« PreviousContinue »
his disciples, consisted partly in their fulfilling all the moral precepts of God themselves (Tointai), and partly in a conscientious and unreserved manner of teaching them to others (didažai). These two are intimately connected with each other; just as the laxer morality of the Pharisees was connected with their neglect of certain duties of life. (Dissert. I, in locos N. T. histor. p. 21 &c.) Matth. 7:16–20, every good tree yieldeth good fruit, and every evil tree, evil fruit. They will, moreover, adhere to the doctrines of christianity with the greater and more conscientious firmness, and they will be the less in danger of sacrificing any particular doctrine to the favour of their contempories who deny it, in proportion as they have a love for the truth, and reverence for our Lord Jesus Christ.
And the more solicitous they are for the salvation of their own souls and the souls of others, the greater progress will they make in the investigation of truth, and in their capacity for instructing others. 1 Tim. 4: 15, 16. This zeal for the salvation of our own souls and those of others, is very necessary to the conscientious discharge of the various duties of the sacred office. He who strives to profit by the christian doctrines himself, and to conform his principles and conduct to them, will thus become acquainted with his own heart, and be the better qualified to recommend a christian character to others, and to urge them to attain it. But as the good and bad are so generally mixed, throughout the world, it is not to be expected, that a sufficient number of pious clergymen, who are at the same time apt to teach, can always be found. Nor could those who are truly good, always be distinguished, even if they did exist in sufficient numbers. (Τινων ανθρωπων αι αμαρτιαι προδηλοι εισι some men's sins are manifest). But we should remember, that the doctrines of Christ, although taught by a man who neglects the improvement and consequently the salvation of his own soul, if (Matth. 7:22) they are taught in their purity, have by virtue of
their own power, a very salutary influence on inquiring souls. Phil. 1: 15-18, πλην παντι τροπο, ειτε προφασει, ειτε αληθεια, Χριστος καταγγελλεται “in either case Christ is preached, , whether it be with a sincere or insincere intention.” Matth. 9: 36. 10: 4 (comp. Luke 9: 1 &c.) And among the Twelve whom Jesus sent forth to preach the Gospel, was Judas the traitor. Comp. John 6: 64, 70, &c. We must not forget that it is the duty of an audience to observe, not who is the teacher, but what is taught. Μatth. 23: 3, παντα όσα αν ειπωσι (οι γραμματεις και Φαρισαιοι) υμιν τηρειν, τηρειτε και ποιειτε κατα dɛ ta egya avtaw un nointɛ whatsoever they (the Scribes and Pharisees) enjoin you to observe, observe and do; but follow not their example.
IV. Orthodoxy essential in the ministry.—Tit. 1:9. Comp. Ill. 2. 1 Τim. 4: 6. 6: 3 &c, προςερχεσθαι υγιαινουσι λογους τοις του κυριου ημων Ιησου Χριστου (a minister must) consent to the wholesome words of our Lord Jesus Christ. And 2 Tim. 1: 13 &c, υποτυπωσιν εχε υγιαινοντων λογων hold fast the form of sound words. From those who do not, the apostle commands his son Timothy to withdraw himself.” 1 Tim. 6: 5.
BAPTISM AND THE LORD'S SUPPER.
Baptism and the Lord's Supper, are among the appointed means
for the preservation of the christian church.
It is evident from the two ordinances, Baptism and the Lord's Supper, which Christ himself instituted, that it was not his intention that christians should dwell in seclusion and be separated from each other, but that, on the contrary, it is their duty to live in the utmost possible intimacy. (Michaelis Dogmat. p. 602.) The first was instituted as an ordinance for the solemn reception of persons into the number of his disciples, or initiation into the christian church (1); and the other as a means to promote, and solemnly to promulgate the permanent union of christians (2).
I. Baptism is the initiatory ordinance.—Matth. 28: 19, μαθητευσατε-βαπτιζοντες go ye and make disciples of all nations, (by) baptizing them in the name &c. Eph. 4: 4 &c, šv owμα και εν πνευμα-έν βαπτισμα one body and one spiritone baptism. Acts 2:41, εβαπτισθησαν και προςετιθησαν were baptized and added Comp. with v. 47, ó xUQLOS AQOSETIğal tņ Exuinoiq the Lord added to the church.
66 Just as
II. The eucharist is intended to promote the union of christians and give publicity to it.--1 Cor. 10: 17, 18. those who belong to the same house and are subject to the same father, also partake of the same bread; so also do christians, by partaking of the same bread in the Holy Supper, evince that they all belong to the family of the same God, and are brethren and partners in the faith. Thus also did the Jews, who ate together at their sacrificial repasts, to which none but Jews were admitted, thereby profess that they all viewed each other as brethren."1 Compare Worbs “On Oriental tokens of Covenants and of friendship, in illustration of some passages of Scripture 1792.” (Allg. Litt. Zeitung Jahrg. 92. No. 301. p. 343 &c.) The writer of this article proves that eating a morsel of bread and drinking together, are considered by several Oriental nations, as a token of immutable fidelity to a contract, and constancy
in friendship. The same writer also makes the following remark:
among the reasons which induced our Lord, in the institution of the Holy Supper, to select this pleasing ceremony, which had previously been customary, one was, to clothe his cardinal precept “ love one another,” in a form visible to the senses, and thus to give universal prevalence to that noble custom of the East."
“ The solemn consecration of an individual to communion with the church, i. e. his first admission to membership by baptism, is a very significant solemnity indeed, a solemnity which aims at the holy object of educating a soul in a kingdom erected by God, and imposes great responsibility on the person initiated; or if the subject be an infant, on those who promise to educate it in the christian faith. The solemnity of renewing and perpetuating this church communion on principles of equality (an ordinance which is frequently to be repeated, and which,
1 See Mosheim's Exposition of the 1 Epistle to the Corinthians, p. 60%.
agreeably to the example of Christ, is also performed in remembrance of him) has in it something of an exalted nature, which expands and elevates the narrow, selfish, and intolerant views of men, to the idea of a universal moral community, embracing the whole world, and is happily calculated to awaken a congregation to those feelings of brotherly love designated by
Institution of baptism.
Christ commanded (1) that all those who would be his disciples (2), should, at the time of their reception into the church, be, once (3), baptized, i. e. bathed (4) with water, in honour of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.
I. This command is given in Matth. 28: 18 &c. Mark 16: 16. Eph. 5: 26, lovepov tov udatos ev ønuari “ the water bath, which is connected with a command (which is grounded on a divine command).” This explanation is given (problematically) in Dissert. De sensu vocis dixalos Note 22.
II. Baptism is to be administered once to every christian, throughout all ages of the church.-Baptism is intended for the church in general, without distinction of nation, or condition, or Sex, or time, Εph. 5: 25-27, καθαρισας την εκκλησιαν τω λουTom tov Údatos that he might purify the church by the washing of water. Matth. 28: 19, Tavta TA &Tvn all nations. Gal. 3: 27 &c, Ιουδαιος, Ελλην-δουλος, ελευθερος-αρσεν και θηλυ (εβαπ
1 - Religionslehre," ed. 1. p. 292 &c.