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Observer, Dec. 1, '75.

McIntosh has not named. Our final conclusion is that the passage in question is authentic in all its details, and that there is no reason to doubt that it was written by the same hand which indited the preceding parts of the narrative. The objections which have been raised against it are better calculated to shake our confidence in Biblical criticism than in the genuineness of this inestimable portion of the Word of God.

Until Mr. M. can advance counter evidence of an earlier date, and adduce more cogent arguments against than we have given for the authenticity and genuineness of Mark xvi. 16, we need not, my brethren, fear to sound out in the hearing of our fellow-men the commission of our Lord Jesus, "Go ye into all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is immersed shall be saved, but he that believeth not shall be condemned.” If Mr. M. is not satisfied with the evidence given, soon as he shows that he has got his lever under our pile we shall be there. The evidence and arguments are condensed from McGarvey's recently published Commentary on Matt. and Mark, copies of which may be had from the editor of the E. 0. This much for “the one passage on which the Disciples have founded so much.” If needed, there's more to follow."

C. ABERCROMBIE.

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BAPTISM INTO CHRIST. WHEN Paul (Rom. vi.) meets the cavil: “Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound'?” he asserts the negative in the question : “How shall we who have died by sin live any longer therein ?" Then, in order to exhibit, in the most pointed manner, the real position of believers to sin and death as well as to life and righteousness, he at once directly appeals, not to their doctrinal professions, not to their faith or to their repentance, or to their religious experience, but to their BAPTISM. It is altogether noteworthy, that, in the midst of a discussion designed to show the superiority of grace to law, the apostle makes this striking reference to baptism, which modern theologasters regard as itself a work of law, while Paul here adduces it as a direct evidence of the efficacy of grace ! “ Know ye not," says he,“ that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death?" A baptism into Christ, then, was, with Paul, a baptism into that very sacrificial death through which alone grace could "reign through righteousness unto eternal life." It is this baptism—this expressive symbol—this divinely appointed means of grace, so depreciated and neglected in the modern profession of Christianity, that is thus here Paul's decisive argument in proof of the complete transition of the believer from a state of sin and death, to life and righteousness in Christ. “We are buried with Him," says he, “ by baptism into death, that like as Christ was raised up

from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.” Had it been left to modern self-called “ Evangelicalism" to dictate the epistle to the Romans, such a reference as this to baptism could not possibly have found either thought or utterance; nor, indeed, could the most fanciful spiritualizer among Doctors of Divinity, have derived from the modern perversion of

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the institution—the childish ceremony of sprinkling, that striking symbolization of a death to sin and a resurrection to life, by which this reference to baptism is rendered so significant and appropriate.

To those who have been happily freed from the trammels of sectarian systems, and who enjoy the inestimable privilege of receiving the truth directly from God's Word, nothing can seem more pitiable than the concessions and protests wrung, by the force of evidence, from individuals here and there in sectdom, in regard to these corruptions, while at the same time their church relations compel them to practice and maintain them. The learned Episcopalian, Whitby, in his commentary, thus speaks upon the passage before us: “It being so expressly declared here and Coloss. ii. 12, that we are buried with Christ in baptism' by being buried under water; and the argument to oblige us to a conformity to His death, by dying to sin, being taking thence, and this immersion being religiously observed by all Christians for thirteen centuries, and approved by our church, and the change of it into sprinkling, even without any allowance from the Author of the institution, or license from any council of the church, being that which the Romanist still urgeth to justify his refusal of the cup to the laity,* it were to be wished that this custom might be again of general use, and aspersion only permitted, as of old, in the case of the clinici or in present danger of death.” Thus, also, Tholuck (Lutheran): “Paul had said, that the rite of baptism, which takes place at the entrance into Christianity, manifests that it is the will of the Christian to conform spiritually to the death of Christ. The very obvious idea hereupon occurs to him that the baptismal symbol itself may be regarded as a figure of the death of Christ, and accordingly he in this verse (4) represents the Christian undergoing baptism; as being in some sort' buried with his Saviour. Having proceeded thus far with the emblematical meaning of baptism and the death of Christ, it was natural for the apostle to assimilate, in like manner, the coming out of baptism and the resurrection of Christ, which, accordingly, he does. We find at another place the same symbolical allusion (Col. ii. 12). For the explanation of this figurative description of the baptismal rite, it is necessary to call the attention to the well-known circumstance that in the early days of the church, persons when baptized were first plunged below, and then raised above the water." Commentary on Rom. vi.

To the same purpose, Macknight (Presbyterian), in his view of the reasoning of this chapter : “ To show that the apostles who taught the doctrine of justification by faith without works, did not mean thereby to set their disciples free from the obligations of morality, he observed that in baptism, the right of initiation into the Christian Church, the baptized person is buried under the water, as one put to death with Christ on account of sin, in order that he might be stongly impressed with a sense of the malignity of sin and excited to hate it as the greatest of evils, ver. 3. Moreover in the same rite the baptized person, being raised up out of the water, after being washed, he is thereby taught that he shall be raised from the dead with Christ.”

• During the last month, in a letter to The Times, Cardinal Manning defends withholding the cup from the laity on the ground that the church had the same right to do so as to substitute Pouring for Immersion.

Ed.

Observer, Dec. 1, '75.

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Similar confessions might be abundantly quoted from the different religious parties, but they avail nothing with that presumptuous spirit of sectarianism which dares to modify Divine ordinances in order to adapt them to its own false theories. To deny the cup tothe “ laity; to change immersion into sprinkling; and to deny to baptism its true significance, are alike proofs of that arbitrary and self-willed spirit of partyism which seeks its own rather than the things that are Christ's.

From the Scriptures of truth, it is, however, evident that Baptism into Christ is, as to its form, a representation of a death to sin, a burial and a resurrection to life, and that it becomes necessarily as to its substance, an acquittal from past sins, a putting on of Christ, and an induction into all the blessings of the Gospel. From the position assigned to it and its own wonderful appropriateness it is termed elsewhere a birth--a being “ born of water," this expression in Jno. iii

. 5, being admitted in all the early Christian writers and in most modern creeds to refer to baptism. It is the emblematic manifestation of the birth of the believer into the kingdom of God. It is also, most suitably and correctly called a " washing," as in Eph. v. 26 ; in Titus iii. 5 (where it is again connected with regeneration), as well as in many other parts of Scripture. Figuratively, also, as is well known, the word is used to

. express an overwhelming.

Baptism into Christ is, then, a baptism into His death, representing a death by sin, a burial, a resurrection, a birth, a washing, and, in its metaphorical use, an overwhelming---which could not be, if it did not literally involve this result. Of this baptism, all these things may be truly affirmed, but no one of them fully represents it. It is not a burial alone, nor a resurrection alone, nor a birth alone, nor a washing alone. And it is just here that the great blunder of many religionists is manifest, in that they take a part of the meaning of this word for its entire meaning. Thus, they seek to substitute washing for baptism, as if washing expressed the whole sense of the term and was the sole result or purpose of the ordinance. It is one of its results only; and hence can not be truthfully made to represent the term baptism in its full sense. That baptism is a washing, is a part of the truth only; and when this is put for the whole truth, there is necessarily an error and a deception. Contemplated as a washing merely, it then at once ceases to be a burial, a resurrection, and a birth. These things, affirmed of it in scripture, are no longer applicable to it, and an attempt must therefore be made to explain them away by specious sophistry, or to justify the corruption of the ordinance upon the pretense that the church has power to modify it.

On the other hand, when the word baptism is properly understood and taken in its full and literal sense, all the things affirmed of the institution are at once applicable to it. It is still a washing, but it is more than this. It is a burial also—a resurrection—a birth. It is all that the Word of God in its various allusions to it declares it to be, and a perfect harmony and consistency is then found to exist respecting it throughout the sacred volume. We have thought it proper to say this much in regard to what may be termed the form or action implied by baptism, because when its form is broken up—when the action is changed, the institution is at once destroyed. It can no longer serve

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Observer, Dec. 1, '75.

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the purposes for which Christ appointed it, and it becomes a snare to the undiscerning, a burden to the conscientious, and a scandal to the church. In vain, while such a plain departure from primitive Christianity is tolerated, will men labour for Christian union, and seek to restore the primitive oneness of the Church of God. In vain will they attempt by depreciating this important and divinely appointed institution, or by criminal compromises of truth in regard to it, to establish unity among believers. The true “unity of the Spirit” demands that there shall be “one baptism,” upon the same authority that it requires

one faith ;" and until this “one baptism," embracing all that baptism was in the primitive church and all that it now is in the scriptures of truth, shall be cheerfully accepted by the religious community, no successful issue can be expected from schemes and plans of union, however cunningly devised and plausibly advocated. Nor, without this unity, ordained by the Spirit himself, can the Gospel ever be restored to its original power in the conversion of the world.

Chris. Stand.

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REASON AND RELIGION. REASON is “the faculty of the mind by which men draw conclusions, and determine right and truth.” Religion from“

Religion from Religo, with all its Latin family, imports a binding again, or tying fast that which was dissolved.” It involves also “ the performance of our duties of love and obedience towards God.” In the nature of things the one can never be opposed to the other. God is the originator of both. Both are inseparably connected in man's present state of existence as far as the knowledge of the Divine will is understood; and consequently that which is unreasonable is no part of religion.

But reason has her proper sphere in relation to religion. There may be many things in religion beyond the grasp of reason which are not unreasonable. This is in keeping with what is universally acknowledged in relation to natural things. We know the world exists; but we cannot tell how God brought it into being. We see that bread of the same sort will be converted into one kind of flesh when eaten by a dog, and into another kind when consumed by a man, but we cannot tell how this is effected. We see two plants growing on the same soil, receiving the same sunshine and the same genial showers, and yet the one extracts deadly poison and the other yields fruit delicious and healthful. Reason can never explain this, but it would be utter folly to deny the facts because we cannot account for them. It is the duty of Reason to ascertain whether the Book containing our religion came from God; and this point being settled in the affirmative it is her duty to receive all the Creator has revealed, whether comprehended or otherwise. Our physical powers have their limits, and why should it not be so with the powers of the mind ? Reason has sadly missed her way if she suppose anything else. For every thing we advance we ought to give a reason, but the highest reason that can be advanced is that God has declared it. The man who calls the veracity of his maker in question has lost all claim to reason. Admitting God to be the author of the Bible, reason and religion are not opposed, as may be seen by consulting Divine Revelation.

Observer, Dec. 1, '75.

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1. God Himself, although not obligated to His creatures, generally gives a reason for what He does. Adam having sinned, the Lord said to him, “ Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree of which I commanded thee, saying, thou shalt not eat of it; cursed is the ground for thy sake.” (Gen. iii. 17.) The wordsbecause” and “ for.” point out the reasons why God acted as He did. Israel having fallen into sin the Lord depicts their state and appeals to reason in order to effect a restoration. “ Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord : though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool. If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land: but if ye refuse and rebel, ye shall be devoured with the sword : for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.” (Isa. i. 18-20.) 2. Christ, in His teaching, constantly appealed to reason.

In proof of His Divine mission He referred the Jews to their own books, which they acknowledged as being from God. Thus the Saviour said, “Search the Scriptures : for in them ye think ye have eternal life; and they are they which testify of Me.” (John v. 39.) In relation to His miracles He said, “If I do not the works of My Father, believe Me not.” John) x. 37.) He did not come begging their belief without evidence, neither does He yet wish the consent of any man without proof. The miracles performed by the Saviour for three years and a half in their midst clearly demonstrated whence He came. This was perceived and acknowledged by Nicodemus. “Rabbi,” he says, we know that Thou art a teacher come from God : for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him.” (John iii. 2.) In conversation with His Disciples the Saviour said, “If I had not done among them the works which none other man did, they had not had sin : but now have they both seen and hated both Me and My Father.” (John xv. 24.) When examined before the high priest having been struck by an officer Jesus answered him “ If I have spoken evil, bear witness of the evil: but if well, why smitest thou Me." (John xviii. 23.) Thus, Jesus during the whole of His public ministry, constantly appealed to reason both in relation to Himself and others.

3. The Apostles also imitated their Lord in this particular and enjoined all Christians to do the same. Witness Paul's method in proclaiming the Gospel. “Now when they had passed through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica, where was a synagogue of the Jews: and Paul, as his manner was, went in unto them, and three Sabbath days reasoned with them out of the Scriptures, opening and alleging, that Christ must needs have suffered, and risen again from the dead; and that this Jesus, whom I preach unto you, is Christ.” (Acts xvii. 1-3.) In the presence of the Roman governor, Paul used the same weapon. “ And as he reasoned of righteousness, temperance, and judgment to come, Felix trembled, and answered, go thy way for this time; when I have a convenient season, I will call for thee.” (Acts xxiv. 25.) When exhorting his brethren in the faith he says, “Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.” (1 Thess. v. 21.) Peter also shows the reasonableness of the Christian system, and the kind of evidence on which it rests. “We,” says the Apostle,“ have not followed cunningly

. devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming

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