[Table of Contents]
Alexander Campbell, ed.|
The Millennial Harbinger, Vol. III, No. VIII (1832)
|THE MILLENNIAL HARBINGER.|
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 ALEXANDER CAMPBELL,
Editor of the "Millennial Harbinger."
WE will now endeavor to interpret and understand the account that we have of the remission of sins and baptism of the Pentecostal Jews, in the 2d chapter of the Acts of the Apostles, agreeably to the foregoing critical remarks and observations of Professor Stuart, William Erskine, and yourself.
The miraculous gifts, which were the promise of the Holy Ghost, and which Christ, after be was exalted by the right hand of God, received of the Father, and shed forth upon the hundred and twenty disciples when the day of Pentecost was fully come, in visible and audible appearances, which were seen and heard by the multitude, and Peter's discourse, convinced the Jews that they had crucified the Messiah, whom God had raised from the dead, and made both Lord and Christ:--they were pierced to the heart, and said unto Peter and the rest of the Apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do? And Peter said unto them. Reform and be each of you baptized on account of Jesus Christ, into the remission of sins, and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost; for the promise is to you and to your children, and to all that are afar off, as many as the Lord our God shall call. And with many other words he bore his testimony, and exhorted, saying, Save yourselves from this perverse generation. Then they who gladly received his word were baptized. They gladly received the testimony concerning Jesus Christ, and reformed before they were baptized. Jesus Christ was exalted a Prince and a Saviour, to give reformation and remission of sin to Israel: by faith in the testimony they received him, and received reformation and remission, and were justified from all things. Acts v. 31.--ch. xiii. 38. 39. God having given to them reformation unto life, and purified their hearts by faith, they were baptized into the doctrine of forgiveness of sins, for Christ's sake, and thereby professed to receive and acknowledge forgiveness on account of Jesus Christ, by which they would be saved, (or had the pledge of it,) and had the answer of a good conscience towards God. They were baptized into Christ and put him on. They renounced the law of Moses for salvation, and  acknowledged Jesus Christ as their lawgiver, guide, protector, and Saviour; bound themselves to be his disciples and followers, and to receive and obey his doctrines and laws, and risqued every thing upon his authority, wisdom, power, goodness, and faithfulness. Having been born of God under the old typical covenant, by being the natural descendants of Abraham, they were born again under the new covenant, by the incorruptible seed, the word of God, which by the gospel was preached unto them by faith in Jesus Christ.
You will not, I suppose, differ much from me in giving reformation and remission precedence to baptism. Do you not demand reformation before baptism? or do you administer baptism in order that men may afterwards reform? According to "the ancient gospel" was not penitence before baptism? This question is answered by the first part of the verse, Acts ii. 31. "Repent and be baptized." Did not remission of sins of course follow repentance, or gospel reformation? Has not God always and every where granted remission, of course, to reformation? If so, how can obtaining remission be suspended on the act of baptism, an act dependant on the will and agency of another person, on the act of the administrator, and not on the penitent? These questions settle the matter when correctly answered, and prove that justification or the forgiveness of sin in the case of the Pentecostal Jews, preceded their baptism. If it be not the doctrine of the gospel, that the sins of penitent believers are remitted, through faith in Jesus Christ, or that sinners are justified by faith; then it follows that the grace of God through the atonement of Christ, and a living faith in him, do no more in the forgiveness of sin than to put it in the power of the administrator of baptism, to remit the sins of the believer by baptizing him; and should sickness or any thing else happen to prevent it, and he should die without being baptized, he would die in his sins. I lately heard of a young man who was in the last stage of consumption, becoming greatly concerned about the salvation of his soul, and was anxious to know what he should do to be saved. A proclaimer of immersion for the remission of sin visited him, and finding him too low to be baptized for the remission of sin, could not say a word to him by way of instruction or comfort; he could not say to him as Paul did to the Jailor, "Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved," but left him; and afterwards adduced this case by way of argument, in a powerful appeal he made to a congregation, to induce those who believed and had bodily health and strength, and had never been baptized for the remission of their sins, to be baptized lest they he involved in the hopeless condition of the young man. This I think was entirely consistent with the doctrine; and I would advocate it too, for the same reason he did, were I to believe that sin is actually remitted in baptism. He did not propose to baptize any one in unbelief; but considered faith of no effect without baptism; I too would urge believers to be baptized, but for a different reason. I must attend a little to the remission of sins and baptism of the first Gentile congregation, in Acts x. 4, before I conclude this number. 
You did not bestow that attention upon the 2d number of Archippus which it demanded, and which was necessary for your understanding it. I am the more particular in attending to the facts and circumstances, which are recorded of the order and manner according to which the gospel was introduced to the Jews on the day of Pentecost, and to the first Gentile congregation, in Acts x. because it is here, as you have observed, that we can find a full and explicit developement of the institution of baptism, and its connexion with faith and the remission of sin, as what is said in the epistles and other remote documents, is by way of allusion, and does not teach the literal import of baptism and remission of sin in their relation to each other. Then we are not to learn from mere allusions, or oblique hints, or fugitive representations, such as appear in the conversation of Christ with Nicodemus, (John iii. 5, 7.) but from the direct and primary discoveries of the Apostles upon the subject.
After Peter had delivered a short but comprehensive discourse to Cornelius and household, under the authority of previous revelations made to himself and Cornelius, which occasioned the meeting between them, in which he exhibited the most conclusive proof that Jesus Christ was Messiah and Saviour, and just as he concluded his testimony in the following words: "To him gave all the prophets witness, that whosoever, or every one that believeth on him, shall receive remission of sins through his name," the Holy Ghost fell upon all them that heard the word, and they spoke with tongues, and glorified God. Then said Peter, Can any man forbid water that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we? And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord. Acts x. 34-48. Were these people in their sins when they received the gifts of the Holy Ghost and glorified God, which occurred before they were baptized? I answer, No; because they had now received the comforter whom Christ had promised to his disciples, and whom the world could not receive; after that they believed, before they were baptized, they were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, Eph. i. 13. In the next chapter, Acts xi. we have this subject made very clear, which records Peter's defence before the Apostles, elders, and brethren against a complaint made by some of the Jewish converts against him, for going to the Gentiles and eating with them. In his defence he rehearsed the matter in order to them as it occurred. He told them that after he delivered his testimony, "the Holy Ghost fell on them as on us at the beginning." Acts ii. 1-4. Then remembered I the word of the Lord, how that he said, (Acts i. 5.) John indeed baptized with water, but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost. For as much, then, as God gave them the like gifts as he did unto us who believed on the Lord Jesus Christ, what was I that I could withstand God? When they heard these things they held their peace and glorified God, saying, Then hath God also to the Gentiles granted repentance unto life." This plainly proves that the Apostles and elders judged that the sins of the Gentiles who believed, were remitted, and that the gifts of the Holy Ghost were bestowed upon them in consequence of  it, and in proof of it, before a word was said about baptism, and before they were baptized, they are represented as being in the same state of divine favor that the one hundred and twenty disciples were on the day of Pentecost, when the Holy Ghost was poured out upon them. We have further information upon this same subject from Peter. In the apostolic council at Jerusalem, Peter rose up and said unto them, "Men and brethren, ye know that God a good while ago made choice among us that the Gentiles, by my mouth, should hear the word of the gospel and believe. And God who knoweth the heart bear them witness, giving them the Holy Ghost even as he did unto us, and put no difference between us and them, having purified their hearts by faith." And thus by the miraculous gifts of one spirit the Jews and Gentiles were baptized into one body, (Cor. xii. 13.) before either of them had been baptized with water into the name of Jesus Christ, and of course neither of them entered into the kingdom by the ordinance of baptism. When the hundred and twenty disciples in Acts chap. i. verse 15. and Acts ii. 1-4. were baptized in water, the new covenant was not ratified, for the blood of it was not shed, the new kingdom was not set up, and the King was not crowned. And the Gentiles were in the kingdom before Peter commanded then to be baptized, Rom. xiv. 17. through faith they had received the remission of their sins and glorified God by the gifts of the Holy Ghost. The miraculous gifts saved no person who possessed them, but they were the witness and seal of God that those "upon whom he bestowed them were saved by faith and enjoyed the divine favor. They moreover sealed and confirmed the testimony that whoever believed in Jesus Christ received remission of sin, and that he actually does receive it by faith at the moment of believing, without respect to baptism, altogether, as was the case with the first Gentile congregation--and they of course seal the testimony that it is altogether an error to baptize any person in order to obtain remission for sin.
I have been thus particular in attending to the case of Cornelius and household in relation to faith, remission of sins and baptism, because they were the first Gentile congregation to whom the gospel was preached, and they are always spoken of and attended to as public characters and as the representatives of the Gentile world through all succeeding ages, in relation to God's order and method of remitting their sins, or of justifying them, and of receiving them into his favor. Hence they are denominated "the Gentiles." Acts 10, 45, ch. 11, 18. And their faith is referred to as a rule and example in all other cases. Acts xv. 7-9, xiv. 23-29. Their case shows that faith in Jesus Christ is the radical principle in the christian character, as it is the principle of communion with God, and of christian union and fellowship. We are justified by faith; but faith is not baptism, as faith in the case of Abraham was not circumcision. Although our sins are not remitted by baptism, it is nevertheless the duty of all who are the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus, to be baptized into Christ and put him on.
In my next letter I will endeavor to show the distinction between the justification of a sinner by faith only, without works, in making  him a righteous man, and the justification of a righteous man by works and not by faith only.
I shall expect you to give this communication a place in the Harbinger, and hope that you will acquiesce in the reasons it contains, "why sentence of heresy shall not be passed upon me for maintaining that sinners and ungodly men are justified, or that their sins are remitted by faith without baptism," which you demanded of me in the Millennial Harbinger, vol. 2, page 408.
I am, in the faith and love of Christ, your brother,
Dear Sir,--THE substance of your letter quoted above is but a reiteration of one of your former letters, signed Archippus. It has, in my review of that series, been fully examined, and I think fairly and fully met, with arguments to which you seem not to have attended. Unwilling, however, to pass it by with a simple reference to my former remarks, I shall briefly suggest to your consideration a few remarks upon it, for few of my readers can at all think that you have either sound logic or sacred documents to sustain your opposition to the scriptural doctrine of remission.
When any one out of the kingdom asks you what he shall do to get rid of his past sins, you say to him, Believe for the remission of your sins, and be immersed, if convenient, into the doctrine that you are forgiven. Your reprobation of him who would not say to the dying youth, "Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shaft be saved," together with your various reasonings, authorize this conclusion. Now, my dear sir, it requires, I think, but a very superficial knowledge of your system and of the scriptures of truth, to discover the great contrariety between' you and the ancient proclaimers of the gospel. To this I would first call your attention, supposing that if corrected in this one point, you would, yourself, be every way able to refute your own reasonings.
Few read the New Testament with the discriminating attention that is due to the most ordinary productions. Hence it is that we fed so few, comparatively, who understand it, amongst the teachers or the taught. Nine tenths, perhaps, of the sect from which you and I separated, quote and apply the passage on which you rely so much, as if of universal application. As Paul once spoke to a Roman jail keeper, alike ignorant both of the religion of Jesus and its founder, so they speak to every inquirer. So did not any prophet or apostle of divine authority ever speak to men. They all regarded inquirers according to their state, views, prejudices, and general circumstances. Let me impress this again upon your attention, and permit me to enforce it by high authority: for it appears that your education, in this one instance, still triumphs over your better judgment and general accuracy. Pardon my plainness in elucidating and enforcing this remark. John, the harbinger, Luke tells us, was, at  a certain time, addressed by three sorts of inquirers. His general theme was reformation, and the fruits worthy of it. A whole class or multitude asked him, "What shall WE do?" His answer was, "Let him who has two coats impart to him who has none, and let him who has victuals do the same." A second class called publicans next coming to him, said, "What shall WE do?" He answered, "Exact no more than what is appointed you." A third class called soldiers also inquired, and "What shall WE do?" Again he answers them in character, "Injure no man, either by violence or false accusation, and be content with your allowance." Thus, while reformation was his topic, he answers every man with special regard to his circumstances and character. Now what is the force of this example? Not, surely, that we address every man as Paul addressed the Philippian jailor! And is not this, my dear sir, the censure you inflict upon the preacher of reform--"He could not say to a dying young man what Paul said too the jailor!" This remark of yours opens a window through which I can see the reason of your opposition to immersion for remission--you would preach faith for remission to every person, irrespective of all circumstances. You would preach to the whole multitude, to the publicans, and to the soldiers, what John preached to the soldiers!!
But this is not all--you are arbitrary in selecting the answer to the jailor's question, rather than the answer given to the same question, proposed by others. Thousands said to Peter and the other Apostles, "What shall WE do? Reform and be immersed, &c. was the answer of all the Apostles, through Peter. Saul says, "Lord, what shall I do?" Arise and go into the city and it shall be told you what you must do--Ananias comes, and the question is answered, arise and be immersed, &c. Cornelius long prayed to know what he should do--an angel taught him what to do. Peter said, The angel shall tell you what you ought to do to be saved--and what did he do? The jailor inquires, "Gentlemen, what must I do to be saved?" For what reason do you prefer the answer given to the jailor to that given to the others? Because every one is in the jailor's circumstances, alike ignorant and pagan! Perhaps you will say, Because the jailor laid the emphasis upon the word saved, whereas the three thousand, and Saul of Tarsus, laid the emphasis upon the word forgiven. Admitting this to be the fact, that the jailor thought only of salvation from impending evils; and the three thousand, pierced with a sense of guilt, thought only of remission, and Saul, affrighted to find that he had persecuted the Lord of glory, thought supremely of forgiveness--I say, admitting this to be the fact, as all the circumstances avouch, then are you inconsistent with yourself in selecting the jailor in preference to the others: because the controversy is about remission, or justification.
But unless you admit that Paul preached repentance and immersion to the jailor afterwards, when he spoke the word of the Lord to him and all his house, you must affirm that neither repentance, nor immersion, nor the Holy Spirit, is necessary to salvation, for Paul  preached salvation to the jailor and his family, simply by believing in Jesus, without repentance, immersion, or the Holy Spirit! Are you prepared for this, doctor? If not, condemn not a preacher of reformation because he would not say to every hearer what Paul said to the jailor.
Methinks that he who runs may read, from all that we have spoken and written on this subject, that we ought to speak to all men according to their circumstances. As, then, you have agreed with me that there is no difference between a Jew and a Gentile, in the article of justification, we ought to speak to all men, in reference to themselves, and not in general terms, as if the views and circumstances of all were alike. Our rule is, (and show me a better one if you can,) to address men in reference to themselves.
If any man professing the true religion, ask one of us who proclaim the ancient faith, what he shall do to reform, we specify the things which concern himself--To the rich who turns away from the poor, we say, Let him that has two coats give to him that has none, and he that has victuals to spare, let him give to him that is hungry--To the publicans who have been exorbitant, we say, Keep within the bounds prescribed by law--To the soldiers we preach humanity, and teach them to consider the sword as not worn by them to do violence on their own account, or to avenge themselves, but to be the protectors of the government which sustains them. But under the Prince of Peace, we say to them, Leave the bloody deeds of war to those who delight in blood.
But if any sinner out of the kingdom ask us how he is to enter it, we talk to him about being born again, and about the water and the Spirit. If any captious sceptic ask what he should do to work the works of God, we reply, "This is the work of God, that you believe on him whom he has sent into the world." If a rude and untaught barbarian ask us what he must do for his salvation from all evil, we tell him to believe in the Lord Jesus and he shall be saved--and if he will then lend us his ear, we will tell him the whole history of Jesus, what he said and did. If a penitent believer ask us what he shall do to obtain the remission of his sins, to have the answer of a good conscience, and a good spirit, we say, "Reform and be immersed in the name of the Lord Jesus, for the remission of your sins, and you shall receive the Holy Spirit." But if one who has reformed, who has ceased to do evil and learned to do well, ask us what he must do for acceptance with the Lord, we neither say Believe, Repent, nor Reform; but, "Arise, and be immersed, and wash away your sins, calling upon the name of the Lord." Now, doctor, is not this the good old way? and does not this explain all the varieties found in all the apostolic addresses to their various and diversified hearers? You will, I trust, by this time, perceive how irrelevant and unbecoming it would have been for the preacher whom you censure to have told a believing Kentuckian, in the rear of grace 1831, what Paul told a Pagan jailor in Philippi, a city in which the gospel had never before been announced. 
Permit me to add that I hope my remarks in my No. I. will show you how little meaning there is in such questions as this, "How can obtaining remission be suspended on an act dependent on the will and agency of another person?" when your own system of faith coming by hearing another speak, depends upon a similar contingency! Most of your questions in the same piece, are of the same genus. Such as, Do you not require reformation before baptism? Is not remission consequent upon reformation? and must not reformation precede baptism? You remind me of the old casuist who said, Whose wife shall she be of the seven, for they all had her? I will not say you err, not knowing that reformation is not any one act or number of acts, the first public expression or act of which, is putting on the Lord, or immersion into his name. I never thought that men had done reforming before or after they were immersed. Surely you agree with me in this.
But the Gentiles received the Holy Spirit before they were immersed! This is your rallying ground, the fort in which you entrench yourself, and to which you flee for safety and for succor--and yet you will not admit any one of the three following propositions--
1. That receiving the Holy Spirit, and remission of sins, are one and the same thing.
2. That the gifts bestowed upon the first Gentile congregation were such as are expected or enjoyed now by the Gentiles.
3. That men are now to wait for the Holy Spirit before they are immersed.
Of what relevance, then, is it to rely so confidently upon this miraculous incident, an incident which has been so often explained, and to which you seem to have paid no attention, and which is as repugnant to your theory of faith alone, as you can imagine it to be opposed to immersion for remission. But you ask triumphantly, Were these men yet in their sins? and as triumphantly I would ask, Was Cornelius, with all his piety and humanity, with all his prayers and alms which had ascended to heaven, yet in need of salvation, when the angel told him to send to Joppa for Simon who would "tell him words by which he might be saved?" Yes, more triumphantly, because I have positive testimony that he needed the salvation which comes by water and blood; but you have no testimony that he was actually and formally pardoned when he began to speak with tongues and to magnify God. In intention and anticipation he was not in his sins, as the bride betrothed is, in intention and anticipation, the wife of him to whom she has resolved to give herself; but yet Cornelius was neither saved nor justified, in the christian sense of these words, until he heard, believed, and obeyed Peter's last word, which was. In the name of the Lord be immersed in water. Thus the testimony of an angel, and the command of Peter, are against your hypothesis, that he and his family were actually pardoned and had received the pledge of remission before they were immersed. Now judge whether the testimony of an angel, and the command of Peter, do not outweigh your theory, doctor. By such reasonings you have proved  that the Jews and Gentiles were admitted into the kingdom without regeneration, or being horn again: that Jesus did not mean what he said, or did not understand matters right, when he said "Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God." When our reasonings lead us to such an issue, methinks there is much reason to suspect them.
And you have proved that the children of God ought to be born! "It is nevertheless the duty of all the children of God, by faith in Jesus Christ, to be baptized into Christ and put him on." More surprizing still! To be baptized is to be immersed, is it not? And to be immersed is to be buried, is it not? and then to rise again! And so, Doctor, you will have the children of God to be buried alive and to rise or be born again!! because they are in the kingdom!!! Shall I have to examine and detect the reasonings which legitimately terminate in such palpable contrarieties! No: your conclusions testify that you reason wrong. It a novice in arithmetic tells me that he has proved by the rule of proportion that he who earns a shilling a. day just earns twenty shillings in forty days, I tell him his conclusion proves that his reasonings are wrong, without the toil of examining either his statement of the question, or his manner of working it.
When any person alleges that he is born, adopted, made a citizen, justified, sanctified, and saved, by a principle of action, without the working or living of the principle, I am at as great a loss to comprehend his mode of reasoning, his use of the figures of speech, as I am to reconcile his conclusions to the oracles of God.
But there are some who seem not to discriminate between the principle and the acts which flow from it, nor the object on which it acts. Therefore, they ascribe every thing to faith alone. Without faith there is no coming to God, but yet coming to God is not faith. The Gentiles had their hearts purified by faith; yet, as Peter explains it, it was not the principle, or faith without its acts and its object: for says he, "You have purified your souls by obeying the truth, through the Spirit." Hence we contend that we receive the remission of sins through faith in God's promise, brought near to us in the first institution. We are justified by faith in the very act of obedience. The heart is purified by faith in obeying the truth.
Thus, brother Fishback, while some contend for faith alone, or the naked principle without one pulsation of life; and while others contend for works alone, we choose rather to contend for faith acting upon God's promise, and working in obedience to his will. Thus every one who does receive and enjoy the remission of his sins in immersion, receives that remission and assurance by faith in God's promise. So, you see, there is nothing in the doctrine of remission through immersion incompatible with justification and sanctification by faith. But when you add alone, or by itself, then we have to contend with you for adding to what is written in the Book.
Faith, and not flesh and blood, is the principle by which Jew and Gentile now find acceptance with God; and as all blessings flow to us through faith in God's promises, it is every way expedient and just  that men should be taught that they are saved by favor through faith, and that this salvation, in all its parts, is the gift of God. But he that says, only believe for the remission of sins, or only repent for the remission of sins, contradicts the Apostles, and calls upon men to do that which is impossible: for no man can believe for the remission of his own sins, without a special promise to himself, or some general promise with some special way of appropriating it to himself.
With all my respect for your person and your views in general, I cannot find that you have yet furnished reason why sentence of heresy should not be pronounced upon you, for contending that men are pardoned by faith alone, and, instead of being immersed for remission, that they are to be immersed because they are forgiven.
I have the honor to be your obedient servant, for the truth's sake,
CO-OPERATION OF CHURCHES--No. VII.
CONTAINING CORRESPONDENCE BETWEEN A. B, G. AND F. W. E.
[Continued from page 201.]
|JANUARY 22d, 1832.|
Dear Brother E.
YOURS, postmarked January 11th, came to hand on the 19th instant. I was exceedingly glad to hear from you once more, and to find you were not asleep on the subject of Zion's welfare.
The least variation from the King's statutes, is an impeachment of his wisdom, or goodness, or both; no matter how good our intentions may he. I rejoice that we differ so little in our views on the subject on which I wrote, viz: a combination of the churches; and I still look in vain to your letter for any testimony from scripture, that proves it to be the business of the church to convert the world. There is the individual duty of the members of a church, and there is the duty of the church in proper form. What is the duty of a church, as such? It is to exhibit the spirit and doctrine of Christ; to show his love by their love, and its fruits to each other, and to all, by edifying each other in love; by feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, visiting the prisoners, sick, &c. See Matth. xxv. Here the rule of judgment is laid down--its breadth, and length, and height--to show forth meekness, temperance, faith, joy, peace, &c. But to send the gospel to any body, I again repeat, is no part of their duty. How can they send it? Can they take any one of their members and command him to go and carry it? No: they have no such authority in the case. Should any one be sent of the Lord to preach, and be pressed in spirit to testify that Jesus is the Son of God, his brethren may, yea ought to help him forward, by all the means in their power: but this is his individual duty, not the duty of the church, and they have no business to drive nor hinder him. If this is what you mean, I differ not with you; and every church in which or where he travels, ought to, and will minister to his necessity. The property of every individual servant of Christ, in all the churches of God, is a fund to feed  every hungry or needy brother, whether he preaches or not. After all, I see no evidence that Deacon Stephen travelled away from the church in Jerusalem. He preached a famous discourse, which Luke records, and which stands to this day a living testimony against those who profess godliness but make void the word by their traditions: "The Jewish church continued, which say they are Jews, and are not, but are of the synagogue of Satan." As to Rev. xxii. "The Spirit and the Bride both call for the Bridegroom, and he that heareth joins with them"; even as John did, by saying, "Even so come, Lord Jesus." As to James v. you will observe the Apostle is addressing his brethren: "Brethren, if any of you do err from the truth," &c. The text refers to the labors of love among brethren. I agree with you that every disciple is a servant, a son, a king, and a priest, and has his place at the altar, where those who serve the tabernacle have no rights. Let us, therefore, come to the altar with exceeding joy. As to "physical" or "mystic" influence, antichrist uses both; (but they are no way needful in the church of God.) Her physical influence is the prison, the lash, the stake and gibbet: her mystic influence is the combination of money, education, &c. composing the whole mystery of iniquity; anointing her disciples with an unction from the wicked one, whereby they become ignorant of all things pertaining to godliness: far different in savor from the myrrh, aloes and cassia, out of the ivory palaces of the King. God be praised that your views are changed on the subject you named. I know of no book, which contains more untruths than Watts' Psalms and Hymns, which has as many good things. What would a new-modelled carnal mind be? N. B. I conceive that if most of the preaching of this our day is not, assisted by some influence over and above its inherent qualities, it, will be of little benefit; in fact, nothing but the blessing of God, which they pray may go with it, will prevent its pernicious effect; but the true gospel is, in itself, a blessing. It is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth. We might as consistently ask him to bless his love, or grace, as his word. "In the word of a king there is power," is true of our King. Life is the first thing in reality; not the first thing preached, however. But faith, or the belief of the testimony of God, is the first evidence of life, or of being awake to divine things. All divine things are given to us absolutely in Christ, by the will of God, by the which will we are made heirs according to the hope of the gospel. The knowledge of what is thus given to us is communicated by the gospel--the word of truth--the gospel of our salvation. Hence the joy, the peace; the songs of praise,--arising from delivered prisoners, saved sinners, the blessing of them that were ready to perish--on the head of the great Deliverer, Jesus Christ. I want to say much on this subject, but have no room now. We were heirs before we knew or believed it. Hence the testimony of the fact is the testimony of the truth; and those who believe it, believe the TRUTH.
Now to go back to the duty of preaching.--I can find no directions how to behave myself out of the church of God from the Apostles,  in things of the kingdom. But Paul told Timothy if he put the brethren in remembrance of the grace of God, and the devices of the devil, he would be a good servant. He told the Elders of Ephesus to take heed to the flock of God, to feed it. Cephas also witnesses the same things. I learn, also, that all teachers, whether Paul, Apollos, or Cephas, belong to the church: yea, all things are ours. Therefore, I must still adhere to my former views--till I hear from you again, at least.
I mentioned in my last, that the New Haven Association had voted the little church in G------ totally unworthy of their fellowship. Yes, they have cut us off from their fellowship and utterly withdrawn from us the light of their COUNTENANCES!! But having studied to show ourselves approved unto God, we enjoy his light and truth--it is enough. We have altered in nothing, since they sent messenger after messenger to persuade us to join them, which we utterly refused, and witnessed their wickedness to their faces. They were offended, and now proscribe us. I could not but think of Potiphar's wife--the Lord judge between us and them. They were so much ashamed of their vote, after they passed it, that they would not record it on their Minutes. Ah! how will they be ashamed, in the day when God shall judge their secret works by Jesus Christ, according to our gospel! Let me hear from you sooner than before, and tell me your mind on 1st John, ii, about the unction, &c.
May peace be with you--Farewell.
Yours in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ,
|A. B. G.|
TO F. W. E.
|FEBRUARY 24, 1832.|
Dear Brother G.
HAVING several times read, and pondered much upon your favor of the 22d ultimo, I now find myself seated to reply to it, How highly favored the Lord's people, whom the Son makes free! How happy they who know by experience these blissful relations! "Behold how great love the Father has bestowed upon us, that we should be called the children of God!"
I rejoice in the conviction and assurance that, however much we may differ in opinion, in our views of the meaning and application of certain passages of scripture, and in our manner of expressing these views, in faith we are one. We believe in the same God and Father; in the same Lord and Redeemer, his only begotten Son; in the same Holy Spirit, which proceeds from the Father and the Son; and in the same Law and Testimony, that of the holy Apostles and Prophets all of which being "given by divine inspiration, is, indeed, profitable for teaching, for confutation, for correction, for instruction in righteousness; that the man of God may he perfect, and thoroughly fitted for every good work"--yes, perfect, All human platforms, creeds,  confessions, &c. &c. we alike discard as unprofitable and vain: and I trust, too, that we are one in spirit.
I was highly pleased with your comment on "physical" and "mystic" influences. "Antichrist," you say, "uses both; (but they are 'no way needful in the church of God.)" True. I perfectly agree with you here, and with your definition and exemplification of them; with the contrast you draw between these and those, which are the donum of God's people.
We agree, I think, in the unction. My views of 1 John i. 20, 27, are, that the unction here spoken of is the same that our Lord Jesus received at his immersion, and which he bestows on all that obey him, in the same institution; viz: the Holy Spirit, the Eternal Spirit, by which he offered up himself without spot to God. As Our Lord possesses it without measure, he is able to impart it in copious measures to his people, "Except you have the Spirit of Christ, you are none of his." Hence, he speaks of bestowing it, John vii. 38, 39. Hence it is said to proceed from both the Father and the Son, xv, 26. By the joint participation of this Spirit, without measure, the Father and the Son are ONE: by being anointed, also, with the same, according to our respective measures, all disciples are one. See John xvii. 21. I could write more on this topic, but must not neglect other parts of your letter.
I was not less pleased with what you offer on the popular preaching of our day; the deadly influence of its character, &c. &c.--on the "true gospel," that "it is itself a blessing"--on prayer--and, indeed, I think I have not one objection to make to all that you say in this connexion, "In the word of a king there is power." This is true, you say, "of [the word of] our King." True. "Life is the first thing in reality, not the first thing preached, however." Very well. What is it that produces life? the word of our King? So I am disposed to understand you, and so to interpret the sentence. "All divine things are given to us absolutely in Christ, by the will of God; by the which will we are made heirs, according to the hope of the gospel." By "absolutely in Christ," I understand you not to mean unconditionally; that is, without any concurrence, apprehension, or reception of the truth, on our part: and by "the will of God," not a secret eternal purpose, of which we know nothing, and have not the means of knowing; but that union to Christ is absolutely necessary to life and salvation; that we receive neither while out of, but in him; and this by the will of God, as revealed in the scriptures, the gospel. For instance: "I have no pleasure in the death of him that dieth, saith the Lord God, but rather that he turn from his evil way and live"--"God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son"--"But when the goodness and philanthropy of God our Saviour shone forth, he saved us." &c. This is the will of God, which converts men. This it is which, apprehended, is "quick and powerful, living and effectual"; which begets life in the soul, dead in trespasses and in sins. "In my Father's house there is bread enough, and to spare--I will arise and go to my Father," It is this, and this only, which turns the prodigal  first towards his Father's house. "Wherefore," says Peter, "having purified your souls by obeying the truth, through the Spirit, to unfeigned brotherly love, you will love one another from a pure heart continually; having been regenerated, not of corruptible seed, but incorruptible, through the word of the living God, which remains forever." "Thy testimonies," says the Psalmist, "are wonderful: therefore doth my soul keep them. The entrance of thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding to the simple." "The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple."
That "the light of the countenance of the New Haven Association has been withdrawn from you and the brethren in G------, "I weep not, nor lament; I will not say that I even sympathize with you in your affliction: but I will rejoice and exult with you, that you are counted worthy to suffer reproach for the Lord Jesus, on account of his name. May you prove yourselves more and more worthy of this honor.
But now for our differences--
And first, in the expression of our views. You speak of "the individual duty of members of a church," and of "the duty of the church in proper form," making a difference between them. Of the latter you say: "To send the gospel to any body is no part of their duty;" and yet, if I understand you, this may be the duty of an individual disciple. "Should any one be sent of the Lord to preach, and be pressed in spirit to testify that Jesus is the Son of God, his brethren may, yea ought to help him forward by all the means in their power but this is his individual duty, not the duty of the church." I know not how to reconcile this with what you say near the close of your letter; viz: "I can find no directions how to behave myself out of the church;" and, "I learn, also, that all teachers, whether Paul, Apollos, or Cephas, belong to the church--yea, all things are ours," &c. Now, I would say, the relation which exists between the members of the church and the church, is as intimate as that between any other body and its members; they cannot be separated. The body exists not without its members, nor the members without the body whatever, therefore, they do while members, with the approbation of the body, is done by the body--the body has the honor and advantage, or the dishonor and loss of it. See 1 Cor. xii. In reference to the "call": Every disciple, who has a spirit, is called of the Lord to be pressed in, and impressed with its worth, and the price of its redemption. Every one who has a mouth, is called of the Lord to open it, whenever, by so doing, he may speak a word of instruction or edification to his brethren, or point a perishing sinner to the Lamb of God.
Secondly, in the application of Scripture. "Deacon Stephen," you think, "travelled not away from Jerusalem" Very well. Might he not have done so, and proclaimed the glad tidings away, by the same authority, and as acceptably, as the many, mentioned Acts viii. 1, did so? But to whom did Stephen preach in Jerusalem? "Ye stiff-necked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, you do always resist the  Holy Spirit; as your fathers did, so do you." As to Rev. xxii. "The Spirit and the Bride," you say, "both call for the Bridegroom, and he that heareth joins with them." This all may be very true: but what says the context? "And whosoever will, let him"--call for the Bridegroom? No: but--"take of the water of life freely." To this object, therefore, "the water of life," let us all invite. O that when you next write me, I might be informed that the little hall in which you have so long met, is becoming too strait for you; that you were now proclaiming the gospel to sinners; that many were obeying, being immersed for the remission of their sins; and that the church in G------ were meeting as often to celebrate the death of the Lord Jesus, in the breaking of bread, as otherwise to celebrate his resurrection! I anticipated that you would call in question my reference to James v.: but I build not upon this alone. I build upon all taken in their connexions. I would like to introduce some other topics; but you see how my paper is filled.
Yours under the Great King,
|F. W. E.|
TO A. B. G.
|FOR THE MILLENNIAL HARBINGER.|
CHURCH DISCIPLINE--No. I.
SINCE your essays on the discipline of the church of Christ, (in the Christian Baptist) appeared, the disciples have multiplied so rapidly in different places as to require, in my judgment, something more upon that subject. Probably not one-fourth of your present readers have ever seen your essays. From observation and experience among the disciples, I have thought a few plain essays upon church discipline would be of great importance, at this time, to assist the disciples in carrying out the principles of reformation. It appears that such is the light which is now enjoyed from the word of God, that we ought to press upon the disciples the observance of all the things that the Apostles were commanded to teach them. I am fully persuaded that no sect I have read of is governed by the gospel of Jesus Christ either in receiving, or excluding members from among them. Without attention to apostolic examples in these things, it is impossible that we should expect peace, purity, and unity among ourselves.
Nothing in civil and religious society is of more importance than order, and this cannot be preserved without good government.--Fallen man is prone to abuse the best of blessings; liberty is too often turned into licentiousness. On the other hand, men clothed with a little authority are too apt to become usurpers of the rights of others, thereby holding the multitude in a state of bondage, and in ignorance of the liberty conferred upon them by their becoming the sons of God. The object of these essays will be to avoid each of those extremes. 
The most essential things to good government are, a good constitution and wholesome laws, with wise, prudent, and righteous rulers; among a free, intelligent people. There must, in the nature of good government, be rulers and the ruled. No ruler has a right to make laws, any more than the ruled. The duty of one and all that enters into society, is, to submit to be governed by fixed principles. The transgressor must be reprehensible to the law, or order cannot be preserved. The ruler is not to decide on what is transgression of law, for the law itself should do this; their duty is to decide on the testimony. The transgression and the punishment are, as ought always to be, defined by the law given. It is true, in civil governments, where men are liable to err in enacting laws under the constitution they live, a judge may decide as to its constitutionality; but not so under the Reign of Heaven. "The Lord is our judge, the Lord is our lawgiver, the Lord is our king." The law of our king is perfect, converting the soul.
To undertake to decide upon any matter when there is no law taking cognizance of, or example, is to be wise above what is written. The duty of all rulers is to adhere to law, to make it invincible, or transgressors will trample on it with impunity, and all confidence will be lost in the rulers.
We would here observe, every man has a natural right to rule himself, before he enters into a state of society. He is not governed by the voice of majorities, but by physical force. When he enters into society, he then surrenders a portion of his rights for the protection of others. This is done by mutual compact: hence the right of the majority to govern the minority. But under the Reign of Heaven the majority has no right to rule the minority. It is not a natural right, neither a scriptural right--it is a usurpation of the rights of our king and his subjects. Hence the warning--"Be not ye the servants of men." "For if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ," says Paul. "Who art thou that judgest another man's servant? to his own master he standeth or falleth." This goes to show that every subject of the kingdom of heaven is accountable to their king. There can be no authority where there are no rulers. If I understand the office of a ruler, it is to guard the law against all violation of its precepts, and see that just sentence is executed upon its transgressors. To have rulers that are ignorant of the law, is a reproach to those that have chosen them as such. The last words that David, the sweet Psalmist of Israel, said--"The Spirit of the Lord spake by me, and his word was in my tongue. The God of Israel said, the Rock of Israel spake to me, HE THAT RULETH OVER MEN MUST BE JUST, RULING IN THE FEAR OF GOD."
The government of the church of Jesus Christ is one of the most responsible undertakings that ever was assumed by mortals. No man or set of men can undertake such an important work without lording it over God's heritage. God has never given this honor to any but his Son, Jesus Christ. It is true, he has appointed men in his church to decide on testimony and pronounce the sentence of his law upon  every incorrigible transgressor. This is as far as they can in justice go. Hence no man has a right to rule others according to his opinions or inferences of the law of Christ. When any man who is chosen to preside shall depart from first principles, he forfeits his authority; and should a majority support him in his unlawful course, the minority is not, according to the gospel, bound to obey him. Hence the right to revolutions, to restrain the majority, if remonstrances fail to convince them of their transgression of the gospel.
We no where find, in the gospel, that minorities were to be governed by majorities. This is a departure from first principles, and makes the kingdom of Jesus Christ like the kingdoms of this world. The laws of our king are all written in the New Testament: it is at our peril to add to or take from them. They are, like their author, immutable in their nature, heavenly and divine. They are spiritual; of course nothing that is human can be attached to them, without destroying their energy and beauty. Take them in their native simplicity, and they will produce, what they were designed to do by their author, peace, purity, and unity, among all his obedient subjects.--But more of this in our next.
|CHEROKEE NATION, April 30, 1832.|
Dear Brother Campbell:
PREVIOUS to my baptism, I requested Mr. McLeod, Superintendent of the Cherokee Mission, to ask for me a location at the ensuing Conference, intending to unite with the local connexion in the Nation, or, if I found it necessary, to quietly withdraw from the Methodist Episcopal Church. The Conference, having heard of my baptism, refused to grant my request, and published me in their Minutes to the world, "James J. Trott, without an appointment," without assigning any reason! Finding it impossible to continue in the Methodist connexion without doing violence to my conscience, I addressed the following letter to Mr. McLeod:--
|"CHEROKEE NATION, April 13, 1832.|
DEAR SIR--The Methodists are a people whom I highly esteem, and nothing but the strongest conviction of the imperfection of 'Methodism,' and the honest belief of a more excellent way, could ever have caused me to change my relation to the Methodist Episcopal Church. Having thoroughly matured the subject, and taking all things into consideration, I choose to consider my recent baptism a withdrawal from the Methodist connexion; and as you are the Superintendent of the Methodist Missions in this Nation, I deem it expedient to offer you the following reasons as my apology:--
"1. I believe the holy Scriptures are the only divinely authorized and all-sufficient rule of christian faith and practice. Jesus and his inspired Apostles delivered to the saints a perfect Institution. To believe otherwise, would be an insult to the wisdom and goodness of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Creeds of human invention are imperfect, and unnecessary. These dry, philosophic, and domineering instruments, have cruelly persecuted many of the best men the world ever saw. They have caused rivers of christian blood to flow! Having drenched the old world in blood, and roasted it with fire, they made their appearance in the new. The Puritans groaned under, fled from, and brought the instruments of death with them. Since our tree of liberty was planted, they [creeds] have lost their power to extract blood, but not to brand with the reproachful epithets of heterodox, heretic, &c. and to cut of  those who open their mouths against the corruptions and additions of Popery. When christians shall understand the way of the Lord more perfectly, they will have no use for these human instruments.
"2. I cannot, with a good conscience, subscribe to those institutions of 'Methodism' which I believe to be additions to primitive christianity. I could mention many, but a few may suffice: I can find nothing in the scriptures to bind any man's conscience to the belief and practice of infant baptism; which, to make the very best of it, can never be more than a matter of opinion, and should never be palmed upon the christian world as an article of faith. But it has long been the practice of the clergy to convert their metaphysical notions and darling opinions into articles of belief, and bind them upon the necks of the disciples.
With regard to the action, or mode, as it is called, of christian baptism, if immersion is not commanded by Christ, and practised by the Apostles, I can find no testimony for any mode at all. But Clarke, Wesley, Calvin, Luther, and a host of other learned and pious men, have candidly acknowledged that the primitive church practised immersion. Now to acknowledge this, and at the same time contend for sprinkling, is unreasonable and absurd; for who can believe that the Apostles believed in the validity of sprinkling, and would nevertheless be at the trouble of immersing? Verily, I cannot believe it.
"In the New Testament we read of but one order of Bishops: but 'Methodism' has at least four; namely, the Class, Circuit, District, and General Bishops! We have no account of but one tribunal, in the primitive churches: the Methodist Episcopal Church has five; namely, the Class, Q. C., D. C., A. C., and G. C. tribunals, besides many other subordinate ones! Wonderful additions!
"3. I do not believe my divine Master requires me to adhere to Mr. Wesley's creeds as the standard of my private and public preaching on pain of expulsion from the kingdom of Christ, 'as in cases of gross immorality'! See Dis. p. 63.
"Thus, you see, I am compelled to refrain from preaching what I believe to be the truth, to preach what I cannot believe, to suffer expulsion, or to withdraw. I prefer the latter.
"That we may understand and practice the Christian Institution, is the prayer of your friend,
|"JAMES J. TROTT."|
LETTER FROM EPAPHRAS.--NO. II.
YOUR readers and yourself will please understand that my letters are penned without regard to your answers to them, as I formed the plan of my series from the data before me when I began to write, and resolved not to be diverted from it until I had finished my strictures. After I have got through I may, should you fail in rendering me satisfaction, address you on your replies: but if otherwise, my silence may be understood as a general acquiescence in your explanations. After making this statement, I proceed.
Having witnessed the great excitement produced at some meetings of the reformers, and attended, with all care, to the exhibitions of christianity there presented, permit me to express to you some misgivings which I have reluctantly felt on these occasions, in the whole ceremonial of these proceedings. The object of these meetings seems to have been to raise recruits for the King, as one of your brethren on one occasion very candidly avowed in his discourse. And while I have him in my eye, allow me to state, from some minutes yet  extant, the incidents of that day; for it was a meeting of his own appointment, and at which he presided, so that all matters appeared to be conducted according to his good will and pleasure.
The day was most inviting, and about five hundred persons assembled on the bank of a very limpid stream, "where scarce a sunbeam wandered through the gloom" which the boughs of the oak, maple, and beech had spread over the dark green grass on which the congregation was seated.
From an acquaintance who sat beside me I learned that about half the audience were members of the different religious communities of the neighborhood, about forty ancient order folks were present, and the remainder were called nonprofessors. Two other preachers besides the president of the day, were in attendance.
After a number of hymns were sung, and very well sung, in a very spirited and ardent manner, the chief speaker arose, and after a very suitable prayer, as I thought, read the whole of the fifty-fifth of Isaiah, beginning with "Ho every one that thirsteth! come to the waters," &c. The water seemed to be pronounced with unusual emphasis; and as he pronounced it he cast his eyes to the stream, as if the prophet meant the brook which meandered by the booth in which he stood. This, I confess, rather disgusted me at first; and it was not until I had been charmed with some very beautiful and striking remarks upon the freeness and fulness of the Divine favor, that the gentleman could find a gracious acceptance in my mind. His method, (for, although he did not profess any method of prosecuting his subject, yet he had a method;) his method, I say, was--
I was sometimes amused with the brilliancy of his wit, and the adroitness of his management, but as often disgusted with the liberties he took in his applications and accommodations of several expressions in the book. When he quoted and applied these words, "The Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters," he made us think that Moses was describing the second rather than the first birth of things, and that he was speaking prospectively of the Spirit presiding over the washing of regeneration, rather than of a mighty wind blowing upon the face of the waters.
The Deluge next occupied his attention; and such were the uses he had for Noah's ark, the burial of the antediluvians in the water, and the resurrection of the earth, with Noah's new birth after nine months confinement in the womb of the ark, that one might imagine that the deluge just happened to teach us the meaning of immersion in water.
But when he got to the Red Sea, he found both water and blood united--the death of Pharaoh and the Egyptians, while Moses and  Israel were saved. Here he not only found the burial of the Egyptians and the resurrection of Israel, but the burial of sin and a resurrection to a new life.
Water, and the uses of water, were the beginning, middle, and end of the doctrine of his discourse: and water, too, was the application of the whole matter; for in the close, his appeals and his exhortations to the congregation, all resulted in this--"Come now to the waters; be baptized every one of you sectarians, and every one of you spectators, for the remission of sins. You may have your choice, gentlemen, either of coming to the water, or of being cast into the fire."
I listened sometimes with fear and trembling, sometime with displeasure, and sometimes with satisfaction; but so rapid were his movements, and my transitions from one state of feeling to another, that the whole flight seemed to be more like a ride in a car upon a rail road, than any thing else to which I can compare it.
Four persons presented themselves for the water; and really I did not see how any who believed the sermon could keep back: but so it was, that but four appeared prepared to go down into the brook. After singing a hymn, or a recruiting song, as I should call it, he arose and expostulated with more warmth than ever. So much was said about washing away sins in the water, that I supposed if a stranger had then entered the assembly, he must have regarded water as the only means of salvation; and so much was said upon coming now, to-day, &c. that I could not see how any who did not choose to come that day, could ever think of being accepted on any other day.
I kept upon the ground to the final amen; saw the four immersed, upon saying that they believed in Jesus as the Messiah, and heard distinctly the words which he used: they were these--"By the authority of the Lord, for the remission of your sins, I immerse you into the name." &c.
I observe the following memoranda of criticism on the foot of the page in my note book, from which I have revived my recollections of that discourse. I still think my censures are just: I submit them to your inspection--
1. The preacher's appearance, tone, gestures, and whole carriage were enthusiastic, self-conceited, and scornful of the sects. 2. His applications of scripture forced, far-fetched, and in some instances wholly imaginative. 3. The text itself was feloniously accommodated, and in the connexion of things of which it was made the chorus, perverted far from the design of the inspiring Spirit which in Isaiah spake. 4. Many excellent things said, many just views of scripture sayings presented, but the emphasis laid on water, together with some unguarded expressions about its virtue, and the heedless manner in which sinners were exhorted to wash away their sins, gave an air of ridicule to the whole, and sometimes it would, I thought, have been difficult for a stranger to have decided whether the preacher was caricaturing or commending baptism for remission of sins. N. B.  Thankful am I to Him that was the guide of my youth, that I can sometimes distinguish the truth and cleave to it, even when caricatured by its friends and calumniated by its enemies; therefore, while I must reprobate the speech of this zealous advocate, and condemn some of his reasonings and modes of applying the scriptures, still I believe that he has the true meaning of immersion and conversion to God; and, were he to be more grave, sober-minded, and argumentative in his addresses, I think he has the ability to be very useful as a proclaimer of the word.
So reads my Note Book for June, 1830. More experience and observation have confirmed my mind in the justice of the criticisms therein contained on the above discourse, and upon some others like it in the same volume.
To these remarks I will add that there appears to be a great remissness in his way of receiving persons for baptism. To receive persons rising in a promiscuous assembly coming forward to be immersed upon a mere profession that they believe, unknown perhaps to the speaker, and actuated more by feeling than by judgment, appears not to comport with the wisdom of the founder of the christian religion, and is running a very great hazard to fill the church with a mass of ignorance, credulity, and hypocrisy.
It will not do to bring up such cases as the three thousand on Pentecost, Saul of Tarsus, the Eunuch, &c. for the speakers had another sort of evidence of the sincerity and intelligence of those who professed belief in that age, than we ordinarily can have of those who rise in a promiscuous assembly and profess faith in the Messiah, upon the invitation of any one who addresses them.
It is necessary that we have full confidence in the intelligence, as well as in the sincerity, of those whom we receive into the family of God. The three thousand, Saul, and the Eunuch, &c. were known to possess the necessary knowledge, whenever they presented themselves. Strictly educated in the law and the prophets, in the expectation and belief of the Messiah, all that was wanting was faith in Jesus as that Messiah. Soon as they were convinced of the validity of his pretensions, they were proper subjects of baptism. They had acquired the knowledge of God and the promises, and only needed instruction in this one article. Again, the perils and shame attached to the name and profession of christianity, were such as to intimidate the insincere; and, therefore, boldly to avow this persuasion, in the face of all opposition, was a sufficient test of sincerity. To accept of such a profession, in our circumstances, without any special acquaintance with the attainments of the volunteers, is certainly not warranted by apostolic example in those instances. The care taken to educate the catechumenoi, or children of believers, in the ancient church, before immersion, as narrated by all the historians of primitive christianity, greatly corroborate the propriety of the position which I have taken--viz. That no person ought to be received for immersion on simply his soliciting it, or because of his rising at the invitation of a public speaker, to offer himself, unless the immerser  have other evidence of his intelligence and sincerity, than can be obtained just from his volunteering himself.
These two objections must suffice for the burden of one epistle. It is doubtless enough to find two faults in one letter. One is more than enough for most men to bear with a good grace, at one time. The continual preaching of water, and the indiscriminate immersion of persons into it, regardless of any other evidence than their answering a question in a proper manner, which, moreover, they are previously taught to answer right, appears to be alike destitute of wisdom, human and divine, and, therefore, unsupported with apostolic authority.
Your friend for the gospel's sake,
TO EPAPHRAS.--NO. II.
OUR maxim is not "ab uno dicite omnes." We say not, From one, as a sample, learn them all. Allowing, then, that all your strictures are perfectly just in the case selected, you would not have us to apply them to any other than to such a case. There is not a sect of philosophers, politicians, or theologians, in any nation, who will become sponsors for what any one individual in their fraternity may say or do. There are, in every society, individuals who are wayward, enthusiastic, or eccentric, and would not he greatly err, who, from an acquaintance with one or two such, infers the character of the whole community?
I have, myself, heard such specimens as those to which you allude, and have no doubt that there are others of which I have not heard. Such is the limited knowledge, both of human nature and the sacred writings, acquired by many persons of distinguished zeal, that they over act their part, and caricature, rather than commend, the cause which, in all honesty, they have espoused. We have had reasons to be ashamed for some who have done much injury to the cause of reformation, while they were most desirous of helping forward the good work. Paul himself experienced that there were workmen who needed to be ashamed themselves, and, therefore, cautioned his son Timothy on this subject. It has often been remarked that those who have the most need to be ashamed, most seldom blush; and that those who have the most confidence in themselves, deserve to have the least share of the confidence of others. But this by the way.
I am not sure that the person, or the occasion alluded to, calls for these remarks. Indeed I am ignorant of both. But the opportunity you have given us of speaking of such abuses, ought not to be neglected. I trust also, that your censures will correct all those brethren who need them. But as to the emphasis laid upon water, or more properly, upon immersion in water, by many, if not by all the proclaimers of the ancient gospel, I have some things to say by way of extenuation, if not of vindication of this practice. It is not only, nor merely, that extremes produce one another--that in avoiding Scylla we are wont to dash upon Charybdis. No; there is a better  reason than this. But yet it is worthy of remark, that the opposition made to certain truths and facts, has always been a chief cause of giving them greater notoriety. If the Jews had not so warmly opposed the messiahship of Jesus, it would not have been so well proved. If his resurrection had not been doubted and opposed so much, by friends and foes, it would not have been so abundantly authenticated. If the Jews had not so strenuously opposed the admission of the believing Gentiles, without submission to circumcision and the law, we should not have had so many epistles explanatory of the Jews' religion, and illustrative of the genius of that favor which reigns in the christian constitution. And if the Catholic community had not so much relied upon its penances, absolutions, and works of merit, the reformers would not have written so many volumes against these, and in behalf of justification by faith in the blood of Jesus.
The abuses of baptism in this age, have called forth many volumes on that subject. The Baptists and Paidobaptists, to say nothing of the Quakers, have furnished many volumes on water and the use of it. Such has been the influence of these controversies upon the public mind, as to detract all importance from the institution. Sprinkling, pouring, dipping, or none of then, will do very well. They are all non-essentials. "Spiritual baptism" alone, and any one of the other three if you please! In this state of the public mind, what more necessary or natural than a full development of this institution from the beginning? When the scriptures are made the sovereign arbiter in this case, and their decisions made final, no one sect is willing to abide by them. They will make baptism mean any thing you please, or nothing at all, rather than that it should signify the formal and actual washing away of sin, through faith in the blood of Jesus. There is but little need of controversy upon the question in which there is a very general agreement, nor of teaching the things already assented to almost by all. But he that thinks the reason why so much is said about any one truth, fact, or institution, is that all stress is laid upon it, reasons without reason, or without observation: for it is the opposition to any one truth, which generally gives it emphasis and notoriety. If our neighboring communities concurred with us in the true meaning and design of immersion, and differed with us about the meaning of the blood of the Lord, I presume many would infer that we had made void faith, grace, baptism, good works, and every thing else, and relied wholly upon the blood of Christ for salvation. Every age is marked by the "present truth," and the present error. The Devil and the world, sectarian and infidel, make work for all the christians of one generation. The acts of the great drama, and the scenes are often changed: but still the theatre is always crowded, and the stage full of actors.
It is, then, rest assured, my dear sir, not that such preachers seek salvation by water alone, nor by water at all, without all the scriptural prerequisites and concomitants; but because the true meaning and design of this christian institution has been neglected by the  sects, that they say so much about it. But there is a better reason than this. There is more said about immersion in the New Institution, than about any other appointment whatever. The words baptizo, baptizma, and baptizmos,--rendered immerse and immersion--occur in the Greek Testament above one hundred times, as you may see from Greenfield's Greek Concordance. And as a better reason still, on sundry occasions it is so intimately connected with salvation and remission, as to elevate it above all comparison with other institutions--"'He that believes and is immersed shall be saved," and "Immersion now saves us." Such sayings as these import something deserving conspicuity and emphasis in the preachings of all who follow the Apostles.
The preacher to whom you refer, may have grouped together scriptures which ought not to have been relied upon, or he may have drawn wrong inferences from his premises; but he had no need of that. There are so many positive and express declarations concerning the necessity and utility of immersion, as to suffice all who can be satisfied with divine authority alone. I do, however, concur with you, that many have so spoken of this institution, as to disgust even its friends, and those who believe in it; and also in a way not at all consistent with the truth, and the Apostles' addresses upon the subject. But for this there is no other remedy than that the churches take more care whom they patronize and recommend as proclaimers of the word. I shall now briefly advert to your second objection on the subject of the manner of receiving persons to immersion.
It is no easy matter to find a general rule to which there is no exception; but certainly it is bad logic to make a general rule out of exceptions. Because some bad fish get into the net, it will not do to diminish nor enlarge the meshes. Bad fish will get into any net which will catch the good. Persons who will designedly impose upon christian society, are not to be kept out by human vigilance. They will mimic anything, and conform to any standard. But still, where there is any ground to suspect ignorance, insincerity, or any bad motive, precautionary means should be adopted. Those simply ignorant should be more fully taught, and the insincere detected, as far as possible. But who can suggest any rule of procedure other than that every person who exhibits all sincerity, who has had proper opportunities of informing himself, who has attentively heard the gospel announced, and voluntarily offers himself to serve the Lord, should, upon confessing the faith, be immersed into Christ?
Persons may be drawn by their feelings, their fears, their sympathies, or by some animal and human influence, while the understanding is unenlightened, while the heart feels not the force of truth. Our rule has been, in such cases, where there is reason to apprehend this, either from testimony or from our own observation, to request a more intimate acquaintance with such persons. But still we must take persons upon their own word, for so did the Lord and his Apostles. You may call this hazardous and insufficient, but what can you propose  better? Those who call for a previous experience, have but the testimony or word of the candidate.
I admit what you say of the Three Thousand, of Saul, and of the Eunuch, is correct. They were well instructed before. But this cannot be said of those who, after hearing one or two short discourses, turned from dumb idols to serve the living God; such as the Jailor, Sergius Paulus, Dionysius, Damaris, with the multitudes of the Gentiles addressed by the Apostles. Most persons immersed by the proclaimers of reformation are the most intelligent part of a community who have had the Jewish and Christian oracles in their hands from infancy. When penitent, such persons resemble the Jews more than they do the ignorant Gentiles of the Apostolic age. Men are admitted to swear in courts of justice without previous examination, unless suspected of Atheism. Men and women are permitted to enter into matrimony upon saying they will submit to the laws of that relation, without previous examination about their intelligence in that institution. So of all the great transaction's of this life. And did not Philip immerse the Eunuch upon the same profession as that made by Simon Magus, although so recently imposed on in that instance?
Except, then, where there is good reason to suspect gross ignorance or improper motives, there is no better way, and none more Apostolic, than that we receive all who solemnly confess Jesus to be the Lord, and prove the sincerity of their faith by coming forward in the great congregation to acknowledge him, and to submit to his government.
Please proceed with your criticisms. To such as are reasonable and scriptural we will not object; and when a difference in opinion occurs, we will respectfully tender our reasons.
In much esteem,
HISTORY OF THE JESUITS.
THE Order of the Jesuits has been, by a bull of Pope Pius, in 1814, re-established. Some remarkable traits in their proceedings before the suppression of the Order by Clement in 1775, much resemble the proceedings of some Protestant sects. The judicious reader can, without a hint from us, discover these analogies. The following sketch of their history is taken from a late edition of Pascal's letters. We are of opinion that the Jesuits have meditated the establishment of the Catholic religion in these United States, and that their plan is now in progress. Of this we may hereafter give some notices.
|ED. M. H.|
"A society, which at one period extended its influence to the very ends of the earth, and proved the main pillar of papal hierarchy, which not only wormed itself into almost absolute power, occupying the high places, and leading captive the ecclesiastical dictator of the world, must be an object of some curiosity to the inquisitive mind, especially as it has been recently restored by the present Pope, from that ruin to which Clement XIV. had reduced it. 
Ignatius Loyola, a native of Biscay, is well known to have been the founder of this, nominally, religious order. He was born in 1491, and became the first page to Ferdinand V. king of Spain, then an officer in his army. In 1521 he was wounded in both legs at the siege of Pampeluna, when having had leisure to study a "Life of the Saints," he devoted himself to the service of the Virgin; and his military ardor becoming metamorphosed into superstitious zeal, he went on a pilgrimage into the Holy Land. Upon his return to Europe, he studied in the Universities of Spain, whence he removed into France, and formed a plan for the institution of this new order, which he presented to the Pope. But, notwithstanding the high pretensions of Loyola to inspiration, Paul III. refused his request, till his scruples were removed by an irresistible argument addressed to his self-interest: it was proposed that every member should make a vow of unconditional obedience to the Pope, without requiring any support from the Holy See. The order was therefore instituted in 1540, and Loyola appointed to be the first General.
The plan of the society was completed by the two immediate successors of the founder, Lainez and Aquaviva, both of whom excelled their master in ability and the science of government; and, in a few years, the society established itself in every Catholic country, acquiring prodigious wealth, and exciting the apprehensions of all the enemies of the Romish faith.
To Lainez are ascribed the Secreta Monita, or secret instructions of the order, which were first discovered on Christian, Duke of Brunswick, seizing the Jesuits' college at Paderborn, in Westphalia, when he gave their books and manuscripts to the Capuchins, who found these secret instructions among the archives of their Rector. After this another copy was detected at Prague, in the College of the Jesuits.
The Jesuits are taught to consider themselves as formed for action, in opposition to the monastic orders, who retire from the concerns of the world; and engaging in all civil and commercial transactions, insinuating themselves into the friendship of persons of rank, studying the disposition of all classes, with a view of obtaining an influence over them, and undertaking missions to distant nations; it is an essential principle of their policy, by every means to extend the Catholic faith. No labor is spared, no intrigue omitted that may prove conducive to this purpose.
The constitution of this society is monarchical. A General is chosen for life by deputies from the several provinces, whose power is supreme and universal. Every member is at his entire disposal, who is required to submit his will and sentiments to his dictation, and to listen to his injunctions, as if uttered by Christ himself. The fortune, person, and conscience of the whole society are at his disposal; and he can dispense his order not only from the vows of poverty, chastity, and monastic obedience, but even from submission to the Pope, whenever he pleases. He nominates and removes provincials, rectors, professors, and all officers of the order, superintends the universities, houses, and missions, decides controversies, and forms or dissolves contracts. No member can have any opinion of his own; and the society has its prisons, independent of the secular authority.
There are four classes of members--the noviciates or probationers, the approved disciples, the coadjutors, and the professors of the four vows. The education of youth was always considered by them as their peculiar province, aware of the influence which such a measure would infallibly secure over another generation; and before the conclusion of the sixteenth century, the Jesuits had obtained the chief direction of the youthful mind in every Catholic country in Europe. They had become the confessors of almost all its Monarchs, and the spiritual guides of nearly every person distinguished for rank or influence. At different periods they obtained the direction of the most considerable courts, and took part in every intrigue and revolution.
Notwithstanding their vow of poverty, they accumulated, upon various pretences, immense wealth. They claimed exemption from tithes under a bull of  Gregory XIII. who was devoted to their interests; and by obtaining a special licence from the court of Rome to trade with the nations whom they professed to convert, they carried on a lucrative commerce in the East and West Indies, formed settlements in different countries, and acquired possession of a large province in South America, where they reigned as sovereigns over some hundred thousand subjects.
Their policy is uniformly to inculcate attachment to the order, and by a pliant morality to soothe and gratify the passions of mankind for 'the purpose of securing their patronage. They proclaim the duty of opposing princes who are inimical to the Catholic faith, and have employed every weapon, every artful and every intolerant measure, to resist the progress of Protestantism.
In Portugal, where the Jesuits were first received, they obtained the direction of the court, which for many years delivered to them the consciences of its princes, and the education of the people. Portugal opened the door to their missions, and gave them establishments in Asia, Africa, and America. They usurped the sovereignty of Paraguay, and resisted the forces of Portugal and Spain, who claimed it. The court of Lisbon, and even Rome herself, protested in vain against their excesses. The league in France was, in reality, a conspiracy of the Jesuits, under the sanction of Sixtus V. to disturb the succession to the throne of France. The Jesuits' college at Paris was the grand focus of the seditions and treasons which then agitated the state, and the ruler of the Jesuits was president of the Council of Sixteen, which gave the impulse to the leagues formed there and throughout France. Matthieu, a Jesuit and confessor of Henry III. was called "the Courier of the League," on account of his frequent journeys to and from Rome, at that disastrous period.
In Germany the society appropriated the richest benefices, particularly those of the monasteries of St. Benedict and St. Bernard. Catharine of Austria confided in them, and was supplanted; and loud outcries were uttered against them by the sufferers in Vienna, in the states of Styria, Carinthia, Carniola, and elsewhere. Their cruelties in Poland will never be forgotten. They were expelled from Abyssinia, Japan, Malta, Cochin, Moscow, Venice, and other places, for their gross misconduct; and in America and Asia they carried devastation and blood wherever they went. The great object of the persecution of the Protestants in Savoy was the confiscation of their property in order to endow the colleges of the Jesuits. They had, no doubt, a share in the atrocities of the Duke of Alva in the Low Countries. They boasted of the friendship of Catharine de Medicis, who espoused their cause, and under whose influence the massacre of St. Bartholomew was executed. Louis XIV. had three Jesuit confessors, which may explain the revocation of the edict of Nantz.
The Jesuits have been notorious for attempting the lives of princes. The reign of Queen Elizabeth presents a succession of plots. In her proclamation, dated November 15, 1602, she says, that "the Jesuits had fomented the plots against her person, excited her subjects to revolt, provoked foreign princes to compass her death, engaged in all affairs of state, and by their language and writings had undertaken to dispose of her crown."
Lucius enumerates five conspiracies of the Jesuits against James I. before he had reigned a year. They contrived the gunpowder plot. So late as the time of George I. both houses of Parliament reported that the evidence examined by them on the conspiracy of Plunket and Layer, had satisfactorily shown that it had for its object the destruction of the king, the subversion of the laws, and the crowning of the Popish Pretender; and they state that "Plunket was born at Dublin, and bred up at the Jesuits' College at Vienna." Henry III, of France was assassinated by Clement, a Jesuit, in 1588. The Jesuits murdered William Prince of Orange, in 1584. They attempted the life of Louis XV. for imposing silence on the polemics of their order, besides innumerable other atrocities.
The pernicious spirit and constitution of this order, rendered it early detested by the principal powers of Europe; and while Pascal, by his "Provincial  Letters," exposed the morality of the society, and thus overthrew their influence over the multitude, different potentates concurred, from time to time, to destroy or prevent its establishments. Charles V. opposed the order in his dominions; it was expelled in England, by the proclamation of James I. in 1604; in Venice, in 1606; in Portugal, in 1759; in, France, in 1764, in Spain and Sicily, in 1767, and suppressed and abolished by Pope Clement XIV. in 1775. Recently, however, the Pope has dared to re-establish it, though Clement had acted on the entreaties of even Catholic sovereigns, who deemed it incompatible with the existence of civil society. It must be acknowledged, indeed, to be a fit instrument for ecclesiastical despotism, and may therefore be regarded with indifference by all who are unconcerned to secure the liberties of their fellow-men."
THE CHRISTIAN PREACHER--No. V.
MODEL OF A DISCOURSE, No. II.
Acts iii. 12-26.
[THE congregation consisted of devout Jews, met in the temple at the hour of prayer. Peter and John appear in Solomon's Portico, and make for themselves a text.]
[A man aged forty years, lame from his birth, known to all the Jews in the metropolis, made perfectly sound in his limbs by the command of Peter, in the name of the Lord Messiah.]
"Men of Israel, why do you wonder at this, or why fix your eyes on us, as if by our own power, or piety, we had made this man to walk? The God of Abraham, and of Isaac, and of Jacob, the God of our fathers has glorified his son Jesus, whom you delivered up, and renounced him in the presence of Pilate, when he was determined to release him; but you renounced the Holy and Righteous One, and desired a murderer might be granted to you, and killed the Prince of Life, whom God has raised from the dead, of which we are witnesses; and [now] by faith in his name, he has strengthened this man, whom you see and know; yes, his name, and the faith which is in him, has given him this perfect soundness before you all. And now, brethren, I know that through ignorance you did it, as did also your rulers; but God has fulfilled those things, which he foretold by the mouth of all his Prophets, that the Messiah should suffer. Reform, therefore, and turn [to God,] that so your sins may be blotted out; that seasons of refreshment may come from the presence of the Lord, and that he may send to you Jesus Christ, who was beforehand proclaimed; whom, indeed, heaven must receive till the times of the accomplishment of all things, which God has spoken of by the mouth of all his holy Prophets from the beginning of time. For Moses said to the fathers, "Surely a Prophet shall the Lord your God raise up to you of your brethren, like me; him shall you hear in all things whatsoever he shall say to you: and it shall come to pass, that every soul who will not hearken to that Prophet, shall be cut off from among the people.  Yes, and all the Prophets, from Samuel and those that follow after, as many as spoke have also foretold these days. You are the children of the Prophets, and of the institution which God instituted with our fathers, saving to Abraham, "And in your seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed." To you first, God having raised up his son Jesus, has sent him to bless you; every one of you turning from your iniquities."
ANALYSIS OF THE DISCOURSE.
1. An explanation of the miracle, the theme of his discourse. In doing this he ascribes the miracle to the glorified Jesus, and not to his own personal power or piety.
2. A narrative of the procedure of his countrymen towards the Author of the miracle, terminating in his unrighteous seizure, condemnation, and martyrdom.
3. His resurrection boldly asserted, proved in placing the witnesses before them for examination.
4. An apology for their conduct towards him is then offered by the preacher, accompanied with a call upon them to reform and to turn to God.
5. To enforce the necessity of immediate submission to him, the authority of Moses and the Prophets is adduced in attestation of his mission, and in proof that all who receive him shall he saved, and that they who reject him shall be ultimately cut off from the Lord's people.
REMARKS ON THE DISCOURSE.
While the method and subject matter of this address are, in all prominent respects, very similar to the Pentecostian address, there is nothing like a mere repetition of the same words. A new phraseology is adopted, yet fully expressive of all the same cardinal ideas. The order of things is the same, reformation, conversion, blotting out of sins, seasons of refreshment, and the second coming of the Lord. Faith, baptism, the Holy Spirit, are not once mentioned in the discourse as connected with salvation, unless we find them implied:--faith, in reformation; immersion, in turning to God; the Holy Spirit, in seasons of refreshment; and eternal life, in the second coming of the Lord. These phrases imply these blessings as fully as the new phrase "blotting out of sins" implies remission of sins. Thus we learn that in the Apostles' style there are diverse ways of setting forth the same truths.
No question being asked, no interruption from the audience, we may expect a full statement of the arguments adapted to an assembly of Jews to induce them to turn to the Lord. Three strong arguments, comprehending the three greatest promises, are the only three relied on for this purpose--the remission of sins, seasons of refreshment from the presence of the Lord, and the glory to be revealed at the last time. These comprehend pardon, the Holy Spirit, and heaven--righteousness, holiness, and blessedness. Three things inseparably connected in the great scheme of salvation--righteousness, holiness,  and happiness. Reformation and immersion for the first; the Holy Spirit for the second; and the second coming of the Lord for the consummation of the third.
The Jews expected seasons of refreshment in the presence of the Messiah after his coming. Peter knew this, and that their expectation was well founded; but they had misapplied the prophecies. While he adopts their own style and uses their words, he gives them a meaning more in accordance with the promised blessings of Messiah's reign. After the immediate blessings in his spiritual kingdom, any other seasons of refreshment promised the Jews are to succeed the second coming of the Lord.
Such is the logic of this address. In the conclusion the preacher speaks most persuasively. After he has laid their sins before them, and the iniquities of the whole nation--after he has admonished them in the words of Moses and the Prophets, he persuades them that even yet the goodness, and forbearance, and mercy of God were waiting to be displayed on them first, if they would turn to the Lord. To you FIRST, God having raised up his Son, sent him to bless you; every one of you, provided you turn away from your iniquities. Thus did Peter address the children of the Prophets and of the covenants of promise, when he had a favorable hearing in the Temple.
So plain and so forcible an exhibition of the great arguments of the Holy Spirit in favor of turning to the Lord, sustained so ably by the text from which Peter spoke, could not, and did not, fail of success in such a congregation. Many who heard it believed and turned to the Lord, to the number of about five thousand!!1 Assuredly this speaks much in the praise of such models! Discourses, like professions, are always most wisely estimated when judged according to their fruits.
Peter's Defence before the National Senate--Acts iv. 8-12.
"Rulers of the people, and elders of Israel, if we are this day examined about the benefit conferred upon the impotent man, by what means he is healed; be it known to you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God has raised from the dead; yes, by him this man stands before you sound. This is the stone which was set at nought by you builders, that is become the head of the corner; and there is salvation in no other; neither is there any other name under heaven given among men, by which we can be saved."
Even in a defence so brief, and before an assembly so august and overwhelming, we find this great preacher crowding into two periods all the gospel facts in the most convincing and unanswerable manner. Jesus the Nazarene, crucified by the Jews, raised from the dead,  exalted to heaven, displaying all authority and power as the only Saviour of the world, is forcibly stated in a few words; and not stated only in the presence of the Rulers and Doctors, but his rejection and crucifixion are charged home upon them. They were astonished and unable to speak until they had the Apostles withdrawn from the council chamber!
The manner and style of this preacher, speaking under the influence of the Holy Spirit, is worthy of all admiration. His fluency, readiness, boldness, and mildness: his unyielding adherence to the great items of his testimony, his firmness in reproving, and his conciliatory deportment in beseeching and exhorting, all alike shew the master well educated in the true philosophy of human nature, in the school of its author.
We shall conclude this essay with another specimen of a special address before the Sanhedrim, demonstrative of the same attributes, and equally worthy of regard from all those who are devoted to the preaching of the ancient faith. This address (in Acts v. 29-32.) is in answer to the charge from the Sanhedrim, and was pronounced by the same preacher when interrogated why he did not obey the mandate of the Senate.
"It is necessary to obey God rather than men. The God of our fathers has raised up Jesus, whom you slew, hanging him on a tree; him has God exalted at his right hand [to be] a Prince and Saviour, to give reformation to Israel, and remission of sins. And we are his witnesses of these things, and the Holy Spirit also, whom God has given to them who submit to his government."
Again do we see grouped in the shortest compass, the death, resurrection, and glorification of the Messiah, remission of sins, and the gift of the Holy Spirit promised to them who obey him.
DIALOGUE ON HERESY.
The following Dialogue actually occurred, a short time since, between a Presbyterian Minister in Virginia, and a Preacher of the Ancient Gospel. The Presbyterian Minister was acting for the time being as Agent for the Bible Society; and on entering the Study of the Preacher, after the usual salutation, accosted him in the following manner:--
Rev. Mr. MK------ N.--I need not ask you whether you need a Bible for your family, as I see several lying around you.
Mr. CLEMENT.--No, sir; I think you have sufficient evidence that we are not destitute of the good book.
Mr. M. Well, friend Clement, can you not contribute something for the destitute? We are called upon by a General Agent of the Bible Society to pay for some Bibles we got for sale and distribution, and are unable to meet his demands against us. Can you not assist us by a donation? 
Mr. C. No, Sir; I cannot conscientiously contribute to that Society under the present arrangement; but if you can tell me of any families in this vicinity destitute of the Bible, and who desire to have it, I will buy from you half a dozen, or more, and supply them myself.
Mr. M. I know of none who are not now supplied: for we have supplied a good many.
Mr. C. On reflection I know of one who I think wishes to have a new copy of the Old and New Testament, and who will accept it from me. Please let me have one. [While Mr. M. is handing the Bible, and Mr. C. is paying for it, he proceeds to observe.]--Mr. M. I am glad upon the whole, to see you employed in distributing the Bible without note or comment. In so doing,, you and the Society are sapping and mining the foundations of your own sectarian establishments; for in commending; the naked text, and in putting it into the hands of the poor and illiterate, you in effect say to them, 'You may understand this and be saved without my creed and my official aid.'
Mr. M. Oh! Mr. C. I care nothing for party, or creed, or for building up a party.
Mr. C. I beg pardon, Mr. M. I thought you acknowledged and held sacred the Westminster Creed as the standard of true religion, and as a term of christian fellowship.
Mr. M. True; I belong to a church which has a creed; but I am no great advocate for partyism, nor for creeds. I think it well enough to have a written creed. We have all our opinions of scripture, you know; and I think it is nothing amiss to let the world know what we think of the scriptures. Have you not some opinions of the Bible, Mr C.?
Mr. C. Yes, as many opinions as most persons of my age; but I do not bind upon any man my opinions. I regard them as private property. But do you not bind, upon pain of excommunication, your opinions upon your society, and thereby make your opinions tantamount to the very faith of the gospel:--opinions, too, so abstract and metaphysical, that not more than one of your own preachers in every twenty can so fully understand them, as to feel assured that they are correct?
Mr. M. And do not you inculcate, as a term of communion, some peculiar opinions of your own, and are therefore heretical, if such he the true meaning of heresy?
Mr. C. I have often been called a heretic; but most undeservedly, as I think and as you would think, methinks, if you would but hear me. I am a Catholic, not in the papistical sense, but in the true sense of the word. I preach, teach, and practise nothing in the name of the Lord, that is not as universally admitted as any article in the christian faith.
Mr. M. That is not what I asked you, Mr. C. Have you not some peculiar opinions about baptism, which you make a term of communion?
Mr. C. No, Sir. In this I am a Catholic, if Catholicism can on earth be found. 
Mr. M. A Catholic in baptism! You astonish me! I have been greatly misinformed if you have not, and do not, inculcate some peculiar views of baptism.
Mr. C. You must, then, be misinformed; for yours are the peculiar views, and mine the general views of all Christendom.
Mr. M. Do explain how this can be. Do you not go for immersion alone?--and--
Mr. C. Yes. And tell me who it is in all christendom, that believes in baptism at all, who will not admit that a professed believer, immersed in water, into the name, &c. is scripturally and truly baptized. All christendom, Catholic and Protestant, agree that such an immersion in water is baptism. Even the Quaker, who is wholly spiritual, soul and body, says that such was christian baptism in the olden time. But only a part of christendom will agree that the sprinkling of an infant, either upon the engagements of a fleshly father, or a god-father, is christian immersion. I am, then, the Catholic and you the heretic here, to speak after the manner of the age. All Christendom say that what I practise is christian immersion; but only a part agree with you.
Mr. M. Well, well. That--that is not just what i was alluding to. It was about the meaning of baptism. Have you not some peculiar opinions about what baptism signifies?
Mr. C. No, Sir. The creeds of all sects preach just what I believe and practise in this matter--some with more clearness--others with less; but all preach it. I can show you my views of the meaning of baptism, not only in the direct testimony of the Apostles, but in the words of all the creeds and sects in the christian world. The only difference is, they say and do not: we practise what they preach.
Mr. M. I thought you had no great regard for our creeds, because you look upon them all as heretical.
Mr. C. I do, indeed, regard all the creeds, that of the Roman Catholic, and the countless creeds of the Protestants, as positively heretical; yet I can find the articles of my belief in them all.
Mr. M. How can you find the articles of your belief in so many contradictory creeds?
Mr. C. The contradictory parts of the creeds are about opinions--not about belief. I can find all the great facts which I believe in them all. "The Apostles' Creed," as some call it, contains all the prominent christian facts. I can say I believe it, and every other fact found in the Catholic Vade Mecum.
Mr. M. And you are a Catholic in faith too!
Mr. C. Yes, in faith, in ordinances, in morality.
Mr. M. In ordinances! What do you mean?
Mr. C. I mean the Lord's day, the Lord's supper, and christian baptism. I regard the first day of every week as sacred to the memory of the Lord--the supper as sacred to all the disciples on that day; and you now understand how Catholic I am in baptism.
Mr. M. In morality too! 
Mr. C. Yes, all that is called vice, immorality, and sin--all that is called virtue, morality, and righteousness by the whole christian world, I call by the same names.
Mr. M. Do you not practise weekly communion?
Mr. C. Yes; and all christians say it is the ancient usage: all say we have liberty to do so from the words "as often;" and all say that if christians were in a proper frame it would be very comfortable to sit around the Lord's table every Lord's day.
Mr. M. I am glad to find you so "Catholic;" I had thought that you were a factionist, and a separatist.
Mr. C. This sin, I think, sir, you now perceive lies not at my door; but at the door of those who make their peculiar views of expediency a rule for others, and compel mankind not only to be of one faith, but of one opinion. I plead for nothing in faith, in religious practice, in morality, that is not universally admitted by all christians; and reject what is embraced and contended for by only a few.
Mr. M. I think; sir, if I had time I could find something in which you are heretical; but my appointment calls me hence.
Mr. C. At any time when it may suit you and myself I will spend a day with you; and will now promise if you find in me one heretical sentiment I will give it up. But let me tell you, sir, that the root of all heresy is this: the placing of our opinions, inferences, and sense of expediency on the same footing with the express testimony of God. This is what all sects have done in binding their articles of belief and opinion in the same calfskin, calling it a creed, and then binding the whole upon the consciences of the disciples.
Mr. M. At a more convenient season I will hear thee again of this matter.
THE NEW NAME.
Query.--WHAT is the new name which the mouth of the Lord should name, by which Zion and Jerusalem are in the Millennium to be designated?
Answer.--Some of the textuaries and mystic interpreters of the last century applied this to the church of the Gentiles, and supposed that the name Christian is that new name. But nothing in Isaiah's prophecy can be much plainer than that the new name belongs exclusively to the remnant of Israel who shall return to their own land; and, indeed, the Prophet tells us that the new name is Hephzibah, and that of the land Beulah. Any person who will read the first five verses of the sixty-second chapter of Isaiah in succession must clearly see this, if not blinded by prejudice:--"The Gentiles shall see thy light, O Zion, and all kings thy glory" Then Jerusalem shall no more he named Forsaken, neither shall thy land any more be named Desolate, but thou shalt be called Hephzibah, and thy land Beulah for the Lord delighteth in thee, and thy land shall be married." The new name is, then, "the Delight," "the beloved." "I will call her beloved, sought out, a city not forsaken."
READING THE ACTS OF THE APOSTLES.
ABOUT a year since I was reluctantly led to one of your meetings. An aunt for whom I had great respect, at whose house I was then on a visit, a great admirer of your writings, compelled me to attend a night meeting at the villa of 'Squire G------n. My Presbyterian mother had so often warned me of your errors, that I went to hear you with the most firm resolution not to attend to any thing you might say--in fact, not to hear you at all. I would not join in singing, nor rise in the time of prayer. I strove to think about other things--scenes afar off, that I might not be polluted with your 'foolish notions.'
But in an instant after you read the chapter from which you spoke, I was all attention. Before I knew what I was thinking about, I was interested in the subject. And if my salvation had rested upon my forgetting the following remarks you made upon reading the writings of the Apostles, I should doubtless be lost forever; for never did I get them out of my mind until I made the experiment; and now it appears impossible for me ever to forget them.
You said--"If any one were to ask you how true and saving faith is to be obtained, you would tell him to read the memoirs of Jesus Christ, written by Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, one book at a time, with their references to the Old Testament; and so often in succession, until he could satisfactorily say that it was all a cunningly devised fable, or most certainly true. If he came to the conclusion that it was unquestionably true, then he had true and saving faith, if he would follow it up.
"If, then, he asked you how he might acquire a full knowledge of the gospel, and what he himself should do to be saved? you would tell him to read the Acts of the Apostles carefully through, and so often as was necessary to his understanding what the Apostles taught every one to do. If, again, he wished to know what authors he must read, that he might have an accurate knowledge of the whole christian religion in all its bearings and tendencies, he must read the letters of Paul, Peter, John, James, and Jude."
You complained of the general ignorance of the scriptures which prevailed, and of the tendencies of all human systems to promote ignorance of that book; and after bewailing the intractability of this perverse generation, you closed that part of your discourse by saying that "the largest demand you had ever made upon any hearer who wished to decide between you and the teachers of human opinions, was to read the Acts of the Apostles once through every day for seven days; and if on the evening of the seventh day, when he had seriously reflected upon the whole history of the sayings and doings of the Apostles, he did not discover that the ancient gospel and order of things were wholly different from the modern gospels and arrangements of creeds and formularies, you would say you knew nothing about religion."
This not only pierced my heart, but stuck in it like a barbed arrow. Soon as I went home I laid off one week for reading the Acts of the  Apostles; (for I believed in Jesus before;) and after reading it seven times, accompanied with prayers to the Father of Lights, I found no rest until I was immersed into my Saviour's death; and, in truth, I can now set my seal to your representation of it: for the gospel and its religion are to me almost as new as if I had never before heard any thing about Jesus Christ till within a few months past.
Wishing that my experience may be of some use to others, you may, if you think proper, publish this with my initials.
|Editor Mill. Harbinger.
June 4, 1832.
|"Education makes the man, and want of it the fellow;
"All the rest is either leather or prunella."
POPE says, "Worth makes the man;" but what makes worth? Intelligence, united with benevolent enterprize. That good book, so richly fraught with the heavenly lessens of divine wisdom, to which we look for moral instruction on every subject worthy of our examination, furnishes us with a more suitable motto than our latitudinarian poet--
|"Man is born like a wild ass's colt."|
Ignorant as the ass's colt he enters upon the stage. What he shall be depends upon those to whom his education and training are committed. He is furnished with faculties and capacities by his Creator; but the development and discipline of these are in the hands of those to whose management he is entrusted.
The first duty and care of an intelligent and virtuous parent is the training of his offspring; and it is the first concern and paramount duty of every intelligent community to provide well for the education of youth. This subject is a very common place one, and has deservedly interested some of the communities of this confederacy of republics; but in no one state on earth has it been treated according to its merits. Few parents are sufficiently alive to its value; and of these, few are so well taught themselves as to know what course to adopt or pursue in relation to their children; nay, the great majority of our more intelligent fellow-citizens are engaged in making livings or fortunes for their sons and daughters, in teaching them the art of procuring sustenance by some trade or calling, rather than in cultivating the intellectual and moral powers; or in imbuing the minds of their offspring with the high and ennobling principles of true science, morality; and religion.
But the systems of education call for a reformation as radical and extensive as the popular systems of government and religion. In most of our common schools years are squandered in learning little else than an irrational way of "reading, writing, and ciphering," with  some of the technicalities of grammar and geography. A mere smattering in words, without the knowledge of any thing in nature, society, or religion, is the reward of the literary toils of our children in our common schools during the time allotted to their education. Those sent to college are very often placed in circumstances not much more advantageous for the formation of useful character. A few years are devoted to the dead languages and mythology of Pagan nations, frequently to the great moral detriment of the student, and seldom much to his literary and intellectual advantage in the acquisition of real knowledge. A peep into "the sciences," the hasty perusal of a few authors, rather read than studied, obtain for him his academic honors; and then he enters the theatre of life without a thorough knowledge of any one art or science, with a large stock of words rather than ideas, and with the knowledge of names rather than of things. His memory has been cultivated much more than his judgment; and though he may have acquired the rules of reasoning as the rules of grammar, he has still to learn the art of thinking and reasoning correctly, if ever he should be so fortunate as to reason well.
This, if not universally, is nevertheless generally a true and faithful report of the system of common and collegiate education. Some very successful efforts towards reform have been made in some departments of education, and we are glad to observe a general awakening to the importance of the subject.
Reform must begin in our colleges; for there the teachers of our common schools are generally educated, or so many of them as give laws to the others. The first error in magnitude, because the most pernicious in its consequences, which many wise men have labored to reform, and which must be reformed before any very beneficial charge can be introduced, is the value placed upon the science and learning of Greece and Rome. Since the revival of literature in the kingdoms once composing the Western Roman Empire, ever since the year of Grace 1500, classic literature and classic antiquity, the natural, political, moral, and social philosophy of Greece and Rome, which never at any time exerted a salutary influence upon those communities, have so bewitched and infatuated the literati of the West, that all our literary institutions have been as enslaved to the idolatry of Grecian and Roman models as were the Catholic laity to the See of Rome in the long dark night of papistical supremacy. Yet the very devotees of what is called the classic literature and science of Greece and Rome, when put to torture, can name no great political, moral, or religious boon, no permanent or essential service to the cause of social order or good government, which the lawgivers and statesmen, the orators, philosophers, and priests of antiquity conferred upon the communities which gave them birth. So deeply convinced arc the most learned amongst us of the entire failure of these great masters of Grecian and Roman literature to be authoritative guides to us in politics, philosophy, and morals, that they regard them rather is the light of "beacons to warn us, than as guides to instruct us." Beyond "the mere accomplishments of education" it is confessed we  can derive nothing from them which confers any practical blessings on mankind. Even those who have acquired a taste for those productions, who admire them as prodigies of "intellectual power and literary excellence," and prize them as the only perfect models of good taste; of genius, wit, and eloquence, indispensable to a good and elegant education, are at a loss to show any solid and lasting good conferred by them upon their contemporaries or upon posterity. In all their efforts to institute a system of moral philosophy they failed, and failing here they left behind them no monument of public good achieved for the great family of man.
A question hence arises, which I find clearly stated and fully developed by one 2 of no ordinary talent, taste, and information--one well skilled in the science, languages, literature, and religion of Greece and Rome, a question which he says is soon to he discussed and decided to the great advantage of posterity. It is this: "Are not the languages and authors of Greece and Rome to be regarded as INSTITUTIONS once indispensable, invaluable; but having answered their end shall they not now yield, especially in our country, to a higher order of institutions, viz. the science and literature of modern nations?" An extract from the same author in behalf of the moderns shall close our present essay. It is
A SUMMARY OF MODERN IMPROVEMENTS IN ART
"The moderns, to say nothing more, have shown themselves not at all inferior to antiquity in power and originality, in variety and felicity of talent. Indeed, Newton and Leibnitz, Locke, Butler and Bacon, Chatham and Burke, Milton and Shakspeare, Linnaeus. Buffon and Lavoisier, are unequalled by any of the ancients. Grant that Hume, Robertson, and Gibbon, are not the rivals in style of Thucydides and Herodotus, of Livy and Sallust, and that they are not is due to the language and not to the author; yet those are every way superior to these, in all that constitutes the highest value of history. Bossuet, Bourdalou and Massillon, Pitt, Sheridan, and Fox, Erskine and Canning, fear no comparison, if liberal and candid, with Demosthenes, Pericles, Isocrates and Cicero. Schlegel has ranked Shakspeare above all the dramatists of antiquity; while the critical judgment and accomplished taste of the Edinburgh Review, has styled Milton "the first of poets." To say no more, by way of comparison, though the parallel might be advantageously pursued, let us remark how much has been done by the moderns, almost wholly within the last three centuries, in art and science, without any, or scarcely any among the ancients. The compass, gunpowder, paper, printing, engraving, and oil painting; the whole department of navigation, including ship building; the system of modern tactics by land and by sea, of modern commerce, political economy and banking; algebra, fluxions, and the sublime works of Newton and La Place; anatomy and surgery; chemistry, electricity, magnetism and botany; the telescope and microscope; the time-piece, the air-pump, the steam-engine, and  galvanism; the true theory and practice of government; the division and subordination of power; the principles of evidence and trial; diplomacy, the balance of power and the law of nations; the history of man, of art and sciences, and of literature; philology and the philosophy of history; and lastly, a nobler and better scheme of morals, and a profound, rational and comprehensive theology--all these and numberless other inventions, discoveries, and improvements, are the work of the modern world. Whenever that world shall judge boldly, independently, candidly, liberally, the decision must be in favor of the masters in literature and science who have arisen since the 15th century. Whether in abstruse and comprehensive, or in refined and elegant speculation; in profound, energetic, logical reasoning; in powerful, commanding, persuasive eloquence; in the intellectual and imaginative poetry, in the descriptive and pathetic; in practical wisdom, moral, international, or political, civil, social or domestic; in those arts, which employ, while they improve and bless the people; it a word, in all that makes man industrious and useful, virtuous, and happy, and prepares him for the service of God, of his fellow men, and of posterity--it, with a view to these things, we contemplate the great men who have arisen since the year 1500, we must acknowledge them unrivalled by the ancients. This is my creed; I glory in it: and this, I speak it with triumphant confidence--this, before the close of the 19th century, will be the creed of my country."3
HISTORICAL NOTICES OF THE PROGRESS OF REFORM.
DURING the last month we have received many exhilarating accounts of the progress of the ancient gospel and of reform.
By a letter of May 30th, from brother J. Frisbie, one of the elders of the congregation at Monticello, Kentucky, we learn that the infant society recently organized in that place now amounts to more than fifty disciples.
From two letters from brother G. W. Elley, of Nicholasville, Kentucky, of May 25th, and of June 20th, we learn that the word of the Lord prevails mightily in the vicinities around him. On Clear creek, at a meeting early in May, present sundry preachers of reform, fifteen were immersed. A week after this meeting, several others were immersed, and united with the church in Versailles. At Nicholasville, in the same month, eight persons were immersed--Brother Creath, Sen. about the same time, immersed eight in the neighborhood of Lexington. At the Republican Meeting House, eight miles from Nicholasville, at a meeting of many disciples, say five hundred, and a number of public brethren, with many citizens, twenty-one were immersed. Great love and harmony prevailed at this meeting, and the fruits of the Holy Spirit were very manifest among the disciples.
"Since the first of June," says brother Elley, "till the fifteenth, brother John Smith has been in the counties of Lincoln and Garrett, near Lancaster and Stanford--during which time he immersed forty-one persons into the faith formerly delivered to the saints. This was in a vicinity where the opponents of this faith have a stronghold. A meeting of four days' continuance commented  on the fifteenth of June, at Shawnee Run Meeting House, in Mercer county, six miles from Harrodsburg--Present, brethren J. Creath, Sen. John Smith, Thomas Smith, L. Flemming, myself and others. I left the meeting on Monday morning, and know not the results: before my leaving it, ten confessed the Lord, and were immersed."
|Georgetown, June 11th, 1832.|
On last Lord's day there were added to the congregation of disciples at the Great Crossing, twelve new members, who had been recently immersed upon the good confession, by brother J. T. Johnson. Mrs. Flournoy, the eldest daughter of brother Johnson, on that day made confession of her faith in the Saviour, and was also immediately immersed by her father, and united to the church. We have now eighty-two members in our congregation at the Great Crossing, and our meetings are well attended by attentive hearers. Indeed, the principles of the reformation we plead, are so well understood here, among the great body of the people, and have gained such hold upon their intelligence and affections, that we have nothing to fear for the success of the good cause, if we carry out our principles by our practices, and live, in our daily intercourse with all the world, according to the precepts and injunctions of the gospel of Christ. As the pure gospel succeeds, (unmixed with human invention,) the sectarians become more and more clamorous and invective against us, but more harmless also, and inefficient in their efforts. Their creeds and confessions, the bulwarks of their citadels, cannot much longer save their works, and keep them together; but all will be demolished by the power and purity of the doctrine of Christ and his holy Apostles.
On yesterday evening brother Johnson immersed, near this place, Mrs. Elgin, a lady whose mother is a Baptist in Dry Run church of Particular Baptists, and whose father died some years ago, a Baptist of the same order. The old lady, however, was at meeting, and witnessed the translation of her daughter from the dominion of this world into the kingdom of God's dear Son, with deep and affectionate solicitude. This scene was truly gratifying, the mother and the daughter would rejoice together, for what the Saviour had done for them, in love, and in fellowship, and in hope of immortal glory--although the good old lady, by the device of man, is denied the privilege of sitting at the Lord's table with her lovely daughter, for the purpose of commemorating the death and sufferings of their common Lord, who has redeemed them with his own blood. How strange and incongruous have the works of men made what they call religion appear!
I have written too long for my strength, having but recently recovered from a severe bilious attack of several weeks duration.
|Your brother in Christ,|
|B. S. CHAMBERS.|
From a letter of a more recent date, (June 26th,) received from brother J. T. Johnson, we learn that, on the 24th, eleven persons were immersed. At the Great Crossing and Georgetown, from the 1st to the 26th of June, twenty-eight persons were immersed. Including the adjacent counties, within the last four weeks there have been immersed about one hundred and thirty persons.
From two letters, dated June 13th and June 30th, received from that bold, enterprising, and vigorous minded brother, David S. Burnet, now in Maysville, Kentucky, we have the pleasing news of his continued success, and that of the brethren around him, in proclaiming the word. "After the Mayslick meeting," says he, "at which about twelve persons were immersed, brethren Raines, Holton, and myself, held a meeting on Red Oak, in Brown county, Ohio, thirteen miles from Maysville--Twenty-three gladly were immersed at that meeting, amongst whom were two Methodists from Augusta, readers of the Harbinger. At my first visit to that place, more than two years ago, seventeen persons turned to the Lord. 
Our meeting at Spencer Meeting House, near Mount Sterling, closed last Monday. There were twenty-two conversions. Brother Raines and I visited, on the same day, Somerset Meeting House, and Sharpsburg--he attending at the latter, and I at the former. Five were immersed at Somerset, and three at Sharpsburg. Thus, in four days, thirty persons were immersed into the peerless name of Messiah the Lord. The whole number immersed since the May meeting at May's Lick, at the places I have attended, amounts to more than eighty, a period of about six weeks."
|Russellville, Logan Co. Ky. June 17th, 1832|
------"Yesterday I returned from a union meeting. Twelve churches, containing three hundred and ninety-two members, reported progress, and their prospects. Twelve brethren who proclaim the ancient gospel were present. Ten of the churches are in the bounds of the Bethel Association, and two in Little River Association. No reason, evidence, or argument, on the part of our opponents. The church called Union, of which I had been a member eighteen years, and their preacher too, did, in August last, exclude me for the crime of breaking the loaf with the reforming brethren. The 29th day of the same month eleven disciples united together and called on me to preside over them--since then ten have been added, and we have now the pleasing prospect of an increase.
|Your brother in Christ.|
In Virginia the reformation principles daily gain ground. The meeting at Mangohick was the largest assemblage of persons ever seen there, as report saith. Mr. Broaddus has declined the episcopacy of that church. Mr. Ball's opposition to reform has, it is said, caused him to abandon the church at Groyn's Meeting House. Brother Webber now labors in that field. Mr. Ball has been endeavoring to have the brethren of another of his churches at Deep Run, to cast out the reformers. He has been trying to divide that church, and then, no doubt, blame the reformers for it, and say, "Mark them who cause divisions, and avoid them." To return to Mangohick--there were present members from twelve churches, and about as many proclaimers of the word. They have agreed to sustain brother Ainslie in the field, in doing the work of an evangelist during this year. He labors incessantly in the word and teaching.
"In Culpepper a new congregation has been organized. Doctor Anderson was called to an account for his friendship to reformation principles. He withdrew, and several with him, and thus originated a new congregation.
"One of Mr. Clopton's men, at the last meeting of the Meherrin Association, made an unsuccessful attempt to have the reformers cast out of that Association; but on failing, declared a non-fellowship with the whole body, and vacated his seat. He will likely get a few of the churches to withdraw, though I think we have a decided majority in favor of reform.
Considerable additions to the churches in Virginia by new conversions; but much is doing in reconciling old disciples to the christian institution in its primitive simplicity--in organizing churches--and in setting things in order.
At a meeting in Murfreesborough, Tennessee, in May last, at which were present brethren Hopwood, J. K. Spear, P. Smith, Bector, Hall, and other laborers in the word, a new congregation was organized on the New Testament, many disciples were present, and had a very comfortable meeting.
Brother Haden informed me, May 28th, that, by the instrumentality of brother Frost, whom he had immersed about two years ago, from the Presbyterian denomination, a congregation has been set in order in Gennessee county, New York. "About fifteen were lately immersed there, (April.) Much excitement on the subject. The old cry, "The church as in danger," is now resounding in Gennessee."
In sundry parts of Pennsylvania we have general accounts of the constant and gradual spread of apostolic principles. In company with brother Alton, we had a very pleasing excursion as far as Somerset, Pennsylvania, in June. We  found and left the brethren in good spirits, and were much refreshed in mind by observing their order and the stedfastness of their faith in Christ. Brother Forward labors much and successfully in the word and teaching. His whole soul is in the work. We visited the brethren in Turkey Foot, Connelsville, Red Stone, Pigeon Creek, and Washington, on our tour; and had the honor of introducing several into the kingdom, and the pleasure of seeing others introduced. During the tour of fourteen days, fifteen confessed the Lord--and in a few days after our return to Brooke, seven more acknowledged Jesus in the water. Amongst these twenty two was one minister of reputation in the Methodist community, and several other persons of much influence in society.
We hear much of the spread of the ancient gospel in Tennessee, Indiana, and Illinois, but have had nothing direct from our correspondents for some weeks.
The Christian Messenger for June, and the Evangelist for the same month, contain farther accounts of the progress of apostolic principles. The next great solicitude and enterprize of all the citizens of the kingdom of God, should be, and no doubt are, in some degree, but yet we presume to say they ought, in a higher degree, to be, that those who have acknowledged Jesus to be the Lord, should walk in him. The crown is yet before--be faithful to the King unto death, then he will bestow the crown of life.
|HANOVER, Shelby county, Indiana, May 30, 1832.|
Dear Brother Campbell,
WHILE the religious journals of the day are teeming with high wrought and imposing accounts of "Religious Revivals" and sectarian prosperity, together with the splendid means (if not pious frauds) employed in effecting them, it seems that the comparatively silent though dignified march of the Ancient Gospel, in its renovating influence upon the hearts and lives of men, is deemed unworthy of a notice in any of their columns. To the pages of the "Harbinger," the disciples of Jesus in this part of the country are left to look, almost exclusively, for information from abroad which respects the advancement of that kingdom which is not of this world. Through this medium the hearts of thousands have already been made to rejoice in view of the vivification of that word which declares the Gospel to be "the power of God unto salvation to them that believe."
You will not consider this testimony of an obscure individual and stranger in favor of your journal as flattery, for as such it is not intended. It is meant for nothing more nor less than a simple statement of facts; the first of which, by indicating the tact and ingenuity which the god of this world inspires in order that mankind may be deceived and cheated, and conscience satisfied without obeying the requirements of the gospel, is as deplorable as the latter is cheering. For nearly twenty years I had put in requisition my eyes, ears, and what little understanding I possessed, on every promising opportunity, in hopes of finding one advocate of the gospel of Jesus Christ in its native, original simplicity, beauty and glory. I read and heard much that was excellent, both in literature and ethics; but it savored not of the excellency of the gospel. It was not adapted to the wants of thousands who were hungering and thirsting for salvation. It held forth no way of escape, no means of relief to threatened, convicted,  alarmed and despairing sinners, but was frequently found in company with that blasphemous impiety which overrules the answer of the Holy Spirit to that guilt-prompted question, "What shall we do?" leaving distressed souls to the agency of dreams and imaginations, penance and despair, instead of painting to the regenerating influence of the gospel in order to a reconciliation to God, and to the enjoyment of the Holy Spirit.
Thus I continued to reap uniform disappointment and regret, until, about four years ago, the "Christian Baptist" was introduced b my notice. I hastily read the numbers which had then been published, and, strange as it may seem, felt for the first time as though I had kindred spirits in the world But O how unlike, thought I, must they be, in faith and practice, to my religious friends at home! (for I had religious friends.) I lived in a neighborhood where human kindness invariably assumed her most endearing charms, and exerted her utmost powers to gild the varied scenes of life with all the bliss she can bestow. My dwelling was near the meeting house of a respectable church of Regular Baptists, whose morals were excellent, and whose piety was unquestionable; who, at peace among themselves and with the world, seemed as contentedly to sail upon the bosom of a halcyon sea, with comparatively as little of Zion's legitimate prosperity and increase, as Noah's family experienced when the closed ark secluded them from a drowning world. The light of hopeful salvation shone not from their sanctuary: it beamed not upon sinners. Their court allured not the stranger, for sullen mystery was written upon its doors. It attracted not the wretched, for unambiguous counsel came not from their holy place.
At length, however, the Millennial Harbinger found its way among us, through the agency of Mr. B------, our preacher. Its Ishmaelitish character excited much inquiry, and prompted to an investigation of the scriptures as the only medium of revealed truth. The Word of the living God soon reassumed its long lost authority, to the discomfiture and overthrow of the oracles of Gill and Fuller; and in a few months it was obvious that Mr. B------, who unites piety and intelligence with the most laudable christian docility, had, in seaman's phrase, overhauled his reckoning, and by the use of the gospel quadrant detected his error and shifted his course; and, as if conscious of the loss of time in unauthorized, and consequently unavailing efforts to extend the Redeemer's kingdom, has since preached the ancient gospel with mighty and untiring zeal and power. The divinity of the schools, with all the impious devices of men, have been dissipated and driven from among us by the light and warmth of divine truth as the pestilential vapors and fogs which the swamps send forth are dissipated by the king of day. In the full belief that "the scriptures are able to make us wise unto salvation, and give us an inheritance among them that are sanctified through faith in Christ Jesus," something more than a year ago a Sunday School was opened at our place of public worship; the youth and children of the neighborhood who were capable of reading understandingly, together with all others  who felt friendly disposed thereto, were invited to attend. The scriptures were the only book used, and the first object in reading was to ascertain the evidence they contain in support of the high pretensions they hold forth. All mysticising and spiritualizing was discarded, and no other rules of interpretation employed than those universally adopted in construing other writings. The effect was sudden and truly astonishing. It was manifestly the product of divine power. Within the space of a few weeks almost every house in the neighborhood seemed to have written upon its walls, "Dedicated to the science of life and immortality," and almost every family formed a class of assiduous students. Parents, guardians, and heads of families, were surprised with the fruits of righteousness and peace ripening in their kitchens and parlors, the confessed product of the holy scriptures. The admonitory joy inspired often gave rise to the exclamation, "The entrance of thy word giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple." Pious parents exchanged the sable livery of mourning for garments of holy praise and the joys of redeeming love. The enigmatical motto which had long guarded the door of the church with repulsive influence, gave place to the sacred inscription, "The Spirit and the Bride say, Come: and whoever will, let him take of the water of life freely." The word of the Lord displayed its majesty. That healing ordinance of the gospel, the baptism of penitent believers, freed from the paralyzing slanders which pride and envy had heaped upon it, has sent forward almost weekly from its sacred waters the pardoned, sanctified, and rejoicing, as additions to a living church. During the last fourteen months Elder B------ has baptized sixty, who have united with the church at this place; and since warm weather set in, our prospects have materially brightened. Eight have been baptized within the last three weeks; and as the consummation of our prosperity, the voice of discord has never interrupted our harmony, nor the sound of iron tools been heard about our building.
|Yours in the Lord,|
THE GLEANINGS OF EPHRAIM
I READ and think a little. I have a taste for fine flowers, and occasionally pluck one. Will you accept of a few clusters of my grapes, and a nosegay of autumnal flowers? I have waited till the vintage of Abi-ezer is secured, and the vernal roses have shed their leaves.
There are some maxims of great importance, as there are sound principles of great value, because of immense power. Principles and propositions useful to reformers, in science, literature, arts, and especially in religion, frequently occur to me in reading, and sometimes in my musings. I shall give them to you for your readers, if you think them worthy, as Solomon gave his proverbs--not with the same wisdom, but in the same unconnected style. 
As the orient sun causes the lustre of the stars to fade in the blaze of his superior light, so does the splendor of christian light extinguish from our horizon the feeble rays of Indian, Egyptian, Grecian, and Roman philosophy.
Cardinal Pole, with great good sense, replied to Sadolet, when commending to him the Platonic philosophy, in the words of Virgil, as applicable to the change which christianity had made in philosophy--
|Est in conspectu Tenedos, notissima fama
Insula dives opum, Priami dum regna manebunt
Nunc Tantum sinus, et statis malefida carinis.
Which I thus freely translate:--
|In sight of Troy lay Tenedos of old,
Of high renown for science and for gold;
Admir'd by all, the great, the wise, the good,
Throng'd with all climes, while Priam's kingdom stood;
But now a bay, an anchorage untried,
Where ships in storms no longer safely ride.
"Science is nothing worth except it bless the people as well as adorn the state."
"Man never could have invented speech, the most subtle and complex, the most profound and abstruse of all the wonderful means of God's moral government on earth."
"That order of society is inverted which builds the good of society on the glory of the state; instead of national renown upon the happiness of the people."
"The code of public morals is founded on the code of private morals."
"The New Testament is the only genuine moral constitution of society, and its principles the only safe and wise foundation of all civil and political establishments."
"There are thirty-six Universities in Germany, nineteen Protestant and seventeen Catholic, where the Catholic population is double that of the Protestant."
"The Protestants have endowed a great number of schools because their existence depends upon their being the best informed."
"More has been done in three centuries by the Protestants in the profound and comprehensive, the exact, rational, and liberal development, culture, and application of every valuable department of knowledge, both theoretical and practical, with a view to public and private improvement, than has been done by all the rest of the world, both ancient and modern, since the days of Lycurgus." [How much more may the present reformers achieve, who carry all the principles of the reformation to the superlative degree?]
"The fundamental position pleaded in the reformation by all the reformers was this, Each man has a right, each man is bound to think for himself. The essential principle of the reformation was freedom of mind, freedom of the individual, freedom of the people."--Grimke.
"If obedience to the will of God be necessary to happiness, and knowledge of his will be necessary to obedience, I know not how he  that withholds this knowledge or delays it, can be said to love his neighbor as himself. He that voluntarily continues ignorance is guilty of all the crimes which ignorance produces; as to him that should extinguish the tapers of a light-house, might justly be imputed the calamities of shipwrecks."--Dr. Johnson--Boswell's Life of Johnson.
TRIBUTE TO FEMALE EXCELLENCE.
"In the path of duty no sacrifice is with them too high or too dear. The voice of pleasure or of power may pass by unheeded; but the voice of affliction never. The chamber of the sick, the pillow of the dying, the vigils of the dead, the altars of religion, never missed the presence or the sympathies of woman. Timid though she be, and so delicate that the winds of heaven may not too roughly visit her, on such occasions she loses all sense of danger and assumes a preternatural courage, which knows not and fears not consequences. Then she displays that undaunted spirit, which neither courts difficulties nor evades them; that resignation, which utters neither murmur nor regret; and that patience in suffering which seems victorious over death itself."
"Demosthenes loved to swear by the mighty dead of Marathon, but shrank from the imitation of their mighty deeds."
"Truth has prevailed in many a battle against error, though shielded by authority and strengthened by superstition, decorated by taste and genius, and recommended by talents and learning"
Montesquieu said that Ignatius Loyola would have governed the world but for Luther and Calvin. He has, in defiance of them, says a learned author, governed Italy, Spain, and Portugal. While they have rescued from him Holland, England, and Scotland, Loyola yet governs South America. Calvin and Luther govern these United States. Under the government of Loyola society has not marched a hand's breadth for 300 years; but look at the progress of Holland, England, Scotland, and the United States!
TESTIMONY OF THE UNITED BRETHREN
IN FAVOR OF IMMERSION FOR THE REMISSION OF SINS.
* * * * "Thus was baptism an act instituted and enjoined by Christ himself; by means whereof a poor, sinful, and sin-burdened man, but who knew, bewailed, and confessed his sins, and believed with all his heart that Christ could forgive him, and cleanse him from them, was made a partaker of the New Covenant, which was established by Christ, and by his propitiatory offering. Externally, his body was, by the ministry of a servant of Christ, washed in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, with pure water; nay, even dipped into it, and as it were buried. The blood of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, cleansed him at the same time from all sins, and in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, and for the sake of the offering made by Jesus, every thing was forgiven him at once." 1 John, v. 6. Eph. v. 25, 26. 
Again, on 1 Peter iii. 21, "But if we believe in Christ, and are baptized in his name, then are all sins at once forgiven us, and we are received, or adopted to be children of God. In this situation is the conscience appeased, and quieted, not condemning us any more; we thereby attain to a good conscience."--Exposition of Christian Doctrine, pages 229, 230-234.
|[Forwarded by]||J. J. TROTT.|
REPORT saith, that Elder Skidmore, of the Methodist Church, did lately take into the sacred desk Mr. Broaddus' Extra Examined, and proved from it that sprinkling or pouring was valid and much more expedient than immersion. "Mr. Campbell contends for impossibilities," said he, "but Mr. Broaddus for the salvation of men without the ordinances of the gospel. The paido scheme, he said, was, however, better than either, because it made matters more easily come at by all persons, in jail, in bed, or at large." And by way of apology for not communing with all, he instanced that "those immersed do not commune with one another; for the old side refuse to sit down with the reforming Baptists!!" Good logic, indeed! Two wrongs make one right!
REV. ROBERT HALL.
CERTAIN Doctors of Divinity are very lavish of their praises on the late Robert Hall. His greatness and his goodness are the themes on which they delight to dwell. For the benefit of these same Doctors, we would give them a lesson from this same Robert Hall. We wish Mr. Brantly would give it a place in the Christian Index, as he points to what is good and commendable.--ED. M. H.
|From the London New Baptist Miscellany.|
ON THE DOCTORATE.
Extracts from a letter addressed to the Rev. Dr. Newman, by the late
Rev. R. Hall--March, 1818.
With respect to your inquiry respecting the Doctorate, I have little to say more than this, that it does appear to me to militate directly against our Saviour's prohibition. The term Rabbi, by the consent of Campbell and the best critics, coincides as nearly as possible with the modern term Doctor. It was a religious degree of honor, conferred by their theological schools to denote a pre-eminence of spiritual wisdom; and if it has not this import (or rather if the D. D. has not) I am at a loss (to know) what it means, nor can I conceive in what manner our Lord, supposing it had been his acknowledged intention to have forbidden it, could have done it more effectually, consistently with the genius of the language in which he spake. Though I am fully convinced some who receive it are as remarkable for their humility as the obscurest of their brethren, and I might adduce the instance of Dr R----d, and Dr. N. in proof of this assertion; yet it is naturally and intrinsically an aliment of vanity, and, no doubt,  gratifies that passion in some; and on that account, as well as for the reason before mentioned, it appears to me abhorrent from the simplicity of the gospel.
It is an invention of barbarous, monkish ages--unknown, as you are well aware, to classic and christian antiquity. It had its origin in the decline of knowledge, both civil and religious, and appears to me to possess a strong tincture of the barbarity of its origin. In my ears it would sound like a nick-name, and I am truly concerned it was ever known that such a mark was upon me. I endeavored to keep it as secret as possible. In addition to other considerations, I might add it has been bestowed with such a total want of discrimination, that it can never (add) an atom to the reputation of any man who deserves it. Neither you nor Dr. R. will derive the smallest degree of celebrity from it; your own merits would always render it unnecessary: in short, my pride would concur with better reasons for inducing me to reject it.
I hope, my dear sir, you will excuse the liberty I have used in explaining myself on this subject, assuring you that my high esteem for you is by no means diminished by this slight difference of opinion, nor by another of much greater importance on the subject of communion. You will greatly oblige me by keeping the fact of my diploma as secret as possible.
With ardent wishes for your happiness, I am your affectionate brother,
RULES FOR STUDENTS.
Three Rules given by Professor Whitaker, of Cambridge, to John Boyse, one of the eminent Translators of the Bible, in the time of James I.
1. Study chiefly standing or walking.
2. Never study at a window.
3. Never go to bed with cold feet.
LONG letters to the amount of some 20 pages, have been received here from Mr. Andrew Broaddus, Abner Leitch, Robert Baylor Semple, Esq. and others, touching matters and things which grew out of the controversy touching the views of the late Bishop Semple. None of these brought any new matter to light: they were all exculpatory of their authors and inculpatory of others for the course taken respecting the comments upon the obituary. One of them, explanatory of the one-sided and ungenerous course of the conductors of the Religious Herald, ought to have been published, but we thought it most expedient to lay them all upon the table till the end of the present year, and see if the heat of summer and the mellowing influences of autumn might not produce some more palatable fruit.
July 14th.--Up to this date we have seen nothing from our friends of the "Sentinel and Star in the West." Sundry letters and communications for this number, are unavoidably postponed.
[The Millennial Harbinger, 3 (August, 1832): 373-420.]
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Alexander Campbell, ed.|
The Millennial Harbinger, Vol. III, No. VIII (1832)
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