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several of the churches of this reformation, I have found many as captious and opinionative as their neighbors; and as liable to take oftence at each other on account of minor differences, that could in no wise have affected their Christian character, if they had not unhappily differed about them. Could I but once see the people of this reformation, teachers and taught, really practising, in word and deed, the divine platform which they have professedly adopted, I should greatly rejoice; and, as a proof of the lively interest I take in its success, I shall, with your indulgence, continue my animadversions upon whatever has, to me, appeared amiss, either in your publications, or in the public conduct of those who fall under my notice, whom you are supposed to approve as fellow-laborers in the good cause; without intending to hurt the feelings, or, in the least, to impair the usefulness of any; being persuaded that, in so doing, I shall most effectually contribute to its prosperity.
Reply to Epaphrag---No. 4. DEAR SIR,
THAT we are denominated a sect, and I a sectarian; and that the advocates of the New Institution, as it came from the lips of its founder, and from the pens of the Apostles, by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, are slanderously dubbed my followers, must all be acknowledged; but then a serious question arises - Whose sin is this? Do we so denominate ourselves? Do we own it, as do Calvinists and Lutherans, Wesleyan Methodists, &c.? It is no slander to call a person by the name he has assumed, or to ascribe to him his real views, sentiments, and practices: but was not the motto on the banners under which we commenced our march, “Style no man on earth your Father; for he alone is your Father who is in heaven: and all you are brethren. Assume not the title of Rabbi: for you hare only one teacher. Neither assume the title of leader; for you have only one leader—the Messiah.” Now, because some person must begin every thing, and say to others, Come; does it follow that all who unite with him upon the same principle, and agree to walk by the same rule, are the followers of him, who may have been but the occasion of their enlistment under the command of the Great Leader of the Christian Army; or but a concurring cause of their forsaking the doctrines and commandments of men ?
But, in this sectarian age, every man is supposed to belong to a party, commenced by some person; for every real son of a human creed, conscious that he himself is led, in his sectarian career, by some demagogue, political or religious, imagines that no person can follow the Apostles alone, or be guided exclusively by the authority of the Messiah; and, therefore, imputes to others his own follies and faults. That we are thus traduced is to be attributed to this bias of the age, or to some unhallowed motive. We would, indeed, be blind, not to see that many of our opponents design and toil to stigmatize the thousands who have vowed allegiance to Jesus as their Commander and King, with epithets most revolting to their feelings, and with a character of which they are most unworthy—that of being the followers of men instead of Christ!
I did not esteem it a compliment when a Moderator, who presided over a discussion in which I was engaged, said, "that I could prove a crow to be as white as a swan;" because his object was to ascribe the defeat of his partizan, not to the force of truth, but to the ingenuity with which he was assailed. It was a mere stroke of policy, to beguile, or' quiet the consciences of his party. In the same light we must regard the calumnies intended for the friends of reform, in calling me their leader, and them the led; in dubbing them Campbellites rather than Christians; in representing them the disciples of men, rather than the disciples of Christ.
I am unwilling to be a sponsor for a single individual, or to be responsible for any one, as a follower of mine. Such are not the company which we choose, nor the confederates which we seek, in restoring the ancient order of things. But we can say, in behalf of many, very many of our own acquaintance, that they have a higher sense of Christian character and dignity, than to be the followers of any man: and there are not a few who would not call themselves Paulites or Apollosites, if both Paul and Apollos were now living among them. ` Nay, many of them are so jealous of the honor of Jesus, and so elated in him as their only leader, that they would not, for the world, assume the name of man or angel, and avow themselves his followers.
The stale slander that I am seeking to be the head of a party; and that the friends of reform are partizans of myself, or any one else, was set on foot by the greatest enemies of reform;-by those who wished to represent this reformation as differing from other attempts, only as the Protestant sects differ from one another, in some some matters of opinion, or in the forms and ceremonies of religion. We aim much higher, and look much farther, than did the founders of these systems. We substitute no half-way expedients; we adopt no amendments of old systems, nor attempt putting new patches upon the tattered and filthy garment of sectarianism. The New Testament facts are the things believed by us, and constitute our faith; the New Testament exposition of these facts is our doctrine; the New Testament rules of behavior are our moral system; and the New Testament institutions of consecration to God are the worship which we practise. Such is our profession; and until we fully attain to this, we set no boundaries to our views, aims, and pursuits.
If, then, we are made a sect, it will be no sin, nor mischievous contrivance of ours; nor can we be in any other sense a sect, than as the first Christians were a sect, contrasted with those who picknamed them “The Sect of the Nazarenes." We do receive every man and woman to immersion, on the identical confession of faith made by those whom the Apostles and their attendants immersed. We immerse them for the very same purpose; and use, on such occasions, the precise words of Peter, who opened the door of faith to
Jew and Gentile. We celebrate the Lord's death and resurrection, and solemnize the Lord's day, as did the first Christians; and exclude from our fellowship none but those who, by their behavior, refuse to submit to the morals and positive institutions of the New Testament.
We ask not after the private opinions of any man, nor do we repudiate · his profession of the faith, because he may hold some of the opinions of Calvin or Wesley. So long as he holds the head, Jesus, as the Son of God, as the only Lord, Lawgiver, Prophet, Priest, and King--s0 long we hold him and treat him as a brother. But we cannot receive, as Christian brethren, Mahometans, Jews, Samaritans, Pharisees, Sadducees, nor those who deny the divine excellency and glory of the person, mission, and sovereignty of the Lord who bought us; nor can we look upon Sceptics, Deists, and Atheists, however polished in their exterior, in any other light, than as under the condemnation of God. Now if this constitutes a' sect, then do we glory in it; and will, with Paul, say, "I confess that according to the way which they call a sect, so do I worship the God of my Fathers; believing all things which are written in the law and in the Prophets,” and in the New Institution.
Pardon me, my good sir, if I have extended my remarks beyond the letter of your kind hints and benevolent fears, inasmuch as we are so often assailed with imputations most abhorrent to our feelings; because intended to place us on the same footing with the sectarian reformers of popéry, and to represent the believers in the ancient and apostolic gospel and order of things, as a new, or co-ordinate sect; with all the rival interests, policies, and feelings which belong to such human establishments. Such never was, such is not now, and, we trust, such never will be our aim and object. The world has had sufficient time to test what these systems and sects can achieve; and if the experiments already made, will not convince this generation of their impotency and inadequacy, the judgments of God and the vials of his fierce indignation against an apostate age, will make us feel the wickedness and folly of our wanderings from the Christian Institution.
But that some of those who have abandoned the doctrines of men, and come over to the help of the Lord against the captivators of his people, should occasionally occupy the ears of saints and sinners with such disquisitions, as were the marrow and fatness of the systems which they have renounced, is no doubt true, and worthy of all you have said against it. As we have no defence to offer for such a course of procedure, will you accept of an apology? Nurtured and educated in a religion of opinions, brought up in the school of orthodoxy, rather than in the Christian Institution, it is not surpassing strange that some teachers, skilled in the tactics of that warfare, should sometimes be found fighting the same old battles over again, and presenting the artillery of their logic and rhetoric against the opinions, rather than the sins of men.
Against this course, and against theorizing, in the manner of some, upon the ancient gospel, your remonstrance is in exact accordance with the views and sentiments of a great proportion of the more inVOL. III.
telligent and discriminating pleaders for a restoration of the apostolic faith and practice.
Doctors may require theories to guide them in practice; but he that goes about among his patients, preachihg his theories of medicine and of cure, will sooner make them doctors than restore them to health and vigor. Now if every patient must be a physician before he can be persuaded to take medicine, then is he a sound reasoner and a skillful preacher, who would justify the exhibition of a theory of the ancient gospel, instead of administering the word of life because physicians cannot prescribe medicine without a theoretic knowledge both of it, and of the disease which it is intended to cure,
He that theorizes upon the ancient gospel, and he who opposes the theories of modern gospels, would be better employed in teaching a theological school, than in addressing sinners; provided he could persuade his students when he gave them their diploma, that outside of the threshold of his school they were never to open their lips on such themes. We place the theories of the Five Points, whether sharp points or blunt points, old points or new points, where the Eleusinian mysteries were placed in the archives of the inner temples, for the benefit of the initiated; and with the same injunctions, that they be kept from the public ear; and the plain, sober, palpable matters of fact-the threatenings, promises, and proclamations of the New Testament be relied on, in addressing sinners, and in beseeching them to be reconciled to God, through Jesus Christ, the Saviour of the world.
Your remonstrances, I hope, will be well received by all those who are unwittingly giving a sectarian aspect to the faith once delivered to the saints; and who, in their zeal, are building again the things which they have destroyed in protesting against the corruptions and corrupters of the Christian Institution.
NEW VERSION DEFENDED,
pleasant to the soul, it is often painful to the flesh; and we have been tortured, as in the Inquisition, for our presumption. If we were to be covered in parchment, scrolled over in the finest hand, the mantle would not contain the opprobious epithets, hard speeches, and slanderous imputations which have been uttered against us for this our daring contempt of the authority of the Long Parliament, and the Court of St. James 1. ,
One of those delicious morsels, spiced and seasoned by one of our warm-hearted friends, yet stands upon record. Jennings Debate, p. 144:-"Mr. C. pleads the authority of two of his Presbyterian Doctors in justification of this alteration simmersion for baptism] from the old version.” Drs. Campbell and Macknight have not only occasionally 'translated baptismos and baptisma by the word immersion, but have contended in their notes that such is their meaning.
“What judgment will the reader form, not merely of the candor, but of the veracity of Mr. Campbell, when he is informed, that after a careful examination of every passage in the epistles, (the books of the New Testament translated by Doctor Macknight,) there is not found one instance of a translation of either of the Greek words contained in the foregoing quotation, by the word immersion, nor one instance in which the Greek verb BAPTIZO, or any of its variations, is translated by the word immerse.
"The only ground which the Bishop seems to have had for the above assertion, so far as it relates to the translation by Doctor Macknight. of the words BAPTISM08 and BAPTISMA, by the word immersion, is his commentary upon 1 Cor. 15:29. Both the translation and the commentary are here given, that the reader may see upon what slender grounds Mi. Campbell can make a round assertion, when it suits his purpose. The translation reads thus: “Otherwise what shall they do who are baptized (UPER TON NEKRON, supply ANASTASEOS,) for the resurrection of the dead, if the dead rise not at all? and why are they baptized (UPER TUN NEKRON,) for the resurrection of the dead?” The commentary upon this verse is as follows:-" told you, verse 22, That by Christ all shall be made alive: and ver. 25,26, That he must reign till death, the last enemy, is destroyed by the resurrection, otherwise what shall they do to repair their loss, who are immersed in sufferings for testifying the resurrection of the dead, if the dead rise not at all? And what inducement can they have to suffer death for believing the resurrection of the dead?” Further remarks upon this part of the Bishop's assertion, or plea in justification of his conduct, are deemed unnecessary. A discerning public cannot but see that here is a clear developement of a part of that system of deception which he has, by means of his new version, practised upon the public."
Veracity! aye, veracity! What a beautiful word!—The want of it, what a frailty! But the contrary, what a vice in any man, and most of all in him who handles the word of God, who is truth, light, and love! With how much apparent pleasure do some spirits attempt to filch away the character, moral and religious, from those whose sentiments differ from their own. If so good a man as Mr. Jennings could so