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Alexander Campbell, ed.
The Millennial Harbinger, Vol. III, No. VII (1832)


MONDAY, JULY 2, 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.

To the Editor of the Millennial Harbinger, concerning
the Ancient Gospel.


Dear Sir,

      I HAVE been a constant reader of your works, from your Sermon on the Law, 1816, to the 4th number, vol. 3, of the Millennial Harbinger. I have always, when I heard you attacked by an opponent, defended you; and when I have met with a warm friend, who seemed over zealous in defence of all you wrote, I took occasion to question the correctness of certain of your views. I have kept my mind uncommitted, and, as much as possible, in suspense on all your "novelties;" neither approving nor disapproving but according to evidence. I cannot say that I am wholly without prejudice in your favor or against you; but I feel myself authorized to say that I allow it not, and do flatter myself that I am as impartial a reader of your writings as can be found.

      After this introduction of myself to your notice and that of your readers, permit me now to state to you and them my object in requesting a hearing in your periodical. It may be necessary to state that I am a preacher of the gospel, in the popular sense of the word preacher; but while I preach the gospel, which I think is not only the ancient but the original gospel, I differ from most of those who preach the ancient gospel in its popular acceptation. Having read all that has been written against you, with the exception of the writings of that now generally acknowledged impostor Lawrence Greatrake, who I perceive is now published as an impostor by the very persons who defended him while he wrote against you; I must also say, that I have no prejudice in favor of their views nor against them; and therefore I hear them as I hear you--with all impartiality.

      Possessed, as I am, of all the lights elicited by this very interesting controversy, I flatter myself that I have come to some maturity of judgment, and own that I feel a confidence in myself to speak of these great matters which I did not formerly feel. [289]

      Permit me, then, to say, that while I agree with you in your views of faith, repentance, baptism, and perhaps of the Holy Spirit also, I am constrained to dissent from you in calling these views the ancient gospel, and also from the manner in which the ancient gospel has been preached by yourself and some others of reputation whom I have heard preach it. As you have taught me to call no man master, and as Dr. George Campbell long ago taught me to sacrifice every thing to truth and truth to nothing, I know you will bear with one in thinking for myself, and gladly hear me stating my objections to any thing you may have said or written on this much controverted theme. But there are other subjects than these on which I wish to be heard; but as this is most fundamental, I choose to begin with it. And let me add, while I hope to keep myself equidistant from the flattery of your admirers and the acrimony of your opposers, I will, with all candor, so far as I can, fearlessly and uncompromisingly state my objections and tender my reasons, and will expect with the same measure in which I mete to you, to have measured to me again.

      1. I object to the name "ancient gospel," because it is vague and indeterminate. In proof of this I will first adduce its acceptation amongst, those called "Reformers." I find, even in your own writings, that it does not now mean what it meant nine years ago. The first piece of writing in reference to which I find this phrase used, appeared almost nine years ago, and from your own pen. The article which you in the index to vol. 1, C. B. called "the Primary Intention of the Ancient Gospel," was written by a correspondent and signed T.W. This is the only article which defines the phrase as then understood by you. There are two other articles in the same volume, designated, the one "The Rapid Spread of the Ancient Gospel," and the other, "The Means of the Universal Spread of the Ancient Gospel." But neither of these define in the least what you meant by the "ancient gospel" The only article which defines your views of the ancient gospel, is that which first obtained from you the name. This is dated September 1st, 1823. I therefore take this to be a fair expose of what, in your judgment, at that time, constituted the ancient gospel. It is true you call that article only the primary intention of the ancient gospel; but must we not thence infer what you understood to be the ancient gospel. The writer of that excellent essay (for I esteem it to be one of the most excellent essays on that subject which has appeared,) modestly enough calls it "the proper and primary intention of the gospel, and its proper and immediate effects." He affixes no epithet to it, but you "christen" it in your index, "the Ancient Gospel." Now, my good sir, what is the purport of that essay? Its author contends that the gospel is divinely called "the word of reconciliation," and regards it simply in the light of "a gracious proclamation of pardon to every one that received the testimony of the Apostles concerning Jesus, repented, and was baptized." With your permission I will quote from that essay pretty liberally; and as it was the first intimation to me of what was in the mind of the Editor of the Christian Baptist when he undertook that work, which, perhaps, few [290] apprehended at an earlier period than myself; and as it was the first cause of rousing me to think upon the subject, I claim your indulgence and that of your readers, if indulgence it may be called, to read over again the following extracts:--

      "Such, then, being the actual state of mankind, considered as the object of divine benevolence, we see the indispensable necessity of the means which infinite wisdom and goodness devised to effect a change for the better among such guilty creatures; namely, the proclamation of a general and everlasting amnesty, a full and free pardon of all offences, to all, without respect of persons; and this upon such terms as brought it equally near to, equally within the reach of all; which was effectually done by the preaching of the gospel; [see Acts xiii. 16-19. and x. 34-43. and ii. 14-35. with many other scriptures.) In the passages above referred to, we have a sufficient and satisfactory specimen of the truly primitive and apostolic gospel, as preached both to Jews and Gentiles, by the two great Apostles Peter and Paul; in each of which we have, most explicitly, the same gracious proclamation of pardon to every one that received their testimony concerning Jesus. "Repent," said Peter to the convinced and convicted Jews, (Acts ii. 38.) "and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins." And again, (Acts x. 43.) "To him gave all the Prophets witness that through his name, whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins." To the same effect, Paul, in his sermon at Antioch, in the audience both of Jews and Gentiles, (Acts xiii. 38, 39.) "Be it known unto you, therefore, men and brethren, that through this man is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins, and by him all that believe are justified from all things." God, by the gospel, thus avowing his love to mankind, in giving his only begotten Son for the life of the world; and through him, and for his sake, a full and free remission of all sins; and all this in a perfect consistency with his infinite abhorrence of sin, in the greatest possible demonstration of his displeasure against it; in the death of his Son, (which he has laid as the only and adequate foundation for the exercise of sin-pardoning mercy,) has at once secured the glory of his character, and afforded effectual relief and consolation to the perishing guilty by a full and free pardon of all sin. "And you, being dead in your sins, and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses" Col. ii. 13. Such being the gospel testimony concerning the love of God, the atonement of Christ, and the import of baptism for the remission of sins; all, therefore, that believed it, and were baptized for the remission of their sins, were as fully persuaded of their pardon and acceptance with God, through the atonement of Christ, and for his sake, as they were of any other article of the gospel testimony. It was this, indeed, that gave virtue and value to every other item of that testimony, in the estimation of the convinced sinner; as it was this alone that could free his guilty burthened conscience from the guilt of sin, and afford him any just ground of confidence towards God. Without this justification, which he received by faith in the divine testimony, could he have had peace with God through the Lord Jesus Christ, or have rejoiced in hope of his glory, as the Apostle testifies concerning the justified by faith? Rom. v. 1, 2. Surely, no, or how could he have been reconciled to God by the death of his Son, had he not believed, according to the testimony, that he had redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of the divine grace, thus most graciously manifested? Or why could he have received baptism, the import of which to the believer was the remission of his sins, had he not believed the divine attestation to him in that ordinance, concerning the pardoning of his sins upon his believing and being baptized? Every one, then, from the very commencement of christianity, who felt convinced of the truth of the gospel testimony, and was baptized, was as fully persuaded of the remission of his sins, as he was of the truth of the testimony itself. Indeed, how could it be otherwise, seeing the testimony held forth this as the primary and immediate privilege of every one that believed it? [291]

      "For to him gave all the Prophets witness, that, through his name, whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins." Likewise, Ananias to Saul of Tarsus, after he was convinced of the truth concerning Jesus of Nazareth, saving, "Why, tarriest thou? Arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins," &c. &c. But the fulness of evidence with which the scriptures attest this blissful truth, will abundantly appear to all that search them for obtaining a full discovery of it. In the mean time, from what has been produced we may see with what great propriety the pure and primitive preaching of the gospel was called the ministry of reconciliation, and how admirably adapted it was to that gracious purpose.--Hence, also, we may see a just and adequate reason of the great joy, consolation, and happiness that universally accompanied the primitive preaching and belief of the gospel amongst all sorts of people; as also, of the very singular and eminent fruits of universal benevolence, of zeal, of brotherly kindness, of liberality, of fortitude, of patience, of resignation, of mutual forbearance and forgiveness--in a word, of universal self-denying obedience in conformity to Christ; contentedly, nay, even joyfully suffering the loss of all things for his sake: so that the Apostle John could boldly and confidently challenge the world, saying, "Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus Christ is the Son of God?"

      "Such was the virtue of the primitive faith, and such faith the just and genuine effect of the apostolic gospel; for it could produce no other correspondent faith, if it produced any at all. In fine, from the premises before us, that is, from the whole apostolic exhibition of the gospel, and its recorded effects upon all who professed to believe it; many of whom, it is certain, did not truly understand the gospel, and therefore could not truly believe it. Nevertheless, from the whole of the premises it is evident that the professing world is far gone, yea, very far indeed, from original ground; for such was the import of the gospel testimony, as we have seen, that all who professed to believe it, whether they were intelligent persons or not, understood at least so much by it that it gave assurance of pardon and acceptance with God to every one that received it--that is, to every baptized believer; consequently, every one that was baptized, making the same profession, he both thought himself, and was esteemed by his professing brethren, a justified and accepted person. Hence we do not find a single instance on the sacred record of a doubting or disconsolate christian, nor a single hint dropped for the direction or encouragement of such; but, on the contrary, much said to detect and level presumptuous confidence. How different this from the present state of the professing world, the discreet and judicious reader need not be informed.--Now, surely, if similar causes uniformly produce similar effects, the same preaching would as uniformly produce the same faith that it did in the beginning in all them that believed it, and even in all them that thought they believed it; namely, of the person's justification and acceptance with God; and, of course, the same faith would produce the same peace and joy in the believer, and in him that thought himself to be such, as it did in the days, and under the preaching, of the Apostles and of their faithful coadjutors."

      Now, my dear sir, does not this represent the gospel as a testimony, or proclamation of pardon through the sacrifice of God's Son, "to every one who believeth and is baptized for the remission of his sins?" But now let me ask, Does not the phrase "ancient gospel" represent a certain arrangement of views on faith, repentance, baptism, remission of sins, the Holy Spirit, and eternal life, and as composed of five or six points or propositions? You thus speak of it in your notice of a sermon on "the fifth point" by your friend Mr. Walter Scott. This notice of "the fifth point" appeared in page 480, vol 2 of the Harbinger. Some say that you intended that as a compliment to your friend Scott; but I regard it as not only countenancing, but [292] actually authorizing, in your judgment, a new system, completed in the year 1827, called "the Ancient Gospel," and consequently the year 1827 is called "the Era of the Ancient Gospel."

      I have, then, from your own pen, I think, demonstrated that what you called "the Ancient Gospel" in 1823, is not that which you called "the Ancient Gospel" in October, 1831. My first objection, then, I think, is fairly sustained--that the phrase is vague and indefinite.

      But it is necessarily vague, not only in your acceptation of it, but also in the very import of the word ancient. The phrase ancient times means any times at a great distance--say, one, two, or three thousand years ago. So the phrase ancient gospel may apply to the gospel preached by Luther, Wickliffe, Peter de Bruys, or Constantine the founder of the Paulicians, A. D. 650. "Ancient gospel" does not mean the first gospel, nor the Abrahamic, nor the Apostolic gospel; but some gospel of former times.

      2. But my second objection is to the speculative character which it has recently assumed as a system submitted to the understanding, as the "Five Points" of Calvinism or any other system. This is more serious with me than the former, and therefore I request your attention to it. The illustration of faith, repentance, baptism, &c. in their New Testament import, may be, in regard to modern systems, a useful work; but to call these correct views of these terms the ancient gospel, is the very error which you reprobate in others. You condemn the Calvinist or the Armenian for calling his views of election, depravity, atonement, effectual calling, &c. "the gospel." No matter how he explains and arranges them, you tell him these are not the gospel: for a person may perceive and believe them and not be saved. Now may not any person perceive your definitions of faith, repentance, baptism, &c. to be more correct than other representations of them and receive them, and be as far from the kingdom of heaven as any man, Calvinist or Arminian, in the nation? And might not an ingenious Calvinist retort your own arguments against yourself, and call your views of faith or of repentance the ancient gospel of faith or repentance, as you speak of his five points? This may be the theory of the ancient gospel, in your acceptation of it; but the theory of any gospel, ancient or modern, is not the gospel, and ought not, in my judgment, to be so denominated. It is not glad tidings of great joy to all people, that faith is the belief of testimony; that repentance means reformation; that baptism signifies immersion, or that it means for the remission of sins, &c. nor is it glad tidings that these items are so arranged; but us I understand your correspondent T. W, it is glad tidings to all sinners that God has proclaimed pardon to every sinner who will return to him through Jesus Christ, and that he requires no more of him than to believe his testimony, repent, and be immersed for the remission of his sins, in order to admission into his family.

      As I intend, with your consent, to lay before yourself and readers, various objections to your course, I have, in this introductory letter, commenced at the beginning, and touched but one item; but have not, even on that, quoted any of the sayings or doings of those in [293] connexion with you. It will, however, be expedient that I lay before you what I have seen and heard touching the preaching of this ancient gospel.

      As I have never been called a "Campbellite," though I have to my congregation long taught many of the things so stigmatized; I do not choose to give my name, because it would add nothing to what I have to advance, and I cannot think the suppression of it ought to detract any thing from my reasonings. It might, indeed, injure me in the estimation of some who receive from me what they would reject from you; and for their sake, and neither through cowardice nor false shame, I subscribe myself your friend for the gospel's sake,

      As my name can afford no proof of my doctrine, so neither can my place of residence.

      P. S. If you will not give me a full hearing, so long as I demean myself in a becoming manner, please return this and do not insert it.


Dear Sir,

      IT is with pleasure I have given publicity to your communication, because I have the highest confidence in your candor and ability, and feel assured that if, in the numerous conflicts in which we have been engaged, we have either assumed a false principle, or have been betrayed into any inadvertency, there is none more capable of detecting it, nor of setting it more clearly, candidly, and convincingly before the public, than yourself. You will, I doubt not, admit, that in a controversy so long and so diversified, and with such a host as have opposed our progress, it would have been super-human, and beyond the good fortune of erring mortals, not to have spoken or written something which ought not to have seen the light. We plead no exemption from the common lot of fallible man; and it would be saying very little for the experience of more than twenty years, to repeat, that, had we now again to run the same race, we would avoid some hills and swamps, some narrow passes, and some winding labyrinths, which have impeded our progress. But still we wonder more at the straight-forward course which we have taken, and at our progress in that course, than at any incident which has befallen us in all our struggles for "the faith once delivered to the saints."

      Since our editorial career commenced, since we launched our feeble bark upon the mighty ocean of human opinions, tossed with the tempests of all the passions of every creed, we have tacked but seldom, if at all. The reason is, we had full experience of what all systems could achieve, and by what means they did achieve their results; and saw distinctly that no theory in christendom was exactly the faith or the gospel once delivered to the saints. Episcopalianism, Presbyterianism, Independentism, Methodism, in all their forms, stood full confessed and full depicted in all their tendencies in our view. The [294] little isms of Fullerism, Sandemanianism, and the hosts stigmatized New Lightism, were also fully explored before we weighed our anchors.

      You, my dear sir, it appears, soon saw the object in view; but prudence required that the developments should have been as gradual as they were. Some imagine that our course has been changed because certain matters have been much more discussed now than formerly. But no attentive reader can believe this. They will see in embryo, in the first three numbers of the Christian Baptist, all that has been developed in the last nine years. And this most prominent matter with which you have commenced your strictures, is more fully developed in the quotations you have made, than was any item in that volume.

      But, I will not say that the name there selected to distinguish this gospel from all others, is entirely free from objections. But the history of its origin will best explain its merits and demerits. The letter from my correspondent T. W. was written at my request, and was designed for the first number of the Christian Baptist; but not arriving in time, it was not printed till the second number. The subject on which that letter treats had been fully discussed and most satisfactorily established in the mind of that correspondent and myself before the Christian Baptist was commenced. There is no person in existence to whom I am more indebted than to the author of that letter. To his devotional reading, to his prayerful study of the Book, and to his indefatigable labors in the word and teaching for almost half a century, many are indebted; and, indeed, all who are benefited by the present reformation. And yet there is no person with whom I have debated more on all questions than with him. But on the burthen of that epistle we were fully agreed before the Christian Baptist was commenced.

      He, as you have stated, headed the article "the proper and primary intention of the gospel;" but by examining the whole article you will find that he has distinguished it by the epithets "apostolic" and "original." The phrases "original gospel" and "apostolic gospel" were selected by him to mark out its importance and to arrest attention to it. In making out the index for that volume, for the sake of contrast and of brevity we called it the "ancient gospel," an epithet then familiar by way of contrast from modern orders, arrangements, measures, and gospels. Ancient and modern are the proper contrasts, and for this reason alone did we prefer the phrase ancient gospel to the phrase original gospel. But I doubt not if any epithet by way of contrast or distinction is to be prefixed, the epithet apostolic has the best claims. But of this I am not tenacious, and I would not contend with any man for an epithet of this sort which claims so humble an origin. It is true that we might urge in justification of this term, that, during the Jewish apostacy, when, like the Christians, they had departed from their original order of things, the holy Prophets, such as Jeremiah, used this epithet as we now use it. "My people" (says the Lord by Jeremiah, chap. xviii. 16.) "have forgotten me; they have burnt incense to vanity, and they have caused them to stumble in [295] their ways from the ancient paths, to walk in paths in a way not cast up." The two apostasies so analogous, and the two returns so similar, may we not, friend Epaphras, like Jeremiah, say, the ancient gospel and the ancient order of things? So much for the origin, reason, and philosophy of the name.

      Now for the thing thus designated: for things are prior to names. You, have, indeed, given a fair representation of the thing first thus designated. As farther illustrative and confirmatory of this matter, I will ask of you the indulgence to read the following quotations from my debate with Mr. M'Calla, which occurred in the month following the date of the aforesaid letter. The capital and distinguishing article of the ancient gospel is discussed in several speeches in that debate; but the following specimens must suffice:--

      "To every believer, therefore, baptism is a formal and personal remission, or purgation of sins. The believer never has his sins formally washed away or remitted until he is baptized. The water has no efficacy but what God's appointment gives it, and he has made it sufficient for this purpose. The value and importance of baptism appears from this view of it. It also accounts for baptism being called the washing of regeneration. It shows us a good and valid reason for the despatch with which this ordinance was administered in the primitive church. The believers did not lose a moment in obtaining the remission of their sins. Paul tarried three days after he believed, which was the longest delay recorded in the New Testament. The reason of this delay was the wonderful accompaniments of his conversion and preparation for the apostolic office. He was blind three days; scales tell from his eyes, he arose then forthwith and was baptized. The three thousand who first believed, on the selfsame day were baptized for the remission of their sins; yea, even the Jailor and his house would not wait till daylight, but "the same hour of the night in which he believed he and all his were baptized." I say this view of baptism accounts for all these otherwise unaccountable circumstances. It was this view of baptism misapplied that originated infant baptism. The first errorists on this subject argued that if baptism was so necessary for the remission of sins, it should be administered to infants, whom they represented as in great need of it on account of their "original sin." Affectionate parents, believing their children to be guilty of "original sin," were easily persuaded to have their infants baptized for the remission of "original sin"--not for washing away sins actually committed. But of this again.

      "Faith in Christ is necessary to forgiveness of sins; therefore baptism without faith is an unmeaning ceremony. Even the Confession of Faith, or at least the Larger Catechism, Quest. 185, says that "baptism is a sign of remission of sins." How, then, can it be administered to those without faith? Is it to them "a sign and seal of engrafting into Christ, of remission of sins by his blood, and regeneration by his spirit," as the answer to this question declares?

      "Our argument from this topic is, that baptism, being ordained to be to a believer a formal and personal remission of all his sins, cannot be administered to an infant without the greatest perversion and abuse of the nature and import of this ordinance. Indeed, why should an infant that never sinned--that, as Calvinists say, is guilty only of "original sin," which is a unit, be baptized for the remission of sins?"

      In this extract it is used as an argument against infant baptism; but we desired to rouse the Baptist preachers then present to the importance of this view of christian immersion, and to induce them to preach it in that sense; and for that purpose to urge an immediate submission to it. Thus on page 143. [296]

      "On this topic I would rally again. Its grand importance to all disciples will excuse me for being diffuse on this subject. Also its aspect to paidobaptism is such as to frown it out of the world. This Mr. M'Calla sees, and therefore he frowns contemptuously at it. Peter promised to three thousand Jews forgiveness on repentance and baptism. "What shall we do?" said they, in an agony of despair. "Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of the Lord Jesus, for the remission of sins." The preposition eis here means in order to--in order to the remission of sins. Now I would say to any person or persons inquiring what they should do, just what Peter said--"Repent and be baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus, in order to the remission of sins." "What God hath joined together let not man put asunder." God hath, in the first opening of the new religion, associated repentance and baptism in order to the remission of sins; and let him take heed to himself who preaches repentance in order to the forgiveness of sins without baptism in water, or who preaches baptism in order to forgiveness, without repentance or faith. We have already seen that Ananias preached baptism to one possessed of faith in order to the washing away of sins; so that we may safely say, that a believer unbaptized has not his sins washed away in a very important sense. If, as Paul affirms, Titus iii. 3-6. God our Saviour saved sinners, dia loutron paliggenesias, "by the washing of regeneration and the renewal of the Holy Spirit;" then, indeed, we may be bold to affirm, "Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God," and he only that believes and is baptized shall be saved.

      "My Baptist brethren, as well as the Paidobaptist brotherhood, I humbly conceive, require to be admonished on this point. You have been (some of you, no doubt,) too diffident in asserting this grand import of baptism, in urging an immediate submission to this sacred and gracious ordinance, lest your brethren should say that you make every thing of baptism--that you make it essential to salvation. Tell them you make nothing essential to salvation but the blood of Christ; but that God has made baptism essential to their formal forgiveness in this life--to their admission into his kingdom on earth. Tell them that God has made it essential to their happiness that they should have a pledge on his part, in this life--an assurance in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, of their actual pardon--of the remission of all their sins--and that this assurance is baptism. Tell the disciples to rise in haste and be baptized, and wash away their sins, calling on the name of the Lord."

      It was, indeed, impracticable to give it a more practical aspect in a controversy upon the true and ancient import of this institution; but this indicates the stress then laid upon this capital item.

      Remission of sins ever must be the burthen of any message which can be called glad tidings to a guilty and polluted world. Without this, any message called gospel, must be miscalled. Hence the ordinance with which actual and personal remission is connected, must be most conspicuous in any scheme worthy of the name of glad tidings to sinners. I then thought that the discovery of this matter, and giving it its original importance in the proclamation of mercy to a ruined world, was worthy to be designated the ancient gospel; not, indeed, as if the mere design and meaning of this institution, abstractly considered was entitled to this honor; but its scriptural connexions with faith in the blood of Jesus, and repentance, or reformation towards God.

      Its connexion with the Holy Spirit, as the promised blessing to the subjects of the christian institution, was also asserted in the very next proposition in the aforesaid discussion, in the words following:-- [297]

      "In the next place, under this head, all the promises connected with baptism are addressed to such as believe. Remission of sins, the promise of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost, their participation in the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, and every other promise connected directly or indirectly with baptism, is given to such only as believe before they are baptized."

      Thus you will see that faith, repentance, baptism, remission of sins, and the Holy Spirit, were all regarded in this connexion from the very adoption of the name--ancient gospel.

      But the same arrangement, being so natural and so simple, has since that time occurred to many minds; and to some, perhaps, it has been as original as if it had never been before apprehended or taught either in word or writing: for how often do we all say, 'Such a thing is entirely new;' because, though we may have heard it a hundred times, it never struck us before in the same light. From all this we think we may infer that no important change in the import of this phrase has occurred since its first adoption.

      But to advance to your second objection. I own that it is possible to convert a proclamation into a theory, and to dwell so much upon names, definitions, and arrangements, as to lose sight of the things so named, defined, and arranged. And that now, since the preaching of the ancient gospel is got into so many hands, (and would to Heaven that there number were a thousand times more numerous than they are!) it is quite possible that it has been on many occasions held forth too much in the form of a new theory, and treated as the popular schools now treat the five points of Calvinism or Arminianism. That I may have given countenance to such a systematic arrangement of things from my former writings upon the subject, and from the notice of the sermon on the fifth point, I will cheerfully admit.

      Brother Scott, the first successful proclaimer of this ancient gospel, who was first appointed to the work of an Evangelist by the Mahoning churches in 1827, did, with all originality of manner, and with great success, not only proclaim faith, repentance, baptism, remission, &c. but did call upon believing penitents to be immediately baptized for the remission of sins; and did, instead of the anxious seats, mourning benches, and altars for prayer, of modern invention, substitute the water. What is called "a great revival," grew up under his auspices; and hundreds, instead of crowding up to altars to be prayed for, to mourning benches and anxious seats, did "come to the water," and were immersed for the remission of sins. His ardent manner and great success gave much eclat to the ancient gospel.

      Whether they who do the work of an Evangelist have not more reason and authority to say, 'Come to the waters,' than 'Come to the mourning bench,' is a question not now to be discussed. But the theorizing on these six points--(for the sake of the five fingers it would be well to cut them down to five: say faith, repentance, baptism, remission, the Holy Spirit, for the present salvation and a new life issuing in eternal life subsequent to the resurrection of the just [298] or future salvation)--I say, this theorizing on these points no sensible proclaimer of the gospel ever attempted, only in so far as he found the minds of his audience polluted with the mystic faith, repentance, baptism, and Holy Spirit of the schools. To disabuse the public mind from confusion and error on these matters, is all that is designed, either in writing or speaking of them in this artificial order. That faith is faith, and not repentance; that repentance is repentance, and not immersion; that immersion is immersion, and not the Holy Spirit; and that the Holy Spirit is the Holy Spirit, and not conviction, nor conversion, nor fear, nor shame, nor terror, is all that is meant by these definitions. And as to order, it is no more than the reason of things. A man must believe before he repents or reforms; he must be a christian before he can have the spirit of a christian. The Lord made Adam before he breathed into his nostrils the spirit of life or gave him an inheritance.

      But, sir, when any doctrine is professed and taught by many, when any matter gets into many hands, some will misuse, abuse, and pervert it. This is unavoidable. We have always feared abuses and extremes. This was the very reason which occasioned our series of essays on the ancient gospel in 1828. We saw it spreading, and feared that in the, warmth of great excitement, in the fervor of a burning zeal, or in the conflicts of discussion, at that time so frequent and general, the ancient gospel might be brought into discredit or retarded in its progress. To this cause is owing whatever of systematic aspect or theoretical details appeared in these essays. And, indeed, he knows but little of men and things, who has not learned to fear as much from the friends as from the enemies of any cause of much interest to men.

      Be assured, my good sir, that we have no idea of substituting one theory for another, however true or superior in its speculative character. A favorite saying of my correspondent T. W. is, that "the preaching of any theory is not the preaching of the gospel of Christ," and we have often directed the attention of our readers to it. Mean time I wait for, and solicit all your objections. Whatever is not accordant to the Oracles we will give up with all cheerfulness.
  In much esteem,

Editor of the Millennial Harbinger.
No. I.

Brother Campbell,

      I HAVE read with care your six numbers of Reviews of the three first numbers of Archippus, of which I am the author, and continue unshaken in the belief that it is the doctrine of the gospel that ungodly men and sinners are justified by faith without baptism; and that your opinion that penitent believers obtain the remission of their sins in immersion or baptism, is not the gospel doctrine. [299]

      I regret that you should have manifested so much zeal to fix upon me the opinion of a Jew's baptism and of a Gentile baptism; one for the remission of sins, and the other not for the remission of sins, seeing that I reject the doctrine of baptism for, or in order to, the remission of sin altogether, and maintain that there is but one baptism as a gospel ordinance, and that God has but one plan or method of remitting the sins of Jews and Gentiles, and that is by faith.

      The essential point of difference between you and myself is suggested in the following question:--"Is, or is not, the free favor of God, by which he justifies a believing sinner, or remits his sin through the blood of Christ, suspended, according to the gospel, upon his being baptized in water?" You defend the affirmative, and I maintain the negative side of the question.

      Waving any notice for the present of the erroneous account you have given of my statements relative to the Novatians and other subjects, I will attend immediately to the question of the remission of sin by baptism, which is at issue between us. Truth is common property, and there are no envious rivalships in religious truth, unless it be perverted to sectarian and selfish purposes. Where there is a difference of sentiment on a religious subject, it ought never to excite unkind feelings, or generate a spirit of hostility to the disciples of Jesus Christ towards each other. There are many important things in which you and I agree, in reference to religion and the philosophy of mind, and in which we differ from others. We are so firmly established in the sentiment that there cannot be any religious knowledge in the world, in the present state of man, without a supernatural revelation in words, that we do not think it a debatable subject among those who understand, in any good degree the powers and susceptibilities of their own minds.

      The agreement of our views of the powers of the human mind, in relation to religion, and of the necessity of a divine revelation in intelligible words and sentences, in order to the knowledge of divine things, may be collected from your debate with Mr. Owen, and other of your works, and from the volume I published in 1813, titled "The Philosophy of the Human Mind in respect to Religion; or a Demonstration that Religion entered the world by Revelation," and from other of my publications made since.

      Those who differ from us, deny that scriptural account of the total depravity of man;--they deny that man lost the knowledge of God by the fall; and they deny that God is an object of faith, in the scripture use of the term; and, believe that the world by wisdom knew God. They make natural religion, or deism, the foundation of revealed religion! By this they, in a great measure, mystify the word of God, and run into the most palpable contradictions and mystical absurdities.

      What can we know of sin, as such, or its remission, without the word of God? And what is baptism, or any other ordinance of the gospel, without it? What effect of divine truth can baptism, or any other ordinance of the gospel, produce upon the mind, than what the [300] mind perceives it to derive and possess from the word? The nouns, verbs, adjectives, prepositions, &c. the parts of speech of which the word of God consists, are primary and ultimate principles in the christian religion. By these our faith, if it be true, was produced, and into them it must be finally revolved. These are the instruments of our thoughts, as they are the means of our faith, hope, and love in religion. In the investigation, therefore, of any subject of religion, the divine authority of God's word having been ascertained, all that we ought to be concerned about is to learn, by the correct rules of interpretation, the signification of the words and sentences in which it is revealed; and having done this, to be contented with it, and to cultivate and discipline our minds and affections by it.

      There is another thing in which you and myself agree; that is, in the high estimation in which we hold Professor Stuart of Andover, whom you have deservedly described in your 3d Extra Harbinger, p. 25, as "one of the most learned and most renowned biblical critics now living on this continent;" on whose writings, with those of Michaelis of Gottingen, and Horne of Cambridge, in England, you profess to rely "to do more good to direct the generation to come in the correct interpretation of the words of the New Testament, than, perhaps, any other three men in Europe or America." [Mill. Harb. vol. 2, p. 490.]

      From my great anxiety to possess the true meaning of Acts ii. 38. and to be able to reconcile the apparent discrepancy between what was said by Peter to the Pentecostal Jews, in reference to baptism and the remission of sin, as it appears in our common translation, and in your new one, with what occurred at the introduction of the gospel to the Gentiles in Acts x. and as explained in chapter xi. in relation to the same subject; I wrote to Professor Stuart to favor me with his interpretation of the Greek preposition eis, as it is connected with, and follows baptism. He was kind and obliging enough to comply with my request, and sent me his remarks, which I now present to you, and hope that they will conduce much to unite our views on the subject of discussion between us.

      He observes, "The word baptize may be followed by a person or a thing, (doctrine) which has eis before it. In the first case, when it is followed by a person, it means, "by the sacred rite of baptism to bind one's self to be a disciple or follower of a person, to receive or obey his doctrines or laws." e.  g. 1 Cor, x. 2. "and were baptized into (eis) Moses." Gal. iii. 27. "For as many of you as have been baptized into (eis) Christ, have put on Christ." Rom. vi, 3. "Know ye not that so many of us as were baptized into (eis) Christ, were baptized into (eis) his death " 1 Cor. i. 13. "Were ye baptized into (eis) the name of Paul?" v. 14. 15. "I thank God that I baptized none of you but Crispus and Gaius, lest any should say that I had baptized into (eis) mine own name.' Or it means to acknowledge him as Sovereign, Lord, and Sanctifier. e.  g. Matt. xxviii. 19. "Baptized them into (eis) the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost." Acts viii. 16. "Only they were baptized into (eis) the name of the [301] Lord." Acts xix. 5: "When they heard this, they were baptized into (eis) the name of the Lord."

      That name is used after eis, as it is in some of the above cases, makes no difference in the sense. In Hebrew, "the name of the God of Jacob defend thee," is just the same as "the God of Jacob defend thee."

      2. A person may be baptized into a thing (doctrine)--so in Matth. iii. 11. "I baptize you with water into (eis) repentance" i. e. into the profession and belief of the reality and necessity of repentance, involving the idea that themselves professed to be the subjects of it. In Acts xix. 3, we have "into (eis) one body," all in the like sense--viz. by baptism the public acknowledgment is expressed of believing in, and belonging to, a doctrine, or one body. So in Acts ii. 38. "Baptized on account of Jesus Christ into (eis) the remission of sins;" that is, into the belief and reception of this doctrine; in other words, by baptism and profession, and acknowledgment of this doctrine, on account of Jesus Christ, was made."

      Professor Stuart has rendered the word eis INTO in Acts ii. 38. as it is done in other places when connected with the ordinance of baptism; and as you have rendered the same word in Matt. xxviii. 19. in the new version, and which you have justified by the authority of Dr. Dwight. See Mill. Harb. vol. 2, No. 5, p. 239.

      Mr. Erskine, a living author of reputation, makes the following observations:--"I think any person, acquainted with the original Greek, will agree with me in translating Acts ii. 38. differently from our common version. It ought to be "Repent," or rather, "change your minds, and let every one of you be baptized into the doctrine of forgiveness of sins for Christ's sake." To be baptized into a doctrine is the ordinary phraseology of the New Testament. Matth. xxviii. 19. Rom vi. 3. In Acts ii 38. The Greek preposition eis, which belongs to "the forgiveness of sins," and not that one, epi, which precedes "the name of Jesus Christ," is the preposition, which, in the Greek Testament, usually indicates the direct object of baptism; and thus even attention to grammatical accuracy will conduct us to the conclusion that the true reading is, "Baptized into the doctrine of forgiveness of sins for Jesus Christ's sake," and not "In the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of sins."

      In your 3d note in the Appendix to your second edition of the New Translation, page 452-4, you have a number of remarks on the word eis, when used in connexion with the ordinance of baptism, which are in accordance with the criticism and observations of Professor Stuart and Mr. Erskine. As they illustrate and confirm what they have said, I will transcribe some of them.

      You say, "By what inadvertency the King's translators gave eis IN, instead of INTO, in Matth. xxviii. 19, and elsewhere gave it INTO, when speaking of the same ordinance, I presume not to say." And permit me to ask, can you say by what inadvertency or authority they gave the same word eis FOR, and Dr. Doddridge and yourself gave it in order to, in Acts ii. 33. in your translation, and elsewhere gave it into, as you have done, and maintain it ought to have been [302] done by the King's translators when connected with the same ordinance? Was not this owing to inattention to accuracy in translation, that was intended to correct the errors of the old one, in consequence of which much schism and strife have been produced within a few years past on the subject of baptism and remission of sin, and by which remission of sin, through the blood of Christ, by faith, has been thought to be suspended upon the act of immersion, without which a penitent believer cannot be pardoned, justified, converted, or saved? And may not inadvertencies like this, connected with wrong views of Christ's conversation with Nicodemus, have been the cause of the early errors and corruptions in the christian religion which began in the second and third centuries, relative to baptismal regeneration and remission; which, at a subsequent period, having been united with the notion of apostolic succession, produced many of the peculiarities which appear in the writings of Roman Catholic, Protestant, Episcopalian, and other authors?

      In the note above quoted, you observe, that "to be immersed into the name of the Lord Jesus, was a form of speech in ancient usage, as familiar and significant as the expressions were when persons were said to enter into matrimony, to enter into an alliance, &c. And when we analyze these expressions, we find them all import that the persons are either under the obligations or influence of those things into which they were said to enter, or into which they were introduced. Hence those immersed into one body, were under the influences and obligations of that one body;" (and I would say, those immersed into the doctrine of remission of sin, were under the influences of that doctrine, through faith in Jesus.) "Those immersed into Moses assumed Moses as their lawgiver, guide, and protector, and risked every thing upon his authority, wisdom, power, and goodness. Those who were immersed into Christ, put him on, acknowledged his authority and laws, and were governed by his will; and those who were immersed into the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, regarded the Father as the fountain of all authority, the Son as the only Saviour, and the Holy Spirit as the only successful advocate of the truth and teacher of christianity. Pagans, therefore, when immersed into the name of the Father, &c. renounced all the names that were worshipped by the Pagan world--all the saviours in which the Gentiles trusted--and all the inspirations and philosophy of which the heathen boasted. A woman, when she enters into matrimony, assumes the name of her husband, acknowledges him as her lord and master, submits to his will, and looks to him for protection and support. Just so they who are immersed into the name of Christ assume his name, acknowledge him as Lord and Master, and look to him for support and protection. This view of the matter made Paul thank God when the Christians at Corinth were assuming different names, (one the name of Paul, and another the name of Apollos, &c.) that he had immersed few, or none of them, lest the report should get abroad that he had immersed them into his own name."
      Lexington, Ky. Dec. 6, 1831. [303]



      Dear Sir--YOUR letters addressed to me through the Christian Messenger, on the principles of courtesy, call for a reply. Glad would I have been, however 'had you not "waved for the present" the review of your letters signed Archippus. Nothing new has yet appeared from your pen, in the new series, as far as I have examined it. You do not appear to take a fair view of the point at issue. You choose rather to make the issue for me, than to meet me on the issue I have proposed. You say, "The essential point of difference between you and me is suggested in the following question: 'Is, or is not, the free favor of God, by which he justifies a believing sinner, or remits his sin, through the blood of Christ, suspended, according to the gospel, upon his being baptized in water?' You defend the affirmative and I maintain the negative side of this question." Such is your statement of the point at issue. Now let me tell you that I maintain the negative too. So we are both agreed! Because, mark me closely, I do admit that a person who believes the gospel, and cannot be immersed, may obtain remission. So that I cannot take the affirmative and say remission is absolutely suspended upon being baptized in water. Now, Doctor, what comes of your point at issue? I never affirmed what you say I did affirm. Point me to the line that ever fell from my pen, which, in its connexion, affirms such a matter. But if you will have the point at issue, I will give it you in the form of a question. 'Is, or is not, the favor of God, by which he affords to the believer in the mission and sacrifice of his Son an assurance and the enjoyment of the remission of his former sins, according to the gospel, suspended, or consequent upon his obedience?' You deny and I affirm, unless you call faith itself obedience. But why seek to entrammel me with such questions, and not rather meet me upon my own propositions?

      I cannot form such an opinion of your candor as to imagine you wish to treat me as a Quaker treated one of your Calvinian brethren on "faith alone." The Quaker asks, "What is faith?" "The belief of testimony, oral or written," was the reply. "And without faith there is no remission," adds the Friend. "No remission!" rejoins the Calvinist. "Well," says the Quaker, "you suspend the favor of God upon ink and paper--upon a printer's fingers--metallic types--or upon wind put in motion by some person's mouth; or, as "faith comes by hearing," on the tongue of a speaker and the fleshly ear of the hearer. What sort of grace is that which is suspended upon such contingencies?--upon flesh and blood, ink and paper, language and translations?--upon voices, tongues, and ears? I go for the spirit, friend. That is the true light and the true grace."

      My dear sir, I am sorry to see you run into these ultraisms of reasoning upon the case absolute. Your mind labors under false impressions, if you are fighting against such phantoms. Please read again the documents in the letter of Epaphras, and in the reply in [304] the antecedent pages, which show what we have from the first taught on this subject.

      The translation of Professor Stuart is very good, and the review of it by the Editor of the Christian Messenger is also very good, and shows how futile the comments made upon the import of the phrase "be immersed into the remission of sins." A critic on the text and a commentator upon the meaning of a translation, are two things as distinct as Greek and English.

      But we have in our 3d Extra considered this matter fully, and shown that to be immersed into remission fairly implies that they were not in that, into which they had yet to come. He that is in the house, needs not to go into it. To be baptized into a doctrine without being baptized into the thing set forth in the doctrine, is a metaphysical splitting of subtleties which we have no faculty so refined as to perceive, much less to comprehend.

      With all due deference to Professor Stuart, and all other critics, I beg leave to remark, that although into is the literal, and common, and general meaning of eis, and will always make some sense; yet it cannot be always rendered into to do full justice to the original writers. Take a few examples:--Rom. xvi. 6. "Greet Mary, who bestowed much labor eis (into) us;" who labored much for us, I would say. 1 Cor. xvi. 1. "Now concerning the collection eis (into) the saints;" I would say for the saints. 2 Thess. i. 11. "We pray always eis (into) you;" we would say for you. Just so, Mark i. 4. "John did preach the baptism of repentance eis (into) the remission of sins:" for the remission of sins. Acts ii. 38. "Be baptized eis(into,)" for "the remission of sins." These are a few specimens where for is much more in accordance than into, with our idiom in translating this preposition. "In order to" is still more expressive; and thus Parkhurst would have it sometimes translated. Rom. i. 17. and xvi. 26. From faith in order to faith--in order to the obedience of faith.

      With an infinitive mood after it, it must be translated for, or in order to, which shows the great force which the Greeks sometimes put into this preposition. e. g. 1 Cor. x. 6. "For these things were our ensamples (eis) to, to the intent that;" in order that. 1 Cor. xi. 22. "Have you not houses eis (to) for eating in?" or in order to eat in. Ep. i. "That (eis) to, we should be to the praise of his glory;" in order to our being, &c. with many such like occurrences. From these, as well as the foregoing, it appears how much more congenial with the spirit of the context it is to render it for or in order to, than by into, and then to have to explain into by such arbitrary expositions as those resorted to by Messrs. Stuart and Erskine. But if any one will have it into, let him have it into the remission of sins; but he must not foist in the word "doctrine" to help him to explain into; for no authority can be adduced by any man, in Greece or out of it, to show that eis necessarily means doctrine in any writer dead or alive.

      My dear sir, I wish you would have the goodness to inform us, in the most literal way you can, what you would have a person immersed for. Every rational being acts from motive; and what is the [305] argument you would hold out to a penitent believer to induce him to be immersed? For what purpose would you immerse him? "To put on Christ" Be it so. But for what interest? Not for the sake of blessings which he could as well enjoy out of him, or without constitutionally putting him on. Are not all the blessings of Christ's kingdom constitutional blessings? and if constitutional, must not a person be a citizen in order to enjoy them? Is a person a citizen of Christ's kingdom who has never been naturalized? If so, why should any one be born of water? Is there not one law for all the subjects of King Jesus!

      You and I agree so fully on ten thousand matters of opinion, as well as on all matters of faith, why then should you differ from us on a subject which compels you to seek aid from a foreign land! You cannot get along with Dr. Erskine's theory that all men were pardoned when Christ died, and that pardons are filed for all who will call for them! You cannot trust in Dr. Stuart as a commentator. Why, then, go the ends of the earth for assistance to help you out of the meshes of into and for. What uncharitable doctrine is it to teach that no man can have a rational or scriptural assurance of his personal remission until he does what Peter bid the believing penitents to do. What can be done in the case absolute in granting forgiveness, is not the principle to test the meaning of the positive commandments of the Holy Apostles.

      I would, my dear sir, rejoice to see you follow up and practise to the end of the chapter your own decisions. The reasons which compelled brother Stone to divide your first letter, have also, though with reluctance, compelled me. In the mean time be assured of my continued affection and esteem.


      AFTER what model does, the christian preacher fashion his discourse? Does he seek the model of his addresses in the schools of Grecian and Roman rhetoric? Tell it not in Gath! What! shall a christian preacher place before him the masters of the schools of Pagan eloquence, polluted with all the idolatries and immoralities of two thousand years! To the priests of Pagan temples, or to the political demagogues of the "fierce democracy" of ancient Greece, shall the preacher of righteousness turn his eyes for the mould of an address to bring sinners back to God? It cannot be! Every sentiment which christianity inspires revolts at such a thought.

      Must he, then, look to the Alexandrian school, enriched with Egyptian speculations and the oriental philosophy, consecrated by the genius of an Ammonius or an Origen, to that sable mysticism which overshadowed East and West, and spread darkness over the world again? Can he find in any of the schools which reared and nurtured the fathers of the great apostacy, a guide to his efforts, a lamp to his feet, in presenting the light of life to a bewildered world? It is worse than absurd, if Experience that ablest teacher is to be heard at all. [306]

      Will the textuaries of the reformation, the sermons and homilies of those who have sucked the paps of the meretricious mother of that brood of abominations doomed to the vials of almighty wrath, become the masters in the christian school, and direct the energies of those who would be the imitators of the promulgers of the ancient faith? Or must the christian preacher be the copyist of those who, lured by some ecstasy, or smitten with some frenzy, imagine themselves uttering the inspirations of the Holy Spirit, when, with all the vehemence of fanaticism, and incoherence of lunacy, they are only vociferating the hallucinations of a frantic imagination? Reason and Revelation alike forbid it.

      Whither, then, shall he devoted to the work of the Lord turn his eyes? Not to the schools filled with the formal, and cold, and speculative reasoners, who sit in the chair of Seneca and the frigid moralists. In a word, not to any other school than that founded and educated by him that taught as mortal never did. He that is consecrated to the Lord will spend his days and nights in musings upon the specimens of those great masters; he will learn every speech and catch the spirit of those whose artless heaven-directed eloquence broke down the obduracy and unbelief of Jew and Gentile, and leveled to the ground the ramparts in which a vain and deceitful philosophy had entrenched itself.

      To aid such as are resolved to be the imitators of those first and best and most successful of christian preachers, we shall present an analysis of the few samples of their speeches recorded by Luke, and attempt to show that they are worthy of universal imitation. That they are alone sufficient for every purpose in addressing sinners, we will attempt to demonstrate from an examination of as many of them as will complete a model for every christian preacher, whether Gentile or Jew. To do this most effectually, we shall lay before the student in one unbroken series the whole of each discourse. And with whose discourses ought we first to begin, rather than with his whom Jesus honored first to announce the gospel to Jew and Greek:--

Peter's Pentecostian Speech.

      "Men of Judea, and all you that inhabit Jerusalem! let this be known to you, and listen to my words; for these men are not drunk, as you suppose; since it is but the third hour of the day: but this is that which was spoken of by the Prophet Joel, "And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy; and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams. Yes, in those days I will pour out of my Spirit upon my servants, and upon my handmaids; and they shall prophesy: and I will give prodigies in heaven above, and signs upon the earth beneath; blood, and fire, and a cloud of smoke; the sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before that great and illustrious day of the Lord come. And it shall come to pass, that whoever shall invoke the [307] name of the Lord shall be saved." Men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus the Nazarene, a man recommended to you by God by powerful operations, and wonders, and signs, which God wrought by him in the midst of you, as you yourselves also know; him have you seized, being given up by the declared counsel and predetermination of God, and by the hands of sinners have fastened to the cross and slain: whom God has raised up, having loosed the pains of death, as it was impossible that he should be held under it. For David says concerning him, "I have regarded the Lord as always before me; because he is at my right hand, that I might not be moved: for this reason my heart is glad, and my tongue exults; moreover too my flesh shall rest in hope that thou wilt not leave my soul in the unseen world, neither wilt thou permit thy Holy One to see corruption. Thou hast made me to know the ways of life; thou wilt make me full of joy with thy countenance" Brethren, permit me to speak freely to you concerning the patriarch David; that he is both dead and buried, and his sepulchre is among us to this day: therefore being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn to him with an oath, that of the fruit of his loins he would, according to the flesh, raise up the Messiah to sit on his throne; he foreseeing this, spoke of the resurrection of Messiah, that his soul should not be left in the unseen world, nor his flesh see corruption. This Jesus God has raised up, of which all we are witnesses: being exalted therefore to the right hand of God, and having received the promise of the Holy Spirit from the Father, he has shed forth this, which you now see and hear. For David is not ascended into heaven, but he says, "The Lord said to my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thy enemies thy footstool." Let, therefore, all the house of Israel assuredly know that God has made this Jesus, whom you have crucified, both Lord and Messiah."

      Let these preliminary matters, as previous to the analysis, be first maturely considered:--

      1. The audience must always he regarded in its proper character before it is addressed, and before the propriety of an address to it can be correctly appreciated.

      2. The object to be gained must always guide the speaker in the selection of his theme, and to this object all his thoughts and arrangements must be turned.

      3. The theme proposed may sometimes be different from, and sometimes the same as, the object to be accomplished. But this the occasion of the discourse must always decide.

      These things premised, we shall first consider the character of the audience addressed. Let it then be noted, that they were all Jews and proselytes to that religion: "devout Jews from every nation under heaven." They were intelligent in the law and prophets, expected a Messiah, held the traditions of the times, and are regarded by the speaker as acquiescing in the deeds of the rulers respecting Jesus the Nazarene. They were, it is to be presumed, the most devout part of the nation assembled from all quarters to celebrate the Pentecost. [308]

      Next, the occasion of the speech. The excitement produced by the gift of tongues occasioned Peter to arise and address this immense throng. The question agitated by the audience at the time of his rising, was, "What does this mean?" To settle this question was the first object of the Apostle as preliminary to his grand design. His theme was the Holy Spirit; and his ultimate object was to prove that "God had made Jesus Lord and Christ."


      1. An explanation of the miracle before them, and its meaning. In doing this, Joel's prophecy is adduced and applied to the gifts of the Spirit, visible and audible, of which the audience were witnesses.

      2. A narrative of the life, miracles, death, and resurrection of Jesus, is next presented in order to give a proper direction to their minds as to the bearing of the miracle before them.

      3. A concentration of the evidence in proof of his resurrection, from the prophecies of David and the living witnesses.

      4. His exaltation to the right hand of God proved by the descent of the Spirit and other prophecies of David.

      5. The miracles and the prophecies are shown to give assurance that God has constituted Jesus both Lord and Messiah. Thus his grand object is gained. Conviction is produced, and he pauses for the effects, or is interrupted by another question.

      The points introduced and touched with a master's hand in this discourse are numerous. That God approved the life of Jesus, is alleged from "the wonders and signs which God did by him." That the Jews had full opportunities of testing his miraculous displays, is affirmed from their being done "in the midst of them." and that they were not ignorant of them is boldly asserted to their face. That Jesus being delivered into their power was in accordance with the counsels of God long ago promulged; and was not as they supposed, because God cared not for him:--that his resurrection was, by the power of God and in proof of his righteousness:--that he was now seated on the right hand of God, and, in consequence of a promise to that effect, he had received the Holy Spirit, which was now at his disposal:--that his exaltation must terminate in the total abasement and destruction of his enemies. And, as the conclusion of the whole matter, "Let all the house of Israel know, as most certain and not to be gain-sayed, that God had exalted him in heaven whom they had judged and condemned as unworthy to live on earth." These are chief matters in this discourse, and show the point to which the eye of the speaker was from the first to the last word directed.

      The argument of the discourse was irresistable. It is briefly this: All the gifts, and wonders, and signs of that day are ascribed to Jesus; and as the witnesses of his resurrection were the most large and distinguished participants of them, consequently their testimony is not to be rejected; and the amount of their testimony is, that Jesus is made Lord and King. Submission, or destruction from his presence, [309] is the only alternative. To this point are the audience brought. Then from a thousand tongues the question resounds, "What shall we do?" It is answered, and new arguments and exhortations to obedience are presented. Remission of sin, and the enjoyment of the gift of the Spirit, as now in the hands of Jesus, are proposed to them that obey him. With many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, "Save yourselves from this untoward generation." Such was the discourse of the first christian preacher under the new economy.

      His manner was most conciliatory. "Men and brethren;" "Men of Israel, hear;" "Let me speak freely;" all was candid and benevolent--all was in the spirit of the message which he delivered--nothing wanting in gravity, dignity, firmness, uncompromising faithfulness, and the most condescending tenderness and compassion. It was all logic, reason, point, testimony, proof. There was no declamation noise, tinselling, painting, and mincing in the set phrase of the rhetoricians of this world. No enthusiastic appeals to the passions. It was all addressed to the understanding and the heart. The preacher forgot himself wholly in his subject. His Master filled his eye, his head, and his heart. He saw, he heard, he felt nothing but the glory of the King in the salvation of his countrymen. That Jesus was the Messiah, the Son of God, was never more convincingly preached; and never was the truth told with more plainness, force, and persuasion.

      The best commendation of the sermon, however, remains to be told. Three thousand souls gladly received the message, understood the argument, and were that same day immersed for the remission of their sins.


Corruption of Religion no argument against its Divine Origin.

      The Deists and others assume that, independent of revelation in words, and from the works of creation alone, a natural man can know that God exists, and that he is a rewarder of them who diligently seek him. This religion, in contradistinction from revealed, is called natural religion. Deists differ among themselves in the number of distinct items which may be learned from the volume of nature. There is, however, a pretty general agreement among them so far as this--that the being and some of the perfections of God can be ascertained from his works, the immortality of the human soul, a future state of existence and rewards, and the nature and extent of moral obligation.

      Revealed religion is with them not only wholly unnecessary, but evidently false, because it is capable of perversion and corruption. For the sake of argument we shall concede their assumptions, and examine on their own premises this argument against revealed religion. We shall moreover admit that not only were the Jewish and Christian religions capable of corruption, but that they have actually been corrupted by superstition and worldly policy. But if there be [310] any logic in this argument, "Christianity is a figment of human invention, because it has been corrupted," is there not as much argument in saying "Natural religion is a figment of human invention, because it has been corrupted'? And where is the deist who denies that natural religion has been corrupted until every idea of the God of nature, and of moral obligation, has been so obscured as to be wholly unavailing to any moral or religious use whatever? Can any deist instance any nation, tribe, or family, which has not so far corrupted this natural religion of his as to equal it to the vilest forms of Paganism? If so, is it not a good argument that works both ways? If liability to perversion be an argument against the divine authority of revealed religion, does it cease to be an argument against natural religion!!

      "Yes! but the text of our bible cannot be corrupted like the text of your bible," responds the deist. This is another argument. But where is the text of your bible? who read it alike? who translate it alike? It is illegible, and therefore cannot be translated. The folks are all dead who once could read your bible. No man living does read it, can read it, who has no other book than this book of nature. It will settle the whole controversy if you produce only two men who read it alike; nay, only one man who can read it all, without the aid of dictionary, grammar, or spelling book. The book of nature can be read after the book of revelation has been learned. But here is the question, Who, without the book of revelation, has ever learned to read the book of nature? It is as useless as the dream of the Assyrian monarch till Daniel gave him the interpretation. The dream first, and the interpretation afterwards; but without the interpretation what avails the dream? The book of natural signs is illegible to him who has not read the book of stipulated artificial signs.


From the Boston Recorder.      

      Mr. Editor--The following extract from "Simpson's Plea for Religion," seemed to me so forcible when reading it, that I was induced to copy it, and request you to insert it in your paper, in the hope that it might strike some eye unaccustomed to view the subject. Being so short and comprehensive a statement of the evidences of christianity, it might induce some to read it who would never peruse a treatise on the subject, and thereby excite curiosity and interest to examine further. The work from which it is taken is well worthy the perusal of every one.

The Truth and Divinity of the Bible.

      There are four grand arguments for the truth of the Bible. 1. The miracles it records. (These are easily proved to have been recorded and published at the time they profess to have been, and not having been disputed for several hundred years after, cannot be doubted.) 2. The prophecies it contains. (See those in the Old Testament, held by the Jews then and to this day, who disbelieve in the Messiah Jesus Christ and the New Testament; but which prophecies any child may see fulfilled in Christ and in the events of his time.) The celebrated infidel Rochester was converted by reading the 53d chapter of Isaiah. 3. The goodness of the doctrine, (the greatest infidels acknowledge it and no one can deny it.) 4. The moral character of the penmen. [311]

      The miracles flow from divine power; the prophecies, from divine understanding; the excellence of the doctrine, from divine goodness; and the moral purity of the penmen, from divine purity.

      Thus christianity is built upon these four immutable pillars--the power, the understanding, the goodness, and the purity of God.

      The Bible must be the invention of good men or angels; of bad men or devils; or of God.

      It could not be the invention of good men or angels, for they neither would nor could make a book and tell lies all the time they were writing it, saying, "Thus saith the Lord," when it was their own invention.

      It could not be the invention of bad men or devils, for they would not make a book which commands all duty, forbids all sin, and condemns their own souls to all eternity.

      I therefore draw this conclusion: the Bible must be given by inspiration of God.


"The fool has said in his heart there is no God."

      The atheist chooses to say the universe is uncaused, rather than to say it has an intelligent First Cause. Because, says he, it is so difficult to conceive how the universe came to be, and to continue to be as it is, if we suppose an intelligent first cause. But to cut the matter short, we ask, whether is it not more difficult to conceive how the universe came to be, and to continue as it is, upon the supposition that there is no intelligent contriver, creator, or governor of it, than upon the presumption that there is!! "If weak thy faith, why choose the harder side!"

      Again, says the atheist: It is as difficult to conceive of an intelligent first cause uncaused, as to conceive of an universe uncaused. Yes; but this is a play upon words: for it is impossible to conceive of a first cause caused. If any cause is caused, it is not the first cause. But reason says that so long as any thing has existed, a cause has existed, or something began to exist without a cause: i. e. nothing produced something. Now he who can conceive of nothing causing something, or something causing nothing, is more fit for an hospital than a college.

      Something always existed, or nothing could begin to exist. Grant it, says the atheist; but here is my refuge: any eternal something is as easily to be understood, or conceived of, as another. This we deny; for an eternal unintelligent something never could be the cause of any intelligent something. An eternal intelligent something is necessary to the existence of any intelligent creature. This our experience attests; for we see that intelligence can control and modify that which is unintelligent, but we have no experience of unintelligent matter creating, modifying, or controlling intelligence.

      And may we not in all reason ask, seeing something must be eternal, whether it is not more difficult to conceive of an eternal unintelligent something, than of an eternal intelligent something; the latter being doubtless more adequate than the former to our existence? "If weak thy faith, why choose the harder side?"
EDITOR. [312]      


      MUCH is now said and done in behalf of the Bible. As Paul once said concerning some who preached Christ in pretence, so say we in reference to all these enterprizes in honor of the Bible. Whether in sincerity or pretence the Bible is extolled, its excellency set forth, and the reading and memorizing of it commended, we rejoice, and will rejoice, that it is so far honored even by them who will not submit to be governed by it alone.

      The "verse-a-day" system, or the daily committing a period of the scriptures to memory, has of late been much extolled. It is a very dangerous course. This was one principal cause of my ruin. My father, from my earliest recollections, imposed this task upon me; and not upon me only, but made it a part of his domestic economy. All his children and domestics were, by a law like that of the Medes and Persians, compelled daily to commit one complete period, whether one or more verses, and to repeat it every evening when the family assembled for worship.

      Emulation sometimes led us to commit a chapter per day. I have heard whole epistles repeated off in an evening, each one repeating in turn a chapter, until some of the longest were thus recited. The consequence was, his children became heretical, and were ruined. We lost all relish for creeds, for fashionable sermons, and for all the ceremony belonging to sectarianism. We became sceptics in every thing sectarian--in every thing in religion--but the Bible. We doubted of every thing that had not a "thus saith the Lord" for it.

      When I had completed what is usually called an education, or after some fifteen or sixteen years' schooling, and had counted 21 years, I was good for nothing. The Bible had spoiled me. I could not be a lawyer; for, as I then viewed that profession, it was not favorable to avoiding "every appearance of evil." I could not be a Doctor, because I then thought that men's souls needed more medicine than their bodies, and that to have souls for patients was better than to have bodies for cure. But worse than all, after trying it for a while, I could not be a Clergyman in its proper import, because I saw that Clergymen generally were ministers of a creed and of a party, and that I must either harden my heart and sear my conscience, or abandon that honorable calling.

      Again, if I taught nothing but the Bible, I foresaw that I must starve. I was driven to the alternative of seeking some other way of getting my bread and meat, and of preaching the Bible without money or price. But not only was my living just snatched from my teeth, but my reputation was blasted in a moment! I was "gone!" "ruined" "a confirmed heretic!" in the estimation of my religious acquaintance. Thus the "verse-a-day" system, proved my ruin.

      Charity compels me to give this timely notice, and to relate so much of my experience as pertains to this project, now that the religious periodicals are so highly recommending it to the young. Having [313] seen and experienced the consequences of this course, I can speak with all assurance and must inform the eulogists of this scheme that it will, in the clerical import of the term, ruin the youth of this generation. Let all who wish for the wealth or fame of this religious world, beware of the "verse-a-day" system!

From Baltimore and Richmond, touching Universalism.

      1. MUST study Paley, Beattie, Hume, Kaimes, and Comb, on the philosophy of the human constitution, mental and physical; must I he a moral philosopher, a master of Locke, Reid, Brown, and Stuart; must I read all the decisions of ecclesiastical councils, the creeds of all sects and the historians of the church, before I can judge of the truth of a system of religion, before I can decide which merits my approbation, and what I ought to do to be saved?

      Answer. Before you are competent to decide where doctors disagree, you must be wiser than they. You must read all the systems of moral philosophy and religion in the world, ancient and modern, before you can decide or the claims of the Calvinistic or Arminian creed: for in them are found propositions which involve all the discussions of two thousand years. I am not sure but that you ought to read Confucius, Zoroaster, Mahomet, Aristotle, and Plato, before you can safely decide on every proposition in these creeds. But if you want to know what you must believe and do in order to be saved, one volume is sufficient; nay, the book of the Acts of the Apostles fully settles this matter.

      2. I am at a loss to know what is meant by the word Satan, since I heard a Universalist preach--What is the meaning of that word?

      Answer. We once thought that the word Satan and the word devil denoted that evil agent which deceived our race, and has opposed our happiness ever since the seduction of Eve. But certain wise and benevolent men have of late discovered, by the means of some greatly improved telescopes, that the word Satan represents a fictitious, not a real person, and is, indeed, a mere personification of the evil nature of man. There is, therefore, no such being in existence, but like the Centaur, the Hydra, the Sphinx, the Polyphemus, it is a creature of imagination!! It is of use to affright some folks who are not philosophers, as are the tales about ghosts and witches told to children to keep them quiet. But these men of universal genius and lofty philosophical minds, regard the whole matter as an innocent fraud, or a bold metaphor, used by the sacred writers in those dark corners of the earth where they lived and labored, finding it well adapted to alarm the ignorant and depraved.

      3. I have read a long disquisition on the word "damnation" and the phrase "shall be damned," in the Cincinnati "Sentinel," and I [314] would be glad to have your definition of it. What does the term damnation mean?

      Answer. Condemnation. "He that believeth not shall be condemned," is the new version of it. But I see from the pieces alluded to, by the aid of these immensely powerful telescopes it only means doomed to "a state of ignorance, sin and blindness, without any future punishment." He that believeth not shall be (whereas he is now free and intelligent) doomed to a state of ignorance and sin in this present life, but after death will be just as happy as he that believeth and is baptized: so that the true version of the whole passage is, "He that believeth and is immersed shall be saved just now, and he that believeth not shall be saved at last. According to the new system of grammar which these philanthropists have introduced, "shall be" and "is now" are perfect equivalents. "Shall be condemned" is no threat of future punishment: for they are now condemned; and as the future means the present, so the present means the future--and therefore, those that shall be condemned are now condemned, and those that are saved shall be saved in no other sense than that in which they are now saved.

      4. What is the meaning of the word Hell?

      Answer. See Notes on Matth. v. new translation. But it has been discovered by these philosophers to have no metaphorical nor literal meaning as respects future punishment. Gehenna is burned out; and as there is now no literal hell, or Tophet, or Valley of Hinnom in this world, so there is nothing like it in the future, The only place now metaphorically called hell, is the heart of a sinner; and this admits but one person. It is, also, only temporal. So soon as the heart turns to dust, the sinner escapes out of his individual hell, and is at once in Abraham's bosom. Elysium, Tartarus, Purgatory, and future punishment, are all of the same school, the inventions of the orthodox demons of ancient and modern times; of which class there are yet many legions. By the aid of these new discoveries, it is to be hoped that the whole universe will be converted into heaven; that both cold and darkness will be proved to be but heat and light: for a benevolent creator could never have been the author of either winter or night. Every thing incompatible with universal benevolence, according to the new standard of benevolence, is the creature of the wicked orthodox. Indeed, had it not been for them, we would have had no torrid, no frigid zones; no night, no winter, no death, no devil, no hell, no future condemnation: we should have all been in Eden, in paradise, if these were not mere figures of speech.

      5. What is the meaning of the word Heaven?

      Answer. Once we regarded it as the eternal home of the righteous, a state of pure and perfect felicity. But we do not now know what to think about it. If these gentlemen were only to turn their telescopes in that direction, perhaps they might discover that it only means air. It is only a strong metaphor. And as Satan is a metaphor for an evil nature, so the term Saviour is a metaphor for a good disposition, and heaven denotes only peace of mind. Religion is very [315] much simplified by the recent lights which have been shed upon revelation by these spiritual astronomers. There is nothing real and unfigurative but this present life. The good are now in heaven, and the wicked are now in hell. Satan and the Saviour are two beautiful eastern metaphors; one the emblem of light and moral good, the other the emblem of darkness and moral evil. Every thing is temporal; and there is but one tense, and that is the present. The day of judgment is past, and we are all now in our eternal homes. Let us, then, eat, drink and be merry.

      If we have not answered these questions correctly, it must be owing to our having been too intimate with several systems of universal salvation; and it may be that we have become still more liberal and benevolent than the rigid Universalists of the western school, though we are yet behind some of the brethren of the east.


      Rufus.--IS there not a very essential difference between believing that Jesus is the Messiah, and believing what he says?

      Alexander.--As respects logic or the propositions there is a marked difference. But can you conceive of one believing Jesus to be the Son of God, and doubting whether he speaks the truth?

      R. I acknowledge that to believe him to be the Messiah necessarily implies that he speaks the truth; but this does not reach my difficulty. I suppose it to be possible--yes, probable, and more than probable--most certain, that some believe him to be the Messiah, and yet do not believe what he says.

      A. Understand what he says, I presume you mean.

      R. Can a person believe that which he does not understand?

      A. On proper authority he may. Do you not believe in the resurrection of the dead and in a future life?

      R. Yes; but I understand the terms, though I cannot understand how the dead are raised, nor in what sort of bodies the justified and the condemned will appear, nor how an eternal life is to be sustained. The fact is revealed, but the mode of its accomplishment is not, farther than that God is able and faithful to accomplish it.

      A. Would it not, then, be better to say, that a person may believe that which he cannot understand, than affirm a universal proposition; such as, 'No person can believe that which he does not understand?' A child may believe every thing which a truth-speaking father asserts, merely upon the authority of his character for veracity, and understand not a single fact which it believes.

      R. Grant it. But I contend it must understand the terms; and the things believed can have no moral influence only in so far as they are understood. [316]

      A. To this I object not. But why do you press this matter? I may, if I understood your object, save you the trouble of some definitions.

      R. In retrospecting your arguments, I feel inclined to doubt one of your propositions, viz. Every one who believes that Jesus is the Messiah the Son of God, has the faith that saves the soul, and every such person who is immersed into this faith is born a citizen and becomes a member of the christian kingdom. To this effect you have spoken. Now although I do not feel authorized to deny this proposition, yet I hesitate in giving it my unqualified approbation; because many seem to believe this proposition who do not believe what Jesus Christ has spoken concerning immersion and many other matters.

      A. I now apprehend your design. You would not, then, baptize any candidate simply upon his profession of faith, unless he professed in detail his faith in all the sayings of Jesus and his Apostles; or what I would say is the same thing--satisfy you that he understands these sayings in the proper sense.

      R. I would, indeed, wish to be assured as much as possible that he believes all that is spoken concerning the remission of sins and adoption into the family of God prior to his immersion.

      A. And who would not? But if these matters are first stated to him, or if the ancient gospel is first announced to him, it is fairly to be inferred, that in coming forward and professing the faith, he is understandingly immersed into that faith.

      R. But this brings us to the old question--What of those who had not this previous knowledge? Can they receive or enjoy the remission of sins? They did not believe the sayings of Jesus, though they might have believed him to be the Saviour. And do you not teach that no person can enjoy that which he understands not? If, then, they understood not immersion for the remission of sins, they could not receive, or what is equivalent, they could not enjoy, the remission of sins from immersion.

      A. True: many are immersed because they think their sins are forgiven them before they are immersed; nay, amongst the Regular Baptists it is required that they profess a hope of remission before they are supposed to be worthy of immersion.

      R. A hope of remission!! What a man possesses why does he yet hope for?--! If they have remission why do they yet hope for it!

      A. Unquestionably the term is wholly misapplied; for hope looks not back: it can never turn its eyes backward: it can look only forward. But they mean one thing and say another.

      R. Let them tell their own meaning in their own words. How do you know they mean what they do not say?

      A. Because when they explain themselves they say they had remission through faith; and if they thought they were not forgiven, they would not solicit immersion. But I confess many of them speak as if they had a hope that they would hereafter be forgiven, and no assurance nor pledge that they are forgiven. [317] R. To hear one say he hopes he is pardoned, is as incongruous us as to say he fears he shall be happy. Hope or the expectation of good, or the expectation and desire combined. We may desire what we cannot expect, and we may expect what we cannot desire; but when desire and expectation are united in any one object, then do we hope for it.

      A. Rufus, now you reason like a man. But as many think they are pardoned before they are immersed, and are immersed in obedience to Christ for all promised blessings, recollect you cannot for this mistake of theirs propose to them a re-immersion on any scriptural ground, as our previous reasonings show, unless you assume that confession of this error, as well as other errors, and prayer for forgiveness, cannot be acceptable to God, nor availing to man; and that they are necessarily aliens from the kingdom of God. To discuss these matters over again is certainly useless, unless some new light can be thrown upon the subject not yet elicited.

      R. I think that some new light may be elicited if you concede that a person may believe that Jesus is the Son of God, and yet not believe what he says.

      A. To satisfy you that there is nothing in this, I will concede to you all that you can claim from the most free and liberal sense of the word believe. Nay, I will summon several witnesses to prove that even the disciples, the Apostles too, were spoken of, and spoken to, as not believing all that was written, all that Jesus said, even after they acknowledged him to be the Messiah the Son of God; but they were not, on this account, regarded as aliens. Luke xxiv. 25. "O simpletons, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken. Ought not the Messiah to have suffered," &c. John xii, 15. "I am glad that for your sakes [Apostles] I was not there, to the intent you may believe." "Martha, believest thou this?" "Yes, Lord, I believe that thou art the Messiah," [that implies every thing.] v. 40. "Said I not to you if you would believe you would see the glory of God," &c. &c. Now does it not appear that in your own style, christians may be spoken to as not believing all that Jesus said, and yet not worthy to be unchristianized and treated as aliens.

      R. This was before the day of Pentecost; but show me any thing like this after that memorable day.

      A. Read 1 Cor. viii. 5-8. "To us there is but one God the Father, of whom are all things, and we by him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we through him. Howbeit, there is not in every one (disciple) this knowledge, (faith you would say:) for some with conscience of the idol unto this hour eat it as a thing offered to an idol, and their conscience being weak is defiled." These persons had heard the ancient gospel from Paul--were immersed into it. Did they believe all the sayings of Christ; or would you, on that account, say, that they had not faith in Jesus, and ought to be again immersed?

      R. I think I will pursue this matter no farther. There appears to be difficulties on all sides. [318]

      A. There is not so much difficulty, Rufus, if we will submit to the holy scriptures, and not legislate for others. I will tell you, my good sir, as far as I can go in this matter. If any person immersed upon a profession of his faith, should afterwards be convinced that neither his faith nor immersion was good for any thing, and should again confess the faith and be immersed into Christ, we have no right to make it a matter of discipline or of inquiry. Let him be fully persuaded in his own mind. It is a matter which wholly concerns himself. But if any person desires fellowship with us who can produce testimonials declarative that he did for himself confess the Lord, and was immersed on said profession, and whose behaviour is unexceptionable as a professor, no man, now-a-days, has any right to refuse him a seat in the family of God; and still less to insist upon his being immersed according to the views or for the good pleasure of others. This is my private opinion or judgment in this matter; but he that preaches to others whose views may be changed since their first immersion, that they must be again immersed in order to remission or to christian fellowship, acts without any scriptural authority and with out any good reason to sustain him, as far as we can judge.

      R. I think for the present distress this is, perhaps, the most prudent and discreet course; for as the public mind is now excited to the consideration of this institution, there will necessarily be a waning of the influence of tradition and a waxing of the Apostle's doctrine, and soon all that are immersed will be immersed into the ancient faith.

      A. May the good Lord speed the coming of that day and bless the efforts of all who labor in the word and teaching!

      No man can enjoy in any sense what he does not understand in some sense, and the fulness of joy will ever be associated with the fulness of light. More pains ought to be taken to enlighten those who are candidates for immersion, than is sometimes taken: for much, of our after enjoyment depends upon an intelligent profession of the faith.

      R. Let me ask you, in the close of our present interview, were you, not immersed by a Regular Baptist and in the Regular Baptist way?

      A. I was immersed by a Regular Baptist, but not in a Regular Baptist way. I stipulated with Matthias Luse that I should be immersed on the profession of the one fact, or proposition, that Jesus was the Messiah the Son of God, when I solicited his attendance with me on that occasion. He replied that it was not usual for the Baptists to immerse simply on that profession; but that he believed it to be scriptural. Fearing, however, to be called to account for it by some of his brethren, he solicited the attendance of Henry Spears, a very worthy brother, for whose undissembled piety I always cherish the highest regard, to accompany him and to bear the half of the censure which might fall upon him for this great aberration from the good old Baptist way. Brother Spears accompanied him, and on this profession alone I was immersed; nor have I ever immersed any person but upon the same profession which I made myself. [319]

      It was this confession that cost Jesus his life, when he denied not, but confessed before Pontius Pilate that he was the Messiah the Son of God. Is it not on this account alone, if we had no apostolic precedent, most suitable and worthy to be the confession of all who are about to be buried with him. I scarcely ever ask man or woman before I lead them into the water, "Do you believe that Jesus is the Messiah the Son of God?" but it recalls to my remembrance the scene in Pilate's Judgment Hall, when the Messiah knowing what would follow, made this good confession. For it he died--by it we live.

      R. I have been looking into history on this subject, and I discover that you have a very general concurrence of all antiquity and in all ages since the Christian Era in favor of but once baptism. There is a more general agreement amongst all parties, the reputed sound and unsound in the faith, upon this subject than on any other. And what has no little astonished me, is, the very general admission that even the baptisms of the most degenerate churches is valid. Even the Presbyterians at this very time are contending that the baptisms of the Roman church are valid. I was amused with the following avowal of a distinguished Presbyterian, Dr. M'Leod, I think, of New York, in favor of the validity of the baptism of the church of Rome. It is rather too strong for me: it proves that the daughters have some natural affection for the mother, though she has played the harlot with all the kings of the earth. Hear the Doctor in the "Christian Expositor."

Presbyterian Baptism valid because derived from the
Apostate Church.

      "We have no design to conceal or to palliate popish abominations. The Romish church is unsound in doctrine, idolatrous in worship, tyrannical in government, unholy, and bloody in her administrations. In judging of her ecclesiastical acts, it will be safe to follow, however, the footsteps of the flock. Of the reformation of Romans in Spain, and in Italy itself, we will not now write. Of the French Hugonots, the German and the Belgic, and the British churches, it is unnecessary to speak. Every well informed ecclesiastic has heard of the popish baptism and the valid ministry of Zuingle, and Luther, and Calvin, and Cranmer, and Knox.

      "The fathers of the purest part of the old Presbyterian church deserve to be mentioned by their children, as both furnishing a noble example, and affording an index to the manner in which we should answer the question now under discussion.

      "The first Scottish Protestants were clergymen of the Roman establishment, while many priests, friars, abbots, and even bishops and cardinals, became members and ministers of the churches, on the continent of Europe. Patrick Hamilton was an abbot; Thomas Forrest a vicar; Beveridge and Kylee were friars: Simpson was a priest; Henry Forrest, Gourley, Russel, &c. who led the way for the settlement of Presbyterianism, were all ministers of the church of Scotland, whose popish baptism and orders were never yet called in question by their Presbyterian descendants. They left behind them many [320] seals of their ministry, and with their blood as well as through life they gave evidence of the validity of their baptism, although the ordinance had been dispensed in a corrupt church from which they took their departure. We believe there are much error and many superstitious rites in the churches of the nations; and we think the Roman Catholic is not only the largest, but the most corrupt of them all. We give it, notwithstanding, as our opinion, that it would be unjust to rake up the ashes of the Protestant martyrs who were baptized in the popish church, and declare them all unbaptized heathen, and we consider of course that baptism by a Romish priest does not need to be set aside as invalid. Baptism is not to be repeated."

      A. I never urge such a concurrence of antiquity as an argument, except to those who plead for it. Yourself not leaning to human authority in these matters, forbade me to introduce any other than that of the book. I never liked to hear the Presbyterians calling the popish church Antichrist, and then pleading for their right to minister in things divine as good and valid, because they got it from this same Antichrist.

      R. Till something entirely new occurs to my mind on the subject of our conversation I will not again introduce it. But I wish for an interview on other matters as soon as opportunity serves.

      A. I shall be ever glad to spend with you a leisure hour on whatever subject interests your heart.

From the Christian Index.      


      THIS is a powerful work; not calculated, however, to be popular. It is intended for the learned, and by them should be read. Paidobaptists and sprinklers should read it, and give up the question. Mr. Carson has demolished their last resort, and left them in deplorable destitution of scripture and reason for their belief and practice. His chief excellence consists in fixing and determining, by reference to classic usage in the Greek language, the very words on which the controversy must turn. These words are hunted out in many particulars, their invariable import settled and defined beyond all possibility of question or evasion, and the whole dispute about the mode of baptism is thus reduced to a single point. We know not that we ever read an abler piece of judicious, manly criticism. Mr. Carson is a Scotchman, and a minister of the gospel. He has had Mr. Ewing and Dr. Wardlaw in his eye, throughout the performance. These gentlemen had each made out an article in support of the fashionable error of infant sprinkling. They are imbecile in the hands of Mr. Carson. He drives their theories and criticisms into confusion, and forces into a dismal explosion all their fine conjectures. [321]


      THE Editor of this paper having seen the three gentlemen above named, and having been intimately acquainted with two of them, begs leave to say, in further commendation of them, that Messrs. Ewing and Wardlaw, both Scotchmen and ministers in Glasgow, are the pastors of Independent congregations. Mr. Carson, an Irishman, once a member of the Presbyterian church, as were Mr. Ewing and Mr. Wardlaw, differs from the other two only on the question of infant baptism. They are all men of the highest order as respects talents, education, and moral character, and are equally able advocates for the weekly celebration of the Lord's Supper. The congregations over which they preside meet every Lord's day to break the loaf. Their arguments are as conclusive on that subject as Mr. Carson is represented to be on this darling Baptist concern, viz. "the mode of baptism."


      TO do justice to the students of prophecy, we should give them the conclusion of the article begun in our last No. from the work of JAMES A. BEGG. To have the whole force of the passage now given, it would be expedient to preface it by a second reading of the part extracted, in No. 6.

      The subject of prophecy is daily eliciting more attention, and an increase of light must be the result of the discussions now in progress. In this, as in other matters, we desire to give our readers all sides; not merely the views consonant with our own, but those from which we must dissent, in this way they are better prepared to judge for themselves. The views of this author are rendered much more plausible from the fact that his principal rules of interpretation will give the results which have been approved by the fulfilments already agreed upon; and therefore, had he written one hundred years before the coming of the Messiah, or two thousand years ago, he would have come to the results which distinguished the times of the Messiah. But as we have given place to him, we shall reserve a more full examination of this work until a more convenient season.

      "The legitimate conclusion from this literal fulfilment of Prophecy in times past surely is, that predictions concerning the future will have a similar accomplishment, and that, as Jesus was really born of 'a virgin,' so will he also 'come with the clouds of heaven,' when there will be 'given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages should serve him.' Is. vii. 14--Dan. vii. 13, 14. That, in the day of his power, he will as certainly come to Egypt 'riding on a swift cloud,' as, in his humiliation, he entered Jerusalem seated on an ass. Is., xix. 1--Zech. ix. 9. That as 'the spirit of whoredoms in the midst of Israel' has hitherto blinded them, that 'they have not known the Lord,' they shall 'know that the Lord [322] of hosts hath sent' him, when he shall inherit Judah, his portion in the Holy Land. Hos. v. 4--Zech, ii. 11, 12. That as, when formerly he tabernacled with men, he brake not the bruised reed nor quenched the smoking flax, so shall he yet 'go forth as a mighty man, stirring up jealousy like a man of war.' Is. xlii, 3, 13. That as he rally submitted to oppression and affliction, while 'he opened not his mouth, so will he, in the day of his fierce anger, 'destroy and devour at once.' Is. liii, 7; xlii. 14. That as the humble Shiloh truly same ere the sceptre had departed from Judah, so will the Lord, when he builds up Zion, appear in his glory. Gen. xlix. 10--Ps. cii. 16. That as, when formerly he appeared in our world, the Jewish nation saw in him no form nor comeliness,' so will he be 'the desire of all nations' when he comes again, Is. liii. 2--Hag. ii. 7. That as, at his first coming, he was truly 'a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief,' he will, at his return, 'rejoice in Jerusalem, and joy in his people' Is. liii. 3; lxv. 19. That as the children of Israel have really remained 'many days without a king and without a prince,' so they will, in the same sense, have this reproach removed, when, in the latter days, they 'shall return and seek the Lord their God, and The Beloved, their King.' Hos, iii. 4, 5. That as he who 'is to be Ruler in Israel' was really born in Bethlehem, so, when he has 'returned unto Zion, he will dwell in the midst of Jerusalem.' Micah v. 2--Zech. viii. 3. That as 'the city and the Sanctuary' were really destroyed by 'the people of the prince' who came to execute the vengeance of God, so will the House of the Lord of hosts 'be built' again when he is 'returned to Jerusalem with mercies.' Dan. ix. 26--Zech. i. 16. That as really as his disciples 'hid their faces from him' in the hour of his distress, shall 'many people and strong nations come to seek the Lord of hosts in Jerusalem, and to pray before the Lord.' Is. liii. 3--Zech. viii. 22. That as on Calvary he really 'made his soul an offering for sin,' so will he reign 'in Mount Zion, and in Jerusalem, ant before his ancients gloriously' Is. liii. 10; xxiv. 23."

      What valid reason can be offered for putting a spiritual interpretation on the one class of predictions, in the above series, which was not extended to the other? Notwithstanding the unbelief of the Jews, those concerning his sufferings and death were fulfilled to the very letter; and what is there in the language of the other which should induce us to adopt a system of interpretation so opposite in its nature? This mode of spiritualizing certain prophecies appears the more exceptionable when we perceive, that while one clause of a sentence is allowed to have a literal signification, another is understood spiritually, although there be nothing observable which can direct to such a change--the system being still farther encumbered by the difficulty of managing certain portions which will in no way bend to such accommodation as it requires. Have we, then, no reason to fear that in thus introducing an unauthorized system of prophetic interpretation, we may be "teaching for doctrines the commandments of men"? Instead, therefore, of unreasonably persisting in adherence to such opinions, and putting upon prophecy a meaning it cannot [323] bear, let us inquire whether the more natural and the more obvious sense be not that which the Spirit of God designed. The answer to this inquiry may perhaps be read in the fact, that prophecy has hitherto been fulfilled in its proper sense; while the consequences of abandoning this mode of interpretation by the Jews, form a beacon which ought ever to be kept in view. By overlooking the plain declarations of his sufferings and death, they would not receive the despised Nazarene as their anointed Lord. Let us not, in defiance of their punishment, reject the more numerous declarations of his coming and kingdom in glory. Let christians attend to the lofty descriptions of the holy prophets--let them weigh their united evidence--let them examine the multitude of these predictions, and the sublimity which pervades them--let them consider the harmony with which they all bear testimony to His coming and abiding with his people--and let them then reflect whether it is probable that all these promises, clear as they seem, and literally as prophecy has hitherto been fulfilled, do not in reality imply, and afford evidence of the truth of Christ's personal reign on earth during the Millennium."



      "IF I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear my prayer" Now about to fall upon my knees before my Heavenly Father, does it not become me to examine how I feel disposed to all his children? If I forgive not from the heart every brother that has trespassed against me, my Heavenly Father has said by his Son that he will not forgive me. Ought I not, then, to search my heart diligently how it stands affected to all the holy brethren, and towards all mankind? Am I at variance with one of my Father's children, for whom he has as much affection as for me? If so, is it enough that I am satisfied that I am in the right and that he is in the wrong; that he is the aggressor and I the aggrieved? Say not, O my soul, that it is enough! Thou must feel for him as for an erring brother; thou must carry up his case to thy Heavenly Father, and plead with him that thy brother may feel that he has erred, and be converted to God and thee. Thou must not only speak for him, but thou must feel for him, or thy Father cannot feel for thee.

      But does it seem doubtful whether thou mayest not have been the occasion of the estrangement of his affections from thee, and consequently of his aggression against thee? then be humbled, O my soul expiate thy own fault;--extirpate the bitter root of this discord: for if thou do it not, how canst thou speak to God for thy brother! The errors of thy heart, thy secret wanderings from the way of peace, he will set before the brightness of his face, and thou shalt be ashamed before him.

      But hast thou abundant evidence that he has treated thee unkindly, wantonly, most ungratefully--then remember thy numerous faults, [324] thy own base ingratitude to thy Heavenly Father; how often thou hast feasted upon his bounty, and been satisfied with his goodness, and yet the incense of thy gratitude ascended not to the heavens: nay, thou hast abused his favors upon thy lusts, and forgotten his mercies. Remember these thy wanderings; then resentment against thy offending brother will not agitate thy bosom; neither wilt thou meditate evil against him, but thou will plead with God to lead him to repentance, that he may be reconciled to his brother and forgiven his transgressions.

      And is there, O my soul, on the face of all the earth one of thy brothers, one of thy Father's children, whom thou hast injured and to whom thou hast not made reparation? then how canst thou lift up thine eyes to him who said "first be reconciled to thy brother," until thou hast set on foot some ministry of reconciliation, and redressed the wrongs which thou hast inflicted on a brother? Let me beseech thee, before thou approachest the throne of mercy, as thy happiness depends much more upon the state of thy feelings to all mankind, than upon their behavior towards thee, ask thyself--Hast thou an avowed enemy, an unfaithful friend, an unworthy neighbor; is there one of Adam's race against whom thou indulgest one unkind feeling, one unfriendly desire, on whom it would please thee that any calamity would fall? then be assured thou art not right in the sight of God, and canst not be heard when thou callest upon him: "for he who turneth away his ear from the law, even his prayer shall be an abomination." When thou makest thy prayer to the Almighty: when thou comest into his presence, thou must not only cherish all affection for thy friends and brethren, all good will to the great family of man, but in the spirit of repaying blessings for curses, benevolence for hatred, kindness for the injuries of thy most bitter foes. When thou breathest kindness to all the sons of men; when thou feelest the glow of ardent affection for all the beloved of God, and canst pour out thy supplications for all men with all the intensity of godly sincerity, then the Lord will make thy peace to flow like a river, and thy joy like the brightness of the morning--then will thou feel thyself refreshed as the parched field when the clouds gently pour their treasures into its bosom. "Thou shalt go forth with joy, and be led forth with peace: the mountains and the hills shall break forth before thee into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands."


      THE following letter from A. Judson, the Baptist Missionary in Burmah, merits an almost. unqualified approbation. A few technicalities excepted, we can give it a very cordial recommendation to all the christian matrons and sisters in the Union. I am glad of an opportunity of publishing, from the pen of this distinguished Missionary, an article of such importance, especially as we took occasion at [325] an early period of our editorial career, to notice the alleged extravagancies of Mrs. Judson in this very department. We have since learned that these reports were greatly exaggerated, if not entirely without foundation.

      Though we cannot concur with all the views of Mr. Judson, yet we regard him as one of the most devoted and conscientious Missionaries in the field, and rejoice to see that he has had courage to plead a cause which we have long desired to see ably plead with christian women in these United States.

      It gave us pleasure to find that even Dr. Brantly, of Philadelphia, has highly recommended it. We will go as far as Mr. Brantly himself in aid of carrying out this proposed Reformation--only let the church have the honor of it, and let the sisters in all churches dress rationally. The savings of money, of time, and frivolous chit-chat, which sobriety in apparel would necessarily introduce, would be incalculable. The mind would be enriched, the understanding improved, many of the foolish passions restrained, and much remain for the wants of the destitute, should the apostolic injunctions be fully carried out, as Mr. Judson has so eloquently shown. Give the address, christian sisters, your most candid and sincere consideration.

To the Female Members of Christian Churches in the United
States of America.


      EXCUSE my publicly addressing you. The necessity of the case is my only apology. Whether you will consider it a sufficient apology for the sentiments of this letter, unfashionable, I confess, and perhaps unpalatable, I know not. We are sometimes obliged to encounter the hazard of offending those whom, of all others, we desire to please. Let me throw myself at once on your mercy, dear sisters, allied by national consanguinity, professors of the same holy religion, fellow-pilgrims to the same happy world. Pleading these endearing ties, let me beg you to regard me as a brother, and to listen with candor and forbearance to my honest tale.

      In raising up a church of Christ in this heathen land, and in laboring to elevate the minds of the female converts to the standard of the gospel, we have always found one chief obstacle in that principle of vanity, that love of dress and display (I beg you will bear with me) which has, in every age and in all countries, been a ruling passion of the fair sex, as the love of riches, power and fame, has characterized the other. The obstacle lately became more formidable through the admission of two or three fashionable females into the church, and the arrival of several missionary sisters, dressed and adorned in that manner, which is too prevalent in our beloved native land. On my meeting the church, after a year's absence, I beheld an appalling profusion of ornaments, and saw that the demon of vanity was laying waste the female department. At that time I had not maturely [326] considered the subject, and did not feel sure what ground I ought to take. I apprehended, also, that I should be supported and perhaps opposed by some of my coadjutors. I confined my efforts, therefore, to private exhortation, and with but little effect. Some of the ladies, out of regard to their pastor's feelings, took off their necklaces and ear ornaments before they entered the chapel, tied them up in a corner of their handkerchiefs, and on returning, as soon as they were out of sight of the Mission house, stopped in the middle of the street to array themselves anew.

      In the mean time, I was called to visit the Karens, a wild people, several days journey to the north of Maulmein. Little did I expect there to encounter the same enemy, in those "wilds, horrid and dark with o'ershadowing trees." But I found that he had been there before me, and reigned with a peculiar sway, from time immemorial. On one Karen woman I counted between twelve and fifteen necklaces, of all colors, sizes and materials. Three was the average. Brass belts above the ancles, neat braids of black hair tied below the knees, rings of all sorts on the fingers, bracelets on the wrists and arms, long instruments of some metal, perforating the lower part of the ear by an immense aperture, and reaching nearly to the shoulders, fancifully constructed bags, inclosing the hair, and suspended from the hack part of the head, not to speak of the ornamental parts of their clothing, constituted the fashions and the ton of the fair Karenesses. The dress of the female converts was not essentially different from that of their countrywomen. I saw that I was brought into a situation that precluded all retreat--that I must fight or die.

      For a few nights I spent some sleepless hours, distressed by this and other subjects, which will always press upon the heart of a Missionary in a new place. I considered the spirit of the religion of Jesus Christ. I opened to 1 Tim, ii. 9, and read these words of the inspired Apostle: "I will also that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety, not with broidered hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array." I asked myself, Can I baptize a Karen woman in her present attire? No. Can I administer the Lord's Supper to one of the baptized in that attire? No. Can I refrain from enforcing the prohibition of the Apostle? Not without betraying the trust I have received from him. Again: I considered that the question concerned not the Karens only, but the whole christian world; that its decision would involve a train of unknown consequences; that a single step would lead me into a long and perilous way. I considered Maulmein and the other stations; I considered the state of the public mind at home. But "what is that to thee? follow thou me," was the continual response, and weighed more than all. I renewedly offered myself to Christ, and prayed for strength to go forward in the path of duty, come life or death, come praise or reproach, supported or deserted, successful or defeated in the ultimate issue.

      Soon after coming to this conclusion, a Karen woman offered herself for baptism. After the usual examination, I inquired whether [327] she could give up her ornaments for Christ? It was an unexpected blow! I explained the spirit of the gospel. I appealed to her own consciousness of vanity. I read her the Apostle's prohibition. She looked again and again at her handsome necklace, (she wore but one) and then with an air of modest decision that would adorn beyond all outward ornaments any of my sisters whom I have the honor of addressing, she took it off, saying, I love Christ more than this. The news began to spread. The christian women made but little hesitation. A few others opposed, but the work went on.

      At length, the evil which I most dreaded came upon me. Some of the Karen men had been to Maulmein, and seen what I wished they had not. And one day, when we were discussing the subject of ornaments, one of the christians came forward in my face, and declared, that at Maulmein he had actually seen one of the great female teachers wearing a string of gold beads around her neck!!!

      Lay down this paper, dear sisters, and sympathize a moment with your fallen Missionary. Was it not a hard case? Was it not cruel for that sister thus to smite down to the dust her poor brother, who, without that blow, was hardly able to keep his ground? But she knew it not. She was not aware of the mischief she was doing. However, though cast down I was not destroyed; though sorely bruised and wounded, I endeavored to maintain the warfare as well as I could. After some conflict, the enemy fled the field, and when I left those parts, the female converts were, generally speaking, arrayed in modest apparel.

      On arriving at Maulmein, and partially recovering from a fever which I had contracted in the Karen woods, the first thing I did was to crawl out to the house of the patroness of the gold beads. To her I related my adventures; to her commiseration I commended my grief. With what ease, and truth too, could that sister reply, Notwithstanding these beads, I dress more plain than most ministers' wives and professors of religion in our native land. These beads are the only ornament I wear; they were given me when quite a child, by a dear mother, whom I never expect to see again, (another hard case) and she enjoined it on me never to part with them, as long as I lived, but to wear them as a memorial of her! O ye christian mothers, what a lesson you have before you! Can you, dare you give injunctions to your daughters, directly contrary to the apostolic commands? But to the honor of my sister, be it recorded, that as soon as she understood the merits of the case, and the mischief done by such example, off went the gold beads; and she gave decisive proof that she loved Christ more than father or mother. Her example, united with the efforts of the rest of us at this station, is beginning to exercise a redeeming influence in the female department of the church.

      But notwithstanding these favorable signs, nothing, really nothing is yet done. And why? This mission, and all others, must necessarily be sustained by continual supplies of Missionaries, male and female, from the mother country. Your sisters and daughters will continually come out, to take the place of those who are removed by [328] death, and to occupy numberless stations still unoccupied. And when they arrive, they will be dressed in their usual way, as christian women at home are dressed. And the female converts will run around them, and gaze upon them with the most prying curiosity, regarding them as the freshest representations of the christian religion from that land where it flourishes in all its purity and glory. And when they see the gold and jewels pendent from their ears, the beads and chains encircling their necks, the finger rings set with diamonds and rubies, the rich variety of ornamental head-dress, "the mantles and the wimples and the crisping pins," (see the rest in Isaiah, chap. iii.) they will cast a bitter, reproachful, triumphant glance at their old teachers, and spring with fresh avidity to re-purchase and resume their long neglected elegancies--the cheering news will fly up the Dahgyaing, the Laing-bwai and the Sal-wen--the Karenesses will reload their necks and ears, their arms and ancles;--and when, after another year's absence, I return and take my seat before the Burmese or the Karen church, I shall behold the demon of vanity enthroned in the centre of the assembly more firmly than ever, grinning defiance to the prohibitions of Apostles, and the exhortations of us who would fain be their humble followers. And thus you, my dear sisters, sitting quietly by your firesides, or repairing devoutly to your places of worship, do, by your example, spread the poison of vanity through all the rivers, and mountains, and wilds of this far distant land; and while you are sincerely and fervently praying for the upbuilding of the Redeemer's kingdom, are inadvertently building up that of the devil. If, on the other hand, you divest yourselves of all meretricious ornaments, your sisters and daughters, who come hither, will be divested, of course; the further supplies of vanity and pride will be cut off; and the churches at home being kept pure, the churches here will be pure also.

      Dear Sisters--Having finished my tale, and therein exhibited the necessity under which I lay of addressing you, I beg leave to submit a few topics to your candid and prayerful consideration--

      1. Let me appeal to conscience, and inquire, what is the real motive for wearing ornamental and costly apparel? Is it not the desire of setting off one's person to the best advantage, and of exciting the love and admiration of others? Is not such dress calculated to gratify self-love, to cherish the sentiments of vanity and pride? And is it not the nature of those sentiments to acquire strength from indulgence? Do such motives and sentiments comport with the meek, humble, self-denying religion of Jesus Christ? I would here respectfully suggest, that these questions will not be answered so faithfully in the midst of company as when quite alone kneeling before God.

      2. Consider the words of the Apostle quoted above from I Tim. ii. 9--"I will also that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety, not with broidered hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array." I do not quote a similar command recorded in I Peter iii. 3, because the verbal construction is not quite so definite, though the import of the two passages is the same. But cannot [329] the force of these passages be evaded? Yes, and nearly every command in scripture can be evaded, and every doctrinal assertion perverted, plausibly and handsomely, if we set about it in good earnest. But preserving the posture above alluded to, with the inspired volume spread open at the passage in question, ask your hearts in simplicity and godly sincerity, whether the meaning is not just as plain as the sun at noonday. Shall we, then, bow to the authority of an inspired Apostle, or shall we not? From that authority shall we appeal to the prevailing usages and fashions of the age? If so, please to recall the Missionaries you have sent to the heathen; for the heathen can vindicate all their superstitions on the same ground.

      3. In the posture you have assumed, look up and behold the eye of your benignant Saviour ever gazing upon you, with the tenderest love--upon you, his daughters, his spouse; wishing above all things, that you would yield your hearts entirely to him, and become holy as he is holy; rejoicing when he sees one and another accepting his pressing invitation, and entering the more perfect way for, on that account, he will be able to draw such precious souls into a nearer union with himself, and place them at least in the higher spheres, where they will receive and reflect more copious communications of light, from the great Fountain of light, the untreated Sun.

      4. Anticipate the happy moment, hastening on all the wings of time, when your joyful spirits will be welcomed into the assembly of the just made perfect. You appear before the throne of Jehovah; the approving smile of Jesus fixes your everlasting happy destiny, and you are plunging into "the sea of life and love unknown, without a bottom or a shore." Stop a moment--look back on yonder dark and miserable world that you have left; fix your eye on the meagre, vain, contemptible articles of ornamental dress, which you once hesitated to give up for Christ, the King of glory: and on that glance, decide the question, instantly and forever.

      Surely you can hold out no longer. You cannot rise from your knees in your present attire. Thanks be to God, I see you taking off your necklaces and ear rings, tearing away your ribbons and ruffles, and superfluities of head dress; and I hear you exclaim, What shall we do next? An important question, deserving serious consideration. The ornaments you are removing, though useless and worse than useless in their present state, can be so disposed of as to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, relieve the sick, enlighten the dark minded, disseminate the holy scriptures, spread the glorious gospel throughout the world. Little do the inhabitants of a free christian country know of the want and distress endured by the greater part of the inhabitants of the earth. Still less idea can they form of the awful darkness which rests upon the great mass of mankind in regard to spiritual things. During the years that you have been wearing these useless ornaments, how many poor creatures have been pining in want? How many have languished and groaned on beds of abject wretchedness? How many children have been bred up in the blackest ignorance, hardened in all manner of iniquity? How many immortal souls have gone [330] down to hell, with a lie in their right hand, having never. heard of the true God and the only Saviour? Some of these miseries might have been mitigated; some poor wretch have felt his pain relieved; some widow's heart been made to sing for joy; some helpless orphan have been rescued from hardened depravity, and trained up for a happy life here and hereafter. Some--yea, many precious souls might have been redeemed from the quenchless fires of hell, where now they must lie and suffer to all eternity, had you not been afraid of being thought unfashionable, and not "like other folks!" had you not preferred adorning your persons, and cherishing the sweet seductive feelings of vanity and pride!

      O! christian sisters, believers in God, in Christ, in an eternal heaven and an eternal hell! and can you hesitate, and ask what you shall do? Bedew those ornaments with the tears of contrition; consecrate them to the cause of charity; hang them on the cross of your dying Lord. Delay not an instant; hasten, with all your might, if not to make reparation for the past, at least to prevent a continuance of the evil in future. And be not content with individual exertion. Remember that union is strength. Take an example from the Temperance Societies, which are rising in their might, and rescuing a nation from the brink of destruction.

      Unite, christian sisters, of all denominations, and make an effort to rescue the church of God from the insidious attacks of an enemy which is devouring her very vitals. As a counter-part to the societies just mentioned, may I respectfully suggest that Plain Dress Societies be formed in every city and village throughout the land, recognizing two fundamental principles,--the one based on 1 Tim. ii. 9. all ornaments and costly dress to be disused; the other on the law of general benevolence,--the avails of such articles, and the savings resulting from the Plain Dress system to be devoted to purposes of charity. Some general rules in regard to dress, and some general objects of charity may be easily ascertained and settled. Minor points must, of course, be left to the conscience of each individual; yet free discussion will throw light on many points at first obscure. Be not deterred by the suggestion, that in such discussions, you are conversant about small things. Great things depend on small; and in that case, things which appear small to short-sighted man, are great in the sight of God. Many there are who praise the principle of self-denial in general, and condemn it in all its particular applications, as too minute, scrupulous, and severe. Satan is well aware that if he can secure the minute units, the sum total will be his own. Think not any thing small, which may have a bearing upon the kingdom of Christ and upon the destinies of eternity. How easy to conceive, from many known events, that the single fact of a lady's divesting herself of a necklace, for Christ's sake, may involve consequences which shall he felt in the remotest parts of the earth, and in all future generations to the end of time; yea, stretch away into a boundless eternity, and be a subject of praise millions of ages after this world and all its ornaments are burnt up. [331]

      Beware of another suggestion made by weak and erring souls, who will tell you that there is more danger of being proud of plain dress and other modes of self-denial, than of fashionable attire and self-indulgence. Be not ensnared by this last, most finished, most insidious device of the great enemy. Rather believe that he, who enables you to make a sacrifice, is able to keep you from being proud of it. Believe that he will kindly permit such occasions of mortification and shame as will preserve you from the evil threatened. The severest part of self-denial consists in encountering the disapprobation, the envy, the hatred of one's dearest friends. All who enter the strait and narrow path in good earnest, soon find themselves in a climate extremely uncongenial to the growth of pride.

      The gay and fashionable will, in many cases, be the last to engage in this holy undertaking. But let none be discouraged on that account. Christ has seldom honored the leaders of worldly fashion by appointing them leaders in his cause. Fix it in your hearts, that in this warfare, the Lord Jesus Christ expects every woman to do her duty! There is probably not one in the humblest walks of life, but would, on strict examination, find some article which might be dispensed with, for purposes of charity, and ought to be dispensed with, in compliance with the apostolic command. Wait not, therefore, for the fashionable to set an example; wait not for one another; listen not to the news from the next town; but let every individual go forward, regardless of reproach, fearless of consequences. The eye of Christ is upon you. Death is hastening to strip you of your ornaments, and to turn your fair forms into corruption and dust. Many of those for whom this letter is designed, will be laid in the grave before it can ever reach their eyes. We shall all soon appear before judgment seat of Christ, to be tried for our conduct, and to receive the things done in the body. When placed before that awful bar, in the "presence of that being whose eyes are as a flame of fire, and whose irrevocable fiat will fix you forever in heaven or in hell, and mete out the measure of your everlasting pleasures and pains, what course will you then wish you had taken? Will you then wish, that, in defiance of his authority, you had adorned your mortal bodies with gold, and precious stones, and costly attire, cherishing self-love, vanity, and pride! Or will you wish that you had chosen a life of self-denial, renounced the world, taken up the cross daily and followed him? And as you will then wish you had done, DO NOW!
  Dear sisters, your affectionate brother in Christ,
A. JUDSON.      
     Maulmein, Oct. 1831.


      THE following extracts appear without the knowledge of my correspondent. I should publish the whole epistle but for two reasons: the one, I have not the consent of the writer, and some things in it require that; the other, some parts of it speak in too high terms of the debate with Mr. Owen. But we find our reasons and our apology for publishing the following extracts, because they so graphically delineate [332] the actual condition of many minds under the popular influences, and because we think they are calculated to benefit some of that class. It gives me pleasure to add, that the writer has not merely changed opinions and become a speculative believer, but a practitioner of the faith confessed. He has been immersed into the Lord Jesus, and now labors occasionally in the word and teaching.

"Monticello, Wayne co. Ky. Nov. 17, 1831.      

      "MR. CAMPBELL--You have been the agent of the Lord in converting my mind from the darkness and ignorance of scepticism, to the light and truth of the gospel of the Redeemer. In the 17th or 18th year of my age I felt some concern about eternal things, and turned my attention occasionally to the reading of the Bible. I frequently went to preaching, and have now little doubt that if a right direction had been given to my exertions and inquiries, I should long ere this have embraced christianity. The preacher so often talked of holy fire, baptism with fire, irresistible operations of the Spirit, &e. &c. that I was made to think that unless I saw or felt the physical wonders and operations in relation to which they so loudly declaimed, I could not be a christian. I waited and prayed for these signs and wonders. I done all I could do; but, alas! I could see and hear no wonderful things, nor could I feel any sudden irresistible operation. I felt a change in my desires and the inclination of my mind was to obedience. But for want of the dreams, and sights, and visions which appeared to be a capital point in the detail of nearly every experience I heard told to the church, and the theme of almost every exhortation, prayer, and song, I concluded I was left in darkness, and after a while took shelter under the shade of deism. But fortunately about four months ago some of the numbers of the Harbinger fell into my hands. I read them attentively, and was struck with the force of reason and philosophy exhibited in the dialogue between Austin and Timothy on the Holy Spirit. I saw there drawn with graphic hand the important landmarks of distinction between the physical and moral operations of the Spirit of God. The one mode of operation is addressed to the senses, as in the miraculous conversion of St. Paul; the other is addressed to the mind through the medium of words which convey the will and mind of God to us. The arguments employed and the authority quoted and explained in this dialogue, rent asunder from my mind the mysterious illusion of physical operations, which had diverted my mind from the true cause of investigation. The only obstruction then left as a barrier to my cordially embracing christianity, was as to its divine authority, with a view to forming an opinion upon this point, upon which the entire fabrick reposes. I turned my attention to an examination of the testimony, in the course of which examination I was able to procure a copy of your debate with Robert Owen in Cincinnati. I had heard about Mr. Owen's social system, and had some years ago read some of his views in a newspaper. I regarded Mr. Owen as the great Ajax of scepticism, [333] and concluded that if his mind were unable to bear up in argument against the arguments and evidences in favor of christianity, it would be unreasonable and unphilosophical any longer to doubt its truth. Before l had got half through the book I was thoroughly convinced of the utter futility and absurdity of the doctrine of the social system. The whole tissue of chimerical nonsense was torn into atoms. The king of scepticism dethroned, and the empire of reason and revelation established upon the foundations of philosophy, reason, and testimony, I consider the arguments advanced in this book in support of christianity, as amounting to nothing less than a positive moral demonstration of its divine authenticity. It is there irrefragably demonstrated that without a direct revelation from God, man never could have formed the idea of God, Spirit, Sacrifice, Altar, &c. &c. ergo, would never have had words expressive of these ideas. The utter inability of the human mind to form and create a new original substantive idea of either a material or spiritual thing, shows conclusively that christianity must be a revelation from God to the world. The testimony upon which rests the truth of the recorded facts, are shown to have all the criteria which ancient historical facts possibly can have. The facts are shown to have been addressed to the senses, and of the most public notoriety, and in their nature calculated to make the deepest impression on the human mind. Monumental commemorative institutions were established coetaneous with the transpiration of the fads, and have been perpetuated down to the present day as testimonials of their truth. Well might you challenge Mr. Owen to show that any fact recorded in history, possessing these criteria of their verity, ever was or could be shown to be false. Your achievement in that debate has lit up a new torch of light in the christian world, and it will illuminate the paths of many.--
  "With high respect, yours,
F. P. S."      


      THE deaths from cholera in Paris on the last day of March, and up to the 14th of April inclusive, were 7831. The deaths on the 13th were 816; on the 14th, 692; and on the 16th, 522; so that the disease is diminishing in intensity.

      Among the persons of rank who became victims of the disease on Sunday and Monday were Prince Casteleila, (Neapolitan Ambassador,) M. M. Morel, and De la Pommerate, (Deputies,) a son of M. de Schoonen, a Commissary of Police, a Greek officer in the French service, (Manvrocordate,) Count Morand, the Marchioness d'Etampes, and the Baroness de Lritre.

      A sufficient number of Deputies could not be retained to constitute a House. The President of the Chamber of Peers had announced on that day the death of Viscount de Cassine, one of the new Peers.

Still later from England.

      The cholera appears by the official accounts to be diminished in Paris, but spreading throughout France. A London paper of the 28th says it has broken out at Havre de Grace. All the French Ministers have been attacked. The Chamber of Deputies is prorogued.

      Letters From Paris, dated April 13, state that 20,000 had died in that city of the cholera.

      The cholera continues very mild in England, but more severe in Ireland. [334]


Extract from a private letter, dated November 10, from the
neighborhood of Balasore.

      "I THINK of nothing but the hurricane which occurred here on the last day of October; such a calamity I have never heard or read of; at least 10,000 persons in my jurisdiction were drowned, and I fear the accounts will show double that number, including children. The high road from Madrass to Calcutta runs through Balasore, about 5 miles north of this, and where it is in a direct line 9 miles from the coast, the sea crossed it, carrying with it every living thing in that space, in that direction. At least 150 square miles were inundated from 10 to 15 feet deep.

      "The sea came up to Balasore, and to the northward also the inundation was little less. The deck and part of a vessel are on the road. Where the sea crossed it on the West side, and where its progress was checked by the road on the East side, are lying, all dead and heaped together, men, tigers, buffaloes, cows, &c. I have sent out hundreds of people to burn and bury; but if it does not breed a pestilence we shall be lucky. It is not easy to dispose of bodies covering miles."

      The Bengal Hurkaru, after describing the total destruction of crops in the above district, states, that on the night of the 9th November 7000 maunds of grain had been despatched for the use of the famishing survivors of the dreadful flood.

From the Christian Index.      

Lonely Hours of a Bereaved Mother.

AND I am left! There is a strange delight
In counting o'er one's bitterness, to cull
A flower of comfort from it. I am left
To bear the gathering storms of life, my child,
Still tempest-toss'd upon its dangerous seas,
While thou art safely moor'd: thy little barque
Is anchor'd in the haven where the winds
Of sorrow never blow; thy star has risen
In climes of peace and love, to set no more
Forever and forever. All thy life
Was like a rosebud--like a gentle breath
Of purest fragrance wafted on the wing
Of early zephyr,--like the opening ray
Of morning's softest blush. Thy little heart
Had never tasted woe. Thy infant breast
Was heaven's own dwelling place; it never knew
The touch of aught save innocence and love.
------ ----- ------ Blessed child,
Thy lot on earth was bright, and now thou art
With holy angels. I will cease to mourn! [335]
O! had I lov'd thee less, my foolish heart
Had sigh'd to keep thee in this changing world,
Had fasten'd thee to life, till thou had'st drain'd
Its very dregs of woe! Never, O! never
Could I have knelt, and kiss'd the chastening rod
With such unfeign'd submission! Never, never
Could I have look'd so calmly on the smile
Thy parting spirit left, had my fond soul
Less dotingly hung o'er thee in thy life,
Less proudly treasur'd up thy darling name
In the deep recess of my heart! But now
Our very lives were one! There could not be
A deeper, purer tenderness, than heaved
This trembling breast for thee. How could I, then,
Ask aught for thee but happiness! In life,
When thou wast closely, folded in these arms,
And I did feel thy warm breath on my cheek,
Thy smiling eyes fix'd tenderly on mine,
My prayers were full of pleadings--agonies
Almost, of earnestness, that Heaven would bless
Thy opening day with joy, and every good
That might be deem'd most proper. O! are not
Those prayers most fully answer'd? Could my soul
In all its deepest gush of tenderness
Have ask'd a holier boon, a blessedness,
More durable, more infinite and pure,
More like the nature of a God to give,
Than heaven's own self, with all its blessed ones,
Its high society, its holy love,
Its rapturous songs of gratitude and praise,
Its pure celestial streams and fruits and flowers,
And glorious light reflected from the face
Of God's beloved Son; could I have claim'd
A higher boon, my precious babe, for thee?
And then again, to be exempt from woe
And human suffering, forever free
From all the toils, and pains, and nameless cares
That gather with our years, and Oh! perchance,
At last a hopeless death! O! I could weep
With very gratitude that thou art sav'd,
Thy soul forever sav'd. What though my heart
Should bleed at every pore, still thou art blest.
There is an hour, my precious innocent,
When we shall meet again! O! may we meet
To separate no more! Yes, I can smile,
And sing with gratitude, and weep with joy,
Even while my heart is breaking!
H. M. Dodge.      

      ----> THE greater part of the preceding number was written and prepared in the last week of May, preparatory to our making a short excursion for two weeks. This will explain some omissions in it and the reason of any supposed neglect of our correspondents.

====================================================================================== PRINTED AND PUBLISHED BY A. CAMPBELL--PRICE, $2,00 PER ANNUM [336]


[The Millennial Harbinger, 3 (July, 1832): 289-336.]

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