2. The Newton Episode.

Newton remained at Plymouth for two years. The dispute so far had concerned the special "testimony" of Brethren as such. According to notes of a lecture by Newton acquired by Harris in 1847, Newton's position as to our Lord's person was unsound: Christ by his incarnation and as a descendant of Adam entered upon a relation of distance from God, and as an Israelite incurred from birth the condemnation attaching to the broken law. Tregelles shows that the personal Sinlessness was maintained through the seal at Christ's baptism, although lifelong suffering was entailed by his relationship. Newton withdrew the first part of his statement, but did not satisfy Darby, and a definite alienation separated the two men. Newton severed his connection with the Brethren, but continued till his death (1898) to write on prophetical subjects. Tregelles is reported by Scrivener to have died in the communion of the Church of England. In 1848 the Bristol company did not refuse fellowship to the adherents of Newton, and one of


their number, George Alexander, seceded on the ground that "blasphemers were sheltered," taking occasion for this action in a paper intended to apply to the special circumstances but construed as a statement of a general policy. After debate and several assemblies, it was decided that no one upholding Newton's views should be received into communion, and several to whom this applied withdrew, though it appeared that they were afterward readmitted. Darby insisted upon the fundamental of "separation from evil" as "God's principle of unity"; the result was a breach between him and the Bristol company, his followers insisting upon his statement as the watchword, while the opponents' formula was "the blood of the Lamb is the union of saints." Wigram charged Craik with statements concerning Christ's physical ailments which savored of Newtonianism; but Darby sent a farewell message to Craik on his deathbed (1866), which did not, however, heal the breach.

A new magazine,The Present Testimony, edited by Wigram, became the organ of the exclusives, followed in 1856 by the monthly Bible Treasury, for which William Kelly (q.v.) was responsible, and to this also Darby contributed papers on the sufferings of Christ, in which he argued that Christ endured certain nonatoning sufferings, in addition to those borne vicariously in death, due to his voluntary position in Israel (John xi. 51), in fulfilment of prediction of his participation in the sorrows of the godly remnant in the last days. This had no affiliation with the Newtonian doctrine, which affected the whole life of Christ; but some of his followers, unable to distinguish between Darby's position and Newton's, withdrew from fellowship with him. Darby offered to abstain from ministry, but was counseled not to do so by his prominent supporters. Meanwhile he had worked on German soil, where he had met Tholuck, and had visited the United States, Canada, and other British colonies lecturing and writing.


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