Thomas Campbell - BAPTISM -Millennial Harbinger
Thomas Campbell - BAPTISM -Millennial Harbinger denied baptismal regeneration and that the believer comes to baptism with any merit. False accusers should read the facts.
Jesus said that without being born AGAIN of Water and Spirit or Water and the Word you CANNOT, SHALL NOT enter into His kingdom or rule which is the Ekklesia or Christian synagogue or school of the Bible. The seven "spirits" of Isaiah 11:1-4 which would rest on the BRANCH are all related to forms of spiritual knowledge. Jesus said "My Words are Spirit and Life." Therefore, you might join a venue for Rock and Roll peddled as "worship" but Jesus Christ WILL NOT be your free-of-charge Teacher until He washes your spirit or mind. Only then do you have access to the seven spirits represented by the Menorah or Candlestick which gave LIGHT to the Holy Place along with the table of bread and the incense altar. Each Christian "priest" must look into the Most Holy Place with their own prayers. Then, you can enter into the Most Holy Place to meet God. Jesus said that the ONLY new PLACE is the human spirit as it gives heed to the Spirit of Truth through the Word. Don't believe the lie that "musical teams" lead you into the presence of God: that makes them claim to be God standing in the Holy Place. Not in the vilest pagan temple could singers and musicians enter into the holy precincts on the penalty of death. Don't follow people making "Christianity" viler than paganism. If you are part of the 5 out of 13,000 congregations then you have become a laughing stock just like the musical idolatrs at Mount Sinai which forfeited and continues to forfeit the Covenant of Grace.
People who refute this have a "spirit" which intends to hurt you real bad.
Beloved Friend,--I WAS pleased to learn from your last letter, that you are at last convinced that sprinkling is not baptism. So far, so good.
But have you obeyed the truth since you discovered it? If we obey not the truth,
better for us that we had never known it; especially a truth so eminently connected with the enjoyment of salvation; that it goes to assure the real believer of the gospel, that he shall be saved: Mark xvi. 16. Indeed, baptism and the Lord's supper are the only ordinances of the gospel, that go to assure the believing subject of the enjoyment of eternal life:
Luke xxii. 19, 20; John x. 14, 15, 16, 27, 28,29. "And he took bread, and gave thanks, and brake it, and gave it to them, saying, This is my body broken for you: this do in remembrance of me. Likewise also the cup after supper, saying, This is the new covenant in my blood, which is shed for you. I am the good Shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine. As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep. And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one Shepherd. But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you. My sheep hear my voice; and I know them, and they follow me. And I give unto them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall any pluck them out of my hand. My Father which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand.
Indeed, the typical meaning of baptism, as explained by the Apostle,
Rom. vi. 3-11. "Know ye not that so many of you as were baptized into Jesus Christ, were baptized into his death? Therefore, we are buried with him by baptism into death; that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection; 6, 7, 8: knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him. For in that he died, he died unto sin once; but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God. Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin; but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord."
goes to assure the genuine believer, that he was included with Christ in his death, burial, and resurrection; consequently MUST be saved; seeing that he is one of those for whom Christ died: see again the above quotations from Luke and John.
Some, however, neglect and despise baptism, because they can see no merit nor virtue in an immersion in water.
Why, is there not as much merit in a dip in water, as in abstaining from eating of the fruit of a certain tree? Surely it is the divine command that, in either case, gives importance to the action. And it is very remarkable, that in each, life and death are connected with the institution: compare
Gen. ii. 16,17 "And the Lord commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat. But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die." with Mark xvi. 15, 16. "And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature, he that believeth and is baptized shall be saved.
The former says, "In the day that thou eatest thereof, thou shalt surely die." The latter, "He that believeth not shall be damned." That is; shall endure the second death:
Rev. xx. 14, 15. "And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire: this is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life, was cast into the lake of fire."
These are also both primary institutions: the first given to man immediately after his creation; the second, immediately before his new birth into the family and kingdom of God:
John iii. 5, 6. "Jesus answered Nicodemus, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh, is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit, is spirit."
"But you may possibly infer from these remarks, that I make immersion essential to salvation. By no means; for mistakes in such cases are pardonable:
Num. xv. 27-31. "And if any soul sin through ignorance, then be shall bring a she-goat of the first year for a sin-offering. And the priest shall make an atonement for the soul that sinneth ignorantly, when he sinneth by ignorance before the Lord, to make an atonement for him; and it shall be forgiven him. But the soul that doeth aught presumptuously, the same reproacheth the Lord; and that soul shall be cut off from among his people. Because he hath despised the word of the Lord, and hath broken his commandment, that soul shall be utterly cut off: his iniquity shall be upon him."
[Baptism or sprinkling is not necessary to the salvation of infants because infants are ignorant of the command. Therefore, the effect of the command depends upon one's relationship to it. The reader has already moved away from believing in sprinkling babies and is not therefore ignorant. Campbell wants him to know that obedience is mandatory for the believer]
If Adam had not known that it was the forbidden fruit that Eve gave him, he, therefore, had not died for eating it; for he had not done it presumptuously. But when we know that we have erred and done wrong, we should certainly repent, and do right if possible; as appears from the above quotation; for genuine repentance always includes and produces reformation as far as possible: and such must necessarily be the serious intention of the real believer.
Again, in relation to this all-important subject, recorded Mark xvi. 16: "He that believes and is baptized shall be saved," is the very last sentence of the gospel, according to the commission given to the Apostles in the preceding verse. So that when they had proclaimed the provisions of the divine love for the salvation of perishing humanity, through the sufferings and death of Christ, they concluded their discourse by assuring their hearers, that whosoever believed in Jesus, according to their testimony just delivered, and was baptized according to his direction; that is, "into the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, should be saved:" that is, he should be pardoned, and should receive the gift of the Holy Spirit:
Acts ii. 38. "Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ, for the remission of sins, and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit."
[Campbell also makes the point that while no one can do anything to earn salvation which was earned only by Christ, the enjoyment of the free gift depends upon the individual believer]
Thus, in the first instance, always closed the gospel testimony to the present hearers; giving them the blissful opportunity of enjoying the divine assurance of the enjoyment of the proposed salvation from the guilt, the love, the practice and the punishment of sin, into the eternal enjoyment of an inheritance incorruptible, undefiled, and unfading, reserved in heaven for all such:
1 Peter i. 3-5. "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who, according to his abundant mercy, hath regenerated us to a lively hope, by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible, undefiled, and unfading, reserved in heaven for you, who are kept by the power of God through faith unto a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time."
Now as closed the first gospel sermon,
Acts ii. 38, 39, and x. 43, 44. "Repent, and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ, for the remission of sins, and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is to you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call. To him give all the Prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him, shall receive remission of sins. While Peter yet spake these, words, the Holy Spirit fell on all that heard the word."
with the blissful assurance of sin-pardoning mercy and sanctifying grace, to all that believed and were baptized; so, of course,
must every other, where the gospel was so fully proposed as to give the intelligent hearers a fair opportunity of understanding it:
that so they might be enabled to take home with them the blissful assurance of the eternal enjoyment of the proposed salvation: for as many of them as believed and were baptized, had Christ's word for it; which, if they realized his character, could admit of no doubtful uncertainty; and this must all true believers most certainly have done. Thus was the gospel in its original purity and native simplicity divinely calculated to admit of no doubts nor discouragements, in the minds of those who realized it; and, of course, must be so still, where it is exhibited in its original purity and simplicity.
[While no one could earn salvation, Campbell notes that one cannot take Christs word for it without obeing Christ will for it]
"Therefore, if we would enjoy it, we must take our seat at the Apostles' feet, whom Christ commissioned to evangelize the world. What think you? Had we been present on the day of Pentecost, and heard Peter's sermon,
and believed, as thousands did; had we not also been gladly baptized! being assured that in so doing we should be saved from the guilt and pollution of sin, by remission and sanctification through the blood and spirit of Christ?
which promise is still inseparably connected with the belief and obedience of the gospel to the end of time: see Acts ii. 38, 39, and x. 43, 44.
In the latter of these, Peter proceeds in Cesarea, seven years afterwards in addressing the Gentiles, as he did the Jews in Jerusalem on the day of Pentecost, and the effect was the same: namely, remission of sins, and the gift of the Holy Spirit.
So that wherever the pure apostolic gospel is believed and obeyed, as in Jerusalem and Cesarea, justification, adoption, and sanctification, are essentially and inseparably connected with it:
for every one who through the belief and obedience of the gospel is born of water and of the Spirit, and none. else, enters into the kingdom of God on earth: see John iii. 5, 6, quoted above.
"Indeed, no one can truly confess Christ but by the Holy Spirit:
1 Cor. xii. 3. "Wherefore I give you to understand, that no man speaking by the Spirit of God calleth Jesus accursed; and that no man can say, that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Spirit.
And baptism is the divinely appointed means for the primary confession of this divine faith, on the part of the believing subject; in which Christ confesses him as one of those for whom Christ died.
1 Cor. xii. 13; Gal. iii. 26, 27. "For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been made to drink into one Spirit." "For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ, have put on Christ."
But, after all, you may possibly think, that I lay too much stress upon baptism. By no means. I just give it the place which it occupies in the Christian system:
Eph. iv. 4-6. "There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling. One Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all."
Which is, indeed, a highly important one, as evidently appears from the place it occupies in the above quotation. For being immediately preceded by faith in the one Lord, and immediately succeeded by the one God and Father of all, it evidently connects the happy subject with both: for by it the becomes one of Christ's brethren; and, of course, one of God's sons, being thus born into the divine family on earth: see 1 Cor. xii. 13, with John iii. 5, 6, above quoted.
Thus the believer becomes an heir of God, and a joint heir with Christ.
Rom. viii. 16, 17. "The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit that we are the children of God. And if children, then heirs, heirs of God, and joint heirs with Christ: if so be, that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together."
So that according to the dispensation of the New Covenant, of which Christ is the surety and mediator:
Heb. vii. 20, 22, and viii. 6-12. "And inasmuch as not without an oath he was made Priest, by so much was Jesus made a surety of a better covenant. But now hath he obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the Mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises. For if that first covenant had been faultless, there should no place have been sought for the second. For finding fault with them, he saith, Behold the days come, (saith the Lord,) when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah. Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers, in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt, because they continued not in my covenant, and I regarded them not, saith the Lord. For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord: I will put my laws into their minds, and write them in  their hearts; and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people. And they shall not teach every man his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord; for all shall know me from the least to the greatest. For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more."
believing and being baptized introduce the happy subject into the actual enjoyment of justification, adoption, and sanctification through the remission of sins and the gift of the Holy Spirit: see Acts ii. 38, 39, above quoted;
by which it appears, that these divine privileges are as constitutionally connected with a believer's baptism, as the family name and inheritance are with natural birth: and all this, as in nature, without any merit on the part of the subject; for the divine Father, by his own will, begets the believer by the word of truth:
James i. 17, 18. "Every good gift, and every perfect gift, is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, nor shadow of turning. Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of first fruits of his creatures.
Therefore, no thanks to the begotten, but to the Begetter; "for salvation is of the Lord:" Jonah ii. 9. So that "eternal life (the consummation of it) is the gift of God, through Jesus Christ our Lord." Rom. vi. 23. It is true, however, that there are means divinely appointed for the actual enjoyment of it; for our Lord commanded his Apostles to teach the baptized to observe all things he had ordered them to teach:
Matth. xxviii. 19, 20. "Go ye, therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them into the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit; teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you alway, even unto the, end of the world."
[Someone may put a million dollars in my bank account free of charge or obligation. However, the means of taking the money out and enjoying it is signing checks. If I refuse to sign the checks I not only die in poverty, I actually reject and repudiated the giver of the gift. The Giver does not condemn me to poverty because I disobeyed: I lived in poverty by rejecting the gift.]
Which they accordingly did. as we see in all their epistles. In the mean time, however, the New Covenant, which, under Christ, the Administrator of it, is the divine charter of the believer's privileges,
makes ample provisions for disposing and enabling the happy subjects to make the proper use of the divinely appointed means of enjoyment; and thus happily prevent the fatal neglect, which would ultimately terminate in their destruction: see Heb. viii. 10-12, with Jer. xxxii. 38-40, with Ezek. xxxvi. 25-27: which we here transcribe in full:
"This is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord: I will put my laws into their mind, and will write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people. And they shall not teach every man his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord; for all shall know me from the least to the greatest. For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more." "And they shall be my people, and I will be their God. And I will give them one heart, and one way, that they may fear me for ever, for the good of them, and their children after them. And I will make an everlasting covenant with them, that I will not turn away from them, to do them good; but I will put my fear in their hearts, that they shall not depart from me." "Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and you shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols will I cleanse you. A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you, and I will take away the heart of stone out of your flesh, and I will give you a heart of flesh; and I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them."
These things being so, it evidently follows; "that if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. And, that all these things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ:
2 Cor. v. 17, 18. "If any man be in Christ he is a new creature; old things are passed away, all things are become new. And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ."
Consequently, that the contents of the new covenant are the provisions of the divine love for the actual salvation of perishing humanity from the guilt and pollution of sin here, in order to an eternal deliverance from its tremendous consequences hereafter; with the eternal enjoyment of an inheritance incorruptible, undefiled, and unfading, reserved in heaven for the happy subjects: see 1 Pet. i. 3-5, above quoted.
And all this the effect of pure sovereign grace, without any merit on their part:
Eph. ii. 1-10. "And you hath he raised, who were dead in trespasses and sins; wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience; among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh; fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others; but God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved,) and hath raised us together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: that in the ages to come, he might show the exceeding riches of his grace, in his kindness towards us through Christ Jesus. For by grace are ye saved, through faith, and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to good works, which God hath before ordained, that we should walk in them."
Thus we see that the purposes and effects of the divine love terminate in the effectual salvation of all the highly favored subjects; without, in the meantime throwing the least discouragement in the way of any; for all that are willing, are welcome: see Ps. cx. 3, and Phil. ii, 13, with Isa. lv. 1-4, and Rev. xxii. 17.
Ps. cx. 3; Isai. lv. 1-4; Rev. xxii. 17. "Thy people shall be willing in the day of thy power, in the beauties of holiness, from the womb of the morning: thou hast the dew of thy youth." "For it is God that worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure." "Ho! every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters; and he that hath no money, come ye, buy and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price. Wherefore do ye spend money for that which is not bread, and your labor for that which satisfieth not? Harken diligently unto me, and eat ye that which is good, and let your soul delight itself in fatness. Incline your ear, and come unto me; hear and your soul shall live, and I will make an everlasting covenant with you, even the sure mercies of David." "And the Spirit and the Bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come! And let him that is athirst, come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely."
And surely the unwilling cannot justly complain of discouragement; for they do not desire to be saved from the love and practice of sin, which is the foundation of all divine enjoyment; and so qualifies the happy subjects for heaven: therefore, they will not accept it: see John v. 10. "Ye will not come unto me that ye might have life." Upon the whole, you see, my dear friend, that the blessed gospel presents a glorious salvation to all that hear it; with the blissful assurance, that every one that will make the prescribed use of the divinely appointed means, shall surely enjoy it: and, that all such shall be abundantly furnished with divine assistance to enable them so to do:
Matth. vii. 7, 8. "Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. For every one that asketh, receiveth; and he that seeketh, findeth; and to him that knocketh, it shall be opened." Amen.
Blessed be God, there is, therefore no just room for discouragement.
Yours very affectionately, THOMAS CAMPBELL.
[The Millennial Harbinger (June 1847): 322-328.]