[Table of Contents]
Alexander Campbell, ed.|
The Millennial Harbinger, Vol. IV, No. VI (1833)
Number VI.----Volume IV.
Bethany, Va. June, 1833.
Special Providence and Spiritual Agency.
|WELLSBURG, Va. May. 5th, 1833.|
I THANK you for your friendly and (in some respects) satisfactory reply to the letter I addressed to you on the subject of a special providence and spiritual agency. I am truly glad that you "do not belong to the school" of philosophers who deny a special providence. Since I reflected on the subject of religion it has always appeared to me that a denial of a special providence is inconsistent with a belief in revelation. Yet, my dear sir, how many of those who profess a belief in revelation scout at the idea of God's interposing in answer to prayer! If the praying attribute their deliverance from temptation or calamity, to the superintending care of Heaven, they are charged with enthusiasm. If the pulpit attribute famine or pestilence to the immediate interposition of Heaven, many who profess to be philosophers cry out, "What ignorance of the laws of nature!"
If health permit, and I can have the privilege of your paper, I shall endeavor to show your readers that such professed philosophers are more enthusiastical than the most vulgar of religionists. What is enthusiasm, but to believe without evidence? If God never, by a special agency, interposed in the concerns of men, then I say, prayer is foolish, inconsistent, and absurd. If all events in the moral and physical world are brought about by laws established when the world was made, our duty is patiently to submit after we have wisely, to the extent of our ability, exerted our power; to call on God for assistance is, indeed, superstition.
In the early part of my ministry I commenced a careful investigation of this important subject, and it has occupied much of my attention from that time. While I was inquiring for light, my good mother put into my hands Sherlock on Providence. This masterly work greatly increased my stock of knowledge on the moral government of God. It is by far the most valuable work of the kind I ever saw. Permit me, dear sir, to recommend it to the attention of your readers. 
It is not a metaphysical theory or hypothesis, but a scriptural view of God's government over our world. Our pious and ingenious Dean shows that, according to the Bible, God's agency is perpetual in the government of men. He uses his knowledge of the philosophy of mind and matter not to establish a theory of his own invention, but to obviate objections which are urged by vain men against the scheme of moral government revealed in the Bible. And this is the province of philosophy; for on this subject she can originate nothing; it is too high--she cannot attain to it. "The efficient cause of the operations of nature," says the great Dr. Reed, "is unknown. Natural philosophers, by great attention to the course of nature, have discovered many of her laws; but they have never discovered the efficient cause of any one of her phenomena. Upon the theatre of nature we see innumerable effects which require an agent endowed with active power; but the agent is behind the scenes. Whether this be the supreme cause alone, or a subordinate cause or causes; and if subordinate causes be employed by the Almighty, what their nature, their number, and their different offices may be, are things hid, for wise reasons no doubt, from the human eye."
Here, then, dear sir, it seems we are left by the inductive philosopher--the efficient cause of nature's operations is unknown. Now where philosophy leaves us revelation takes us up. Where the dim light of science fails, the lamp of revelation sends her needed aid:--
|"The things unknown by feeble sense,
Unseen by reason's glimm'ring ray,
With strong commanding evidence
Their heavenly origin display."
In "Sherlock on Providence" your readers will see an instructive illustration of all the attributes of our Heavenly Father in the moral government of the world. On the sovereignty and goodness of Providence our author is peculiarly happy and instructive. He shows, in the most convincing manner, that God can dispose of all events as a wise and good sovereign, without destroying the freedom of the will.
I consider it a great misfortune that this work is not more generally known. Many years ago I recommended it to the notice of the Ohio Annual Conference, and our Book Agent at Cincinnati was ordered to publish two thousand copies. This is, I believe, the only impression made in America. By a careful perusal of Sherlock, in connexion with the Bible and other books of a similar description, your readers will come to see the hand of God in all the events of life, and to "rejoice because the Lord God omnipotent reigns."
I say again, I rejoice that you admit the doctrine of a special providence. You think that it is carried on by the ministry of angels. That these heavenly beings are often employed on errands of mercy and judgment to our world is certain from revelation; but I think we should not limit special and spiritual agency to angelic ministry--I do not know that you do. You say that good and bad angels may make impressions on our minds--may influence us by suggestion and motive But is this admission consistent with your assertion that "all  the converting power of the Holy Spirit is in the word," and that we can only be moved by words, and that they must be written or spoken? When I wrote to you before I had not seen that part of your essay on the Holy Spirit, in which you reply to the objections of a Mr. Broaddus. It appears from your reply that he understood you (as I have done) to say that in the business of salvation we have no assistance but what is afforded us in the written word; that this is the argument of the Holy Spirit. But you certainly have a right to explain your self--and in a subsequent essay I will endeavor to show your readers what great things may be done for men through the medium of impression, suggestion, and motive, and that there is an influence out of the word that will assist us in the business of our salvation.
In addressing you this scroll I had no object in view but the advancement of truth. By an interchange of thoughts on this important subject I hope good may be done. Not that I am so vain as to suppose that I can instruct you on this or any other subject; but, perhaps, some of your readers who have not had your advantages, may be benefitted by my views of the subjects:--at all events, I hope to understand you.
If there should be some difference in our views, I hope it will not be essential. Mutual charity is due to each other in all cases where error is involuntary. In this dark state of being our knowledge of heavenly things is imperfect--we know in part. But, thanks be to God, a time is coming when our views of God and glory will be greatly enlarged--when we shall see as we are seen, and know as we are known. Until that time comes, let us cultivate charity, or love; for this shall never fail.
|J. A. WATERMAN.|
Reply to Mr. J. A. Waterman.
YOUR commendations of Sherlock I think are well deserved. They are not exaggerated. He is a writer of good sense, and has chosen a very interesting subject. As far as I have perused his work, it appears to be well adapted to refute the scepticism of some professors on the doctrine of special providence. It would be well if our philosophists, who disbelieve the superintending care of the Almighty Father, would give Sherlock a candid hearing.
This is a doubting age. Philosophy is proud and arrogant. She assumes too much. She cannot originate a spiritual idea. She steals from the Bible her best thoughts, and would palm them on the world as her own inventions. She seeks to find a cause for every thing in her own arcana, and discards revelation because it eclipses her glory. I should be glad to see you strip her of her borrowed attire, and exhibit her in her own nakedness when she presumes to be a moralist. She is a useful handmaid in the kitchen, and can do something in the workshop; but in the pulpit she is superlatively awkward and  immodest. "The earth cannot bear a servant when he reigns, nor a handmaid that would be heir to her mistress;" nor can I philosophy, when she presumes to originate spiritual ideas, or denies the special interpositions of Heaven in the affairs of mankind.
It will not only be gratifying to me, but, I doubt not, pleasing to my readers, to hear you expose the arrogance of those professed philosophers, who assign to the sole operation of the laws of nature, every blessing and every curse that falls upon mankind. They are, indeed, "more enthusiastic than the most vulgar of religionists."
I do not affirm it as my conviction that all "special providences," as they are called, are carried on exclusively by the ministry of angels. I do believe that much has been done, and still is done by them. "They are all ministering spirits sent forth to attend the heirs of salvation." We believe, I say, that much has been done by them; and besides, they seem to be just that sort of agents wanting to preserve order in a system of general laws, both physical and moral, operating on voluntary agents.
Concerning suggestions, impressions, and motives by spiritual agencies, little can be known with certainty, except the fact that such suggestions and impressions have been made on human minds. But you think that such a belief is inconsistent with the proposition that "all the converting power of the Holy Spirit is in the word." This proposition I hold to be of much importance in reference to this age of mysticism and mystic influences; and, therefore, I deem it worthy of profound examination. You will please observe that the proposition affirms no more than that all the moral power (argument, motive, or converting power) of the Holy Spirit is now in the word. It is converting power, or that power of turning the mind of man to love, admire, and delight in objects before unknown and unappreciated, of which we speak.
Now, in the nature of things, as a philosopher would say, before we can love, admire, or delight in any thing, it must be introduced to our acquaintance; we must know a person before we can love or admire him. Knowledge, then, precedes all love, admiration, and delight. And what is knowledge but an acquaintance with persons and things? If we love and admire one whom we have never seen, (of which we are capable,) his character must be known; and this brings us to the last question--How can a character be revealed or made known to us but by words, or signs equivalent to words? If there be any other way of revealing a person or character, not submitted to our senses, I wish to be informed of it. Till that information is communicated to me, I must reason from such data as I have: and from these data I am constrained to conclude that faith comes by hearing, and knowledge from communication of ideas by their proper representatives.
But angels, good or evil, do not talk with us. Then they are not sent to convert us! But they can impress us, or make suggestions; and what are these? Not words, or we could hear them; not visible signs, or we could see them; not sensible impressions, or we could feel them. How, then, can they influence us to good or evil? Still it  is possible! By assuming a form of some sort--the form of a man--of any creature--of a thought--of a word, and by presenting it to the outward senses; or by an acquaintance with our associations of ideas, our modes of reasoning, our passions, our appetites, our propensities--and by approaching us through these avenues, they lead us backwards or forwards, to the right or the left, as their designs may require. This is possible, and compatible with our views of spiritual influence. It is more than possible--it is probable. I might advance farther, and say it is certain; for it has been done. Satan assumed the form of a serpent, and talked with our mother before he influenced her to act according to his views. The first evil angelic influence exerted upon our race was by assuming an appropriate form, and in that form addressing the passions through the understanding by intelligible signs or words. This fact alone sustains our views of angelic influence, and the mode of operation. The tempter had considered the human constitution--the female character. He had become a philosopher before he planned his attack. He proceeded in accordance with our nature, and put forth his converting power in language. He converted Eve to himself; and now the conversion of our souls to God is effected by moral, and not physical influence.1
We need not attempt to explain how Satan takes hold of the wind, nor how the demons entered into the swine. We believe that angels can operate on matter as well as on mind. An angel struck Peter on his side, awaked him, knocked off his chains, and opened for him iron gates. But this is foreign to our purpose. It is moral power or motive of which we are now speaking. And we have seen that no argument can move unless it be understood; and before it can be understood it must be addressed to our apprehension.
When we say that we can be moved morally, or only bywords, and that they must be written or spoken, we include all stipulated signs: for we thus sometimes use the term word and the term language.
When Paul says, "Faith comes by hearing," it would be rather a pun than an argument to say, How, then, can the deaf and dumb obtain faith? We know that the deaf and dumb do believe, and that they have faith: yet they have not hearing. When, then, we say that we can only be moved by words, and that words must be spoken or written, we do not exclude the deaf, the dumb, and the blind from the influence of motive. Words, or signs equivalent to words, however, must always be the currency of thought, of moral argument, and motive; and these signs must be addressed to the mental eye or ear.
To those unacquainted with the art and mystery of teaching the deaf and dumb the art of reading and communicating ideas in words spelled and written by their own fingers, it will at first appear quite as mysterious as the modus operandi of angels or spirits in communicating impressions, suggestions, and motives to the minds of men. Indeed, I think there is much analogy between the art of making impressions on the minds of the deaf and dumb, and of communicating  suggestions and moral arguments to them, and the mode of operating of spiritual agents in their intercourse with men.
There is no communicating to any intelligent creature the knowledge of things unknown, but by the knowledge of things known. There must be some groundwork, something by which to institute comparison, similitude, or analogy, and thus lead on the mind to higher and more abstract knowledge.
But this is more than enough for you, my dear sir, and most of our readers, on the reasons and considerations which justify our belief in the influence of angels on the minds and persons of men. I must still refer to the conversations in progress of publication, which occurred in Samuel Goodal's, for further developments of this agency.
But that the converting power of the Holy Spirit is now presented to us in the written word, needs not to be proved by arguments a priori--by arguments drawn from the reason and nature of things, but by the declarations found in the written word itself, and by the declarations of all who have been converted to a holy and a happy life.
"The word of God is living and powerful, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart." "All scripture given by divine inspiration is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, conviction, and instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished for every good work." "From a child thou hast known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise to salvation through the faith in Jesus Christ." It is "the sword of the Spirit." "It is like a hammer that breaks in pieces the rock." "The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul." So speaks the Spirit of its own word.
And what say the converted? When they tell the story of their new birth from first to last, what is it but the recital of the power of some truth derived from what is written in the book? Were they moved by fear, drawn by love, or allured by hope? Was it not the fear of something, the love of something, the hope of something which was communicated by the Apostles and Prophets, suggested through them to the mind by the Holy Spirit? The experience of every Christian is but the proof of all the divine commendation of the light, life, and efficacy of the word of God. It proves that it is able to make alive, to save and to destroy.
There is a sect of religious philosophers, to which I think you do not belong, who teach that the reason why A believes and B does not, is owing to the special operation of the Spirit on the former, and its inoperation on the latter. These make void the word of God, and teach its impotency by representing it as a dead letter until the Spirit makes the sinner alive, though they sometimes talk of its killing folks in some mysterious way and manner.
Between the Calvinist and the Arminian there is no difference, in my judgment, on the five points, worth a hard thought or an unkind feeling, if they both agree that some sovereign, non-descript, independent spiritual or special agency is necessary to make the word of God  credible, or to enable any sinner to believe it. Agreeing in this point, all the rest is but a war of words.
But I have formed a higher opinion of your judgment and biblical attainments, than to suppose that you believe in new revelations, or a revelation upon a revelation; and that while you contend for special providences and special interpositions in behalf of men, on the part of the moral Governor of the world, however that agency may be carried on, you discard the doctrine of the unintelligibility of God's testimony and of the necessity of some non-descript new revelation, of injected faith, and independent physical operations upon the mind of unbelievers.
I thank you for your recommendation of Sherlock, and will extract some of the marrow and fatness of it, as far as convenience permits. I hope soon to hear from you again.
|In all sincerity, I remain, &c.|
Sherlock on Divine Providence.
THUS God intended to deliver Israel out of Egypt by the hands of Moses. Moses was born at a time when the king of Egypt had commanded that every son that was born to the Israelites should be cast into the river. His mother hid him three months, and not being able to conceal him any longer, exposed him in an ark of bulrushes among the flags by the river side. Pharaoh's daughter came down to wash herself in the river, and finds the ark with the child in it--puts him to his own mother to nurse, whereby he came to know his own kindred and relations, and to be instructed in the knowledge and worship of the God of Israel. Afterwards Pharaoh's daughter takes him home and breeds him up as her own son, whereby he was instructed in all the learning of Egypt, and in all the policies of Pharaoh's court, which qualified him for government. When he was forty years old, he had lived long enough in Pharaoh's court, and God thought fit to remove him into better company, and to accustom him to a more severe life; and this was done by as strange an accident. He slew an Egyptian in defence of an oppressed Jew, and was betrayed by his own brethren, and forced to fly from Pharaoh to save his own life, till the time was come for the deliverance of Israel, and then God sent him back into Egypt to bring his people out from thence with signs and wonders and a mighty hand.
Thus God had foretold Ahab by the prophet Micaiah, that if he went up against Ramoth Gilead, he should perish there; and this was accomplished by a very great chance. For "a certain man drew a bow at a venture, and smote the king between the joints of the harness," of which he died. 1 Kings xxii. 34. The blood which came from his wound ran into the chariot, and one washed the chariot in the pool of Samaria, and the dons licked up his blood, which was a  very casual thing, and little thought of by him who did it, and yet fulfilled God's threatening against Ahab: "In the place where dogs licked the blood of Naboth, shall dogs lick thy blood, even thine." ch. xxi. verse 29.
I shall add but one example more of this nature, and it is a very remarkable one: God's deliverance of the Jews in the days of Esther, from the wicked conspiracy of Haman. This Haman being advanced to great power and authority by king Ahasuerus, took great offence at Mordecai the Jew, who refused to reverence him as others did; and for his sake obtained a decree from the king to destroy all the Jews in the provinces of his dominions. Mordecai sends to queen Esther to go to the king, and to petition him about this matter. This was a very hazardous attempt, it being death by the law for any person, man or woman, to go to the king without being called, unless the king held out his golden sceptre to them. But the queen at last, after three days fasting, ventured her own life to save her people, and obtained favor in the king's sight, who held out the golden sceptre to her. All that she requested at that time was, that the king and Haman would come to the banquet which she had prepared. And being then asked what her petition was, with an assurance that it should be granted, she begged that the king and Haman would come the next day also to her banquet, and then she would declare it. Haman was much exalted with the king's favor, and that queen Esther had admitted none to banquet with the king but himself. But still Mordecai, who refused to bow before him, was a great grievance; and by the advice of his friends he built a gallows fifty cubits high, and resolved that night to beg of the king that Mordecai might be hanged on it, and had he come in time his petition had been certainly granted. But it so happened that that very night the king could not sleep, and he called for the book of the records of the chronicles, and there they found written that Mordecai had discovered the treason of two of the king's chamberlains against him; and finding upon inquiry that he had never been rewarded for it, he resolved to do him honor, and made Haman who was at the door to beg that Mordecai might be hanged, his minister in doing him honor. This prepared the king to grant queen Esther's request, and hanged Haman upon the gallows he had built for Mordecai, and preserved the Jews from that destruction he had designed against them. And thus it is almost in all the remarkable passages of Providence. There is so much appearance of chance and accident which has the greatest stroke in some wonderful events, as may satisfy considering men that the world is governed by a divine wisdom and counsel, and an invisible power, and that the immediate and visible causes have always the least hand in it.
For can we think otherwise when we see as many visible marks of wisdom, and goodness, and justice in what we call chance, as in any other acts of Providence. Nay, when the wisdom of Providence is principally seen in the government of fortuitous events--when we see a world wisely made, though we did not see it made, yet we conclude that it was not made by chance, but by a wise being. And by  the same reason, when we see accidental events, nay, a long incoherent series of accidents concur to the producing the most admirable effects, we ought to conclude that there is a wise invisible hand which governs chance, which of itself can do nothing wisely. When the lives and fortunes of men, the fate of kingdoms and empires, the successes of war, the changes of government, are so often determined and brought about by the most visible accidents--when chance defeats the wisest counsels and the greatest power--when good men are rewarded and the church of God preserved by appearing chances--when bad men are punished by chance, and the very chance whereby they are punished carries the marks of their sins upon it for which they are punished--I say, can any man in such cases think that all this is mere chance? When, how accidental soever the means are, or appear to be, whereby such things are done, there is no appearance at all of chance in the event. But the changes and revolutions, the rewards and punishments of chance are all as wisely done as if there had been nothing of chance and accident in it. This is the great security of our lives amidst all the uncertainties of fortune, that chance itself cannot hurt us without a divine commission. This is a sure foundation of faith, and hope, and trust in God, how calamitous and desperate soever our external condition seems to be, that God never wants means to help--that he has a thousand unseen ways, a whole army of accidents and unexpected events at command to disappoint such designs, which no visible art or power can disappoint, and to save those whom no visible power can save.
This is an undeniable reason for a perpetual awe and reverence of God, and an entire submission to him, and a devout acknowledgment of him in all our ways, that we have no security but in his providence and protection. For whatever provision we can make against foreseen and foreknown evils, we can never provide against chance. That is wholly in God's hands, and no human wit or strength can withstand it; which may abate the pride and self-confidence of men, and teach the rich, and great, and mighty a religious veneration of God, who can with so much ease pull down the mighty from their seat, and advance those of low degree.
3. The next thing to be explained is God's government of moral causes or free agents; that is, the government of men considered as the instruments of Providence which God makes use of for the accomplishment of his own wise counsels.
Most of the good or evil which happens to us in this world is done by men. If God reward, or if he punish us, usually men are his ministers, both to execute his vengeance, and to dispense his blessings. And therefore God must have as absolute a government over mankind of all their thoughts, and passions, and counsels and actions, as he has of the powers and influences of natural causes, or else he cannot reward and punish when and as he pleases. If men could hurt those whom God would bless and reward, or do good to those Whore God would punish, both good and bad men might be happy or miserable in this world whether God would or not. Our fortunes  would depend upon the numbers and power of our friends or enemies, upon the pod or bad humors and inclinations of those among whom we live, and Providence could not help us.
Now this is the great difficulty, how God can exercise such an absolute government over mankind who are free agents, without destroying the liberty and freedom of their choice, which would destroy the nature of virtue and vice, of rewards and punishments. The necessity of allowing this, if we will acknowledge a Providence, and the plain, testimonies and examples of this absolute and uncontrollable government which we find in Scripture, have made some men deny the liberty of human actions, and represent mankind to be as mere machines as a watch or a clock, which move as they are moved. And then they know not how to bring religion and the moral differences of good and evil, and the natural justice of rewards and punishments into their scheme; for nothing of all this can be reconciled with absolute necessity and fate. Others, to avoid these difficulties, are afraid of attributing too much to Providence, or have such confused and perplexed notions about it, that there are few cases wherein they can securely depend on God.
But think this difficulty will be easily removed if we distinguish between God's government of men, as reasonable creatures and free agents, and his government of them as the instruments of Providence. The first consider them in their own private and natural capacity; the second, in relation to the rest of mankind, which makes a great difference in the reason and in the acts of government.
Man, considered in his nature, is a reasonable creature and free agent; and therefore the proper government of man consists in giving him law, that he may know the difference between good and evil, what he ought to choose and what to refuse, and in annexing such rewards and punishments to the observation or to the breach of these laws, as may reasonably invite him to obedience, and deter him from sin; and as this degenerate state requires, in laying such external restraints on him, and affording him such internal assistances of grace, as the divine wisdom sees proportioned to the weakness and corruption of human nature: and when this is done, it behoves God to leave him to his own choice, and to reward or punish him as he deserves; for a forced virtue deserves no reward, and a necessity of sinning will reasonably excuse from punishment. The nature of a reasonable creature, of virtue and vice, of rewards and punishments, represent it as very becoming the wisdom and justice of God, to leave every man to the freedom of his own choice, to do good or evil, to deserve rewards or punishments, as far as he himself is only concerned in it.
But when we consider man in society, the case is altered; for when the good or evil of their actions extend beyond themselves, to do good or hurt to other men, the Providence of God becomes concerned either to hinder, or to permit and order it, as may best serve the wise ends of government, as those other men who are like to be the better or the worse for it, have deserved well or ill of God. Though God has made man a free agent, yet we must not think that be has made such a  creature as he himself cannot govern. No man doubts, but that God can, when he pleases, by an irresistible power, turn men's hearts, and chain up their passions, and alter their counsels. The only question is, When it is fit for God to do this; and no man can question the goodness of it, when the good government of the world requires it. God makes no man good or bad, virtuous or vicious, by a perpetual and irresistible force; for this contradicts the nature of virtue and vice, which requires a freedom and liberty of choice; but God may, by a secret and irresistible influence upon men's minds, even force them to do that good which they have no inclination to do, and restrain them from doing that evil which otherwise they would have done, which does not make them good men, but makes them the instruments of Providence in doing good to men: and God, who is the sovereign Lord of all creatures, may, when he sees fit, press those men, if I may so speak, to his service, who would not do good upon choice. This shows the difference between the government of grace, and Providence: the first has relation to virtue and vice, to make men good, to change their natures and sinful inclinations into habits of virtue, and therefore admits of no greater force than what is consistent with the freedom of choice, and the nature of virtue and vice: but the government of Providence respects the external happiness or misery, rewards or punishments of men or nations; and to this purpose God may use what instruments he pleases, and exercise such authority over nature or men as is necessary to accomplish his own wise counsels of mercy or judgment. And it was necessary to premise this distinction, because the confounding of these two has occasioned great difficulties and mistakes, both in the doctrine of grace and providence.
[TO BE CONTINUED.]
A. B. G. to Philalethes.
IN the first number of volume 4, I took the liberty to propose two or three questions for the consideration of your correspondent Philalethes, which appears to have provoked in him a wrong spirit, and he seems to find it easier to sneer than answer. Not deeming it expedient to recriminate, but choosing rather to search after truth, I will now proceed to review my former queries, and statements, and his remarks, just hinting to him, however, that one fact is preferable to two witticisms; and that men sometimes resort to ridicule simply because they have no other resort.
My first question was, that he would point me out to the place in scripture where it was told us that Adam was made in the image of God. He declares that the fact is asserted and recorded in express terms in Gen. i. 27. I have looked, and cannot find the word Adam in the chapter at all. In the 26th verse God says, "Let us make man after our likeness," &c. and in the next verse is a record that it was  done; in addition to which it is stated that they were created male and female. Now unless God exists as male and female, according to the theory of the Shakers, Adam, which was their plural name, as male and female, (see chap. v. verse 2.) was not created as the image of God, nor intended to represent him; and Moses, in Deut. 4th, 12th, 15th, and 16th, conveys the idea that God had not given forth any likeness or similitude of himself, lest they should make an idol after it; and as Paul states in Rom. v. 11th, that Adam was the figure or image of him that was to come, it appears plain to me still, after all Philalethes has said, that Adam was made in the image or after the likeness of Jesus Christ, who was the only true image of God and the brightness of his glory. And as the church was contained in him as a wife, and was to be, and is, "bone of his bone and flesh of his flesh," this union of twain was represented in the creation and formation of the natural or earthy man. For the woman was created in him, and formed of him, and "their name was called Adam." As the image or figure of Christ and the church. Compare Gen. ii. 23, 24, with Eph. v. 30, 31, 32. the church not then made manifest, but contained in Christ, in like manner as the first woman was contained in the natural body of the first man. But possibly Philalethes thinks he has forestalled this argument by his round assertion that the Son of God had no body till 4000 years afterwards. But John has recorded that he was the "beginning of the creation of God." Certainly, then, if God created nothing before him, he was before Adam; and as I can no where learn that God created part of Christ at one time and part at another, especially as Christ himself says in the Psalms, "A body hast thou prepared me," not a body thou wilt prepare me; and as he appeared to Abraham and Joshua, and talked with them, and eat with the former, I must withhold my assent to Philalethes' theory till he brings more substantial proofs of its soundness, in addition to the above, see Eph. iv. 10. and John vi. 62. As to his declaration that Christ assumed human nature, I am so far behind the modern theological march of mind, as not even to have a Bible which contains a record of such a fact, or of any fact from which such a deduction can be made without violence. I therefore leave this part of the subject, and proceed to remark on his proofs of man's immortality. And first, he points us to Rom. ii. 7. where it is recorded that some by patient continuance in well doing were seeking for immortality. Really, this is most singular evidence that they were naturally immortal! The next is 1 Cor. xv. 53. where the Apostle asserts that this MORTAL shall put on immortality, and yet Philalethes adduces it to prove that we have no need to put on immortality from the fact that we are already immortal by nature. He then brings in 2 Tim. i, x. and this expressly asserts (he says) the immortality of the human being. In answer to this, I affirm, that it no more asserts it, than it asserts infant sprinkling to be a command of God; and I appeal to every reader, candid or uncandid, to examine the text. It is evident from his reasoning that he misapprehends the impost of the word; for he has got two sorts of immortality--one of which is destructible and liable to corruption and decay. A corruptible immortality would be like a  short eternal life. Philalethes seems to confound death, or mortality, with annihilation; and the being upheld by the power of God in some form of existence, he concludes must constitute immortality. But I conceive that immortality is one form, or mode of existence, and death another; and annihilation is ceasing to exist in any form. The children of God, his saints, are made partakers of the 'divine nature,' which is immortal. But the wicked, though they may exist forever, are no where in Scripture said to be immortal; but their final state is the second death. I would recommend to Philalethes to give the matter itself and the Scriptures he has quoted in support of it, a second consideration; and to recollect that censorious reflections are no arguments, and carry no conviction to an opponent, but that of the folly of him who makes them.
I will now note some "productions" of his, as rare as any of mine, and quite as fanciful. And first, the newly discovered theory that Christ's body, at the time of his death, was just become an unsuitable habitation of his spirit, and that Christ only half died for our sins; and that the sons of Adam, or "Adam and his progeny," were, and are, only half mortal. He takes the argument that Christ used to prove the resurrection of the dead, to prove that there is no need of a resurrection at all; for that which never dies cannot rise again: of course Christ only half rose from the dead, and hades only means a graveyard.
What was done to the body of Christ to make it a proper habitation for his spirit on its return, Philalethes does not tell us; nor what we are to understand by the living part of a dead man, or what sort of a resurrection he believes in, or what death is, or if the soul or spirit of man is secure in its native immortality, how the gift of God (which is "eternal life,") can benefit anything but the body. The Presbyterians tell us that Adam was made in the "moral" image of God, and Philalethes tells us of a "mental" image. What is a mental image? The image of a thing is that by which it is represented to our view. That which cannot be seen is no image. The disposition or moral character of God, and his intellectual powers are as plainly seen in his other works as in man. If Philalethes thinks otherwise, will he tell us why or how a thing which cannot be seen can be the image of a thing invisible? for the intellect of a man is just as invisible as that of God.
If the above extracts of Philalethes' doctrine or theory are not proofs that he owns as good a "cobweb wheel" as myself, I will send you on another sample. If I hold any error on these subjects it harms me more than any body, and I sincerely desire to be free from it. For this very cause, therefore, I put my first questions, and have added these remarks. If Philalethes has any light on the subject, I shall rejoice to see it shine. But he must have a better apprehension of the subject, and of the Scriptures, than appears in his last, or I shall remain in my ignorance. Farewell.
|A. B. G.|
P. S.--If the reading of Beattie's letters and Campbell's works tend to free the mind from bigotry, I would recommend to Philalethes to give them a second perusal. 
"Pedobaptism Examined, or the Scriptural Evidences in relation to the subject of Baptism, considered. To which is prefixed an Essay under the title of the Mask Removed. Being designed to check rashness and promote mutual forbearance between Christians having an honest difference of sentiment. To which is added, an Appendix, containing a few quotations from history and the writings of the ancient fathers.--By Allen H. Mathes. Madisonville, Tennessee, 1833."
AT the request of a friend who forwarded this tract of 60 pages, we have given it a perusal. The writer is not void of good sense, nor of a respectable share of ingenuity. Under the head of "THE MASK REMOVED," he has said some very good common place things about true and false zeal--on liberality and bigotry. This engrosses the one-fifth of the pamphlet. More than the next fifth is taken up with the long discussed and much vexed question, Whether John's baptism and the Christian baptism be the same? He very satisfactorily demonstrates that they are not the same--that John was not a preacher nor baptizer under the Christian dispensation, but the proclaimer of the approaching kingdom.
On the question, For what purpose Jesus was immersed or baptized by John? he is not so satisfactory. He would have him baptized to fulfil a part of the law of righteousness, for the consecration of the Messiah as a priest; never suspecting the gross fallacy that there never was a law of righteousness for making a Jew a Levite, or for consecrating one of the house of Judah into a son of Levi. How could Jesus fulfil the righteousness of a law of consecration, which law never existed; and, indeed, the law of consecration said nothing concerning the priesthood of a son of Judah? No man takes this honor to himself. Even Christ glorified himself not by assuming the Aaronic priesthood. But God glorified him with a priesthood not from Aaron but after the order of Melchisedeck. Yet our "Pedobaptist friend" would make him a priest according to the law of a carnal commandment and of the house of Aaron!! These Paidobaptists are always confounding flesh and spirit, nature and religion, Judaism and Christianity, and this babyism of sprinkling infants to dedicate them without the graces of faith, repentance, and a new heart, is the illusion that deludes them into this devious logic. In other respects they are men of good sense; but in this they dishonor their own intellect as much as they discredit the Holy Apostles.
Our zealous friend Mr. Mathes next proceeds to the "mode of baptism." The mode of baptism! The modes are three: Sprinkling, pouring, dipping! The sprinkling mode of immersion, the pouring mode of immersion, and the dipping mode of immersion! or say it signifies sprinkling;--then we have the sprinkling mode of sprinkling; the pouring mode of sprinkling, and the dipping mode of sprinkling. There is a bushel of sophistry in this very word mode! It has beguiled thousands. The Baptists, too, contributed to it themselves: for it was universal among them till our debate on baptism in 1820; since which time it has been on the wane. 
Our friend, however, is very liberal. Like Solomon's woman says, "Let it be neither mine nor thine, but divide it." You mistake the dipping mode of sprinkling, and I will take the sprinkling mode of sprinkling. Call me a good Christian, and I will say you are a very good Christian.
He proceeds to show that the Greek language was so barren of definite terms that Jesus Christ could not find a word which would express the action he meant when he said "Baptize them." And, then, Jerusalem was so void of watering places, though frequently near a million of persons were assembled in the city and its environs, there was not as much water as would suffice for covering a man's body. There were several pools, he admits; but then the Jews would not permit any man to be immersed in them. They had no other water to drink. And as for Siloam, he forgot to say that the diseased were sometimes immersed there.
But this is not the worst of it. The preposition eis settles nothing, for it will neither lead a person into heaven, nor into the grave; but only to heaven and to the grave; and it must remain a doubt to the end of time whether any of our race can ascend higher than to heaven or descend lower than to hell; for eis only led Philip and the Eunuch to the water, and the thousands to the Jordan, but not into it!! This old fable is told over as it has been told a thousand times, till one would think that the gentleman believes it himself. But on this part of the book, which engrosses other two-fifths of it, so perfectly ridiculous, we delay not. The reader will see in the present number that Mr. Mathes is confronted by one of the most learned Paidobaptists America in a work just from the press.
There is one sensible passage in this part of the pamphlet, which in justice to the writer, we shall quote; because it shows that if I he had not been deluded in his infancy, he might have written like a man:--
"Our translation, though in the general a good one, is in many places a little wanting in accuracy; certainly no man will pretend that it is infallible, or that it ought to be followed where it differs from the language that inspiration penned, merely because it was brought into common use by the authority of the King of England. I am aware that there are persons in the world who very liberally charge a man with altering the Scriptures, when he gives a translation to any text, no matter how correct his translation may be; if it do not suit their notions, it is sufficient evidence to condemn it; although such may not know a letter in the alphabet, they are critics enough in Greek to know how to pronounce it wrong. Reader, if any part of the Scripture should be translated inaccurately, must we believe and teach that inaccuracy, merely because our translators said so? Were you to judge of the water of any fountain, would you drink of the fountain, or out of the stream? Again, when you charge man with changing the Scriptures, do you do it from knowledge or prejudice? With a design to serve the cause of truth, or your own opinions? Will a man who honestly desires the success of truth, condemn any thing as false, when he does not know it to be so? Is it a genuine mark of Christian candor to assert a thing he knows nothing about? Then never condemn a man for altering the Scripture, until you can prove that he has done it, lest you fix the seal of bigotry to yourself; for none but a bigot blindly contends for that he knows nothing about." 
Had any Reformer said this much about King James' version, Messrs. Cleland, Jennings, or some other very learned Paidobaptist would have denounced him as an incorrigible heretic, and as not liking the common version because it did not like him. Indeed, on the subject of baptism the common version is very far from pleasing these Doctors: judge, then, how much more they must dislike the new one because baptism is translated in it.
The remaining part of the pamphlet is taken up with the subjects of baptism; and these, of course, are babes. Our author is modest here. He takes the households for the proper subjects, and he can find infants in Lydia's, and Cornelius', and the Jailor's households. He almost can hear them crying when Peter and Paul are sprinkling water upon their faces. He gives us a slice of church history in the appendix, indicating that infant affusion was known in the times of Ireneus and Origen!
Worcester on the Atonement.
[The following remarks upon this work are addressed by Thomas Campbell, Sen. to William Z. Thompson, of Kentucky; by whom a copy of it was forwarded to this office. They were designed only for the eye of brother Thompson; but on reading this letter, we concluded they might be of use to some of our readers.]
|BETHANY, Brooke Co. Va. April 10, 1833.|
I CANNOT propose in the compass of a letter to present you with a formal review of this work; nor, indeed, do I think it necessary: for in so doing I should find much to approve; but merely to point out what I conceive to be the radical mistakes of the author, by a direct appeal to express scripture testimony.
Noah Worcester, in his introduction, page 3, declares that his principal object in writing, was, "to evince that, in the sacrifice of Christ, there was a display of love, not of wrath" Page 141, "If God has no pleasure in the death or sufferings of the wicked, he surely could have none in the sufferings of his Son." But what saith the Prophet? "It pleased the Lord to bruise him, he hath put him to grief." Isaiah liii. 10. "Awake, O sword, against my Shepherd, and against the man, my fellow, saith the Lord of hosts; smite the Shepherd, and the sheep shall be scattered: and I will turn my hand on the little ones." Zech. xiii. 7. with Matth. xxvi. 31. And again, Rom. viii. 32, "He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how will be not with him also freely give us all things?" And Matth. xxvi. 38, 39. "My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even to death; and he fell on his face and prayed, saying, O, my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as thou wilt." But we see that, according to the divine will, it was not possible;--that he suffered all that was predicted concerning him, Luke xxiv. 44. and that without the shedding of his blood there was no remission. See Heb. ix. 22. and x. 4. Here, then, we have the greatest possible  display of love both in the giver and in the gift--both in the Father and in the Son; connected with the greatest possible display of aversion to the sufferings, on the part of the Son, and of complacential unsparing severity in inflicting them, on the part of the Father; for "it pleased the Lord to bruise him; he put him to grief;" when he made his soul an offering for sin, "he spared him not." Moreover, it seems impossible to have been otherwise, if sin were pardoned, "for without the shedding of his blood there was no remission;" therefore it was shed for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first covenant, that the called, namely, under that covenant, might receive the promise of an eternal inheritance. Heb. ix. 16. This being the case, it necessarily follows, that, in exact proportion to the divine good pleasure to pardon sinners, the Lord was pleased to bruise his Son; and also with his Son for voluntarily enduring the necessary sufferings: and also, that in exact proportion as the Lord was pleased with these things, he was displeased with something else, on account of which these sufferings were inflicted, and endured; and what could this be but sin, which, without these sufferings, could not possibly be remitted; for he said, "If it be possible, let this cup pass from me;" and, "his blood was shed for the remission of the sins of many."
Now, certainly, in exact proportion as any just, good, and wise being inflicts sufferings for the removal of any evil; and also in exact proportion to the dignity and loveliness of the person who voluntarily submits to endure them; in the very same proportion must be his abhorrence of the evil to be thus removed. If, then, according to this infallible rule of judging, we form our estimate of the heinous nature, and dreadful consequences of sin, how enormous will the amount be!
In pages 38, 39, our author concedes that "any being who has a right to make a penal law, must be supposed to have a right to remit its penalty, in whole or in part, whenever he sees reason for so doing; and on such conditions as, in his opinion, will have the most salutary influence." Grant this just concession, and it will amply justify the divine procedure in the mediation of Jesus Christ, as above stated; but he immediately recedes from his concession, by refusing to admit that "any being in the universe can be properly said to have a right to transfer a just punishment from the guilty to the innocent." Now what saith the Prophet? "All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way, and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all. For he has made him a sin offering for us, who knew no sin, that we might be made the justified of God by him. Isaiah liii. 6. 2 Corinthians v. 21. He made him who knew no sin a sin offering for us; the Lord laid on him the iniquity of us all. How did he do this? Was it by making him actually guilty of all our iniquities, or by treating him as if he had been so, by inflicting upon him the wages of sin; namely, sufferings and death--the just wages of sin? that being justified by faith in his blood, we might by saved from wrath through him? Rom. iii. 25. & v. 9. 
In his Appendix, p. 233, he asks, "Where shall we find a requirement to believe that God laid on his Son the punishment due to us all?" I answer, In the 53d chapter of Isaiah, quoted above. He laid on him the iniquity, that is the punishment due to the iniquity of us all. He further asks, "Or where shall we find a promise that those shall be saved who rely on a vicarious punishment for the remission of their sins? I answer, in the above citations, Rom, iii. 25, 26. & v. 9. "Being justified by his blood, (that is, by faith in his blood,) we shall be saved from wrath through him." "In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace." Eph. i. 7.
In page 240 he alleges that "Christ has wholly omitted to teach any such doctrine, as a ground of justification, or as an evidence of discipleship" If so, what does our Lord mean, when he says, John vi. 51-58, "Whoso eateth my flesh and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. He that eateth my flesh and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him." Are not these the happy effects of faith in his death, which he endured for our redemption? And does he not teach this doctrine as a ground, not only of justification, but also of eternal life?
As for the terms vicar and substitute, against which our author excepts, when applied to Christ, I have only to observe, that he either suffered deservedly on his own account, or on the account of others, to redeem them from suffering: for he assures us himself, that he ought to have suffered as he did. [See Luke xxiv. 26.] Now certainly his sufferings actually redeeming those for whom he suffered, and without which they must have suffered forever, may, with respect to them, be justly called vicarious, or substitutionary; but this is actually the case with respect to all those who are, or shall be, saved from their sins; for without the shedding of his blood there is no remission. See the proof above cited.
Upon the whole, according to the views and reasonings of this author, all sacrificial blood has been shed in vain; for he ascribes to the sacrifice of Christ only a moral influence upon the remission of sin; that is, by its effect upon the mind, producing repentance and love; which he also declares to be the righteousness which God requires for the remission of sins. See p. 147 and 152. The righteousness of God;--the righteousness of faith, pages 63 to 65. Now if these things be so, what need of the sacrifice of Christ; for good men before the coming of Christ, as well as since, possessed this righteousness; and, of course, were justified independent of the moral influence of his example, either in his life or in his death; and surely, if they could and did attain to righteousness, independent of the living and dying example of the Saviour, they might have done so independent of the death of brute animals; for as far as symbolical purification might be conducive to moral purity, or be emblematical of its importance, the purifying stream was a better symbol than blood.
---- When I undertook to address you upon N. W's views of the atonement, I thought I should be able to expose and refute his principal  and dangerous misrepresentations in the sheet I had intended for that purpose; but I find that, notwithstanding my studied brevity, there are two or three other topics that ought to have been noticed, viz. the proper and primary intention of sacrifice, and of faith, in the remedial economy; and how these, in the administration, tend to affect the character both of God and man.
According to the revelation with which we are favored, the attributes of the divine character most gloriously displayed in the creation and sustentation of the universe, are power, wisdom, and goodness. Goodness is the universal motto--"very good" the superscription of all his works. Gen. 1.31. Next in his legislation and government we have a glorious display of his justice, truth, and holiness; and lastly, in the redemption and reconciliation of human rebels, we have a transcendant display of the divine love, mercy, and condescension. Upon this glorious display of the divine character, I intend not, now, to insist; but only it must not be tarnished in our salvation. For this all-important purpose has God now, under the gospel, "set forth his Son for a propitiatory sacrifice, or mercy seat, through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God, to declare at this time his righteousness, that he might be just and justifier of him that believeth in Jesus. Rom. iii. 21-26. Now as all the typical sacrifices were predictions and prefigurations of this, we see in it the proper and primary import of them all; namely, the vindication of the divine justice in justifying him that believeth in Jesus; by clearly and fully evincing that he did so upon just principles. But it is asked, How does this appear? I answer, "Through the redemption that is by Christ Jesus." Rom. iii. 24. It is this that justifies the divine procedure, in justifying the ungodly who believes in Jesus: that is, in acquitting him from his obligation to suffer, on account of the sufferings which Christ endured for his sake, by the divine will and appointment. John x. 18. with Heb. x. 10. 5. Now, this being the case, it becomes a righteous thing for God to justify those for whose justification Christ died according to his will. Nor has God slighted his law, or invalidated its authority by this procedure, as he would have done by letting sin pass with impunity; he has rather magnified his law and made it honorable by the obedience of his Son, and his endurance of its penalty in behalf of his people. See Gal. iii. 13, 14. iv. 5, 6.
If, however, our author's allegation against a right to transfer a just punishment from the guilty to the innocent, and, of course, against all substituted sufferings, be correct, then, not only the above quoted scriptures but all others that ascribe salvation from justly deserved punishment, to the deep humiliation and terrible sufferings of the saviour, are preposterous and unjust. Did not Christ do and suffer all that the scriptures assert? Was he perfectly innocent? Did he do and suffer these things for the guilty that they might escape condign punishment? And had his doings and sufferings the desired effect? These questions must be answered in the affirmative, or we contradict almost everything that is written concerning Christ and his salvation;  and if they be thus answered, all the objections and arguments that have been brought against the vicarious and substituted sufferings of the Saviour, fall to the ground. Still, however, not only the justice of such a procedure is called in question, but it is also branded with the epithets of cruelty, of revenge, of an unmerciful, vindictive disposition; and the disposition and conduct of the Son in the article of his sufferings, is, upon the above supposition, contrasted with, and greatly extolled above, that of his heavenly Father. See page 206.
But, after all his declamation against this view of the subject, has our author attempted to clear the Father of a designing and efficient agency in the sufferings of Christ? Confessedly he has not. Indeed, how could he, with any semblance of respect for the divine testimony? Seeing it is expressly declared that "it pleased the Lord to bruise him; he has put him to grief; he has laid on him the iniquity of us all; he spared not his own Son, but delivered him up to the death for us all." Accordingly the Son, upon his trial before Pilate, explicitly ascribes his sufferings to the Father; as he had before implicitly done in his prayer in the garden; saying, "O, my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not my will, but thine be done;" for when Pilate said to him, "Knowest thou not that I have power to crucify thee, and power to release thee," he replied, "Thou couldest have no power against me, except it were given thee from above." Wherefore, during the whole of his trial he seeks no favor, he never attempts to procure any indulgence, or to excite the sympathies either of the populace or of his judges; thus practically refusing to acknowledge, or to have any thing to do with, any inflicting or mitigating agency in his sufferings, but that of his heavenly Father, either first or last. In prospect of his sufferings he first addresses him in the garden;--at the close of them, he last addresses him upon the cross. Hence it is evident that he considers his heavenly Father, first and last, as the sole author of all his sufferings; as does likewise his Apostles afterwards. See Acts ii. 23. & iii. 18. & xiii. 27. with Rom. viii. 32. &c. The Jews and Romans were but the executioners. See Acts iv. 27. 28.
Now as the proper and primary intention of animal sacrifices for the remission of sins, (for "without the shedding of blood there is no remission,") was to manifest and inculcate the heinous nature and deadly effects of sin, and that God would actually pardon the sins of the guilty on account of the sufferings of the innocent; and as no sufferings were of any account for that purpose but the sufferings of Christ, on account of the dignity of his person; he therefore suffered for our sins that he might redeem us from this present evil world, according to the will of God our Father. Gal. i. 4. And now God has set him forth for a mercy seat, that we might have access to his mercy, through faith in his blood; to declare his righteousness; that he might be just, and the justifier of him that believes in Jesus. But, according to our author, justice has no concern with our salvation. Yet, were I to philosophize, I would say with Young,
|"A God all mercy is a God unjust." |
But he has declared himself a "just God and a Saviour." And that he might be so, the Apostle informs us that he has appointed faith in the blood of his Son for our justifying righteousness. (see Rom. iii.25, 26.) to the utter exclusion of all boasting, (ver. 27,) and therefore opposes to, and contradistinguished from, all works. Rom iv. 4, 5. And this not only for the glory of the divine justice, but also for the security of the believers--"that the promise might be sure to all the seed." (verse 16.) Now this faith, or reliance on the blood of Christ, for a full and final acquittal from all the penal effects of sin, puts the believer into the actual enjoyment of all the blissful privileges specified in the 5th chapter, from the 1st to the end of the 11th verse. See Rom. v. 1-11. And also glorifies not only the love, mercy, and condescension of God; so transcendantly manifested in the gift of his Son for our salvation; but his justice also, in inflicting the punishment due to the sinner upon the surety, the substitute which his love had provided for that purpose. John iii. 16. with Heb. vii. 22, &c. By the inflicting of which he has most strikingly manifested the just demerit of sin, and of course, the justness of the punishment awarded to the sinner; and lastly, his own rectoral justice, in not suffering an evil so horribly ruinous to pass with impunity in his dominions: and, consequently, to prevent forever, as far as possible, the commission of this horrid evil, at least with any possible hope of impunity.
Thus God has manifested the most harmonious and perfect consistency between the natural and remedial institutions; he has shown them to be equally the effects of wisdom and goodness--equally planned and executed in justice, truth, and holiness; that is, that the love, mercy, and condescension of the latter, perfectly harmonizes with, and actually sustains the justice, truth, and holiness of the former: so that instead of making void the law through faith, it really establishes the law. And as for the righteousness of the divine appointment of the Son to be a substitute and surety, how can we reasonably call it in question? Had not the Father a right to dispose of his Son, with his own consent, just as he pleased? And had not the Son a right to do the will of his Father?
To conclude, if we could be saved in a way honorable to God, without the sacrifice of his Son as a sin offering, we certainly could have been saved without his peculiar doctrines and example, and consequently without his birth, life, or death. I think, upon a candid and impartial view of all the premises, reasonings, and conclusions of this author, the manifestation and death of the Son of God were wholly in vain and unnecessary. But believing, as I do, that it was not possible that any one of our race could be saved without the sacrifice of the Lamb of God, I must hold every attempt to explain it away into a mere moral example, or a display of love, without regard to justice, as tending to subvert the basis of the divine government, and rob the gospel of all that glorifies the wisdom and power, the justice and mercy of God in putting away sin and in saving the sinner. That the author did not intend this, is to me no apology for the tendency of his work, while it allows me to regard him as having simply mistaken  the true intention of the mission of the Son of God. These reflections are tendered, I trust, in the spirit of all good will to the author, and in sincere affection for yourself as a brother beloved for the hope's sake, which is laid up for us in heaven.
Reformation exalts and dignifies Human Nature.
MR. GRIMKE'S address on the influence of THE REFORMATION, on Science, and Literature, most eloquently sets forth the influence of personal reformation, in giving compass and elevation to the human mind. A Christian is always, and in all places, all things else being equal, superior to any other man. Let any two persons of the same genius, taste, and literary education, be brought into comparison, the one a Christian, and the other any thing else; and we hazard nothing in affirming that the Christian will always be found superior to the other. Every advance towards the pure Christianity of the Bible, advances man in every thing which dignifies him. Hence the advances in science, literature, and the arts, subsequent to the Protestant Reformation. The knowledge of God and of Jesus Christ communicates a strength and an activity to the mind which no other knowledge can impart. To the truth of this proposition a cloud of witnesses bears testimony, like whom the annals of the world afford no example. The reflex light of Christianity alone has done all that Mr. Grimke narrates; what, then, would be the attainments and the lustre of human genius and human character, were the nations of the earth under the full influence of its direct rays?
"The moderns, to say nothing more, have shown themselves, not at all inferior to antiquity, in power and originality, in variety and felicity of talent. Indeed, Newton and Leibnitz, Locke, Butler and Bacon, Chatham and Burke, Milton and Shakspeare, Linnaeus, Button and Davoisier, are unequalled by any of the ancients. Grant that Hume, Robertson and Gibbon, are not the rivals in style of Thucydides and Herodotus, of Livy and Sallust, and that they are not, is due to the language and not to the author; yet those are every way superior to these, in all that constitutes the highest value of history. Bossuet, Bourdaloue and Massillon, Pitt, Sheridan, Fox, Erskine and Canning, fear no comparison, if liberal and candid, with Demosthenes, Pericles, Isocrates and Cicero. Schlegal has ranked Shakspeare above all the dramatists of antiquity; while the critical judgment and accomplished taste of the Edinburgh Review, has styled Milton, "the first of poets?" To say no more, by way of comparison, though the parallel might be advantageously pursued, let us remark, how much has been done by the moderns, almost wholly within the last three centuries, in Art and Science, without any or scarcely any model, among the ancients. The compass, gunpowder, paper, printing, engraving,  and oil painting; the whole department of navigation, including ship building; the system of modern tactics by land and sea, of modern commerce, political economy and banking; algebra, fluxions, and the sublime works of Newton and La Place; anatomy and surgery; chemist try, electricity, magnetism and botany; the telescope and microscope;, the time-piece, the air-pump, the steam-engine and galvanism; the true theory and practice of government; the division and subordination of power; the principles of evidence and trial; diplomacy, the balance of power and the law of nations; the history of man, of arts and sciences, and of literature; philology and the philosophy of history; and lastly, a nobler and better scheme of morals, and a profound, rational and comprehensive theology--all these and numberless other inventions, discoveries, and improvements, are the work of the modern world. Whenever that world shall judge boldly, independently, candidly, liberally, the decision must be in favor of the masters in Literature and Science, who have arisen since the 15th century. Whether in abstruse and comprehensive, or in refined and elegant speculation; in profound, energetic, logical reasoning: in powerful, commanding, persuasive eloquence; in the intellectual and imaginative poetry, in the descriptive and pathetic; in practical wisdom, moral, international or political, civil, social or domestic; in those arts, which employ, while they improve and bless the people; in a word, in all that makes man industrious and useful, virtuous and happy, and prepares him for the service of God, of his fellow men and of posterity--if, with a view to these things, we contemplate the great men, who have arisen since the year 1500, we must acknowledge them, unrivaled by the ancients. This is my creed, I glory in it: and this, I speak it with triumphant confidence, this, before the close of the 19th century, will be the creed of my country.
"If then the moderns thus rank in a comparison with antiquity, if there never has been, since the Reformation, a deficiency of talents, in any department of Science and Art, of Literature and Knowledge; what reason have we to fear, that the time will ever come, when such a deficiency shall exist? For myself, I cling with the energy and enthusiasm of religion, philanthropy, and patriotism, to the belief, that such a period shall never exist. While the earth remaineth, while seed-time and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night, shall not cease," I believe that the human mind shall never again be enslaved; that the Protestant nations shall never again sit in darkness; that the bright career of improvement, begun by the Reformation, shall never terminate; till all the nations shall be gathered into the fold of the one Shepherd, and all sects shall be embosomed, in the holy Sanctuary of the Millennial Church.--Then shall the triumph of the principles of the Reformation be complete. Then shall the Christian religion have become the only standard of public and private conduct. Then shall the New Testament have established its dominion every where, substantially and practically, as the only fountain of all rights, international, civil and social, as the moral constitution of a world of nations. 
"My last remark relates to ourselves. If the expectations of Protestant countries, individually, and above all as a community, be thus bright, what hopes of future excellence in Science and Literature, may not our country reasonably indulge? I answer a more glorious hope than any other people, that ever lived. In the daily progress even " from rise of morn, to set of sun," of popular education, of individual usefulness, of social blessings, of public happiness; in all the materials of national power and aggrandizement; in the prospect of an influence over the fortunes of the world, more wise, more moral, more commanding, than ever state enjoyed; in all that invests a people with the authority and majesty, the beauty and attractiveness of virtue and justice, of wisdom and knowledge; I know that this Union has no rival, among the nations, ancient or modern. And shall not we, in like manner, surpass them, in Science and Literature and Art? We may disparage ourselves, as the timidity of Domenichino, and the humility of Newton undervalued their own genius. Our cotemporaries in the great school for the education of States, instituted by the Reformers, may contemn us, even as the fellow-students of the Italian painter and of the English philosopher, ridiculed and despised them. But the great masters of the school of the Reformers, in our day, in our own, as well as in other countries, already anticipate for these United States, a destiny more glorious and happy, than the world has ever witnessed. And well may they predict such fortunes for America, when, besides all that constitutes us the first of free, educated, Christian, peaceful States, we enjoy advantages, even in relation to Science, Literature and Art, such as no other people ever possessed. We have laid the foundations of improvement in all knowledge, broader and deeper, than ever people did. In all other nations, these have been the result of accident and violence, of singular and often fortuitous occurrences; but, with us, they are the fruits of system in choice, and concentration in effort. In other nations, the monarch, the statesman, the philosopher, the patron, has labored almost single-handed; but with us, the People have arisen as one Man, to lay these foundations, in the fear of God, and in the presence of the world. Besides the privilege, that we commenced even our colonial existence, with the principles of the Reformers, and that they have grown with our growth, and strengthened with our strength, we enjoy a further advantage, consequent on the triumph of the Reformation. The whole body of British Literature, more profound in Science, more sublime in Genius, and more accomplished in Taste: more substantial, useful, rational and various than that, which any other people has ever produced, constitutes the basis of our structure. And, as the scholars of the British Isles have built on the foundations of Classic antiquity, an edifice more perfect in majesty and loveliness, than the fairy temple of Greece, so, shall our America raise, on the foundations of English Literature, a structure more admirable in "the sublime, the wonderful, the fair," than poet's fancy has ever imaged forth.
"In, every department of knowledge, whether theoretical or practical where THINKING AND REASONING are the means and criterion of  excellence, our country must, IF THERE BE TRUTH AND POWER IN THE PRINCIPLES OF THE REFORMATION, surpass every people that ever existed. I fear not the great names of Archimedes, Aristotle, and Plato, of Demosthenes and Cicero, of Tacitus and Thucydides. I know that we must excel them. I fear not the greater names of Bacon and Newton, of Locke, Butler, Hume and Robertson, of Chatham, Burke and Pitt. I know that we must excel them also. The landmarks of human excellence seemed to have been set, as for an eternal state of Man, when Archimedes, Aristotle and Plato, Thucydides and Demosthenes constructed the noble edifice of ancient history, philosophy and eloquence. But greater men than these have arisen, and built anew the Holy City of knowledge, placing its foundations amidst a better state of society, on the double bases of the Classic and Christian systems. We have appeared in our turn, and the structures of former ages, and of other nations, have become the basis of ours. Instead, therefore, of despairing, let us feel the strongest assurance, that the present day is to our people, as it were but the primary school of education and that a "eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither hath it entered into the heart of Man to conceive" the honors, in Science and Literature, reserved for us. I know that hundreds, perhaps thousands, will regard these sentiments, as visionary in thought, and enthusiastic in feeling. But I would not exchange such delightful anticipations of my country's glory, for the timidity of the awe-stricken worshiper, either of Antiquity, or of that European Literature, whose laurels spring from the very principles, which we are cultivating, with more energy, assiduity and ardor than all other nations.
"Why did Grecian surpass Roman Literature, in all the constituent excellencies of originality, energy and richness, of sublimity, beauty, and variety? To what causes shall we ascribe this superiority, but to THE FREEDOM AND POWER OF THOUGHT? And whence did these arise, but from the popular institutions of Greece, from the mutual action and re-action, the national pride, and emulation, which influenced individuals and the sister States of the same political neighborhood? And do we not see, moreover, that the Literature of Greece was the child of her prime, whilst power, and glory, and liberty flourished. But the Augustan age of Rome was the offspring of her declining years, when the republic had perished, in form as well as in soul? Why did Italy excel Spain, in the same characteristics of literary merit? Why is there a force, a beauty, a variety, an originality of genius in the Fine Arts and in Poetry, in Philosophy and History, which are unrivaled by the Spaniards, eminent as they are? Do we not trace the efficient causes in the spirit, which once animated Venice and Genoa, Rome and Florence, and many of the small principalities in the North of Italy? Do we not discover them in the national pride and emulation of independent princes; in the comparative freedom, activity, boldness and enterprize, which marked the Italian People, at the jubilee of their literary glory? Why have the writers of Germany been superior to their gay and gallant neighbors of La Belle France, in the philosophical spirit, in the inventions of original  thinking, though not in the graces of the artist; in the profound investigation of principles, though not in the critical application of rules; in various, solid, and valuable learning; in the energy and enthusiasm with which they have studied Man, whether as the subject of Religion or the end of civil society; whether as the object of philosophy, history or poetry? Shall we not assign as adequate causes, that the German States were the Patriarchal family of the Reformation; that the manner and habit, the love and obligation of intense study, and sound erudition, have been the common inheritance of their Universities: And that the character of their state of society, and political arrangements, has imparted more of nature, energy and individuality, and, if I may venture the expression, more of romantic and picturesque beauty to their Literature! Why, indeed, have the Protestants of Germany left far behind them, in the Olympic Games of Science and Art, their brethren of the same national household, if it be not, that causes of peculiar force, of flexible and diversified character, have exerted a commanding influence over the fortunes of the one, but have left untouched the destinies of the other? Why has Catholic France excelled Catholic Spain, in genius and taste, in literature and knowledge, in philosophy and history, in the theory and practice both of Arts and Sciences? Was it not chiefly, because the power and intelligence, the learning and enterprize of the Protestant party, though they had failed to reform France either in Church or in State, yet contributed pre-eminently to that warfare of minds and feelings, of thinking and reasoning, of opinions and sentiments, which made her EMPHATICALLY PROTESTANT IN SCIENCE AND LITERATURE?
"Why, in fine, have the British Isles excelled the North and the South, the Middle and the West of Europe, in depth, comprehensiveness, and power of thought; in political Science, both practical and speculative; in all that regards the best interests of Man, as to religion, society and government; in the knowledge of human nature, individual and social; in the intellectual and imaginative sublime, whether of philosophy, eloquence or poetry; in a profound moral sympathy with the visible and invisible world; and in a beauty and pathos, which invest the writings of the Orator, Novelist and Poet, with an air of peculiar majesty, richness, simplicity and taste? What cause shall we assign for these phenomena, but the power of study, the freedom of thought, and the liberty that lives and moves in their institutions? And why, did British Literature, during the reign of the third George, ascend the heights of fame, with a step, so bold and free; with an air of such elegance, dignity, and grace? Why did her authors so pre-eminently excel in originality and variety: in reasoning, eloquence, and the knowledge of principles, theoretical and practical; in the power of thought, comprehensive, profound and acute; in sublimity and beauty; in pathos, splendor, and richness? Shall we not recognize, in our day, the mysterious agency, the uncontrollable working of causes, analogous to those, which created the gigantic literature of the age of Elizabeth? The Reformation was the well-spring of thought and principles, at that period. Our Revolution of '76, is the fountain of living waters now.---- 
The age of the American Revolution is to the rights of Man, what the age of the Reformers was to his duties. This, republished the true principles of Christian liberty, obligation of happiness--that of natural right, of political and civil freedom. The Reformation of Luther laid the foundation of the rights of Man in Society. The Revolution of 1776 finished the superstructure of Religious Liberty.--The principles of the Protestant epoch remodeled the Church--those of the American æra--Society and Government. Daughters of the same divine parent, the Religion of the Bible, they have founded a new family among the nations. Whilst all Europe trembled, as with an earthquake, amidst the convulsions of the thirty years' war, the foundations of this new family were laid at Jamestown and Plymouth. Here, on these Western shores, savage and inhospitable, the infant state was born, unnoticed and unknown, like the child in Revelations, that was hidden in the wilderness. Many a wild torrent of Indian massacre swept over our childhood; and left behind it the desolate pathway of the whirlwind. Many a mountain wave from the battlefields of Europe rushed across the Atlantic; and garments rolled in blood were the portion of our youth. As the prime of life approached, the children of the outcast and wanderer arose, and fought on their own soil, by the side, and in the cause of the parent nation. The prime of life came, and the principles of the Reformation taught them that Independence was a right and a duty, when civil and political liberty was invaded. The Gordian knot of colonial obedience was severed: a fierce struggle for the mastery ensued: and it pleased the Almighty, that the victory should be ours. That victory was a consequence, however remote--a triumph, however unlooked for, of the Reformation.
"The spirit of inquiry, first principles, thinking, reasoning, were the very essence, the genius of the Reformation, in the age of Luther. The same were the essence, the genius of the Revolution under Washington. The Protestant nations have surpassed all the rest of the European family in the depth and comprehensiveness, in the sublimity and beauty, in the richness and variety of their Literature and Science. Britain, the guardian angel of the liberty of Europe, the vanguard of civilization and freedom" in the Old World,--
|"She, in the soul of Man, her better wealth,
"The richest: Nature's noblest produce, she
" The immortal mind in perfect height and strength,
"Bears with a prodigal opulence."
And we, the only offspring nation ever bore, worthy of such an ancestry, we must not, we cannot, we shall not rest satisfied, with inferiority to English fame, in Science and Literature. The spirit of inquiry, first principles, thought, reasoning, these are the causes, which, under circumstances singularly felicitous, have made her in power and glory, in wisdom and virtue, in wealth, happiness, freedom and knowledge, the greatest European State whether ancient or modern. And the same causes shall enable us, still more fortunate in situation, at our appointed day of meridian excellence, to ascend a loftier height of  power and glory, of wisdom and virtue, of wealth, happiness, freedom and knowledge, than England has ever attained. She has accomplished all, that a European people, subjects of a limited monarchy, can attain, under the transforming, regenerating influence of the Reformation. She is the Rome of the Modern World, but has far excelled the Republic of Antiquity. We shall accomplish still more, in effecting all, that an American people, citizens of a confederacy of Republics can perform, under the combined influence of the Reformation and of our Revolution. We shall be the Greece of the Modern World, unrivaled by the Literature of three thousand years. All, indeed that the system of the Reformers can bring to pass, our country, the only holy land of Religious liberty, the only promised land of political freedom, shall assuredly accomplish. Then shall OUR COUNTRY be--emphatically, pre-eminently--THE EMPIRE OF MIND, THE REPUBLIC OF LETTERS.
SIGNS OF THE TIMES.
CHRIST'S SECOND COMING CONSIDERED, WITH THE
"Behold the Bridegroom comes: go you out to meet him."
|By S. M. M'CORKLE,--a Layman.|
THE dissolution of the present administration, and the great events connected with it, is a subject of the highest importance, and all the evidence for or against should be duly weighed. I can have no interest in believing or propagating error. If the opinions respecting the dissolution of the church be erroneous, the error cannot be fatal in its consequence--cannot have a demoralizing effect. Nothing can be lost by investigation--much maybe gained. If the fact should prove that the present church, the dispensation committed to the Gentiles, is to close, is to be laid aside, rolled together as a scroll, how fatal is the mistake to be! If we be found clinging to our traditions, instead of searching the Scripture; if we be found adhering to our names and creeds, making or supporting the divisions in the fold of Christ, how can we escape the fate of former dispensations--how expect the plaudit of the Judge? How stand before the Master when he calls the servants to a reckoning. When arraigned before his tribunal will we defend ourselves, our names, our creeds, our favorite isms, and tell him to his face that those divisions are necessary--that war and dissension are calculated to stimulate to action, productive of investigation; that party spirit and conflicting interests make men vigilant, more industrious than better motives--such as love to God and good will to man! Such a tribunal, I verily believe, is soon to be erected--such a reckoning soon to take place, and the servants all sunk in deep sleep! And in spite of the signs of the times, in spite of the  omens of his coming, in spite of two dispensations which have fallen by the stroke of Omnipotence, all admonishing us of our fate--in spite of his threatenings, his uplifted hand, his unchanging word, his former dealings with corruption; yet will the churches cling to their traditions--their corruption; and wake up from their delirium and fatal dreaming when it is too late to escape being engulphed in remediless ruin, amidst the wreck of human institutions, human usurpation, and tyranny, the casting down of thrones, and the fall of empires and dominions. Now, are these things mere chimeras of the brain, phantoms of imagination? Reader, I pray you examine the ground on which you are standing. How near akin are the churches to the Babylon long doomed to interminable destruction--positively they are daughters. Ordination and authority have come down by succession from this Mother of Harlots. Can authority rise higher than the fountain? Can Antichrist confer Christian authority? What is meant by the term harlots? mother and daughters both implied--harlots in the plural number--many. What church can plead exemption from the charge? Have all nations "drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication," and can they escape drinking in the same degree, the cup of vengeance she is soon to drink? Is Babylon to fall, and those who have drunk of her wine to remain unhurt? Is there no meaning in these things? Babylon is not to fall alone: the cities of the nations are to fall. What is meant by these cities of the nations in the plural? No one examining? No, we are listening to the sing-song of the day, the lullabies of our dry morose divines, who are telling us a thousand things which need not be told--a thousand tales, fables, lies--telling us that the "church is to come up out of the wilderness, leaning on her beloved." Now there is not a warrant for this in all God's word! The church is never to come up out of the wilderness. I challenge the text, the solitary text, to the contrary. It is one of the wretched blunders of our teachers, and palmed on the world as Bible!
The woman in the Apocalypse, clothed with the sun, must be a figure of the church, or she is a figure of nothing in the visible or invisible world--an ignis fatuus. Now can any one show from the sacred oracles that this woman ever came up out of the wilderness? She was nourished there twelve hundred and sixty days, or years; but not the most distant intimation of her return; and yet we are dreaming of her coming up out of the wilderness! The world is in tiptoe expectation of a day, rich with prosperity, when the church is to put on her beautiful garments, glowing in renovated strength, and converts numerous as the drops of the mornings. These things are hoped, are preached, are believed, when in their stead we are to have war, pestilence, and fire.
Our leaders would perform miracles without the aid of miracles; would renovate an old self-righteous church; make old things new. What a contrast between the present and the primitive church! Corruption knows no retrograde flow; dispensations are never reorganized; a lost step is never regained; the voice of nature, every thing we see around us, but the elements, is teaching the self-evident  doctrine of decay; and the history of man, from the beginning of time, is on our side of this question. How small a part of christendom deserve the name--how small a part of that minority are following the "still small voice" of the gospel--peace and good will to man!
A belief of these opinions cannot produce inactivity. The present dispensation is in force while it lasts. He who does nothing for the Master cannot expect the plaudit, "Well done, good and faithful servant." No time for relaxation. A general reformation is necessary. This I despair of seeing. A few may be plucked from the falling house, the impending ruin, ere the four winds be let loose to "hurt the earth."
If the church is never to come up out of the wilderness, what is to become of her? What is to consummate the figure of the bride, the Lamb's wife? The woman clothed with the sun, and the bride, the Lamb's wife, are as different as Mary and Elizabeth. The one fled into the wilderness--the other is to come down from God out of heaven--"the great city, the holy Jerusalem." Among the many blunders of the day this is not the least, that this holy Jerusalem is transferred to the world! And from the pulpit (the fountain head of error) we are often admonished that we "are going home to the New Jerusalem;" and instead of this, the New Jerusalem is coming down to us!--is to descend "out of heaven from God!"
Now if there is any dependence to be placed on John's Patmos visions, events of the greatest magnitude are pending--events such as the world has never witnessed. I can scarcely persuade myself that a certain class of men whom I could name, do really believe John in the Revelations. If they do, it is hard to determine which is most blameworthy--their ignorance and indifference respecting those things predicted by the Apostle, or rank deism. If this New Jerusalem be a figure, what may we expect when it is realized?
But the world is so much absorbed about converting the Hindoos, incorporating churches, with a thousand religious institutions, that the great matters which the eternal Jehovah, with his shining myriads, is to superintend, is soon to bring upon the stage, is pushed out of view--is lost sight of in the hot chase and endless cry after some ghostly phantom, or religious speculation. This amazing superstructure, this New Jerusalem, be it what it may, is to descend "from God out of heaven," with a grandeur, a blaze of glory never before seen on earth; yet this city, this gift of God, all garnished by the hand of Omnipotence, embellished by the Architect of the Universe, lucid as light, and radiant as the bow of Jehovah, is lost sight of, forgotten, amidst the mighty scramble about creeds, territory, or gold.
It is worth a man's head, at least his reputation must suffer, if he call our priests sceptics now-a-days; but, in the name of the Lord, what are they? Do they believe Moses and the Prophets? Do they believe the testimony of Christ by his Apostle John? Do they believe that this "holy Jerusalem is to descend out of heaven from God? But they have learned to spiritualize every thing, but the divinity of gold. And this Jerusalem, notwithstanding its descent, and the glory  of the nations coming into it, is to be consummated in the worlds above! Happy way of ridding us of every thing contrary to our traditions or wishes! And this spiritual legerdemain can alter or change almost any part of the sacred oracles. The resurrection of the martyrs has long ago undergone its potent operation, and converted it into a ghost--to wit: the spirit of the martyrs resurrected. But this will prove too much; it will prove that the spirit of the martyrs is not in the land of the living; and farther, a spirit is not a proper subject of resurrection.
Now the "holy Jerusalem" must be a figure, a metaphor; for the present church, in its primitive state, was called "a holy city." If it be a figure of a church which is to descend "out of heaven from God," then, and in that case, what is to become of the present? This very New Jerusalem substantiates the foregoing opinions--a new witness establishing our former views--the close of the present, and the introduction of a new dispensation.
The resurrection of the martyrs (I give it as an opinion) is to consummate the figure proposed to us in the descent of the New Jerusalem--is to be the memorable day from which the universal reign of Christ is to be dated; and the very design of their resurrection is given: "They shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years." What need of priests in the worlds above?--The passage respecting the resurrection of the martyrs, makes complete sense in all its points and bearings. It may be said that the resurrection of the witnesses is uniformly taken as a metaphor, and why not the other? The witnesses cannot be taken in any other sense. Who are they? What are they? The world is much divided about the witnesses. No one has seen them.--They can have no positive identification. But it is not so with the martyrs: their lives are recorded--their history is written in blood, which will descend down to posterity while time endures. They were buried, at least some of them; the bones of others are scattered to the four winds; and those that can be had compose a profitable traffic throughout a large part of christendom. They lived, they suffered, they died--died for the cause of the Master--for the word of God. They can be identified; positively and really men, women, and children; not metaphors, not principles; no figures needed, nor can be applied; and they are proper and legitimate subjects of a resurrection, and it is right that they should be favored thus above other men. If it be the spirit of the martyrs that is to be raised, then the spirit which existed in them must be exanimate. This fact I would almost admit from taking a look at the christian world. Is the spirit which existed in the martyrs different from that which should, and does exist in all christians. It was nothing more than the spirit of Christ, and without the spirit of Christ we are none of his. This will prove too much for the orthodox of the day. What was the spirit, the temper, the character of those who suffered for the cause of Christ? They were meek, gentle, easy to be entreated, full of love and good works; faith, hone, charity. These were manifest in their lives--their whole conduct; fruits of holiness--principles. Are these things  to be remanded back from the abodes of death, and thus to become "priests of God and of Christ"? What! principles to become agents! God has twice committed his heritage to men in the flesh, and twice have they turned it into a den of thieves; therefore, will the management of the next administration be committed to hands which will not err--those whom gold cannot lure, nor temptation lead astray.
If this resurrection be a figure of christianity being renovated, a restoration of primitive rectitude, there will be a new thing under the sun; and God will not deal with this dispensation as he has formerly done, and he, to speak with reverence, has changed his plans of dealing with vice--has discovered that some other expedient beside vengeance will check the mighty tide of iniquity; that an old church may be patched up and mended until it becomes new, vigorous, and sound again; that an old garment, worn and threadbare, may be mended, made comely, or sound by a piece of new cloth! That when moral operations have become ineffectual, light and motive impotent, he on physical principles can renovate christianity in his own time and way; that the spirit, to wit--the holiness, the devotion, the invincible zeal of the martyrs, is to be resurrected; and this is to be done on physical principles, (the moral having become ineffectual,) for resurrections are entirely to be performed upon physical principles. If the resurrection before us be a metaphor, what is the meaning of this passage in Dan. xii. "And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake." "Many of them," this positively implies apart, and strengthens John's partial resurrection. Nor can the passage apply to the final judgment, for it is to be a time of trouble, a time when Michael shall stand up, "the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people."
This prediction is evidently relative to the Jewish nation; and most of the judicious look for a restoration of the Jews. The Jews are miraculously preserved, a separate people, firm in the hope of a return to their land. Eighteen hundred years of adversity cannot conquer this hope--a hope that never wanes with the changes and fluctuations of time. Nothing can break the charm which binds them to their land, their laws, or their religion. Arguments in favor of Christianity for eighteen hundred years, have left them just where they were found--as unconquerable as the laws of nature. Nothing short of the most stupendous miracle, one which they all must see, will convert them to christianity; and who can look for this in favor of a religion as badly abused, as mortally corrupted as that of the Jews'. One ground of reciprocal meeting between Jew and Gentile, where they can embrace, will be found where neither party are occupants, which neither can claim. On what other ground can divided intolerant Christianity meet? A miracle is necessary--aye, indispensable; an event which will hush the din of war, and put to silence the endless clang of contending parties, amalgamate Jew and Gentile, and break down the insuperable bars between those who profess the same religion. And just such a miracle does the Bible warrant us to expect--the descent of the New Jerusalem and the resurrection of those who were "beheaded for the witness of Jesus and the word of God,"  with other events and circumstances, which will rid the world of sceptical Christians and unbelieving Jews. If there was a partial resurrection at the introduction of Christianity, is it unreasonable to expect such an event at the introduction of Christ's universal reign?
There are objections of this kind made:--The martyrs, say they, are in Paradise, in perfect enjoyment. Are they to become citizens of earth again? I would thus answer the objection:--Can a celestial or an immortalized being be out of heaven in all the universe of God? But another objection is this:--Are they to engage in new toils, as they are to become priests, &c.? Can immortality become weary? Is there an intelligent being in the universe unemployed? No being can be inactive and answer the design of creation. I presume there is nothing but energy and activity from the great First Cause down to the lowest grade of intelligences--yes, down to the smallest insect in creation. Activity is the very spice of life, the very soul of enjoyment. Is heaven to consist in nothing else but repose and repast? Recumbent virtue is not virtue. I'll vouch for it, there is not a sofa or a dream in all the Paradise of God.
But how are they to become companions of men in the flesh? They can be arbiters, overseers, sit in judgment. "I saw thrones, (in the plural) and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them." Rev. xx.
It is objected farther, that we could not bear communications with glorified beings. Holiness has nothing to fear; 'tis guilt that makes cowards. Christ was seen after his resurrection without fear. Daniel saw Gabriel without terror. "Fear not ye," was sufficient to allay the fears of timid women, who came early to the sepulchre. And farther, the most pious, holy, devotional men on earth would bear with the least terror an interview with celestial beings.
If there was none other scripture to support the doctrine of the resurrection of the martyrs, there might be some pretext for turning this 20th Rev. into a metaphor. But the happy art of spiritualizing can answer or do away any argument, or change the first and simple meaning of any part of the sacred oracles.
Alas! what precept, prophecy, or ordinance within the lids of the Bible, is not perverted or called into question by those professing the Christian religion! And yet this multiform hundred headed hydra is to be renovated by some strange metamorphosis to become the bride, the Lamb's wife. I speak in general terms of christendom, not of the Christian religion. The religion of Christ will stand while the administration and the administrators, abuses and abusers will be wrapt in a conflagration destined by them for the material world. Far be it from me to say that the precepts of the gospel are to be changed or laid aside in the wreck of the administration; its precepts, many of them, are as unchangeable as the throne of Omnipotence. Many precepts were brought out of the Jewish into the Christian dispensation, and will continue in force while there is a Lawgiver in the universe, or an intelligent being in his mighty empire. 
I would draw another argument in favor of the resurrection of the martyrs, from Paul to the Philippians, iii. 10. "If by any means I might attain to the resurrection of the dead." This text applied to the resurrection in the common acceptation, is one of the most incomprehensible texts in the sacred oracles. It plainly implies that the resurrection is attainable, suspended upon some contingency, or the performance of some duty, which may be attained or may be lost. Paul plainly acknowledges that he had not "attained." If Paul was not a proper subject of resurrection when writing, who may hope to survive the tomb? None; no, not one. Paul must have had the resurrection of the martyrs in view, or he is "hard to be understood." The Apostle, a little before this time, had been "caught away to the third heaven." This place is quite as hard to understand as the former, without we apply it to dispensations--the difficulty is immediately solved. A third dispensation is probably the very meaning of the writer, in which those who should be slain for the word of God would be raised to reign with the Master a thousand years. This was a new stimulus to Paul--caused him to "press forward?" The doctrine was believed in the first ages of Christianity, and caused many to act imprudently, and no doubt brought this truth into disrepute. "Third heaven," in the common acceptation, would originate some odd conjectures about the locality of these places. Reader, recollect that the word heaven often, very often means just God's moral government on earth; and to apply the first heaven to the Jewish dispensation, the second to the present Christian economy rising above the former; the third, Christ's universal reign; Christ reigning the King of kings, offers nothing contrary to reason or scripture, or a succession of great events rising in grandeur and majesty above each other, each affording a new display of the wisdom and glory of the great untreated Ruler of the universe.2
We have thus dwelt upon the resurrection of the martyrs, because it is an important feature among the unfulfilled predictions, and closely connected with the prophecies, we propose taking up presently.
[TO BE CONTINUED.]
An Essay on a Particular Providence.
BY J. A. WATERMAN.
O Lord! I know that it is not in the way of man that walketh, to direct his steps.
The heart of man deviseth his steps, but the Lord directs his ways.
THERE is no subject which the mind of an intelligent being can contemplate with so much pleasure and profit, as the moral government of the great Jehovah. All who admit the existence of a Supreme Being, admit that he  governs the various orders of beings which his hand has formed. The argument by which we prove the existence of an intelligent First Cause, will prove that he governs the world or worlds he has made. Every where in nature we see effects produced which suppose a designing intelligent Cause. There also appears to be a unity in the design, so that the whole system, so far as we can comprehend it, appears to be the work of one being, one infinite intelligent mind. Both in the moral and physical government of the world, we see means adapted to certain ends in the most admirable manner. The design is apparent, the skill exquisite and confounding. Who, for instance, that examines the eye, can doubt for a moment that it was formed for the purpose of vision? How admirable the structure! The same design is manifest in every part of nature. To attribute such a complex system of things, so beautifully and harmoniously arranged, to the power of blind Chance, is folly indeed. "The fool" only "saith in his heart, There is no God."
It is equally unreasonable to suppose that this system of things is unoriginate, or has existed from all eternity. Epicurus and his followers argue most inconclusively when they infer the world to be eternal. Everything in nature appears to be dependent for its existence on a cause out of itself. I now speak of that which is endowed with animal, rational, or vegetable life. If the life of a vegetable or animal is once destroyed, it remains forever under the dominion of death, unless a foreign power interposes. "To restore it again to life," as Sir Isaac Newton observes, "requires the power of a Creator." Atheists, such as Mirabeau, attribute to Nature this power. But what do they mean by Nature, and the laws of Nature? These are words which are often used by men who profess to be philosophers. From the manner in which these phrases are used even by some professors of religion, it would seem that they attach some efficiency to what they call a law of Nature. But have the laws of Nature, abstractly considered, any efficiency? Can they produce any thing independent of God's agency? It is certain they cannot. "The laws of mechanics," as Dr. Reid observes, "never made a machine." They are nothing but rules by which things are done. The laws of nature are rules by which God does certain things: they suppose a law-maker. In this light they are viewed by the greatest philosophers. Let us hear what the great Sir Isaac Newton says on this subject:--"But I often use the term of attraction, impulse towards a centre, or any other word indicating an inclination or tendency, indifferently and promiscuously, or synonymously, and these terms are to he considered not in a physical, but in a mathematical sense. Whence let the reader be careful not to suppose that by terms of this kind I any where define the species or mode of action to mean an actual cause or physical efficiency; or that, in fact, I ascribe physical power to centres, which are mathematical points, if perchance I shall say that centres attract, or that centres possess power."
It is now, I believe, admitted by the most profound investigators of nature, that there is no necessary connexion between causes and their effects. All we know on this subject is that one thing follows another in regular succession, but no necessary connexion can be shown between that which we call a cause and the effect we attribute to it. We can only say that things so exist by the will of God; for, says Dr. Abercrombie, "in regard to any two such events, our idea of causation, of power, amounts to nothing more than our knowledge of the fact that the one is invariably the antecedent of the other; of the mysterious agency on which the causation depends we know nothing, and never can know any thing in our present state of being." The true philosopher, when he says a thing is done, or brought about by a law in nature, means that such is the way in which things are done by God--the law is the rule by which he acts. And this is agreeable to scripture, "for in him we live, and move, and have our being."
"The Bible says that all things are upheld by God; and is not this agreeable to reason and philosophy? I know that some philosophers suppose that a certain motion given by God to the system of nature at first, is sufficient to  account for all the motion since that time. This conclusion is founded on the fact that a body once put into motion will continue that motion forever, except it be impeded by another power or obstructing medium. But have we proof that the planets move through an unobstructing medium? The contrary appears to me to be probable; and I am certain that no proof has yet been afforded of the fact that they move through a vacuum. Now if this view of the subject be correct, we conclude that the planets are moved by the power of God; and that as the poet sings,
|----------"Should he withdraw
His power, the whole astonish'd universe
Would, reeling to and fro, swift start away,
And chaos come again."
To suppose with some others, that nature, or the laws of nature, have power to produce vegetables or animals, and consequently that if all things possessed of animal or vegetable life, were, by some dreadful convulsion of nature, swept away, nature would reproduce them, is contrary to all our experience on this subject, and most unreasonable.
It has always appeared to me that those philosophers and divines who endeavor to exalt revelation by attributing to it our ideas of God, unintentionally injure the cause they attempt to support.3 They act as foolish a part as the astronomer, who, under pretence of exalting the power of the telescope, would destroy our eyes. I cannot see how a confirmed Atheist can be converted to a belief in the existence of God by any argument offered by revelation. Dr. Chalmers supposes that the historical argument for the truth of Christianity would have more influence upon the mind of an Atheist, than the argument for the existence of God derived from the works of nature. I confess I cannot agree with the Doctor. If the Atheist should apply the same scepticism to historical evidence that he does to the testimony of nature, what influence would the historical argument for Christianity have on his mind? None at all. He would say with Hume, that it is contrary to our experience that men ever rose from the dead, but it is not contrary to our experience that men testify to falsehood. I do not say that this argument of Hume's is a good one; but it is to me more forcible than any objection that has been urged against the argument for the existence of God drawn from the signs of intelligence exhibited in nature. If the Atheist should assume the absurd opinion that all things came by chance, if he should even see a miracle wrought by a professed prophet, it would not convince him of his folly. Surely, he might say, if consistent, if so many men as now exist came by chance, this man, who has now returned from the grave, may have come also by chance. If he should say that the world has existed from eternity, and possesses the power in itself of producing men, the sight of a man coming from the grave, or any other miracle, would not convince him of the existence of God. Surely, he might say, this is a new development of nature's power, but not more astonishing than what I have seen a thousand times in the regular productions of nature. Now I do not say that Atheists would always be so consistent. Miracles would, perhaps, surprise them for a moment into their senses, but they must abandon the first principle of Atheism, before they could be converted by a miracle, if they should even see it. Indeed, I know of no way of convincing such men that God made the world, but by giving them the privilege of seeing it done. Should an angel declare it to them, why, according to their principles, should they believe it? They say that men will tell falsehoods, and therefore they will not believe Prophets or Apostles, and surely it is not self-evident that other beings, if there be any, may not also lie. Why should an Atheist believe the testimony of such a transient visitant?4 If the scepticism of the Atheist is followed to its final consequences, it is easy to see that a man so foolish as an Atheist cannot be convinced that God made him, because his own creation can never be an object of his senses. Surely we may say in the language of  Heaven, that "such men are fools"--that is, they abuse their reason; for this is the meaning of the term "fool" in Scripture:--yea, they are "the most brutish among the people."
IF to ascribe our ideas of God to supernatural revelation be a fault, I must confess guilt; for to this hour, notwithstanding all that natural religionists have said, notwithstanding all that deists, theists, and moral philosophers have affirmed, reasoned, and taught of man's inability to gather from the testimony of his five senses and his powers of ratiocination upon the volume of nature the existence of one spiritual First Cause--of one God--I must believe with Paul, that it is "by faith," and not by reason, nor by sense, that "we understand the worlds were made by the word of God"--and that "the world by wisdom knew not God."
I am aware, too, that Paul has said, "His invisible attributes, even his eternal power and divinity, since the creation of the world, are very evident, being known by his works." [Rom. i. 19, 20, new version, which is more forcible against our views than the common version.] Yet when I listen to the whole testimony of God, and examine the whole powers of man to originate or have originated in him new ideas, I must cleave to the position--that not only the name, but the idea of God, is supernatural, and derived from the direct communications of God.
That every creature is a witness, that all the works or God are witnesses and vouchers of his being and perfections, is not only admitted, but argued from our premises. "The heavens do declare his glory, and the firmament shows forth the works of his hands. Day after day utters speech, and night after night teaches us knowledge." But they are only witnesses--the position which they prove is another matter; for the position and the proof are two things. That there is one God, creator and upholder of the universe, is the position which all creation witnesses. But the question is, Are the witnesses and the thing witnessed the same; or can nature and our five senses, aided by our intellection, both originate the idea and prove it? We say they can prove, but not originate the idea. Our friend Waterman (and we have a very great respect for his judgment,) and with him a mighty host of learned men, say, that without the Bible, without revelation, a man can by the exercise of his reason, through his external senses, on the face of the universe, acquire the idea of God, and the proof of his existence too.
We happen to be so constituted that the evidence which convinces them does not convince us. It is indeed true, that amongst Christians this is a very remote question, and one on which they may differ without any disadvantage among themselves: but not so with the Atheists. In arguing with them one argument is enough. They must admit that the idea of one Great Spirit is in the world. If they say, (as they do,) that it did not come into the world by revelation, then we ask them, how came it into the world? This they cannot demonstrate on any principle, unless they assume the position of the natural religionists, (amongst whom I do not like to see my friend Waterman,) and affirm that man can himself, by imagination, invent it. They will not say that philosophy or revelation teaches it, but that men have imagined it. We then ask them how the human mind can imagine it? Then, on their own concessions, they are stranded.
Now as we reason, those who differ from us on this subject lose this argument, and are therefore comparatively impotent in their attacks on Atheism. No Atheist has ever yet succeeded against this argument, and, in my judgment, never can.
But to return. No person has yet been produced who has acquired the idea of God in any other way than by revelation or tradition. None can be produced. And moreover, our most zealous champions for human ability can on  this subject, when pressed, have conceded, and will again concede, that the idea of God which is acquired in their way, is a very incorrect idea; for it supposes not the existence of spirit at all. It is a material God, and not a Spirit, which they concede is derived from the volume of nature.
I attempt no more at this time than to show how little the natural religionists gain and how much they lose by their philosophy, and have no idea at present of fighting this metaphysical battle over again. The time may come when we may feel it to be our duty to affirm and prove, with the renowned Newton, that "God gave man reason and religion by giving him speech."
One thing is certain, that man in Paradise was not placed there to acquire the idea of God without revelation; for God spoke to him: and it appears very unseemly that now, when fallen and impaired in all his faculties, he should be placed in the world to learn that which he could not learn in Eden before his apostacy from God.
Approving as I do, of the preceding essay in its general scope, and differing only in this single position from the reasonings of our intelligent and liberal-minded correspondent, I add no more than the above note.
Our author demonstrates that we have need of a demonstration against Atheism: for neither miracle, nor angel, nor testimony can convince the Atheist. Why then demur at our ascribing all knowledge of God to supernatural revelation, as this gives us an argument nigher demonstration than any the philosopher ever urged--nay, it is in fact a demonstration.
Professor Stuart on the Mode of Baptism.
PROFESSOR STUART, of Andover, Massachusetts, so well known in the literary and religious world, so celebrated in those departments of literature connected with biblical criticism, has, in the April number of "The Biblical Repository," presented an essay of 103 octavo pages on "the mode of baptism," in answer to the question, "is the manner of Christian baptism prescribed in the New Testament?"
The high reputation of Professor Stuart, so well deserved, as we think, gives an importance to this treatise which could not be claimed for any treatise on this question from the pen of any other American author. The candor of the writer too, is, perhaps, unrivalled amongst his contemporaries, and demands for him a most respectful hearing. We have accordingly read this treatise with all deference and attention, and have no hesitation in saying that it is an essay of very superior merit, and that, in our opinion, it will greatly subserve the cause of reformation in these United States.
The author is a Paidobaptist; one, who, in some sense, believes in infant sprinkling, and is therefore entirely free from the suspicion of any undue partiality for immersion. He has rendered the most peculiar service to the cause of immersion--a service which not one man in an age can render. To explain the peculiar difficulty of this service, I will illustrate it by a case somewhat parallel. When we have overpowered the sceptics on the resurrection of Jesus, with an immense cloud of witnesses in attestation of the fact of his resurrection  on the third day, they have replied, 'Your testimony is all one-sided, all Christian; your witnesses are all friends, all believers in that event: but let us have only one witness from the other side, one who was not a believer in the resurrection, and then we will concede the whole matter.' They seem not to think how difficult, nay, how impossible it would be to produce a witness in favor of the resurrection from amongst those who disbelieved it: for so soon as any one admitted this fact he ceased to be an unbeliever; he is then on the side of its friends. Now this may illustrate the peculiar service which our liberal and candid Professor has rendered the cause we have so long plead. His is the most rare testimony. If not the testimony of an unbeliever in the divine authority of immersion, it is the nighest approach to it which we suppose ever was made, or ever will be made. A single circumstance, which will appear in the sequel, was only wanting to have placed him on our side, and then his testimony would have lost with the multitude of Paidobaptists all its charms, all its peculiar power; but for that circumstance it would have been no better than ours. We must, therefore, tender our most respectful thanks to the Professor for the service he has rendered; and were it not that his witness to the truth is of so much the more value, standing as he does, we would regret, that after having made so good and so honest a confession, he should be deprived of all the benefits resulting to the humble and obedient disciples of the Messiah, from an intelligent immersion into his death.
The temper of our author is also as commendable as any attribute of his character. He writes with all suavity of manner, and shows a very high regard for the feelings of every class of readers. Upon the whole, it may be said his is a work of unrivalled merit, and one which will do more than any other which we have seen, in settling the minds of all conscientious and diligent students of the Bible.
The occasion of its appearance is also worthy of notice. He was called upon, both by Baptists and Paidobaptists, to express his views on the import of the original words anglicised baptism and baptize; and therefore he does not obtrude his views upon the public, but appears upon the arena at the solicitations of the immersed and the sprinkled. These things premised, we now proceed to the examination of the Essay.
His first section is headed, "Form and classical use of the word Baptizo."
As much depends on the classical or current acceptation of the words in dispute, we shall allow the Professor to speak on our pages fully on this part of the subject.
After enumerating all the derivatives from the etymological root BAP, such as bapto, baptizo, baptisis, baptisma, baptismos, &c. he proceeds to state as follows, (p. 290-293:)--
"The leading and original meaning of BAP; seems to have been dipping, plunging, immersing, soaking, or drenching in some liquid substance. As kindred to this meaning, and closely united with it, i. e. as an effect resulting from such a cause, the idea of dyeing, coloring, tinging, seems also to have  been often associated with the original root, and to have passed into many of its derivates. For example; baptoV, dipped, immersed, colored, baptw, to dip, plunge, dye, color; bafiuV, a dyer, usually limited to this signification; bafh, dipping, plunging, immersing, the act of coloring, coloring stuff or matter, dye; bafikoV, what belongs or is appropriate to dipping, immersing, or to coloring, dyeing; bafikh (sc. tecnh) the art of dyeing; baweion, a dyer's workshop; bayiV, the act of immersion, or of dyeing; bayimoV, to be immersed, (quasi immersible,) or to be colored, all of which show, that there is a frequent interchange of meaning in the above derived words, and a similarity between them all; and also that the two ideas of immersion and of dyeing or coloring lie at the basis of the words derived from BAP, in most of their forms; although, in a few cases, usage has confined some particular words among these derivates solely to one class of meanings; e. g. bapfeuV, a dyer; bapfeion, a dyer's shop; baptisiV, immersion, submersion, &c. Such a limited usage of these derivative nouns, however, is probably the result merely of convenience and custom, and lies not in the original nature itself of the words thus employed; for as they are obviously from the root BAP, so they might be employed, if usage had thus determined, like nearly all its other numerous derivates, in the twofold sense of dipping or immersing, and of dyeing or coloring.
For the present I merely state the fact in relation to these several meanings of the root BAP and its derivates. The reader is desired particularly to notice what has been stated, viz. that most of the nouns derived from BAP have a twofold sense, that of immersion and that of dyeing; yet some of them are employed only in one sense exclusively, either that of immersion, or that of dyeing. We shall see, in the sequel, that the verbs baptw and baptizw have distinctions of meaning analogous to these,--distinctions which are never confounded by usage, while they both agree in one common and original meaning, viz. that of immersion or plunging.
In the brief view given above, I have supposed the original and literal meaning of the root BAP, to be that of dipping or plunging; and accordingly 1 have arranged this meaning so as to stand first in order. Still some may be disposed to consider this as not altogether certain. They may, perhaps, maintain that the idea of BAP was to tinge, dye, or color; and that the idea of plunging or dipping was derived from this, because, in order to accomplish the work of dying, the act of plunging or dipping was necessary. But as the idea of immersing or plunging is common to both the words baptw and baptizw, while that of dyeing or coloring belongs only to baptw, it would seem altogether probable that the former signification is the more usual and natural one, and therefore more probably the original one. Accordingly I have so arranged it in my statement above; but at the same time, it should be understood, that the signification of dyeing or coloring, as attached to the word baptw, and many forms derived from it, is not less certain than the signification of dipping or immersing. If the reader will keep this in mind, he will be enabled in the sequel easily to solve some cases, concerning which there has been dispute, among those who have defended views that widely differ in regard to the manner in which the rite of baptism should be performed.
In addition to the two fundamental meanings of the word baptw, as derived from BAP, there are other derived or secondary meanings of the word, which will of course be noted in the sequel, when we come more fully to consider this subject."
After showing that there is no radical difference between bapto and baptizo, dependent on the form, he proceeds, p. 297:--
"On the whole, I am unable to make out for verbs in zw, any peculiarity of meaning, as appropriate to them only. Not even where they are derived from more simple verbs, does such a difference always, or even more usually, exist. It follows, then, that we are to regard baptizo, so far as its mere form is concerned, and unless there are special reasons for viewing it differently, as only an example of a prolonged and secondary form of a verb, of which there are  so many scores of examples in the Greek language, particularly in the Present and Imperfect tenses.
Dismissing then the question of mere form, let us now inquire, whether in actual usage baptizo has a different meaning from bapto. In particular, is it distinguished from bapto by the writers of the New Testament?
The answer to these questions will be fully developed in the sequel. I have already intimated, that baptizo is distinguished from bapto in its meaning. I now add, that it is not, like this latter word, used to designate the idea of coloring or dyeing; while in some other respects, it seems in classical use, to be nearly or quite synonymous with bapto. In the New Testament, however, there is one other marked distinction between the use of these verbs. Baptizo and its derivatives are exclusively employed, when the rite of baptism is to be designated in any form whatever; and in this case, bapto seems to be purposely, as well as habitually, excluded.
Let us come now, for the fuller development of this matter, to the more important part of our inquiry under the first head, viz. What are the classical meanings of bapto and baptizo? In some measure I have been obliged to anticipate the answer to this inquiry, in the statements which I have already made; but I come now to the exhibition of the grounds on which we must rest the positions that have been advanced, and others also, which are still to be advanced.
1. Bapto and baptizo mean to dip, plunge, or immerge, into any thing liquid. All lexicographers and critics of any note are agreed in this. My proof of this position, need not necessarily be protracted; but for the sake of ample confirmation, I must beg the reader's patience, while I lay before him, as briefly as may be, the results of an investigation, which seems to leave no room for doubt. Take the following examples from the classics."
Homer, Pindar, Aristotle, Aristophanes, Heraclides, Ponticus, Herodotus, Aratus, Xenophon, Plutarch, Lucian, Diodorus Siculus, Plato, Epictetus, Hippocrates, Strabo, Polybius and Josephus are formally and expressly quoted to sustain this radical, capital and characteristic meaning of bapto and baptizo.
[TO BE CONTINUED.]
THE aid which God gives to his creatures, consists not in his performing for them what he has qualified them to do for themselves, but in furnishing them with the means of doing for themselves, what, without the means furnished by him, their capacity of action would be of no avail. This is the character of Divine assistance, wherever we find it given, except in the cases called miraculous.
First, God performs none of those numerous actions for man, on the performance of which man's corporal or animal happiness depend; he only furnishes the capacity and the means of performing them. He ploughs no man's field, he sows no man's seed; he reaps no man's harvest; he grinds no man's grain; he bakes no man's bread; he plants no man's vineyard; collects no man's grapes nor converts them into wine; he manufactures no man's cloth, nor cuts nor sews it into garments.
And secondly, As he performs for the welfare of the human being, none of those corporal actions, for the performance of which he has qualified man, and furnished him with the means of performing himself; so for the advancement of human happiness he performs none of those mental actions, which he has qualified the human mind to perform for its own advantage, and furnished it with the necessary means. He looks, he hears, he tastes, he smells for no man  He thinks, he meditates, he reasons, he judges for no man: nor does he perform for any man the operations which we ascribe to imagination, memory, attention or conscience. Moreover he reads, comprehends, believes, repents, reforms for no man: nor does he love or hate, sorrow or rejoice, or feel any of the emotions incident to our nature for any member of our race. No, all these actions man must and does perform for himself. But if man must perform all these actions for himself, what does God contribute towards their performance? I answer, he furnishes capacity, means and motives: and the answer may be easily proved to be correct by an analysis of every sort of action performed by man: but I mean at present to examine its truth only with respect to that class of mental actions termed religious.
1. When the human mind acquires the knowledge of God and divine things: does God perform this action for it or does he merely assist in its performance by furnishing the necessary capacity and the necessary means of information, and by presenting the most powerful motive of its incalculable benefit and advantage to the acquirer to rouse his soul to action?
2. When the human mind believes or admits the truth of what God has declared, merely because he has declared it, does God perform the act of believing for the believer, or does he only furnish the declarations to be believed, attested by his own infallible veracity, and in order to excite the mind to the performance of the act of believing what God has declared, propose to it in clear language the immeasurable advantage of divine faith, that is of believing what God has declared? Thus we perceive what man contributes towards the act of faith or believing, and what God contributes. God bestows the capacity necessary to enable man to perform the act: he also furnishes the means without which the act, notwithstanding man's capacity, could not be performed: and he furnishes and proposes the inducement which excites to its performance, and man thus excited exerts the capacity bestowed upon him or believes.
3. When one repents, does God perform the act of penitence for the penitent; or does he only furnish the capacity necessary to enable man to repent; and the information, consisting in a clear revelation of God's will, and an express declaration that every impenitent contemner of that will shall be eternally miserable, without which repentance, notwithstanding capacity, is impracticable; and the all-powerful motive of escape from eternal misery by repentance, to excite the sinner to perform the penitential act? Here again God furnishes capacity, means and motives, and aided by these the creature performs the act.
4. When one reforms, does God perform for him the actions either mental or corporal in which his reformation consist? Or does he only furnish the capacity which their performance requires; and the information which makes known the actions both mental and corporal, in which reformation consists, and exhibits the motive, consisting in the boundless advantage of reformation to.the reformed, to excite the depraved to reform. When God therefore commands his creatures to reform, what does he do? Manifestly to exert the capacity which he has bestowed on them, of using the means with which he has provided them for becoming acquainted with the actions, mental and corporal, in which reformation consists, and of considering or reflecting on the motive, namely, the immense advantage of reformation, till it has excited them to perform the actions in which reformation consists.
5. When one loves God, delights, rejoices, or confides in God, does God perform these actions? Or does he only furnish the capacity which man exerts in their performance, and such a declaration or exhibition of his own lovely attributes and actions as is when duly attended to and reflected on, calculated to produce the emotions of love, delight, joy, confidence and gratitude in the hearts of his creatures? Are we then desirous to have these emotions excited in our minds towards our maker, let us read, let us dwell on the account which God has given us of his lovely perfections and beneficial actions, let us meditate then, till these emotions are awakened within us.
6. But perhaps we have analysed actions enough to prove that man is the  performer of all religious actions, and God the furnisher of the capacity, means and motives, which enable him to do so.
FROM THE NEW YORK COURIER.
FALSIFICATIONS OF THE BIBLE.
IN RUNNING our eye lately over some of the public papers, we were struck with the following notices of the Holy Scriptures, to which we beg leave to call the serious attention of those, whose peculiar duty it is to guard the purity of that source, from whence springs the faith of so large a portion of mankind.
"Falsification of the Scriptures.--A reverend gentleman in England, named Curtis, has recently made some appalling disclosures in relation to the careless and iniquitous manner in which the University editions of the Holy Bible, published by the King's printer, are put forth to the world. Mr. Curtis has exposed some enormous errors, and variations from the original text, as given in King James' time. Six hundred mistakes have been found in one book, and eight hundred in another; many of them most important, and all of them inexcusable. Some of the grosser ones, which would seem to have been concerted and intentional, have been rife for forty years. The true sense of Holy Writ, it is contended, has been greatly warped by these errors; and measures are in train to have them ratified, in all future editions of the Scriptures published in England. It is stated that the churches in America have long since adopted the edition in question as a standard;--if so, it is of the last importance, we should conceive to import one of the corrected copies, now preparing, at the earliest period. The writer remarks, with much sorrowful feeling, that such perversions of the Sacred Word have given rise to more scoffers and infidels, than could have been otherwise produced by any other cause."
"It is announced that Dr. Noah Webster, the lexicographer, is engaged in preparing for publication an edition of the Bible, in the common version, but with amendments of the language, chiefly in the following particulars--
"1. The correction of errors in Grammar.
"2. The omission of obsolete words and phrases, and the substitution of equivalent terms now in use.
"3. The use of euphemism for such indelicate words and phrases as are most offensive, and which cannot be uttered without pain both to the reader and hearer?"
In regard to the falsifications and mistakes of the Bible, noticed in the first article, there is great reason to fear that they extend far beyond the "University Editions published by the King's Printer." In the multiplicity of editions we see every day palmed into the world without any sanction or authority whatever, by booksellers and  societies and denominations and sects of all sorts, where is the security that the text may not be altered to suit the peculiar tenets of each particular sect, or marred by the carelessness or ignorance of the publishers? We have heard it asserted, and from the hurried manner in which these Bibles are multiplied almost to infinity, we believe it to be true, that many of the common editions are scandalously inaccurate, if not wilfully falsified, to sanction the peculiar tenets of the sects by whom they are published. The common people who have in a great degree lost their reverence and value for the Sacred Book, from the usual effects of too great plenty, receive it without enquiry, though there is no security whatever for its accuracy, and no sanction of church or state to guard against interpolation, corruption or mistake.
These things ought not to be. The Bible is too important a volume to be left thus at the mercy of ignorance, carelessness, or wilful interested falsification. It should come forth with the sanction of some high and responsible authority, and carry with it evidence that it has undergone the strict scrutiny of persons, whose learning and integrity sufficiently guaranty the public against deception and falsehood.--As it is now, we really see no obstacle to publishing Bibles to suit any system of morals or religion, and whose precepts may outrage every principle of the Decalogue. Living as we do under a Government which neither interferes nor allows of interference in religious matters, it is without doubt difficult, if not impossible, to prevent impositions of this kind, since there is no law that we know of to prevent a man from publishing any book he pleases under the denomination of the Holy Bible. Still the evil we speak of is not the less to be deplored; and we cannot but recommend it most earnestly to the attention of all those who would preserve the Scriptures from degenerating by degrees into a heterogeneous jumble of contradictory and irreconcilable inconsistencies. The few doctrinal differences originating in the two translations of the Bibles of the Catholic and Protestant faiths, detract but little from the divinity of the Scriptures; but the eternal multiplication of these differences, must, in the end, entirely destroy their force and authority, and undermine the very foundations of our faith. When it is seen that they sanction the most opposite and incongruous opinions, and that those who agree in nothing under heaven, can find in the Scriptures authority for all their differences, it cannot but happen that reflecting minds will begin to doubt the infallibility of an oracle so liable to be misinterpreted.
But if we have read the statement on the authority of Mr. Curtis, with pain, we have viewed the notification of Dr. Webster with indignation and contempt. We look upon the project of dressing up the Doric simplicity of the bible in all the trumpery of "euphemisms," as little less than impiety, as an attempt to strip the book of life of its very life, its beautiful simplicity--its childish unconsciousness of giving offence by calling things by their right names, which gives it such a character of unequalled grandeur and purity. Does not Dr. Webster know that nothing is so well calculated to call up an offensive image in the mind, as that affected squeamishness under which  lasciviousness may be and so often is masked? Is he ignorant that offensive ideas may be as easily conveyed by circumlocution or "euphemisms," as by the plainest words? or that the truly delicate and virtuous mind revolts ten times more indignantly at the one than the other, because the former is an attempt to cheat it into toleration by artifice and disguise, while the latter comes in the garb of simple truth at least?--What should we think of Dr. Webster dressing up Moses and the Prophets in the costume of a dandy of the present day; or decorating Sarah, Rebecca and Esther in the multifarious trumpery of a modern fine lady? Yet this would not be more supremely ridiculous and not half so mischievous, as reforming the Scriptures into the pompous, artificial rhetoric of the present day. We beseech the Doctor to stick to his spelling books and dictionaries and let the bible alone. We believe him to be a pious man, and that he would not intentionally make the scriptures ridiculous by translating them in "euphemisms."
With respect to the correction of grammatical errors, if the Doctor means such as have crept in by means of that carelessness and perversion to which we have heretofore referred, well and good. But if his intention is to play the pedant with the book of inspiration, and adapt it to his notions of the beauty and purity of grammatical construction, then we say the Lord deliver us from Dr. Webster and his bible!
The second object of the Doctor is the "omission of obsolete words and phrases, and the substitution of equivalent terms now in use."--Now, to our poor apprehension, there is not a single word or sentence in the bible which requires the doctor's pruning knife; or that he can make clearer by all his circumlocution and euphemisms. There is not in the English, or in any other tongue, living or dead, a book of more clearness of language than the bible. It is a perfect model, and no man living can touch without defiling it, or alter without polluting its divine simplicity. We cannot think with patience of a bible decked out in the rhetoric of the modern school, and our faith in it would be almost as much shaken by altering its language, as by falsifying its precepts.
Lastly. The Doctor contemplates, by the aid of "euphemisms," to disguise such ideas as cannot be expressed in plain English "without pain, both to the reader and hearer." We have been all our lives accustomed to think, that indecency, or smuttiness, consisted as much in ideas as words. Now, if the Doctor would do away entirely with these alleged scriptural indecorums, he must not only alter the words, but the ideas, by the aid of his euphemisms; in other words--he must alter the Scriptures; in plain English falsify them; for no one doubts that these ideas are found in the original as well as in the translations. Where this system of alterations would end no one can tell, since that squeamishness in language, which is ever the result of relaxation in morals, might come, in time, to take exceptions at other words and ideas which had escaped the skittish delicacy of Doctor Webster.--Truly this is a wonderful moral age; it is assuredly more afraid of  naughty words than naughty actions. We have editions of Shakspeare, and other fine old authors, with the brains knocked out, under pretence of making them fit for family use; and we are now threatened with an edition of the Bible; stripped of its simplicity, its very identity, by the aid of euphemisms and circumlocutions; though it is acknowledged on all sides, that the simple, brief directness of the bible language, is not only its greatest beauty, but its strongest barrier against error and misinterpretation.--We say, therefore, to Doctor Webster, once again, stick to Spelling Books and Dictionaries--deluge the country with one, and confound the universe with the other--make, alter, mar and misspell, as you please, but spare us, we beseech thee,the Doric simplicity, the unaffected beauty, the brief, unstudied manliness, the naked truth of the Book of Life. Away with your euphemisms, grinder of genders, and scavenger of words!"
WE have only room to remark on the above Extracts, from the New York Courier and Enquirer, that Mr. Curtis' complaints, corroborate some statements which we made some years ago, upon the numerous errors, which have crept into the common version. We felt authorized to say, on the documents then in our possession, that the people are not now in possession of King James' version. There are many alterations and departures from the 1st Editions of that work. But of this again.
What is said of the carelessness and incompetency of the numerous printers and publishers of the scriptures, to say nothing of the interference of sectarian zeal, is no doubt worthy of credit. It requires, we know from experience, the patience of an ox and the eye of an eagle, to superintend an edition of the New Testament. We never saw an edition of the New Testament free from errors. Even in the New Version of the single epistle to the Romans, by Professor Stuart, from the literary press of Andover, under the supervision of one of the most competent revisers of the press, a whole verse, or a part of two verses, is left out of the text. It is to be feared too, it will be perpetuated in the English Editions of that valuable work. As to Dr. Webster's project, we will not now say much. We are opposed as much as the writer of the above article can be, to tampering with the simplicity of the style and language of the Sacred Scriptures, and to the irresponsible attempts of every one who takes it into his head to improve the grammar or phraseology of the common Translation. Yet we cannot concur with him, in the profusion of praise,which he pours upon the errors and faults of the common version, nor in the overflowing measures of censure, with which he repays the temerity of Dr. Webster. We are of opinion, that the Doric simplicity of 1 Samuel 25. 22. and of many similar passages, would be as much preserved in saying "any male" or "every male" as it is in the common version. Euphemisms are necessary: and in the King's version there are euphemisms, vulgar as it now is, which depart as far from the original, as is necessary to all emendations required in the present age. But of this also again; We are persuaded that had the caprice of the above writer, placed him on the side of Dr. Webster, he could have found as many commendations of his plan as he has found faults in it. But we neither defend Webster's project, nor attack the Courier's criticism upon it. There is right and wrong, truth and error, and extremes on both sides. These matters will soon require more of our attention.
Progress of Reform.
|KING AND QUEEN, 8th April, 1833.|
"AGREEABLY to appointment, we met at Acquintain church, in King William, on last Friday, and continued from day to day until Monday afternoon.  A joyful season has it been. Not many were added, or came forward, but the most extraordinary peace, amity and joy animated the confluence of disciples. We had truly a multitude of these present; far beyond our calculations. We were favored with the presence and aid of about sixteen proclaimers of the ancient gospel, the greater part of whom perhaps, addressed the public in the course of the meeting. We broke bread on Lord's day in a congregation of from five hundred to a thousand disciples, it is supposed, a very extraordinary scene indeed. The points whence the disciples came, were numerous and very remote. The circumstances were heart-moving; teaching us to give glory to God, while we took courage in the good cause in which it has pleased God to lead us. Surely Jesus the Messiah must be at the helm of affairs, or we should not under present circumstances, have been thus blessed. I have no wish to boast in this happy state of things, but in Christ Jesus, to whom be all praise and glory! His works, ways, and means, as well as ends, are of the marvellous in our eyes. But you would like to know whether we made any laws, or in any way attempted to re-organize Messiah's Kingdom for its more rapid and unobjectionable spread. No; we forbore to add any thing as to faith or manners, but earnestly pressed upon all to regard the already perfect work of the Lord, and act accordingly.
Though this meeting has been remarkably numerous, and well attended by those who are for going forward in the reformation, yet, from different causes, there are churches and ministers of the same mind, who did not attend. But I have no doubt, that the cause of truth is dear to their hearts, and will guide them in their course.
We contemplate holding a similar meeting in Richmond in the course of October next, to which, the attention of the disciples will be invited, in due time.
I have not designed to be very particular in this communication, as I heard brother Henley say, he should send on an account of the meeting at an early day. Taking it all in all, unless it has happened in the western part of our country, I should say that such a meeting has not occurred for many centuries. Much greater men have often met--many more converts have been made--much more splendid doings, after their kind, have been exhibited,--but it has seldom happened during the last twelve of fifteen hundred years, that men separated by a space of five hundred miles have assembled with the word of God as their guide, to proclaim it to sinners as the only infallible instrument of salvation. Considered as to design, objects, means, faith, hope, obedience, spirit, the body here conjugated, may be emphatically called one; at least so far as we are enabled to judge from circumstances. May we soon attain the glorious consummation of our Lord's wish as to a perfect unity! Then shall we be indeed sanctified, and all men know that we are the disciples of our Master. We should thus be enabled to do mankind good, and glorify God."
|J. DU VAL.|
After giving substantially the same account of the aforesaid meeting, Brother T. M. Henley says--
"THE urgent calls upon us, to visit the different parts of the State, were truly impressive. We have got the promise of brother Ainslie to continue to spend a great portion of his time in travelling among the churches. We in this neighborhood all having large families and in limited circumstances, have agreed to extend our labors. We are increasing in numbers in every direction around us. Some of the most intelligent and wealthy part of society have treated the Dover Decrees with contempt, united themselves with us, by faith and immersion--Several at our co-operation on Monday, made the good confession.
We are yet in our infancy and hope we shall by the favor of our heavenly Father, ere long "go forth, and grow up as calves of the the stall." Had you but seen and heard old brother Short, sixty-five years of age, (a man of but little education,) lifting up his trembling hands, and feeble voice, teaching the ancient  gospel in simplicity and godly sincerity, you would have been cheered.--The countenances of the brethren when he gave us his parting address, spoke in terms of approbation of the correctness of his discourses. He said he felt for his Baptist brethren, having himself lived so long under the systems of men--He was now resolved to die in the service of his Lord and King.
We agreed to have a co-operation meeting in October next, in the City of Richmond, where we hope again to meet our beloved brethren by the favor of our King.
|Yours in hope of a better life.|
|THOMAS M. HENLEY."|
Roman Catholic and Protestant Controversy.
MOST of our readers have, no doubt, heard of the controversy, pending between the so called Reverend John Hughes, on the part of the Roman Catholic Church, and the so called Reverend John Breckenridge, on the part of the Protestant Presbyterian Church, on THE RULE OF FAITH. Although we have not noticed this Controversy in our periodical, we are not wholly inattentive to its progress. We intend a Review of it, but we wait for its termination. It is so far evident, and we expect to make it plain to our readers, that in most instances in which Mr. Breckenridge has successfully vanquished his opponent, it has been by a pro tempore abandonment of his own Creed, and an adoption of some of our most prominent positions, for which we have been, by this same Mr. Breckenridge and others of his brethren, denounced heterodox. Presbyterians and Episcopalians, cannot successfully, wage war against the Mother Church, and hold fast the traditions which they have received from her. This is now, more than ever, apparent from this controversy, and from another carried on in New York, between Messrs. Brownlee and the Priests of that city.
BEGGING FOR THEOLOGICAL SCHOOLS.
THIS is quite a respectable business. The new school got up in Virginia, it is said, is to have three agents employed, one of them at $800 per annum, and two at $500 each. Thus the raising of the funds for this institution, will cost the liberal and devout Baptists, 1800 dollars per annum. Mr. Ball, of the Herald, it is said, is to be one of the 500 dollar men--Mr. John Kerr is to have 800 dollars--and the other, from whom I expected better things, is of Mr.Ball's Class. If then the brethren contribute 1900 dollars for the school, 100 only finds its way into the treasury, propelled by the aforesaid machinery.
Though the report comes to me in a very feasible form and from a source entitled to credit, I am unwilling to vouch for its truth, thinking that there must be a mistake somewhere. It is, however, of importance that it be corrected, if it be unfounded, and therefore we call upon Mr. Ball, to disabuse the public mind on this subject, and to let the people know the whole truth in the case.--Silence, or any suppressed or partial statement, will only increase our suspicions that these institutions are got up more for the sake of the priesthood than for the sake of the people.
To Agents in whose hands some copies of the 2d Edition of the New Translation,
IT appears from the accounts received from our Agents, as well as from our books, that there is a number of these Testaments unsold. We wish them to present all the copies now on hand, of the 2d Edition, to such of their acquaintance as are unable to buy, and who are desirous to obtain the book, with one injunction only, that they will give the books a careful reading.
To Correspondents--Brother H. Grew in our next. 
[The Millennial Harbinger, 4 (June, 1833): 241-288.]
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