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


MONDAY, MAY 4, 1831.
{ Vol. II. }
      I saw another messenger flying through the midst of heaven, having everlasting good news to proclaim to the inhabitants of the earth, even to every nation and tribe, and tongue, and people--saying with a loud voice, Fear God and give glory to him, for the hour of his judgments is come: and worship him who made heaven, and earth, and sea, and the fountains of water.--JOHN.
      Great is the truth and mighty above things, and will prevail.



      AFTER reading your caricatures of my letter, I deliberately read again the letter. I still own it. I find nothing to retract. It is about what I wish it to be.

      I have no talent for satire. In this I willingly yield you the palm. When your satirical genius is exercised against error or folly, I have been occasionally amused by it; when against myself or friends, I feel it; but when put forth against vital truth, I am awfully impressed, and can only say, "The Lord rebuke thee."

      My letter contains these questions:

      1st. What authority has any man to assert that any part of Holy Writ has ceased to be obligatory, unless Holy Writ itself declares it?

      2dly. What part of the New Testament has declared that the whole of the Old Testament is abrogated except those texts that are quoted into the New?

      I ask these questions, and say to you who made the assertion, the onus probandi lies upon you. You reply, "I do not, however, exactly approve of the proposition you have made for me." Indeed! You do not like to be called upon for proof of your own assertions. I assure you I do not wonder at this. You must feel it, at least you ought to feel it, an awful task to undertake to nullify any part of God's Word, without God's authority for it.

      Your direct misquotation of my letter, and thereby making it to say what it does not say, has excited my indignation. This is a species of unfairness of which others forewarned me, but which I had hoped would not take place, The letter says, some parts of the Old Testament have been declared in the New as abrogated, and many others being obviously temporary, ceased to be obligatory, because every object has been accomplished for which they were originally given. This is also true of the New Testament. Then the letter quotes the case of the community of goods in the Apostolic day. In our quotation of my letter you omit that part which speaks of a part of the Old Testament being temporary, and stop at the word [193] abrogated, and then skip to the words "this is also true of the N. T." as if this expression was exclusively applicable to the word abrogated. Now to me it seems that the fair interpretation of the sentence should refer it to the clause immediately preceding, viz: "many others being obviously temporary ceased to be obligatory," &c. This I aver was the design of the expression. And can you, sir, deny that the example of Christ and his Apostles is obligatory upon Christians unless nullified by other examples, or by circumstances? Why then call so loudly for a command? I assert without fear that this example would have been binding upon all christians to the end of time, if it had not been done away by a different course pursued among the Gentile Churches, and by which we understand that it was temporary, and designed only for that particular crisis.

      Permit me to say, sir, that this comes with an ill grace from one who is so zealous to establish weekly communion solely by example, and that too, far from being clearly exhibited in the N. T.

      Your criticisms upon the words abrogate, free and sovereign, &c. may go for what they are worth. I use words in their common acceptation, and if any choose to criticise upon them, they may do so. It gives me little concern.

      I will now assign my reasons for the course which I have pursued in this business.

      Many excellent essays have been written by my friends against your most obnoxious doctrine of baptismal regeneration and the denial of the direct operation of the Holy Spirit. Much was said on the contrary by you and your friends, stating that you aggrandize the scriptures, that the word, the word was sufficient of itself, that the Spirit was in the word, &c. exhorting them to read the scriptures, and depend upon nothing else. The impression went abroad very extensively, that you were almost exclusively an advocate for the Bible. This I have known, or fully believed, for you was so far from being correct, that instead of it you had done as much towards weakening the authority of the Bible as you had to invalidate the doctrine of Spiritual Regeneration. No attempt having been made, within my knowledge, to correct this most deadly course, I am forward to invite attention to the subject. Here I think is a fair statement of the case.

      First. By one fell swoop you aim to destroy the whole of the Old Testament. N. B. Take notice I say the Old Testament, the book called the Old Testament, not the Levitical law acknowledgedly abrogated, not the writings of Moses alone as you would hold out. I speak of God's Word, as written, from Genesis to Malachi: every word of it--nay, every iota not declared in the New Testament to be abrogated. These you deny have any obligation upon christians farther than they are quoted into the New Testament. These you compare to old British laws in Virginia. This is your undenied and undeniable assertion, and 'tis this I called upon you to prove, and insisted that the onus probandi lay upon you, but which you say is a proposition you do not entirely approve. [194]

      Secondly. But many say, we have the New Testament in all its clearness and force. No, indeed. By your continual resort to translations, and that too upon very important and vital doctrines, you have greatly weakened the force of the New Testament; i. e. so far as your principles have prevailed. If you are told of this, and the other texts plainly maintaining the doctrine of the direct operation of the Holy Spirit, you say it may be translated a holy spirit in man, meaning nothing more than a holy temper of mind. If it is argued that Christ specially calls and has promised to sustain his ministers to the end of the world, you reply, that that promise had reference only to the immediate Apostles of Christ, and the term the end of the world should not be translated or understood as the end of the world, but the end of that generation. Many such things have I seen and heard from you. These few I give as specimens. Now to me it seems certain that this tends greatly to weaken the authority of the New Testament, especially with unlearned readers. They will ask, And what part must we take for God's word? We cannot read the original. Our old and generally acknowledged English Testament is a mistranslation. If God's Word, owned and acknowledged as such for centuries, be thus taken from us, what shall we do? You may say, Here is my New Testament, compiled from very learned men. But christians will say, But were they inspired men? If one set of learned men would make translations materially wrong, what security have we for any others? That the original is the true word of God is certain; but that our established translation varies materially from the original, is denied, most positively denied, by learned men of most of the christian denominations. Any attempts, therefore, to make material changes in our established translation, tends to weaken the authority of God's word.

      Thirdly. But this is not all. In your Christian Baptist of July, 1830, p. 276, you say: "I will say nothing about the order of things in the families of those who have been worshipping God in worshipping a preacher, or sitting once a month under the allegories and comments of a person who five times in seven cannot tell the nominative case to a verb, or the antecedent to a relative. I never did disdain, nor did I ever cast a disdainful look upon a brother because he was illiterate--nay, so far from it I have generally encouraged them to improve their gifts. But I cannot compliment any man for assuming the office of an interpreter or expositor of scripture. Men may proclaim Jesus, and exhibit the reasons why they believe on him. They may preach Christ successfully without English, Latin, or Greek, just in the language of the nursery; but to hear such a man expounding texts, or explaining scripture, is a burlesque on the pulpit and a satire upon the age."

      This, my dear sir, crowns the climax. A man may proclaim Jesus, and give reasons why he believes on him, but unless he is learned he must not expound texts, or explain scripture. And whence must he draw his reasons for believing? Not from the scriptures, because these he cannot explain, you will say, from the nursery. His [195] mother taught him, and therefore in the language of the nursery he may proclaim Jesus, and give his reasons for believing him. If you would dash me against a rock by making me say what I never said, I think you have here dashed yourself against a stone by which you ought to be ground to powder. Is it not self-evident that most men can explain what they understand? Some men, for the want of utterance, cannot bring out clearly what they understand; but this applies to the learned as well as to the illiterate. If, then, an unlearned man cannot explain scripture, he cannot understand it, and of course it is needless to read it. So, then, the good old Protestant doctrine that the Bible is a plain, easy book, and that every man should read it, is exploded. None but scholars can expound texts, or explain scripture. Is it not undeniably plain, that a man who has the gift of utterance can explain what he understands? Take an example--take, for instance, the elder C------. He knows nothing of Latin, or Greek, nor of English grammar, unless he has learned it within a few years--no, not even the nominative case to a verb. He, however, used to be exceedingly flippant, and never failed to explain any thing he understood, whether temporal or spiritual, political or religious. He has put many a Greek scholar into the back ground in explaining the scriptures. He is said to be a disciple of the new school. How will he act when you are present? Will he abstain from being an interpreter or expositor of the scripture for fear you should give him a disdainful look? I think not. His vanity would forbid it, if his conscience did not. Many more of your disciples, who are preachers, are equally unlearned. How do they relish this decree? They may say, indeed, must none of us expound a text, or explain our Bible? I know one who used to be my friend and favorite brother, before he became a Campbellite. He knows nothing of Greek, or Latin, or English grammar, but I used to think him quite a good expositor of texts. Before the seeds of discord were sown among us, he, with some half dozen others, formed a circle in which expounding texts was our almost sole employment. We could often say, did not our hearts burn within us. All this must now be done away.

      To sum up the whole, sir, your denial of the authority of the Old Testament; your frequently avoiding the plain meaning of the New Testament, by resorting to new translations; and last, though not least, your assertion that none but learned men can expound texts, or explain scripture, justify me in repeating that you have done much, very much, towards weakening the authority of the Bible.

      Your attempts to make my letter appear contradictory, only prove your talent for things of that sort. Turn the same talent against the scripture, and you may be successful, as will appear from reading Gibbon, Voltaire, Hume, Tom Paine, &c.

      Your misrepresentation of my views by so repeatedly holding out that I inculcated that we are as much bound to obey Moses as Christ, the law as the gospel, is really vexatious. I am tempted to think that it is designed to draw off the reader from the real subject, lest the deformity of your own system should be seen. When I speak of [196] some parts of the Old Testament being abrogated, it was not necessary to tell the candid reader that this pointed to the ceremonial law, which all of us admit is abrogated. Yet you speak of Moses and obeying Moses so repeatedly, that it is plain that you wish to hold out the idea that you only deny the obligation of the ceremonial law, while I maintain its obligation. This you know is not the case. I must, however, tell your readers that it is the unabrogated parts of the Old Testament which I maintain are still in full force. It is not that law which waxes old and is ready to vanish away, but that law which shall stand when the heavens and the earth shall pass away. It is not that law which can be shaken, but which remaineth and cannot be shaken. It is not that law of which Christ is the end, but that law, and those prophets, which he came not to destroy but to fulfil. It is that law which is not made void by faith, but established. This law and this testimony is what I contend for, and what I believe still constitute an essential part of God's word to christians. I will come to a close by a question or two:

      in the spirit of friendship, permit me to inquire if you have not somewhere denied that John's baptism was christian baptism? and of course that John's baptism is not now in force? Have you not also said it is not now proper to pray in the words of the Lord's prayer, "thy kingdom come"? It is my impression that these things are to be found in your writings. I have not all your books; but if I am correct, then I have the authority of Mr. Campbell that some parts of the New Testament are abrogated.

      My own opinion is, that the imposition of hands upon baptized believers, the anointing the sick with oil as a religious rite, the washing the saints' feet, &c. are of the nature of abrogated ceremonies, very significant in their spiritual intention, (as are many of the Levitical ceremonies,) but not to be literally practised after the Apostolic age.

      Finally, sir, in a matter which rests upon fair argument, I will request you in your next to have fewer witticisms and criticisms, and more of sound reasoning. Paul reasoned out of the scriptures, (the Old Testament.) "Direct me to a quip or merry turn in all he ever wrote, and I grant you take it for your text."

            Very respectfully, your friend and most obed't.
RO. B. SEMPLE.      



      THE preceding communication from you will not, because I think it cannot, fail to convince the most prepossessed of your admirers how much you are indebted to their prejudices and partialities for the quantum of influence you have obtained over them. A few such epistles and the authority of our opinions is gone forever. Some of the more discriminating begin to say that your writings against the Reformation, and your protest against some of its leading principles, are among the most fortunate incidents in its history. What your "protest" lacked in argument to sustain it, has been amply compensated [197] by the passion and feeling exhibited in your last. Your authority with the people, my good sir, depended much upon the goodness of your disposition, and your concurrence in opinion with other men supposed to he great as well as good. To hazard, then, your right to the reputation which is justly due you for natural goodness, christian suavity and courteousness of temper, is as impolitic as it is unreasonable for you to assume the rights of Michael to rebuke Satan.

      Where, my dear sir, is that christian spirit of which you have so often spoke? Your "indignation" certainly has got the better of your good temper, to say nothing of your judgment! else why could you assume to yourself the rights of Michael; and greater rights than Michael assumed?--for it was when Satan personally disputed with him about the body of Moses that he said to Satan, "The Lord rebuke thee." Are you authorized to say to every disciple who dissents from your opinions, and who gives his reasons for his dissent, as much as you dare say to Satan were you as high in authority as Michael! But perhaps you quoted these words, as the fashion is, without any regard to their meaning or connexion, because they suited your holy indignation against my treating your letter according to its literal import.

      Were I now to reply to your letter before me as it deserves, you would never write me another. But although I have as good a right to talk of your "errors;" nay, to call your opposition to reform "opposition to vital truths," as you have thus to denominate any opinion or saying of mine, I choose rather to entreat than to denounce, and to expostulate than convict you of either imbecility or unfairness. I make no defence of myself against the charge of unfairness in replying to your letter published in the January No. I have not said a single word amiss of it, nor misquoted it in any one instance. The reader has only to turn back and read your letter and my reply. If I have done you injustice in any one instance, I know it not. Besides, I could not easily give a wrong coloring to any thing you have written, as I published your letter in full. You charge me with "caricaturing" and "misquoting" your letter: have I not published it fairly and fully? Let it be read, and my remarks upon it--then I have nothing to fear from your imputations.

      But let me tell you, my dear sir, that you are very imperfectly acquainted with what I have written on these subjects. You appear never to have read, only in a desultory way, a single volume of the Christian Baptist, or even the 1st vol. of this work. I know that no person of your understanding could make such assertions and representations if he were acquainted with half the essays we have written, unless he were determined to misrepresent, which I cannot impute to you. Your letter before me is full of the most gross and palpable misrepresentations, of which yon are incapable if you had read with any attention. The Columbian College, and your congregations and numerous avocations, have so completely engrossed your whole time as to leave not an hour for calm and patient enquiry into the truth of these matters. How else could you assert--"that by one fell swoop you (1) aim to destroy every thing written from Genesis to Malachi." [198] I will not remind you of "railing accusations," nor of Michael's address to Satan; but, sir, no man has ever uttered a greater slander than you have expressed in the above words.

      Your remarks upon translations are all anticipated in my last reply to you; or rather you have done no more than to reiterate a few of the most common sayings of the most illiterate pleaders for what King James said and commanded. This deserves no notice from me at this time. Your quotation from vol. 7, p. 276 of the Christian Baptist, which you say "crowns the climax," I am proud to see in your epistle. And your sermon on that text is well intended to enlist in your favor all the no-grammarian preachers, the spiritual men of the new commission, who have been specially called and sent by the dispensation of some new spirit. But, sir, I would not erase one word of it. It is as plain as the light of the sun that no man can be the interpreter of a language which he does not understand. And I know of no person who was ever regarded as a commentator, who was not grammatically acquainted with the construction of a sentence. The plea for special illumination, among the Methodists and Baptists, has been urged in lieu of a literary education; and by suggestions or internal illuminations, some of their preachers have pretended to open "the mysteries of religion," as they are accustomed to denominate them. To understand the meaning of a plain sentence, or to illustrate to the apprehension of others a large portion of the New Testament narratives and sayings, is quite possible to those who are well read in the book itself, without either classical, or even the most common grammatical attainments; but to presume to act the critic without the knowledge of the ordinary rules of construction, contained in the elementary grammars of our mother tongue, will ever appear ridiculous in the eyes of all men of reflection. And no man who is not immersed into some new spirit will pretend to expound or interpret a sentence, the literal and grammatical import of the words of which he does not understand.

      To preach the gospel, to repeat the gospel facts and to exhort men to obey the gospel, to reform, and turn to God, may be effectually done in numerous instances, even by those who cannot read. It is not long since the Baptists had some preachers who could not read a chapter in the book; and for aught I know, it is probable they may still have some of this class. To such proclaimers of reformation I have nothing to say, provided they modestly assume not to sermonize or offer criticisms or comments upon what they cannot read.

      The most illiterate men whom our Heavenly Father employed to speak his will to men, were qualified to speak and write grammatically: for to speak or write otherwise is to write and speak unintelligibly.

      But, sir, many of our grammarians, and some of our classical commentators, are just as ill-qualified to interpret or prophesy as the most illiterate; for they are imbued with a mystic spirit, and baptized into spiritual meanings and double senses. It is with many of them a sign of unregeneracy to regard the literal meaning as of any [199] importance in understanding the Divine Communications, though made in human language. Historic faith, and the literal meaning of the text, is with them no better than the faith of demons. To affirm that God means what he says, and says what he means, in the usual acceptation of words, is blasphemy against their doctrine of spiritual meanings and mystical faith. Hence their philological attainments are as useless to them as mathematics to a poet, or the science of mechanics to a metaphysician. To suppose that the proclamation of mercy from the Great King is to be interpreted by the same rules which are applied to a proclamation from the President of these States, is in their judgment a profanation of sacred things. Of what use, then, are the rules of construction, or the literal meaning of words, to the person who relies upon an internal spiritual operation, which is supposed to unveil the secrets of the written Oracle, and to communicate the spiritual meaning of religious hieroglyphics? Hence it is that we hesitate not to place in the same class the most illiterate proclaimer and the most accomplished scholar who believes in a revelation upon a revelation. I cannot contemplate the latter as a better commentator than the former. I am bold to avow my conviction, that of all the plagues under which christendom has been afflicted for "a time, and times, and the dividing of a time;" for the last twelve hundred and sixty years, the greatest has been the Egyptian mythological rules of interpretation, in the hands or heads of the "christian priesthood." God has given them over to an undiscerning mind. The majority have believed a lie. There is not a fountain in the land into which these spiritual frogs have not found their way. My best wish for you, my dear sir, is that you could find the celebrated waters of Lethe, and drink until you forget all that you have learned from these dreaming doctors.

      You would have known the meaning of the passage you quoted from the Christian Baptist, and given a much more favorable view of it, had you read that work with the attention you have bestowed on more ordinary matters. How comes it that none of those persons whom you would provoke by your insinuations, has ever inferred from those remarks what you have done!! But, perhaps, they never supposed themselves implicated. And although the persons to whom you allude are highly gifted and more able proclaimers, and, indeed, more eloquent speakers, than most of our most finished scholars, yet their strength lies not in expositions nor criticisms, which I presume their modesty forbids them to attempt; and certainly I never heard them attempt the things which are reprobated in those remarks. They have too much good sense and acquaintance with men and things to assume the philologist, or the office of linguists and grammarians. It is the smatterers in language and science which are ever and anon showing how profound they are, who assume the office of expositors without having that acquaintance with language, or the sacred scriptures, necessary to the work of an expositor.

      Men, you say, who cannot expound, cannot understand. This is as true as the converse; men who can understand can expound. And [200] do you, sir, think that men unacquainted with language can expound any sentence the construction and words of which they do not understand. How far the most illiterate may understand the sayings of the Apostles, I presume not to decide. I know the gospel history is so plain that whosoever runs may read; but I am far from supposing that all who apprehend and believe the gospel can be expositors of the New Testament: and in saying this, I only repeat what has been said by all who have spoken or written upon this subject, and that which daily observation and experience sustain. And I feel assured that you, although you find it convenient at this time to express surprise at the above quotation, would be the last man, as the advocate of the Columbian College, to license every man who believes in Jesus to become what you call a teacher of the christian religion. Give me leave to add, that I would have as strong objections to those you would license from your theological schools, as you would have to license every male who has been immersed into the faith. But to come to a close on this subject, whenever you are disposed to show that every man who can understand any book written in English, is able critically and philologically to teach not only that book, but the subject or science on which it treats, then will I show that every man who believes the gospel can teach the christian religion, and that the knowledge of grammar and of language is unnecessary to the understanding of any thing expressed in human speech.

      Your language, my dear sir, on the subject of "the authority of the Old Testament," and "the abrogation of some parts of the New," I presume is so incorrect that it fails to communicate your own ideas. When you attempt to explain yourself, it would appear that after all you agree with me that we are not under Moses, but under Christ. This is all I mean, as it is all I ever did contend for. I do not care how much you extol the divine mission of Moses, nor the authority of the Jewish prophets, so long as you maintain with Paul and me that we are not under the law, but under favor; that Christ is our only prophet, priest, and king. I make more use of the Old Testament in my family, and in my public addresses, than any Baptist I know. Scarcely a day passes in which I do not read, either in the morning or in the evening, one section of the Jewish scriptures; and very frequently both my morning and evening readings in my family are from the Jewish scriptures. Many of my illustrations, arguments, and analogies, in my public discourses, are drawn from the law and the prophets. I go farther, and say, that no man can as fully understand the New Testament, or as firmly believe in the mission of Jesus, as he who is well versed in those ancient writings. I question very much indeed, friend Semple, whether you, who talk so much about the law and the prophets, regard them as highly as I do: and I am willing even to appeal to yourself, whether you can say that you have daily, when at home, read them in your family for the last year. I frequently lecture on the prophets and the law in my family readings to my household, and draw from them arguments and exhortations to enforce the piety and morality which a greater personage than Moses [201] or Solomon has inculcated upon us. But I do not judaize. I do not use the law unlawfully. The whole community who hear me speak know how highly I appreciate these writings.

      Let me tell you in the close of this epistle, as I have something more to say to you hereafter, that you are too superficially acquainted with the cause I plead, too remiss in your reading, and too rash in forming conclusions, to have ever written a line for the press except as an enquirer. Your system I profess to understand. Of its impotency you are now a monument. It can never rise higher than its fountain. You are opposing "vital truths." You are opposing vital truths in opposing this reformation.

      The restoration of God's son to his honors on earth, and his Apostles to the thrones he gave them, is that for which we plead, and that which you oppose in opposing the ancient gospel and the ancient order of things. In doing this I think you do it ignorantly, and more through prejudice than through any perversity of determination, Therefore I wish to exhibit to you all long-suffering and forbearance. It would give me and many of your real friends much pleasure to see you surrender yourself wholly to the authority of the great prophet and lawgiver who is able to save and to destroy. You would not then lean on Egypt, nor trust in Idumea. You would then spread forth your branches like the palm tree, and your fragrance would be as Lebanon and as Sharon. I need not tell you that the monitor is usually more faithful than the panegyrist, though seldom or ever so acceptable.

      I would entreat you, my dear sir, to examine your late proceedings, and to ascertain whether unfeigned allegiance to the Great King, or any other consideration, may have dictated a course so incompatible with yourself, and so similar to that which you denounced in others when defending the Baptists from the tyranny of those evangelical sects for whose communion you now have more longings than for the fellowship of those who honor the Lord by keeping all his commandments. You may yet expect to hear from me on the lawful use of the law. Till then, please examine in vol. I, No. 2, my essay on the Judaizers, No. I.

            Your friend,


Mr. Editor,

      YOU cannot conceive how much I have heard about my first Essay on Marriage. One said, "It is a cunning piece;" "I don't believe in it," said another; and a third, "I think the Editor is on our side by the questions which he asks." Another asked, "Whether the Old World was not destroyed in consequence of intermarriages between good and bad people?" Again one would say, "Were not the Jews prohibited from marrying with Gentiles?" and "Look at Solomon!" "See the whole nation at the return from Babylon! were they not, without exception, ordered to repudiate their heathen wives? and [202] some who had originally wedded unbelieving women themselves, they would now call them, thought it altogether insufferable to call marriage a political institution." But only one did I hear ask, "What is the law of Christ on the subject?" and none did I find willing to make the Jews their patterns in this point--viz. putting away the unbelieving party.

      Some would thrust the man who would dare to marry an unbaptized woman out of the church; but this did not the Jews. They had law on this matter, and acted accordingly, commanding the offender immediately to put away the infidel. Those people would punish a man as much for bringing such a person into his own family as if he had brought her into their church, indiscriminately supposing that family is as much a religious institution as the church of Christ is; but marriage makes a man and woman only one flesh. Alack-a-day! too seldom, one spirit!

      No Jew would have been retained in the congregation for saying he repented of his unlawful marriage; nor would he have been taken again for any reason short of putting his wife away. Let us be consistent, then, and if we are to follow Jewish example without respect to the law of Christ, let us follow it closely. Let those who married unbelieving wives put them away, and then they themselves may be retained in the congregation.

      The fact is, that before the flood the ancestors of the Messiah were called "the seed of the woman" and "the sons of God," while Cain's people were styled "the children of men." After the food Messiah family were finally styled "Jews," and those who had departed from the true God, "Gentiles." It seems to have been the intention of our Heavenly Father that his son Jesus should have a godly ancestry from the beginning of the world, and to honor godliness by bringing forth his Son from among those families which practised it from the beginning of time. This great purpose for which such political separation was introduced, has now been attained. Messiah has come. "In the fulness of time God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law," &c. "Faith being come, then, we have no more need the schoolmaster."

      Are we, then, to marry unbelievers? The Messiah has not said so. Many things are lawful which are not expedient. The brother who does so is to be pitied, perhaps; but not put out. The Apostle knew it to be lawful for him and for every disciple to eat what meats pleased them; but on many occasions he found it inexpedient to exercise this liberty. This great man entertained the highest reverence for the consciences of his weak brethren: there was no putting out by him, unless for right down wickedness. What a pretty f figure we should make if we should excommunicate a brother for marrying the woman he loves now-a-days, and declare that we would not receive him again until he said, "I am sorry for what I have done!," thus putting out for love and taking him in for aversion to his own flesh! What could such a person mean when he said "I am sorry?"--"That he now disliked his wife? He could not be sorry for breaking Christ's law, for [203] we know that there is no law on the subject; and hence we cannot with propriety ask whether marriage with a believer or an unbeliever is lawful or unlawful, there being no law. We can only ask, Is it expedient or inexpedient? I should answer here, that it was sometimes expedient and sometimes inexpedient.

      But one objects that the person who marries an unbeliever cannot attend to the manners and customs of our kingdom. "How," says such a one, "can I salute with a kiss the wife of a man who may have the strongest abhorrence for the custom?" It may be inexpedient; for as a person may unfit himself by things inexpedient for the Bishop's office, so a person may, by an inexpedient marriage, be unfitted for some of the noblest customs in our kingdom. I have known the finest disposition for hospitality broken to pieces by the avarice of the unbelieving party. But, mark me, I have seen this in the believing party too.

      Upon the whole, christianity proposes to restore the holy ordinance of marriage to the footing on which it stood at the beginning--viz. that one man should have one wife. The Saviour observes to the Jews who practised polygamy, that it was not so from the beginning; and when the relation is formed, then we are instructed how to honor it: the husband is to love his wife, and the wife obey the husband, and to behave herself, that, if he is an unbeliever, he may be won without the word, by her chaste and comely behavior.

      To the Editor's two first questions I respectfully answer, Yes! that "marriage is that institution which makes the parties one and places them on such an equality as no other relation, natural or political, recognizes; and ought therefore to be distinguished from other political relations." 2d. That "it is the origin of all natural relations in the human family, and does deserve, from its vast importance, to be noticed by the Great Lawgiver, and excepted out of the rank of relations which only spring from it." But however distinguished above other political relations, and however much excepted out of them, we cannot, by any distinction or exception, change the nature of a thing, and make spiritual that which is natural. God alone can do this; and if he had said that disciples should intermarry among themselves only, then it would have been done.

      'But, brother Parthenos,' says one, 'pray whom did you marry?' What is that to thee, brother? Follow thou the things that are lovely, and expedient, and excellent, and then thou shalt have praise of the same. I married a daughter of our Heavenly Father, and God forbid that I should despise the Most High's family, and go from home to seek a wife among the families of the flesh. "Evil communications corrupt good manners," and it is the will of God that we should raise for him a godly seed, bringing them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.

      'Why, brother Parthenos, you just practice what I preach,' says another. Yes, and you preach what you did not practise: but neither your preaching nor my practice is equal to the law of the Son of God. What say the Scripture? [204]

      But I had almost forgot the Editor's third question:--

      3. "Does not Paul, in saying he had a right to lead about a sister wife, imply that he had no right to lead about a wife that was not a sister?" The passage reads thus, Cor. ix. 2. "Have we not a right to eat and to drink? Have we not a right to lead about a sister wife as the other Apostles, and the brethren of the Lord, and Cephas? Or have I only and Barnabas not a right to forbear working? The matter in question here is his ministerial support; and if any thing is implied at all, it is that he and his sister wife, if he had had one, were entitled to support. Paul was an Apostle, and there was no law by Christ saying that he should work or that he should not work; he acted in this matter as expediency demanded. There was no law by Christ saying that he should eat or not eat certain things;; he acted in this expediently. There was no law by the Messiah commanding him to marry or to remain single; he acted expediently. And we may be assured that if the Apostle had wished to marry, that in regard to the object of his choice, he would have acted expediently, seeing there was no law on this point neither. When the Apostle said the bishop must be the husband of one wife, did he imply that other disciples might have two? Some might say that this was fairly implied, and I confess it looks like it; yet nothing is more certainly false. This only shows that it will always be dangerous to act upon implications as if they were verbal laws. But now to the Editors last query:--

      "Are not widows commanded by the Apostle to marry whom they please, only in the Lord; and why should widows more than virgins be restricted in these matters?" The Apostle says, "Concerning virgins I have no commandment from the Lord." This is enough for the young or for such as have never been married, viz. that there is no special law in regard to them apart from the law which regarded the whole community, viz, that all were permitted to "marry rather than burn." Why the Apostle circumscribed the liberty of widows will be settled when we have agreed that he has really done so. But I think many take for granted here, that which they ought to prove, viz. that the phrase "only in the Lord," means only a man who is a christian. The phrase "in the Lord" is of very frequent occurrence in the Scriptures: "Salute Persis who labored much in the Lord?' "Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord." "They abode speaking boldly in the Lord." Now do these not mean that the persons themselves labored, died, and spoke, being in the faith of the Lord? And may "marrying only in the Lord" not mean that the person herself may marry, only in the faith of the Lord, i. e. not go out of him or become an idolater to get a husband. Again, it is said, "Let him that glorieth, glory in the Lord;" "nor the woman without the man in the Lord." Here the phrases are simply an acknowledgment of Christ's supremacy or headship. To "marry only in the Lord," may therefore mean to marry without giving up or abandoning the supremacy and headship of Christ as the only Mediator.--Again "Your labor is not in vain in the Lord;" "be strong in the Lord;" "stand fast in the Lord:" "both in the flesh and in the Lord;" [205] "wives, submit to your own husbands in the Lord." Here the phrases mean christianity--dear to you both in the flesh and in the Lord; that, is, both as a natural relation and as a christian. To "marry only in the Lord," then, may mean that whether she married or not, or whomsoever she did marry, she herself must abide a christian. But if the law of Christ to widows, is, that they shall marry only a christian. then I say there is no remedy for those who have acted differently, but immediately to leave their husbands, unless we can suppose that the law of the state is above the law of Christ. If Christ's law says she shall not have a husband that is not a disciple, shall the law of man speak otherwise, and say she shall have and keep an unbelieving husband?

      But the truth is that this whole chapter is written not about the persons to whom the Corinthians were to be married, but about marrying itself; and as the Apostle wished them to be without "anxious care," he told both the unmarried men and widows that it was good for them to remain like him, unmarried: and therefore I rather conceive the whole passage ought to be read thus: "If her husband is dead she is at liberty to be married to whom she pleases. Only in the Lord is she indeed happier if she so abides according to my opinion." 'That is my opinion expressed in the former part of the chapter, viz, that widows would be happier if they remained single like me.

      I now appeal to the Editor whether this is not the literal reading of the Greek text, and whether our present translations are not most unnatural and forced readings of these Scriptures. To "marry only in the Lord," is therefore not a scriptural phrase. It is formed putting the last words of one verse to the first words of another verse or rather the phrase is half our own; or rather it is all our own together. The Apostle did not wish the disciples to marry at all, but to remain single that they might enjoy their religion without family care; and to be wholly happy in the Lord was to remain single; for such had nothing to care for but the things of the Lord. To "rejoice in the Lord," to "boast in the Lord," "labor in the Lord," and so forth, are intelligible expressions; but "to marry in the Lord" is to me unmeaning. We may as well speak of children in the Lord, or of hiring a servant in the Lord, or of having a master in the Lord, instead according to the flesh. But we have no masters in the Lord, no servants in the Lord, no children in the Lord, no wives nor husbands in the Lord; therefore I object both to the phrase and to the present English version; and I beg the Editor will do every thing to clear up this matter, that I may not be found wresting the Scriptures nor handling them deceitfully; for I fear the name of the Lord our God: to whom be glory. Amen!


      AGAINST the views exhibited by Parthenos in the preceding Essay, and in his first number on this subject, it will be difficult to contend, The questions proposed by myself were designed to meet [206] the objections of others, which we had heard urged against the ground taken in the first essay. It is clear to my mind that we have no law concerning the persons with whom political relations are to be formed; no law saying with whom we may marry, or with whom we may not; yet I conceive it to be manifestly the tendency of christianity to lead the initiated to form all the intimate relations of life, as far as possible, with those who fear and love the Lord. But where the Great King has not legislated, no tribunal, no individual, has a right to legislate; and certainly no christian congregation can, consistently with their professed subjection to Jesus Christ, exclude a person simply for marrying any person not forbidden by the laws of the land. And if they should put away any person from the congregation on that account alone, they can never restore him or her to their fellowship unless a divorce, virtual or formal, be obtained; for reformation in this case would be a separation from the unbelieving party, as also says the Jewish institution.

      There are some things which, to a comprehensive mind, and much more to that all-comprehending mind which originated this institution; would appear inexpedient to legislate upon, and inexpressibly more advantageous to leave to the decisions of experience, and the tendencies of things. He or she that marries without regard to the spirit, the genius, and tendency of christianity, will generally have enough to endure without the superaddition of exclusion from christian society. Parents and seniors should teach the juniors the expediency of forming not only the marriage relation, but, as far as possible, all the more intimate political relations, with those who acknowledge and honor the same Lord and Saviour. Commercial intercourse, the employment of the various tradesmen, the hiring and employing servants, and all other political intimacies, christianity arranges not by law. Yet it is its tendency to induce christians to prefer to trade with christians, and to transact, as far as possible, all the business of life with the household of faith. How happy is the man who has a sister wife and christian servants; who walks in the shoes which a christian made, or who rides on a horse which a christian shod; whose body is covered with the cloth which a christian wove, and the garments which a christian made! If a christian plough his field, build his house, or perform for him any service, he feels himself happy in the assurance that it will all be done as if it was done for Jesus Christ. I will not say that he is happy who has these things done by men professing christianity, but by men practising it.

      We only intended here to say that some important matters christianity leaves to be inferred, and peremptorily decides not. Marriage, as respects the parties who may enter into it, is among these. Every man who reasons well will choose, if he have the power of choosing, a sister wife; but all that Parthenos seems to desire to establish, and which he appears to have established, is, that he who can reason well and infer that he himself ought to marry a disciple, should not make his own inference a law for his brother who cannot reason as well as himself, and condemn him to exclusion because he either had not the [207] choice of a companion, or if he had, gratified his eye or his fancy more than his christian taste and feelings in the Lord. With regard to the criticisms offered by Parthenos on the phrase "only in the Lord," we have to observe, that we are sensible of the singularity of the style, if we couple that phrase with the verb marry. As the punctuation is wholly human, we are at liberty to examine and re-examine the propriety of it. Although we have long felt the difficulty of understanding this phrase if connected with the verb marry, we have not examined, till since we read the above essay, whether the canons of the Greek language, or the laws of punctuation, or the usage of the Apostle, will permit such a punctuation as that which Parthenos has suggested. That the common reader may feel the importance of so slight a variation as the insertion of a point, or the transposing of one, we shall give a few instances of passages having the word only in them, and similarly constructed--Gal. 1. 23. "And I was personally unknown to the congregations of Judea which are in Christ only. But they heard that he who had persecuted them," &c. This is exactly according to the arrangement of the word only in the original. But the placing the point before only gives quite a different turn to it: then it reads--"But only they heard of me," &c. Gal. 2. 10. affords a similar instance--"That we should go to the Gentiles, but they to the circumcision only. Desiring that we should remember the poor." Only desiring that we should remember the poor. A third instance we shall give from the same writer--Philip. 1. 27. "May abound through my coming to you again only. Behave worthy of the glad tidings." Only behave worthy of the glad tidings. She may marry whom she pleases, only in the Lord; or, only in the Lord she is happier if she remain unmarried. From these instances, an English reader may judge of the importance of transposing the point in passages if not exactly similar, so similar as to make them quite analogous. I would not, however, rely upon any change in the punctuation here, as it may be questionable which of the two is more in accordance with Paul's style, and with the genius of the language, were it not for the scope of the passage; and as the question was not concerning the persons with whom marriage might be formed, but concerning the expediency of the thing itself, in that crisis, it is more in accordance with that object, and the text will bear it, to point it as Parthenos has done.

      Should any person holding different views on this subject wish to lay them before our readers, our pages are open to them. Much more may be added to enforce the necessity of making no by-laws, or human arrangements, regulating matters which have not been settled by some positive enactment of the Great King. In this way all the platforms of church government were originated; and so soon as we make our inferences rules of practice for others, we begin to judge as the sectaries do, and to condemn men because they think differently, or have weaker heads than we suppose a kinder fate has bestowed on us: for he that condemns a person for a wrong inference, condemns his intellect, and censures him for being intellectually inferior to himself.
EDITOR. [208]      

No. I.

      IN reading the first page of the "Christian Index" for March 5, a small part of which is an extract from a pious Student in Yale, and the remainder from the Editor, I was forcibly struck with the deception that is practised, imperceptibly, perhaps, upon the writer and the reader, by newly coined religious phrases, and by the appropriation of biblical words and phrases in a sense unknown to the sacred penmen.

      Presuming that it may be useful to our readers, we may occasionally furnish them with a few specimens of the new style which has been substituted for the sacred style--

      1. "Pious Student." Is he a Jew, a Mussulman, or a Christian? Virgil's hero is generally called "the pious Eneas;" and as the Roman schools were filled with pious students, we should like to hear another name, designating what sort of piety this student possesses--whether Grecian, Roman, Jewish, Mahometan, or Christian piety--then we shall know whether he is what the first christians would have called "a disciple," or "a christian."

      2. "Religious Revival." is it what is usually called a "revival of religion"? or is it a revival of a religious nature? A revival of literature is barely intelligible, but a literary revival is something too metaphysical far us to understand.

      3. "A state of engagedness." This religious revival has issued in a "state of engagedness." This is a new state.--Query. Is it a state of nature, or a state of grace? Is it justification, sanctification, or adoption?--Engagedness in Yale may mean attention. If so, a state of attention is an attentive state! Physicians have had to invent new names for the new improvements in disease. The typhoid and varioloid were unknown in the days of "primitive physic." The small pox, and the kine pox, have been known for some time. The varioloid is a recent disease--and perhaps this "state of engagedness" may be a sort of religious varioloid.

      4. "Eight or ten (pious students) profess to be regenerated." That is, I presume, say they are regenerated. To "profess to be regenerated" indicates that regeneration is an affection of the mind similar to repentance, sorrow, or joy. I never read in the New Testament, or in any ancient writing, of any one who "professed to be regenerated." To profess to be circumcised, is barely tolerable; but to profess to be born again, is as absurd a phrase as for a child to profess to be born.

      5. "Many more manifest a deep contrition for sin, and are inquiring the way of salvation." From whom do they inquire? I did not know that many of the students of Yale had been educated in a pagan land, where they never had read the Acts of the Apostles. I think the Bible Society ought to furnish Yale College with a few copies of the Acts of the Apostles.

      6. "We need not the art of prophecy." I have heard something of [209] the "fine arts," and something of the "useful arts," the "arts and sciences;" but we are indebted to Yale College, and to a "pious student," for informing us that there is an art called the "art of prophecy"!! We must thank our brother Editor of the metropolis of Pennsylvania for announcing to us this new art.

      7. "The whole sanction of Christ and his Apostles." Mr. Brantly, in strong recrimination of some editors who denounced "breaking the ice" for the purpose of immersion, as a cruel, if not a murderous practice, uses the above phrase, showing that the New Testament authorizes the practice. But what is it that has a partial sanction of Christ, and the whole sanction of the Apostles? or the whole sanction of Christ, and the partial sanction of the Apostles? Or are there some things which have the whole sanction, and others which have the half sanction of the Saviour and his Apostles? But this zeal for the act of immersion is a rickety zeal, a sectarian zeal, unless accompanied with an equal zeal for the meaning of the institution, and for every other institution emanating from the same authority. There are some items in the christian institution of which Mr. B. speaks as irreverently as his neighbor editors speak of his immersion; and we might retort upon him, and use all his own language in application to himself, provided only it were chaste and intelligible. We pass by such phrases as the following--"perpetrated a singularity"--"carried (a right) into effect"--"aiding and witnessing noble devotion"--"somewhat of the latest"--because they are only the little extravagancies of a sportive fancy, not tamed by the restraints of a strict literary discipline. We attend only to such phrases as mislead the reader in his religious course.

      8. "Ministers of the holy book, (who are they?) ministers of the churches." They are those "who impart to them spiritual gifts." Spiritual gifts, in Paul's mouth, meant gifts of healing, of prophecy, of interpreting foreign languages; all miraculous powers. But it seems that Mr. Brantly's ministers of the holy book have got a new sort of spiritual gifts, which they impart; and he tells us that those churches who pay "their ministers well," are "enriched with all needful gifts and graces." Mr. Brantly's church must, then, be like that in Corinth, "behind in no gift," "enriched in all utterance and in all knowledge"!

      This must suffice for No. 1. I dare not attempt to scan his "moral estimate of the character of Dr. Payson." He says the Doctor had "a great deal of character;" and, indeed, he has said "a great deal" about it which, were it to be examined, would afford matter for a duodecimo. More than half the allusions to the holy scriptures are as manifest perversions as I have read; and the false views of christianity which it exhibits, interspersed occasionally with a good remark, like a grain of wheat in a bushel of chaff, or a matured grape upon a blighted vine, only serve like "gilding to a pill" to conceal the bitterness which must sicken the unhappy patient who receives it, without the ability to cure, or any tendency to mitigate the malady under which he is about to expire.
EDITOR. [210]      


      IT is a misfortune, as far as human approbation is regarded, for any person to have to censure the times in which he lives: for in censuring the times, it is not the seasons of the year, but the people who live in the times, that are implicated. The political affairs of the nations are approaching some momentous crisis. The Lord will ere long avenge the infidelity, ingratitude, injustice, and blasphemy of the nations so long visited with his graces.

      He that pleads the rights of men and descants upon the political sins of the tyrants of the earth, even though all the signs of the times sustain him, is not, however, exempt from the censure of those who have the people in keeping for their own interest and behoof. Much less can he expect an exemption from contumely and reproach who implicates by hint, allusion, or accusation direct or implied, that the religious teachers and their pupils are generally out of, and far from, the way of godliness. The religious tides have become most irreligious, and it is a question of no easy solution whether the religious state of the aggregate mass of the inhabitants of this country is more abhorrent to christianity than the despotism and ignorance of Mahometanism is to the sound faith and practice of republicanism.

      But waving this question, we may safely say, that, although the mildness of our laws has taken from the priests and the religious tyrants the sword and the faggot, yet the press and the tongue are incessantly employed in turning the ears of the people from truth, and in criminating them who would rescue the conscience from the captivity of those who have long had it in their keeping. To speak of the times is, with many, equivalent to speaking against them: for they make the times, and if the creature be disparaged the creator feels himself insulted.

      There is no hobby which has carried his rider through all sorts of roads with more ease and respectability, than the doctrine of metaphysical regeneration, or spiritual operations. Some holy ghost is the soul of every popular sermon, and the essential point in every evangelical creed.

      If salvation were proposed to mankind upon condition that they must believe that they can do nothing, and that "the Holy Ghost"1 will when he pleases, and not till then, fall down upon them and make them new creatures by convincing then of sin, righteousness, and judgment, these notions could not be more frequently asserted, more zealously propounded, nor more strenuously defended by those who claim to he evangelical preachers, nor more greedily devoured by their deluded admirers--I say, deluded; for every man who supposes he was converted to God by the literal descent of the Holy Spirit, or [211] by its naked influence upon his spirit, is as certainly deluded as the followers of Joseph Smith, who believe in his Golden Bible or the plates of Nephi. Many of these visionaries are good citizens, kind friends, and benevolent neighbors, and withal pious in their way. So are the Mormonites, the Shakers, and the disciples of Jemima Wilkinson. Others of them are evidently animal men and women.

      But we care not what their seeming devotion nor their decent morality may be. Believing the testimony of God, we must pronounce them deluded. For in the New Testament no man is represented as converted by the descent or physical influence or internal operation of the Holy Spirit upon his mind. Not one. Nay, it is positively and repeatedly taught there that "the world," or unconverted men, "cannot receive the Holy Spirit;" and it is never promised but to them who believe.

      But in the rage for sectarian proselytism, "the holy Ghost" is an admirable contrivance. Every qualm of conscience, every new motion of the heart, every strange feeling or thrill--all doubts, fears, despondencies--horrors, remorse, &c. &c. are the work of this Holy Ghost. The Holy Spirit is equivalent to the spirit of holiness, and its fruits are all goodness, gentleness, purity, peace, joy, &c. But not so the fruits of this evangelical Holy Ghost. To it is ascribed all the anguish, horror of conscience, lamentations and grief, which precede that calm called regeneration, so often witnessed in our greatest revivals.

      In Rochester, New York, a wonderful revival of religion has been got up, in exact accordance with the spirit of the times. And that our readers may hear their own account of it, we shall present them with an extract from the North Star, of the 12th ult.--

Extract from the account of the five days' meeting in Rochester, N. Y. which
commenced on Thursday,
24th February last.

      On Friday, as it was found that the numbers who assembled to hear preaching at the Second Church, could not get into the body of the house, a prayer meeting was held and very numerously attended at the same time, in the large session room of that church. On Saturday the press was so great at the Third Church, where Rev. Mr. Eddy preached, that a part of the multitude assembled withdrew to the Second Church, to whom a sermon was preached by Rev. Mr. Barnard. It was found necessary to open the two churches in the evening.

      Sabbath morning, being the communion season of the First Church, the supper was administered in the Second Church. The whole of the body of the house and half of the gallery was occupied by communicants. At the same time a sermon was delivered to a crowded audience in the large basement room of that church. The Third Church was also opened, and a sermon delivered there to au overflowing assembly.

      Thus far almost all the meetings were attended with manifest tokens of the presence and power of God. Preachers and hearers seemed to regard themselves as sustaining a relation to each other as solemn as eternity. The naked truth was brought to bear with great pungency upon the hearts and consciences of the vast multitude assembled, and the Divine Spirit rendered his own instrument "quick and powerful, sharper than any two-edged sword." But on Sabbath evening such a spectacle was presented as we have never before witnessed. During the day notice had been given in all the churches that Mr. Finney would preach in the Second Church in answer to the question, "What shall I [212] do to be saved?" All professing christians, and such as were indulging hopes in Rochester, were specially requested not to attend this meeting, but assemble at the basement room of that and at the Third Church, to pray for the descent of Holy Spirit upon the congregation of impenitent hearers, assembled under circumstances scarcely less solemn than the judgment itself.

      At an early hour an immense concourse assembled, crowding every part of that large house, above and below, wherever an individual could sit or stand. At the same time the vestibule was filled, and great numbers were compelled to go away who could not possibly get within sound of the preacher's voice. We shall not attempt to describe, nor can the reader easily conceive, the impression made upon our mind in looking over this dense mass, as the preacher commenced his discourse. The consideration that so great a proportion of the christians of the village were at that moment assembled in different places for prayer; that a large majority of this vast assemblage were doubtless impenitent; that many were already wounded by the sword of the Spirit; that terms of reconciliation with God were to be proposed to, and acted upon, by every individual of this class; under such circumstances, that the destiny of many immortals must unquestionably be decided for heaven or hell, before the congregation should break up--spread a deep and pervading solemnity over every countenance, such as eternity alone when brought near to mind destined to share its momentous realities, is adapted to produce.

      The discourse, which occupied about two hours, was listened to with increasing interest and solemnity from its commencement to its close. No individual of those who were compelled to stand during the whole time, discovered the least symptom of weariness, or appeared conscious of the period which had elapsed. All other feelings and considerations seemed to be lost in that intensity of interest which was concentrated upon the momentous subject to which the attention of all was then directed.

      After the discourse was ended, in which the conditions of salvation were laid with perfect conspicuousness before every mind, all who had come to a fixed determination to accept at once, were requested to tarry after the congregation were dismissed, that special prayer might be offered in their behalf. The number which left was so small, that the crowd seemed hardly diminished, and the throng being still so great that it was impossible to separate the congregation without great inconvenience; those who were determined to accept at once the conditions of salvation, were requested to signify that determination by rising. Simultaneously hundreds arose from all parts of the house.

      The whole congregation was then requested to kneel down, while four or five short, appropriate, and fervent prayers were offered up at the throne of grace. During this awfully solemn interval, when so great a congregation were upon their knees before God, it did seem that the heavens were dropping down righteousness over our heads; and that then, if ever, was the time that sinners must submit and humble themselves before an offended God and sovereign. We feel a perfect confidence that many did submit during this evening, so memorable in the history of the revival in this village; but how many, the Searcher of Hearts only can tell.

      At this meeting such manifest tokens of the special presence of God were exhibited, it was deemed expedient to continue the meeting on the next day, and accordingly a meeting of inquiry was appointed at the basement room of the Second Church, at 9 o'clock, A. M. at which hour the room was crowded to over flowing with anxious sinners. A deep solemnity pervaded the assembly. A large number at this time expressed a hope of an interest in the Saviour. Many had previously left the village who had found peace to their souls during the meeting.

      Here the storm was raised by "the proposition of the terms of reconciliation," by the answering of the question proposed on Pentecost, which Peter forgot to answer! by special prayer, and by the [213] Divine Spirit sharpening the sword and making that living which before was dead and inefficient. All the perturbation of mind produced by these deeds of violence against reason, revelation, and the Holy Spirit are ascribed to the "Holy Ghost;" and after this feverish excitement had subsided into a calm, this calm is the sweet period called regeneration. The former agitations were the pangs of the new birth; but in this instance it is not the mother that travails, but the child; for according to the new theory of this new spirit, all the regenerated are themselves the subjects of these fierce pangs of conscience and all imaginable distress as the first fruits of their Holy Ghost, before they are born again.

      I cannot believe in the Rochester and Pentecostian Revivals. One of them I am compelled to reject. My reasons are many--a few I will present. Peter answered the question, "What shall we do," in less than two minutes; but the Apostles of the Rochester Revival occupied two hours in answering the same question. The Rochester Apostle, in proposing his "terms of reconciliation," must, then, have had many more than Peter, and much more difficult to explain. Now as the old Apostle was certainly guided by the Holy Spirit, I must prefer his gospel terms to the gospel terms of this modern Apostle, although he claims a Holy Ghost.

      Peter did not order all the disciples out of the house to the basement story to "pray for the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the congregation of impenitent hearers;" but he promised the gift of the Holy Spirit to all who repented and were baptized. Peter's Holy Spirit did not descend upon the impenitent, consequently was not the same spirit which fell upon the Rochester "impenitent hearers" This new holy Spirit I profess not to believe in; and therefore I cannot regard its work as genuine, nor its converts in any other light than that of deluded sinners. If the copy of the New Testament which I read had said there are two spirits of God, two bodies, two Lords, and two baptisms, I might have been in doubt upon the conversion of these Rochester impenitents; but as it speaks of only one Spirit, I cannot for a moment suppose them to be under the influence of that Spirit which Peter promised to the Pentecostian penitents.

      "The tokens of the special presence of God," exhibited in proof of the new gospel, were not of that decisive character as those exhibited on Pentecost; for it is said, notwithstanding the descent of the Holy Spirit in the Rochester congregation, and "the evident tokens of the special presence of God exhibited," it was still necessary to "appoint another meeting, for inquiry, at the basement room of the Second Church." Now in old times, when tokens of the special presence were manifested, it was inexpedient and unbecoming to appoint meetings of inquiry; and therefore, "the manifest tokens" in Rochester are manifest proofs that the special presence there was not the special presence of the one God and Father of All, but of some other god since that time conceived and created.

      Three good reasons are enough to excuse my infidelity in the whole affair of this Rochester Revival. But if any person will prove to me [214] that contraries are true, and that Peter did not answer the question 1800 years ago proposed to him on the terms of reconciliation, and that the Spirit whom the world could not then receive the world can now receive; I may then, but not till then, be induced to reconsider the grounds on which I reject this revival as the work of enthusiasts, and its converts as the deluded subjects of a new gospel.

      This notice of the above affair, will no doubt draw down on us new denunciations of vengeance from the rulers of the darkness of this world, and from the spiritual courts in high places; but, really, if we hesitated on that account to remonstrate against delusion and clerical legerdemain, we should doubt whether we had a single fruit of that Holy Spirit which led its most distinguished subjects to the stake and to death in its most terrific forms. If we suffered these works of the flesh to pass without notice, or if we joined with the venal corps who trumpet every thing of this sort from North to South, as a lullaby to the consciences of their votaries and devotees, we would be self-condemned, as destitute of that courage which emboldened the ancient confessors of Jesus the Messiah.

      We must occasionally notice the fanaticism of this age on the subject of mystic impulses; for, in our humble opinion, the constant proclamation of "the Holy Ghost" of the schoolmen, and all its influences, is the greatest delusion of this our age, and one of the most prolific causes of the infidelity, immorality, and irreligion of our cotemporaries.


      THE following appeared in the Connecticut Journal of the 5th of February. In this way the public have news, religious and political, manufactured for them by those worthy gentlemen whose business it is to find or to invent news to suit the taste of their readers. In this way, too, is the public mind enlightened and directed to appropriate subjects. A venal and a lying press is one of the greatest misfortunes which can happen a reading community.
Ed. Mill. Harb.      


      "Several years ago this person had a long public discussion with Mr. Robert Owen, upon the subject of the Christian Religion. Since that period it seems Mr. Campbell has been settled over a Baptist congregation in Cincinnati, Ohio, where he has adopted a new religion, obtained proselytes, and started a religious paper devoted to his sect. In this paper he has published a creed, in which are found the following articles. Our readers will judge the modesty of the gentleman in styling all Christendom as Deists, and all the Colleges in Christendom Seminaries of Deism:--

      "1. There has been no preaching of the Gospel since the days of the Apostles.

      "2. The people have been preached to from texts of scripture until they have, been literally preached out of their senses. [215]

      "3. All the public preaching now necessary is to undo what has already been done.

      "4. That John Calvin preached as pure Deism as was ever taught by Voltaire or Thomas Paine; and that this Deism is taught in all the Colleges in Christendom.

      "5. That all the faith that men can have in Christ is historical.

      "6. That the words 'little children' in the New Testament, are to be understood literally.

      "7. That faith is only a historical belief of facts stated in the Bible.

      "8. That baptism, or immersion, actually washes away sin, and is regeneration.

      "9. That baptism, or immersion, is made the first act of a Christian's life, or rather the regenerating act itself.

      "And by some other articles this immersion is made the sole ground of the forgiveness of sins, and the only thing required in the New Testament as necessary to salvation!"


      THE following sketch from the "Introduction to the Apocalypse,' in a late work from the pen of George Croly, A. M. H. R. S. L. London, printed 1827, gives the outlines of the author's views of the important items of that most interesting book, becoming more so every day:--

      THE Apocalypse is the great final prophecy of the Church of Christ, written by St. John, the last survivor of the Apostles, during his banishment in the Isle of Patmos, about the year of our Lord 97, in the time of the Emperor Domitian.

      Its purpose was to prepare the Asiatic Churches for the impending persecution, which was to commence under the Emperor Trajan, and be continued until the acknowledgment of Christianity under the Emperor Constantine; and to detail to the universal Church the leading events of her future history down to the end of the world; showing that the true Faith should be either directly persecuted, or remain in a narrow and depressed state, during the whole human government of the earth: that it should, notwithstanding, be sustained; that its oppressors should be punished from time to time, until their final extinction by a consummate act of the Divine power and justice; and that the Church, the body of the faithful in all nations, should thenceforth enjoy a splendid and miraculous prosperity for a long, yet limited period, closing with the general resurrection.

      The Apocalypse is a collection of Divine visions, seen probably at different times, yet all during the Apostle's exile. It consists of six distinct portions:--The Vision of the Asiatic Persecution.2--The Vision of the Seals, or general view of Providence in the government of the Church and the World, beginning with the period of Constantine, and ending with the close of the final age of Mankind.3--The Vision of the Trumpets,4--the Vision of the Vials,5 which two are [216] identical, and describe the inflictions laid upon the persecutors of the Church, beginning from the establishment of the Inquisition, and closing with the final ruin of the Popedom in the triumph of Christianity.--The Vision of the Church,6 distinguished into the three eras of Pagan persecution, Papal persecution, and the catastrophe of her oppressors.--The Vision of the triumph of Christianity.7

      It will be shown in the course of the Interpretation, that this prophecy includes in the most direct manner all those great events which make the frame-work of History since the first age of Christianity; that it distinctly predicts--

      The establishment of the Church under Constantine and his successors.

      The overthrow of the Roman Empire.

      The erection of the Barbarian Kingdoms on its ruin.

      The rise of the Popedom.

      The establishment of the Inquisition.

      The persecution of the first Reformers.

      The successive punishments laid on Italy, Spain, and France, as the three powers by which the Inquisition was let loose against Protestantism; namely, The papal factions, and French wars of the fourteenth century.--The destruction of the Spanish Armada.--The civil war following the overthrow of Protestantism in France in 1685.--The wars of Louis the 14th.

      The French Revolution; not narrowed into a few conjectural verses, as is usual; but detailed in an entire and unsuspected Chapter, with its peculiar characters of Atheism, and Anarchy; its subsequent despotism, and its final overthrow by the armies of Europe.

      The cessation of the Inquisition, and the simultaneous and extraordinary diffusion of the Scriptures.

      The remainder of the prophecy is future, and of course beyond any exact interpretation. But it contains the most unquestionable predictions of events, to the magnitude and fierceness of whose havoc of the power, the institutions, and the lives of mankind, all the past inflictions are trivial. It is fully predicted that there shall be a sudden revival of Atheism, superstition, and religious violence, acting upon the European nations until they are inflamed into universal war. All the elements of terror and ruin shall be roused; Protestantism persecuted; Popery, after a momentary triumph, utterly destroyed; in a general shock of kingdoms, consummated by some vast and palpable development of the Divine Power, at once protecting the Church, and extinguishing in remediless and boundless devastation, infidelity and idolatry.

      Apparently for the express purpose of compelling us to believe in a catastrophe so repugnant to our natural impressions and the usual course of the world, this visitation is prophesied no less than four times; 8 each time with some added terror, and the last with the most [217] overwhelming accumulation of the images of individual and national ruin. It takes successively the language of the prophets exulting over the fall of the great and opulent cities of the east, the broken sceptres, the spoiled wealth and burning palaces and temples of Tyre and Babylon; and of the still sterner denunciations over the crimes of Jerusalem; the images of wild and sudden invasion, and hopeless battle, the massacre, the conflagration, the final crush of polity, power and name. Even the agencies of nature are summoned to deepen the prediction; earthquakes and subterraneous fire, lightnings, and ponderous and fatal hail. And in the midst of this chaos of bloodshed, fire and tempest, towers the form of the Avenger, flashing with terrible lustre; crowned and armed with the power and wrath of Deity against a world that has for so many ages of long-suffering resisted his Spirit, worshipped idols, and enslaved and slain his people--God, a consuming fire!

      It is further declared that this catastrophe is now approaching hour by hour; the French Revolution standing as the last great event before it; with but a brief intervening period, occupied by Providence in preparing and securing the Church; in spreading the Scriptures, and in giving a last opportunity to the unbeliever and the idolater to accept the truth of God.

      The Apocalypse thus assumes the rank of not merely an elucidation of the Divine will in the past, nor an evidence of the general truth of Christianity, but of a WARNING, of the highest and most pressing nature, to all men, in the entire range of human society. It is not the mere abstract study of the theologian, nor the solitary contemplation of the man of piety. But a great document addressed to the mighty of the earth; Wisdom calling out trumpet-tongued to the leaders of national council; the descended Minister of Heaven, summoning for the last time the nations to awake to the peril already darkening over their heads, and cut themselves loose from those unscriptural and idolatrous faiths, with which they must otherwise go down; the Spirit of God, commanding the teachers and holders of the true faith to prepare themselves by the cultivation of their powers, by a vigilant purity, by a generous and hallowed courage, for that high service of God and man in which they may so soon be called on to act, and perhaps to suffer; and proclaiming to all men alike the infinite urgency of redeeming the time before the arrival of a period, that to the whole world of idolatry, European and barbarian, shall come with a civil ruin, of which the subversion of Jerusalem was but a type; and with a physical destruction, that can find no parallel but in the inevitable fury of the Deluge.

      Yet, vague as those combinations of all the forms of public calamity may appear, we are not left without the means of approaching a more distinct conception. It will he shown in the course of the volume, that this final infliction hears a very singular resemblance to the procedure of the French Revolution; the difference, being chiefly in magnitude. The commencement of the French Revolution in Atheism and anarchy, the spirit of hostility to all nations, the sudden change [218] of the whole people into a soldier, the indignities offered to the popedom, the captivity of sovereigns, the suspension or change of laws and establishments, and even the means by which those horrors were partially combatted and restrained--all find their counterparts in the final plague. The chief distinctions are, that the latter, instead of being limited to Europe, incomplete and apparently under the sole influence of human means, will be universal, complete, and, at least towards the close, palpably influenced by the action or presence of the Deity.

      The synopsis given by Mr. Croly is exhibited in the following columns, showing the parallelism of the three great chapters of the Apocalypse. In his view, the correspondence of the Seals, the Trumpets, and the Vials, may be presented in the following arrangement.--


      The Apocalypse is henceforth a fasciculus of predictions, explaining each other by their parallelism. The same events are frequently repeated, as in the prophecies of the Old Testament; but under different points of view. Apparently for the purpose of introducing order into those involvements and repetitions, three regular series of periods are given:--the Seals, the Trumpets, and the Vials. The first two immediately in the commencement of this portion of the prophecy; the third at a certain distance, being preceded by some chapters necessary to its elucidation. In the following table a general view of the three series is given. The Seals commence with the close of the great persecution in the fourth century, and comprehend the whole course of Providence down to the consummation of all things. The Trumpets and Vials commence with the close of the great persecution in the thirteenth century, are contemporaneous, and typify the punishments visited on the chief persecutors of the reformed.

      1. The establishment of Christianity.
      2. The fall of the Western Empire.
      3. The Papacy.
        1. The Papal and French wars of the fourteenth century.       1. The plague of the French wars of the fourteenth century.
comprehending       2. The destruction of the Spanish Armada.       2. The destruction of the Spanish Armada.
        3. The war of the Cevennes.       3. The war of the Cevennes.
        4. The wars of Louis XIV.       4. The wars of Louis XIV.
      4. The French Revolution.       5. The French Revolution.       5. The seizure of Rome in the French Revolution.
      5. An interval.       6. The overthrow of the Revolution.       6. The overthrow of the Revolution.
      6. The universal war.       7. The universal war.       7. The universal war.
      7. The triumph of the Church.   [219]  


      THOSE who more especially merit that title were Luther, Zuingle, Calvin, Melancthon, Bucer, Martyr, Bullinger, Beza, Œcolampadius, 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 pleaded 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; they 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 the Scriptures, to break asunder the bonds of ignorant prejudice and lawless authority, and to assert that liberty of conscience to which they had an unalienable right as reasonable beings.--[Mosheim's Eccl. Hist. by Archibald Maclaine, vol. iii. p. 110.


      At any rate, before I am converted to his views I shall wait to see how far his followers go before us in favoring Bible and Tract Societies; in establishing Missions, Sabbath Schools, and Dorcas Societies; in supplying the poor with clothing and fuel; in erecting alms-houses and hospitals; and in visiting the poor, sick, and distressed in prison, I shall inquire how many of the new system folks have died in the cold of Greenland and Labrador? how many have been scorched with the sun in Burmah or Siberia? how many have visited the Islands of the Pacific? how many labor among the convicts in New Holland, or the negroes of the West Indies? how many braved the perils of the ocean, stooped into the wigwam of the Indian, and krall of the Hottentot? how many have assailed the strong holds of Popish and Mahomedan delusion? in fine, how many have given their reputation, property, and very blood for the cause of God and his truth?

      There are instances of this kind you know under our imperfect system, and under a better one, (like Mr. Campbell's.) I have reason to expect instances more numerous and splendid. There were instances of this sort in the first and purest age of the church; and the system which comes nearest to it will, in this respect, most resemble it.
Baptist Repository. [220]      


      Three years ago, in like manner, as a child, did I think and write, In my first letter to Mr. Campbell, dated March 13, 1828, I said to him: "Your opposition and sideway course to Sunday Schools, Bible Societies, Tract and Missionary Societies, with considerable that has appeared on the ambassadors of Christ, call to preach, &c. I regard as wrong." To this he replied: "As you have been so candid as to state the objections you have to the contents of the Christian Baptist, I will just remark, that I am pleased to find that they are chiefly about things never so much as once named in the Bible; and therefore, however important in their supposed consequences, they are proper matters of forbearance. In these matters and things I am content to say, let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind; or, let him examine the grounds of his assent, and the reasons of his preferences, and then let him act with energy. For my part, I take but little interest in discussing the merits of these 'benevolent schemes,' and have never done more in my remarks upon them, than in general terms to say, that they are no part of the christian institution. They may, indeed, be supposed by some to result from it legitimately; be it so:--I will grant them, so far as I am allowed to grant, the liberty of so thinking; only let them not attempt to impose their opinions upon me."

      I had then read only a part of his writings, and these hastily once (how many form their judgments and condemn from reading less!) I have since read them all.

      But what is Campbellism? It is an invention of Mr. Campbell's, a speculation, doctrine, deduction, notion or opinion, which originated with him. And who are Campbellites? They are those, if such there be, though I know of none, who have united on, and whose bond of union is, some one or more of these--That the scriptures of the Old and New Testament contain a revelation from Heaven, a complete, and the only sufficient rule of faith and practice; that it is eternal life to know the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom he has commissioned; that faith is faith, or belief; that it comes from hearing, and this hearing by the word of God; that the word is spirit and life, and the sword of the Spirit; that all who believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of the living God, should reform and obey the glad tidings, and be immersed for the remission of their sins; that such are in Christ as have put him on; that there is no condemnation for such, who walk not according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit; that all such should love one another with a pure heart fervently, and meet together on the first day of the week to break bread; that they should incite one another to love and good works: and as to whatever things are true, whatever things are benevolent, whatever things are of good fame, if there be any virtue, and if any praise be due, that they should attentively consider these things,--is not Campbellism and to build on this foundation, is not to be a Campbellite; but numbers of such I know.
F. [221]      

For the Millennial Harbinger      



      I propose, in this communication, to offer a few thoughts on "Total Depravity," which is the root and hinge, and the key to the controversy which has been carried on by Metaphysicians since the days of Austin, who flourished in the fifth century. Christianity was four hundred years old before "decrees," or predestination, special operations, total depravity, particular election and redemption, were born. Milner, the panegyrist of Austin, says, Vol. 1 p. 467, that particular redemption was unknown to this saint, the father of orthodoxy. Mosheim says, Vol. 1, Century 4, p. 286, that "the controversial writings of the fourth century were entirely destitute of that ancient simplicity which is the natural and beautiful garb of truth;" that "simplicity was now succeeded by logical subtleties, acute sophisms, sharp invectives, and other disingenuous acts, more worthy of the patrons of error, than of the defenders of the wisdom that is from above." In the days of Moses, it was sound doctrine to tell the Jews that life and good, death and evil, were set before them; and to entreat and command them to CHOOSE life: but now this doctrine is unsound, under the gospel dispensation, since the faculties of men have attained to their manhood, (then they were in their infancy.)

      We must wait for previous operations, in order to produce faith and holy disposition--see Deut. xxx. 15. 19. It was sound doctrine in the days of Joshua to tell men to CHOOSE you this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served, &c.--see Joshua xxiv. 5. 15.--Deut, xi. 26. Behold, I set before you this day a blessing and a curse, &c.--2 Sam. xxiv. 5. 11. 12. It was sound doctrine in the time of David for God to say to him--I offer thee three things; CHOOSE thee one of them, that I may do it unto thee. The bold and eloquent Isaiah said to the men--the wicked Jews of his generation, compared by him to the Sodomites and Ghomorahites--Cease to do evil; learn to do well. Paul said to Philemon, from verse 5 to 14--That thy benefit should not be as it were of NECESSITY, but WILLLNGLY. Paul said again to the Corinthians, i. 7. 5. 37. Having no necessity, but hath POWER over his own will, and hath so decreed in his heart, &c. Here Paul expressly affirms that a man hath power over his own will. No, no, says the orthodox preacher, that cannot be so, Paul. John i. 12. To as many as received him, to them gave or granted he power or privilege to BECOME the sons of God. James i. 15. Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God--every man is tempted when he is drawn away by his own lust, (not by a divine decree,) and enticed, &c. God told the Jews, Is. lxv. 5. 12. that they did CHOOSE that wherein I delighted not;--No, no, says the popular preacher, this is that abominable doctrine of "Free Will" again.--see Ezekiel viii. 5. 11. 15. 1 Sam., vi. 5. Why do you harden your hearts, as the Egyptians and Pharaoh hardened their [222] hearts. Ps. xcv. 5. 8--Ezek. xviii. 32--Matth. xxiii, 37--Rom. 10. All the day long have I stretched forth my hands, like an orator, &c. Rev. i. 24. 25. Because I have called and ye refused. Thus we see that the called and sent among the Jews and Christians, the Prophets, Apostles, and the Saviour, addressed men in this manner. But now they must be addressed differently. They must sit still till they are "divinely illuminated," "specially called by divine grace," like water falling upon a mill-wheel; and if it never falls, they will be excusable, (not inexcusable, as Paul said;) but the popular doctrine says he will be damned to the praise of his "vindictive justice." The sects all have a Calvinistic creed, but an Arminian priesthood; for all the sects exhort men to choose and refuse, notwithstanding the creed says they cannot choose. When the sects hear a man curse, or see him murder or steal, they do not tell him to go on till "efficaciously called by divine grace;" they tell him to cease to do evil, and learn to do well. The Bible and the creeds are at war, and so do the sects war against their own creeds. Austin himself, the great grandfather of the Five Points, who christened and married the Five Points, says, "God created man with a free will; and that all sin comes from the ill use of that free will; and that all other evils are punishments for sin; and that every one shall be judged according as he has either used that freedom of will to good, or abused it to evil. See Augustinus de Libro Arbi Trio, lib. iii. chap. 23. Buck says, article Calvinists, p. 72, "The Calvinists do not consider predestination, however, as affecting the agency or accountableness of creatures, or as being to them any rule of conduct. On the contrary, they suppose them to act as freely, and to be as much the proper subjects of calls, warnings, exhortations, promises, and threatenings, as if no decree existed." This is sound doctrine again; here they preach "free will;" no operations or omnipotent power is heard of here; no decree to influence us. Mosheim says, Vol. 1, p. 396, "This controversy, (in the fifth century, about free will and free grace, original sin, &c.) was the commencement of those unhappy contests, those subtle and perplexing disputes concerning grace, or the nature and operation of that divine power, which is spiritually required in order to salvation, that rent the church into the most deplorable divisions through the whole course of the succeeding age, and which to the deep regret and sorrow of every true and generous christian, have been continued down to the present time" He says, that silence is the truest wisdom, upon this intricate and incomprehensible subject. I shall close this essay by promising to give my reasons in my next for touching this subject.

For the Millennial Harbinger      


      DEAR SIR:

      IN my last essay, I promised to give my reasons in this for touching upon this orthodox dogma. My first reason is, to show that the phrase "total depravity," (upon the belief of which some make our [223] salvation to depend) is not found in the Book. I suppose that it will be admitted, that the Sermon on the Mount was an orthodox sermon; and yet, strange to tell, we cannot find one of the Five Points in it, nor in the one delivered by Peter on Pentecost. The five subtle and perplexing dogmas of orthodoxy were not generated until the fifth century; this, Luther himself; who was educated an Augustinian Monk, acknowledged. My principal reason is, that I design to take some notice of the essays of "Noel's man Dillard," written upon the subject of total depravity, and some other loose speculations. Thus man is the successor of Mr. Vardeman at David's Fork. Mr. Vardeman was once an Arminian; then he embraced the general provision, but special application plan; then he either apostatised from these two faiths and embraced the Particular faith, or else Mr. Dillard has apostatised from the Particular faith and embraced Mr. Vardeman's two faiths, and will probably be admitted into the Elkhorn Association with all three of these faiths. Mr. Vardeman's apostacy cost him his removal from Kentucky. We shall leave it with these men to say which of them has apostatized, and shall proceed. Dillard is the man who has repeatedly, in the presence of hundreds and thousands, in a snolus bolus manner contradicted the Apostle Peter, by telling the people that they must be baptized, "but not for the remission of their sins." This is the man who was chosen Bully at the last Elkhorn Association, and who produced the fable of Dr. Franklin respecting an eagle catching a cat to prove that it was right for the Association to violate her own word given on Saturday, and her own resolution spread upon her minutes in 1827, and also her former proceedings, and her constitution, by dropping two of her churches. This is the man who was presiding in the Clear creek church, when he and the church were informed by a committee from another church that they were about to send a falsehood to the Association, in their letter; yet he proceeded to send it. It can be proved by records, and hundreds of witnesses, that it was a falsehood; and that he knew it at the time.

      After all this, there is but little need for him to prove that he is "totally depraved;" for I presume that no one who knows him will doubt this. It may be, one reason why he delights to dwell so frequently on the blackness of the sinner's heart is, that he is conscious that he possesses an uncommon share of depravity. The object of his first essay is to prove that God's spirit makes orthodox Baptists, Methodists, Presbyterians, and Episcopalians; but as for Arminians, Arians, Unitarians, &c. he did not stop to tell us who made them. He speaks often of the divisions produced among these good christians by the reformation. His main proposition on "total depravity" reads as follows:--"Indeed, so incurable is the malady of sin in mortals, that nothing short of an omnipotent hand can relieve and restore them to health again." August No. page 115 he says the gospel is not the power of God to those that believe, until it is "prepared." According to this spiritual guide, the gospel believed and obeyed is insufficient "to restore man to happiness" without an omnipotent hand is put [224] forth, like it was when he garnished the heavens. According to him the Creator made a book, but he forgot to put a preface to it; now he has to come and put a preface to it for every sinner that is converted. This may be good divinity, but it is bad logic. According to this logic it is unnecessary to preach to an unconverted man, for preaching can only profit those whom the Spirit has regenerated, or for whom he has "prefaced the book, until they are regenerated, or "prefaced;" they can neither hear, understand, believe, nor obey. You had as well preach to an audience who understand the English language only, in Hebrew as in English, till this operation, preface, or regeneration is performed. Preaching is unnecessary before the preface, and it is equally unnecessary afterwards; so that it is altogether unnecessary. An omnipotent hand does not need us to help him do his own work nor does he need us afterwards. He needs no help.

For the Millennial Harbinger.      


      1. WHOEVER, on any subject, or respecting any thing, receives information from another, constitutes himself by that action, a learner, scholar, or disciple, and acknowledges the person from whom his information is received, to be his actual teacher or master: nor would it be an abuse of language to say to the parties, between which such intercourse occurs, master and scholar, teacher and disciple.

      2. But the existence of this relation, and propriety of employing these correlates, become more obvious when the person from whom information is sought or received, sustains the character or profession of a teacher.

      3. The existence, however, of this relation, and the propriety of these reciprocal terms, become more obvious when one person formally professes to be a scholar, and another formally engages to act to his professed disciple the part of a teacher.

      4. To create a disposition to become a scholar, formally or informally, two things, and two things only, seem to be requisite; first, credible information concerning the disposition and ability of a teacher to execute his undertaking; and secondly, a conviction that what he professes to teach is important, or calculated to benefit the learner.

      5. The Greek language employs the verb matheteuo to denote each of the above mentioned grades of this relation, and the writers of the New Testament employ it without doubt to denote either of the two last. For in it persons are frequently styled disciples or learners, who sought or received information from Christ and his Apostles, but who never assumed the title of formal or professed disciples; that is, who were occasional, but not constant or professed attendants on their instruction.

      6. Now which of these degrees of this relation is matheteuo intended to denote in Matthew xxviii. 19? This query, the context, as all similar cases, must resolve. Were the first clause of this verse [225] to be translated literally and accurately into plain English, it would speak thus--"Go and induce all the nations (no doubt by presenting to them credible information concerning Christ's disposition and ability to teach them, and also concerning the complete fitness and absolute necessity of his instruction to render them happy) to become my disciples;" and this translation of the clause would evidently leave it uncertain whether more than the first or second grade of the relation alluded to, was intended: but the subsequent clauses which contain the connected and explanatory terms baptisontes and didaskontes, remove every doubt, and show that the last is also included. The term matheteuo, therefore, turned into plain English, as due respect to these annexed terms requires, will sneak thus--"Go and induce (no doubt by the means already stated) all the nations to become not only secretly and in fact, but openly and avowedly my disciples, scholars, or learners." It is not, then, only a casual, or even a real, but concealed scholarship, which is here enjoined; but also an open, avowed, and formal one, of which immersion and subsequent attendance on public christian instruction are the proper and appointed expressions and proofs.

      This passage, then, correctly translated, affords much important information:--

      1. It teaches us that some information concerning Christ's character as a teacher, and concerning the fitness of his instruction to profit the learner, is absolutely necessary to dispose persons to become his disciples.

      2. It teaches us that the diffusion of this preliminary information merits the particular attention of every friend to the Redeemer.

      3. It teaches us that there may be a real scholarship without a concomitant avowal of it; nay, that a secret and real scholarship must precede a public profession of it, otherwise the public profession of it must be an act of downright hypocrisy. And here a question of importance occurs. Is a real but unavowed discipleship of no other benefit to its owner, than to put him in a condition to make a public profession without hypocrisy? Certain it is, that before immersion, or any other avowal of his christian attainments, a person may have read, understood, and believed every declaration which God has made, may have apprehended clearly and strongly the tendency of these declarations to affect not only his temporal but his eternal happiness also, and may have had his mind thus greatly enlightened and powerfully impressed; his affections much excited and drawn to God; and his actions duly rectified by them; in short, may have had all the elements of a christian--knowledge, faith, love, and obedience produced in him: and must we consider all this as null and void till there be a public annunciation of its inward and invisible existence? Truly I cannot believe it: yet, at the same time, I admit that when a person is convinced, and for the want of such a conviction I can see no excuse, that a public avowal of what the Lord has done for his soul, is the Lord's express command, and expressly commanded, because of its signal utility to Christ's cause; nothing being equally [226] well calculated to promote its prosperity, as its public profession well sustained; if, I say, he does not submit to public immersion and subsequent christian tuition, he is in a most alarming and dangerous condition, denying God's right to govern and use him, and of course exposed to the awful threat recorded Matth. vii. 21. that not every one that is in the practice of calling me Lord, Lord, shall enter the Kingdom of Heaven, but he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Let those therefore who are conscious of being in this woful condition, make all possible haste to escape out of it.

      4. It is clear as solar light that none can be within the purlieu of this command, none embraced in its language, but those whose minds have arrived at such a degree of maturity as can enable them to understand the information offered to their attention for the purpose of disposing them to become in their own proper persons Christ's disciples, and who still retain the exercise of that degree of rationality for to become Christ's disciples in or through the persons of others, through proxies or substitutes, is not only absurd, but impossible. From yielding obedience then to this command, by the very nature of it are excluded all human beings whose mental state is not such as can enable them to examine the credibility of the information concerning Christ and his doctrine, which is absolutely necessary to dispose them to become in reality his disciples.

      5. It is equally manifest, that the author of this command considers none to be fit subjects of immersion, and subsequent christian tuition, but those whose minds are not only capable of being by suitable information concerning him and his doctrine made willing to become his disciples, but who have by such information been actually induced to become his real disciples. For it is evident, that they are the sane persons who according to this command are to be induced to become disciples, and who are afterwards to be immersed, and provided with further christian instruction. Idiots and infants, therefore, the one on account of the imbecility, the other on account of the immaturity of their minds, are by this command excluded from immersion, as being destitute of the information and dispositions which immersion presumes to be present in all its subjects.

      6. It is further evident, that when a person of mature and sound mind declares, that he has by attending to the declarations of sacred writ concerning Christ and his doctrine been induced to become his real disciple, and wishes to become his avowed disciple. he has a right to demand immersion from any professed disciple of the Redeemer, unless something in his visible conduct justify refusal.

      7. It is further evident, that though the terms matheteusate, baptisontes, didaskontes, contained in this command, are closely connected, not only grammatically, but as denoting the very same persons or subjects of action; for it is undeniable, that they are the same persons, on whom the actions denoted by matheteusate, baptisontes; didaskontes, are performed; yet they are by no means synonymous, that is, they do not denote the same action, For who will contend that to induce persons, by scriptural information concerning Christ and his [227] doctrine, to become his real disciples, and afterwards by immersion to constitute them his avowed disciples, and provide them with further means of christian instruction, are one and the same action? Surely it is plain as daylight, that the first of these terms denotes the action which makes persons real disciples, and the two last, the actions which constitute them professed disciples.

      8. It is also evident that the English terms teach, convert, disciple, proselyte, have been unhappily chosen to express the meaning of matheteusate in this place. To teach, and to prevail on persons, by presenting to their minds what the scripture declares concerning Christ as a competent and willing teacher, and the fitness of his doctrine to secure to his students eternal happiness, to become his teal disciples, are quite different operations; and convert, in its religious acceptation, denotes something very different from becoming either a real or professed disciple. It denotes the dereliction of one course of action, and the prosecution of another, effected by a belief, that the former is calculated to destroy the pursuer's happiness, and the latter to promote it. Disciple, used as a verb, is scarcely an English word, at best a very ambiguous one; and proselyte, though in its modern use it may convey the meaning of matheteuo in this passage pretty nearly, is inadmissible, because in the New Testament it uniformly denotes the inducing of heathens to become, not christians, but Jews.

      9. In these remarks I have purposely avoided the word commission, and employed the word command: First, because the words commission and command are far from being synonymous; secondly, because it is evidently a command, and not a commission, which is presented to our view in this passage; and thirdly, because when translating God's message, or expressing our own sentiments on the all-important subject of religion, we can never be too scrupulous in the selection of precise and appropriate terms. From inattention to this matter, truth seems to have suffered more than from any other cause; and till the practice of calling every thing by its own strict and proper name be introduced and rigidly observed, it must suffer.

      But to express the substance of these remarks in a few words, Christ in this passage (Matth. xxviii. 19) commands not only Jews, but all human beings, whose minds are capable of performing the action, to he first induced to become his real disciples, and then by immersion to become his avowed disciples, and forthwith to enter on his prescribed course of christian tuition.

      It has been acknowledged by all the learned that we have not a word in our tongue exactly corresponding to the term matheteuo. Disciple, a Roman term, would have exactly done, had it not been appropriated to another use. Convert expresses the effect, and therefore only metonymically expresses the import of the original. An avowed and open disciple is a convert, because he has abandoned one leader and adopted a new one; and as Jesus intended to induce all the nations to desert all religious leaders and to follow him for eternal life, there is, perhaps, no one word in our tongue which better represents, though [228] it does not literally translate the original term. But with many religious persons the term convert, and its derivative conversion, signifies sometimes more and sometimes less than to induce a person to avow, or the making of a public avowal of, Jesus as the Messiah, the only prophet, priest and king worthy of unrivalled and supreme regard. Hence with some it is a heinous sin against sound doctrine to say, "Go and convert the nations;" presuming that the Lord would not, and could not, command human agents to do a work which was wholly his own: But "he that converts a sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death," is a form of speech which they must approve, because the king's version approves it. But this is only to bring a sinner back to the way from which he had turned aside.


      THERE is little pleasure in describing scenes of horror, but they are useful; they show us the evils of a false religion, and should make us thankful for the enjoyment of the true. Let it be known, then, to the disgrace of the Jews, that, although in possession of the knowledge and worship of the true God, they were but too much inclined to the worship of idols; and that there, in the valley of Tophet, they erected an altar to one of those agents, which God employs for the benefit of the world. The solar fire was erected into a divinity. An idol of brass, having the head of an ox, but the body of a man, was made to represent it. That idol was seated on a throne of the same metal; a crown was placed upon its head, and its hands were extended to receive their gifts. But what gifts were deemed most acceptable? Had garlands of roses, baskets of fruit, or the lives of animals been the only request, it had been comparatively well: but human sacrifices were demanded; and the tender pledges of conjugal love must glut the rapacity of this fictitious divinity. The hollow idol was heated to redness; the parent himself, by a refinement of cruelty, in order to acquire the summit of sanctity, must become the priest--himself must place his darling on its arms. No bewitching smiles, nor mournful cries, must drive him from his purpose. His eye must not pity, nor his ear regard. His heart must be steeled against every tender impression, and a complete conquest obtained over the strongest feelings of humanity. Fortunately the scene lasted not long; sacred drums, as they were impiously called, drowned their cries: their bodies became the victims of a merciless superstition; but their souls fled to a merciful God.--From this account of the worship of Moloch, we may see the origin of those names which marked the place where he was worshipped: for it was called the valley of the sons of Hinnom, or the valley of the sons or children which shrieked; and the valley of Tophet, or of drums, from their being constantly used on such an occasion. The following extract from D. Kimchi, on 2 Kings xxiii. 10. will show the arts which were used to excite the devotion of the worshippers, and at the same time explain, perhaps, what we are to understand by "the tabernacle of Moloch. [229] which is mentioned in Acts vii. 43: "Our rabbins, of happy memory," says he, "inform us, that although all other houses of idolatry were in Jerusalem, Moloch was without it, and the image was made hollow, and sat within seven chapels. Whosoever offered a flower, they opened to him the first of these; whoso offered turtles or pigeons, they opened to him the second; whoso offered a lamb, they opened to him the third; whoso offered a ram, they opened to him the fourth; whoso offered a calf, they opened to him the fifth; whoso offered an ox, they opened to him the sixth; but whoso offered his son, they opened to him the seventh."--Brown's Antiquities, p. 61-62.


      IN a sermon which I read the other day, I found the following passage. The author of the sermon was a Baptist of high standing in England, and one who has been highly extolled by many who denounce the author of this work as an errorist. One would suppose that a Baptist author, of so much good sense as appears in the following extract, would be denounced as unregenerate: but we will not add his name--we shall leave our readers to guess. I will only add, he is one of the most learned of the Baptist writers.
Ed. M. H.      

      "Having thus seen the rise and the accomplishment of the promise of an universal religion under the administration of Jesus Christ, and having got possession of the book that contains the whole of that religion, let us proceed to examine the book, and particularly with a view to the Holy Spirit, and his influence in religion, for "as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God." To give you at once my notion of the subject, I think our Apostle took his idea of the Christian church being "led" by the Spirit, from that favorite part of the history of his country so often mentioned in the writings of the prophets, and so faithfully recorded by their first historian, Moses; I mean God's "leading" the Israelites through the wilderness into the land of promise. Sometimes it is said simply, "God led them" through the wilderness. Sometimes it is said, the Holy Spirit led them "by the right hand of Moses." Sometimes they are said to be led "with a cloud, and with a light of fire;" and in this manner the wise men of the East were led by a star to Jesus Christ. God in all these cases made use of means, and the work was no less his for using means to effect his purpose. In this manner I suppose the Holy Spirit by the Scriptures guides all good men. The cloud was not in the Israelites, nor was the star in the wise men; but there was in them a knowledge of the use and intent of these appearances, and a conformity of action to their own ideas.

      Here, then, two things rise to view in our subject--a guide without us, and a disposition within us; and the last seems to me to be an effect of the first, and both the work of one and the same spirit. Suppose a world without a Bible, and you have no idea of any Spirit of God as a spirit of religion in the inhabitants of it. Suppose, on the other hand, a Bible in a world without an inhabitant, and you have no notion of influence: the "Spirit of God is there, but nothing knows or worships him, "the earth is without form and void, and darkness is upon the face of the deep." If God calls for light, it will come; if for land and water, they will appear; if for sun, and moon, and stars, they will be; if for fish, and fowl, and beasts, they will appear; but there will be no religion till man comes, nor then any revealed religion till the book and the man meet, and then the child of God will be "led by the Spirit of God." My supposition is a fact. The Bible lies about in many parts of the world without readers, and there lies all our holy religion like Jesus dead in the sepulchre. There are, on the contrary, many places where the Bible is read; but it is not among men, but mere [230] animals, who eat and drink, and marry and give in marriage, and buy and sell, and build and plant, and are so full of these ideas, that they never attend to religious truth, before death comes and destroys them all. "So it was in the days of Noah, so it was also in the days of the Son of Man," and so it will be to the end of the world. In a word, there is no magic in the Bible to operate without reason and conscience; and there is no religion in man without revelation. If we lay aside the Scriptures we have no standard to judge by; and if we have no judgment the standard is of no use.

      Let us apply these general observations to particular cases, in order to understand how the Spirit of God "leads" all good men. We have determined that it is by means of Scripture truths, and that it implies the exercise of some dispositions in us. I am aware of the questions you will ask, and I only defer stating the question till it comes properly before us, as it will presently by supposing a case, which is not a mere supposition, because it comes to pass every day. Suppose a man, who had never thought of religion, to lose by death the first of all earthly pleasures, the agreeable partner of his life, or, as a Prophet calls his wife, "the desire of his eyes." O dreadful calamity, sound fit to raise the dead! "Son of man, behold, I take away from thee the desire of thine eyes with a stroke! I spake unto the people in the morning, and at even my wife died." Awhile the man thunderstruck can hardly believe it true, and hopes against hope, till time, cruel time, kills his hope, and drives him to despair. The more he thinks, the more occasion he sees for grief. Every thing he sees, pierces him to the heart, and in every place a lovely picture of her that was, and the ghastly features of her that is no more, meet his eyes, and melt down all his soul in woe. The sun does not shine, the stars do not sparkle, the flowers do not scent, the world does not look as it used to do; the world seems dead, his house is a tomb, and all his domestics dreary ghosts. Now he feels the vanity of the world, takes up his Bible, perhaps to look after the desire of his eyes, and try whether he can find any thing in her present state to assuage his pain. This man hath religion to seek, and it is indifferent which end of the Bible he begins at--either will "lead" him right. If with the Prophets, they will hand him on from one to another, till they conduct him downward to Christ; if with the Apostles, they will direct him upward to the same person, who is a "light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of the people of Israel." This man, thus led to Christ, will be instructed by reading his sermons, by observing his actions, and by examining how his Apostles understood and explained his meaning, by applying it to several cases, both of individuals and collective bodies, which fell out after his death, and during their inspiration; and perceiving the truth and beauty of all this, and finding a satisfaction in it calming his mind and producing in him a pleasure never experienced before, he will become a convert to the Christian religion, and choose to make the truths of it the rules of his action, and the ground of his hope. This man is led step by step to a moment in life, in which he becomes a new man, rises, as it were, from the dead into "newness of life," and when he makes his appearance among Christians, the question will naturally be asked, "Who hath begotten me this man? Who hath brought up this man? Where hath he been? Christians come round this man and inquire: "he is of age, ask him, he shall speak for himself." By whose direction did you come into this Christian assembly? His answer is, Jesus Christ informed me that "where two or three are gathered together in his name, there" is he "in the midst of them;" and "that if two" of his disciples "shall agree on earth as touching any thing they shall ask, it shall be done for them of" his Father "which is in heaven." I come to join with you in worshipping God; and to be instructed by you who have studied religion longer than I have, in the truths contained in the Holy Scriptures. Ask him again, How came you, an Englishman born near two thousand years after Christ, a Jew who lived and died in the eastern part of the world,--how came you acquainted with Jesus Christ? His answer is, I have been lately reading his history, written by those who had "heard and seen what they declared," and who "wrote unto us that we also might have fellowship with them, and their fellowship was truly with the Father [231] and with his Son Jesus Christ." Think it not presumption in me, a Gentile, to appropriate to myself all the benefits of a religion, which, though preached first to the Jews, was, "according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known unto all nations for the obedience of faith." This is "made manifest to me by the Scriptures of the Prophets," and in finding Christ, "I have found him of whom Moses in the law and the Prophets did write;" and the whole seemed to me as clear as the daylight, and as free as the air. Ask further, How came you to believe the truth of all this? He replies, I could not withhold my assent any more than I can help being warmed by approaching a fire. The evidences of the truth of the Gospel stood before me; I seemed to myself surrounded with Prophets and Apostles: nobody asked any favor of me, they all bore witness to the truth of one fact, and I could not help yielding to the force of evidence. Ask him once more: This fact subverts the whole order of your former course of living; how came you to examine a religion so utterly destructive of all your former sinful enjoyments? He tells you: "I was stript of all the pleasure of living by a death in my family, which, though I can never cease to lament, I am obliged to confess seems to me now necessary to rouse me out of that dead sleep of sin in which I lay. It seems a severe part of the government of God, but necessary to a man in my condition; and I consider it now as the language of one, whose absolute right to dispose of me empowered him to say, when he struck the blow, "Awake thou that sleepest, arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light." Once more, inquire how an event, which some scarcely feel, made him so very unhappy? He will go out of religion into a thousand subjects, as the accomplishments of his partner, the tenderness of his own feelings, and other articles of a like kind, all which traced back, will at last appear to have God for their first cause. This man hath always been a child asleep in the bosom of his Father, and when he woke he found himself in his arms. Call in now all the means used to "lead" this man to the spot where he now is, and examine which of them made this man a Christian. Was it any one of your Prophets or Apostles? We brought, indeed, "the message which we heard of God, and declared" unto him; but we were not acquainted with him till lately; he had, when we found him, eyes to read, ears to hear, and understanding to judge, a conscience to reprove, and he was in a condition neither melancholy nor mad, but disposed to make use of them. In a word; there is a chain of events, one of which brings on another, and of all which God is the first cause, and if you can suppose the life of the man just now mentioned to consist of a chain of five thousand events, and that three thousand and fifty came to pass before he touched the Holy Scriptures, and that his reading them was the three thousand and fifty-first event, I should call three thousand and fifty, acts of God as the God of nature; the three thousand and fifty-first an act of God as the God of grace; and though I should think him "led" all along before by the same God, yet I should from that moment date his being "led by the Spirit of God" as a Spirit of truth and holiness, revealing himself in Scripture as the Saviour of sinners, and in no other way."


      WE had fully intended to republish all the essays of Archippus on the question of Gentile Baptism not for the Remission of Sins; but, by some fatality, the numbers of the "Christian Messenger," containing his 2d and 3d essays, have been mislaid, and we can only for the present cite from our recollections. We have written for a copy of these numbers, and if we have omitted any of his strong points we shall notice them hereafter.

      His strongest argument, and, indeed, his only argument that has any plausibility, is, that "the first Gentile congregation addressed by Peter, were not commanded to be immersed for the remission of sins, [232] but that the Holy Spirit fell upon them before they were immersed and that they were afterwards reported, Acts xv. to have had their hearts purified by faith." From which he infers that they were pardoned through faith previous to immersion. This is, we think, a fair statement of his main argument. With seeming confidence in the irrefragable strength of his position, he asks, "Can we suppose that those persons on whom the Holy Spirit fell were yet in their sins? and certainly they received the Holy Spirit before they were immersed--consequently, while in their sins."

      It is always expedient, as well as lawful, to have the whole strength of an argument or objection presented before an attempt is made to meet or repel it. Having in the above the full strength, as we conceive, of the argument in favor of immersion after remission, or immersion not for the answer of a good conscience, or not for the remission of sins, we shall devote a few periods to its examination.

      In the first place it will be conceded by Archippus himself, that the gifts of the Holy Spirit bestowed on the house of Cornelius, were those gifts now called miraculous; such as the gift of speaking foreign languages, or the gift of interpreting, prophesying, &c. This being conceded, it will follow that if these gifts were bestowed at any time upon persons without regard to a change of state, or character, or to purity of heart, it can prove nothing in favor of the remission of the sins of these Gentiles before immersion. As he makes the reception of these gifts a proof of their remission before immersion, it is essential to the truth and validity of his argument that he prove that these gifts were never bestowed upon persons who were not pardoned. But this he cannot prove; for something like the contrary can be proved; and this at once makes his reasoning fallacious and inconclusive. For so long as it is written that the Spirit of God fell upon Saul, (1 Sam. x. 10.) and that Balaam prophesied, and that Judas had all the spiritual gifts which were possessed by the Apostles previous to the ascension of the Saviour; and that persons have wrought miracles in the name of Jesus; and have tasted the powers of the world to come, who were not pardoned, but died in their sins--his argument, drawn from the gift of tongues bestowed on the Pagans in the house of Cornelius, is illogical and fallacious. There is nothing pardoning or purifying in such gifts. Even the Christians in Corinth, who were foremost in the possession of them, were, in the estimation of Paul, carnal and walked as men. They even envied one another because of the gifts of the Holy Spirit which they possessed, and had not prudence to use them for the purposes for which they were bestowed. The gifts bestowed on these Gentiles were for a sign; and so Peter always used them when speaking in vindication of himself to his Jewish brethren. This immersion in the Holy Spirit, as Peter explained it was bestowed on the Gentiles as it had been on the Jews. The Spirit confirmed the testimony to Jesus and Gentiles at its first promulgation by the same operations. This is the legitimate use of this incident; and its falling upon the Gentiles, so soon as remission sins by the name of Jesus was announced, was intended to confirm [233] that statement; and, therefore, as soon as Peter recovered from the panic of this interruption of his discourse, he commanded their immersion by the authority of the Lord.

      Archippus, it appears, mistakes the meaning of this incident altogether. The Jews on Pentecost, the Gentiles on their first calling, and the Samaritans were not received into the kingdom of Jesus exactly in the same manner, for reasons which might, perhaps, be discovered.

      The Samaritans beard, believed, and were immersed before they received anyone of these gifts of the Holy Spirit. When the Apostles in Jerusalem heard that the Samaritans believed and were immersed, they sent Peter and John to lay hands upon them that they might receive the Holy Spirit. Their former standing, and their controversy with the Jews, perhaps, required this peculiarity in the economy of Heaven towards them. At all events, they did not receive the Holy Spirit either as the Jews or Gentiles at the beginning, but by the intervention of the hands of Jews, whom they had nationally and unrighteously opposed. As well might Archippus urge this case to prove that risen might believe and be immersed and brought into the kingdom of Jesus Without the Holy Spirit and without pardon, as to apply that incident in the house of Cornelius to prove that they were pardoned before they were immersed.

      But this is not all: his own argument can be retorted upon himself with all the factitious force he has given it. Can it be possible, one might say to him, that Cornelius, so good a man, so pious, so benevolent, so charitable, who gave much alms to the people, and continually prayed to God, was in an unsaved, unpardoned state, before Peter came "to tell him words by which himself and his house might be saved!" Yet this must be admitted because an angel said so, (Acts xi. 14.) But had he not been so informed, I doubt not but the same ingenuity which discovered that Cornelius and his household were pardoned before they were immersed, would have proved that he was saved before Peter announced the gospel to him!!

      Having disposed of this part of the argument, we proceed to notice another saying on which our friend Archippus relies with much assurance. The Gentiles had been purified in their hearts by faith. A very slight attention to the words in connexion with which these stand might have shown our friend that this saying proves too much for him, for it proves that the Jews as well as the Gentiles were saved by the same grace and purified by the same faith. If he maintain his ground here, it must be at the expense of his identifying both the immersion on Pentecost and that of Cornelius, which subverts the distinction he would fain introduce between Jewish and Gentile baptism. But how does it read? "And God who knows the heart, bare witness to them, (the Gentiles,) giving them the Holy Spirit, even as he did to us, and made no distinction between us and them, having purified their heart, by faith." So, then, God made no such distinction between the meaning of immersion to a Jew and to a Gentile, as my friend Archippus would make. He did not command the Jews to be immersed for the [234] remission of their sins, and the Gentiles to be immersed because their sins were forgiven. He purified the hearts of both Jews and Gentiles by faith. Alas! how shortsighted are they who oppose the truth! Did Archippus think that either grace, blood, water, or obedience can purify the heart of man without faith? Neither the grace of God, nor the blood of Jesus, nor the institution of immersion; nor obedience can purify the heart of man without faith. Faith is that principle which brings us nigh, or under, that influence which saves us. Neither can faith without blood, nor faith without grace, save or purify the heart or soul of man. And he who relies upon faith for pardon, without grace, blood, water, and obedience to every divine institution, relies upon a foundation which imagination, and neither reason nor revelation has laid.

      Because faith is that principle in us which realizes, apprehends, and embraces the whole christian institution, it is of all other principles, natural or acquired, the most deserving to stand first, and to have the salvation of men ascribed to it. And so it generally stands first, because, in our order of things, it is the first. But, in God's order, it is the third. In the order of things as respects him, it is first grace: second, the sacrifice, or blood of Jesus; third, faith; and fourth, reformation, or obedience. As respects our arrangement of things, it is first faith; then the blood of Jesus; then the grace of God; then obedience. To explain: Obedience springs from faith; faith regards the blood of Jesus; and then the grace from which it flowed. But we are said to be "justified by faith." "justified by grace," "justified by his blood," "justified by works," and "saved by water." We stand up for them all; but every one in its own order. And if our friend Archippus has found out a new way for the Gentiles, in which they have only four steps, while the Jew has five, he must be honored by all the Gentile world. Hence the Gentile part of the Baptist population will thank him for nullifying immersion and for giving to faith all that is ascribed to both grace, blood, water, and obedience. But this must suffice for the present. We shall still farther expose the inadvertencies of our good friend Archippus.


      ARE christians to use any means to reform the world? And if they ought, what should they be? These are questions which deserve a very profound and serious consideration, because the decision of them must directly influence the practice of every disciple, and on a subject of paramount importance to the whole community. Philanthropy is the principle from which salvation flowed, and this is the principle which it imparts to all who are reconciled to God. Hence every christian desires the reformation and salvation of men. And surely the religion of Jesus Christ imparts no principle of action which ought not to be obeyed; no desire, which ought not to be gratified. [235]

      But has the Lord committed the salvation of men to the agency of his spirit, or to the agency of man, or to both united? Not to the agency of his spirit alone, else men ought not to speak, or pray, or think for the salvation of men. Nor has he committed it to the agency of angels, for none are now employed to preach the gospel. Nor to, the agency of the word alone, else christians in that word would not be commanded to endeavor to save themselves and others from the wrath to come, or to win others over to the gospel by their good behavior.

      We need not labor to prove a point which, if not universally admitted, is admitted by almost every person who has assumed the christian name. If Jesus Christ had contemplated the salvation of men by his spirit, or by angels, he would not have employed any human agents or human means either in the commencement or in the prosecution of this great and glorious undertaking. He has now left it to the church to convert the world. He gave Apostles, Prophets. Evangelists, Pastors, and Teachers, supernaturally qualified for this work after his ascension. They were to announce the word of life, the gospel of salvation, and to fit the disciples for carrying on this work in all time coming. These have long since died; but by the means which they set on foot, corrupted and impeded as they hale been by mistaken and designing men, the gospel has reached us, and we are now sitting in the kingdom of heaven by the operation of those means, which the Author of this religion originated.

      Greatly, indeed, have these means been corrupted and perverted yet, through them we are now rejoicing in the hope of the glory of God to be revealed at the resurrection of the just. But the abuse of any means is no argument against the use of them. The tongue and the hand of man have effected all the moral wonders of the world. Speech addressed to the ear by the human voice, and words addressed to the eye by the human hand, whether of the scribe or of him who pulls the press, have achieved much for the natural, political, and moral good of man. The tongue and the pen, puny instruments indeed, have been, and still are, the great moral levers of the world. Sustained by a virtuous and religious life, they are the most omnipotent instruments with which a human agent can be furnished. Without them man is impotent indeed. "A wholesome tongue is a tree of life;" for, "death and life are in the power of the tongue," as Solomon affirms. All the moral power of man is in his tongue; "and where the word of a king is there is power." As the world was created by the word of God, it will be redeemed by the word of his Son; "And this is that word which as glad tidings has been announced to us." But the question is, How is the church to use this word for the conversion of the world?

      Christian parents are to teach it to their children. "Parents bring up your children in the nurture and correction of the Lord." In the public meetings of the brethren it is read and proclaimed, in all their worship, in the social institutions of christianity. When this is done have christians done all they can do, and all they ought to do for the [236] reformation and salvation of the world? Few will answer yes; for they know that more can yet be done. Many who frequent not the meetings of the christian congregations; many who are brought up in families where the fear of God is not taught, still remain objects of christian commiseration and enterprize. Every christian, in his intercourse with these, will do all he can to imbue their minds with the doctrine of God our Saviour.

      But a question arises, Does not society, as now constituted, require still greater exertions than these: and ought not christians to select such agents as can have the greatest influence in converting men, and employ them for that purpose?

      To employ men to preach the gospel in a christian congregation is a satire upon that congregation which employs them. But if it be the duty of every christian, in his individual character and capacity, to proclaim the word to those ignorant of it, and to publish the excellencies of Him who has called him out of darkness into his marvellous light, it is the duty of the whole congregation, as circumstances may require, and their opportunities permit, to put forth all their talents and enterprize for the conversion of those without, or for the reformation and salvation of the world.

      But then it will be asked, How is this to be done without falling into the vices and abuses of the sectarian world? Every thing, it is admitted, can be abused. The Author of the christian religion himself could not, because he did not, introduce a system of things incapable of abuse. But this is a very different economy from that of the popular institutions of the sects. This contemplates the placing of every christian congregation directly and exclusively under the tuition of the Apostles, and recognizes every disciple as one of the Lord's freedmen and priests. This regards them as a worshipping assembly, and not as the auditors of a religious lecturer or sermonizer, whose chief duty it is to meet and hear a sermon or a lecture, and to pay the preacher so much per annum for his orations. This respects them as having full power or privilege to attend upon every part of the christian institution without any distinct class of priests, Levites, ministers, or clergy. It only provides for the reformation of those without, or for the gathering of disciples out of the world into such a relation and institution as will place them also distinctly under the government of Jesus Christ and the Apostles. In achieving this, it will require the co-operation of the brotherhood not only of one congregation, but sometimes of more than one congregation; nay, of all the congregations in a given district. In other words it will require, on some occasions, all the talents, all the means possessed by all the disciples in a given district, to wage a successful war against infidelity, atheism, sensuality, and all that leads men captive to destruction. That it is the duty of churches to co-operate in every thing beyond the individual achievements of a particular congregation, we shall now attempt to illustrate and sustain.

      A church can do what an individual disciple cannot, and so can a district of churches do what a single congregation cannot. But [237] although reason and the nature of things make this apparent, it must, pass for nothing as respects the conscience, if we cannot show that in the apostolic churches such co-operation existed, and that it was a part of the means adopted by the authority of the Lord for the furtherance of the gospel. This we hope to make very apparent in stating and illustrating a few propositions:

      1. The churches were districted in the age of the Apostles. This is evident from the classifications so frequently mentioned in the Epistles. For example: "The churches of Galatia," mentioned 1 Cor. xvi. 1. "The churches of Macedonia," mentioned 2 Cor. viii. 1. "The churches of Judea," named Gal. i. 22. "The churches of Asia," spoken of 1 Cor. xvi. 19. That they were so districted with a reference to some object, or for some cause, must be obvious. The question now is, For what cause were they so districted? This we answer in the form of a separate proposition--

      2. The churches planted in those districts of country, because of some local and discriminating interest, as well as because of their co-operation for certain specified purposes, were denominated from the districts of country in which they lived.

      That churches of certain districts had peculiar interests, arising from their own peculiar circumstances, is evinced on sundry occasions. Hence all the churches of the Gentiles gave thanks to Priscilla and Aquila, because they hazarded their lives to save the life of Paul. The Gentile churches show, in this their deep interest in Paul, because he was their Apostle.

      Particular districts also, co-operated in contributing to the necessities of those who lived in another district of country, because of some consideration which called forth their peculiar energies, made it their duty more than others' to assist them. Hence Paul "gave orders to all the churches in Galatia," and to some if not all "in Achaia," to make collections and contributions for the suffering poor in "the churches of Judea." But that which most immediately bears upon the object in view is expressed in the following proposition--

      3. The primitive churches in certain districts did co-operate in choosing certain persons for the work of the Lord, and these persons when chosen were called the "Messengers of the Churches"

      We are expressly told, 2 Cor. viii. 19. that a certain person was chosen by the churches to accompany the Apostles in ministering to the saints; and that persons so chosen were messengers of the churches, who co-operated in employing them for certain purposes. This is all that is necessary to our present purpose. It is now shown from the authoritative book that the ancient churches did, in certain districts, unite in choosing and appointing certain persons for religious purposes--and that these persons, chosen by the churches of any district, were the messengers of the churches of that district. All that we infer from this, is, that we have good authority, when occasion requires, to go and do likewise. But of this more in our next.
EDITOR. [238]      


      MUCH has been said against us for rendering, on our own responsibility, the command authorizing immersion into instead of in the name. We always immerse in water into the name, &c. We have been denounced for this by all parties, and by none more than by the Baptists and Presbyterians; yet there can be nothing more plain in language, nor evident in fact, than that immersing in the name is not the action which Christ commanded. We found, the other day, that we had the greatest name in America on our side of the question. I need not say a word to Presbyterians nor Baptists of reading in commendation of Timothy Dwight, S. T. D. L. L. D. President of Yale. He exactly concurs with us in this matter, and argues from the same premises. Hear him:--
ED. M. H.      

      "All persons are baptized, not in, but into, the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit; that is, they are in this ordinance publicly and solemnly introduced into the family, and entitled in a peculiar manner to the name, of God. Accordingly they are called Godly; Christians; Spiritual; Sons and Daughters of God; and Children of God; throughout the Scriptures. That this is the true construction of the passage just quoted, is, I think, obvious from the Greek phraseology, eis to onoma, the proper English of which is, into the name. Accordingly it is customarily rendered in this manner by the translators of our Bible in those passages where the same subject is mentioned. Thus, Rom. vi. 3. 4. St. Paul asks, Know ye not that so many of us as were baptized INTO Jesus Christ, were baptized INTO his death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism INTO death. I Cor. xii. 13. For by one Spirit we were all baptized INTO one body. Gal. iii. 27. As many of you as have been baptized INTO Christ, have put on Christ. In all these instances the phraseology is the same with that first quoted; and, from analogy, teaches us, that it ought, there also, to have been rendered in the same manner: into, being the original and proper meaning of the preposition; and in, being a meaning so uncommon, as heretofore to have been resolved into a Hebraism. Several passages, also, directly declare that those who are baptized are baptized into Christ; that is, into the church, or body of Christ."
[Vol. iv. p. 318.]      



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      1 I use their own phrase. It is their own: for God's Spirit was never called a ghost by any Apostle, Prophet, or divinely instructed person. A ghost represents, in our tongue, the soul or apparition of a dead man. The Holy Ghost is, indeed, a better definition of their idea than Holy Spirit. When we use the phrase "Holy Ghost," we mean their phantom; by the phrase "Holy Spirit," we mean the Spirit of God. [211]
      2 Ch. i, ii. iii. [216]
      3 Ch. iv. v. vi. vii. [216]
      4 Ch. viii. ix. x. xi. [216]
      5 Ch. xv. xvi. with the connected chapters xvii. xviii. xix. [216]
      6 Ch. xii. xiii. xiv. [217]
      7 Ch. xx. xxi. xxii. [217]
      8 At the close of the Visions of the Seals, the Trumpets, the Vials, and the Church. [217]


[The Millennial Harbinger, 2 (May, 1831): 193-240.]

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