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A Popular Guide to Baptism, by JOHN
Alcorn, 80 pp. Price 9d. London: Baptist Tract and Book Society, Castlestreet, Holborn.
The author, in four concise lectures, two on the subjects, and two on the mode of baptism-has presented a clear and scriptural view of the sacred ordinance which our dear Redeemer, in His last address to His apostles, enjoined upon believers in His holy gospel. He also very satisfactorily disposes of the usual arguments with which our Pædo-baptist friends are accustomed to defend their practice, and answers fairly and convincingly the objections they bring against
The question of the meaning of the Greek words bapto and baptizo is discussed in a manner that creates astonishment that it should ever have been a question amongst the learned at all. In like manner the Greek words which signify to sprinkle, wash, and pour, are shewn never to be used in the New Testa. ment in connection with the ordinance of baptism, making us wonder how good men, when they sprinkle a child, can bring themselves to say they baptize it.
The work may be considered as an excellent “ Hand Book on the subject of Baptism, inasmuch as it contains the pith of many larger volumes, in a small compass, and at a very low price. The fol. fowing words, with which it closes, are commended to those who, having believed through grace, have not yet confessed their Lord in the manner of His own appointing :- Faith always has been, and is now, an energetic and laborious worker, working by love; and love is the most potent power in the moral universe, -love is the fulfilling of the law. Upon all, then, who trust in, and love our Lord Jesus Christ, is the command obligatory: ARISE AND BE IMMERSED.
240 lines, references to every past of our blessed Immanuel's work on behalf of His dear people, every title and relation, He bears in connection with them, and many things occurring in His life whilst on earth. There is much plain gospel truth expressed in these lines, and it is very evident that the writer is a firm believer in the essential Deity of our Lord Jesus Christ. This our friend, an aged Baptist minister in his 73rd year, wishes to be understood, having been converted from being a believer in “the doctrine of eternal generation,” partly by reading Mr. Crowther's sermon, The Word made Flesh.” For renouncing that opinion, it seems, he has suffered some reproach and unkindness at the hands of former friends and associates. He hopes the publication of his tract will be the means of removing, in some measure, that violent prejudice from the minds of those who truly love the Lord Jesus Christ, yet have separated from the communion they otherwise would enjoy.” It is to be hoped it will ; for why should not good and gracious men, who are sound in the doctrine of the Trinity, and in the corres. pondent doctrines of the distinct and proper Divinity of the Lord Jesus Christ, and of the Holy Ghost, have fellowship with each other, notwithstanding some differences of opinion as to human explanations of those all-important verities?
By a note on the second page of the tract we are informed that it may be had of Mr. Maskell, Ely, Cambs, and that the entire proceeds of the sale will be devoted to the repairs of Salem Chapel, Ely. The Preacher's Analyst, a Monthly Homi.
lectical Magazine, and help in prepara. tion for the Pulpit. Conducted by J. S. BIRD, B.A. Price 4d. London: Elliot Stock, Intended, also, and adapted for the use of Sabbath school teachers. The number before us is that for August, 1880, being No. 7 of Vol. 4: it is well and respectably got up in quarto size, on toned paper, and has * Sketches'
according with the “Prayer Book” calendar; thus principally adapting it for members of the Church of England, who, we may there
A few Meditations on the 42nd Chapter of
Isaiah, in verse, by WILLIAM CHAPMAN.
humble verse, the writer gives us his thoughts upon the character of our Lord, as the Servant of Jehovah; conjoining with that designation, in about
fore suppose, are considered by the conductor to be more in need of such forms of help than other people. Its theology is what is called moderate Calvinism, or, rather, Baxterianism; nevertheless, with an occasional objectionable phrase or thought, it contains much that is really good and true; and to those preachers and teachers who, for lack of ability or of time, find a difficulty in preparing their addresses, may prove of considerable
show in part the author's method, page 277 :THE VOYAGE TO ROME : SHIPWRECK. Acts
xxvii. From Cesarea to Myra ; from Myra to the Fair Havens ; thence to Melita. LESSON8.-Christian principle better than worldly prudence.-Christianity a regnant power; Paul becomes practically the commander.—The power of him who can say, "I believe God,"-Faith and the use of means the remedy against despair.The Divine purpose does not dispense with human agency.-(Compare 22, 31.)
Our brother, with much labour and research, has thus produced a book that may be very advantageously used as a companion to the Bible, containing as it does, in a small compass, much that will prove of great value as an accompaniment to the daily or occasional perusal the sacred page. To the young Bible student, the Sabbath-school teacher, the mission worker, to which classes of readers the author more especially dedicates his effort, the book will prove of great advantage. as, indeed, it wiīl to all lovers of the Word of God who may procure it, not having the means to obtain, or the time to read, larger works. Exception, however, must be taken to one or two things that have met the eye in looking through this book. Thus (p. 122) the Song of Solomon is called a sacred drama," and on following pages parcelled out as a number of
This is after the manner of German philosophers, some of whom write
much learned trash about the sacred page, and not after good Dr. Gill and the godly
. English Puritan divines. It is sufficient, in describing the structure of the “ Song of Songs," to say that it is a sacred allegory. It is not pleasant to the devout mind to think of the Holy Spirit as being the inventor of theatricals, or as the imitator of play wrights.
Again, on page 177, the following remark occurs :- Christ took our lower nature—the flesh- that He might reach our higher-the spirit.” The meaning of this is not easy to understand, nor does the reference given (Heb. ii. 16) help in the matter. The evident meaning of that verse is that our Lord did not undertake to save angels, but the spiritual seed of Abraham; the design and ends of His
a partaker of flesh and blood” are set forth in verses 14, 15, and 17 in the same context.
Brethren who occupy the position of teachers in the Church of God do well to express their thoughts as far as possible in words that accord with the
How to read the Bible. A series of Bible
Readings, embracing the whole of the Scriptures, arranged in chronological order, with the Spiritual Lessons. Pp. 330. Compiled by John T. BRISCOE. London: The Baptist Tract and Book Society, Castle-street, Holborn.
The intention of the compiler, as expressed in his modest preface, is to furnish à “help to the intelligent and devotional study of Scripture.' In carrying out this object he has exercised great care, industry, and judgment; and as the result we have a very serviceable aid to the reading of God's most Holy. Word, which the printer and binder havc embodied in a neat and portable volume.
The plan of the work comprises an arrangement in sectional portions, by enumeration, of the whole of the inspired writings, in chronological order; syllabus of the contents of each portion thus arranged; in many instances, “les
derivable from them, and in some
illustrative” remarks upon them, and in connection, a harmony of the Scriptures as a whole is thus desired to be set before the reader.
In accordance with this chronological method of reading the different parts of the Bible, the Book of Job is placed between the confusion of tongues and the call of Abraham, that being the period in which the good man of Uz is believed to have lived upon the earth; the prophecies are blended with the histories of the times in which the prophets lived, and the Psalms occupy positions that agree with their ascertained or supposed historical connection. In like manner the Epistles are interspersed with the narration of the circumstances in the lives of their writers under which they were written, and the history of events in the life of our Lord, as narrated by the four evangelists, arranged and “harmonized.”
The following extract will serve to
phraseology of Scripture; there is no such form of expression in the Bible as
“ Christ reaching our higher nature.”
Our esteemed brother's theology also is at times somewhat at fault; as, forinstance, when, in remarks on the Hebrew epistle, he speaks of Christ as “representing our nature in His priestly exaltation.” It would be more correct to say His people than “our nature." Other instances occur wherein the speciality of our Lord's work in connection with His chosen and redeemed people is not sufficiently presented to view, and on the whole our good friend may be considered as a more skilful guide in matters experimental and practical than in those that pertain to doctrine. The following remarks in “Lessons," from Matt. xiv. 22, 23, are very excellent:
“ Many a storm is the result of Christian obedience.—Though Jesus may be phy. sically absent, the disciples can never perish while the Lord is interceding.Divine help comes neither too soon nor too late.-Divine intervention is some. times misunderstood.-Faith in Jesus is not bravado ; when He calls without our solicitation, it is time enough to walk on the water.—Yet an overbold disciple is not deserted by his Master.”
Others of the “ Lessons ”' are equally terse and pithy, and if more of them had been given, it would have added to the value of the work. A well drawn-up historical accountof all the Apostles, taken only from the New Testament, is included in the volume, and a copious index of Scripture texts closes up its contents.
Essex ASSOCIATION OF STRICT BAPTIST
CHURCHES. On Monday, September 13th, friendly meeting was held in St. John's Green Chapel, Colchester, to consider the propriety of forming a Society under the above title, with a view to strengthen the Strict Baptists in the County of Essex. W. Beech, Esq., of Chelmsford, occupied the chair, and was supported by several ministers and deacons from the neighbouring churches. Mr. Beech read, by request of the friends present, certain articles of faith, which were to form the doctrinal basis of the Association; after which, a number of rules were also read and adopted. The articles and rules were ordered to be printed and circulated throughout the County of Essex. Mr. W. wn, pastor of St. John's Green Chapel, will forward circulars to any of the Cambridgeshire churches on application, with the hope that many of the friends will unite with the Society contemplated, and thus by their combined efforts, render practical help to poor churches in both counties, as also "aid in the establishment of preaching stations in localities where our denomination is unrepresented.” A public meeting was held in the chapel in the evening-Mr. Beech presiding. Mr. Cottis, of Epping, offered prayer;
after some serious and suitable remarks by the chairman, on the nature of the meeting, the following
brethren gave appropriate addresses, viz.:
- Messrs. Willis (Halstead), Brown (Colchester), Huxham (Chelmsford), Winters (Waltham Abbey), Smith (Yeldham), Rayner (Mount Bures), and Parsonage (Saffron Walden.) The meeting con cluded satisfactorily, much to the gratification of the friends present.
W. WINTERS. Waltham Abbey. INTERMENTS UNDER THE BURIAL LAWS
AMENDMENT ACT. The first interment under this Act took place in the parish churchyard of Beckenham, on Thursday, 9th ult. The officiating minister was Mr. George Samuel, Baptist, of Penge Tabernacle, who interred the remains of one of the menibers of his church. The service consisted of an extempore prayer, the readingof passages of scripture, and the singing of a hymn. The occasion excited some interest, and several clergymen and strangers were present. The service, which lasted half an hour, was marked throughout by befitting solemnity. No allu, sion was made to the exceptional character of the occasion. On the 12th ult. (Lord's day) a young Baptist collier was buried in Netherton churchyard.
His friends, during the week, had obtained permission from the vicar for Mr. Millington, Baptist minister, to read a service, This consent was afterwards withdrawn, and the curate, in the name of the vicar, the bishop
, and the Queen, dared Mr. Millington to pro ceed; he, however, did so, and finished the service, and the curate walked away strongly protesting.–From the Daily News.
AS MANIFESTED THROUGH THE ATONEMENT OF CHRIST.
By mercy as it is manifested through the atonement of Christ, we understand that particular phase of the character of God which is made to appear when favour, in an appropriate form, is extended to one who is miserable through being criminal.
It has been the prevailing fashion, the propriety of which we do not question, to personify the justice and mercy of God when speaking of these qualities in connection with the salvation of sinners. But it has been also an almost equally prevailing fashion, the propriety of which we do very much question, to speak of justice and mercy as having dissimilar and conflicting interests. To our mind their interests are identical and harmonious. Salvation is the interest of both, and each has an equal interest therein. Each has, indeed, its own sphere of operation, and a particular interest in its own sphere, but both have the same end. One is helpful to the other, and each, moving in its own sphere of operation, subserves the manifestion of the other. Justice, to be just, must, as occasion is served, punish for disobedience, reward merit, and vindicate the justified. Justice punished for disobedience when Jesus was wounded and bruised for our transgressions and iniquities. Herein Mercy co-operated with justice. “It pleased the Lord to bruise him.” Mercy had her pleasure in the bruising as well as Justice. It was the end of the bruising, not the formal act, which pleased both Justice and Mercy. Justice has yet to reward the merit of the Sufferer, and to vindicate those who are justified by his sufferings. Mercy's province is to relieve those who are wretched through their criminality. Furnished by Justice with the right to do so, Mercy employs her many and various methods to give the knowledge of salvation through the remission of sins. As Mercy, seeking for this right to relieve the wretched, co-operated with Justice in punishing the Surety, so Justice, discharging its obligations to reward merit, and to vindicate those who are made righteous, co-operates with Mercy in relieving the wretched. Both are manifested by the same means. Mercy is manifested in relieving the miserable, and Justice is manifested in rewarding merit and in vindicating those who are made righteous. When Justice wounded the Surety to secure its own particular interests, it subserved the particular interests of Mercy; and when, by relieving the guilty through the atonement, Mercy secures her own particular interests, she subserves the particular interests of Justice in its remunerative and vindicating character. Thus the common interests of both are promoted by the particular interests of each being served. They have ever been, and are, hand in hand in the salvation of sinners.
Mercy owes her right of display and finds her channel of communication through the atonement. Only as the blood of the sacrificial victims was shed under the Levitical dispensation for an atonement for sin, was sin forgiven to the Israelites. Without shedding of blood there is no remission of sin now.
Remission without blood would be remission without right. No, 575,-NOVEMBER, 1880,
Remission without blood could extend no farther than the sentence and the punishment, and the remission of the sentence and the punishment without the remission of the sin itself would be every unsatisfactory. Remission, to be effectual, must reach and relieve the conscience, as well as exempt from punishment and open the prison doors. Sin is a moral wrong, and remission, to reach the case, must be a moral release. Mercy, without an atonement, would be utterly helpless to give such a release. If she liberated, she could not relieve. If she condoned, she could not comfort. If she blotted out the written accusation, the unwritten accusation would remain in unmitigated force. Whatever she does for a criminal convinced of his moral wrong, she does nothing for him to purpose until she removes his criminality from him in righteousness. But she does all this through the atonement. At the cross sinners lose their burden. At the cross they attain to a change of state. At the cross the many who are made righteous by imputation, receive the gift of righteousness from the hands of Merey and Justice; and, being justified, they are made perfect as pertaining to the conscience, they have peace with God, and they joy in God.
Mercy, through the atonement, is empowered to relieve the miserable criminal with entire freeness. Wholly furnished with the right of remission through the atonement, she hangs none of her precious blessings on any moral conditions. She asks for no moral excellency as a reason for the dispensation of her favours. The one thing needful in order to forgiveness, conviction of sin and repentance for sin, she herself bestows. Some dream of mercy because they are so good, and some doubt of mercy because they are so bad. The dream arises from ignorance of sin and its desert, and the doubt arises from false notions of the atonement and freeness of mercy. Both the dream and the doubt are groundless. Many, from false notions, may be too good to receive mercy ; none can, in truth be too bad for mercy to reach and relieve. Through the atonement Mercy is justified in her bestowments of repentance and remission on sinners comparable to Manasseh for the heinousness of their crimes, and on sinners comparable to the thief on the cross, for their persistence in their vicious courses to the very last moment of a most criminal existence. Many a justified transgressor, now walking with Christ in white, exemplifies the saying, “ A brand plucked out of the fire,” with a surprising veritableness. recious as is this truth of the free-handedness of mercy in every view of it to those who know its value, nothing is more offensive in public estimation. High and low, cultivated and rude, moral and profane alike, find herein one of their most offensive offences. All naturally are indisposed to buy in God's market, so to speak, on other terms than those in vogue in human markets. They will not buy Mercy's wine, and milk, and honey, and bread, without money and without price. All will take their counters in their pockets, under the vain imagination that they are coins, and that they must buy for money.
Even the wickedest take credit for some moral excellencies, and redeeming qualities, and if they accept mercy, they must take it in exchange for some of their imaginary valuable considerations. In fact, they ignore the atonement, and disown mercy. None of these ever really buy any of Mercy's commodities. The terms are beneath them. Neither can they buy. For