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Note D.

Database

Note D.

James Dodson

Much is said by the advocates of what is termed a liberal communion, about “visible Christianity being the only term of communion, authorized by the Lord Jesus Christ.” This visible Christianity must be explained. Is it “a profession and practice becoming the gospel?” This is well. The man, then, who is to be esteemed a visible Christian, is one who professes to make the law of God his rule in all things—who continues stedfastly in the Apostles’ doctrine, and endeavours to walk in all the commandments and ordinances of the LORD blameless. To such an one we have no objection, He is welcome to our most intimate communion. We receive him with heart and hand. But if “visible Christianity,” is also to be predicated of the man, who, professing to be a Christian, selects certain parts of the word of God, which, he says, contain the “substantial doctrines of the cross”—“substantial truth,” the “substantial doctrines of the gospel” and the like, as a rule and a test of fitness for communion; while he rejects others, as, of course, not substantial—not essential, or not necessary to be taken into the account, and we be called to admit such a man to communion, on the ground of having all that the Redeemer requires for church fellowship, it is confessed, that we would demur, because Christ has said, teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you.