastic, north or south of the river Tweed.
As to the reference made by you to that part of the Extra which looks askance at the 18th chapter of Matthew, I would hastily observe that, as the whole matter appears to my mind, there is little or no difference in judgment. I do not consider that the phrase, “ Tell it to the church," behooves every soul to hear it in full assembly met ; for then all the church must be ear. Nor do I regard the phrase, “ Hear the church," as implying that all the church speak; for that would be to make all the church tongue. And still less do I regard any phrase in that discourse as implying that the whole church is to judge the case ; for that would be to make the whole church a tribunal, and all its members judges, without regard to witnesses, accuser or accused.
In other matters we have no difficulty in understanding such language, because common sense is allowed to operate. When we say the City or the State has been informed of any matter, or have decided à certain matter as a City, or a State, we do not include the whole community, but only those appointed by the people to act in the name or for the sake of the whole community. So was it in the days of the
synagogue, so is it in the days of the Christian church. When the Christian community has appointed a committee or a tribunal to examine any matter, and they are reported to the congregation, and the congregation has approved their decision; then he that refuses to hear that tribunal, refuses to hear the congregation, just as much as if the congregation had resolved itself into a committee of the whole and judged the case as a popular assembly.
The Baptists have not unfrequently been subjected to all those inconveniencies to which you alluded, by interpreting the 18th chapter too democratically ; churches have been rent in twain by the clannish spirit of family connexion, &c. through the full development before every Eje and ear of things which ought not to have been named. They seem not to have always thought that the whole church hears, sees, and acts, when those appointed by her hear, see, and act in the works assigned them, and that when the church-the whole community, approbate the decision of any case, it is the same as if the case had been decided on a hearing by the vote of every individual member. Nor does any thing, be it observed, found in the New Testament, in the passage under consideration, nor in any other, forbid an appeal being made to the whole community when there is nothing in the case prohibiting the presence of all, or, what is the same thing, nothing in it revolting to the feelings of any member, male or female ; and when nothing short of such an appeal shall, in the judgment of the church, give full and ample satisfaction to one of the parties.
But these remarks in passing, to notice that I am not so sure that you have got exactly the meaning of I Cor. vi. 4, 5. I should read as
in the 4th edition of the new version, and as pointed by Griesbach :
"If, then," or “ since, then,” or “when, then," as the case may be, • you have the cognizance of such matters, why do you" (the church) “set those to judge who are of no account" (the Pagan magistrates) in the congregation. For shame to you I say !” O Corinthians ! “ So, then, there is not among you a wise man who shall be able to decide between his brethren. But brother with brother is judged, and that by infidels”—the persons of no account in the congregation.
It is either ironically spoken, or the Apostle condemns the brethren for suffering their causes to be heard by Heathen magistrates—persons of no account in the Christian community.
The judging of angels and the judging of the world donbtless refers to a state of things yet future-- we shall judge the world—we shall judge angels—or, what is the same, we are to do those things.
I am very sure that if all things are done decently, as they ought to be in the Christian church, such scenes as those to which you allude will never by the Elders of the congregation be permitted to come before all the members any other way than as deciding upon the report, or in sustaining the decision of those appointed in the manner aforesaid to judge the case. In the kingdom, your fellow-servant,
Monthly Record of Passing Events.
A ROMISH FATHER'S OPINION OF THE REFORMATION.-In a funeral oration on the late Mr. O'Connell, delivered in Rome, Father Ventura eulogises the (so-called) Liberator of Ireland, for his championship of Popery on a certain occasion, in the following terms:—“Never was placed in a more conspicuous light the shameful origin of the Reformation, the beastly nature of its author, the dissoluteness of its apostles, the blasphemies and contradictions of its doctrines, the baseness of its manæuvres, the hypocrisy of its promises, the turpitude of its motives, the iniquity of its spoilation, the cruelty of its massacres, the horror of its sacrileges, and the mighty misfortunes which it has brought down upon the loveliest countries of Europe.” He likewise exultingly states, that, “O'Connell, by having emancipated the Catholic church in England, has given to English Protestantism a blow from which it can never recover. That horrible scandal of the sovereignty of Christianity, that monstrous offspring of the spirit of impurity, combined with the spirit of covetousness and pride, is on the point of expiring.”
VAUNTED LIBERALITY OF THE POPE.—This most enlightened man of the present age, as some would have him to be, has recently delivered himself in Consistory, of the following sentiments :-“ From the measures which, in certain affairs, relating to the civil government of the Pontifical States, we thought fit to adopt, it seems those men have desired to infer that we think so benevolently concerning every class of mankind as to suppose, that not only the sons of the Church, but the rest also, however alienated from Catholic unity they may remain, are alike in the way of salvation, and may arrive at eternal life. We are at a loss from horror to find words to express our detestation at this new and atrocious injustice that is done us."