« PrécédentContinuer »
were then taught to believe that Christ's body is really, substantially, carnally, or naturally in the sacrament; or, that his body is, or may be, in a thousand places or more, at one time; or, that the priest did then hold up the sacrament over his head; or, that the people did then fall down and worship it with godly honor; or, that images were then set up in the churches, to the intent that the people might worship them; or, that the lay people were then forbidden to read the word of God in their own tongue.
DEFINITION OF A GENTLEMAN. We have rarely seen a better definition of what is meant by the term gentleman, than that given by the poet Bishop, of the Episcopal Church of New Jersey, in a Prospectus of the ends and objects of Burlington College. Bishop Doane says:
“When you have found a man, you have not far to go to find a gentleman. You cannot make a gold ring out of brass. You cannot change a Cairn-worm or a Cape May Crystal to a diamond. You cannot make a gentleman till you have first a man. To be a gentleman, it will not be sufficient to have had a grand-father.
“What can ennoble sots, or slaves, or cowards?
Alas! not all the blood of all the Howards!” "To be a gentleman does not depend upon the tailor or the toilet. The proof of a gentleman is not to do work. Blood will degener
Good clothes are not good habits. The Prince Lee Boo concluded that the hog, in England, was the only gentleman, as being the only ching that did not labor. A gentleman is just a gentleman-no more, no less—a diamond polished, that was first a diamond in the rough. A gentleman is gentle. A gentleman is modest. A gentleman is courteous. A gentleman is slow to take offence, as being one that never gives it. A gentleman is slow to surmise evil, as being one that never thinks it. A gentleman goes armed, only in consciousness of right. A gentleman refines his tastes. A gentleman subdues his feelings. A gentleman controls his speech. A gentleman deems every other better than himself. Sir Philip Sidney was never so much a gentleman-mirror though he was of England's knighthood—as when upon the field of Zutphen, as he lay in his own blood, he waived the draft of cool spring water that was brought to quench his mortal thirst, in favor of a dying soldier. St. Paul described a gentleman when he exhorted the Philippian Christians:-“Whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are rely, whatsoever things are of good report, if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” And Dr. Isaac Barrow, in his admirable sermon on the calling of a gentleman, pointedly says, “He should labor and study to be a learner unto virtue, and a notable promoter thereof; directing and exciting men thereto by his exemplary conversation; encouraging them by his countenance and authority; rewarding the goodness of meaner people by his bounty and favor; he should be such a gentleman as Noah, who preached righteousness, by his words and by his works, before a profane world.
REFORMATION-No. XII. THERE could have been no stronger proof of what we may term the doctrinism of the Protestant communities, than the holy horror with which they affected to regard the practice of receiving penitents to Christian baptism upon a simple profession of their faith in Christ. The renunciation of creeds as standards of orthodoxy, and the adoption of the Bible as the sole trust-worthy depository of divine truth, had been unpardonable offences against the rigid formulism and corsecrated usages of partyism; but when the originators of the present movement dispensed with the accustomed vow of doctrinal allegiance and the signs and wonders of what was technically called "Christian experience” antecedent to baptism, they were supposed to have broken down and abandoned the very outworks of Christianity itself.
however, nothing more than might have been reasonably expected of persons who had ventured to take the scriptures alone as their guide in matters of religion, and might have been, on this very ground, foretold with as much certainty and precision, as was their final abandonment of infant baptism.* For nothing can be more evident than that, while the scriptures are remarkably silent in regard to both the last-mentioned subjects, which many have regarded so important as to deserve a conspicuous place among the doctrines and customs of the church, there is no want of scriptural precedent and precept for the baptism of a believer upon the simple confession made by the Treasurer of Queen Candace:-“I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God." Acts viii. 37.
There may have been here, indeed, a misunderstanding in the minds of many, in regard to the views really entertained of the
* Soon after the publication of the “Declaration and Address," its author, Thomas Campbell, Sr., happening to meet Rev. Mr. Riddle, a fellow-minister of the Union body, on the way between Washington, Pa., and Cannonsburg, fell into a conversation wiib him on the subject of the Address Upon Mr. Campbell's showing it to him and exhibiting its plan of union upon the Bible alone, he exclaimed: Why upon this principle we must at once renounce infant baptism!" "This was thc first time that such a consequence was presented to the mind of Mr. Campbell, and the incident is important as showing, 1st.--that there were no preconceived partialities for believer's baptism on the part of those engaged in this refor matory movement, and that its subsequent adoption was the”natural result of biblical investigation; and, 2dly.- that the sagacious mind of Mr. Riddle had clearly perceived (as have doubtless multitudes of other Pedobaptists, who are less candil or more cautious in their admissions,) that the scriptures do not teach infant baptism, and that it is therefore a mere human tradition. SERIES TIIM - VOL. VI.
pre-requisites to Christian baptism by the promoters of the present reformation. It may be well to remark, therefore, that they at no time supposed the Bible to sanction, or did themselves in any degree countenance the practice of making either an ignorant or an impenitent, or a mere intellectual profession of Christianity. On the contrary, the necessity of careful inquiry to ascertain the true state of the mind and the affections, has been ever acknowledged; the importance of ample previous instruction has been urged; and upon the whole, and especially in the case of the young, a catachumenical course of procedure practically adopted. It may serve to show the attention paid to this point in the beginning, to state, that long before the adoption of believers' baptism, at the very first organization of the church at Brush Run, iwo persons were refused admittance to Christian fellowship, because they were adjudged to be imperfectly acquainted with the nature of the atonement, having been unable to answer satisfactorily the question then propounded to all:—“What is the meritorious cause of a sinner’s acceptance with God?" Somewhat simpler views of the gospel, it is true, afterwards obtained; and the adoption of believer's baptism led, in conformity with the principles of the reformers, to the use of the exact formula of confession given in the New Testament. By the precedents there presented, all inquiries in regard to faith and penitence were subsequently regulated; and a willingness to obey the Lord in submitting to baptism came to be regarded as a better evidence of the faith and feelings of the convert, than the most elaborate detail of dreams and visions, or the most devoted submission to the unauthorized expedients or commandments of men.
But the simple procedure thus indicated by the history of the conversions related in the Acts of Apostles, was, as we have stated, so utterly at variance with the established usages of the religious parties, and so irreconcileable with the popular theories of faith, that surrounding communities seemed to regard Christianity as scandalized by its adoption. “What!” they exclaimed," "adunit persons to baptism without inquiring respecting the work of the Spirit upon their hearts, or ascertaining that they hold the essential points of Christian doctrine! How the gates of the church are thrown wide open to infidels and errorists by the reception of meinbers upon a simple confession of the Messiahship of Christ!"
Of course, the propriety of such a procedure was to be determined by a direct appeal to the scriptures. The attentive reader, however, of these papers will not fail to perceive how admirably the practice thus introduced, accords with the great principles of fraternity and
Christian unity which we have been endeavoring to develope. He will notice in this but a practical application of the motto, “Union to Christ-union to each other;" and will see also that union to Christ is contemplated in all this as personal, rather than doctrinal; as of the heart, rather than the intellect; as of faith, rather than of fancy. For what more evident exhibition can there be of a direct approach to Christ; what more solemn invocation of his name; what stronger proof of personal regard and devotion to the Messiah, than the simple profession of belief and trust in Him, in his true character, as the Son of God, accompanied by an humble self-denying obedience? How wonderful this confession!-simple in its beauty; beautiful in its simplicity; grand in its comprehensiveness; noble in its unity; awful in its complex relations! How appropriate that this good confession for which Jesus himself died, should be made to sinners the formula of salvation and of life! And is it at the moment, when the penitent, to whom the inspired oracles have preached Jesus, is renouncing the world and vowing allegiance to him before the assembled multitude, with the image of Christ in his heart and his name upon his lips, that the zealot of partyism shall say of the Redeemer, with the Jews of old, Away with him! Away with him! Give place to bodies of divinity! to creeds! to the doctrines of the true church! to the essential points of faith set forth in the estab.. lished standard! Surely if Jesus is to be thus replaced; if the Lord is to be thus crucified afresh, they who love him will prefer to accompany him to the cross, rather than take part with the priests and elders of a doctrinal and traditional orthodoxy, in rejecting him. It was the crime and the condemnation of the Jews that they refused to receive Jesus as the Son of God. Is it possible that the crime of partyism is the same? Is it a doctrinal, a traditional, a hypothetical, a theoretical Messiah that is in both cases desired and honored to the rejection of the true one? Is it selfish and sectarian distinction . that is sought, rather than the humility and simplicity that is in Christ? Is it system and form, and pride of opinion, that have usurped the homage due to an ever-living Lord and Redeemer? And if not, where is it that we shall find set forth in its true character, amongst all the formulas and so called confessions of faith, that simple, scriptural, and direct personal acknowledgment of Christ which may be truly and emphatically termed the Christian confession? Where is it that we shall find a party that is called by his name alone, and receives him alone as its lawgiver-its prophet, priest, and king? Alas! for the infatuation of the religious world, that it suffers itself to be deluded by a show of wisdom to mistake
opinionism for faith, and doctrinism for Christism; and to regard the simple, direct, and complete confession made by the original converts to Christianity as vague, insufficient, and nugatory!
It has been so much the custom to impress upon the minds of Protestants, from their very infancy, that adhesion to a particular set of doctrines is indispensable to salvation, that they seem to have no idea whatever of a direct and personal reliance upon Christ, or that such a reliance can be the true test of faith, and the real bond of Christian union. Before such a union can be effected, it is easy to perceive how great a revolution must be effected in the modes of feeling, thinking, and acting, which prevail in religious society; and how complete an abandonment of all existing systems must necessarily be involved in its accomplishment. The present time would seem to be propitious for such an effort. The age of virulent doctrinal dissension would seem to have in a good measure passed away. The more intelligent amongst the different parties begin to perceive that religious wars have been occasioned and fomented, for the most part, by ambitious bigots, for their own selfish ends; and that it is time to unite in a treaty of everlasting peace. This peace, the present reformation proposes to secure by a direct return to the ground originally occupied by Christianity-neglect. ing, and burying in oblivion, the various questions, debates, and strifes which have occurred during the intervening ages, and seeking in the confession of Christ himself, and in union to him alone, that unity and fraternity so much to be desired amongst his people. R.R.
PRIDE AND HUMILITY. "I NEVER yet found pride in a noble nature, nor humility in an unworthy mind. Of all trees I observe that God has chosen the vine, a low plant that creeps upon the helpful wall; of all beasts, the soft and patient lamb; of all fowls, the mild and guileless dove. When God appeared to Moses, it was not in the lofty cedar, nor the spreading palm; but a bush, an humble, slender, abject bush-as if he would, by these selections, check the conceited arrogance of man. Nothing produceth love like humility-nothing hate, like
PITTSBURG, January 4, 1848. Beloved Brother--Is there not beauty of thought in the above extract, as well as sentiment quite scriptural? I would tlrat the sentiment were engraved on every mind. When will the world learn that “God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace to the humble"? Until then, happiness is but a dream. Very truly yours in the Lord,
CHAS. D. HURLBUTT.