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written, “Be it known unto you, men and brethren, that through this man is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins ; and by Him all that believe are justified from. all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses” (Acts xiii. 38, 39). These 'statements are very explicit, and we desire that it may be noticed that the fact of remission is spoken of without even the slightest allusion to baptism, or any other act of obedience on our part as a pre-requisite.
Just as simply does the Holy Ghost state that "justification," "peace with God," and the other blessings of the gospel are bestowed simply through faith; we will cite a few passages which prove this incontrovertibly :- Being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Rom. v. 1).
" To him that worketh not, but believeth on Him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness” (Rom. iv. 4). “ If thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thy heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved” (Rom. x. 9). “The Scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe" (Gal.
These are the declarations of God, the unequivocal exposition of His truth-that truth which is reiterated throughout the book of Acts and the Epistles, that a believer, whosoever he be, is a person whose sins are remitted, and he himself justified in the sight of God; the blood of Christ has been shed, and has been accepted by God the Father, and the Holy Ghost testifies of no medium save faith to give to the soul of a sinner its full availing power.
We might quote very many more passages to the same purport, all shewing that forgiveness, justification, salvation, eternal life, &c. belong to him that believeth, without a single word being said or hinted concerning baptism, as being in any way the medium of conveying these blessings. Baptism alone cannot do this, and it is not a mixture of faith and baptism that gives us life, but “ the just shall live by faith ;" works have no place, and baptism is but a part of the obedience of a believer.
Mr. Campbell says, some say that we substitute water for the blood of Christ. This is so far from fact, that we give no efficacy to water but through the blood of the Saviour." A Romanist reasons precisely in the same way, when pressed with the argument that he puts works in a wrong place: he is quite willing to allow that works have no efficacy save through the blood of Christ : but this is not the gospel. Christ did not die that we might obtain life through His blood, either through works or through baptism, but through faith; and then it is that, having believed, baptism and works have their place.
Mr. Campbell argues much on the admissions of Baptists, Pædobaptists, Catholics, and Protestants; but we have nothing whatever to do with the fallacious principles which
any of these may hold, we can only meet Mr. C. with the word of God in our hands. He asks,“ Why then censure us for making immersion necessary to our enjoyment of forgiveness ?" To this we reply, that we censure him because the Word of God makes nothing necessary but faith. “ These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God, that ye may know that ye have eternal life” (1 John v. 13). If anything be made, whether wholly or partially, a ground of acceptance except faith, the whole of the Gospel is undermined; the Galatians mingled faith and obedience, and this was declared by the Apostle to be frustrating the grace of God. The Gospel which Paul preached contained no intermixture of obedience, even to the ordinances of the Lord; faith in Christ was the declared ground of acceptance; obedience was that which was called for from believers, because of their being made accepted.
God forbid that we should attribute even to His gracious ordinance* “ the actual enjoyment of forgiveness, acceptance, adoption, and the gift of the Holy Spirit;" We censure those who connect forgiveness with the very act of immersion simply
* Our present object is not to discourse about the ordinance of baptism, but to answer the erroneous statements made with respect to its being (whether partially or wholly) the ground of our forgiveness. The mention which is made of baptism in Rom. vi. instructs us as to its import; and it is there spoken of by the Holy Ghost, not at all as being the ground (even partially) of acceptance, but after that has been looked on as a settled fact, baptism is mentioned in connection with the practical walk of a believer.
because it is a new gospel, and it is not our judgment but that of the Apostle Paul by the Holy Ghost — Though we, or an angel froin heaven preach any other gospel
than that we have preached unto you, let him be accursed” (Gal. i. 8). It is true that our blessed Lord has declared (Mark xvi. 16), “ He that believeth, and is baptised shall be saved ;" but Mr. C. seems to read the next clause as though it were, “He that believeth not [nor is baptised] shall be damned;" but awful is the presumption of adding conditions which the Lord has not.
We believe that enough has been quoted from Scripture to shew the fallacy of the assertion, “ that God through the blood of Christ, forgives our sins, through immersion, through the very act, and in the very instunt;" the Scripture makes no such statement; while, on the contrary, it is written, that " whosoever believeth in Him shall receive remission of sins."
These words were addressed to Cornelius and his household ; and while Peter spoke, the Holy Ghost fell on them : this was the proof that they had believed (see Eph. i. 14), and that God had accepted them; and on this ground it was that Peter commanded that they should be baptised. So that we have not only the warrant of God in word, but a specific instance of persons being accredited as Christians first, and then baptised afterwards. Peter did not direct them to be baptised in order to bring them into the Church ; but because they were already, by faith and the reception of the Spirit, made and accredited to be sons of God. He had no alternative, and could only say, “What was I that I could withstand God ?”
It is necessary that we should say a few words about the expression, “Gift of the Holy Ghost;" because Mr. Campbell says, he “would prefer, in this instance, to use the words, Holy Spirit, or Spirit of God, rather than the phrase, “ Gift of the Holy Spirit,' ” being aware that this latter phrase is in the New Testament appropriated to what we now call miraculous gifts,'” &c. This assertion is exceedingly inaccurate; for in the New Testament, the gift (dwpea) of the Holy Ghost is not confounded with the gifts (xaplouara) of the Spirit; there is an ambiguity in the English which there is not in the Greek.
The charismata (gifts) of the Spirit are His distribution to every man in the Church severally as He will ; the dorea (gift) of the Spirit is the Loly Ghost being given to dwell in every believer in Christ, as the promised Comforter, to abide with the Church for ever; it is of this dorea (gift) that Peter speaks in Acts ii.; and he states the promise to be to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call; it is this dorea (gift) which in Acts x. 45. is said to have fallen upon
Cornelius; and by chap. xi. 17. we see that this fact vindicated Peter in having received him.
Mr. Campbell denies that the gift (Swpea) of the Holy Ghost at Pentecost is that which has been continued to the Church; but the words of Peter, “ALL that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call,” shew explicitly that it was an abiding gift, even the Comforter, whom the Lord Jesus promised should abide with us for ever, of which he was speaking; if we have not this gift,” we are not such as have been called of the Lord God, for it is promised to all such.
The Spirit Himself given is the actual gift (dorea), while His distributions (some of which yet continue) are the gifts or bestowals (charismata).
On Mr. C.'s own grounds, therefore, we may assert, in his own words, that “it might with propriety be said that the Gentiles were not to be immersed for the purpose of receiving the gift of the Holy Spirit, inasmuch as God bestowed it
them previous to immersion.”
It is written, " Because ye are sons (not because ye are baptised) God hath sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying, Abba Father" (Gal. iv. 6). And who are they who are made sons ? “As many as received Him, to them gave He power to become [authority to be] the sons of God, even to them that believe in His name."
The remission of sins and the gift of the Holy Ghost are not subjects of secondary importance to a Christian ; Mr. Campbell defines them to be blessing given through faith and baptism,—the Word of God speaks of them as given through faith, and that alone. “ The just shall live by faith," is the oft repeated statement of the New Testament; and we dare not acknowledge anything to be the “ Ancient Gospel" which invalidates this simple and direct proposition.
We fully believe that baptism is greatly and lamentably overlooked by Christians ;
many supposing that Pædobaptism is sufficient, and that the substitute of sprinkling
The question is of very great practical moment to Christians ; for-
II. It affects the preaching of the Gospel ; for instead of saying, “ Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved," we should have to declare, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ [and then be baptised, and through the two media of faith and immersion], thou shalt be saved."
III. It affects our recognition of brethren, by limiting the saints to be those who have been baptised, instead of knowing that all believers in the blood of Christ are to be received and loved, not on the ground of their obedience, but for His sake.
On the one hand, we have Mr. Campbell's assertions, we make immersion as necessary to forgiveness as they and we make faith ;"—and “the gift of the Holy Spirit [is] by a gracious necessity made consequent on a believing immersion into the name of the Lord Jesus;" while, on the other, we have the declarations of the Holy Ghost, By Him ALL who believe are justified from all things;" and," the promise [of “the gift of the Holy Ghost"] is to......ALL who are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.” On the one hand we have the assertion of man, on the other the revelation of God.
We ought to thank God that His word is so very simple. May He, by His Spirit, guard all His children from turning aside to any form of error, however specious it be! and may He lead them more into that obedience to every command of the Lord Jesus, which becomes those who have life through His name !
LETTER FROM A CLERGYMAN OF THE
CHURCH OF ENGLAND,
with all the corruptions of Chris-
are the means by which Satan sows [In the November number we introduced the bad seed, which subsequently,
some remarks embodied in the pre- by little and little, increases to a mon-
good citizens men ought not to suffer whether it might not be satisfactorily wrong to be done to them” (see 1 Cor. shewn that the admission of this very vi. 7, with Matt. v. 39); or again, in the principle has been largely connected nature of fact, can anything be imagined
more monstrous than the statements
In Christ Jesus,
CHURCH OF ENGLAND."
the miracles related in the Bible ; he considers them impossible as well as useless. He believes neither the resurrection nor the ascension of Jesus Christ, and sees, in the facts of the Bible, only the fruit of the imagination or of the credulity of those who relate them. He neither believes the fall of man nor redemption by Christ in the sense of the Bible. He estimates this doctrine as incompatible with the justice of God, which natural religion teaches him to recognise. *** Now, if the preacher of natural religion rested his doctrine purely and simply on the reasons from which it flows, one could not reproach him with either falsehood or hypocrisy. But according to the regulations of our churches, he is forced to preach from the books of the Bible, which he does not believe. He must take for his text the words of the Apostles; but he considers the Apostles as credulous men or impostors, and their doctrines as errors or superstitions. Here he is in a totally false position. He must choose one of two things, -either he must pronounce the sense of the Bible false, and invite well-instructed men to place no more confidence in it (but this method is contrary to the oath by which he has engaged to preach the doctrines of the Bible in the sense of the Reformation, and to teach nothing contrary; and such conduct would draw upon him the contempt of the Church and his own destitution); or else he must employ the words of the Bible in a double sense,
in SO equivocal a manner that we may understand them in the sense of revelation, and in that of natural religion. Thus, when he speaks of Christ as the Son of God, he understands by that a figure which does not signify more than when we say, we are also children of God. Does he speak of the redemption by Christ? that means that we are delivered from error by Him, as also by every wise and enlightened man. This jesuitical classification of the words of Scripture is the true refuge of rationalism, such as it appears in the pulpit in the midst of us. If in this manner he neither preserves himself from a false oath nor from the contempt of the enlightened friends of truth, he at least retains his employment, and leaves the crowd in doubt about his conduct. There remains a third course, either to abandon or never to take upon one's self a ministry which can only be fulfilled by profaning, or by falsifying the
“ A RATIONALIST (or neologian) is a man who has studied theology, who is a pastor, or who seeks to become so, and who does not believe any immediate revelation from God, and does not even consider such a revelation necessary. IIe believes in no revelation but that which is manifested in history, in nature, and in reason. He does not consider Christ as the only begotten son of God-God-man, but as a man like unto us, only in a high degree virtuous and wise. He does not believe
most sacred sentiments; yet but a very William King, who for many years had small number have recourse to this me- been a Dissenting minister in that place. thod, the only one worthy of an upright Mr. King was sprung from a respectman. They have entered on this course able mercantile family in London. His for a living. They will not render vain father and mother, however, left the the expenditure of their time and money ; metropolis, and went to reside at Lynn, and that which so many have done be- in Norfolk, where they for a long time fore, without losing the respect of the kept a boarding school, and from which, multitude, may very well be done again. after the lapse of many years, they retired Rationalism, in the pulpit, has become a with a competency, to live in the West great customary lie, to which we have be- Riding of Yorkshire. William King come indifferent. Young rationalist theo- was born at Leeds, where he was enlogians sometimes have some scruples ; trusted to the care of an aged pious and it is only the most hardened and couple, who were greatly attached to the most proud, those who are not ac- him, and who were members of the customed to consult their consciences, Church assembling in Salem Chapel, of who remain without trouble of soul. the Independent denomination. There, Some of them throw themselves head- under the ministry of Mr. Parsons, he foremost into the doctrines of revelation, received his first religious impressions. do violence to their nature, and persuade The education of his boyhood having themselves that they believe in the terminated, he returned home to live Christianity of the Bible, without think- with his parents; but the serious turn ing that they thus create for themselves of his mind having drawn upon him the an entirely false position. Others enter displeasure of his father, he made up into their occupation, and pursue it with his mind to leave his parental home, and a secret repugnance, but necessity car- to seek a situation where he could serve ries the day; scruples disappear little by God according to the dictates of his own little, and they become accustomed to conscience. He soon found employment turn adroitly the difficulties which each as clerk with the Messrs. Walker, of the page of the Holy Book contains ; they great iron-works at Rotherham, where acquire a certain skill in managing in a he continued till he undertook the ladouble sense the words of Scripture; bours of the ministry in the year 1801. they make continually more and more a Mr. S. Bradley was the first minister sort of trade of their state; falsehood of the Independent denomination at hurts their feelings less and less, until at Doncaster, having left the Rotherham length there remains in their whole being College, where he had just finished his not a true fibre, and the jesuit is incar- education, to take the pastoral office in nate and complete.”
July, 1799. A Church was gathered ; On this the editor of the Archives du and the meetings were at first held in a Christianism, whence this is extracted, wheelwright's shop, which was taken on remarks:
lease for seven years.
In 1801, Mr. “ This portrait, traced by M. de Flor- Bradley removed to Manchester, to asencourt, is so little exaggerated, that sume the pastoral office in the church rationalists have been known-in order to meeting in Mosley Street; and then it escape from their tortuous way, to have was that Mr. King became pastor of totally avoided, not only the doctrines, the church of the Independents at Donbut even the morality of the Bible-to caster. There is before me an earnest entertain their audience with subjects and affectionate letter, written by Mr. entirely foreign to religion. A religious Bradley to Mr. King, entreating him to journal made, some years ago, a curious accept the office which he himself was collection of outlines of neologian ser- about to vacate. mons, among which are found such as Before Mr. King came to Doncaster, these, 'On the Advantages of taking a they had already taken some steps to Walk-On the Cultivation of Beet-root build a chapel in Hall Gate: and in this -On the Management of Cattle, &c.'” work they proceeded as soon as he ar
rived amongst them. With the building
of the chapel began those difficulties and To the Editor of “The Inquirer.”
discouragements which are toowell known
amongst the Dissenters to be here partiOn the 1st of October last, died at Don- cularly described. The building was caster, in the 68th year of his age, Mr. improvidently and expensively executed;
THE LATE MR. KING OF DONCASTER.