[Table of Contents]
Alexander Campbell, ed.|
The Millennial Harbinger, Vol. I, No. VII (1830)
I saw another messenger flying through the midst of heaven, having everlasting
good news to proclaim to the inhabitants of the earth, even to every nation
and tribe, and tongue, and people--saying with a loud voice, Fear God and
give glory to him, for the hour of his judgments is come: and worship him who
made heaven, and earth, and sea, and the fountains of water.--JOHN.
Great is the truth and mighty above things, and will prevail.
Spencer Clack to the Editor of the Harbinger.
[Continued from page 267.]
|BLOOMFIELD, Ky. May 27, 1830.|
IN contending with Owen you gained a signal victory; but of what avail are victories when schism and faction, vituperation and calumny, deform Zion's lovely form? Where, now, dwells Charity, daughter of heaven, the glory and strength of the temple of God! By this, even by this, "shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one for another." Yes, by this shall all men, Deists; Owenites, Infidels, all, of every class, rank, and grade in society, know that we are the disciples of Christ, if we have love one for another. Suppose you were again in debate with Owen, and he should point to the christian community, and say, 'See how these christians love each other,' would not your heart pain you to think how many infidels are made and confirmed by the dissentions of christians?
"But creeds," say you, "and the clergy have marred the beauty of Zion; my writings, by opposing these and pleading the sufficiency of the scriptures, have excited the present commotions." Well, brother, who authorized you to say all that you have said against creeds and the clergy? Did you not call in the clergy as auxiliaries in your debate with Owen? Did you not glean from their writings more than three fourths of your arguments in support of christianity? And did you not quote many of these same clergymen, to prove that intellect, learning, and greatness were not the exclusive property of infidelity? And did you not quote the writings and creeds of the clergy to demonstrate the authenticity of the canonical scriptures?
Admit, however, that the clergy and the creeds have had a baneful influence over the churches--what than? Will this admission prove the creeds to be false, or the clergy to be wicked?--certainly not. The statement of the case is this: A. Campbell has published his opinions--these opinions, in many things, are in direct opposition  to the creeds of the Baptist churches. By many Baptists they are opposed as being pernicious in their tendency; by others his opinions are espoused and defended with more zeal, more untiring effort, than they ever defended their former creed. Hence divisions and schism.
I now ask you, since according to your creed, the gospel facts alone are considered the bond of union, among christians in the millennial day, why do you distract the churches by a publication of your opinions? Why wage a war against the disciples of Christ, because they reject your mere opinions, your favorite inventions, your human, unsafe, unauthorized contrivances. The churches have their creeds--you, your opinions. But say you, creeds are authoritative; my opinions are not; all men may reject my opinions or receive them at pleasure. Well, what then? Why not tell the brethren in plain English, that your writings are but a human invention; the mere opinion, and nothing else, of A. Campbell; that cannot be relied on, and therefore ought not to he received? Why not tell the brethren it is foolish and wicked to forsake the book, and become the defenders of such worthless trash as human opinions; opinions, too, which create so much discord, in the TRUE church of the Redeemer?
Come, brother Campbell, let me kill Agag. You have slain the rest of the Amalekites; Agag have you spared? The creeds and opinions of all, you have endeavored to lay low; but your own opinions and invention, which are Agag, lowing oxen and bleating sheep, you have spared! Why appoint a body guard for this King of the Amalekites? Is he to be spared, because he is a King? And is it necessary that the sheep and oxen of this King be brought to Gilgal for an offering to the Lord?
If the Bible is sufficient to lead us into all truth; to bring the church of God out of Babylon; to superinduce a pure speech; to restore primitive christianity, and to unite all sectaries on the one foundation, why not let it produce all these desirable things? Why pluck the laurels from the twelve Apostles of the Lamb, by attempting to effect a reformation which all the Apostles could not, and have not effected. Their writings were in the hands of every one. No one disputes their authority; by all they are beloved and esteemed; and yet it was left to the Christian Baptist, and some other kindred prints, all human inventions which cannot be relied on, to bring about "A COMPLETE RESTORATION OF THE ANCIENT ORDER OF THINGS!!!" Surely this is a day of wonders, when human inventions can effect more than the Word of God itself; when things unsafe and unauthorized can land the church on a rock, both safe and authorized. Is it not marvellous that your Christian Baptist should be denominated "THE TRUTH?" George Waller and Silos M. Noel have opposed your human inventions, therefore your Millennial Harbinger says, p 158, they are "in opposition to the truth." To oppose your opinion and contrivances, is to oppose the truth--fie! fie! brother Campbell, why do you talk at this rate? Come agree with us to kill Agag. We are unwilling to spare him--we think he ought not, at least, to  reign over Israel. If you continue to praise him, and call him, "THE TRUTH," in opposition, or even in connexion with him who is, indeed, the truth--ought we not suspect you as unfriendly to our only Master, the Lord Jesus?
The cacoethes scribendi (itch for writing) in the present day, has not a parallel in the annals of history. Every tyro, in biblical attainments, conceives himself profoundly qualified to instruct the saints, and to restore the ancient order of things. Indeed, were I in your place, as Editor, I should long since have been disgusted with the fulsome echo of my own opinions, furnished by the anonymous Neophytes to the sentiments of the Christian Baptist. By these writers the apostolic example is not observed. Several of the Apostles, though inspired of God, wrote nothing at all--they believed enough had been written on the ancient order, and on every other subject necessary to be known. They thought the New Testament plain enough for all; they did not add even one explanatory note, such as George Campbell's Dissertations, &c. But not so with the present age; not so with those whose avowed object is to restore the ancient order. They must make the book a little plainer; the clergy have darkened it; it must be made light by their writings. This is lighting a candle to teach the Sun to shine. He that follows the candle and praises it for luminous, is walking in darkness--he will be mislead--he sees not the course, nor observes the full blaze of the celestial luminary.
Your Millennial Harbinger further states that "brother Clack is, indeed, a man of some attainments, and I have regretted exceedingly to see him duped by artful and designing men, of whose character he knows nothing--to place laurels around their brows at the expense of truth and righteousness."
I must thank this brother for his sympathetic feeling for me, and must further express my regret that he labors under the very misfortune for which he pities me. Who but an artful and designing man could ever have induced him to make the statements which he has made concerning George Waller and Silas M. Noel? From what part of the canonical scriptures is he taught to publish, over an anonymous signature, these brethren as "in opposition to the truth?" What prophet or apostle ever predicted that such writings would usher in the glorious millennial reign? If this friend will but avow his name, I pledge myself to prove that he is mistaken in more particulars than one--that he has aimed a blow at a brother in the dark, contrary to the laws of Christ. In future, it is hoped, every one who feels it his duty to usher in the Millennium, by publishing the faults and failings of his brother, will affix his own proper name. In the mean time, the readers of the Harbinger, are requested not to receive for gospel all that Tom, Dick, and Harry, may please to write against faithful and tried ministers of the gospel.
With George Waller and Silas M. Noel, I am personally acquainted, and do know that they stand high in the esteem of the Baptists generally, except those who have adopted and are now defending the  opinions and human inventions of the Christian Baptist. I say generally, making allowance for the personal enemies which every man of reputation has in his sphere of action, and which are not included in the above exception. That I have been duped by these brethren, no one believes, who is acquainted with me. My readers have learned already that such cannot be the fact.
Now, brother Campbell, I must come to a close. Excuse my desultory manner. In my next I will endeavor to be more concise. May the Lord bless you and give you grace to fulfil all his will. Do try to live in love with the brethren. When such men as Semple and Vardeman stand in direct opposition to your opinions; when they say your opinions are not the truth, but are "in opposition to the truth," ought you not to keep them (opinions) as your Universalist preacher did his universal salvation--as private property? On the whole, you and I agree pretty well as to human opinions and inventions in religion, and we should still be higher together if you would deliver up Agag to be slain. You may rest assured that Jesus Christ does not need this Amalekite in the armies of Israel. Indeed, he ought to be considered as an enemy, because he is sowing the seeds of discord among the tribes of Israel, and raising a party, both among officers and soldiers, who seem disposed to place the crown on his head. When I hear men vehemently inveigh against the whole nation of the Amalekites, as the enemies of God and Israel--when I see them take up the sword for their total extirpation, but yet spare Agag with his sheep and oxen--I say to myself, all is not right in Denmark.
Accept assurances of my continued respect and esteem.
REPLY TO BROTHER CLACK.
Dear Sir--YOU ask, "who authorized me to say all that I have said against creeds and the clergy?" I answer, The New Testament. It condemns both, and in language as strong and as forcible as I have ever used. You might as well ask me who ever authorized me to say any thing against the Man of Sin, and Son of Perdition. Is it possible at this time of day, that you will defend human creeds and human clergy!
"Did I not call upon the clergy to aid me in my debate with, Mr. Owen?" You might as well ask me, Did I not call upon papermakers, printers, and book-binders to aid me? The clergy have engrossed much of the learning of the world and all biblical learning, and to their works we are indebted for much information. This query reminds me of one often proposed with a supercilious air by the Catholics--"Protestants why do you speak against our church of Rome and our clergy, our monks and our friars? Did you not get the scriptures and all Grecian and Roman literature through our hands? Did not our monks give you all the copies of the scriptures, and our monasteries afford you all your literature? Why then denounce them?" This is, brother Clack, your own logic, and as you would answer them, I answer you, 
But let me tell you, I do not know that I was as much indebted to the clergy in my debate with Mr. Owen, as to the laity. The best works I have read on the evidences of the christian religion, are from the pens of laymen. Locke, Grotius, Verplanck, Jenyns, and R. Haldane, were laymen. And give me leave to tell you, that Jenyns on the internal evidences, and R. Haldane on the whole evidences, I think, are the two best books I have ever read on these subjects.
Your remarks upon my publishing "my opinions," were anticipated and noticed in my last. But really you labor this matter to tediousness. If I say and write that Jesus arose from the dead the third day, do you say that this is but my opinion! If I say that the disciples met upon the first day of the week for worship, do you tell the people that this is my opinion! If I exhort the churches to meet every Lord's day to worship and rejoice in the Lord; and, if to enforce it, I say or write that the apostolic churches met weekly, do you say it is only my opinion! If I say that christians ought to be more conformed to the spirit and behavior of the christian religion, and that their practice must, if approved by the Lord, be such as the Volume requires, do you say, Why disturb the peace of the church with such an opinion? If I say that immersion and not sprinkling is the action which Christ enjoined, do you say that this is only my opinion, and that I ought not to disturb the peace of society with such an opinion! I fear, brother Clack, that you, in avoiding Scylla, have struck upon Charybdis.
I will join you in killing Agag or Campbellism, or whatever you please to call it, as cordially as ever did Silas M. Noel, only do not misapply these terms. Call not the weekly meeting of the disciples Campbellism; call not "immersion for the remission of sins" Campbellism; call not immersion, rather than sprinkling, Agag; call not fellowship of the saints, or weekly contributions for the poor saints, widows, and orphans, Campbellism; call not venerating the Apostles Campbellism, and keeping Agag alive. In a word, call not any institution of Jesus Christ, Campbellism. Every Campbellism, every invention of mine which you will point out to me, I will help you to burn, or drown, or exile, as the case may require. I will offer a premium to any man or woman who will produce one instance where ever I made a Campbellism, an opinion of mine, a bone of controversy, a term of communion, or shut out of a church or meetinghouse any one for not honoring an opinion of mine. I challenge you and all the world to produce one such instance; and if I do not, when produced, kill that Agag, and denounce that Campbellism, then there is no truth in me.
But, brother Clack, your calling immersion for the remission of sins, or any other apostolic institution Campbellism, or an opinion of mine, is like telling me that the divine mission of Moses, or that the sonship of the Lord Jesus, or the resurrection of the dead, are but opinions of mine. Your calling upon me to kill Agag is mere religious necromancy, until you show me that witch of Endor. You  might as well exhort me to call every ill-favored old lady a witch, and command me to punish her by drowning, as to invite me to call every command and institution of the New Testament for which I plead, Campbellism. Do not call evil good, and good evil. Should you call one bishop and four churches an institution of Jesus Christ, and weekly meetings in honor of the resurrection and death of the Saviour an invention of mine, a mere Campbellism, the Lord will reprove you for calling bitter sweet, and sweet bitter.
Your three grenadier notes of admiration, to guard the capitalized sentence on page 200, may appear too formidable for nervous folks. But I am not now easily affrighted with appearances. I could have looked two phalanxes, three or six men deep, of such notes of admiration, full in the face; and with such a smile as matrons are wont to show to stripplings when they have, as they think, done something clever. "Surely this is a day of wonders." Let me tell you gravely, brother Clack, if you wish the intelligent part of the community to be convinced, you must present something more in the form of logic, than three notes of admiration. These belong to rhetoric rather than to logic.
But supposing that you think me entangled in this net, let me tell you that not the obscurity of the scriptures, nor their inadequacy to guard the church or save the world, is the cause of my having written the Christian Baptist, or my writing the present work. And, as proof of it, I will tell you, let the Bible he given without note or comment, or any writing on the subject of religion to the people--let all the publications on the subject of religion be stopped--let all religious writings but the oracles, and such literature as is necessary to translate them correctly, be congregated into one great pile, and I will make a torch of the Christian Baptist and the Harbinger to set them all on fire. Or let all the papers destined to sustain the clergy and their enterprize, be stopped, and I wilt not write another essay. We only wish to place the Apostles before the people, where the Lord placed them upon thrones to give laws to his people. We labor to get the people to read the scriptures: and a thousand times I have been pleased to learn, that a more general reading and searching of the scriptures have been the accompaniments of my labors. I can appeal to the North and to the South, to the East and to the West of this Union, whether in every neighborhood where these works have been circulated, there have not been more reading, searching, and examination of the scriptures, than were ever known before. This is the direct tendency of all my labors, viva voce, and with the pen.
If there is, then, here a contradiction between my principles and my practice, keener eyes than mine must detect and show it to me. If, in travelling through the country, I visited a family who had a Bible, but neglected to read it, and read every thing else they had leisure for; if I should persuade them to read that Book, and actually succeed in displacing others, and in giving the chief place to the Apostles' testimony--what would you think of that person's intellect  who would report that "Campbell's invention" in that family had done more than the twelve Apostles? Answer this at your leisure, and make such application of it as you think reason will approve.
In the next paragraph, tired of three notes of admiration, you give me two fies--"fie, fie, brother Campbell." You ought to have added fee, fum. Is this the style of one christian to his equal, or to his inferior! And after all, there is no such thing said by brother Campbell in page 158. "Brother Campbell" does not occupy a line in page 158. It is "Querens," and he does not use the words "the truth" in your acceptation of them--please read page 158 again.
I will go hand in hand with you, brother Clack, in denouncing the tyros "cacoethes scribendi" (itch for writing.) But there are so many tyros on the side of Babylon, we may be permitted to have a few on the side of Jerusalem. Young tyros are sufferable, but the old tyros, old in years and young in mind, like onions with white heads, and green minds in the knowledge of christianity, are much more irksome to my old man than these young tyros. Some of the double D's are the greatest tyros I know; and some of the tyros of the present day are equal to the Rabbies of former times. Indeed, I would not be surprized if some one of them should say, "Well, brother Clack, I wish you had thought a little sooner upon this tyro--itch for scribbling--before you began the Baptist Recorder." I have seen some of them who would even dare to do this.
That christian charity of which you suppose the Christian Baptist so deficient, could, I think, have been better exhibited in your remarks upon a quotation from "Querens," p. 158, than it seems to be. You have ascribed to him that of which I cannot see him guilty; and had you thought proper to reply to his sympathies for you, I cannot see why you should have selected two words from the 158th page not pertaining to you, and given to them a construction very forced, at least. This much in passing. If Dr. Noel has any explanation to make for himself in reference to the matters, concerning which Querens inquires, I will, with pleasure, allow him page for page with Querens. But mere personal altercations I have neither room nor taste for. Whatever can elicit inquiry and promote the examination of the scriptures, is quite a-propos.
In your next you promise to be more concise and connect. To this I have no objection. But, my brother Clack, I wish you to do more than to be concise and connect--take up and discuss some one point at a time. Take up some of those things you call Campbellisms, or some of those matters you call my peculiarities, and leave off all personal allusions. Tell me not of such men "as Semple and Vardeman as being in direct opposition to my opinions." I do not know that this is the fact. In ninety opinions in every hundred, it is probable we exactly agree, and if in ten per cent. of our opinions we differ, can we not forbear one another in love? If we agree in faith, what if we differ in opinions? I wish you would define what you mean by opinion. I have defined myself. But what do you  mean by naming Semple and Vardeman! Do you make Popes of them! Will it not hurt their feelings to see their names so used? Would either of these brethren set up his name against reason or argument? Would either of them decide a question by the weight of his name! If they would not, why should you attempt to hush inquiry by arraying them before me? Or was it, ad captandum vulgus, to inveigle those who wish others to think for them, and who have not time to think for themselves? You know me, I hope, too well to think to awe me by great names. Besides these brethren, great as they may be, (and it is better to be good than great,) are great men of a certain cast. We have great soldiers, great mechanics, great merchants, great mathematicians, great politicians, great linguists, great logicians, great orators, great reasoners, great declaimers, great scriptureans, great speculators, and great christians, A great mathematician may be a little christian, and a great christian may be a little mathematician. A great scripturean may be a little declaimer, and a great declaimer may be a little scripturean.
I respect these brethren as much as you do, but I am not governed in my inquiries by their veto. And I am much deceived in them, if they wish other christians to be governed by their decisions. I do not flatter them. I have no kingdom to hold or gain by flatteries. But I have been ashamed of some who have burned censers full of incense to these brethren to secure them to their side of the question. I have had none to offer. And I know these brethren so well, as to be assured that their consciences approve my course towards them personally, more than they do those that have sacrificed to them. I know they are both eminent men of a certain school, and of a certain age; but in other respects they are common men. Their education and habits were not such as to make them great men in any department other than that in which they have labored so long. I venerate them as highly--nay, I doubt not, more highly, than some of their sycophantic admirers. But I esteem their goodness more than their greatness. Their opposition to some of my writings neither proves them true nor false. And as neither of them will be judged for me in the day of judgment, I will not allow them now to judge for me. But I have so much confidence in them as to think that they claim no such right; and I am of opinion that they have so much good sense as to allow that, even in the points in which we differ, I have as good a chance to judge as correctly as they. I know a hundred men who have never been in a pulpit, whose judgment with me goes as far as any hundred men who have grown grey in the "sacred desk;" nay, farther, in any question about "What say the scriptures." And this is the question which most of all concerns you and me; not Have any of the rulers believed it? but What say the scriptures? In asking and answering this question I will go with you, and will always bow unreservedly to their authority; but to none else. May this be your determination and your practice! is the prayer of one who will not flatter the great, nor disdain the humble; but who loves and honors all who love and honor the Prince of Peace.
P. S. To many of your epithets you will see I have paid no attention--such as "the baneful influence of my writings;" "wicked clergy;" "true church;" "the mere opinion of A. Campbell; "you call the Christian Baptist "the truth," &c. &c. These I leave with your "Tom, Dick, and Harry"--for those who have a taste for such morsels. If I have published the fulsome panegyrics of friends, I have not failed to season them with plenty of such splenetic detractions as some would be apt to call many of your boldest and finest tropes. The sweets of adulation, as some think them, have been neutralized by the bitterness of condemnation; so that the composition is not too strong for even a squeamish stomach.--Ed.
Philalethes on the Scriptures.
[Continued from page 279.]
7. GOD'S instrument of instruction secures to each of the saints, faithful men, or believers in Christ (for these terms denote precisely the same persons) the noble privilege and high honor of being entrusted with a just share of Christ's work on earth. Christ has not distributed his work unfairly among his servants, nor his honors unjustly among his followers. He has not assigned one sort of labor to one servant, and another to another. On the contrary, he has not only permitted, but encouraged and commanded each to do all he can, of any thing, and every thing, which can further his Master's service, in secret, in private and in public. Ability, opportunity, and disposition for which, and not Christ's partiality or arbitrary appointment--determine both the kind and the quantity of labor which each of his friends may perform; every part of his service being open alike to every laborer with a very few designated exceptions.
8. God's instrument of instruction subverts at once all the arrogant and exclusive pretensions of the self-created order of men called the Clergy. Qualifying and empowering every saint, faithful man or believer, to do every act of which Christ's work consists, it leaves no peculiar, no exclusive labor for the men to perform, who have for many ages arrogated to themselves the designation of God's lot, and the exclusive performance of all the most lucrative, dignified and important functions of Christ's kingdom. It reduces every member of Christ's family to his proper place; that is, to the place to which his knowledge, faith, love, obedience, and service assign him. It entrusts no part of Christ's work to incapable, unfaithful, or treacherous men. It puts confidence in none but saints. They alone are authorized to intermeddle with their Maker's work, and no part of it is denied to any of them, with the few exceptions already alluded to.
9. God's instrument of instruction alone possesses a harmonizing, assimilating tendency. It is pre-eminently--nay, exclusively qualified to bring all who consult and obey it, to the same belief, to the same rational and ardent devotion, mutual love, and christian practice. Presenting to every reader and to every hearer the same plain information, it can scarcely fail to produce among intelligent and reverential inquirers unanimous opinion. Exhibiting to all the same glorious object of adoration and worship, it must excite in all the same veneration, love, and obedience. Proposing to all the same interesting and powerful motives, it cannot but awaken in all the same ardent pursuit--and setting before the minds of all its votaries, their fellow-creatures as bound together by the most endearing relations, as children of the same family; as participants of the same hopes, fears, and interests, how can it fail to beget kind feelings, mutual good will, complacency, and delight! Nor is this a picture drawn by a feverish imagination. These happy effects were actually produced among christians as long as they continued to use no other instrument of instruction than that with which God had himself provided them. While  alone employed, it answered its purpose fully. It brought glory to God, salvation, harmony, good will, and peace to men.
10. It saves time. Small is the portion of time and labor that any person who seeks religious information by consulting his Bible directly will be compelled to expend in order to acquire a sufficient quantity of it, in comparison of the time and labor which he must waste who seeks his religious instruction from creeds, confessions, catechisms, tracts, pamphlets, lectures, orations, speeches, discourses, arguments, sermons, commentaries, paraphrases, expositions, economies, or corpulent bodies of divinity. The former will acquire more religious knowledge in one hour than the latter will grabble out of his human repositories in months. Indeed, to attempt to collect religious information from such means, is to murder time.
11. God's instrument of instruction is the only convenient one. It is, or may be, ready at all times. By day and by night, whether sick or well, in ease or in pain, in sorrow or in joy, in trouble or in peace, the blessed volume is at hand, and ready to impart whatever is necessary to the consolation and improvement of our souls. To obtain its precious benefits we have not to travel over hill and dale, scale mountains, and stem torrents, scorch with heat, or freeze with cold; nor have we to flatter, coax, follow, and pay a fellowman, or incur vast expense of any kind to procure it.
12. It is unexpensive. It yields a free repast. Here wine and milk, the most pleasing, interesting, and improving information, are presented without money and without price. To its salubrious streams, to its health-restoring waters whoever is athirst may repair and drink freely. A copy of a Bible costs but little.
13. It puts it in our power to pursue the only natural, rational, sure, and, indeed, usual method of acquiring information. What is that method? Certainly when we have an original communication, to consult it, and not what men may say about it. Undoubtedly this is the course recommended by common sense, and pursued on every similar occasion. Christians are the only persons who commit the absurdity of preferring the conjectures, opinions, notions, reveries, and dreams of other men about an original communication, to seeing with their own eyes, and hearing with their own ears, the uncorrupted original itself. This is no doubt strange; but it is nevertheless true. For Christians do actually prefer to the pure, unmixed, unadulterated milk of God's word, human transformations of it into catechisms, creeds, confessions, tracts, sermons, lectures, commentaries, expositions, economies, paraphrases, orations, arguments, discourses, and ponderous bodies of divinity.
14. God's instrument of religious instruction brings heaven down to earth. It brings into our ignorant, wicked, and miserable world, that knowledge which makes heaven heaven; that knowledge of God and divine things which is destined to delight--nay, to enrapture the pure spirits of the blessed through endless duration.
15. God's instrument of instruction is alone qualified to make those who are ignorant of the contents of sacred writ, acquainted with it, no matter whether they can or cannot read it themselves. For unless the very words of God's message be either read to them, or read by them, it is utterly impossible that, by any other means, they can, with certainty, acquire the knowledge of it. When what is, in modern phrase, called a preacher, or writer, tells, or rather pretends to tell the ignorant what the Bible, according to his notion of its meaning, contains, how is it possible that they who know nothing of its meaning themselves, can know whether his account of its meaning be correct or not? It is utterly impossible. If, then, the ignorant receive their preacher's or commentator's meaning of sacred writ, as correct, without some surer ground for their belief than his notion of it, it is manifest that their belief must rest entirely on human authority--that is, that they receive as divine information what their preacher tells them is divine information, merely because he says so; for it is plain that they have nothing but his assertion to satisfy them that there is a particle of divinity in his representation of it. For ever, therefore, till they either read the scriptures themselves, or hear them read, just as the Spirit  has himself worded them, must those who are ignorant of them remain in doubt whether what their teachers communicate to them as God's word be in reality God's word or a human misrepresentation of it; for they have no means, except a direct appeal to the words of sacred writ itself, by which they can possibly detect misrepresentation if it has occurred in their preacher's exhibition of its meaning. No wonder, then, that Paul commanded his letters to be read in the christian societies to whom they were sent, and not to be employed as texts for sermons, or materials for lectures, commentaries, paraphrases, and so forth. And moreover, these plain facts show us the deplorable condition of those deluded creatures among whom christianity has been introduced, if when so introduced it can be called christianity, not by publishing God's word to them just as it stands in the sacred records, but as mangled, modified, and misrepresented by what is styled preaching in modern phraseology, for in scripture nothing is called preaching but the publication of God's inspired message in his own inspired words.
16. Our all-wise and most attentive Sovereign, like every judicious commander, has furnished every soldier in his army with a complete suit of spiritual arms, made at his own expense, according to his own direction, out of materials wholly divine, and of the most exact similarity. Christ's army militant, as well as triumphant, appears in the most perfect uniform. He knows too well the necessity and advantage of such similar and heavenly made armor, to leave its selection and fabrication to the ignorance and incapacity of his imperfect soldiers. He therefore devised, prepared, and put into the hands of each of his militant friends, such weapons as he judged to be best adapted to the furtherance of his service, especially the spiritual sword, that highly tempered and hourly needed instrument of both defence and attack. But notwithstanding all the great wisdom, care, and caution manifested in this matter by the illustrious Leader of the Saints, the clergy who pretend to high rank in his army, have treated his wisdom, care, and caution with contempt, and have preferred weapons devised and fabricated by themselves, out of materials almost entirely human, to his divine provision. To fight the battles of the Lord and destroy the power of the grand Adversary, (not by celestial weapons, but by their own,) here one comes forth, vaporing and blustering, with a sermon, perhaps, spun like a cobweb, out of his own brain, or perhaps stolen from a brother warrior. There another exhibits, strutting with his mighty tool, a lecture, paraphrase, commentary, or perhaps a fabulous tract, or it may be a huge body of divinity of which it is likely not one thought out of a thousand can he found, which originated with its ostensible author; but let the thoughts which they contain originate with whomsoever they may, one character is common to all of them; they are all the notions, opinions, conjectures, or reveries of uninspired fallible men, and of course unfit to constitute a foundation for that faith which rests on nothing inferior to the explicit declarations of that God who can neither lie nor be deceived in any of his communications.
[TO BE CONTINUED.]
THE FOURTH OF JULY.
A NUMBER of disciples, principally members of the Church of Christ, in Pittsburg, agreed to have a love-feast on Monday the fifth of July, instant. They chose that day in honor of the fourth of July, 1776. Grateful to Heaven for the blessings which that day vouchsafed the citizens of this country, they thought that christians participating in them ought religiously to call to mind the goodness of God in granting that deliverance. While the children, of this world, with voluptuous joys and noisy mirth, are regarding the day because of the political privileges which they inherit, we know of no good reason why christians may not, if they please, consecrate the day to the Lord as a free-will offering, and convert the occasion into one of joy  and rejoicing in the Rock of their Salvation, giving glory to the Governor of the Nations of the Earth, that they are made free citizens, not only of a free government on earth, but of the kingdom of heaven.
More than a hundred and twenty disciples, with sundry visitants and many children, dined together in an arbor about two miles from the city. The day was spent in joy and gladness of heart, singing the praises of the Lord, and in conversing about the good things of the heavenly country. I had the pleasure of pronouncing the following Oration immediately before dinner. After the Oration, the following song was sung:--
|Behold! the mountain of the Lord
In latter days shall rise,
On mountain tops above the hills,
And draw the wond'ring eyes.
To this the joyful nations round,
All tribes and tongues shall flow;
"Up to the hill of God," they'll say,
"And to his house we'll go."
The beam that shines from Zion hill
Shall 'lighten ev'ry land;
The King, who reigns in Salem's towers,
Shall all the world command!
Among the nations he shall judge!
His judgments truth shall guide!
His sceptre shall protect the just,
And quell the sinner's pride!
No strife shall rage, nor hostile feuds
Disturb those peaceful years!
To ploughshares men shall beat their swords!
To pruning hooks their spears!
No longer host encount'ring host,
Shall crowds of slain deplore!
They'll hang the trumpet in the hall,
And study war no more!
Come, then, O house of Jacob! come
To worship at his shrine!
And, walking in the light of God,
With holy beauties shine!
After dinner brother Walter Scott delivered a very interesting discourse on "the great and notable day of the Lord," which is to introduce the Millennium. Many citizens assembled to hear the discourse. After which we proceeded to the river, where five persons were immersed into the ancient faith. Thus closed one of the most joyful anniversaries of our national independence which we ever witnessed. Every incident of the day was pleasing and agreeable, and the whole celebration was well adapted to promote the edification and comfort of every disciple of the Prince of Peace. All was conducted in the simplicity, decency, and good order, which become the christian profession.
IN HONOR OF THE FOURTH OF JULY.
OMNIPOTENT is the word of God! He spake, and a world was made! Let there be light, he said, and light there was! He uttered his voice, and from darkness light was born! from chaos order sprang, and from an inert mass of lifeless matter animated beings of ten thousand ranks and orders stand forth in life triumphant!
Thus came the universe from the command of God. But how gradual and progressive was the developement of the wisdom, power, and goodness of the Almighty Maker! Light was the first born; next, the aerial expanse, called heaven; then the water heard his voice, and of the terraqueous globe this element first felt the impulse of the all-creating energy. It was congregated into its aerial and terrestrial chambers. Naked from the womb of waters the earth appeared. The new-born earth God clothed with verdure--with all the charms of vegetable beauty--and gave to its apparel a conservative principle, a reproducing power.
Light was itself chaotic until the fourth day. No luminaries garnished the firmament until the week of Creation was more than half expired. It was then the Sun, Moon, and Stars were lighted up by the great Father of Lights. Until the Earth was born of water, no Sun beamed in heaven--no ray of celestial light shone upon its face. No life was in the Earth until the Sun beamed upon it. Then were the waters peopled, and from them came forth the inhabitants of the air. In the domain of this wonderful element life was first conceived and exhibited.
The race of earthborns, creatures of a grosser habit, did not hear the voice of God until the sixth day. On that day they obeyed the command of God, and stepped forth into life. Then the Almighty changed his style. Till then his commands were all addressed in the third person. "Let there be" was the preamble, "and there was" was the conclusion. But now, Let us make man, and let us make him after another model. The only being made after a model was man. All other creatures were originals. Towards him if any creature approached in any one similitude, it was in anticipation. Man steps forth into life in the image of his Maker, and found himself the youngest child of the universe, but the darling of his Father and his God. Here the chapter of Creation closes, and man has the last period.
Such was the value stamped on man by his Creator. A world is made and peopled for him; a palace reared, and furnished, and decorated for his abode; the great Architect plans and executes the edifice, and then introduces to its richest apartment the favorite of the universe. 'Tis here we are taught the science--'tis here we learn the numbers which, when combined with wisdom, tell of how much account we are.
On man thus valued, dignified, and honored by his Maker, a lordship  is conferred. Over all that swims, that flies, or that walks upon the earth, his dominion extends. The crown placed upon his head had attractions which angels saw, and charms which angels felt. Man thus placed in Eden, with his Eve from and by his side; having all its fruits, and flowers, and sweets, and charms under his control, with the smallest reservation in favor of the Absolute Sovereign of the Universe; having, too, the whole earth, from Eden's flowery banks to both the poles, subjected to his will--becomes the most enviable object in all the great empire of the universe. His fortune was not to make--'twas only to keep. But, alas! to one destitute of experience, however exalted, how hard to guard, how difficult to retain possessions gratuitously acquired!
Man, the last best work of God, environed with the riches and glory of a world, built, and furnished, and smiling for him, is envied, and his ruin meditated by the Prince of Apostates. He falls through his machinations. From God and Eden befalls at once, and involves with him the fortunes of a world!
For his recovery a remedial system is set on foot by his Creator. And such a system it is, as was worthy of its Author and of the admiration of an intelligent universe. To turn from the catastrophe of man to this recuperative system, is, of all transitions, the most grateful to the human mind. This is "a theme which never, never old shall grow." Eternity itself, vast and unbounded as it is, can never do more than develope it. Time furnishes but the scaffolding for rearing this temple of science. 'Tis in a temple yet to be built, this science is to be perfected, to be taught, and to be learned.
The knowledge of God is all the bliss which rational beings can propose to themselves. This knowledge, indeed, requires an acquaintance with all his works. For as we learn men only by their works, we learn our Creator only by his works. But here we are only in the alphabet, and here we never can rise above it: and few, indeed, in this life acquire an accurate knowledge of the art of reading God. The primer which God has put into the hands of man in this primary school is divided into three chapters. The heads of these are Creation, Providence, and Redemption. 'Tis God alone which, to the initiated, is seen in every character, word, and sentence, in this elementary volume. And he that sees not God in every sentence of this primer, knows neither himself, nor any thing in the universe.
This memorable occasion, fellow-citizens of the kingdom of God, calls for a few remarks on the past, the present, and the future providence of God. Aided by the lights of the living oracles, we can look back to the birth of Time, and forward to the funeral of Nature, Time, and Death. Looking back through the long vista of past ages, beyond the birth of the empires of antiquity, beyond the birth of kings, and emperors, and governments, we find a world without civil government. This is farther back than human records and chronology extend; but not farther than the records and chronology, which God has vouchsafed us, reach. In a world without civil government, the earth was filled with violence, and crime multiplied until in the judgment  of God the destruction of the whole race, with a single exception, became indispensable. As water first felt the creative energy of God, by it the first general judgment was inflicted. The anarchists were drowned; and in their death and burial the earth was washed from the pollutions of one thousand six hundred and fifty-six years.
In the New World an avenger of crime, and especially of blood, is the first institution. The second chapter of the history of the divine government over men, begins with the establishment of civil government. The inhabitants of the New World were filed off into small groups, called tribes, and the first effort to resist this arrangement was avenged with the confusion of human speech, which made a dispersion unavoidable. Patriarchs and princes over these small detachments of human beings, called nations, wielded the sceptre for nearly a thousand years without any remarkable incident. Cities, and towns, and palaces were reared and ruined during the interval from the Deluge till the erection of a religious nation. At that time tribes had grown up into nations, and nations began to form alliances, and thus empires began to be. As these increased idolatry began to increase. The larger the groups of human beings, either in cities or empires, the more idolatrous they became. They refined in crime until idolatry became the desolating sin of the second world, as violence was the damning sin of the antediluvian world.
To save the second world from one general ruin, a religious nation was erected, upon all the institutions of which, the Divinity was inscribed, and in such a way that nothing but the annihilation of that nation could annihilate the knowledge of the one only living and true God. This nation began in, miracle, progressed in miracle, was governed specially, or by miracle, and though exiled from its possessions because of its crimes, miraculously exists still a monument of the jealousy of God, and carrying with it every where a proof of the Divinity which no ingenuity, however perverse, can obliterate or deface. It held its possessions in the land allotted to it for nearly one thousand five hundred years.
Then opens a new era. A Celestial King is born, and born to reign over the human race for ever. The principles of his government, in their grand essentials, are new principles. This new institution, new once, and still new in contrast with the past and with the reigning earthly systems, is called significantly, the Reign of Heaven. The King is heaven-born and divine. Heavenly and divine are the principles of his government; and though his subjects live a while on earth, his government is designed to give them a taste of, and a taste for, heavenly things.
His government began in conquest, by conquest still increases, and will by increasing conquests ultimately subdue all things to himself. On a white horse, with a single crown upon his head, with a bow, and quiver, full of arrows, is the book of symbols, he appears going forth to war. But at the end of the long campaign he appears again with many crowns upon his head, with all the kingdoms of the  world in his train, and with the trophies of many battles, worshipped as the King of kings and the Lord of lords. The cardinal principle in his government is love. He subdues not by any other sword than that of the Spirit. Other kings subdue men's persons, and hold a sovereignty over their estates; but he seizes the hearts of men. To conquer enemies is his grand enterprize. Philosophy as well as religion teaches us that to conquer enemies is not the work of swords, nor lances, nor bows of steel. It is not to bind men's persons to a triumphal car, to incarcerate them in strong holds, or to make them surrender to superior bravery, prowess, and strength. To conquer an enemy is to convert him into a friend. This is the noble, benevolent, and heaven-conceived enterprize of God's only begotten Son. To do this all arms and modes of warfare are impotent, save the arms and munitions of everlasting love. By vivid displays of God's philanthropy, he approaches his enemies, and by the arguments with which this eloquence is fraught, he addresses a rebel world. Such is his mode of warfare; a system devised in heaven, and, like all God's means, perfectly adapted to the high ends proposed.
But not to lose sight of the great outline of things begun, let us pause and survey the chapters which we have scanned. In the first we saw society without civil government; in the second, society with civil government without religious associations; in the third, society under a politico-religious government; and in the fourth chapter, a scheme begun which contemplates the government of men by religion without politics, by the efficacy of one principle alone. This is the chapter of chapters now in progress, and full of the greatest and most astonishing incidents. We saw the rise, progress, and issue of three states of society; but as yet we cannot distinctly see the issue of the present. Its progress we may survey, and its tendency we may appreciate; but its full developement and glorious issue are, perhaps, too far removed from our optics and from our experience clearly and distinctly to apprehend.
But to aid us in looking forward, let us again look back. Christianity, or the New Institution, was set up under a Jewish government. Under that government it existed for a time; thence it passed under a Pagan government; next under a Papal government; and now, in this portion of the earth, it has come under a political government.
Under a circumscribed Jewish government it began. With this it did not, it could not coalesce. Over that government it ultimately triumphed. The principles of that government and of the government of Jesus Christ were at variance, and therefore one or other must be destroyed. That government fell, and fell chiefly through its opposition to christianity.
It next passed under a Pagan government. The conflict soon began, and the Pagan government fell. Christianity triumphed. But let it be distinctly marked that Christianity set itself in no other way against either the Jewish or Pagan government, than as its principles tended to bestow upon mankind a happiness from which that  government debarred them; and therefore the religion of Jesus--though passive in that conflict, and imperial Rome armed with all political power, and allied by all the superstitions of past ages, active in opposing it--prevailed and broke to pieces the Pagan power which resisted it.
Papal Rome rises out of the ruins of Pagan Rome. Christianity is then subjected to a more insidious and a more unconquerable government. This government, by its largesses to christianity, and by its paganized christian institutes, held its dominion longer over the institution of Jesus than ever did, or than ever can, any government ostensibly opposed to its principles. But yet, over this christianity is triumphing, and so far has triumphed that the New World has set up twenty-four governments, and is setting up others, upon principles at variance with all the papal and pagan governments of the Old World. So far, then, Christianity has triumphed and is triumphing over Papal Rome.
Citizens of the Reign of Heaven, let us for a moment turn our eyes to that government under which christianity exists in this most favored of all lands, in this wide and capacious and still extending empire. Tired and jaded with the conflicts of Papal Rome, grieved and incensed at the infractions of the rights of conscience and the rights of men, with all the tyrannies of conflicting sectarian institutions, our ancestors sought a city of refuge, a hiding place from the storm, in this newly discovered section of the patrimony of Japheth. God, more than four thousand years ago, promised to Japheth an enlargement of his territory, when he gave him the broken and indented patrimony of Europe. Here he found it; and our fathers, taught in the schools of papal and sectarian proscription, imagined that a government without any religion, a government purely deistical, sceptical, or political, was the summum bonum--the very maximum of social bliss. They went as far as mortals, stung with the fiery dragon, could go, to devise a government without a single religious institution. They succeeded not only in declaring, but in sustaining their independence of all the sons of pride; and in building for themselves and their children political institutions, which have hitherto secured, and will continue, we hope, to secure, till christianity conquers the world, the greatest portion of political and temporal happiness hitherto enjoyed by any people. This government proposes only to guard the temporal and worldly rights of men. It regards this world only as the appropriate object of its supervision and protection. It permits every man to be of no religion, or of any religion he pleases. It has no partialities for the Jew, the Christian, the Turk, or the Indian. Such is its creed. Here the affairs of another world are left to themselves. The government says to all the rival sectarian interests, "FAIR PLAY, AND THE RIGHTS OF MEN!" It will not help by its statutes, nor retard by its proscriptions, any religion, nor sect of religionists, now on the theatre. This is all that christianity asks, or can ask, until she conquers the world. Whenever a sect calls for the governmental arm to help her--to hold her up--she proclaims herself overmatched by  her competitors, and declares her consciousness that on the ground of reason and evidence she is unable to stand.
The present government aims at being purely political, and therefore can secure only man's political rights and promote his political happiness. This is all that worldly men wish; and it is all that a sectarian profession of religion can reasonably or justly require. He is a tyrant in principle, and would be one in practice, who asks for exclusive privileges. None but tyrants and knaves have ever sought pre-eminence by law or by force!
But still we are far from considering that a political government can ever fill up the measure of human, of social, of rational enjoyment. And all confess that were men truly religious political government would be unnecessary. So far this is a concession in favor of our grand position, that Jesus Christ will yet govern the world by religion only, and that by the operation of one single principle. Then shall they literally "beat their swords into ploughshares and their spears into pruning-hooks, and learn war no more." Christianity, rightly understood, cordially embraced, and fully carried out in practice, will as certainly subvert all political government, the very best as well as the very worst, as did the Jewish institution and people subvert and supplant the seven nations which once occupied the land of Canaan.
The admirers of American liberty and American institutions have no cause to regret such an event, nor cause to fear it. It will be but the removing of a tent to build a temple--the filling of a cottage after the family are removed into a castle. Not by might, nor by sword, but by the Spirit of the Lord will the political institutions of our government be laid aside. The Sun itself and the systems of worlds which revolve round it we can well dispense with when we arrive in the Palace of the Universe, where GOD is the Sun, the Light, and the Glory. So our best political institutions we can part with without a tear or a sigh, when Jesus reigns on earth, and has placed a throne in every heart and built a temple in every family.
The fourth of July, 1776, was a memorable day, a day to be remembered as was the Jewish Passover--a day to be regarded with grateful acknowledgements by every American citizen, by every philanthropist in all the nations of the world. The light which shines from our political institutions will penetrate even the dungeons of European despots, for the genius of our government is the genius of universal emancipation! Nothing can resist the political influence of a great nation, enjoying great political advantages, if she walk worthy of them. The example which our government gives is necessarily terrible to the crowned heads of Europe, and exhilarating to all who look for the redemption of man from political degradation.
But there is the superlative as well as the comparative degree. A more illustrious day is yet in prospect--a day when it shall be said, "Rejoice over her, you holy Apostles and Prophets, for God has avenged you on her!"--a day on which an angel shall proclaim, "The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord!"--a  day on which it shall be sung, "The kingdom, and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdoms under the whole heaven is given to the people of the Most High, and all people shall serve and obey him!" This will be a day of gladness only to be surpassed by the joys of the resurrection.
The American Revolution is but a precursor of a revolution of infinitely more importance to mankind. It was a great, a happy, and a triumphant revolution. But time and space limit and circumscribe all its blessings to mankind. It will long, perhaps always, be accounted an illustrious and a happy era in the history of man.--Many thanksgivings and praises have reached unto heaven, because of this great deliverance. The incense of gratitude, perfumed with the praises of saints, has long risen from myriads of hearts, and will continue to rise until the cloud shall cover the whole earth, and the glory of the Lord be reflected upon all the nations of the earth.
The praises of a Washington, a Franklin, and a Jefferson, will long resound through the hills and vallies of this spacious country, and will, in proportion as men are prepared to taste the blessings to result from the next revolution, continually increase. Posterity will only mingle their regrets, that, like Moses, all their political leaders died short of the promised land--that while they guided the tribes almost to Canaan, they fell in the wilderness without tasting the sweets of the good inheritance.
A more glorious work is reserved for this generation--a work of as much greater moment, compared with the Revolution of '76, as immortality is to the present span of human life--the emancipation of the human mind from the shackles of superstition, and the introduction of human beings into the full fruition of the Reign of Heaven. To liberate the minds of men from sectarian tyrannies--to deliver them from the melancholy thraldom of relentless systems, is a work fraught with greater blessings; and a work of a nobler daring and loftier enterprize, than the substitution of a representative democracy for an absolute or limited monarchy. This revolution, taken in all its influences, will make men free indeed. A political revolution can only make men politically free to task themselves, and to exact from themselves a service which few of the despots of more barbarous climes inflict upon their veriest slaves.
Talk not of liberty which only makes men greater slaves. Under the monarchies of the Old World, men are more free from themselves, than under the free government of these United States. The reason is, under this free government, the citizens have the opportunity and the liberty of improving and bettering their circumstances to such an extent as to engross all their energies, to call forth all their powers: hence, upon themselves they impose such tasks and inflict such toils and privations, as few of the monarchs of the East would be so cruel as to impose upon their subjects. Here in this land of liberty, we see all men in one incessant stretch. The accomplishment of one or more projects does not diminish their labors, nor their enterprize. Quite the reverse--the more successful the more  eager to commence again. And how often, how very often, do we see men dying under the whip of their own cupidity, in full harness pulling up the hill of their own ambition, when death kindly interposes, takes the burthen off their galled shoulders, and strips them for the shroud. Yet they boast of being free! Free to make slaves of themselves!! If the Son of God has made them free, they would not thus toil till the last pulsation of their hearts.
Men love independence, and of this we boast. Yet there is not a perfect consistency in our assumptions upon this subject. We have heard men boast of their independence, when the tailor, the cordwainer, the merchant, and the physician, were continually called upon for their services. We have heard our citizens boast of their national independence, when almost every article of their apparel, even to the buttons on their wrists, were of foreign growth and manufacture. And what is still more inconsistent, we have heard our fellow citizens boasting of political independence, and content to import their creed from Scotland, to yield to a system manufactured in Geneva, and at the same time slavishly serving divers lusts and passions, and living under the dominion of the fiercest passions, and most grovelling propensities of human nature. And yet they boast of being independent!
Conscience makes slaves as well as cowards of multitudes, who boast of being free. No person under the fear of death, ever can be free. They who are afraid of the consequences of death, are all their lifetime in bondage. To escape from this vassalage is worthy of the greatest struggle which man could make. This, however, is the first boon which christianity tenders to all who put themselves under its influence. It proclaims a jubilee to the soul--it opens the prison doors, and sets the captives free. The King of Saints holds not one of his voluntary subjects under a vassalage so cruel. The corruptions of antichristian systems are admirably adapted to increase and cherish this fear, which tends to bondage; but to those who embrace and bow to the real gospel, there is bestowed a full deliverance, and a gracious exemption from this most grievous bondage of the soul.
But when I name the true gospel, the proclamation of God's philanthropy, the Declaration of the Independence of the Kingdom of Jesus, I am constrained to remind you, my fellow citizens, of the christian kingdom, that this is the mighty instrument by which this world is to be revolutionized. This is the sword of the Eternal Spirit. This is that weapon which is mighty, through God, to the demolition of all the strong holds of the man of sin, as well as of that strong one that rules and reigns in the hearts of the children of disobedience. By it alone, proclaimed, and proved, and sustained in the lives of its advocates, were the Jewish and Pagan institutions of former ages substituted by the Christian, and that great change in society effected which is still blessing the earth with the influences of peace and good will. By its influences the leopard and the kid, the lion and the lamb, have in innumerable instances been made the most friendly associates  and companions. It imparts courage to the timid; strength to the infirm; hearing to the deaf, and speech to the dumb. It gives peace to the conscience; rest to the soul; ardor to the affections, and animation to the hopes of men. It is God's wisdom and his power; because it is his philanthropy drawn to the life, and exhibited by the strongest argument in the universe--the death of his only Son.
To introduce the last and most beneficial change in society, it is only necessary to let the gospel, in its own plainness, simplicity, and force, speak to men. Divest it of all the appendages of human philosophy, falsely so called, and of all the traditions and dogmas of men; and in its power it will pass from heart to heart, from house to house, from city to city, until it bless the whole earth. See how contagious it is. Since it began to be proclaimed, and sustained by the ancient order of things, see what changes it has made, and what effects it has produced, and with what rapidity it has spread over the country. More new churches have been formed within twelve months, where the primitive gospel has been proclaimed with clearness and power, than the twelve preceding years can count under the humanized gospel of the sects.
While the mere politicians of the land, and the children of the flesh, are rejoicing together around their festive boards, and in toasts and songs boasting of their heroes and themselves, we ought to glory in the Lord, rejoice in the God of our salvation, and sing a loftier song of purer joy than they. And while with them we remember with gratitude the achievements of the patriots of the land, we aught to rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory in recollecting the Christian Chief and his holy Apostles, who has made us free indeed, and given us the rank and dignity, not of citizens of earthly states, but of heaven. Yes, he is worthy of all gratitude, and of all adoration too, who has made all the citizens of his kingdom, not citizens only, but citizen kings and priests to God.
While they extol the bloody battles of the warrior, as "every battle of the warrior is with confused noise and garments rolled in blood," let us not forget the victories of him who did not lift up his voice in the streets--who did not use so much as a broken reed, nor consume a single torch, until he made his laws victorious. In that spirit of mildness, meekness, and unostentatious heroism, let us fight the good fight of faith, and as good soldiers of Jesus Christ, let us all be found faithful at our posts.
We may not rejoice once, but always. We may have our feasts of gratitude and love, and with the saints of olden times we may shout for joy. We may say with Isaiah, "Sing O heavens! and be joyful, O earth! and break forth into singing, O mountains! for the Lord has comforted his people, and will have mercy upon his afflicted. Sing unto the Lord, for he has done excellent things. Cry out and shout, O inhabitant of Zion! for great is the Holy One of Israel in the midst of thee." And with Habakkuk let us say, "Although the fig-tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be on the vine; though the labor of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no  food; though the flocks shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stalls; yet we will rejoice in the Lord, and joy in the God of our salvation. "Let the heavens rejoice; let the earth be glad; let the sea roar; let the fields be joyful; let all the trees of the forest rejoice; let the hills be joyful together before the Lord, because he comes to bless his people. Bless the Lord, all his works, in all places of his dominions; bless the Lord, O my soul!"
A MAN OF A HUNDRED YEARS.
A CORRESPONDENT of the Worcester (Mass.) Ægis, has recently attended the celebration of the hundredth birthday of Malatia Mason, at Thompson, Connecticut. He gives the following interesting account of it:--
I never before had seen a person a hundred years old. This singular novelty created an interest not less singular, much heightened, no doubt, by the circumstance that this old man, and my little boy, who was with me, constituted the extremes of five generations. The occasion called together quite a concourse of the old gentleman's posterity, friends, and neighbors, and townsmen, and appropriate religious services were had at the Baptist Church in Thompson. Elder Grew preached from 2 Timothy iii. 6, 7, and 8. "For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand," &c. The preacher stated that the old gentleman had, for three score years and ten, been a professor of religion; that the number of his surviving children was six; grand children fifty-three; great grand children about a hundred and fifty; besides a number of great-great-grand children. Several branches of the old gentleman's family are settled in this commonwealth. Among others is the large family of Whites in Northbridge, and the family of Dr. Bullard of Sutton.
After the religious exercises of the occasion were over, I endeavored to ascertain by what means, under God, in whom he had so early put his trust, this man of a hundred years had managed to live so long in the world. He informed me that he was born at Rehoboth; that he was brought up to the trade of a mason, and continued to work at it more or less until he was eighty years old. That when young, he married "a worthy woman," by the name of Rebecca Miller, by whom he had twelve children, and whom he buried but a few years ago. He said he always worked hard; had frequently walked ten miles in the morning and done his day's work.
Upon his being questioned as to his mode of living, he modestly said he had always aimed to be temperate; that when he used to work hard he drank a little spirit, but he never used tobacco in any way; once in a while he smoked a little for amusement, but never a pipe full at a time. He is a person small in stature, thick set, and has to this day a good head of hair, and a fine bright eye. The most striking characteristic of his mind was that of equanimity and cheerfulness; and herein undoubtedly consists the main secret by which the subtle machinery of life has been so long kept in motion. 
IN these days, I find that many are afraid of innovations, and much opposed to them: especially in things which concern the kingdom of the Lord Jesus, and its prosperity. But why all this? Is it because they are afraid that truth will fail in the earth--that the cause of Christ will suffer--that sinners will go down to hell? or is it something else? And do not they, who are all so much alarmed, lest innovations should be made, manifest the same spirit, and exhibit the same character, that the Jews did in the days of Jesus and the Apostles? Were not they afraid of innovations in matters of religion? They certainly were: but why? That is the question. I answer, the very reason why they were so much afraid of the innovations, which were made by Christ and his followers, was this--they and their fathers had made very great innovations on the religion, which had been revealed from heaven, by God himself, through the instrumentality of Moses, and the succeeding prophets. Had they been candid, honest men, they would not have been afraid of the light, they would not have feared the strictest scrutiny.
The Jews are still afraid of innovations: and this is the grand hindrance to their conversion. Mahomedans and heathens too are opposed to innovations in things of religion: and why? Not because they have truth on their side; but because they love that darkness, with which they are surrounded; and hate the light of truth, because their deeds are evil.
No people have been guilty of greater innovations on the religion of Jesus Christ, than those of the Roman Catholics; yet none have ever raised a greater hue and cry against innovations, than they. They have persecuted many millions, even unto death, on the ground of innovations; they have done it for ages; and they manifest the same spirit to this day. Witness the manner in which our missionaries and their converts have been treated in Palestine--witness the thunders of the Vatican against the Bible Societies, and Bible men, Yes, witness the frequent murders in Ireland by Catholic mobs to this day. This is because they are unwilling that innovations should be made on their religion--not the Lord's; but their own.
But sir, I ask if any improvement can be made in any thing, without innovation? Can the true and living christian "grow in grace, and in the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ," without change? Can he constantly grow wiser and better without continual change? Surely not: and what is change but innovation?
Again, I would ask, can the promises and prophecies that have gone before ever be fulfilled, without great innovations? Must they not be made as the millennial glory nearer shines? Do ministers and christians suppose that they know as much of God, and feel the power of godliness, as much as the people will who shall live in that happy day, when the light of the Moon shall be as the light of the Sun--when the light of one day shall be as the light of seven days? and when "HOLINESS to the LORD shall be written upon the bells of the horses?" Are we as holy, as humble, as charitable, as spiritually-minded,  as they will be? And why need many run to and fro, and knowledge to be increased?
But, sir, let us take the several denominations of christians, as we now find them--say, the Episcopalians, the Baptists, the Methodists, and the Presbyterians: they are all very jealous over their rights, or privileges--they are very tenacious of creeds and their forms; but if great innovations are not made amongst them, will their watchmen ever "see eye to eye?" And can the glories of the millennium ever be realized on earth? And will the people of that day be governed by that narrow mind, that sectarian, contracted, selfish, worldly spirit, which characterize all the churches of the present day? Will they waste their lives in endless speculations, and doubtful theories, and neglect prayer and practical godliness, as we now do? If not, great innovations must be made.
Again, is not the christian religion, as it is now taught--believed--practiced, almost any thing, or every thing, rather than the religion, which was taught and believed, and which shone in life and conversation in the days of Paul? Who believes, and prays, and prevails in prayer, as the christians did in those days? Who is now willing to deny himself, and take "joyfully the spoiling of his goods," as did the christians of that time? Who can be found in these days that could wish himself "accursed from Christ for his brethren, his kinsmen, according to the flesh?" Were the christians of those times as much in love with earthly things as we are? Did they delight as much in gay attire, in lascivious pampering of the body, and, in an elegant, expensive parade, as christians of the present day? Did they affect the fine gentleman? Were they mere beaux and belles? If not, did they much resemble professors of the present age?
Again, is the same doctrine taught now, which was then proclaimed? Is it not plain matter of fact, that the grand topics of apostolic preaching are but little thought of now? while a thousand speculations are advanced, of which an Apostle never dreamed. The religion of that day consisted of principle, heavenly principle, reduced to living, ardent, persevering practice: is it so now? Does not the religion of the present day consist more in opinion than practice? Is it not the custom of the present age, to adopt a set of opinions, make little advancement in the knowledge of God, refrain (not always) from grosser acts of wickedness, and attend to a few forms of godliness, while the heart is full of every thing but love to God and man? And is not this called the religion of Jesus Christ? I will not say there are exceptions; for if there were none, the world might sink at once to hell: but, I ask, is not this the fashion, or custom, which widely prevails in the churches of the present day? If any shall answer in the negative, let them answer by practice, and the answer will be, so far as they are concerned, both good and true.
If these things be so, (and the world cannot but see that they are so,) is there not the utmost need of vast amendment? Most certainly, But the amendments which God requires, can never be made  without vast innovations. The world must be turned "upside down;" the churches must be shaken, sifted, and purified; the watchmen must blow the trumpet, not with uncertain, but with significant sound; they must blow it loud and long--they must learn to be ministers, and nothing but ministers of Jesus Christ, or the world itself will do as it has done for ages, it will empty almost all its contents into hell!
Innovations must be made--reform must, of necessity, take place--great changes must be introduced: they must overspread the world: for the world must be converted. Yes, the knowledge of the Lord must cover the earth as the waters do the sea. It is desirable that, innovations should be made, that changes very great should come. I know, very well, that troubles great and many will attend the mighty revolution which the world must shortly undergo; but let them come--let us look to God for help, and arm ourselves for the conflict--let us acquit ourselves "like men," follow the Captain of our Salvation, fight the battles of the Lord, and come off more than conquerors, through him that loved us. Now let us endure hardness, as good soldiers, and wear the brighter crown. Light afflictions will increase our "eternal weight of glory," beyond the grave: and there is much truth in the ancient proverb, "No cross no crown."
I said, it is desirable that innovations should be made--made in those things called religion, as well as other thing: I say so still: and why? Because the good, the infinite, eternal good which God has promised, can never come, can never he enjoyed, without innovations. People are not prepared to receive those blessings Nay, much of the good which God has in store, consists in the very changes which shall take place. Glorious things are spoken of the city (i. e. the church) of our God; but they can never be fulfilled, unless the church is revolutionized. She is not now prepared to receive them. She must come up out of the wilderness--she must learn to be separate from the world, remembering that its friendship is enmity with God, or she can never receive those glorious things.
Why, then, are so many ministers and churches afraid of innovations? Are ministers afraid they shall lose their livings? Are they afraid they shall become unpopular? Are they afraid they shall be persecuted, as Jesus, and Paul, and Luther, and Whitfield, have been? Why are the churches so much afraid of innovations? Are they afraid their slumbers will be broken? Or are they afraid they shall be obliged to dissolve their partnership with the world? Are they afraid they shall be necessitated to lay aside their gay equipage, their gewgaws, and all their extravagances in dress and other things? Are they afraid they shall be obliged to deny themselves, take up the cross, follow Jesus gaily, watch, pray, and live, as for eternity? Or are they afraid the zeal of innovators will put them to shame, and that they shall he obliged to forsake all for Christ, bear the cross, or else be exposed to themselves and to the world, in the light or character of mere hypocrites, having no more religion than is requisite for a decent or comfortable standing in and with the world? 
Sir, I wish you to publish this, or produce a better article on the same subject: for something of the kind is greatly needed.
|New York Evangelist.|
ELDER TAYLOR'S "CAMPBELLISM EXPOSED."
I RECEIVED the following communication after my review of Elder John Taylor's pamphlet was printed off. I did not think, nor do I now think, the pamphlet worthy of a notice as long as an ordinary obituary. But there are other matters in connexion with it deserving of more attention. These I have glanced at in my review. But the following communication I feel inclined to insert for the following reason:--
1. The writer and I never exchanged an idea upon the subject; he saw not my review, and I saw not his, till mine was, as it now is, in print. The remarkable coincidence in many essential remarks is a matter of interesting curiosity.
2. In the next place, he is no way interested in the controversy from any implication or personal feeling whatever.
3. He is a northern man, consequently cool and dispassionate; and being far from the scene of action, he is not instigated by any of those feelings which move those who are on the confines of the great theatre if war in Kentucky.
The impressions made upon his mind appear to be the natural operation of the pamphlet; and if he have expressed himself more pointedly than I, it will show how much self-denial I exercised in my strictures upon it. But the wise will see, and the inquisitive will learn more clearly from this reviewer, than before, the necessity of reform.
FOR THE MILLENNIAL HARBINGER.
AS might be foreseen, upon the ordinary grounds presented by the history of mankind, the "Restoration;" &c. so faithfully and successfully advocated in the Christian Baptist, has from various quarters encountered opposition. The sectarians, impelled by the ingredients of their nature, hated the matter and the manner of the book. False friends, moral cowards, and hypocrites united in deploring the spirit in which it was conducted. They would have much preferred a tame, lame, and time-serving production, with a semblance of faithfulness in the proportion of a grain of wheat to a bushel of chaff: He is too sarcastic," says one; "Too bitter," says a second; "Would make as better Lawyer than a Divine," says a third; while all were compelled, to confess, in a positive or negative mode, that he could not be refuted that his arguments were logical and his positions scriptural; and that somehow, in all the invitations to discussion, or challenges to disputation upon the points set forth, the wisdom of the wise has failed them, and the courage of the mighty has come to nought. We have seen Christian Bishops, Dr's. of Divinity, Editors of light-giving periodicals, and a host beside, making a mighty flourish when preparing to silence this "voice crying in the wilderness," And what has been effected? Is  the truth defensible? Are these men paid for defending it? Are they bound by their special call to the work, to confute with scripture and solid learning this mighty gainsayer? According to their own confession, do they expect to stand before the Judge to answer for the discharge of this duty? And what, I again ask, has been effected? Why this much, and no more: they have now and then noticed an insulated statement made by the Christian Baptist; they have indulged in a few stale witticisms; they have insinuated, and equivocated, and changed ground; they have accused, lied, and perverted; and in all their proceedings DEMONSTRATED before, the whole heavens that they could not defend themselves fairly and honorably; and that the truths pressed upon the public mind by A. Campbell were felt to be truths, and for that reason to be obscured, darkened, and vilified, Jest the subjects of the clergy should acknowledge them to be true and from God.
This train of reflection was suggested by reading a filthy, ignorant, and mischievous pamphlet, published by John Taylor of Kentucky, which may be considered a FAIR specimen of the opposition to the work of God as defended in the Christian Baptist and now by the Millennial Harbinger. I do not intend a formal review of this abortion of the historian of "Ten Baptist Churches." No--the little work does not merit a regular notice; but it has suggested the following remarks, which may be useful to some.
I had long wished for some unquestionable specimen of the effect of the system of the Regular Baptists. And why? but that I was almost persuaded that the spirit and genius of their system was essentially different from the gospel of the grace of God. Now I am altogether convinced, that, as a sect, they have not the truth of the gospel among them; neither do they hold the institutions of Christ's kingdom, nor the order of the churches established by apostolic authority in the beginning. The pamphlet before us is a noble developement of the spirit and efficacy of the system, and PROVES that if peace and holiness be prerequisites to admission into the kingdom of glory, the plan, temper, order, and influence of the Regular Baptists, are not only not conducive to salvation, but directly and positively opposed to the attainment of meetness for the inheritance of the saints in light. Unless death, or he who hath the power of death, accomplish a miraculous change--that is, unless they do more in the production of holiness and in evolving the fruits of righteousness, than fifty years membership and preaching among the Regular Baptists--what must be the eternal destiny of such a spirit as that of Old John Taylor? Admit him into the family of the holy and perfect on high, breathing the spirit of his pamphlet, and with whom could he associate? If the New Testament be true, there is in the mansions of rest no kindred spirit. The proof of this is to be met with in every page, and is so palpable that the incongruity of his statements with gospel feeling must be discerned even by the worldling, if possessed of a common measure of intelligence, and sensibility.
Without pretending to much propriety of arrangement in the order  of our remarks and specifications, it is necessary to premise that what we shall say of Elder John Taylor, is said, recognizing him as exemplifying the system to which he is attached--to which he was converted by William Marshall, and in consequence of which he became "a decided, full bred Baptist." As respects the old man himself, personally, he has been sufficiently important among his fellow-wranglers, and is abundantly comfortable in his supposed eminence among the "Regulars," and it is to be feared has seldom heard the truth as concerns himself. We think it important he should be told it before he goes to render an account of his stewardship. But to the system:--
1. John Taylor evinces a desire to be thought possessed of a peculiar discernment of spirits. "He suspected Campbell from his first interview;" nay, more--Doctor Noel and he strongly suspected he was "deeply tinctured with Unitarianism" This was at the first interview; after hearing two discourses, in which the offence against orthodoxy consisted in enjoining family religion and the christian education of children, without having said any thing, either way, upon the topic about which the suspicion was indulged. Ah! it requires an effort to repress the rising indignation at the conduct revealed by this PRECIOUS confession. Is this welcoming a christian brother and a fellow-laborer in the gospel? Is this the spirit cherished by the orthodox Regulars? It is worthy of remark that old John's tears trickled while Mr. Campbell was teaching, until he began a "full explanation of religion," and then Elder Taylor was "dried up as barren as the heath." This is no way peculiar to him. It is the condition of the sect. Their sensibilities are awake to the few things which SELFISHNESS has sanctified and appropriated to themselves; but a full explanation of the religion of the Holy Oracles is always able to dry up the fountain of their consolation, and fill them with angry and envious suspicious against the man who causes them to hear it. John Taylor may tremble at the reflection, that while he can enjoy a partial selection of statements upon religion, all that is necessary to dry him up and make him ready for the burning is that the whole book should he true--and that by it, as a whole, he must he judged. We have always considered this claim to special discernment as an index pointing to spiritual pride and its kindred grovelling passions. It is abundantly to be met with among the Regulars, and is supposed, among them, to be great boldness in the faith, and deserving of all respect and veneration on the part of the less highly favored. "Sure I ought to know" bespeaks the whole attainment in humility to which the individual has arrived.
2. John Taylor as the embodied spirit of the system, evinces the disposition to "judge another's servant," in the full perfection of that ungodly temper. His utmost stretch of charity cannot discover that Campbell has any "saving religion." When speaking of D. Parker, of Illinois, he intimates the want of religion in him too. Compares young Jacob to "an unclean spirit," and accuses Morton of never having felt the power of godliness--mentions John Smith, and finding  him in the bad company of a reformer, says all the evil he can of him--charges Joseph Hewett with parade, and, for want of other materials, supposes what evil he can of him. He insinuates that Mr. Campbell did some mischief, though he cannot tell what, before leaving the Presbyterians, and acknowledges HE KNOWS NOTHING AGAINST CAMPBELL'S MORAL DEPORTMENT; though he is evidently sorry he does not, and that "tears of joy would trickle," if he could, with the semblance of truth, accuse him of something wicked and unholy!! But stop! We have adduced evidence in savage plenty to prove the spirit of old John, and his sect, to be full of all malice and uncharitableness. Is there a man of common moral feeling and social decency who does not repudiate with disgust the spirit he exemplifies? Will the world believe it possible that an aged disciple, in any sect, bearing the (much abused) name of Christianity, could express a hope that the discharge of certain public duties, as a citizen of Virginia, may have inspired a taste for political life, strong enough to alienate the object of his malice from the church of Christ? Is this the man whose heart melts so readily at the very idea of sinners being converted? Is it the man who says, "Conversion by God is not a half-handed work," while he doubts the reality of the revival at Nicholasville? I cannot help pitying this poor, bigoted, hard-spirited old man!!
3. John Taylor, as aforesaid, in perfect consistency with his sect, while serving the basest ends and passions, professes to be actuated by a special desire to be at peace with all, and to avoid hurting the feelings or character of any. O, yes? he writes with "great sorrow of heart," and "desires not to say one uncharitable word of any soul alive." Alas! does not such a declaration, taken in connexion with a tithe of his pamphlet, illustrate the fearful influence of his system and plan. He either believes this of himself; and if so, must be mentally infatuated--or he does not believe it, and so must be morally and hopelessly blinded. Will it be believed that an aged minister of the christian religion, who has enjoyed the sanctifying, enlightening influences of fifty or sixty years' study and enforcement of the Holy Oracles, could think so well of himself in the act of exhausting the resources of malice and the vocabulary of Billingsgate? But to the proof. He describes the Reformers as exhibiting the "brazen impudence of the race of goats"--using "log rolling" to fill the pulpit--as "filthy scum"--employing "disgusting bravado"--and believing in "Phariseeism gospelized"--these reformers (described by name) are "headlong men," inculcating "blithe merriment" at baptism, instituting gospel feasts fitly denominated "war dances"--"buzzard-men"--"murderers (as Herod) exulting"--"outlandish renegadoes"--"cocked and primed for war"--and "merry as a cricket." Now, dear reader, is not that a PURE speech, worthy of a man who for fifty years has been imbibing the spirit of his namesake, the beloved disciple--worthy of one who considers himself a special guardian of "points of order" in the house of God? Is it at all wonderful that such a tongue should call the apostolic order, ordained of God for all his churches, by the name of "poor, little, mean things?" He  compares Campbell to Daniel's he-goat, and Mr. Parker to another goat--insinuates that certain "helps" employed by Rice, (who it seems is a most outrageous follow, and a stickler for good order,) to ascertain what was order, and what was not, were guilty of craft--ascribes to Jacob the younger the vile and mean motive of wishing to secure his hire of ninety dollars as the spring of his action--directly slanders both Jacobs under the pretence of praying for them--considers the ignorant, self willed, self-conceited Morton, as entitled to this recommendation (though he be chaffy) that he was unsound before he fell into Campbell's hands--likens young Jacob to a "calf"--"beautiful"--and a "curse to the people"--as, indeed, Campbell, Parker, Creath, and all concerned are declared to be "a curse to this ill-fated generation"--denominates Campbell's views and brethren "filthy lumber"--distinguished by your "loud laughter" and "want of humility"--describes their "whole religion as mirth and ease," and nothing but "INFIDELITY UNDER A MASK!! But we are tired and disgusted.
Now, christian reader, are these the breathings of christian charity? Is it possible that such a man told the truth when he professed kindness for all and zeal for God's glory? Does this look like the apostle John's namesake, forsooth? If he thought he spoke truly when he professed to love peace, has not his system utterly blinded and besotted his understanding? Has not his religion palsied and dethroned his moral sense? But we forbear? As respects the style of illustration, if it were not for spiders, flies, cockatrice eggs, creeping things, man-eaters, he-goats, hogs, and other insects, we cannot conceive what old John would do. True, he is "panting for eternity," and has infused much spirit and life into his sketches. But, Oh! when we think of the moral question!--the misrepresentation of another's sentiments--the attempt at cruel and bitter sarcasm, at the expense of those he calls "brothers"--the hypocritical pretensions to the love of the brethren and of the churches--the evident consciousness that he was sinning against the law of kindness, candor, and charity, in the very act of writing; and above all, that the old man should hope to "die more peaceably," in consequence of having done, what men of piety and good sense feel, could only embitter a dying hour. All, all prove the darkness created by his system, and the fearful state of delusion and ruin in which it leaves its subjects, advocates, and admirers! If this be the operation of the plan of the Regular Baptists, "O, my soul! come not thou into their secret; unto their assembly, mine honor, be not thou united."
4. John Taylor, as aforesaid, exhibits an example of ignorance in a professed, long tried, successful preacher of the Baptist faith, which could hardly be suspected even in this day of clerical suspicion and jealousy. We need not specify all the language of Ashdod which marks his inattention to the style of the Bible. We were prepared to meet with such phrases as "stated preacher," "monthly meetings." though it rather exceeded our calculations that where so orderly a system as Mr. Taylor's prevails, a church of Christ should be a whole year without communion!! We also suppose there is something  local in the distinction between "question of trespass" and "question of order." But it grieved us, and makes us ashamed withal, to find the Scriptures when quoted, uniformly misapplied--and quoted at random, without regard to the mind of God in the context. This criticism may sound "Jewish," but we must adhere to it, though it prove the hitherto invincible ignorance of our author respecting the scope and design of the inspired volume. Mr. Taylor is a teacher of christianity--of great experience, and long standing--an author too--a historian and polemic. Well! he evidently considers "doctrine as of small importance compared with points of order!" He thinks he has refuted the "ancient order," &c. by saying it existed one hundred years ago in the mind of Glass or Sandeman. He gravely admonishes Jacob Creath of the responsibility incurred by saying the Holy Scriptures are sufficient of themselves, without a humanly invented creed, to make a man of God perfect. He thinks it "outlandish mockery to administer your Lord's supper in the open air." He would have us believe the "Apostle's creed" is of divine inspiration, and that the "decrees" of the Apostles of Jesus Christ are on a level with rules and regulations appended, by the wisdom of such men as himself, to the Minutes of an Association. He denounces reformers as possessed of the spirit of Catholics, because they each had a New Testament and read it openly! Yes, reader, these are the views ("my views," he says,) of a Bishop of 50 years experience, enjoying the advantages of the purest church upon the earth; so pure as to defy reformation--a man who feels that his conscience constrains him to spread his light, and knowledge, and love before the world, in hopes of dying more peaceably after enlightening his age. I need not say Mr. C. pretends to no originality of views, but avows and feels his indebtedness to Christ and his Apostles for all he knows in the matter of the christian religion. But it must also be said, that it displays the inutility of the system, when, after all these advantages, ignorance so gross continues, and notions so crude prevail. Indeed, no better proof of the incapacity of old John's plan to produce peace and holiness is necessary, that the history of the janglings and quarrels that he himself describes, and with all his affectation of sorrow, he manifestly enjoys. Yes! yes! the old Regular Baptists are in their element, when making and managing difficulties, speaking speeches, and, like Rice, "running away with the reins" of a church. What a degrading spectacle, by the old man's own showing, are their church meetings, their discipline, and business. No man of good feeling could continue among them, and no prudent man of good character could safely deposit his standing among men, in their keeping. The historic details of such matters are low slander; and O! how degraded the people that can be gratified and interested by such narratives. No doubt Mr. Taylor KNOWS his people. If the reader can imagine a body of people, of both sexes, met to wrangle upon questions of heresy and moral character; defying the Moderator in their outrageous discussions; electioneering poor Negro slaves for the purpose of carrying a point,  meeting prefaced with singing hymns, and saying prayers--then he can imagine a CHURCH, a Regular Baptist church, doing business under the eye and influence of John Taylor, who writes and publishes an essay on "points of order?" And has it come to this? Yea! times are changed, wofully changed, since (as Mr. Taylor tells us, as a matter of pure revelation) Adam had an angelic soul! What teachers! ARE THESE THE ENEMIES OF THE RESTORATION? O that they individually may adopt Mr. Taylor's prayer, p. 31; and O that God would hear and answer it: "If I can do no good in the church of Christ, I pray God to keep me from doing harm" And all the people shall say, Amen!
IN our last essay it was asked, "Can a person love, fear, or hate a person of whom he is perfectly ignorant?" No is the answer which must be given. The opinion which shall be formed of a stranger depends upon his introduction to us; and according to our opinion of him will our affections and feelings towards him be. Every thing, therefore, depends upon the representations of the character of God which shall first be presented to the infant mind. Teach an infant that God is cruel, and it will hate him. Teach an infant that God is kind and benevolent, and it will love him. A child may be made to hate or love its own natural father; and, if the Scriptures say nothing to the contrary, we would suppose, from reason and analogy, that it might be made to love or hate its Heavenly Father, according to the representation which is presented to its mind. Let us, then, inquire what arguments christianity furnishes us with to produce love to God? or, does christianity authorize us so to represent God to the mind of an infant as to beget in its mind confidence in God and love to him?
The Apostle John teaches us that "GOD IS LOVE." This was his fundamental principle. This was his essential attribute of God as revealed through Jesus Christ. This developement of the Divinity was not made before the mission of Jesus. "No man has seen God at any time: the only begotten Son, who came from the bosom of the Father, has made him known." And what did Jesus say of his Father? God so loved the world as to give his richest and best, and dearest gift, "his only begotten Son, that WHOSOEVER believes in him might not perish, but have everlasting life." This is the strongest proof that "God is love."
Now, from these premises, might not a parent say to her infant, "My child, you love me because you lived upon my breast--because you repose upon my bosom--because you find protection in my arms and every enjoyment in my smiles. But there is one who is much kinder to you and who loves you much better than I. That being whom you have so often heard me call My Heavenly Father; to whom you have so often heard me ascribe praise for his goodness; to whom I look for protection by night and comfort by day; from whom you hear me continually implore blessings for you and for myself, and for all mankind; its from him you received life at first, and from him every blessing, and every comfort you enjoy descends. He gave you to me and me to you. See how great and how good he is. He made the Sun, the Moon, and the Stars. He gave to these luminaries all the beauties, and charms, and powers which they possess. He made the earth, and the waters, and all that inhabit them. He makes the grass to grow, and produces food for man and beast. Every thing you can desire to eat, and every thing you can desire to drink, he has bestowed upon us. For you and me, and all our race, he has created all that you see, and all that you know. And though he lives far beyond the reach of our sight, his eyes see us, and over us he watches by day and, by night.
"When he made man at first he made every thing for him, and gave him a right to use every thing for his comfort, and only kept from him the fruit of  one single tree, that our first father and mother might never forget that he was their Father and their God. But they would take it, and they did rebel against his goodness and his will; and having rebelled, he was induced to turn them out from his presence. He withdrew from their sight, and left them to themselves.
"Thus all children have, like you, been born in darkness and ignorance of him; and having no knowledge of him, are not inclined to converse with him nor to know him. But, my child, let me tell you that when he had tried and proved to every creature what a terrible thing it is to transgress his good will and pleasure; and after he had given mankind time to prove what they could learn and do without his aid, he had still such compassion and kindness for them all, as to send his only Son, who was always in his bosom, caressed and beloved infinitely more than I have loved you.
"He sent this his only Son to let us know that he would receive us back into his favor: and upon putting ourselves under his government, and submitting to do what he bids us, he has promised to forgive all our faults, and to make us live for ever, and be for ever happy in his presence. When we had all forgotten him and transgressed his will, he sent his Son not only to teach us his character and our dependence upon him, but also to suffer all kinds of afflictions, and pain, and death on our account, that he might cause us to love him, and that we might be made happy with him for ever in heaven.
"Every thing contrary to love he abhors, and nothing that is not contrary to love is displeasing in his sight. All offences against any of his creatures are offences against him: for as he made all creatures he is kind to all, and is the preserver of all. You see he makes the grass to grow for all kinds of cattle, and sends his favors to every thing that lives. Now as he is so good to all, he cannot be pleased with any one who does an injury to any of his creatures. These offences against our own species and against the animals which God has given us for our assistance and comfort, are what he has called sins. Now you know you could not love any one who would injure me, because you love me. Just so God cannot love any one who injures his fellow-creatures, because he is benevolent to all. The reason, then, that sin is offensive in his sight, is because it is injurious to ourselves and to our fellow-creatures. Hence, as God is love, he must dislike sin because it injures both the offender and the offended. You know that if you should get angry with your sister, and only say an angry word to her, that word grieves her, and your passion pains and grieves yourself. So that sin is injurious to the offender and the offended.
"You will, my child, perceive that as God is love, and that as he is kind and benevolent to all, so he affectionately and complacently loves them that love him: and, even to the froward and perverse, he is always good and benevolent, though he cannot approve their ways; but his goodness bestowed upon them is designed to bring them to reformation of life.
"In hating and in punishing sin, you see, my dear child, that God is amiable. For were he not affectionate and kind to all his creatures he would not prohibit offences nor punish for them. But as you see and feel, the more you love me the more you are grieved to see me pained, and the more you dislike every person and thing which injures me or gives me grief. So it is with God.
"The pains of body which you feel, and the grievances which you suffer, are kindly designed to correct your views and reform your behavior, that you may be brought home to God. You would, in this cloudy and dark world, soon forget God and happiness, if you were not thus kept in mind of him and of yourself. God never forgets you, therefore he endeavors to keep you in mind of him--sometimes by his smiles when you please him, and sometimes by a frown when you forget him.
"You see that I have to frown upon you when you imperil yourself by departing from me; but when you keep my counsel and keep in my presence, I smile upon you. Now as all my actions proceed from love to you, so all the actions of God towards you proceed from love. But I will tell you at another  time how much love God exhibited to you in sending his Son, and also I will teal you of some things which his Son said concerning little children like you."
So far, for the present, in illustration of the arguments which christianity puts into our mouths to reconcile our children to God, or rather to prevent that obstinate enemy of which we so often complain as an attribute of human nature. But I must beg for indulgence and for the candor of my readers while I attempt to call, forth their inquiries upon this subject. We desire to give a new impulse to their minds on a subject as dear to themselves as the salvation of their own souls.
HINTS TO REFORMERS.
WE are engaged in the greatest, noblest, and most blissful enterprize; an enterprize which has called forth the energies, and filled the hearts of the greatest and best men of every age. From Enoch, who foretold the dreadful and sublime consummation--and Noah, who proclaimed reformation to the antediluvians--there has been a succession of men in every age, to whose efforts for personal, family, and national reformation, the moral health and happiness of society are justly attributed. But manifold as have been the reformations of past age, there is need for one of a more elevated character, of more extensive range, and more radical tendencies, than any attempted or achieved since the Grand Apostacy.
But what now presses upon us is the necessity of reformation among the reformers in the manner of carrying, out this reformation. We have felt the necessity for this for some time, and daily experience and observation proclaim the necessity of it. Our efforts have been too much in the spirit of the times. From necessity, and not from choice, have we been compelled to stimulate the attention of the people by such appeals and addresses as they were prepared to feel and understand. Dreadful diseases require dreadful remedies. An audience has been obtained, and consequently the means to obtain it are no longer necessary. We must, then change our course, and fight not with the weapons of the Babel-builders and Babel-repairers. And, perhaps we should never call them any thing more characteristic than, our opponents. All personalities are to be proscribed on our side of the controversy, and every thing which savors of the spirit of Antichrist and of this world to be laid aside. Whatever will not carry conviction to the heads and hearts of our hearers or readers--whatever is not necessary to prove, illustrate, and confirm some great proposition, aught not to be heard or seen.
Let not the spirit nor the practice of the belligerent opponents beguile the reformers into their spirit and style.
If an opponent call me knave, impostor, deceiver, or hypocrite, it will avail me nothing to return these compliments to him, for this will not prove me innocent. It might in some circumstances prove me guilty as the accuser, or the accuser guilty as myself; but my proving him guilty will not prove me innocent. By good words and good works let us put to silence ignorant and wicked men. Let humility, self-denial, and a meek and quiet spirit adorn the ministrations of the reforming brethren. Let there be manifest, an  undissembled love to all the saints and benevolence to all men. Truth and love, arguments and kindness, are the only useful auxiliaries in this warfare. By truth and charity we conquer.
There are some opponents who ought not to have a reply. We have been condescending to an extreme in noticing all. This is no longer necessary. And I ask, How could a christian reply to the Baptist Chronicle and some other things of a similar character? There is no argument to which to reply; and to offer billingsgate for billingsgate, or curses for curses, is not compatible with the will of our King; besides it is altogether superfluous: for no man of reflection can or will say that there is any thing in such pieces which wise men will regard. It is enough to quote occasionally some pieces from these works, and let them SPEAK FOR THEMSELVES.
Let the reforming brethren give the people testimony, argument, and evidence; and let them, in the spirit of the gospel of love and benevolence, appear before the public. Then they will find advocates in the consciences of all men, and friends and allies in the best feelings of the human heart.
AFTER a few general observations, having stated that he only was regenerated or born of water and spirit, who, being previously begotten by the Spirit, came forth from water as from the womb, we offered in our last a few remarks upon the nature of God, the Primary Agent, as revealed to us in the scriptures; upon man's incapacity to discover God in his own nature, that is to say, as a Spirit; and upon the necessity thence arising that God should present himself in such a manner to man that he by means of his senses might be enabled to detect his presence and his character. We then concluded by noticing, briefly that exhibition of Him, which immediately relates to our subject, to wit--God manifest in the flesh, our Lord Jesus Christ, in whom God dwelt, reconciling a world unto himself in forgiving their sins; by the reception of the testimony concerning whom man is begotten again, quickened, regenerated, has his affections elevated above the fleeting pleasures of animal life to those true, superior, and celestial delights which are to remain forever, becomes exalted to the dignity of a son of God, and rejoices in the prospect of exchanging his gross, earthy, and decaying tabernacle for a spiritual, interruptible, and immortal body.
We come now to consider the subject man. Gnothi seauton, (know thyself,) said the wisest of the wise. What are we? What shall we be? Whence came we? Whither do we go? are important and interesting questions. That we may know what man is, it is necessary that we should first discover what he was. Let us examine the place of his abode.
In the garden of Eden the soil was pure. The refreshing dews of heaven descended into its bosom. The grateful streams with which it was watered flowed murmuring along its flowery  borders. Living verdure, richer than velvet, composed its carpeting. There the Lord God had caused to grow every tree that was pleasant to the sight and good for food. Nothing that could gratify desire--nothing that could contribute to continue happiness was wanting there. The prolific earth was pleased to pour her accumulated treasures into the lap of Paradise. No imagination can paint the delightful groves, the peaceful bowers, the sweet blossoms, the delicious fruits that adorned that blessed abode where the vegetable and animal creation rejoiced together in new-born beauty. Nothing that could cause pain--no thorns, no thistles--sprung from the untainted soil. There no storms raged. The sun diffused his tempered beams through skies forever serene. The gentle breezes, perfuming their wings with grateful odors, wafted in silken dalliance, ten thousand enchanting sounds to the listening ear. There the bountiful Creator condescended to manifest his presence, and harmony and peace smiled upon every scene, and sanctified every enjoyment.
In the midst of the garden, equally conspicuous and equally beautiful, at least in appearance, stood two trees which presided over its destinies. The tree of life, itself the emblem, and its fruit the reward of innocence; and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, while untouched, untasted, not interfering with the blissful enjoyments of Eden, yet ready to afford to guilt its food, and its punishment also.
The garden had one "to dress it and to keep it." It was to be dressed that it might exhibit to the best advantage its native charms. It was to be kept with care in all its loveliness. No weeds were there to be eradicated--no fresh beauties could be added. As a reward for his attention the superintendant was permitted freely to partake of all the blessings it was capable of affording--its limpid streams, its odoriferous flowers, its golden fruits; to reign supreme over all that had life upon the earth; and, as long as innocence continued, permitted from the fruit of the tree of life to renew his youth like the eagles, and to secure to himself a perpetuity of enjoyment.
Adam was not at first in the garden of Eden. It harmonized with his character, and became his habitation. After the earth was created God selected a particular portion of it, and adorned it with the varied beauties and grateful manifestations of vegetable life. "The, Lord planted a garden eastward in Eden, and out of the ground made the Lord God to grow every tree that was pleasant to the eye, and good for food." God formed man first of the dust of the ground, and afterwards communicated to him animal life with all its powers and desires, its passions and its charms. The Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and man became a living soul.
As under the reign of the tree of life nothing hateful or pernicious was produced in the garden, yet the easy access to the forbidden tree denoted the nice balance in which its destiny was suspended; so in  Adam, though capable of disobedience, no evil principles or passions had any place under the dominion of innocence.
Adam, also, had been created in the image of God. He possessed a pure intellectual principle which enabled him to become acquainted with God. To his spirit was given the government of his passions and capacities. There were no pernicious principles to be eradicated--there were no new powers to be implanted. It was his occupation to preserve his original purity, and to exhibit the excellencies of his nature for his own enjoyment, and the glory of his Creator. His reward was the pleasure arising from the constant gratification of innocent desire--from intimate connexion with the Author of all his joys, and from the absence of any fear that his happiness would be diminished or destroyed.
There is another resemblance. As through the genial influence of the rays of the Sun, and the vivifying power of moistening streams, the garden of Eden was fitted to afford equally to noxious and unseemly plants, and to useful and beautiful productions--if the seeds of both were once introduced, that common nourishment which these changed into delightful and salutary fruits; and those had the power of appropriating to themselves and converting into that which was disgusting and injurious, as under the operation of the fixed and still existing laws of nature in the same soil if once planted there, the Rose of Sharon without a thorn, and the poisonous nettle could flourish together, the deadly nightshade could stretch its gloomy arms, and the spotless lily open her silver chalice; so Adam was constituted that evil principles once received might flourish, and the bosom that now glowed with peaceful emotions of joy, love, and gratitude, could ere long be forced to yield to the stormy passions of hatred, envy and ambition.
|For the Millennial Harbinger.|
HOW wonderful the Author of the Universe! His first thought embodied is the material world; his second, redemption; and his last, ineffable glory, the heaven of heavens, where all necessity for the Sun, and temples is annihilated, nature and religion, and sense and faith, from which they are derived, being wholly swallowed up in the eternal glories of God and the Lamb.
In nature, where we have the primeval discovery, of his divine powers, our Heavenly Father has displayed all beauty, grandeur, sublimity, order, variety, harmony, and immensity; and if, after the lapse of six thousand years, the combined wisdom of the great, the wise, and the good, has failed to redeem much of the philosophy, mechanics, mathematics, optics, &c. of this outer temple, who shall reach to the height and depth, and length and breadth of his redemption, where mind takes the place of matter, and morality of physical power? May we not say here what David once said, "Thine, O Lord, is the power, and the glory and the victory, and the majesty; for all  things that are in the heavens and in the earth are thine. Thine they are, and thou art exalted as head over all. Who shall not fear and glorify thy name, for thou only art holy?"
But it is now two thousand years since redemption was accomplished and promulged, and yet men comprehend scarce its first principles. All is, even now, confusion in reference to this love of God, and glory of Jesus. Who then, shall speak, shall dare to speak of heaven, where the principles both of sense and faith are done away for others which we are doubtless possessed of, but which can be developed only after we have "shuffled off this mortal coil," and are born into heaven, where dwells the only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords, who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light, which no man can approach unto, whom no man hath seen, or can see; to whom be honor and power everlasting. It is ours, however, to trace haud passibus equis, the footsteps of our Father, our glorious Father, from nature to redemption, and from thence again to heaven, where he is beheld in all the flashing lustre of a sardine and of a jasper stone, clothed with an emerald-like rainbow, and surrounded with the thrones and dominions of heaven, the lamps of fire, the godlike spirits of his presence, the glassy laver, and the all-seeing beings that bear his throne, and that cease not day nor night, saying, "Holy! holy! holy! Lord God Almighty! who wast, and art, and art to come!" which hallelujah is sustained by that of the representatives of all the saints, who, casting down their crowns before the throne, say, "Worthy art thou, O Lord, to receive glory, and honor, and power; for thou hast created all things, and by thy will they are and were created! Amen!"
It is said in the law of Christ, that "without holiness no man shall see the Lord," and the Spirit certainly means what he says. It behoves us, therefore, for our own souls salvation's sake, well to understand, and steadily to practise holiness. "Be ye holy, for I the Lord am holy." Great argument! This epithet "holy" is applied in Scripture to the Father, to the Son, and to the Spirit. Jesus says, "Holy Father;" Christ himself is called "the Holy One of God," "the Holy One," and "Holy Child Jesus;" and we all are ordered to be baptized into the name of the Holy Spirit. The angels are called holy, and so also the Prophets, with the Apostles, and all the Saints, who are entitled the "holy nation." O, then, let the holy nation act holily! Let us reform, and reform, and reform, until we have put on the whole new man, which after the image of God is created in righteousness and true holiness.
Definition.--"True holiness" is defined by a great scripturean: "to consist in a conformity to the nature, character, and will of God, whereby a saint is distinguished from the unrenewed world, and is not actuated by their principles and precepts, nor governed by their maxims and customs." It is this conformity to him who is good, and this separation from all that is evil, that obtains for men and angels the name of holy, and we are indeed and in truth holy in proportion as we advance in this separation and conformity. 
In regard to this conformity to the character of God, it is said; "Be ye, therefore, perfect, as your Father who is in heaven is perfect"--i. e. Love your enemies; bless them that curse you; do good to them that hate you; and pray for them who arraign you, and prosecute you. And, reader, mark me, if you are conformed to God by these practices, two things are true in you: Christ has become to you sanctification, and you are the child of your Heavenly Father, who makes his sun to rise on bad and good, and sends rain on just and unjust, if the case is otherwise, it is a miserable one. Alas! for you!
The practice of christianity is all holiness, and holiness is the very fruit of the Spirit, which again is in all goodness, and righteousness, and truth. Dare we, then, hope to see God without holiness? or can a man seriously believe in the death of Christ for sin, and yet practise it, and neglect holiness? When Ahab sent for Elisha to deliver himself on the question of peace and war, the Prophet, filled with a noble indignity for the delinquency of that apostate Prince, swore by the life of God and by the life of his own soul, saying, "Were it not for the presence of Jehoshaphat King of Judah, I would not look toward thee nor see thee." Reader, does your practice of holiness embolden you to hope for the fellowship of such a spirit as Elisha's? When the King of Sodom offered a bonus to the Father of the Faithful, that great man declared that he had lifted up his hand to the Most High God that he would not take from a thread to a shoelatchet of his property. Imitate this lofty reliance upon God, and you will be the child of Abraham who was the friend of God. Mark the dignity of Paul's course! In prosperity and adversity always rejoicing. I do not believe that a wicked person has courage enough to hope for the company of such spirits as these. What! do you think of meeting all the good and wise, and great too, that have feared God since the world began, from Abel to the resurrection of the dead? The holy women of olden time, the mothers of Israel, of chastened eye; Sarah, and Deborah, and Hannah, and Elizabeth and Mary; the Prophets and Apostles; the great Generals, Gideon and Barak, and David, and Sampson, and Jepthah? Can we think of Moses without veneration, or of Isaiah without fearing God? Can we dare the rebukes of the brazen-faced Ezekiel, or fail to tremble before the thunders of Jeremiah? Let it encourage us, then, reader, to holiness--to remember, that we have come to a notable institution--"to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to myriads of messengers, to the general assembly and church of the first-born, who are enrolled in heaven, and to God the Judge of All, and to the spirits of just men made perfect, and to Jesus the Mediator of the New Institution, and to the blood of sprinkling, which speaks better things than that of Abel." Wherefore we having received a kingdom that cannot be moved, let us have gratitude whereby we may worship God acceptably with reverence and religious fear. For even our God is a consuming fire.
Love is of the essence of true holiness, and better than the united tongues of men and angels. Let us, then, love; but whom shall we  love? The answer is easy: Parents, love one another. Is this difficult? And both of you love your children. Without this your religion is a mask. Love the brethren; love all men; and above all, love God and Christ, and approve it by doing what they have bid you; and when the strong-lunged angel shall sound the retreat of the universe, and all the stars begin to march--when he shall blow open all the tombs, and heaven and earth begin to flee away, the Judge will pronounce a blessing upon your head and, introducing you into heaven, say, "Well done, good and faithful servant, enter you into the joy of your Lord; for I was hungry and you fed me, thirsty and you gave me drink, naked and you clothed me, sick and in prison and you came unto me." This, reader, is the practice and reward of true holiness. Amen.
ARGUMENTUM AD HOMINEM.
IN reading Mr. A. W. Clopton's strictures upon the preface of the Christian Baptist, and particularly the passages which I shall quote, I am reminded of an incident which took place last October at the Dover Association. The passages are these: "It gives much additional force to this, view of the subject, that not only those who are illiterate, but also the most learned and pious men of this day, admire and love the Pilgrim's Progress. In further illustration of this fact, this coincidence and similarity in those who profess true religion, it may be remarked that Luther, Jonathan Edwards, Dr. Bellamy, Dr. Dwight, Dr. Chalmers, Bunyan, Dr. Gill, Fuller, and Dr. Baldwin, though belonging to six different denominations, living at periods distant, and at distances great, and under external circumstances much diversified--do nevertheless agree essentially in their views of true religion." It would be pertinent to quote more from this passage; but it would be tedious, and this will suffice. I will now turn over to another. "Dr. John Witherspoon, Jonathan Edwards, Dr. Joseph Bellamy, David Brainard, and Samuel Davis, are gone, as is confidently believed, to reap a long reward in the kingdom of their Father. While they were here, they did not believe that immersion was essential in the ordinance of baptism, or to the forgiveness of sins"
The incident to which I refer is this: In October last, the following query in substance was presented to the Dover Association--"Ought persons immersed upon profession of faith in a Pedo-baptist church, to be received to our communion?" This query was considered as similar to one presented to the Association some twelve or fifteen years ago, which was to this amount: "Shall persons immersed upon profession of faith by any other than a Baptist administrator, be received into a Baptist church?" This, in substance, was the query as well as I recollect. It was then decided, that such persons might be received, provided that, upon application of the individual for admission, the church were satisfied with his character, and that  he was a believer when he was baptized. Under this view of the query, (I mean the first mentioned,) a motion was made for indefinite Postponement. Mr. Clopton appeared disgusted at the motion, and turned to a preacher, who, I learned, was from the part of the country in which Mr. Clopton resides, and remarked, that it was a very milk and water business; and that they (Mr. Clopton and his colleague) ought not to let it pass without making a blow at it. He urged his colleague to oppose the motion; but he declined it. Upon this, Mr. C. himself got up and made a short speech in opposition to the motion, in which he plainly showed that his opinion was, that the Association ought to answer the query, and that it should be answered with an unhesitating NO. A member of the Association sitting not far from Mr. C. made a short answer, in which he endeavored to support the opposite opinion; viz. that such persons might be received. Mr. C. immediately upon the said individual's sitting down, turned to him (it was thought not with the most pleasant look) and said, "Then women and children may baptize!"
Now, sir, it seems to me that there is a glaring inconsistency between Mr. C. as he appeared in the Dover Association, and as he appears in the Star and Index. He, no doubt, believes that the great men, who are enumerated in the foregoing quotations, were all authorized preachers, called of God to that office and to those duties, which, I doubt not, he considers inseparably appended to that office. And yet, last fall he classed some of them with women and children! Query--Has he since changed his opinion?
"Go teach all nations, baptizing them," &c. "He, that believeth and is baptized, shall be saved." "Repent and be baptized every one you for the remission of your sins." "See here is water, what doth hinder me to be baptized! And Philip said, if thou believest thou mayest." "Arise and be baptized and wash away thy sins," &c. "Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death."--Does he feel himself authorized to teach sinners, that it is not "essential" whether they are sprinkled, have water poured upon them, or are immersed, when he defines what the action of baptism is; or, that it is not essential whether this is done in infancy, before faith, or after faith? Does he feel authorized to teach that it is not essential whether this ordinance is administered in any of the various "modes" mentioned by a Baptist, Presbyterian, Episcopalian, or Methodist man? If our opinion is to be formed from the premises, we should judge he would feel authorized so to teach. He inculcates what is embraced in the last query in writing, and I cannot see why he may not do so when preaching. Possibly he may, by this time, have become reconciled to the administration of baptism by "women and children!" "Obligare proteum quis potest? Cesar?"
Really, sir, this case reminds me of an anecdote which I have heard. A man and his wife were found fighting furiously. A third person, who opportunely came up, endeavored to stop the fight, and reconcile the difference Whereupon they both united and drubbed  him soundly for his interference. You are at liberty to make what use you please of this communication, from
|AN INQUIRER FOR TRUTH.|
Extract of a letter from a Virginia Baptist Preacher.
IT appears Mr. Clopton, by his conduct, has proved to us he is unable to controvert, or prove by reason or revelation, that you have departed from the Apostles' doctrine, and has taken a shorter way agreeably to the examples of his predecessors, the Popes of Rome--got the Appomattox Association to issue their bull against your writings, and all who believe you are able to prove to every impartial reader that your religious sentiments are more scriptural than those generally called orthodox. He seems to be pleased with the Beaver Anathema, as much so as when Queen Mary had imprisoned Cranmer, and sent to Rome for Cardinal Pool; this pleased his Holiness, and caused that three days public rejoicing should he kept. He with his Appomattox brethren, lays at your door their disorderly conduct. Let him point out the individual who is friendly to your writings that is not disposed to live in peace with his brethren. The fact is the whole of the disturbance is on the part of the priests and elders, as usual. I would ask Mr. Clopton a few questions--Would not the whole Baptist denomination, or at least a majority of them, embrace the ancient order of things, if a few of the leading characters in each association were to do so? This question I have put to some of your opponents, standing high as leaders of the people, and they have candidly acknowledged their belief that they would. This, then, proves who it is that creates the disturbance, and that it is not principles they are contending for, but men and money. Will Mr. Clopton say, that those who have been twenty and thirty years preachers among the Baptists do not understand the Baptist principles as well as he does? or will Mr. Clopton say, whether it is the right of every man to proclaim the gospel in its purity or not? If the friends of the ancient gospel have discovered from your writings that they have heretofore erred, is it not their duty to forsake their errors? If they were not to do so, would they not be hypocrites? Does not the exclusion from the pulpits of the Appomattox priesthood of the friends of the ancient gospel, lord it over the consciences of the brethren, and tend to make hypocrites of those "that fear their fear?" Who was it that wished to form the conscience, and control the worship of Abel? Who was it that required the three worthies to worship what he worshipped, and in the way he worshipped, or be cast into a furnace of fire? Who was it that charged the Saviour of sinners, (when he cast out demons) of being in league with the Devil? and what was it for, if not because he transgressed the tradition of the elders? And for what did they persecute Jesus and his Apostles, if it was not because they would not yield to their traditions, and glosses of the word of God? Answer these queries, Mr. Clopton; and the world  will find not one christian among them. But again, what has all the persecution, and martyrdom from the days of the Arian controversy, up to this day come from, if not from the very principles which Mr. Clopton maintains? Whence is Mr. Clopton's authority derived, to exclude from the houses of worship good, orderly, pious men, who see their errors, and the errors of their brethren; and yet are willing to live in peace with them until they shall see as they do, or die, in peace with them?
The greater part, if not all, of the bloody persecutions that have ever disgraced human nature, and filled the world with misery originated with such proscriptive measures as the Appomattox Association has recommended. This they may say is a little thing, but it is an evil, and the consequences that may follow are unknown. Does Mr. Clopton go upon the supposition that the religious opinions of erring men ought to be made paramount to the word of God, which we all know allows a difference of opinion? And does it not follow from the conduct of this Association, that their opinions are considered infallible by themselves, and that all must bow to them? I will here give an extract of a canon law of Rome, that your readers may see the kindred sentiments of these "usurping, presumptuous tyrants," who want to shape our religion, and guide our consciences for us to join some sect, or destroy our souls and bodies in hell by refusing us the liberty to worship God. For when a man goes as far as he can in proscribing another for differing in opinion with him, we may rest assured if he had the power he would go farther, unless they would succumb to him--yes, as far as the spirit of his predecessors have carried them:--
"He that acknowledgeth not himself to be under the Bishop of Rome, and that the Bishop of Rome is ordained by God to have primacy over all the world, is a heretic, and cannot be saved, nor is of the flesh of Christ.
"All the decrees of the Bishop of Rome ought to be kept of every man, as God's word spoken by the mouth of St. Peter; and whosoever do not receive them, they blaspheme the Holy Ghost and shall have no forgiveness.
"The see of Rome hath neither spot nor wrinkle in it, and cannot err.
"Nothing may be done against him that appealeth unto Rome.
"The Bishop of Rome may be judged of none, but God only; for although he neither regard his own salvation, nor any man's else, but draw down with himself innumerable people by heaps into hell; yet may no mortal man in this world reprehend him; forasmuch a he is called God, he may not be judged of men.
"The Bishop of Rome may open and shut heaven upon men.
"The see of Rome receiveth holy men, or else maketh them holy.
"It appertaineth to the Bishop of Rome to judge which oaths ought to be kept, and which not.
"Whosoever teacheth or thinketh of the sacraments, otherwise than the see of Rome doth teach and observe, be excommunicate.
"He is no manslayer that slayeth a man which is excommunicate. 
"A penitent person can have no remission of sin, but by the supplication of the priest."
The secret in all this matter, is, the priesthood are in danger of losing their craft. Money, money is the golden cord of their bond of fellowship. Look into a late Columbian Star, under the head, "Presbyterian Generosity." The subjoined letter has warmed our hearts with a feeling of universal affection and kindness. We believe that there are many such Presbyterians, and we love them in the Lord. Mr. Smith is unknown personally to us, but we would believe that he is not unknown to our divine Master, nor shall he hereafter be unknown to our affection and prayers." Reader, what makes Mr. Brantly love Mr. Smith so much? Read Smith's letter. He sent Mr.------ five dollars for the Missionary Society.
When the avaricious Laban saw the jewels and bracelets on the person of his sister, given by the minister of Abraham, his heart warmed towards him, and like Mr. Brantly, he accosts him, "Come in, thou blessed of the Lord, why do you stand at the door?"
MR. ALEXANDER CAMPBELL,
Dear Sir--I HAVE heard it often stated by many of the most respectable members of the Baptist society during the last six or nine months, that they regretted that our old, and highly respected brother, Jeremiah Vardeman, had deserted his friend Campbell, and had leagued, or was about leaguing with the Particulars, the enemies of all reform, and against whom he has waged a lone, and arduous, and successful struggle, of twenty years. Whenever this statement was made in my hearing, or report brought it to my ears, I invariably thought of a remark or declaration, I heard brother V. make, perhaps too, more than once, while he was so successfully exhibiting the ancient gospel to the people during the late revivals in the churches of David's Fork, Bryan's, and Lexington, which was, that he thought if he could live thirty years longer, he could blow Particularism out of the country: and really, sir, to witness his labors, and success in preaching Jesus Christ, and him crucified, to sinners on the apostolic plan during these revivals, both by day and night, regardless of all kinds of weather, did look very much like it. I know very well that brother Vardeman was instrumental in introducing you into this section of country, and then extended to you all his influence; since I have always hoped that perfect cordiality would always remain between you.
You know, sir, that one of the grand features in the reformation you plead, is, for every one to read and judge for himself. I, therefore, determined to hear brother Vardeman, and judge for myself whether he had deserted the cause of reformation, and was leaning to, or preaching Particularism. I have done so, have heard him several times, and at different places, the last of which was at Bryan's, on last Saturday and Lord's day following, and can safely say, that if his discourse and management of his subject on Saturday, be a fair exhibition to judge from, that he has not changed in the smallest degree; but is on the apostolic plan as much and as firmly, as any man I ever heard. In truth, his discourse, or explanation of the first thirteen verses of the third chapter of the first epistle of Peter, was of the most lucid, interesting, edifying, and christian character, that I have heard from any man. I have always thought since it commenced, and have no doubt of it yet, that brother Vardeman will stand at the head of the reformation in this state. My reason for so thinking, I am willing for you and your readers to know. It is this: brother Vardeman, I presume, understands the scriptures in their connexion, as well at least as any teacher amongst us, and is decidedly better at exhortation than any man I ever heard. But some say, you are opposed to such warm animated exhortations as brother Vardeman gives--I have on your part denied this--am I right? Yours,
THE LIVING AND EFFECTUAL WORD.
A BROTHER in Kentucky for whose judgment we have much respect, and for whose person, on account of his great devotion to the Lord and his cause, we have much affection, seems to doubt whether the following words apply to the written or spoken word of God, to wit: the gospel, and inclines rather to apply them to Jesus Christ, or "the word made flesh." The words are, (Heb. iv. 12.) "For the word of God is living and effectual, and more cutting than any two edged sword, piercing even to the parting both of animal life and spirit, and of the joints also, and marrow, and is a discerner of the desires and purposes of the heart."
After a close examination of this passage, as if I had never examined it before, which is my method on all occasions when my attention is called to any portion of the oracles of God, I am again convinced that it relates to the word of God, the gospel, and that it does not apply to the Author of the gospel. I offer but two reasons. Not like the Pedobaptist's fifty five reasons for sprinkling, for in most cases the number of reasons is only positive proof that they are not good reasons. One GOOD reason is enough for any practice--for any sentiment. When I see a great display of reasons, it is to me a suspicion that there is good reason to suspect much sophistry, and no reason, in the case.
One of my reasons is, that there is a contrast running through this section of the epistle between the word or promise of rest in Canaan, and the promise or word of God concerning a rest in the heavenly inheritance, which makes it necessary to the design of the Apostle that the words quoted should refer to the gospel, and not to him personally who is the Author of the gospel.
If Moses' and not God's promise to the Jews of a rest in Canaan, had been the subject of the section, then the great prophet, and not the word of God, might appeared in the contrast.
"The word" which the Jews heard did not profit them any thing, not being believed to the end; so neither will the word of God which we have heard, profit us unless constantly believed. Diligence to enter into the promised rest, is recommended and enforced by the Apostle from the example of the Jews; and just as far superior as the Christian's Rest is to the Jewish Rest, so far does the word or gospel of Christians excel the gospel of the Jews concerning Canaan. The reason annexed, by way of encouragement to diligence, is the words in consideration. "For the word of God is living and active," &c. This is our encouragement. It will quicken us, and help us to detect every thing in us hazardous to our entrance into the heavenly Canaan.
As there is no creature concealed from the eyes of Him under whose government we live; so from HIS word there is not a passion, nor an affection, nor a propensity in our body or soul which cannot be discriminated and guarded against by the sword of the Spirit. This is one reason why we understand the passage to denote the  gospel. A second reason is, that the language is that which describes an instrument, and not a personal agent, and such language as is elsewhere applied to the gospel. The gospel by the same writer is called the sword of the Spirit; and surely if the sword of man is a sharp and efficient instrument, the sword of the Spirit is incomparably sharper, and more efficient. Another Apostle says the gospel or word of God is living and immortal. Peter says the word, which as gospel has been preached, is the word of God, living and enduring forever. It is a fire, the most active and discriminating agent or instrument in nature; and a hammer which breaketh a rock in pieces. God's word tries the souls of men, as fire tries metals, and it distinguishes between flesh and spirit with more discrimination than any instrument in the Universe.
DECEIVING AND BEING DECEIVED.
THE Editor of the Pittsburg Christian Herald (a Presbyterian paper,) appears somewhat incensed against me, because I headed the petition on page 215 as above. He seems not to relish the word deception as applied to the address made by the Rev. F. Heron and E. P. Swift to the christian public in Old England. I thought the case so plain as not to require a word of comment. But now, as he seems to demur, I will ask him--
1. Is it a fact that more than four fifths of the inhabitants in this western world, are living without the benefits of a regular ministry--that of four millions of souls, less than eight hundred thousand, have a regular ministry?
2. Is the Methodist, Baptist, and every other sect in the western country, without a regular ministry?
3. Are there more than a thousand Presbyterian churches in the west; or are there only more than a thousand churches in the western world without a regular ministry?
4. Is it a fact that the resources of this great population are few, and the population so poor as to make a call upon the oppressed taxed subjects of George IV. necessary for money to build a school in the city of Pittsburg?
5. Is the population in Kentucky, Ohio, Tennessee, Indiana, &c. a scattered population? and
6. Are the persons engaged in founding this new theological school "the friends of the Redeemer" in this western region?
If the worthy Editor of the Christian Herald, will have the goodness to answer these questions, we will explain to him why we headed the aforesaid petition Deceiving and being Deceived.
|Ed. M. H.|
BARTON W. STONE.
NOTHING but forgetfulness prevented our exception against some remarks made against Barton W. Stone which appeared in the January number of the Christian Baptist in a letter from an Irish correspondent during my absence from home. I intended to have included in my exception to that publication, the epithets attached to the name of the intelligent and virtuous Editor of the Christian Messenger. However, some of the sectaries may oppose and dislike Barton W. Stone, they are all constrained to award to him the good name which a virtuous course of moral conduct for more than a quarter of a century generally secures. My correspondent from Londonderry, perfectly unacquainted with the standing of Mr. Stone, and viewing him through the medium of sectarian prejudices, spoke of him as sectaries are wont to do; not distinguishing between the man and his system. Some of this class will, no doubt, charge me with Unitarianism, because I have even said this much, which is but a tithe of what I could say in behalf of a persecuted man. Why should we not attempt to render to all their dues?
|Ed. M. H. |
PAST EXPERIENCE--A dangerous ground of religious confidence.
Mr. Editor--IN ***** lived Mr. ******, who was brought under religious exercises of mind, so much so that he offered to join the church in his neighborhood. The church required him to give an account of his christian experience before they would receive him. He did so. It seemed satisfactory, and he was received as a member. He committed it to writing for his future satisfaction. In it he gave the dealings of God to his soul in awakening him to a sense of his lost state, in discovering to him the depth of his depravity, his utter helplessness and entire dependence upon Christ for his salvation. He had imbibed the peculiar doctrines of the church of which he was a member; one of which was, that a soul once united to Christ by faith might fall into great darkness, and even open, as well as secret transgressions of God's law, without endangering its eternal salvation; that, being once in God's favor, we were always in his favor. Whenever he would fall into doubts about his state, or be in heaviness through manifold temptations, he would resort to his written christian experience. He did not continue to bring forth fruit--"good fruit,"--but, on the contrary, often very bad. But on taking out and reading his written experience, his favorite doctrine had so trained his conscience, that it would hush with its accusations and murmurings, and he would go on satisfied. In process of time he was laid on the bed of affliction and brought down to the side of the grave. He despaired of his recovery, and, indeed, it became so doubtful that even his friends began to lose the hope of his restoration to health. In this state, conscience once more assumed her authority, and spoke with a voice that awfully alarmed the poor backslider. Here he was, on the brink of eternity, and without the evidence of his acceptance with God. The feelings of his heart, the blackness of darkness that gathered around him, and the awful eternity that he felt himself about to enter, conspired to alarm his wretched soul. In this agony he bethought himself of his written christian experience. "Go," said he, "bring my experience and read it to me." One of his family went to the place where lie had deposited it, and on examination found that the mischievous rats had eaten or cut it to pieces. On being informed of the catastrophe, he became still more wretched. He had no data--no evidence of his salvation--and he vented his sorrow in the repeated exclamation, "The rats nave eaten my christian experience!"
Monthly Receipts for the Millennial Harbinger, to the 15th July.
S. C Dunning, Savannah, Georgia, paid for himself, David Ligan, J J Helvesten, A Marshall, A G Richards, Mr. Harman, C Dasher, T Clark, J Gardener, J. Cuyler, T T Lee, Christian Wisenbacker, Mrs. Wilson, Mary Swigoven, vol 1. J Burkett, Germantown, Ky. paid for himself, J H Holton, J W Coburn, E Thompson, Susan Frazee, Frazee & Thompson, vol. 1. William Z Thompson, Donerail, Ky. paid vol. 1 for himself, J Giltner, J Neale, and Judge T M Hickey. J Jones, Sen. Casey county, Ky. paid for J Hendrick,  J Huffaur, Col. Christopher, vol. 1. and 1 dollar for J Wilkinson. J W Jeffreys; Jeffreys' Store, Va. paid T W Knight, C Blackwell, J W Taylor, and J Olivan, Mill Grove, volume 1. Nathaniel Burrus, Elkton, Ky. pain fir A Shclton, J Cross, Sen. W W Terry, M W Gillum, T M Ewing, volume 1. L J Hemming, Jun. Ky. paid for P Coffman and W Lindsey, J Higby, and Francis Palmer, Fayette, Ky. H Douglass, Pittsburg, paid for S Snodgrass, W James, Mrs. Forrester, G Robinson, and A Wolf, vol. 1. A B Hollman, Louisville, Alabama, paid vol. 1. T S Alderson, Columbia, Ten. paid vol. 1 for J N Brown, G Cathey, W lrwine, W H Goodloe, A Hill, and T Brooks. H Smart, Grecnfield, Ohio, paid one dollar. J Clark, Bethel, Ohio, paid for vol. 1, A G Maxey, Pleasant lilt, Ky. paid vol. 1 for himself and H Davidson, also 1 dollar for J Woolsey. H G Wintersmith, Elizabethtown, Ky. paid vol 1 for J Hodgen. R M'Clure, Wheeling, Va. paid vol. 1 for J Allen. Levi Haggard, Thompson's Cross Roads, Va. paid vol. 1 for H Hollins, A Bagley, O T Mitchel, J Laey, and Mary Farrer. J C Ashley, Portsmouth, Ohio, paid vol. 1 for. J M'Coy, M M'Coy, A W M'Geagh, J W Veach, and E Mushgrove. A Wilkinson, Skaneatles, New York, paid vol. 1 for himself, S Lake, J Terneur, and Eli Goddard. M P Wheat, Columbia, Ky. paid vol. 1 for T Botts, N Naylor, W Caldwell, I' Massie, jun. and u Hawkins. A Adams, Elkton, Ky. paid vol, t for W Chastain, S Minims, and S T Waggoner; also one dollar for J and S Mallory, Searcey Post Office, Ten. W E White, White Stone, S. C. paid vol, 1 for J Thompson. M Martin, Salem, Ind. paid vol. 1 for E Denny, J Denny, and J Towbridge. J H Bilk, Bolivar, Ten. paid vol. 1 for Col. Thompson, A Chinn, Leesburg, Ky. paid vol. 1 to J Creath, jun. for J D Thomas, J A M'Hatton, and J H Murdock. E Sweat, Lebanon, Ten. paid vol. 1. J M'Cluskey, Hickory, Pa. paid vol. 1. J Cockers, Canonsburg, Pa. paid volume 1. James M'Elroy, Hickory, Pa. paid vol. 1. E Murray, Noblestown, Pa. paid vol. 1. J. Glenn, Pa. paid vol. 1. G M'Bride, Pa. paid vol. 1. J M'Vay and H Jameson, Claysville, Pa. paid for vol. 1. C Daily and J Philips, Pa. paid for vol. 1. J Moore, Finleysville, Pa. paid vol. 1. It M'Claren, Pittsburg, Pa. and vol. 1. S W Hunt, Chilesburg, Ky. paid vol. 1 for T Ellis, A Stcwart, H Jones, T M Hart, and W Hatch. N Parker, Rushville, Ind. paid vol 1. J P Williamson paid vol. 1 for J Hicks, T W Hubbard, T Lyman, W Johnson, and George Johnson. Dr. Crockett, Lexington, Ky. paid vol. 1 for H Wallace, F Braham, H Ramsey, A Dunlap, and B Steel. J Hawkins, Connersville, Ind. paid vol. 1 for M Elks. O W Tucker, Jamestown, Va. paid vol. 1 for D C Edwards, S H Peters, and himself. E Barnum, Matthcws Court House. Va. paid vol. 1 for W Bohanan, Sen. W Bohanan, Jun. A U Cushman, T Talliaffero, and R Crittendon. F W Emmons, Killingworth, Connecticut, paid vol. 1 for himself, S Stevens, J. Macunber, Boston, G H Parkiss, R C French, and A B Goldsmith. W Bootwright, Richmond, Va. paid vol. 1 for G P Crump, W Dabney, E Anderson, J Woodson, G Haines, T C Howard, G Greenhow, R Raines, T J Glenn, H Jones, H B Wood, E Redd, G W Atkinson, Mary Kiniard, Ann M Carlton, A Jones, J L Carey, C Tally, M L Jones, r Parrish, D Baker, J B Bragg, M Bosher, J H Ratcliff; Y S Rust, R Chandler, J T Anderson, J P Tyler, G H Myer, R I, Staples, Mary Willett, and L N Elliot. P L Towns, Amelia, Va. paid vol. 1 for A B Walthail, J Martin, and N Harrison, R I. Coleman, Albemarle, Va. paid for J. Alexander, J Mickle, P Cleveland, J Gass, N Branham, and S Harris. J Blaine, Washington, Pa. paid vol. 1 for himself, H Langley, and Miss D Carter. G Carpenter, New Store, Ky. paid vol. 1 for H Jones, J Ball, H Brown, L Marrett, and W Anderson. J Prewin, Feyette, Mo. paid vol. 1 for G T Martin, G Stapleton, U Sebree, H Vivion, and J A Shirley. E H Gehee, Sandy River Church, Va, paid vol. 1 for J Scofield, Col. J Foster, it Bowman, F T Woolton, and W C Ligon. J W Ford, Ten. paid vol. 1 for R Clanton, J H Ford, and one dollar for himself, R R Price, M'Mansville, Ten. paid vol. 1 for himself and W Price; N H Turner, Jackson, Va. paid vol. 1 for J Baglcy, R. T White, J Winston, P Johnson, and Nancy Anthony. 
[The Millennial Harbinger, 1 (July, 1830): 289-336.]
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Alexander Campbell, ed.|
The Millennial Harbinger, Vol. I, No. VII (1830)
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