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If Christ abolished types and shadows, why should we still observe them? If we are complete in Christ alone by faith, why should we still cling to fleshy emblems? These are searching questions, which will not be lightly dismissed by the sincere and spiritual-minded believer. The great Head of the Church said to the woman at the well: God is a Spirit: Every child of God knows that he received Christ by faith, and not in, through, or by any perishable ordinance. Paul most emphatically says: It is a mistake to teach that completeness in Christ by faith is not sufficient, but that some rite, ceremony, or type, administered by human hands, is necessary to completeness and obedience.
As well might an artist try to improve on the grandeur of the star-studded canopy of the heavens with his puny brush as a man endeavor to better the finished work of Christ in efforts to make a man more meet for the inheritance of the Saints in light by dipping his body into water, or inviting him to partake of perishable emblems. When God has finished the work of a soul’s salvation, by the mighty agency of His Holy Spirit, through the new birth, and most emphatically teaches in His Word that in the acceptance of His Son as our Saviour, and an implicit soul rest upon the vicarious atonement of Christ, we are complete, who shall say we need something that a man can add to make us more complete or acceptable?
Like the Israelites while in the desert, we should now ” all eat the same spiritual meat; And. We have an altar, whereof they have no right to eat which serve the tabernacle.
Many Christians believe that carnal ordinances are obligatory now: But if we have the spirit of Christ, we will not ignore and disfellowship those who differ from us in respect to these outward, earthly things.
It we reject a child of God because he does not see as we do, and because he clings to rituals which we plainly see have been abolished, we are not manifesting the right spirit.
On the other hand, if the advocates of ordinances persecute us because we are satisfied with CHRIST ALONE, and reject all fleshly emblems which He abolished, they prove that they are occupied with something besides Christ, that they lack His mind and spirit, and at the same time show that the observance of fleshly ceremonies has not imparted to them the fruits of the Spirit.
Every intelligent Bible Christian will acknowledge that Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners, and that we are saved alone by appropriating to ourselves through faith the redeeming merits of His atonement for us on the cross. Then why should we ignore or denounce one another because we do not see alike in what are, at best, but non-essentials, in the great matter of salvation? It is an evident fact that religious ignorance, hatred, and persecution usually go hand in hand, and nowhere, perhaps, are these traits more prominent than in ordinance advocates.
Because Stephen preached down rites and ceremonies, and held up Jesus as being all-sufficient, he was stoned to death; Acts 6: The pages of martyrology prove that during the earlier centuries of the Church a countless host of worthies passed up to join the blood-washed throng by way of fire, rack, knife, water, and every invention of cruelty and murder that religious monsters could invent ; and for the very reason that they refused to make an idol of bread and wine.
Not less than two hundred and eighty people were publicly burned, or otherwise killed, in England, in and the three years following, principally because they differed with their religious enemies about the bread and wine. And of the thousands of people said to have been killed directly or indirectly by the fearful persecutions of the Catholic Church in various countries, many of these were slaughtered because of their non-conformity in the sacraments, as history amply proves, and as is shown in other parts of this work.
Abolished Rites – Or, Spiritual, Not Ceremonial Worship (Hardcover)
How much in the dark are people who fancy that they must consume a bite of bread and a sip of wine as a means of remembering the Lord, when His very last message to the Church is: If the Lord, then, on His own assertion, dwells and walks in Ries children in spirit, how unreasonable it is to say that in order to remember Him we gottechall observe a fleshly eating and drinking!
The Catholic Church maintains that the number of ordinances, or sacraments are seven. When Luther and the other early Reformers left Rome they carried two or three of these ordinances along, and left the rest behind. No man or set of men have all the light and truth, and abolisyed early Reformers made a grand stride from the yoke of dead rites and ceremonies in dropping four or five of the husks of Catholicism, especially in that dark day of Romish ignorance and superstition.
Is it any wonder that later on other discerning Christians should also drop the other two or three as the Quakers and others have done and still do? Many centuries before either Luther or the Quakers appeared, even from the First or Second Centuries on down, as history shows, God has had a people who, discarding the borrowed rites of Judaism, strove to accept Christ as the end of all types and shadows, and aimed to be satisfied with the baptism of the Spirit, and to be fed by faith upon Him who is the BREAD OF LIFE and to seek for that worship which is spiritual and not ritualistic.
Some Christians insist that in the act of observing ordinances they show their humility, and thus make a sacrifice. To the honest, devoted soul there is comfort in the thought that duty is being performed, yet their idea of duty may not have truth for its foundation.
Others claim to receive a blessing in the observance of ordinances. This may, in some cases, be true. There is always a comfort and satisfaction in doing what is believed to be right. Loyalty to convictions brings inward composure. But that is no proof against error. Paul lived in good conscience, and thought he was doing God service while cruelly persecuting gottshcall Saints. On this point Burgess well says: You must never judge of the truth of any way in religion by the comfort and peace of conscience you find therein ; for all Turks, Jews and heretics have much quietness of conscience in discharging that traditional religion they are brought up in, and would be much troubled in conscience to deny or apostatize from their way.
Are ye so foolish? Thou delightest not in burnt offering. We have nothing but Christian love for those who conscientiously believe that in the observance of outward rites they are obeying and pleasing God, nor would we for a moment gottschalp the idea of anything so unchristian as holding aloof from them because of their doctrine and practice in these things.
No ; all who know Jesus to the pardoning of their sins are our dear brethren and sisters, irrespective of the observance or non-observance of ordinances. We can, we trust, worship God in Spirit and in truth by their side, but on the other hand, our freedom in the Spirit must not be fettered by their rituals.
Paul, after turning from the rites of the law to the gospel of grace, labored in harmony with some who seemed still to have been of the circumcision; see Col. The poet gives expression to the same sentiments in the old hymn: It is an undeniable fact that too often as Christians grow formal and loose in soul-life they try to make up for it by zealously observing rituals.
But as believers, aboljshed Samuel, “grow before the Lord” I Sam. They are glttschall with Christ, and having Him, they abolishex not knowingly dishonor Him by allowing anything emblematic to take His place. If people, when being occupied with bread made by the hands of a woman, and wine made by the hands of a man, would, like Peter after observing a type”remember the word of the Lord” Acts II: Must we consume a bite of bread and a sift of wine as a means of remembering Him whose Word declares that ” Ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.
If we really have Christ by faith, who is the end of everything typical, why should we still cling to the shadow? Right here is where many Christians make a mistake by adhering to that which was of the Mosaic dispensation, and was never intended to be kept up by the Church in the gospel age. In Acts 15, nineteen years after Christ, the Gentiles were received without the law, or rather declared to be exempt from it, as they had never been under Judaism, but not the Israelites, for in Acts 21, twenty-seven years after the cross, the Jewish believers were keeping the law, and it is only first in Heb.
Some Christians seem slow to understand that the rituals of Moses were still observed by the New Testament Christians for years after Christ, but the New Testament plainly declares the fact. Read the fifteenth abolishsd twenty-first chapters of Acts. Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.
Gottschall, Amos H. | The Online Books Page
But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster. Our ordinance brethren so often quote Matt.
All therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and ritfs.
Others say that the observance of Mosaic rituals actually ceased at the cross. Neither is correct, for we find the rites and ceremonies of the law zealously observed by the believing Jews for years after Calvary, as has already been shown. While Christ in very deed did abolish rites and ceremonies at the cross, the time for their actual cessation was not declared till Heb. The Christian Church, or dispensation, may, in a sense, be said to have grown out of the Jewish, and the washings, or baptisms, and the Passover Ritse of that ceremonial system, seems to have been rires implanted into the minds and customs of some, that they may not always have been fully dropped by all.
Indeed in the Second and Third Centuries, as history asserts, there began a lapsing back into old customs, and a trust in ceremonies.
This leaning toward Judaism and its ceremonies aboliished more marked later on as Catholicism came to the front, especially from the Third Century on, and by this latter system rites and ceremonies were greatly increased and magnified.
Many of the more modern Reformers never fully cut loose from the ceremonies of Judaism and Catholicism, but carried some of them, namely, water baptism and the supper, along out with them. This backward abloished on the part of the Early Church is, as we find, first mentioned in history as appearing in A.
Neander, the great German ecclesiastical historian says: This evolution belonged more particularly to the Pauline position.
Abolished Rites: Or, Spiritual, Not Ceremonial Worship – Amos H. Gottschall – Google Books
The Jewish principles which had been vanquished, pressed in once more from another quarter. Humanity was as yet incapable of maintaining itself at that lofty position of ‘Sure spiritual religion.
The Jewish position descended nearer to the mass.
This recasting of the Christian spirit in the Old Testament form did not take place, it is true, everywhere uniformly alike. In general, the more men fell back from the evangelical to the Jewish point of view, the more must the original free constitution of the communities, grounded in those original Christian views, become changed.
We find Cyprian A. The priesthood that came into power evidently seeing that a code of rituals was advantageous in maintaining priestly prestige, rule and power, added ceremonies to their hearts’ content, and seem to have convinced their following that it was all of Divine approval.
Baptismal regeneration, penance, purgatory, and the whole system of Popish emptiness, followed in course of time. Later on down the line of time, says D’Aubigne, the French historian, died The revenue they produced was of no small account. The principal cause of this I readily look for in the Perverseness of mankind, who are more delighted with the pomp and splendor of external forms than with the true devotion of the heart ; and who despise whatever does not gratify their eyes and ears.
Hence, when they saw the new religion TO BE destitute of such ceremonies they thought it too simple, and therefore despised it. The Christians were pronounced atheists, because they were destitute of temples, altars, victims, priests, and all the pomp in which the vulgar suppose the essence of religion to consist. Also, it was well known that in the books of the New Testament, various Parts of the Christian religion are expressed by terms borrowed from the Jewish laws, and are in some measure compared with the Jewish rites.
Bishops were called high priests, and the presbyters, priests, and deacons, Levites. In a little time, those to whom these titles were given maintained that they had the same rank and dignity, and possessed the same rights and privileges with those who bore these titles under the Mosaic dispensation. Also, from the Greek Mysteries the Christians were led to claim similar mysteries, and they began to apply the terms used in the Pagan mysteries to Christian institutions, particularly baptism and the Lord’s Supper!
They also introduced the other rites designated in those terms, and a large part of the Christian observances of this Second Century had the appearance of the Pagan mysteries!
Robison, the Baptist historian, on this line says: By this the hierarchy was formed, and by this, and not by argument, was chiefly supported. Pope Sylvester dedicated the first edifice to the Romanizing Judaizing party, November g. It was named after Solomon’s temple, to distinguish it from idol temples.
Also, for the same reason, a painting or statue of Rittes was placed there! The priest of the congregation that claimed the baptisteries became a prelate ; the other priests in the city his clergy ; some of them were called his cardinal ‘ priests and deacons, chiefly because they assisted him to administer baptism. From these sprang suffragans, prebendaries, canons!
Cardinals derived their titles from baptismal churches. The bishop of the city baptismal church inspected and regulated the affairs of the town churches, and provided them with teachers and administrators of ordinances, and generally supplied them with oils and ointments from the metropolitan baptist try.
The fetching of ritez chrism at Easter from the city baptistery, became in time an evidence to prove the dependence of these baptisteries on that in the city.