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testimony. We may force corn to grow by artificial means in the depth of winter, but it is not like the corn of August. So may a few disciples be made in Pagan lands by such means in the moral empire, as those by which corn is made to grow in winter in the natural empire; but they are not like the disciples of primitive times before sectarian creeds came into being. It is enough to say, on this topic, that the Saviour made the unity of the disciples essential to the conviction of the world; and he that attempts it independent of this essential, sets himself against the wisdom and plans of Heaven, and aims at over-ruling the dominion and government of the Great King. On this subject we have many things to say, and hard to be uttered, because the people are dull of hearing. But we shall leave this prayer for the present, having just introduced it, and noticed the argument of it, by reminding the reader that, instead of human creeds promoting the unity of the disciples, they have always operated just the reverse; and are in diametrical opposition to the wisdom and benevolence of the Heavens. Should the Christian community be united upon the Westminster, or Methodistic, or Baptist, or any human creed, then the plan of Heaven is defeated, the apostles disgraced, the Saviour's prayer unanswered, and the whole order of Heaven frustrated, and the throne of the universe subverted. He that advocates the necessity of creeds of human contrivance to the unity of the Church unconsciously impeaches the wisdom of God, arraigns the benevolence of the Saviour, and censures the revelation of the Spirit. He, perhaps, without reflection attempts to new modify the empire of reason, of morality and religion; to rise above, not only the apostles, but the Saviour himself, and arrogates to himself a wisdom and philanthropy that far surpasses, and in fact covers with disgrace, all those attributes that rise to our view, and shine with incomparable effulgence in the redemption of man.



Sir,-From the nature and design of this work, as stated in your proposals to the public, and from the character of those who may be supposed desirous to patronise it, as a work not devoted to the interests of any party, but merely and exclusively to the evolution and exhibition of Christianity in its primitive simplicity and native excellence; it is presumed that an Essay on the proper and primary intention of the Gospel, with its proper and immediate effects in those that received it, would be a suitable introduction to such a work, as it would not only furnish an interesting and radical criterion, whereby to judge between the present and primitive state of Christianity; but also would serve to show the grievous and incalculable privation of blissful and efficacious privileges, occasioned by a long and almost universal departure from the original apostolic exhibition of it; and thus tend to excite a general and just concern in the public mind to repair the incalculable loss, by strictly adverting to the pure original Gospel as exhibited by the apostles, and thus to contend earnestly for the faith as it was once delivered to the saints. If you, sir, think with the writer, that such a subject would be a suitable commencement, and that the following will, in some good measure, answer that purpose, you will please accept it as a token of sincere desire for the utility and success of your under taking, and as a pledge on the part of the writer, of his hearty determination to contribute any assistance in his power, to the accomplishment of so worthy an object. Yours, respectfully,

T. W.


[From the Christian Baptist, Vol. I.]

That the reconciliation of a guilty world, in order to complete and ultimate salvation, was the proper and primary intention of the Gospel, is evident from the uniform tenor of the gospel testimony, as recorded in the New Testament. The Gospel itself is called the word of reconciliation, 2 Cor. v. 19. The work of preaching it, as at first enjoined upon the apostles, and afterwards executed by them, is styled the ministry of reconciliation, 2 Cor. v. 18, 19. Their manner of proceeding in it was to this effect: "As though God did beseech you by us, we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye (sinners) reconciled to God," 2 Cor. v. 20, 21. The instruction under which they proceeded to the execution of their office, was, "that repent

ance and remission of sin should be preached, in the name of Christ, to all nations," Luke xxiv. 47. Their commencement at Jerusalem, in addressing the multitude that appeared convinced of the truth of their testimony concerning Jesus, was, 66 repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ," Acts, ii. 38. The immediate effect of their preaching, in all that were suitably affected by it, was reconciliation, Rom. v. 10, "when we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son;" and Col. i. 19-21, "for it pleased the Father by him to reconcile all things unto himself; and you that were some time alienated, and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled," in the body of his flesh through death. 2 Cor. v. 18, " God was in Christ reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them. Therefore, if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature; old things are passed away; behold all things are become new;" and "all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ," v. 17, 18. From these, and a multitude of passages that might be adduced, it is evident that the proper and immediate intention of God in the publication of the Gospel to the nations, whether Jews or Gentiles, was reconciliation to himself by Jesus Christ; and also, that the proper and immediate effect of this publication on all on whom it had its proper effect, that is, on all that understood and believed it, was reconciliation to God; and that in order to their complete and final salvation, according to Rom v. 10, "For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life."

Moreover, from the above cited Scriptures, and many others, it is equally evident that the immediate and reconciling effect of the Gospel, in all that were reconciled by it, was the belief of a full and free pardon of all their sins, through Christ, and for his sake, on the account of the propitiary sacrifice which he voluntarily made of himself upon the cross; which is therefore called the atonement or reconciliation. Indeed, when we contemplate the state of the world in the light of divine revelation, we find that all, both Jews and Gentiles, had sinned and come short of the

glory of God; that the whole world was become guilty before him; there was none righteous-no, not one; none that practised good and sinned not. And that, except a very few spiritual characters among the Jews, whose minds were supported by the hopes of the promised Messiah, all mankind were alienated from the life of God, through the blindness of ignorance; and were become enemies in their minds by wicked works. Such, then, being the actual state of mankind, considered as the object of Divine benevolence, we see the indispensable necessity of the means which infinite wisdom and goodness devised to effect a change for the better among such guilty creatures; namely, the proclamation of a general and everlasting amnesty, a full and free pardon of all offences, to all, without respect of persons; and this upon such terms as brought it equally near to, equally within the reach of, all; which was effectually done by the preaching of the Gospel; see Acts xiii. 16-19, and x. 34-43, and ii. 14-35, with many other scriptures. In the passages above referred to, we have a sufficient and satisfactory specimen of the truly primitive and apostolic Gospel, as preached both to Jews and Gentiles, by the two great apostles, Peter and Paul; in each of which we have most explicitly the same gracious proclamation of pardon to every one that received their testimony concerning Jesus. Repent, said Peter, to the convinced and convicted Jews, Acts ii. 38, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins. And again, Acts x. 43, to him give all the prophets witness that through his name, whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins. To the same effect Paul in his sermon at Antioch, in the audience both of Jews and Gentiles, Acts xiii. 38, 39. "Be it known unto you, therefore, men and brethren, that through this man is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins, and by him, all that believe are justified from all things." God, by the Gospel, thus avowing his love to mankind, in giving his only begotten Son for the life of the world; and through him, and for his sake, a full and free remission of all sins; and all this in a perfect consistency with his infinite abhorrence of sin, in the greatest possible demonstration of his displeasure against it, in the death of his Son, (which

he has laid as the only and adequate foundation for the exercise of sin-pardoning mercy ;) has at once secured the glory of his character, and afforded effectual relief and consolation to the perishing guilty, by a full and free pardon of all sin, "And you, being dead in your sins, and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses," Col. ii. 13. Such being the Gospel testimony concerning the love of God, the atonement of Christ, and the import of baptism for the remission of sins, all, therefore, that believed it, and were baptized for the remission of their sins, were as fully persuaded of their pardon and acceptance with God, through the atonement of Christ, and for his sake, as they were of any other article of the Gospel testimony. It was this, indeed, that gave virtue and value to every other item of that testimony, in the estimation of the convinced sinner; as it was this alone that could free his guilty burthened conscience from the guilt of sin, and afford him any just ground of confidence towards God. Without this justification, which he received by faith in the divine testimony, could he have had peace with God through the Lord Jesus Christ, or have rejoiced in hope of his glory, as the Apostle testifies concerning the justified by faith? Rom. v. 1, 2. Surely not; or how could he have been reconciled to God by the death of his Son, had he not believed, according to the testimony, that he had redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of the Divine grace, thus most graciously manifested? Or why could he have received baptism, the import of which to the believer was the remission of his sins, had he not believed the Divine attestation to him in that ordinance, concerning the pardoning of his sins upon his believing and being baptized? Every one, then, from the very commencement of Christianity, who felt convinced of the truth of the Gospel testimony, and was baptized, was as fully persuaded of the remission of his sins, as he was of the truth of the testimony itself. Indeed, how could it be otherwise, seeing the testimony held forth this as the primary and immediate privilege of every one that believed it? "For to him gave all the prophets witness, that, through his name, whosoever believeth in him, shall receive


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