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

 

THE MILLENNIAL HARBINGER.

{ No. 5. } BETHANY, VIRGINIA:
MONDAY, MAY, 3, 1830.
{ Vol. 1. }

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

Brother Campbell,

      IF you think it worthy of a place in the Millennial Harbinger, you will confer a favor by inserting in your next number the following paraphrastic meditation, suggested by reading the ninth chapter of the book of Proverbs:--

      This chapter describes, in a very majestic manner, the nature, qualities, and effects of true religion, under the personification of "Wisdom;" and pictures, in contrast, the semblance of Wisdom, where the reality is not, by the delineation of a "foolish woman." We talk not of the use of prosopopœia. We avoid the usual common places. We advert directly to the character of genuine piety. The service of God, necessarily, is magnificent. Wisdom's house is upheld and decorated by the mystical number of pillars. The accepted worshipper EXPERIENCES the glory of the service when his affections swell and elevate themselves to the communion of "God's inhabitation." He is not satisfied with the ready and appropriate use of words only--even sacred and spiritual words. His spirit seeks after God and finds the God of his righteousness. He seeth him that is invisible, and is mentally present with his Maker's perfections. He looks on, and loves, and wonders at the incomprehensible God. He needs no human voice to tell him that Wisdom's house is a splendid edifice. He sees Zion, and the light of God shining on her palaces and towers, and he sings, "This is the city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God!" Seek, O my soul, to equal Elijah's celestial voyage in his fiery chariot! O seek diligently to enjoy the enlarging influence of the Spirit of the Truth--the Guide of the horse-men and chariots of Israel!

      The provision of her festive table is most abundant. Viands the most substantial, and cordials the most cheering, are prepared. That which maketh glad the heart of God and man is in abundance. It is a marriage feast, and there is "wine" to exhilarate the spirits of the company. The table is furnished, and "all things are ready." The understanding of the saint is enriched with divine light--revealed truth, the abiding and imperishable substance. Ample sources of intellectual and moral gratification are provided, and the fountain of [193] illumination is opened to the soul. The joys of God's presence inspire and exalt, so that the mouth is full of the high praises of Immanuel, and all around are wondering to hear the believers speak the wonderful works of God. The mockers say, "These men are full of new wine," and though ignorantly and maliciously, yet truly do they speak. Yea, it is wine which "Wisdom" hath mingled--the very new wine of the kingdom of God. "Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me." What a glorious supper, and because of the glory of him who gives the entertainment! Think, O my soul, of the honor, the privilege, and happiness of thus associating with Jesus--to hear his voice--to listen to his conversation--to recline upon his bosom--to hear his voice--to acquire his manners--to be filled with his love! "Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth: for thy love is better than wine!" O the holy raptures of the sanctified heart, when "the King hath brought his beloved into his chambers, and his banner over her is love." The profane may not attempt to penetrate this mystery. "This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church." Into this holy place the chosen generation, the royal priesthood, the holy nation, the peculiar people, are able to look. Touch not, with unhallowed hands, the ark of God, lest ye die. Let the children of Wisdom, the heirs, the sons who were lost, but are found, draw near, and eat of the fatted calf and be glad. Ye have bread to eat which the world knoweth not of. Eat, my beloved, and drink abundantly, and let your souls delight themselves in fatness; for behold it is true that the Great King has made a marriage feast for his Son, and ye are invited; nay, more, it is written and sealed with the King's ring, to give assurance to young and old, little children and women, that "whosoever will, may take the water of life freely." What a glorious favor!--"Called to the marriage supper of the Lamb!"

      How affecting the free and hearty welcome proffered to all! Even and specially are the "simple" urged to become Wisdom's guests; the single in heart, who are separated from all other loves and attachments, "that they should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead." Forsake the dead, O my soul, and cleave unto the Living--the Risen--the Glorified. Abandon thy follies, and embrace the wisdom of God. Turn aside from the path of madness and death, and let the knowledge of the Most High be thy light, and the Life of Men be thy life, and love, and spouse forever! "Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife; and they shall be one flesh." "For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones." Is not the Church of God the virtuous woman whose price is far above rubies? Shall not her own works praise her in the gates? Once again--Ye ends of the earth, hear the voice of Wisdom's maidens;--the Spirit and the Bride say, "Come!" "If any man thirst, let him come to the volume of inspiration and drink" Shout it from the mountain top, and proclaim it from the high places of the city, that in "God manifest in the flesh," there is [194] ample salvation for the vilest--the chief of sinners! "Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts, and let him turn unto the Lord, and he will have mercy upon him, and to our God who will abundantly pardon!"

      The truly pious have been made wise. They know God and his Christ, the Prince of Peace. The carnal and religious follies of the world around them have been forsaken and renounced. They are "alive" unto God, and try to please him in all things. Universally are they distinguished by regular, steady advancement in wisdom and holiness, under the tuition of the Great Teacher. "The wise man becomes yet wiser." They bear reproof with gratitude, being always glad to exchange error for truth, and ignorance for knowledge. Never too wise to be taught, nor too proud to confess their ignorance, they daily attain and press forward towards being "filled with all the fulness of God." Lord! teach thou me the way of thy statutes, and lead me in the path of thy commandments; make me more wise, holy, and happy every day, that I may also be more humble, meek, and docile! This process is sustained until the Spirit inscribe over against their names in the Lamb's book of life, "They are all taught of God!" Blessed, thrice blessed disciples of divine wisdom and teaching! Surely in that temple which Wisdom has reared, ye shall eat and drink and be merry, and "your days shall be multiplied, and the years of our lives shall never end." Is not this the heritage of the servants of the Lord!!

      The contrast compels me "to change my voice." "A FOOLISH WOMAN" is the well-selected emblem of all false religions, and chiefly of those which pretend to be the gospel of the favor of God. She is "clamorous," noisy and talkative, and an ignorant simpleton withal. Few things more decisively determine the irreligious state of those who seem to be religious, than their ungoverned and babbling tongue. ----> He is at this moment an unbeliever in Christ's glory, and honor, and authority; and in the judgment to come, who hath not realized the bridle and the watch on mouth and lips, so plainly imposed and required by the Lawgiver in his teaching! Religious he may be, but it is a vain religion he possesses; and when the whole truth is brought to bear on his moral standing, he will come into condemnation before the perfect law of liberty. "If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the whole body." This is required by that gospel, by the faith of which we are saved, if we keep in memory the things which we have heard. Reader, the nominal christianity of this day admits, that, with the exception of profaneness, lying, and other impolite and vulgar uses, the tongue is our own, (or the pen--the press,) and in that respect there is no Lord over us. Gracious God! inscribe it on our consciences that all uses of the tongue, which do not bring grace unto the hearer, are forbidden, ON PENALTY OF ETERNAL DEATH! This principle must be received into the heart, or faithfully adhered to in life, or in the end the tongue will be found "full of deadly poison." The "religion" which admits of idle, malicious, vain, or fashionable talk, instead of the wisdom that [195] cometh from above, is a something "earthly, sensual, and devilish." It is directly and throughout opposed to heavenly truth. While the tongue is untamed, or its issues are of a mixed character, the fruit of righteousness is not sown, and there can be no true "peace." Mark well, we say, of a mixed character. Few, indeed, would suppose themselves religious if there were no seasons in which it was their inclination, purpose, or pleasure to talk religiously. The religious world has not yet sunk to that depth of depravity and presumption. On the contrary, they have their times and seasons, and persons and places, when, with whom, and where their mind takes on the pious complexion, and religion (such as it is) is the topic of discussion. They have experiences (monkish, stale, and filthy dreams) for the experimental: doctrines for the systematic; and anecdotes for the trifling. In their recollections, Paul and Calvin, Shakspeare and Wesley are rivals, as teachers of truth, and discerners of human nature; while after many years profession, they are ignorant of the Scriptures of truth. They can talk politics with the students of the "news," and sport an opinion on the last novel, or latest fashion, among the votaries of pride; they can be light, trifling, or profane, when politeness, custom, or conviviality require that conformity to the spirit of the impenitent; they can be zealous for the great cause of modern superstition; sentimental in the sickroom; and in extacies under the voice of the dear good feeble man, who furnishes a weekly apology for their fashionable and sinful infirmities, and assures them of heaven in recompense of their adherence to his sect! But enough! These are the pious, and devout, and honorable of this generation. These are the members in communion of the Churches of the General Assembly and Church of Babylon the Great. Of the religion of Jesus, as stated, and enforced in the New Testament, they know nothing, and are, of course, proud of their piety. It is true, by the help of the clergy, they "justify themselves" in the rejection of God's counsel, and will not justify God, by submitting to the baptism of the New Testament for the forgiveness of sins. "Foolish women!" virgins having no oil in their vessels, and clamorously exclaiming in the day of trial and of death, "Give us of your oil!" Ah! and so their lamps are gone out. They knew nothing after all their clamor. They did not know that a lamp while burning needed to be fed by a fresh supply of oil. They supposed (a term which describes the hope of modern christianity) that the original stock must last for ever; and, until the damps of death fastened upon their taper, and they were only undeceived when enveloped in the blackness of darkness! O what folly and madness! "Cleanse your hands, ye sinners, and purify your hearts, ye double minded; be afflicted, and mourn, and weep; let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness." "Come out of her (Babylon--the popular religions of the day) my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues!" "AND SHE SHALL BE UTTERLY BURNED WITH FIRE!" Is not this an indication that more is involved in union with these secular, carnal, and worldly churches, than, (as the Scribes insinuate,) [196] a mere trifling difference of opinion. O that the people understood and believed this! Is it not frightful to see the multitude resting satisfied with the word of a modern Babylonish priest or parson, while he confounds all moral distinctions, and assures his "silly sheep" that one ordinance is as good as another--one doctrine as true and saving as its opposite--one church as much the church of God as any that could be created by the Apostles' doctrine--that sprinkling is as good as baptism--or, if not, CHARITY is greater than all things, and will cover the multitude of sins! No! says the Spirit, your false charity, and the fables and inventions it covers, shall be utterly burned with fire! That false, talking, selfish, dreaming CHARITY FOR ALL, which mars the beauty of truth, and removes the landmarks of Jehovah's inheritance, must carry its disciples, and subject, and teachers down to the lake which burneth. This is the end of the popular religionists; and why? "For strong is the Lord God who judgeth, her--the foolish woman!"

      Another peculiarity: Instead of shamefacedness and humility, "she sitteth at the door of her house, on a seat in the high places of the city, to call passengers who go right on their ways." The Saviour marked the hypocrites of his day by their securing to themselves the chief seats in the synagogue. True to its nature, self-deceit is uniformly ambitious, seeking the pre-eminence, and demanding as a right that it shall be greatest. Modern piety is a boasting, emulous, and proselyting thing, full of high-sounding pretensions, and always more disposed to increase its sect, than in any case to rejoice in the diffusion and influence of the truth. A thousand conversions, instead of filling the foolish woman's heart with joy and gladness, would not be listened to with patience, unless effected by her missionaries, and her preachers, and for her denomination. And let it be understood that several thousands have rejected the doctrines, creeds, and traditions of men, and have begun to understand the word of the living God; and the reformation, the converts, the work of God, and the welfare of the human family, are all alike the objects of her scorn. The gospels of human obligation are her delight; but the plain, practical gospel, as taught and believed by the Apostles of our Lord, is, and must be denounced, as false and heretical, in obedience to the basest passions, and bitterest alienation from God! This modern orthodoxy cannot tolerate the passengers who go on the right way, if they refuse to turn into her house, and learn wisdom and understanding as she is pleased to prescribe. What avails the love of the Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity, even though followed up by all fidelity and moral courage, in the estimation of the modern sectarian, so long as the individual will be FREE according to the truth taught by the Son of God! To realize the esteem of the moderns, you must be a party man; wear the nickname zealously; and shut your eyes against every ray of light which might suggest the necessity of distinguishing between loving as our heavenly Father loves, and "loving them only who love you. O! Bigotry! thou presiding genius of bloodshed and [197] pollution! The valley of Hinnom is the garden of thy delights. Surely the "dead are there, and thy guests are in the depths of hell."

      The last and most striking feature of the "foolish woman," is the encouragement of her lovers to commit and enjoy secret sins. "Stolen waters are sweet." The Christian is a hater of sin, for its sinfulness, in his heart, and because of the fear of the Lord. His standard of right and wrong; is not the opinion of his fellow-creature. As he seeks not the honor which cometh from man, so he cannot be satisfied with having pleased men. It is not enough for him to secure a standing in the congregation or in the world, as one that is pious and good, for he must first secure the approbation and smile of his God. Early did he learn that "the knowledge of the holy is understanding," and he continues to esteem and prize all things according as they are holy. Sin is no more to be tolerated by him because it is secret, than the pious devices of the foolish woman because they are popular. "Waters" that had been "stolen" could in no instance be "sweet," for he must despise and avoid that bread which must be eaten in secret. The gracious sense of self-respect which the "wise" entertain for their bodies, cause, vocation and destiny, raises the Christian above the possibility of secret iniquity. He cannot submit to the degradation of concealment. His God is the Father of Lights--he is himself the child of the light. His deeds he habitually brings to the light to have them approved, and he directs his course to that region where all is light; yea, everlasting light, and the true God the glory!

      Modern religion is the reverse of all this. Who dare deny the application of what follows to this present generation? A name to live--a standing in the "meeting"--the honor coming from men--and a reliance on men's devices, to the exclusion of God's holy word--are not these the ends and aims? The loudest professions, and the most approved too, are coupled with the worst lives, if men's lives are to be measured by a spiritual commandment. If sin is to be committed, it is enough that the discipline does not reach it, or that the criminal cannot be convicted of the fact. Hence the frauds, evasions, and pretexts used in money matters--the drunkenness--the gluttony--the show--domestic disquietudes--relative clamors--and social pollution, that are constantly preying on the vitals of the so called Christian community. Yea, the adulterer waiteth for the twilight, when, under pretext of piety and mercy, the heart of a silly woman may be ensnared and laden with divers lusts. O my God, let the people hear thy word! Let it pass into a maxim, that the popular religionist is NECESSARILY living in secret ungodliness, of some sort; and that, notwithstanding his fair show in the flesh, he is the servant of corruption!! His conscious evil deeds keep him from the light of the reformation! and to keep on some terms with himself he MUST (O hard destiny!) revile them who hold it up to view, and press it upon his notice. This was the philosophy of the case, as expounded by the infallible Teacher sent from God!

      And yet there are some in Babylon, whom God invites to his own embrace, under the appellation of "My people." It is the wise man [198] whose love is increased by the rebuke of Wisdom. Alas! for the proud haughty scorner! He will hate the reprover, and cleave so much the more closely to his corruptions. Nay, more; he will cherish the design of retaliation and revenge, as if the reprover were always malicious in his discovery of evils, and in the honest announcement of the unavoidable punishment that awaits them. As this chapter saith, "He that reproveth a scorner getteth to himself shame, and he that rebuketh a wicked man getteth himself a blot." If the real condition of the religious world be pointed out--if the principles which are at work in the kingdom of the clergy are unfolded--and if the scriptural analysis of revealed truth is fairly attempted--O, then, Herod and Pilate are friends in one day. The devotees of rival deities are reconciled to fight together the great fight against this common enemy of unknown gods, and all they who be no gods. The child of heavenly Wisdom, who is ready to die, but who cannot lie, is resisted by all the craftsmen concerned. They hold, as respects this world's honors, the keys of Hell and Death, and the honest and candid reprover is to be overwhelmed (if God permit) by the outcry of "the dogs that are without"--yes, WITHOUT decency, fairness, or moral worth! Only let a Christian professor make his appeal in all things to the revelation of God, taking it as a whole, and understanding it as every communication to the human mind must be understood; and it will he speedily understood that, as he is no friend to existing abuses, he must be put down! He is not ashamed of the wisdom of God; but shame and contempt, as far as the clergy have influence, will cover him as a garment. No body cares to know him. His friendship is refused and repelled as an imputation. Does the good man persist in holding forth the truth? The sons of the foolish woman will certainly "blot" him--he is charged with all manner of crimes and blasphemies--he, is a liar and a foe to all true religion, the moment he refuses to take his lesson from the foolish woman and her priesthood. But a day comes when truth must be listened to. Hypocrisy will be exposed, and the victims of delusion and vice, in spite of their hopes, must receive their portion with unbelievers. Then shall the wisdom of God shine forth in its unchanging glory. "Hear instruction and be wise, and refuse it not." All they that hate me, love death!
ORIOLE.      


TO THE EDITOR OF THE MILLENNIAL HARBINGER.

T--------, March 30, 1830.      

MY DEAR BROTHER,

      I AM now at the place from whence I received the "call" mentioned in my last. I came here on Thursday the 25th instant, and am calculating to remain till April the 12th next, and then return by P-------- to S--------. This is a pleasant manufacturing village, containing between 3000 and 4000 inhabitants, five meeting houses, and five different religious denominations, viz. Baptist, Orthodox Congregationalist. Methodist, Friend, and Christian. The Baptist church is the oldest, largest, and has the best meeting house. The Christian [199] church, I am told, numbers about 100 members--is Unitarian in sentiment, and, from the other information received concerning them, I should judge very ignorant and enthusiastic. Were it not for the abuse of this holy name1 I would be called by no other: but, as it is, I shall for the present, I think, hold on to my letters of commendation, certificates, &c. which call me a Baptist.

      Some where in your Christian Baptist, I recollect, one of your correspondents said that "your opposition to the popular establishments of the present day, missionary associations, the clergy, their salaries, &c. &c. had secured to you the covetous, the irreligious, and Christless Christians; that if any before were real Christians, they ceased to enjoy their religion on embracing your views." I recollect also another said that "your writings had well nigh stopped all missionary operations in his state," or to this amount. Now, my dear brother, I have feared that such, in numerous instances, was the effect; that numbers of the covetous, irreligious, and Christless Christians read your works with avidity, and called you Master, and took occasion from what you had published, to rail out not only against all "benevolent institutions," but against those, who, from the best of motives, contributed to their support--who would do nothing themselves--not a cent--for the support of the best of causes in a scriptural way. I must confess that the conviction of this being the tendency of your writings--to make and please such--operated the most powerfully on my own mind to close my eyes against the light which your Christian Baptist held out for me. While I read your writings myself, I could not feel hearty in recommending them to others--to my brethren generally. Being myself a contributor to the Bible Society, Missionary, Education Societies, and the like; and being conscious that I acted from proper motives, from a sense of duty and privilege; I could not, therefore, but encourage others to do likewise. But now let me tell you what has been their effect on me after a long, slow, and thorough examination of about FOUR YEARS--after an examination, not only of your writings, but of that best of books also, which they every where extol as containing the only and sufficient rule of faith and practice:--It has been to withdraw my patronage, since the first of January last, from all these popular, religious, human institutions, and to fix my eye singly upon one of divine origin--the church. I now feel none the less inclined to give than before, and not to give less, to promote what I conceive to be the cause of God. No, it is my privilege to do something, and all that I can do, that the empire of Immanuel may be extended. In these feelings. I trust that, among your readers, I am not alone. Let the church of Jesus come up out of Babylon; let her shake herself from the dust; let her wash herself and put on her beautiful garments; let her cast out of her bosom all the money-lovers, boasters, proud, high-minded, and their households; then will she shine forth like the Sun! fair as the Moon! and terrible as an army with banners! Then will she not need the money of the [200] wicked to pay her ministers; and, if offered, will refuse it. Like Peter to Simon the sorcerer, her ministers will say to all the ungodly, "Your money go with you to destruction. If you think the free gift of God may be purchased with money, you have no part or lot in this matter. Reform, therefore, from this your wickedness, and beg of God, if, perhaps, the thought of your heart may be forgiven you." Instead, then, of a Parson's taking a paper, and going about to get the pews of his meeting-house taxed to secure him a support, as I saw one doing a few days since, every door will be thrown open, and all seats become equally honorable and equally free. They will preach, "I want none of your money for religious purposes until you have given your hearts to the Lord--until you have put on Christ by being immersed into his name; and then I want it only as a contribution to the Lord, and not to man. Let it be put into the hands of the stewards of the congregation, as the Lord has prospered you, as an act of worship on the first day of the week; and then let distribution he made to those who need it."

      While at E-------- I became very intimately acquainted with brother W. W. A--------, the Free-Will Baptist minister of that place. We frequently visited each other, and had many interesting conversations on points on which we differed. The object of both, I trust, was truth; and therefore we could talk of our differences without giving or receiving offence. It was not long before we exchanged pulpits on a Lord's day afternoon: and in the evening of that day I discoursed on the doctrine of election. When the exchange was agreed on I informed brother A of my intention to treat that subject in the evening, and wished him at the close of his meeting in our house to give public notice of it. "Well," said he, and paused--"but what if, when you get through your discourse, I should get up and tell the people to beware of brother E--------'s doctrine; and ask them to come next Lord's day evening and hear me, when I would point out your errors?" "Do so," I replied, "if you think I am wrong; and after you sit down I will say to the people, Go and hear brother A! go and hear brother A! and then bring all that we both say to the Scriptures. Prove all things: hold fast that which is good." We both gave out the appointment. In the evening brother A set in the desk with me, and made the first prayer; and after I had concluded my discourse I gave him opportunity to do as he had said; but he declined. The same week, however, he called and spent half a day conversing with me on this subject. Though at that time we did not and could not exactly agree, he being an Arminian and I a Calvinist; yet the difference between us, he said, was so small that he would not preach against me. We parted as we met--friends; and friends I trust we are at present.

      The last Lord's day I spent in E-------- I did not preach myself, but attended as a hearer of brother A--------. In the evening, after opening the meeting as usual, by singing and prayer, brother A-------- made some remarks on the length of time he had been a public teacher of religion--his design to direct men to the Bible, and his method of [201] doing this--said that he had been long tired on account of the little effect of his labors--had been led to question the propriety of textuary preaching, and had finally come to the conclusion from that time forth to abandon it. Then, by his request, I read to the congregation your "Preface to the Narratives of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John," and added a few extempore remarks of my own. The meeting closed with prayer by the Congregational minister of the place, Rev. Mr. G--------.

      Since I left E--------, as I informed you in my last, I have either read or talked some in public about every Lord's day, and have talked a little on other days with some of my fathers and brethren by the fireside. They express many fears in regard to me--think that my new notions will injure my usefulness; but, to a man, they all decline reading the Christian Baptist, and will not patiently hear my defence.

      Soon after going to P--------, on the 1st inst. I visited a Reverend D. D.--had a little chat with him--expressed some doubts on the modern's being the best order of things--and left with him a copy of my first letter to you, your reply, vol. 5. C. B. and No. 4. of vol. 6. On the last I wrote as follows:--

      "Will Dr. W-------- have the goodness to read vol. 5. herewith enclosed, and in this number the essays on the Ancient Gospel, and before I leave this, in the course of two weeks, oblige me with another interview.
  "Sincerely seeking after the truth,
"F."      

Two weeks afterwards I called and had another interview of about one hour and a half. The Doctor now returned me the book and papers unread; and I apologized for troubling him. He said that the church first formed by the Apostles was not our model--that what was proper and expedient in Palestine, would not do in the United States--that he did not consider sectarianism an evil (or, rather, the existence of different religious sects) in the present state of the christian church--that when the Millennium comes we may expect a change for the better. "But in reference to A. Campbell," said he, "I have not a very high opinion of him, either as a man of talents, a Christian, or a Bible critic. I have not read his book--I have no time for it," &c. I showed him the first number of the Millennial Harbinger. He read, 'The Destruction of Sectarianism." This, he said, was enough. He, however, turned it over a little, and then handed it back to me. I again apologized for troubling him, and made my bow and retired. "Does our law judge any man before it hear him?" said Doctor Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews." "But thou wert altogether born in sins, and dost thou instruct us?" "And they cast him out."

      Last evening I attended in this place the meeting of a Bible Class, composed chiefly of church members, both old and young. I being pro tem, the acting "Elder," was requested by the Deacons to take the lead. No chapter having been previously given out, I asked, What one shall we consider? Elder B--------, (an Elder indeed, a blind teacher, 75 years old, who has been the leader of this people [202] upwards of 30 years,) named the 13th chapter of Luke. Very well, we all turned to this chapter. After prayer I remarked that I had before me a different translation from the one in common use; and as it was desirable that we should avail ourselves of every means in our power for coming to a right understanding of the Sacred Oracles, if the class would look over, I would read the chapter in Dr. George Campbell's translation; after which we might note the difference, and profitably consider it. I read. The Elder sat uneasy. As soon as I got through he gave his mind unasked. "He was an old-fashioned sort of a man," he said, "and liked the old Bible better." He marked several differences. "There is reform for repent," said he. "Now a person may reform, but that is not repentance. Repentance means something more. It is a very different thing. Evangelical repentance is a godly sorrow for sin," &c. &c. After speaking much against the New Translation, he called upon the Deacons to instruct me into the proper manner of conducting these meetings. I turned to them for instruction. They wished me to take my own way. I therefore proceeded to make some further remarks on this translation, to ask and answer, to hear asked and answered, questions upon the chapter.

      I will only add, if not deceived, I do ardently desire to see a pure speech, the ancient gospel, and ancient order of things, fully restored among the people of God.
  Yours in the hope of immortality,
            Through a crucified Saviour,
F.      


FOR THE MILLENNIAL HARBINGER.      

REGENERATION--No. I.

      MAN is a singular being. His character presents at once the most distant extremes and the most striking contradictions. In his powers weak, limited, and fallible; in his ambition mighty, boundless, and persevering. Born into the world naked, destitute, dependent; we, at another period, see him in the person of an Alexander, a Cesar, or a Napoleon, clothed with regal splendor, and lording it over the destinies of nations. Considered individually, as it regards his corporeal energies and intellectual faculties, he is in the one surpassed by the brute creation; and in the other, capable of attaining merely a knowledge of the little system of things which fall in his own way, are discerned by his senses, and his views concerning which commence and terminate in himself: while viewed as a member of the human family, he can, by the aid of language, appropriate to himself the notices, the thoughts, the powers, and the improvements of all the men of times past and present; can hear sounds made a thousand years ago, and see things done a thousand miles off; and, taught by revelation, is able to trace up his history to the beginning of time, and even to lift the curtain from the scenes of eternity! [203]

      Man was originally a noble creature. Created in the image of him who is perfect, he was declared to be "very good." Under the reigning influence of the happifying principles LOVE and GRATITUDE, no discordant passions interrupted the supreme enjoyments of his nature; no unhallowed fires glowed within his breast; no base thoughts stained the purity of his mind. Forgetful of self; Pride taught him to glory in the perfections of his Creator, while Ambition, her handmaid, prompted only to a pure, perfect, and grateful obedience. Temptation had not yet assailed him: the nice balance between his reason and his passions had not yet been destroyed: the poisonous breath of deceit and falsehood had not yet tainted the innocence of the Garden of Eden!

      Man has fallen. The grave alone can hide his shame! Forgetful of God, he glories in himself. Receiving all that he possesses, he boasts as if he had not received it, and claims originality. Neglecting the honor that comes from God only, the highest aim of his ambition is to obtain honor from his fellows. Himself the slave of appetite, he affects dominion, and assumes the appearance of authority. Under the mask of reason, he commits the extravagancies of the insane. A proud, vain, and irrational philosophy, has usurped the place of the knowledge of the true God; while a false and absurd superstition has superseded a religion pure and undefiled. Those passions and principles of his nature, which, when subjects, contributed to his happiness, now reigning as tyrants, increase and perpetuate his misery.

      But amidst the ruins there are some vestiges of his pristine grandeur. He once governed himself. Now, conscious of his descent, and unable to recover his former empire, he endeavors to acquire another, and rules over his fellow and his equal. The amiable principles of his nature once reigned predominant. Now occasionally displaying themselves in his actions, they show that they have been concealed, but not entirely extinguished. But they languish in confinement--here striving to obtain their liberty--there enfeebled and unable to resist; or perishing amidst the cruel chains of base propensities, and the poisonous food of impure desires.

      Man will be renovated. The yoke of him who first spoke the universe into being, speaks once more. In accents of mercy and condescension, he cheers the languid excellencies of man's nature. He speaks, not like the Tempter, to command unruly passions to the throne; but to restore the dominion to pure and holy principles. Coming, not as the serpent, filled with hatred, to instil the poison of the sting of death; but in a glorious exhibition of unbounded love, he excites a kindred feeling, and commands the delighted soul to love and live for ever. The evil passions strive to regain the mastery: but animated and quickened by the recollections of the love of God; stimulated by the enjoyments of his favor, and excited to perseverance by the great and precious promises of a glorious immortality, the contest continues until the whole man, body, soul, and spirit, is sanctified through the truth, enters upon the fruition of his hopes, and enjoys an everlasting crown.
DISCIPULUS. [204]      


FOR THE MILLENNIAL HARBINGER.      

REGENERATION--No. II.

      THE human mind is prone to mystery and superstition. Unwilling to be satisfied with things that are simple and easily discerned, it aims at the discovery of ultimate principles and relations, and trusting to the feeble bark of Reason, with Conjecture at the helm, and Pride and Interest, Ambition and Folly at the oars, is lost amidst the boundless ocean of Absurdity.

      "I am, jealous of you with a great jealousy, (says Paul to the Corinthians) because I have betrothed you to one husband, to present you a chaste virgin to Christ. But I am afraid lest somehow, as the serpent beguiled Eve by his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is due to Christ."

      "I wonder that ye are so soon removed from him who called you into the favor of Christ, to another gospel; which is not another, (says he to the Galatians,) but some there are who wish to pervert the glad tidings of the Christ."

      Among the various subjects in the investigation of which the mystifiers of religion have departed from the simplicity of the truth, none stands more conspicuous than regeneration. Indeed, there are very few that seem to have a clear, plain, and scriptural view of the subject. And what is the reason? Because the atmosphere of Babylon has not only impaired our vision, but the smoke of the city has extended to some distance over the surrounding country, and obscured the beauty of the works of God, concealing the sweetness of the Rose of Sharon, and throwing a dusky mantle over the spotless purity of the Lily of the Valley. While in the city, scarce able to discern the Sun of Righteousness through the thick gloom which surrounded us, we were accustomed to be told by the priestly kings of the city, from their wooden thrones, that we could not possibly discover the true color of any object unless they would reflect upon it the light of the Sun, from whom (holding up a mysterious roll of genealogy) they claimed to be descended; while at the same time, clothed in sable robes which absorbed the feeble rays of light, they were entirely incapable of reflection! Turning away at length from these deceivers, we determined to be guided by the Sun himself, and issuing from the gates, have rejoiced in the light and liberty of the kingdom of heaven. But, as

Habits, by long continued care impressed,
Are strong as nature in the human breast.

      We are prone to consider those the true colors of objects which bear some resemblance to the hues to which we have been accustomed; and if any thing presents itself to us in its simple beauty, we are surprized, and unable or afraid to recognize it.

      When, in Scripture, a figure is drawn from any thing in the natural world, if we wish to understand the application of the figure, we should take into view the most striking circumstances relating to that from which the figure is taken. When the Saviour says that he is the [205] true vine, and that his disciples are the branches, we remember at once that in the natural world the branches of the vine derive their support from the stock, and that if separated they decay and perish. When he says, "Every branch in me that beareth not fruit, the Father" (who is said to he the husbandman) "taketh away; and every branch that beareth fruit he purgeth, that it may bring forth more fruit;' we bring to mind that every circumstance is literally exemplified in the conduct of the vine-dresser, who lops off from the vine the unprofitable branches, and from those branches that bear fruit the withering or exuberant twigs, that they may bring forth more abundantly.

      If we pursue the same simple course in considering the subject of regeneration, the difficulties which have hitherto involved the subject will vanish as the darkness of twilight before the effulgence of the orb of day.

      Nicodemus erred in taking up the figure literally; that is, in supposing the birth which the figure was intended to explain, to be the same with that from which the figure was taken. The Saviour corrects the error by declaring to him that a second birth according to the flesh would be of no advantage. "That," says he, "which is born of the flesh is flesh." As he declared at another time, "the flesh profits nothing: it is the Spirit that quickens." "That which is born of the Spirit," continues he, "is spirit. Assuredly I say to you, unless a man be born of water and Spirit he cannot enter the kingdom of God." Let us consider the figure: In the natural world a man is born of that from which he proceeds, and of that by which he is begotten.

      So in the spiritual world, a man who is born again has come forth from water as from the womb, having been previously begotten by the Spirit.

      It is strange that the plainest declarations of the Scriptures on this subject have so long passed almost unnoticed. Does not Paul declare to the Corinthians that he (the instrument of the Holy Spirit, and speaking as the Spirit gave him utterance,) "had begotten them through the gospel?" Does not Peter declare to the children of God, that they had "been regenerated, not of corruptible seed, but incorruptible, through the word of the living God, which remains for ever? Now," says he, "this is that word which has been proclaimed as glad tidings to you." Does not James say to the Christians, that "God, according to his own will, had begotten them by the word of truth?" And the Saviour declares, "It is the Spirit that quickens. The words which I speak unto you, they are spirit and they are life."

      As in the natural world a child cannot be said to be born of his father, until he is first born of his mother; so in the spiritual world, no one can be said to be born of the Spirit, until he has first been born of water.

      What, then, shall we think of the conduct of those teachers, who, imagining that because an infant is born of Episcopalian or Presbyterian flesh, it is entitled to the privileges of that covenant under which [206] all, from the least to the greatest, were to know the Lord--presume to sprinkle it in the name of God, and declare that it is born again?

      What shall we say of those who profess to believe, and actually persuade their hearers, that a child can be born before it has been begotten?

      And what degree of respect shall they claim from us, who hold forth, like Fuller, that the child of God must be born before it can be begotten?
DISCIPULUS.      


From the Religious Herald.      

CREEDS AND CONFESSIONS OF FAITH.

Mr. Editor,

      HAVING seen several articles in your paper on "Creeds and Confessions of Faith,"' I send you for insertion an extract which I have been permitted to take from a sermon of Rev. Mr. Howell, preached in the church in Cumberland street, a few weeks since, from Jude v. 3. as containing, on this subject, the views of
A SUBSCRIBER.      

      IN the early ages of the church a party predominated, which has been since denominated by the appellation of Popery. The pride of numbers, and the arrogance of wealth and power, led them into the absurdity of setting themselves up as an authority to dictate to the world what they should and what they should not believe. Secessions from Popery have since claimed the same right; and at last, what originated in corruption and led millions into hypocrisy, has become fashionable in every denomination. Now "Creeds and Confessions of Faith" are almost as numerous as parties themselves. In the greater part of these instruments the most opposite and contradictory opinions are fearlessly asserted and perseveringly maintained--opinions as derogatory to truth as they are dishonorable to the judgment of their authors; and yet the partizans of each one of those systems defend it with the utmost zeal and pertinacity, as being, beyond doubt, "the faith which was once delivered to the saints."

      For none of these, however, can we, with any propriety, "contend;" because they are as certainly false as they are contradictory. The Bible reveals but one system of truth. We do not say to embody this in the form referred to is impossible. Instances may have occurred in which this has been done; but that they are exceedingly rare, no one who is informed on the subject, can doubt for a moment. The nature of the case requires of us righteous judgment in this matter in a more eminent degree than in any other. With this truth all those who compile systems of faith profess to be deeply penetrated; and, accordingly we are informed of each of these "Creeds and Confessions," that "it embodies the substance of the word of God."

      The amount, however, of falsehood and human innovation which, abounds in them generally, is equal to their difference one from another [207] added to the difference of the whole from the word of revelation. To contend, then, my brethren, for "Creeds and Confessions," is one thing; and to "contend for the faith" of Jesus Christ, as originally delivered, is another; and but too often they are the antipodes of each other.

      But the question is again asked, What do you conceive to be the faith referred to in the text? We reply, The Bible contains it--the Bible "without note or comment." Not the Bible as some take upon themselves to interpret it; for there are many professing to be ministers of Christ, who wrap up the word in much critical acumen; so force the meaning even of its plainest passages; and so overwhelm its simplicity with distinctions and subdistinctions, with technicalities and spiritualities, that they make it speak almost any thing else than "the faith which was once delivered to the saints."

      Are the Scriptures perverted in their interpretation, then? we are asked; and if so, why are they perverted? That they are, none will doubt for a moment; it is therefore unnecessary to go into an argument to prove a position which is self-evident. We will content ourselves with pointing out the causes of this result, so devoutly deprecated by all who love the Lord Jesus Christ.

      These causes are principally two: First, a cringing carnal disposition; and secondly, interested motives.

      Carnal influence has introduced conciliating doctrines, which will appear well on the lips of him who prophesies smoothly, and which will not expose him to the rebukes of the fashionable professor. Here, too, we find the origin of "decent ordinances," splendid trappings, and that routine of ceremony which affects the head of sinners, but which leaves the heart as before--"desperately wicked above all things."

      Interested motives maintain all this. Hence denomination after denomination arises, modelled to suit the depraved views of men, and the prejudices of the age, with little or no regard to the word of God. Such denominations must have consequence, and support the titles of piety and wisdom; and the next thing we see are "Creeds and Confessions of Faith," abundantly supported by Scripture quotations, voluminous expositions, and defences. Thus, again and again, are given to "airy nothing a local habitation and a name." If an advocate for truth dare expose the absurdity or inconsistency of opinions thus originated, immediately, as on another occasion, the cry resounds from every quarter, "Great is Diana of the Ephesians!" Yes, this modern idol the foolish and ignorant are taught to believe certainly "fell down from Jupiter," and contains the essence of "the faith once delivered to the saints." But, my brethren, the secret of all this was exposed by Paul long since--"By this craft they have their wealth." But there is also another secret involved in this business, which we will expose in its proper place. HONOR--FAME--POPULAR APPLAUSE--

---------------- What heart of man
"Is proof against thy sweet seducing charms?" [208]


THE TESTIMONY OF A METHODIST BROTHER.

To the Editor of the Millennial Harbinger.

      I FIND your old side folk as fond of declamation and vituperation as ours. They both have much to fear, and much to conceal. Their hostility to investigation may be attributed to ignorance in some instances--to self-interest in others. Some, it may be, do not tolerate reform because it comes in competition with their prepossessions. Ignorance, however, is generally the mother of Prejudice. "Like priest, like people," is a very appropriate adage for these days of degeneracy.

      I do most ardently wish that you could accomplish a revolution in the creed-making world. The miserable flummery which now fills the confessions of faith, and poisons the spirits of millions in christendom, should be combatted by all the weapons of truth; and the fire should never cease until their dark colors were struck. For my own part, I am settled in these positions: Whosoever walks by the New Testament standard, has no need for the puny auxiliary of a human creed: whoso follows the dictates of a human creed, cannot easily obey the mandates of the New Testament. There is as much craft (call it "priestcraft," or what you please) in the arrogant and unscriptural assumption of creed-making power, as in the pretended infallibility of His Holiness in the chair of St. Peter. My soul loathes all such assumptions. Point Christians to the New Testament, and ask for the proof, from that holy book, of any delegation of Heaven's high prerogatives to priests and orthodox believers to make and impose on human consciences whatsoever system of doctrines, and course of practice, they, in the plenitude of their superior intelligence, may consider best for the government of the ignorant multitude. The very circumstance that creed-mongers are always at war with each other, and that some of the most bloody civil wars have been generated by their conflicting speculations on Scripture doctrines; and that they have produced as many different systems of orthodoxy, as they have entertained opinions, renders their inspiration very suspicious, and their work nugatory in the estimation of all candid, thinking men.

      I am aware that your antagonists will repeat that creeds are necessary to the peace of Zion. And so, may you reply, is Mahometanism. Who, that has ever read a church history, will say that creeds have not done infinitely more mischief than they have counteracted or prevented?

      You have often adverted to this subject in your periodical, the Christian Baptist; but if you would introduce an effectual and thorough reformation, you must persevere in this essential point. Let men be convinced that their own works are imperfect, and they will be the more easily persuaded that the work of God is perfect, without their intermeddling to give it a finishing touch. On this subject you may hear again from your friend.
A RADICAL. [209]      


HISTORY OF SIN,
INCLUDING THE OUTLINES OF ANCIENT HISTORY.--NO. III.


ASSYRIA.

      THE Assyrian empire, in its utmost extent, embracing Nineveh and Babylon, is the subject of the present lecture. Nineveh was founded by Ashur, who had the honor of giving name to this first of empires, and it was called Nineveh, after Ninus, his son and successor. Babylon was founded by Nimrod, and the commencement of this great city was the tower of Babel. Both Ashur and Nimrod were nobly born. Ashur was the second son of Shem, and Nimrod the eldest son of Chush, the son of Ham. Of their maternal ancestry we have no information.

      The Assyrian history may be divided into the following periods:--

      1. From the respective foundations of Nineveh and Babylon, which probably were laid about a century and a half after the Deluge, (say in the year 2198 before Christ, although the exact time cannot be ascertained,) till the subjection of Babylon to Nineveh, by Ninus, in the year 1758 before Christ, including a period of 440 years.

      2. From the subjection of Babylon to Nineveh, A. C. 1758, to the death of Sardanapalus, and the revolt of Media and Babylon; or the dismemberment of the Assyrian empire, A. C. 770, including ten centuries.

      3. From the dismemberment of the empire, when Arbaces took Media, Pul, or Ninus the younger, took Nineveh, and Belesis took Babylon, A. C. 770, until the conquest of Babylon by Essarhaddon, A. C. 680, including a period of 91 years.

      4. From the union of Nineveh and Babylon, in 680, until the final destruction of Nineveh, under Saracus, by the Medes, in the year before Christ 606, containing 74 years.

      5. From the fall of Nineveh, 606, to the fall of Babylon, A. C. 538, when taken by Cyrus. A period of 68 years.

      The first period of the Assyrian history presents few incidents. Two great cities rose soon after the Deluge, nearly equal in opulence and power. Nimrod, the founder of Babylon, attempted to usurp the government of the world. The Jewish Targum says, "Nimrod began to be a mighty man in sin, a murderer of innocent men, and a rebel before the Lord." The Jerusalem Targum saith, "He was mighty in hunting and in sin, before God; for he was a hunter of the children of men." The Targum of Jonathan Ben Uzzel saith, "From the foundation of the world, none ever was found like Nimrod, powerful in hunting, and rebellious against the Lord." The Septuagint calls him a surly, or dog-like giant; the Arabic, a terrible tyrant; the Syriac calls him a warlike giant.

      Ninus was equally ambitious, and, probably, more prudent--of course, more successful in the institution he founded, than Nimrod. I shall, however, not pursue the splendid detail of victories and conquests usually ascribed to Ninus, and especially Semiramis, his queen and successor. Some ancient writers relate, that Ninus, after having subjugated all the nations of Western Asia, left his empire to the sole management of his Queen Semiramis, who extended her conquests through India, and nearly to the Pacific Ocean; that she adorned her capital with many illustrious monuments of her powerful and fortunate reign, and, at length, left her dominions to her son Ninyas. These events stand on nearly the same footing with those related of Sesostris; and, admitting they have any foundation, great allowance must be made for exaggeration. The great and pervading mind of Sir Isaac Newton thought them little worthy of notice. And it is the general opinion of the best informed, that clear historical light extends not far beyond the era of Nabonassar. Another important era commenced within five years after that: the year of the building of Rome was A. C. 752, the era of Nabonassar, A. C. 757--they corroborate each other. [210]

      When the family of Noah began to increase, after the Deluge, the descendants of Ham associating, formed the germ of a lasting and powerful institution. On the plains of Shinar they began to build a tower of amazing and stupendous strength and loftiness.

      By some means the family of Ham kept possession of the tower and plain, which from the confusion that had taken place, was called Babel, and the city where it stood Babylon. The precise places where the three sons of Noah settled are not known. It is generally thought that Noah himself removed eastward. Ashur, the second son of Shem, removed north-eastward from Babylon, and built Nineveh on the east side of the river Tygris, 150 miles from Babylon. This city, in wealth, power, and magnificence, was little inferior to Babylon, and often took its turn to reign over that proud city.

      The fate of these cities, as well as the condition of the country round them, is unknown for the space of 1000 years. The loss of the library of Alexandria, noticed in the preceding lecture, probably buries these ages in darkness. Yet to husband our scanty materials in the best manner possible, I have noticed the opinion of some ancient authors, who affirm that about 440 years after the building of Babylon, it was conquered by the king of Nineveh, and became subject to the Assyrian empire in the year 1758 before Christ. And, sterile as it may appear, this completes our first period of the Assyrian history.

      Second period, 988 years. Whether this empire remained unshaken during ten centuries that follow, we cannot pronounce. Various writers, however, contend that it did, and they give a continued list of the successive reigns. The land of Shinar, where Babylon stood, was, in the days of Abraham, governed by a king called Amraphel. The whole account given in sacred history of this prince makes him more resemble the chieftain of a banditti than the ruler of a great empire. Yet this was in the period now in question. The conquest of Asia by Sesostris was also about this time. He must have subdued both Babylon and Nineveh, if any such cities existed in his time.

      Near the close of the period under consideration, Sardanapalus is monarch of the Assyrian empire, which, in his day, comprehended both Media and Babylon. He reigned at Nineveh, but was totally lost in voluptuous indolence and vicious amusement. Media, then rising to empire, contained a brave and warlike people; and Babylon, being impatient of the tyranny of a monarch so inactive and feeble, they both revolted, and at one time lifted the standard of rebellion. Arbaces, governor of Media, appears to have conducted this revolution, which was to dismember and breakdown the Assyrian empire. Arbaces was one of those great characters which have distinguished the rise and aggrandizement of every nation.

      Sardanapalus, supinely wrapt in ease and pleasure, neither foresaw the gathering storm, nor was able to find a shelter from its utmost fury. He was crushed, not without great efforts, however, to prolong a life of infamy; and on the stage which he forsook, three men, of distinguished eminence in history, appeared. Belesis, a Chaldean priest, whose counsels and active services had raised him high in the esteem of Arbaces, obtained the government of Babylon, and Pul, who in his subsequent life showed himself capable of empire, obtained the government of Nineveh.

      Babylon, however, and Nineveh, appear to have been designed by the strong and projecting genius of Arbaces, but as viceroyalties, dependant on his pleasure; although he allowed their respective governors to assume the title of king. The events which frustrated this purpose of Arbaces, and, in the end, clothed the governors of Nineveh and Babylon with absolute dominion, were they known, could not obtain a place in this lecture.

      Third period, 91 years. We are now to contemplate the Assyrian monarchy in a definite form; and, as Sir Isaac Newton contends, in its first form. Arbaces, who had become a powerful monarch in Media, seems to have been sufficiently occupied in concerns which drew his attention from Mesopotamia; and both Babylon and Nineveh were left to establish their own independence. Belesis. [211] the governor or king of Babylon, is the same as Nabonassar, the founder of the famous chronological era which bears this name.

      Nabonassar evinced no less ability in directing the affairs of his kingdom than in matters of useful science. In the few wars which he carried on he was generally prosperous, and the affairs of Babylon, long depressed by the jealous tyranny of a haughty rival and mistress, now wore a flourishing aspect. Nabonassar reigned 12 years, and was succeeded by his son Merodach-Baladan. This is the Chaldean monarch who sent an embassy to congratulate Hezekiah, king of Judah, on the recovery of his health.

      The length of the reign of this prince is not known, nor have any of the events of his administration escaped oblivion. There is still less known of his successors; nor are we now far distant from the time that Babylon is again united to the empire of Nineveh, or, as it is often called, the first Assyrian empire. Let us return to the history of that city.

      Of the kings of Nineveh, after the dismemberment of the empire of Sardanapalus, very different accounts are given. Rollin considers Pul, whom I have just mentioned as concerned with Arbaces and Belesis, in the dismemberment of the empire, as the father and predecessor of Sardanapalus. I have followed, in this respect, the arrangement of Assyrian history in Rees' Cyclopaedia. Other writers insist that Nabonassar was not the same as Belesis, but was the son of Tiglath-pileser, one of the successors of Pul.

      Having succeeded in the overthrow of Sardanapalus, and dismemberment of his empire, Pul marched westward, and carrying victory wherever he went, spread far and wide the terror of his arms. He invaded Menehem, king of Israel, in the second year of his reign, and would at that time have completed the conquest of the ten tribes, but he was prevailed upon to retire by a present of a thousand talents of silver. He did not retire however, until he had promised them his alliance and protection; which promise, in the mouth of a great conqueror, is worse than the deadliest threat.

      Pul, after having subjugated several nations in Syria and Palestine, returned to Nineveh in triumph, and was, in the opinion of Sir Isaac Newton, and several other writers, the real founder of the Assyrian empire. Yet the authority of Bedford, Shuckford, and Prideaux, in matters of this nature, must certainly be preferred to his, whom I consider as a better astronomer than chronologer. Prideaux affirms that the Assyrian empire had existed 1300 years before the reign of Sardanapalus.

      Pul was succeeded by Tiglath-pileser, his eldest son, in Nineveh. The Assyrians of Nineveh were now formidable in all the west of Asia in Syria, Palestine, and the countries west of the Euphrates. Tiglath-pileser conquered Damascus, and carried away the Syrians into captivity. This transportation of the inhabitants of conquered countries seems to have been a peculiar trait in the policy of the Assyrian monarchs. By the kings of Babylon and Nineveh, most of the inhabitants of Palestine, first and last, were either slain or carried into captivity. Tiglath-pileser, after a reign of 16 years, was succeeded by Shalmaneser. The only enterprize of this prince with which we are acquainted, is his invasion of Phenicia, and subversion of the kingdom of Israel. He made a progress through these countries with an overwhelming force. He laid siege to the city of Samaria; but here he met with considerable resistance. Hoshea, who was then on the throne of Israel, had withdrawn his allegiance from the Assyrians, and had made application to So, or Sabaeus, king of Ethiopia, for aid. The Assyrian monarch determined on ample vengeance, after wasting all the open country, laid siege to Samaria, a fortress of great strength. It cost him the labor of three years to reduce it; but at length, worn out by fatigues, and depressed by famine, this powerful and populous city fell before the conqueror. The king of Israel was loaded with chains, in which condition the stern tyrant caused him to pass the remainder of his days The people of the ten tribes, as many as could be discovered and collected together, were sent into the remote regions of Media, whence they never returned.

      The subversion of the kingdom of Israel took place about 250 years after [212] their revolt from the house of David, under Jeroboam, the son of Nebat.--During this long period, they had been sunk deep in idolatry and all the vices prevalent in the nations by which they were surrounded. They afford a striking instance how lost a nation may be to all sense of its true interest. Moses, their great legislator, had told them what to expect as the consequence of such a course. They were warned by many prophets. They were reproved by the voice, and by the hand of Providence. As they pursued the footsteps of the heathen nations, they were subjected to their calamities, and given up to desolation and ruin. Whether they, like the Jews, still exist as a nation, has been the subject of various inquiries. The sanguine feelings of projecting theorists have enabled them to discover this long lost nation among the Tartars, the Turks, the Indians, and other nations. It is doubtful whether they ever appear. The probability is, that they blended with those Asiatic tribes among which they lived. Their propensity to this, even before their dispersion, was too great to be restrained.

      Shalmaneser was succeeded in the Assyrian throne by Sennacherib, his son, A. C. 719. Little is known of the life and actions of this prince but what is derived from the Sacred Scriptures.

      Sennacherib was succeeded in his throne by his son Essarhaddon, in whose reign the empire of the Assyrians of Nineveh appears to have gained its utmost height. All the neighboring nations seem to have fallen under the power of these ambitious, haughty, and warlike princes. Even Media and Babylon, which after the fall of Sardanapalus rose into independent states, were again reduced and reannexed to the empire of Nineveh; and, indeed, all the nations of Western Asia, and also of Africa, as far as worthy the ambition of a conqueror, fell under this extensive dominion.

      And it is now, in all provability, that the city of Nineveh appeared in its utmost splendor. For the wars and conquests of these despotic and cruel tyrants were wars of extermination. They had no regard to the claims of humanity and mercy. They seemed, indeed, utterly lost to all human feelings. They were not moved by the cries of millions, neither had age nor infancy, nor the tears of beauty, nor the charms of virtue, any influence on their adamantine hearts. They seized, they plundered, they slew and laid waste wherever they came; and the wealth of nations was swept and heaped together to gratify the pride and luxury of one.

      We have no particular account of the actions of Essarhaddon. In the year 668 before Christ he was succeeded by Saosduchinus, and he by Chyniladon. Nabopolassar, the general of the armies of this prince, revolted from him, and erected Babylon into an independent kingdom. The kings of Nineveh, after Essarhaddon, rapidly declined; and as the best details of the reigns of these kings is not to be relied on, presenting, indeed, little better than a scene of confusion and uncertainty, we shall hasten to the catastrophe of Nineveh. Chyniladon was succeeded by Sarac, the last of the kings of Nineveh.

      Babylon and Media had once before conquered Nineveh; but the final hour of retribution, for this ancient and abandoned metropolis, was now approaching. Cyaxeres, king of the Medes, and Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, who had lately succeeded his father Nabopolasser, now combined their forces and invaded Nineveh. The siege terminated in the reduction of the city; Sarac was slain, and an end was put to this cruel, voluptuous, and very ancient people, A. C. 606--74 years from the conquest of Babylon by Essarhaddon, and 165 years from the accession of Pul to he throne of Nineveh.

      There can be no question that Nineveh was one of the largest cities of ancient times. When Jonah was sent to prophesy against it, the scriptures declared it to contain six score thousand persons who could not discern their right hand from their left, meaning children in, and near, infancy. What city in Europe contains 120,000 infants? Nineveh must then have contained nearly a million of people. But the prophecy of Jonah is supposed to have been some time before the reign of Sardanapalus. It was far more opulent and powerful in the last dynasty of its princes. Thus perished the first Assyrian empire.
[Whelpley's Lectures.] [213]      


HISTORICAL SKETCH.

      Baptists.--THIS denomination is distinguished from others by their opinions respecting the mode and subjects of baptism. They administer baptism only by immersion; and to none but adults. They claim an immediate descent from the Apostles, and assert that the constitution of their churches is derived immediately from Jesus Christ. Others affirm that they had their origin at a much later day, even as late as the 16th century. The following are the principal sects of Baptists:--1. Particular Baptists of England and Wales; 2. General Baptists of England and Wales; 3. Mennonites of Holland and other countries; 4. the Scotch, or Weekly Communion Baptists; 5. Associated or Calvinistic Baptists of the United States; 6. Seventh Day Baptists; 7. Six Principle Baptists; 8. Mennonites of America; 9. Tunker Baptists; 10. Free Will Baptists; 11. Christian Society; 12. Emancipators; 13. Free Communion Baptists.

      Associated, or Calvinistic Baptists of America.--This is the largest body of Baptists in the world, in point of numbers and influence. It is stated that the additions to their churches, during the last year, amounted to a greater number than the whole of Baptist denominations in England and Ireland. Their oldest church in this country is that called the First in Providence, formed in 1639. The first Association was formed at Philadelphia in 1707. Total number of communicants, 304,827.

      Seventh Day Baptists.--They differ from the Baptists generally, in no respect, except in regard to the Sabbath, believing that the seventh, and not the first day of the week, is the day which ought to be religiously observed. In 1668, there were a few churches of this connexion in England. The first Sabbatarian Church in America was formed in Newport, R. I. in 1671. They are confined principally to that state. A few years since they numbered about 1000 communicants. In the United States there are about 2000 members united together in an Annual Conference. Population, 10,000.

      Six Principle Baptists.--So called from their belief that the custom recognized in Hebrews vi. 1, 2, of the imposition of hands, is still binding as a prerequisite to church communion. As these two verses contain six distinct propositions, these Baptists have acquired the name of Six Principle Baptists, to distinguish them from others, sometimes Five Principle. They reside mostly in Rhode Island and New York, and in 1828 consisted of about 20 churches, and from 1,500 to 1,800 members.

      Mennonites.--So called from Menno, a distinguished member of the sect. They are said to be descendants of the Waldenses. They are a simple, harmless people, and make it an article of their faith never to bear arms. In the latter part of the 17th century they settled in Pennsylvania. According to Benedict, there were, in 1824, 200 Mennonite churches in America.

      Tunkers.--They have acquired this name from the manner in which they perform the rite of baptism, the word Tunker being a corruption of Tumbler. They first appeared in America in 1719. They hold the doctrine of universal salvation, with some peculiar [214] qualifications.They have probably 40 or 50 churches, principally in the Western States.

      Free-Will Baptists.--The first church of this sect was gathered in New Durham, New Hampshire, in 1780, by Benjamin Randall. They soon after received considerable additions from those "who saw the beauties of a free salvation." In 1783 they held a general Meeting at Phippsburg, Maine; at which time they agreed to hold a similar meeting four times a year. The number of ministers probably amounts to 300; churches, 370; communicants, 16,000.

      Christian Society.--In defence of the name which they have assumed, they quote Acts vi. 26. xxvi. 28. 1 Peter iv. 16. regarding all others as the invention of men. They baptize only by immersion. The first society of this kind was formed in Portsmouth, N. H. is 1803. They have spread extensively in all parts of the United States. They are anti-calvinistic, and anti-trinitarian. They profess to receive the Scriptures as the only rule of faith and practice. They have not far from 1000 congregations.

      Emancipators.--In 1805 a number of ministers and churches in Kentucky took a decided stand against slavery, in principle and practice. In no other respect do they differ from the Calvinistic Baptists, Their number is constantly increasing.

      Free Communion Baptists.--This name is given to about 30 ministers and churches, who reside west of Albany, in the state of New York. Except on the subject of communion, they do not differ from other Baptists.

GENERAL SUMMARY OF BAPTISTS.
        Names, No. of Ministers. No. of Communicants.
Calvinistic, 2,914         304,827        
Seventh Day, 30         3,000        
Six Principle, 25         1,700        
Mennonites, 250         30,000        
Tunkers, 40         3,000        
Free-will, 300         16,000        
Christians, 300         30,000        
Emancipators, 10         400        
Free Communion, 30         3,500        
  --------         --------        
        Total, 3,899         392,427        
[Quarterly Register & Journal.]


DECEIVING AND BEING DECEIVED.

      THE following was published in England for the use of the English Christians. On such a representation, what good Englishman will not contribute?
ED. M. H.      

To the Friends of Christianity in England and Scotland.

      THE Board of Directors for the Western Theological Seminary in the United States, by their Agent, the Rev. A. D. Campbell, would beg leave to call your attention to a brief statement of the moral condition and wants of that part of the world where Divine Providence has cast our lot. [215]

      The great valley of the Mississippi, and its tributary streams, where we live, spreads over a surface containing more than 1,800,000 square miles. Here there is, at the present time, a scattered population, rapidly increasing, amounting to more than four millions.

      What is to be the moral and religious condition of this great multitude, is a consideration well deserving the serious attention of the friends of religion and human happiness in every part of the world. Firmly persuaded that where there is no vision the people perish, the friends of the Redeemer in this Western Region are making an effort to erect and endow a Theological Seminary for the education of pious young men, on such a plan, and to such an extent, that a competent supply of well educated ministers may go forth and labor in this great, but as yet little cultivated, vineyard of the Son of God.

      The plan, constitution, and contemplated course of instruction, (of which our Agent can furnish all the details,) are upon the most liberal principles. Its theological views are in entire accordance with the Assembly's Catechism, and Westminster Confession of Faith.

      We are urged to this great undertaking by the fact, that more than four-fifths of the inhabitants in this Western World are living without the benefits of a regular ministry; and at the present time there are more than a thousand organized churches here which have no stated ministry, and a much larger number could soon be formed had we men of competent education and a right missionary spirit to send forth.

      To save this rising country from the miseries of infidelity or superstition, or both combined, is the sole object of this Seminary, which has been placed under the direction and patronage of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in the United States.

      But, beloved friends, our resources are few, and our means limited; our people are yet comparatively poor, and therefore it is we have sent our Agent to ask aid of a people from whom we boast we have descended, and whose pious and benevolent exertions are now filling the Christian world with delight and thanksgiving. Brethren in Christ, we earnestly solicit your aid in this arduous undertaking. We send unto you the Macedonian cry, "Help us!" pity the multitudes dwelling in our vast forests, who have none to bring them the glad tidings of the gospel.

      Your donations to this Institution shall be sacredly devoted in the manner; and to the objects, you may specify; your names enrolled on its records among its benefactors; whilst the prayers of thousands in this distant land will be continually offered up in behalf of those by whose instrumentality they have received the gospel of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

      Signed by order of the Board of Directors of the Western Theological Seminary,
FRANCIS HERRON, D. D.      
President.
      Pittsburg, March 25, 1829. E. P. SWIFT, Secretary.      

      P. S. Donations of theological or scientific books will be thankfully received. It is requested that the donors will write their names in the title pages of the books they may be pleased to bestow. [216]


CHRISTIANOS TO THE EDITOR OF THE MILLENNIAL
HARBINGER.

Dear Sir,

      I ASK room (which I have no doubt you will grant me) for some remarks, in reply to your strictures in the last "Harbinger" (No. 3.) on "Christianos and the eighth chapter of Romans."

      On the spirit or the manner in which your introductory paragraphs are written, I shall have room to say but little; nor is it to be regretted; inasmuch as it does not appear, in the present case, that your exordium requires much attention.

      You have dealt out a little acid for the benefit of my nervous feelings; but I doubt, my good sir, it will not have the desired effect:--as far as I can judge, the preparation will not much affect my system--either beneficially or injuriously. Nor do I think it will prove very palatable to others, except to a few, here and there, whose taste, I will not allow myself to believe, you would feel pleased in gratifying. For them, indeed it will not be strong enough: there ought to be more of the acid, and even a little gall. In the mean time, as to this jeu d'esprit, in your strictures on "Christianos," 1 do not forget that a man who is amply gifted with any peculiar species of talent, is liable to peculiar temptation to misuse it; and in no case, perhaps, is he more so, than in the case of a talent for satire. And the force of the temptation, I am willing to allow (according to a sentiment you have advanced in an excellent Essay on "Sin") may be offered as some extenuation of the actual fault.

      In regard to the little publication, headed "Take Heed!"--it appears to me, upon a review of the piece, that it might have been so modelled, that while the points there intended to be guarded, were expressed in their full force, it might have come forth in the form of a caution--answering more appropriately to its title, "Take Heed"--and in this form might have been better adapted to answer the desired end, without affording any apparent ground of complaint. Thus far I cheerfully concede; and to any circumstantial modification, for the sake of good feeling, I hope never to be opposed.

      Permit me now to correct one or two mistakes into which you have fallen:--

      1. I was not at the Bowling Green, on the occasion you have mentioned, but some 16 or 18 miles from that place, at my own appointment. Had I been there, it is not probable I should have concealed myself from your view. So then, "the fit was" not "brought on" by hearing that lecture. "This, however, is an unimportant circumstance. I was informed of your exposition of the passage alluded to, Rom. viii. 26. by several intelligent persons, who concurred with each other in the account which they gave. But,

      2. It is not quite correct to say, that your exposition of this verge was "the cause" of what you are pleased to term "this fit"--"this prodigious alarm." If you will give yourself the trouble to inspect the little publication of "Christianos," you will see that this [217] exposition is introduced only as auxiliary evidence; and is particularly specified, as a remarkable instance, concurring with other indications, and strongly symptomatic of the fact, that "there are attempts in progress, to banish from amongst us the persuasion of a divine operation," &c. And allowing me to speak according to my own views of divine influence, can it be said there was any thing illiberal in such a construction? We who consider your interpretation of this particular passage as seriously erroneous, are represented by you, as maintaining the contrary interpretation "to aid a system." Now, after all that you have said ----> and not said, on the subject of divine influence:--after the strong apprehensions which have thus been produced, among many, as to your sentiments on that point;--to find you, under these circumstances, giving so singular a construction to this 26th verse of the 8th Romans,--a construction going to annihilate all evidence to be drawn from that passage;--I must leave it to the candid to judge, whether there was not apparent ground to believe that you were influenced, in this construction, by a desire "to aid a system," or, if you like it better, to countenance your own view of a particular point in question. I hope, my dear sir, you will not complain: you have, in this very case, thus judged of us. At the same time I readily allow, that a preconceived system too often has an unhappy influence on all our minds--and should be cautiously guarded against, in our constructions and interpretations. But surely, I am not to renounce a truth (or what appears to me to be a truth) because it may have constituted one of the links in the chain of a system maker.

      It is time to come nearer to the point at issue--the interpretation of the 26th verse of the 8th Romans: and towards this point I shall now approach; though, in doing so, and venturing to meet you here., I may, with some, incur the charge of having gone over from one extreme to another, and from the "timorous," have become the temerarious "Christianos." Be it observed, however, my dear sir, that I do not pretend to vie with you in talents or learning; though you are pleased to bestow upon me a sort of left-handed compliment, by referring the hints you have offered, to the decision of my "superior judgment." No, sir; it would ill become one who has no claim to any thing like gigantic natural talents--and whose whole opportunity for scholastic education was limited by a term of eight months;--it would ill become such a one, to vie with you in that way. And (indulge me, I beseech you, a little longer) the general mass of those who are best acquainted with me, will, I am persuaded, do me the justice to testify, that the tenor of my way has not been marked with arrogant claims of this sort, nor of any other. There may be some two or three individuals who would speak differently; but you know how to make allowance for prejudice and misconception. I have failings enough, without this.

      You and your readers will pardon this egotism: the occasion must he my apology; and I will proceed:--just premising, that the question [218] of divine influence (as you know) does not rest on this particular passage of scripture--only that I consider it, among others, as an interesting evidence.

      We shall quote (if you please) from the translation which you have published. Rom. viii. 26. "And likewise, even the Spirit helpeth our infirmities: for what we should pray for as we ought, we do not know; but the Spirit himself intercedeth for us by inarticulate groanings." Verse 27. "And he who searcheth the hearts, knoweth what the mind of the Spirit is, that to God he intercedeth for the saints."

      Now, your own method for ascertaining the true meaning of scripture, is, "to follow common sense, and to read it, subject to the ordinary rules of interpretation." (See letter to R. B. Semple.) To this method, as far as it goes, I assent. Well, sir, my first remark is this general one:--That a plain reader, with this passage before him, taken in its connexion;--conscientiously seeking for truth, and following the rules of interpretation you have recommended;--would be very apt to consider the Spirit of God as being here referred to. Such is my persuasion; and as far as it may commend itself to the judgment and experience of others, so far it will have the weight to which it is entitled. I shall enter into particulars, by paying attention to the "hints" which you have suggested.

      1. "There is no adjunct or epithet (you say) attached to the term spirit, in the 26th verse, which would authorize the conclusion that the Spirit of God is referred to."

      Indeed, sir, I must differ from you. Let us see how this matter stands. This whole chapter abounds, we may remark, with references to the Spirit of God;--and in regard, not to his miraculous, but his sanctifying influence. Some times that Divine Agent is directly and plainly named; but more frequently he is obviously referred to, in connexion with our own spirits, or, with the principle and temper of holiness wrought in the heart. In verse 16, the Apostle having occasion to introduce distinctly, though in conjunction, the Divine Spirit and our own spirits, uses there the emphatical "adjunct" himself or itself, to designate the former: "Also the Spirit itself (Auto to pneuma) beareth witness together with our spirit, that we are the children of God." The manner in which the Spirit bears witness, is not the question. In the progress of his discourse (v.26) the Apostle comes to assign another office, or (if you please) another sort of operation to the Spirit; namely, the help given to our infirmities; and having designated the Divine Agent as above, the same phrase here occurs--the same emphatical adjunct is here used: "And likewise, even the Spirit helpeth our infirmities: for what we should pray for as we ought, we do not know; but the Spirit himself (Auto to pneuma) intercedeth for us by inarticulate groanings." Now, the emphatical adjunct, itself or himself, being used obviously, in the first instance, to distinguish the Spirit of God, and the same adjunct applied shortly afterwards;--add to this, that the whole chapter abounds with references to the Holy Spirit, in his gracious operations;--all this [219] considered, I shall leave it to all candid readers to judge whether your first hint is not satisfactorily answered.

      2. You say that, "to represent the Spirit of God as interceding for the saints, is incompatible with any office or work assigned to the Spirit, in any passage in the Old or New Testament. He cannot (you add) furnish a sentence in all the volumes of revelation which looks like it."

      Why, sir, I am endeavoring to make it appear, that this very sentence, under consideration, "looks like it"--very much like it: and I do think that I have already, in a great measure, succeeded. I must maintain, even from what has already been adduced, that this sentence does countenance the sentiment, that the Holy Spirit does, in some sense, "intercede for the saints." You cannot, therefore, as a logician, accuse me of begging the question.

      3. Paul, in this context, (you remark) represents the Lord Jesus as interceding for us. QUERY--Does the Holy Spirit and the Saviour sustain the same office?"

      This hint is connected in its nature with the second; and having reserved some remarks for this place, I will here be a little more explicit. The Holy Spirit and the Saviour--Do they sustain the same office? I answer, no; not precisely; though the same term (you will surely agree) may be used to express the work of each. They do not intercede in the same way: nor should I think it suitable to designate the Holy Spirit, by way of eminence, as the Advocate or Intercessor for sinners with God. Jesus Christ is eminently our Advocate and Intercessor with the Father; as offering directly to God, on our behalf, that plea which is founded on the sacrifice of himself. He is the Intercessor without us, at the throne of glory. The Holy Spirit makes intercession for us in a different way; namely, through the medium of our own spirit--by what John calls "an unction from the Holy One"--and by shedding forth (according to Zech. xii. 10.) "the spirit of grace and of supplications." He is an Intercessor within us, at the throne of grace. But thus to make intercession for us--in us, is only one of his manifold operations: his graces are manifold, as well as his miraculous gifts.

      4. "Why should the Spirit of God (you ask) use groans which cannot be expressed in words? Does this weakness belong to that Divine Agent?"

      I must own, sir, that from you I should hardly have expected such an objection as this, to be thrown in the way. However, I am really pleased that it is brought forward. The expression, I am aware, may present a difficulty to the minds of some, and an opportunity is thus offered for its removal. This, I think, may easily be done, and in a few words. The Spirit of God (I should say) no more makes use (actually) of words, than of groans: yet we find our Lord telling his disciples, Matt. x. 20. in reference to the defence which they should We enabled to make before their persecutors--"It is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father that speaketh in you." Now, my dear sir, I ask, is not this relevant to the point? and are not the two cases, [220] as far as any difficulty exists, analogous? To me they appear entirely so. Recur, then, if you please, to what was said a little while past. The Holy Spirit makes intercession for us through the medium of our own spirit. This Divine Agent is not here to be considered as abstracted from our spirits; but as in us, and influencing our hearts and minds. It is thus that he maketh intercession for us, and thus that he sometimes does it "with groanings which cannot be uttered."

      Let me here add, that the very idea of an intercessor implies the interposition of a third person between two parties. Aware of this, you remind us, that "in all languages the body and the spirit are often personified and distinguished from each other." This, sir, is admitted: yet I cannot admit that this resort is necessary to a fair construction of the passage before us: and the interpretation, I must say, dressed out in this manner, seems to make a constrained appearance, and cuts, even from your hands (I speak seriously)--even from your hands, my dear sir, it cuts but an awkward figure.

      [I wish I could condense more: I am reluctant to occupy so much room.]

      5. "In some versions, in Thomson's, and in the King's translation, it reads. He or it makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God. Is it admissible to say that the Spirit of God, in this or any given case, makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God, or according to God. The Spirit of God, acting according to the will of God, in any one case, implies an incongruity, for which there is no analogy in the book of God." Such is your fifth objection--having reference to the 27th verse.

      And am I fairly obliged, by any canon of interpretation or criticism, to make my exposition correspond with every translation, however they may vary from each other? Really, sir, it looks a little ungenerous to set such a task for the "timorous Christianos." I was willing, in this case, to quote from the translation which you have published, and recommended as the best: but here you refer me to two other versions, which differ a little from yours, and which you consider not so favorable to my view. You furnished the arms, my good sir:--don't throw down your sword and take another because it is longer. This does not seem fair.

      However, I do not enter this complaint for the purpose of escaping from the difficulty. I am very willing to attend to what the King's translation says, and am pleased to find you thus recommending it. "He (the Spirit) maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God." Here you ask, "Is it admissible to say, that the Spirit of God makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God?" Truly, sir, I must say, I think it is: for if the Divine Spirit cannot do this in us, what is there in us that can do it? But you add, "The Spirit of God acting according to the will of God, in any one case, implies an incongruity for which there is no analogy in the book of God." Well, sir, are you not, wrong in this position? Review it, I beseech you, and then compare it with John xvi. 13. "Howbeit, when he, the Spirit of Truth is come, he shall guide you into all [221] truth! for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak." Dr: Campbell's translation is precisely to the same effect. Now, sir, you said, "in any one case;" and I ask, is not this one case in point? Is not the Spirit of God here represented as "acting according to the will of God?" "He shall not speak of himself!" Why, nothing in the passage under consideration presents such a difficulty as this expression. "But whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak" He shall speak then "according to the will of God." I do believe, sir, you will have the candor and liberality to acknowledge that in this position you were mistaken.

      6. You add, "If I were to make this matter plain to a child, I would ask, what propriety in saying that these groans were examined in the heart and understood in the heart by God, if the Spirit of God uttered these groans himself?"

      I trust, sir, that the remarks already offered may be considered as going far towards clearing up this difficulty. We do not consider the Spirit of God as uttering these groans in any other way than through the medium of our own Spirit; or, if you please, in any other sense than as that Spirit was said (as before quoted) to speak in the Apostles. The circumstance that in the case of the Apostles there was a miraculous operation, does not affect the analogy, as far as the objection or difficulty is concerned. And then, as to the "propriety in saying that these groans were examined in the heart and understood in the heart by God"--why, surely, if the Spirit searcheth and knoweth the things of God, as is said, 1 Cor. ii. 10, 11, it is perfectly allowable to say, that God knoweth the mind of the Spirit, thus making intercession in us.

      Having already made so large a draft on your pages, I cannot now undertake to give, as you propose, "a connected view of the whole passage." This, perhaps, may be attempted in a future communication: but with no desire, I can solemnly say,--with no desire to enter the field of polemic strife.

      In the mean time permit me to assure you, that while I have considered some points which you appear to me to maintain, as justly obnoxious to censure and condemnation, I have been all along willing to give you full credit for the able and admirable manner in which many topics, appertaining to the Christian Economy, have been handled in your different publications.--That while I have considered, and must consider (allow me to speak plainly) that you have pushed some of your views to a dangerous extreme, I have been fully persuaded that you have been instrumental in giving an impulse to the christian public, which, under due regulation, might result in beneficial and happy consequences.--Apropos! The piece you have given us (in No. 2.) from the "Vermont Telegraph," is, I think, well worthy of attention. To guard against the dangerous extremes above hinted at, has been my object in several pieces which I have published. I never thought of even complaining against you (much less of denouncing you) merely because you differed from me in the exposition of a text of scripture: this would be monstrous: though I did look on [222] that exposition (under existing circumstances) as a sort of ecce signum! a striking token, and a sign hung out to favor a particular view or sentiment. If I erred, forgive me. In conclusion of this long communication, (bear with it for this one time) permit me further to assure you, that I entertain for you, personally, sentiments of high regard, and feelings of a friendly and affectionate character. Such were my sentiments and feelings while I addressed You under the guise of "PAULINUS;" such they have been while wearing the name of "CHRISTIANOS;" and such they are, while I appear in propria persona, and subscribe myself,
  Yours, for Christ's sake,
AND'W. BROADDUS.      


MATTHEWS COUNTY, May 4th, 1830.      

Brother Campbell,

            DEAR SIR,

      TO my surprize, and not a little to my mortification, did I read my letter of March 8th in your last Harbinger. The loose manner in which several sentiments were expressed, and the peculiar position in which it placed me before the public, would, if I had known your rules, have caused me positively to forbid its publication. Young and inexperienced in the christian life, I did not suppose that my opinions would weigh much with any one; much less did I think of being brought before the public in opposition to a large proportion of the gospel ministers at the present day, many of them as respected for their talents, as for their zeal in establishing what they believe to be the Kingdom of the Messiah.

      While presenting you with my list of queries, I took that opportunity to write what I thought would most interest you. I gave my opinion as freely, and related some facts as indifferently as though I had been is private conversation with you, not dreaming they would be seen by any one but yourself; indeed, so little did I think of it at the time, that I did not take a copy of the letter, as is my usual custom; and its contents had nearly slipped my memory, until they were revived by reading it in the Harbinger.

      It is natural to the mind to seek its ease; to sink down into that state which will afford the greatest satisfaction, with the least exertion. It is a forced state when we find ourselves brought into collision with our fellow-beings, without at the same time anticipating a greater harvest than the toils and burden of the day have cost us. To what reward could I have looked--what inducement could I have had, thus to bring myself before the public as an accuser of a considerable part of the Clergy at the present day? Many with whom I am acquainted believe, conscientiously believe, in the doctrines preached by the brother referred to in the third paragraph of the letter. Though to me they appear as discordant as light and darkness--as irrational as that a mixture of snow and ice would produce the greatest possible [223] degree of heat; I say, though they appear thus to me, by viewing them through a different medium others may arrive at different conclusions. Those who are of the same opinion may freely express themselves to each other; but if we would gain an antagonist--if we would convince his understanding--we should keep clear of arousing his prejudice, and not begin by telling him he has lost his reason, if we really think so. Matter of opinion, we both admit, should be no ground of christian contention. Is it not wrong, then, to publish that, which, though it might harmlessly pass between ourselves, would probably have no other effect than to arouse those angry passions which too often infest the human breast? Did you enter on the begun controversy with brother Clopton in that spirit you would have done had he not used terms so harsh, and which were well calculated to alienate those finer feelings of the heart which christian charity should extend to a brother in the Lord, though he differed toto cælo with him in opinion--standing as you do in the christian world, watched with an eagle's eye by the popular Clergy of the day, followed in your every step with a vigilance that would have done credit to the fabled Argus--you have thus far been able to triumph in those principles which, having truth for their foundation, all the weapons of your adversaries have not only fallen harmless, but have been turned upon themselves.

      Not long since I was in company with a number of brethren, when your controversy with brother Clopton became the subject of conversation. Your best friends would not sustain you in the spirit you manifested in your answer to his preface. They asked significantly if the same spirit which governed you in your answer to brother Semple, could have been uppermost when you answered brother Clopton? It was agreed on all hands that brother Clopton was as harsh and severe as he well could be, both on you and your writings; but they thought this no reason why you should retort in the sarcastic manner you did; that it would have been better for your cause not to have reviled again because you were reviled; that his comparing you with Saul of Tarsus, with the poet Byron, was no reason why you should compare him with the Scribes and Pharisees of old, or to one of Solomon's fools. You both profess to be actuated by your love to Christ: let us see which will imitate him the nearest, and show most of his spirit in this discussion.

      When I retrospect the past year of my life, and see the goodness of the Lord in keeping me from the paths of error; when I view the narrow manner by which I escaped from being indissolubly wedded to a system which I am now fully convinced is not right, but the remains of popery, I feel under renewed obligations to my Heavenly Father, and raise my prayers and supplications to him with more confidence, to keep me from the paths of error, and to guide me into all truth. Many things you have advanced are sub judice with me as yet. It is a hard matter to wear off old impressions and ideas we have long been taught to believe as true. Of these the most important is the remission of sins by immersion. I cannot associate the one with the [224] other, though there are several places in the New Testament which seem to be positive on this point.

      With your notes on the 8th of Romans I was much pleased. Following the populars of the day, I had always believed that the Spirit of God, and not man's, interceded before God with inarticulate groanings. How this was I could not tell. There seemed a discrepancy on the very face of it. But conceiving it to be above my powers of mind, I thought it best to call it mystery, and let it pass.

      Had you known the author of Christianos, I think you would not have treated him so unceremoniously as you did. If I have been rightly informed, he is one for whom you entertain a high degree of respect.

      I must now conclude this letter, having already much exceeded the limits I intended with my uncouth expressions, praying that our common Lord would bless you with health and strength, both of body and mind, to persevere in your endeavors to prostrate that Man of Sin, which we see has exalted himself over us in this our happy country, even from the Mother of Harlots down to the humblest creed.
  Yours in the Lord,
N.      
Bishop A. Campbell.


THE SUPPORT OF THE GOSPEL.

      A correspondent in the Columbian Star recommends the following for the support of the gospel:--

      "What shall be done to remedy this great listlessness in the duty of supporting the gospel among the Baptist churches?

      Answer 1. Let every editor of religious papers, (especially the editor of the Star & Index,) urge the duty with increasing vigilance from year to year, from month to month, and from week to week. The propriety of this is evident when it is considered that he has the opportunity of presenting to his readers the best matured arguments that can be offered on the subject, together with other good selections, without the danger of making personal enemies in the several congregations, or being charged with mercenary views, of which individual preachers are in so much danger, and which they so much dread.

      2. Let preachers promote, by every laudable means, the circulation of the Star & Index, pointing out to the deacons those arguments in particular which treat on this subject, and insinuate the propriety of their execution: and through the instrumentality of the paper, the deacons may imperceptibly introduce the noble practice of the support of the gospel, so that the present and following generations may not do as the former, but esteem it as binding a duty to pay their preacher as to pay their taxes.

      3. Let the deacons in every church be industrious in stirring up the congregation, and in particular the members, to the important duty of paying their preachers. Let the point be argued and the reasons set before the members of the congregation why they should pay their preacher. They will perhaps complain that they are poor and have no money to spare--but if the preacher can, for their benefit, devote ninety-six days in the year to the preaching of the gospel, could not each male member of his congregations work two days in the year for his support? Would it not be reasonable and just? Suppose he attended four congregations, and each yielded 100 male hearers, that is 400 male hearers. Suppose these should work two days each, at 37½ cents per day, that would be 300 dollars. And a like number of ladies paying 25 cents each, (which they could do without feeling it,) would be 400 dollars to the preacher, [225] which would be a good support to him, and would be felt by none who paid it.--This would be doing much good to the cause of God, and a special act of justice to every minister of the gospel. Until some such practice is adopted by the Baptist denomination as the above, it may be expected that the ministry of that order, in general, will continue ignorant and superstitious: and instead of the gospel of Jesus Christ, will preach their own dreams and imaginations for the want of better information. How can better be expected? "Who is going a warfare at his own expense?" Who can take the trouble of informing himself upon all the subjects connected with the gospel ministry, without the support of his brethren?"


BAPTISM BY IMMERSION, IN A CHURCH.

      AN extraordinary occurrence took place in St. Martin's church on Tuesday last. A very amiable young lady, named Prossor, who was brought up a Dissenter from the Church of England, having attended for a considerable time at St. Martin's church, under the ministry of the Rev. Dr. Richards, was anxious to become a communicant with this church; but not having been christened, it was necessary she should previously undergo that ceremony. She, however, objected to the form of christening, viz, throwing or sprinkling water on the face, as contrary to the language of the gospel, as well as to the formula in the prayer-book, the former of which says, speaking of adults who were baptized by the Apostle, "And they straightway went down into the water and were baptized," &c. and the latter, speaking of infants, says, "And they shall warily dip them," &c. She, therefore, applied to Dr. Richards to be allowed at her christening that the ceremony might be performed according to what she conceived was the literal scriptural meaning of the words of the Apostle--by submersion. The Doctor, at first, said it was quite impossible, and attempted to convince the lady, by argument, that sprinkling was equally efficacious. The Doctor's argument only went to convince her that, if baptism were good for any thing at all, it was essential that the form adopted by the Saviour and the Apostles should be strictly adhered to. In this dilemma it was suggested that, upon an application being made to the Bishop of London, he might grant a dispensation to have the ceremony performed in the manner the lady desired it--by dipping. The application was made, and it was granted. Last Tuesday was appointed for the ceremony to take place; and about mid-day a large oblong wooden tub was placed close to the baptismal font in St. Martin's Church, and the lady made her appearance, suitably attired, with woollen under clothing. It was a bitter cold day, but the lady was nothing daunted, and the Doctor "warily dipped her" over head and ears, after reading the appropriate service. The lady afterwards retired to the vestry with her female friends, and, having exchanged her wet apparel for dry clothes, returned home to her family in Charing Cross, where the health of the new Christian, was drunk with due honors.

      The only instance of baptism by immersion having taken place in one of our churches before, occurred at Leicester, and with the consent of the Bishop of the Diocese.
[London paper, Dec. 1829.] [226]      


Extract of a letter from a gentleman in Macon, Geo. to the Editor of
the Millennial Harbinger, dated April
1830.

      "CAMPBELLISM, it seems, from a harmless sporadic, exciting but little attention, has become an epidemic of fearful potency, setting at defiance the united skill of the most distinguished of the clerical faculty. As this disease (so interesting to the moral philosopher and pathologist) first appeared in your vicinity, you can probably furnish me with a brief sketch of its rise and progress, its characteristic features, and the best means of circumscribing its fatal influence: in doing which, you will lay me under peculiar obligation. Earnestly, sir, I would be gratified to see a synopsis of your theological system, that I may thereby learn wherein consists the discrepancy between yourself and those who denounce you as a schismatic and the propagator of "damnable heresies." Your obedient servant,
"OCTOGANARY."      


A more minute History may yet be given.

      MY theological system is the Sacred Writings of the Apostles and Evangelists of Jesus Christ. It is an old system; but because the Man of Sin, during the great Apostacy, banished it from Christendom, it is now called a new system. This old thing has, indeed, become new; and from an endemic in its influences, it is fast becoming an epidemic. All the Doctors of Divinity on the continent cannot stop its progress. It is now spreading with incredible rapidity over this country. All sexes, ages, and conditions are affected by it. The Doctors differ in their theory of treatment: some recommend no medicine--others are for the lancet and blisters. But those once thoroughly imbued with its influences cannot be cured. It bids fair, however, contrary to all other epidemics, to improve the health of its subjects; and on this account, it is by no means so alarming as it once was. In Georgia it is expected that the "Stars" in their courses will fight against it; but I am of opinion their influence will be found too weak long to save the people from the contagion.
EDITOR.      


From the Religious Inquirer.      

      THE following is extracted from 'Franklin's Life,' and as it shows his opinion of the utility of bare Calvinism, as well as a singular cast of mind which could enable a preacher to draw such doctrines from such a text, it may serve to amuse the reader, while it exposes the folly of the preacher:--

      "Though I seldom attended public worship, I had still an opinion of its propriety, and of its utility when properly conducted, and I regularly paid my annual subscription for the support of the only Presbyterian minister or meeting we had in Philadelphia. He used to visit me sometimes as a friend, and admonish me to attend his administrations; and I was now and then prevailed on to do so, once for five Sundays successively. Had he been in my opinion a good preacher, perhaps I might have continued, notwithstanding the [227] occasion I had for the Sunday's leisure in my course of study; but his discourses were either polemic arguments, or explications of the peculiar doctrines of "our sect," and were all, to me, very dry, uninteresting, and unedifying; since not a single moral principle was inculcated or enforced; their aim seeming to be rather to make us Presbyterians than good citizens.

      At length he took for his text that verse of the 4th chapter of Philippians--"Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, honest, just, pure, lovely, or are of good report, if there be any virtue, or any praise, think on these things." And I imagined in a sermon on such a text, we could not miss of having some morality. But he confined himself to five points only, as meant by the Apostle, viz.--1. Keeping holy the Sabbath day 2. Being diligent in reading the Holy Scriptures. 3. Attending duly the public worship. 4. Partaking of the sacrament 5. Paying a due respect to God's ministers.

      These might be all good things; but as they were not the kind of good things that I expected from that text, I despaired of ever meeting with them from any other--was disgusted, and attended his meeting no more."


ANOTHER PAPER FOR REFORM.

      "PROSPECTUS, for publishing in Jeffersonville, Indiana, a monthly paper, called the Christian Review; edited by Nathaniel Field and Beverly James.

      The editors assure the public that they have not undertaken this work with a view to their interest or advantage; but, on the contrary, from a wish to aid, so far as their limited talents can be employed, in the dissemination of TRUTH, for which they are willing to sacrifice all personal considerations. They are resolved to espouse the cause of no sectarian church, creed, or formulary; but to illustrate, recommend, and defend the gospel as the only standard of the christian religion, comprising all things necessary to be believed and practised. They will labor to effect the re-establishment of the primitive doctrine and worship of the christian church, pointing out their beauty, harmony, and simplicity; occasionally reviewing the various conflicting and discordant and sectarian systems invented, adopted, and obeyed since the commencement of the Grand Apostacy; fairly and honestly examining their past utility and ultimate tendency. A variety of other topics shall occupy our columns, interwoven with the peace and prosperity of the christian church. The editors would therefore cherish a hope of success in the prosecution of this work, from a conviction that its object is appreciated and ardently desired by thousands, on whose liberality they rely for patronage sufficient to reimburse its expences.

      CONDITIONS.--The Christian Review will be published on the first Monday in every mouth, and will contain 24 duodecimo pages, printed on good type, at One Dollar per annum, payable in advance." [228]


HINTS IN REPLY TO ANDREW BROADDUS.

Dear Sir,

      LAST night (June 4) I returned from an excursion to Cincinnati and the adjacent parts of Kentucky. I was absent thirty days--pronounced twenty-five lectures--held many conversations--introduced fourteen citizens into the kingdom of Jesus Christ--performed a journey of eight hundred miles by land and water--was much refreshed in spirit--and now find myself in my writing chair surrounded with many communications, and before me lying your strictures on Christianos and the 8th chapter of Romans.

      After feasting on the word of life, after rejoicing in the songs of Zion, and in the prayers and the communion of the saints for four weeks--judge my feelings on sitting down to pick the dry bones of speculative theology, as detailed in your controversial view of the 26th verse of the 6th chapter of the Romans! To comfort the saints and to exhort sinners, I introduced this topic at the Bowling Green in January last; and now in June, when every thing is blooming around me, warmed by the genial influences of the season, up comes the skeleton, dry and haggard, of a subject which warmed myself and my hearers in the cold days of January last. The demon of orthodoxy and the spirit of departed creeds have withered the flesh and blasted the health and beauty of many a precious subject of holy truth. Why is it, brother Broaddus, that spiritual anatomists are so fond of the charnel house, always preferring the bones of a dead subject to the living word of God and the healthy man in Christ Jesus?

      I have now learned, from the best authority, that you are the author of "Christianos." So unlike to the "Paulinus" of the Christian Baptist is the "Christianos" of the Religious Herald, that I hope you will pardon me for withholding my assent to some representations referring these productions to you, until I was assured by your own signature that Paulinus has been converted into Christianos. Had I had this assurance sooner, perhaps a different course might have been pursued in my notices of Christianos. But what I have written was called for by your signal of alarm, and your strictures upon the commission and upon the verse before us. Forgetting the things that are behind, and turning my attention to the letter before me, I must premise that the sensibility exhibited by yourself on this subject still more clearly appears to me to be a morbid sensibility. It appears so from your own concessions: for, according to your views, previously expressed, the operations of the Holy Spirit are not to be controlled by our sentiments, pro or con. The advocates for what I call mystic operations--you special, or sovereign, or irresistible operation--contend that, on the most guilty and polluted hearts, the Holy Spirit often, in a sovereign way, operates, with, or without the word, to produce regeneration, and that, too, independent of our theory upon the subject. Now if you denied this, or, what is the same thing, if you taught that the Holy Spirit is governed by our faith, or sentiments, or theory of regeneration, then it would not evince a morbid sensibility [229] to see you contend for a peculiar theory according to which the Spirit must operate.

      To contend about the meaning of a verse appears to you a matter of some moment, especially one on which so much reliance has been placed in proof of the popular doctrine of spiritual operations. To me it is of no importance farther than it may serve to give that clearness and force to a practical exhortation or suggestion of the inspired Apostles, which modern interpreters and sermonizers have measurably destroyed. I have no doubt but you feel as much as you express upon this subject, and that you are satisfied with your own reasons for your own interpretation. To me, however, you appear not to have met, fairly met, the objections presented in my remarks to your interpretation; and not in the least to have extricated your comment from the difficulties which have always encompassed it.

      You have given an importance to my remarks on this passage to which I did not think them entitled. If your strictures, signed "Christianos," had not appeared, in all probability my discourse at Bowling Green would have been, for the most part, forgotten, and my heresy, if it be one, would have passed quietly to oblivion. I sought no occasion to give greater publicity to a disquisition which, I humbly think, places in a clear and consolatory light a passage generally misunderstood, than the extemporaneous remarks which that congregation called for.

      Permit me, then, very briefly to show wherein it appears to me you have not succeeded in establishing your own views, nor in disproving mine. Your first position is a good one if you had followed it out--"Follow common sense and the common rules of interpretation!" These you profess to follow. You assume that, inasmuch as the Spirit of God is frequently referred to in the previous part of the 8th chapter, common sense would suppose that it is the Spirit of God, and not our spirit which is spoken of in the 26th verse. Is it a fact that the term spirit in the previous part of this chapter always means the Spirit of God? It is used in this chapter, verse 1, to denote the gospel, contradistinguished from the law, or flesh. So also verses 4. 5, 6, and 9. In verse 10 it is used to denote our own spirit contrasted with the body: "The body is dead because of sin; the spirit is life because of righteousness." Besides the spirit of Christ, the spirit of bondage, and the spirit of adoption, as well as the Spirit of God, are introduced in the same chapter; and please mark what follows: the verse preceding this context (verse 16) contradistinguishes the Spirit of God from our spirit. Now, with our spirit in his eye, the Apostle begins this disquisition. "The Spirit of God beareth witness with our spirit that we are the children of God." How, then, brother Broaddus, could you apply the rule of common sense and the rules of interpretation to this case to prove that we ought to take for granted that the Holy Spirit was intended in the subsequent part, because alluded to in the preceding part of the chapter? Out of seventeen times which the word spirit occurs in the preceding 16 verses of this chapter, it is far from evident that the Spirit of God, in your sense, is alluded to more than [230] four, or, at most five times! So much for your strongest point. Though but prefatory, I call it your strongest point.

      Your second point is not, in my judgment, more decisive in your favor than the first. The addition of a pronoun purely demonstrative can never be called a characteristic adjunct. I am willing to admit that auto (itself or himself) in both cases is demonstrative; but of what?--of the spirit, the subject of the preceding proposition. For example; the Spirit of God is the subject of the proposition in the 14th verse; the 15th verse is intercalary or explanative of another matter; and to connect the subject of the proposition with the purpose for which it is introduced the demonstrative pronoun "itself," verse 16, precedes it. To this, I think, you will have no objection. Now the auto (itself) in the second clause of verse 26, is just used in the same way. It demonstrates what spirit is intended, and the subject of the proposition in the first clause is alledged to be our spirit, to which the demonstrative auto (itself) in the second clause alludes. If you will not admit this, then I am constrained to say that the pronoun itself or himself is applied to the wrong subject for you; for upon your own principle it ought to have been attached to the term spirit in the first clause, verse 26, which is the subject of the proposition. But it is not. It, therefore, not being attached to the proper noun for your hypothesis, leaves you no adjunct for the subject of debate. To have suited your purpose it ought to have read, Likewise the Spirit itself or himself, also helps our infirmities. But not reading thus, it makes your rule inapplicable. As it is, the demonstrative pronoun in the second clause logically and grammatically only proves that the spirit in the second clause is the same mentioned in the first clause, and that that is the Spirit of God you have yet to prove. As yet it is only assumed.

      Your next point of defence is to obviate the difficulty that the Spirit is in no passage of scripture, other than that in dispute, said to intercede for the saints. You have not attempted to produce any other: and therefore, to prove that doctrine by the passage in dispute, is, if not to beg the question, so near it, that I want discrimination to discover the difference.

      Concerning the doctrine of the Spirit of God being an intercessor within us, contrasted with Jesus an intercessor without us, I must, brother Broaddus, while admiring your ingenuity, say, that on that subject I have no revelation; neither can I discover any analogy between John xvi. 13. and the Holy Spirit's interceding for the saints. The Saviour there promised a Monitor to bring all things to the remembrance of the Apostles, or an Advocate to assist them in pleading his cause. To convince the world of sin, righteousness, and judgment, to speak of Christ, and neither of the saints nor of himself, constitute the work of this Advocate.

      Feeling no desire to contend about the meaning of a verse, nor for my views of it, especially where sentiment rather than practice--where opinion rather than faith, is concerned, I cannot consent to the employment of many pages in such disquisitions. I aim at [231] nothing more in the preceding remarks than to show that your view is a forced one, and that the objections made to it are not, in my judgment, removed, nor lessened. I might add that the verse succeeding this disputed passage, viz. the 28th, admirably sustains the views I have given of the whole connexion. After having spoken of the bodily sufferings of Christians and the groans of their spirits, he adds, "And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God." Amongst these "all things" you place the intercession of the Holy Spirit, which I humbly conceive is incompatible with the whole passage and your general views of that Divine Agent. I feel no solicitude to impose my views upon you nor the christian community, and would have had no material objection to have published your letter without any rejoinder farther than to request the reader to compare it with the Essay on this subject, No. 3, page 111. If, after such a comparison, he inclines to your conclusions, I will not disturb his repose by obtruding mine upon him. If otherwise, I hope you will grant him the same indulgence, and not think the less of him because he could not coincide with you.

      I am glad, I assure you, brother Broaddus, to see that you are still on the side of reform; though, indeed, the reform for which you contend is not so radical nor extensive as that which is deemed by many pious and talented brethren to be absolutely necessary to the restoration of the ancient order of things. Were all the churches on the continent reformed to the utmost extent of that reformation for which you contend, (as far as I am acquainted with it,) still there would be need for several reformations before they could come up to the model which the Apostles built. However, I have long since learned not to despise the day of small things, and am therefore glad to hear you say, Reform.

      The greatest objection which I have to the present order of things, is, because it so obviously fails in producing those joyful experiences of the love of God and the hope of heaven, which so universally and so forcibly appeared in all the sincere converts made by the first promulgers of the gospel. For unless the peace of God rule in the heart, and the love of God be diffused within us, I place no value in any profession of the religion of the Messiah.

      In conclusion I must add, that I am assured that so soon as some essays on christian experience, which I have in contemplation, appear, you will find that you have been more alarmed than the occasion required; and give me leave to add, that as the "acidity" of my remarks on Christianos has sweetened to my taste the temper of the propria persona, I shall now administer antacids so long as the present healthy indications appear.

      Wishing to see you not only almost, but altogether a reformer, permit me to subscribe myself,
  Yours for the Hope's sake,
EDITOR. [232]      


Extract of a letter to the Editor of the Millennial Harbinger, dated

HARTFORD, Con. May 17th, 1830.      

My dear Brother,

      FORBEARING one another in love, in respect to some few diversities, I say in regard to your main object, God speed you. To excite the attention of the disciples of Jesus to his pure testimony, and to expose, in the spirit of meekness with love to truth, the numerous, traditions of men, which pride and covetousness have originated, and which have so extensively corrupted christians from the simplicity of their Master, is a noble object. To be engaged in this cause with purity of motive, is our high duty and privilege, and cannot fail of bringing peace into our bosoms. Go forward, my brother, wielding the sword of the Spirit, and taking the shield of faith wherewith you shall quench all the fiery darts of calumny and vengeance which the carnal opposers of the ancient order and primitive simplicity of the New Testament may hurl against you. Keep straight on, fixed on your main object, and beware of the device of the evil one to distract your mind, and divert your attention from the grand point, by drawing it too much to personal controversy. Armed with the panoply of truth, you need not fear; the opposing shafts will fall harmless at your feet.

      I borrowed the first number of the Millennial Harbinger, of a friend, and cherish the hope, that, by divine favor, this work will be useful as a means of rendering the professed followers of the Lamb more worthy of the high character of the true church of God, which is "the ground and pillar of the truth." I regret that you have applied the passage, "King eternal, immortal, and invisible," (which certainly is applied in the word of truth to none but "the only wise God,") to the Son of God, because it tends to lead the mind away from the pure testimony respecting the character of the one God who THE FATHER. On reflection, I think you must be conscious, that, although you did not affirm expressly that the passage is applied to Jesus, your readers must so apprehend you, as I certainly did myself until l read your "Reply to Brother I." I desire to believe every thing, and will say every thing concerning "the only begotten of the Father," my dear Saviour, which the Scriptures say; but I sincerely regret that the minds of the disciples have been so beclouded and confused by the trinitarian dogma, that they cannot clearly perceive the simple and glorious truth that "God is one," and that this one God is "the Father." And allow me in brotherly love, and for the truth's sake, to tell you frankly, that I cannot but think that it is doubly inconsistent for such "a lover of a pure speech" as brother Campbell, to write in any manner to darken divine counsel on this important subject.

      Although I suppose that faith is "a conviction of the truth of any position from evidence," I am persuaded that the statement of "R. T. Brown," "that faith in Jesus Christ is nothing more than a belief of the facts recorded of him by the Evangelists, to wit that Jesus of [233] Nazareth was the promised Messiah, and that he gave impregnable proof of his divine mission by his miraculous birth, by the numerous miracles which he wrought while living, and by his death, resurrection, and ascension," is very deficient. In addition to these facts we must surely believe the truth, "the doctrine of the Lord," which the Son of God came down from heaven as the true Prophet to teach. Praying for his disciples, he said, "I have declared unto them thy name and will declare it." I have no doubt many have been, and now are, convinced that Christ was a teacher from God, and believe the above recorded facts, who notwithstanding are unreformed in heart and life, because they do not believe the holy truth of the Son of God respecting the law of God and the consequent evil of sin which is the transgression of it. They do not believe the truth which came by Jesus Christ. Men may believe the recorded facts respecting the birth, death, and ascension of the Messiah, while they do not believe, but wilfully reject, the holy truth those facts were designed to establish. I know persons who fully believe that the Son of God died on the cross, and yet do not believe that his death has any particular connexion with the forgiveness of sin. Others I know, who entertain no doubt of those facts, and yet do not believe Christ's testimony concerning the justice of God, or that there is any danger of his destroying both soul and body in hell. I think, therefore, that to represent that the faith on the Son of God which is required of men for salvation, is nothing more than a belief of the facts above stated, is most dangerous to the souls of men, as it tends to establish the false hope of acceptance with God, while they do not believe the most important truth of "the Faithful Witness."

      While we admit that faith is "a conviction of the truth of any position from evidence" we must also admit that the inclination of the will does bias the judgment, so that the evidence which would be sufficient to produce conviction where the mind is unbiassed, is not sufficient to produce it where such bias exists. A man may be convinced by the historical evidence, of the fact of the death of Jesus Christ; and at the same time, through the influence of the pride of his heart, he may not be convinced by the evidence exhibited in the divine word, that this sacrifice was necessary "that God might be just and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus." How forcible was that question of the Saviour to the Jews, "How can ye believe which receive honor one of another, and seek not the honor which cometh from God only?" Does not the True Prophet clearly teach us that the carnal principle, the love of the world, is a barrier to believing? Was not sufficient evidence of the truth presented to their understandings to convince them of the truth, if they had not been biassed by their depraved disposition of heart? If, then, this carnal principle, this love of sin, excludes the truth from the mind, must it not be removed in order for the truth to be received? Aside from all systems of man, which I wish to discard with you, is it not the manifest requirement of God, that men should repent and believe the gospel? Paul testified wherever he went, "repentance towards God, and faith [234] towards our Lord Jesus Christ." And what is repentance but that holy change, which, if I understand you, you do not consider as essential to the very act of believing the truth of the gospel, but as the effect of it? And while the Scriptures of truth appear to represent that repentance towards God does, in the order of things, precede faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ, is it not the fact that the sinner never does believe in Christ as a Saviour from sin, until he penitently feels himself to be a sinner before God? What motive can he have to believe in Christ as a Saviour from sin and death, while he remains impenitent and is insensible of his need of such salvation? It must be admitted, indeed, that the act of repentance implies knowledge and faith respecting God, and sin as the transgression of his holy law, but the mind apprehending Christ as the appointed medium of divine forgiveness, must necessarily be a subsequent act (in the order of things) to repentance for sin. Thus we require those who have offended us to repent in order to be forgiven. Nor is it possible for any man properly to accept forgiveness either from God or man, while he remains impenitent.

      That it is the immediate duty of all men to repent, and of all who hear the gospel to believe it, is true; but this is not the whole truth. It is equally true that sinners will not do what they ought to do; they will not come unto Christ that they may have life. And marvellous, indeed, is the favor of God towards a world of determined rebels, in exalting Christ at his own right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, and to give repentance and remission of sins. "Of his own will, saith the Apostle, begat he us by the word of truth" To the question, "Who maketh thee to differ?" or, Why have we come to the feast, while others forever make light of it, and forever refuse the word of truth furnishes us an answer, which the glory of God and every emotion of grateful love demand we should, never forget. "God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ (by favor ye are saved) and hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus.--For by favor are ye saved, through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God."

      You speak of Mr. Fuller's regenerated unbeliever. Might I not, with equal propriety, speak of Mr. Campbell's believing impenitent? I believe with you, that it is by the knowledge, and love, and practice of the truth, that men are saved. But a Paul may plant this truth, and an Apollos may water it, and all will be in vain except God give the increase.

      The favor of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. Amen.

  Yours, in christian love,
HENRY GREW.      


REPLY TO HENRY GREW.

      Dear Brother--I HAVE not affirmed that the phrase "King eternal, immortal, and invisible," is unequivocally applied to Jesus the Messiah. But when you affirm that it certainly is applied to none but [235] to the only wise God, I am inclined to suggest to you a doubt which have upon this subject.

      In the words immediately preceding this doxology, or ascription of praise, the Apostle is glorifying the Lord Jesus. This he does by making himself a monument of the great mercy of the Lord. And having said that he obtained mercy, that in him, the chief of sinners, Christ Jesus might show forth all long suffering for a pattern to them who should hereafter believe in him to life everlasting; what could be more natural for him than to add, "Now to the King eternal, immortal, and invisible"--"Now to the only wise God be honor and glory for ever"--I say, what could be more natural than to praise the Lord Jesus? At the time in which Paul wrote he was the only King of the Universe--he is to reign for ever, and is now immortal and invisible. But he adds, "To the wise God alone," or "To the only wise God;" hence some have made the "King eternal, immortal, and invisible," the same with "the only wise God." I read this passage with Macknight: "Now to the King eternal, immortal, and invisible, to the wise God alone," presuming that the first clause may refer to the Lord Jesus, and the second to his God and our God. Similar in construction is the conclusion of the letter of Jude: "To him who is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy--to the wise God alone, our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and throughout all ages." The term wise in both passages is of doubtful authority. I am little disposed to dogmatize on any subject, and still less on this one, I would only suggest a caution to those who are too apt to be positive where there is not the most decisive evidence. We have no King now but the Lord Jesus. God has made him the head over all things, and placed him upon the throne of universal dominion. And if Jesus be not to all, he is doubtless to some, the King eternal, immortal, and invisible. And while glorifying him, we are easily led to give glory to God alone as the fountain of all salvation; for he so loved the world as to send his only begotten Son, and when he humbled himself he exalted him to his own right hand, and made him Lord as well as Messiah.

      I see, brother Grew, you are off to Fullerism in a twinkling, so soon as you get upon faith and repentance; and to bring me into contact with this scheme you array before me a "believing impenitent," I had hopes that you had got into the temperate zone, and abandoned the high and cold regions of icebergs and regenerated infidel. The believing unbeliever and the believing impenitent are not the creatures of Christ's school. And it is enough for me to know that I have with me the Lord Jesus and all his Apostles, in affirming, that whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Messiah, is born of God, overcomes the world, and, provided only he obeys the mould of doctrine into which he was cast when immersed into the name of Jesus, he will attain unto the resurrection from the dead.

      This is not with me the mollia tempora scribendi, the acceptable time of writing, upon this theme. Every disquisition which goes to [236] make the manner of believing and repenting, or the order of repentance and faith essential points of doctrine, naturally tends to substitute a human system for the gospel of God, and to make the plainest declarations of the Oracles of non-effect.

      On the principle that faith must precede all knowledge, repentance, reformation, obedience, I stand--because I find the Apostles all standing on this point, and with all the reason in the world to sustain them. Without faith it is impossible to please God; because, without faith, there can be no knowledge of God; and how can a person love, fear, honor, obey, or come to an unknown person! Andrew Fuller is, in this one instance, as far out of the track of reason and revelation as ever was a materialist who made every effect its own cause.

      All who resolve individual salvation into a mere act of sovereignty, disarm the gospel of all its powers, make its Author insincere, its promises and its arguments deceitful, an instrument of guile and double meanings, a parade of empty professions to save appearances, and, worse than all, mock our miseries, and tantalize our feelings. To talk of any change of mind or heart, before faith, is as much at variance with all reason as it is with all revelation. For he that approaches God in any way, must first believe that he is; and, if he come to him with any confidence, he must first believe that he is a rewarder of all who diligently seek him.

      Dear brother, your remarks upon doctrine I cannot understand. Do you mean that there can be doctrine without fact, or that the doctrine of Christ is any thing more than the meaning of the facts recorded by the four Evangelists? When you have read the previous numbers of this work I shall like to hear from you again. An essay in contemplation, on the forgiveness of sins, will, I hope, obviate some difficulty on this, as well as other topics embarrassing the minds of some of the sincere hearted. Farther than the preceding remarks go I cannot, at this time, attend to your favor before me. So long as you worship God in spirit, rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in feeling, or in previous holy dispositions, I will, notwithstanding a thousand discrepancies in opinion, recognize and regard you as a brother in the hope of immortality.
EDITOR.      


A MISSTATEMENT CORRECTED.

      AMONG other calumnies now in circulation against me, it is said that I was tried and deposed before a Presbytery in Scotland, and refused admission into a Presbytery of Virginia, because of my errors in doctrine or in practice. Now, be it known unto all men, that I never stood impeached before any tribunal, civil or ecclesiastical, in my life; save the Redstone Association once accused me of an erroneous sermon, to which I plead Not Guilty, and was acquitted. I never had a suit in any court since I received my name, and before that I have no recollection.
EDITOR. [237]      


RESTORATION OF THE ANCIENT ORDER OF THINGS.

      A MEETING was held at May's Lick, Mason county, Kentucky, on the last Friday, Saturday, and Lord's day of May, for religious worship and edification. Brethren from several counties in the state of Kentucky attended the meeting. It was composed of the friends and advocates of the ancient gospel and ancient order of things. We had the pleasure of meeting with many of the public, bold, and powerful advocates of reformation at this meeting; and of uniting with them in prayers, praise, reading, exhortation, and in breaking the symbolic loaf. It was a very happy meeting, and I trust a very profitable one. All was harmony--christian affection, and intense zeal for the purity, peace, and union of the disciples on earth, and for the conversion of the world. I could have wished that all the opponents of the ancient order of things had witnessed this meeting, and heard, and seen all that passed. If their spiritual jaundice could be cured, I feel sanguine that such meetings, and such interviews would be the most likely means to deliver them from that atrabilious malady, which is likely, if not soon removed, to terminate in some of the more violent and deadly spasmodic affections. The brethren, both public and private, (and there was a large assemblage of them present.) parted, as they had met, in the strong bands of christian affection--with increased zeal, and renewed energy in the great and good cause of emancipating the brotherhood from the deadly influences of human systems, and from the galling yoke of human authority in the kingdom of Immanuel. I could have wished to have seen present a few such men as A. W. Clopton, and W. T. Brantly, men who are ever and anon talking about the ignorance, and want of piety among those who advocate the restoration; I say, I could have wished their presence for the sake of their conversion, or rather reformation from those anomalous obliquities in their course. I wish to draw no invidious comparison between the talents and piety of those on one or other side of the question of reform. We want to see more piety and talent on the side of reform--more long suffering, patience, and forbearance--more mildness, meekness, and condescension--more humility, and more of the bowels of mercies, and tender compassions which are in Christ Jesus our Lord. I repeat, we wish and pray for more of these in the army of reform; but when our opponents talk of their piety and talent on the side of remaining in Babylon, we only wish them to become better acquainted with those who are in all parts of this great country proclaiming the necessity of reform. I was, in my foolish way, about to boast a little in the comparative degree; but I remember it is written, "Let him that boasteth boast in the Lord." In the Lord, then, we will boast, that he is consuming the man of sin with the spirit of his mouth. Many are running to and fro; and knowledge is certainly increasing. May the good Lord prosper and bless every enterprize which may hasten the period when the knowledge of his glory shall cover the whole earth as the waters cover the sea.
EDITOR. [238]      


TO BROTHER "N----," OF MATTHEWS COUNTY, VA.

      Dear Brother,--I AM sorry that you should be sorry only for an hour on the subject of the publication of the extracts from a former letter. I hope it will be the occasion of rousing your energies in the good cause of reformation.

      My mild replies to Abner W. Clopton it seems are not mild enough for the mild brethren in your vicinity. I admit the truth of your remark, that his bad temper is no excuse for any other person's bad temper. But I know of no bad temper exhibited on my part towards him. He is rather an object of pity than of resentment. I am told he is frequently hypochondriacal and that domestic troubles have soured his temper. Why, then, should I resent his petulancy, or measure to him in his own measures. I have no temptation of this sort. It is, then my peculiar mode of treating religious hypochondriacs; but when I meet with such an opponent as Bishop Semple, I have no need for such weapons. My dear sir, if you will only examine your case of instruments, you will find saws and scissors, as well as lancets and knives. And he who supposes that I should write of A. W. Clopton as to Bishop Semple, acts as reasonably as he who would have you to discuss a tumor, spring a vein, eradicate a cancer, or probe an ulcer, by one and the same instrument. In much haste and in all affection, yours,
EDITOR.      


      ----> WE intend shortly publishing one extra number of 48 pages, principally on the Forgiveness of Sins. In proportion as this work is patronized, we shall issue extras. We are anxious to lay before our readers an unbroken series of arguments, illustrations, and proofs, upon Faith, Reformation, immersion, and the Forgiveness of Sins. For this purpose we shall devote one entire number, our first extra to these subjects.


      ----> MANY communications are reluctantly postponed. The greatest efforts are making to create divisions and to blame them on us. Nero set Rome on fire, and blamed the Christians for it. Our course, as we shall again more fully show, is to avoid division--to unite and harmonize on the One Foundation. Our opponents are for excommunicating all who will not subscribe to their views; and while doing this, charge schisms and heresies upon us. If we do not furnish arguments to convince all who have any pretensions to reason and plain common sense, that all the turmoil and confusion now talked of, are the works of our adversaries--it will be because we cannot prove that two and two make four.


      ----> WE are sorry that a derangement of the copy of some communications from Philalethes so confounded our compositor, that he was not able to continue, or rather introduce it in this number. We shall attend to it in our next.


      ----> Abner W. Clopton's third essay is as void of argument as the former two. We shall attend to it in due time.

      ----> Elder John Taylor and Spencer Clack in our next.


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      Erratum.--Page 200, line 26, after "not" omit "BUT." [240]


      1 Did it not in this country designate a sect; and were not those who bore it here as much sectarians as any others? [200]

 

[The Millennial Harbinger, 1 (May, 1830): 193-240.]


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