[Table of Contents]
Alexander Campbell, ed.|
The Millennial Harbinger, Vol. II, No. IV (1831)
|THE MILLENNIAL HARBINGER.|
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.
THERE IS A CREATOR.
THE Sceptics, under the banner of the Free Enquirer, published in New York by Robert Dale Owen, son of my sceptical antagonist, are still employed in doubting to a considerable extent. They have not yet, it is true, doubted the propriety of doubting, or whether they do actually doubt; but still they incline to doubt, because their five senses don't inform them of any thing farther off than the milky-way. They doubt not but their senses are infallible guides; and yet they cannot prove that any one of them tells the truth.
A Mr. Bacheler has recently undertaken to reason with the male Editor of the Enquirer, and to show him that he doubts against all reason, as well as against all revelation. Admitting only one point, and the following essay is unanswerable; viz: that he that reads it, as well as he that wrote it, has heard that there is a God Almighty and Omniscient. We present it to our readers as worthy of their perusal, and with a conviction that the reasoning in it can never be fairly combatted by any man. We have read Mr. Owen's reply; but it only more deeply convinces us of the impotency of atheism and the strength of theism.
|ED. M. H.|
TO ROBERT DALE OWEN
An insincere sceptic is one who, unwilling to believe a doctrine, sets his wits to work to disprove it; and though the evidence in its favor may be clear, yet he closes his eyes against it, and, it may be, comes at length to waver and doubt in reality, though dishonestly and unfairly.
I do not ask that it be admitted to me, that we cannot know there is a God. We can know this; some do know it;--and that too by experience. And, "if any man will do his will, he shall know." The question, however, now under discussion, is, not whether we know there is a God, but whether there is reason to believe this. And he who does even believe it, is neither an Atheist nor a Sceptic: for an atheist disbelieves, and a sceptic doubts it. 
"Why is the Universe a proof to us of any thing more than its own existence?" For the same reason that a work of art is a proof of an artisan; which proof exists, not in the circumstance that we have seen similar things made, but in the manifestation of a plan in the thing itself, showing it to be the production of a mind. Had the Highlander opened the watch that he found, and seen that the inside was composed of silver and gold and steel, who will for a moment believe, that he would have considered it an animal?
It is by the outward manifestation of mind, that we know even man to be possessed of one. We know not whether a stranger is an idiot, or possessed of reason, till his words or actions manifest the same. But mere words and actions do not manifest intelligence. Words may be nonsense; actions may be void of purpose. It is therefore the kind of words and actions, by which we determine with regard to mind. If a man manufacture a chair, for example, the article which he manufactures being for a purpose, shows him to be possessed of intelligence and design. Though the mind itself, therefore, is within its possessor, and invisible, the proof of it to others is in his works. It is in works, then, that we are to look for evidences, of mind; and those works are evidences thereof which manifest an object: a watch, for instance, to keep time; a chair, to serve as a seat, &c. &c. Now, if works of this description, that is, works of purpose, are not infallible evidences of mind, we cannot prove that even man has a mind, or that there is any such faculty as mind in existence. But if such works are infallible evidences, then we have countless evidences of the existence of mind manifested in the Universe. The eye is to see; the ear, to hear; the soil, to produce food; the sun, to warm and enlighten, &c. &c. Nor is it reasonable to say, that these are merely effects without design. The infant, for example, comes into the world prepared beforehand with organs of sensation exactly adapted to the state of things into which it enters;--which organs could only have had relation to futurity at the time of their being prepared, inasmuch as there was no chance for their exercise before its birth. Its eyes are adapted to the light, its ears to sounds, its lungs to the air, its palate to taste, its nose to smell; its whole self to every thing about it. Now what can be more incredible, than that all this pre-adaptation, this curious and appropriate preparation in so many respects, should merely happen so to occur, without an intelligent cause--without a designer. Again: Behold the different parts of unintelligent nature combining to produce beneficial effects. The earth receives and nourishes seed in her bosom; the sun imparts thereto his genial heat; the clouds, their copious showers: and, by these united operations, a crop is produced to sustain man and beast. And yet is there no design, no mind, concerned in all these movements!
"If weak thy faith, why choose the harder side?"
Most assuredly, it requires infinitely greater credulity to believe that no mind is concerned in the regulation of the universe than to believe the Bible, or even the Koran! 
But if we are told that 'tis the nature of things to operate as they do, so 'tis the nature of machinery to operate as it does. But is it a sufficient solution of the cause of the operations of machinery, to say this much respecting it, and there leave it?
To say that it is the nature of a factory to make cloth, would be a singular way indeed of accounting for its operations; but no more so than to say, that 'tis the nature of the factory of the universe, equally unintelligent, to produce food. It is demonstrable by the operations of nature, all tending to purposes, that intelligence exists somewhere;--as much so as in the case of the cotton factory. It is equally demonstrable, that it does not exist in nature itself, any more than in the factory, inasmuch as intelligence does not exist in mere matter. Whence it follows, unavoidably, that there must be a God.
To me, Sir, 'tis strange logic, to be told, that a chair proves a chair-maker, only because we know that he made it. I should suppose that in such a case, the chair-maker would prove the chair, not the chair the chair-maker. To say that one thing proves another, because that other proves itself, does far transcend my utmost comprehension.
"Could we trace back the universe to its origin, and know that origin to be God," we should cease to believe in relation to the subject; for knowledge excludes belief. Hence, thee who believe nothing but what they know, believe nothing at all.
It is for a sceptic to give a reason for his scepticism. If he sees no evidence of a God; if he does not absolutely admit his existence; it devolves on him to dispose of the difficulties consequent on his non-belief. He should know that he has something more to do than to stand and doubt. If he will have his doubts, let him take their consequences: let him reconcile intelligent effects with unintelligent causes, whether he can decide the case of the headless inhabitants of the sun or not: for these two cases are by no means parallel.
With regard to analogy between the making of a chair and a universe, although there is none so far as relates to the creation of the particles of matter which compose the universe, yet there is the most perfect, between the arranging of those particles for purposes, and the arranging of the various parts of a chair for its purposes.
To investigate the causes of things, is natural, reasonable, and useful. It is the method by which the human mind advances in improvement and knowledge., It is by reasoning, that we arrive at conclusions. It is not tracing a thing to its origin, to see that thing originated. He has but a poor claim to the name of a free enquirer, who confines himself to matters of knowledge. We do not enquire concerning what we know. Hence, if we are not to reason and enquire concerning things unknown, we must cease to reason and enquire at all. We reason from things which we do know, to things which we do not know. When we know both cause and effect, no room is left for enquiry on such a subject. To look on things around us, and merely to say that they are as they are, is any thing rather than investigation, and reasoning, and enquiry. Suppose Newton on beholding the  heavens had exclaimed, "Well, "tis a simple fact that there are stars," and then had stopped at that; where would have been his present system of astronomy? Suppose Columbus had said:--"That there is one continent I know; but I know nothing about any other: therefore, I will reason nothing about one:" what, in such a case, would have become of his discovery? Why, Sir, the only subjects of enquiry are those which we do not understand; and, for the very reason that we do not know the cause of the phenomena of nature, we should enquire concerning it. We see effects; there must then be a cause. And it is certainly a fair subject of investigation, whether that cause is intelligent or unintelligent.
When I say that God made this, that, and the other, I mean more than that man did not make them--I mean that God did make them and that he did make whatever in nature has a beginning, is as evident, as that a thing cannot make itself--as evident, as that nothing cannot make something. And here I would ask, what in the universe has not a beginning? Has not every man, every beast, every bird, every insect, every fish, every tree, every shrub, every plant, and in fine every thing whatever that contains either animal or vegetable life? All these things, then, must necessarily have a Maker: they cannot come into existence without a Maker. And as they do, in their construction and adaptation, exhibit the impress of intelligence, they show their Maker to be possessed of intelligence, and therefore prove a God.
But, says the sceptic, what evidence is there that the universe as a whole ever had a beginning?--that matter itself had a beginning? I reply: The mode in which it exists. There is the impress of mind on all matter--on the universe as a whole. Now, as mere matter is void of mind, it cannot of itself exhibit marks of mind; whence, the marks which it does exhibit must have been derived, they are of course not eternal. The existence of matter, then, in a state of order, proves it not to have been eternal. The appearances of the earth likewise show the same thing; so does the present state of improvement in society; so does the present number of its inhabitants; so does all history; so does every thing that relates to the subject.
In saying that a chair must have a maker, I refer to nothing but the self-evident fact, that unintelligent matter cannot exist in a state of order, and with a clear reference to purpose, without being made so to exist by a maker. Had matter power and intelligence to adapt itself to purposes, the case would be different. But this we know it has not. And were chairs actually to "drop from the clouds," I should even then suppose they had a maker, though not a human one. Yea, were "a chair to be formed of the roots of a tree," in that event should I suppose the same. I deny, however, that a natural chair can be formed thus. It would be supernatural, were any such thing to be thus produced. I speak of a real chair, properly so called, with its mortises and its tenons adapted to one another, its wedges and nails to hold it together, &c. &c. for a bunch of roots, grow as they might, would not be a chair, in the proper sense of the term. 
To say that we cannot rationally conclude that the universe has a Maker, because we do not know that it has, is to put an end to all reasoning. What we know, we no longer reason upon; hence, if we cannot reason upon what we do not know, we can reason upon nothing. When we see a man make a chair, we know he makes it; we have no supposition, no belief, on the subject. But when we see an Egyptian mummy, we believe it had an embalmer, not however because we have seen embalmers embalm mummies, (for this we have not seen,) but the mummy itself exhibits evidences of having been embalmed, to be preserved. Still, the "phenomenon" of embalming does no more exist for our cognizance; than does the "phenomenon" of creating the universe.
To make a designer the proof of design, is absurdity itself. How can we know a designer? By looking into his cranium, and seeing his thoughts? O no! Well, how then? Why, by observing his outward manifestations of mind. But how do these prove a designer? By being adapted to purposes; which is all the proof we have of design or designer in the universe, and which is as clear in natural as in artificial things. To require us, then, to know a designer, in order to the proving of a design, is to require us to know a matter which is to be proved, that we may prove the evidences by which we are to prove itself!
The argument, that if order &c. indicate design and a designer in the case of the universe, they indicate the same in the case of its Maker, goes to destroy all distinction between a designer and his work. It is, to confound mind and matter. It is, to make one thing another; to make a designer a design; to make absurdities; contradictions; nonsense. What are we to understand by God's being, the masterpiece of masterpieces, and by that harmony &c. indicated by his mind? Mind is not an indication. It is invisible. God's mind does not indicate harmony, but harmony indicates his mind--even the harmony of the universe. There is nothing in the nature of mind to show it to be an effect; and were it not that we know, that man has a beginning, we could not prove his mind to be an effect.
Inasmuch as that things do exist, something must necessarily have been eternal; for, had there ever been a time when there was nothing, there would never have any thing come into existence, because something cannot be produced by nothing. On any system, therefore, something must have been eternal--something absolutely without beginning. Now, as the universe did not come by generation, it must have come by creation, or have been eternal. Unaccountable as it is; either the universe or a Creator is self-existent and eternal. This is demonstration, and furnishes something to which the mind can fasten. To say the least, there is no greater difficulty in admitting the eternity of God, than in admitting that of the universe. Nor does any difficulty in the case, be it what it may, disprove the fact, that something did eternally exist. It stands in all the strength of demonstration; of certainty. The only question therefore is, Is the universe eternal, or is there an eternal and an intelligent Being? And now I  seriously ask, Which conclusion is the more reasonable:--that an unintelligent universe should have eternally existed in an intelligent manner; or that there is an intelligent Power which brought it into an orderly existence, and so continues it? In other words, Is there an intelligent Cause for the universe and its operations; or is there no intelligence--no cause?
LETTERS TO HUMPHREY MARSHAL, ESQ.
IF you have not read the achievements of Jack the Giant Killer, you have no doubt seen many a hero of similar fortunes, vauntingly exhibit his valorous exploits, and heard him tell his "fetes of broils and battles," in which his conquests and triumphs adorned every tale and finished every period. Such persons are not few in every department; but in the hour of trial they are often seen to faint at the sight of blood, and to give to others the post which heroes choose. You have also long since observed that the sons of Bacchus, in their frantic revels, though poor and pennyless, are apt to boast of their wealth, of their houses and lands, deeds and tenements; but when called to pay off their orgies, are found destitute of a shilling. By some licentious freak of my imagination these associations of ideas rushed upon me when I read your enumeration of the palpable contradictions which you had found in the narratives of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, touching the resurrection of Jesus.
One, sir, would imagine, from the frequency, familiarity, and fluency of your allusions to "the contradictions" found in those sacred historians, and from the boldness which you assume and evince, at one time, in challenging; at another, in ridiculing their pretensions to honesty and veracity, that you had amply proved their testimony to be a collection of palpable fables, a bundle of contradictions; and that all the learned, the wise, and good men of ancient and modern christendom were a pack of knaves, or a set of brainless dolts.
If, sir, you could find only one real contradiction in the whole volume, we might allow you to presume that there were others. But it is as intolerable on our part to hear you boast of "plenty of contradictions," as it is weak on yours to appear to triumph in victories which you have not gained.
Your tongue is your own, and so is your pen, and you may call harmony, discord; consistency, contradiction; or honesty, knavery. You may call virtues, vices, and give new names to things, or you may attach meanings to words not only differing from, but in opposition to, general usage or their universal acceptation.
It would, perhaps, be useful to you and profitable to others, were we to attempt to define and establish the character of a contradiction, before we proceed to examine those you have imputed to the four Evangelists. By the term "contradiction," I mean not merely a verbal  difference, nor even a verbal opposition, but an irreconcileable contrariety of statement. I ought not to presume to inform you, sir, a judge of law, evidence, and fact; for doubtless it is well known to you, that it is, in most instances, a very difficult matter to establish a positive contradiction. A seeming, a probable, a possible contradiction is one thing, and a real contradiction another. The former convicts no person of falsehood, accidental or intended; the latter always does. But it must be clearly and unequivocally proved.
That there are seeming contradictions in every narrative which I have read, political, religious, or common, I think is probable. But in almost every instance these seeming contradictions are only proofs of my ignorance of some of the incidents, and not of the falsehood of the narrator. Often, very often, these seeming contradictions are in more perfect coincidence with the fact, than assertions free from such appearances could have been.
But a contradiction is neither more nor less than a contradiction. It is not a seeming, or a possible; but a positive, irreconcileable contrariety of statement which constitutes a contradiction. Of this there is not one instance in the New Testament. Remember, sir, I have said, NOT ONE INSTANCE.
But we may, on the subject of contradictions, go still farther, and affirm, that even a contradiction in terms is not always, nor necessarily, a contradiction in fact, unless the terms be all used in the same sense. Of this innumerable instances might be given. For example; a Jew affirms, that "Elihu was the brother of Samuel;" a Grecian affirms that "Elihu was not the brother of Samuel." This is a positive contradiction in terms; but yet it is not a contradiction in fact. Both writers speak of the same Elihu and of the same Samuel, and yet both declare the truth. The apparent and positive contradiction in terms is removed when it is ascertained that the term brother with a Jew frequently denotes a cousin, but never with a Greek. Now had the term brother been of the same acceptation in both propositions there would have been a contradiction in fact as well as in terms. It is an ambiguous word, not only because in the instances given it represents different natural relations; but because it also denotes natural, political, and religious relations. Even among us persons may be natural, and neither political nor religious brothers; they may be political, and neither natural nor religious brothers; and they may be religious, and neither political nor natural brothers. How many contradictions in terms, and not in fact, might be framed on the ambiguity of this very definitive term I need not enumerate for your conviction.
You can have many similar instances in the term day. The Babylonians reckoned a day from one sunrising to another; the Italians, from one sunsetting to another; other nations reckoned their day from noon to noon; we, from midnight to midnight; and the Jews, from evening to evening. Now suppose a Chaldean historian had asserted that Cyrus finished the destruction of Babylon in one day; and an Italian writer affirms that Cyrus did not finish the destruction of Babylon in one day; we would have a contradiction in terms, but  none in fact. In our own acceptation, the term day is ambiguous for in our civil sense a day is twenty-four hours. It sometimes includes both the light and the darkness--the day and the night; at other times, it is used in contradistinction from the night. How many contradictions in terms concerning the incidents of a single day, without a single contradiction in fact, could be formed, the humblest, capacity may apprehend. It is unnecessary to multiply specifications--any one can furnish them in abundance. To constitute a contradiction in fact, it appears to be incontrovertible that all the terms must be used in the same sense, and that the statements made must be irreconcileable upon every conceivable possibility. From all of which we argue, and we hope, sir, with your conviction of its force, that if a contradiction in terms is often no contradiction in fact, with how much caution ought we to speak of contradictions in fact, when our premises are only mere circumstantial differences of statement?
If only one person had written the memoirs of Jesus Christ and the introduction of christianity into the world, you, it seems, would have been a believer; for you are so fond of consistency, and so great a lover of truth, that nothing prevents your being a christian but the contradictions between the four historians. Now, if but one had written these transactions, you must have believed, as then there would have been none of your contradictions: for you have not dared because you are too honest, to censure any one of these historians for contradicting himself. If you apprehend the force of this, as I doubt not you do, then you must see it increases the difficulty tenfold on your part, to make them contradict one another. A thousand considerations explanatory of discrepancies between historians not writing in the same country, nor exactly contemporaneous, can be adduced to solve difficulties which could not be made to bear upon the testimony of the same individual, presented to the same persons. And, indeed, the same individual, in telling the same story four times over to four different audiences, though more frequently appearing to contradict himself, is not so easily convicted of a real contradiction as he would be in telling the story once to the same audience; for one reason, among many others, he may, for the sake of his audience, omit some things and enlarge upon others, which will cause more apparent discrepancies than could appear in addressing the same audience. In the ratio, then, of these reasons for varieties in narratives, is the difficulty of proving contradictions in fact, from any verbal differences or oppositions in statements made.
Thomas Paine and most of his admirers have licensed themselves to call omissions contradictions. Hence the numerous contradictions alleged against the four Evangelists, because some of them have omitted to record certain incidents which the sceptics think ought to have been recorded, and because they have not all recorded the same incidents in the same words. In the free and declamatory style of sceptical writers, every omission is called a contradiction. Of this I hope to convict you in the sequel. You have kept so much of their  company that you have not only received their spirit, but caught their style.
But it is not only because some of the Evangelists have omitted to record what the others have mentioned, that they are so often arraigned before the merciless bar of sceptical criticism; but because Josephus, or some other writer, has omitted to state all that they have written, or more than they have recorded. The following instances and remarks from Chalmers are worthy, sir, of your attention; and, therefore, I will take the pains to lay them before you:--
"In the gospel, we are told that Herod, the Tetrarch of Galilee, married his brother Philip's wife. In Josephus, we have the same story; only he gives a different name to Philip, and calls him Herod; and what adds to the difficulty, there was a Philip of that family, whom we knew not to have been the first husband of Herodias. This is at first sight a little alarming. But, in the progress of our inquiries, we are given to understand from this same Josephus, that there were three Herods in the same family; and therefore, no improbability in there being two Philips. We also know from the histories of that period, that it was quite common for the same individual to have two names; and this is never more necessary, than when employed to distinguish brothers who have one name the same. The Herod who is called Philip, is just as likely a distinction, as the Simon who is called Peter, or the Saul who is called Paul. The name of the high-priest, at the time of our Saviour's crucifixion, was Caiaphas, according to the Evangelists. According to Josephus, the name of the high-priest at that period was Joseph. This would have been precisely a difficulty of the same kind, had not Josephus happened to mention that this Joseph was also called Caiaphas. Would it have been dealing fairly with the Evangelists, we ask, to have made their credibility depend upon the accidental omission of another historian? Is it consistent with any acknowledged principle of sound criticism, to bring four writers so entirely under the tribunal of Josephus, each of whom stands as firmly supported by all the evidences which can give authority to a historian, and have greatly the advantage of him in this, that they can add the argument of their concurrence to the argument of each separate and independent testimony? It so happens, however, in the present instance, that even Jewish writers, in their narrative of the same circumstance, give the name of Philip to the first husband of Herodias. We by no means conceive, that any foreign testimony was necessary for the vindication of the Evangelists. Still, however, it must go far to dissipate every suspicion of artifice in the construction of their histories. It proved that, in the confidence with which they delivered themselves up to their own information, they neglected appearance, and felt themselves independent of it. This apparent difficulty, like many others of the same kind, lands us in a stronger confirmation of the honesty of the Evangelists; and it is delightful to perceive how truth receives a fuller accession to its splendor from the attempts which are made to disgrace and to darken it.
"On this branch of the argument the impartial inquirer must be  struck with the little indulgence which infidels, and even christians, have given to the evangelical writers. In other cases, when we compare the narratives of cotemporary historians, it is not expected that all the circumstances alluded to by one will be taken notice of by the rest; and it often happens that an event or a custom is admitted upon the faith of a single historian; and the silence of all other writers is not suffered to attach suspicion or discredit to his testimony, It is an allowed principle that a scrupulous resemblance between two histories is very far from necessary to their being held consistent with one another. And what is more, it sometimes happens that, with cotemporary historians, there may be an apparent contradiction, and the credit of both parties remain as entire and unsuspicious as before. Posterity is in these cases disposed to make the most liberal allowances. Instead of calling it a contradiction, they often call it a difficulty. They are sensible that, in many instances, a seeming variety of statements has, upon a more extensive knowledge of ancient history, admitted of a perfect reconciliation. Instead, then, of referring the difficulty in question to the inaccuracy or bad faith of any of the parties, they, with more justness and more modesty, refer it to their own ignorance, and to that obscurity which necessarily hangs over the history of every remote age. These principles are suffered to have great influence in every similar investigation, every ordinary principle is abandoned, and the suspicion annexed to the teachers of religion is carried to the dereliction of all that candor and liberality with which every other document of antiquity is judged of and appreciated. How does it happen that the authority of Josephus should he acquiesced in as a first principle, while every step in the narrative of the Evangelists must have foreign testimony to confirm and support it? How comes it that the silence of Josephus should be construed into an impeachment of the testimony of the Evangelists, while it is never admitted for a single moment that the silence of the Evangelists can impart the slightest blemish to the testimony of Josephus? How comes it that the supposition of two Philips in one family should throw a damp of scepticism over the gospel narrative, while the only circumstance which renders that supposition necessary is the single testimony of Josephus; in which very testimony it is necessarily implied that there are two Herods in that same family? How comes it that the Evangelists, with as much internal, and a vast deal more of external evidence in their favor, should be made to stand before Josephus, like so many prisoners at the bar of justice? In any other case, we are convinced, that this would be looked upon as rough handling. But we are not sorry for it. It has given more triumph and confidence to the argument. And it is no small addition to our faith that its first teachers have survived an examination which, in point of rigor and severity, we believe to be quite unexampled in the annals of criticism."
But, with a full reference to your notions of contradictions, and to give you an idea with how much ease they can be dissipated, I will give you the following specimen of a case generically, if not  specifically in point; only with this difference, that the circumstance is a very trivial one; but so much the better, as it can be examined without any movement of the passions or feelings from interest, c or any other temptation:--
Four persons, who, as they passed along, witnessed the salvation of a drowning man, reported in the village where they stopped as follows:--A said he "saw a man in the act of being drowned in the river; but he was saved by a man on the bank." B reported that he "saw a man sinking in the river; but he was saved by a plank." C stated that he "saw a person narrowly escape drowning, and that he would have been drowned in the river, but for a skiff which came to his relief." And D affirmed that he "saw a man in the act of drowning, but was saved by a lad who threw him a rope." Each of these witnesses told this matter in his own neighborhood of the town in which they lived. After a short time their reports spread through the whole town, and the contradictions became a matter of criticism. Hitherto they had sustained a good reputation for veracity; but S, a very captious gentleman in town, said it was all a fable, and he believed nothing of it. It was to no purpose that his neighbor O spoke of the general character of the witnesses, and that he alleged they could have no interest in fabricating such a thing. How can you believe such contradictions? he rejoined. Some of them falsifies, and which of them to believe, or whether any of them, I know not how you can decide. A says he was saved by a man on the bank of the river; B, that he was saved by a plank; C, that he was saved by a skiff; and D affirms that he was saved by a lad casting to him a rope. It is irreconcilable! Incredible! Who can believe such palpable contradictions? Perhaps, rejoins O, there is a possibility of reconciling all these seeming contradictions were we to hear all the circumstances.
In the mean time, A drawing near, they agreed to refer to him their difficulties. A observed that the reports of B, C, and D, were as correct as his own. But as he did not suppose it necessary to his being believed that he should narrate all the circumstances, he presumed neither did they. But, gentlemen, continues he, as you seem to take much interest in the matter, I will circumstantially narrate the whole of it:--
The person of whom we spoke had gone into the river too bathe, and after swimming some distance into the river, was returning to the shore; but having become faint and exhausted, he began to sink and called for help. At this, crisis a person on the bank of the river ran to the shore, seized a small plank, and pushed it with all his might into the river. The exhausted stranger had just as much strength, as to lay hold of it and raise his breast upon it, but the current was carrying him down the river with considerable velocity. After descending a few rods, a lad who was returning from the opposite shore, hastened out of his course to relieve him, and had nearly approached him before he was seen by the man on the plank, who, upon turning round to seize the skiff, lost the plank, and failed in reaching the skiff. In this crisis the lad threw him a rope which he succeeded in grasping, and by this means he was taken into the boat and brought safe to shore. 
O exclaimed, I thought if the matter had been examined minutely all the difficulties might have been overcome. But S, abruptly turning round, departed without making a single remark.
Thus, sir, the four testimonies are all true; the alleged contradictions vanish upon a careful examination of all the circumstances. It will be easy for you to make the application to your "plenty of contradictions" in Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, touching the resurrection of the Saviour of the world. This task I will, with all respect for your intellect, assign you till you next hear from me.
|Your obedient servant,|
|From the Christian Messenger.|
BY an unhappy turn in the wheels of the car of Reformation, we find ourselves thrown back upon the ages that succeeded the Apostles in which, from an erroneous interpretation of the figurative language of a few passages in scripture, in which the symbol was identified in word, with the thing signified, very similar to the mistake which afterwards led to transubstantiation. It was universally supposed that baptism was invariably accompanied with a supernatural effect, by an immediate divine agency, which totally changed the state and character of the candidate, and constituted him a child of God, and an heir of the kingdom of heaven. Hence it was almost constantly denoted by the terms illumination, regeneration, and others, expressive of the highest operations of the Spirit: and it was believed to obtain the plenary remission of all past sins; it was sometimes, in order to insure that benefit, purposely deferred to the latest period of life. This was the case with the Emperor Constantine, who, after having spent many years in adjusting the order, and orthodoxy of the christian religion, and determining matters of controversy, between bishops and councils, and ratified the Nicene Creed, submitted to baptism, as we are informed by Eusebius, for purifying himself from offences, and cleansing his soul from guilt, which he believed was to be effected by the power of mystic words and the saving love. When he was baptized, which was just before his death, he said to the bishops who surrounded him, "This is the period 1 have so long hoped and prayed for; the period of obtaining the salvation of God." Constantine was a Novatian. The Novatians formed a sect that sprung up in the third century, which, on account of their views of baptism in washing away sin, and their interpretation of Heb. vi. 4. 6. believed that no person who had been excluded from the fellowship of the church, ought ever to be restored, even upon repentance. A practice contrary to this sentiment caused them to separate from the church, and to form a new sect. They reasoned thus: Baptism is tote performed but once in a man's life, and it is the only act, by which sin is renewed; therefore, all the sin that is committed after baptism, has no remission; and a church which readmits persons, who by having sinned  after baptism had forfeited their membership, is a corrupt church. Constantine, to avoid the remediless fate of those who might sin after baptism, preferred to sin on until just before his death, to which period he designedly put off his baptism, when he was baptized and cleansed his soul from all sin, and received the salvation of God. The Roman Catholics have remedied this evil by instituting the ordinance of confession, which is one of their seven sacraments. They maintain that "all sins committed previous to baptism need not be confessed, for it is the doctrine of the church that they are all washed away by the administration of that rite;"' and they "maintain that the remission of sins committed after baptism can be secured in no other way but by confession to a priest, when this can be done; when a priest cannot be obtained, then the desire to confess will be accepted of God." I shall be very sorry to see Bible Christians of the present day, or any portion of them, return to this system of things, or to any part of it. I greatly fear that this will be the case from the signs of the times. This old doctrine, in part, is brought to view as a new discovery, and is about to be made the occasion of a new sect. I feel greatly afflicted at this, and regard it as a real calamity. I do this, because I am fully convinced that the leading idea of the system is founded in mistake, and because the present sectarian system of things which is so derogatory to the honor and service of Jesus Christ, the happiness of his people, and the conversion of the world, will be strengthened and perpetuated by it. I say, this new principle, or this old one revived, that is about to be the basis of a new sect among the Baptists, is founded in error. The error arises from wrong views of the few places in the New Testament, in which the promise of the remission of sin is connected in expression with baptism. From this it is asserted that baptism is the only medium or action known in the word of God, by which he remits the sin of believers. With fully as much confidence as this sentiment is asserted, I assert the contrary. Here, then, is an issue made up fairly between what may be called the Baptist Reformers and myself. I desire to be fully understood upon this subject, and will state the principle, which I defend with proper limitations and qualifications. I maintain that it is the doctrine of the New Testament, that God justifies the Gentiles by faith alone, and that baptism has no more to do in procuring the remission of sins, or is no more the action through or by which sin is actually remitted, than any other work of faith is; and I moreover assert, with a view of proving it beyond any reasonable doubt, by the word of God, that baptism is wholly misapprehended in its design and use as administered to the Gentiles, when viewed as the reformers view it. You perceive that I limit my observations on the subject of baptism, to the Gentiles. I do this to elicit investigation and to bring the subject to a narrow and definite compass. What I have now said will excite many inquiries. It will he asked, Why this difference between Jew and Gentile? Has God one way of saving the Jew, and another to save the Gentile? In my turn I would propose a few questions, too, for consideration. What was the difference between the Jewish state,  and the state of the Gentiles before the death and the resurrection of Jesus Christ? What was the difference between the Jewish state before the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ; and afterwards, before they embraced the Christian religion? What was the difference between the Jewish state after the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, and the Gentile state, before they embraced Christianity? Did John the Baptist preach the baptism of repentance to the Gentiles? And if not, why did he not? What was the difference between Jesus' disciples and christians? Were there any difference between the ministry and baptism of John, and the ministry and baptism of Jesus Christ and his disciples previous to the day of Pentecost? and if there was, what was it? How far were any of the discourses delivered by Christ during his ministry to the Jews, before his crucifixion, applicable to the Gentiles? Was the discourse delivered by Peter on the day of Pentecost applicable to the Gentiles, and if it was in any degree, to what extent? How far were the Jews being pricked to the heart on the day of Pentecost, and their inquiry, men and brethren what shall we do? limited to, and produced by their state, as distinguished from the state of the Gentiles? and how far was Peter's reply, Repent and be baptized every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sin, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost, for the promise is to you and to your children and them that are afar off, &c. owing to, and limited by the peculiar situation and state of the Jews, as distinguished from the Gentiles? The same inquiries may be made of Saul of Tarsus in reference to his baptism.
When these subjects are fully understood, all the difficulties that now seem to present themselves will disappear.
In the next number of the Messenger, I will adduce my proof before its readers, that the New Testament does not authorise the belief, that the sins of the Gentiles are remitted in baptism at all. In the mean time I hope your readers will examine the scriptures with honest and untiring care, by reading the Old and the New Testament, so as to be able to satisfy themselves truly and scripturally, in reference to the subjects on which I have propounded the above questions.
The essential qualifications of a real reformer consists, in my judgment, in supreme love to Jesus Christ and his truth, with a correct acquaintance with it, and the exclusion of all sectarian principles and feelings. Such a person with the truth of the gospel, cherishes the affections, motives and sympathies of the gospel. He will call everything by the right name, and have every thing in its right place, and can quote every part of scripture which treats of doctrine, ordinances and duties, with equal pleasure; and while he fellowships all christians, to the extent they fellowship Christ and the Apostles, in their acts of worship, and in participating with them in the blessings of the gospel, he withholds his approbation from their errors, and all partyism. Without these qualifications, any reformation that may be attempted will amount to but little more in the end than the reformation of a sect, or a party. Presbyterians may reform so as to sing  Rouse's version of the old Psalms, or so as to form a Cumberland Presbyterian sect; and the Methodist may so reform as to get clear of the supremacy of their bishops, and divide the legislative, judicial and executive power of their sect into more numerous hands, and have a more divided representation in their conferences, and other ecclesiastical meetings; and the Baptists may reform so as to give to baptism the efficacy of remitting sin, or of making it the action by which sin is remitted. But after all this, they are sectarian still, and may be but little better, and perhaps worse for mending. I cannot give utterance to what I believe and know to be the direful consequences of sectarianism in its mildest forms, upon the interests of religion, and the peace and happiness of society.
Always willing that our readers shall have the same opportunity of judging for themselves that we have, I am solicitous that they may hear both sides of every important question, and know all that can ho said against, as well as for every proposition which we offer. This is what we ask from our opponents: and although they will not yield to our importunities, still we feel ourselves compelled by the controlling principles of our religion, not to imitate them, but to give a fair exhibit of both sides.
The essay above quoted from the Christian Messenger deserves special attention, because it contemplates a new ground of opposition to the Apostolic Gospel, as we consider it. The writer of it seems to be a half reformer or middle-ground man, who divides baptism into two species; one for the Jews, for remission of sins--and one for the Gentiles, after they are pardoned. He has taken a middle ground. To the Jew he would preach baptism for remission; to the Gentiles, baptism without remission. From the versatility of his genius in other matters, we shall not be surprised to find him abandon his Jewish baptism, that he may secure his Gentile baptism.
But it will be time enough to examine the grounds and reasons of this opinion when he has presented them to the public. In the mean time, we shall offer to him and the public a few remarks on the essay before us:
The author of this essay is supposed to be a reformer, but a reformer of a peculiar class; and if public fame be worthy of credit, the "car of his reformation" moves in a circle, or, after starting from the city of Presbyterianism, and after much hard toiling for some years, it has stopped in the suburbs of the old city again. He has the same doctrine of communion which this essay exhibits on baptism. He admits that among the old converts there was no breaking of the loaf, save among the immersed disciples; that sprinkling infants is a human tradition; yet he teaches that among the Gentile christians of the present day, all christian union, even to the breaking of the loaf; ought to be practised irrespective of the views of the participants in favor of infant sprinkling, or christian immersion. It is not to be wondered at, then, that he should divide the institution of baptism, as he  has that of the Supper, and give it one meaning to a Jew, and another to a Gentile. I doubt not but this peculiarity arises from a warm desire to promote brotherly kindness and love. We only state these premises to enable the reader to appreciate the conclusions to which he has come.
But we have some complaints to offer which we think are worthy of the attention of Archippus, and these we will arrange in numerical order:
1. Why should he assert that our views of immersion throw us back upon the ages which succeeded the Apostles? He would insinuate not to the age immediately succeeding, or the age of the Apostles itself, but to the third or fourth age after the Apostles. This is "ad captandum vulgus," to catch the thoughtless by representing that we had not gone back to the Apostolic Age, but only to some dark age subsequent to that age. But where is the proof? This he has as yet kept to himself!! Will this saying prove any thing? Nothing for him, and nothing against us. It is only to prejudice, or to inveigle the undiscriminating. Why tell us of the conversion of Constantine, and his notions of baptism? What will this prove? But he wished to introduce the Novatians, and he tells us that Constantine was a Novatian. This we complain of as an unlawful, wanton, and pointless attempt to prejudice, rather than to convince.
2. Why introduce the name of Novatius, or the Novatians, and represent the idea of baptism for the remission of sins as originating with them? or at least, as the first public advocates of this view'? This is not a fact. We challenge him for the proof.
3. Or does he intend to side with the Catholics and call the Novatians heretics, and thus ally us with heretics? This is unmanly, unjust, and every way illogical. We complain of these things, as unworthy of a high-minded man, and of a fair controversialist. But in the next place,
4. We complain of his alleging false facts in his allusions to history. The following sentences he cannot sustain from any authentic document on earth. "The Novatians formed a sect that sprung up in the third century, which, on account of their views of baptism [not a fact] in washing away sin, and their interpretation of Heb. vi. 4-6. believed that no person who had been excluded from the fellowship of the church ought ever to be restored, even upon repentance. A practice contrary to this sentiment caused them to separate from the church, [what church? Ask Mr. Jones] and to form a new sect." This is in a great measure imagined by our friend. He cannot adduce any document to sustain him. I have no doubt but he thought that his imaginations on this subject were all true history. I was confounded when I read these sentences, and immediately brushed the dust off Eusebius, from whom all the moderns borrow, but behold, Eusebius says no such thing. The Catholics call the Novatians heretics, and our friend catches their spirit. But Eusebius never once mentions any peculiarity in this views of baptism. He only says, (London Edition Folio A. D. 1709, page 120) that Novatius "disalloweth of  Holy Baptism," without a single specification. In a note it is explained, that he contemned the baptism of the Catholic Church as inefficient. Yea, the very reverse of Archippus' saying, is the fact, as stated by Valesius. In his note upon the passage, he says: "The confession of faith made by the catechumens before baptism, when they said 'they believed the remission of sins,' he abolished; for, says Valesius. Novatian did not allow remission of sins." I have examined every allusion to Novatian in Eusebius, and find no countenance for the assertions of Archippus. Mosheim, vol. 1 p. 299 of his history, exonerates the Novatians from the charge of Archippus. He says, "Novatian, a presbyter of the Church in Rome, was a man of uncommon learning and eloquence;" of an "austere and rigid character," The sect of the Novatians, (he avers) cannot be charged with having corrupted the doctrine of Christianity by their opinions. Their crime was the unreasonable severity of their discipline--by which they made an unhappy rent in the Church.
Again, page 300, Mosheim says, "There was no difference in point of doctrine between the Novatians and other Christians. What distinguished them was, their refusing to re-admit to the communion of the church those who after baptism had fallen into the commission of heinous crimes, [such as idolatry or apostacy, not every offence,] though they did not pretend that even such were excluded from all possibility or hopes of salvation." Mosheim assigns them no peculiar views of the meaning of baptism. "They only," says he, "considered the baptism administered in those churches [which were lax in discipline] which received the lapsed to their communion even after the most sincere and undoubted repentance, as absolutely divested of the power of imparting the remission of sins," which was the doctrine of the whole church at this time: for "in doctrine the Novatians differed not from other Christians." Mosheim refers to Eusebius; but Eusebius does not justify all his remarks. I have read the references. They rebaptized all whom they received from the Catholic Church, not because they had a new or different baptism, but because they considered that church immoral and impure.
Jones, whom I think Archippus regards as one of the best historians, condemns all his allusions to the Novatians. So also does the historian Robinson. These worthy Baptists speak in the highest terms of the Novatians. All Jones alleges against the Novatians, and this he does with considerable doubt, is, that it is said Novatian refused to receive into the communion of the church any, who in time of persecution, had been induced through fear of sufferings or death, to apostatize from their profession, and offer sacrifices to the heathen deities, a principle which he founded upon a mistaken view of Heb. vi. 4. 6. The following is one of the fairest accounts of the true character of the Novatians which we can find on the pages of any historian:--
"The following is the account given of Novatian by the late Mr. Robert Robinson, in his Ecclesiastical Researches, p. 126; and I the more readily  submit it to the reader, because none who knew Mr. Robinson, can, for a moment, suspect him of having any undue predilection for the principles of Novatian. "He was," says he, "all elder in the Church of Rome, a man of extensive learning, holding the same doctrine as the church did, and published several treatises in defence of what he believed. His address was eloquent and insinuating, and his morals irreproachable. He saw with extreme pain the intolerable depravity of the church. Christians within the space of a very few years were caressed by one emperor, and persecuted by another. In seasons of prosperity many persons rushed into the church for base purposes. In times of adversity they denied the faith and reverted again to idolatry. When the squall was over, away they came again to the church, with all their vices, to deprave others by their examples. The bishops, fond of proselytes, encouraged all this; and transferred the attention of christians from the old confederacy for virtue, to vain shows at Easter, and other Jewish ceremonies, adulterated too with paganism. On the death of bishop Fabian, Cornelius, a brother elder, and a violent partisan for taking in the multitude, was put in nomination. Novatian opposed him; but as Cornelius carried his election, and he saw no prospect of reformation, but, on the contrary, a tide of immorality pouring into the church, he withdrew and a great many with him. Cornelius, irritated by Cyprian, who was just in the same condition, through the remonstrance of virtuous men at Carthage, and who was exasperated beyond measure with one of his own elders, named Novatus, who had quitted Carthage, and gone to Rome to espouse the cause of Novatian, called a council and got a sentence of excommunication passed against Novatian. In the end Novatian formed a church, and was elected bishop. Great numbers followed his example, and all over the empire Puritan churches were constituted and flourished through the succeeding two hundred years. Afterwards, when penal laws obliged them to lurk in corners, and worship God in private, they were distinguished by a variety of names, and a succession of them continued till the Reformation."
"The same author, afterwards adverting to the vile calumnies with which the Catholic writers have in all ages delighted to asperse the character of Novatian, thus proceeds to vindicate him:--
"They say Novatian was the first Antipope; and yet there was at that time no pope, in the modern sense of the word. They call Novatian the author of the heresy of puritanism; and yet they know that Tertullian had quitted the church near fifty years before, for the same reason, and Privatus, who was an old man in the time of Novatian, had, with several more, repeatedly remonstrated against the alterations taking place; and, as they could get no redress, had dissented and formed separate congregations. They tax Novatian with being the parent of in innumerable multitude of congregations of Puritans all over the empire; and yet he had no other influence over any, than what his good example gave him. People "every where saw the same cause of complaint, and groaned for relief; and when one man made a stand for virtue, the crisis had arrived; people saw the propriety of the cure, and applied the same means to their own relief. They blame this man, and all these churches for the severity of their discipline; yet this severe discipline was the only coercion of the primitive churches, and it was the exercise of this that rendered civil coercion unnecessary. Some exclaimed, it is a barbarous discipline to refuse to readmit people into christian communion, because they have lapsed into idolatry or vice. Others, finding the inconvenience of such a lax discipline, required a repentance of five, ten, or fifteen years; but the Novatians said, You may be admitted among us by baptism; or, if any Catholic has baptized you before, by rebaptism; but if you fall into idolatry, we shall separate you from our communion, and on no account readmit you. God forbid we should injure either your person, your property, or your character, or even judge of the truth of your repentance or your future state; but you can never be readmitted to our community, without our giving up the last and only coercive guardian we have of the purity of our [fellowship.] Whether these persons reasoned justly or not, as virtue was their object, they  challenge respect, and he must be a weak man indeed, who is frighted out of it, because Cyprian is pleased to say they are the children of the devil."
The doctrinal sentiments of the Novatians appear to have been very scriptural, and the discipline of their churches rigid in the extreme. They were the first class of Christians who obtained the name of (Cathari) Puritans, an appellation which doth not appear to have been chosen by themselves, but applied to them by their adversaries; from which we may reasonably conclude that their manners were simple and irreproachable."------[Jones' History.]
Upon the whole, the Novatians are defended by Lardner and by Jones, Robinson, and some others, as the purest branch of the Church, as it is called; and notwithstanding their requiring apostates to be re-baptized, they stand with the fairest character of any sect on the page of history down to the times of the Waldenses, or even to the time of the Reformation, though merged in other names. They are the parents of the Baptist sect, so far as it has any parentage out of the Church of Rome.
The vindication of the Novatians is no concern of mine; for it avails nothing with me whether they taught the Jews baptism, or the Gentiles baptism, according to my worthy friend Archippus. But we must do justice to the dead as well as to the living, and nothing can be more unwarranted, from all history, than to say that "they were excluded from the Church of Rome because of their views of baptism in washing away sin." I now call upon Archippus to retract this charge, or to make an effort to sustain it. And here I will take occasion to say, that he cannot find any man of any note, or any sect mentioned in history from Peter's Sermon on Pentecost till Constantine the Great, who held his views of baptism; nor any man who taught that baptism was not connected with the remission of sins. Both his orthodox Church which excluded Novatian, and his heretic Novatian, agreed in their views of "baptism, as washing away sin." Let Archippus name the man in all antiquity who opposed baptism for the remission of sins. We only use this as an argumentum ad hominem. When an opponent would represent us as reviving old heresies, or as holding the views of heretics, we wish him to remember that the orthodox, his own orthodox and the heretics were one in this matter. In this style does the present orthodox Roman Church represent all the Protestants, as reviving old heresies.
Upon the whole, we are glad to see Archippus make his issue on this question, seeing he is determined to be opposed; much more so, however, to have seen him act a more consistent part both towards me, himself, his friends, and the community. He has thrown down the gauntlet on a mere phantom of his own creation, and joined issue with the very persons, whom, of all others, he is the most bound from his own principles, concessions and professions to have sustained. We know his love for his own offspring. No father ever loved an only child with more enthusiasm, than this good doctor loves his own creations. We know it will require him some months to get down to the temperature of calm reason and dispassionate inquiry; and therefore we expect a vigorous effort on his part to maintain his Gentile  Baptism. But, reader, be assured he will have to surrender either his Jews baptism or his Gentile baptism before many moons, in the estimation of all men of sense and intelligence; and among these I would include himself. He has a good library, and has access to all the libraries in Lexington, Kentucky. And as he has fairly made an issue, we expect him to put forth all his powers in his own defence.
I have been at some pains to convict him of the loose and declamatory manner in which ha alludes to facts and documents. Facts are stubborn things, not so pliable as speculations and opinions. We will show that his scripture allusions are as fanciful as his allusions to ecclesiastical history. His distinction between the import of baptism when a Jew and a Gentile is the subject, I would inform him is not new to me: for that thought occurred to me years ago, and was thoroughly canvassed. It amounts to little more than this, and all his preliminary questions amount to no more than this;--A was a drunkard; B, a thief; C, a liar; D, a Samaritan; E, an Ethiopian; F, a Frank; G, a Briton; I, an Italian; and H, a Hellenist: they were all converted to Jesus Christ. Now did baptism signify the same thing to A, B, C. &c. and was there no difference between these persons, national or characteristic, which caused baptism to mean one thing to one, and another thing to another? But I enter not into the merits of his views until he have farther committed them to writing. In this I only complain of his unfairness.
Of the Inefficiency of the Popular Preaching and the Popular Systems:
THE Editor of the Religious Herald says that in the city of Richmond, Va. with a population of 17,000 souls, he does not believe it is known that 20 souls have become decidedly pious during the last twelve months. This is alarming indeed; for in the city of Richmond there are two religious journals, a Bible Society furnishing the whole state with Bibles, Missionary Societies, Tract, Temperance, Colonizing, Sabbath, and Dorcas Societies. Now, allowing one death to a hundred inhabitants, one hundred and seventy persons must have died during the time that not twenty persons became decidedly pious. In the country it was not much, if any thing, better, except where the ancient gospel is proclaimed.
In three months, a correspondent informs me, brother Dr. Duval immersed one hundred persons for the remission of their sins--all moving on piously so far as we are capable of judging. Yet the clergy are making war upon him!! In New York, it is said, where a few years ago there were but a few known sceptics, Miss Frances Wright has obtained 20,000 followers, notwithstanding all the religious hustle of all the benevolent schemes of the day, with all the preachers of a hundred isms to aid them. Yet there is no need of reformation!!
THE thinking part of the christian community are much more than at any former period, inquiring into the meaning of the prophecies. The Millennium, and the mode of its introduction, are the prominent topics of examination in all the recent publications in this department of sacred literature. Intellects of every order are furnishing their gleanings and their reasonings on these subjects in a greater ratio than the accumulation of satisfactory light and evidence on the questions which they discuss. This is to be expected as one of the signs or omens of the approximation of that much-wished-for period. Many are running to and fro in their inquiries, and therefore knowledge shall be increased.
I have just risen from the perusal of an octavo pamphlet, of 82 pages, from a Nashville press, and from the pen of S. M. M'Corckle, full of "Thoughts on the Millennium;" and "A Comment on the Revelations;" also, "A few Remarks on Church Government." A. D. 1730. The author relies more on common sense than on profound or extensive research, for the views which he entertains and exhibits on these subjects. Many of his thoughts are very good, and his motives appear to have been, what he affirms they were--good, in addressing the public in this pamphlet. This work is interspersed with many excellent remarks upon the present order of religious society, and sounds a necessary alarm to those sleeping christians who are said to be at ease in their own Zion.
The prominent views exhibited in this pamphlet we shall lay before our readers with all brevity:--
The date of the rise of the Man of Sin, whom he also calls Antichrist, he fixes in the year of our Lord 587. He arrives at this period by the same process of reasoning exhibited in our Debate with Owen, vol. 2, page 73. Making the cleansing of the sanctuary 2300 days, or years, from the going forth of the decree to rebuild Jerusalem, and subtracting therefrom the 490 years determined or counted on the Jews, he makes the birth of the Messiah 453 years from the rebuilding of the city and temple; thus leaving 1817 years since the birth of the Messiah for the fulfilment of the 2300 years. This calculation makes the year 1847 the time of the commencement of the Millennium; and then deducting therefrom 1260 years for the life of the Man of Sin, ascertains the year 587 as the time of his birth. About this time, John, Bishop of Constantinople, and Pelagius, Bishop of Rome, set up their pretensions for Universal Bishop. The Emperor deciding in favor of Pelagius, the Roman aspirant, gives him the supremacy, and thus he becomes, with his successors, in full character, his Man of Sin.
Gregory, who succeeded Pelagius, claimed the title of Judge and Vicegerent of the Most High instituted the canon of the mass, prayers to saints as mediators, the festival of the Virgin Mary, and of the conception, the sale of relics, &c. &c. He came into the chair 590.
This writer makes a year in prophecy not the lunar, but the solar; and supposes it always to denote one revolution of the earth.  According to this data, he assigns to the year 1847 the tremendous judgments accompanying the slaughter of the Man of Sin.
Daniel's "little horn" he interprets as papal Rome, which rose to universal dominion upon the ruins of pagan Rome. The downfall of the Man of Sin, Christ's second coming, the judgment of Antichrist, and the commencement of the Millennium, with him are contemporaneous events. For the "little horn" was to make war upon the saints until the Ancient of days should come and the judgment should sit upon the nations; and this is to happen before "the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, should be given to the people of the saints of the Most High."
After this cleansing of the sanctuary, a new order of priesthood is to be commissioned, a New Jerusalem to be set up, and new displays of the Holy Spirit vouchsafed to men.
The present churches he calls harlots; the present priesthood, blind leaders of the blind, self-ordained, or ordained by antichristian hands. He then contrasts the typical priesthood, their vices, enormities, and downfall with the present; and only makes the fates of the modern priesthood more tremendous than those of the ancient. His new priesthood, called the "new heaven," of which Isaiah, Peter, and John spake, is to be commissioned by the Lord in person, "with sevenfold power and demonstration to the commission received on Pentecost.' The churches are all in Babylon; but they are not churches, but "priest flocks," impiously called the fold of Christ. His words are, "Many of us as individuals, are united to Christ; but, collectively, are the body of harlots, or that which is worse, of the great Mother of Harlots."
The "second beast" is the reformation from Popery. The reformed churches have got the power of the "first beast." These churches, with many of their members, are to be engulphed in an intervening vortex preceding the Millennium, and these heavens are to he folded up as a scroll. Between this time and the Millennium is to be a time of trouble, "such as never was since there was a nation."
All this is prefatory to his comment on the Revelations. The Revelation of John after the three first chapters, is a history of the church, exhibited under the seven seals, as seven distinct periods:--1st. The white horse represents the introduction of christianity. 2d. The red horse, pagan persecutions. 3d. The black horse, christianity established with tests, creeds, and civil power. 4th. Corruptions consequent upon the establishment, are represented by the pale horse. 5th. Papal persecutions. 6th. The judgments preceding the Millennium. 7th. A New Jerusalem is set up.
The Messiah is to reign three hundred and sixty-five thousand years. The trumpets represent not things succeeding the seven seals, but constitute a kind of review under a new imagery. "Specialties, rather than general views, distinguish the scenery of the trumpets."
The two witnesses, are the Word and the Spirit. "Physical and moral operations bearing witness in the field of providence and in the field of grace." 
The "everlasting gospel" is a new dispensation, which shall last till the end of time, to be introduced at the commencement of the Millennium, having the same meaning with the "new heaven and the new earth." The present gospel, or institution, is to be rolled up like a scroll; for "the present church can never renovate herself."
The vials are all in the future. "I am decidedly of opinion," says he, "the vials are all in the future." The "false Prophet" means the clergy, or false teachers of the Catholic and Protestant church. The binding and loosing of Satan, Gog and Magog, and sundry other matters of curious import, this writer presumes not to explain. Indeed, he very candidly acknowledges, in many places, his inability to understand, and only exhibits confidence when he feels it.
He appears, upon the whole, to rely too much upon common sense and Scott's Family Bible. These two are not competent to unfold the secrets of the prophecies. The parts accomplished are more easily understood than the parts which are yet future. Even these require more research into the past than he has been well able to bestow upon the future. And, indeed, it is not to be expected that any one who has to confess ignorance of a large portion of the Apocalypse, can feel confident in his views of any part of it. Still every effort to increase our knowledge in this part of sacred literature ought to be thankfully received. Great diffidence in our own conclusions is allowable and becoming on the subject of prophecy. The intimate and extensive acquaintance with history, requisite to a developement of the predictions of Daniel and John, few men have either the leisure or the means to acquire. Some of the views presented in this treatise are very plausible, but others of them are as visionary as those of Burnet or Mede. Indeed, they are only improbable guesses, without any fixed data to sustain them. But yet the pamphlet is well worthy of a perusal, not only on account of the many truths uttered on the present state of things, but because it awakens attention to one very plain and interesting subject of prophecy, viz. that christendom is to be the theatre of the most tremendous calamities and sudden disasters, terminating in that unexampled earthquake, which is to destroy the monarchies, hierarchies, and all the bastard progeny of the Mother of Harlots, which, like the frogs of Egypt, pollute every synagogue, fireside, and closet in the land; and all this as preliminary to the commencement of the reign of a thousand years.
The reformation of churches and nations, as such, as well as the conversion of the heathen by the children of devoted Rome, is as chimerical as the ancient crusades. One impression, which we have long entertained, is deepened by the perusal of these pages, that, in proportion as the prophecies are understood, will the zeal and sectarian enterprize to proselyte the heathen abate. Until christendom is converted to Jesus Christ, nothing can be done to convert the world. But whether christendom can be converted to Jesus Christ, unless it be by the outpouring of all the vials of wrath due to the desolating abomination; unless it be by the sudden and tremendous display of the indignation of a twice crucified Lord, upon the incorrigible and  impenitent pretender to his doctrine and spirit, is a question of serious discussion. That a remnant will escape we cannot doubt; but as our knowledge of the future enlarges, so does the appalling amount of professors, who seem destined to be engulphed in the tremendous vortex of varied and accumulated vengeance fast coming upon an apostate church.
We constitutionally incline to look at the bright side of the picture, and to take the most cheering view of things; but in defiance of this our bias, a deepening gloom overspreads our ecclesiastical heavens. The distant corruscations and the portentous stillness in the old world for a few years past, omen a gathering tempest, which, when it bursts--who can tell what unshaken and unscathed shall remain? And who shall stand when the Lord doth this--when he arises to shake terribly the earth!! He shall bathe his sword in the heavens, and the earth shall he soaked with blood!
A reformation, we rejoice to know, has always been proclaimed before the cup of indignation has been poured out. And, bless the Lord! this voice is heard in our land. Therefore, "come out of her, my people, that you partake not of her sins, and that you receive not of her plagues:" for unless you reform you shall also perish.
In our next number we propose giving an analysis of another new work on the prophecies.
Between the arguments for and against reformation in Luther's time and the
present time, exemplified by a quotation from Mosheim's Ecclesiastical
History, vol. 3. p. 106, 110:--
"BUT, continues he, my present business is with the first reformers, and to them I return. Those who more especially merit that title, were Luther, Zuingle, Calvin, Melancthon, Bucer, Martyr, Bullinger, Beza, Oecolompadius, and others. Now these were all men of learning, who came forth into the field of controversy, in which the fate of future ages, with respect to liberty, was to be decided, with a kind of arms that did not at all give them the aspect of persons agitated by the impulse, or seduced by the delusions of fanaticism. They pretended not to be called to the work they undertook by visions, or internal illuminations and impulses: they never attempted to work miracles, nor plead a divine commission; they taught no new religion, nor laid claim to any extraordinary vocation; they respected government, practised and taught submission to civil rulers, and desired only the liberty of that conscience which God has made free, and which ceases to be conscience if it be not free. They maintained that the faith of christians was to be determined by the word of God alone; then had recourse to reason and argument, to the rules of sound criticism, and to the authority and light of history. They translated the Scriptures into the popular languages of different countries, and appealed to them as the only test of religious truth. They exhorted christians to judge for themselves, to search, to break asunder the bands of ignorant oppression and lawless authority to assert that  liberty of conscience to which they had an unalienable right as reasonable beings." These were the arguments of the reformers. The arguments of the opposers of reformation are the following:--
As soon as the Popes perceived the remarkable detriment their authority had suffered from the accurate interpretations of the Holy Scriptures that had been given by the learned, and the perusal of these Divine Oracles, which was now grown more common among the people, they left no method unemployed that might discourage the culture of this most important branch of sacred erudition. While the tide of resentment ran high, they forgot themselves in the most unaccountable manner. They permitted their champions to indulge themselves openly in reflections injurious to the dignity of the sacred writings, and by an excess almost incredible, if the passions of men did not render them capable of the greatest enormities, to declare publicly, that the edicts of pontiffs, and the records of oral traditions, were superior in point of authority to the express language of the Holy Scriptures. But as it was impossible to bring the sacred writings wholly into disrepute, they took the most effectual methods in their power to render them obscure and useless. For this purpose the ancient Latin translation of the Bible, commonly called the Vulgate, though it abounds with innumerable gross errors, and in a great number of places exhibits the most shocking barbarity of style, and the most impenetrable obscurity with respect to the sense of the inspired writers, was declared, by solemn decree of the Council of Yunt, an authentic, i. e. a faithful, accurate, and perfect translation, and was consequently recommended as a production beyond the reach of criticism or censure.
It was easy to foresee that such a declaration was every way adapted to keep the people in ignorance and to veil from their understandings the true meaning of the sacred writings. In the same Council steps were taken to execute, with success, the designs of Rome. A severe and intolerable law was enacted, with respect to all interpreters and expounders of the Scriptures, by which they were forbidden to explain the sense of these divine books, in matters relating to faith and practice, in such a manner as to make them speak a different language from that of the church and the ancient Doctors. The same law further declared that the church alone, i. e. its rulers, the Roman pontiffs, had the right of determining the true meaning and signification of Scripture. To fill up the measure of tyrannical and iniquitous proceedings, the church of Rome persisted obstinately in affirming, though not always with the same impudence and plainness of speech, that the Holy Scriptures were not composed for the use of the multitude, but only for that of their spiritual teachers; and, of consequence, ordered these divine records to be taken from the people in all places where it was allowed to execute its imperious command." vol. 3, p. 158-9.
These circumstances had a visible influence upon the spirit and productions of the commentators and expositors of Scripture, which the example of Luther and his followers had rendered through  emulation extremely numerous. The Popish Doctors, who, vied with the Protestants in this branch of sacred erudition, were insipid, timorous, servilely attached to the glory and interests of the court of Rome, and discovered, in their explications, all the marks of slavish dependence and constraint. They seem to have been in constant terror lest any expression should escape from their pen that savored of opinions differing from what were commonly received; they appeal every moment to the declarations and authority of the holy fathers, as they usually style them; nor do they appear to have so much consulted the best doctrines taught by the sacred writers, as the language and sentiments which the church of Rome has taken the liberty to put into their mouths. Several of the commentators rack their imaginations in order to force out of each passage of Scripture the four kinds of significations, called literal, allegorical, tropological, and anagogical, which ignorance and superstition had first invented and afterwards held so sacred in the explication of the inspired writings, Nor was their attachment to this manner of interpretation so ill managed, since it enabled them to make the sacred writers speak the language that was favorable to the views of the church, and to draw out of the Bible, with the help of a little subtlety, whatever doctrine they had a mind to impose upon the credulity of the multitude. p. 160.
REMARKS ON THE ABOVE EXTRACTS.
1. The reformers in Luther's time did not depend upon impulses upon the mind, nor the delusions of fanaticism, nor upon internal illuminations, nor upon miracles, nor upon divine and special calls to the religious, nor upon extraordinary vocations; but they taught the human conscience of men--that the faith of christians was to be tried by God's word, and not by the creed nor by councils--they had recourse to reason, argument, criticism, and to history, to new translations--they taught men to break "lawless yokes," that christians were free.
2. All the whole controversy between the Protestants and Roman Catholics, and between us and the modern Catholics are reducible to two points. The first is, Are the Scriptures the only rule of faith and practice? We say, Yes; the Catholics, ancient and modern, say (not theoretically, but practically they say no,) traditions or creeds are as necessary as Scripture. The second is, who is to judge of the sense of Scripture--the people or the clergy ? We say, the people. The Catholics say, No; the clergy must interpret by making little idol gods for the people to see.
3. The arguments of ancient and modern Catholics are an open and injurious disparagement of the Scriptures; such as, "they are a dead letter," "they are lampblack and paper," "poor little almanacs," "newspaper," "a sealed book," "a mysterious book" The second argument is oral tradition--the edicts or advisory councils of Pontiffs are superior to the Scriptures--you must obey man rather than God.
4. Cry up "the impenetrable obscurity," the gross errors, the shocking barbarities of style in the old translations, and cry down the new translations, however faithful, elegant, accurate, or plain. 
5. Render the Bible obscure and useless through traditions and quadruple or four meanings, and make traditions all in all; praise the Holy Fathers; and dispraise the Apostles and Prophets of God; then call councils to back the decisions of the church or clergy, to uphold the church book, constitution, and long established customs of the Baptist society; then cry, "Splitting churches! Splitting churches! Destroying our constitution and order!"
These are some of the powerful arguments of Catholics Reformed. "The Baptists are a pure and spiritual people, poor and persecuted," and never drank any of the juice of the "poisonous berries"--which God's vineyard has produced, instead of bringing forth grapes, as he designed it should. Here is a fair sample of the arguments of Reformers and Anti-Reformers. It is denied that we are persecuted. We are not burnt at the stake, it is true; nor imprisoned, nor is our property confiscated, nor are we banished from the country; but for these favors we thank God and the laws of our country, and not our clergy; because the aphorism that "priests of all religions or sects are the same--they will be persecutors when they can," is not less ponderous than it is true. But we would ask, Is not the persecution of the tongue, to a tender, devout, conscientious, and ingenuous spirit, worse than that of the sword, and more difficult to be submitted to, because a good name is better than bodily life? Is there no persecution in being called Atheists, Deists, Socinians, Arians, Unitarians, Campbellites, Apostates, Pelagians, Sandemanians, H------? In being charged, contrary to fact and the most abundant testimony, of breaking open meeting-houses, splitting churches, creating discord, et cetera? In being "dropt" or cursed by advisory councils, shut out of meeting and private houses, sticks drawn upon us by the clergy, and then to be charged with all the fault and crime of these things, from one end of the nation to the other, in the papers? In being called buzzards, mice, flies, spiders, hogs, dogs, et cetera? These are blessings in disguise. This is not persecution; there is nothing in all this afflicting to a tender conscience! When the Judge of all makes inquisition for blood, will he not remember these things--will he forget the cry of the humble? Why should we persecute these people, seeing the root of the matter is found in them?
A REMARKABLE ANALOGY
BETWEEN THE JEWISH DOCTORS AND THE MODERN CREED DOCTORS.
THE following piece is extracted from a late work, published by Archibald Alexander, of Princeton, New Jersey, titled "The Bible Complete without the Apochrypha and Unwritten Traditions:"--
"The Jews," says he, page 110, "place fully as much faith in the Talmud as they do in the Bible. Indeed, it is held in much greater esteem, and the reading of it is much more encouraged. It is a saying of one of their most esteemed Rabbis, that "the oral law is the foundation of the written; nor can the written law be expounded but by the oral." Agreeably to this, in their confession, called The Golden Altar, it is said, "It is impossible for us to stand upon the  foundation of our holy law, which is the written law, unless it be by the oral law, which is the exposition thereof. In the Talmud it is written, "that to give attention to the study of the Bible is some virtue; but he who pays attention to the study of the Mishna, possesses a virtue which shall receive a reward; and he who occupies himself in reading the Gemara, has a virtue than which there is none more excellent." Nay, they go to the impiety of saying, "that he who is employed in the study of the Bible and nothing else, does but waste his time." They maintain that if the declarations of this oral law be ever so inconsistent with reason and common sense, they must be received with implicit faith. "You must not depart from them," says Rabbi Sol Jarehi, "if they should assert that your right hand is your left, or your left hand your right." And in the Talmud it is taught that, "to sin against the words of the scribes is more grievous than to sin against. the words of the law." The text of the Bible is like water, but the Mishna is like wine; with many other similar comparisons. Without the oral law, they assert, that the written law remains in perfect darkness; for, say they, "there are many things in Scripture which are contradictory, and which can in no way be reconciled but by the oral law which Moses received in Mount Sinai." Their learned men spend almost all their time in poring over the Talmud; and he among them who knows most of the contents of this monstrous farago of lies and nonsense, is esteemed the most learned man."
NOTES ON A TOUR TO NASHVILLE.
On Tuesday, the 28th December, after an affecting adieu to our brethren and friends in Nashville, we commenced our journey homewards. On Thursday, we delivered an address in Hopkinsville, Ky. to a large and attentive audience. One person, after the discourse, came forward, confessed the Lord, and was immersed. On the next day we spoke in Elkton. John Wilson, a zealous defender of Calvinism, and a very Regular Baptist, who presides over that diocese in the character of a monthly pastor, had vapored no little, as report said, about his ability to defend the citadel of orthodoxy against all assault. My topic of discourse at that place was Hebrews, 4th chapter, on the character of "the living and effectual word." He appeared willing to show his prowess; but on further trial his wife, who was convalescent from an attack of some sort, required his presence at home, and he could not stay for an evening meeting. After partaking of the hospitalities of Col. Buckner we proceeded, on the next day, to Russelville, where we spoke on the cloud of witnesses to the efficacy and excellency of faith as the great principle of action under the government of Jesus Christ. Two persons professed the faith, and were that same evening immersed by brother Adams.
We proceeded thence to Bowling Green, where we arrived in time for an evening meeting. Two friends, of the Quaker connexion, had assembled a congregation in the Court House, and Jeremiah Hubbard addressed them on the system of pure old fashioned spiritual Quakerism. We made some remarks, after he had done, on the call and mission of George Fox, the Baron Swedenborg, and many of the modern Apostles, who like our friend Hubbard were said to be moved by the Holy Spirit. The unreasonableness of any person pretending to such special calls and suggestions, unless they desired the people implicitly to receive their communications without further examination, was demonstrated. 
On Monday morning, the 3d of January, we proceeded on our journey. Brother J. Creath having appointments in Fayette county, and I intending to visit Greensburgh, we were compelled to separate. After spending many very happy days together, we had to say farewell, and commend each other to the great Shepherd and Overseer of our souls. My daughter Eliza Ann was my only companion for the remainder of that week. On Tuesday evening we arrived at Greensburgh. We were courteously received and entertained by E. Creel, Esq. of this place, where we continued till Thursday morning. We had two meetings with the citizens on Wednesday. So little accustomed were they to believe that God meant what he said, or said what he meant, or that his word was to be acted upon promptly and implicitly, that none were prepared to obey it.
On Saturday evening we arrived via Danville at the house of our very affectionate and devoted brother Jos. Helm, sen. who has been for more than half a century a disciple of the great Teacher. He lamented that for forty years of that time he had been much incommoded in his enjoyments by the fogs of Calvinism. He has raised a very numerous and promising family. He introduced us to his twenty-first child, Washington, a lad about seven or eight years old. He rejoices with his amiable consort, and many of his children, in the liberty which is in Christ Jesus. A number of the disciples from the vicinity of Danville having assembled at brother Helm's, we spent a very agreeable evening.
On Lord's day, January 9th, we addressed a very large assembly in Lancaster, on the mission and prominent points of coincidence of the three great leaders of men, divinely commissioned. These were Moses, John, and Jesus. Two persons, after the discourse, came forward to confess the Lord. We spent the evening with brother William Jennings, at whose house another person came forward to make the good confession. Travelling with as much speed as the roads would permit, which at this time were very bad, we delivered addresses in the towns of Richmond, Winchester, Mount Sterling, Paris, North Middletown, Millersburg, May's Lick, and Maysville. Notwithstanding the roughness of the travelling, depth of snow, and coldness of the weather, congregations were generally large and attentive. Few incidents of much interest occurred at these meetings, as the time spent in each place generally was short. Two persons confessed the Lord at Winchester, walked some distance through the snow to the water, and were immersed by brother John Smith. A Methodist preacher, whose name I am now unable to record, after the address asked leave to bring forward a string of what he supposed to be heretical tenets, culled from the pages of the Christian Baptist and the Harbinger, which he wished to debate. An invitation had been given in the notice published by the brethren, to all persons who had any objections to make, to come and hear, and offer them while we were present to prevent misrepresentations afterwards. This notification, which had respect to the discourse to be offered, the gentleman converted into a license to submit the cullings of eight volumes as the subjects of discussion. The sun at this time was about one hour high, and my appointment required me to travel the next day to meet it!! If I remember right, one of the first items was something about "the Trinity," or "the doctrine of the Trinity," which he was apparently anxious to discuss. Soon discovering the calibre of his intellect, education, and the bent of his prejudices, we told the gentleman that if he had any thing to propose or object, or to inquire, touching the matters of the discourse delivered, we should hear him with all patience and attention; but if he had any thing to debate about Trinity or Unity, or any foreign topics, we would beg to be excused, as we always chose our opponent when we had say thing worthy of a formal discussion. After a little reconnoitering the gentleman withdrew, and we dismissed the assembly.
Whether owing to the coldness of the weather, the rapidity of our movements, or to the influence of the spirit of controversy in these sections of Kentucky, we found the community little disposed to submit to the government of Jesus Christ. It is true, there are many disciples heartily engaged in the reformation in all these counties--in some of them a majority of the professors in the  Baptist community; but the proscriptive measures of the enemies of reform had alienated the public ear from paying that regard to the authority and excellency of the christian religion, which, in other circumstances, they might have evinced, and which we saw exhibited in other places. Indeed, the great mass of the non-professing community have their feelings on the side of reform. Our opponents have produced this bias by the injustice; illiberality, and tyranny of their proceedings. The uncommitted and impartial spectators and auditors of their measures, have been so disgusted that few persons of discernment can ever enlist under their sectarian banners. The dull monotony of sectarian tenets, added to the unchristian temper and demeanor of their proclaimers and advocates, are never likely to have a strong hold on the affections of the rising, generation The ignorance of the Christian and Jewish Scriptures, which abound; among those imbued with the spirits of the sectarian institutions, eminently disqualify the indoctrinated to hear or judge for themselves on the great questions which now agitate, and which for some time to come, must agitate, this community. Ignorance, Superstition, and Bigotry are handmaids to each other; and where the former is, the latter cannot be. Bigotry and Superstition are the offspring of Night. In an intelligent and well informed mind they can find no entertainment. And in proportion as any community becomes enlightened, these demons of discord are succeeded by Tolerance, Liberality, and True Devotion.
I was so continually in conversation when not addressing the public or travelling, that I was unable to make a single memorandum of the incidents on my return from Lancaster to the Ohio River. Many interesting conversations and pleasing interviews lightened the "tedium vitae" the irksomeness of the way, and the intelligent zeal and devotion of many disciples gave a new impetus to my energies in the gospel which every where ascribes glory to God in the highest, produces peace on earth, and good will among men.
On Wednesday, the 26th of January, we crossed the Ohio River, much impeded by the floating ice, having been conducted to its shore by a number of the brethren, some of whom accompanied us for many days. Brethren Hewit and Nicholdson saw us safe into the state of Ohio, through which we passed with all possible speed, arriving at home on the evening of the 3d of February. Thus, under the kind and indulgent care of our Heavenly Father, we finished a tour of 1400 miles by land in one hundred days, without a single accident worthy of a name. During these 100 days we delivered about 70 public addresses, besides about twice that number of fireside lectures, and were the means of introducing more than 70 persons into the Kingdom of Jesus Christ. We found the same kind care and merciful providence had been extended over our family which had accompanied us by day and night through all the dangers and toils of a winter journey through a great variety of country and circumstances.
A considerable variety of fact, narrative and reflections, intended for these notes, is reserved for subsequent notices of the signs of the times and the state of the churches, which we promise in the numbers of the present volume.
LETTER TO R. B. SEMPLE.
I COME now to that part of your letter in which you avow your predilections for the old version of the New Testament. This is not to be wondered at. Old men are generally fond of old times and old things. Though the latter house was to be, and did become more glorious than the first, yet the old men who saw the second Temple reared, shed tears when they remembered the first. The old men of England and Scotland preferred the good old Bishop's Bible, which  long use had consecrated, and pious meditation had endeared. They were as much opposed to the common version now in use, when it first appeared, as you are to the new version. They had not the same confidence in the King's translators which they had in the translators of Bishop's Bible; for men are wont to think the dead were more virtuous than the living, and our own times are always productive of men not to be trusted. The decree of the king which proscribed the then old version and legitimatized the common version, was regarded by many of the pious as cruelly proscriptive and illiberal.
The preface to the common version, published in the Christian Baptist, vol. 6, shows that all the objections which you have made to the new version were offered against the old, and repelled by the apologist for the king's version.
In addition to the reasons suggested in the prefaces to the new version, others might be adduced still farther illustrative of the actual necessity and utility of a new version. But as no person has attempted to show that these reasons are not good and valid, it appears superfluous to enforce them by auxiliary or additional considerations.
No man can translate a work which he does not understand. To understand the Greek language is one thing, and to translate any work in that language into another, is quite a different thing. The most perfect knowledge of the Greek language which any man can possibly attain, will not qualify him to translate the New Testament, unless he understand the meaning of the book. This the literati of the present day will at any time decide; indeed they have already decided it. Neither Homer nor Virgil, Demosthenes nor Cicero, can be translated without a perfect knowledge of their meaning, besides a perfect knowledge of the language which they wrote. Hence the numerous and diversified translations of these works, and their comparative merits as faithful representations of the original. Cowper's Homer, though less poetic, is a much fairer representation of the original than Pope's Homer. All the differences in translations arise, not so much from the lack of a perfect knowledge of the original tongues as from a perfect knowledge of the meaning of the works which have been translated.
I need not tell you that a Greek word is sometimes rendered into Latin, and a Latin word into English, by six or seven terms. Perhaps all the nouns and verbs would average five meanings. Often these meanings are much akin, but sometimes they are very dissimilar. Now will it not appear evident, that the translator in every instance, in selecting one of the five, will be governed by his own sense of the meaning of the writer, and in some measure by his taste? This single remark, the truth of which all must perceive, decides this question. I could, as you well know, give a thousand instances from either the Greek or Latin language, where the choice of one meaning in preference to another gives quite a different turn to the sense of a period or a discourse.
From all which it is plain that, to say the least, as much depends upon understanding the author, as the language in which he writes,  to qualify a translator to give a fair representation of the original. Need I ask you now, whether the king's translators had this knowledge of the meaning of the book? Were they not as much warped by system as any of the sectaries of the present day?
The sects received the common version by a sort of political necessity, at first, and by the same necessity they still retain it, each of them finding fault with it in many instances. They agreed in retaining the version for the same reasons of union which govern them in a National Tract, or Sunday School concern, and they go to the same extent of co-operation in both. These are sober facts, which a little observation will furnish to the most common mind.
The authors of the new version were not so much under the influence of system as were the authors of the king's version. They were also furnished with much better means of understanding both the book and the language in which it was written, than were the king's translators. We do not say that they were perfectly acquainted with the meaning of the book, nor that any person now living is perfectly acquainted with it; but in the progress towards this perfection they were full two centuries in advance of the authors of the common version. This superiority is apparent on every page of the new version. We do, and must contend, that a version more correct than the common is as necessary to the full exhibition of christianity as a reformation of the professors of the present day--if not to the same extent, they are equally indispensable to this object.
On your principles, though the English language should change for two hundred years to come, as much as, or more than, during the two centuries past; and although the knowledge of christianity should continue to increase as it has done in a constant progression since the Protestant reformation, still the people must call nothing "the New Testament" but the king's version; nor, indeed, must they read any other. This is your position when fairly carried out. Let the people, "the common people," we say, have both. The publication of the new version, and the reading of it by the people, have done more to illuminate the public mind, as far as this version has been read, than all the commentaries of the last century. It has given a new impulse to their minds, and a healthy impulse. Do not interpose the authority of your name to nullify this happy influence.
We have courted objections to the new version, and solicited discussion upon its merits. They have been refused. Nothing candid, nothing argumentative, has as yet appeared. We have been sparing in finding faults with the common version, on two accounts: first, because comparatively few have access to any other; and in the second place, because some are accustomed to allege that we desire a disparagement of the old, that we may introduce some favorite points, to which the old is not so favorable as the new version. The latter insinuation we have often repelled, by stating that we contend for no point of importance that cannot be well sustained from the common version. But our silence upon the numerous defects and errors in the common version, is not because we have not discovered, or are  unable to exhibit them. When called to this task we shall not, we pledge ourselves, be found wanting.
But, sir, give me leave to tell you that we have not the king's version as the translators gave it. Many changes have been silently introduced, and there is a great difference between the old copies of the king's version and the new impressions of it. To make one sweeping specification, all the marginal readings which are of the same authority with the text, as emanating from the same source, are expunged from the copies now generally in use. This is a liberty which has been taken without any act of Parliament, or any convention of the clergy of which we are informed.
Your second letter has been received, and will appear in our next. My apology for not publishing it in this number, is, that l wish to finish my remarks upon that under consideration. I have now adverted to all its prominent items.
I do complain, and the present generation are witnesses how justly I complain, that I have never had an argumentative opponent on any one of the great questions discussed in the Christian Baptist, or in this work. For many, like yourself, my dear sir, rely upon having the popular current in their favor, or upon their standing with the people; and no man seems disposed and prepared to submit himself to the arena of scripture, sound logic, or good common sense; to strip himself of all the adventitious allies which he has in the prejudices of the people; and to place himself upon the same level with myself. Yet, with all the disadvantages under which we are oppressed, we rejoice that many minds are relieved from slavish systems; and that notwithstanding the fearful odds against us, the reformation advances with a steady and firm pace. Desirous of a continuation of your favors, I remain your sincere friend and obedient servant.
APOLOGY TO VINDEX.
YOUR details concerning the Editor of the Baptist Chronicle are unnecessary out of Kentucky; and if it be a fact that he attempted, in the face of his own county, to ruin the reputation of his own brother for the sake of getting his office of Clerk of the Court, the Baptists of Kentucky, knowing this, need not be reminded of it, by an expose of his proceedings in that case. Neither can I consent to publish any thing, even from my correspondents, in vindication of myself, or any one else, from his vulgar and scurrilous abuse. We have shown to all who have eyes, that himself and his paper are beneath contempt, and just such a vehicle as the enemies of reform required to transport their manufactures to a suitable market. Let not the friends of reform place themselves upon a level with the calumniators of this age. Whenever a person, professing any form of religion, calls an opponent "a liar" because he reasons differently on facts, or infers from them something at variance with his conclusions; or without any evidence, reason, or occasion, other than his own malignity, he puts himself out of the pale of all communion and regard, religious, moral, or civil; and he that touches him pollutes himself. Our friend Vindex will, therefore, excuse us for not publishing his communications on this subject. On any principles or views within the purview of this paper, we shall be glad to hear from him; but to vindicate any one from the abuse of the Baptist Chronicle, is rather to deprive virtue of its reward, than to diminish the virulence of that relentless fury whose  sole delight is to anathematize, proscribe, and defame every one who bows not to the image for which he manufactures the silver shrines. Let the friends of reform be true to themselves, and the Chronicle, "like the scorpion confined within a circle of fire, will sting itself to death."
REJECTION OF THE SEMPLE AND BROADDUS DECREES.
THE Semple and Broaddus Decrees were rejected by Mr. Semple's own church at Bruington, on the 5th of March. That very church, which, it is said, was so aggrieved at the spread of our views as to justify R. B. Semple and Andrew Broaddus in calling a council to proscribe us; that very church, which, it is said, the mover of these decrees planted, and in which he has labored for so many years, has done itself the honor to reject the decrees of the elders. Thus, as our correspondent remarks, "has the sceptre departed from Judah and a lawgiver from Dover."
The number of professors and non-professors which attended this meeting, made it resemble, we are informed, an association rather than a church. Brother Duval, an able and eloquent pleader of the cause of the New Testament, exposed the doctrine of the Semple and Broaddus Decrees. Several correspondents inform us that the defence of brother Duval was powerful and eloquent--his expose of the injustice done us in the decrees, lucid and convincing. Andrew Broaddus, who was invited to aid R. B. Semple in his own church, arose and said, that he would not formally reply to Dr. Duval's speech, but would make a few remarks. He, however, took out of his hat his manuscript reply to the Extra, No. 1, and read some pages of it; the pith of which was to show that a man is justified, sanctified, and adopted, before he obeys the Lord in immersion, After he sat down, Dr. Duval arose to reply; but was forbidden by our good brother Semple.
The church was now convened. Every white male member present, save one, who was sick. One was sent for who had applied for a letter twelve months before, and who had lived two or three years in another county. The decrees were then read. "They were," to use the word of our correspondent, "then picked to pieces" by Dr. Duval. Messrs. Todd, Broaddus, and Semple, used all their talents, eloquence, and authority, to induce the church to receive them and enter them on the church book. But the church would not hear them. So much were they aggrieved with the spread of this leprosy, which our opponents have nicknamed Campbellism!!
R, B. Semple then insisted upon his "opponents," those who would not vote with him, to take letters of dismission, and join some other church, But this they would not do! He then ordered every man's name to be written down and called over, so that each man would answer and record his vote. They continued firm, and gave their vote in writing against the decrees. He then moved a postponement of the business of the meeting which was now finished?!! The brethren voting against the resolutions were immoveable He then proposed to modify the resolutions. But they would not have even a modification of them.
Six of the ministers who were in the convention were present. Bishop Semple then remarked in the presence of all, that if they had put the resolutions on the church book no split in the church would have taken place: but now a split must be the consequence. He was informed if there would be a split, the fault, if any, would be his. The ingenuity of the priesthood being exhausted, and the brethren remaining firm and immoveable, the meeting broke up, and so ended the affair.
The next day Messrs. Semple and Broaddus preached to the people human inability and sovereign grace, and then invited sinners to come. And, to crown the whole, they brake the loaf together, reformers and antireformers. All, except one who voted against the resolutions, partook with them. The good old Bishop's heart relented--he shed many tears--and they had quite "a fine time." What a blessing, then, that peace and union were preserved in spite of the efforts of these worthy sectarians to create divisions! 
This is a fair sample of the way all the divisions are produced. Our mistaken opponents create them, and then charge them upon us.
Now I would ask my friends Semple and Broaddus, for I still regard them as friends, though opposing us, (they do it ignorantly, or, what is the same thing, through old prejudices of many years growth,) I would ask them why complain that their churches are aggrieved with the spread of this old heresy which Paul preached, now, indeed, a new doctrine? The church of which my correspondent is a member, consists of from three to four hundred members, only two of which are opposed to reform; or rather the whole church, with the exception of two, are hearty in the cause. And did not Andrew Broaddus say at Bruington, that not one of his members thought with us! If so, they cannot be aggrieved among themselves!
I will say one word to these old brethren. Cease your opposition to the ancient gospel, take Gamaliel's advice, and the disciples will forgive you all you have done.
REVIVAL IN GEORGETOWN, KENTUCKY.
THE honorable John T. Johnson, brother of the author of the Report on Sunday Mails, a very intelligent and amiable disciple of the Great Teacher, has come out boldly to contend for the faith once delivered to the saints. As Rowland Hill once said to a scotch nobleman who became a proclaimer of reformation, so I would say to brother Johnson.; "Sir, in descending from the forum and legislative hall to proclaim a crucified Saviour, you have ascended far above all earthly crowns in the estimation of all good men on earth, and of all the angels in heaven: more glorious far in being an humble proclaimer of righteousness, than ever was a monarch seated on an ivory throne placed on the backs of twelve golden lions."
The talents and standing. of brother Johnson, adorned with the christian graces, arrayed in defence of the ancient gospel, have already been successfully employed in proclaiming that word which sounded out from Jerusalem on the morning of the ever-memorable Pentecost.
A correspondent under date of the 18th March, writes me as follows:--
"Dear brother Campbell--On last Saturday a small church was constituted at the Great Crossings, Scott county, 'as the disciples of Jesus Christ their Lord and Saviour, submitting themselves to his heavenly authority in all things, and holding to the divine scriptures of truth as contained in the Old and New Testaments, as being alone the all-sufficient authority and guide for their instruction, edification, faith, and obedience.'
"Brother John T. Johnson was appointed by the little congregation as a teacher, and to take the lead in the administration of the ordinances. In some short time after the organization of the church, an opportunity was afforded for any present to make the good confession, &c. and Joel Johnson, the brother of John T. Johnson, stated that he had been deeply concerned for some two years upon the subject of religion; that he believed that Jesus Christ was the only Saviour of sinners, and that he believed with all his heart that he was the Son of God, and desired to be immersed for the remission of sins. Mrs. Sophia Johnson, the wife of brother John T. Johnson, made a similar statement; and on Sunday morning the little congregation again met, and Mrs. Joel Johnson was received upon the good confession, and a Mr. John Ludliff was also received; and after a very animated discourse from brother John T. Johnson, he had the happiness of immersing his own dear companion, an amiable brother, and his companion, in Elkhorn, for remission of sins. Brother Ludliff, not being prepared, was not immersed.
"The prospects for doing much good are truly flattering. The people generally seem to take a deep and lively interest for the cause of reformation, and I think that recent indications are very favorable. 
"We should rejoice much to have your company and aid a few days this Spring at the Crossings; it is an important point, and we are persuaded that great benefit would result from your visit. Brother Johnson is a fine speaker, and is truly zealous in the good cause.
"Your brother in Christ, "B. S."
In calling this "a revival," I speak in some sense after the manner of modern men. The "revival of literature," and the "revival of religion," are phrases specifically the same; and, when used in this acceptation, may be harmless. Literature had been dead and buried for ages before the Reformation. It was then resuscitated. In reference to Georgetown, Ky. since the crusade against reform commenced, the above incidents deserve to be called a revival. If it were not a great license of speech, I would say that the doings of the antireformers in that place, since the conception and birth of the, "Literary Register & Baptist Chronicle," have been a revival of irreligion. The recent occurrences in that place are like a refreshing shower in a long drought upon a parched soil. My prayer is, that the good work begun in that place may progress until the works of the Man of Sin be consumed, and till all who are determined for eternal life shall obey the gospel, and stand erect in the liberty with which Christ has made his people free. The Lord's freemen are free indeed!
|Communicated for the Millennial Harbinger.|
MR. ALEXANDER CAMPBELL:
SIR--In the Baptist chronicle, printed in Georgetown, for November, 1830, No 11, vol. 1. p. 162, there commences a piece over the signature of "Juvenis," "On the remission of sins in Baptism." So soon as this writer, "Juvenis," made his appearance, public conjecture was on tiptoe to find out the real name of this young author. After some days' conjecture, suspicion fell on Mr. Bacon, the Principal of the Georgetown Classical and Theological School. I am a friend to this School, and therefore do sincerely wish it all honorable success. Hearing it hinted that Mr. Bacon was suspected of dipping into theological controversy, and that deeply, on a subject that, in my humble opinion, (though I am a member of a sectarian church) demands our most serious attention, I began to have some unpropitious cogitations for the prosperity of this rising Infant School. I came to the conclusion, on serious reflection too, that if the principal of this School had, so early after his elevation to its head, entered the field, sword in hand, to defend sectarianism, (be his private sentiments what they may) there were just grounds for every reflecting man to doubt the long continuance and prosperity of this institution; nor, sir, have I in the least changed my opinion upon this subject. When your periodical (the Millennial Harbinger) came, No. 1. vol. 2, for January, 1831, I soon found that public report had reached you, and that you entertained the same suspicion. So soon as this took place, Mr. Bacon came out, and positively denies being the author of 'Juvenis' This gave me considerable pleasure and satisfaction. Public conjecture was again put in requisition to find out the proper name of 'Juvenis;' and I believe, sir, it is now pretty generally understood, yes believed, that this young man 'Juvenis' is between forty-five and fifty years old; that, like the Cameleon, he is sometimes a farmer, sometimes a lawyer, sometimes a judge in one of our courts, sometimes a Doctor of Medicine, sometimes a Calvinistic preacher, sometimes an Armenian, sometimes a Baptist Reformer, constituting churches on the New Testament alone, and as oftentimes nothing as any of these. He is nicknamed Sanballat, but is better known as the Dr. of Oakley. Now, Sir, I am of opinion that you will think it nothing more than justice to our School and its principal, Mr. Bacon, to give this a place in your paper.
Before I close his communication, I think proper to inform you a little further in relation to this Mr. 'Juvenis.' He is the gentleman who appeared in the so called Franklin Association, which sat out the 9th of July last, and made a bold  effort to have a resolution passed to prevent the reading of your writings by the Baptists in that honorable body, but failed. Since that Sanhedrim sat, and not long since, he was visited by an old disciple, who on entering his room discovered the Millennial Harbinger lying on his table. "Ah!" said the old gentleman, "I thought you tried hard last year in the Called Franklin Association to suppress the reading of Campbell's writings." "Yes," replied he, with much confusion, "but I heard that Mr. Campbell had said something in the Harbinger about me, and I thought I would get it and see what it was. I intend, however," continued he, "so soon as the roads get better, to turn out and travel through Franklin, Versailles, and Garrard, and blow Campbellism out of the whole country." Therefore, Mr. Editor, permit me, though yet under sectarian shackles myself, to caution you to make ready for your ecclesiastical demise, FOR SANBALLAT IS COMING. Again, sir, suggesting to you the propriety of publishing this as an act of justice to our School, &c. I subscribe myself,
WILLIAM VAUGHN, AND IMPRECATIONS.
My remarks in the 10th No. vol. 1. p. 478, concerning a report circulated b William Vaughn, imputing to me an attempt to bribe him to plead the cause of reform has drawn from him a column of abuse in the Baptist Chronicle for March last. His abuse is mingled with solemn asseverations that my mentioning to him in a private conversation in Maysville, May, 1830, the liberality of the reformers, was, in effect, offering to him a bribe.
Not supposing that William Vaughn was governed by the most punctilious regard for what men of honor call honorable and high-minded rules of action, I ought not to accuse him of a departure from those rules in divulging any thing said to him in a private conversation, when it was so much to his own praise to proclaim it! And as he is now opposed to reformation, I ought not to complain of him for reporting what was never said, nor for misrepresenting what was said! I have, then, no right to censure him, but only to show that his solemn protestations, appended to his former misstatements, cannot, to any man of candor, make his tale even feasible.
It is, indeed, an unpleasant case, when two persons contradict each other in a matter which transpired between themselves alone, and have nothing to sustain them but their own reputation for veracity, and the probabilities and circumstances of the affair. I am, however, more fortunate in this case than is usual in such cases, having collateral aids and vouchers in the conduct of my accuser, as the sequel will show.
'Tis seldom that persons addicted to confirm their sayings by an oath, or some solemn invocation, are distinguished for veracity, or for a strict regard to truth. In their own judgment, their word requires confirmation; and unfortunately for their credit, their asseverations and their sayings are always ex parte, or from the same source, and cannot corroborate each other. The credibility of such men is in the inverse ratio of the frequency and familiarity with which they call God to witness.
When a person presents more than his yes, or no, before he is asked for a confirmation, he not only violates the command of the Saviour, but impeaches himself. In tendering unsolicited his imprecations and appeals in corroboration of his simple word, he creates a suspicion in the mind of the discerning because he shows that in his own judgment his word ought not to be taken.
Daring as it is to profess to swear from recollection to the particulars of a conversation seven months after it transpired, it is still more daring to profess a willingness to swear to the purpose or motives which governed another in using any particular argument or phrase. My memory is at least at par with persons of my age, excepting in the names of dates, persons, and places, and it is not once in a hundred times that I would presume positively to affirm the items of any conversation three months after it happened. And seldom or ever  could I positively aver, much less swear to the purpose, or motive, or object for which any thing is said.
It is now nearly twelve months since that interview, and I could at this time only swear that, to the best of my recollection, the three periods given in the Chronicle neither contain the outlines nor give the true purport of a conversation of at least three quarters of an hour.
Two of his appeals to Heaven may be the truth, for aught I know, or any thing I have said in my remarks, vol. 1, p. 478. Whether I named the Christian Baptist at that time, or on any other occasion spoke to him of the liberality of the reformers, affects not the question at all. But to use the words of the passage in question, which fact I then had in my mind, "He was wont to complain some, on sundry occasions, of the want of liberality in the Baptists to their preachers, and expressed his fears that my remarks in the C. B. would dry up the last percolations of liberality towards their preachers." That he was wont so to do, not only in private, but in the presence of others, I think can be sustained by as many witnesses as the Jewish law required to substantiate any crime. That he was very sensitive upon this subject I think a number of the citizens of Mason county, Kentucky, can, if necessary, attest. But to say that I used the word liberality for the purpose, express or implied, of inducing him to desist his opposition to reform, is an affirmation, make it when he may, without any other authority than his own inference and assertion. He may swear to his own inference; but if he swear to my purpose, object, or motive, no man of sense can believe him.
The conversation alluded to originated thus:--I had immersed five persons in the river at Maysville. William Vaughn was a spectator. Coming up from the river, I affirm that he said in the full import of the following words: "No person can condemn from the scriptures that mode of procedure, yet I do not like it." We dined at Dr. Shackleford's. That remark at the river, and other matters, induced me to wish a private conversation with him. I presume not now to give the details farther than I have done when the matter was fresher in my memory; but I will only add, that it would have been a renunciation of all my public avowals and personal feelings, to attempt, by an appeal to pecuniary interest, to allure a mercenary individual into the ranks of reform, which, on his hypothesis, I must have supposed him to be. Moreover, knowing him to be an opponent, it would have been a weakness of which I am not often accused, to put into the hands of such a person a weapon to wield against the cause I plead.
But since that time William Vaughn has given public proof that, virtuous as I once thought he was, and as he says he is, he has his price; and that if I attempted to hire him, I only failed in offering him the liberality of the reformers: for he has now deserted his Bishoprick, and has become a pedestrian or equestrian agent for the Sunday School monopoly, at a safer salary of same five or six hundred dollars a year. This was to him a more convincing argument than the liberality of the reformers!
I will not even yet say, from all that has since occurred, that he regards solely the loaves and fishes; but one thing I know, and many can attest it, that he has complained as much of the want of liberality to himself, and sought as ardently a remuneration for his sermons, as most men in the Baptist connection, or out of it. But on no principle except that of an alienated and perverted mind can I explain his perversions of a conversation intended to show him the error of his way, nor his willingness to confirm, by imprecations and solemn protestations, not only his recollections, but even the purposes and motives which actuated me. But as he has frequently been challenged for contradictions and denials, I would rather ascribe it to the spiritual jaundice under which he groans, or the faithlessness of his memory, than to a desperate disregard of truth, or a settled determination to misrepresent and arraign those whom he dislikes, because he has given them cause to think lightly of himself. I have known not a few instances, among which his own case is registered, of persons who were alienated from their friends, for no assignable  reason but because they had given cause to their friends to complain against them.
No person, in Kentucky, was once more familiar with me than this same William Vaughn. He was a confidential friend, much in my company, and knew as much of my motives, objects, and principles of action, as any man in that commonwealth. And now that he has joined the priesthood and become an opponent, it is some consolation that he has not aught to accuse me save that I now affirm he gave a false representation of a benevolent interview which I had with him, which I still affirm, with all the confidence of my recollections and convictions.
SEVERAL communications respecting the Baptist Chronicle have been received by the last two mails. Various disclosures, placing that paper and its editors in a very unenviable position, are before us; none of which we can now publish. The following alone will justify us in this course. It shows what may be expected from that fountain. If such representations are made in mere trifles, what may we expect in greater matters?--!
Bloomfield, Nelson county, Ky. March 24, 1831.
The last (March) No. of the Baptist Chronicle contains an extract from a letter of mine in these words:
"Extract from Bro. Samuel McKay, dated Bloomfield, Ky.
March 3d, 1831.
"BRO. CHAMBERS:--Mr. Campbell had twelve subscribers here last year. They have nearly all ordered a discontinuance, &c"
This, you will see, is not exactly true, My Clerk, who is also a Deputy in the Post Office, had informed me, months before, that you had about 12 subscribers. I had not counted them myself, but judged from the packets that there were at least that number. I, however, upon particular examination, found that you had but eleven. But this is not the worst--I wrote that most of these subscribes had ordered a discontinuance, when only five out of eleven had done so. When I wrote the above extract, I was not particular--I never expected to see or hear of it again; (it was, I thought, private and confidential.) It was in reply to a letter and prospectus from Mr. Chambers, in which I was showing a manifest disposition on the part of the brethren here not to encourage either of your periodicals, owing to their controversial character.
When I wrote the letter to Mr. Chambers from which the extract was taken, it was my impression from the applications made for discontinuance some time before, that you were both about losing nearly all of your subscribers here. Therefore, notwithstanding the above acknowledgment, I do not in any way feel convicted of any improper conduct in the matter.
If you notice this small matter at all, you will please publish the above, as I might otherwise be placed in an awkward dilemma.
Very respectfully, yours, &c. SAMUEL McKAY.
The fact is, with all the discontinuances on our list up to this date received, we send eight copies of vol. 2 to Bloomfield. Let no person expect me hereafter to contradict any thing asserted upon the individual responsibility of Uriel Chambers.
THE LIVING AND EFFECTUAL WORD.
We have more than once said, and, perhaps, more than twice written, that our attention has been arrested to the fact, that the ancient gospel has been believed and obeyed by a much greater proportion of learned and intelligent persons in the whole aggregate amount of those who have received it, than we have ever known or witnessed to yield obedience to any of the sectarian gospels of this our day and generation.
The following extract from a correspondent, an able and intelligent member of the Kentucky Bar, alike exhibits the impotency and evil tendency of human gospels, and the simplicity, power, and excellency of the gospel of God our Saviour. Many a person of intelligence and honesty like him, have not only been kept out of the kingdom many years, but all their lives; who, if they had heard and understood the New Constitution of the Christian King, would have vowed allegiance and been ornaments to the christian profession, and public benefactors through the influence of a good and virtuous example. I rejoice with this brother in the joy which he has in the Lord. During my debate with Mr. McCalla, I formed a special acquaintance with him. I anxiously desired his salvation, for his own sake, for the sake of a most promising and interesting rising family, and for the sake of his amiable consort, who has for many years been a fearless and guileless disciple of the Lord, the King of Glory. He professed the faith, and was immersed by my father in October last, is now an active member of the church, and we are authorized to expect that he will be still more active in the service of One to whom he owes himself by a debt of love which the countless ages of eternity can never cancel.
"I am happier than at any former period of my life; and I have never had any thing to make me unhappy, more than falls to the common lot of man. Many of the good things of this life, which others do not enjoy in as great a degree, you know, falls to my portion. But I will not boast in any thing but Christ; and in him I think a disciple, who has obeyed with an honest and sincere heart, may be allowed to boast. Every body who knows me, knows also, if they would speak the truth, that I have not been changing with every wind of doctrine; that I have all my life time had a desire to believe the Bible to be the Word of God; and so often have I expressed myself thus, that it was no secret among deists, as well as christians: but the latter always deceived me by telling me that God in his own way and appointed time would bring me to know and feel his grace, while at the same moment I had his Word in my house, and in my heart too; and a thousand times would I have spoken it, and confessed him with my mouth, if it had not been for the priests and teachers of the day. But thank God I have had resolution to make the confession in my old age, and that before I leave this world for a fairer world to come. An opportunity is given me to repent of the evil I have done, and to point others to the Lamb of God that taketh away the sin of the world--to point them to his Word, that was written that we might believe. I have had doubts ever since your debate with Mr. McCalla. Before that time I tried how many smart things I could say against the christian scheme. I attended the debate with Mr. Owen, that I might hear both sides, and have read it since more than once. Indeed, with all my other pursuits, I have for years turned my attention to history, and not entirely neglected the scriptures themselves, to find out, if possible, whether these things were so--and I am  happy in believing them--and that is the end and aim of all. And if nothing but the Word of God had ever been given to me, and no teacher called and sent, as they said, by God, to explain it, I am of opinion that I should have been happy many years ago."
ERRONEOUS STATEMENTS CORRECTED.
WE the Baptist Church of Jesus Christ, in Louisville, deeply regretting the unhappy division which took place at our October meeting contrary to our desire or approbation, and in despite of our united efforts to prevent it; and on account of the turbulence and disorder attending it, so disgraceful to that Holy Religion which we profess; which has given rise to many unfair statements and false charges, calculated and designed to mislead the mind of the public, and prejudice the feelings of our brethren against us, by styling us Campbellites, under which name we are charged with believing and practising many dangerous and heretical doctrines: such as, that the Old Testament is abrogated, and of no more use; that no one is authorised of Heaven to preach the Gospel since the days of the Apostles; that we deny christian experience, and the influence of the Holy Spirit in the salvation of the soul, or in order to becoming a christian; that any person, by reading the Scriptures, and barely saying he believes in Jesus Christ, and by being immersed in water, is born again; that no person can be saved who cannot read the Holy Scriptures, or who is not immersed, and that we are opposed to associating with our sister churches, to church records, or church discipline, or church order, &c. &c. all of which charges we deny, and aver that they are false, and unfounded; and we would have our brethren, and the public generally, to give them no credence whatever. We cheerfully acknowledge that we do entertain the common christian love and respect for brother Alex. Campbell; and while he continues a worthy and exemplary disciple of our Lord Jesus Christ, it is our desire to cultivate the same good will towards him, and all others whose conduct merits it. Moreover, we do believe he has ably defended and supported the truth of christian immersion, and with a masterly hand refuted the traditional custom of infant baptism, and infant sprinkling, in his debates with Messrs. Walker and McCalla; and more especially his successful defence of christianity against the formidable attacks of Robert Owen and other modern sceptics, and on many other topics as a writer and a christian Teacher, he has displayed great energy in advocating the faith and order of the ancient Apostolic Gospel: on account of those laudible exertions which he has made to revive and unfold primitive christianity, justice and honesty forbid our joining with his enemies in a crusade against him, in denouncing him as a "heretic," "deceiver," "impostor," &c. and in refusing to shut our doors against him, thereby denying him common civility and hospitality.
Yet we refuse most obstinately to be called by his name, or that he shall be styled our Master or Leader. We do vehemently protest  against, and unequivocally renounce, Campbellism;1 Fullerism, Calvinism, Arminianism, Unitarianism, and every other human "ism" toto cælo, which the mystery of iniquity has introduced into thee christian world, and hereby publish to the world the following asseverations: That we do from our heart believe and receive the Scripture of the Old and New Testaments to be the only Word of the Living God given to man for his salvation, and that the New Testament is the only divinely authorised constitution, rule, and directory of faith and practice of the christian church; and we, having been immersed upon the profession of our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, do acknowledge him, and him only, to be our Prophet, Priest, and King, our only Lord and Master, to whose authority we feel ourselves bound to submit in all things whatever he has commanded. And we would further state, that we have no wish or intention to separate from the General Union of the Baptists in Kentucky, or from the Long Run Association, and that we have no wish to change the constitution on which we have stood for several years. We would also state, that for many of those who have swerved from us we still feel the most tender affection as the disciples of Jesus Christ, and while we do wish grace, mercy, and peace to be with all those who love our Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity, we will strive to live in peace with all men so far as in us lies.
Done by order of the Church in session, December 25th, 1830.
|BENJ. ALLEN, Moderator.|
|JOHN BLEDSOE, Clerk.|
ANECDOTE OF GEORGE THE THIRD.
"He sweareth to his own hurt, and changeth not."
IN illustration of the doctrine in this clause (says Dr. Adam Clarke) I will introduce one fact, which I had from high authority:--
His late Majesty, George III. was very fond of children. Often in his walks both about Windsor and St, James' Park, he would stop when he saw an interesting child, and speak kindly and affectionately to it, give it some little toy or sweetmeat, and often a piece of money. One day observing a little lad about four years old, who seemed to have strayed away from his fellows, he addressed it, and finding it intelligent for its age, he took it by the hand, and led it towards the palace, the child nothing loath. He brought the little fellow into the Queen's apartment, and presented it to her, with "Here, Queen, here is a very little boy that I have picked up in my walk,'' and then addressing the lad, "That's the Queen, my dear--bow to her." A chair was immediately brought; the little fellow was seated on it, and in a trice some sweetmeats and fruits were laid before him.--Little master felt himself quite at home, ate freely, and endeavored to answer every question that was put to him. Before he was removed from his chair, the King took out a new guinea, and placed it before him, saving, "Here, my dear, is a pretty thing which I will give  you." The child looked at it for some time, and then with his finger pushed it away on the table, saying, "I don't know it--I won't have it," and looked indifferently over the table. The King said, "Well, my dear, if you won't have this, what will you have? Come, tell me what you'll have, and I'll give it to you." There were several papers of a very important nature then lying on the table, which had lately been brought into the royal apartment. The child looking earnestly at one, said, "I'll have that pretty picture," and put his hands towards it. The King looked confounded, and hesitated; the Queen for a time was equally surprized; but she first broke silence, (the child having then his pretty picture in his hand, which was no other than a new bank note for a very large amount!) and said, "He must have it--our Majesty's word is passed--your royal promise cannot be recalled." The King, with great good humor, assented, with, "Yes, yes, he shall have it." A faithful domestic was called, the child delivered to him, with the injunction to take him back to the Park, find out his playmates or nurse, and follow their directions till he should find the dwelling and parents of the child, nothing of either being known to his Majesty or domestics. The servant was successful, delivered the child and his pretty picture to the astonished father and mother; returned, and gave such an account to the royal pair, as satisfied them that, while his Majesty had sworn to his own hurt, and would not change, a wise Providence had directed the whole transaction.
THE following precious and sweet morsel of pure, unsophisticated Calvinism, fell into my hands this morning. It is the corresponding letter of the Licking Association of Particular Baptists, for the year 1530. The Statistics of this Association are the following, taken from the Minutes before me:--14 ordained preachers; baptized last year, 50 persons; dismissed, 125; died, 26; excluded, 5; total number, 1400; decreased, last year, 24. Thirty churches in all.
In their circular letter they glory in "infrustrable grace," "immediate and irresistible operations of the holy Spirit," and pray that "God would make us all practically Particular Baptists," and help them only to prove their discipleship. But hear their corresponding letter:--
"The Licking Association of Particular Baptists, now in session at Friendship
Meeting-House--to the Associations with whom we correspond--wish
grace, mercy, and peace:--
BELOVED IN THE LORD,
We have been permitted again to assemble as an Association, and rejoice to find, from the tenor of the letters from the churches composing this body, that much harmony, and perfect unanimity upon the principles of truth, as developed in the Constitution of our Association, exists. The Psalmist says, He fashioneth their hearts alike. Our astonishment at the unprecedented oneness of language spoken by our churches, is only explained in the fact that He (Jehovah) holds the heart of the King in his hand, and can turn it whithersoever he please, as the rivers of waters are turned. Brethren, although there has been a flood of error poured in upon the Baptists of our country, and though many seem disposed to  follow the pernicious ways of those ambassadors of Satan: yet, brethren, Zion has no cause to fear; but when she is thoroughly tried she will come forth as gold; much of her dross may be taken away by our modern reformers, or, more appropriately, deformers; and hence we should not consider it a severe dispensation of the providence of God towards us, if it shall eventuate in purging of the church of her antichristian lumber. Brethren, we rejoice to find there is yet a redeeming spirit in the Zion of our God; and that, although she has been dozing until Antichrist made considerable encroachment, yet the trumpet has been sounded--she has awoke and risen in the majesty of the strength of Israel's God, and proclaimed that Sandemanianism should not live among them. We say, So far, so good. But, brethren, there remains to be purged more dross. We have about as much fellowship for John Glass's system as for Mr. Fuller's, if Mr. Fuller believes (as his advocates say he does) in a general atonement and special application. What is the exposition of this nondescript? God has laid a foundation as large as the posterity of Adam the first in extenso, and his Spirit will only prepare materials (special application) enough to build a house of not half the dimensions of the original foundation; consequently, a large portion of the foundation is entirely useless. Does this comport with your ideas of him who declares he is a rock and his work is perfect? Brethren, salvation is either of grace or it is of works, and it is high time for christians to take the one side or the other. The ridge-pole is a dangerous hobby to be ridden, and he must be a very skilful rider who can keep his seat long upon it. We have nothing to lose in declaring our firm conviction that salvation is wholly of grace; and the salvation of every sinner who has been, is, or ever will be saved, is the result of their being chosen in the Lord Jesus before the world began; they being so connected with him as to render him responsible for their debts; the payment by the Surety, and consequent release by the blessed Holy Spirit; and that all such will ultimately hear the welcome of, Enter thou into the joys of thy Lord. O, brethren! may we be watching and waiting the second coming of the Bridegroom, and hail his advent with, Come, Lord Jesus, come quickly! is our prayer for Jesus' sake."
This is as full of stoicism as Owenism. They are a happy people. Fourteen ordained preachers, with the aid of 1400 of the elect disciples, were the instruments of converting 3 souls and a fraction per preacher, per annum. But this is just as good news as could be told for these are all that God would have converted. As a preacher in the Goshen Association once said, "God, my beloved, has just as many souls here as he wants to have converted; and next year when we assemble there will just be as many christians as God wants."
But they are fatalists only in religion--not in the affairs of this world. They cultivate large farms; buy and sell houses, hinds, and Negroes; rise early, and sit late; trade and get gain; and the man who sows most, ploughs most, and works the largest number of hands, expects the largest share of the good things of this world. The Particulars are for grace in the next world, and for works in the present. They are, in reference to the present world, Arminians; and as respects the next, Calvinists. They are generally opposed to reformation, and unwilling that we should reform the non-elect: as for the elect, we cannot deceive them. They are secure of life eternal. The non-elect are those which we can deceive. If we could deceive them into good morals and make them good citizens, would we deserve to be called "ambassadors of Satan?"
These folks boast of unanimity and peace. So might the Holy Mother Church. And, indeed, they have as much reason to be at  peace as those who mingle ashes in a graveyard. These disciples have only to watch and wait for salvation, as Messrs. Dudley, Dillard, Corban & Co. advise and consort.
|Danville, Ky. Nov. 1830.|
THE CHEMUNG BAPTIST ASSOCIATION.
THE Chemung Baptist Association which met in Bradford county, Pennsylvania, August 6-7, 1830, composed of 652 members, have in twelve months received only four members by immersion. Seven in that time died, and 42 were excluded. Their circular letter was a denunciation against some scraps extracted from the Christian Baptist which it seems not a soul of them understood; and I presume the reason is, not one of the denouncers ever read a volume, nor, perhaps, a single number, of the Christian Baptist. There are four ordained ministers and two licentiates in this Association. They are very orthodox, and as a proof it, the six preachers in one year were instrumental in baptizing four persons!! But they are not in Babylon, They live in Jerusalem where they are all christians, all at least whom God wills TO BE christians!
|From the Christian Examiner.|
SIR--I own myself the Baptist Elder who came by night (as your correspondent says,) to bro. Campbell, at Georgetown. There was a reason for my being a nocturnal visiter, perfectly satisfactory to the Bishop. The impression throughout the United States, produced by the publications and representations of that interview among the Reformers, is, that I refused a discussion with him from a fear that his arguments were too powerful to withstand. Now, to convince you, and the religious world, that this is a mistake,
I propose to Bishop Alexander Campbell, to meet him at any city on the Ohio River between Louisville and Cincinnati, or at either of those places, and publicly discuss with him the doctrine of the Remission of Sins in Baptism--Him and myself mutually agreeing on the time.
Between Elder Campbell and myself, there has always been friendly feelings, as gentlemen, although I dissent totally from his religious sentiments.
|Georgetown, Ky. March 31, 1831.|
I cannot accept the challenge of Mr. John Bryce, for the following reasons:
1. I have never yet consented to meet any gentleman in public or private discussion for the purpose of affording him an opportunity of exculpating himself from the charge of cowardice, which is the only reason assigned by Mr. Bryce for soliciting a public discussion. He issues the above challenge to prove that he is no coward: he has, then, gained his object, unless some virtuoso should allege that he knew full well that it would never be accepted. 
2. In the second place, I cannot consent to contend with any man who writes English which I cannot parse; and I must confess that all the rules of the English syntax will not enable me to parse even the words of the challenge.
3. The utility of a public discussion depends much upon the confidence the people have in the parties who engage in it. My apprehensions in this case are, that the discomfiture of my friend Bryce would not satisfy his friends, for they would say they had a hundred men still, superior to him; and that the discussion would not be of sufficient interest to have it published by a disinterested person.
4. My views on that subject are already before the public in writing. They are now public property. If Mr. Bryce thinks he can prove them fallacious, let him do so by the press. We will then attend to him according to his merit.
But good as these reasons appear to me, provided the Opposition in Kentucky will select Mr. John Bryce, or any other person, to appear for them as the defender of their faith; and provided they will find a stenographer, of good character, impartial and capable, who will on his own account, and for his own benefit, give the discussion to the public, I will consent to meet him on some definite propositions including the points at issue. For Mr. Bryce, as a gentleman of good temper, and of very courteous demeanor, I entertain a very high opinion, and cannot but regret that the mould of doctrine into which his mind has been cast so eminently disqualifies him for the investigation of any question to be decided by the alone authority of the New Testament.
ANDREW BROADDUS AND THE EXTRA No. I.
Though not requested by Mr. Broaddus, I will afford him all the facility in my power, to find a market for his pamphlet. I will venture to predict that he will find more purchasers among the friends of reform than I can find readers among our opponents.
Will be put to press, in a few weeks--"The Extra Examined: A Reply to Mr. Campbell's M. Harbinger, Extra, on Remission of Sins," &c.--By A. Broaddus, of Caroline, Virginia.
As it is expected that the religious public--particularly the Baptists, and the friends of Baptist sentiments, in a wide extent of the country, will feel an interest in this subject, we respectfully request, on behalf of the cause of evangelical truth, that the Editor of 'The Christian Index,' Philadelphia--of 'The Baptist Chronicle:' Georgetown Ky.--of 'The Western Baptist,' Rock Springs, Ill.--and of 'The Regular Baptist Miscellany,' Zanesville. O.--would give this notice an insertion in their respective periodicals. Opportunity will thus be afforded to persons in different sections of the country, to send timely orders for a supply. The price of the pamphlet will probably not exceed 25 cents. and a reasonable discount will be allowed to those who may take them by the quantity. Terms to be more definitely made known when the work is put to press.
Orders should be addressed (post paid) to Elder Eli Ball, or to Mr. William Sands--City of Richmond, Va.
March, 1831. 
THE "Christian Examiner," a very excellent Monthly Magazine, well deserving of a liberal patronage, edited by brother J. G. Norwood, Louisville, Ky. and devoted to primitive christianity, notices in the following words a prospectus issued by our able and intelligent brother D. S. Burnet, for a weekly paper to be issued in Cincinnati, Ohio. In the following notice of the subjoined proposals we cordially concur.
BRO. DAVID S. BURNETT, Editor of the "Evangelical Inquirer," published at Dayton, Ohio, and a very able advocate of the ancient gospel and order of things, has issued proposals for publishing his work in a new and enlarged form, at Cincinnati. The Inquirer is one of the few papers in the United States which support a restitution of primitive christianity, and as such, it solicits and deserves the attention and patronage of all the friends of Reform. Its course, so far, has been bold, decided, energetic, and convincing. Above all, it is written in a christian spirit. We hope bro. Burnet will meet with sufficient encouragement to commence the publication immediately. A weekly paper advocating the old gospel, cannot but prove of great benefit to our cause. We subjoin the proposals.
ED. C. EX.
PROPOSALS for publishing in Cincinnati, by David S. Burnet, a weekly paper, to be called, THE EVANGELICAL INQUIRER.--Every day the laboring press sends forth its thousand sheets, and still there are readers. Indeed it is now supposed that the liberty and intelligence of a community materially depend upon the free expression of opinion, and therefore the greater the increase of facilities of discussion the better. The liberty of the press can only be abused by restrictions. Unfettered it will correct itself. However, notwithstanding these considerations, a new work, presuming upon public patronage, should come with claims entitled to recommendation.
As this paper is to be a continuation of the Evangelical Inquirer (a periodical published in Dayton by the editor) in a new form, its objects will be twofold. First, the statement and defence of the christian religion and the development of the order of things established by Jesus Christ. Secondly, news and notices, moral, religious, and literary. Subordinate to these purposes there will be essays and dissertations upon all topics within the limitations of this prospectus; extracts and compendiums of ancient and modern, sacred and profane history; geographical sketches and literary pieces. The following is from the prospectus of the Inquirer, and may be considered the expose of the course of this work if published. "Sectarianism, for ages, has desolated the territory and disturbed the peaceful inhabitants of Messiah's realm. The kingdom of peace has become the seat of war, and the christian sects are the belligerent powers. All their operations are warlike, and their engines directed against themselves. The righteous cause is bleeding at every pore. To make a system, which, pleading the authority of the Jewish or Christian scriptures, can effectually oppose or destroy all competition for orthodoxy or influence, has been, with few exceptions, the object of all the moderns, and the highest point to which their ambition aspired. No wonder they differed, and perhaps all differed from the oracles, in temper, faith and practice. The editor and his associates belong to the peace party. He aims at the destruction of bigotry and sectarian feeling, within the compass of his influence. He considers the right of opinion inviolable. In the absence of argument and fact, he is not disposed to resort to calumny and misrepresentation--the weapons of Antichrist. His pages will turn away from such, while they will receive the impression of well written pieces upon both sides of' every admissible question. This work does not contemplate the reformation of any system, nor the revision for adoption of any Creed. Every thing is to be done by restoring the King to his honors, and his institutions to their places. Upon our bearers will by inscribed The restoration of the ancient order of things, or  a complete failure of our purpose. Under this banner we will wield our pen, and around it we hope no worse forces will rally, than intrepidity and friendly feeling. The assistance of some experienced writers is promised.
J. S. Thompson, who recently renounced Universalism, gives the following five points as the essential doctrines of the system: "There is no Devil; There is no Hell; There will be no future Judgment; There is no religious distinction among men in this world, and there will be no difference in their condition in the world to come!"
MONTHLY RECEIPTS FOR THE MILLENNIAL HARBINGER.
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Erratum--I G Bacon, Maysville, instead of L P Bacon, Nashville, as stated in No. 2.
|ED. M. H. |
[The Millennial Harbinger, 2 (April, 1831): 145-192.]
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Alexander Campbell, ed.|
The Millennial Harbinger, Vol. II, No. IV (1831)
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