My Brethren - Doctrine
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Doctrine and Practice
"If any one desire to practise his will, he shall know concerning the doctrine,
whether it is of God, or that I speak from myself.", John 7: 17.

God in Absoluteness
and Relativeness
The Person of Christ
The Sonship of Christ
The Holy Spirit
Inspiration of Scriptures
The Sufferings of Christ
Deliverance and Its End
New Birth and Eternal Life Baptism
Letters of Commendation
Attitude to Others
The Assembly
"One Body"
The Lord's Table, the
Lord's Supper and
Service of God
Gifts and Offices
Local Assembly
The Collection
Man and Woman
Marriage and Divorce
Religious Holidays
The Public Ruin
of the Church
The Unequal Yoke
The World, Its Politics and
God's Government
The Church's
Prophetic History
The Lord's Coming


The word "doctrine" – or "teaching" – is not the most popular in the Christian vocabulary – it sounds dry and demanding – but it is very important.

As a young believer searching for a collective pathway pleasing to the Lord, an old brother – Mr. Walter Pittman of Toronto – wisely gave me this Scripture to guide me:

In the bright early years of the assembly Paul stressed the value of "sound teaching", 1 Tim. 1: 10:

In days of decline, Paul exhorted,

Paul put doctrine – teaching – first because without sound doctrine all will be lost:

In the last days, John too stresses holding fast to the doctrine of the Christ:

The above Scriptures ought to convince the most skeptical of the need of sound doctrine.

The articles presented here are believed to be the sound doctrineor the suitable practice that flows from it – that is needed at the present time.

If the Lord will, a full range of the sound doctrine held and valued among the brethren will eventually be covered.


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Forgiveness or
Propitiation and Substitution
– A. M. Hayward






A. M. Hayward

The "vagueness in the minds of many as to Forgiveness, and also … with relation to Propitiation and Substitution" which prompted Mr. Hayward to write the following paper is common among so-called evangelicals.

Paul exhorted Timothy, "Have an outline of sound words", 2 Timothy 1: 13. Mr. Hayward provides some "sound words" which we do well to "hold fast".

Those not familiar with the author should see Biography: Brief Sketches: A. M. Hayward.


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A.  M.  Hayward

It has come to the writer's notice that there is good deal of vagueness in the minds of many as to Forgiveness, and also, as might be expected, with relation to Propitiation and Substitution.

• Forgiveness

It is believed that the difficulties as to forgiveness arise from a lack of apprehension of God's great basis, so that some with the desire to render the gospel as wide as possible, teach that all are forgiven.

Before touching on the actual work of the Lord, one would point out that in any language we use we must have in mind the impression such language conveys to others,

If all are forgiven, what meaning was there be in Christ being at God's right hand to give repentance and remission? And the note that repentance is linked with remission.

As to what men are judged for, Scripture is also quite definite for the books are opened and the dead are judged out of the things written in the books, according to their works, Revelation 20:  12-13.

A very important part of the preacher's service, is to press home that judgment is pending, that is, the execution of it, or as it is put in Romans 2: 5-6,

We need more of this deep sense of the terror of the Lord that it may be evidenced in our preaching,

That God's attitude towards all is forgiveness is blessedly true, as is intimated in Luke 24: 47,

The preaching shows that forgiveness is God's attitude or disposition towards all alike,

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• Propitiation

The great basis of the gospel is propitiation, that is, that in the death of Christ, God has secured for Himself a righteous basis upon which He can show mercy.

But this propitiation of the throne needs more consideration. God has imposed two things upon men, namely death and judgment. Hebrews 9: 27.

The blood of Christ is the witness that what was demanded by the holiness and the righteousness of God has been effected,

Another glory shines out here – that of His nature – for instead of executing His judgment on men immediately He gave His own Son

But whilst in Christ's's death there is the condemnation before God in the sight of the universe of the man who has sinned, so that the ground is clear for God to come out to all in forgiveness,

Hence as Romans 5: 18-19 shows, "it was by one offence towards all men to condemnation so by one righteousness towards all men for justification of life.

Although man in flesh, and sin in its totality, has been dealt with in the death of Christ, as indicated above, yet in fact men are still here in flesh;

The preaching of Christ thus becomes a savour of death unto death or life unto life, for as surely as the cross witnesses to the removal of man in flesh before God judicially,

In the pause or interval, referred to above, the gospel goes out and those who accept the covering in Christ as God's appointed Head in resurrection,

Whilst God has thus wrought for His own glory and laid a basis for the blessing of all in the death and resurrection of Christ, so that forgiveness can be preached towards all,

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• Substitution

This brings us to substitution as it is commonly called, which may be viewed as part of the detail of the great work of propitiation, and stands in relation to the elect, and is not so directly the burden of the gospel.

This bearing on individual sins, which must not be separated from the great work of propitiation for it is an integral part of it, constitutes a wonderful link between each believer and the Lord, for it binds our hearts to Him, each with a peculiar bond, in that every believer can say "It was my sins He took on Himself and bore".

In Leviticus 16, the bullock suggests the complete work towards all – including, of course, the substitutional work – so that repentance and remission of sins can be preached "on the principle of faith to faith", Romans 1: 17 – and the Holy Spirit promised,

Faith can now lay hold of forgiveness as presented in Christ as risen – for we do not wait for sight –

In Luke 7, the Lord is seeking to induce Simon, the proud Pharisee, to confess, and he puts before him, in grace, the figure of a small debtor and a large debtor, and the advantage of confessing to a large debt,

In the end, those who will not accept the displacement before God at the cross and embrace the forgiveness thus tendered will be put out from His presence, consigned to the lake of fire forever, after having been judged according to their works out of the books written. Revelation 20: 15.

If any desire to use Luke 7 as indicating God's attitude – and surely it can well be so used – their language should be so couched as a not to give the impression that all are forgiven,

Even the words "frankly forgave" are not those of a set transaction, but rather that He was 'gracious to' them and, being a figure, it must be interpreted by the scriptures in the epistles.

The Scripture shows there is no forgiveness apart from repentance and whoever preaches otherwise, though he may be intending to magnify the work of Christ, actually speaks derogatorily of His work, and in a way calculated to mislead the hearers,

May we all be helped to maintain the fulness and the purity of the glad tidings.


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The Collection
– J. Taylor and E. J. Hemmings



J. Taylor: 3 Letters - 1943-44

E. J. Hemmings: Concerning
the Collection for the Saints
Procedure: GAR



Giving is practised by all Christians, and at its best is patterned after divine giving. It is not peculiar to the brethren to whom 'My Brethren' is devoted.

The 'collection' may not seem to fit under the heading of 'Doctrine' but

It would be abnormal and unusual for 'brethren' of any persuasion to take public collections.

It is not my intention to explore various practices beyond the above comments, which are only made to contrast with what follows.


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Letters of James Taylor 2: 305-06, February 9, 1943

James Taylor Sr., 1870-1953

Mr. J. H. Trevvett.
Beloved Brother, – What you wrote as to the collection box is quite interesting.

The teaching as to the collection in 1 and 2 Corinthians is such as to lift the actual money involved to a spiritual level.

I believe the bread and cup should be together – the box should not be placed between them; but beyond this there is little to say.

Affectionately yours in Christ, James Taylor.

The matter of means for meeting physical needs among the saints was prominent from the outset and occasioned difficulty even in apostolic times as it does in our own.

But during the last fifty years – at first through the ministries of Mr. Stoney and Mr. Raven – the Lord gave light as to all the features of the service of God, including the collection.

There was no effort to treat the subject in an exhaustive way.

As it regards New York, this exercise led to the special collection, for there had been for many years much need in this city.

Thus we adopted the special collection, as intended, as seen in the letters to Corinth and elsewhere,

As far as I can remember, the term 'budgeting' was not at first used as expressing the procedure as to the collection in New York;

As regards New York, as I said, we were affected by the urgency of meeting the need of persons,

As to early or Pentecostal conditions there were no collections; they were not needed as a "common" state of things existed.


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Mr. Hemmings was local at Acton, just outside London, and was a valued servant. He, as Mr. G. R. Cowell, had been put out by the legal sect. EJH continued to serve the brethren, including a trip to Australasia to comfort the few castouts there.
The Lord took him to Himself on December 13, 1962, just two weeks before GRC was taken. At his burial at Guildford, on December 20, 1962, GRC said, "Having known him since 1919, I can speak with personal knowledge of his devoted service to the Lord and to the church through a long life. I do not think I can recall a life of more constant labour among my contemporaries, labours which often involved journeys of great length in order to succour isolated souls – surely a life which is an example for us all".
Biography: E. J. Hemmings:
Ministry: E. J. Hemmings

Beloved brother,
… When my wife and I were at Ealing recently for the gospel we were shocked to find they had no notices [at the breaking of bread] and a basket at the back for anybody to make a contribution, and they seem very sure they are right …

My dear wife joins in much love in the Lord to you and all with you. Affectionately, your brother,

September 7, 1961     Edward J. Hemmings.

E.  J.  Hemmings – May 1961
The aberration noted in the letter above which led to his article took place among brethren who had withdrawn from the legal sect c. 1960.
It was, and is, an isolated situation and is certainly not typical. But, despite its occasion, the article is a valuable exposition.   GAR

In our lives here we all have to do with both spiritual and material things and it is a part of our spiritual education to know how and when to distinguish or collate them.

It is clear from Scripture that material giving in relation to the support of divine interests is pleasurable to God.

David in his day, providing all the material for the house of God, can say of himself,

When the house fell into disrepair, Jehoash called for Jehoiada the priest and said

When we come to Christianity we find wholehearted giving at the very beginning – Acts 2, together with other references in the book.

Now at the supper we have three material things which on such an occasion take on a spiritual meaning, the loaf and cup speaking of divine love towards us,

To put the box at the door means we have two fellowships, one for privilege and one for responsibility;

The only receptacle described, as far as I can recall, for giving in relation to divine interests is that prepared by Jehoiada the priest, the description and position of the receptacle being of great importance.

We sometimes fail to put a right value on material giving. Paul says in Ephesians 4,

JT, in his Letters 2: 305, sets out in a practical way the spiritual significance of the whole matter. There he says,

May 1961,   E. J. Hemmings.

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The following outlines the procedure as to the collection
in the years immediately prior to the 1953 death of JT Sr.

The decisions as to the special collection were made at the monthly 'care meeting' on the Saturday before the first Lord's Day of the month.

The brothers entrusted with the care of the funds for the city – as well as those who made the announcements in the local meetings – would take down the names, purposes and other details as to amounts suggested and agreed upon.

The purposes were handled in order:

The details of the special collection were announced at the beginning of the meeting – before other annoucements – on the first Lord's Day of the month for collection that day.

Before the sisters began attending the care meeting the special collection was also announced two weeks in advance and the care meeting was therefore held a week earlier.


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