Sivut kuvina
PDF
ePub

floods of scepticism and ritualism “Danger to the church !” And why comprehended within the vaunted danger? Has scepticism, at last, bulwark of Protestantism-panic and triumphed ? Have the ancient fountumult unbounded, occasioned by the dations of the faith at length yielded ? uprising of the Lord for the spiritu- Has the power gone out of Christ; ality and freedom of His church ! does His promise fail for evermore?

Is it, then, too much to affirm Or are there no weapons left in the that the patronage of the state has

armoury of God; no brave hands implied and does still imply the un

to wield them ; no strong valiant lawful subjection, humiliation, and

hearts to dare the conflict? Then, secularization of religion ? What danger to the church there is not, one has so powerfully affirmed of the nor can be, for her King liveth and temporal sovereignty thrust upon

reigns, and she shall live also. religion, may I not with equal truth

Another battle-cry, more hoarse, apply to her temporal subjection ?

more loud!

What is the cry? They treat her as their prototypes

"Popish ascendancy!" And why treated her Author! They bow the Popish ascendancy? Because Popery knee and spit upon her! They cry,

at length begins to symbolize with • Hail, and smite her upon the

truth? Because Popery, even at its cheek! They put a sceptre in her

centre and throne, supported by hand, but it is a fragile reed; they bayonets, grows more potent? Becrown her, but it is with thorns ! cause, with advance of liberty and inThey cover with purple the wounds telligence, it is winning new honage? which their own hands have inflicted

Because, to a free people with a free upon her, and inscribe magnificent Bible, there is increasing charm in titles over the cross on which they

its superstition and its darkness? have fixed her to perish in ignominy

Because, with a fair field and no and pain."

favour, truth has ever yet been

worsted by its antagonist and foe? And thus, instead of contributing to the dominion and ascendancy of staunchly Protestant and free Chris

Because Anglicanism is now Christ's kingdom, by virtue of this

tianity so essentially 'Romanist? alliance the kingdom of Christ has been held in subjection and control ing alarm, this raising of false issues?

Then why this panic, this misleadto the kingdoms of this world. Such

We know why. No very keen or subjection and control the kingdom of Christ cannot endure: the spiritual prophetic reading of the sigus of the

times is needed to convince us that resents the dominion of the carnal

the era of church establishments is the eternal will not be bound by the

closing—that the union of Church temporal—the divine consents not

and State is nigh to dissolution ! to the conditions of the human !

Have we, however, apprehended the That kingdom which is not of the

true idea of Christ's kingdom ? world must have dominion and as

Then shall we not fear even to hascendancy !

ten the day. FOR THE CHURCH WAS And now from our vantage- NEVER SO WEALTHY AS IN HER OWN ground let us again look forth-let

POVERTY; NEVER SO PURE AS WHEN us again listen! Breathing air so

SHE WAS FREE; NEVER SO STRONG serene and so strong we can well AS IN HER OWN UNAIDED MIGHT. listen undaunted and undismayed ! Let us, then, brethren, arise for the Listen, then, as from the combatants liberty of the church, since below the war-shout rises, the battle

“ The hour of freedom dawns at length, What is that cry? The Lord's appointed day.”

SO

cry ascends!

THE BAPTISMAL PATTERN.

BY THE REV. B. WOOD.

On John Parks and Thomas King, two professing Christians, meeting each other, the following conversation took place :

John Parks.-Friend Thomas, I am glad to see you, for, on the subject of baptism, I have long wished to have a little talk with you.

Thomas King.-I shall be most happy to converse with you on any subject connected with the Christian religion. With respect to baptism we will appeal to the Bible and see what it says about it.

J.-With the greatest pleasure. For, as the Sixth Article of the Church of England (to which Church I have the pleasure to belong) rightly says, "Holy Scripture containeth all things necessary to salvation : so that whatever is not read therein, nor may be proved thereby, is not to be required of any man that it should be believed as an article of the faith, or be thought requisite or necessary to salvation." With this I entirely agree.

T.- And so do I. J.-As, then, we thus agree that the Bible is the only true standard of appeal in matters of religious faith and practice, I wish to learn from it who are the proper persons to be baptized. Can

you help me ? T.-I will most gladly try, and, in doing so, we will begin with what is sometimes called the great commission, and which is found both in Matthew xxvii. 19 and Mark xv. 15, 16. Now in this commission the Saviour told His disciples to do three things, viz., to go into all the world—to preach the gospel to every creature-to baptize those who believed the gospel. Whatever is the meaning of baptism, then, according to this commission, believers are the only proper persons to be baptized. To my mind, this seems most clear. The disciples were to baptize the taught and the believing. If, then, they bad baptized those whom they could not teach, and those who either could not or would not believe, they would certainly have disobeyed their Master's orders.

J.-But does not the commission say that they were to baptize all nations ?

T.-Certainly not. How could they baptize all nations.? Tens of thousands would refuse to be baptized. But they might preach the gospel to all nations. Accordingly they were to preach the gospel to every creature, but baptize those only who believed it.

J.-But the commission does not say so.

It does not say that infants are not to be baptized.

1.-Does it say they are to be ? Dare you baptize thein on its authority?

J.-That is quite another thing. I did not say I dare.

1.–Very well. Then, can a command which evidently enjoins the baptism of believers only ever be made to include any but believers ? How can this be done? If the commission speaks of believers only, believers only should be baptized. To my mind this is as clear as that two and two make four.

J.-I do not see the matter so clearly as you seem to do; but, nevertheless, we will pass on to the next question. I wish you would now tell me how baptism should be performed. It is performed by sprinkling, pouring, and dipping: which is the right way; or, are they all right?

T.-I will tell you what the word of God says. But, before I do so, I would just say, that the word baptism is a Greek word, which, in our Bible, is untranslated. I will suppose, then, that you and I are ignorant of the Greek language, so, in our ignorance, we read until we get to John iii. 23, where it is said that “John also was baptizing at Ænon near to Salim, because there was much water there." Now, whatever is the meaning of baptism, this passage teaches that much water is required for its accomplishment. This is positively stated. True, we are not informed how the much water was applied; whether it was sprinkled, poured, or otherwise. Only that much was required. Do you agree to this?

J.-I agree to all that the word of God teaches.

T.-That is no answer. does John iii. 23 teach that much water is required for baptism? Yes or no.

I ask you,

J.--To be pointed, then, as far as I performed. Let us, then, read until can understand it, it seems to teach we get to Romans vi. 3, 4, where, to that; but that settles nothing.

the Christians at Rome, Paul says, T.-It settles all I wish it to settle. “Know ye not, that so many of us as It proves that the reason why John were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized at Ænon was, because there baptized into His death? Therefore was much water there; bence much we are buried with Him by baptism water is required for baptism. ' Now into death : that like as Christ was let us read until we get to Acte viii. raised up from the dead by the glory 38, 39. Here it is stated that “ They of the Father, even so we also shonld went down into the water, both Philip walk in newness of life.' Now, if I and the eunuch; and he baptized him. mistake not, this passage teaches us And when they were come up out of that the reason why Philip and the the water, the Spirit of the Lord eunuch went down into the water was, caught away Philip, that the eunuch that the eunuch might be “ buried with saw him no more: and he went on his Christ by baptism." Here, then, we way rejoicing. Here we get a little have the whole subject clearly exmore light. We now see why much plained. The great commission teaches water is required for baptisın; it is that believers only are the proper perthat it may be gone down into. Philip sons to be baptized; John's baptizing and the eunuch went down into it, and at Ænon shews that much water is they came up out of it; and, no doubt, required for baptism; Philip and the John and his candidates did the same eunuch tell us that the reason why at Ænon.

much water is required is that it may J.-Suppose all this to be true, what be gone down into; Paul affirms practhen ? Nothing is said as to how bap- tically that the reason why the much tism was performed. From all that water is to be gone down into is, that yet appears it might be either by candidates may be buried with Christ sprinkling or pouring,

by baptism. Thus one scripture exT.-True. Though a very small plains another, and so the Bible is its quantity of water would sprinkle thou- own interpreter and commentator, sands, and there could be no necessity Now, the four texts to which I have to go down into it; but still, I admit, referred seem to constitute the “ Bapthat neither of the last passages tell tismal Pattern"—the pattern cut out by us in so many words how baptism was the hand of God Himself.

THE PERSEVERING BOY.

The month of December in the year get an education. How to accomplish 1807 was upusually cold and bluster- it he could not as yet imagine, for ing

In some instances, cattle and though his will was inflexible as iron, swine, poorly sheltered, were found his power of conception was not yet badly frozen; winter had coine on so developed. He had been to a school suddenly that many were unprepared in the neighbourhood the previous for it; while the effect of such severity winter, but this avenue to learning in the weather was disheartening to was now closed to him. As he sat on young and old.

the old-fashioned stool amid the noise There was one exception, however, and confusion of the family around and that was a youth of fifteen sum- him, and the hoarse sighing of the mers, tall and gaunt, who sat one tempest without, bis thoughts were stormy evening in the old-fashioned something of this nature: "Winter chimney corner of his father's humble has commenced; I long to be at my dwelling, reflecting upon his own situa- studies. The best part of the year, tion, and planuing what he would do and the only time I can call my own is, to iinprove it. There was one fixed passing away ; what shall I do?" purpose in his mind, and this was to As if in answer to this question,

66

[ocr errors]

there was a knock at the door, and pre- and warming himself by the blazing sently a neighbour walked in covered logs, a youth whom he had never seen with snow.

He had been to a village before. There was an expression on beyond, and was returning to his home, his brown face which fixed the attenwhen the bright light of the pine knots tion of the teacher, and the following attracted his attention.

conversation took place :Our youth in the corner nodded good Have

you come to join the school ?" evening to the guest; but his mind Yes, sir, I have walked seven miles was too deeply absorbed to listen to this morning to do it." the chit-obat which followed. The " Are you acquainted with any one great question, “ What next ?" was in Plainfield ?" still undecided, and his brow knit more No, sir." and more as he reflected on the diffi- “ Have you no friends to lend you a culties in his path, which, however, helping hand ?" not for one moment deterred him from

i No." pursuing it.

“ How do you expect, then, to get Presently he was roused by a voice. along?"

Joe, did you hear, Joe ? There is " I don't know, I thought I'd come a school in Plainfield. Neighbour G. and see you about it-I'm determined says it's a good one, taught by Master to get learning before I'm much older." Maynard."

There was something in the cool, Joe rose slowly from his seat, a look resolute manner in which the youth of cool resolve stamped on every fea- undertook to conquer difficulties that ture. “I shall go to Plainfield in the interested the teacher. He told the morning," he said quietly.

stranger to remain through the day, “But how can you get there? It'll and he would see what could be done. be awfully drifted, the snow is a foot Before night he had made arrangedeep now, and the wind blows a gale." ments in the family where he was “ I'll get there somehow, I reckon.”. boarding, that the young man should

But,” remonstrated the father, “I remain, paying his expenses by labour don't see the way for you to go to out of school hours. Plainfield. I can't pay for your board Our friend now gave himself dilinor schooling, much as I'd like to do it." gently to study, and soon convinced

“ I know that, father ; but I am de- his teacher that, though not possessed termined to have an education." of brilliant talents, his will to acquire

Bidding the family good-night, he knowledge was indomitable. Through mounted to his humble chamber in the the winter he made good, but not rapid loft, saying to himself, “Yes, that is progress, and so much interested his the next step. I'll go to Plainfield; teacher by his perseverance, that at and I'll go to-morrow. What's a few the close of the term that gentleman drifts of snow to me when I'm deter- made arrangements with a clergyman mined to get where I can be at my who resided four miles from his father's books; perhaps this Master Maynard house to hear his recitations. will help me to contrive a way to get

At last he was prepared for college an education."

and the theological school, being one The next morning the thermometer of the earliest members of the Semiwas down to zero, the banks in front nary in Andover, from which place he of the house covered the stone walls ; went to Greece as a missionary of the but not one whit daunted, our friend American Board of Commissioners for started off as soon as it was light, a Foreign Missions. small package of clothes and books I scarcely need say that I have given slung over his shoulder with a stick, the early history of Dr. Jonas King, in 'search of “larnin,” as his father whose indomitable perseverance, amid called it.

discouragements and persecutions, has 1 On entering the school-room in sea- done so much for the redemption and son to see that the fires were sufficient Christianization of Greece, and bas exfor the severity of the day, Master cited the admiration of the whole Maynard observed, sitting on a bench Christian world.

[ocr errors]

FAIR QUESTIONS TO BAPTISTS.

A WRITER in the Nonconformist, on monly furnished to these questions, is “ Union Churches,” says:

the very foolish and unjustifiable one “While writing on this subject, I that candidates objecting to receive should like just to suggest an inquiry baptism under such circumstances are or two to your Baptist readers in refer- 'ashamed of Christ.' Any person of ence to the circumstances under which, reflection and observation must know and the conditions upon which, the that many indisputably pious persons ordinance of baptism is commonly ob- feel an insuperable repugnance to unserved among them. Do they not often dergo the ordeal referred to, while to repel persons from submitting them- others of far inferior character it may be selves to that ordinance by insisting comparatively unobjectionable. When upon conditions not warranted by candidates are willing to receive bapScriptural authority? What right have tism in public, it is well that the ordithey to insist, as they almost invariably nance should be so administered, such do, upon candidates being baptized in services being often found to be the public? And why do they usually most valuable means of grace; but place their baptistries in such a posi- they have a right, if they prefer it, to tion that candidates, both male and claim the administration of baptism female, must necessarily be exposed to privately. If the world and the church the gaze of a large number of persons have reasonable evidence that they at the time of their immersion ? The have been baptized, and so 'put on only reply, so far as I am aware, com- Christ,' nothing more is necessary."

ON PRAYERS TO CHRIST.

MR. LIDDON, in his “Bampton Lectures," says:

“The death-cry of the martyrs must have familiarized the heathen mind with the honour paid to the Redeemer by Christians.

“ Their voices reach us across the chasm of intervening centuries, but time cannot impair the moral majesty, or weaken the accents of their strong and simple conviction. One after another their piercing words, in which the sharpest human agony is so entwined with a superhuman faith, fall upon our ears. 'O Christ, Thou Son of God, deliver Thy servants.' O Lord Jesu Christ, we are Christians; Thee do we serve; Thou art our hope; Thou art the hope of Christians; O God Most Holy, o God Most High, O God Almighty.' 'O Christ, cries a martyr again and again arnidst his agonies, "O Christ, let me not be confounded.' 'Help, I pray Thee; O Christ, have pity. Preserve my soul, guard my spirit, that I be not ashamed. I pray Thee, o Christ, grant me power of endurance.' 'I pray Thee, Christ, hear

I thank Thee, my God; command that I be beheaded. I pray Thee,

Christ, have mercy; help me, thou Son of God.' 'I pray Thee, O Christ; all praise to Thee. Deliver me, O Christ; I suffer in Thy Name. I suffer for a short while; I suffer with a willing mind, O Christ, my Lord : let me not be confounded."

“You cannot, as I have already argued, dismiss from your consideration such prayers as these, on the ground of their being 'mere ejaculations. Do serious men, who know they are dying, 'ejaculate' at random? Is it at the hour of death that a man would naturally innovate upon the devotional habits of a life-time? Is it at such an hour that he would make hitherto unattempted enterprises into the unseen world, and address himself to beings with whom he had not before deemed it lawful or possible to hold spiritual communion ? Is not the reverse of this supposition notoriously the case ? Surely, those of us who have witnessed the last hours of the servants of Christ cannot hesitate as to the answer. As the soul draws nigh to the gate of death, the solemnities of the eternal future are wont to cast their shadows upon their thought and

me.

« EdellinenJatka »