Page images

self be turned to the account of estab- time, but the developments of the lishing and forwarding that very radical defectiveness of such a princiTRUTH which it had so completely ple, to procure for the governed peace, corrupted and hindered.

contentment, subordination, good orIn conclusion, then, for a moment der, and happiness, and the insuffilet us stand still, contemplate, and ciency of man to govern ? Thus, by admire the wondrous ways of the its own working, does God bring to Most High-who, in his all-wise and nothing the wisdom of this world ; holy providence, gives an opportunity and when it is all in confusion, upfor good and evil, truth and falsehood, roar, and anarchy, and man at his right and wrong, to develope them wit's end, by a well-ordered agency, selves—to take the field, and grapple awakens attention to the truth, which, in conflict with each other, without at the proper time, is strongly exhibany adventitious aid or hindrance ited in his own appointed way, and being shown to one more than ano- embodied in the unity, order, and exther : that the whole intelligent uni- cellence of character, which are seen to verse might see, in the final issue, the exist among the subjects of the kingsuperiority of eternal truth and right- dom of his Son, who is destined to eousness—the inherent, indestructible rule over all, alone, and for ever, to excellence and power of truth, love, the praise of the glory, of the favor, meekness, and gentleness, to vanquish and wisdom of God. and hold everlasting dominion. Be- Such, we conceive to be the truth, fore the Saviour of men visited our and the way we are to interpret this earth, and from the time that Abra- vision. ham was called and his family sepa- This article having grown into sufrated from the nations, to be the con- ficient length for one number, we must servators of God's truth and purposes, still defer giving our thoughts on the the other nations of the world were 20th chapter till next month. left," and suffered to walk in their

J. D. own ways," till it was fully made manifest 6 that the world by wisdom CORRESPONDENCE. knew not God.” It then pleased God, “ through the foolishness of LETTER FROM SCOTCH BAPTIST. preaching, to save them who believe.” In like manner, since the first laying

DEAR SIR — Without referring to anything of the foundation stone of Messiah's I have already said upon the subject in dis

pute between us, I proceed to notice the universal kingdom till now, the rulers affirmation you have made - That baptism is of this world, on refusing to submit the divinely constituted medium of bringing to be governed by him whose right it intelligent, believing penitents into the enjoy. was to reign whose sceptre is a

Now ment of peace and pardon before God.

I affirm that no such doctrine is to be found sceptre of righteousness- -have just in the scriptures. So far as I know there is been allowed to take their own way, only one place in scripture where the real and to rule the world after their own meaning of Christian baptism is to be found,

and that is in the 6th chap. of Romans, where fashion, which is radically of one

the Apostle affirms that baptism is the likestamp all the world over- --arbitrary ness of the death, hurial, and resurrection of power, physical force, might the stan- Jesus Christ, by which believers are planted dard of right, being the essential prin- together. Now every attempt to force a ciple in them all. Time and oppor- the Apostle has given of it, will only lead to

meaning on baptism, inconsistent with that tunity, in the wisdom of God, are error. His meaning, then, is neither more nor granted them, till the naughtiness of less than this--that baptism is the likeness, the whole be made manifest. And resemblance, or figurative representation, of what do we see taking place in the Christ; or, in other

words, the likeness of the

the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus nations of the world at the present' most important fact that ever took place in


this world. Now it is the belief of this fact, other thing being necessary to the enjoyment upon the testimony of God that brings guilty of pardon and peace. But had they entersinners into the enjoyment of peace and tained the same views of baptism which you pardon before God; but to say that obedience advocate, they would have told their hearers, to baptism is the medium through which this that notwithstanding all they had said about peace and pardon are to be enjoyed, is forcing the forgiveness of sins by believing their doca meaning upon baptism inconsistent with the trine, still they could enjoy neither peace nor apostle'sexplanation of it, and applying to the pardon until they were baptized. The aposshadow that which only belongs to the sub- tles not having done so, proves to a demonstance.

stration, they had not the views of baptism There are just two figurative institutions you plead for. Therefore, instead of the that believers are commanded to observe: they scriptures not saying that pardon is obtained are baptism and the supper. Both being by faith alone, sheer silence on that subject, equally figurative, they should both be ex- in place of being an argument in favor of plained on the same principle. To subject one your theory of baptism, is a conclusive eviof them to a literal, and the other to a figura- dence that the apostles did not entertain the tive explantion is highly inconsistent. There views of baptism you contend for. are many that explain both literally, and how- Now, my dear Sir, in any reply you may ever far they may be wrong in so doing, still make to the above, I hope you will meet my they are consistent. But I consider both you argument fairly. In giving this a place in and your friend very inconsistent in giving a your next number, you will much oblige figurative explanation to the supper, and a

A Scotcu BAPTIST. literal one to baptism. Does not the scripture Edinburgh, 12th August, 1848. declare that the bread is the body of Christ, and the wine is his blood, as plainly as it de

REPLY BY EDITOR, NO. III. clares that baptism washes sins, or that baptism should be observed for the forgiveness

Dear Sir-In reply to your notice of my of sins ? I presume you would consider it an affirmation, that baptism is the divinely outrage on common sense, were I to maintain appointed medium of bringing intelligent that the bread is really and truly the body of believers into the enjoyment of peace and Christ, and the wine is his blood. You would pardon before God, I hope to confine myvery likely tell me that the bread and wine self, as much as possible, to the testimoare only figurative representations of the body nies recorded in the New Testament. Still

, and blood of Christ. Were I to reply that as my two last replies have failed to conyou must be wrong in your interpretation, vince you of the fact, I can entertain but for Christ

says, “ unless you eat the flesh of little hope for the future. Permit me just the Son of Man, and drink his blood, you have to observe, that the new covenants prono life in you.

I think I would have as mised to the house of spiritual Israel good an argument for understanding the sup through David and his seed, and foretold per in a literal sense, as you have for saying by several prophets subsequently, were to that sins are washed' away and forgiven by be for the whole world, comprising the bebaptism. Now as baptism is only a likeness of quest of a full remission of all past sins; the work which Jesus finished in the room of or, in other words, a free justification from guilty man, just as the bread and wine are all things from which neither Jew nor the likeness of the broken and shed blood of Gentile could be justified by the law of Jesus, why force a meaning on baptism as

[ocr errors]

Moses. Consequently, in the apostolic inconsistent with sound interpretation and proclamation of the gospel, as well as uncommon sense, as transubstantiation is with der the Jewish law, there must be a time

I may now ask, is the one act when, and a place where, the blessing of of obedience performed by Jesus Christ, in pardon could be received by the intelligent laying down his life at the command of his obedient sinner. Now the time and place heavenly Father, not sufficient to wash away appear to me to be in baptism, or they can sins, and obtain their forgiveness, that a figu- nowhere be found in the new covenant reJative representation of his glorious work cords. On the contrary, you affirm that must first be observed, before guilty crea- no such doctrine can be found in the New tures can obtain either peace or pardon, not- Testament. withstanding all that Christ has done

Without stopping to notice the immerWe have been told both by you and others, sion taught by John the Baptist, and what that nowhere is it said in scripture that par- sins were cancelled through his commis, don is obtained by faith alone." Now I admit sion, and how a people were thus prepared that this is really the case, and this has often for the Lord, I shall proceed briefly to nobeen brought forward to prove that your tice the instructions of the Lord and his theory of baptism must be correct; but you apostles. will admit that the Apostles said to those that First-The fact to be proclaimed, and heard them, whosoever believed the doctrine the foundation upon which it is predicated, they proclaimed, would receive the remission Thus it is written, and thus it behoved of sins, without saying one word about any | the Messiah to suffer, and to rise from the

the supper.

dead the third day, and that reformation word with all readiness, were immersed, and the remission of sins should be pro- and there were added to the disciples that claimed in his name among all nations, very day, about three thousand souls." beginning at Jerusalem.

Now you are Now the question is, where and when witnesses of these things, and behold I were these thousands pardoned? Had send you that which my Father promised they a guilty, polluted, condemning con(Joel ii. 28-36); but continue ye in the science before they were baptized ? If not city until ye be invested with power from why should they cry out in such anguish above, Luke xxiv. 46-9.


and bitterness of soul ? And were they in In this brief quotation we have the death this state of perturbation and guilt, after and resurrection of Christ presented as the they had obeyed the command? Certainly foundation laid in Zion for the hope of the not. They gladly, not sorrowfully, received guilty ; and connected with this is the re- the command to be baptized for the remis.. mission of all past sins. This is the good sion of sins. They had the blessing, for news, the glad tidings, to be proclaimed they were happy and joyful, and were just in the name, or by the authority of Jesus, as figuratively washed in the blood of among all nations, beginning at Jerusa- Christ, as they subsequently drank of his lem. The first discourse, and the results blond in the emblematic cup at the Lord's of that discourse, after the apostles had table. In the one instance water, and in received the promise of the Father (the the other wine, are substituted for blood. Holy Spirit) as recorded in the 2nd chap- Hence the disciples are said to be wished, ter of the Acts, ought to have been the and to be made white in the blood of the guide of the church in all subsequent ages. Lamb. In the same manner they are said But this, you are aware, has not been the to drink his blood—the blood of the new

Mankind in every age, and under institution. The one takes place in bapEvery dispensation, have had but little tism, and the other at the Lord's table. faith in the propositions and arrangements Thus baptism is the medium of introducof Infinite Wisdom. Their own plans and tion into Christ-his death, burial, and reideas they conceive to be much better than surrection-for the remission of sins, and those propounded to them by God; and for the Holy Spirit ; and therefore, for jusby this means, the gospel becomes of none tification, and the enjoyment of peace with effect, so far as the conversion of the world God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Now is concerned. This first discourse is de- peace and joy in the Holy Spirit can only livered by Peter, who, with the eleven, be maintained in the heart and conscience and the one hundred and twenty, stood up of the disciple, by his constantly walking in the presence of thousands of astonished in the commands of the Lord-keeping Jews and proselytes. Now these Jews the unity of the Spirit by the bond of and proselytes were convinced of one sim- peace. Hence the first disciples are said ple fact, viz. that Jesus, who had so re

to have been steadfast in the apostles' doccently been crucified, is the true Messiah trine, in the fellowship, in the breaking of -the anointed of the Father-that he is the loaf, and in prayers. And they came crowned in heaven Lord of all—that there together on the first day of the week, to is no other name given among men where- break the loaf, and to drink of the embleby they could be saved, than the name of matic blood of the new institution, in rehim of whom they had been the betrayers membrance of the Lord until he return, and murderers. The multitude, being con

in obedience to that solemn injunction vinced of the truth of all that was said, “ Do this in remembrance of me, until I cried out, in agony, to Peter and the rest,

Further remarks must be deferred “ Men and brethren, what shall we do?" until our next.

J. W. Thespontaneous answer given corresponds with the commission of the Lord, that re

WATER BAPTISM AND SPIRITUAL formation and remission of sins should be preoched in his name among all nations,

BAPTISM. beginning at Jerusalem. And Peter DEAR SIR.— I have submitted to you the said to them, repent, or reform, and be following views, hoping that you will give each of you immersed into the name of them a candid investigation, and through the Jesus Christ, in order to the remission of medium of the Harbinger, assist a few insins, and you shall receive the gift of the dividuals (who are anxious to ascertain the Holy Spirit: for the promise (of remission truth as it is in Jesus Christ), in determining of sin, and the gift of the Holy Spirit) is whether they are scriptural or not. 'The to you and to your children, and to all following considerations have created doubts that are afar off, even as many as the Lord in our minds, whether the Apostle Paul reour God shall call. And with many other fers to a baptism in water in Rom. vi. 3, and words he testified and exhorted, saying, Gal. iii. 27. Save yourselves from this perverse genera- 1st. The phraseology is different in those tion. They, therefore, who received the passages where baptism in water, is unques


tionably spoken of, as Matt. xxviii. 19, they should imbibe the spirit and copy the “ Disciple all the nations, baptizing them example of Christ. Now it is highly probainto the name," &c.; and again, Acts viii. 16, ble that all the members of the church at “ only they were baptized into the name of the Rome had not done this, though they had been Lord Jesus"-whilst in the passages under baptized in accordance with the commission consideration, the persons spoken of are said in Mat. xxviii. 19. They could not be exto be" baptized into JesusChrist,” “ baptized horted to “ put on Christ” professionally, into his death."

and therefore the phrase must have reference 2nd. We conceive that the baptism. spoken to those who were disciples indeed ;" or, of in these passages is limited by the term in other words, who were real Christians. osoi, as many, or to a portion of the disicples Now, if the phrase is applicable to real who are distinguished from the rest by their Christians alone, then it follows, that the alhaving been “ baptized into his death,” by lusion is not to a baptism in water, for the having “ put on Christ.”. The following A postle declares, that“ as many,” or that passages will show the limiting power of the portion of them, “ who had been baptized into term osoi Jobo i. 12, “ He came unto his Christ, had put on Christ,” or imbibed the own and his own received him not, but as spirit of Christ. But this is not true of all many as received him, he gave to them who are the subjects of water baptism, as the power,” &c.; Acts iv. 34, “ For as many case of Simon Magus proves, and many as were possessors of houses and lands, sold others to whom reference is made in the them,” &c.; Rom. viii. 14," For as many scriptures : and therefore, the conclusion apas are led by the spirit of God,

they are the pears obvious, that the baptism alluded to in sons of God;" Gal. iii. 10, “ For as many these passages, is a spiritual baptism. If as are of the works of the law, are under the these views be scriptural, then the frequent curse;" and vi. 16, “ And as many as walk application of these passages by the brethren, according to this rule, peace be on them,"&c. and the arguments built upon them are erDoes not the use of the term in these passa- roneous; and if they can be proved to be ges clearly shew that when the Apostle uses unscriptural, we shall most gladly receive it in those we are considering, it is to limit correction. the baptism spoken of to a particular portion Praying that God may bless you in your of the disciples, to those whom he distin. | work of faith and labour of love, and guide guishes as having been “ baptized into his you into all truth , death,” as having "put on Christ ?” It is I remain, yours in the hope of immoras though he had said that portion of us who tality,

T. J. M. have been “baptized into Christ, have put on Christ.” Just as in the passages here ad

BRIEF REPLY. duced, as many, or that portion of his own, Dear Brethren -Although we have not who received him, he gave power to become this month had an opportunity of attenthe sons of God, &c. All who are designa- tively considering your remarks on Rom. ted “his own," did not receive him. And vi. 3, and Gal. iii. 27, yet we deemed it again: as many, or that portion of the disciples desirable to present them to our readers. “ who were possessors of houses and lands, That the passages refer to baptism with, sold them." All were not possessed of them. in, or of water, is admitted by all parties, And so of the rest of the passages, with at least as far as is known to us. That others too numerous to mentiou. The term the phraseology made use of when addressosoi limits the things spoken of to a particu- ing the immersed, is different to that emlar portion, distinguished from the whole; ployed when referring to the unbaptized, and therefore, we conceive, that in Rom. vi. is both natural and obvious. That there 3, and Gal. iii. 27, it limits the baptism to were many disciples in Rome, Corinth, a portion of the disciples.

Ephesus, Galatia, and other parts of the 3rd. The same conclusion appears obvious world, who did not fully understand the to us from the phrase put on Christ.” design of their baptism, is quite clear to This is generally interpreted, as referring to every careful reader of the New Testament. the profession of discipleship made in baptism; These parties, like many other baptized but if we make the scripture its own interpre- persons, seem not to know, that by a be ter, which we think must be the safest method, lieving baptism into the name of the Fawe shall find that in the mind of the Apostle ther, of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit

, Paul, to “put on Christ” involved some- they not only had the remission of sins, thing more than the profession of Christianity but virtually renounced all their previous made at baptism. The only place in which names, principles, theories, and partiesit occurs, besides Gal. iii. 27, is Rom. xiii. such as Jew and Greek, Barbarian, Scyth. 14: “But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, ian, bond and free-with all the laws, docand make no provision for the flesh, to fulfil trines, and worldly associations connected the lusts thereof.” It is here addressed to with them. For, although they had even the members of the church at Rome-they known Christ after the flesh as a Jew, yet are exhorted to “put on the Lord Jesus they were not to know him any more in Christ :” showing the meaning to be, that 'that relationship, seeing that he had tasted

death for every man without any distinc- he gave himself to the Lord in his own legal tion whatever.

way, by being buried with him in baptism, It was predicted of the Jewish nation, and on the next Lord's day he united with "The Lord God shall slay thee, and call his people, in order that he may learn obehis servants by a new name.Connected dience to all things commanded by Jesus. with this new name, which the parties

Yours truly,

T. COOP. referred to had assumed, there were new privileges, promises, hopes, relationships,

Durmock, Sept. 14.- Dear brother: Since and prospects. The Apostle, as his man

I last wrote to you, one of the children ofour ner was when instructing the disciples into

common progenitor Adam has had the privithe knowledge of these, with a view of cor- lege of confessing the Lord, and of being recting their errors, employs the interroga- adopted as one of the royal priesthood of tory form of speech-What! know ye not heaven, that henceforth he may declare the that so many of us (from among our breth perfections, and show forth the praises of Him ren in every place) as have been immersed who bath called him out of darkness into His into Jesus Christ, have been immersed into marvellous light. Your fellow traveller to

J. F. his death ? We have been buried, then, the realms of light and glory, together with him by the immersion into death-that like as Christ was raised from here are continuing stedfast in their obedience

Dunfermline, Sept. 14th.—The brethren the dead by the glory of the Father, so we to the laws and institutions of Jesus, and are also should walk in newness of life. For realizing the peace and joy which flow from if we have been planted together in the such obedience. Within the last month we likeness of his death, we shall then also have been encouraged by the addition of six certainly be in the likeness of his resur

to our number, four by immersion, one who rection, &c. (John i. 10-13.) He (Jesus) after a long absence has been restored to our was in the world, and the world was made communion, and one who has come over to by him, yet the world knew him not. He

us from the Scotch Baptists, he being convincame to his own land, and yet his people ced that they do not honour Christ and his (as a whole) did not receive him ; but to Apostles as the only legitimate Law-givers in as many as received him, believing on his the church, seeing that they retain in their name, he bestowed the privilege of being be dy practices that are unwarranted in the the children of God, who derive their new Law-book, and for which they can produce birth, not from blood, nor from the will of no better authority than that it is the custom man, but from God. The disciples were in their church. May all wbo love the Lord all professedly begotten by the truth, born and his commandments do likewise. of water and of the Spirit, otherwise they

Yours, J. HENRY. were not in the kingdom of God (John

Cupar, Aug. 26. --Beloved Brother: I The contrast, for as many, &c. (Acts iv. herewith send you a post office order for the 34, Rom. viii. 14, Gal. vi. 16) appears to

amount the hymn books sent to Brous to refer to the disciples, while Gal. iii. ther Mitchell, which came to band last week. 10 refers to the Jews, who still made choice I consider them a good collection, and that of remaining under the works of the law, they will furnish the brethren with more apand consequently exposed to all its curses. propriate songs of praise than they have yet In teaching the science of Christianity to

had. They will be introduced into the conthe children of men, the Apostles com- gregation here on the first Lord's day in menced with the A BC, as in every other September, if the book-binder do not disapscience. When those whom they discipled point us. The church is going on in peace, to the Lord had made some progress, the and I hope increasing in intelligence, and in address of the teacher varied according to every Christian attainment. It is, indeed, a the character, circumstances, and difficul privilege and an honour to be united with ties of the people. The great difficulty with those who love the Lord, and who keep his every pupil in this divine science is to re- ordinances, when every first day is a feast nounce his former self, and to learn exclu- day, on which our souls feed on the bread of sively from the Lord and his inspired life, which nourishes us up unto eternal life. apostles. Reciprocating your benevolent Many appear to think too lightly of these desires, we are compelled to leave the privileges, as if they could enjoy all the admatter for this month, and are, dear sir, vantages of the Christian institution in an yours truly,

J. W.

isolated position ; but the church on earth is P.S. What is a spiritual baptism and the place for fitting us to dwell in the everwhen does it now take place ?"

lasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. May all the saints be led to

enjoy these privileges with gratitude, and ITEMS OF NEWS.

perform every duty with fidelity and perseWigan, Sept. 6, 1848.--** In conclusion verance, that so the churches may become I have just time to say that another brother “the pillar and ground of the truth.” Yours bas cast in his lot with us. On the 28th ult. ' in hope of eternal life,


ü. 5.)

« PreviousContinue »