[Table of Contents]
Alexander Campbell, ed.|
The Millennial Harbinger, Vol. III, No. I (1832)
IT was twenty-one years on the 15th of July last, since I first stood up in a public assembly to address my fellow-men on the authority and excellency of the holy scriptures, on their perfect adaptation to all classes of men, and alone sufficiency, without human amendments, to guide the sinner into the way of life, and to furnish the saint to every good work. In that address I read the whole of the Messiah's Sermon on the Mount, but dwelt particularly on the conclusion of it, viz. "Not every one who says to me, Master, Master, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven, but he that does the will of any Father who is in heaven" The parable of the wise and foolish builders, the foundations of the rock aid the sand, were my topics that day. To these themes my attention has ever since been turned; still, I trust, progressing in knowledge, and waxing bolder in the work of reformation as my age and experience advance. Too young, for many years after my commencement, to achieve much, but little was done: for neither wisdom nor prudence are expected from youth; and influence never can precede, but must, in the order of things, depend upon, and follow after character. Sanguine, however, that the time was fast approaching that human platforms and human religious establishments must yield their place to the faith once delivered to the saints, and that the Apostles would soon hurl from their thrones those usurpers who presumed to legislate for the saints, I had that much faith in God's promises as to address the first congregation formed under the measures of the light then enjoyed chiefly by the instrumentality of my father; I say, I had the pleasure, on their first meeting to celebrate the death and resurrection of Jesus, to address them from a sentence in the book of Job, viz. "Though thy beginning be small, yet shall thy latter end greatly increase." This was accommodated to a congregation of some sixty or seventy disciples, a number of whom remain to this present time, but some are fallen asleep. This congregation, composed of believers from different nations and sects, and meeting on the New Testament alone, was supposed to be an omen of that long-prayed-for day, when all the disciples of Jesus will lay aside all their bickerings about human institutions, and unite on the writings of the Apostles of Jesus Christ.
Since that time we have continued to follow the truth whithersoever it leads us, never having once deviated from the principles from which we set out. In forming a union with the Baptists we protested against their constitution, and refused to unite with them if any other creed than the New Testament was presented to us. A document of several pages to this effect was presented to the Redstone Association in the year 1813, and is now, or ought to be, in the hand of William  Brownfield, Secretary of the Association, who then opposed, and always opposed our union, unless we would worship the Philadelphia idol, the little book drawn up by a few English Baptists in 1689 against Arminianism, and adopted in Philadelphia in 1742 by an Association of Baptists. We then regarded, and still regard the Baptist denomination as nighest the old platform in the New Testament, of any of the sects into which the christian world has been rent under the influence of the 'man of sin;' but not on account of the "doctrinal views" of that sect: for it would be yet impossible to say what they are in any one latitude in this union. They vary like the soil of the country from Georgia to Maine; but in the general views of the kingdom of grace and of admission into it, in abhorrence of councils, synods, and authoritative tribunals, and in the necessity of faith, repentance, baptism, a new creature, and in many other items then sacred, but now lost sight of by many of that sect, we cordially united with them not for our benefit, but for theirs.
Convinced that the greenest tree in the whole territory of christendom was decayed and decaying, we set ourselves to work at its roots to dig about it and manure it. But we found it so decayed and decaying, that little hopes of its renovation could be entertained. The keepers of the vineyard found us at work and were determined to interrupt our operations, and so the controversy began.
For the last ten years we have been, for the most part, before the public as an Editor; and, truly, we have had a stormy time. Head winds and fierce winds have driven us to and fro over all the seas and oceans of human speculation upon religion. We have touched the fervid regions of the torrid zone, and found ourselves almost lost among the icebergs of the frigid regions of the North. Our compass was as true as ever guided mariner over the deep; but never did Satan more fiercely enrage the wind and the tide. Some of our crew exclaimed, "There is a Jonah in the hold;" but when they cast him into the sea it raged more fiercely than before. The pilot's skill has often failed him; often has he lashed the helm and let the vessel drive but still she rides upon the waves with her flag nailed to the mast head. Our calms have all been treacherous, and our smoothest seas have only preceded the mountain waves. More propitious gales now set in; but still we fear "the Bull's Eye," and dread another "Euroclydon."
But figure apart. We have had much controversy, and no doubt too much of its spirit. It is hard for a person to take fire into his bosom and his clothes not smell of it. We have no Daniels now-a-days to pass through fiery furnaces without the smell of fire, But we are often reminded that the New Testament itself is a series of controversies with Priests high and low, Pharisees, Sadducees, Herodians, Gnostics, Judaizers, and Mystics. The Son of God brought both a fire and a sword into the world, as well as peace and salvation. And while Error builds her temples, sustains her hierarchies, and musters her crusades, the sons of peace must lift their voices like trumpets,  and show Israel his transgressions and Jacob his sins. We must, at least, blow our rams' horns until the walls of Jericho are in ruins.
The Editor can say, or sing with David,
|"I am for peace; but when I speak,
For battle they are keen."
What religious wars have been waged! what battles have been fought! what captives have been taken! The Lord says, I will fight against some with the sword of my mouth. Our weapons are not the bow or sword of steel. Anathemas belong to our opponents. But Balsam's curses have all been blessings.
Many of the reformers have been cast out of the synagogues and have suffered much of the wrath of men, which works not the righteousness which God requires. They have nicknamed them "Campbellites," though their motto is, "No Leader but Christ;" and, as "Campbellites." have been persecuted to strange cities. It is a curious fact, however, in the annals of bulls, decrees, and proscriptions, that the Editor, not being a "Campbellite," I suppose, has never been arraigned before any ecclesiastical council, nor excluded from any church in all the hierarchies. He yet stands with the Baptist society and with christendom just in the attitude he once placed himself, and has never been condemned for heresy by any congregation or association, by any form of trial ever adopted in any ecclesiastical court in Rome or out of it.
In rooting out the tares it is difficult not to root out some of the wheat. This is true not only of persons, but of error and truth. In unlearning our errors, O how hard the task! we are in danger of unlearning the truth which we have been taught. To say that we have performed a work of this sort--to say that we have only disabused ourselves or others of error, would be as unwise as it would be presumptuous. We can only say, that all the items of our faith being facts supported by the testimony of Apostles and Prophets, there can be no article of faith in danger in all that we have written. But in our views of certain sayings, or in our opinions of these facts, it is possible we have not always coincided exactly with the Apostles. Hence the necessity of founding christian union, communion, and cooperation upon the belief of facts--upon faith and obedience, rather than upon agreement in opinions.
Such is the measure of light and liberty which I now enjoy under Jesus Christ, that I could unite in all christian communion and cooperation with all the baptized believers in all the sects in America, so far as their opinions are considered; provided only, that they hold the head, Jesus; believing all the facts attested concerning him, and are obedient to his commands. And farther than this, we humbly conceive, christian union, communion, and co-operation can never legitimately extend.
If divisions, then, are made, it is easy to see who causes them. He that excludes, and not he that is excluded, is the schismatic and the heretic in Paul's estimation. Offences will come: for truth is offensive to errorists. Telling the truth to them has caused rivers of  human blood to flow. As well, however, might our opponents blame the martyrdom of Jesus, his Apostles, or the first Christians upon themselves, as any divisions now existing upon us.
He that would have once gathered together the sons and daughters of Jerusalem as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, was, by the rulers of that people, crucified without its gates. The true disciples of this Prince of Martyrs never can, while they think of him, even put out of the gates of their city, much less anathematize any one who holds him and is willing to obey him, for any opinion, which, as private property, he may hold; and still less cause can they have for proscribing a disciple, zealous for the honor of the word and institutions of the Apostles.
But these are with us trite themes. The past volumes of this work and the Christian Baptist have been copious upon such topics. We must advance to subjects of more elevated character. "Leaving the principles of the doctrine of reformation, let us proceed to perfection." The first principles will not, however, be altogether lost sight of. Our opponents will push them upon our notice, and therefore we will not be permitted to forget them.
We have found in the experience we have had in pleading the cause of reform, that the differences among the sects are much less than we once imagined. The good among all parties are wishing for reform, for they see the need of it. That the christian religion has been for ages interred in the rubbish of human invention and tradition, is confessed and felt by many, very many in all societies. Hence the question of reform is agitated in all sects. Even the Presbyterians are shaking from North to South. The Methodists have split upon this question and the Presbyterians will split before this volume is completed, or many signs will fail.
The carnal, the ambitious, and the worldly spirits in all establishments are for sustaining the schemes which sustain them. They are now in the possession of their reward, and fear a change which might again whip the buyers and sellers out of the temple. Like the Kings and Nobles of the old world, they fear innovation; because innovation must be against them, if it be for the people. It is always a bad order of things when the casts in religious society have separate and antagonist interests. In every conflict for truth and righteousness meum and teum, or, as an English Bishop once said, miney and thiney are identified with the question What is truth? This is a bribe offered to the understanding, and they that present it little think that they are inflicting bondage on themselves. The articles of agreement between a congregation and its Pastor place the parties in the most unpropitious circumstances. He promises to teach such a creed, and they promise to pay him for teaching that creed. He binds himself to certain principles, and is bound at the hazard of his bread and butter, to teach the aforesaid system. They are also bound to make that system the length and breadth, the height and depth of their knowledge and faith. Hence the keeping of the covenant is often a misfortune to both parties. The preacher has the loaves and fishes  for his reward, and this is often virtually a bribe to his understanding and a snare to his judgment.
We are thankful to the Great King that, in the face of all opposition, the reformation principles have found acceptance in the understanding and affections of many of the most enlightened in society, both among the teachers of religion and the taught. Many persons, devout and intelligent, were found waiting for an impulse, and have now put forth their energies in the cause of reform. They were before convinced that all sects had gone out of the way and lost sight of the primitive institution. These were ready to take up the line of march and rally under the banners of reformation, or rather a restoration of the ancient order of things, so soon as the signal was given and a prospect of success appeared. The aggregate of this class was much greater than we had any idea of. Hence more talent and intelligence are found on the side of reform than we ever expected in our day to see engaged in pleading for the long lost honors of the Holy Twelve.
These co-operators in the cause of reform have given it a free course throughout the land, so that already it is plead from North to South and from East to West in this union and elsewhere. Thus the cause is much strengthened, and much more light than could have been elicited by any one individual in a patriarchal life time, has been shed forth upon society. But we are only beginning, much remains to be done, and the time is short in which it should, and must be done.
Should the present advocates keep steady to their purpose and use all diligence to maintain the ground they now occupy, and to live, as well as to proclaim the way of righteousness, there is nothing in prophecy, nor in reason, more certain than the triumphant spread of the emancipating principles of this victorious cause.
The "harvest home" will yet be sung with shoutings of grace; for in due time we shall reap if we faint not. The Lord will soon slay the many-headed monster which has long oppressed the nations of the earth. The days of sectarianism will soon be numbered, and the funeral dirge of Babylon the Great will echo through all the vacated marts of her spiritual merchandize, from the Tiber to the ends of the earth.
But all hands who are on the Lord's side, must be employed; for the Captain of our Salvation, like other Captains, gains all his conquests by his troops. Every man, therefore, to his post, and we shall gain honors that fade not away. The Editor will himself endeavor to reform as well as to plead the necessity of it in others: for he is aware that he needs to reform as well as others: for reformation is not the work of a day. And a reformation of the temper and behaviour is more difficult than a reformation of the creed.
REASON EXAMINED BY INTERROGATORIES--No. II.
THOU sayest thou art "'as the eye and the hand to the soul." How canst thou perform functions so diverse as those of the eye and the hand?
Reason. As the eye receives light, so I receive knowledge; and as the eye without light performs no service to the body, so without ideas or knowledge I can perform no service to the mind. The eye cannot create light; it only receives it. I cannot create ideas; I only receive them. So similar is natural light and knowledge, that the latter has been called light in all languages as far as human records inform us. The analogy is the most perfect of all analogies. As light is antecedent to seeing, so the relations and qualities of things are antecedent to perception and reason. As light is extrinsic of the eye and unperceivable without it, so that which constitutes knowledge and creates it is extrinsic of me; and yet it is unattainable without my aid. I am as truly the lamp of the soul as the eye is of the body. But I am greatly misrepresented or misconceived when I am supposed capable of creating a single idea or of originating one perfectly new; and yet without me all nature cannot create in the mind one new idea.
While, however, I am literally the eye of the soul, I am only metaphorically its hand. The hand, guided by the eye, so arranges and disposes of the things within its reach as to place them in new relations and modifications, thus I so order and arrange the perceptions and ideas which the mind acquires by my aid, as to produce all the new combinations necessary to the attainment of all my designs. This double service is not incompatible with the analogies which abound in nature. To obtain and to modify, classify or arrange materials, is very generally the office of the same agents or organs in nature. Thus I am the hand as well as the eye of the soul. But without light I can do nothing.
When testimony is presented I examine it as I do objects of sense; and when the marks of certainty are discerned in it I place it upon the same footing as my perceptions of things sensible, examined through my ministers, the Senses. I do not mean that I examine it by the same criteria; but with the same care which I apply to objects of my own observation. If I have any design to effect by means of testimony, I make that application of it which corresponds with my design, and thus in all respects use the ideas obtained by testimony as I do those obtained by my own senses.
But dost thou comprehend all the ideas which thou obtainest by testimony as fully as those which thou obtainest by sensation, and canst thou apply them to all thy purposes as certainly as those obtained from the sensible qualities of things extrinsic and material?
Reason. My apprehension or comprehension is like that of the eye. When a perfect image of a chair is painted on the retina of the eye, the eye is said fully to perceive it; but when only a partial image of the chair is depicted on the optic nerve, but an imperfect vision of it  can be obtained. Thus my apprehension of an object is just as perfect or as imperfect as the presentation of the object. To comprehend is to embrace an idea in all its relations; to apprehend is simply to perceive it, or to lay hold of it, irrespective of all the attitudes or relations in which it may stand to every other idea perceived by me. The subjects which I comprehend are very few--perhaps not one in the full import of the term. But I use the term comprehend in a loose and indefinite sense; as when I say, 'I comprehend a triangle, or a circle,' when I merely clearly apprehend it in its general properties and can contradistinguish it from all other figures. But my apprehensions and comprehensions are like the sights or views which the eye takes of objects from which light is more or less clearly on one side or on all sides reflected. Therefore, the ideas received by faith are as clear, as apprehensible, and, I might add, as comprehensible as any other.
What! dost thou mean to say that thou comprehendest that God is a Spirit, as thou dost that man is an animal?
Reason. I have no objection to say that if the terms God and Spirit can be defined as accurately as the terms man and animal, my comprehension of the one proposition will be as perfect as that of the other. Define God and Spirit as clearly as man and animal, and my comprehension of the one proposition will be as perfect as my comprehension of the other. But what is a spirit? A being unlike every person or thing presented to the senses. In this way the Bible defines it. There is nothing seen in the heaven above or in the earth beneath to which a spirit can be compared; and, therefore, men were wisely by the Great Spirit, through Moses, commanded not to form an idea of the Great Spirit.
Image thou meanest, or a material similitude to represent God as an object of worship and adoration.
Reason. True, this meant Moses; but this amounts to what I mean; for a prohibition to hang an image upon a wall, representing the personality of the Great Spirit, equally prohibits the placing an idea or image of his personal appearance before the mind, as an object of adoration. This cannot be done more than that with any regard to truth. The attributes of a spirit may be apprehended, because they can be defined. He that comprehends wisdom may comprehend omniscience. He that comprehends power as resident in any person, may comprehend a power almighty, &c. &c. But the term spirit as an attribute of any being, or as the name of its general nature, indicates in our language no more than unlike any thing composed of the elements of the solar system.
It is possible that a spiritual system, or a system of beings unlike mundane beings, may exist, as it is that other beings than those which I have seen may exist. And if, testimony come from any of them, and is clearly established, I can admit their existence, and apprehend their attributes as testified of, as clearly as I apprehend the attributes of things seen. Thus from the wisdom, power, and goodness which I now apprehend, I can, on good testimony, admit of power,  wisdom, and goodness in degrees extending to infinitude; and the fountain of these attributes I can apprehend as a being above all beings, the Father or Creator of them all.
An agent there is which I fear, and yet I cannot define it. Of its existence I am certain, though I never saw it. It is, too, the most pervading and potent of all the material agents in nature. In combination with other substances I have seen its power and experienced its effects, but never saw nor experienced itself. I allude to electricity, which, when combined with other substances, produces lightning, animal heat--and, perhaps, it is itself animal life. But in its simple and uncombined existence it escapes all the criteria which I have in the magazines of the universe to apply to its detection and developement. I know it only by its effects in combination with other agents; yet I doubt not its separate existence, and fear it as I do a lion or a tiger. I know as much of God as I know of electricity. I am equally certain of the existence of both. I apprehend some of the attributes of both, especially when clothed with other substances; and, when I regard the testimony which came from the Great Spirit in its import, I feel the same certainty of his being and perfections as I feel of any other existence in all the universe.
But canst thou love a being of whom thou knowest nothing, of whom thou canst form no idea other than that he is possessed of certain attributes, and canst propose to thyself no idea or image of his existence?
Reason. It is no attribute of my nature to love. I told thee I am not love, nor passion, nor affection of any name. But I might ask thee, Dost thou admire Solon, Plato, Socrates, Cesar, Hannibal, or Napoleon? Dost thou love or fear any of the living whom thou hast not seen? And what is it which thou admirest, lovest, or fearest in such persons? Nothing which thou hast seen or canst define, thyself being judge, upon thy own premises.
Thou hast not seen these persons; nor is it their flesh and blood which thou admirest. Their character alone, or their deeds, fill thee with admiration; but what is the substantive existence of this character thou canst not comprehend. If, then, thou canst admire that which thou canst not define in its essence or substantive existence, why may not one so constituted as thou art admire, adore, and love the Spirit which thou hast introduced to test my powers.
The existence of a spirit, or of any simple agent of more refined matter, or of an essence which pervades the grosser matter, is quite apprehensible; but that the being who built the universe cannot be fully compared to any being in it, is as plain as that in no instance the cause is similar to the effect. But if thou wilt fully test my powers, and rescue me from the hands of infidels and sceptics, and all the enthusiasts of every name, I will answer thee a thousand questions; but seek not to make me contradict myself: for without me thou canst know nothing.
|For the Millennial Harbinger.|
THE gospel of our Lord, as proclaimed originally by his Apostles, was, indeed, invaluable. Paul, in writing to Timothy, styled it "the glorious gospel of the blessed God " It is emphatically called "the glad tidings," "the truth," "the gospel of salvation." To those who were dead it made life and immortality plain. It proposed salvation to the lost, pardon to the guilty, light to those who were in darkness, the opening of the prison doors to those who were bound, and predicated the enjoyment of its blessings upon a principle which every one could possess who was able to receive testimony.
Mankind might well have expected much from an institution, for the reception of which it required four thousand years to prepare the world; and no unprejudiced person can read the history of its effects when it was first promulged, without becoming sensible that the highest expectations were fully realized, and without being forced to admire that gospel which was the wisdom and power of God to all who submitted to its requirements. What sudden and surprising changes it produced in those who believed and obeyed it! It had power to transform a raven to a dove--a lion to a lamb. The most bigoted and prejudiced of its enemies it could at once convert into the most zealous and devoted advocates. The cruel murderers of the Redeemer could, as it were, in a moment, by its influence be changed into the meek and lowly disciples, who, we are informed, "rejoiced continually with gladness and singleness of heart."1 The fierce Saul, breathing out threatening and revenge, is suddenly interrupted in his career, and being rendered capable of promoting the cause he persecuted, bears upon the wings of love and zeal an immediate salvation to the remotest quarters of the ancient world. Love and Joy, Peace and Righteousness, descending from Heaven, took up their abode among men. The strongest passions, the deepest prejudices were subdued. The rich man rejoicing in his abasement, the poor man happy in his exaltation, were no longer unequal. Of the Jew and the Gentile one new man was formed--the Christian: and while antipathy and hatred were supplanted by harmony and affection, two worlds were blended into one. People of every tribe and tongue, of the most discordant feelings, habits, laws, manners, and customs, were introduced into the same kingdom, the same family; were filled with the same joy, the same hope, the same spirit: were placed under the same laws, and induced to meet upon a footing of equality and salute each other with a holy kiss of love.2 In short, in the course of a few years the long established religions and usages of various nations were broken up; city after city, nation after nation, were subdued; and the gospel, in defiance of all opposition, waved at length its victorious standard over the ruins of Pagan Rome. 
That it was most glorious when first proclaimed, we infer not only from its having produced these great and happy consequences, but also from the many evils which have since accrued to man from its perversion. It is well known that since "the Apostacy," no longer the blessing, it has been made the curse of mankind. Ceasing to produce unity, love, peace, and holiness among those who had professed to be under its influence, it has been made to give its sanction to the most deliberate slander, the most vindictive malice, the most atrocious murders, and the most destructive wars. No human tongue can tell the vast amount of evil which has been thus occasioned: the deadly feuds, the bloody persecutions, and the misery and distress of nations. No eye but that "which looks on me--on all," has penetrated the secret depths of individual sorrow thus produced: the fears, the doubts, the gloom, the awful suspense, the extravagant frenzy of the fanatic, and the sad despondency of the religious suicide! Now since it is well known that the greatest blessings when perverted or misapplied, become the greatest evils, the misfortunes which have thus resulted to man from the corruption of the gospel, only prove how precious it must have been when pure. The food which supports our life and gives strength to the limbs and comeliness to the countenance, will, if adulterated, become the most certain and immediate source of injury, will spread the pallid hues of disease over every feature, and poison the very springs of existence. The winding stream which flows peaceably through the valley and gives fertility to the soil and beauty to its borders, if turned from its proper channel, will sweep away at once the glory of the twins, and spread ruin and dismay wherever its foaming waters roll. Let the sceptic, then, strive to support himself in unbelief by dwelling upon the unhappiness which a corrupted christianity has produced; let him speak of the wheel and the faggot, the divisions and animosities, the strifes and envyings of the religious world:--while thus engaged he is unconsciously sounding forth the praises of primitive christianity, and while he occupies himself in showing the magnitude of the evils which counterfeits have occasioned, he exhibits the inestimable value of the true gospel.
We are also enabled to estimate the value of the ancient gospel by the number of its counterfeits. That which is lightly esteemed and of little value is never counterfeited. The pebble that glitters in the bed of the rivulet is treated with neglect, while the skill of the artist is put into requisition to imitate the lustre of the diamond and the beauty of the pearl. An institution, then, which has been so often counterfeited as christianity, and which has given rise to so many false systems of religion, must be, indeed, important and invaluable.
Upon these false institutions and their evil consequences, we design now to offer a few general remarks; but we would wish to premise.
1st. That in proceeding to examine what is supposed to be false, it is necessary that we should provide ourselves with a standard with which to compare it. Here, then, before we attempt to decide upon  the real character of the innumerable religions which assume the name of Christian, a very important query presents itself--With what shall we compare them? Shall we compare Arminianism with Calvinism, Quakerism with Mormonism, or the Independent system with the Baptist system? In other words, shall we, in order to the detection of suspected counterfeits, compare them with each other? By no means. It is evident that this mode would never enable us to succeed. And yet how often do we observe men who wish to make, as the phrase is, "a profession of religion," vascillating for a while between the merits of the different religious establishments, and ignorant of true christianity, finally pitching upon some one of them through the force of early prejudice, the influence of caprice, or the power of vain show and imposing ceremonies! Were we presented with a number of base coins, we could never detect them by comparing them with each other. We might be allured by the imagined excellence of one, and reject the rest as spurious, while the one we chose would, when rightly tested, be found to be as base as any. To the mint we must apply for the standard. To the fountain we must apply for that pure and limpid water, which, by comparison, will enable us to detect the impurity and turbidness of the stream below. Primitive christianity, then, it is manifest, is the only correct standard, and it is scarcely necessary to add that the only certain and authentic account we have of primitive christianity is contained in the writings of the New Testament.
2d. We do no injustice when we consider all those institutions counterfeit which do not bear an exact comparison with the standard. We, therefore, reject them all. The stream of christianity has become polluted, and it is useless to temporize and try experiments. All the reformations that have occurred and all the religious chymistry of the schools have failed to purify it. We turn from the stream, therefore, and seek the fountain. And as it is more easy to obtain good water from the spring than to change that which is impure, so we find it more easy to restore christianity than to reform sectarianism. But someone will be ready to say that many, perhaps all these modern religions have something good about them. They exhibit some grand truths, they contain some true and valuable doctrines, and therefore, notwithstanding a few errors, they are to be regarded not as counterfeit systems of christianity, and consequently of no value, but rather as christianity itself perhaps a little corrupted. We would reply, however, that all these systems are base in their origin. None of them have issued from the proper source. All of them can date their nativity long after the birth of Christianity, and all of them have derived their existence from human leaders. It is true they have borrowed from christianity, and resemble it in some particulars; but it is necessary that they should resemble in order to be counterfeits. Some of them may even approach it very closely in appearance; but surely a counterfeit is not the less a counterfeit for being a good one. On the contrary, it is the more dangerous and the more likely to succeed. They may also have connected with  them something of true christianity, but this will not constitute them true and genuine. The gilding of a halfpenny will not make it gold. The ass did not become a lion when he clothed himself with a lion's hide, nor the daw a peacock when he decked himself with some of his borrowed feathers.
SLAVERY IN VIRGINIA.
A CRISIS has arrived in Virginia under the government of the Ruler and the Arbiter of the Universe, which has made all men think upon a question from which the philanthropist and the christian often turn away in portentous indecision and trembling anticipation. More than a hundred human beings, and almost half of them mothers and children, have been precipitated from time into the eternal world by the horrors of the Southampton Insurrection. None, having in his bosom a heart of flesh, but feels aroused from the agonies inflicted on society by this unexpected and appalling visitation. As yet we have mused in silence upon the tragic tales which are now told from North to South, from East to West, through this great confederation of Republics. When our passions or our fears are excited it is not the time to reason, and especially to reason upon such heart-rending scenes.
We live too far from the theatre of this indiscriminate massacre of mother and infant to fear any thing for ourselves or our children; but not too far off to sympathize with our fellow-citizens of Virginia, and to condole with them in this agonizing stroke, which, in an eventful moment, pierced so many hearts with anguish. What a mysterious providence is this! It was not the unfeeling task-master, nor the heartless trader in human flesh, who felt the stroke. No! the tender matron and the unoffending babe are those on which this tower of Siloam fell. But will the knell of woe which proclaimed the mournful obsequies of youth and age, of innocence and virtue, untimely interred in one common grave, be instantly forgotten, and be neither lamented nor feared again? "No!" both the politician and the christian respond.
Often is good educed from evil, and better still in infinite progression. Perhaps these unfortunates may be the means of averting a severer stroke, and of saving many from still more cruel fates. We are glad to see the following, pieces in the two most popular papers in the state of Virginia, and to learn that the legislature will be now called to consider the matter. It is devoutly to be wished that that body, nor those they represent, will be deluded by the idea that the removal or exiling from the state the free people of color, will remedy the evils existing, or to be feared hereafter.
We have regretted the clamors against Virginia for her slavery, especially by her less republican sister states, who happened to be born without an estate in such goods and chattels. We say, we have regretted all such uncivil interference, dictation, and clamor, because  the present state of Virginia and the present state of Pennsylvania are neither to be praised nor blamed for the acts of William Penn, King Charles, nor their fathers; and because all such interference has made it worse for master and for slave.
We, too, in the extreme north-west of Virginia, are not supposed to be so perfectly identified with our eastern brethren, in this their all-absorbing interest, as to have a common feeling with them, and therefore any remonstrance, hint, or interference on our part, is regarded as but little less uncourteous than the dictation of those who are without the Old Dominion.
But now Old Virginia begins to reason, to anticipate, and cast about her fruitful and speculative mind on the past, the present, and the future.
The christian is governed by one class of principles and the politician by another; yet sometimes, like solar and lunar attraction, these principles act in conjunction, and sometimes in opposition. At present they will act in conjunction. The politician begins to calculate that slave labor has, in its most productive years, wasted the real estate and destroyed the lands of Eastern Virginia; and that now it is dearer and less productive than any other sort of labor. Every one will, before ten years, be convinced of this. Virginia sees from the present census, and will see more clearly from the next, that, unless an end be put to this all-prostrating evil, she will become a wilderness, with a few scattering inhabitants. Nothing in the eye of political prophecy is more certain than that the Old Dominion must again be hunting grounds, unless she can now, in the eleventh hour, go to work in her vineyard, and dispose of her lounges and drones, that, like her weavil, eat the heart out of her good things. These are the arguments which will speak powerfully to the conscience of the rich, and the christians have not to reason, but to feel upon this subject; so that, may be, the Lord meant it for good to save much people alive, that he suffers this little cloud to burst on so many comparatively innocent heads.
It is in the power of Virginia, AS WE WELL KNOW, and, were it our business, COULD EASILY DEMONSTRATE, to free herself from this evil without loss of property, and much to her interest, honor, and happiness now to seize the opportunity, and to hear the voice of the first sign. I say, it is in her power; but, perhaps, this is like saying it is in the power of the drunkard to become sober, or of the prodigal to reform. But it is in her power, and the East may, doubtless, without waiting for petitions from the West, rely that whatever the legislature can do to deliver us and our brethren in the East from all the curses, direct and indirect, which are found hanging upon that vine brought from Africa, they will have the countenance, support, prayers, and thanks of every Virginian in all the hills and vallies of the West.
|EDITOR M. H. |
FROM THE RICHMOND INQUIRER.
Some of the Evils of Slave Labor, and Decline of Lands in many of
the early settled parts of Virginia.
MESSRS. EDITORS--It has been my desire for a length of time, that some person would call the attention of the people of Virginia to the consideration of the decline of that part of the state where the cultivation of the earth has been chiefly performed by slaves.
It will appear from observation, that the people in settling the state, have made choice of the best lands for their slaves to cultivate, one effect of which has been to destroy large forests of delightful woodland, containing timbers of incalculable value. This has been done by belting, burning, and other expeditious means of destroying timber and fuel.
The best land in Virginia, except creek and river low grounds, (so far as my observation extends) are generally rolling; and what has been the effect on them of slave cultivation, and the want of proper management and due attention by the owners? Behold a country once fertile--now washed in numberless places into gullies large enough to bury a ship! without soil except in the bottoms, and without timber to enclose them; the homes of our fathers are forsaken by their children; and when life lasts longer than the land and the timber, want at length overcomes love of country; and all, both young and old, are found forsaking the land of their birth, and seeking a home in the unknown regions of the West. In the short period of thirty years, which is within my remembrance, many of the above changes have taken place of my own knowledge, in certain neighborhoods of land, originally fertile, soft, and easy to cultivate. I, therefore, think it requires no prophet to tell that if the present and former state of husbandry is not altered, a large portion of the once valuable lands of Virginia must become a deserted wilderness; for instead of making our lands better from the time of their being cleared, they are daily growing poorer from constant and bad tillage, close grazing and the washing of heavy rains! How unlike some of our sister states, having no slaves, where many generations of the same family prosper on the same spot of land!
From these considerations, (even if we lay aside the matter of insurrections, &c.) I should like to suggest a few inquiries for public deliberation:--
1. Is not slavery the principal cause of the decline of the lands in certain parts of Virginia?
2. Does it not induce a great many of the white people to dislike labor? And does it not, likewise, have a great influence over the morals of many of the white people of Virginia, by encouraging idleness, gluttony, and drunkenness, the companions of every vice and dissipation, and the forerunners of poverty, misery, and disease; as dyspepsia, melancholy, gout--in short, all the worst forms which are named in the Doctor's vocabulary, and which bring human life to a premature end? 
3. Is not slavery the principal cause (directly and indirectly) of emigration from Virginia, and of our not having a more dense white population?
4. Is it not high time for the people of Virginia to urge their state legislature to adopt some plan gradually to lessen the slave population, either with or without a final view to abolition?
5. Would it not be expedient to tax slaves so heavily as to lessen their value to a considerable degree; to apply that tax, first, to the removal and colonization of all such as may be given up by their owners. Secondly, to the removal of all free Negroes disposed to go. And thirdly, (if a fund can be raised large enough) to the purchase and colonization of slaves; taking care in the meantime to provide for the whole expences for the government of the state by a tax on other property?
6. Would not such a tax on slaves, by reducing their price, increase the southern trade to an extent greatly beneficial to Virginia?
Suppose the state to raise 100,000 dollars annually, and the price of Negroes to average $200, including the expense of colonizing; this would clear us of 5000 a-year; and if the southern trade is not stopped, it would, likely, clear us of a greater number than we could colonize.
A petition is circulating in the county of Buckingham, which will be presented to the next legislature of Virginia, in accordance with the plan recommended by Mr. Jefferson, [see his memoirs, vol. 4, p. 289,] to emancipate the after-born of the slaves. All inhabitants of Virginia are earnestly solicited to unite in petitioning the legislature for that purpose.
From the Richmond Whig.
THE great questions forced upon public attention by the late events in Southampton, are exciting much solicitude and investigation, in different parts of the state. There seems to be a general expectation, a general wish, that the approaching legislature shall take the subject into serious and solemn consideration. Upon the event of its deliberations, hundreds of the most valuable of the citizens of Virginia are awaiting, to determine if they shall continue her citizens, or abandon her soil. That which was esteemed too delicate to mention, before the occurrences in Southampton, is now freely and unreservedly canvassed. It is desirable that the members of the General Assembly should turn their reflections upon the subject while yet at home, and ascertain as explicitly as possible what their constituents approve, that when the time for action arrives they may not, as is too often the case, do nothing for fear of doing wrong. Every man feels the force of Mr. Jefferson's metaphor, that "'we have the wolf by the ears," and its increasing truth. There is a general acknowledgment that something ought to be, and must be done. It is not the non-slaveholder, or the visionary philanthropist, or the fanatic, who now says this, but the mass of slaveholders themselves. It is their question--nobody else has any, or but little concern with it; and we are glad that it has both originated with them, and receives their intense consideration.
If nothing else can be done, something may at least be effected in the improvement of the Police, by which the powers now exercised by the Patrole, may be rendered a means of safety to the community, instead of being the instrument of tyranny and exasperation. 
From the Richmond Whig.
TO THE CITIZENS OF VIRGINIA.
A MEMORIAL is circulating amongst you, the design of which is to call the attention of the ensuing legislature to the subject of the bond and free colored population of this state, and to urge upon them the necessity of devising some means by which the number of slaves may be gradually diminished, and the free blacks removed beyond our borders. If it be conceded that this is a subject which demands the interposition of legislative power, it will not be denied that it ought to be acted on promptly;--1st, because the evil sought to be remedied is a growing one, and 2d, because a more auspicious moment for action than the present can never arise; and if the correctness of this position be admitted, the only question to be decided will be, in what form it should be male to approach the legislature, so as most effectually to secure the adoption of prompt and efficient measures. The form of memorial alone is deemed inefficient, because it carries no authority with it. In ordinary cases it might suffice. But the subject now to be discussed and disposed of is not of that character; and it is not presumable that your representatives, without your special instructions, would take one decisive step, in a matter of great magnitude and of so much vital importance in all its bearings. With a view to avoid all unnecessary delay, it is proposed that meetings of such of you as by law are qualified to vote, to be held in all the counties of the state, on their respective court days, in December, to deliberate upon the momentous subject, and to give such a direction to it as you may deem most proper. By adopting the plan here proposed you will not only with more certainty and more promptness than you could by the adoption of any other course attain your end; but you will stamp upon a law, enacted in obedience to such an act of sovereignty, a character that could not by any other means be conferred upon it, which would elevate it far above any exceptions that might lie against an ordinary act of legislation, and give to the great cause of colonization an impetus that might continue to act whilst there remained any thing to be acted upon?
A NATIVE OF EASTERN VIRGINIA. November 10, 1831.
From the same.
TO THE PEOPLE OF VIRGINIA.
HAVING seen several memorials in the newspapers from Lynchburg and Northampton, and indications of others from Westmoreland, and several other parts of Virginia, the objects of which are to rid the state of the free colored population, I have felt disposed to offer a few crude remarks, with the hope that they may tend in some degree to call public attention to the subject.
It is evident that these measures have grown out of the late melancholy occurrence in Southampton, and are intended by those who advocate them, to guard against future calamities of a like nature; and so far as they are supported by facts, I cordially unite with them; but I have been induced to look for the causes which render this particular measure so important, without being able to find them. In the county of Southampton, the immediate scene of all the horrid murders which were perpetrated, there are a considerable number of free blacks; yet, all the vigilance of legal investigation, and individual exertion, in bringing the offenders to justice, have hitherto succeeded in detecting but two individuals amongst this numerous class of persons who were engaged in the dreadful work, or who have been proven as accessory to it, and these men had slaves for their wives, which will satisfactorily account for the course which they took. This circumstance, taken in connexion with the fact that the extensive plans which were laid in North Carolina, were disclosed by a free Negro, go far, in my view, to weaken the importance of the measure, as calculated to effect the object. 
While I regard the free blacks, in most cases, as a nuisance on our society, and their removal as an object much to be desired, I believe, that by far the greatest number of them are too well satisfied with their present condition, to risk the chance of bettering it by joining in any insurrectionary plans against the whites. Where are we to look for the evidence that their removal from the state is the measure to effect the object professed to be aimed at--namely, security? On the contrary, I am induced to believe, (and I am not alone in this opinion) that how much soever their removal, on other accounts, may be desired, yet, in this particular, their presence amongst us has contributed, and will contribute to the security of our inhabitants.
Memorials are in circulation in many of the counties of Eastern Virginia, having for their object the reduction of the whole colored population of the state; some of them looking forward to a period when slavery shall cease to exist amongst us, thus striking at the root of the evil.
The proposition from the county of Buckingham, adopts the plan recommended by Mr. Jefferson, which is to colonize all slaves born after a certain period, to be fixed by the legislature, without the limits of the United States. No plan would succeed more effectually than this; yet I do not detract from the wisdom and experience of that great and profound statesman, by saying, that under existing circumstances, some plan is wanting to take effect at an earlier period than that recommended by Mr. Jefferson.
Another memorial, originated in the county of Hanover, proposes the laying a moderate tax on slaves and free negroes, in order to raise a fund for the removal of such as would be voluntarily surrendered to the state, by their owners, (and there will, no doubt, be many such,) in order to their being sent to Liberia, This memorial also proposes that a certain portion of the free colored population of the state should also be sent from the state annually. It may be objected to this last mentioned memorial, that the object cannot be effected without making the tax so great as to be burthensome. This objection may be obviated by hiring out such as are given up, until a sum sufficient to defray the expense of their removal, respectively, is raised. But my principal design in mentioning the memorials from Hanover and Buckingham in connexion, is, to propose that the propositions be united--we wish to see the work progressing, and circumstances require that something should be done, and all agree that something must be done.
By a reference to the census of 1790, 1800, and 1810, it will be perceived that the white population of Eastern Virginia increased 21,886 in the ten years preceding 1800, and that the increase for ten succeeding years was only 2,164! It will be recollected that in 1800 a plot of an insurrection was discovered in the neighborhood of Richmond, and to this circumstance we may attribute much of the diminished increase of the white population, from 1800 to 1810. It is true that the fertile soil of Ohio held out inducements to those disposed to emigrate, but the fear of consequences from the existing evil, and the cheering prospect that they would not encounter it there, are known to have had a powerful effect in causing the emigration. If the discovery of a plot, in which no lives were lost, produced such an effect, what are we to expect from the recent occurrences in Southampton, where more than sixty persons perished under their hands?
The black population of the state has been increasing for the last 44 years in the ratio of 3 to 1, over our white population. The fact is notorious, and the effects will be sure. If we wish to give confidence to our inhabitants, and peace and security to our firesides, we must adopt some plan more effectual than that of merely removing the free blacks. This part of the state has been thrown into great commotion, and how needless soever the general alarm may have been, yet it has been sufficient to cause many families to leave the state, and many more are making preparations to follow. Under these circumstances the next legislature is looked to with intense anxiety, and should it fail to pass a salutary law upon the subject, and such as will hold out a well-grounded hope that we may rest secure from future scenes of carnage, and awful apprehensions of them, thousands of our citizens will seek safety beyond the reach of  this acknowledged evil. Our wives and our children are dear to us, and their peace and repose should be our care. Let us, then, labor together in this common cause, which will insure present comfort to our inhabitants, and future prosperity and greatness to our beloved Virginia.
P. Q. O. Hanover County, 14th November, 1831.
PRAYER--No. III. AND LETTER TO MR. COHEN--No. V.
Dear Sir,--PRAYER to the Supreme necessarily must have been subsequent to, and regulated by, divine promises. If God had not first promised, no rational being could have asked for any thing. Prayer is, then, a moral positive, rather than a moral natural institution. Like sacrifice and the consecration of the seventh day, it never would have been thought of unless previously instituted by divine authority. Its prevalence among all nations, like sacrifice and holy time, only proves that the founders of all nations are from one family, and that that family was favored with divine communications.
Let him who doubts the truth of these positions, which we think it here unnecessary to prove, ask himself, could he think of asking any thing from a being wholly unknown to him, and could he think of asking any thing which he had not some evidence to think that being whom he addresses was both able and willing to bestow. The existence, power, and will of God, are therefore supposed to be known prior to any petition which a rational being can present. But more is supposed than the mere existence, power, and will of God; his omnipresence, his omniscience, his benevolence, his relation to us, or rather our relation to him as our creator and preserver, are equally necessary to be known, prior to our approaching him in the attitude and character of suppliants. Paul, a Jew, addressing Jews as men, as well as christians, said, "He that approaches God, must first believe that be exists, that he is a rewarder of them who diligently seek him."
These things premised, it will follow from our own reason or apprehension of the nature of things, that the revealed will of God is both the reason and the measure of our prayers. That it is the reason, is confessed by all; and it must, upon a little reflection, be equally apparent, that it must be the measure of our petitions. No man could reasonably ask to become young again, or for a change of his color, stature, parentage, country, &c. and not because he cannot desire such changes, but because no promises are given authorizing such requests. He might wish for two Moons or two Suns, or a visit to Jupiter or Saturn; but for these he cannot rationally, or according to promise or revelation, ask. It will be conceded, then, that the promises of God are the measure, as well as the reason, of our supplications.
Every age of the world, the Patriarchal, the Jewish, and the Christian, has had its own promises just as it has had its own attributes, character, and circumstances. Hence there were some things for  which an antediluvian or a patriarch could pray, for which neither a Jew nor a Christian can pray. Noah, Abraham, and David, in one period of their lives, could not have asked for the favors for which at another period they might, according to faith or the promises, have asked. Noah could not ask for patience to endure, for fortitude to sustain the trials of the Deluge after he landed upon Arrarat. Abraham could not ask for Isaac after he was born, nor David to be delivered from the hand of Saul after Saul was dead. Our own circumstances are, then, the reason of God's promises, and both together are the reason and measure of our prayers.
Permit me now to speak a word to Christians. A believing Jew might once have prayed, "Thy kingdom come," or "Lord, let not our flight from Jerusalem be on the Sabbath day nor in the winter season;" but now he cannot pray for either. I do not say that he cannot pronounce these words; for thousands yet use them in their prayers: but I mean he cannot, with intelligence and in faith, make such requests; because the kingdom of Messiah has come, and the flight from Jerusalem and Judea is past. Men, I know, may excuse themselves by putting new meanings to these words: but this is no better than a religious trick, or double meanings, and as such is repudiated as unworthy of the christian rank and character.
But, sir, you will admit that this is all true of Christians, and that the premises here submitted are undeniably plain; and then you will ask, 'How bears this on us Jews?' You have only to inquire, What promises have you reaching after the coming of Elijah? Till then you had promises authorising you to approach God; but since Elijah came, for two thousand years last past, you have no promises while unreconciled to the fathers. I attempt not again to prove that Elijah has come, for this you must concede; or, what is equivalent to it, you have to concede that he never can come, because your city, and temple, and country have been destroyed; the terrible day of the Lord has come, and your circumstances all attest it. Now as Elijah was to come before that great and terrible day of the Lord which gave your city and temple to the flames, your land to your enemies, and scattered your remnant to the earth's remotest bounds, he is come, or else you are yet in Jerusalem and in possession of the promised land! All the promises, then, to your people, which authorized you to approach the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, ceased with Elijah's or John's ministry.
But there is yet a shorter method and a more direct course to lead you to consider, that now there is no ear in the heavens above into which you can breathe a single petition in any hope of acceptance. Moses taught you the necessity of a Mediator. Abraham your father realized it in paying tithes to Melchisedec and in receiving from him a blessing. Levi himself, in the loins of Abraham, paid tithes to a greater high priest than Aaron. Since God had a public assembly on earth he was never acceptably approached but through a Mediator. Whenever, too, let me observe, there was a change in the Mediator, there was also a corresponding change in the whole divine economy.  "The priesthood being changed," it was conceded to Paul by the ancient Jews, "there must also be a change in the law." Hence, after the consecration of Aaron, no Jew could find acceptance for his oblations, or his thank-offerings, or his prayers, but through the intervention of a high priest. It did not follow that every petition must be formally presented by Aaron; but he must, in all the worship of Israel, be regarded as at the head of the institution, and his intercession in the holiest of all as essential to the acceptance of the persons and worship of the congregation of Israel. These are matters which it is unnecessary to prove to a Jew. He that would have presumed to approach God, in any of the tribes of Israel, either at the altar or in any other way, after the consecration of Aaron, as Abraham did in the reign of Melchisedec, or as Noah, when saved from the deluge, would have fared no better than Nadab and Abihu.
Now the argument is, since the destruction of your temple by Titus, you have had no high priest, no mediator, no intercessor appointed by God; consequently either God has departed from those principles of his government which appeared in the patriarchal, and which were fully developed by Moses in the Jews' religion; or none of the Jews since the crucifixion of Jesus, or dispersion of your nation, can reasonably hope to be heard in any appeal or petition which he can make to the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
But in the last place, there are in your Prophets many reasons assigned why God would not hear your people when they called upon him. Isaiah i. 10-15. the whole of this fearful array of God's displeasure ends with these words, "When you spread forth your hands to heaven I will hide my eyes from you; yea, when you make many prayers I will not hear. Your hands are filled with blood." The Lord, on another occasion, prohibited an intercessor from asking any thing for Israel because of their apostacy from the covenant: "Pray not, thou, for this people, neither lift up cry nor prayer for them: neither make intercession to me, for I will not hear thee." Jer. vii. 16-34. If, then, the Lord would neither hear your people in their own person, nor through the intercession of Prophet nor of Priest, when for a time they forgot his covenant and stood off from the institution of Moses; how can he hear the remnant of Israel now without Prophet and without Priest, cut off from the covenant of peace, having rejected the counsel of God against themselves--and dispersed among all nations for their sins and those of their fathers, who said, "His blood be upon us and our children." The Lord has declared that sooner shall the ordinances of heaven depart from before him, than Israel cease from being a nation; but he also says., "Thee have I known above all the families of the earth; therefore will I punish you for all your iniquities." That you are now suffering as a nation for your national infidelity to your own covenant, you will confess. In this predicament, then, nothing can be done to succor or save you, until you hearken to that Prophet of whom Moses in the law and all your Prophets wrote--that Son of David, that Root of Jesse, that Child of the Virgin--Emanuel. 
Jesus said, no man could come to the Father but by him as the way. Does it not, my dear sir, look like it? How long have you prayed to God in your synagogues, oratories, closets? How long have you bewailed your circumstances? How long have you confessed your sins? And is there one unequivocal token that the God of Abraham has heard one of your nation since Jesus was crucified? Nay, is there not every sort of evidence which the nature of the case permits, that he has not? and that he cannot, we argue from three topics--You have no promises that he will hear you; you have no Mediator on earth nor in heaven, through whom he can hear you; and he has positively said that while you continue out of his covenant he will not, he cannot hear you. Truly spake Moses when he said, "Whosoever shall not hear that Prophet shall be cut off from the congregation of the Lord."
Give, then, my dear sir, a candid hearing to that Prophet whose knowledge of God's character and purpose never was surpassed--never was equalled; whose sincerity, humility, and benevolence cast your own distinguished Moses into the shade, and outshine all the Prophets of the olden school. His zeal, his self-denial, his philanthropy, his compassion for Jerusalem and for his own people who rejected him, have no parallel in the annals of the world. What was there in his doctrine, in his deeds, in his example, in his miracles, in his death, unworthy of him or the errand on which he came, Moses and all the Prophets being judge? "Kiss the Son." and the God of Abraham will embrace you in an everlasting covenant never to be forgotten.
THE HERALD OF FAME;
HOW TO OBTAIN HONORS.
WHEREAS it appears from our own observation, and from all past history, that in the literary, political, and religious world, they who flatter the prejudices and pamper the passions of mankind, and are liberal in eulogizing the popular men and popular measures receive and enjoy the highest fame and the largest mede of praise; and whereas we ourselves, all religious men, are solicitous to possess the largest share of human applause for our own interest and pleasure; and believing that all ends are to be attained by proper means, we, the more certainly to secure to ourselves and to our friends these enviable distinctions, do agree to confederate and co-operate under the following
ARTICLES OF ASSOCIATION.
I. We shall sustain every press and every preacher who sustains us; and the more effectually to secure the objects of our own association we shall have our own presses and preachers to aid, and to cooperate with, every preacher and press favorable to our views and objects. 
II. Our principal publication shall he titled "the Herald of Fame," and our creed shall he that most in accordance with the majority of the communities in which we reside.
III. It shall be the duty of our Editors to show forth the excellency and utility of every benevolent scheme in our part of christendom; to emblazon and extol all associations--Bible, Tract, Missionary, Education, Temperance, Abstinence, and each and every other association which may take with the people under any plausible pretence; to represent these combinations as the heralds of the millennial glory of the church.
IV. It shall also be the duty of our Editors to collect and publish all anecdotes favorable to our enterprizes; and in case of the paucity of these auxiliaries, they must invent and publish such as will secure the approbation of men to our benevolent institutions.
V. Our Editors shall take special care to publish at proper intervals, and with all imposing conspicuity, the most distinguished contributors to these projects, and to set forth, in the most glowing colors, the accomplishments and elevated attainments of all the prominent actors in this golden drama, and to defend us against each and every attack that might expose our craft or deprive us of any portion of our reward.
VI. Our prominent Managers, Presidents, Secretaries, and Treasurers shall be chosen to office wholly with regard to their wealth, high standing, and reputation in this present world. No man, though spotless as Job, or as holy as Elijah, shall ever become a President, Manager, or Director, if he be either poor or obscure. But by calling the wise, the noble, the wealthy, and the great men of this world to manage our affairs, we shall secure more respect, more fame, and more of that most essential of all things to success--pious donations.
VII. In enrolling the names of contributors, and in publishing the charities of our friends, the rule shall be (except in such cases as profound policy may make a deviation commendable) to place at the head of the list the largest contributor. In the "Herald of Fame" the virtues and attainments, real and imaginary, of all our prominent friends, whether as managers or contributors, shall be duly set forth, that their example may become more useful to our cause.
VIII. Our preachers shall evince a great regard for the good book, but must always draw from it such doctrines as suit the prevailing sentiments of our friends.
IX. Our presses and our preachers shall always be devoted to the Colleges and Theological Schools; and whenever any College confers any degrees upon our preachers, it shall be the duty of that preacher ever afterwards to build up that College by inducing all under his influence to send their sons and wards to it. Our papers, too, shall eulogize its Faculty and the incomparable attainments of its President; but this must be done in all prudence, and as suggested by our censors of the press.
X. In getting up revivals all means popular shall be adopted. Camp meetings, mourning benches, anxious seats, Christ's and the  Devil's pews, shall all be employed as far as convenient. And while we may borrow helps from those better skilled than we in working up human passions, let us take care of the converts, and pay our allies in praise.
XI. The "Herald of Fame" and every member of our society shall always proceed upon the principle that fame is the summum bonum; and that to be praised we must praise, especially those whose praise can most promote our own.
XII. W-- T-- B--, D. D. Honorable J-- T-- C--, L. L. D. Major General O-- P-- Q--, and G-- H-- L--. Esq. are appointed a committee to solicit subscribers to our constitution, and to our organ The "Herald of Fame." Done at our first meeting, Philadelphia, January 2, 1832.
|T. PUFF, Secretary.|
THE CHRISTIAN PREACHER--No. I.
These essays shall all be transcribed or written twice before published, which is not our custom: but to these we wish particular attention, and therefore shall devote to them double labor. We will not state our design in writing them: this the reader may discover himself. But we have one great object in view, and probably the reader will not find it out until we are well advanced in the series.
IF ever there was an occasion which would justify the license conceded in a celebrated canon of a distinguished Roman critic and poet, it will be found in the affair of man's redemption. It was too common amongst Roman orators and poets to introduce their gods, either as parties or actors, in some of the trifling concerns of men. This was a fault in their designs and compositions to the more rational taste of the most discriminating of their critics and reviewers. Hence that great master, Horace, sings--
|Nec Deus intersit, nisi dignus vindice nodes
Which, translated, reads--"Nor let a god be introduced unless some difficulty occur worthy of a god to unravel."
The redemption of man from the guilt, pollution, dominion, and punishment of sin, is that difficulty in the estimation of the wisest beings in this universe, which calls for, and justifies the interposition of the Creator himself. But with infinitely more regard to true dignity than ever a Pagan orator, philosopher, or poet imagined, be makes his Son the angel of his covenant, the messenger of his mercy; but assuredly the message is every way worthy of the unparalleled dignity of the messenger.
If the human imagination can picture to itself a scheme at the head of which it would be an honor to the Son of God to stand, it is the scheme of man's redemption: If the human mind can fancy an object worthy of the appearance of "God manifest in the flesh," it  must be to confer immortality upon man. And was there ever an errand which called for the most exalted of all God's messengers, unless it be that errand which tenders eternal life to mortal man! such was the message which the great master and model of christian preachers bore to an apostate world.
Well did an ancient Prophet say, "Let him that boasts, boast in the Lord." In the presence of the most gigantic and exalted genius, human or angelic, the christian need not blush when he avows his faith in the divine mission of Jesus the Nazarene. No act in the life of man does so much honor to himself as that act by which he submits himself to Jesus as the only begotten Son of God. In receiving the Messiah as the only Redeemer of ruined man, the, christian honors his own intellect as much as he can honor the messenger of salvation. He acts both the man and the true philosopher, who, regarding in the light of God's oracles, the seen and the unseen, the present and the future, sin and misery, life and death, time and eternity, like the wandering dove, flies into this ark of salvation.
He that cannot find reason to vindicate himself in the presence of every querist for his faith in God, his confidence in Jesus, his love to his person, his submission to his authority; can find no reason for any noble enterprize, for any manly exertion, for any self-denial, zeal, and perseverance in the attainment of any object worthy of human pursuit.
If sin, that leprosy of the soul, which has spread through and polluted the whole man, body, soul, and spirit; if its stings, its anguish, and its horrors are not rational incentives to abandon it; if the condescension and mercy, if the forbearance and love of God are not reasons to reconcile us to his character and government; if man's rank in the creation of God; if the attestations of angels, prophets, and apostles; if the gifts, and powers, and miracles of the Holy Spirit, are not sufficient arguments in its favor; if the sincerity, benevolence, and faithfulness of the numerous witnesses who sealed their testimony by their blood, are not reasonable and satisfactory proofs of its divine origin; if all the longings for immortality within us; if all the pantings after glory which agonize our hearts: I say, if all these will not justify a man to himself and to his fellow-man for giving himself up to Jesus Christ, we know of no motives, nor reasons, nor arguments which ought to control the actions of any rational being whatever.
But the inducements to the intelligent christian to proclaim this salvation to his fellow-men, are little, if at all, inferior to the arguments which incline the sinner to receive into his heart the Saviour of the world. The enlightened christian, happy in the hope of immortality, has other reasons to impel him to devote his energies to the salvation of men than those which influence any of the sons of men in reference to any earthly undertaking. The spirit which actuates him is the spirit of benevolence, and his happiness arises from the communication, as well as from the reception of bliss. In promoting the felicity of others he promotes his own. Happiness is in this  respect like knowledge--the more we impart to others, the more we possess ourselves.
We have said that the motives which govern the christian preacher, whether he fill the public or the private character of him who beseeches men to be reconciled to God, essentially differ from those which call forth the energies of men in the affairs of this world. What, let me ask, fires the patriot in his country's cause, the statesman who pleads her rights, and the soldier who would avenge her wrongs? What impels the merchant, whose canvass whitens every sea--the husbandman, who turns the stubborn glebe--and the sage philosopher, who pries through Nature's works, to scan her laws and to lay open the elements of things? What so passionately moves the astronomer to scale the heavens, to trace the comet's eccentric flight, to speculate on the immensity of space, and to explore the twinklings of the most distant star? What, let me once more ask--what evokes the ingenuity of every artist who ministers to the real or imaginary wants of man, from him who provides for us food and raiment, up to him who makes "the dull cold marble speak," or to him who "wakes to ecstacy the living lyre"? Are not the impulses which call them into action and the motives which stimulate their efforts drawn from our relations to the globe on which we dwell? Do not all their achievements and glory pass away as the flower that drops its beauties into the earth? Is not the animal or present life of man the all-engrossing object; and will not these arts, their efforts, and their attainments vanish with the earth itself, or with the life of man upon it?
Not so the christian preacher, nor the motives which inspire his actions. Sublimer themes than nature knows allure his heart and prompt him to loftier enterprize. While the politician regards man rather as a subject of taxation; the merchant, as an article of trade; the naturalist, as a mere animal, governed by appetite and passion; while each profession regards him in reference to itself; the physician, as a patient; the lawyer as a client; the priest, as a tithable; the christian preacher regards him as God's prodigal son, the fallen child of his love; as yet capable of immortality under a remedial constitution, and his soul travails for his salvation. He remembers what he once was, and well he knows that the faith which has purified his heart and enabled him to overcome the world, and which fills his soul with such aspirations after God and heaven, can transform another lion into a lamb, another raven to a dove. The enterprize which brought the Son of God from heaven to earth, fills his soul with admiration and begets in him an ardor which "no waters can quench, which no floods can drown." In the strength of Israel's God he rises; unfurls the banners of the cross, unsheathes the sword of the Spirit, blows the gospel trumpet, and proclaims the acceptable year of the Lord.
His model he finds not in the phantastic regions of poetry, in the airy regions of romance. He mimics not the drowsy tinklings, the monotonous harangues of the lifeless moralist, nor the incoherent rhapsodies of the moon-struck enthusiast. He sets before him as a  model not Pindar nor Homer on Parnassus, not Demosthenes in the forum, nor Plato in his cell, nor Seneca in his rostrum, nor Newton in his observatory; but Paul in the synagogue, or Paul in the market place.
Alive to his master and his master's honor, he looks not with envious eyes upon the great masters of the fine arts. The fame of Phidias and Praxitiles in sculpture; of Appollodorus, Zeuxis, Angelo, or Raphael in painting; of Homer, Virgil, or Milton in poetry, provoke not a single wish for their inheritance. He sighs not for the garlands which a Demosthenes, a Cicero, or a Sheridan wore; nor for the laurels which an Alexander, a Cesar, a Hannibal, or a Napoleon won. Fading and faded are the chaplets of roses, the wreathes of laurel, the palms of victory which decorated the victorious brows of Grecian, Roman, English, and American chiefs in the arts of war or in the arts of peace.
Their fame is not that for which he pants, nor their crowns those to which he aspires. Their deeds of renown, nor their rewards fill his head nor his heart. Jesus, the Captain of Salvation, leading many sons to glory, the many crowned King of kings is his master and his model. But knowing that unless a man possess the spirit of Christ, he never can conform to his example; and unless his soul is devoted to him, outward efforts avail not; he, like Mary, sits at his feet--as Paul at the feet of Gamaliel; and while he hearkens to his instructions his soul catches the ardor of his spirit, without which he would be little better than sounding brass or a tinkling cymbal--without which no man can successfully proclaim salvation to men.
Let none suppose that it is injudicious to place before the human mind a model of such inimitable excellence. It is a proof of consummate wisdom, of the most perfect knowledge of human nature, to place high models before the imitative soul of man. The weaker imitations of a perfect model will excel the stronger imitations of an imperfect one. "It is" (as well observed by one of no ordinary mind) "the best prognostic of a youth to be found occupying himself with thoughts beyond his present power and above his present place. The young aspirant after military renown reads the campaigns of the greatest conquerors the world ever produced. The patriot has Hampden, and Russel, and Sydney ever in his eye. The poet consumes the silent hours of night over the works of masters in every tongue, though himself hath hardly turned a rhyme. And the artist fills his study with casts from the antique, and drains both health and means to their very dregs in pilgrimages to the shrined pictures of the masters." Thus the christian preacher of high destiny studies Christ.
RELIGIOUS NEWS--Extracts from Letters.
OHIO, Washington County.--JOHN READ has lately immersed 70 persons. James Mitchell also has immersed a number into the ancient faith. In Licking county, Ohio, brethren Corner and Millison, in a few weeks past, have immersed 26. Brother Read has also labored with success in other vicinities during some weeks past. [Extract from a letter under date 17th November.] 
SOUTH CAROLINA.--A letter from Barnwell District, under date of the 31st October, informs me that many of the teachers of the Baptist and Methodist denomination are, while occasionally censuring us, exhibiting in their public addresses the views promulged in this work, and sometimes in our very words and phrases; and so far they find themselves much more useful in converting men to God than formerly. They have, our correspondent says, derived through the pieces published against us by Messrs. Brantly and Clopton, much of their information respecting the cause we plead; yet in the distracted, mutilated, and garbled form in which our views appeared in those pieces, they have gathered something which has given a new direction to their course and energies. "Honesty," my good friends, "is the best policy."
This reminds me of some of our Western opponents who both write and speak against us; yet in their preaching and teachings proclaim the very views and sentiments which they pretend to oppose. Indeed, a certain editor, not long since, published a considerable extract from one of our publications, without giving us credit for it, and headed the piece "A Literary Gem." The same editor and preacher proclaims our views pretty generally from the pulpit and sometimes from the press; yet he fights against us.
KENTUCKY, Georgetown.--Letters from that vicinity, under date of the 13th November, inform us that the good cause still advances. Brother John Smith attended with brother J. T. Johnson at the Crossings. After a very powerful address from the former, four persons were immersed by the latter into the death of Christ. Chiefly through the labors of brother Johnson, a church now amounting to forty members, has grown up in a few months in that vicinity. We rejoice to hear that the utmost harmony and christian love prevail, not only amongst the disciples composing this congregation, but between them and the disciples meeting under the Christian name in connexion with brother Stone in Georgetown, notwithstanding the sparrings between us editors. These brethren are endeavoring every Lord's day to keep the ordinances as they were delivered to them by the Holy Apostles. Hence they commemorate the Lord's death as often as his resurrection. They are taught by the wisdom of the just not to separate the one death from the one resurrection; or, in other words, not to separate the things which God has joined together. He was delivered for our offences, and raised again for our justification. All the Doctors in christendom cannot give one good reason why the church should celebrate the resurrection of Christ on every first day of the week, fifty-two times in one year, and his death twice or four times!
How the Lord's cause would prosper in this happy land, if all who speak to men on religion were governed by such a sentiment and feeling as the following. It is from a letter written to me from our very intelligent and pious brother Johnson:--"Indeed, brother Campbell, I care not what the world may say of me. I am for my Saviour's religion. To practise and teach it in its purity is my greatest earthly delight. I go forth not calculating the consequences to myself, fully persuaded that so certainly as Jesus reigns King of kings and Lord of lords, his truth is mighty and will prevail." Should this sentiment kindle a similar ardor in any breast, I am aware this brother will pardon me for quoting from a private letter without his consent.
TENNESSEE.--Brother C. Welsh, under date of 5th November, 1831, informs me that the preaching of the old gospel in M'Minn county, by brother J. Mulkey and others, has been attended with much success. At one meeting, shortly before he wrote me, several persons were immersed according to the commandment; some at midnight, and some early the next morning. He says, "I never before witnessed such love, harmony, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit, as amongst the disciples on that occasion. The good tidings of faith, repentance, and remission of sins, yet appear to be the power of God to salvation."
[In answer to a query in this letter concerning the gift of the Holy Spirit, we would refer the writer to our essays both in the Christian Baptist, vol. 2, and the 2d vol. of the Harbinger, on that subject. "The gift of the Holy  Spirit," if no special gift be alluded to, is the Holy Spirit itself, in such influences as are necessary to our separation or sanctification to God in body, soul, and spirit.]
Other letters from Tennessee inform us that the word of the Lord is spoken with good effect by the brethren in the Reformation. Since the meeting of a number of the proclaimers of reformation at Leiper's Fork, in Bedford county, a number have been immersed, and the prospects are very encouraging.
VERMONT.--Brother W. P. Reynolds, well reported of for good character and standing among the Baptists, but who has been much persecuted since he has espoused the cause of reformation, has set up two small churches, one in Manchester and one in Pawlet, within a few months past. The church in Manchester commenced June 2d, 1830, with six disciples; that in Pawlet on the 31st of July last, with eight disciples. The former had grown up to 28, and the latter to 29, at our last advices, under date of the 31st October. Since July last brother Reynolds has immersed into the ancient faith 32 persons. This indefatigable brother, while among the Baptists, had immersed in several years about 200 persons; for the last two or three years he has endured some evil treatment, but his influence increases with his trials. These brethren, we are happy to learn, are very zealous to keep all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord Jesus. May they realize the truth of this promise! "If a man love me he wilt observe my word; and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and dwell with him"!
Here follows the copy of a letter from sister Reynolds to the Baptist Church in Manchester, and the Deacon's reply:--
"To the Baptist Church in Manchester.
"Dear Brethren--When I sent a request to you last Fall for a letter, stating my standing in the church, being unable to attend myself, I knew not, at that time that any one had aught against me; yet I was informed that after voting me a letter, the vote was immediately rescinded at the suggestion of one sister, who said it would be wrong to give me a letter and withhold one from my husband, if I thought as he did on the subject of communion. On that subject I am willing to say, that I find nothing in the Bible to prohibit immersed believers, who live godlily in the world, from uniting together in commemorating their Saviour. I have waited some months for some explanation, but have received none, nor has any member of the church ever intimated to me any difficulty with me on account of either my conduct or my views. I am unwilling to think that my brethren intentionally neglect even a feeble sister; but that you may be relieved from the trouble of conjecture, and have no embarrassment on your minds relative to my views, I will state them on some other particulars as plainly and as briefly as I can.
My brethren cannot think I could have been an indifferent observer of those things which have transpired during the past season. While I have listened to the arguments on one hand for reform, I have heard what has been said on the other hand for continuing the established customs of the Baptists, and have been led to examine for myself as faithfully as I could. My present convictions are as follows:--
That all sectarian religion is unscriptural and at variance with the christianity of the Bible. That the churches of Christ, in calling themselves by any other name, or assuming any other titles than those applied to them in the scriptures, are carnal, and doing those things which Paul in his first letter to the Corinthians, (3d chapter,) reproves and condemns. That the churches of Christ should be governed by the inspired writings, in the manner, form, and connexion in which they were delivered to the saints, exclusive of every other creed, rule, or confession whatever. That the bond of union among christians is faith in Jesus Christ, and the ground of fellowship obedience to his commands. That the faith of christians comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God, and is the belief of the testimony God has given of his Son. That there is no example, rule, or commandment given in the Bible authorizing any one  to tell his mental agitations, of the sorrows or joys he has experienced, in order to baptism; but that with repentance, and an honest and hearty confession of his belief in the Lord Jesus, he should be baptized for the remission of sins (through the blood of Jesus) and the reception of the Holy Spirit, as declared by Peter on the day of Pentecost. And that believers in Christ, so baptized, should first give themselves to God and to one another for his sake, and choose from among themselves men possessing such qualifications as are pointed out in the scriptures for overseers and servants of the church; and assemble on every first day of the week, if possible, for the social worship of God, and for their own edification by reading the scriptures, preaching, teaching, prayers, praises, exhortations, breaking of bread in commemoration of the Saviour, and contributing according to their ability and the necessities of the congregation.
And now, brethren, after hearing this brief statement of my views, if you can give me the letter I requested, I should receive it as a favor; but if not, and you think me wrong in any particular, I sincerely desire you would condescend to a feeble sister, and point out wherein in writing, and by scriptural arguments set me right; for I wish above all things to obey Christ and to do his will, and to see my brethren and sisters walking in the truth as it is in him.
EMMA REYNOLDS. February 4, 1830.
The following is an exact copy of the answer to the above letter, written by one of the Deacons of the church, something more than a year after the first was sent to the church:--
"Answer to sister Reynolds' Letter.
1st. Of Faith. Faith, you say, comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. Granted; but the difference between us seems to be this: You contend that it is the word, written or oral, as the case may be, testifying of the facts concerning Jesus Christ, and believed and followed by obedience, that constitutes the faith necessary for salvation. We contend that the word there spoken of by Paul is the Spirit of God, or the power of God, in giving the hearing ear and the understanding heart, operating, as said the Prophet, "like a refiner's fire," &c. Here it is said by the Apostle to be "Christ the hope of glory" formed in the soul, which is expressed in many ways in the scriptures, such as these, "begotten of God," "begotten unto a lively hope." It is also said to be a new creation--"created anew in Christ," "created unto good works." It is also said to be a quickening--"you hath he quickened who were dead in trespasses and sins." Hence we contend that it is not a mere persuasion that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, but a transforming of the mind and will, which is followed by hearty obedience to the commands and ordinances of the gospel, attended with a reformation of life, love to God and to the church of God, and a spirit of benevolence towards the human family at large.
2d. You say that there is no experience, or, as you term it, "mental agitations of mind," called for in the word of God. The Psalmist David appears to have had some things to tell, for he says, "Draw near unto me, all ye that fear the Lord, and I will tell you what he hath done for my soul." We are told also in the word of God, that "as face answers to face in water, so the heart of man to man." We know not how we shall learn that a person's mind is changed from the love of sin to the love of holiness, without manifesting it in words: for we are of opinion we should be more puzzled to find scripture for propounding a person till he shews his sincerity by his works, than we should to shew that they related their feelings while under the operation of the Spirit. And here we would note, lest we should be misunderstood with regard to the order of the gospel, that we believe the operation of the Spirit is absolutely necessary to constitute genuine faith, although the peculiar gift of the Holy Ghost, which caused to speak with tongues, was in one instance received after baptism--to wit, the twelve brethren; but at the house of Cornelius it appears  to have been otherwise; for, says Peter, "who can forbid water that these should not be baptized who have received the Holy Ghost as well as we," referring, no doubt, to the day of Pentecost; for it appears from Peter's account of this transaction at the house of Cornelius, that they spake with tongues and prophesied.
3d. Communion every Lord's day seems to be an article with you that cannot be dispensed with. Where you find scripture for such a precept God only knows; for we confess if it is in the word of God, it has escaped our notice; but for expedience' sake we believe the church of Christ ought to have set times for this ordinance, but not so frequent as to make it contemptible; for the observing of days, and times, and ordinances, to the neglect of the more weightier matters of the law--to wit, judgment, mercy, and faith, we conceive would be a wide deviation from the plain and known principles of the gospel."
Here is another specimen of the spirit of orthodoxy from the cold regions of Vermont. Numerous occurrences of this sort are already before our readers, and many more before us that they never saw nor heard. It is, perhaps, necessary occasionally to remind our readers of what is doing under the influence of sectarianism. I will not offer so great an indignity to the intelligence of the reader, as to make a single remark on the degrees of intelligence in the scriptures, and of devotion to the Saviour and his institutions, exhibited in the letters of this sister and the Deacon. It is a fair average of the times on both sides, and will serve for the meridian of every synagogue, from Vermont to Florida!
THE HARBINGER PROSCRIBED.
NEVER was there a more vigilant, determined, and untiring opposition to any religious paper, published on this continent, as far as we are advised, than at this time to this paper. It has been denounced from the pulpit and the press--by associations, conferences, and councils--and is now persecuted from house to house. Some persons are so beset by the teachers of their own vicinities that they are afraid to be known as subscribers. It is not uncommon for persons to be visited and to be besought and commanded not to take it, by those who are in authority with the people for orthodoxy and piety.
What does this mean? Does it not loudly proclaim the inability of those who proscribe, to refute--of those who denounce, to reason against it? He who calls in the aid of the civil magistrate to support orthodoxy, and he that relies upon decrees of councils to sustain his faith, are equally bold, intelligent, and honest guides of public sentiment. The teacher who prohibits his people from reading the Harbinger may be sincere and zealous, but surely he proclaims his imbecility to refute it. A victory gained over any one in this way, is an honor to the vanquished, and a disgrace to the conqueror, if sense he have to feel it. What hero ever boasted of having conquered a manacled and fettered antagonist? The rejoicings of such are like the joys of the Philistines over Sampson shorn and blind. The joy of the Philistines was but for a moment--Sampson, shorn and blind, overcame the strength and glory of that people. If the friends of reformation, and of free and full discussion, were only half as vigilant, active, and determined as our opponents, each year would count three in the progress of truth and liberty.
Another Schism in the Presbyterian Church of Scotland, and one
a-forming in the Presbyterian Church of the United States.
THE waxing and waning of the moon, the ebbing and flowing of the tides, the rising and setting of the Sun, will as soon be subject to the decrees of synods and councils, as the human mind in this our day and generation. The reign of Sanhedrims over the understanding, conscience, and estates of men, is now in its dotage, or the constitutional advisers of hierarchs would dissuade them from such folly. But when did hierarchs and tyrants reform, or forego their authority over the persons of men? Of all the Bishops of England, whether present in person, or by proxy, in the late Parliament, but ONE voted for the Reform Bill. Illustrious proof of clerical stability when estates and honors are at stake! The magnetic needle is not truer to the pole, that a churchman's conscience to his god. If all the Parliament of England had been Bishops what sanguine prospects of reform might all Englishmen entertain!
But the citizens must reform the political governments of the world, and the laity must hold the priesthood in good keeping. The clergy will not yield to the growing intelligence of the times. They yet dream that they can wield the same sceptre which their fathers wielded some two centuries ago. Gentlemen, it is utterly impossible. Their subjects are not your subjects, your friends themselves being judges. The spell is broken, and you can neither seal their eyes, their ears, nor their lips.
Every mail brings us intelligence of the shakings of the sects. They, like the sea, cannot rest. Nothing but heaven-descended truth can stand before that mighty spirit which has gone forth.
Ecclesiastical potentates, the rulers of the darkness of this world, vainly imagine that castles, and gates, and bars of iron can confine spirits. If they have not such a conceit, why attempt to stop or oppose that mighty spirit which is every where asking, What is truth? Truth is acknowledged, on all hands, to be mighty: and that spirit which admires it, or is descended from it, must be a mighty spirit. But what can be done by those opposed to reformation but spue out the reformers. They pain the body politic, and must be ejected.
The Presbyterian Church of Scotland, at its last General Assembly, excommunicated no less than four "heretics" after deposing them from their office--Messrs. Irving, M'Clean. Scott, and Campbell, all Ministers of the high Kirk of Scotland. The same church, in these United States, is on the verge of a mighty earthquake. Some are threatened with excommunication; but there are so many "heretics" crept in among the orthodox in this church, in open defiance of the all-penetrating and all-uniting creed of Westminster, that a division of the sect is in contemplation. Several meetings and measures have been resorted to as preparatory to such an event.
The Church of England, where it has no regium donum, nor tithes to unite its ministry, is falling to pieces; and is now; in this country,  upon the eve of an explosion. We all know the history of the Methodists, Quakers, and Baptists, and what their creeds have done to unite them in opinion and co-operation. But the iron and the clay will not cement. The legs of Daniel's august beast are crumbling, and the stone will soon grind it to powder.
The truth alone will stand; for it alone can stand alone. Error is lame. It wants two crutches--the Pope and the King, or their vicegerents. May the good Lord bless every man who loves his truth, and speed the efforts of all who contend for it according to their measures of light and sincerity! Amen!
NEWS FROM MASON COUNTY, KENTUCKY.
[We solicit correspondence from all those who can give us a history of the progress of reform, as we wish to give summaries for the information of our readers.]
THE following letter, from one of the most indefatigable and successful proclaimers of the apostolic gospel, contains much useful information, besides the pleasing intelligence of the success attendant on the ancient gospel when ably and faithfully exhibited. We hope that both preachers and the brethren generally will profit from the useful hints which it contains:--
|Minerva, Mason Co. Ky. Dec. 14, 1831,|
BROTHER CAMPBELL--BELIEVING that you are at all times pleased to hear of the prosperity of the best of causes--the cause of New Testament truth--I hasten to lay before you some facts, calculated to interest and please you.
Since the latter part of last July there have been one hundred and thirty persons immersed within the narrow limits of my travels. I say, narrow limits, because I do not deem it expedient, in order to preach the gospel to sinners for their permanent benefit, to travel through a large extent of territory. By doing so, preachers often squander their energies, and do but little good; especially if they immerse persons, and leave them, without forming them into congregations. Besides, the minds of the people must be instructed, to some extent, in the principles of christianity before they can obey the gospel; and this cannot be done by a teacher who is incessantly upon the wing! I have, for these reasons, confined my travels within very narrow limits; the consequence of which is that all the above named converts are now members of reforming congregations. With the exception of a few visits to places not very far distant, my labors have, since last Spring, been confined to a part of Mason county, bordering on the Ohio river; and it is within this district that the greater part of these disciples were made. Some, however, were made in Bracken, an adjoining county; and some in Brown county, Ohio.
I have recently visited the reforming congregations in Clinton county, Ohio. They were, I think, with the exception of one small congregation, doing well. This congregation unfortunately retained several mystic spiritualizers, who have given the disciples much trouble by the introduction into the congregation of some customs and doctrines, the inventions of men. Within the bounds of the congregations in Clinton county, about 40 persons have been immersed since last Spring. The disciples break the loaf on every Lord's day, frequently without the aid of a preacher; and also attend to the other duties and privileges of the Lord's house. Several of them, I was informed, begin to speak in their congregations with good effect! May the Lord bless them, and may their labors be a blessing to many. 
The principles of reformation contemplated by the New Testament, have, before they can fully take effect, several obstacles to remove; not the least of which is a habit contracted under sectarian systems, of spending the Lord's day improperly: hence it is frequently difficult to persuade the disciples to assemble on every Lord's day. I trust, however, that this bad habit will gradually wear away under the constant friction of truth. It does seem to me to be a fact so obvious, that persons who have good christian feelings, will prefer the house of the Lord on the Lord's day, before all other places, that I cannot, I will not deny myself the privilege of anticipating a period not far distant when we shall see christians on every Lord's day morning hastening to the Lord's house, and crowding around the Lord's table to celebrate a monument of never-dying love--the death of Jesus! How much more compatible this with their high vocation and with the dignity of the christian character than those pursuits on which many who absent themselves from the house of the Lord place their affections! ! There are several congregations in this county (Mason) which break the loaf on every Lord's day.
I was much pleased to see in the 11th No. vol. 2 of the Harbinger, some conclusive arguments against re-baptism. Many of our brethren have been a good deal perplexed with this subject--not knowing whether their first baptism was valid--having not been baptized expressly for the remission of sins. Your arguments against re-baptism will, I trust, be fully satisfactory to those persons.
Is it not strange that men of good common sense, not to say high intellectual endowments, cannot understand that persons within the kingdom of Jesus are not to be baptized? "How," say they, "are persons who have been baptized for the remission of sins, to obtain the remission of those sins which they shall commit subsequently to their baptism? Must they not continue to receive remission by subsequent baptisms?" No: the truth of this matter is as easy of apprehension to the unprejudiced, as is any, the most plain proposition! Baptism is an institution for remission, for those who have never entered the kingdom, and who believe with their hearts unto righteousness; but within the kingdom remission is obtained through a confession of our sins unto God. "If we" (christians) "confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins."
|Yours in the good hope,|
RICHMOND HERALD--NEW DEFINITIONS.
A WRITER in the Religious Herald, Richmond, Va. under date of the 16th December, after saying sundry things at loose ends, without any perceivable regard to language, logic, or the plainest apostolic expressions, thus concludes his dissertation upon "born of water" and "the washing of regeneration:"--"May not," says he, "the expressions born of water and washing of regeneration, washing of water by the word, be each intended to represent the purity of life flowing from the reception of a new spirit given of God through Christ?"
We shall test his definition by substituting it for the phrase defined, which all men, who know any thing of the laws of interpretation, affirm to be a just and fair test of a definition. The texts referred to will then read, "Except a man be born of purity of life and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of heaven." Titus iii. 5. "God has saved us not by purity of life which we had attained, but by purity of life and the renewing of the Holy Spirit." And "he has sanctified the church by purity of life by the word!!" In this way are the readers of the Herald taught the meaning of scriptural phrases. 
TESTIMONY OF DR. JOHN OWEN.
Dr. John Owen, resident of Cambridge, England, in the times of Oliver Cromwell, said to be the most learned and talented writer amongst all the Protestants in his day; in his treatise upon Remission of Sins, and the 130th Psalm, thus speaks of baptism:--
"I say, it is certain, that in the prescription of this ordinance unto his church, the great intention of the Lord Christ was to ascertain to us the forgiveness of sins; and sinners are invited to a participation of this ordinance for that end, that they may receive the forgiveness of their sins. Acts ii. 38."
|Owen on the 130th Psalm, p. 182. ed. of 1828.|
Speaking of the salvation of Noah by water, and the rainbow as a token of the covenant, he says, "Baptism is God's security of the pardon of our sins, which we may safely trust in."--p. 183.
CAMPBELLITES UNITING WITH THE ARIANS.
IN a letter received in Fredericksburg, Va. from John Brice, Esq. of Georgetown, Ky. it is said that the "Campbellites" in Georgetown have united with the Arians. Whether the "Campbellites" or the Arians are the worse ingredient in this new combination, it would be hard to say. At all events, if they have united, it is upon this principle, that neither Campbell nor Arius shall be the bond of union nor the masters of their faith. But suppose it should be said that the Arians had joined the "Campbellites" in Georgetown, would this tertium quid, this composition, be any thing more palatable to our friend Brice. No; but if the Arians had joined the Calvinistic Baptists, then the heretical ingredient would have been neutralized by the purifying influence of super-oxygenated Calvinism. If a Papist should unite with a Protestant, or a Protestant with a Papist, the compound would be the same, provided the parties met on the compromise of half their principles; but if the Catholic compromised nothing, and the Protestant all, the compound would be pure Popery; or if the Protestant compromised nothing, and the Catholic all, the compound would be pure Protestantism. It is, then, an effort to prejudice the public, to say, that the "Campbellites" have joined the Arians: for I can vouch for the fact, that in the case alluded to, those stigmatized "Campbellites" have surrendered nothing, not a single truth that they either believed or taught; and they who have united with us from all parties have met us upon the ancient gospel and the ancient order of things.
Is it not obvious that all lines drawn from the circumference of any circle towards its centre, will meet in the same point? As all sects forsake their systems, and return to the apostolic gospel and institutions, they will meet in one and the same centre of faith, hope, and love. We devoutly wish to see Papists and Protestants, every sect coming to this centre, and then I trust they will find all those slanderously called "Campbellites," rejoicing to receive them.
IMMENSITY OF CREATION.
|He who through vast immensity can pierce,
See worlds on worlds compose one universe;
Observe how system into system runs,
What other planets circle other suns;
What varied beings people every star,
May tell why God has made us as we are.
SOME astronomers have computed that there are not less than seventy-five millions of suns in this universe. The fixed stars are all suns, having, like our sun, numerous planets revolving round them. The Solar System, or that to which we belong, has about thirty planets, primary and secondary, belonging to it. The circular field of space which it occupies, is in diameter three thousand six hundred millions of miles, and that which it controls much greater. That sun which is nearest neighbor to ours is called Sirius, distant from our sun about twenty-two billions of miles. Now if all the fixed stars are as distant from each other as Sirius is from our sun; or if our solar system be the average magnitude of all the systems of the seventy-five millions of suns, what imagination can grasp the immensity of creation! Every sun of the seventy-five millions, controls a field of space about ten billions of miles in diameter. Who can survey a plantation containing seventy-five millions of circular fields, each ten billions of miles in diameter! Such, however, is one of the plantations of him "who has measured the waters in the hollow of his hand, and meted out heaven with a span, and comprehended the dust of the earth in a measure, and weighed the mountains in scales, and the hills in a balance:" he who "sitting upon the orbit of the earth, stretches out the heavens as a curtain, and spreadeth them out as a tent to dwell in." Nations to him are as a drop of a bucket, and are counted as the small dust of the balance; and yet, overwhelming thought! he says, "Though I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also will I dwell who is of an humble and contrite spirit, and trembles at my word!"
|From the Spirit of the Pilgrims.|
"DO THYSELF NO HARM"
"DO thyself no harm" by believing false doctrines.--The mental constitution of man is from the same hand that framed his physical structure. God has assigned laws to each, and in neither case can these be transgressed with impunity.
What revelation has declared, experience has illustrated; that truth is the aliment divinely appointed to nourish the soul. The Saviour prayed for his disciples, "Sanctify them through thy truth; thy word is truth." Here the truth, divinely revealed, is recognized as the instrument of sanctification. But the truth, to take effect, must at least be believed. It must be received into the  understanding. It is not enough that it lies on the table, if it be not stored in the mind. No man is so insane as to hope, because food is prepared and is on his table, that therefore he shall live, eat it or not. Neither should any one be so irrational as to expect spiritual health and growth, mental expansion, heart enlargement, the soul's salvation, without embracing that truth which God hath revealed for this specific purpose. But if it be thus necessary to believe the truth, it is plain to demonstration that we must not embrace errors, which are fundamentally subversive of this truth.
You have flattered yourself that the nature of your opinions was of little importance--that sincerity in them was enough. But rest assured that sincerity in the belief of error is widely different from believing the truth. Did you never hear of a person's taking poison, sincerely believing it to be a wholesome medicine? And did his sincerity arrest the laws of nature? Did the poison forget its virulence and become harmless and nutritious, because of his sincerity! On the contrary, was not his sincerity the very thing which ruined him? Had he indulged any suspicions, he might have examined with care before he took the poison; or he might have prevented its effects after he had taken it, by timely preventatives. But his apprehensions were not awakened. He felt no alarm. He sincerely believed it a wholesome medicine, and his sincerity destroyed him.
Sincerely believing ice to be fire, will not convert it into fire. Sincerely believing stones to be bread, will not render them nutritious. Nor will sincerely believing error to be truth, alter at all its destructive nature. Suppose a man should take a quantity of flour, and an equal quantity of arsenic, and, comparing them together, should conclude that one was just as well calculated to preserve life as the other. He might say, "I can see no great difference between the two; I can feel no difference; I can smell no difference. I can perceive no reason why one should preserve life, and the other destroy it. I am under no obligations to believe what I cannot understand--nor do I believe it. I am sincerely of the opinion that this arsenic is just as good to preserve life as that flour." And having reasoned thus learnedly, he proves his sincerity by swallowing the poison. Yet, notwithstanding his sincerity, he is a dead man. Yea, in consequence of his sincerity, he is a dead man. It is just because he really and sincerely believed what he professed, that he took the poison and destroyed his life. Sincerity does not reverse or suspend the laws of nature, either in the physical or moral world. It rather gives efficiency and certainty to those laws.
Suppose (and the case is not wholly without a parallel) that a foreigner, recently landed on our shores from some of the arbitrary governments of Europe, should sincerely believe that, having now reached a land of liberty, he might freely appropriate to his own use whatever he desired; and proceeding on this his sincere belief, suppose he should rob the first man, or steal the first horse that came in his way. Would the sincerity of his belief snatch him from the arrest of justice? Would the Judge and the Jury confirm his sincere  belief? or would they confine his person? His sincerity in this case has lodged him in a prison. It was they sincere belief of a dangerous and foolish error that turned him aside from the path of honesty and duty, and led him into commit a crime by which his liberty is forfeited.
Some of the pirates, executed not long since for murder on the high seas, are said to have declared on the gallows, that they believed there was no God, no heaven, no hell, no retribution, no hereafter. That they were sincere, it should seem there can be no doubt; for they published the declaration with their dying breath. Were they justifiable or excusable in their belief? Do you say, No? But who are you that undertake to decide what another ought, or ought not to believe? They sincerely believed there was no God, and their sincerity was tested at the end of the halter; and why were they not justifiable? You will reply, doubtless, as I should, that there is light enough, even from the works of God, to teach any person that he is. Before these men could have become Atheists, they must have closed their eyes to the light of day, and their consciences to the light of heaven. They loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. Their sincere belief of error arose entirely from their love of sin. They wanted no God, and they would believe in none. They heartily desired that he should not be, and they sincerely believed that he was not. Their sincerity, therefore, is found, on examination, to be not their excuse, but their fault; not their misfortune, but their crime. Instead of palliating their guilt, it is itself the most portentous mark in the long catalogue of their sins.
And what is true in this case, is true in all analogous cases. Sincerity in the belief of essential error is never any excuse for such error. So far from justifying those who embrace it, it aggravates their condemnation. Take the Deist, who, professing to believe in God, rejects his word. Will his sincere rejection of Christ and the gospel save him? How strange it would be, if a sincere rejection of Christ, and a sincere acceptance of him, should lead to the same results--should entitle to the same blissful rewards!
No, reader, we must sincerely reject error, and sincerely believe and embrace the truth. And we must be careful not to mistake human error for heavenly truth--man's wishes for God's revelation.
THE NEW YEAR.
A WORD TO NEUTRALS AND PARTIAL REFORMERS.
TIME, that parenthesis in Eternity, is, as Lord Bacon said, "the greatest innovator." What innovations has it made during the last four hundred years? I say, the last four hundred years; because with their history we are best acquainted, having so many records on all subjects agitated during that period. It is not yet four hundred years since the Bible was first printed. Germany, which has ever since excelled in theological studies, had the first printed Bible in 1450.  England, in 1468, had Rufinus on the Creed published for her first book. A Monk put the Bible; but an Archbishop put Rufinus first to press. England has been creedish ever since.
Bacon, born in 1560, published his "Novum Organum" in 1620. Locke, born in 1632, gave his philosophy of the mind, his "Essay on the Human Understanding," in 1660, the year after the happy revolution in England by the Prince of Orange. And Newton, the greatest of philosophers, born in 1642, gave forth his Principia in 1687. What have these mighty minds achieved for science, physical, mental, moral--for the world! All sciences, arts, and occupations have felt the impulse of their genius, and decorated themselves with improvements unknown before.
What has time wrought in favor of religion since Germany gave Martin Luther to the world! And, what is surpassing strange, all improvements, all public benefits, scientific, political, mechanical, moral, religious, have been forced upon society. Faustus is said to have been prosecuted for witchcraft, because he made the Bible cheap, by multiplying copies with a rapidity, and with such accurate resemblance, as baffled the whole race of the scribes, and set their occupation adrift. Bacon had to will and bequeath his fame to other nations than that which gave him birth. Locke's Essays were proscribed by the heads of the English Universities and forbid to be read. And even Newton was regarded as an innovator, unsettling the schools and rendering doubtful the attainments of former times. The Devil, I believe, was very courteous to him who first invented gunpowder and all improvements in the art of killing men. But in religion all innovators have been obnoxious to the curse of those they wished to bless. The universal father, Leo X. would have given to Luther a scorpion rather than a fish, and would have drowned him in the Rhine, or in Mount Etna, rather than have absolved him from his sins against the priesthood. But why speak of Luther? The whole Egyptian priesthood, with Jannes and Jambres at their head, resisted Moses, that innovator, who offered liberty and salvation to an enslaved nation. Annas and Caiaphas, with all: the heads of departments, crucified the author of our religion, and all his followers have in all ages been loved less as they loved him more.
But time, because it matures thought and reflection and gives experience, corrects and reforms all excesses. Nations degenerate until their vices, like ignited matter in the bowels of the earth, cause a desolating earthquake or volcanic eruption, which overwhelms them, as were Herculaneum and Pompeii under the eruptions of Vesuvius in the reign of the Emperor Titus.
Calorie, which is the conservative principle in the universe, will, no doubt, as both religion and philosophy teach, become its destruction. So time, while it tends to regenerate nations and individuals, often tends to the degeneracy and destruction of both. But time is neither good nor evil in itself. It is the use or the abuse of it which creates the blessing or the curse. 
But what are we doing, who are now on the stage acting our part in the great drama of human existence? Aye, this is the question, We stand upon the shoulders of the giants in literature and religion, and can we see no farther than they? Or have they accurately surveyed the whole horizon of nature and religion, and developed every thing which has life or being? Alas! in what condition is the world! I mean not merely, nor, indeed, at all, the political, but the religious world. And, to come nearer to ourselves, in what condition is the Protestant world? Torn by sectarian contentions, by intestine feuds and animosities, until all bonds of union are severed, and almost every attractive principle destroyed. And amongst those who have discovered the root of all these manifold evils and have offered themselves up to martyrdom upon the altars of indignant sectaries, how few are willing to sacrifice their own opinions and to unite and co-operate in one great reformation.
There are at this moment in Britain, Ireland, and America, hundreds of enlightened men, of exalted and accomplished minds, who have protested against human systems of religion, and suffered excommunication rather than pollute their consciences by advocating human platforms of religion; who have plead the cause of the all-sufficiency and alone-sufficiency of the apostolic writings for all christian faith and practice; who are doing little or nothing for the restoration of the ancient order of things, either in faith or practice. Were all these to combine and direct their energies to this one point, how soon would they put to flight the armies of the aliens; how soon would the walls of Jericho fall down, and the Israel of God dwell harmoniously and securely in the promised inheritance of millennial peace, harmony, and good will!
What an influence, for example, would the Baptist society alone have exerted in the cause of reformation in these United States, had a few of the most intelligent and influential leaders of that people not set their faces against the very proposition to reform. Had they treated the proposition with a little more intelligence, patience, and christian candor, how different would have been the results of the last ten years! Instead of all the heart-burnings, excommunications, anathemas, and disquisitions upon ultimate and remote abstractions, we should have gone forward against schism, discord, and papistical authority, terrible as an army with banners. But what have the spirits of discord achieved for themselves, for society, for eternity? Nothing that can be told to their honor in the day of the Lord Jesus. I say, nothing: for, the unrivalled supremacy of Jesus, and the exclusive legislative authority of his Apostles, is that, for which we plead, and that which they have so violently opposed. If in any thing we have erred in ascertaining the will of the Lord Jesus, or the traditions of the Apostles, they were not called to acquiesce in that; for we make not our inferences terms of communion, nor denounce them who may not be able to unite with us in any matter of opinion. Many of those whom they have proscribed were proscribed for insinuating that reformation was at all needed; or for saying that the  Apostles were not setting in the churches enthroned in the affections of the people. They have been looked upon with an evil eye, because they made their appeals to the Apostles alone.
But the weak among them who oppose reform, fancy that they are justified in so doing because their good, wise, or learned leaders disapprove some of the views we exhibit. As to their goodness, wisdom, or learning, they are very doubtful vouchers; for, perhaps, there may be as much of all three on the one side as on the other of this controversy. Who can decide this? Must conscience, and truth, and religion be hung up with such a jury? Yet let it be observed, our opponents themselves being judges, that there are no views exhibited by us more repugnant to some things taught by many of our opponents, than are the persons and views of those united in opposition to us, opposed to one another. But it is useless to reason with them who fear not God and honor not his word.
But what are many now doing who have protested against both antichrist and the man of sin--against all usurpers over the consciences of men--who have come out of the sects in Britain and America, because of their corruptions? Building little wigwams for themselves as substitutes for the more permanent and majestic domes which they have forsaken, or in lieu of the unchangeable kingdom of Jesus. We could count more than a dozen of well informed and talented men, within a few days travel of us, who have been excluded or have withdrawn from these establishments for conscience' sake, that might as well be locked up in St. Peter's church in old Rome, for any thing they have done, or are likely to do, for the good of men, or the progress of reform; except the erection of a little party in honor of their peculiarity, which little faction or fraction will be dissipated or absorbed on the demise of him in whose fortunes alone they are concerned.
I do not wish at this time to name these bold reformers, who have built themselves wigwams and are content to live in them rather than return to the City of Establishments; but as some of them will doubtless read this, I would ask them, this good new year's eve, whether it would not, in their judgment, now, and hereafter, be better for themselves, for the world, the church, and more to the glory of the Great Redeemer, for them to esteem the reproach of Christ above all the honors and treasures of time; and come out manfully and courageously for the Lord, and plead openly and incessantly for the restoration of the apostolic gospel and order of things? We know some able speakers in the sects who are with us in the main; and, perhaps, few but themselves and we know it. To them we would say what we have just now said to those addressed: Make this coming year the most memorable year in your lives. Look not to the flesh pots of Egypt. Suffer not the Lord's cause, as you confess it, to call upon your tongues in vain. You know what to say, and you know how many want to hear you. Boast not that there was a Nicodemus and a Joseph of Arimathea secret disciples of Jesus, or an Erasmus in the days of Luther. The Saviour has need of you. He has  called you to glory and courage. And will you expect a crown for praying for it or wishing for it? Such a crown is not worth a wearing. You must fight if you would win a crown that fadeth not away. Let not the opportunity pass. Were you to come out and affirm before heaven and earth that you would unsheathe the sword of the Spirit and never return it to its scabbard until you saw the Twelve Apostles restored to the thrones which the Lord gave them; until you saw them regarded as the sole lawgivers under Jesus, and their institutions cordially acquiesced in, and practised by all the disciples, you cannot tell what influence your example would exert over many who are halting between two opinions; what good would result to many, what glory to God, and what honor to yourselves. Now is the tine to do the work of the Lord. The night approaches. Arise, then, and to your post in the Army of the Faith. If you will not, the Lord's cause will triumph without you, and you may repent when you cannot reform.
"EXCEPT your righteousness excel the righteousness of the Scribes and Pharisees, you shall never enter the kingdom of heaven;" not as a preacher in this county happened to say, "Except your tithes exceed the tithes of the Scribes and Pharisees," [who only gave a tenth of all,] "you shall never enter the kingdom of heaven;" not as another class of preachers say, "Except the righteousness of Christ, which is to be yours by believing it, exceed that of the Scribes and Pharisees, you shall never enter the kingdom of heaven:" but it is, "My disciples, except your righteousness," &c. for many workers of iniquity say, "Lord, Lord"--many of the unjust, rapacious, and unmerciful, say, "Master, Master;" but it is only he who does the will of the heavenly Father, who shall enter the heavenly and eternal kingdom.
"Oh! that I had true faith," said Evangelicus in his 70th year, and on his death-bed--"Oh! that I had true and saving faith," repeated he. "I have been seeking the Lord for 50 years, yet I fear my faith is deficient. I would give the world to know that my faith was of the genuine kind. True, justifying, saving faith, of the operation of God, is that which my soul longs for." Poor man! half a century a christian without a christian faith! rather, perhaps, without the knowledge and works of a christian. What a perversion of words, ideas, and things has this popular notion of a saving faith generated! A saving faith! as if there was a saving essence in one sort of faith which another lacked. The saving essence of faith is, that it works by love. Hence wherever there is the belief of the gospel, there is a working soul--one that labours for the food which does not perish--one that strives to enter through the strait gate--one that runs, wrestles, fights, and agonizes for the crown--one, indeed, that works out his own salvation, because he believes and feels that God works in him to will and do the things good and profitable.  But, "WHAT DO YOU MORE THAN OTHERS?" This is a question put by Jesus to his disciples. He certainly was an orthodox teacher, and why do we not regard his lessons? If christians do no more than others, they are no better than others. Every christian must be a reformer. A reformer he must be until every thought, and word, and deed is just what it ought to be. There are some things of which we must do less, and others of which we must do more, than others. Besides there are some things which other men than christians do not at all practise.
But we would only now remind all, that until reformation be perfected in spirit, word, and deed, the christian must be a reformer. And it is much easier to reform the creed than the heart, and the doctrine than the manner of life. But christians must differ far from other men if they will hear any comparison with Jesus and those whom he praised; for they and he differed very much from all other persons.
OBITUARY NOTICE OF BISHOP ROBERT B. SEMPLE.
|ESSEX, Va. December 28, 1831.|
Dear Brother Campbell,
THIS will inform you that Bishop SEMPLE is no more. He finished his course at 9 o'clock on the 25th instant--that is, on Christmas day. He was confined 8 or 10 days with a bad cold, which terminated in a pleurisy. I am reminded of the circumstance of the death of Moses, in the death of our good old brother. He lived to see the foundation stone presented for the New Testament Church, but entered not into the full enjoyments of it while here on earth. Your father delivered a discourse (the last he heard) on the reformation now going on; after hearing which, brother Semple bid him God speed. That same evening they partook of the loaf together, and after making some inquiry into the reformation we are laboring to bring about among all the worshippers of Jesus Christ our Lord, at parting he gave your father his benediction.
We should be thankful to have his death recorded in the Harbinger. You know he was truly a good man, and few men labored more to promote the happiness and salvation of mankind. He served his generation faithfully; but would thank you to give your views of his labors as a servant of God. We know that it is not customary to publish in the Harbinger obituary notices, but we think a correct statement of the labors of so good a man as brother Semple was, would be a stimulus to the rising generation. Therefore, I hope you will do us this favor in handing down to posterity the amiable and exemplary character of this laborious servant of God.
|Yours in the Lord,|
|THOMAS M. HENLEY. |
I AM sorry, indeed, that I am unable to do justice to the memory of the deceased, by giving such a sketch of the life and labors of this aged, venerable, and much esteemed servant of the Lord, as would place him in his proper character before our readers. To many of them he is much better known than to us. We would sympathize with his family and surviving relatives, and with the christians in the churches which he planted and watered, to whom his removal hence will be justly esteemed and long felt a very grievous bereavement; hoping, however, that the assurance felt of his going home to the Lord, will lessen the sorrow necessarily attendant on his absence from them. We know that our deceased brother labored much for many years, and was extensively known, respected, and beloved on account of his labors in the conversion of the world and in building up the congregations. It is to be hoped that he who wrote the history of the Baptists in Virginia, will find a biographer who can do justice to his memory, and so moralize on the incidents of his life as to afford examples and incentives to the rising generation to devote themselves more unreservedly to the service of the Lord.
It is to us a most alleviating circumstance in the demise of our departed brother, that, notwithstanding the steps which had been taken by him and others to oppose the reformation, from remaining prejudice and misapprehension, the christian finally triumphed over the man and the sectary. He heard my father deliver a discourse (the last it seems he ever heard) to the congregation in Fredericksburg, to which he had for some time ministered. He also had a conversation with him at dinner, in the house of brother Leitch, Fredericksburg, with both of which he was so well pleased, as not only to unite with him in commemorating the Lord's death, but, in bidding him adieu, to give him his benediction, and to wish him God speed in the work of reformation. Thus the last public act of his life, by the good providence of the Lord, was his annulment or abrogation of the Decrees of the King and Queen Conference. In this last public act I rejoice for his own sake, for his family's sake, for the sake of all the churches in Virginia, and for the reputation of the deceased. Had it not been for this most happy incident his sun had set behind a cloud.
REV. W. T. BRANTLY, D. D.
"Verily, I say to you, they have their reward."
THE Catholics sainted, and the Pagans deified dead men; but the Protestants worship the living. "Reverend and holy is his name," while yet he lives in good keeping, with all the fashions of a sinful world. But yet one attribute of the Divinity is not enough for some men. It will not suffice to style them Reverend. They are not satisfied with this title. It has become too common. Hence "Doctor of Divinity" must be bestowed on men of the comparative degree, and "Right Reverend Father in God" upon those in the superlative degree.
"Doctor" signifies teacher, and therefore applies to all instructers, male and female. Hence as the name of office, we have Doctors of A, B, C, Doctors of  Grammar, of Mathematics, Philosophy, Law, Medicine, and Divinity. But as a title of honor and worshipful respect, it is only bestowed on an elect few of the priesthood.
It is now wholly a title of honor bestowed by men upon those of the kingdom of the clergy who are likely most efficiently to build it up in the world. It designates no species of divinity, nor any attainment in the critical knowledge of scripture: for I know many Doctors of Divinity who cannot read the first chapter of either Testament in the tongues in which they were first written, and some who are without the critical knowledge of any one book or language in the world; and we all know that "Doctor of Divinity" means no sort of divinity: for it belongs to orthodox and heterodox, Catholic and Protestant, and must therefore be regarded wholly as a title of honor bestowed upon those who have rendered, or are likely to render, important services to the kingdom which bestows these honors.
It presupposes that the subject of the degree will be gratified, pleased, delighted, honored, with this titular elevation: for who would wear a title which was a reproach to them! It therefore judges of the person about to be doctorated to be a man in the flesh--not regenerated--not a new creature: for the Lord Jesus positively forbade his disciples, even the Apostles, to receive an honorary title, such as Reverend or Rabbi. Of course, then, the Board of Trustees, which bestows the title, regards the person in the crucible about being moulded, as more attached to them than to Jesus, else they would not say, "Be you called Reverend or Doctor," in defiance of Jesus the lawgiver. Hence the Boards of honor who make religious Knights, never select spiritual men unless it should be by mistake. It is seldom they mistake: yet they do once in a hundred years make a mistake. John Newton was one of those whom they mistook for a pliant churchman; but he spued the honor out of his mouth as most loathsome to his spiritual taste.
These remarks are occasioned by noticing that Wm. T Brantly, Editor of the Christian Index. Philadelphia, and general advocate for all that is fashionable in the Baptist operations, has a few weeks since received the title of D. D. I did expect it I, confess, and I did anticipate that it would sit very easy and quiet upon his conscience; but still I resolved not to notice it until he had time to renounce it if he did not like it. It not appearing to be renounced by him, I think it is due to him and to the public to let it be announced that W. T. Brantly is now the Reverend W. T Brandy, D. D. And, indeed I think he deserves the title full as well as any of those who gave it him. What effect it had in producing the late revival in his church, I leave it to those nigher the scene of action to judge. But I have only to request that no one will think me guilty of either blasphemy or sacrilege, or making too light of sacred things, in taking his formal notice of a very common incident, which I think fully illustrates one saying of the Lord's--viz. "Truly, I tell you, they have their reward."
The common Priests and all the Levites in the Baptist priesthood will be careful to render honor to whom honor is due, and hereafter they will accost brother Brantly, "Reverend brother Brantly, D. D." Before honor is humility. He humbled himself to notice us; therefore the priesthood exalted him!
|EDITOR OF THE CHRISTIAN BAPTIST.|
WALTER SCOTT proposes to publish a monthly religious paper, to be titled "THE EVANGELIST" This paper will plead for the following and other important articles in the christian system, viz.--
1. That Jesus is the Messiah promised by God to the Jewish nation.
2. That "he died for our sins according to the scriptures." 
3. That he was buried, and rose again on the third day, according to the scriptures."
4. That he is now in heaven, and will finally judge the world.
5. That every one who believes on him, with all his heart, desiring to inherit eternal life, by a subsequent life of holiness, is entitled, in the first instance, to a personal acquittal from all past sins.
6. That this "first remission," (to use the words of an excellent and distinguished lady, John Wesley's mother,) "is by baptism, and all subsequent trespasses by confession."
7. That the enjoyment of the Holy Spirit is promised by God to all who, in this way, obey his Son Jesus Christ.
8. That to all who thus receive the gospel, and who in patient continuance in well doing look for glory, honor, and immortality, God will finally give eternal life.
These things, then, the great principles and privileges which originally constituted the gospel, the aggregate of which now controls an immense religious reformation in these states and other countries, and the encouragement of biblical learning, historical and biographical sketches, &c. &c. will form leading topics in "The Evangelist."
In regard to science and education, matters which highly interest the public, it may be observed that books on external and mechanical nature, books on the philosophy of mind, and on the physiological sciences, abound every where; and the Editor reserves to himself the right of publishing, on these subjects, whatever he may deem worthy of his readers' attention.
Education consists in knowledge and practice; and all education is to be framed and administered with a reference to human nature--viz the physical, intellectual, and moral powers of man--powers by which we exist, know, and enjoy. Accordingly it has been a desideratum with the moderns to ascertain what human nature is in the detail, in order that a scheme of education, rational and perfected, may be adapted to the analysis.
It must be confessed that the highest applause is due to their success, not that philosophers have manifested an equal regard to all the departments of human nature just mentioned, for this they actually have not done; for while the intellectual powers of the mind have been deemed worthy of the genius of a Locke, a Priestly, a Reid, and a Stewart, whose labors and learning have shed a rich light on every part of this branch of moral science, it is to be regretted that the same regard has not been paid to our physical and moral nature. On a subject so interesting to individuals and society, then, as that of education, the Editor thinks it his duty not to be wholly silent.
All party feuds will be, as much as possible, avoided; and whether "The Evangelist" treat of religion, science, or education, the language, it is hoped, will be in coincidence with the dignity of the subject and with the respect due to the public.
"THE EVANGELIST" will be published on the first Monday of every month, from January, 1832, on a royal sheet, and will contain 24 pages, at One Dollar per annum, if paid in advance, or One Dollar and Fifty Cents, if paid at the end of the year.
Any person acting as agent, and becoming responsible for five copies, payable in advance, shall have one copy for his trouble, and any one remitting to the Editor five dollars for five copies, shall have one copy for his trouble.
All communications to be post paid, addressed to the Editor in Cincinnati.
MONTHLY RECEIPTS for the MILLENNIAL HARBINGER
L T Means, Steubenville, Ohio, paid vols. 1 and 2. J Bell, Steubenville, Ohio, vols. 1 and 2. E A Smith, Danville, Ky. vols 1 and 2 for E C Miller, A Adams, Haydensville, Ky. vols 1 and 2 for G Minims, vol 2 for J Cross.  M Bourne, and vol 2, and 1 dollar for vol 1 for M Grubbs. N H Turner, Locust Creek, Va. vol 2 for J M Bagley, A Mills, N C Thomas, W Parson, and J H Atkinson. L L Vail, Goshen. New York, vol 2. J Cahoon, Dover, Ohio, vol 1 for J Risdon. J Gaskill, New Lisbon, Ohio, vol 2 for C M Aten and Aicut, and vols 1 and 2 for himself. J Crum, Milton, Ind. vol 2 for G Vanbuskirk. R R Price, Bolivar, Ala. vols 1 and 2 for J Roundtree, and one dollar on vol 2 for J Jackson. J L Buston, Brookneal. Va. vol 2 for J MacHaney, J Calloway, and himself. W H Holliday, Freeport. Ohio, vol 2 for J McConnell. E M'Gehee, Sandy River Church, Va. vol 2 for J A Watson, J Foster, and 1 dollar for F T Woolton. J R Ryan Carthage, New York, vol 2 for C Essington, Nancy Bently, and 1 dollar for himself. J A???. Petersburg, Va. vol 2 for A Pond, W Johnson, and 1 dollar for Mr Goodsick. W H Robertson, New Orleans, Lou. vol 2 for M S Robertson and himself. J B Radford, Oak Grove, Ky. volume 2 for J B Thacker, E A Lucy, and 1 dollar for P Allensworth, and vols 1 and 2 for W Heston and himself. E Conant. Pittsfield, Vt. vols 1 and 2 for E Bresee. W T Mills, Sommerville, Ten. vols 1 and 2 for F Carpenter, vol 1 for W Ellison, and vol 2 for M Lynch. T M Norris, Madison, X Roads, Ala. vol 2. J Cable, Steubenville, Ohio, vol 2 for D Cable and W Hunter. C Trevor, Connellsville, Penn. vols 1 and 2, and 1 dollar on vol 3 for J Shallenberger. J W Green, Albany, New York, vol 2. A Kirkpatrick, Meigsville, Ten. vols 1 and 2 for T Scanland, and vol 2 for J Draper, and 1 dollar for W Kirkpatrick. W Poston, Winchester, Ky. vol 2 for R Hollaway and J Hampton. R Cornelius, Corneliusville, Ky. vol 1 and 2 for B Bennett. J Prewitt. Fayette. Mo. vol 2 for J Bounds, S Cox, J Lovelady, T A Smith, and T Fristoe. R Reynolds, Toby, Pa. vol 1 and 2 for G Means and himself. E Worthen, Cynthiana, Ky. vol 2 for S B Caldwell, and P Wherret, and one dollar for T M'Farland. Ky. Irvin, Millersburg, Ky. vol 2 for J M Irvin. B M Riggs, A W Bills, himself, and vol 1 for H Eads. J Logan, Fairview, O. vol 2. J Mendal, Wellsburg. Va. volt, and $1 on vol 3 for T Dunnavan. A Straith, Charlestown, Va. vol 3 for J Webb, and vol 2 for himself. J Rogers. Carlisle, Ky. vols 1 and 2 for A Couchman, and vol 2 for J Spencer. P W Applegate, Green Castle, Ind. vol 2 for G Pearcy, H H Vandike, and himself. H Edwards, Bloomfield, Ky. vol 2 for D Lewis, J Stone, and vol 1 for T Duncan and R Gregsly, and one dollar for S Stone. E D Tarver, Clear Creek, Ten. vols 1 and 2 for O S Hervey and J Neal. J Ferrill, Dover, Ten. vols 1 and 2. S E Shepard, Alba, Pa. vol 1 for L Putnam. J Vorhes, Bloomfield. O. vol 2. W Atkinson, Holliday's Cove, Va. vol 2. J Stamps, Port Gibson, Mi. vol 2 for H N Fleming, J Loving, and one dollar on vol 1 for A Hunt. J D Wolf, Vernon, O. one dollar on vol 2, J Barry, St. John's, New Brunswick, vol 2 for J Munro, T Baldwin, G Harding, and H Blackslee. A Calder, S????, Mi. vol 1. J Younkin, Milford, Pa. vol. J P Thompson, Pleasant Ridge, Ind. 5 dollars for W M'Pherson. W Morgan, Sangamon, Ill. vols 1 and 2 for J C Dennis. R T Brown, Andersonville, Ind. vols 1 and 2 for J Eyeston, J Porter, Martinsburg, O vol 3 for Elizabeth Lemert. W Hopper, Hopper's Tan Yard, Ky. vols 1 and 2 for F P Pennington, vol 2 for W Martin, and T H Trice; and vol 1 for himself. W Delany, Dublin Hall, O. vol 2. S E Shepard, Alba, Pa. vol 2 for B Saxton. Jun. J Wilkinson, Syracese. N. Y. vol 2 for A Griffin, and vols 1 and 2 for himself. A Littell, New Providence, Ind. vol 2 for D Drummond, D Gray, and 50 cents for J T Littell. A Naylor, Greensburg, Ky. vols 1, 2, and 3 for J Naylor, and vols 2 and 3 for himself. B S Hendrickson, New York City, vol 2 for L Barker, W Taylor. D Monroe, E J White, J Franks, T Hogg, T Stephens, H Porter, G Sharp, A Bowman, J Hatfield, M Pamley, and one dollar for Mr Young. N Ross, Martinsburg, O. vol 2. R Miller, Richmond, Ky. vols 1 and 2 for N Lipscomb. J Cure, vols 2 and 3 for S Harris and J Collins, and vol 2 for J Reid and F Turner.
Receipts crowded out of this number shall appear in the next. 
[The Millennial Harbinger, 3 (January, 1832): 3-48.]
[Table of Contents]
Alexander Campbell, ed.|
The Millennial Harbinger, Vol. III, No. I (1832)
Back to Alexander Campbell Page|
Back to Restoration Movement Texts Page