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Alexander Campbell, ed.
The Millennial Harbinger, Vol. IV, No. II (1833)





Number II.----Volume IV.

Bethany, Va. February, 1833.



      THE attentive reader will have discovered before to-day, with what caution we have spoken on the prophecies and millennial matters. Among the causes of this the following is chief:--We felt some misgivings in the most popular theories of interpretation; and, although prepossessed in favor of that system which flattered us with the expectation that the moral machinery about to opera, e, and which was operating upon the world, would usher in the glorious day, supported by the vials of God's wrath on an apostate church; we were involuntarily almost borne forward into another, and entirely different system of interpretation. Between these conflicting winds we thought it presumptuous to weigh anchor and launch upon the mighty deep. For the last five or six years we have been waiting for fair winds and a serene sky, and cannot yet say that the prospects are such as to authorize us to tempt the vast abyss. But here comes a bold adventurer, who is determined, to make the voyage at all hazards. As he seems destined for the same port, we shall help him to put to sea; and as he appears to sail by the same stars, if he can brave the mighty dangers and get safe to land, we shall hail him as the most fortunate of modern adventurers.

      Figures apart, we shall give this brother a fair hearing; for he deserves it! This we say, not because we may agree in the main propositions of his essay; but because he speaks like a man, and because the subject deserves more profound attention than any other, except it be the personal remission of sins. We may add a note occasionally, but he shall be permitted to tell his oven story in his own way.
EDITOR. [49]      



"Behold the Bridegroom comes: go you out to meet him."

By S. M. M'CORKLE, a Layman.      

To the Reader.

      I HAVE no party interest to promote--will never have. I do firmly believe (from prophecy and "the signs of the times") the world to be approaching the most eventful period, the most important crisis, ever known since time began. The world, and especially the church, is to be a theatre of the most tremendous judgments--famine, war, pestilence, and fire! Silence is guilt.

      The following points we propose briefly to examine:--

      That no dispensation or government has ever been renovated after becoming corrupt.

      That the present dispensation, committed to the Gentiles, has become corrupt--is to go into dissolution.

      That no dispensation has ever lasted more than two thousand years. That the Millennium, or Christ's Universal Reign, is to be a new dispensation.

      That Christ is to make a second advent into the world, to be seen by every eye, and acknowledged as the "King of kings." Is such an event possible or probable? Who will say it is not possible? Who dare use one argument in favor of the dangerous negative? And that it is probable, we shall proceed to show.

      Reader, avail yourself of all that can be said on the subject. Nothing can be gained by disbelieving--much may be lost. Alarming prophecies concentrate on the dissolution of the church, and not on nature. The Clergy almost universally are to oppose these views. Why? God only knows. Some of the above points are almost self-evident, and need but few arguments.

      To the glory of God, and the good of man, do I devote the following pages.


      No other book comes with such claims of divine origin--with such claims on the obedience of man. None other with such holy admonitions and purity of precept--none other so rich in promise, consolation, and reward to the virtuous; or terrible in threatenings and penalties to the vicious and disobedient. It carries accounts out into another state of existence, summoning delinquents before a tribunal beyond the limits of human vision--a tribunal which can never err--from which these is no appeal.

      The Bible is a perfect rule of faith and practice--a way-bill to heaven--a lamp to the path of the just--the luminary of the moral [50] world--the voice of Heaven to bewildered man, saying, "This is the way; walk you in it"--it is the good man's treasure--the Christian's strength--Faith's refuge--Virtue's consolation--Hope's anchor--and Heaven's pledge of immortality to man.

      Did a good man ever stumble with a Bible in his hand, or his footsteps slide while daily consulting the word of his God? Can a man mistake the way to heaven, or fall short of endless life, practising the precepts of the gospel? A man cannot read without gaining knowledge, or practise its precepts without renewing his strength. Who can read, without loving its holy precepts? Who can love, without obeying? Or who obey, without becoming more like the Divine Author? He who converses most with his Bible, converses most with his God; and he who converses most with his God, assimilates most to his image.

      Its precepts are mild, pure, and simple--its reward is immortality. Revelation first inspired in man the hope of a resurrection. It alone has shed a divine lustre on the gloomy mansions of the grave. It holds a bright beacon on the other side of the dreadful pass, and bids us hope that death is not to hold an everlasting dominion--that the slumbers of the tomb are not to be eternal.

      It is impossible that philosophy could have ever conceived an idea of a resurrection, unaided by revelation. Human wisdom might have shed the tear of despair on the grave of worth and merit; or sighed an eternal adieu to the dearest friends and relations on earth, but for the hope revelation has given.

      The Bible is an inexhaustible treasure--it daily pays the daily examiner. We may tire reading any other book; but the relish for the Bible increases with the perusal. I know not how a good man can neglect this wonderful book. How can he know his Master's will without consulting it? Can he depute this important duty to another? It furnishes a perfect system of morals--a perfect plan of duty. No circumstances in which a man can be placed, but it finds him, and is suited to his case. By it the man of God is "thoroughly furnished to every good work"--nothing lacking--nothing superfluous. Where it condemns, who may acquit? Where it acquits, who dare condemn?

      The Bible furnishes a history of the past, precepts for the present, and a peep into futurity. In the past we may often read the history of the future. God has commonly kept thrown out a chain of predictions two or three thousand years beforehand relative to the destiny of churches or dispensations, in order to keep men on the lookout; yet, in spite of all these things, the events find the bulk of mankind in an unprepared state.

      Men always fancy themselves in the most favored age--that the happy religion, the favored dispensation in which they live, will be handed down from generation to generation, till the very end of time--Will be succeeded by eternity itself. This often precludes investigation, and predictions relative to the close of dispensations are applied to times the most remote--to events the most distant. [51]

      Prophecy will as certainly point us forward to an event, as the event will point back to the prediction. There can be no more certain application than there is ground for expectation. Prophecy or precept can have no private interpretation. An incomprehensible revelation is a contradiction in terms--is not a revelation at all. Prophecy is as much revelation as precept. Prophecies, not suited to the capacity of the poor--the common people--forfeit a claim on the obedience of nine tenths of mankind. The poor had the gospel preached to them: so the poor must be interested in the prophecies, or there must be inconsistency in the divine administration. There can be no special application, no threatenings, blessings, or calamity, but will embrace the rich, the poor, the bond and free, who may be found obeying or disobeying the command of God. Prophecy is intended to prepare and to confirm. What preparation can we make when we cannot understand? What confirmation, when there is a doubtful accomplishment? Where the wisdom or the goodness in saying, "Blessed is he that keepeth the sayings of the prophecy of this book," and deliver the sayings and prophecies in an unintelligible language? Why command us to watch as for the approach of a thief, and no object given for which we are to watch?

      For what are we to watch? For a reed shaken with the wind--a storm of thunder and hail--an invasion of the Saracens--a Spanish armada--a French revolution!!! To all these things have the prophecies been applied. But the Master says: "Behold I come as a thief; blessed is he that watches." Now here is an object; the coming of the Master, and the relative events.

      Prophecy was given out of good will to man. What good will? In giving alarm without providing a refuge--without showing the point of danger, and a place of safety! God, in love, has always given a forewarning of some kind, before the fatal stroke--before the ministers of vengeance execute their dreadful commission on corruption.--A Noah preached before the flood, a Jeremiah prophesied before the evil day, and Christ wept over a devoted Jerusalem, before it was swept with the besom of destruction. And the same God of mercy, justice, and truth, has left on record many predictions of the most alarming kind, which have had no accomplishment, and can have no direct allusion to the general Judgment, or the close of time, but are unavoidably connected with the present Gentile church and its destinies. God has always saved a remnant--a faithful, obedient few, who tremble at his word.

      No dispensation has ever closed, but with a day of sore calamity; nor have general sore judgments ever fallen, but for corruption. If they be threatened, or poured out, it is for one universal cause--incurable corruption.

      Another fact, no less notorious, is this: No dispensation, after becoming corrupt, has ever been restored to primitive purity: and another fact, no less alarming, and which should have a special bearing on the world at the present day, is, that no dispensation, or moral administration, instituted by the Ruler of the universe upon earth, has [52] ever been continued longer than about two thousand years; nor is there one single text within the lids of the Bible, affording a sufficient warrant that the present dispensation, committed to the Gentiles, is to last longer, or even that long. Nay, we believe the signs of approaching dissolution appear. The harbingers of this tremendous crisis may be seen. The cry is heard, "Behold the bridegroom comes go you out to meet him."

      Our design is to rouse to investigation, to sound alarm. A most eventful day is approaching the world;--the world mostly asleep, priest and people. We purpose showing, from the 'signs of the times,' from prophecy, from reason and analogy, that the present moral administration,--the dispensation committed to the Gentile church,--i. e. drawing to a close--has become corrupt--is never to be renovated--is to go into dissolution--is to be swept with the "besom of destruction"--is to he rolled together like a useless scroll, with all its appendages, and laid aside, before the introduction of the Millennium, or Christ's universal reign.

      The Millennium is to be a new dispensation, as different from the present as the present is from the past. Its harbingers are to be famine, war, pestilence, and fire. We are to be devoted to the literal fulfilment of prophecy, especially in what relates to Christ's second advent into the world. To the Apocalypse!--it is high time the meaning of this mysterious book was examined;--no time to be lost: and I do affirm, regardless of contradiction, that all the alarming predictions in the Bible, standing unfulfilled, concentrate on the dissolution of the church, or the present dispensation:--not on nature, at all.

      Having thus far premised, we will first briefly touch upon a few items of


      All will acknowledge, at once, that the christianity of the world, taken at large, is much adulterated, fallen, shorn of its glory, compared with what it was in its primitive state; that it will not stand the test of the sacred oracles. In the very face of reason, or the Bible--in full view of God's former dealings with old corrupted dispensations, the majority of the world will believe that God, in the plenitude of his mercy, will overlook human imperfection, and accommodate himself to the corruption of the present dispensation; or, as a sovereign, in his own time, and way, will renovate the church, and that she will then "come up out of the wilderness, leaning on her beloved," &c. This is hoped, this is believed, rather than believe God's word, or that he will resort to his usual method of renovating corrupted dispensations.

      Let me ask those who are talking about regenerating christianity, desiring to restore the ancient order,1 Upon what principles is it [53] to be done? On moral? or on physical? Perhaps none will say on physical principles. If on moral principles, from whence is it to rise? Is there to be an increase of light and motive given? With the present ratio of light and motive, corruption is gaining strength, and crime is on an alarming increase, in a dreadful proportion to the increase of population. It may be said that the energies of the Spirit are to be enlisted in the mighty work; that there will be great outpourings, &c. Whose fault is it that these outpourings are withheld? Dare we charge the fault on God?

      Some may say that truth will prevail. Does not the history of the world contradict this, and common observation teach a different theory? If error were not too strong for truth,--aye, for the Bible,--truth would heal the corruptions of the day. Do the divisions, the diversities of opinion, the conflicting interests, the warring elements of christianity, originate in truth, or in error? None will say in truth. Truth does not hear them;--for this plain reason: it cannot. It is too weak, and needs the physical hand of God, occasionally, to avenge its wrongs. Now, in spite of truth, error and corruption have gained a dreadful ascendency in the church. On what principles can we expect truth to cast out the demon? Does corruption ever purge itself? If truth was too weak to prevent an evil, how can it cure? It is easier to prevent disease, than to heal.

      The christian world, at the present day, is dreaming about restorations, Millenniums, &c. without examining on what ground they are to be brought about. Effects always correspond with a relative cause. A cause will always produce an effect exactly in proportion to its strength, in the natural or moral world. Need we argument to prove that there is a morbid action in the system, when the symptoms of death appear in every feature? What a contrast between the present and primitive christianity! How rarely to be found the piety, the spirituality, that existed even twenty years ago! Alas, what will twenty or thirty years more, of such declension, bring about! Just as soon may we expect a stream to rise above its fountain, as expect crime to cease uncaused, error to lay down its hostility to truth, or corruption to purify itself. Nothing but the physical hand of God, the last resort of heaven, will bring the world to see; aye, to feel. Nothing else will check the mighty tide of vice. [54]

      The world is ripening for the sickle. I would ask, When is the church to rise in her renovated strength, deck herself the Bride, the Lamb's wife; evangelize the world? What is she doing? What has she done?--Made a few hundred converts, in as many hundred years. In the heathen world there are probably more than an hundred thousand souls, twice told, horn into the world, for one converted to christianity. This at once presents impossibility, to any thing but blind infatuation; and such there are, who dream that the present antichristian christianity is to evangelize the world, soften the stubborn Jew, win over the followers of Mahomet to a religion, for any thing they can see, no better than their own.

      The last and only resort that blind infatuation can have, is this: That God, as a sovereign, having all power in his hands, can, in his own time and way, bind Satan, put forth his mighty energy, pour out his Spirit, revive his work, and renovate the church: for who may limit the Almighty? We may limit the Almighty to his word, to his usual manner of dealing with the world, to his former method of healing incurable corruption. Long abused mercy, warnings and threatenings long disregarded, have always been followed by judgments.

      The flood, the destruction of Jerusalem, with many other circumstances of notoriety, witness the alarming truth, that God occasionally touches the world with his finger, when men grow corrupt and forget the Almighty rules: he then leaves an evidence of his footsteps, a monument of divine displeasure, a dreadful warning to following ages, of the consequence of corruption. For such an event as this, the world is fast ripening. But more of this hereafter.

      To return: Does God act on sovereign principles with free agents? Does he regenerate men by power? or by motive? If he does not regenerate men by power, when they grow corrupt, neither may we expect it to be done with corrupted dispensations: it is contrary to moral government. The doctrine of outpourings of the Spirit, &c. is near akin to physical operations. Supernatural operations, illuminations of the Spirit, outpourings withheld or afforded regardless of the constituted laws in the kingdom of grace, involve the Almighty in difficulties with his creatures, with his word, out of which I can see no retreat. If the world is to be evangelized by extraordinary outpourings of the Spirit, whose fault is it that the mighty work is not performed? Not man's; for the operations requisite are withheld: iniquity abounds, the love of many waxes cold, because the time for the outpouring of the Spirit is not yet come. Any thing superior to, or different from, the light and motive presented to the mind of man in the word of God, must be physical, and not moral operations, and not in consonance with man's agency.

      I have no wish to enter upon controverted ground; my object is to show the utter impossibility of evangelizing the world, under the present administration; because the world is growing worse: there is a dreadful increase of crime, in spite of human effort; and God (to speak with reverence) will be compelled to increase the present ratio of light and motive, convert the world by power, or resort to the scourge. [55]

      I do admit there are partial revivals of vital piety,--short-lived, generally--some occasional vigorous pulsations about the heart, while the extremities are cold and stiff in death. It is like the glow on the cheek of consumption; like a frenzied imagination, fancying itself hale and strong, on the verge of dissolution.

      A prevalent missionary mania would convert the heathen,--Hindoos or the antipodes,--while thousands are perishing from lack of knowledge at home! This consumpted Christianity, with the most corrupt means on earth, is trying to spread the holy religion of Christ, begging its thousands for the purpose of sending the gospel abroad, while at home it is rendered almost abortive by the unhallowed conduct of its professors. Corruption, in either church, or state, abounds in an exact ratio to the amount of filthy lucre within the power of the administration; and yet officers, in church or state, are in pursuit of this corrupting principle, as tireless as time and insatiable as the grave. But I must, take the subject more in detail, and examine the various items; and at the head of the catalogue will set


      Is Christ divided? Each division (and they are almost as numerous as the stones) claims the prerogative of being the most holy, the most orthodox, the most legitimate successors of apostolic purity.2 This may be controverted; but where is the party that does not fancy itself nearer right than any other--nearer perfection--that has not set up its standard of perfection, crying, "Lo! here is Christ!" "Come and join us?" &c. This is the watch-word of all--the universal practice--"Go with us--we will do you good." Who has not often heard such language--such arguments, by the recruiting officers in the church? Enlisting, enrolling, marshalling, and training, according to their various tactics, the different battalions of Christians, all in different uniform--all in array against the different mottos, banners, names, and interests of different Christians. Now, without a miracle, could a different state of things exist, than that which presents itself on the motley face of Christendom? What else could be expected but broils, animosities, persecutions, wars, and blood? Who has not witnessed the broils of parties? Those factions which have rent and torn the body of Christ? Or is it the body of Christ that wars on itself? Can the members of Christ's body war on the members of Christ? Or can a house divided against itself [56] stand? Is he a member of Christ's body, who dare persecute, or defame, or indulge a bad spirit toward a brother for opinions--for enjoying his inalienable right--that of thinking for himself?

      This thing of becoming God's vicegerents--the executor's of his vengeance on heresy--has martyred Christ's best followers, and drenched the world in blood. This thing of going beyond the limits prescribed by the Master--of servants making laws for the Master's house, has shed more blood of saints than all that was shed in ten bloody persecutions under Pagan Rome; and where the earth has "helped the woman"--to wit, where civil authority has set a "hitherto" to clerical tyranny, "they smite with the tongue." That unruly member is let loose with lawless slang reputations are martyred characters assailed, and odious epithets applied to spotless reputation--for believing--aye, believing God's word for themselves--a right which God allows to all--which he alone dare challenge Heaven has given rules by which men may judge, condemn, or acquit men for actions, not opinions. The millions of martyrdoms which have been perpetrated since the son of perdition assumed the clerical throne--usurped the temple of God, have all been for "wrong faith"--for believing contrary to creeds, or laws imposed on the household of the Master by professed servants--servants ruling God's heritage with a rod of iron.

      In the great day of accounts, the balance of the sanctuary by which men are to be weighed when entering another state of existence, is to have charity for a counterpoise. "I was hungry, and you fed me; thirsty, and you gave me drink; naked, and you clothed me; sick and in prison, and you visited me." And "inasmuch as you have done it to one of the least of these, you have done it to me." But men, before they can be admitted into the Sanctum Sanctorum on earth, are required to believe such and such articles of faith--just such as the founders of the faction or heads of department may please to prescribe.

      Reader, is this corruption? or what other name in the English language will you find for it? And it is an indubitable evidence of corruption; aye, of rottenness at the core. When men cannot meet together as a church, unite in the common worship of God, sing, pray, preach, or commune together, without a perfect unanimity of opinion. It may be said, "How can two walk together except they be agreed?" To this I would reply, that it is impossible for men to disagree, obeying the commands of Christ. They may differ in opinion, but not fallout by the way. Can we claim the blessing of the Master when living in violation of his commands? Who can be a disciple of the meek and lowly Saviour, while refusing the hand of charity--without exercising forbearance, brotherly kindness, long-suffering, &c. Is it the religion of Christ that turns not the other cheek when smitten? If we are to test Christianity by the Bible--condemn where it condemns--acquit where it acquits--alas? how few will stand the scrutiny! how few be saved! how few when the Master returns will hear the plaudit, "Well done, good and faithful servant, enter thou [57] into the joy of thy Lord!" Alas! what a different award is pending! what a sad reckoning is soon to take place among the servants!--servants who, for the sake of convenience, for the sake of opinion, are making and supporting the divisions in the body of Christ--beating the men-servants and maidens.

      We are told by the blind guides, the false teachers of the day, that the divisions in Christianity are on the decline--that churches are uniting. Now where is the solitary instance of two denominations becoming one? They may enter into combinations, treaties of peace, cease hostilities for a season: so do the nations till it is their interest to make war. You may tell me France and England are united, because they are not at open war. The parties in religion are about as widely different from each other as the different nations, and speak as different language. You might as well attempt to unite the nations of the world in one common league or language as the different sects.

      How will you unite churches where opinions and interest are at opposites? How will the churches ever he united on different bonds of union? Here is an impossibility at once presented. Different bonds of union produce different interests: conflicting interests will produce hostilities while sun and moon endure. Now there are names, bonds of union, and different interests to be laid aside before union. And coupled with these bonds, names, &c. are feelings and attachments which death can scarcely dissolve--sensibilities and interests as dear as immortality--disgusts and antipathies which the "war of elements" will barely obliterate; and thousands among the different parties who would go to the stake for their name or creed.

      Reason opposed to tradition is as light as air. Traditions handed down time out of mind are rarely or never changed. Demonstration, not reason, has produced all the changes in religion for the better on earth. Demonstration first gave Christianity success in its passage; and nothing else will give it success again among the heathen. Nor has Christianity gained a handbreadth of territory since demonstration has left its footsteps; and nothing else but this, or the vials of the wrath of Almighty God, will put a check to sectarian madness--check the present tide of vice.

      The divisions in the Christian world have an unfavorable tendency to weaken the testimony of the gospel. Infidelity is made strong by the professed friends of the Christian religion. The animosities existing between professed Christians, the diversities of opinion so zealously maintained, so warmly contested, have made more Deists than all the writings that infidelity ever has, or ever can, throw into world. And the wars and controversies which have rent and torn christendom into so many factions, have originated about opinions; many of them far beyond the reach of human knowledge. Opinions believed or disbelieved, make men neither better nor worse.

      Christ said, "By this shall all men know you are my disciples, if you have love one for another." Now reverse the rule, and it is no less true: 'By this shall men know that you are not my disciples, if you have not love one for another.' Now how much love will we find [58] among the different sects? Just about as much as existed between a Jew and a Samaritan. Partyism begets intolerance: the religion of Christ, forbearance, brotherly kindness, &c. Christianity, taken by the bulk, presents not to view the great leading feature of Christ's religion. It comes with a sword in one hand, a cross or creed in the other. The spirit of domination, so plainly visible in all the parties, will fairly warrant the expression.

      I say not these things for the sake of wounding a single individual, nor to the disparagement of the Christian religion. My hope of salvation is alone predicated on an unshaken faith in Christ and a strict obedience to the precepts of the gospel. It is the abuse of the Christian religion I am pointing at. In speaking of corrupt Christianity, I mean, in general terms, the mass of professors--that part of the human family denominated Christians.

      I suppose there is not a party in christendom at this time without an organ--a periodical at its head--strengthening, confirming, and building up its favorite ism: and yet we are told they are becoming more united. Why? Because they sometimes are heard to preach a sermon or two without slandering their neighbors. Because occasionally you may hear men soberly preaching Christ and him crucified. Churches, as well as individuals, have their lucid intervals--their days of respite from intoxication; and I am firmly convinced of the fact that this partyism, this spiritual drunkenness, this wine of Babylon, has been the legitimate source of more evil, more distress, persecution, and bloodshed, than all the liquor ever distilled or drunk on earth.3

      We may bless our God that we are living in an enlightened land, that civil authority has put a stop to the effusion of human blood on account of religion. By whom do we hold this inestimable blessing? By whom has it been bestowed? By civil or clerical influence?

      The earth has helped the woman; that is, the civil authority has set bounds to the clerical--a hitherto. How few of those stall-fed theologians, those lordly pontiffs in the clerical kingdom, have ever stept forward in defence of the liberty of conscience! Give them the power they will demand, and see if racks, dungeons, and fire will not be the arguments resorted to for the purpose of purging the church of heresy. These arguments have been tried with success by the great Mother of Harlots, and some of the daughters too. They all prove their pedigree--go the length of their chain. Human nature is the same in all ages: power begets infallibility, which soon becomes the executor of God's vengeance on heresy.

      Is there no meaning in Rev. xviii. 3.--"For all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication"? Is there not drunkenness [59] plainly implied in the passage, and to an unlimited extent? "All nations;" this must relate to the churches. Christ's church is called "a holy nation." If the Apocalypse be a history of nations, in the common acceptation, to what nation? of how many? where begin or end? If it be a history of nations, I fearlessly pronounce it a bundle of absurdities, without an object in heaven, earth, or hades. Churches are meant--wine, raging, implied. Has God cast an unwarranted odium, libelled the churches by the insinuation? Or was it a prophetic portrait of the character the church was to assume, some prominent feature in Christianity after the rise of the son of perdition? Is there any chance to mistake in applying the notorious trait to the partyism, intolerance, and the universal thirst for domination, manifest in every branch of the scattered and divided flock. They are teaching opposites with an unwearied industry and zeal, which nothing but truth should inspire. And it requires far less sagacity to see that they are all wrong, than to determine which is right.

      The natural effects of common drunkenness are, error in judgment, and courage in maintaining. Is not this justly applicable to the spiritual drunkards? And much of what is palmed on the world for contending earnestly for the faith once delivered to the saints, is nothing but the ebullitions of spiritual drunkenness. Rant and turmoil, vociferation and conversions of the blood, supersede the humility, the piety, the unaffected devotion, prescribed by the meek and lowly Saviour of sinners.

      To an unprejudiced observer, the whole system of the gospel must seem perverted, the whole duty of man mistaken. It is all poured forth in clamorous prayers, or in laced, starched pharisaic oblations toward heaven, (cheap sacrifice!) instead of patience, acts of kindness, forbearance, &c.

      The life most pleasing to God, is that which is spent in most usefulness to our fellow-creatures. A man cannot love his God, and hate his brother: he cannot expect mercy, who shows none.

      There is a striking coincidence between the past and the present dispensations. The past persecuted and slew the prophets; the present is persecuting and slaying the saints, casting out their names as evil: all arising from the one cause,--the spirit of intolerance, or infallibility; an invincible thirst of domination, which would dictate to the consciences of God's people, seize the reins of government, control the destinies of man, in this world and in the world to come, under the specious garb of sanctity,--a pretext of doing God service! Could you have made a Jew believe he was persecuting, condemning, and shedding innocent blood, when crucifying the Lord of glory? O no: he was doing God service. He had the same criterion to judge by, which men have now-a-days--the scrutiny of their own feelings--a consciousness of being right! This thing of testing right and wrong by feeling, by conscience, has been the cause of boundless error, of boundless human misery.

      The persecuting Christian, Turk, or Jew, judges by the same rule: all alike pious, confident, and right. Feeling is the most uncertain [60] rule that right and wrong was ever tried by. It will forever change, or differ, as there is a difference in education. By the only infallible rule of right and wrong on earth, will that man's religion stand condemned, who dares persecute; and 1 will give the phrase a very wide range, embracing words as well as actions. I am willing to extend charity as far as the Bible suffers me to go, and no further.

      Now, reader, will not the Bible condemn nine-tenths of Christendom, taken at large? How unlike the primitive religion under the Apostles, and their successors for many ages? Is it the same, or is it a spurious religion, palming itself on the world under the christian garb.

      The present christianity of the world gives the wicked no pain--no uneasiness. So much like themselves they have ceased to persecute--forsooth, they have long ago yielded the palm to hands wielding the sword, or "smiting with the tongue" with far greater dexterity. The religion of Christ teaches humility, non-resistance, to turn the other cheek, to think others better than themselves, not to render evil for evil, railing for railing. How unlike what we see! Ridicule substituted for argument--insult unavoidable, if you dare to differ in opinion from your Priest. Pulpit slander, common; sermonizing, a trade; pride and arrogance, prevalent; speculating Priests, gospel merchandizers, the purest religion ever instituted perverted in every way, made by the bulk a system of swindling and speculation.

      Now, reader, is it a strange thing that infidelity is on a dreadful Increase--gaining strength, while the pure religion of Christ is on the wane--divided and made weak? The emphatical prayer of the Master, "that they may be one, even as we are one" frustrated, a hundred different folds, names, and distinctions, as many jarring interests, as many bonds of union, as many different tongues, crying, "Lo! here is Christ!" each zealously contending for the faith once delivered to the saints--each party living in plain violation of the commands of the Master--all looking for the plaudit, "Well done, good and faithful servant!"--all looking for Millenniums; when, at the same time, the sword of Omnipotence is about to be bathed in the gospel heavens--in the polluted dispensation.

      Amidst the endless division and intolerance in the Christian, world, there is one thing in which they all agree; and it is no less a proof of corruption than the former. It is the means they resort to for the purpose of spreading the gospel. Their ceaseless levies on their subjects for filthy lucre--the most corrupting principle on earth. And I do affirm it, regardless of contradiction, that governments either civil or ecclesiastic, are corrupt in an exact proportion to the amount of filthy lucre required to propel the machinery. You will find churches corrupt in proportion to their wealth; and spiritual, proportioned to poverty. This is most strictly applicable to the Clergy. Did I wish to make them as corrupt as sin; I would give them what money they would demand. Christ forbid the use of [61] money in his service;4 but his professed ambassadors at the present time take all they can get, and receive it as a due! and call it supporting the gospel! This was the first cause of gospel corruption; and the gospel has been polluted in proportion as this forbidden lure has been enlisted into its service. It may be said that Christ ordered a purse--aye, and a sword too--as much warrant for the one as the other. Christ in commissioning his disciples, used every means to make them believe their help and dependence was from above--almost precluded human aid. At the present one might be led to conclude that there was a re-commission given--a new charter granted, authorizing the disciples now-a-days to compass sea and land for money--to pray, preach, or beg for money--to receive from the hands of penury and want, the widow and the fatherless, all that their credulity or devotion can possibly be induced to throw into the "treasury of the Lord!" Even the midnight earnings of the poor degraded Ethiopian have been thus extorted from him by these merciless beggars.

      If blind infatuation can only be wrought up to believe that thousands of souls are depending for their salvation on clerical labors and missionary exertions, and those labors depend on the charity of God's people; that souls must perish unless the gospel be supported--without money be contributed to the cause of God! That they owe their souls as well as their good things to him whose cause they plead; that the demand is from Heaven, and in the name of Heaven they apply for a pittance of the bounties that God has bestowed, and now asking a part back; that what is given to God will be restored fourfold, and it will be so much laid up in heaven.

      With these and the like arguments the credulous believe and bestow--the pampered beggars receive and grow fat on the merchandize of the gospel. Forsooth, I cannot tell which is the best trade: to pray souls out of purgatory for money, or beg it to prevent them going thither. The one is a profitable trade of the Mother; the other a plausible pretext of the daughters, for the one special purpose--money!

      I do not say that the missionary business began in palpable corruption. There may have been some infatuated devotees who were [62] honest and zealous at the outstart--misguided in their zeal, who would have performed one of the greatest miracles on earth had they succeeded, or could they succeed, in converting the heathen to Christianity without the aid of miracles. But Speculation, with its foul paw, soon contaminated the stream; and will so do forever, when a sufficient bounty is offered in gold. A lure for hypocrites--and just such converts will they make as they are themselves. Will you offer honesty pecuniary reward for serving the Lord?' Could human ingenuity devise a surer way to fill the pulpit with hypocrites and the church with corruption?

      Pay a man well for serving his God, and you will soon make him a servant of the devil. Nor do I believe the New Testament will warrant the opinion that there was ever one cent raised by contributions to support the gospel:5 they were uniformly for the relief of the poor. And farther, you may go into the world and catechise the nations on the subject of governing by money, and you will find the government most corrupt requiring most money. The fall of nations or kingdoms may be traced back to this universal cause; and it will produce its legitimate effect in church or state. The law of gravity is not more certain than the laws of ethics.

      What else has shorn Christianity of its glory, stript it of its diadem, drove demonstration from its footsteps? The Sampson that has plucked the pillars from underneath thrones and empires--this sly insidious foe that poisoned with its unhallowed touch the pure and holy religion of Christ, is to evangelize the world! The principle which adulterated is by the magic power of plenty to transform itself into an angel of light, and carry the glad tidings of salvation round the globe!

      The most successful missionaries we have any account of went to work without purse or scrip, pennyless to their graves, crowned with success and immortality. Now-a-days it requires an outfit of some thousands, and then a success such as would have made fishermen again of the old missionaries. No doubt but the church of Rome has in her possession more wealth than all the world beside, and more corruption too. Money with them is just the one thing needful. It expiates for all crimes past, present, and to come. Its potency is not limited to this earth: hell owns its power. For money enough his Holiness would depopulate the region of darkness, and leave purgatory a [63] solitary waste, without a single tenant--turn every soul out, from Adam down to the present day.

      This is what money will do between blind credulity and clerical abuses; and this is called Christianity, composing a large majority of Christendom; and by those hands, through the foulest channel on earth, has the authority been transmitted to our clerical gentry. I would ask the silly dreamers of the age, (those who would renovate Christianity, evangelize the world by the present system of things,) on what principle is the Catholic church to be restored? Where, or how is the work to begin? Will they hear the voice of reason? Do they regard the voice of God in his word? Are they obeying one single precept of the gospel? and yet they are to be restored--to become the fold of Christ--to be the bride--the Lamb's wife!

      Alas! what a fatal disappointment is awaiting the world! What different scenes are soon to be transacted! how different from those in anticipation! how soon will we be roused from our dreams, from our slumbers, by the midnight cry, "Behold the bridegroom cometh!" The syren song of peace and safety will soon be exchanged for the mighty crush of thrones, the rolling of the heavens together as a scroll, and the vials of the wrath of Almighty God, without mixture, poured out on corrupted Christianity. Reader, these things are coming apace, at the very door, just as sure as there is truth in the Bible, and will as certainly be scoffed at by the peace-prophesying priests.

New Year's Evening at Mr. Goodal's.



      WHEN the company, according to seniority, had walked out of the parlor into the dining room, and while all were standing round a table, not sumptuously decorated, but richly laden with all that nature, reason, and religion required--Mr. Goodal, with the dignity of a Patriarch and the simplicity of a Christian, gave thanks to God for the blessings before them, and for the happiness he enjoyed in having around his table on that happy day so many dear to him in the flesh and in the Lord. Maria Goodal, one grand-daughter, and two grand-sons were amongst those who waited on the table. After all were seated and had begun to partake of the bounties before them, Mr. Reed said he would propound a question to the youngest person at table, which he did not know that he could quite satisfactorily answer himself. "Whence," said he, "originated the custom of eating with the head uncovered?"

      Robert Fowler.--As I am the youngest person at table, I must regard the question as addressed to me. But as it is the first time I have heard it, or thought of the subject, I can, off hand, only say, that I think convenience dictated that custom, as it would be rather inconvenient for gentlemen to eat with their hats on; though I know they sometimes do it.

      Mr. Reed.--It is a good reason, Robert, and such a one as I was thinking you would assign.

      Robert Fowler--I should like to have a better one from you, Mr. Reed.

      Mr. Reed.--It has occurred to me that I heard some one say, that the custom originated from the pious Patriarchs, who, from gratitude to God, uncovered [64] their heads while they partook of his bounties, and from them it spread through society and descended to us.

      Mr. Goodal.--The question is new to me also; but I have often felt myself inclined to uncover my head from a sense of God's goodness in furnishing me with an apple, a grape, or a drink of water when I needed it. And I may add, that it often impressed me as disrespectful of God to eat with the head covered. But, brother Reed, did not the Christian nations derive many of their domestic customs from the Jews?

      Mr. Reed.--The Jews being the first Christians, and the Gentiles being in grafted upon their stock and embodied with them, many Jewish customs in some modified shape pervaded the Christian communities. Eating and drinking was an essential part of the religion of the Jews. They had so many festivals, and were to appear so often before the Lord in the course of one year, that it is natural to suppose they would acquire such feelings of devotion in the act of eating, as to make it quite natural for the religious part of them to think of God while eating on ordinary occasions for the refreshment of nature.

      Mrs. Reed.--But do you not thus deprive us females of an opportunity of some token of our gratitude to our heavenly Father, while you oblige us to appear with our heads covered in all public assemblies and at table?

      Mr. Reed.--I am sure, my dear, I never laid an injunction on you touching your head. I always thought you were the best judge of what was suitable.

      Mrs. Reed.--True, my lord. But as I have always regarded you as my constitutional and moral head since the day I vowed allegiance to you, from that day till now I have worn a covering on my head, because of the angels, who, though of celestial birth and dignity, veil their faces with their wings in the presence of their Lord: for thus you have expounded to me the 9th and 10th verses of Paul's first letter to the Corinthians:--"The woman was created for the man; for this reason the woman ought to have a veil upon her head," (emblem of submission,) "because of the angels."

      Mr. Goodal.--Very good, sister Reed, you covered your head the day you put yourself under the guidance of your husband; and as you have not since renounced brother Reed, you always wear a covering on your head, in token that you regard him as your head, and honor him as such. The glory of a married woman is, therefore, her husband. Well, my daughter, you must not complain of a custom which is founded on so much good reason, if not upon the most unequivocal authority.

      Mrs. Reed.--I complain not of the custom, father Goodal, but of the reason assigned for a man's eating with an uncovered head; because I desire not only to be as grateful to my heavenly Father, but to have the same opportunity of signifying it by corresponding signs while partaking of the bounties of the table.

      Mr. Goodal.--Very good, my daughter; but I will tell you how you are no loser in this case. When you see brother Reed eating with an uncovered head, regarding him as your constituted head, you can feel all gratitude to your heavenly Father, not only for these table comforts, but for a husband who uncovers his head before the Lord in your presence. And the same piety is evinced by you in gratefully remembering that the Lord has permitted you to sit by the side of a brother husband with your head covered, whose vassal you might have been, had not the Saviour of the world elevated you to this rank.

      Mrs. Reed.--I thank you, father Goodal. You have turned the misfortunes of my sisters into blessings, and have reminded me how much I owe to the Lord for the head he has given me, who is my brother, as well as my master.

      Mrs. Goodal.--Sister Reed, when I look at father Goodal's grey heirs, which scarcely conceal the top of his head, and see him approach the table, bowing his uncovered head before the Lord, I rejoice in it; for to me it is a sign of what the Elders do in heaven, feasting on the love of God, when they cast their crowns at the feet of our glorified Saviour. The covering which I wear upon my head in the presence of my husband, I regard rather as a sign of my subordination, than as a protection from the cold, or as an ornament to my person. [65]

      Mr. Reed.--Its plainness, mother Goodal, indicates that. There is nothing which to me appears more indicative of the want of good sense, as well as of true piety, than the costly and fantastic head-dresses of women professing godliness. The unmarried Christian ladies disparage themselves; and the married disparage both themselves and their husbands by such conformities to a vain and dissipated world.

      Mr. Williamson.--Surely, Mr. Reed, what is merely decent is not incompatible with Christianity.

      Mr. Reed.--I would thank you, Mr. Williamson, or any one at table, to give me an authentic definition of the word decent. Like the chameleon, it is of every color, fashion, and kind, and varies in every parallel of latitude and longitude, from Nova Zembla to the Cape of Good Hope.

      Mr. Goodal.--As you are all silent, I will tell you what I have long regarded as a very indecent thing. To see a person or a family sit down to table to partake of God's goodness; and after they have sat down to invoke God for a blessing on the food.

      Mr. Williamson.--Not indecent, Mr. Goodal, to ask a blessing!

      Mr. Goodal.--No; not to ask at blessing; but to acknowledge one in such an attitude of body. Do we not rise up on our feet to address an equal? And do we not bow to a superior? Yet in approaching the Lord of hosts we sit down and then address him! Surely this is not "to glorify the Lord with our bodies." This is not in accordance with the command, "Whether, you eat or drink, do all to the glory of God." But we come to table to receive, not to ask a blessing. What do you mean, Mr. Williamson, by "asking a blessing?"

      Mr. Williamson.--That God would bless the food to our use, or make it conducive to our health.

      Mr. Goodal.--Do you mean that God would change its nature, assist our digestive organs, or suspend any of the laws of nature for our benefit?

      Mr. Williamson.--I think without the blessing of God it cannot do us any good.

      Mr. Goodal.--But God has blessed it already! for "every creature of God is good if it be received with thanksgiving: for it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer."

      Mr. Williamson.--Then you only give thanks when you come to eat.

      Mr. Goodal.--As our Master and his Apostles gave thanks before eating, so I think ought we.

      Mr. Williamson.--Among my former religious acquaintance in New York it was customary to ask a blessing upon the food before we eat it, and after eating it to return thanks to God.

      Mr. Goodal.--And that is the best reason in the world with many for adopting and continuing the practice. But I have made it a rule with myself, first to inquire who originally introduced, or established, a custom, before Lean in my worship acquiesce in it.

      Mr. Williamson.--Into that matter I have not inquired; but as to the most decent manner of addressing God, I must confess that it appears to me most comely to address God with at least as much external respect as we show to man.

      Mr. Goodal.--Methinks, if the Lord himself fell upon the ground, or on his knees, or stood up and lifted his eyes to heaven when he spoke to God his Father, we, sinful dust and ashes, ought not to sit down before we speak to God. Besides, we are so constituted that our own attitudes of body exert a very considerable influence upon us. How it is with others, I presume not to say; but as for myself, I must say, that I cannot feel the spirit of prayer, without the attitude of prayer.

      Mr. Williamson.--I again confess that it does appear doubly inconsistent at one time to kneel down, and at another to sit down to address God, when circumstances do not compel it. As we have first to approach the table on our feet, it certainly is most comely to return thanks to God for his bounties, than first to sit down and then address him. [66]

      Mr. Reed.--But, Mr. Williamson, I have another remark to make upon the customs of "grace before and after meat." They generally area sort of morning and evening family prayer; in which there is petition, confession, and a narrative of circumstances, wholly irrelevant, and which, perhaps, have been repeated over eight times in the day.

      My neighbor Jarret prays in his family every morning and evening, and says as blessing and a thanksgiving at every meal; and you will hear him substantially repeat all the same ideas each time. Thus his asking a blessing for his breakfast is only a short summary of his morning prayer, and all the others are repetitions of it. So that eight times in the day he asks the same favors and acknowledges the same blessings.

      Mr. Goodal.--Mr. Jarret is not the only person in Newtonfields who pursues this course. Almost all our devout neighbors, or the praying part of the Presbyterians, Methodists, and Episcopalians, like sheep, follow one another in this track. But I fear the company will think that we have forgotten the word decent, and while talking of some things indecent in religious manners and customs, we shall wander from the question brother Reed proposed.

      Mrs. Foster.--I was just going to ask, how will this explain the word decent as respects the head-dress of females? I am solicitous on this subject, for my daughters are often asking me questions about what is decent.

      Mr. Williamson.--Since the question was proposed I have been revolving it in my mind, and am led to think it means conforming to the customs of our neighbors.

      Thomas Goodal.--To me it seems to mean being like the better sort of our neighbors.

      William Goodal.--I differ a little from my brother Thomas, and would define the word as indicating a little superiority over the mediocrity of our neighbors.

      Mr. Reed.--So it appears we shall have a variety of definitions in your own family, father Goodal.

      Mr. Goodal.--As you are all trying your skill in definitions, I will propose the question to mother Goodal, who has been a good deal in the world in her younger years, and much among Christians in her elder years.

      Mrs. Goodal.--I am not well skilled in defining words. I have been more attentive to things than to words; but if I were to give my thoughts upon the thing called decency, as it appears to me, I would say that it is that behavior or that apparel which is suitable to the character of a professor of the faith. In this I include regard to age, sex, and condition, and some little to circumstances. Cleanliness, plainness, neatness, and simplicity, are, with me, the four elements of decency in apparel and household furniture. And of decent behavior the elements are honesty, veracity, humanity, modesty, and affability. But, brother Reed, I would thank you for your best definition of the term.

      Mr. Reed.--I could not improve on the definition you have given of decency, as respects apparel, furniture, and behavior. You have left nothing for me to add. But I should be pleased to learn whether sister Fowler is yet satisfied with what she has heard.

      Mrs. Fowler.--I can never dissent from my mother, either in theory or practice; but for the sake of my daughters I wished them to hear the opinion of those whose judgment is mature and guided by the wisdom which comes from above.

      Mr. Goodal.--My father used to say that the elements of true politeness were all found in the doctrine of self-denial as taught by Jesus Christ. That in paying the most self-denied attention to others, we were most polite; and I have thought that his philosophy of politeness, and mother Goodal's philosophy of decency were near akin; and for my part, I would not declare non-fellowship with any one who practised upon the principles of their theory.

      Mr. Reed.--Then, father Goodal, your daughter Maria, and your grand children, who are so attentively waiting upon us, are the most polite persons in the room; for certainly they are practising the greatest degree of self-denial in fasting and serving, while we are eating and drinking the good things of our heavenly benefactor. [67]

      Mr. Goodal.--This is both their duty and their pleasure; and it is my wish to see my children and grand children promoting their own happiness by ministering to that of others. They are best qualified to preside over others who have first learned to serve in the ranks: for he who has not learned to be obedient is not competent to command.

      Mr. Williamson.--I am requested by a lady who sits not far from me, to ask Mr. Reed whether he can give any other exposition of 1 Cor. x: 9, 10, than that advanced by Mrs. Red. The ladies at this end of the table arc very curious to understand that allusion to the angels.

      Mr. Reed.--The ladies would smile if I should give them the comment upon this passage, which the great Dr. Lightfoot, President of the Westminster Assembly, which furnished the Puritans with a Confession of Faith, gives of it in the 2d vol. p. 720, of his works. He says, "The angels were the messengers or paranymphs who came to meeting on the part of others to look out for proper spouses for their friends." Bishop Pearce contends that the angels are the heavenly messengers who are always present in the church, as the cherubim were in the temple; and that as Paul exhorted Timothy in the presence of the angels, so he here exhorts women to shamefacedness and modesty in the presence of the angels. But Sir Norton Knatchbull, whom I lately examined on the passage, says that the angels are those messengers which gave to Eve the injunction of homage to her husband; for he says, this law of subordination was given by angels as was the law on Sinai, and he would translate the whole passage thus:--"For the man is not of the woman, but the woman of the man; neither was the man created for the woman, but the woman for the man." Therefore ought the woman to acknowledge the power (exousian, translated veil) to be on her head; i. e. her husband, because of the angels who said in the name of God, "He shall rule over thee." But Mr. Locke candidly acknowledges he could not understand this passage, and therefore gave no comment upon it. The view which sister Reed has given is at least as plausible as any other: and it has this advantage, that it offers no violence to the spirit and scope of the passage, nor to the construction of the original sentence.

      Mrs. Fowler.--This makes the glory of woman to be analogous to the glory of man. His glory is, that he was made in the image of God, and that of the woman is, that she was made in the image of man. If, then, the angels veil their faces in the presence of the Lord, women in the public assembly ought to veil their faces in the presence of men.

      Mrs. Reed.--Sister Fowler, it behoves us, then, to esteem our husbands as our head, and to follow our own mind and will only when we do not know theirs.

      Father Goodal.--If we have not known our relative duties so well before, as we have learned them to-day, we will be the more happy during the present year, in being able to live more conformably to them than heretofore; for as we row in knowledge and in conformity to the will of our heavenly father, we Increase in holiness and happiness.

      Brother Reed, let us retire into the other room.

A Good Omen.


      GREGORY XVI. the present Pope, in his last encyclical letter, issued from Rome in September last, thus exhibits his alarm:--

      "The chair of the blessed Peter, in which we sit, and where Jesus Christ has laid the foundation of his church, is violently shaken, and the bonds of unity are weakened and broken every day. The divine authority of the church is attacked, its rights are destroyed, it is subjected to earthly considerations, and reduced to a base servitude, it is given up by gross injustice to the hatred of [68] the populace. The obedience due to Bishops is set aside, and their rights are trampled under foot. Our academies and gymnasia resound horribly with new and monstrous opinions, which not only sap the Catholic faith secretly and by subterfuges, but openly make public and criminal war upon it; for when youth are corrupted by the maxims and examples of their masters, the injury to religion becomes much greater, and the perversion of morals more entire. Thus when the restraints of religion, by which alone kingdoms can subsist and authority be maintained, are shaken off, we see the progress of the ruin of public order, the downfall of princes, the overturning of all legitimate power. This mass of calamities results chiefly from the combination of those societies into which all that there is in the most criminal sects and heresies, of sacrilege, disgrace, and blasphemy, flows as into a sewer, with the mingling of all filth. These evils, venerable brethren, and many others, perhaps still more disgraceful, but which are too numerous to be repeated here, and which you very well know cause us to feel deep and bitter grief--us, whom the zeal of the whole house of God ought particularly to consume, placed as we are, in the chair of the Prince of the Apostles."

      "The Pope calls on the Bishops to assist him in keeping "the wild boar of the wood from wasting the vine, and the wolves from destroying the flock;" and declares that their duty in that respect will be performed, if, in taking heed to themselves and to their doctrines, they continually bear in mind that "the universal church is shaken by every novelty that prevails," and that according to St. Agathon, "nothing that has been decreed [by the church] should be retrenched, or changed, or added to; but that it is necessary to preserve the decrees pure, and according to their meaning and language." To secure this, they are recommended to inculcate, with great zeal, "confidence and sincere veneration" for the chair of St. Peter, remembering the words of St. Cyprian, that "he falsely flatters himself that he is in the church (of Christ) who abandons the chair of Peter on which the church is founded." They are warned against countenancing the interference of any subordinate officers or members of the church in the prerogatives of the chair, and are directed to teach the duty of implicit submission to all the ordinances promulged by the Pope."

      The alarms of "his Holiness" are very analogous to those of some of his children in this country, who are crying out, Novelties! New doctrines! Dangers to the church! Pernicious heresies, &c. The reader can improve upon the hint.

Sir John Mason's Views of the World.

      IN his last moments Sir John Mason thus addressed the family:--"Lo! I have lived to see five Princes, and have been Privy Councillor to four of them. I have seen the most remarkable things in foreign parts; and I have been present in most state transactions for thirty years at home. After so much experience, I have learned that seriousness is the greatest wisdom; temperance the best physician; and a good constitution the best estate; and were I to live again, I would change the court for a cloister; my Privy Councillor's bustle for the retirement of a hermit; and my whole life in the Palace for an hour's enjoyment of God in my closet. All things now forsake me, except my God, my duty, and my prayers." [69]

Everlasting Gospel.--No. 1.

      THIS Gospel, which has been our motto for three years past, has never yet been preached. It was the symbol of every number, though not a word has yet been said about it. As the gospel of our salvation was only found in type and prophecy, in the Jewish scriptures, so the everlasting gospel is found, in the Christian scriptures, only on the page of prophecy. We have been, for years, developing the ancient gospel: a gospel proclaimed by the twelve angels of the Messiah; first in Jerusalem, then in Samaria, and then to the uttermost parts of the earth. But now we are about to speak of a future gospel, a gospel soon to be preached; a gospel which is to be borne on the wings of an angel in the midst of heaven, whose voice is to be heard from pole to pole, and from the rising of the sun to the place of its going down. John, in vision, first saw the angel of this gospel spread his wings, and, with a speed which left behind "the swift-winged arrows of light," fly across the heavens; and as he flew, he heard a voice,--a voice of majestic and momentous import--the meaning of which no mortal yet has fully comprehended.

      "Then I saw another angel flying in the midst of heaven, having an everlasting gospel to preach to them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people." So I read it in the English Bible of 1607. The version made by James, a few years afterwards, reads, "the everlasting gospel," as if it were a gospel already defined, or that first announced by the twelve angels of the Christian institution. This is a mistranslation; and perhaps, owing to it, the great mass of readers suppose that the word everlasting is but an epithet of the gospel of remission, first preached, not in the midst of heaven, but in Jerusalem. But this epithet belongs not to the gospel of remission, and therefore no inspired man ever called the gospel of remission everlasting. Corrupted it soon was, and its triumphs have always been limited, and short-lived. As well might the law of Moses have been called universal, or everlasting; as well might any commandment, because recorded on the inspired page, be styled everlasting, as the gospel which was first promulged after Jesus was glorified. But we must not yet anticipate ourselves.

      Let it, for the present, be noticed, that the message of the angel was never before announced; that till John saw him in vision, or till the time arrived when he made his appearance in the prospective drama of the mysterious future, the items of this gospel had not been divulged. Now, that it has not yet been preached, is as plain to us as that it was not in the days of the vision and prophecy.

      Before presuming to consider the items of the everlasting gospel, we must attend to some preliminary matters; and of these, two shall suffice for the present:--

      I. The Jewish and Christian scriptures commence with history, and end with prophecy. Three lessons are implied in this fact.

      1. That historic and prophetic facts are both necessary to operate on the heart to produce those great moral results necessary to its becoming a temple of the Holy Spirit. [70]

      2. That as both history and prophecy are revelations, they are, and must be, morally intelligible, or the moral influence of them is lost to the world.

      3. That as the Jewish Scriptures, ending with prophecy, imported another dispensation; so the Christian Scriptures, ending with prophecy, intimate a new state of things on earth.

      II. The first prophecy and the last delivered to apostate man, indicate that affliction and sore trials shall always precede triumph, exaltation, and glory.

      "IT SHALL BRUISE THY HEAD."--The bruising of the serpent's head was the first gospel ever preached, and the first prophecy recorded. And when his head shall have been bruised on earth, then will be an everlasting joy, because an everlasting gospel shall have been announced to the world.

      As illustrative of the universal fact that grief and sorrow have always been the prelude of joy, be it observed that in the figurative nation this lesson was taught with a clearness and fulness that make incredulity without excuse.

      God promised Abraham that his posterity should be numerous, powerful, triumphant, in the goodliest land on the face of the earth; but that first they should suffer evil treatment, cruel and hard oppression for, hundreds of years. So reads the preface, divine and inspired, to the only infallible history of the church.

      Joseph was falsely accused, sold for a slave, and after he had suffered the greatest indignities was elevated from the dungeon to the throne of Egypt.

      Moses was drawn out of the water before he was rocked in the cradle of state, and became an exile and a shepherd before he was King in Jerusalem.

      David was snatched from the jaws of a lion, from the paw of a bear, while following the ewes with lamb; and after being persecuted like a partridge on the mountains by Saul, was placed on the throne of the Twelve Tribes, and made the boldest type in 4000 years of his Son and Lord Messiah.

      In the days of Solomon, son of David, Israel was triumphant; but David had a bloody work of it before the Queen of Sheba came from the uttermost parts of the earth to see the glory of Israel triumphant, and to hear the wisdom of its King. Jesus was born in a stable and hanged upon a tree before he was glorified; and as it was with the typical Mediator and King, and the typical church, so it was with the true Mediator and King; and so will it be with the real church of God.

      The Christian religion and the true church have been always oppressed. From the days of Herod the King, till the present, their lives have been sought--their property, reputation, and life have been accounted like sheep for the slaughter. There never has been a genuine follower of Jesus Christ, that was not an afflicted and oppressed man, either in person, property, or character; and while the dragon's head has life in it, it will not, it cannot otherwise be. Like [71] the Jewish church symbolic, the Christian was to be evilly treated for hundreds of years; for until now we have never had one Christian King, except, the name has been given in derision by Satan to his Catholic Majesty of France. Christianity and Christians have all been baptized in a cloud and in a sea of troubles from the first day of their march till now; and all that is wanting for Christians to be more hated, and to be more slandered and persecuted, is more similarity to Jesus in character, and a little more power on the part of those who surround the throne of political power. No kingdom in this world has yet become the kingdom of Jesus Christ.

To Charles Cassedy, Esq.
NO. I.


      MY desire to present entire, in one number, your very respectful and dignified communication of the 29th October, precluded my offering any remarks upon it. I could not, with due regard to the subjects on hand and the character of this periodical, engross more of its pages on one occasion, on a subject not so immediately in the direct range of the present topics of discussion; otherwise, I should have accompanied your letter with a partial reply. Even now i must divide my reply into a series of numbers, that I may afford room for other subjects of high consideration.

      Your request to the contrary alone prevents me from referring you to my Debate with Mr. Owen, for a rational consideration of some of the more prominent difficulties suggested in your letter. In that volume, it appears to me, your objections are fully considered with the exception of, perhaps, one; and that is partially noticed.

      Sorry to see one so gifted as yourself--one whose heart is so susceptible of the refined and exalted sentiments of Christianity--and whose tongue is so well furnished to plead the cause of Almighty Love--languishing without the precincts of Messiah's reign, an alien from Israel's commonwealth, and without the hope, the well-grounded hope which Christianity inspires, I feel myself impelled to offer you some reflections on the difficulties which prevent your entrance into the kingdom.

      From a careful analysis of your letter, now lying before me, the following appear to be the stumbling blocks in your way:--

      1. The variety of religious creeds, and the discordant and often contradictory materials of which they are composed.

      2. The too narrow and exclusive foundation of the Christian scheme itself, compared with the divine philanthropy developed in all the creation and providence of the Almighty Creator and Benefactor of our race. [72]

      3. The Mosaic account of creation assigns not to man an object suited to his constitution, alike worthy of him and his Maker; nor does it suitably explain many phenomena in the animal and vegetable creation.

      These, sir, if I mistake not, are the foci of your difficulties and embarrassments;--these the generic heads of the chapters of objections which have hitherto prevented your cordial acquiescence in the mission and redemption of Jesus of Nazareth. In attending to these, I think it possible to meet all that you have alleged in the very ample, perspicuous, and elegant exhibition which you have given of them in the document before me.

      On your first objection allow me to tender you the following answer:--

      1. The gospel and its counterfeits must always be regarded as two things, wholly and essentially different; else we shall imagine that any objection which lies against the abuses of Christianity, or the spurious and counterfeit gospels, lies against the gospel itself. This admission, I presume, 1 am not more prompt to require, than you to concede.

      2. The false gospels, corruptions, and apostacy, of which you justly complain, so far from being an argument, or relevant objection, against its divine original, is a confirmation of it; inasmuch as these defections are distinctly described and fully delineated by the Apostles themselves. Some of them, moreover, required that Christianity, in some shape, should become the religion of the Roman Empire before they could exist. Now, that a religion, which, at first, and during the whole lives of the original witnesses, was universally hated and persecuted, should, in so short a time, be elevated to the imperial throne, was so contrary to all antecedent events--so contrary to universal experience--that it could he known only to men guided by a Spirit to whom nothing is hid. That the Apostles were able in 20 years from the crucifixion of the Messiah, to describe a man of sin, whose very existence required the establishment of a corruption of Christianity on the imperial throne, is just as miraculous as that a Virgin should be the mother of the Saviour of the world, or that Jesus should have been raised from the dead.

      3. That Christianity should be liable to such abuses, can afford no objection to its high pretensions: because there is no gift of the Creator which is not liable to similar abuses; and if any thing was bestowed on man which he could not abuse, it would be of no moral use to him--for he cannot use that which he cannot abuse. Where there can be no vice, there can be no virtue.

      4. Neither can the differences which exist about the meaning or design of any part of the divine communication, furnish a just objection to it; because there is no science, no useful art, concerning which there have not been, and may not again be, differences of opinion. Men have not as yet agreed about the best theory of a plough, nor any of the more common implements of husbandry. Nor are the learned professions more united in the theory and practice of law and physic [73] than are the various sectarian Doctors of corrupted Christianity. But who infers from hence, that there is no truth in any science, art, or profession--no truth in law, physic, or theology, shocks all common sense.

      5. Although, as you say, "reason and the great interests of mankind seem to require but one religion, capable of embracing the whole human race," it is nevertheless true that no communication can be offered to our race which will secure unity of sentiment, feeling, faith, or opinion in those which are addressed. The sun, moon, and stars, those celestial preachers--and the ten thousand voices of the four seasons of the year, with every diurnal revolution of the earth, are unable to teach one and the same lesson to the Persian and the Scythian, to the Syrian and the Egyptian. With that volume which is supposed capable of teaching "natural religion," before the eyes of all nations, whence has it happened that the sun, moon, stars--light, fire, air, winds, water, oceans, seas, rivers, and mountains--men, renowned for both virtue and vice--departed heroes--beasts, birds, fishes, insects, reptiles--trees, shrubs, and plants--minerals and metals--jewels, and the stones of the street--have been deified and adored by nations, families, individuals, from North to South, from East to West, where the volume of nature has been the only guide! Christianity, notwithstanding its numerous abuses, has done infinitely mere than all the religions of all ages to give unity of sentiment, faith, and morals to the millions which profess it, than could ever have been found in all the generations of men previous to its introduction.

      6. That the Christian religion should, in almost 2000 years, have degenerated in such a world, (a world in heart and life opposed, to the purity of its precepts, and to the justice, mercy, and benevolence which it inculcates.) is not more strange than that the human race, originally from one stock, should now be multiplied into different races. Taking features and complexion into the account, may we not say that the fair European--the deep yellow Mongolian, or Asiatic--the copper-colored Indian, or American--the deep brown Malay, found in Malacca and the islands of the Pacific--and the jet black African, constitute five distinct races of men. If nature itself has been unable to resist the invasions of soil, climate, and various circumstances, why should it appear so marvellous, that, after traversing three quarters of the world, Christianity should have changed its visage, and have lost some of its original features? It would be as fairly in the power of logic to prove that God did not create man, because of these varieties and circumstantial differences in the race, as that he is not the author of the gospel, because of all these sectarian discrepancies of which you complain.

      7. But the preceding remarks are submitted upon other grounds than the real merits of the case; for the truth is, the gospel of Jesus Christ is no more chargeable with these sects, than is General Washington with the late "Ordinance" of South Carolina, or with the wars of Bonaparte. They all stand condemned before the tribunal of Jesus and the Holy Twelve. [74]

      Your remarks, then, my dear sir, on the pretensions of these sects, and on their arrogant, illiberal, and denouncing proceedings, justly lie at their respective doors; and it is neither in my power, nor in theirs, to remove them. Not one of them can plead Not Guilty of the allegata, and sustain their plea in the presence of the Bible and right reason. But I beg you to consider--how unreasonable, how contrary to your whole course of action in the great affairs of this life, how, illogical it would be for you to object against the gospel of Jesus, because of the follies and phrensy of sectarians in this cloudy and dark day--because of their contradictory theories, annunciations, and denunciations; when you cannot put your hand to the plough, to the shuttle, to the helm--when you cannot decide a single question of law or evidence--of physics or metaphysics--or apply for any relief to any art, science, or profession, unless you break through all the entanglements which you have ingeniously woven around yourself in reference to the gospel of God. You must make nothing of this chapter of objections in reference to every other subject; or you must fold pour arms in the most perfect supineness; neither presuming to eat, drink, sleep, or labor in any profession, because there may be many a curious question stated, many a new theory broached, which it is not yet in the power of all science and ingenuity satisfactorily to confront, nullify, or oppose. I am, after many years pondering on the infinite subjects of creation, providence, and redemption, more and more deeply impressed with the conviction that we have fewer rational difficulties to encounter, less puzzling theories to explode, less formidable objections to surmount in bowing to the divine mission and authority of Messiah the Lord of life, than in deciding upon the best form of civil government, the best code of laws, the best theory of disease and cure, or the nature of the physical constitution of man. But in our next we shall go more fully into the merits of your difficulties. Meanwhile, accept the utterance of my high consideration and respect.

Messrs. Cleland & Jennings.

      THE unclean spirit of the apocalyptic frogs appears to have possessed my friend Cleland and the nephew of the late Mr. Jennings. Their croaking is heard in all corners of the land. A half sheet, addressed to A. Campbell, has been specially directed (I have the news from all quarters) to the readers of the Harbinger----to all but to the aforesaid A. Campbell!6 Our correspondents have written to us [75] of this unclean document; and some of them have written to the aforesaid S. C. Jennings, (and all who have merited so much of his attention ought to acknowledge the favor he has bestowed upon them) informing him of the safe arrival of his circular. This is the highminded and honorable spirit of the Presbyterian church militant, if it be right to take Mr. S. C. Jennings as a specimen: but of this we are in doubt. I have the honor to have as long a list of titles affixed to my name by these champions in the work of slander and detraction as graced the late Charles Lenox, Duke of Richmond. Like other persons of title, I ought modestly to say, that my aforesaid friends are too profuse of their honors. If they will only specify any action of my life, which, in their judgment, warrants the imputations of falsehood, dishonesty, or any of the high misdemeanors of which they accuse me, perhaps we might put them to the trouble to prove it before a tribunal where more than mere assertion, and the wantonness of ambition, or the bitterness of sectarian bile will be required. If Mr. Jennings finds his uncle's book a drug on his hand--(it has lately been sold at a very reduced price--indeed, one copy for 12½ cents, within a few miles of me, and by a Presbyterian too)--if he is likely to lose, rather than gain, by selling slander, he ought not to seek to mend the matter, or to enhance its value, by reducing me so low, else the book will not sell at all!

      I presume there has not been a more complete abortion than this whole "Debate on Campbellism," from first to last. While the preachers are packing it round the country--the editors puffing it East and West--and the whole church engaged in circulating it, it sinks like lead into the mire; and not even can the Rev. Matthew Brown, D. D. nor old Doctor M'Millan, nor our Nephew, keep it above ground. There are a few individuals who think it is the next book to "the Catechism;" but these are they who never read but "the Catechism" and "Marshal's Gospel Mystery of Sanctification."

      Mr. Skillman, Mr. Cleland, and Mr. Jennings, from their recent zeal and enterprize, are furnishing us with unequivocal documents in proof of their fears and alarm on the spread of this infectious thing, called "reformation." But their calumnies and reproaches will not long form a broad shield to avert the arrows of truth, and keep their people in the dark; for the reaction of public opinion will be in the increased ratio of the unrighteous means they have adopted to blind and bind them to the interests of the church--or, rather, the priests. This passing notice of their proceedings, and we proceed to the examination of a new edition of an old slander, which, because it is now fathered by the Uncle and the Nephew--by Mr. Skillman and Dr. Cleland, we shall call it [76]

Jennings' and Cleland's New Discovery.

      The last edition of the before mentioned slander is this:--"Though you are not represented as unlearned in every thing, and though I am no philosopher, I will explain" [how your heresy is spreading.] "Just as heresy has ever done, without either of these aids." [The either refers grammatically to but two; but there are four things proposed--talent, learning, moral character, and scriptural evidence. I know not which two of these he means.] "By its adaptedness to the views and inclinations of human nature, and by its affording the hope of heaven in an easy way." This will suffice for one essay.

      I will ask the pardon of a certain class of our readers for not noticing in detail the numerous grammatical and literary blunders with which these Presbyterian Doctors abound. On the very title page of the "Debate on Campbellism" we have a singular blunder:--"In which the principles of Alexander Campbell are confuted"! Refuted, perhaps, he meant. We may confute a person, and refute principles; but how to confute, or convict principles, of error, requires more learning than I possess. But I mentioned in a former number, that we had a long list of these sins against grammar and propriety, extracted out of this work, which we did not think interesting to all our readers; and, indeed, we would not again mention the subject, if these Doctors did not profess to be judges of translations, critics, &c. These inaccuracies, and the vituperations that come from the spleen, we shall dismiss with the present apology, and proceed to the more serious task of examining the allegata.

      The reason why the cause we plead (alias heresy) gains so much confidence, and spreads with so much rapidity, we are gravely told proceeds rather from its affording the hope of heaven in an easy way, than from talent, learning, character, or scriptural evidence.

      Reader, you will please keep this assertion in mind. Our views are palatable, because "they afford the hope of heaven in an easy way"! Now, let me ask, comes it not in a very questionable shape from these Doctors to talk of "an easy way?"--these Doctors who will have all the fleshly seed of Presbyterian ancestors--of that peculiar blood, if in father or mother, I say, who will have all such children of Presbyterian flesh (and wherein is it better than yours or mine?) carried in the arms of the flesh into the very bosom of the church, even before the sacred desk, and the holy bason, to have it "engrafted into Christ"? And does not the Creed say, (chap. xxviii.) "Baptism is a sacrament of the New Testament, ordained by Jesus Christ; not only for the solemn admission of the party baptized into the visible church; but also to be unto him a sign and seal of the covenant of grace, of his ingrafting into Christ, of regeneration, of remission of sins, and of his giving up unto God through Jesus Christ to walk in newness of life"? Now, I ask the most obdurate and intractable of my Presbyterian friends, whether the infants of the whole Presbyterian church (and they are not a few) do not find an easy way of being engrafted into Christ--of receiving the sign and seal of the whole covenant of [77] grace--of remission of sins and of regeneration too!!!! Was ever remission of sins, ingrafting into Christ, and regeneration, proposed on such easy terms? No faith in the subject--no repentance required. Presbyterian modesty, whither hast thou fled? You talk of an easy way of obtaining the blessings of the New Covenant; and who under the heavens offers salvation more cheap than you? Or is it your belief that baptism is not a sign and seal of the covenant of grace--is not a sign and seal of ingrafting into Christ--of regeneration?--is not a sign and seal of remission of sins? Why, then, publish it to the world as your faith?

      Dr. Samuel Ralston charged me once with the crime of making salvation too hard! He said that it was an anabaptistical error to talk of having a pure church, or a church composed of regenerated men. No, he would have the tares and the wheat both growing in the church. His words are:--'The church of Christ was designed to embrace others besides saints, or persons regenerated, whose duty and privilege it is to attend on the ordinances of divine appointment, that they may be regenerated." How, then, can baptism be a sign of regeneration on this theory? From such Doctors may the good Lord speedily save the world! to say nothing of the church!?

      Thus one Doctor says it is not easy enough, and another says it is too easy; and yet both make it as easy as carrying an infant to the bason and the priest!

      But there never was a more unmerited slander pronounced upon any people, than the above. The brethren who preach the ancient gospel and urge the ancient order of things, so far from making the way to heaven more easy in the Presbyterian sense, do repudiate their system for no other reason in the world, but because it proposes salvation without obedience. Read the Catechism--read the Creed:--"Justification is an act of God's free grace;" "election is an act of God's free grace;" "sanctification is an act of God's free grace;" "adoption is an act of God's free grace;" and "faith is the gift of God;" and God, from all eternity, personally, and unconditionally, and unalterably decreed A, B, and C, to be heirs of glory, antecedent to, and independent of, any Saith or obedience, repentance or reformation.

      We, on the contrary, while we bless God for his mercy and favor abounding to us through his Son, say to all unregenerate men, "He that believes and is baptized, shall be paved; and he that believes not, shall be condemned;" and to the baptized we say, that Jesus has become the author of an eternal salvation only to all who obey him; and that without holiness of heart and life no man shall see the Lord. We exhort and beseech all the disciples to meet every Lords day to show forth the Saviour's death, to celebrate his resurrection, to keep all his commandments, and daily and hourly to cultivate personal and family piety; for unless there is a perfect heart, and a perfect devotion of the whole soul to Jesus Christ, we regard it all as the form of godliness without the power.7 [78] indeed, my grand objection to Presbyterianism more than twenty years ago, was the impunity which I thought it held out to disobedience, and the heartless manner in which it maintained a few forms and ceremonies. Had it been that pure and devout thing which these gentry would make it, I do not think my eyes would have been so soon, or, perhaps, at all, opened to its foolish rites and ceremonies; nor to so deep a sense of the need of reformation, especially among its preachers; for 1 know no men more' in need of the regeneration of the heart, and a genuine conversion to God, than many of these priestly declaimers about the necessity of heart religion. Witness their words and their works!!

Epaphras--No. 6.


      PROMPTED by a deep-felt interest in the reformation for which you so incessantly and extensively labor, I again take up my pen to address you upon this all-important subject; and shall proceed to state my apprehensions of the grand result of the proposed reformation, from what I have been able to ascertain of its practical influence upon the temper and conduct of the individuals, families, and societies that have professedly and practically embraced it.

      In order to this, permit me to recall your attention, and that of your reforming brethren, to the professed object of the proposed reformation. Was it not the restoration of genuine apostolic Christianity; as expressly inculcated on the pages of the New Testament, both in faith and practice? Not in faith only, but also in practice? I mean in the whole tenor of conversation and conduct--in word and deed. That they who profess this reformation have all embraced the faith once delivered to the saints, without addition or diminution, they are all prompt to affirm. I do not recollect to have met with a single exception: and, not only so, but to prove it too, by showing that they heartily, and without equivocation or mental reservation, believe and assert every thing concerning God, and Christ, and the Holy Spirit, and every expression of the divine will, and every ascription of glory, honor, and praise; and, in short, every divine declaration concerning every thing mentioned in the Holy Scriptures; and, of course, hold themselves bound to obey, in the plain, unequivocal, constructive meaning of the words and phrases, every thing enjoined by the Apostles upon the primitive disciples, as far as opportunity offers; that is, as far as circumstances will admit. Now, I must confess, that this is saying a great deal; and that, allowing the Scriptures to be a plain, honest, intelligible, and benevolent revelation; or communication of the divine will, for the present and future happiness of man, it would appear quite sufficient to answer every desirable purpose, even the grand end proposed; namely, the restoration of genuine apostolic Christianity. But, after all, I must confess, I feel disappointed as to the expected result; and am ready to inquire, "What do you more than others?" Individually considered, except the common morality, [79] which equally characterizes every consistent professor of every sect, what do the professed disciples of the primitive gospel more than others? Are they not as gay, as jocose, as worldly, as fashionable as their neighbors, all things considered? Where is their self-denying obedience, their edifying conversation and demeanor; their labors at love for the relief and comfort of the more indigent? &c. &c.--all which are so expressly inculcated in the apostolic writings.

      Next, in passing from individuals to families composed of such individuals, the parents and guardians of which are also professed subjects of this reformation; the same question forcibly recurs--What do they more than others? Many of them, to my certain knowledge, I can assure you, come far short of the attentions to family edification, which prevail amongst the religious of other sects. I mean, the daily reading of the Holy Scriptures, with praise and prayer: which, indeed, may be done to but little purpose, unless accompanied with pertinent remarks, and edifying conversation upon the various important subjects which the Scriptures, when read with attention, always suggest. Add to this, that many of these families live as much to themselves, and to the world, as those who make no profession. Now as families are the nurseries of society, both civil and religious, if the proper and divinely appointed training be neglected, society becomes corrupted at the very fountain. The training up of families, therefore, in the correction and instruction of the Lord, according to Eph. vi. 4. Deut. vi. 6. & xi. 18, &c. is a duty of such radical--of such vital importance, that it appears just as reasonable to expect to find family health and comfort, without regular family meals, as to find a family enjoying christian health and comfort, without regular attention to the means divinely appointed for that purpose. Moreover, as Christianity, in the very spirit and principle of it, is of a social nature; every subject of it becoming, as such, a member of a divinely organized body; it is utterly inconceivable, how such can cohabit under the same roof, without daily and frequent intercourse in the very things, in which their chief gratification consists.

      Lastly, as to the societies or churches of this reformation, as far as my acquaintance extends,, I feel prompted to ask, What do they more than others? You will perceive by my repeated application of this practical question, to the professing subjects of the proposed reformation, individually considered, that I suppose they should do more than others. Most assuredly I do; for if otherwise, I must consider it a mere puff. But as to the churches I grant that a number of them meet every first day, and attend to all the instituted ordinances of Christian worship; but so do also other churches not professedly connected with the reformation which you advocate; and, except the weekly observance of the Lord's supper, thousands of churches, of different denominations, spend as much time in the public exercises of religion every first day, as any of the reforming churches of my acquaintance, and also contribute as liberally of their property for pious and charitable purposes. Again, you cannot be ignorant, that there are many of these churches called reformers, or reformed, [80] which meet but once or twice a month, and some of them which do not attend to the Lord's supper on all their first day meetings. But even suppose there were no such deficiencies, but that they all met every first day, and at every meeting attended to all the ordinances of Christian worship, would this amount to the proposed object. I anticipate your answer would be in the negative. No doubt you would feel disposed to inquire with me, Have all these members the same care for one another, that each has for himself, so far as respects the necessary comforts and enjoyments of life? Would you not feel disposed to ask, If one member suffers, do all the other members sympathize with it, and conspire, as far as possible, to afford it relief? Would you not ask, Are all the members personally and intimately acquainted with each other, as far as numbers and other circumstances will admit? Likewise, if there be any widows or orphans unprovided for--untaught? or, any poor families laboring under such privations? &c. &c.

      Now, sir, I can assure you, there are some societies of the reformation, within the bounds of my acquaintance, that have attained to, what they conceive, a pure scriptural exhibition of gospel worship and order, in most, if not all of which, the supposed deficiencies, specified in the above queries, do really exist: and it is quite possible, that you yourself may have noticed such deficiencies. Is it so, then, after all the outcry and declamation we have heard against the sectarian corruptions of the Christian institution, that this specimen of pure, genuine, apostolic Christianity, which we have contemplated, and upon which we have been animadverting, is to be considered as the grand result of the boasted reformation, which is to introduce the halcyon era of the Millennium, and to constitute the glory of the latter day!!! I hope, sir, you will by no means understand this appeal to you and your associates in the arduous and desirable enterprize in which you and they are, I believe, conscientiously and honestly engaged, as intended to discredit or discourage the attempt; but, on the contrary, to prevent what appears to be the too justly apprehended catastrophe of your laudable exertions, provided something better than what has yet appeared, be not accomplished. For surely the ground you have taken is the dernier resort, the last practicable means that can be adopted to restore pure and undefiled religion, and Christian morality, to a corrupted sectarian world. Now, if this should fail, all is lost in irremediable hopeless impracticability; for, if taking hold of every sentence as it dropped from the Apostles' lips or pen, and was confessedly received and acted upon by the primitive disciples, will not restore us to true primitive apostolic Christianity, what would do it? We might, in such an event, well exclaim with David, "If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do?" Surely if these fail when acted upon, all is lost. And is not this the very ground which you and your fellow-laborers have assumed? This awful consideration, then, (1 mean the awful responsibility of the undertaking,) ought certainly to awake the utmost vigilance, the deepest interest in all concerned, not merely for their own sake, but for [81] the sake of the whole world. It is well shown in the course of your publications, that the failures of former attempts at reformation may be justly accounted for upon the ground of partiality, and of the intermixture of human opinions in the very foundation upon which they were superstructed. But should the reformation you so plausibly and emphatically urge, fail to produce the promised effect, to what must it be attributed? Certainly not to either of the above causes; for you exclude both.--The former, by assuming every thing taught and enjoined by the Apostles as matters of faith and practice--the latter, by excluding every thing of human opinion or inference from having any place in the constitution, faith, or worship of the Christian church. These are the very terms of the document lying before me, published in 1809, and republished, as appears from the copy before me 1832, with an appeal to all your readers, and hearers too, to point out a single instance of deviation from the above principle. These things being so, (and I assume not to dispute them,) to what must, and will we ascribe a failure to effect the thing proposed, if not to the utter and hopeless impracticability of the matter. Wherefore, as one sincerely desirous both of witnessing and enjoying the blissful fruits of the proposed reformation, I do most sincerely and repeatedly urge upon all concerned the above consideration of the unhappy and hopeless result of the apprehended failure. In the mean time, to prevent mistakes respecting the intention of the above animadversions, I freely declare that, in my opinion, both the object proposed and the means adopted to effect it, are divine and practicable; and that where any failure appears, it must neither be ascribed to the means nor the end, but to the manner and management, or rather, mismanagement of the agents. Is it asked, How or wherein does this appear? I would answer, In making the reformation, urged upon the public ear, to consist more in opinions than in faith and practice; that is, in the establishment of a more perfect scripture theory, than is proposed and taught by any of the existing sects; and, consequently, in disproving many of their leading and practical positions by establishing and enforcing the truth of their opposites. For instance, baptism, if you please; and here, the first thing, to prove the meaning of the term; the next, the import of the ordinance; and so, of course, to call persons to embrace it, or to submit to it for the end proposed--that is, for the remission of sins. Now, in as far as persons are induced to act upon this exhibition of the ordinance, they act upon premises very different, indeed, from those addressed to the primitive converts. The premises upon which they were induced; did not consist in a scriptural demonstration of the meaning of the word, and of the import of the ordinance; but upon a divine or scriptural demonstration of the divine character, of the actual character and condition of the hearers, of the amazing love, condescension, and mercy of God towards them in that condition, with the high and blissful consequence present and future, immediately resulting from the belief and obedience of these glad and joyful tidings, which directed all that believed them to be baptized forthwith in order to the [82] immediate enjoyment of the proposed salvation, and thenceforth to all that exercise of piety, of brotherly kindness, and love, recorded Acts ii. &c. &c. Now, I ask, is it not obvious, both from the premises and consequences before us, that these primitive converts proceeded upon principles very different from those which actuate the majority of the subjects of the present reformation, though they apparently confess and do the same things; I mean, with respect to baptism. The latter, for the most part, may, in a consistency with the premises upon which they are called to act, have only changed their opinion of the ordinance, and submitted to it that they might be pardoned; whereas the former, in consistency with the premises upon which they acted, must have commenced their Christian profession under the direct and immediate influence of the conviction of their guilty perishing condition, of the love of God towards them in that wretched condition, now manifested in Christ for their perfect and immediate relief, even the forgiveness of sins, the inhabitation of the Holy Spirit, the adoption of sons, and the life everlasting; and thus they were led into a new family; the temper, the practice, the enjoyments, and character of which are described Acts ii. and elsewhere, to the end of the book.

      Now, we know, that as much; yea, very much, depends upon a right beginning; so also, very much depends upon following it up in a proper and consistent manner: the first and last of the seven epistles addressed to the Asiatic churches, recorded Rev. ii. & iii. will amply suffice to illustrate and confirm this position. But I perceive I have exceeded. "He that has ears to hear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches."
  Yours very respectfully,

      ----> Reply to Epaphras in our next. The number of documents on hand is so great, that we must postpone some of them till a more convenient season.

Address to the Virginia Baptists.

Dear Brethren,

      HAVING before shown my warrant to style you my brethren on account of all that enters into the essence of a Baptist, I will now add a few more reasons why I think I may do it with still greater propriety.

      We both professedly believe the whole testimony of the Twelve Apostles--all the facts as they are on record--and the primary ones, as narrated in "the Apostles' Creed"!! We, in one summary, believe that "there is one body and one spirit, as we also have been called to one hope of our calling: one Lord, one faith, one immersion, one God and Father of all, who is over all, and with all, and in us all."

      We also agree that the Lord Jesus requires of us not only that we call him Lord and Master; but that we do all that he commands us. Now permit me to tell you, with all the solemnity and sincerity that there are in Christ Jesus, that this is the real ground of difference, as far as difference there is, between you and us: not, however, in acknowledging that we ought to do all that he [83] commands us; but in the willingness to do, and in the attempt to do, all that he has commanded us. Your preachers--(some of them I mean, and not a few of them,) have not only attempted to pervert, but have, to a certain extent, succeeded in perverting your minds, and in sophisticating the question, the great question which first called forth our energies. You have been led to believe that we are unsound in the faith, fund o: some new theory, opposed to your views on speculative and argumentative grounds; that we plead for some undefined new system of opinions, &c. &c. Nay, Mr. Broaddus himself long since sounded a dread alarm among you, that we were aiming a deadly blow at the vitals--the very soul of piety. His "TAKE HEED," his "BEWARE," and his pastoral "ADMONITIONS" to you, have all been dictated by a jealousy which you may, if you please, call holy and devout; by a jealousy that we were unsound at heart, destitute of genuine piety--unacquainted with his peculiar work of the Spirit, and wholly natural and unregenerate; that we were privily bringing in some damnable heresies, and about to subvert the very pillars of the spiritual temple, of which you are spiritual stones; that we denied the Holy Spirit in some dangerous way--were either Unitarians, Arians, or some way heretical on the Trinitarian hypothesis--doubly dangerous, because of the excellency of many of our views; which were like the envelope to the poisonous pill, which was to work death in you, and prostrate all genuine piety and spirituality in the churches, &c. &c. &c.

      Thus has the question been metamorphosed; and while we have been calling upon you to reform, for the day of vengeance upon corrupted Christianity is at hand, you have been taught to cry out heresy! and gravely told that there as death in the pot! Messrs. Clopton and Broaddus have, though with very different talents, and with a very different manifestation of temperament, physical and moral, worked these views and feelings into a considerable portion of your congregations; so that you are as completely blinded and perverted in mind on the real merits of the question we have been discussing, as ever was your Paidobaptist neighbors on the subject of infant sprinkling, by their ingenious guides.

      I say, then, in the solemnity and sincerity which are in Christ Jesus, that we plead not for a mere change of views--for a new speculative creed; but for keeping the commandments--for doing the things which the Lord has commanded.

      If any opinion has been attacked, it was because we saw in it some obstacle to your holiness and happiness. For example, in the 8th number, vol. 1 of the Christian Baptist, we attacked a popular notion of 'christian experience,' hazarded a controversy of ten years, provoked the odium theologicum, and all the vituperation of "the called and sent;" because we saw in that opinion an insuperable hindrance to your spirituality, holiness, and happiness. But in this attempt to awake your attention, and that of others, to the pathology of that moral disease, which so often and so long compelled you to exclaim, "My leanness! My leanness!" was it, think you, for the sake of establishing a new theory of conversion, or of Christian experience? No; but because we saw in the clear light of demonstration, that this notion of physical operations, or a conversion to God by some sudden impulse, without the word, and your Christian experience before the Christian life began, worked like a cancer upon the very vitals of Christian experience, properly so called.

      Thousands we saw relying upon some "work of grace" experienced twenty years ago--upon some pangs, and fears, and calms, called regeneration--fast asleep in the cradle of once in grace, always is favor--confident that "he who had begun a good work in them would surely carry it on to perfection." Others in the same notion, but of a different organization, were reeling to and fro, under the intoxicating influence of evangelical pharisaism.

      By that essay which appeared in vol. 1, C. B. were called forth nine essays in vol. 2, "on the work of the Holy Spirit is the salvation of men" These essays were, however, commended in very high terms by your Paulinus, your Christianos, and your Andrew Broaddus. No one of the orthodox censured [84] them for what they did say; but some censured them for what they did not say. It is, however, difficult to decide whether we could have been more criminated for asserting the most flagrant errors on that subject, than for not asserting the favorite dogma of your teachers in the prescribed form of words which their Creed required.

      For not asserting every word of the favorite dogma, we obtained the good reputation of being "an enemy to vital piety--destitute of heartfelt, experimental religion--an advocate of a religion without a change of heart," &c. Thus, while attempting to awaken your attention to the necessity of a thorough reformation of manners, and opposing your theory of conversion by miracle, and of Christian experience before obedience, because subversive, in our judgment, of genuine Christian experience--of the purity, and peace and love, and hope, and joy there are in Christ Jesus--you were induced to consider us as new theorists, rather than as pleaders for a restoration of the Christian institutions, and of the piety and morality of the ancient disciples.

      But our pen would never have disturbed the repose, called "the peace of the churches," had we not been compelled to regard it as deceitful and death-like, rather than as the peace of God--the rest which is in Christ. Can it be the peace of God when the authority of his Son and the commandments of his Apostles are disparaged!--when human dogmas usurp the place of the Apostles' doctrine, and institutions merely human make void the ordinances of heaven! Could any Christian regard the peace of the Catholic church in the 12th and 13th centuries as the peace of God? Can any one now regard the peace of any fraction of any modern sect as the peace which Jesus bequeathed to his disciples? How, then, could any intelligent Christian regard the peace of which you boast, in the years 1820, --'21, --'22, as the peace of God?

      Were you as zealous for all the commandments and institutions of the Messiah, as you are for "the subject and mode of baptism," we never would have found occasion to say one word about reformation. Your zeal for baptism is well known; because your existence as a sect depends upon the proper subject and action. But has not your zeal been wholly expended on this one commandment, so that the sanctification of the Lord's day, and the observance of the Lord's supper on that day, are matters of expediency rather than of divine obligation?

      Do you not neglect the assembling of yourselves together on the first day of the week, except when curiosity prompts you to hear a sermon, or some new preacher?

      Do you not allow one preacher to have the pastoral care of a plurality of churches?

      Do you not pay him for preaching the gospel to you, and for leading in your worship; and allow him to receive pay from three or four churches besides, for performing for them the same services periodically?

      Do you not in your meetings neglect the reading of the Holy Scriptures, and proscribe in the public assembly all gifts but the classic or assumed gifts of your preacher?

      Do you not conform to the numerous traditions of the elders respecting covenants, creeds, and associations, which rest wholly upon human authority, to the neglect of those things plainly inculcated in the Epistles?

      Are personal and family piety the distinguishing criteria of a Christian profession among you; or are there not in good standing in your congregations many who wholly neglect parental religious instruction, and the constant worship and praise of the Lord in their families?

      Have sobriety, humility, justice, mercy, and the love of God been as highly prized, or as sedulously cultivated, as unity of opinion and soundness in theory amongst the members of your congregations.

      Are not the Baptists generally now much more conformed to the world, professing and non-professing; much more like the sects by them acknowledged to [85] be the descendants of Babylon the Great, than they are to those of your profession, twenty, thirty, or forty years ago? Is not a reformation in all these respects necessary?

      But when we approach your ecclesiastical courts, your conventions, committees, associations, and advisory councils, are they not as tyrannical and oppressive, as proscriptive and unrighteous as any courts in America?

      You seem to boast of the republican character of your institutions; yet what courts have gone farther than yours in condemnatory and extra-judicial proceedings?--Presbyterian, Episcopalian, or Methodistic tribunals? No! not one of them!

      If a person is accused of error in opinion or in practice in any other court, save your, the charges are specified, and he is at liberty to defend himself. He may appeal to some other tribunal if he thinks himself oppressed; and can have an impartial hearing. But while you protest against superior courts and all appeals from the decisions of one congregation, you sometimes call in a council of churches to help you to condemn the arraigned; yet allow him no redress. Often the church is the accuser, witness, and judge in the case. How many hundreds of persons within a few years have been arraigned, condemned, and excluded for error in opinion, in your courts; not one of whom was willing to admit the indictment; yet were treated as if guilty of all? I repeat it, that no greater tyranny is known under this government, than was exercised by the last Dover Association; and shall in my next proceed, in due order, to state, illustrate, and prove it.

Progress of Reform.

"WAYNE COUNTY, KY. September 18, 1832."      

      [This letter was overlooked in its proper time. We shall give a few extracts from it and some others laid over.]

      "In the church at Monticello there are about sixty members. In that on Beaver Creek, about fifty. In that called the Gholson church, recently constituted, about thirty-four. We are going prosperously forward in the work of the Lord; seldom meet without having additions made to the family of God. About three weeks since we immersed an old lady, of good mind and sound understanding, 18 days advanced into her 90th year; she is the mother of sister Whitten, brother's wife of Christopher Greenup, former Governor of this state. She had been 45 years a member of the Methodist church. The Lord opened her heart, and she rejoiced to see the salvation of God."
J. C. FRISBIE.      

NICHOLASVILLE, KY. January 14, 1833.      

      It affords me much pleasure upon every proper occasion, to communicate or hear of the prosperity of Zion. In my letter to you a few days since, I informed you that I had immersed about forty here and neighborhood during toe past year. Last Lord's day two weeks I immersed an old lady who is 71, for the remission of sins, near this. Yesterday morning I immersed two more, notwithstanding it was snowing very hard. Last night I spoke to a large collection of souls, about two miles from town. The subject was, the Gospel Proclamation. After the discourse an invitation was given to confess, which was urged upon the people; but no person came forward, and we were dismissed. After I had got out of the yard for home, a messenger came after me to return. I did so with as many of the brethren as had not yet went away, when a lady and gentleman made the confession. I asked if they would go the same hour of the night and be buried with their Lord. They said.' "We will go." Clothes were furnished, and off we marched through [86] snow and ice about a quarter of a mile. The banks were lined with spectators, some of whom held torches. Thus we teach the people to obey forthwith. I thank the Lord for our prosperity as a church, not only in adding souls, but in their growth of grace and the knowledge of the truth. We meet every Wednesday night to read and converse about the word; also, upon every Lord's day to break bread, read, exhort, contribute, &c. &c. and I can truly say, we have abundant reason to rejoice in God. May God speed the truth and success of his cause! Farewell.
GEO. W. ELLEY.      

NICHOLASVILLE, KY, December 31, 183      

      Brother John Smith, who has been laboring as an evangelist during the past year with much success, has agreed to travel all 1833, the Lord willing.

      In the extract which you made from my last letter to you, in the 11th No. of the Millennial Harbinger, you have mistaken the name John Rice for John Brice; and I feel solicitous that it should be corrected, because I should stand chargeable with a misrepresentation of facts, which I am unwilling to suffer, and which the good cause we are engaged in does not require in order to keep it up.
GEO. W. ELLEY.      

COLUMBIA, KY, September 1, 1832.      

      The reformation here is making gigantic strides, yet 'tis all done with the sword of the Spirit; and notwithstanding we have had severe opposition, at present we have a temporary calm by reason of the sectaries having to leave the field of investigation for want of fair and manly argument. I have thought many times an expression of yours has been verified in our opponents--that "the present reformation will either drive them to it, or into Paidobaptism." It does appear that some of our Baptist brethren had rather deny baptism altogether, than to acknowledge the well attested fact--"baptism for the remission of sins."

      The church of Christ in this place, which was constituted about four or five months since, with seven members, numbers between forty and fifty. Brothers Stearman and Waters were among us in June, and refreshed us much in the Lord: and since that time between fifty and a hundred have obeyed the Lord in immersion. Nothing can impede the reformation but the reformers themselves; and I have really thought, brother, that if our teachers would exhort to holiness of heart more, times would be better. For the battle is won, our opposers have left the field, and given us full possession. I would like to see something to this effect in the Harbinger; I believe it would have a salutary effect.
A. ALLEN.      

MAYSVILLE, KY. January 18, 1833.      

      Brother David J. Burnett came among us a few days since, on a visit; since which time he has favored us with a few lectures on the subject of Christianity. We have abundant reason to thank God that the triumphs of the cross are still great, and that the labors of our brother have not been fruitless. Merchant Rowzee and Hatton, their wives, and another lady, (whose name I do not recollect,) have, disregardless of the frowns of the world and the intense coldness of the weather, manifested sufficient courage to take upon them that name in which alone there is salvation, by being baptized into the death of our Lord.

      We rejoice exceedingly to see our friends realize that promise which Peter taught the Jews on the day of Pentecost, was to them and their children, and even to them who were afar off.

      The above mentioned individuals, who, within the last few days have be. Come living stones in the temple of Christ, are persons of intelligence and Influence in the society of this place, which induces us to hope that some of their former associates will copy their example.
R. C. RICKETTS. [87]      

BRADFORD COUNTY, PA. October 29, 1832.      

      In the western part of this county there are now about three hundred disciples; fifteen have recently been buried with Christ in baptism, and more expected. Brethren Shepard, Sweet, Rockwell, Rogers, and some others are engaged in promulgating the truth as it is in Jesus, and their labors are blessed of God.
D. BULLOCK.      

GERMANTOWN, KY. January 10, 1833.      

      I am sorry that your very useful paper has no more readers in this neighborhood; but more so, that there are so few students of the precious oracles of God. And I am much of the opinion, that those who are most studious of the Bible, are most fond of examining the Harbinger. For those who love to read God's word, love to read every thing written concerning it, tending to induce to a reading of it.

      Within the last three months brother Abernathey has baptized twenty-four persons in the lower part of this (Bracken) county. At Germantown we are yet in a disorganized state, notwithstanding we have a name that we live. May the good Lord help us to reform, and bless, with us all who love his name!
J. H. HOLTON.      

FALMOUTH, KY. January 5, 1833.      

      Since the middle of October last, in the section of country where I live, I have received into membership and baptized fifty persons for the remission of sins. The gospel is bearing down all opposition in this part of the country.

STREETSBOROUGH, O. January 16, 1833.      

      Brother Campbell--I have just returned again from a cruise, and have captured six vessels to the Lord. We are on the gaining hand with the sects; but laborers are needed more than any thing else. True Christian character and enterprize among the churches must do every thing in the neighborhoods where disciples live; but the converts cannot do without help. We find that where there have been most constant instructions the cause does best.

      In many new places the prospect is very good, especially in the town of Brunswick, Medina county. Two months ago I left the Debate with Owen there. Five weeks afterwards I spoke there, and found a number much taken with the book; conversed with several till midnight; was there two days ago, and although a Methodist three days meeting was held there at the time, I had a goodly number to hear two speeches. In the first, showed the object of all good governments is the good of the people; but, however wise and good the object, people enjoyed the benefit only in obedience. Instanced Washington as the deliverer and lawgiver of his country, and the superior happiness of the American people, only by obeying the constitution and laws. Showed the happiness of Israel, through obedience to the government of Moses, their saviour and legislator. Showed Jesus to be a king, deliverer, lawgiver; that he is no tyrant; his laws good in their design; and their wisdom consists in being the best ways and means to effect their objects--that the glory of a King consists in the happiness and peace of his kingdom.

      Second speech--showed how God purifies the heart in obeying; or, in other works, how he makes sinners live here by forgiving their sins. The effect was visible with many, especially a Presbyterian Deacon, much respected, and a Methodist of first standing, who requested to be immersed; but as there was no water convenient, they concluded to defer it till I am there again, when they will go with me six miles, where I expect some others to obey. Mr. Fisk's (the Methodist) wife, immersed by the Baptists in New York, is also coming over. She is the only person that ever asked me to speak on baptism on first seeing me; but as I hope to see you in March, I shall say no more at present.
WILLIAM HAYDEN. [88]      

VINCEENES, IA. December 10, 1832.      

      I have returned home; and on yesterday, at Bruceville, I was appointed by the brethren a messenger of the churches, to travel among them, proclaiming the word of life, the message of God's philanthropy to all who will hear it May the God of all grace bless their humble labors. On yesterday also I immersed four into Jesus Christ for remission. And on this evening I am to make my debut in this sectarian, Roman Catholic, and infidel town. May my God help me! I know my own ignorance and inability to perform this great work; and from this you may form some idea of our necessity in this region. This is probably the best that can at this time be done here. I am now more than ever impressed with the belief of the necessity of praying the Lord of the harvest to send forth laborers into the fields. To me it is, indeed, a matter of sorrow that your unworthy brother is the only one that can be induced to ride constantly in this country; but under all these disadvantages it is encouraging to know that the brethren generally are hearty in the cause. They well know who gives the increase, and I believe their prayers will be answered.
M. R. TRIMBLE.      

CINCINNATI, O. October 16, 1832.      

      My dear Brother--I am happy to inform you that since my return to this place I have immersed more or less every Lord's day--the exact number I cannot say--twenty-five or thirty. On last Lord's day I immersed also eleven, and some others are in readiness to obey. I think that a very general spirit of inquiry has been awakened among us, and that we may reasonably expect here and throughout this region of country, a goodly increase to the number of the Lord. We are greatly in need of some half dozen intelligent, zealous, and wise proclaimers of the gospel among us, to go forth in all directions from this city. The country is, indeed, ripe for the harvest, but the laborers are few. Since my return I have had persons to travel here 30 and 40 miles to obey the gospel, who have carried the good seed of the word home, and are dispersing it among their neighbors.

      Brother Scott is still in bad health, and my labors are necessarily confined almost exclusively to the city.

      The Cholera is among us, and is raging with considerable violence; the disease, however, is not so fatal now as it was a few days since.

CINCINNATI, O. January 14, 1833.      

      Brother Campbell--I have the pleasure of informing you that I have just returned from a visit to the Rising Sun, a small village in Indiana, 40 miles below this city; in which place I labored in word and teaching for three days, and immersed twenty-one persons. In the last month, on a visit to the same place, I immersed sixteen persons, and collected the disciples who were residing in the place into one body, who now agree to meet on the first day to attend to the institutions of the Lord. The congregation of disciples have agreed to build a one-story meeting house, and already have nearly a sufficient quantity of materials and money subscribed to accomplish the object. Since my return to this place last July, I have immersed about fifty persons in the city and vicinity.

      With great confidence of success in the cause we plead, I remain your brother in the Lord.

SHELBYVILLE, KY. December 18, 1832.      

      The cause of reformation is spreading in our little village. Since I last wrote you we have increased in number. We are now seventy-two--all warm hearted disciples, marching like a band of soldiers--not afraid of our views--for I discover all denominations are sliding imperceptibly into our views. Brothers Fleming and Fall are our preachers. The former is a good recruiting officer, and the latter a great teacher.
G. W. NUCKOLS. [89]      

RISING SUN, IA. December 22, 1832.      

      Brother Challen, of Cincinnati, visited us agreeable to request on last Lord's day, and spoke to the people concerning the things of the kingdom of our Lord and Saviour. This being done on Bible grounds and terms, sixteen persons became convinced of the necessity of obedience before regeneration, made the good confession, and were baptized or immersed into the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, for the remission of their sins.

      Brother Challen is the first proclaimer of the ancient order of things who has visited us. Should his success be known, I hope some of the travelling brethren will find it convenient to call and continue the good impression among the people toward this order of things, which brother Challen has left on their minds.
JOHN B. CRAFT.      

MURFREESBOROUGH, TEN. October 8, 1832.      

      Lately the Concord Association of Separate Baptists have had a meeting. Brothers Peyton Smith, C. Curtis, and others of the reformation, were members of the Association, and went up to it, that they might get clear, or, as brother Smith remarked to it, "Wash his hands of all such filth," and escape a publication. After some contention about it, the brethren received letters of dismission in full fellowship, but were voted down so as to be excluded from preaching in the house. This was done, I am informed, (for I was not there,) by bringing two or three who did not belong to the Association, and who served their dirty purposes. The brethren, (without giving any formal or public declaration of their intention,) retired to a neighboring grove, half a mile off, and addressed an audience that followed them, and four professed faith. One intelligent lady was immersed; and others, for want of necessary apparel, put it off a few days. All have yielded thus before you get this letter.

      The members of Concord continued to belabor themselves, and adjourned without a convert to their folly. Such is the discord of Concord; such the efficacy of human inventions to bind and keep together a jarring world. O that men would cease making laws for each other, and be governed by the laws of King Jesus!

      The opposition here is (as I expect it is elsewhere) revelling greatly in the triumphant refutation by Dr. Jennings. I have read the book, and setting aside the absolute (innocent I suppose) misrepresentations of the Doctor, I think the total ignorance he displays of the object of the various divisions of the Scriptures, is enough to make Presbyterianism itself blush.

      The author of "75 cents worth of slander" seems to think, or to have thought, that he might take any part of the word (from the Old or New Testament) and apply it to the present heterogeneous condition of man, calling on them at the same time to receive it all as directly addressed to them, or, in other words; he makes no difference in speakers or hearers, times or circumstances. He would have addressed a Philippian jailor, who never had heard of Jesus, just as he would the audience of Jews at Solomon's Portico, who had not only heard of him, but probably been witnesses to his martyrdom; and would even in this reading day have addressed neither as the Apostles did. He had forgotten that John the Dipper was greater than Moses, and that the humblest Christian is greater than John; and hence he strives to make Moses' writings obligatory on the disciples of Jesus!

      The Doctor, like many others, (if he were on earth,) could be taught by Priscillas (as was Apollos) the ways of the Lord more perfectly. It is distressing, indeed, to hear one of "the called" stultifying their hearers, who do not believe the gospel, with quotations from the Epistles, a part of the oracles of Heaven addressed exclusively to the members of Christ's body; nor is it less irksome to hear them lecture a congregation from some of the historic parts of the Testament, urging upon them faith in a triune God, that they may be saved. Few of them, indeed, seem to know that the four first books of the New Testament were written, as John says, that men might believe, [90] or as evidence or proof that Jesus was the Christ; that Acts were written to show men, after they had faith, how they might enter into Jesus' kingdom and obtain pardon from their condemned situation; or that the Epistles were written exclusively for the government, instruction, and encouragement of the disciples. Hence I think has arisen much of the confusion of this discordant day; and Dr. Jennings seems to have been as ignorant of these natural divisions as he was redundant in broad epithets and unargumentative abuse. Did the limits of a letter admit of it, it would be no difficult matter to show in his refutation, where he in speaking or writing (for he has written things in his book which he did not speak) of the sinner, has wrested from its connexion passages to the adopted sons of God, to those who by obedience had been constituted his kings and priests; and he has acted contrarywise also. Now if there be so little difference between the saint and sinner, as that language spoken to one is applicable to the other, or that addresses to them may he indiscriminately used, why make so much ado about christianizing the heathen, about theological seminaries, and the immense advantages accruing to the believer? or what has the world gained, or how much is it benefited by all the efforts of all such learned and pious men as the good O. Jennings, D.D. Language you know is used to express our ideas; and if our ideas of the two states are such as that one address is applicable to both, where is the difference in our ideas of them, or what advantage in our mind's eye has one over the other?

      As triumphant as they think Doctor Jennings' book to be, and it is in the hands of almost all the orthodox, not one of them will meet any of us in public discussion of any thing; and yet whenever those who are their subjects do occasionally venture to hear for themselves, they are apt to return; and in two-thirds of the cases, in this county, when they have heard the ancient gospel half a dozen of times, they have obeyed it. Mem.--The teachers of the sects say they will not meet us to dispute about religion, because, forsooth, it is unchristian-like, [how unlike a Christian was Paul!] and yet they will abuse us just in proportion to what is taught by our brethren. Which is most like a Christian--to abuse a man, or a doctrine, without allowing of a defence; or calmly to meet opposition, and, if able, to subvert it?

      Our little congregation here meets every first day. Great harmony prevails with the brethren. The cause of the Redeemer is unquestionably gaining rapidly the attention of the thoughtful and the reading part of the community. Those who do not read, and will not hear, remain as credulous and duped and intolerant as their magi could wish them.
F. E. BECTON, Jr.      

LOCUST SHADE, West Tenn. Nov. 25, 1832.      

      Reformation, in this part, is progressing tolerably well. I have had but a small portion of my time to devote to public teaching--not more than the first day; and this to the people of my own vicinity. Brother J. Mulkey, an efficient teacher, lives near me, and has rode extensively during the present year, and done great good.

      I delivered two discourses last month, in my neighborhood, upon the mission of the Apostles to the world, and the subject of the Spirit, and the effect was great and good: twelve persons made the apostolic confession, and were immersed into the name of the Lord Jesus, for the remission of sins. Since then, I have immersed one more.
W. D. JOURDAN.      

FRANKFORT, Ky. Dec. 6, 1832.      

      So far, I have gone by the appellation of a Baptist preacher; and my course in teaching has been, to read a portion of the oracles, (a chapter--sometimes less) and deliver a discourse, entering into the nature of the circumstances connected with the subject, the writer, or speaker, and in the conclusion to urge the claims of the gospel on sinners to obey it, and christians to observe the law of Christ. I have rarely entered into any of the controversies about the different doctrines taught by human teachers in their schemes, which are [91] taught in almost every place where I have been. In this way I have escaped many severe men, who would have been so under other circumstances; but by taking advantage of their prejudices, I think good has been accomplished: not that I have been timid, or afraid to declare in opposition to human gospels, (for I have found many) but knowing, that if the true were taught, then the others would surely fall.

      In the course of my travelling, I have visited many of the large cities, and I have always observed a great difference in the religious communities. This, no doubt, proceeds from the different systems taught, and not from the gospel alone. I think I have learned many things which will be valuable to me in after life. Of one thing I am persuaded, at least,--that sectarianism is gradually sinking, and just in proportion to the march of truth. In many places where Sunday schools are carried on, and the children are instructed in the word of God without their catechisms, 1 find their mind appears free. In almost every part of the country where I have been, your works are read; and where they are not, I have found the people inquiring. The light is advancing.

      I have lately been with brethren Morton and Allen, in Jefferson county, and Oldham. They immersed about eighty persons, in a few weeks. At Shelbyville and Newcastle, others were immersed. Brother Johnston, of Georgetown, and brother Fall, constituted a church here, on last Lord's day, of eight persons, who are persons of high respectability. The brethren in the opposition have become much more friendly than formerly. The reform, I suppose, has received an addition of five, this year, to every one of all the other sects.
R. McCALL.      

CLOYD'S X ROADS, Campbell county, Ky. Jan. 15, 1833.      

      I have situated myself at this place for the winter, and perhaps longer. Only a few months ago, a church was constituted here, of some six or seven disciples: additions have swelled the number to nearly fifty. They are moving on in the worship and service of the Lord. They meet every first day to break bread, &c. They are still in a growing state. The meeting house is on the road leading from Cincinnati to Georgetown, Ky. 25 miles from Cincinnati.
S. K. MILTON.      

BELLEFONTE, Centre county, Pa. Jan. 1, 1833.      

      Ninety persons, in all, in this vicinity, this summer, have been immersed for the remission of sins, upon a profession of their faith. These persons will constitute two churches--one called the Buck Creek Church, and the other the Bald Eagle Church. The Buck creek church has already commenced its walk as a church, with the ordinances among them. The prospects of doing good, in this country, are truly flattering; all that is wanting is honest hearted proclaimers, of understanding and prudence.

CONNERSVILLE, Ia. Jan. 10, 1833.      

      Through much persecution, the "ancient gospel" has progressed steadily, but slowly, since the year 1829, when it was first generally announced through this country.

      In the month of September, (last) we engaged brother John O'Kane, to devote his time to the work of an evangelist. This event mark a new era in the reformation. Since that time, numbers have become obedient to the faith.

      Brother O'Kane is an eloquent man, and powerful in the scriptures; and will, no doubt, be very useful in the capacity in which he is now acting. In this small county (Fayette) there are four congregations of disciples who acknowledge no law, in matters of religion, but that of Christ the King; and another will shortly be formed, in this village. [92]

      Brother O'Kane informed me, on the 8th inst. that since Christmas, he had witnessed the good confession of twenty-five persons, who had presented themselves to be immersed for the remission of sins.

      The sects, whom you may imagine to have but little attraction for each other naturally, have united in adopting measures to oppose the progress of reform. This is strong evidence of the weakness of their creed, when exposed to the light of divine truth. Their "divine right" to form a creed and impose it on the consciences of their adherents, appears to be the common property of all the sects, and they are very jealous of invasions of it.

      The cause of TRUTH is prevailing, and will prevail, till the wide world shall shout the good news, "Babylon the Great is fallen, never more to rise!"
R. T. BROWN.      

RUTHERFORD COUNTY, Tenn. Dec. 17, 1832.      

      Persecution runs high--we are called Campbellites, schismatics, deists, &c. But these things are scarcely worth naming: we have not yet resisted to blood been beaten with rods, or even striped.

      Since my last communication, I have immersed, for the remission of their sins and introduction into the kingdom of God, about 140 persons, many of whom stand in front in point of intellect. Of this number, I am happy to say, I have heard of only one man who by his works declares himself an enemy to holiness; but this one, you may rest assured, has been the means of much abuse being heaped upon us.

      We had a four day meeting at Rock Spring, which commenced on the Saturday before the fourth Lord's day in November last. It was, indeed, a refreshing season. The brethren who took the lead in public speaking, appeared to have only one great object in view--that was, to do their Father's will. Thirty-two were immersed upon the good profession, and six others united with us, who had previously been immersed. Among the number baptized in a few months past, there were four of my own family, making ten in my house. Dear brother, I never knew what it was to be so abused, and I never knew what it was to be so happy!

      I have literally given myself to the public, without money or price. I do this day thank God that I have lived to learn the truth with regard to christianity; that my mind has, in some good degree, been relieved of its vulgar prejudices, enthusiasms, and, may I not say, fanaticisms?

      Dear brother, the cause is the Lord's. Be stedfast, immoveable; always abounding in the work of the Lord: knowing, that your labor will not be in vain, in the Lord.

      Accept Mrs. Smith's christian affection. Farewell, for the present.

      [A letter from brother Fanning, besides stating the particulars of the meeting at Rock Spring, also informs us, that he had immersed three in the borders of the Chickasaw nation.]

To the brethren of the Reformation:--

      BELOVED BRETHREN--Your respective places of address are not known to us, or we would send directly to you, asking you to come to Painesville, and the neighboring meeting houses in Amelia county, Va. and aid us in the work of the Lord.

      We are yet in our infancy, struggling with opposition; yet we humbly hope we grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

      We earnestly request your co-operation with us. Letters addressed to our Pastor, P. L. Townes, Office Tavern Post Office, Amelia, will meet with prompt attention.
[Signed] P. L. TOWNES.      

      We hoped to have brought up to the present date the good news communicated from so many quarters. Interesting documents from New York, Virginia, and other states, must lie over to our next No. [93]

History of the Reformation.

      IN reply to frequent enquiries and suggestions about writing the history of the present reformation, we would at this time only observe, that, in our judgment, it would be wholly premature now to attempt any thing of the sort. Let us first see a reformation in fact--a reformation in sentiment, in practice--a reformation in faith and manners, before we talk of writing a history of it.

      All that could now be written, would be rather the history of a struggle for reformation, than the history of a reformation. When it shall have been ascertained how far the primitive institutions have been restored, and a gospel reformation effected, it will be time enough to enquire how it was effected. We have, indeed, all the documents, and can hand them over to others; and I will farther say, that they shall be preserved. Having had a perfect understanding of all matters from the very first, being placed in circumstances which obliged us to have all the documents on file; if ever it should be thought profitable or expedient to have them published, they shall, as far as we can take care of them, be forthcoming. It is, moreover, intended to have them assorted and filed in regular order, during the current year.

      But, as before observed, it would be exceedingly incongruous to do more than preserve the documents till we ascertain, or posterity ascertain, in what, and how far, we have restored the apostolic institutions. Besides, it is to be hoped that none of the present actors on this great theatre of reform, are seeking their own glory. Nothing could be more incompatible with the genius of the gospel; nothing more hostile to the spirit of Jesus, (who always taught that humility precedes honor,) than such a spirit:--the very appearance of it is to be deprecated as a pestilence. The great Teacher taught,--and may we all learn the lesson, it is an index to the hearts of men--"Whoever teaches what proceeds from himself, seeks to promote his own glory; whoever seeks to promote the glory of him who sent him, deserves credit, and is a stranger to deceit."

      Were there a full and faithful history of this attempt at reformation published, some who have not courted renown, but kept themselves out of sight, would appear to have been most efficient agents in furthering the work. They have been so modest in their pretensions, and so unobtrusive in their proceedings, that society knows not how much it is indebted to them. To him alone who remembers the time when only brethren P. S. Fall, of Kentucky, and Adamson Bentley, of Ohio, cordially espoused the cause, can the services which such brethren rendered, appear in their true light. These brethren, in various respects,--well known to me by their early espousal of the cause of reform, by their sacrifices of popularity, by their patient endurance of many trials, by their personal labors in the word and teaching, by the moral influence of their example, and the power of their instructions,--have contributed very much to the cause of reform; and, consequently, have much higher claims upon the [94] gratitude and admiration of all the brethren, than most of them are aware of. To one who is perfectly acquainted with the many incidents, contingencies, and various occurrences in the history of any interests subject, agencies of all sorts will appear in their true character; and such a person not unfrequently observes the whole destiny of an enterprize depending upon the timous or fortunate intervention of some agent, or agency, of which the great community of spectators may wholly ignorant. Were we writing a history of these matters, many such developments could be made, and several names, which seldom appear in print, would stand conspicuous in forwarding the work the Lord.

      But many of this class will scarcely permit their names to be mentioned. A brother who often writes to me under the injunction of secrecy, and who I doubt not will appear in high repute when the King comes in his glory, said, on a late occasion, "I wait for my reward and my honor, till the resurrection of the just." Another who I been most instrumental in this reformation, lately said to me, "If the Lord will forgive me all my mistakes and errors in pleading the cause of reform, I shall be perfectly satisfied, and esteem myself most happy in having essayed to do good."

      Let us, then, every man to his post, do the work of the Lord faithfully, and leave it to others to tell of it; or rather, let us wait the day when every man shall have his praise from God, who judges not of the manner of men, and who will most certainly render to every man his proper reward.


      "HOW many times may a Christian get drunk before he can be called a drunkard; and be put out of the church agreeably to Paul's directions?"

      Answer.--Most men have constitutional infirmities, as well as those superinduced by habit. A person may be accidentally overtaken once or twice in a fault, who is not habitually subject to it. Other circumstances than the mere number of times any action is committed must decide the character of a man. Misers have sometimes been liberal, and liberal persons have sometimes been miserly. Some men who are seen drunk only once, may, because of indulgence almost habitual, he more worthy of the character of a drunkard, than one who has been oftener overtaken. Some men by degrees overtake a fault, and others are overtaken by it. The former deserve the character more than the latter; but Christian prudence is always necessary to decide. If a brother has sinned more than once in this indulgence, and been restored on confession of repentance, should he be again detected in it, confidence is measurably lost, and more explicit evidences of contrition are requisite; and when oftener repeated it will require experiment rather than confession, to authorize a cordial [95] restoration. For my own part, I can hardly regard a person as sincere in his confession of sorrow for repeated drunkenness, unless he promise to abstain from the appearance of this evil by a total abstinence from his enemy. He that cannot command his appetite when the enemy is out of sight, cannot do it in its presence: for he who cannot keep the enemy out of the citadel, need not expect to overcome him when he has gained admission. Therefore, he who says that he regards drunkenness as a sin, and his enemy, and will not keep out of its way, affords no evidence that he is sincere in his protestations of sorrow.

      "In what light are we to view those things which Paul wrote by permission, and not by commandment?"

      Answer.--As the judgment of an able counsellor, well skilled in all the principles of the Christian religion; but not, as he himself says, as of the authority of express commandments or revelations from God.

      "What does our Lord mean by "The servant abides not always in the house, but the son abides always?"

      A.--A servant, whether bond or free, has no permanent interest in the family; he is not connected with its head by blood, and therefore the perpetual ties of consanguinity unite him not to its interests. But the son has a permanent natural interest which time never impairs. Moses was a servant in another person's family; but Christ is a son over his own family. Moses continued in God's family officially only for a time, but the Messiah always.

      "The Presbyterians in our neighborhood assert that the first day of the week is always called "the Sabbath" in the original Greek. I have examined my Greek Testament to know the truth of the assertion; but the superficial knowledge I acquired of that language when a boy, by neglect, has escaped me. Will you give me your opinion on the subject, either by letter or in one of your numbers?"

      Answer.--They who say so, have worse than forgotten all their Greek; for it never is once called the Sabbath as every one in the Apostle's writings. Sabbaton signifies a week, as everyone acquainted with Hellenistic Greek knows; and Mia Sabbaton is the phrase which all translators render "the first of the week," or "first day of the week."

To Querists.

      MANY queries requesting information on some phrases and words in the New Testament, are on hand. It would require many pages to answer them all. Some of them shall be notice in the Harbinger; but in the Appendix to the Family Testament, most if not all of them, are anticipated, and to that work we must refer such of our readers as have many such difficulties on hand. After that work is carefully examined, we shall answer all questions of a practical nature, which may be sent us, as fully and as promptly as possible.
EDITOR. [96]      

      1 Perhaps the writer means only to say that the ancient order of things cannot be restored, either fully or exclusively, by moral means; and not that it ought not to be attempted by moral means. It cannot be the latter, because the [53] design of his essays is to work reformation as far as possible, to make the remnant as large as possible, and to save as many as possible from the impending vengeance. Besides, his analogies and corroborative arguments require--nay, his own signs of the times require, that as it was before the Flood, before the destruction of the Jewish state, reformation should be preached; and what is true reformation but a restoration of the ancient gospel, or of the faith once delivered to the saints, with the order of things connected with it--not merely in the letter, but in the spirit and reality of these things? And, indeed, the demonstration and proof of his propositions will be additional arguments to urge the immediate and indispensable necessity of a return to the primitive faith and practice. With the pertinence and power of Peter's exhortation, from his own premises, he may say, "Save yourselves from this untoward generation; for behold the day comes."--Ed. [54]
      2 We quote the following, and that, too, coming from the youngest of all the daughters of Babylon. After stating their success (for they number their converts yearly--their Israel) a caution is introduced:--
      "That should your preachers or people, through the channel of our annual reports, or otherwise, grow proud of their success, or of our increasing number, our future exertions will be paralyzed, and we shall be marked with the manifest disapprobation of Heaven; whilst he will turn his hand to other instruments to promote the great interests of his militant kingdom."--Report of the Synodical Committee of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church.
      "Other instruments"!! Is it not plainly implied in the passage that God is not promoting the interests of his "militant kingdom" through their instrumentality only? Is this not the indirect language of all the parties? [56]
      3 I am as far from advocating the dangerous and unprofitable use of spiritous liquor as any man in existence; but have little faith in the Temperance Society ever healing the world of this most dreadful evil. I am candidly and honestly in the belief, from my personal observation, from the increase of those filthy shops for vending the deadly poison, that drunkenness and every other vice is on an increase, notwithstanding the various reports to the contrary. [59]
      4 We are ignorant of any such general prohibition; but we presume our author here alludes to the charge given to the Twelve on the first mission to announce the approaching Reign. But in this he became responsible for their support himself: and when they returned, and he asked them if they lacked any thing, they were able to reply in the negative. Our Lord, who was himself the gospel, was supported by the disciples; and the women who assisted him with their substance, are celebrated even to this day. But we know our author's meaning is that our Lord himself discountenanced all such schemes for raising money by licensed beggars, who are themselves paid four or five hundred dollars a-year for begging from all to raise missionary funds. While, however, he denounces these as the very antipodes of the Christian character, we fear the too great latitude he gives these remarks, would lead some to think that he considered any contribution of time, or labor, or property, (of which money is but the representative,) for those who anciently proclaimed the gospel, was unauthorized by our Lord.--Ed. [62]
      5 Here again our author appears to us not sufficiently guarded. While there were no such contributions as those of which he speaks, the New Testament preachers on their missions were sustained by the contributions of the brethren. That the Apostles were invested with a right to demand the contributions of the disciples, in their labors, is as clearly propounded by Paul, 1 Cor. ix. as is the doctrine of the resurrection in the 15th chapter of the same letter. And that those who labored in the word or gospel, and in teaching the churches, were to be sustained by the churches, is frequently and clearly taught by the Apostles. See 1 Tim. v. 17, 18. Phil. iv. 14, 15, 18. 2 Thess. iii. 9. Gal. vi. 6. 1 Peter V. 2. &c. But that system was wholly different from the present. The idea of "educating a person for the ministry," and paying him when trained for so many sermons, or for laboring on the day of rest, and minding his own business during five or six days in the week, is the offspring of paganized Christianity, and worthy of all the censures which our author can bestow on it.--Ed. [63]
      6 Mr. S. C. Jennings is pouring a double portion of his extra half sheets into the post-offices in Old Virginia. I have received two as my portion, and shall enclose them again to him. He surely thinks we are ignorant of what you have written, though he directs his sheets "To the Readers of the Millennial Harbinger." We know what sort of a spirit animates a sectarian Priest, having tasted of the wormwood and the gall of sectarianism. He would make us believe, if he could, you are our sectarian Bishop, in the popular sense, and we are as much your servants as all the sects are the servants of the priesthood. Now be it [75] known to Mr. Jennings and all the sectarian priesthood on earth, we own no man as master or father on earth in spiritual things--Jesus Christ alone is our King--his word is our rule--his commands our law--his worship our delight--and we will not suffer any man to usurp a throne among us.
Ed. M. H. [76]      
      7 See Epaphras, No. 6. and Reply. [78]


[The Millennial Harbinger, 4 (February, 1833): 49-96.]

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