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born righteousness, and of spiritual wickedness, were more rife and inten among us, than in any other body of Christians.
What, then, is our duty under these circumstances? What but tht we should " contend the more earnestly for the faith once delivered to the saints ?” And this by God's grace we will do. We will not only seek to counteract those errors, and to check those evil tendencies, but we will endeavour to build up our fellow disciples in the opposite truth, and to enlarge the sphere of their Christian attainments. We will especially, by God's blessing, take our stand by the doctrines of grace, and maintain the ordinances both in their individual integrity, and in that order in which they have been appointed by the great Head of the church. The principle of adapting the constitution and discipline of our churches to the prevailing errors and taste of the day, we hold in utter detestation, and we cannot but regard those who act upon it, as being on the high road to Rome. Would it not be well, if they would devote a little of that zeal which they so liberally expend on Romish errors and practices, in searching out their own chambers of imagery, and in renouncing whatever there is among themselves for which they have neither precept nor precedent in the New Testament?
In looking forward.to another year, the editors of the Primitive Church Magazine once more appeal to their friends for their earnest, individual, and united support. They feel truly thankful for the increased and widening interest which Christians and Christian ministers at home and abroad manifest in their labours. The increased number and value of the contributions of interesting facts and edifying thoughts-calls for our special acknowledgement; and if in every instance we are not able to avail ourselves of the communications of our friends, or their insertion is delayed beyond the time expected, we feel assured they will exercise towards us a measure of patience and forbearance. One thing we do very earnestly desire, it is that our friends would everywhere just now put their shoulder to the wheel, and see if they cannot push forward our sale. The past year, we believe, shews a gradual and steady increase. But then it is too gradual. Now let our friends kindly put out their strength, and let us see if we cannot commence the year 1852 with a sale of at least 1500 copies. This would extend the field of our usefulness, infuse into our minds new energy, and enable us to meet the oft-expressed wishes of our friends as regards the reduction of price. We would also take this opportunity of commending the Strict Baptist Society, and the Baptist Tract Society to the earnest and liberal support of the churches. But more about these when we next meet. Till then we wish our readers health, soulprosperity, and a happy new year.
ROBERT WILLIAM OVERBURY,
HENRY JOHN BETTS. November 26, 1850.
PRIMITIVE CHURCH MAGAZINE.
No. 85. — JANUARY, 1851.
Essay and Exposition.
BIBLICAL CRITICISMS. "I myself should be a cast-away:" 1 Cor. IX. 27; 2 CoR. XIII. 5. The disciples of Arminius assert, that disturb the peace of the children of God, even the apostle Paul was not sure of but has done so in many instances; and his salvation; for that although he did has, moreover, furnished enemies with indeed exclaim in a moment of exulta- a weapon apparently drawn from the tion, “ Henceforth there is laid up for truth-itself, it demands the most stern, me a crown of righteousness, which the most uncompromising contradiction. Lord, the righteous judge, shall give To enable, then, the English reader me at that day,” yet, at another time, to be a competent umpire between the he acknowledged he was afraid, “lest apostle and his translators, and to satisfy that by any means, when he had his own mind without the shadow of preached to others, he himself should be hesitency, I will ask his attention to a cast-away."
another passage in which the same word, If this were true, then on what prin- here incorrectly rendered “cast-away, ciple of interpretation could we main is there with equal impropriety transtain the inspiration of the Scriptures of lated “reprobate.” I refer to 2 Cor. the New Testament? If one and the xiii. 5, for here, providentially, the consame author may contradict himself on text fixes unquestionably the true interone and the same subject, to which of pretation. his assertions are we to attach credence, False teachers had crept into the and which is to be rejected? Where is church at Corinth. For self-interested the weary
soul to, rest, if the very pro- motives they had set up an authority of mises of God, the revelation of his their own, and had succeeded in drawmercy, the love of Christ, the work of ing away disciples after them. They atonement, the transforming and con- had just hazarded a stroke of worldly straining influences of the Holy Spirit, policy, viz., that of denying the apostlemay all be just as unstable as the sliding ship of Paul, thus endeavouring to resand? But the apostle Paul never ut- duce his authority to a level with theirs. tered the expression which our trans- If they were not apostles, neither was lators have attributed to him. It is a he, therefore each was on a par. They gross mistranslation !
had proceeded further, they had put the This is an unqualified assertion, but question to the test, they had demanded as the error has not one mitigating "a proof” of his apostleship.—“Since quality, and is not only calculated to ye seek a proof of Christ speaking in
VOL. VIII.-NO. LXXXV.
me.” In the former epistle he had re- | laboured gratuitously. He owed service buked their irregularities, corrected their to no man, yet he made himself servant abuses, commanded the excommunica- to all. To the Jew he became as a Jew, tion of a certain offender, and had as- -to them that were under law as under serted his apostleship, declaring that law,—to them that were without law his commission and instructions had as without law. A startling confession, been derived directly from the Lord which even before he finished the senhimself, and not through the interven- tence, he turned aside to guard by the tion of any man; so that when, after parenthetic statement, that he was “not fourteen years' exercise of his ministry, without law to God, but under law to he had gone to Jerusalem, and had Christ.” And then referring his Coconferred with the other apostles, they rinthian readers to the well-known cuscould add nothing to him. Of this, toms and laws, and the self-denial, distherefore, the false teachers and their cipline, and training of the candidates party demanded
a proof;" and on this for the crown in the Olympic games, word rests the whole of our criticism, (vv. 24, 25,) he adds, they do it to for this is the key to the false transla- obtain a corruptible crown, but we an tion.
incorruptible; I therefore so run, not as Paul was now on his trial. Proof at random; 'I box, not as one who was demanded, and proof should be thumps the empty air; I subdue my given, but what proof would he prefer body and make it my servant, lest that, giving? He might come unto them having preached to others 'I myself with the rod, or else in love. He should be without proof, — proof of might “have used sharpness, according what? That he himself was under, or to the power which the Lord had given in law to Christ; that what he preached him to edification, and not to destruc- he practised ; that his works justified tion;" but, preferring to come in love, his faith, and that he showed his faith he tells them, that to spare them he had by his works. Such, I am fully connot yet come to Corinth, and refers vinced, both from the ordinary meaning them to themselves as the very tri- of the Greek words, and from the conumphant proof of that after which they text, is the true, simple, and scriptural inquired. “Be proof to yourselves. meaning of the passage. Are you in the faith? What! know ye W. I. MORGAN, A. M., M.D. not your own selves whether Christ is
Turley House, in you, except ye be without the proof; near Bradford, Wilts., but I trust ye shall know that we are
Nov. 10, 1850. not without proof. Now I pray God that ye do no evil, not that we should appear proved, but that ye should do THE FELICITY OF THE DIVINE CHOICE. that which is honest, though we be as
“ And other sheep I have which are not without proof.” Without proof, then,
of this fold; them also I must bring, and not " reprobates," is the true trans
and they shall hear my voice; and lation of this passage, and we shall now
there shall be one fold, and one shepsee that without proof, and not " a cast
herd :" John X. 16. away," is the true rendering of the same Greek word in 1 Cor. ix. 27. “ KNOWN unto God are all his works,
The apostle had just made known to from the beginning of the world.” How the Corinthians conduct on his part delightful to the humble believer is which arose from the very overflowings this assurance, how clearly it proves of his zeal and love ; but which, with that there is nothing like chance in the out being guarded by him from the divine mind throughout the whole creapossibility of being misapprehended, had tion; and no circumstance is so minute passed then, and at all future periods, as in our affairs as to be overlooked, or to an apostolical sanction of the damnable escape his complete cognizance. While doctrine of, “Let us do evil that good even the very hairs upon our heads (as may come.
He had a right to receive Jesus himself assures us) are “all numof the carnal things of those to whom bered," so that not a single hair is lost he ministered spiritual things, yet he by us at any time without the divine regard, we may be most perfectly as- derfully brought to himself in the sured that nothing can at any time various ages preceding his mysterious transpire in our experience, for good or incarnation. for evil
, for pleasure or for pain, over Again, during his personal ministry, which our gracious heavenly Father is though he permitted himself to be rejectnot most constantly watchful: and if this ed by the majority of his own nation, he consideration were more constantly and by his grace effectuallycalled some from vividly present to our view, (as it ought among themselves to the knowledge to be) it would not fail to excite in us of himself; and they were as perfectly an undeviatingly devout circumspection; satisfied in attaching themselves to him, and we should feel a most perfect satis- as was Nathaniel, when, by intimating faction with, and resignation to, the dis- to him that he had seen him under the pensations of the divine providence, fig tree, Christ most affectionately, conwhatever might appear to be their mys- vinced' him of his omniscience, (John tery, or even their painfulness. i. 48.) In the connexion of the pas
The rebellion of the apostate angels sage at the head of this paper, having was no surprise to the all-pervading described his people as his sheep, who intelligence against whom they revolted; became such by the offering of his life in and, like the wilful transgression of our their behalf, by his call to them indioriginal parents, it was, without doubt, vidually as by name, and by his supermitted in infinite wisdom, and for perintendence of their Christian course the more complete display of the divine he adds, for the special consolation of glory. But, blessed be God, while the Gentile sinners throughout the world, angels that sinned were passed over “And other sheep I have, which are in righteous sovereignty, Christ, as a not of this fold: them also I must bring, Saviour, was immediately revealed to and they shall hear my voice; and there Adam and Eve, and they were led by shall be one fold and one shepherd.” himself to present those sacrifices where- Christ had indeed a large additional by his death for their redemption was company of sheep among the Jews at prefigured. They were doubtless clothed this very period, whom he intended to by him with the skins of the slain ani- bring into his fold by the outpouring mals,to shew how they might still appear of the Holy Spirit after his glorification ; before God acceptably with the robe of and he had, no doubt, Saul of Tarsus in his righteousness, the garment of his his view, and multitudes more of the salvation.
Jews who had never known him in the Abel, beyond all question, presented days of his flesh, or were now his most his offering, by the divine leading, in determined, ignorant enemies; but in faith of Christ's atonement : Heb. xi. 4, these most precious words of our Reand Christ was the Lamb of God, slain, deemer, we have ourselves a most parin figure, to take away our sins“ from ticular interest, for he here most clearly the foundation of the world;" Rev. xiii. refers to those who should be converts 8. Enoch even predicted the last jụdg- to himself from among the Gentile nament by him : Jude, v. 14. Abraham tions, who were the gift of his Father, “ beheld his day and was glad :" John and whom, in the purposes of his mercy, viii. 56. Moses“ esteemed his reproach he was determined to bring to himself, beyond all the treasures of Egypt:" to participate in his present and everHeb. xi. 26. Job was raised by faith in lasting salvation. him over all his overwhelming afflictions: Yes, here hope rises most delightfully Job xix. 25. And David, throughout his to ourselves; and the words of our songs, assisted the church in the cele- Redeemer are not the testimony of a bration of his sorrows and his joys; merely general, but of a most particular while Isaiah, Daniel, and all the other and certain mercy, to parties now known prophets, in one way or another, gave to himself, and determinately fixed upon * witness to him, that through his name to be the participants of his sovereign whosoever believeth in him shall re- and distinguishing grace. They from ceive remission of sins," Acts x. 43: and eternity have been his sheep in the thus the Holy Spirit glorified Christ, divine purpose, and are to be made such and numerous sinners were most won- manifestly in his own blessed time, through their renewal by the Holy various, but it is commonly through Spirit after his own most blessed image. the preaching of the gospel, which is He, without doubt, had in his eye specially appointed with this intention; Cornelius and Lydia, the Philippian Mark xvi. 15: “It hath pleased God Jailor, and the much people in Co- by the foolishness of preaching, to save rinth," the citizens of Rome called them that believe;" 1 Cor. i. 21. And afterwards “to be saints,” the elect as this is attended with counsels, inviEphesians who were then “dead in tres- tations, promises, warnings, and threatpasses and sins," and the chosen Philip- enings, according to the Scriptures, the pians, Colossians, Thessalonians, &c.&c., Holy Spirit, according to Christ's own and to come still later down through all promise, by this divine method brings the intervening ages to our own times, believers to salvation, and leaves all undisciples of Christ that inhabit our own believers without excuse : John xvi. 8– most favoured Britain and Ireland,“ the 11; 2 Thes. i. 7–10. isles of the Gentiles,” and “the utter- And what a felicity will it be, most parts of the earth,” together with when all the sheep of Christ, both of a multitude more who are now united Jewish and Gentile extraction, shall be with “the spirits of just men made brought together by Christ into the perfect,” and others of excellent Chris- same fold, to be exposed no more for tians who still survive; and multi- ever to any of the enemies by whom they tudes yet unborn, who shall be brought have been here surrounded and harassed. successively into fellowship with Christ No enemy can enter heaven, and Christ until the final consummation of all will there completely obtain the desire things.
so forcibly expressed in his intercessory And may not some, at least, of our prayer, Father, I will that they also selves also, through the abounding whom thou hast given me be with me mercy of our Redeemer, be permitted to where I am, that they may behold my lay a humble claim to be admitted glory which thou hast given me, for amongst his Gentile sheep? Paul not thou lovedst me before the foundation of only rejoiced to proclaim that Jesus the world :" John xvii. 24. This will Christ came into the world to save the indeed most abundantly make up for all chief of sinners, but to believe that sal- the sorrows of this present chequered vation by Jesus, belonged to himself : wilderness state; and if we are now one "who loved me, and gave himself for with Christ by a lively obedient faith, me:" he could say, “I know whom I we need not doubt the completion of his have believed, &c.;" and if we can grace, by the perfect and never ending truly say the same, we may adopt the communication of his glory, according same soul exhilarating language, for to his own most faithful assurance, the sheep of Christ, without exception, "Where I am, there shall also my serhave had “grace given to them in vants be:" John xii. 26. 6. Because I *him before the world began;" 2. Tim. live, ye shall live also:” John xiv. 19. i. 9. Nor may any poor sinner justly
STEPHEN Davis. consider himself lost on account of his 24, Trafalgar Square, ignorance of his divine election, if he Peckham. is looking with singleness of heart and real sincerity to Jesus, for this is his own most blessed assurance, “him that “ BE NOT CONFORMED TO THIS cometh to me, I will in no wise cast
WORLD." out,” John vi. 37. But let none who delight in unrighteousness presume
THERE is danger that you may be. upon the divine election, for all Christ's There cling to our natures elements of sheep are chosen in him “ that they depravity, even after our introduction should be holy,”. (Eph. i. 4,) and it is into the kingdom of Christ, by which the unalterable decree of heaven, that this world may draw us into affinity " without holiness no man shall see the with itself too close for eminent spiritLord;" Heb. xii. 14.
uality. The means by which the sheep of So peculiar and intimate are Christ are brought to himself, are relations to the world, that a too com