Newspaper Articles for October 1909 to Year End
The Church Without a Name, The Truth, Two By Twos, 2x2s
So that we see plainly, without a shadow of doubt, that our Lord revoked His commands in the 10th of Matthew. The case is precisely the same as if an Act of Parliament had been passed for a certain local set of circumstances, but when the conditions became changed this Act was repealed; and just as the original wording of the first Act remains on the statute book to tell of what had been enjoined before the repealing Act annulled it, so we have the original commands in the 10th of Matthew and Luke, as part of the recorded history of events, as well as the repealing orders of the 22nd Luke. The 10th of Matthew, on which the Tramps affect to base their whole code of ethics, has now no binding force whatever, as it was repealed by the same authority which had created it, in addition to the fact, that it was addressed to the ‘twelve’ alone. Thus the code and ideas which the Tramps built on a wrong foundation crumble to the dust.
The teaching by the Tramp Preachers respecting ‘Matthew Ten’ is clearly not ‘the Jesus way.’
DEAR SIR:—I think you should ‘give every dog his due’ and that ‘W.C.T.’ is a bit too hard on the ‘Tramps’ re ‘no collections.’
If I call a meeting and state on the bill—‘no collections,’ it means ‘no money will be collected at that meeting’—no hat will be sent round, and I fancy that is quite honest and straight. It doesn’t mean that I do not accept money from persons who are inclined to give it, or that I do not collect at other meetings. Everyone knows nothing can be carried on without money. Halls must be paid for, travelling expenses, &c., &c., but if the public are invited to a Gospel meeting, it is not with this object of getting money out of them, as is so often the case.
Salvation is a gift, and to collect money at a Gospel meeting is in my judgment a mistake—of course the preacher must be supported, if need be. Paul would not accept money from some, because they were not going on well amongst themselves, but he was free to take it from others—and a preacher of the Gospel to go out and preach a ‘free salvation’ and then pocket the ‘proceeds’ is not the thing.
I am not a ‘tramp’ preacher, nor am I a member of that sect, but I thank God if sinners are brought to Christ, although I do not approve of many of their actions or doctrines.
Have we any right to ‘forbid them’? If the movement is of man, it will come to naught, if of God, we cannot fight against it. For my own part I am inclined to take the Lord’s words to heart, when the lawyer sought to draw him into a controversy about ‘religion,’ viz:—Strive you to enter in, for many shall seek to enter in and shall not be able when once the master of the house has risen up and shut to the door.
—Yours truly, Sligoman.
Most people are of our correspondent’s mind with regard to the Tramp preachers—they are thankful if any influence be exercised to lead men to a better life. But what excites resentment is the denunciations by these Preachers of their neighbours of the great and good men of the present and of past time, consigning them all to hell; and no excuse which we have ever heard offered can palliate this offense.—ED. I. R.
October 7, 1909, p. 8
We have received a few letters respecting the Tramp Preachers, and select from them on different points, the first from ‘Within,’ a leader, and the second from Sligo, from one outside the fold, who takes a more lenient view of the phrase ‘no collections’ than ‘W.C.T.’ and interprets it in another light:—
DEAR SIR:—‘W.C.T.’ and other correspondents seem to have got a wrong impression about what is taught by the Tramp preachers regarding the support of preachers of the Gospel. That the scriptures teach that those who preach the Gospel should live by the Gospel is quite true. ‘Thou shalt not muzzle the ox when he treadeth out the corn’ just means that the ox should get his food while so doing. ‘The labourer is worthy of his meat.’ But we say a preacher should live no other way. It is not living by the Gospel to establish endowment funds under any and every name and appeal to rich worldlings for their gold. It is not living by the Gospel to invest the gifts of brewers and distillers—the profits of the traffic in fallen humanity and live on the proceeds.
It is not living by the Gospel to preach to the sinner and beg money off him in the next breath.
It is not living by the gospel to set up gambling tables, lotteries, &c., and take the proceeds for the so-called good cause. Jesus told his preachers, and he tells them today, to take no thought for tomorrow, to consider how God clothes the lilies of the field, how he provides for the very sparrows and compares their value. He warns them to seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and their every want will be supplied. Six hundred tramp preachers have been proving during the past ten years that these scriptural promises are for the twentieth century and are just as real and as true as when they were spoken. But the world’s preachers today do not believe one word of all these promises, although they came from the lips of Him who sits upon the Throne today. We tell them on the authority of God’s word that no true prophet or preacher had ever any provisions made for him by an established fund of any kind, and any one who is so blind as to accept the world’s provision in preference to the promises of God proves his unbelief and want of faith in the everlasting provision promised and made by the King of Kings.
‘They take from heaven the sacred spell,
And read it with a torch from hell.’
The desire of the world’s preachers today is to get themselves so endowed with invested capital, and other devices, so that they may be independent of both God and man. Jesus gives his preachers a ‘dying’ while doing his work on earth, but life eternal for their Heavenly reward.
A short time ago I noticed five columns of a report in a local weekly newspaper giving an account of the annual meeting of one of the recognized churches in this country, and although £ s d appeared over a score of times, the name of Jesus was never mentioned. How differently Paul occupied his time. ‘Filthy lucre’ was the term he used when he referred at all to money matters, which was very seldom.
Another correspondent has made the discovery that the way Jesus sent his disciples does not apply to our time, and is for the Jews only. True, the gospel was preached to the Jews first, but after our Lord had risen he appeared to the Eleven and told them to go and make disciples of all the nations, baptising them into the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatever I have commanded you, and promises to be with them to the end of the age, which certainly means during the present dispensation of grace.
The same correspondent tells us that the sharp rebuke administered by our Lord to the disciples in Luke XXII. 35, 36, countermanded the first commission to go without purse or scrip. But when the whole passage is carefully read, their backslidden state is made clear because we were told ‘There was a strife among them to see who would be greater,’—an evidence of the devil’s working in all ages—Jesus told Peter Satan desired to have him, to sift him as wheat, and we find (verse 35), tells us they had already taken swords but had them concealed from the Master’s view—there is not a word about sending them out again in the passage, because they were in no condition to be sent for we find very soon after Peter denied him, and the remainder of them forsook Him and fled. Later on after Peter had repented and was restored we find him at the beautiful gate of the Temple saying, Silver and gold have I none, Acts, III. 6, but he had the power of God instead. Paul the educated tramp preacher fared no better: he says 1st Cor. IV. 11, even to this present hour we both hunger and thirst and are half clad, and are buffetted and have no certain dwelling place. There is no scripture to tell us that Peter or any of the early preachers had a home. It is a very great stretch of imagination to call a man’s mother-in-law’s house, his home, but when people are short for arguments any excuse seems to satisfy them. I wish to say in conclusion we are not starting a new religion. We are earnestly contending for the faith once for all delivered unto the saints and trying to separate it from the traditions of men—because there is not a doctrine in the word of God that has not been corrupted by the professing church. God’s message to those who fear and love Him in every age is, Come out of her, my people, be not partakers of her sins that ye receive not of her plagues. Rev. XVIII. 4.
—Yours faithfully, WITHIN.
DEAR SIR:—Will you be so kind as to permit me to state a few of the reasons why we differ from the views of W.C.T., and those of the different sects, on the question of infant baptism. I have read W.C.T.’s article last week and it is just a repetition of the arguments I have heard from time to time for sprinkling babies. However, we have learned in some measure to put the word of God before the traditions of men and take it as our guide in all things pertaining to the Kingdom of God. The Scriptures of the New Testament contain a great many references to this subject, and our Lord when giving His command for baptism before He ascended into heaven in Matthew XXVIII. 19-22, and Mark XVI. 15, couples it with the preaching of the Gospel of Salvation, thereby giving it a place of vital and momentous importance, making them coextensive and clearly intending that while one continues so should the other. We are not told that Baptism was of little or no importance, or that the order should be reversed, or that infant sprinkling was to be substituted for it as time went on, because if that were intended these scriptures would read ‘Go ye into all the world and sprinkle the little babies, appoint god-fathers and god-mothers for them, and make them members of Christ,’ but no such thing was ever intended or was ever hinted at by either our Lord himself or by any of his apostles or prophets.
Infant sprinkling is the offspring of Papal Rome, and is the oldest most cherished and most deadly deception of the mother harlot. Infant sprinkling and infant regeneration is held in such superstitious reverence even today in Roman Catholic Ireland that if it is a question of save the life of the mother or the child at child birth Rome makes it obligatory to save the child and sacrifice the mother, because the mother is baptized and thus a fit subject for heaven and the unconscious babe is not because it has not received the ‘rites of the church.’ The daughters of Rome don’t go so far, but most of them teach that regeneration takes place when the baby is sprinkled by the parson or priest. It will thus be seen how dangerous it is to tamper with God’s plan of salvation, and how far the devil can deceive humanity when he gets them off the right track.
There is not the slightest authority in God’s word of the baptism of infants; in every single case where the Spirit has given us a record of baptism, it is in connection with believers and believers only, and if it were intended that infants should be baptised would any one believe for a moment that God would leave us in the dark on such a vital point? ‘They that gladly received the word were baptised,’ Acts II. 41. ‘When they believed Philip preaching the things concerning the Kingdom of God, they were baptised, both men and women,’ Acts VIII. 12. They believed, they were baptised. The Etheopian eunuch Acts VIII. 36,39, Saul of Tarsus, Cornelius, etc. Then we are told by some that where whole households were baptised there must have been some babies in them. Supposition is poor argument but we are not left to supposition in any of the three cases, because the scriptures tell us (1) That the Philippian jailer’s whole household believed, Acts XVI. 24. (2) The household of Stephannas addicted themselves to the ministry of the saints, 1Cor. XVI. 15. (3) The house of Lydia—there were brethren in the house of Lydia who were comforted by Paul and Silas.
Now if there were babies in these households
(1) they were believing ones,
(2) they were capable of ministering and
(3) of being comforted and therefore all proper subjects for baptism.
The argument that Baptism takes the place of circumcision is quite as illusive. The oft quoted verse in Col. ii. 11, is particularly unfortunate for proof. The circumcision of Christ there mentioned is expressly stated to be made without hands and consequently cannot be baptism which, in case whether by sprinkling or immersion, can be administered without hands. The circumcision of Christ is spiritual regeneration, which is an operation not wrought by human agency but by the power of the spirit—buried with him in baptism, comes after this spiritual regeneration and is placed second in order in the passage above referred to. We also read that Timothy was circumcised long after baptism: consequently it is beyond all question that baptism did not take the place of circumcision.
Now as to the mode of baptism we are equally convinced from all the references and examples in Scripture that it was by immersion and immersion only as the following passages prove—‘Baptised by him in the river Jordan,’ Matt. iii. 6, ‘Philip and the eunuch went down into the water,’ Acts viii. 36. Jesus went straightway out of the water. Mark i. 10. If sprinkling was the custom or the mode—a baptismal font would have been consecrated for these important occasions. Paul puts an end to all controversy on this point when he tells us in Romans vi. 4, that we are buried with Him by baptism unto death; that like as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even we also should walk in newness of life. We thank God for the privilege of having been buried with Him in baptism and for knowing that if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of His resurrection, knowing that our old man is crucified with Him, that the body often might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin, Rom. VI. 5,6,7.
You say that after Peter preached at Pentecost, it would have been impossible to immerse the 3,000 converts. If Peter used the Anglican or Roman ritual and only the 12 were permitted (as the ritualists assume) to act it would take much longer. This ritual or ceremony has five collects, eleven prayers, three questions, the Lord’s prayer, the Creed, and the thanksgiving for the regenerated baby and the sign of the Cross, give them half-an-hour each, and work a ten hour day, it would take nearly three weeks: whereas 120 baptisers would do the whole number in the scriptural way in one-and-half hours.
In conclusion, permit me to say we do not apologise for refusing to believe the traditions of men in preference to the commandments of God. We reject them everyone, baby sprinkling included, and we warn every man and woman to whom we are privileged to preach to do the same, because we know that the statutes of the Lord are right and in keeping them there is great reward.
—Yours faithfully, WITHIN.
SIR,—The subject of the Tramp Preachers and the pugnacious manner in which they tried to enforce their extravagant theological views in some districts in North Leitrim, was quite a ‘burning subject’ during the time the Tramp mission craze ran its lively course. Consequently all residents in the affected areas having any practical knowledge of the Tramps and their ways cordially appreciate ‘W.C.T.'s articles dealing with the Tramps, their doctrines, and form of ritual generally. The articles are excellent, and I believe, could not be excelled for usefulness and clear reasoning and common sense. I believe W.C.T. would be doing a public service by having the articles reprinted for distribution or reference, as required. At any rate, so far as I understand, the articles are read with interest, and I for one would feel very pleased at the reissue of the articles, which contain an excellent reply to the Tramps’ unreasonable reasoning.
—Yours truly, J. ALLINGHAM.
Driney House, Drumoong,
Carrick-on-Shannon, Oct. 27, 1909
Dear Sir—I only this day saw your paper the IMPARTIAL REPORTER of September 30, with the leader ‘Right and Wrong,’ and I could not allow such a misstatement and misrepresentation of the facts of the case to pass unchallenged. There may be some people who think of the Bishop of Kilmore and his Synod addresses as you say, and from my own knowledge of the unsatisfactory character of the so-called Protestants of Fermanagh and Cavan, I think it is highly probable there are some such. But, you are evidently very imperfectly acquainted with Protestant public opinion in his Lordships’ united Diocese, or you would be aware that there are a large number of people who think quite differently to your leader upon the whole subject. There are many who look forward with the keenest hope and anticipation to the valuable and well timed pronouncements on the political position which the Bishop makes on these occasions.
I may tell you that at the present moment I am engaged in reprinting the Bishop’s addresses in pamphlet form for wholesale circulation, and I may tell you further that I am doing so at the pressing and oft repeated request of laymen, with whom however, as a clergyman, I thoroughly agree. Many members of the Irish Church (lay and cleric), are proud and thankful that we have one Bishop at all events who is a politician, and a statesman, and who is not imposed upon by the fallacy that, in Ireland anyway, politics and religion are separate and distinct.
Laymen in the Diocese have asked me more than once why is it that the other Irish Bishops do not deal with the same topics and in the same clear and straightforward manner as the Bishop of Kilmore does; and they at all events impute it to weakness of character on their part—to want of either understanding the needs and circumstances in Ireland at the present time, or to want of courage in dealing with those needs and circumstances.
Please excuse my drawing your attention to your very wrong and mistaken ‘leader.’
—Yours faithfully, R. HEMPHILL.
We will not discuss the view of our respected correspondent to the alleged ‘unsatisfactory character’ of the so-called Protestants of Fermanagh and Cavan.’ Nor shall we say anything to create friction. But this is the view most people take of the matter—A synod is a place of meeting for advancing the spiritual interests of the church, for deepening religious life, for providing for the better maintenance of the ministrations of the church to the people. A Bishop is a bishop for this express purpose; and therefore advice and help are expected from him to enable the people of the church to be provided for and spiritually revived. For years the people of Kilmore have got political addresses instead of spiritual refreshment. We say that the political addresses were sufficiently correct if delivered from a political platform; our correspondent considers that they were correct from a Synod platform. If a Roman Catholic bishop in a pastoral or address year after year addressed his people on politics we know what would be said by Protestant people. It may be, as our correspondent says, that many Churchmen are proud of these addresses (which we admit are admirable, in their proper place) being delivered from a religious platform; but we do hope that no other synodical platform in Ireland will have the same experience.—ED. I.R.
We have already covered most of the ground referred to in the foregoing,
and confine these remarks to the penultimate paragraph.
The baptism of the 3,000 is a difficult point for ‘Within,’ and with all respect to him he cannot be allowed to ride away with the idea of 120 baptizers. That may impose on some credulous minds, but it cannot, to use the current phrase, ‘hold water.’
Why? Because we know the premises, the condition of things then and there.
(1.) We know where the ceremony took place—at Jerusalem.
(2.) We know the time. The day was the feast of Pentecost; and
(3.) The hour of the day was shortly after nine o’clock in the morning, the Jewish third hour of the day.
To sustain his theory of 120 baptizers officiating, I need not point out that just as Scripture pointed out when the multitude was fed by fifties, it might have been expected that such a remarkable thing as 3,000 being baptized in 120 sections would have been recorded; but it could not, because it was impossible.
Many of the Tramp Preachers judge of Palestine by our local conditions. Here we have abundance of water—too much. There they have too little. There was in all Jerusalem only one fountain or spring, now known as The Virgin’s Spring. Its flow of water trickled to the Pool of Siloam: this pool supplied Jerusalem with drinking and cooking water, and was 52 feet long by 11 feet wide, and 19 feet deep!
The Jews would not permit Nazarenes or any on whom they looked with contumely to soil this pure water by wading in (if it were possible) and being immersed. But the thing was impossible, because the 52 feet would not permit of more than nine or ten sections of people dipping (if it were possible to conceive that the ceremony would be permitted), and then the ceremony was again impossible because no one could stand in 19 feet deep water!!
The large pool of Bethesda outside the walls was in a similar condition, and it was 20 feet deep. And the water was jealously guarded because it was so scarce. All through the Scriptures the imagery of fertile land and prosperity was connected with springs of water, because they were so scarce, and even in the Apocalypse a river of water was supposed to flow by golden streets to typify the abundance of what they experienced a scarcity of down here below.
Our friend may say—But the disciples could go out of the city. Now Jerusalem was built on the top of a ridge, and there was no river near it, strange to say, none. This accounts for the barrenness of the city suburbs. There is no moisture.
On the Eastern side of Jerusalem lies the valley of Jehoshaphat, and here at a particular time of the year meanders the little brook Cedron or Kidron, but most of the year it is dry. It was dry at the time of the baptism of the 3,000, because the time was the Feast of Pentecost (always held in the summer season) the last of the feasts connected with the ingetting of the harvest, when the unleavened bread made from the new wheat was baked. So the valley of the Kidron was then dry: there was no water for the 3,000.
But if we even can suppose there was water in the brook, it would not have suited immersion: it would have been too shallow. Photographs reveal the bed of the Kidra, and we here can look upon it as it really is. Moreover, a subterranean passage led the blood and water of the sacrificial rites of the Temple into this very brook, and it would so pollute the water on the one hand that it could not be used, while the flood water from the Jewish burial place on the other hand prevented its use.
No, no, our friend’s contention is hopelessly absurd. The baptism of the 3,000 must have been either by sprinkling or by pouring water on the head; just as in the case of the Phillipian gaoler at 12 o’clock at night, when it was not humanly possible that there should have been immersion.
Moreover, suppose they could have found one ‘hole’ in the brook Kidron for immersion, allowing five minutes for each neophyte, it would require 1666 hours for the whole ceremony; and as there would only have been about nine hours of the day before darkness available for it, this again shows that such a service would have been absolutely impossible. No matter how one views this matter, the idea of connecting the baptism of 3,000 proselytes at one time by immersion with nine hours of the day at any place was impossible, and further impossible because there was no water available for the purpose.
I am rather glad that ‘Within,’ has given me an opportunity of making this matter clear, for in condensing these articles I have avoided going into details to further prove my points, for sake of brevity.