[Table of Contents]
Alexander Campbell, ed.|
The Millennial Harbinger, Vol. I, No. II (February 1830)
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.
JOHN THE HARBINGER, OR THE CHARACTER OF A
THE great Eras of the world have been marked with signal judgments as well as with signal mercies. Every great epoch of mercy has been an epoch of vengeance. The Deluge, the Emancipation of Israel from Egypt, the Babylonish Captivity, and the Christian Institution, are the strongly marked epochs of sacred history. So will be the ruin of Babylon the Great. The fall, ruin, and dispersion of the Jews, was called "the impending vengeance"--in the common version, "the wrath to come" upon the Jews, for the rejection and crucifixion of the Messiah. It was called the impending vengeance during the ministry of John the Harbinger: "Who has prompted you, Pharisees and Sadducees, to flee from, the impending vengeance, about to fill upon this nation." Yes, says Jesus, "I send you prophets, and wise men, and scribes. Some of them you will, kill and crucify; others you will scourge in your synagogues, and banish from city to city: so that all the innocent blood shed upon the earth shall be charged upon you, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zachariah son of Barachia, whom you slew between the altar and the sanctuary., Indeed, I say to you, all shall be charged upon this generation."1 It was, therefore, an era of vengeance as well as an era of mercy.
The coming of the Harbinger, and the rising of the Sun of Mercy, were associated in prophecy by the last of the Jewish line of prophets, with a day of fiery indignation: "Behold," says Malachi, "the day cometh that shall burn as an oven; and all the proud, yea, and all who do wickedly, shall be s stubble; and the day which approacheth shall burn them up, leaving them neither root nor branch." "I will send you Elijah the Prophet before the coming of the great and terrible day of the Lord." "This," says Jesus, referring to John, "is the Elijah who was to come." "For the law and the prophets were your instructers until John came; but since that time the Reign of heaven is announced."
John came to announce the Reign of Heaven. He was, therefore, spoken of as "the voice of one crying in the wilderness, and saying, Prepare a way for the Lord, make for him a straight passage. Let  every valley be filled, every mountain and hill be levelled; let the crooked roads be made straight, and the rough ways smooth, that all flesh may see the Saviour sent of God."2 "Indeed," says Jesus, "of all that were born of women, a greater (prophet) than John the Immerser has not arisen; yet the least (prophet) under the Reign of Heaven shall be greater than he." Since the time that John came announcing the Reign, "the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence," permits of great and courageous exertions, "and invaders take possession of it by force." Moral cowards cannot force themselves through the ranks of scribes and rulers, who will neither enter themselves; nor, if they can by contumely and persecution, will they permit those to enter who are disposed to enter. None but the morally brave and bold can invade the city, and therefore the timorous, indolent, and worldly minded, will he vanquished by those whose interest it is to prevent their entrance into the kingdom of heaven.
But as John was the announcer of the approaching reign, it will be instructive to form an intimate acquaintance with his spirit, temper, and behaviour.
As a man, he was humble, self-denied, and abstemious. As a teacher, he was clear, forcible, bold, and severe. While mild, conciliatory, and accessible to the sincere and inquisitive, he was inflexible, unaccommodating, and unyielding to the prejudices of the times. He was no respecter of persons. He reproved civil and ecclesiastical potentates, commanded a general reformation of manners, refused the proud, supercilious, and self-righteous; and adapted his teaching to the capacities and apprehensions of his audience.
His great prototype, in whose spirit and power he came, was Elijah. No twin-brothers were more alike in person or in countenance, than were Elijah and John in spirit and energy. I speak not of the many remarkable coincidences in their history, but of their spirit and behaviour.
These coincidences were very striking. Elijah lived much in the wilderness, and frequented the Jordan: so did John. There the ravens fed Elijah, and there the locusts and the bees ministered to John. Elijah divided the waters of the Jordan with his mantle, and walked in its channel; there, too, stood John, and often divided the stream with his own person and that of the reforming Jew. Elijah was called the troubler of Israel by the court party, and was banished; John troubled the courtiers in his day, and was imprisoned. Elijah reproved kings for their crimes, and John rebuked Herod for his enormities. Zealous for the honor of the God of Israel; bold, fearless, and indefatigable in his service; affable and conciliatory to the humble and the docile; but sharp, fierce, and unsparing in his opposition to the corrupters of the people, was Elijah; such a spirit actuated John. Irresistable was the power of Elijah, and irresistable was the energy of John. There was an air of severity in their reproofs, and unsparing keenness and sharpness in their addresses, which frowned down all opposition. They both set their faces like a flint against iniquity and  hypocrisy, and made no truce with the corruptions of men. But as the name John imported the favor of God, and Elijah, the power of God or the mighty Lord; so John specially declared the favor of God to the reforming, and Elijah his indignation against the rebellious. They were both reformers, of one spirit, and of the same people, though in different periods of their history.
Such have ever been the prominent traits of character, the temper, and spirit of all real and useful reformers. Great moral courage, boldness, independence of mind, untiring zeal for the glory of the Lord, and unaffected benevolence for men, are essential to a reformer. The man who faints at the sight of blood will make a puny soldier, and a worse general. He that wants nerves to oppose errors can never reform them. One Luther was more puissant than a thousand Melancthons. Many who have the knowledge, possess not the boldness, nor the courage, to reform either men or manners. There are many, too, who have much courage, but they want information. The latter may be acquired, but seldom the former. A union of these is essential to a reformer. It is an arduous, and it is an invidious, and often a thankless work. But it must be done. All things are prone to deterioration, and if there were no reformations the world could not exist.
No reformers ever live to reap an earthly reward: perhaps we might except the political reformers, and these but seldom, and then but in part. If fame be a reward, (and what heart of man is unconscious of its charms?) I say, if fame be a reward, the reformer's fame and praise are almost universally posthumous. The righteous and venerable ancients, Paul says, obtained a good fame, a high reputation; but it was after they died. Death gives consecration to the labors, and life to the reputation of the reformer. He may rationally promise himself reproach, slander, persecution, or death, as the first fruits; but all that is desirable is in long and far distant reversion. No cotemporaries have, like posterity, eulogized or admired the great reformers of systems or of men. Some have had a taste, but only taste of the reputation due to their wisdom or their labors. If Paul, Peter, Wickliffe, Luther, Milton, Locke, Newton, Franklin, Washington, were now to appear among us, they would find mankind very differently disposed towards them from those who were their companions in the journey of life. The Jews who railed against Moses, if the Lord had not hid his bones, would have worshipped them.
Those who would have been ashamed to have been seen in the company of Paul, now caress and honor him; and if he could appear among us, they would, until they got better acquainted with him, do him the same honors which the barbarians in Melita were willing to bestow, while they thought him a god in the likeness of man. Many who name churches after St. Paul and St. Peter, and dedicate them to them, and who quote them in these buildings as oracles, would, like the Priest and the Levite with their brother Jew, have passed them on the other side of the street. Many a christian Herod, no better than he who gave the head of the Harbinger to his daughter for a play thing, has execrated the Jewish Herod, and extolled the victim of one  less ferocious and licentious than himself. Few of us know what sort of spirits we possess. Many are now preaching and extolling Paul, who hate the persons most who are most like Paul in spirit and temper; and in the same sermon often admire and commend others, just because they differ from Paul. This is not so strange when we reflect that there are few who know the character which they venerate, nor that which they condemn. They detach one virtue, or one failing, real or imaginary, and through the microscope which prejudice or partiality furnishes, view the whole character. Hence it is that many are in love with they know not what, and despise they know not whom.
It is not uncommon for us to mistake living characters, and not less uncommon to mistake the characters of the dead. The Pauls of the Catholic, Protestant, Presbyterian, Methodist, and Baptist churches, are very unlike Paul the Apostle. The Presbyterian Paul sprinkled infants and consecrated meeting-houses; the Episcopalian Paul was an Archbishop with a mitre and a surplice; the Catholic Paul always had a vial of holy water in his pocket, and a walking-cane made of the wood of the cross, and was always repeating prayers to the immaculate Virgin; the Methodist Paul was President of a Conference of Clergy, and much addicted to sneezing and shouting, a great lover of camp-meetings, and excessively eccentric in his apparel; the Baptist Paul was a Bishop of four churches, and a friend of Saturday monthly meetings, and extremely fond of annual associations and advisory councils. I cannot enumerate how many Pauls nor how many peculiarities each possess; but one thing I know, that most of them differ as much from the Apostle Paul, as the statue of the Holy Virgin in St. Peter's Church, differs from the daughter of Eli, the wife of Joseph.
But, say many, 'What reformations are wanting--and to what extent? And, if any, who is to effect them--and by what means? are questions of great moment. To these we shall pay due regard. But in this article I intended no more than to lay before the mind of the reader the character of two of the greatest reformers in sacred history, actuated by the same spirit, not as if they were exclusively models, but because they give us, in the boldest relief, the most prominent traits essential to all who are public reformers. I do it, too, to correct that squeamishness of taste--delicate to a vice, which condemns as unchristian, as anti-evangelical, the clear, forcible, and pointed exhibition of error--the severe exposure of corruptions and the unsparing developement of the schemes of pride, arrogance, and hypocrisy, which we know exist in our own generation. I thought of the harbinger of the Messiah as likely to furnish us with one of the most appropriate models; not as if we, or any individual, stand in the same relation to society, or occupy the office which was peculiar to him; but as we learn the excellency of faith from Abraham, meekness from Moses, patience from the history of Job, and universal excellence from the character of Jesus; so we derive peculiar instruction from the character of John, because he was the pioneer and the precursor of the period called "the Reformation;" or  "the Renovation," in the New Institution. While he prepared the way of the Lord, he reproved all the errors of the time, clearly developed the principles of reformation, and with a zeal, boldness, courage, faithfulness, and perseverance which was never surpassed except by him who was the founder of the New Institution. This shall be our model, sanctioned as it was by the great teacher sent from God, by the most distinguished of the Apostles and Prophets, and all the more illustrious servants of God in every period of the world.
If any, then, should condemn us because exhibiting, in their judgment, an unchristian spirit, let them do us and themselves the justice to examine the memoirs which both Testaments exhibit, especially the New; and whenever we fail in evincing the zeal, plainness, force, severity, mildness, and tenderness, which they displayed in accordance with the characters addressed, let them remind us of it, and we will desist, confess our error, and abandon it. But as at present advised, we shall, God willing, with all impartiality, fairness, boldness, and courage, reprove, exhort, beseech, and expostulate, until there is no longer need for these means;--always cultivating that benevolence, good will, and affection for them who love the truth and the God of truth; always cherishing that holy spirit, that peace of God, and unfeigned brotherly love, without which christianity is but a name, death terrible, and heaven unattainable. "The conqueror shall inherit all things; and I will be to him a God, and he shall be to me my son. But as for the cowards, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and prostitutes, and sorcerers, and idolators, and all liars, their part shall be in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death."
ALL the promises do travail and are burthened with a glorious day of grace. The nations of this world are all to become the kingdoms of our King--they are all to submit to his government, and to feel the benign and blissful influences of his sceptre. This is the expectation of almost all the saints now living, as it was the expectation and the prayer of all those who have fallen asleep. The present essay proposes not to enter closely nor minutely into the developement of the promises nor the prophecies relating to what is usually called "the Millennium." This we propose to do with great deliberation and with much detail. But we must approach it cautiously and gradually. We wish to discriminate and to draw the line accurately between what is certain and what is conjectural upon this subject. We shall, then, in the present essay, attend to the following items:--
1. We shall adduce a few testimonies from the holy oracles, warranting the expectation of the complete triumph of christianity over the whole world.
2. Offer some reasons why no sectarian establishment can admit of this spread and triumph of christianity; or why the foundation of no sect can be the basis of the Millennial Church. 
3. Suggest the only foundation on which the Millennial Church can be reared. A few remarks on these topics, as introductory to farther developements, is all we can at present propose.
1. That there is reason, clear, full and abundant, to justify the expectation that the reign of favor, or the government of Jesus Christ, shall embrace, under its most salutary influences, the whole human race; or that there are plain, literal, and unfigurative, as well as figurative and symbolic representations, in both Testaments, which authorize us to expect a very general, if not a universal spread of evangelical influences, so that the whole race of men, for a long period of time, shall bask in the rays, and rejoice in the vivifying power, of the Sun of Righteousness, the following passages, taken in their connexion, unequivocally declare.
Psalm lxxii. 8, 9, 10, speaking of David's Son, of him who was the Root and the Offspring of David, the Spirit saith, "He shall have dominion also from sea to sea, and from the river (Euphrates) to the ends of the earth. They who dwell in the wilderness shall bow before him, and his enemies shall lick the dust. The kings of Tarshish and of the Isles shall bring presents; the kings of Sheba and of Seba shall offer gifts, yea, all kings shall fall down before him; all nations shall serve him." Is. ii. 4. "And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people; and they shall beat their swords into ploughshares and their spears into pruning-hooks. Nation shall not lift up sword against nation; neither shall they learn war any more." Is. xi. 12. "And he shall set up an ensign for the nations; and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth." Daniel vi. 27. "And the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the Most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom; and all dominions shall serve and obey him." These are but a single cluster from the vines of Eshcol--a mere intimation of the blissful prospects which David, Isaiah, and Daniel open to us.
Paul, too, assures us, that "blindness in part happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles come in"--"for if the fall of the Jews were the riches of the world, and the diminishing of them the riches of the Gentiles, how much more their fulness! And so all Israel shall be saved.--For God hath shut up all for disobedience, that he might have mercy upon all." And John, after portraying the fall and utter ruin of Babylon, presents to us the binding of Satan, and all the kingdoms of the world doing homage to the King of kings for a thousand years. Yes, "the little stone becomes a great mountain fills the whole earth, and the knowledge of the Lord covers the whole earth as the waters cover the channel of the sea." These unequivocal intimations warrant the sure and certain expectation of the universal spread and triumph of christianity. This much for the present, in proof of the first item.
2. Now for the second. There is no platform in any of the great sects of christendom on which to rear this glorious  superstructure. They are all too narrow and too weak. They are too narrow. The foundation on which every sect is reared, is a certain class of opinions, inferences, or deductions from the scripture premises, as they pretend, or what some call the doctrines, the essential doctrines of christianity.
We assume it for a principle, and when we are called to prove it, the proof is ready, scriptural, and rational; I say, we assume it for a principle, that the union of christians, and the destruction of sects, are indispensable prerequisites to the subjection of the world to the government of Jesus, and to the triumphant appearance of Christ's religion in the world. While the Army of the Faith is enlisted under so many different generals, and fighting under so many different ensigns, they may make havoc upon one another, but it is impossible they can convert the world.
General Calvin, with his ensign, and his standard-bearers, carrying and waving in the air his five stars over the heads of his troops, has been three hundred years in the field. And what has he achieved? General Arminius marched from Leyden about sixty years after him, with an ensign of a different color, marked with five moons. And what has he achieved? The two armies met for a pitched battle on the plains of Dort, A. D. 1618, and after skirmishing for a few days without coming to a general engagement, they drew their tents and marched. The captains and generals, the whole staff of General Arminius had been valiant, courageous, and daring as that of General Calvin, and they have been more successful in war. Various detachments from each grand army have mutinied against the commander in chief, and whole brigades have filed off under various brigadiers. And now, after fighting for almost three centuries, there is no more appearance of a general pacification than there was when they first displayed the flag. The christian armies are constantly fighting against each other; and while old Satan has managed to keep them fighting about grace and works--about rites, forms, and ceremonies--he has made vast levies, built fortresses, accumulated his munitions of war, until he is more invulnerable now than when General Luther began his march from Wittemberg, and raised his ensign against King Leo X.
The Prince of Darkness and the King of Saints have been, and still are, the two great moral belligerents. The Prince of Darkness has long commanded his troops in person; while the King of Saints and Prince of Peace has, for various reasons, some of which we can develope, entrusted the management of his affairs to different ranks of agents. Determined to achieve a glorious victory, he has permitted the battle to be fought by the weakest of his troops, and has armed them with a panoply, the only offensive weapon of which is the sword of the Spirit. The Prince of Darkness has been led into several ambuscades; and the greatest of all is that which is now in operation. But the army of the peace must be corrected of several great mistakes into which they have fallen, and must lay off the carnal panoply, in which they have fought with so little success against the common foe:  and must put on the whole armor of God before they can achieve one glorious victory. They have been fighting with mercenary troops, hired into the service, not from love to the King, but from love to the wages; and they have been fighting with straws in their hands, and scraps of paper covered with pictured opinions about the modus operandi, the theory of fighting. And worse than all, and most to be deplored, they have made war upon themselves, and fought against each other about the best mode of fighting the great antagonist.
Our King, when on the theatre of war, taught us a lesson which ought never to be forgotten. He said, "By intestine broils any kingdom maybe desolated, one family falling after another. Now if there be intestine broils in the kingdom of Satan, how can that kingdom subsist?"3 And, surely, none will refuse to add, upon principle and analogy, 'If there be intestine broils in the kingdom of Jesus, how can that kingdom subsist?' It cannot subsist. The kingdom of the clergy, or antichristian kingdom, has almost laid it desolate and in ruins.
The sword of the Spirit has been changed into the Spirit of the sword; a new weapon indeed! The troops fighting with the Spirit of the sword have become obstinate and inflated, until they cannot fight, except against their own commanders. They have thrown the sword of the Spirit away as imbecile and useless, and issued millions of Spirits of the sword, in the forms of missiles, designated creeds and tracts. Thrown into broils, and embittered against each other, their success is only in defeating one another. The kingdom of Jesus cannot subsist under this economy, and certainly cannot prove an efficient, foe to the enemy of saints.
To drop the figurative, and to appear in the most literal garb. The platforms of the sects are too narrow. Few can unite upon them. A religion or a faith upon inferences, is an intellectual thing. It is an intellectual operation. It requires men to be well trained by logic and philosophy to make out a creed; and it requires just as much logic and philosophy to understand it, and to perceive that the inferences are well drawn. Few, therefore, can unite upon any one creed of opinions and inferences. The union that subsists in any one sect, built upon such inferences, is n union resolvable into ignorance and authority. I know so much of human nature as to authorize me to affirm that if any one sect, (say the Presbyterian for example,) were to invite their own people to examine their own creed, and to decide whether the inferences were fairly drawn, and then to insist upon an agreement in opinion, they would fall into a hundred sects in a short time. Almost every man who presumes to examine them, and assumes a little independence, becomes, in the estimation of his brethren, a heretic. They have, for the sake of peace, to keep their creed as much out of sight as possible, and to teach it without seeming to teach it.
I do not now object to the contents of any one of them, nor argue their merits or demerits. This I have finished long since. All I here say is, that they are too narrow to be the foundation of the Christian  or, if any one pleases, the "Millennial Church." On no platform in Christendom can larger societies exist than do already exist. They will, and they must, divide into smaller and smaller factions. Does not experience, does not the news of every day make this as evident as light itself. Instead of all the world becoming Quakers, the Quakers are falling into two parties; instead of all the world falling in upon John Wesley's platform, have not his followers fallen into two or three ranks? Behold the seven sects of Presbyterians, and the fourteen sects of Baptists! Why, then, pursue a scheme which every day proves abortive and insufficient?
But I said they were not only too narrow, but also too weak. The cords which an agreement in opinion furnishes cannot long hold together those who are bound by them only. They are too feeble. The cord of five strands, woven in the manufactories of Geneva or Leyden, is not strong enough to bind five men together who perfectly coincide in opinion, but differ in their interests. Let but a small gale of passion or pride swell the sails--away goes the cordage! Two Calvinists once in a familiar tete-a-tete, forcibly taught me this lesson. They had differed a little in opinion on one single point of the essentials of the system. A explained the matter to B's satisfaction. They coincided in this also. So soon as an agreement in opinion was expressed there was no more need for a word upon religion. After a silence of about a minute, "Well," said B, "who will be our next President--Adamsor Jackson? On this they did not agree. Their voices rose with the argument, and soon they became insolent to one another. Finally, says A, in an angry tone, "You Adamites and Hartford Convention folks ought to have a government for yourselves; I do not like to live among you. Good evening!"
Christianity presents other attractions--stronger cords than these. Its gravitating principle, when fairly developed, and clearly apprehended, is stronger than death; and its attractive powers can even rend the strong ties of natural affection.
All who belong to the popular systems are not governed by opinions only; nay, indeed, many of them love for the truth's sake; but I speak of the bonds of union as such, and with a design to show that any agreement in inferential reasonings, judgments, or opinions, oral or written, never can achieve what they propose; never can unite christians in the bonds of peace and affection. Potent are they to sever, rend, and alienate; but impotent to unite, harmonize, and cement christian society. Experiment and example are more convincing than theory; and will it not suffice to point to the schisms and factions that are rending the societies daily which are united in essential opinions, but divided in passion, pride, and taste, about a preacher, a meeting house, a wedding, or a christening party? All the platforms, all the foundations of the sects are, therefore, too narrow and too weak to sustain the Millennial Church; and, therefore, must be pulled down.
3. And this leads me to the third item--and that is to inquire, What will be substituted in their stead? To this I answer, The belief  of gospel facts upon scripture evidence. If, upon any human scheme, creed, or platform the Millennial Church should be built, what would it be? Ask every sect, one by one, this question, and what answer will each present? Every one saith, "Upon mine; because, forsooth, nighest the scriptures." This answer is proof positive that it can never be accomplished on such grounds. It would be incomparably more easy to convert all the world to Jesus Christ than to John Calvin--or to any of the illustrious Johns. All christian sects acknowledge the same gospel facts. Every notable fact is so plain and evident from the record, that no one crediting the record can mistake the facts. When this matter comes fully to be developed, I hope to be able to evince that all the sects need to circumcise their creeds--to detach from them the mysteries of human origin--and when every sect shall have detached from its creed all that they learned from the founder of the creed or sect--they will find that nothing remains but the Bible.
But this is only talking after the manner of the sectaries. We never expect that the sects will have a meeting to agree on principles of union. Nor would we wish to see such a meeting on any sectarian principle. But we will attempt to show that there will be, or that there is now, a scheme of things presented, in what is called the Ancient Gospel, which is long enough, broad enough, strong enough for the whole superstructure called the Millennial Church--and that it will alone be the instrument of converting the whole human race, and of uniting all christians upon one and the same foundation.
This will not be the work of a single essay. To expose it, to sustain it, to fortify it against all attacks, will require much minute attention to the oracles, the human mind, the trains of reasoning, the systems of education under which infants are brought up, with the influences of the present systems, contravening, counteracting, and prostrating the great scheme called "the wisdom and the power of God unto salvation."
If the gospel facts are all believed, and the authority of Jesus Christ regarded, we have every thing which christianity presents to redeem, save, purify, and happify the world.
To purge christianity, so called, of every thing extraneous, is more than half the work requisite to restore the ancient order of things. For as God has nothing better to propose to the world than what he proposed some 2000 years ago, all that the world needs to its happiness, and all that is necessary to bring us into the millennial enjoyments, will be to have the ancient gospel and the ancient order of things clearly, fully, and faithfully propounded to us. I know at least a thousand men so much improved by the ancient gospel, that all that is necessary to the enjoyment of the millennial glory and felicity, is to get a majority of society, or, if you please, mankind generally, as much under its influence as this thousand, in order to have glory to God in the highest, peace on earth, and good will among men.
IN Upper Canada there are 18 churches, 13 teachers, in the ecclesiastic year 1829, there were 112 converts immersed. Total amount of associated Baptists, 956. The average number converted by each teacher per annum, was 8 converts and a fraction over.
In New Brunswick 31 churches, 12 teachers, 103 converts; total 1414. Average converts per teacher per annum, 8 and a fraction.
In Nova Scotia 36 churches, 24 teachers, 358 converts; total 2255. Average converts per teacher per annum, 14 and a large fraction.
In Jamaica. 14 churches, 8 teachers, 1875 converts; total 7340. Average converts per teacher, 238 and a fraction.
In the United States 4285 churches, 2857 teachers, 16,356 converts; total 292,862. Average converts per teacher per annum, 5 and a fraction.
In all the above territories, containing North American provinces, the United States, and the Island of Jamaica, there are 228 associations, 4384 churches, 2914 teachers, 18,804 converts, for the year 1829; total amount of members 304,827, giving an average per preacher per annum, of 6 converts and a fraction each.
I have taken the above data from the Baptist Tract and Youths' Magazine, No. 1, vol. 3, p. 28, 35. The compiler in giving the table from which I have gleaned those documents, says it presents the best data of the associated churches which he could obtain; but he represents it as being deficient and inaccurate in many respects, and more especially in the amount baptized per annum. Making all the allowances of this sort, and giving to it the additional number of converts, which he supposes to be due from the returns made, that is, to add 6000 converts to cover the defects in that column the most deficient, the number of converts for the year would be 24,804. In '28 it was reported at 29,031. Then for the year 1829 the number of converts for each preacher, say 3000 in all, would average 8 and a fraction.
Reflections on this Data.
Here we have an array of the Associated Baptist forces in the field. No less than 1300 churches without regular and stated teachers, or overseers. Some radical deficiency, most unquestionably exists somewhere, when one phalanx of the antichristian kingdom, has 1300 churches unattended, unwatched-over, like a farm thrown out into the commons. I say of the antichristian kingdom; but I say so with a reference to the whole. For if the Presbyterian, Episcopalian, Methodist, Baptist phalanxes, to go no farther, constitute the kingdom of Christ, then a, kingdom divided into four great factions, is any thing but the christian kingdom. For the essential character of Christ's kingdom, is that it is a kingdom of peace, harmony, joy, righteousness, and a holy spirit. To say that a kingdom divided into four great factions, with rival interests, contending with, and crusading against each other, is a kingdom of righteousness, peace, joy, and a holy spirit, is of all contradictions the the greatest. 
Yet some men ask, What need of reformation? All is what it should be, or as near as is either practicable or desirable!! But of this in its own place. In the year 1829 the Baptist army had 1300 companies, without a captain; and yet it is reported by some of the superintendants as in good condition. The plan of raising officers is most certainly a bad one: for with all the preaching, begging, college-building, and theological school founding, there is an increase of wants, and a greater deficit of officers increasing annually.
But in the next place the officers are most miserable recruiters. With all the King's bounty, and the whole treasure of heaven to draw upon, and to propose, they can only in twelve months marching, piping, and proclaiming, enlist 8 converts a-piece of all sorts, good, bad, and indifferent! And yet the system is perfect! Yes, the system of preaching and recruiting, is a perfect one, and the scheme susceptible of no improvement!! The great Generalissimo must, then, have an overmatch for him, commanding the armies of the aliens! Yes, he that commands the ranks of the King's enemies is more wise in designing, more expert in manœuvring, more powerful in executing, than our Commander in Chief, or there is a falling off in his officers, some traitors in the camp, or some great failure in the arms and munitions of the holy war. No: if all the captains, brigadier generals, and subalterns of the whole Baptist army, were to unite and, with one consent, declare their perfect, full, and entire conviction that their order of things was either rational, wise, and good, or that it was scriptural, according to the orders of the King and his Prime Ministers; believe them who might, I could not. If all the "Stars," "Luminaries," and meteors, in the Baptist heavens, should concentrate all their rays upon this subject, and magnify then; a hundred fold, I could not be made to see it. The whole scheme is wrong, because it is not the scheme of heaven. They borrowed it from the Protestants, and they borrowed it from the mother of harlots, and she obtained it from the Red Dragon. But I am an innovator, a heretic, and any thing that is worse, because I lift up my voice and my pen against the abominations that I see every where. Yes, I see them--I see the disease and the remedy. I am unsound in the faith, because I will not patronize, aid, abet, and flatter, the spirit of "holy and benevolent enterprises," big with promise, whispered, trumpeted into the ear, but broken to the heart! Because I will not, say to the tract, missionary, and the thousand societies with their presidents, managers, secretaries, and treasurers--aye, their treasurers, God bless you! They talk of converting the world--the pagan world, with such preachers, when with all the labors of centuries to prepare our own people a christian people--3000 preachers in twelve months can convert, instrumentally, if you will have it so, for the sake of orthodoxy, eight persons a-piece!! This is the paradox of paradoxes. No--the Lord has taught us by line upon line, by precept upon precept, example upon example, anal experiment upon experiment, it will not do. And yet there is no need of reformation. I have been mild to a fault in my expositions of those schemes,  have been almost silent upon the corruptions of the systems, and the system builders. But now I must speak out. I must lay the axe to the root of this deadly Upas, which has brought the shadow of death over our land. The clergy have been Samsons in strength, while bringing to perfection the schemes which have palsied us, maimed us, bound, and fettered the truth; omnipotent they are to enslave the understanding, and the conscience; but impotent to emancipate the mind from the power and dominion of sin, and the fear of death. The time has come, fully come, when the ancient gospel must be proclaimed, and the ancient order of things must be restored.
The above statistics of the most puissant society, the least apostate in our land, the most accessible to the truth, the most open to conviction, and the most reducible to the obedience of Christ, fully show, incontestibly prove, that the Baptist Society is in the wilderness. She cannot march--she has been forty years in performing the journey of forty days; and if this be the growth of the greenest tree in our forests, what shall we say, or what must we think of the others.
MUCH more is said in some of the periodicals of the utility and power of Tracts, than of the Holy Scriptures. Men are fond of their own devices, and praise their own works more than the works of God. Yet we must all confess that the works of God are incomparably superior to the works of art. Men may imitate, but never can equal, any work of God. There is one thing, too, that human art utterly fails in; it never can impart life. The leaves of an artificial rose shed no odors, nor does the artificial eglantine grow. The babes of art have eyes, but cannot see; they have ears, but cannot hear. A natural bird or flower excels all the artificials in the world. It is so with the word of God. His oracle has a life, a spirit, which never can be imparted to any thing human. The memoirs of Jesus Christ are in their connexion more powerful to convert the world, than the Alexandrian, Cambridge, and Edinburg Libraries, all combined in one. Some think that new modifications and arrangements of the Holy Oracles are better than in their concrete state. But one might as well argue that to place the eyes in the place of the ears, and the teeth before the lips, would be more conducive to the comfort of man, than as located. God's work is perfect, and so is his written Oracle. We may apply it to particular persons, events, and occurrences; but it is the Word--it is the Oracle of the Almighty, which has the power.
In looking over the Report of the Tract Society, I see much glory is given to the scheme from the conversions ascribed to the Tracts. Does the Spirit of God accompany the Tracts rather than the Scriptures! But if conversions are proof of the utility of the Tracts, will they not prove the utility of the Christian Baptist to those persons who most oppose it. If I were to become a fool, as Paul said once he did, and, as a fool, boast to silence other boasters, I would say that the Tract  Society ought to patronize the Christian Baptist; for it has converted as many persons as the Tract Society, with all its complex machinery, since its commencement; taking their Reports as evidence in the case. I can furnish many authenticated cases. But I have not published them, except in some few instances correspondents themselves may have alluded to them.
Within the present winter I have heard of sundry conversions resulting from reading the Christian Baptist. While in Richmond I immersed one young man, a physician, who came a hundred miles to see me, in consequence of a few numbers of the Christian Baptist falling in his way. He had been the subject of religious feelings and convictions before he saw the Christian Baptist; but, like Nicodemus, he had not discerned the kingdom of God, nor entered into it, until the Christian Baptist opened his eyes.
The following narrative I prefer giving in the words of the writer, Brother William Carman, of Baltimore, who has been one of the most efficient agents in circulating the Christian Baptist, and who is well known in the city of Baltimore as supremely devoted to the religion of the New Testament--to works of piety and benevolence--made a trip to Philadelphia, I believe on special purpose to introduce the Baptist to some of his friends, and to obtain an agent for it in that city. He succeeded in introducing it there. When I read the following narrative it appeared to me that the subject of it was sent to Baltimore as a reward to brother Carman. I hope my brother Carman will excuse me for the liberty I take in giving this extract from his letter without first having solicited his consent:--
"A youth called at my house in the early part of December, who was born and raised in Philadelphia, and in the Roman Catholic Church. He received my address in Philadelphia; and on the Saturday preceding the first Lord's day he was in the city, he called upon me to be directed where the "New Testament Church" met for worship, saying that he had been told I could inform him. The inquiry being somewhat singular, my attention was arrested to the youth. He informed me he had been brought up a Catholic, and had not much frequented any other place of worship; that a man working in the printing-office where he had been an apprentice, lent him the Christian Baptist two or three years ago. The contents of the work pleasing and interesting him much, he got one of the New Testaments of the new translation, published by you. This being so plain, he made it his particular study. He was led to the conclusion that if ever he should come into the neighborhood of a New Testament Church, he would be a member, as his views of the Saviour of sinners were the same as those of the disciples mentioned in the New Testament. In the week following I had several conversations with him; and on the third Lord's day after his coming to the city, he was immersed into the faith and received into the church. I have since asked him if he was not disappointed in what he expected of a New Testament Church after he had seen the brethren. He answered, "No." As our acquaintance with this youth increases, we become more delighted with  him. He is very modest and unassuming; very ready and consistent in answering all questions put to him.
I am now fully possessed of my reward in getting the Christian Baptist introduced into Philadelphia. True, I had in my eye particularly my old friends the Baptists there; and here is one I should never have thought of: but he is a son of Adam, Let us go on without tiring. We shall reap consolation in this life for the good we do to our fellow-men."
Should not, then, the friends of the Tract Society patronize, and not (as some of them do) oppose the Christian Baptist as pernicious. I use this as an argument to them; and to them an argument derived from their own principles. But the Christian Baptist, it seems, in the above narrative, operated just in the way that I always designed it to operate; namely, to draw the attention of the world and the church to the holy Scriptures--not to rest in it--not to take their lessons from it--not to place it in any higher office than in that of an index where two roads meet, to point to the Bible. It had the effect in this case, which I have known it to have in many others, of putting the question, Where shall I find a New Testament Church? Does any one of the Tract, do this? This will prove them whether sectarian or not. We judge the tree by its fruits for the want of a better rule. But to my foolish boasting again. I will engage to furnish data as abundant of the converting power of the Christian Baptist, as the Tract Society can furnish in their behalf. Whenever they attempt to prove their authority or their utility from their success, they will not find me wanting in arguments of this sort. If they claim divine influences as the cause why their Tracts are so beneficial, I trust they will extend the same courtesy to the Christian Baptist, else they will do themselves no honor. I will only add, that if the Tract Society will circulate the Christian Baptist as fully and as efficiently as their own Tracts, I have no doubt, from the samples already received, but the converts will be increased manifold. Pardon me; I know you can. You suffer fools gladly yourselves being wise.
|Eastport, Washington co. Maine, Feb. 8, 1830.|
MY DEAR BROTHER CAMPBELL,
BY recurring to your list of subscribers, yon will see the name of the unworthy individual who is the writer of these lines.
About a year and a half ago, I left the Province of Nova Scotia, and came to reside in the town of Eastport, where I became acquainted with our dear brother, F. W. E. and by his kindness I was favored with a perusal of your writings, of which I had no previous knowledge. When I first read some of the numbers of the Christian Baptist, I saw many things which I believed and admired--some that I disbelieved--and others, the truth of which I doubted.
As I had, for some years, been in quest of truth, I thought it would be nothing but reasonable that I should read the whole of your writings, before I made up my mind respecting the correctness or  absurdity of your sentiments. I accordingly obtained a copy of your works, through the agency of brother E. and have given them an attentive perusal; and I can assure you in the sincerity of my heart, that my present views of the christian religion are (in many respects) very different from what they were before I became acquainted with your writings; and I consider that my reading of them forms a new epoch in the history of my inquiries and efforts. I trust that I feel truly grateful to the Great Head of the Church for the light which I have received from him through your agency; and I am also greatly your debtor.
Wishing to see the "ancient order of things" established in this place, I have obtained the following names, to whom I wish you to send complete sets of the Millennial Harbinger, directed to the Post Office in this town.
Wishing you grace, mercy, and peace from God, the Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ, I am my dear brother, most respectfully yours--
|W. W. A.|
REVIEW OF ELDER SAMUEL ROGERS' CIRCULAR.
SINCE the first number was written I received the "Western Advocate," published in Fayette county, Missouri, of the 6th February, containing a Review of this Circular, from the pen of brother Thomas Thompson, of Missouri. This Review, filling nine columns of a super-royal sheet, does ample justice to the Circular. It makes the injustice and perversity of the Circular much more striking than I had any design to do. As far as my sentiments are concerned, and as far as the Christian Baptist was quoted, brother Thompson has opened to the public, in a very ample and unanswerable manner, the depravity--the "total depravity" of the letter. After eight columns of specifications, the writer pertinently remarks--"Had brother Campbell never before believed in the doctrine of "human depravity," your letter might convince him that one, at least, was depraved: and" (ironically adds he) "I am not sure but that he may be convinced of the necessity of the new birth, if it would make people cease from perverting. He will also know that some way, other than the works of the law, must be devised, if you be saved: for the law saith, "You shall not bear false testimony," &c. But how your letter could convince him that the Holy Spirit ever operated on you, prior to, or since believing, is a mystery to me; for it is the Spirit of Truth."
Brother Thompson has certainly convicted him before the public of having wrested, systematically wrested, the Christian Baptist in his quotations from it. This he does by quoting the context of the passages referred to in the Circular. But the injustice done to my words, and the most palpable perversions of them, though to me most grievous, because illustrative of the want of all christian candor; yet it is a slight matter in comparison of the liberty which he has taken with the Holy Oracles. 
I concluded my Review in the last number, observing that, although I agreed with the two fundamental positions on which Mr. Rogers emphasized, yet I dissented from his proof of them. The positions as qualified in my last, are true; but the scriptures he quotes do not prove them.
That I may do him the greatest justice, I will give his proposition as afterwards drawn out by himself in his own words:--"The depravity of human nature, as represented in the Scriptures, is so great and universal, as to render it necessary that we should be visited by the supernatural operations of the Holy Spirit." I suppose he intends this as a substitute for "Whatever is good and holy in man is of God, and HE deserves the praise of it." We shall take it as he has drawn it out. We shall now refer to his proof. It is Gen. vi. 5. Rom. iii. 10, 11, 12-18. Jer. xvii. 9. Psalm x. 13. Eph. ii. 1. John ii. 44. xiv, 17. viii. 43. Jer. vi. 10. Rom. viii. 3--not one of which proves his position. He says, "We are visited by the supernatural operations of the Holy Spirit." I believe so; so does he. But what he means is, that the Spirit of God, independent of the written word, and without it, changes the human mind, renovates or regenerates it. Does any one of the texts prove this position? I say again, not one. By no rules of grammar, logic, or common sense, can any one of them be so applied. I do most unequivocally teach that we have been visited by the supernatural operations of the Holy Spirit. I appeal to the whole Oracle of God as proof of this; but he has a private operation of his own, and to prove his private operation he quotes these passages:--"There is none righteous; no, not one," &c. "Why do you not understand my speech? even because you cannot hear my word."
But to illustrate this still more clearly, I will select one of his strongest proofs: "No man can come unto me except the Father which sent me draw him." Does he make the Father's drawing and the Spirit's supernatural operation the same? If so, he ought to have proved this before he compelled it to appear in his catalogue of proofs. But again, are all drawings physical? This he takes for granted. But no one will concede that all drawings are physical. For example, it is said that "Whitfield drew the people after him." Did he physically draw them? Did he literally draw them together with a sweepnet or a drag? Again, it is said, "Not the piety, but the eloquence of the orator, drew the people together." It is not once in ten times that drawing means physical or supernatural influences. How great must be the sophism, then, which takes for granted, that it always means natural force, or physical power. This is just what Mr. Rogers assumes in unceremoniously applying it to prove his private supernatural or physical drawings.
Unless the Father had, by his ancient prophets, and by the attestations which the Holy Spirit gave in the works which Jesus wrought; unless these draw the attention and captivate the hearts of men, I know no one can come to Jesus as the Messiah, the only begotten Son of God, and Saviour of the world. 
Do we not see that the disciples of Robert Owen, and all the sceptics of every school, who reject the operations of the Holy Spirit, who do not accredit the testimony of the prophets, the works which God wrought, do not, cannot, come to Jesus, other than as the Son of Joseph. Not one now living, and not one of those dead, who have rejected the attestations given from Heaven by the Father, and carried down by the Holy Spirit, can receive Jesus as God's only Son. I say, not one in ancient or modern times could receive Jesus, merely upon his own testimony, as the Son of God and the Saviour of the world.
Must I thus, one by one, expose a hundred perversions of Scripture, words and phrases, for the sake of proving what must be plain as light to all who will see that Mr. Rogers, whatever may be his gifts and talents, is not to be trusted as an expounder or teacher of the Holy Writings. I do most cordially pity those human beings who are looking to him for instruction. "If the blind lead the blind, both must fall into the ditch." I am afraid I have quoted these last words more pertinently than any sentence quoted in his Circular.
But he seems as incapable of quoting my words and applying them correctly, as he does the words of the Apostles. So much so, that in no one instance, has he ever permitted me to speak my own sentiments, as the reader may see by turning over to all the passages quoted from the Christian Baptist, and reading them in their proper connexions. Whether to ascribe this to design or incapacity, I presume not. But I must caution the public, as far as these pages go, against such applications of Scriptures. It is of little consequence how he misapplies my words; but not so to them who look to him for information from the Scriptures. For their sakes I will exhibit a few specimens, which otherwise I should not with any reference to myself.
Paul, in his letter to the Ephesians, (i. 20.) prays for the disciples in Ephesus, that they might know the hope of God's calling, and the riches of the glory of God's inheritance among the saints, and what the exceeding greatness of God's power toward them who believe, (to be displayed in the resurrection and immortality of their bodies,) according to the working of his great power which he wrought on Christ's body when he raised him from the dead and placed him at his own right hand. This Mr. Rogers expounds, and applies to the production of faith in the mind!!
Luke tells us that among the pious women who met for social worship; Lydia was one. God had opened her heart, being taught by his prophets, so that she heard and received the testimony of Paul concerning Jesus, and was immersed, herself and family. Mr. Rogers applies this to "the first spiritual emotion," the physical opening of the heart in unregenerated and untaught persons!! though, for aught he knows, Lydia had been taught by God's prophets years before!
Again, it is written, that "to as many as received Jesus; he gave power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name; which were born not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God." From this he infers that they were born of God before hey believed on his name! 
"God," says Paul, speaking of himself and his fellow-apostles, "who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined into our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ." This Mr. Rogers applies to himself and his associates!!! Poor man! he is sadly abused by Mr. Fuller and other Rabbis to whom he looks for light, rather than to the Apostles. I must turn him over to his brother Thomas Thompson, of Missouri, who I see is well qualified to instruct him.
But before dismissing him and his perversions of scripture and of the Christian Baptist, I must take some notice of his logical displays. After informing his brethren of the Missouri country, that, because the word of God is called "the sword of the Spirit," and "a hammer which breaketh the rock in pieces," he proceeds to prove the utter impossibility of the word of God effecting any thing unless wielded by the author of it. He presumes that because it is called "the sword of the Spirit," that it will only pierce the heart when grasped by the hand of its author. This is his reasoning from analogy. Now forgetting, as far as possible for the time being, his divinity, let us notice this new logic. He supposes that a sword will be inefficient in any hand, save that of its maker. This is his data. Now who needs to be informed that a sword will kill just as effectually in any strong and valiant man's hand, as in the hand of its maker? Many a person can do more execution with a sword, or with a hammer, than the artificer who made it. Proceeding upon the hypothesis that the sword, or the hammer, is useless save in the hands of the artists who made it, his reasonings and his conclusions must be as fallacious as his expositions of the scriptures. I think he saw his error here; for he fears the conclusion, and retreats in these words--"A sword is particularly adapted for the purpose it is intended; that is, to slay the enemy; but an innocent, harmless instrument, unless wielded by the General." Yes, by the General! In the hands of a private, serjeant, captain, major, colonel, "it is innocent and harmless;" but in the hands of the General it is powerful!! "So is the sword of the Spirit," says he,--"When wielded by the Almighty Agent, it produces marvellous and astonishing effects." But in the hands of any other agent it is as innocent and as harmless as a sword in the hands of the Captain or Colonel!! So the hammer can break no stone but in the hands of the blacksmith! Such a reasoner is Mr. Samuel Rogers of Missouri.
Yet he presumes to act the philosopher! He adds, "The great error, we apprehend, of the system we oppose relative to faith, consists in their excluding from the nature of faith the idea of approbation." Andrew Fuller said, "THEIR excluding," and who Mr. Rogers means I know not. "Faith," continues our metaphysician, "includes a cordial approbation and voluntary reception of the method of salvation." Faith includes the idea of approbation! Why not add, of love, hope, fear, joy, peace? I have never affirmed nor denied any thing about approbation or disapprobation in respect of faith. But as Fuller's Strictures on Sandemanianism were before Mr. Rogers when writing  this letter, he thought he must apply it all to me at any rate. But I will inform him now that I have no objections to appending to faith approbation, experience, peace, hope, love, joy, &c. &c. and I cannot value his faith very highly, because, as far as yet appears to me, it does not include these ideas in it. Yet if any ask me, Are faith and love, faith and hope, faith and approbation, one and the same thing? I will, as a christian, and as a grammarian, answer, No. Faith has no more of the idea of love, or approbation, or fear, or joy in it, than my eye has my ear in it. Yet I ascribe no value to any faith, disconnected from approbation and disapprobation, hope, fear, joy, peace, love, &c. These untaught and unteachable metaphysicians--these would-be philosophers and reasoners, are the most incurable drivellers in the world.
|"A little learning is a dangerous thing;
Drink deep, or taste not the Pierian spring:
For little draughts intoxicate the brain;
But drinking largely will sober you again."
I thought every schoolboy had these verses by heart. Oh ! that modesty were preached a little more, and speculation a little less!
Tell me nothing about the mere assent or the mere exercise of the understanding, without regard to the disposition of the heart; about a bare belief of the bare truth. When I proclaim the gospel, I call upon men to obey from the heart; and if I hear any man suggesting his philosophic doubts, his assent of the head, or his disposition of the heart, I say to him, Obey the gospel; come to the Saviour; put yourself under his guidance; reform and be baptized, and bring forth fruits worthy of reformation.
I will join any christian in opposing Sandemanianism and Fullerism as two of the most desolating isms in the religious world. They have inflated the minds and paralized the energies of their admirers. If I had nothing better to propose to mankind than such speculations, I would never solicit a hearing, nor condemn those who are always entertaining their hearers with their dreams and conceits.
The system which extols human powers, and that which debases them, take different routes it is true, but lead to doing nothing. Tell A that he can believe, and he will tell you he will believe when it suits him. Tell B that he cannot believe, and he will reply, Then I will not try. Tell A that faith is the bare belief of the bare testimony, and he will say that is very obvious. Tell B that it is the approbation of the heart, and he replies, I do not doubt it; and there it ends.
It is only when I see such system-builders, or rather such system-repairers as Mr. Rogers, turning the ears of the people to fables from the truth, that I pay any regard to them; and then only to undeceive them. For if one essay would establish the opposite theory, and cause men to assent to it, and rest in it, I should not write it. I will never substitute any theory for the Rock of Salvation. There will many, I fear, be found on the left hand of the Judge in the awful and glorious day of the Lord, who were Fullerites, Sandemanians, Calvinists. Lutherans, Arminians, &c, who were orthodox in the  estimation of their respective brethren; but not one of those who believed and obeyed the gospel will stand among them. When, however, I see any man repairing an old theory, laying up a few bricks on the decaying and dilapidating walls of Babylon, I find it my duty, especially when two or three Doctors of Divinity encourage him, to fire a single gun, and to disperse the Babel repairers. I have one now prepared and levelled for the Fullerites, and when I see it my duty I will apply the match. In the mean time if any man will point me to a stone in the Missouri Circular which is not thrown down, I will show him the other side of it. It will, I may add, give much pleasure to learn that Mr. Rogers has repented of the wrongs and of the injustice he has done the Bible, if he should never make reparation for his perversions of the Christian Baptist.
SYMBOLIC AND PROPHETIC LANGUAGE.
TO understand the language of prophecy is one thing, and to understand the prophecy itself is another thing. It is, however, of primary importance that the language of prophecy should first be studied. To aid in this we shall offer some remarks and some extracts upon the symbols and imagery of prophecy. A vocabulary of symbols appears to many to be a desideratum. We shall, perhaps, furnish one of some sort, or, at least, an exposition of the principal symbols of prophecy. The following well written remarks, from the pen of Alexander McLeod, of New York, are offered as introductory. This gentleman, in 1814, published a volume on prophecy, possessing very considerable merit. In this department of our labors, we shall avail ourselves of all the lights which have been thrown upon the prophecies, before we attempt to give a systematic and compact view of the great outlines, make a particular application of them to our own time. Our first attempt shall be to unfold the prophetic language, and to this the following extract is pertinent.
|ED. M. H.|
"Every one who is acquainted with the writings of the prophets, has undoubtedly remarked that the expressions which they use are highly figurative. Some recent expositors have on this account pronounced the prophetic style one sui generis--a symbolical style radically distinct from every other species of composition. Dr. Johnston considers it as of this description, and distinguishes the hieroglyphic from the simple symbol.4 I nevertheless am entirely unable to see either the necessity or the use, of considering the style in which the prophets wrote as essentially differing from that of every other part of the Bible, or of subjecting it to quite different rules of interpretation. The Oriental manner of expressing in general, and  that of the sacred scriptures in particular, abounds in splendid imagery; and the descriptive part of divine revelation is fully as figurative as the predictive. Nor can I at all admit that predictions are never delivered in plain alphabetical language. The truth is, the writings of the prophets, even in those parts in which the style is truly symbolical, are subject to the same rules of interpretation which obtain in all other writings. In every composition we find figurative language; and in several authors of our own age we find an abundant use of the metaphor. Both the metaphor and the hieroglyphic are analogous to historical painting; and there is not a better test of the correctness of a metaphor than the one proposed by Dr. Blair, who in matters of criticism is excellent authority, namely, that we should try to form a picture of the several parts, and see how they correspond. It is not, however, to be denied that this figurative style requires, in order to be understood, a particular acquaintance with the several sources from which the principal part of its imagery is drawn. The earlier prophets selected their symbols from the well-known customs and arts of the Hebrews and the neighboring countries, Egypt and Chaldea. The writers of the New Testament join to these the customs of Greece and Rome. The principal sources from which the Apocalypse draws its imagery are the following, viz. The natural world; the history contained in the scriptures of the Old Testament; and the ecclesiastical polity of the Jews, including both the Temple service and the Synagogue.
It is obvious from these considerations, that in order to understand the phraseology of the book of Revelation, it is necessary not only to have contemplated with discernment the economy of the natural world, but moreover to be well versed in scripture history in connexion with profane, and to be familiarly acquainted with the ordinances of religious worship, as they were established in Judea.
Such attainments will qualify a man for understanding the language of the prophecy of this book; but much more is necessary to understand the prophecy itself, and be able to apply the prediction to its proper event. That event must be itself understood. A knowledge of true religion as differing from mere forms of godliness, from priestcraft, and superstition, and a due measure of acquaintance with history, civil and ecclesiastical, are indispensably necessary to him who would point out the accomplishment of the Apocalyptical predictions. We have, therefore, no reason to wonder that this book is not well understood in the Christian Church. No man is likely to make proficiency in any branch of knowledge without entering into the spirit of it; and it is impossible to enter into the spirit of the instruction communicated in this book, without such religious discrimination as will distinguish Christianity from the corrupt establishments of mere politicians.
Before I give you the rules of interpretation, I think it necessary to meet an objection made to the style of the prophecies upon the score of obscurity. It inevitably follows from the nature of the prophecy itself, and the character of the style in which it is delivered,  as already described, that it is not easily understood. While this fact is both admitted and accounted for, it affords a striking evidence of that wisdom which inspired the mind, and superintended the pen of the sacred writers: but we cannot admit that any sentence in this book is absolutely unintelligible, or that the phraseology is undeterminate. To a novice in the sciences, the expressions of the mathematician, the botanist, and the chymist, however precise, will appear obscure; and may be supposed to be a language sui generis. But a proficient in these several studies will not complain of the obscurity of the style which philosophy finds it necessary to employ in the instruction of her pupils. It is not in obtaining a knowledge of the words, so much as in understanding the subject, that the difficulty lies, in respect either to theology or any other science. The same observation will apply to the system of prophecy.
Absolute unintelligibility is not to be affirmed of any part of the Bible. This would be inconsistent with the wisdom and goodness of our heavenly instructer, because it would render such part entirely unprofitable. The scriptures are no further a revelation, than they are intelligible. He that speaketh in an unknown tongue, speaketh not unto men; for no man understandeth him. So likewise except ye utter words easy to be understood, ye shall speak unto the air. If I know not the meaning of the voice, I shall be unto him that speaketh a barbarian, and he that speaketh shall be a barbarian unto me. In the church I had rather speak five words with my understanding, that I might teach others also, than ten thousand words in an unknown tongue.5 A revelation, nevertheless, designed for men of every capacity, of every nation, and of, every age, must, from the nature of the case, prove to many, in any given age, in some instances, obscure. The Apostle Peter says of the epistles of his beloved brother Paul himself, notwithstanding his constant use of great plainness of speech, that they contain some things hard to be understood.6 This also is the case with the prophetic part of scripture, independently of all peculiarity of phraseology. No simplicity of diction could render a prophecy completely intelligible in all its circumstances, even after its accomplishment, to a person otherwise entirely ignorant of the fact to which it referred; and much less are the prophecies which remain to be fulfilled, at the distance of ages, to be comprehended by those who previously have no idea of the subject of which they treat. Precisely for the same reason, a detached paragraph in the celebrated histories of Hume and Robertson, would appear unintelligible to a reader ignorant of the connexion; and utterly unacquainted with the era and the facts under contemplation."
SCEPTICAL ENTHUSIASM--ANATOMY A CURE FOR
THERE never was, in any country, a race of such consummate philosophists, of such enthusiastic devotees to doubting, of such blind adorers of reason, and of such unreasonable reasoners against reason  and faith, as these U. States can at this time bring into the field. The foundations of all certainty are to be razed. I say, all certainty. The certainty of consciousness itself will not escape the general wreck. If any man say he is conscious that he exists, one of these philosophists, these rational renegadoes, asks him if he knows what he is--whether he is matter or idea--whether he has a soul, or whether he thinks at all--whether his thinking is not a mere conceit. Thought is nothing more than the effluvia of matter organized in a particular way; odor is the effluvia of a rose, and thought the effluvia of organized flesh in bipeds of certain dimensions. But whether all creatures do or do not think; are, or are not conscious; have, or have not faith; whether there is design, or not design in the universe; whether there is any thing to be feared, or loved; whether any thing that can fear or love; whether there is Creator or creature; whether all is mind or all is matter; whether there was a beginning, and whether there will be an end; or whether there is any existence or being at all, are yet in discussion, undecided among Free Inquirers. This is freedom and liberty worth admiring! All men who have any thing fixed or established are slaves, implicit believers, and under the shackles of superstition. If a man say he is certain of any thing, he has committed blasphemy against free inquiry, and is in danger of being bound hands and feet and delivered over to the clergy. I hoped that the light thrown on these subjects by Robert Owen, the father of the Free Inquirers, the Magnus Apollo of the doubting philosophers, in the Cincinnati Debate, would have irradiated the minds, or rather the thinking effluvia of these Free Inquirers; but all is silent as the grave on these lectures, and the Great Apostle of doubting is no longer quoted as far as meets my eye. Have they renounced him, and made unto themselves a new god--a male, or a female divinity?
The youth of this country are about to be inspired with the spirit of doubting; children will soon doubt they have any parents at all, or whether their parents have not sprung from them. Indeed, on the principles of Free Inquirers--(pardon the word principles--I do not know that they have one principle, save that all things are doubtful.) I was going to say, according to their modus operandi no child on the continent can be certain whether it has derived its being from any person, or whether it owes a single obligation to any human being--whether its alleged parents be not more dependent on it for comfort, and more obliged to it for their life, than it is to them.
Among the ludicrous and phantastic ebullitions of scepticism, is the following exhortation of Dr. Underhill, who recommends the study of anatomy as a cure against religious affections--a grand specific against superstition. Hear! hear! do hear the conclusion of his sermon on religious affections, printed at Steubenville, O. 1829, and for sale at the Hall of Science, New York:--
"Awake to your true interest, my friends! Study your own frames! Let men, let women, let the young and the old, study anatomy and physiology. Why should they not? It cured me of superstition--it  may preserve you from it. It is a very delightful study--what can be more so? The history of our own bodies, of the various tissues composing them, of our nerves, blood vessels, organs of digestion, glandular secretions, optics or principles of seeing, &c. What subject can be more interesting? It is of every day use in all our avocation in life;--to men how important, and yet more important to women in rearing the tender offspring important. And, may I tell you, the knowledge of anatomy would slacken the corset before it be laced and spare you a thousand evils that flesh is heir to. It is the most important branch of natural philosophy that comes before us--it should be taught in all our schools--the child of three years old begins to study it successfully, and without fear handles human bones I have noticed, with pleasure, the close attention you have given me--the deep interest with which you have listened; and I am induced to say, Be strong and take courage. Many of you are young, and may if prudent in your habits, live many years. O then, form yourselves into schools of inquiry--spare a few moments from your novels, and season your minds with knowledge. In the dignity of your nature rise from the narrow cells in which bigots would confine you to weep over fallen nature; and, regardless of the "flaming sword" held by priests, between yourselves and the Trees of Life and Knowledge, seize and eat, and live forever. You know evil, be ye partakers henceforth of good. Know your social relations--the nature of vegetables, the properties of matter--know cause and effect--know the susceptibility and peculiarities of human nature--and, knowing these, you may approach the thunder of a camp-meeting's artillery; you may enter the warmest circle, and witness the convulsions of ignorance immoveable and serene. Would you consider the advantages of these truths, survey mankind as they now are? Behold how small is the number, at this moment, who are not under the iron yoke of superstition. Behold the rivers of blood shed in the name of religion. The millions annually expended on idle, or worse than idle, teachers of sectarian animosity! the debased state of females, missionary infatuations, stripping of widows and children to evangelize the heathen; and the good these means might do in educating children rationally--and then say, is there not a cause why the scales of superstition should be removed?
"Secure to yourselves sound principles for moral conduct, for, without morality, none can be happy--you may doubt almost every thing, and yet be weak and vicious. Scepticism is good, if you possess the spirit of inquiry. A sceptic is a doubter; a doubter may be ignorant; but an enquirer will become wise--and the wise will be virtuous. A law is written in your minds--it is a knowledge of the consequences of actions.
"And now, disciples of free inquiry, farewell; I have spoken to you with freedom; have you heard and examined with candor? If so, my desires are fulfilled. May Charity and her twin-sister; holy Peace, be with you." 
GLOSSARY OF THE LEADING PHRASES IN THE FOREGOING EXTRACT.
"The dignity of your nature," means, the dignity of your bones "Knowledge," the science of doubting. "Live for ever," live till the worms eat you. "Know your social relations," know and respect the tobacco worm. "The nature of vegetables," particularly cabbage and missletoe. "Be partakers of good," revel like worms on a putrid carcase. "Know cause and effect," know that a sensualist always produces a Sceptic; and a Free Thinker always produces a free liver. "Secure to yourselves sound principles of moral conduct," disbelieve the existence of God, heaven, and hell; of rewards and punishments; reject the idea of responsibility; and consider morality as that which most conduces to the comfort of the abdominal viscera. Call marriage, priestcraft; chastity, superstition; and poligamy, heaven.
PARAPHRASE OF THE BENEDICTION.
"And now, disciples of free inquiry, follow appetite and farewell. I have spoken to you with licentious freedom--have you heard and examined with sceptical candor? If so, my sceptical desires are fulfilled. I am happy. Receive my benediction: May Animal Magnetism and her twin sister Holy Stoicism, be with you now and till you are turned into cabbage or butterflies!"
AMERICAN BIBLE SOCIETY.
THE following well written communication from the Poughkeepsie Telegraph, New York, deserves notice. I think it is the duty of the Managers of the Bible Society to attend to it. Any official explanation removing the suspicious appearance of things, I will with pleasure publish. I do not wish to see this best of the enterprizes of this sectarian age, liable to such suspicions, and chargeable with malfeasance, misfeasance, or nonfeasance in realizing public expectation. Cannot the Managers render an annual report, as other public functionaries, well attested and documented, so as to render perfect satisfaction to the whole community?
|Ed. M. H.|
TO C. C. CUYLER, A. WELTON AND A. PERKINS.
GENTLEMEN--WE have perused your communication of the 30th ult. and shall give it such notice a it deserves. You take exceptions to being called a committee auxiliary to the American Bible Society, and impute it to our "ignorance", that we had not known better. When you came into the town of Clinton, begging for money, you put up printed bills with your names, and the single word "committee" attached to the same. You stated in those bills that your object was to "aid the American Bible Society." We considered the words auxiliary and aid of the same import, and so does Dr. Johnson in his dictionary. The expression, however, was not used by us with an unkind intention. We are plain farmers who have been favored with but a common education, and eat our daily bread in the sweat of the face; therefore we cannot use the "enticing words of man's  wisdom," nor can we express our ideas in that polished language of which you are capable. Our sincere desire is to speak the words of truth and soberness, and to have our consciences void of offence towards God and man.
We still adhere to our former remarks respecting the sums stated at your Pleasant Plains meeting, that you desired to raise in the town of Clinton; we feel confident that we stated the truth, notwithstanding you assert that it is "not true;" and we do not hesitate to say, that our assertions can he fully substantiated by unimpeachable witnesses, who heard the observations alluded to. Your "minutes" prove nothing, because they may not be in the language then expressed; your object was to get all the money you could, be it ever so large a sum.
You are pleased to term the Bible Institution at New York the "cause of God." The first Baptist Society at Portsmouth, (N. H.) think otherwise; they have published to the world their solemn belief, that the Bible and other popular societies of the day, "are the work of an aspiring priesthood, aiming at the very annihilation of our civil and religious rights." As they are disinterested witnesses on this subject, their testimony to our minds far outweighs that of any who live by the craft, or partake of the gains of a plundered people, by being connected with these institutions. It should also be remembered that even the crusades were declared by the clergy to be the "cause of God;" yea, all christendom for ages has literally been converted into a field of blood, professedly in the "cause of God." The clergy have in all ages (and most wickedly we believe) used the name of the Almighty to enable themselves to obtain wealth and power.
In England we have a fair specimen of the effects of a well paid priesthood, and of the Bible and other popular societies of the day, which are so much desired by many in this land. There the clergy are so liberally provided for as either of you could possibly desire, and it is literally a land of Bibles and pious tracts. The revenue of the clergy of England and Wales is stated to be annually the enormous sum of thirty-three millions seven hundred and twenty-six dollars. The contributions to the Bible and kindred societies are stated to be two and a half millions of dollars yearly. The Bible Society of England alone has issued five millions of Bibles. With all these vast expenditures of money, what has been the result? True religion is fast falling into disrepute, and its influence is almost unfelt and unknown; the clergy themselves declare that the Roman Catholic religion and infidelity are rapidly gaining ground, and threaten to overrun that country. Depend upon it, gentlemen, that it is not all the silver and gold, nor Bible Societies, nor hireling priests in the universe combined, that can obtain that pearl of great price, the "grace of God that bringeth salvation" to the immortal soul. Instead of our "laboring under some strong delusion," as you say in your first communication, we solemnly fear that you are "blinded by the gold of this world." 
We ask, by what authority you or any other set of men dare to ask for MONEY to promote the "cause of God?" Christ directed the young man to sell his property to give to the poor, and the Apostle made collection in the churches for the poor saints at Jerusalem: but no where in all the New Testament, can an instance be produced that either Christ or the Apostles required the people to give their MONEY, or make collections to assist in the promulgating the gospel. When our Saviour sent forth his disciples to preach, he furnished them with no MONEY, nor did he ever represent it as necessary to promote the kingdom of grace and righteousness on the earth. Whenever MONEY is made an auxiliary for promoting the interest of the Redeemer's kingdom, it becomes emphatically "the root of all evil," and the destruction of true piety, as experience has fully shown.
If Simon Magus had lived in the present age, we have little doubt but that he would become a president, life director, or agent of some of the fashionable Bible Societies of the present day, and would stand high in the estimation of the managers of these institutions. That we are not uncharitable, and do not censure without cause, we beg to state the following facts, which you will not deny. Last fall, a Mr. Davis, of Nashville, (Tenn.) was successful at horse racing, having won considerable sums; immediately Mr. Kingsley, (we believe president of a Bible Society) who is eve: on the look-out for money, wrote him the following note:
|"Nashville, Oct. 19, 1829.|
|WILLIAM C. DAVIS, ESQ.|
Sir--Permit me to offer you my hearty congratulations for your success during the last weeks sport--while at the same time I solicit, in behalf of the American Bible Society, that you constitute yourself a member thereof, by a contribution of thirty dollars.
Mr. Davis accordingly gives of his winning at the most immoral kind of gambling, and becomes a life member of the American Bible Society; if successful at horse-racing the next year, he will probably become a life director. If this is not encouraging gambling, and receiving the wages of iniquity, we know not what it is. Yet we are told (very profanely we believe) that a cause that descends to such acts to obtain MONEY, and rests upon such means of support, is the "cause of God!" How dare any one declare that a cause built up by such corrupt means is founded upon the rock Peter, which "the gates of hell shall never prevail against?" Unless the public discountenance such unwarrantable and anti-christian means to obtain MONEY, the name of christianity will become a by-word and a reproach throughout the land.
As to 800,000 families being destitute of the Bible in the United States, no one can believe it; even Mr. Brigham does not, for he wishes that a smaller number had been named. We think it will prove as the declaration made in 1827, that there were 1200  destitute families in Wayne county, in this state. An investigation was immediately made, and it was publicly stated in the newspapers, that after a careful inquiry they had "not been able to hear of a single family of white people, who are able to read, that are without a copy of the Holy Scriptures. Nor do we believe there are twenty-five families in the county who are without that good book." Thus one of the destitute calculations falls to the ground.
The greater the number of Bibles asked for, the greater is the sum of money to be demanded of the people. The distribution of the Bible, however, does no good without an interpreter, if the extract from a report of an Auxiliary Education Society, at Salem, (Mass.) be true, which is as follows: "Let Bible Societies translate the scriptures into every language, and spread them in every clime; and they will usually be a dead letter, without ministers to expound them." According to this orthodox language, the Bible is a "dead letter" without priests are well paid and sent to "expound" it; or in other words, the people are not capable of reading and judging for themselves; this is precisely the language of the Roman Catholic priests. So after raising the money for 800,000 Bibles, the people have but just entered into the begging system. They must then contribute to educate 800,000 "indigent pious young men," and pay them liberal salaries to go and "expound"those Bibles, or they will be a "dead letter," and of no use. We shall then have "committees" swarming through our country, like the locusts of Egypt, sighing for money! money! money! Thus we see that the calls for money is hardly begun. Money (the save-all) must therefore be had, and in a continued stream; for these priests must be well paid, and have it during their lives, or they will not "expound" the Bible to the "poor, perishing heathen," and it will remain a "dead letter" in their hands, and consequently their souls will be lost forever! Now, we are of the opinion that this cause, its projectors and money, will all perish together; neither can we believe "that the mass of mankind have been born with saddles on their backs, and a favored few, booted and spurred, to ride them legitimately by the grace of God."
We frankly acknowledge that we were led into an error by the Christian Almanac, by its use of the word income, which we considered synonymous with the word profit; and we are advised by you to learn the "difference between the income and the profits of a firm or society." Now, with all due deference to your superior wisdom, we shall appeal from your own decision to a high authority that you cannot deny--to Dr. Noah Webster. He defines the word income to be, "that gain which proceeds from labor, business, or profits of any kind." Therefore we say, on the authority of Dr. Webster, that the Christian Almanac is in the wrong, which led us to an erroneous conclusion. We regret it much, for God forbid that we should state any thing but the truth. We desire only to elicit facts respecting the application of the funds of the American Bible Society. We have hard work to get at them; for you will not voluntarily explain the  least thing, or go one step further into the subject than we push you; and although you liberally charge us with false statements, yet you do not give the public a view of the expenditures, so that every one can judge in the case for himself.
Our investigation thus far has not been wholly labor lost; for we have, with your consent, established the following facts: That the society, during the year ending the 1st of May last, received the sum of $143,184.33; that 191,974 Bibles and Testaments were sold for $73,688.88; and that 8,148 Bibles and Testaments were given away. You also admit that the society received the last year $17,985 44, towards gratuitously distributing the Bible to the destitute; and you say further, that the value of the Bibles and Testaments thus given away, is $3,636.78. According to your statement there is the sum of $14,348.66 unaccounted for. WE WISH TO BE INFORMED FOR WHAT THAT MONEY HAS BEEN EXPENDED. You say it is not on hand, that the treasury is not only empty, but $190.66 in debt. If the donations of individuals, to supply the destitute with Bibles, have been diverted from their original purpose, then there is some where a violation of good faith, a breach of trust, and great injustice has been done. It is evident that the money has been spent, and the "destitute" have thus been deprived of receiving their Bibles.
There are other sums of money which we desire information about; beside the absence of $14,318.66, out of one year's donations of $17,985.44, we wish also to learn what has become of the money received over and above the sums obtained for Bibles sold, and the cost of those given away. There was $143,181.33 received in whole; of that sum $73,688.88 were for Bibles sold, and $3636.78 were expended for Bibles given away, making together the sum of $77,325.66. Then there remained the sum of $65,855.67 unaccounted for, of the whole sum received. You will do us a kindness, gentlemen, and we have no doubt the public also, by informing us how this part of the funds have been applied, and for what expended. You say the money is gone out of the treasury; and, as two of you are managers of the Bible Society by the constitution we presume that you can tell for what it has been used.
Gentlemen, you reproach us with being ignorant, and repeatedly call us fools; roost gladly we would suffer as "fools for Christ's sake," if thereby we could come to the knowledge of truth as it is in him. We admitted that we did not know where the surplus funds of the Bible society had gone; knowing then our ignorance, as honest men you should willingly have enlightened us. But instead thereof, your answer was in the "gall of bitterness;" and to us it was a matter of deep regret, that you should have violated the rules of common courtesy, and have lost sight even of self-respect. The spirit in which you wrote is far from being "gentle, easy to be entreated," and "that works by love and purifies the heart." "I write not these things to shame you, but, as my beloved sons, I warn you." 
You have publicly thanked us, gentlemen, for "coming out," and courted investigation; in doing so, if you were sincere, you ought to applaud rather than censure us. Investigation and free inquiry never yet did harm; on the contrary, the truth is thereby established, and error exposed. We have lived long enough, however, to know that invective is a miserable substitute for argument, and that is a bad cause that requires it. We know that we are engaged in a controversy in which there may be great prejudices raised against us--all that we ask is a fair hearing. We have entered into it with a firm determination, if it be possible, to come at the truth; and neither the frowns of the interested, the insults of the craftsmen, nor the contumely of "spiritual wickedness in high places," shall drive us from our purpose.
Signed in behalf of those who called the Clinton town meeting,
|ISAAC B. ALBERTSON, Secretary.|
We had intended to bestow some little attention on the letter of "J. C. Brigham, Secretary of Domestic Correspondence of the American Bible Society," this week; but for want of time, have been obliged to defer it until next week.
|Republican Telegraph and Observer.|
THE WORLD GOVERNED BY NAMES.
WHATEVER is written by a Presbyterian will be acceptable to Presbyterians, and whatever is written by an Episcopalian will generally be acceptable to Episcopalians. We are led by fashion and names, and the decisions of those we have decreed to be good judges. It is hard to tell what would have been the fate of many a book if it had come out under a different name, or emanated from a different pen. The following anecdote will teach a good lesson, and its moral is one which we could wish to see generally acquiesced in. It will apply to many other productions, and to many other characters, besides those which gave rise to it and figure in it.
|Ed. M. H.|
From the pen of William Cobbett.
"That which never ought to have been forgotten by those who were men at the time, and that which ought to be made known to every young man of the present age, in order that he may be induced to exercise his own judgment with regard to books, is, the transactions relative to the writings of Shakespeare, which transactions took place about thirty years ago. It is said, (and it was then much more, the practice extol every line of Shakespeare to the skies;) not to admire Shakespeare has been deemed a proof of want of understanding and taste. Mr. Garrick, and some others after him, had their own good and profitable reasons for crying up the works of this poet. When I was a very little boy, there was a jubilee in honor of Shakespeare; and he was stated to have planted a mulberry tree: boxes, and other little ornamental things in wood, were sold all over the country, as having, been made out of the trunk or limbs of this ancient and sacred tree. We  Protestants laugh at the relics so highly prized by Catholics; but, never was a Catholic people half so much duped by the relics of saints, as this nation was by a mulberry tree, of which, probably, more wood was sold than would have been sufficient in quantity to build a ship of war or a large house. This madness abated for some time; but towards the last century it broke out again with more fury than ever. Shakspeare's works were published by Boydell, an Alderman of London, at a subscription of five hundred pounds for each copy; accompanied by plates, each forming a large picture. Among the madmen of the day was a Mr. Ireland, who seemed to be more mad than any of the rest. His adoration of the poet led him to perform a pilgrimage to an old farmhouse near Stratford upon Avon, said to have been the birthplace of the poet. Arrived at the spot, he requested the farmer and his wife to let him search the house for papers, first going upon his knees, and praying, in the poetic style, the gods to aid him in his quest. He found no papers; but he found that the farmer's wife in clearing out a garret some years before, had found some rubbishy old papers which she had burnt, and which had probably been papers used in the wrapping up of pigs' cheeks to keep them from the bats. "O! wretched woman !" exclaimed he, "do you know what you have done?" "O! dear, no!" said the woman, half frightened out of her wits--"no harm, no harm, I hope, for the papers were very old; I dare say as old as the house itself." This threw him into an additional degree of excitement, as it is now fashionably called; he raved, he stamped, he foamed, and at last quitted the house, covering the poor woman with every term of reproach; and hastening back to Stratford, took postchaise for London, to relate to his brother madmen the horrid sacrilege of this heathenish woman.--Unfortunately for Mr. Ireland, unfortunately for his learned brothers in the metropolis, and unfortunately for the reputation of Shakspeare, Mr. Ireland took with him to the scene of adoration, a son, of about sixteen years of age, who was articled to an attorney in London. The son was by no means so sharply bitten as the father; and upon returning to town he conceived the idea of supplying the place of the invaluable papers which the farm-house heathen had destroyed. He thought, and he thought rightly, that he should have little difficulty in writing plays just like those of Shakspeare! To get paper that should seem to have been made in the reign of Queen Elizabeth, and ink that should give to writing the appearance of having the same age, was somewhat difficult; but both were overcome.
"Young Ireland was acquainted with the son of a bookseller, who dealt in old books; the blank leaves of these books supplied the young author with paper; and he found out the way of making proper ink for his purpose. To work he went; wrote several plays, some love letters, and other things; and having got a Bible, extant in the time of Shakspeare, he wrote notes in the margin. All these, together with sonnets in abundance, and other little detached pieces, he produced to his father, telling him he got them of a gentleman who had made him swear that he would not divulge his name. The father  announced the invaluable discovery to the literary world; the literary world rushed to him; the manuscripts were regarded as genuine by the most grave and learned Doctors, some of whom (and among these were Drs. Parr and Warton) gave, under their hands, an opinion that the manuscripts must have been written by Shakspeare--for that no other man in the world would have been capable of writing them.
"Mr. Ireland opened a subscription, published these new and invaluable manuscripts at an enormous price; and preparations were instantly made for performing one of the plays, called Vertigern. Soon after the acting of the play, the indiscretion of the lad caused the secret to explode; and instantly those who had declared that he had written as well as Shakspeare, did every thing in their power to destroy him! The attorney drove him from his office; his father drove him from the house; and, in short, he was hunted down as if he had been a malefactor of the worst description. The truth of this relation is undeniable; it is recorded in numberless books. The young man is, I believe, yet alive; and, in short, no man will question any one of these facts.
"After this, where is the man of sense who will be guided in these matters by fashion? Where is the man, who wishes not to be deluded, who will not, when he reads a book, judge for himself? After all these jubilees and pilgrimages; after Boydell's subscription of £500, for one single copy; after it had been deemed almost impiety to doubt of the genius of Shakspeare surpassing that of the rest of mankind; after he had been called the "Immortal Bard," as a matter of course, as we speak of Moses and Aaron, there having been but one of each in the world; after all this, there comes a lad of sixteen years of age, writes that which learned Doctors declare could have been written by no man but Shakspeare, and when it is discovered that this laughing boy is the real author, the Doctors turn round upon him, with all the newspapers, magazines, and reviews, and, of course, the public at their back, revile him as an impostor; and, under that odious name, hunt him out of society, and doom him to starve! This lesson, at any rate, has taught us--not to rely on the judgment of Doctors and other pretenders to literary superiority. Every young man when he takes up a book for the first time ought to remember this story; and, if he remember it, he will disregard fashion with regard to the book, and will pay little attention to the decision of those who call themselves critics."
THE RULE OF LIFE OF THE COLUMBIAN STAR.
I KNOW not why it is that Mr. Brantly is so much attached to the present order of things, while complaining so much of its inefficiency, and why he should at one time talk as if friendly to a reformation, and at another exhort his readers to keep in the good old way, alluding to the way of their grandfathers, or ancestors for some two or three generations. A little light on this subject would be acceptable. We would thank him to say whether any reformation in the system of things is  necessary, and, if any, in how many particulars his reformation would consist.
A correspondent from Alabama has written five letters to the editor of the "Star," in vindication of the perfection of the Christian Lawgiver, as that great and perfect prophet and lawgiver, under whose government alone is the christian community. The controversy between him and Mr. Brantly was represented as about the rule of life for christians--Mr. Brantly vindicating the Judaizers' notion that the law of Moses, in some sense, or in some part is the rule of life for christians; and the Alabamian correspondent, that the New Covenant of Jesus Christ furnishes the law of Christ, or Christian's rule of life. I have not carefully read the correspondence, nor, perhaps, read it all; but from what I have read, I have no hesitation in saying, that Mr. Brantly has manifestly failed in the hands of his southern correspondent. I have noticed some of the most disingenuous looking turns and tricks of the law in getting out of the difficulties with which his correspondent had beset him.
The following assumptions are those from which Mr. Brantly argues in the numbers I have read:--
1. "Moses was a minister of the law, considered only as a covenant of works.
2. "Paul contends for the abolition of the law, so far as the obtaining of righteousness and life are concerned." Was it ever in force for obtaining righteousness unto eternal life? Prove that it was instituted for this purpose before you show that it was abolished in that respect. But Mr. Brantly will find this a hard task--as hard as to show that it was a Covenant of Works.
3. "Paul establishes the law as a "rule of life" for christians." If so, why do you not rule your life by it?
But passing by these obsolete and unfounded assumptions, I request the reader to examine the divinity and logic of the following extracts from a late "Star," dated February 20:--
"That some precepts of the Old Testament should be abrogated, and others remain in full force, seems to constitute the chief difficulty which embarrasses our correspondent, and the venerable minister whose authority he arrays against us. But have they extricated themselves from this difficulty, when they have taken the New Testament alone for their rule of life? Has that preacher, in the long course of his successful ministry, obediently observed the following New Testament prohibition once given to christian ministers: "Go not into the way of the Gentiles; and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not." Will it be said that this prohibition is not now in force? Such a reply will admit the principle, that a rule of life may be in force, notwithstanding it contains abrogated precepts.
"The argument which seems to be the chief strength of our correspondent's cause, is, that the law is not obligatory on Gentiles, because it was not given to them. If this argument be valid, the obligation of the greater part of the New Testament also, may be set aside. The commands given to Jews, Greeks, or Romans, are not obligatory  upon us who are neither Jews, nor Greeks, nor Romans. Would our correspondent thus trifle with that part of the Word of God which he himself acknowledges to be a rule of life to us? To make the New Testament our rule of life, we must compare our circumstances with the circumstances of those to whom the commands were given, and infer our obligations accordingly. Where the same relations exist, the same obligations exist. Precisely the same method must be adopted in learning duty from the Old Testament.
"The law and the prophets continued until John:" therefore, infers our aged minister, since the time of John they do not continue. If he will argue after the same manner from Romans v. 13. he will render to the law a higher honor than we have ever claimed for it, "For until the law, sin was in the world:" therefore, he must infer, that since the law there is no sin in the world. We have regarded the giving of the law as a memorable epoch; but we never imagined that it banished sin from the earth. To all those who can so hastily conclude that 'the use of the law is abolished,' we recommend the study of the following scripture: "We know that the law is good, if a man use it lawfully; knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man; but for - - - - - - any - - thing that is contrary to sound doctrine; according to the glorious gospel of the blessed God." Tim. i, 8-11. We are here taught that the lawful use of the law is not abolished; and that the law condemns every thing which is contrary to the sound doctrine of the gospel. This could not be, if the law ceased to be a rule of duty, from the moment the gospel was introduced."
In the year 1816 we taught, and it has not yet been attempted, either logically or by scriptural authority, to be disproved, that, under the constitution of the kingdom of Jesus Christ, we are not under any part, or parcel of the law of Moses, as such, as a rule of life; at the same time cheerfully admitting that many precepts of the law were found in the New Institution. The illustration then used I have not, in fourteen years, seen any cause to amend. It was this: Under the English constitution and law these states once existed. After the Revolution new constitutions and laws were adopted and promulged. In the new governments many of the principles and laws of the old government were retained, and repromulged, but emanating from a new authority and adopted and enforced from new considerations. But who will say that the people of Pennsylvania, or Virginia, are under the English law as a rule of life, or under the English constitution as a form of government! Not in whole, nor in part, are they the rule and standard of our political rights or political morality. Neither is the law of Moses, in whole or in part, a rule of life to christians. He that finds an English law in our statutes, and thence argues that we are under the law of England, deserves as much credit for his logic and good sense as he that argues we are under the law of Moses as a rule of life, because he finds "thou shalt not covet" in the New Testament. 
The first period of the above extract exhibits a difficulty of Mr. Brantly's own creation, which this illustration shows to be imaginative. It embarrasses no man who understands the subject. But Mr. Brantly's ingenuity in creating another embarrassment deserves some notice. He supposes the New Constitution to embrace the ministry of John, and every thing written by divine authority since the christian era, and makes his correspondent put himself under the whole ministry of John, and of the seventy disciples and twelve apostles, in order to embarrass him with this precept, "Enter not a Samaritan city." This deserves a smile, rather than a reply. If Mr. Brantly thus expounds, and by such discrimination edifies his charge, I envy them not. From this, reader, he logically concludes that a rule of life may be in force notwithstanding it contains abrogagated precepts! "Enter not a Samaritan city" is an abrogated precept of the christians rule of life!! Alas! for the times!
The second paragraph of the extract is still more luminous. In order to show that a law is obligatory upon them to whom it was never given--who were never under it--he supposes that because we are not Jews, Greeks, nor Romans, no part of the New Testament is obligatory; for it was given to Jews, Greeks, and Romans! Does he teach that the New Institution was given to Jews, Greeks, and Romans, as such; as the law of Moses was given to the seed of Abraham, as such? This he must do to give any pertinency to his method of bringing us Gentiles under the Jewish economy!!
But the third paragraph ascends still higher in the regions of sophistry:--"The law and the prophets were your instructers, or continued until John." In order to make them our instructers still, or to continue in force over us christians, he has recourse to this phrase: "For until the law sin was in the world." Therefore, there is no sin now--if the law and the prophets are not yet in force!! It is by this pun, or trick, he carries his argument with his readers! Now had there been the least similarity between the two sentences, we might have supposed that a weak head might have fallen into such a perversion without intending it. Had Paul said, "Until the law sin was in the world, but since there is something else,' then there would have been an analogy in the style. But this wanting, there is no excuse for the pun. The Saviour said, (and I wish his word were treated with common civility,) "The law and the prophets were your instructers until John; but since whose time the kingdom of heaven is announced, and every man presseth into it?" Shall I insult the good sense of any reader by showing that these words plainly and unequivocally declare the cessation of the authority of the law and the prophets as the, instructers of men since the reign of heaven was promulged! No, it is too plain to require a word. Will the reader please examine the conclusion of Malachi's prophecy, and see how he continues the law of Moses till John, or Elijah, should come.
But in consummation of the climax, he changes the question, and substitutes the abolition of the use of the law for the question of the continuance of the law as a rule of life to Christians, Jews, and  Gentiles. We are here taught, says he, that the lawful use of the law is not abolished! And who ever contended that the lawful use of the law was done away!!! When I meet with a Jew I use the law to convince him that Messiah was Jesus of Nazareth. Is not this one lawful use of the law? But is this the same as making the law of Moses a rule of life to christians!!
I do not discuss this question here. I have done this in the Christian Baptist repeatedly. [See vol. 1, No. 7, page 121, 2d ed.] I only notice it so far as to give a specimen of the biblical attainments and logical tact of one of our "Stars" of the first magnitude. He has made it my duty to take more notice of him than formerly. He is assiduous in his opposition to my course, and although I have been almost a silent observer of his management, I have not been insensible if his exertions to prejudice his readers against every effort to bring them out of the confusion and strife of the spiritual Babylon. He has been struggling to give a high sectarian character to the whole Baptist denomination, and to have a kind of editorial episcopacy over the whole corps of editors in every state of the union. I do not envy him any honor which he could obtain from such an ascendancy; but I know of nothing which could be more fatal to the best interests of the christian part of that community, than to see them succumb to the high church notions of sectarian eminence to which he directs them.
|From the Columbian Star.|
"A SERIOUS CALCULATION.
"IT appears from the best information that we can obtain, that the number of baptisms in our denomination, in the United States, for the year 1829, was less by 10,000 than during 1828. The latter year witnessed the unusual accession to our churches of more than 30,000 baptized believers in the various portions of this country, whilst the year 1829 scarcely furnished 20,000. Great as was the increase in 1828, it will appear small in comparison of the rapid advance of population, and the vast numbers that remain destitute of saving knowledge. From the ordinary increase of churches, it is found that deaths and excommunications make a deduction of nearly 20 per cent, or one fifth of the whole number; so that an augmentation of 30,000, would leave a net gain of about 24,000. Assuming 300,000 communicants as the basis of the calculation, it is a credible supposition that ONE MILLION of souls in addition to the actual number of communicants, comes annually within the scope of Baptist ministrations. Now, out of this ONE MILLION of unconverted among us, the most prosperous year of our history supplied no more than 30,000 brought hopefully to the knowledge of the troth. That is, 30 converts out of 1000 souls; which is but little more than one to forty. If the most prosperous year upon our annals shows so alarming a disproportion betwixt the numbers brought to the fold of Christ, and those who wander from his right ways, then we are left to infer, that ordinary times, the disparity is still more fearful, and  that under the common measure of increase for a given time, the baptized are to the unbaptized, as one to eighty! If our estimate be somewhat extended, it will conduct us to conclusions still more deplorable. Eighty to one, under any circumstances, is a dreadful presentation to the pious and feeling mind. The thought would be intensely painful, even though the inhabitants of heathen lands, had to be embraced in the calculation in order to create the disproportion. But when it is remembered that this 80 to 1--is an aggregate composed of our friends and neighbors; of our families and relations, and blood; and that these, the dearest on earth to us, make up the sad majority that lives without God in the world, we should be smitten with astonishment at our indifference. Whilst we slumber in the repose of inaction the work of destruction is going on. Whilst we wait in supineness to witness the copious effusions of the Divine Spirit, that Spirit is withheld, and precious thousands, victims of delusion, wanderers from God, loiterers and idlers in the Lord's vineyard, fall about us to rise no more.
"After all that appears to have been effected in the last few years, by the blessing of God on the labors of his people, yet the world and infidelity and sin grow faster than the church of Christ. Much is doing in the circulation of Bibles and Tracts, many sermons are preached weekly, but that copious measure of the Holy Spirit's influence, without which the gospel cannot gain universal prevalence, is yet withheld. Ought not this fact, which we apprehend is the; same in reference to the progress of religion in other denominations, as well as our own, to awaken the inquiry among us, whether we are not called to exercise more faith, offer more fervent prayer, and labor more intensely for the salvation of souls? We rejoice to see by accounts which are published in our periodicals, that the Lord is granting seasons of refreshing from his presence to a good number of the churches. Let us all pray that it may become a universal blessing, and that 1830 may, indeed, be the beginning of a new era in the church of Christ."
There is no sentiment, no principle of action, or of inaction, more injurious to the spread and influences of christianity, than that which the editor of the "Columbian Star" inculcates in the preceding developement of his views. The inefficiency of "the ministry of reconciliation," as some call the proclaimers of this age, the great failure of what is called the gospel of Jesus Christ, and of all the Bibles, and Tracts, and Missionaries of the age--all, all is ascribed to the refusal or withholding of the effusions of the Divine Spirit. "Why hast thou made me thus?" "Why hast thou not helped me." "I know Lord, that thou art an austere man, reaping where thou didst not sow, and gathering where thou didst not scatter." This is the meaning of Mr. Brantly's excuse for the confessed and manifest failure and inefficiency of the schemes, which he for so long a time has patronized and plead. He says as plainly as he dare avow it, that the failure of the whole scheme of things, fashionable and popular, is to be attributed to a failure on the part of Heaven! Like a preacher who not long since  addressed the Goshen Association, Va. Mr. Brantly is too candid. The preacher, by way of apology, perhaps, for himself and his brethren, for the cold times they had, said upon the stage, "God, my brethren, has as many christians here as he wills to have: and when we meet next year in our associated capacity, there will just be as many christians assembled and collected as God wishes to have." Such is the meaning, in effect, of Mr. Brantly's salvo for his scheme. He says, to the praise of man, "Much is doing in the circulation of Bibles and Tracts; many sermons are preached weekly; but that COPIOUS MEASURE OF THE HOLY SPIRIT'S INFLUENCE, without which the gospel cannot gain universal prevalence, IS YET WITHHELD." So then copious measures for universal prevalence, and partial measures for partial prevalence, is the doctrine of the "Star." Partial measures convert 1 to 80 of the Baptist population!
This is a new doctrine among the Baptists. It was formerly taught that the same amount of influence was necessary to one as to another, or that what was sufficient to convert one, was sufficient to convert another. But copious influences are necessary; perhaps, he meant general. Charity supposes this. Be it so: will it accord with the scripture--will it accord with experience to say, that the efficacy of the means in operation is owing to a failure of heavenly influences? And, if so, is not this failure in consequence of our new inventions, and insufficient substitute for the ancient gospel, and the ancient order of things?
To pray for better times will not do; to pray for copious showers of converting grace, though quite fashionable, has no countenance in the New Testament. Laborers are wanting. Pray the Lord of the harvest to send laborers--yes, LABORERS. It is the want of the old fashioned laborers, working with the old fashioned implements, which is felt. In the same proportion as the means advocated by the Star are augmented, in the same proportion, to use his own words, "infidelity and sin will grow faster than the church." He says they are now out-growing all the exertions of the age, and history informs us that in proportion as a certain order of priests and clergy increased, in the same degree did infidelity abound. And such is one of the most alarming signs of this time.
If all the churches in the world of the Baptist faith and order, were to go on as prosperously as Mr. Brantly's own church in Philadelphia, how long before the world would he converted? Never will the present systems produce better fruit, nor more of it, than they have already produced. The stream rises no higher than the fountain; and a priesthood, and a theory, and a worship, and an exhibition of christian morality, such as we now have, can never do more than it has done. Every thing finds its own level, and the popular schemes of this age are fast finding theirs. It is not, then, that we are straitened, or limited by God, but we are straitened in ourselves--we have woven the toils in which we are caught.
THE JUDAIZERS--No. 1.
Illustration of the 3d chapter of 2d Epistle to the Corinthians.
THE judaizing spirits of this age are continually inculcating the law of Moses upon saints and sinners. There are even some in the 19th century who are "desirous of being teachers of the law, understanding not what they do allege, nor the things concerning which they so strongly affirm." Their hearts are not fully turned to the Lord; for if they were, Paul assures us the veil would be taken away--that veil which conceals from them the true meaning and design of the law. We invite the attention of all who are in dubiety or in darkness, upon this subject, to the 3d chapter of the 2d Epistle to the Corinthians. We have read and heard much discussion upon this section of the Epistle. I therefore present the following view of the chapter, or rather the argument itself, in terms circumlocutionary, but carrying not in detail the force of the argument. We take into one view as referring to the same subject, from the 17th verse of the 2d chapter to the end of 7th verse of the 4th chapter:--
"We are not like the many who adulterate the gospel of God; not like the false teacher in Corinth, with his associates, who are mixing their own imaginations and opinions about law with the glad tidings concerning the Messiah, which they do for the sake of gain; but we, from sincerity, yea, really from God, in the sight of God, speak concerning Christ. Do we, in thus speaking of our sincerity, begin again to recommend ourselves, or must I a second time recommend myself to you as an Apostle? Need I for that purpose, as some false teachers and other obscure persons, present to you letters of recommendation attesting my apostleship; or when leaving you must I carry letters of recommendation from you to others? I need no such letters. You are a copy of our letter of recommendation from Christ, the original of which is written upon our hearts, known and read of all men. You are shown publicly because you are the letter of Christ which we make use of. For by your conversion, and by your spiritual gifts, you are publicly shown to be a copy of Christ's letter of recommendation in my favor, given you by me, written not with ink, as the false teacher's letter was, but with the spirit of the living God, in characters not to be misinterpreted; not on tables of stone, as Moses' letter of recommendation to the Israelites was, but on fleshly tables of your hearts. Now a boasting of this kind, that you are a copy of our letter of recommendation, we have in the presence of God through Christ. I thus boast, not because I am able of myself to discover by any own reasoning any thing effectual for convincing unbelievers a from myself, but my fitness to convert mankind is from God; who, by inspiration and miraculous powers, has fitted me to be a minister of a new institution, not an institution of letter, but of spirit. For the institution of the letter, or law of Moses, killeth every sinner by its curse; but the institution of the spirit maketh alive every believer by its promises. 
Now if the bringing down from the Mount the institution which inflicted death on every sinner, and which was imprinted upon stones in letters, was attended with such glory that the children of Israel could not look steadily on the face of Moses, because of the temporary glory of his face, occasioned by his looking on the glory of God, which bright shining was soon to be abolished, in prefiguration of the abolition of the institution of the letter; is it not suitable that the introduction of the institution of the spirit be much more attended with glory?
And if the introduction of the institution which brought condemnation upon its subjects clothed Moses with honor, much more doth the introduction of the institution which bringeth justification to its subjects, abound in honor to those who introduce it. For, that, indeed, which was glorious, is, in this comparison, not glorious, because of the superexcellent glory. For if that which was temporary and is now abolished by glory, much more shall this institution which is permanent, remain in glory.
Wherefore, having such a persuasion that the Apostles, the ministers, or introducers of the gospel, are much superior to Moses in respect of their inspiration, we use much plainness of speech in our preaching; and do not, as Moses, put a veil on our face when preaching the gospel; for he proclaimed the law with a veil over his face, that the children of Israel might not look stedfastly to the end of that which is now abolished. Their minds were, indeed, blinded; for even to this day that very veil, at the reading of the old institution, remains. That which is abolished by Christ is not unveiled; but even at this day, when Moses is read, there is a veil upon their hearts; but whenever their heart shall turn to the Lord that veil will be taken away. Now that you may understand what I mean by the heart turning to the Lord, the Lord signifies the institution of the spirit, of which we are the ministers or introducers--and where the spirit of the Lord is there is freedom from the veil; and all we Apostles, with an unveiled face reflecting as mirrors, (receiving the light from him and reflecting it upon you) the glory of the Lord are transformed into the very image of the Sun of Righteousness, by a succession of glory coming upon our faces as from the Lord, the author of the institution of spirit.
Having, therefore, the introduction of this institution committed to us, as we have obtained supernatural aid, we do not falter nor flag through the difficulties in our way. We have commanded away the secrets of shame, not walking craftily, not dealing deceitfully with the gospel of God; but by fully and faithfully declaring the truth, recommending ourselves to every man's conscience in the sight of God. If, therefore, even our gospel be veiled, it is veiled by those perishing things with which the god of this idolatrous world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, in order that the light of the gospel which proceeds from the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, might not shine to them. This cupidous, lustful divinity, weaves a veil over the hearts of men, which prevents them from seeing and believing these glad tidings. 
Now though we Apostles are the images of Christ, as he was an image of God, we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus as Lord; and we preach ourselves as your servants on account of Jesus. For this we are qualified. For God, who at the creation commanded light to shine out of darkness, has shined not upon our faces, but into our hearts--to give you not a corporeal light, but the light of the knowledge of the glory of God--not as it appeared in Moses' face, but as it shines in the face of Jesus Christ. But we Apostles who have this treasure are earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power of converting the world might be known to be God's and not ours."
The above paraphrastic view of this section is substantially the same with that given by Macknight and sundry other distinguished critics and interpreters of the original.
The institution of favor differs from that of law in many essential points. The following are chief:--
1. In their ministration or introduction. The former was introduced by one minister, Moses; the latter, by many able minister's, the Apostles. The glory of Moses was external and temporary; the glory of the Apostles was spiritual and permanent. His was the glory of the face--theirs, of the heart.
2. In the subject on which they are inscribed. The former was imprinted upon stone--the latter upon the fleshly tables of the heart.
3. In their permanency. The former was to be temporary, to be abolished before the end of time--the latter, to be permanent, never to be supplanted or substituted by another.
4. In their tendency. The former was letter, and letter only--the latter is spirit. They who served under the former served in the oldness of the letter--under the new, they serve in a new spirit. The tendency of the former was to condemnation and death--the latter to justification and life. Bondage and fear of death attended the former--liberty and hope attend the latter.
5. In their ultimate object. The former proposed a righteousness leading only to temporal prosperity, and the present life--the latter, a righteousness leading to, and issuing in, eternal life. The former never bestowed eternal life upon any citizen; for eternal life was not in it, but prospectively; the latter bestows eternal life upon every subject, upon every citizen living and dying under its influence.7
Notwithstanding these and other differences between the law of Moses and the new institution, some Christian Doctors teach that the old institution of letter is a "rule of life" to christians!
CONTRIBUTIONS FOR THE SPREAD OF THE GOSPEL.
"NO where, in all the New Testament, can an instance be produced, that either Christ or the Apostles required the people to give their money or make collections to assist in the promulgation of the gospel." In the  76th page of this number the above sentence will be found. Now, although we are opposed to the whole monied scheme of converting the world, and to the hireling systems of the clergy, and to the eternal cravings of the insatiate appetite of the mammonite spirit of this age. which seems to have inspired all ranks and degrees of religious teachers; yet I cannot subscribe to the above assertion. In so many words it may be true that no such command can be adduced, but yet it is not true that the New Testament furnishes no authority for calling upon the citizens of Christ's kingdom for aid in promulging the glad tidings, or in teaching the christian religion. Paul received such aid, and commended it. He commanded the taught to minister, to communicate to the teacher in all good things; and many allusions to this subject in the New Testament make it evident that some lucre--call it, filthy, or what you please;--call it money or cash; call it goods or chattels, some contributions were made for those who devoted themselves to the proclamation of the word and teaching. There would have been no praise due to Paul for laboring with his own hands, if he had not a right to have been supported in proclaiming the gospel. Neither could he have exhorted the elders of the congregation in Ephesus to have followed his example if they had no right to any contribution. Paul, however, did receive aid from the Philippians more than once, and praised them for their liberality to him; and if he made himself poor in proclaiming the word, they who contributed to him in his poverty communicated to him as a preacher--and so of others. Peter shows that some contributions were attached to the overseer's office, else he could not have exhorted the bishops to take the office from a ready mind, and not for the sake of emolument. All who know either my course or my writings upon this subject, must know that I am opposed to the popular schemes on account of their mercenary proceedings and character, as well as on other accounts. But while opposing the abuses of the age, we must not run into the opposite extreme; or, in our haste to get out of Babylon, we must not run past Jerusalem.
COPY OF A LETTER TO THE EDITOR OF THIS WORK.
|Schultz's Range, Virginia, Feb. 2, 1830.|
DEAR SIR--I HOPED before this time to have sent you a copy of my theological challenge to Mr. Robert Owen and yourself, inasmuch as my religion differs from both of you. But the "Correspondent" has so often suppressed whatever it could neither answer nor refute, that it has finally suppressed itself, and therefore cannot make its appearance in that paper; while the boasted "FREE Inquirer," owned and edited by Mr. Owen's son and Miss Wright, on finding my "Review of Atheism, Deism, and Theism," rather irrefutable are for suppressing it altogether, except a few of the weakest paragraphs, which they have perverted.
But, as you mentioned in your note, that you were about issuing a larger magazine, and you are the first preacher of the gospel in the United States who has given the world cause to conclude that you  really believe in the DIVINE origin of your Bible, by daring to meet us sceptics in any public discussion, and even in your own papers, I have concluded to embrace your offer on the following conditions:--
1. If you refute whatever I can advance against the DIVINE origin of your Bible, then I will abandon my Theism and join your sect.
2. If you cannot answer and refute my objections, then you ought to join mine; but I will leave you to do as you please. Will you be so kind as to inform me whether we agree upon the following theological and historical facts:--That there can be no gospel without the law or five books of Moses; or, at least, that the cosmogony of Moses is the foundation of your religion, as well as that of the Jews?
3. And then, how many falsehoods you will require me to prove against any author before you will consent to abandon him as "a bad man?"
As I have never read any of our sceptical philosophers, all my doubts and arguments have originated in my own mind, and shall make no reference to any thing from them.
I have received three paralytic strokes already,which have impaired my speaking and writing, as well as hearing and seeing, so that I have been long prepared for death; nor is there a single night that I retire to rest without being prepared to meet my Creator before morning.
Please to send me one of your new magazines. I must subscribe for it during the discussion at least.
|With great respect, yours, &c.|
|The Rev. A. Campbell.|
REPLY TO MR. SHULTZ.
DEAR SIR--I WILL with all cheerfulness, hear what you or any other sceptic has to offer new upon the subject of deism, theism, or general scepticism. But before I discuss any question with you or any other sceptic, I will make it a condition that you or he shall have read my Debate with Mr. Owen. This is absolutely necessary; for why should I examine the same objections a second time until the refutation which I have offered is considered. From the number of sceptics, theists, deists, &c. which have been convinced, fully convinced by that discussion, I doubt not but were you to read it with that honesty which you appear to possess, that many, if not all, of your objections would be removed. Till then I would call it a work of supererogation to discuss in any way any other objections. You will find, sir, in reading that work, that the christianity for which I plead is quite another thing from sectarian christianity, and you will also find that if the cosmogony of Moses was error and mistake throughout, the divine authenticity of christianity stands more firm and impregnable than the rock of Gibraltar.
Hoping you may reform and obey the gospel, I am, with all respect, your obedient servant.
|A. CAMPBELL. |
THE RISE OF MONKERY.
"EGYPT, the fruitful parent of superstition, afforded the first example, strictly speaking, of the monastic life. Anthony, an illiterate youth of that country, in the time of Athanasius, distributed his patrimony, deserted his family and house, took up his residence among the tombs and in a ruined tower, and after a long and painful noviciate, at length advanced three days journey into the desert, to the westward of the Nile, where, discovering a lonely spot which possessed the advantages of shade and water, he fixed his last abode. His example and his lessons infected others, whose curiosity pursued him to the desert; and before he quitted life, which was prolonged to the term of a hundred and five years, he beheld a numerous progeny imitating his original. The prolific colonies of monks multiplied with rapid increase on the sands of Lybia, upon the rocks of Thebias, and the cities of the Nile. Even to the present day, the traveller may explore the ruins of fifty monasteries, which were planted to the south of Alexandria by the disciples of Anthony.
"Inflamed by the example of Anthony, a Syrian youth whose name was Hilarion, fixed his dreary abode on a sandy beach, between the sea and a morass, about seven miles from Gaza. The austere penance in which he persisted forty-eight years, diffused a similar enthusiasm, and innumerable monasteries were soon distributed over all Palestine. In the west, Martin of Tours, "a soldier, a hermit, a bishop, and a saint," founded a monastery near Poictiers, and thus introduced monastic institutions into France. His monks were mostly of noble families, and submitted to the greatest austerities both in food and raiment; and, such was the rapidity of their increase, that two thousand of them attended his funeral! In other countries they appear to have increased in a similar proportion, and the progress of monkery is said to have been not less rapid or less universal than that of Christianity itself. Every province, and at last every city in the empire, was filled with their increasing multitudes. The disciples of Anthony spread themselves beyond the tropic, over the christian empire of Ethiopia. The monastery of Bangor, in Flintshire, a few miles south of Wrexham, contained above two thousand monks, and from thence a numerous colony was dispersed among the Barbarians of Ireland; and Iona, one of the western isles of Scotland, which was planted by the Irish Monks, diffused over the northern regions a ray of science and superstition.
"The monastic institution was not confined to the male sex.--Females began about the same time to retire from the world, and dedicate themselves to solitude and devotion. The practice is alluded to in the earlier councils; but it is expressly ordained by the council of Cartilage, A. D. 397, that orphan virgins shall be placed in a nunnery--and that the superior of the nunnery shall be approved by the bishop of the diocese. Widows, and children above six years of age, were admitted after a year's probation. They were strictly shut up in the, monastery, and secluded from all worldly intercourse.--  They were neither allowed to go out, nor was any person permitted to come in unto them, nor even enter the church whither they went to worship, except the clergy of approved reputation, who were necessary to conduct the religious services. None was allowed to possess property, for among them all things were common. They served themselves or helped one another. They made their own clothes, which were white and plain woollen--the height of the cap or headdress was restricted to an inch and two lines; they were tasked daily, but forbidden to work embroidery, or to bleach their garments, assume any ornaments, or accommodate themselves to any fashion which they might happen to see or hear of in the world. The means of correction and discipline were reproof and excommunication; but the latter consisted only in separation from public prayers, and from the common table at meals, and if these failed to reclaim the delinquent, recourse was had to flagellation.
"These unhappy exiles from social life, were impelled by the dark genius of superstition, to persuade themselves that every proselyte who entered the gates of a monastery, trod the steep and thorny path of eternal happiness. The popular monks, whose reputation was connected with the fame and success of the order, assiduously labored to multiply the number of their fellow captives. They insinuated themselves into noble and opulent families, and the specious arts of flattery and seduction were employed to secure those proselytes, who might bestow wealth or dignity on the monastic profession. The lives of the monks were consumed in penance and solitude, undisturbed by the various occupations which fill the time and exercise the faculties of reasonable, active, and social beings. They passed their lives without personal attachments, among a crowd which had been formed by accident, and was detained in the same prison by force or prejudice. There days were professedly employed in vocal or mental prayer: they assembled in the evening, and were awakened in the night for the public worship of the monastery; and to such a pitch was absurdity at length carried, that one class of them came ultimately to sink under the painful weight of crosses and chains, and their emaciated limbs were confined by collars, bracelets, gauntlets, and greaves of massy iron.
"The times of martyrdom were now passed, and of course that sort of courage and constancy could not be exerted; a method was therefore contrived of voluntary martyrdom, and persons of fanatical dispositions inflicted upon themselves as many pains and penalties as pagan cruelty had invented. They left parents, wives, children, friends, families, and fortunes; they retired from the world, obliged themselves to a single and solitary life, and allowed themselves no more food, raiment, and sleep, than would barely support life.--
"About the middle of the fourth century, GREGORY NANZIENZEN wrote a eulogy in praise of the monastic life, wherein he describes the manner in which it was practised at Nanzianzum. "There are some," says he, "who loaded themselves with iron chains in order to bear down their bodies--who shut themselves up in cabins,  and appeared to nobody--who continued twenty days and twenty nights without eating, practising often the half of Jesus Christ's fast--another abstained entirely from speaking, not praising God except in thought--another passed whole years in a church, his hands extended, without sleeping, like an inanimate statue."
"One of the most renowned examples of monkish penance that is upon record, is that of St. Symeon, a Syrian monk, who lived about the middle of the fifth century, and who is thought to have outstripped all those that preceded him. He is said to have lived thirty-six years on a pillar erected on the summit of a high mountain in Syria, whence he got the name of "Symeon Stylites." From his pillar, it is said, he never descended, unless to take possession of another; which he did four times, having in all occupied five of them. On his last pillar, which was loftier than any of the former, being sixty feet high and only three feet broad, he remained, according to report fifteen years without intermission, summer and winter, day and night, exposed to all the inclemencies of the seasons, in a climate liable to great and sudden changes, from the most sultry heat to the most piercing cold. We are informed that he always stood--the breadth of his pillar not permitting him to lie down. He spent the day till three in the afternoon in meditation and prayer; from that time till sunset he harangued the people, who flocked to him from all countries--they were then dismissed with his benediction. He would on no account permit females to come within his precincts, not even his own mother, who is said through grief and mortification, in being refused admittance, to have died the third day after her arrival. In order to show how indefatigable he was in every thing that conduced to the glory of God and the good of mankind, he spent much time daily in the exemplary exercise of bowing so low as to make his forehead strike his toes, and so frequently, that one who went with Thoodoret to see him, counted no fewer than twelve hundred and forty-four times, when, being more wearied in numbering, than the saint was in performing, he gave over counting. He is said to have taken no food except on Sundays, and that all the last year of his life he stood upon one leg only, the other having been rendered useless by an ulcer."
|Jones' Church History.|
"IF we oppose reading sermons, and especially when they are borrowed or bought, shall we countenance the mere rehearsal of them--by worse than plagiarists! It must be a painful thing to an intelligent man to hear young men, without improvement in any department of learning or knowledge--unacquainted with the truths of Divine Revelation, uninformed on all subjects, repeat sermons full of rich thought, expressed in appropriate and eloquent language. It looks like the efforts of a giant put forth by an infant. It is as if we should see young scions in nurseries, borne down by a weight of mature fruit. The practice is now carried to a shameful extent--and it ought to be exposed; the practice of committing to memory short sermons composed by others, and delivering them, with the profession, a profession  almost invariably implied in the first prayer, that they are extempore. We are not advocates for extemporaneous preaching; but we do object most solemnly against professing to do one thing, and doing another; and against doing what in its tendency leads to such pernicious consequences. We have ourselves heard eloquent sermons from young men who cannot spell correctly in two syllables; and who understand nothing, even of the structure of a common English sentence. Nay, worse; we have heard Greek and Chaldaic quoted by a preacher who did not know a noun from a verb in his own nor any language. We guard our young men against this growing evil. Some early opportunity shall be selected for giving our readers a review of some of these fine discourses. According to this plan the country may be supplied with spiritual guides, "manufactured," not, indeed, in what some have been pleased to call a "mill" but in a much more summary way."
BLESSINGS OF SLAVERY.
IT appears that in the state of Kentucky, the owners of slaves, who are executed for crimes, receive pay for them from the state treasury, and that 68,000 dollars have already been paid for that object. In a late legislative debate, it appeared that there were in the state 160,000 slaves, and that they were owned by one-fifth of the tax-paying whites; and an effort was made to alter the law, so as to relieve the non-slaveholding whites from the odious tax, but without effect; so that those persons in Kentucky who are opposed to slavery, and own no slaves, are obliged to submit to be taxed to pay those slaveholders who have lost their slaves by public execution.
ON the 27th ult. Mrs. Lydia, wife of Henry Herkimen, of Exeter, Otsego county, put an end to the existence of her child, three months old, by cutting its throat with a razor, in such an effectual manner as almost to sever the head from the body. She has been deranged at intervals for nearly a year past; and her partial insanity is reported to have proceeded from a gloomy and desperate state of mind, occasioned by imagining herself a reprobate, and the sentence of perdition stamped on her eternal destiny.
|N. Y. Baptist Repository.|
From the following persons, 2 dollars each, for the Millennial Harbinger, viz.--D. Dejarnate, White Chimnies, Va.--W. Tarr, J, Mendal, and Mrs. Frances Tarr, Wellsburg, Va.--J. D. Foot, Morgan, Ohio; J. D. Wolf, Vernon, Ohio; Mrs. Mary T. Graft, for, R. Uriek, and herself; J. Holdship & Son, for R. Barnes. Evansville, Indiana; Bishop S. Vandever, Anderson Court, House; T. Thistle Tumbleston Md.
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[The Millennial Harbinger, 1 (February, 1830): 49-96.]
[Table of Contents]
Alexander Campbell, ed.|
The Millennial Harbinger, Vol. I, No. II (February 1830)
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