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be ascertained in any case, if not as lowship with each other, as members of publicly expressed as we know it was in the same household of faith, and chilthe election of the seven deacons at Jeru-dren of the same Futher, an appellation salem? The testimony of Clement which, as implying a right 10 govern, fully confirms these observations; in- they were commanded to give to no deed, almost innumerable testimonies | man upon earth, but only to their commight be produced, to prove that it con- mon FATHER in heaven. Matt. xxiii. 8,9. tinued for some centuries to be the prac- 2. Every congregation of the primitice, that every congregation elected its tive Christians, met as frequently as own bishops.
circumstances would possibly' allow, to To conclude this first head, it ap- offer, by Jesus Christ, the sacrifice of pears, from what has been said, and I praise to God, (Heb. xiii. 15.) and to hope scripturally, that no presbyter or comfort themselves together, and edity bishop was allowed to superintend more one another. (1 Thess. v. 11.) They than one congregation-on the contrary, met particularly on THE FIRST DAY OF every congregation had a plurality of THE WEEK, to commemorate the death and them; nor is it possible, in the nature resurrection of their Master. (Acts xx. 7.) of things, that one shepherd can tend Many of the duties enjoined them as two flocks in different places. The disciples of Christ, could in no other office of presbyter or elder, and overseer manner be performed; and, therefore, or bishop, is one and the same office : they are commanded not to forsake the of course, any idea of inequality between assembling of themselves together, but the two terms is an absurdity. Dea- to exhort, and provoke one another to cons were also appointed, male and fe- love, and to good works. (Heb. x. 24, male. No other office is mentioned in 25.) In their assemblies, it was the the Scriptures, as belonging to the apos- duty of the elders to attend to reading, tolic churches; nor can the churches of to exhortation, and instruction ;(1 Tim.iv. Christ (whatever others may do) admit 13.) and to feed the flock with the of any except these two. Every con- wholesome words of our Lord Jesus gregation elected its own bishops and Christ; (vi. 3.) to reprove, rebuke, erdeacons, from among its own members; hort, with all long-suffering and doctrine. and in this election every member not (2 Tim. iv. 2.). In one word, they were only had a voice, but the suffrages were to look to themselves, and to all the flock, unanimous !-a most convincing proof (Acts xx. 28.) watching for their souls that the churches of Christ are under as those who must give account, (Heb, his guidance; for in worldly churches xiii. 17.) exercising the overseership, (which are certainly numerous), or so- not as lords over an inheritance of their cieties of any kind, the thing would own, but as ensamples to the believers; be impossible. And as every congrega. not seeking filthy lucre as their reward, tion elected its own office-bearers, and but that crown of glory which they shali managed its own affairs without any receive, when the chief Shepherd shall foreign interference whatever, it was appear. (1 Pet. v. 2—4.) Reading the consequently complete in itself, and per. Scriptures, exhorting to the performance fectly independent. But though the con. of those duties which they enjoin, and gregations, not only in different coun- teaching each other the divine truths tries, but in the same district, were inde. which they contain, appear plainly, pendent of each other, and not permitted from these passages, to have occupied to call any inan MASTER, as having a much of the attention of the Christian right to legislate for them, they were assemblies. To these duties they added not allowed to legislate for themselves. prayers and praises to TUE Most High,* Yet they were not without law, but under being expressly enjoined to offer the law to Christ, their law-giver; and hav. sacrifice of praise to God continually; ing one common master, they had fel. I that is, the fruit of the lips, giving
. * The order in which these different services were observed, is no where laid down in the Scriptures, only that they were to be performed ;-of course, the order would sometimes depend upon circunstances, and might vary in different places. Justio Martyr states, that, in his time, (anno 155) first of all, the writings of the prophets and apostles were read. (Apol. 2.) Tertullian, about forty or fifty years later, speaking of the public Service, states the order thus: “The Scriptures are read, psalms sung, comforting dis. courses spoken, and prayers presented.” (De Aniunt, c. 3.)
thanks to his name (Heb. xiii. 15.) and cording to his ability. It appears, also, to offer up, as an indispensable part of from Paul's first Epistle to the Corinththeir public and joint services, supplica-ians, (chap. xiv.) to have been the duty tions, prayers, intercessions, and thanks- and privilege of the members of that giving, for all men; for kings, and all congregation (with, consequently, every that are in authority; praying that every other) to prophecy; that is, to teach ; and member of the church might lead a that, at that time, some confusion was quiet and peaceable life, in all godliness often produced by the readiness of every and honesty, and that God, who willeth one of them, to sing or speak a psalm, a men of all ranks to be saved, would doctrine, or a revelation, and some of bring many to the knowledge of the them in an unknown tongue. Is their truth, respecting the one God, and one liberty of speech reproved by the aposMediator between God and men, the tles ? No; but their indiscreet use of Man Christ Jesus, (1 Tim. ii. 1-5.)-the it: he informs them (ver. 31.) that they Man, God's fellow, (Zech. xiii. 7.) who, might all prophecy, one by one, that all being in the form of God, thought it not might learn, and all might be comforted; robbery to be equal with God; but not that every one of them might use made himself of no reputation, and took this liberty at one time of assembling : upon him the form of a servant, and for at one meeting, it was not proper was made in the likeness of men, and that more than two or three should adbecame obedient unto death. (Philip. ii. dress the believers. It appears then, 6-8.) These being the services in from these, and other cases which might which they were employed in their pub-be adduced, that the bishops were entilic assemblies, it is necessary that we tled to receive instruction from, as well as should enquire who they were that ex- bound, to communicate it to the congrehorted and taught, and acted as the or gation; that every individual had, a gan of the congregation, in its addresses right to receive the benefit of that knowto the throne of grace-That the elders ledge which God had communicated to often performed these duties, is, I sup- every other member; and that it was pose, not contested, and, therefore, par- incumbent on all of them, as expressed ticular passages, in addition to those al- by Peter, (1 Epist. iv. 10.) according as ready quoted, need not be adduced as they had received the gift, to minister proofs. But it may be useful to enquire the same one to another, as good stewwhether the congregations had a right ards of the manifold grace of God." I to throw upon their ministers every duty shall only add, that the primitive Christbut that of hearing and receiving in- ians attended to the ordinance of the struction? We are informed (Acts viii.) Lord's supper weekly, (Acts XX. 7.) that, on the persecution which broke out, made collections for the saints, (1 Cor. after the death of Stephen, against the xvi. 1, 2.) and when necessary, attended congregation which was at Jerusalem, to discipline, (2 Thess. iï. 6 14.) see the members were all scattered abroad, our Lord's rule, (Matt. xviii. 15-20.) throughout Judea and Samaria, and went 3. The obligation which Christians every where preaching the word. It was are under to imitate the primitive order not the apostles, for we are told ex- of public worship must, I think, appear pressly that they still remained at Jerusa- obvious to every diligent and impartial lem, but those who were scattered abroad, observer. At what period I would ask, that performed these duties. Hence, since the apostles's days, could the priit appears, that, at that time, it was the mitive model have been safely discarded, duty and practice of all the believers to and a more modern (of course more ele. preach the word. One of the members gant and ceremonious) one substituted who thus preached, and who had been in its place? History furnishes us with appointed, not an elder, but a deacon, is details of the tremendous consequences mentioned by name; viz. Philip, who which have invariably attended the awa went down to the city of Samaria, and ful departure from the simple primitive preached THE CHRisT unto them, and when plan; and daily observation cannot fail they believed, they were baptized, both men to strike us with the imperfection and and women.--As was also the Ethiopian corruption of those churches which have eunuch. This he did, however, not as a forsaken the right way," and rendered deacon, for his duty as such was to serve the prophet's language not inapplicable tables, but as a common duty, which to themselves: * We will eat our own every believer was bound to perform ac- bread, and wear our own apparel: only let us be called by thy name, to take away our | reproach.” (Isa. iv, 1.) What a sad
REMARKS ON A LATE PAMPHLET
ENTITLED, “ AN INVESTIGAspectacle does the church of Rome, or
TION OF THE DOCTRINE OF even England exhibit! Jesus said, just
WATER BAPTISM." before his departure from the world, “Go ye, therefore, and teach all na MR. EDITOR, tions, baptizing them in the name of
In reading part of the 119th the Father, and of the Son, and of the Psalm this morning, I was very deeply Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all affected on passing over the 126th verse. things whatsoever I have commanded you ; “ It is time for thee, Lord, to work, for and lo, I am with you alway, even unto they have made void thy law." This the end of the world.” (Matt. xxviii. 19, passage appeared to me in a new light, 20.) Paul, writing to the Thessalo- and I thought I could in measure appronians, (1 Epist. ii. 14.) says, “ For ye, priate it. You, Sir, will easily enter inbrethren, became followers of the churches to my views, upon a recollection, that of God which in Judea are in Christ Jesus," the professing world, in this day, and certainly it is as obligatory now for abound with persons who are incesthe churches, as it was for the Thessa- | santly labouring to set at naught the lonians. Revelation is complete. We preceptive authority of the Scripture, are neither to add to, nor diminish from as well as the ordinances of the gospel. it; therefore we must faithfully receive Such a disposition is by no means indithe primitive Christian practices as well cative of an increase of knowledge, or as doctrines; both are derived from one an approach of the latter day glory. source; if we may substitute our plans Among the many attempts this way, of public worship instead of the apos- we have one obtruded on the public, in tles', why not use the same freedom a publication entitled, “ An Investigation with regard to their doctrines ? Nay; of the Doctrine of Water Baptism, *"' &c. it is observable, that, where the one is and as it was “ earnestly recommended" discarded, the other is mutilated and cor by the author on the title page, I have rupted.
been induced to look into it. 4thly, and lastly, A few remarks may In the preface, the writer has desuffice respecting the “ ground of our clared, that he is not conscious of havdissent from the churches of Rome or ing more than one object in view; and England, if we deny the obligation to imi- that is, to exhibit truth in its pristine tate the pattern which the primitive simplicity and dignity, whilst, as it will churches have left us." If the primi plainly appear, that what he calls truth, tive order is not obligatory, I consider would be a complete mutilation of the that any person is at full liberty to adopt unerring standard, inasmuch as it would aby plan he thinks proper: he may imi- lead us to expunge the ordinance of tate the superstitious ceremonies of the baptism altogether from the church of
Mother of harlots," or of those of her Christ. You will naturally expect, Mr. daughters; or, if dissatisfied with these Editor, that I felt particularly anxious guides, he may devise a method of his to ascertain, to what denomination of own, as the former have notoriously professors this investigating gentleman done. If there is no obligation to imi- | belongs ; and also to satisfy myself, retate the primitive pattern," I consider specting his views, relative to our ac it more rational to draw one ourselves, ceptance with God. But my anxiety than to procure one from à pope, or a was dissipated, in bringing to mind that, council of bishops; because, from the spe- according to his principles, he cannot, cimens which we have already from consistently, be a member of any sothese “ reverend gentlemen," I think ciety of professing Christians, the Quathere is no fear of making a more ludi-kers excepted. Indeed, it will be difficrous pattern.
cult to prove the existence of a church Should these observations mect your at all, in the absence of ordinances ; for approbation, as tending a little to eluci- | they constitute the line of demarkation date the subject, I may expect to see between the church and the world them inserted in your useful Maga- they have, as commanded, been the zine.
badges of discipleship in every age of Yours, &c.
the church. His views of redemption, July 20th, 1822.
B. T. T. moreover, may be learned from p. 30, By T. L. P. printed at Tiverton, by T. Park house.
where he talks of conditions in reference As I do not conceive it will be agreeto salvation, which tens of thousands of able to you to encumber your pages Christians have fulfilled (as he says) with so much incoherence, I deem it without being sprinkled or immersed in prudent to pass over many other ahwater. What these conditions are, that surdities in silence, and just to glance have been performed by him and others, at these errors, in hopes that the loveshe has not explained. I infer, there. I tigator will, before he presume to apfore, that the inVESTIGATOR is oue of pear at the bar of the public again, read the numerous non-descripts of this pro- the New Testament with more attenlific age, who are ever learning without tion, that he may write with a little arriving at the knowledge of the truth. more accuracy. What are we to wonIt would be very desirable, if these per- der at, when men have the effrontery to sons, in their literary gambols, would say, that baptism is not taught in the exercise a little modesty, and not sup-) New Testament, either. as to mode or pose, that their mere ipse dixit will suf. thing? However the Investigator may fice, where truth is wanting. The In-| feel, your sensible readers, Mr. Editor, vestigator has roundly asserted, page 15,/ will soon conceive the fallacy of his asrespecting baptism, that “ there is not sertion from the following passages. a single passage in the whole of the The Commission given by the gloriNew Testament, in which it is plainly) ous Head of the church, after he had acand absolutely commanded, either as it) complished the great work of our rerespects the mode or thing." Now, demption, and previous to his ascension what can we think of such men? whilsi] and glorification, was, “ Go ye, therein the sixteenth page, he has conceded fore, and teach all nations, baptizing that “ the stream of antiquity runs them in the name of the Father, and of much in favour of adult baptism, by the Son, and of the Holy Ghost; teach. immersion;" adding, in the seventeenth/ ing them to observe all things whatsopage, chat, even to the time of Constan- | ever I have commanded you." Mark has tine, baptisteries were found in chapels, 1 given the same doctrine, only varied a &c. “ Yet, after all," adds he, « wél little, Mark xvi. 16. But what rational have no satisfactory evidence, that idea can be affixed to the exotic term, either the Baptist or the Apostles admi- " baptizingly," I cannot see. The Greek nistered baptism by immersion." What word Banlığovies, which the Investigator he has observed in reference to infant has metamorphosed into an adverb, 15 sprinkling, with Dr. Adam Clarke's opi- an active participle, subject to the same nion upon that subject, relating to regimen as ropeudevles " go ye." This sponsors, baptismal covenants, and such writer might as well say, that the comtrash, I conceive to be as little worthy of mission was, teach goingly; or, disciple notice, as transubstantiation, or a pope's teachingly, as talk of discipling people bull; they are nugæ nugarum, en masse. baptizingly! Or suppose we adhere to the Moreover, the Investigator supposes, simple meaning of the verb Barlisw, wlich that, baptism was one of the beggarly | is, to dip, and in which primary sehse ol elements mentioned by Paul, in his the term, it is used by all Greek au. Epistle to the Galatians ;--that it was thors; then the reading would be, merely typical;--that there is no baptism " go ye and teach dippingly," whilst, acknown in the Christian church, but that cording to the interpretation of a peedo. of the Spirit, of which he gives such an baptist, it would be, “ go ye and teach account, that, whatever it may be to I sprinkingly!! But I desist, Mr. Edihim, must be considered unintelligible, I tor; such conduct as that evinced by as long as rationality is the standard of the author alluded to, is triing with the the mind.
sacred volume, and is sinful; it is a mu. In the twenty-fourth page, this novel tilation, not an investigation of the will scheme is associated with a correspond- of God. ing term, before unheard of through the The conduct of the apostles and evanwhole march of literature.He says, I gelists, as recorded in the Acts, is the the apostles taught“ baptizingly," p. 27, only authentic guide. respecting the that, by virtue of their commission, mind of the Lord Jesus, in reference to they discipled “ baptizingly;" and that baptism, and indeed, every thing else, all who are endued with power from on relating to his church or kingdom . high to preach, will always meet with the world, and from thence we are fully success, more or less,
taught, not that baptism was among
“the beggarly elements” mentioned in, converted Jews, denominated « they of Galat. iv. Col. ii. but a standing ordi- the circumcision,” were astonished, for · nance in his kingdom, embodying all they heard them speak with tongues." the doctrine of the gospel, such as the And what followed: Why, then obdeath and resurrection of Christ-the served Peter, viz. after the baptism of the
him therein-the washing away of sins forbid water that these should not be through his 'blood-his resurrection to baptized, which have received the Holy newness of life-and the hope of a Ghost?" &c. Then he commanded blessed immortality.
them to be baptized in the name of the Another thing which I propose to no- Lord Jesus. . The person who, after tice is, what has been pretended to be reading that passage, will not admit, drawn against baptism,' from the effu- that the effusion of the Holy Spirit cansion of the Holy Spirit on the day of not be synonymous with baptism, has Pentecost, which is significantly com- surely a greater claim to pity, than to the pared to baptism. This is another of benefit of any arguments which can be the writer's paradoxes; but why could bestowed upon him. he not admit the possibility of meta- The observations that have been phor here, as well as demand it when made, in reference to the erroneous speaking of salt, of fire, &c. in other views entertained of baptism; such as parts of his pamphlet? It is certain, that it is regenerating, &c. &c. I dishowever, that without distinguishing miss, Mr. Editor, with only observing, between literal and metaphorical pas- that it was not administered to any unsages in the word of God, great mis- der the sanction of the apostles, except takes must ensue. The baptism of the to persons supposed to be regenerated, Holy Ghost, promised to the primitive See Acts viii. 27. “ If thou believest church, by John, Matt. iii. and which with all thine heart, thou mayest be was re-promised by John's Master, was baptized.” Now we know, from unernot an ordinance enjoined, but a privi- ring testimony, that“ faith is the gift of lege bestowed, consisting of the gift of God,” and that it is consequently the working miracles, and speaking with evidence of regeneration. tongues, by which the first promulga- Notwithstanding the clashing schemes tors of the gospel were raised above the of deluded mortals, (for dispute and jarcommon level of human attainments, gon there ever will be whilst mèn adand enabled to communicate to the na- here to their own weak opinions, and tions, the unsearchable riches of Christ ; neglect the infallible directions given to tread upon scorpions, as Paul did at in the word of God) the Scriptures are Melita; to heal 'fevers, as Peter did, our only safe guide in this matter. and to effect various other things too The Corinthians heard, believed, and numerous for notice here. Mark xvi. were baptized; and Paul commended 18. Heb. ii. 4. But that baptism was a them for keeping the napadocais as deli. distinct thing, will be sufficiently evi-vered to them; i. e. for observing bapdent to every ingenuous mind, from tism and the Lord's supper, &c. &c. acconsulting the divine record, as to the cording to their primitive order and deoccurrence in the house of Cornelius. sign. It does not appear that any other The order runs simply thus: Peter is positive commands were annexed to sent for by Cornelius, who had been in- Christianity. Let the Investigator sostructed in a dream to do so; Peter is lemnly consider, whether it would be also, in a dream, directed to comply. consonant with the analogy of faith, or When, to an assembled auditory, the indeed with common sense, to call the apostle preached the Lord Jesus, he did effusion of the Spirit of God Tapadocis, a not, as the Investigator strangely repre- thing enjoined, or a commandment. sents it, communicate the Spirit of God; Let him also take the advice, “ TACE, but, whilst he was preaching, an effu. | DISCE !”. sion of divine influence was granted, and
DISCIPULUS. the result was; that Cornelius, and the London, August, 1822. major part, if not the whole, of the persons, present, were favoured with the P.S. In a note at the foot of page 66, peculiar . privilege of the primitive this anonymous writer affirms, that" he church; i. e. the gift of tongues. Thel has seen the ceremony of baptizing per