« FöregåendeFortsätt »
But there is nothing in B. B.'s letter that surprises me more, than the grave charge of denying the hope of the gospel, which he prefers against those who do not believe in the pre-millennial advent. It is the first time I have heard any one affirm that time destroyed or altered the nature of any fart. For B. B. to say that Mr. Campbell rejects the doctrine of the glorious appearing of our Saviour to raise the dead and judge the world, because he does not expect him yet, is a singular conclusion for any one to arrive at. He might as well charge Paul with similar heresy, when be taught the Thessalonians, that Christ their hope would not come before the rise and reign of the man of sin.
In conclusion I would beg of B. B., if he should again farons us with the rod, to be a little more explicit, and avoid such dark insinuations about the working of the system, &c., and if he sees errors tu point thew out, and we sball then have reason to thank him as being instrumentul to our further reformation. Your brother in the hope of eternal life, N. H.
Bury. REMARK8.—We are much surprised to hear that friend B. B. bas stated his objections were not answered, for in a letter we received from him he thanked us for the reply. The letter was marked "private," and so it would have been kept had be not thus assumed this air of triumph. It is true, we only attacked his principal positions, nor did we much regard his "hard spreches," believing in charity, that they proceeded from a “warm heart" and not from a “cool head." If he thought our arguments vain and pointless, why did he not assault them, and prove their weakness? Brother Harrison has noticed the minor points of B. B.'s letter, and laid bare their futility.
We may here remark, that it is a fixed resolution in our minds, never to treat any of our opponents with severity, till we perceive that their nobler feelings are seared, and that they permit their passions and prejudices to reign over them. So long as a man possesses an excellency of character and a nobility of soul, he is entitled to respect in the same proportion as he manifest these qualities, let his ideas be what they may, and although he may sometimes use expressions containing more heat than light. Now we considered B. B. was such an individual, and our conduct towards him was dictated by the idea ; nor yet is our good opinion of him departed.
Should we ever meet in our editorial path, an obstreperous, self-willed, and unscrupulous man, we shall then certainly use the sledge hammer. ED.
THOUGHTS ON THE LORD'S SUPPER. TO THE EDITOR OF THE GOSPEL BANNER :
Dear Brother.— The Lord's supper was instituted by himself at the pass. over feast with unleavened bread and the liquid fruit of the vine. Matt xxvi. 1729; Mark xiv. 12–25. There are devoted followers of the Lamb who think it wrong to use either leavened bread or any other liquor than the product of the vine in this ordinance. Some such are attached the Churches of the Reformation, who, notwithstanding this attachment, decline holding communion with these churches, solely on this account. They declare that they cannot eat the Lord's supper with leavened bread, and other than the liquid fruit of the vine, with a good conscience.
I stop not to inquire whether they are warrunted to take this position, suffice it to state that there are such, and that they have been reasoned with long and earnestly on this subject, without change. After a very long contemplation of this question, I conclude, that since unleavened bread and the fruit of the vine
can easily be got for this ordinance; it is the duty of every congregation where such persons are hindered by conscientious scruples, immediately to adopt that which all can use with a good conscience. I submit the matter to your readers in the following propositions :
I. The Lord Jesus Christ used unleavened bread and the liquid fruit of the vine when be instituted this supper, therefore it cannot be wrong for his dig. cipies to use the same.
It was while eating the passover that Jesus took bread, and blessed and brake and gave to the disciples, saying, This is my body which is broken for you. Matt. xxvi. 26. If it can be proved that no other than unleavened bread was to be used at the passover feast, then it necessarily follows that the supper was instituted with unleavened bread; and that no other was allowed is evident from many poriions of Scriptures. Ex. xii. 16, abundantly proves the necessity of using unleavened bread only. “ Seven days shall ye eat unleavened bread; even the first day ye shall put away leaven out of your houses : for whosoever enteth leavened bread from the first day until the seventh day that soul shall be cut off from Israel.” The Lord's supper was therefore instituted with unleavened bread. Having given his disciples the cup and invited them to drink of it, he adds " I will not drink henceforth of this fruit of the vine, until," &c. Matt. xxvi. 29. We are even called to suffer for Christ's sake, “because Christ also sutfered for us, leaving us an example that we should follow his steps." I Pet. iii. 21. But where is the suffering in doing as Christ did in this institu. tion? I know nothing that would suffer but our prejudices, and when once these yield to the voice of truth and duty, we ourselves will be glad of it. We have thus proved the rectitude of the first proposition, viz, Thut the Lord Jesns Cbrist used unleavened bread and the liquid fruit of the vine when he instituted tbe supper, therefore it cannot be wrong for his disciples to use the same.
II. There are laws in the New Testament which bind the followers of Jesus to gield to the conscientious scruples of their brethren.
"Let us not therefore judge one another any more : but judge this rather, that no man put a stumblingblock, or an occasion to fall in his brother's way. I know, and am persuaded by the Lord Jesus, that there is nothing unclean of itself: but to him that esteemeth any thing to be unclean, to him it is unclean. But if thy brother be grieved with thy meat, now walkest thou not charitably, (or, as in the new version, you no longer walk as truth requires.) Destroy not him with thy meat, for whom Christ died. Let not then your good be evil spoken of. It is good neither to eat flesh, nor to drink wine, nor any thing whereby thy brother stumbleth, or is offended, or is made weak." Rom. xiv. 13
-16, 21. The principle here taught is Christian law, and so plain that he who runs may read. Those, therefore, who refuse to use unleavened bread and the unfermented fruit of the vine, in the Lord's supper, when the conscience of a brother requires it, should ponder “when ye sin so against the brethren, and wound their (WEAK ?) conscience, ye sin against Christ." I Cor. viii. 12. What nobility of soul is exemplified by the great Apostle to the Gentiles in the succeeding verse, “ Wherefore, if meat make my brother to offend, I will eat no flesh while the world standeth, lest I make my brother to offend." And what a painful contrast is the conduct of some, who, rather than use unleavened bread and the unfermented fruit of the vine, in the Lord's supper, allow their brethren in the Lord to wander at will, and find or not find those with whom they can associate. It appears to me that, if ever there was sectarianism, it is obvioug in such a case. The fate of all opposers of refurm in the cburches is before such as thus stand in the way of Christian union. Let them beware.
MORMONISM. DEAR BROTHER Hupston.-Observing that a party of adventurers, styling themselves “Mormons," or followers of Joe Smith, the American PROPHET, are imposing upon the credulity of our townsmen, by liolding out to them the alluring prospect of being able, by the i:n position of the Lands of the Priesthood, to become the recipients of the spiritual gifts of liealing, speakiug with tongnes, prophesying, &c., &c., I am induced, for the sake of those who may not be suficiently grounded in the truth, to test their doctrines, to offer, through the medium of your valuable periodical, a few remarks, in hope that some, whose eyes this may meet, may be upon their guard against this delusion.
The main foundation which lias been offered to me by some of their deluded followers, in proof of the existence of these powers in the church at the present day, is the promise of our Lord in Mörk xri. 17, 18—" And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out fdevils; ther shall speak with new tougues; they shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover."
Taking it for granted, (as they assume and teach,) that the words, "them that believe," are addressed to the people to whom the gospel was to be preached—10 those who should hear, believe, and obey its requirements, thronghout this dis. pensation—the foundation is a good one, and one upon wbich they have some show of authority for believing that the promised signs will follow their obedience. But, from a careful perusal of the whole chapter, an attentive consideration of all the circumstances which called forth the expression from the lips of our Saviour, I am inclined to believe, and I think I am borne out by the portion of Scripture in question, that the words, “them that believe," was addressed solely to the individuals who were present on that occasion—those to whoin our Lord was speaking—those whom he was on that occasion charging with the important work of “ preaching the Gospel," viz., the Apostles.
Let us briefly examine the context, and see how the matter stands. In the former part of the chapter it is recorded, that certain of the Lord's followers came to the tomb where he had been laid, bringing sweet spices, that they might anoint his body; but, contrary to their expectation, they found the stone rolled away from the sepulchre, and, entering, found there a young man sitting, clothed in a long white garment; and they were affrighted. He said unto them, “Be not affriglited: Ye seek Jesus of Nazareth, which was crucified : ne is risen ; he is not here; behold the place where they laid bim. But go your way, and tell his disciples and Peter that lie goeth before you into Galilee: there shall ye see him, as he said unto you. (See Matt. xxvi. 32.) But they fled quickly from the sepulchre, and told no man of this thing, for they were afraid and trembled.” But, (verse 9,) “when Jesus was risen early the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, (See John xx. 11, 17.) und she went and told them that had been with him, as they mourned and wept. And they, when they heard that he was alive, and had been seen of her, believed not." (Verse 12.) “ After that he appeared in another form unto two of them, as they
Falked, and went into the country. (Luke xxiv. 13–31.) Anil they went and told it unio the residue: neither believed they them.” Afterwards our Lord liimself appeared unto the eleven as they sat at meat and “upbraided them with their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they believed not them which had seen bim after he was risen."
Thus, we perceive, that although our Lord had told them distinctly, previous | to being arraigned at Pilate's bar, that he shonld be put to death, and on the
third day rise again-although it had been announced to them by some of their own brethren who had seen him and spoken to him after his resurrection that Jesus was risen-yet they were faithless and unbelieving.
Our Lord at once proceeded, (after having sulmonished them for their want of faith,) to deliver to them the terms of that Gospel which they were to preach in his name, to all the world, to every crenture and signified to them, at the same time, that these signs should follow them that believe. (Verse 19.) So then after the Lord had spoken unto them, he was received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God. (20.) And they (the Apostles) went forth, (according to the commission,) and preached every where, the Lord working with them, and confirming the Word with signs following, viz.
They had power to take up serpents, and to drink any deadly thing without
If, then, we confine the expression, “them that believe,” to the Apostles, whom our Lord was addressing and upbraiding for their hardness of heart and their unbelief, we find that the Scriptures and history confirm the truth that they acted faithfully in discharge of the duty imposed upon them, and that our Lord, according to his promise, worked with them in signs and wonders, in confirmation of the divinity of their mission; which things being recorded by them, and handed down to us, have a claim upon our faith in Christ as the Son of God.
Box if, on the other hand, the expression " them that believe,” is referred to those whom the gospel was to be preached to those who should, in after generations believe its report, and obey its requirements--then we are driven to the alternative, (seeing that these signs have not bean continued in the church,) either To admit that there have been to believers during this dispensation; or, To charge our Lord with making a promise which has not been fulfilled. I leave our
“Mormon expositors” to take which side of the dilemma they choose-aod, at the same time, earnestly exhort those who are brought within the influence of error, to beware, and test every doctrine which is advanced, by the sure standard—the Word of God—not by detached portions, but the whole passage, taking full cognizance of its circumstances, its arguments, and its object, with this shield, an unprejudiced mind, and a child-like disposition of inquiry after truth, there is little to fear. Yours faithfully,
D. WIDDOWSON. Basford, January 23, 1849.
News from Churches.
the last resource to be adopted, but it is, Our little church has suffered throngh | indispensable.) You will observe that, the pressure of the times driving a we have had an increase of 11, notwithnumber of brethren to seek subsistence standing the continual coming and in the United States. The additions going to and from this great city, to that we make from time to time, only | which so many resort in pursuit of all maintaining our number at about 20; | livelihood. Our present number is 70, i but we are living in love and peace, and, I and I think our prospect good, for there think, increasing in the knowledge of seems a disposition on the part of the God.
N. HARRISON. brethren to exert themselves in the ser BULWELL.
vice of our Lord Jesus Cbrist-and when TRIs congregation is walking in the
this is done, his blessing is sure to fear of the Lord and in the comfort of
follow, and the result is the salvation of the Holy Spirit, and as a consequence,
some of our guilty race. And what gaio is multiplied. Five individuals have
so great and so valuable ! “ What would recently been added to our number,
it profit a man if he should gain the i and the proclamations of the gospel are | whole world, and loose his own soul!" || well attended. W. J. Dawsox.
This is a small village about 8 miles! Our church is in the enjoyment of
west of Nottingham. A company of every blessing which we can expect to
disciples “unknown to fame," exists i enjoy on earth. Many are being added
here, whose numbers amount to 15. to our numbers—and although now and
This small congregation exhibits in then a refractory character rises up, still
bold relief, the power of the truth, and the good judgment and straight forward
the value of Christian fortitude and per ness of the officers of the church, com
severance. They have no public meet- || bined with the confidence of the bre
ing house, but assemble in a private obe, thren are more than sufficient to root
and although they have not till recently out every “root of bitterness" which
been regularly visited for a long period rises op.
W. ANDERSON. by any speakers from the neighbouring GLASGOW.
churches, and although not possessing The congregation at Glasgow is
themselves the gifts of speaking, fet :
have they maintained their position getting along very harmoniously, and feels gratified from time to time by see
amid the slander and blasphemy of 1
cold, heartless, and wicked world.-ED. ing individuals come forward to confess the truth, and yield obedience to the
NEWARK. Lord Jesus Christ, to whom every knee
We had a female translated out of shall yet bow, and every longue confess
darkness into light, through faith and that he is Lord, to the glory of God the
baptism, on Saturday evening, December" Father. I see, during the year 1848, we
J. HAGE. have had 13 added to our number by immersion, (if we may so express it,j about 15 more have been received by
REPORT letter, and personal commendation, and 3 restored, making in all 31. There
Of the formation and first Meeting of the
London District Association of Christian | have left, during the year, for various
Churches, held in Providence Chapel qnarters, 15, some to Paisley, Greenock, Liverpool, Australia, &c., 2 have fallen
St. Pancras, London, on Monday the
25th December, 1818. asleep in Jesus. and 3 have been separated, making in all 20. (Separation is A portion of time having been oceuthe most painful of all duties, it is also pied in the presentation of praise and