[Table of Contents]
[Previous] [Next]
Alexander Campbell, ed.
The Millennial Harbinger, Vol. III, No. VI (1832)


MONDAY, JUNE 7, 1832.
{ Vol. III.  
      I saw another messenger flying through the midst of heaven, having everlasting good news to proclaim to the inhabitants of the earth, even to every nation and tribe, and tongue, and people--saying with a loud voice, Fear God and give glory to him, for the hour of his judgments is come: and worship him who made heaven, and earth, and sea, and the fountains of water.--JOHN.
      Great is the truth and mighty above things, and will prevail.


      SOME anonymous Calvinist, whose letter to a brother who had become a Universalist, was published in the "Sentinel," April 21, relied upon one passage, Rev. xxi, 8, in proof of his sentiments concerning the future and eternal punishment of the abominable. The editors of the Sentinel, in a foot note, page 181, quote the passage and remark upon it in the following words:--

      "'But the fearful and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolators, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake that burneth with fire and brimstone; which is the second death.' This is the only passage recited by this Presbyterian brother to disprove Universalism: this, he seems to think, is all-sufficient. Dr. Adam Clarke explains the New Jerusalem to be the church of Christ hereon earth, in contradistinction to the old Jewish worship. His note on the ninth verse is as follows: 'The Bride the Lamb's wife--the pure and holy Christian church.' See also his note on Gal. iv, 24-27. So it appears after all, the text only proves what all Universalists admit--that these abominable characters are excluded from the church of Christ on earth."

      This comment, being in a recent number, and having the sanction of both the editors, and we being left to all the pages of their paper to learn their views, they having refused to give us any thing less bulky for a proposition than three volumes of their weekly paper and all the Bible for proof, we select as one definite expose of their logic, grammar, and theology. A specimen of each will suffice for the present essay:

      Specimen of Logic.--If Dr. Adam Clarke's views of the New Jerusalem are to be relied on in an argument, ought not his views on the second death to be equally relied on in the same argument? Logic answers, Yes. But the editors, in practice, say No: for they quote with approbation, and as authority with a Calvinist, his views of the one phrase, while they suppress and oppose his views of the other. His words are, on Rev. xxi, 8, "All these shall have their portion, to [241] meros, their share, what belongs to them, their right, in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone. This is the second death, FROM WHICH THERE IS NO RECOVERY." Is this reason and argument! Had they attempted an argumentum ad hominem; had they used Clarke as a favorite authority on one phrase, and not on the other, with this Calvinist, then indeed we might have borne with them. But this they will not plead. Therefore what the world calls charity compels us to regard this as a proof of their logical powers. It is not any perversity of heart, any obliquity of motive, in proof of which this is produced, but as a specimen of their logic and powers of discrimination. In three volumes of their works, the reader is left to infer how many honest sophisms of this sort may be enumerated.

      Specimen of Grammar.--But in the second place, let us examine their comment: "So it appears after all" (----> that Adam Clarke has said, "after all" that the Calvinist has said, "after all" that the editors have proved,) "the text only proves what all Universalists admit, that these abominable characters ARE excluded from the church of Christ on earth." Very good, gentlemen; we thank you for keeping them out of the church on earth: but do you make ARE and SHALL BE the same tense!! In the old-fashioned system of grammar which I was taught, are, and shall have, were as different as time and eternity, as the present and the future. The one denotes the present only, and the other denotes all that is future. "The righteous shall have their part," and "the wicked shall have their part," are with you phrases equivalent to the righteous have, and the wicked have, or the characters which are, are equivalent to the characters which shall be!! Apply this new grammar, which I suppose you would call the Universalists' grammar, to all other promises and threatenings in the Bible, and what new doctrines and discoveries would it bestow upon this generation! Take only two specimens of this new system. The verse before your text says, in King James' version--"'He that overcometh shall inherit all things." In your grammar you would read this--"So it appears after all, that the text only proves what all Universalists admit, that these excellent characters are now inheriting all things! He that shall overcome, denotes him that has actually overcome; and he that shall inherit, means him that does now inherit all things." Math. xxv. 46, "These shall go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous shall go away into everlasting life." "So then after all it appears," in this new grammar, that the wicked do now go into, or are, at present, in everlasting punishment, and the righteous now, on earth, are in heaven." With the aid of such a new system of grammar, I do not know what marvellous things might be brought to light, or what could not be proved.

      Specimen of Theology.--A specimen of their theology is also before us. They very kindly exclude from the church on earth these abominable characters. The text, it is said, "only proves, what all Universalists admit, that these abominable characters are excluded from the church of Christ on earth." Not from the church in heaven, [242] then, if it only prove from the church on earth. My "wicked and malicious calumny" against the Unitarian Universalists is already almost, if not quite proved, by the showing of these editors, as the opinion of all Universalists too; for this text only proves "that the cowards and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and sorcerers, and idolators, and all liars, are excluded from the church of Christ on earth." Well, if this text will not prove that they are excluded from the pure, and holy, and triumphant church, but only from the present, mixed, and imperfect church on earth, they must be admitted into the church triumphant: else there is some third church, which is neither the church on earth, nor the church in heaven.--These Universalists say that these characters are excluded from the church on earth, and they affect to say they are excluded from the church in heaven; will they, then, have the goodness to direct us to that portion of the whole Bible which unfolds the location or character of that church into which are admitted all the multitudes of the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolators, and liars, who leave this earth in that character? Our concordance fails us here.

      The reader of sense and discrimination need not be told that we have not yet formally engaged these guides of the western Universalists. They have not permitted us to attack them in battle array, nor to set the Scriptures in order before them which show the baseless and dimensionless figure or phantom which disturbs their imagination. We may have occasion to afford some other specimens of the new system of logic, grammar and theology which they are toiling to rear in the west, before we directly invade their territories. In the mean while, we do not impugn their motives, nor ascribe to them any unworthy object; we only attempt to ascertain the caliber of their minds, and to appreciate the merits of their logic and grammatical acumen for it is quite possible for these gentlemen to be as benevolent as "my friend" Robert Owen, while they are as visionary, as imaginative, as Utopian as he.

      Since the above was written I received and read, for the first time, the Sentinel for March 31, which was not received here when due, but was politely forwarded us by Mr. Kidwell after we had informed him that it had failed in reaching us. In this number they have published "Logic and Candor of Universalism Examined, No. 1," and presented more than six columns on the subject of the challenge, in the same style of that noticed in our No. 2. The essay in our last number as fully replies to this as if it had appeared here before that essay was written. The only point labored in these six columns, is, whether their challenge (for they now fully admit they gave a challenge) called upon me to do more than sustain the assertions made in "an evil report corrected." They contend that my proposition to prove "that the system of Universalism, as taught by these gentlemen, has no foundation in the scriptures of truth, nor in the reason and nature of things," is out of the purview of their challenge, and that they are not consequently bound by the conditions stipulated by me. [243] "To he plain," says Mr. Kidwell, "with Mr. C. our challenge went to impeach his moral honesty; it had nothing to do with a general inquiry into the character and tendency of our system." My moral honesty was impeached by Mr. Kidwell, then, because of my correction of an evil report, and my representing "the character and tendency" of Universalism to be what was then and there affirmed; and now his challenge, he says, has nothing to do with the character and tendency of Universalism--but with my moral honesty!! But the gentleman very courteously says in the same piece, "If Mr. C. will yet say, upon the honor of a man," (though morally dishonest,) "that he understood our challenge to embrace a general investigation of the doctrine of final salvation of all men, we will let all that has been said sink into oblivion, and join issue on his own proposition, provided he will argue the matter fairly and publish both sides of the question as we meant to do." Mr. C. did not understand their challenge to embrace a general investigation of the doctrine, &c. but he did understand it to mean such an investigation as would afford him full opportunity to suggest his views of "the character and tendency" of Universalism; either a full vindication of all affirmed in the first notice or all proposed in his proposition above quoted. But he has no time to publish nor reply to quibbles and compositions such as those before mentioned, and will not enter these lists at all. But, as in the preceding essay, so will he continue until he has done some degree of justice to his proposition and shown that he who takes away the great sanctions of the gospel, and promises eternal happiness to those who die in their sins, is no better than an unbeliever; or that he is, in fact, an unbeliever of the gospel of Jesus Christ. If these gentlemen do not preach eternal salvation to all who die in their sins, he will say he has mistaken their views altogether, and that they are not included in his assertions concerning Unitarian Universalists. If they refuse to publish and reply to his pieces, they will, without his aid, satisfactorily prove the estimate they have formed of the tenability of their own dogmas.


      THAT the congregations planted and watered by the Apostles, did co-operate in matters conducive to the comfort of christians and the conversion of the world has already been proved in our previous essays on this subject. That right reason will lead to such a co-operation, observation recommend it, and experience approve it, requires but little reflection to discover. But it is nevertheless necessary to call the attention of the disciples to this matter, and as previous to it another matter still more evident, viz. that it is enjoined upon the members of one congregation to co-operate, not only in promoting their own edification, but, also the salvation of the world. The Apostles taught this lesson in a variety of ways. Though they were sent out from the presence and by the express order of Jesus Christ to convert the world; although he had promised to be with them, and to assist [244] them by the eloquence and power of the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, and to make their efforts successful; still these same Apostles, thus commissioned, authorized, and empowered; thus aided, sustained, and supported, so soon as they formed a single congregation in anyone place, taught that congregation to co-operate in the salvation of the world.

      I. By its prayers. (Not only did Jesus teach the Apostles and his first disciples under their first commission, before he left them, to "pray the Lord of the harvest to send forth laborers to reap it;" but the Apostles themselves, under the last commission, besought individual churches to pray for their success and for the progress of the truth in the salvation of men. A few specimens of these prayers are yet extant. Acts iv. 24-30. The whole church in Jerusalem, with one accord, said, "Lord, grant to thy servants, that, with all boldness, they may speak thy word, by stretching forth thy hand to heal, and that signs and wonders may be done by the name of thy holy Son Jesus." The congregation in Antioch prayed for Barnabas and Paul when they sent them forth; the congregation in Jerusalem prayed for Peter. Luke, Acts xii. 5. says, "Prayer was made by the church without ceasing for him," while he was in prison.--Paul tells the Thessalonians in both his letters to pray for Sylvanus and Timothy. In the first epistle he says, "Brethren, pray for us." In the 2d epistle, iii. 1. he says, "Finally, brethren, pray for us that the word of the Lord may have free course and be glorified, even as it is among you; and that we may be delivered from unreasonable and wicked men." From such unreasonable and wicked men, Paul affirms, in his second letter to the Corinthians, chap. i. 11. that he was delivered by the prayers of the brethren: "You also (co-operating) helping together by prayer for us (Paul and Timothy,) that for the favor bestowed us (in delivering us from the troubles in Asia) by the means (help) of many persons, thanks may be given by many on our behalf." "Now," says he to the Romans, chap. xv. 30. "I beseech you, brethren, for the Lord Jesus Christ's sake, and for the love of the Spirit, that you strive together with me in your prayers to God for me, that I may be delivered from them that do not believe in Judea, and that my service which I have for Jerusalem may be accepted of the saints; that I may come to you with joy by the will of God, and may with you be refreshed." Paul, though inspired with all divine wisdom and knowledge in the secrets of the gospel, besought the prayers of the Colossians in his behalf, that he might speak the gospel as he ought to speak it. ch. iv. 3-4. "Praying also for us, that God would open to us a door of utterance to speak the secret of Christ, for which I am also in bonds, that I may make it manifest as I ought to speak." And to the Ephesians he says, "Pray for me that utterance may be given to me that I may open my mouth boldly to make known the secret of the gospel."

      From these and similar instances, we are forcibly taught that the Apostles depended much upon the prayers of the congregations for their preservation and success in proclaiming the word of the Lord; and ascribed many of the conquests of the gospel to them. [245] Co-operation in this is of the highest importance, as it is of the most exalted character. To contribute to the animal and temporal wants of any public servant of the congregations is co-operation of a very common and inferior character, compared with that of striving together in prayers to God for the health, safety, and success of any servant of Jesus Christ. Christians place a very humble estimate upon their prayers, and a very exaggerated importance on their cents, when they can in real earnest pray to God for the health and prosperity of a proclaimer of reformation, and feel any doubts or misgivings in their minds about the propriety of giving him his dinner or his shoes. Such a conscience is a misguided conscience, from which they ought to pray to be delivered.

      II. But the Apostles did not teach the churches to co-operate only in their prayers, but also in their contributions for their support in the work. Let it, however, be first observed that the congregations were taught individually and collectively to co-operate in contributions for various purposes. Romans xv. 26, 27. For it pleased the churches in the colonies of Macedonia and Achaia, to make a specific contribution for the poor saints who reside in Jerusalem. It has pleased them indeed! even their debtors they are: for if the Gentiles have been made participants of their spirituals, their duty is to minister in their temporals. "If we have sown to you spirituals, is it a great thing if we reap your temporals!" "I expect," says Paul, "to be brought on my way by you Romans, when I shall have been refreshed by your company. Receive Phoebe our sister, who is a public servant of the congregation in Cenchrea. Receive her in the Lord as it becomes saints to receive such persons, and assist her in whatever business she has need of your assistance: for she has assisted many, and myself among the number" "Corinthians," says Paul, "abound in this grace of the contribution also--perform the doing of that which you so readily willed to do in aid of the saints. I mean not that others be eased and you burdened; but by an equality, that now your abundance may be a supply for their want, that again their abundance may be a supply for your want. For this purpose we have sent to you with Titus, that brother whose praise in the gospel is in all the churches, who was chosen of the congregations to travel with us with this bounty; I send him in company with the messengers [Apostles] of the congregations who are the glory of christianity. I was not burdensome to you, Corinthians: for what I wanted the brethren from Macedonia supplied. I robbed other congregations, taking wages of them to do you service."

      Philippians, in the beginning of the gospel, when I set out from Macedonia, no congregation communicated with me in giving but you alone. In Thessalonica you sent frequently to my necessity. I beseech Euodias and Syntyche to be of the same mind, and you my faithful colleague to assist them both: for they assisted me, Clement, and other of my fellow-laborers, whose names are in the book of life. Timothy. "Let the congregation relieve them that are widows indeed. Teach them also to honor those who labor in the word and teaching, [246] who preach and teach laboriously. Do not allow the congregation to muzzle the ox, who for them treads out the corn. Let them learn that the laborer is worthy of his reward. Hebrew christians, to do good and to communicate, forget not; for with such sacrifices God is well pleased."

      From these various scripture premises, freely quoted, we learn that the Apostles taught the brethren to co-operate in contributions for the poor saints, not in their own immediate congregations; for the poor widows in the same congregation; for those who labored in preaching the gospel; for those who taught and presided over the congregations; and for the public servants, whether male or female, who promoted the comfort of christians or aided in the conversion of the world. Such contributions were enjoined as the duty and privilege of all disciples, as God had bestowed upon them the means and opportunity.

      There can be no want of scripture authority for doing good in any way that promotes the comfort of christians or the conversion of sinners. We know that many of these scriptures have been perverted and abused into the service of an avaricious priesthood, of men who sought wealth, rich livings, and honors, by virtue of canonical ordination, and official designations by human authority--by many who have made merchandize, teaching any thing and every thing which would sell well, for filthy lucre's sake. But this has been the abuse. These scriptures mean something; and we must not make them mean nothing, because others have made them mean what they do not mean. It is reasonable that we pay as much attention to them as to the other scriptures which have been either more or less perverted. Because faith, repentance, immersion, and the Holy Spirit have been most grossly perverted, shall we pay no attention to them, or neglect the scriptures which illustrate and enforce them? Then must we be taught, admonished, and reformed by those divine lessons on co-operation in prayer and effort for Messiah's sake, for the honor of his name and government, and for the salvation of our fellowmen. Because the prayers and contributions of individuals and churches for the salvation of the world have been abused, we must not wholly neglect the one or the other.

      Prayer without effort can avail nothing in reference to any object which requires human agency. He that asks the Lord to pity and relieve the poor, without himself pitying and relieving the poor, and stirring up others by his example to do so, is a hypocrite, if he only knew it. But how does such a one imagine the Lord is to relieve the poor, unless by human agency! And how does another, who prays for the conversion and salvation of the poor ignorant souls, perishing in their sins, expect the Lord to answer his prayers? By sending angels, prophets, or apostles from heaven to speak to men? The orthodox are more consistent than the christians here; for they say it is wholly the work of the Spirit to enlighten and save men. They can fold their arms, how their heads, and say, 'Lord, send thy spirit to save the world!' They who preach that the number of the elect is [247] so well defined and so unchangeably fixed that it can neither be increased nor diminished, may dispense with both prayer and effort; for who can pray in faith for that which is not promised, or for that which is impossible. But as the Apostles taught christians both to pray and co-operate in all matters for the salvation of the world, we have a more sure guide than expediency or the reason and fitness of things.

      But some christians are so squeamish about the mode of doing this, that, fearing they may not do it in the best manner, they will not do it at all. If this were a healthy scrupulosity it would prevent praying or wishing for the salvation of men, lest the desire or the prayer might not be in the most acceptable form. But the real secret, as some of the suspicious ones say, is this, that in proportion as efforts of any sort are more expensive than prayers or wishes, it becomes men to be more conscientiously scrupulous about cents than prayers--about labors and toils than wishes or desires.

      But what, says another, has the church in propria forma, the church in its true character, to do for the salvation of the world! I answer, Every thing but what Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit, and the Apostles have done. The church has to guard the precious deposite, to preserve the oracles, to hold them forth; to write, print, and publish the sacred writings; to use its eyes, ears, tongue, hands, and feet, in sounding forth and proclaiming the word, and in taking care of its own members.

      The health and growth of the body embrace the whole concern of this body as of every other body which has not arrived at its full stature. Contemplating the church under this favorite figure, we can illustrate the meaning of those scriptures which speak of its duties, and obviate the objections made against the co-operation of the brethren in the conversion of the world.

      Says one, By what authority do we send out one to preach the word, or to write, print, or carry abroad the word of life? By the same authority by which the tongue speaks for the whole body of which it is a member. Is the man or the christian commanded to perform a certain duty? He forthwith puts it upon his eye, his ear, his hand, or his tongue, as the nature of the duty requires. Hence the man does what his tongue, his hand, or his foot does. So the church, the mystical body, does in obedience to her head, Christ, whatever her tongue, her ears, or her hands do. If she have a tongue, and is not dumb, she must use it. Alas! for the dumb and deaf churches! I should have said the deaf and dumb churches; for the dumbness of many is owing to their deafness. They hear not Christ commanding the churches, and therefore they speak not in obedience. It is he that hears, who says to others, "Come."

      Yes, says the same objector, "I understand you; but why not use the tongue in the church, and may we not hear many tongues in one church?" Tongues are now, as formerly, not so much for the edification of the congregation as for the salvation of the world. They may, however, perform both services: but the preaching to the world is not the primary business of the church in their meetings for [248] worship. If there be any world now, or if it be not all church and no world, the tongue of the body, whether it be composed of one or more individuals, must address the world; and if there be no world, then this tongue must be silent, for the best reason in the world, because there is no one to speak to.

      Tongues, however, are not superabundant, in the churches, even now. Few, comparatively, can address men in the public places of resort. All christians are preachers, in some department in society; and if ever this is lost sight of, there is an end of reformation. But still there is need for public preachers so long as there are persons not accessible to the brotherhood and sisterhood of the congregations, in the private walks of life. And while these are found, and the congregations have tongues to speak to them, and do not use them, I know not how they are to give account of their stewardship with joy and honor to the Great Head who wills that the tongue of his body should say "Come." Yet the other members of the body mutiny and say, We are all tongues, and we can all speak, and will not permit any one to exercise himself more than another, or if ever one or more members become tongues for the body in speaking to the world, we will nourish these members no longer; because there is no command in the book that the hand or the mouth should labor to obtain food for the nourishment of the tongue. The tongue must labor for itself; it must be its own hands and its own feet: we can do without it, and it must do without us.

      But to return to the Divine authority for co-operation. The kingdom of Jesus is one kingdom. The subjects of it meet in groups, called assemblies. These groups are placed in contiguous districts; and while there are intermediate dark places, and beyond their bounds the region and shadow of death, it will ever be their duty to shine as lights in the world, to hold forth and sound abroad the word of the Lord, as did the congregation commended by the Holy Spirit. They must be fellow laborers, fellow-helpers, co-workers in the field. Every citizen must act his part. "He that speaks must speak the oracles of God;" and as every one has received a bounty or gift from God, so must he minister in giving and receiving, as a good steward, of God's manifold favor. He that speaks, and he that gives, are equally approved as the Lord's ministers or servants.

      Co-operation requires consultation; therefore if one or more congregations determine to cultivate any field, they must consult about the best way in which it shall be done. And how this may be done, to avoid former abuses, and in accordance with scripture premises, shall be the burthen of another paper. Meanwhile it cannot be too often repeated, nor too warmly enforced, that the most sublime co-operation is in earnest prayers to God for the furtherance and free circulation of the Gospel, without which we would not rely either upon contributions or oratory, were they to equal the tongues of Corinth or the liberality of Jerusalem, for advancing the kingdom and glory of Messiah the Lord. [249] The brethren must feel more, pray more, labor more, contribute more for the conversion of sinners, before the gospel will so regenerate the world as to greatly change the face of society. God has always wrought by means, and never without them, since he placed Adam in Eden; and he has given to the church the honor of making all its wealth, whether intellectual, physical or moral, contribute to his praise, and to the purification and beatification of man. But it is upon the church, and not upon those without its communion, he confers this eternal honor.


      Query 1. "CAN he be said to continue steadfast in the 'Apostles' doctrine and fellowship,' who, upon being immersed, goes off and unites himself with a Paidobaptist Congregation?"

      Answer. Most unhesitatingly we answer, NO. Show me, says one of more than ordinary sense, what sort of company a man keeps, and I will show you what sort of a man he is. If the Paidobaptist communities "continued steadfast in the Apostles' doctrine, in the fellowship, in the breaking of the loaf, in prayers," then he that unites with them would be constrained to do so likewise. But it will be difficult to conceive how any one can continue in a doctrine or practice into which he has not yet entered; and in the judgment of him who seeks immersion into the faith from another community, which he could not find in this Paidobaptist community, it never has got into the Apostles' doctrine, and therefore it is impossible to continue in it.

      Query 2. "Ought such a one to be admitted to the Lord's table in the congregation of the immersed?"

      Ans. I know not why he should seek for such an honor, if "on being immersed he goes off and unites himself with a Paidobaptist congregation. He has chosen his company, let him keep it; for surely he cannot desire the fellowship of those from whom he has separated himself, and they cannot desire his. And where there is not a meeting and a harmony of views and feelings, there can be no meeting nor harmony; consequently, no communion at the Lord's table.

      Query 3. "Is an authorized administrator bound to administer immersion to an individual who, at the same time that he makes the good confession, declares his intention of uniting himself to a Paidobaptist congregation?"

      Ans. Should the candidate make such a stipulation to him whom he solicits to immerse him, I would regard it as in fact saying, that he had not repented, and would not submit himself to the doctrine of the Apostles, or the authority of Jesus. I would say to such a one, Bring forth fruits worthy of a professed repentance and reformation. Indeed, I cannot conceive of a person as a proper subject of immersion, who exhibits in word or action any reluctance to give himself up wholly to the Lord, and that without promise or stipulation of any thing but unreserved submission to Jesus the Messiah.
EDITOR. [250]      


1. Adam's Estate.

      ADAM, as soon as born from the earth, was invested with an estate, real and personal, ample as is the terraqueous globe, with all its riches, mineral, vegetable, and animal. His residence was in Eden, but his patrimonial inheritance, bestowed by God his father, extended North, South, East, and West, from Pison's head to Pison's head again, embracing all within the five zones that lives or moves in air, in water, or on land. The tree of knowledge of good and evil which stood in the midst of Eden, was the only reservation in token of the sovereignty of him from whom Adam received and held the inheritance. But against this stood the tree of life to which he had free and unlimited access. He held this estate by a grant from his Creator, not on condition of his paying one barley corn per annum, but on condition of his obedience to one positive command, which, to make it still more divinely generous, required not the doing of any thing, but the simple withholding of his hand from the fruit of a single tree. His obedience to this command was, however, his tenure of the inheritance. If he transgressed all was forfeited to him. Such was his inheritance and such was the tenure of it. He disobeyed the divine injunction, and in so doing forfeited the whole estate.

      God chose, rather than to vacate the whole premises, to respite Adam for a time, to debar him from the tree of life, and to doom him to incessant toil, until he should finally return again to the bosom of his mother earth.

      Meantime children are born to him, and inherit from him his nature and whatever lease interest he had to the soil on which he lived, which was not for any stipulated time, because the forfeiture was complete, and the respite granted was wholly unconditioned. This great family inheritance has been parcelled out amongst the sons of Adam with all the circumstances of his bankruptcy entailed upon it. No stipulated tenure for any definite time, but a simple life-interest, whether long or short, is inherited by his descendants.

      Through the mismanagement of his children, the inheritance has been still more encumbered; and on one occasion, with the single exception of one family, the whole premises have been vacated, the real estate greatly damaged, and the personal property, the goods and chattels, almost wholly destroyed. No project has ever been set up to redeem it on the part of the Original Proprietor; for lie has promised to destroy it with fire, and then to create new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness shall flourish.

      Concerning this inheritance it is of some importance to observe--

      1. That it was freely bestowed upon Adam, irrespective of any thought, volition, or deed on his part. So that his possession of it was of pure favor.

      2. The continued enjoyment of it was made dependent upon his allegiance, loyalty, or obedience to him who bestowed it. [251]

      3. It was forfeited by him in consequence of the transgression of a positive law.

      4. The title which was then vouchsafed him, secured to him no definite possession of it, and was encumbered with many curses.

      5. As all this transpired before a child was born to him, his descendants inherit in him and from him no other right or tenure than that which was bestowed upon him after his apostacy and exile from Eden.

      6. Put no creature other than those in Adam, or descended front him, has any right or title to the inheritance which God vouchsafed to Adam after his apostacy. These things noticed, and we proceed to the consideration of the second notable estate.

2. Abraham's Estate.

      Abraham was called out of Ur, of Chaldea. He left Haran in the 75th year of his age, and went down into Canaan. While in Canaan, God appeared to him and promised to give that land to his seed. He afterwards confirmed this promise in a solemn covenant, and promised to multiply his descendants, and in the 4th generation to put his posterity in actual possession of the land.

      When Abraham was 99 years old, these promises are all renewed and enlarged. He receives additional pledges that Cod would establish his covenant with him and his seed after him, and give Canaan for an everlasting possession. To these developments and additional promises he annexes circumcision as a seal, and calls it the covenant in the flesh--"My covenant shall be in your flesh, for an everlasting covenant." Isaac is promised, and the covenanted blessings both concerning the land and Messiah are stipulated through him. He is a child of promise. At this time Abraham and Ishmael, and all his male servants, were circumcised. These promises are renewed to Jacob, and Canaan guaranteed to his seed. Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, dwell in it in tents, but have no actual possession of it; the right to the land is vested in them for their seed, but possession is deferred till the cup of the Amorites is full, till 430 years after the first promise. Canaan, at that time ""the goodliest land on the face of the earth," is selected as the inheritance of Abraham's seed through Isaac and Jacob, and the best earthly blessings which under the existing circumstances of Adam's estate could he vouchsafed, are guaranteed by promise in this land.

      The time arrives according to promise for taking possession of the land. The incumbrances under which it lay during the occupancy of seven nations, are now to be removed. The descendants of Abraham arise in the faith of God's promise to march into the land. Moses is their leader. Into the faith of the mission of Moses and the promise of Canaan are they immersed in the Red Sea, and under the cloud. They all pass under the cloud and through the sea. God feeds them on their journey from the storehouses of heaven. The clouds drop manna down upon them. [252]

When Moses gave the stroke,
      From Horeb's flinty side
Issued a river, and the rock
      The Hebrews' thirst supplied.

      Their garments waxed not old in all their travels through the wilderness; yet they murmured against Moses and against God. On Sinai God met them, proposed to make a compact with them, to become the God of the nation, and to make them all his peculiar people. They acceded. Moses mediates the covenant. Their national institutions and worship are ordained by God. He takes them by the hand as his bride; is married to them; takes them under his protection and guides them on to the promised inheritance. They are tried in the wilderness. They rebel. Calamities befall them. Many are cut off. They approach the good land: but they forgot God's works and words, and believed not his promises. They fall in the wilderness. Moses and Aaron die. Joshua is raised up a leader, lie and Caleb alone, of all the adults which crossed the Red Sea, with the nation then existing, cross the Jordan and take possession of the land. God verifies his word to Abraham, and his promises to Isaac and Jacob. They received that inheritance as a gift; for God gave it to Abraham by promise before circumcision, and before the law. Neither circumcision nor the law, nor obedience to the law, entitled them to that inheritance. It was a free gift, received by faith. Those who fell, fell because of unbelief. "We see they could not enter in because of unbelief."

      But now the continued enjoyment of the inheritance is made to depend upon obedience: "If you be willing and obedient you shall eat the good of the land." But if they rebelled against the Lord, he would cast them out of it. They did so; and he ejected them. They repented, and he forgave them and brought back some of them. They again apostatized from God and crucified his Son. Then he scattered the remnant of Judah and Benjamin to the utmost bounds of the earth, and gave their land to the destroyers. Jerusalem shall continue to be trodden tinder foot of the Gentiles until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in.

      As the matters now stand, the Gentiles have no right to Abraham's estate, and the literal and fleshly descendants of Abraham have no right to any other land than Canaan. They admit this even in the 19th century. They hold not, as a nation, any territory among the Gentiles. They claim Canaan as their inheritance; but having broken the covenant, they cannot now possess it. But their right to the inheritance under all conditions was in Abraham. It is only as the descendants of Abraham, and as connected with him in the original grant, they can claim possession. On this inheritance be it observed--

      1. That it was a free gift bestowed to Abraham, and in him to his seed, and was first possessed by his heirs through the obedience of faith. [253]

      2. The continued enjoyment of it was made dependent on the allegiance and obedience of the heirs, according to the tenor of the Sinaitic agreement.

      3. It was forfeited to them that apostatized from that institution.

      4. The descendants as a people or nation had the promise of it always; but no individual had any personal assurance of it for any definite period of time.

      5. But no person other than those in Abraham, either by natural descent, or by agreement, according to the compact, had any right, title, or interest to any part of that inheritance.

3. Messiah's Estate.

      God has constituted his Son "heir of all things." He is not, like Abraham, the heir of a world; but of all worlds. His is the eternal inheritance. All things were created for him. He is now made Lord of his own inheritance. All things are put under his feet. He has all authority in heaven and earth. His, now, is the kingdom, the power, and the glory. His Father gave him power over all flesh that he might be able to give eternal life--the inheritance incorruptible, undefiled, and unfading,--to as many as are given to him.

      He is all benevolent, and willing to divide the inheritance; for it can be shared amongst many, greatly to the honor, interest, and happiness of all. He is willing to have many joint heirs, and God has conferred it upon him that he might bestow it upon others to his own glory and their honor and felicity.

      All things that are desirable, whether present or future, belong to it. Angels, authorities, arid powers, celestial and terrestrial; apostles, prophets, evangelists, and teachers, of every rank; the world, life, death, immortality, are amongst its treasures, Pardon, adoption, sanctification, the Holy Spirit, are its present earnest, in token of the full fruition of heirs of God through Christ. To he an heir of God is surpassing admiration. No eye has seen, no ear has heard, nor heart has conceived the magnitude of such riches, honors, bliss; but all is ours in Christ: for the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

      As in the first inheritance the right of enjoyment, such as it is, was vested in Adam; and in the second, or typical inheritance, in Abraham, by a political arrangement through Isaac and Jacob; so in the third, it is vested in the Messiah, and subject to the accompanying regulations concerning the actual possession and continued enjoyment.

      Whatever right any person has to the estate of Adam, is derived simply from natural relation; whatever right any Jew had to the promised land, was derived from natural and political relation to Abraham by a covenant in the flesh; so whatever right any Jew or Gentile has to the eternal inheritance, is derived from spiritual relation to Messiah, according to the will of him whose inheritance it is.

      The will of the donor or original proprietor, in all cases, settles the principle on which the actual possession and continued enjoyment shall depend. Hence, in reference to the earthly and heavenly [254] Canaan, which are made analogous to each other, there is to each a will appended. The Old Will and the New Will, as they are sometimes called, accompany the two inheritances. No person can inherit but according to the Will of the Testator. Now it is altogether unreasonable, and without precedent, for any Jew to expect to inherit the Messiah's estate by virtue of his natural or political relation to Abraham: for Messiah's estate is not willed through the flesh or through political relation to Abraham. A Gentile might as reasonably claim a portion in Canaan by virtue of his descent from Adam, as for a Jew to claim inheritance with Christ because he is descended from Abraham. For as respects the promises made to Abraham concerning the Messiah, it was decided that men must be Christ's before they can be Abraham's seed and heirs of the heavenly inheritance, according to the promise concerning it. Again, as no Gentile can claim a right to Canaan, so neither can he claim a portion in the Messiah's estate by virtue of relation to Adam. The inheritance is Christ's. It is in him we have obtained an inheritance. Those who belong not to his family can have no portion in his estate.

      But as the pilgrimage of Israel from Egypt to Canaan is made adumbrative of our progress to the eternal inheritance, we must regard the things appointed to them and which happened them on their journey, as types, and as "written for our admonition." They believed the promise, were immersed into Moses, ate the manna, drank from the rock, and kept the institutions. Such as did so obtained the inheritance; such as did not do so, failed of the inheritance. To us the inheritance lies beyond Jordan. We must believe the promise, be immersed into Christ, eat his flesh, drink his blood, keep the institutions, and hold fast our begun confidence unshaken to the end.

      Behold the love of our God! He has washed us from our sins in the blood of his Son, adopted us into his family, inspired us with his Spirit, made us heirs, and given us the hope of an inheritance, incorruptible, undefiled, and unfading. But all this in his Son, and according to his own will. The receiving it in whatever way God is pleased to convey it, derogates not from the favor of the donor. It is to the intelligent as full a proof of the wisdom and goodness of God that he has conveyed this estate to the adult or discriminating portion of his family in the manner revealed, as it is to have prepared for man such an inheritance before the foundation of the world. The necessity of receiving it in some way militates not with the awful and glorious saying, "The wages of sin is death. But the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord."

      ERRATUM--Instead of the "44th generation," page 252, line 18, read 4th generation.


      "A CONNECTED View of same of the Scriptural Evidence of the Redeemer's speedy Personal Return, and Reign on Earth with his glorified Saints, during the Millennium; Israel's Restoration to Palestine; and the Destruction of Antichristian Nations with [255] Remarks on various Authors who oppose these Doctrines.--By James A. Begg.--With additional matter by the American Editor.

      "CONTENTS.--Introductory Remarks on the Study of Prophecy--The Conversion of Israel--Restoration of Israel to Palestine--Restoration of both Israel and Judah--Enlargement of the Holy Land--New Division of the Holy Land--Israel the Most Highly Honored Nation--Jerusalem Rebuilt and Enlarged--the whole Earth blessed in Israel's Restoration--Millennial Felicity of the Inferior Creation--The Redeemer's Millennial Reign--The Redeemer's Presence on Earth--The Temple Rebuilt--the Nations coming to Worship in Jerusalem--Review of Promises of the Presence of the Lord--Literal Fulfilment of Prophecy--Views of Believers, in the Apostolic Age, concerning the Millennial Kingdom--New Testament Predictions of Christ's Return at the Restoration of Israel--New Testament Predictions of Christ's Return at the Destruction of Antichrist--First Resurrection, and Reign of the Saints--Period of the Erection of Christ's Glorious Kingdom--New Heavens and New Earth--The New Jerusalem--Future Apostacy, General Resurrection, and Final Judgment--The Submission due to Revealed Truth, with Remarks on Objections to these Doctrines--Destruction of Antichristian Nations--Appendix comprising Faber's Calendar of Prophecy.

      "A very good summary of the general bearing of prophecy."
London Morning Watch.      

      "We know not that we have ever read a work on the glorious subjects enumerated above, with more unmingled feelings of satisfaction, than this admirable volume of Mr. Begg's; nor do we know any work which we could more strongly recommend to inquirers after those important truths which are treated of in this connected view. It contains, indeed, a well selected body of scriptural evidence in support of the doctrine advocated therein. We conclude with strongly recommending to the perusal of the students of prophecy this volume, which, we rejoice to add, is written in a very christian spirit."
Dublin Christian Herald.      

      The above volume was handed us the other day by the brother of its author, who is preparing to republish it in America. We read it through with our usual despatch. The volume contains 298 pages, 12mo. 3d ed. London, 1831. It has reached the 5th edition in Britain, The 4th was sold in four months. We must say, that we never read any work on prophecy with more interest, nor, upon the whole, with greater satisfaction--though our measure of knowledge of prophecy will not yet permit us to yield assent to all that it contains. But could we make out even a long list of exceptions to this work, such are its merits as still to render it worthy of a very cordial recommendation to the students of prophecy. The method or arrangement, style and spirit of this work, are worthy of the commendation from the Dublin Christian Herald.

      The author appears alike free from enthusiasm and dogmatism. While the subject is so favorable to that feverish excitement in those of warm temperament, as in the case of the celebrated Edward Irving; and while the vast accumulation of scripture evidence and argument [256] adduced in favor of his most prominent points would seem conducive to a dogmatic style, the author seems well balanced, temperate, modest, argumentative.

      He is a layman too--no small recommendation in this age of clerical pretensions. If the reader is not willing to admit of the literal return of Israel and Judah to their own land, of the literal coming of Jesus Christ, and of the literal resurrection of all the dead saints before or at the commencement of the Millennium, he may expect to find the most formidable array of scripture and argument against him he ever had to encounter in any 278 pages he has read on the subject of prophecy.

      William Begg, Canonsburg, Pa. is the publisher. Price per vol. in boards, 75 Cents; bound, 87½. Subscriptions taken at this office.

      Indicative of the principles of interpretation on which the work proceeds, and as a substitute for one of our Essays on Prophecy, we will, with full approbation, give the following extracts. The reader will see how they tally with what has been already said upon the method of interpreting prophecy.--Ed. Mill. Harb.


      "In endeavoring to ascertain the meaning of scripture prophecy, it is important to observe, that, from the very nature of most of its predictions, they are only capable of a literal interpretation. Were christians to attend with care to their contexts, and even to circumstances introduced in the various prophecies sometimes spiritualized, they would find in these alone checks sufficient to prevent such a perversion of their meaning and design. But it is also farther to be observed, that to explain away all the predictions concerning the glory of Christ, is to justify his rejection by the Jews, notwithstanding of the plain declarations of his humility and sufferings. For, if we are at liberty to spiritualize all the prophecies which foretell his reign in glory, how can we blame them for adopting a similar mode of interpreting other predictions not more clear and far less numerous? Besides, this is a method of interpretation which seems not only repugnant to reason, but is quite inconsistent with that literal fulfilment which prophecy has hitherto received. If all past predictions, except where figures are obviously used, have had their fulfilment literally, even when the minuteness of prophecy was extreme, on what principle of interpretation is a mode of fulfilment yet unprecedented now to be expected? We can point to a long series of predictions which have been literally fulfilled, and to others which are being so at this very day, in their utmost minutiae, and can see no reason to suppose that those which, for aught we can tell, may relate to the ensuing month or the ensuing year, are not to have a literal fulfilment also, as no intimation is given by the Spirit of Prophecy of a period at which this mode of their accomplishment shall cease. Thus alone can the criterion divinely given, by which to distinguish the true prophet from the false, be of any avail; "If thou say in thine heart, How shall we know the word which the Lord hath not spoken? When a [257] prophet speaketh in the name of the Lord, if the thing follow not nor come to pass, that is the thing which the Lord hath not spoken, but the prophet hath spoken it presumptuously." Deut. xviii. 21, 22. And the minuteness with which prophecy has hitherto been fulfilled, proves how safely the rule may be applied. The past dealings of God in this respect, which show the perfect correspondence between the prediction and its accomplishment, have, however, been much neglected; and hence, perhaps, the unwillingness so often displayed, believingly to receive the promises he has bestowed, without the intervention of our own limitations; and hence, also, our unbelieving fears to submit divine predictions concerning the future to the ordeal which Jehovah himself has prescribed.

      "But of the evidence to be derived from the past fulfilment of prophecy, did our limits permit the prosecution of this branch of the argument, the history of nations and individuals would furnish abundant and valuable illustration. We might take the scripture predictions concerning the state of different countries, and show how amply they are verified by the accounts of recent travellers, wholly unconscious of the coincidence; and, in some cases, with views decidedly hostile to Revelation. Or, taking history as evidence, we might trace the literal fulfilment of prophecy in the rise and fall of empires--the scenes of their splendor, and the means of their overthrew. We might refer to the judgments poured on cities famed of old, and in the height of their glory when denounced of the Lord;--of Nineveh, of Babylon, of Tyre, of Jerusalem, and others: and might gather thence evidence incontrovertible of the literal fulfilment of prophecy in circumstances the most improbable to human foresight--by means the most unlikely in human estimation--and with a specification of incidents so apparently insignificant as would, perhaps, never have been recorded had not the minds of historians been under the immediate control of him whose omniscience they thus unwittingly attested. The very improbability of such prophecies ever being fulfilled, renders their accomplishment a more glorious display of that divine attribute which Jehovah claims as peculiarly his own, and in proof of which he even appeals to prophecy. Some, who have not inquired upon the subject, are apt to imagine, that, although intimations of a general nature have been given, particular circumstances are not condescended upon. This opinion, however, is far from being correct. There is often a perfect delineation of inferior circumstances, and this, in some instances, to a degree altogether astonishing; as when, in picturing forth Idumean desolation, the prediction includes the provision of a mate for every vulture: "There shall the vultures also be gathered, every one with her mate. Seek ye out of the book of the Lord and read, no one of these shall fail, none shall want her mate; for my mouth it hath commanded, and his Spirit it hath gathered them " Isa. xxxiv. 15, 16.

      "These remarks derive much confirmation from a recent publication by the Rev. Alexander Keith, titled, "Evidence of the Truth of the Christian Religion derived from the Literal Fulfilment of [258] Prophecy;" from which, did our limits permit, we should gladly have availed ourselves of extracts. But for the illustration of our views, we prefer making a selection of scripture predictions concerning the humiliation of Christ, with reference to their fulfilment.

      "The patriarch Jacob had left the consolatory assurance that the sceptre should not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh came, (Gen. xlix. 10.) and, accordingly, it was not till about the time Christ publicly appeared in the temple, in the twelfth year of his age, that the last king, Archelaus, was dethroned and banished. The Redeemer was not only to be of the tribe of Judah, but of the family of David; and his genealogy, both by natural and legal succession, have, in scripture, been preserved as evidence. Matt. i. Luke iii. Isaiah predicted that a virgin should conceive and bear a son; and, in due time, the fulfilment of the glorious prophecy was attested to Mary's espoused husband by an angel from heaven. Isa. vi. 14. Matt. i. 20. Prophecy had pointed to Bethlehem Ephrata, as the place of his nativity; and two of the Evangelists inform us Jesus was born there. Micah v. 2. Matt. ii. 1. Luke ii. 4, 6. The Prophet predicted to Jerusalem the approach of her lowly King riding upon an ass, and a colt the foal of an ass; and the Evangelist records its exact fulfilment, when Jesus so entered the city amid the hosannahs of the multitude. Zech ix. 9. Matt. xxi. 1. Prophecy declared, "When we shall see him there is no beauty that we should desire him;" and we know that "he came unto his own, and his own received him not." Isa. liii. 2. John i. 11, It was said by the Prophet, "We hid, as it were, our faces from him;" and the Evangelist informs us, "All his disciples forsook him and fled." Isa. liii. 3. Matt. xxvi. 56. The Saviour, in prophecy, complained of being laughed to scorn; and his Evangelists narrate the contempt with which he was treated "Herod with his men of war set him at nought," and the Roman soldiers having arrayed him in the emblems of mock royalty, bowed the knee before him in derision. Psal. xx. 6. Matt. xxviii. 29. Luke xxiii. 11. If he said, "I hid not my face from shame and spitting," the pen of inspiration records that he was thus ignominiously treated. Isa. 1. 6. Matt. xxv. 67. Prophecy had foretold, "They shall smite the Judge of Israel with a rod upon the cheek;" and its fulfilment was witnessed, when "they spit upon him, and took the reed and smote him on the head." Mic. v. 1. Matt. xxvii. 30. The prophecy is, "He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth;'' the fulfillment is "When he was accused of the chief priests and elders, he answered nothing." Isa. liii. 7. Matt. xxvii. 12. The Prophet predicted he should be "despised and rejected of men;" and when, by their law, a prisoner must be released, the Jews clamorously preferred Barnabas, a robber and murderer, to the holy Son of God. Isa. liii. 3. Mark xv 15. Did prophecy portray him as "a man of Sorrows and acquainted with grief.' He not merely "endured the contradiction of sinners," but suffered under the hiding of his Father's face, and in our room experienced the bitterness of divine wrath, till in his agony he sweat blood, and exclaimed that his soul was [259] exceeding sorrowful even unto death." Isa. liii. 3. Heb. xii. 3. Matt, xxvi. 38. It was foretold that he who did eat his bread should lift his heel against him; "Jesus answered and said, He that dippeth his hand with me in the dish the same shall betray me." Psal. xli. 9. Matt. xxvi. 23. It was predicted that he should be prized at "thirty pieces of silver;" and it is also narrated, that Judas covenanted to betray his Master into the hands of his enemies for that sum. Zech. xi. 12. Matt. xxvi. 14, 15. And the Lord said unto the Prophet, "Cast it unto the potter;" and when the traitor returned the reward of his treachery to the chief priests, "they took counsel and bought with it the potter's field to bury strangers in." Zech. xi. 13. Matt. xxvii. 8. In prophecy, the Saviour complained, "They shake the head, saying, He trusted in the Lord that he would deliver him; let him deliver him seeing he trusted in him;" and in the very words did not the chief priests with the scribes and elders, "mocking him," say, "He trusted in God; let him deliver him now if he will have him?" Psal. xxii. 7. 8. Matt. xxvi. 43. In prophecy, the Saviour complained, "They gave me gall for my meat, and in my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink;" and it was verified when, at Golgotha, "they gave him vinegar to drink mingled with gall." Psal. lxix. 21. Matt. xxvii. 34. The Prophet foretold that "threescore and two weeks" of years after the edict for rebuilding Jerusalem, the Messiah should be cut off; (Dan. ix. 26.) and history testifies this to have been the precise time that elapsed between the giving of that decree by Artaxerxes and the death of Christ. If it was promised that he should pour out his soul unto death; Jesus said, "It is finished, and he bowed his head and gave up the ghost." Isa. liii. 12. John xix. 30. Though to be put to a violent death, and "cut off out of the land of the living," it was added by the Prophets, "but not for himself; for the transgression of my people was he smitten;" and accordingly he who was "holy, harmless, undefiled, and separate from sinners," "bare our sins in his own body." Dan. ix. 26. Isa. liii. 8. Heb. vii. 26. 1 Peter ii. 24. Yet the Prophet declares, "He was numbered with transgressors;' and the Evangelist records, that "with him they crucified two thieves, the one on his right hand and the other on his left." Isa. liii. 12. Mark xv. 27. The prophecy is, "They pierced my hands and feet;" and an incredulous disciple was convinced of the reality of his Master's resurrection by witnessing in his hands the print of the nails by which he had been transfixed to the accursed tree. Psal. xxii. 16. John xx. 27. Again, it was predicted, "They shall look on me whom they have pierced;" and it is also recorded, that "one of the soldiers with a spear pierced his side, and forthwith there came out blood and water." Zech. xii. 10. John xix. 34. If it was farther foretold, "they part my garments among them, and cast lots upon my vesture," inspiration also informs us, that in this very manner did the attendant soldiers divide the Saviour's raiment. Psal xxii. 18. John xix. 23 The Passover had typified and the Psalmist predicted of the Righteous One, that "the Lord keepeth all his bones, not one of them shall be broken;" and the beloved disciple saw and [260] bears record that while, at the request of the Jews, the legs of the malefactors were broken, the Saviour being already dead they brake not his. Psal. xxxiv. 20. John xix. 33. It was predicted that he should be with the rich in the state of the dead; (Isa. liii. 9,) and it is also recorded by the various Evangelists, that Joseph of Arimathea, an honorable counsellor, having begged from Pilate the body of Jesus, he wrapped it in fine linen, and laid it in tis own new sepulchre, wherein never man before was laid. It was again said, in prophecy, "Thou shalt not leave my soul in hell, neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption;" and early in the morning of the third day his resurrection was declared to his disciples, by an angel whose countenance was like lightning, and his raiment white as snow. Psal. xvi. 10. Matt. xxviii. 3. And, lastly, it was prophetically declared, "'Thou hast ascended on high, thou hast led captivity captive." And so it is recorded, that "while his disciples beheld, he was taken up, and a cloud received him out of their sight" Psal. lxviii. 18. Acts i. 9. Eph. iv. 8."

      "Prophecy has hitherto been literally fulfilled, and there is the same ground as ever for believing that it will still continue to be so. And indeed it is to be remarked, as a singular inconsistency, that even those who are most strenuous in maintaining the spiritual interpretation of all prophecies which relate to the future, seldom pretend that this has hitherto been the way in which prophecy has been fulfilled. They will admit that, in almost Ell that relates to the past, the predictions have received their plain and proper accomplishment; and just is the time has elapsed, the point for commencing this spiritual fulfilment has been advanced.

      "But from the continued operation of the same principle--of which up to the present hour we are not left without exemplification--and from the entire absence of all authoritative imitation of any intended alteration, we may reasonably infer--nay, we are bound to believe, that in this respect no such change is designed, and that any interpretation assuming this as its basis, is altogether unwarranted.

      "In maintaining the literal fulfilment of prophecy we are not, however, to be understood as denying that the prophetic scriptures contain many figures, which are only to he explained as figurative language must always be. In pleading for the literal fulfilment of prophecy, we are only asking for it the same principle of interpretation that is extended to other compositions. In every case, except that of interpreting God's word it would be considered as the highest injustice to an author to change entirely the meaning of the language ordinarily employed, simply because figures occasionally occurred: nor would any one consider himself warranted to interpret even the figures themselves otherwise than in consistency with the connecting statements given, discriminating the one from the other. Yet without the least pretence to divine authority for the principle, statements in scripture, given wholly or partially in unfigured language, are equally subjected to the spiritualizing process, and meanings extracted which nothing less than a new revelation could enable the reader to discover; [261] or rather, it may be said, which is itself a new revelation, having never been in the written language, to be in any way elicited from it, "Although the Apostle Paul speaks of the seed of Abraham (Rom. xi. 17-24.) under the figure of "branches broken off," and to be yet again "grafted into their own olive tree," no one supposes that the use of such a figure is a reason for denying that the literal Israel is there meant. Yet such is the very treatment given to the Old Testament prophecies.

      "But fidelity to the word of God requires, that where figures do not occur, figurative interpretations be not introduced; and where figures are introduced, that they be really interpreted as such."

[Continued from page 229.]

      Matthias.--AND what did you think of Mr. Saurin's discourse, friend Rufus?

      Rufus.--He stated his proposition, and illustrated it with all perspicuity and precision: but his manner is not engaging. He seemed to be all the while imitating I dont know what orator; but one, no doubt, whom he admired. His whole manner is unnatural, and argues that he admires someone more than himself.

      M. But you seem to evade my question. I inquired not about his manner, nor about the stating and illustrating of his proposition; but, Did he prove to your satisfaction the proposition which he so clearly propounded and illustrated?

      R. No. His proposition was, that a person might be converted to God and neither know the time nor the place. Whether true or false the proposition, his proof was inconclusive. His analogies were his main proofs. They were not just analogies; and had they been, still analogies are only illustrations, and not proofs. A person in his dotage may forget the time and place of his marriage; but would it be just hence to argue that he never at any time in his life could tell when and where he was married!

      M. Think not, my good sir, that I defend his views. I only desired to see whether you and I would agree in finding the same faults with his speech. But if our friend Alexander were here, I would press him on this point. Many of the Regular Baptists contend with Dr. Saurin, that a person may be converted to God, and not know when nor by what means.

      R. He would call that metaphysical, or perhaps whimsical conversion; for you know he resolves many mysteries into the speculations of that airy and sometimes fantastic science.

      Eugenius.--I am come to apologize for the absence of brother A. this evening, and to request you to meet on to-morrow evening, as duties of paramount importance have called him hence.

      M. Will you, then, Eugenius, please present to him this question and the annexed case for his consideration. The question is mine and the case was made out by brother Philip. [262]

      QUESTION.--Is the Regular Baptist Institution, and the Christian Institution, one and the same institution, or kingdom, as some please to express it?

      The case is drawn on the presumption that they are not the same. He sketched it himself in the following words:--

      "Suppose a Republic, (say Colombia, in South America,) having the naturalizing act the same in form as that of the United States. A Frenchman emigrates to this Republic--is naturalized--becomes a citizen. After some years' residence in that country, hearing of the freedom and privileges enjoyed by the citizens of the United States he becomes discontented, and resolves to be no longer a citizen of Colombia. Hearing that the naturalizing act under the government of the United States, is the same with that of Colombia, he comes filled with the assurance of being hailed as a citizen. He claims this privilege. The records are examined, and nothing is found relative to his naturalization. He is interrogated. "Where were you naturalized?" "In South America--I became a citizen of Colombia." Here his mistake is discovered; and he is told that this naturalization will not make him a citizen of these United States. He begins, like the good Regular Baptists and some others, to ask the reasons of this, saying that the act is precisely the same. He is told, however, that Colombia and the United States are two distinct Republics, and that one and the same act will not make a man a citizen of each of these Republics. This is the case fairly made out. The New Institution, or Kingdom of Heaven, is as distinct from all other institutions as the United States as a Republic is distinct from all others."

      Eugenius.--I think I can meet both the question and the case without a moment's reflection. I would, for the sake of argument, answer the question with a fearless and unhesitating No; and yet methinks neither Matthias nor Philip has gained any thing for the cause they so conscientiously plead.

      M. I will be glad to hear you dispose of both the question and the case in point.

      E. I have already said that I am prepared to admit that the Regular Baptist Institution as a whole, or any other institution as a whole, now existing in the sectarian world, or anterior to the present century for 1200 years, is not identical with the kingdom of Jesus Christ. But will it follow that he has had no kingdom in the world for 1200 years, because no one sect, as such, taken in its whole constitution, laws, manners, and customs, is that institution founded by Jesus!! The Lord's kingdom always exists; he has a people scattered and peeled. The Jewish nation has existed, but not as a nation, for the last 1800 years. They are scattered among all nations. This may be an analogy to illustrate what we mean by the Lord's people now dispersed through many sects, and yet no where, or in no sect, existing as his kingdom. We plead that when any citizen--one who believes in Jesus as the Messiah, and has constitutionally assumed him as his Lord, presents himself to a society founded exclusively upon [263] Jesus, his Apostles, and Prophets, he ought, without a re-immersion, to be accredited as a disciple and fellow-citizen, and cordially received. But this is very different from receiving the whole accredited members of any one sect as citizens of the kingdom of Jesus, and feeling ourselves bound to fraternize with them because they belong to that sect.

      M. We expected this answer from what has gone before; but the question to which the case adduced applies, is this: Will the immersion, or the act that introduces one into the Baptist Kingdom, introduce the same subject at the same time into the Christian Kingdom?

      E. It may or it may not: for the same reason that immersion, which brings a person into the Christian Kingdom as you understand it, may or may not bring him into the Kingdom of God, in its true and scriptural import. But let me examine the case adduced. The Republic of Colombia and the Republic of North America represent the Regular Baptist and the Christian Commonwealths; and the act, outward and visible, which constitutes a citizen in both, is one and the same. But herein is the inapplicability of the case:--1st. The Colombian and the North American Republic profess not to be the same Republic. 2. They profess not to have one and the same act of naturalization. 3. And in the last place, the affirmation or profession of faith antecedent to the act is essentially different. Now the Regular Baptist Commonwealth and any other christian community, (that of the Christians, for example,) profess to be the christian commonwealth--that is, to be the Kingdom of Jesus Christ. The Regular Baptists and the Christians profess to have one and the same act of naturalization; and in the last place, they both profess faith in, and vow allegiance to, one and the same head. If to make the case analogous, the disciples professed faith in Jesus as the Messiah and vowed allegiance to him, and the Regular Baptists professed faith in Dr. Gill and vowed allegiance to him; or if they professed no faith but in themselves, and vowed no allegiance but to their own will; then, indeed, I would say, that if they performed the same act in the most ceremonious way, they are as distinct as Mahomet and Christ--as the Pope and Luther--or as the Colombian and American Republics. But this not being the fact, the case is not pertinent, and affects not the question in debate.

      M. I shall let Philip speak for himself. But to me it appears most important that the candidates for immersion should be well instructed in its meaning and design before they are immersed: for it appears that knowledge rather than faith, though connected with it, is of the greatest importance to the enjoyment of this institution and the reception of the benefits promised.

      E. In this I am of one mind with you; and therefore I sometimes object to the pressing of persons to he immersed, unless they are previously well instructed in the person, mission, and character of Jesus.



From the year 1380, till the year 1611--From Neal's History of
the Puritans, vol.
2, p. 112-116. Boston ed. 1817.

      THE New Testament was first translated by Dr. Wickliffe, out of the vulgar Latin, about the year 1380, and is entitled, The New Testament, with the lessons taken out of the Law, read in churches according to the use of Sarum.

      The next translation was by William Tyndal, printed at Antwerp 1526, in octavo, without a name, and without either calendar, references in the margin, or table at the end; it was corrected by the author, and printed in the years 1534 and 1536, having passed through five editions in Holland.

      In the mean time Tyndal was translating several books of the Old Testament, as the Pentateuch, and the book of Jonas, printed 1531; the books of Joshua, Judges, Ruth, the four books of Kings, the two books of Chronicles, and Nehemiah. About the same time George Joy, some time fellow of Peter College, Cambridge, translated the Psalter, the prophecy of Jeremiah, and the Song of Moses, and printed them beyond sea.

      In the year 1535, the whole bible was printed the first time in folio, adorned with wooden cuts, and scripture references; it was done by several hands, and dedicated to king Henry VIII, by Miles Coverdale. In the last page it is said to be printed in the year of our Lord 1535, and finished the fourth day of October. This bible was reprinted in quarto 1550, and again with a new title 1553.

      Two years after the bible was reprinted in English, with this title, The Holy Byble, which is all the Holy Scripture, in which are contayned the Olde and Newe Testament, truelye and purelye translated into English by [a fictitious name] Thomas Mathew, 1537. It has a calendar with an almanac; and an exhortation to the study of the scripture, signed J. R. John Rogers; a table of contents and marriages; marginal notes; a prologue; and in the Apocalypse some wooden cuts. At the beginning of the prophets are printed on the top of the page R. G. Richard Grafton, and at the bottom E. W. Edward Whitchurch, who were the printers. This translation, to the end of the book of Chronicles, and the book of Jonah, with all the New Testament, was Tyndal's; the rest was Miles Coverdale's and John Rogers'.

      In the year 1539 the abovementioned translation, having been revised and corrected by archbishop Cranmer, was reprinted by Grafton and Whitchurch, cum privilegio ad imprimendum solum. It has this title, The Bible in Englyshe, that is to say, the Content of the Holy Scripture, both of the Olde and Newe Testament, truely translated after the veritie of the Hebrue and Greke Texts, by the diligent study of divers excellent learned men, expert in the foresayde tongues. In this edition Tyndal's prologue and marginal notes are omitted. It was reprinted the following year in a large folio, proper for churches, [265] begun at Paris, and finished at London. In the year 1541 it was printed again by Grafton, with a preface by Cranmer, having been revised by Tonstal and Heath, bishops of Durham and Rochester. But after this time the popish party prevailing at court, there were no more editions of the bible this reign.

      Soon after king Edward's accession, [1548-9] the bible of 1541 had been reprinted, with Cranmer's prologue; and the liturgy of the church of England, being first composed and established, the translation of the Psalter, commonly called the old translation, in use at this day, was taken from this edition. Next year, Coverdale's testament of 1535 was reprinted, with Erasmus' paraphrase; but there was no new translation.

      In the reign of queen Mary, [1555] the exiles at Geneva undertook a new translation, commonly called the Geneva Bible; the names of the translators were, Coverdale, Goodman, Gilby, Whittingham, Sampson, Cole, Knox, Bodleigh, and Pullain, who published the New Testament first in a small twelves, 1557, by Conrad Badius. This is the first that was printed, with numerical verses. The whole bible was published afterwards with marginal notes, 1559, dedicated to queen Elizabeth. The translators say, "They had been employed in this work night and day, with fear and trembling--and they protest from their consciences, that, in every point and word, they had faithfully rendered the text to the best of their knowledge." But the marginal notes having given offence, it was not suffered to he published in England1 till the death of archbishop Parker, when it was printed [1576] by Christopher Barker, in quarto, cum privilegio, and met with such acceptance, that it passed through twenty or thirty editions in this reign.

      Cranmer's edition of the bible had been reprinted in the years 1562 and 1566, for the use of the churches. But complaint being made of the incorrectness of it, archbishop Parker projected a new translation, and assigned the several books of the Old and New Testament to about fourteen dignitaries of the church, most of whom being bishops, it was from them called the Bishop's Bible, and was printed in an elegant and pompous folio, in the year 1568, with maps and cuts. In the year 1572, it was reprinted with some alterations and additions, and several times afterwards without any amendments.

      In the year 1582, the Roman Catholic exiles translated the New Testament for the use of their people, and published it in quarto, with this title, The New Testament of Jesus Christ, translated faithfully into English out of the authentic Latin, according to the best corrected copies of the same, diligently conferred with the Greek and other editions in divers languages; with arguments of books and chapters, annotations, and other necessary helps for the better understanding of the [266] text, and especially for the discovery of the corruptions of divers late translations, and for clearing the controversies in religion of these days. In the English College of Rhemes. Printed by John Fogny. The Old Testament of this translation was first published at Doway in two quarto volumes, the first in the year 1609, the other 1610, by Lawrence Kellam, at the sign of the Holy Lamb, with a preface and tables; the authors are said to be Cardinal Allen, sometime Principal of St. Mary-hall, Oxford, Richard Bristow, Fellow of Exeter College, and Gregory Martyn, of St. John's College. The annotations were made by Thomas Worthington, B. A. of Oxford; all of them exiles for their religion, and settled in popish seminaries beyond sea. The mistakes of this translation, and the false glosses put upon the text, were exposed by the learned Dr. Fulke and Mr. Cartwright.

      At the request of the Puritans in the Hampton-Court Conference, King James appointed a new translation to be executed for the most learned men of both Universities, under the following regulations:--1. That they keep as close as possible to the Bishops' Bible. 2. That the names of the holy writers be retained according to vulgar use. 3. That the old ecclesiastical words be kept, as church not to be translated congregation, &c. 4. That when a word has divers significations, that be kept, which has been most commonly used by the fathers.2 5. That the division of chapters be not altered.3 6. No marginal notes but for the explication of a Hebrew or Greek word. 7. Marginal references may be set down. The other regulations relate to the translators comparing notes, and agreeing among themselves; they were to consult the modern translations of the French, Dutch, German,4 &c. but to vary as little as possible from the Bishops' Bible.

      The King's commission bears date 1604, but the work was not begun till 1606, and finished 1611. Fifty-four of the chief Divines of both Universities were originally nominated; some of whom dying soon after, the work was undertaken by forty-seven men, who were divided into six companies: the first translated from Genesis to the first book of Chronicles; the second to the prophecy of Isaiah; the third translated the four greater prophets, with the Lamentations and twelve smaller prophets; the fourth had the Apochrypha; the fifth had the four Gospels, the Acts, and the Revelations; and the sixth the canonical Epistles. The whole being finished and revised by learned men from both Universities, the publishing it was committed to the care of Bishop Bilson and Dr. Miles Smith, which last wrote the preface that is now prefixed. It was printed in the year 1611, with a dedication to King James, and is the same that is still read in all the churches. [267]


      THE Presbyterians have been most conspicuous in the enterprize of making new and improved translations. Other societies have made similar efforts but none have been more distinguished nor more successful in their attempts than they. It is true that all the reformers were favorable to a more general reading of the Holy Scriptures, and expressed ardent desires for improved versions of them. The most eminent reformers were, the authors of translations themselves.--Wickliffe, Luther, Beza, Wesley, with others of minor fame, gave to their contemporaries new versions of the Scriptures. Besides those called Reformers, other distinguished leaders in their respective communities have contributed by partial translations of the New Testament, and by some parts of the Old, to the improvement of the commonly received version. Erasmus, Newcome, Wakefield, Lowth, Simon, Piscator, Le Clerc, with many others, are distinguished for their labors in this department. But the Presbyterian Doctors have gained the highest reputation in the work of translating. Doctors Campbell, Macknight, Doddridge, and Stuart of Andover, are of the highest reputation in this denomination. Doddridge, it is true, in matters of church discipline and government was a Congregationalist; but this has not made a breach impassable between him and the Presbyterians. He, therefore, is fraternized by them.

      Unworthy objects have been ascribed to us for making an effort to introduce into the houses of private christians and into the public congregations, a new translation, in one volume, composed of the labors of Campbell, Macknight, and Doddridge, with such emendations as more recent critics and translators have suggested. But this scheme did not first originate with us. It was projected and accomplished in Europe before we thought of it. The four Gospels, from G. Campbell; the Apostolic Epistles, from J. Macknight; and the Acts and Revelation by John, from Doddridge, in one volume, were published in London without note or comment, before any attempt was made to print them in this country. A copy of that work was received at Bethany as soon as we could obtain it. It was very badly executed, had many typographical errors in it, and was printed in a very awkward form. The title page is lost, but I think it was published in the year 1818. Shortly after this time, a bookseller in New York, at the suggestion of Henry Errit of that city, issued proposals for publishing an octavo edition of it, full bound, at $3,00 per copy, and at $2,50 slightly bound. Mr. Errit forwarded to me a prospectus, having at that time become acquainted with me through my sermon on the law in 1816, and debate with Mr. Walker in 1820. I subscribed for 100 copies of the proposed impression, for the benefit of the congregations amongst whom I then labored. They failed in obtaining subscribers, and the project was abandoned. This was the only prospectus, as far as known to me, ever published in America [268] before that which I issued. Being extremely disappointed in the failure of the New York project, and deeply convinced of the immense importance of such a work, I began to think of undertaking it, but in form different from the London edition and from that proposed in New York. I thought the price ought to be reduced, and that prefaces and some critical notes and amendments from other translations, ought to accompany it, and that it should appear in another form on the paper. Proposals were issued at $1,75 per copy, plain binding, with the additions contemplated. And although it appeared a hazardous undertaking in a pecuniary point of view, and still more as respected the prejudices of the community, it was accomplished, and the impression was soon disposed of; without any loss, but some profit to the publisher.

      Conscious, however, that the work could be still farther improved, and desirous to keep it in my own hands until it was made as perfect as possible, I obtained for it a copy-right. A second edition, with some emendations, has been published and chiefly disposed of long since. Through the failure of both printers and bookbinders, this edition did not justify our proposals nor realize our expectations. We expected that it would have been more generally carried to the places of meeting, and more used in families than it is. The dimness of the impression, and the unportable form and size of the volume, have been generally assigned as an objection against carrying it to meeting: and the aged say the print is too small for them.

      To perfect two editions of this version (a pocket and a family Testament) has long been a desideratum with us; the latter, in large type, suited to those of dim sight--the former, for the young and middle-aged, suited to the pocket, as a constant companion. But we have hitherto been prevented, and the principal obstacles in our way are these:--

      In the first place, the printing of Testaments in the old-fashioned way, by setting up one letter at a time, is too expensive for this age of labor-saving machinery. The stereotype, or standing plate form, is now the order of the day; and hence the immense reduction in the price of books so printed. The Scriptures now are reduced to one-third their cost in the last generation.

      But again, when a book is stereotyped there is no opportunity of correcting, altering, or amending a word; and we could not have the approbation of our own conscience in putting into a standing and immutable form the version, unless in some respects corrected and improved.

      Let none be startled at this. It was not until several editions of the present authorized version were stricken off, that the work was made as perfect as it is now: and even in defiance of the governmental arrangements in favor of the king's version, it is not now what it once was in all respects. This we have before shown. We never intended to part with the copy-right until the version has our fullest approbation: and for this reason we have delayed a third edition, that we may have it as unexceptionable as possible, and because we wish [269] to have the pocket edition reduced to at least half the price of the second edition. This delay has been much longer than was anticipated; and although another edition might have been circulated before this time, we could not find that leisure, from pressing obligations, necessary to revise and prepare the work for this permanent form.

      But the expences of stereotyping are so great, that we cannot think of stereotyping the family Testament; and therefore cannot reduce the price of that edition. Indeed, the plan now proposed for the large Testament must necessarily enhance the value of it very much; and the price of it, if not proportionally greater, at least somewhat higher than the first edition.

      The improvements in contemplation for the family Testament, are these:--

      1. A marginal enumeration of chapters and verses, for the sake of reference, without indenting the page or breaking the connexion.

      2. Some enlargement of the notes critical and explanatory of important emendations in the version.

      3. In addition to the prefaces in the first edition, such geographical, chronological, and historical documents, as are conducive to a more correct knowledge of the books of the New Testament.

      4. Sundry tables, explanatory of Scripture names, and miscellaneous matters, necessary to an easy intelligence of the New Testament style.

      5. Other improvements, tending to make the volume what it originally was--a self-interpreting volume.

      The type designed for this impression are the type on which the first edition was printed, not having been since used. The volume will of course he something larger than the first edition, which contained about 526 octavo pages.

      The pocket edition will not be executed until after the family Testament is completed; and just as soon as the sale or orders for the large Testament will justify us to proceed with the pocket edition, it shall be executed.

      As the pocket Testament will be stereotyped from the third edition, brought to the greatest accuracy which our times and opportunities will permit, it can be issued in a much shorter time than we have formerly employed to perfect an edition. But the time of its appearance will necessarily depend on the orders received for it and the family Testament.

      Such are our plans and objects relative to this all-important undertaking. We are every hour which we can appropriate from our current expenditures of time, preparing for this great work.

      But some will ask, 'What are you preparing?' To them I will answer in general terms: We are collecting from all quarters every thing which can elucidate the text. We have within a few days, for example, received from London the last edition of all the works of Lardner, in 10 volumes, 8vo. who spent 43 years in collecting all the documents from Christian, Pagan, and Jewish antiquity, on the [270] credibility of the gospel history; in which all matters pertaining to the chronology and history of the sacred writings, are set forth in order. We are examining the works of the most distinguished German critics on the original text; comparing various English translations, ancient and modern; reading most patiently the original; and re-considering the works of the authors of this translation, for the purpose of improving, if possible, their style; and also for the settlement of some ambiguous renderings--so that the reader may have every possible help to forming clear, just, and comprehensive views of the Christian Revelation. This is in general terms our answer. We are also soliciting, and do hereby solicit, all the aids which the biblical critics of every school may please to furnish, with the promise that we will pay all attention to every suggestion, and do the utmost justice, in our judgment, as we shall give an account to the Divine Author of the Christian Religion, in that great day when every man shall be judged according to his works.

      We are assured that more depends upon a perspicuous and correct translation of the New Testament, for the illumination of the christian community, and for the conversion of the world, than upon any other means in human power: for no man can present the testimony of God to mankind more clearly or forcibly than he himself apprehends it, and no man can apprehend it more clearly than he reads it.

      We are not now to argue the imperfections of the common version, nor the superiority of the new. This has, to a certain extent, been already done. The preface to King James' version, which we published in the Christian Baptist, justifies and recommends the new version, and obviates all objections against it. The fact that the Presbyterians have every few years since been submitting to the public new versions of sundry parts of the volume, shews they feel the need of a new version. Professor Stuart, yet living, and certainly one of the most competent Americans to judge of such matters, has given us a new version of the letter to the Hebrews, and offered many valuable criticisms, not only upon it, but upon various other portions of the New Testament. So have some other American Writers.

      The most learned periodical which is published in the union, is that from the Andover press, titled "the Biblical Repository," conducted by Edward Robinson, and liberally contributed to by Professor Stuart. This fully authorizes all that we have said on the subject of the necessity and utility of a new version, In examining that work and the writings of Horne, Ernesti, and others, we feel ourselves fortified on all sides in the efforts we are making to introduce an improved version of the New Testament. We adopt all their rules of interpretation, and therefore every improvement in the version is according to the laws of the literary world, and to be tried by the supreme law of the commonwealth of letters. To that court we are amenable; we acknowledge its jurisdiction in the case, and will submit to its decisions. [271]

      But the cavils of the traditionized and interested, and the objections of the mere sectarian leaders, are what we must expect; for they always opposed every improvement. Their fathers opposed the Bishops' Bible--King James' Bible. Their grand-fathers opposed Luther's Bible; and their great-grand-fathers burned the bones of Wickliffe after he was dead, because he attempted a new version and recommended it to the English people.

      But after all, we have little to do in comparison of what has been done by Campbell of Aberdeen, and Macknight of Edinburg. We, have not to amend them, nor to depart from them in any cardinal matter affecting the faith of any christian in the world. It is not the faith, but the knowledge of christians which we aim to assist in these improvements. We have no system to aid or promote by a single variation. We have, we think, given proof to silence the greatest sceptic who has any intellect remaining, that the popularity or unpopularity of any tenet has never turned our course a hair's breadth from the way which conscience approves. Truth alone has been our pursuit, regardless of her retinue, admirers or opposers. At all events, if they will tell us what is wanting to assure them of this fact, we shall make an effort, if in our power, to present it to them. But he speaks to the deaf who speaks to the prejudiced; and to the candid enough has been said.

      The faith of christians who read many versions must necessarily be stronger than the faith of those who read but one. Some, indeed, think otherwise; but they confound faith and opinion. Nothing but facts, or the testimony concerning facts, can be the object of faith. No man can believe that the Moon is inhabited, but many may be of opinion that it is. Where there is no testimony there can be no faith, and where there are no facts, real or alleged, there can be no testimony. But these matters have been fully canvassed in our pages.

      Now he that reads numerous versions has more testimony than he that reads but one: more testimony in favor of the certainty of the facts which he reads in one version; because all translations in our language exhibit all the same facts, and only differ in the degrees of strength, perspicuity, precision, and beauty in which they present them. No new fact in the gospel history is brought to light--no new character introduced--no new transactions exhibited in any version in the modern tongues of the earth. He that reads numerous versions has greater assurance that he has a trust-worthy translation of the original, than he that reads but one--because the more independent versions he reads, the more witnesses he has that the facts which he believes are the facts reported in the original tongue, seeing that all translators, however they may differ about the weaning of the facts, agree in the narration of the facts.

      Various translations are like the four gospels--which, indeed, are four versions of the same history. Though not translations of the same original tongue, they are versions of the same original story, or such parts of it as each narrator thought most conducive to the object he had in view in reference to those addressed. Infidels object [272] to four gospels and a plurality of translations from the same logic and from the same motives. But the intelligent christian can appreciate the value of four testimonies, and for the same reasons he will appreciate various versions of the New Testament, until there is a perfect and universal agreement in favor of one; which is not to be expected before the Millennium.

      The Vulgate for a thousand years was almost universally received without a scruple; but then it was because few but Priests read it, and none but Priests pretended to understand it. It answered their purpose; and their admirers felt little or no interest in the matter. The more intelligent the community, the more scrupulosity concerning the purity of the original scriptures, and the precision and perspicuity of the translations of them. The last two centuries abundantly justify this observation.

      The improvement of the style on the basis of Campbell, Macknight, Doddridge, Stuart, and others, is still practicable; though no new doctrine, no new fact, no new article of belief is to be expected. We hold not a single religious practice, we inculcate no doctrine that cannot be fully sustained from any version, Catholic or Protestant, which we have ever seen. As a text or a proof book, James' version is for our use quite sufficient. But as giving a perspicuous, precise, forcible, and intelligible translation of the original, it is greatly excelled by some more modern versions. It would be surprising, indeed, considering the structure of the English language, the many improvements in it, and the great advances made in the knowledge of the original tongues during more than two centuries, if a work completed 220 years ago could not now be much improved.

      But there is this evident advantage which all have experienced from the new version, that, like the visit of a new preacher, it awakens the attention of the people. The people would go to sleep under Cicero and Demosthenes if they heard them or read them constantly. Their voice becomes monotonous, their tone, cadence, emphasis, gestures become familiar; while an inferior, because a stranger, would, from the love of novelty and change, awaken all. Hence new versions create more reading and inquiry, and consequently increase the knowledge of the community, more than any other expedient which can he adopted. But many more reasons than we can now urge conspire to recommend the exertions we are now making to perfect the family and pocket Testament now proposed.

      Orders from our agents, and from all who wish to encourage and patronize these efforts, will he thankfully received and carefully attended to. Great expenditures of time, of mental vigor, and of "money that answers all things," are requisite to perfect these plans. We have now given a full statement of our objects and pursuits relative to this great undertaking. The co-operation and assistance of all devoted to the promotion of the best interests of mankind, are respectfully solicited. To the liberality and public spirit of such is the community already, in a great measure, indebted for what has been done since the commencement of the present reformation. [273]

      Touching our own pretensions to such an undertaking, we have nothing very interesting to say. We have devoted many years to the study of the book, to the language in which it was first written, to numerous translations of it, and have availed ourselves of the best critical works in Europe and America on the original and on the best translations of it. Our humble talents and endeavors have, in concert with others, our fellow-laborers, been much, devoted to this work, and to all questions concerning primitive faith and manners. What we have done is our pledge for what we shall do in this undertaking.


      LOCKE, the author of the Essay on the Conduct of the Human Understanding, the celebrated mental philosopher, whose fame is commensurate with the English language and the English people, thus condemns the popular plan of printing the scriptures. This is from the London edition of his work on Paul's Epistles, 1823, recently obtained here. Preface, pages 7 and 8:--

      "To these we may subjoin two external causes, that have made no small increase of the native and original difficulties, that keep us from an easy and assured discovery of St. Paul's sense, in many parts of his epistles; and those are,

      First--The dividing of them into chapters and verses, as we have done; whereby they are so chopped and minced, and, as they are now printed, stand so broken and divided, that not only the common people take the verses usually for distinct aphorisms; but even men of more advanced knowledge, in reading them, lose very much of the strength and force of the coherence and the light that depends on it. Our minds are so weak and narrow, that they have need of all the helps and assistances that can be procured, to lay before them undisturbedly the thread and coherence of any discourse; by which alone they are truly improved, and led into the genuine sense of the author. When the eye is constantly disturbed in loose sentences, that by their standing and separation appear as so many distinct fragments; the mind will have much ado to take in, and carry on in its memory, a uniform discourse of dependent reasonings; especially having from the cradle been used to wrong impressions concerning them, and constantly accustomed to hear them quoted as distinct sentences, without any limitation or explication of their precise meaning, from the place they stand in, and the relation they bear to what goes before, or follows. These divisions also have given occasion to the reading these epistles by parcels, and in scraps, which has farther confirmed the evil arising from such partitions. And I doubt not but every one will confess it to be a very unlikely way to come to the understanding of any other letters, to read them piece-meal, a bit today, and another scrap to-morrow, and so on by broken intervals; especially if the pause and cessation should he made, as the chapter the apostle's epistles are divided into, do end sometimes in the middle [274] of a discourse, and sometimes in the middle of a sentence, it cannot, therefore, but be wondered that that should be permitted to be done to holy writ, which would visibly disturb the sense, and hinder the understanding of any other book whatsoever, If Tully's epistles were so printed, and so used, I ask, Whether they would not be much harder to be understood, less easy, and less pleasant to be read, by much, than now they are?

      How plain soever this abuse is, and what prejudice soever it does to the understanding of the sacred scripture, yet if a Bible was printed as it should be, and as the several parts of it were writ, in continued discourses, where the argument is continued, 1 doubt not but the several parties would complain of it, as an innovation, and a dangerous change in the publishing those holy books. And, indeed, those who are for maintaining their opinions, and the systems of parties, by sound of words, with a neglect of the true sense of scripture, would have reason to make and foment the outcry. They would most of them be immediately disarmed of their great magazine of artillery wherewith they defend themselves and fall upon others. If the holy scripture were but laid before the eyes of christians, in its connexion and consistency, it would not then be so easy to snatch out a few words, as if they were separate from the rest, to serve a purpose to which they do not at all belong, and with which they have nothing to do. But as the matter now stands, he that has a mind to it, may at a cheap rate be a notable champion for the truth, that is, for the doctrines of the sect that chance or interest has cast him into. He need but be furnished with verses of sacred scripture, containing words and expressions that are but flexible (as all general obscure and doubtful ones are,) and his system, that has appropriated them to the orthodoxy of his church, makes them immediately strong and irrefragable arguments for his opinion. This is the benefit of loose sentences, and scripture crumbled into verses, which quickly turn into independent aphorisms. But if the quotation in the verse produced were considered as a part of a continued coherent discourse, and so its sense were limited by the tenor of the context, most of these forward and warm disputants would be quite stripped of those, which they doubt not now to call spiritual weapons; and they would have often nothing to say, that would not show their weakness, and manifestly fly in their faces. I crave leave to set down a saying of the learned and judicious Mr. Selden: "In interpreting the scripture," says he, "many do as if a man should see one have ten pounds, which he reckoned by 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, S, 7, 8, 9, 10, meaning 4 was but four units, and 5 five units, &c, and that he had in all but ten pounds: the other that sees him, takes not the figures together as he doth, but picks here and there; and thereupon reports that he had five pounds in one bag, and six pounds in another bag, and nine pounds in another bag, &c, when as, in truth, he has but ten pounds in all. So we pick out a text here and there, to make it serve our turn; whereas if we take it altogether, and consider what went before, and what followed after, we should find it meant no such thing." [275]


      THE following is from the Preface to the Epistle to the Hebrews, in the very learned work of Professor Stuart of Andover. It corroborates all we have said of the necessity and utility of the new translation. vol. 1, Pref, p. 6:--

      "The second volume of this work will commence with a new translation of the Epistle to the Hebrews. In this, it has been my object to give a more exact view of the features of the original Greek, than is presented by our common English version. Of all the tasks which an interpreter performs, this is the most difficult. To make some kind of translation, is indeed a very easy thing; to follow on, in the tracks of some other interpreter, is equally easy. But to translate, so as to make an author, who has composed in another language, altogether intelligible, and yet preserve all the shades, and coloring, and nice transitions, and (so far as may be) even the idioms themselves of the original, is the very highest and most difficult work which an interpreter is ever called to perform. A translation, faithfully presenting the original, is in itself a commentary. It is the sum of all an interpreter's labors, exhibited in the briefest manner possible. Hence the little success that has attended most of the versions which have been made of the scriptures. Their authors have either abridged or paraphrased the original; more commonly the latter. Neither is admissible in a translation truly faithful. Whether I have shunned the one and the other, must be left to the judgment of the reader.

      I much prefer the Saxon English for a version of the Bible. I have accordingly chosen it, whenever I could, and have purposely avoided substituting Latinizing English in its room, unless a regard to the meaning of the original compelled me to do it."


      WE shall conclude this article with a quotation from the original preface made to the French version of Father Simon. He, though a Catholic, censured the mystic interpreters, and the gnostic system of spiritualizing, as fully as some of our Protestant critics, he was for literal translations, and a literal use of them.

      His apology for not translating into French the Old as well as the New Testament, is thus expressed:--"I had continually in my mind the answer made on a like occasion to King Henry III. by Gerebrard. That Prince, who was desirous of seeing a good version of the Bible in our tongue, asked him what time and money were requisite. Gerebrard, who perfectly understood this matter, said to the King, that 'thirty years, thirty men learned in languages and divinity, and two hundred thousand crowns were absolutely necessary; and that even then the work would not be without censure.'" We have this from Rene Benoist, who was present when he said it.
EDITOR. [276]      



GEORGETOWN, May 7th, 1832.      

Brother Campbell,

      THE reformation is going on prosperously in this region; and as it progresses the worldly-minded clergy of the sectarian establishments, with those of their followers who have the least to do with personal piety and the christian graces, seem the more determined to invent new reproaches and slanders against its advocates.

      On Saturday last, at the Great Crossing, being one of the regular monthly judicial days, founded on tile Philadelphia book of the orthodox Baptists, the members present took their seats. A quorum being present, the moderator stated the privileges of inviting regular members of other churches. Old father Hickman and the Rev. William Vaughn took seats also with the court. The first person arraigned for trial was an old brother of colour, who had been a member with them for many years, and who was the keeper of the keys of the meeting-house, (an orderly moral old man.) The offence alleged was, that this old brother had taken the Lord's supper with a sect not in fellowship with the church. The old brother, aided by another member, plead that he had commemorated the death and suffering of the Saviour with the disciples who met at that place for worship; that he believed them to be christians; and that he did not think it contrary to the laws of Christ for him to sit at the Lord's table with them, (although it might be contrary to an order or rule of the church.)

      Mr. William Vaughn replied to these arguments. He stated, in substance, that the disciples, or reformers, so called, were as different in their faith and practice in all the essentials of christianity, from the Regular Baptists, as light from darkness; or, in other words, that the Regular Baptists and the Reformers were as opposite to each other in the essentials of christianity as day and night; that he could prove from Scripture that the Regular Baptists had a right to make laws for their government, explanatory, or in furtherance of the laws of Christ; that they were commanded to be engaged in every good work, without any specification; and therefore they had a right to make rules, and say with whom they would, or would not eat the supper. That all those who would take the supper with the Reformers ought to he excluded, unless they would say they were sorry for it, and promise to do so no more. That the reformers had united with Arians and Socinians, Universalists and infant sprinklers. That they had broken down all harriers in relation to the supper, &c. &c. and ought to be rejected by all well disciplined Regular Baptist churches.

      A motion was then made to postpone a decision for one month, and failed. The question of expulsion was put by the Moderator, and carried by a large majority; (say 18 for it, 3 or 4 against it, and 6 or 8 neutrals, in a church of about 500 members, at least 4-5ths being absent;) and so old brother Jacob, of good moral character, was cast out of their synagogue for the heinous offence of having partaken of the loaf and the cup in remembrance of the broken body and shed blood of our Lord and Saviour, with immersed believers in the Lord.

      Brother Campbell, my object particularly in stating the remarks of Mr. Vaughn, is to ask you if you know of any congregation of Reformers in America or Europe who have united with either Arians, Socinians, Universalists or with infant sprinklers? And if you do, will you please name the place and circumstances? About Georgetown we know of no such unions, neither do we believe that any such exist, except in the mouths of those who wish to defame us.

      But I will drop this unpleasant subject, and say a few words more to you in relation to the advancement of the Redeemer's kingdom.--On the third Lord's day in last June, I think, brother John T. Johnson commenced [277] teaching the word of life from the New Testament alone, on a little stand, under shade of a few trees, near the old Dry Run meeting house, which was shut against him, and all who rejected creeds, councils of men, &c. upon religious subjects. There was at that time not a single disciple of the Saviour in that neighborhood that I know of, who took the word of God alone for faith and practice.5 The audience, however, although small, seemed to be attentive, and in a few months the congregations were large and serious, and some few confessed their faith in the Saviour, and were immersed for remission, almost every month. Lately, when the weather would permit, meetings were held in that neighborhood every Thursday evening at 4 o'clock, and many have made the good confession. On yesterday (Lord's day) brethren Palmer, Davis, and Johnson addressed at that place a very serious and large congregation, (estimated at 1000 in number;) after which brother Johnson immersed nine persons upon the good confession. Several others have made the good confession, and will be immersed on Thursday evening next. I think near fifty have been immersed in that neighborhood, and they meet on Saturday next for the purpose of fixing upon a site for a meeting-house, an amount deemed nearly sufficient for its erection having been obtained by subscription.

      We have now upwards of sixty members at the Crossings, and it is a rare occurrence to have a meeting without some additions.

      At Dry Run on yesterday, an elderly lady (upwards of 80 years of age) was immersed in the presence of many of her children and grand children.
B. S. C.      


      BROTHER Hendrickson, of New York city, thus writes under date of the 7th April last:--

      "My wife, with myself, and two oldest daughters, about 15 months ago united with a congregation of christians in this city, who have renounced sectarianism, and, I trust, all humanisms, and are learning from the New Testament alone the christian faith and hope, and how they should walk in all things so as to adorn the christian character, that others seeing their good works might be led to glorify God.

      "This society commenced about four years ago, with nine disciples: since which time they have gradually been growing in knowledge and in conformity to the New Testament. About two years ago they altered from breaking the loaf once in four weeks, to every Lord's day afternoon; being fully convinced that the Lord's supper was an essential part of the christian worship in the apostolic days. A few months after this important alteration we united with these simple hearted christians, disposed to learn the Master's will from the New Testament alone; and we can say, with grateful hearts, that we have found much peace, and comfort, and unanimity in this little society to the present time. So may it continue to the end of the chapter! is my earnest prayer, that we may prove to be a light in this great metropolis.

      "Our present number is about 50. Luke Parker, M. D. is our President in the congregation, whose teaching and behaviour so well agree as to make him not only useful to those without, but an example to the flock. We have four deacons. Brother Parmley and his wife are expected to unite with us, as they have recently got acquainted with the congregation, and are zealous for keeping the commandments of the Saviour." [278]


      THE very excellent brother who makes the complaint, is one of my earliest acquaintance in his section of Kentucky, and one for whom I have always entertained a very high regard. Had he only interpreted the word "only" in the light of its context, he would have seen that we alluded to the tendencies and actual results specified in the same sentence, of which the phrase quoted by him is only a member. But he has taken other views of these two brethren upon other matters, and asks whether their former views concerning creeds did not amount to more than a speculative opinion. I concede that, in reference to that matter, there was a practical difference in favor of the brother for whose reputation he is solicitous. But we spoke of the congregations gathered tinder the two systems in reference to all the specifications there made; and in all these matters there was no pre-eminence in my speculative opinion of the matter. I can find in each a preference in some points to the other; but taken together and weighed in our scales, they were both as near to, and as far from, the ancient gospel and ancient order of things.

      As to the renunciations made at Lexington, I spoke advisedly; and according to my information, they all renounced their former speculations--in the sense stated in the period, of which the clause quoted is but a member. I did not learn that all had renounced their former opinions, but had renounced their former speculations in their preachings concerning the matters specified. If they have not, I could not, on any premises known to me, bid them God speed, or hope for any glory to God or good to men from their co-operation. If my information on this matter has been incorrect, I request to be put in possession of the facts in this case; for if these brethren are not now proclaiming the ancient order of things, I am altogether deceived by misrepresentations. And if any person who has read all that has been written for the last ten years on the ancient gospel and order, can imagine that these are at all identical with the former views and practices of those brethren, we must regard all who have written or spoken on these subjects, the most unintelligible writers and speakers in the twenty-four republics.

      Brother Fleming will not, I hope, from all that has been said, think that we lightly esteem the former efforts of many who have plead against human creeds and the tyranny of religious demagogues in the various systems sustained by authoritative councils, and for the excellency of the Scriptures and their intelligibility. These were all pioneers and breakers up of the way for a return to the primitive institutions. We are all in progress onward, and I trust will continue to grow in knowledge and in favor with God and man, till we stand perfect and complete in all his will; and it gives me pleasure to add, that amongst all my numerous acquaintances in the ranks of reformers of every name, I know of none who, I think, will more cheerfully bow to the authority of the Great King, than this same brother L. Fleming.
EDITOR. [279]      


      JEREMIAH VARDEMAN was once a proclaimer of the ancient gospel. His reputation as a preacher is fresh in the memory of all the Baptists in Kentucky. No man was a more powerful exhorter than he. He was not embarrassed with the nice distinctions that perplexed the old Calvinian school. He could act the part of a good Methodist while he was in the General Union; and could fling his thunderbolts in the face of transgressors, and shake the souls of the stout-hearted and far from righteousness, by holding them over the fiery lake, and making them hear the groans and agonies of those fast bound in chains of endless despair. He could make sinners feel "the red hot ploughshares of almighty wrath" rending their flesh and blood.

      Once upon a time he became more cool and rational, and undertook to preach an immediate remission through faith and baptism. On a visit to his hospitable mansion in the month of November, 1826, amongst many entertaining anecdotes, he related the following:--

      "Brother Campbell, I have incomparably more pleasure in baptizing persons now than under the old dispensation. I feel that I am now doing them an essential service. The last two persons I immersed, I immersed them for the remission of sins, and I had more pleasure in doing it than I ever experienced in all the baptisms of my past ministry. I thought there was something in the institution worth the trouble and worth the contending for. But, really, the old system seemed like fighting for a ceremony.

      "But I must tell you of a rencounter which I had with a Catholic clergyman a few months since. The Right Rev. Mr.------, from Bardstown, do you know, had the audacity to come over into my bounds, and right in the field of my labors, began to hold forth the rank doctrine of Catholic absolution. He contended that, he and his brethren had the power of forgiving sins, and proved it all by scripture. Well, thought I, my good sir, I will return the compliment. A few weeks after, I sent on an appointment to Bardstown, and had it publicly announced that I was going to prove that the Baptist ministry had as much power of remitting sins as the Catholic ministry.6 I went on at the time appointed, and was very courteously received by the whole Catholic priesthood belonging to the establishment in that place. My text was, "Whose sins soever you remit, they are remitted; and whose sins soever you retain, they are retained." My method was to show--

      "1. That the Lord had conferred on Peter this power.

      "2. That Peter did remit and retain sins when first he announced the gospel. He proclaimed remission to all who were penitent and were baptized, and condemnation to them that would not repent and be baptized. [280]

      "3. That he taught christians how they were to obtain remission by confession.

      "Then I came to the question which startled the Doctors. It was stated thus:--How is it, said I, let me ask, that we have this power now in the ministry of forgiving sins?

      "I answer for myself and my brethren, we have it not in our persons. Nor do the ministers of the Catholic church contend that then have the power of absolving in their persons. So far we are agreed. Well, then, what remains? Our office? Yes, it is an official power. And this is all that the Catholics can claim. But let me add, there is this difference: They, without any warrant, assume to forgive sins committed after baptism; but we assume only to remit sins committed before baptism; and that only in so far as we administer the ordinance of baptism for the remission of sins. But of this power which is in us only as the food or medicine is in the hand of him that administers it, the Catholic clergy have divested themselves by their traditions; for they have presumed to baptize infants, who have no sins to remit and no faith to confess; and thus by abolishing the christian institution of immersion, have lost the power of remission: while we Baptists have it in the sense defined; and therefore we can preach remission even to Catholic Priests!!

      "The Doctors seemed to take it all in good part, and treated me courteously while I staid in the place; but I believe they found it the best policy to say nothing against my discourses."

      But, alas! for the instability of man! Jeremiah quarreled with some of his brethren, and then went back to the old dispensation, and placed himself exactly where he placed the Catholic clergy--having made void not only the boasted power, but the commandment of God, by his traditions!


      "Lord, what is man that thou art mindful of him! What is the son of man, that thou shouldst visit him."

      We ask not what he was when clothed in light as with a garment, he stood beaming forth the moral glory of his Father and his God, amid the ever-glowing beauties and all the joyful harmonies of Eden, before the serpent's discordant tongue whispered a jarring note into the ever-listening ear of woman. We ask not what he was while he stood the rightful sovereign of a world, whose every creature owned him and gladly ministered to him as Lord of all; when every breath bore to his ear the admiring allegiance of all below him; and the approving, ennobling, and enrapturing accents of his complacent and almighty Father. But we ask,

What IS Man?

      When we look upon the wild untutored savage that roams the wilderness in quest of blood as a beast of prey--upon the wretched slave, sunk in ignorance and chains, degraded by his more knavish [281] fellow to a beast of burthen--upon the miscreant, insatiate of crime, self-doomed and self-degraded, without shame and without remorse, rioting on the rankest sins, and sporting himself in worse than brutal lusts--well may we exclaim, What is man! Shall we say with Young,

"His very crimes attest his dignity,"

and estimate his primeval excellence and glory from his ability to descend, by a ladder of such countless rounds, so many steps below the beasts that perish?

      In what creation, or in what part of immensity itself, is found a being of such capacities as man? In what species of being are such antipodes of character, such contrasts of light and shade, of vigor and imbecility, of good and evil, of grandeur and degradation?

      Abel, of countenance placid, serene, unclouded, leaning upon the promise of the Immutable, over his bleeding lamb, in admiration of the immaculate purity of the sin-forgiving Jehovah: Cain, of aspect sullen, suspicious, dejected; incensed in heart, and machinating vengeance against a brother because more excellent than himself--stand first in contrast at the head of the two chapters which, with reference to moral character, classify all the descendants of the once happy pair.

      But who next in the same two chapters, as specimens of the vast extremes, are worthy to be named? If from remote points we might place side by side men of renown, we would compare Abraham, the first Chaldean pilgrim of renown, chief of the fathers of mankind, standing upon Mount Moriah's top, through faith obedient even to the sacrifice of an only son, receiving from the dead the child of promise, joyfully looking through the long vista of two thousand years, to the day in which Isaac's son, on the same spot, should achieve a victory of such transcendant glory as to enlighten eternity with its train;--and whom--Robespierre, prince of Atheists, in the glory of Atheism, in "the reign of terror," enraged to madness at the very name of Abraham's God, standing by the guillotine, sacrificing human victims to his own insatiable ambition, feasting on the blood of the thousand rivals of his infamous renown.

      And who next? Mary, the amiable, sitting at the feet of Jesus, drinking grace from his lips, and Jezebel sacrificing by scores the prophets who uttered the words of the Lord; the widow, casting her whole living into the treasury of the Lord, and Judas betraying and selling the Saviour of the world for fifteen dollars; Paul peregrinating all nations, hazarding all dangers, encountering all privations, enduring all toils to save men's souls; and Napoleon, spreading desolations over many lands, wading through rivers of human blood, offering up millions of human souls on the altar of his own ambition. But it is in vain. We cannot bring the antipodes together, nor in all points contrast any two of the race. Could we arrange all the ranks of intellect, all the classes of moral and immoral character, all the contrasts in the whole race, the number would be only equalled by the whole aggregate of individuals that have ever lived. [282]

      But no mortal can survey the capacities of man. His Maker alone knows what he is capable of; and the price which he has set upon him, even in his crimes, in sending his Son to redeem him by his own blood, teaches us how to regard ourselves and one another more than all the speculations of philosophers from the first apostacy to the resurrection of the dead.

"And what in yonder world above
    Is ransom'd man ordain'd to be?
With honor, holiness, and love,
    No angel more adorn'd than he.

Before the throne, and first in song,
    Man shall his hallelujahs raise;
While countless angels round him throng,
    And swell the chorus of his praise,"


      THE calling of Abraham is one of the most memorable and instructive events in the annals of six thousand years. It happened in the year of the world 2083 and in the 75th year of his life. That his family should become the most renowned family in all the earth, was intimated to him as soon as he was commanded to leave Haran; nor was this all--it was distinctly promised that he who called him would bless all the families of the earth through one of his descendants. By a series of the most extraordinary occurrences he was taught to walk by faith, and in consequence of his great attainments under the influence of this elevated principle, he was called "the Friend of God," and "the Father of all Believers."

      In the fulness of time, through faith in God's promise, Isaac, the child of promise, was born, and to him were repeated the promises which God made to Abraham his father. Of the two sons of Isaac and Rebecca, Jacob was chosen to inherit the promises; but from amongst his twelve sons no election was made; they were all chosen of God to be the heads of the family of Abraham, Thus far, and to the end of the Jewish age, the election was without regard to personal character.

      At the end of the first memorable period in the history of this people, just 430 years from the first promise to Abraham, his descendants amounted to about 2,000,000, and God was pleased by a special compact with them to constitute them "a kingdom of priests, a holy nation." Thus their ecclesiastical and political existence, as a people, commenced in the year of the world 2518.

      Their organization into this new mode of existence was the result of a series of the most astonishing agencies preparatory to this most illustrious event. They had been for more than one hundred years reduced to the most abject slavery under one of the most obdurate tyrants that ever sat upon a throne One whose heart was proverbially hardened through the kindness and long suffering of God. Most ungrateful to the people of Joseph, who saved his people from famine, and built up his own throne, Pharaoh most cruelly oppressed this people. God had long endured this vessel of wrath, now ripe for destruction, whose family ought to have been annihilated before Moses was born, for then it sought to crush the rising strength of Jacob. But God knew how to abase him, and by giving him such elevation of rank and notoriety, to make his fall and "the God of the Hebrews" conspicuous through all the earth.

      The son of Amram was constituted the Apostle of God, and made the executor of his will in the land of Egypt. He prepared the Hebrews for the new circumstances as well as abased the pride and insolence of him who said. "Who is the Lord that I should obey him?" The field of Zoan trembled under the rod of Moses, when out of Egypt God called his Son. Israel his first born [283] saw the wonders of his power, and obeyed the call of Moses. But their redemption could not be achieved, but at the price of the best blood of Egypt. The first born of man and beast, from him that sat on the throne down to the meanest vassal in the tabernacles of Ham, "the first born of the maid-servant behind the mill," was smitten by the angel of the Lord before this haughty chief could lend a willing ear to the mandates of the leader of God's chosen people.

      But Israel was redeemed and saved by the Lord from the tyranny of the Pharaohs, and the power that tyrannized over them lay in the bottom of the Red Sea, before God proposed to them through this mediation the basis of a new government. Jehovah proposed himself to be their King, and to reign over them, on condition that they would submit unconditionally to his will. To this they willingly acceded, after all that they saw in Egypt, at the Red Sea, and more especially from the top of Mount Sinai. This political and religious confederation was under the supervision of the God of Abraham as its head, and he was both their King and their God.

      The order of preparation for this national consecration is worthy of marked attention. It may be arranged thus:--

      1. Moses revealed to the people the knowledge of the character and promises of God before he called them to obedience.

      2. He then commanded of called them to forsake Egypt.

      3. But as their masters would not release them, it was necessary to humble them and to visit upon them the blood which they had shed until they would send forth these enslaved people emancipated and remunerated for their toils. This was done by a long series of calamities, and finally consummated at the expense of the destruction of the first born of all the land. The Israelites out of doors sprinkled with blood marched forth after the midnight cry of that night of horror which left not one house without a corpse. Hence the Jews are ever after called "the Redeemed of the Lord."

      4. They were immersed into Moses, and saved from Pharaoh by passing through the channel of the Red Sea, covered with a cloud, before God proposed to them a new state under a new constitution. From these facts in the history of the typical people, we may deduce this great lesson:--

      Israel was enlightened, redeemed, saved, and called out of Egypt before erected into a church or nation in the wilderness; and from the transactions through the mediation of Moses at Sinai, the Lord Jehovah himself became their King and their God, as a nation, on the conditions stipulated Exod. xix. in the words following:--

      "In the third month, when the children of Israel were gone forth out of the land of Egypt, the same day came they into the wilderness of Sinai. For they were departed from Rephidim, and had pitched in the wilderness; and there Israel encamped before the mount.

      And Moses went up unto God, and the Lord called unto him out of the mount, saying, Thus shalt thou say to the house of Jacob, and tell the children of Israel; Ye have seen what I did unto the Egyptians, and how I bare you on eagles' wings, and brought you unto myself. Now, therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine: and ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and a holy nation. These are the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel.

      And Moses came and called for the elders of the people, and laid before their faces all these words which the Lord commanded him. And all the people answered together, and said, All that the Lord hath spoken we will do. And Moses returned the words of the people unto the Lord. And the Lord said unto Moses, Lo, I come unto thee in a thick cloud, that the people may hear when I speak with thee, and believe thee for ever. And Moses told the words of the people unto the Lord.

      And the Lord said unto Moses, Go unto the people, and sanctify them to-day and to-morrow, and let them wash their clothes, and be ready against the third [284] day: for the third day the Lord will come down in the sight of all the people upon mount Sinai.

      And thou shalt set bounds unto the people round about, saying, Take heed to yourselves, that ye go not up into the mount, or touch the border of it: whosoever toucheth the mount shall be surely put to death: there shall not a hand touch it, but he shall surely be stoned or shot through; whether it be beast or span, it shall not live: when the trumpet soundeth long, they shall come up to the mount."

      The constitution is prefaced with these memorable words, Exod. xx. 1-3. "And God spake all these words, saying, I am the Lord thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. Thou shalt have no other gods before me." Thus by a national compact they became his kingdom, and God called himself their King. Of this he reminded them on the first appearance of national apostacy, when they desired a king like the Pagans around them. 1 Sam. xii. 12. "When the Lord your God was King, you desired a king to reign over you."

      But a nation of priests that people must be over whom God reigns as King. Hence the religion, morality, and politics of this congregation were all divine. Their religion was a part of their politics, and their politics a part of their religion. All sorts of powers, religious and political, were lodged in the same hands. The nation was the church, and the church was the nation under that constitution and administration. Critics need not be told, that if they interpret the term church to mean a people called out, a people redeemed, a people saved by the Lord, or a simple congregation, in all these senses it literally applies to the confederation of the twelve tribes under the Sinaitic Economy. They were effectually called out of Egypt, redeemed, saved, and sanctified before they became a nation or a church.

      But if God be their King, his residence must be among them. This suggests to us the importance of looking very carefully into the genius of that government which God administered over this people, and into the nature of his house or residence among them. For most assuredly that was a good, and just, and blissful government which God exercised over a people whom he delighted to honor and to bless, But of the King's house and government at another time.


      THERE are two ways of settling the meaning of any disputed passage usually resorted to--the one is argument, or criticism, in accordance with the well defined rules of interpretation;--the other is, by authority--by adducing the opinions or decisions of those great masters in the science or art to which the difficulty belongs. Besides these, there is sometimes a third, very common amongst children and those of uncultivated minds. This is the word "because," which is with them a decisive reason. 'It means so, because it means so.' To which of these three the following decision belongs, is left to the reader to decide.

      "The Water and the Spirit," says Mr. Brantly," in John iii. 5. "mean one and the same thing." But the passage must be laid before the reader from the Index of May 12, page 29.--

      "For, first, the Water and the Spirit in this place signify the same thing; and by Water is meant the effect of the Spirit, cleansing and purifying the soul, as appears in its parallel place of Christ's baptising with the Spirit and with fire. For, although this was literally fulfilled in Pentecost, yet morally there is no more in it, for it is the sign of the effect of the Holy Ghost, and its productions upon the soul; and it was an excellency of our blessed Saviour's office, that he [285] baptises all that come to him with the Holy Ghost and with fire; for so John the Baptist, preferring Christ's mission and office before his own, tells the Jews, not Christ's disciples, that Christ shall baptize them with fire and the Holy Spirit; that is, all that come to him, as John the Baptist did with water. For so lies the antithesis. And you may as well conclude that infants must also pass through the fire as through the water. And that we may not think this a trick to elude the pressure of this place, Peter says the same thing. For when he had said that baptism saves us, he adds by way of explication, "Not the washing of the flesh, but the confidence of a good conscience toward God;" plainly saying that it is not water, or the purifying of the body, but the cleansing of the Spirit, that doth that which is supposed to be the effect of baptism."

      Now no one can say that Mr. Brantly decides this question by authority; for none is adduced. Almost all authority is against him. All the Westminster Divines, all the authors of the 39 Articles, all the Catholic Doctors, all antiquity for 400 years, and I believe a majority of every sect of dissenters in christendom. But this with us weighs but little against the canons of sound criticism or fair argument from philological principles; but with them who rely so much upon authority as Mr. B. it is entitled to some respect.

      Well, now, what are his arguments and proof. The Spirit and fire in a parallel passage mean the Spirit: ergo, the Spirit and water mean the Spirit. Verily, this is assumption in the superlative degree!

      1. It is assumed that the preaching of the immersion of the Spirit, and the immersion in fire preached by John the Immerser, is parallel to the conversation between Jesus and Nicodemus. Mr. B's first proof is, therefore, that these places are parallel; but again this needs to be proved; and we think that a bench of Bishops cannot be found from John the Immerser down to my friend Brantly, who will agree with him in this assumption.

      2. It is assumed that the phrase immersion in fire and in water mean the same thing; for things that are equal to the same are equal to one another. John's threatening fire, and Christ's preaching water, mean the same thing. What a singular sort of blessing is that which fire and water, in their metaphorical import, equally well represent!! But we rust not reason Mr. B. assumes for proof!

      3. It is assumed that the phrase like as of fire, in Acts ii. means fire. For the tongues resembling lambent flame are appealed to as proof of the Spirit and fire meaning the same thing. Well now, if fire, and like fire, mean the same thing, what has become of all the dictionaries, grammars, and rules of interpretation?--by one fell swoop all immersed in the flame of sectarian zeal! Suppose, if any one can be so serious as to suppose, that "fire," and "like as of fire," mean the same thing, and what is the version of the "parallel passage?" Matt. The chaff he will 'like as burn up in like as unquenchable fire;' for "fire," and "like as of fire," mean fire. Can it be possible that Mr. B. thinks there was fire on the heads of the Apostles, or only tongues "like as of fire"!! I know not what he may assume.

      But yet he denies in fact, his own assumption in the very passage above quoted. He says, "the water and the Spirit mean the same [286] thing, and by water is meant the effect of the Spirit." Ergo, the Spirit and the effect of the Spirit mean the same thing, for water means the Spirit and the effect of the Spirit: and things that are equal to the same are equal to one another! What does not the phrase "born of water" mean? It is equal to born of fire, born of like as of fire, born of Spirit, and born of the effects of the Spirit. If such be not Mr. Brantly's meaning, I profess to be ignorant of every principle of criticism. He is, in the passage quoted, fighting with the Paidobaptists; but if he thinks them to be smitten with such logic, he has conceived a most contemptible opinion of their heads as well as of their hearts!

      And so Jesus, the Great Teacher, is made to say, for the sake of carrying a point, 'Except a man be born of the effects of the Spirit and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God!' Truly, Mr Brantly, you have but a poor opinion of him that spake as never man spake!


      IN the book of Daniel I find a difficulty in reference to the dates, which I wish you to examine carefully, and if it can be satisfactorily answered, I desire you to attend to it either privately or publicly.

      In the days of Jehoiakin, Nebuchadnezzar took Jerusalem, and carried away, with others, Daniel and the three Hebrew children. These four person he required Ashpenaz, the president of the eunuchs, to prepare for the space of three years, that at the end of that time they might stand before the King. Now at the end of three years, it is said, verse 18, ch. i. they there brought before the King, and found to be very wise and were pleasing in his sight. This would seem to be their first interview with the King.

      But the second chapter commences by stating that "in the second year of the reign of Nebuchadnezzar, Nebuchadnezzar "dreamed dreams;" and as none of the Chaldeans could satisfy the King, he was about to destroy them all. Whereupon Daniel desired to see the King; and chap. ii. verse 16, he went in to the King, which shows that it was after his introduction to the King. After three years of probation, and yet only the second year of the King's reign! How can these things be reconciled?

      ANSWER.--Nebuchadnezzar reigned two years before his father's death. The second year of his reigning alone was, therefore, the fourth of the captivity of Daniel. Nabopolassar, the father of Nebuchadnezzar, invested him with the title of King, and sent him with an array to reduce Phenicia and Coelasyria, which provinces had revolted from him. In the third year from this appointment Nabopolassar died, and Nebuchadnezzar then reigned alone over the dominions of his father. Calmet, in his Dictionary of the Bible, thus explains these matters:--The Babylonish Captivity commenced A.7nbsp;M. 3398. Their return was in the year of the world, 3468--about 536 years before the Christian Era.
EDITOR. [287]      

SUMMARY OF NEWS--May 31, 1852.

      THE Church of Christ in Richmond now consists of 75 persons. Their harmony among themselves, and mild and clement demeanor to their opponents, with the ancient gospel in their hands and hearts, cannot fail to commend the truth to the reception of their fellow-citizens. The additions to the brethren at the Great Crossings, Scott county, Ky under the labors of brother Johnson, are almost as frequent as their stated meetings. Today's mail informs us, that on the 18th of May 12 persons were added to them, 4 recently immersed, and 4 of the Regulars who resolved to subscribe to the New Testament alone. That congregation now numbers more than 70. Brother Johnson immersed 4 in Dry Run! on the 10th inst. The excision of brother Jacob has not prevented other members of the same church from uniting with the disciples. "Campbellism" is dying fast in Kentucky, and will soon be extinct, as the disciples acknowledge no leader but the Messiah. At Monticello, in Wayne county, Ky. a congregation, amounting to 40, has lately been organized. Brother Smith's last visit there issued in the immersion of 21 persons; also, 9 persons at Crab Orchard. The brethren at Monticello have appointed brethren J. S. Frisbe and Francis P. Stone to labor among them and preside over them--the former, a member of the Medical Faculty; the latter, a member of the Bar, who was saved from scepticism by the debate with Robert Owen. We thought some time ago of publishing a letter from him to that effect, received some months since, but have hitherto postponed it. The congregation in Cincinnati, Ohio, amongst whom brother Scott now labors, reports 240 members. May the disciples every where grow in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour, and in favor with God and man!

      It would be desirable to have a statement of the churches which do actually meet every Lord's day to keep all the ordinances of our King. None else can we, with regard to truth, call the churches of Jesus Christ. It is necessary to have this for the sake of those who wish to visit the brethren, as well as for their co-operation in the work of the Lord, and for various purposes. Some are opposed to in enumeration of the members of churches or of the churches, because of abuses; but such may remember that Luke was not straitened as they are, nor any of the Apostles: they tell us the names and the number of the first assemblage of disciples afterwards called Apostles. Luke tells us of the number of names in Jerusalem before the day of Pentecost, and counts up 3000 enrolled that day in the army of the faith, and again tells us of 5000, &c. And elders in Jerusalem could tell Paul, (Acts iii.) that "many myriads of the Jews believed." Let the brethren who travel among the congregations ascertain these matters, and if they will forward to us their respective lists, we will be at the pains to arrange them geographically. It is not the churches which are called disciples, or christians, or reformers; but those who meet weekly for the purposes specified, from which we desire information.


      THIS pestilence is spreading in England and France. From its first appearance in England in November last, up to the 31st March, 8707 cases are reported, and more than 3000 deaths. Latterly the deaths are in a greater proportion to the whole number of cases, being generally more than one half. In the province of Ghillan, in Persia, out of a population of 300,000, there have survived the plague and the cholera only 60,000 men and 40,000 women--two thirds of the whole inhabitants being swept off!

      MORE than 100 preachers in England, with about the same number in Ireland, aided by several periodicals, are now proclaiming the literal coming of Christ, and the literal resurrection of the saints at the commencement of the Millennium.

      REFORMATION is now preached from all the signs of the times; but if men will not hear Jesus and the Apostles, they will not be persuaded though one rose from the dead. During the outpouring of some of the vials, it is said that the subjects of these vials of vengeance repented not of their deeds, but blasphemed the God of heaven.

      1 Here Mr. Neal, as Dr. Grey observes, appears to be mistaken; as Lewis says that "the Geneva Bible was printed at London, in folio and quarto, in 1572." Lewis' History of the Translations of the Bible, in 8vo. P. 264, 1d edition, 1739.--Ed. [266]
      2 Dr. Grey states more fully and accurately these rules from Lewis and Fuller, "used by the most eminent fathers, being agreeable to the propriety of the place and the analogy of faith."--Ed. [267]
      3 The division of the chapters to be altered either not at all, or as little as may be, if necessity so require." Lewis, p. 317. Fuller's Church Hist. b. x. p. 46. [267]
      4 The translations pointed out by name, as Dr. Grey remarks, were those of Tyndal, Matthew, Coverdale, Whitchurch, and Geneva.--Ed. [267]
      5 There were three or four members of the Christian body in the neighborhood of Dry Run at the time brother Johnson commenced speaking there, who cordially received him, and so did some few of the Baptists, and I think about four members of the old Particular Baptist church have openly thrown off the human yoke at that place, and intend in future to walk according to their privileges, as the free citizens of the Messiah. [278]
      6 No doubt but such strong and unguarded expressions concerning remission of sins, the power of remitting sins, and washing away sins in baptism, have been most prejudicial to the cause of truth, and given a pretext to the opposition for their hard speeches against the pleadings of reformers.--Ed. [280]


[The Millennial Harbinger, 3 (June, 1832): 241-288.]

[Table of Contents]
[Previous] [Next]
Alexander Campbell, ed.
The Millennial Harbinger, Vol. III, No. VI (1832)

Back to Alexander Campbell Page
Back to Restoration Movement Texts Page