<< previous (3:286) next (3:288) >>

p392 [W Kelly] MY DEAR BROTHER, - I am on my way by Montreal to New York, where they look for me. I found your B.T. and pamphlet here. I have nothing to reply. I suppose the paper was one in my MS. books, and so not guarded against expected adversaries; but I have had the question before me often. The opposition is only ill-will, and were I to seek to cavil, I might reply that Christ shed no blood in dying at all. It was not by taking blood from Him as a victim that He died. The water and blood that were shed were when He was dead - and it is vital to hold that He gave up His life and that it was not taken from Him by shedding His blood. I quite admit He had really to die. But the reality of His drinking the cup of wrath, which unquestionably from scripture was accomplished before He gave up His spirit, is of the last importance. I do not believe there is in the objection any love of the truth, any real, serious concern about Christ, any deep sense of need met by the blessed Lord's sacrifice, anything but ill-will, and I have no answer to give, and am quite unmoved at such an one's accounting it heresy.

It is not true that it is only attributed to blood-shedding and death. It is attributed to suffering including death. And in the act of dying Christ did not suffer, but peacefully commended His spirit to His Father. Death was dreadful to Him surely but it was not in the act of dying it was so.

I have run my eye hastily over J.M.C.'s. There is nothing new in it, unless a denial that scripture suffices to direct us in certain cases, which I wholly deny. I do not say any gathered part of all believers is the body. They only may be meeting on the principle of its unity. It is a stupid paper. It says, "But we can only stand unmoved by holding the Head with doctrine and practice undefiled." I believe their practice is very wicked indeed - heinous contempt of Christ; and so I do not go with them, and that is all about it. I do not reject people because they do not agree about the one body. It is all, as all these documents are, an effort to sanction evil, calling it therefore an infinitesimal degree of alleged complicity. The true ground of gathering is a de facto protest against evil, when a man purges himself from it in the midst of church corruption. And that is what they hate. But to carry it on faithfully, and not to be perpetually debating it, is our business. I have never seen one tract on that side whose effect was not to excuse or allow evil - in most I have seen, and I do not it is true read them - vexation of having faithfulness firm, their own conscience being bad and galled by it.

Ever affectionately yours in the Lord.

Ottawa, November 8th, 1867.