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REVIEWERS REVIEWED.

341 had many grounds upon which to justify the latter.

66

CO

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In the progress of their investigation, the reviewers have hit upon a most unfortunate case to prove the fallacy of the Baptists' arguments; that of Philip and the Eunuch; for, in detailing the circumstances of this transaction, we perfectly agree with them, in all which is said of going down into," and " ming up out of," the water; equally are these affirmed of both parties, and most readily do we admit, that, as refers to these actions, they were both placed under precisely the same circumstances; but there are four little words, which these gentlemen by some unac countable neglect, have altogether overlooked; these words are "and he bap tized him," which immediately alter the relative situation of the parties, and make the one the administrator of that of which the other was solely the subject, and on these words all the contro

ceeded in refuting Mr. Ewing's positions
in detail, is quite immaterial. He has
done quite enough to prove, (what must
indeed be perceived at a glance by any
man of common sense,) that this "no-
vel theory," is throughout, barren and
ridiculous; altogether unworthy of the
udite character of its author, and such
as the reviewers themselves cannot
tolerate. These gentleman again think,
that they have obtained a signal tri-
umph over Mr. C. when, after stating,
that "he has quoted instances in which
the Greek words do signify to immerse,"
they challenge him to bring forward
those, in which "such an idea is neces-
sarily excluded." They are bold challen-
gers, for perhaps, (notwithstanding the
flaming denial in the middle of the
paragraph,) when they had proceeded
thus far, they might in some trifling de-
gree, have become convinced of the
fact, that it is indeed difficult to find
any passage, in which the terms are
used, either in the Old or New Testa-versy hangs.
ment, whether absolutely or figuratively,
where the idea of immersion is neces-
sarily excluded; and therefore their vaunt
falls to the ground.

Without entering upon any debate respecting the "paludamentum," the reviewer's version and illustration of this passage cannot, I conceive, be admitted. There is in the text of Rev. xix. a manifest distinction between the going forth of the "Conqueror" to battle in ver. 11. and five following; and the actual joining of battle in ver. 19. Whether the colour of the robe arose from its immersion in purple dye; or whether, (as seems more consonant with the tenor both of this passage and its parallel in Isa. lxiii.) it was stained with the blood of slaughtered enemies; the parenthetical correction of the reviewers, ("sprinkled with blood,") cannot be established. The whole force of the passage is destroyed by it; the allusion being, to the shedding of such abundance of blood as thoroughly to imbue all the robes or garments of the war

rior.

The charge against Dr. Campbell, brought forward to break the force of his unquestioned acumen as a critic, is very weak. Admitting that his sentiments and practice did not accord, the former were wrung from him by the overpowering evidence of etymological truth, and no doubt he, (as well as many of his brethren and successors,) VOL. X.

The reviewers having answered Mr. Cox's pledge by another, we may reply to this last, that Mr. C. and his brethren, baptize precisely such persons, as the scriptures point out as the proper subjects, viz. Believers; and until they are convinced from these scriptures, that any distinction exists between unbelievers born of Christian parents, and unbelievers born under other circumstances, they must remain persuaded that they are right. And if the greatest classical scholars that have existed; men, whose whole lives were spent in etymological researches, both as referring to sacred and profane history, uniformly attach to the terms, bapto and baptizo, the primary meaning of immersion, (and upon this point we challenge the reviewers, not to bare assertion, but to authoritative proof, not excepting that of Mr. Ewing himself;) if this be the case, then every instance of baptism in the New Testament, where an element is actually applied, is immersion-baptism; and they ought to yield. Nothing, surely, can be more surprising, than the remarks made relative to the Saviour's burial. Of what avail is it to cavil, as to whether the body was finally committed to the sepulchre; or whether the interment was finished? We have the unquestionable fact, that it "WAS COMMITTED TO THE SEPULCHRE, into the mouth of which a great stone was rolled." It must then have been actually interred, 2 Y

from which interment the Redeemer arose; and it matters little, as to the establishment of these facts, whether all the accustomed ceremonies of washing, anointing, and embalming, had been attended to.

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all expressions found in Scripture, and evidently intended to convey the same idea. The original words which express the epithet in all these phrases, refer primarily to bodily health, as opposed to disease, but they are, by classical writers, used with great latitude, for signifying metaphorically whatever in right or approveable. They are all words of the same etymology. One of them primarily signifies healthful, but is also used by Greek authors, to signify healing, wholesome, or conducive to health. Another of them signifies, most literally, Be-healing, but it is used likewise, in several places of the new Testament, Luke v. 31. vii. 10. xv. 27. to signify healthful. We may conclude, therefore, that they are designed to be synonymous when they are applied to doctrine, and to denote such as is healthful, or such as is healing, or such as unites both these characters. What they precisely denote, we shall be best able to determine, by comparing the passages in which they occur, and examining the scope and connexion of each. All these passages lie in Paul's epistles to Timothy and to Titus: and, from the slightest attention to them, it will, I think, be evident, that the Apostle calls doctrine sound, in a sense very remote from that in which the term is used by the discordant sects of Christians; that he constantly means it to express both the ideas which it naturally signifies; that he intends the genuine doctrine of Christ, but with a particular reference, both to its being healthful, pure, and unsophisticated, and to its being wholesome or healing, as having a practical tendency. So far is he from designing it to denote the peculiarities of any human system, that, on the contrary, he is at pains to intimate, that he designs it to express the plainness and simplicity of the doctrine of the gospel, as delivered by Christ and his Apostles, in direct opposition to the precarious opinions, the subtile explications and definitions, the ingenious speculations and refinements of uninspired men: and so far is he from applying the term to any curious or intricate theory, that he no less clearly and constantly intimates that, by calling doctrine sound, he means to express its being fit to cure the diseases, and promote the health of the soul; and that, in opposition not only to tenets directly immoral, but particularly also to the inutility and

In conclusion I have to express my regret, that the reviewers should, in the ebullition of their zeal, have been betrayed into the use of such epithets, as have been distinguished in the course of this paper, and which are more in accordance with the age of Featley, than with the liberal and enlightened spirit of the nineteenth century. fore they again charge Mr. C. with "misrepresentations and blunders," with "flippancy, inaccuracy, and self-confidence, it may perhaps be wise in them, ponder well the paths of their own feet," which are by no means infallible. BETA.

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October, 1824.

66

ON THE NATUPE OF SOUND
DOCTRINE.

"But speak thou the things which become sound doctrine."-Titus ii. 1.

Sound doctrine is an expression so commonly used by Christians, that few are apt to suspect any ambiguity in its meaning. Every one of those sects into which the Christian world is unhappily divided, applies the expression to signify the whole of its own system of doctrine, but especially those speculative and disputable tenets which distinguish it from other sects, and even those technical terms which it has coined or adopted on purpose to define them with precision. All sects, with equal confidence, appropriate the epithet to their own peculiar systems: yet the distintinguishing tenets of different sects are contradictory. It is certain, therefore, that the epithet is misapplied by some of them. Each affirms, that it is misapplied by all except its own adherents: and as the theological system of every sect contains something of human, and consequently fallible, explication, impartiality can scarce avoid suspecting that the epithet is, in some measure, misapplied by all sects. It will not therefore be superfluous, professedly to ascertain and illustrate its genuine import.

SOUND doctrine, sound or wholesome words, sound speech, sound in the faith, are

ON THE NATURE OF SOUND DOCTRINE.

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343 appear how contradictory they are, in this respect, to the gospel, he asserts that its end, its sole purpose, its direct and ultimate scope, is love out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned, ver. 5. and so anxious is he to exclude the subtilizing upon its simple principles, that he represents every such Our Apostle uses the term sound attempt as a deviation from its whole doctrine, in 1 Tim. i. 10. He immediately structure and design; from which, says subjoins a definition of it: it is, what is he, some, the teachers already censured, according to the glorious gospel of the having swerved, have turned aside unto vain blessed God, which, says he, was committed jangling, ver. 6. He proceeds to expose to my trust, ver. 11; it is what is plainly the ignorance and self-conceit which and expressly revealed by God in the led them into this deviation: and, as gospel. In the context, the idea of they vented their fantastical subtleties sound doctrine is still more precisely as belonging to the law, and under predefined, and fully illustrated, particularly tence of teaching it perfectly, he takes ocby being contrasted with its opposites. casion to explain what was the real design To perceive this, we must look back to of the law; not to serve as a foundation the beginning of the paragraph, ver. 3. for such speculative visions, but to conThe Apostle there reminds Timothy, demn every kind of immorality: many that he had formerly desired him to kinds of it he enumerates; and it is charge some that they teach no OTHER in closing the enumeration that he says, doctrine: OTHER, he can only mean, And if there be any other thing that is CONthan the doctrine of the gospel, which TRARY to sound doctrine, ver. 7-10. he had preached. And what was the Thus directing us to refer the phrase to other doctrine which they taught? The the whole paragraph, and to explain it next words inform us, Neither give heed by the whole tenour of his discourse'; to fables, and endless genealogies, ver. 4: as marking the doctrine of the gospel the fabulous traditions which the Jews as simple, and as practical, fully taught had invented, and which, they pre- by Christ and his Apostles, and applied tended, led to the right understanding to the sole purpose of promoting hoof the Scriptures; and the fanciful liness; uncombined with any refinenotions concerning certain successivements of human ingenuity, which derivations of spiritual beings, com- always are another doctrine, and never monly called Æons, from the Supreme fail to counteract its tendency to produce, Being, or from one another, which the not purity and charity, but indetermi Apostle justly pronounces endless or nable controversies, and unhallowed, interminable; because, being founded uncharitable contentions and divisions. solely in imagination, they might be,The idea of Christian doctrine which and actually were, varied and multiplied he had here given, he is solicitous to according to every man's caprice. The keep in view throughout the epistle, Christian converts from Judaism, re- and frequently recurs to it. In particular, taining their fondness for both these, when he predicts a great corruption of endeavoured to intermix them with, or the Christian Church, and describes it superadd them to, the gospel, under as a departure from the faith, chap. iv. 1. pretence of explaining some of its he plainly intimates, that the departure doctrines with the greater precision and consisted in a deviation from that fullness.-These speculations, which simplicity and moral tendency which were the human definitions and refine- belong to the true faith; for, in exments, at that time heterogeneously horting Timothy to oppose it by good interwoven with the gospel, he censures doctrine, ver. 6, he gives him this not only as being another doctrine, totally direction, Refuse profane and old wives' foreign to the gospel; but also, very fables, and exercise thyself unto godliness, explicitly, on account of their having ver. 7. no moral tendency, but necessarily drawing men off from practice; for he subjoins, which minister questions intricate, perplexing, unprofitable disputes, rather than godly edifying. That it might

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pernicious tendency of all subtile questions and abstract disquisitions. These two ideas, by which the Apostle cha racterizes sound doctrine, it will be necessary to trace out jointly; for, in every passage of his writings, they are jointly kept in view with the greatest

care.

But, chap. vi. 3. he speaks again of wholesome, or sound words; for, in the original, the epithet is the same which he had formerly applied to doctrine. What these were, he immediately

explains, "Even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ," the gospel in the simplicity in which it was at first delivered; and the doctrine which is according to godliness:" thus studiously unfolding and forcing into view both the ideas which we have affirmed to be implied in the epithet. If farther evidence of this be necessary, the whole context will abundantly supply it. He insinuates, that some "" consent not to the wholesome words," but "teach otherwise." Otherwise than what? Certainly one of two things. Either, first, otherwise than he had taught, and commanded Timothy to teach and exhort immediately before; and then he must mean, that they teach otherwise than they ought, and not according to the "wholesome words of Christ," who are not careful to inculcate the several moral duties of life; for he had immediately before been wholly occupied in giving plain practical directions concerning the particular duties incumbent on Timothy himself, on widows, and on servants. Or, secondly, otherwise than was required by the general descriptions which the apostle had formerly given of Christian doctrine: and that these had been anxiously contrived to mark especially both its practical tendency and its simplicity in opposition to all human speculations and opinions, is evident from the passage which we have already explained, and might be confirmed by other passages. The apostle's idea of sound toords is farther ascertained by the character which he gives of the man who deviates from them, ver. 4, 5, "He is proud, knowing nothing, but doating, ailing, diseased, about questions and strifes of words." It is a false conceit of his own acuteness and ingenuity which impels him to subtilize on the plain doctrines of the gospel; and his doing so betrays his total ignorance of their genuine nature, and is truly a distempered appetite for enquiries, discussions, and definitions, which, profound

Notwithstanding all the pains which the apostle had thus taken to describe and recommend sound doctrine, the false teachers persisted in their attach ment to fanciful and unprofitable fables and questions, and disseminated them

the Ephesian and other Asiatic churches with so great success, that he found it necessary to resume the subject in the second epistle to Timothy, and to give almost the whole epistle a reference to it. He commands Timothy, 2 Tim.

in fact trifling or unintelligible logomachies, at the best controversies not about truth itself, but about particular modes of expressing it, none of them necessary, and perhaps all of them in some respect improper. He stigmatizes these as not only thus foreign to the simplicity of the gospel, but also contradictory to its moral tendency; as speculations whereof, instead of "godliness, cometh

or important as he imagines them, arei. 13, to hold fast, to adhere to the form, the model and exemplar of sound words. It is the same phrase which he had used in the passage last explained, and he uses it in the very same sense. That he means the simple doctrine of the gospel as originally delivered, he is careful to intimate, by immediately subjoining this test and criterion, “which thou hast heard of me:" not the words or the opinions of any uninspired man,

envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings, perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth." In this passage, therefore, as well as in the former, it is the original, simple doctrine of the gospel, studiously opposed to all abstract, curious definitions and questions, misnamed theological, that the apostle calls sound or wholesome, and he so calls it with a direct and particular view to mark its natural influence on all the virtues of a good life. It will not, perhaps, be a blameable minuteness to remark farther, that in this passage it is the WORDS of Christ, not his DOCTRINE, as in the former passage, that the apostle calls sound; on purpose, it would seem, to intimate, that the words of Scripture are the most proper for expressing the doctrine of Scripture; that the substitution of other terms, as more explicit and precise, and fitter for distinguishing the truth from error, is really a deviation from the simplicity of the gospel, and a certain means of introducing human refinements, and raising vain and subtile questions heterogeneous to its nature and design. At any rate, the apostle's anxiety to condemn these is plain and undeniable; for returning to this subject, he concludes the epistle with an earnest exhortation to beware of them: "O Timothy, keep that which is committed to thy trust, avoiding profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of science falsely so called; which some professing, have erred concerning the faith," ver. 20, 21..

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of sound words;" he carefully includes it in his very description of them; he says, they are the words "which are in faith and LOVE, which is in Christ Jesus," ch. i. 13. Whenever he mentions the refinements and subtleties which he so anxiously excludes from sound doctrine, he never fails carefully to specify their having no moral, or their having an immoral tendency. They are not only "to no profit," but to great hurt, "to the subverting of the hearers," ch. ii. 14. They are so far from producing love, that they "gender strifes," ver.23. They not only do not promote godliness; but, in proportion as they are indulged, "they will increase unto more ungodliness, and will eat as doth a canker," ver. 16, 17. In the progress of his discourse, he again predicts that apostasy which he had foretold in his first epistle, and described as a "departure from the faith;" and here he describes it as a contradiction to the practical tendency of sound doctrine; he marks it by the corruption of morals consequent on that apostasy, and after enumerating several vices which were to abound in these perilous times," ch. iii. 1-4, he sums up the character of them, in this, "Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof," ver. 5. Farther, when he recommends the Scripture as the only untainted source of Christian doctrine, he takes particular care to remark, that it "is profitable for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works," ver. 16, 17.

Immediately after this, he gives Timothy a very solemn charge to indefatigable diligence in preaching and applying the word, ch. iv. 1, 2; in enforcing which he employs the phrase sound doctrine: "For the time will come, when they will not endure sound doctrine," ver. 3, and he employs it in the very same sense as formerly. He characterizes it by its simplicity, in opposition to all human refinements and determinations: it is the word, ver. 2; it is the truth, unmixt with any fables, ver. 4, with any of the precarious or false opinions, the doubtful speculations, the disputable niceties, which, he foresaw, would arise in the Christian church, and usurp the name of sound doctrine. He characterizes it by its moral tendency: it is fit to be applied to reprove, and rebuke sin, and exhort to holiness, ver. 2, purposes

ON THE NATURE OF SOUND DOCTRINE.

but the words and the doctrine of the
inspired apostle. He is very solicitous
to inculcate this; for he soon after ex-
horts him, "The things which thou
hast heard of me, the same commit
thou to faithful men, who shall be able
to teach others also," eh. ii. 2; he tells
him, "Thou hast fully known MY DOC-
TRINE," ch. iii. 10; he enjoins him,
"Continue thou in the things which
thou hast learned, and hast been as-
sured of, knowing OF WHOM thou hast
learned them," ver. 14; and he refers
him to "the Scripture given by inspira-
tion of God," as the only source from
which the pure principles of religion can
be derived, and declares it to be "pro-
fitable for doctrine, and able to make
wise unto salvation, through faith which
is in Christ Jesus," ver. 15, 16. That
it was his purpose, studiously to distin-
guish this pure, simple doctrine of the
gospel from, and to contrast it with, the
curious speculations which affected in-
genuity might build upon it, the abstract
definitions and distinctions by which
men might attempt explaining it with
precision, the nice and puzzling questions
concerning it which they might agitate,"
and likewise all the unscriptural, tech-
nical, and philosophical terms which
they might invent or adopt under colour
of expressing the exact truth, and effec-
tually excluding the contrary error, is
clear from the whole series of his dis-
course. When he desires Timothy "to
put them in remembrance of the things"
which he had said, he adds, "charging
them before the Lord, that they strive
not about words," ch. ii. 14, about con-
tending modes of expression. When
he directs him "rightly to divide the
word of truth," he immediately subjoins,
"but shun," as absolutely inconsistent
with this, "profane and vain, empty
babblings," ver. 15, 16; he could not
have used an expression more significant
at once of abhorrence and contempt.
Intent on stigmatizing them, he again
reprobates them in terms of detestation,
"But foolish and unlearned questions
avoid," ver. 23. unlearned in truth they
always are, however much they may
assume the guise of learning or of pene-
tration. It is no less evident that the
apostle in this place calls words sound,
with an express design to mark their
wholesome or practical tendency: he
even labours to force this into view, and
to keep it in view. He declares that this is
an essential part of his idea of "the form

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