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no part of the Christian dispensation." Therefore as R. E. R. believes in some kind of baptism, it must be the baptism of the Spirit, I opine. Here, then, is a clear issue. I affirm that water baptism is the one baptism commanded under the Christian dispensation. This, R. E. R. denies, and affirms that spirit baptism is the one baptism under the Christian dispensation, which I deny. Will R. E. R. redeem the pledge he gave us in his second article, viz. That he was prepared to assert that baptism (water baptism of course) was a rite empty and useless.” If R. E. R. is now prepared to go into proof on this issue, I shall furnish him with two or three syllogisms, and one Scripture example to try the temper of his lance upon.
FIRST SYLLOGISM. Jesus Christ commanded the apostles to go into all the world and baptize; but the apostles could not, neither did they ever baptize with the Spirit; therefore the baptism commanded by Jesus, was not the baptism of the Spirit.
SECOND SYLLOGISM. The apostles of Jesus executed the command of their master, to baptize; but the apostles baptized their converts in water; therefore water baptism was that which Jesus commanded.
THIRD SYLLOGISM. The baptism of the Spirit was always accompanied by signs, audible or visible; but modern Spirit baptism, so called, is unaccompanied by any sign, audible or visible; therefore the baptism of R. E. R. is no baptism at all, but a delusion.
SCRIPTURE EXAMPLE. Peter preached the gospel to Cornelius and his friends. While he was speaking the Holy Spirit fell on them, as .on the apostles on the day of Pentecost. Was this enough? No; for Peter said can any man forbid water that these should not be baptized which have received the Holy Spirit, as well as we. And he commanded them to be baptized in
the name of the Lord. Mark: after they had been baptized with the Spirit, they were commanded to be baptized in water, in the name of, that is, by the authority of the Lord.
Now, R. E. R., here is a little work for you, of more importance, and which, if handled with candoar, will yield you better interest than writing about "some ugly liinb of the old serpent." Do not think of running away, I have done my endeavour to be “more pointed” all the way through this reply. Will you be so in your answer ? Do.
G. C. REID.
EDITOR'S NOTE. It appears to us, with all due deference to R. E. R. and G. C. Reid, that neither the one nor the other of them have answered the simple but important interrogation of “How is it's” on page 31, namely:-“How persons who regard God's word, and know they need remission, can ever hope to go to heaven without the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins ?” Will the author of this query, G. C. Reid, or some other brother send us a plain scriptural answer to this. question ? We suppose there is only one method' revealed in the Scriptures for obtaining the remission of sins during this dispensation; consequently if sins are to be pardoned before we can enter heaven, it not only important that we should know what that method is, but that we should immediately embrace it, and thus build upon the true and only foundation of hope. The apostle Peter said to the disciples in his day, “ Sanctify the Lord God in your hearts ; and be ready always to give an answer (in scriptural language) to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear.” Can any one do this wha has not become a disciple of Jesus according to the Pentecostian proclamation ?
Sin is a thistle, you may graze it down-cut it off-plough it up and yet you are under the curse, while the roots remain in the heart
CHRISTIAN UNION.-No. II. HAVING, in our last number, ascertained that God, our Heavenly Father, the Lord Jesus Christ, the holy angels, the holy apostles of the Lamb, and all the humble and pious of all denominations, desire Christian Union, we will now inquire, Are those denominations, called “Evangelical," united according to the prayer of the divine Saviour?
Not many, I suppose, can be found, bold enough to affirm; and those who do, cannot, in my judgment, produce a single proof which partakes of the nature of the proposition. I know ii is sometimes said, that all the " Evangelical Sects" taken together, constitute the Universal or Catholic Church, or “Mystical Body of Christ:" and that each sect taken separately, is a branch of this Catholic church; and hence they conclude, that they are now. united according to the prayer of the Lord ! But we beg leave to differ with our friends upon this subject, and do most devoutly hope, that we shall not be considered their enemy, “because we tell them the truth." Let us then examine the above assumption in the fear of the Lord !
First. Does this “mysterious, invisible union,” contended for by some of our fellow-professors, really exist among them as denominations. We honestly think not. They all differ from each other, in some of ibeir “ Articles of Faith,” their forms of church government, their modes of worship, and the name by which they distinguish themselves from each other. Each exists, as perfectly independent of all the rest, as though no other existed in the world. It seems to us, therefore, that they are not in union with each other! But it may be said, that their differences are all about mere non-essentials, and that upon all the great essential matters, they perfectly agree! Well, this may be true to some extent; but if it is, I think any one would be led to conclude that there are but few essentials in their theological systems; and that all their bitter strife and contention, is a mighty fuss about nothing! If indeed any union exists betweeri the different denominations, as such, it is certainly a very mysterious affair; so mysterious that no one can understand it, and so invisible that no one can see it!
A preacher once conversing with me upon the subject; made the following curious remark : "When we baptize our infants," said the preacher, “we do not take them into.
the Methodist branch of Christ's church more than into the Baptist branch, but they are brought by baptism into the invisible or catholic church of Christ." This astonished me no little! But do the Baptist friends know that this is the arrangement? Do they know that the Pedo-baptist ministers are daily adding to their numbers by baptizing their babes! They have just as good a right to count them as have the Pedo-baptists themselves! But enough of this.
Second. But suppose it could be proved, though it cannot, that such union really exists among the different denominations, it would not reach the case, as this is not the sort of union for which Jesus prayed. “1 pray not for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word, that they all may be one, as thou Father art in me and I in thee, that they also be one in us, that the world may believe that thou has sent me.”—John xvii. 20, 21. Now the reader will see at a glance, that the union here prayed for by the Lord Jesus, was not a mysterious, invisible union, for it was to have its influence upon the world-“ That the world may believe that thou hast sent me." How is the world to be converted to Jesus by a kind of union, which they neither see nor understand ? Such an idea is preposterous ! No indeed, the union for which Jesus prayed, was a thorough, visible union, “ As thou Father art in me, and I in thee. How complete and glorious the union !
The above prayer of the Lord was answered in a very eminent degree, in the first Christians. Were they divided off into contending sects and parties, each having a different name, creed, and mode of worship ? No, verily. Read the Acts of the Apostles, and you will see " that they were of one heart and of one soul;" that “they continued steadfast in the apostles' doctrine, in fellowship, in breaking of bread, and in prayers ;" and that they all wore the same name. Their union was visible, for their bitterest enemies were compelled to say of them, “Behold how these Christians love one another!" But could this be said of the different denominations now. No indeed, the atheist, the infidel, and the sceptic, now say of them, “Behold how these professed followers of the Lamb hate one another !".
Third. Are the different denominations, as such, branches of the church of Christ? We honestly think not. Every
Christian is a branch of the true vine, as Jesus taught his disciples, John xv. “I am the vine, ye are the branches.” Who are the branches ? Why the disciples, as individuals. But to talk of all the “ Evangelical sects," as such, constituting the church of Christ is, in my judgment, to talk without reference to the facts in the case : and to talk of eacħ denomination, as such, being a branch of the church of Christ, is equally absurd.
But suppose we admit for a single moment, the assumption that the different denominations, are the branches to which Jesus referred in the above passage (John xv.). Then Christ is the true vine out of which they all grow : on one side grows out the “ Lutheran” branch; on the other the
Presbyterian” branches of the old and the new school, bearing fruit according to their name; a little farther along the vine, grows out the cluster of “ Baptist" branches, which bear fruit peculiar to themselves. Still further along the vine, we see a very luxuriant branch growing out of the same vine, it is called the “Methodist Episcopal” branch ! " Its look is more stout than its fellows," and from the multitude and character of its fruit, it far excels some of the older branches.
Now if all these branches, with a hundred others that we might name, grow out of the same vine, would it not be reasonable to expect them all to bear the same kind of fruit. For example: Suppose the vine should be a grape-vine, we would expect all its branches to be grape-vine branches, and that they would all bear grapes of the same name, quality, and kind. But what would be your astonishment, if upon going into your garden, where grows a beautiful grape vine, you should see growing out of it a hundred different branches of as many different kinds, each having a different name, and bearing fruit peculiar to itself ! On one side a gourdvine branch bearing gourds; and on the other a melon branch, bearing melons of fine size and quality! I know you would think it very strange! What? you would say, Is it possible that a grape vine will produce gourd and melon branches ? Curious grape-vine this !!
But all this, would be no more astonishing than that all the denominations, as such, with all their diversity of name, creed, and mode of worship, should be branches of the same church or vine! If indeed, they are all branches of the