[Table of Contents]
Alexander Campbell, ed.|
The Millennial Harbinger, Vol. IV, No. VII (1833)
Number VII.----Volume IV.
Bethany, Va. July, 1833.
CHRIST'S SECOND COMING CONSIDERED, WITH THE
"Behold the Bridegroom comes: go you out to meet him."
|By S. M. M'CORKLE,--a Layman.|
AMIDST a cloud of witnesses justifying a day of calamity; one of much notoriety may be found, Rev. 14. beginning at the 14th verse. The passage presents us with a figure of the most tremendous bloodshed the world has ever seen, and no doubt has an allusion to the same event, pointed at in the 34th of Isaiah: "And their land shall be soaked with blood." Also, in the 64th, "I have trodden the wine press alone," "for the day of vengeance is in mine heart." We must look forward for these events, for we cannot look back to a time when they may have had an accomplishment.
If it was not for one consideration, I would expect the terrible bloodshed to be confined to the Catholic Church. There are two angels represented as having sharp sickles. First, "And he that sat on the cloud thrust in his sickle on the earth, and the earth was reaped." The second angel was directed, "Saying, thrust in thy sharp sickle and gather the clusters of the vine of the earth, for her grapes are fully ripe," &c. "And the wine-press was trodden without the city?' I am persuaded the first sickle is to have its sweep upon the world at large; I cannot think there is any allusion, which would give it a discriminate application, nor would I pretend to say what it is to be--war or pestilence, or both,--some destroying angel is destined to reap the world. Blood is to consummate the mission of the second angel; probably near the seat of antichrist, there will be "the battle of that great day of God Almighty," I tremble for the fate of Europe--the  kingdom of antichrist--for years past have I said, that Europe was soon to be a field of blood--for there is the empire of the beast--the jurisdiction of the mother of harlots, and inspiration says, "in the cup she has filled, fill to her double." The pouring out of the second and third vials, must relate to this devoted church, and is equally terrible with blood. See Rev. 16. "And the second angel poured out his vial upon the sea; and it became as the blood of a dead man; and every living soul died in the sea. And the third angel poured out his vial upon the rivers and fountains of water, and they became blood, and I heard the angel of the waters say, thou art righteous, O Lord, &c. because thou hast judged thus: for they have shed the blood of saints and prophets, and thou hast given them blood to drink, for they are worthy."
Now, who has shed the blood of saints? An answer to this question, will shew on whom the second and third vials are to be poured, and probably on whom the figure of the wine press is to have its most special accomplishment. Yet, Christianity in the aggregate may properly be considered the "vine of the earth." Let these predictions be fulfilled, as they may, or on whom they may, they are not calculated to fill the mind with peace.
What spot on earth can offer any local security--being beyond the jurisdiction of the mother of harlots, can by no means afford an asylum, a city of refuge, from the sickle which is to be thrust into the earth. Nothing but the seal of the living God, on the forehead, will afford safety in this perilous time. We are admonished thus, Luke xxi. 34. "And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your heart be overcharged with surfeiting and drunkenness, and the cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares. For as a snare shall it come upon all them that dwell upon the face of the whole earth." We may not doubt respecting the extent of the scourge; just as far as iniquity abounds, so will the snare encompass--like the flood it will involve the whole human family.
Now, was there ever a time when the world so emphatically suited the description, "'overcharged with surfeiting and drunkenness, and the cares of this life." Spiritual drunkenness predominates in the church, and temporal in the world. In vain does human effort oppose itself to the mighty tide of vice. Where the laws of God cannot restrain men from drunkenness, human institutions will not long do it. And for years past; "the cares of this life," the lusts of the eye, &c. have been gaining apace. Speculation is rolling with the width of an ocean, and the rapidity of a torrent. Is not gain the devotion of the age--the pulse of almost every exertion? What will be the situation of the world in half a century, if the money making mania, is suffered to go unchecked? Men are compassing sea and land for the sake of gain. Idolatry has only assumed a different garb, while the devotion is the same. Men are running to and fro, and knowledge on the increase, ("signs of the times") and about the time they have made the earth subservient to their purposes, listed winds and tides, lands, rivers and lakes into their service, the charge of omnipotence  will be sounded; a day of reckoning, of retribution called; a day which will try men's souls, try their works, and set a proper estimate on things of this world. Not he that saith, Lord, Lord, but be who will be found obeying the commands of the Master--obeying the gospel--will be accepted in that eventful day; a day nearer at hand than the world is aware. The omens appear, the harbingers are visible--pestilence and war! Nothing but the seal of the living God on the forehead, will be a security from the shafts of the destroying angel.
I will here offer a few remarks on the seal of the "living God," and the prediction contained in the 7th of Revelation--but few passages in the sacred oracles more fraught with alarm, or less attended to. Ignorance will be but a poor excuse for those who have a Bible in their hands. "And after these things I saw four angels standing on the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth, that the winds should not blow on the earth, nor on the sea, nor any tree. And I saw another angel ascending from the east, having the seal of the living God: and he cried with a loud voice to the four angels, to whom it was given to hurt the earth and the sea, saying, Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of God in their foreheads." Now there are several things of no small consideration presented in this prediction taken as a whole.
First, a sealing; then, a destroying power, or powers let loose upon those who have not the mark of discrimination on the forehead. It is plainly implied that there are certain ministers of destruction, held, restrained until certain purposes are effected, a sealing operation performed. It is plainly implied that this sealing is to close, is to be finished: and it is as unequivocally implied in the passage, that, at the close of this sealing, those four winds, those ministers of destruction, are to be let loose to hurt the earth. This perfectly corresponds with those predictions which we have already examined, and is not a strained construction. They are broad and pointed features, prominent in the face of the above quotation from "the revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to show unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass."
Now I would ask the candid reader, what is the seal above alluded to? Examine the forehead of christendom for this token. Where is it to be found? How few, alas! present to the view of human discernment the great leading features of the christian religion--peace, joy, long suffering, meekness, forbearance, brotherly kindness, faith, hope, charity! I hazard a broad assertion, that the sacred oracles will condemn ninety-nine hundredths of the professors of the Christian religion.
Now if christendom presents not to view the seal of the living God, if this seal be rarely found, may we not fairly say, the sealing time is drawing to a close, a few impressions yet making, yet to be seen. A few more years will terminate the period of time allotted to the reign of antichrist; a few more, to human appearance, will close the sealing  time under the present dispensation; a few more years and the winds will be let loose to hurt the earth. A few more years, and the dread order will be given to the seven angels, "Go your ways, and pour out the vials of the wrath of God upon the earth."
There is no knowledge of greater importance than to know the meaning of God's word; and among the most fatal errors will be that of misapplying the prophecies. On this rock the Jewish church split. They misapplied predictions on which their salvation depended. The safety of the Gentile church is standing in jeopardy at this very time, on this very ground. Predictions relative to Christ's second coming and his universal reign are perverted or not understood. Similar faults, similar fates. The Jewish church fell upon the stone and was broken; the stone is to fall upon the Gentile, and grind it to powder.
I will now take up some of the most prominent prophetic parables of the Master. If I have been right in my views of the other prophecies, most of these can be brought to bear with equal effect on the same object--to wit: the dissolution of the present, and the introduction of a new dispensation. [See Matth. xiii. 24. &c.]
I had long looked at the parable of the tares, and doubted its legitimate application to the close of time; and upon reading a translation coming from the hand of a learned D. D. in the Presbyterian church, I was confirmed in the belief that the parable of the tares is misapplied when the final judgment is taken for its object. "Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field; but while men slept his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way," &c. "Let both grow together [the tares and wheat] until the harvest." Now is this a different harvest from that named in Rev. xiv. 15.--"For the harvest of the earth is ripe"? We must couple relative scriptures together. In Revelation there is not the most distant allusion to a general judgment. An objection may be brought from this text--"The harvest is the end of the world." The term world is often used with a very different meaning from the material world; often relates to dispensations, or the people of the world, (see 2 Peter, iii. 6.) "Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished." The people perished. See Cor. x. 11. "Upon whom the ends of the world are come." This is a very unintelligible saying, applying it to the world in the common acceptation. But the passage in consideration is thus rendered in the translation alluded to above: "The harvest is the conclusion of this state." In the whole chapter, and in other places, where the common version reads "end of this world," it is rendered "conclusion of this state." With this reading doubts may be entertained that the material world is not alluded to. And taking the parable together in all its bearing, I am honestly induced to believe it is to be fulfilled in its utmost extent previous to, or at the introduction of the Millennium. Admit that all the predications relative to the kingdom of Christ are to have an accomplishment on earth; that at the close of time the kingdom is to be given into the hands of the Father, that God maybe all in all. I say,  this admitted, would set the matter at rest. But Paul is not sufficient authority opposed to tradition; nor are the very plain words of the Master believed relative to himself, by thousands who are expecting salvation through his name.
The parable is thus explained by its author:--"The field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked one. The enemy that sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the world, (conclusion of this state,) and the reapers are the angels." As, therefore, the tares are gathered and burned in the fire, so shall it be in the end of this world, ('conclusion of this state.') The Son of Man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity, &c. Alas! what will be left? Will names and parties stand in this eventful day? The discriminating eye of the Master is to superintend--angels are to be the executors of his orders.
Now in all the parables contained in this 13th of Matthew we do not find any thing to favor a dissolution of nature--no conflagration in the case, nor even a resurrection pointed at; and seems, but for one word, to be relative to the inhabitants, the living inhabitants of the earth, without disturbing the common course of nature, and that one word doubtful in its application to the material world. Nor is there any thing connected with this discrimination, this separating of the wicked from the righteous, which may not take place a thousand years before the final resurrection. But I have other and stronger reasons for believing that this parable of the tares is to have its accomplishment before, or at the introduction of Christ's universal reign. The very first feature of this reign precludes entirely the existence of these tares. At the outstart of this reign there is to be nothing to hurt or offend. None shall have need to teach his neighbor; all shall know the Lord, from the least to the greatest; and righteousness is to cover the earth as the waters do the great deep, and men learn war no more. Many quotations might be made, bearing testimony respecting a state of the most consummate happiness and felicity on earth; nothing to hurt or offend. Now where the room for these tares? They cannot exist in the Millennium. But look into the present dispensation, and they compose a conspicuous part of the crop, and grew up at an early period, and are to grow together with the wheat until the harvest. Now this harvest is unavoidably to take place before the Millennium, or we are to have a full portion of evil with the good throughout that period, notwithstanding the many pledges God has given to the contrary. In this parable there is not the most distant intimation respecting a change of existence, or a change of worlds; but, on the contrary, those who do iniquity are to be removed, are to be "gathered out of his kingdom." What! gathered out of heaven!
Is this a different kingdom from that predicted by Daniel, when "one like the Son of Man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him; and  there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and tongues should serve him." But our clerical gentry can locate all these things in the worlds above--people, nations, and languages! and many other things quite as absurd, are palmed on the credulity of a misguided world. We trust the great concerns of eternity in the hands of other men, into the care of blind guides; while, with the most scrupulous care, we manage matters relative to this short and uncertain state of existence, ourselves.
There is another argument, strong to the point, that this parable of the tares and the harvest spoken of, is to have its accomplishment a thousand years before the close of time. It is simply this: The Master saith, "The enemy that sowed them [the tares] is the devil." Now, reader, just turn to the 20th of Revelation, and read a prediction there respecting this very devil who sowed these tares. He is to be bound a thousand years, and to "deceive the nations no more till the thousand years should be fulfilled." How is he to sow tares among the wheat when cast into the bottomless pit, shut up, "and a seal set upon him."
[TO BE CONTINUED.]
Letter 2, from Charles Cassedy, Esq.
|NEAR PULASKI, TENNESSEE, June 7, 1833.|
To Alexander Campbell, &c. Bethany, Va.
RESPECTED SIR--I have just received the 5th number, vol. 4, of the Millennial Harbinger, containing the concluding letter of your very able reply to my communication of the 29th October last. I need not remark to you, that the numbers addressed to me in the Harbinger, have been perused, and, indeed, reperused, both by myself and many others, with all the attention and depth of interest they so vitally and richly merit. The manner in which you have treated the difficulties I stated to you, has induced me to peruse with attention your debate with Mr. Owen; respecting which I have only to remark, that I consider Mr. Owen's theory of human happiness perfectly impracticable in its application to society and mankind; that his views of the future destinies of the human race, are unspeakably and horribly destructive of those consolations which spring from HOPE, the last comfort of afflicted humanity; and, that the gloomy and appalling spectacle of future and entire annihilation, which his doctrines hold forth respecting the ulterior and everlasting oblivion of the HUMAN SOUL, if recognized and accredited by mankind, would dissolve the individual and social affections of our race; destroy all the moral, civil, and political obligations of society; lay waste all those sacred, long cherished, and endearing ties, which bind man to his progenitors and his posterity; render this life entirely valueless, in almost every way in which it is not connected with mere sensuality; and utterly annihilate that lofty and ennobling SENTIMENT OF IMMORTALITY, which seems to  be the distinctive characteristic of our race! Mr. Owen certainly had the worst and most untenable side of the question; his arguments, his doctrines, and his future views of human destiny, seem to me to be the offspring of cold insensibility to the affections, the passions, and the future hopes of our race; and to emanate from the ashes of a sensibility absolutely consumed in the frozen, stoical, and oftentimes barren speculations of, reason. The present state of the human race, under all its apparent disadvantages and calamities, seems to me better to comport with the natural and essential characteristics of man, than any condition in which Mr. Owen's doctrines, if even admitted to be authentic and practically efficient, could possibly place him. Admitting that man is not now in the state in which he was created, his nature did not preclude his POSSIBLE FALLIBILITY; and, if by the exercise of his voluntary powers, without which he could not be rendered accountable for his misdeeds, he degraded himself and his race to a condition of turpitude and moral dishonor, I cannot distinguish, notwithstanding Mr. Owen's arguments and views, that the present state of the human race is at war with the nature and essential principles of the human character. And, sir, to conclude my remarks respecting this debate, and you will certainly give me credit for ingenuousness and impartiality, knowing as you do that I professionally belong to neither side, I am decidedly of opinion, that your depth of historical research, and philosophic energy of argumentation in that debate, if they have ever been equalled, were, in my estimation, never excelled by any theologian of either ancient or modern days. This, you will say, is a salutary acknowledgment from a man who dares to think for himself, whose whole life has been dedicated to intellectual improvement, and who has always sought to test the truth or error of all theological creeds, by the broad principles of justice, reason, and nature.
Your vigorous and unremitting efforts, aided by the zeal of your coadjutors, will probably and ultimately be successful, in bringing back the church of Christ to its primitive purity and simplicity, and in stripping vital and genuine religion, so apparently essential to the prosperity and happiness of man, of all its ambitious assumptions of temporal power, and all its sectarian armor of belligerent holiness, factional piety, and gregarious and cruel intolerance. The assumption and militant exercise of temporal power, by the Romish church, in my opinion, gave origin to many, if not all, the early dissensions from that church, and sectarian filiation to those numerous and often contradictory creeds which have sprung from those early dissensions. This assumption of temporal power, by the church of Rome, and the uses which have been made of it by the sectarian scions of that church, have been fatal to the happiness of mankind, and the cause of genuine religion; they have retarded the march of rational and conscientious liberty, entangled the human mind in cobweb glooms of superstition, and disgusted thousands of individuals of liberal, enlightened, and elevated minds, who would not or could not, under such emotions of disgust, distinguish between pure and adulterated Christianity. The admixture of temporal power with ecclesiastical interests and  doctrines, has been a fruitful source of not only error, but misfortune to mankind; it has enabled ecclesiastical hypocrisy, cupidity, and unhallowed ambition to rob, to scourge, and to debase mankind; and it has equally enabled political and military ambition to enslave, and perpetuate through successive ages, a galling and most degrading bondage, physical, moral, and intellectual, of millions of the human race. If I am not mistaken in my recollections, Christ himself abjured the assumption of temporal power when offered to him by the Jews, by explicitly declaring that his kingdom was not of this world; and yet we see that the Popes and other prelates of the Romish church grasped at and exercised all the temporal power possible to be usurped, for the purpose of supporting their creeds, and compelling mankind, by the sanguinary butcheries of the Inquisition, to embrace the doctrines of that church. But, sir, we need not resort to the historic annals of ancient times for proofs of the avidity with which temporal power and secular influence are sought for by sectarian professors of Christianity. A few years only have elapsed, since in this republic, happily characterized by political, religious, moral, and intellectual freedom, an attempt was made, by a powerful combination of religious sectarians and hypocritical demagogues, in nearly every portion of the union, to force Congress into the measure of stopping the mails on Sunday; and, if I am not egregiously mistaken, and I am very certain I am not, a contemporaneous movement was also made by some of the sectarian Doctors of the church, for the establishment of a NATIONAL RELIGIOUS INSTITUTION, which might relieve our citizens of the intellectual drudgery of thinking for themselves, and enable them to believe in Jesus of Nazareth, and find their way to heaven by ACT OF CONGRESS.
|With great and sincere respect,
I am, sir, your obedient servant,
[The above favor from our friend Charles Cassedy, Esq. speaks for itself. We think it due to him and the public to let it appear in this work. The only objection which we had to the publication of this letter, is the too flattering terms in which the eloquent writer has spoken of the debate with Mr. Robert Owen: but as he regards this as an act of justice to himself, it became us not to suppress any part of his letter, but to give it entire, without note or comment, to our readers.]
Sherlock on Divine Providence.
[CONTINUED FROM PAGE 251.]
LET us, then, now more particularly consider how God governs mankind, so as to make them the instruments and ministers of his providence in the world. The methods of the divine wisdom are infinite and unsearchable, and we must not expect fully to comprehend all the secrets and mysteries of God's government; but something we may know of this, enough to teach us to reverence God, and to trust in him, and to vindicate his providence from the cavils of ignorance  and infidelity, which is as much as is useful for us to know. And I shall reduce what I have to say to two general heads:--1. The government of men's minds, of their wills, their passions, and counsels. 2. The government of their actions.
1. God's government of the minds of men, their wills, and passions and counsels; for these are the great springs of action, and as free a principle as the mind of man is, it is not ungovernable: it may be governed, and that without an omnipotent power, against its own bias, and without changing its inclinations; and what may be done, certainly God can do; and when it is necessary to the ends of Providence, we may conclude he will do it. Let a man be never so much bent upon any project, yet hope or fear, some present great advantage or great inconvenience, the powerful intercession of friends, a sudden change of circumstances, the improbability of success, the irreparable mischief of a defeat, and a thousand other considerations, will divert him from it; and how easy is it for God to imprint such thoughts upon men's minds with an irresistible vigor and brightness, that it shall be no more in their power to do what they had a mind to, than to resist all the charms of riches and honors, than to leap into the fire, and to choose misery and ruin!
That thus it is, the Scripture assures us, (Prov. xxi. 1.) "The king's heart is in the hand of the Lord; as the rivers of water, he turneth it whithersoever he will." And if the king's heart be in the hand of the Lord, we cannot doubt but he hath all other men's hearts in his hand also, and can turn and change them as he pleases. Thus the wise man tells us, "A man's heart deviseth his ways, but the Lord directeth his steps?' Prov. xvi. 9. Men consult and advise what to do, but after all, God steers and directs them which way he pleases; for though "there are many devices in a man's heart, nevertheless the counsel of the Lord that shall stand," (Prov. xix. 21.) which made the wise man conclude, "Man's goings are of the Lord: how then shall a man understand his own ways?" Prov. xx. 24. That is, God has such an absolute government of the hearts and actions of men, when his providence is concerned in the event, that no man can certainly know what he himself shall choose and do; for God can, in an instant, alter his mind, and make him steer a very different course from what he intended. As the prophet Jeremiah assures us, "I know that the way of man is not in himself; it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps." Jer. x. 23. And Solomon tells us something more strange than this "The preparation of the heart in man, and the answer of the tongue, is of the Lord;" (Prov. xvi. 1.) or as the Hebrew seems to signify, the preparation of the heart is from man; a man premeditates and resolves what he will say; but notwithstanding that, the answer of the tongue is of the Lord. When he comes to speak, he shall say nothing but what God pleases. Which sayings must not be expounded to a "universal sense, that it is always thus; but that thus it is whenever God sees fit to interpose, which he does as often as has any wise end to serve by it. 
Thus we are told, that "when a man's ways please the Lord, he maketh even his enemies to be at peace with him" Prov. xvi. 7. And it is a very remarkable promise that God makes to the children of Israel, that when all their males should come three times every year to worship God at Jerusalem, by which means their country was left without defence, exposed to the rapine of their enemies who dwelt round about them, that "no man should desire their land, when they go up to appear before the Lord." Exod. xxxiv. 24. We have many examples of this in Scripture, and some of those many ways whereby God does it. When Abraham sojourned in Gerar, he said of Sarah his wife, that she was his sister, and Abimelech, the king of Gerar, sent and took her; but God reproved Abimelech in a dream, and tells him that he had withheld him from sinning, and not suffered him to touch her. Gen. xx. 1, &c. Thus when Jacob fled from Laban with his wives and children, and Laban pursued him, God appeared to Laban in a dream, and commanded him that he should not speak to Jacob either good or hurt. Gen. xxxi. 24. Such appearances were very common in that age, though they seem very extraordinary to us; but God does the same thing still by strong and lively impressions upon our minds--by suggesting and fixing such thoughts in us, as excite or calm our passions, as encourage us to bold and great attempts, or check us in our career by frightful imaginations and unaccountable fears and terrors, or by such other arguments as are apt to change our purposes and counsels.
Sometimes God does this by a concurrence of external causes, which at other times would not have been effectual, but shall certainly have their effect when God enforces the impression.
Thus God in a moment turned the heart of Esau when he came out in a great rage against his brother Jacob. It was an old hatred he had conceived against him for the loss of his birthright and of his blessing. And he had for many years confirmed himself in a resolution to cut him off the first opportunity he had to do it. And could it be expected that the present which Jacob sent him, which he could have taken if he had pleased without receiving it as a gift, and that the submission of Jacob when he was in his power, should all on a sudden make him forget all that was past and the very business he came for, and turn his bloody designs into the kindest embraces? No! this was God's work, the effect of that blessing which the angel gave to Jacob after a whole night's wrestling with him in Penuel. Genes. xxxii. 33. And when God pleases, the weakest means shall change the most sullen and obstinate resolutions.
Of the same nature of this is the story of David and Abigail. Nabal had highly provoked David by the churlish answer which he sent him, and David was resolved to take a very severe revenge on Nabal and his house. But God sent Abigail to pacify him, who, by her presence, and dutiful and submissive behavior and wise counsels, diverted him from those bloody resolutions he had taken, as David himself acknowledges: "Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, who sent thee this day to meet me, and blessed be thy advice, and blessed be thou  who hast kept me this day from coming to shed blood, and from avenging myself with my own hand." 1 Sam. xxv. 32, 33.
Saul pursued David in the wilderness to take away his life, and God delivered him twice into David's hands; and the kindness David showed him in not killing him when he was in his power, did at last turn the heart of Saul, that he pursued him no more. 1 Sam. xvi. and xxvii.
Thus God confounded the good counsel of Ahitophel by the advice of Hashai, which Absalom chose to follow. And the text tells us this was from God, who had purposed to defeat the good counsel of Ahitophel, to the intent that he might bring evil upon Absalom. 2 Sam. xvii. 14. Such an absolute empire has God over the minds of men, that he can turn them as he pleases, can lead them into new thoughts and counsels with as great ease as the waters of a river may be drawn into a new channel prepared for them.
2. When God does not think fit to change and alter men's wills and passions, he can govern their actions and serve the ends of his providence by them. When God suffers them to pursue their own counsels and to do what they themselves like best--he does that by their hands which they little expected or intended. The same action may serve very different ends; and therefore God and men have very different intentions in it. And what is ill done by men, and for a very ill end, may be ordered by God for wise and good purposes; nay, the ill ends which men designed may be disappointed, and the good which God intended by it have its effect. And this is as absolute a government over men's actions as the ends of providence require, when whatever men do, if they intend one thing and God another, "the counsel of God shall stand," and what they intended shall have no effect any further than as it is subservient to the divine counsels; as to give some plain examples of it:--
Joseph's brethren being offended at his dreams and at the peculiar kindness which their father Jacob showed him, resolved to get rid of him; but God intended to send him into Egypt, to advance him to Pharaoh's throne, and to transplant Jacob and his family thither. And therefore God would not suffer them to slay him as they first intended; but he suffered them to sell him to the Ishmaelites, who carried him into Egypt, which disappointed what they aimed at in it, never to see or hear more of him, but accomplished the decrees and counsels of God.
Another example we have in the king of Assyria, who came against Jerusalem with a powerful army with an intention to destroy it; but God intended no more than to correct them for their sins. This God suffered him to do, but he could do no more. "O Assyrian, the rod of mine anger, and the staff in their hand is mine indignation: I will send him against a hypocritical nation, and against the people of my wrath will I give him a charge to take the spoil and to take the prey, and to tread them down like the mire in the street." Thus far God gave him a commission; that is, thus far God intended to suffer his rage and pride to proceed. But this was the least of his intention:  "Howbeit, he thinketh not so, but it is in his heart to destroy and cut off nations not a few." But in this God disappointed him: "Wherefore, it shall come to pass, that when the Lord hath performed his whole work upon Mount Zion and on Jerusalem, I will punish the fruit of the stout heart of the king of Assyria, and the glory of his proud looks." Isa. x. 5, 6, 7, 12.
A great many examples might be given of this nature, but these are sufficient to show what different intentions God and men have in the same actions, and how easily God can defeat what men intend, and accomplish by them his own wise counsels which they never thought of. When God has no particular ends of providence to serve by the lusts and passions and evil designs of men, he commonly disappoints them; that when "they intend evil, and imagine a mischievous device, they are not able to perform it." Psal. xxi. 11. Or he turns the evil upon their own heads: "The heathen are sunk down in the pit that they made; in the net which they hid, is their own feet taken. The Lord is known by the judgment which he executeth. The wicked is snared in the work of his own hands." Psal. ix. 15, 16. Or he doubly disappoints their malice, not only by defeating the evil they intended, but by turning it to the great advantage of those it was intended against; which was visible in the case of Haman, whose malice against Mordecai and all the Jews for his sake, did not only prove his own ruin, but the great advancement of Mordecai, and the glory and triumph of the Jewish nation.
[TO BE CONTINUED.]
OUR friends of the Methodist Christian Advocate and Journal and Zion's Herald, of May 31, have thought it worthy of them to turn their clerical artillery against us. The following quotations from the most popular Journal in the world, shows how little talent and how little knowledge is necessary to make a man popular, whom Fortune, in her capricious moments, makes the tongue of a large and powerful denomination. The good sense of the denomination will no doubt disapprobate his course, and therefore we will not charge upon the 24,000 readers of this New York Editor his sins against religion, courtesy, and the grammar of our mother tongue.
The reader, as he proceeds, will please refer to our notes on the text, in numerical order.
"ERROR IN THE WEST.
The letter which we give below should fix the attention upon, and arm the hearts and minds of our Zion, against the specious and insidious errors which it mentions. The history of the Christian church, for many centuries, reveal this fact as a powerful admonition, viz.--when churches or ministers espouse the seducing idea that all religious standards of faith, or creeds, which the researches and experience of the wisest and best have compiled, as an exposition of the doctrines and ordinances of the Bible, are to be disregarded, such  churches and ministers have ran into grievous heresies. [1.] To discard all such standards of faith, instead of being an evidence of liberty of thought, or independence of mind, is a clear proof of supreme vanity and self-importance. By so doing, the individual disregards the patient and persevering researches and labors of those who have gone before him: he makes no account of the testimony, experience, learning, and success of the church for nearly two thousand years. [2.] He takes supreme delight in declaring that he is free and competent, and will think for himself, by which he means, that he will think differently from other people, in order to prove his independence of thought. [3.] The first result of this vain effort is, that he embraces some radical error, which, without his perceiving at first probably, leads to many legitimate and ruinous consequences. Such we believe to have been the case with the new divinity in the Calvinistic churches, and Mr. Alexander Campbell, of the Baptist church, in Western Virginia. [4.] There are certain doctrines, which, if you embrace them, or either of them, are inevitably followed by certain dangerous errors. When Mr. Campbell was not suspected of Socinianism, we said to one who admired him somewhat, He will come out an Arian. [5.] Our friend was almost grieved at the severity of our censure. But what is the fact? Mr. Campbell has joined his influence with Mr. Barton Stone, long known as the leader of western Arians, commonly called New Lights, or, as they call themselves, Christians; and their parties have united. [6.] Before Mr. Campbell came out fairly an Arian, (he may deny this term now for aught we know--the fact is nevertheless true,) he did immense injury to the Baptist church in the West. [7.] Now had this church possessed a well digested creed and sound discipline, all this might have been prevented by putting away from among them the author of this dangerous error. [8.] There never was an age in  which the church of God was so imperiously called upon to "hold fast the form of sound words," and "earnestly contend for the faith once delivered to the saints," as the present. [9.] The elements of Socinianism, Arianism, Pelagianism, and Unitarianism are rife in our land, and ready to break in upon the church of God every where. Ministers and people should be awake, and not be taken by specious professions of orthodoxy or religious friendship. Does a minister clearly intimate some doubts about the doctrine of "original sin," or does he give it such a refined and novel explanation as to destroy its force? His error is fatal. [10.] If there be no constitutional or native sinfulness inherent in the soul, it does not need to be regenerated: it cannot be regenerated for the better. Having contracted pollution and guilt only by actual transgression, all that is necessary is to reform and mend our ways. It follows next that the atonement of the Saviour is not vicarious and propitiatory, because there is no necessity that it should be. It needs simply to be testamentary in order to act as a moral suasive to induce us to submit ourselves to God, and this submission is conversion. From this it follows, that there is no direct agency of the Holy Spirit upon the heart of the sinner, creating it anew. Indeed, most of those who come thus far, either doubt or distinctly deny the presence and operations of the Holy Spirit as an actual intelligent agent. The whole of this matter is resolved into the moral force of truth, motive, and suasion. Then comes the resulting error of doubting, and finally denying the essential and unoriginated divinity of our Saviour; for this very sufficient reason, that for all the purposes of the above scheme of salvation a created being is competent, and nothing more was required. Most of these erring speculatists say, that this creature is the head of the creation, "the first born of every creature," next to God himself; yet, as we heard one of them say, [11.] in a sermon in Ohio, "Not the thirtieth part of a God!" It is distressing to recollect this tremendous blasphemy. But we repeat it to warn our readers of the dangerous tendency of the new divinity of the day, both in the West and East.
Finally, without incurring the censure of vanity or egotism, let us say, upon the ministry, local as well as travelling, and upon the membership of the Methodist Episcopal Church, rest, to a large extent, under God, the responsibility of breasting this flood of error, and guarding the church from ruin, because of our extension and unity of faith. [12.] Let us earnestly and constantly pray  that God may enable us to meet this responsibility to the glory and honor of his excellent name.
"Dear Brethren--We have a great variety of doctrines (which we think erroneous) to contend with. What is sometimes called Campbellism, or the peculiar doctrines of A. Campbell, of Bethany, Brooke county, Va. appears to produce the greatest excitement at present. The advocates of these views deny all creeds, confessions, and disciplines, and profess to be governed in all things by the word of God alone, without construction. [13.] They strongly inculcate "immersion for the remission of sins," and lay a peculiar stress on baptism by immersion only. [14.] To use the words of A. Campbell, they "regard the blood of Jesus Christ as the procuring cause of the remission of sins; faith in God's testimony as the principle of our enjoyment of remission; and immersion as the means divinely appointed for our actual enjoyment of this first and greatest of present blessings. Immersion nor faith procures remission. The blood of Jesus, through the favor of God, procures; faith apprehends; and baptism LAYS HOLD OF THE BOON OF HEAVEN, or is the means of our enjoyment." See A. Campbell's remarks on Dr. Cleland, No. 2, last paragraph in the Millennial Harbinger. The same writer says, in Christian Baptist, vol. 2, No. 9, p. 207, 208, "Such is the constitution of the human mind, that a man is as passive in believing as he was in receiving his name. . . . Consequently no man can help believing," &c. I would quote more, but I will not trouble you with this kind of stuff. [15.] I would just observe, that his work is industriously circulated, and is producing a number of secessions from the Baptist churches of the old stamp: two or three only have I known, however, to be carried off from the Methodists by them. [16.] These Reformers, as they are sometimes called, say, that "we have no authority to say that the baptism of the Holy Spirit ever saved or cleansed any subject of it. This baptism was only for the confirmation of the gospel, and continued with the church till this end was effected, and no longer." See B. W. Stone in Christian Messenger for January last, p.17, vol. 7. I have only mentioned these things, brethren, that you may know, that while you have to contend with what is called "new divinity," in New York, that we, in the far West, have to contend with error in almost every form. But you have a host to go up against the mighty, and we only a handful.
Help us by your pens to stop the mouths of gainsayers, and help us by your prayers.
Excuse the freedom I have taken to fill my sheet with hints on subjects in which you may not feel interested, inasmuch as I feel while I am writing, like  adopting the language of a worthy brother, "If I were rich I would offer a premium" [17.] for a tract or essay written on each of the subjects alluded to, especially on the influences of the Holy Spirit, and creeds.
I am, dear brethren, yours in Christ, W. W. REDMAN. Howard county, Mo. April 18, 1833."
1. Amongst whom Martin Luther, John Calvin, and John Wesley stand conspicuous.
2. The Protestant reformers, one and all, made very little account of the experience, learning, and success of the church for 1400 years; about as much account do we make of the experience, learning, and success of Methodism for 100 years.
3. If John Wesley had not thought differently from all his contemporaries, it is a question whether the Editors of the Christian Advocate and Journal and Zion's Herald would have thought at all about Methodism.
4. Who required you to make such confession of your faith?
5. Charity hopes all things. You were a false prophet, then, upon your own showing: for A. Campbell detests Arianism: and he that says he has come out an Arian, says what he cannot prove; and is a calumniator just as flagrant as he who says A. Campbell is a thief or a murderer.
6. This is also false. A Campbell never has joined his influence with Barton W. Stone as an Arian. There are many persons who have united with A. Campbell, Catholics, Methodists, and Presbyterians, in the work of reformation; but he that hence infers that A. Campbell has come out a Catholic, a Methodist, or a Presbyterian, has no brains, or is a knave.
7. What immense injury did John Wesley to the Episcopal Church of England!
8. Had the Methodist Episcopal Church "possessed a well digested creed and sound discipline," how happily might she have prevented the immense injury which the Radicals have done her. But, alas! her creed and discipline were like stubble and chaff before the wind! 
9. This is a great truth; and if even Satan tell the truth, he ought to be believed. This is just what we call upon our contemporaries to do. But is it possible that this writer can imagine that his creed and discipline is that "form of sound words," and that "faith once delivered to the saints," of which Paul spoke? Can he for a moment imagine that his form of sound words and the faith which John Wesley delivered to the Methodists, are one and the same with the New Testament!
10. To doubt of original sin, is, in the judgment of the Methodists, a fatal error. Not of all Methodists, for I know of many exceptions, amongst whom John Wesley is one. But it is with "Zion's Herald" a fatal error.
11. Will the gentleman name this "one of them," that we may know what "them," and what one of them was guilty of such blasphemy. I have sent to this gentlemen a copy of my reply to Henry Grew with a request to do me justice. We shall soon see whether it is any part of this gentleman's "form of sound words" to do justly and to abstain from detraction, slander, and calumny.
12. "Because of our extension!" The Catholic Church had still a greater latitude of extension: but one Monk has kept them busy for 300 years, and yet they have not guarded the church from ruin. The  Methodist church has great extension, it is true; but it would require many miles long of such writers as the above to resist the power of one man who feared God, loved Jesus Christ, and held fast the form of sound words once delivered by the Apostles to the saints.
13. Not the whole truth. We require every man to confess his faith before he is immersed; but if our friend Redman had said human creeds, &c. we should let it pass.
14. We know no way of performing immersion by sprinkling or pouring. If the gentleman will teach us how we may immerse a person by sprinkling him, we shall give him our thanks for the discovery.
15. This kind of stuff does very well. It is easy to call any thing "stuff." Even Mr. Redman is nothing else but stuff, from head to foot, inside and outside. If he were good stuff I should never regret his being called Redman.
16. We could tell him of some hundreds of Methodists who have done themselves the highest honor by renouncing the little peculiarities of a sect for the ancient gospel and order of things. 
17. All the premiums that can be bid upon creeds and human theories will not keep them at par. Mr. Redman, you may save your money and give it to the poor.
Letter from Henry Grew--Part 1.
Dear Brother Campbell,
I GRATEFULLY acknowledge your kindness in replying to my queries. Our friendly discussion (1.) will, by the divine favor, tend to the development of the truth. We happily agree to shun both "the high and cold latitudes of metaphysical theology." We wish not to travel out of the record. Our mutual desire is simply to understand the revealed facts respecting the one God, and the one Lord.
Who is the one God? I reply, with the testimony, "The Father." 1 Cor. viii. 6. You also say that "in the economy the Father is our only God, and Jesus is our only Lord." Are we not agreed? (2.) Or do you suppose that there has been, or will be, an economy, in which the Father was not, or will not be, the only God? (3.) Was he not the only God, when the Son or Word enjoyed glory with him "before the world was," (4.) for which very glory the Word prayed in the time of  his humiliation? Was he not dependent on the Father for that glory for which he prayed? (5.) This could not be the prayer of the humanity which had no existence "before the world was." Will not the Father be the "only God" after the present economy, when our triumphant King shall deliver "up the kingdom to God, even the Father," and "the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God be all in all?" 1 Cor. xv. 24-28.
Although you understand the Father to be the only God, in the new economy, you remark, that "there is, and was, and evermore will be, society in God himself, a plurality as well as unity in the divine nature, are inferences which do obtrude themselves on my mind in reflecting upon the divine communications to our race." Now, beloved, are not these two propositions absolutely at variance? Is it possible that the idea of a society of persons (which is the idea you attach to the word society) in the one God, can obtrude itself on your mind without immediately and entirely excluding the idea that "the Father is our only God?" You cannot retain both. (6.) Which, then, demands your preference--the idea of the plain positive testimony that the Father is the one God, or the idea inferred from passages susceptible of different constructions?
You allow not "words without ideas to which this word Trinity has given birth." In reference to this "society in God," you use the term person rather than being. Have you an idea of any distinction? I suspect, brother, that your remark, "I am not much in love with either," arises from the conviction of your intelligent mind, that there is no difference which has any bearing on this important subject. Can you possibly conceive of a "society" of persons, each of which possesses infinite perfections, without conceiving of a family of supreme Gods? I do not require you to explain a declaration of revealed truth, which, in some respects, is incomprehensible. I require, what your principles allow me, the idea you attach to the term (not a scriptural one) "society in God." What is it, if it is not what I have stated? (7.) 
After stating your "inferences" respecting this society in the Deity, you add that "common sense, reason, and revelation, give one and the same testimony, in my ear, upon this subject." Yet in the preceding paragraph you remark, "Were any one to ask me, Can there be three distinct persons, or even beings, in one God? I would say, Reason informs me not, and Revelation does not assert it!!" (8.)
Shall we now, my dear brother, review the premises whence you draw your inference that there is a "society in God," i. e. (unless we proceed without ideas) a society of persons or beings. You quote Gen. i. 26; "Let us make man in our image, in our likeness," &c. Here the idea of a plurality of beings (the number neither expressed nor implied) engaged in the work of creation, is obviously revealed. Now to the testimony for explanation. What is it? That three equal persons were engaged therein? No; but that "God created all things by Jesus Christ." Eph. iii. 9. "By whom he made the worlds." Heb. i. 2. Which, then, is most consistent with Holy Scripture, to infer that the one God the Father, OF whom are all things, said to his Son, the one Lord BY whom are all things, "Let us make man" &c. or to infer that one supreme God, or person, or being, said to two other supreme Gods, or persons, or beings, "Let us make man," &c. (9.)
You quote also John i. 1. "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." The first idea is that the Word existed in the beginning. What beginning? In the beginning of eternity? Has eternity a beginning? Again to the testimony. "In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth." "God created all things by Jesus Christ." Jesus Christ, then, was with God when the heaven and earth were created. How does the fact, that the Word was "in the beginning,"' prove the eternity of the Word, any more than the fact, that God "in the beginning" created the earth, proves that it is eternal? Might not the Word or Son have existed before the earth, men, and angels, and yet not be eternal? Let us hear the voice of eternal truth. He is "the beginning of the creation of God." Rev. iii. 14. "The image of the invisible God, the first born very creature: for by him were all things created," &c. Col. i. 15, 16, i. e. as the word of truth itself explains, God created all things by him. The Apostle's argument is, that if all things were made by him, he must have been before all: he must be "the first born of every creature." When it is said that all things were made by him, it is manifest that he himself is excepted, who is the first begotten of the Father. No being, finite or infinite, creates himself. We might as well insist that the strictly literal import of the declaration, "All things were made by him," implies that he made the Father, as that it implies that he himself could not be created. (10.) 
"When he bringeth in the first begotten into the world, he saith, Let all the angels of God worship him." Heb. i. 6. Are we not here plainly taught that he was the first begotten BEFORE he was brought into the world? "God sent his Son into the world." (11.) This implies that he was his Son before he was sent; as, I sent my servant, implies the previous existence of the relation. (12.) If this is denied, Rev. iii. 14. Col. i. 15, &c. clearly declare that our blessed Lord had a "beginning" of existence. (13.) Nor do we find a single apparent contradiction in all the record that his existence has been eternal. The word eternal is never applied to the Word or Son, or to any other of his varied and appropriate descriptive appellations. (14.) Nor is the term ever applied to the Father to justify the idea of eternal sonship.
The second declaration in John i. 1. is, "The Word was with God," i. e. (taking the book for our guide) the "first begotten," the first born of every creature, by whom God made all things, was with the Father. No man can have any intelligent idea of the affirmation, "The Word was with God," without conceiving of one being with another being; and if this were duly considered, the following clause would be quoted with less confidence as proof of supreme Deity. Having, then,  received the idea from the testimony of one being associated with another being, we read next that "the Word was God," i. e. many say, supreme God. What, then, is the unavoidable consequence? What idea have such in their minds? Certainly the idea of one supreme God with another supreme God. (15.) But you say, this is the testimony, "The Word was God." Well, but are you sure the term God is not here used in a subordinate sense? Is it not a fact that it is sometimes so used in the divine record? What does the Father say to his beloved on this subject, when he gives him the high title of God? "Unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is forever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom; thou hast loved righteousness and hated iniquity; therefore, God, even thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows." Heb. i. 8. 9. Is it not here demonstrated that the Son, as God, has a God, and consequently that the term is applied to him in a subordinate sense? Surely the Father has no God. If he called them Gods to whom the word of God came, we have no cause to marvel if he gives this high appellative to his first begotten, who is a ruler of pre-eminent dignity, "being made so much better than the angels." (16.)
If you say that the term God, in Heb. i. 8. refers to his mediatorial office, but that it does not in John i. 1. I ask, what evidence have we that it was not "in the beginning" given him in a subordinate sense, as the constituted maker and ruler of all? However, I present you evidence that the Word is not called God in the highest sense in John i. 1. in the revealed facts. 1. That the word God is used in the scriptures of truth in a subordinate sense. 2. "There is but one God, the Father." 3. Jesus himself declares his Father to be the only true God. John xvii. 3. 4. He never called himself God. (17.) 5. He denied the charge of making himself equal with God, founded by the captious Jews on the fact that he had said that God was his Father, by the asseveration, "Verily, verily, the Son can do nothing of himself." John v. 19. (18.) 6. He affirmed that his Father only knew of the day of Jerusalem's destruction, and consequently that he did not know of it in any nature. Finally (though I could add more) he prayed for the very glory which he had with the Father before the world was.
I have carefully examined your remarks on the term Word in the Christian Baptist you kindly sent me. Whether it is, or is not true, that ideas and words are "coetaneous," I find no evidence that it was any part of the design of the Spirit of truth, in using this term, to  teach us whether our Lord was or was not eternal. Various figurative appellatives are given our glorious Redeemer to delineate his incomparable excellency; but, ah! how inadequate is mortal language for such a theme!
|"Nor earth, nor seas, nor suns, nor stars,
Nor heaven his full resemblance bears."
A figure may be a very appropriate medium of illustration in respect to one characteristic of our Saviour, and a very inappropriate one in respect to another. The term "Lamb of God," which is so beautifully significant of the great propitiatory sacrifice our Father has appointed, is altogether inadequate to set forth the matchless might of him to whom all power in heaven and earth is given. All figures and parabolic illustrations of divine truth must be explained by the plain testimony, or we may prove any thing we please. The true import of the term Word, as applied to the Son of the Blessed, is to be ascertained from the revealed facts. He is the Word of God. The Father is the one God of whom are all things: the Son is the one Lord By whom are all things. He has declared unto us the Father's name. John xvii. 26. No man knoweth the Father but the Son, and he to whom the Son shall reveal him. Thus, as a word is the medium of communication of our minds to one another, so the Son is the medium of the Father's communications unto us. You will not claim authority to infer any idea from the term Word as applied to the Saviour, which has no support in the plain testimony, much less an idea which violates that testimony.
To support the idea of "society in God," you ask, "How could man be created in the image of God, incomplete in one person, social, and necessarily plural; and that God, in whose image and likeness he was created, could be a solitary unit, without society and plurality in himself!" I reply, that the fact that man was made rational, intelligent, and holy, presents an adequate basis for the declaration that he was made in the image of God. Man's happiness is indeed "incomplete" without the woman; but the fact of his pre-existence as one intelligent being, demonstrates that the existence of the woman was not essential to the existence of that one intelligent being. (19.)
1. I did not intend any discussion of this or any similar question, convinced, as I have long since been, that such discussions are interminable, and have no good practical tendency. I answered brother Grew's queries in all candor; but had no intention of discussing or debating this matter; and shall not now do more than publish his letter with a few notes.
2. Perhaps not exactly; for is not 1 Cor. viii. 6. spoken with a reference to "the gods many and lords many," and not in relation to such questions as have grown up out of the Alexandrian school? The phrase "to us" is equivalent to Christians or persons living under and acknowledging the new economy.
3. This question is answered by asking another: Does any one suppose that there has been an economy (such as the Jewish) in which the Son was not the only Lord?
4. This is rather a singular question. Has it not been intimated in my replies that the word "God" was a relative term? There can be no Father when there is no Son--no God when there is no Satan--no good when there is no evil. Our much esteemed brother Grew appears not to have reflected upon the peculiar import of the term Jehovah, as stated in my replies. The Father may, in strict propriety of speech, be the God as well as Father of Jesus Christ; but not the Father and the Jehovah of Jesus Christ. So teaches the Bible--so speak the Apostles. 
5. "He made himself poor." He became subject and dependent. "Though he was in the form of God, he did not affect to appear in divine majesty, but divested himself, taking upon him the form of a servant." Phil. ii. 7. New Version.
6. We cannot feel this difficulty, unless it be in using the phrase "God himself," or "the divine nature," in an accommodated sense; for that there is not solitude but society in Jehovah, is not incompatible with the proposition that the Father is our only God and Jesus our only Lord.
7. I can conceive of society, communion, unity, and plurality in Jehovah, just as easily as I conceive that he is the Self-Existent. Self-existence, or unoriginated being, is to me as unreasonable and as reasonable, as incomprehensible and comprehensible as society, unity and plurality of person, existence or being in one self-existent. 
8. No incompatibility: take both sentences in all their connexions.
9. I infer nothing about supreme or inferior gods. This language is not mine, and therefore let them who use it define it.
10. "In the beginning" is no part of time: for time was not until motion began. There was something to move before it moved. This something, then, was created before time began. The phrase, "In the  beginning," Gen. i. & John i. indicates before time. Now whatever was before time is to us eternal. It must be so: for the Word that was in the beginning began to create, and whatever was before creation was eternal. This is ontology, the very essence of abstraction.
11. Yes; before Jesus was brought from the dead, or before his Father commanded all the angels to worship him, he was the first begotten, "he is the first born from the dead, that in all things he may be pre-eminent."
12. I think not. Does the phrase "God sent an angel," mean that his angel or messenger was a messenger before he was sent? How could any being be a messenger before he was sent? He existed before he became an angel--but was no angel until sent. So the word says that holy offspring to be born of Mary "shall be called the Son of God." Cyrus, in anticipation, is called the servant of God; so God sent forth his Son, is in anticipation of "the word that was made flesh."
13. Rev. iii. 14. and Col. i. 5. does not imply to me that Jesus was a creature who began to be when he began creation. The phrase, "the beginning of the creation of God," is equivalent to the author of creation. If I say Martin Luther was the beginning of the Reformation, I do not mean that he began to be, when he began the Reformation.
14. Neither is the word pure or the word good by any inspired person. Shall we thence infer that lie was not pure nor good? Any thing with me is eternal which existed before creation. Before and after time, mortals know only eternity. Jesus is "the Alpha and the Omega" and before these there is no letter in the alphabet. He is the First and the Last; and before the first and after the last I know nothing. 
15. "Supreme God" is the language of Ashdod--not ours.
16. This supreme and subordinate sense will explain person, being, existence, plurality, unity, &c.
17. He assumed not "in the form of a servant" what belonged to him before "he made himself poor."
18. No: for so intimate was the union between the Father and his Son, that "whatever the Son did the Father also did." 
19. It was only essential to his happiness. It was not good for man to be alone. God never was alone. But who by searching can find out God or know the Almighty to perfection? The knowledge of him is higher than heaven. What can you know? It is deeper than hell. What can you do? I am content to believe what I cannot comprehend, or else I must reject my own existence, as well as of the Self-Existent. But of this as we proceed with the remainder of the communication of our very intelligent and devoted brother.
Conversation at Mr. Goodal's.
[Continued from page 224]
Mr. Reed.--THE angel which redeemed Jacob from all evil was no doubt the guardian angel of Jacob's people. This angel, we have much reason to think, was Michael the chief Prince. The following descriptions of this angel are worthy of attention:--
He is called the angel of Jehovah at the burning bush; and in Exodus xxiii. 2, he has a character given him which asserts the highest dignity. "I send an angel before thee to keep thee in the way, and to bring thee into the place which I have prepared, Beware of him and obey his voice: provoke him not, for he will not pardon your transgressions, because my name is in him. But if thou shalt indeed obey his voice, and do all that I speak, then I will be an enemy to your enemies, and an adversary to your adversaries. For my angel shall go before thee, and bring thee into the Amorites, and the Hittites, and the Perizzites, and the Canaanites, and the Hivites, and the Jebusites; and I will cut them off."
Mr. Williamson.--Have not many commentators supposed this to be Moses?
Mr. Reed.--Yes; but Moses did not bring them into the land of the seven nations, and consequently this applies not to Moses.
Mr. Williamson.--But may it not apply to Joshua?
Mr. Reed.--No; for Joshua did not keep them in the way to Canaan. This same angel appears to Joshua, chap. v. 13. "And it came to pass when Joshua was by Jericho, that he lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold there stood a man over against him, with his sword in his hand; and Joshua went to him and said to him, Art thou for us or for our adversaries? And he said, Nay; but as Captain [Prince] of the host of the Lord am I now come. And Joshua fell on his face to the earth and did worship, and said to him, What saith my lord to his servant? And the Captain of the Lord's host said to Joshua, Loose thy shoe from off thy foot; for the place on which thou standest is holy; and (ver. 3, 6,) the Lord said to Joshua, See I have given into thy hand Jericho and its king," &c.
This angel of the Lord, this Prince or Captain of the Lord's host, was neither Moses nor Joshua. Both Moses and Joshua did him homage: he speaks for Jehovah. He is the word of Jehovah, and receives the honors due to him as his angel. The prophet Isaiah gives him the title of "the angel of Jehovah's presence." Speaking of the mercies and loving kindness of the Lord to Israel in past times, the prophet adds, (chap. lxiii.) "The Lord became their Saviour. In all their affliction he was afflicted, and the angel of his presence saved them; in his love and in his pity he redeemed them, and he bare them and carried them all the days of old." Michael the chief prince, or the Word that was made flesh, is referred to in this passage. He was "the angel of Jehovah's presence," "the angel of the covenant," "the captain of the Lord's host"--he that blessed Jacob, and gave him the name of Israel.
Maria Goodal.--Does brother Reed think that "the angel of his presence" means the same as the promise given to Moses, (Exod. xxxiii. 14.) "My presence shall go with thee (Moses,) and I will give thee rest. And Moses said, If thy presence go not with me, carry us not up hence."
Mr. Reed.--I think "the presence of the Lord," and "the angel of his presence" represent the same thing. In both passages it is faces, "the angel of his faces," or "manifestations;" and they both relate to the same time, place, and people.
Father Goodal.--I incline to the judgment of my venerable ancestor, Owen of Cambridge, though I differ from him in some matters. He will have him who is now known as the Son of God, to be the person alluded to, as the Word and angel of Jehovah, so often spoken of by Moses and the prophets. He alleges that he who is called the angel of the presence is in Hosea called the Lord  himself, (i. 7.) "I, saith God, will have mercy upon the house of Judah, and will save them by the Lord their God, and will not save them by bow nor by sword, nor by battle, by horses nor by horsemen." Again, speaking of the same persons, ch. xii. 3, 4, he says, "By his strength he had power with God; yea, he had power over the angel and prevailed: he wept and made supplication to him; he found him in Bethel, and there he spake with us. Even the Lord of hosts; the Lord is his memorial." He that is called the angel and the angel of the Lord, is here called the Lord himself Stephen also, in his speech, thrice applies this word to the Lord himself: "The angel of the Lord which appeared in the bush;" "the hand of the angel which appeared to him in the bush;" The angel which spake to him in the Mount Sinai. This angel calls himself the God of Abraham, of Isaac, and Jacob, more than once. Hence I infer that Michael, (which signifies "one like God," or "the image of God,") "the angel of the Lord," "the angel of his presence," "the Prince or Captain of the hosts," "the angel of the covenant," and all such titles are applied to him who before the Christian age began, was called "the word of God," the word which was made flesh. He was the chief of the princes and peculiarly presided over the people of Israel; and is it not every way acceptable that he who is now the ambassador of God to the whole race of men, was before his incarnation the president angel of the covenanted people, in anticipation of his humiliation amongst men. "He came to his own people, but they received him not."
Mr. Reed.--Let us, then, leave this matter here, and proceed to the services which angels performed under the Jewish economy--not forgetting the question of our friend Mr. Williamson, concerning the origin of a guardian angel assigned to each person.
Father Goodal.--As a commencement to this part of the conversation, let me request mother Reed for his views of Stephen's words, Acts vii. 53.--"Who received the law by the disposition of angels."
Mr. Reed.--This, indeed, is the proper exordium of the services of angels under the law. For not only Stephen, but David and Paul call our attention to their services on Mount Sinai. David says, "The chariots of God are many thousands of angels--the Lord is among them as in Sinai, in the holy place." Psalm lxviii. 17. We are here taught that when the Lord descended to the Mount he was attended with many angels; and Stephen says, "Through the ranks or orders of angels the law was given to Israel." Paul says that "the word or law was spoken by angels," and that "it was ordained by angels in the hand of a Mediator"--i. e. Moses. Thus they waited upon God in the giving of the law, and put the tables of the law into the hand of the mediator Moses.
But as order is the first law of Heaven, and method is another name for reason, let us attempt to arrange the various services of angels under proper heads; and as Robert Fowler has been studying logic, let us ask him under what heads he would classify what is said on the services of angels.
Robert Fowler.--I would suppose that there are but two sorts of services which they could render man, viz. physical and moral; or that the bodies and minds of men are the objects upon which all their services must terminate. But in performing these distinct services it is necessary for them sometimes to operate upon animated and unanimated nature; and therefore, in examining the scripture upon this subject, I would notice what they have performed by both.
Mr. Reed.--Give us a sample, then, if you please, of their operations on matter.
R. Fowler.--They have taken to themselves bodies of human form, capable of reflecting light; and in these bodies they have performed all the actions of men; such as eating, drinking, talking, striking, pulling, walking, sitting, &c. For example, the angels who visited Lot in Sodom, stayed with him all night, eat unleavened bread; they put out their hands and pulled Lot into the house from the hands of the Sodomites; they shut the door, and smote the enemies of Lot with blindness. In the morning they laid hold on Lot's hand and the  hand of his wife and daughters, and urged them out of the city, commanding him to hasten out of the reach of destruction. The angel that appeared to Manoah so much resembled a man in appearance, in speech, and gesture, that neither Manoah nor his wife could realize that he was an angel until he ascended in the flame of their sacrifice to heaven. An angel so operated on the air as to strike dead by a pestilence seventy thousand persons from Dan to Beersheba in one day; and when stretching out his hand against Jerusalem the Lord forbade him to strike the city, and the plague was stayed. An angel of the Lord made himself visible to Balaam's ass, stood with a drawn sword in his hand, and so affrighted the ass that it fell down under Balaam rather than approach the angel. An angel of the Lord appeared to Gideon, sitting under an oak, with a staff in his hand; and with this staff he touched the flesh and the unleavened cakes which Gideon set before him, and instantly they were consumed by fire: and the angel departed from his presence after delivering to him his message. While Elijah was sleeping under a juniper tree, an angel brought him a cake baked on coals, a cruse of water, and the angel touched him, awoke him, and exhorted him to eat. An angel of the Lord went out and smote in the camp of the Assyrians 186,000 of the Assyrian army in one night. This is a fair specimen of the physical operations of angels on matter in their various errands and embassies in the affairs of men during the Mosaic institution.
Mr. Reed.--But might we not learn something of angelic influence and the services of the good angels from what is sad of the devil and his angels? Would it not, therefore, he interesting and edifying if we should glance at the doings of Satan and his hosts of darkness?
Robert Fowler.--But little is directly said of Satan in the Old Testament. His agency is, however, distinctly and repeatedly stated; and the history of Job shows his power over the elements of this material system to be immense. The family of Job, his sons and daughters, his servants, his flocks and herds, and even his own person, attest the potency of Satan. And if we attend to what is said of his agency on the minds of men, we shall find the ancient records still more copious in details. Besides his assaults on our common parents we find him incessant in his malicious contrivances against our race. He long resisted the miracles of Moses by his sorceries in the land of Egypt. He stood up against Israel in the days of David, and "provoked him to number the people of God." (1 Chron. xxi. 1.) When Joshua the high priest stood before the angel of the Lord, Satan stood at his right hand to resist him. He sent forth a lying spirit to deceive Ahab by his false prophets. He corrupted all nations with idolatry, sorcery, witchcraft, necromancy, familiar spirits, &c. That supernatural power was by Satan imparted to mankind is evident from the law which says, "Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live." God gave no such law against pretenders; the existence of a divine law on such a case is positive evidence of the fact of that case.
Mr. Reed.--Perhaps you have gone far enough into the detail. We have, then, abundant evidence that spirits good and evil have, in the affairs of our race, exercised a decided physical agency over nature, animate and inanimate, and have controlled the elements of matter as easily as the minds of men.
Father Goodal.--But there is yet one point which is not sufficiently corroborated and illustrated in the history of the Jewish age--that is the direct agency of angels, good and evil, on the minds of men.
Mr. Reed.--They have talked with men. All the influence, then, which language exercises over the human mind, is in the power of angels. In dreams, in visions, and in whispers they have communed with men. But in the New Testament this influence is more fully developed. And as I have seen Maria Goodal turning over the leaves of that volume, we shall call upon her to read all that is said of the services of angels in that volume.
Maria Goodal.--An angel appeared in the temple to Zecharias, intimated the birth of John, and smote Zecharias with deafness and dumbness because he believed not his word. The same angel, Gabriel, visited Mary and announced  to her the birth of the Saviour of the world. An angel appeared also to Joseph in a dream, and instructed him on all his scruples about retaining his wife, and communicated to him the name to be given to the son of Mary. An angel announced to the shepherds of Bethlehem the birth of Messiah the Lord; and a multitude of the heavenly host appeared with that angel, and sang on earth in the audience of the shepherds the high praises of Jehovah. An angel appears in a dream to Joseph, and advises him to flee into Egypt to save the infant Saviour from the jealousy of Herod; and an angel again appears to him in a dream, and advises his return to Judea after the demise of Herod. When Jesus had triumphed over the temptations of Satan, angels appeared to him in the desert and ministered to his wants. An angel moved the waters of Bethesda, and gave them power to cure the first afflicted body which was immersed in them. An angel appeared to Jesus in Gethsemane and strengthened him in his agony. Angels carried the spirit of Lazarus into Abraham's bosom. And angels waited on the holy women who first waited upon the tomb of the Saviour, rolled away the stone for them, and imparted to them counsel and comfort. An angel of the Lord spoke to Philip, and sent him to convert an Ethiopian officer. An angel intimated to Cornelius where he might find one who could make known to him the word of life. An angel, in answer to the prayers of the church, delivers Peter from the prison in which Herod had confined him. This angel irradiated the prison at midnight, smote Peter on the side, commanded him to rise, knocked off his chains, gave him direction about dressing himself, opened for him all the prison gates, and conducted him out into one of the streets of the city. An angel of the Lord smote Herod with worms, so that he instantly expired. An angel of the Lord appeared to Paul at sea, and foretold to him the fate of himself and his companions. An angel under the appearance of a Macedonian, approached Paul in a dream, and invited him into Macedonia.
To say nothing of what is written of angels in the New Testament, and not to go into the book of symbols, we may, I think, take these extracts as a fair sample of their services to our race.
Mr. Reed.--I am of opinion Maria has given us sufficient documents to furnish us with the means of estimating the variety and value of their ministrations; and if we add to these what is said of them by the Saviour and his Apostles, we shall not, I judge, err if we assign to them most, if not all those dispensations which are called special providences.
Mrs. Fowler.--But, brother Reed, were not these interpositions confined to the age of miracles, and have we any reason to think that they are now so employed in the affairs of men?
Mr. Reed.--"This age of miracles, if we extend it to the times in which these services were rendered, is a very long age. It is an age of nearly 3000 years. From the days of Abraham till the end of the Revelation of John, they are always acting some part in the great drama of human existence.
Father Goodal.--I have often thought that if we had a history written by an inspired man of all the events of the last seventeen centuries, angels would figure in it as much as they do in the Acts of the Apostles. Of many a person it would he said he was stricken dead by an angel of the Lord; and of many another person it would be said he was called, sent, or delivered by an angel of the Lord.
Mr. Reed.--I perfectly concur with Father Goodal in this opinion: for angels generally work by means as God does.
Mrs. Reed.--I fear you will forget Mr. Williamson's question on the subject of the guardian angel.
Mr. Reed.--No, my dear, we are just coming to that. Jesus said the angels of little children do always look at the face of God; and though a honored with a place in his temple, they wait on infants as their guardians; and if one angel is not sufficient for each person, we know that God has no lack of these agents. And Paul tells us they are ALL ministering angels sent forth to minister to the heirs of salvation. 
Mrs. Reed.--This is, however, confined to the heirs of salvation.
Mr. Reed.--Yes; on them they wait. But as God is the Saviour of all men, especially of them that believe, we have no reason to doubt that even wicked men are often preserved by them. But still the righteous only can expect their incessant guardian care--to them they are specially promised. Those in whose hearts the prince of darkness reigns, are unworthy of the companionship of the angels of God; and if for them they perform any services, it is with a reference to the righteous who are to be ultimately benefited by them.
Father Goodal.--In corroboration and illustration of all this, I will relate to you an anecdote, of the truth of which I am fully assured from a respectable minister among the Scotch Independents:--
On the estate of the Duke of A------, in Scotland, lived a country Squire, of considerable wealth and standing amongst the voluptuaries of his day. In a small cottage on his homestead lived a shepherd with his wife and ten children, whom the Squire kept constantly employed in his service, at the usual wages of the times. As the shepherd's family was large, and his wife feeble, in the best of times his labor and that of such of his children as could work, did no more than supply them with food and raiment of the simplest kind. But a scarcity occurred, and a dearth of provision ensued, so that to obtain food without raiment required every farthing that their combined exertions could procure. At last the dearth increasing, he had on one Saturday evening to go to bed supperless, without even the prospect of a meal before Monday. As his manner was, he spent an hour in the evening in instructing his children in the knowledge of God and their duties to him and all mankind, assuring them that if they trusted in God and obeyed his commandments, the Lord would never forsake them. In his prayer he expressed great gratitude to his heavenly Father for all his mercies, and prayed to him who feeds the birds of the air that he would give them their daily bread. Content and careless of to-morrow's fare, they retired to rest and slept soundly during the night.
To return to the 'Squire. On that day the 'Squire had made a great feast, and had invited many of his rich friends and jovial companions to partake with him; for them many a good shoulder and loin of roasted and boiled was prepared, and Cooks and Confectioners put in requisition all their science and art to minister to his pampered guests. But by some unforeseen casualty, not more than half of those that were bidden partook of the supper. After they had indulged themselves almost to satiety in the pleasures of sensuality, they retired to rest. But the 'Squire could not sleep. If he slumbered for a few minutes he was terrified with dreams, and the picture of the shepherd's family, honest, industrious, poor, and pious, being in extreme poverty, while he was rioting in luxury, haunted him like a spectre. Sleep absolutely forsook him; and calling his steward, he commanded him to take a sack of provisions, as much as he could carry on a horse, and to leave it quietly standing against the door of the shepherd's cottage, and never to tell that he had done it till the day of his death. The steward obeyed, and gathering up the loaves and hams which remained from the feast, he filled his sack, and set it up against the shepherd's door.
The morning came; the shepherd's family arose, and before they went out sang their morning song, and offered up their social prayers and thanksgivings. Immediately after the shepherd unbolted his door, when, to his astonishment and that of his family, the well packed sack fell into the floor. The gratitude and astonishment of the family may be better imagined than described. Suffice it to say, that whence it came continued a secret till the 'Squire's death, when, as an offset to some imputations against the memory of the deceased, his steward told this as a proof that he had at least done one good act in the whole course of his life.
I AM anxious to hand down to posterity the characters upon the stage of action in our day, that they may take warning against the spirit and conduct of the leaders of this generation among us.
In the Religious Herald of the 7th June, a letter from A. Judson to "the Foreign Mission Association" of Hamilton, a paragraph of which contains so much truth, and is fully proved from observation around us, that I fear it will be lost to the next generation; I therefore have taken the liberty of trying to have it recorded in the Harbinger:--
"Beware of pride--not the pride of proud men, but the pride of humble men--that secret pride, which is apt to grow out of a consciousness that we are esteemed by the great and good. This pride sometimes eats out the vitals of religion before its existence is suspected. In order to check its operations, it may be well to remember HOW WE APPEAR IN THE SIGHT OF GOD, and how we should appear in the sight of our fellow-men, IF ALL WAS KNOWN.1 ENDEAVOR TO LET ALL BE KNOWN. Confess your faults freely, and as publicly as circumstances will require or permit. When you have done something of which you are ashamed, and by which some one has been injured, (and what man is exempt?) be glad not only to make reparation, but improve the opportunity for subduing your pride."
This is the language of a Burmah Rabbi to his brethren in America. We shall soon see whether they will "endeavor to let all be known," and "be glad not only to make reparation for the injury done to us, but to improve the opportunity of subduing their pride."
In the Herald of June 14th, 1833, we have a communication from Elder A. Broaddus, under the signature of "Christianos," upon "the Catholic controversy." When I read this epistle of his, I could but think of Paul's language in the first verse, 2d chap. of his letter to the Romans: "Therefore thou art inexcusable, O man, whosoever thou art, that judgest: for wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself; for thou that judgest doest the same things," &c. This is as clear as the sun in the firmament to all who have got clear of the smoke of Babylon. Permit me to take a concise review of his language, and prove with whom he is in company:--
1. He takes "great interest in the Catholic controversy; cannot help wishing that the Editor of the Herald had assigned more room to this department of his paper; that in a controversy of this sort he must own he feels much more agreeably interested, than in the existence of those intestine conflicts with which we have been too much disturbed." What shall we say of such language--a man that is opposed to controversy, if we believe him, when it comes near his door,  but fond or pleased with it at a distance, when it does not say, "Thou art the man"? This is the way to keep in with the majority; and is this the way to "endeavor to let all be known" at home? I ask, Who has disturbed society? Let the King and Queen Decrees, the Dover Decree, and the test of fellowship question decide.
A larger portion of the Herald he wishes to be devoted to ""the Catholic controversy," but not one inch for the restoration of the ancient gospel and order of things. How liberal he is at a distance from home, while his brethren are suffering under his proscriptions for advocating the New Testament.
2. "The aspect of popery presents so monstrous a perversion of the pure, simple, mild, and heavenly religion of Jesus Christ and his Apostles, that he cannot contemplate its existence without identifying it with the land of darkness and shadow of death." Really, one would think that Elder Broaddus, from the foregoing language, was disposed to honor Jesus Christ and his Apostles above the sons of men; but how is it in practice?
3. "Every ray of light that pierces the moral gloom must be welcome to the friends of truth." Shall I believe the author of the above language means what he says or not? If this be the fact, how comes it to pass that this same man has solemnly decreed to exclude from his fellowship those who are laboring to present the light of truth, to remove the moral gloom that is visible upon the countenance of all sectarians; yea, upon his own countenance, as every unprejudiced man that runs may read, who attends his ministrations?
4. "The claim of Popery to establish the authority of the Holy Scriptures, and to interpret their meaning; and it is that sort of argument which reduces the position assumed to an absurdity." I am unable to discover any difference in the conclusion of the matter in these United States, between Elder Broaddus' views to establish the authority of the Holy Scriptures in fundamentals and interpret their meaning, from that of the Romish church; except one undertakes to say what shall be the canonical Scriptures. But they both agree to exclude all men that will not take their views or explanations of the Scriptures, instead of the Scriptures themselves. Hear Mr. Broaddus: "Avowing the Bible as the only standard by which our religious views are to be tried--that a declaration be set forth, expressing our non-fellowship with those persons who may be found to deny or discard the Scripture truths, (AS WE UNDERSTAND THEM,) which may be specified in the said declaration. As to the mode of effecting this object, none more eligible presents itself to my mind, than a delegation from each Association, confining ourselves to the limits of our own state," &c. Here is a reverend Protestant leader, professing to "avow the Bible as the only standard by which their religious views are to be tried," in the same breath proposes what the Bible no where authorizes him or any other set of men to do--that is, to make their views "a test of fellowship" among the disciples of Jesus Christ, or exclude them for not submitting to their views. This is the very claim that Popery seeks to establish, and can do no more in these United  States without the consent of the people. Dr. Powers and Mr. Levens only ask that we would take their views, or rather explanations of the Bible and traditions, than the Bible itself.2 Mr. Broaddus avows the Bible the standard by which his "traditions and views are to be tried." But they must be the living infallible judges, witnesses, and jurymen to try their own views. For if any man dare dissent from them, he is anathematized by the same judges, witnesses, and jurymen.
Mr. Broaddus will no more take the New Testament alone as the bond of union and test of church fellowship with those that believe, repent, and are immersed for the remission of their sins, than Doctor Powers and Levens will--that is, his decrees prove he will not, and his conduct teaches us it shall be so.
5. "The church of Rome, [meaning, I suppose, the priesthood,] with the Pope at its head clothed with infallibility, has the exclusive right to pronounce what shall be considered valid scripture, and to interpret or declare the true meaning of the sacred volume." Now let any man read his proposition that the Associations should send a delegation to set forth a declaration of their views as a "test of church fellowship" in the state of Virginia, which will assuredly consist of the priesthood, with some one in the Pope's chair, and say if their conclusions as to a dissentient will not be the same? May I not use his words? "It looks imposing enough, for it presents a very convenient way of settling all difficulty." This he knows from experience, when he signed the Dover Decree, and advised the Editors of the Herald not to let us be heard, though we have been condemned without witness, judge, or jury, except by our accusers, and then in our absence.
6. "Now I am an inquirer into the validity of this claim. How shall it be decided? Would a priest tell me straight off that I must be damned unless I believe and admit this claim? Not, I suppose, first without reasoning with me; and if he should, this would not convince me. WOULD HE HAVE ME PUT TO THE TORTURE TO ENFORCE THIS POINT ON ME? NEITHER WOULD THIS CONVINCE ME; and besides, in these United States he could not do it; (what thanks we owe for our privileges!) Well, then, there remains but one appeal--that is, to "the law and the testimony--to the Scriptures themselves." Where was this man's conscience if it did not smite him when he wrote the above sentence? Now we are inquirers into the validity of this exclusive right to set forth a declaration of their views as a "test of church fellowship among the disciples of Christ." Does he not by his decrees declare we are unworthy of the kingdom of heaven, unless we admit his traditions and views to be infallibly correct? Can such conduct "convince us?" Has he not actually resorted to the utmost stretch of his power to torture and destroy our Christian character  and usefulness, which is dearer to us than life? Can the Pope do more in these United States? "What thanks do we, indeed, owe from our experience (under his hand) for our privileges!" Has he "appealed to the law and the testimony--to the Scriptures themselves?" Thus out of his own mouth he stands condemned before Dr. Brownlee's infallible rule and judge on order of controversy.
Now we are inquirers into the correctness of his views of "total depravity;" of his "natural ability and moral inability;" his "special influence in order to faith," or Calvinism dressed in silk stockings, gloves, and a beaver hat, and a strait-laced hyper's heart, with his steel stays on; or, to use his own words, "a man bound with a hempen rope or a silken cord is paralysed and proves him under the dominion of sin;" his "justification alone by faith, without obedience;" a "Christian's experience before obedience;" "forgiveness of sins without faith, repentance, and immersion;" of his keeping every Lord's day, when he only keeps it once in three months in any one church. His Saturday meetings for the discipline among the disciples; his pastoral care of four churches, leaving his own church to neglect the three Lord's days in a month, if not for eight in a year;3 his right to decrees in councils and associations, without authority, and no notice to the accused, or liberty of defence; his six men from different parts of the world to constitute an officer in a large and intelligent congregation; his theological school to make preachers, when the Scriptures have taught us the church is the school, and Christ is the teacher; His numbers of societies to make men Christians; lastly, his right to exclude men for obeying Jesus and his Apostles rather than men. Will he now "appeal to the law and to the testimony--to the Scriptures themselves," for his views and conduct? If so, we will meet him, and stand or fall by what they say. Not until he revokes his Dover Decrees, or nullifies them, do we desire any fellowship with him or the immediate actors in these unrighteous proceedings towards the disciples of Christ.
Lastly, "this claim is to be proved by the Scriptures. Then the Scriptures must be allowed to be valid, and we must be allowed the liberty of interpretation before we can decide on the claim--before we can recognize the authority of this said infallible Judge." Thus he condemns himself.
|Yours in the Lord,|
|T. M. HENLEY.|
Everlasting Gospel--No. 4.
BABYLON is judged for her sorceries. She deceived the whole world. Under pretence of religion she has corrupted the waters of life, and got up an institution full of abominations. She has alienated  the ears and estranged the hearts of all her votaries from the voice of the Son of God. The simplicity of Christ is to her taste more insipid than water to a drunkard. Her institutions nourish and cherish every passion and feeling of the old man. They are directly or indirectly addressed to the lusts of the flesh, the lusts of the eye, and the pride of life. If the ranker weeds of gross vices must be kept down, the same passions will shoot up in other forms, and find room to blossom and bring forth other fruits of the flesh as acceptable to Satan as the grosser works of darkness. The more genteel sins of pharisaism, spiritual pride, contempt for good men, envy, strife, emulation, selfishness, avarice, and spiritual idolatry pollute the conscience and work the ruin of soul and body, as certainly, though sometimes not so quickly, as the crimes we denominate murder, adultery, drunkenness, revellings, and licentiousness. And has not Babylon the Great, and all her dependencies, engrossed within the pale of her ceremonies every thing which we call the world? In Italy where will you find the world out of the bosom of the Catholic church? In England where will you find the world out of the communion of the Episcopal church? In Scotland where is the world out of the pale of the Presbyterian church? And is it not the very constitution and policy of every Paidobaptist society to get every child of the flesh into the church, to make the doors of the church as wide as the gates of the world; and to enrol every child of Adam amongst the members of Christ--irrespective of personal faith or obedience? The ancient Christians were for eradicating the tares out of the wheat; the moderns are for sowing the tares among the wheat. What enchantments and sorceries have been practised by this insatiate harlot to allure the whole race of men into her measures! Their history of a thousand years does not tell all the tale.
But strong is the arm of the Lord who avenges her! When the hour of her judgment is come she shall be hurled into perdition as a millstone into the sea. The tares will be collected into bundles and given to the devouring flame, and she shall bewitch the nations no more.
But she is charged also with having "shed the blood of prophets." Every one who presumes to punish men with civil pains and penalties for thinking for themselves, or for obeying the dictates of their own consciences, of whatever nature or kind that civil punishment may be, belongs to the bloody race who shed the blood of God's prophets. The principle is the same--the character is therefore the same; and all that is wanting is opportunity, and such a change in public opinion as to make it practicable. No man in his senses can imagine that amongst the religionists of this day there are fewer of this class in proportion to the aggregate than in the days of Richard I. or Henry III. But public sentiment is changed; and now slander, detraction, lying, and proscription have taken the place of jails, pillories, confiscations, and inquisitions. But if every one who hates his brother is in the sight of Heaven a murderer--every one who slanders and reproaches with his tongue is a persecutor. Whether the tongue, or the  arm, or the foot is used to injure the person or the character of a man, on account of his belief or his opinions, it matters not; the heart and the motive are the same.
It is not necessary to analyze the character of those motives to discover their consanguinity with those which led to the martyrdom of Abel. The great teacher places in one chapter with Cain all that had caused a tear or a drop of blood to flow for the sake of conscience. The motive which shed the blood of righteous Abel, and that which shed the blood of the son of Barachias, was the same. His doctrine is, he that is unjust in little is unjust in much; and with us it is a maxim that he who steals a cent is a thief as well as he who steals a thousand pounds. It is also a maxim that character is dearer than life; that a good name is better than riches; and that
|"He that steals my purse steals trash;
'Twas mine, 'tis his, and has been slave to thousands.
But he that filches from me my good name,
Takes that from me which not enriches him,
And makes me poor indeed!"
"The blood of prophets!" Precious blood! The saints in God's sight are most precious. One of them is worth more than all the gold, silver, and precious stones with which our globe abounds--worth more than our globe itself and all its varied riches. He that touches them, touches the apple of his eye, and he will in his own time show that the traducers and persecutors of his people are his enemies. In the day of his vengeance he will recompence all the blood of his saints upon the heads of them who caused it to be shed, or were partakers of their deeds. "Rejoice over her, you holy Apostles and Prophets, for God has avenged you on her!" The Apostles and Prophets are commanded to rejoice in the proclamation of the everlasting gospel, because God has judged this great harlot, and avenged their sufferings upon her head. But how did the Apostles and Prophets suffer by this mother of every abomination? Were they ever under her ban or her anathemas? Only in their doctrine and in their brethren who acted upon their testimony. These two witnesses for God have prophesied long in sackcloth and ashes. The Prophets and Apostles have been traduced, dethroned, and persecuted again and again to death in the persons of them who would have restored and honored them. Hence now, when taken up to heaven after their long sufferings--at the time of this judgment the order emanates from high authority, "Rejoice over her, you holy Apostles and Prophets, for God has avenged you on her!"
But the Apostles and Prophets now live on earth only in the persons of them who are governed by their testimony--not in all who profess to believe them; for of these many have fallen by intemperance, licentiousness, duelling, &c. and surely the Apostles and Prophets are not implicated in their catastrophe. Yet parents do not more certainly live in the persons of their children, than do the Apostles in the persons and characters of all who through them derive life from the Messiah, or believe on and obey him through their testimony.  Every indignity offered to their doctrine or their institutions, found in whose life or in whose conduct soever they may be, is opposed to them, and to him that sent them. "He that receives you receives me, and he that rejects you rejects me," says the Great Prophet. There will be joy in heaven and earth at the proclamation of the angel of this everlasting good news, that all the wrongs done to Prophets and Apostles, to all the saints for adhering to their testimony, shall be redressed and avenged upon the children of them who had caused these witnesses to prophesy so many years in sackcloth and ashes.
Professor Stuart on the Mode of Baptism.
THE secondary meanings of bapto and baptizo, in classic use, adduced by our laborious author, are the following. We quote his own words:--
"2. The verb bapto means to plunge or thrust into any thing that is solid, but permeable; to plunge in so as to cover or enclose the thing plunged.
3. The verb bapto only is employed, in order to convey the meaning, to dip out, to dip up, by plunging a vessel into a liquid and drawing it up.
4. The verb bapto only, (and its derivatives in point of form,) signifies to tinge, dye, or color.
No doubt then can remain, that the word bapto means to tinge, or color; and in this respect it seems plainly to differ from baptizo. I find no instance in which the latter is employed in this way. There may be some, which have escaped the extensive search that I have made. But until I see them produced I must believe that the sense of tingeing is appropriated only to bapto, and to its kindred words in respect to form. I am aware that Passow assigns to baptistes the meaning of baptizer, plunger, and dyer; but of the last meaning I must now doubt, until some examples are produced. All other words kindred to baptistes, (kindred in form, as coming from baptizo,) are destitute of such a sense as that of dyeing or coloring, according to Passow's own statement.
If the conclusion just stated be correct, then we can see that there exists the like difference between the actual usage of bapto and baptizo, as exists between many other verbs which have the same relation in respect to form, and where the ending in -zw has not the sense of a frequentative. The reader by looking back to the statement made above (p. 294 sq.) in relation to this subject, may now satisfy himself still further, that baptizo is not a frequentative. I have found no instance in which this sense is apparent, so far as the nature of the verb itself is concerned.
5. The word baptizo means to overwhelm, literally and figuratively, in a variety of ways.
6. Bapto is also employed in the sense to smear, to bathe, by the application of liquid to the surface, &c.
7. A shade of meaning kindred to the above, viz. to wash, i. e. to cleanse by the use of water, is sometimes attached to the word bapto in the classics."
Next let us hear him on the Septuagint and Apocrypha signification off baptizo; for the Professor is determined to lay before us all the uses of these words.--
"1. The verb bapto signifies to plunge, immerse, dip in. 
In like manner baptizo takes the same signification.
2 Kings v. 14. And Naaman went down, and plunged himself seven times into the river. The prophet Elisha had said, Wash thyself seven times in the Jordan. 2 Kings v. 10.
2. To smear over or moisten by dipping in; in which sense I find bapto only employed.
3. To overwhelm; where baptizo is used. Of this I find but one example; and in that the word is used in a figurative way.
Isa. xxi. 4. My iniquity overwhelms me; where the Hebrew has to terrify, &c.
4. Of the sense of tingeing or coloring, given to bapto, I find only one example; and here the reading is various and contested.
5. To wash, cleanse by water; where baptizo is used.
6. To moisten, wet, bedew; where bapto is used.
Meaning of the words bapto, baptizo, and their derivatives in the New Testament, when not applied to the rite of baptism:--
1. To dip.
2. To dye.
1. To wash, in the literal sense.
2. But baptizo and baptisma have, in a few cases, a figurative sense, which deserves a particular consideration.
Luke xii. 5. I have a baptism to be baptized with, and how am I straitened until it be accomplished! That is, I am about to be overwhelmed with sufferings, and I am greatly distressed with the prospect of them.
So the classic usage: To overwhelm with misfortune; to overwhelm with taxes--with wine--with questions--with debt--with excessive labor, &c. &c.
3. There is another figurative use of baptizo, allied in some respects to the preceding, but distinguished from it in the mode of its application. I mean that usage of the word which employs it to designate the idea of copious affusion or effusion, in a figurative manner. The basis of this usage is very plainly to be found in the designation by baptizo of the idea of overwhelming, i. e. of surrounding on all sides with fluid. Copious affusion or effusion is kindred to this; and very obviously, the word which designates the preceding idea, may also designate these meanings.
E. g. Matth. iii. 11. He shall BAPTIZE you with the Holy Ghost and with fire; i. e. he will make a copious effusion of his Spirit upon a part of you; and another part, viz. the finally unbelieving and impenitent, he will surround with flames, or plunge into the flames."
Thus the reader may see, from all the research of this learned Paidobaptist, that in no use, sacred or profane, of these words, are they ever used for sprinkling or pouring.
We have, then, all authority for translating these words to dip, to immerse--none for sprinkle or to pour. We have all divine authority for immersion--none for sprinkling or pouring.
After all this, I am aware the reader will be curious to know how our learned essayist essays to keep out of the water.
With the utmost scrupulosity and sincerity, the Professor deliberately asks the following question:--
"Do baptizo and its derivates, when applied to designate the rite of baptism, necessarily imply that this rite was performed by immersion of the whole person?"
To cast light upon this dark subject--(dark, indeed, after the united testimony of all sacred and profane antiquity, against sprinkling and pouring, and in favor of immersion)--it is now to be gravely  discussed whether, after all, we can ever be certain, morally certain, infallibly certain, that this "rite" was not sometimes, perchance, performed by sprinkling or pouring. Or suppose it can never be proved that it was ever performed by sprinkling, pouring, or smearing, still it is worthy to inquire, and with all logical exactness, whether this "rite was performed by immersion of the whole person?"
The Professor, to settle this very difficult matter, proposes the following method:--
"There are many different ways in which light may be cast upon the ground of this inquiry:--
I. We may contemplate the proper force and signification of the word itself, as determined by the usus loquendi in general.
II. We may examine the circumstances which attended the administration of this rite, and see whether they cast any light upon the manner of the rite itself.
III. We may investigate the early history of the rite, and see whether it already existed in the Jewish church, at the time when John the Baptist made his appearance; and if so, what was the manner of it among the Jews, and whether John or Jesus made any change in this manner.
IV. We may investigate the subsequent history of the rite, in the early ages of the Christian church, and see what mode of baptizing was practised by the churches in general.
V. When all this is done, and the mode is philologically and historically exhibited or established, we may then make the inquiry whether any particular mode of applying water in baptism is essential to the ordinance, and obligatory upon the churches of Christ at the present day."
Now it may be possible to raise a doubt on some one or other of these five points; and if only one plausible doubt can be raised, the Paidoes will cleave to that doubt as to the shelter of a great rock in a weary land! Our Professor, also professionally on the same side with them, it will be necessary to examine this question very closely. On the first point he concludes, p. 317:--
"Setting aside this, then, for a moment, we may say, in all other cases in the New Testament, the mode of baptism is left undetermined by the original Greek, so far as the language itself is concerned, unless it is necessarily implied by the Word baptizo; for in all other cases, only the element by which, not the mode in which baptism is performed, is designated by the sacred writers.
Now as neither en, nor ek, nor apo, nor eis, nor any verb or preposition in the language can be urged, which once and forever signifies the same thing; it is not absolutely certain from the prepositions that any one ever went down into the water. Well, unless baptizo necessarily and forever implies the act of immersion beyond the possibility of doubt, in any case whatever--then it is again in the clouds. Well, now, our candid author will go this far on this point:--
"The answer to the above questions which I feel philologically compelled to give, is, that the probability that baptizo implies immersion, is very considerable, and on the whole a predominant one; but it does not still amount to certainty. Both the classic use and that of the Septuagint show, that washing and copious affusion are sometimes signified by this word. Consequently, the rite of baptism may have been performed in one of these ways, although it is designated by the word baptizo. Whether in fact it was so, then, seems to be left for inquiry, from other evidence than that which the word itself necessarily affords." 
Well, now, the Professor is out to sea again. He is in quest of some other port. Neither the uniformity of the verb or preposition will exclude all possibility of doubt, and therefore he finds the subject open to farther inquiry. But before he leaves this point he thinks it due to the whole public, to state the 'PROBABILITY' that immerse is fairly implied in the force of the word. This was candid. He says, p. 318:--
"On the whole, however, the probability seems to be in favor of the idea of immersion, when we argue simply ex vi termini, i. e. merely from the force of the words or expressions in themselves considered."
But we shall wait on the Professor again.
Progress of Reform.
WE congratulate our brother Butler for the favor bestowed upon him. He has certainly found a pearl of great value, and he knows how to appreciate it! If the Lord should now honor him, by permitting him to suffer a good deal of shame for his name, how much might he rejoice! I thank the Lord for the accession of this talented brother to the good cause. The salvation and happiness of every man is alike important in itself; but when we see men of wealth, talent, and standing in society, cordially embrace the ancient institutions, and devote themselves to their spread and prevalence in the world, with all their powers, we have reason for more joy and gratitude because of the means of doing good which the Lord has bestowed on them. May the Lord make the life and labors of this much esteemed brother a blessing--a great blessing to many!--Ed.
|CARLOWNSVILLE, Alabama, May 27, 1833.|
AFTER a prayerful and deliberate examination of Scripture facts, as arranged and developed in your voluminous compositions, and the attendant reasons for such developments, I am necessarily and satisfactorily brought to acknowledge the high benefits which their truths have afforded me.
Before God, angels, and men, I have no other motive in the espousal of the ancient order of things, as contended for by you in your labors of love, than the honor of my King, the benefit of others, and peace of my own soul. I have not come to a conclusion upon the merits of your writings, without a minute and critical examination of them--with my Bible (blessed book!) before me, and my God in my mind. I assure you, that in the examination of your views, I was not hurried forward to a favorable conclusion by any prepossessions either for you or them. No; far from it. The first circumstance which led me to an investigation of your writings, was a sui generis encomium passed upon your debate with Mr. Walker, by a brother Baker of Alabama.  He remarked to me that he had seen a blow at the root of infant sprinkling, by Alexander Campbell, who, he was sorry to learn, was a schismatic; "but," said he, "if they were the sentiments of the devil, they are true."
The next information was from a Presbyterian preacher, who seemed to be agitated at the very mention of your name, (though I did not see the finger, yet I knew the pigeon was touched from the fluttering of its wings,) who deposed and said, that "one Alexander Campbell, an evil doer, was turning the Baptist world upside down." He did not even add, that "if it be of the Lord it will prosper."
The next information was from sundry witnesses in Kentucky, in 1828, all of whom deposed--some against, and many for the accused.
In October, 1828, I returned to Alabama, and for two successive years, under a misguided zeal for my creed, (nature, hush thy murmurings, for it is truth!) I prayed the Lord's anathemas upon you, for I thought you loved him not. But in reflecting upon my conduct toward you, I felt occasionally a compunction of heart; and my only quietus was, that old brethren, who professed to be guided by charity, (darling attribute!) emitted the same. I finally examined an old adage, which was this, that "it was the office of ignorant and corrupt men to censure without evidence." At once I determined to read your views for myself. I have now to conclude by adding, that, in my opinion, he who reads them most will esteem them highest.
I must shove a thousand things out of my way, and sign myself your brother in the hope of immortality,
|JAMES A. BUTLER.|
|CALAWAY COUNTY, Mo. April 17, 1833.|
THE reformation is making considerable progress in this western part of the union. I have very lately commenced pleading it, and have had much success. Among the number I have lately baptized were six Paidoes. This day I have immersed five, one of whom is an intelligent young man, a public speaker in the Methodist church, who will be a useful proclaimer of the gospel. Another was a man of 77 years of age. When I was introduced to this old man I asked him if he had embraced the gospel. He said he had not. I then requested his reasons. He said he had desired the favor of the Lord for many years; but he was resting until God would make him a Christian, and then he would obey. I referred him to the testimony, and then requested him to obey; when he replied, "Sir, I will with all my heart." He then submitted to immersion, and went his way truly rejoicing.
|PIKE COUNTY, Mo. May 19, 1833.|
THE good cause we plead progresses here better than I anticipated. Opposition runs high here at this time. We came out of Babylon last February, and constituted with ten members; now our number is twenty-three. I had a son and daughter immersed for the remission of sins. There was one more immersed, and we expect some more to obey soon. There are five churches within the bounds of twenty miles of this place; one on the West Fork of Culver, Montgomery county; one at Frankfort, in this county; Ramsey's Creek and Troy, each one; which are all living in peace and harmony. 
I would give you a history of the proceedings of the opposition here, but it is so much like that which has been pressing to you from every quarter, that I think it unnecessary at this time. We need public teachers here. There are but four living in the above bounds.
|CALLAWAY COUNTY, Mo. May 26, 1833.|
I HAVE your Christian Baptist and a few numbers of the Millennial Harbinger; also, your Debates with Owen and M'Calla, and have read them with peculiar delight. I have been more instructed in the Christian religion by them than by any other composition of human origin. I have laid aside my "Discipline," to which I have been a slave for four years, and have vowed allegiance to the King of kings and Lord of lords. Seven of us have been immersed into the name of the Lord Jesus for the remission of our sins, and are trying to exhibit the primitive order of Christianity. We expect a considerable increase.
|MOUNT GILEAD, Ohio, May 26, 1833.|
Dear Brother--THE good work of converting souls to the gospel of the Son of God is still progressing among us, and the sectarians are greatly discouraged in this place. The disciples are all alive to the great concerns of eternal life. The ancient gospel was first preached in this place by your unworthy servant, who was the first that was called in this place of the ancient order; but thanks be to God who giveth the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Our number is now very considerable. We have several churches in this county, some of them consisting of one hundred members. Since I first came here I have been preaching constantly, debilitated by sickness.
|RICHLAND COUNTY, Ohio, June 11, 1833.|
A GREAT revival has taken place with us. Twenty-four were buried in baptism in one day; fourteen in another part of the county within four weeks, and three last first day in Mansfield.
|G. D. LOWRY.|
|JEFFERSON COUNTY, Ky. May 31, 1833.|
THE reformation is progressing rather slow at this time amongst us; one of my neighbors, however, upwards of 70 years of age, was immersed last evening. He came out of the water rejoicing in the Lord, and with trembling limbs and voice, exhorted the youth to turn to the Lord.
I think it my duty to notify you that the reply in the April number (which I had the opportunity to see) to Mr. Grew is thought well of by all amongst us that I have heard speak of it. I find there are some things called "speculations" on that subject, which I consider to be important practical truths.--Dear brother, I do hope you will stand firm to your purpose, never to derogate aught from the glory and dignity of our Almighty Lord.4 
|LEXINGTON, Ky. June 1, 1833.|
I WISH I could give you the outlines of the great Kentucky Baptist Convention, which closed in this place on Monday last. It was a poor effort. About 16 or 20 preachers attended. Wilson of Elkton may be placed first; Mr. Vaughn of Mason, second; Mr. Noel of Frankfort, third; and then comes George Waller, J. B. Smith, and about a dozen more of what may be justly termed fourth-rate of this assembly; but of such an assembly of Baptists as Kentucky once could bring out, these last would be about ninth and tenth rate.
|LANCASTER, Ky. June 1, 1833.|
THE travelling brethren have been with us here; and although the Regular Baptists barred and locked their doors against them, the word of the Lord prevails mightily through their instrumentality. There were twenty added at one place; one of them a Presbyterian lady, the wife of an Elder of that church. There was also a young lady came forward and requested to be immersed; but her brother-in-law, who was a Regular, forbid it, and prevented her from going to meeting again. Such opposition, perhaps, is unheard of in any country.
|ELIZABETH M. JENNINGS.|
|GEORGETOWN, Ky. June 10, 1833.|
Dear brother Campbell,
ALTHOUGH personally unknown to you, it will no doubt be gratifying to you to hear that the principles of reformation are succeeding here beyond the most sanguine anticipations of its friends. On the last Lord's day in May brothers Stone and Johnson had a meeting at Dry Run meeting house. One made the good confession in the evening of the same day. Brother Johnson and myself held a meeting at brother William Offutt's, at which four more confessed the Saviour. On the Wednesday evening following brother Johnson had another meeting at Dry Run meeting house, when six more confessed. On yesterday brother S. G. Marshall held a meeting at brother Munson's, eight miles north of this place, when five more confessed. Yesterday evening brothers Johnson, Marshall, and myself held a meeting six miles north of this: when an invitation was given, eleven more made the confession. Thus you see in one week twenty-seven persons, all of the first character and standing, have added to their faith courage to make the most honorable confession that was ever made by mortal man. I never witnessed such a scene as I saw yesterday evening: Say 150 of warm and bold disciples, besides 200 spectators, and scarcely a dry eye to be seen. We continue the meetings this week, and how many more will turn their backs upon the world remains yet to be seen. We expect a goodly number more.
Your debate with Owen was placed in my hands by brother J. T. Johnson, as I lived his neighbor, with a request that I should give it an attentive perusal. I did so; and the result was, that I became a firm believer in the Christian religion; for before that debate I had never heard from any man the evidences upon which the religion offered to the world by our Saviour was predicated. I was immersed by brother Johnson in October last, and in a short time after commenced public speaking all the spare time that I could command from my mercantile pursuits. I design situating myself, if spared, so that I can give the whole of my time to the cause of him who died that I might live, and live eternally I have had the satisfaction of seeing many of my young friends coming into the kingdom on earth, in order to a preparation for the ultimate kingdom Of glory. And whatever abuse others may heap upon you, I am indebted to your labors for my faith in the only Saviour of men.
|BENJAMIN W. FINNELL. |
|GEORGETOWN, Ky. June 29, 1833.|
Brother Campbell--SINCE I last wrote you we have had a severe visitation from the cholera. It has disappeared for some days in town, but still ravages the country. I had no idea of its awful march until we had a practical demonstration. It produced a prodigious panic, but our citizens bore it with considerable fortitude. It taught me one thing clearly--that infidelity cannot brave it out. There was a yielding disposition, on all hands, to the Christian's hope. Just before it broke out we had commenced vigorous operations in the county in regard to the progress of the gospel. The accessions commenced in considerable numbers, and it has continued until we have immersed (in this county and town) about one hundred and fifty. The good cause is still progressing; it has surpassed my expectations.
I saw many cases of the cholera in town. I kept in good health, but much exhausted, until about the time of its disappearance. I was visited by a severe bilious attack, and have not yet recovered. Thank the Lord for his mercies, I have enjoyed comfortable times in sickness.
|My hope is in heaven.|
|J. T. JOHNSON.|
|HOLMES COUNTY, Mi. April 2, 1833.|
THERE are a few of us even here in Holmes county, that have dared to take up the Bible, and start in search of the street that leads out of Babylon. The bombshells of all parties are hurled at our devoted heads. Although young in the true faith and weak in the Scriptures, and possessing but one talent, yet I have had the pleasure of immersing seven candidates for Emanuel's realms of bliss and glory. There is one dear old Baptist has joined us. We now muster nine members, who meet on the Lord's day to praise, pray, and break the loaf. Our sky is dark and overcast with a mighty cloud of opposition, gainsaying, ridicule, &c. Some say it is blasphemy for any man to administer baptism or the Lord's supper without leaving been ordained and commissioned from on high.
|R. D. CRESSWELL.|
|FOUNTAIN COUNTY, Ia. April 18, 1833.|
AS it has been but a few years since our country was the habitation of savage men and wild beasts, consequently the present population that migrated hither brought with them their sectarian peculiarities; accordingly, some two or three Baptist churches were constituted, and probably as many or more of the Christian order, so called. With some Presbyterians and Methodists there was, however, but little religious excitement before the appearance of the Harbinger. Since then the principles of reform have been cordially received by a goodly number of the Christian order, and some of their preaching brethren have turned out proclaimers. An effort has been made in two of those churches in this vicinity to come into the order of the New Testament; but has proved as yet rather unsuccessful. Brother Watson Clark, who travelled considerably last summer, proclaiming the word, had a 11 appointment at a school house in the neighborhood on the last Lord's day in October last; and after a discourse of some length, adapted to the occasion, pie made propositions to a few disciples present, that all who were willing to unite with him and take the New Testament as their rule of life and christian practice, would seat themselves on a seat which he pointed out. Accordingly six or seven took their seats. He then appointed a meeting at his own house on the next Lord's day for the purpose of breaking bread; when an opportunity was offered, and I had the pleasure of confessing and obeying the Lord. Four other persons offered themselves, and were received by the brethren. On the next Lord's day two females were immersed; and on the following, one; and we have had an accession of one disciple since. We now number seven males and nine females. On the second Lord's day in January we appointed elders and deacons; and our manner of worship is as follows:--After singing and prayer, one of the brethren reads a portion of three or four chapters in the common version,  and another reads the same in the new, of which we have but one copy, belonging to brother Clark. We have to encounter some perverse opposition from the Baptists and those of the Christian order opposed to reform.
|GENEVA, Ill. April 22, 1833.|
I THINK I omitted to inform you of a congregation being organized in Sweet's Prairie, Morgan county, about the first of February, of eighteen members. They now number twenty-six. Four united with them yesterday--two from the United Baptists, and two by confession. More from the Baptists are expected soon. Great unanimity prevails among the disciples, and I think their prospect of success very flattering. Very few, if any of them, have read your works, consequently they are not "Campbellites." They learn the doctrine from the Book. May the Lord prosper them!
|H. A. CYRUS.|
|NICHOLASVILLE, Ky. 24, 1833.|
WE have abundant encouragement here as a church, and for each and every Christian to be up and doing. During the last ten days we immersed fourteen for remission; amongst them there were a Presbyterian elder and his lady, and two Methodists. The sects are all up in arms, and freely anathematizing the turncoats. On the 15th of May last I was invited by some of the brethren of Mount Pleasant Church, 6 miles from this place, where Edmund Waller, of New Testament blazing memory, has preached and ruled for many years, to be present with them while organizing themselves into a church upon the word of God. There were only five present who put themselves under the yoke. On the second Lord's day in this month I was with them again, Present, bro. John Smith and William Morton. The meeting lasted three days; at which time sixteen were added--two by confession--the balance from that and other churches. They are now twenty-one strong. Edmund and his brethren, with their usual violence, barred up the doors and windows; and on Saturday, when I was about addressing the people, standing upon the door sill, I was ordered not to do so in the lot; but knowing my privileges, I proceeded with my discourse. They use great violence. There was a large concourse of people at the last named meeting. They took an humble seat upon the grass, and there we spread a cloth, and broke the loaf upon the green; and I do not know that I ever saw more solemnity. Their violence is aiding us much; and Edmund and his brethren are outrageously mad. But what has increased their mortification, is the fact, that we immersed here last week one of the sons of the most violent and prominent members, with his wife, which they greatly lament; and the son himself was a great opposer until a few days before he obeyed.
We have awful times with us by reason of the Cholera. In Lexington from 3 to 500 have fallen victims to it; and there yet continues to die from 3 to 10 a-day. Lancaster, 22 miles from us, has been deserted, and about 20 dead. Millersburg and Paris, the same way. As for ourselves the Lord has so far greatly favored us. There has been but one death, and 6 or 7 cases. The people appear solemn as death, and many turning to the Lord. Since the first of May we have immersed here, and in this neighborhood, upwards of 20 persons. O that people would reform from their evil ways and turn to God! May the Lord save and bless you!
|G. W. ELLEY.|
Brother Walter Scott has planted, and the Lord has made to grow up a congregation of one hundred and four members, in Carthage, Hamilton county, Ohio--that being now the immediate theatre of his domestic labors. The conversions in that place have been not only numerous for the time, but many of them extraordinary; so much so, that a village not long since distinguished for swearing, gambling, drunkenness, debate, fighting, and petty legal  prosecutions, is now filled with the melody of praise, and abounds in good order, joy, and thanksgivings to the Lord!--Ed.
From different letters from Hagerstown, Maryland, we learn, with great satisfaction, that, under the labors of brother Philip G. Young, of this vicinity, and other brethren, a church, of from forty to fifty members, has recently grown up in that place. Under date of the 4th ult. brother Young says, "The work of the Lord is progressing here. Several have been immersed since I wrote you. The people are very solicitous to know when you are coming here. or returning from the East, during the current season--cannot yet say on what day.--Ed.
|WELLSBURG, July 5, 1833.|
ON reading your reply to my last, it first occurred to me that I would not answer you until I have finished my essay on a special providence; but I have concluded that it will be more gratifying to your readers for me to reply to any of your remarks on my views, as you may from time to time offer them, in separate letter.
I am sorry you attempt to reconcile all you have said in your essay on the Holy Spirit, with what you now admit in the way of a special providence.
Many things in your essay are calculated to expose the folly of mysticism, and the constraining agency contended for by Antinomians; but some things there stated are subversive of piety, if carried into practice, and, as I have said, calculated to "damp our devotions."
You say, "All the converting power of the Holy Spirit is in the word." This you deem "a proposition of much importance in this age." "By power," you say, you "mean moral power, or converting power." I suppose you will, of course, admit any thing to be converting power which influences a sinner to break off from his sins, and turn to God. Now, suppose that after I learn from reading the Bible, that I should break off from stealing, but do not--an angel makes an impression on my mind--I am alarmed, and quit the evil practice--is not this something done for me out of the word? Here is power not in the word. Again, supposing a good man is overwhelmed with a deadly anguish, and, like his agonizing Lord, falls prostrate and prays to his heavenly Father; an angel is sent to strengthen him--not visibly, but by invisible agency--he rises above his temptation--is not this a power above the word, and out of it? And, my dear sir, what does our blessed Master teach us when he commands us to say, "Abandon us not to temptation," if there is no power to be expected out of the word?
Is not angelic aid, which you admit, something "out of the word"? And if this kind of ministry in the government of the world was to cease, should we be in as favorable a situation in relation to our salvation as what we now are, notwithstanding the written word should be left? But you say you "do not confine special interpositions to the ministry of angels." Well, supposing that God, who is every where present, should give us assistance, similar to that which you say angels give--should we not have a "power, out of the word"? and does not prayer suppose it? or, as Paley says, "that the Deity is intimate, with our minds?"
That you may save your favorite definition--that all the converting power is in the word, and that word must be spoken or written, you attempt to prove that God cannot give us ideas or knowledge only by "words or signs," and ask "if there be any other way of revealing a character not submitted to our senses, you wish to be informed of it." I take not on me to determine all the ways  by which God can give me ideas or assistance in the work of my salvation. The manner in which the Spirit operated in the days of our Master, was admitted by him to be a mystery. I do not know that he has explained it. Nearly two thousand years have rolled away since that time, but our Lockes and Paleys, Reeds and Stewarts, after all their researches into mind, tell us, "The source of thought is unknown"--of course a foreign agent may act on our minds through mediums unknown to us.
Are you certain that God always employed signs or words in communicating his will to his Son? I ask you, my dear sir, for the proof; and if you cannot give it, I hope you will not turn Nicodemus, and deny the fact. In speaking of the manner in which good and evil angels influence us, you say it is by assuming some form--"the form of a man--of any creature--of a thought." That angels have assumed the form of men is not new to me; but that they should assume the form of a 'thought or word,' is to me a brand new idea. I have heard of the quality of thoughts, but this is the first time I ever heard of their form. This, my dear sir, must be "a slip of the pen," to borrow the words of the Jews in their reply to Voltaire.
However, you admit it to be "certain" that angels influence us, and attempt to save your favorite position by adverting to the history of the Fall. The tempter, you say, was a philosopher, and understood our nature. Whether he then believed your philosophy about mind, or not, I will not undertake to determine--if he did, I venture to say he is now a better philosopher than he was then; for we are not informed that he used any words or signs when lie tempted Judas or Peter. Because he sometimes employed words or signs in tempting men, we should not infer he always does. God once employed the tongue of an ass to rebuke a backslidden prophet: but it would be bad logic to conclude he has no other way of administering rebuke.
How God moves physical bodies is mysterious to me; indeed, I have never been able to understand how one body moves another--how the magnet moves the needle. A Cartesian philosopher, like my good friend A. Campbell, dives into the mystery at once, and tells us of a magnetic effluvia which passes from the magnet to the needle; but a Newtonian philosopher asks for proof, and can find none--he rejects it as a mere hypothesis--just as I do your philosophy of mind, when you undertake to limit the mode of the Spirit's operation by your conceptions. Some of the ancient philosophers denied the possibility of motion, because they could not explain how one body moves another; and Mr. Hume declares that the power of the mind to move the body at its will, is as incomprehensible as the creation of the world out of nothing.
I was not much surprized when I heard some of your younger brethren in the ministry advance such bold propositions in the pulpit. It is quite common for us to be bold and confident when young and ardent--and to be fond of our sectarian peculiarities. But that you, my dear sir, should affirm that God's Spirit can aid us in the work of salvation only by signs and words, does surprize me not a little--or that you should undertake to explain the manner of the Spirit's operations.
It has, however, taught me a valuable lesson, I think I shall never forget--your unsuccessful attempt to explain the manner of spiritual communications--your angel attempting to assume the form of a thought or a word, will be always present to my recollection, and, like the flaming sword placed to guard the Tree of Life, will keep me away from such dangerous and interdicted ground.
You say that "the Calvinist and Arminian agree, that some sovereign nondescript independent spiritual or special agency is necessary to make the word of God credible, or to enable every sinner to believe it--that agreeing in this point, all the rest is but a war of words." That Calvinists and Arminians agree that special and spiritual aid are necessary in the work of salvation, I believe is known to all the world. They agree that we must have a power, or assistance out of the word, and accordingly pray for it. But, my dear sir, you cannot be ignorant that they differ in their views of moral ability and spiritual influence. The Calvinist believes that we are so depraved in consequence of  Adam's fall, that we cannot believe savingly until we receive what he calls the special call. The Arminian believes that by virtue of the remedial scheme of Christianity, all men are at all times in possession of a power to believe--to co-operate with the system of grace in working out our salvation. Now, my dear sir, you can certainly distinguish between a power to do a thing without any foreign aid, and a power to co-operate with aid, when offered.
The following quotations from eminent writers will illustrate the distinction, and give you my views:--Dr. Paley. "There is a way of considering the subject of special influence, as well as a want of considering it, which lay it open to misconception. One difficulty which has struck the minds of some is, that the doctrine of an influencing spirit, and the importance of this influence to human salvation, is an arbitrary system, making every thing to depend not upon ourselves, nor upon any exertions of our own, but upon the gift of the Spirit. The Doctor acknowledges that the doctrine is mysterious, but he shows that it is not arbitrary in its origin, its degrees, or final success. It is not arbitrary in its origin, for we read it is given to prayer: "if ye, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those that ask it"--but whether we will ask it or not depends on ourselves. But it will be asked, is not the very first touch of true religion upon the soul, sometimes, at least, the action of the Holy Spirit? This, therefore, must be prior to our praying for it; and so it may be, and not yet be arbitrarily given. The religious states of the human soul are exceedingly various: amongst others there is a state in which there may be good latent disposition, suitable faculties for religion--yet no religion. In such a state the spark only is wanting; but that state of heart and mind upon which the effect was to be produced, might still be the result of moral qualifications, improvement, and voluntary endeavor; nevertheless, it may be more ordinarily true that the gift of the Spirit is holden out to the struggling, the endeavoring, the approaching Christian. Nor, secondly, is the operation of the Spirit arbitrary in its degree; it has a rule, and its rule is this: "Whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundantly; and whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that which he hath." Nor is it arbitrary in its final result: "Grieve not the Holy Spirit." Therefore, it may be grieved. And "his grace which was bestowed on me was not bestowed in vain," Therefore, it might have been in vain. The influence, therefore, of the Spirit may not prevail, even as the admonitions of a friend--the warnings of parents may not be successful; may not be attended to--may be rejected--may be despised--may be lost. Throughout the whole, it does not supersede, but co-operate with ourselves."
But another objection is advanced from an opposite quarter. It is said that if the influence of the Spirit depends after all on our endeavors, the doctrine is nugatory. It comes to the same thing as if salvation was put upon ourselves and our endeavors alone. I answer that this is by no means true--that it is not the same thing--either in reality or opinion, or in the consequences of that opinion.
But I must break off, as I am called by business. I shall conclude this letter by observing that the above distinctions contended for between an agency that acts arbitrarily, and an agency that co-operates with our ability is conceivable, and you will at least admit its possibility, although you may deny its existence. If you do not, I must attribute it not to a want of capacity, or to its being a distinction without a difference; but to your being educated a Calvinist, and not yet being free from the influence of that system. I heard you say yesterday in your lecture on Liberty, that the imperfections in our civil government were to be attributed to the fact that our fathers were just emerging from the darkness of the feudal system, and could not conceive of a system entirely perfect. Now, my dear sir, I remember of having heard you preach old blue stocking Calvinism--this you done in the days of yore--and if you cannot now conceive of the difference between Arminianism and Calvinism, on the doctrine of spiritual agency, I must in charity attribute it to the influence of your former associations and habits of thinking, although you may not be conscious  of it. I hope, however, to convince some of your readers, who, like myself, were taken out of the "wild olive," and are not trammelled by the prejudices of education. It is due, however, to many of our Calvinistic brethren to say, that they have given clear illustrations and definitions of this subject, as we shall show in future; indeed, they all agree in disavowing the consequences that the Arminians charge on their system. I shall thank you for your remarks in future. If I am in error I want to be convinced of it. I am a lover of plain dealing. Your friendly criticism on my argument for the existence of the Deity, from the works of nature, will be noticed in future, when I have more time, and you have more room in the Harbinger.
|J. A. WATERMAN.|
|MR. A. CAMPBELL.|
THERE is in logic nothing like coming to the point, and then keeping to the point. You have now just come to the point to which I desired you to come, and to which I anticipated you would come. Now, my dear sir, that light may be elicited, let us keep the flint and the steel together; and that I may set you an example of what I mean by keeping to the point, I will tell you in the first place, that I have neither room nor disposition to attend to every thing in your letter at once, and that I shall in this only attend to the one point which I have been pushing upon your attention since our correspondence commenced. I need not state that the point is, that all the converting power which the Father, the Son, or the Holy Spirit now exercises upon the human mind, is in the word. You say or think that there is some portion of converting power which God exerts upon us out of the word, and consequently while I affirm, you deny the truth of the above proposition. So let it he distinctly understood. I have defined the phrase in my last letter to you, and you have not objected to my definition of what I mean by converting power; yet you appear to lose sight of it in a single period. I shall, therefore, repeat my definition from page 244:--"You will please observe that the proposition affirms no more than that all the moral power [that is, the power of argument and motive] 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, delight in objects before unknown and unappreciated, of which we speak." To this definition you did not object. You seem only to have lost sight of it in a single period. It is not the creating power, nor is it the governing, preserving, or what is called the providential power of God concerning which we speak or differ. We both agree that the saving power of God is different from his creative or providential power. Hence we speak of the works of creation, providence, and redemption as distinct from each other. Attention to this would have prevented you from such sayings as this: "I am sorry you attempt to reconcile all you have said in your essay on the Holy Spirit with what you admit in the way of a special providence."--There is not the least difficulty in reconciling all these matter, if our definition of converting power is kept in view. 
God was pleased to put forth all his creative power in his word, as Moses tells us in Gen. 1st & 2d chaps. But this is not the word, nor the power, of which we speak; yet there is an analogy between them: for as God then put forth no creating power but by his word, so now he exhibits no saving or converting power, but through his word. So far analogy helps me forward; but I rely upon it no farther than the laws of analogy will sanction. I have stronger arrows in my quiver than this.
Your first diverging from my definition in your favor before me is in the following words:--"I suppose you will, of course, admit any thing to be converting power which influences a sinner to break off from his sins and turn to God." Grant you this, and then you introduce the ministry of angels as a part of the converting power, out of the word!! The slightest inclination of two straight lines will produce an angle; and concede you this appendage to my definition, and we are again upon an ocean of speculations. No, sir, every thing which influences a sinner to break off from his sins, is no more converting power, properly so called, than a pill-box is an essential part of the healing power of the pills which it contains. We must cut closer, or take "a finer sight" than this, my dear sir, or we shall be clumsy logicians. Human agency and divine agency are not one and the same thing; yet you may loosely say, that as we live, and move, and have our being in God, our agency is his agency. This would be a sophism incomparably more specious than any one which attributes the power of God's testimony to human or angelic interpositions.
My dear sir, when I talk of conversion I begin with a sinner, and not with a saint. I apply not to a sinner what the Bible says of those who are converted to God. Therefore, an angel strengthening a good man in some deadly anguish, or the Lord's delivering a just person from temptation, are cases not exactly in point. Nor is that of an angel, or a magistrate, or a jail, preventing a sinner from stealing a horse, fully to your purpose. You might as well call a lawyer or a magistrate one of the means of grace, because he once converted a horsethief into an honest man, as bring forth these instances to prove a converting power out of the word. Friend Waterman, you must keep to the point.
Angelic aid is out of the word. I confess it. But did the angel that waited on Cornelius convert Cornelius, or his wife and children? Did not he say, "Send to Joppa for a man? And what did the man do who came from Joppa? Tell him "the words by which he was saved and all his family" and friends. Would you, my dear sir, confound an angel's visit and Peter's going from Joppa to Cesarea, with the word which Peter spoke? Did the Spirit of God put forth his converting power in the angel's visit, in Peter's visit, or in the word which Peter spoke? You might call these circumstances, or occasions, or incidents, or means, connected with the putting forth of that light, and argument, and motive, which constitute converting power; but not a converting power out of the word. To illustrate my meaning and the irrelevancy of all such instances and arguments, permit me to give a similitude:-- 
A physician is induced to visit a patient who is pining away under a mortal disease. The physician has skill and medicine competent to his cure. But the patient is unwilling to put himself wholly under the guidance of the Doctor, or to take his medicine. The physician tells him that he must die if he take not his medicine; that he can do him no good but by his remedies--for all his healing power is in that prescription. Suppose the relatives of the afflicted should actually overcome his reluctance, and induce him to take the medicine; who would say that the healing power of the physician was partly in the medicine and partly in the relatives of the sick? This is exactly to my purpose, intent, and meaning. I limit not human agency, nor angelic agency, nor divine agency in the government of the world; in providence, general or special; nor in the power of circumstances to arrest the attention and to fix the mind upon the arguments and motives which give to the gospel its potency over the mind of man. Men, good and bad, evil spirits, angels, dreams, pestilences, earthquakes, sudden deaths, personal and family afflictions, may become the occasions of conversions to God; but they are neither conversion itself, nor God's converting power. Now the difference between us is this: You would say that the physician in the case before us, exercised a power out of his medicine, as well as a power in his medicine; and that the influence of his patient's relatives was as much the healing power of the Doctor as the medicine itself. Keep your mind, my dear sir, upon this, and it will not be in the power of "the wild olive" to shade your intellect, or to cast its penumbra over your soul. I contend that the physician's healing power is in the medicine which his science prepared, and not in the tongues of the wife and brother of the afflicted. Their power of persuasion may, however, bring the patient under the healing power of the physician; but still I contend that all the physician's healing power is in his medicine.
But to finish my remarks for the present, (for I will resume this subject and keep to this point until I am clearly and fully understood,) I would request you to reconsider the testimony of Paul upon the power of the gospel. He says, "The gospel is the POWER OF GOD to salvation." Rom. i. 16. This is my text. You will agree with me that the phrase "power to salvation" is equivalent to saving power. If so, then Paul affirms my proposition, or (with more modesty on my part) I should say, I affirm Paul's proposition when I say, "THE GOSPEL IS THE SAVING POWER OF GOD." Now, as you theologians say, converting and saving power is one and the same, I have my whole proposition in the words of the Apostle. The gospel is the converting power of God, or the power of God to the conversion of every one who believes it. Is not this fair, Mr. Waterman? Now the controversy is reduced to very narrow limits. It is all reduced to one question--Does the phrase "the gospel is the power of God to salvation," or the saving or converting power of God, mean what it says; or that it is only a part of the saving and converting power of God? You say it is only a part; but it is a part--I say it is the power, the whole power; for if it be not the whole power, it is not the power of God to  salvation. The high regard I have for your good sense assures me that you will both see, and feel, and acknowledge the force and evidence of these remarks.
|Sincerely your friend,|
P. S.--You will see that I have not adverted at all to your witticisms about my former Calvinism, nor your admiration of certain parts of my philosophy of angels assuming the form of thought, &c. &c. These matters will all work exactly right when we have eradicated the big error. If I succeed in convincing you that all the converting power of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, is now in the gospel, all these little matters will wither as the leaf upon an eradicated tree. I trust also to place in proper light the full value of human agency in the work of converting the world.
MANY distinguished men have fallen by the pestilence in Europe and America, and many more may yet fall by it. It is not our custom to devote many lines to obituary notices; for were we to indulge our feelings this way, we would soon have our hands full of it. To record the demise of some public men, especially of those who have labored either against or for the reformation, is a necessary part of the history of our times. Amongst those of the former class, who have fallen under the ravages of the cholera, are THOMAS SKILLMAN, Editor of the Presbyterian Western Luminary, Lexington, Ky. and SPENCER CLACK, formerly of Bloomfield, Ky. but latterly of Palmyra; Missouri. The following from the "Pioneer," of Illinois, tells a melancholy tale:--
"In Palmyra, Mo. and vicinity, it [cholera] has been singularly fatal. The first victim was the Rev. Spencer Clack, a Baptist preacher, and missionary under the Baptist Home Missionary Society, and highly esteemed for his intelligence, piety, and usefulness. His wife soon followed. From the last accounts we learn, that out of a population of between 600 and 700, one hundred and six deaths had occurred--a mortality greater, in proportion to the population, than in any part of the United States; and yet Palmyra is 12 miles from the Mississippi, in a high, open, and healthy region!"
Epaphras, Nos. 8 and 9, in our next. An apology is due for apparent neglect of these numbers. They were postponed in consequence of the pressure of new correspondents. 
[The Millennial Harbinger, 4 (July, 1833): 289-336.]
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The Millennial Harbinger, Vol. IV, No. VII (1833)
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