« ZurückWeiter »
division ? Or, who can read it and not rejoice, if he is engaged in the same glorious cause for which Jesus prayed ?
But God, our heavenly father, desires the union of all his children ; hence Paul tells us “ That there is one God and Father over all, through all, and in all.” (Eph. iv. 6.) And again, that it was God's eternal purpose“ That in the dispensation of the fulness of times, he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven and which are in earth; even in him.” (Eph. i. 9, 10.)
We may, I think, safely set it down, that God the Father, our Lord Jesus Christ, the angels, the holy apostles of the Lamb, all the good and pious among men, desire Christian union. While on the other hand, the devil and his angels, and all the enemies of God and man, stand opposed to it. We therefore call upon all our brethren of every denomination, to take a bold stand with us, in favour of the union of all Christians, upon
“the one foundation," and against the powers of darkness. Let the bitterness of party spirit be forgotten, while with one heart and soul we contend for the cause of “ Christian union.” J. M. MATHES, ED.
“THE BAPTIST CHURCH OF CHRIST." What does the above caption mean? Why, if there is any meaning in language, it means that there is an antibaptist Church of Christ. All of our terms have their opposites. There can be no white if there is no black; no up if no down; no darkness if no light; no lie if no truth; and no “ Baptist Church of Christ" if no anti-baptist church of Christ. So it amounts to this, that Christ has two churches-one composed of baptizers, and one that does not baptize. But again, the word baptist, as every school-boy knows, means one who baptizes; and who ever heard of a church of Christ's where male and female, black and white, all baptized ? Such a church is not found in God's book, and if found any where else it is not Christ's church. I have said this much to make it as plain as A, B, C, that the name of “Baptist Church of Christ is purely sectarian, and one of the fruits of the flesh; also a stumbling-block in the way
of union. I do wish that all who profess to know God would fear him, and cast all their human lumber to the “moles and the bats." Will our “ Baptist " friends look at
this thing, and let all the world know that they are determined to do what they say ? They say they have the Bible alone for their rule of faith and practice. Why tell the world these things, and at the saine time stitch on the un. scriptural and sectarian name of “ Baptist Church of Christ;" thereby learning all their members to tell an untruth when they say they are Baptists, when they never baptized any person in their lives. I was once a member of this “ Baptist Church of Christ;" but God, by his word taught me that Christ has no such a church, and I no longer conferred with flesh and blood, but came out of this “ Baptist Church of Christ,” and joined “the Church of God." As I learned the language of Ashdod while I was in this sectarian church, and am now learning the language of Canaan, I will subscribe myself
ELDER J. YOUNG, VERSUS CREEDS. REFORM, both in theory in practice, is onward, in spite of all opposition; and it must necessarily be the case so long as the many are running to and fro, and knowledge is on the increase. The following article is from the pen of elder J. Young, a Baptist minister, who a short time ago emigrated from London to the United States. It is selected from the Millennial Harbinger, for October, 1843, and introduced by the editor of that work in the following manner :
“ Elder John Young, a well-educated Baptist minister, recently from London, located during the winter and spring at Trenton, New Jersey, and took charge of the Baptist church of that city. The use of creeds came up during his ministry there, which ultimately called for a sermon from him on that subject. It was afterwards ordered to be printed. We have perused a copy of it, and extract the following paragraphs :
J. W. “I only propose not to build on human creeds, but on a divine basis. The church of God is not a human structure, but a spiritual building raised by God : its foundation then, must be the holy mountain, the essential truths of Christianity, which are developed as the bond of the original
He then pro
apostolic churches. When Peter arises on the day of Pentecost to unfold to the assembly the principles of the gospel of Christ, after making some introductory remarks to open up to them the meaning of the strange sight which their eyes beheld, he calls the attention of the whole assembled Jews, to his exposition of Christian doctrine, by saying, in v. 22,“ Ye men of Israel, hear these words." ceeds to the close of the 30th v., opening the Christian covenant. Again, in the house of Cornelius, Acts x, from the 35th to the 40th verse, he lays down for their belief the same great fundamental facts. The grammatical construction of the words are in the two cases slightly different, but a glance at the passages will satisfy any inquirer that the truths are the same. These truths I shall lay before you, without detaining you by mentioning the reasoning by which the apostle pauses to prove some of his propositions. Comparing the two passages, we shall use the same words as the apostle, but separate the truths, and number them as distinct propositions:
1. God sent his word to the children of Israel.
2. God anointed Jesus of Nazareth, who went about doing good, and was approved among the Jews by the miracles which he wrought.
3. He was, by the wicked hands of the Jews, crucified and slain.
4. God raised him up the third day and showed him openly.
5. The apostles were the chosen witnesses of these great events.
6. He is by the right hand of God exalted as Lord and Christ, and ordained to be the Judge of the quick and dead.
7. All the prophets give witness to him, that through his name is remission of sins.
8. This remission is to all who believe in him.
Such are the primitive articles of the Christian religion, differing in the two passages only in this :—that among the Jews he produces more proofs of his position from their own writings; among the Gentiles, he starts with one proposition earlier as a basis, viz. : that God had given a revelation or prophetic announcement of the Messiah previously to the Jews, and to them he makes more clear the import of Jesus being Lord and Christ, viz.: That there is remission of sins
through him, to all believers. The solemn belief of these truths, then, together with repentance and baptism, is the door of admission which Peter opened into the first Christian churches.
And simple as these truths seem, they do form in reality the very cream and essence, sum and substance of the New Testament. The four gospels unfold the life, miracles, death, and resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth ; the book of Acts lays open his glorification, and the witness of his apostles for his name; the Epistles proclaim the terins of remission of sins, and justification, through faith in him; and the Revelation of John leaves us amid the awful scenes of a coming judgment. O, ye theorizing theologians, who cry out continually of the necessity of transmuting the divine oracles into your human creeds, of melting God's word in the crucible of human reason, a forming it anew into systematic order; where have you been slumbering, that you never learned that God had condensed his plan of redemption into a few sentences, and hung it all on a few simple facts ? These truths are presented to us by Peter in an order as scientific as the propositions of Euclid, each depending upon the foregoing ones, and all combined together to form ihat glorious scheme of mercy by which God saves fallen man. The reception of these great truths in apostolic times may have been generally expressed by the words, I believe; or, Jesus Christ of Nazareth is the Son of God. If this be borne in mind, it will serve to make clear some passages of Scripture which, on any other principle, are perfectly inexplicable. In 1 Cor. xii. 13, Paul says, that no man can say that Jesus Christ is the Lord but by the Holy Ghost. Certainly any man can call Christ the Lord, and yet be destitute of the Holy Ghost; but he means that no man can make a Christian profession, with a full understanding of these essential truths, and a firin faith in them, but by the mighty power of God. Thus this sentence agrees beautifully with Romans x. 9, “ That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thy heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved; for with the heart man believeth unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation." In a like way is the phrase, confession of Christ, frequently employed by John, in his epistles, thus: “Hereby know ye the spirit of God;
every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God.” “ Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son God, God dwelleth in him.”John iv. 3, 15. “ Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God.—John v. 1
These great truths developed by Peter, were often expressed in set phrase by,“ Jesus is ihe Christ.” Whosoever then believed them in the heart, confessed them with the mouth, and obeyed accordingly, was a converted person, and received as a member into the primitive churches. I defy mortal man to show that the belief of a single theoretic truth, no matter of what importance, was ever inade essentially necessary to admittauce into the kingdom of the Lord Jesus. By what authority, then, have we departed from the law of his house, as expounded by his apostles, and entangled a Christian profession with hundreds of other vain and absurd requirements ? Besides this beautifully simple exposition of Christianity given by Peter, we feel very strongly tempted to place a human confession of faith, and shall select for this purpose the Philadelphia Baptist Confession. Peter's propositions are about eight or nine: the Philadelphia Confession has thirty-four chapters, in about one hundred and sixtytwo sections, and containing at least five or six hundred distinct propositions. This is difference with a vengeance ! and the preponderance of excellence must no doubt be in favour of the human confession, as it is so enormously larger than Peter's and infinitely more mysterious. If the object be to puzzle a young convert, the Philadelphia Confession answers much the better purpose, as it will be alınost impossible for him to understand it all; or if it be desirous to promote hypocrisy, by inducing him to assent to what he never studied, this also will be often found to be the effect produced.
Every church which makes use of a human confession of faith, should reflect, that in such a use this confession becomes as needful to her as the Bible itself. When she is receiving accessions, the confession is wanted; when she is forming new churches, by sending out branches, she needs a new edition of a confession printed; when she sends her missionaries to form churches in heathen lands, his bark must be laden with the confession,-he cannot form a church, he cannot introduce a member, without it. On the principles