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because I believe them to be the truth of God, and therefore feel deeply interested in the prosperity and wide circulation of the publication. I never cease, wherever I go, from recommending it to the brethren and churches; and the church here, under my pastoral care, is taking a number of copies. Your unflinching mind, pious boldness, straight-forwardness, and impartiality, to friend and foe, when the truth of God is concerned, will not fail to commend themselves to the consciences of all.” Another brother says, “If it were not for its influence, open brethren would carry all before them.” It is by such kind encouragement, that the heart, pained and grieved, has by God's grace been often solaced ; and it is mentioned here, as some little answer to those who fail to see anything noble or worthy in the spirit and conduct of the work.
The position we now occupy, dear brethren, is cheering, but critical. God has strengthened us a little during the past year: the Baptist Tract Society continues its labours, two brethren have been studying for the ministry, and a Strict Baptist Association has been formed in London. If we remain faithful, the spread of error is likely soon to gather around us most of those who love the sincere milk of the word: but as the Jews stirred up the people everywhere against the truth in the days of the apostles, so must it ever be expected that, as truth advances, error will stir up opposition against it. Some would have us believe that the union of all Baptists in one body is more important even than obedience to Christ. But we have not, dear brethren, so learned Him. We wish that all were one, but we would not, for that end, desire any man to violate, in any manner, his conscience towards God. To be the means of doing good, truth must be our dearest treasure, and receive our best support.
The blessing which has rested on our dear brethren in Germany and the neighbouring states, during the past year, has given frequent occasion for the liveliest gratitude and joy. The soundness of their faith, the strictness of their obedience, their steadfastness in tribulation, and their active efforts to make known the glorious gospel, have endeared them to us more and more; and the visits of our beloved brethren Lehmann and Oncken have still further revived and strengthened our joy in the Lord.
May grace, mercy, and peace be abundantly multiplied to us, and all who love our Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity and truth.
PRIMITIVE CHURCH MAGAZINE.
No. 25. JANUARY, 1846.
GOD'S COVENANT THE SAFETY OF HIS PEOPLE.
God's truth and fidelity unto his Between God the Father, indeed, and people that are in covenant with him, Christ as a second Adam, the transacare the true ground of all their safety. tion of the covenant was wholly condiHe doth not change, therefore they do tional. He was to take from his Father not perish, who otherwise, from the days a commission in our nature, to lay down of their fathers, are gone astray: Mål. his life, and to take it up again, to ii. 6, 7. His mercies are “from ever- fulfil all righteousness; to be made sin lasting to everlasting,” Ps. ciii. 17; for us ; to have our iniquities, and the from everlasting in predestination to chastisement of our peace laid upon everlasting in glorification. He gave him, before he could see of the travail grace and promised eternal life before of his soul. Yea, he undertook not only the world began," 2 Tim. i. 9; Tit. i. 2; for his own work, but for ours. By the before they were extant, or had any being preciousness of his blood he purchased, (further than in the purpose of God, and out of the plenitude of his Spirit on whom the grace was bestowed, to he supplieth unto us whatever grace is whom the life was promised. And what requisite unto our salvation. But I say, he did from eternity purpose, he will not as to us, the grace of the covenant is in time revoke; for his gifts are without thus far free and absolute, that no duties repentance: Rom. xi. 29. He doth, by are required of us which are not as his faith and fear, preserve his people branches of the same covenant bestowed through his power, unto that mercy upon us. He hath promised to give a which he hath from eternity given new heart, and to put a new spirit them : Jer. xxxii. 40; 1 Pet. 1, 5. Of within us, to take away the stony heart themselves, they fall' dangerously, and out of our flesh, and to give us a heart frequently, from their own stedfastness; of flesh, to put his Spirit within us, and and then the Lord doth chastise their to cause us to walk in his statutes, to wantonness with the rod of a father, save us from all our uncleanness, to but doth not utterly take away his cleanse us from all our iniquities: Ezek. loving-kindness: Ps. lxxxix. 28–35. xxxvi. 25—33. And though he there
His covenant and grace are free and tells us, that he will be “inquired of” absolute, not conditional and suspended by the house of Israel, to do these on the unstable will of man. " It is not things for them, yet we know it is he of him that willeth or runneth, but of only who poureth out the spirit of grace God that sheweth mercy," and sheweth and supplication, whereby, we make it on whom he will: Rom. ix. 15—18. this inquiry of 'him: Zech. xii. 10;
VOL. III.-NO. XXV.
Gal. iv. 6; Rom. viii. 25. True indeed | portance, but because he objected to it is that when we believe, it is we only their conduct in calling themselves that believe, and when we work, it is we after the names of those through that work; but our working is not the whom they had believed, and by whom cause of his grace, but his grace the they had been baptized. The words cause of our working. And therefore, which follow-" For Christ sent me the apostle saith, “I laboured more not to baptize,” cannot be understood abundantly than they all”—to note absolutely, they cannot mean that Christ that the labour was his—“ Yet not I, prohibited him from baptizing, nor that but the grace of God which was with | he left his commission blank in this me”—to note that the principle was respect, and this for two reasons; first God's : 1 Cor. xv. 10. “ Thou hast the nature of the general apostolic comwrought all our works in us," saith the mission, and secondly, the recorded conprophet: Is. xxvi. 12. The works are duct of Paul himself; he claimed to be a ours, the strength is thine; ours the complete apostle (1 Cor. ix. l; xv. 9, heart and the hand that act'; thine the 10;) and consequently the Saviour's spirit and grace whereby we act. He words, “Go, teach all nations baptizing doth not withhold his love, till our wills them," were addressed to him as well as prevent [are beforehand with] him, and to the eleven. His conduct also shews move him to extend it; but he doth, out that he so understood them, for he not of his own free love, frame our hearts only preached but baptized, as the conunto the love of him, and work the will nexion proves.
If Christ had comin us which he requireth of us: Phil. manded him not to baptize, he could not ii. 12, 13. We repent because he turns say that he “ was not disobedient to the us; he doth not turn to us because we heavenly vision.". If he had no authofirst turn to him; his love prevents rity to baptize, in doing so, he was [precedes) ours, and does not stay for it: guilty of will worship, of thrusting 1 John iv. 19; Ezek. xxxvi. 32; Is. himself uncalled and uncommissioned xlviii. 9—11.-Bishop Reynolds. into one part of the Lord's work. But
neither of these was the case.
that which was well pleasing to the Lord. THE TRUE POSITION OF BAPTISM IN The words, therefore, I think, simply
mean that the administration of this For Christ sent me, not to baptize
, preaching the gospel
. Others less gifted
ordinance was not so much his work as but to preach the gospel:" 1 Cor. i. 17.
than himself might do the former, In the Corinthian church different while he devoted all his energies to the parties had ranged themselves under latter. It is said of the Saviour that he different names. Some were of Paul, “baptized not, but his disciples," John some of Apollos, some of Cephas, and iv. 2; and after he had sent them, as the some of Christ. Of all these partizans Father had sent him into the world, the apostle asks, " Is Christ divided ? (John xvii. 18,) it would seem that the Was Paul crucified for you? or were same observation was in part, at least, ye baptized into the name of Paul? applicable to the apostles; that they teaching them that they belonged to themselves did not baptize, but employed Christ in a sense in which they belonged others to do so. Thus when Peter had to no other, being the purchase of his preached the gospel to the Gentiles, and blood, and that both these facts had been had inquired, “Can any man forbid acknowledged by them in their baptism. water," &c. "he commanded them to be in consequence of this inclination to baptized in the name of the Lord.” exalt the instrument, and thereby to Without wishing to give offence to lower the Saviour, Paul says, “I thank any, without impugning their motives, God that I baptized none of you but or questioning their sincerity, I ask, Crispus and Gaius, lest any should say might not those who call the sprinkling that I baptized in my own name,” &c. of unconscious infants baptism, use this It is evident that he did not thus write verse with greater fulness of meaning because he considered baptism of no im- than the apostle could ? Certainly their
THE GOSPEL OF CHRIST.
baptism is not to be found either in Thirdly, the passage teaches us to culthe apostles' commission or in apostolic tivate a burning zeal for the promulgapractice. Hence it is no marvel that tion of the gospel, and a greater anxiety some who will not receive the scripture for this than the observance of one of doctrine of believers' baptism, fly to this its ordinances. The whole gospel, intext, and though it really affords them cluding its doctrines, privileges, duties, no refuge, say, Christ sent me to preach and ordinances should be proclaimed, the gospel, and I will do it, but I will care is to be taken neither to omit any not baptize at all. It is of no impor- part, nor magnify, it unduly above the tance, it is abrogated and superseded by rest, and especially not to seek our the baptism of the Holy Spirit.” Of own glory while contending for divine the two evils, no baptism is certainly truth. Those of us are in great danger in every way far preferable to that per- of falling into this evil who consider version of the ordinance which has ever ourselves set for the defence of any parbeen such a fountain of error and delu- ticular truth or doctrine. We should sion. But still I contend that the pas- speak the truth, the whole truth, nothing sage teaches no such doctrine, that it but the truth, the truth in connection, neither disannuls the divine commis- in proportion, and in love. Every sion, nor depreciates the importance of christian as God's witness, should repeat the ordinance.
what he has uttered, and aim to bring It teaches us first, to let baptism oc- to pass his purposes. Every christian cupy the place which God has assigned should be a missionary, and every it, no higher, no lower. Baptism is church a missionary church. In pronot necessary to salvation; we never portion as this has been the case, God's affirmed it to be so. We do not place it blessing has descended, and the promise on a level with some other truths, much has been fulfilled, “He that watereth less proclaim it to be of greater impor- others shall be watered himself.” tance than the rest. But we protest Woolwich.
J. Cox. against the abuse made of these necessary distinctions, and against an appeal to this passage as a reason for refusing FIRST to be baptized. Though baptism is not essential to salvation, it is still very important. Its station in the gospel is
To love God supremely, and do his conspicuous and honourable. It is the will, is the first of christian duties. To only divinely authorized way into the him we are all responsible, and must visible church of Christ. By it Christ therefore decide each for himself what is confessed: the soul takes him for its he has commanded. If our convictions Saviour and Lord, renounces all depen- differ on this point, we must of necessity dence upon any thing but his glorious as servants of Christ, act differently, for word, and every other service for his nothing can release us from obligation easy yoke. Thus the badge of disciple- to obey him “in all things.” ship is voluntarily assumed, the renewed Supposing that the point on which we soul becomes acknowledged to be so by differ relates to something to be done in the church, is declared so before the union with others, as, for instance, to world, and is separated from it, for the the maintenance of Christ's will in the Lord's glory.
constitution and order of his church, Secondly, these words teach the un- then, as two views cannot be acted on scriptural nature and injurious tendency in the same body, those who differ must of the doctrines now so widely and either form different societies, or one of zealously promulgated. If baptism
them must habitually cease to act in were, as some assert, the sole appointed accordance with his views of duty tomeans of regeneration, and if all who wards God. If a Baptist were a memare baptized were thereby endued with ber of the Church of England, he must the Holy Spirit, the apostle must have of necessity neglect his acknowledged been wrong in speaking as he did of it, duty to prevent unbelievers from being and they must have acted wisely who admitted as members of it. Hence so forced persons to be baptized at the long as christians differ in their convicpoint of the spear or bayonet.
tions of the will of Christ as to the
constitution and discipline of his church, self-sufficient, to trust in Christ's righthe maintenance of distinct and different teousness alone. Blindly full of self, organizations, founded on these different we see not the necessity of being emptied convictions of duty, is absolutely essen- of it, of being sanctified and made holy, tial to the maintenance of a good con- and filled with all the fulness of God. science towards God. To speak of them in a word, deluded by the god of this as a proof of want of love to fellow- world, and our own hearts, we, by nature, christians, shews an ignorance or inad- scorn and reject the glorious gospel of vertence of the very nature of christian- the blessed God, the charter of the sinity, as commanding the supreme homage ner's redemption. God's design in it is of the heart to God. Were they to be to stain the pride of human glory, and dissolved for the mere purpose of pleasing thereby to implant in the heart a spirit of our fellow-christians, the event would humility. It is thus he abases man and display a want of principle most deeply exalts the Saviour. Brought to his to be mourned ; for, “if I pleased men, right mind, Paul exclaimed, “ God says the apostle, “I should not be the forbid that I should glory, save in the servant of Christ :” Gal. i. 10. Love to cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom Christ must ever be superior to love to the world is crucified unto me, and I
The only desirable termination, unto the world." “He that glorieth, let therefore, of existing denominations, him glory in the Lord.” Is he then thy supposing their members to be conscien- glory? Dost thou rejoice in him, as thy tious and sincere, is from agreement in wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, the will of Christ. For without this, and redemption,” in opposition to thine conscience would be violated, and the own wisdom, thine own righteousness, authority of Christ disowned by every thine own sufficiency, and thy power to concession made to unity of form. The redeem thy soul? If not, how vain is grand means, therefore, of promoting thy glory, how short-lived is thy joy! union, is to diffuse truth.
For what is a man profited, if he shall But notwithstanding differences of gain the whole world, and lose his own this kind, he' who bears the image of soul? or, what shall a man give in exGod must of necessity be loved by those change for his soul ?" This is the lanwho love God, in precise proportion as guage of Him, who, when he uttered it, his image is revealed; for “every one had both heaven and hell in his glance, that loveth him that begat, loveth him and felt with the most profound emotion also that is begotten of him:” 1 John the unspeakable importance of his theme. v. 1. This love may be cherished by “ Awake,” therefore, “thou that sleepest, intercourse, and increased by kindness; and arise from the dead, and Christ shall and to promote it is one of the highest give thee light:" for He bringeth“ life and holiest of purposes. It is the bond and immortality to light through the of perfectness, and while it endears and gospel.” unites hearts, spiritually one, tends to
THEOPHILUS. remove prejudices and to lead them to agreement in the truth as it is in Jesus. But so far only is our love to the children of God divine and holy as it exists in fellowship with unreserved obedience THE ASPECT OF THE ATONEMENT ON to God himself; for“ by this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and keep his command
An honoured brother, who has read ments :" 1 John v. 2.
the various articles which have appeared in these
pages on the atonement, has an earnest desire to see one in answer to
the question, “What aspect has the HE THAT GLORIETH LET HIM GLORY atonement on those who are not saved ?" IN THE LORD:" 1 COR. I. 31. He thinks that this question has not
been answered in any preceding number. NATURALLY proud, we are unwilling He also suggests as another subject of to become fools, that we may be made inquiry, "What is the difference (if any) wise. We are too self-righteous, too between atonement and redemption ?"
THOSE WHO ARE NOT SAVED.