To The Church Without a Name, The Truth, Two By Twos
THE FERMANAGH TIMES
NOTE: This newspaper is no longer being published
May 2, 1907, p. 3
We in no way identify ourselves with the sentiments expressed by our various correspondents
TO THE EDITOR OF THE FERMANAGH TIMES
Corragarry asks for Scriptural proof of how and where Paul's education hindered him after his conversion. I will give him Scriptural proofs that it was no help to him after his conversion. First epistle of Paul to the Corinthians--2nd chap 1-4-13-14. Galatians 1st chap. 11-12-13-14. John vi, 45. Isa xxiv, 13. Jer xxxi, 34. Mic iv. 2. Heb viii, 10. Philippians iii, 8. Jas i, 9-10. 1st Cor i, 26.
ONE WHO BELONGS TO THE SECT THAT IS EVERYWHERE SPOKEN AGAINST.
TO THE EDITOR OF THE FERMANAGH TIMES
Crocknacrieve, 29th April, 1907.
Corragarry has made repeated, personal attacks upon me through your columns. I, therefore, beg space to contradict his statements, and show him his little ways. During all this controversy I have written over my own name, and stated what I believe to be truth regardless of consequences. I have backed up all my arguments with Scriptural proofs that have not and could not be contradicted. I have proved the doctrine of infant baptism and baptismal regeneration to be unscriptural and traditional, and a branch of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, and contrary to the teaching of our Lord. That it crept into existence when man departed from God's plan to follow tradition. I have proved clericalism and professional Christianity to be the Great Babylon which has deceived all the nations.--Rev xviii, 3, set up by the god of this world in opposition to God's plan of salvation--that the system is contrary to all scriptural teaching and to the perfect way laid down and lived out by Jesus and His disciples. That the commands given to preachers in Matt x. Luke ix and x, &c, should never have been departed from. That all ecclesiastical titles and prefixes which go to exalt men and place them above their fellows comes from the god of this world and makes men more unlike Jesus, and are taken in direct contradiction to his express commands. Yet I made no personal attack upon any person. I simply tried to bring out what God has revealed in his word about all these things. But Corragarry, to ventilate his wrath like all cow-ards, assumes a mask and strikes from behind. Let me tell him his mask has become so torn by his parrot like cry that certain dealers between Enniskil-len and Belfast who trade with a man named Hueston have seen through, and just as we might expect, identification [---??---], from the arguments. However, that's not my affair. I have all along ignored questions such as his and "Churchman's" who have not the manliness to write over their own names. Yet I admit I would be worthy of all they say about me were their insinuations formed on fact. Let me tell Corragarry I do not and dare not dishonour God by calling any mortal "Reverend." Can he say the same? He evidently knows it's wrong to do so, but is it not a worse crime to bow the knee under a preacher with such a title? Rev. xvii, 3. Corragarry does this and tells us he has nothing to do with clericalism, although he is a member of a certain Belfast church where the camel of clericalism bosses the show. This is the real Corragarry.
I claim to be a disciple, same as all the New Testament Christians who lived in fellowship with the apostolic and destitute ministry of Jesus, and who opened their homes to receive such and held their worldly goods as stewards willing to communicate, ready to distribute, etc. Can Corragarry say the same? His reference to Luke xxii, 36 is misleading, we must read the whole passage to see its meaning. V 24 says there was a strife among them to see who should be greatest in v 31. Jesus said to Peter that Satin desired to have him. Then in v 34. tells him he would soon deny Him. They had already taken swords and had them concealed from the master's view (v 35). Jesus recalls to their memory their evident success when they went forth purseless and scripless and their lack of nothing. He then rebukes them and tells them to go on in their own way, and we soon find them hiding and denying Him. What a foundation for the great selfish purse loving ministry of today. The whole passage is the strongest argument against departure from the Jesus way. We have abundant proof of this being a rebuke for we find after His Resurrection, Jesus said to them, as the father hath sent me into the world, even so send I you--John xx, 21 besides Peter, Paul, and the New Testament preachers followed the pattern preacher Jesus without earthly provision or organization behind them. Corragarry thinks this divinely laid plan does not suit this age, Jesus never said it would suit any body. He told his preachers they would be hated, rejected, despised, and cast out as evil, for His sake that they would be as lambs among wolves. Cor's. reference to the Ballinamallard Hell, etc. shows he does not know the difference between saints meetings for the worship of god, and Gospel meetings where the words is preached. This error is part of the confusion of those in Babylon, and is pretty general a real church is an assembly of saints or true believ-ers. Paul gives a good definition in I Cor i, 1,7, he addresses them as "The Church of God at Corinth to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus "called to be saints who have the testimony of Jesus," confirmed in them. Who are waiting for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Such a church had fellowship with the apostles who had fellowship with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ--I John, 1-3. The fellowship or church meetings were held on the first day of the week--Acts xx, 7--in the homes of the saints, where they came together, to break bread showing the Lord's death till he comes--I Cor xi, 26. How different is all this to the worldly churches of today with their one man ministry, their fixed ritual, their dry as dust sermons and prayers. How sad to see them trying to get back to the "Mother Church" imitating her ornamental ritual, crosses, crucifixes, processions, candles, etc. to give show to their dead service instead of aiming at the pattern--Jesus.
In a Scriptural church the qualification for fellowship was, and is, repentance and believing faith and baptism into the apostles' doctrine and fellowship. In the worldly church the qualifications are worldly place and power among men. Why? Because such have the moneybags. No questions are asked as to Christian life or character. To ask them are they saved (sanctified in Christ Jesus) would be an insult, and we find the same names that figure on the racecourse and the sporting club taking pre-eminence in the so-called Church of God. (Reader, search the newspapers and you will see that this is so). What saith the spirit of such churches? Behold, I will make them as the synagogue of Satan, which say they are Jew, and are not, but do lie; behold, I will make them to come and worship before thy feet, and to know that I have loved them--Rev iii, 9. Therefore, all such worldly godless organizations are synagogues of Satan which drown men in destruction, slowing their ears to the truth as it is in Jesus; lest they should hear with their ears, see with their eyes, and understand with their hearts and be healed--Isa vi, 10.
Behold, He cometh with clouds, and every eye shall see Him, and they also which pierced him; and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of Him. Even so, amen.--Rev i, 7.
Your obedient servant, JOHN WEST.
TO THE EDITOR OF THE FERMANAGH TIMES
Corragarry writes that my letters are useless to him. Of this I am aware. But `tis for the sake of your readers that I reply to his sophistry. Some of them may have single eyes and honest hearts, and therefore be capable of receiving the truth as it is in Jesus. He starts by a sneer at me for not earning my bread by the sweat of my brow; evidently blind to the fact that it was after Jesus ceased to earn his bread by the sweat of his brow at the age of 30 and went forth to preach that the most important part of His life's work was done. Granted that the work He did from 30 till he was crucified was unseen and spiritual, yet from God's standpoint it was the most important work of his life. Since I ceased to earn my bread by the sweat of my brow and have devoted my life to the unseen spiritual work of seeking to get men saved to follow Jesus I consider I have accomplished more from the eternal standpoint, and have never regretted ceasing to save sovereigns and starting to seek to get souls saved. When Jesus said to Peter and others "Come, ye, after me, and I will make ye to become fishers of men." they ceased to earn their bread by the sweat of their brow and sought to catch men God adding food and shelter. Jesus comforted them as they started out to preach by saying, "consider the ravens, consider the lilies, the latter toil not neither do they spin, and yet I say unto you that Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these." I neither toil nor spin and yet I am fed and clothed, thank God, in the way my Master and His destitute sent ones were--Matt xxv, 31 to 46; Luke viii, 1 to 3. Corragarry speaks of me and those in fellowship with me appearing outwardly beautiful unto men, but that inwardly we are full of hypocrisy. We who go forth as Christ's destitute sent ones and those in fellowship have never before been described as appearing outwardly beautiful unto men. I think that unprejudiced minds must admit that the outwardly beautiful appearance is more the characteristic of those for whom Corragarry appears a champion. He twits me with using the logics of a modern scribe to find the meaning of a Greek word. Yet he does not seem to recognize that Jesus used the Septuagint version of the Scriptures which was the work of the scribes, and out of what they had translated and written condemned them. When I mentioned in a previous letter that Paul's theological training made him a persecutor of Christ's destitute sent ones, I alluded to his training at the feet of Gamaliel in the interpretation of the Scriptures. The translation of the Scriptures is schoolmen's work, and men used only head knowledge for such a task. The interpretation of the Scriptures was and is alone entrusted by Jesus to His destitute sent ones primarily, and in a secondary sense to those in fellowship with them. Tis only a man living like Jesus, destitute and dependent on God for food and shelter, and also fulfilling the other conditions of being Christ's sent one, who can interpret the Scriptures. Such were the apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers of Ephesians 4 and 11, and such are they today. All true saints are in fellowship with such and receive in a minor degree the spiritual insight into the meaning of the scriptures. The translation and printing of the Scriptures is a necessary work, but is not a spiritual one. A skeptic who was a proficient Greek scholar could do the work of translation which I am unable to do, but he could not interpret what he had translated without the aid of the Holy Spirit, which God only gives to those who obey Him--Acts 5 and 33. A man must obey the practices given to those who go forth to preach by Jesus in Luke x before he received the Holy Spirit. He must live the manner of life that Jesus and the apostles lived as far as in him lies. If the apostles of Jesus Christ's day could not do all that Jesus did they did all they could, and so were com-missioned and sent. If I can't raise the dead and heal the sick as a preacher that is no reason why I should not follow the apostles of the New Testament as far as in me lies. I can sell that I have and give alms, go forth without purse or scrip and have no home, trusting God to provide me with one as I go in the name of Jesus. Paul worked miracles and raised the dead, but we do not read of Timothy or Barnabas doing so, yet they were both apostles. Corragarry writes that although I say I ordain deacons, yet I do not mention a word about elders. I refer him to my letter of the 18th, from which I quote--"I have planted 20 churches since going forth, and in each of the 20 there is an elder appointed by me who earns his bread by the sweat of his brow, and shepherds the flock for love."
He then proceeds to sound my death knell. It is very evident that he believes in representing himself as the conquering hero, because in a previous letter he spoke of silencing me for ever. As the silencing of the death knell will require some space, I postpone doing so till next week. Meantime, he might refrain from tolling the bell, as I am not dead yet, and what he terms the death knell is another confirmation of the truth I live and preach.
--Yours faithfully, EDWARD COONEY Glasgow
TO THE EDITOR OF THE FERMANAGH TIMES
In a pastoral dated March 14 published in this journal, Mr. John West claims the support of Bishop Jeremy Taylor, for his anabaptist fancies. Mr. John West does not verify the alleged questions from Jeremy Taylor, and therefore it is of no value, nevertheless the assumption contains the suggested falsi.
Jeremy Taylor was promoted as the Bishoprick of Rowe in 1660. On the 24th of May, 1667, he visited a fever patient at Lisburn. He took the fever himself, August 3rd following, and died on the thirteenth of the same month, probably of typhus. In 1664, he published his famous book on the Roman controversy "[Discursive?] from Popery," so there could be no suspicion of Roman leanings. Jeremy Taylor held and taught Infant Baptism and its accompaniment, spiritual regeneration quite as strongly as the continental reformers, so here followeth the real Jeremy Taylor.
Bishop Jeremy Taylor, in two of his works, viz. "The Life of Christ" (Part 1 sec ix. Discourse 6 and "Liberty of Prophesying" (Sec. xv.ii) has entered very fully and very deeply into the controversy with the Anabaptists.
Adam sinned and left nakedness to descend upon his posterity a relative gift, and a remaining misery, he left enough to kill us, but nothing to make us alive; he was the head of mankind in order to temporal felicity, but there was another head intended to be the representative of human nature to bring us to eternal; but the temporal we lost by Adam and the eternal we could never receive from him, but from Christ only; from Adam we receive our nature such as it is, but grace and truth come by Jesus Christ.
Adam left us an imperfect nature that leads to sin and death, but he left us nothing else, and therefore to holiness and life, we must enter from another principle. So that besides the natural birth of infants there must be something added by which they must be reckoned in a new account; they must be born again, they must be reckoned in Christ, they must be adopted to the inheritance, and admitted to the promise, and entitled to the spirit.
Now that this is done ordinarily in Baptism is not to be denied, for therefore it is called "Loutron Palingenesias;" "the font or laver of regeneration." It is taught of the Church, it is the solemnity of our admission to the covenant evangelical. And if infants cannot go to Heaven by the first or natural birth, then they must go by a second and supernatural.
And since there is no other solemnity or Sacrament, no way of being born again that we know of, but by the ways of God's appointing, and He hath appointed Baptism, and all that are born again are born this way. Even men of reason who have or can receive the spirit being to enter at the door of Baptism. It follows that infants also must enter here, or we cannot say that they are entered at all.
And it is highly considerable that whereas the Anabaptist does clamorously and loudly call for a precept for children's Baptism, this consideration does his work for him and us.
He that shows the way needs not bid you walk in it; and if there be but one door that stands open and all must enter some one way or other, it were a strange perverseness of argument to say that none shall pass in at the door unless they come alone; and they that are brought or they that lean on crutches or the shoulders of others shall be excluded and undone for the infelicity, and shall not receive help because they have the greatest need of it.
"(Liberty of prophesying," page 567, Iisn-'s Edition).
When good Mr. John West in the effulgence of his infallibility quoted the reformers as endorsing his own notions in the way of consigning all children to eternal damnation, he little knew what service he was rendering to the cause of truth and enabling me to give the real teaching of Calvin, Luther, and Taylor, on the important doctrine of Baptism.
The many intelligent readers of this journal will see the weakness of a weak cause, wherein a man is driven to insinuate that yes is no, in saying that Calvin, Luther, and Taylor, were Anabaptists, whereas these men denounced the Anabaptists, as the teachers of a religious fraud.
--I am, sir, A CHURCHMAN.
May 16, 1907, p. 2
We in no way identify ourselves with the sentiments expressed by our various correspondents
TO THE EDITOR OF THE FERMANAGH TIMES
I am highly pleased to see your excellent correspondent, Mr. John West, so active in declaring his views of things. And it is very kind of Mr. Editor to give him the frequent opportunity of exhibiting his hatred to Church folk in particular, and the Christian world in general. In this fallen world--this chaos of moral evil--it is consolatory to be assured that there are a few righteous people to be found.
All the same, it is rather disappointing to people that Mr. John West cannot produce the runaway cleric of February, the 7th, so that we might enquire at his mouth whether his conduct was so contemptible.
To this must be added the marvelous fallibility of any one claiming to be infallible in the interpretation of Holy Scripture, in falling into the snare of quoting Bishop Jeremy Taylor as being an anabaptist. Mr. John West said on the fourteenth of March, in a profound quotation from Jeremy Taylor, "It is against the perpetual analogy of Christ's doctrine to baptize infants."
In last week's issue of this journal I had the privilege of quoting the real Jeremy Taylor on the subject at issue, and, by this time, thoughtful people see the difference between Mr. John West's Jeremy Taylor and Taylor himself on Taylor's own doctrine.
In controversy of this kind where the aim is sound teaching, it generally happens that disproving the negative is of little value, whereas the affirmation of the positive usually takes root.
It will thus be beneficial to church folk in particular, and Christian people in general, to read the real Jeremy Taylor, which I now quote giving as all church people are accustomed, chapter and verse.
"It is all the reason of the world that since the grace of Christ is as large as the prevarication of Adam, all they who are made guilty by the first Adam should be cleansed by the second. But as they are guilty by another man's act, so they should be brought to the font to be purified by others; there being the same proposition of reason that by other's acts they should be relieved, who were in danger of perishing by the act of others."(Liberty of prophesy-ing, p 541).
"In baptism, we are born again; and this infants need in the present circumstances and for the same great reason that men of age and reason do. For our natural birth is either of itself insufficient or is made so by the fall of Adam, and the consequent evils that nature alone, or our first birth cannot bring us to Heaven, which is a supernatural end, that is an end above all the power of our nature, as now it is.
So that if nature cannot bring us to Heaven, grace must, or we can never get thither, if the first birth cannot, a second must. But the second birth spoken of in Scripture is baptism, "a man must be born of water and of the spirit." And, therefore, baptism is Loutron Palingenesias, "the lever of a new birth."
Either then, infants cannot go to Heaven by any way, that we know of, or they must be baptized. To say they are to be left to God, is an excuse and no answer; for when God hath opened the door, and calls that the "entrance into Heaven," we do not leave them to God when we will not carry them to Him in the way which He hath described, and at the door which Himself hath opened. We leave them indeed, but it is but helpless and destitute. And though God is better than man, yet that is no warrant to us. What it will be to the children that we cannot warrant or conjecture.
And if it be objected that to the new birth are required dispositions of our own which are to be brought by, and in them that have the use of reason; BESIDES THAT BE WHOLLY AGAINST THE ANALOGY OF A NEW BIRTH, IN WHICH THE PERSON TO BE BORN IS WHOLLY PASSIVE, and hath put into him the principle which in time will produce its proper actions; it is certain that they that can receive the new birth are capable of it". (Life of Christ. Part I section ix, page 260).
"It (baptism) does not heal the wounds of actual sins, because they (infants) have not committed them, but it takes off the evil of original sins; whatsoever be imparted to us by Adam's prevarication, is washed off by the death of the Second Adam into which we are baptized." ("idem" p 361).
The intelligent reader is requested to compare the lines in small capitals to the foregoing paragraph, which are--"Besides, that this is wholly against the analogy of a new birth in which the person to be born is wholly passive. With the lines in this journal on March 14th by Mr. John West as Jeremy Taylor's own, the lines are--"It is against the perpetual analogy of Christ's doctrine to baptize infants."
It is only fair to Mr. John West to give him the credit of not being guilty of a literary fraud in comparing with the lines. Nevertheless, he quotes them and so far sets his seal to their truth. It is highly probable that he is the dupe of the anabaptist pamphleteer, who, being hard up for arguments to support a feeble cause, resorted to forgery in the hope that his victims would not possess sufficient intelligence to see through him.
But a man who can interpret Holy Scripture infallibly should be equally infallible in his selection from the writings of the elect; if fallible in the latter, he is just the same in the former.
--I am, sir, A CHURCHMAN
In Mr. Cooney's letter of 18th April, he tells us a certain Presbyterian minister receives ,18 per week for preaching. On looking over the financial report I find no such salary is paid to any Presbyterian minister in Belfast, and I may add in Ireland. I therefore ask Mr. Cooney to either withdraw or give his authority.
It has occurred to him to "write further on the subject of discipleship." But has it not also occurred to him that he entered into this controversy to prove that theological education in general, and Paul's theological education in particular, always made the possessor of such education an opponent of Jesus and His truth. Until you prove that we cannot accept your ideal disciple as anything but after a standard of your own.
It must have also occurred to Mr. Cooney--though he is too modest to say so--that before Cooneyites have any right to lecture others on discipleship, they themselves should be true disciples; that before accusing others of inconsistency, they, themselves, should be consistent, two principles which I think it has been proved to the satisfaction of readers, Cooneyites sadly lack.
Mr. Cooney's first letter said, "He that renounceth not all cannot be my disciple." There was no lowering the standard till Mr. West was tested by it, and the lowering process goes on till now. "Renounce" means holding well paid situations, farms, houses, etc, and disciple covers all Cooneyites be they ever so rich, so fertile is Mr. Cooney's imagination, for I cannot call anything so absurd reasoning.
We know Jesus and the Apostles visited the family at Bethany, and were entertained, but there is not a scrap of proof that Lazarus and Martha "renounced all" except as thousands of Christians are doing today.
He then tells us Mary invested her dowry money in ointment, gave alms, and went out as a tramp preacher. There is not a word of this in the Bible, and I challenge Mr. Cooney to give a scrap of proof. Then he tells us Jesus sold all, gave alms, and went out as a tramp preacher. This also is an addition of Mr. Cooney's own to the Bible, for it is not to be found even in that up-to-date, new-fangled, 20th Century edition which this would-be despiser of education is so fond of using. His entire letter reads like a chapter of Ballinger, and not one of the above passages can be backed up with Scripture.
It is a pity a preacher of the Gospel, and a man who has sacrificed so much, lends himself to such distortion of Scripture and such false inferences to bolster up a pet theory of his own. If he has no grander theme and no truer Gospel it should now occur to him--he should write no further.
Then he interprets quite a number of verses. Let me take just one as an example. Take Luke xiv, 27. I quote the verse--"Whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be My disciple." This, he says, speaks of the opposition of the Devil through religious people who profess to be saved, &c. Such an interpretation of this passage shows Mr. Cooney is well versed in the tactics of Satan, who also was an expert at quoting Scripture to suit himself. There is scarcely a verse quoted in his letter he does not twist from their true meaning in like manner.
Mr. Cooney might have spared himself the trouble of giving either his own (or Ballinger's) definition of discipleship in the different degrees. All these are only supposition.
Let us go from Lazarus to the foundation of the Christian Church. On the day of Pentecost 3,000 were added to the Church.--Acts ii, 41 and in the 44th and 45th verses we are told: "All that believed"--mark you, not the tramps only--but "all that believed" were together and had all things common, and sold their possessions and goods, &c." Again, Acts iv, 34 says--"Neither was there any among them that lacked; for as many as were possessors of lands or houses sold them and brought the prices of the things that were sold, verse 35, and laid them down at the apostles' feet, and distribution was made, &c. If Mr. Cooney believes--as he says he does--in living according to the early apostolic and Christian Church, this is how he and "All" his followers should live, for here is the scriptural record of how all lived in the early stages of the Church. Let readers apply the action of "All that believed" to Cooneyites of today, and they will find a big difference. Let Mr. Cooney now say if the times are the same as after Pentecost.
Mr. Cooney charged me with straining at a gnat because I mentioned his bicycle. He now admits he has given it up, and thus admits that I was right all the time, and that his arguments about the gnat were only bluff. This from an apostle too! But his admission brings us a step further, for it exposes the inconsistency of every tramp preacher who owns a bicycle, and that is almost all. Out of thine own mouth the sect is condemned of inconsistency.
Again, he would now change the command of Matt 10 not to take two coats to "an amount of clothing, varying of course according to climate." By this admission he proves my point exactly that the commission of Matt 10 was a special commission, meant only for a short time, and suitable only for the land of Israel where the climate was warm and the people hospitable, and could not be applied now; hence the new commission in Luke xxii, 36. Mr. Cooney changes the command on the two coats to suit himself. Why not also that re purse and scrip to suit others?
When he admits a change in this to suit the climate, why will he not allow the poor Laplander a mode of baptism to suit his climate also. O, Consistency, where art thou? His arguments have the opposite effect to what he intended. Instead of driving me into a corner they have proved what I have been contending for all along. Cooneyites claimed to build upon this commission, but now, on the authority of Mr. Cooney, it must be changed to suit them; therefore, here endeth the farce of Cooneyism.
In his last letter he admits he does not earn his bread by the sweat of his brow. Another item which was hard to wring from him. But worse than all, he upholds the theologically trained Ballinger, and there gives way the whole case re theological education. If he can learn from the teaching of Professor Ballinger, why does he damn all other theological teaching. Don't run away from this, Mr. Cooney. Ballinger's work is not mere translation, as he would have us believe when he drags in the skeptic. His work was interpretation just as much as the work of any other professor of to-day.
Mr. Cooney tells us he appoints officers in the churches. So does the Pope. What I want to know is are they ordained according to Scripture. If so, he and I agree on at least one point.
His letters to me are meaningless for this reason. He is rehearsing his pet theories, and when asked for proof he runs away to something else. I have not got a straightforward answer to a single question yet. Let him answer my first letter, or, like a man, admit he cannot.
I referred to the death-knell of Cooneyism, as he will see by my letter, but even this he must quote falsely, and twist to a wrong meaning, and thus tries to evade the issue. But his refusal to meet the arguments only convinces me that the death-knell of Cooneyism--not of Cooney--is already rung. He is wrong again in stating that Timothy was an apostle; even if he was, that does not affect my argument. The commission in Matt 10 was given to those, and those only, who were given power to heal, &c. Does that fit Mr. Cooney?
The greater part of Mr. West's letter I have nothing to write. He thinks it is truth, but most of it is false, as his statements about Calvin, Luther and Taylor. I write above a nom-de-plume as many other Cooneyites are doing. I have put my finger upon Mr. West's inconsistency; let him do the same in my case, instead of insinuating what he cannot prove. It is Mr. West's interpretation of Luke xxii--and not mine--that is misleading. When they were sent out in Matt 10 without swords they lacked nothing, but Luke xxii, 36 does away with the older commission, and in the latter they were told to take swords, purse and scrip. Mr. West says--"He then rebukes them, and tells them to go their own way."False every word of it. Not a syllable of it is Scripture, as anyone will see who takes the trouble to read the chapter and the corresponding chapter of John (17th chap).
I asked Mr. West two questions:
1st--Has he resigned the well-paid situation in which the Council told him he must commit blasphemy? That question he has not yet answered. Until such time as he answers this I for one do not believe that he has "renounced all" or that there was even a conscious letting go of this snug well paid situation.
2nd--Mr. West asks for scriptural proof for payment of ministers. Opposite this I ask for scriptur-al proof for spending money by building zinc churches. This leaves Mr. West in exactly the same position as those he denounces. No wonder he does not answer arguments, such as those of "Churchman" and "Corragarry" for the one has exposed his falsehoods, and the other his inconsistency.
Let me, in conclusion, tell him I bow the knee before God only; and Mr. Cooney has cleared me of all taint of clericalism by declaring there is not a scrap of clericalism in Acts 14, 23.
Ishi attempts to give scriptural proof for women tramp preachers. Take his first proof Luke 1.29--Here are two women in a state of pregnancy, the one visits her cousin, and after a three month's stay returns home, and both continue at home with their husbands afterwards. There is no evidence of anything but a conversation between the two cousins, not even a third person is mentioned, yet this and two other similarly absurd examples "Ishi" gallantly proclaims to be the foundation of this unscriptural Cooneyite doctrine. The similarity between Mary, Elisabeth, and the women tramp preachers is so small, a microscope would be required to see it.
A gentleman with a name almost as long as his letter, writes on the education question, but most of the passages do not even refer to the question at issue. Any points I have passed over was not because of any difficulty in exposing them, but because my letter is already very long. Hoping you will find space.
--Yours faithfully, CORRAGARRY 6th May, 1907.
With reference to Luke 22 and 36 which Corragarry terms the death knell to all preachers who obey the instructions of Jesus given in Luke x, and go forth providing neither gold, silver or copper in their girdles, nor wallet of bread for their journey, nor extra boots, shoes or clothes, nor sword to protect themselves with, I shall proceed to prove that when Jesus told his sent ones in Luke 22 and 36 to take purse, wallet of bread, and above all a sword, it was because they were at the time backslidden in heart, and were about to backslide openly, one of them going to betray him, another going to deny him, and all about to forsake him and flee from him as he was numbered amongst the transgressors, and put to death as a blasphemer by the religious people of the time.
Let us look at the context. In verse 31 the Lord is described as saying, Simon, Simon, Satan hath desired to have you that he may sift you as wheat, but I have prayed the Father for thee that thy faith fail not, and when thou art converted (from thy backsliding) strengthen thy brethren, verse 33 shows that Peter was unaware that he had backslidden in heart, and was about to backslide openly. Matthew 26 and 34 shows that the others were in the same condition unaware that they had lost confidence in Jesus in some measure, and departed from the simple faith they had in Him and His Way at the beginning. See the 35th verse, "And He said unto them when I sent you without purse and scrip and shoes, lacked ye anything; and they said nothing, meaning when I sent you out at the first when your hearts beat true to Me, and you provided for yourselves neither gold, silver, brass, food, or extra clothes. Did I not move hearts to provide you with home, food, clothes, gold, silver, brass, or anything else you needed, as ye became My destitute sent ones, and went forth seeking first the kingdom. Luke xii, 31 to 33. But now, now that ye are going to backslide, now that Peter is going to deny Me, and go back to his fishing. Now that ye are all about to forsake me and flee because that ye are fools and slow of heart to believe. John xxi, 2 and 3, Luke 24 and 25.--He that hath a purse let him take it, and likewise his scrip, and he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment and buy one. Verse 38 shows that they had gone so far wrong as to provide themselves with two swords which they were probably hiding from the eyes of Jesus, but he knew their hearts, and when they produced the swords, said "It is enough," meaning it is enough to show you have lost confidence in Me and My Father. It is enough to prove to your backslidden condition. They did not see this at the time, but they saw it all afterwards. When Jesus told Judas to go and betray him in the words "That thou dost do quickly." John 13 and 27. It meant now that thou hast the heart to do it, go and do it. When He told the backslidden disciples to take purse, scrip and sword it was, because they had the heart to do it. "He gave them the desire of their hearts and sent leaness withal into their souls. "When the children of Israel, after leaving Egypt, wanted to turn back towards Egypt, the pillar of cloud by day and the pillar of fire by night led them back, why? because in their hearts they desired to go back. God always seeks to get heart wrongness manifested outwardly just as a physician seeks to bring inward corruption to the surface in order to deal with it. Returning to Luke 22, we notice that when Peter proceeded to use the sword that the Lord had told him to take, Jesus, rebuked him. verses 50 and 51; see also John xviii, 10 and 11. When Corragarry states that the taking of the purse scrip and sword was part of the commission of Matt xxvi, 19--Go ye therefore and make disciples of all nations baptizing them, &c he manifests great lack of discernment. In Luke xxii, 36,-- Jesus spoke to his sent ones when they had backslidden in heart, and were about to backslide openly. This was before the crucifixion. In Matt xxvi, 19, Jesus spoke to those same sent ones after his crucifixion and resurrection they had then been restored, and were in a position to go forth as his faithful loyal disciples, and one never reads of their providing purse scrip and sword again. We read of the restoration in John 21, when Jesus forgave their backsliding, and provided them with a breakfast in the Luke x way. Bread from their father in Heaven fish from the same source cooked by Jesus, see John xxi, 9. Peter, the backslider, was taken again from his purse scrip, sword, and catching fish way, and sent out to feed Christ sheep and lambs. Christ manifesting to him that he could feed his body, apart from his providing gold or silver or brass in his girdle, or wallet of bread for his journey, &c, see John xxi, 15 to 17. Let us follow the disciples into the Acts of the Apostles, and see if they provided themselves with purse, scrips and swords. In Acts iii, 3 we read of a beggar asking an alms of Peter and John, then Peter said, "silver and gold have I none." Had he belonged to the class for which Corragarry is champion, he would have pulled out his purse and given the man something. But he was no longer a backslider and had not provided himself with gold or silver, knowing that if he required any, that God would provide it for him, as he went in the Jesus Way. In Acts iv, 34, 35, we read that as many as were possessed of lands or houses, sold them and brought the prices of the things that were sold, and laid them down at the Apostles' feet. Instead of pulling out long purses and putting the money into them, to build manses and steeple houses with, and to provide a sustentation fund. It was all distributed to the poor and needy while the Apostles adhered to their Master's instructions given in Luke x, and followed in His footsteps. Had I followed my Cooney nature instead of the new Christ nature God has given to me I would have gone out to preach living on the interests of my money accumulated by hard work. Instead of this I gave all in alms, and went forth as my Master told me, this of course leaves me open to the scorn and reproach that He and all his preachers bore in the New Testament. Since going forth without a halfpenny, I have never had a collection or asked money, food or shelter of anyone. Yet praise God though I have suffered a little hardship He has added food and shelter as I have sought first the kingdom. When I last saw Corragarry in Belfast he was fighting for a Presbyterian clergyman who used to be a carpenter before he went out to preach, and has now, I am told, either ,16 or ,18 per week for preaching in the Presbyterian clergy way. He is certainly not like the Jesus he preaches about who was also a carpenter before he went out to preach, but went out to preach in God's way taking upon himself the form of a slave, Phil 2 and 7, and was only valued at ,3 6s 8d by the Jewish clergy when Judas sold him.
My reason for writing this fully is not that I have much hope of delivering Corragarry from his traditional blindness, but fearing lest some of your readers might be deceived by his plausible sophistry.
--Yours faithfully, EDWARD COONEY.
P.S.--One interesting point I omitted to mention showing that Paul adhered to the Luke x Jesus way of preaching, is that he was called a moocher or sponge in Acts 17 and 18, the Greek word is spermologos, and is wrongly translated babbler. "It was an Athenian slang term used of a worthless fellow of low class and vulgar habits with the insinuation that he lives at the expense of others like those disreputable persons who hang around the markets and the quays in order to pick up anything that falls from the loads that are carried about. Hence as a term in social slang it connotes absolute vulgarity and inability to rise above the most contemptible standard of life and conduct. It is often connected with slave life for the "Spermologos"was near the type of the slave, and below the level of the free man." See page 242. St. Paul the traveller, by Professor Ramsay, D C L, a modern scribe whose translation I find useful, although his interpretation shows his blindness.
May 23, 1907, p. 3
We in no way identify ourselves with the sentiments expressed by our various correspondents
TO THE EDITOR OF THE FERMANAGH TIMES
Mr. John West makes things very easy for an opponent by appealing to the Reformers in support of his own notions. And herein he appears to show a weakness in discussion. He invoked the sacred shades of Calvin, Luther, and Jeremy Taylor, to arise and bless his fancies when, lo, they cursed them altogether!
In company with Calvin, Luther, and Jeremy Taylor, a trio of Theologians, he claimed Erasmus, a very Goliath of intellectual might as a brother. And I much regret that my departure from home for a few weeks will hinder me from seeing this journal, and pronouncing further extracts from the Reformers, in support of the faith, once delivered to the saints. It is to be hoped that the good man will continue his utterances---the outcome of infallible interpretation of Holy Scripture.
Mr. John West, in this journal of May 2nd inst, declared his mind on "ecclesiastical titles," such as" reverend," etc, affirming that all titles are more or less blasphemous. It is not quite clear whether the good man dislikes the titles themselves or the gentlemen behind the titles. In either case the waters of the amber Erne will not cease to flow into the sea as in the days of yore, and here it may not be quite out of place to quote the lines of the Reverend Doctor Dunkin's select poetical works, vol ii, p 359 on Lough Erne.
"Curious to discern,"
All the charms of amber Erne,
Representing to the sight
Various objects of delight;
Fields and flocks on mossy beds,
Forests with inverted heads;
Dales and hills untaught to rise,
"Pointing to the nether skies."
The Quakers in past days were opposed to all titles, civil, ecclesiastical, and military, and quoted scripture quite as fluently, if not, more infallibly, that Mr. John West and his friends, for their condemnation of them, and the late Tom Hood had such people in mind, when he sung--
"Men, who on Bible stilts affect to walk,
And lard with Scripture, their familiar talk."
The members of the Society of Friends are keen observers of men and things, and now after two centuries of protest against titles, have come to the conclusion that their notion is unworkable. They are the most courteous of people in their mode of address, using Mr. Esquire, Reverend, etc, with careful discrimination.
At present, I know personally two members of the Society of Friends, one a distinguished lawyer and politician, and he has accepted the honorary degree of Doctor of Civil Law from the University, and uses his distinction. Another, a well-known banker--man of letters--and Bible scholar also, is so honoured, while a third, now dead, had the same honour conferred upon him, and he used it, and curious to relate this latter gentleman, a banker, director of companies, etc, shrewd man of the world, believed so much in bishops, priests and deacons, that he made a free gift of a mansion, adjoining his own grounds, as a residence for the bishop, to belong to the diocese for ever. Perhaps some day a "Liberal" Government may "make free" with this generous gift, and hand it over, say, to the local missionaries of a Mormon colony from Salt Lake City, when an eclipse shall have come over the sun of Britain's glory, in the temporary triumph of ungodliness.
In the annals of the diocese of Clogher in 1306 A.D. "Master" Solomon is the precentor of the Cathedral Church. In 1613 A.D. "Master" James Higate is rector of Clones. In early times the clergy who were "college-bred," were called "Master," those who were not, were called "Sir." About the time of Queen Anne, these titles dropped, and "Reverend" gradually came into general use when addressing the clergy, and is now practically extended to all ministers of religion.
Some years ago I saw a letter from a high--caste native of India, who had become a Christian, to a clergyman, and the half of the first page was taken up with titles of respect. In history all titles are the outcome of refinement and breeding, and those who don't deserve them, or don't possess them crave most loudly for them, though affecting to despise them.
This word "Master" has, in modern times, many applications, but it comes in most, in addressing men whether in speech or writing for example, we say Mr. John West and the good man accepts the title without protest.
This prefix Mr. the contraction of Mister probably to harmonize with Mistress, is the modern equivalent to Master. Mister is Master no less and no more.
To the vast multitude, the members of Christ's Church militant on earth, dwelling outside of the circle of which Mr. John West appears to be the centre, the popular meaning of the word Master has no very serious application. As they are all "unconverted," and "in ruins," they are lost any way so let them go down the valley.
But, the converted people inside the circle, be its dimensions great or small, are to understand that according to Mr. John West's principle of Biblical interpretation (and therein he cannot err), the great canon is the literal meaning of the literal word, as passed by the evangelists and apostles, in sixteenth century English, applies rigidly to all time, without variation.
And, if it is criminal to apply words to men, which only can be applied to Our Lord Himself, then how does Master John West himself stand? "Master" is the word used by Our Blessed Lord as His title. "Neither be ye called masters, for one is your Master, even Christ." St Matthew xxiii, 10.
Whatever may be the spiritual blindness of the members of the kingdom of Heaven on earth, the visible Church of God, there is no blindness like this a prophet setting his own teaching at defiance. Verily, the votaries of infallible Biblical interpretation lead themselves into the region of self-satisfied delusion! and what will be the end thereof?
A "pilgrimage" means a journey, and a journey must end somewhere. Whither does the new prophet intend to lead his followers, if they go away, will they ever return?
--I am sir, A CHURCHMAN
TO THE EDITOR OF THE FERMANAGH TIMES
In his last letter (May 2) Mr. West says he all along ignored questions by those like "Corragarry" and "Churchman" who have not the meanliness to write over their own names. Very plausible, but untrue, for in his letter of March 28, he answered this same "Churchman" and three other anonymous correspondents. Evidently apostle West is not infallible, so it matters very little now whether he answers or not, as most readers have their own opinion by this time. Should this Crocknacrieve apostle again lift his head out of the sand, I advise him to read and inwardly digest Rev xxi, 8--"All liars shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone." Let me also tell him it is no personal attack to put the finger of truth upon his falsehoods, and expose his misrepresentations and inconsistencies. If anyone has a right to complain it is I, for Mr. West makes insinuations without any foundation. Mr. Cooney's last letter is splendid from a debater's standpoint. He would make us believe Jesus did not mean what he said and that he commanded his eleven faithful apostles to sin, that his command to the eleven had exactly the same meaning as that given to Judas, and he quotes a passage from the Psalms as proof--a passage which refers to the sinful and rebellious Jews, and has nothing at all to do with the apostles. Any theory can be built up upon this principle till a little gospel truth is brought to bear upon it, and then we discover the foundation was sand. We read this theory but when we look for Scriptural proof we find nothing but Mr. Cooney's interpretation with odd scraps from a learned scribe or professor whose teaching we are warned against as false. Did ever such inconsistency exist as we have here. Mr. Cooney comes forward to prove that education makes man a persecutor of Jesus and yet he studies their works, accepts the part of their teaching which suits himself and actually quotes them as proof, and in the next sentence tells us their teaching is false. This is what I call double barrelled inconsistency. The putting forward of Professor Ramsey gives Mr. Cooney's answer to my first question. The "renouncing all" question is almost abandoned, so Mr. Cooney and I will soon part company. When clever, imaginative, learned Mr. Cooney has to resort to such inconsistent methods to keep up a show of argument I know the death-knell of Cooneyism is already rung for the majority of people are not so gullible as to be taken in by such clap-trap. He winds up by saying he has no hopes of delivering me. I hope not if this is the means he would employ. I have been taught the Scriptures from my youth up, and God has endowed me with an amount of reason and intelligence that forbids me accepting the teaching of any so-called apostle be he, Cooney or West, unless such teacher can show that his teaching has a Scriptural foundation. I have asked several pertinent questions which no Cooneyite should be afraid to answer were his teaching what he claims it to be, yet I have never yet had a straight answer to them from any Cooneyite, and I have asked more than Messrs. Cooney and West. Were I traditionally blind I might take Mr. Cooney's word without "proving all things." A few hundred have already done so. But for me, this would be credulity--not faith.
When Mr. West was tested by Mr. Cooney's standard, it was promptly lowered and now by the same process that particular clergyman's salary is down 160 points. How can we have confidence in an apostle, who makes such reckless statements? Like the bicycle argument--all bluff. He says I once fought for this cleric. He should be ashamed to mention the circumstance. That Sabbath evening he spent at the Custom House steps ridiculing ministers and mimick-ing their wives, and in the conversation we had afterwards I told him I did not then know what salary this minister had, nor did it matter to me, that I knew this man had been largely used by God as an instrument for the conversion of sinners, and that if he--Mr. Cooney--were a Christian he should not so speak about another Christian. That is the fighting I did and even at this moment I am neither afraid or ashamed to offer the same opinion.
I have in my possession a letter from another tramp preacher, and the following are a few of his select names for Christian ministers--"Pharisees", "false prophets", "Satan's counterfeit" and "gentlemen parasites." Then Mr. West puts on the finishing touches by saying in his last letter he has proved all the evangelical Churches (Baptists and Plymouth excluded) to be the Great Babylon, and consequently all the members to be spiritual harlots. I do not consider it fighting for the clergy to contradict such false statements. Had Mr. Cooney and his followers been truthful and displayed the least particle of Christian charity neither my voice or pen would have been lifted against them. But they, one and all have yet to learn the alphabet of that greatest of all Christian graces--charity.
Let me tell Mr. Cooney that at the time Peter and John were asked for an alms the regular ministry was not established. He should not live entirely in the first chapter of Acts, and as he does not seem to understand the difference between an Apostle and an Elder I recommend him to study Timothy and Titus, and hope it will have the same good effect as Proverbs had on a previous occasion. If he spent less time in drawing distinctions between disciples, and learn the difference between an Apostle and an Elder it should be more profitable, and clear away the mists which seems to blind him when he approaches Matthew x and Luke xxii.
Mr. Cooney for his own sake should have omitted that interesting point in his P.S. He proceeds to prove that Paul lived in the Luke 10 way. Like all his other arguments when tested by Scripture we find it is false. My Bible tells me Paul took wages from certain churches. 2 Cor xi 8 also that he lived in his own hired house two whole years, Acts xxviii 30 and at other times laboured with his hands. Is that the Luke 10 way? R S V P, of course I am quite prepared to hear the passage in Corinthians is a mistranslation. There always is something wrong with the Bible when it does not agree with Mr. Cooney.
He tell us he does not ask any money, but he gets it all the same. Whether we label it alms or sustentation makes very little difference. If he did not get money it would be impossible to travel from Glasgow to Enniskillen for his Easter holidays at least. I am not aware that Messrs. Burne Steamship Co or G N R issue free passes to "Apostles" so-called.
Take my advice and leave the "learned scribes", "professors" and "dead languages" alone or you will not be allowed to partake of the "fatted calf" at the Crocknacrieve Convention next July.
As it will likely occur to him to write further on Luke xxii 36 also Acts ii 41, I reserve my remarks on that subject and I hope it will also occur to him that it is time he gave an answer to the questions in my first letter. His letters have in a shuffling way admitted enough for an answer, but I would like it straight from himself, and I am sure readers would too.--Thanking you in anticipation,
Yours faithfully, CORRAGARRY 20th May, 1907
TO THE EDITOR OF THE FERMANAGH TIMES
Will you kindly permit me through the medium of the FERMANAGH TIMES to return thanks to the "Cooneyite" who has sent me a copy of the "Ulster Guardian," bearing the Irvinestown post mark, and addressed to Mr. Fleming? (This, by the way, is a worse title than Rev. for that sect. It means "My Sirs," or "My Lord," but I suppose it is less sinful to sin in French than in English.) Under ordinary circumstances this would have followed the usual course of such productions, no notice would be taken of it, and it would be consigned where it could be of most use, or do least harm. But this paper has an article with regard to the appointment of a clerk in Belfast, marked, and a written superscription as the head of the paper. I know nothing of Belfast, I was never 48 hours in it in my lifetime, but the prosperity of that city is proof that the people can, and do, mind their own affairs. But the superscription for which I am thankful is this--" What think ye of your Orange Belfast Christian Pretenders. Down with such bla-guard ( I presume he could act the word better than he can spell it) "bigoted hypocrisy", "Cooneyite." "The city of the open Bible. Lord save us from our enemies."
The reason I thank him for this is, that it affords an additional proof, if that be needed, of the principles which underly all the actions of this sect. They are pure and simple Nihilists as those who would blow up the Czar of Russia--Communists as those who would hang their opponents to the nearest lamp post. Levellers whose motto is--" Every one else down, and I and my party up." And no wonder. Their first Anabaptist leader of any note, John of Leyden, dragged out one of his four wives. (Oh, yes, he had four. Didn't the Scripture say "The Church which is in thy house?") and cut off her head with his own sword in the market place of Munster in Westphalia. It is yet to be seen to what extent another John may lead them in this country. He has done pretty well up to the present since he has succeeded in making a dead letter of St. Paul's command-- "Honour all men."
But one thing I would remark for the benefit of my fellow Churchmen, in a letter of his some time ago Mr. John West (I hope he will pardon the "Mr.") said he was formerly "nominally" a member of the Church of Ireland. There it is, the whole secret. If our people will seek to be more than nominal members, to understand the teaching of their Church, and to be able to give an answer concerning the faith that is in them, they need have no fear of the many winds of doctrine which blow "nominal" members about like thistle-down upon the breeze--and cause them to be like thistledown--a nuisance wherever they alight.
--Yours faithfully, W E FLEMING,
M. A. Rector and Prebendary of Kilakeery, and Canon of Glogher.
Kilakeery, May 21st, 1907.
TO THE EDITOR OF THE FERMANAGH TIMES
Corragarry had spoken of sacred truths so irreverently, it would be better to treat him with silence only for some of your readers who may not see plainly that we could not have this most precious account of the glad tidings and joy of a coming Saviour and His forerunner, were there not many gathered together and the pen of a ready writer to chronicle the utterances of the Holy Spirit proclaimed by those two chosen women in a loud voice, which are echoing down the ages since and will be till Time shall be no more. The news of His resurrection given to the women for His disciples and received by them as idle tales until our risen Lord upbraided them with their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they believed not them which had seen Him after He was risen. There is no need of a microscope to see and believe what holy men of old were inspired to write for our everlasting peace. The wayfaring men, though fools, shall not err therein and there is no difference made in the messengers.
TO THE EDITOR OF THE FERMANAGH TIMES
Corragary writes in your last issue with regard to Paul's education that most of my passages do not refer to the question at issue, and say points I have passed over he would have no difficulty in exposing. Will he kindly expose the following passages: I quote the whole verses: --"And I brethren came not unto you with excellency of speech, declar-ing unto the testimony of God, and my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man's wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and the power." "That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God." "Which things also we speak not in words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth." "But I certify you brethren that the Gospel which was preached of me is not after man, for I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelations of Jesus Christ" --1st Corinthians, 1 chap, 1-4, 5-13; Galatians 1 chap. 12, 13.
Will Churchman back his arguments with sound Scriptural proofs instead of the traditions of men. He evidently belongs to the class Paul warns the Colossians against.--Col 2, 8.
ONE WHO BELONGS TO THE SECT THAT IS EVERYWHERE SPOKEN AGAINST. .
May 30, 1907, p. 6
We in no way identify ourselves with the sentiments expressed by our various correspondents
At the day of Pentecost a special crisis was responded to by the saints who had renounced all, selling all that they had, and distribution was made to all according as there was need. Thousands who had come up to the feast of Pentecost as devout Jews seeking to be filled with the Holy Spirit, discovered when brought face to face with the 120 destitute, sent ones of Jesus that they had not the righteousness of Christ which leads those who go forth to preach to sell all and give alms going out as their Master went, and those who don't go forth and preach to become stewards of life, and substance renouncing all that all may be used henceforth for Him to whom it has been yielded. Christ's saints who do this, and Christ's destitute sent ones are always found in fellowship. No other fellowship is recognized in the New Testament and God has not changed, nor Jesus Christ his Son. When these devout Jews received the Christ nature, as they made Jesus Lord, they tarried on at Jerusalem to be taught by Christ's destitute sent ones, and as they had only made arrangements for the necessary delay at Jerusalem for the feast of Pentecost, their food and shelter was provided by the local saints who sold their lands and possessions in order to do so. Should such a crisis occur in connection with the destitute sent ones of Jesus today, and the saints in fellowships with them, lands and houses would again be sold to meet the need for food and shelter on the part of those who came to be instructed by these sent ones with a view to going North, South, East and West to spread the glad message received. If Corragarry visits Crocknacrieve during July he will see hundreds getting food and shelter out of a common store. So that they may receive instruction from Christ's destitute sent ones, as they tarry for some time there and then go forth to spread abroad as servants or saints what God has spoken to their hearts. If it were thousands instead of hundreds who needed food and shelter, so that they might have the opportunity of being spiritually nourished and thus fitted to go forth and spread the glad message; those of the saints in Fermanagh who have houses and lands ought to be willing to sell them in order to meet the necessity. If this crisis does arrive and t'would be a joy to us to see. We hope the saints will do what the saints at Pentecost did.
--Yours faithfully, E COONEY.
TO THE EDITOR OF THE FERMANAGH TIMES
I observe by your last issue that the great Long Tom of Clogher has been wheeled into line, and having been charged with envy, malice, and all uncharitableness, proceeds to give us hash of irrelevant nonsense about Nihilism. The Czar of Russia and John of Layden (reference to the latter and his four wives comes well from Mr. Fleming ). Allow me to tell him we no more believe in John of Layden than we do in W E Fleming--neither are like the pattern as found in Jesus, and those who know the truth and have been made free thereby will not be deceived be either of them. I ask, what right has W.E. Fleming to associate my name with the silly person he pretends to have got a newspaper from and to attack me in a most scurrilous manner in order to vent his spleen ? It must be because a few people have got their eyes opened, and have been delivered out of the Kilageery deadhouse. His letter was evidently written for the purpose of associating those who are Christians, and outside the clerical camp with all that's disloyal and to arouse the ire of the Orangemen, which I understand, to some extent has been accomplished. It is well, however, to now make it clear that we value the principles of civil and religious liberty, as dearly as Orangemen do, and its untrue to insinuate that we have any quarrel with them for we have none, and we fully appreciate Orangemen and every Society that has civil and religious liberty for its motto. We obey the command to Honour all men, love the brotherhood, fear God, and honour the King, I Peter ii, 17, as every Christian should. However, we do not consider the true Christian needs any society or organization other than that found in Christ, in whom all fullness dwells we hold that fellowship with Him in his Church is all sufficient and satisfying, but this does not lessen our appreciation of those who hold the principles of civil and religious liberty. We make no secret of our belief that all preachers who go forth in their own way and make merchandise of the Word of God, and the testimony of Jesus are to be avoided. Such are known by their fruit, by their ritual, by their priestly garb and scales which come from the Pope of Rome, such have a form of Godliness without the power to deliver men from sin, and just as the clergy of Jesus' time stirred up enmity against Him, and preferred the robber to the Son of God, the clergy of today seek to hinder and oppose those who live, and preach in His name and way. We find clericalism always sheltering itself behind some existing institution, power, or organization, and never able to fight its own battle ; just in the same way, it now tries to shelter itself behind the Orangemen. In conclusion, let me tell Mr. Fleming that if he has no gospel for his "nominal" members, but his dead ritual they are likely to remain "nominal" all their day. Even if they could repeat the 39 articles and all the collects in the prayer-book, and intone the remainder they will perish. Unless they are born again, not by being sprinkled as babies, but by true repentance towards God, and saving faith in our Lord Jesus Christ.
--Your obedient servant, JOHN WEST.
P.S.--Since I know Corragarry, I don't consider him worth noticing.
TO THE EDITOR OF THE FERMANAGH TIMES
If "Ishi" can point out one irreverent quotation in my letter I will immediately withdraw it. I simply stated the facts of the case as given in Scripture. There is no irreverence in that. But like his Crocknacrieve friend when his nonsensical arguments are exposed he "waxeth wroth" and tries to throw mud on his opponent so as to withdraw the attention of readers from the point at issue. Mr. Cooney is very fond of talking about salt. Well, I think a little salt well rubbed into the festering inconsistencies of Cooneyites will do them good, although they may be a bit surly and sulky at the time.
Mr. West is a preacher and debater of wide experience, yet he is not allowed to be classed with the disciples No 1--viz, "tramp preachers"--and yet "Ishi" and others are sinning their souls trying to prove women tramps are Scriptural, although they cannot give a single instance of any woman preaching a sermon or addressing an audience on two or more occasions. Bluff may satisfy "Ishi" and his friends, but I want proof, and if he can give this kindly let me have it, otherwise I must say good-bye to him. What will Mr. West think of "Ishi" and his other cowardly friend, "who have not the manliness to write over their own names." Evidently Cooneyites are as great sinners as Presbyterians or Churchmen in this respect.
And now for my friend with the three-line-name. Mr. Cooney came forward to prove that a theological education made men opponents of Christ's ambassadors, and that learning was really a hinderance to the Christian life. That lie I soon exploded, and let me here say I came forward not to expound Scripture, not to oppose anything Scriptural, but simply and solely to expose Cooneyite falsehood and inconsistency. However, I will not follow the discourteous lead of the Cooneyite leader, and I will answer the question and prove that learning, education, knowledge, wisdom--call it what you like--is very highly commended by God.
If my friend reads 1st Cor i, 20 and 22, and he will there find out what is meant by this wisdom. There is not a doubt but that Paul's reference to the Greeks seeking after wisdom (verse 22) refers to their running after such teachers of wisdom as Plato, Socrates, &c. Christ crucified was nothing to them. We find their descendants to-day in the higher critics, Blatchford, R. J. Campbell, &c, men who deny the Cross and the power thereof.
But the preaching of the Cross is the wisdom of God, and if Cooneyites like Paul determined to know nothing but Christ and Him crucified, they would spend less time backbiting those who are preaching the Cross more faithfully than they.
Mr. Cooney himself consults Professor Ramsey Ballinger, Robberson and Young, all learned men; and Mr. West studies Luther, Calvin, Erasmus Taylor and Stanley, all learned theologians. If learn-ing is bad and the teaching of such men false, let me ask "one of the sect" what does he think of his two leaders. I myself have omitted all proofs from such sources, because I have had plenty of Scripture to prove everything I put forward, but I have no hesitation of here saying that almost, if not every one, of the commentators of note, bear out all my arguments.
But now for the Scriptural proof that wisdom has God's sanction, and approval.
1st--When a great leader was required to lead God's people out of Egypt, Moses--a man learned in all the wisdom of the Egyptians, Acts vii, 22--was chosen and Aaron--a learned orator was chosen as his helper, aye, and when a great leader was again required to lead and mould the Church, the learned Paul was chosen, and even today he stands out prominently from the others. Nor did he always speak as he did to those wise Corinthians for even kings were compelled to cry out "much learning doth set thee mad."
2nd--When Josiah, king of Judah, the priests, and scribes were in a difficulty, they went to Huldah, the prophetess, who dwelt in a college in Jerusalem, 2 Kings xxii, 14, also 2 Chron xxxiv, 22, strange she was not contaminated by living in a college. Here is another miracle for Mr. Cooney to ponder.
3rd--"Solomon asked God for wisdom and knowledge to judge the people--II Chron 1, 10. And the speech pleased the Lord that he asked this thing--I Kings 3, 10. And Solomon's wisdom excelled the wisdom of all the east country, and all the wisdom of Egypt--I Chron 4, 30."
4th--Job said--"No doubt ye are the people, and wisdom shall die with you."
"But I have understanding as well as you; I am not inferior to you"--Job 12, 2 and 3. Here Job pleads his learning to prove he was not inferior to his comforters. Here also we find wisdom put to its proper use by Job, and its improper use by his friends. The wisdom of Job was made to praise God, but his friends perverted this same God-given gift of wisdom to their own purpose. These verses Job 12, 2 and 3 give the key to the whole question, and I hope Cooneyites will mark them well.
5th--Daniel, one of the greatest and grandest of the Old Testament prophets also was "skilful in all wisdom and cunning, in knowledge, and under-stand-ing science, and taught in the learning and the tongue of the Caldeans."-- Daniel 1, 4, and Daniel used this wisdom to some purpose.
6th--Joseph was sent by God into Egypt to teach the senators wisdom --Psalm 105, 17-22. Yet Joseph, though a teacher of wisdom, was a godly man.
7th--Give instructions to a wise man, and he will be yet wiser ; teach a just man and he will increase in learning--Prov 9, 9.
In the lips of him that hath understanding wisdom is found ; but a rod is for the back of him that is void of understanding--Prov 10, 13. Will my friend please note the last paragraph particularly.
I could go on like this with proof after proof, but have chosen these few as examples. None of these can be said to refer to any but earthly wisdom rightly directed, and they prove beyond the shadow of a doubt that the learned, educated, wise men who follow God in simplicity of heart are His greatest and most honoured servants. I advise my friend to write less and consult his Bible more with, perhaps, the aid of a commentary. If so he will soon see through a lot of this so-called apostolic teaching. This I think should kill this lie--this putting of a premium upon ignorance--in the districts where the Fermanagh Times is circulated
--Yours faithfully, CORRAGARRY 27th May, 1907.
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