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On which the Discussion was to be conducted, as agreed on and signed by the Disputants, June 18, 1845 :--
I. That the question be first discussed, "What is a Christian ?" With the principles of the Christian's faith and piactice in their order. And also---1st. That in order to prevent the discussion being perverted from its legitimate and avowed objects, no statements shall be allowed to be made which impugn either the INFALLIBLE INSPIRATION of the sacred writings, or the DIVINE AUTHORITY of any book contained in the authorized version. 2nd. That the Holy Scriptures, including all the books of the authorized VERSION, with the Hebrew text of Vander Hooght, as the original of the Old Testament, and the Textus Receptus, as the original of the New Testament, shall be the only AUTHORITATIVE standard of appeal, with the following qualifications, viz. :---Should either disputant quote any passage excepted to by Kennicott or Boothroyd, in the Old Testament; or by Griesbach or Schulz, in the New Testament, such passage shall be considered fairly open to legitimate consideration and criticism. 3rd. That all quotations shall be made, in the first instance, by chapter and verse, from the authorized version but each disputant shall have the RIGHT of reference to the original texts and critics, as above, when the authorized version is disputed, 4th. That the VERSIONS whose antiquity. and character have weight---say the Septuagint, the Syriac, the Latin Vulgate, and the Chaldee Paraphases, with the FATHERS of the first three centuries, may be quoted in ILLUSTRATION; but NOT, as the Scriptures above, for AUTHORITIES. All quotations from Versions and Fathers to be made by DIRECT REFERENCE, and the original text of each to be produced at the time, if required. 5th. That Mr. Cooke engages to take the lead in the discussions.
II. That neither disputant shall exceed one hour and a half each evening, the evenings being equally divided, unless the other relinquish his right, or refuses to occupy the time.
III. That the discussions take place in the Music Hall, or, failing it, in the Lecture Room. Adinission to be by tickets, transferable, pledging the holder to non-interruption and non-interference. The number printed not to exceed the fair contents of the place. To be printed by an impartial printer, equally divided between the disputants, each half signed with the initials of the opposing party's secretary, to be disposed of as each party may choose, and any surplus employed as each pleases. Each party giving security, by deposit, to an accredited treasurer, for an equal share of the expense to be incurred, including a reporter.
IV. That the speeches be taken down by an accredited and impartial reporter; revised by each, under his approval; published BY EACH, from the SAME ACCREDITED Copy; and sold by each party, at his own option.
V. That each party choose his own chairman; the chairmen to choose an umpire, “ that all things may be done decently and in order."
VI. That the discussions be on A Christian, and his principles only. But the WRITINGS and SPEECHES---published or delivered---of each disputant, to be freely, but FAIRLY, quoted and remarked on by each, for illustration, neither party being allowed to object to this. Each disputant being allowed ten minutes, if he require it, before replying, to arrange papers, notes, references, &c.
VII. That the doors be opened at six o'clock each evening, the discussions to commence at seven, and close at ten, or a quarter past ten o'clock.
That a copy of this agreement be signed by each disputant respectively, and handed to the other party. To be printed and distributed, as the basis and terms of the discussions, when the other arrangements are made.
Signed by WILLIAM COOKE,
Witness---J. F. GRANT.
Signed by JOSEPH BARKER,
Mr. GRANT:-I now have the pleasure to introduce Mr. Cooke as the gentleman who will lead the discussion; but I think my friend, Dr. Lees, will address a few words to you first. Is Mr. John Nichol present?
This question was asked with a view to Mr. Nichol taking the third Chair, as Umpire. He was not present at the time. Two or three other gentlemen were nominated, but they declined. The Rev. James Pringle was then requested to take the vacant seat. He seemed reluctant; but finally accepted it, provided his nomination had the full concurrence of both parties; and Mr. Barker having intimated that he had no objection, Mr. Pringle undertook the umpireship for the evening amidst a few symptoms of disapprobation. This led
Mr. GRANT immediately to observe :-The company are pledged to non-interference, and I expect they will attend to it. (Hear, hear.) It is not the place of any individual there to dietate what is to be done. (Applause.)
Dr. LEES then rose and said :---I may state, on behalf of Mr. Barker and his Committee, that they do not consider of much importance the question regarding the election of the Umpire under the present circumstances; because they think it is almost impossible to get a person, on either side, perfectly impartial. If partiality be displayed at any time, it is open to Mr. Barker and his friends, and the friends of truth, to object; but I trust that until such manifestation does occur, the audience will not interfere with the regulation of the proceedings. Before our friend Mr. Grant calls upon the gentleman who will
first address you, permit me to say that we are assembled tonight upon a most important and solemn subject,---the investigation of great and vital questions--questions of truth or error; and that it becomes us as Chairmen, and you as individuals, to dispose ourselves to enter into the discussion with proper feel. ings, and with that impartial state of mind which will enable us all to see the evidence which is advanced on one side or the other, and to act as wise men. Let us, in the spirit of rational, and, above all, as Christian men, be temperate and calm, so that good order may be preserved, and so that we may impartially be brought to a consideration of the evidences regarding both the spirit and the reason of our common faith.
Mr. GRANT:---Now hoping that our friends will attend to the advice so ably and clearly given by Dr. Lees, I beg to call upon Mr. Cooke to commence the discussion.
Mr. COOKE then rose, and was received with considerable applause.
Mr. GRANT:-As the company are divided and differ in opinion, it is extremely desirable that they should endeavour to keep down applause, for this plain reason. It is not an ordinary meeting. The parties are equally divided, and whatever one approves, the other must censure, take which side you please. It is therefore exceedingly desirable to prevent interruption and thus enable the disputants to proceed quietly, and to lay their reasons calmly and deliberately before you. (Hear, hear, and applause.)
Mr. COOKE then proceeded :-Mr. Chairman and Christian Friends,-I appear before you this evening in consequence of the repeated challenges which Mr. Joseph Barker has issued to all orthodox ministers to meet him in public discussion. Most intelligent and respectable ministers treated those challenges with indifference and silence. That silence, however, I am sorry to say, was misconstrued, and represented as an indication of a secret consciousness, on our part, of the unsoundness of our principles and I appear before you this evening, as an humble individual, to repel that insinuation, and to stand forward in defence of those sacred principles of the truth of which we have an upright consciousness, and which we are prepared to defend to the utmost of our power. I could wish, indeed, that a task so important as this had fallen into abler hands; and I say this with undissembled sincerity, and without the least affectation. However, such powers as God has given to me I am prepared to employ, not only with the pen, but viva voce, in defence of those great truth to which I stand pledged; and hich constitute the basis of our hopes, and the consolation of our hearts.
The subject proposed for discussion by Mr. Barker, and accepted by me, is," What is a Christian, and what are his Principles ?" Of course I understand it to mean a true Christian; for that understanding appears to be essential to the very
existence of the debate. I regard the term Christian, as commonly understood, to be a designation of profession, and not of character. It appears to have been thus employed both by sacred writers, and also by profane writers. It is said in Acts xi, 26, " And the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch." Some, I know, suppose that the disciples gave that name to themselves under divine direction; but I think that cannot be correct, because it is not the appellation which is commonly assigned to the followers of Christ in the New Testament. Saints, Brethren, Disciples, and Believers, are the common appellations which were given to the followers of Christ. But it is a well-known fact that the people of Antioch were much addicted to scurrilous jesting; and as the disciples of our Saviour were objects of reproach and contumely, it is probable that the name was assigned to them as expressive of reproach and contempt. The term is employed, I believe, in only two other places in the New Testament. In Acts xxvi, 28, Agrippa says to Paul,---" Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian." Agrippa did not understand the nature of experimental piety; nor is it rational to suppose that he made any reference to it. But Agrippa knew that there was a sect of people called Christians; and having listened to the eloquent and powerful description which the Apostle had given of his own conversion, he beheld such striking evidence of the divine origin of the Christian religion that he says,---" Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian;" that is, to renounce Judaism, and to embrace the profession of the Christian faith. Peter uses the term Christian in his first epistle, the 4th ch. and the 16th verse. He says,---"If any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed but let him glorify God on this behalf." It appears, that there the term is introduced as an expression of reproach employed by the enemies of Christ and of his followers; and St. Peter says, in a preceding passage,---"If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you: on their part he is evil spoken of, but on your part he is glorified." Thus, it appears that the term Christian was employed, at first, as a designation of profession, and not of character; and we find it thus used by Pliny in his 97th letter to Trajan; by Tacitus, in his Life of Nero; and by Suetonius also it was employed in the same sense---as a designation of profession.
I therefore understand that the subject of discussion is-"What is a true Christian ?"---and I thus stated the subject in my tract when I consented to meet Mr. Barker in discussion.
It cannot be expected that I should, in my first address, minutely portray all the features of the Christian character. I shall therefore call attention, at present, to a few great principles by which the Christian is distinguished. And I remark -that a Christian, in the first place, is one who believes in the doctrines and truths which God has revealed in the Christian
economy. In the second place, that a Christian is one who conforms to the requirements which God has enjoined in the Christian Revelation. In the third place, that a Christian is one who enjoys the blessings which God offers in the Christian Revelation. Now these three propositions include generally what I conceive to be a Christian; and furnish an answer to the question-" What is a Christian ?"
But I shall endeavour to amplify them to some extent. say a Christian, then, is a man who believes in the truths and doctrines which God has revealed in the Christian dispensation. Man fell by unbelief; he must be restored by faith. Man fell by transferring his confidence from his Creator to a cruel and malignant spirit-the Tempter-the Prince of Darkness; and man must be restored by placing his confidence in God, and those great truths which God has revealed for man's enlightenment and salvation. The Scriptures are emphatic and decisive in declaring the vital importance of faith. They describe it as essential to the formation of the Christian character--as an indispensable condition of our receiving the blessings of salvation, and as the very foundation of every virtue---of everyholy principle. Indeed the very name by which a Christian is commonly distinguished is expressive of his faith. What is he called? A believer. A believer in what? Not in human systems of philosophy. There is no reference to them. But a believer in the glorious Gospel---in those truths which heaven has revealed to man. While, on the other hand, he who rejects those truths and doctrines is appropriately designated an unbeliever. The very announcement of the Gospel message is combined with an absolute requirement of faith in its teachings. In Mark i, 15, we find these words :-" 66 Repent ye, and believe the Gospel" believe the Gospel. In the great commission which our blessed Lord gave to his disciples to go into all the world, and preach the Gopel to every creature, we have faith placed before us in the same prominent and important aspect, as a duty imperative upon all; and as a duty so vitally impor tant and essential that man's eternal destiny is made to hinge upon the performance of that duty. In the 16th ch. of Mark, and 15th verse, it is said," He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned." And when the Apostle Paul is adverting to certain characters who, instead of receiving and believing the Gospel, reject it, or pervert it, he utters these solemn words, "That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness." Such is the importance which God himself has attached to faith. Without it, no man can be a Christian. Without it, we cannot enjoy the blessings of the Gospel. Without it, we must eternally perish. "He that believeth not, shall be damned."
I further remark, as another principle of the Christian's character, That this faith in the Christian is ever combined with