Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

incorruptible judges ; may it always be so. Even our lesser magistrates are, in general, most worthy men; for which we ought to be grateful to God evermore.

6. I have said, ye are gods." The greatest honour was thus put upon them; they were delegated gods, clothed for a while with a little of that authority by which the Lord judges among the sons of men. " And all of you are children of the Most High." This was their ex-officio character, not their moral or spiritual relationship. There must be some government among men, and as angels are not sent to dispense it, God allows men to rule over men, and endorses their office, so far at least that the prostitution of it becomes an insult to his own prerogatives. Magistrates would have no right to condemn the guilty if God bad not sanctioned the establishment of government, the adminitration of law, and the execution of sentences. Here the Spirit speaks most bonourably of these offices, even when it censures the officers; and thereby teaches us to render honour to whom honour is due, honour to the office even if we award censure to the office-bearer.

7. But ye shall die like men." What sarcasm it seems! Great as the office made the men, they were still but men, and must die. To every judge this. verse is a memento mori! He must leave the bench to stand at the bar, and on the way must put off the ermine to put on the shroud. “And fall like one of the princes.” Who were usually the first to die : for battle, sedition, and luxury made greater havoc among the great than among any others. Even as princes have often been cut off by sudden and violent deaths, so should the judges be who forget to do justice. Men usually respect the office of a judge, and do not conspire to slay him, as they do to kill princes and kings; but injustice withdraws this protection, and puts the unjust magistrate in personal danger. How quickly death unrobes the great. What a leveller he is. He is no advocate for liberty, but in promoting equality and fraternity he is a masterly democrat. Great men die as common men do. As their blood is the same, so the stroke which lets out their life produces the same pains and throes. No places are too high for death's arrows : he brings down his birds from the tallest trees. It is time that all men considered this.

8. “ Arise, O God, judge the earth.Come thou Judge of all mankind, put the bad judges to thy bar and end their corruption and baseness. Here is the world's true hope of rescue from the fangs of tyranny. For thou shalt inherit all nations." The time will come when all races of men shall own their God, and accept him as their king. There is one who is “ King by right divine," and he is even now on his way. The last days sball see him enthroned, and all unrighteous potentates broken like potter's vessels by his potent sceptre. The second advent is still earth's brightest hope. Come quickly, even so, come, Lord Jesus.

From “ THE TREASURY OF DAVID," Vol. IV., now in the press.

* Prove all Things."

AN ADDRESS BY VERNON J. CHARLESWORTH, AT THE METROPOLITAN TABERNACLE,

FEBRUARY 24TH, 1873, ON THE OCCASION OF HIS BAPTISM, AND THE BAPTISM

OF FIVE BOYS OF THE STOCKWELL ORPHANAGE. A S an infant I was baptised according to the rites of the Established Church, and A my parents were solemnly assured that I was thereby “made a child of God and an inheritor of the kingdom of heaven.” My sponsors undertook in my behalf" to renounce the devil and all his works,” and “the pomps and vanities of this wicked world.” Now, if the ordinance really conferred these blessings, I cannot adequately express my gratitude ; if it did not, then I am bound, in fidelity to truth, to declare the fact. I am certain that I was not “made a child of God” by my baptism, for my early years were spent in folly and sin. I was not made“ an inheritor of the kingdom of heaven," for I had no inward

consciousness of the fact, and had, moreover, a fear of death, and a distinct sense of my moral unfitness for the society of heaven. It is, therefore, evident that my parents were the victims of a terrible delusion and parties to a solemn farce, enacted in the name of God and sanctioned by the law of the land. Although I was no consenting party to the ordinance, I now feel called upon to repudiate its validity. I can no longer sanction by my silence a system which rests on a foundation of lies, and which prostitutes the sanctities of religion by legalised deceptions.

But, it is asked, If baptism does not confer such priceless blessings, is it not right to baptise little children who have not been guilty of actual sin, and who, were they to die in infancy, would undoubtedly be saved by virtue of the death of the Lord Jesus Christ? This view is plausible enough on the surface; but, we ask, is such a baptism either necessary, expedient, or Scriptural ? If it is, by all means let us accept it: if it is not, then, as rational beings and as followers of the Saviour, let us reject it in toto.

I. We hold it is unnecessary, because, as practised by Nonconformist Pædobaptists, it concedes to baptised children neither position nor privileges different from others. No distinction is drawn between them. What is true of the one class is equally true of the other, as to their relation to the Saviour. Baptism, though professedly an initiatory rite, does not secure to children the privileges of church-membership: their names, moreover, are not even registered on the church roll. Now, is it not evident that such a system is altogether unnecessary ?

II. It is highly inexpedient, because it enforces an involuntary obedience to a religious rite, and ignores the necessity for the exercise of an enlightened conscience in matters between God and the soul. It is the germ of a debasing priestcraft, and of ecclesiastical tyranny, and violates our sense of religious liberty. Christianity is a voluntary system, with which a forced initiation is incompatible. We, therefore, conclude that infant baptism is inexpedient.

III. It is, moreover, unscriptural. It lacks the authority of a divine command, and the sanction of the example of inspired men. It ignores the necessity of a sincere repentance and an intelligent faith as preliminary to discipleship. Moreover, the uniform teaching and practice of Christ and his apostles are opposed to it. The subjects of baptism mentioned in the gospels and the Acts of the Apostles, were intelligent hearers of the word: they were rendered penitent by the application of truth to the conscience, and acknowledged their sinfulness : they exercised faith in the Lord Jesus as their Saviour, and of their own free will elected to be baptised.

The mode of baptism was by immersing the whole body in water. Not so much as a hint is given of any modification of this mode.

Upon these grounds I publicly and deliberately repudiate the validity of every system of infant baptism ; and by this act I place myself in the position of an unbaptised person.

Now, believing it to be incumbent upon believers to avow the fact of their union with Christ and his church by obedience to his commands, and believing baptism by immersion to be his imperative command, I cheerfully offer myself as a candidate for Christian baptism. Not that I attach any ecclesiastical importance to the ordinance. It does not unite me to Christ or his church. I believe I am already one with him by virtue of a sincere faith in his sacrificial death and priestly ministry. I believe I am already identified with his church by virtue of the baptism of the Spirit. Water baptism only gives eloquent expression to these facts: “Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead." .Col. ii. 12. “Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptised into Jesus Christ were baptised into his death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death; that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.” Romans vi. 3, 4. An ordinance designed by our Lord, and enjoined by him to be a symbol of these glorious realities, has an importance peculiarly its own; and to disregard it is to question his prerogative in legislating for the church, and to incur his displeasure by our disobedience. Did he not say to his disciples, “ If ye love me, keep my commandments"? Is not baptism one of the earliest opportunities of avowing our love to the Saviour in obedience to his command? And yet how many shrink from the avowal? The traditions of fourteen centuries have not annulled the commandment of Christ, nor does the disobedience of so large a section of the church release us from the obligation to obey our Lord and Master. He still says, “ Take up thy cross and follow me.""

“Hast thou the cross for me endured,

And all its shame despised ?
And shall I be ashamed, dear Lord,

With thee to be baptized ?
Didst thou the great example lead

In Jordan's swelling flood ?
And shall my pride disdain the deed

That's worthy of my God?
Dear Lord, the ardour of thy love

Reproves my cold delays,
And now my willing footsteps move

In thy delightful ways !"

Reviews. Messrs. Wm. Oliphant and Co., of tory, after all, is a better instructor Edinburgh, have sent us quite a batch than the most able works of imagination. of tales and stories; and as it is out of

Lucy Raymond; or, the Children's the question for us to read them all, we

Watchword. By the Author of " Katie have called in the aid of a lady who is a

Johnstone's Cross." Very good, very reader of great patience and discretion.

pious, but rather heavy. The story is Her industry has furnished us with

of a young girl, who, having given her notes which we condense as follows:

heart to the Saviour in early life, holds Adah, the Jewish Maiden ; a Story of fast her Christian profession in the midst the Siege of Jerusalem. By Agnes M. of trials and difficulties in a worldly Gray. The facts are terrible and family, and, by her holy influence and interesting to the last degree, but the example, at last induces most of its fictions interwoven with them are weak members to follow Christ. The "watchand unworthy of them. “ Adah ” would word” alluded to in the title is "Looking seem to be a feeble imitation of “Naomi, | unto Jesus.” or the last days of Jerusalem," which | Joseph Pilmor, the Quaker Soldier, and some of our readers will remember. other Stories. By the Author of Perhaps some young folks, who cannot 6 Tibbie, the Charwoman." be induced to read history, might con THREE well-written stories, such as may sent to peruse this story, and it would beguile an idle hour, but not particularly certainly give them much information. | instructive or edifying, except the last,

Zina; or, Morning Mists. By the which illustrates the power of true Author of " The Wish and the Way." religion. This, in its external appearance, is twin The Countess Margarethe and her sister to “Adah," and is a fascinating Children; or, Country Life in Russut. story, containing some sweet lessons of By Sarah M. S. CLARKE trust in Jesus and absolute dependance A STORY for children: relates some upon God's faithfulness. Some of the curious customs of Russian life, and characters in the story could never have teaches lessons of 'obedience, truthfullived except in the lettered page; they | ness, and submission ; but the religion and their experiences are far other than of the book is of the legal, self-saving this commonplace world affords. His. I order, and not after Christ.

Having thus taken notice of so many | All Men's Place, with other Selections works of this order, we may as well pro from the Sermons of George Whitfield; ceed with a few more while our hand is and God's New World, with other Serin. Perhaps we may surfeit our readers, mons by John Wesley. Cassell, Petter, and we should by no means be sorry if and Galpin. we did.

Two pretty little Sixpenny books, which Fiddy Scraggs; or, a Clumsy Foot may may serve to the mass of readers as fair Step True. By Anna J. BUCKLAND.

specimens of the sermons of Whitfield A VERY suitable gift-book for servants.

and Wesley. They will, besides, we * Fiddy" is the child of disreputable

trust, be blest of God to those who tramps, but God raises up friends for

prayerfully consider their contents. her who show her the path of holiness Plain Pulpit Talk. By THOMAS COOPER. and truth, and he enables her to walk in Hodder and Stoughton. it. She becomes a servant in the house We have not before placed a notice of of her benefactress, suffers much perse

this work among our other brief cution, and bears, humbly and patiently, | reviews, because it was more effectually the trial of a false and terrible accusa brought under observation by a lengthy tion; ultimately her entire innocence is quotation in one of the magazine proved, and she has the courage to save

articles; but to give the book a second her mistress's life from fire. The book

encouragement we would remark that ends pleasantly by recording the com this Plain Pulpit Talk is just what it plete reformation of her parents.

professes to be, and is the kind of talk The Noble Printer and his Adopted which working men want. It is not

Daughter : a Tale of the first printed very sententious or suggestive, but as Bible. Translated from the German it should be to truthfully match with by CAMPBELL OVEREND.

its title, it is simple, homely, bold, strong, An account of the trials, difficulties, and

and sterling. God bless the man who persecutions which befel Gutenberg, the

can talk like this, and make his last inventor of printing. The book is

days bright with the light of the eternal instructive on this subject, and very

day-dawn. sad, if true. It reminds one of poor

Heavenward Ho; or, Story Coxen's Palissy. The worst of it is, one does Log. By SAMUEL COWDY, F. R. Hist. not know how much is true and how Soc. Charles Griffin. much is a mere tale ; and this is one of Our highly esteemed friend and neighthe mischiefs of this sort of literature, bour, the pastor of Arthur-street that it diminishes the distinction between Chapel, Camberwell - gate, has here fact and fancy, and is too apt to make utilised his seafaring knowledge by proyoung people think little of sober truth. ducing a very remarkable nautical alleWave upon Wave. By Sarah DOUDNEY.

gory, in which he touches upon almost Sunday School Union.

every phase of religious life, and in every A CHARMING

instance proves himself to be an unstory. Very pleasant

flinching upholder of the right and the reading.

true. The book has the merit of origiThe Last of the Abbots ; or, the Monks

nality and singularity, and will never be of St. Benet's : a Tale Illustrative of laid aside because the author ran in the the Dissolution of Religious Houses same rut with his neighbours. We in England. By the Rev. ARTHUR confess we are so fascinated by the Brown, B.A., 'Rector of Catfield. Pilgrim's Progress that we do not exPartridge and Co.

pect to see another perfect allegory in INTERESTING and instructive, because our time, nor anything approaching to historical. Brother Paul is a good | it. Mr. Cowdy has done wisely to try monk, and, by degrees, emerges from the sea, for Bunyan alone can allegoize darkness into light, though he does not on land. There is a sufficiently wide renounce the monastic life. The story difference between Christian's journey by is one of the best we have seen for some land and Coxen's voyage by sea to shew time, and is likely to leave a good that the one is not a plagiarism from ainpression upon young minds.

the other.

Eleven Years in Central South Africa. | that a missionary narrative is any the

By THOMAS MORGAN THOMAS (of the more apostolic, because, though lacking London Missionary Society). John instances of conversion, it abounds in Snow and Co.

wonderful stories of lions, green snakes, We hope that by this time we are known and rhinoceri. to our subscribers as the most lenient Among newspapers the Freeman, at of reviewers. Our loins are lighter twopence, and the Baptist, at one than the little finger of some caustic penny, are both of them a credit to the censors. Our charity believeth all Baptist denomination. We are so dreadthings and hopeth all things. Yet we | fully Conservative that we like to see are capable of doubting, and even with old friends supported, and should be our best Owl pen and the Dichröic ink, sorry to see a ne

sorry to see a new comer knock the old we are occasionally unable to write a | original upon the head ; at the same favourable review. The volume before time we are so Radical that we like to us is of the noble order which has con see a little competition, and wish well veyed to us aforetime records of the to all bold enterprises. To our mind travels of the greatest explorers ; it is the Freeman is fifty per cent. better a goodly tome, well printed, and plenti since the Baptist was started, and is as fully illustrated. The illustrations are good a twopennyworth as can be found the point which stagger us, nay, knock in the land. The Baptist will go where us over completely. There is Mr.

the Freeman cannot, and will worthily Thomas, with eight lions' heads in front occupy its own sphere. One day we of bim, peeping out of the bush—the shall wonder why two newspapers were letter-press says there were perhaps thought too many for the Baptist defifteen or twenty! Our own notion is nomination ; we shall perhaps live to that perhaps there were forty or fifty, see a dozen vigorously making their but it is well to be moderate. Further way. Newspapers are very like lawyers on, Mr. Thomas is turning a summer in country towns, five or six will flourish sault as the result of being tossed by a where one would starve. Every Baprhinoceros, and in another place he is tist, male and female, should take in pursued by a snake; at page 125 there

either the Freeman or the Baptist, at is a snake coiled round Mr. Thomas's once, and perhaps both as soon as the leg, and at page 239 he seems to be in price of coals is lowered: till then, who an almost equally undesirable position

among us can afford the double luxury? in a king's hut, in proximity to ladies whose costume is best undescribed. The Music in the Western Church; A LecLondon Missionary Society has certainly

ture on the History of Psalmody. By found in Mr. Thomas a missionary of a W. A. LEONARD. F. Pitman, Pater. very adventurous spirit, and he has

noster Row. looked out a draughtsman who can make SINGERS will be interested with this a series of sensational drawings worthy lecture, which has grown into a book. of his hair-breadth 'scapes ; but we It will commend itself to those who question the wisdom of getting into so | believe that the tunes of Dr. Rippon's many scrimmages, when we remember day were execrable; we do not think that Mr. Moffat, throughout a long life, | so, and would heartily welcome a return has not been able to paint one-half so to the old-fashioned mode of singing. many exciting scenes. Mr Moffat | Now-a-days we rush through a verse as is quite a mild narrative compared with if the sooner we were through it the that of the more modern labourer. When better, but the old folks liked to dwell Mr. Thomas returns to his work as a | upon the words and repeat them. Singmissionary for the London Missionary | ing is never more hearty in the TaberSociety, we shall hope to read of more nacle than when we have Cranbrook, natives pierced to the heart by the Cambridge New, China, or some such gospel, and shall not regret the fact of right noble tune. Fasbion goes for fewer elephants and buffaloes falling as a very great deal with some people, trophies of his gun. We do not believe but it does not operate upon us. We that a missionary is any the worse for would as soon be out of the fashion: being a good shot, neither çlo we feel as in it..

« AnteriorContinuar »