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Intelligence of Churches, &c.

BELFAST.—Through the Divine favour public meeting in the Public Hall, he said I landed in Belfast the last day of August, farewell to the many friends he had made and returned safely to Whitehaven at the during his stay among us. Since Bro. end of September. We commenced out- Hay's departure Brn. Ellis and Hindle door meetings on the evening after my have worked together, spending considerarrival. Bro. Hurte joined us on the 4th able time in visiting, in the company of and continued till the 11th. The Orange Wigan brethren and that of Bro. Evans, Hall

, where the disciples meet, is not the who also did excellent service during a place to get the liberal-minded portion of stay of as many days as he could give the community into. We were encou- before going to Scotland. The three raged, however, by a few coming from the bretbren named have also shared with outside meetings, to whom Bro. Hurte each other the preaching of the Gospel, proclaimed the glad message of salvation. which has been kept up at the rate of During the week our souls were revived three nights per week until the present. by hearing five attentive hearers make the The services have now been transferred to good confession, and request to be bap- onr own Chapel, in which, for the pretized into Christ. We express our thanks sent, we are holding meetings four nights to our Baptist friends of Reget Street for per week, and trust to keep alive for some kindly lending their bath. We were glad time to come a movement which has to hear that seven, from different religious seemed to receive so largely of the Divine parties, were to be immersed the follow- blessing. We have now the privilege of ing evening, in the same place. There reporting, in addition to the numbers are five or six separate parties of immersed given last montb, the following increase, believers in Belfast, though, with the viz., thirty baptized, nineteen restored, exception of ourselves, baptism is seldom and one formerly baptized. mentioned in public teaching. Still bap- LIVERPOOL.-Since the Annual Meeting tisms are frequent, and there can be no we have had the joy of receiving into our doubt but that were an evangelist or two fellowship five who having confessed their stationed in Belfast for a year many would faith in the Lord Jesus were baptized be added to the saved. The brethren in into His name. These additions are the Belfast have to strive against great odds ; result of individnal labour for Christ at no one amongst them has time or much home and in the workshop. One brother aptness for public speaking. Neverthe employed in an engineering establishment less, in their own quiet way, they point in the town has by Christian example friends and neighbours to the truth. I and faithful teaching brought three of his have not much to say about myself, fellow-workmen to obey the truth, and between us we raised a storm in one there is prospect of still further good in quarter of Belfast which we hope will the same quarter; while another brother Hlow good to some. The united prayer recently added to us has induced a fellowof the brethren is, that the Lord will raise railway employé to accompany him in up labourers for Belfast who will teach his journey heavenward. Such results the honest hearted “ the way of God more are very encouraging, and should stimuperfectly." The disciples of Belfast ex. late all to increased iudividual effort to press their thanks to Bro. Tener for the win at least one eoul for Christ, then the interest he took in their case, and also to church will become a mighty power. the Evangelist Committee, and hope to

H. E. T. be visited earlier next summer that out- LINDAL.-Since the Annual Meeting door labour may be carried on through the new meeting house in Lindal has been the season.

G. SINCLAIR. opened. Over 300 took tea in the school WIGAN.—Since onr last report the work room. The meeting after tea in the chapel here has gone steadily on, increasing in was as large as could be. It was presided interest, and bearing fruit to an extent over by James Marsden, of Wigan, and that calls for reverent gratitude in all addressed by Brn. Ellis, Hindle, Coles, Christian hearts. Bro. Hay, of Iowa, and others. Brn. Coles and Hindle continued labouring with us until within remained over the next week. Four have a fortnight of his departure, and on the been added to the saved by baptism. A evening of Friday, the 24th ult., after a Sunday school is commenced, with about very pleasant tea meeting, followed by a thirty children, with expectation of in

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Some are enquiring as to the great fight” of affliction " lately from good old way, but others are hindered by deaths, removals, and separations, we are opposition now actively put forth by the cheered by three additions to our church State Church parson.

by immersion and by one restoration. NOTTINGHAM.—The editor of the E.O., We have pod hope of others, whose at the time of this writing, is spending a “ hearts the Lord hath opened.” fortnight in Nottingham, almost every

T COPLESTON. night being engaged with discourses in GREEN HILL LANE.—The glorious the Mechanics' Lecture Hall, Sherwood Gospel of blessed Jesus is prospering in Street Chapel, and places in the neigh- our midst. During the past month two bourhood, as Bulwell, Langley, Under- more have been added to us by immerwood. Good meetings so far, taking into sion.

W. H. consideration the almost continuous wet. ASPATRIA.—Having heard that a num.

LIVERSEDGE, YORKSHIRE.—It gives us ber of people had been baptized at a seapleasure to report that since the Annual bathing village, called Allonly, five miles Meeting two more have been added to from here. Bros. Cheyne and Barr, the the church here, by a confession of faith latter being here on a visit from Kirby, and immersion into the name of the with myself, decided to visit them, after Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. May they calling as many together as possible, we prove faithful unto death and receive the had preaching and conversation, which crown of life! We expect others shortly led to three sisters joyfully accepting the to follow their example.

teaching of the Lord, as to the design of WM. KERSHAW. baptism. They desired us to visit them LONDON, Oct. 13.—We have just had again, which we did, and attended to the two social tea meetings, one at College Apostles' doctrine, the fellowship, the Street Chapel, Chelsea (Sept. 30), and breaking of the bread, and the prayers. another at Hope Chapel, Kentish Town After preaching, we were gratified by two (Oct. 13), the latter being their fourth females requesting to be baptized into anniversary.

Mutual invitations were Christ, which was done in the river, before given and gladly accepted, the brethren a number of people, by Bro. Collin, of from both churches fully intermingling, Carlisle. The example is worthy of imiand by hearty fellowship, stirring ad- tation, they boldly confessed the Saviour, dresses, sweet singing, and fervent prayer, fearless of consequences. I again visited at both gatherings, making the happy Allonly and met with a young man, who re-union an earnest of heaven. All the had been baptized for some years, and London churches were well represented, Apollos like had been preaching the and are now rejoicing in the blessedness of Gospel. When reasoned with he gave Christian union which promises so much himself to the cause of the Lord, and is for the Southern Division. Our local now with us. Again we visited them, Evangelist Committee is bracing itself for and after Bro. Cheyne had preached the the arduous task before it, the difficulties Gospel, an aged female, nearly 70, conof evangelization here being of a very fessed the Saviour, and desired to be peculiar and trying kind, as all agree buried with Him in baptism, which was who know London. Brethren, pray for done on Wednesday last in the public us, that the Word may have free course baths. We have the satisfaction of knowand be glorified through us in our districts ing that they are all rejoicing in the of the metropolis of the world. I may truth.

JOAN FERGUSON. also say that our dear Bro. Jennings, of SPITTAL.–We have been favoured with New Zealand, spent several weeks here a visit from our respected Bro. Abercromin waiting for his vessel, and during that bie during the month of September, and time confirmed the churches, and preached have been much refreshed by his labours. to the unsaved. We are thankful, and We would have been glad to have had will long remember his visit, and now large additions to report, but the Head of wish him “God speed!” in his new field | the church has seen fit to withhold these of labour, which he has travelled so far for the present, but since our Bro. left us and struggled so nobly to fit himself for. we have had our hearts cheered by one He sailed (Sept. 28) in the " Margaret having been “delivered from the power Galbraith," of P. Henderson and Co., of darkness and translated into the kingand expects, with fair winds, to land in dom of God's dear Son, in whom we have Dunedin about Christmas.

redemption through His blood, even the

JOSEPH ADAM. forgiveness of sins.” The great Teacher WREXHAM.—Having passed through a says, “Likewise I say unto you, there is

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joy in the presence of the angels of God | Mr. Young's 'intention to affiliate himself over one sinner that repenteth.” J. R. 'or the church with any other body, but to

AUCKLAND.—We had four immersions stand alone ; while at the same time they last evening, making twelve in'all during will sympathise with, and willingly “coBro. Lewis's stay with us. He 'goes to operate with'all churches, acknowledging the Thames next week for a month or so. the Lord Jesus Christ as the Son of God,

T. BAILEY. the Saviour of the world, and man's DUNEDIN.-The 'cause here progresses infallible Teacher, from whose words their favourably. We have established 'a lies 'no "right of appeal.” We know not missionary association, and expect ere how near this step brings then 'to New long to be in a position to procure another Testament faith and order, but 'evidently evangelist, and place him in some large the change is in the right direction. hall in the city, if we can manage this I am confident we shall make headway.

Obituary. We hare a fine Sunday school with about 260 names on the roll, and a branch MRS. WALKER.- At Viewforth House, school at the end of the town with 60 on Grangemouth, on the 7th September, in the roll, which was established about six the eighty-third year of her age, Mrs. months since, both schools are doing well Captn. Andw. Walker, calmly fell asleep and have a good staff of teachers.

in Jesus, beloved by all who knew her, A. R. HISLOP.

being cheerful, frank, and affectionate to PRUSSIA. · Recently the Baptists in the last ; throughout a long life manifestPrussia, have secured an official recogni- ing her faith by her works. Early brought tion. A law was proposed by the

Govern- to the Saviour, and being of an inquiring ment, which gives to the Baptist Churches turn of mind, she saw it her duty" to the right of incorporation. It was dis- unite with a few believers' to break' bread cussed very fully, but it was finally passed on Lord's-day, and in 1842, she was led by both Houses. One of the speakers in from the study of the Word to obey the the Upper House said: “There is pro- Lord, in baptism, and united with the bably no one among us who does not church here, since which she has never wish that to our poor people our people's been absent from the Lord's table, unless church may be preserved. It is impos- duty called, or trouble prevented. She sible to preserve a people's church without always 'took a 'lively interest in the infant baptism. The danger is not small, cause of truth and righteousness. On the when on the one side you take away the night before her departure, when the xiv. obligation to infant baptism, and on the chapter of John was being read, she said other side bestow privileges on a society in her usual emphatic way,

*** Precious, which contemns infant baptism." Not precious, promises !” none of us thinkicg withstanding, however, the opposition that it was her last night on earth. At six was made, and notwithstanding the danger o'clock next morning her redeemed spirit to the State-Church from the granting of departed to be with Christ. W. W. privileges to the Baptists, who always have DEATH OF JOSEPH BARKER, ÎN NÉBopposed infant baptism, the law was RASKA.—A name familiar to Yorkshirefinally carried in both Houses. It was men of two generations is now only a proposed by the Government, and was memory. A correspondent, resident at carried successfully through. According Lincoln, Nebraska, writes that Joseph to the National Baptist, the Rev. G. W. Barker died in Nebraska, on September Lehmann, pastor of the Baptist Church 15th. In 1856 he went to Nebraska with in Berlin, said to Dr. George W. Ander his family, and selected a farm a few son, after the law was adopted, that he miles west of Omaha. Subsequently he was not aware of the design of the Govern- came back to England, and worked in ment to propose it, until he saw a notice connection with the Methodist church. of its presentation, in the daily papers. But he retained his Nebraska farm; and This is another step in advance for the returning thither his last days were spent Baptists of Germany.

in retirement. He died on his farm. Mr. SWINDON.—The Unitarian Herald re- Barker was honoured in his Nebraska ports that Mr. F. Young, for the past home. It was remeni bered of him that fourteen years minister of the “ Free he had taken an active and useful part in Christian Church,”'New Swindon, Wilts, the abolition struggle. Mr. "Barker was has withdrawn his name from the list of a Yorkshireman, having been born' at Unitarian ministers, and his church from Bramley, near Leeds.— Nottingham Erthe list of Unitarian churches. It is not press.

Observer, Dec. 1, '75.

THE COMMISSION AS GIVEN IN MARK XVI.

IS IT GENUINE ? *

)

I HAVE stood up in defence of this passage on a former occasion, and I feel called upon to buckle on the armour, to do battle for it again. An Edinburgh gentleman hath said, “The one passage (Mark xvi. 16) on which the Disciples have founded so much, is now clearly beyond doubt recognised by every modern critic of any eminence, I may add, almost by every Biblical scholar of any research, to be an uninspired addition to Mark's Gospel.” In view of these sweeping assertions, to attempt to defend the passage in question may be considered on my part as a fool-hardy effort. I run the risk of being classified with those who are not “scholars," because he says “almost every Biblical scholar of any research” has refused to accept it as an inspired passage. My nervousness is however somewhat relieved by that lucky lupsus pennae, “almost.” Under cover of that word I may show myself and at least try to feel that I am one of the exceptions pointed out by this almost. But appearing on the field, Mr. M. may enquire, who are you? I have not found you classified among Biblical scholars of eminence, with whom I am familiar, and whose works I have critically consulted. My reply is. It does not matter who I am, or what my place on paper may be, I am here to throw a spear in defence of Mark xvi. 16, and you would do well to see to your shield. Although my spear is a borrowed one, you shall be enabled to judge whether it has point, or the arm strength that has it now poised for the throw.

Reader, please attend! A difference of opinion has long existed among critics as to the genuineness of the last twelve verses of Mark. Let it be observed that it is not the authenticity of the passage, by which is meant the historical correctness of its representations, that is called in question, but only its genuineness as a part of Mark's original manuscript. All the historical statements of the passage are known to be true, because they are found in the other Gospels or in Acts. This is conceded, even by Alford, who is one of the most confident writers in opposition to the genuineness of the passage.

It seems to me to be an authentic fragment placed as a completion of the Gospel in very early times, by whom written must of course remain wholly uncertain, but coming to us with very weighty sanction, and having strong claims on our reception and reverence.” Is Dean Alford a Biblical scholar of any research ? The authenticity of the passage being conceded, the question of its genuineness might be waived without detracting from its authority or credibility ; for a time-piece of history, attached to Mark's book, is not less valuable or authoritative because some other person than Mark may have been the author.

The passage is omitted from a few of the manuscripts, and among these are the Vatican, and the Sinaitic, the oldest and best manuscripts extant. Jerome, and some writers of the fourth century are also quoted as affirming that the passage was wanting in most of the Greek copies of their day. On the other hand, the passage is found in nearly all of the other ancient manuscripts, including the Alexandrine, which stands

He says,

66

• In reply to H. MoIntosh, reprinted in November E. O., from The Baptist.

Observer, Dec. 1, '75.

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next to the Vatican, in accuracy. It was also cited by Irenæus and Tatian, of the second century, and by Hyppolytus and Dyonisius of Alexandria, of the third century, all of whom lived before the earliest existing manuscript was written, and from one hundred to two hundred years earlier than Jerome. The words of Irenæus show that it was not only a part of the book of Mark in his day, but that Mark was regarded as the author of it. He says, “ But Mark in the end of his Gospel says, And the Lord Jesus, after that He had spoken to them was received up into heaven, and sat at the right hand of God.” Dr. George Campbell says, referring to this testimony, all the manuscripts that want the 19th verse, want all the last 12 verses of the chapter, and all the manuscripts that have the 19th verse have all the 12 verses called in question. The manuscript that Irenæus quoted from had the 19th verse, so, unless it can be shown to be an exception, it had all the 12 verses.

[I have quoted from memory. The reader may refer if he please to George Campbell's Notes on the New Testament, where he will find the testimony which I have in substance given). From these writers, Irenæus, Tatian, Hyppolytus, and Dyonisius, then, it appears that the passage was a part of some copies of Mark's Gospel, at least as early as the second century. The preponderance of evidence from this source is in favour of the passage. The evidence from ancient versions is altogether in favour of the disputed passage ; for all the ancient versions contain it, and thereby testify that it was in the Greek copies from which they were translated. If at this time the Greek copies did not generally contain it, that all the versions were made from those that did contain it, is at least a very remarkable circumstance. Among these versions are the Peshito Syriac, the Old Italic, the Sahidic, and the Coptic; all of which were in existence earlier than the Sinaitic and Vatican manuscripts, and before the time of Jerome.

The relative probability of the passage having been written by Mark, or added by a later hand, is next to be considered.

Those who adopt the latter hypothesis think that the addition was made on account of the want of completeness apparent in closing the narrative with the 8th verse of this chapter. But while this consideration would account for the addition of the passage, it leaves unaccounted for the fact that Mark cut short his narrative so abruptly. If we suppose that the passage was written by Mark, its absence from some copies is at once accounted for, by considering the many accidents by which the last leaf of a manuscript may be lost. Alford admits the force of this consideration and says, “ The most probable supposition is that the last leaf of the original Gospel was torn away.”. This remark, intended by him to account for the incompleteness which suggested the addition of the passage in question, we think more satisfactorily accounts for the absence of this passage from those manuscripts which have it not; for one manuscript with the last leaf torn away or worn away might be used as a copy, and might have become the prolific mother of an immense brood of manuscripts lacking the portion lost. As regards the external evidence Dr. Davidson says, “ On the whole the external arguments, in favour of the passage, outweigh those on the other side.” We believe that in this conclusion all the critics concur, excepting of course those Biblical critics of eminence and research whom Mr.

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