For some years, J.N. Darby and F.W. Grant had disagreed
over the doctrine of the sealing of the Spirit. Darby maintained that one is
sealed with the Spirit when he believes the Gospel. Others maintained that one
is sealed with the Spirit when he trusts Christ. This will seem a minor point
to most who will read this FAQ, but evidently to some it was a weighty matter.
All through this dispute, Darby and Grant remained close friends.
In 1879 or 1880, F.W. Grant and his brother R.T. Grant were in Toronto. In the assembly, it was mentioned that a young man who was very sick wanted to break bread. Two men from the assembly visited him to examine whether they could receive him into fellowship (even though he was too sick to go to their meeting and simply wanted to break bread as a believer before he died). These two men felt that he had to be sealed with the Spirit before he could break bread with them, and he could only be considered to be sealed with the Spirit when he had seen the finished work of Christ. Believing his grasp of this theology to be insufficient, they left and the young man died without having partaken of the Lord's Supper. These two men returned to their assembly in Toronto and made a report about their actions.
R.T Grant heard their report and was appalled. He immediately wrote an article on the topic and sent it to his brother F.W. Grant, who was editing a magazine. The article was published, placing the Grant brothers in direct conflict with Darby's teaching. Lord Adelbert P. Cecil, a follower of Darby, was allowed to answer R.T. Grant's article in F.W. Grant's magazine. Darby, very sick at this time, wrote a pamphlet of his own on the topic. After consideration of this, F.W. Grant wrote a book entitled, "Life in Christ and Sealing with the Spirit". Regretably, Darby had died by this time, and Darby's followers took this as a direct attack made by F.W. Grant against a dead man who was not able to respond.
Adelbert Cecil found some who sympathized with him in Montreal at an assembly called the Natural History Hall, and a letter rejecting F.W. Grant's ministry was drawn up. 38 people signed it, although it would seem that a number of them didn't understand what they had signed. At a meeting of the assembly, despite protests, a motion placing F.W. Grant out of fellowship was rammed through. About one quarter of the exclusive meetings in North America sided with Natural History Hall and London's Park Street meeting, and about three quarters refused the Natural History Hall judgement, either out of respect for F.W. Grant or out of protest against the methods used by Lord Cecil and his associates. Shortly after this, Adelbert Cecil died in a boating accident on Lake Ontario.
Home | Links | Literature