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


MONDAY, AUGUST, 2, 1830.
{ Vol. 1. }
      I saw another messenger flying through the midst of heaven, having everlasting good news to proclaim to the inhabitants of the earth, even to every nation and tribe, and tongue, and people--saying with a loud voice, Fear God and give glory to him, for the hour of his judgments is come: and worship him who made heaven, and earth, and sea, and the fountains of water.--JOHN.
      Great is the truth and mighty above things, and will prevail.

Philalethes on the Scriptures.
[Continued from page 299.]

      LET us now examine a little the nature, tendency, and effects of the instrument of religious instruction fabricated by men, and employed by its inventors and others, in preference to God's device. It is made up, as already noticed, of creeds, confessions, catechisms, pamphlets, orations, discourses, speeches, arguments, sermons, lectures, commentaries, expositions, paraphrases, economies, huge bodies of human divinity, and other inventions, and contains, it may be, some portion of divine truth, but so immensely diluted, blended, confounded, and incorporated with various proportions of human conjecture, fable, reverie, and nonsense, as to be unfit for any religious purpose.

      1. This instrument of instruction, like its author, (man,) is all imperfect. All its elements being uninspired, we have, we can have, no assurance, no certainty that any one of them is exempt, from falsehood, misconception, and error; nor, unless, we know ourselves with absolute certainty the meaning of every part of sacred writ, independently of these means of information, can we possibly discriminate between what may be true and what is false or erroneous in them. While, therefore, we seek religious information from these contrivances, if we reflect at all, we must necessarily be agitated with a doubt and terror; with doubt whether we be not swallowing falsehood and error, as well as truth; with terror, lest devouring a mortal poison instead of spiritual nourishment. Our incurable uncertainty, then, concerning the quantity of truth contained in these human instruments of instruction, unfit them entirely giving us that unquestionable information, which alone can banish our fears, tranquilize our hearts, and assure us of the salvation of our souls. For to effect these important objects, the explicit declarations of an infallible God, and not the conjectures, opinions, and dreams of blundering men, are indispensably necessary.

      2. It is unsafe. In the business of our salvation. We can depend with safety on nothing short of pure unmixt truth, proposed to our [337] minds with unquestionable certainty. But this human instrument, say the very best of it, is but a mixture of truth and falsehood, jumbled together in proportions unascertainable. Can we, then, confidently commit our salvation to such an instrument? Is it not madness to abandon the sure and safe instrument provided for us, and sent to us by our kind and condescending Redeemer, and resort to such a wretched expedient? And is it not absurd to attempt to use them jointly?

      3. It is unnecessary. The sufficiency of God's word to save our souls without any alteration produced on it by the tongue or pen of man, is repeatedly declared by the unerring Spirit, and was experimentally evinced long before a single element of the human contrivance, now so much in vogue, had a being. Yes, the souls of multitudes were saved by scripture information alone, before a creed, confession, catechism, tract, sermon, lecture, exposition, commentary, paraphrase, economy, or body of divinity was so much as dreamed of. But could it be granted that these modifications of instruction contained nothing but scriptural truth, they would still be unnecessary, unless it can be proved that divine truth is ameliorated by passing through the mouths and pens of men, if scripture tells us all they tell us, why abandon scripture and resort to them? Shall it be alledged that God's language is not as plain and intelligible as human language?

      4. It is inefficient. All the component parts of this human device being uninspired and destitute of divine authority, a reader or hearer of them feels no such certainty, reverence, and awe, as seizes his soul when he enters the precincts of Jehovah's sacred residence, (by which I mean sacred writ, for that is new the only temple in which the Deity resides sensibly among men) and reads or hears the oracles of the living God. Nor do they make such deep and durable impressions on his heart. But this is not all: that part of this human contrivance, which is most loudly praised, and particularly depended on; I mean the sermonizing part, is peculiarly impotent. Suppose a person hears or reads a sermon every Lord's day in the year--that every sermon explains or ascertains the meaning of a verse with absolute certainty--that every word of the sermon is henceforth remembered and put to the very best use--then, this supposed disciple, at the end of twenty years assiduous attendance, will know the meaning of 1040 verses of his Bible, and not one more, unless he has employed other methods of becoming acquainted with it than sermon-hearing, or sermon-reading. But if he has employed other methods of becoming acquainted with the rest of his Bible, he certainly is not indebted to the sermonizing project for it--moreover I do seriously believe that there cannot be found at this moment in christendom, a person who is even tolerably well acquainted with the Bible, who has derived his knowledge of it wholly from what is now called preaching; in short, who has not read and studied his Bible in private by himself. Now if this representation of the matter be correct, and of its incorrectness I have no suspicion, it shows how wretchedly [338] insufficient that system of instruction is, which has prevailed so long, been applauded so much, and cost the christian community more than our globe would sell for. But this is another very remarkable evidence of its insufficiency; namely, that though so much time, labor, and money have been expended in attempts to render the Bible a plain and intelligible book, its darkness has baffled them all, and it remains as unintelligible as when its expositions first began, at least so say the Clergy; and, therefore, new swarms of expositors are continually summoned to their aid. The true cause, however, of their apparent defeat may be, and no doubt is, that the Bible is of itself as plain and intelligible as it can be made, and its pretended darkness a mere clerical fiction.

      5. It is unauthorized. Let him who knows of either precedent or command for seeking religious information from any other source than God's inspired message, just as he has sent it, without addition, diminution, mixture, or alteration of any kind, produce the passage of sacred writ, in which it is to be found. For my part I know nothing of it.

      6. It not only produces disunion, strife, contention, and every unchristian feeling and practice; but it renders them perpetual. This is the natural and unavoidable result of seeking religious information from different sources. Different expositors or preachers having in their speeches and writings represented the scriptures as containing not only different, but even contradictory information, and an ignorant and credulous multitude believing their discordant and contradictory statements, not only different, but even opposite opinions were formed; and these clashing opinions of necessity produced different sects, factions, and parties; and these factions, parties, and sects, thus embodied and rendered permanent, gave in their turn perpetuity to the different notions which gave them birth; and to the fierce, verbal, and not unusual bloody, wars, which professed christians have waged with one another for seventeen hundred years. Now it is not easy to conceive how these horrid evils could arise, if every religious enquirer had immediate recourse for his religious information to one and the same source of instruction; that is, to the inspired words of sacred writ; and received them, as he ought to do, in their plain and obvious meaning; for the words presented to the eyes of each, would be the same, and their sense would be the same. But should, through mental weakness, prejudice, or a misleading education, a difference of opinion now and then arise, it would exist only in the breast of the unassociated individual, and necessarily become extinct with its immediate parent. It would neither infect the multitude, nor pass from generation to generation, as different opinions now do, with all their hideous effects.

      7. It occasions enormous expense. here my very soul sickens. I loathe the disgusting object which I am compelled to view. Blessed Jesus! kind Redeemer! can it be true, that all thou hast done, generously and kindly done, to rescue from utter ruin a perishing world, shall bring forth no help to thy glorious cause, provoke no effort to make thy infinite worth known, and thy cause triumphant, till [339] mammon be aroused and men be made to feel the irresistible power of gold? How long shall the fame of a salary; of a rich living, collect like the stench of a carrion; its vultures in troops from the surrounding mountains? How long shall the making of creeds, confessions, catechisms, tracts, sermons, lectures, expositions, commentaries, orations, arguments, economies, and huge bodies of human divinity, extort from a deluded world its annual millions, and array those who profess to be the humble followers of the humble Redeemer in all the vain foppery and empty splendor of the princes and chiefs of this world? How long shall mammon's touch, which it seems, can make the cause of hell triumphant, be necessary to the preacher's tongue, and the missionaries' feet? How long shall the most sordid and contemptible contrivances be brought into operation to squeeze cents and farthings from the starving poor, for whose relief alone God ever commanded a single penny to be raised? Alas! has the religion of Jesus no intrinsic worth, nothing of its own to recommend it, till decked with silver and trimmed off with gold? Was it to the power of that vile trash, or to the power of his expiring love, that the agonizing Saviour committed the prosperity of his cause on earth? When, merciful God, shall the day arrive, that shall behold thy worshippers assemble under the influence of pure christian love, for the purpose of acknowledging thy attributes, learning thy will, and edifying one another, and employing for that edification, no other means than thy own inspired oracles, undiluted and unaltered, buying wine and milk without money and without price, refreshing, comforting, and invigorating their weary souls with the richest assurance of divine mercy and favor expressed in thy own words, and regulating others' conduct by the unerring precepts of thy immaculate law!

      8. It murders time. The more concentrated information is, provided its expression be Clear, the more of it can be acquired in a limited time. How absurd is it then, when in pursuit of religious instruction, to lay aside, even for a moment, the Bible, which far exceeds all human compositions for communicating much information in few words, and repair to discourses which superabound with words, yet convey but little sense; an incontestable example of which we have in the speeches called sermons. In them it is manifest, that the few words of scripture, called a text, contains all the information which the speech made about it contains, and the reader or hearer knows as much of God's mind when he reads or hears the text, as when he reads or hears the annexed sermon, and perhaps a great deal more. It is, indeed, impossible that any uninspired man can tell us more than the fragment of God's word, which constitutes the text, does. If he adds more, he adds of his own, and deserves no credit; and if he spends an hour in repeating over and over in different words, the same information, that is clearly and concisely expressed in the text, truly the exercise, however fine the opportunity may be which it affords to the orator for the display of his inventive power, and pompous language, can yield but little edification to the people, if edification and not amusement brought then together.
PHILALETHES. [340]      

      THE Writer of the following article first met with the Christian Baptist and Debate with M'Calla, while travelling in this State as a Missionary, in the summer of 1826. Something more than two years since, he wrote me for the first time, ordering a complete set of all my works; promising to read them, and if 'Bishop Semple' or some other 'mighty man' should not within two years from that time pull me down, on "the exceptionables in them," which he named, and he remained of the same mind that he then was, he would 'try' to do it himself.



      FEB. 24th, 1829. The prospect now is, if I permit it, that the Baptist church and society here will give me an invitation to become their settled Pastor. Thus far, I have preached fully, plainly, and without any reserve, my real sentiments; and hope and trust, I shall ever be enabled to do so. Nothing appears so precious to me as truth--truth in sentiment, and truth in practice. In the changes in my religious sentiments, mentioned one year ago to day, I have become considerably strengthened: and the more I read and reflect upon the C. B. of A. C. the more I find in it to approve, and the less to blame. On several points of doctrine, however, of no small practical consequence, I am at present unsettled. I wish not so to bind myself, nor be bound, as not to be able to investigate these, impartially and thoroughly; that I may ascertain, and embrace, and practise, and inculcate, the whole truth upon them. If I do not settle here, (as I remarked in my letter to Prof. H.) I think it will be my duty to locate myself somewhere else in N. E.--in a place, where to be a good minister, it will be requisite that I spend much of my time in my study, for three or four years; and then, perhaps, migrate to the West.--But--I don't know. . . . "A man's heart deviseth his way; but the Lord directeth his steps."

      My Creed is the Bible alone. It is my wish to unite with all such as agree in this, and who, by being immersed into the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, have put on Christ, and would further manifest their love to him, by walking in all his commandments and ordinances blamelessly. I would not require any more knowledge, or faith, or orthodoxy, for church membership, now than was required by the Apostles on and after the day of Pentecost--than Philip required of the Samaritans,--of the Ethiopian Eunuch; or, than Peter of Cornelius and his kinsmen and near friends: "For, of a truth I perceive, that God is no respecter of persons; but he that feareth him and worketh righteousness, in every nation, is accepted of him."

* * *


      March 4th, 1830.--Evening, Attended meeting in the 2nd Baptist church. After singing and prayer and singing again, the Pastor observed, that "the committee would recommend to the fellowship of [341] the church after baptism--or rather," said he,--"to come before the church to relate their experience, Mrs. B. Miss F." and some others, These ladies were then called on, one after another, to relate what had been done for their souls. They did so; and told a story from 10 to 15 minutes in length: after which succeeded a catechetical exercise of from 5 to 10 minutes. They then retired, when the Pastor said: "Brethren, you have heard the experience of these persons. We wish now to hear your minds about it. And first, of Mrs. B. Do you feel satisfied that she has received the remission of her sins?" One of the brethren "motioned that Mrs. B. be received as a member after baptism." and so of the rest. They were received. The Pastor then proceeded to make some remarks--said, "he had been thinking, for some time, that they as a church needed some books--that every family should be supplied with "James Church Members Guide"--that within a year he had baptized about 30 persons; and these needed instruction--that though he had never read the work himself, he hesitated not to recommend it as an excellent thing. "The Life of Leigh Richmond" too, and the "Memoir of Mrs. Judson," he said were most valuable works; and that it was indispensable that the young converts should be supplied with some of them." After these remarks, he gave out the hymn,

"Come, Holy Spirit, Heavenly Dove," &c.

Then, after prayer, he introduced another subject--"The Missionary Society." "It is very hard times," said he, "this we all know; but something must be done to maintain our standing in the convention. Let every one contribute nine pence, a quarter of a dollar, half a dollar, or, if able, a dollar: but four pence ha' penny is better than nothing." The meeting closed with the usual benediction. But now the inquiry was made, "Where shall the candidates be baptized?" The Pastor was for putting it off for a considerable time; but the candidates wished to go forward the beginning of next week. It is now Thursday. This point is to be settled on Saturday evening next.--How unlike the ancient order of things, all this!

* * *

      While at P. R. S. I met with a young brother, about 19 years of age, who had been immersed a few mouths previous by a travelling christian minister, and turned loose upon the world. He said, he had not joined any church yet; because he knew not which to join--that he had, for the most part, attended with the Methodists: but thought he should now try some others; and then join where he could feel the best. For about two weeks, he said, he had been very much impressed that he must preach; and was then thinking seriously about commencing an excursion--of going into the neighboring towns to hold meetings. I asked him what would be his message--what he would say? He could not tell. I asked him why he believed in Christ--what were the evidences of the scriptures containing a revelation from Heaven; and what he would say to the infidel, who should question it? He could not tell. Not long after this, I attended a meeting where this young brother was present and made a speech. [342] His story was, "What the Lord had done for his soul! He felt, and he felt--he kneeled down beside a little rock, and took hold of a little tree; and he felt, and he felt." This was the burden of all that he said.--How like a majority of the "called" and "sent" ministers of our times! Let every disciple preach and teach according to his ability; and in that way, which he can do the most good.

* * *


      May 23d, Lord's day. Rev. Mr. S. "wondered" that I inquired after the ------ church--said, "They are Unitarians you know?" "No, I did not know it," I replied; "my acquaintance with them is very small." "Well, they are," said he, "and to know this is enough for me." But yet I inquired further, and went in search of their place of worship. When I returned in the evening, Mr. S. said, "Well, I hope you have got enough of the ------." "I did not meet with them, Sir," said I, "being sufficiently satisfied at the door of the church, whither you directed me, I did not go in." ----> Mr. S, whether intentionally, or unintentionally I cannot say, did not direct me to the right place.

      Rev. Mr. M. spoke in the highest terms of the genius and learning of A. C. and of his three debates, all of which he possessed; but his other works he did not read. I asked him, "Why not?" He replied: "He dared not. Campbell is a man of such talents," said he, "that it is not safe to read him. He is a Sandemanian. He makes water baptism regeneration," &c. &c. And yet, Mr. M. is a Baptist minister in the great city of ------ and yet he takes, and dares to read the Columbian Star! I expressed my conviction that would we know the truth, it was safe to read both sides.

      May 24th. My visit with Brother H. to day, was very agreeable. The number of members belonging to the church over which he presides, I think he told me, was between 30 and 40. He said they were much calumniated; but had found it better to obey God than man--that they have received the ancient gospel, and are endeavoring to walk according to the order of things established by the apostles.

* * *

      May 26th. On my way from Schenectady to Little Falls, I was asked by a Mr. Lane, formerly a Baptist, now a Presbyterian clergyman, 'If I, also, were not a clergyman?' To which I answered, No. I handed him the last two Nos. of the C. B. He read a little, and then laid them down, saying: "Campbell is doing a world of mischief to the Baptist denomination, and he regretted it very much." I asked him, "How?" He answered: "By creating and fomenting divisions." From a little further conversation, I ascertained that he had never read the writings of A. C. and was altogether ignorant of what he most vehemently opposed. But this is perfectly in character for a clergyman!

      May 30th. I have this evening finished reading "CAMPBELL AND [343] OWEN'S DEBATE"--expected much from it; and have not been disappointed. It is worthy of being read again, and again. For considerable time now, I have been assured that belief has only to do with testimony; that christianity, and salvation rest upon facts. In these sentiments I have become considerably confirmed by reading this debate.

      May 31st. Arrived at ------ P. M. attended the examination of the Senior Class on Theology. The following are some of the questions proposed at this time by the Reverend D. D. and answered by his indoctrinated Pupils.

      Q. Your views of regeneration?

      A. Man was originally formed in the image of God--fell. Regeneration is the implantation of a new principle of holiness.

      Q. By whom effected?

      A. By the Holy Spirit.

      Q. How? [No answer given.]

      Q. Is it instantaneous?

      A. Yes, instantaneous.

      Q. What do you understand by repentance?

      A. Sorrow for sin, arising from a knowledge of the law, and conviction by it.

      Q. What by the christian warfare? Is the heart capable of having two opposite principles at the same time?

      A. Yes--I think, it is clear to me, that we may have two perceptions at the same time. See Rom. vii. ch.

      Q. What do you understand by the doctrine of election?

      A. That God has purposed to save all, who are included in the covenant of redemption.

      Q. Give an explanation of faith.

      A. There are several kinds of faith--Historical--rational--miraculous--saving, &c. (defines them. ] Saving faith means not only a belief of testimony; but a corresponding exercise.

      Q. What is meant by the elect?

      A. Those given to Christ in the covenant of redemption.

      Q. What do you understand by the covenant of redemption?

      A. The covenant of redemption is that, entered into between the persons of the sacred Trinity before the world was.

      Q. What the parts of each? [The answer not recorded.]

      Q. Did the Father give the Son a definite, or an indefinite number?

      A. A definite number,--the elect.

      Q. Did he elect them before they believed, or afterwards?

      A. Before. "We are saved not by works of righteousness which we have done; but according to his purpose."

      Q. What do you understand by the covenant of grace? Wherein does it differ from the covenant of redemption?

      A. I suppose them to be the same.

      Q. Why was the atonement of Christ necessary for the salvation of sinners?

      A. On account of the demands of the divine law.

      Q. In what did the atonement of Christ consist?

      A. In sufferings--Think obedience not included.

      Q. Did not the Father give him a commandment to lay down his life?

      A. Yes.

      Q. Will the atonement cover all the sins for which it was designed?

      A. Yes--[The Doctor here remarks, that he sees no reason for detaching the obedience of Christ from his atonement--thinks sufferings and obedience both enter into the nature of it.]

      Q. What was the design of the atonement; and for whom?

      A. To open the way of salvation for sinners. [344]

      Q. Did God design to save all by the atonement?

      A. No--only the elect.

      Q. Is the atonement inseparably connected with the pardon of all for whom it was made?

      A. I think not.

      Q. What are your views of perseverance?

      A. If the doctrine of election be true, that of perseverance follows of course.

      Q. When was the human soul [of Christ] created?

      A. I don't know; but I suppose when all other human souls were created.

      Q. When was that?

      A. I don't know.--I think however it was at his advent.

      Q. What do you understand by the declaration, "Though he was rich, for your sakes he became poor?"

      The Doctor answers: "It must be understood as referring to his human soul, which he possessed before he came in the flesh."

      Many other questions were asked on "Original sin," "Total depravity," "Justification," "Progressive sanctification," &c. &c. which I did not record: but the above is a fair specimen of all. The next day (June 1st) at 10 o'clock A. M. heard the annual sermon before the Education Society, by Elder I. P. The following are my notes of this, His text was:


      Introduction. Remarked on the context. Twelve young men went out, and took hold of each other by the head, and the consequence was, that they fell by each others swords and died. The meaning of the word, "play." To play the fool is to act the fool--to play the harlot is to act the harlot--and to play the man is to act the man. To play, therefore, means action.

      Having made these remarks we proceed to speak of

      1. The Work in which we would have our young brethren engaged

      2. The Qualifications.

      3. The Field of operation, and

      4. Some of the blessed effects of playing for the Lord. "Let the young men arise and play before us."

      And I. THE WORK in which we would have our young brethren engage--["play!"] Preaching the gospel--the triune God, &c. &c. [On this head the preacher was quite brief ] But


      1. The person must have grace in his heart--must become experimentally acquainted with the Lord Jesus Christ--must be born again. 2. Must possess a discerning mind. No man can preach the gospel, unless he understand the gospel. 3. A tongue to utter; that is, a gift of communication. 4. That the man should be exemplary, sober, grave, &c. apt to teach. The dish must be clean. 5. The glory of God uppermost. 6. A peculiar feeling for the up-building of Zion. 7. He must feel for the state of poor sinners in a peculiar manner. 8. Possess the heart of a soldier, that he may endure hardness--must have his face set as a flint. In fine, 9th, he must be called of God, 1st by his Spirit--2d by his church. All who are called by the former, will be also by the latter. When we see a person thus qualified, we can say; "How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet," &c.


      The field is the world. ----> The finger of divine revelation points him what to preach; and ----> the finger of divine providence where--some in the city--some in villages--others in the woods. Missionaries at home and abroad. STORIES. Br. Stammard, Br. Wade, Kincaid, and others. [Many of the congregation wept here; and traveller among the rest.]


      1. To overthrow errors. This was the effect of the apostles' preaching. [345] 2. The church is built up--the sheep and lambs are fed. 3. For the young men to arise and play in this way, what a comfort it is to their aged ministers! 4. Sinners are converted, and the man of sin destroyed.


      1. We are led to contemplate the state all are in by nature. 2. The provisions of the gospel. 3. The importance of ministers' being properly qualified. Therefore, we should help them. The fears of our old brethren lest our bounties should be abused--we should have godly jealousy. The effects of learning and of ignorance--His own experience--ADDRESS TO THE YOUNG MEN--Amen.

      P. M. At 3 o'clock attended the meeting of the Alumni and Friends. It being six years to day, since I took my leave of this Institution; as my last gift, I presented to its library the books purchased in New York; viz. one New Testament, (Campbell's Translation) Campbell and Owen's Debate, C. B. vol. vii. Nos. 11 and 12, and a copy of the debate between Campbell and M'Calla.

      June 2d. Annual commencement of the seminary.

* * *

      June 5th. Visited the infant school at W. superintended by Miss M. Too much of the Episcopal religion here--too much praying of the children without understanding it--some very bad habits also acquired of toning it.

* * *

      June 8th. Took passage in the Washington Line to Rochester. Had some conversation on the way with a young man recently from Yorkshire, England. He tells me, that the Wesleyan Methodists there, (to which he belonged) do not baptize at all. Children, generally, are sprinkled in infancy; but if not then, the baptism of the Holy Ghost, or conversion, is considered all that is necessary.

* * *

      June 10th. Informed of a "vacant church" in P. where they are able and willing to give four or five hundred dollars to a good Baptist preacher who would please them.

      June 12th. Between 2 and 3 o'clock P. M. arrived at B. Dined with an old acquaintance, Reverend H. D. Attended covenant meeting with him; covenant and articles both read.

      The Baptist meeting house in this place, is a large, well finished, brick building; will seat from 600 to 800 persons. The lower story is occupied for an academy and conference room--cost between $5000 and $6000. They are now in debt for it about $1,500, which Mr. D. thinks of raising from abroad. The church is now building him a house also, which will cost $700 or $800. Had much conversation with him about the Western Country--and, among other places, mentioned Ashtabula. Campbellism, he said, had spoiled the people there. "Ah!" said I, "and what is Campbellism?" "Art thou only a stranger in these parts, and knowest not the desolations which Alexander Campbell is effecting? You will find enough of it where you are going." I wondered what it could be; and repeated my interrogation. [346]


      said he, "denies the agency of the Holy Spirit in the conversion of men, attributing all to the word--makes regeneration to consist wholly in water baptism--makes faith, merely an assent of the understanding without affecting the heart--and, finally, it takes away the office work of ministers; giving to all disciples in the church, the privilege of preaching, expounding the scriptures, and administering its ordinances, without being ordained."

      "This is Campbellism!" "Yes." "Strange, indeed!!"--Mr. D. then proceeded to tell me of a Brother Scranton, living not far from him, who was a Campbellite, whom he and some others had drawn out, as Put did the wolf, and exposed, and disfellowshipped.--"Have you no Campbellites at the East?" No, I replied: but I have heard the sound thereof. Brother Collins, too, formerly a student at Hamilton, he said, had become a Campbellite.--And now recollect, that Brother B. told me of a Brother Reynolds in Vermont, who, for becoming a Campbellite, had been treated in like manner. Brother K. informed me of a little church not far from him, in this state; which, for the same heresy, had been cast out of the Association. Alas! alas! "Campbellism" is truly a dreadful ism, and "Campbellite" is a dreadful ite! They are as bad as anti-mason, and anti-masonry; and whosoever embraces them must be Morganized in his soul, if not in his body!--Slept at Brother J----'s.

      Lord's day, June 13th. At breakfast this morning, made some further inquiries about. Brother Scranton--his sentiments, &c. Brother J. tells me, that he appears to be very pious; but many fear it is all a pretence, that he may the better insinuate his new notions--says, that he was even quite active in the church conferences, and talked much about the primitive, apostolic order of things, &c. &c. Brother J. also informed me of a Brother Jeffries, who lives a little further East--said, "He, also, has become a Campbellite; and with him, most of the able members of his church. The consequence--he has been obliged to turn farmer; and is now receiving but little, if any thing, from those to whom he preaches. But Elder Jeffries, he believes, is a good man--he comes right out, and lets every one know where he is; and after arguing his side, if the brethren do not agree with him, he is not offended; but treats them kindly, and seems to regard them just the same as before." "Previous to the appearance of Campbell's works," said he, "Brother Jeffries was ever calling in question every new move among the Baptists; and, therefore, his mind was well prepared for receiving Alexander Campbell's notions."

      Attended worship at the Baptist meeting house. A. M. addressed the people on the scripture doctrine of fasting, having read as the foundation of my remarks, Isaiah lviii. and a part of Matthew vi. During the intermission, Mr. D. baptized a lady, who yesterday related her experience before the church. She had indulged a hope that her sins were forgiven her, for about eight years. P. M. Heard Reverend Mr. D. Assisted in the administration of the Lord's [347] Supper. At 4 o'clock, heard a long bearded man preach from the beginning of Genesis to the end of Revelation,--one hour and a quarter. In the evening addressed a small assembly on searching the Scriptures.

      From all that I had heard of Brother Scranton, I could not but feel interested for him. "Don't call that man "brother," said Mr. D. "I don't, nor will I; he is a bad man, and not worthy of that name. A while ago, he sent along an appointment to preach in our meeting house; but I told the brethren, that the moment he ascended that desk, I should look upon it as the signal for me to come down."

      June 14th, 6 o'clock P. M. Have just finished reading "STEARN'S on Masonry," 5th edition, pp. 211, 12mo. To adopt the language of "'B." in the dialogue with which he concludes, (p. 210) "I must acknowledge, that his candid reasoning has corrected many of my views on this important subject. I shall return home, a very decided, and, I trust, consistent anti-mason. I really wish that people would take more pains to look into this thing, and examine it for themselves. They could not help seeing the impropriety of a half-way course, which will never destroy Masonry." "Add to your faith virtue"--courage. Courage to set your face as a flint against all iniquity; wherever, and in whomsoever found--courage to pluck out right eyes, and cut off right hands; rather than to connive at, and support the least infraction of the laws of Zion's King--courage to maintain a consistent christian character--courage to meet the frowns of friends, and the slanders and detractions of the most violent and bitter enemies: for, they that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.

"Yes, we must fight, if we would reign,
      Increase our courage Lord;
To bear the cross, endure, the shame,
      Supported by thy word."

(To be continued.)


Of the Presbyterian Church in the United States of America, for
June 1, 1830.

      SINCE the last summary view was given, six new Presbyteries have been formed, within our bounds; so that the Assembly has now under its care nineteen Synods, and ninety-eight Presbyteries.

      Our Preachers of the Gospel, at present, are in number seventeen hundred and eleven: of whom 1491 are Ordained Ministers, and 220 Licentiates. The increase, after deducting deaths and removals, since the last has been 98 Ministers and 15 Licentiates.

      Our candidates for the Ministry, who are in various stages of their education preparatory to their being licensed to preach, are 228, of whom the actual increase the last year has been 33.

      We have two thousand one hundred and fifty-eight congregations under the care of our sessions and higher judicatories; eighty-eight more than we had in June 1829.

      Fifteen thousand nine hundred and eighty-five communicants were received last year, of whom 11,748 were admitted for the first time, [348] on examination and the profession of their faith; and 4,237 were translated by certificate from one church to another. Our present number of communicants is one hundred and seventy-three thousand three hundred and twenty-nine; the last yearly increase, above deaths, dismissions, suspensions and removals, having been ten thousand five hundred and thirteen. This was a less increase than that of 1829 by 5,995 persons.

      The baptisms in our congregations last year were of adults 3,255, and of infants 12,202; giving a total of 15,457; and being 696 less in number than in the preceding year.

      Thirty-nine of our ministers are pastors of Congregational churches not under the care of any of our Presbyteries.

      Six hundred and thirty of our churches are vacant; having neither pastors nor stated supplies, but depending on occasional preachers which may be sent them by their Presbyteries or some missionary society.

      Our Presbyteries report $3,504.13 collected for the payment of the expences of the Commissioners to the last General Assembly. Of this sum only $1,869.82 were forwarded to the Treasurer of the Trustees of the Assembly, to be divided between Commissioners who travelled in coming to the Assembly 37,109 miles. The balance of $1.634.31 was either paid to Commissioners by the Presbyteries which chose to support their own Commissioners, without contributing to, or being benefited by, the general fund; or remains yet to be transmitted.

      The funds reported by the Presbyteries as having been collected in all our churches which have made returns, are, for Domestic and Foreign Mission, forty-four thousand nine hundred and fourteen dollars and seventy-three cents; for Theological Seminaries, nine thousand six hundred and forty-three dollars and twenty-one cents; and for charitable education purposes, one hundred and twenty-six thousand one hundred and thirty dollars and seventy-seven cents. These contributions give a grand total of $184,292.84; which exceeds the amount returned to the General Assembly of 1829 by $111,224.58.
American Spectator.      


      THIS respectable sect, respectable not so much for its humility, spirituality, and piety; but respectable for its numbers, its wealth, and learning; for its ancient foundations, being only the second daughter of the second marriage, of the kings of the Earth with Mistress Roma Babylona, now in her third century, is annually publishing to the world, how illy she is adapted to our government, to the salvation of this community, temporally, spiritually or eternally, to the spread and progress of the christian religion; and, indeed, to all the high ends and objects which fill the heart of man.

      The above statistical view of the spiritual wealth, and exhibit of her worldly resources show, that with all her colleges, theological schools, and thousands of good hard dollars, her ministry can [349] proselyte only six souls and a fraction per head, per annum. Seventeen hundred and eleven preachers, in 365 days, brought to the "sacrament table" 11,748 souls:--the other accessions were by certificates from other churches. With all the prejudices of 173,329 souls in their favor, with all the contributions by prayer and money, amounting to the grand total of $184,292.84 for education, with all the Presbyteries, Synods, and Councils to aid these 1,711 preachers, their moral power is equal to one proselyte in sixty days or six and a fraction per head, for 365 days. On this ratio, and with these aids, christendom alone would require more than thirty millions of preachers, to proselyte to the Presbyterian altars, the infidels and heretics of christendom. It would require an army of 30,000,000 to do it in one year, and a standing army of the same amount to keep them at the altars when proselyted. So tardy is the march of this Ism, that, with all its factitious aids, and the combined impetus of colleges, banks, and theological schools, it is outstripped by almost every other Ism in the vocabulary of this century.

      Though the Baptist army nearly doubles that of the Presbyterian in officers and privates, yet the ratio of conversion, per head, per annum, is not far different from that of this sect. In No. 2d of this work, page 59, the statistics of 1829 are given. The preachers of this sect in 1829 only averaged a conversion of 8 persons per head, per annum. These are momentous facts, and challenge the solemn examination of all the thinking community. Although Presbyterianism differs much in some items from the Baptist economy, yet the radical features of their gospels are the same; and, therefore, it is not wonderful that the average converting or proselyting power of both should he so nearly equal. We question not the sincerity of the converts in either sect. We suppose them to be equally sincere, and all honest in their professions. It is the system, the gospels of the two sects, which are to be praised or blamed for these results. Of this we have many proofs. One of some importance we shall new offer. Many of those now proclaiming the ancient gospel, once proclaimed other gospels; such as the gospel of John Calvin, or John Wesley, or some other gospel. While proclaiming these modern gospels, their success was not greater than that of their brethren, who are still fighting for the traditions of their fathers. But since they began to promulge the Pentecostian Gospel, their success has far transcended any thing before experienced in the whole course of their labors. Some of them immerse more converts in one year than they formerly did in ten, and some in a much greater ratio. I speak not of momentary excitements, called revivals, but of the general success of their labors.

      The Presbyterians are very successful in converting infants. Thus we see that while they sprinkled only 3,225 adults, thy could sprinkle in one year 12,202 infants. 'Tis as easy to convert four infants as one adult. To these, sprinkling is "a sign and seal of regeneration, of remission of sins, and of engrafting into Christ;" if her views of baptism be correct, and if this sprinkling be immersion! [350]

      I trust before many years, it will be found that 1,711 laymen will be more instrumental in bringing sinners into the fold of Christ than these 1,711 ministers of Presbyterianism; and that every proclaimer of the ancient gospel will be found more than equal to a score of those who apply "the torch of Grecian and Roman literature and mythology to illumine the sacred pages of the apostolic writings."

      Among the curious facts in this report, it appears that 630 of these Presbyterian churches are "vacant." The house, the pulpit, or the people? Vacant houses we understand, and vacant pulpits we know, but vacant churches we do not understand. Is a church without a preacher vacant! If so, all the churches with preachers are tenanted. And if churches are residences for preachers, I trust no man will presume to call them the temples of the Holy Spirit.

      Another curious fact, and we dismiss the report. The converts last year, it is said, exceeded those of the present more than 5000;--while last year there were for education purposes $111,224.58 less contributed than in the ecclesiastic year, ending May last. The increase of contributions it seems has this time accompanied a decrease of conversions. What is the meaning of this--one hundred thousand dollars more money, and 5000 souls less converted!! Was it the care of so much more money that prevented the care for souls? or is there something incompatible with the increase of church funds, and the increase of the power and influence of the religion?

July 5th, 1830.      


      Dear Sir--IN your last you seem to express, that I should go on with my dissertations on your views of christian doctrines. To this I must reply, that, when I commenced the correspondence, I really calculated that I should have been able to advance regularly, and to finish something for each number of the Harbinger. My urgent engagements, however, have occupied my time so incessantly that it has been impossible to do so consistently with good faith. Even now, I have only an hour or two of leisure, and cannot of course enter into any discussion of points which will require much attention. I hope, however, ere long to have more leisure, and to execute my first plan. In the interim there are certain preliminaries which it would be proper for us to settle previous to any detailed arguments; lest we might be found fighting without a foe. I am often told by your favorers, that much injustice is done you, and that many principles ascribed to you are far from being your real views. In order to obviate the possibility of any misunderstanding as to your views, I will propose to you certain queries which I hope you will answer in the spirit of candor, and in such style as that there can be no misapprehension.

      First: What is your view of the natural state of man? Do you believe him to be, according to your interpretation of the scriptures, in a state of total depravity? [351]

      Secondly: Do you consider faith as the simple act of the mind acknowledging the mere facts of the gospel, irrespective of any divine agency exerted upon the faculties previously?

      Thirdly: In your new translation, you have substituted the term reformation instead of repentance as it is in the old. Please to define reformation according to your views.

      Fourthly: I understand you to assert that immersion or baptism is the act of regeneration, and the medium of forgiveness of sins; and that the scripture does not authorize us to assent or believe that any are regenerated or forgiven until immersed. In other words, that the blood of Christ is never applied, but through the medium of baptism. Is this a correct statement of your view upon this point?

      Fifthly: You speak of the Holy Spirit after baptism. Do you mean by the Holy Spirit what is commonly called the Holy Ghost? or do you mean a holy temper of mind effected by the mere words by obedience to its requirements?

      Sixthly: In some of your last numbers, you speak of the Trinity in a way which has excited some suspicion of a leaning towards Unitarianism. Is there any ground for such suspicion? For truth's sake, for your own sake, be explicit upon this head.

      Seventhly: What are your views of the, future punishment of wicked men? Is it eternally, and without end? There are some other points of minor importance on which we are widely at variance. To these we may finally attend. If the above be investigated in a proper spirit, I shall hope for good results.

      There are some other matters on which I would make a few remark; in the spirit of friendship.

      You are not infrequently imposed upon by persons at a distance, stating, or rather mistating, facts, designed to cast reflections upon the principles which we, old fashioned Baptists, hold sacred.

      Some years ago you published a story of an oyster-man with a view to disparage the doctrine of a divine call to the ministry. Of late you entertained your readers with another tale about chickens, and rehearsing experiences. To me you say something of an opinion of mine as to a certain church which had not sober men enough in it to turn out the drunkards. These tales, I suspect, all came from the same quarter. As to my opinion of the disorderly church, I have no recollection of making such an observation, and so I said 10 or 12 years ago, when the report first started. But admit its truth, does it prove any thing? It seems to me to be as impolitic as it is uncharitable for any set or sect of people to reproach another for being disorderly members. What denomination is without them? Not the apostolic church. Not the Saviour's immediate disciples. Who, then, in modern times, can cast the first stone. The story of the oyster-man, the chickens, &c. I should hope had crept into your pages without your notice. I am sorry to see such things. I should not, however, have glanced at these little matters if another kind of assert;on had not come out lately, [352]

      In a letter to you, signed T. M. H. a father expresses high pleasure at your baptizing his son. Now, if this father really believed his son to be well prepared for baptism, it is not strange that he should greatly rejoice at the occurrence. Indeed, I should feel bound to rejoice with him. I know nothing better calculated to gladden a pious father's heart. But, my dear sir, it seems to be exceedingly strange that this pious father would not rejoice at his own success without drawing into public notice the misfortunes, or afflictions, or, if he please, the faults of his neighboring fellow laborers whose sons have not been baptized, not having obtained (as they suppose) the grace of God. Several of us have grown children unbaptized; because unconverted. Many of these sons and daughters live so much like christians as often to make baptized persons ashamed of their defects; yet we cannot consent to baptize them until they tell us "who hath warned them to flee from the wrath to come." This glorying of your correspondent over others seems to me to be quite premature. I would remind him of Ahab's answer to Benhadad: "Let not him that girdeth on his harness boast himself as he that putteth it off." This vaunting would be more tolerable, if, in the plenitude of his joys, he had not represented his brethren in the lower counties as less favored than is the fact. Speaking of his son he says, "He is (except two) the only son I know of a Baptist preacher now living in the lower counties that has bowed his neck to the government of Messiah." Now, from the language here used, it would appear to a strange reader that it is quite an uncommon thing for the sons of Baptist preachers to become religious, or to he baptized. Now this is not the fact. Within the bounds of the Dover Association, there have lived preachers that have sons now living who profess, and I hope, enjoy the religion of their fathers. Their fathers, not being now alive, does not weaken the force of the example of these preachers living in the very neighborhood of your correspondent, and adjacent counties. I could furnish a list of ten or twelve sons who are wearing well in their profession; and in the whole association not less than eighteen or twenty: of these several are useful preachers.

      I would remind your correspondents, and your readers, that none of us, on either side of the question, hold the principle that the grace of God is hereditary. Many good men know the bitterness of bad sons, and it is certainly not very noble to rake up the ashes of the dead, and to reproach their memory with the folly of their sons and grandsons.
  Yours respectfully,
Ro. B. SEMPLE.      


      Dear Sir--THE questions you ask me furnish another proof how deeply imbued are the best minds with the speculative spirit of the schools of theology. No American coin, gold, silver, or brass, more prominently wears the impress of the mould, or more unequivocally designates the mint in which it has been cast, than do the religious minds of this age prove themselves to be the workmanship of system [353] builders, and the creatures of that philosophy, which however modified by opposing systems, fully proves its descent from Plato, Ammonias Saccas, and the Oriental teachers. Even the best men, who seemingly venerate the scriptures as the only instrument of instruction in christianity, appear not aware how much they are influenced by these speculations. Having been employed for some years in assorting my own mind, and labelling my own notions--finding so much of Plato, so much of Origen, so much of Ambrose, so much of Calvin, and so much of the modern schools, I can easily detect a notion, and recognize its parentage, no matter how often it may have been crossed. We can detect the African blood even to the tenth generation; and to those conversant with the scriptures, the schools, and the history of the church, it is as easy to detect the notions of Origen, Ambrose, Austin, and Pelagius, though mingled with all the inventions and improvements of many generations. You, no doubt, brother Semple, have often seen old errors peeping through a new veil, and though wearing a new garb, a-la-mode, were nevertheless discernible as the lineal descendants of antiquated errorists. So I see, or think I see, the philosophy of the schools in some of your interrogatories to me. Think you, Paul would, were he now on earth, propose such questions to me, either to detect my unsoundness in the faith, or to furnish topics for debate?

      Why not, then, propose to me some christian topic from the christian scriptures? If my soundness, or unsoundness in the faith, be worth an inquiry, why propose to me the questions of the schools?

----------------"Egypt, Greece, and Rome,
Drew from the stream below. more favored, we
Drink when we choose it, at the fountain head.
To them it flowed much mingled and defiled
With hurtful error, prejudice, and dreams
Illusive of philosophy, so call'd,
But falsely. Sages after sages strove
In vain to filter off a crystal draught,
Pure from the lees, which often more enhanced
The thirst than slacked it, and not seldom bred
Intoxication and delirium wild."

Such have I found to be the truth in reference to all such question. But lest you should think that I wish to evade your questions; or lest any should think that there is in them something more than there is, will give you a candid answer to each of them.

      Query 1. "What is your view of the natural state of man? Do you believe him to be, according to your interpretation of the scriptures, in a state of total depravity?

      Answer. Man naturally, or as he now comes into the world, is ignorant of God, consequently alienated from the life of God; and being without God, he is without hope in the world. With regard to his being in a state of total depravity, I must observe, that the term depravity, any more than the term morality, cannot designate a state: for in states there are no degrees. No man, in any state, can be less or more in it than every other person in the same state. No man is more or less married, or single; more or less a son, or father, than [354] another. As reasonably we might ask; Is a christian in a state of total morality; as is a natural man in a state of total depravity. Some natural men are wholly corrupt; but these could not be designated as wholly corrupt if this be true of the whole race; for that which is true of the whole race cannot designate a part. The scriptures, observation, and experience, do not teach me that all person are alike depraved. Have you not, brother Semple, seen as great a difference amongst children and adults as Luke says existed between the Bereans and the Thessalonians in their former state? The one before they believed were more noble than the other. I am taught that all men who hear the gospel, and who do not obey it, are in a state of condemnation; and that this is sufficient to procure for them everlasting destruction. I know of no use in going farther on this subject than the scriptures have gone. They who submit not to the government of Jesus Christ must, if God be true, be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power which will be displayed in giving immortality to the saints. So far it is a practical question.

      But the question about total depravity is an abstract and speculative questions. It is a proper theme of speculative debate. He that affirms that all men are totally depraved, makes all men alike depraved, and as depraved as Satan; for Satan is no more than totally depraved. If, moreover, every child born be totally depraved, there is no possibility of any person becoming worse than another, nor worse at any period of his life than he was when he first saw the Sun. Are you prepared for this? If all infants are totally depraved, how can men become worse and worse, as Paul affirms some do?

      Query 2. "Do you consider, faith as the simple act of the mind, acknowledging the mere facts of the gospel, irrespective of any divine agency exerted upon the faculties previously?

      Answer.--Faith is faith; and neither more nor less than faith, however it may be produced. A house is a house, and a book is a book, whoever the architect or author may be. So faith is neither more nor less than the belief of testimony, whatever that testimony may be. The testimony of God is all that any christian believes, when he has the faith of a christian. If he do not believe all the testimony, he has not all the faith of a christian; and if he believe more than the testimony of God, he has more than the faith of a christian. For example, I believe all the facts recorded by all the Apostles and Evangelists of Jesus Christ. He that believes more than I, must have more testimony than I have. My faith is just as long, and as broad, as high, and as deep, as the testimony of God. Its dimensions are the dimensions of my faith. Faith is not hope, nor love, nor joy, nor peace. Faith is not knowledge, nor opinion, nor imagination. When we think correctly of any one principle, or of any one thing, we must distinguish that principle, and thing, from every other principle and thing. The power of believing is one thing, and the truth believed is another. The sense of seeing is one thing, and the thing seen is another. As we use the term sight, so we use the [355] term faith. Sight sometimes denotes the eye, and sometimes the thing seen. Moses said, "I will turn and see this great sight." So faith is used sometimes for the power of believing, and sometimes for the thing believed. It requires no supernatural agency upon the eye to see any object, if the object be a visible one. It requires no such agency upon the ear to hear any sound, if it be an audible sound. An angel can be seen as easily as a man, if he make himself visible. God can be heard if he speak audibly, without any supernatural agency upon the ear. So we can believe the testimony of God as easily as the testimony of man, if that testimony be presented in a credible manner. I know of no scripture, of no reason which makes a supernatural agency upon the senses of man, upon the faculties of man, upon the eye, the ear, the memory, imagination, or judgment of man, necessary to enable him to see, hear, or believe any thing visible, audible, or credible.

      It requires supernatural aid to make a man see what is invisible, to hear what is inaudible, or to believe what is incredible. Infatuation, enthusiasm, or the supernatural agency of Satan is necessary to produce faith in incompetent testimony. No man can be converted to Mahometanism, but by the supernatural agency of Satan; because the testimony is incompetent. Whether a man shall believe any thing is always dependent on the testimony, and on his hearing or attending to it. The power of producing faith is in the testimony. The power of producing hearing is in the sound. The power of producing sight is in the object. A man cannot hear an audible sound, nor see a visible object, nor believe a credible testimony, if he do not attend to them. I sometimes hear not the clock strike once in a day, and often do not see the most visible objects; because my mind is absorbed in thought upon other objects. So many do not believe the gospel, although it is perfectly credible, and as much in their power to believe it, as it is in one who has ears, to hear a bell toll, or a trumpet sound at a proper distance, because they have their minds engrossed and preoccupied with other objects. Hence, I conclude from the reason of things, as well as from the testimony of God, that every man is inexcusable who believes not that Jesus is the Messiah; and that every one who believes that Mahomet is a true prophet, believes preternaturally, enthusiastically, or without reason.

      Query 3.--"In your new translation, you have substituted the term Reformation instead of Repentance as it is in the old. Please define reformation according to your views."

      Answer.--The best translators prefer reformation to repentance; because the Greek language, as you well know, has a different term for each. We only substitute reformation for repentance where the Greek term metanoia, or its correlates are found. It is not optional with us. Repentance is not reformation, nor is reformation repentance. I prefer the term reformation to repentance; because it is the proper translation; and, because it does not mislead as does the term repent. He that repents, and he that reforms are often very [356] different persons, Judas repented; but Paul reformed. If men are commanded to repent, when they have repented they have obeyed the command; but if they are commanded to reform, when they have repented they have not obeyed the command. The three thousand Pentecostian penitents were commanded to reform, and not to repent: for they had repented before they asked Peter what they ought to do. It is not to be sorry for the past, it is not to be grieved for our transgressions; but it is "to cease to do evil, and to learn to do well;" it is "to wash you, make yourselves clean, and to put away the evil of your doings;" it is to "turn unto the the Lord;" it is "to draw nigh to God," that we are commanded. Reformation, then, is, in our language, the term which fully expresses the original, and the design of the Holy Spirit. It is not a change of mind only, but a change of life; an entire reformation of thoughts, words, and actions which meets the import of the command. Were I to define "legal repentance," "evangelical repentance," and "effectual calling" three phrases of sacred import in modern theology; I would define them thus:--legal repentance is sorrow for the past; evangelical repentance is an entire reformation of life, and effectual calling is unreserved submission to the authority of Jesus Christ. In other words, he legally repents who is sorry for the past; he evangelically repents who reforms his life, and he is effectually called who obeys Jesus Christ in every thing. In one sentence, reformation, in my acceptation of it, is, an unreserved surrendering of the understanding, will, and affections to the absolute government of Jesus Christ, the first public act of which is immersion into his name.

      Query 4.--"I understand you to assert that immersion, or baptism, is the act of regeneration, and the medium of forgiveness of sins: and that the scriptures do not authorize us to assert or believe that any are regenerated or forgiven until immersed. In other words, that the blood of Christ is never applied but through the medium of baptism. Is this a correct statement of your views?"

      Answer.--It is very nearly a correct statement of my views. But as I have written an essay of 60 pages on this subject since I received your favor before me, I refer you to that essay for a full answer to this query.

      Query 5.--"You speak of the Holy Spirit after baptism. Do you mean by the Holy Spirit what is commonly called the Holy Spirit; or do you mean a holy temper of mind effected by the mere word, by obedience to its requirements?"

      Answer.--It is hard to say what is commonly meant by "the Holy Spirit." But I mean, that not merely a holy temper of mind, but that Holy Spirit which dwelt in Jesus, that Spirit of God which animates the body of Christ, that promised Spirit which dwells in the church of the living God. This is that spirit of holiness which is received in consequence of our union with Christ, after we have put on Christ in immersion. As children, after their natural birth, inhale the spirit or air of this world; so the new born babes, or the regenerated, as soon as born of the water, receive the Spirit which pervades the kingdom [357] into which they are born; and this Spirit is as necessary to their life and comfort, as breath is to the children of this world. "Because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts." Thus, Peter said, you have purified your souls by obeying the truth, through the Spirit, to unfeigned brotherly love. God's Spirit cannot dwell in a guilty heart.

      Query 6. "In some of your last numbers you speak of the Trinity in a way which has excited some suspicion of a leaning towards Unitarianism. Is there any ground for such suspicion? For truth's sake--for your own sake, be explicit on this head."

      Answer.--I lean not to Unitarianism more than to Trinitarianism. I believe in God, and in his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, and in the Holy Spirit; therefore, I immerse into the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit; and pray for the love of God, the favor of Jesus Christ, and the communion of the Holy Spirit. I am not wont to conceal my sentiments through the fear of man. On this subject I have been so explicit already, that he who cannot understand me, wishes me to be heterodox.

      Query 7.--"What are your views of the future punishment of wicked men? Is it eternal and without end?"

      Answer.--Their destruction is an everlasting destruction, and their punishment an endless punishment. If men are not now saved by the gospel, it is impossible that they can escape the condemnation of hell: for after death no means more efficacious can be used to save them from sin than those employed here:--and if uncured by these, they are incurable for ever. Sic stat sententia. Thus stands the decree.

      Thus I have candidly answered your questions preliminary to the discussion of some particular topic. And now might I not request brother Semple to furnish his scriptural objections and arguments, if any he have, against the Essay on Forgiveness of Sins through immersion? I must say that I feel confident of my ability to maintain every proposition in that Essay, against all opposition; and will always think so until the contrary is proved. This will not be called boasting by any man who says he believes in Jesus Christ for reasons which no man can set aside. To sustain each and every one of the twelve propositions assumed in that essay, I stand pledged.

      Touching other matters in your letter, I feel not much interest in going into details. It would be presumptuous in me to suppose that in writing so much, and in publishing from so many correspondents, nothing had appeared in any of my pages which had better never have seen the light. That my eagle-eyed and numerous opponents should not have found more sweet morsels of this sort than they have been able to find, is to me quite marvellous; and, perhaps, to be attributed to other causes rather than to my prudence. These matters you call "tales," are very trifling matters; and though I have such evidence for the truth of these as would be admitted by any editor in this country, and much as to justify me in believing them; yet, perhaps, they might as well have slept in the grave with many similar matters which have [358] been sent me. My opponents have endeavored to turn them as much as possible to my disadvantage. I have not retorted upon them, in any one instance, as far as I recollect. If I had, I could have done it much more to their disadvantage than they seemed to be aware. I could produce many ridiculous stories concerning "relating experiences," and the "call to preaching," &c. which could be documented with names of persons and places, putting it in the power of every person who pleased to prove them. But it is not with such weapons we contend. These scraps were but mere indications of the tendencies of things. We fight against the traditions, and customs, and principles, which give birth to such extravagancies. Our premises and our arguments we will defend; but an anecdote may pass for just as much as it is worth. Some persons enter suits for cents, and contend for fractions. Such is not our custom.

      While I am convinced, brother Semple, that "the call to the ministry," and "the relating of experience before immersion," are both unscriptural, unreasonable, untenable notions, and of dangerous tendency; I am not, as some would represent me, opposed to christian experience; nor to the necessity of every man's feeling himself constrained by divine authority to serve his fellow-men in whatever capacity he may be qualified to promote the happiness of man. But you understand me so well on these subjects, and have so much candor, that I need not expatiate upon them at this time.

      Hoping soon to hear from you on that all-engrossing question concerning the remission of sins. I have the pleasure of again subscribing myself, in all christian charity and benevolence,
  Yours, under the Great King,
A. CAMPBELL.      


      WHEN we are capable of noticing the laws of nature, which are the natural laws of God, we discover that he has one way of accomplishing every end and object. In the vegetable kingdom we discover that each plant has its own seed, soil, climate, and season; and that, without these, we cannot have that plant. In the animal kingdom, every animal has its progenitors, food, element, and climate; and only by these means can it be obtained. In his moral dominion the same connexion between means and ends is apparent. His moral laws are as unchangeable as the laws of nature. Angels, as well as men, enjoy the favor of God according to certain laws; and when any of them departed from these laws they fell into condemnation and ruin. Grace is not lawless. It is not an anomaly in the universe. There are the laws of matter, the laws of mind, the laws of morality, and the laws of Grace.

      We should not marvel at the phrase, "the laws of favor." The law of the spirit of life is as much a law, as the law of attraction, or the law of works. No man is an object of mercy who is not in distress hence favor cannot be shown but upon objects of a certain character, [359] There are means, or there are channels, through which, and through which alone, God's favor can flow into the human heart. He that would live on the bread of life must eat it. He that would be refreshed and cheered by the water of life, must drink it. And he that would have the experience, the peace, hope, love, and joy of a christian, must put himself under the law of Christ.

      The lofty peaks are barren and parched. The rain which falls upon them communicates to them no blessing--because they receive it not. The vallies are covered with verdure and fatness. The dew and the rains which descend on them convey to them the blessing of God--because they receive and retain the heavenly gifts. So God the proud resists; but to the lowly he gives the blessings of his grace.

      On the cloud-capt cliffs and lofty summits, though rains may fall and dews descend, they receive them not, but send them to the vallies. Thus, though God's favor should descend upon the sons of pride, they would not receive it, but send it to the humble. Judging eternal life unworthy of them, they seek the distinctions which from pride, avarice, and ambition, flow. They submit themselves not to the righteousness of God.

      Hence it is that the humble, and the humble alone, can experience the joys, and the seasons of refreshment from the presence of the Lord. They experience God's love by submitting to it. This is a reason why some enjoy the favor of God while others do not. The former submit to it--the latter do not. Those who aspire after the honors which come from men, and are not ambitious of the honors which come from God, do never feel the power, nor the joys of that religion which brought its founder from the Palace of the Universe to a stable, and raised him from a cross to a throne. To enjoy the happiness of an Enoch, an Elijah, a Paul, an Elizabeth, or a Mary, we must walk with God, and be blameless observers of all God's commands and ordinances, as were they.

      But the golden secret of christian experience is yet to be disclosed, God changes the state of men, and by this means effects an entire change of views, feelings, character and enjoyment. This is the great law of grace. We shall illustrate it by a law of nature:--God said to Noah, While the earth remaineth, it shall not be rebaptized or, in other words, "Seed time and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night, shall not cease." Philosophers and astronomers know, and the most common minds may know, that the earth has, by two laws of nature, two motions--an annual motion in an orbit round the Sun, and a diurnal motion on its own axis. To the latter we are indebted for the succession of day and night, and to the former for all the varieties in the seasons of the year. By a change of position toward the Sun, God gives us day; and by another change of position he gives us all the seasons of the year. Compare the face of nature in the summer months with the face of nature in the winter months, and mark the change. Whence all the genial breezes of the spring? Whence all the verdure of forests, fields, and gardens? Whence all the flowers, and blossoms, and fruits of summer? [360] Whence all the melodies of woods and groves? Whence all the tenants of every shrub and flower, with all the humming, chirping, and singing which fall upon the listening ear? Whence all the ten thousand changes which revive the face of the earth, and fill with joy and gladness everything that lives? All, all is the result of changing the position or state of the earth towards the Sun. The change is not in the Sun, nor in the earth; but in its position to the Sun. The rays now fall upon it in a new direction, and it receives them. Before, or in the depth of winter, it received them not: they fell obliquely upon it, or rather glanced off it. But now its position being changed, it receives them directly into its bosom, and it teems with new life.

      Such is the change of heart, of life, and character, effected by the favor of God, through the Sun of Righteousness. Our state it changed by a law of favor. Truth draws us to the fountain of truth. It sets our souls in motion. We are brought down into the water. From this we are brought up again. After this burial we rise to a new life: or, in other words, we are born of water, and thus we come into a new state. Pardoned, justified, sanctified, and adopted into the family of God; the favor of God, or the quickening, animating rays of the Sun of Righteousness, shine into our hearts; we feel their heat and power; they impart life and comfort. We can now receive the favor of God. By the contemplation of the glory of God's love shining in the face of Jesus, and reflected upon us by the holy Apostles, we are changed into the same image; and being thus justified by faith, we have peace with God. Until pardoned we cannot enjoy this peace. "But being washed, justified, sanctified, by the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God," we are prepared to rejoice always in the Lord with joy unspeakable and full of glory. Receiving the end of our faith, the salvation of our souls, our hearts bound like the roe, and our tongues sing forth the high praises of God.

      As spring, and summer, and autumn, are all subsequent to, and dependent upon, a change of the position of the earth to the Sun; so all christian experience is dependent upon, and subsequent to, a change of state. This change of state is the effect of the attraction of God's love in the mission of his Son, which brings us to him. Through the water we come to Jesus, who came through water to us. And thus, as when the earth was first born of water, the Sun lifted his lays upon it; so the Sun of Righteousness first beams upon our souls when born into that kingdom into which none can enter unless born again.

For the Millennial Harbinger.      


Dear Brother,

      YOUR remarks which appeared in the fifth number of the Harbinger, afford, I conceive, a sufficient apology for these lines. You find, or think you find, a deficiency in the position which I assumed relative to faith in Jesus Christ. If in fact the proposition is "very deficient"--if my investigation has issued in an error, I wish to be freed from it as soon as possible. And I would be thankful to brother Grew, or any other person, who would be so kind as to [361] set this subject in a proper light--if, indeed, I have viewed it in false colors, I do not dogmatize--I have not the vanity to suppose myself infallible. Where such a diversity of discordant views prevail on any subject, some must necessarily be wrong. And I am as liable to arrive at a wrong conclusion as another man. Truth, eternal truth, is the gets for which I have labored; and if, indeed, I have found but a gilded counterfeit; I wish to have it detected. I wish to submit it to the severest scrutiny; and if it will not withstand the "refiner's fire," let us call it dross--the mere dross of human opinion. In this investigation, however, but one kind of testimony can be admitted. As I arrived at that conclusion by a careful and thorough examination of the Scriptures, nothing can be taken in disproof of it from any inferior authority. In matters of religion nothing is good authority which does not bear as old a date as the days of the apostles.

      All the "Confessions of Faith" which we find in the New Testament, are bare confessions of this one fact, viz.--that JESUS THE NAZARENE WAS THE MESSIAH. Peter, on being asked by Jesus who he was, answered, "Thou art the Messiah, the Son of the living God." Immediately that benediction was pronounced, "Happy are you, Simon Barjona," &c. (Matt. xvi.) Nathaniel's confession was, "You are the Son of God: you are the King of Israel." (John i.) When the grandee of Candace was asked for a confession of his faith, he replied, "I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God." (Acts viii.)

      You concede this one point, viz, that "faith is the conviction of the truth of any position from evidence." The primitive christians must have believed some proposition--and what was it? Let us attend particularly to this subject; for if we can discover what facts were told them, we may easily arrive at a degree of certainty respecting what they believed; or what then constituted "faith in Jesus Christ."

      Hear the facts which were related to the three thousand who believed on the day of Pentecost:--"Jesus the Nazarene, a man recommended to you by God, by powerful operations, and wonders, and signs, which God wrought by him in the midst of you, as you yourselves also know; him you have seized, being given up by the declared counsel and predestination of God, and by the hands of sinners have fastened [to the cross] and slain; whom God has raised up, having loosed the pains of death, as it was impossible he should be held under it." (Acts ii.) Simply saying, that this Jesus whom they had crucified was the "Lord Messiah;" to which fact, and to which alone, he calls the Prophets to bear witness.

      When Peter came to the house of Cornelius, he began that memorable "Sermon" by informing the Gentiles there assembled that "Jesus Christ was Lord of All;" and concludes by telling them that "this very person God raised up on the third day," &c. Consequently their faith could have been nothing more than a conviction of the truth of these facts.

      Paul, at Corinth, being enrapt in spirit, testified to the Jews that Jesus was the Messiah. And Crispus, the ruler of the Synagogue, believed in the Lord, with all his house. And many of the Corinthians, hearing, believed and were immersed.

      The epistolary writings of the Apostles give us, in a variety of places, a clue to what in those days constituted faith in Jesus Christ, or "saving faith," if you please. Paul to the Romans, says, "The matter is nigh you, in your mouth and in your heart; that is, the matter of faith which we announce, is nigh you. That if you will confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus, and will believe with your heart that God has raised him from the dead, you shall be saved." (Rom. x.)

      The most decisive evidence that can be adduced on this subject, we have from the same inspired pen when addressing the Corinthians. "Now I declare unto you, brethren, the glad tidings which I announced to you, which also you received, and in which you stand; by which also you are SAVED, if you retain these joyful tidings which I delivered to you; unless, indeed, you have believed in vain For I delivered to you among the first thing as what also I received first, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that he was [362] buried, and rose again on the third day, according to the Scriptures." (1 Cor. xv.) John says, that "every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God." (1st Epis. John iv.) And again, "Every one who believes that Jesus is the Christ, has been begotten of God." (ib. v.)

      It is unnecessary for me to add evidence of this description. The sacred volume is in your hand; it abounds with such expressions wherever the subject of faith is adverted to. And though the mode of expression may vary, still the fact we are required to believe is substantially the same,--it is, and ever must remain, a unit. I acknowledge, brother Grew, I am entirely ignorant of what you mean by "believing the truth of the doctrine of the Lord." I know of no "truth" which the Scriptures require me to believe unconnected with this glorious truth, that Jesus the Messiah has come in the flesh, died, and rose again the third day, according to the Scriptures. You say, "Men may believe the recorded facts respecting the birth, death, and ascension of the Messiah, while they do not believe the holy truths these facts were designed to establish." QUERY--What "holy truths" are there independent of the recorded facts? The general prevalence of the idea that unbelievers believe is to me the greatest miracle of this age. Logicians say that there are certain propositions, which, from their very self-evidence, it is impossible to demonstrate by abstract reasoning. Of this nature is the proposition that he who believes in Jesus Christ, is a believer. And to attempt to prove it by logical deduction, would be to prove that whatever is, is. Yet, strange to say, I know of a number of persons who seriously contend that believing what the Scriptures say of Jesus Christ, is not faith in Jesus Christ. That we can know nothing on this subject from any other source than the Scriptures, is, to me, a proposition very evident. Upon your own concession, faith is the conviction of the truth of any proposition from evidence; ergo, faith in Jesus Christ is a conviction of the truth of what is recorded of him by the sacred penmen. If I at all understand the meaning of words, or comprehend the force of reasoning, this must be a correct conclusion. If I am wrong, be so good as to tell us what position "faith in Jesus Christ" is a conviction of the truth of. I fear, brother Grew, that you, as well as myself, have been laboring, and do labor, under the influence of some human system of "Divinity." O that we could but speak a pure language!

      Hoping that you and I may be able to shake even the dust of Babylon from the soles of our feet, I subscribe myself,
  Yours in hope of a blest immortality,
R. T. BROWN.      
      Arcadia, Ind. July 24, 1830.


      THE following curious contrast was lately sent me from Philadelphia.--ED.

Extract of a letter from Bishop A. Campbell, to Bishop Semple.

      "But it is only by the constant study of the Oracles, that we can attain to those clear and healthful views of the religion which produced such wonderful effects upon the first converts. Those who depend upon any operation of the Holy Spirit to impart to them what is already written, or to explain it to them, will never, never find such aid! I think the experience of one thousand years last past is enough to support this last saying, if there was not another word to be said upon it. Do you ask, What experience? I answer, The individual experience of all the devout of every name, and every page of the history of all the great and good men of that period. Where is the man now living, and where is the history of the man now dead, to whom God has specially revealed any thing in the Oracles, but by studying them? God's Spirit imparts light only to them who read or hear the Oracles,"

Extract from George Fox' Journal, pages 59, 60, and 61.

      "For of all the sects in christendom (so called) that I discoursed withal, I found none that could bear to be told that any should come to Adam's perfection, into that image of God, and righteousness, and holiness, that Adam was [363] in before he fell; to be so clear, and pure, without sins as he was. Therefore, how should they be able to bear being told that any should grow up to the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ, when they cannot bear to hear that any shall come, whilst upon earth, into the same power and spirit that the Prophets and Apostles were in? Though it be a certain truth that none can understand their writings aright without the same spirit by which they were written. Now the Lord God hath opened to me by his invisible power, how that every man was enlightened by the divine light of Christ; and I saw it shine through all: and that they that believed in it came out of condemnation, and came to the light of life, and became the children of it: but they that hated it, and did not believe in it, were condemned by it, though they made a profession of Christ. This I saw in the pure openings of the light, without the help of any man; neither did I then know where to find it in the Scriptures, (though afterwards, searching the Scriptures, I found it.) For I saw in that light and spirit which was before Scripture was given forth, and which led the holy men of God to give them forth, that all must come to that spirit if they would know God or Christ, or the Scriptures aright, which they that gave them forth were led and taught by.

      "I saw that the grace of God, which brings salvation, had appeared to all men, and that the manifestation of the Spirit of God was given to every man to profit withal. These things I did not see by the help of man, nor by the letter (though they are written in the letter;) but I saw them in the light of the Lord Jesus Christ, and by his immediate spirit and power, as did the holy men of God, by whom the Holy Scriptures were written."

      [Is not this sound doctrine in the estimation of the populars?]--Ed.

From the Philadelphia Recorder.      



      THERE are two classes of persons who seem not sufficiently attentive to the fact, that we may be upon the very eve of changes in human affairs much greater than have occurred. To every reflecting christian it must appear more than probable that the general triumphs of the gospel are just at hand. Such an idea is getting very strongly hold of many minds, and casting the mere passing things of earth quite into the back ground of their most common views. They are ready to wonder why men are still so eager to buy and sell, and get gain, as though time was eternity itself. They are astonished that so few are inquiring whether there is not approaching, in some sense, a second coming of Christ, for which all may not be prepared. Such, however, are not the impressions of the large majority professing religion, the first of the two classes to which we refer. They, perhaps, often hear observations made by public speakers upon the progress of the gospel among the heathen, and the probability that extraordinary changes are at hand; but are wont to regard such observations rather in the light of rhetorical flourishes, than sober anticipations of the future. Now, whatever may be said in reference either to the question of the literal appearance of our Saviour, and the literal resurrection of the saints at the beginning of the Millennium, or the more common one as to the time of this latter event, every professing christian ought to inquire whether the second coming of Christ, in some sense, is not an event, the nearness and importance of which may have been altogether overlooked in his own mind. [364]

      It deserves the special attention of the incredulous in this case, that the coming of Christ is usually an unexpected event to large numbers, in circumstances most favorable for correct views of the subject. Thus it was with the Jews, when he came in the flesh--thus it was when he came to destroy the holy city according to his own express predictions. Besides, it is expressly affirmed of his coming generally (and this must include the coming which precedes the Millennium) that it is like a thief in the night. We are to expect, then, that a state of things not unlike the existing state of the christian church, will actually precede the coming now in question. We are to believe that very few, even of the church, will be expecting Christ at the proper time, or ready to hail his approach.

      We pretend not to inquire what the coming of Christ before the Millennium will be in all respects; but a single passage in the book of Revelation marks it as an event in which all will be deeply concerned. The passage is Rev. xx. 4, 5, 6:--

      "And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.

      "But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection.

      "Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years."

      Many suppose that a personal reign of our Saviour is here intended, as also a literal resurrection of the saints, but we cannot certainly establish or refute such an opinion. Of this, however, we may be certain: there will be an immense difference between the righteous and the wicked. And this difference is to he marked at the beginning of the Millennium. One class are represented as alive, raised from the dead, in some sense, while the others are slumbering in the dust. And whether this thousand years come sooner or later, it will be a thousand years of joy to all the saints of God--but a thousand years of wo to all the enemies of Christ. Are the professing followers of Christ ready for his coming? Are they ready to take a bold stand in the ranks of his friends? In the day of his coming it will not be sufficient to be found in the livery of his soldiers, while treason lurks in the heart. Nor can there be even the show of neutrality. Idle spectators will no where be found. The energies of every individual will be enlisted in one of the causes at issue. And it ought to be kept in mind, that some little care may be necessary in selecting the flag under which we are to march. There are many false standards erected, and great numbers will doubtless mistake their colors, and find themselves borne down in the ranks of a triumphant Saviour's foes, while imagining themselves his warmest friends. [365]

      When we contemplate the changes that have taken place during the last thirty years, and see those changes progressing with increasing rapidity--when we reflect that such changes often go on in a geometrical ratio, we certainly have reason to expect that thirty years more will bring forward changes incalculably greater than those now advancing. The world, as a scene of missionary operations, may be compared to an immense prairie covered with dry grass. Fires are kindling in various places. They may burn slowly for a time; but should a strong wind arise, the conflagration may in a short time be universal.

      In the view of this subject now taken, exact dates or modes of events are not regarded as certain; but only so far probable, as to claim the attention of reflecting persons. There may be great mistakes on both sides of these questions; but they are much safer on one side than the other. Time will correct those of the enthusiastic but devoted followers of Christ, while eternity alone will declare those of his enemies.
C. S. A.      

To the Advocates of a Restoration of the Ancient Order of Things,
and the Proclaimers of the Ancient Gospel.

      THE simplicity, plainness, and power of the gospel proclaimed on Pentecost, are daily becoming more and more apparent. The proclamation of that gospel is now every where attended with conversions as sudden, as decisive, as strongly marked as many of those in ancient times. Of this I have not only the testimony of others, but I have seen it myself. My duties to the public, as an editor, prohibit my doing the work of an evangelist; and when I make a tour it is more to disseminate, the general principles of reformation, than to proclaim the ancient gospel for the purpose of converting sinners to God. It is one thing to state and prove what the ancient gospel is, and another to make it the instrument of conversion to God. Of this I have made ample experiments. Within the last ten days I have been twice from home; and, on each occasion, proclaimed the old gospel for the purpose of converting men to God. On these two occasions thirty persons obeyed the gospel, were immersed for the remission of their sins, and translated into the kingdom of God's own Son. Many of these converts had no more intention of obeying the gospel one hour before, than I now have of becoming a Presbyterian. Nor can it be said that they were ignorant, and unlearned persons, an easy prey to error, enthusiasts, or weak-minded. They were a fair average of the whole community. They were of both sexes, from eighteen to sixty years of age. Amongst them was one lawyer, one physician, and some of them were in full communion in Methodist, Presbyterian, and Episcopalian churches. Some of them had lately been sceptics in all religion, and one of them on the morning of the day of his conversion reviled and spoke evil of the ancient gospel. I left these converts rejoicing in God, in their new relation to him, in the pardon of their sins, and in being the adopted sons and daughters of the Lord God Almighty. [366]

      Nor could it be said that there was any thing like what is called "a revival" in those vicinities. One of them, where I immersed eighteen persons, was a Presbyterian settlement: every thing as dry as the season of the year, and as cold as December. But this only by the way.

      There are many persons who are said to proclaim the ancient gospel, and who think they are proclaiming it, who are only talking about it. The preachers of this gospel (for it is different from all the modern gospels) are becoming quite numerous in several of these United States. But there are some of them who only preach about it, and others who preach it. They are both useful; the former to convert men from the sects--the latter to convert them to God:--the one to pull down systems--the other to make and build up christians. But he who only converts men from sectarianism is neither so acceptable to God, nor so profitable to men, as he who "turns men from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and an inheritance among the sanctified."

      Some of the preachers of the gospel preach more than the ancient gospel. They launch out into matters pertaining to the designs of ancient prophecy, which they do not so well understand. They also go into details of christian teaching or doctrine, and the internal affairs of Christ's kingdom. All these may be useful, and on some occasions necessary, but belong not to the proclamation of the gospel, and ought not to be confounded with it.

      In presenting the gospel (for there is but one gospel which we for the present distress call the ancient) there are only a few topics which rightfully belong to it. These are faith, repentance or reformation, immersion for the remission of sins, the Holy Spirit, and eternal life. These topics appear in one shape in the Extra No. 1; but they are diffusely exhibited there. They are capable of being exhibited in many ways, and presented like a picture in many positions to the eye of the mind. But still these are great topics, and from these every argument to turn men to God may be deduced. Turning men to God is the great object and end of proclaiming the gospel.

      When persons are converted to God, they ought forthwith to be separated from the world into societies, called congregations, and the ancient order of things, the ordinances, manners, and customs of the christian kingdom given them. They are best prepared to receive the institutes of the great King when they have just recently vowed allegiance to him. While the metal is warm, cast it into the mould. While the plant is young and tender, give it the proper direction. When the child is young, teach it the manners and customs which will adorn the man. So let the new converts always, and in all places, forthwith be put under the government of the great King. Let them meet every Lord's day to praise the Lord, to celebrate his death and resurrection, to invoke his name, to hear his voice, and to converse on the things pertaining to his kingdom and glory. Then will they grow apace--they will grow like the corn, shoot forth as [367] the vine, and their odor shall be as Lebanon. In this most of the proclaimers of the gospel are deficient. They turn the sheep into the wilderness, forgetting both the foxes and the wolves--and unmindful of the roaring lion. 'Tis better to stay in one place until so many are converted as can take care of one another, and let no more belong to one church than can conveniently meet every Lord's day. The old, crooked, misshapen converts are seldom an advantage to the new converts, especially to such as are converted to God by the old gospel. They are too dry, stiff, formal, ceremonious, and untractable. There are many exceptions it is true; but not enough to make it a safe course always to couple the lambs and kids to these old sheep.

      Tell the disciples that so soon as the name of the Lord is named up in them--so soon as they have believingly been immersed into the name of the Lord Jesus for the remission of their sins, they are all made sons and daughters, kings and priests to God--and doing the will of Jesus, they are to him as dear as his mother, his sister, or his brother. Being a royal priesthood, all children of a King, they have a right to meet in his name to break the loaf of blessing, to drink the cup of blessing, without the intervention of a mediator, priest, or prophet, consecrated by human hands.

      Tell them bishops were never chosen to baptize, to break the loaf of blessing, nor to consecrate the cup of salvation. The Lord consecrated these, and gave them to his disciples, not to priests. Tell them that churches existed without, and before, bishops in the ancient times--and that "disciples came together on the first day of the week to break the loaf." That bishops cannot be chosen without they "are proved," and that they cannot be proved until they are tried--and that though bishops and deacons are necessary to the perfection of a church, they are not necessary to its existence. Let them cultivate brotherly kindness and love, pursue peace with all men, and holiness; and let them abound in thanksgivings and praises to the great King. Thus will they enjoy their religion, and be useful to the world.

      Let the proclaimers themselves remember that the Apostles wrote the Epistles to immersed disciples, and to none else. The content of them belong to disciples, as such. From them, it is true, they can draw arguments to illustrate, prove, and enforce the gospel as did the Apostles from the ancient prophets. But it is not necessary to expound all the Epistles in proclaiming the ancient gospel.

      These hints are submitted to the good sense of all those employed and interested in converting men to God.

To the Editor of the Millennial Harbinger.

L------, Va.      

Brother Campbell,

      ALTHOUGH I am conscious of my inability for preparing communications for the press, not having been in the practice of it; yet having been a spectator, for some time, of the controversy between [368] yourself and the religious community, I am, from a sense of duty, induced to express my astonishment to you--and, if you please, to the public--on two accounts.

      I am not a little astonished to hear from all quarters that you deny that the Holy Spirit has any influence upon the soul in converting it. Of this sentiment I acknowledge I have found no indications in your writings; nor did I understand any thing of the kind from you during my personal interviews with you last winter, when on a tour through this country. Indeed, I feel confident you cannot believe such a proposition: for certainly you cannot think that the Spirit of God is inferior to the spirit of man. Have not Luther, Calvin, Arminius, and Wesley influenced and inspired their followers with their respective spirits? Are not their followers more ardent in their aspirations to resemble their masters, than to resemble the Chief among ten thousands, who was holy, harmless, and undefiled, full of mercy and of good fruits? And do they not breathe forth the spirit of the founders as fully as ever did child resemble parent?

      I am also, on another account, astonished that your opponents should deny the sufficiency of the written Oracle of God to make disciples to the Lord, while they contend that you have discipled many, and inspired them with your spirit, by your written word, though they have never seen you. Strange that they should feel your spirit and power to the ends of this country, put forth in your written word, and that God could not make man feel his Spirit and power by his written word! Your opponents, if they saw it, honor your word more than the word of God: for they say it is a more potent instrument! I sometimes think that if the advocates for sects and creeds were to contend for them as zealously as your friends contend for the New Testament, they would be considered as influenced by the Holy Spirit.

      Indeed, sir, I have always considered God as speaking to me by his Spirit whenever I read or hear his word; and I think myself influenced by his Spirit in proportion as I am disposed to obey his word. For example: Suppose some known or unknown friend, living in some land or country superior to this, superabounding in all the good things necessary to human comfort; should write to me, stating all the advantages I should gain by going to it, and withal pressing me and entreating me to emigrate to it; I should consider myself influenced by his word just so far as I felt disposed to remove thither; and I should suppose myself speaking quite as intelligibly to my neighbors when I told them that I was moved and drawn on by this friend thence, as if I said I was induced by his writings.

      It has been urged that the sacred records are read by many on whom it has no influence, while on others it has great power. This is made a great mystery by many. Some explain the mystery by saying that God has, by some mysterious influence, operated independent of the word, and has given them a revelation of it; while having withholden that influence from others, they cannot understand it, and can feel no power in it, Were the question put to me, [369] Why all who read the Scriptures do not alike obey them, or are not alike influenced by them, if there be no divine influence separate from the word? I would answer the query by proposing another, viz.--Why has the Christian Baptist, or why has the Millennial Harbinger such influence on some, and none on others who read them? Will they answer this question by alleging that you are omnipresent, acting or operating upon the mind of your favorites to make them understand and obey your writings and exhortations, intended to induce them to return to the ancient order of things? Or will they answer this question by saying, that a rational, sober, and honest investigation of facts, induces many to return to the ancient order of things? Let them answer this question as they may, they cannot fail to find in their own answer a refutation of their own objection.

      As to the difficulty of exercising faith, of which some so often speak. I have, I think, found out the secret. Passing by all the learned nonsense, found in creeds, comments, sermons, &c. which has buried truth in the bottom of a deep well, I will just state that the whole difficulty is found in the want of a disposition to obey. There would be no obscurity attached to the word faith, and there would be no difficulty in believing were it not for that little word obey, which God has inseparably connected with it. Ah! here lies the mystery. Few will say, "Good Master, what shall I do that I may enter into the kingdom." And when they are told about denying themselves and taking their cross, or obeying the gospel, then they exclaim, 'How hard it is to believe! I wish knew what faith, true faith, means," The obedience of faith is that which makes faith unintelligible to many.

      Suppose you should propose to me a certain reward for a certain piece of mechanism, I might believe that it was you that promised it, but I could not believe that I should receive the reward unless the mechanism was performed according to your stipulation. But should I agree to perform the labor required, I should anticipate the reward, and rejoice in hope. And is not this analogous to that saying, "Not every one who says to me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom; but he that does the will of my Father who is in heaven."

      Nothing, my dear sir, has induced me to trouble you with these remarks, but a desire to cast in my mite, while the rich are casting in of their abundance, for accelerating the general reign of our Lord and King. In christian affection, I subscribe myself yours,


From the Christian Messenger.      

      THESE reforming Baptists are zealously engaged in a good work. They proclaim union with all who believe the simple facts of revelation, and manifest their faith by their works of holiness and love, without any regard to the opinions they may have formed of truth, when those opinions have no tendency to demoralize society. Should they make their own peculiar views of immersion a term of fellowship, it will be impossible for them to repel, successfully, the imputation of being sectarians, and of having an authoritative creed (though not written) of one article at least, which is formed of their own opinion of [370] truth; and this short creed would exclude more christians from union than any creed with which I am acquainted. So it appears to us. We entertain no doubt of their pure intentions and honest endeavors to do right, but have candidly expressed our fears lest they may do what may undo all their former labors. They have not yet assumed a name, though their opposers have given them many. The general impression is, that they will exchange the name Baptist for Christian; yet even this is doubtful. For one of them, in his travels somewhere, found a Christian Church of 160 members, which, as he was informed, was Unitarian in sentiment, and very ignorant and enthusiastic.--The writer remarks, "Were it not for the abuse of this holy name, I should be called by no other but as it is, I shall, for the present, hold on to my letters of commendation, certificates, &c. which call me a Baptist."--Mill. Harbinger.

      I received a letter from the worthy brother alluded to in the preceding extract, touching his former communication. I know of no man more catholic than he; and as I received a letter from a brother in Kentucky respecting the allusion to the Christian name, I publish the following extract as explanatory:--Ed. M. H.

To the Editor of the Millennial Harbinger.


      I FIND no fault with you for publishing my letter of the 31st of March ult. though there are some things in it which I would have mended. And first, concerning the Christians. "From the information received," I said, "I should judge," &c. A short time after this, I attended a conference meeting among them, of which, on returning to my lodgings, I made the following record:--"The name of JESUS being invoked and praised, I addressed them--called them brethren, and exhorted them to continue in the favor of God. As I set down the leading men said, "Amen." They then sung another hymn; after which their Elder arose and expressed his fellowship for the strange brother's remarks. On dismissing the assembly he came forward and took me by the hand--asked me to remain a little while with the church; and, if consistent, to go home with him and spend the night. The bell having now rung for 9, I declined by giving him also an invitation to call and see me at Deacon F----'s. 'He would be happy to do so,' he said: "But"--(repeated he,) "Deacon F----'s!! You are not the Baptist minister there, are you,"--"I am."--"O excuse me, sir,--I thought you were a stranger, just come into town." "No matter,--I am the Baptist minister,--call and see me."

      He did not call: consequently our personal acquaintance ended with this meeting. As they sung, and talked, and prayed like christians, I felt towards them and addressed them as such; and for my address, I, too, was regarded by them as a christian, till they were informed I was a Baptist: Then, the Elder's countenance fell--he seemed confused--and to know not what to say.

      In reference now to sectarian names, I am conscious of having no partiality to that of "Baptist"--I much prefer being called a "Disciple of Christ," or "Christian;" but so long as my brethren whom I first joined, with whom I am at present connected, allow me liberty of conscience--of speaking, and acting, and urging upon all the knowledge of the Lord, and more perfect conformity to his requirements; I will not leave them, or join another sect: and if they forbid me, I will not. I will oppose sectarianism in them and in all others: and wherever, and in whomsoever appears the image of Christ, I hope I may be able to recognize and love it.

      In conclusion: To those, who, after reading this letter, may, for the first time, or again read my other above referred to,--please correct the following errata of the printer:--On page 202, top line, for "tried," read tired. Brother A. did not say, that he had long been tired on account of the little effect of his labors; but tried. Same page, 20th line from top, after "to read," supply in. Dr. W. was not requested to read the whole of the 5th volume of the Christian [371] Baptist, but only the essays in it, on the Ancient Gospel. And in the next line, for "town," read this. The erratum "but," page 200, line 26, is noticed by the editor, page 240.
      B------, July 31, 1830.

      Respecting the well-intended hints of the Editor of the Christian Messenger, on what he calls our "peculiar views of immersion," I wish to offer a remark. When he shall have examined our "Extra, No. 1." I hope it may satisfy him that there is no immersion instituted by Jesus Christ, save that for the remission of sins. This, and this only, is the "one immersion." If the plain, literal proclamation of Peter and the Apostles upon this subject, be called a peculiar view, we may call every act of obedience to the word of Jesus, a peculiar view. Then there is an end to every thing in religion, but peculiar views. "To repel, successfully, the imputation of being sectarians," is impossible, if obedience to Jesus Christ be called sectarianism. And whenever there is nothing in christianity which is not sectarian, then all the world will be under Jesus Christ. Till then, every one who believes, observes, and does the commands of Jesus, will be one of a sect, opposed by all in whose hearts the Prince of the Power of the Air sways his sceptre. No opinion, creed, or dogma of human invention, shall be with us a term of communion; but obedience to the, commands of Jesus will always be, unless we should unhappily renounce the Lord Jesus as our Lord, King, and Lawgiver.

      I agree with the Christian Messenger, that there will be more christians (calling all christendom christians) excluded by insisting on this command--"Be immersed every one of you, in the name of the Lord Jesus, for the remission of your sins"--than by any creed in christendom. For there are more, alas! incomparably more nominal than real christians--more who say, 'Lord, Lord, and yet do not the things which he says,' than there are who obey the will of the Heavenly Father. I have no liking for a church after the similitude of Noah's Ark. In such a church the vermin and ravenous beasts, their noise and clamor, (to say nothing of their filth and uncleanness,) are less to be endured than the tempest which beats upon the outside. I would rather have the storm of persecution outside of the Ark, than to have to do with all the reptiles and unclean beasts which might coalesce for a few days through the inclemency of the weather. The true church of Jesus Christ consists of the washed, justified, and sanctified by the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.

      The Editor of the Christian Messenger has, it seems, contended for the theory of immersion for the remission of sins, when "well guarded"--guarded, I hope, he means only by faith in the subject. To contend for it in theory, and give it up in practice, is only to treat the authority of the Lord with contempt. Of this I hope he is not guilty.

      As to the name Christian, I have always, since I knew any thing of christianity, given it the approbation of my heart. It is a name which we can legitimately assume. But unfortunately some have assumed it as a name only. Suppose. for example, that these [372] reforming Baptists who contend for the ancient gospel and the ancient order of things, should assume to he called Christians, how would they be distinguished from those who call themselves Christians, who neither immerse for the remission of sins, show forth the Lord's death weekly, nor keep the institutions, manners, and customs of those called "Christians first at Antioch?" If our friends who assume this good name, never had gone into a crusade in favor of opinions, nor had laid so much stress upon them; fighting for years about their peculiar views of the Deity, and other abstractions which I need not name; and if they had given to their churches the institutions of christians, we should have rejoiced that the name Christian did not now designate a sect, instead of the body of Christ. As it is, however, we choose the name Christian, with all its abuses, and have not for many years ever called the particular congregation to which we belong by another name than the Church of Christ. But if any one shall suppose that the term "Christian" denotes a Unitarian, or Trinitarian, in its appropriated sense, we shall choose the older name, "disciple;" and recommend to all the brotherhood to be called not "Christians," but "the disciples of Christ."
Ed. Harbinger.      



      Dear Sir--THE, ancient gospel and order of things more frequently call you two thousand years back, than the glories of the Millennium invite you forward to the dreadful and glorious era which is soon to astonish the world. Yes, it comes, as the Lord said it should come--"like a thief in the night." Your opponents seek to decoy you into their thorny paths, and to prevent your developements of Antichrist--his rise, progress, and overthrow. I know, indeed, that you object to connecting the preaching of the Millennium with the proclamation of the gospel. But did not John proclaim reformation, and announce the reign of God then soon to appear. I know of no incompatibility between speaking occasionally, or writing now and then, upon Millenniary matters, and the work of reformation. Nay; I think I can furnish arguments from the prophecies to enforce the preaching of the ancient gospel. You have, no doubt, noticed that there is a blessing promised to them who read and understand the New Testament prophecies. That blessing, in some degree at least, I have experienced.

      You are pledged to give us some information on the prophecies; and, perhaps, you may do this in a way which I am not now expecting. I acknowledge that your writings are tending towards the consuming of the man of sin; but we want something more than an indirect approach to these transporting scenes which the prophetic pages open to our view. I, therefore, hope you will indulge me with a few pages in each number, to fill as I please, with prophetic views: I say as I please, provided I can instruct or please your numerous and intelligent readers. I do not know that you will accord with me in [373] the conclusions to which I have come. But I think that, perhaps, you cannot do more justice to your readers than to give them brief and connected views of all interpretations and prospects of the Millennium, which are now before the public. This is pretty much characteristic of your course: for you have always given both sides to your readers. This is decidedly the wise course. Your friends are now able to judge more favorably and more correctly of your pleadings for reform--I say, more favorably; for they see the impotency of your opponents; they see that you have reason and scripture on your side, and that they have neither. I say more correctly too; for comparison and examination of both sides are indispensable to correct results.

      I need not tell you that there are only two modes of interpreting the prophecies, and that each gives a different result. I care not how many opinions there may be on the subject of prophecy, there are but two modes of interpreting it. I take that probably which you may not approve. But if you do not, when the public have yours and mine, they will have the whole.

      It is in perfect accordance with the genius of all you have written--your Debates, the Christian Baptist, and the Harbinger--to give your readers both sides. I doubt not but you will continue this magnanimous plan on the prophecies. I therefore claim to be heard. I am not sure, as before signified, that you and I differ; but upon the supposition that we do, I urge my plea upon your own concessions. If you like me not, when I have done, review me: but not till I have done. I only wish to wear my mask and to have a few pages in every number; and if I cannot edify and please your readers, I will ask for no indulgence. I shall consider the publication of my first number the signal for me to prepare the whole series: if you will not publish the series, return it to me, and I will put it on file for a more convenient season.

      My preparation for such a work you know. I have read much, reflected much, and familiarized myself with all the theories of the Millennium. But I swear not to the words of any master. I think for myself; and if I cannot connect the the Old and New Testament prophecies in a more rational and convincing light than my predecessors have done, I will only add another proof how easily we may be mistaken in ourselves; and I hope I will help you or some one else to a better system of interpretation. These things premised, I proceed.

      Preliminary 1.--Other events besides that of the thousand years reign of Jesus Christ upon the earth, have been the subject of prophecy. Among these we may rank the Deluge--the Destruction of the Cities of the Plain--the Fortunes of Abraham's Descendants before their Deliverance from Egypt--their Lot in Canaan--their Captivity and Return--Ishmael's Fortunes--the Appearance of John the Baptist--the Birth of the Messiah--his Kingdom--the Destruction of Jerusalem--and the Apostacy. All these events were foretold. Now, from an inspection of these prophecies and their fulfilment, I [374] deduce my rules of interpretation of those prophecies yet unfulfilled. All these events were literally foretold--some of them symbolically portrayed, as well as literally described. The pen and the pencil, the literal description and the historic painting, are combined to irradiate the page of prophecy.

      Preliminary 2.--As the same Spirit inspired all the Prophets, Jewish and Christian, we may expect a unity in the plan, a sort of fac simile in the writing, a uniformity in the style, and a necessary similarity in the mode of interpreting. We are not to devise new rules of interpreting the prophecies yet to be accomplished. It is not a new spirit, nor even a new subject; for Messiah's kingdom covers the whole area of the prophetic map. If, then, the prophecies concerning one part of that kingdom, or one state of it, be now fulfilled, whatever rules of interpretation are necessary to unfold the finished part, the period accomplished; the same rules, judiciously applied, will unfold the prophecies concerning that part of the reign yet unfulfilled.

      Preliminary 3.--The prophecies have never been well understood until near the times of their accomplishment, and seldom more than the prominent outlines until actually accomplished: but these the wise have always understood before accomplished. Our prospect, of understanding them will, therefore, much depend upon the fact of the time of accomplishment being near at hand. This the sequel will demonstrate.

      These things premised I will undertake to prove the following propositions:--

      I. The Jews will, in their unconverted state, actually and literally return to their own land before Jesus Christ appears to destroy the Man of Sin by the glory or power of his coming.

      II. After the Jews shall have been restored to their own land, and shall have resettled it, the nations of the earth shall combine to despoil them of their treasures, and to subjugate them to their sway.

      III. At the time of this assemblage of the nations, the Lord Jesus will descend to Mount Olivet, whence he ascended. The Jews will be converted in one day; a literal earthquake will shake the earth from pole to pole; and then will be destroyed the cities of the nations, and all that do wickedly. The Man of Sin shall be judged--the dead saints shall be raised--and the Millennium commence from that day.

      IV. Christ shall reign literally upon the earth for one thousand years before his ancients gloriously. "Blessed and holy is he who has part in this first resurrection. On him the second death shall have no power."

      Other propositions I have in store; but these only do I now submit, as a sort of outline of what may be expected. To prove one of these I will attempt in my next. But as every thing that is good is doubly good by being short; and if evil is much less so by being brief, I shall, for the present, conclude.
DANIEL. [375]      


      PROSCRIPTION appears the order of the day among the Priests. Their reign seems in jeopardy, and desperate efforts are called for. Churches are to be divided, Associations split, and the Christian Baptist must bear the indignation of the Clergy. It is the game of the monarchs of Europe, played on another theatre, and for a smaller prize. The Kings formed a strong alliance for their crowns against the people. This alliance was called a "holy alliance." The Clergy contend for the mitre against the Laity. This is a sacred alliance too.--The Kings could not, without some aids, their ministers, grandees, and nobles, form such an alliance; neither could the Clergy form such an alliance without a few of the deacons and leaders among the people. But so it is, the alliance is formed and forming against reform. This is no new nor strange event. What reform did not the Clergy oppose? Some few have always turned out for God and man. The Clergy, like every other class of artisans, have some good men among them. Hence some of them have always appeared for reform. But when did the mass or great body of the Clergy stand up for reform? History is mute on this point.

      It is impossible for me to give publicity to all the accounts I receive of the proscriptive and inquisitorial measures remorselessly adopted and unblushingly pursued in the presence of the universe, God, angels, and men, good and bad, by those haughty spirits which cannot brook reform. Some of these measures will, however, become incidents in the history of this struggle for human happiness against the machinations of those who seem to have men's persons in admiration because of advantage, and who appear to keep the minds of men under the shackles of human systems for the sake of their own credit and reputation among men. I say, seem to do so. I judge them not. Their fruits assimilate them to such characters as those whom Paul affirms serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own--But to say that they are such, becomes not me. I only say, that their conduct exactly harmonizes with those who arraigned, opposed, and condemned the Prince of Martyrs, and all who ever since stood up for his cause. None of the saints, in any age, Patriarchal, Jewish, or Christian, ever pursued the course of the Franklin, Beaver, and Appomattox Associations. The Franklin held a pro re nata meeting, unauthorized by her own constitution, for the purpose of controlling the other Associations in Kentucky by her threats and proscriptions. She, or rather Dr. Noel, who pulls the wires, met so long before her own appointed season (like an untimely fig, an omen of decay) and before the meeting of other Associations, as to have time to spread before them our heterodoxy, and to threaten them with dismemberment and excision from the Franklin, if they do not, to gratify the Doctor, anathematize the reforming brethren. The Doctor, as I am informed, drew out thirty-nine articles for me. I suppose he thought of inflicting upon me what the Jews so cordially inflicted upon Paul--forty, save one. These thirty-nine stripes are, contrary to the Roman, Jewish, and Christian law, inflicted upon me without even the benefit of clergy.

      In forming for me thirty-nine articles of faith, he has ascribed to me words, sentences, and articles which I never uttered or wrote; and many of the others are, by a perverse ingenuity of quoting, made to speak a language antipodes to any thing I ever taught. He has done me the same injustice as I should do Paul, were I to draw out for him a creed, and put into it words which Paul never used to express his own course--words which he used in another sense, and words which Paul never used at all:--

      ARTICLE 1. "The resurrection is past."
2. "Being crafty, I caught you with guile."
3. "I robbed other churches."
4. "No man shall stop me of this boasting."
5. "I have preached the gospel to every creature."
6. "I was wishing to be accursed from Christ."
7. "Lest I myself should be a cast away." [376]

In this way exactly has my friend Noel and his deacons formed out of my writings, thirty-nine articles. I question much whether ever a sillier thing had the name of a Doctor of Divinity attached to it, since the capital D's were baptized in St. Peter's Church. It is remarkable only for impotency and wrath. Poor men! if they only knew the bitter cup they are mingling for themselves, and the bitterness of repentance which they must soon or late experience, it might sober them again. But as soon could Stephen have persuaded the Jews to deliberate, who, with their fingers in their ears, rushed upon him with one accord, as I persuade these would-be Rabbims to stop and think, and descend to that state of mind favorable to clear perceptions.

      Other proscriptions may be expected. We are prepared for them. Let none of the Reformers resent these spirits with their own weapons. Let them possess their souls in patience, and rejoice in reproaches and persecutions. If they are reproached for the name of Christ, they are happy. Christians have long been proscribed; therefore the New Testament is full of consolation for the persecuted.

Extract of a letter from a Sister in an Eastern City.


      OUR church is in a very cold state. It appears our usual order of things cannot rouse us from our lethargy. If a prayer meeting be appointed, you will not, perhaps, see a dozen at it. If a few christians go out to spend an evening together, they meet and separate for the night without a hymn or a prayer. And what is still worse, very few of our heads of families attend upon social prayer in their families. To instruct our children and servants, by precept and example, is one of our first duties. What can christian parents say to their own conscience when they see their own offspring, morning and evening, engaged in all the little frivolities of town dissipation, without a single precept or example to turn them from the vain show and fooleries we call fashion; never hearing a prayer, but a formal one on Sunday, from the sacred desk, as it is called.

      Another saith--"We are very dry in our profession. We sometimes hear a warm sermon from brother ------ but it has no effect upon us. When a few of us talk about meeting for reading the Scriptures, and conversing on the good things of the heavenly country, for singing and prayer; some of our very Regular Baptist brethren say, "You are a Campbellite, fond of change and innovation. Cant we do like other Baptist churches around us?" &c. Had we not better omit the form of going to church altogether? What use in hearing a text expounded when we must languish at this dying rate? Let brother C. go sharpen his pen for us decent christians."


      From my heart I pity the living who are united to the dead. It is to live in a charnel house. Churches without the life of religion are whited sepulchres. I had rather meet with pious Negroes under a tree, or in a wigwam, than with kings and priests having the name without the power of religion. 'Come out from among them and be separate, and touch not the unclean, and I will receive you, and you shall be my sons and daughters,' saith the Lord Almighty. Why cannot those who fear God meet at one another's houses, and speak one to another, read his Oracles, sing and pray together, and upon the Lord's day too? And why may they not, in such circumstances, unite around the Lord's table? Rather than be enrolled among such formalists, would it not be better for those who fear God, to find one another out, and agree to meet by themselves, and worship God in spirit and in truth? Would the saints in heaven, or the angels of God, or the Lord of glory condemn them for doing this, rather than for having a pew and a pulpit, and the dry forms, without the love of God and the fellowship of the saints? It is better first to try for reform; but when reform, [377] cannot be obtained, it is a sin against Heaven and ourselves to continue among them who care for nothing but the name. "O, my soul! come not thou into their secret! Unto their assembly, my honor, be not thou united!"

      I have heard of thousands of heads of families, and have in my peregrinations through the country, met with many in good standing in the churches; that is, they were received on their experience, and supposed to be regenerate before they were born again of the water, who did not habitually worship God in their families. In their dwellings was not heard, unless a preacher came, or some extraordinary meeting, the melody of praise nor the voice of prayer. Indeed, from what I have seen and heard, there are hundreds of churches in which there are not ten persons who take any pains, by daily prayer and religious instruction, to save their children or households. I ascribe it to the system of text preaching, monthly meetings, and their notions of grace, imputed righteousness, &c. To quote to such persons the following words, shocks their orthodoxy: "How do you know, O woman, but you may save your husband, and how do you know, O husband, but you may save your wife?" "In doing this, you will save yourself and them who hear you." They believe not that such saying, are in the New Testament. And if they have read them, they spiritualize them as the Quakers do Immersion and the Lord's Supper. When I think of the present order of things, I must apply to it the words of the Lord by Isaiah: "The whole head is sick, the whole heart faint! from head to foot all is wounds, and bruises, and putrefying sores." "Save yourselves from this untoward generation."


      I HAVE read Mr. Clopton's Nos. iii. and iv. in the Columbian Star. Mr. Brantly says, louder than words, his readers shall not hear my defence through his columns. Mr. Clopton would have my writings prohibited, and has done it as far as his decrees have authority. Yet he professes to be no priest!! A republican too, if I mistake not!! From such may the state be long preserved! He apologizes for Mr. Brantly's only giving his side of the question, in such a way as to admonish him to persevere in shutting me out. "The Star is designed to elevate the tone of vital religion," says Mr. C. therefore hear me; but not A. C. The Star elevates the tone of vital religion among the Baptists by making priests vital to religion, and religion vital to priests.

      Mr. C. has abscinded his Berlin and Milan decrees so far as to make a reply, or a seeming reply to my Remarks, No 3. And as a mark of great liberality, he has engrossed in his No. 3. the remarks I made, not in reply to any of his numbers, but to a letter, or an extract of a letter, in the Religious Telegraph in January last. This much in violation of a former promise.

      After filling five or six brevier columns of the Star with his elegant allusions to my Christian Baptist, Debates, and New Translation, with a defence of himself as solicitor for the Star, college, &c. &c. without examining a single position I have ever assumed, or offering a single argument in support of any opinion, dogma, or practice in fashion among the Baptists, he waxes so wroth as to disregard even his own character, and to assert downright falsehoods. He actually affirms, contrary to fact, and without the possibility of proof, that I have written letters to myself under feigned signatures, commending in terms of high adulation, my own abilities, writings, and religion." Is this a christian preacher of truth and righteousness!! A man who can thus invent and publish a downright falsehood, may worthily oppose reformation, and advocate the present order of things.

      A piece further on, he asserts that I "undoubtedly wrote" the piece signed ''Querens" in the Christian Baptist. Nay, he actually affirms that "Querens is alias, A. Campbell." Now, if in questions of fact, implicating moral character, this man regards truth and his own character so little as to publish to the world his own inventions without the possibility of proof, and [378] consequently without any ground of certainty in his own mind, what may we expect from him in other matters! This is "the elevated tone of vital piety" which is to be given by Mr. Clopton to the Star!!

      Querens, so far from being A. Campbell, lives 500 miles distant from Bethany. But as he affirmed, he must know his own evidence, and we know what evidence is necessary to sustain a question of fact. Let him now produce it. Had he said he thought so, or supposed so, I might have passed it over as I have done his other opinions, without notice. But my regard to what is dearer than life will not suffer me to let this outrage upon common morality pass unheeded. So ends Mr. Clopton's No 3. All hail orthodoxy! patron of truth, candor, and piety! like charity thou hidest a multitude of sins!

      Mr. C's No. 4 is alike without reason, argument, or proof. It proves nothing, save that its author cannot reason on the subject of religion, with any regard to scripture, fact, or even plausibility. He quotes the Baptist Chronicle to disprove the truth of the views I advance; a paper which would not be quoted by a lawyer to prove a question of fact. No court in the United States would quote the Baptist Chronicle to prove a fact worth one dollar. Yet the truth of scripture views is to be tested by such evidence! But some man may say it is not the truth of your writings, but their effects on society which Mr. Clopton proves by quoting the Baptist Chronicle and the defunct Baptist Recorder. Let it be granted, and what follows? Mr. Clopton is engaged not in an examination of the truth of the contents of the Christian Baptist, but in proving its effects on society. Is this his plan? Let it be averred, and then it follows:--Is it logical, fair, honest, and according to any law, human or divine, that exparte testimony, and exparte testimony only; that the testimony of an enemy, an opponent, shall be admitted as proof against the accused. The accusers are to sustain one another's testimony!! For example; Messrs. Clopton, Chambers, Noel, and Clack, have accused A. Campbell of heterodoxy. They severally and together are known to accuse him of heterodoxy, and to allege that his writings have a bad tendency. Well, now, how do they prove it? Mr. Clopton proves his accusation by Mr. Chambers, and Mr. Chambers proves his accusation (the same accusation) by Mr. Clopton. They both call upon Messrs. Noel and Clack, and Messrs. Clack and Noel will in course call upon them. This is in fact, sober fact, incontrovertible fact, the course pursued. The accusers join in the accusation, and prove it in detail in their individual character.

      But, if Mr. Clopton is merely laboring to prove the tendency of the Christian Baptist, why open the Bible at all, or the Christian Baptist? I know, indeed, he cannot be justly accused of making much use of the Bible in this controversy; but why open the Christian Baptist? Let him quote John, Taylor, U. Chambers, and the Franklin Association; let him tell of S. Benson, and of Clear Creek Church, and say that the Christian Baptist has done all the mischief. Now admit that all this is true, and that it is all fairly ascribed to the Christian Baptist, though this is denied and disproved, 1 still the Christian [379] Baptist may be as unexceptionable, and as useful a paper as this century has produced, and that for the following reasons:

      1. Even in separating these churches, it was only, perhaps, (and recollect the contrary is not proved) cutting off the dry and barren branches; or, to use another figure, it was only amputating putrefying limbs. The lancet which discusses a tumor, the knife which amputates a limb, or the axe which separates a dry and barren branch, is not to be blamed with the corruption, rottenness, and decay which they were the instruments of removing.

      2. The good done by the Christian Baptist in a thousand instances in the illumination of many minds--the conversion of many sinners--the reformation of many churches, might again, if other testimony were adduced, be made so apparent (admitting it had done all the mischief which they allege) as in the estimation of all incomparably to overbalance all the evils ascribed to it. This is a logical and an undeniably fair mode of reasoning; nay, it is one of the most common exercises of the human mind in all the undertakings of life; for have not the advantages and disadvantages, the good and evil, of every undertaking to be examined before the mind decides upon any course: and what course has no evil attached to it? If I thought Mr. Clopton deserved more attention, I would grant him all his assumptions, give him his own premises, and prove him a sophist before any impartial court under heaven.

      But once more upon this No 4. What mischief did not the preaching of the Prince of Peace do, upon Mr. C's premises! I dare say many Mr. [380] Cloptons, or Caiaphases, in those days, reasoned with Mr. Clopton's logic thus:--"This Jesus pretends to be the Prince of Peace; but see what discords mark his progress--how many families has he distracted. In our towns, and synagogues, and in our metropolis, before this Messenger of Peace appeared among us all was peaceful and quiet--all was friendship and love--the ministers of religion were respected, and universal harmony prevailed. But now look at Nazareth, behold Capernaum, and Bethsaida! see even the holy city and the temple! what discords and strifes! Even parents cast out their children, and children their parents; yet he is the Prince of Peace!!!" This is Mr. C's logic in his last number, and how just it is you may judge by observing that it would have rejected the Saviour Jesus, and led him to Mount Calvary.

      If I had not determined to dismiss Mr. C's No. 4. with what has been said as honoring it more than it deserves, I would allude to his quoting the good old Baptists of Virginia to prove his doctrine. He parades the celebrated Courtney Lunsford, Straughan, the Apostle Harras, Waller, Weatherford, and Shelburn, pretty much as the Jews who opposed John and the Saviour, were wont to array Moses, Joshua, Samuel, David, and Elijah against the Saviour and his Apostles. Their testimony is relied on by Mr. C. These good old men are gone to be judged for themselves, and they must not judge for us. They were, I dare say, pyramids in vales, and lights in a dark age.


      THE missionaries of the Church Missionary Society in Egypt and Abyssinia, have discovered, in the interior of Africa, a tribe, called the Magagine, which has never been visited by any European. They inhabit a place, called Darbia, 300 miles south-west of Darfur. They have suffered greatly from the slave-traders of Darfur; their chief protection against whom is a natural fortification, a steep and lofty mountain which if they can reach in time, they are safe from their pursuers. They do not materially suffer from want in that asylum, having good fountains and pasturage for their cattle. The siege of the mountain lasts sometimes for several months. The abodes of the people are usually pulled down by their enemies; but they do not think much of the trouble of building other houses of mud and stones in place of their former abodes. Nobody claims a property of soil, and every one cultivates as much ground as he pleases. The Magagine are a free people, and appreciate liberty as the greatest blessing. Slavery, therefore, is to them the greatest horror and abomination. Their liberty, however, is not without order and discipline. They have good and just laws, not many, according to which differences are adjusted. They have a headman, whom they obey; trifling quarrels are never referred to the judge, but are settled by the parties in single combat. They have an idea of a God, and believe that every person receives reward or punishment according to his merits, after this life. They have a notion of the existence of the devil. The history of the Deluge is preserved in their traditions; but they believe that every living creature perished in that awful calamity, and that God created altogether new beings after the Deluge. Good angels are considered as the guardians of good people. Their mode of worship appears to be simple, and is free from obscene practices; but they are still [381] Pagans. They take great care of their children, and teach them early to obey and reverence their parents, and good people. Their language is unknown. We heartily join in the prayer of the missionaries, that it would please God to enlighten this and all the tribes of Africa, with the light of his blessed Gospel, and prosper the labors of his servants among men.
Philadelphia Recorder.      


      TAXES upon every article that enters into the mouth, or covers the back, or is placed under the foot; taxes upon every thing that is pleasant to see, hear, feel, smell, and taste; taxes upon warmth, light, and locomotion; taxes on every thing on earth, and the waters under the earth; on every thing that comes from abroad, or is grown at home; taxes on the raw material; taxes on every value that is added to it by the industry of man; taxes on the sauce which pampers man's appetite, and the drug which restores him to health; on the ermine which decorates the judge, and the rope which hangs the criminal; on the poor man's salt, and the rich man's spice; on the brass nails of the coffin, and the ribbands of the bride; at bed or at board, couchant or levant, we must pay. The schoolboy whips his taxed top; the beardless youth manages his taxed horse with a taxed bridle on a taxed road; and the dying Englishman pouring his medicine, which has paid 7 per cent. into a spoon which has paid 15 per cent. throws himself back upon his chintz bed, which has paid 22 per cent. makes his will on stamped paper, and expires in the arms of an apothecary, who has paid £100 for the privilege of putting him to death. His whole property is then taxed from 2 to 10 per cent. Besides the probate, large fees are demanded for burying him in the chancel; his virtues are handed down to posterity on TAXED marble and he is then gathered to his fathers--to be TAXED no more.
Late English paper.      


      THE celebrated Rev. E. Irving has received a severe castigation lately in the PULPIT. In the sketch to which we refer, it is said of Mr. I. "He became dissatisfied with the view taken of the two sacraments; and justly offended at their being received in some quarters as base signs, he has ended with making baptism regeneration, and his view of the other sacrament, as far as we can understand it, appears to approach most closely to that of consubstantiation." These are heavy charges, but we believe they admit of undeniable proof from Mr. I's own works.
British Magazine.      


      THE Committee of the Wesleyan Missionary Society of England, which has instructed many thousands of slaves in the West Indies, assert that, for forty years, no slave in their societies had been either "a conspirator, a rebel, or insubordinate." Here is a most unanswerable testimony to the influence of religious instruction in promoting the personal security of masters.
Zion's Advocate. [382]      

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      ----> IN ordering this work for new subscribers, care should be taken that the post-office and the county should be fairly written out, as well as the name of the persons to whom the work is ordered. In some instances we have to guess the name; and in others, to explore the map of a state, or the list of post-offices, in vain, to find the destination. Many hours are lost, and many mistakes are committed, which a fair handwriting would prevent. In the names of persons and places, we have no association of ideas to aid us--nothing but the letters in the name.

      To those who write for the press, it is still more necessary that the manuscript should be very legible and free from ambiguities. The reader will please correct, in No. 7, the following errata:--

      Page 329, after "potest," and before "Cesar," insert a note of interrogation; so as to read Obligare proteum quis potest? Cesar? Page 323, instead of the "soul of man," read soil. Line 4 from top, page 324, for "were," read was. Line 14, from top, same page, before '"sounds," read enchanting.

      1 "As you allow, in your pamphlet, that we are good men, and as we have a personal knowledge of all the facts and circumstances relative to the Clear Creek Church, we take this opportunity of declaring solemnly to the world, that the charges made in your pamphlet against the brethren Creaths, relative to their dividing the Clear Creek Church, are utterly untrue.--
      We will now state the cause of our separation from the creed party at Clear Creek. The first reason was their violent, wicked, and unchristian temper manifested towards us, and their open violation of the laws of Christ. Secondly, their sinful neglect of the Lord's Supper; they had not attended to it for eighteen months or two years. Their practice was to meet, quarrel, dispute and wrangle month after month. We do aver that it was the constant advice of the brethren Creaths, to avoid a separation, if possible. We endeavored to live peaceably with our brethren; but we failed. [379]
      In the 245th page of your history of ten churches, you state, that two thirds of your life you have been an apostate from the spirit of the gospel. Your last pamphlet proves that you have gone further into this awful apostacy; indeed, you seem to be on the very verge of final apostacy; we hope, that if your church has any regard for you, she will stop your mad career, and prevent your committing suicide on yourself. We shall conclude in your own words: "O how will you face your Master, whom you must soon meet."
All members of Clear Creek Church."      

Certificate from South Benson Church.

      "In reading a pamphlet lately written by Elder John Taylor, we find a charge exhibited against Jacob Creath, Jun. (if it could be considered a charge) of his having accepted the office of Bishop in the newly constituted church at South Benson, as the successor of John Brown, resigned, Now, we whose names are hereunto subscribed, being a part of said church, do most solemnly and unhesitatingly say, that the said charge is false; and that the said Creath did, on the day of Elder John Brown's resignation, as well as at all other times, refuse to take charge of our church. And, in the same pamphlet, he charges the Creaths with splitting the said church. This charge is equally false. The members that incline to Particularism effected this split by the use they made of the Beaver items. This statement we voluntarily offer, as an act of justice we owe to the brethren Creaths, whom they have wantonly attempted to injure through old brother Taylor. Given under our hands this 12th day of June, 1830.
H. Nation,   J. Reddish,
R. C. Casey,   T. Elliston,
S. Bailey,   J. Scofield,
J. Brown,   T. Gaines,
L. Wilson,   D. Brown.
J. Elliston, Jun, [380]  


[The Millennial Harbinger, 1 (August, 1830): 337-384.]

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