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Another misapplication is made to dead in trespasses and sins, and is consist in deciding that the Apostle, described as being " the work of faith by the idea of works, includes faith, with power.” &c. A little attention to the pamph- Perversion 15. Philippians i. 29, let would have rectified this mistake. is made, in J. D.'s hands, to speak If, however, as Campbell affirms, and tautology. The passage, however, J. D. reaffirms, faith, repentance, though the word “ opportunity” is and baptism, are to be done by the dragged in from Macknight, must, to sinner, in order to secure his per- an English reader, (and it cannot be sonal salvation, then they are placed denied that our translation is strictly in the same position with legal effort. a literal one) convey the idea that 66 This do and thou shalt live,” is the something more than an opportunity language of the law ; faith, repent was given to believe, as something ance, and baptism, are the works more than an opportunity was given represented as being required by the to suffer. Their sufferings for his gospel to obtain eternal life. Strange sake were the result of his grace and that the passage quoted should prove providence, since the one placed them the very reverse. “ It is of faith, in circumstances of suffering, the that it might be by grace." That is, other enabled them to support it; and the gospel says, believe on Jesus, and their belief in Christ was from the thou shalt be saved—believe that he same source, if there is any meaning has done all, that he requires nothing in the Apostle's language, for an opof thee, yea, that faith itself is his portunity to believe, and given to begift ; for if, as the Apostle declares, lieve, are two very different ideas, we are saved by grace through faith, since the former may result in unbehe adds, " and that not of ourselves, lief, and would have been equally apit is the gift of God.”
plicable to those Philippians who I now come to the concluding part had heard the gospel, and yet did not of your correspondent's strictures, believe it. commencing with a caution to the | Perversion 16. Dark as that part “ Baptist members," as “juvenile of the religious world may be in which warriors," simply enough taking no the writers of the pamphlet live, there trouble about the premises they lay is sufficient light at least to enable down. This sage admonition may them to judge about the correctness have emanated from one deeply versed of your correspondent's “perversions.” in the theological lore of “ Bethany | On Col. ii. 12, he tells us “the ablest College." I will, however, take leave Greek scholars are decided that the to examine his remaining “ perver- idiom of the language will not admit sions.”
of this construction”-that is, I preAnd first with regard to perversion sume, that faith is of the operation of 14. Eph. i. 19, at least teaches that God. This, it cannot be denied, is there was a power exercised on those strictly the literal rendering of the who believe a power of the same passage, and is coherent with the character as that wrought in Christ - subsequent verse, where believers the same power of which the Apostle are said to be quickened with Christ. goes on still further to speak in 2nd They were dead in their sins, and chapter, “ And you hath he quicken- the power by which they were raised ed who were dead in trespasses and with Christ was the power of God. sins.” Consequently, the power here As it regards the construction of the spoken of embraces the commence- language not admitting this idea, it ment, as well as the continuance, of would have been well if we had been their spiritual life, seeing its opera- furnished with some proof of this. tions commenced when they were | In the absence of this, and the fact that our translation is strictly in that power. Was there anything to accordance with the original, I shall secure that willingness? Then if so, leave J. D. to his “ablest Greek in a certain sense, they were made scholars” to make out a case against willing, how they are made so the our translation
| Psalmist describes : “ The Lord shall Supposing that he has completely send the rod of his strength out of exploded the idea of faith being the Zion.” That a power, therefore, is gift of God, he triumphantly asks, exerted, is plain, and that this power “Is there no proof of this most secures a willing (or voluntary offerpopular doctrine ? and echo (his ing, as the word nedaboth may be own) answers not one.” Nor can rendered), and numerous people, is be, according to his own ingenious equally plain. But, on J. D.'s supway of explaining scripture, since the position, neither the one nor the other premises are, Gud cannot give fuith is sacred, since all power but what to believe.
is contained in the preaching of the The least reflection will suffice to gospel is, and this, is entirely continshow the fallacy of perversion 17 on gent on the will of man. Acts xi. 18 and v. 31 (though at the Ephesians, chap. i. I have already first blush there appears a great show referred to. The assertion, that from of argument), for as in the former i. chap. 13 ver. the allusion is to the case he cites (that is the case of apostles, is completely gratuitous. It Cornelius), it was more than the pro- is evident that the apostle, in the two clamation of repentance which had first chapters, teaches the union of been granted to the Gentiles, seeing Gentile and Jew in one church, both they were manifestly the subject of partakers of the same blessings. it; so in the latter case there is no We have, in perversion 20, another solid reason why the words should attempt to make the writers of the not be understood as referring to a pamphlet speak tautology, like the divine change, manifested on the day following :-“When the power of of Pentecost, in the conversion of God is accompanied by the power of 3000. But we are told that supple- God, the sinner obeys.” According mentary words are necessary, and to this fashion, it might be shown your correspondent decides that his that there was tautology in the aposown supplementary words are to be tle's language to the Thessalonians, substituted. In reply to this, I an- who might be made to speak thus : swer there are no supplementary “ Our power of God came not unto words necessary; the fact that Israel- you in word only, but in power,” &c. ites and Gentiles were made the The absurdity of such a mode of subject of real repentance justifies argument must be manifest. the use of the expressions.
Again, the writers of the pamphlet Perversion 18. J. D. appears to are charged with blowing hot and be very much amused by the idea of cold, because they make justification men being “made willing," and ex- in one place the result of calling in horts the writers of the pamphlet to another; they do not admit that look and see that no such words as calling even includes election. We “making them a willing people in have, however, a distinction made by the day of Christ's power” occur in J. D. himself in reference to calling, Psalm cx. Now, if the words them- in his idea of ordinary calls and old selves do not occur, their meaning Testament calls; and certain it is does, which is just the same thing the brethren addressed by the apostles The psalm teaches that Christ shall are styled “ the called.” Now, surely have a day of power and authority, this must convey the idea of a special and a people willing in the day of call, and a call the result of choice or
purpose. If it does not, calling and dead nationally, and were restored election, on the part of God, as it nationally by Almighty power. Your regards its speciality, is completely correspondent denies that the prophecy set aside, and thus involves an absur- can have any reference to a resurrecdity, since all hearing the gospel may tion of sinners from sin and unbelief, be called and elected, provided they because the prophecy refers to Israel are only so disposed. But choice nationally, and not to a part, but the supposes a selection of some from whole. Israel, however, it is clear, among others; and that this choice was typical of the true church ; and is not the result of certain acts per precisely the same idea is brought formed by the sinner, is plain from forward in reference to Gentile and the apostle's language, “ Who hath Jew, as being raised up together and chosen and called us with an holy made to sit together in - heavenly calling, not according to our works,” places in Christ Jesus; and that the &c. True diligence is necessary in prophecy has a reference to a spiritual the Christian life as a means to an resurrection, is plain from the promise end, but not as a condition ; the that God would put his Holy Spirit former teaches that by diligence we within them, and David, his son, make our calling and election sure ; should be their Prince for ever. To the latter supposes we never can be as liberal as possible, however, he make it sure, since it is entirely de- admits that the prophecy may have pendent on our continuance in faith a reference to the church raised from and holiness.
her Laodicean state. I amf ar from Approaching to a climax in his thinking that the addresses to the similitudes, your correspondent likens seven Asiatic churches may not be the authors of the pamphlet to a lion understood prophetically ; but that lashing itself into fury by the violent there is any allusion to the Laodicean use of its tail, so that they even state of the church in this prophecy, become valorous enough to pen is very questionable. Israel was to Campbell a challenge!! Since, how be raised from death by the Divine ever, he interposes as his champion, Spirit being put within them. This, I will take leave to consider his however, is said of all believers, and explanation of the difficulty proposed conséquently the prophecy must refer in Ezekiel, chap. xxxvii. viz. the reason to men raised from the grave of their why the prophet prophesied to dry sins to a new life by the Spirit of bones. The first reason that he gives God. This Spirit is given in conis, that Ezekiel was commanded to nection with the preaching of the do so ; and with this statement the gospel-the dead hear the voice of objection, that it is absurd to call the Son of God; and thus, however upon men to repent and believe the the idea of calling on men to believe, gospel when they have no power, who nationally have no power, may vanishes. The prophet considered be considered absurd, it is fully sancthe command given sufficient autho- tioned by the example furnished in rity, without questioning the divine the case of the prophet. power to make the dry bones hear Yours respectfully, G. R. D. and live. In the same way, those Liverpool, March 22, 1848. who proclaim the gospel to men, though dead in trespasses and sins,
PEACE AND UNION. have the highest authority and en- Dear Brother Little did I think, couragement to do so. But he tells when I penned my letter of the 16th us the vision is prophetical. Israel October last, that I was writing matwas not really dead, they might be ter that would call forth a reply; and restored. Still it is plain they were you may, therefore, imagine my surprise to find in the March number of shall the weak brother perish for the Harbinger, a letter from Brother whom Christ died ? But when ye P. C. Gray, Edinburgh, condemning sin so against the brethren, and wound or censuring our brethren who se their weak conscience, ye sin against ceded from the Baptist body here, for Christ,” But do not misunderstand that act. Not only so—had this been me: I do not wish to legislate upon all it would not have elicited a re- / difference of opinion, or condemn any joinder, but would most certainly brother for holding any opinion, howhave shown a want of charity, of ever wild and extravagant, provided brotherly love towards them and the he does not carry it into practice to church in Dundee, and also a self-im- the injury of others. When, howportance in Brother Gray which ever, a brother carries his opinions ought to be abased ;—but in that letter into practice to the offence of others; it is distinctly asserted, as a funda when a brother, in contempt of others' mental principle of the New Testa- weakness, (supposing it to be so) and ment, that a member going to a dis- despite all entreaty, sits down with tance can hold fellowship with the the unbaptized, and by so doing reunbaptized. Now with every desire cognizes them as the followers of the to discover in what part of the Scrip- Lamb, surely the church has a right tures this principle is recorded, I must to reprove such a brother, and surely avow I cannot find it. Brother Gray it cannot be disorderly to do so. I asks, “ Were not the weak told not to decidedly object to Brother Gray's condemn the strong, and the strong position until it be established by noi to despise the weak, for God hath evidence. He seems to consider it received them ? This is all very invincible. If it be, will he remove true, but in reply I would refer him these, with other similar objections, to Rom. xv. 1 : “We then who are which, to me, appear insuperable ? strong ought to bear the infirmities If his position be untenable, he ought of the weak, and not to please our- at once to relinquish it, and confess selves.” The Apostle Paul could, in his error. He says, “ How are we the strength of his mind, eat meat in ever to teach our brethren among the an idol's temple, but he would not, sects ( ?) our better way, if we stand lest his brother should be offended ; on our supposed (!) eminence, and and he warned those Corinthians who despise all others ?" I would not depossessed strength, not to do this lest spise any one, but I would like to their weak brother perish. Apply know “how are we ever to teach” the same principle to the present case. our brethren among the sects our Read also 1 Cor. viii. 8, &c. with better way, if we countenance unnotes in brackets. “But meat com- hesitatingly the wicked in their mendeth us not to God; for neither prayers and offerings, which are an if we eat (in an idol's temple with the abomination unto the Lord ? Come disobedient) are we the better ; nei-out from among them, my brethren, ther if we eat not are we the worse. and be not partakers of their plagues. But take heed lest by any means this I do not think it necessary to perliberty of yours become a stumbling- plex the discussion of the major problock to them that are weak. For position enunciated by Brother Gray, if any man see thee which hast know- by considering whether we should ledge (not the weak or ignorant) sit bestow on the Baptist body in general at meat in the idol's temple, (or with the appellation of “our brethren," the unbaptized) shall not the con- or view them as such ; but trusting science of him who is weak be em- that this subject will not be lost sight boldened to do likewise through your of, I will, for the present, leave example ; and through thy knowledge the matter, and request Brother Gray
to answer the above and the following among brethren, by supposed or imaqueries, viz. :
ginary, than by real cases of this kind. 1. Have we any command or pre- | Can a brother or sister be found in cept warranting us to hold Christian any of our churches, who openly and fellowship with any who have not intelligently gave themselves to the been admitted (by baptism) into the Lord by baptism, for the remission of family of God; or is there any ex- sins, who afterwards desired, or even ample of the first Christians having troubled themselves for one moment done so ?
| about sitting down at the Lord's ta2. If not, by what authority does ble with the unbaptized ? Of the exBrother Gray substantiate this as istence of such a case we have not being a fundamental principle of the heard, either in England or Scotland. New Testament ?
| Then why controvert the subject ? Yours, &c. FRATER. Respecting our being brought into Dundee, 17th March, 1848. union with all who have been imP.S. Is it possible for unconscious
mersed, the idea is utopian. As well infants to be carried into the kingdom might we expect to be brought into of God's dear Son ? Brother Gray |
a union with the Roman Catholics. has said they can, “ surreptitiously.”
cously), Their inveterate hatred, and unmis
taken opposition to baptism for the [NOTE.-Since receiving the above remission of sins, although it is rewe have again read Brother Gray's | peatedly "commanded by the Holy letter, page 136, in which he says— Spirit, is proof positive that, as a body, “ There is a broad line to be drawn they can never" fraternize with us. between those who are carried sur- | The Baptist may, as some affirm, be reptitiously in their nurse's arms into the constitutional kingdom of Christ the kingdom ; and those who, openly i now on earth, (the unbaptized not and intelligently, have given them- having even entered the kingdom) selves up to the Lord in the institu- still it is a fact acknowledged by tion of baptism.” And again, “Sup- many of the most intelligent of their pose a brother so diverse in his opin- own body, that they have, in many ion from me, as to sit down with those things, grossly departed from the who have not been baptized, am I at spirit and practice of Primitive Chrisliberty to regard this difference of tianity. To reform whole churches opinion so as to shut him out from is found to be almost impossible. the table of the Lord,” &c. Brother Those, then, who have the moral Gray does not, in this paragraph, courage to plead for what they pereven intimate, that he himself would ceive to be clearly revealed in the sit down at the Lord's table with the gospel, must separate, and come out unbaptized. For him to do this from among the disobedient-“ For would be to offend a weak brother. that servant who knew his Lord's But suppose a weak brother be in- will, and did it not, shall be beaten duced to do so, he could make this with many stripes." We were glad matter of forbearance, and allow it to to hear that some, possessed of this pass without admonition or reproof : moral courage, were found among the at the same time, however, we hope Baptists in Dundee. We hope many not without imparting further instruc- more are on the way, who will not tion on the subject.
only lay aside all human creeds and Without entering into particulars, dogmas, but will exhibit, both in and thereby preventing Brother Gray spirit and practice, the truth as it is answering for himself, we take leave in Jesus. to remark, that more controversy, and The idea of persons being recogmore grief of mind, have been created 'nized as disciples of Christ, before