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



The difference between the state of the Pentecostal Jews, and of Saul of Tarsus; and of
      the Gentiles when the Gospel was first preached to them.

      IN my last number I showed, by the only divinely authenticated word that we have of the introduction of the gospel to the Gentiles, that God remitted their sins through faith, before they were baptized. This is believed by some not to have been the case with the 3000 Pentecostal Jews, and Saul of Tarsus, from the expressions used by Peter to the former in Acts ch. ii, and by Ananias to Saul, as stated in Acts ch. xxii. I confess that the phraseology used in these cases, authorises this belief, in a great degree; and I have no controversy with those who entertain it; but I am unwilling that the order of the facts, and the phraseology that appeared and were employed at the introduction of the gospel to the Gentiles, as we have them recorded is the 10th and 11th chapters of the Acts of the Apostles, shall be thrown aside, and those which are recorded in reference to the Jews, be substituted for them. The Jews and the Gentiles were under entirely different circumstances, in many respects, which occasioned the difference that appeared in the facts, and in the style of address when the gospel was preached to them, and they were proselyted to it. The commission under which Peter acted, and the circumstances attending its execution, when he preached to the Gentiles, were as distinct and peculiar as if they had had no connexion whatever with the preaching of the gospel to the Jews on the day of Pentecost. And it is remarkable, that in no instance, in which he speaks of the introduction of the gospel to the Gentiles as well as to the Jews, does he ever refer to the conversion of the 3000, or any thing that occurred in reference to them, as analogous to any thing that took place in the order, or facts, when the gospel was preached to the Gentiles; but he uniformly refers to those of the Jews, who were converted before the day of Pentecost, who had not participated in the murder of Jesus Christ, and upon whom the Holy Ghost was poured out, when the day of Pentecost was fully come, for facts of similarity. But let us attend to the distinctions that existed between the Jews and [337] Gentiles with some care, that we may see the consistency and propriety of maintaining and understanding the facts and circumstances that occurred, in reference to the Pentecostal Jews and Saul of Tarsus.

      We must not forget the fact, that the Jewish nation was incorporated as the church of God, upon the old covenant, under the law of Moses, by which they were distinguished from the whole world besides. The honor and privileges bestowed upon them by Jehovah, as his people, were signified by terms peculiar to them. They were called God's chosen or elect people. He was said to have begotten them--they were called his children, his sons and daughters which were born unto him; and they were denominated a kingdom of Priests unto God. In none of all these, however, did the Gentiles partake; and they were on that account represented as strangers, and aliens, and as no people; and being idolators, were denominated enemies.--The above appellations of honor, and the expressions of peculiar relationship which the Jewish nation sustained to God, were owing, I repeat, to their being incorporated by the old and typical covenant, and under the law of Moses.

      The Jews relied upon the extraordinary piety and merits of their ancestors, and the promise of God to bless their posterity, for the pardon of their sins. They moreover relied upon the knowledge and study of the law of Moses--and circumcision and sacrifice for the remission of all their sins. The Gentiles had no plan for the remission of sin. In consequence of the foreseen wickedness of the Jewish nation, Moses and the prophets predicted the most awful calamities, and signal destruction, that would come upon them. The period of their national ruin was styled the great and terrible day of the Lord. Deut. xxviii. 49-64. Joel ii. 28-32. Mala. iv. 1-3, 5; and Jesus Christ forewarned them of it. Mat. xxii. and xxiv. Mark xii. Luke xxi; and Peter alluded to it on the day of Pentecost; Acts ii. 20. As the Gentiles did not participate in their privileges, neither did they in their guilt and danger. The Jews in the most wicked and atrocious manner murdered the Messiah, when Pilate determined to let him go: Pilate declared his innocence, and washed his hands before the multitude, saying, I am innocent of the blood of this just person; see ye to it--while the Jews imprecated his blood upon them, and oil their children; Mat. xxvii. 24, 25.

      John the Baptist was sent to the Jews agreeably to prophecy, as the forerunner of the Messiah, who preached the baptism of repentance for the remission of sin, and proclaimed the approach of the Kingdom of Heaven; and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and all Judea, and all the regions round about Jordan, were baptized of him in Jordan, confessing their sins. Jesus Christ moreover preached to the Jews three years, and wrought miracles, before they crucified him, preparatory to the new covenant or gospel dispensation. By the joint labors of John and of Jesus Christ, a number of Jews believed in Messiah, and associated with him as his disciples; among whom were the Apostles. One hundred and twenty of these disciples composed the congregation or church who were met together in [338] obedience to the commandment of Jesus Christ, when the day of Pentecost was fully come, and upon whom the Holy Ghost was poured out, as Christ had promised--these had not been baptized in the name of Jesus Christ.

      Let us now turn to the 2d chapter of the Acts of the Apostles, and read it carefully, and it will be seen that every thing exhibited was restricted to the Jewish nation. Peter standing up with the eleven, lifted up his, voice and said unto them, "Ye men of Judea, and all ye that dwell at Jerusalem." He charged upon them the guilt of having "taken and by wicked hands crucified Jesus Christ, a man approved of God among them by miracles, and wonders, and signs, which God did by him in the midst of them, as they their ownselves also knew." "This Jesus," saith he, "hath God raised up, whereof we are all witnesses. Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the holy Ghost, he hath shed forth this which ye now see and hear," which consisted in visible, divided tongues of fire, which sat upon the 120 Galileans, and in their speaking in seventeen or more different languages, the wonderful works of God. Therefore, said he, let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ, after quoting the declaration of David, Ps. ex. 5. The Lord said unto my Lord, sit thou on my right hand till I make thine enemies or foes thy footstool, till I subdue them under thee, and cause them to acknowledge thee their Sovereign and Lord.

      Now when they heard these things, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and the rest of the Apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do? Then Peter said unto them, Repent and be baptized every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sin, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost, for the promise is to you, and to your children, &c. and with many other words did they testify and exhort, saying save yourselves from this untoward generation. Then they that gladly received the word were baptized, and the same day were added about three thousand souls.

      These were Jewish sinners, and were in different circumstances from any company of Gentile sinners that the Apostles ever addressed. They were exposed to the vengeance of the great and terrible day of the Lord, which was to destroy the Jewish state and nation, on account of their unparalleled wickedness, Mat. xxiii. 34-36. To be saved from the, guilt and danger, in which they were involved as the murderers of the Son of God, was the leading concern of these 3000. The occasion was a most suitable one, for the display of divine mercy and love, through the death of Christ. The same Jesus, whom they had with wicked hands crucified and slain, is made both Lord and Christ: his blood cleanseth from all sin, and is the meritorious ground of salvation. Peter's reply to the inquiry, What shall we do? was most appropriate. I suppose the following things were comprehended in it: Repent or Reform--change your minds and your [339] conduct in reference to Jesus Christ, and yourselves--renounce your Judaism, your dependence upon the law of Moses, and upon your circumcision and sacrifices, for the forgiveness of your guilt and acquittal from condemnation. Repent and be baptized every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ, for the remission of sin. John preached the baptism of repentance for the remission of sin, and baptized with that baptism, saving unto the people, that they should believe on Christ Jesus, who should come; this Jesus is come, and you have crucified him; and he is the only name given under heaven by which you must be saved. Be baptized into his name--into him for the remission of sin, that is in reference or in order to the forgiveness or removal of sins; renounce every thing else, and rely upon him alone for every thing, and you shall be saved, and shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost as a proof, and in confirmation of it, for the promise is to you &c. They that gladly received the word were baptized--they put him on--by these means they passed from the old into the new covenant, and having been born to God by the old typical covenant, they are born again under the new covenant established by the blood of Christ, which was shed for the actual remission of sin; and thus God justified the ungodly by counting their faith for righteousness, and being justified by the blood of Christ, they were saved from wrath through him. I have little or no doubt, but that in that case an immediate miraculous manifestation of the Holy Ghost, was made to the minds and hearts of the 3000 in the act of baptism, and immediately afterwards, as there was to Saul of Tarsus, when he was commanded to be baptised and wash away his sins, calling upon the name of the Lord, which confirmed the truth of, and was answerable to Peter's declarations. Saul was not only converted to Christ, but was made an Apostle, and was to be a witness of the things which he had seen. The day of Pentecost was the beginning of the reign of the exalted King, and required all the miraculous and supernatural attestations that were made, to manifest, confirm, and establish his character and Kingdom. We have reason, however, to believe, that Saul of Tarsus was sealed with the Spirit before he was baptized, Acts ix. 17, 18.

      When Peter preached to the Gentiles the scene was a different one, corresponding; with the difference that existed between their state and the state of the Pentecostal Jews. The Gentiles had never been under the authority of the Jewish covenant and laws. They had not been preached to by John the Baptist, or by Jesus Christ; neither had they rejected or crucified the Messiah. They were not exposed to the destruction of the great and terrible day of the Lord, which was in 30 years to destroy the Jewish state and nation, from which the 3000 were saved by their conversion, and from which the 120 had been saved by believing in Christ before his crucifixion, and by placing themselves under his instruction, guidance, and protection. The Gentiles were not Jewish, but Gentile sinners, and renounced Gentile sins, the sins of ignorance, sensuality, idolatry, &c. When Peter preached to them, he did not charge them with the murder of Jesus [340] Christ, nor of being exposed to the vengeance of the great and terrible day of the Lord, that was to destroy the Jews; for had Cornelius, his kinsmen, and near friends been living when that day came, and been officers and soldiers in the Roman army, they would have been the instruments to have brought it on. Accordingly when Peter preached to them they were not pricked in the heart or terrified. They believed his testimony concerning Jesus Christ, and the remission of sin through faith in his name, and in receiving Christ they received remission; in proof of which they were baptized with the Holy Ghost, which was God's witness that he had by faith given to them repentance unto life, and purified their hearts. In consequence of these things they were baptized in water, by which they renounced their Gentilism and put on Christ, and thus in Christ Jesus, they were one with the Jews. These Gentiles were not in their sins when they were baptized, and of course their sins were not remitted in the water. A distinction existed and must be maintained, between the state of the Pentecostal Jews and the Gentiles, and the events in reference to their order of succession, in their conversion and baptism, were different, and it is a most palpable absurdity to place the Gentiles now in the state of the Pentecostal Jews, and address them a they were addressed in all respects. A much less distinction obtained between the 120 disciples, who were converted before the crucifixion of Christ, or who became his disciples, and did not participate in his murder, and the Gentiles, than there was between the 3000 Pentecostal Jews and the Gentiles. The Apostles, as I before remarked when speaking of the Gentiles in Acts x. in no case compares their conversion with the conversion of the 3000, as being or having been in situations at all analogous. But they uniformly when speaking explicitly, compare them with the 120 disciples at the beginning, who were baptized in water before the death of Christ, or the day of Pentecost. Peter considered the Gentiles in Acts x. & xi. after they believed and before they were baptized in water, as in the same state of divine favor that he and the rest of the 120 disciples were after they were baptized, and long after the day of Pentecost. Acts xv. 10. 46, 47; xi. 15-18; xv. 7-9.

      I have mentioned these things to show what views and opinions of baptism are entertained in our day, derived from Acts ii. and xiii which were not entertained by the Apostles, and which have a tendency to deprive, I fear, and if indulged in, will deprive thousands, as it will myself, of much happiness in participating with those we love, in the blessings of the gospel, and in preventing its dissemination. These I say are my fears, and they are my reasons for writing,--Christ is the Saviour of the Jews and of the Gentiles; he saves the view by faith, and the Gentile through faith--and by baptism since the miraculous gifts ceased they receive a symbolical pledge and representation of the remission of their sins, when submitted to by faith, and have the answer of a good conscience towards God--they renounce every thing else and put on Christ; as he is made of God to them wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption. [341]

      I desire to say something more of baptism and of the new covenant, which I will reserve for another number, and after that I shall be glad to see your remarks, bro. Stone, upon my views generally. Afterwards I desire to write a number or two on the death of Christ, and the doctrine of Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, with a view of exhibiting the gospel principles of Christian fellowship and union.


      AFTER reading the above essay, no person, I think, can say that I have erred in representing this writer as making a difference between the meaning of baptism to a Jew and to a Gentile. Why, else, all this explanation of the differences subsisting between the state and circumstances of the Jews? Why so often contrast them with the Gentiles, and Peter's address to them with his speech to the Gentiles, if he preach not one baptism for the Jew and another for the Gentile! Immersion, as respects the action, is the same whether man, woman, child, table, or cup, be put under water. It is the meaning of the act which characterizes it; and if immersion has one meaning to a Jew, and another meaning to a Gentile, then there are two baptisms instituted by Jesus Christ. This I contend is the legitimate import of the above essay. But the writer does not mean what he says! He explains himself as making no difference between the Jew and the Gentile, as respects the meaning of immersion. We must, then, ascribe to him what some of our good preachers ascribe to the Holy Spirit, viz: "He says one thing and means another."

      But Archippus will tell us that he reasons upon the differences between the Jews and the Gentiles, not to show that Peter preached baptism for remission to the Jews, and baptism because of remission to the Gentiles, but merely to justify the style that Peter used to the Jews. For, in truth, according to him it is only a difference in style; and the Jews, owing to their peculiar circumstances, ought to be spoken to in one style, and the Gentiles in another. This is his plea, as I understand him. Well, then, it follows that if the difference in style be merely rhetorical, and not logical; if it be only in the selection of synonymous words, and not of words conveying different ideas, baptism must mean the same thing to Jew and Gentile, and the question will be, whether shall we explain literally the address to the Gentiles by that to the Jews, or that to the Jews by the address to the Gentiles? May we not rather say that Peter spoke the meaning of baptism literally in his first address; and that if ever he spoke of it in any other style, his meaning must be ascertained from his first address, when the introduction of the institution required the greatest plainness? We have, we think, all the principles of interpretation in our favor, and against Archippus: for according to his own exposition the difference is only in style, and reason and universal usage require that we explain every other address by the first, and not the first by the subsequent addresses.

      Admitting then, for the sake of argument, that there is a [342] difference in the style of his address to the Jews from that to the Gentiles, and that baptism means the same thing to Jew and Gentile, only expressed differently, because of differences in their condition, the question will be, whether we shall learn the meaning of baptism from the Pentecostan address, or from some subsequent address? This is the only question which lies between us, on the hypothesis that he give up his Gentile baptism as not of a different meaning from the Jew's baptism. I repeat it again, the question now is,--whether shall we learn the meaning of baptism from the Pentecostan speech, or from any subsequent one addressed either to Jew or Gentile? I answer, from the Pentecostan, and for the reason already assigned.

      It was the first time that the christian immersion was ever preached; it was the first time that the gospel, as perfectly developed, was ever announced; it was the first time that the Apostles spake under the last commission; it was the first time that Jesus was proclaimed on earth, after his ascension into heaven, as a "Prince and Saviour to grant reformation and forgiveness of sins;" and it was the first time that the Apostles spake under the full influence of the Holy Spirit, and therefore it was the most appropriate time, to open the meaning of the institution. This is in effect the argument used by all intelligent Baptists against those who plead for sprinkling. It is admitted that the first baptism was in a river, that it was literally an immersion, and that no subsequent allusions to the blood of sprinkling can weigh against the clear and fair import of the word or action as first explained. I use their own argument when I say, that we are to expect the full and explicit development of an institution at its first promulgation. If I err, the Baptists have always erred in their reasonings against their Paidobaptist brethren; for this is the strong plea of every Baptist writer, that we must examine the first preaching under the commission to know who was to be baptized, and how the action was to be performed. When they reason from the Epistles and other remote documents, we tell them we are not to learn the literal import of an institution from mere allusions, or oblique hints, or figurative representations, but from the distinct and primary discourses of the Apostles upon the subject. This is reasonable; for when any new custom or institution is introduced, then, if ever, it must be explained. So it was with circumcision, the passover, and the Jewish feasts. They are only once fully explained, and that is on their institution. So was the Lord's Supper at the time of its institution; and so, I argue, was the christian immersion, commanded in the charge given to the Apostles. On this ground I stand, in answering this question; not because we cannot establish our views from even the first Epistle of Peter, as well as from many other passages in the book, but, were there not another, we must contend that the first time an institution is commanded, it must be most fully and literally explained: for that has always been God's time, and right reason says it is the proper time.

      But to this reason we might add another, of very considerable weight. This discourse on Pentecost was addressed to "persons out [343] of every nation under heaven." No person ever did, since or before, address such a congregation as that which Peter addressed on this occasion. "Men of every nation" were spoken to; Jews and proselytes indeed they were, but they were born in all nations, and spoke all the tongues of their native countries. Some thirteen or fourteen of the nations are mentioned, not as the whole, but as a specimen of men of every nation under heaven. Now as these persons were all addressed in their own languages, and all taught the same views of immersion, it was of the utmost consequence that, returning back to their homes enriched by the gospel of Jesus, they should carry with them a literal and explicit development of this institution; because, as they understood all the nations whither they resorted, and all the persons with whom they conversed, after their return, must learn the meaning of this institution from them. If Peter told them to be immersed for the remission of their sins, they would tell all nations to be baptized for the remission of their sins; or if Peter told them to be baptized because their sins were pardoned through faith and repentance, then they would tell the same story to all nations under heaven whither they went. Not only, then, because it was the first time the Reign of Jesus was announced and christian immersion introduced, but also because it was spoken to the whole world in convention, and from that people to spread every where, it became necessary to speak clearly and unambiguously upon this subject.

      Hence we are constrained to understand every other speech on immersion, and every allusion or reference to it, by the Pentecostan address; and if, as our friend Archippus now pleads, there are not two baptisms, one for Jews and one for Gentiles, but only a difference in the style or manner of representing it, then it follows that all differences in the form of address, phraseology, or figure, being necessarily to be explained and understood by the first speech, we have only to inquire what is the fair import of the institution as proclaimed on Pentecost. This will settle the whole controversy, unless there be two baptisms, or a baptism which means one thing to Paul and another to Cornelius; and that we have seen is equal to two baptisms.

      The question now is, What is the fair construction, or the literal import of the immersion which Peter preached on Pentecost? Archippus is too candid, too honest, to dissemble here. He admits that remission of sins is promised through or in immersion to the 3000 of all nations under heaven. "I confess," says he above, "that the phraseology used in these cases (the Pentecostan and that of Saul of Tarsus) authorises this belief:"--to this he adds, without explanation, "in a good degree," "and I have no controversy with those who entertain it." But he will have the words used to the Gentile congregation in Cesarea substituted for those on Pentecost, rather than those on Pentecost substituted for those in Cesarea. His "good degree" is a mere salvo, a special exception in favor of his own peculiarity: for he does, not define this, "good degree," nor say aught about it. He, in fact, admits that Peter's words on Pentecost teach immersion for the remission [344] of sins, preceded by faith and reformation. This he does, and will admit. In truth his convictions of this had almost forced him to a new theory, that there is an immersion for Gentiles whose sins are pardoned, and one for the Jews whose sins were not pardoned. This latter opinion he will not now defend; and only attempts to prove that in explaining immersion to Gentiles we should substitute Peter's sermon in Cesarea for that on Pentecost; or, perhaps, that will not suit so well, as there is some ambiguity in the meaning of baptism as proclaimed to the first Gentile audience; but that we should preach justification or pardon through faith alone; and dispose of Peter's words as well as we can, as some bold eastern figure, as some rhetorical license, of such latitude as to give play to the imagination of the Arabian, Persian, and Mesopotamian genius when carried from Jerusalem to their own country.

      The question "What shall we do?" proposed by the penitents in Jerusalem, appears to be no better understood by Archippus than by others who are daily quoting it. The persons who proposed this question, with all their circumstances, must be taken into the account before we understand the answer. They were Jews and devout proselytes. They were all acquainted with the law and the prophets. They were all now BELIEVERS in Jesus Christ. THEY HAD FAITH AND REPENTANCE. They only wanted reformation, or to "reform and be immersed." They knew nothing in the law or prophets which reached their case; none of the sacrifices, none of the sources anciently ordained could relieve them: 'What shall we do, with a reference to this Jesus, this new economy, and to ourselves?' "Reform and he immersed, every one of you by the authority of the Lord Jesus, for the remission of your sins," was the oracle of God to them. Now my question to Archippus is, Had all the world been there assembled, and could they all have heard the same discourse, and proposed the same question, would not Peter have given them all the same answer?

      The truth appears to be this; There are more fears entertained touching the bearing of this view of christian immersion upon the sects, and upon the "evangelical" views of justification by faith alone, than there is either argument or proof to oppose it. I find no reasoner who has courage to argue the question fairly out, and those who begin to debate it soon lose sight of the proper question, or merge it in some speculation upon grace, faith, regeneration, &c. For our own part we are willing to examine every question, to discuss every topic upon its own merits, and to bow to the authority of the Book. We find no difficulty in understanding the sayings of the Apostles on all those subjects touching grace, faith, repentance, &c. We may, perhaps,, yet show that there is nothing more consistent with the teaching of the Apostles concerning justification or righteousness by faith, than immersion for remission of sins.

      Indeed, we have yet to meet with the first objection of any real merit against the literal understanding of Peter's command to the inquiring Jews. And as there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek, as "all have sinned and come short of the glory of God," [345] and as the Gentiles were "dead in trespasses and sins," and sold to idolatry, they stood in as much need of forgiveness as the Jews. But in these remarks we have confined ourselves to the main objection which runs through the preceding essay; and as the ground of Archippus' reasoning has been examined, we shall leave these reflections with him until the moon changes again.

(Said to be of the house of Aaron,)

      THE writer of the following apology belongs to that synagogue in Richmond, Va. of which Judah was an elder, whose conversation with me was given in the 12th number, vol. 1, of this work. Priest Cohen dissents from some of the answers given by Elder Judah, published in that dialogue, and proposes other answers to some questions. As Judah now sleeps with his fathers, I cannot but give space to his friend to speak for himself and his people. But the exceptions taken to some parts of the dialogue are so uninteresting and so impertinent to the great question concerning Jesus of Nazareth, we can find room at present only for that part of his communication which respects his reasons for rejecting the Son of Mary as the Son of David and the Messiah of God. All that he advances on that subject shall be laid before our readers; and if he have any better reasons to offer than those now submitted, we shall give him every facility in our power to lay them before the public, and we shall examine them with care. We are debtors to the nation from which our correspondent has descended, and we shall ever treat with all courtesy every son of Abraham according to the flesh, who claims from us any attention, and especially one of the family of Aaron who volunteers his arguments against that Messiah in whom we Gentiles trust, and of whom we boast.

      "I WOULD premise that, according to the spirit and tenor of the whole of the prophecies relative to the Messiah, the promise was specially to, and for, the benefit of the Jewish nation; for the express purpose of effecting their temporal and spiritual redemption, by gathering them from all nations and parts of the earth wheresoever dispersed, and removing from them the heart of stone and substituting the heart of flesh, restoring the hearts of the parent to the children, and the children to the parent; which glorious event was to be preceded by the coming and annunciation of Elijah the Prophet. [See Malachi iv. 5, 6.] "Behold I send unto you Elijah the Prophet," &c.

      He was not only thus described as to his works, but also his person and lineage as descending from the family, and called by the name of David. [See Ezekiel xxxvii. 24.] "And David my servant shall be king over them, and they shall all have one shepherd; they shall also walk in my judgments, and observe my statutes and do them," [346] &c. nothing of which can possibly apply to the person or work of Jesus: for though Matthew and Luke attempt, by a varying genealogy, to trace the descent from David through Joseph, it is evidently inapplicable, as Mary in her conception is said to continue a virgin, as to Joseph; whose jealousy, justly excited on the occasion, could only be allayed by a dream, ascribing the cause to divine influence abstracted from human agency: thus destroying, at the outset, this first necessary and essential proof of his mission, and resting the verity of the whole system in a dream; in which should Joseph, who does not appear to have been otherwise divinely favored, have chanced to mistake, there rests not a vestige by which his origin can be traced and if real, proves any thing but the most essential requisite of identity, viz. his descent from David. And here I might rest the weight of argument on this single point, demanding this necessary proof, without which, I am bold to assert, all other testimony must fail.

      But waving this advantage, I shall proceed to the second essential point of the coming and annunciation of Elijah: and so all-important was this deemed as a sign, not only by the people, but by Jesus himself, that when questioned on the subject he attempts applying it to John, "as if ye will receive it;" but not being willing, or referring to John, expressly contradicts it by a denial. Thus in Matthew xvii. 10. "And his disciples asked him, saying, Why, then, say the scribes that Elias (alias Elijah) must first come? And Jesus answered and said unto them, Elias truly shall come and restore all things. But I say unto you, [as if recollecting himself] that Elias is already come, and they knew him not," [Query--To what purpose, then, was his coming?] "but have done unto him whatsoever they listed. Then the disciples understood that he spoke to them of John the Baptist."

      Without adverting to the discrepancy in the passage, between the future shall and is already come, let us hear what John says on the subject. [See John i. 21.] "And they asked him, Art thou Elias? and he said, I am not. Art thou that Prophet? and he answered, No."

      But what is still more difficult to comprehend, and may be admitted as an apology in extenuation of our disbelief, that John, who is said not only to have proclaimed his advent, but witness the Holy Ghost in the form of a dove resting on him, still doubted, as we find in Matthew xi. 3. "John being in prison, sent two of his disciples to inquire of him, Art thou he that should come, or do we look for another?" Without directly answering the question, he merely says, "Go and show John" again, as if a former reference was insufficient, "the blind see, the lame walk," &c, all of which will prove equally unsatisfactory to our incredulity as it did to that of John, unless the former stumbling block relative to his identity were removed.

      Join to this the instances of his other disciple Paul, who was no stranger to the imputed miracles in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus, and still continued a persecutor of the saints, requiring a special mission from the clouds, saying, "Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?" &c. independent of Thomas' requiring palpable demonstration for his faith, and our incredulity should not excite [347] surprise when the above stated exceptions are only a few among the many we have to advance.

      Another objection we apply with equal force as to the time of his coming, which was to take place in "the latter days," as predicted by Daniel, Isaiah, Ezekiel, and all the Prophets who have spoke of his coming; as Is. ii. 1. "It shall come to pass in the latter days, that the mountain of the Lord's house shall be established on the top of the mountain, and all nations shall flow to it," (and immediately to Moses.) "The King Messiah shall judge among the nations, and rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into ploughshares and their spears into pruning hooks: nation shall not war against nation, neither shall they learn war any more." flow far this was fulfilled in the mission of Jesus the present and the past state of the world will evince; and as you boldly challenge the mention of one instance in which the evidence of his mission failed, I might, after the above remarks, demand, with greater confidence, of a single instance of confirmation. The kingdom of our Messiah was to produce a reign of peace throughout all creation, both of man and beast; whereas Jesus says, (and so far appears verified in the effects; see Matthew x. 34.) "Think not I come to send peace on earth, but a sword; for I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against the mother, and the daughter-in-law against the mother-in-law, and a man's foes shall be they of his own household." See also Luke xii. 51. "Think you I come to send peace on earth? I tell you, nay; but rather division." So in a number of other passages. How this can be reconciled with the peaceful kingdom of the Messiah I leave to your superior talents to explain.

      I am aware that those variances and seeming contradictions, which staggered even his disciples, who at one time all deserted him, have led to the idea of a spiritual kingdom--a second coming; but I invite the information of a single passage in the Old Dispensation or Prophecies which bears the most distant allusion to either. We rest with confidence in the hope that Deity will in due tine effect his divine purpose; nor will it be more in the power of the atoms of his creation to defeat in this instance the accomplishment of his work, than in our former deliverance under our great lawgiver Moses, who, though as reluctant to accept, as his people were to receive, his divine mission, yet neither could frustrate the deign or arrest the arm of Omnipotence, so signally extended for their redemption; but both were compelled in rapturous astonishment to exclaim, "Who is like unto the Lord amongst the idols? Who is like him, excellent in holiness, terrible in praise, doing wonders?" So in like manner, at our future redemption, shall we be compelled to hail with joy, instead of persecuting, deriding, or rejecting, the Divine Missionary of our temporal and spiritual deliverance, which will then serve as a beacon, round which the nations of the earth shall rally and exclaim, 'Come, let us walk in the light of the Lord, the one supreme Creator of the Universe, unto whom every knee shall bend, and before whom all flesh shall worship; who on that day shall be one, and his name one.' [348]

      I could enlarge on this sublime theme, but trust I have already adduced sufficient reasons in apology for continuing stedfast in our faith, which, like the divine source from which it emanates, is immutable and unchanging.

      I rely on your sense of candor and justice to afford them publicity through the same channel which occasioned their being offered, preferring this mode to a more indirect course through another press, to which I should only apply in case of disappointment, which I do not anticipate. Pledging myself to afford any other explanation or information on the subject my humble abilities may admit; and should I fail in strength, though I trust not in zeal, there are many amongst the thousands in Israel, of whom I am the least worthy, who would be gratified in supporting the sacred cause and afford you every elucidation on their points of faith.

      The next question in order is, "Pray how do you apply the prophecy of Jacob?--"The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from among his descendants till Shiloh come, and to him shall the gathering of the people be."

      The literal translation of this prophecy, according to the Hebrew, is, "The sceptre shall not depart from Judah forever," [though it may for a time,] "for Shiloh shall come, and unto him shall the nations gather." Now the sceptre had departed from Judah ages before the advent of Jesus, in the person of Zedekiah; nor will it return until the coming of the Shiloh, who is to restore it to the Lion of Judah, in the person of David their king, who will cause the nations to gather unto him. Thus literally fulfilling the prediction.

      Another interpretation, equally applicable, is substituting the word tribeship for sceptre, &c. which more fully verifies the prediction as comprising the generic name of the nation at this day as derived from Judah. Either interpretation will accord with the prediction.

      Your next question applies to what is termed the thorn of the Jews, in the 53d chapter of Isaiah, as applied to Jesus; but which will be divested of its point when shown that to whomsoever it may refer it cannot be forced in an application to Jesus; and this has been admitted by many of your commentators. It is generally supposed by our authors, and with strong reasons, as applicable to the nation, notwithstanding your exception to the singular term he, as in the Hebrew idiom. The nation is characterized as an individual. Thus in a few chapters previous God speaks of "my son," "my first born Israel," as of the whole nation; and a reference to the context will prove, if it does not thus apply, it cannot be wrested into an allusion to the Messiah either of Christians or Jews. Thus it is said his deaths (plural) shall be with the rich, and his grave with the wicked. The reverse of which took place with Jesus. "He shall see his seed," "prolong his days," &c. Jesus lived in a state of celibacy, and was prematurely cut off by an ignominious death. He was to bear the iniquity of the people, and by his stripes were we to be healed. This cannot apply to Jesus, as so far from being healed by his stripes, our sufferings have been increased--not, as before observed, on account of his [349] stripes, but our continued transgressions. Thus, so far from admitting that if the account of Jesus by his historians were true, we adduce those very circumstances in support of our argument.

      And now, sir, to your most interesting and concluding question: "How do you Jews expect to obtain the remission of your sins, having neither temple, altar, nor priest?" My deceased friend answers, "By prayer;" to which should have been added, contrition, charity, a firm reliance on the mercies of Deity, who prefers the oblation of a contrite heart to the blood of sacrifice, declaring that obedience to the law of God is better than sacrifice. [See Hosea xiv. 2. Jer. vii. 22.] "For I spake not to your fathers, nor commanded them, on the day that I brought them out of Egypt, concerning burnt offerings or sacrifice. But this thing commanded I them, saying, Obey my voice, and I will be your God and you shall be my people; and walk ye in all the ways that I have commanded you, that it may be well with you." This I trust is sufficient evidence the Deity can and will pardon without requiring the atonement by blood; in which we confide with the same hope of salvation that swayed our forefathers for the thousands of years before the advent of Jesus, and which still prevails, and will I trust extend to every branch of the human family, in confirmation of the promise of him who never fails, and has sworn by his holy name that in the seed of Abraham all nations of the earth should eventually be blessed; in which soul-cheering hope of love and philanthropy, I rest and remain.
  With fraternal feeling, yours,
      Richmond, June 8, 1831."


Dear Sir,

      AS it was said to Saul of Tarsus, so say I to you, "It is hard for you to kick against the goads." The remnant of your people have long rejected Jesus of Nazareth as the Messiah, and still reject him, though every generation has less excuse for themselves than had their fathers. The evidence in his favor increases every generation, at least as respects your people: for your prospects of a Messiah must necessarily weaken and diminish every year. It is now utterly impossible that you ever can have any person in the character of a Messiah, in whom your prophecies can at all meet, even upon your own principles of interpretation. You will have to reject the interpretations of your most learned Rabbims, as well as of the Christian Doctors, before you can sustain the pretensions of any aspirant whatever. I repeat it, sir, it is utterly impossible that you can ever have a Messiah, in whose favor your own Prophets can speak, according to your own principles of interpretation.

      The apologies which you offer for your rejection of Jesus our Saviour, in whom we trust, show how the spirit of slumber has fallen upon you, and how weak your expectations are; how heartless and how hopeless are all the sons of Jacob. Alas! how fallen! Your [350] fathers were never excelled in all that ornaments the human intellect. The wisdom of philosophy was folly in contrast with the wisdom of your wise men, and the best reasonings of Pagan orators were but the scintillations of light, in comparison with the pleadings of your seers and prophets. But, my dear sir, how can you satisfy yourself with your own reasonings against Jesus of Nazareth? or can you satisfactorily balance all the thousand arguments in his favor with even a few objections, such as you offer, had they even all the plausibility which you attempt to give them? Then may not the Atheist urge his objections against the very existence of God--against the concurrent testimony of myriads of voices which are ever audible in his praise? All nature speaks, and but the Atheist demurs!

      What, sir, is that truth in physics, in morals, in politics, in economics, which has not been objected to? And where and when lived the lawgiver, prophet, priest, or king, against whose pretensions and whose right to respect every tongue was mute, and every lip was silent? Wonder not, then, that one whose pretensions incomparably transcended all others, should have been the object of not only a few, but of many objections, and that when he came even to his own country his own people received him not.

      But to your objections let me turn my attention. To your premises I must demur. "The promise was not especially for the benefit of the Jewish nation, nor for the express purpose of effecting their temporal and spiritual deliverance." Their benefit and their deliverance were, indeed, prominent objects in the promise of the Messiah, but very far from "the express purpose" of his mission. "In thy seed shall all the families of the Earth be blessed" was the first promise to your father Abraham. The land of Canaan to you was special, and that the Messiah should tender deliverance to the Jew first was just as special; but that he should "reign over the Gentiles," and that "in his name the Gentiles should trust," were matters so often declared and so fully expressed, that we know not how it is possible to mistake them. The nations are promised to the Messiah in the 2d Psalm: "The heathen were to be his inheritance." "The kings of Tarshish and of the isles, the kings of Sheba, and Seba shall offer gifts; yea, all kings shall fall down before him." "And in that day there shall be a Root of Jesse, which shall stand for an ensign to the people: to it shall the Gentiles seek, and his rest shall be glorious." Isaiah is very express, as well as David, in teaching us that the Messiah should "bring forth judgment and salvation to the Gentiles."

      Whether your first objection has any weight remains to be tried, It is this, that "he was to be called David, and not Jesus." This is its strength. That he was to be a son of David all agree; but that he was to be called David is not apparent from your proofs.

      The passages in Ezekiel which speak of the future destinies of your people, of the gathering of the whole nation under one shepherd, speak not of the name to be given to the Messiah at his coming; but that "David his servant shall be that one shepherd." Hence you infer that the Messiah's personal name must be David. On the same [351] principle you reject John the Harbinger, because he was not called Elijah. It seems that you are much more puzzled to find objections against Jesus than were your fathers. No Jew urged this objection in the times of Jesus, or of John; but then the Rabbis had not learned that there must be two Messiahs to fill up all that is said of a suffering and a reigning Messiah. Hence they have since referred to Ben Joseph of the tribe of Ephraim, who is to be poor and contemptible, and undergo great indignities, all that is said of the sufferings of the Christ; and to Ben David of the tribe of Judah, who is to be victorious and to conquer all the earth before him, all that is said of the glories and triumphs of the Messiah. Ben David was to reign on earth forever, and to raise from the dead all the Israelites that had ever lived, and among them Ben Joseph the first Messiah. If there be two, there can be no person called "the Messiah;" and thus, in their ingenuity to elude the prophecies so applicable to the true Messiah, who was first to suffer and then to be glorified, they have made it impossible that there can ever be any one who may be called "the Messiah!" This gloss was unknown to all the Jews till long since Jesus rose from the dead. But there is another oversight in this matter. As your first Messiah is to be killed and all his followers routed, you have discouraged all from believing in him and owning him, and have in fact admonished them not to associate with Ben Joseph that they may be victorious under Ben David.

      But to return: "David his servant" obviously refers to the natural root of the family which was to preside, according to an everlasting compact, over the redeemed Israel. Not that David the son of Jesse, who is here literally referred to, but that one of that house and lineage, should reign over them. Thus men speak of all the dynasties that have ever reigned--"the Pharaohs," "the Ptolemies," "the Cesars," "the Caputs," "the Popes," &c. His name is moreover foretold by Isaiah: "Immanuel," "the Counsellor," "the mighty God," "the Father of the everlasting age," "the Prince of Peace;" "on the throne of David he shall sit," &c. He is called "Messiah," "the Lord," and "Jehoshua," "Jesus," or "Saviour." Isaiah vii. ix. and xix. So that his personal name was foretold to be Jesus, Jehoshua, or Saviour--his official name, Messiah, Shiloh, or Christ. David reigns in the person of his son, now sitting upon his throne over all the world, Jew and Gentile. But this mere play upon the word David deserves no such elaborate discussion as is necessary to develope and confirm the above italicised proposition. It resembles your national regard for Levi, and your pleadings for the priesthood of Aaron, because it was said, "Neither shall the priests the Levites want a man before me to offer burnt offerings, and to kindle meat offerings, and to do sacrifice continually." "Thus saith the Lord, If you can break my covenant of the day and my covenant of the night, and that there should not be day and night in their season, then may also my covenant be broken with David my servant that he should not have a son to reign upon his throne, and the Levites the priests my ministers." Now do you not contend as much for the priesthood of Levi from these words, as [352] you do for a literal David with a sword of steel to avenge your enemies. Yet is it not as positively declared that your Messiah should arise a priest after the order of Melchizedeck, (Ps. cx.) as that he should be of the tribe of Judah? But the above prophecy which I have now quoted from Jeremiah xxiii. is preceded by another promise which I have not quoted, and which, when added to the above, refutes all your glosses upon the ancient prophets. It is this: "Thus saith the Lord, David shall never want a man to sit upon the throne of the house of Israel." This promise concerning David and Levi might convince you that your objections are nothing, light as vanity, against Jesus of Nazareth. On the supposition that Jesus of Nazareth was not the Messiah nor the son of David, this absolute promise of Jehovah has fallen to the ground for almost 2000 years. David has not had a man to sit upon his throne, nor has Levi had a priest to offer an offering to the Lord for almost 2000 years, unless Jesus be the son of David, and his people a priesthood to the Lord. Mark this, I pray you!

      Your allusion to the genealogy of Matthew and Luke are like those of our common enemies, the Deists--very slight and oblique. Matthew does not prove that the child Jesus, by his "by law established father," Joseph, had one drop of the blood of David in his person!! Now if he had proved that he was, by his father, of the seed of David--don't you see--and would you not have said, and said triumphantly, that he was an impostor? because he was to be, according to the most express prediction of Isaiah, THE SON OF A VIRGIN!! Strange that you should make the most exact verification of this prophecy an argument against the only Saviour Jesus, the son of David!!! And does not Luke prove, beyond all contradiction, that the mother of Jesus was a daughter of David; and consequently Jesus, having his whole humanity from her, had as much of the blood of David as was possible under any circumstance for any child that could be born in the times allotted for the Messias? But I must defer my full answer to your objections till another month. So full, so express, so irrefragable are the arguments in confirmation of the Messiahship of Jesus, that I am willing to meet any Rabbi on the continent, and to show from the prophecies of your own prophets, from the concessions and glosses of the ancient Rabbis, and from history, that Jesus of Nazareth is in very deed that Messiah of whom Moses in the law and all the prophets did write.

      Believe me, sir, to be a friend, benevolent and sincere, to every son of Abraham.

Extract of a Letter from Rev. Miron Winslow, Missionary in Ceylon,
to his brother in Dover, N. H. dated

"OODOOVILLE, JAFFNA. Dec. 17, 1530.      

      "We have to speak of the goodness of the Lord in granting us a refreshing from His presence, when we were almost ready to despair of his appearing to build up His kingdom, in these desolate places. During all the early part [353] of the year, we were mourning on account of our own deadness, and the want of life in the native church. Some peculiar trials also made us feel more than usual our extreme weakness and insufficiency of ourselves, for the work in which we are engaged. In July, a day of fasting and prayer was observed in this mansion, on account of the low state of religion among us, and some falls in the church. From that time a little more life was visible; but nothing particularly encouraging until the monthly prayer meeting in October, when a spirit of prayer was somewhat remarkably manifested, especially in regard to our own children, of whom several in the mission are old enough to know the value of their souls. This meeting was followed by some awakening among the children, and by more seriousness throughout all our families. A spirit of prayer for divine aid, and expectation of it, was more prevalent than before. On the 21st of the month was our quarterly communion, when the members of the church at the five different stations come together, in one place, to the table of the Lord. It was an interesting season, and the preacher on the occasion was much affected, in addressing his brethren on the state of the native church. It became a time of heart searching--of humiliation--and yet of joy in the Holy Ghost. Encouraged by some appearances of revival in the native brethren and sisters, and by their own feelings, two of our number went to the Seminary at Batticotta that evening, and in connexion with the brethren who reside at the station, spent the two remaining week days in private conversation, in social and public meetings with the students; who with one consent laid aside their studies, and in most cases seemed to make it their business to seek the salvation of their souls. Their rooms of retirement for devotional purposes were lighted up until midnight, especially on Saturday and Sunday evenings and in them individuals, or companies of two, three, or more, were earnestly, and in some cases with much anguish, calling on the Lord for mercy. The Sabbath was a very interesting day.--Convictions where begun were increased, and new cases occurred. On Monday evening a prayer meeting of the families at the station, with two brethren from other stations, seemed to be attended with a peculiar manifestation of the divine presence. Two of the older children, who were present, could not close their eyes that night until they had endeavored to give themselves to the Lord; and there is some reason to hope they were enabled to do it in sincerity. The good work also increased in the Seminary, and the brethren from the other stations continued to come and assist in directing the inquirers to Christ. By the middle of the week almost every member of the Seminary (100 in all) was under concern of mind, or rejoicing in hope--and in a majority of the cases, though by no means in all, the exercises of their minds seemed deep, and promised to be lasting. On Thursday was the quarterly meeting of all our School-masters, and those of the church, (about 105) including some school visiters. This was held at Batticotta, and the addresses made, were in the spirit of the awakening. They were attended by a blessing. Most of the masters not previously aroused were stirred up to inquire earnestly after the way of salvation, and several of them have, there is reason to hope, closed sincerely with the terms of mercy through Christ Jesus.

      At all the other stations, and nearly at the same time as at Batticotta, the influence of the Spirit were also manifested; particularly in the Preparatory School at Tillipally, and the Female Boarding School at Oodooville--in both of which all the older children are awakened, and several of them hopefully converted. Some also not connected with any of our stations, and many of the children of the native free schools are affected. We held a general meeting of the largest children in the free schools on the 18th of last month, at Oodooville, where 800 were present. Of these (at that time or since) more than 100 professed to have commenced praying to God, and most of them a resolution to live as christians, however opposed by parents or others. Our monthly prayer meeting in November was very interesting. The subject brought forward was from the text, "Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse," &c. With the native members in union prayer meetings, attended [354] by church members and inquirers from different stations, we have also had some very precious seasons. We trust the good work is still in progress. Help us to praise the Lord for his mercy and grace.

      I should add that the revival of the work of the Lord is also manifest in the town of Jaffna, where many are inquiring what shall we do to be saved? Pray for us all, that we may not hinder the Lord's work, but that we may be instrumental in extending it, until all the perishing heathen around us are converted."

      From the above document it appears, as we have long since stated, that the religion taught to the Pagans by each sect is the religion which they profess and teach at home. It produces the same complexion of things among the natives who embrace it, which appears among its propagators here. They are taught the same phraseology and appropriated sense of biblical expressions, which obtain among the originators of the mission at home. Thus we read of "a refreshing from His presence"--"His appearing to build up His kingdom"--"insufficiency of ourselves for the work in which we are engaged"--"a spirit of prayer was somewhat remarkably manifested"--"a time of joy in the Holy Ghost"--"a peculiar manifestation from the divine presence"--"the good work increased in the Seminary"--"pray that we may not hinder the Lord's work." To these are added the sectarian appendages--"the monthly prayer meeting"--"our quarterly communion"--"a day of fasting and prayer"--"the Sabbath was a very interesting day"--"several of them, there is reason to hope, have closed sincerely with the terms of mercy through Christ Jesus."

      The writer seems to have been hard pressed for something to say to raise the expectation of his friends; hence the document evinces the coldness, stiffness, and formality of its author. It is true he "mourns over his own deadness," as well as the "want of life (i. e. deadness) in the native church;" but he saw "some appearances of a revival in the native brethren and sisters."

      One would imagine, from the style of the historiographers of revivals, that they operated like some influenza or endemic. Hence the so frequent adoption of the medical nomenclature, or the popular phrases used by physicians in describing the prognosis and pathology of diseases. In the infected region, or in the vicinity of a revival, every occurrence is presented in the language of an epidemic. Mr. Winslow speaks a good deal in this style. Hearken to the following description: "The rooms of retirement for devotional purposes were lighted up until midnight, especially on Saturday and Sunday evenings, and in them (the sick) individuals, or companies of two, three, or more, were earnestly, and in some (desperate) cases with much anguish, calling on the Lord for mercy. Convictions where begun were increased, and new cases occurred." This reminds me of a description once given me of a revival in New England, in the days of Timothy Dwight, D. D. It was usual to have persons, whose office resemble that of those who watch the sick, to go round the village and visit the convicted. In the mornings and evenings they reported the new cases, and detailed the symptoms of the old ones. Well, (said an enquirer to one of the watches) how is Goodrich this morning? [355]

      W. A little easier, had a pretty good night, and I think is likely to get religion.

      E. And how is Samuel?

      W. No better. He is in great anguish, and refuses to be comforted. The Rev. Mr. J------ visited him this morning, and represented his symptoms to be promising; but he could not raise him: he left him as dejected as he found him.

      E. Tell me, did you hear of any new cases?

      W. Yes--no less than five new cases occurred at the prayer meeting, at Deacon T's last night. Two of them are said to be hopeful--the others are doubtful. Parson E------ recommended Doddridge's: "Rise and Progress," and induced two of them to obtain and read the work.

      E. And tell me, did you hear from Sophronia?

      W. O yes: she had a fine night, and is thought to have experienced a happy change. She is now relieved from pain, and rejoices much in having got relief. And many of those who were at first cast down are now quite at rest in their minds, having found peace to their souls.

      In this way they were, in those days, accustomed to speak of one another, during the prevalence of a revival. We discover much of the same unnatural, artificial, and mechanical representation of things, in the teeming accounts of revivals, among all the sects in the country, which are now filling the columns of the "Indexes, Stars, Heralds, and Registers" of the present day. The sects, orthodox and heterodox, are now in one mighty campaign of proselytism; and all seem to agree that the spirit of Revivals is subject to the will of man.

      For our own part, we could heartily rejoice in the news of the day, if we could persuade ourselves that those who are stirred up were moved by the Spirit of God; that those "who experience a hope" were truly converted to God; and that those who unite with a sect were translated from the kingdom of Satan into the kingdom of God's own Son. But we want evidence; we want to see the fruits of the Holy Spirit; we want to see the proselytes walking in the commandments of Jesus: for if any one say, I know him, and keep not his commandments, he is a liar, says John, and the truth is not in him.

      The Asiatic revival has called for our notice; and had it not been narrated in the Christian Index, as one of its Revivals, it is probable we should not have bestowed upon it a passing remark. Take it all in all, it is no way flattering to the prospects of them who are looking to Ceylon for the fruits of missionary labor, under the patronage of such institutions.


From the Burlington Sentinel.      

      Mr. JOHN STEWART, of Bakersfield, put an end to his existence, day 19th, by hanging himself on a tree. The cause of this dreadful deed was the following:-- [356]

      About two years ago, a man by the name of Davidson came into this vicinity, pretending to be endowed with the Holy Spirit, and to be inspired of God to prophesy of things to come. He is a disciple, he tells us, of Dilks, who has figured in the state of Ohio for three or four years past. Davidson pretends that Dilks has almighty power, and is God himself. He has gained quite a number of proselytes in the towns of Bakersfield, Fairfax, and Fairfield. He wears his hair long, and pretends to a great deal of piety. He preaches that Jesus Christ is a woman, and quite inferior to Dilks; that the millennium is to take place in 1832--Philadelphia is the place designated where Dilks is to assemble his followers, and then the rest of mankind are to be swept from the face of the earth, and Dilks and his followers are to inherit their possessions.

      This Davidson has got about thirty disciples in the east part of Fairfield and in the west part of Bakersfield. They meet together every Sabbath and carry on in a manner most shocking to human feelings. They roll naked on the floor, both men and women, and commit other sins too revolting to be mentioned. But this is not a faint picture of their shameful conduct. Modesty forbids that I should utter the whole. A few days since they pretended to crucify a woman, and put her in a box and began to pray over her, in order to raise her from the dead; but being wearied with lying shut up in a close box, she finally came forth with her own accord before they intended.

      They have a woman among them by the name of Thompson, who pretends now that she is Jesus Christ, and baptises Davidson's followers. She sprinkles them, in the first place, with flour. The rest of the ceremony I will omit, for modesty's sake. She performs her baptism, however, in the name of the Holy Trinity. A man who once represented the town of Fairfax in our General Assembly, I understand, was baptised by this woman at the house of a man by the name of Gardner, in Fairfield. Gardner's house is the place of their resort.

      The man who hanged himself was threatened by Mrs. Thompson that unless he immediately obeyed her commands he should be sent forthwith to hell-fire! She had made him swear by the living God, on his knees, that he would be true to the prophet Davidson and his people, and do whatever he was required to do by him or herself. She then required of him things too horrid and indecent to be named. The poor, simple man, went to his home and put a period to his life.

      It is thought by many judicious persons that Randall, of Franklin, who murdered his family a short time since, was deluded into that atrocious act by believing Davidson's doctrine. He was one of his disciples, in part, at least.

      There is another man among them that is beginning to be crazy. I believe the whole of it is the work of the evil one, and that Davidson goes about and preaches only for the sake of doing all the harm he can to religion.

      Immediately after Stewart hanged himself, several men agreed to tar and feather Davidson. One of the men, with several lads, went to Gardner's with their apparatus for tarring, and found Davidson delivering a lecture. They waited awhile for others to help them; but no one came: the man entered the room and dragged out Davidson, and the boys applied the tar. The others undertook to rescue Davidson, but shared the same fate. The tar was faithfully applied to their pates, in turn. A man from Colchester fled to the chamber, but was pursued to his retreat, and was spared by being very penitent, and promising that he would not be seen in Fairfield again.

      I have just been conversing with a gentleman of undoubted veracity, who informs me that he has been present, and saw with his own eyes a man get down and kiss the floor at the command of Mrs. Thompson; and says that this is but a faint picture, that I have given above, of the base conduct of Davidson and his followers.
      Fairfield, June 3, 1831. [357]


      THE clergy, it is said, about Lexington and Frankfurt, Ky. are the authors and distributors of a pamphlet, written in doggerel verse, to ridicule the ancient gospel. The writers and publishers, it appeared, were equally ashamed to inscribe their names upon it. It is likely to be an efficient instrument in the hands of the orthodox to check the progress of public inquiry!! But, alas for religion! if this he one of the means which the Holy Spirit blesses to sustain it!! The clergy know best how to suit the consciences and the taste which they have formed, and to cherish that holy spirit which they preach; and it is presumed the following poem is in accordance with that conscience, taste, and holy spirit which they commend. As we afford our readers a specimen of all the weapons of the opposers of reformation, we shall treat them to a few lines from this "sacred poem," of 21 pages:--

"All sects are wrong, he's often said,
"They should be number'd with the dead;
Confessions, creeds, serve to divide:
They must, they shall be thrown aside.
I little care what men believe,
Provided they my faith receive,
And come to me, with me unite,
And think my views and plans are right,
And swear allegiance to the water--
As for the rest, 'tis little matter;
Whate'er they think, whate'er they do,
Can naught avail; they're subjects true.
Should they get drunk, and swear and lie,
Steal, and the word of God deny,
And curse the Prince of Peace and Love,
They have an Advocate above:--
They've taken the baptismal vow,--
Their sins are gone--no danger now."

"Though your sins be black as jet,
Never mind to mourn or fret--
Come to me, no longer dream,
I will plunge you in the stream,
Up you'll come in garments white,
Holy as a saint of light,
Come to me each son and daughter,
Here's the "gospel in the water."

O ye blinded generation,
Wont you have this cheap salvation?
Wont you have your sins remitted?
Wont you be for glory fitted?
Will you follow creeds, confessions,--
Bow to Presbyt'ries and Sessions,
'Till you're doom'd to death and slaughter?
Here's the "gospel in the water."


      If ridicule like the above be a test of truth, what shall we think of the reputation of Paul and his gospel in Rome, when such poems as the following, alluded to in Rom. iii. 8. might have been written by [358] a Roman rhymester with equal justice against Paul as this exhibits towards us? We translate the following infidel effusion into the same doggerel as a specimen of the style in which Roman punsters and enemies of the gospel ridiculed Paul. We may suppose that many such ballads were written in Paul's time; and no person need ask me where I came by the original from which we made the following translation. Let it be supposed to have been written A. D. 64, by some person who knew as much about Paul, and loved him as well as the authors of this pamphlet know and love the translator. If Paul and faith were so ridiculed by infidels, no wonder that unbelieving christians can make an effort to ridicule christian immersion:--

One Saul, a Jew, from Tarsus came
To mighty Rome; and changed his name
From Saul to Paul, and told them all
That on the road he had a call
To preach to all the Roman race
A gospel made of faith and grace.

This preacher Paul then wore a chain,
And well, indeed, deserv'd the same;
For sure he did the world upturn,
And taught all men the gods to spurn.
Our sages all be made out fools.
And call'd our priests the stateman's tools;
At home, abroad, he was a pest,
For neither Jew nor Greek had rest;
Their Moses and our sages stood
A like his scorn. The wise and good,
Men of renown, of every name,
He hurl'd to Pluto's dark domain.
lie prated still of faith and grace,

And vow'd they'd save the human race;
And swore that if we would believe
We should eternal life receive,
But if we did this faith despise,
We never could to heaven rise;
But must, with all the impious crew,
Soon, as to time we bid adieu,
Make our abode in Erebus,
And find a home in Tartarus.

Around him throng'd a wicked race
Of outlaws vile, that needed grace;
Murderers of fathers, mothers,
Sons and daughters, friends and brothers;
Manstealers, thieves, robbers, haters
Of gods and men, liars, traitors,
Winebibbers, vile adulterers,
Harlots, railers, and revilers,
Miscreant slaves, and all the rabble
With joy and gladness heard him babble
Bout one Jesus, the sinners friend,
Who came from heaven to this end
That sinners pardon might receive
If they on him would now believe. [359]

This Jesus was a sinner too,
A poor, forlorn, ignoble Jew,
Whom Pontius Pilate crucified,
Because our Cesar he defied,
Despis'd the gods, and sought to find
A party suited to his mind.

Most worthy he in all the land,
To be the head of such a band!
Most worthy they of such a chief,
To promise pardon through belief!
For plain it was, if virtue be
The path to immortality,
Not one of all this cursed train
Could ever hope to live again;
But if all virtue come through faith,
As Paul the babbler always saith,
'Tis easy then to find relief
For all their vices, in belief!

No wonder, then, that Paul could raise
In Rome a temple to his praise,
And find a crowd in every land
To purchase pardon at his hand;
For if a thought can full atone
For all the crimes a man has done,
Who would refuse that thought to give,
That in his crimes be still might live?
No strolling Jew his wares did sell
So cheap, as Paul release from hell.

For the Millennial Harbinger.      



      IN my former essay upon the subject of "total depravity," we showed, from Milner and Mosheim, two orthodox historians, that the peculiar doctrines to which the victory was assigned by the Synod of Dort, held in the year 1618, in order to decide the controversy between the Calvinists and Arminians, a political council, composed of political clergymen from England, Scotland, and the Netherlands, and provinces--WERE ABSOLUTELY UNKNOWN IN THE FIRST AGES OF THE CHRISTIAN CHURCH. Mark it well, reader, Dr. Mosheim says the controversy about calvinistic election, particular redemption, special calvinistic operations of the Spirit before faith, and in order to produce faith, total depravity and final perseverance "were absolutely unknown in the first ages of the christian church." We proved most incontestably, that in the days of Moses, Joshua, David, and Isaiah, men did choose good and refuse evil; they ceased to do evil, they learned to do well; that in the days of Solomon, God threatened to laugh at the calamity of the Jews, because they would not incline to his reproof--because they hated knowledge, and did not choose the fear of Jehovah--did not incline to his counsel; contemptuously [360] rejected all his reproof. Prov. i. 24-34. The eloquent Isaiah said, "Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts, and let him return (reform) to Jehovah, and he will compassionate him, and unto our God, for he aboundeth in forgiveness"--in immersion. So that we see from all these great and infallible witnesses, that the Jews had the power of choosing and of obeying God's commands. Paul, the greatest of the Apostles, the Apostle to us Gentiles, says, (Philemon, i. 5, 14.) "Not of necessity, but willingly; having no necessity, but hath power over his own will." We demonstrated that the primitive christians of the four first centuries, and Augustine the old calvinistic saint, the grandfather of the Five Points, all preached the same doctrine;--that Calvin and the Calvin-makers say that men act freely. All the orthodox preachers do the same in "times of revivals;" they tell men to repent, to believe, to obey the gospel, to pray, to come up to the anxious seats;--let the clergy pray for you, pray for yourselves, join the church, get religion, &c. They do not tell men to curse and swear, steal and lie, until they are illuminated by calvinistic grace, till God stops you by his omnipotent hand; till his spirit operates upon you and regenerates you. In these popular excitements they do not preach you can and you cannot, you shall and you shall not, you will and you wont, and you'll be damn'd if you dont.

      As "Doctor Noel's friend Dillard has addressed his essays on total depravity "to the friends of evangelical truth," I consider myself personally addressed, because I am a friend to every word and sentence which any one of the four Evangelists or twelve Apostles wrote. I understand the word "evangelical" to he derived from the word evangelist? I shall, therefore, examine his dry and insipid metaphysics, his lame and disjointed sentences, and his empty and hollow-sounding philosophy--by the four Evangelists. I cannot find the phrase "total depravity" in the vocabulary of the four Evangelists, nor in the Prophets, nor Acts, nor Epistles, nor in the Revelation; therefore, I cannot find such an idea, for words are the signs of ideas, the dress or etching of ideas. As it was not coined in the mind of "Evangelical Truth," I therefore concluded that it was coined in the mind of Doctor. Antichrist, and accordingly I turned to the first chapter of the Clergy's Bible, and found written in the tenth verse of the first chapter, close by the following phrases, infallibility of the Pope and Clergy, the seven holy sacraments of the church, consubstantiation, transubstantiation, sublapsarianism, auricular confession, the awful and incomprehensible doctrine of trinity in unity, and unity in trinity, et cetera; "The phrase 'total depravity' was christened by Austin, baptized by Calvin, and immersed by Doctors Gill and Fuller." The Clergy say they believe in "total depravity"--they mean they imagine, or think it is true; they cannot believe it, for there is nothing written to believe about it; therefore they cannot believe it upon God's testimony, for he has said nothing about it, nor about transubstantiation.

      Having shown that there is nothing in the Bible about "total [361] depravity," we shall show that reason says nothing about it.--First let us examine the phrase: "Totally" means wholly, entirely, altogether, perfectly, completely in all its parts. Examples:--We say the horse is totally blind; which means he is stone blind, he cannot see, he is perfectly blind. The man is totally ruined; he is completely ruined, he cannot be any further ruined. He is totally deaf; he cannot be more deaf. He is totally dumb, totally dead, totally depraved--means, then, according to the rules of logic, completely depraved in all the parts; so that it is impossible for man, or men, to be any more depraved. If they were to perpetrate all the unlawful, atrocious, and lewd acts, they could not be any more depraved; nor would such a character be any worse than the most pure, amiable, and accomplished female upon earth--for this reason: the popular depravity admits not the degrees of depraved, more depraved, and most depraved: The virtuous, benevolent, and enlightened philosopher and scholar is as much depraved as the obdurate, hardened, outlaw and culprit in the penitentiary, or as the most fiend-like pirate upon the high seas. The man ironed and blindfolded at the gallows is no more depraved than when his mother smiled upon him in her lap; yea, he deserved as much to be ironed, chained, and hung, at three days old, as at forty-five years of age: he was born totally depraved, he lived totally depraved, and he only died totally depraved. So says Doctor Orthodoxy, and who dare deny it? So says Calvinism, and so says Robert Owen's doctrine of unalterable and unavoidable circumstances; and he who does not believe it, is a most "incorrigible and damnable heretic."

      In the day of judgment will men say to God, and will he allow the plea, that they were so "totally depraved" that they could not believe that he loved them, that his Son died for them, and that they could not obey his gospel? Will they tell the Judge that they were reprobated, or, which is the same thing, that they were not elected from all eternity? Will they tell him that he never sent the calvinistic operations upon them, therefore they could not believe him to be a God of love, truth, and justice? Do the Judges of our Courts allow the criminal to say that he was so "totally depraved" that he could not avoid stealing and murdering? Do masters listen to this plea from their servants? Do parents forgive their children's disobedience upon the score of "total depravity? No! Then the doctrine is unreasonable as well as unscriptural. It is not preached in heaven, nor upon any part of this earth, except in the land of orthodoxy. There is neither reason nor scripture to support such an idea. Admitting that men are "totally depraved, and that both reason and revelation teach this doctrine, then no man can believe it upon the authority of revelation, until he is previously operated upon to make him believe that he is totally depraved; nor can he believe the creed, nor the preacher whom he pays to sing his dogmas to him monthly, until the Ghost of the moderns makes him believe before he has any faith in the Bible. If, then, he thinks or imagines that he is "totally depraved," it is not upon the authority of the Bible, the creeds, nor the preacher, that he [362] believes it; for this he cannot do until some spirit reveals it to him before he can believe it.

      Men "totally depraved" can believe one another, and can believe the devil before and since "the fall," and can believe the whole system of lies taught them by the devil and his clergy, in the Pagan, the Catholic, the Mahometan, and in all the sectarian religions; but he cannot believe the God of all truth without previous and antecedent calvinistic operations. The very throat of the present war between the Bible and the Systems, the pivot and hinge on which the door turns, is "special operations before faith in order to produce faith:" yet the advocates of this system have not attempted to prove it, but persecute others because they will not take it for granted, or believe it because the clergy say it is so. This doctrine is the HONEY of a poisoned cup, and it is the sting of a serpent's embrace!

      We perceive some marks of goodness, even in brutes. Doves and turtles are chaste in their connexions. "Even the stork in the heavens knoweth her season; and the turtle, and the swallow, and the crane observe the time of their coming." Elephants are modest, reasonable, and religious in their own way. Dogs are grateful and affectionate, and discover great sagacity in running this way and that, when in pursuit of their masters or of game. Apes are pious towards their young. Bees and ants exhibit great wisdom, industry, and great political economy and government in the management of their subjects. A lion possesses great magnanimity is walking over the man who falls before him. The horse manifests great courage and strength, combined with wisdom. But I must close this essay. Such heresy as this is worse than all the pride, avarice, ambition, lewdness, and all the other crimes which are committed in the land of orthodoxy. It is more deadly than the fangs and stings of the aspick. I shall be told that men are too depraved to believe and obey the ancient gospel; but not too sick to be cured, not too ignorant to he taught science, government, and morals, and not too hungry to eat. "He that hath ears to hear, let him hear;" he that hath eyes to see, let him read this essay; he that hath a heart to believe, let him believe the Bible, and let his hands do what his heart believes.


      Austin. I HAVE longed for this evening ever since we parted. It appears more than a month since our last interview. I have had a hundred thoughts, which I wished to have suggested; and I fear that now, when I see your face, I will not remember even a tithe of them.

      Timothy. I am glad to see you brother Austin, and to hear that the subject has engrossed so much of your attention; and I doubt not that you will be able to recall your most important thoughts in the course of our interview, and perhaps some new ones may occur which our last conversation did not suggest.

      A. I have marked down on a slip of paper some questions which I wished to propound, and these may recall some of the difficulties which [363] have agitated me so much these two weeks past. Indeed some of my difficulties are involved in these questions--but first I must tell you that while I do admit that all the power which is necessary to conversion is moral power, and that this is wholly contained in, and exhibited by arguments or motives, and that consequently the moral influence which the, Holy Spirit can exert upon our minds is in the arguments or motives which the New Testament contains, still I cannot reconcile this to some sayings which I find in the book.

      T. Let us have a sample of these irreconcileable sayings.

      A. I will not say that they are irreconcileable, but only that they appear so to me. For example--Paul speaks of the word coming in power, "in demonstration of the Spirit and of power." It would seem, then, that there is a power apart from the word necessary to producing that moral change of which you have spoken, and of the necessity of which we are both agreed. Now my difficulty is, that if all the moral power which is necessary to effect that great change in the heart of man be in the word, a greater power was exhibited on some occasions than was necessary to the salvation of the individuals who were the subjects of it; which appears to he at variance with your reasonings in our last interview.

      T. To this passage you might add many others, such as Rom. xv, 19. "I will not speak of any of those things which Christ has not wrought by me, to make the Gentiles obedient by word and deed, through mighty signs and wonders by the power of the Spirit of God; so that from Jerusalem and round about unto Illyricum, I have fully preached the Gospel of Christ"--"Yea," says Peter of his fellow Apostles, 1 Ep. i. 12. "they have preached the gospel to you with the Holy Spirit sent down from heaven"--"For," says Paul to the Thessalonians, 1 Ep. i. 5. "our gospel came not to you in word only, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit, and in much assurance." This power of the Holy Spirit is also called "the hand of the Lord," Acts xi. 21. "And the hand of the Lord was with them, and a great number believed and turned to the Lord" And thus the Lord had opened the heart of Lydia, that she attended to Paul, Acts xvi. 14. But all these passages, and many others to the same effect, only prove that the arguments of the Holy Spirit are of two sorts, words and actions; and the actions are only to confirm the word, to enable persons to do as the Thessalonians did, receive the word with much assurance. Hence the Lord not only promised to confirm or prove the testimony of the Apostles, but did actually go forth with them, confirming the word with all power, and signs and wonders, and thus opened the hearts of the hearers to receive the gospel. Had the gospel not been confirmed by demonstrations of the power of God inimitable, no one's heart or ears would have been opened to attend to it. But when it came not in word only, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, they could not but attend to it. But all this was implied in my remarks to you the other evening, when it was said that the power of every argument is in its meaning. And unless it be made certain it has no meaning at all. All that is necessary to overcome the world, [364] is to be assured that the gospel is true. Its arguments can have no weight, unless they are regarded as indubitably certain. That Jesus Christ will give eternal life to all who obey him, is an argument to obedience; but it is not only necessary that the words be intelligible, but that his ability and faithfulness to bestow eternal life be indubitably proved: and this requires the demonstrations of the Spirit and of power.

      A. I anticipated that this would be your method of getting out of the difficulty.

      T. I do not get out of the difficulty, for there is none. Every person must know that any proposition must be proved before there is any argument in it; and the proof must be of the same nature with the proposition. If the proposition be merely human, good human testimony or evidence will sustain it; but if it be divine and supernatural, no less than divine and supernatural proof can sustain it. Paul's argument in the passage quoted is, in brief, "I sought not to persuade you Corinthians by human eloquence or the powers of rhetoric, by curious logical or rhetorical orations, but I came declaring only the testimony of God concerning Jesus of Nazareth, and by the demonstrations of the presence of God's Spirit and power I proved it; and so your assurance or faith rests not on my reasonings, but on the power of God which accompanied that testimony.

      A. I am satisfied with this resolution of the difficulty. You understand all the gifts of the Holy Spirit mentioned in the New Testament necessary to confirm the testimony,

      T. No, sir; this is not all. The gifts of the Holy Spirit had more to do than this. They were necessary to develope the religion, a well as to prove it. Hence all the diversities of gifts mentioned I Cor. xii. xiii. xiv. chapters, are classified under two heads; first; those which revealed the religion, and those which proved it. The spiritual gifts necessary to teach the religion were "the word of wisdom," "the word of knowledge," "the gift of prophesy," "the interpretation of tongues," and to these might, in one sense, be added "the discerning of spirits." To confirm the religion there were "faith," or a firm persuasion that they were able to perform miracles; "the gift of healing diseases;" "powers," or an ability to perform such works as Peter did on Ananias and Sapphira, and Paul on Bar Jesus; "the gift of foreign tongues:" this was necessary to teach all nations, but as necessary to confirm the word; and the gift of "inworking," or imparting spiritual gifts to others by the imposition of hand. But on these gifts I would advise you to read the 2d volume of the Christian Baptist, as they are expatiated on in that volume at considerable length, This I advise to prevent mistakes concerning our sentiments on this very important subject.

      A. Well, now I am reminded of one of my difficulties, and that I may have it fully examined, I will propose one of my questions--Why is it that the Apostles exhorted their converts "to pray in the Holy Spirit," "to quench not the Spirit," "to be filled with the Spirit"? [365]

      T. I am glad that you have made this a question; for much depends upon understanding not merely these and similar expressions, but the state of things in the primitive church which gave rise to these precepts of the Apostles. I therefore beseech you to hear me patiently.

      The churches gathered by the first proclamation of the gospel were either Jews or ignorant Pagans; and most churches were composed of both. "Know." says Paul to the Corinthians, when he began to write on spiritual gifts, "Know that you were Gentiles, carried away unto these dumb idols, even as you were led." This church "came behind in no gift," because it much needed them. Its members had every thing to learn. Destitute of any written revelation--the Old Testament they had not, and the New was not then written--they required all the gifts bestowed in that age. This was true of all the churches, save those in Judea; and these had no letters written to them by the Apostles.

      Those churches out of Judea had every thing to learn, and could not have a single spiritual thought but as they were taught either by inspired men, or by the Holy Spirit. But the inspired Apostles must travel every where, and could not long continue in any one place; and, therefore, it was necessary that these candlesticks, newly lighted up, should be constantly supplied with fresh oil. Hence all those spiritual gifts were bestowed on the first converts for perfecting them. They could neither speak in the church, pray, nor sing, without supernatural aid.

      Writings of all sorts were scarce; and many had not the ability to read, had they had the writings of the Apostles all completed in their hands. In these congregations, then, every thing was done by the suggestion of the Holy Spirit. Moreover, it was more compatible with the genius of the religion, and with its prosperity in the world, that it should be set up by such means The same wisdom which made Apostles out of rude fishermen, and hid the gospel treasure in these humble vessels, chose to fill rude barbarians and ignorant pagans with supernatural gifts, that the excellency, of the power might appear divine and not human. Other reasons may be assigned; but these appear sufficient to commend the Divine economy in introducing the Christian Institution.

      By the Spirit of God they spake, prophesied, sang, prayed and exhorted. Even women, as well as men, prayed and prophesied in the church. Because, according to Joel, in those days, the last of the Jewish age, God promised to pour out of his Spirit on all flesh, Jew and Gentile, and on both sexes; "your sons and your daughters shall prophesy." One Evangelist had four daughters, all prophetesses; that is, they all spoke by inspiration: for this is the meaning of prophesying. It matters not whether the inspiration respect past, present, or future relations or things, he or she who speaks by inspiration prophesies. Corinthian women were exhorted by Paul concerning their praying and prophesying in the church.

      The gift of discerning spirits was then necessary to prevent imposition. [366] Some possessed this gift; and therefore the prophets were commanded to speak but two or three sentences at a time, that those possessed of this gift might judge whether they spake according to the Spirit of God.

      They are novices in the christian scriptures and religion who cannot discriminate between the order of edification in the primitive church, while under the guidance of spiritual men, from that which was to be the result of that order, when that which is perfect is come. That which was "in part," has now ceased; for "prophecies have failed." "That which is perfect," the complete revelation, is come.

      We must, then, discriminate between the church in her infancy, during her minority, because the Apostles have taught us to discriminate. "When I was a child I thought as a child," says Paul to this people, to whom he expounds the nature and design of spiritual gifts; and to the church as a child the same Apostle says, It pleased Jesus when he ascended to bestow gifts--Apostles, Prophets, Evangelists, Pastors and Teachers, for the fitting of the saints for the service of the Lord, that they might not continue children, but grow up by these gifts to the full measure of the christian stature, to full grown men under Christ the Lord.

      The literal body of Christ was literally formed by the Holy Spirit, and afterwards that body was filled with the Holy Spirit: so his metaphorical body, the church, was formed by the Holy Spirit in these gifts, and when formed it became the temple of that Spirit, and was filled with it. There is one body, and but one body of Christ composed of Jewish and Gentile disciples, and they have been builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit. Hence the Spirit is promised only to them who believe. Every body has its own spirit, and the body of Christ has the spirit of Christ.

      These are but hints, but they respect matters of the greatest importance to correct and comprehensive views of christianity. Ignorance of these matters is one principal cause of the present opposition to the ancient gospel and the ancient order of things. We professed the christian religion for years without hearing a hint on these subjects; and even now we seldom or ever hear them named by those declaimers about the Holy Spirit. They neither appear to understand what they say themselves, nor the things of which they so strongly affirm.

      Let it be noted here, and I pray you to keep this proposition in mind: viz: That every part of the christian worship, and all the means of edification in the primitive church, during its infancy, or while it was under the guidance of spiritual men, was performed by the immediate suggestion of the Holy Spirit. Hence such expressions as these: "Quench not the Spirit;" that is, as explained by what follows, "despise mot prophesyings"--"Pray in the Spirit"--"Be filled with the Spirit," singing psalms, hymns, and songs suggested by the Spirit--"I will sing in the Spirit," "I will pray in the Spirit;" but I will sing and pray in a known tongue, that by my singing and praying I may edify others, as well as worship the Lord. [367]

      Sometimes a whole congregation expressed all the same words at the same instant of time, the Holy Spirit suggesting to each individual all the same ideas and expressions at one and the same impulse. Thus the whole church kneeled down in Jerusalem, and with one accord, all uttered the same words at the same instant.

      Pagans could neither know how, or for what to pray, unless they had been thus taught. Even the disciples of John and of Jesus, during the personal ministry of these two prophets, were taught by them how, and for what to pray. To pray in accordance with the economy under which we are placed, is a matter of some moment to all who have correct conceptions of God.

      A. I cannot express the ideas which throng upon each other in my mind: but I must break silence and tell you, that really these are matters of which I have scarcely ever had a thought before; I never heard so much to explain to my satisfaction numerous passages in the Epistles, as I have now heard. I can now see why many things are connected together, which I never before understood. For example, "Quench not the Spirit" is succeeded by "despise not prophesyings," and that is succeeded by "prove all things and hold fast that which is good." I now see the association of ideas in the Apostle's mind. He exhorted the Thessalonians to stir up the gifts of the Spirit; to exercise the gift of prophesying; and, though some pretended to it who did not possess it, they were neither to contemn the gift, nor to cease from exercising it, but prove whether he that spake, spake by the Spirit; and so soon as this was proved, they were to hold fast that which was good. In this way my thoughts are running upon these passages as you proceed. I now understand another expression which I never before understood--"Be filled with the Spirit." I could not see, on the Calvinian or Arminian hypothesis, how any person could be commanded to be filled with the Spirit, any more than with any Divine attribute, inasmuch as that Spirit is not subject to the will of man; but as they cherished in their minds the word of Christ, and spake to one another in psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, they were filled with the Holy Spirit--and it was not incompatible with those gifts to command the christians to exercise them.

      T. And if you would read the exhortations delivered to the Ephesians and Colossians, both of which letters were written about the same time, while Paul was a prisoner, and while the same associations of ideas were in his mind, you will see that Paul explains himself. The parallel passages in the two Epistles read thus: Ep. v. 18, 19. "Be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess," or by which come dissoluteness, "but be filled with the Spirit. Speak to one another in psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, singing and making melody it your hearts to the Lord." In the Colossians, ch. iii. 16. it reads--"Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly; and with all wisdom teach and admonish one another, in psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, singing with gratitude in your heart to the Lord." In both epistles these words are preceded and succeeded by exhortations precisely similar, only in a few instances verbally different. Compare [368] them accurately, and no doubt can exist that the same connexion of things was before the mind of the Apostle in each. Hence it follows, that to be filled with the Spirit, and to have the word of Christ dwelling richly in one, are of the same import in Paul's mind; and as a means to this end, christians were to abound in singing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs.

      But this only by the way. You will find a hundred passages to yield to this great principle of interpretation, or rather to this view of the primitive worship and means of edification.

      A. Methinks another passage opens to my view: "Stir up the gift which is in you, which was given you according to prophecy by the laying on of the hands of the eldership." Paul's hands were among these, as appears from another passage--"The gift which was given you by the imposing of my hands." Timothy was designated by one of those prophets which had the gift of discerning spirits as a suitable person to act as an Evangelist, and as an agent for Paul in Ephesus. As such he is commanded to stir up the gift, not to quench the Spirit, but to exercise his gift to edification and comfort.

      T. Yes--but this will lead us into another matter; and perhaps it may be a profitable one at some other time: for indeed much of what pertains to the common order which ought to exist in a church, and to the officers which are necessary to its perfection, may be learned incidentally from the gifts of the Holy Spirit of which we are now speaking. But recollect that we are straying off from the subject on which we began.

      A. Pardon me. I have been so much engrossed in this view of the ancient worship, that I have forgotten all my questions, and all my thoughts too on the original topic of inquiry.

      T. Let us then dismiss the subject for the present, and meet again. You will find it advantageous to read the whole New Testament once through from the 1st chapter of the Acts to the last epistle, with this single idea in your eye; and observe, as you proceed, in what new and clear light it presents many passages to your mind. Recollect the proposition is this: That the whole worship and edification of the primitive church, in its infancy, was directed by inspired men; and that the Spirit suggested the songs, prayers, exhortations, and, indeed, all the discourses which were useful to the congregation; and that every thing incompatible with these suggestions was reprobated by the Apostles and those judges who had the gift of discerning spirits. But let me add, excesses and indiscretions occurred then, even among those who possessed the spiritual gifts; and this is no more than might have been expected in that age, by those who best understood the nature of those gifts, for even now, when a perfect and well proved revelation is possessed by us, how often do we err, even in the most common matters, requiring only prudence and discretion!

      A. True: But I have not yet satisfied myself upon the topics discussed at our former interview, and will therefore examine all our premises again; and I hope to be able more methodically to lay my difficulties before you at another time.

      T. I shall attend to them with all care. Adieu.
EDITOR. [369]      



      IN your letter, returning my manuscript, intended as a part of my reply to your letters addressed to me in your Millennial Harbinger, there are the following sentences, viz.--"I do this with the assurance that if you present any one contradiction in the testimonies of Matthew, Mark, Luke, or John, fairly made out, I will pay all attention to it. It is unnecessary to do more than exhibit one at a time; for if you can sustain one, we shall admit that you can sustain more."

      With this declaration on your part, and the definitions of a few terms on mine, so that we may see the ground on which we act, I will meet you in the Harbinger; and now proceed to point out one real contradiction in the gospels, which I understand you to mean by the testimonies of the four named Evangelists. I mean a fair discussion--words are to be taken in their usual and obvious import, ambiguities avoided--we will have no distortion of language. Facts are substantives--Truth is a representation of facts, or a fact: deviations from truth are falsehoods. But especially, a contradiction consists of an affirmative on one side, and a negative expressed or implied on the other. But affirmative assertions concerning the same subject, which place a fact, or facts, in irreconcileable contrast: so that if one be taken for true, the other must be untrue, constitute a contradiction. In plain common sense, every untruth includes a contradiction.

      We will use the translation called "the King's," as most in use. Nothing in the gospels is to be considered unimportant; while the four books form but one text.

      With these preliminaries I enter the field of discussion; and will at once "present," not the first occurring, but one of the simplest contradictions in the Scriptures--from which, nevertheless, important inferences flow, involving the credit of the whole Scripture. [See Matthew xxvi. 34.] "Jesus said unto him [Peter] Verily I say unto thee, that this night before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice." [See Mark xiv. 30.] "And Jesus saith unto him, (Peter) Verily I say unto thee, that this day, even in this night, before the cock crow twice, thou shalt deny me thrice." Here the contradiction relied on consists in the contrast between once and twice, referring to the crowing of the cock, to say nothing of the entire member thrown into the sentence by Mark, viz. "that this day." Now, sir, each of these holy men give us, as the very words of Jesus, a recital variant from one another in matter of fact; as one is different from two, in meaning and effect, is well as in terms. Both are not true--which is? When, sir, you have digested this--and you want another, you shall have ONE more; reserving to myself the right of reply, within your given rules.
  I remain, very respectfully, your humble servant,
      July 22. 1831.



      I SHOULD have inserted your whole pamphlet, or the whole of the manuscript which you sent me, had either of them been written with so much relevancy, and in terms so inexceptionable as respects taste and moral feeling; or had they been so worthy subjects of criticism as the above communication. This is definite, decent, and appropos. It purports to be argumentative, and is so in appearance, if not in reality. [370]

      I gave you an invitation to select one of the many contradictions of which you complained; and upon that one we should test the merits of the whole. You have done so. You have made your selection, and if you sustain this, we shall admit, without a trial, that you can sustain others: if you cannot, we must conclude, without trial also, that you cannot sustain any one whatever. This is your Goliath: if he be slain your army is routed, and if he be triumphant we shall strike our tents and retreat without farther ceremony.

      "A contradiction," as defined in my fifth letter to you, page, 151, and to which no exception has been taken, "is an irreconcilable contrariety of statement." An omission, or a mere variety of statement, or a difference in expression, never can constitute a contradiction; for if that were the fact, all witnesses who do not use all the same words, and in all the same places, are contradictory. Every falsehood is not a contradiction, for then no single affirmative proposition could express a falsehood. Nor is every verbal contradiction a falsehood, as before demonstrated. But "especially, (you say,) a contradiction consists of an affirmative on one side, and a negative expressed or implied on the other." This, though vague enough, is sufficiently relevant to the case before us, because we are speaking of a contradiction between two witnesses. But now on your own definition, and in the case which you have selected: Does Matthew affirm and Mark deny the predicate of the subject. Of Peter, the subject of the proposition, it is predicated by Matthew that he will, before the cock crow, thrice deny his Master. Does Mark deny this of Peter? No: there is no negative expressed or implied on the part of Mark. He does not say that Peter will not deny his Master thrice, nor that he will not deny him thrice before the cock crow once: for, mark it well, his affirming that he will thrice deny his Master before the cock crow twice, does neither express nor imply that he will not deny him thrice before the cock crow once! Where now is your affirmative on one side and your negative on the other? To say it shall be done before the cock crow twice, does not IMPLY that it shall not be done before the cock crow once; and most assuredly it does not EXPRESS that it shall not be done until the cock crow twice.

      To give it even the semblance of a contradiction it ought to have read in Matthew, 'Before the cock crow once you will thrice deny me;" and in Mark, 'Before, but not until the cock crow twice, you shall thrice deny me.' Even then, however, I could demonstrate from other circumstances that there might not be a real contradiction, though there would be an apparent one; but as it now reads, and upon your own definition, there is not the semblance of a contradiction.

      But in the event of failing to establish a contradiction here, (which I think you must now see is impossible,) then you will say, 'Whether does Matthew or Mark give the precise words which Jesus spoke.' To this I answer, Not one of the historians pretend to do this. Many of his maxims they quote, and a few of his sayings they publish, but not with a scrupulous or rather a superstitious regard to every letter, pause, and point, but with the most faithful regard to [371] scope and meaning. This matter is adverted to and descanted upon in my "Hints to Readers" at the end of the Four Testimonies in the New Version. You will see, first edition, page 214, this very point enforced and explained.

      But let me more fully illustrate the passage, and show how perfectly groundless is your alleged contradiction. And first, please to notice that in all writers, and as frequently in the New Testament writers as in any others, there are many general propositions spoken with a limitation not expressed. Of this sort are the following in the New Testament, common version, John v. 31. "If I bear witness of myself, my witness is not true." The Pharisees retorted these words, John xii. 13, "Thou bearest witness of thyself; thy witness is not true." Jesus replies, "Though I bear witness of myself, my witness is true." Again Jesus says, "The testimony of two men is true." These all are general propositions spoken without limitation, and yet every one of them is limited in their application, which is their specified sense: for the sense of words is not always ascertained from general laws, but from specific applications. The word "true" means worthy of regard; for there is no reason can be assigned why the testimony of two men must be true: but the testimony of two was always, according to the Jewish law, worthy of regard. Now there are some cases in which a person's testimony concerning himself is worthy of regard, and there are other cases in which it is not worthy of regard.

      Another example, still more in point, is found in John xiii. 33. To the disciples Jesus says, "Whither I go ye cannot come." This is very general, and taken absolutely would teach the disciples that they could not follow Jesus. But upon a question proposed a few verses afterwards by Peter, it is limited by the word "now." v. 36. "Thou canst not follow me now, but thou shalt follow me afterwards?" So that a general proposition which said, "Whither I go ye cannot come," when limited by the circumstances, and explained upon a question made, is equivalent to 'whither I go you cannot come now,' Such is the case before us. "Before the cock crow" is a general and unlimited expression; but when considered with a reference to circumstances, it is equivalent to "before the cock crow the second time," or "before the cock crow twice."

      I am now fairly brought to the explanation of this whole matter, which, had you examined more closely, yon would never have selected as a contradiction, and still less as the most palpable one in the book! The facts in the case are these: The Jews reckoned the day from sun-setting to sun-setting. The night of each day preceded the light. Hence in Greek they called the day Nuchthemeron. They divided the night into four watches, of three hours each. The first was from sunsetting till 9 o'clock, called Hespera. The second, from 9 till 12, called Opsia. The third, from 12 till 3, they called Proia; and the fourth, from 3 till 6, or sun-rise, they called Orthros. The third watch, called Proia, begun and ended by the crowing of the cock. In Judea the day and night being equal all the year, or nearly so, the cock very regularly crowed at 12 and at 3 is the morning. Hence [372] that watch which began at the first crowing and ended at the second crowing was called the cockcrowing watch, or alektrophonia.1 See Mark xiii. 35. hence "before the cock crow," in allusion to the watches of that night, is equivalent to "before the cock crow twice." And the fact proves the prediction and explanation; for before the end of the watch called "the crowing of the cock," Peter had thrice denied his Master.

      Now, sir, I hope you will be so candid as to admit that neither the words themselves, independent of any allusion to Jewish history, nor the facts in the case, as now explained, according to the reference, Mark xiii. 35, will afford the least semblance of a contradiction. Let us now have a candid and honorable renunciation of your quibbles and imaginary contradictions: for if it has thus fared with your Goliath of Gath, where would your Lilliputian army appear!
  Your obedient servant,

To the Editor of the Millennial Harbinger.


      A FEW years since, while residing in Wadsworth, Ohio, I was introduced to your Christian Baptist, which was then taken, I think, by the Rev. O. Newcomb, the worthy Pastor of the Baptist church in that place; and I have ever since been an occasional reader of the productions of your pen. Many and various were the opinions, sayings, and surmisings of that day, respecting the probable issue of your exertions; but the orthodox clergy, and many of the laity, seemed to agree in one point, which was, that the editor was a bad man, and that his works ought not to be read. Whatever may have been the primary cause of your exertions, there cannot remain a doubt in the mind of any unprejudiced individual, that generations yet unborn will feel themselves under many obligations to the man, who, in the beginning of the nineteenth century, had the moral courage to stand forth in defence of reason and religion against the attacks of those, who, under the specious veil of friendship, were aiming the most deadly blows at both. For my own part, brought up in the school of orthodoxy, and being thoroughly imbued with her dogmas, I looked upon those from whom they proceeded with a kind of religious veneration; but when the charm was broken, and I beheld the abominable mixture which she held forth to her followers, I dashed the poisoned chalice from my lips, and, perhaps, with it, the water of life. Subsequent to that period, I have read some of your views of christianity, and am almost constrained to say, with one of old, "Almost thou persuadest me to be a christian." There is that sublimity and simplicity in the christian moral precepts, as taught by Jesus, which cannot fail to recommend his ethics to every well regulated mind; and if divested of certain things, which, to me, appeal to be extraneous, it could not, it would seem, fail of accomplishing the end designed by that great reformer, the Nazarene. Unfortunate it is, that what I regard as foreign to the system of morality taught by Jesus, is regarded by you as the very essence of that system, and to it altogether indispensable--unfortunate, (I mean, to me,) because I have the misfortune to be found in the minority. But, my dear sir, it is impossible for me to believe the miracles recorded in the New Testament, or that the laws of nature are, or ever were, in any way deranged on man's account. When I make this declaration I am fully aware of the situation in which it places me; and were it not for a sincere desire to obtain truth, it should have forever remained a secret in my own breast. I do firmly believe the general moral precepts taught by Jesus and his disciples, and hope ever to be found under their guidance; I further agree with you that they were good men, or that they had the good of their species in view in publishing their system to the world. But admitting that they were honest men, does it follow, as you held forth in your debate with Mr. Owen, that they must have told the truth. Perhaps you will contend, from the nature of the facts declared, that this conclusion is inevitable. But when we take into consideration the age in which they lived, the character of the men, and the predilection of mankind in all ages and countries for the marvellous; when we compare these men's doings with those of a similar character of other times and other countries, and view them impartially, it irresistibly brings me to the conclusion that, as to truth and honesty, they generally, if not universally, occupy the same ground. How many honest and well meaning men of the present day do we find believing the most ridiculous and palpable absurdities? and how very easy is it for men to impose upon themselves and others in regard to matters of fact? But I leave this subject, desiring that you will view me as one sincerely desirous of obtaining truth, and ever ready to embrace it when convinced. As a seeker of truth, I desire information; and being unlearned, I would ask of those who possess knowledge. And here I would propose a question: is an individual culpable for unbelief? Can he believe when he pleases and what he pleases? Can he resist conviction when there is sufficient evidence to produce it? By answering the above you will confer a real favor. I have said that the system taught by Jesus, when compared with other systems, appears to possess a simplicity and beauty for which we may seek in vain in other systems; and I may add, that its influence is doubtless salutary. Would to Heaven that the same could be said of the numerous systems and dogmas of Christians! But, alas! who that is not blind but can see the deleterious effects upon society of the doctrine of "total depravity," held forth to almost every orthodox congregation in christendom, by men who claim to be sent of Heaven. Who can say that it is not lulling men to sleep in the arms of vice, to impress upon their minds a belief that they are totally unable to perform one good action, and that Christ died in man's room and stead? Thus licensing men to sin, and promising him an exemption from the consequences of sinning, through the atonement of Christ. Who cannot discover that orthodoxy is not so much combatting men's vices as their opinions? and that her anathemas are not pronounced against wicked men, but against those who dare to call in question her dogmas?

      Now, my dear sir, I wish you all possible success in the work of reformation to which you have set your hands; not because I believe your system to be perfect, but because it is doubtless better than the miserable notions, of Pagan origin, held by most Christians.

      Believe me, my dear sir, a sincere seeker for truth, and your friend, not in word, but in heart.
H------ H------.      
      Charlestown, Clark Co. Indiana.

REPLY TO MR. H. H.--No. 1.

Dear Sir,

      THE sincerity which appears in your letter before me claims my attention and calls for a few remarks--and but for a few; for on these subjects we have said so much already, that it appears superfluous to add much more.

      Jesus Christ, whom you admit to have been an honest and good man and a great teacher, said to some persons who professed to [374] worship one God, "If any person be minded to do the will of this one God, he will know whether the instructions I communicate come from that God, or whether I speak them as a mere man." This is rather a paraphrase than a translation: but yet this is the scope and meaning of the saying. This saying admitted, precludes the possibility of imagining that there can be an honest Deist in the whole race of men where the Bible has come. Honest he may be to his country and to man, but honest to himself and to God he cannot be. For who that admits one God, the Maker, Father, and Judge of All, and does not seek with his whole heart to know whether he has ever spoken to man; and if he have spoken, to know what he has said--can he honest to himself and to God? As soon might we admit that he was of sane mind, who, professing to think that his father's will bequeathes to him an immense estate, and hearing that some doubts existed about the certainty or legality of the instrument, never examines the proper documents to ascertain the truth?

      But, my dear sir, your case is a peculiar one; not because sectarian creeds frightened you out of your reason and drove you from Babylon past Jerusalem; but because you admit both Jesus and his humble Apostles to have been good and honest men, and yet wilful liars and deceivers of the human race. It is a common argument, but nothing the less powerful, irresistible, and convincing because common, that the authors of the New 'Testament were either good men or bad men. One of the two they most certainly were. If good men, they could not have deceived men by telling them the thousand lies which they must have told, if they saw and heard not what they affirmed they saw and heard. If we admit them to have been good and honest men, then their testimony must be admitted, because it was impossible for them to be deceived in ten thousand instances, respecting objects of sense too. But if they were bad men, impostors and liars, then they appear in a truly miraculous character: for they conspire to make men good, honest, and virtuous, by commending all goodness and denouncing all vice and villainy, while they themselves hate all goodness and love all vice, and delight in fraud of the most heinous nature! Was such an instance ever known? Wicked men turned reformers of the world, denouncing all iniquity, commending all virtue, piety, and goodness, purely for the sake of blessing men, while they hated both God and men!! Believe this who may, I can never.

      Bad men could not he the author: of the New Testament on any principle ever exhibited to man. Good men could not be its authors unless it be true.

      You have not, my good sir, attended to one important distinction in my debate with Mr. Owen, between the martyr to an opinion, and the martyr to a fact. The believing in absurd opinions, and the knowledge of sensible objects, are very different matters. When a martyr dies in vindication of his opinions, he only says, I think it is so. But when a person dies a martyr to a fact, he says, I saw, I heard, or I know it is so. [375]

      But you cannot believe in the christian miracles--you can believe in ethics. It requires no faith to admit the excellency of mere moral law. Testimony concerning facts calls for our belief: but whether ethics are good or bad is a question tried in the Court of Common Pleas! I thank no man who has two eyes and two ears, for saying that the morals taught by Jesus are the most perfect ever conceived; nay, I can scarcely thank Rousseau for his compliment to the Apostles, in saying they excelled all the sages of all ages in painting historically a perfect character. Often was it attempted, but the greatest wits and philosophers failed as far as Homer, who made his hero invulnerable, save in his heel. They did not do it because they could not. Neither could the Galilean fishermen, if they had not had the model before them. But they had the model, and they had only to tell the truth--to say what he said, and to tell what he did.

      But your greatest difficulty is in admitting the principle on which miracles have been performed. Your conceptions of God are such that you cannot think that he cares so much about man as to suspend a law of nature, or to change the course of things on his account. Strange indeed! that God should have done so much for man--made the earth and all its riches for him--gave him dominion over all--and yet should have thought him unworthy of speaking to him, or give him any information of his origin or destiny. Strange indeed! that when he lost the knowledge of his Maker, he would not so much as place his finger on any law of nature to arrest his attention, which would cost him infinitely less labor than for a mechanic to place his finger upon the mainspring or any wheel in a watch, and suspend, quicken, or retard its motion! Strange, I say, that to enlighten man he would not call his attention by some certain proof of his divinity; and yet that there should be in the human breast an expectation of such proofs!

      On the hypothesis that God cares so little for man that he would not speak to him, how are we to understand that profusion of goodness which he has bestowed upon him in giving him so exalted a place in the scale of being, and in making every thing, as far as we can know any thing about it, subservient to his use and comfort. And yet, it must be confessed, that there is nothing so essential to the happiness of man as the knowledge of God, and nothing for which, as an intellectual being, he so much pants.

      Experience, moreover, proves that if any communication come from God, it must be miraculous, or out of the usual order of things; and if God speak to man at all, miracles are necessary to secure a hearing. He that maintains the impossibility of miracles on any principle, most certainly argues that it is impossible for God, on the same principle to reveal himself to man. Nor are miracles appeals to our ignorance: for they all presuppose such an acquaintance with Nature and her laws as to prevent the possibility of mistake in understanding the character of the power displayed in the miracle. But I am not now to write an essay on the possibility, probability, or certainty of miracles, nor upon the prophecies of the New Testament or [376] of the Old, which are in the case of the Jews and the present apostate christendom a standing miracle to all who will make themselves acquainted with the Bible and history.2 It is only the principle from which they proceed to which you allude, and to that I only make a single remark;--that all God's works, and his providence over man, make it reasonable that he would suspend, alter, or control any law of nature for the greatest good of man. It is not so expensive to suspend or control any of the laws of nature for man's use, when it becomes necessary, as it was to create the world, nature, and her laws, for his use.

      But to your queries. A man's power to believe is not in himself, but in the testimony. But when the apprehension of the testimony requires an honest mind; and when to such a mind the testimony is competent, unbelief in all such cases is culpable. No man can be innocent who disbelieves the gospel when it is presented to him, for that the evidence is sufficient to all honest and sincere hearted persons, is evident from the fact that millions of all sorts of intellects, from Sir Isaac Newton, Locke, Milton, Young, &c. down to striplings and those of the weakest mind, have felt all assurance of its truth, even to give them triumph over death in its most terrific forms. The condemnation is just where Jesus said it was, and where it ought to be:--"Light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than the light because their deeds were evil." To this Philosophy says. Amen!

      Man, however, can neither believe nor disbelieve at his own option, unless he have the evidence; but when the evidence is submitted, if it be not such as to convince him as soon as heard, which is sometimes the case, his belief is always dependent on his will or moral character. How can you believe who are seeking the honor which comes from man, regardless of that which comes from God?"

      I have nothing to do with those dogmas of the metaphysical dreamers of which you complain. But, my dear sir, you must repent and believe the gospel. Morality is only political unless it proceed from faith in Jesus. It cannot do more than make a man a good citizen. But what!--are we standing in no relation to God? or are all our relations merely to man and to the material system around us? Think of this, I pray you. God gives you many witnesses of his goodness daily. Know, then, that his goodness is intended to lead you to reformation. Take heed that you despise not this great salvation, and that you do not treasure up wrath against a day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God. Read the New Testament over and over, until you understand its drift, design, arguments, and motives. If it be true, as it most certainly is, the universe, without the salvation it reveals, is as empty as a blasted nut shell. You are forever undone unless you repent and submit unconditionally to Jesus of Nazareth. It is not merely to submit to his ethics or moral [377] sayings; the state and society will make men moral so far as respects its peace and good order; but you must submit to Jesus as God's Son, as the only Saviour of men, and be guided by him as the only one who can lead you up to the knowledge and enjoyment of God.

      There is nothing which he ever spoke or commanded to be spoken that is not most rational, every way worthy of God and worthy of man. The greatest honor which mortal man ever attained, is to have Jesus for his Prophet, Priest, and King; to submit to him in every thing, to be enrolled among his brethren, to be made an heir of God through him, and to acknowledge before men that he is not ashamed nor afraid to surrender himself unconditionally to such an illustrious Chief. It is the first clear and decided proof which any man can give of the soundness of his reason, of the correctness of his mind, to believe the testimony of God, to own Jesus of Nazareth as the Saviour of men, to submit to him as the only Lord of the Universe. Every man who thinks, or pretends to think, that his refusing to give himself up to the guidance of the Messiah, is because he has more reason than others, or because he exercises it better, is as much mistaken as he who thinks to prove himself more rational than others by disputing the existence of God, or by ascribing to blind chance or unintelligent matter the creation of itself or the formation of all the wise designs which the universe unfolds, and which have given to it all the order, beauty, and magnificence which it displays to the eye of reason.--The fear of the Lord, sir, is the beginning of wisdom. And the conclusion of the whole matter is, "Fear God and keep his commandments:" for this is the whole reason, honor, and happiness of man.
  Very benevolently,


      EVERY person who commends virtue does not practise it; neither is the advocate of system always systematic. The writer of the following extract, however systematic he may be in some other matters, besides opposing reformation, is not systematic in the acquisition of the knowledge necessary to appreciate the merits of the cause we plead. How little he knows of the cause which he opposes will appear to all the intelligent from the following extract from the Religious Herald of the 22d July:--

      "There is something strangely inconsistent, or at least unaccountable, in the course pursued by Bishop Campbell. Having himself reaped the advantages resulting from system, scientifically, morally, religiously and theologically too, if you please, he now turns about to cry down system with all his might. Why! he is like a man who, having attained to a great height in the top of a tree, orders all the limbs to be chopped off; and for what? Is it that no other person may attain to the same elevation? Charity would hope better things; but we can assure him of one thing, and that is, whatever be the design, that will be most assuredly the consequence if he succeed in banishing system out of the world. I have been informed that Mr. C. has taught a school, and perhaps he does now; how does he proceed? Does he erect the beautiful tree of knowledge before the admiring eyes of his pupils, with all its branches and all its foliage, and then bid them make free with its fruits [378] and grow wise? The veriest tyro in the school, if he were not confounded with the process, would think it a strange mode of teaching. But Mr. C. does not thus teach, either in the school or in the pulpit. In the school he never thinks of it, and in the pulpit he talks of it, but does not practice it. I do not envy the temerity of that man, who, if a dozen brethren get together and compile a short treatise, and call it their articles of faith, will immediately denounce the little harmless thing as a limb of the mother of harlots, while he, at the very time, is consuming his three hours in endeavoring to impress his own peculiar views of the Bible on his auditory; and if his exhibition has not the force of a document printed or not printed, on the minds and memories of those who listen, it is the fault neither of the talent nor disposition of the speaker. Surely, under such circumstances, if modesty were not asleep, she would blush. Having made a hasty excursion to Bethany, we return to the subject, namely, the importance of system. We maintain that there is no effectual progress without it, either in wealth or wisdom. While, with every other person we maintain the importance of system in the things connected with time, we maintain that it is of much greater importance in the things connected with eternity, inasmuch as the one is of infinitely greater importance than the other. We maintain furthermore, that the nature of religious truth calls for system as much as any other truth, whether in morals, the arts and sciences, or the economy of human life. Let it not be supposed that the authority of this sentiment is based on the opinion of an anonymous scribbler, in a periodical. Hear the sentiment of our great and good Mr. Fuller, with that great sublimity and profound perspicuity so peculiarly his own, he asks, Has God formed a system of divinity for us, or has he encouraged us to form one for ourselves? Doubtless the latter. As in the system of nature, things of very different qualities are thrown together in beautiful incoherence and apparent disorder, challenging the industry of man to arrange and classify them under their proper genera and species; so in the system of salvation, God has revealed the great truths of the gospel in such rich abundance and variety, and that not in any systematic form, but in such luscious profusion as not to admit of detail, this part being left to the industry of the student in this noble science; so that now if he wants to believe on any point of doctrine, the variety of proof is not brought together into one place, but he finds them scattered up and down through the divine volume. So with regard to any rule of practice, whether as a candidate for admission into the number of the faithful, or as a member of the church, a parent, a master, a servant. He has to search the scripture in order to find matter to bear on either or all of these points, and if to help his memory he were to arrange the different scriptures under their proper heads, so that he could, at once, find the proper scriptures that supported any particular doctrine or practice, who would blame him--nay, who would not commend him?"

      A very little reading, and as much reflection, would have saved this writer the exposition he has made of himself. A very little reading, even without much system, would have informed him that we never said a single word against system in any department of business, literature, morals, politics, or religion. Nor have we ever imagined that there is not a system of both religion and morals taught in the Holy Scriptures. But we are opposed to human systems of religious opinions, inferences, or articles of belief; and even to them only when made terms of union or of exclusion. It is true that we contend that God has given us a Divine System, perfect as the system of the universe, and that both Testaments compose that system; but he argues that "Divine truth is not communicated in the scripture in the best form adapted for its ready reception into the mind." He indeed [379] attempts to sustain this proposition in the article from which the above extract is taken--See Religious Herald p. 105, 4th col. vol iv. We take the affirmative of the above proposition so far as to say that Divine truth is communicated in the scripture in the way which God's wisdom and goodness thought best adapted to the salvation of man, and that it never can be bettered by human skill. All experiments made for 2000 years have proved this point, if history prove any thing at all.

      But a little reflection would have taught him, that if a human system must be fashioned out of this Divine system, every man must make one for himself; for unless he proves himself infallible, he cannot pretend to bind it on any other than himself. Moreover, he would have learned from a very little reflection or observation, that "this little harmless thing" called a short treatise, when bound upon the consciences of men, has been the cause of the shedding of every drop of Protestant blood for 2000 years. All who protested, both before and since "the Protestant Reformation," have protested against these little harmless calves; for unfortunately, these little pets become bulls, and when their horns grow they gore most ferociously. This gentleman, who calls himself "an anonymous scribbler," need not back his opinions by the great and good Mr. Fuller only: I could give him a Dictionary in folio full of the names of bishops, prelates, cardinals, patriarchs, and popes, who have backed both Mr. Fuller and him in the utility and necessity of these "little harmless things" called short treatises, and "articles of faith," as essential to the salvation of man. I would advise this gentleman to read and reflect for another year, before he write on matters with which he is so entirely unacquainted, if it be agreeable to him to know, we shall simply inform him, that we have no objection that every disciple in the church universal write out for himself a whole treatise, or a few articles for himself, provided only, that he will neither give to the Sheriff nor to Satan the man who says he cannot perfectly agree with him.

      If we dare dissent from so good and great a man as Mr. Fuller, we would say, that his allusion to the earth and its products, with all the toils and labors of man to draw from it the necessaries and comforts of life, is most unhappy, as indicating an analogy between the earth and the Bible. The earth has been cursed for the sin of its inhabitants, and man doomed to toil upon it for his subsistence. Not so was the earth as it came from God. Not so the Bible, God's perfect gift to a fallen world. It has not been cursed to sterility since it came from its Author. It was given to a fallen world, and adapted to it. His analogy, then, is erroneous; for no such analogy as he supposes exists--consequently, his reasonings from it are fallacious.

      But grant the analogy for which he pleads, and what then? God designed to promote man's present comfort by giving him his food and clothing by his own labor, and now he gives him the knowledge of life and salvation in a volume which requires his daily attention; and thus God consults his happiness by making him labor in making him [380] wise. The analogy is, then, on the fact of its existence, against our friend Fuller and his anonymous admirer. And once more, the analogy is farther yet from aiding him: because man cannot classify in nature the great laws of nature in any way which will effect any change in their operations. They can operate only in the way which they have chosen, or God chose for them. So with the principles of religion, or laws of the moral system. In their present arrangement they operate, but no classification of them can make them operate more beneficially than they do as found in the concrete.

      But if Mr. Fuller supposes that we must classify the great principles of religion in order to make them operative, he reasons without any analogy in the case alluded to; for neither the chemist, the philosopher, nor the agriculturist, thinks of giving any new power to nature by any classification of her laws. The understanding may be aided in apprehending them by a rational classification, but their operation continues the same under all circumstances. Hence the wheels of nature moved, and all animals enjoyed health and vigor, in the same measures under the theory of only four elements, as they now do under the theory of forty elements. So in the moral and religious systems. No creed of five, or of forty articles, has given to man more faith, peace, love, joy, hope, and purity, than the book itself; and indeed it is very questionable whether they have given so much.


      THERE are two things, yea three, for which we owe apologies to our friends and the public. The first is, that we are always behind our dates in issuing our numbers. This has not been so much our faults as our readers may suppose. We have been disappointed sometimes in workmen, sometimes by paper-makers, sometimes by the breaking of our presses, which has lately been a very common incident, and we have had to publish a reprint of the greater part of the Harbinger, vol. 1 to satisfy the loud calls and increasing demands of this enquiring age. Besides, we have had to publish a new edition of our hymn book, and along with all this, we have to travel a little, to labor in the word and teaching, that is, to spend about half the year from home. There are some complaints too, which perhaps ought to be made against the roads and postmasters for retarding the work, and for its failure, sometimes, in reaching its destination. Though we hear as few of these as, perhaps, any other editor in the land; for we see the newspapers and periodicals are frequently and obstreperously complaining of irregularities and failures. We have no reason to complain at all, if all the complaints uttered by other editors are well grounded. The Harbinger is, as far as we know, very courteously treated by the Postmasters generally. But in spite of all that can be done, sometimes packages will break, and papers will take circuitous route, and other casualties will happen. Concerning the remedying [381] of this fault, the late issuing of the numbers, we have brighter prospects before us, and hope soon to get up to the beginning of the month.

      A second apology is due to our correspondents. We do not answer their letters sometimes at all; and sometimes not for a long time.--This is a grievance to them, and it is to us. But it grieves us more that we cannot promise much reformation of this fault. It is impossible for us to reform a great deal in this matter, unless we were to cease speaking in public, or writing for the press, or refrain from eating, sleeping, &c. To do tolerable justice to our correspondents, would often leave us not an hour in the week. Letters of business are attended to by our clerks, but letters of friendship, or on sentimental subjects, requiring my own attention are frequently postponed until an accumulated pile produces despair, and we are constrained to give up the idea of answering them all. Some of public interest are either formally replied to through the press, and some others are indirectly answered through the same channel. Our apology, in brief, is because it is impossible in reference to other duties of paramount importance. We do not, however, wish our correspondents to be less frequent in their communications; this we would much deprecate. Their letters are of much use to us and the public, though no formal notice should be taken of them. Besides we are solicitous for general purposes to be informed of all matters affecting the cause which we plead, and its success, or the want of success in certain districts. We could wish that our correspondents would, for the sake of others, be more minute and frequent in their details.

      An apology is due to all those who complain that we do not visit them. Our reason for not being in every state in the union, and a thousand places on one and the same day, is simply because we have not the power of ubiquity. Nothing prevents us from being in Canada, the Floridas, New Orleans, and Boston on one and the same day, but our not having the power of an angel, or of being omnipresent. I could wish some of our Macedonian criers could hear the thousand entreaties which are coming to us from all quarters for help. A brother in Richmond, Philadelphia, Boston, Montreal, New Brunswick, New Orleans, and I may say every state in the Union, says, there is no place on earth where so much good needs to be done, and so much it seems could be done, as just where I live. Come brother and help us. An old and venerable brother not far from Sachet's Harbor, complained that we had visited some places twice, before we had visited him once. His rule was, that we should never visit any place twice, until we had visited every place once. Suffice it on this subject to say, that we can do no more than we do. Every exertion at home and abroad, which the least possible regard to health and life can justify, is made. Die when we may, we shall not, we trust, have to accuse ourselves of the waste or prodigality of time, or a too great saving of the body or mind, from toil and labor in advocating a cause, which we most conscientiously regard as the cause of God. [382]

      It will not be in our power to make any tour out of our own vicinities during this season. Preparing for having the New Translation stereotyped, and other matters connected with the establishment, will oblige us to tarry at our post at home during the ensuing fall and winter.


      AFTER a long walk, or laborious exercise, to throw off a coat or outer garment, untie a cravat, expose the neck and breast, and then sit down at an open window or door, in a current of air in the evening.

      To drink, after such fatigue or exposure, very cold or iced water.

      To eat much fruit, especially in the evening, or to suppose that the evil consequences are to be obviated by a glass of wine, or cordial, or spirit and water.

      To eat much animal food, or to drink liquors of any kind, under the idea of thereby removing the weakness caused by the great heat of summer.

      To give to infants, or children in general, any such detestable compositions as milk-punch, wine or porter sangaree, or toddy. This practice ought to be an indictable offence at common law.

      To give to infants and children any of the various quack medicines, which are recommended as cures for worms, or summer complaints.

      To sleep exposed directly to the night air, especially if it be very damp, and much cooler than the air of the day.

      To be tempted by the fineness of the evening to sit up till midnight, and, as a consequence, to lie in bed in the morning.

      To take the usual meal, when excessively fatigued from want of sleep, unaccustomed labor, or beginning indisposition. Abstinence, or reduced diet, timely commenced, will obviate all the risks from these causes. Journal of Health.


      No. 7, p. 330, to complete a question asked, line from bottom 15, after "Judea" read--be employed in converting the world.


For the Millennial Harbinger.

      S E Shepherd, Alba Pa. paid vols 1-2 for E Rockwell, and vol 2 for J C Rockwell and M Wood. J Short, Bedford Ia. vol 2 for W D Scroggan and himself. J Daniel, Saunderson Ky. vol 1 for H Brown, H Childers, and himself M Green, Elizaville Ky. vol 2. T J Allen, Bricksville O. $1 for vol 2 for A Meech. J Gaskill, New Lisbon O. vol. 2 for R P Philips, and $1 for J Cownover. B A Hicks, Lexington, Ky. vol 2 for J P Robinson, A Smith, and B Scott. J Whitaker, Mulberry Tenn. vol. 1 for J Watkins, R Russell, and J Frost, and vol. 2 for J Whitaker, A C Henderson, T Whitaker, J J White, R Russell, J Watkins, W Moore, and B Whitaker. A B Holleman, Louisville Ala. vol 1. S Morgan, Killbuck O. vol 2. J M Wilks, Florence Ala. vols 1-2 for E Randolph, and vol 2 for G Lipscomb and J W Cope. M Dole, Charlestown, Ia. vol. 1 for Margaret Reynolds and P Peyton, and vol 2 for A Wilhoit, J Holman, J Baggs, W W Goodwine, E Baldwin, and J Perisol, also vols 1-2 for M Pane. T J Summer, Huntsville Ala. vol. 2, W [383] Carman, Baltimore Md. paid for 14 subscribers. J Foster, Bedford Ky. vol 1 for J Adams, and vol 2 for J W Taylor, R King, W D Stewart, and W Broad. S Young, Centreville Mi. vol 1 for G Caster. L Page, Russellville Ky. vol 1 for J Smith, and vol 2 for D S Smith, W Gordan, S Wilson, and A Burns. T Wright, Windham O. vol 2. J T Jones, Cincinnati O. Vol 2 for R Stout, N Price, and J Vanhawter. J Mendal, Wellsburg Va. vol 1 for it Elston and T Weir, and vol 2 for J Perry, G Armstrong, W Tarr, C Tarr, and himself. G Robinson, Pittsburg Pa. vol 1 for A Bidwell and T P Carothers, and vol 2 for B White, S Snodgrass, and W James; also vols 1-2 for J McCulley, G Brown, and H Smith. N L Lindsay, North Middletown Ky. vol. 2 for H T Gorham, E Darnall, J P Brown. B Hollis, and T M Parish. F V Sutton, White Chimnies Va. vol 2 for J Jones, J B Gatewood, J T Sutton, and $1 for vol 1 for J Woolfolk. S Woodruff, New Albany Ia. Vol 2 for Elizabeth Spencer, and vols 1-2 for himself. F V Sutton, White Chimnies Va. vols 1-2 for J O Sutton, and vol 2 for R C Sutton, W T Garnett, and J Duval. J W Jeffreys, Jeffrey's Store Va. Vol 2 for P Fowlks, and $1 for F Lester, & $1 for A Stokes. N Young, Avon O. vols 1-2. S E Shepherd, Alba Pa. vols 1-2 for D Palmer. J Stuart, Mulloys Tenn. Vol 2. A E Baker, Marysville N Y. vol 2 for J Miles, J Anderson, J Lowry, J Allport, A Simmonds, and himself. W Poston, Winchester Ky. vol 2 for H T Chevis, J Morton, H Jacobs, W Webber, L Jones, W Morton, T Bush, T C Gordon, T Faulconer, E Lutrell, O Collins, J Alexander, and vol 1 for J Ashley. T M Henley, Lloyds Va. vol 2 for H B Bartlow, L Smith, and $1 for J Montgomery. F Thompson, Mount Alban Mo. vol 2 for R M Lakeman. J Abbott, Macon Ga. vol 2, and $1 for vol 3. J W Jeffreys, Jeffrey's Store Va. vol 1 and $1 for vol 2 for S Shelbourne, and vol 2 for W A Stone. W D Jourdan, Locust Shades Tenn. vol 2 for J Owesley and M Davis. N Harrit, Greensburg Pa, vol 2 for J McCready, J Moore, and J Taylor. W Jennings, Lancaster Ky. vol 2 for S Smith, H Trupine, and J Robinson; also vols 1-2 for J Woodyard. N Hixon, Maysville Ky. vols 1-2 for J M Holton. L Haggard, Burksville Ky. vol 1 for Beck, and vol 2 for J Tobin. J T Bryan, Owingsville Ky. vol 2 for S Young. J Ficklin, Lexington Ky. vol 2 for B Arnett, W T Bryan, H Foster, M Gist, P Higbee, R Patterson, P Redd, J H Wilson, and vol 1 for J Taylor. J Painter, Columbus O. vol 1. W T Foster, Owentown Ky. vol 2 for S Smith, and vol 1 and $1 for vol 2 for himself. J B Stewart, Royalton O. vol. 2. J Lambert, New Canaan Conn. vols 1-2 for H Buckingham and himself. J C Ingram, Wylliesburg Va. vols 1-2 for G W Oliver and T M Roberts, and vol 2 for E A Williams, and J B Ingram. J Fossett, Columbus Ia. vol 2 for J A Crane, H Dickinson, S Nelson, W Robertson, W S Jones, P Troutman, J Gale, J H Vanmeter, J Houser, E Miller, and himself. B Allen, Brownsboro Ky. vol 1 for Catharine Crawford, and vol 2 for P Teeter, J Curl, and A H Keller. J Robeson, Madisonville Ky. vol 2 for W Noel, Margaret White, and $1 for himself. J B Radford. Oak Grove Ky. vol 2 for H B Bush, L L Leavel, N Hester, J Moss, and T W Atkinson. A Hicks, Tiptonsfurt Ia. vol 2. E Sweat, Lebanon Tenn. vol 2 for J Scoby, W Palmer, and himself--and some time since, vol 1 for J Scoby, W Palmer, J Thomas, W Cummings, B Tucker, and himself. D Hock, Louisville Ga. vol 2. A Rice, Mount Sterling Ky. vol 1 for W Chambers, J Hopewood, H Wilson, J Stofer, J Right, J Davis, and F Smith, and vol 2 for J Smith, J Stofer, G M Page, H Wilson, and vol. 1 for J Porter. G G Boone, Athens Ky. vol 2 for T Christian, S Shivel, J Davis, O D Winn, H Moore, and himself. T Thompson, Columbia Mo. vol: 1-2 for R Roberts and W B Grant, and vol 2 for M Baker, J B Gardon, T P Stephens, and vol 1 for S Maupin. J Hood, West Union Va. vol 2. D Kirkland, St Clairsville O. vol 2.



      1 Since writing the above I looked into the original Greek of this passage; and the fact is, that in Mark's account, the cockcrowing and the second crowing are equivalent; because, in his view, the watch was not complete till the second crowing; therefore, he calls that which precedes it meso nuktios, or midnight. The words are, opse, he mesonuktiou he alektrophonias, he proia--"In the evening, at midnight, cockcrowing, or in the morning." [373]
      2 If you wish to read a treatise on miracles, I would refer you to Dr. George Campbell's essay on miracles in reply to Hume. If not the best, it is as good an essay as is extant on that subject. [377]


[The Millennial Harbinger, 2 (August, 1831): 337-384.]

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