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institution of them by apostolic authority; but who will affirm that such is the case with the ordinance of "the breaking of bread?" This is, like the ordinance of Baptism, a positive institution, depending wholly on the will of the Christian legislator both as to its observance, and the circumstances attending it; and, independent of his revealed will, it would not be a duty at all. For persons, therefore, to go about the observance of it, according to their own fancies, and without having regard to the example of the apostolic churches, is to be guilty of manifest indiscretion; it is to contemn the beautiful order of Christ's house, and must assuredly incur his displeasure. It is truly lamentable to think upon the silly things that have recently been written, and, by sensible men, too, in relation to it.* Take the ordinance
* To prevent misapprehension, it may be proper to state in this place, that I have in view, more particularly, a printed circular letter from the pen of an Elder of a Scotch Baptist church under the signature of H. D., 24th August, 1835, than which anything more superficial and flimsy has not often seen the light. The piece, to which it professes to be an answer, has never come under my observation; it may be as childish and irrelevant as H. D. represents it; but, if so, it is only upon a par with his own performance, in which everything that required to be proved is taken for granted! That any man should undertake to discuss a controverted point, and, to avoid confutation, should call upon his opponent to prove a negative, evinces a lamentable deficiency in the study of logic.
I shall illustrate the argument of Mr. H. D. by a case in point. In arguing as a Baptist would do with a Pædobaptist, the former would say-There is neither precept nor example in all the New Testament for administering the ordinance to infants, and, therefore, in doing it, you act without scriptural warrant." To which the Pædobaptist replies "We have an express command for administering the ordinance of Baptism; that you will not deny. And as to the subjects, what harm can there be in applying it to infants? Show me one single text in which either Christ or his Apostles have forbidden it." Such, precisely, is the argument of H. D. Some may think it very wise and pertinent -for my own part I see nothing in it but egregious folly!
Wherein, let me ask, consisted the sin of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram, which brought upon them the judgment of Heaven, Numb. xvi. ? or that of Saul, which incurred the displeasure of God, and cost his family the loss of the throne of Israel, 1 Sam. xiii.? These and other similar questions, all bearing on the point at issue, have often been asked, but I have never yet met with a satisfactory answer to them; and am fully persuaded that no answer can be given, which does not go to condemn the practice in question; I mean that of taking the Lord's Supper in the absence of an official administrator. God is a sovereign, and will be served in his own way. I hear a voice sounding in my ears, "Behold! to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken,
of the Lord's Supper out of an organized body, and it becomes a nose of wax which may be moulded or accommodated to any thing; to two persons, male or female, worshipping at their own fire-side; nor does it stop there; for it descends to one individual in his retirement, and to both of these cases we have known it reduced, and practised, and contended for, by our modern innovators! Societies, that have not among them persons scripturally qualified for the elder's office, ought to wait upon the Lord, with whom is the residue of the Spirit, and, by fervent and importunate prayer, plead his own gracious promise, Jer. iii. 15, and Eph, iv. 11, 12, that he will fit and qualify persons for the office, that so "the things that are wanting among them may set in order," Titus, i. 5, in a conformity to his own gracious will. The plea urged for a contrary conduct, founded on an inference deduced from the case of the disciples at Troas, Acts xx. 7., is a mere begging of the question; it is taking for granted the very thing which they are bound to prove, viz., that that church, which had existed at least seven years, and which, from all that is recorded of it, was manifestly numerous, in a day, too, when gifts were particularly abundant, had no elders :—a mere gratuitous assumption! and it shows how hard-driven the advocates of this new practice are for plausible pretexts.
The letter, however, possesses sufficient interest to render it acceptable to many readers. The friends of truth must always be gratified at seeing others get emancipated from human traditions, and having recourse to the Holy Scriptures as their rule and directory in all that concerns the kingdom of Christ in the world.
than the fat of rams." I hope that voice will reach the ear of H. D. and prompt him to furnish a satisfactory reply to the objections that are now briefly suggested, respecting the line of conduct, which he advocates, but, until that defence appears, I must continue to regard him as acting very presumptuously, in what he has written and recommended to others; and, with every friendly disposition, I ADVISE HIM TO LOOK TO THE CONSEQUENCES !
As to the distinction between moral and positive institutions, one would be apt to think H.D. had never either heard or thought upon the subject, nor yet of the divine authority-the necessity-and the exclusive and appropriate duties of the Elder's office!-W. J.
SLAVERY IN THE UNITED STATES.
In a former part of this month's Harbinger,' we have given our readers a copy of a very able letter on this subject from the pen of the late Mr. Edward Rushton, of Liverpool, addressed to General Washington. We now add, what may be considered a State paper, an official document, from our Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, addressed to the British Minister in the United States, from which it will be seen that our government are far from being asleep, as respects this very important subject. We sincerely hope that they will follow it up perseveringly, and may Heaven succeed their efforts in freeing that land of liberty from this disgraceful stigma on its national character!-EDITOR.
VISCOUNT PALMERSTON TO SIR CHAS. VAUGHAN,
Foreign Office, July 7, 1834.
SIR-Your dispatch of the 28th March of this year has been received, and laid before the King.
His Majesty's Government have learned with much regret that the President of the United States has declined acquiescing in the proposition which you were instructed to make to him for his accession to the conventions recently concluded between Great Britain and France, for the more effectual suppression of the slave trade; and his Majesty's Government are the more disappointed at this refusal, as they had indulged an expectation that the Government of the United States, animated by an earnest desire to assist in suppressing that inhuman traffic, would have eagerly availed themselves of the opportunity which the above proposition afforded them of co-operating effectually towards the accomplishment of that purpose.
His Majesty's Government, however, after an attentive consideration of the reasons which the President of the United States has assigned for refusing his accession to the treaty in question, are unwilling to abandon the hope of still succeeding in obtaining that accession; for while, on the one hand, the objections which the President has urged to the proposal are not in themselves without weight, on the other hand the stipulations to which those objections refer, although essentially conducive to the complete attainment of the purpose in view, are, however, not absolutely indispensable.
Mr. M'Lane, while he renews the objections originally urged by the American Government to an extension of the right of search to the coasts of the United States, observes, that a clause, proposing such extension, would not be an accession to the existing conventions according to their present terms, but an interpolation of a new article, giving a fresh and broader scope to the original limitations, and not contemplated by the high parties.
This observation is undoutedly true; and the mere fact that this objection has been taken by the Government of the United States is
a sufficient reason for not further pressing the adoption of such an article.
But however desirable such an article would be if the Government of the United States could be prevailed upon to agree to it, still, even without such a stipulation, a very important advantage would be gained for the interests of humanity by the accession of the Government of the United States to the conventions as they stand. If the flag of the United States was prevented by special treaty from being assumed by the dealers in the human race as a protection for their nefarious traffic on the coast of Africa and in the West Indian seas, and if these enemies of mankind were obliged to run the gauntlet through the cruisers of almost all the naval powers of Christendom, over some thousand miles of sea, unprotected by any flag by which they might attempt to cover their iniquity, it might well be hoped that their course would be arrested before they could reach any latitude within which the national pride of the United States could be wounded by the measures necessary for submitting them to stoppage or search.
Taking these circumstances into consideration, his Majesty's Government are willing to abandon that part of their proposition to which Mr. M'Lane's objections are directed; and you are therefore instructed to renew your application to the United States' Government for their accession to the convention, omitting the stipulation for the extension of the right of search to the coasts of the United States.
In addressing the American Government again on this subject, you will state that his Majesty's Government have derived high gratification from learning, by Mr. M'Lane's note, the earnest and unceasing solicitude felt in the United States, both by the Government and by the nation, for the entire annihilation of the odious traffic in slaves; and you will express the earnest hope of his Majesty's Government, that sentiments which reflect so much honour upon the United States will induce the American Government to waive any further objections to a measure calculated to contribute, in so important a manner, to bring about the result which all parties thus ardently desire.—I am, &c., PALMERSTON.
The Right Hon. Sir Charles Vaughan, G. C.H., &c. &c.
LONDON: PRINTED BY J. TAYLOR, 119, FLEET-STREET.
INDEX TO VOL. I.
America, an interesting object to Britons, 1.
American Revivals, alluded to, 9.-Retrospect of, 85, further
American Baptist Churches, how they treat their sable brethren
Ancient Order of Things, illustrated, 46–49, 241.
Ancient Gospel illustrated, 296.
Apology for the Scotch Baptists, 69.
Apostacy from the faith, foretold, 7.
Apostacy, Essay on, 264.
Apostolic Churches, their faith and order described, 36.
Apostolic Commission, to what it extended, 262.
Assembly General of the Kirk of Scotland, its proceedings, 191.
Baltimore, some account of the Reformed Church there, 21.
'Bath Guardian,' extract from the, 331.
Beattie, Dr., his opinion of the Christian Religion, 96.
Bigotry and Partiality, illustrated by a methodist, 268.
Birmingham Recorder,' extract from the, 286.
Boston Recorder,' strictures on the, 257.
BROADDUS, Mr. ANDREW, his Essays on the influence of the Holy
Spirit, under the signature of PAULINUS, No. 1, 130; No. 2, 169.
Bible, hints on reading it, 358.
BIBLICUS, his experience described, 296.
Calamy, Dr., Extract from the account of his own life, 307.
Campbell, Mrs. her death and character, 129; her farewell Ad-
Catechisms, an Episcopalian witness against, 120.
CAUTIOUS, ROBERT, his letter to Mr. Campbell, 161; Reply
Christendom, why asleep during a thousand years, 294.
Christianity, its social character, 52.
Christian Priesthood, remarks on the, 165.
Christianised Nations, how they treat the Bible, 44.