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the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is make them rejoice. With respect to the writings of come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an anti-christ. some who have constituted themselves' enemies of the Look to yourselves, that we lose not those things which Brethren," such as those we have alluded to-nearly we have wrought, but that we receive a full reward. all their statements abound with errors, and malice is Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doc- stamped upon them. They are like the men of Belial; trine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the we must let them alone. doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son. Dear “ Brethren, "-Let us ask you, in all love, what If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, do you get by holding on to your mutilated federa. receive him not into your house, neither bid him God tions? Would you lose if you were to seek only speed: for he that biddeth him God speed is partaker the unity of the Spirit, and to give up the vain struggle of his evil deeds."
for an unity of the body which God alone can preserve? This epistle, be it remembered, is written “ To the Why cling to the importance which attaches to a elect lady and her children," and does not in any way large union ? Drink of the spirit of Christdeal with Church questions. It is given for the guid- give up the desire for greatness here--and you ance of individual christian conduct, especially respect. will be infinitely richer for the loss. Do you fear a ing those who may call upon us at our dwellings pro- lack of ministry? Is the Lord's arm shortened ? fessing religion. If such bring not the doctrine of Are your resources in men? On this point let us in Christ (i.e. particularly, that Jesus Christ is come in the faithfulness exhort you. Beware of “ the itching ear!" flesh), we are neither to receive them, nor bid them You need to be warned in common with all Christians God speed.
against an excessive love of preaching and hearing. Marvellous to say, the meeting was imposed upon Fear not a lack of the things of 1 Cor. xii: but cultiby this, and considered they were fully furnished with vate rather the theme of 1 Cor. xiii. justification for their arbitrary proceedings. And to We do not dispute the advantage of pre-eminently this day the "exclusives” boast of it as a piece of gifted ministry. But the Lord is equal to all our needs. profound wisdom. Yet "the doctrine of Christ, and Only wait upon him, and he will give the best gifts his coming in the flesh” was not at all in question, according to his own estimate of our wants. Alas! how nor has the Scripture quoted the most distant applica- apt we are to think we can manage for ourselves ! Retion to the case over which judgment was assumed. member, those who have troubled you in times past
All this would be very mortifying if it were desirable were gifted men. The strong ones are they which that mere human arrangements, as touching the things have brought leanness upon you. Ministry is not the which belong to Christ, should succeed. It is, however, chief thing. far better that the Lord alone, should be glorified. We Beloved,- Your union brings you both weakness have not a doubt that "the Brethren,” from first to last, and sorrow. Why should Islington be perplexed and have been desirous of acting most conscientiously: but hindered with the affairs of Guernsey or Kensington? the old nature has betrayed them. They commenced Why should Exeter sit in judgment because error creeps as a “feeble few," and were abundantly blessed. As in at Bristol ? Such interference between local churches soon as they became a strong party, they began to fail. is quite opposed to Scripture. They gathered simply to the name of Jesus, and trus- You are bearing heavy burdens. Listen to the invited to his guidance personally, and by the Holy Ghost tations of Jesus—“Come to me all ye that labour and and the Scriptures. He has never failed them. But are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take as their numbers increased, they began to think they MY yoke upon you, and LEARN OF ME; for I am had found therein a fresh source of strength. It is a meek and lowly of heart : and ye shall find rest unto common mistake. Let the world have its axiom, “Union
souls." is strength"-Christians ought to hold exactly the re- These considerations, and many more in "the verse. “The Lord said unto me, My grace is sufficient Word,” offer abundant inducement, for any who for thee : for my strength is made perfect in weakness." | have faith, to abandon the confederacy, and be. Then says Paul: “ Most gladly will I glory in my in- come really what you now profess to be two or three firmities, that the POWER OF CHRIST may rest upon gathered in the name of Jesus. Should any of me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in re- you act thus in faithfulness, your fellow-Christians proaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distress, generally may think you very foolish. So much the for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I better. The foolishness of God is wiser than men;
and the weakness of God is stronger than men. None are more ready than "the Brethren" to receive *
God hath chosen the foolish things of the such truth as this theoretically: Paul held it practi- world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen cally. So must all who would profit by it.
the weak things of the world to confound the things If any party, as such, ever could deserve success-ac- which are mighty; and base things of the world, and cording to human thought, "the Brethren" might well things which are despised, hath God chosen, and look for it. We bear them witness that, save in the things which are not, to bring to nought things that matter of Baptism and substituted rules, together with are : that no Aesh should glory in his presence"! this mistake of federal union, they seek to conform to Brethren—do you believe it? the mind of Christ. But success, as a party, would have We trust our readers generally will catch the spirit been dishonour to Christ-and they could not wish in which these remarks are written. Our object is the that. Let this thought console them. Nay, may it very reverse of seeking to ferment the unholy enmity
against the Plymouth Brethren which exists in the Ghost became the Indweller of believers, and that minds of many who name the name of Christ. We to believe now and not to follow is impossible. Is it? have exposed their failures and weakness, that others Is it not possible to “quench " the Spirit ? If bemay be warned; and in the hope that many among lievers are of necessity followers, why does Paul themselves may be led to search for the mind of the exhort the Corinthians, " Be ye followers of me, even Lord, as to what He would have them to do. The as I also am of Christ"? Does not the apostle weep sweet words of encouragement and promise in Rev. iii. over certain believers, because by their teaching and 7-12 are not given to a strong confederation, but to a conduct they were (instead of being followers) enelocal Church which has but "a little strength.” mies of the cross of Christ”? Is it not possible to be For such the Lord has set
fruitless branches of the True Vine, and to be taken away in consequence? Does not the Spirit say by
Peter that the believer who neglects to add to his BELIEVERS- FOLLOWERS-SERVANTS
faith-virtue, knowledge, temperance, patience, godWe discern in Scripture the above three attitudes liness, brotherly kindness, charity, becomes blind, in which those who are saved should be found in and (though not ceasing to be a believer) actually this present state, in relationship to the Lord Jesus “forgets that he was purged from his old sins"? Christ.
Who will say it is not possible for a believer to 1. The BELIEVER may remain simply a believer, neglect and decline to “take up his cross daily and and not advance to the other conditions. Where follow” Jesus ? Oh, it is ever needful for us to that is the case it is greatly to be deplored, because exhort one another not to be "conformed to this it entails a low, grievous, and unhappy course here, world,” remembering what Jesus says to all who are loss of reward hereafter, and dishonour to God and his—“Ye are not of this world, even as I am not of Christ. That belief may apparently exist alone this world.” is evident from the case of Nicodemus, who came Not only may dear Christians, in the general to Jesus by night and said "We know that thou tenour of their daily walk, not be following Christ, art a teacher come from God ;' and Jesus, by re- but whenever such as are endeavouring (by his grace) ceiving him and patiently teaching him, admitted to follow him, do listen to their own wills or the his faith. But what glorious opportunities did Nico- wishes of others in any matter, and do not make demus lose of following and serving the “ Teacher direct reference to his wishes and his will, they cease come from God;" and what must have been his grief for the time to be followers of Him who came not to when, the God-sent One having been crucified, do his own will, but the will of him that sent him." he could do nothing but honour His lifeless body! 2. And for what reasons did believing ones become Are there no believers now who endeavour to do FOLLOWERS of Jesus when he was on earth and without daily communion with a Living Lord ? should be (in spirit) now ?-Because they loved to be
Nicodemus was not alone in this respect, for we with Him; they loved to learn of Him; they desired read in John xï. " Among the chief rulers also many to become like Him; they were delighted to view the believed on him; but because of the Pharisees they marvels of his power and grace; and to honour Him. did not confess, lest they should be put out of the As they have opportunity, all believers should rejoice synagogue : for they loved the praise of men more to make it evident that they are disciples, or learners, than the praise of God.” So it is now; if believers and followers. If all could not personally follow will look at, and reckon up what they will have to Christ when he was on earth, all believers can now, lose by conformity to the Word of God, they will through his grace, his Spirit, and his Word. probably fail to become followers and servants, 3. From among those who follow the Lord spiri
In John vi. 66 we read of believers who essayed in tually, and thereby increase in conformity to Himtheir fleshly will to be followers also, but who self, He chooses and sends forth SERVANTS. It is impatiently went backward, and walked no more with true that service may immediately succeed faith, as Jesus, when he began to press heavenly truth upon in the case of the woman of Samaria ; but genethem. With how many is this the case now. Men rally, we believe, the Lord observes the same rule set up their “I think this” and “I think that,” and now as He did with the apostles and evangelists will not receive the plain statements of Scripture ! _"Come ye after Me, and I will make you fishers How few regard the Written Word as deserving the of men.” “Every one that is perfect shall be as his same unquestioning obedience and reverence as was Master.” Blessed encouragement ! due to the Incarnate Word when He was on earth! Service is too multifarious in kind to allow us to go More or less, Christians who will argue, where the into details. It includes everything that can possibly expressions of Scripture are plain, must go backward, be done unto the Lord, and may be active or passive, and, in some respects, swerve from following. Where apparent or unknown to men. The true servant, there is no doubt as to the simple meaning of words while not desirous of hiding his good works, would in the sacred writings, there is no room for the rather cultivate that love which “vaunteth not itself." exercise of opinion. To draw inferences, is to dis- it is enough for him to serve the Master, and to honour the text and to open an avenue to the know that the Master sees all. subtleties of the Deceiver.
It is self-evident that, even in the affairs of this But it may be said, the instances above produced life, no one can take upon himself the power of are from among those who believed before the Holy appointing another man's servant. Christ's servants
A FEW TREASURED THOUGHTS.
" lifted up
COMMENTARY ON THE GOSPEL BY
must be made by himself. Take, for instance, the
SCRIPTURE MEETINGS. preacher of the Gospel ; “How shall he preach unless
Search the Scriptures.'-(John v. 39.) he be sent?” (Rom. x. 15.) Again, “ He gave some, (RAWSTORNE Meeting Room, No. 47, Rawstorne-street, Goswellapostles; some, prophets ; some, evangelists; some,
road, Saturday, Sept. 2. pastors and teachers;" &c. (Eph. iv.) “ Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over
" And he lifted up bis eyes on his disciples, and said, the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers."
Blessed be ye poor; for your's is the kingdom of God.”
in (Acts xx.) Worldly churches, according to their
complacency and blessing upon us ! But in order that it own institutions, and assemblies of believers, do con
may be so, we must be " disciples " (or learners) as well as stitute and appoint clergymen, but such a course of believers. action does not make them the servants of Christ. It was noticed that these words did not countenance the They are only servants of those who appointed them. notion that poverty in itself was a blessing, but only the It is true that such may be previously and afterwards poverty of disciples—poverty in connection with faith. true servants of the One Master, do his work, and
The question was raised, Did our Lord mean poor in spirit ? be honoured by him; but all this does not justify Doubtless poverty of all kinds is meant, a primary reference them in receiving a badge of office from man, but Christ pronounces blessed must be blessed indeed, absoon the contrary proves its non-necessity. There
lutely blessed—the poor. How different from the conclusions is no ground for Christians claiming the power and maxims of the natural man ! to appoint to the ministry, or for ministers to One of the chief blessings which were seen to arise from ordain one another. When believers assemble, they the discipline of poverty, was that it led the child of God should gather, not to each other, nor prima- to go on from day to day in faith; hence such an one comes rily for the benefits of ministry, but to the LORD. to be, though “poor in this world, rich in faith," if Will he suffer his own Body to want for ministration ? rightly exercised thereby. "No man yet hated his own flesh, but nourisheth, makes? –“ Blessed are ye poor, for your's is the kingdom.”
How wonderful is the antithesis which the Lord himself and cherisheth it; even as the Lord the church.”
[Oh, that every poor saint among our readers may rejoice, There is great danger in these times of religious entering into the mind of Christ on this subject. Wait. bustle, when human instrumentality is over-estimated, Patiently wait.] to forget the necessity even of life, in order to do Christian service. We are thinking just now of a young man whom we knew, and a young woman of
ST. JOHN. whom we have read, being engaged as Sunday-school
(Written expressly for this publication.) teachers who were not clear as to their own salvation! Think of the miserable work of pointing the way to heaven and not being in it!
VERSES 35, 36.—" Again the next day after John stood, and man said he thought he was “doing good;" no two of his disciples; and looking upon Jesus as he walked, he doubt he had undertaken the work at the earnest called his hearers to behold the Lamb of God with reference to
saith, Behold the Lamb of God!” The “voice" had yesterday solicitation of Christians, who taught him, as he said, sin; now he cries, Behold the Lamb of God, that his hearers that “in watering others his own soul would be may become followers of the Lamb. John's mission would now watered also."
soon come to an end. He had, in the first days of his What a snare! It really does become us, in very declared him as the Son of God. Next, he had made known
ministry, proclaimed the coming of the Messiah. Then he had faithfulness, to press upon nominal Christians that that the Lamb of God, as the Saviour, was in the midst of “they that are in the flesh cannot please God;": his people. Finally, he had emphatically called attention to “ Without faith it is impossible to please him.” Jesus as the one who ought to fill the vision of all who have There cannot be any kind of service till there is hope in God. Behold the Lamb of God!" There was no object
on earth worthy to be compared with him! Yet John the Baptist simple faith unto salvation. We have known a
did not himself become a follower of Christ. His was a separate similar instance of unregeneracy in a district visitor: mission ; he belonged to the former dispensation. Like the
Worship is the highest form of service; but as it prophets who preceded him, the purpose of his testimony was to rather appertains to the attitude of sons than of direct the attention of all to the Messiah. Having heralded servants, we will not consider it here.
the approach, and declared the presence of the long-expected Believer, dost thou desire to be a servant ? Thou One, his own sojourn upon earth soon terminated.
37.-"And the two disciples heard him speak, and they “ desirest a good thing." But remember the com- followed Jesus.” Most blessed result! It is a happy thing to mand of the Eternal Father to those who had already be under the guidance of a man who can point us to “ The been servants for some time—“This is my beloved Truth.” But when, by faith, we see Jesus, let us follow Him. Son; hear ye Him." Follow on as a learner and a As believers, we may well be thankful to our John—the voice
which made Jesus kinown to us-whoever he may be. We lover, doing whatever Jesus has given thee to do, should, indeed, “esteem him very highly for his work's sake.” as “unto the Lord and not unto men. Purge But we have now a divine guide: we must follow our Saviour. thyself from all that is not of the Word, keep thy 38.-“
“ Then Jesus turned and saw them following, and body under, and He will “set before thee an open (which is to say, being interpreted, Master), where dwellest
saith unto them, What seek ye? They said unto him, Rabbi door." Do not for a moment forget the emphatic thou ?" Here we have the enquiry of true-hearted followers of declaration of the Master
Christ. They long to know the place where he dwells. “Without Me ye can do nothing;" —
39._" He saith unto them, Come and see. Thoy came or the experience of a fellow Servant
and saw where he dwelt, and abode with him that day'; for it
was about the tenth hour.” How many sinners, saved by “I can do all things through Christ which
grace, have heard the same response to the desire of their strengtheneth me."
hcarts! In the midst of sufforing and sorrow here, weary of the iniquity God sees there which is never published human leaders, troubled, perhaps, with manifold perplexities, to the world! they have turned to the Lord and said, “Where dwellest thou ?"
Let Christians be well assured that no human power and have received his gracious invitation, “ Como and see. They have gone, as to a temporary abode, but it is to be with can alter it. That which believers can do is to live him. They must be raised, with us, in glorified bodies, before Christ, and preach Christ. In both ways warn sinners they can be put in possession of the mansions which Jesus has to flee from the wrath to come.
Let it be no longer gone to prepare. Meanwhile, the Lord has pitied his weary hid from mankind that not only is there to be a judg. followers, has answered many who have cried to him, and has put them to rest. Their day had reached the tenth hour, so he ment day when the dead small and great shall be has taken them to be with him in Paradise: "Absent from the judged; but that, long before that day, the wrath of body, present with the Lord.”
God will be poured out upon this present evil world. 40, 41, 42. —“One of the two that heard John and fol. " Behold, the Lord maketh the earth empty, and lowed him, was Andrew, Simon Peter's brother. He first maketh it waste, and turneth it upside down, and scatfindeth his own brother, Simon, and saith unto him, We have found the Messias, which is, being interpreted, the Christ; and tereth abroad the inhabitants thereof. he brought him to Jesus. And when Jesus beheld him, he said, The land shall be utterly emptied, and utterly spoiled : Thou art Simon, the Son of Jona; thou shalt be called for the Lord hath spoken this word. The earth mourneth Cephas, which is, by interpretation, a stone.”. It is sweetly and fadeth away, the world languisheth and fadeth said here of Andrew, that he not only told his brother Simon of the precious One he had found, but " he brought him to Jesus.” away, the haughty people of the earth do languish. And the Lord put a new name upon Simon, though he did not The earth also is defiled under the inhabitants thereof; then give him the place of an Apostle. Jesus did not call out because they have transgressed the laws, changed the the Twelve till the public ministry of John the Baptist had ab- ordinance, broken the everlasting covenant. Therefore solutely ceased by his being shut up in prison.
hath the curse devoured the earth, and they that dwell therein are desolate: therefore the inhabitants are burned and fero men lejt.
The earth THE WORLD CANNOT BE IMPROVED BY CHRISTIANS.
is utterly broken down, the earth is clean dissolved, Followers of the Lord Jesus should not seek to re- the earth is moved exceedingly. The earth shall reel form the world. Unregenerate men of course strive to to and fro like a drunkard ; and shall be removed like remodel, alter and refine themselves and their affairs. a cottage; and the transgression thereof shall be heavy But according to the mind of God, all auch efforts are upon it,” &c., Isa. xxiv. All this is fully confirmed in quite hopeless. Man is by nature radically bad-bad Matt. xxvi. 29, 30; 2 Thess. i. 7-9; 2 Pet. iii. 3-10; at the heart. The divine remedy for his condition is, Jude 14, 15; Rev. xix. 11–21, and numerous other a new nature! This is given to all who believe in the Scriptures. Lord Jesus Christ. Hence the plain teaching of the In vain do both believers and unbelievers seek to Saviour. “ No man seweth a piece of new cloth on an explain away these prophecies, telling us they are to old garment, else the new piece that filled it up taketh have only a spiritual fulfilment. Our Lord has said, away from the old, and the rent is made worse.” “ Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words
Many Christians foolishly imagine that the world is shall not pass away." The judgment formerly proto be gradually improved and Christianized. All Scrip. nounced against the ante diluvian world was literally ture is directly opposed to this thought, and all experi- fulfilled, that against Sodom and Gomorrah was literence is equally against The pure doctrines of ally fulfilled—the long series of judgments prophesied Christ have been taught during 1800 years. Believers against the Israelites from the time of Moses until have in measure practised them. Unregenerate men Christ, have been, and are being, literally fulfilled. have been impressed with a sense of their loveliness, The condition of the Jews for the last 1800 years is a and have endeavoured to appropriate a portion of them. standing witness that the promised visitations of God Members of Christ have entered into a league with the will always be strictly executed. May real Christians men of the world. Unbelievers have consented to be in these last days learn for themselves in the “ written called Christians; while the (prosessed) followers of Word " the mind of their Saviour and Lord, on the the crucified Saviour, have agreed to be of the world. two following points. This, too, in spite of that emphatic declaration of the First. His Teaching that, denying "ungodliness and Word, —"The friendship of the world is enmity with worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and God. Whosoever therefore will be a friend of the godly in this present world; looking for that blessed world is the enemy of God.”
hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and And what is the result produced by opposing God's our Saviour Jesus Christ; who gave himself for us, mind and counsels? What is the aspect of Christen- that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify dom at this moment? England presents the most unto himself a peculiar people zealous of good works. are its characteristics as seen by the Lord of all? "We Second His injunction—« Seal not the sayings of find a full description in Mark vii. 21, 22. “Adulteries, the prophecy of this book : FOR THE TIME IS AT HAND. fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, He that is unjast let him be unjust still; and he which deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, is filthy let him be filthy still : and he that is righteous foolishness." The newspapers teem with accounts of let him be righteous still: and he that is holy let him be crime in its most hideous aspects. Adulteries, forni. hüly still. And, behold, I come quickly; and my recations, murders, thefts—every evil which springs ward is with me, to give every man according as his from that corrupt thing-the heart of man. And, oh, work shall be.” Rev. xxii. 10-12. The coming of
Christ will bring an effectual reformation; none but to your sinful, condemned nature, dead, and I, therefore, bury he can produce it. Meanwhile, our warning cry to the you under the water. But though, through faith in Christ, you
are dead as a child of Adam, by that same faith you are alive as unregenerate, is, "Escape for your lives."
a child of God. I, therefore, raise you out of the water, for you are really in spirit already in resurrection life.”
3rd. Is Baptism essential to Salvation ?-Certainly not. BAPTISM:
Baptism is for believers only. The believer has already ob
tained salvation before he comes to be baptized. ITS PLACE, AND MEANING,
4th. If Baptism is not necessary to salvation, what good will (AS GIVEN IN THE SCRIPTURES.)
it do me ?-On this point Scripture is silent. But we may
venture to say, the Lord's blessing surely follows upon obediIn Scripture, baptism is never proposed to the believer as a ence to His commands. We have put the question in its matter of choice. The Lord Jesus Christ did not leave room
meanest form. Should not the Christian rather enquire, “ Is for a question to be raised about it, but issued His command to there anything I can do by which I can testify may faith and His servants" Baptize. His words are, “ Go ye, therefore, love"? There should be an earnest craving, on the part of one and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the just rescued from eternal death, for some means of declaring, Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.” (Matt. Otherwise than in words, that he knows the Lord Jesus Christ xxviii. 19.) Again," Go ye into all the world, and preach the to be his or her Saviour and Lord. This right desire is exactly Gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized met by Baptism. shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.” 5th. May infants or other unconverted persons be baptized ? (Mark xvi. 15, 16.)
-It ought to be evident to everyone, that as Baptism is of no In the foregoing first-named Scripture, in which the servant's assistance whatever as a means of bringing salvation, and as, office is contemplated, the command is absolute, to " baptize," | indeed, in itself, it is of no benefit even to the believer, it can while in Mark's Gospel the result of receiving or rejecting the do nothing for the unconverted, whether young or old. But word of life is also declared; and here belief and baptism are when we reflect further upon the act which typifies death and linked together, and are laid as a responsibility upon all who resurrection, and own that these things can only be true of those hear the Gospel.
who believe in Christ, it is manifest that to perform the rite Though the Lord knew full well the perversity of the human upon the unregenerate is to act a Lie, and make a solemn heart, and certainly foresaw that His commandments would be mockery of an ordinance of God. disobeyed, he completely ignored all questioning on the subject 6th. Can sprinkling be accepted as a satisfactory substitute of baptism, and contemplated only obedience in connection with for immersion ? - By putting a person under water, scripture
teaches us, we signify burial; but by sprinkling we sigIn strict accordance with this, when we turn to "the Acts," | nify nothing. Men may accompany such an act with to see how the Apostles carried into practice the instructions of whatever prayers and ceremonials they choose to invent, and their Master, we find a total absence of demur to the ordinance they may put what interpretation they please upon their own of baptism. In the second chapter we read Peter's first sermon contrivances. But what is the use of it ? Real Baptism is an after the descent of the Holy Ghost
. His hearers are pricked act of faith performed to God. Sprinkling, or Christening (80 to the heart, and say to Peter and to the rest of the Apostles, called), is at best but a delusion-and is, in reality, a denial of (verse 37,)“Men and brethren, what shall we do?" "Then faith, being in direct opposition to the counsels of God. Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of 7th. When ought the believer to be baptized ?-As soon as
"Then they that gladly received his word (verse possible after he has received the word of life. It is the true 41) were baptized ; and the same day there were added about Christian's first active step in the path of faith. three thousand souls."
8th. Ought a Christian to be received to the Lord's Supper Now notice what follows (verse 42): “And they continued before being baptized ?-No rightly instructed believer could sted fastly in the Apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in break- wish it. The Lord has placed water baptism first, and why ing of bread, and in prayers.",
should anyone seek to reverse the divine order ? Moreover, it Here we have the simple but perfect construction of the is evident that death to the old nature-or rather, resurrection church ; and all who follow any other model, must necessarily life in the new, is that which brings us into membership in the dishonour the Head, and grieve the Holy Spirit. How beauti- body of Christ; therefore, the rite, which is significant of this ful is the order, and how exactly it commends itself to the spi- mysterious truth, ought to be performed before we are received ritual mind — Faith in Jesus Christ, baptism, fellowship, into fellowship by the members of his Church on earth. breaking of bread, prayers. Alas ! that Christians should have 9th. Does it follow from what has been stated, that faithfulthe presumption to think they can make better arrangements ness requires all Christians to join the sect called Baptists :
Certainly not. Sectarianism is completely opposed to Scripture. Any spiritually minded Christian who would look into the A believer ought to solemnly repudiate every name but that of “word of God" för instruction respecting water Baptism, should | “Christian.” Baptism should no more be made the badge of a first prayerfully seek to dismiss from his mind all the traditions sect than the Lord's Supper. of men respecting it. The confusion which exists on the sub
The reader will find in the 2nd Chap. of “ Acts" the true ject is truly astonishing.
model of the Church-and in the Epistles, the various evils The following questions naturally suggest themselves to an which crept in are severely denounced. At the very opening earnest enquirer after the truth:
of the first Epistle to Corinthians, sectarian spirit even then 1st. Why are Christians to be baptized ?-To which we manifested, is rebuked and forbidden. answer, Simply because our Lord and Saviour ordained it, and These questions and answers are introduced only for the purno human authority whatever can set aside His ordinance with- pose of bringing the whole subject into a succinct form. out rebellion against Him who has bought us with his own pre- will now resume our investigations of Scripture. May we cious blood.
accept the toaching of God's word, and submit to that only. 2nd. What does Baptism signify :-The act of baptism
(To be continued, D.V.) significs, on the part of the Christian immersed in water, that he accepts the death of Christ as his own death. By this act of conformity to the will of his Saviour, he in effect says this,
OUR CORRESPONDENTS AND OURSELVES. “I now realize by faith that when Christ the Son of God died on the cross, I died with him. Through His infinite foreknow- G. P., LAUNCESTON.-Several communications received with ledge, he anticipated the day when I should believe in Him, thanks. We are, however, quite unable to find space for them. and, therefore, accepted death for me. The old Adam nature A. B., GAISFORD-STREET.– We would gladly accept sacred represented by my body is consequently, in the sight of God, a poetry if of the very highest order, and calculated to stir the dead thing." And the action of the person immersing a new nature to faithfulness and worship. Our space, howeyer, Christian may be rendered in words thus-•-"You are indeed, as is so limited, that we are unable to promise insertion.