« ZurückWeiter »
JULY TO DECEMBER 1846.
ST. PAUL'S CHURCHYARD.
CHRISTIAN DISCIPLESHIP AND BAPTISM.* THERE is no rule in controversy more important than that which requires the subject for discussion to be, at the commencement, clearly stated and defined. Yet, though so evidently proper, it is often disregarded. By the introduction of topics altogether irrelevant, inquiries, comparatively simple, have been rendered inextricably complex; and differences of opinion, which would scarcely have ruffled the temper of the most irritable, if rightly understood, have become the common occasion of angry strife. The controversy between Congregationalists and Baptists presents many sad instances of the neglect of this rule. Much of its difficulty, and nearly all its bitterness, may be traced to the extraneous matter which has been improperly connected with the questions, to which the discussion should have been confined.
It therefore becomes all who engage in this controversy to keep steadily before their own minds, and the minds of those whom they address, the truths which both parties equally maintain, and the precise point at which they differ. They both hold all the great doctrines and moral precepts of the religion of Christ; and they observe exactly the same form of worship, and the same system of church fellowship and government. They are in perfect accordance concerning the essentials of real personal Christianity; and they form societies consisting exclusively of those who can be acknowledged as brethren in Christ. Neither will admit any authority in religion but that of the word of God; and in seeking to exhibit the truth of Christ, and to advance his kingdom, they equally consider themselves bound to be his followers,—to continue in what they
* Christian Discipleship and Baptism : being eight lectures in reply to lectures by the Rev. R. Halley, D.D. By the Rev. C. Stovel. London, 1846,