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




Number XI.----Volume IV.


Bethany, Va. November, 1833.


New Version and Dr. Cleland.

      THE chief objection urged by the Doctor against the new version, is the liberty which we have taken in uniformly translating baptizo, I IMMERSE--and baptisma, IMMERSION. This is enough to condemn the work as sectarian and heretical; and on this account it is deservedly exposed to the reprobation of every Paidobaptist in America. Of all this we were but too fully apprized before we presumed to he uniform. The popularity of the version required us not to translate, but to follow James' Bible in anglicising, rather than in translating these words; but Conscience said, 'Translate rather than adopt a word which has been so long a bone of controversy.' We have done so; and just as far as the new version obtains, the controversy about the action of baptism ceases: nay, all who adopt the common version as preferable to the old, must inevitably become Baptists. This cannot be avoided. And the Doctor, foreseeing this, is enraged at the book. We are sorry for this; but what could we do in the case?

      We could not translate these words to suit the Doctor's views, for the following reasons:--

      1. The King's translator's themselves dared not do it; for although Paidobaptists themselves, and preferring sprinkling to any other action, they never dared once to translate it sprinkle. Now could they have found any authority, ancient or modern, to countenance them, they would, doubtless, on some occasion, have translated it by the word sprinkle or pour. They could not, it is true, thus translate it in reference to the institution of baptism, because of the King's instructions; but in some other place, or in reference to something else than [529] this institution, they might, once or twice, at least, have so translated it I But they did not. How, then, could Dr. Cleland expect us to translate this word sprinkle or pour, when the royal translators, his own friends and brethren in the faith of sprinkling, did not do it?

      2. The King, either conscious that if the word were translated, the rite of sprinkling must fall to the ground; or, unwilling to decide a controversy pending between some of his liege subjects, ordered it to be retained, and not translated, in common with all the ecclesiastic words of this character.

      3. The ablest critics, historians,and antiquarians among the Paidobaptists and administrators of sprinkling, have conceded that immersion is the meaning of the word baptisma, and that such was the practice of the ancient and primitive church.

      4. The authors of the version, Campbell, Macknight, and Doddridge, so far as they remark upon the original, are decidedly in favor of immersion as the meaning of the original.1

      5. We are as certain that immersion is the meaning of the word BAPTISMA, and the action which Christ commanded, as we are that PISTIS signifies faith; ELPIS, hope; or AGAPE, love--that Jesus is the Messiah, or that the word gospel means good news. Why, then, should we not be as uniform in translating these words as any other words in the volume?

      But, says Dr. Cleland, Dr. Campbell was too hasty and too superficial in his examination of this question, and erred in deciding in favor of immersion. [I cannot quote his words, as I now write in Essex county, Va. and have not a copy of his essays before me. The preceding censure, however, is not more than the full import of his accusations against Dr. George Campbell.] Many a daring pupil has imputed error to his teacher, when the fault lay in his own stupidity. But this is not the case with our critic. He says this rather to serve his purpose. He knows as well as he knows his own name, if he ever read the Doctor's Notes and Dissertations, that he was not a man of this stamp. His translation and notes lay by him and mellowed for thirty years.

      But what will our reviewer and critic say of Professor Stuart? Has he not examined the matter gravely, fully, ably? And what are the results of his criticisms? I ask not for his opinions--we know what these are: yet with all his leanings to infant sprinkling, what does he say as a scholar and a critic? Need I inform the Doctor that he affirms that baptizo in classic use, in sacred use, in common usage, in all Greek writers signifies to dip, immerse, or plunge, and that he can find no exception to this version to it in any Greek author now in existence? Professor Stuart is worth a hundred Baptist witnesses in such a question as this. Have we not, then, all the learned critics in the world on our side of this question, down to Anno Domini 1833!

      Once more on the subject of our authority for uniformity in translating these words: let me ask, Does not all Christendom, Catholic and Protestant, agree that a person immersed is baptized? Most certainly [530] this is the catholic faith in Rome, England, America. But do all the Christian world agree that sprinkling is baptism? No--far from it. Ought we not, then, to give that version of the word which expresses the sense of all Christendom, rather than a sectarian meaning, which would suit only a part of the Christian profession?

      These are our reasons for uniformly rendering these words as we have done; and if better reasons can be given for uniformly rendering any other word in the Old or New Testament, we know not where to find them.

      I an, indeed, sorry that we have a word in the New Testament which many professors are afraid to see in English. I am not to blame for this; yet I must regret that so unpropitious a circumstance should stand in the way of the general reception of a version which we think so much more clearly, intelligibly, and forcibly exhibits the communications of the Spirit of God to sinners and to saints.

      Now what would Dr. Cleland have done in this case? He would not have translated it sprinkle, for this would have ruined his character: he would not have translated it immerse, for this would have ruined his practice. What then? He would not have translated it at all, but have left it in the Greek for every one to quarrel about!

      Is this controversy ever to terminate? If it is destined to come to an end, the sooner the better: and nothing, we imagine, will so expedite such a desirable issue as the course we have pursued. All the Christian world believe that an immersed believer is baptized--only a part, that a sprinkled person is baptized. This part is daily growing less; for "great is the truth, and mighty above all things, and must prevail!"

Professor Stuart on the Mode of Baptism.

      THE attempt by our Professor to show that in Romans vi. 4, 5. and in Col ii. 12. there is no allusion to the action of baptism, astounds me more than any thing I have seen from his pen. In reading his translation and commentary on the Romans, I was, indeed, sorry to see so meagre a criticism, so pointless and so spiritless a disquisition on a portion of this epistle, so significant and instructive; and now to see it amended (and, indeed, made the worse for mending) in a new publication, and relied on to show that a person can die, be buried, and rise again without air, water, or earth--astonishes me still more. But we shall let him tell his own story in his own words:--

      "Most commentators have maintained that sunetaphemen has here a necessary reference to the mode of literal baptism, which, they say, was by immersion; and this, they think, affords ground for the employment of the image used by the Apostle, because immersion (under water) may be compared to burial (under earth.) It is difficult, perhaps, to procure a patient rehearing for this subject, so long regarded by some a being out of fair dispute. Nevertheless, as my own [531] conviction is not, after protracted and repeated examinations, accordant here with that of commentators in general, I feel constrained briefly to state my reasons.

      "The first is, that in the verse before us there is a plain antithesis: one so plain that it is impossible to overlook it. If now sunetaphemen is to be interpreted in a physical way, i. e. as meaning baptism in a physical sense, where is the corresponding physical idea in the opposite part of the antithesis or comparison? Plainly there is no such physical idea or reference in the other part of the antithesis. The resurrection there spoken of, is entirely a moral, or spiritual one; for it is one which Christians have already experienced, during the present life; as may be fully seen by comparing vers. 5, 11, below. I take it for granted, that after hemeis, in verse 4, egerthentes is implied; since the nature of the comparison, the preceding ois egerthe christos, and verse 5, make this entirely plain.

      "If we turn now to the passage in Col. ii. 12. (which is altogether parallel with the verse under examination, and has very often been agitated by polemic writers on the subject of baptism,) we shall there find more conclusive reason still, to argue as above respecting the nature of the antithesis presented, "We have been buried with (Christ) by baptism." What now is the opposite of this? What is the kind of resurrection from this grave in which Christians have been buried? The Apostle tells us, "We have risen with him (Christ) by faith wrought by the power of God who raised him from the dead." Here there is a resurrection by faith, that is, a spiritual, moral one. Why, then, should we look for a physical meaning in the antithesis? If one part of the antithesis is to be construed in a manner entirely moral, or spiritual, why should we not construe the other in like manner?"--Thus the reader has the Professor fairly before him.

      To this I shall offer but two objections. And, first, there is here a perfect antithesis--there are ideas physical and moral, perfectly correspondent in the antithesis; and, therefore, it is not liable to the Professor's objections at all. So it appears to me. We shall now try it.

      Jesus Christ was buried and raised literally. In baptism we are physically buried in the water, and physically raised out of the water by the operator. The moral meaning of which is, we having died to sin, mentally and morally, are laid in the watery grave. "The body of sins" is there buried, and there we leave our corruptions. We are also morally raised--our state is changed, exalted; and our minds elevated to things in the heavens. Again, we have in this a pledge that as we are buried by immersion into Christ's death, we shall be literally raised and glorified by him at his coming. The antithesis is perfect; for as is the burial, so is the resurrection--burial in the earth, resurrection from the earth, in the case of Christ--burial in the water, resurrection out of the water physically in this institution--burial of our sins or corruptions, and resurrection to a new life in our state and feelings--immersion into Christ by faith, resurrection with Christ by faith. I feel nothing in the Professor's objections, but see in the [532] Apostle's antithesis all propriety and fitness. As is the burial, so is the resurrection, literally, physically, figuratively.

      But my second objection to the Professor's reasonings and criticisms is, that he places himself in the awkward predicament of one making a shadow without a body!! He will have some shadowy moral burial and resurrection; but there must be nothing like a burial or a resurrection seen in figure, shape, or reality. Whoever before thought of a shadow without a substance? How can a person be buried and raised in baptism, in a figure, or in reality, physically or morally, when there is no symbol, figure, or action indicative of such a thing; but something indicative of the contrary? Can the Professor think of burying and raising an infant while he is bedewing its forehead; or can it think of a burial and resurrection while it feels the cold sweat upon its forehead?

      Jesus before his crucifixion confessed before Pontius Pilate that he was the Messiah. He was then killed, buried, raised, and finally ascended up into heaven. We confess Jesus to be the Messiah, die with him to sin, crucify the flesh, are buried with him in immersion, rise with him in state, and ascend with him in our affections. "If you, then, be raised with Christ, set your affections on things above, where Christ sits at the right hand of God." The antithesis, or comparison, is all in good keeping, natural, and well defined.

      I am, indeed, sorry to see our Professor so dim-sighted here, and so eagle-eyed in discovering a death to sin and a new life to righteousness in the rite of infant sprinkling! But he will say, that there is no allusion to any "mode of baptism" in Romans vi. This will be creating a still greater difficulty; for how could the Apostle say, "We are buried with him by baptism," and have no allusion to the institution? Having named the institution, he must have thought of it; and he could not think of it without the idea of the action by which it was performed.

      The Professor appears to me to "labor for that which is not bread." He would have a verbal antithesis, such as, 'We are buried with him by immersion, and raised with him by emersion;' whereas the Apostle never speaks in this style. Immersion with him implies the emersion; for it suggests the whole idea to the mind of the hearer. We all say, there is a likeness to a burial and a resurrection in immersion. The Apostle refers to the thing, and the Professor is concerned for the word. The whole picture was before the mind of the Apostle, and only the first part of it before the mind of the critic; therefore, he cannot find the comparison. He sees no antithesis without the word emersion.

      If possible I am still more surprized to find the Professor representing the phrase, "By the faith of the operation of God," (Col. i. 12.) as if energeias was the dative case. He translates it, "We have risen with him by faith wrought by the power of God." This is, indeed, a new version, and must certainly be an oversight. It reads literally, "We have risen with Christ by faith of the power of God, raising him (Christ) from the dead." Because we are raised by faith in this power [533] of God, follows it, then, that there can be no allusion here to the action of baptism--because we have immersion without emersion in the text!

      This oversight in translating energeias as an adjective in the dative case, while it is a substantive in the genitive, I place in the same chapter with his use of the terms "mode of baptism." It cannot be that the Professor ever thought of the sophistry of this phrase; for surely a more perfect sophism in a single word is not to be found. To talk of the mode of immersion by sprinkling; or of the mode of sprinkling by immersion, is so palpable that any one may see the trick that is played upon the Baptists by the Paidobaptists. But with the word baptism the term mode may be passed off without making the cheat so glaring. When the Baptist consents to talk of the mode of baptism, he gives up the debate; for he concedes that the Paidobaptists may have one mode, and he another, of the same action. The sprinklers ingeniously and silently thus take half the ground without a struggle. One may talk of the mode of immersion when the question is, whether the candidate is to be immersed forwards or backwards; but never when the question is, Must he be sprinkled or immersed?
      Essex, Va. October 19, 1833.

Conversation at Mr. Fowler's.

      FATHER GOODAL and all the family circle at Newton Fields, having assembled at the residence of Mr. Fowler, the second evening of the New Year; and being all seated in the parlor, after the usual inquiries and compliments of the evening, Mrs. Fowler observed that she was under a promise to some of the present company to have the subject of Christian education descanted on during the evening; but she would leave it to Mr. Reed or Father Goodal to say at what time of the evening it might be most seasonably and profitably introduced.

      Mr. Reed.--I shall refer it to Father Goodal.

      Father Goodal.--I am of opinion it deserves the first place, and shall therefore recommend that it be made the order of the evening, till discussed to the satisfaction of all the company.

      Mr. Williamson.--To this proposition and motion I most gladly assent; for this was a theme on which my father and Dr. M, of New York, had many a debate around the fire. In consequence of these discussions I was left in doubt about the whole matter, and have not yet had my doubts resolved on some subjects which are connected with family education.

      Mr. Fowler.--I, too, am not fully satisfied that we are in the proper track as respects our practice in our families; and I know my good companion has a special reference to our frequent conversations on family education, for this is what she means by Christian education.

      Mrs. Fowler.--Christian education with me, I confess, has special reference to the training of our children, in our own family relations; but I have no objection to have the subject viewed in all its bearings [534] and departments--if so be, that we may be induced to attend more specially to the subject.

      Father Goodal.--My daughter Fowler has somewhat improved upon my plans. With her attainments in this science I am well pleased; for I desire that all my children may improve on my theory, and practice too, in this most essential of all things to the happiness of society. I had to depart from the customs of my fathers and contemporaries in order to acquit my conscience; and, therefore, could not object to my children for carrying their views and their practice to greater perfection than myself. Family training is of the most vital importance to both the church and the world. If children are brought up according to the Christian religion, they are generally not only a comfort to their parents, but an honor to the state and a blessing to the church.

      Mr. Reed.--Of one thing we have too much testimony and experience--that when children are neglected by their parents, and suffered to grow up like the wild ass's colt, they most frequently become public nuisances and pests to society. Of so much importance is Christian education, that I am surprized that I myself and all my contemporaries should have so much neglected to expatiate upon it. It seems to me now, that as the subject crowds into my mind, it has not received a tenth part of the attention due to it. Sister Fowler, where shall we begin?

      Mrs. Fowler.--My husband thinks that I am rather an ultraist on this subject, because I affirm that God has put it in our power to save our children by giving us the New Testament and the promises found in it. Indeed, it appears to me that it was a matter of course amongst the Apostles' converts, to expect all the children born to Christian parents to be added to the Lord, and made members of his church.

      Father Goodal.--My daughter, I presume, intends that we should go into this question with spirit; and, therefore, takes an alarming position to excite our interests, and to call forth our energies upon this subject.

      Mrs. Fowler.--Alarming! My dear father, would you think it an alarming thing that God had bestowed such grace upon us poor sinners, as to give us power to save ourselves and our children?

      Father Goodal.--Alarming? Yes, alarming in relation to the doctrines of grace as taught in our catechisms. It would, indeed, be alarming to many of our good Divines to hear one talk of saving himself and his children. Perhaps it is even alarming to brother Reed to hear you talk thus of saving your children.

      Mr. Reed.--Sister Fowler and I have talked this matter over more than once before; and when she explains herself I am quite reconciled to her use of this term.

      Mr. Williamson.--I never heard such language before. I have been taught that God alone can save us from our sins. What, then, means our saving one another?

      Mrs. Fowler.--In the language of the pulpit, and of the books of our ancestors, I know that such expressions are not usual nor tolerable. [535] But when I hear Paul say, "Timothy, take heed to yourself and to your doctrine, or manner of teaching; for in so doing you shall both save yourself, and them who hear you"--I feel justified in this boldness. And again, says Paul of himself, "If by any means I may save some of them"--I become all things to all men, that by all means I may save some." James also says, "He that converts a sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and hide a multitude of sins." Peter, moreover, said to the Jews, "Save yourselves from this untoward generation." According to these, and similar expressions which I catch from the lips and pens of the Apostles, although I may offend against the style of our contemporaries, I do not offend against the style of God's approved servants, when I talk of saving myself and my children.

      Mr. Williamson.--Is not this spoken of themselves instrumentally?

      Mrs. Fowler.--Yes; instrumentally. And thus I use the term. It is only instrumentally that we can do any thing in the great work of saving any person. But will Mr. Williamson please to consider, that an instrument is very essential to the execution of any purpose; and sometimes, without it, the best designs fail of accomplishing any thing? It is something, then, of importance to be the instruments of salvation to our relatives and acquaintance. Ought we not to be ambitious of such high honor?

      Mr. Reed.--Sister Fowler's style is sound enough in the old sanctuary style, but not in our synagogue style. We shall, then, allow her this liberty, especially at home; but I think it would not be expedient thus to speak in the audience of some very orthodox spirits, lest they should think we dishonored Christ, and robbed him of his glory.

      Mr. Williamson.--In this acceptation I will not object. But let me ask, how will parents set about this great work of saving their children?

      Mr. Reed.--This is just the subject on hand. Christian education has this for its supreme object. And as Christian parents possess full. as much natural affection as any other parents, one would think that it is just enough for them to know that God expects them to do their duty to their children.

      Mr. Williamson.--But have they any promise that God will bless such efforts, or make them avail to the salvation of their children?

      Mr. Reed.--If we admit Solomon to be a witness in the case, he teaches us to expect the blessing--"Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it."

      Father Goodal.--I have generally inferred the promise from the command--"Bring up your children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord," because God has given no commandment in the keeping of which a blessing does not ensue.

      Mrs. Fowler.--David, the father of Solomon, teaches us the reason why God commanded the fathers of the Jewish state to teach their children the revelations of God, and his past providences towards that people. This reason is, in my judgment, equivalent to a promise. The passage I cannot now fully quote. Maria, will you repeat it? [536]

      Maria Goodal.--It is in the 78th Psalm:--"What our fathers have told us we will not hide from our children, showing to the generation to come the praises of the Lord and his strength, and his wonderful works that he has done: for he established a testimony in Jacob and appointed a law in Israel, which he commanded our fathers that they should make them known to their children, that the generation to come might know them, even the children which should be born, who should arise and declare them to their children, that they might set their hope in God, and not forget the works of God, but keep his commandments; and might not be like their fathers, a rebellious race."

      Mrs. Fowler.--From these intimations I would infer that it was understood that the communicating of the knowledge of God to children, by their parents, was generally to terminate in their putting their trust in God.

      Mr. Reed.--May we not safely conclude, that when God has commanded any thing to be done, it is his intention to connect with obedience a corresponding blessing? This is Father Goodal's idea, and it is mine. "In keeping of all his precepts there is a great reward."

      Mr. Williamson.--I have often looked with surprize at the singular zeal of some of our good Missionary folks. They seem to have more affection for those who live on the opposite side of the globe, than for those whom God has put under their care.

      Mrs. Fowler.--While I sympathize with every human being enveloped in Pagan darkness, and would like to see the gospel carried to the ends of the earth, I cannot but suspect the Christian sanity of that mind, busied in devising ways and means for converting the heathen abroad, while his own children are perishing under his own roof.

      Mrs. Reed.--If charity should begin at home on any occasion, this is that occasion. For surely the addition of the yearnings of nature to the calls of religion weakens not the authority of the latter.

      Mrs. Fowler.--Indeed, he that hears the calls of the people in the islands of the Pacific, and regards not the cries of his own children, is certainly deaf to the voice of God, and the plaintive demands of nature.

      Mr. Reed.--I have this excuse for many of my good friends who are engaged in the Missionary cause. They are generally Calvinists. They think that if God has willed the salvation of their sons and daughters, their friends and neighbors, the means are at hand, and they can be saved.

      Mr. Williamson.--But if he have willed the salvation of any of the Otaheitans the means not being sent thither, he cannot accomplish their salvation! And so these good Christians are only solicitous that the means may be every where, that if God wills the salvation of the Pagans, it may be practicable!

      Mr. Reed.--Something like that, Mr. Williamson, I must confess, is their view of this subject.

      Father Goodal.--I am of the opinion that many good people are less attentive to the Christian education of their children through the force of this sentiment, that neither they nor their children can do any [537] thing in this matter till God's appointed time be come. And if God have not an appointed time for visiting them with his grace, then all instructions and toils are in vain. In my younger days I have even heard this urged as an excuse for this great neglect on the part of professing parents, when they have been urged to the duty.

      Mr. Williamson.--I own that there are not a few among my acquaintance, who yet think it is like taking the work out of God's hand, to talk of their converting or saving their children.

      Robert Fowler.--The Rev. Mr. Black, the other day, while reprobating the impiety of those who think they can convert their children or domestics, in order to ridicule such pretensions, told of one of George Whitfield's converts. 'While Mr. Whitfield,' said he, 'was passing down the country he saw a man lying drunk in the mire, and fast asleep. Mr. Whitfield approached the man, awoke him, raised him up, and began to address him. The drunkard, on recovering his senses, said, "I know you full well, Mr. Whitfield; you are a very good man, sir; you converted me about two years ago."--Stop, stop,' said Mr. Whitfield, 'I converted you! Something like my bungling work! If the Lord had converted you, you would not have been lying here!'

      Mr. Reed.--Many a man has been laughed out of his duty by such ridiculous tales. If the LORD had converted! Does not the Lord do what his own means do? I presume Paul would admit that the Lord converted all whom he saved.

      Mrs. Fowler.--I do not think there is any pertinency or force in all these reasonings and objections. With me the command of Paul to parents concerning the education of children, or the bringing them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord, is positive proof of its practicability. I do hope, then, we shall all agree upon its practicability, and will proceed to consider how it may best be done.
      Essex county, Va. October 18, 1833.

Catholic Controversy.
No. I.

      THIS is one of the most important controversies of this controversial age. Important in all its bearings upon the Catholic religion, the Protestant religion, and the Christian religion, it cannot fail to interest all religious men. Important, too, in its bearings upon the political destinies of this nation, involving the fundamental principles of free government, and placing again in a new attitude before the public mind, the question, Whether it is possible for any earthly government to exist, under which men's political and religious rights and privileges can be kept perfectly separate and distinct--it demands the attention of all political men.

      I have been, in a great measure, a silent spectator of the varied, ingenious, persevering, and bold efforts of the Romanists to gain the political ascendancy in this country. We have only once or twice, [538] in a public way, called the attention of our contemporaries to this subject. We have expressed the conviction, without giving the proof, that there is, on the part of the Roman See, a settled determination, accompanied with a lively expectation of success--a fixed purpose, from which "His Holiness" is never to depart, to bring these United States into the bosom of the Catholic Church, and to add all America, North and South, to the territory of its dominions. Nor is this project so chimerical as many suppose; nor so implausible as many Romanists in America would have the Protestants to imagine. I am of opinion that it is practicable, if the Romanists can persuade our people that they have no such objects nor wishes; and especially practicable, if the present constitution, and manners and customs of sectarianism continue for a generation or two. Already 40,000 Jesuits, we are informed, are silently and secretly at work in the bosom of our country. Priests have been shipped annually to this country, and landed in small groups at every seaport from Quebec to New Orleans, to avoid suspicion. Large sums of money have been advanced from the coffers of St. Peter to found schools, colleges, and churches in these United States. These schools are, in numerous instances, made so acceptable to our fashionable Protestants and philosophic Sceptics, that they prefer them to any Protestant schools for the education of their children. Many distinguished citizens, at this time, like our Virginia Governor (Floyd,) have their children educated under the auspices of the Pope in Catholic schools. Catholic emigrants, in the ratio of three to one Protestant, are now crowding to our shores. Only two years ago some unwary Catholics boasted that it was known at Rome that 700,000 Catholics were in the United States, and that their church was then more powerful and influential in America than any other. With all these documents before our minds, shall we hesitate to say, that things are in rapid progress to such a consummation. Do we not now see, that even in our cities of New York and Philadelphia, the Catholic priesthood have the boldness to provoke controversy, and to challenge the investigation of their principles; and still more recently it is proposed to have various presses established in America for the purpose of making proselytes to the Catholic faith. Think not, then, courteous reader, that our fears have got the better of our judgment, when we express the conviction, that measures, numerous and efficient, are being taken to bring all America into the Church of Rome.

      "Where will the Methodists be," said a Protestant to a Catholic, not long since, who dared to talk a little in this way--"what will our half million of Methodists be engaged about in those days?" "Methodists!" said the Priest, "Methodists! Why--their clergy are as independent of the people--as monarchical as ours! Many of them will fall into our views. No sect would I rather see go ahead than the Methodists. Their clergy will make excellent Priests! We have Jesuits now among the Methodist clergy. They are not known as such, it is true. We become all things to all men, that by all means we may gain some. Never mind--God bless the Methodists!" [539]

      "And what will the Baptists, the half million of Baptists be doing in those days?" "What they are doing now--fighting about their creeds and their opinions. A feeble band--more than twenty sorts of them, and no one of them has an efficient ministry! They have not much concert, and they have few learned and talented men. Bless your soul! immersion travels slowly in cold weather!"

      "But are not the Episcopalians learned and united?" "Yes; and did not three of their most learned clergy, in New York, come over in one body to our Catholic church, a few years since? Even in England, good Old England, were it not for the Establishment--I will not say it. They are better paid than our clergy, a hundred per cent. There is but a paper wall between us and them!--I wish the Episcopalians were more numerous in America!"

      Thus some of the more simple-minded of the Catholics talk, as a gentleman informed me the other day in King & Queen.

      There is another point of view in which this Catholic controversy becomes interesting to myriads of our citizens. A cause is now plead by some, called a Reformation, more characteristically the Restoration of the Ancient Order of Things, or of primitive Christianity, in sentiment and practice. This cause, for which many now plead, and to which we have been devoted for many years, contemplates Popery and Protestantism, in its hundred forms, though widely differing from each other, as falling far short of Christianity, properly so called, Neither Popery, nor that reformation of it called Protestantism, in our judgment, exhibits, either in faith or practice, the religion of the Bible. Now in reference to this, the controversy which we have with both the Catholic discussions of Messrs. Hughes and Breckinridge, is peculiarly interesting.

      The concessions of both parties in this controversy, fully corroborate the views which we have given to the public, from the press, for these last ten years. To these we shall attend in due time.

      Meanwhile we cannot but express our regret to see the disadvantages under which Mr. Breckenridge labors in this controversy. I know not by what agency it came to pass, that he gave himself up, bound hand and foot, into the hands of his opponent. That the reader may perceive the advantage which Mr. Hughes has over Mr. Breckenridge, in this controversy, we shall here transcribe the rules of debate, with a remark or two:--


      The undersigned agreeing to have an amicable discussion of the great points of religious controversy, between Protestants and Roman Catholics, do hereby bind themselves to the observance of the following rules:--

      1. The parties shall write and publish, alternately, in the weekly religious papers called the Presbyterian, and a Roman Catholic paper, to be furnished by the first of January, it being understood that the communications shall be published after the following plan:--One party opening the first week, the other party replying the next week, and every piece to be republished in the immediately succeeding number of the Roman Catholic paper. The communications not to exceed four columns of the Presbyterian, nor to continue beyond six months, without consent of parties. [540]

      2. The parties agree that there is an infallible Rule of Faith established by Christ, to guide us in matters of religion, for the purpose of determining disputes in the Church of Christ.

      3. They moreover agree, that after giving their views of the Rule of Faith, they shall proceed to discuss the question, "Is the Protestant religion the religion of Christ?"

      4. The parties agree respectively, to adhere strictly to the subject of discussion, for the time being, and to admit no second question until the first shall have been exhausted. Each party shall be the judge when he is done with a subject, and shall be at liberty to occupy his time with a second topic, when he is done with the first, leaving to the other party the liberty of continuing to review the abandoned topic as long as he shall choose; subject, however, to be answered, if he introduce new matter.

      5. Mr. Hughes to open the discussion, and Mr. Breckinridge to follow, according to the dictates of his own judgment.
      Philadelphia, December 14th, 1832."

      Here we see Mr. Breckinridge, according to the rules of discussion, is prohibited from canvassing the pretensions of the Catholic church. The question is, "Is the Protestant religion the religion of Christ?" In attending to this question according to the previous rules, Mr. Breckinridge has no liberty to debate whether the Catholic religion is the religion of Christ. Mr. Hughes can very lawfully say, (according to the laws of discussion,) 'Sir, I agreed not to discuss the pretensions of the Catholic religion--I have only to show that you cannot prove the Protestant religion to be the religion of Christ. With this proposition before us, you might as rationally proceed to prove that the Mahomedan religion was not the religion of Christ, as that the Catholic is not. There is no debate upon the Catholic religion--our whole discussion is on the Protestant religion.' I say, Mr. Hughes might thus excuse himself from any notice of his opponent's attacks upon his religion; and Mr. Breckinridge must always transgress the laws of discussion when he attacks the pretensions of the Catholic religion. Why did he thus commit himself at the threshold? Was the Jesuit too wise for the Presbyterian, or did he unhesitatingly consent that if the Protestant religion should appear not to be the religion of Christ, that then, by necessity, the Catholic is the Christian religion? If Mr. Breckinridge so reasons, I do not.

      Again, Mr. Breckinridge seems to have needlessly embarrassed himself by the phrase, "Rule of Faith." Are the phrases the faith, and the rule of faith, of one and the same import? If not, the Bible cannot, with propriety, be called the faith and the infallible rule of faith. The controversy has been much embarrassed by the clumsiness of the terms, and by the awkwardness of the attitude in which Mr. Breckinridge chose to be placed. And, to consummate the whole, Mr. Hughes must commence the debate, and proceed to refute Mr. Breckinridge on the affirmations that "the Bible is the rule of faith," and "the Protestant religion is the religion of Christ," before a single argument is offered for the one or the other of these propositions. [541]

      Notwithstanding all these disadvantages, there is no doubt that the Protestant side of this controversy is so far triumphant. True, indeed, that Mr. Hughes has often brought Mr. Breckinridge to his knees; but not so often has he fallen upon the palms of his hands as his antagonist. They have had each sufficient documents to show that both their systems are doomed to destruction, because of the enormous sins which they have too successfully proved against each other. They have also fully proved that neither of them is the religion of the New Testament.

      But we shall attempt to edify our readers more in detail by a more minute development of the remarkable concessions, and singular disclosures, with which this controversy abounds.

Ability and Inability.

      TWO Associations, (the Ketocton and the Columbia,) it is said, have denied a seat, in their deliberative councils, to Wm. F. Broaddus, because he had the temerity to affirm that "sinners ought to repent and believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, irrespective of the grace of God in their hearts." This, it is said, was the head and front of his offending. Mr. Broaddus, we presume to say, is a Fullerite, and these good brethren and Calvinists of the good old stamp.

      Some of the brethren of the Dover Association have expressed great sympathy for friend Broaddus, because of his having been excluded from these Associations and desecrated of his ministerial functions by his good brethren. Tears are shed for brother Broaddus by those who last year excluded some half dozen of as unblemished men as can be found in the whole ministry of the Dover Association, for their daring to dissent from some of the opinions of Messrs. A. Broaddus' schools, (of oyster memory,) P. Montague, and John Kerr, of Richmond. "Those who lead into captivity, shall go into captivity." "All who take the sword, shall perish by the sword."

      This proscription is about to awaken the slumbering virgins of Dover, and to cause much lamentation in the streets. Already has the pen of controversy been sharpened, and the Doctors of opinions are placing their inkhorns in battle array. The proposition is already displayed, and the affirmation has gone forth, that "sinners being unable to repent, it is contrary to common sense to be continually calling upon them to do so!"

      The question which is now to run the gauntlet, shorn of all its trappings, is, in brief, 'Is the sinner unable to repent?' 'Yes,' say the Ketocton and Columbia brethren; 'No,' say the sons of Dover. But then up come the metaphysicians, with a metaphysical case of instruments; and, after applying the knife to the term "able," they split it through the centre, and affirm that sinners are morally unable and physically able to repent. This physically able, and morally unable sinner, is, however, unable to repent; and when the account is [542] settled, it amounts, in American coin, to just the same thing as though there had been no controversy about it. The sinner is unable to repent till God bestows upon him the ability. This ability is "the grace" of Ketocton.

      A writer who calls himself Tertius, in the Religious Herald of the 11th October, has undertaken to explain all these matters, and has given us an essay of some magnitude on the subject of ability to repent.

      His doctrine is, that the sinner is able to repent, but is destitute of the disposition; and that "the act of repentance NEVER does take place without the special influence of God's Spirit." He objects to the doctrine of physically able and morally unable, as absurd, and substitutes simple ability and simple indisposition in lieu of it. With him all men are able, but indisposed to repent. All, however, terminate in the same place, and leave the sinner in the same predicament.

      A says, Sinners are both physically and morally unable to repent; yet God commands you to repent.

      B says, Sinners, you are physically able, but morally unable to repent; and therefore you cannot repent till God remove, by his special grace, this moral inability.

      C says, Sinners, you are fully able to repent; but you neither have, nor can have, disposition to repent, till God's Spirit give it you. Therefore, repent and believe the gospel.

      Miserable comforters are you all! Your glad tidings of great joy to all people are a solemn mockery. They are glad tidings to none. The elect cannot rejoice when he hears them, because he does not know that he is one of the elect; and the non-elect finds no gospel in them, because he is taught that there is no gospel for him--God never having had one thought of mercy towards him!

      D preaches not metaphysics, nor the philosophy of the human mind. He says, "The Lamb of God has taken away the sin of the world." He says, "God sent his Son to be the Saviour of the world," and now commands "ALL MEN, every where, to reform" He leaves it to the sinners to discover their own strength; and finally, tells them who refuse to obey the gospel, "Take heed lest that come upon you which is written in the Prophets--Behold, you despisers, and wonder, and perish!"
      Newton, King & Queen, October 18, 1833.

Calvin on Baptism.

      MY attention was this morning called to the 15th chapter and 4th book of Calvin's Institutes. From this section I may have given some extracts on baptism in my former numbers; but I think the following remarks of this great reformer have not been presented in this work. To those who think that we are extravagantly fanatical, enthusiastic, or egregiously astray on this subject, we would recommend the perusal of the whole of this 15th chapter of book 4; not, indeed, as [543] altogether orthodox in our view, but as containing so much clear and unequivocal testimony in favor of the true intent and meaning of Peter's opening speech in Jerusalem some 1800 years ago. I say testimony, for John Calvin's opinions are of the force of semi-apostolic testimony with many very worthy citizens who may happen to see the following excerpts.

      Disliking, as much as I do, partial extracts, I have resolved to give whole and entire the first five paragraphs of the 15th chapter:--

      "Baptism is a sign of initiation, by which we are admitted into the society of the church, in order that being incorporated into Christ, we may be numbered among the children of God. Now it has been given to us by God for these ends, which I have shown to be common to all sacraments:--First, to promote our faith towards him; secondly, to testify our confession before men. We shall treat of both these ends of its institution in order. To begin with the first: from baptism our faith derives three advantages which require to be distinctly considered. The first is, that it is proposed to us by the Lord as a symbol and token of purification; or, to express my meaning more fully, it resembles a legal instrument, properly attested, by which he assures us that all our sins are cancelled, effaced, and obliterated, so that they will never appear in his sight, or come into his remembrance, or be imputed to us: FOR HE COMMANDS ALL WHO BELIEVE TO BE BAPTIZED FOR THE REMISSION OF THEIR SINS.2 Therefore, those who have imagined that baptism is nothing more than a mark or sign by which we profess our religion before men, as soldiers wear the insignia of their sovereign, as a mark of their profession, have not considered that which was the principal thing in baptism--which is, that we ought to receive it with this promise, "He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved."

      "2. In this sense we are to understand what is said by Paul, that "Christ sanctifieth and cleanseth the church with the washing of the water by the word;" and in another place, that "according to his mercy he saved us by the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Ghost;" and by Peter, that "baptism doth save us." For it was not the intention of Paul to signify that our ablution and salvation are completed by the water, or that water contains within itself the virtue to purify, regenerate, and renew; nor did Peter mean that it was the cause of salvation, but only that the knowledge and assurance of it are received in this sacrament, which is sufficiently evident from the words which they have used: for Paul connects together "the word of life" and "the baptism of water," as if he had said that our ablution and sanctification are announced to us by the gospel, and by baptism this message is confirmed. And Peter, after having said that baptism doth save us, immediately adds, that "it is not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience towards God," which proceeds from faith. But on the contrary, baptism promises us no other purification than by the sprinkling of the blood of Christ, which [544] is emblematically represented by water, on account of its resemblance to washing and cleansing. Who, then can contend that we are cleansed by that water which clearly testifies the blood of Christ to be our true and only ablution? So that to refute the error of those who refer all to the virtue of water, no better argument could be found than in the signification of baptism itself, which abstracts us, as well from that visible element which is placed before our eyes, as from all other means of salvation, that it may fix our minds on Christ alone.

      "3. Nor must it be supposed that baptism is administered only for the time past, so that for sins into which we fall after baptism, it would be necessary to seek other new remedies of expiation in I know not what other sacraments, as the virtue of baptism were become obsolete. In consequence of this error, it happened in former ages, that some persons would not be baptized except at the close of their life, and almost in the moment of their death, that so they might obtain pardon for their whole life--a preposterous caution, which is often censured in the writings of the ancient Bishops. But we ought to conclude at whatever time we are baptized, we are washed and purified for the whole of life.3 Whenever we have fallen into sin, therefore, we must recur to the remembrance of baptism, and arm our minds with the consideration of it, that we may be always certified and assured of the remission of our sins. For though when it has been once administered, it appears to be past: yet it is not abolished by subsequent sins. For the purity of Christ is offered to us in it, and that always retains its virtue, is never overcome by any blemishes; but purifies and obliterates all our defilements. Now from this doctrine we ought not to take a license for the commission of future sins: for it is very far from inculcating such presumption. It is only delivered to those who, when they have sinned, groan under the fatigue and oppression of of their transgressions, in order to afford them some relief and consolation, and to preserve them from sinking into confusion and despair. Thus Paul says that Christ was set forth to be a propitiation for the remission of sins that are past. He does not deny that we have a constant and perpetual remission of sins in Christ; but signifies that this has been given by the Father only to miserable sinners, who sigh for the Physician to heal the wounds of a guilty conscience. To such the mercy of God is offered; while those, who, from a remission of punishment, seek to derive an occasion and license from sinning, do nothing but draw down upon themselves the wrath and vengeance of God.

      "4. I know the common opinion is, that remission of sins, which at our first regeneration we receive by baptism alone, is afterwards obtained by repentance and the benefit of the keys. But the advocates of this opinion have fallen into an error, for want of considering that the power of the keys of which they speak, is so dependent on baptism that it cannot by any means be separated from it. It is true that the [545] sinner receives remission by the ministry of the church, but not without the preaching of the gospel. Now what is the nature of that preaching? That we are cleansed from our sins by the blood of Christ. What sign or testimony of that ablution is there, except baptism? We see, then, how this absolution is referred to baptism. This error has produced the imaginary sacrament of penance, on which I have touched a little already, and shall finish what remains in its proper place. Now it is no wonder, if men whose grovelling minds were inordinately attached to external things, have betrayed that corrupt propensity by a discontent with the pure institution of God, and an introduction of new expedients invented by themselves, as if baptism were not a sacrament of repentance: but if repentance be enjoined upon us as long as we live, the virtue of baptism ought to be extended to the same period. Wherefore, it is evident the faithful, whenever in any part of their lives they are distressed with a consciousness of their sins, may justly have recourse to the remembrance of baptism in order to confirm themselves in the confidence of their interest in that one perpetual oblation which is enjoyed in the blood of Christ.

      "5. Baptism is also attended with another advantage: it shows us our mortification in Christ, and our new life in him. For, as the Apostle says, "So many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ, were baptized into his death; therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death, that we should walk in newness of life." In this passage he does not merely exhort us to an imitation of Christ, as if he had said, that we are admonished by baptism that, after the example of his death, we should die to sin; and that, after the example of his resurrection, we should rise to righteousness: but he goes considerably farther, and teaches us that by baptism Christ has made us partakers of his death, in order that we may be engrafted into it. And as the scion derives substance and nourishment from the root on which it is engrafted, so they who receive baptism with the faith with which they ought to receive it, truly experience the efficacy of Christ's death in the mortification of the flesh, and also the energy of his resurrection in the vivification of the Spirit. He uses the same argument in another place--that we are circumcised, putting off the body of the sins of the flesh, after we have been buried with Christ in baptism; and in this sense, in the passage already quoted, he calls it the washing of regeneration and renewing. Thus we are promised, first, the gratuitous remission of sins and imputation of righteousness; and, secondly, the grace of the Holy Spirit to reform us to newness of life."

      Now let me ask the candid reader of this essay from the pen of John Calvin himself, how much more orthodox than ourselves was this celebrated reformer? We have heard him explain himself fully on these great items, and may we not say that the chief difference between him and us, is, that we practise what we teach. "There is," says the reformer Calvin, "one other advantage received from baptism--this is the certain testimony it affords us that we are not only [546] engrafted into the life and death of Christ, but are so united as to be partakers of all his benefits"--"All the gifts of God which are presented in baptism, are found in Christ alone."

      We leave it to the good sense of the reader, whether John Calvin ought not to be called a Campbellite as well as the Apostle Peter.
      Fredericksburg, Va. October 14, 1833.

Believers Baptism and Infant Sprinkling,

Believer's Baptism.   Infant Sprinkling.
      Believer's baptism is commanded.--Matth.         Infant sprinkling has not a single command.
      Believer's baptism has examples.         Infant sprinkling has no example.
      Believer's baptism is from heaven. Matth. xxi.         Infant sprinkling is from men.
      Believer's baptism is the counsel of God.         Infant sprinkling has the counsel of men.
      Believer's baptism has been sealed from heaven.         Infant sprinkling never was sealed of God.
      In believer's baptism the person submits in acts of obedience to the gospel.         In infant sprinkling the infant puts forth no acts of obedience to the gospel, but to men.
      Believers are buried with Christ by baptism.--Rom. vi. 4.         Infants are not buried, but only sprinkled.
      All believers that are baptized are thereby brought into Christ.--Gal. iii. 27.         Infants are not thus brought into Christ.
      All believers baptized receive the remission of sins.--Acts ii. 37, 38.         Infants do not receive remission of sins. They have no sins to be remitted.
      God has promised that all who believe and are baptized shall be saved.--Mark xvi. 16.         God has not promised that all sprinkled infants shall be saved.
      Believers rejoice when they are baptized.--Acts viii. 37. & xvi. 34.         Infants cannot rejoice.
      All the world may undeniably affirm that believers were baptized by the Apostles.--Acts viii. 12.         But none can affirm that any infant was sprinkled by the Apostles.
      Those who practise infant sprinkling are compelled to confess believer's baptism.         But all baptized believers do not acknowledge, but deny infant sprinkling.
      All baptized believers are living stones, fit for God's building.--1 Pet. 2.5.         But all sprinkled infants are not living stones, fit for God's building.
      Baptized believers build on Christ by their own faith.         Sprinkled infants are builded on the faith of others.
      They that receive Christ upon their own faith, shall never perish.--John x. 28.         But such as are sprinkled upon another's faith, have no such assurance.
      Baptized believers know Christ to be precious.--2 Pet, ii. 7.         Sprinkled infants have no such knowledge.
      Baptized believers love Christ and keep his commandments.--John xiv. 15.         Sprinkled infants do not love Christ nor keep his commandments, for they are incapable. [547]
      Baptized believers may repel Satan as Christ did, saying, "IT IS WRITTEN, They believed and were baptized."         But infant sprinklers cannot say, 'It is written, Infants were baptized;' for it is not written.

      The foregoing contrast is enough, I would think, to convince every mind, which is not so shackled and trammelled by prejudice, prepossession, and parental education, as to be rendered invulnerable to the truth, though strongly enforced by the infallible word of God, reason, and every thing that merits the name of evidence. But the time is evidently near at hand, when, I awfully fear, they will lament their folly. I tremble when I consider the near approach of the time when every thing of human policy, invented in place of the pure religion of Jesus Christ, must be lost in one universal wreck of irreparable ruin. My apprehensions proportionably increase as I view, (as to me appears evident,) that by far the greater part of the world is in an unprepared state; nay, the greater part of professors of Christianity, are not prepared to say, "Come, Lord Jesus, come quickly;" nor the societies, to which they belong, ready to respond, "Amen; come, Lord Jesus."
S. K. MILTON.      

BETHANY, Brooke County, Va.      

To B. W. Stone.

Respected Brother,

      TO the doctrine of the vicarious sufferings of Christ, you farther object their inadequateness to the punishments, both temporal and eternal, due to us for sin. You ask, "Have these punishments been really inflicted on Christ in our stead?" &c. &c. And, therefore, you suppose "that I must have written without due consideration of the sentiment for which I plead." Not so, dear brother; I have most seriously considered this tremendously important subject. The heinous malignity--the infinite demerit and evil of sin. I have considered it as manifested both in men and devils, according to the scripture representations of their sad iniquities; and, with these tremendous documents before me, have also endeavored to calculate its intrinsic evil, its real demerit, the enormous amount of which has appeared to me truly infinite. I have found it to be the ungrateful rebellion of highly dignified and exalted creatures, existing in glorious and blissful circumstances,--against their infinitely glorious and beneficent Creator,--whose goodness had laid them under infinite obligations to love and obey him.--Also, that in rejecting him, they had rejected all excellency, perfection, and glory; consequently, were guilty of an infinite evil, I mean an evil, in its nature and extent, in exact proportion to the excellency of the character against which it was committed, and the obligations of those by whom it was committed. But the dignity of the party rejected being infinite, and the obligations of the party rejecting being also infinite--add these together, and you have the sum total; but we have no terms adequate to express the amount. Thus you will perceive that I form no light estimate of sin.

      But, considering sin in its heinous nature and dreadful consequences, you ask, "Did Christ suffer the punishment due to us?" You [548] explain yourself to mean, 'Did he suffer it in its intensity and eternity--in all the varieties of its tortures, temporal and eternal, both in soul and body?' I answer, No; for had he done so, he had neither saved himself, nor any one else; for this plain reason--the debt had never been paid, but would have been still in paying; and, if so, justice must, and would have retained the debtors, till they, or their surety, had paid the very last mite. But, my dear friend, cannot adequate payment be made, unless it be made in kind, in quantity, or in quality? Will not five pieces of gold, each not larger than a dollar, pay a debt of fifty dollars? Will not a diamond, not exceeding an ounce weight, be accepted as an equivalent for fifty ounces of gold, or for five hundred ounces of silver? Will not one day's labor of a Doctor, a Lawyer, a Judge, &c. be accepted as an equivalent for a month's hard labor of a common farmer or mechanic? And are not all these commutations in perfect consistency with the universally acknowledged principles of reason and justice? And is there not a greater difference between the intrinsic worth, the personal dignity of the Son of God, and sinful creatures, than between any created objects we can imagine? Is he not a person of infinite worth? Does he not comprehend in himself all perfection, created and uncreated, divine and human? For it pleased the Father, that in him should all fulness dwell; and in him dwells all the fulness of the divinity substantially. Col. ii. 9. And, if so, may not the sum total of his humiliations, sufferings, death, and subsequent imprisonment in the regions of the dead, be justly considered as an equivalent for all the penal consequences of sin, to have been justly inflicted forever upon the guilty creatures, that shall be saved through him?--"redeemed to God by his blood, out of every tribe, and language, and people, and nation"?

      But to the vicarious sufferings of Christ you again object--"If he, as vicar, has paid the punishment due to us, why do we all still suffer sickness, pain, and death?" I answer--The provisions of the remedial institution do not directly and properly interfere with the penalties of the natural, but only with their duration; for, in case of failure, the natural institution provided death; that is, the separation of the whole person from the enjoyment of God; for death, simply considered, can do no more than this. Farther penalties may be added on farther considerations; or, indeed, might have been to the first offence, if the Lord had pleased. But as it is, and was predetermined, the primitive threatening has taken its full effect; it has brought death spiritual and corporeal upon the whole human family;--first, upon the original transgressors; for, according to the threatening, they died spiritually the self-same day in which they transgressed, as was manifest by their immediate conduct; and afterward they died corporeally in due time. The remedial dispensation, then, interferes not with the execution of the primitive sentence, but only with the duration of it, which, in the mean time, makes no part of the sentence; for had God said, 'In the day thou eatest thereof thou shalt die for ever,' there had been no [549] remedial dispensation--the truth of God had rendered it forever impossible; but as the matter now stands, there is nothing, if the Lord please, in the way of our redemption and restoration to the enjoyment of the divine image, favor, and fellowship, which we justly forfeited and lost by our sins.

      But some may object, and say, 'According to this view of the matter, might not God, in perfect consistence with truth and justice, have restored all mankind without a Redeemer, after having first executed the original sentence upon them?' We answer, No: that for the following reasons:--First, because it did not seem good to him so to do. Second, because, that in so doing, he would have verified, at least, the full import of the serpent's temptation; namely, that by transgressing they would greatly better their condition; which would have been true, had it proved the happy occasion of putting them into the possession of a blissful immortality. Third, because justice itself would say, that those who had rendered themselves unworthy of life, should not be restored to the enjoyment of what they had justly forfeited. Fourth, because they were guilty of an infinite evil, which nothing could justly counterbalance but a per contra of infinite value--a consideration that would justify the divine justice, truth, and holiness; that is, the governmental or regal character of God, in releasing guilty creatures from a justly deserved forfeiture--a just condemnation. But again, to obviate Isaiah's testimony to the vicarious nature of Christ's sufferings, you quote Matth. viii. 16, 17. as affording a just exposition of the Prophet's meaning, [chap. liii. 4.] which, you say, you prefer to mine, and to all others ever made by man. But why did you not also quote Peter's exposition, or rather application, of the same passage--"Who, his own self, bore our sins in his own body on the tree; that we, being dead to [or by] sins, should live to righteousness; by whose stripes you were healed. For you were as sheep going astray; but are now returned to the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls." 1 Pet. We see that Peter carries out the application something farther than Matthew does; for he applies not to the miraculous bearing away, or healing of our bodily sicknesses and infirmities; but to the bearing away of our sins themselves, the just procuring causes of those evils; and this, not by miraculous operations upon the persons of the afflicted, but by the most intense sufferings, in his own' proper person, upon the tree. Yet you blame my exposition; namely, "That the Lord laid on him the punishment due to the iniquities of us all." For which, you say, I have no scripture authority, notwithstanding the above quotation, and many others, equally explicit, to the same purpose. But we shall give place to your alternative. You say, "He laid on him the work of taking away our iniquities, with all their train of sickness, pain, and death." Dear brother, where is your scriptural authority for all this? Has he, indeed, taken away all the train of sickness, pain, and death, brought upon us by our iniquities? Why, then, are we still subject to, and do actually suffer, all these things? And, pray, what is the difference between [550] laying on him the work of taking away our iniquities, and laying on him the punishment due to them? Was it not by his sufferings he took them away? Was he not once offered to bear away the sins of many? Has he not been once manifested to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself? Heb. ix. 26, 28. Did he not himself bear away our sins in his own body, on the tree; that we, being freed from sins, might live to righteousness; by whose stripes we are healed? 1 Pet. ii. 24. These things being so, what is the difference between us on this point? For if, according to your statement, "the Lord laid on him the work of taking away our iniquities," which necessarily subjected him to death, even the death of the cross, on which "he bore away our sins in his own body; by whose stripes we are healed;" without the shedding of whose blood there is no remission:--what is the difference between this, and his bearing the punishment due to our iniquities? Did he suffer unduly? Was there no just reason? Did the Father put into his hand a cup of mingled sorrows--of sorrows the most exquisite; and while expiring under them, withhold his comforting presence? And could any thing justify such treatment but sin? No: "he suffered for sins--the just for the unjust;--for the sins of the world--a ransom for many?' May we not, then, justly call it punishment? Especially seeing it was inflicted on account of our iniquities; and did really take them away; for the Lord laid on him the iniquity of us all; that is, the punishment due to our iniquity; and, "he put away sin by the sacrifice of himself"--"he has redeemed us to God by his blood"--"we are bought with a price"--"not with corruptible things, as silver and gold--but, with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot"--even "the Lamb of God who took away the sin of the world." Wherefore we cannot grant your assumption; viz. that this exposition of yours accords with Matthew's view, and with the whole current of scripture.

      You next proceed to object to my answer to N. W's demand; viz. Where shall we find a promise that those shall be saved, who rely on a vicarious punishment for the remission of their sins? In answer to this, I quoted Rom. iii. 25, 26. and v. 9. and Eph. i. 7. In these quotations justification or forgiveness of sins, by the blood of Christ, through faith in it as our redemption, is expressly declared. Now, your objection, upon the whole, amounts to this: You say, "For my life, I cannot see any vicarious punishment here; nor any promise of remission of sins to those who rely on such punishment;--nor pardon, or justification by such punishment, even hinted?" You grant, however, that "we all believe that through the blood of Jesus we obtain redemption, or remission of sins;"--but how, is the question. This question you do not pretend to answer, except by maintaining N. W's position, which you do towards the bottom of the ensuing page, (228.) But I answer from the above quotation, Rom. iii. 25--"By faith in it," because it was shed for us. This, however, you cannot admit, because it implies substitution, and, of course, vicarious sufferings. But, to these terms you object, "that they are not scriptural." To [551] speak of Bible subjects in Bible terms, is, I grant, a good and safe rule; and one which I both teach and practise as far as possible. But when we have to do with persons who either do not understand those terms in certain connexions; or attempt to impose meanings upon them subversive of their true contextural import, we are obliged to select and use such terms as will explain, maintain, and exhibit their true meaning. Now this is exactly the case in the subject before us. N. W., and others, would explain away the scriptural import of the divinely instituted connexion between Christ and the sinner, in the article of his sufferings and death, from his entrance into the garden of Gethsemane, till he expired upon the cross, and was entombed in the sepulchre; make the whole affair a mere test of sincerity--an example of persevering steadfastness--of self-denying obedience in suffering for the truth, as did also Stephen, and other faithful martyrs. Whereas the scriptures present us with a quite different view of this matter. They not only exhibit Christ as a devoted lover of God and truth, and as a devoted philanthropist--willing to do and suffer every thing for the glory of God and the good of mankind--confirming his testimony with his blood, that we might believe it; and thus also leaving us an example, that we might follow his steps:--But moreover, and more especially, that he so suffered and died for us--the just for the unjust, that being justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him--so to redeem us to God by his blood, that we have redemption through it, even the forgiveness of sins;--whom God has set forth to be our propitiatory through faith in his blood for the remission of past sins.--upon whom alone, as you grant, "God laid the work of taking away our iniquities;" which he accordingly did "by the sacrifice of himself;" for he so bore away our sins in his own body on the tree; that we being freed from sins, might live to righteousness;--by whose stripes we are healed. Surely he has borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows;--he was wounded for our transgressions--bruised for our iniquities--the chastisement of our peace was upon him.--All we like sheep have gone astray, we have turned every one to his own way, and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.For the transgression of my people was he stricken.--Yes, though perfectly innocent, "it pleased, the Lord to bruise him; he put him to grief; he made his soul an offering for sin." Now, if all this does not, to all intents and purposes, declare a substitution, exhibit a substitute, and present us with vicarious sufferings, we know not what language means; or what language could have done it to better purpose. Nevertheless, when, after all that has been said, the obvious sense of the sacred style seems to be misunderstood, we know of no terms in our language less exceptionable, or better adapted to express the meaning of the divine oracles upon this all-important subject, than those we have chosen.--For if substitute signifies one put in the stead or room of another, to do or suffer in his place; and if substitution is expressive of so placing a person; and if vicarious signifies his occupancy;--then, most surely, according to the above scriptures, may Jesus [552] Christ be justly called a substitute; his location, a substitution; and his sufferings to death, vicarious. Most assuredly, also, do the old philosophical axioms verify this conclusion--"Things that are equal to one and the same thing, are equal to one another;" and, "That to which all the attributes of a thing agree, is the thing itself." But, to the sufferings and death of which of the noble and exemplary army of the martyrs, have the scriptures any where ascribed one of the effects or predicates above affirmed of the sufferings and death of the Prince of Martyrs?--No, not one--any where--of any one of them.

      I conclude this article by observing that the very term sin-offering, or sacrifice for sin, if scripturally considered, forever settles the point at issue. We know that the wages of sin, of every sin, is death; consequently, every time a person sins, he forfeits his life: seeing, however, that he can die but once; and that it is the good pleasure of God to spare his life, and, at the same time, both to chastise and teach him; he therefore calls for a sin-offering--a young bullock without blemish, which the culprit is to bring to the door of the congregation before the Lord:--lay his hand on its head, and kill it before the Lord; the blood and fat, &c. of which being disposed of according to the law, the officiating priest is then to carry forth the whole residue of the bullock without the camp, into a clean place, and burn it on the wood with, fire. Thus terminates this awfully solemn and significant institution, in the complete destruction of the sin-offering, the remains of which were burnt without the camp; in allusion to which, Christ, the true antitype, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered without the gate. Heb. xiii. 12. In this striking contrast of the type and antitype, which the Apostle gives us, we clearly understand the one by the other. Now does not this sacrificial institution most expressively declare the deadly and destructive demerit of sin? And, at the same time, the divine mercy in providing a substitute--an innocent victim to undergo the deadly destruction, deserved by the actual transgressor? And as to the typical and figurative import of those sacrifices, does not the Apostle fully admonish us in the previous part of the epistle? [see the 9th and 10th chapters;] in the latter of which he winds up the whole matter by observing, that "every priest stands daily ministering and offering often the same sacrifices, which never can take away sins; but Christ having offered only one sacrifice for sins, through his whole life, sat down at the right hand of God; thenceforth waiting till his enemies be made his footstool. Wherefore, by one offering he has perfected forever the sanctified.--Hence in the light of these premises, we evidently see that a sin-offering, or a sacrifice for sin, is the substitution of the innocent for the guilty--the devoted victim suffering the deserved fate of the guilty transgressor, by virtue of which he stands exempted, having taken the benefit of the act passed in his favor, by complying with which he is acquitted.
  Respectfully yours,
THOMAS CAMPBELL. [553]      

Signs of the Times


      PROPHECY, relative to Christ's second coming, will now be briefly considered.

      I have shown the necessity of his coming. If necessary--then it is just as certain as necessary. No impartial observer, of the increasing discord on earth, (clerical as well as political,) of the increase of crime, can expect it to subside of itself. Nothing can produce one universal interest--"one faith, one Lord, one baptism," but one universal, visible, incontrovertible, miraculous display of omnipotent glory and power--such as will at once prostrate thrones and dominions, principalities and powers--just such a display as is foretold. What a shock is the event to produce! How unprepared will the present generation be for the reception of the King! Alas! how few of our sceptical priests will have on the wedding garment! How few of their misguided flocks will be ready to partake of the marriage supper. The sad effects of a negative will then appear--the fatal consequence of misapplying the prophecies or disbelieving the simple meaning of God's word. What a responsibility is hanging over the pulpit!

      In my way, I have drawn arguments for the dissolution of the present dispensation, from the incurable divisions and animosities of the Christian world--from the utter impossibility, under the present system, the present missionary exertions, with any given amount of filthy lucre, to convert or evangelize the heathen world--from the increase of crime--from the fact, that dispensations, after becoming corrupt, are never renovated--from the notorious fact, that they have never lasted longer than about two thousand years--that they have closed, therefore may close again. That a like cause will produce a like effect--that God's past dealings with corrupt dispensations is a fair and safe criterion by which we may judge of the future. That prophecy will not, without rude absurdities, concentrate on the dissolution of nature. That dispensations are alluded to under the figures world, heaven, &c. That the times of the Gentiles is to be fulfilled, and that the present dispensation committed to the Gentiles, is unequivocally the antitype of the Jewish typical gospel; it therefore does, must, and will agree with the type in every point, jot, and tittle. That the leading mistakes and faults of the one are and will be the faults, mistakes, and fate of the other. That the most signal judgments attended the close of the former; and, according to prophecy, will attend the close of the present. That the world has never suffered general and sore judgments at a time of general piety. That judgments are, and have been, the last resort of Heaven. That universal judgments are an indubitable proof of universal corruption.4 That [554] Christianity, in the common acceptation, is not the religion of Christ at all; but a spurious religion, administering gall, wormwood, creeds, fire and faggot, in the general, instead of the cordials of life. That the temple of God, or his simple government, is usurped by the son of perdition. That clerical tyranny and filthy lucre have ruined God's heritage. That the sealing time is to close. And lastly, have shown that the two witnesses spoken of in Revelation, are to finish "their testimony."

      Now, reader, there are two witnesses prophesying in sackcloth, veiled in mourning, bearing witness in God's moral government. These all-efficient agents in man's salvation are to finish "their testimony," be they what they may. Merciful God! what is to ensue? "The beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit shall make war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them." Woe unto the world when the last struggle is made by Antichrist against the liberties of man! I would sink into despondency while viewing the gathering storm, were it not that the same inspiration which foretells famine, pestilence, and war, (a time of trouble such as never was,") foretells also, and bids a hope spring up in the midst of ghastly ruin, anguish, and distress of nations; when men's hearts are "failing them for fear, and looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken; and then shall they see the Son of Man coming in a cloud, with power and great glory. And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh."

      Now, reader, if I have in any degree proved the dissolution of the present administration, I have just that far proved Christ's second coming. If I have not proved a dissolution of the present administration, I have proved or shown the absurdity of applying the prophecies to the dissolution of nature. The laws of nature have remained unchangeable near six thousand years; and on no given principles or laws in nature, can its dissolution take place. If nature is to be dissolved, the unchangeable laws of nature must be violated. The dissolution of nature is unscriptural and unphilosophical; therefore, we must search in God's moral heavens for objects on which prophecy will concentrate.

      I repeat it again, that the coming of the Son of Man must follow, of necessity, if the present administration is to close, and a new one granted the human family. No authority short of that which [555] established the laws in the present, can dissolve them. No authority short of the King of kings, can establish on principles of everlasting duration, the law or government of his universal empire.


      I will here make a few remarks on the fulfilment of prophecy.

      Prophecies have commonly been delivered in metaphors; but always literally fulfilled. Metaphors never represent metaphors; but always represent facts. We must look for the literal fulfilment of predictions which are in the future, (not a spiritual fulfilment,) if we may judge of the future by the past. Prophecy can have no definite meaning without an identical, literal object or accomplishment. An indefinite meaning to prophecy, is no meaning at all. If spiritual meaning may be attached to prophecy, we may spiritualize ad infinitum, without ever arriving at certainty: certainty is a matter of no small consideration. In facts alone is certainty to be found.

      It may not be improper to examine a few predictions relative to Christ's first advent. If they were literally fulfilled, so will those be relative to his second. "Behold a virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call his name Immanuel"--"A man of sorrow and acquainted with grief. He hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows; wounded for our transgressions; bruised for our iniquities. The chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth. He was brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he opened not his mouth. He made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death." It would be useless to quote the many passages relative to Christ's first advent, which have had a plain literal fulfilment.

      Who can say a prophecy has been fulfilled, without showing facts--aye, unequivocal facts? Facts need no proof; they can be identified. But spiritual meanings to prophecy, like the ignis fatuus, can never be identified--can never be overtaken. As soon as it is proved that the predictions relative to Christ's second coming are to have nothing but a spiritual meaning, I will then prove that they have no meaning at all; or that they will never be accomplished on earth.

      If Christ is to come imperceptibly, he will reign imperceptibly; which will be equal to not coming or reigning at all. If so, he is imperceptibly to conquer his enemies, or rule the nations, or receive dominion and glory. All nations are imperceptibly to be given into his hands, and he is to hold a sceptre of this kind over kingdoms, nations, and languages. And Antichrist is to fall in this very way; and "Mystery, Babylon the Great, the Mother of Harlots, and abominations of the earth," is imperceptibly to drink the vials of the wrath of Almighty God!

      We now purpose showing where Christ's kingdom is to be--where all prophecy relative to his reign is to be fulfilled; then show that his second coming and universal reign is to be the same--is to be a second [556] display of glory rising above the present, as much as it is superior to the Jewish economy.

      That every prediction relative to Christ's kingdom is to have an accomplishment on earth, we will refer to Paul, Cor. xv. 24. "Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule, and all authority, and power. For he must reign till he hath put all enemies under his feet. The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death."

      Death, resurrection, and immortality are the leading features of this 15th chapter; and from the 23d to the 28th verses there seems to be a plain digression from the subject, and a paragraph introduced relative to Christ's coming, subduing his enemies, reigning, abolishing death: and when the great work of salvation is complete and the human drama wound up, the King of kings is to present to his Father, by way of submission, the trophies of his victories, the blood-washed millions who have been redeemed to God "out of all nations, and kindred, and people, and tongues"--"a great multitude."

      It is plainly implied in the passage that there is to be an end; that previous to this end Christ is to reign--not after. Christ's reign is truly and fairly previous to a state of immortality. "That flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God." That we cannot properly be in the kingdom of God while in a state of probation; but in the kingdom of Christ. Christ's reign is but a preparatory state for the kingdom of God. According to Paul, Christ is to come, is to reign, is to subdue his enemies, is to abolish death. This is to be transacted on earth. There are no enemies in heaven.

      Now, how is death to be destroyed? It cannot be done, but by ushering every human being in existence into a state of immortality. "Then cometh the end," when the work of salvation is closed, "when this corruptible shall put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality." Then those who may be counted "worthy to obtain that world and the resurrection," will be introduced into a third heaven.

      Here I will answer a query by the Editor, in the June number, page 274:--"If the third heaven be a third dispensation, why may not the first resurrection be a great revival?"

      Many revivals have taken place since the introduction of Christianity. if the passage before us has a reference to a revival. "Blessed and holy is he that hath a part in the first resurrection." Then all the revivals which have taken place are not worthy of notice, compared to it. And we may, with propriety, render the passage thus: 'Blessed and holy is he that hath a part in the first revival!' How many revivals are promised? When is this revival to take place? Before or after the Millennium? If before, on whom are the vials of the wrath of Almighty God to be poured? Will God pour out his vials of wrath in the midst of a great revival? There is no room for such a revival under the present dispensation, or there is none for the judgments which are foretold. If the great revival takes place after the introduction of Christ's reign, when all are to know him from the [557] least to the greatest, on whom is this passage to be consummated? "But the rest of the dead lived not until the thousand years were finished" If the first resurrection, here spoken of, means a revival, it must mean God's people: then to whom will the other figure apply--"rest of the dead"? This must, of necessity, apply to the people of the world; who, of course, are, and must be, from the face of the passage, excluded from participating in the great revival--no, not a solitary one of them, for the space of one thousand years, is to live! Now on whom is this revival to exist? Without accessions to the church, a revival would not be worth getting up. This revival would supersede a new dispensation. A new dispensation cannot be a revival.

      There is, perhaps, no word in our language more used and less understood, than the word heaven. With our clergy, and their implicit followers, this word has but one uniform meaning; when the fact is, in the Scripture, it has three fair and distinct applications. Also, there are three different applications of the term world. The sense will always determine.

      1st. The world in the common acceptation--the material earth.

      2d. It is applied to dispensations--"On whom the ends of the world are come."

      3d. A state of immortality--"But they who shall be accounted worthy to obtain that world and the resurrection."

      The three heavens. 1st. The field of nature is called heaven--"The heavens declare the glory of God, and the firmament showeth his handy work." In the field of nature, or God's material heavens, there are found, sun, moon, stars, earth, air, fire, water, &c.

      2d. God's moral government on earth is called heaven, kingdom of heaven, &c. and sun, moon, stars, air, water, fire, &c. are called for in this kingdom of grace, or God's moral heaven, that there may be a harmony and correspondence in all the works of the all-wise Sovereign of the Universe. Metaphors are drawn from the kingdom of nature, representing things in the kingdom of grace.

      A state of immortality is called heaven.

      I have shown in the foregoing part of this work, that God's moral administration on earth is called heaven; and that a state of immortality in happiness is called heaven, will be admitted by all.

      We come into existence according to constituted laws, in the kingdom of nature. We are made citizens in God's moral heavens, according to the constituted laws in this kingdom. By living in obedience to the laws in this kingdom, we become heirs, according to promise, of the kingdom of immortality. We are born into the kingdom of nature. We are born into the kingdom of grace by the new birth. We are born into the kingdom of immortality by a resurrection from the dead.

      In reading God's word we should have respect to these heavens. Passages which will not apply to the natural heavens, should be applied to the moral. And remember it is an improper application of holy writ, that involves a violation of the laws of nature. Different states of existence, not entirely of locality, may constitute all of these heavens. [558]

      But to return to our subject of Christ's reign. We cannot at this time call to mind one solitary text that speaks of Christ reigning in a state of immortality; but his great mission is to be accomplished on earth in "bringing many sons to glory;" and no passage that speaks of Christ reigning jointly with the Father on earth; but it is to be the "throne of his glory:" which in his times shall show who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords. This must relate to this earth, for there is another Potentate in the heavens of immortality. And that of making the enemies of Christ his footstool, and bringing "all things in subjection under his feet," must relate to this world, for there can be nothing in the realms above that needs subjugation. And no doubt but the Patriarchs and Apostles are to reign with Christ jointly in his kingdom; for the twenty-four elders are represented as singing a new song, saying of Christ, "Thou art worthy to take the book and to open the seals thereof, for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood, out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; and hast made us unto our God kings and priests, and we shall reign on the earth." Reader, bear this in mind. These very four and twenty elders are to "reign on the earth"! Now is there any need of priests in the invisible world? And who is so zeal-smitten as to think the present race or order of priests may reign on earth? Woe unto the world the day of their coronation! See what they have done and are doing. They are, and have been, the greatest enemies of toleration and liberty of conscience on earth. Yet the time is coming when the saints are to possess the kingdom. This cannot be the present race of saints, or the present administration of God's moral government on earth; for they have well nigh ruined it, and would ruin any government on earth, had they but one little consideration granted them--viz. power.

      That they cannot be trusted with the reins of government, is but too plain to every impartial observer. They may not possess the kingdom; it was not intended for the present dispensation to rule; for Christ and the Apostles have uniformly taught submission to the powers that be. Obedience to kings, rulers, &c. is a plain command. Most of the precepts under the present dispensation entirely preclude the idea of reigning. Persecution is a part of the legacy bequeathed to all those who live godly in Christ Jesus. The holy city is to be trodden underfoot forty and two months. This relates to the church; for the prediction was made long after the destruction of Jerusalem. This is evidently a dispensation of Christ's humility and suffering; but the next will be, Christ exalted, ruling, reigning gloriously, the King of kings.

      Prophecy relative to Christ's coming is relative to his reign; and the New Testament abounds with predictions of this kind, which must correspond in meaning with the prophecy in the Old. [See Dan. vii. 13.] This is the beginning prediction relative to Christ coming in the clouds of heaven; and it is of much importance to us that we fairly ascertain the old Prophet's meaning, for it will afford a clue by which every prophecy where the "clouds of heaven" are [559] mentioned may be understood. If we mistake at the outstart, we may eventually mistake beyond remedy. I have already made some remarks upon this 7th of Daniel. It affords much matter of the greatest importance. Its leading features are--1st. The four empires which were to rise in succession. 2d. A little horn which was to rise out of the fourth. 3d. The sitting of a judgment, casting down of thrones, &c. and a signal destruction of the little horn, or Antichrist. We have the character of Antichrist fairly drawn, and the length of his reign--"And he shall speak great words against the Most High, and shall wear out the saints of the Most High" "And they shall be given into his hand until a time, and times, and the dividing of time." This is the length of time that Antichrist is to reign, according to John's testimony.

      Perhaps all admit that there are about twelve hundred and sixty years implied in the above--"a time, and times, and the dividing of time." Now to fix on a certain time for the commencement of these twelve hundred and sixty years, is a matter of much importance; and there is but one passage in sacred writ that affords a data from which we may make a safe calculation. In the 8th chapter of Daniel there is a question asked, "How long shall be the vision concerning the daily sacrifice?" &c. "And he said unto me, Unto two thousand three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed. Now how much of these two thousand three hundred years has been fulfilled? The same Prophet says, "Seventy weeks are determined on thy people." Now in the midst of Daniel's seventieth week was Messiah cut off, leaving one half a week, or three years and a half of the seventy to be fulfilled after the crucifixion of Christ. We begin our calculation of time from the birth of Christ, and Daniel's seventy weeks, or four hundred and ninety years, ends in the 37th year of the Christian Era. These thirty-seven years, taken from the 490, leaves 453; that this much of the long vision was fulfilled previous to the birth of Christ, and there must have remained after the birth of Christ 1847, to complete the 2300 years, when the sanctuary is to be cleansed, or the downfall of Antichrist to take place.

      Now if Antichrist is to fall at this time, he must have reigned the twelve hundred and sixty years previous to the year 1847; and by counting back twelve hundred and sixty years, we are brought to the year 587. About this very time the church elected a Universal Bishop, and this Bishop and his successors have been reigning at Rome, the seat of Antichrist, ever since. About the year 1847 Daniel's long vision will end, and about this time will the son of perdition finish his bloody and tyrannical reign.

[To be continued.]

Notes on a Tour to New York, via Eastern
Virginia--No. I.

      LEFT Bethany on the 4th of October, in company with Thomas Campbell, Sen. Dr. B. F. Hall, R. Y. Henley, M. L. Henley, and E. [560] A. Campbell, on a tour to Eastern Virginia. After an agreeable journey over the mountains, excepting two days' rain, we safely arrived at Fredericksburg on Saturday evening, the 12th instant. Our arrival on that evening being unexpected by the brethren there, (as my letters had not arrived,) and the citizens consequently being wholly uninformed of our intentions, the congregation assembled on Lord's day morning was composed of the brethren and a portion of the citizens of the town. On Saturday evening we had the pleasure of hearing an excellent address from our beloved brother, Peter Ainslie, to the brethren and citizens assembled in the meeting-house. The evening being disagreeable, the congregation was small.

      The disciples met on the Lord's day, as their custom here is, to break the loaf in commemoration of the Lord, and to keep the ordinances as delivered to them by the Apostles. As a good many citizens not members of the church were present, after the worship of the morning, I addressed the whole audience from Matth. xi. on the character of the times. In the afternoon I was followed by Father Campbell, on "the means of enjoying the salvation of God." At night, by brother Hall, on "the necessity and felicity of union among Christians." Monday morning brother Hall lectured on the virtue of obedience, illustrated from Old and New Testaments. In the afternoon, Father Campbell on "the means of redemption." At night a large concourse was addressed by myself on the infallible criterion of the original gospel. One lady in the afternoon of that day confessed the Lord, and was immersed in the Rappahannock river.

      The disciples here, who have been driven into their duty by the intolerance of the ecclesiastic counsellors of the Dover Association, are now going on most affectionately, with one heart and soul, in the school of Christ. They are now about thirty-six in number, gradually increasing in number, and growing in the knowledge of God, and of Jesus Christ our blessed Lord. They declare that they now enjoy themselves and their religion inexpressively more since their exclusion from their quondam brethren, than while among them; for now they experience that freedom and liberty in the Lord which he promised them who obey him rather than men. "If the Son shall make you free, you shall be free indeed," is a saying of the Lord Messiah, which they now more fully understand.

      The brethren in Fredericksburg have erected a very commodious and neat brick meeting-house during the past summer, on the ground on which the old Theatre stood, and, by their zealous and enterprizing efforts, have nearly succeeded in paying for it. It cost them about 2500 dollars, of which about 2000 dollars have been already paid.

      The old church, from which they were separated, is yet in a state of fermentation. The old leaven and the new are both at work. The Dover Decrees, under the direction of the Travelling Council, composed of John Kerr, Philip Montague, J. Micon & Co. have quenched the spirit of religion in the Old Baptists, and of veneration on the part of the people; so that they who love the Lord, and will keep his commandments, are coming out from among them. The mortal remains, [561] who call themselves '"the Elect of Fredericksburg," are now attempting to keep themselves alive by a circulating ministry, composed of four preachers--one for every Sunday in the month. These are all under the control of one officer, who unites in himself the functions of moderator, clerk, deacon, and supreme director of fifteen.

      The itinerant council and perpetual committee of the order of the Dover Decrees, who volunteered to divide the church in Fredericksburgh, have made themselves so popular in the work of division, that their President is now a sort of Universal Bishop, without any special charge in the commonwealth of Virginia; and in all places where they are known, report says, they are more feared than loved by all the population.

      From Fredericksburg we proceeded on to the Bowling Green, in Caroline county, and on Wednesday the 16th we visited the church called Antioch. Although it rained all the morning and almost all the day, we had a respectable congregation, some persons having come from 14 to 20 miles; amongst whom was our indefatigable and much beloved brother, Thomas M. Henley. The congregation was addressed for some time from Colos. chaps. i. & ii. on the peerless glory of the Head of the Christian Institution; demonstrating that all and every defection in Christianity arose from erroneous views of the personal and official glory of him in whom all the fulness of Deity substantially resides. After my address to the congregation, we repaired to the hospitable mansion of Jordane Woolfolk, Esq. with whose amiable and accomplished cousin (Pichigrieu Woolfolk) we had spent the preceding evening. These gentlemen, but for the broils and animosities of sectarianism, would doubtless long since have followed the example of their amiable consorts in bowing to the authority of the Eternal King.

      From the Bowling Green we hastened next morning 14 miles, to Newton, King & Queen, where we addressed an attentive audience, on Romans, chap. v.--whence we took occasion to show how much we lost in Adam the first, and how much we gained in Adam the second. After spending a pleasant evening with our brother Lee Boulware, next day we proceeded to Essex, to brother Henley's.

      We should have observed that the church at Antioch has erected for itself a commodious and comfortable meeting-house. The brethren meet weekly in honor of our Lord, and break the loaf of blessing. They are in number about forty. This is a new church, which arose out of the world by the instrumentality of the old gospel, and was never connected with the Old Baptist Associations. This congregation and that in Fredericksburg are visited occasionally by brother Ainslie. They have, however, one elder in Antioch and two in Fredericksburg, chosen from among themselves, whose business it is to preside over the congregation.

      At Newton there has recently been set up a small church. Some seven or eight hundred dollars have been subscribed for the erection of a meeting-house, which will probably be erected in the ensuing summer. [562]

      On Saturday the 19th, we addressed a congregation assembled in the house of brother Henley, on the subject of conversion to the Lord, from the 3d chapter of the Acts of Apostles.

      Appointments were made for Rappahannock and Smyrna on the 20th and 21st, each distant about twenty miles, where the brethren have erected for themselves substantial and neat brick meeting houses. Also an appointment was made at Aquinton, in King William, for the 22d of the month. We also intended to visit Mangohick; but in consequence of a continued rain for sixty hours, we failed in visiting the brethren in any of these congregations. By a mistake the appointments for Aquinton and Bethesda were published for the 23d; and by this means, at the former place, we understood, a large congregation was disappointed. At Bethesda we addressed a crowded house, from Rom. ii. on human responsibility and the object of the divine goodness bestowed on all men. This congregation was originally a part of the church called Black Creek, which church had two places of meeting. When they parted they divided the spoil, and the house in which we spoke belongs to the brethren at Bethesda, about one hundred in number.

      At this place, ten miles from Richmond, we had the pleasure of meeting our beloved brother David S. Burnet, and a number of our brethren from the city. After the discourse we hastened on to our brother Curtis Curtis, within four miles of the city, with whom we were much refreshed.

      On the next evening, by previous appointment, we addressed the brethren and citizens of Richmond, in the new meeting-house, called from the Sycamore tree which throws its refreshing shade over the entrance to its doors. This large and comfortable house, 50 by 70 feet, two stories high, was well filled with an attentive audience. Our address in the evening was introductory to the object of the meeting which was to commence on the next day. Certain great preliminary questions concerning God's communications to men--the variety of messages he had sent--the persons by whom--the manner in which he had spoken to men--the intelligibility of his addresses--their suitableness to our condition--and, above all, the profound reverence with which his last communication to men by his SON should be regarded, fell in our way in opening the meeting.

      Next morning, at 11 o'clock A. M. Father Campbell addressed the audience on 'sin and its cure,' in the character of a disease, from various passages in the Epistle to the Hebrews. In the evening Dr. Hall spoke from 1 Cor. i, on the great advantages of union and co-operation amongst Christians, and the melancholy effects of divisions.

      Saturday morning we addressed the congregation on the good combat of faith, the Christian armor, and the use of it in wrestling against the rulers of this present darkness and the powers arrayed against the designs of Heaven in the salvation of men. Eph. vi.

      Brother Du Val in the evening spoke from Hebrews, 1st and 2d chapters, showing that all speculations on human ability and inability were wholly useless in the work of conversion; and that the believing [563] of the truth, obeying the commands of Jesus Christ, and following his example, are the grand requisites in order to the enjoyment of salvation.

      Lord's day, after the worship of the morning, and the commemoration of the death and resurrection of the Saviour, we addressed a very crowded house, on the three kingdoms of nature, grace, and glory; showing the analogies existing between them--that the object of each was to form bodies like itself--natural, gracious, and glorious bodies. Three births, three lives, three salvations, contrasted, illustrated, and conferred, suited to the genius of each kingdom. The constitutional principles, laws, ordinances, subjects, privileges, duties, and enjoyments of the citizens of each, were in succession adverted to; and the essential necessity of being in each kingdom to participate of its influences, was enforced from reason, analogy, and the third chapter of John.

      Brother Burnet addressed a very crowded house in the evening, upon "one gospel, a remedy and an adequate salvation for all sorts of men;" showing what the gospel could and would accomplish, from what is recorded of its success in the New Testament. The accounts given in the letters to Corinth, Galatia, Titus, &c. of the sorts of character reformed and saved by it, were adduced in illustration and confirmation of its potency; and the rapidity with which the work of conversion was accomplished in the apostolic age, way relied on in demonstration of the superior efficacy of that instrument to every other in the work of reforming the world.

      Monday morning, at 11 o'clock, brother Albert Anderson, of Spottsylvania, delivered a very feeling and touching address from John, chap. v. The majesty and glory of the author of our religion--the deep and profound veneration which ought to be cherished for his word--the manner in which it ought to be regarded--the offices of the Messiah--the greatness and grandeur of his salvation, contrasted with all the things of time and sense; with many useful hints of what sort of persons we Christians ought to be, enriched his lecture on this interesting portion of the testimony of John.

      Brother Ainslie, in the evening on Monday, delivered an address on "the cross of Christ;" in which he set forth its import and influence in the Christian religion. Its power in renovating the heart, in taking away sin, in overcoming the world, were clearly set forth; and the necessity of Christians following the example of Paul in crucifying the world, and in being crucified to the world through the cross of Christ, was strongly enforced. A short address from myself, on "the Christian race," concluded the exercises of the day. Such were the general outlines of the didactic and exhortatory labors of this meeting. The house, large as it is, was, on several occasions, quite too small to accommodate all who wished to hear. Great good order and decorum prevailed throughout all the meeting.

      There was one or more sessions per day of the brethren from the different churches, to hear the history of the progress of the churches and the cause of reformation in their respective vicinities. From these [564] reports, which were made by some of the elders or members present, we have collected the following abstract:--

      Members from sixteen churches met with the church in Richmond. These congregations are scattered over a district of country running from Fredericksburg to the seaboard. The account from these churches was not sufficiently detailed to give a full view of their present standing, nor were even six or seven churches in the same district heard from at all, which are known to have thrown off the yoke of human authority.

      But we were pleased to learn the following particulars from those churches which were present:--They meat together every Lord's day, as far as practicable, to partake of the loaf and to worship their risen Lord. They are generally awaking to the importance of the use of more efficient means; or, rather, of more devotion of these resources to the conversion of the world. The number of disciples belonging to these congregations amounts to about 1200. In this same region there are about fourteen proclaimers of the word. They are, however, generally confined to their respective neighborhoods. Brother Ainslie for the last 18 months has been the only proclaimer who seems to have been constantly in the field; but the field was too large for him, and therefore little could be effected in the way of conversion by labors scattered over such a surface.

      Brother Burnet, who this summer favored the brethren of Eastern Virginia with a visit, in a tour of some eight or ten weeks, in the tide water counties, delivered some sixty or seventy discourses, and immersed about as many persons. The brethren from all quarters bear witness of the good effects of his labors through Eastern Virginia. He has strengthened the weak, confirmed the wavering, silenced many of the adversaries, and convinced all (who would hearken) of the excellency of the principles of the reformation. It would be of immense importance to the good cause could brother Burnet be induced to continue his labors as an evangelist in this region. The brethren are all alive to this subject, and no doubt every needful exertion will be made on their part to encourage him in the work.

      The brethren who labor in the word in the bounds of these churches, are, Uriah Higgason, Louisa; John Dangerfield, Matthews; Matthew Gale, Matthews county; (none of these were present at the meeting;) John Bagby, Louisa; W. B. Webber, Goochland; R P. Elliott, York; Peter Ainslie, Gloucester; Thomas M. Henley, Essex; John Richards, King & Queen, Dudley Atkinson, King William; William Luke, King William; Dr. John Du Val, King & Queen; Albert Anderson, Spottsylvania; P. L. Townes, Amelia; C. W. Taliaferro, King William; Charles Hyde, Richmond. Besides these were present at the meeting, several elders of congregations, who occasionally preach the word.

      We were pleased to learn that most of these churches were actually forced to withdraw from the Baptist churches; that in no instance did the brethren in the reformation, when they, had the majority, ever cast out the minority. All the churches express much thankfulness for [565] the great peace, harmony, and brotherly love which prevail among them, and evince a full determination to follow the truth whithersoever it leads them.

      One good effect of our meeting, was, the addition of about 25 persons to the banners of the reformation; sixteen confessed the Lord and were immersed; and nine other immersed persons, from the Baptist churches in Richmond and the county, joined the church in Richmond.

      We are much encouraged in the work of the Lord from the effects which the principles of the reformation have already had in this section of Eastern Virginia in the course of a few years, and especially within the last two years. The brethren have exhibited much devotion to the truth, much liberality in erecting meeting-houses, and in the general support of the cause. For all which we would bless the Lord, and devote ourselves with more ardor to his work.
      Richmond, October 29, 1533.

For the Millennial Harbinger.      

Conscience--No. 1.

      THERE are few subjects of greater importance, and certainly none less clearly understood by the greater part of mankind, than that of conscience. Some will have it to be innate--others, acquired. One declares it to be a divine and infallible monitor--another supposes it to be entirely the creature of education, and therefore liable to err in its decisions: while there are many who appear to doubt, and by their conduct make others doubt, whether or not there is such a thing at all.

      It may be profitable, therefore, to direct our thoughts for a short time to this subject, and endeavor to obtain a clear, distinct, or determinate idea of it. For this purpose we will inquire, 1st. What is conscience? 2dly. What are its powers, and by what laws is it governed? And, idly. What is the use of it?

      Before, however, we attempt to define the word conscience, we will offer a few general remarks upon the subject of DEFINITION.

      As terms stand for ideas, and ideas are the representatives of things, it is certainly a matter of great consequence that we should have in our minds, when we employ any term, a distinct and determined idea of that for which it stands. For it' we use words without attaching to them a precise and definite signification, we cannot expect that others should understand our meaning, seeing we do not understand it ourselves; and if our ideas be confused, it follows that we must have a confused knowledge of things, which is often worse than total ignorance.

      But it is necessary that we should have not only a distinct idea for the term, that we may thus be enabled to give a clear definition of it, but also that this idea should be the true one, else we cannot give a correct definition. Indeed it is much better to have confused ideas, than wrong ones, let them be ever so clear. The traveller, who, in the twilight, is uncertain which of several roads to take, may happen upon the right one; while he, who, in broad day-light, makes a wrong choice, will be sure to go astray.

      A want of proper attention to these matters has given rise to most of the controversies and differences among men, as well as to their errors and their misfortunes. It is a grievous barrier to unity of sentiment and fraternal intercourse, that there are so many different languages in the world; but it is still a greater [566] one, and more to be lamented, that people do not understand even the language they have spoken from their infancy, or the things with which they should be perfectly conversant.

      If clear and correct definitions are of importance in any science, certainly they are particularly so in that of religion, upon a true understanding of which, our present and our eternal interests so much depend. Yet there is nothing about which men so much differ, and the terms of which are so little understood or so erroneously defined. Men first adopt some leading principles or opinions, to which all other ideas in religion must be conformed. All their definitions of terms, therefore, must be made to correspond with these tenets. Whether the definition be clear, or metaphysically obscure, is of minor importance--it must at least be orthodox. Thus: Is the doctrine of absolute predestination received?--The decrees of God are no longer "his written laws,"5 but "his eternal purposes, whereby, according to the counsel of his own will, he has foreordained all things whatsoever come to pass." Is it believed that there is a special and irresistible call for the elect? Then "effectual calling" becomes a "work of God's Spirit, whereby enlightening our minds in the knowledge of Christ, and renewing our wills, he doth persuade and enable us to embrace Christ as freely offered to us in the gospel." Or is it imagined that none can believe savingly unless they receive this call? Then faith, far from being the result of testimony, "the confidence of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen," is "a saving grace, whereby we receive and rest upon Christ for salvation, as he is offered to us in the gospel." And these abstruse and unscriptural definitions are put into the hands of children in the form of a catechism, and carefully impressed upon their tender minds, until they become so confused by mysticism and contradiction, that they are totally unable to understand the Holy Scriptures.

      Certainly every writer has the privilege of defining his own terms; and if he does not do so, the natural conclusion is that these are already well understood, and that they are used in their common acceptation. For if he uses words in a novel or appropriated sense, without stating the sense in which he wishes them to be taken; if, for example, he uses immersion, when he means only sprinkling; if he uses royal priests, when he means only laymen; if he uses gospel, when he means law, without intimating that he intended to have them thus understood, how is it possible to discover his meaning? And the effect will be precisely the same if we are made to believe that he does so, and come to the examination of what he has written, with such definitions already firmly fixed in our minds. But these system-mongers, not satisfied with making out definitions, metaphysically obscure or lucidly false, for the plainest terms in scripture, or substituting other definitions for those which are already given, go so far as even to invent new terms, which of necessity implies the introduction of new ideas, such as perhaps it never entered into the hearts of the sacred writers to conceive. And these conceits are solemnly delivered to the people as the doctrines of the scriptures--the true teachings of Christ and his Apostles! Thus the greater part of men, (for there are few who read or think for themselves,) are kept in ignorance of the truth as it is in Jesus, and are unable to give a clear or scriptural definition of any term that occurs in the sacred writings. Nay, these terms convey to their minds quite wrong ideas. And these notions again are not only wrong, but very different, according as they belong to different sects, every sect having its own definitions, and the Book of God speaking to every different denomination a different language. The term church, for instance, conveys to the Episcopalian the idea of a meeting house; to the Methodist, an assemblage of persons, some of whom have "got [567] religion--some" of whom are "seeking religion"--some of whom have "obtained a hope" of remission of sins--some of whom have not obtained remission of sins; but all of whom are under the government of a Preacher--himself under the control of a Conference, a self-constituted body of men, who presume to make rules and regulations for many different churches: while, to the Christian, it implies a congregation of saints--those who have believed in Christ and been immersed, as he has commanded, for the remission of sins; and who can, from the least to the greatest, apply to themselves what was said by the Apostles to the ancient churches--"Forgive one another as Christ has forgiven you;" (Eph. iv. 32.) and "I write unto you, little children, because your sins are forgiven you;" (1 John ii. 12.) who are neither seeking nor making a religion, being satisfied with that which is already made, and offered to all who are willing to accept of it, in the Holy Scriptures; and who meet together not to hear a preacher, but to attend to the institutions of Christ, being under his government alone. Thus it is also with the terms presbytery, elder, salvation, justification, conscience, and so on, throughout the whole catalogue.

      It has been, therefore, the aim of the present reformation to restore a sound speech to the people of God, and it constitutes its highest excellence that it has brought men back to the simple language and true definitions dictated by the Holy Spirit--therefore, to the ideas intended to be conveyed--therefore, to the truths that save the soul.

For the Millennial Harbinger.      

Fasting--No. 1.


      "BELOVED, now are we the children of God." How great the honor! How great our Heavenly Father's love towards us, that we should be called children of God! "For this reason," says the beloved disciple John, "the world does not know us, because it did not know him. However, we know that when he shall appear we shall be like him;--that we shall see him as he is. And every one who has this hope in him, purifies himself even as he is pure." How did we attain to this high relationship? By being born of God by water and Spirit. Having renounced the Prince of darkness with all human leaders, masters, and teachers in religion, and vowed allegiance to the King of kings, the Son of God, we are free indeed. It is no wonder, therefore, that we are hated, slandered, reproached, and vilified by the world--that all manner of evil is said against us falsely for the Lord's sake,--for the stand we have taken on his side in this adulterous age. 'However, we know'--the ancient disciples knew and we know--that when he, our great Captain shall appear, 'we shall be like him--that we shall see him as he is.' 'Having borne the image of the earthly, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly.' But how do we know it? Because our Lord has said, "The conqueror shall inherit all things." And Paul, "We are not of those who apostatize to perdition; but of those who persevere to the salvation of the soul." And why not? Because we have added, or are adding to our faith courage, and knowledge, and temperance, and patience, and godliness, and brotherly kindness, and love. We have done these things, or are doing them, because we have in us this hope--this glorious hope of the appearing of the great God, even of our Saviour Jesus Christ, and of being welcomed by him to those mansions he has now gone to prepare for them that love him. We know that he was holy, harmless, and undefiled and separate from sinners, Therefore, this is the character which we are perfecting in ourselves. We are not satisfied with having begun in the Spirit. We are pressing forward to the mark of Christian perfection. We are keeping our body under and bringing [568] it into subjection. We are continually looking to Jesus the great leader and perfecter of the faith. We are learning of him, and striving after conformity to him in all things. In whatever circumstances placed, What would Christ answer? How would he conduct himself? are the questions: and these answered, we speak and act accordingly.--Thus are we 'purifying ourselves, even as he is pure.'

      Christian brethren, are not these the principles by which we are, and wish to be, actuated in all things? I presume to answer for you. They are. But, high as is this our heavenly calling and relationship, it must be confessed that we have yet too much of the grovelling character of servants: free as we have been made by the Son of God, the world is yet too much in our thoughts and affections: clear as are our apprehension and comprehension of some of the first principles of Christian doctrine, we still live in a dark and cloudy day--the most perfect of us have not yet unlearned all our sectarian errors, and we have much yet to learn as the disciples of Christ.--A neglected lesson follows--

      "Moreover, when you fast, look not dismal as the hypocrites, who disfigure their faces, that men may observe that they fast. Indeed, I say to you, they have their reward. But you, when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, that our fasting may not appear to men, but to your Father; and your Father, to whom, though he is unseen himself, nothing is secret, will recompense you." Matth. vi.

      Our great Teacher in this lesson evidently speaks of FASTING as a duty. He supposes occasions for it--he gives some directions about the mode of observing it--and he speaks of a reward, as consequent upon the right performance of it.

      Brethren, the subject on which we purpose to address a few short essays to you, is introduced. In our next we will endeavor to give a scriptural answer to the first question, which our lesson suggests.
      Bethany, Va. Nov. 14th, 1833.

Christianity in Richmond.

      BISHOP MOORE yet lives, and the monumental church yet stands. Chief Justice Marshall is in usual good health, and attends church once-a-year. The fashionables of the higher casts of society occasionally visit the High Church, read their prayers, and listen to the organ. The Presbyterians have tried various projects to get up revivals and to enlarge the boundaries of their Zion in the South. In Eastern Virginia Presbyterianism is a northern exotic, and seems destined never to be acclimated. They still erect brick churches with tall steeples, and rear their horns like unicorns above the Capitol itself, though it stands upon a sort of Tarpean hill. The Methodists, good folks, are more humble, and take root in all soils. Their synagogues are lowly, but capacious. They catch the multitude because of their multitudinous accommodations to the nature of the multitude. The Catholics are rather in the rear. They are raising one brick Chapel of considerable amplitude, the first Catholic synagogue in this region. The other day, one of the leaders of that devout people, standing in the street, and seeing the masons rather remiss in their energies, shouted to them with a Stentorian voice, "Masons, take heed! You are working for God Almighty!"

      The Regular Baptists continue to meet in two houses, called the First and Second Baptist Churches. Bishop Kerr's flock is now fed by Elder Hinton; while the former is engaged in milking the goats, and in pailing in the sheep in the lower country. Elder Taylor still holds the sceptre over the Second Church; and, indeed, they deserve the credit of sincerity. I have learned that this church (of perhaps a hundred heads of families) has contributed more than [569] 2300 dollars during the last year, to what they call "the cause of Christ." For this liberality they are worthy of admiration. We only regret that they should mistake the object, and honor the inventions of men more than the wisdom of God.

      From this church a party has rather broken off: in one sense of that ambiguous word, they are dismissed as in good standing to constitute a house or church for our friend Keeling. He, good natured ant long suffering as he is, waxed wroth at the intolerance of some of his brethren in the temperance cause, who very intemperately pushed temperance so far as to get into a bad temper themselves; and tempted their brethren to attempt to build a new temple for brother Keeling and his friends. In Richmond we sometimes find friends among brethren, and brethren among friends: for in this latitude friends and brethren are not convertible terms. Hence friend Keeling finds among his many good brethren only a few friends; and so he and they, as soon as the house is tenantable, are about to become THE THIRD REGULAR BAPTIST CHURCH in the city of Richmond.

      Names in Richmond are greatly above par. The name Regular will cost this party (say thirty in number) a large sum; besides an annuity of some 20 per cent. on the first instalments, so long as they wear that musical, harmonious, and melodious name Regular Baptists. The Pastor has declared that he could conscientiously, that is, if God alone was to be worshipped in the matter, break the loaf with the brethren under the sycamore; but as he must take into consideration more than the object of worship in the act of worship, it is expedient that he should never break the loaf with those brethren while on earth, but with those friends named Regular Baptists. It is better, in their arithmetic, to pay several thousand dollars for that name, title, and honor, and a few opinions connected with it, than to consecrate that sum to feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, or announcing the gospel to the poor. Why not rather fill the houses now erected in Richmond, than found anew establishment! Why not rather strengthen the hands of those who are resolved to keep the commandments of Jesus than oppose them in appearance and in effect, though it maybe without design?

      Mr. Hinton is from the land of Andrew Fuller, and is the patron of some new theory of regeneration, broached, as report saith, by his own brother in England. This new theory claims some merit for the novelty of the verbiage, rather (if I am rightly informed) than for any felicity of thought or newness of idea which is presented to the student of human theology. It is a sort of Fullerism on the operation of the Spirit, resembling Andrew on the Atonement. Its cardinal topics, I am informed by two competent judges, and also from the writings of the Richmond brother Hinton, amount to this--

      1. Every man has full power to believe, love, and obey the Saviour, without any aid whatever from the Holy Spirit, save the written word.

      2. No man ever did or ever will believe, love, and obey the Saviour, without the special operation of the Spirit.

      3. This operation of the Spirit is direct, and without the word--wholly independent of any thing written in the book, and is but once in the course of human life--at the instant of conversion.

      4. After conversion the word does every thing, works every thing, and saves the soul.

      This is surely something worthy of a volume, and of the attention of John Kerr's brethren, and himself too. However, Mr. Hinton is a Regular Fullerite Hintonian Regular Baptist and a great opponent of reformation, because he Is wholly ignorant of it, and will not inform himself of the matters in debate. He very prudently never lent an ear to a discourse during our meeting in Richmond; but with his pastoral staff was tending his flock, and guarding it from wolves and dogs.

      The 1st and 2d Churches are better friends now than formerly. They can actually now salute each other courteously by the way! and if I am not misinformed, they have both prayed together against reformation! In defiance, however, of [570] all their efforts not to see the truth, nor let others see the truth of reformation principles, light is breaking upon them; and they will be forced out of their entrenchments if there be in public opinion any power, or in the spread of truth any speed.

      At present the public mind is most outrageously abused by the whisperers, backbiters, and tattlers of this age and city, on the subject of reform. One says, 'These reformers are Unitarians.' Another, 'Take heed; they are Universalists.' 'They deny the Holy Spirit,' says a third. 'I heard one of them baptize into the name of the Father and the Son, never naming the Spirit,' repeats a fourth. 'There is no change of heart, no change of life, but waterism alone in their system,' exclaims a fifth. 'They are prayerless professors,' mutters a sixth. 'They are fast verging to deism; indeed, they are infidels in disguise,' whispers a seventh.

      To disabuse the public mind of these and many similar imputations would require a standing committee of witnesses, itinerant night and day, with power to enter every house, join in every company and to interrogate every individual. This is not granted us. We must, therefore, patiently bear evil treatment, slander, and reproach, with primitive fortitude, and by our good behavior put to silence the ignorance of foolish men.

      Passing along the street, returning from a night meeting at the Sycamore Church, one says to his companion, "I will not believe even my own preacher again when he attempts to describe C------m. I never heard a man nor a people so scandalously misrepresented and abused as these people are. I am determined to hear them out; and if there is nothing worse than I have yet beard, I will do more than hear this new doctrine." Reaction will take place; for "the triumphing of the wicked is short, and the joy of the hypocrite is but for a moment."

      Meantime, while the sects are fighting against one another, rather than against the common enemy, the Devil is triumphing in the whole city. Dissipation, gambling, and licentiousness are sweeping off thousands. A public meeting of the virtuous and moral citizens was held the other evening in the Capitol for the purpose of suppressing gambling. The laws and the preachers having alike failed to suppress this outrage upon the whole decalogue, the more virtuous citizens have agreed to coalesce to put it down by the omnipotence of public opinion. It is said more than a thousand assembled on the occasion. But how many gamblers were present could not be ascertained. More than thirty gambling establishments are said to be supported in the city. Success, greater titan that which attends the preachers, attends this confederation against gambling!

      The authority of the Bible is greatly lessened by the zeal of the sectaries for their respective opinions. Every thing now in religion is matter of opinion. No fact, no principle, no certainty--all opinion. 'I am of opinion that this is essential, and that is not,' is the logic and the moral obligation of the multitude. No authority--no divine authority is felt in the most clear and unequivocal sayings found in the Volume. What is your opinion? is the question.--'What means this?' say the most conscientious! It is not, What says the Saviour? nor, What says the Apostle? But, What does he mean--what is your opinion of that commandment? Thus totters the faith of the multitude; thus languishes the spirit of true piety; thus is frittered down the high authority of creation's Almighty Lord!

      The Universalists (benevolent souls!) tendered us their meeting house in case it should be necessary to occupy a second house on the Lord's day--from sympathy, no doubt. We thanked them for the tender, but did not need to accept it. I wish these benevolent neighbors would take into consideration in what singular attitude they place the wisdom and power of God, in representing him as waging a seven thousand years' war against Satan in order to convert him at last into an angel of light!

      In Richmond there are among the sects a few names which would honor the Christian cause, if they knew how to do it; but the influence of them who have [571] got as much religion as they can well bear, and more than they could wish, lies like an incubus upon their spirits, and prevents them from enjoying and exhibiting the fulness of the blessing of the gospel of Christ. Peace be with them who love Jesus Christ our Lord sincerely!
      Richmond, Nov. 1, 1833.


Bethany, Va. Wednesday morning,      
November 14, 1833.      

      THIS morning we were roused from our slumbers before the dawn, to witness an unusual appearance of meteors, or what are commonly called "shooting stars."

      We were no sooner awake, than we discovered our chamber to be illuminated from without by sudden vivid flashes of light. Upon opening the window, a most beautiful scene presented itself. From the zenith to the horizon, through the clear sky, innumerable meteors were falling in a constant shower, bursting out in every part of the heavens, with astonishing rapidity, and leaving behind them long and brilliant trains of light. From the point at which they first made their appearance they invariably pursued the same course, directly towards the horizon, many of them being lost before they reached it, but some of the larger ones extending quite to its verge; and presenting on all sides, east, west, north, and south, the same glorious appearance of incessant parallel streams of silvery light.

      A few of these meteors are seen occasionally, particularly in frosty weather; but on this occasion they were innumerable, and much larger than usual, exhibiting a most sublime spectacle. They continued thus to appear, without intermission, gradually becoming fainter as the east displayed more and more the glowing radiance of the coming day,

"Et jam prima novo spargebat lumine terras,
Tithoni croceum linquens Aurora cubile,"

until they finally disappeared.

      During the whole period, the heavens were without a cloud, and the stars unusually brilliant. These, indeed, "declare" continually "the glory of God" and show forth his handy work; but it is "in reason's ear" that, they utter forth their glorious voice," and proclaim the power of the Author of the Universe. Few, however, there are who reason--few whose thoughts ascend from earth to heaven, to contemplate "the spangled heavens, and learn "the wisdom of the just" They are regarded by most with a careless eye as common things which they have been accustomed to see from their earliest years, and thus make no impression. But are they, therefore, less glorious than the sight which we have just witnessed? Do they display less power, less grandeur, or less beauty? Why, then, should these extraordinary sights excite more wonder, or fill the vulgar with an awe which they never feel when they gaze upon the mysterious galaxy or [572] the brilliant morning star? Alas! having eyes, they see not; having ears, they hear not, either nature or religion, unless some uncommon occurrence forces itself upon their attention, to excite even then but a momentary surprize. And thus they will continue, surcharged with earthly cares, or buried in slumber, until 'the Son of Man shall be seen coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory, with his mighty angels, in flaming fire, to inflict a just retribution on those who know not God, and who obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ--until that day when he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and admired by all the believers.'

      IT was, indeed, a grand sight! and doubtless can be very satisfactorily explained on philosophical principles. So can cholera. But is there no moral instruction designed by it? May it not be for a sign? Josephus, the Jewish historian, informs us, that, a short time previous to the destruction of Jerusalem, many such and singular prodigies were seen in the sky. Among which a meteor man stood with a drawn sword hanging over that devoted city. The rumor and appearance of marshalling and contending armies, &c. &c. Now, if there was any meaning in those singular phenomena--any sign to the Jews, why may not the grand phenomenon which we just witnessed speak a word to Christians and to the world? The meteors of the ecclesiastic heavens are certainly shaking. They cannot long retain their places, and hold the admiring gaze of the deluded multitude. They must fall, and all their glory with them must soon die away. None but the real, the fixed stars, which cannot be shaken, will remain. Hark! what means that warning voice which we hear from the north, and from the south,--from the east, and from the west "Behold the Bridegroom comes; go you out to meet him!" Awake! awake!! Deluded world, awake!!! We are not mad. Behold the Judge stands at the door! Such is the cry. "heaven and earth shall fail," says the Lord of the Universe; "but my words shall not fail." To the word of the Lord are we now directed.--"The sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall withhold her light, and the stars of heaven shall fall; and the powers which are in heaven shall be shaken. Then they shall see the Son of Man coming in the clouds with great power and glory. Then he will send his messengers, and assemble his elect from the four quarters of the world, from the extremities of heaven and earth."

      "But the present heavens and earth, by the same word" (the same that formerly predicted the deluge) "are treasured up, being kept for fire to a day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men. The Lord does not delay his promise in the manner some account delaying; but exercises long suffering towards us, not desiring that any should perish, but that all should come to reformation."

      We presume not to offer any explanation, nor to make any application of these predictions; but only add, after the first, the Saviour commands, "Be circumspect, be vigilant, and pray; for you know not when that time will be." And after the last, Peter says, "Seeing, [573] then, all these things shall be dissolved; what sort of persons ought you to be, in all holy behavior and godliness, expecting, and earnestly desiring the coming of the day of God."

Progress of Reform.


RANDOLPH COUNTY, Mo. September 29, 1833.      

      I NOW sit down to write you a few things, and give you a summary account of our situation in this country. In the year 1830 I moved to this place and commenced preaching, and finding several brethren of the faith of the New Testament, in July I formed a congregation, or church, of about 24 members, in the following manner:--1st. Taking the word of God as written in the New Testament, as our only directory, as our platform, guide, &c. in all things. 2d. To renounce all sectarian names, and wear those names only that the primitive Christians wore. I have preached since as much as my situation in this life would admit of, and, blessed be God, not without considerable success. Our number is about 104 at this time, and the prospect is good for several more in my own neighborhood. I am the only proclaimer of the ancient gospel (as I conceive) in this county; and surrounded by the different sects, you may easily guess at the opposition I have to encounter. They labor hard to put down what they call heresy or C------m. And what are the weapons they use? Not those furnished by the Holy Spirit; but misrepresentation, detraction, slander, and abuse; consequently carnal.

      I was at a meeting this day, where two of the Baptist brethren preached. Mr. Ratliff, the last speaker, took his text from John iii. 6.--and when he began to speak of being born of the Spirit, he said he was not an orator, and he would have to mention some of those views (for he said there were many) that he thought were wrong, in order to make his own plain. He began with the Roman clergy. He said that the Priest took all those that joined him into a room, where he keeps a vessel containing holy water; he then takes a broom and dips it into the water, with which he sprinkles them, saying, "You are born again."

      He next said there was one Alexander Campbell, some of whose writings he had lately read, who maintained that baptism was regeneration; and that if a man were to come and tell you his sins were pardoned, you would not baptize him. He also stated that you said there was no account in the Bible of any person's sins being remitted before baptism. He then went on to adduce some instances of Christ forgiving sins independent of baptism, and got as far as to the thief on the cross. Mr. Ratliff had forgotten, I suppose, when he brought forward those instances of Jesus Christ forgiving sins without baptism, that when the Lord Jesus Christ in person told people their sins were forgiven, they needed no baptism to assure them of it.

ATHENS, M'MINN COUNTY, Tenn. October 2, 1833.      

      AS I am sure that you and the beloved disciples, who are scattered through the unfavorable world, would be, or will be refreshed by hearing of the progress of reform; therefore, as I am a lover of the truth, and also a friend to it, I now inform you that there are within this county two congregations of Christians who meet on the first day of the week in order to break the loaf and commemorate the dying sufferings of our divine Lord, and also observing at the same time all things whatsoever he has commanded. There are about sixty members in each congregation, and many of them in high standing among [574] men. There have been 21 disciples added to Messiah's kingdom since last July within this county. The gospel of the kingdom is gaining the assent of many, and much influence.

NEW PROVIDENCE, Ind. October 15; 1833.      

      I THINK it due to you, as well as for the encouragement of others favorable to the reformation, to give some account of the progress of the gospel in our neighborhood, being what may be called a string settlement, between the knobs, on a branch of Silver Creek.

      Some years past I became convinced of the necessity of doing better as a church, which I take to be the meaning of the word reform; and as well as I could urged the necessity of reformation. I soon found myself charged with C------m. I attempted, though in vain, to show the opposing party that it, was isms I had fallen out with and was attempting to get rid of. You are so well acquainted with the course pursued in such cases, I need not attempt a, narration; suffice it to say, I had no wish at that time to lose their fellowship, and tried, as I thought, in the spirit of the gospel, to preserve it; but, as they would not reform, I feel thankful I am not in their fellowship. Our church, called Muddy Fork, (by way of distinction) to which I have preached sixteen years or more, is with me in the reformation (so far as we understand it) except a few individuals. After spending perhaps too much time in answering the charges of the opposition, both in public and private, and in some cases challenged investigation, (which they affected to treat with the utmost contempt,) I viewed perishing sinners around me, and became uncommonly concerned for their welfare. I resolved to strike at error with the weapons that "are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds." I soon found an increased assembly, paying marked attention. Last year my eldest son confessed the Lord, and was immersed in February. He was followed by two others. A concern to know the truth now became general. The result is, that through the season past I have immersed forty-four upon a profession of their faith in Christ. About twenty-six also have been baptized at two other churches that I attended the year past.

      Our Association met on the fourth Saturday of August--done all the business it thought necessary in two or three hours--spent Lord's day and Monday in worshipping together. One hundred and ninety-six were baptized the year past--about seven the time of the association. I am very cautious in advancing, for I find we have yet much to learn and do before we can boast of being apostolic.

DALTON, Wayne county, Ohio, October 16, 1833.      

      THE cause of reformation is progressing but slowly in this section of the country; nevertheless there are a few who have brooked the current of opposition and submitted to the faith once delivered to the saints, and are endeavoring to go on to perfection by meeting every first day of the week to break the loaf, and to attend to the edifying of the body. We are greatly persecuted by the sects. The number of disciples in this place is fourteen. The most of whom are growing in the knowledge of the truth as it is in Christ. May the good Lord prosper our undertaking, and mAy all those who have embraced the Christian religion as it is contained in the New Testament, hold fast their begun confidence firm unto the end, by copying the examples of the Apostles as they followed Christ, is the prayer of yours in the hope of eternal life.
J. W. M'FARLAND.      

CINCINNATI, October 24, 1833.      

      WE had in this city a big meeting, commencing on Friday last, and continuing until last Tuesday. Brethren Scott and Challen were present. Twenty-three were immersed, and the brethren much revived.
G. W. RICE.      
ALLEN WRIGHT. [575]      

NASHVILLE, Tenn. October 28, 1833:      

      THE good cause is still progressing here. On last night, after speaking in the name of the Lord, we repaired to the river, where four persons put on Christ as their leader. The disciples are adding knowledge, patience, godliness, &c. and progressing in the divine life. In my letter to you, dated "Louisville, September 4th," instead of here; it should be this state. I had been absent from the state for two years, and on my return in the latter part of 1832, I was not placed in a condition to go over the state; but on my return in July I was permitted to see many of the brethren, and I found the additions to the cause of truth far beyond what I had heard; and those persons were added according to the pattern found in the New Testament, and a vast number have been added this year; and it was to this I referred in that letter.
JOHN R. M'CALL.      

WILSON COUNTY, Tenn. Nov. 1, 1833.      

      I SEND you a few things relative to the progress of reform here. The truth is advancing in the bounds of my travels, which do not extend farther than to an adjoining county. About one hundred have been added to the Lord by immersion during the last five months. Truth is mighty and will prevail. Go on--fear not. May the Lord help you!

CICERO, Onondaga county, N. Y. Nov. 7, 1833.      

      THE good cause is gaining ground in these parts; but the opposition of the sects can only be imagined by those who have experienced the same. If Saul of Tarsus felt towards the primitive Christians as the different denominations appear to feel towards those who favor the reformation, I do not wonder he said he was "exceedingly mad against them." But the good cause will triumph in spite of the hosts of hell and the Pope combined. The fields are truly white, but the laborers are few.
  Yours in Christian love,
H. JOSLIN.      

Equality.--An Extract.

      AFTER all that can be said about the advantage one man has over another, there is still a wonderful equality in human fortunes. It the rich have wealth, the poor have health; if the heiress has booty for her dower, the pennyless have beauty for theirs; if one man has cash, the other has credit; if one boasts of his income, the other can of his influence. No one is so miserable but that his neighbor wants something he possesses; and no one so mighty, but he wants another's aid. There is no fortune so good but it may be reversed; and none so bad but it may be bettered. The sun that rises in clouds may set in splendor; and that which rises in splendor may set in gloom.

      ----> Mr. Waterman's letter, referred to in last month's Harbinger, has not come to hand, in consequence of his absence from home. It shall appear so soon as it comes on.

      ----> A number of editorial essays and other communications, intended for this number, shall appear in the next. [572]

      1 See the extracts from their works, Appendix, new version, No. 4. [530]
      2 We have italicised and CAPITALIZED certain words and sentences in these extracts. This is the only change from the copy before me. [544]
      3 This is to be understood with much limitation. It is only as it introduces us into a new state, in which sin cannot have dominion over us. The old reformer is too strong for us here, unless we limit his language very much.--Ed. [545]
      4 Our lying clergy are telling us much about evangelizing the world, and curing it of intemperance, &c. while God is sweeping it with "the besom of destruction." That crime is not on the increase--that religion is gaining ground; while pestilence is desolating the world. Who has heard--has read of [554] the like?--A just God pouring the vials of his wrath amidst abounding piety! Pestilence, without a parallel in history, is slaying its millions; and our lying priests saying, 'It is not for an increase of crime!' In the name of wonder, what is it for? A just God scourging the pious feeble creatures he has made, while they are "lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting"!
      If there be an increase of crime, on whom will the fault fall? Look at the people, and you have a fair specimen of the priests. The old proverb will hold good while time lasts--"Like people, like priest." Who ever saw a holy, humble, spiritual priest, without a pious flock? The crime of the world will be charged to the pulpit--the clergy. They are waiting and looking for outpouring of the Spirit, and God pouring out vengeance. [555]
      5 It was brother W. Scott who gave this definition. On the same occasion he objected to the answer given to the question, "What is effectual calling?" Being immediately asked by a Presbyterian present, in a triumphant manner, to give a better one, he replied, "Effectual calling is just to call a man till he come!" [567]


[The Millennial Harbinger, 4 (November, 1833): 529-576.]

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