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Alexander Campbell, ed.
The Millennial Harbinger, Vol. II, No. II (1831)


{ Vol. II. }
      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.



Lexington, Ky. November 20, 1830.      

      Dr. Fishback--BROTHER Campbell, we want to hear from you a developement of the proposed reformation. In what is it to terminate?

      Reply--The ultimatum of the Christian Institution is the happiness of those who submit to it. This is the design of the mediation of the Lord Jesus. What is first in every design is last in the execution. The complete and eternal bliss of the saved, was the first, or original design of the redemption which is in Christ Jesus. This will be the consummation of the whole government of which he is the head. There is the present happiness of the saved, as well as the future. Our greatest objection to all the sectarian schemes, is, that not one of them terminates in giving that measure of enjoyment to the disciples which is every where proposed in the apostolic writings as the natural, legitimate, and common result of a cordial reception of the gospel, and an unreserved submission to the institutions of Jesus.

      The reason is, the supreme law of the moral universe, is, that purity must precede and issue in happiness. The links of the golden chain are, love, issuing from a pure heart; a pure heart, issuing from a good conscience; and a good conscience, issuing from an active or unfeigned faith. Faith, obedience, a good conscience, a pure heart, christian love and happiness, are, under the government of Jesus, indissoluble. This is the moral order of the present empire of the Prince of Life.

      If the fountain be polluted, the streams are corrupt. If in the truth believed there be the least admixture of error, faith is unsound, obedience defective, the conscience partially defiled, the heart not fully purified, love is partial, and happiness incomplete.

      The sectarian schemes present a corrupted gospel, and therefore fail to purify the heart through obedience; and, consequently, to bestow the joy unspeakable and full of glory, that prelude of eternal bliss which was the earnest enjoyed by all who sincerely believed and obeyed the ancient gospel. In examining the diseased body of Christ, [49] now called his church, we discover that the malady is in the heart. From the crown of the head to the sole of the foot, it is true, there are wounds, and bruises, and putrefying sores. But in one word, the new gospels, falsely called gospels, fail in this, that they cannot purify the heart, because they are all destitute of an institution which gives a formal, sensible, and perfect remission of sins. The forgiveness which they promise is obscure and uncertain, because dependent on inference. While a person is not assured that his sins are pardoned, it is impossible to cherish full confidence in God, to have full peace of conscience, and consequently to be filled with joy, which is another name for happiness. No such assurance is the product of the Calvinian or Arminian gospels. They want an assurance of remission. They teach their votaries to write out of what passes in their own mind a receipt, or to make out a release from their sins, from the workings of their own minds. This being a train of inferential reasonings, is wholly destitute of that impetus which gave the first converts such assurance of the favor of God. The moderns necessarily walk by sense, by feeling, and not by faith in God's promise, and are subject to all the misgivings and doubts of which they talk, and love to complain, as signs and proofs of their conversion.

      The testimony of God, and not an inference, was the ground of assurance in which the ancient christians triumphed before God. If they had been interrogated on the subject of their acceptance with God--if they had been asked what assurance they had that they were adopted into the family of God, or had their sins remitted--they would have replied, We were immersed by the authority of the Lord Jesus and into his name for this very purpose. We know that we believed, confessed, and were immersed, and therefore we have the testimony of God that we are saved. The Calvinian and Arminian gospels permit them who believe them only to say, 'We hope we shall be pardoned, or are pardoned, because we once felt thus and so, and afterwards felt so and thus. We concluded upon the whole that we were born again; and, therefore, we think we have the forgiveness of our sins.' Such an inference from such premises is neither the wisdom nor the power of God to salvation. It is too weak to elevate the mind towards God and heaven.

      Most men are too imperfect philosophers to discriminate between the soul and spirit--to discriminate between the intellectual powers and affections and passions;--they have not been trained nor practised in mental philosophy; and, therefore, to make the ground of assurance rest upon such attainments, is not according to the wisdom of God. Most men are imperfect reasoners upon external and sensible objects; how much more imperfect when the mind and the heart are the objects upon which they are to reason; and when mental acts and impressions are the premises from which they are to draw conclusions deeply affecting their present and future happiness. Can such a scheme be called the wisdom of God! And that it is not the power of God, we have only to observe how ineffectual the scheme is to reform and console those indoctrinated into it. The novice is more happy [50] than those fully initiated. The greater the adept, the less happy the man. Hence the farther they penetrate the system, the more doubtful, pensive, and sorrowful they become, and how often do they recur to their first days as their best days.

      To mould the gospel into the form of a command, and to make that command a positive and not a moral precept, heightens the favor, or makes grace more gracious; because it enables every man sensibly to feel, or realize the pardon of his sins, and to remember the time and place in which he was justified and born into the family of God. The more formal and significant the act of obedience required in the command, the better adapted to give the pledge and assurance desired. Hence the command concerning remission is one which cannot be obeyed by an act of the spirit, or soul, or body of man apart, but by an act of the whole man. His understanding, will, affections, his whole person is engaged in the act. A very humble bow of the whole man to the authority of the Lord must be made at the threshold of the kingdom of Jesus--a bow which requires the concurrence of body, soul, and spirit; and in such a posture, and in such circumstances, as to make it the most memorable act of a person's life. It is a death, burial, and resurrection. Hence he who obeys the gospel is not only conscious of the act in his mind--he not only sensibly recognizes himself obeying, but has it so impressed upon his memory that he can scarcely ever forget that he has been purged from his old sins. This is that impression which releases the conscience from guilt, begets peace of mind, and rejoices the heart. The ancient gospel, then, is the power of God as well as his wisdom. It does that for those who obey it, which no system now taught can do.

      [Here brother James Mason, of Montgomery county, related his experience, illustrative of the assurance which he had that his sins were remitted before he was immersed. Brother Fishback also related his experience confirmatory. I also narrated mine. After we all had told over our experience, in which there appeared a considerable similarity, having been all, according to the laws of orthodoxy, moulded in the Calvinian school; I proceeded to make some remarks upon impressions in general, and religious impressions in particular. The purport of these remarks was to show that imaginary good and evil, for the time being, operated like realities. On this principle we explained the momentary peace and joy of those who had received "the token for good," "heard the voice of pardon," or felt some unprecedented glow, some peculiar warmth of' affection arising from some text, or dream, or impulse. We then narrated, in substance, the following case:]--

      A young gentleman, a student in one of our seminaries, while in the ardor of his academic pursuits, one day, while sitting at his books, was deeply impressed, as if he heard a voice from heaven, saying, that on Friday eight days, (if I remember right,) at three o'clock, P. M. he would certainly die. He arose from the table, shut his books, and walked the room greatly agitated. He communicated his convictions of the truth of this impression, first to his room-mate, and he [51] communicated it to his Preceptor, and then to the Faculty of the College. They all, in turn, conversed with him; but in vain. None of them could succeed in removing the impression. He persisted in affirming that he was indubitably certain of dissolution at the hour mentioned, and that the impression was ever vivid, and could not be misinterpreted. The Faculty wrote to his relatives. They arrived, perhaps, on the third day previous. They reasoned, remonstrated, and expostulated, without effect. He had by this time refused to eat, and began to decline is appearance. They called a consultation of physicians. They concurred in opinion that if he could not be made to sleep over Friday, that in all probability he would expire. It was with difficulty they deluded him to swallow a portion of laudanum. It had the desired effect. He slept from Thursday night till Saturday morning. Awaking at 10 o'clock on Saturday morning, and ascertaining the hour, supposing it to be Friday, he said, "Now I have just five hours to live." "Were you not to die on Friday?" said an acquaintance in the room. "Yes," he rejoined, "and is not this Friday?" "No," said his friend, "this is Saturday." "Impose not upon me thus," he replied; "did I not retire last night to rest at the usual hour, and was it not Thursday?" "You slept all day on Friday," was the reply. Several persons were called in and interrogated; and it was not till some persons supposed to be disinterested were called in and affirmed that it was Saturday morning, that he yielded the point. Finding his impression to have deceived him, he arose, washed his face, ate his breakfast, and on the Monday following resumed his studies. I recollect not the Magazine in which I read this narrative, but I have no doubt that it is substantially correct; and, with many similar cases, of which, doubtless, we have all read or heard, goes to show how easily we may be deluded by impressions; and also to prove that imaginary facts will operate as real ones. The testimony of God, sealed and attested as it is, is the only safe foundation on which a rational mind can rely in any of these great concerns pertaining to life everlasting.

      It is truly astonishing that God should have been at so much pains to establish his testimony on this subject of remission, and that men should lay so little stress upon his veracity. Paul says he confirmed his promise of blessing all nations IN Christ with an oath. That by two immutable things, in which it is impossible to lie, we might have strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us. God's oath and promise are given us that when we put ourselves under Christ, or submit to his government, he will bless us. To you first, says Peter to the Jews, God having raised up his Son, has sent him to bless you, every one of you, turning from his iniquities. To turn from our iniquities, and to come to Jesus, and to be in him, are expressions indicative of that change confessed when we put on Christ in immersion.

      Our greatest objection to the popular gospels of the sects is this, that they fail to give this assurance; consequently, to pacify the conscience, to purify the heart, and to give that strong impulse to the mind which enables it to overcome the world. [52]

      Dr. Fishback.--But does the proposed reformation contemplate only a change in the views of christians on the meaning of baptism, or the import of the gospel preached by the Apostles?

      Reply.--No: this is only preliminary to that reformation of life indispensable to the happiness of mankind. The ancient gospel must be understood and cordially embraced as a foundation for that reformation unto life which christianity proposes. It is designed to place men under the government of Jesus Christ which is another name for the reign of heaven. The whole christian institution is necessary to that perfection of character and of bliss which the Saviour promised his disciples. No person can enjoy the influences of a government under which he does not live. We must live in the kingdom or under the government of Jesus Christ, if we would enjoy the blessings of his reign. Hence the ancient order of things is as necessary to the happiness of the disciples as the ancient gospel, to bring men into the only kingdom of Jesus which exists upon earth. No man who has a guilty conscience can enter that kingdom. It is the reign of righteousness, peace, and joy, and these are within men. Hence regeneration and the renewal of the Holy Spirit introduce men into this relation to God.

      In the kingdom of Jesus all the citizens are made kings and priests to God; all are adopted into the rank of children, and all sit in heavenly places under Christ. The Lord's day is sacred to the Lord's people; the Lord's table is always found in the Lord's house; and the Lord's supper is the feast of the citizens of the reign of heaven. The reformation we plead proposes nothing short of an unconditional and unreserved submission to Jesus as prophet, priest, and king. The constitution, laws, ordinances, manners, and customs of the kingdom he has founded, must be regarded by every citizen, avouching him to be Lord, before he can walk with God, dwell in love, and rejoice in the hope of immortality, as did those who first trusted in him as the Saviour of the world.

      Instead of a congregation attending on the Lord's day to the lectures or comments of a licensed talker, who frequently converts his mystic effusions into the suggestions of the Holy Spirit, we would reform them into worshipping assemblies, and have them to spend the day to the Lord, not in listening to his opinions, but in doing the things which the Lord commanded. Were the disciples thus to meet every week in honor of the Lord's resurrection, and spend the time in hearing the Apostles speak the Oracles of God, in singing the lofty praises of the immortal King, in invoking the name of the Lord, in commemorating his death, in contributing to the necessities of saints, in exciting one another to love and good works, we should soon find a radical change in the knowledge and manners of the disciples, and they would find a joy and a consolation in Christ of which the reigning systems know nothing.

      That great teacher, Experience, has confirmed these remarks. We know experimentally both systems. We have sat under the voice of a monotonous or rhapsodic spiritualizer, and we have enjoyed the [53] institutions of the Lord's house. We have found our experience to correspond not only with that of others, but with the anticipations which reason suggested from an examination of the genius of the institution.

      The whole christian institution is a reforming system. It begins with sinners and ends with saints. It supposes all the imperfections of our nature and habits, and is designed to purify, elevate, and refine our minds and manners. It is as wisely adapted to this object as the particles of light to the eye, or as the eye to the light. But it must he submitted to. The institutions of any sect are necessary to form sectarians of that class which adopts them. Those of the Great Teacher are all necessary to form genuine christians.

      A reformation of opinions, or the substitution of one human establishment, in the place of another, has often been attempted and achieved. But as the stream can rise no higher than the fountain, those systems which began in the flesh have ended in the flesh. Improved and new-modified sectarians have been the only achievements of the most reformed human institutions. Christianity came from God and it leads to God. It is divine, and it makes us partakers of a divine nature. Any system which does not teach a man to live soberly, righteously, and godly, is not of God, and is worth nothing in the affair of salvation. In a word, we only desire to see the Apostles enthroned in the hearts of the disciples, and to see them blameless observers of the Lord's commandments. Those who have made it their interest to honor Luther, Calvin, Wesley, or Fuller, may be induced to oppose us, supposing that these reformers have honored the Apostles; but let them represent our views as they may, such is the design, and such, we think, is the direct tendency of the reformation for which we plead.

      [There was much said on these topics, too long to tell; but such were the outlines defined; to all of which our friend the Doctor, with all present who expressed themselves, seemed cordially to yield assent. On the question whether immersion for remission of sins was preached to the Gentiles, some doubt was expressed by brother Fishback; but as respected the Jews, there was no difficulty. These doubts appeared to yield to a variety of consideration and argument submitted, and especially to the fact that Paul has decided that there is but one immersion, and that the God of the Jews is the God of the Gentiles also; and that both people were immersed into one body and into one spirit in putting on the Messiah.]

      Mulberry Grove, near Nashville, Ten. Dec. 10, 1830.

NO. V.

      FROM Lexington we proceeded to Athens. A large and attentive audience were addressed in that place on the subject of the present apostacy. Paul's prophecy in his 2d letter to the Thessalonians, and that of John in the 17th and 18th chapters of the Revelation, were read with a view to mark the prominent characteristics of the mystery of iniquity. The rise progress, and present state of the apostacy [54] were briefly noticed. Considerable emphasis was laid upon the frontispiece of the Mother of harlots, mounted upon a monstrous beast, having seven heads and ten horns. The topmost word upon, her forehead next arrested our attention. The large capitals upon her tiara, which spell MYSTERY, were shown to be not only the first in place, but in importance, in discriminating this Babylonish mistress from all the paramours of the kings of the earth. The mystic doctrines and mysterious meanings ascribed to the apostolic writings, were shown to be the instrument by which this woman mounted the seven-headed and ten-horned beast; in other words, the means by which Antichrist first gained the ascendant, and by which Babylon the Great was reared.

      The Protestant reformation was shown to be more political than religious, and to have issued in giving to christendom many Protestant Popes for one Catholic Pope. The well-meant efforts of Luther were shown to have been frustrated in part by the friends of reformation and the schemes of statesmen: and that though he gave the people a new version of the Scriptures, and exhorted them to read them, still the rules of interpreting and quoting them by the papistical doctors were substantially adopted by the friends and coadjutors of Martin; and thus his reformation eventuated in the mere change of creeds and masters, as England and Scotland unequivocally demonstrate.

      The Augsburg Confession, though accidentally made an authoritarian creed, was shown to have been made the platform of a politico-ecclesiastic establishment, as fleshly, sensual, and for its opportunity, as bloody as that of the mother whose daughter it was. The Wesleyan reformation of Protestant Episcopacy was shown to be only the daughter of the daughter of the old Queen who boasted that she was not yet a widow. Wesley and Fletcher had reformed the doctrines and discipline of episcopacy, it was admitted; but their efforts ended in a five-headed priesthood. Metropolitan Bishops and Archbishops, with swords by their sides, were discarded: but diocesan prelates, presiding elders, circuit riders, local preachers, and class leaders, with the discipline and conferences, local and general, had not done much more for heaven or earth than the German Reformer had done for King Harry and his worthy realm of England.

      The times in which we live prove louder than argument that all these reformations issue in a state of society very unlike that which christianity contemplates. We have only to notice the fruits of these systems to be assured that the tree is not that planted by the Great Husbandman. The word of God is virtually made of non-effect by these sectarian dogmas and traditions.

      From these remarks we passed on to the ancient gospel and order of things and after an exhortation to reformation, three persons confessed the Lord and were immersed by brother G. Boon for the remission of their sins.

      After partaking of the hospitalities of Major Shelby, on Tuesday morning we went on to Nicholasville. A congregation, as usual, [55] larger than could find ingress into the meeting-house, were in waiting. We addressed them from the 11th chapter of the Hebrews. The faith of Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Joseph, Moses, the 12,000,000 adults who walked through the Red Sea, of Rahab, and the army which encompassed Jericho, was considered and shown to be a belief of God's promises made to these individuals, and that not merely the principle of faith, but the acts proceeding from it, gave. reputation to all this cloud of witnesses.

      The faith of Abraham was particularized, and an exhortation to become the children of Abraham by believing God's promise of remission now proclaimed in the apostolic gospel, and the obedience of the command to submit to Jesus, was followed by the confession of three persons, who, willing to glorify God by relying upon his power and faithfulness, and by being buried with Jesus in immersion, were introduced into the kingdom of Jesus by brother J. Hewit.

      After dining with brother Shrieve, we proceeded to Mr. L------'s to spend the night. A considerable part of the night was occupied in writing; and after an early breakfast we went on our way, having to cross the Kentucky river, and to drive 14 miles to meet the appointment in Harrodsburg.

      At Harrodsburg we found the meeting house belonging to the town so crowded as with difficulty to gain admission. We addressed them on the 4th chapter of the letter to the Ephesians. After speaking of the one body, one spirit, one Lord, one faith, one hope, one God, in order to enforce the one immersion, we gave them a lecture embracing the following items, called


      Adding to the baptisms found in the Book of God, those invented by men and practised in this country, we can count at least seven. We allude not to the obsolete discussions about the "subject and mode," or about the action and subject: but to the meaning or doctrine of immersion. The act of immersion is the same act, whether man, woman, or child--cup, table, or couch, be the subject of the act. It is not the meaning of sprinkling, pouring, or dipping; but the meaning of those institutions, human and divine, called baptisms, to which we solicit attention. And that we may keep the one immersion supremely and distinctly in view, we shall commence with those baptisms of human invention; and first with


      For the sake of brevity we, call it "infant baptism," whether it be infant sprinkling or infant immersion. That we may understand the meaning and design of infant baptism, we shall read the definition of baptism given in the Presbyterian Confession which prescribes it:--

      "Baptism is a sacrament of the New Testament, ordained by Jesus Christ, not only for the solemn admission of the party baptized in the visible church; but also to be unto him a sign and seal of the covenant of grace, of his engrafting into Christ, of regeneration, of remission of sins, and of his giving up unto God, through Jesus Christ, to walk in newness of life: which sacrament is, by Christ's own appointment, to be continued in his church until the end of the world." [56]

      Infants are said, by the authors of this definition, to be chargeable only with "original sin," which is always spoken of in the singular number. If, then, according to the creed, infants have only "original sin," how can infant baptism be a sign and seal of remission of sins, in the plural number! It is impossible, unless they are considered as guilty of actual transgressions. The creed, then, must be in an error. Either infants are chargeable with more than original sin, or baptism is not to them a sign and seal of remission of sins. This difficulty we hope the Paidobaptists will explain. Some may, perhaps, think that baptism, as defined in the creed, respects adults only. If so, baptism is, with them, of two sorts--one for infants and one for adults. They, then, teach two baptisms--one for sinners, and one for them who have not sinned after the similitude of Adam's transgression.

      If baptism be to infants a "sign and seal of regeneration, of engrafting into Christ, and of giving themselves up to him;" then, indeed, all the children of the flesh, all the baptized youths of the Presbyterian, Episcopalian, and Methodist sects, are regenerated, engrafted into Christ, and in the New Covenant. But this they do not themselves believe; and, therefore, their own creed is, themselves being judges, incredible. Infant baptism, then, is a baptism without meaning, and without a blessing. It is a mere ceremony, the sign and seal of nothing to the child, save that its father or its godfather had too much faith in water.


      This is a spiritual baptism which cannot be explained; but is said to import that light which is communicated to every Quaker by some spirit which they are pleased to call the Holy Spirit. It is a mystic baptism, unreasonably and unscripturally called "the baptism of the Holy Spirit." Of this in its own place.


      This was an institution from Heaven. It was expressly for reformation and forgiveness of sins. Such remission of sins as was enjoyed under the economy of Moses was granted to the reforming Jews, who confessed their sins and were immersed into the faith that the Messiah was soon to appear, or that the reign of God was approaching. John immersed men that they might reform. He immersed not by the authority of the Lord Jesus, but by the authority of the Heavenly Father. He required no person to believe that Jesus was the Messiah. He immersed into no name. He only prepared a people for the Lord.


      Malachi promised this to the impenitent and unbelieving. When he promised Elijah or John the Baptist and, the coming of Jesus, he declared and foretold the baptism in fire. "Behold,' said he, "the day comes that shall burn as an oven, and all the proud, and all who do wickedly shall be as stubble, and the day that cometh shall burn them up, and it shall leave them neither root nor branch." "Behold," says Jehovah, "I will send you Elijah the Prophet before the coming of that great and terrible day of the Lord." This terrible day of the [57] Lord is called by the Elijah that was to come "the impending vengeance," or "the wrath to come" The history of Jesus opens with the annunciation of this terrible baptism. All Judea and Jerusalem were affrighted. Sadducees and Pharisees united in their regard for John, and in solicitude to obtain the benefits of his immersion in water. John accosted them as Malachi foretold. To these applicants he proclaimed reformation, and informed them that he, whose approaching reign he announced, would immerse them in the Holy Spirit and in fire; indicating, as the explanation appended showed, that some of them would be immersed in the Holy Spirit, and some of them in fire: for Jesus was able to make a discrimination which John presumed not to do. "His winnowing shovel is in his hand; and he will thoroughly cleanse his floor." He will collect his wheat into his granary when the chaff is separated; but the chaff he will immerse or consume in unquenchable fire. The day of discrimination is at hand. The axe lies at the root of the tree. Every tree which brings not forth good fruit shall be felled and converted into fuel. The dry and dead trees, and the chaff, or, as Malachi said, "the stubble," shall be burned up in this tremendous immersion.

      Some of the scribes and teachers of this day are praying to be immersed in fire. They suppose that because tongues, resembling fire, were the accompaniments of the baptism of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost, that the baptism in fire must be a blessing. Singular perversion of reason and of the words of John! How could tongues resembling fire be a real baptism in fire! How could a blessing be proclaimed as a threat! Can the subjects of an immersion in the Spirit, be compared to stubble, to dry and rotten wood, or to chaff? Persons resembling stubble, dry trees, and chaff, are the only proper subjects of an immersion in fire. And how can any one, not deluded by mysticism, imagine that any thing in the form of a blessing could be compared to fire operating on a human body? Is not fire operating on the bodies of men always the symbol of punishment. To be immersed in a lake of fire is the strongest figure of the severity of that vengeance which will be the lot of the impenitent and unbelieving. Fire as an emblem of purification is only applied to metals. He will be as the refiner's fire to consume the dross among the sons of Levi--as the fuller's soap to wash away the filth. Persecutions may be compared to a fire. And those who are tried severely may be said to have sustained a "fiery trial;" but how any one can suppose that the righteous can be compared to chaff and stubble, and as such be immersed in fire as a blessing to them, requires a genius thrice baptized into the gnostic faith to comprehend.

      John was the only preacher who preached the baptism in fire: he proclaimed the fates of those who would submit to the new government, and the fates of those who would not kiss the Son. He intimated to all his hearers the power, mental, moral, judicial, the divine power of him whose coming reign he announced. The Apostles of Jesus taught not merely the wrath to come on the unbelieving Jews in the year of vengeance, but also the everlasting destruction of those [58] who know not God and obey not the gospel of his Son. The vengeance of an eternal fire they proclaim to those who reject the great salvation; and still it is true, that those who submit not to the authority of the Lord, who wilfully reject the one immersion, must be immersed in fire, in the figurative import of these words. So that the preachers of righteousness may yet say water or fire, pardon or punishment, life or death: for he that believes and is immersed shall be saved, and he that believes not shall be condemned.


      This was promised by John and by Jesus. John affirmed that Jesus would immerse his disciples in the Holy Spirit. This was also, like the immersion in fire, promised by the Jewish Prophets. Joel foretold these days. A stupendous display of heavenly influences, like which there had not been one vouchsafed to mortal man since time was born, distinguished this immersion. The time fixed for it was the birth day of the christian age--the commencement of the reign of Messiah in heaven. Jesus informed his disciples that this baptism of which John spoke would be vouchsafed to them not many days after he left them. Soon as he was exalted "a Prince and a Saviour to bestow reformation and forgiveness of sins upon Israel," upon all who would submit to his government, he shed forth those supernal influences, all the gifts of the Holy Spirit, under the direction of which the Apostles were placed. Their hearts burned within them in all holy raptures; their understandings were light shining from the Sun of Righteousness; their tongues, moved by the impulses of the Eternal Spirit; uttered the wonders of heaven; their faces glowed with the beauty of holiness; and their whole persons were adorned by the bright shining emblems of the power and presence of the Spirit of wisdom and of utterance. They spoke in every tongue the wonderful works of God. Such was the immersion in the Holy Spirit promised by Jesus. From him it came; and to assert his new glories in heaven, as well as to convince the world of sin, righteousness, and judgment, it was bestowed. No men were ever more fully immersed, or buried in water, than were these men hid and immersed in the Holy Spirit. It was not Peter the fisherman, but Peter the Apostle of Jesus, covered and filled with the Spirit of God, who was seen and heard. Overwhelmed they were with these powers of the world to come. Their understandings, wills, affections--their bodies, souls, and spirits, were submitted to, and submerged in, the energies of him who proceeded from the Father and the Son.

      In the admission of the Gentiles into the kingdom; in the conversion of Cornelius, his family, and friends, this immersion was repeated. Peter, in the 11th chapter of the Acts of the Apostles, applies the same promise of the immersion in the Holy Spirit to what had happened in this house. Thus Jews and Gentiles were all immersed in the same Holy Spirit; and God received them both into his family with the same marks of his affection, and with the same demonstrations of benignity, irrespective of any former national distinctions. Indeed, like the father of the prodigal son, he went out to meet the [59] returning Gentiles, and fell upon them and embraced them before they came into his house. Thus the Gentiles received the gifts of the Holy Spirit before they were immersed into the name of the Holy Spirit. Such is the scriptural import of the baptism of the Holy Spirit.

      That the Quaker notion of an internal influence, or of an invisible communication of some spiritual light to the mind, is not the baptism of the Holy Spirit, will appear apparent, if not from what has been already said, from a fact so palpable that we see not how it can be evaded. It is this: The persons to whom Jesus promised the baptism of the Holy Spirit (Acts i.) were possessed, for years before that time, of more gifts and communications of the Spirit, than any persons now living, or who have since lived. If, then, persons who had received the Spirit, as had the Apostles at the time of their first mission, who had spoken by it, healed diseases, cleansed lepers, raised the dead, cast out demons, and whose tempers were influenced by it, had not till Pentecost been immersed in the Holy Spirit; shall we say that any Quaker, with all the gifts he supposes himself possessed, has been immersed in the Holy Spirit?


      Almost every prominent word in language has a metaphorical as well as a literal import. Hence we have a metaphorical immersion. I have, says Jesus, referring to his anticipated sufferings, an immersion to undergo, and how am I straitened till it be accomplished? Can you, said he, to the sons of Zebedee, submit to the immersion which I have to suffer? What, says Paul, shall they do who are immersed for the dead? Why jeopardize our lives--why subject ourselves to many sufferings, if the dead rise not? To be overwhelmed in sorrow; to pass through the deep waters of affliction; to be encompassed with tribulation, is to be immersed in this acceptation of the term.


      This is the immersion for the remission of sins, proclaimed by the Apostles, on, and from, Pentecost, to the close of the volume. Concerning this immersion so much has already been said, we enlarge not here. The confessions of the Episcopalian, Presbyterian, Methodistic and Baptist sects were read on this article; and it was shown that with more or less clearness this baptism is asserted in the creeds,, though not practised by the people.

      A non-descript baptism is likely to arise out of the present controversy. The sects are likely to renounce their creed baptism, and in their opposition to the christian, or the one immersion, they will be constrained to explain baptism into a mere form or ceremony of induction into a sect; having no blessing or promise associated with it, Some of them are almost mute already on the meaning of immersion; and ere long baptism will likely be taught as a duty to be performed as we pay our taxes for the sake of the government.

Narrative Continued.

      After the discourse was ended in Harrodsburg, we retired to brother Williams', where we spent the evening very happily in conversation [60] with many disciples and fellow-citizens. From Harrodsburg, on the next day, 25th November, we went to brother John Bowman's, eight miles distant from Danville, where I continued till Saturday morning. Fatigued with much talking, I spent a part of two days in writing the essays dated from Danville. Danville being called the seat of the clerical kingdom in Kentucky, or of the Presbyterian College and heads of departments, we resolved to spend two days in proclaiming the reformation in that place. Brother Jacob Creath, Jun. delivered a discourse on Friday in the Baptist meeting house, introductory to the course intended. On Saturday we gave them a lecture on the nature of obedience, drawn from Samuel's address to Saul concerning the discharge of the injunctions respecting the Amalekites, and from Paul's remarks in the second chapter of the letter to the Romans.

      On the Lord's day we lectured on the constitution of the kingdom of heaven, from the eighth chapter of the letter to the Hebrews. The topics were.

      1. The nature and use of constitutions in general.

      2. That God had, in every age of the world, placed man under some constitutional arrangement.

      3. That these economies, or arrangements, were a guarantee to those under them of the extent and continuance of all stipulated privileges.

      4. The constitutional or fundamental provisions of the christian economy.

      5. An exhortation to surrender to the constitution and government of the King of Saints.

      Great attention was paid, not only by those in the house, but by many who stood out of doors, although it rained during the whole discourse. Many individuals appeared much affected. Ten males and one female came forward to confess the Lord, among whom was my friend Gen. William Jennings, of Lancaster, Garrard county. One was called home through indisposition before we reached the pool at the residence of brother Dounton. Brother Jacob Creath, Jun. immersed ten into the Lord Jesus in the presence of many witnesses. The disciples met in the evening to break bread; and, after singing several spiritual songs, we separated, much refreshed and comforted in the Lord.

      We spent the Lord's day night with brother Dounton, and in the morning returned to the residence of Dr. J. Ayres, whose hospitality we had before enjoyed. There we bade adieu to several brethren who had accompanied us for many days, among whom were Jacob Creath, Sen. and Josephus Hewit. Brethren Bullock and Jesse, from Woodford; brother P. Higbie, from Fayette; and brother Kercheval, from Mason, who had accompanied us for many days, separated from us after the immersion the preceding evening.

      Brother Ephraim A. Smith, with whom, at the residence of his father, we breakfasted, on Monday morning being prevented by more controlling considerations from accompanying me to Nashville, and brother Jacob Creath, Jun. proposing to accompany me thither, we [61] started for Columbia, Adair county, where we arrived on the evening of the 30th November. Brother Smith accompanied us to the residence of Col. Coffee, where we stopped during the night of the 29th. Without any appointment on our part, a congregation, which filled the house, having assembled, brother Creath spoke to them on faith and reformation.

      In Columbia we enjoyed the hospitalities of James Caldwell, Esq, and had an agreeable interview with brother John Steel and J. D. Jourdan of Tennessee, who labor in the word and doctrine. Brother Steele had the honor of being rejected by the Association to which he had once belonged, because he preferred Paul to Andrew Fuller, and Jesus Christ to Dr. John Gill. We spoke on the 1st of December to the citizens of Columbia and the vicinity, from the 10th chapter of the Acts. But not one of them had faith and courage to confess the Lord. Brother Steele, in some vicinities of this town, has immersed some scores of disciples during the last year for the remission of their sins. On the 2d instant we departed for Glasgow; narrowly escaped several dangers on the way. It rained and blew so violently, that it was with much difficulty we reached Glasgow at the time appointed. Trees and branches of trees fell frequently before and behind us. It appeared at different times that we were saved by being a minute too late--at other places, by being a minute too soon for the descending limbs and trunks of the forest.

"How are thy servants bless'd, O Lord!
      How rare is their defence!
Eternal Wisdom is their guide;
      Their help Omnipotence:

      At Glasgow we sojourned with brethren Trabue and Logan. The citizens were not apprized of our arrival until a few hours before we appeared. The appointment was delayed by some irregularity in the mail. We addressed them on the conversion of the Eunuch. At night we had a conversation meeting.

      Brethren John Davis, formerly a Cumberland Presbyterian preacher, and S. Bagby, once a Regular Baptist, are able and successful proclaimers of the ancient gospel in the county of Barren. We had the pleasure of an interview with them in Glasgow.

      From Glasgow we proceeded to Bowling Green; tarried from Saturday till Monday morning with brother Muirhead. Spoke on the Lord's day on the connexion between intelligence, purity, and happiness. The intelligence communicated in the Holy Scriptures was shown to be limited by one great line of discrimination. Every thing, not directly nor indirectly conducive to purity, was excluded; and all discussions and developements addressed to human curiosity, not having a moral tendency, were purposely omitted. The nature of that purity was exhibited; without which no man shall see the Lord. The inefficiency of modern gospels, sermons, and institutions to promote that elevated christian purity, contemplated by the great author of christianity, was demonstrated. The ancient gospel, as detailed by Peter in different places in the Acts of Apostles was exhibited. [62] Two persons came forward to confess the Lord. One was an old gentleman who had been a Presbyterian, and who entered the house, as he informed me, filled with prejudices against myself and the cause which I plead. The evening being tempestuous, and the river at some distance, he was not immersed till the next morning at sun rise. Thence we departed for Nashville, sixty miles distant, where we arrived on the evening of the 7th instant.

      Columbia, Ten. December 18, 1830.

For the Millennial Harbinger.      

      AFTER attempting to determine the instrument of religious instruction, which God has commanded us to use, and the manner of using it which he has prescribed, the next question which demands our consideration, is, Into whose hands has he committed its use? To this question I reply, without a moment's hesitation, Into the hands of his saints, without discrimination or exception: and for the truth of this assertion I appeal in particular to Daniel vii. 18. 22. 27. Ephes. iv. 12. 2 Tim. ii. 2.

      1. From Daniel vii. 23, 24, 25, 26, it appears, that after the Roman empire should be broken into ten parts, a power should arise, hostile in the extreme to the friends and followers of Jesus Christ, a power that should continue to display its hostility successfully, till the Ancient of days should come, and cause justice to be done to his saints, even at the time appointed for putting them in possession of their kingdom.

      2. From this famous prediction it appears also certain, that for a great length of time the saints should he reduced to a state of severe vassalage, should be completely trampled under the feet of men, who should pretend to be christians and not infidels; from whose tyranny and subjection, however, they should at last he delivered by the interposition of the person called the Ancient of days, and become in their own persons the administrators, conductors, or managers of their own affairs, that being the only sense in which the expression "possess or take the kingdom" can be understood: for in the capacity of subjects and slaves the saints have always been constituent parts of the kingdom; but surely while living in the condition of slaves they could not be said to possess the kingdom, that necessarily implying the administration of its affairs.

      3. From the death of the twelve men whom Christ miraculously qualified, and exclusively employed to organize his kingdom, and during their lives to govern it according to laws which he caused to be reduced to writing, and thus rendered visible, permanent, and transmissible to all parts of the earth for its government after their decease, a few men, who assumed the title of clergy, or God's lot, and not the saints, have, down to the present day, possessed, or rather usurped the kingdom ultimately intended for the saints; for they have claimed exclusively the management of Christ's affairs, and exercised an unlimited jurisdiction over his subjects; some in one form and some [63] in another: some by the irresistible mandates of the spiritual potentates, called Bishops, and their servile dependents; some by the equally imperious and tyrannical decrees of mongrel courts, (courts which both legislate and judge,) called assemblies, synods, presbyteries, and sessions; others by the no less ingenious and oppressive resolutions of conferences and associations, &c. each clerical group prescribing, with arbitrary power, such dogmas of doctrine, formulas of worship, terms of communion, punishment of offences, real or imaginary, as best pleased their fancy, gratified their humor, or served their interest.

      4. But when the saints shall obtain their kingdom, and get the management of their affairs into their own hands, as there will be no pretension to legislative power or magisterial authority among them, every part of their doctrine will consist in the unmixed and unerring declarations of the God of truth, and every part of their religious and moral conduct will be conformed to the existing laws of their spiritual sovereign, Jesus Christ; for they will then acknowledge none else: no, however long other lords may have had dominion over them, the saints will then reject their sway, and bow their heads, their hearts, and all they have, to Christ alone. There will then exist among the people of God no religious dogmas, devised and taught by uninspired men; no act will be offered to God as an act of worship, which he has not commanded; none left unperformed which he has enjoined; no dissentions to exasperate, no schisms to disunite his friends; no immoralities to deform, disgrace, and impede the lovely cause of Christ; nor religious demagogues to wrangle and contend for the augmentation of their respective factions. Then, and not before, will uncorrupted truth, righteousness, peace, and pure worship, adorn and bless our world; because then, and not before, will the men who have so long lorded it over the understandings, consciences, affections and property of their fellow-men, be stript, entirely stript of all their influence and all their power. No longer shall they be able to act the part of religious demagogues [see 2 Peter ii. 1, 2, 3,] and crowd their sectarian standards with millions of ignorant, thoughtless, deluded devotees, all eager to believe whatever they may choose to tell them. No longer shall they be able to mould, fashion, and regulate the consciences of men, inducing them to regard as criminal and opprobrious whatever they affect to condemn, and as innocent and laudable whatever they licence or approve. Nor shall they, by fair speeches, flattering condescensions, and fervent professions of deep and peculiar interest in human happiness, be able to inveigle the affections of credulous mortals. No, nor shall they be able to extort their annual millions from an oppressed or deceived multitude. Behold Europe, which for many generations has paid upwards of ninety millions annually to its clergy, for the amazing purpose of removing from God's message the obstinate, the irremovable darkness, which he (if we may believe the clergy) has spread over it.

      5. But this prediction also assures us, that every one of the saints, and every one of them alike, and not a few of the more impudent and [64] assuming, should possess the kingdom, or have the conducting of its affairs in their own hands: for the Spirit, who revealed this matter to the Prophet, makes no distinctions no exception; but declares that the privileges and duties of the saints, when. they should be raised to the government of Christ's terrestrial kingdom, should he all alike.

      6. With the prediction of the Prophet, the declaration of the Apostle, Eph. iv. 12. exactly corresponds. In the preceding verse we are told by the inspiring Spirit, that Christ, on his ascension, gave to his infant community five classes of gifted or inspired instructers, distinguished from one another, not only by their respective titles and occupations, but also by the gifts by which they were infallibly qualified for the performance of their respective functions. And in verse 12th the same inspiring Spirit informs us of the end, purpose, or object, for the accomplishment of which, the extraordinary endowments just mentioned were bestowed; namely, for the purpose of qualifying or putting the saints or uninspired believers in a condition to perform the work called diakonia, the service or edification of the body of Christ. In whatever actions, then, this work, called the service, consists, or the building up of the body of Christ requires, these actions are here manifestly not only entrusted to, and expressly devolved on, but restricted to the persons here called the saints. So explicitly declared is this fact in this important passage, that no mind which has the least respect for divine authority, for the will and veracity of God, will venture to deny or evade it.

      7. It being, then, reduced to all the certainty to which the explicit declaration of a God, who cannot lie, can reduce it, that the performance of every action contained in Christ's service, or requisite to the building up of his body, is indiscriminately committed to, or rather devolved on, the persons called the saints; two questions of vast importance present themselves, Who are the saints? and, What their qualifications to execute the trust confided to them? Are none saints but the few aspiring men who falsely and ridiculously pretend to have heard a divine call, (a call, by the by, which never sounded in their ears, which only thrilled through and tickled their vain deluded imagination,) and boast the reception of a rotten, imaginary, delusive authority; an authority imparted from men, who never had a particle of such authority either to keep or to transfer? Credat Judaes, non ego. This would stagger the belief of a Jew. It is manifest that in the New Testament all are denominated saints who profess to believe on Jesus Christ, and act agreeably to their profession; all who sincerely love and punctually obey their Redeemer; all who are in reality his friends: and it is equally plain, that to them, as believing and faithful subjects, has the management of his affairs on earth been hitherto entrusted, and will continue to be entrusted through all succeeding generations, to the last hour of time. 2 Tim. ii. 2.

      8. We cannot, then, be at a loss to determine who they are that are called, authorized, and commanded to perform all the actions on whose diligent and faithful performance the building up of the body of Christ, or, in plain English, the diffusion of his religion among mankind, [65] depends: every saint, every professed believer, every real friend of the Redeemer, is called, authorized, and commanded to engage daily is his blessed work, and do every act of which it consists. Daily may each of them proclaim in God's own inspired words, to all around, the glorious Deliverer whom a gracious God has sent into our perishing world for its salvation: daily and hourly may he supplicate God publicly, privately, or secretly, for the continuance of his wonted kindness, or the bestowment of new favors, and praise him for his innumerable mercies already conferred: on every first day of the week, or Lord's day may each of them unite with his fellow-believers to consult in a public and social manner God's unerring message, and possess their souls of its invaluable information; join with his religious friends in a public participation of the commemorative action, (now very incorrectly called the Lord's Supper,) and enjoy the sweet pleasure of making a social contribution for the relief of human misery; and when a suitable applicant requests the performance of the initiatory action, to which Christ has commanded all his friends to submit, be may--nay, he ought to perform it on him: and when a professed believer, a member of the usual collection of believers of which he is a member, has erred from God's truth in his sentiments, or deviated in his practice from God's law, he may unite with his fellow-believers both in investigating the fact, and in inflicting the disapprobation which Christ has commanded to be inflicted in the case. He may also, with a christian, a friendly spirit, a benevolent and affectionate heart, watch over the sentiments and actions of his fellow-believers, and give them in private all necessary and useful counsel, comfort, and reproof. Thus may the saints assemble for their mutual edification every Lord's day, and devote on any day as touch of their time to the concerns of their souls as they may judge necessary to secure their eternal happiness.

      9. As to the personages now styled administrators, scripture is not disposed to acknowledge them. Their title and their office are mere fiction. In the New Testament we are, indeed, informed that Christ's inspired Apostles completely organized his spiritual kingdom, and reduced the laws intended for its perpetual government to writing, that they might furnish direction to all succeeding generations of men. We are there also told, that Paul performed the initiatory action enjoined by his Master on a few persons himself, and that Christ's disciples performed it on others: but by whom this action was performed on the countless number of persons who were converted during the lives of the Apostles from Judaism and Heathenism to Christianity, we are not informed: and to substitute conjecture, or rather mere fancy, for divine information, is a grade of impiety and presumption or) which we dare not venture. From all the information which the Holy Spirit has thought fit to communicate to us on this subject, it appears that every person who professes and sustains the character of a disciple, is alike authorized to perform the action in question, when requested by a proper applicant to perform it: for we know that it was performed by disciples; but we do not know that it was ever [66] performed by any who were not professed disciples, or that it was performed exclusively by any particular description or order of them. For a few, then, of Christ's professed disciples to assume the right of performing it, to the exclusion of the rest, is a manifest usurpation. And as to the commemorative action, which is now commonly called the Supper, who can read its original institution by Christ himself; related in Matthew, Mark, and Luke, or that part of the 11th chapter of Paul's first letter to the Corinthians, which records it, and not see, first, that it was in Paul's day performed with no such formalities, pomp, ostentation, and parade, as most denominations now perform it: secondly, that no believer is authorized to interfere with its celebration rather than another: and thirdly, that it is a social action in the performance of which every believer is alike concerned? The command, 'Take, eat, drink,' is equally addressed to all; and the discrimination of participants into givers and receivers, is a discrimination entirely unknown to scripture, and of course entirely unauthorized by it. It appears that the manner of performing this most solemn action, as exhibited in sacred writ, is, that the representing bread and wine be previously procured, made ready, and placed in some convenient situation by one or more of the intending partakers, and at their joint expense; and that they, when the time of participation arrives, all draw near together in succession, and partake, standing, sitting, or kneeling, as disposition may incline, or conveniency may permit, and then withdraw as they approached; thus exhibiting the sympathy, concert, and equality, which the members of a natural body exhibit in their social operations.

[To be continued.]



      THAT you should wish your name recorded as opposed to a radical reformation of christian manners, is not more strange than that you should confound the Jewish Law with the Christian Institution. You ask, "What part of the New Testament has declared that the whole of the Old is abrogated except those texts quoted in the New?" Shall I be constrained to remind you that the Old Constitution, or Old Testament, or Old Will of God concerning the Jews, is vacated, abolished, or superseded by the New Constitution? Or must I prove to you that the Gentiles were never under the Jewish Constitution? No: I will rather impute it to the delinquency of your memory than to any imperfection of your judgment. I will therefore, only aid your recollection by reminding you that a very learned Jew and the Apostle to the Gentiles, has repeatedly decided that the Old Testament, or Constitution, has become "old," or obsolete, has "vanished away," is "abolished," and "disannulled" See his letters to the Corinthians, Hebrews, and Galatians.

      But I hope you do not call the writings of Moses and the Prophets the Old Testament, or Constitution. No sacred writer, no Apostle, no [67] Jewish, or Christian Prophet, has ever called the whole writings of Moses and the Prophets the Old Testament; or Constitution. The whole Jewish economy was added to the promise of the Messiah and the inheritance, and therefore its abolition touches neither the Messiah nor his reign. We are gainers by the disannulling of this Old Constitution. "It was contrary to us Gentiles." But Jesus has taken it out of the way. He nailed it to the cross, and has broken down the middle wall of partition. "He has blotted out the hand-writing of ordinances that was against us Gentiles;" "having abolished in his flesh the enmity between Jews and Gentiles;--the law of commandments contained in ordinances." I rejoice that the Sinaitic Constitution "is done away." and that from Zion and from Jerusalem the word has come. Able ministers of the New Testament have taught us that while the Law was given by Moses to the Jews, the favor and the truth came by Jesus.

      Brother Semple, you have taken the mitre from Aaron and the crown from David, and put them on David's Son and David's Lord. Why not, then, give him the rod of Moses? If you will have Moses to legislate for us, deprive us not of the sacerdotal functions of his brother Aaron. If Moses be our lawgiver, Aaron must be our priest, and Saul or David our king. Why do you separate those whom God has joined? I humbly beseech you to tell us the secret.

      As a christian I plead for the prophetic fulness, as well as the regal or sacerdotal power and holiness of my Lord. I must honor him whom Moses honored on the Mount, and Elijah too, in the presence of three ministers of the New Testament. If all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge are laid up in him--if in him substantially resides all the fullness of the Deity--if in him all the promises are yes and amen! (so let it be!) can you err, or can I mistake in fixing the attention and the hearts of all christians upon him, and upon him alone, as Prophet, Priest, and King? Do we need glow-worms at noon? Need we a censer full of incense when a cloud fills the heavens? Need we the blood of a turtle dove when Calvary drank the blood of the Lord? Need we the authority of Moses when all authority in heaven and earth is in our King? Shall we extol the twinklings of stars when the Sun of Mercy, with life-giving beams, shines upon the mental vision of the sons of the kingdom?

      Of all the sorceries of the Mystic Woman, who has bewitched the nations, this of acting Jannes and Jambres again is the most subtle and the most enchanting. See how she has made her votaries wear not only bells and pomegranates, but mitres and crowns, by judaizing for them. Neither Martin, nor John of Geneva, nor your friend Andrew, (I mean not Andrew the brother of Peter,) saw this matter clearly. They had drunk too much of her wine ever to be duly sober again.

      I could wish that the modern judaizers would notice some facts which seem to have escaped them all. The promise of remission and adoption is anterior to the law; therefore Abraham was justified and accepted four hundred years, at least, before the law was given. [68] The law was added till the seed came, and was enforced on none but the literal descendants of Abraham by Sarah. The Jews were on their way to the inheritance, and had been immersed into Moses in the cloud and in the sea, before a syllable of the law, moral, ceremonial, or judicial, was uttered or written. Our fathers the Gentiles were never under any institution so modern as the Mosaic. The lights which Noah diffused was our lamp till the Messiah began his reign. Cornelius was the first Gentile distinguished by any vision from God since the law was promulged. Till that day "God permitted all nations to walk in their own ways." Then it was that he "granted to the Gentiles a reformation to life." Then he visited the Gentiles to take out of them a people for his name. The land of Canaan was as long and as broad as the obligation of the Mosaic institution. The Prophets looked farther than the law, and uttered oracles reaching through all time and embracing all nations. If we Gentiles recognize any precept of Moses as bearing upon us, it is as the people of Samaria said to the woman of Samaria--We believe not for your testimony, but have heard Jesus ourselves; so we say, Moses, we do homage not for your saying it, but because our Prophet has enjoined it. The acknowledgment of any Prophet but Jesus; is a virtual renunciation or disparagement of them. "Teach them," said he to his ministers, "all these things which I have commanded you." Whatever of Moses he has enforced, we regard; what he has not, we read for illustration, not for authority--for our edification, not for our obedience. That we may see what christians lose by not placing Moses in the chair of our teacher, please note the items down, and I will adopt them as a part of the christian institution, if not found in it, and necessarily tending to our happiness.

      Kings and Popes have gained crowns and empires by judaizing. The English clergy have made their tithes by this craft; and if the petitions of the Sabbath mail remonstrants are graciously heard by the wise men in Washington, Scotland will not be the only land in which her Kirk will give laws to Cesar. Baptists can gain nothing by this scheme except a smile and a cordial shake of the hand from the orthodox priests of the land. These they have gained already by opposing the present reformation. Why, then, should they plead the cause which Paul opposed in Galatia and in Rome, when they jeopardize only their own system. If the ancient Baptists had a single gem in their crown, it was "Jesus is our only Prophet." And will you, brother Semple, who wrote the history of the Baptists of Virginia--both the living and the dead Baptists--will you, I say, leave it on record that the New Testament, in your opinion, does not contain all the religion of Jesus Christ?

      Other matters in your letter call for a few words, which I must promise you for the present, and hope to present in my next.

      Believe me ever to he a faithful friend, and yours, in all affection, for the truth's sake.
EDITOR. [69]      



      I HAVE read many of the sceptical writings of the present and the past centuries, and some of more remote times; and yet I have to read the first work from the pen of an intelligent opposer of the christian religion. Intelligent I need not tell you in the Jewish and Christian Scriptures, and in the history of the religious institutions of past ages; and not intelligent in the arts and sciences of peace and war; of agriculture, manufactures, commerce, and government, is the acceptation of the term in this appropriation of it. No writer against the Bible, whom I have ever read, appears to have read it with half the attention necessary to understand geometry, astronomy, or even the grammar of a living language. I am sorry to see that you are as superficially acquainted with the book against which you write, as were David Hume, Thomas Paine, and our own Jefferson. None of these have committed a greater blunder than you have done in the following passage from the 17th page:--

      "Again, Paul's assertion of the resurrection of Jesus is incredible, since he forcibly discredits it by putting it on a footing with the general resurrection; and instead of boldly maintaining the fact upon the strength of the evidence, like a man conscious of the truth would have done, falls into a hypothetical mode of reasoning, which evinces a begging of the fact. As thus, verse 12, "Now, if Christ be preached that he rose from the dead, how say some among you that there is no resurrection of the dead?" And, by the by, I will ask you if this does not show a vestige of contradiction to facts asserted in the New Testament? But, indeed, if you will allow that the gospels are contemporaneous with themselves, I can show plenty, not only of vestiges, but contrary assertions of facts." "To return, however, to Paul, (13.) "But if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen. And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain. Yes, and we are found false witnesses of God, because we have testified of God that he raised up Christ, whom he raised not up, if so be that the dead rise not. For if the dead rise not, then is Christ not raised," &c. &c. A triumphant and glorious witness is this to prove that Christ rose from the dead the third day! He has sworn to the naked fact, and then falls into a discourse, which shows conclusively, that he does not believe himself."

      Now, sir, permit me to say, that had you ever struck on the most obvious sense of the Apostle in the 15th chapter of the 1st Epistle to the Corinthians, you would have blushed to make the assertions you here offer to the public, You only expose yourself--not the Apostle Paul. This may not, however, disturb your self complacency.

      To approach the passage in question as a rational inquirer would approach any investigation of the words of an ancient or even a contemporaneous writer, let us ask, What is the design of the Apostle in this passage? Is it to prove that Jesus Christ rose from the dead, or to disprove the Sadducean hypothesis, or the impossibility of the resurrection of the dead? If to prove the former, the Apostle is in your hands--if the latter, you are in his.

      I trust you will excuse me for not making an effort to convince you that the design of any discourse is the sovereign key of interpretation [70] to ascertain the exact meaning of the words employed by the writer or speaker.

      The pertinency and conclusiveness of every argument depends entirely on the applicability of it to the proposition in reference to which it is advanced. He who would prove the rebuilding of the temple destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar by the arguments which sustain the fact that Cyrus issued a proclamation that it should be rebuilt, argues illogically. He that would cite the proclamation of Cyrus in proof of the destruction of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar, argues as illogically as he that attempts to prove the siege of Jerusalem by Titus, because Titus commanded a Roman army. In the science of geometry he that would prove that the angles at the base of an isosceles triangle are equal to each other, because the three angles of any triangle are equal to two right angles, argues not more inconclusively than he who would prove the late Revolution in France by the Revolution of '89. He that quotes an argument advanced to prove one proposition, and condemns it because it will not prove another proposition, not before the mind of the reasoner, acts as illogically as he that would prove a mathematical theorem by human testimony. This is your error in the passage before us. Paul reasons with some persons in Corinth, who, while they questioned not the literal resurrection of Jesus, doubted or denied the literal resurrection of the dead saints. Had he written or spoken to those who, doubted or denied the resurrection of Jesus, his arguments would have been of a different character. Incidentally, indeed, the resurrection of Jesus Christ is proved very conclusively, though without having that object at all in view. Permit me, then, to place before you this argument in its true light. Some of the disciples in Corinth having questioned the resurrection of the dead, Paul reasons with them thus:

      'Brethren, I will remind you in the first place of the proclamation I made to you when I first appeared in Corinth. I affirmed that Jesus died for our sins, was buried, and rose again according to the sacred records of the Jews. I assured you that he was seen of Peter, then of the Twelve; after that he was seen of more than five hundred brethren at one time, a majority of whom are living; again he was seen of James; then of all the Apostles; and last of all he was seen by me also, though born too late; to have been a witness during the forty days. Whether, then, I or the other Apostles proclaim, so we all proclaimed, and so you all believed. The evidence to you was irresistible. You believed that he died for our sins and rose again the third day. Now upon your own convictions and assured belief of the resurrection of Jesus, let me address you. If it be proclaimed by you as well as by us, that Jesus rose from the dead, how can some among you say that there is no resurrection! For do you not see that if there be no resurrection of the dead, then, contrary to your own faith, Christ has not been raised? And to reduce your denial to a still greater absurdity upon your own principles, our proclamation, though sustained before your eyes by the demonstrations of the Spirit and the power of God, is false; and your faith in Christ's resurrection [71] is also false. And we, on your hypothesis, must be false witnesses concerning God while he aided us by these demonstrations, in affirming that he raised up Christ, whom he did not raise, if, indeed, the dead rise not: for the resurrection of Jesus and of the dead are so connected that the one implies the other. His resurrection was for them, and is, as the first fruits, an earnest of the harvest.

      'Moreover, reflect in how many other contradictions your denial of the resurrection of the dead, while you admit that of Jesus, involves you: for if Christ be not raised, your sins are not pardoned, and all who have been put to death for asserting their faith in his resurrection have perished for ever. They lost the present life for him; and, if the dead rise not, they have lost the future; or, in fact, there is no future life if Jesus be not risen.'

      This is the part of the argument against which you object, as if Paul were begging the question, and putting the resurrection of Christ and of the dead "upon the same footing" in point of fact, or hypothesis. It is, indeed, as I have hinted, a conclusive proof of the fact of Christ's resurrection, not because Paul is attempting to prove it, but because he argues with those who, while they denied or doubted the general resurrection, could not, dare not question the fact of the Lord's resurrection. If the fact of Christ's resurrection could have been denied, would not the Sadducean opposition to the general resurrection have easily cut the sinews of the Apostle's argument by questioning that fact. This would have very much aided their cause but judge how strong must have been the faith of the Corinthians, and how impregnable the evidence of Christ's resurrection, when, with all the eagerness of the opposition to lessen the weight of Paul's authority, and to impugn the general resurrection, no one dared to suggest even a doubt on the subject of the resurrection of the Messiah.

      But, as was affirmed, Paul's argument is not to prove that Jesus rose the third day, but to prove that the resurrection of the dead saints is possible and, certain, contrary to the Sadducean hypothesis. He, therefore, proceeds to demonstrate, on their own principles, the possibility of it. He affirms it to be reasonable, that, as by a man death came into the world; so by a man the resurrection of the dead should also come: and as by Adam all have died, so by the second Adam all should be made alive. And reasoning from analogy, he shows there is nothing in the vegetable, animal, or mineral kingdoms opposed to the idea, but much in corroboration of it. He shows, moreover, that such was the certainty of mind of the original witnesses, that they jeopardized every thing, life itself, in attesting this truth; and, as all their contemporaries must admit, if in this life only they had all their hopes, they were of all men the most miserable.

      I shall now leave it to your candor, if aught remains, to say whether you have not totally misconceived the Apostle's reasoning in this section, and attributed to him an error in reasoning which was wholly your own.

      You will, perhaps, yet see that all your reasonings and your alleged contradictions and weaknesses, as you call them, in the original [72] witnesses, are of a character similar to those I have now noticed. In the mean time permit me to ask you, What is there in the hope of immortality so repugnant to your happiness as to cause you to contemn and oppose it? What promised bliss have you in the idea of annihilation or in a material absorption into the elements around you? Have all your longings for immortality died within you? Is there no evergreen in all your landscape--no Eden in your Universe--no tree of life in any Paradise for you. Have you so unmanned yourself as to wish for nothing--as to desire nothing but the crucifixion of the hopes of Christians? Have you found a safer guide than Jesus--brighter luminaries than the Apostles--a more rational hope than the Christian? Or have you every thing to fear, and nothing to hope, from the pretensions of the Saviour and Judge of Men? It is the most mournful spectacle which this debased world has to present to a rational and benevolent mind--an old man tottering before his fall, bereft of every hope beyond the grave, fighting against him who alone can save him from irremediable ruin, and defying Omnipotence to arms--putting forth his last efforts to rob others of their trust in God; and wishing not only himself, but all whom he can influence, to be accursed from Christ! Might I entreat you to retrace your steps, to examine the causes which have led you to this dread alternative, and to ponder well the foundation of your reasonings against the last best hope of dying man! With all benevolence,


      UNDER this head may be expected our summaries of the incidents in the history of this reformation. We are so much in arrears, and have such a magazine of incidents, signs, and omens, that we know not where or how to commence. During my late tour of one hundred days, I read but little of the sayings and doings of our opponents. I saw and heard, and thought and spoke, without reading or writing much except what the public have seen, and may see in the next number of this work. But we have accumulated much information on things as they are, of use to the cause which we plead; and this, as far as it may be necessary, shall be forthcoming in due time and place.

      We have travelled for information, as well as to aid the disciples and to disseminate the principles of reformation. Never was there more need for travelling in quest of information than at present--not for information upon principles, but for correct information on men and measures. If there he any one religious vice more characteristic of this age than another, it is the propensity for religious lying. Sorry am I to put it on record, but such is the fact; and the Searcher of all hearts knows that we do not intentionally exaggerate when we say, from the premises before us, that lying, detraction, and slander are the principal weapons relied on by a large proportion of the leading opponents of reform. I could not believe, upon any ordinary testimony, that [73] the Cretan leprosy had spread so far upon the ecclesiastic body politic of our opponents, as my own seeing and hearing, for the last three months, have convinced me. I have become so incredulous in the religious periodicals of the day, in all matters of fact reported, that, on reading any article, I must first know who has written it, before I can assent to, or dissent from, the statements made. No paper has ever been perused by me, political or religious, which is more incredible than "the Baptist Chronicle & Literary Register," of Georgetown, Kentucky. It stands first upon my list of incredibles. Others may be as fallacious and as mendacious as it is, but I have not proved them so, having not been through their vicinities and informed myself of the facts, as I have in reference to the Chronicle. Impossible it may be, in publishing the news of the day, to publish nothing but fact, even when an editor is most squeamishly cautious; but there is the originating of falsehoods and the retailing of them, and there are the first, second, and third hand retailers. All that could be expected from a man of truth is, that if he unwittingly publish a falsehood, he would, upon conviction, correct it. And here let me request all our friends and correspondents who may communicate any facts for public inspection, to be scrupulously cautious from what source they have received them, and to hazard nothing upon mere rumor. The misrepresentations of any person's sentiments is a species of lying and slander, which, though not so gross as the originating of falsehoods, is, nevertheless, when intentionally done, as injurious and as criminal. Paul was slanderously reported to have practised, and to have ordered others to practise, evil that good might come. This was as condemnable as the most flagrant violation of the ninth commandment. Of this we have most grievously to complain, in innumerable instances, in the present day.

      But next to defamation stands proscription as the order of the day. This matter of proscription has been carried farther by the Baptists than by any other sect in christendom, the Roman Catholics in Spain only excepted. Of this we shall furnish the proof in detail.

      I must now formally recant an opinion which I have published somewhere in the Christian Baptist. I recollect once, at least, to have published it as my opinion that the Baptist system and spirit were so mild and conciliatory that no person imbued by that spirit could persecute and proscribe. But, alas! they have gone farther in this wayward course than any Protestant sect in this country since the American Revolution. The events of the last year are replete with proofs of this assertion; and if I cannot sustain it by public documents, I will recant it.

      But, our opponents being judges, there is no need of reformation. They are not in Babylon. The Baptist society, especially the Regular Baptists, are just up to the standard of ancient and primitive christianity. Their monthly meetings to do business and to hear a sermon, are just the pattern laid down in the New Testament! Their textuary sermonizers are the successors of the Apostles; and when holy hands are laid upon them, they have an official power and holiness, [74] from which all the laity are excluded. They have the power to consecrate bread, wine, and water, and to intercede as priests for the people. All this and much more than I have yet told, constitute in their views the perfection of the christian institution; hence it is profane to call upon them to reform, or to insinuate that they are yet in the mists of the Great City.

      The proscriptions of the advocates for a Baptist priesthood with letters patent to preach and administer ordinances in Kentucky during the last year, have contributed much to the progress of reformation. I say the advocates for a Baptist Priesthood, with letters patent to preach, make sermons, and administer ordinances; for this is, in plain English, the merits of their plea, divested of the mantle called orthodoxy, by which they influence the laity to aid them. This has made itself so obvious that the most short-sighted can detect it. They do not frankly say, 'Brethren, the cause is ours. We want to continue in Peter's chair, to preach to you, to administer ordinances to you, and to have the care of your souls that you may take care of our bodies. You cannot understand the book, but we can explain it. You dare not approach the Lord's table, but we have an official holiness and power derived from the Apostles by regular Presbyterian ordination. You cannot immerse any believer, however sincere his faith, or ardent his desire to put on Christ; but we have the divine authority so to do.'

      This is the real cause, in most instances, why the Baptist clergy raise such a hue and cry against innovation and heresy. As one said before he fled from Kentucky to Missouri last Summer, "The Baptists were not too liberal before, and if Campbellism prevails there will he no place for us in these parts;" so others think it is better to check its ravages in time before the kingdom be lost. But this argument will not do to rouse the laity: they must he aroused by the charge of "dangerous, soul-destroying, and damnable heresy." Hence the hulls of last year, the decrees of councils, and the articles of heresy ascribed to us. But I am much mistaken if these decrees and anathemas react not upon the heads who invented them and defeat not the cause of the priesthood which they are in fact intended to sustain.

      While it is the duty, the privilege, and the honor of the brotherhood in Christ to contribute liberally to the necessities of those whom they send to labor in the word and teaching, they cannot, from the New Testament, think, that, in their church capacity, they are to wait for a creature called a preacher, "to break the bread of life for them," in the cant phrase of Presbyterianism. They cannot think that they must have official heads and hands to administer ordinances, or to make it lawful for them to meet to worship God, and to rejoice in commemorating the loving kindness of the Saviour. To raise up a priesthood of this sort theological schools and colleges are necessary; but to pull down such a system is the prayer and the effort of the Editor, as he shall answer for it to the Judge of All in the last day.
EDITOR. [75]      



      AMONG the opponents of the reform for which we plead, we are sorry to rank the reputed authors of the following decrees. They are both persons for whom we cherished, and still cherish, great regard. They are the most honorable men in the opposition; and although they had not courage to come out sooner, I did not doubt, from their mincing, but that they would come out, or do themselves an honor which few men at their time of life have ever done. That honor I feared they could not do themselves. It is, however, a wise provision in the kingdom of him whom all ranks of men conspired to put down, that humility must precede honor. He that humbleth himself shall be exalted. The Lord giveth grace to the humble. Humiliating it is for old men, and especially for old preachers, to unteach themselves. To unlearn what we have learned, how hard! But harder still to unteach what we have taught!

      I do not impute to them a dishonorable thought, much less a dishonorable act in this matter; yet I feel myself justified in speaking as above. They may not be conscious of the obstacles in the way of their conviction. And how can I suppose them? My answer is, Read Robert B. Semple's last letter to me, and judge whether he does not hold and inculcate opinions which he holds from prejudice, and neither from reason nor revelation. When the attachment to any conclusion is stronger than the premises or the evidences which sustain it, then I am warranted in calling it a prejudice, rather than a sound persuasion. I am liable to be accused of arrogance in pronouncing such an opinion; but my plea is, that a person ought not to presume to teach any thing which he is ashamed to say he understands. He that would presume to teach English grammar, and yet falter in saying that such is, or is not, the correct application of a rule in syntax, merits not the confidence nor the support of the people. And surely he who understands the science of grammar knows that is, or is not, in composition accordant to the first law of syntax. And shall he be called immodest or arrogant in asserting that, according to that principal in syntax, a certain expression is, or is not, in accordance therewith? But the fashion of this age requires that no person should profess to understand the christian religion. It is presumed and taught to he an unintelligible thing; and the more modest a person is in making no pretensions, and the more forward to say that he does not understand it, the greater his reputation for sanctity, and the higher his standing among the metaphysically regenerate.

      My good friends, Semple and Broaddus, wedded as they have been, and still are, to Fullerism, have shown as much moderation and complaisance as could have been expected from any gentlemen imbued with that spirit. And it is to the spirit of the system I attribute their over-acting the part which their zeal for old opinions has prompted. Believing them to be sincere and honest in their convictions, I will approach their DECREES with all moderation and candor when I [76] shall have given a reason why I have denominated the decrees as above.

      Robert B. Semple, as I am informed, (and if I am not correctly informed, I will, on conviction, give publicity to it,) took the first step in this matter. He read the following resolution to his church in order to get up the conference of eight churches which passed the decrees:--"Whereas it has been named to this church that certain persons have been baptized within the bounds of this church, contrary to our usual regulations; and being also informed that similar occurrences have taken place in neighboring churches; and apprehensive some unpleasant confusion may rise from it tending to disturb the peace of the churches--Resolved, That brethren Josiah Ryland, Hugh Campbell, Robert Courtney, and Temple Walker, be appointed a committee to confer with each other and such committees of other churches as may be necessary, who at some future day may report to this church the result of their conference, and recommend what measures should be taken for the peace and happiness of Zion."

      Bishop Semple (for in this he acted the bishop) named it to the church, nominated the committee, and thus commenced the crusade. The Bishop did not wait for the conference of his church, but hied away to rouse Andrew Broaddus, appointed the day for the conference, not knowing whether any other church than his and that of Andrew Broaddus would attend. I appeal to Bishop Semple whether this is not a fair history of the origination of this council.

      Eight churches, however, attended. Some few of the readers of this paper were appointed; but not one of them, save the priesthood, attended. Not a friend of reform voted in the council. There was no Joseph nor Nicodemus to remonstrate. Here follow the preamble and the decrees, preceded by the minutes of the conference:--

[From the Religious Herald.]      


      On Thursday and Friday, the 30th and 31st December, 1830, a conference was held at Upper King and Queen Meeting-House, composed of a delegation from eight churches belonging to the Dover Association, to take into consideration the state of things produced by the introduction amongst us of the principle and practice known by the name of "Campbellism."

      On Thursday, at noon, an interesting and instructive discourse was delivered by Elder Robert H. Semple, to a crowded and attentive congregation; after which the Conference was convened. Churches and messengers as follows, viz:--

      Elder Philip Montague was chosen Moderator, and Elder W. Todd, Clerk.

      The object of the meeting being stated, a committee was appointed, consisting of nine members, viz. Andrew Broaddus, Robert B. Semple, Philip Montague, William Todd, John Micou, John Byrd, George Schools, Reuben [77] Broaddus, and Ellis Armstrong--to sit at night at the house of Col. R. M. Garnett, and form a Report to be brought forward and considered to-morrow; and then the Conference adjourned (with prayer) till Friday morning.

      Friday.--The Conference met, and after divine worship the Report of the Committee was read by the Chairman, (Elder Andrew Broaddus.) It was then considered article by article, and, with some amendments, was adopted without a dissenting voice.


      The association of Christians in visible churches, is designed (among other objects) for the purpose of preserving good order and sound principles. Placing themselves under each other's superintendence, it becomes their duty (for the honor of God's cause and their own peace and happiness), to warn and teach--to exhort, comfort, and build up one another in the faith. By attending to these mutual duties the affairs of each church are preserved in order and decorum. It happens, however, in some instances, that an evil becomes so general, as to affect the peace and well being of a number of churches; and the application of a more general remedy becomes indispensably necessary to restore order and good government, as well as to keep up uniformity and harmony of religious principles. Such seems to be the case in our parts at the present time.

      The Baptists, as a religious denomination, (making reasonable allowance for difference of opinion in minor matters,) have professed and practised certain leading principles, which have been characteristic of themselves as a sect, (so called,) or rather as the true scriptural church of Christ. All fellowship among them has been founded on the belief of these principles; of course, any material innovation upon them has uniformly called for church censure, and when the innovation or error has extended over several churches, the remedy has been applied commensurate with the evil. Sometimes these evils have been brought before Associations, and sometimes before Conferences, made up of delegations from the aggrieved churches. This last is the case with the present Conference.

      The system of religion known by the name of "Campbellism," has spread of late among our churches to a distressing extent, and seems to call loudly for remedial measures. Accordingly, eight churches, deeply aggrieved by the principles and practices of this new party, have sent their respective delegates to this Conference, to consult, in the fear of God, as to the most proper measures to be adopted in the present state of things.

      The errors of this system are various: some of them comparatively unimportant, while others appear to be of the most serious and dangerous tendency. Passing by those of inferior magnitude, we will notice such only as strike at the vitals of godliness, and will endeavor to recommend suitable correctives.

      In principles, the errors alluded to may he classed under four heads, viz. the denial of the influence of the Holy Spirit in the salvation of man--the substitution of reformation for repentance1--the substitution of baptism for conversion, regeneration, or the new birth--and the Pelagian doctrine of the sufficiency of man's natural powers to effect his own salvation.2

      In practice, this party go on to administer baptism in a way radically different from what has been usual among Baptists, and from what we conceive to be the [78] New Testament usage--making no inquiry into the experience or the moral standing of the subjects, and going from church to church with, or without, pastors--urging persons to be immersed, and immersing them--in a manner contrary to good order and propriety.

      The Conference, therefore, deeply impressed with a sense of the evils herein noticed, and taking into serious consideration the unhappy state of things thence resulting, have come to the following resolutions:--

      1. Resolved, That we consider the gracious operations of the Holy Spirit, in the regeneration and salvation of a soul, as a fundamental doctrine of the scriptures, and universally maintained by Baptists (such as we hold in fellowship) in all countries.

      2. Resolved, That to maintain baptism to be conversion--regeneration--the new birth, and that in baptism sins are actually (not figuratively) washed away is a radical error, founded in popery, and ought not to be countenanced.

      3. Resolved, That we consider the doctrine of repentance (or penitence for sin) as held among us, and as set forth in the scriptures, to be of vital importance; and that, in its room to substitute reformation (as is generally understood) tends to subvert one of the main pillars of the christian religion.

      4. Resolved, That to maintain the sufficiency of human nature to the purposes of salvation, with the mere Written word, and without the gracious influence acid aid of the Holy Spirit, is, in our view, a plain contradiction of the word of God, a denial of a fundamental doctrine held among Baptists--and a vain attempt to introduce the Pelagian scheme, long since exploded.

      5. Resolved, therefore, That we recommend to our churches, that when any of their members shall maintain all or any of these radical errors, that, in love and tenderness, they endeavor to convince them of their errors; but in the event of failing in the object, that in the fear of God and in the spirit of faithfulness, and after reasonable forbearance, they declare non-fellowship with such, and separate them from their communion as offenders against God and truth.

      6. Resolved, That in regard to practice, we advise that our churches take a decided stand against the disorderly and disorganizing measures pursued by some, of the preachers of this party, in going among the churches and administering baptism upon their new plan--living in the face of all church order, trampling down all former usage among Baptist churches, and disregarding the peace of the churches, and especially of the pastors. Such a course being subversive of all order and regular church government, ought to receive the most prompt and decided reprehension from the churches.

      7. Resolved, That persons thus baptized ought not to be received into any Baptist church of regular standing, but upon strict examination as to experience, moral standing, and the motives which induced them to such a step. Conscious, however, that many pious and well meaning persons may be misled by these preachers, we would advise that every degree of gentleness and affection he exercised towards them. Finally, brethren, we are well aware, that in all such cases there will arise many difficulties. We would, therefore, recommend the exercise of much prudence and all reasonable forbearance, in any step that may be taken; and especially that you keep a steady eye on the Great Head of the Church, who has promised his effectual aid in every season of need. And with this view,

      Resolved, That this Conference recommend to the churches the observance of a day of solemn humiliation, with fasting and prayer, with reference to the state of religion and the distress which has given rise to this meeting. Accordingly, Tuesday, the 8th day of March was appointed for that purpose.

      Ordered, That a copy of these proceedings be sent to the "Religious Herald" for publication:

      And then, after an affectionate and impressive exhortation from Elder Semple, the Conference was closed with prayer.
  Signed in behalf of the Conference,
P. MONTAGUE, Moderator.      
      W. M. TODD, Clerk. [79]


      This council of nine sat at night. How remarkable it is that these councils love darkness rather than the light. It appears that the first council against the author of our religion sat all night; and this last council of which we have heard, sat, if not all night, at night: and had their Report in readiness the next morning.

      This council have reported that the Baptist sect "IS THE TRUE SCRIPTURAL CHURCH OF CHRIST." When did the true scriptural church of Christ meet in a council at night to proscribe those from the church of Christ who take the whole New Testament for the only guide and arbiter of their faith and manners? When did the true scriptural church of Christ meet by proxy, two delegates for each church, to decide upon what course the whole church ought to pursue? The whole church, in New Testament times, were wont to assemble on all important occasions. Councils of nine, or of seventy-nine, can be traced to "the Man of Sin;" but we defy christendom to show that ever the true scriptural church of Christ once met in a council by day or by night by proxies, delegates, or representatives! "The Catholic Apostolic Church," as she has resolved to call herself, often meets, and has often met in this style, both by day and night; but the Saviour's church never once!

      Four of the Resolutions touch the principles, as they call them; and what are the four principles? "The denial of the influence of the Holy Spirit in the salvation of man;" "the substitution of reformation for repentance;" "the substitution of baptism for conversion, regeneration, or the new birth;" "and the Pelagian doctrine of the sufficiency of man's natural powers to effect his own salvation" This is the bill of indictment. To every item of which we plead not guilty. How comes it to pass that councils must, by some fatal necessity, always act perversely? No matter how good the men, when they form such a confederacy, such an unrighteous coalition, it seems they most go wrong. There appears to he infected places in morals, as well as in physics. There is unholy, as well as holy ground. And if men ought to stand barefoot on holy ground, they ought to wear double sandals when they put themselves on Satan's premises. Methinks I would feel such a horror upon me if I assumed to act by proxy for "the true scriptural church of Christ," in any council, that my reason would forsake me. I would hear nothing else but Annas, and Caiaphas, and John, and the high priest's kindred echoing is every corner of the room. May the good Lord, who cast an eye of pity upon Peter, look these mistaken men into tears of contrition! I wish them that evangelical repentance which needs never to be regretted. I hope they may feel that repentance unto reformation which they affect to think that we renounce.

      Sorry I am that they have forbid me to call them brethren; else I would have besought them, if there be any bowels of mercies in their system, to repent of this their unrighteous course, and to bring forth fruits worthy of reformation. [80]

      But they have passed the Rubicon, and have declared war against reformation. And in doing this, they have, to justify themselves, given a false representation of the views which we have laid before the public. They have manufactured for us certain principles which they know are obnoxious, and from this time forth we are to be nicknamed Pelagians.

      If I did not know that the influence of these men had been for some years on the wane, I should have had more reason to lament for the times--to take up my parable, and to say with Jeremiah, "O, daughter of Jerusalem, what shall I equal to thee, that I may comfort thee! O, virgin daughter of Zion! for thy breaches are great like the sea; who can heal thee! Thy Prophets have seen vain and foolish things for thee, and they have not discovered their iniquity to turn away thy captivity; but have seen for thee false burdens and causes of banishment!"

      But there is a redeeming spirit in the people; and great names and venerable traditions cannot long fetter their reason nor embargo their thoughts. But our persecutors are conscientious men. Grant it; therefore I hope they may obtain pardon. Paul said, "I obtained mercy because I did it ignorantly in unbelief." He lived in all good conscience until the day he obtained mercy.

      How uncharitable the spirit of Calvinism! Although these men have spoken and written in commendation of our defences of the Christian religion, of the distinguishing institutions of that religion, of many of our essays upon the capital items of the Christian Scriptures; yet, because they took it into their heads that we were willing to cast overboard the philosophy of Andrew Fuller, and to give to immersion a place next to faith in the Christian economy, they have decreed to deal to us the portion of infidels and the profane.

      The "principles," as they call them, which they misrepresent, are these:--We have opposed the whole mystic system of interpreting the book, and the idea that God has given us an unintelligible and incredible testimony. We have taught that our power to believe is not in ourselves, but in the testimony, or in him who gives testimony. That God has rendered the testimony credible, or has made us able to believe it, because confirmed by signs, by miracles, by all the gifts of the Holy Spirit. We contend that as the testimony is confirmed, there is no promise in the book, as there is no need of, supernatural and physical aid to help men to believe. That so soon as men believe sincerely, or in the heart, that Jesus is the Son of God, and the only way and name given to men by which they can he saved, and are immersed into the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, they are pardoned, regenerated, saved, adopted, reconciled to God, and receive the Holy Spirit. This is the head and front of our offending. We neither make faith by itself, nor water by itself, nor the name of the Lord by itself, nor the blood of Christ by itself, nor grace by itself, regeneration, conversion, or salvation. We never separate repentance and reformation. We cannot conceive of a reformation unto life without a change of mind and sorrow for the past. But we [81] choose to use Bible terms in preference to the scholastic. Without a pure heart and a holy life, we teach that no man can enter into the everlasting kingdom.

      Baptism, without faith in the blood of Jesus, we contend avails nothing. But that to him that believes and is immersed, we assert that Jesus promised salvation. That immersion to a believer is the sign and medium of remission of sins, we must teach; or, in the words of the book, we must proclaim immersion for the remission of sins to everyone that believes God's testimony. But, candid reader, compare this with the caricature given by the Council of Nine, and confirmed by the conference of six more proxies.

      But I ought to thank this Council for their moderation, and Mr. Keeling of Richmond, who has yoked his fortunes to the car of this good Council, for his comment on their proceedings; for, indeed, the text needed both his comment and his apology: I say, I must thank them for reducing my capital errors to four principles, and yet these four are reducible to two. The whole matter, in brief, is the denial of their mystic influences of the Holy Spirit, and immersion for the remission of sins.

      Now I ask my friends, Semple and Broaddus, touching this their divine operation, what avails their opinion about it; for, themselves being judges, the holding such an opinion does not secure to any human being this their divine operation? A preacher's believing it, will not secure it to his flock; else Mr. Semple's congregation would long since have felt it: nor does the concurrence of any congregation with him in this opinion, secure it to them. It is just like an opinion about the inhabitants of the Moon: it neither adds one to the number nor subtracts one from it: it alters not the color of the hair or eyes of one of them. It is an opinion which may do harm, but can do no good. It may do much harm by causing many to neglect the testimony of God, and to put off obedience till, what they choose to call, "God's own time."

      That God has "his own time" for converting every person, is a favorite point with many. 'This "his own time" has caused many to neglect the "now" and the "to-day" arguments of the Holy Spirit; for if I must wait God's time, it is my duty not to obey till God's time. I argue not this question in this place. I only hint that the opinion can do no good, and may do much harm. And, because we differ from them in this one opinion, they have, if we do not repent of it, assigned us our portion with infidels and hypocrites: I say, "one opinion" for none of the other charges will at all, in any conceivable latitude of interpretation, apply to us. We do not substitute reformation for repentance, except they mean the term, and not the thing. But we prefer the term "reformation" to their distinction "between legal and evangelical repentance." Neither do we substitute baptism for conversion. And as for the Pelagian notion of "man's natural powers to effect his own salvation," it is a chimera of their own heads. We never said nor thought such a thing! But they have passed a string of resolutions longer that "the [82] Apostle's Creed" and the "Ten Commandments;" and one of them has the iron bedstead fixed at bare five feet. A spiritual court for examining experiences is also established: so that if a person should confess the Lord Jesus and be immersed for the remission of his sins, before he can be permitted to sit down at the same religious table with my good friends Robert B. Semple and Andrew Broaddus, he must appear before said court having spiritual jurisdiction over motives and cases of conscience; and he must then, and there, relate his unbelieving experience, or his unchristian experience: for no man can begin to have Christian experience until he feels himself under the government of Jesus Christ.

      The following resolution is exactly in accordance with No. 7:--

      'Whereas many persons in this county of King and Queen, have recently entered into the holy bands of matrimony; and whereas many females, without consulting us, the heads of families, of much experience in this said county, have been married upon the mere profession of confidence and affection, and a vow of fidelity to their respective bridegrooms--Resolved, That before any such brides shall be received into the company and fellowship of married ladies, they shall have to give an account of their experience of the married state previous to their making the marriage vow; and for this purpose a quorum of all the married ladies in the county shall meet annually in said county for hearing conjugal experiences.'

      These well-meaning and benevolent old disciples cannot now learn that christian experience must always begin after, and not before, a person's putting on Christ. If I were to attempt to convince them that a person must first be in any state before he can experience that state, I should again, perhaps, be published to the Old Virginians, as denying Christian experience. I shall therefore desist, believing it to be not in my power to persuade Messrs. Semple and Broaddus, that, before a man can have the experience of a father, a master, a husband, or brother, he must stand in these relations--and, consequently, before a man can have Christian experience, he must be a christian.

      We have no "Star Chamber Court" in Virginia; but this new court now instituted by Messrs. Semple and Broaddus approaches it as nearly as the climate of Virginia and the year 1831 will permit. I cannot but say that this caucus and these resolutions transcend any thing I expected from that quarter: and hence I venture to predict that the reformation in Virginia is now about to march with greater velocity.

      No two men have done more to accelerate its progress than my good friends Messrs. Semple and Broaddus; first, by commending it; in the second place, by writing against it; and when argument failed, in the last place, by taking hold of the strong arm with which all the antichristian sects have opposed reformation. I need not say that I mean councils, resolutions, and excommunications.

      Before concluding this already protracted article, I hope I may be permitted to say a word to my friends Semple and Broaddus:--You, kind sirs, have had an immense influence once, and still have much [83] influence over the minds of the Baptists in your section of Virginia, This gives to your decrees a power which no logic, demonstration, nor argument of mine could command. You are conscious of this I doubt not; else you would not have substituted decrees for arguments. But why is it that in your own churches and in your own neighborhoods, where your talents and virtues are best known and much appreciated, you were obliged to make a shield of your popularity and of the prejudices of the people to protect you against the progress of light and the spirit of inquiry. To the thinking part of this community your last act has given a more convincing testimony of the irresistible progress and power of the ancient gospel than any act of your lives. Your having written a volume in favor of it, would not have spoken so much in its praise. Those who know your age in the ministry, your long labors, your great talents, and many virtues, will now he apt to wonder and say, 'Is it possible that brethren Semple and Broaddus had to sustain themselves and their cause among their own converts by decrees and anathemas so stern and decisive? Is it possible that a day of humiliation and prayer had to be appointed to deprecate the distress coming upon these good brethren, because their own congregations have presumed not to call them Father and Master?'

      If, however, in an evil hour the enemy has obtained an advantage over you, and you are still disposed to reason, rather than decree--to discuss, rather than to anathematise--I will once more invite you to these pages. I will, with all pleasure, give you page for page with me. And if you will agree, either of you, or both, to discuss these articles of difference, one by one, inform me of it, and you will have every facility which I possess to give publicity to your views.

      I sympathize with you, believing you to be the most honorable of my opponents and to be conscientious as far as any men can be, who appeal to proscriptive decrees. I know you appear to fear that vital religion is endangered by our representations of the ancient gospel. We know that the reverse is the fact. Our greatest objection to your philosophy is, that it substitutes an imaginary work of grace upon the heart, for that love, and peace, and joy, and purity which a clear perception of, and an unfeigned submission to, the ancient gospel, can alone produce and maintain.

      We plead for faith, repentance, reformation, a new heart, and universal obedience--and ascribe to grace, and the blood of Jesus, to the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, every thing which the Scriptures teach, in their own words and sentences, to the fullest import and meaning of them; but each in its proper place.

      Please accept my thanks that you did not adopt Dr. Noel's Thirty-Nine Articles; that you did not accuse us of Arianism, Sabellianism, Universalism, or Deism; and that you did not forbid the reading of our writings in private families. For these favors you are entitled to our thanks; and I can sincerely pray that you may repent and preach the old faith which you are now laboring, in part, to destroy.

EDITOR. [84]      


      EVERY age of the world has produced imposters and delusions. Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, and were followed by Pharaoh, his court, and clergy. They for some time supported their pretensions, much to the annoyance of the cause of the Israelites and their leader Moses.

      To say nothing of the false prophets of the Jewish age, the diviners, soothsayers, magicians, and all the ministry of idols among the Gentiles, by which the nations were so often deceived, the impostors which have appeared since the Christian era would fill volumes of the most lamentable details ever read. The false Messiahs which have afflicted the Jews since the rejection of Jesus of Nazareth, have more than verified all the predictions of the Faithful and True Witness. No less than twenty-four distinguished false Messiahs have disturbed the Jews. Many were deceived, and myriads lost their lives through their impostures. Some peculiar epochs were distinguished for the number and impudence of these impostors. If the people had fixed upon any year as likely to terminate their dispersions, and as the period of their return, that year rarely failed to produce a Messiah. Hence in the twelfth century no less than ten false Messiahs appeared.

      The year 1666 was a year of great expectation, and gave birth to the appearance of one of the most remarkable of the false Christs. "Great multitudes marched from unknown parts to the remote deserts of Arabia, and they were supposed to be the ten tribes of Israel, who had been dispersed for many ages. It was said that a ship was arrived in the north part of Scotland with sails and cordage of silk, that the mariners spoke nothing but Hebrew, and on the sails was this motto: 'The Twelve Tribes of Israel.' Then it was said that Sabati Levi appeared at Smyrna and professed to be the Messiah." The Jews gave up their business and attended to him. He obtained one Nathan in Jerusalem to pass for his Elias or forerunner. Nathan prophesied for him, and the Jews became very penitent, and reformed under the expectation that the Messiah would appear in two years. "Some fasted so long that they died--some endured melting wax to be dropped on their flesh--some rolled in snow--many whipped themselves. Superfluities in dress and household were dispensed with; property was sold to large amounts, and immense contributions were made to the poor. Though he met with much opposition, his followers increased, and began in large numbers to prophesy and fall into ecstacies. Four hundred men and women prophesied of his growing kingdom, and young infants who could hardly speak would plainly pronounce, 'Sabati, Messiah and Son of God.' The people were for a time possessed, and voices were heard from their bowels. Some fell into trances, foamed at the mouth, recounted their future prosperity, their visions of the Lion of Judah, the triumphs of Sabati."

      "When he was brought before the magistrates, some affirmed they saw a pillar of fire between him and the Cadi or Magistrates, and others actually swore that they saw it. This the credulous Jews believed.--Those who would not believe in him were shunned as excommunicated persons, and all intercourse with them was prohibited.

      "The Grand Seignor, determined to try his faith by stripping him naked and setting him a mark for his archers; but rather than subject himself to this test, he turned Mahomedan, to the great confusion of the Jews."

      We have been thus particular in giving a few of the incidents of the life of this impostor, as a specimen of the others; and because of some remarkable analogies between him and the present New York impostor.

      Numerous have been the imposters among christians since the great apostacy began; especially since, and at the time of the Reformation. Munzer, Stubner, and Stork, were conspicuous in the beginning of the 16th century. "These men taught that among christians, who had the precepts of the Gospel to guide them, and the spirit of God to direct them, the office of magistracy was not only unnecessary, but an unlawful encroachment on their spiritual liberty; that [85] the distinctions occasioned by birth, rank, or wealth, should be abolished; that all christians should put their possessions into one common stock, and live together in that state of equality which becomes members of the same family; and that polygamy was not incompatible with either the Old or New Testament. They related many visions and revelations which they had from above; but failing to propagate their views by these means, they attempted to propagate them by arms. Many Catholics joined them, and in the various insurrections which they effected, 100,000 souls are said to have been sacrificed."

      Since the Millennium and the evils of sectarianism have been the subjects of much speaking and writing, impostures have been numerous. In the memory of the present generation, many delusions have been propagated and received. The Shakers, a sect instituted by Anna Lesse, in 1774, have not yet quite dwindled away. This Elect Lady, as they style her, was the head of this party, and gave them a new bible. "They assert that she spoke seventy-two languages, and conversed with the dead. Through her all blessings flow to her followers--She appointed the sacred dance and the fantastic song, and consecrated shivering, swooning and falling down, acts of acceptable devotion. They are for a common stock, and rank marriage among the works of the flesh--They are plain in their apparel, and assume the aspect of the friars and nuns of Catholic superstition."

      The Barkers, Jumpers, and Mutterers of the present age, need not be mentioned here. Nor need we detail the history of Miss Campbell, who in good Old Scotland a year or two since, came back from the dead and had the gift of tongues, who was believed in by several ministers of the Church of Scotland, and some distinguished members of the Scotch Bar. But we shall proceed to notice the most recent and the most impudent delusion which has appeared in our time. The people that have received this imposture are called


      I have just examined their Bible, and will first notice its contents. It is called "The Book of Mormon, an account written by the hand of Mormon, upon plates taken from the plains of Nephi; wherefore it is an abridgement of the Record of the people of Nephi, and also of the Lamanites, written to the Lamanites, which are a remnant of the House of Israel, and also to Jew and Gentile: written by way of Commandment, and also by the Spirit of Prophecy and of Revelation."--"By Joseph Smith, Junior, Author and Proprieter."--From plates dug out of the earth, in the township of Manchester, Ontario county, New York--Palmyra, printed by E. B. Grandin, for the Author, 1830. It is a collection of Books said to have been written by different persons during the interval of 1020 years.--The 1st and second books of Nephi occupy 122 pages; the Book of Jacob the brother of Nephi occupies 21; that of Enos 3; that of Jarom 2; that of Omni 4; the Words of Mormon 3; the Book of Mosiah 68; that of Alma 186; that of Helaman 44; that of Nephi the son of Helaman 66; that of Mormon 20; that of Ether 35; and that of Morom 14 pages; making in all 588 octavo pages.

      This romance--but this is for it a name too innocent--begins with the religious adventures of one Lehi, whose wife was Sariah, and their four sons, Laman, Lemuel, Sam, and Nephi. Lehi lived in Jerusalem all his life, up to the 1st year of Zedekiah, King of Judah; and when the prophets appeared foretelling the utter destruction of Jerusalem, Lehi humbled himself, and after various visions and revelations, started with his sons into the wilderness. Lehi, before his departure, forgot to bring with him the records of his family, and that of the Jews; but Nephi, his younger son, with much pious courage, returned, and succeeded in getting upon plates of brass the Records of the Jews from the Creation down to the 1st year of Zedekiah, King of Judah--and also the prophets including many prophecies delivered by Jeremiah.

      From the records it appeared that this Lehi was a son of Joseph. He prevailed on one Ishmael and his family to accompany him into the wilderness, whose daughters the sons of Lehi took for wives. [86]

      Lehi was a greater prophet than any of the Jewish prophets, and uttered all the events of the christian era, and developed the records of Matthew, Luke, and John, 600 years before John the Baptist was born.--These pilgrims travelled several days journey in some wilderness, "a South, South-east direction, along the borders of the Red Sea." A ball with pointers on it, inscribed with various intelligence, legible at proper times, was the pillar and index in passing through the wilderness for many, very many days. By their bow and arrow they lived for eight years, travelling an easterly course from Jerusalem, until they came to a great sea. By divine revelation Nephi constructed a ship, and although opposed by his unbelieving brethren, being greatly assisted by the Holy Spirit, he succeeded in launching her safely, and got all his tribe, with all their stock of seeds, animals, and provisions, safely aboard. They had "a compass," which none but Nephi knew how to manage; but the Lord had promised them a fine land, and after many perils and trials, and a long passage, they safely arrived in the land of promise. Nephi made brazen plates soon after his arrival in America, for that was the land of promise to them, and on these plates he marked their peregrinations and adventures, and all the prophecies which God gave to him concerning the future destinies of his people, and the human race.

      After his father's death, his brethren rebelled against him. They finally separated in the wilderness, and became the heads of different tribes, often in the lapse of generations making incursions upon each other. The Nephites, like their father, for many generations were good christians, believers in the doctrines of the Calvinists and Methodists, and preaching baptism and other christian usages hundreds of years before Jesus Christ was born!

      Before Nephi died, which was about 55 years from the flight of Lehi from Jerusalem, he had preached to his people every thing which is now preached in the state of New York, and anointed or ordained his brother Jacob priest over his people, called the Nephites. Jacob brought up his son Enos "in the nurture and admonition of the Lord," gave him the plates, and left him successor in office over the people of Nephi. Enos says "there came a voice to me, saying, Enos thy sins are forgiven thee, and thou shalt be blessed. And, I sayeth, Lord how is it done. And he sayeth unto me, Because of thy faith in Christ, whom thou hast not heard nor seen." p. 143. Enos died 179 years from the hegira of Lehi; consequently, this happened 431 years before Jesus Christ was born. He was a contemporary with Nehemiah, and may we not say how much wiser and more enlightened were the Nephites in America than the Jews at their return to Jerusalem!!

      Enos gave the plates to Jarom, his son. In his time "they kept the law of Moses and the Sabbath day holy to the Lord." During the priesthood and reign of Enos, there were many commotions and wars between his people and the Lamanites. Then the sharp pointed arrow, the quiver, and the dart, were invented. Jarom delivered his plates to his son Omni, and gave up the ghost 238 years from the flight of Lehi. Omni died 276 from the hegira, and gave the plates to his son Ammaron, who, in the year 320, gave them to his brother Chemish; he, to his son Abinadom; he, to his son Amaleki; and he, having no son, gave them to the just and pious King Benjamin.

      King Benjamin had three sons, Mosiah, Helorum, and Helaman, whom he educated in all the learning of his fathers. To Mosiah he delivered up the plates of Nephi, the ball which guided them through the wilderness, and the sword of one Laban, of mighty renown. King Benjamin addressed his people from the new temple which they had erected, for they had, even then, built a temple, synagogues, and a tower, in the New World.

      King Benjamin assembled the people to sacrifice according to the law around the new temple; and he enjoined upon them, at the same time, the christian institutions, and gave them a patriarchal valedictory. After they had heard him speak, and had offered up their sacrifices, they fell down and prayed in the following words: "O have mercy, and apply the atoning blood [87] of Christ, that we may receive forgiveness of our sins, and our hearts may be purified; for we believe in Jesus Christ the son of God, who created Heaven and Earth and all things, who shall come down upon the children of men." Then the spirit of the Lord fell upon them and they were filled with joy, having received a remission of their sins." p. 162.

      King Benjamin ordered his people to take upon them the name of Christ, and in these remarkable words--"There is no other name given whereby salvation cometh; therefore I would that you should take upon you the name of Christ, all you that have entered into the covenant with God that ye should be obedient unto the end of your lives." p. 166. They all took upon them the name of Christ; and he, having ordained them priests and teachers, and appointed his son Mosiah to reign in his stead, gave up the ghost, 476 years after Lehi's escape from Jerusalem, and 124 before Christ was born. Mosiah gave up the plates of brass and all "the things which we had kept" to Alma, the son of Alma, who was appointed "chief judge and high priest," the people willing to have no King, and Mosiah died 569 years from the time Lehi left Jerusalem.

      In the 14th year of the judges, and 69 years before the birth of Jesus, they sent out missionary priests, who preached through all the tribes of the country against all vices; "holding forth the coming of the Son of God, his sufferings, death and resurrection--and that he should appear unto them after his resurrection: and this the people did hear with great joy and gladness." p. 268.

      Alma's Book reaches down to the end of the 39th year of the judges. These were wonderful years--many cities were founded, many battles were fought, fortifications reared, letters written, and even in one year a certain Hagoth built an exceeding large ship, and launched it forth into the West Sea. In this embarked many of the Nephites. This same ship builder the next year built other ships--one was lost with all its passengers and crew.--p. 406.

      Many prophecies were pronounced; one that in 400 years after the coming of Christ, the Nephites would lose their religion. During the time of the judges, many were called christians by name, and "baptism unto repentance" was a common thing. "And it came to pass that they did appoint priests and teachers through all the land, and over all the churches." p. 349. "And those who did belong to the church were faithful; yea, all those who were true believers in Christ took upon them gladly the name of Christ, or christians, as they were called, because of their belief in Christ." p. 301. "And it came to pass that there were many who died, firmly believing that their souls were redeemed by the Lord Jesus Christ: thus they went out of the world rejoicing." p. 353. "The word was preached by Helaman, Shiblon, Corianton, Amnon, and his brethren, &c. yea, and all those who had been ordained by the holy order of God, being baptized unto repentance, and sent forth to preach unto the people." p. 362. This happened in the 19th year of the judges, 72 years before the birth of Jesus. Before this time synagogues with pulpits were built, "for the Zoramites," a sort of Episcopalians, "gathered themselves together on one day of the week, which day they called the day of the Lord"--"and they had a place which was high and lifted up, which held but one man, who read prayers, the same prayers every week; and this high place was called Rameumptom, which being interpreted is the Holy Stand." p. 311.

      The Book of Helaman reacheth down to the 90th year of the judges, and to the year preceding that in which the Messiah was born. During the period embraced in Helaman's narrative, many ten thousands were baptized. "And behold the Holy Spirit of God did come down from heaven, and did enter into their hearts, and they were filled as with fire, and they could speak forth marvellous words." p. 421. Masonry was invented about this time; for men began to bind themselves in secret oaths to aid one another in all things, [88] good or evil. p. 424. Powers of loosing and binding in heaven were conferred upon Nephi, the son of Helaman, and all miraculous powers, such as the Apostles possessed. One Samuel, also foretold that the Christ would be born in five years, and that the night before should be as light as day; and that the day of his death should be a day of darkness like the night." p. 445.

      The book of this Nephi commences with the birth of the Messiah, 600 years from the departure of Lehi from Jerusalem. In the midst of the threats of the infidels to slaughter the faithful, the sun set; but lo! the night was as clear as mid day, and from that period they changed their era, and counted time as we do. A star also appeared, but it is not stated how it could be seen in a night as bright as day--but it was universally seen throughout all the land, to the salvation of the pious from the threats of their enemies.

      The terrors of the day of his death are also stated, and in the 34th year from his nativity, after his resurrection, he descended from heaven and visited the people of Nephi. Jesus called upon them to examine his hands and his sides, as he did Thomas, though none of them had expressed a doubt. Two thousand five hundred men, women and children, one by one, examined him, and then worshipped him. He commanded Nephi to baptize, and gave him the words which he was to use, viz: "Having authority given me of Jesus Christ, I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen." He commissioned eleven others, who with Nephi, were his twelve American Apostles, and promised himself to baptize their converts "with fire and with the Holy Spirit."

      He delivers them the Sermon upon the Mount, and some other sayings recorded in Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. He healed all their diseases, and prayed for their children; but the things spoken were so great and marvellous that they could not be spoken nor written.

      He ordained one to administer the supper, who alone had authority to dispense it to the disciples baptized in his name. The only new commandments which were given to the American christians on his occasional visits which were repeated, were--"Pray in your families unto the Father, always in my name, that your wives and your children may be blessed." "Meet often, and forbid no man from coming unto you when you shall meet together." p. 492.

      Nephi was chief among the 12 Apostles: he baptized himself, and then baptized the eleven, whose names were Timothy, Jonas, Mathoni and Mathoninah, Kumen, Kumenonhi, Jeremiah, Shimnon, Jonas, Zedekiah, and Isaiah. "They were baptized in fire and the Holy Ghost." Not a new word, however, should be written in addition to those found in the New Testament; for although he spake for several days to these American disciples, none of the new and marvellous sayings could be uttered or written!! He inspected the plates of Nephi, and only found one omission, which was, that he failed to mention the resurrection of many saints in America at the time of the tempest and earthquake. He commanded these Nephites to be called christians.

      The Book of Nephi the son of Nephi, gives, in 4 pages, the history of 320 years after Christ. In the 36th year, all the inhabitants of the land were converted; there was a perfect community, and no disputations in the land for 170 years. Three of the American Apostles were never to die, and were seen 400 years after Christ; but what has become of them no one can tell, except Cowdery, Whitmer and Harris, the three witnesses of the truth of the plates of Nephi, be these three immortal men. Towards the close of the history of Nephi or the record Ammaron, sects and divisions and battles became frequent, and all goodness had almost left the continent in the year 320.

      Mormon appears next in the drama, the recording angel of the whole matter, who, by the way, was a mighty general and great christian; he commanded in one engagement 42,000 men against the Lamanites!!! He was no Quaker! This dreadful battle was fought A. D. 330. The Lamanites took [89] South America for themselves, and gave North America to the Nephites. Mormon was very orthodox, for he preached in these words, A. D. 362:--"That Jesus was the very Christ, and the very God." He must have heard of the Arian controversy by some angel!!

      Moroni finishes what Mormon, his father, left undone, and continues the history till A. D. 400. He pleads that no one shall disbelieve his record because of its imperfections!! and declares that none who receive it will condemn it on account of its imperfections, and for not doing so, the same shall know greater things. p. 532. "He that condemneth it shall be in danger of hell fire." He laments the prevalency of free masonry in the times when his Book should be dug up out of the earth, and proves that miracles will never cease; because God is the same yesterday, to-day, and forever--consequently, must always create suns, moons, and stars, every day!! He exhorted to take heed that none be baptized without telling their experience, nor partake of the Sacrament of Christ unworthily"!! p. 537.

      Moroni, in the conclusion of his book of Mormon, says, if his plates had been larger he would have written in Hebrew; but because of this difficulty, he wrote in the "Reformed Egyptian, being handed down and altered unto us according to our manner of speech." p. 538. "Condemn me not," says he, "because of mine imperfections; neither my father, because of his imperfections, neither them which have written before him; but rather give thanks unto God that he hath made manifest unto you our imperfections, that you may learn to be more wise than we have been." p. 538. A very necessary advice, indeed!!

      Moroni writes the Book of Ether, containing an account of the people of Jared, who escaped from the building of the tower of Babel unconfounded in his language. These people of Jared God marched before in a cloud, and directed them through the wilderness, and instructed them to build barges to cross seas; and finally they built eight barges, air-tight, and were commanded to make a hole in the top to admit air, and one in the bottom to admit water; and in them were put 16 windows of molten stone, which, when touched by the finger of Jesus, became as transparent as glass, and gave them light under "the mountain waves," and when above the water. He that touched these stones appeared unto the brother of Jared, and said: "Behold I am Jesus Christ. I am the Father and the Son." Two of these stones were sealed up with the plates, and became the spectacles of Joseph Smith, according to a prediction uttered before Abraham was born. It was also foretold in the Book of Ether, written by Moroni, that he that should find the plates should have the privilege of shewing "the plates unto those who shall assist to bring forth this work; and unto three shall they be shewn by the power of God: wherefore they shall of a surety known that these things are true." p. 548.

      And the eight barges, air-tight, made like ducks, after swimming and diving 334 days, arrived on the coasts of the land of promise. The Book of Ether relates the wars and carnage amongst these people. In the lapse of generations they counted two millions of mighty men, besides women and children, slain; and finally, they were all killed but one, and he fell to the earth as if he had no life. So ends the Book of Ether, p. .573.

      The book of Moroni details the manner of ordaining priests and teachers, the manner of administering ordinances, and the epistles of Mormon to his son Moroni. Moroni seals up the record A. D. 420, and assures the world that spiritual gifts shall never cease, only through unbelief. And when the plates of Nephi should be dug out of the earth, he declares that "men should ask God the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, If these things were not true." "If with a sincere heart and real intent, having faith in Christ, such prayers are made, ye shall know the truth of all things." p. 586.

      The testimony of Oliver Cowdery, David Whitmer, and Martin Harris, asserting that they saw the plates, is appended. They also testify that they know [90] that they have been translated by the gift and power of God, for his voice had declared it unto them.

      Another testimony is appended, signed by four Whitmers, one Hiram Page, and three Smiths, affirming that they saw the plates, handled them, and that Smith has got the plates in his possession.

      Such is an analysis of the book of Mormon, the bible of the Mormonites. For noticing of which I would have asked forgiveness from all my readers, had not several hundred persons of different denominations believed in it. On this account alone has it become necessary to notice it, and for the same reason we must examine its pretensions to divine authority; for it purports to be a revelation from God. And in the first place, we shall examine its internal evidences.


      It admits the Old and New Testaments to contain the revelations, institutions, and commandments of God to Patriarchs, Jews, and Gentiles, down to the year 1830--and always, as such, speaks of them and quotes them. This admission at once blasts its pretensions to credibility. For no man with his eyes open can admit both books to have come from God. Admitting the Bible now received to have come from God, it is impossible that the book of Mormon came from the same Author. For the following reasons:--

      I. Smith, its real author, as ignorant and as impudent a knave as ever wrote a book, betrays the cloven foot in basing his whole book upon a false fact, or a pretended fact, which makes God a liar. It is this:--With the Jews, God made a covenant at Mount Sinai, and instituted a priesthood, and a high priesthood. The priesthood he gave to the tribe of Levi, and the high priesthood to Aaron and his sons for an everlasting priesthood. He separated Levi, and covenanted to give him this office irrevocably while ever the temple stood, or till the Messiah came. "Then, says God Moses shall appoint Aaron and his sons, and they shall wait on their priest's office, and the stranger, (the person of another family,) who cometh nigh, shall be put to death." Numbers iii. 10. "And the priests, the sons of Levi, shall come near; for them the Lord thy God hath chosen to minister unto him, and to bless in the name of the Lord, and by their word shall every controversy and every stroke be tried." Deut. xxi. 5. Korah, Dathan, and Abiram, with 250 men of renown, rebelled against a part of the institution of the priesthood, and the Lord destroyed them in the presence of the whole congregation. This was to be a memorial that no stranger invade any part of the office of the priesthood. Num. xvi. 49. "Fourteen thousand and seven hundred" of the people were destroyed by a plague for murmuring against this memorial.

      In the 18th chapter of Numbers the Levites are again given to Aaron and his sons, and the priesthood confirmed to them with this threat--"The stranger that cometh nigh shall be put to death." "Even Jesus, says Paul, were he on earth, could not be a priest, for he was of a tribe concerning which Moses spake nothing of priesthood." Heb. vii. 13, 14. So irrevocable was the grant of the priesthood to Levi, and of the high priesthood to Aaron, that no stranger dare approach the altar of God which Moses established. Hence, Jesus himself was excluded from officiating as priest on earth according to the law.

      This Joseph Smith overlooked in his impious fraud, and makes his hero Lehi spring from Joseph. And just as soon as his sons return with the roll of his lineage, ascertaining that he was of the tribe of Joseph, he and his sons acceptably "offer sacrifices and burnt offerings to the Lord," p. 15. Also it is repeated, p. 18--Nephi became chief artificer, ship-builder and mariner; was scribe, prophet, priest, and king unto his own people, and "consecrated Jacob and Joseph the sons of his father priests to God and teachers--almost 600 years before the fulness of the times of the Jewish economy was completed, p. 72. Nephi represents himself withal as "under the law of Moses," p. 105. They build a temple in the new world, and in 55 years after they leave Jerusalem, make a new priesthood which God approbates. A high [91] priest is also consecrated and yet they are all the while "teaching the law of Moses, and exhorting the people to keep it!!! p. 146, 209. Thus God is represented as instituting, approbating, and blessing a new priesthood from the tribe of Joseph, concerning which Moses gave no commandment concerning priesthood. Although God had promised in the law of Moses that if any man, not of the tribe and family of Levi and Aaron, should approach the office of priest, he would surely die; he is represented by Smith as blessing, approbating, and sustaining another family in this appropriated office. The God of Abraham or Joseph Smith must then be a liar!! And who will hesitate to pronounce him an impostor? This lie runs through his records for the first 600 years of his story.

      II. This ignorant and impudent liar, in the next place, makes the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, violate his covenants with Israel and Judah concerning the land of Canaan, by promising a new land to the pious Jew. If a company of reprobate Jews had departed from Jerusalem and the temple in the days of Zedekiah, and founded a new colony, it would not have been so incongruous. But to represent God as inspiring a devout Jew and a prophet, such as Levi and Nephi are represented by Smith, with a resolution to forsake Jerusalem and God's own house, and to depart from the land which God swore to their fathers so long as they were obedient; and to guide by a miracle and to bless by prodigies a good man in forsaking God's covenant and worship--is so monstrous an error that language fails to afford a name for it. It is to make God violate his own covenants, and set at nought his own promises, and to convert his own curses into blessings. Excision from the commonwealth of Israel, and banishment from Jerusalem and the temple, were the greatest curses the law of Moses knew. But Smith makes a good and pious Jew the subject of this curse, and sends him off into the inhospitable wilderness, disinherits him in Canaan, and makes him more happy in forsaking the institutions of Moses, more intelligent in the wilderness, and more prosperous in adversity, than even the Jews in their best days, in the best of lands, and under the best of all governments!!! The impostor was too ignorant of the history of the Jews and the nature of the covenants of promise to have even alluded to them in his book if he had not supposed that he had the plates of Moses in his own keeping as he had his "molten plates" of Nephi. To separate a family from the nation of Israel, was to accumulate all the curses of the law upon that family, Deut. xxix. 21.

      III. He has more of the Jews living in the new world than could have been numbered any where else, even in the days of John the Baptist; and has placed them under a new dynasty. The sceptre, with him, has departed from Judah, and a law-giver from among his descendants, hundreds of years before Shiloh came; and King Benjamin is a wiser and more renowned King than King Solomon. He seems to have gone upon an adage which saith;--"the more marvellous the more credible the tale," and the less of fact, and the more of fiction the more intelligible and reasonable the narrative.

      IV. He represents the temple worship as continued in his new land of promise contrary to every precept of the Law, and so happy are the people of Nephi as never to shed a tear on account of excision, nor turn an eye towards Jerusalem or God's temple. The pious Jews in their captivity turned their faces to Jerusalem and the holy place, and remembered God's promises concerning the place where he recorded his name. They hung their harps upon the willow trees, and could not sing the songs of Zion in a foreign land; but the Nephites have not a single wish for Jerusalem, for they can, in their wigwam temple, in the wilderness of America, enjoy more of God's presence than the most righteous Jew could enjoy in that house of which David had rather be a door-keeper, than to dwell in the tabernacles of men. And all this too, when God's only house of prayer, according to his covenant with Israel, stood in Jerusalem.

      V. Malachi, the last of the Jewish prophets, commanded Israel to regard [92] the law of Moses till the Messiah came. And Moses commanded them to regard him till the Great Prophet came. But Nephi and Smith's prophets institute ordinances and observances for the Jews subversive of Moses 500 years before the Great Prophet came.

      VI. Passing over a hundred similar errors, we shall next notice his ignorance of the New Testament matters and things. The twelve Apostles of the Lamb are said by Paul to have developed certain secrets which were hid from ages and generations, which Paul says were ordained before the world to their glory--that they should have the honor of announcing them. But Smith makes his pious hero Nephi 600 years before the Messiah began to preach, disclose these secrets concerning the calling of the Gentiles, and the blessings flowing through the Messiah to Jews and Gentiles, which Paul says were hid for ages and generations "which in these ages was not made known unto the sons of men as it is now revealed unto us, the holy Apostles and Prophets, by the Spirit: that the Gentiles should be fellow heirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel." Smith makes Nephi express every truth found in the writings of the Apostles concerning the calling and blessing of the Gentiles, and even quotes the 11th chapter of Romans and many other passages before he had a son grown in the wilderness able to aim an arrow at a deer. Paul says these things were secrets and unknown until his time; but Smith makes Nephi say the same things 600 years before Paul was converted! One of the two is a false prophet. Mormonites, take your choice!

      VII. This prophet Smith, through his stone spectacles, wrote on the plates of Nephi, in his book of Mormon, every error and almost every truth discussed in New York for the last ten years. He decides all the great controversies;--infant baptism, ordination, the trinity, regeneration, repentance, justification, the fall of man, the atonement, transubstantiation, fasting, penance, church government, religious experience, the call to the ministry, the general resurrection, eternal punishment, who may baptize, and even the question of free masonry, republican government, and the rights of man. All these topics are repeatedly alluded to. How much more benevolent and intelligent this American Apostle, than were the holy Twelve and Paul to assist them!!! He prophesied of all these topics, and of the apostacy, and infallibly decides by his authority every question. How easy to prophesy of the past or of the present time!!

      VIII. But he is better skilled in the controversies in New York than in the geography or history of Judea. He makes John baptize in the village of Bethabara, (page 22) and says Jesus was born in Jerusalem, p. 240. Great must be the faith of the Mormonites in this new Bible!!! The mariners compass was only known in Europe about 300 years ago; but Nephi knew all about steam-boats and the compass 2400 years ago.

      IX. He represents the christian institution as practised among his Israelites before Jesus was born. And his Jews are called Christians while keeping the law of Moses, the holy Sabbath, and worshipping in their temple at their altars and by their high priests.

      X. But not to honor him by a too minute examination and exposition, I will sum up the whole of the internal evidences which I deem worthy of remark in the following details:--

      The book professes to be written at intervals and by different persons during the long period of 1020 years. And yet for uniformity of style, there never was a book more evidently written by one set of fingers, nor more certainly conceived in one cranium since the first book appeared in human language, than this same book. If I could swear to any man's voice, face, or person, assuming different names, I could swear that this book was written by one man. And as Joseph Smith is a very ignorant man and is called the author on the title page, I cannot doubt for a single moment but that he is the sole author and proprietor of it. As a specimen of his style the reader will [93] take the following samples--Page 4th. In his own preface:--"The plates of which hath been spoken." In the last page, "the plates of which hath been spoken." In the certificate signed by Cowdery and his two witnesses, he has the same idiom, "which came from the tower of which hath been spoken;" page 16, "we are a descendant of Joseph." "The virgin which thou seest is the mother of God." "Behold the Lamb of God the Eternal Father," p. 25. "Ye are like unto they," "and I saith unto them," p. 44. "We did arrive to the promised land;" p. 49. "made mention upon the first plate," p. 50.

      Nephi 2400 years ago hears the saying of a Pagan who lived 634 years after him--"The God of Nature suffers." p. 51. "The righteous need not fear; for it is they which shall not be confounded," 58. Shakespeare was read by Nephi 2200 years before he was born--"The silent grave from whence no traveller returns," 61. "Your own eternal welfare" was a phrase then common in America, p. 62. "Salvation is free" was then announced. "That Jesus should rise from the dead" was repeatedly declared on this continent in the reign of Nebuchadnezzar. And at the same time it was said, "Messiah cometh in the fulness of time that he might redeem the children of men from the fall;" p. 65. "The fall" was frequently spoken of at the Isthmus of Darien 2400 years ago.

      I had no object, says Nephi, in the reign of Zedekiah, "but the everlasting salvation of your souls," 66. "I had spake many things," "for a more history part are written upon mine other plates," 69. "Do not anger again because of mine enemies," p. 70. "For it behoveth the Great Creator that he die for all men." "It must needs be an infinite atonement." "This flesh must go to its mother earth." "And this death must deliver up its dead," p. 70. were common phrases 2300 years ago--"for the atonement satisfieth the demands of his justice upon all those who have not the law given them," p. 81. The Calvinists were in America before Nephi. "The Lord remembereth all they," 85. "The atonement is infinite for all mankind," p. 104. The Americans knew this on the Columbo 2400 years ago. "His name shall be called Jesus Christ the Son of God." An angel told this to Nephi 545 years before it was told to Mary, p. 105. "And they shall teach with their learning and deny the Holy Ghost which giveth them utterance;" this prophecy was at that time delivered against us, p. 112. "My words shall hiss forth unto the ends of the earth," p. 115. "Wherein did the Lamb of God fill all the righteousness in being baptized by water," 118. This question was discussed 2300 years ago. "The baptism by fire and the Holy Ghost was preached in the days of Cyrus," p. 119. "The only true doctrine of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost which is one God without end. Amen," p. 120. This was decided in the time of Daniel the Prophet. "I glory in plainness," says Nephi. "Christ will show you that these are his words in the last day," p. 122. Too late to prove your mission, Mr. Nephi!

      "After that ye have obtained a hope in Christ, ye shall obtain riches if you seek them." So spoke Jacob in the days of Ezekiel the Prophet. "They believed in Christ and worshipped the Father in his name," p. 129. This was said by Jacob in the time of Daniel. "Do as ye hath hitherto done," says Mosiah, page 158. These Smithisms are in every page. "And his mother shall be called Mary," p. 160. "The Son of God and Father of heaven and earth," p. 161. "The infant perisheth not, that dieth in his infancy." "For the natural man is an enemy of God and was from the fall of Adam, and will be for ever and ever," p. 161. This was spoken by King Benjamin 124 years before Christ. He was a Yankee, too, for he spoke like Smith, saying, "I who ye call your king." "They saith unto the king," p. 182. This was another Joseph Smith called Mosiah. "They were baptized in the waters of Mormon, and were called the church of Christ," p. 192. This happened 100 years before Christ was born. "Alma, why persecuteth thou the church of God," p. 222. "Ye must be born again; yea, born of God--changed from their carnal and fallen state to a state of [94] righteousness," 214. This was preached also 100 years before Christ was born. "These things had not ought to be," 220.

      "I, Alma, being consecrated by my father Alma to be a high priest over the church of God, he having power and authority from God to do these things, (p. 232) say unto you, except ye repent ye can in no wise enter into the Kingdom of Heaven." 237. "He ordained priests and elders, by laying on his hands, to watch over the church"--"Not so much as a hair of the head shall be lost in the grave"--"The holy order of the high priesthood." p. 250. The high priesthood of Alma was about 80 years before Christ. "The Lord poured out his spirit to prepare the minds of the people for the preaching of Alma, preaching repentance." p. 268. Alma was a Yankee of Smith's school, for he saith: "The light of everlasting light was lit up in his soul." p. 47.

      During the pontificate of Alma men prayed thus: "If there is a God, and if thou art God wilt thou make thyself known unto me." p. 286. "Alma clapped his hands upon all they which were with him." p. 313. "Instruments in the hand of God" were the preachers of Alma. p. 323. Modest and orthodox men, truly!! "If ye deny the Holy Ghost when it once hath place in you, and ye know that ye deny, behold this is the unpardonable sin." p. 332. So Alma preached. "And now, my son, ye are called of God to preach the Gospel." p. 340. "They were high priests over the church." p. 350. "The twenty and second year of the judges this came to pass." p. 364. "They were valiant for courage." p. 376.

      These are but as one drop out of a bucket compared with the amount of Smithisms in this book. It is patched up and cemented with "And it came to pass"--"I sayeth unto you"--"Ye saith unto him"--and all the King James' haths, dids, and doths; in the lowest imitation of the common version; and is, without exaggeration, the meanest book in the English language; but it is a translation made through stone spectacles, in a dark room, and in the hat of the prophet Smith from the reformed Egyptian!!! It has not one good sentence in it, save the profanation of those sentences quoted from the Oracles of the living God. I would as soon compare a bat to the American eagle, a mouse to a mammoth, or the deformities of a spectre to the beauties of Him whom John saw in Patmos, as to contrast it with a single chapter in all the writings of the Jewish or Christian prophets. It is as certainly Smith's fabrication as Satan is the father of lies, or darkness the offspring of night. So much for the internal evidences of the Book of Mormon.

      Its external evidences are, first, the testimony of the prophets Cowdery, Whitmer, and Harris; who saw the plates and heard the voice of God; who are disinterested retailers of the books. I would ask them how they knew that it was God's voice which they heard--but they would tell me to ask God in faith. That is, I must believe it first, and then ask God if it be true!! 'Tis better to take Nephi's proof, which is promised to us in the day of final judgment! They say that spiritual gifts are to be continued to the end of time among the true believers. They are true believers--have they wrought any miracles? They have tried: but their faith failed. Can they shew any spiritual gift? Yes, they can mutter Indian, and traffic in new Bibles.

      "But Smith is the wonder of the world." So was the Apocalyptic beast! "an ignorant young man." That needs no proof. Gulliver's Travels is a heroic problem in comparison of this book of Smith. "But he cannot write a page." Neither could Mahomet, who gave forth the Alcoran. "Smith's an honest looking fellow." So was Simon Magus, the sorcerer. "But he was inspired." So was Judas, by Satan.

      Its external evidences are also the subscriptions of four Whitmers, three Smiths, and one Page, the relatives and connexions of Joseph Smith, junior. And these "men handled as many of the brazen or golden leaves as the said Smith translated." So did I. But Smith has got the plates of which hath been spoken. Let him shew them. Their certificate proves nothing, save [95] that Smith wrote it, and they signed it. But Smith gives testimony himself. There is one who says: "If I bear testimony of myself, my testimony ought not to be regarded."

      If this prophet and his three prophetic witnesses had aught of speciosity about them or their book, we would have examined it and exposed it in a different manner. I have never felt myself so fully authorized to address mortal man in the style in which Paul addressed Elymas the sorcerer as I feel towards this Atheist Smith. His three witnesses, I am credibly informed, on one of their horse-swapping and prophetic excursions in the Sandusky country, having bartered horses three times for once preaching, represented Walter Scott and myself as employed in translating these plates, and as believers in the book of Mormon. If there was any thing plausible about Smith, I would say to those who believe him to be a prophet, hear the question which Moses put into the mouth of the Jews, and his answer to it--"And if thou say in thy heart, How shall we know the word which the Lord hath not spoken?"--Does he answer, "Ask the Lord and he will tell you?"--Does he say "Wait till the Day of Judgment and you will know"? Nay, indeed; but--"When a prophet speaketh in the name of the Lord, if the thing follow not, nor come to pass, that is the thing which the Lord hath not spoken; the prophet hath spoken it presumptuously: thou shalt not be afraid of him." Deut. 18. 21, 22. Smith has failed in every instance to verify one of his own sayings. Again, I would say in the words of the Lord by Isaiah, "Bring forth your strong reasons, saith the King of Jacob: let them bring them forth and shew us what shall happen: let them shew the former things what they mean, that we may consider them, and know the latter end of them--shew the things which are to come hereafter, that we may know that you are prophets: yea, do good or do evil, that we may be dismayed and behold it together. Behold you are nothing, and your work of naught: an abomination is every one that chooseth you." Is. 41. 21-24.

      Let the children of Mormon ponder well, if yet reason remains with them, the following passage from Isaiah 44, and if they cannot see the analogy between themselves and the sons of ancient imposture, then reason is of as little use to them as it was to those of whom the prophet spake--

      "The carpenters having chosen a piece of wood framed it by rule and glued the parts together, and made it in the form of a man, and with the comeliness of a man, to set it in a house. He cut wood from the forest which the Lord planted--a pine tree, which the rain had nourished, that it might be fuel for the use of man: and having taken some of it he warmed himself; and with other pieces they made a fire and baked cakes, and of the residue they made gods and worshipped them. Did he not burn half of it in the fire, and, with the coals of that half, bake cakes: and having roasted meat with it did he not eat and was satisfied; and when warmed say, 'Aha! I am warmed, I have enjoyed the fire'? Yet of the residue he made a carved god, and worshippeth it, and prayeth to it, saying, 'Deliver me, for thou art my God.'

      "They had not sense to think; for they were so involved in darkness that they could not see with their eyes, nor understand with their hearts: nor did any reason in his mind, nor by his understanding recollect, that he had burned half of it in the fire, and on the coals thereof baked cakes, and had roasted flesh and eaten, and of the residue had made an abomination; so they bow themselves down to it. Know thou that their heart is ashes, and they are led astray and none can deliver his soul. Take a view of it, will you not say, 'There is indeed a lie in my right hand'?

      "Remember these things, O Jacob, even thou Israel, for thou art my servant. I have made thee my servant; therefore O Israel do not thou forget me. For, lo! I have made thy transgressions vanish like a cloud--and thy sins like the murky vapor. Return to me, and I will redeem thee."
A. CAMPBELL.      
      February 10, 1831.

      THE following letter was written by the congregation of Christ in Wellsburg, Va. some time in the beginning of January, upon hearing that Sidney Rigdon and some of the disciples in the congregation with him had apostatized from the faith once delivered to the saints. Presuming that it may be useful to other societies and individuals who have been troubled by the false spirits which are gone forth from New York, we thought it prudent to give it an insertion. Being written during my absence, and having no date affixed to it, we cannot be more definite as to time than to say it was forwarded by a messenger some time in January last.--Ed.

      THE church of God which is at Wellsburgh to the saints and faithful brethren in Christ who are at Kirtland: may favor, mercy, and peace, be multiplied to you from God Our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

      We would not have you ignorant, brethren, of the sorrow and sympathy which we have for you, since we heard of the trials and afflictions which have befallen you; and which you are still enduring. For this cause, therefore, and that we might be enabled to stir up your minds, by putting you in remembrance of the favor in which we stand, it seemed good to us, being assembled together in one place, to write to you this letter; and we, also, bow our knees to our Heavenly Father on your behalf that he may strengthen you with all might in the inner man, that he may preserve you from all evil, and cause you to remain stedfast in the faith which was once delivered to the saints.

      You know, dear brethren, that we all were once aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers to the covenant of promise; that we were alive unto sin, but free men as to righteousness; that we could not call God our Father, and were not his people: that we were foolish and disobedient, serving divers lusts and pleasures; that we were filled with doubts and apprehensions, and were without the blessings and privileges of the gospel. But when our attention was directed to the testimony of God concerning his Son, we did not refuse to set to our seal that God is true. For the glad news of salvation came not to us depending upon human testimony; but began to be spoken by the Lord himself, and was confirmed to us by those who heard him. God himself hearing, joint witness, both by signs, and wonders, and divers miracles, and distributions of the Holy Spirit, according to his own pleasure.

      Finding ourselves, therefore, lost, miserable, and ruined, we gladly fled away to lay hold on the hope set before us in the gospel; and believing upon the testimony of his holy Apostles and Prophets, that Jesus is the Messiah, and that God hath raised him from the dead, we were induced, through the goodness of our Heavenly Father, to humble ourselves before his Glorious Majesty; and having made the good confession before men to submit to be buried with Christ in immersion, confessing our sins that we might be raised again to walk in newness of life.

      Dearly beloved, we would at all times give most unfeigned thanks to our holy and beloved Father, that he has redeemed us from our [97] vain behaviour delivered to us by our fathers, not with corruptible things as silver and gold; but with the precious blood of Jesus Christ, as of a Lamb without blemish and without spot: that he hath quickened us who were dead in trespasses and sins, and hath set us down together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus, having freely forgiven us all trespasses. We would ever adore his goodness, that having begotten us by the gospel, the word of truth, through the bath of regeneration, we have been born of Water and of Spirit--have become his children, and have been introduced into the kingdom of heaven.

      And we would continually praise him, that we have been assured of the possession of these blessings, not by men, nor by the word of man, but by the testimony with which he himself has furnished us; that our faith and hope might rest in the word of God, the incorruptible seed, of which we were born, and which lives and abides forever.

      How, then, do those that trouble you say, that you should be immersed again? Is there another faith than that depending upon the testimony of those who saw and heard the Lord? Is there another gospel which we have not received, or another Saviour whom we have not acknowledged? Know you not that so many of us as have been immersed into Christ have put him on? And is there, then, another Christ into whom we have not been immersed--another forgiveness which we have not received, or another God whom we have not for a Father? Or has the incorruptible seed of the word of which we have been born, become corruptible and ready to perish? Then, indeed, have we believed in vain, and are yet in our sins. Then, indeed, have we suffered contumely and reproach for the cause of Christ in vain, and in vain have labored to overcome the world and to walk worthy of our heavenly calling. And if we have been heretofore deceived, to whom shall we go? If the testimony of God is not to be believed, shall we believe man? Shall we relinquish the salvation which the word of God assures us we already possess, for any salvation which men may promise? And if the Leader into whom we have been already immersed is unable to guide us to the mansions of the blessed, shall we be led thither by another master?

      Dearly beloved, let us be assured that there is not another name given under heaven whereby we must be saved, than the name of Jesus Christ; that no other foundation can any man lay than is already laid; and that if a man or an angel from heaven should preach any other gospel than that which we have already received, and in which we stand, and by which also we are saved if we keep it in remembrance, he will be accursed when the Lord comes.

      Seeing, then, that we have purified our souls by obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, let us continue in the truth, rooted and grounded in love, and abounding in the work of the Lord at all times. For it is our most reasonable service to present our bodies a living, holy and acceptable sacrifice unto God; of whom we are in Christ Jesus, who has become to us wisdom [98] from God, righteousness also, and sanctification, and redemption. Though we were some time ago darkness, yet now are we light in the Lord--let us, therefore, walk as the children of light. God our Heavenly Father is light, and in him is no darkness at all. With the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ was the fellowship of the Apostles, who have testified to us what they have seen and heard, that we also might have fellowship with them. Now, if we say that we have fellowship with God, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son, cleanses us from all sin. Let us, therefore, purify ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of the Lord. Let us walk worthy of the calling by which we are all called; with all humbleness of mind and meekness, and with long-suffering; supporting one another in love. And let us endeavor to preserve the unity of the Spirit by the bond of peace. There is one body and one spirit as also we have been called to one hope of our calling, one Lord, one faith, one immersion, one God and Father of all, who is in all, and with all, and in us all. For in one Spirit we have all been immersed into one body, and all have been made to drink of one Spirit. By the Holy Spirit we have been enabled to call Jesus Lord. We know his name, and his name is all our trust. Our Father giveth his Holy Spirit to them that ask him; and we have received the Spirit, whose fruits are love, joy, peace, goodness, fidelity, meekness, temperance; and we know that we have passed away from death into life, because we love the brethren.

      What is, therefore, to hinder, brethren, but that we should rejoice in the Lord, and with patience wait his coming? For having received the salvation of our souls, we are waiting for the adoption, that is, the redemption of our bodies. Let us, therefore, in this blessed hope, press forward in the race set before us, ever looking off to Jesus who is the author and finisher of our faith, and who, for the joy set before him, endured the cross despising the shame, and is set down on the right hand of God. For all the trials of this present time are not to be compared to the glory which shall be revealed in us. He who has called us is faithful, and his promises shall never fail of their accomplishment.

      We beseech you, therefore, dear brethren, by the mercies of God, that you be not moved away from the hope of the gospel which we have received; that you do not forget that you have been purged from your old sins; that you have been born of Water and Spirit, and have already been made partakers of salvation. Be stable and unmoved, and be not tossed and whirled about with every wind of doctrine by the sleight of men, and by craftiness formed into a subtle method of deceit; but be patient, and hope to the end for the glory which is to be revealed. And let us ever continue in prayer and supplication, and abound in thanksgiving to God even our Father through the Lord Jesus Christ who is the faithful witness, the first born of the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth: who has loved us and washed [99] us from our sins in his own precious blood, and has made us kings and priests to his God and Father--to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever, Amen. Behold! he comes in the clouds and every eye shall see him, even they who pierced him; and all the tribes of the earth shall mourn because of him; yes, so let it be. Let us, therefore, watch, brethren, seeing we have washed our robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. Behold! says he, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watches and keeps his garments, that he may not walk naked, so that men should see his shame.

      Brethren, pray for us that we may be accounted worthy to stand before him in that day. And may the Lord strengthen you and bless you. May he lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace. We wish you to have this letter read in all the churches who suffer with you. And now to him who is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we can ask or conceive, to him be glory by the congregation for Christ Jesus throughout all the endless succession of ages. Amen.


      IT was with mingled emotions of regret and surprize that we have learned that Sidney Rigdon has renounced the ancient gospel, and declared that he was not sincere in his profession of it: and that he has fallen into the snare of the Devil in joining the Mormonites. He has led away a number of disciples with him. His instability I was induced to ascribe to a peculiar mental and corporeal malady, to which he has been subject for some years. Fits of melancholy succeeded by fits of enthusiasm accompanied by some kind of nervous spasms and swoonings which he has, since his defection, interpreted into the agency of the Holy Spirit, or the recovery of spiritual gifts, produced a versatility in his genius and deportment which has been increasing for some time. I was willing to have ascribed his apostacy to this cause, and to a conceit which he cherished that within a few years, by some marvellous interposition, the long lost tribes of Israel were to be collected, had he not declared that he was hypocritical in his profession of the faith which he has for some time proclaimed. Perhaps this profession of hypocrisy may be attributed to the same cause. This is the only hope I have in his case.

      He acted in this instance more like one laboring under some morbid of action of mind, than like one compos mentis. He first believed in Smith's three witnesses, and then went to see Smith in pursuit of the evidence. He found ample evidence of Smith's honesty, and returned in the full assurance of faith that Smith is some prophet which was to come. 'Tis true he has not yet found that promise in the book of God which authorized the expectation of Joseph Smith the junior, as the restorer of the Jews and the founder of the New Jerusalem. Smith promised the Holy Spirit in its special gifts to all who have faith in his mission. He told them to pray to God and they should know whether he was divinely sent. While Sidney and Cowdery, the Magnus Apollo of Smith, were in conclave in this matter, [100] Sidney yielded to the suggestion to pray. Whereupon one of his fits of swooning and sighing came upon him, he saw an angel and was converted.

      He who sets out to find signs and omens will soon find enough of them. He that expects visits from angels will find them as abundant as he who in the age of witchcraft found a witch in every unseemly old woman. I doubt not but that the irreverence and levity in speaking of the things of God, which have been too apparent in Sidney's public exhibitions for some time past, and which he has lately confessed, may yet be found to have been the cause of this abandonment to delusion. The Methodists, amongst whom it appeared so well to take, amongst whom it has recently so much prevailed, ought to be admonished against laying themselves open to such impressions in their swoonings, vociferous ejaculations, and notions about new visions and revelations of the Spirit. The Presbyterians, also, who are for physical operations, may learn the necessity of believing their own Confession of Faith which says that to the testimony of the Apostles and Prophets "nothing is to he added, either by a new revelation from the Spirit, or the doctrines and commandments of men." The number of sceptics and nonprofessors which have believed in the delusions of Mormon, remind me of one of the sayings of Jesus--"I have come in my Father's name, and you do not receive me: if another come in his own name him you will receive"

      Most of the disciples of Jesus Christ are in much need of being taught the foundations on which their faith should rest in the sacred writings; and as we are all learning in the school of experience, I trust that the incidents of this year will be useful to all, both teachers and taught, in inducing them to examine with more attention the reason of their faith and hope in God's word. The Apostles had to complain of some whose word, like a cancer, consumed the body of Christ, of some who subverted the faith of others, and it will be well for those who preach that faith if they have not to complain of more than one Phygellus and Hermogenes, of more than one Hymeneus and Philetus.

      Mr. Sedwick of Zanesville, and Messrs. Noel and the Chronicle, club of Kentucky, represented this defection as the legitimate result of their phantom "Campbellism." I would ask each of these gentlemen if individually and collectively they would give themselves up in their moral character, as a full specimen of the tendency of Calvinism and Fullerism!! So soon as they do this, we may test their system; and may then show that every person who receives the book of Mormon is an apostate from all that he ever professed, if, indeed, he ever professed to receive or value any thing we have ever spoken or written on the subject of christianity.



      UNDER this head we have just read an article in the Christian Messenger for January last. The charitable Editor seems to use this [101] term, "opinion," in such a latitude as to cover almost all the laws, ordinances and worship of the christian institution. This would not be a matter so much to he regretted, if he did not make this his opinion of opinions a principle of action; and, in fact, give it the sanction of a law. Does any person ask how this can be? I answer, by stating his own case and his own decision of it. He says, "My opinion is that immersion is the only baptism. But shall I, therefore, make my opinion a term of christian fellowship. If in this case I thus act, where shall I cease from making my opinions terms of fellowship? I confess I see no end. But you may say that immersion is so plainly the meaning of christian baptism, you know not how any honest man can be ignorant of it. This is the very language of all opinionists: says one, 'The doctrine of Trinity is so plainly taught that I cannot think any honest man can deny it.' So speak all sectarians respecting their opinions. Shall we reason with them on the impropriety of making their opinions tests of christianity and terms of fellowship, and do the same? Is this consistency? Is this the spirit of reformation? You may say my idea of baptism, as meaning immersion, is not an opinion, but a fact. So say the orthodox respecting many of their unscriptural opinions, and are as firmly persuaded of them as you can be respecting immersion not being an opinion of baptism. Here again a disinterested umpire is needed. The case I shall leave, sub judice, till a satisfactory determination of the matter be made." This is his case. But unfortunately the benevolent writer does not leave it sub judice, but makes his opinion of opinions a principle of action; and therefore exhorts his brethren to commune with unimmersed persons, because, in his opinion, the Lord has received them, and, in his opinion, we ought to receive them. "Shall we," says he, '"refuse communion with those with whom the Lord communes?"

      Here are three opinions asserted, and a course of conduct projected and enforced from them. First--It is his opinion that the Lord has received the Paidobaptists, at least the honest Paidobaptists. It is, in the second place, his opinion that we should receive them into christian fellowship: and, in his opinion, they who do not receive them act inconsistently; and hence comes the exhortation to make expediency, rather than the old apostolic usage, a rule of action. Is this leaving the matter sub judice?

      To exhort to receive honest Paidobaptists to all the rights, immunities, and privileges of citizens in the kingdom of Jesus, is, as respects leaving the matter sub judice, or undecided, as inconsistent as to exhort not to receive them. The Editor of the Messenger seems not to regard the exhortation to receive them to be as incompatible with his own reasoning as an exhortation to exclude or refuse them. In one sentence, he who exhorts to receive into christian communion unimmersed persons, however honest, makes his opinion a law of action just as much as he who exhorts to reject them, according to the reasoning of our liberal brother.

      But now, as this worthy friend of liberal principles thinks he has left the matter sub judice, or undecided, I will beg his attention to a [102] few remarks on his use of the term "opinion," and his rule of action. Opinions are always, in strict propriety of speech, doubtful matters, because speculative. If ever the word be applied to matters of testimony, to laws, institutions, or religious worship, we must be confounded in our faith and practice. If, in his style, opinion apply equally to immersion and the doctrine of the Trinity, then it will apply equally to the Messiahship of Jesus, the resurrection of the dead, eternal life, and every item of the christian faith and hope. One man may say, 'I am of opinion that Jesus did not die for our sins; that his death was that of a martyr or witness for the truth of God's philanthropy, and as an example for us.' And another is of opinion that immersion, the Lord's table, and the literal resurrection of the body, are all carnal notions and unworthy of a spiritual man.' Both appear to be honest and pious men. Shall the christian divide the ground with them, and only say he is of a different opinion? This is not the charity which rejoices in the truth.

      I know that baptism means immersion as certainly as I know that manus means a hand, and penna a pen; or as certainly as I know that sprinkling is not pouring, and pouring is not dipping. I know as certainly that eis means into, as I do that in does not mean out, nor out, IN. I believe as certainly the christian facts as I believe any events of the American Revolution. I will not say that he who says he is of opinion that George Washington lived two hundred years ago, and was the same person who is called Oliver Cromwell, is to be regarded as a believer of the American history, but only differing in opinion from me. I cannot regard him as only differing in opinion from one who maintains that we are, from the New Testament, as much bound religiously to observe Easter and Christmas, as we are the Lord's Day and the Lord's Supper. He may call me uncharitable, but I will be honest though I hazard his contumely.

      But here is the error. We are represented as refusing communion with him with whom God communes, if we do not recognize as a fellow-citizen every one whom God regards as one of his people. Has God any where commanded us to sit down at the Lord's table with a person who refuses to be immersed because he was sprinkled? Or has he enjoined upon me to treat any person as a brother in the Lord because he has recognized him as such, when he fails to keep the ordinances of the Lord? It is only in obedience to the Lord, not on the principle of expediency, but because the Lord has enjoined it, that we are to associate with any person as a brother in the Lord. Nor do I say that none are christians but those who walk orderly; we only say that we are commanded to associate with those only who do walk orderly. If we can dispense with the neglect or disobedience of one christian, we may with another; and so on till we have in the church all the vices of the world.

      We are always safe when we act constitutionally, or according to the law of our Sovereign Lord the King; unsafe when we act from our opinion, or sense of expediency, or the fitness of things. He who is so enlightened as to say that immersion into the name, &c. is the [103] only baptism Jesus Christ appointed, and that none can enter into the kingdom of Jesus but such as are immersed or born of water, and yet takes upon himself to set this institution aside upon his own opinion of expediency, presumes more upon his opinion and upon the pliability of his Lord and Master, than we for the universe dare presume. Of all men, he who knows his Master's will, and does it not, is most obnoxious to the displeasure of his Lord.

      To say that a new state of things has arisen, to which the New Testament laws and usages will not apply, is at once to set aside the perfection and applicability of the books and to weaken the obligation of every christian institute, and our own hands in waging war against error.

      Call not this an opinion; or, if you do, call my belief that Jesus is the Son of God, an opinion too; and every thought, volition, and affection of the heart, an opinion. I trust while our much esteemed friend of the "Messenger" holds this matter sub judice, he will not act as if he had decided the matter.


      MR. NOEL writes that Campbellism is extinct in Kentucky. The Chronicle publishes and vouches for it. Then it goes to the Vermont Telegraph. Then the Christian Secretary of Connecticut tells it. The Columbian Star, metamorphosed into the Christian Index and political prophet, making some allowance for Mr. Noel's weak side, says it makes "few new conquests whilst some of the ground which had been gained by his (my) errors is now receding from their territory." Deluded by the same cause, R. B. Semple says through the Religious Herald to the Old Virginians, that in Kentucky "strong measures (against reform) have been adopted, and it is said to have produced very desirable effects." In New York it is also reported that the conflict is over, and the cause of the priesthood triumphant. By the time it gets back to Kentucky, Messrs. Noel and Chambers believe it themselves, and are willing to quote the Eastern prints that the ancient gospel, which they contumeliously call "Campbellism," is extinct.

      If this be the fact, the question arises, By what means has it been extinguished? By argument? No one pretends to say so. By anathemas and misrepresentations? Who of the belligerents has fought with other weapons? We have no doubt but that when Stephen was stoned to death and the saints dispersed, the anti-reformers thought their cause very prosperous and boasted of their hard arguments. But when one party uses reason and scripture, and the other stones, making their appeal to different parts of the man, and comparing mental convictions and corporeal bruises, it becomes difficult to decide who is most successful; unless we could with accuracy compare mental convictions and corporeal bruises. But nothing can be said with much less regard to truth, than to say that the cause which we plead [104] is on the wane in Kentucky, or any where else of which we have heard.


      IN the last Index Mr. Brantly has betaken himself to prophecy as an effectual means of checking the reformation. "We predict, says he, that in a few years what now is known as Campbellism will be merged in the more vulgar corruptions of Universalism, Arianism, Sabellianism, Unitarianism, &c. &c." page 112. The spirit of Abner Clopton had fallen upon him at that moment, and while enrapt he saw things which he could not utter, and finished his prophecy with two et ceteras!!


      THIS Catholic bishop of Boston has been attacked by Dr. Beecher, in a lecture upon Catholicism. The bishop of Boston defends his system just as our opponents defend theirs, by defamation and denunciation. The reader will please compare the following extract with the sayings, and doings, and boastings of Messrs. Brantly, Clopton, &c.--Ed.

      "The Catholic church, said he, was not like the Calvinist, of yesterday--but of 1800 years. Not as his, the offspring of rebellion against God and man--began in crime, and growing from bad to worse; and containing in herself the seeds of destruction; so that perhaps, as Calvinism is fast breaking up, she may not be heard of in 50 years from this; the Catholic church is the work of God, who has promised to defend her; her commission can only be rightly exercised by her children; Calvinists have no right to expound the scriptures.

      "Calvinism is confined to a few spots in the earth; while the Catholic church is spread over all the world, under every form of government, and that in spite of all opposition.

      "It is this church which a Calvinist minister has had the temerity to attack, with the expectation of destroying her. Impious hope? Let him examine her history, see the obstacles she has had to combat, and her constant victories, which ought to strike him dumb, and cause him to be silent forever. He here spoke of Christ, his Apostles, and also of the early Christians, and gave a summary of their history to the time of Constantine; and said that the devils complained of Christianity through the mouth of idols. He then spoke of her internal troubles: the bark of Jesus Christ would have been wrecked, had not God held the helm; the children which she had nurtured tore her bosom; they were the more dangerous because unsuspected; the church slept, whilst they matured their plans by artifice and violence. No article of faith, however clear and demonstrative, but what had been attacked. Here he spoke of the ancient heresies--no practice of the church, as praying to saints, praying for the souls of the departed, adoration of images, &c. which had not been assaulted--no opinions, [105] however absurd, which had not been broached; he spoke of the controversy about images, said the Iconoclasts had dared to break them, and throw them out of the churches; this he reprobated.

      "Martin Luther he called a drunken apostate friar, Calvin an apostate monk--said that they raked up all the old heresies: the church received a dreadful shock from this wicked band; and but that God had stayed it, it would have destroyed the church: Her opposers had been violators of the law, corrupters of morals, libertines, &c."
Vermont Telegraph.      


      MR. ANDREW BROADDUS of Virginia has addressed a letter through the Herald, declaring a wish to have published in the Harbinger some remarks on the Extra No. 1.--rather soliciting a discussion of the whole matter. Yet he has decided the question by declaring non-fellowship with those who say with Peter, "Reform and be immersed every one of you in the name of the Lord Jesus for the remission of your sins" After whipping Paul, a certain gentleman began to inquire what he had done. Our friend Broaddus having secured his flock from conviction by a decree, carrying all his authority, now proposes a discussion. To this we must consent; for "fair play" we cannot expect from the "Powers that be." His condition, however, is, that we make no reply until he has got through. Though this may be a necessary preliminary or an expedient one on his part, I cannot positively promise to do so. This would be very imprudent on my part to make a vow before I see the pieces. I never pledge my word to do or not to do any thing in the dark. Let him forward his pieces and leave them to my judgment and conscience whether or not to reply to his pieces as they appear, I could wish that some person might be deputed to argue this question in whom the anti-reformers have confidence, I think that Mr. Broaddus is more competent than any other person in Virginia. I will afford him every facility which reason and religion will sanction. He is the only person I know of in the Baptist society in these United States who will presume to reason, who has any talent for calm and dispassionate reason, and who will demean himself as an honorable disputant in a question of this sort. All the Editors, Scribes, and, Rabbis from my friends Clopton and Brantly down to Garner McConnico and G. Sedwick, vituperate and slander, misrepresent and decree; but even their friends will not say that they can reason or investigate a single position which they impugn.



      WHEN Elizabeth came to the throne of England, only two hundred, in nine thousand four hundred clergymen, were deprived of their office, by a change of the national religion from Popery to Protestantism. In other words' forty-six, in forty-seven of all the clergy of the land, changed their religion with the change of government for pay.
Vermont Telegraph. [106]      

From the Christian Index.      


      A letter from a distance, in giving a reason why several persons in that region declined renewing their subscription to our paper, says, "Most of our religious community are opposed to Education, and Missionary Societies--and some of them say, the more that is written on religious subjects, the more discord is created." These good people are very fond of peace, when they think that good books and papers must be excluded for the sake of it. But all colors look alike in the dark.


      The notice of many discontinuances has reached us since the beginning of the new year. Not a few of these were dated 31st of December 1830, and several January, 1831--having from 500 to 1000 miles to travel before they could be received in Philadelphia. The consequence has been that three or four of the Nos. of the Vol. commencing Jan. 1831, had been sent off to those very persons before notice of discontinuance was received. In every such case the whole volume is lost to the concern. One hundred such subscribers will occasion a loss to us of $100. Whereas the year's subscription to them, individually, is only $2. We feel under renewed obligations to those persevering friends and agents, who enable us to go on, notwithstanding such heavy losses caused by those from whom we did expect better things.
Christian Index.      

      Mr. Brantley has some reason, no doubt, for the above complaints against "the unfairness" of his subscribers. We have had a few notices of discontinuance written after the 1st of January. They were in no instance, as far as we recollect, from the known friends of reform. We should, indeed, suppose that our labors were not of much advantage to our readers if, as Mr. Brantley says, "many discontinuances" should have been notified in the manner complained of. If our readers should act thus unjustly, we could not think that they either loved mercy, or walked humbly. Our experience for a number of years authorizes us to say, that in proportion as our readers become enamoured with the ancient gospel, they become more punctual in the discharge of their pecuniary obligations, and less disposed to be in debt; and that the believers in physical operations stand most in need of legal operations to make them feel the obligations of common justice.

      New Edition of the Journal of Health.--This very acceptable publication may now be procured from its commencement, in one neat octavo volume. The varied and useful matter which it contains will render it an acquisition to all Libraries. It abounds in valuable precepts on the important art of preserving health, and may therefore be regarded as a work suitable to all classes of readers. Its arguments in favor of temperance in every sort of enjoyment are deserving the notice and respect of christians, who, in these things, should. set an example for the imitation of all others.--Christian Index. [107]


      F V SUTTON, Bowling Green, Va. paid for L Battaile. M Ellis, Plum Orchard, Ia. for P Shraden, also $1 for H Richardson. I Cross, Cobleskill, N. Y. for himself. I Hardy, Ia. $1. T H Lipscomb, Mt. Pleasant, Va. for Z Billingby, Dr N Terril, J W Harris, B R Todd, and W Rolls. C Cole, New Washington, Ia. for himself. W Poston, Winchester, Ky. for J Chisolm, W Talliaffero, J Bush, J Ashley. R Miller, Richmond, Ky. for himself, O C Steel, S Stone, C Collins, A W Reid, G Brawner, S Harris, W Miller, W Reid, Mr Turner, A R Barronton, and T T Willis. R Hickman, Athens, Ky. C Williams, Col J Mason. S Wheeler, Mt. Sterling, Ky. for themselves. R M Batson, Millersburg, Ky. for himself, T Throckmorton, J Mc'Kim, T Eads, Jos Miller, and James Miller. R R Hunt, Clintonville, Ky. for himself. W Young, Paris, Ky. for himself. A Rice, Mt. Sterling, Ky. for W Chambers, J Hopewood, H Wilson, J Stoffer, J Wright, E Smith, H Darnall, J Hansborough, and D Orear. J T Bryan, Owingsville, Ky. for J Briton. J Burbridge, and C Day. D F Newton, Fifes, Va. for E Houchins and J. M. Vaughan. W H Erwin, Baton Rouge, La. for G Klinepeter, and L Garrison. W Hillyard, Upper Canada, for himself. C Martin, Troy, O. for himself. L Hunt, Huntsburg, O. for himself, and E Clark. J W Jeffreys, Jeffreys' Store, Va. for S Bruce, also $1 for W Doswell. L C Roberts, Lynchburg, Tenn. for himself and J Edde Esq. A R Runyan Esq. Mays Lick, Ky. $24--names not stated. W Pangburn, Middleberry, O. for S Green, and C H Starr. H Elley, West Port, Ky. for himself and W Wells. W Taylor, Milton, Ky. for himself. W Tureman for T C Osbourne and I G Bacon, Maysville, Tenn. and G Corwine and J Bacon, Maysville, Ky. L Cammack, Montgomery, Ky. and S Worthington, Germantown, Ky. J Stump, Port Gibson. Miss. for L Matthews, J Loving, J L Rowland, S Rundill, and J Pate. Matthew Mc'Keever. E Harris, O. for himself. W H Erwin, Baton Rouge, La. for himself and M Noble. W P Wills, Fulton, Mo. for G Ballenger, W Douglass, and A Miller. B Hollis, North Middleton, Ky. for himself. J. J. Pearce, Elyra, O. for himself.


      F V Sutton, Bowling Green, Va. for H Jones and P Woolfolk. J D Erwin, King Creek, S. C. $1. W Poston, Winchester, $9--names not given. Gen J Garrard, Paris, Ky for himself. S Hanson Esq. Winchester, Ky. for himself--C Williams for himself. R M Batson, Millersburg, Ky. for himself, T Throckmorton, J Mc'Kinn, T Eads, Jos Miller, James Miller. W Young, Paris, Ky. for himself. J Sims, North Middleton, Ky. for himself. B H Payne, Mt. Sterling, Ky. for himself, E C Payne, J N Payne, also vol 3 for E C Payne. J T Bryan, Owingsville, Ky. for himself. C Martin, Troy, O. for himself. S Bruce, Jeffreys Store, Va. for himself J Mc'Leroy, Hickory, Pa. for himself. R Starr, Wellsburg, Va. for himself. J B Edwards King, Wm. Ct. House, Va. for T Neale. C Mc'Neely. Cadiz, O. for himself. N Nixon, Maysville, Ky. for himself. G Mafford, J Key, Minerva, Ky. for themselves. L Cahil, S January, A Payne, J Holton, W Holton, and A Porter, Mason County, Ky. for themselves. Gen W Clark, Greenville, N. C. for himself. M Mc'Keever, Middleton, Pa. A R Runyan, Mays Lick, Ky. for R Ingram of Mt. Carmel, Ky. M P Wheat, Columbia, Ky. for himself and T Butts. N G Smith, St. Lawrence, N. C. for himself. S E Shepherd, Alba, Pa. for W Evans, also $1 for himself--Z Darnall, Greensburg, la. $1 for J Saunders. J Anderson, Franklin, Tenn. for himself. J Benton, Leedsville, N. Y. fin, himself, C Benton, and Sarah Reid. T Poindexter, Hopkinsvillc, Ky. for himself. P Edwards, Russelville, Ky. for himself. R G Kay, Bucknersville for himself. J D Garrard, Bikton. Ky. for himself. H Ewing, Nashville, Tenn. for himself. J P Sledge, Nashville, Tenn. for himself. E Creel, Greensburg, Ky. for himself, and J Grove. J P Smith, Columbia, Ky. for himself and J T Smith. L Lindsey, Bucknersville, Ky. for himself. T W Coleman, Oak Grove, Ky. for himself. John Adams, Oak Grove, Ky. for himself. A Fulkerson, Perryville, Ky. for himself. [108]

      1 The Conference were aware that genuine repentance always embraces, or is connected with reformation of conduct; but they were aware also, that reformation (in the popular acceptation of the term) may exist, and sometimes does exist, where there is no evangelical repentance; and that the manner in which it is inculcated by the new party (to the neglect of penitence) seems obviously calculated to encourage that sort of reformation merely. [78]
      2 All persons acquainted with church history will recognize, in this sentiment, one of the distinguishing tenets of Pelagius (in the 5th century) and will see it to be an old error recently revived. [78]


[The Millennial Harbinger, 2 (February, 1831): 49-108.]

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The Millennial Harbinger, Vol. II, No. II (1831)

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