Sivut kuvina

country;" aye, and the rich also, they must submit! The glorious army of martyrs, the nonconformists, &c., knew this; hence their noble, and, to civil powers, their submissive course, as to fines, imprisonments, and death! The only temporal provision made in the New Testament for persecuted christians, is, “ When they persecute you in this city, flee ye into another.” Matt. x. 23. This our persecuted forefathers both understood and regarded.

A very singular feature in the argument of my friend remains to be noticed. He says, “ Brother K. arrives at the height of this great argument by sayin, that it is not only the right, but the duty, of every man to use all constitutional means for obtaining the abrogation of unjust and oppressive laws, and to prevent similar acts being imposed upon us." Here we agree. Agree! (to say nothing of the way in which I am misquoted) then why “this strife of words ?" We do not agree, because it is evident, that if Mr. L. would use constitutional means, he would also, rather than “tamely submit,” use those which are of a contrary character; he would resist the law. This is going beyond what is constitutional. I argue against resistance, but would urge to a united, vigorous, and zealous use of all lawful means to preserve our rights, and obtain the removal of our wrongs.

Mr. Lewitt expresses his astonishment at the contents of my former paper, and states that its sentiments appear to be utterly inconsistent with the principles of the New Testament, and the rights of Britons. The discerning reader will perceive that it is with the first of these considerations only that my arguments, in both that paper and in this, are concerned. If these are utterly inconsistent with the principles of the New Testament, I will readily, when this is proved, acknowledge myself in error; but, whatever may be the imaginary or the actual rights of Britons, my doctrine, and the argument by which it is sustained, are unaffected by them. Let us be truly thankful, that over our consciences Cæsar has no dominion. We would treat him as a tyrant, and would resist him even unto death, through the power of grace, rather than submit to him in the least degree as to what we shall believe, and what, as to ordinances and Church government, we shall practice. Here we have no master, lord, or king, but Christ. Nov. 10, 1843.


(We have given insertion to Mr. Kiddall's reply to Mr. Lewitt's strictures, though we are by no means convinced of the correctness of the interpretations of scripture, contended for with so much earnestness by brother K. To bring this controversy to a termination in the present volume, and to give a more moderate and probable explication of the scripture doctrine on this subject, we insert the following extract from “ Paley's Moral and Political Philosophy,” forwarded by another correspondent, who will excuse our not inserting his prefatory observations.-ED.) “ DUTY OF CIVIL OBEDIENCE, AS STATED IN THE

CHRISTIAN SCRIPTURES. As regards the extent of our civil rights and obligations, christianity leaves man where it found him; and the only passages of the New Testament connected with this subject are in the epistles of St. Paul and St. Peter. (See Rom. xii. 1–7: 1 Peter ii. 13—18, quoted at length by Paley.) These passages have been usually adduced as proofs of the language of Scripture in favour of unlimited passive obedience; but, before such an interpretation can be admitted, it is necessary to examine the subject more at length, and to show, first, that, as the circumstances which probaby gave rise to such language were of a temporary nature, the doctrine there inculcated is not to be considered of universal application; and, second, granting the supposed circumstances to have had no influence on the doctrine, that the words in question only enjoin the religious duty of obedience, but do not define, politically speaking, the extent of it.

“ 1. The first christians, it is said, privately cherished an opinion that their conversion to christianity entitled them to an exemption from the civil authority of the Roman power. To refute this error, St. Paul teaches the christian converts to obey the magistrate for the Lord's sake, '-'not only for wrath, but for conscience sake,'—that there is no power but of God, —that the powers in possession of the actual and necessary anthority of civil government, ‘are ordained of God,' and, consequently entitled to receive obedience from those who profess themselves the peculiar servants of God. St. Peter, likewise briefly describing the office of civil governors, the punishment of evil doers, and the praise of them that do well,' jastly infers, from the use of government, the duty of subjection ; which, extensive as the reason on which it is founded, belongs to christians, no less than to the heathen members of the community. If, then, the two Apostles wrote with a view to this particular question, their words cannot fairly be transferred to a question totally different; nor can the arguments used in teaching a primitive convert, who disputed the jurisdiction of the Roman government over a disciple of christianity, be applied to him, who, acknow. ledging the general authority of the state over all its subjects, doubts whether that authority be not, in some important branch of it, so ill consti. tuted or abused as to warrant the endeavours of the people to bring about a reformation by force. It is true, that neither the Scriptures, nor any his. tory of the early ages of the Church, furnish direct proof of the existence of such disaffected sentiments amongst the primitive converts. They, how. ever, supply some circumstances which render probable the opinion, that extravagant notions of the political rights of christians were entertained by many early proselytes to the religion. From the question proposed to Christ, “ Is it lawful to give tribute to Cæsar ?" it may be presumed, that doubts had been started by the Jews concerning the lawfulness of submission to the Roman yoke ; and the accounts delivered by Josephus of various in. surrections of the Jews, excited on this pretence, confirm this presumption. Now, as the christians were at first chiefly taken from the Jews, it is not to be wondered at, that a tenet, so flattering to the self-importance of those who embraced it, should have been communicated to the new institution. Again, the teachers of christianity, amongst the privileges which their religion conferred on its professors, were wont to extol the liberty in which Christ had made them free.' This liberty, by which was merely intended a deliverance from the dominion of sinful passions, the superstition of the Gentile idolatry, and the encumbered ritual of the Jewish dispensation, might by some be interpreted to signify an emancipation from all restraint imposed by human authority merely. At least they migbt be represented by their enemies as maintaining notions of this dangerous tendency. To some error or calumny of this kind the words of St. Peter seem to allude, • For so is the will of God, that with well doing ye may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men : as free, and not using your liberty for a cloak of maliciousness, (that is, sedition) but as the servants of God.'

“ 2. But should this interpretation appear to be too feebly supported by the testimony of facts, still the words themselves will be found to inculcate rather the duty of obedience than to describe the extent of it, for while they enforce the obligation by the proper sanctions of christianity, they neither enlarge nor contract the limits by which it bounded. In like manner, the same Apostles enjoin servants to be subject to their masters, children to obey their parents in all things, and wives to submit themselves unto their husbands; yet, no one doubts that the commands of masters, parents, and husbands are often so immoderate, unjust, and inconsistent with other obligations that they both may and ought to be resisted.* Hence, we are at liberty to infer, that if unlimited passive obedience leads, as it could not fail to do, to the imposition of commands equally immoderate and inconsistent with other obligations, a similar resistance would be justifiable on the part of a people exposed to such commands.

After so full an account of what seems to be the general design and doctrine of these much agitated passages, little need be added in explanation of particular clauses. St. Paul has said, 'Whosoever resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God. This has been considered as an authority for the most superstitious views of the regal character. But surely truth has been sacrificed to adulation ; for, 1st, the expression is just as applicable to the elective magistrates of a pure republic, as to an absolute hereditary monarch ; and, 2nd, it is not the supreme magistrate individually, but the officer, be he high or low, to whom obedience is due. The divine right of kings is, like the divine right of constables, a right ratified by the Divine approbation, so long as obedience to their authority appears to be conducive to the common welfare. Princes are ordained of God only so far as his will sanctions every law of society which promotes the happiness of man; and thus, without any repugnancy to the words of St. Paul, they are by St. Peter, denominated the ordinance of man.” Louth.


W. B.

ON THE EMPLOYMENT OF AN from lethargy, or saving them from death. EVANGELIST OR REVIVALIST. We that are employed in watching for

souls, being men of like passions with The latter word is added, because the work others, would be much benefited by the contemplated by the writer is that of build. occasional visit of one of more eminent ing up Churches already existing, rather piety than ourselves. Our “ helpers in than of establishing new ones.

Christ Jesus” would be quickened, and It has long been thought by the writer, rendered more efficient, and more beloved. that "a man full of faith and of the Holy In most Churches there are some whose ac. Ghost,” resembling Stephen, Philip, &c., tivity and spiritual health the pastor has might, with unspeakable advantage to our long laboured in vain to promote. In most Churches, and to perishing sinners, be em congregations there are some who have ployed by our Connexion, or rather by a steadily resisted all endeavours to secure few Churches, or even individuals, in visit their practical regard to the one thing needing the Churches that would accept his ful, on whom appeals from another tongue, labours, and stirring up their pure minds the exhibition of the truth with some variaby way of remembrance, or arousing them tion of form, might, through God's blessing,

* How strikingly does Mr. Kiddall's principle of passively giving Cæsar all, militate against the injunction to provide for his household, on pain of being branded an infidel by the God of heaven.-W. B.

be availing. Is there any probability that notwithstanding the exception of marrying these will be saved without the adoption of the widow of a deceased brother, who died some oxtraordinary measure? If, by any childless, the prohibition of marrying a lawful means their ruin can be prevented, brother's widow be absolate, (Lev. xviii. 16) who is unwilling to assist ? I Cor. ix. 22. I see not on what ground it can be otherThe visit of such a brother would bring wise than absolute, that a woman should many careless youths, and many halting pot marry the husband of her deceased sisbelween two opinions, to the Lord's side; ter. The case seems perfectly parallel, the whilst He that died for sinners would be reasons entirely the same. In the case of a magnified in their present obedience and man not being allowed to marry his aunt; future glorification.

whence our laws conclude, that a woman Who can examine the reports and statis. ought not to marry her uncle, some differtics of our Churches as they appear in the ence may be marked; a reversal in the suMinutes of our Associations without intense periority of relation takes place in the one anxiety? The employment of a suitable instance, and not in the other. But eren Evangelist would increase the number this cannot be urged in the case in point. of conversions in our more prosperous

That these laws cannot be in all possible Churches, would preserve some of our cases of moral obligation, must be admitted. Churches from extinction, and others, de- It might be possible for a man and woman graded, miserable, and useless, would be to be placed in the same situation as Adam elevated, made happy and efficient. The and Eve in such matters; yet still, in all result of brother Pulsford's labours among ordinary cases, some laws of this kind are the Particular baptists might be adduced in needful, and highly beneficial; and I appresupport of preceding assertions, and with hend, in all countries professing christianity, equal force, the labours of brother Tunni- more strict rules have been adopted, not cliffe amongst some of our Yorkshire only by legislators, but by missionaries and Churches. The disadvantages attendant casuists, than were adopted by the heathen; in some places on brother P.'s labours on yet St. Paul's language concerning him who account of differing Calvinistic sentiments, had his father's wife implies, that the regu. do not exist amongst us.

lations of the moro enlightened Gentiles on If Churches do not take up this plan, let this subject were right. The only fault in eight or ten persons, more or fewer, regard- nominal christians has been, extending the ing this as an excellent way of coming to restrictions beyond those in the divine law. the help of the ord, and ing the But, if we reje the laws in Leviticus, means of supporting an evangelist, seek have no law of God on the subject; no, not out their agent, make themselves, or a part against marrying sisters and brothers, or of their number, the managing committee, any relation. Now, can we think that God and commence a correspondence with some intended to set aside these laws in Leviticus, of the pastors of our Churches, and with and give no other in their stead? Can we some Churches that are without pastors. suppose that he meant to leave the christian Let the evangelist be publicly and solemnly Church without law ? The laws in Leviticus set apart to this work. Let the consent of are in full force, in all general cases; and the Churches, and of the pastors when they therefore, as a casuist, I must consider the exist, be invariably given previous to his intended marriage as contrary to the law of visit.

God. The regulations and permissions of The present, on many accounts, are the judicial* law, about divorces and polygastirring times. Error, yea, dampable heresy, my, being unsuitable to the more enlarged is most zealously propogated. An excite. dispensation of the gospel, are particularly ment, an extraordinary and extensive ex- regulated by our Lord and his apostles; when citement, on behalf of the truth as it is in therefore, as in the present case, no regula. Jesus, is a special desideratum. Let us tion is made, no intimation of change is not sleep, but arise, and shine. “ What. given, it must be supposed that the law consoever our hands find to do, let us do it tinues in force-whatever these laws are, they with our might.,' I remain, yours, are not rituals, ceremonies, shadows of good OBLIGATUS ET BENEVOLENS. things to come : so they do not pass away of

course as the ceremonial law did. ON MARRYING A DECEASED The principle of our laws appears to be WIFE'S SISTER.

this; that in the Levitical law "all the de. (An Extract from Rev. Thos. Scott's Let. grees by name are not expressly set down ;

for the Holy Ghost there did only declare ters and Papers.) “I think that our law on this subject

*That is, the law of the land among the Jews, coincides with the divine law to Israel. If, versal obligation.

as contradistinguished to the moral law of uni


plainly and clearly such degrees, from a connection but it is positively opposed to whence the rest may evidently be deduced. the common law of England.

As for example, where it is prohibited By an Act passed about eight years back, that the son shall not marry his mother, it it was enacted, that such a marriage if followeth also that the daughter shall not solemnized should be, not simply voidable, marry her father. And by this parity of but, null and void. reason the case before us is determined “ All things," writes the apostle, Lev. xviii. 16. and xx. 21. forbid a man to lawful to me, but all things are not ex. marry his brother's wife (i. e. widow): there. pedient,” may I then take my stand here, fore, it is inferred, a woman is not to marry and say that it is “not expedient" to form her (late) sister's husband; for a woman such a connection for the following reasons : stands in precisely the same relation to her First. That the wife will not be looked sister's husband, that a man does to his upon in society with the same complacency, brother's wife. The words of Bishop Jewel, as if no legal interdict rested on the marin his printed letter upon this point, are as riage : and that this will be cause of great follows; “ Albeit I be pot forbidden by plain disquietude of mind to a sensitive female. words to marry my wife's sister, yet I am Secondly. That the issue of such a forbidden to do so by other words, which by marriage will be decidedly illegitimate in exposition are plain enough. For, when the eye of the law, and therefore it will God commands me that I shall not marry “mar their inheritance.” T'hey will have my brother's wife, it follows directly by the no right or title to the name or inheritance same, that he forbids me to marry my wife's of their parents. sister, for between one man and two sisters, Lastly. That, in the event of the hus. and one woman and two brothers, is like band's death, without having set his house analogy and proportion."

in order by will, the widow and children The case of a man's marrying his will be shut out from the enjoyment of brother's wife, (i. e. widow) was the famous every farthing of the deceased's property. one of Henry VIII. The opinion of Luther, It will be well to ponder these things in Melancthon, and their friends among others, the mind; and I submit that they are sufwas sought upon it, they thought such a ficiently weighty reasons why such a marmarriage ought not to be contracted, but riage would be inconsistent with propriety. that, when contracted, it ought not to be dissolved.-Seckendorf Hist. Luth. iii p. 112.

J. R.

To the Editor of the General Baptist Repository.

SIR, I feel disposed, if you will allow To the Editor of the General Baptist Repository.

me, through this medium, to say a word or

two respecting our penny postage. So SIR,— Your Correspondent “ Viduus” cheap and easy a mode of conveying lethas requested an answer to the question, ters is certainly a very great advantage and “Is there any impropriety in marrying the accommodation to all classes. I accidentally sister of a deceased wife.” If you think it made these remarks to one of our ministers, well to insert the following brief reply you a short time ago, when he replied, that he will oblige,

thought it cost him as much, or even more, Your brother in Christ, now than formerly; for, when letters were

OMICRON. seven-pence or eight-pence each, his friends, The question does not refer to the law. knowing he could not very well afford to fulness of such a marriage in a scriptural pay for them, used to send them postpaid, point of view, but is simply a question of and request him to reply without paying; propriety; with that part of the subject we but now, as the postage is so triling, they have therefore nothing to do on the present do not think of making this request; and he occasion. It may, or may not be opposed has frequently to pay from one shilling to to the requirements of the Word of God. two shillings a week in replying to letters

By some it is contended that the inter- relative to the Saviour's cause. I know it is dicted marriage in Leviticus xviii. 16, is the practice of some friends, when writing equally applicable to a marriage with the to a minister requiring a reply, to enclose sister's husband; while on the other band stamps; and, if all would adopt this plan, their opponents object that the precept the evil would be at once remedied; and, contained in Leviticus xviii. 18, appears to when this is not done, I would recommend sanction such a marriage, or at leas all ministers to send them replies without presents no hindrance.

prepaying. “ But a word to the wise is It may therefore, perhaps, not be opposed sufficient." Yours affectionately, to the “ law and testimony" to form such


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