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point also, viz.-that formally, sensibly, and visibly the unbaptized is onpardoned, unjustified, unsanctified, &c. &c.
Again, you argue that no unbaptized person is legitimately a citizen of Christ's kingdom on this earth. Now can an illegitimate citizen, child, or subject have all the rights, immunities, and privileges of the Christian kingdom? You will have to lay aside your spectacles and look through a microscope to find the precise difference between us when all you have admitted is properly understood and duly considered.
But can we not find a more apposite and less ambiguous term than "actual” to denote that remission of sins which you conceive antecedent to baptism? Would not the word provisional or prospective more fitly qualify the remission which you ałtach to faith contrasted with that.which you attach to baptism? A person may be provisionally or conditionally pardoned the moment he believes in his heart, before he makes confession with his lips, unto salvation. Indeed your reasonings seem to imply this: for you agree with me, that should a person wilfully or knowingly neglect or despise baptism, no matter how great his faith, he could not be forgiven. The faith, then, which obtains with you à provisional remission is one that has in it the spirit of obedience to that divine institution: for without such a spirit of obedience no one could be pardoned. It then amounts to this, that when any one believes with his heart the gospel, he is forgiven provisionally; but not formally, or in fact, will he has been bap!ized. Whatever sense of remission the believer may have, rises from the surrender of himself made to the Lord in his own purpose when first he believes the gospel; for, in the absence of such a determination, what sense or feeling of pardon or peace could any one enjoy?
I have somewhere illustrated my conception of that remission of which you speak by a provisional or prospective pardon tendered from the Governor of a State to some one condemned to die. Pardon is offered on condition that the condemned solemnly sign a confession of his crime, and swear off from that intemperance which led to the perpetration of it. Believing the proclamarion, he signs, as soon as conveni: nt, the pledge offered to him; but before he has signed he feels the joys of pardon in his soul, rising from his purpose to submit to the full extent of the whole requisition. Still he is not formally or in fact pardoned till he has signed.
Now as to the happy tendency of this view of the matter, I think there can be but one opinion. It calls for ihat obedience of faith which at once severs the believer from the world. It makes the institutions of Heaven of some value, and it accords exactly to the letter with many passages in the New Testament of the same import with the two which you have cited in proof of the necessity of baptism to a formal remission of sin.
Now let me remonstrate for a moment against the popular method of applying that class of scriptures that speak of the benefits and blessings attached to faith. You have quoted one of them—viz. Joha v. 24. "He who heareth my doctrine and believeth him who sent me, hath eternal life, and shall not come into condemnation, but is passed from death to life." "To hear," may I first observe, is, in the Hebrew style, to obey. “Hear, and your soul shall live,” &c. "Hear him"obey him, &c. Then the verse would read, “He that obeyeth my (doctrine) teaching, and believeth him that sent me, hath eternal life, and is passed from death to life,' &c. When the whole is taken together in its proper meaning, how different from the isolated words “is passed from death to life,” taken speculatively. But this is not the point now before me. It is this:
Many things are said of faith as a principle involving other princi. ples and acts which do not apply to faith alone. Take, for example, the very text before us "Hath eternal life.” Now one would think, at the first impulse, that the simple believer has in actual possession eternal life. But is this the fact? No: he only has it in right, in the will or grant of God through Christ, just as a minor has in virtue of a parent's will an estate in right in his power, though not in his posses. sion.
Now if you will examine the numerous passages that speak of obtaining eternal life as not yet in possession of believers, you cannot but assent to this important observation. If believers have, says Paul; "their fruit to holiness,” then "the end shall be everlasting life.”-“The righteous shall go into eternal life.”_"To those who seek for glory, honor, and immortality, he will bestow eternal life," &c. &c. Certainly, then, the phrase "has eternal life," and the phrase “is passed from death to life," are to be understood in a very qualified sense, and not as the inseparable adjuncts of the naked principle of belief. But while this is necessary to a sound and safe interpretation and application of many passages of scripture on the subject of faith, it.does not materially affect any point in issie hetween you and me just now. Thousands, indeed, quote such passages as a sort of dispensation to waive any submission to baptism, or respect for it.
One word more on the most objectionable expression in your essay: You object to what you suppose to be my position in reference to baptism, in the following words, “I object to it as calculated to hold a believer in Christ still in the chains of guilt, and under condemnation and wrath.” It he neglect or despise it, he is positively so, yourself
being judge; but if he do not, either in fact or intention, neglect or despise it, he is no more held in condemnation than Paul was while waiting for the arrival of Ananias. My dear sir, why give way to fancy, and reason from it as from fact? There is no such consequence attached to my view at all. Every believer that refuses obedience or disdains Christ's institution is under condemnation; and the excellency of my view is, that it honestly and affectionately teaches him so. There is plenty of water in the country and of persons to bap'ize; and if there were not, God condemns no man for a physical impossibility, Command, then, my dear sir, as Ananias did, “lo arise and be baptized, and wash away their sins.' We will never err in following such preachers as Peter and Ananias. They were as discreet and prudent men as any us.
But the point of most importance in your four attitudes is that in which you seem, I regret 10 say, standing aloof, and looking a little sour withal. You seemingly rather scoul than smile at my views divine influence. In this point, as in others, when sifted to the bottom, you are almost, if not altogether, of the same views. Wherein do we differ on this subject?-rather, first, in how many respects do we agree?
1. We both believe that the Holy Spirit is a divine agent, as distinct from the Father as is the Son, and equally partaking of every divine attribute.
2. That he is in the Christian economy the author of all spiritual wisdom, knowledge, holiness, peace, and joy in the hearts of Chris. tians—that all spiritual gifts, ordinary or extraordinary, are from him.
3. That he inspired the Prophets, sustained their mission by his demonstrations, and consecrated all the saints.
4. We boih agree that the Word is not the Spirit, nor the Spirit the Word; but that as our word and spirit differ, so do God's Word and Spirit differ.
5. That he is promised only to believers, or the children of God, and not to wicked and unconverted men.
6. That he dwells in the hearts of the saints, and comforts them in all their trials.
7. That whatever influence he exerts upon the unconverted, he operates morally; and in no instance conflicts with moral agency.As to the modus operandi you are not dogmatical: neither am 1. On this subject you and I are as much agreed as on faith or repentance; for you do not allow of physical or any other influence incompatible with the moral agency of man. You may, indeed, call soine events outpourings of the Spirit; for you would seem to be still of the opinion
that there are at times grand effusions of the Spirit, similar to the Pentecostian or Cesarean outpourings. In this one point we may possibly differ.
To me it appears as though there was too much management and human excitement in these outpourings—too much rubbing of the hands—too much shouting, screaming, swooning, fainting, and falling under these boisterous and impassioned preachings which are sometimes denominated great revivals and ourpourings. These combataris för sectarian pre-eminence have got up a sort of flying artillery, minute-men, revivalists, great authors of outpourings, who make a business of getting up "great ingatherings."
I have been occasionally a spectator and auditor on some of these grand-occasions; and in spite of all my resolves to think favorably of the dramatis persona, and of the scenes by night and day, I am constrained to affirm my solemn conviction that it savors much more of the flesh than of ihe Spirit. Denouncing these oui pourings of human passion, and the exaggerated experiences, which I am happy to see you beginning to repudiate, and those abstract physical operations, for which many Baptists are so full of argument, brought upon me all this tremendous outcry, as if I had sinned against the Holy Spiri', ( den nied his person, office, work, and indwelling in the Christian heart.
My public prayers for divine aid, spiritual influence, for all the graces of the Spirit, one might have thought, in the absence of other evidence, would have put to silence the ignorance of foolish and prejudiced men. For with you I have always felt that, unless in expectation of divine influence promised, praying is, in a great measure, an. unmeaning ceremony. My greatest objection to popular Christianity at the meridian of Westminster, Philadelphia, and Richmond, has always been that it had too much of the spirit of man-ism and of the priesthood in itand too little of the Spirit of God in it.
But I have room for only another remark at present: You say that “Mr. C. has seemed to deny divine influence," &c.; "but whether he does now maintain this view I would not undertake to say." No doubt I once seemed to many, and still seem to some, to deny spiritual influence, because I denied their spiritual influence. I still do it. But 80 long as you argue not for an abstract physical influence, but for a spiritual and direct influence on the heart through the truth as the instrument of God's Spirit, you will find no just cause of dissent from my views: for as the body without the spirit is dead, so a religion without the Spirit of God in the heart, is dead also. Will you please request Mr. Sands to publish these two essays i
s in the Religious Herald?
I have yet a few words to say on your Pos!cript. Health and peace? Adieu!
THE BAPTISTS AGAINST THEMSELVES.-No. III.
"Out of your own mouths will I condemn you." I shall present the reader with a few more extracts from ANDREW Fuller-one of the highest authorities among Baptist writers. They are equally strong, clear, and decisive, as those already extracted:
“The first scriptural consolation received by the believer arises from the gospel, and not from the reflecting on the feeling of his own mind towards it.
"If the attention of the awakened sinner, instead of being directed to Christ, be turned inward, and his mind be employed in searching for the evidences of his conversion, the effect must, to say the least, be uncomfortable, and may be fatal, as it may lead him to make a righteousness of his religious feelings, instead of looking out of himself to the Saviour.
"Nor is this all:-If the attention of Christians be turned to their own feelings, instead of the things which should make them feel, it will reduce their religion to something vastly different from that of the primitive Christians. Such truths as the following were the life of their spirits.
“Jesus Christ came into the world to sare sinners.-Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures.-Remember that Jesus Christ, of the seed of David, was raised from he dead according to my gospel.We have a great High Prriest that has passed into the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God,”' &c. But by the turn of thought, and strain of conversation in many religious connexions of the present day, it would seem as if these had lost their influence. They are become «dry doe. trines,' and the parties must have something else. The elevation and depression of their hopes and fears, joys and sorrows, is, with them, the favorite theme. The conscquence is, as might be expected, a living to themselves rather than to Him that died and rose again; and a mind, either elated by unscriptural enj vyment, or depressed by miserable despondency Ti is not by thinking and talking of the sensations of hunger, but by feeding on the living, aliment, that we are filled and strengthened.
“Neither the company addressed by Peter or the Philippian Jailor were encouraged from any thing in the state of their own minds, though both were deeply impressed, but from the gospel only."
After reading these extracts, where, we ask, is the modern theory of conversion? They are entirely subversive of it?
We shall now adduce several testimonies on the importance and design of Christian baptism. We begin with
CARSON ON BAPTISM. The reputation of this work is well known. It is one of the ablest defences we have of immersion and adult baptism. It ranks high