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"In the next place, under this head, all the promises connected with baptisti are addressed to such as believe. Remission of sins, the promise of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost, their participation in the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, and every other promise connected directly or indirectly with baptism, is given to such only as believe before they are baptized.”
Thus you will see that faith, repentance, baptism, remission of sins, and the Holy Spirit, were all regarded in this connexion from the very adoption of the name-ancient gospel.
But the same arrangement, being so natural and so simple, has since that time occurred to many minds; and to some, perhaps, it has been as original as if it had never been before apprehended or taught either in word or writing: for how often do we all say, "Such a thing is entirely new;' because, though we may have heard it a hundred times, it never struck us before in the same light. From all this we think we may infer that no impurtant change in the import of this phrase has occurred since its first adoption.
But to advance to your second objection. I own that it is possible to convert a proclamation into a theory, and to dwell so much upon names, definitions, and arrangements, as to lose sight of the things so named, defined, and arranged. And that now, since the preaching of the ancient gospel is got into so many hands, (and would to Heaven that there number were a thousand times more numerous than they are!) it is quite possible that it has been on many occasions held forth too much in the form of a new theory, and treated as the popular schools now treat the five points of Calvinism or Arminianism. T'hat I may have given countenance to such a systematic arrangement of things from my former writings upon the subject, and from the notice of the sermon on the fifth point, I will cheerfully admit.
Brother Scott, the first successful proclaimer of this ancient gospel, who was first appointed to the work of an Evangelist by the Mahoning churches in 1827, did, with all originality of manner, and with great success, not only proclaim faith, repentance, baptism, remis. sion, &c. but did call upon believing penitents to be immediately baptized for the remission of sins; and did, instead of the anxious seats, mourning benches, and altars for prayer, of modern invention, substitute the water. What is called “a great revival,” grew up under his auspices; and hundreds, instead of crowding up to altars to be prayed for, to mourning benches and anxious seats, did “come to the water," and were immersed for the remission of sins. His ardent manner and great success-gave much eclat to the ancient gospel.
Whether they who do the work of an Evangelist have not more reason and authority to say, 'Come to the waters,' than "Come to the mourning bench,' is a question not now to be discussed. But the theorizing on these six points (for the sake of the five fingers it would be well to cut them down to five: say faith, repentance, baptism, remission, the Holy Spirit, for the present salvation and a new life issuing in eternal life subsequent to the resurrection of the just
for future salvation) say, this theorizing on these points no sensible proclaimer of the gospel ever attempted, only in so far as he found the minds of his audience polluted with the mystic faith, repentance, baptism, and Holy Spirit of the schools. To disabuse the public mind from confusion and error on these matters, is all that is designed, either in writing or speaking of them in this artificial order. That taith is faith, and not repentance; that repentance is repentance, and not immersion; that immersion is immersion, and not the Holy Spirit; and that the Holy Spirit is the Holy Spirit, and not conviction, nor conversion, nor fear, nor shame, nor terror, is all that is meant by these definitions. And as to order, it is no more than the reason of things. A man must believe before he repents or reforms; he must be a christian before he can have the spirit of a christian. The Lord made Adam before he breathed into his nostrils the spirit of life or gave him an inheritance,
But, sir, when any doctrine is professed and taught by many, when any matter gets into many hands, some will misuse, abuse, and pervert it. This is unavoidable. We have always feared abuses and extremes. This was the very reason which occasioned our series of essays on the ancient gospel in 1828. We saw it spreading, and feared that in the warmth of great excitement, in the fervor of a burning zeal, or in the conflicts of discussion, at that time so frequent and general, the ancient gospel might be brought into discredit or retarded in its progress. To this cause is owing whatever of systematic aspect or theoretical details appeared in these essays. And, indeed, he knows but little of men and things, who has not learned to fear as much from the friends as from the enemies of any cause of much interest to men.
Be assured, my good sir, that we have no idea of substituting one theory for another, however true or superior in its speculative charac ter. A favorite saying of my correspondent ?, W. is, that "the preaching of any theory is not the preaching of the gospel of Christ," and we have often directed the attention of our readers to it. Mean time I wait for, and solicit all your objections. Whatever is not ac cordant to the Oracles we will give up with all cheerfulness. In much esteem,
TO A, CAMPBELL,
I HAVE read with care your six numbers of Reviews of the three first numbers of Archippus, of which I am the author, and continue unshaken in the belief that it is the doctrine of the gospel that ungodly men and sinners are justified by faith without baptism; and that your opinion that penitent believers obtain the remission o their sins in immersion or baptism, is not the gospel ductrine.
I regret that you should have manifested so much zeal to fix upon ine the opinion of a Jew's baptism and of a Gentile baptism; one for the remission of sins, and the other not for the remission of sins, seeing that I reject the doctrine of baptism for, or in order to, the remission of sin altogether, and maintain that there is but one baptism as a gospel ordinance, and that God has but one plan or method of remitting the sins of Jews and Gentiles, and that is by faith.
The essential point of difference between you and myself is suggested in the following question :-'Is, or is not, the free fayor of God, by which he justifies a believing sinner, or remits his sin through the blood of Christ, suspended, according to the gospel, upon his being baptized in water ?" You defend the affirmative, and I maintain the negative side of the question.
, Waving any notice for the present of the erroneous account you have given of my statements relative to the Novatians and other subjects, I will attend immediately to the question of the remission of sin by baptism, which is at issue between us. Truth is common property, and there are no envious rivalships in religious truth, unless it be perverted to sectarian and selfish purposes. Where there is a difference of sentiment on a religious subject, it ought never to excite unkind feelings, or generate a spirit of hostility to the disciples of Jesus Christ towards each other. There are many important things in which you and I agree, in reference to religion and the phiJosophy of mind, and in which we differ from others. We are so firmly established in the sentiment that there cannot be any religious knowledge in the world, in the present state of man, without a supernatural revelation in words, that we do not think it a debatable subject among those who understand, in any good degree, the powers and susceptibilities of iheir own minds.
The agreement of our views of the powers of the human mind, in relation to religion, and of the necessity of a divine revelation in intelligible words and sentences, in order to the knowledge of divine things, may be collected from your debate with Mr. Owen, and other of your works, and from the volume I published in 1813, titled “The Philosophy of the Human Mind in respect to Religion; or a Demonstration that Religion entered the world by Revelation,” and from other of my publications made since.
Those who differ from us, deny that scriptural account of the total depravily of man;- they deny that man lost the knowledge of God by the fall; and they deny that God is an object of faith, in the scripture use of the term; and believe that the world by ui dom knew God. They make natural religion, or deisia, the foundation of revealed religion! By this they, in a great measure, mystify the word of God, and run into the most palpable contradictions and mystical absurdities.
What can we know of sin, as such, or its remission, without be word of God? And what is baptism, or any oiher ordinance of the gospel, without it? What effect of divine truth can baptism, or any other ordinance of the gospel, produce upon the mind, than what the
mind perceives it to derive and possess from the word? The nouns, verbs, adjectives, prepositions, &c. the parts of speech of which the word of God consists, are primary and ultimate principles in the christian religion. By these our faith, if it be true, was produced, and into them it must be finally revolved. . These are the instruments of our thoughts, as they are the means of our faith, hope, and love in religion. In the investigation, therefore, of any subject of religion, the divine authority of God's word having been ascertained, all that we ought to be concerned about is to learn, by the correct rules of interpretation, the signification of the words and sentences in which it is revealed; and having done this, to be contented with it, and to cultivate and discipline our minds and affections by it.
There is another thing in which you and myself agree; that is, in the high estimation in which we hold Professor Stuart of Andover, whom you have deservedly described in your 3d Fxtra Harbinger, p. 25, as “one of the most learned and most renowned biblical critics now living on this continent;" on whose writings, with those of Michaelis of Gottingen, and Horne of Cambridge, in England, you profess to rely "to do more good to direct the generation to come in the correct interpretation of the words of the New Testament, than, perhaps, any other three men in Europe or America.” (Mill. Harb. vol. 2, p. 490.]
From my great anxiety to possess the true meaning of Acts ii. 38. and to be able to reconcile the apparent discrepancy between what was said by Peter to the Pentecostal Jews, in reference to baptism and the remission of sin, as it appeaus in our common translation, and in your new one, with what occurred at the introduction of the gospel to the Gentiles in Acts x, and as explained in chapter xi, in relation to the same subject; I wrote to Professor Stuart to favor me with his interpretation of the Greek preposition eis, as it is connected with, and follows baptism. He was kind and obliging enough to comply with my request, and sent me his remarks, which I now present to you, and hope that they will conduce much to unite our views on the subject of discussion between us.
He observes, “The word baptize may be followed by a person or a thing, (doctrine) which has eis before it. In the first case, when it is followed by a person, it means, "by the sacred rite of baptism to bind one's self to be a disciple or follower of a person, to receive or obey his doctrines or laws." e. g. 1 Cor. x. 2. and were baptized into leis) Moses.” Gal. iii. 27. “For as many of you as have been baptized into (eis) Christ, have put on Christ.” Rom. vi. 3. “Know ye not that so many of us as were baptized into (eis) Christ, were baptized into (eis) his death.” 1 Cor. i. 13. “Were ye baptized into (eis) the name of Paul ?” v. 14. 15. “I thank God that I baptized none of you but Crispus and Gaius, lest any should say that I had baptized into (eis) mine own name.' Or it means to acknowledge him as Sovereign, Lord, and Sanctifier, e.g. Matt. xxviii. 19. “Baptized them into (eis) the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost." Acts viii. 16. “Only they were baptized into (eis) the name of the VOL, III.
Lord.” Acts xix. 5; “When they heard this, they were baptized into (eis) the name of the Lord.”
That name is used after eis, as it is in some of the above cases, makes no difference in the sense. In Hebrew, "the name of the God of Jacob defend thee," is just the same as "the God of Jacob defend thee."
2. A person may be baptized into a thing (doctrine)-so in Matth. iii. 11. “I baptize you with water into (eis) repentance:" i.e. into the profession and belief of the reality and necessity of repentance, involving the idea that themselves professed to be the subjects of it. In Acts xix. 3, we have “into (eis) one body," all in the like senseviz, by baptism the public acknowledgment is expressed of believing in, and belonging to, a doctrine, or une body. So in Acts ii. 38. “Baptized on account of Jesus Christ into (eis) the remission of sins;" that is, into the belief and reception of this doctrine; in other words, by baptism and profession, and acknowledgment of this doctrine, on account of Jesus Christ, was made."
Professor Stuart has rendered the word eis INTO in Acts ii. 38. as it is done in other places when connected with the ordinance of bap. tism; and as you have rendered the same word in Matt. xxviii. 19, in the new version, and which you have justified by the authority of Dr. Dwighi. See Mill. Harb, vol. 2, No. 5, p. 239.
Mr. Erskine, a living author of reputation, makes the following observations: "I think any person, acquainted with the original Greek, will agree with me in translating Acts i. 38. differently from our common version. It ought to be "Repent," or rather, “change your minds, and let every one of you be baptized into the doctrine of forgiveness of sins for Christ's sake." To be baptized into a doctrine is the ordinary phraseology of the New Testament. Matth.xxviii. 19. Rom. vi. 3. In Acts ii 38. The Greek preposition eis, which belongs to the forgiveness of sins," and not that one, epi, which precedes (the name of Jesus Christ," is the preposition, which, in the Greek Testament, usually indicates the direct object of baptism; and thus even attention to grammatical accuracy will conduct us to the conclusion that the true reading is, -Baptized into the doctrine of forgive, ness of sins for Jesus Christ's sake,” and not "In the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of sins."
In your 3d note in the Appendix to your second edition of the New Translation, page 452,4, you have a number of remarks on the word eis, when used in connexion with the ordinance of baptism, which are in accordance with the criticism and observations of Professor Ştuart and Mr. Erskine. As they illustrate and confirm what they have said, I will transcribe some of them.
You say, “By what inadvertency the King's translators gave cis IN, instead of INTO, in Matth. xxviii. 19, and elsewhere gave it INTO, when speaking of the same ordinance, I presume not to say." And permit me to ask, can you say by what inadvertency or authority they gave the same word cis For, and Dr. Doddridge and yourself gave it in order to, in Acts ii. 38. in your translation, and elsewhere gave it into, as you have done, and maintain it ought to have been