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Alexander Campbell, ed.
The Millennial Harbinger, Vol. I, No. I (January 1830)



{ Vol. 1. }

      I saw another messenger flying through the midst of heaven, having everlasting good news to proclaim to the inhabitants of the earth, even to every nation and tribe, and tongue, and people--saying with a loud voice, Fear God and give glory to him, for the hour of his judgments is come: and worship him who made heaven, and earth, and sea, and the fountains of water.--JOHN.
      Great is the truth and mighty above things, and will prevail.


      THIS work shall be devoted to the destruction of Sectarianism, Infidelity, and Antichristian doctrine and practice. It shall have for its object the developement, and introduction of that political and religious order of society called THE MILLENNIUM, which will be the consummation of that ultimate amelioration of society proposed in the Christian Scriptures.

      Subservient to this comprehensive object, the following subjects shall be attended to:

      1. The incompatibility of any sectarian establishment, now known on earth, with the genius of the glorious age to come.

      2. The inadequacy of all the present systems of education, literary and moral, to develope the powers of the human mind, and to prepare man for rational and social happiness.

      3. The disentanglement of the Holy Scriptures from the perplexities of the commentators and system-makers of the dark ages. This will call for the analysis of several books in the New Testament, and many disquisitions upon the appropriated sense of the leading terms and phrases in the Holy Scriptures and in religious systems.

      4. The injustice which yet remains in many of the political regulations under the best political governments, when contrasted with the justice which Christianity proposes, and which the millennial order of society promises.

      5. Disquisitions upon the treatment of African slaves, as preparatory to their emancipation, and exaltation from their present degraded condition.

      6. General religions news, or regular details of the movements of the religious combinations, acting under the influence of the proselyting spirit of the age.

      7. Occasional notices of religious publications, including Reviews of new works, bearing upon any of the topics within our precincts.

      8. Answers to interesting queries of general utility, and notices of all things of universal interest to all engaged in the proclamation of the Ancient Gospel, and a restoration of the Ancient Order of Things.

      9. Miscellanea, or religious, moral, and literary varieties.

      Much of the useful learning which has been sanctified to the elucidation of those interesting and sublime topics of Christian expectation, will, we intend, be gleaned from the Christian labors of those [1] distinguished men of liberal minds, who are ranked among the most renowned Fathers of Christian literature; and much aid is expected from a few of the more enlightened brethren of our own time, who are fellow-laborers and pioneers in hastening this wished for period. It is intended to give to every family into which this work shall come, so much of the religious news of the day, and such a variety of information on all the topics submitted, as to make it a work of much interest to the young and inquisitive.

      The indulgence and patronage which have been extended to me as Editor of the Christian Baptist, embolden me to attempt a work of still greater magnitude--expecting that if that work, written, as the greater part of it was, under very disadvantageous circumstances, and while my attention was divided between other works and a multiplicity of other business, obtained so general a circulation, and was so well received--a work to which a much larger portion of my energies shall be devoted, will not fail of obtaining, at least, an equal patronage, and proving proportionally more useful, as the range will be so much greater, and the object one in which all Christians, of every name, must feel interested; and especially, as there is not, perhaps, in the Christian world, any work published with the same design, and embracing the same outlines.


      Having purchased a large fount of beautiful new type, of a good medium size, and a first rate new printing press, we may promise a beautiful impression, on good paper.

      1. Each number shall contain 48 pages large duodecimo, equal to a medium octavo, or equal in superficies to more than 63 pages of the Christian Baptist. Being printed on super-royal paper, it will cost to the subscribers only twice as much postage as the Christian Baptist, though containing more than twice and a half times as much matter. With a good index, it will make a volume of 600 pages per annum.

      2. It shall be published on the first Monday of every month--the first number to be issued on the first Monday of January, 1830. Each number shall be stitched, in a good cover; and all numbers failing, to reach their destination shall be made good at the expense of the editor.

      3. It shall cost, exclusive of postage, $2.50 per annum, to all who do not pay until the close of the year; but to those who do pay in advance, or within six months after subscribing, Two Dollars will be accepted.

      4. Postmasters, who act as agents, shall have ten per cent. for obtaining subscribers, and for collecting, and remitting the amount of their subscriptions.

      5. All other persons, who obtain and pay for five subscribers, within six months from subscribing, shall have one copy gratis. But to those who do not guarantee and pay within that period, ten per cent. on all the subscribers; for whom they make payment, shall be allowed. [2] 6. Persons who subscribe at any time within the year, will be furnished with the volume from the commencement. And no person, unless at the discretion of the Editor, shall be permitted to withdraw until all arrearages are paid.

      7. All who do not notify their discontinuance to our agents in such time that we may be informed a month before the close of each volume, will be considered as subscribers for the next volume.

      N. B. Let all subscribers be careful to name the post-office to which they wish their papers sent.

      Bethany, Brook County, Va. 1829.


      TIME, the great innovator, brings to pass every thing. Gradual but unceasing is its march. It never slumbers. It never pauses. It gives maturity to every thing.

      When we are taught to read the volume of nature, or rather the great library of God, and have made some proficiency in the volume of Revelation, we discover that there is an admirable analogy between the volumes of Creation and Redemption. As is the progress of natural, so has been the progress of supernatural light. First, there are the glimmerings of dawn--then the twilight--then the risen day, and then the radiance of noon. So is not only the faith of the just, which brightens more and more until the perfect day; but also such are the developements of the light of life.

      Starlight and moonlight ages are no more. The SUN OF MERCY has arisen. But as in the natural, so in the moral world, there are clouds and obscurations. There are interceptions of the light of the sun. There are eclypses partial and total. In a total eclypse there is the darkness of night. There have been both partial and total eclypses of the Sun of Mercy since his rising. Not only have there been cloudy and dark days, but actual darkness like that of night.

      Had not a thick vapor arisen from the unfathomable abyss and hid the Sun of Mercy and of Life from human eyes, neither the beast nor the false prophet could have been born. Wild beasts go forth in the night, and in darkness commit their depredations. So the apocalyptic "wild beast" was the creature of night and of darkness.

      Vapors arise from the waters, and from the unfathomable ocean1 the densest fogs arise. When we dream of troubles, we wade through deep waters. Hence, the commotions and troubled agitations of communities, are symbolized by the waters of the great abyss. From these commotions these deep waters arose the symbolic fog, the figurative vapors which overspread the heavens and hid the Sun of Righteousness from the eyes of mortals. The volumes of traditions, the cabalistic dogmas, the eastern philosophy, the pagan speculations, combined and modified, intercepted entirely, or totally eclypsed the light of the Moral Sun. Nearly all the earth was overspread in this [3] darkness. The middle of this period has, properly, been called the dark ages.

      Though the eclypse was total in Rome, it was not so every where. But the fairest portions of the Old World shared in it, and it was partial almost every where, where it was not total.

      Why was this so? is one question; but, Was it so? is another. That it was so needs no proof, because all agree in the belief of this fact. We know some reasons, which may yet be offered, why it was so. But now we only appeal to the fact that it was so. This darkness has been only partially dissipated.

      The Bible was brought out of prison, and Luther bid it march. He made it speak in German, and thus obtained for it a respectful hearing. It was soon loaded with immense burthens of traditions, drawn from the cloisters and the cells where it had so long been incarcerated. It soon became unable to travel with its usual speed, and then stopped the Reformation. They took the points off the arrows of truth, and blunted the sword of the Spirit, so that the enemies of the truth could not be conquered.

      About the commencement of the present century, finding that notes and comments, that glosses and traditions were making the word of God of little or no effect--I say, the pious of several of the great phalanxes of the rival christian interests did agree to unmanacle and unfetter the testimony of God, and send it forth without the bolsters and crutches furnished by the schools; and this, with the spirit of inquiry which it created and fostered, has contributed much to break the yoke of clerical oppression, which so long oppressed the people--I say clerical oppression; for this has been, and yet is, though much circumscribed; the worst of all sorts of oppression. The understandings, the consciences, the feelings, the bodies and the estates of men have been seized by this most relentless of tyrants. All who have demanded first fruits and tithes; all who have paralyzed the mind and forced the assent, or secured the homage of the conscience, have not been tyrants. Neither have all they who have rejected and reprobated this system, been humane, courteous, and merciful. There are exceptions even among priests. If the clergy never could reform the system; the system always could reform them. To repudiate the system, is to desecrate the priest, and whosoever has profaned or made common the priests, has been not only unchurched, but unchristianized. Such have been the past fates of those who ventured to depart from the consecrated way. But a new order of things has, within the memory of the present generation, begun. Many of the priests have become obedient to the faith, and the natural, political, and religious rights of men have begun to be much better understood. All these auguries are favorable to the hopes of the expectants of the restoration of the ancient order of things. But nothing has so much contributed to the hopes of the intelligent, and nothing can more conduce to the regeneration of the church, than the disentanglement of the Holy Oracles from the intricacies of the variant rules of [4] interpretation which the textuaries have fashioned into a system the most repugnant to all we call reason, common sense, and analogy.

      In the happiest state which we can ever expect on earth, we can only, as individuals, enjoy as much of the favor of God as the most intelligent and devout of the first converts; and, as, communities, we could enjoy no more Christian peace and joy than some of the first congregations after the first promulgation of the gospel. Greater temporal felicity might be enjoyed, but the spiritual attainments of many of the congregations cannot, in the aggregate mass of religious communities, be much, if at all, surpassed.

      Place the whole of any community, or even the great mass of any community, under influences similar to those which governed them, and what the most sanguine expect from a Millennium would in social and religious enjoyments be realized. But there is no fixing bounds to the maximum of social and refined bliss which would flow from the very general or universal prevalence and triumphs of evangelical principles. To see a whole nation bowing, with grateful and joyous homage to the King Eternal, immortal, and invisible, mingling all their affections in their admiration and love of him who had obtained immortality for man, would open a new fountain of enjoyments of which we have not yet tasted. To see even a few scores of intelligent christians, in whom we confide as fellow-soldiers and fellow-citizens, and joint heirs of the heavenly inheritance, meeting around one and the same Lord's table, and uniting in the praises and adorations of one and the same common Lord and Saviour, imparts to us a joy which we are unable to express. What we should feel, or how we should feel, among myriads of such, is not for us now to conjecture. But of this in its proper place.

      All I wish to remark on this occasion, is, that the first step towards the introduction of this glorious age is to dissipate the darkness which covers the people and hides from their eyes the Sun, the quickening, renewing, animating Sun of Mercy. We expect no new Sun, no new revelation of the Spirit, no other than the same gospel and the same religion, only that it shall be disinterred from the rubbish of the dark ages, and made to assume its former simplicity, sublimity, and majesty. The demons of party must be dispossessed, and the false spirits cast out. The human mind must be emancipated from the bondage of error, and information not only augmented, but extended to all the community.

      Light is certainly increasing--charity enlarging the circle of its activities--the mountains of discord diminishing, and the deep vallies which separated christians, are filling up. But much is to be done before all flesh shall enjoy the salvation of God. If all who love the Lord and the salvation of men, would unite their energies and bury the tomahawk of party conflicts, no seer could predict how rapid would be the march and how extensive the triumphs of the gospel.

      But the mighty agent, or rather the successful means, of this most desirable revolution, will be the ancient gospel. There are many gospels now preached. The gospels of every sect are something [5] different from each other, and something different from the apostolic. There can be, in truth, but one gospel; but there may be many new-modified and perverted gospels. Some make their own god and worship him; and all who create a new god invent a gospel to suit his character. Surely no man of good common sense can imagine that the god of the Calvinists and the god of the Arminians are the same god. He that fancies that the god of the Trinitarians and the god of the Unitarians are one and the same divinity, can easily believe in transubstantiation.

      The wisdom and the power of God, when combined, will be surely adequate to accomplish the most extraordinary promises on record. Now the placing of all nations under the dominion of his Son, under the reign of favor, under the influence of all that is pure; amiable and heavenly, is promised; and by what means so likely to be accomplished as by that instrument which is emphatically called the wisdom and power of the Almighty? That instrument is the old gospel preached by the Apostles. This is almighty, through God, to the pulling down all the strong holds of infidelity and profanity, to the subversion of Atheism, Deism, and Sectarianism. It proved its power upon the nations once, and it begins to prove its power again. The sword of the Spirit has been muffled with the filthy rags of philosophy and mysticism until it cannot cut through the ranks of the aliens. But so soon as this gospel is promulged in its old simplicity and in its native majesty, it will prove itself to be of God, and as adequate as in days of yore. It will pierce the hearts of the King's enemies; and while it slays their enmity, it will reconcile them to the authority and government of the Prince of Peace.

      In prosecuting one of the great objects of this paper, and, indeed, the leading object, this point will not be lost sight of. Our modern gospels; like the metaphysics of the schools; have been inoperative, except to alienate men from one another, and to fill some with spiritual pride, and to abase others under a morose humility. Here we see them exulting in enthusiasm, and there melancholy under a system of doubts. Between these two classes there is the opinionative, the speculative, the cold and stiff formalist,--exact in the ceremonies, and precise in all the forms of religion, without the power. Some, from a bolder and more independent mind, and from a happier constitutional temperament, dared to be pious and to aspire after a higher enjoyment of the spirit of religion. But these do not give character to the age.

      One of the two great Reformers attacked the practices, and the other the opinions2 of the earlier part of the sixteenth century. The former was by far the most useful and puissant reformer. He gave the deadliest blow to the Beast. The other, intent on making men think right, only made converts from among the converted. This has always been the case. As Luther excelled Calvin, so did Wesley excel the Erskines. They both began upon communities called Protestants, but degenerating Protestants. Wesley directed his energies [6] to the works of men, and the Erskines to their heterodox opinions. Wesley excelled his own more metaphysical brother, Fletcher.--Fletcher was as far superior to Wesley as a reasoner and metaphysician, as Calvin was to Luther. But, as a reformer, Wesley was as far superior to Fletcher as Luther was to Calvin. The reason is obvious: the gospel called for a change of conduct--for obedience on new principles. It presented great operative principles, but called for immediate submission to new institutions. Luther's plan was more in unison with this than Calvin's; and Wesley's more than Fletcher's. Hence more visible and more useful in their tendencies. Practical men always have been the most useful; and, therefore, practical principles have been more beneficial to mankind than the most ingenious and refined speculations. Symmes might have amusingly lectured a thousand years upon his visions and his fancies; but Christopher Columbus, in one voyage, added a new world to the old one.

      The ancient gospel spoke by facts, and said little about principles of action of any sort. The facts, when realized or believed, carried principles into the heart without naming them; and there was an object presented which soon called them into action. It was the true philosophy, without the name, and made all the philosophy of the world sublimated folly. It was ridiculous to hear Epicureans and Stoics reasoning against Paul. While they were talking about atoms of matter and refined principles, about virtue and vice, Paul took hold of the Resurrection of the Dead, and buried them in their own dreams. He preached Jesus and the Resurrection; he proclaimed reformation and forgiveness of sins; and before they awoke out of their reveries, he had Dionysius the Mayor of the City, the Lady Damaris, and other notable characters, immersed into Jesus.

      The ancient gospel left no man in a reasoning mode about any principle of action. It left him in no doubt about the qualities or attributes of faith. It called for the obedience of faith; and by giving every man an opportunity of testing and showing his own faith by his works, it made no provision for cases of consciences, nor room for philosophic doubting. But I do not here eulogize it, but only intend to say that it is the only and the all-sufficient means to destroy antichrist, to heal divisions, to unite christians, to convert the world, and to bless all nations; and viewing it in this light, we shall find much use for it in all that we shall attempt in this work.

      In detecting the false gospels, nothing will aid us so much as an examination of their tendencies, and a comparison of their effects with what the Millennium proposes. The gospel of no sect can convert the world. This is with us a very plain proposition; and if so, the sectarian gospels are defective, or redundant, or mixed. To one of these general classes belong most of them.

      Many topics will demand our attention in this work, as the preceding prospectus indicates. How we shall attend to these and manage them, we can now make no promise--time alone will show. We only claim an impartial and an attentive hearing. We ask for [7] nothing--not a single concession upon trust. What we cannot evince and demonstrate, we hope all will reject. What we enforce with authority and evidence, we hope that the thoughtful and the devout, the rational and the inquisitive, the candid and the sincere, will espouse and carry into practice. What will not, what cannot, console the unhappy, cheer the disconsolate, confirm the weak, reform the transgressor, purify the ungodly, save the world, and ennoble human character--we shall rejoice to see repudiated.

      I have heard that it is decreed to attempt to destroy this paper as soon as it appears. A correspondent informed me this day that in one city a large subscription had been got up in the way of joint stock to oppose this paper. If they can logically, scripturally, and religiously strangle it in life's porch, or despatch it as his majesty King Herod despatched the innocents of Bethlehem--I say, let them do it! But I never can believe, upon human testimony, that he can be an impartial judge who has condemned, or erected the scaffold before the victim is tried.

      When opposed by the interested, by those whom the corruptions of christianity feed with bread and gratify with honor, I will call to mind the history of all the benefactors of men, and draw both comfort and strength from the remembrance that no man ever achieved any great good to mankind who did not wrest it with violence through ranks of opponents--who did not fight for it with courage and perseverance, and who did not, in the conflict, sacrifice either his good name or his life. John the harbinger of the Messiah, lost his head. The Apostles were slaughtered. The Saviour was crucified. The ancient confessors were slain. The reformers all have been excommunicated. I know that we shall do little good if we are not persecuted. If I am not traduced, slandered, and misrepresented, I shall be a most unworthy advocate of that cause which has always provoked the resentment of those who have fattened upon the ignorance and superstition of the mass, and have been honored by the stupidity and sottishness of those who cannot think and will not learn. But we have not a few friends and associates in this cause. There are many with whom it shall be my honor to live and labor, and my happiness to suffer and die.

      The ancient gospel has many powerful advocates; and the heralds of a better, of a more blissful order of things, social and religious, are neither few nor feeble. No seven years of the last ten centuries, as the last seven, have been so strongly marked with the criteria of the dawn of that period which has been the theme of many a discourse, and the burthen of many a prayer.


      ALL revealed religion is based upon facts. Testimony has respect to facts only; and that testimony may be credible, it must be confirmed. These points are of so much importance as to deserve [8] some illustration, and much consideration. By facts we always mean something said or done. The works of God and the words of God, or the things done and spoken by God, are those facts which are laid down and exhibited in the Bible as the foundation of all faith, hope, love, piety, and humanity. All true and useful knowledge is an acquaintance with facts. And all true science is acquired from the observation and comparison of facts. But he that made the heart of man and gave him an intelligent spirit knows that facts alone can move the affections, and command the passions of man. Hence the scheme of mercy which he has discovered to the world, is all contained in, and developed by, the works of mercy which he has wrought.

      Facts have a meaning which the understanding apprehends and the heart feels. According to the meaning or nature of the fact, is its effect upon us. If a friend have risked his life, or sacrificed his reputation or fortune to relieve us, we cannot but confide in him and love him. If an enemy have attempted our life, invaded our property, or attacked our reputation, we cannot, naturally, but hate him. Nothing but the command of a benefactor, or the will of some dear friend who has laid us under obligation to himself, can prevent us from hating our enemies. If a beloved relative have sustained some great misfortune, we must feel sorry; or if he have been rescued from some impending calamity, we must feel glad. Our joy in the latter case, and our sorrow in the former, arise from the meaning or nature of the fact. The feelings corresponding with the nature of the fact, are excited or called into existence the moment the fact is known or believed. It is known when we have witnessed it ourselves, and it is believed when reported to us by credible persons who have witnessed it. This is the chief difference between faith and knowledge.

      As existences or beings must precede knowledge, so facts must precede either knowledge or belief. An event must happen before it can be known by man--it must be known by some before it can be reported to others--it must be reported before it can be believed, and the testimony must be confirmed, or made credible, before it can be relied on.

      Something must be done before it can be known, reported, or believed. Hence, in the order of nature, there is first the fact, then the testimony, and then the belief. A was drowned before B reported it--B reported it before C believed it, and C believed it before he was grieved at it. This is the unchangeable and universal order of things as respects belief. In this example when we reason from effect to cause, it is grief, belief, testimony, fact--and from cause to effect, it is fact, testimony, belief, grief. We ascend from grief to belief--from belief to testimony--from testimony to fact. We descend from fact to testimony--from testimony to belief, and from belief to grief. To this there is no exception, more than against the universality of the laws of gravity. If, then, there was nothing said or done, there could be no testimony, and so no faith. Religious affections spring from faith; and, therefore, it is of importance that [9] this subject should be disintricated from the mysticism of the schools.

      Laws call for obedience, and testimony for belief. Where there is no law, there can be no obedience; and where there is no testimony, there can be no faith. As obedience cannot transcend law, so faith cannot transcend testimony. John's testimony went to so many facts. On his testimony we can believe only as far as he has testified. And so of all the other witnesses. The certainty of faith depends upon the certainty or credibility of the witnesses. But not so its effects. The effects depend upon the facts believed--the certainty upon the evidence. I may be equally certain that John was beheaded--that Jesus was crucified.--Nay, I may be as certain of the birth of Jesus in Bethlehem, as I am of his death on Calvary. The testimony may be equally credible, and the faith equally strong; but the effects produced are not the same. The facts believed have not the same meaning, are not of the same nature, and do not produce the same feelings or effects. I may be as certain of the assassination of Cesar in the Senate House, as I am of the crucifixion of Jesus on Calvary but as the facts believed are as diverse in the nature, meaning, and bearings upon me as the East and the West; so the effects or fruits of my faith are as different as Julius Cesar and Jesus Christ.

      The more ordinary the fact, the more ordinary the testimony necessary to establish it. That A B, aged 90, and confined for some time with sickness, died last night, requires only the most ordinary testimony to render it credible. But that C D lived to 140, enjoying unabated vigor of mind and body, requires stronger testimony. But still all facts happening in accordance with the ordinary and natural laws of things, require but good human testimony to make them worthy of credence. 'Tis only extraordinary and supernatural facts which require supernatural testimony, or testimony supernaturally confirmed. This is the point to which we have been looking in this essay. And now that we have arrived at it, I would ask, How has the testimony of the Apostles and Evangelists been confirmed?

      To confirm a testimony is neither more nor less than to make it credible to those to whom it is tendered; or, to express the same idea in other words, it is to give men power to believe it. Now it will not require the same amount of evidence to persuade an astronomer that the earth's shadow struck the moon last eclypse, as it would to convince an Indian; or it would not require the same amount of evidence to convince a chymist that combustion was effected by pouring water on a certain composition of mineral substances, as it would an unlettered swain. To make any testimony credible to any order of beings, regard must therefore be had to the capacity, attainments, and habits of those beings. To confirm the testimony of the Apostles concerning the Messiah's death, resurrection, ascension into heaven, and coronation as the Lord and King of the Universe, imports no more nor no less than that it should be rendered every way credible to such beings as we are, or that we should be made able to believe it. A testimony confirmed,, and yet incredible to those to whom it is tendered, is a contradiction in terms. But why emphasise on the [10] word confirmed? Because the holy Apostles have emphasised upon it. It is therefore necessary that we should pay a due regard to the confirmation of the testimony. The testimony is one thing, and the confirmation is another. It is necessary, in all important occasions in human affairs, that the testimony which is received between man and man should be confirmed by some sanction. Hence an oath for confirmation of testimony is an end of all strife. The highest confirmation which men require in all questions of fact, is a solemn oath or affirmation that the things affirmed are true.

      But supernatural facts require supernatural confirmations. Hence when the confirmation of the gospel is spoken of in the apostolic writings, it is resolved into the doings or works of the Holy Spirit. "Demonstrations of the Holy Spirit" are the confirmatory proofs of the gospel. When Paul delivered the testimony of God, or the testimony concerning Jesus, to the Corinthians, he says, "It was confirmed among them." And if we examine into the confirmation of the testimony as Paul explained it, we shall find that he makes the spiritual gifts, or those extraordinary and miraculous powers which the Apostles themselves displayed, and which so many of their converts also possessed, an assurance or confirmation of what he promulged.

      We shall only attend to the light which only one of his epistles to the Corinthians throws upon this subject. After thanking his God for the favor bestowed upon the disciples in Corinth when he first visited them, he proceeds to specify the special favors bestowed upon the disciples in that renowned city. "You were enriched (says he, chap, i. ver. 5.) with every gift, by him, even with all speech and all knowledge when the testimony of Christ way confirmed among you; so that you come behind in no gift." "There are diversities of gifts, (says he, chap. xii.) for to one disciple is given the word of wisdom; to another, the word of knowledge; to another faith, (to be healed;) to another, the gift of healing, to another, the ability of working in others the power of working miracles; to another, prophecy; to another, discerning of spirits; to another, diverse kinds of foreign tongues; and to another, the interpretation of foreign tongues."--Now the Corinthians were put in possession of these (for they came behind in no gift) "when the testimony of Christ was confirmed among them." For, says Paul, I came not to you with the excellency of speech, or the persuasive eloquence of the schools, but with the demonstration of the Spirit and of power; that your belief of my testimony, or your faith, might not rest, or be founded, upon human wisdom or eloquence, but upon the power of God evinced in the demonstrations of the Spirit which confirmed my testimony among you. For had it not been for these demonstrations of the Spirit and of power, your faith could not have rested upon an immoveable basis.

      To those desirous to understand this subject, an examination of this first letter to the Corinthians cannot fail to be most instructive; for it most clearly and unequivocally teaches us that the visible, audible, sensible demonstration of the Spirit and of power was that supernatural attestation of the testimony of Christ which made it credible, so [11] that no man could have acknowledged Jesus of Nazareth to be the Almighty Lord but by this demonstration of the Holy Spirit. Thus was the testimony confirmed--thus was Jesus demonstrated to be the only begotten Son of God--and thus, and thus only, are men enabled to believe in him.

      Some mystics in ancient times, and some of the moderns yet affirm that the infusion of the Holy Spirit into the hearts of disciples as the spirit of adoption--as the Spirit of Christ--is that demonstration of the Spirit which enables men to believe. But this is as unreasonable as it is unscriptural: unreasonable because no such inspiration, no invisible, inaudible, or insensible operation or effect can be called a demonstration of the Spirit on which faith rests--none of the terms used by the Apostle can bear such an exposition. And it is unscriptural, for none of the converts to christianity in the New Testament are represented as converted but by what they saw and heard; and the Spirit of Holiness was a gift promised to them, and to them only who believe.

      A demonstration that cannot be seen or heard, is, in our mother tongue, no demonstration at all; and a faith that rests upon any thing called demonstrations of the Spirit and of power which are only felt in the heart, is a faith resting upon itself. The testimony and the confirmation must be alike extrinsic, else it is no confirmation at all. No feeling in the heart can be called a demonstration. The eye or the ear, and strictly the former, but figuratively the latter, are the senses to which demonstrations are submitted. None but mystics could draw a demonstration in confirmation of a fact or a testimony from the effect produced in the heart. What would a person of common sense say to a mother who labored to prove that the tidings she had heard of the death of her only son were true, because she felt sorry to hear and believe them. In vain would she call her grief, her agony, her tears, a demonstration that the testimony was true. These might be proofs that she believed the tidings, but never can they prove the tidings to be true. But why labor to tediousness in support of that which is almost self-evident.

      But it is not only in the Epistle to the Corinthians that notice is taken of the confirmation of the testimony. John Mark informs us that Jesus commanded the original witnesses to proclaim to every creature the glad tidings, with this assurance, that all who heard them, believed them, and were immersed, should he saved; and all that heard them, and disbelieved them, should be damned. But, adds the historian, (chap. xvi. ver. 20.) "They went out and proclaimed the tidings every where, the Lord co-operating with them and confirming their testimony, or teaching, by the miracles wherewith it was accompanied" And to the same effect writes the Apostle to the Hebrews, (chap. ii. 5.) "This great salvation which, beginning to be spoken by the Lord, was confirmed to us by them that heard him." How?--"God bearing joint testimony, both by signs and wonders, and diverse miracles and distributions of the Holy Spirit, according to his own pleasure." Such, then, was the confirmation of the testimony, and [12] such confirmation, or demonstration of the Holy Spirit, enabled all men, who attended to it with an honest heart, to believe.

      The narrative of the labors and success of the Apostles, which Luke gives, corroborates, by the examples it adduces, the above statements. Take Peter's labors for examples. His testimony on Pentecost was confirmed by a sound from heaven, by tongues of fire; and when they heard his testimony, and saw the signs accompanying it, thousands believed the testimony. When they saw him cure the cripple, and heard him announce the glad tidings at the Beautiful Gate of the Temple, multitudes believed. When he cured Eneas, the paralytic of Lydda, "all the inhabitants of Lydda and Saron saw him and turned to the Lord" When he raised to life again Tabitha of Joppa this was known throughout all Joppa, and many believed in the Lord." Such was the order of that day. And thus was the testimony confirmed, and men and women enabled to believe.

      From all that has been said, the following conclusions are apparent, and of much practical importance, at least to all who labor in the word and teaching:--

      1. The testimony which God has given, or the testimony which the Apostles gave concerning Jesus as the Messiah, the Son of God, and the all-sufficient Saviour of the World, is a credible testimony, a well confirmed testimony; and as confirmed by the demonstrations of the Spirit and power of God, worthy of all acceptation; and by it men, otherwise without strength, are made able to believe. Hence all who wait for the testimony to be specially confirmed to them, wait for what they have no promise nor right to receive, and which God cannot bestow without implying that the testimony is otherwise unworthy of belief; or, what we commonly call incredible.

      2. Every one who says he cannot believe, says that the testimony is incredible; that God has not confirmed it; and in so doing expressly contradicts the Apostle, who says, "The report is credible, or true, and worthy of all reception; that Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners;" or else he means, that he will not believe, and therefore will not hear the testimony lest he should believe it. He that believeth not, makes God a liar, because he says that his testimony is not true.

      3. The ancients were enabled to call Jesus Lord of All, the King eternal, immortal, and invisible, from the demonstrations of the Holy Spirit confirming the testimony, without any other aid than the power of God exhibited in attestation of the testimony. So are we when the testimony is fairly and ably laid before us. Hence in producing faith in the minds of men, all that is necessary is, to do justice to the whole testimony of God--to do what Paul said, he did, without the persuasive words of human philosophy, declare the testimony of God. Hence all men who believe and preach Christ, should be able to give a reason of the hope which they entertain, by adducing the evidences of the gospel--not by telling their experience, which will never convince any body but an enthusiast; any more than Mary's testimony concerning her grief will be a demonstration that the report of her Son's death is [13] true. Peter never commanded any man to narrate his own feelings as a reason of the hope which he had in the Messiah, in preference to, or in competition with, the confirmed testimony. No, the best reason of faith is a well authenticated testimony, or confirmed evidences. Our experience may be a consolation to ourselves, as our behavior will be a corroboration to others; but the demonstrations which the Spirit has afforded alone can enable any man to say that Jesus is the Lord.

      4. As the first Christians were convinced by the Holy Spirit and enabled to believe by the attestations which he gave; so, after they believed and obeyed the gospel, they had the Holy Spirit infused into their hearts; and were then, because they were sons--(for to as many as received him to them he gave power to become the sons of God) enabled by the spirit imparted to them to say, Our Father--so will it be with them who now believe and obey the same gospel upon the same evidences and for the same reasons.

      5. As Jesus, when on earth, finished the work of redemption, but in heaven he is our High Priest; so the Holy Spirit on earth, after his ascension, finished the confirmation of the testimony: but now in addition to that work which makes redemption credible, he sheds his influences in the hearts of them who obey. If any man can make himself happy, from any supposed change of heart, before he has obeyed the gospel, he deludes himself. 'Tis only by obeying the truth that any man can be sanctified and comforted by it. The story told by some of their happiness before obedience, is to me as wild and incredible as the story of the Phenix clapping its wings over dried sticks until it sets them on fire. If, then, all who undertake to preach Christ, would, instead of preaching their own dreams, or even their real experiences, exhibit the evidences, and instead of telling men to wait or pray for good signs, or for power to believe, persuade them to obey the gospel, the gospel would run and be glorified, and sectarianism would wither as the grass. To effect this is the leading object of this paper; and if it fail to produce this conviction in any attentive reader, if he will furnish me with his objections I will do them justice,


Illustrated in Messrs. Randolf Stone, Samuel Rogers, Joshua Wilson,
      Samuel Davis, Andrew Fuller, etc. being Reviews of Notices, a
      Circular Letter, &c.

      THE advocates of popular errors stand on the vantage ground against those who advocate unpopular truths. Having got the public ear accustomed to their song, their music has no discord in it. The consciences of the people formed to their hands, and their modes of reasoning, established to their wish, it is easy to retain their understandings and their consciences in their service. Thus a Christian has a poor chance with a Turk, and a Protestant in a Catholic [14] country. The most logical inductions and correct reasonings of an intelligent Christian against a Turk, can be converted into pure sophistry by the magic of "the Prophet's" name, or the ignominy in the epithet "You Christian Dog." A Protestant in Spain would employ all the logic and rhetoric of the most finished scholar to no purpose against the arguments of the inquisition, and the bells, pomegranates, relics, and holy water of the priesthood.

      In Protestant countries there is the magic of names, usages, and early associations, against which logic is impotent, and reason unavailing. In New England and Virginia, some fifty or sixty years, ago, Methodists, Quakers, and Baptists went over to Satan by the magic of the surplice and the decency of a good and grave divine. His gown and his wig, if he had one, either powdered or grey--his rite of confirmation, or his holy unction, solemnized every thing; and a single frown of a graceful eyebrow, or a curl of a well turned lip, established the truth and made error doubly condemnable. A Baptist with a Puritan, and a Methodist with a curate, had as much chance of triumph in argument, as a slave has of becoming a scholar in Georgia. But times have changed; and all, that is necessary to make error truth with a great majority, is, to let it gain the ascendant. The majority constitutes, with many, the only infallible standard of truth. Some, and not a few, judge of every thing by its success. Hence Bacon of Virginia was a rebel, and Washington a hero and a patriot. The scheme that triumphs is too generally consecrated; and the world and society, as hitherto constituted, are an easy prey to aspiring demagogues. Until education is more generally diffused, both in church and state, the led will be many, and the leaders few.

      But to the vantage ground again. To refute the whole Baptist system was the easiest thing imaginable, while a parson had 15,000 lbs. of tobacco per annum, and a Puritan had the blue laws to aid him. To call Christian immersion, "plunging a person over head and ear,; in a pond;" to speak of the "efficacy of much or little water" with a sneer; to call it "an indecent thing," made it infamous in the esteem of polite ladies and gallant gentlemen. And as for these "roaring, ranting, raving Methodists, with their works of merit and. their no-grace-scheme," it was the easiest thing for a decent and fashionable moralist to send them all to perdition by giving them these epithets. And now some of these self-same Methodists can denounce their reforming brethren by the very same arguments and logic which were showered on their own heads, like frogs on Egypt. The Baptists, too, have got their fashionable and popular standards--their Gill, their Fuller, and their Booth--their creeds and advisory councils--their schools, their colleges, and their Gamaliels too--and by the magic of these marks of the beast, they claim homage and respect, and dispute the high places with those very Rabbis whose fathers were wont to grin at their fathers. Thus while one set of tables has been turned, and one pack of money-changers has been whipped out of the temple, another race and generation have seized their places.

      Now, in the self-same spirit, and with more talent, have some in all [15] parties persecuted and sneered at the ancient gospel and ancient order of things. Primitive Christianity has become as odious in the esteem of many of our Gamaliels as it was in the days of their great ancestors--as it was to the respectable and right reverend Caiaphas, D. D.--the Rev. Annas, D. D.--the Rev. Messrs. "John and Alexander, and as many as are of the high priest's kindred."3


      A CERTAIN Mr. Randolph Stone, who edits a "Western Intelligencer, religious, literary, and political," in Hudson, Portage county, Ohio, of which "Intelligencer" I have seen one sheet, of the 15th December, 1829, has written two or three columns on the Prospectus of this work. Whether this worthy brother of the type be a political magician I know not; but he is "a freshman," at least, in the cabalistic school, and seems to find himself on the vantage ground. He knows the magical import of such phrases as the following: "The received doctrines of Christianity;" "the benevolent institutions of the day;" "christian enterprizes which throw so much lustre on this age;" "such men as Edwards, Dwight, Davis, Owen. Newton, Scott, and Chalmers." This is his logic; and his rhetoric is, "Mr. Campbell is chuckling behind the scene to see what fools he has made;" "proclaiming the ancient gospel and the ancient order of things!" which phrases, with his notes of contempt, he repents twelve or thirteen times! And to finish his climax, he says, that the editor of the Harbinger (myself) "will call to his aid the various infidel clubs in New York and Philadelphia as principal contributors." Such are the means to be used by the lovers of the modern gospels, and the present order of things. After many such fine rhetorical touches, as he thought, this champion of orthodoxy represents me as some poor mercenary like himself, who will write whatever will sell, true or false, for a piece of bread and butter. This is about as reasonable an inference from my whole course, from all my history, as the following sentence is true: "Mr. Campbell's proselytes have become considerable numerous, and go from place to place, exploding the old-fashioned way of commencing and continuing a Christian life, by faith and repentance, and a godly conversation, and substituting for it their newly discovered way, which is simply to be baptized." Whom he calls my proselytes I cannot say; but one thing I do say, that I will disown, not only as a proselyte, but as a brother, every man, profess what he may, who will detach baptism from faith, repentance, and a godly behavior. Nor would I rank among the decent, well bred, or courteous citizens of this world, any person who could be guilty of such outrageous calumny and detraction, as this chevalier of orthodoxy.

      But as I have always, as a writer, given a fair sample of all that has been written or said against myself, my sentiments, and course, I thought it due to the public, though it appears to me almost a pollution, [16] of any page to inscribe upon it such flagitious abuse of speech and of the liberty of the press; I Say, I thought it due to the public to instance the case of Mr. Stone in illustration of the course adopted by such as occupy the vantage ground. These gentry are happily exempted from all use, or rather necessity for any use of reason or argument. If they only cry loud and long, "This is the image which fell down from Jupiter!" whom, as Mr. Stone says, "all Asia and the world worship;" or, as he chooses to express it, "the RECEIVED doctrines of Christianity." Yes, "all Asia and the word worship!" These gentry, though living a few thousand miles, and some two thousand years apart, remarkably fraternize in their mode of defending their respective systems. "Great is Diana of the Ephesians!" was the text and is the text. Not so candid, however, are the moderns as the ancients. For they said, "Fellow-craftsmen, you know that by this craft (manufacture) our maintenance arises?" But the moderns, some of them at least, will be the first to impute mercenary motives to them who are successfully shearing them of their power, merely to obtain for themselves the appearance of disinterestedness; when all who know them can perceive and know full well that their only VISIBLE primum mobile is a slice off the popular loaf. Paul said there were some christians in his time whose god was their own stomachs; and these hungry Christians were wont to accuse Paul and Titus of making a gain of them, although by his own hands, in many instances, he had ministered to his own wants and to his fellow-travellers. I intend not to apply this to the "Western Intelligencer," for I know nothing of the man, save the painting he has given of himself; and if he has done justice to the original, he is certainly not among the most lovely of modern Christians. I should not have introduced his name here had he not called upon me to look at him; and even then, I would not have looked off from my purpose, but by the association of ideas I found in him an illustration of that class of belligerents who think they stand upon so lofty an eminence, and have so strong a fortress around them, that a laugh, or a sneer, or a witticism, or a falsehood, or a calumny from them, will put to flight a whole phalanx of arguments, reasons, and proofs. Yes, to say that this is the "received doctrine of Christianity" is sufficient proof that it is true; and to call any thing else novel, or to nickname it heresy is all-sufficient to constitute it error, and to doom it to absolute renunciation by those who stand upon the vantage ground.



      A MR. ROGERS, of Missouri, is another of these vantage ground Christians. I had occasion not long since to give him a few words in passing. He wrote the libellous and slanderous letter of the Mount [17] Pleasant Association, in Missouri, for tire last year. He is, for one of the freshmen, in the magic of epithets, very dexterous. He imputes to me the heresy of Sandeman, and with all the terrific attributes with which that heresiarch is clothed, he assails me. Then after having, as he thinks, much to my mortification, given to Sandeman and Glass the glory of my views, he proceeds to prove his positions. Now when I quote a text to prove or illustrate any point, I find myself bound to show that I apply it correctly--that I give it the precise application of the writer; but if 1 occupied the vantage ground it would be enough to quote it under the authority of some great name. Thus Mr. Rogers quotes and applies many texts just as Mr. Fuller quotes them, and other writers, who address their audiences as dead men. He affords to my mind indubitable proofs of as servile a spirit of quoting as ever did any of the implicit followers of the hierarchy of Rome. He is either thus enslaved, or he thinks, claiming the vantage ground, that it will all pass current without examination, because he supports the popular side. Now I hold it to be just as possible to touch error by quoting scripture, as it is without opening the Bible; nay, I believe the most successful errorists are those who interlard their writings almost line about with scripture phrases. Some of the most danger«us books I have ever read, so called by popular Baptists and Presbyterians, were those almost half scripture. In the few sentences which the Devil employed to seduce the Messiah there are found three texts of scripture, very adroitly and plausibly brought in.

      The popular system-mongers, feeling themselves strong in the heads and hearts of their admirers, feel no need to show that they apply scripture correctly. Now we, who have to fight every inch of our way, sword in hand, feel ourselves bound to quote the scriptures in their own context and fixed meaning, and this requires more labor than is necessary to maintain the whole doctrine of any popular sect. I once quoted the scriptures in this random way, and I know from experience the bad effects of it. It is owing to this lax and latitudinarian spirit of quoting, that Episcopalians have so much trouble with the Catholics; that Presbyterians have so much labor with Episcopalians, and that Baptists have so much trouble with Paidobaptists in their respective wrestlings with each other for authority for their respective peculiarities.

      When the ecclesiastic belligerents are nearly equal in popular esteem, they pay more attention to the rules of interpretation; but when the one party sits in Moses' seat and the other is proscribed, the sound of a verse coming from the chair is better than the meaning of ten coming from the floor. As I have recently heard that some Doctors of Presbyterianism, especially the good Doctor of Cincinnati, the Rev. Joshua Wilson, D. D. have highly eulogized this same Circular, and some of the would-be Rabbis of the Presbyterian Baptists, I feel it my duty to bestow a few more strictures upon it.

      When in Richmond, a few weeks ago, I gave it a hasty perusal,, and made full as many remarks upon it as I then thought, and now think, it deserves. But if my opponents think it deserves more, for [18] their sakes I will bestow a few more upon it. Not for their sakes either, for they are not to be convinced; but because they give it such an importance, and make so much use of it, I will attempt to show how drowning men catch at straws.

      If Mr. Rogers had only made an effort to sustain himself by supporting his own dogmas, I should not have formed so unfavorable an opinion of him, as I am constrained to do, from his unrighteous attempt to fasten upon me a system which he must have known, if he has read the Christian Baptist with ordinary attention, I most unequivocally disclaim. He is much more of a Sandemanian than I am, as I can prove, if I have not already done it.

      That I agree with almost all sects in something, Catholic and Protestant; and with all men, savage and civilized, I do not hesitate to say; but to call me a savage, a Catholic, or a Sandemanian for so doing, I must consider an outrage upon Christian and courteous decorum.

      If I may be allowed to express my own convictions, I agree with the whole system of Andrew Fuller more than I agree with the whole system of Robert Sandeman; and yet I think I can show to the dullest apprehension that both are fundamentally wrong in some very important items. I have done this already in Sandeman's case; and, if the Lord will, I shall attempt it in the case of Andrew Fuller. But names apart, either popular or unpopular, I proceed to examine the leading points in this eulogized Circular.

      This zealous champion of Fullerism neither understands the scriptures nor the Christian Baptist. I presume, however, he is only a second-hand student of them, and is content with understanding only "the essential doctrines." This appears as manifest to me as it would be when hearing a man quote Horace fluently from a dictionary of quotations, that he never studied that author. I have met with some great quoters of the Roman poets who never read one of them through. In the first paragraph of this letter there are three misapplications of the Christian scriptures. After infusing into an unbeliever Mr. Fuller's "holy desire" and "suitable disposition," he starts to prove that all unbelievers must have this infused by some mysterious agency to enable them to believe. Now if an unbeliever can have a holy and a suitable disposition towards God. I know not of what use faith can be to him. Then Mr. Fuller's holy unbeliever, or his regenerated infidel, is to be proved from scripture. And, courteous reader, what is the proof? Mr. Rogers quotes five words from Acts xvii. 2. He marks these words thus: "Thus "the Bereans sought and found," "Acts xvii. 2." This is literatim et punctuatim as it stands in the Circular before me. Now I cannot think that Mr. Rogers intended here to practise a holy legerdemain, though he has done it; for there are no such words in all the New Testament, ancient or modern versions. It is a line from some hymn he has quoted, and to this line he appended "Acts vii. 2" supposing it to be scripture. Dr. Wilson, as erudite in the scriptures as his brother Rogers, sanctions the error by having [19] some hundreds of the Circular distributed, if not printed, by his authority. However a line of a hymn may pass for scripture with Dr. Wilson and Mr. Rogers, it will not pass with me as proof as strong as holy writ.

      In the common version, Acts xvii. 10, 11, 12, it is thus written; "And the brethren immediately sent away Paul and Silas by night unto Berea: who coming thither went into the synagogue of the Jews. These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily whether these things were so. Therefore, many of them believed; also of honorable women which were Greeks and of men not a few." If this was the passage pretended to be cited as proof, courteous reader, mark the violence offered to it. The general character of the Bereans, Luke says, was "more noble"--"their disposition was more generous" (Doddridge) than those of Thessalonica. Now this trait of character which distinguished the Bereans from the Thessalonians, is, when put into the distillery of Messrs. Fuller, Rogers, and Wilson, converted into a "holy desire" and a "suitable disposition" wrought in the heart by some mysterious agency, to enable them to believe the word proclaimed by Paul!!! Yet their faith is described as the result of their "searching the scriptures daily." This religious hocus pocus, or legerdemain, is the crying sin of this age.

      Here, for the first time for many years, I brushed the dust off a volume containing Mr. Fuller's views of a holy disposition infused into the soul previous to faith. I have glanced over a few pages of it; and, to my no little astonishment, he argues stoutly that a man is regenerated by the Holy Spirit before he believes; that faith is the effect of regeneration. I thought he must say something of the Bereans, as I discover Mr. Rogers fellows him pari passu, though with shorter steps. I soon found the Bereans adduced as in the Circular. But Mr. Fuller quotes the passage fairly, and felt the difficulty which I thought would entangle any man of sense. The difficulty was this; if the Bereans were regenerated before they believed, and had died while searching the scriptures before they believed, would they have been considered as unbelievers? Mr. Fuller says, (page 214,) "Had they died while in this noble pursuit, they would not have been treated us unbelievers." So a regenerated unbeliever was conceivable to Mr. Fuller. But Luke says, only many of these noble-minded Bereans believed. Now if noble-minded is equivalent to regenerated in reference to some, it must be so in reference to all of those to whom it is applied. Only, then, some of those regenerated Bereans believed!!!

      The word, or gospel, is not the instrument of regeneration, for men must be regenerated before they believe; nay, Mr. Fuller, in his mystic theology, argues that both repentance and regeneration must precede faith. So much for theological metaphysics. Men must be sorry for their sins before they believe in God against whom they have sinned, and have holy desires for an unknown object! This is as reasonable as that Mr. Rogers can love a person, or have ardent [20] desires for the society of a person in Asia, of whom he is perfectly ignorant; and that he can repent of sins committed against a being of whose existence he has neither knowledge nor belief!! But it is not with the unreasonableness of the view that I have to do--it is with its antiscriptural character. It is in positive contradiction of one of the plainest passages of scripture, which saith, "Of his own will begat he us by the word of truth;" and of another, which saith, "We are born again by, or through, the word of God, which liveth and abideth forever."

      His next quotation is as follows: "Let us, beware of calling any man Master--one is our Master, even Christ;" "Search the scriptures;" "It is his command." This is all good counsel, but a misapplication of the words quoted. Scripture can be misapplied when quoted to prove what is true, as well as in proving what is false. Jesus Christ never commanded us to search the New Testament scriptures, for they were not then written; nor did he command the Jews in this passage to search the Jewish scriptures. Mr. Rogers may be excused here because he takes the common version without examination. Dr. Wilson ought, and Mr. Rogers might, have known better. The connexion will not authorize the imperative mood. The argument is this: "You Jews do search the scriptures because you believe them to contain eternal life. Now these scriptures testify of me; yet you will not come to me for that life which they reveal." [See the New Version.]

      The third quotation is thus introduced: "We have his promise to assist our humble inquiries." "They shall be all taught of God. John vi. 45." Now the question is, Was this promise given to those persons to whom Jesus addressed himself, John v. 39? No, for the persons addressed in John v. 39. were in Jerusalem, and those addressed in John vi. 45. were in Capernaum. But again, John vi. 45. contains a quotation from Isaiah which was not applied as a promise to any persons searching the scriptures, but a general truth concerning all those who received Jesus! It is a general truth not confined to those who search the scriptures, but to all who receive the Messiah.

      Now what labor would it impose on me, and how much patience would it require of the reader, were I to examine some forty or fifty quotations in this way. I have taken the three first citations from the New Testament as a specimen. And I appeal to any unprejudiced, good common sense, plain scholar, who will read these passages in the New Testament, whether Mr. Rogers has not perverted and misapplied the whole three, honestly disposed no doubt, but blinded by a mystical system. He may talk for ages about his supernatural teaching: but if the Spirit has taught him a meaning of scripture contrary to its most manifest literal import, of what use is it to read it at all!! It is no wonder we have so many infidels in the world. But Mr. Rogers, either at his own hand or at second hand, has been vitiated by Fullerism. And if I do not, when opportunity serves, show that the whole of this metaphysical theology of Fuller's "previous holy disposition" is founded on the most gross perversions of [21] scripture, then there is no light in me. I will undertake this ere long; for in my last tour through Virginia, I discover that some of our old and young teachers are perverted by Fuller, either directly or indirectly.

      But to return to the Circular. I cannot consent, how useful soever it may be, to expose all the misapplication of scripture in this letter of 12 pages. This would be to write a volume. But I must expose it still more fully.

      He next takes Samuel Davis for his guide, and gives us a liberal quotation from Samuel, (not the Prophet.) This Samuel Davis was another perverter of scripture if friend Rogers has done him justice. He quotes and paraphrases Paul thus: "A zealous Paul may plant the word, and an eloquent Apollos may water it." Now, gentle reader, turn over to the first letter to the Corinthians, and see whether Paul talked of planting the word and Apollos watering the word and ask what was the water which Apollos poured on the word!!! Paul may plant churches and Apollos may water churches I can understand; but how Apollos was to water the word requires one of these mystic Doctors to explain. I shall not attempt it.

      He next, after a few sallies into Buck's Theological Dictionary, begins to quote the Christian Baptist with the same disregard to connexion he had showed to the Apostles. And here he cannot plead a special illumination; for I know my own meaning at least better than he can. He asks me if I am sure that the quickening influence of the Holy Spirit is nothing more than a metaphysical whim? I never said so, Mr. Rogers. Your conceits I call metaphysical whims; but not the quickening influence of the Holy Spirit. If such quotations and applications shall be made of the words of a living author, alas! for the dead! We shall now let him speak for himself in one of his most luminous flights:--

      "When the grand question concerning faith comes to be discussed (says Mr. C.) there can be but one faith, and that is the belief of history or the belief of testimony oral or written. For example, A tells me that the ice on the Ohio river is strong enough to sustain my weight on the back of my horse, I believe his testimony and hazard my horse and person on the ice." C. B. January 5th, 1829, p. 135. As the above is a peculiar illustration of faith in Jesus Christ, we shall carry the subject a little farther. We will suppose Mr. Campbell and his friend Philip to be on the bank of the Ohio at Newport (Kentucky) opposite Cincinnati, in the depth of winter. Mr. C. tells his friend P. that the ice on the Ohio is strong enough to sustain his weight on the back of his horse, and that he is particularly anxious that he should go over to Cincinnati, for your going will terminate to your advantage (continued Mr. C;) there are treasures of immense value which shall be yours if you only cross the river, and more than that, a feast of the most delicious delicacies is prepared for you at the Inn; yea, a feast of fat things and well refined wine. From the powerful evidence, says Philip, you have advanced relative to the strength of the ice--the immense value of the treasures--the [22] deliciousness of the provisions prepared, I feel myself bound to give the full assent of my understanding to what you have testified. I believe all you have said. And says P. I find that I have physical power to cross the river, that is, my body and limbs are sufficiently strong. But friend C. I must acknowledge the truth; I have no inclination--no desire to be at Cincinnati; nay, I have an utter aversion to, and an inveterate hatred against the place and all its inhabitants; and as for the treasures you mention, I have no heart for them. With regard to the feast and provisions you have been recommending, my very soul loathes and abhors the whole. But continues P. I have Idols at Lexington, I have loved them, and after them I WILL go. My whole heart is with them. He now turns his course toward's Lexington, the direct opposite of Cincinnati, and follows the foolish bent of his inclination, as all unrenewed souls do, until convinced of their error by divine grace."

      Now the question is, What meaneth all this? It is intended to show that an aversion may exist against the truth after it is believed; that a man may believe the gospel; acknowledge with his head or his heart that it is all true; be assured that God is as good, kind, loving, compassionate, and merciful, as it represents him to be; that Jesus died for his sins, and rose again for his justification, and has promised eternal happiness to all who obey hurt, and yet have no relish nor love for it. If this he his meaning, and if it have any relevancy, such must be his meaning; then I say such a case never did, and never can exist. That men who do not believe the gospel may have such an aversion, I doubt not; but he can produce no instance in holy writ, nor out of it, of a case in point to his imaginative case. But supposing an unbeliever to have such an aversion, and this is quite supposable, then he would teach him that the Holy Spirit must without, and previous to his faith--nay, without the word, slay his aversion as physically as he created something out of nothing. And such a promise is not to be found in all the Bible, nor can he adduce such a case authenticated by any inspired author. I can form no idea of overcoming the enmity of the human heart but by a display of love, and it is by speaking of Christ, and not of himself, that the Holy Spirit convinces the world of sin, righteousness, and judgment. Messrs. Wilson, Rogers, & Co. may cease to preach the gospel of the Holy Spirit, for the Saviour said the Spirit shall speak not of himself, nor his own doings, "but of me." It is perfect mysticism which they preach--a mere fable; and no Apostle either furnishes them with precept or precedent. Andrew Fuller may do it. And if they prefer him as a guide, before Paul, they may follow him. But, for my part, I will not--I dare not--I cannot. I prefer the ancient to Andrew Fuller's gospel.

      The more men preach the Spirit the less they feel of it, if I may judge from all that is visible and manifest. These preachers of the modern gospel of mystic influences, exhibit more rancorous spirits, more pride, insolence, and covetousness--in one word, more of the [23] spirit of this world, than any other class of preachers with which I am acquainted. This I say from woful experience. Some of the most ungodly preachers I ever knew, and certainly some of the most uncivilized, impolite, barbarous, and persecuting spirits of my acquaintance, are these declaimers upon mystic operations. There are no men whose tongues I fear more than those preachers of physical regeneration. I could name a host of them; but I wish, if they cannot be converted, to let them die with the age in which they live. Paul and John gave immortality to a sufficient number of the class.

      But to my friend Mr. Rogers, of whom I may, perhaps, hope better things, though I thus speak. After this case, which he no doubt supposed was a very apposite one, he proceeds to lay down two propositions which he says are maintained throughout the whole of Divine Revelation: "1. Whatever is good or holy in man is of God, and in deserves the praise of it. 2. Whatever is wicked or evil in the human family, is of themselves, and to them belong the blame of it." These are his fundamentals. Now I most unequivocally agree with the first; and if he had not totally excluded the Devil from the second, I would have declared myself unequivocally well pleased with it. I am willing to allow the Devil some agency in the subject of the second position, as he gives to God the sole agency in the first. With this exception we agree with him in these two propositions. Agreeing with him, then, in these two cardinal points, it is unnecessary to examine his proofs. I would not notice one of them were it not for other purposes. For, strange as it may seem, I do not think the scriptures he hag brought prove his points. I am assured that his positions are true, and equally certain that he has not proved them. If he thought that I disagreed with him in his two capital points, he is as ignorant of my views as he appears to be of the general meaning of scripture. But I cannot do justice to him at this time, and shall postpone further remarks till my next. I hope the examination of his letter will save me the trouble, and my readers the toil of examining any other production of a similar character for some time. I consider this letter of Mr. Rogers not now as I did before--the work of an individual. Two Doctors of Divinity, as I am told, (Dr. Noel and Dr. Wilson,) have become godfathers for it. We shall, then, consider it as their foster child.

      But, christian reader, when I have disproved their theory, think not that any other good will result to you from the refutation of it, than that it exposes to you one cause of sectarianism--one great means why the gospel is of so little effect; and it removes one obstacle out of the way of a plain and forcible declaration of the testimony of God to the world: but were you to proclaim to men, or to cherish in your own bosom, any contrary theory, however true, it would neither make you a more successful champion of the faith, nor a more happy christian. For the adoption of any theory is not the adoption of christianity; and the preaching of any theory is not the preaching of the gospel.
EDITOR. [24]      


      HEROD and Pontius Pilate once agreed, but it was in persecuting the Prince of Peace. So those who once traduced one another as holding dangerous and soul-ruining errors, now unite in crying out, "Dangerous errors!" "Ruinous errors!" "Damnable heresies!" against the editor of the Christian Baptist. Hence it cometh to pass that the Rev. A. Converse of the Paidobaptist Army, and the Rev. A. W.Clopton of the Baptist Army, both unite in persecuting me with all the bitterness, wrath, and evil speaking, of the most crusading of the Jesuitical spirits of the epoch of the Inquisition. Yet these are the men who talk of the want of a christian spirit in others!! But, reader, examine for yourself. I will introduce them to your acquaintance in their own persons:--

From the Southern [Richmond] Religious Telegraph, dated Jan. 30.      


"Extract of a letter from the Rev. Abner W. Clopton, to a clergyman
      in this city, dated Charlotte Court-house, Jan.
20, 1830.

      ["No comment on this letter appears necessary. The views here presented respecting Mr. Campbell's system correspond with those which we have recently expressed. To warn the public against the dangerous errors of this system, will not be deemed a work of supererogation by those who understand it, and the consequences connected with its propagation in any part of the church of Christ.--Ed."]

      "It appears to me peculiarly important, at the present period, while that which I consider ruinous error, is coming into the churches like a flood, that all evangelical ministers should aim to draw the cords of brotherly love more closely, and "strengthen the things that remain." I think I am warranted in the belief that the religious sentiments of Alexander Campbell are exerting already a most deadly influence on the peace and prosperity of the Baptist churches--and are calculated, most eminently, to injure the cause of vital godliness, wheresoever the little work, called the Christian Baptist, is read and believed.

      "And although we rejoice in the persuasion, that "the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, the Lord knoweth them that are his;" yet I should think it to be as much the duty of the under shepherds of Christ to guard the flock against damnable heresies, privily brought in, as to "feed the church which he has purchased with his own blood." As regards the course pursued by Mr. Campbell, I should judge, that now his sentiments are fully developed,--the die is cast,--Cesar has crossed the Rubicon. He, no doubt, is conscious of this--and no matter who falls--no matter how much dissention--no matter if every branch of vital piety should wither by his magic touch--his object is before him. This he will pursue.

      "Under circumstances like these, is there not a loud call for fasting and prayer in our churches? and should not every sentinel whom Christ hath chosen, awake, and girding on the gospel armor of faith, and hope, and love, contend earnestly for the faith once delivered to the saints?" [25]

      These men talk of fasting and prayer!! What hypocrisy! Let us hear how one of Mr. Converse's loving brethren fasted and prayed over Mr. Clopton's brethren. Yes, the pious Paidobaptist Richard Baxter thus accused Mr. Clopton in the person of his brethren--in the loins of his ancestors. The soul-ruining and murdering Baptists destroy both soul and body plunging men and women into water. But hear Richard Baxter:--

      "My sixth argument," says he, "shall be against the usual manner of their baptizing, as it is by dipping over head in a river, or other cold water. That which is a plain breach of the 6th commandment, "Thou shalt not kill," is no ordinance of God, but a heinous sin. And as Mr. Cradock shows, in his book of Gospel Liberty, the magistrate ought to restrain it to save the lives of his subjects. That this is flat murder, and no better, being ordinarily and generally used, is undeniable to any understanding man. And I know not what trick a covetous landlord can find out to get his tenants to die apace, that he may have new fees and heriots, likelier than to encourage such preachers, that he may get them all to turn Anabaptist. I wish that this device be not it which countenanceth such men; and covetous physicians, methinks, should not be much against them; catarrhs and obstructions, which are the two great fountains of most mortal diseases in man's body, could scarce have a more notable means to produce them, where they are not, or to increase them where they are. Apoplexies, lethargies, palsies, and all other comatous diseases, would be promoted by it. So would cephalgies, hemicranies, phthisics, debility of the stomach, crudities, and almost all fevers, dysenteries, diarrhœas, cholics, illiac passions, convulsions, spasms, and so on. All hepatic, splenetic, and pulmonic persons, and hypochondriacs, would soon have enough of it. In a word, it is good for nothing but to despatch men out of the world, that are burdensome, and to ranken church yards. I conclude, if murder be a sin, then dipping ordinarily over head in England is a sin; and if those who would make it men's religion to murder themselves, and urge it upon their consciences as a duty, are not to be suffered in a commonwealth, any more than highway murderers, then judge how these Anabaptists, that teach the necessity of such dipping, are to be suffered."
Baxter's Plain Scripture Proof, p. 134.      

      How loving are the sons of these men, and how charitable to each other in supporting Diana of the Ephesians! While they accuse one another of "damnable heresies" and "soul and body ruining doctrines," they can unite most cordially in fasting and prayer, and in cursing bitterly the "little" Christian Baptist!! It is a little thing! but little things, yea, "the things that are nothing," have often been employed to bring down priests and philosophers. A little thing!--yes, a little helm turns a great ship; a little tongue moves a large assembly; a goose quill has shaken many a throne, and wrested the crown from the head, and the sceptre from the hand of many a despot. The little Christian Baptist has been too strong for the great Messrs. [26] Converse and Clopton and a hundred other such big little priests. It is the truth in it--the mighty truth, and no talent of its humble editor, which has achieved so much. He only is strong when the truth is on his tongue; and with that he can cut down an army of such Lilliputians in truth, and giants in error, as Messrs. Converse, Clopton & Co. Sampson was like other men when shorn; but Sampson, with his slender locks of hair, could burst the strong bands of the Philistines. And what are the withes with which these Philistines would bind the truth?--These slanders: "The deadly influence of the little Christian Baptist on the peace and prosperity of the Baptist churches," "the damnable heresies," "the ruinous errors" it contains! This is the argument of the vantage ground. Now I say to one and all of these men, Point out one error in the Christian Baptist, one ruinous doctrine, except to the would-be-priests, and I will thank you. I challenge you to the conflict for the faith once delivered to the saints. You can, I doubt not, excel me in all the arts of calumny and in all the logic of the vantage ground; but take some one topic; discuss it. My pages are open to you. Yes, you may send the antidote with the poison to every fireside. Come on, gentlemen. Only be a little more courteous in your manners, and you shall have page for page, line for line, and period for period with me. Talk not about the deadly influence of my writings. You are mistaken. 'Tis you who preach to dead men. 'Tis you who tell your hearers that they ought to feel like dead men, who have a deadly influence, if you have any influence at all. And I do know that you Calvinian philosophers and Fullerite preachers have a most deadly influence over the people. You have quenched the Holy Spirit in the churches with your dreams. Many of your churches are as dead as a stone. They meet once a month for a drop of the milk of a textuary, and how can they be healthy or lively? When you visit them, you are always milking them for some Tract, or Temperance, or Missionary, or Education, or College scheme. You seldom visit them, you seldom read them a text, or preach them a sermon, but there are as many duns as prayers, as much begging as singing, and as much death as life in your sermon. And yon censure me for wakening them, for rousing them from your dreams!! You call out "Ruinous doctrines!" and "Damnable heresies!" You think you have the vantage ground, and that your bulls of excommunication will terrify me, pacify the people, and secure your dominion over them. Be not deceived: the most pious members of your communities are those who are awaking out of sleep; these are among those whose influence sustains me, cheers me in this effort to rescue the disciples from your dominion. I know personally many of the most pious and intelligent teachers and private members in the Baptist, and some in other sects, who are warmly enlisted in the cause of the Restoration of the Ancient order of things, and they are, and hitherto have been, the salt which preserved from putrefaction the communities to which they belonged--and because the Christian Baptist made them more zealous for purity of faith and holiness of life, you cry out, "Ruinous doctrine!" [27]

      You, Mr. Clopton, could compass Virginia, Georgia, and the Carolinas for no per annum almost equal to the whole profits of the Columbian Star, in obtaining subscriptions for the Columbian College and for the Star; and thus you preached the wholesome doctrine of giving liberally, and the old speculations of the English theologues, such as I heard from your own lips in Richmond; and yet you call it all gospel, and sound doctrine, and that "damnable heresy" which calls upon men to obey the gospel and to rejoice in the Lord. As for your temperate brother Converse, and his Episcopalian coadjutor in the work of calumny, I could expect nothing better from them. Mr. Converse has treated other Baptists not any better than he has treated me; and I know it is hard to bring a clean thing out of an unclean. And as for Mr. Clopton, since the days of Diotrephes there have been such, who think theirs is the right to lord it over the faith of others without argument or proof.

      But now if Mr. Clopton, or any other of the sons of the church militant, thinks he can show any error or heretical doctrine in any thing I write--be it known to him and them, that if they will write with any regard to courtesy and candor, I will permit them to publish in this paper any essay or essays which they may furnish, to show how "ruinous" and "damnable" my teaching is. If the testimony of God will not sustain me, I deserve not to be heard; but knowing as I do, that the truth is mighty above all things, and that it will prevail, I fear no man's logic, and contemn the petulance of those who declaim without argument, and reason against both truth, fact, and experience.


      THE moderns talk about "head knowledge" and "heart religion"--"believing with the head," and "believing with the heart." Let me say once for all, that I value not, and will never plead for, any thing under the name of religion, which does not influence the head, the heart, the tongue, the lips, the hands, the feet--the whole body, soul, and spirit. The blessed gospel is not believed, is not received, is not obeyed, when the heart is not purified, the understanding enlightened, the conscience purged from dead works to serve the living God.

      The end, object, and consummation of the gospel is "LOVE from a pure heart, from a good conscience, and from faith unfeigned." But I am religiously opposed to all such foolish speculations about faith or belief which make faith consist in any thing else, more or less, than the persuasion that the gospel is true. Those who distinguish between the head and the heart--between assent and approbation, usually quote the following sentence from the Epistle to the Romans, chap. x. "With the heart man believeth unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation." The sophism which they impose upon themselves and followers in this citation, is easily detected when we observe, that, while they contrast the head and the heart, Paul [28] contrasts the lips and the heart. This is quite rational, natural, and common. Men's lips and hearts do not always agree. They often profess to love with their lips while their hearts are filled with hatred. The lips and hearts of all true christians agree: "As he thinketh in his heart, so doth he truth express," To apply the words of Paul to the head, is to offer violence to them, and to make the sacred writings of non-effect.

      To confess with the lips is quite another thing from believing with the head. It is different, too, from sincerely believing. The "unfeigned faith" is the faith of the heart. But the contrast is between faith and confession--righteousness and salvation. Faith and righteousness are now connected--some way connected under the christian economy; so are confession and salvation.

      Now among the commentators and sermonizers of the day, I know of none who has drawn the contrast which Paul draws here, or who marks with any sort of precision the difference here laid down: "With the heart man believes unto righteousness, and with the lips confession is made unto salvation." To confess unto salvation is different from believing unto righteousness. In whatever way we understand the phrase "unto righteousness," either as the effect or concomitant of believing, in the same manner we must understand the phrase "unto salvation;" for the phraseology and the contrast establish the same connexion between confession and salvation that there is between belief and righteousness. God bestows righteousness upon faith, and salvation upon confession. It is an act of pure favor to impute or count to a man belief for righteousness. But he did so with Father Abraham, and he has promised to do so with all his children. Under the christian economy he connects salvation with confession. It is an act of favor to treat a man as though he were righteous when he believes; and it is a similar act of favor to bestow salvation upon a person the instant he confesses Christ.

      I know that the actual enjoyment of salvation in this life is a different thing from the actual enjoyment of the perfect and eternal salvation consequent upon the resurrection of the body. No man is made perfect until he attains to the resurrection of the just. As the kingdom of Jesus in this world differs from the everlasting kingdom of glory, so the salvation of the soul here, and the salvation of soul and body at the resurrection from the dead, materially differ from each other. We are saved here when we confess Christ, and we will be saved hereafter when Christ confesses us before his Father and the holy angels.

      Salvation is a term used with much latitude in sacred and common writings. Israel were saved when they crossed the Red Sea; that is, they were then delivered from the power of their enemies. Their marching through the Red Sea was called the salvation of God. So every deliverance from danger has been called a salvation. But in the New Testament, besides the ordinary applications of the term, it is applied to denote the pardon of sin, or deliverance of the mind from guilt, and the purification of the heart from the pollution and [29] dominion of sin; and also for the future and eternal salvation of the whole man from every trace and every consequence of sin. "Now," says Paul, "is our salvation nearer than when we believed."

      It was testified of John by the Holy Spirit, that he was to prepare the way of the Lord by giving knowledge of salvation through the forgiveness of sins. The salvation which all men enjoy under the government of Jesus Christ in this present world, is a salvation from the guilt, pollution, and dominion of sin. Hence Jesus saves his people--those under his government, from their sins. Hence in the sacred writings, all who are now pardoned are said to be saved. The Lord daily added to the congregation, says Luke, THE SAVED--those who had been baptized into Christ.

      To be saved is to be pardoned, to be brought under the sceptre of Jesus. Hence all who believed and were baptized, were said to be saved, because Christ had declared they should be saved. The confession with the lips, or the public profession of the faith, was made at baptism. Hence the connexion between this confession and salvation.

      Public acts, or public professions, were called the confessing of Christ in the apostolic age. Jesus himself witnessed a good confession before Pontius Pilate; and the martyrs were originally called "confessers of Christ" by way of eminence, because the public profession of him before the tribunals so resembled the good confession of Jesus before Pontius Pilate as to obtain for them this honorable title. But the first public act of a disciple by which he openly and formally puts on Christ is emphatically to confess Christ; and because it was the immediate fruit of faith, Paul, in speaking of our entering into the enjoyment of salvation, declared that as God bestowed righteousness through faith, so under the reign of his Son, he bestows salvation through confession. So that now, under the reign of favor, it is the institution of heaven that faith and righteousness, confession and salvation, shall be inseparably connected. "With the heart man now believeth unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation." So that, saith the same authority, "if you shall confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus, and believe in your heart that God has raised him from the dead, you shall be saved."

      Thus our souls are saved, and thus are we prepared for the salvation to be revealed at the last day. The salvation then to be disclosed is not the pardon of sin or the purification of the heart; these were but preparatives for it; but then we shall be made like unto the Son of God, conformed to his image, as exactly as we have been conformed to the image off our common father Adam. "The redemption of our bodies" from the power of the grave, and the transformation of these bodies into spiritual, incorruptible, and immortal bodies, will be the ultimate triumph of the Saviour and of his disciples. He has become the King eternal, immortal, and invisible; he alone has the gift of immortality, and he alone can bestow immortality on mortal man.

      To this ultimate and eternal salvation christians turn your eyes. It is nearer to you now than when you first believed and confessed the Lord. Imitate Paul who was willing to do any thing, suffer any [30] thing, sacrifice every thing, that he might, "by any means, attain to the resurrection of the dead." This glorious resurrection is promised to all them who obey the great Captain of Salvation, and to none else for he became the author of eternal salvation to all them, and to them only, who obey him--not only once, but to the end. Let us, then, press forward to the prize of our calling from above. The prize of immortal glory in the presence of God, the crown of righteousness and life, is that which none but the courageous, persevering, and triumphant can lay hold on. As we sincerely believe that God has raised Jesus from the dead, and have confessed him before men unto salvation;--as we have begun well, "let us hold fast our begun confidence and our boasted hope unshaken to the end? Let us so run that we may obtain this most glorious prize.


      IT is remarkable that the most evangelical paper published in the city of Philadelphia, should be conducted and edited by an Episcopalian. I speak of the popular papers of that city. The "Philadelphia Recorder," though an Episcopalian publication, and though much in the spirit of this age, is nevertheless not only distinguished by the ability of its editor, the Rev. B. B. Smith, but by a much clearer intelligence in the Christian Revelation, than any other paper issued in that city which we are accustomed to peruse. It is true that the piece extracted below is an extract from a correspondent in that paper, but yet the editor essentially agrees with the following well written remarks upon catechisms, which, in our judgment, equally apply to creeds. The church of England, although the least reformed from Popery in the pomp and pageantry of form, has produced as large a host, as powerful a host, as brilliant a host of erudite, pious, and evangelical men, as any sect in christendom of the same age. And even now, although far degenerated from the spirit and power of christianity, and far fallen from what she once was, still there appears in that community, once in a jubilee, a man who has more manly views of the christian institution, and more scriptural apprehensions of the import of the good confession witnessed before Pontius Pilate, than we are accustomed to find in other sects under the influence of a more paralyzing system. Indeed, "I have not found so great faith: no, not in Israel."
Ed. M. H.      


      Mr. Editor,--There is no peculiarity of the present age which a reflecting christian will contemplate with greater pleasure, than that distinguishing confidence in the Holy Scriptures, which it generally reveals. Our Bible Society has almost realized the miracle of Pentecost; and a National Bible Class Society has been formed, the principal object of which, is, I believe, to induce every christian shepherd to lead the younger portion of his charge (spem gregis) into [31] these green pastures of salvation, I cannot help thinking, however, that we are in danger of being betrayed into a departure from this characteristic principle of the times in which we live by the numberless little catechetical pamphlets, of all sorts and sizes, and suited to every age, that are constantly issuing from the press. It seems to me that I have met with a half dozen of them amongst the publications of a single society. Now I confess that I look upon all these anomalous little productions with suspicion. I am afraid that they will make our children content to receive their religion at second hand. Why should we lead them from the fountain of living waters to broken cisterns hewn out by mortal hands? Why should we exchange the broad canal of revelation, with its copious streams, and its unpolluted channel, for any of the little conduit pipes, which men have manufactured (defiled as they too often are with the feculence of human infirmity, and contracted to the dimensions of human prejudice) when our object is to convey to the hundreds and thousands of "babes in Christ," that the church carries in her arms "the sincere milk of the word?" Why should a christian pastor present a bucket-full to his thirsty flock at the very time that in imitation of the Chief Shepherd he is (or ought to be) conducting them along the verdant margin of a bottomless and boundless sea, by whose "still waters" they may be securely refreshed?

      Ah! sir, I am afraid of this rising disposition to make the word of man supersede the word of God. It looks too much like an attempt to substitute the priest for the Divinity. It is too near akin to that singular delusion [an honest one I believe in my heart] which would prohibit the scriptures from going out in their mission of mercy unless the Prayer Book can go along to explain their meaning, and prevent them from leading the people into error.--

      Religious formularies should, I think, be principally intended, not for instruction, but defence; not to inculcate opinions, but to exclude them; not to convey truth, but to keep out error; not to enlighten the ignorance of children, but to restrain the licentious learning of philosophers. This is their peculiar province; when carried beyond this, there is a danger of making them take the place of that which is the best, because the appointed vehicle of religious knowledge. The sacred volume, while it contains nourishment for the intellect of an angel, has food for the understanding of a child. He who made the infant mind, who "knows what is in man," and who with such inimitable condescension takes these little ones in his arms to bless them, has given to his "babes," as their peculiar portion, that sweet maternal aliment with which the bosom of the church has been copiously supplied. Oh! let us never wrong them so far as to let them quench their thirst, not with this pure and holy beverage, but with the dirty waters that are constantly oozing from the puddles of human prejudice.

      I am persuaded, sir, that scriptural truth is never so likely to produce its appropriate influence upon the hearts and conscience, as [32] when it is expressed in the simple, appropriate, and inspired language of the scriptures. Upon this subject, suffer me to quote the words of an eloquent divine--"What can be the cause, that in hearing the gospel it is the scriptures quoted which produces the whole scriptural effect? What can be the cause that when a sinner comes into deep troubles of conscience, it is no matter what his minister may say to him, unless he produces texts of scripture? What is the reason that old saints betake themselves to nothing but reading the scriptures? What can be the reason that at a death-bed a minister of the gospel depends on nothing else than texts of scripture? Go through the whole spiritual concerns of the human race, and put appropriate questions on each particular occurrence, and then tell me what can be the reason that we can produce no spiritual effect, no effect which we judge connected with salvation by any other instrument than the Bible.

      We look to ages past, and call them dark ages, when ministers of the gospel were projecting and manufacturing a hundred thousand laws and forms and ceremonies, for the promotion of christian piety among men. All the while these ministers themselves never thought of the Bible; or if they thought of it, they said it is too difficult for the common people to understand; or is not sufficient to direct and regulate the present age; or whatever they said, they must have thought that the cause of truth and piety requires some human aid and regulation not provided for in the Bible; and so they went to work to supply the desideratum. They made bad work of it undoubtedly; we all see that; and we cry, Why did not these ministers study the Bible themselves; and why did they not diffuse it among the people? 0! the reason is obvious; they actually thought that if the Bible were let loose in the world, it would turn the world upside down, and banish all rational piety. They have actually told us as much; and that we might more readily believe them, they have taken the trouble to have the matter decided in presbyteries, synods, and councils, in all the infallible dignity which human impotence can confer upon human folly.

      After all the pious pains of the ministry to keep the Bible from doing mischief in the church of God, it at last got out into the world, and began its tremendous operations. The people were soon as wise as their priests. They were surrounded by the glorious light of heaven; and all the surly brood of errors, corruptions, and encroachments, that loved darkness rather than light, fled away forever. Mr. Editor, let us beware how we take one retrogressive step towards this former state of vassalage and ignorance. And, sir, the boast which some of us are so fond of flourishing in the face of our Roman Catholic opposers, that "the Bible and Bible only, is the religion of Protestants," will never be appropriate until all our human Bibles shall be thrown into the fire, or at least dislodged from that place in our churches and our schools, which can only be safely occupied by the simple, unadulterated oracles of God. [33]


Written by Walter Scott, for the Mahoning Association of last year.


      THE Christian of the 19th century has been permitted to witness the accomplishment of wonderful events; Providence has stationed him on a sublime eminence, from which he can behold the fulfilment of illustrious prophecies, and look backwards upon nearly the whole train of events leading to the Millennium.

      Afar off, and upon the back ground of the picture before him, of wonderful extent, and in all the greatness of imperial ruin, appear the three great empires of Babylon, Persia, and Greece. Nearer to hand lays Rome, eternal Rome! terrible in her origin, terrible in her glory, terrible in her decline and fall! Living and acting through a long series of ages, she approaches the very verge of the present scene of things, till she assumes the distracted form of the ten kingdoms spoken of by Daniel, the remains of which now reel to and fro upon the face of Europe like a drunken man, ready to he ingulphed in the yawning judgments of Almighty God. Sic transit Gloria Mundi.4

      But from amidst the blaze of her glory, see yet loftier scenes arise--Behold the kingdom of our Lord Jesus, awaking under the eye of the imperial Cesars; small in its beginning, it rolls forward, it survives all Roman greatness; and that which was yonder, a little stone, is here become a vast mountain, and fills the whole earth; the waters which yonder issued from the threshold of the Lord's house, have here arisen, they have become waters to swim in--a river that cannot be passed over!

      Here, too, are the impostures of Mahomet and the Pope, with temples having the lowermost part consecrated to God--the upper to the worship of idols. Arrayed in purple and scarlet, decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, behold the apostate church, mounted upon her imperial beast, holds forth to the intoxicated nations a golden cup in her hand, full of abomination and of the filthiness of her fornication; on her fair, but unblushing forehead, is inscribed Mystery--Babylon the Great--the Mother of Harlots, and abominations of the earth. She shall be thrown down with the violence of a mill-stone plunged into the midst of the ocean.

      Her portentous offspring also, issued to mankind at the mature age of 666, with the head of a Lamb and the heart of a Dragon--the Inquisition raiseth itself on high, with the power, the delusion, and cruelty, of its parent--it comes roving o'er the earth, and causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand or in their forehead--and that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. [34]

      Here, also, is the French Atheism, filled with all presumption, and magnifying himself above every God--he speaketh marvellous things against the true God--his hands are filled with spears, and his skirts are drenched in blood--but he shall come to his end, says Daniel, and none shall help him.

      All these things, beloved brethren, have passed in review before the christian of the 19th century; but if we have had to witness schemes of policy and superstition, so wild and enthusiastic, and apparently so unfavorable to the true religion, we have seen many things introduced, also highly conducive to its promulgation and reception among mankind--above all, we have seen the church in America, seated down under a gracious and efficient government, affording her and all men an unprecedented security of life and property--and if her unity be still a desideratum, we ought to remember that the saints, for nearly 300 years, have been combatting tyranny and superstition, with astonishing success, until those who despise every name and every phrase, not found in the scripture, have become probably by far the most numerous party of professors in the United States. But who would have thought it remained for any so late as 1827, to restore to the world the manner, the primitive manner, of administering to mankind the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ; or which of you, brethren, would have thought, two years ago, of men coming from 40 to 120 miles to the ministers of the Mahoning churches for baptism? Yet these things have actually occured; and who cannot see that, by the blessings of God, the ancient gospel and ancient order of the church, must prevail, to the certain abolition of all those contumacious sects which now so wofully afflict mankind.

      Brethren, we have a right to expect great things at the hand of our Father--if we are united and stand fast, striving together for the faith of the gospel. And be it known to you, brethren, that individuals, eminently skilled in the word of God, the history of the world, and the progress of human improvement, see reason to expect changes much greater than have yet occured, and which shall give to political society, and to the church, a different, a very different complexion from what many anticipate.

      The Millennium--the Millennium described in scripture--will doubtless be a wonder, a terrible wonder, to ALL.

      The gospel, since last year, has been preached, with great success, in Palmyra, Deerfield, Randolph, Shalersville, Nelson, Hiram, &c. &c, by brothers Finch, Hubbard, Ferguson, Bosworth, Hayden, and others. Several new churches have been formed--and so far as I am enabled to judge, the congregations are in a very flourishing condition; indeed, the preacher of the present day, like the angel of the Revelation, seated on the triumphant cloud, has only to thrust in his sharp sickle in order to reap a rich harvest of souls, and gather it in unto eternal life. [35]

From the Wheeling Compiler      


      TWO bills have been introduced into the legislature of Kentucky, both of which, it is said, will pass. One provides for the emancipation of all slaves brought into the commonwealth for sale: the other prohibits the use of jails within the state, for the purpose of confining slaves for safe keeping. It thus appears that slavery is becoming unpopular in Kentucky.

      Mr. Clay has recently delivered an address at Frankfort, before the Colonization Society at that place. Mr. Clay speaks decidedly in commendation of rooting out slavery from Kentucky. He says--

      "The African part of our population, or their ancestors, were brought hither forcibly and by violence, in the prosecution of the most abominable traffic that ever disgraced the annals of the human race. They were chiefly procured in their native country, as captives in war, taken and consequently sold by the conqueror as slaves to the slave trader. Sometimes the most atrocious practices of kidnapping were employed to obtain possession of the victims. Wars were frequent between numerous and barbarous neighboring tribes seated along the coasts or stretched upon the margin of large rivers of Africa. These wars were often enkindled and prosecuted for no other object than to obtain a supply of subjects for this most shocking commerce. In those modes, husbands were torn from their wives, parents from their children, brethren from each other; and every tie cherished and respected among men was violated. Upon the arrival, at the African coasts, of the unfortunate beings thus reduced to slavery, they were embarked on board the ships carefully constructed and arranged to contain the greatest amount of human beings. Here they were ironed and fastened in parallel rows, and crowded together so closely, in loathsome holes, as not to have room for action or for breathing wholesome air. The great aim was to transport the largest possible number, at the least possible charge, from their native land to the markets for which they were destined. The greediness of cupidity was frequently disappointed and punished in its purposes, by the loss of moieties of whole cargoes of the subjects of this infamous commerce, from want and suffering and disease on the voyage. How much happier were they who thus expired, than their miserable survivors!

      "These African slaves were brought to the continent of America, and the islands adjacent to it, and formed the parent stock of the race now amongst us. They were brought to the colonies now constituting the United States, under the sanction and by the authority of the British laws, which, at an early period of our colonial existence admitted and tolerated the trade. It is due to our colonial ancestors, to say, that they frequently and earnestly, but unsuccessfully, remonstrated to the British Crown against the continuance of the practice. The introduction of slavery into this country is not, [36] therefore, chargeable to them, but to a government in which they had no voice, and over which, they had no control. It is equally due to our parent state to advert to the honorable fact, that in the midst of the revolutionary war, when contending for her own independence and liberty, she evinced the sincerity of the spirit in which those remonstrances had been addressed to the British throne, by denouncing, under the severest penalties, the further prosecution of the slave trade, within their jurisdiction. And I add, with great satisfaction. that the congress of the United States passed an act, abolishing the trade as early as by their constitution it was authorized to do. On the second day of March, 1807, the act was passed for which it was my happy lot to vote; the first section of which enacts, "that from and after the first day of January, 1808, it shall not be lawful to import or bring into the United States or the territories thereof, from any foreign kingdom, place, or country, any negro, mulatto, or person of color, with intent to hold, sell, or dispose of such negro, mulatto, or person of color, as a slave, or to he held to service or labor." Thus terminated, we may hope forever, in the United States, a disgraceful traffic, which drew after it a train of enormities surpassing in magnitude, darkness, and duration, any that ever sprang from any trade, pushed by the enterprise or cupidity of man.

      "The several states of the Union were sensible of the responsibility which accrued to them on the establishment of the independence of the United States, in regard to the subject of slavery. And many of them, beginning at a period prior to the termination of the revolutionary war, by successive, but distinct acts of legislation, have effectively provided for the abolition of slavery within their respective jurisdictions. More than thirty years ago, an attempt was made in this commonwealth to adopt a system of gradual emancipation, similar to that which the illustrious Franklin had mainly contributed to introduce, in the year 1779, in the state founded by the benevolent Penn. And, among the acts of my life, to which I look back with the most satisfaction, is that of my having co-operated, with other zealous and intelligent friends, to procure the establishment of that system in this state. We believe that the sum of good which would have been attained by the state of Kentucky, in a gradual emancipation of her slaves, at that period, would have far transcended the aggregate of mischief which might have resulted to herself and the Union together, from the, gradual liberation of them, and their dispersion and residence in the United States. We were overpowered by numbers, but submitted to the decision of the majority with the grace which a majority, in a republic, should ever yield to such a decision. I have, nevertheless, never ceased, and never shall cease, to regret a decision, the effects of which have been to place us in the rear of our neighbors, who are exempt from slavery, in the state of agriculture, the progress of manufactures, the advance of improvements, and the general prosperity of society. [37]


      THE darkness of mysticism is fast passing away. The double sense, or the triple and quadruple sense of scripture, once so fashionable, so erudite, so sacred, amongst the great mass of Protestant and Catholic commentators and sermonizers, is falling much into disrepute amongst the most learned and pious of this generation. The textuary mode of interpreting, which grew out of the equivocal sense of scripture, will soon be confined to the more enthusiastic and weak minds of the sectaries. Enlightened men of all denominations are fast abandoning the double sense, and many are ashamed of the textuary mode of treating the sacred writings. The following extracts are from the Religious Herald of Richmond, and from the pen of the Editor, a brother alike respected and esteemed by all who know him, both for his erudition and his undissembled piety. The remarks under date of the 22d ult. seem to have been elicited by an unprovoked attack of Mr. Brantly on the Editor of the Herald. The Editor of the Star aggrieved, perhaps, that his twinklings were becoming very thin in Virginia, and desirous of being the keeper of the press, the metropolitan Editor of the Union, as well as the keeper of the rolls of orthodoxy among the Baptists, lately pounced upon the Herald with his usual tact and characteristic superciliousness. I see that brother Keeling brings a new and a learned witness into the ranks of those who fight against the double sense of scripture. We shall give the remarks of the Religious Herald and the quotation from Professor Stuart, in full.--Ed. M. H.

      "Were it not an undeniable fact, it would scarcely be credible, that the sacred writings--a professed and real communication from heaven to men on the most momentous subjects, have been strained and distorted from their obvious meaning in the manner and to the extent they have, by forced and unnatural construction and interpretation. As a fair specimen of the extravagant spirit of allegorizing, and typifying, and spiritualizing literal expressions and facts, it is sufficient to mention that one of the Apostolic Fathers themselves understood the red line which hung out from the window of the harlot Rahab, as a signal to the spies, to be a type of the blood of Christ--a symbolical representation of the blood which was to be shed for the remission of sins. Similar abuses have come down to the present age; and the columns of this paper have offered frequent aid to those who from the press and the pulpit are endeavoring to extricate the inspired volume from expositions, which produce no better effects than mortification, confusion, ridicule, and scepticism according to the classes of persons in whose presence they are made.

      These remarks are elicited by some strictures (if they can be properly called strictures) lately published in the 'Columbian Star,' in consequence of a comparison instituted in this paper, between the views of Bishop Heber, and a correspondent 'Melancthon,' who in a series of essays furnished for the 'Herald,' had introduced the parable of 'the good Samaritan,' Bishop Heber thus interprets: [38]

      The story, if we take it in its plainest sense, told them (to whom the Saviour spoke) more forcibly than ten thousand arguments, to do unto others as they would wish that others should do unto them. But this was not only, nor the main intention of the parable, which as it applied to the lawyer, was to prove the claims which Christ had to his love and gratitude, and to show the total insufficiency of the law of Moses to rescue human nature from its miserable condition. The unfortunate plundered traveller is then a representative of all mankind. They, like him, have departed from Jerusalem the city of God, his favor, or the light of his countenance and set their faces towards the pursuits and pleasures of the world; those temptations, which are represented under the name of Jericho, a town which as you will read in the hook of Joshua was devoted to everlasting ruin. He proceeds to spiritualize the whole parable. The priest, the Levite, and the thieves, represent the sacrifices and the Levitical law and Satan; and that the 'good Samaritan' is a type of Christ, he proves from the declaration of the Jews to Christ 'Thou art a Samaritan, and hast a devil.' But 'Melancthon,' our correspondent, in his 10th essay, published in the 27th of November last, took a different view of the subject. He understood the whole scope of the parable 'to correct the lawyer's false ideas of neighborship.' This ought to he obvious to every man of common sense. The youth had asked Christ the question, 'What must I do to inherit eternal life?' and had been referred to the commandments including his whole duty to God and his neighbor. But 'Who is my neighbor?' continued he. He is informed that any human being, although of a nation between which and his own the strongest antipathies might exist, as between the Samaritans and Jews, if in suffering circumstances, was his neighbor. That this was the scope and design of the parable is farther evident from the moral of it given by Christ himself, 'Who thinkest thou was neighbor to him that fell among thieves?' either of those that left him unrelieved? or did he act that part, who afforded him the necessary aid. 'Go thou and do likewise.' For favoring the latter interpretation, the Editor of the Star has called this paper to account, and pronounces this method of interpreting the scripture neither 'good divinity' nor sound criticism. By ministers of the gospel and others of the first respectability for talent, learning and piety, on all sides of us, this has been declared in their private correspondence, an 'unwarrantable attack.'

      No farther trespass shall be made at present upon the patience of the reader, as to this subject, than to quote the following passage from Professor Stuart's incomparable commentary on the epistle to the Hebrews. Speaking of the difficulties attendant upon the proper interpretation of the 40th Psalm, he says:

      'To avoid these some have supposed that the first and last parts of the Psalm in question relate to David, while verse 7-9, 6-8 contain a prediction respecting the Messiah, at least that they are spoken concerning him.'   *   *   *   'Others have maintained that the whole Psalm relates only to David; and that consequently, the apostle [39] Paul accommodates his argument to the Jewish allegorical explanation of it, probably current at the time when he wrote.' But while he opposes this, he adds, 'Nor does that scheme of interpretation which admits a double sense of scripture, relieve our difficulties. This scheme explains so much of the psalm as will most conveniently apply to David, as having a literal application to him; and so much of it as will conveniently apply to the Messiah, it refers to him. Truly a great saving in investigation, and of perplexity, and difficulty might apparently be made, if we could adopt such an expedient. But the consequence of admitting such a principle should be well weighed. What book on earth has a double sense, unless it is a book of designed enigmas! And even this has but one real meaning. The heathen oracles, indeed, could say, Aio te, Pyrrhe Romanos posse vincere;5 but can such an equivoque be admissable into the oracles of the living God? And if a literal sense and an occult sense can at one and the same time, and by the same words, be conveyed; who that is uninspired shall tell us what the occult sense is? By what laws of interpretation is it to be judged? By none that belong to human language; for other books than the Bible have not a double sense attached to them. For these and such like reasons, the scheme of attaching double sense to the scriptures is inadmissible. It sets afloat all the fundamental principles of interpretation by which we arrive at established conviction and certainty, and casts us upon the boundless ocean of imagination and conjecture without rudder or compass."


      MANY good men whose whole lives have been one continued struggle with themselves, one continued warfare against error and iniquity, have reprobated religious controversy as a great and manifold evil to the combatants and to society. Although engaged in a real controversy, they knew it not; but supposed that they only were controversialists who were in debates and discussions often. Had they reflected but a moment, they would have discovered that no man can be a good man who does not oppose error and immorality in himself, his family, his neighborhood, and in society as far as he can reach, and that he cannot oppose it successfully only by argument, or, as some would say, by word and deed--by precept and by example.

      There can be no improvement without controversy. Improvement requires and presupposes change; change is innovation, and innovation always has elicited opposition, and that is what constitutes the essentials of controversy. Every man who reforms his own life has a controversy with himself. And, therefore, no man who has not always been perfect, and always been in company with perfect society, [40] can be a good man without controversy. This being conceded, (and who can refuse to concede it?) it follows that whensoever society, religious or political, falls into error; or rather, so long as it is imperfect, it is the duty of all who have any talent or ability to oppose error, moral or political, who have intelligence to distinguish, and utterance to express, truth and goodness, to lift up a standard against it, and to panoply themselves for the combat.

      But yet, plain and obvious as the preceding remarks maybe, many will contend that religious controversy, oral or written, is incompatible with the pacific and contemplative character of the genuine christian, and promotive of strifes, tumults, and factions in society, destructive of true piety towards God and of benevolence towards man. This is a prejudice arising from the abuses of controversy. Admit for a moment that it were so, and what would be the consequence? It would unsaint and unchristianize every distinguished Patriarch, Jew, and Christian enrolled in the sacred annals of the word. For who of the Bible's great and good men was not engaged in religious controversy! To go no farther back than the Jewish lawgiver, I ask, What was his character? I need not specify. Whenever it was necessary, all--yes, all the renowned men of antiquity were religious controversialists. Moses long contended with the Egyptian magi. He overcame Jannes and Jambres too. Elijah encountered the prophets of Baal. Job long debated with the princes of Edom. The Jewish prophets and the idolatrous kings of Israel waged a long and arduous controversy. John the Harbinger, and the Scribes and Pharisees, met in conflict. Jesus, and the Rabbis, and the Priesthood, long debated. The Apostles and the Sanhedrim; the Evangelists and the Doctors of Divinity; Paul and the Sceptics, engaged in many a conflict; and even Michael fought in "wordy debate" with the Devil about the body of Moses; yet who was more meek than Moses--more zealous for God than Elijah--more patient than Job--more devout than Paul--more benevolent than John?

      If there was no error in principle or practice, then controversy, which is only another name for opposition to error, real or supposed, would be unnecessary. If it were lawful, or if it were benevolent, to make a truce with error, then opposition to it would be both unjust and unkind. If error were innocent and harmless, then we might permit it to find its own quietus, or to immortalize itself. But so long as it is confessed that error is more or less injurious to the welfare of society, individually and collectively considered, then no man can he considered benevolent who does not set his face against it. In proportion as a person is intelligent and benevolent, he will be controversial, if error exist around him. Hence the Prince of Peace never sheathed the sword of the Spirit while he lived. He drew it on the banks of the Jordan and threw the scabbard away.

      We have only to ask how we inherited so many blessings, religious and political, contrasted with our ancestors some five hundred years ago, to ascertain of what use controversy has been, and how much we are indebted to it. All was silent and peaceful as the grave under [41] the gloomy sceptre of Roman Pontiffs under the despotic sway of the Roman hierarchy until Luther opened the war. The Roman priesthood denounced the "ruinous errors" and "damnable heresies" of Luther, the "deadly influence" of the tongue and pen of the hiersiarch; but they fasted, and prayed, and denounced in vain. No crocodile tears "over the souls of men;" no religious penances for "the church in danger;" no invocation of "all who loved Zion;" no holy co-operation of "the friends of evangelical principles," could check the career of this reforming Hercules. Bulls of excommunication assailed him as stubble would Leviathan in the deep. "He feared no discipline of human hands." All was impotent and unavailing. The fire then kindled, though oft suppressed, yet burns.

      The controversy begun by Luther, not only maimed the power of the Roman hierarchy, but also impaired the arm of political despotism. The crown, as well as the mitre, was jeopardized and desecrated by his herculean pen. From the controversy about the rights of christians arose the controversy about the rights of men. Every blow inflicted upon ecclesiastical despotism was felt by the political tyrants.

      Religious controversy has enlightened the world. It gave new vigor to the mind; and the era of the Reformation was the era of the Revival of Literature. It has enlightened men upon all subjects--in all the arts and sciences--in all things--philosophic, literary, moral, political. It was the tongue and pen of controversy which developed the true solar system--laid the foundation for the American Revolution--abolished the slave trade--and which has so far disenthralled the human mind from the shackles of superstition. Locke and Sidney, Milton and Newton, were all controvertists and reformers, philosophers, literary, religious and political. Truth and liberty, both religious and political, are the first fruits of well directed controversy. Peace and eternal bliss will be the "harvest home." Let the opponents of controversy, or they who controvert controversy, remember, that had there been no controversy, neither the Jewish nor the Christian religion could have ever been established; nor had it ceased could the Reformation have ever been achieved. It has been the parent of almost all the social blessings which we enjoy.

      If, indeed, all mankind were equally in love with truth, equally rational, equally intelligent, and equally disinterested, we might have only to propose a change for the better, and all would embrace it. But just the reverse of this is the true history of society. He is but little experienced in the human heart--he knows but little of the world, who imagines that what appears clear, wise, and useful to him, appears so to all; or that it is only necessary to support truth and goodness by unanswerable arguments, to render them universally triumphant. The more clearly and forcibly an unpopular truth is argued, the greater will be the dislike to it by all who are interested in representing it to be an error. Melancthon was for a time the subject of an illusion of this sort. He once told Luther that so clear were his apprehensions, so deep his convictions, and so forcible his arguments, that he could soon convince all Germany of the truth of [42] the Reformation principles. He became an itinerant, and commenced a campaign against the priesthood. On returning from his first tour Luther said to him, "Well, Melancthon, what speed?" "Alas!" replied the young reformer, "old Adam is too strong for young Melancthon."

      A little experience will convince the most astute that the clearness and force of argument will not subdue opposition. It very frequently provokes the greater resentment. The adversaries of the Messiah are proof of this. So were the aristocrats in the late Virginia Convention. Orpheus could, by his music, as easily have caused the oaks to follow him, as could the republicans, by their arguments and demonstrations, have caused the oligarchs in power to consent to extend equal rights and immunities to the proscribed casts in this commonwealth.

      When error has but a single ally in the corruptions of the human heart, it is,very formidable; but how strong when pride, passion, and interest become its auxiliaries! To overcome these, reason and logic must be strong indeed, and rhetoric most persuasive. Pride, ambition, and selfishness, are all powerful allies of error. Hence double, triple, and quadruple the evidence necessary to convert a layman, will not often convince a priest. The pride of the understanding is the most invincible of all sorts of pride, and more especially when religion is the problem. A bigoted sceptic, a prejudiced sectary, and an interested priest, are more without the pale of reason, are more beyond the reach of controversy, than the errorists of any other school. But while error lives, and falsehood has all auxiliary upon earth, controversy will be necessary, and argument indispensable.

      When controversy proceeds from benevolence it will be more successful and less injurious to the comfort of them who are engaged in it. But when argument and debate are dictated by resentment, prompted by pride, or controlled by the lust of power, the hearts of the combatants must be polluted, and their passions inflamed. The wrath of man never did, and it never can, effect the righteousness which God requires; nor can it promote the happiness of man. When we love truth for its own sake, and when our efforts to maintain it proceed from brotherly kindness and love to all men, then we will plead its cause with force and with success; and then, and then only, will we be sanctified and blessed in the work. But a controversy for opinion, or for truth, instituted by vanity, by the pride of understanding, or the lust of power, will pollute the heart, aggravate the passions, sour the temper, and terminate in vain jangling. But because it has been abused shall we desist from the use of it? This would be to make a covenant with death, and an agreement with destruction. This would be to live in vain, and to die without honor. This would be to depart from the example of the Confessors, Martyrs, and Apostles of Jesus, and to renounce our allegiance to the King eternal, immortal, and invisible. For so long as error in principle and in practice exists, so long will it be the duty and the felicity of the intelligent and the good to oppose it: and as long as there are conflicting creeds, [43] sects, and divisions among religionists, so long will it be our duty to contend for the faith once delivered to the saints.

      But never was there so much need to study the "suaviter in modo," and the " fortiter in re," amiability in the manner, and firmness in the purpose, as in the defence of truth. We must conciliate the passions, while we besiege the understanding. We are not to suppose all our opponents to be knaves and impostors, to be interested and obstinate. We must remember that in this world of weakness and of error the good and the virtuous are often found enlisted under the banners of error. There are honest differences of opinion, and men equally sincere and virtuous on both sides of every question. This must never be lost sight of. It is nevertheless true that our great models, the Prophets and Apostles; nay, the Saviour himself, though often mild as the genial influence of Spring, were sometimes severe and surly as the Winter's blast. At one time, and amidst one class of opponents, they were as gentle as the balmy zephyrs on beds of violets; at another time, and amidst other opponents, they were like the mountain storm roaring through the cliffs. Soft and persuasive were their words and arguments to those who appeared honest in their convictions, but severe and tart were their reproofs to such as appeared obstinate in error. Hence Paul, who instructed his son Timothy to imitate him in all things, admonished him to instruct some opponents "with all meekness," and "sharply to rebuke and confute" others. So did Peter and Jude in their epistles. "Make a difference," says Jude, between those "who are complainers, who walk according to their own lusts, whose mouths speak great swelling words, and admire men's persons for the sake of gain"--"have compassion upon other errorists;" "save them with fear, hating the garments spotted by the pollutions of the flesh." No man ever spoke more severely of certain teachers than Peter in his second epistle. We must, in all our controversies, make the same differences. When we find persons like Balaam, obstinately intent on covetous courses, for the sake of others we must not spare them. But courtesy and benevolence will be our best guides; and a good example will often achieve more than a thousand arguments.

      To your posts, then, O Israel! Remember you have enlisted not for six months, like some of our sectarian militia; but you have vowed allegiance during the war. "Fight the good fight of faith." Keep your eyes upon the Captain; and when the conflict is over he will cover you with laurels which will never wither, and bestow upon you a crown of righteousness which fadeth not away.


      THE "rights of man," one would think, are any thing and every thing which any body and every body pleases to make them, if we yield to the opinions of those who maintain that any state in this Union has a right to seize the property and exile or banish the [44] owner, because he is red, or yellow, or some other unfashionable color. But that is not the question--it is this; have treaties any sanction, any validity, any faith? Have the parties to any covenant or compact any right? Or is it the right of the strong always to plunder the property and insult the person of the weak. Has one man, because he is rich and has many friends, the right to seize the farm of his poor neighbor and give him a tract in the moon, or in "No Man's Island" for it, just as he pleases. All this, and even more than this, is assumed by Georgia in reference to the Cherokee Indians, as I understand her wishes respecting this most important community of the aborigines, to whom God gave this continent. I am glad that the eyes of christendom and of the world, are now upon the representatives of this nation of republics--this government of principles and laws; for if none but the eyes of God were upon some of them, I think they would send these poor defenceless Indians beyond the Rocky Mountains, if it would not cost too much.

      On the question whether the Cherokees, in part civilized, and some say, in part a christianized tribe of Indians, now residing within the territory of Georgia, are under its jurisdiction ipso facto in despite of all treaty, Mr. Garrison, junior editor of the Genius of Universal Emancipation, makes the following very pertinent and forcible remarks.

      "Questions of national justice are above the spirit of party: their discussion, therefore, is within the province, and becomes the duty, of every editor. In the selections of candidates, men may honestly differ, without impeaching their integrity or discernment; but the principles of equity are too broad and palpable to be misapprehended, or to render division excusable.

      "The question of INDIAN RIGHTS should unite the hearts and voices of the American people, from Maine to the Rocky Mountains. It is simple, significant, weighty. It is not whether the Indians would gain or lose by emigration--whether their removal would better secure the safety of Georgia or Alabama--whether they have cultivated ten or ten thousand acres of their lands--whether they have been reclaimed from their former savage habits, and are now a civilized and christian people: but it is simply, whether the faith of the United States is not only solemnly plighted to protect them, for ever, from invasion, violence and fraud? Expediency and policy are convertible terms, full of dishonesty and oppression. Justice is eternal, and its demands cannot safely be evaded."

      "It is not a fact that the Cherokees are within the jurisdiction of Georgia, or of any other state. They are as distinct as any member of the Union, and as national and independent as Great Britain itself. A hundred and fifty treaties can be produced to sustain their pretensions. The laws of Georgia can no more be justly imposed on them, than upon individuals residing in Massachusetts or Maine, or in the Persian empire. They have never submitted themselves to the government of the whites--they probably never will submit--and no power, we trust, will compel them to submit. They do not infringe [45] upon state or national rights. Their location interferes with nothing but the avarice of Georgia, and a better one, for themselves and the country, cannot be found this side of the Pacific. In fine, their forcible removal would brand this country with eternal infamy, and expose it to the accumulated vengeance of heaven."

      I humbly trust there is yet so much justice, so much pure republicanism, so much regard to truth and national faith, in the bosoms of the American people and of their representatives in congress, as will not permit them to give up an innocent and harmless nation to the cupidity of a few capitalists in Georgia or any where else.


From the New York Baptist Repository.      


      "WANTED, as a pastor over the African Baptist Church in Boston, a capable and pious colored minister; one who is well educated, sound in principles, and of good report. To such a man a handsome support will be given. None need apply unless well recommended.

      Sister churches of the same faith and order, should they hear or know of a person qualified to take charge of the above church, they are respectfully requested to forward information to John T. Hilton, clerk of the church.

      Done by order and in behalf of the church, this 11th of January, 1830.
[Signed] JOHN T. HILTON, Church Clerk."      

      [Specify the sum; and if respectable, you will find a man: for every man has a price.]
Ed. M. H.      

      "And when they told it to Jotham, he went and stood in the top of mount Gerizim, and lifted up his voice, and cried, and said unto them, Hearken unto me, ye men of Shechem, that God may hearken unto you.

      "The trees went forth on a time to anoint a king over them; and they said unto the olive-tree, Reign thou over us.

      "But the olive-tree said unto them, Should I leave my fatness, wherewith by me they honor God and man, and go to be promoted over the trees?

      "And the trees said to the fig-tree, Come thou, and reign over us.

      "But the fig-tree said unto them, Should I forsake my sweetness, and my good fruit, and go to be promoted over the trees?

      "Then said the trees unto the vine, Come thou, and reign over us.

      "And the vine said unto them, Should I leave my wine, which cheereth God and man, and go to be promoted over the trees?

      "Then said all the trees unto the bramble, Come thou, and reign over us.

      "And the bramble said unto the trees, If in truth ye anoint me king over you, then come and put your trust in my shadow; and if not, let fire come out of the bramble, and devour the cedars of Lebanon"--Judges ch. ix. [46]


      A law has just been enacted by the State of Georgia, which prohibits the teaching of any slave negro, or free person of color, to read or to write, either in written or printed characters, under penalty of fine, whipping, or imprisonment, at the discretion of the Court. Should a white person be engaged in so nefarious a transaction--for instance, should some benevolent lady undertake to teach a colored Sunday school--such person is liable to 500 dollars fine, and imprisonment in the common jail.--[Baptist Repository.]

      [When, in the Virginia Convention, representation was claimed for Negroes, it was affirmed that they had souls. This new discovery was divulged as of recent date. It seems the Georgia wise men have not yet found it out. This is the year 1830, if I mistake not, and yet, even now, the person who will dare, male or female, to give the knowledge of letters to a slave, shall pay for it as a crime to be punished by the judge. Knowledge and slavery are incompatible. The priests made this discovery before Alfred the Great mounted the throne. Let this barbarous law of Georgia be out-Heroded by any enactment of any age or country. Produce its superior who can.--Ed. M. H.


      THE following is one of the useful memoranda, found in the new American Almanac. Virginia was settled in 1607--New York 1614--Massachusetts, 1620--New Hampshire, 1623--New Jersey, 1624--Delaware, 1657--Maine, 1630--Maryland, 1633--Connecticut, 1635--Rhode Island, 1636--North Carolina, 1650--South Carolina, 1670--Pennsylvania, 1692--Georgia, 1733. Wells. Gaz.


      IN a late number of the Christian Baptist I took the liberty of making a remark upon Mr. Moore's prayer in Convention. This worthy prelate of all Virginia was wont to pull his prayer out of one pocket and his spectacles out of another. This was "the head and front of my offending." To tell the truth is sometimes slander; and so the Bishop or some of his Curates imagine. For "An Episcopalian," whether the Bishop of all Virginia, or one of his Curates, I know not, (he conceals his name,) has poured upon me some three or four columns of the lowest species of abuse, surcharged with falsehood and malignity, through the courtesy of Mr. Converse's vehicle of "southern light." This, circumstance admonishes me to give early notice in this work, that no anonymous abuse shall ever be noticed in it.

      We have always given our adversaries with, or without name, a fair hearing, and we have presented almost every thing written against us in the Christian Baptist. But in conducting this work our course shall be as follows: all opposers who give their names with their arguments shall, as far as our pages permit, and as far as there is reason in their objections, be respectfully attended to. But all persons who are either afraid or ashamed to publish their names. [47] shall have the privilege of abusing us without any notice on our part, unless attacks are made on our moral character. And this we are bound by every consideration to protect. Bishops, priests, and curates, whose pride is wounded or whose tricks are exposed, when they wish to abuse us without notice, will please do it anonymously.


      HAVING been absent from home from 22d September last, till the first day of February, I find a great accumulation of business, and am much in the arrears in every department of my attentions. This number is issued one month later than was intended. Wishing to keep the volumes within the years, which is a great desideratum on many accounts, we have dated it January 1. It is not a fair specimen of the work. We were obliged to furnish the copy for the compositor with the ordinary despatch of letter writing. It is all prefatory. The documents pertaining to millennial affairs require much arrangement, and must be preceded with Essays on Chronological, Historical, and Geographical matters. We wish to put every reader in possession of such documents as will throw light on both Testaments, especially on the prophetic writings. The numbers of the Christian Baptist wanting to complete the seventh volume, will be furnished as soon as possible--the February and March numbers in a few days.

      IN forwarding this first number we may have sent it to some who do not desire it. Such will please carefully to envelope the first number and send it back, otherwise we shall continue to send it, considering them as subscribers. If any have been overlooked, who ordered it, they will please inform us, and the back numbers will be furnished.


      Received from each of the following persons two dollars for the Millennial Harbinger. I. L. Nelson, Madison Walthall, and T. H. Walthall, Richmond, Va. R. Clark and J. M. Anderson, Fredericksburg, Va. A. Rennolds, Loretto, Va. Lee. Boulware, New Town, Va. T. H. Lipscomb, Mount Pleasant, Va. H. Frazier, Twyman's Store, Va. Capt. R. Campbell and W. Saunders. Enfield. Va. Dr. T. Fox, Hicksford, Va. J. Bowers, Col. C. Todd, F. O. Sutton, R. Sale, P. Woolfolk, and H. Jones, Bowling Green, Va. I. Smith, Fauquier Court House, Va. G. Mason, Chilesburg, Va. O. Walsh, Orange Court House, Va. S. E. Shepherd, Alba, Pa. I. McCready for himself and J. Moore, Greensburgh, Pa. S. Sala, Centon. Ohio. Elder J. Rigdon for J. Hough, Ashland, Ohio. T. W. Ewing, Elkton, Ky. A. Kyle, P. M. Harrodsburg, Ky. L. S. Vail, Goshen, New York. T. R. Lamer, Macon, Ga.


Under one hundred miles, - - - - - - - - - - 2½ cents per number
Over one hundred miles,   - - - - - - - - - - 5 cents per number
      ---- It is two super-royal sheets in duodecimo. [48]

      1 Called in the King's Translation the BOTTOMLESS PIT; but most improperly. The sea was usually called the unfathomable abyss. [3]
      2 Each of them attacked both sentiment and practice; but I mean one of them paid chief regard to practice--the other, to correct views. [6]
      3 Acts iv. 4. [16]
      4 So passes the glory of the world. [34]
      5 Ambiguous. It may be rendered 'I say, Pyrrhus, that the Romans can conquer you,' or 'I say Pyrrhus that you can conquer the Romans.' So the oracle declared the truth, on which side soever the victory might be. [40]


[The Millennial Harbinger 1 (January 1830): 1-48.]

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The Millennial Harbinger, Vol. I, No. I (January 1830)

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