Зображення сторінки
PDF
ePub

course, this custom must have been reflects on the government of the Head introduced to make up for the deficiency: of the Church by an implied imputation

Really, Mr. Editor, it does you no of neglect, but he would also intrench great credit to be admired by one who upon his authority in the administration can cast such a reflection on the word of the baptismal rite. “ Few, he beof God, and on Him who is head over lieves, will dispute the right of a minister all things to the Church. If Mr. M. to baptize such as may apply to him for Lean were not sufficiently “ acute” to that purpose, only with the knowledge, discern these changes in the church's that it is not their intention to unite with circumstances which render this custom the church over which he is Pastor; necessary ; surely He, who is the Alpha but persons wishing to join a particular and the Omega, knew well from the be-church, do not in the first instance apply ginning all things that would ever occur, for baptism, but for admission to fellowand it is an impeachment of his govern- ship; and if they are judged proper ment to suppose that he has not made characters, an attention to that ordinance every necessary provision in his word follows as a matter of course." Howfor all times and circumstances, without ever this statement may accord with the aid of either Popish traditions or any custom, it most certainly has not the customs of Baptists.

the least countenance from the word of The only instance, furnished by the God. Whilst I am not disposed to New Testament, of a person appearing question, for a moment, the right pos. before the church to give the members sessed by our churches to admit memsatisfaction relative to his being a dis- bers, I do most seriously protest against ciple, is recorded in Acts ix. 26, 27, 28. their having any authority or right to Then, it was Barnabas that introduced dictate to our ministers whom they shall Paul, and related what God had done baptize. for him. Barnabas gave his testimony This writer, who has evidently gone to Paul's conversion, not to all the out of his line in taking upon himself church, but to the apostles, who must the office of Censor in the church, has have been the medium of conveying it to be informed, that the pastors of our to the church in general; and this took churches are also the ministers of Christ. place, not before, but long after Paul They were our Lord's ministers before had been baptized. All the other in- | they became pastors. In executing the stances, which have any bearing on the pastoral office, they are under responsicase, are only confessions of faith or bility to the great Shepherd of the repentance, or both, made to the ad-sheep. When the office of pastor is ministrator at, or previous to baptism. suspended, they still continue to be There is not a single record that gives Christ's ministers, and as such they the least countenance to persons appear. have at all times duties to perform ing before the church for acceptance which belong to the general interest and before they were baptized. Yet it is on kingdom of our Lord, of which the adaccount of the dislike and neglect of ministration of baptism is one. At the this unscriptural and merely human table, they appear as pastors, they adcustom, that your “ admirer" feels “ so minister the Lord's Supper to the memmuch grieved,” and has experienced so bers of their respective churches, at the " much regret.”

time or place appointed, but they enter For my own part, I rejoice that our into no engagements to baptize the Lord hath faithful ministers and members, nor to baptize others by their churches who will not be shackled by authority; this they do solely as the mere customs, nor commanded by lord | ministers of our Lord Jesus Christ. brethren; but in opposition to both, It is at his command, and under respondetermine to keep the ordinances as sibility to him only, that they baptize they are appointed in the divine word; them that believe. The interference and in those cases where the Head of of any church, so as to dictate to a the Church has not seen fit to prescribe, minister whom he should, or should are careful, not to assume his authority not baptize, would be an usurpation of on the one hand, nor to infringe upon Divine authority; and the minister who the liberty wherewith he has made his could subject himself to such authoritadisciples free on the other.

tive interference, would compromise Yoưr" admirer,” Mr. Editor, not only his fidelity to him from whom he

received his commission, and who hath God, and to whom every knee shall bow, commanded us to call no man upon the and every tongue confess. earth master.

Though I have not your person in There can be scarcely any thing more admiration, evident than that persons appearing

. I am, Mr. Editor, before the church for approbation, pre. Your very respectful Friend, and vious to their baptism, is a custom

A STRICT COMMUNION BAPTIST. wholly unscriptural. In my opinion it is also very inconsistent. What has

POSTSCRIPT BY THE EDITOR. the church, as a body, to do with persons who have not made the christian

When we sent to the printer the article profession ? So far as this custom leads :

on which our correspondent bestows his

strictures, we recollect making the followany of our churches authoritatively to ling reflections:--" There are several upinterfere with their pastors in the ad-founded statements in this paper, and some ministration of baptism, it is not to very perverse things which we could easily be considered simply as an unscriptural answer, but its not worth while. E'en'let practice, but also as exceedingly per- it go as it is: Valeat quantuin valere nicious and antichristian. I am not potest.' The writer shall see that we are aware that the church of Rome, with all not afraid of submitting the points at issue her high pretensions to authority, has

between us, to the impartial judgment of ever dictated to her ministers whom

| our readers ; let them decide. Some of they should

them will probably take up the subject and baptize; this claim to

vindicate our cause--perhaps give him a ecclesiastical domination has been re

trimming.” Such were our anticipations served for such persons as your “ad- and lo ! to use a Cockney phrase, “ He has mirer.” I trust our ministers possess catched it!"

Edit. sufficient 'independence of spirit, and loyalty to Christ, indignantly to reject such a yoke, whether it be attempted to the Editor of the New Evangelical to be placed on their necks by indivi.

Magazine. duals, or by churches.

| A VISIT TO THE GRAVE OF “ THE When baptized believers offer to join

DAIRYMAN'S DAUGHTER." particular churches, there can be no doubt but such societies should have DEAR SIR, hopeful satisfaction that the applicants

TRAVELLING lately in comare disciples. Whether this should be pany with a beloved friend, to carry the obtained by writing, by a personal con- news of salvation through a precious fession before the church, or, as was the Redeemer, to a remote part of this case with the apostle Paul, by the inter- beautiful island, (Isle of Wight,) we ference of a friend, appears to be a mere stopt in our way at the village of Arreton, matter of prudence, which should be in the burying-place of which, lies always exercised with the greatest can- Elizabeth Walbridge, the Dairyman's dour, and with the warmest christian Daughter, whose interesting and pious affection. The last of these methods narrative the Rev. Legh Richmond has would obtain my own preference, as the so sweetly recorded with evident benefit most excellent in itself, and as coun- to the church of God. tenanced by the most appropriate exam. I proposed to my friend a visit to her ple with which we are furnished in the silent tomb." We went; but by our divine word.

often conversation, proved that_.She To make either of these methods of being dead, yet speaketh.” All around admission absolutely necessary, would appeared enwrapt in impressive silence; be giving to an act of christian prudence but imagination heard from beneath the the sanction of a law, In many instances burial turf_“ Be ye followers of me, as it would be to convert, what should be I have followed Christ.”-“ Prepare to the fruit of the Spirit and of love, into meet your God!” Solemn admonitions ! the bitterness of contentions and regrets. Sacred Spirit, lead to him who meetens In making a special provision, where for a better world. Having derived Our Lord has made a general one, would | much encouraging instruction from be to set up our wisdom, care, and reading her pious history, while under authority, if not in opposition, certainly my first religious impressions; recollecIn rivalry to Him, who is the wisdom of|tion (while standing on her grave) seemed to restore those seasons of “ One family we live in Him, more ardent desire for the society of the “ One church above, beneath ; blessed Immanuel — When the soul “ Though now divided by one stream, panted for the living God, as the hart

“ The narrow stream of death." panteth for the water-brooks.' My friend Was not the same sanctifying influence observed—“How sure and certain of a felt by them as is now I trust enjoyed glorious resurrection, the frame that by us? They have attained the perfecmoulders here.” “Yes," was the reply, tion of grace, and we, I hope, are in “the spirit is glorified with Jesus its possession to the same state. Does not exalted head; nor shall the mortal re- I their celestial, and our spiritual happimains continue always here; the bodies ness proceed from the same source? of the saints are also the property of They partake of the fountain-we the Christ; and though in dust they decay, streams. yet he will restore, reanimate, and raise Are not their heavenly employments, them up at the last day: 'For the land our pious exercises, of a similar trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall

nature? They in high, exalted, perfect be raised; and the dead in Christ shall

strains praise the blessed Immanuel's rise first. This blessed prospect

name-we in humbler grateful songs smooths our passage to the tomb.

redeeming grace adore. Elizabeth sung- Victory! victory! through our Lord Jesus Christ,' a little

“ Worthy the Lamb that died they cry, before she was enclosed within this

To be exalted thus;. narrow mould of earth. The humble

“ Worthy the Lamb our lips reply,

“ For he was slain for us.assurance of an interest in her risen Redeemer, elevated her above the fear Have we not reason to hope we are desof death. Her faith stood on the Rock tined to the same celestial inheritance? of Ages-her hope was already within | Did not the Saviour say to his disciples, the veil. She knew Jesus had taken • In my Father's house are many inanaway the sting of death. He made an sions; I go to prepare a place for you.' end of sin, and brought in everlasting Some had there arrived at home. The righteousness. Placed as she was on disciples have since entered into rest. the brink of the grave, and gradually as They have been followed by thousands was sinking her mortal system into the who followed Christ, and thousands

gaping tomb,' her triumphant, expe- more are on the road to the same derience knew her Redeemer lived, and sirable eternal world of bliss. The title though skin-worms destroyed this body, is acknowledged— Heirs of God, joint yet in her flesh she should see God." heirs with Christ.' The inheritance is My friend observed—“ We do not feel secured in an everlasting covenant, that that interest in the graves by which we cannot be broken. I give,' says our are surrounded, as in this on which we exalted Redeemer, 'unto my sheep now stand.” “For this reason," I eternal life, they shall never perish.' replied, “We are strangers in this John says, God hath given to us village; we have no acquaintance with eternal life, and this life is in his Son;' the life or death of any other here in- and, says the poet, terred; but we have read of the faith,

h: patience, and blessed experience of

“Dying is but going home.” Elizabeth Walbridge; and having the My fellow-traveller observed—“I humble hope that we partake in a mea- love to reflect on this holy subject, besure of like precious faith, we stand as cause it leads my mind immediately to on kindred dust, and claim a relation the only source of our blessings—The through grace to the spirit by which it great God, and our Saviour Jesus was once animated. It strikes me that | Christ.'” “ Certainly," I replied, " It this is something of the apostle's mean has a tendency. To whom else should ing, where he says, “Ye are come to the we go, or to whom should we look, but spirits of just men made perfect.' Have to him who has the words of eternal we not an interest in the same eternal life, and in whom dwells all the fulness love? are we not one by our union to the of the Godhead bodily? Oh, my friend, Lord Jesus Christ? Is not the church were it not for Jesus, what would be triumphant and militant called “The our state in life—what our prospect in whole family in heaven and earth?' Ideath-what our expectations of another

world? We should be like a vessel in a their servants for Jesus' sake. And boisterous storm on a lee shore, without may the Holy Spirit, without whose apa compass, a rudder, or a pilot-tremen- plication all preaching is fruitless, take dous rocks a head, onward to which the of the things of Jesus, and reveal them tempest is driving with awful certainty, to all who heard of him, who came the or beyond them to the shores of a desert lost to seek and save. And, Mr. wilderness, infested by ravening beasts Editor, may the readers of your excellent of prey, or hordes of savage men ! But Magazine be in possession of the same here the path is plain; Jesus is the way, hope, as that with which the Dairyman's the truth, and the life; and, (blessed Daughter was blessed a hope full of · promise) he says, “Where I am, ye shall | inmortality and eternal life. be also.' Had you and I, my friend, en

I am, dear Sir, tered this burial ground puffed up with

Yours very respectfully, the idea of self-sufficiency, should we

WGnot now be disposed to cast it from us | Newport, Isle of Wight, as despicable in our esteem. From the

Oct. 7, 1822. revelation, the Holy Spirit, I trust, has made of Jesus to our mind, we are no

P.S. My friend copied the inscriplonger satisfied with the filthy rags of

tion on the grave stone; for which percreature righteousness. Oh, no! Jesus haps you will find a place. is all and in all.' To grace what debtors are we. To thy name blessed Immanuel

TO THE MEMORY OF ELIZABETH

WALBRIDGE, THE DAIRYMAN'S be all the praise."

DAUGHTER, My friend affectionately observed " In this solemn place, names and party

Who died May 30, 1801, aged 31 years. distinctions seem to be forgotten."

She" being dead yet speaketh."

Stranger, if e'er by chance or feeling led, to think of them while standing on the

Upon this hallow'd turf thy footsteps tread :

Tura from the contemplation of this sod, grave. All who build their hopes on the And think on her whose spirit rests with God, Rock of eternal Ages, meet in him as

Lowly her lot on earth-but He who bore one. Here, neither Paul, nor Apollos, Tidings of grace and blessings to the poor; nor Cephas is any thing, but the Lamb

Gaye ber bis truth and faithfulness to prove,

The choicest treasures of his boundless love. of God who taketh away the sin of the

(Faith, that dispell’d affliction's darkest gloom; world.' Though you and I have had the Hope, that could cheer the passage to the tomb; happiness of following Jesus in his

Peace, that not hell's dark legions could destroy,

And love that filled the soul with heav'nly joy.) precious institutions, and have been

Death, of his sting disarm'd, she knew no fear,

But tasted heaven, e'en while she linger'd here; dear brethren in the Lord, who do not

Oh happy saint! May we like thee be blest,

In life be faithful, and in death find rest! view the ordinances in the same light, yet placing their whole dependance on Jesus and on him alone, will find in him

| ON THE EXTENT OF MAN'S ABIan equally blessed resurrection. Nor LITY TO DO THE WILL OF GOD, shall we have to sing less of grace, when the top stone is brought forth with

[Concluded from page 344.] shouting.” On leaving this impressive Having explained the terms, and spot, we heard from an adjoining cottage offered a few reasons to support the the voice of prayer. Some aged pilgrim opinion, that man's present strength is perhaps committing his soul into the equal to his present duty, I now proceed, hands of God to be kept until that day, | Mr. Editor, to notice some objections when the secrets of all hearts shall be which are raised against the sentiment. opened, and saint and sinner receive Before I do this, however, I wish to their final destiny. Want of time pre state, that I am deeply convinced of the vented our opening the cottage-door and doctrine of predestination, and glory in joining this child of God in worship at it. Eternal, personal, and particular a mercy seat. Onward we pursued our election, particular redemption, and way, and arrived in the evening at the effectual, invincible grace, in the conappointed place of meeting, where a version, sanctification and perseverance goodly number of poor villagers were of the elect, I most firmly believe, and assembled in a large farm kitchen, and that sovereign grace reigns in the salvato them was preached not ourselves, but I tion of sinners from first to last. Epb.i. Christ Jesus the Lord, and ourselves 3–5; 1 Peter i.6; Titus iii. 5–7, &c. VOL. VIII.

3 A

Now, if the above sentiment is proved struck out of the religious vocabulary. to be at variance with these Scripture There certainly is nothing in man, or doctrines, with christian experience, or done by man that is truly good, but as the perfections of God, I would renounce God works in him of his own good it at once without hesitation. But I pleasure. “It is a just observation, think these things are perfectly har- of great weight in Theology, that the monious, and that it is only by their very same disposition and exercises of union we can embrace a whole Bible, heart may be viewed, both as duties, abase man and exalt the Saviour. On and as acts of grace. Duties as required this hypothesis, grace and justice shine of us, as accountable creatures; graces with peculiar splendour grace in the as wrought in us by the operations of salvation of the vilest, and justice in the God's Holy Spirit."* If no disposition condemnation of those who neglect the of mind, nor any action of life, which is great salvation, and will not have Christ eventually produced by Divine influence to reign over them. The causes of was previously matter of duty, it was salvation and of condemnation are very not the sinner's duty to be thankful for different and distinct, arising even from mercies, nor to confess his sins, nor to opposite sources. Blended and confused, pray for pardon, nor to love God or his and inaccurate views of them, are, I people, nor to forgive injuries, nor to be judge, the parents of the objections patient, or penitent, or humble; for against the sentiment defended, some wherever any one of these is found in of which I take the liberty to state, and truth, it is without doubt the effect of to state them as fully and strongly as I Divine influence. I have no hesitation can.

in saying, that faith is the gift of God, OBJECTION I. The Scripture declares

and at the same time affirming that it expressly that faith is of the operation

is the sinner's duty to believe. of God—that it is given to saiots to

'That faith is the gift of God wherever believe-that it is faith in the gift of it is found, is evident from this conGod. Col. ij. 12; Phil. i. 29; Eph ii. sideration, that the sinner loves sin and & How will these declarations accord hates the Saviour. He will not come with the idea of man's obligation and to Christ, nor have him to reign over ability to believe without divine or him. In this state of mind the sioner supernatural influence? Can that will for ever remain, if no supernatural which is the gift of God, be the duty of infnen

| influence is exerted upon him, unless it man? “Will any man tell me that it is my duty to do that wiTROUT divine

can be supposed, that there is in a beart assistance which I can only do with it.”

Taim full of enmity to God, a self-renovating

principle to cure itself. But this supThough I think the first of these position is full of absurdity and contratexts, Col. ii. 12, is misunderstood and diction. The sinner cannot love what misapplied, yet I will not avail myself he at the same time hates, nor choose of that, to weaken the objection, for what he dislikes. He will invariably I most readily admit that faith is the choose that which is most agreeable to gift of God, and that no sinner ever him, and that to & carpal mind is not did, or ever will believe to the saving holiness or Christ, but sin; and thereof the soul, without the energetic fore, if ever he is brought to believe to influence of the Holy Spirit. Saving the saving of his soul, he will freely faith was never found in any one, but acknowledge his faith to be the gift of where the Lord bestowed it. But how God. * By the grace of God I am what does this affect the question? May not I am." that be required of man as a duty, which That faith is man's duty is no less from the depravity of his nature he will evident, because he that believeth not nerer perform unaided by divine in-must, on that very account, eternally fluence? Are not repentance, faith, love, perish. To deny this, is to cancel the fear, &c. represented as the duties of sinner's obligation to every religious men, and also as the fruits of the Spirit duty; for no exercise, whether external As blessings they are gifts of God; as or internal, such as prayer, repentance, duties they are the acts of men. If love, &c. is accepted of God unless pernothing, which is the gift of God, is the formed in faith. Where faith is struck duty of man, then duty itself is annihi- l out of the list of duties, the whole tablet lated, and the very word ought to be 'is erased at once, for faith virtually

Bennett on the Gospel Dispensation.

« НазадПродовжити »